As usual the week is dominated by Marvel and Blackest Night. Nothing really stands out as “must read” comics, but there were some pleasant surprises in the pile.
Barack: the Barbarian #3 – I grabbed this third issue after missing the first two as it sat on the comic store’s shelf. The cover caught my eye enough for me to check it out and the concept is intriguing. Devil’s Due Publishing has decided to take a different spin on the Barack Obama comic popularity by throwing characters based on him in various types of comics. This one is a Conan type character mixed with nice political satire. Along with Barack the Barbarian, there’s his team, Manny (Rahm Emmanuel), Hilaria (Hillary Clinton), Biil (Bill Clinton, as well as characters Red Sarah (Sarah Palin), the Old Warrior (John McCain) and appearances by Bush and Cheney. The story sees the band of warriors ascending the Tower of the Elephant Cult, though I’m not quite sure why (might of been in the first two issues). The writing surprised me as there’s quite a few good political zingers and digs throughout the issue, most of which would go over a kids head. If you like politics or Barack Obama and want to get a good chuckle with a political spin, the series is worth checking out.
Story: 8 Art: 5.5 Overall: 7
Blackest Night: the Flash #1 – The Rogue’s limited series for Final Crisis was the best part of that DC event, even better than the main story line. I was hoping for the same here, instead we’re treated to the Flash running around and the Rogue’s playing back up story. The Flash is a main player in the main Blackest Night series and is as much in the center and spotlight as Green Lantern, there’s no need to focus on him in this limited series. Here’s hoping the focus for the next two issues is the rogues and not the hero.
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 – We know how these limited series go, bad guy rises as a Black Lantern the hero fights them. In this case Wonder Woman’s nemesis decides to head to Arlington Cemetery and create a Black Lantern army of soldiers. There’s nothing special about this issue and at the same time using such a sacred place for a blah story made me cringe. What’s next Black Lanterns from the where to Twin Towers stood!? Needless and a little sacrilegious at the same time, it would be something if there was a major point to make, but there isn’t, and nothing was added to the story by it’s use.
Story: 5.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25
Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #2 – The first issue was a fun take on the James Bond type action we’d expect from the spy of Fabletown. But this second issue slows down as she meets a fellow traveler who is also on a mission to prevent magic item proliferation. It’s not a bad issue, but a much slower one that’s needed to help set up the bigger story.
Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25
Dark Avengers: Annual #1 – Whatever happened to Noh-Varr? He first joined the Dark Avengers and after learning their true identities up and left with no explanation as to where he went. This annual is focused on him and what he’s been up to as the Kree warrior tries to find his place in a human world. At the same time Osborn can’t have another alien just running around his world. The issue is solid but I’m not quite sold on Noh-Varr’s new costume. We’ll see how other artists handle it.
Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8
Deadpool: Team-Up #898 – Deadpool heads south of the border and teams up with the Zapata Brothers (I’ve never heard of them either). The issue isn’t too bad as far as dialogue, action, or art. It’s much improved since the first issue. My issue is with the series as a whole is, why does this it exist? It doesn’t add anything to cannon or move a bigger story along, it’s just action and humor. Other than trying to suck another $2.99 out of Deadpool fans, I get the feeling we’re just seeing over-exposure redux like Wolverine experienced years ago.
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7
Lobo: Highway to Hell #2 –I had such high hopes for the return of Lobo. In this two issue limited series we have Lobo vs. the Devil and we’re never really given a reason why the Devil called out Lobo. The dialogue doesn’t stack up to “classic” Lobo stories, the action is so-so, and there’s really no point to the story. Why DC thought Scott Ian (of the band Anthrax) could deliver a solid story is beyond me. The other big disappointment is Sam Keith’s art. It’s not consistent and is far removed from the awesomeness that was the Maxx. There are some cool splash pages here and there, but overall it just doesn’t/ But the art is fitting for the story as both are a mess and don’t live up to expectations.
Story: 4 Art: 5 Overall: 4
the Marvels Project #4 – Ed Brubaker continues his history of the early Marvel universe as we see the moments that lead up to the change of Steve Rogers from a scrawny man into the personification of American ideals in Captain America.
Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8
Psylocke #2 – Psylocke is on a mission to get the man that made her. For all the convoluted history of the character, in a few pages it’s summed up pretty easily and catches you up on what you need to know. The action, and art is nice, and dialogue is pretty good. A solid limited series for X-Men and Psylocke fans.
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75
Siege: The Cabal – Osborn pulls together what’s left of his cabal and has it out with Doom. This is the beginning of the end of Dark Reign and the beginning of Siege, Marvel’s next major event. But, how does Osborn force the United States to declare war on Asgard and who is the ace up his sleeve?
Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8
Supergod #2 – We continue the story of how many created Gods and those Gods proceeded to “help” humanity how they saw fit. Warren Ellis continues to deconstruct humanity and religion in this new series that I’m sure you’re not reading.
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25
Thor #604 – It’s the first issue of the series new creative team and not a beat is lost in what is easily one of the best series of the past few years. War is declared against Doom, but will Thor answer the call of his brethren? This is the lead up to Siege and should be missed.
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5
Uncanny X-Men #518 – It’s a quieter moment for the series, which is obviously leading up to something big. The science team enlists Magneto’s help to save Utopia, Scott decides to get rid of the Void in Emma’s head, and Hank has a heart to heart with Bobby and finally get’s what’s bothering him out in the open. A decent issue, that’s leading to, somewhere and something.
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5