Weekly Purchases

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It’s a thick stack of books this week (why are all the major releases in a two week span?).  A few Siege, Necrosha and Blackest Night tie-ins make up a good portion of the books this week.

Monthly Comics

Avengers: the Initiative #32 – This is Siege from Taskmaster, Constrictor and Diamondback’s point of view.  Taskmaster makes a decision about his role in Osborn’s madness, Constrictor struggles with his role and his love for Diamondback, while she attempts to do the right thing.  It’s a great perspective not seen from the general battle that was Siege #1.  And deep down we’re rooting for Taskmaster.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Batman and Robin #7 – Grant Morrison continues his Batman run leading up to the eventual return of Bruce Wayne.  This seems like the beginning of that, but the stuff with Damian, I feel like I missed something.  But Morrison’s work often comes off as disjointed to me, where you must fill in your own blanks.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Blackest Night: JSA #2 – The Black Lanterns in this issue are a bit different than the rest of the Black Lanterns.  Instead, the “zombies” here are plotting and sneaky hiding their evil nature.  Really, the issue is one giant fight, but the biggest failure is not allowing an easy entry for those of us not familiar with the JSA.  I don’t know these characters or their backgrounds and for that I feel like I’m missing something.  The issue is an improvement over the first issue, but barely better.

Story: 5.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6

Captain America: Reborn #6 – We knew how the issue was going to end with the return of Steve Rogers and due to the release mess up by Marvel the impact of the issue is a little diminished.  However, as a whole the entire issue isn’t quite up to the usual quality we’d expect from Ed Brubaker.  As a double issue, mixed with issue 5, the two would have been quality but on it’s own the final issue of the limited series feels off and empty of depth.  We’re given an issue that’s one giant fight scene with little emotional impact and the usual “splashes” you’d expect.  The upside is we’re given a lot of foreshadowing of what we can expect in the future.  Brubaker and Marvel, we expected more.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Chew #8 – Tony is continuing his island misadventure and decides to help to local police solve some issues.  It’s the usual out of hand hilarity and fun.  We can’t recommend this series enough.  Everything about it is fun and original.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Dark Reign: Hawkeye #5 – It’s bad when a comic comes out that you thought came out months ago.  For whatever reason this issue is definitely a few months behind it’s intended release date and there is nothing special about it.  Why Marvel chose to release it instead of letting it die and be forgotten is a question I’ll wonder for a while.  The only answer is to make sure they can release an eventual trade of the series.  Bullseye deals with his daddy issues, and that’s about it.

Story: 4.5 Art: 5 Overall: 4.75

Die Hard: Year One #5 – While the first story arc presented a few different plots intersecting in an over the top heist, this story also involves robberies but much more down to earth.  McClane is a further into his job and has a new partner.  The interaction between the two is better and the series is much improved from the first four issues.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Fantastic Four #575 – The Fantastic Four is back to being fantastic.  In the lead up to this the first issue of 2010 we were warned of an impending war of four cities and teased by Marvel by a pretty cool teaser image.  Here we see the opening salvo to what looks to be a stellar year for Marvel’s first family.  Mole Man is back, but this time seeking the help of the team.  A far cry from his first appearance as the Fantastic Four’s first villain.  This might be good enough to make me forget the craptacular runs that I’ve been subjected to before this.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Green Lantern #50 – The Spectre is giving the Lanterns some issues and Hal Jordan must make a big decision on how to take him on.  We also get to see the new Lanterns in action.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Guardians of the Galaxy #22 – It’s the Guardians vs. the Universal Church as they must bust their friends out from captivity and deal with the thing from the fault.  As always, the series does not disappoint with great action, humor and dialogue.  This is one of the best series out on the market.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Irredeemable #10 – Mark Waid continues to give us glimpses of how dysfunctional the super heroes in his world is.  The crazy has been piled on just a little bit with each issue showing the heroes have a lot more issues to deal with than what we’ve so far been lead on.  The sins we know about are just the tip of the iceberg it seems.  The series is consistent and entertaining.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Kick-Ass #8 – It’s the end of the first story arc as Hit Girl and Kick-Ass go on the war path.  We also get a great ending as to the impact of their exploits as well as a teaser of what they’ll be dealing with during the next story arc.  A series of over the top violence and action, and it’s so entertaining.  We’re counting down the days until the movie hits the theaters.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

the Marvelous Land of Oz #3 – I still haven’t read this series.  I hear it’s good.  Sorry.

Story: ? Art: ? Overall: ?

New Avengers #61 – The Hood has powered up his crew and they’re headed out to take on the New Avengers and get revenge.  There’s some great individual scenes here, especially the banter between Spider-man and Spider-woman.  The art is a little poorer than we’ve seen lately, but overall a pretty solid issue.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Punisher #13 – Generally, we’ve though the shift to the “Frankencastle” storyline has been a bit silly, only slightly better than the Punisher’s ill-fated return as a pawn in the battle between God and the Devil.  The last few issues have had horrible Japanese stereotypes, and a who’s who of Marvel monsters and the Punisher dealing with his return.  If you look past the silliness and don’t take the story serious, it’s been getting entertaining.  Here’s hoping this is just a short detour before we get back to normal programming.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Secret Warriors #12 – Leviathan has entered the mix of covert ops that’s been making this series so much fun.  We learn a bit more about them as well as a member of Hydra’s inner circle.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Thor #606 – It’s the end to the Asgardians battle in Latveria and we finally find out how they got back to Oklahoma before Siege.  In the end though, this entire battle was about how much Loki was really manipulating and how much of the events occurring in the Marvel universe he’s responsible for.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Unknown Soldier #16 – This is easily the most socially and politically aware comic book on the market.  It’s a monthly reminder as to the horrors occurring every day in Africa.  Moses continues his investigation into the murder of the village’s doctor and must deal with the fall out of that event.  The issue also reminds us that faces have the same expressions across the world, poetic in it’s simplicity.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

the Walking Dead #69 – The group has arrived to DC and are still skittish about joining this new community.  This issue is cool for so many reasons; 1) It takes place in my neighborhood to the point I recognize the locations, 2) the action and suspense is great as always, 3) Kirkman has flipped the book so now it looks like the group we’ve grown so close to are the outsiders who aren’t the ones to be trusted.  As always a brilliant series.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

X-Factor #201 – Peter David consistently puts out the best “x” book on the market.  The team continues their mission of figuring out what happened to Sue Storm.  This is a great mix of noir, team action and humor.  If you’re not reading this series, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

X-Force #23 – The team continues to take on Selene’s forces as Bard attempts to get back the knife he needs in this part of the Necrosha storyline.  The art is muddled and it’s difficult at times to tell exactly what’s going on.  The story itself is drawn out and this entire storyline feels like it should be over.  It’s jarring that only a few of the “X” line are dealing with this story and there’s no mention of it elsewhere or other books have moved on.  Can we just get to Second Coming?

Story: 6.25 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.25

X-Men: Forever #16 – Chris Claremont continues his take on the X-Men in this “what if” he continued his run.  The art this issue is much improved over the previous fifteen issues.  The story sees Nightcrawler and Rogue heading to Mississippi to help a friend, Beast, Moira and Professor X dealing with the “mutant burnout” issue, and Dugan and Fury figuring out what’s happening in S.H.I.E.L.D.  All three stories seem intertwined, so it’s nice Claremont’s bringing everything he’s set up since the first issue to a head.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

X-Men: Legacy #232 – Necrosha has pretty much derailed the momentum that X-Force had going for it.  This series while still part of that poorly thought out storyline hasn’t suffered as much.  The team has headed to Muir Isle where they’ve confronted Proteus.  The storyline has worked so well, primarily because it would of worked and would of been good even without the Necrosha tag.  Of particular note is the reaction between Magneto and Rogue and the nobility of his showing through.  Coupled with Matt Fraction’s depiction of him in Uncanny X-Men, the Magneto comes off as a man seeking redemption with a hint of weakness along with his strenght and that might be the best thing to come out of the status quo change that was Nation X.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75