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Comic Book Weekly Reviews (quinnelk)

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So I’m going to regularly offer short reviews like Brett, although mine will usually be a week behind his, just because of the lag time when I read them. So these will be some of the same ones that Brett reviewed last week…

28 Days Later 17: I’m a huge fan of zombies and of the 28 Days Later movies. These comics, I think, live up to the movies well. This one has a suitable mix of dread and fear and of the characters appreciating the little things in life during an apocalypse. And there are few, if any, similarities to The Walking Dead.

Story: 10 Art: 7 Overall: 8.5

Chaos War — Chaos King 1: Average art coupled with a storyline wherein I really don’t care about any of the characters doesn’t make for great reading. Chaos War isn’t that great a storyline anyway, and this is one of the weaker entries in the series. Isn’t the Chaos King just another version of Thanos?

Story: 5 Art: 5 Overall: 5

Chaos War — Dead Avengers 1: Definitely one of the best entries in the Chaos War series, this one is exactly what it says, the Dead Avengers are back to “life” as the walls between Earth and the afterlife are broken down. The return of some cool characters in a way that isn’t contrived is a very good read.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Deadpool 29: Give much credit to Daniel Way for having the writing skills to include the character Dr. Bong in a story and it not be a ridiculous piece of crap. This one has Deadpool teaming up with the Secret Avengers and both sides of the team-up coming off better for it.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Deadpool Corps 8: If you like Rob Liefeld’s art, this one looks great. I’m only a minor fan and the story of the Deadpool Corps on the latest planet they are on seems a bit too stretched thin that it seems like filler. The overall quality is still high, it’s just a matter of whether or not there is really a point to the story.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Deadpool Pulp 3: Jae Lee and June Chung’s cover is a highlight, but the rest of the comic is problematic because the Pulp version of Deadpool seems to lack most of the qualities that make Deadpool an interesting character. It’s not poorly executed, it’s just a matter of effectively placing a less-interesting version of Deadpool in place of the key character.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Deadpool Team-Up 887: Matteo Scalera’s art is a bit cartoonish and exaggerated for my tastes, but it’s not bad. The story, though, is as good as Deadpool stories get, with a mix of action, sick humor and kick-assedness. Great for fans of Deadpool and a pretty good introduction for those who don’t know much about him.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.75

Heroes for Hire 1: Was not expecting to like this one nearly as much as I did, but Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning manage to take a group of characters that I’m not a huge fan of and make them interesting. I particularly like the homage to The Warriors and the unique set-up for a superhero team, where lead character Misty Knight gets things done by calling in favors owed to her by other streetwise Marvel heroes. There is a good final twist as well, that sets up coming issues well.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.75

Invincible Iron Man 32: Salvador Larroca’s art is some of my favorite in Marvel comics at the moment and this issue continues the earlier strong work on the series. Matt Fraction manages to get me into stories that I don’t like on their basic plot level. Somehow he takes what to me are uninteresting topics and executes them in a way that is very entertaining.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

New Mutants 19: I’ve always been a huge New Mutants fan, so I like the current ongoing story despite the fact that it’s a big drawn out and there are too many characters in the series at the moment to really keep up with what’s going on a lot of the time.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Osborn 1: There’s a lot of good stuff going on in this issue and I like the set-up for what looks to be a new villain team working with Norman Osborn (if they go in the predictable direction). I’m not sure I completely buy the premise of moving Osborn out of federal custody into a privatized prison and the art leaves me wanting, but I’m hooked.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Secret Avengers 7: Not a huge fan of the art here, although it isn’t bad and the storyline, while not the best in the series to date, keeps me reading. I like the characters in all of the current Avengers books enough to read them in pretty much anything.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.75

Secret Warriors 22: Jonathan Hickman is doing some of the best writing at Marvel right now and Secret Warriors has become my favorite non-Avengers/X-Men title they publish. Alessandro Vitti’s art is so connected to these characters in my mind now, especially the Hydra members, that I’m upset when anyone else draws them.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Shadowland — Blood on the Streets 4: Is Shadowland over yet? No? Why not? Seriously Shadowland and Chaos War are the two worst Marvel events since before Avengers Disassembled and they are both running at the same time. Blood on the Streets isn’t the worst of it, but it isn’t particularly memorable. Mediocre art and a retread storyline out of every cop show/movie ever drag this one down.

Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5.5

Shadowland — Power Man 4: Power Man may be the worst part of the Shadowland event. And it isn’t the new Power Man himself that is the problem, its the weak 1970s blaxploitation storylines that make it difficult to read. I mean seriously, the first two images of this issue are a black woman crimelord with afro puffs and a pimp with shark teeth. Not exactly elevating race relations are we? And now they’re launching a new Power Man and Iron Fist series without Luke Cage? Yikes!

Story: 4 Art: 6 Overall: 5

Taskmaster 3: I really hope that the arc of taking Taskmaster from an also-ran b-list villain to a major character in the Marvel universe continues. He’s been around forever but he has so much potential that is only starting to be realized with Siege and this series. In addition to being fun and funny, this series has some major twists and turns that make it very good comic reading. That and it has baby Hispanic Hitler children. And Star Trek in-jokes. Really. Shouldn’t Deadpool be in this? To bad the art isn’t better.

Story: 10 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.75

The Stand — Hardcases 5: Stephen King fans have to be loving Marvel these days, with multiple ongoing adaptations of King’s work that are really well done. While this work isn’t spectacular, it is great fun for King fans.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

The Walking Dead 79: Charlie Adlard has got to be one of the best artists working in comics today. And I can’t think of a single writer working today that has a better handle on cliffhangers and the good old horror/scifi “zinger” than Robert Kirkman. This series continues to impress and is the first thing I read each month.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Uncanny X-Force 2: I’ve never heard of Jerome Opena before, but I love what he’s doing with the art in X-Force. It’s not perfect, but the best images in the comic are among the best being published. There is a montage of images of the X-Men from different time periods at one point in this issue and he does a great job of capturing different styles of different artists all while making it hish own. The story itself is a perfect example of why people like the X-Men — gritty, menacing, thoughtful, action-packed, original, creative, unique. The best X-Men stories are unlike anything you read or see elsewhere. This is one of those stories.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Uncanny X-Men 530: Matt Fraction is an ideas man. He comes up with lots of ideas for the X-Men that are things we haven’t seen before. I like that. Greg Land has an amazing ability to draw attractive women. His men aren’t as great and the women have a tendency to look a little similar, but damned if I can’t take my eyes off of them. His style is cinematic and I like it.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Factor 211: I know I supposed to love the heck out of X-Factor, but for some reason I don’t. I like it a lot, but it falls short of the love a lot of others seem to have for it. It’s a very good series and I like a lot of the things that Peter David does with it, such as making Shatterstar and Rictor gay, but I just don’t love the series, maybe because it doesn’t include any characters that I truly love. Longshot is close, but I’ve always thought of him as a secondary character, just like I think of the rest of the X-Factor characters.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

X-Files — 30 Days of Night 5: The fact that I stick with this series probably has to do more with my love for the X-Files and the fact that I miss it (and was disappointed by the last X-Files movie) and the fact that I like 30 Days of Night than it has to do with the quality of the series. The story is flimsy, at best, and the art isn’t great. If you need a fix of either series, this will barely cover it.

Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5.5

X-Men Legacy 242: I still don’t quite understand the point of the “Legacy” series. The name has to mean something, right? It seemed like it did at first, but now it seems like a pointless name. This issue isn’t pointless, though. It’s well-done, even if it relies a bit much on the now well-worn conceit of having the characters give away exposition through post-event interviews with some unknown interviewer. Other than that, I like the story and want to see where it goes.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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