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Weekly Reviews (quinnelk’s Christmas Edition)

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No kids for me today and I finally got caught up on my reading, so here are my latest reviews…

Ant-Man & Wasp #2 – Not really the greatest story nor the greatest art, but I like where both of these characters is these days and the interplay between the characters is enough to make it readable.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #7 – Not sure why this story takes place in Avengers Academy, since it really isn’t about the students at all, it’s about Hank Pym and his “dead” wife. The story is interesting, without being spectacular, but the art is weak.

Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5

Carnage #1 – Essentially a Spider-Man and Iron Man team-up, this issue has good art, the beginning of a storyline that might be interesting and a sense of humor.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1 – As a half-Canadian, I’ve always had a soft spot for Alpha Flight and it’s great to see them back. Too bad it’s part of Chaos War, though, and that the story and art aren’t better.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Chaos War: Ares #1 – Ares isn’t the most interesting character in the first place, so sustaining a whole issue around his story AND Chaos War isn’t that easy to do. The art could be better and the story could be a lot better.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Chaos War: God Squad #1 – The original God Squad was a pretty cool idea back in the Secret Invasion days, but this one either has a weaker group of characters or is more poorly executed.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6 Overall: 6.25

Chaos War: Thor #2 – I guess this is meant to be some kind of meditation on faith and loss and all that. It just seems dull to me.

Story: 4 Art: 5 Overall: 4.5

Chaos War #4 – The Chaos War story might not be too bad if it was just the main series, but the other series that go along with it are really dragging it down. This is the weakest issue yet, but it’s still readable and is one of the first comics I can remember where Hercules grows as a character.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Daredevil #512 – Nope, this one still doesn’t do anything to make me more interested in the Shadowland storyline or the peripheral characters to Daredevil’s life.

Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5

Deadpool Max #3 – A vast improvement for this comic’s plot and writing is still held back by some of my least favorite art ever. While the story isn’t perfect, it really does show what you can do with Max comics to explore topics without the usual comics boundaries, taking on Nazis, antisemitism and racism in a direct fashion.

Story: 8 Art: 3 Overall: 5.5

Generation Hope #2 – I didn’t hate this quite as much as Brett did, but I still thought it was pretty horrible. The story isn’t particularly compelling and a lot of the dialog just doesn’t make sense and isn’t particularly true to the characters. The art is only slightly better.

Story: 4 Art: 5 Overall: 4.5

Incredible Hulks #618 – I haven’t been reading any of the “Hulks” storylines, so this one didn’t make a lot of sense to me other than its connection to Chaos War and the previous animosity between Hulk and Dr. Strange. The art is very busy, with way too much stuff going on in each panel to make it particularly good to look at.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Namor – The First Mutant #4 – The Namor portion of the X-Men vs. vampires stuff seems like it was tacked on just to add another storyline and it certainly isn’t integral to the story. That being said, it is a mildly interesting story on its own, even if it does have a strange unexplained plot twist toward the end.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

New Avengers #7 – This one is a transitional story that doesn’t have much in terms of plot in it and is carried by the art and the dialog. Two characters are brought on board to the New Avengers family, one good and one bad. Good to have Wong back, but Squirrel Girl? Really?

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Night of the Living Dead Holiday Special – Seems simply like a way to make a little bit more in sales off the Night of the Living Dead franchise, since the story has little to do with the NOTLD plot or, really, any seeming consistency to the rest of the continuity or internal logic of those stories. This seems like a mediocre episode of Tales from the Crypt.

Story: 5 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Secret Avengers #8 – Pretty fast-paced and action-packed entry in the current storyline, which is based around Shang-Chi’s father, Nick Fury’s clone and Steve Rodgers’s old army buddy as the villains. Not sure I’m completely sold on what’s happening, but it is a good read.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Shadowland #5 – Good thing Shadowland is finally over and it ends as it started, without much excitement or originality in the story and without any real reason to read it unless you are diehard Daredevil et al. fan. I’m not.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Shadowland: After the Fall #1 – This is another one of those Marvel comics where the focus is not on the heroes or villains but the non-powered supporting characters. Too bad there isn’t enough quality storyline coming out of Shadowland to give them anything interesting to do.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Taskmaster #4 – The art has a few flaws, but the story is awesome. It rewrites Taskmaster, raising him up from a B-level villain with no real compelling storyline to one of the most tragic and interesting characters in the Marvel universe. Hopefully the Marvel crew has something line up for Taskmaster moving forward, because it would be a shame to lose the momentum he has coming of Dark Reign, Siege and this.

Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.25

Thunderbolts #151 – The Ghost was always great because he was so mysterious. This story ends the mystery and, as it turns out, he really isn’t as interesting any more.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Uncanny X-Force #3 – Great art, if a little over-detailed at times, a great story with real menace and gut-wrenching action makes this one of the best issues of the month.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

Wolverine: The Best There Is #1 – Wolverine is the best there is at what he does, but it seems that the creators of this comic aren’t. Everything seems cliched and the story really isn’t true to the Wolverine character.

Story: 4.75 Art: 5.75 Overall: 5.25

Wolverine #4 – I haven’t hated the Wolverine in Hell storyline like others, but I realize that it could’ve been better executed. There are a couple of reveals in this chapter that seem a bit obvious and the back-up story seems pointless, so this is the weakest issue to date.

Story: 6.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Women of Marvel #2 – This one has four stories. The first is a Fantastic Four/Cindrella fairy tale that bored me to sleep. The second is a little Songbird diversion that was entertaining. The third is a Shanna the She-Devil story that doesn’t even make any sense and the fourth is a one-page Lyra joke that isn’t funny or well told.

Story: 4 Art: 6 Overall: 5

X-Factor #212 – Not a fan of the X-Factor/Thor cross-over, but this one does have a really cool resolution that makes it worth reading. I’m not as sold on X-Factor as others are, but it is still worth reading each month.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

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