Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 12/29/2010

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The final week releases for the year brought a thick stack of comic books.  Which ones were wait of the year?  Which ones shouldn’t even be released in 2011?  Find out our thoughts as to this week’s releases in our weekly comic book reviews.

Monthly Comics

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4 – Easily one of the most fun comic books on the market.  It’s the 616 universe and somewhat in continuity but each “Astonishing” series is supposed to be accessible for new readers.  Spidey and Wolverine continue to hop through time as we learn the how, the why and the who that’s behind it all.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #4 – Really this should have taken over for the other “Astonishing” series (is it even still going?).  This issue is over the top and exagerated much like the art with tons of bullets flying, characters getting flayed and the level of threat.  I’m a bit torn on my thoughts of this.  It’s better than what was going on, but there’s still something that just seems off and would be better suited for a regular series storyline.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

The Avengers #8 – Someone has two Infinity Gems and the Illuminati was the one’s in charge of them.  How’s it going to look when they get back together and how is everyone else going to take to their existence?

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – The story is solid, and art fantastic of this new Batman series.  I don’t see the need for it, or what it brings that others don’t, but as a whole Batman just hasn’t excited me lately enough to take it up as a regular read.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #613 – I don’t think Ed Brubaker can tell simple stories, it’s all epic, and that’s not a bad thing.  The “Trial of Captain America” begins as everyone tries to figure out what Sin is up to.  This is a big picture story with pieces being laid out for quite some time now.  We know Sin will be playing a big roll in 2011’s Fear Itself, my guess is this is her big coming out party.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Daken: Dark Wolverine #4 – Wolverine’s son doesn’t get the respect he deserves.  It’s reflected in the comic that almost gives a nod to the character’s reputation with comic book fans.  But give this series a second look, it’s definitely higher quality than people give it credit for and has tons of potential down the road.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

The Flash #8 – It’s the history of Professor Zoom and the Reverse Flash in a pretty solid issue.  This is one of the best things that have come out of Brightest Day.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Generation Hope #3 – Third issue in and the comic book is still pretty piss poor.  I just don’t see the point or the direction.  It comes off like so many of the other “new generation” of comic books that’ve come before, and doesn’t improve on any of them, or stand out.  But at the same time, you know it’s going to be important in a future storyline.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

Green Lantern #61 – We finally get to see the Red Lantern being and Atrocitous gets much more fleshed out character wise.  The issue is an uptick from the past few issues.  But the latest storyline doesn’t quite have the build or excitement of recent story arcs.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Incognito: Bad Influences #2 – The second issue keeps up the quality and it’s pulp sensibility.  Overkill wants back into the criminal world but he first needs to figure out how to get back into the game.  It’s a solid second volume to the series.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Nemesis #4 – Wow, so what I was expecting was not what this series wrapped up to be.  A hell of a card is played at the end that totally changes this over the top he-man action fantasy.  As a movie, this series would go over quite well and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next volume brings.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

New Mutants #20 – Uh, ok.  I’m not sure if this or Generation Hope is the worst “X” comic on the market (not counting the Forever series).  It’s just so bad and not interesting.  I’m not invested at all, and could care less as to what happens next.

Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.25

Osborn #2 – An absolutely fascinating take on Norman Osborn and a couple of characters that we’ve never heard of until now.  A pretty fun and entertaining series.  Of which I have no idea where it’ll end up.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Secret Warriors #23 – Again we see why you can never be quite sure what to expect from this series.  Whatever happened to Sebastian?  We get the answer in this issue as the shocking events of last issue all catch up.  Such a solid series.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

S.H.I.E.L.D. #5 – What the fuck is going on with this series!?  I need Cliff Notes to get through it.  I’m sure in a trade format it’ll read much better, but right now I’m so confused.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7

Widowmaker #2 – The battle continues as we get a bit closer to finding out who the new Ronin is.  Anyone have a guess?  As much as I loved each of the individual series that merged into this, something is just not quite as solid as they were.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

X-Men: To Serve and Protect #2 – Four short stories of various “X” characters dealing with the rest of the Marvel universe.  None of them are particular interesting, but this might be good for the die-hard “X” fans.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

X-23 #4 – The series is going in an interesting direction and one that’s pretty damn enjoyable.  X-23 is starting to stand on her own as she gets away from the X-Men and more importantly out from under Wolverine’s shadow.  Like Daken’s, the series has a lot of potential.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75