Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 1/5/2011

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It’s the first week of comics for the new year!  Does 2011 start off on the right foot and give us some excellent comics that makes us excited for what the next year brings us?  Or is it a pile of dreck that makes us want to save our money and take up another hobby like smoking?  Find out below!

Monthly Comics

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 – It seems like forever since the third issue, but we learn a bit about how Wanda made it into Latveria and what’s going on.  There’s some big questions answered such as how a few folks would react when they found Wanda and a pretty big ending.  Even though this isn’t really an event, it’s still better than a lot of what Marvel’s been putting out lately.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Brightest Day #17 – This issues really focuses on just two of the many ongoing stories but starts off with Firestorm, picking up from last issue.  From there it spends it’s time between the Hawkworld story (which I care less about) and Boston Bran’s story which is really solid in this issue.  For that part alone, I’d pick this up for DC fans.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Bring the Thunder #2 – The first issue of this new series from Dynamite really took me by surprise in it’s quality and this second issue keeps it up.  Especially fantastic is the protagonists comparison of gang life in the inner city to what he saw fighting in Afghanistan.  This could be a sleeper hit and pretty impressive and deep series.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Green Hornet #12 – There was some nervousness in Phil Hester picking up from where Kevin Smith left off in this fantastic series.  But two issues in and Hester keeps up the quality I expect.  So much fun.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Iron Man: Legacy #10 – It’s Tony Stark versus The Pride, but is he able to take on them all by himself?  This series fits into 616 continuity and is pretty fun, but really it’s really geared for Iron Man die-hards.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Irredeemable #21 – I’ve been wondering where Mark Waid was going with this series but we now get an idea of where things are headed.  Is the world better off without Plutonian or are there worse monsters out there?  Also, when will the Plutonian snap out of his make believe world?  This excellent series continues it’s tale of fallen heroes.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Raise the Dead 2 #2 – It’s easy to dismiss this as “that other” zombie series but this second volume of Dynamite’s hit is unique enough that it stands and shambles on it’s own.  The story is unique and interesting, characters have enough of a back story in two issues you have sympathy for them and their situations different enough that you’re not quite sure what’ll happen next.  If you like zombie stories absolutely pick this one up.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

The Thanos Imperative: Devastation – More of a prequel for the upcoming Annihilators series that’s coming, this really shows how that team was formed and the status quo that now exists in Marvel’s cosmic corner of the universe.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

27 #2 – Charles Soule’s limited series continues.  We learn a lot more as to what’s going on in this music inspired horror story.  It’s beyond unique and there’s just nothing else out there like it.  It’s especially fun if you’re a math geek.  There’s a reason this series has so much hype around it.  And it lives up to it.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Ultimate Captain America #1 – I’ve never been too into the “Ultimate” line of comics, but I picked up this issue and flipped through it and that first spread had me hooked.  It’s a hell of a start and set up.  Enough so this is immediately being added to my buy pile each month.  Fantastic stuff.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

The Walking Dead #80 – Just when you think the series can’t get any better, Robert Kirkman totally proves you wrong.  There’s just so many fantastic moments in this issue and one that just had me lingering on the page.  This is a character study with zombies in it, and one that really just nails the character development aspect.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.5

Who is Jake Ellis? #1 – I guessed this would be a solid book this week and boy was I right.  This is a “chase” comic similar to the Bourne movies.  We’re not told exactly what’s going on, but it’s fun, keeps you on your toes and just sets up a hell of a lot.  If the first issue of a comic is supposed to hook you in, this one does it job amazingly well.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

X-Factor #213 – The last few issues have been a bit of a let down for me.  I haven’t really enjoyed the team’s Vegas adventure and team-up with Thor, but this issue brings back all of the amazing banter and interactions that’ve been missing.  I found myself laughing out loud at points.  Welcome back X-Factor!

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

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