(Bi-)Weekly Reviews (quinnelk)

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Yeah, I know these are supposed to come out weekly, but I do what I can. Here are the new comics I’ve read the last two weeks…

Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint – This one appeared on (and at the top) of so many Best of the Year lists, I had to check it out. It doesn’t disappoint. This is almost certainly the best single-issue art of the year. My only complaint is that the story, while very well-told and filled with moments where author/artist Chris Ware takes chances, is that I don’t love the topic and I don’t love the title character. I also don’t hate him. This is great art, both visually and conceptually, I’m just not sure it’s a great story to tell.

Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75

28 Days Later #18 – I wonder if I’m the only one reading this comic? That would be a shame. It must not be, though, since it has made it all the way to issue 18. The art is this one is a little subpar, but the storytelling is second only to the Walking Dead in the zombie genre and is very much in the spirit of the movies, which I loved.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Ant-Man & Wasp #3 – An interesting, if not spectacular conclusion to the amusing and entertaining series that doesn’t really add much to the storylines of either character. I’d like to see more of both of these characters, since both are underused, but this series didn’t really give me much more.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #4 – To say that this is the best issue of this series yet is not that much of a compliment. The art continues to disappoint but the story has improved and I now actually care about what happens next. There is a pretty impressive scene of brutality involving Wolverine and a nice little jab at DC, too, that make it a bit more entertaining.

Story: 8 Art: 4 Overall: 6

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 – The art is nice on this one and the story is picking up in pace and plot twists. I really have not understood why the Scarlet Witch has been abandoned by Marvel in recent years, but it’s good to see that some of the characters have missed her as well.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Avengers #8 – This is why I read comics and this is the key series of the Heroic Age if there is one. Great art, as always, from John Romita Jr., a classic storyline from Brian Michael Bendis, a great action sequence with Red Hulk and no dialog or exposition and an epic cliffhanger ending. Just awesome. If you like superhero comics, this is what you should be reading.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Carnage #2 – I’d read any comic drawn by Clayton Crain and this is up to par with his best work. Zeb Wells story is a little hard to follow, but works overall. Maybe by issue 3, we’ll actually get some action with the title character.

Story: 8 Art: 10 Overall: 9

Chaos War: X-Men #1 – I had no idea there were deceased members of the Stepford Cuckoos, did you? Oh well, as with a number of the other Chaos War offshoots, this one deals with dead characters who have suddenly found themselves back in the land of the living. The X-men have some good characters who have died over the years and this is a good, but not perfect, showcase for them. I note, for the record, that Nightcrawler, supposedly dead, is NOT in this series…

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Chaos War: Dead Avengers #2 – Okay, so I’m now convinced that the best part of the Chaos War series is the “dead” offshoots, which are well-done and actually interesting. This one has great art and an storyline with good tension and action and is definitely a must-read.

Story: 7.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 8.75

Daken: Dark Wolverine #4 – Strong art, as usual, from Giuseppe Camuncoli is here coupled with a story of intrigue that is far from over and leaves you waiting for the next issue. There is also a strong hint in this story of some kind of relationship between Daken and Johnny Storm. I wonder where that’s going…

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Daredevil Reborn #1 – I hadn’t been reading much Daredevil stuff in recent years and Shadowland did nothing to increase my interest in the character, so I took up this issue without high hopes. I was quite surprised. It reads more like an action movie than a superhero comic, but it works very well in this case. Definitely will bring me back for the next issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Deadpool #30 – Wise-cracking, vampires, action, Deadpool randomly shooting his allies, Deadpool randomly trying to get laid at inappropriate times, and good jokes make this what Deadpool comics are supposed to be.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Deadpool Corps #9 – The Deadpool Corps storyline is really starting to drag out and run thin, but it hasn’t lost its appeal — yet. If they don’t find something else to move on to, it is in danger of losing my interest.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Deadpool Pulp #4 – As an alternate universe version of Deadpool, this series lacks almost everything that makes Deadpool who he is. Other than that, it’s a good story and it has adequate art.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Deadpool Team-Up #886 – For the most part, I’ve thought this series was pointless, if at time amusing. This issue, where Deadpool teams up with Iron Fist, is the best issue of the series to date. In addition to finally teaming Deadpool up with a compelling character, the writing is better and is some of the funniest Deadpool stuff of the last year or so. The running Deadpool looks like Spider-man gag is priceless.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Generation Hope #3 – While it is better than the previous issue, I gained nothing from reading this comic and I had trouble figuring out what was happening at times, although in this issue that was because of the art instead of the writing like in issue 2.

Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5.5

Heroes for Hire #2 – This may be the best new series on the shelves and it certainly wasn’t a one-hit wonder as this issue is just as good as the first. The cast of characters is being used better than they have in a long time and all of a sudden I’m really interested in Paladin as a character, which I’ve never said before. This one has a good mystery going and although the reader knows the punchline, the characters don’t and watching it unfold is very entertaining.

Story: 9.5 Art: 7 Overall: 8.25

Incredible Hulks #619 – Lots of Hulk-like things smashing other Hulk-like things in busy panels that are hard to decipher and dead characters returning in emotional scenes added together with a backup story about being a parent that I could’ve done without.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Namor: The First Mutant #5 – This is an attempt at nostalgia and character development that doesn’t do a great job at either.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

New Mutants #20 – Epic adventure, exciting battle scenes, betrayal, and surprises that work very well if you are a long-time New Mutants fan make this a good read.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Night of the Living Dead #2 – This issue tries to be hip, culturally and historically relevant and a comic that brings to late issues of race, class and war and peace. It doesn’t really succeed at any of them, but it is pretty cool to see hippies fighting zombies at the Lincoln Memorial.

Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5

Osborn #2 – Ben Oliver’s cover here is just simply amazing. The interior art in no way measures up. The story is something ripped directly from a number of movies about incarcerated villains breaking free, but it is good to see Norman Osborn cut loose again.

Story: 8.5 Art: 5 Overall: 6.75

Secret Warriors #23 – This issue takes a diversion into the story of a character who was key to the outcome of the previous issue’s battle, but the character simply isn’t the most interesting of the people in the series, so it isn’t spectacular material to work with.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Thanos Imperative: Devastation – Glad this finally came out, I was having Cosmic Marvel withdrawal. The creation of the new team, the Annihilators seems cool, but what I really liked about the cosmic stories in recent years was the cast of rejects and former villains working together, humorously, to save the universe. Can a group of strong silent types be super entertaining? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

The Last Zombie: Dead New World #2 – I picked up this series because I saw Brian Keene’s name was on it. Brian Keene isn’t the world’s greatest writer, but he has a knack for tension and horror storylines that are truly horrific and make you want to keep reading every page until you are done. The first issue was a slow starter for this post-zombie apocalypse storyline, but things are starting to move with this issue and I’m already waiting on the next one to arrive. Artists Joe Wight’s characters aren’t awesome to look at, but when he pans back his landscapes and action scenes are amongst the best I’ve seen in a while.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

The Walking Dead #80 – I have no idea how Robert Kirkman keeps doing it. After 79 issues and numerous storylines, you’d think he’d be running out of stuff to say with these characters and this setting. You’d be wrong. Dead wrong. This is one of the strongest issues of the entire series. This one has moments of emotional intensity that punch you in the gut and it has moments of terror and suspense that punch you again. And, as always, Charlie Adlard makes it all look amazing.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Toys in the Basement – This is the first-time English translation of a French work from a few years ago and, to be honest, it’s very derivative of other works, most notably Toy Story and Where the Wild Things Are. It’s still worth a read, but don’t expect anything ground-breaking.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Men #531 – The Quarantine storyline is interesting enough, although we all know Wolverine and Namor aren’t really going to die, so it lacks some tension. Greg Land draws amazingly beautiful women, but his male characters are always making faces that obscure their eyes and they look strange.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Wolverine: The Best There Is #2 – Well, it’s an improvement on the first issue, with Wolverine being more appropriately written to his character’s history, passable art and a quirkier and more engaging story. Still far from the “best,” though and I’m not sure why this series exists.

Story: 7 Art: 5.5 Overall: 6.25

X-23 #4 – I hate Gambit. This issue has Gambit. And a confusing storyline. And what appears to be Ms. Sinister.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

X-Factor #213 – I like X-Factor, but it doesn’t seem that I like it as much as everyone else does. I like this issue a lot, though. It’s funny, it’s got strange twists and its got mystery and intrigue. Good stuff. Too bad Darwin is leaving the team, though, although it looks like the next issue might feature him.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

X-Files – 30 Days of Night #6 – What a dud ending to a wasted series. 30 Days of Night is awesome. The X-Files are awesome. Put them together and you get a story that doesn’t make any sense. Other than a little shout-out at the end to the original series this is a waste of time.

Story: 3 Art: 5 Overall: 4

X-Men: To Serve and Protect #2 – Not a great issue, this has four shorts that each have significant problems. The Anole/Rockslide story lacks a compelling storyline, the Stepford Cuckoos/Spider-man story tries to be funny but largely fails, the Collosus/Iron Man story is a little too preach and the X-23/Ghost Rider story, while being by far the best story, has subpar art.

Story: 6 Art: 4 Overall: 5

X-Men #6 – The end of the Curse of the Mutants again shows that Cyclops is the biggest badass in the X-Universe these days and sets them up with a permanent problem in dealing with the vampirism of Jubilee, which could be very interesting.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

X-Men Legacy #243 – The Omega Sentinel goes crazy storyline is a bit slow in developing, but they really do some interesting stuff here with Hellion, which makes this one of the better issues of Legacy in a while.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

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