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Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 1/19/11

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It’s a busier week for comic books as we move further into the new year.  It seems like it’s the build up to the storm that is next week’s releases.  What’s worth reading and what should be skipped?  Find out our thoughts below!

Monthly Comics

Avengers Academy #8 – And in this “very special” issue, the students deal with Tigra’s trauma and we learn that a few of them are the sociopaths hinted at in the first few issues.  The issue deals with some important issues and events in Tigra’s life, but feels shallow and empty and a bit too neat and clean.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Brightest Day #18 – It’s never a good thing when you’re happy two characters died.  The cover of this issue admits it’s a Hawk focused issue, and those tend to be the weakest, and this one continues the trend.  But at least the plot is really moved forward.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

DMZ #61 – Brian Wood continues to show how the Free States came to be and the beginning of the Second American Civil War.  The series just keeps getting better and better and this two parter shows how amazing it is.  The focus on how a soft supporter can become a die hard fighter is poignant, relevant and just fantastic.

Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.5

Green Lantern Corps. #56 – The story kicks up a bit from the last few issues as the Yellow Latnerns come to Qward.  It’s not quite the amazing epic we’ve been used to, but this issue kicks the story up a notch.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

The Invincible Iron Man #500 – For a landmark 500th issue, this one left me wanting.  There’s an interesting story about Tony’s decisions and how he’s let the genie out of the bottle when it comes to his ideas for weapons.  But, what could be a powerful message and story instead jumps back and forth between the present and a possible future.  The better is the prologue for Iron Man 2.0.  But, overall, very much a let down, especially for a $4.99 price tag.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

Memoir #1 – This series came under the radar and the cover is what drew me into picking it up this week, and boy I was glad I did.  Another noirish thriller, a town’s memory has been wiped clean and a journalist heads there to find out why.  A grisly discovery is made which makes me think this almost leans towards the horror ends of things.  A great first issue, that definitely has me coming back for the second.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 8.25

Scarlet #4 – Brian Michael Bendis continues his treatise about organizing and citizen engagement by a corrupted/do nothing government.  The series could go deeper, but it’s pretty damn good for what it is.  I’m sure by it wraps up, there’ll be a lot to reflect on and debate, but each chapter is good, I’m sure the whole will be great.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Secret Six #29 – I skipped the first part in Action Comics which saw the team being hired by Lex Luthor and if I went with my gut I would have skipped this second part as well and saved the $3.  Really not worth it.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5

Superior #4 – While I won’t back the book’s boisterous claims it’s the “best book on the stands,” it does achieve some interesting things.  The story is immensely entertaining and worth the purchase.  It also makes some digs into that blue boyscout from that “other company” and in a way makes a case on why he’s relevant and how he could be made more relevant.  Overall a great book, that deserves more credit than it gets.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Thor #619 – Odin’s back and gives a better idea as to what’s exactly going on.  The story is fairly easy to understand, but at the same time is dense in that you really need to know the Thor mythology to get it all.  Still, pretty entertaining, but not quite as accessible as past arcs.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Wolverine #5 – As much as I’ve disliked this opening arc for the series, it looks like what’s behind it all actually might be interesting.  Wolverine escapes from Hell in a much better ending that betrays the craptacular first four issues.  Where this series goes from him will be key, but hopefully it keeps to improve like this issue.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

X-Factor #214 – Um, what the hell did I read!?  A very interesting issue that obviously sets up a lot and will make a lot more sense down the road, but right now, wha!?

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

X-Men: Legacy #244 – A decent issue with uneven art that’s clearly written to set up the upcoming Age of X storyline.  It builds the sense of mystery nicely, but there isn’t quite the major shift or shock that brought us the Age of Apocalypse.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Graphic Novels/Trade Paperbacks

Rat Catcher – The latest entry in the Vertigo Crime series of graphic novels.  Expect an extended review this week.

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