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Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 2/9/11

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It’s a big stack of books this week, and we went through them so you know what’s worth your hard earned money.  What should you pick up?  What should you skip?  Find out below!

Monthly Comics

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #515 – Black Panther has taken over for Daredevil and the series has taken off.  Watching this warrior back to zero and having to rely on his skills is fantastic.  A solid series that I hope remains well after Daredevil’s return.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

Cinderella: Fables are Forever #1 – Cinderella isn’t the only fable super spy out there.  But who is the “Silverslipper?”  This kicks of the second mini-series which introduces us to the fables of Russia.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

The Flash #9 – After the disaster that was Final Crisis, I have to admit I’m a bit skeptical about another DC “event.”  But this is the lead up the Flashpoint which seems to take a que from Marvel and is spinning out another DC timeline and alternate world.  So far, so good, cause this issue was fun, entertaining and a great read.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Green Hornet #13 – Another issue that outclasses the movie in every way.  The Green Hornet and the new Kato must deal with issues at home while Kato attempts to settle old scores.  Just a fantastic second arc from Phil Hester that continues the brilliance that started with Kevin Smith’s launch of the series.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #7 – While the story is interesting this is the weakest of the Green Lantern series of books.  It’s plot just barely makes it worth it’s own series and I’d argue it could have still fit into one or both of the other books on the market.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Heroes for Hire #3 – Such a solid series to come out of such a crappy one.  The mystery continues as a new mission is laid out and heroes are asked if they’re for hire.  The art is a bit off, but the story more than makes up for it.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Incognito: Bad Influences #3 – Brubaker and Phillips’s super hero pulp series continues as Zack continues his mission and we get a bit more of a hint about the person out to get him.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

The New Avengers #9 – The dialogue and banter is great as always but something was slightly off with this issue.  The modern story is book ended with a focus on Nick Fury and some actions of his from the past.  What that has to do with the present, I have no idea.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Onslaught Unleashed #1 – I missed the first and subsequent go around of Onslaught on the Marvel universe.  I know the story for the most part, but had no idea how he’d return and where this limited series was going.  I can’t say I know any more.  But, for the first issue I’m sucked in, by what’s a fun start.  There’s only four issues here, but I’m looking forward to them.  Of particular note is the art, which is very unique and a cool style I dig a lot.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Osborn #3 – What does it take to be a leader?  We get the lessons in this third issue of a five issue limited series.  All hell has broken loose in the prison that houses Norman Osborn as games are played by Senators involved.  All the while a reporter is getting closer to what’s going on.  This has been a fantastic series and I’d love to see an ongoing spin out of this.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Power Man and Iron Fist #1 – I was a bit hesitant when I saw this listed as an upcoming release.  The limited series featuring Power Man was one of the strongest to be involved with Shadowland, but at the same time, I didn’t quite think he was enough of a break out to deserve another outing (among some issues with the latter issues).  But this first issue that sees him team up with Iron Fist is a solid start with the focus on some “C” level characters and great interaction between the two heroes.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Raise the Dead 2 #3 – This “other” zombie comic book doesn’t quite get the coverage that it’s higher profile cousin over at Image does, but the quality of the series shows it deserves to.  This second volume of the series keeps the cast of characters small with a focus on a group of three including a woman, and young boy with his sister with flashbacks as to what’s happened to them and the trauma they’ve endured.  The second focus of the story is on the military’s reaction to the situation which I don’t quite follow everything that’s going on, but get the majority of it.  Hopefully my reading of the first volume will put all of the pieces together.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Secret Warriors #24 – There’s only a few more issues to go of this series and this issue shows why it should be kept going.  I finished reading it with chills going up and down my spine and fighting back a little tear.  The issue is just beyond solid with an emotional punch you don’t expect.  Meet the team lead by Nick Fury’s son Mikel and their mission.  Hickman has put together a classic that’s gotten better the longer it’s gone.  It’ll be sad to see this series end, but here’s hoping he has a longer game plan for what’s been a truly epic tale.

Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.75

27 #3 – Charles Soule’s rock and roll series has been unique, weird and entertaining.  We finally get the big picture in this third issue and things definitely come together.  The art is fantastic and there’s just something about the series I love.  There’s only one more issue to go and with that we say rock and roll!

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

Ultimate Captain America #2 – I’ve  never been the biggest fan of Marvel’s line of Ultimate comics but this series which introduces us to the Captain America of Vietnam is fantastic.  Peppered with interesting discussions as to what it means to be an American and patriot along with a solid story, great art and fantastic plotting and writing, this is one “Ultimate” comic that lives up to its name.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

The Unwritten #22 – As usual, I don’t seem to get everything in an issue, but we learn more about Tommy’s power and more importantly about the door knob and what it allows him to do.  This series is for those who love literature, which if you do, I’m sure this comic is on a whole other level for you.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

The Walking Dead #81 – If there’s one lesson to The Walking Dead, it’s to never get too comfortable.  Just when you thinks are going well, writer Robert Kirkman pulls the rug out from under you.  Rick and the rest of the survivors thought they found a safe haven, but are no surrounded by zombies.  It’s now an issue of getting out, but of course when their protection begins to fail, everyone must rally to survive and what about their stranded member?  This series has been fantastic throughout its run and this issue just shows off its excellence and why it’s one of the best out there.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Widowmaker #4 – Compared to the two series this limited series spun out of, it was a bit of a disappointment.  The story was a bit sloppy at times and needlessly complicated.  It included a plot so over the top it took you out of it all, and plot points that made no sense or were dropped.  Overall, a horrible limited series and one that makes the case for no more.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

Wolverine #5.1 – The point one comics are supposed to be jumping on points for new readers and in the case of Iron Man it explained his history quite well.  While this issue was entertaining, I just don’t see it hooking me like Iron Man did.  Instead we’re given a surprise birthday party for Wolverine and cannibal bad guys.  The bad guys didn’t make me want to return, while the birthday party was pretty funny.  Even with the entertaining issue, if it’s goal was to hook new readers I can’t help but feel it failed in its goal.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

X-Factor #215 – A cute stand alone issue that focuses on Jamie and Layla’s rather odd relationship.  We get a better idea of what Layla is up to and why she acts the way she does.  The dealings between them are quite good and the focus on them top notch.  The story that wraps around it all is rather ho-hum.  The entire issue might have been better off having them chatting in a diner instead.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

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