Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 2/16/11

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It’s a rather thick week of books with some pretty high profile books being released.  It still feels like the quiet before the storm that is major events and movie tie-ins.  What’s worth the purchase and what should you skip?  Find out below!

Monthly Comics

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #5 – The five issue limited series wraps up it’s run.  It’s interesting in that it’s role was to provide a way for new readers to check out the X-Men without being bogged down with continuity.  Instead of having an inviting series, we get a rather un-PC, S&M, Dom/Sub laced series with art that’s not exactly inviting to mass audiences.  The story was interesting but overall, there was something that was just off.  This issue had quite a few art problems, with mechanical arms that jumped from side to side being a prime example.  This might be worth a read in trade form, if you can get it cheap.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5

Avengers Academy #9 – The fallout continues over the student’s decision to give payback to The Hood for what he did to Tigra.  A lot of debating happens, a lot of arguments and we’re reminded many of the current Avengers used to be criminals.  The issue’s ok, but nothing amazing.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Brightest Day #20 – It’s Aquaman and his crew versus a bunch of folks from the Bermuda Triangle.  There’s lots of fighting, some cool moments, but overall somewhat quickly and conveniently wrapped up.  The art also seems to have taken a dip with this issue.  I’m sure it’s important to the overall story, but I give it a big meh.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

Daredevil: Reborn #2 – The first issue had such a great tone to it and tons of potential of a fallen hero looking for redemption.  The series though takes a turn in the second issue to become a comic book version of the movie Walking Tall. A really well trained individual takes on the small town drugs and gun dealers.  Interesting, but nothing new.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

DMZ #62 – With the US army about to take Manhattan and full on press against the Free States to kick up the series shifts its focus back on Matty Roth as he covers the US invasion.  Brian Woods continues to impress with a comic book series that has some of the best political commentary as well as an amazing reflection on world affairs and current state of war.  This will be a series that will be examined for years to come.  A gritty reflection and commentary on modern times.

Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.5

Fables #102 – When fighting an evil that seems to be unbeatable only a team of super heroes can save the day.  While this series has focused on the great characters of children’s stories and even the concept of genres, you can now add comic books to the types of characters and stories that are game for material.  It’s so meta, my head wants to explode.  I love it/

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall:9

Generation Hope #4 – It’s the post fight debrief and we get the official diagnosis of everyone’s mutant power.  The issue is ok, and not quite as sub-par as the previous three, but this series still pales in comparison to the previous incarnations of this type of “X” book.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Green Lantern #62 – The last few issues have been ho-hum, but in this issue which is the lead up to the War of the Green Lanterns kicks it all into overdrive and gets the series back to the awesomeness that it was pre-Blackest Night.  I can’t wait to see what’s coming up now.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern Corps. #57 – The battle on Qward comes to an end in a way I didn’t see coming.  So, that’s a good thing, right?  The guest appearance by Firestorm isn’t needed and wastes space, unless that’s the plan.  Overall, this arc was weaker than previous stories, but the ending wound up stranger than the lead up.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Hawkeye: Blindspot #1 – I thought Widowmaker wasn’t the finest hour for Hawkeye or writer Jim McCann, but somehow this series continues the downward trajectory of his once fantastic run with this character and those surrounding him.  This series is focused on Hawkeye’s issue with his aim, and for a person that relies on that so much there’s tons of potential, but this issue falters, with so-so story telling and even more disappointing art.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Jennifer Blood #1 – Garth Ennis’s latest series could be called Mrs. Smith.  A suburban house wife is also a bad-ass hit woman who seems to be out to take out her sketchy uncles.  The comic so far is very “girl power” at times, and at others the usual stereotypical t&a.  But in the end, very entertaining.  I loved the “voice” of the book and the mix of action and mundane was great.  The series has a a lot of potential and I’m definitely sticking around for issue two.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

Memoir #2 – WTF!?  This is a horror comic wrapped up in a mystery that has me scratching my head as to what’s going on.  The second issue is creepier than the first with a bit hinted as to what’s really going on.  It’s filled with small details to pay attention to, but overall, weird, and I like it.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 – Instead of a straightforward coherent comic book, we’re given some grand ideas a philosophical debate of man’s destiny.  Much like a high concept series like Earth X, the story isn’t what the focus is, the ideas behind them and the words spoken are what to pay attention to.  It all comes together in this final issue of the first volume, and what comes ahead should be really interesting.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Thunderbolts #153 – Hyperion keeps up his assault on the team while they come together to defeat him and the giant monsters.  I liked the idea of the team coming together like this, I can’t say I dug the giant monster aspect of it all.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Uncanny X-Force #5 – there’s so much I liked of this issue and some other bits, not so much.  Fantomex must deal with his past in some great scenes that set up the next arc.  But not being familiar with his background or what he was mumbling about, I was a bit loss.  There wasn’t enough done to explain what the hell was going on for a new reader, and no references of where to go to learn.  However, the other half of the book which deals with the repercussions of the first story arc are fantastic.  It adds so much depth to Deadpool that doesn’t quite jive with his other series, but so far is my favorite.  It sets the tone of the series and whats to come in this years realignment of the “X” books.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Wolverine #6 – I was hoping that this was the end of the Wolverine fighting for his soul storyline.  Instead it continues, but as he fights he’s surrounded by the X-Men who are there to contain him.  We really don’t need another story that shows Wolverine isn’t invincible and that he’s a loose cannon that can go berserker at any moment.  Yawn.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback

Noche Roja – The latest in the Vertigo Crime line of graphic novels.  Written by Simon Oliver with art by Jason Latour this one focuses on “corruption, money, sex, politics and crime” in the grand noir tradition.  But as usual with all of the rest of this line’s graphic novels, you never know what to expect.  An expanded review will occur later this week.

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