Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 3/16/11

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It wasn’t a huge release week as far as books, but we get the first glimpse of Marvel’s Fear Itself.  Is it any good?  What else should you grab while you’re out?  Find out below!

Monthly Comics

Avengers Academy #11 – Korvac has come calling and the youngest Avengers are all that’s there to stop him.  The story is so-so, something seems a bit “throwback” about it, but at the same time, there’s something off.  The art has trailed a bit, the series as a whole is missing the magic of it’s previous incarnations.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade Young Avengers – It seems like quite a bit since we got the last issue of this limited series and while this one shot adds some depth to that storyline it doesn’t answer why the issue is standing alone by itself.  It could have easily been an issue or part of a few.  Instead, it feels a bit tacked on and a distraction from the mains series’s lateness.

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Brightest Day #22 – It’s Firestorm versus the Anti-monitor and a whole bunch of Black Lanterns in order to get the white lantern back and save the professor and Ronnie’s father.  We get somewhat of a completion to Firestorm’s journey, but it still feels a bit disjointed.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

DMZ #63 – Matty finally catches up with Parco Delgado and has one hell of a discussion that sums up the last decade of American politics.  To say this is an emotional issue is an understatement.  If you need a defining moment that shows how this series is one of the best commentaries on the last American decade, this is it.  Beyond amazing.

Story: 10 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.75

Fear Itself: Book of the Skull – Can’t say I’m completely blown away by this prologue to the next big Marvel event, but it’s an intriguing start.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

5 Ronin #3 – The third issue of this five issue limited series focuses on the Punisher and it’s a decent story.  It takes his usual themes of revenge and purpose and puts them in a nice single issue.  As a whole, I’m too impressed with this limited series and wonder if it’d read better in one sitting as a trade paperback.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Generation Hope #5 – Foreshadowing is what you’d call this issue.  There’s a huge rift coming down the pipeline for the X-Men and the question is, which side will Hope align with.  The seeds have been planted here.  If anything the issue seems like a fresh start for a series that’s been a  bit underwhelming.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

The Invincible Iron Man #502 – Tony Stark continues to try to help Doc Ock as Pepper must deal with Electro and Sandman.  The story is focused on regrets and the past as well as life and wanting to live it the best you can.  It’s just a solid story that shows off the strength of the series.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Iron Man 2.0 #2 – I was pretty impressed by the first issue of the series and this second issue is just as solid.  Rhodes continues to track down his mysterious villain and his travels takes him all over.  There’s some pretty solid scenes in this issue that’s showing that War Machine isn’t a second rate character.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Ruse #1 – I don’t get it.  Why was this line resuscitated?  I believe you can call this Sherlock Holmes 2.0, entertaining but doesn’t blow me away.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

Thunderbolts #155 – Luke, Strange and Man-Thing go get the newest member of the Thunderbolts team as some interesting things go down at the Raft.  The series continues to be solid with interesting directions that you never quite know what to expect.  It’s still just getting going, and looks like it’ll be heading into some fun directions.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Uncanny X-Force #5.1 – It’s Wolverine’s kill team versus the Reavers.  The Point One series of books acts as an introduction to the character and point of the series.  This issue does just that showing off the conflict with this team’s mission and their conscious and humanity.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The Unwritten #23 – Few series make me feel real dumb after reading them, this one does just that.  Lots of literary discussion is weaved throughout this dense issue that must be read multiple times to really get it.  It’s unbelievably thick for such a regular issue.  Quite impressive as to what can fit in a single comic book issue.

Story: 9 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.75

X-Factor #217 – Peter David dives into the Muslim/Superhero debate through an unlikely advocate for rights.  An impressive issue that I didn’t see coming.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.75