Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 6/1/11

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It’s a thick stack of books this week as the two “main events” of the summer go head to head as Fear Itself and Flashpoint both see the release of their main titles in the same week.  Which is worth it, and which can you skip?  Find out below.

Astonishing X-Men #39 – The team on Japan continues to fight Mentallo and his brigade of monsters.  The story is ok, but I don’t see how it’s “astonishing” in any way or stands apart from the other “X” comics.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #14.1 – There continues to be a lot of buzz about how this is the best Avengers comic book, but honestly I just don’t get it.  This point one issue doesn’t make the case at all as to why I should pick up the series or stand out in anyway other than being about the “next” generation of Avengers.  It’s an ok series, but nothing special.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #1 – When it comes to the modern crime comic, there’s one series that stands heads and shoulders about the rest and that’s Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal.  This is the first time I’ve decided to not wait for the trade, and I’m so happy I made that decision.  Utter perfection.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Fear Itself #3 – The big Marvel event of the year hasn’t quite delivered as I’d hope it would.  Instead the story has been a bit convoluted and not really explain what’s going on.  What should be amazing moments haven’t had the impact one would hope.  Overall, pretty dissapointing.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Fear Itself: The Deep #1 – While everyone else is dealing with the disaster on the land, someone has to defend the sea and that team is headed up by Namor and Dr. Strange in another underwhelming Fear Itself tie-in.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Flashpoint #2 – DC’s entry into the big summer event lives up to that event moniker and brings the awesome.  The world is warped and Barry Allen is on a mission to correct things.  But who could see what’s being delivered here coming.  Such a fantastic event that it’s making me a DC fanboy.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #1 – In a world where Hal Jordan never received the ring, Abin Sur still protects Earth and Sinestro is still a Green Lantern.  So much is different but it’s all cool.  This limited series shows how to pull off the event tie-in.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #1 – Another solid entry when it comes to Flashpoint.  In this world Bruce died and his father lived.  What would that do to a man, a husband, a father?  With a different world comes different rules, and this one seems pretty damn interesting.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1 – The first miss of Flashpoint.  If you don’t know these characters or their background at all, it’s hard to understand exactly what’s going on.  Maybe the next issues will give a better idea, but just reading the first, it’s a jumbled mess.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #1 – Though not quite up to snuff as other issues, this comic puts more of a face on the people that aren’t really meta dealing with the way the world is.  It’s an entertaining comic, and not quite sure what I’d do different, but it didn’t leave me with that “holy shit” feeling other comics have.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

G.I. Joe #2 – Such a solid entry into the G.I. Joe world.  Cobra is throwing spasms as it attempts to find it’s next leader and that means everything is on the table and all hell is breaking loose.  Such a great concept, that it’s got me looking forward to all three series and wanting to go back and see what I’ve missed.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Heroes for Hire #8 – Some times you need a series that’s just tons of fun and this one fits that bill nicely.  The banter is great, stories entertaining, and art solid.  There’s so much the series reminds me of, and all of it is fun.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Irredeemable #26 – Plutonian is gathering an army as he battles to the center of the insane asylum and I have no clue as to what to what Mark Waid has planned for this series.  It’s seems the villain is being sought out to stop a bigger threat, but that’s a guess at this point.  I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll be out of left field.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Moon Knight #2 – The second issue is just as solid as the first as Moon Knight has to deal with his personalities and at the same time figure out who’s trying to buy an Ultron.  Such a solid series.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Secret Six #34 – It’s the aftermath of their unfortunate trip to hell and Bane goes on a date.  I can see this not being a book that survives the DC relaunch/reboot which is a shame, because when it shines, it’s some of the best they have to offer.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 2 #1 – Much like the first volume, this second one makes sense, and doesn’t at the same time.  It attempts to mix the feels of Watchmen and Earth X and doesn’t quite live up to either.  It’s an interesting story, just not quite the blockbuster I was hoping for.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

Thunderbolts #158 – It’s a break out on the raft and this Fear Itself tie-in might hold up better than others due to the fact it’s focus is the raft and containing a jail break.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #11 – The return to the Age of Apocalypse by X-Force might be the most entertaining thing Marvel does this summer.  Just beyond solid and entertaining, this is easily the best “X” book on the market.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

X-Factor #220 – Rahne and Shatterstar spend the day together to get to know each other and there’s an ending I wasn’t expecting at all.  Not the best story, but there’s some good parts.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

X-Men #12 – An interesting concept, but inconsistent art and some retconning has me a bit iffy on the storyline.

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

X-23 #11 – X-23, Gambit, Wolverine and Jubilee continue their Paris adventure as they track down an “evil scent.”

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75