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Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 6/22/11


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It’s a thick stack of books dominated by some that made headlines.  Flashpoint and Fear Itself continue their march on our wallets.  What’s worth it, and what should you skip?  Find out below.

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #520 – It’s the Black Panther and Storm versus Kraven the Hunter.  The story was ok and there’s a decent resolution but overall the story left me wanting more, especially due to the fact Kraven has had some classic stories in the past.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 – I know of the character John Constantine a bit and not really familiar with Swamp Thing at all, but this follow up to Brightest Day seems to fit the role of properly inducting the both of them into the DC universe.  The first issue is fun and interesting enough to make me want to check out the second issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Captain America #619 – The story of Bucky’s incarceration continues as his friends work on getting him out and figure out exactly what’s going on.  We find out what the Russians have been looking for and the transition of Steve Rogers becoming Cap again continues.  It hasn’t been the smoothing transition back with Fear Itself in full swing, but it at least makes sense in moving the story forward.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Dark Horse Presents #2 – Dark Horse’s second issue continues the quality we saw in the first with a mix of styles both in stories and art and though not everything carries over from that first issue, it’s still high quality.  Some things work better than others, but it’s well worth the purchase.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Deadpool #39 – To me the series has dropped a bit in quality falling way too much in the slapstick side of things.  I prefer the X-Force Deadpool versus this one that just comes off like a goofball.  I think this is it for me.  I really haven’t enjoyed the series in a while.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

DMZ #66 – A self contained story focused on Zee who has played the role of second fiddle for most of the series.  Instead we get inside of her head as to why she saved Matty on that day and her thoughts on her role in the DMZ.  It’s a powerful story that just shows the amazing narrative of this series.  Sadly, it also means we’re heading into the final story arc of the series.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Fables #106 – It’s the end of the story involving Mister Dark which comes not with a bang, but much of a whimper.  A lot of the issue is left for reflection more than anything and while it’s solid, it also feels like something was missing.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1 – Whatever happened to Kid Flash?  I’m pretty sure this is the future of the Flashpoint world and it’s pretty cool as the series sets up even further mysteries surrounding this new world.  The art is nice and gets you right into the action slowly revealing what’s going on.  As usual, a solid Flashpoint tie-in.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1 – We get a better sense of what’s going on with the Amazon’s new world as Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen get caught behind enemy lines.  The story is a little forced at times and there’s some potential here that’s hinted upon, but unfortunately can’t be followed up on.  Not the best of the Flashpoint tie-ins, but still better than a lot of what else is out there.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Flashpoint: Reverse Flash #1 – Wow and holy crap.  We get a real good sense as to what the Reverse Flash has been up to and this first issue just knocks it out of the park.  So evil, and so messed up, we get motivation, action and chills throughout.  Such a solid issue and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this three issue limited series has up it’s sleeve.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: The Outsider #1 – While set in the world of Flashpoint, this first issue doesn’t initially seem to have a major impact in the overall story like other series.  Even so, it’s a great comic with a hard edge and a main character I’m hoping to see more of post DC relaunch/reboot.  Just a badass first issue.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

G.I. Joe: Cobra #2 – I’ve become a huge fan of all three G.I. Joe series as the action and consequences have kicked up from what I remembered.  All three series takes different looks at the leadership void in Cobra and the scrambling to fill it.  It’s a solid story and plot that seems rather relevant in today’s world.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.25

Iron Man 2.0 #6 – The Immortal Weapons and War Machine are called in to take on two of the hammer wielders.  As expected the issue is a bit of a let down, but there’s  twist at the end that I’m interested in seeing where it leads.  A so-so issue that’s killing the momentum the series had by forcing it to tie into Fear Itself.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Mystery Men #2 – The second issue of the series is entertaining and fun and overall I think this five issue limited series will be a fun read, but there’s one moment in this issue that just comes out of the blue and seems really forced and a bit too convenient.  I think in the end this will be a good pulp read, but don’t think it’ll be Earth shattering.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Namor: The First Mutant #11 – And that’s a wrap for the series.  I can’t say it ever really lived up to it’s potential, but the finale has a decent ending to it.  There’s a lot of open threads and a lot is left on the table, but it’s good to see this series put out of it’s misery.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

New Mutants #26 – There’s a bunch that works here and also so much that doesn’t.  Overall this new direction isn’t feeling so much as new, as it’s what we’ve seen before.  The art is off and dialogue a bit unimpressive.  Here’s hoping the series gets a major shake up post “X” event.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

Secret Avengers #14 – A Fear Itself tie-in that focuses on Valkyrie and how she got that role.  The story is predictable and doesn’t have the emotional oomph it should, a forgettable issue overall.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Thunderbolts #159 – Three stories and all are actually pretty good.  They involve different aspects of the escape from the Raft and all three are entertaining, which is not expected since they’re Fear Itself tie-ins.  A good read even on it’s own.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160 – There was a lot of media coverage and hype of this issue and I can say I was underwhelmed.  There was a way more emotional impact that could have been done but instead we get the vast majority of the issue being a so-so fight and then just a few panels dealing with Peter’s “death” and the reaction to it.  Maybe those more vested in the series would have enjoyed it.

Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.25

Wolverine #11 – This particularly back story as to why this person wants revenge on Wolverine is good, but overall the plot is pretty blah.  Add in some really odd art that looks like ink thumbprint smudges all over.  This Wolverine series hasn’t quite lived up to it’s past glory.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7.25

X-Men: Legacy #251 – The team takes on two more of Legion’s personalities and there’s some cool moments here.  Overall, the series is showing a lot of improvement with it’s new direction.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25