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Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 10/26/11

Some debuts and a lot of second issues for DC.  What’s worth it and what should be skipped?  Find out below!

All Star Western #2 – Two western stories in this issue.  The first continues Jonah Hex’ and Dr. Arkham’s investigation into the murder of prostitutes in Gotham.  We learn the “who” as far as the bad guys, but not really the “why.”  There’s some hints to it, but it’s not really laid out in this issue.  The second story is a zombie western that’s entertaining in a throwback sort of way.  Hex’s story is great, the second story is just so-so.  Overall though the comic is still a welcome addition to the DC line up.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Annihilators: Earthfall #2 – Hmm, I fear the cosmic side of the Marvel universe is starting to gas.  The Annihilators take on the Avengers in one of those misunderstanding fights.  The Church is also up to something, hatching someone… The story is pretty typical and has been tread before (two teams fight before teaming up) and the art is really off and inconsistent.  Rocket Racoon and Groot’s story is entertaining though, but that too just seems off.  Overall, I’m left pretty bummed.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Aquaman #2 – Going into the reboot, this series was one I’ve been more skeptical of.  I can’t say I’ve been too fond of Aquaman as a character and have never enjoyed his solo series.  Well, times have changed.  With this second issue, the series is becoming one of the top tier DC reboot series, standing above others in it’s quality of writing and art.  Just beyond solid and an absolute must read.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Astonishing X-Men #43 – Emma and Danger team up to free a computer program that’s detected.  I yawn.  The story isn’t “astonishing” and actually quite boring.  Hopefully the series gets it’s footing and figures out it’s place in the “X” world, cause right now it’s stumbling.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Avengers Academy #20 – It’s post Fear Itself and the group has to decide what to do.  Instructors and students leave and the ending opens up for the series’ new direction.  It has to be better than what’s come before.  The series needs a shake up, hopefully it gets better than what it’s been.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Batman: The Dark Knight #2 – Someone is giving Gotham’s freaks a drug that gets them all roided up and Batman is on the case.  Lots of fighting ensues, but again the art is what stands out for the series, clearly much better than the story itself.  Also, the Joker pops up in the end, which is a bit odd considering his fate in other series… not sure how that works, but whatever.

Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.25

Captain America & Bucky #623 – An important asset has been captured by the Nazi’s and Bucky and Toro head to free him without orders.  During the mission they discover the horrors that the Nazi’s have been committing.  Unfortunately a bad fate awaits Bucky before he could see their liberation.  It looks like we’ll be getting a glimpse of Bucky’s Winter Soldier years next.  The comic’s been entertaining so far, here’s hoping the next arc is just as solid.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Daken: Dark Wolverine #16 – I’ve enjoyed the series overall, but this latest story that saw Daken being addicted to a drug is mixed.  I like the idea of the addiction and how it’s messed with his healing factor.  That opens up a lot of future stories if they stick with it.  But, the person behind it all seems silly and it doesn’t totally make sense with the lack of a lot of set up.  The motivation is missing even with the attempts at an explanation peppered throughout.  A mixed bag overall.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Daredevil #6 – The mystery over the firing of a blind man begins to unravel and it’s a big international conspiracy.  A certainly interesting story in how it’s being presented.  Mark Waid is giving us a top Daredevil series that’s a mix of pop and noir and all kinds of fantastic.  One of the best Marvel comics on the stand, beyond solid and an absolute buy.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

DMZ #70 – As the series winds down we’re given glimpses of the New York City that is and what might be.  A city, a nation, wracked by war and destroyed in spirit and mind.  Through seventy issues Matty Roth has explored this world as a reporter and as an agent for change.  For seventy issues we were drawn into this world that reflected events from our own.  In this issue we’re asked “how.”  How, for seventy issues, Zee has been able to keep herself together while Matty spiraled out of control like the city.  One went with the flow of events, the other tried to change events.  For seventy issues Matty has been part of the story, he’s been the story and for his role in this world, for his acts it looks like he’ll finally answer to someone.  Brian Wood is wrapping up this epic look at war, peace, journalism, corporatism and activism.  And it looks like it’ll end with a hell of a message.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

FF #11 – Attilan, the Inumans, Kree and Annihilus, how is this being contained in just the Fantastic Four!?  This story seems ripe for a massive classic crossover event.  Writer Jonathan Hickman is bringing together threads he set out a long time ago and it’s beginning to really pay off.  This issue was full of “holy shit” moments.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

The Flash #2 – While Barry might run like the fastest man on the planet his mind isn’t catching up to his legs.  In this issue he works on that with some really entertaining results.  There’s a lot of moments that made me feel like a kid while reading the comic and staring at the amazing art.  This is a series that’s speeding it’s way to the top of the pile of DC’s 52 revamp.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern: New Guardians #2 – Kyle is still trying to figure out why so many rings are being attracted to him.  The other corps. members aren’t too happy about it, leading to the predictable drag out fight.  The issue’s ending is what’s worthwhile for the issue, both Kyle’s interaction with the Guardians and what happens to him (as predictable as it is).  The issue is interesting so far.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

I, Vampire #2 – Joshua Hale Fialkov has put together one of the best series of DC’s new 52.  Instead of a straight forward vampire tale, they’re portrayed as freedom fighters, attempting their liberation.  An interesting take that resonates with modern times much more.  A beyond excellent second issue that puts the series up there as one of the best of DC’s relaunch, but also one of the best comics out there.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Journey Into Mystery #630 – Volstagg returns home to recount the story of Fear Itself to his children.  It’s actually a very cute issue that’s a great read and very entertaining.  There’s something sweet and innocent about it.  We’ll see where the series goes from here.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Justice League Dark #2 – What. The. Fuck.  I have no idea what the hell was going on.  And how is Deadman having discussions with Dove when he’s out and about in his series.  I’m so confused…

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Legion: Secret Origin #1 – I wasn’t a fan of the relaunch Legion titles and can’t say this one interests me either.  Just not my cup of tea.  There’s too many characters and not enough focus to explain it all to new readers.  But at least I got a cool ring out of purchasing it.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

The Mighty Thor #7 – After all of these months, we’re finally shown the origin of the Serpent and his war with Odin.  After all of the build up, it’s not very good.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

New Mutants #32 – Hrm, I still think the story could of ended an issue or two ago.  A casualty of being tied into Fear Itself.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Secret Avengers #18 – Another self-contained issue written by Warren Ellis.  This one sees the Shadow Council trying to gather a weapon.  It’s entertaining and there’s a lot going for it, but I just don’t see the overall direction of the series or it’s point.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Spaceman #1 – A very odd new limited series from Brian Azzarello.  I have no idea what to make of it, but it’s $1, so you have no excuse not to give it a shot.

Story: 6.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.5

Stitched #1 – Another messed up horror tale set in the Afghanistan war zone.  I have no idea what the hell is going on other than over the top violence.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Teen Titans #2 – Red Robin continues to gather his team as N.O.W.H.E.R.E. makes it’s move.  It’s clear one of the next big events will center around what’s going on this series.  I also like how Superboy plays into it as well.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 – We get more of the Turtle’s origins as they look for their missing brother Raphael.  I really dig the series, especially Casey Jones.  It feels like the old school gritty comics I loved and not the campy version they turned into later.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Ultimate Comics the Ultimates #3 – S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to engage the enemy straight on and all hell breaks loose.  Not the best issue, but this is the first action sequence of an epic story.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Venom #8 – What!?  How did that fit in her!?  Another tie-in that’s such shoddier than the normal series.  I loved the letter from Flash’s dad though.  What could have had some amazing emotional impact is lost in a jumbled mess of a tie-in.

Story: 6 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6

Voodoo #2 – Writer Ron Marz asked people to look past the strip club setting of the first issue and I’m glad I did.  This second issue is more spy/on the run action than anything with the government after Voodoo who is on some sort of mission for her alien people.  Lots of action and some tight writing.  A great second issue.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

The Walking Dead #90 – The series’ power is it’s focus on human nature.  This issue shows that all as things somewhat settle down but human nature takes over as people react and plot.  Robert Kirkman is leading the series on it’s way to it’s 100th issue and it hasn’t slowed down in any way.  Beyond fantastic because the zombies aren’t the star of the comic, it’s the people doing everything they can to survive.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Wolverine & The X-Men #1 – A first issue that’s so beyond entertaining.  I laughed, had a bit of nostalgia and can’t wait for the second issue.  I love Toad being Milton and their attempting to get accredited.  Just so many fantastic moments in this kinetic and frenetic first issue.  Welcome back to form.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

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