Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 11/2/11

The pile of new comics has started to dwindle as I’m figuring out the comics from DC’s relaunch I’m keeping and what’s just not making the cut.  Will things get cut this week?  Find out below!

American Vampire #20 – The lead up to the origin of Skinner continues as we learn more about how his maker became a vampire and there’s hints why the “American vampire” is different than it’s European cousins, though that’s not completely laid out.  The story is entertaining and it’s fun to see a western mashed up with a good ole horror tale.  Snyder continues to put out a solid product here.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Animal Man #3 – Vertigo is in full effect in the DCU.  This comic is so out there and so crazy and at the same time so entertaining.  Animal Man and his daughter head into The Red and we learn a bit about the origin of Animal Man.  Meanwhile the rest of their family are attacked too.  The series is so crazy and “out horrors” the rest of DC dark.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Avengers Academy #21 – I haven’t been the biggest fan of the series, much preferring it’s incarnation as the “Initiative,” but this issue kicks off it’s new direction with a lot of new characters and one hell of an ending.  I’m still a bit skeptical due to the past, but this first issue has piqued my interest.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Batman: Detective Comics #3 – So, we finally get to find out who the Dollmaker is, but something about this issue just doesn’t quite seem right.  It might be because it’s predictable.  It might be that the whole schtick for this bad guy doesn’t quite make sense.  Out of the three main Bat-titles, this is the weakest of the bunch.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Batwing #3 – Huh.  The politics is very subtle so far, but this issue delves a little into that with The Kingdom, but mostly the issue is Batwing getting his ass kicked and we get to see a bit of his past that adds a whole lot of depth about him.  The series is interesting and surprisingly good.  The art is solid and stands out.  Overall, it’s a welcome addition to the Bat-family and DC comics.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Dark Shadows #1 – All I know of Dark Shadows is that it’s a former television show involving a vampire that has a cult following and is highly regarded.  So, I went into the first issue as a blank slate and I came out pretty impressed.  The issue focuses on the individuals giving enough for new readers to figure out who everyone is and what their deal is and I’m sure fans will have a lot more to go on.  The story is interesting and I can’t quite tell if this is a horror soap opera or a straight up horror story.  There’s enough to make me come back for a second issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Fear Itself #7.1: Captain America – The first of three epilogue’s for Fear Itself reveals the fate of Bucky who’ll get his own series starting in January (I’d say that’s a spoiler, but it’s been all over).  It’s funny that this comic is so much better than the event in spun out of, but it really feels like a lead up and pitch for a new series as opposed to closure to Marvel’s sub-par event.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Fear Itself: The Fearless #2 – The series is focused on Valkyrie’s and Crossbone’s attempts to regain the hammers.  Valkyrie’s story is a bit of a stretch as it attempts to flesh out her background and Crossbone’s seems to avoid the change that happened to him in Thunderbolts.  The first issue was entertaining, but this second one quickly has fallen into issues that Fear Itself had.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Huntress #1 – I’ve had a lot of people recommend this comic that came out a few weeks ago, so I decided to give it a shot.  Huntress heads to Naples and takes on a smuggler of women and guns.  The series is pretty solid, but I don’t quite get why it doesn’t take place in the new DCU.  The Huntress is a solid, strong, female lead which is great to see.  She kicks a lot of ass and the bad guy is down to Earth in that, he doesn’t have super powers sort of way.  The series could have a hell of a message if the writer wanted, but as it stands it’s an entertaining read.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Moon Knight #7 – Moon Knight deals with the fact that he was snitched on and the Avengers were called.  He also hatches a plan to find out who the bad guy behind it all is.  Those around him also begin to deal with the fact the man is clearly nuts.  The series is fantastic with amazing art, and some great action.  The interaction between everyone is top notch as well.  This is one of the best comics Marvel is putting out right now.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

New Mutants #33 – The split is done and the team must decide who they’re sticking with and what their role in the “X” world will be.  The art I think is still off and there’s some parts of the story I liked, but overall something is still off about the series.  It seems that they’ll be playing a more integrated role with human society in Cyclop’s world and their first mission seems interesting, but there’s a lot of talk in this issue that doesn’t shed a lot of depth on the characters.  It is a decent hopping on point for new readers.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Red Lantern #3 – Writer Peter Milligan is attempting to give depth to characters who have been one note up until now.  His direction has them being the Ghost Riders of rage and so far it’s been ok.  But, the characters have been mindless beasts for the most part driven by rage.  Next up to get the fleshed out treatment is Bleez whose mind is cleared and becomes the second in command.  But, with that promotion there’s also hints there’s more to it.  Not the best issue, but Milligan is doing what he can with what he’s been given.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Stormwatch #3 – This is supposed to be one of the pillars of the new DCU but the comic has been a bit hard to sift through and figure out everything that’s going on.  We’ve been thrown into the action without much of an explanation and while it’s all quirky and somewhat entertaining, I can’t yet declare it an “A” list series.  I’m giving it the first arc, then I’ll make my decision.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Swamp Thing #3 – We’re starting to get a clearer picture as to what the big baddie Swamp Thing will face.  I also get a sense that this same bad guy is also who Animal Man will deal with.  It’s interesting that these two series are relying on colors as much as Green Lantern mythos does.  The horror feel is still present and the two books are definitely Vertigo come to DC.  Snyder is always slow to start with his series, that’s his style, but when it’s still so good, who cares.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #1 – The good is they’ve finally thrown it out there and equated mutant powers as a deterrent and Utopia as a nation with one.  They’ve been hinting at it for quite a while, but never just laid it out there.  It’s some interesting logic thrown around and hopefully we finally get to see what was promised, the focus on a true mutant nation and what that really means as well as what it takes to pull that off.  The action itself revolves around the Dreaming Celestial and Mr. Sinister, that’s all off.  If anything, this first issue shows a lot of potential, but doesn’t quite excite.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Villains for Hire #0.1 – We’ve seen the heroes, but this point one issue sets up the villains out there looking to be hired to pull off jobs.  The first issue is interesting, but doesn’t quite set up the series to come enough.  Instead it focuses a lot more on the heroes stopping the villains, not what brought them together.  Together the two series should be fun and here’s hoping it has the exploitation movie feel like it’s sister series.  But, this “first issue” doesn’t quite excite me enough.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

X-Men #20 – Hmmm.  The team is interesting and first issue of it’s direction much like Uncanny has potential.  I don’t dig the overused good guys versus good guys over a misunderstanding before they team up schtick.  But, the story continues the whole proliferation of Sentinels story, so that’s cool.  But, overall, meh.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

X-23 #16 – Um, yeah.  Can’t say I dig the Captain Universe thing.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5