Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 11/16/11

A thick stack of books this week.  We’re coming up on the end of the year, what’s going to make our best of list?  There’s only a few weeks left for comics to qualify.  Find out if any of this week’s comics stand a chance below.

The Avengers #19 – This continues the transition as we find out who is going to be a member of the new Avengers team.  Unfortunately, while there’s a lot of discussion of who might be on, we’re not given tons of reason of the why.  The team though seems interesting.  The other focus is Osborn’s escape.  There’s a twist at the end as well that I didn’t expect, that’ was pretty damn interesting.  Overall a ho-hum issue that looks to set up a decent upcoming story arc.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #22 – With the academy on the West coast close to Utopia it was only a matter time before Cyclops, Magneto and others paid a visit.  That’s happened sooner than later with a rather silly fight breaking out.  The issue could have had some great emotional impact with Magneto’s seeing Quicksilver, but a needless fight just dilutes the situation and makes it rather eye rolling.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Batman #3 – We’re dragged further into what exactly the Talon is and what it has to do with Bruce’s relatives.  It feels like a bit of a stretch as far as the family connection, but I like the pacing and some of the ways the story is laid out.  The art is fantastic as well.  Out of all of the lines DC has, the Bat one is definitely the strongest and this series is a good example of that.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

The Bionic Man #4 – I’m not sure if the “we can rebuild” it refers to the actual making of the Bionic Man or Kevin Smith and Phil Hester’s ability to breath new life into this franchise.  The build up is fantastic and there’s tons of winks and nods throughout the comic, including why the nu-nu-nu happened anytime Steve Austin does something.  There’s a lot of explanation of the process which makes it seem that much more plausible and adds a bit of realism (especially that the writers have thought it through).  The series has been a slow start and it’s taken four issues to get to this point, but it’s well worth.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Captain America #4 – Cap is still stuck in the dream world as we get to see some of the bigger plan as well as the motivation.  The issue is interesting, but there’s too much “Inception” in it without really using that movie’s landscape bending abilities.  The story is decent, but it actually doesn’t go far enough to show us the entertainment that a world without rules could be.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Captain Atom #3 – Some amazing philosophical questions are thrown out there as far as Captain Atom’s powers and his ability to “play god.”  What should he do?  What’s the difference between his actions and miracles?  That’s all thrown out there.  Also, he meets up with the Flash in Libya dealing with that situation.  DC promised heroes dealing with real world situations and it looks like they’re doing just that.  An amazing issue.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Deadman #3 – Really this is Quantum Leap in comic book form, but there’s certain parts of this issue that are heart wrenching.  The comic has an emotional impact and it’ll be interesting to see this story arc through completion.  So far so good in what’s been one of the standout series of the DC relaunch.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Fear Itself #7.3 – During Fear Itself, what happened in Paris opened up a storyline that could have been explored for years.  Unfortunately, in this one issue, that pretty big act has been undone.  That’s the bad part.  The good part is that Tony decides to see the Grey Gargoyle and discuss what it is to be a God and what happened.  That part is an interesting conversation.  Overall, hopefully we see the PTSD impact I’d expect from what Tony has gone through and here’s to some decent stories in the future even if the horrific act committed is undone with a flick of the wrist.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself: The Fearless #3 – Generally not feeling this twelve issue limited series that follows the chase for the hammers left on Earth.  The story is meh and there’s some poor attempts to tie in the past and the present.  The follow up mini-series is of the same quality as the event that proceeded it.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Generation Hope #13 – The series has only glimpsed what it could be in the short year it’s been around.  I haven’t praised the series too much and with this first issue of it’s new creative team it also shows what could be.  The art is improved in spots, but is still inconsistent.  The story is also inconsistent.  I’m sticking with the series in hopes it sees improvement, but so far I’m weary.

Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7

Green Hornet #19 – This is the first issue I haven’t liked a whole lot.  We learn the origin of the Red Hand and the way he’s defeated is meh.  Something is off with this issue, both in story and the art.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Green Lantern Corps. #3 – It’s a last stand as the team dispatched to fight a mysterious enemy hold out for the cavalry to arrive.  The story is interesting, but it’s a small part of a larger story.  The larger story is really a draw, this one issue doesn’t stand on it’s own.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Justice League #3 – Darkseid is looming as the team continues to gather.  There’s an interesting dynamic going on and I can’t say I’m a fan of all of the depictions of the characters, but overall the series is pretty damn solid and gives the feel of that big story you’d want and expect.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

New Mutants #34 – The team begins to settle down and see what a normal life is like, but at the same time they’re on the lookout for Blink who is hopping around where strange weather phenomena are occurring.  The issue is interesting and series has potential, but I remain skeptical to see if it ever finds it’s own voice.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Nightwing #3 – Hmm, it’s interesting to see them try to flesh out Dick’s life in the circus, and it’s interesting to see where the series goes, but the idea of a killer going after Dick, for something, just doesn’t seem to jarring to really get me excited.  These first three issues have been one big set up.  We’ll see what’s actually used going forward after this arc wraps up.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

The Punisher #5 – An interesting issue that’s supposed to make you think of what a soldier doing their duty is.  It could stand on it’s own, but is a follow up to the previous issue.  The story takes place 100 days since his ass whooping and the Punisher is on the mend healing his wounds.  Not the best of the series, but not too bad either.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Supergirl #3 – Kara is still getting acclimated to her new world as Superman attempts to give her the rundown.  We also get to find out who the bad guy is.  It all really doesn’t have much interest in me.  What does seem interesting is Supergirl’s learning of her new world and coming to grips with her new reality and the fantastic art.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

Thunderbolts #165 – Generally an enjoyable comic, but there’s something missing about it.  I generally don’t like time travel stories, and this is really just that.  Overall, not bad, but not great.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

Ultimate Comics X-Men #3 – Stryker continues his plan as the X-Men are on the run and the team begins to form up a bit.  It’s all very interesting, enough to make me want to go back and see everything I’ve missed.  Overall, this has the danger and excitement that’s been missing from the 616 X-Men for some time.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Venom #9 – The emotional trauma has been building up for some time and a villain attempts to take advantage of the chaos post Spider-Island.  During the crime spree he kills a few pedestrians which sends Venom over the edge.  The series has a nice feel of a man living on the edge which I hope it plays up more as it gets back to standing on it’s own.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

The Walking Dead #91 – It feels like the usual calm before the storm.  The group is dealing with winter and dwindling supplies as Carl learns to live with his injury.  Tensions are mounting and I’m sure it’ll explode into something big knowing Kirkman.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Wonder Woman #3 – We get the truth about Wonder Woman and her lineage as some Amazon’s aren’t too happy with what’s occurred.  The first three issues have been interesting, setting up the new status quo.  The art is fantastic and overall this series is one of the better DC is putting out there.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

X-Factor #227 – Lots of fighting, kind of silly, but that was an interesting ending….

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

X-Men #21 – A small nation is gathering Sentinel technology to defend itself from anything.  That’s interesting but would be even better if compared with the right of Utopia to protect itself.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

X-23 #17 – Laura gets a call from the Future Foundation, to babysit.  The story is cute and fun, but it’s the art that stands out, back to the anime inspired look we saw a few arcs ago.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5