Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 12/7/11

It’s a think stack of books this week as we head into the last month of the year.  What company is going out with a bang and making the case to be the publisher of year?  Find out below!

Animal Man #4 – We learn what the Rot is and what they want, sort of.  It’s also laid out as to what’s been pretty obvious, we’ll be getting a crossover pretty soon with Swamp Thing, because nothing says simplifying a comic universe like interconnected stories and crossovers.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Avenging Spider-Man #2 – Lots of action, great art and enough to get me to laugh quite a few times.  This series is exactly what comics should be, fun and easy to get into.  So entertaining, I highly recommend it, and this is from someone who has never been a big Spider-Man fan.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Batman: Detective Comics #4 – Batman continues to fight the Dollmaker to a rather unsatisfying conclusion.  Really, nothing is resolved here and it all gets pushed off for another story arc.  This is definitely the weakest of the Batman books.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Batwing #4 – We get the origin of Batwing and while there’s so much to mine, the fact it’s told so quickly without much depth makes it all shallow.  There’s a lot here to work with, but the first steps just doesn’t go into the depth it deserves.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5

Chew #22 – Tony is on a mission to find his daughter as he winds up getting into trouble himself.  The issue isn’t as solid as the series usually is, but was still entertaining.  An even ok issue of Chew is better than the majority of books out there.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

the Defenders #1 – The team is gathered by Hulk to take on the Breaker of Worlds, and I yawn, a lot.  The series first issue just didn’t do it for me at all.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Fear Itself: the Fearless #4 – The Fear Itself follow up is as bad as the series that it’s spun out of.  Someone needs to go and see what blood looks like in water and the story is just plodding and boring.  Get to the action quicker, because this race to get all of the hammers is pretty damn boring.

Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6

Jennifer Blood #7 – After Jennifer has taken care of her targets, I’ve been wondering where the series would go from here, but we now get an idea.  The over the top violently funny series continues it’s depraved streak as various new plot threads are weaved that all promise to continue the entertaining sickness of the series.  This “female Punisher” looks like it’s finally getting an identity of it’s own.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Mega Man #8 – Mega Man’s second battle with Dr. Wiley comes to an end and the comic is still great for all ages.  It’s a lot of similar events as the first one with some small twists here and there, but hopefully the third story arc will transcend the predictable plot of the video game it’s based on.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Moon Knight #8 – Lots of Moon Knight and Echo action here as they take on Count Nefaria and Moon Knight as deals with a certain detective.  The series is fantastic, not just in it’s writing, but also the art.  This is easily one of the best comic book series Marvel is putting out and one of the best out there period.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

the Punisher #6 – Frank and Rachel meet as they both go after their targets.  There’s a very interesting dual narrative going on, one with a white motif and the other black.  A lot is working for the comic, in it’s simple execution it’s actually pretty damn deep.  The art is a little off, but overall, the execution is solid.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Red Lanterns #4 – Writer Peter Milligan continues to shuffle up these one note characters.  Depth is attempting to be given and it’s working only a little.  There’s a pretty big hurtle that he has to overcome in getting this series to really justify it existing on it’s own and it’s getting there, just very slowly.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Stormwatch #4 – Hmmm, I’m still torn on the series and it’s not until this issue it starts to really find it’s voice and not seem so jumbled.  The art is decent and characters interesting, but still something doesn’t totally click.  I’ll keep going for now, but the series teeters on the edge of being dropped by me.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Swamp Thing #4 – And we get the Green’s take on the battle with the Rot.  The series is great with it’s companion series Animal Man and like that series stands on it’s own, but I can’t help but think how complicated a story the two are telling when part of the point of the DCnU was to simplify it all.  Overall though, the two put together a compelling tale.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles: Micro-Series Raphael – A pretty decent one-shot that adds to the main TMNT comic book series.  Raphael is out on patrol with Casey Jones and meets a new mutated creature.  Some pretty cool stuff that will leave fans of the cartoon or previous comic iterations with a smile on their face.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Venom #10 – Some old acquaintances come calling for Venom as Captain America comes to shut the program down.  It’s an interesting start to the post Spider-Island direction.  I liked the series before, so here’s hoping it quickly gets back on it’s feet and gives us the same quality as before.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Villains for Hire #1 – Huh, not what I was expecting but very good.  It looks like this is a bridge from Heroes for Hire into something else, and I can’t wait to see what.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

X-Club #1 – And the point of this limited series is?

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

X-Factor #228 – Interesting.  Now we know the secret between Layla and Guido.  Not sure I particularly like that revelation, but interesting.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

X-Men #22 – This team of X-Men have a lot of Sentinels to take on.  The story is interesting and art has it’s moments, but the series is still fresh and doesn’t have enough yet to really stand out on it’s own.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

X-23 #18 – Amazing art but schizophrenic story.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7