Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 12/14/11

It’s a good mix of comics this week including a bunch I’ve been waiting to read.  What’s worth it?  Find out below!

American Vampire #21 – We get some insight into who Skinner is, but still not how he became what he is.  That’s the story I thought was being told, but it’s clear that this story arc was just one small piece of the larger puzzle that Scott Snyder will eventually reveal.  Much like his general writing style, even with the bigger story telling, Snyder takes his time, laying it out in a slow, but enjoyable reveal.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Avengers Academy #23 – The plot of future Reptil coming back to make sure his timeline happens is rather interesting, but there’s something that’s missing to me as far as the writing.  The art too isn’t as top notch as I’d expect from an important title like this.  As with the characters, there’s something that just seems junior to me.  It’s an improvement in the series, but still not enough for me to consider it an “A” title.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Avengers: X-Sanction #1 – This is the first step in the big Avengers vs. X-Men fight that reaches it’s full blown madness in a few months.  Cable is back to prevent a disaster in the future and to do that he has to take on the Avengers.  It all revolves around Hope too, and with all the mystery surrounding her, this event has the potential to reveal a hell of a lot.  The first issue is interesting and pretty solid, but quite of a few of Marvel’s recent events have started out strong too only to stumble.  We’ll see if this one can buck that trend.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Batgirl #4 – We finally find out how Barbara is walking, even if it’s just a few panels and her battle with Mirror comes to an end in this holiday themed issue.  Overall the comic is pretty good as expected with Gail Simone behind the wheel, but it still nags me about Barbara Gordon now walking.  That’s not Simone’s fault, but it’s still the elephant in the room as it feels insulting to those who are in wheelchairs or who have other disabilities.  The comic is good though, even with the rather lame villain.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Batman and Robin #4 – We learn a bit as to who Nobody is as the villain and Batman fight for Damian’s loyalty.  It’s interesting these two so easily represent the dual sides of Damian, but it’s also so obvious this is the intent.  The comic doesn’t have subtlety, but the story is entertaining and art very solid.  Overall a good addition to the Bat family of comics.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Batwoman #4 – Flamebird gets her butt whooped as Batwoman continues to search for the missing children and attempts to have a social life.  The story as usual isn’t the draw here, it’s all about the art which continues to be amazing.  Hopefully the storytelling will get to the level of the art and layout and at that point, this’ll be one of the best comics out there.  Until then, it’s only for people looking for something beautiful to look at.

Story: 7.25 Art: 9 Overall: 7.5

Battle Scars #2 – The mystery of Marcus Johnson isn’t revealed in this second issue…. maybe the next one?  The comic is ok, but nothing that’s gotten me too excited.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #526 – In a plot that’s rather appropriate in today’s anti-corporate fervor, we find out exactly what Wilson Fisk wants with the Bank of Wakanda.  The story is pretty solid in it’s chess like plot and the art is always great.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Green Lantern #4 – Jordan and Sinestro versus the entire Sinestro Corps.  But, what happens when they fail?  Captured and surrounded by people that hate them, Sinestro and Jordan have to figure out how to escape and free an enslaved world that despises them.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Iron Man 2.0 #11 – Just one more issue to go with Warmachine taking on a nano tech villain.  It’s been an interesting story, but nothing quite amazing.  The art in this issue though takes a dip as a few different folks hop in to put it all together.  The usual interesting and unique look changes a bunch and often in a jarring way.

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Magneto: Not a Hero #2 – What the hell is going on?  Unless you’re a die-hard “X” fan and care about Joseph/Erik/Magneto, this comic just makes little sense for the folks who haven’t been reading for decades.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

the New Avengers #19 – It’s Norman Osborn’s new Dark Avengers and a lot of discussion of what worked, what didn’t and why this team is better.  At the same time the new Avengers discuss Norman being loose and it looks like they have a traitor in their midst.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Resurrection Man #4 – A bunch of crazy in this issue as various forces merge to get Shelley back.  There’s heaven and hell and two women sporting big guns and a guy calling himself Transhuman.  The series is pretty crazy, but something very entertaining and interesting about it all.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 – Is this in continuity?  There’s some things shown here that are pretty huge if this is happening in the 616 world.  As usual, a lot I like in the series but also a lot that’s a bit dense and hard to get in to.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Suicide Squad #4 – The cover lays it out there “betrayed by one of their own,” but who it is and why definitely caught me off guard.  The second arc comes to a close and leads directly into the third.  The series isn’t the tops out there and needs a bit more fine tuning to turn it into a solid Dirty Dozen type comic, but it’s still entertaining to read.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Superboy #4 – Superboy is given a choice after it’s clear who and what Red is.  But, in his wandering to figure it all out, Superboy comes off as a dick.  It’s interesting to follow this series, just because of it’s tie into Teen Titans, but without that, there’s not a whole lot that’s enjoyable about this Superboy.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Ultimate Comics X-Men #4 – Well, hell, I totally didn’t expect that and see that coming.  Stryker attacks New York while the US government and the remaining X-Men have to figure out how to respond.  The story is very familiar, but just different enough to keep me on my toes.  The Ultimate universe is one where anything can happen and it does.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #18 – Well that was one hell of an ending and I have to say I got a bit emotional for part of it, but still not sure why there was a bag.  Rick Remender’s epic story of the rise of the new Apocalypse goes out with a bang and deserves to be put up there as one of the best “X” stories ever.  Solid on every level.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

The Walking Dead #92 – Just when you think writer Robert Kirkman is going to go in one direction, he throws something at you that you weren’t expecting.  This issue really shakes up the series and I’m sure you’re jaw dropped at the ending like mine.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5