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Comic Book (not so) Weekly Reviews – 12/28/11

I’m WAY behind in my reviews, but here’s there first batch of them.  Hopefully I can be nice and caught up in a week or so.  It was the last week of the year and that saw a lot of new releases.  It was a thick stack of books… did the year end on a good note?  Find out below.

All-Star Western #4 – Jonah is still in Gotham, this time hired to look for missing children.  The story is decent and pretty entertaining, but there’s a hint as to what he stumbles into, and while I like him being tied into the greater DCU, I’m not sure if connections like this are a bit too cute.  Still though, we have a western comic that’s a great read in both story and art.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Alpha Flight #7 – Wolverine shows up to see what’s going on and it turns into good guys versus good guys before they team up to take on the bad guys.  This limited series turned ongoing turned back into limited series has one more issue to go.  It hasn’t been a bad read, but also hasn’t knocked it out of the park like I’d hope.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

American Vampire #22 – Flash forward to 1954 and we have a new story arc from the vampire hunter angle.  It’s a completely different comic in a way and so damn good.  The main character just exudes the time and bleeds cool.  Add in some great story telling when it comes to revealing the plot and you’ve got a hell of a way to end the year.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Annihilators: Earthfall #4 – Hmmm, not the best of cosmic Marvel.  Hopefully whatever 2012 has in store, it’ll be better than this.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Aquaman #4 – Aquaman and Mera head into the trenches to free the people kidnapped by the weird fish people.  All of that raises lots more questions that don’t get answered, but gives a good place to go over the next year.  The art is fantastic, writing top notch.  Aquaman is one of the best super hero comics being put out by DC and one of the best on the market.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Astonishing X-Men #45 – Astonishing X-Men to me has struggled as to where it’s stood in the “X” cannon and how it stood out from the other “X” series out there.  This story arc which has Cyclops in another universe is pretty damn interesting, but I’m still not sure it’s enough to really justify it’s existence.  Still, much better than what’s come before.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Avengers: Children’s Crusade #8 – So I guess this character wasn’t big enough to make headlines about being killed off?  It’s been a while since we saw the last issue for this series which feels like it started years ago.  The two teams fight Doom who then hints that he was behind Wanda going crazy.  Did we just get a crappy retcon!?  Ugh.  This limited series has dragged as far as release schedule and not lived up to what I’d hope as far as story, but the art has been solid.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75

Batman: the Dark Knight #4 – Batman investigates Ivy’s hideout and chases some leads in an ok issue of the comic.  Really, the focus is on friendships and how being Batman crushes Bruce Wayne’s personal life and limits his personal friendships.  There’s a bunch I like about the comic, but some things seem a bit forced.  Some foreshadowing though that could get interesting.  This is the Batman book that’s more about the visuals than the plot.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75

Black Panther: the Most Dangerous Man Alive #527 – The Panther and Kingpin’s chess game continues as each attempts to out-maneuver each other.  It’s sad the series only has a bit to go.  It’s such high quality and deserves and audience.  The art too is great with a very interesting style in this particular issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

The Cape #3 – Um wow.  To say the moment my jaw dropped would ruin the comic.  The issue and series is balls out, just going full throttle.  The body count is rising but how can someone prove there’s a flying person out to get them?

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Captain America #5 – Hydra is starting to role again as Cap battles in the dream world.  The ending to the first story arc wasn’t bad, but there was something a bit off about it.  The good part is we start to get a sense of a weakness when it comes to Steve Rogers and Captain America.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #6 – Steve’s got some doubts and he also might be having issues with the super soldier serum.  He and Hawkeye head out for a night of crime fighting and run into an old nemesis.  The arc has been solid so far, the art I’m not totally sold on though.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 8.25

Captain America & Bucky #625 – Cap is drawn into a murder mystery surrounding the Cap and Bucky that replaced him after he was frozen (yes a bit confusing to explain).  The story is pretty damn interesting and very entertaining and shows off some more “lost” history of Captain America.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

DMZ #72 – And with that, the series comes to an end.  Brian Wood’s series about war and those impacted by it turns into a love letter to New York City and those that live there.  The series for seventy-two issues has been solid and some of the best political commentary in an entertainment medium.  The ending is bitter sweet.  A great comic, but you don’t want it to end, because that brilliance comes to a close with it.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.25

FF #13 – The kids, Doom, Reed Richards and Nathaniel Richards stand against the made Celestials.  It’s interesting, but the bigger questions is how does writer Jonathan Hickman’s crazy storytelling all weave together.  he’s put together an epic Fantastic Four story for the ages.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.25

the Flash #4 – Mob Rule is causing all sorts of issues as folks have to deal with the affects of the EMP blast and folks are confused by the Flash’s passing a plane through a bridge.  This issue has some amazing visuals and the story has some good pacing.  It doesn’t stand on it’s own, but as part of the story arc, it’s solid.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Green Hornet #20 – The new Hornet and Kato take on a bad guy that their parents did in this self contained issue.  The relationship between the two is the focus really and it’s a reminder that this isn’t your parents’ Hornet.  The art takes a bit of a dip, but the story is solid enough to keep this series entertaining.

Story: 8 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.75

Green Lantern: New Guardians #4 – We start to get down to the mystery of the rings and Kyle.  There’s a lot here that I’ve never seen before, especially at the end.  The story is a giant fight scene and a bit muddled, but there’s some original stuff here and that has to be given lots of props.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

I, Vampire #4 – Bennett meet Constantine, Constantine meet Bennett.  It’s a good story as these two individuals must deal with another vampire.  There’s a twist at the end I wasn’t expecting at all which just makes it that much better.  This is easily one of the best comics to come out of DC’s relaunch.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

Iron Man 2.0 #12 – Wow, such a bad ending…. the series had a great start and then just went off the track into a wall.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Justice League Dark #4 – What the hell did I read.  The series is just not doing it for me.  The story is muddled and really confusing.  It’s too choppy without a really solid narrative to pull it all together.  The series has a lot of potential, but so far I haven’t seen it come close to living up to it.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.75

Kick-Ass 2 #6 – The most entertaining thing about this issue is seeing Hit-Girl spout out really inappropriate things.  The series is over the top violence at this point without much of a narrative.  The first volume was Shakespeare compared to this mess of a follow up.  Millar wants to shock and awe, but missed the mark you need a story first to really pull that off.

Story: 6.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.25

the Mighty Thor #9 – Loki still tries to figure out who Thor is.  Taranus does his thing and the All Mothers decide to turn Asgard into a Republic.  Um yeah… things got rather interesting in this series.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Secret Avengers #20 – Wow did this issue make my head hurt.  Lots of time jumping and the story and art are interesting, but overall, call we move the series forward instead of these pointless self-contained stories?

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Spaceman #3 – The series is beyond unique and creative but I think it doesn’t read all that great as single issues.  I’m definitely waiting for the trade and reading it all at once.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Teen Titans #4 – Superboy takes on Wonder Girl as the Teen Titans finally get their members together.  The series has a great tone and some entertaining interaction.  The art is solid as well.  This is one of my favorite series of the DC relaunch.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro-Series Michelangelo – Michelangelo gets caught up in a diamond heist.  The story is entertaining and the art is solid.  I’ve loved the new TMNT series from IDW and these self contained issues have been just as good.  Great for TMNT fans new and old.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Ultimate Comics the Ultimates #5 – This issue is just solid.  All kinds of great moments just building up to the eventual battle.  This issue doesn’t stand on it’s own, but as part of the greater story so far, it’s so good.  As usual, great art and great plot.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Ultimate Comics X-Men #5 – Um, holy crap.  So the beginning of the comic hinted at the ending, but I didn’t put two and two together as to what it all meant until those last few panels.  This comic just is so tense and so amazing.  The series as a whole just rocks.  The art, story, like the other Ultimate comics, I’m so happy I took chance with the relaunch.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #3 – The team continues to fight Sinister and also have Celestials to deal with.  The story and art is ok.  To me, that’s it, just ok.  There’s two different teams basically and I think the quality is different too.  Out of all of the “X” books two stand out to me, Wolverine & the X-Men and Uncanny X-Force.  Uncanny, just doesn’t live up to the relaunch and continues on it’s meh course.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Voodoo #4 – Voodoo is on a mission to learn about the world’s super heroes.  Seriously, Marz has been booted from this series?  His mix of action heroine/spy/super hero comic is fresh and is as solid as they come.  Hopefully the series keeps it up, but I have my doubts the quality will keep up.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

X-Men: Legacy #260 – In a transition issue, Rogue and friends rescue Ariel and Korvus is dealt with.  The issue really just moves the story along with a dip in art and overall a ho-hum.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

 

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 11/23/11

It’s a long weekend, which is perfect cause there’s a lot of comics out this week to read!  What was worth it?  Find out below!

All Star Western #3 – While I generally like the Hex story, the ending is a bit abrupt and the story doesn’t seem resolved at all.  Maybe it’s because it’s not and we can expect more from the villains, but something was a bit off.  The back-up story too was just ok, in a retro sort of way.  Overall, not quite as solid an ending as the beginning.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Alpha Flight #6 – The limited series that turned into a regular ongoing and then back to a limited series is almost wrapped up with two issues to go.  It’s an interesting read, but for some reason it feels like an “also ran” when compared to other comics.  It’s a feeling I’ve had for Alpha Flight series of the past.  It’s never quite had the edge like others or enough to get me really interested.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Annihilator: Earthfall #3 – The epic factor kicks up a bit, but overall the story is still puttering on.  Something just seems off overall about this chapter of DnA’s Marvel cosmic opus.  The art is inconsistent which doesn’t help matters at all.  Overall, these characters have seen better days.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Aquaman #3 – Three issues in and the series hasn’t dipped in the quality of story or art.  I’ve never cared for Aquaman but Geoff Johns’ writing and Ivan Reis’ art has changed all of that for me.  It’s such a high quality story that just pulls off so well what on paper should be a meh story and character.  One of the best of the new DC universe.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

Astonishing X-Men #44 – Uh, what the hell is going on?

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Batman: The Dark Knight #3 – The art is fantastic, the story is a bit shaky.  Why is The Flash involved at all?  He just seems to be a needless cameo.  Oh well, the comic is entertaining and stands out enough from the other “Bat” comics on the market.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

Captain America & Buck #624 – We get a bit of Bucky’s time as the Winter Soldier as he tells his story to someone.  I wish I could go into detail about that, but it’s nice to see that part of his life fleshed out some.  I’m a bit torn on his confessing to his sins the way he does.  It seems a bit shallow and empty, but overall the story is good and the art strong.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Daken: Dark Wolverine #17 – Daken starts to put two and two together to figure out who Rolston is and then goes about seeking some help to stop him.  The story is pretty decent with a lot of voice over from Daken that adds depth to the character.  It’s not shocking the series is coming to an end, but it’s a shame more people didn’t see this character grow from a knock-off Wolverine.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

DMZ #71 – As we come closer to the end, this issue reflects on all Matty Roth has done over the last six years and the “crimes” he’s guilty of.  After so many issues, you begin to wonder too what is fact and what is fiction.  But as Matty himself points out, he can’t have done the good he did without also doing all the horrors.  It’s been an amazing run by Brian Wood and it’s sad there’s so little of it left.

Story: 9.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.75

Fantastic Four #600 – Wow, a 600th issue just packed with awesome.  Jonathan Hickman has been weaving an epic story here and while at times I might have been bored and didn’t see the big picture, over the last few issues of FF he’s been putting all the puzzle pieces together so we can see the big picture.  We knew Johnny Storm wasn’t dead, but that’s a hell of a return.  The various stories in this stuffed issue all tie together adding layer after layer like Hickman has been doing for a while now.  Bravo.

Story: 10 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.5

The Flash #3 – The Flash is another series and character that’s stood out in the new DC universe.  I was a fan of the previous volume and this one has been a lot of fun so far as well.  The character is expanding a bit in what he can do, so it’s nice to see his abilities expanding and thus what we can expect from him.  What I’m really looking forward to is the eventual return of the Rogues.  It’s coming…

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Green Lantern: New Guardians #3 – The big picture starts to reveal itself as we get a better idea as to why all of the rings are attracted to Kyle.  There’s some awesome art here and the Guardians aren’t putting up with any crap anymore, which after the years of insubordination makes sense.  An interesting read that’ll hopefully play out in the other series.

Story: 7.25 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

I, Vampire #3 – So the first negative thing can be said about the series, whoever chose the blue and orange to show off the locations in the beginning needs to be slapped upside the head.  But, other than that, the series continues to impress.  The story seems a bit Blade, but there’s a mood and look to it that makes it stand out.  It’ll be interesting to see where it all goes and especially how the greater DC universe is tied into it.  Looks like we’ll be finding that out pretty soon.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The Invincible Iron Man #510 – Fear Itself has wrapped and Stark has to deal with his drinking again.  At the same time his enemies are planning something big and it’s a whose who of bad guys involved.  There’s a big plan here and it looks like the series has righted it’s direction in one issue and then some.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Iron Man 2.0 #10 – How do you take on a bad guy that’s nanotechnology and spreads like a virus?  This series run seems to be exploring that till the end.  It’s been interesting, but not enough to stand out, not a shocker it wound up on the chopping block.  Good, but not great.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

Justice League Dark #3 – While I think the series will play a lot into what’s happening in Swamp Thing and Animal Man, I just can’t get through it.  It’s not clicking for me at all.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Kick-Ass 2 #5 – Action gore porn.  Jump. The. Shark.

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6

The Mighty Thor #8 – Well that was quick.  Now we know who Tanarus is and what the deal is, for the most part.  It’ll be interesting to see how they get Thor back in time for next year’s Avengers film.  The first issue of the new status quo is interesting and a decent read.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Secret Avengers #19 – Warren Ellis’ final single issue of the series before the new creative team takes over next issue.  This one was a blip up compared to the last few issues.  Something about it was really interesting and entertaining.  A decent issue that’s a pretty good read for folks who are looking for a self-contained story.

Story:8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Teen Titans #3 – And we get to meet a new member, Bunker.  The story is great with a few different parts all going at their own pace and speed.  There’s a great kinetic, fun feel about it all.  I’m really enjoying the series so far and looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #4 – Hawkeye has a mission and we learn the history of what’s going on in Asia.  It’s all interesting and I’m finally sucked into the Ultimate universe.  The limited series wasn’t totally needed but it did it’s purpose in fleshing out the current storyline.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Voodoo #3 – Ron Marz continues to show there’s more depth to the series than the stripping from the first issue.  Many dropped it at that point or wouldn’t even pick it up, and that’s a shame because he’s mashed together a spy/super hero mash-up that’s a slow, but fun burn.  Too bad he’s not going past this first arc.  DC has made a bad decision when it comes to that because he’s bringing us a character and series that has a lot of different skins much like it’s main character.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Wolverine & the X-Men #2 – The attack on the school continues in an over the top wave after wave, crazy on top of crazy, mish-mash of everything.  All hell has broken loose really and the second issue is a bit over the top, but there’s something still very fun about it all.  Hopefully the entire series won’t be one big issue of ADD, but so far it’s a welcome change.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

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

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/28/11

I’ve already posted reviews for the DC comics that came out, but here’s everything else.

American Vampire #19 – I guess this could be subtitled “the origin of Skinner Sweet.”  I think we’ll finally learn how he became a vampire by the end of it.  But so far, we’re thrown into the Civil War, the American war with the Indians and get to learn a lot about Sweet and his history.  An interesting start to the new arc.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Annihilators: Earthfall #1 – The Annihilators still have the Universal Church to deal with which has now splintered into two factions fighting each other.  That leads them to Earth which gets noticed by a whole lot of folks.  A bunch of aliens beating up humans doesn’t go over too well.  Hopefully there’ll be more than fighting to this four issue limited series.  The Rocket Racoon and Groot story is entertaining, but not enough to put this issue over the top.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #19 – The battle with Absorbing Man and Titania comes to an end with very uneven art and a story I shrug my shoulders about.  I don’t understand the praise over the series.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Astonishing X-Men #42 – The battle with the Brood is over and there’s so much wrong here.  Storm goes from being infected to not in one panel, there’s a lot of sappy foreshadowing.  This series is anything but astonishing.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #523.1 – An ok issue, that unfortunately again puts women in danger to get at the hero.  An all too easy plot device.  There’s a lot I liked, and a lot I didn’t (replacing bullets!?).  Not the best of the series and definitely not a good point one.  Also, following this with an event issue just isn’t smart planning.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.25

Brilliant #1 – The latest from Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley asks the question, “what if super powers were real?”  There’s some promise here, but the first issue doesn’t hook me like it should have.  I also can’t help but think I’ve seen this all before.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Captain America & Bucky #622 – Bucky takes center stage as he has to deal with the fact he’s the only person without power.  The Invaders get captured and he has to rush to their aid.  The series has been fun so far with solid art.  It’s nice it gives a look into Bucky’s early years without have to retcon a bunch of stories.  So far so good.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula #2 – Two issues in and all this is, is one big fight scene between the Hulk and Vampires.  So far it adds little to the great Fear Itself storyline and the fact it’s release schedule is compressed makes me think this was a last minute thing or extremely late.  While not horrible in any way, I struggle to think of a reason one should buy it other than being a completist.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Fear Itself: The Deep #4 – The series itself was blah, but that’s what’s known as foreshadowing.  It’s clear we’ll see a lot of these characters in the new Defenders series that will sure start.  Whether that’ll be better, that remains to be seen, but if it’s not, I don’t see it lasting long.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

FF #9 – The Inhuman’s whip some ass and with one issue Black Bolt is back and just dominates.  The way he dismisses everyone just is so bad ass.  A great issue that continues the problem with the Reed Richards’.  There’s also something with Valeria that’s up and who knows where that’s going.  A great continuation of a fantastic series.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Incorruptible #22 – Max Damage continues to do his thing to try to clean up his act as a new villain comes on the scene.  Plutonian also decides to show up, which should be interesting in the next issue.  Not the best of the series, but it’s a fun series overall.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Iron Man 2.0 #9 – The Palmer Addley story continues as we finally learn how he’s “survived.”  It’s an interesting issue and a lot I liked, but a bunch I had some issues with.  It’s unfortunate in that the series had a lot of momentum and then got derailed by Fear Itself.  If this was a straight story, without the break, it’d of been much better, but Marvel f-ed this up and a few other series with the distraction.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Journey Into Mystery #628 – Loki leads the troops against the Serpent in hell.  It’s interesting, but not quite sure exactly what’s going on.  I like it, but I’m confused about it all.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Kick-Ass 2 #4 – For all of the talk about how women are treated and portrayed in comics, how did this not cause more of an uproar?  The comic is violent porn and the fact there isn’t an outcry over the rape of a teenage girl, the killing of small children and the murder of god knows how many cops makes me question the recent outcry.  But, onto the comic, it’s pure violence, with a lot of holy shit moments.  I’m a bit torn because it’s so over the top, but like a Tarantino movie, there’s something entertaining about it.

Story: 6 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.25

The Mighty Thor #6 – Not a bad ending to the battle with Galactus, but the issue remains as to when this takes place?  It can’t be post Fear Itself, then there’s the Silver Surfer’s involvement with the Annihilators.  It doesn’t exactly add up and for this Marvel fan, it bothers me.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

The New Avengers #16.1 – Why did this have to be a point one issue?  There’s some good stuff here but the story telling and art are just off from the regular series.  If the point ones are supposed to not be just jumping on points but also get folks interested in a series, I just don’t see this doing that.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

New Mutants #31 – I don’t know what it is, but these Fear Itself tie-ins are so bad.  The story here is pointless other than a big fight, the art is horrible too.  I liked some of the page layouts, but it’s not enough to make is enjoyable.

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Rachel Rising #2 – WTF!?  That ending was so disturbing for so many reasons.  This is such a creepy horror comic….

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Secret Avengers #17 – Warren Ellis took over the series I was expecting some big explosions and master story telling.  We’ve had to self contained issues for his first two issues and neither were all that good.  The art isn’t quite up to snuff and the plot is ho-hum.  It’s like the comic is treading water until Fear Itself is done.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2 – I can’t say I like how a story that took one issue to tell in the 1960’s will be dragged out for four or five issues, but the pacing and how things unfold are still solid.  There’s some great touches that really updates the Spider-Man mythos for the modern world wrapping in technology and discussions of tolerance.  Even the stereotypical chat about “responsibility” is updated.  This is Spider-Man for a new millennium and that has to do with more than just his skin color.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #2 – Well that got a bit complicated quickly.  I think the pacing was very off in the issue cramming in too much for a new reader, but it’s theme of technology and progress killing myth and god is very intriguing.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Venom #7 – A bit torn on the issue, it’s easy to dismiss it as a tie-in for yet another event, but there’s a lot of focus on Flash and his connection to Venom.  It’s very subtle but it’s there.  Instead of asking Anti-Venom to come with him, he attacks, there’s then a scene with him and his father.  It’s two parts of a comic that’s really a focus on a character and the demons that lie within.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Wolverine #16 – The fallout of Wolverine finding himself after killing his children continues, but I can’t help feel like I’ve read this exact same story before….

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

X-Men: Legacy #256 – It’s great to see these characters back, but the story is boring and the art atrocious.  Spinning wheels until the shake up is all I have to say really.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Avengers Vs. Annihilators!

Official Press Release

Avengers Vs. Annihilators!

What has driven the Annihilators to attack Earth’s Mightiest? Find out at Marvel.com.

ANNIHILATORS: EARTHFALL #1 (of 4)
Written by DAN ABNETT & ANDY LANNING
Penciled by TAN ENG HUAT & TIMOTHY GREEN II
Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
Variant Cover by BILLY TAN
Rated T+ …$3.99
ON SALE THIS SEPTEMBER!

ANNIHILATORS: EARTHFALL #1