Tag Archives: criminal: the last of the innocent

Best Comics of 2011

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means we’re doing our “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2011. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2010, though some are from earlier times and we got around to reading them. Keep in mind, this is what I have read.  If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

Best Super Hero Comic – Daredevil

Daredevil #1 CoverDaredevil has had an interesting 2011, we started with Shadowland and then got Matt Murdock finding himself and then a relaunched back to basic series written by Mark Waid with art by Paolo RiveraShadowland wasn’t too bad, a bit uneven, but as a whole Marvel had issues with this year’s events.  Seeing Murdock corrupt and the emotion from his friends was an interesting read.  After you had Murdock wandering the country in short mini-series followed up by the relaunch.

It’s that relaunch that makes Daredevil stick out in my mind.  It’s a comic I look forward to reading each month.  Waid has given it a pulp action feel like classic Green Hornet or the Shadow and Rivera’s art is fantastic.  The comic is just fun to read.  On top of Waid’s take, Daredevil is now an Avenger and each of his brief appearances so far has enhanced that series.  When you show up in an ensemble comic and steal the show, that says something.

Waid has set up a lot going into 2012, can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Runner Ups – Moon Knight, Uncanny X-Force, Aquaman

Best Non-Super Hero Comic –DMZ

DMZ 50Is there a more politically relevant comic book series out there? Every month we’re given something to think about as we follow Matty Roth through Manhattan which is now a DMZ in the middle of the second American Civil War.

Writer Brian Wood is able to pivot and comment on what’s currently happening in politics and the world challenging our perceptions and not seem preachy at the same time.

With some single issues that stand as some of the best of the year and numerous holy shit moments, this isn’t just one of the most relevant comics out there, but some of the best political commentary of any entertainment medium.  Fittingly, this final week also brought us the final issue of the series, a perfect way to end the year.

Runner Ups – American Vampire, Chew, The Walking Dead

Best Limited Series or One Shot – Criminal: The Last Of The Innocent

Criminal: The Last Of The Innocent #1Really, just sign me up for whatever Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips have in store.  This latest volume of their crime/noir series from Marvel/Icon gave us a shit-head of a main character and kept us on our toes as to what to expect.  Sean Philips also showed us something new by changing up the art style every so often.

These two are one of the best teams in comic books today.  Early 2012 brings us Fatale from them to be published by Image which is more horror/noir.  Hopefully we’ll be seeing another volume of this series as well.

I’m a huge fan up pulp/noir comics, and this is the gold standard by which all others are judged.  Just fantastic.

Runner Ups – Critical Millennium, Severed, 27: Second Set

Best Single Issue – Transformers #22 and #23

Transformers #23 CoverTechnically it’s two issues, but the story is spread out between the two issues and either stands out as the best.  On top of that Transformers: The Death of Optimus Prime reflects on what’s discussed in these issues as well.  Megatron is captured and the two issues reflect on his and Optimus’ past and how they became who they are.  Flash forward to the present and the two leaders debate politics and motives.  It’s an adult discussion coming from two giant robots.

DMZ might have been “the” political discussion of the year, but these two issues I just didn’t expect it from.  Absolutely fantastic and enough to give me pause and make me think.

What’s the difference between a terrorist and freedom fighter?  Find out in these issues.

Worst Single Issue of the Year – Holy Terror

Just a holy piece of crap.  This is up there as one of the worst things I’ve ever read.  The graphic novel by legend Frank miller is racist, xenophobic, sexist and horribly written.  Can’t believe we’ve waited so long to read it.

Runner Ups The Infinite (any issue)

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – Green River Killer

Green River Killer A True Detective StoryDark Horse’s Green River Killer is a true-crime story focused on the Green River serial killings.  The writer was close to the subject, as his father was one of the lead detectives.  The story has multiple layers, looking at how families were affected, the struggles the police went through and at the end, why the killer did what he did.

The graphic novel is haunting.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it for many days it was that disturbing and unsettling.  The art is good, but it’s the story that gets you.  The whole time you’re wondering how they’re going to solve this, but also why is this happening.

Add in the fact this is a true story.  It’s a disturbing true story.  Being able to get some of the behind the scenes to a story I only know from newspapers and the nightly news, just adds more to it all.

Runner Ups Any Empire, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand

Best Event of the Year – Uncanny X-Force: The Dark Angel Saga

Uncanny X-Force #18 Teaser 1I’m counting this as an event, though it’s really a long story arc.  Rick Remender has put together the best “X” book put out by Marvel.  This event which saw the rise of a new Apocalypse in the form of Archangel and X-Force is all that stands in the way between him and world destruction.

Diving into “X” lore with trips to the Age of Apocalypse universe, this was a story for the hard core “X” fans.  But, more than that, everything was thrown into it.  You had no idea what was going to come next and what to expect.

It wasn’t until I finally read the last issue that I know the ending, that’s how much of a big question mark Remender gave us.  The follow as well was fantastic as why characters did what they did and a new status-quo and direction were set.

Runner Ups Artifacts, Flashpoint

Best Genre of the Year – Horror

Horror was where it was at this year with DC folding in some Vertigo books and some great limited series like Severed.  Animal Man, Swamp Thing, I, Vampire, B.P.R.D. and more lead the way to dethroning last year’s winner, a bunch of shuffling zombies (though that’s also horror in a way).  I’ve never been creeped out more and enjoyed it as much.

Runner Up – Steampunk, Zombie

Best Comic Tie-In of the Year – Batman: Arkham City

I enjoy a video game or two (dozen).  One of the best video games of the year, not just comic book tie-ins was Batman: Arkham City which just brought more of the brawler game.  There’s a reason many are naming this as one of the best video games of the year and it’s sold so well.  It’s that damn good.

The downloadable material which seems to be coming as a steady flow, the fact you can play as so many characters, that all adds up to a comic book experience you can control.  Add in amazing graphics, game play and there you have it, it’s a must buy video game.

Runner Up – Marvel Universe toys, DC Universe Super Heroes Legos

Best Comic Book Related Movie – Thor

Marvel Studios Thor PosterThis year’s crop of comic book related movies wasn’t as amazing as I’d hope, but it’s a solid bunch.  Marvel’s batch as what stood out and all three really deserve to share the honors.  Each was excellent and flawed in their own ways, but out of the three Thor holds up best.

The story is pretty standard, didn’t really challenge me at all, but the visuals and Chris Hemsworth’s acting is what really makes it all stand out.  The flaws also are the least of the bunch with only the final fight between Thor and the Destroyer really bothering me.

Out of the bunch, this was also the highest grossing, showing it wasn’t just me that liked it.

Runner Ups – Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class

Best Surprise of the Year – DC New 52

DC ComicsThis is a mixed one as DC’s relaunch is also a disappointment, but I’ll address it all here.  DC made a bold move this year to shake up their sagging line of comic books by starting from the beginning and relaunching the entire line.  It was gutsy.  On top of that, their digital initiative was bold.

The story that lead up to it all, Flashpoint, was pretty damn good and what came out of it as well.  I took a chance on all fifty-two issues and came away with giving half of them a chance for the second issue.  From there, I made further cuts, but today, I’m reading more comics from DC than I ever have and their higher volumes they’re selling that the initiative has worked for the short term.

The disappointing part is that they didn’t go far enough.  The comics were pretty standard and we didn’t get anything out of the box.  There also was a clear audience, adolescent males (or men stuck in their adolescence).  While we saw more advertising to the general public, we haven’t seen a sustained campaign.  For all their gains in 2011, I think we’ll see a good chunk of it erode in 2012.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Marvel Events

Marvel ComicsFear Itself and it’s follow up were and are bad.  X-Men: Schism was ok, but much better than what was before.  Shadowland was uneven.  Marvel has been having some issues when it comes to their events.  I won’t call it overall event fatigue in the industry as others have put out quality and showed what works.

Too many tie-ins, stories not thought out and gimmicky tricks paved the way to a substandard experience.

Marvel relied on the tired gimmick of death, killing the Ultimate Spider-Man, Bucky, the Human Torch and more, that all made headlines but some of it is already undone.  There’s only so many times you can call death before the masses catch on and shrugs their shoulders.

Already we’re heading into more events at Marvel in 2012, here’s hoping there’s some improvement.

Runner Up – Green Lantern (movie), DCnU

Best Character – Moon Knight

Moon Knight #1 CoverMoon Knight has always been a character that’s intrigued me.  Brian Michael Bendis, along with amazing art by Alex Maleev, have given us a new series that really looks at the many personalities of Marc Spector.  The new series really has fun with the idea having Moon Knight drawing upon his personalities at different points.

Moon Knight is the psychotic Batman, a super hero struggling with mental illness.  But is he really suffering from it?  And should it be this much enjoyable to read?

Publisher of the Year – Archaia

ArchaiaArchaia received the honor last year as well, so let me really explain my logic here.  Lets start with the big two, Marvel and DC.  Marvel’s line has suffered in 2011, they’re out.  DC made a bold choice, but four months letter, it all feels empty.  There’s quality, but there’s also a lot that just doesn’t excite.

BOOM! made it’s case towards the end of the year with some great original series, along with some on-goings that continue to show off their quality.  Add in a lot of licensed comics and they’ve got a line that has something for everyone.  There were also some busts, but they’ve got a great line of comics.  Image Comics, for all the quality also has some major duds.  Inconsistency is the issue, but their quality is some of the best out there.

Dark Horse has some amazing comics.  A lot of big name licenses and some good original, but there’s a lot of series I read and just didn’t interest me.  Their quality though is up there.  If your a Star Wars or Buffy fan too, they put out excellent product.  Then we come to IDW Publishing.  A lot of license there too, and also a lot of original material.  Each week I see their new releases, I get excited, as a whole, I’m probably interested in more of their monthly comics percentage wise than any other publisher, and it’s all excellent.

And the big winner is Archaia.  I should start with the presentation of the books.  Beautiful covers and packaging is the first thing that sticks out.  Their entire line of graphic novels are beautiful to look at on a shelf.  Then there’s what’s in between those fancy covers.  The variety of the books and quality is unmatched.  I can find something for everyone and hand out one of their series or a graphic novel and know I’m good with my choice.  All of what I read was good to great and much challenges story telling and comic book visuals.

Licensed books, original books, it’s all here.  And it’s amazing.  There’s comics for kids and adults and books kids and adults will love together.  Books from the US and Europe, we have different styles and perspectives, it’s like the publisher goes out of it’s way to present choice and variety.  And it’s all good.

I said it last year and it still holds true this year, when I think Archaia, I think high quality and expect the best.  They continue to not let me down.

Runner Up – IDW Publishing

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/14/11

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It’s a thick stack of books this week with DC still releasing their number one books.  What’s worth it?  What should be skipped?  Find out below!

Alpha Flight #4 – The team is on the run from the government who has been taken over through an overly complex plan.  There’s a lot I like about the series, but also so much that just seems blah.  Overall it’s getting much better, but there’s definitely some things strange things that don’t jive.  The brutality of one particular character just doesn’t fit in with the relative niceness of Alpha Flight.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #4 – It’s the second to last issue of this series that  delves into the myths of the vampires.  It adds a bit to the world and the story is really entertaining, but as usual you have to question why the bad guys just don’t kill the good guys right away.  That’s about the only flaw I find, for what’s turned out to be a hell of a limited series.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Batman and Robin #1 – The good here is Damian’s depiction.  The mysterious bad guy also has me intrigued.  The bad is the story itself which just seems silly to me.  Also, how old is Batman supposed to be in the DC revamp/reboot/relaunch?  If Damian is still around, he obviously can’t be younger than he was in the previous world.  I’m a bit confused about that part.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Batwoman #1 – A beautiful comic book, the art alone is enough to get me to come back for more.  The story on the other hand is a bit week, but still intriguing enough to get me to overlook it.  What is very strong, like the art is the characterization.  The various characters in the comic are well written and there’s some great female leads.  It’s been a long wait for this first issue, and while I can’t say it blew me away, I’ll definitely be back for the second issue.

Story: 7.75 Art: 9 Overall: 8

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #523 – Out of all of the Fear Itself tie-ins this one is the best, though it’s competition isn’t that great.  As a whole though, I really like the American Panther storyline.  There was a solid ending to it, and a great mystery left at the end that seems like it’ll lead to something more interesting going forward.  With the next issue, it’ll get a new subtitle, the series is quality and a definite recommendation to make a monthly read.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #4 – Wow, that was one hell of an ending.  This is a crime story of the best caliber.  Brubaker’s story telling seems to get better and better and this one’s ending is just amazing.  Another fantastic volume in the best noir on the market.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Daken: Dark Wolverine #14 – What the hell did I read.  The heat part is great as usual, but the art seems to have taken a dip and it won’t be until next issue that’ll I’ll truly understand what’s going on.  This is one part of a bigger story and by itself the issue doesn’t make too much sense or keep my interest.  Hopefully the next issue will do it some justice as the “set up” issue.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Daredevil #3 – Some great pulp fun as Daredevil fights Klaw and helps a man in court.  The entertaining ending is a nice end cap for the first story arc and this issue sets up a bigger bad guy that’s only hinted at.  The action is good and there’s some great writing in the issue.  Mark Waid has returned Daredevil to his roots and it’s fantastic so far.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Deadpool #43 – Deadpool is on the loose as he’s escaped from the mental institution, though how he’s done that isn’t really explained very well.  There’s also some other plot points that seem to have been dropped.  The issue is entertaining enough, but falls into the campy end of things way too much.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Deathstroke #1 – Wow, that was a hell of a start.  The issue feels more A-Team than anything else, but then that ending throws you for a spin.  Pretty impressive as it gives you a good idea as to who Deathstroke is and does it all in a self-contained issue.  Really solid beginning.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Demon Knights #1 – I appreciate what DC is doing here, taking some of their characters and throwing them into a world similar to one you’d find in a D&D campaign.  The story is ok, but I’m not really one for straight up fantasy.  My concern that it stars Etrigan and his speaking habit was not founded as that seems to have gone away, which is odd, since that was something that made the character very unique.  It’s not a bad comic, but can’t say I really look forward to the second issue.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Fear Itself #6 – There’s lots of dramatic moments and some big speeches in the second to last issue of Marvel’s disappointing summer event.  There’s some great moments and a lot of characters manning up, but overall this feels like that “big moment” that’s a few issues too late for me to really care or save this event from smelling like a stinker.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula #1 – Not quite sure what the point of this limited series is as it doesn’t add a whole lot so far to the overall event.  Also, isn’t the Hulk fighting in a few other places and against a few other heroes?  Fear Itself has been a mess of an event, and this is another example of that.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Fear Itself: The Monkey King – A decent enough issue, but again, it doesn’t add anything to the Fear Itself storyline.  I’d of much rather seen a three issue limited series come out of this than this one-shot that’s not really needed.  But, even though it doesn’t add anything to Fear Itself, it’s still a good comic and hopefully we see more of this character than this one-shot.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 – A Hellboy wannabe I figured this was what to expect of the series after seeing it’s Flashpoint tie-in.  It’s not the story is is bad, I think Hellboy is better in every sense, so there’s nothing new or interesting to keep me coming back for more.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Green Lantern #1 – Sinestro has a green ring again and Hal Jordan must go back to a normal life.  Just when you think there isn’t anything more creative Geoff Johns can do with Green Lantern, this comes along.  A great new start that’s fresh and interesting.  The series has had some issues of late, but this first issue breathes new life into the series and again has me excited.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Grifter #1 – Huh!?  Where’s the Grifter I came to know and love from Wildcats?  What is this crap?!

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1 – With Roger Langridge’s name on the comic I had to pick it up knowing nothing about this beloved story.  Can’t say I’ll be coming back for the second issue.  It’s not Langridge’s fault, the story just doesn’t interest me at all.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Legion Lost #1 – Hmm, a lot is interesting here, but the story is too much tied up in mystery and the action too choppy to get me to want to come back for more.  I was never a Legion fan before, and can’t say this series has done anything to get me to change my mind.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.75

Mister Terrific #1 – The beginning of the comic was interesting enough, but that ending made me not at all interested in the second issue.  It was too abrupt and comes out of nowhere.  There’s also the very blatant playing off that Mr. Terrific is a black hero and there’s event a rather stereotypical issue of his interest in a white woman.  I’m sure the series will find it’s pace and feet after a bit, but I don’t think I’m sticking around for it.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Mystery Men #5 – A ho-hum ending to the series that attempts to mix real life events with a comic book and doesn’t pull it off too well.  The series was ok, and probably will read better as a trade paperback, but the finale isn’t anything special.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

The New Avengers #16 – We get to see what Daredevil was up to during Fear Itself and the issue is actually really solid.  I like the interview aspect of the issues and the story in this one is really good too.  It’s Daredevil’s acceptance into the crew and it’ll be interesting to see how that goes considering his recent past.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Red Lanterns #1 – In short, this is DC’s version of Ghost Rider.  It has potential, and I’ll stick around to see what that is, but the characters kind of started off as a one note gimmick and adding a bit to them will be a tough task.  We’ll see how it all goes though, but so far it’s pretty decent.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Resurrection Man #1 – A lot I really liked here.  I can’t say I know a lot about the character and this first issue gives you a hint about him.  There’s enough here that will get me to come back.  The issue though is it seems like I’ve seen this all before in a movie or television show.  Heaven and hell after one man’s soul, it seems too familiar.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Suicide Squad #1 – So much I like and at the same time it makes me miss Secret Six.  There’s so many costume changes that are so unnecessary too.  Still, there’s more than enough to get me to come back for the next few issues and see where it goes from here.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Superboy #1 – More than enough here to get me to come back for the second issue.  The story is interesting and unique enough to stand out from Superman and there’s enough mystery here with numerous characters to keep me intrigued.  This might be the first “Supes” comic I get into.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Supreme Power #4 – Just one piece of a bigger puzzle.  By itself the actions of folks makes me scratch my head, but this seems to be the end of the middle chapter of a three act play.  Interesting, but it doesn’t blow me away as much as that first issue did.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 – An origin story that’d normally have taken an issue to get through looks like it’ll be spread out a bit.  But there’s a lot here that makes Mile Morales stand out from Peter Parker.  Bendis has made some interesting choices here and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes.  I’ve never been an Ultimate Comics fan, but this relaunch of the line has gotten me very interested.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #15 – The team is trying their best to take on Archangel and his new horsemen before they transform the world.  Deathlok has also lost his shit in the process.  The trio of Deadpool, Fantomex and Deathlok is a team I want more of.  So wrong yet so right.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

The Unwritten #29 – The story of Wilson the the Tinker grows deeper and that ending kind of came out of nowhere.  The story is s bit easier to understand but no less interesting.  This is one of those sleeper series more people should be reading.  It challenges you in every way.  Solid as usual.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

X-Men: Legacy #255 – Magneto attempts to bring a peace between the two warring armies while Rogue takes over command of a familiar bunch.  The story is really just a way to get Havok, Polaris and Rachel back into the fold, the stroy I could do without.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Pick of the Week – Batwoman #1

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There’s some quality this week and quite a few of my picks for the top five releases I’ve read.  But, I’m going out on a limb for a book I haven’t read yet, but based on previous volumes Batwoman #1 should be very impressive.  J.H. Williams III was one of the previous creators, but with the loss of Greg Rucka, he’s moved onto not just the artist but also main storyteller.  Rucka is a massive talent, but in the end, I’d buy this comic for Williams art alone.  This will be the hottest of DC’s new releases this week.

  • Batwoman #1 – see above
  • 27: Second Set #1 – Charles Soule’s second volume starts off with some fantastic heart to it.  You can check out my review here.
  • PIGS #1 – Sleeper KGB agents? Check. Great crime/noir/thriller feel to it? Check. Shocking ending? Check. Read the review here.
  • Severed #2 – I’ve read the second issue (but haven’t written the review) and it’s as haunting and creepy as the first. Snyder is a master at gothic horror.
  • Criminal: Last of the Innocent #4 – The king of neo-noir, Brubaker brings us the last entry to his latest volume of an amazing series.

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 8/3/11 and 8/10/11

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Two weeks down of reviews and two more to go.  Expect some more later today and hopefully I’ll be totally caught up by week’s end.

Alpha Flight #3 – Alpha Flight is on the run and this series at this point would be ho-hum if it weren’t for the fact I’m interested in seeing what the Unity party is really up to.  The limited series is close to the half-way point and so far, it’s ok, but hasn’t made it’s case to be an ongoing comic book.  The art too is off at times with odd positions of the bodies and art that just doesn’t do it for me.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3 – Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s offshoot comic about Nazi Vampires just keeps getting better and better expanding the world we already know.  Amazing stuff and I can’t recommend it enough.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Avengers Academy #17 – There’s parts of this comic I liked and a lot I didn’t.  The art is inconsistent, and overall the comic feels like the “B” coming to the other Avengers “A.”  I know the series gets a lot of praise, but I was a much bigger fan of it’s previous incarnations, and it hasn’t quite lived up to the potential of it’s first few issues.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #522 – I had my doubts when I first saw the American Panther sketches, but using Fear Itself to bring back the Hate Monger has worked really well, mainly because it doesn’t deal with the terrible story that Fear Itself is, and instead treats it as a backdrop.  The last story arc was ok, but this one has kicked it up a lot dealing with hate, fear and immigration, a lot of issues being debated today.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Booster Gold #47 – The art is my issue with this particular issue.  It’s very, very off.  The story is ok and there’s some cool moments, especially the ending, but the series clearly went out with a whimper and not the bang I’d hope for DCnU.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

Criminal: The Last of The Innocent #3 – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips latest entry in their noir comics is as amazing as you’d expect.  Instead of following the do-gooder who gets caught up in a bad situation the focus is on the bad guy.  It’s enough to inject massive life in a series that’s far and above the rest to begin with.  Absolutely  mastery.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Daken: Dark Wolverine #12 – Daken’s plan for the armored car robbery continues and that’d be just ok, but Daken is now having an issue with addiction, and that is getting interesting.  The character doesn’t get the respect he deserves and this series is proving why he stands apart and isn’t just a second rate Wolverine.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Deadpool #41 – Deadpool is still in the crazy asylum and the series, which has been having issues lately with quality, has bounced back for at least this one.  The art is back on track and I’m starting to like the move away from slapstick.  It’s a big improvement.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Fear Itself #5 – This summer event by Marvel has been underwhelming and this comic is the perfect example of the issues it has.  Thor dropping his usual speech, Spider-Man turning and running, and a simple solution when it comes to saving Ben Grimm.  There’s attempts at cool moments here and it all falls flat.

Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.25

Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #2 – X-Force does it’s part in Fear Itself and I can’t say it adds anything to the storyline.  They’re on the move to stop the Purifiers who are trying to take advantage of the situation and not even art by Bianchi can save this mess of a comic that doesn’t need to exist.

Story: 6.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 6.75

Fear Itself: Wolverine #2 – Too many places at once is the issue of this not needed comic tie-in.  The art and character design is inconsistent and other than the parts with Wolverine’s girlfriend, I can’t say any of this is needed or important.  A clear cash-in that adds nothing to the story and in fact causes bigger issues with it.

Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Flashpoint #4 – It’s the second to last issue of the event that’s forced DC to grow up.  In a five issue limited series DC comics has not only reshaped their entire universe, but they’ve also brought their comics into modern times.  The fourth issue moves the story along with some great moments and a cliffhanger for the fifth and final issue that makes me count down in anticipation of the next issue.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #3 – As a single issue, I can’t say I’ve enjoyed this final one as much as the previous two, but as a whole, all three are a solid read.  This issue jumps back and forth between the past and present which fills in some of the blanks.  Overall a solid three issues, even though this is the weakest of the bunch.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3 – A pretty cool ending to the three issue limited series that just fits the feel of a world ending.  The art is solid and story entertaining.  A solid comic overall and very good limited series.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #3 – An interesting comic, but the issue is it doesn’t wrap anything up, in fact it ends as an origin comic.  The story is ok, but nothing too special, but I do think the last quarter was much better than the first three fourths.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of The Ravager #3 – An interesting story that adds to the world of Flashpoint, but doesn’t add anything to the Flashpoint story.  It’s a decent three issues, but I can’t say I came away with having to read them at all.  Decent, but not great.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3 – Wow, did this third issue go off the rails.  There’s lots of twists and turns and even more that’s just not explained.  Why’s the doctor dressed as a mummy?  Why are they on horses when they had a plane?  Just such silliness that an ok idea crashes and burns in the end.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #3 – Out of all of the books, this one is my least favorite.  I really don’t understand what was going on, and I honestly didn’t care to figure it all out.  The issue is too much backstory that if you didn’t know the characters, you didn’t know what was going on.

Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Flashpoint: World of Flashpoint #3 – A pretty sappy ending.  The good about this series is it tied directly into the great Flashpoint story, but it didn’t add anything to it in the end, except show off a bit more of the world.  But, that’s about it, it’s a three issue glorified travel guide.  It’s not bad in anyway, but not really a must read.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Ghost Rider #2 – I’m still not quite sure what I think about this comic.  It’s not bad in any way, but also doesn’t quite grab me like I’d hope.  I’m sure die-hard Ghost Rider fans will appreciate it more, but to me, it’s missing that hook that gets me really excited.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Hero Comics 2011 – A comic book to benefit the Hero Initiative, it features work by some greats.  For $3.99 you get some awesome stories and it goes towards a good cause.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Heroes for Hire #10 – The once great series has been sidelined to deal with the underwhelming Marvel event Fear Itself.  The team is split between the chaos on the Raft and what’s going on at Yancy Street and neither of it is particularly entertaining.  This just slows down the momentum the series had.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Iron Man 2.0 #7.1 – If the point one comics are supposed to be a jumping on point for new readers, this didn’t achieve that.  Instead it’s just a continuation of the ongoing storyline which continues next issue.  So the question remains why does this comic exist and why wasn’t it just the eighth issue?  The issue is good in that it continues the Palmer Adley storyline, but, it doesn’t need to exist as a point one.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Irredeemable #28 – Plutonian is back and the world and The Paradigm react to his return.  But what happens to the people who lied when they said they’d protect you.  It’s an interesting issue and I have no idea what Mark Waid has in store next for this series.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Mega Man #4 – A cute ending that’s perfect for younger kids.  The story is entertaining and has enough nostalgia for adults to appreciate it.  It’s a decent first arc, but a bit rushed overall.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Moon Knight #4 – Moon Knight and Echo check up on each other and have their first date, sort of.  The series is beyond solid taking Moon Knight’s crazy to a whole new level.  The series is fantastic with great writing and amazing art to match.  This should definitely be on your pull list.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

The New Avengers #15 – The issue’s focus is Squirrel Girl and her time during Fear Itself.  It’s really entertaining with a great voice to the story telling and solid artwork.  It might seem silly at first, but it’s a really good issue.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

New Mutants #29 – After a solid last issue, this one seems to run into the issues we’ve seen with Fear Itself tie-ins.  The story just seems out of place and the characterization is off.  Along with a new art style (which grew on me throughout the issue) the series seems to have swerved again.  This series gets a lot of praise and I’m still not quite sure why.  It’s not bad, but clearly the weakest of the “X” books.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Rachel Rising #1 – The first issue of Terry Moore’s new series brought with it a lot of buzz and I can see why.  It’s all tease though and I think I can see where it’s going, but not 100% sure.  There’s enough there though to get me to check out the next issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Secret Six #36 – So sad to see this series go.  It’s been a great ride and this final issue has so much going for it.  It’s not perfect, but it hits every note reminding us what made the series so special.  It’s been great, and unfortunately we won’t be seeing it in the relaunched DCnU.  Thank you Gail Simone for giving us thirty-six fantastic issues.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Severed #1 – Scott Snyder puts together another amazing horror series, which he’s shown he’s a master of.  This one also takes place at the early onset of the 20th century, a time period he seems to enjoy writing about.  We’re teased a lot and it’s more than enough to get me to check out the second issue.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 – The series continues and I continue to scratch my head.  I want to like it, and the ideas seem very interesting, but to say I really understand what the hell is going on here is a lie.  This is one I know I need to go back and reread the entire thing through again.

Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5

Supreme Power #3 – A series that continues to mix super heroes and politics, I’ve been finding what it’s been doing is interesting.  There’s only one more issue left in this volume, and I’m a bit perplexed how it’s going to wrap up everything that needs to be.  It’s a very interesting book though and I can’t wait to see what the fourth issue holds.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Thunderbolts #161 – The team is focused on saving Chicago, and overall the story is decent with some good interaction between the characters.  I can’t say it’s great though.  But, a fun read.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

the Unwritten #28 – Huh, is really all I can say.  The comic series about stories and myths begins to set it’s sites on Biblical tales.  How this comic didn’t cause more of an uproar, I’ll never know.  But it’s continuing to bring up interesting points in ways I can just barely comprehend.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Vengeance #2 – I seriously don’t get this series.  It’s supposed to focus on the next generation of heroes and villains, but we’ve seen this exact same story done before, and better.  I’m waiting for the big reveal, but so far, pretty unimpressed.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #2 – The war is over and Sinestro still has a ring on his finger.  The corps is rocked and everyone is in doubt.  If anything this is an attempt to bridge the new Green Lantern series we’ll be seeing in DCnU.  It’s interesting and does it’s best to set up what’s coming next.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Wolverine #13 – One more issue and this story arc is over thank god.  Wolverine continues to run the gauntlet as we get to see the pain he’s caused from the view of his victims.  Yawn.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

X-Factor #223 – The story focusing on Rahne’s child continues and hopefully it ends soon.  I can’t say this is the best of stories involving this team lately.  It has it’s moments, but right now, it’s only ok.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

X-Men #15.1 – I’m so confused as to what the point of these point one comics are.  I thought they’re supposed to be easy entry points to get new readers pumped and interesting about the comic and characters?  This is a self contained story, but it has nothing to do with what makes the X-Men interesting.  An utter failure.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

X-Men; Legacy #253 – How come Magneto’s helmet keeps coming going?  Where does he put it when he’s not wearing it.  Other than that weird art issue, the story is cool and we get to the meat of what we want.  The return of Havok and Polaris and Rachel.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

X-23 #13 – Laura, meet Spider-Man and the FF, FF and Spider-Man this is Laura.  While that’s interesting and has potential, it’s the hint we might see the NYX crew back that gets me more excited.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 7/27/11 Part 1

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I’m a bit behind in my reviews.  So, instead of waiting to post all of the reviews, I figured I’d get it out in pieces.

The Amazing Spider-Man #666 – The prelude to Spider-Island, there’s enough here to get me interested, but it also plays off a lot of back story which makes me hesitant.  I will say, I can understand why everyone is saying Spider-Man is back to form and this is one of the best runs in a long time.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

American Vampire #17 – Scott Snyder continues to show why he’s one of the hottest writers out there.  His “Ghost War” story pitting American vampires versus Japanese ones has been through so many twists and turns with moments you just don’t expect.  This issue mixes action with a lot of character development to the point I felt emotion on what happened to a few of them.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Astonishing X-Men #40 – The X-Men and Agent Brand battle the Brood and I yawn.  There’s some things I really like and others I scratch my head and wonder what they’re thinking.  The story is so-so and the art I could pass on.  This series doesn’t quite fit it’s title of “astonishing.”

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #16 – Half of the issue I disliked and half of it I liked.  Pym continues to fight Absorbing Man and Titania.  My issue with this is the inconsistent art as well as the fact the two possessed villains are speaking in English when at other times these Asgardians speak in another language.  The second half dealing with Veil is so much better and actually somewhat touching.  Overall, I don’t see why so many praise this series as it’s the weakest in the Avengers family.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #2 – An interesting read, but I’m not sure I understand the real need for the series other than to give a real bridge bringing these  Vertigo characters into the greater DC universe.  Some inconsistent art and the story is ok.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

The Cape #1 – Wow, to say this series knocks it out of the park with the first issue is an understatement, beyond solid with a great story and fantastic art.  I have no idea what to expect, but it’s set up what looks to be one hell of a story.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5

Captain America & Bucky #620 – How Bucky met Cap.  I’m not sure if Bucky’s back story has been delved into this much, but it’s a solid beginning for this “new” series.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #2 – When I think of noir, I picture dames and detectives in the 20s or 30s.  Brubaker has fast forwarded that formula for the 60s, and instead of his protagonist being a rough anti-hero, we’re focused on a main character that’s as bad as the villains.  It’s a throwback to the Eerie crime stories of the 40s and 50s with the focus on crime and murder, and boy is it good.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Fables #107 – A pseudo one-off story that follows up on a plot point that was made a long time back.  It’s entertaining but something is slightly off.  Not quite the best foot forward after the previous epic storyline.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself: The Deep #2 – Hmm, I’m a bit torn on this limited series.  There’s a lot of potential with the characters and the interaction is good, but it’s one fight after another with explanations thrown in between as to what’s going on.  Kind of a snoozer and overall it doesn’t add a lot to the Fear Itself storyline.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Fear Itself: The Worthy – Some background on all of the characters that are currently ravaging the Marvel universe.  Some of the writing is quite good, some of the art is quite blah.  It’s a decent comic to give some depth to the characters, but I wonder why it took five months for it to be released.  It should of been out with the second issue of Fear Itself.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

FF #7 – And in one issue, all that was built up in the cosmic end of the Marvel universe is undone.  I’m a bit torn about it, as I feel Abnett and Lanning should have the honor of returning Black Bolt to the Marvel universe.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #2 – Definitely one of the weaker entries in Flashpoint. Something is just off with it, I don’t really like the characters, the art is not consistent and overall, I kind of want them to lose.  Hal Jordan just comes off as a dick.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #2 – To me, this seems like it’s leading up to the end of the Kid Flash in DCnU.  There’s a lot I like here.  The art is cool, the story flows nicely and keeps me on my toes.  It’s good and seems to add a bit to the overall Flashpoint story.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #2 – Interesting story, but a bit choppy.  It adds something to the overall story, but isn’t a necessity to read.  It’s still fun to see this motley team working together.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Flashpoint: Project Superman #2 – A lot I liked here.  The idea of attachment and how Superman might have turned out without it is explored, but as a whole the story is a bit choppy and not sure it’s the way I would have gone.  It feels as though it was done to explain what happened to this world’s Superman instead of adding something to the overall Flashpoint story.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Green Lantern Corps. #62 – As a whole the series seems to be on autopilot until the major DCnU shake up.  The story is ok, but the art is so-so.  We’ll see how much what happens matters in the future DC universe.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #12 – A single story about yet another evil being the Guardians put away and hoped to never see again. The story is ok, but nothing special.  Overall, it’s just treadng water until DCnU begins.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Around the Tubes

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The weekend is here and I plan on catching up on three weeks worth of books and begin the backlog of reviews.  There’s still quite a few cons coming up, so planning begins for those as well.  While I do that, what are folks plan for the weekend?  While you contemplate that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

The Mary Sue – Womanthology Sets the Record Straight On Where Its Funds Are GoingOne take on the controversy.

The Beat – Womanthology: $100k may go to help start a new comics imprint — UPDATEDAnother take on the controversy.

The Beat – One Piece set record with 2 million sold in 4 daysSee, sales can be good.

ICv2 – Wahlberg Ready to Strap on ‘2 Guns’Another comic movie!

Ars Technica – Spoilers don’t spoil anything – An interesting article about spoilers and if they really ruin things.

Monthly/Quarterly Sales:

ICv2 – ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #666 Tops July Sales

ICv2 – Top 300 Comics Actual–July 2011

ICv2 – Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual–July 2011

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – The Amazing Spider-Man #667

CBR – Amazing Spider-Man #667

IGN – American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3

IGN – Artifacts #9

IGN – Batgirl #24

IGN – Batman and Robin #26

IGN – Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #522

IGN – Booster Gold #47

IGN – Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #3

IGN – Daken: Dark Wolverine #12

IGN – Deadpool #41

IGN – Fear Itself #5

CBR – Fear Itself #5

IGN – Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3

IGN – Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #3

IGN – Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #3

IGN – Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3

IGN – Ghost Rider #2

IGN – Hellboy: The Fury #3

CBR – Hellboy: The Fury #3

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #634

IGN – Morning Glories #11

IGN – The New Avengers #15

IGN – PunisherMAX #16

IGN – The Red Wing #2

IGN – Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #1

IGN – Spider-Island: Deadly Foes #1

IGN – Ultimate Comics: Fallout #5

IGN – The Unwritten #28

IGN – Vengeance #2

IGN – War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2

IGN – X-Men #15.1

IGN – X-Men Legacy #253

Paste Magazine – Comic Book & Graphic Novel Round-Up (8/10/11)

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 8/10/11

Pick of the Week – Criminal: Last of the Innocent #3

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It’s a new week of comic books and my pick for the week is Ed Brubaker and Sean PhillipsCriminal: Last of the Innocent #3.  As usual the series is exactly what I’d expect, quality.  From Phillips’ beautiful art to Brubaker’s deftly weaved story, this is the prime example of noir in comic books.  I usually wait until the trades comic out, but from all the buzz, I had to see what was going on, and boy was I not disappointed.  A must buy.

  • Criminal: Last of the Innocent #3 – See above.
  • Mega Man #4 – I’m in love with this series that just hearkens back to the animated series I remember as a kid.
  • American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3 – Vertigo has a hit with this and the main series.  So good.
  • Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #522 – I’m a bit fascinated to see where the American Panther story goes.
  • Fly #3 – This series by Zenescope is definitely flying under folks’ radar.  It’s been pretty solid so far.

Around the Tubes – It’s Friday, Friday…

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So, I care that it’s Friday just because that means I can sleep in tomorrow and attempt to catch up on the lack of sleep from San Diego Comic-Con and also gear up for next week’s Gen Con.  While you were slaving away, working for the man, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

The Mary Sue – The Hard Numbers Say There are Less Female Characters in the DCnU As WellSome good number crunching.

Comics Alliance – Answering Dan DiDio: The Problem With Having Only 1% Female Creators at DC ComicsWhile I generally agree with DiDio that you want quality writers and artists no matter their race, age, gender, etc., some of the choices are questionable and DC is in the difficult task to explain themselves and at the same time not diminish the creative teams chosen.

Con Coverage:

The Beat – Comic-Con 2011: Perception vs. Reality

The Beat – SDCC, A Look Back: The Beat

The Beat – The Comic-Con Virgin Diaries: Ali C. — Final Report

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Action Comics #903

IGN – The Amazing Spider-Man #666

IGN – American Vampire #17

IGN – Avengers Academy #16

IGN – Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #2

IGN – Captain America and Bucky #620

IGN – Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #2

IGN – DC Retroactive: Justice League of America – The 70’s #1

IGN – DC Retroactive: Superman – The 70’s #1

IGN – Detective Comics #880

IGN – Fear Itself: The Worthy #1

IGN – FF #7

IGN – Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Kid Flash – Lost #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Project Superman #2

IGN – Green Arrow #14

IGN – Green Lantern Corps #62

IGN – Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #12

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #633

IGN – Intrepids #5

IGN – Invincible #81

IGN – Justice Society of America #53

IGN – Last Mortal #3

IGN – The Mighty Thor #4

IGN – Nordguard Book One: Across Thin Ice

IGN – Secret Avengers #15

IGN – Ultimate Comics: Fallout #3

IGN – Uncanny X-Force #12

IGN – Venom #5

IGN – Wolverine/Deadpool: The Decoy #1

IGN – Wonder Woman #613

IGN – X-Men Legacy #252

IGN – X-Men: Schism #2

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 7/27/11

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 6/1/11

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It’s a thick stack of books this week as the two “main events” of the summer go head to head as Fear Itself and Flashpoint both see the release of their main titles in the same week.  Which is worth it, and which can you skip?  Find out below.

Astonishing X-Men #39 – The team on Japan continues to fight Mentallo and his brigade of monsters.  The story is ok, but I don’t see how it’s “astonishing” in any way or stands apart from the other “X” comics.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #14.1 – There continues to be a lot of buzz about how this is the best Avengers comic book, but honestly I just don’t get it.  This point one issue doesn’t make the case at all as to why I should pick up the series or stand out in anyway other than being about the “next” generation of Avengers.  It’s an ok series, but nothing special.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #1 – When it comes to the modern crime comic, there’s one series that stands heads and shoulders about the rest and that’s Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal.  This is the first time I’ve decided to not wait for the trade, and I’m so happy I made that decision.  Utter perfection.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Fear Itself #3 – The big Marvel event of the year hasn’t quite delivered as I’d hope it would.  Instead the story has been a bit convoluted and not really explain what’s going on.  What should be amazing moments haven’t had the impact one would hope.  Overall, pretty dissapointing.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Fear Itself: The Deep #1 – While everyone else is dealing with the disaster on the land, someone has to defend the sea and that team is headed up by Namor and Dr. Strange in another underwhelming Fear Itself tie-in.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Flashpoint #2 – DC’s entry into the big summer event lives up to that event moniker and brings the awesome.  The world is warped and Barry Allen is on a mission to correct things.  But who could see what’s being delivered here coming.  Such a fantastic event that it’s making me a DC fanboy.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #1 – In a world where Hal Jordan never received the ring, Abin Sur still protects Earth and Sinestro is still a Green Lantern.  So much is different but it’s all cool.  This limited series shows how to pull off the event tie-in.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #1 – Another solid entry when it comes to Flashpoint.  In this world Bruce died and his father lived.  What would that do to a man, a husband, a father?  With a different world comes different rules, and this one seems pretty damn interesting.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1 – The first miss of Flashpoint.  If you don’t know these characters or their background at all, it’s hard to understand exactly what’s going on.  Maybe the next issues will give a better idea, but just reading the first, it’s a jumbled mess.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #1 – Though not quite up to snuff as other issues, this comic puts more of a face on the people that aren’t really meta dealing with the way the world is.  It’s an entertaining comic, and not quite sure what I’d do different, but it didn’t leave me with that “holy shit” feeling other comics have.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

G.I. Joe #2 – Such a solid entry into the G.I. Joe world.  Cobra is throwing spasms as it attempts to find it’s next leader and that means everything is on the table and all hell is breaking loose.  Such a great concept, that it’s got me looking forward to all three series and wanting to go back and see what I’ve missed.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Heroes for Hire #8 – Some times you need a series that’s just tons of fun and this one fits that bill nicely.  The banter is great, stories entertaining, and art solid.  There’s so much the series reminds me of, and all of it is fun.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Irredeemable #26 – Plutonian is gathering an army as he battles to the center of the insane asylum and I have no clue as to what to what Mark Waid has planned for this series.  It’s seems the villain is being sought out to stop a bigger threat, but that’s a guess at this point.  I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll be out of left field.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Moon Knight #2 – The second issue is just as solid as the first as Moon Knight has to deal with his personalities and at the same time figure out who’s trying to buy an Ultron.  Such a solid series.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Secret Six #34 – It’s the aftermath of their unfortunate trip to hell and Bane goes on a date.  I can see this not being a book that survives the DC relaunch/reboot which is a shame, because when it shines, it’s some of the best they have to offer.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 2 #1 – Much like the first volume, this second one makes sense, and doesn’t at the same time.  It attempts to mix the feels of Watchmen and Earth X and doesn’t quite live up to either.  It’s an interesting story, just not quite the blockbuster I was hoping for.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

Thunderbolts #158 – It’s a break out on the raft and this Fear Itself tie-in might hold up better than others due to the fact it’s focus is the raft and containing a jail break.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #11 – The return to the Age of Apocalypse by X-Force might be the most entertaining thing Marvel does this summer.  Just beyond solid and entertaining, this is easily the best “X” book on the market.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

X-Factor #220 – Rahne and Shatterstar spend the day together to get to know each other and there’s an ending I wasn’t expecting at all.  Not the best story, but there’s some good parts.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

X-Men #12 – An interesting concept, but inconsistent art and some retconning has me a bit iffy on the storyline.

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

X-23 #11 – X-23, Gambit, Wolverine and Jubilee continue their Paris adventure as they track down an “evil scent.”

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

Around the Tubes

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DC’s post-Flashpoint news is still coming fast and furious.  We’ll continue to keep our special section going as long as the news continues to flow.  Maybe DC needs to teach it’s employees how to keep secrets while it restructures?

Around the Blogs:

Kotaku – Week in Comics: Dr. Strange Underwater, Dave McKean’s Return, Sonic’s Road to ‘Genesis’ and Other Welcome SurprisesKotaku highlights their picks for the week.

The Beat – Meanwhile: Dark Horse announces retailer exclusives for digitalLost in all of the DC news, Dark Horse has announced a decent digital plan that is inclusive of brick and mortar stores.

Post Flashpoint:

Bleeding Cool – DC Relaunch: Detective Comics #1 and Batman #1

Bleeding Cool – DC Relaunch: Grifter #1

Bleeding Cool – DC Relaunch: My Greatest Adventure #1

Bleeding Cool – DC Relaunch: OMAC #1 Additional

Geekweek – Plans For DC Number Ones Revealed

Bleeding Cool – DC Relaunch: DC Women To Wear Trousers

Bleeding Cool – DC Relaunch: Batgirl #1 and Nightwing #1 UPDATE

Bleeding Cool – Flashpost: The Morning After The Night Before (UPDATE)

The Beat – DC’s new line: What we know, what we’re saying

IGN – More DCU Reboot Details

Bleeding Cool – Jim Lee: “I won’t f*#k this up”, Plus Your Handy DC Comics Reboot

IGN – 8 Questions About the DCU Reboot

Around the Tubes Reviews:

ICv2 – Ai Ore! Vol. 1

Comic Book Resources – Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #1

Seattle Pi – Dr. Horrible And Other Horrible Stories

Good Comic Books – Fathom #0

IGN – Fear Itself #3

IGN – Flashpoint #2

IGN – Intrepids #4

Lore Lush Book Reviews – Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1

Thorn’s A.D.D. Culture – Neverwhere

IGN – Shinku #1

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