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Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 10/19/11

A week behind in comics, but I’ll be caught up with reviews this weekend.  What stands out?  What’s not worth the read?  Find out below!

The Avengers #18 – The battle is over and Avengers Tower has fallen, so everyone has gathered in the mansion.  There’s also a back story about a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.  That’s all that really happens.  The cover asks who will be a part of the Avengers, and it’s not answered in this issue.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Batman #2 – A pretty solid second issue.  There’s a nice mystery here and we still don’t quite know who or what the villain is.  Unfortunately, an interesting character is done away with and part of the comic stretches belief a bit, but an entertaining comic.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

The Bionic Man #3 – Steve Austin is a broken man and an offer is made to him that’ll change his life.  But, the world thinks he’s dead and he wishes he was.  The series isn’t as straight as the original and seems that it will focus a bit on a man whose life is shattered and has to deal with not being the man he once was.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Captain Atom #2 – This second issue gives us a bit of the origin for Captain Atom and we learn a little bit more about his powers.  I like how the issue slows it down a bit having the character taking on a very real opponent instead of some grand villain.  It’s a quieter issue for the series and I think it actually improves upon the first.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

DC Universe Presents #2 – The second issue sees Deadman attempting to figure out what the hell is going on and what his mission is.  Not quite as good as the first issue and I can’t say I was a big fan of the denizens of the club he visits, but I like the overall direction of the comic.  An interesting take on the character and fun to see a non-superhero comic be a part of DC’s new 52.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Fables #110 – The debate as to who will be the next North Wind continues as the other three winds plot about how to handle the situation.  Meanwhile a revolution is brewing in Oz as more and more allies join the team.  The series has a lot going on, and I can’t help but feel what’s going on in Oz isn’t similar to things we’ve seen before.  Still, an excellent series.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Fear Itself #7 – The final issue of the main story would work much better as an animated movie with such action, but it’s the numerous endings that steals any emotional impact at all.  This isn’t really an ending at all, but the beginning of what comes next.  For such an event, it feels hollow in a way as it just leads into an even longer story.  No real conclusion steals any impact that might have been had.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Fear Itself: The Fearless #1 – The first of the series to spin out of Fear Itself picks up right where the event ended with the decision as to what to do with the hammers being made, others would disagree or try to gain them.  Interestingly enough, this first issue is better than the series it spun out of.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Fear Itself: The Homefront #7 – Generally forgettable, the final pages to Speedball’s story is ok, and the last story is actually pretty decent, but overall this miniseries, like so many tied into Fear Itself, wasn’t a must read and added little to the overall storyline.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #6 – That last little bit with Prodigy was awesome, really funny.  The rest of the comic, especially Thor Girl’s bit, what the hell!?  Especially Thor Girl’s part!  I’m just totally confused.

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.25

Green Lantern Corps. #2 – Looks like Guy and his team have bumped up against a bunch of other folks who use willpower.  The story is pretty crazy and entertaining and that ending was really solid.  It seems quite a few of the DC revamp second issues haven’t lived up to the first, but this one remains solid.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Invincible Iron Man #509 – The back story of how the heroes got their weapons from Odin ends here and that part is forgettable.  What’s great is Tony struggling with his drinking and what happens to Pepper.  Not as solid as past issues, but the story works, even if it’s tied into Fear Itself and that’s primarily due to it’s focus on the human aspect of it all.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Journey Into Mystery #629 – The first half of the story I wasn’t the biggest fan of but the end where Loki discusses what he’s done and what the reaction might be is fantastic.  I can’t say I’ve gushed over the series, but I’ve really appreciated it’s style and what it’s doing.  Now that it no longer has to deal with Fear Itself, I’m expecting some big things.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Justice League #2 – The team is still coming together and I can’t say the character portrayals is all that good.  Superman is still a dick and Batman like a dad, but Green Lantern and The Flash have a nice thing going and hints there’s been interaction before.  The story slowly is revealed and it’s ok.  If this is the lynchpin of the new DCU, it still needs some help.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

Nightwing #2 – Nightwing/Dick Grayson seems to be getting back to his roots with the circus in this series.  It’s nice to see him getting pulled back to that and that makes him unique from Batman.  I’m not quite totally sure where the series is going, but so far so good.  I really like Dick being the playboy he should be, there’s something fun about his version of it, like you get a sense he’s having fun versus Bruce’s brooding.  Not great, but an entertaining second issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Superboy #2 – An interesting second issue, what might keep me going with the series is it’s tie in with the Teen Titans.  I really like Superboy’s attitude and what they’re setting the character up as, but the rest is meh.  I feel like I’ve seen it before.  It’s all interesting, and the question of where it’s going may keep me around, but none of it is totally original or stands out.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Supergirl #2 – We learn Kara/Supergirl’s connection to Superman, but not the why she’s now on Earth.  I’m digging the story.  Her reaction seems natural and there’s a slow progression I dig.  This is a series I’ll be sticking with for a bit I think, cause I really like what I’ve read so far.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Superior #7 – Become a super hero at the cost of your soul, that’s all one handicapped kid has to do to become god-like.  This second to last issue is utterly fantastic in the type of series Mark Millar should constantly be writing.  There’s a few holy shit moments and some great personal ones as well.  Beyond top notch.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #3 – Hawkeye and his team assault the two cities.  There’s some cool moments, but this third issue isn’t quite as tight as the first two.  Still, entertaining.

Story: 7.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Men #544 – A pretty solid look back at the X-Men with some great interaction and discussions between various folks.  There’s also a lot of hints as to what’s to come as we see the next villain the X-Men will face.  A bitter sweet end.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Wolverine #17 – Ok, now this is the type of Wolverine story I like.  Before heading back East, there’s still some things Wolverine needs to take care of in Chinatown.  A great mix of humor, action and a touch of heart.  After a few arcs of Wolvie I haven’t enjoyed, it seems we’re getting something I can finally get behind.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Wonder Woman #2 – We’re given a story about Wonder Woman’s origin, but I’m not convinced that’s the whole story.  Overall, a really entertaining second issue that has this series standing out as one of the best of the DC relaunch.  Great art and a solid story.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Factor #226 – The team is back in all of their entertaining form.  Great banter and interaction and some things I wasn’t expecting.  After a few issues that seemed very off in tone the team is back on track it’d seem.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/21/11

It’s the third week of DC’s reboot which I reviewed on Friday.  There’s also some great indie books and Marvel’s Fear Itself continues.  What’s worth it?  Find out below.

A Game of Thrones #1 – The debut of the comic series based on George R.R. Martin’s popular books reads like an adaptation of the television series that spun from the books.  But sanitize the television show a bit.  It’s only the first issue, so it’s hard to tell if that’s just this particular issue, or overall.  I watched the tv series and enjoyed it, but had trouble following the vast cast and propensity to rattle off names, that happens here too.  The comic is decent though, and might help me understand exactly what I watched.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Avengers #17 – The Avengers take on Sin/Red Skull just after Avenger’s Tower fell.  This really is just one small part of the bigger picture and while it adds a little to Fear Itself, it’s a pretty flimsy issue by itself.  It looks like we get to move on from Marvel’s epic event disaster as the team gets shaken up once again.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 – So we get a big more of the reasoning as to why Wanda went nuts, killed a bunch of Avengers and almost the entire Mutant race.  The reason given comes off as a bit of a cop-out and retcon, but it’s enough to move the story forward.  The big point here is the fall out between the X-Men and Avengers and I’m sure what will be the big event for 2012.  My problem with the series is it doesn’t jive with some other series, like Wonder Man who recently attacked the Avengers and you have Doom helping the FF.  Delays in the series I’m sure haven’t helped in that department.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

The Bionic Man #2 – The story picks up a bit as we learn more about the bad guys Steve Austin will be up again and the fallout from his crash starts.  It’s a slow start overall, but the series is top notch so far and it looks like Kevin Smith will do for the Bionic Man what he did for the Green Hornet, bring him into modern times.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Captain America #3 – The plan is a bit convoluted, but really fun.  Cap fights an 18 foot robot version of himself while Sharon Carter takes on Baron Zemo, which seems really out of place.  Not quite as good as the first two issues, but still a lot of fun with amazing art.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8

Daredevil #4 – The vast majority of this fourth issue focuses on Murdock and his new law practice.  It’s a nice and slow pace that show off the human side of the character and gives us a good idea of where he stands with that.  At the end of the issue we get the beginning of the next arc which seems like it could be interesting.  Mark Waid as usual has put together a comic that breathes new life into Daredevil and puts his series dead center as one of Marvel’s top comic books like it should be.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

DMZ #69 – The post war tour of New York continues as we get to see the ramifications of the war and how some of the people are dealing with the peace.  It’s also beginning to sink in for Matty as to what he’s really done and the weight of what he’s experienced starts to rest on his shoulders.  It’s a shame the series is ending but Woods is putting a fantastic end-cap on it all.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Fables #109 – The story in Oz continues and I have no idea where that’s going, but more importantly who will be the next King of the North Winds?  The cubs are put through trials to figure out which should take over the mantel as we learn about a prediction concerning their futures.  It’s interesting to see where the series goes post Mr. Dark and there’s so much right now, it’s impressive it’s all being kept together so smoothly.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #4 – Wow, just so bad, and why did I keep up with it?  Another pointless offshoot of Fear Itself that added nothing to the greater storyline.  Man-Thing was alson in Thunderbolts where he was handled much better.  This, just was a money grab.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

Fear Itself: The Home Front #6 – A mix of serious and silly, only the story featuring Speedball will likely have long term impact.  It’s an ok issue, but forgettable and not really worth it in the end.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #5 – Out of all of the limited series and tie-ins, this one looks like it’ll be the most important and have the longest impact.  Vegas is still shaking as the heroes rush to save survivors.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Generation Hope #11 – A Sentinel is bearing down on Utopia in an issue that doesn’t make much sense unless you’re also reading Schism.  There’s some great internal conflict here and arguments that’s just leading up to what’s coming next.  The series is finally getting it’s own legs and finding it’s voice, and here’s hoping that post Schism it continues with that.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Green Hornet #18 – We get the full scoop on Redhand and his dislike of the Katos.  It’s a simple story but still very entertaining.  The plot overall for this arc is simple, but it introduces a good villain for them all and the action is entertaining.  Some of the art is a little off in the proportions and contortions, but it’s not too distracting.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Heroes for Hire #12 – The series took a nasty detour due to Fear Itself, but it’s back to form as we dive right back into the Hook plotline.  Even taking a break, the series goes right back into form with pure entertainment that acts like a 70s C-grade movie.  Fun, entertaining, a great read.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Invincible Iron Man #508 – Stark continues his issues in Asgard as the battle rages in France.  The art is great as expected, but this isn’t a story, it’s on part of a longer arc.  On it’s own, it’s not much, but is fun as part of the whole.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5

Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine #4 – There’s a few scenes in here that are awesome and that ending is fantastic.  As far as final issues, this one actually ends better than the series as a whole was.  The fourth issue packs a hell of a punch and is filled with awesome moments.  Beyond solid.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 – We learn more about the Turtle’s origins as Raphael meets Casey Jones.  The series has a nice mix between the dark gritty feel of the original series and some of the more modern takes on the property.  It’s perfect for old and new fans alike.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Thunderbolts #163.1 – This point one issue does exactly what it should do, give you a good history of the series and where they’re at right now.  In this case we see enough to get an idea as to why the Thunderbolts was founded and some of what they went through.  The team in the modern time also figures out where the fugitive team is as well.  I’m not the biggest fan of time travel stories but two teams, one of which is fugitive sounds very interesting to me.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #2 – The situation in Thailand is deteriorating and Hawkeye is doing his best to get all of the information.  There’s a new group trying to run things and he needs backup to take care of them and to that I say, “Sheeet, you’re sending the Hulk? That’s all you needed to say.”  I’m still pretty new to the Ultimate universe, but so far, I’m digging it.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Ultimate Comics X-Men #1 – The fourth and final series of Marvel’s relaunch of the Ultimates line focuses on the X-Men whose world comes unraveled in this one issue.  We learn the truth about Mutants and see a world that’s gone beyond just hating them.  If you read the first few pages and immediately don’t get sucked in, there’s something wrong with you.  A hell of a start.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #543 – Out of all of those taking part in Fear Itself, the X universe took the best advantage by now having Colossus taking over as Juggernaut, but also seeing how far Cyclops has come.  The end of this issue is fantastic, because we get a great sense that this is a man who will do everything he needs to, to protect his people, but is fiercely loyal at the same time.  His evolution has really driven where the X line is going and you better believe I’m looking forward to where it’s heading.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Factor #225 – A nice quiet moment starts the issue as we get some reflection on how everyone is reacting to recent events, but then as seems to be the recent norm, something from their past comes back and drags them into a new mystery.  The character interaction is great and there’s so much hinted at here, I’m only expecting great things as we go forward.  X-Factor is one X title more people should be paying attention to.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

X-Men #18 – The latest arc is interesting and the bad guys are a nice change of pace, but there’s something about it that’s just not really clicking with me.  The art is good, but there’s some off panels.  Overall, meh.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

X-Men: Schism #4 – Well this is it.  It’s been brewing for a long time now, but Cyclops and Wolverine have finally come to blows over their philosophy.  It’s a logical progression for the characters, Cyclops being the soldier turned general who had his childhood taken from him and Wolverine who has always acted as the mentor to at least one younger character.  This is it, and it’s fantastic, welcome back to the quality that’s been missing for a while.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 8/24/11

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Just need to finish this week’s books and I’m totally caught up reviewing purchased books, and you get to see those reviews later today.

American Vampire #18 – Pearl and Skinner duke it out as time ticks down until the island goes boom.  There’s some nice action and great art with a very solid ending to this story arc.  Here’s hoping the next one is just as solid.  Snyder has been continuously improving as the series has gone one.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Astonishing X-Men #41 – The story switches back to Mentallo.  The ending is ok, but overall, I can’t say I cared about the story or it’s conclusion.  The art was also a bit inconsistent at times.  The arc was forgettable to me, but it was nice to see Roxxon play a bigger role.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

The Bionic Man #1 – Kevin Smith blows the dust off another classic series and gives it a bit of a modern spin.  All the basics are there and this issue is full of set up for what we know is coming.  It’s more than enough to get me to come back for a second issue and here’s hoping he does for this as to what he did for The Green Hornet.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #3 – What a cop out crap ending.  Absolutely nothing is resolved and the ending just feels so convoluted and a waste.  I’m absolutely baffled as to the point of this three issue limited series other than bringing Constantine into the DC universe.  There’s so much wrong with this last issue, I don’t even know where to begin.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.75

Captain America & Bucky #621 – The early adventures of Captain America and Bucky don’t feel wedged in like they should and the focus on the beginning of their partnership, void of over the top villains, is a great change of pace from the bigger stories that have been occurring lately in their other and past series.  It’s a nice “retro” comic whose focus is on character.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Chew #20 – The series continue it’s mystery as to what the strange writing in the sky is.  I really have no idea what to expect, but the humor is great as usual, I love the art and I always walk away being entertained with a smile on my face.  This is consistently one of the best comics out there.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Daken: Dark Wolverine #13 – The idea that Daken is “The Claw Killer” is thrown into question in this issue and now I don’t know the answer myself.  The series continues to show it deserves a lot more respect than it gets and has improved throughout it’s run.  A solid comic that keeps you on your toes.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #4 – Gravity and Hardball fight it out over Hardball’s actions in the last issue, while everyone else reacts to it, but none really do anything.  There’s some things I really like, but the fact so many stand around and just talk about their fighting, as opposed to reacting to it, the overall issue is a bit silly.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

FF #8 – Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?  It’s pretty damn unclear at this point, cause it’s pretty obvious there’s a lot more going on than we’re aware of and the story we’re being given isn’t all of it.  Jonathan Hickman continues his guiding of Marvel’s first family and while single issues might falter here or there, the overall vision is solid.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #3 – Am I supposed to have mixed feelings about the Hal Jordan of this world?  In one way he’s a hero, but in other ways he’s a complete coward and shit head.  Not the best of endings, but it’s a piece in the bigger puzzle of the story.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #3 – I liked the final chapter more than the first two and wish the first two had Kid Flash doing more of what he’s doing here.  There’s also a nice homage to the White Lanterns.  Another piece of the Flashpoint puzzle that’s kind of cool and feels like an end chapter to the convoluted story that is The Flash.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #3 – Released a week later than it should have been, this issue has a key part of the Flashpoint storyline and it makes it a good one to read for that.  Overall though, it’s not so much a story as a series of events that all tie into Flashpoint and it can’t really be enjoyed without that.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Flashpoint: Project Superman #3 – I’m a bit mixed on this one.  There’s a lot more potential in this than three issues and a Superman created out of torture and grief instead of love and ideals is an interesting idea.  Too bad the story was so short and often not as focused as it should of been.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13 – Guy Gardner and Batman team up to solve a murder.  I can’t say this was the best way to end the series.  A lot to be desired, but at least it’s a self-contained story.  It’s just one that didn’t need to be told.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Incorruptible #21 – Max Damage is building something, no one knows what and someone has shown up from Plutonian’s past that’s scaring the crap out of all of the loose villains.  It’s an interesting story that’s starting to focus more on Damage atoning for everything he’s done and out of everyone, he’s stuck to the straight and narrow.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Kick-Ass 2 #3 – Long delays have taken the shine off of this series.  The super villains make their move though, and there’s the over the top violence you’d expect.  This feels like Tarantino doing a super hero movie, except the violence is just for violence sake.  Not quite sure what I think, but it just doesn’t feel as much fun or interesting as it used to.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

Mystery Men #4 – There was a fun pulp feel to the comic, but it just feels really slow paced now and a bit boring.  The story is ok, but I can’t say I’m blown away by it at this point.  It’s not what I was hoping for, but it’s not really bad in any way.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

New Mutants #30 – Yawn.  Another Fear Itself tie-in that derails the progress a series was making.  The team is in Hell while Dani is trying to help Hela in Hel.  And even with all of that, it’s still boring.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

The Punisher #2 – Greg Rucka mixes a noir crime drama with a traditional super hero comic which is pretty cool.  The focus of the comic is more on two detectives figuring out a wedding massacre, instead of the Punisher dispensing justice, and it works really well.  A great comic that welcomes back a much missed character.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 – It’s great to see the Turtles back in action, and the comic has a great feel towards the grittier version of the comics.  There’s some nice digs at the slapstick version of them, but it looks like the series is the welcome return I’ve been waiting for.  There’s enough there that makes the comic feel like it’s classic version, but also a lot hinted at that gives me a reason to come back for more.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

The Ultimates #1 – Are the past volumes like this?  The first issue of this relaunch packs a punch right from the start as global crisis light up and Nick Fury and his team must respond.  It’s enough to get me to come back for more.  One hell of a start.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #13 – The team scrambles to save Warren and lots of sacrificing happens.  It’s all action this issue that doesn’t really stand out by itself, but it’s a solid addition to the great story that’s being told.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Wolverine #14 – While the lead up hasn’t impressed me at all, that ending was one hell of a twist I didn’t even think about.  This story arc and the one that preceded it haven’t impressed me at all, but this issue finally puts the pieces together and lifts up what’s come before a bit.  It’s not the best Wolverine, but, in the end it packed a punch.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

X-Men #16 – The FF and the X-Men have to team up to save a friend.  The story is ok so far, but the interaction between everyone is great.  Some pretty good stuff so far, but not great.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

X-Men Legacy #254 – The team is trying to figure out what the hell is going on as they attempt to rescue Havok, Rachel and Polaris.  The story is ok and there’s a nice build up of mystery and also a tie-in to a past story arc.  Overall decent, but not quite the exciting return I was hoping for with these characters.  But thankfully they’re back.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 7/6/11

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It’s a new week of books dominated by even tie-ins.  Is it the status quo, with one clearly outshining the other?  Find out what’s worth it and what you should skip below!

Chew #19 – The series by John Layman and Rob Guillory continues to be one of the most original and entertaining comics on the market.  Consistently fun, always keeping you on the edge, never knowing what to expect, the series is fantastic in every way imaginable.  It should be on everyone’s pull list.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Fear Itself #4 – It’s taken four issues, but the story has finally kicked up and started to be coherent.  If only it started out this way.  The art doesn’t blow me away, but the site of Steve Rogers as Captain America was too long in the making.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1 – There’s some slight art issues, but overall the story is great with a good angle of a group of Purifier offshoots reacting to the end of the world.  Hopefully the limited series keeps it’s focus and doesn’t get too distracted.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Fear Itself: Wolverine #1 – The story is ok, the art not bad, but it seems a bit silly that there’s this mini-series as well as the Uncanny X-Force one.  Wolverine I’m sure will also play a big role in the main series, so along with Deadpool, as usual we get overkill and over use of a character.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #3 – This issue sees one of the deaths Marvel hyped.  It’s an ok series but doesn’t add a whole lot to the overall story which is what you hope the tie-ins would do.

Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7

Flashpoint #3 – If Flashpoint is any indication DcNu is going to give Marvel a run for their money.  The story continues to be solid and entertaining with great moments peppered throughout.  We finally get to see what happened to Superman and Grifter is officially folded into the DC universe.

Story: 8.75 Art: 9 Overall: 8.75

Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #2 – Well that was a pretty shocking and unexpected twist.  A lot of questions are raised though, and hopefully we get some answers.  I also notice the comic is tied into the movie a bit more as far as the look, will we see the other series do the same?

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.55

Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2 – Wow, just wow.  Brian Azzarello shows off how much of a solid writer he is.  So damn good.  Do everything you can to avoid finding out about this issue’s twist.  It’s a great one.

Story: 9.25 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #2 – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first issue and the second also just doesn’t do it for me.  The weakest of the series for this event.  Part of the issue is I’m very unfamiliar with the character at the center of it, so really don’t understand what’s going on at times.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #2 – One of the weaker of the Flashpoint tie-ins.  The story is ok and you get a smattering of the world this event is set in, but again, I don’t think it adds a lot to the main series.  Maybe that changes in the next issue, but so far, meh.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Heroes for Hire #9 – Fear Itself seems to be taking what were once solid comics, distracting them from their decent stories and forcing them to participate in sub-par stories that add little to the overall Fear Itself plot line.  This issue for a great series is exactly that.  Everything is off, especially the art.  A definite skip.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Irredeemable #27 – For issues now we’ve seen Plutonian attempting to escape the insane asylum he was sent while a few also tried to rescue him.  We thought he was reformed but at this point I have no idea what to expect.  Mark Waid continues to keep the readers on their toes with a series that pushes the hero/villain relaitonship/roles.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Moon Knight #3 – The cover alone makes the comic worth purchasing, but there’s a fantastic story in there too as the series continues to shake out and we’re introduced to the main characters who will play some roles.  Just beyond solid and such a great series so far.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Red Skull: Incarnate #1 – An attempt to copy the magic of Magneto: Testament and show the flip side of the coin.  The series “historical” roots really just sits in text talking about the cost of items at the store.  The series first issue doesn’t have the emotional depth as Magneto’s tale and instead just comes off as pornographic violence.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Secret Six #35 – The series had taken a turn with distractions such as a trip to Hell, but Bane is a focused man again and is on a mission and he needs the rest of the team to help.  It’s good to see villains acting the sort again and the series to return to it’s proper form.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Supreme Power #2 – The first issue was great as it was Marvel’s look at what super powered beings would really do in a modern world.  The second issue picks up on that but delves a bit further into the previous volumes which I haven’t read.  This makes it a bit more difficult to appreciate and understand.  It’s good, but just not as accessible as it should be.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Thunderbolts #160 – A Fear Itself tie-in that again drags down the series.  The issue is they take on the Juggernaut in Chicago.  But, in another series we see him in Vegas, which means they obviously failed in their mission.  Well, if Wolverine can be in like six tie-ins, then I guess so can the Juggernaut.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Uncanny X-Men #540 – And again it’s the Juggernaut taking center stage as the villain.  In one week of comics he’s gone from Chicago to Las Vegas and now San Francisco.  That’s a lot of mileage covered and more appearances than Wolverine and Deadpool.  Congrats Juggernaut, you now have the title of most overused character of the week.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Vengeance #1 – I really don’t get it.

Story: 6 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.25

X-Men #14 – It’s funny when a retcon works and when it doesn’t at the same time.  Some secret history is being wedged into continuity and it sort of works.  It’ll be the end before we know how well, but overall, it’s somewhat entertaining.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

X-23 #12 – The issue continues the whole “trigger scent” plot and the individual issue is ok, but I think the overall arc will be a lot better than any of the individual issues.  The art though is fantastic with just a wonderful anime feel to it.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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It’s Friday, yay!  The news concerning SDCC is flooding in and we’ll have some surprises for our first trip out there.  How are you spending this weekend that sees no comic book movie releases?

Con Coverage:

Fantagraphics Books – Comic-Con 2011 Thursday panels

Geekweek – Legendary Pictures To Announce MASS EFFECT Film At Comic-Con

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut – You Might Be A Monster: And Other Stories I Made Up

Nerd Reactor – Wednesday and Thursday Comic-Con Schedules are now up!

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Jonathan Ross’s Five Mini-Comics

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut – Liam Sharp’s Dead Apes In The Snow

MTV Geek – Z-Man Games Set to Debut The Walking Dead at SDCC

Bleeding Cool – Win Lunch With Tanya Tate At San Diego Comic Con

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Adventure Comics #528

IGN – Astonishing Thor #5

IGN – Batman and Robin #25

IGN – Batman Beyond #7

IGN – DC Universe Online: Legends #11

IGN – Elric: The Balance Lost #1

IGN – Fear Itself #4

IGN –Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Wolverine #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #3

IGN – Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Secret Seven #2

IGN – Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #2

IGN – House of Mystery #39

IGN – Hulk #36

IGN – iZombie #15

IGN – Jonah Hex #69

IGN – Moon Knight #3

IGN – Mysterious Ways #1

IGN – Red Skull: Incarnate #1

IGN – Secret Six #35

IGN – Shinku #2

IGN – Supreme Power #2

IGN – Sweet Tooth #23

IGN – Uncanny X-Men #540

IGN – Vengeance #1

IGN – Wolverine & Black Cat: Claws Vol. 2 #1

IGN – X-Men #14

IGN – X-23 #1

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 7/6/11

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 6/15/11 Part 1

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It’s a thick stack of books this week dominated by event tie-ins.  What’s worth your hard earned dollars and what should be recycled?  Find out below.  This is the first part with the second running tomorrow.

Alpha Flight #1 – Much like the #0.1 issue, this first one shows a lot of promise, but doesn’t quite blow me away like a first issue should.  I definitely ended the book with a “what the hell?” and want to see what comes next, but this definitely isn’t a comic I’d enthusiastically recommend.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Avengers #14 – A Fear Itself tie-in continues the interview story telling technique as the Avengers tell their take on Ben Grimm’s transformation and the Red Hulk’s role on the team.  It’s a decent story if a bit brief in substance.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Avengers Academy #15 – A Fear Itself tie-in as the students head to war but are they too young, too inexperienced?  The teachers have to split from the students to take on other threats in a decent tie-in to Marvel’s summer event.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Cinderella: Fables are Forever #5 – Ok, so that was a twist ending that was a bit much, even for a series based off of our favorite fairy tales.  Something was just off with that part, but it’s definitely entertaining to think about.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Daken: Dark Wolverine #10 – Daken heads to LA to take over another city and this first part of a new arc is a bit choppy in the story telling, but as usual holds a lot of promise for a character that doesn’t get the respect he deserves.  It’ll all come down to see how this unfolds, but so far so good.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Fear Itself: The Home Front #3 – Four more short stories about the goings on with Fear Itself.  The main one is Speedball’s experience during the event with the second main story about the Agents of Atlas.  The one pages about a woman’s move to Paris is the best of the bunch with the story about Cardiac coming in a close second.  Out of all of the tie-ins for the event.  This one is consistently one of the best.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #2 – The C list characters are put to the test but really the point on this limited series is to see what happens to Thor Girl with her Asgardian connections.  The story is one of the better series having to do with Fear Itself, but still not as good as events past.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1 – As seems to be the case with the Flashpoint tie-ins, quality is the name of the game.  For DC’s summer and world changing event, the art and story has been kicked up a notch and for the first time ever, got me excited about the DC world.  This one has a bit of a twist combining numerous characters we will recognize and I don’t want to give away too much as this first issue is very fun.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1 – After conquering Africa was is a leader to do.  Conquest is about recognition and accomplishment, it’s a challenge and when Grodd has finished his main quest he gets rather, well, bored.  What’s a leader to do.  This one shot focuses on the would be ruler of the world, and his slice of the world of Flashpoint.  Quite good.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1 – Another Flashpoint tie-in and another quality mini-series.  This issue focuses on the villains of the world and a prison they are housed in.  It’s pretty damn cool, and it’ll be interesting to see how this all comes together with the main story.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1 – What caused the rift between Wonder Woman and Aquaman?  This first issue has all of the answers and it’s much more Shakespearean than imagined.  A fantastic first issue that’s right up there as one of the best.

Story: 9.25 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

Generation Hope #8 – A pretty decent issue for a series I’ve generally been down on.  The X-Men go to court to keep Teon and we learn more about  his powers and not all is what it seems.  It’s a really good issue for the series, now, if only they can keep the quality up.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes #2 – A slice of the “Cobra Civil War” storyline, Snake Eyes and a few Joes are on a mission to find a mysterious member of Cobra.  The story and all three G.I. Joe comics have been fantastic.  I can’t wait to see where it all goes.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Graveyard of Empires #1 – What starts off as one hell of a war comic turns into something totally different by the end and now I have no idea what to expect with the second issue.  All I can say is wow.  This is a comic that just knocks you on your ass in so many ways.

Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.75

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It’s the end of the week, yay!  How many are going to go see Green Lantern this weekend?

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – DC Comics Ad At End Of Green Lantern Movie Has Malformed Web AddressFail DC, fail.

The Mary Sue – The Wolverine Has A DirectorI can see this being a good fit.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Avengers Academy #15

IGN – Batman #711

IGN – Captain America Corps #1

IGN – DC Universe Online: Legends #10


IGN – Fear Itself: The Home Front #3

IGN – Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1

IGN – Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1

IGN – Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1

IGN – Graveyard of Empires #1

IGN – Invincible Iron Man #505

IGN – Supergirl #65

IGN – X-Men #13

IGN – X-Men: Prelude to Schism #3

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 6/15/11

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 5/11/11

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It’s a relatively thick stack of books this week.  There’s some big releases including Flashpoint and Mega Man.  Were they worthy the wait?  Find out in the reviews below!

Monthly Comics

Astonishing X-Men #37The team continues to fight monsters in Japan as Armor must decide if she wants to stand with her family or the X-Men.  Meanwhile, Mentallo attempts to toy with Roxxon.  It’s interesting to see Roxxon involved, but I can’t say this “X” series is really needed.  It’s ok, but nothing special.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #518 – The first story arc comes to a close as the Panther confronts Vlad with the usual fight  The overall arc is pretty solid, but definitely slid a bit in quality over the issues.  It’s still an entertaining read.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Chew #27 – The series jumps ahead a few issues to focus on Agent Chu’s sister Toni.  As usual, the series packs the entertainment and laughs.  This series is consistently one of the best on the market.  This should absolutely be on everyone’s pull list.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Cinderella: Fables are Forever #4 – Cinderella continues her pursuit of Dorothy Gale as she goes over their encounters over the years.  The series is at the point it’s dragging just a bit, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Daken: Dark Wolverine #9 – The Daken/X-23 crossover comes to an end as we see the potential of what the series could have been.  Between the two a great discussion about potential and limits, it would have been great to see this sort of discussion throughout the mini-event.  I keep saying this series has potential, and here we get a glimpse of it.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Daredevil: Reborn #4 – Daredevil needed to go through something to get back to basics and this series was an attempt to do it.  The first issue was solid and the next three just slipped from there in quality.  By the end, it was ok, but really not enough to get Daredevil back to where he should be or to wipe out the past year.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1 – While the heavy hitters take on the hammers that have fallen the “B” and “C” listers are gathered to take care of the domestic issues.  There’s some good moments, like discussion of past events, but there’s not enough of them to make this not a disappointment like the main series.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

FF #3 – One Reed Richards is trouble enough, but what will multiple Reeds do on Earth?  Hickman continues his epic weave of a tail.  Villains are brought together to take on the Reeds.  It’s an interesting concept, and I definitely want to see where he goes with it.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

The Flash #12This has all been a build up to Flashpoint, and that series will determine if it was worth it.  This final issue didn’t quite hype it enough to get me excited.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5

Flashpoint #1 – DC and The Flash has been building up to this for months and it pays off quite well.  This is definitely DC’s version of the Age of Apocalypse.  However, we’ve seen lately first issues that are amazing and the follow up that quickly derails.  I have my fingers crossed and hopes up.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

G.I. Joe #1 – I haven’t picked up a G.I. Joe comic in a while and it looks like I’ve been missing something solid.  Cobra Commander is dead and the race is on for his replacement.  It’s the first entry in the Cobra Civil War storyline and its’ solid enough I need to go back and see what I’ve been missing.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Jennifer Blood #3 – We get a better idea as to what this vendetta is all about as Jennifer must balance a domestic life with her after hour activities.  There’s something so subversive about this series that makes it fun.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Journey Into Mystery #623 – The series is a mystery so far, fitting for it’s name.  Loki continues to unravel exactly what Odin is up to and decides to act.  But, since it’s Loki, the readers are left to wonder if what he plans on doing is actually for the better.  The series is interesting so far and out of all of the Fear Itself tie-ins, it’s the best of the bunch.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Mega Man #1 – I’ve been waiting for this first issue and it’s everything I’d hoped for.  This is the original video game series in comic book form.  The memories rushed back and I can’t wait to pick up the second issue.  So much fun for all ages.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

The New Avengers #12 – Two stories weave through this issue.  One is solid and the other has a lot left to be desired.  In the modern day Bobbi hangs on after being shot and Clint Barton is pissed.  As H.A.M.M.E.R. begins to reorganize, we get a taste of more than we’ve been let on.  In the past Fury and his team go after the Red Skull in the story that’s missing bits to make it totally coherent and some art that’s not quite up to snuff.  Why the past stuff, I just don’t know yet, but it definitely dropped the quality of the issue.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

New Mutants #25 – When a series must claim “new direction” that’s a sign the past wasn’t so solid.  The issue seems like a scolding and apology for what’s come before.  A lead up to this I wasn’t too keen on.  This new direction doesn’t seem that bold either.  Instead we get an “X-Men” junior team picking up the scraps.  Sadly, it has so much more potential that’s hopefully seen under this creative team.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

the Unwritten #25 – Tom Taylor is back after his journey through books.  The source of all of the magic is somewhat revealed and there’s a heist.  The issue isn’t quite as good as the recent ones, but it’s much more straightforward.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

X-Men #11 – And this is what’s known as filler.  A flashback story of Xavier meeting a vampire.  The story isn’t particularly good and the art takes a dip.  I doubt it’ll have any long term impact or significance.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

X-Men: Legacy #248 – It’s post Age of X and the residents of Utopia are dealing with the ramifications.  It’s an interesting way to set up a whole lot of new plot possibilities and there’s some foreshadowing here that looks like it’ll lead to the return of some space faring mutants we haven’t seen in a while.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall:8

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New comics came out on Wednesday and the reviews are trickling in from around the net.  Find out what you should be getting when you head to the shop and all the other news you might have missed.  Priest also comes out today, who’s going?

Around the Blogs:

The Beat – Wonder Woman update: Pilot probably won’t fly after allNot sure how I feel about this.

Kotaku – Week In Comics As I’d guess the video game website focuses on Mega Man #1.

Bleeding Cool – Rob Granito Story Gets The Most Bizarre Twist PossibleI won’t be running the interview and hope other sites won’t be promoting this guy either.

The Comics Chronicles – April 2011 comics sales slip slightly, but noncomic categories surgeA great wrap up of comic sales in April.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – Tom Neely & Dylan Williams Speak Out On Their Customs Seizure ExperienceI’m now less likely to cross the border to go to cons up north, way to go customs!

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – The Amazing Spider-Man #660

IGN – Astonishing X-Men #37

IGN – Batgirl #21

IGN – Batman: Arkham City #1

IGN – Batman, Incorporated #6

Good Comic Books – Batman Inc #6

IGN – Chew #27

Comic Book Resources – Chew #27

IGN – Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #4

IGN – Daredevil: Reborn #4

IGN – Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1

IGN – FF #3

Saffron Waldon Reporter – Fighting American

IGN – The Flash #12

Comic Book Resources – Flashpoint #1

IGN – G.I. Joe Vol. 2 #1

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #628

IGN – inFamous #5

IGN – Journey Into Mystery #623

IGN – Mega Man #1

IGN – Netherworld #1

IGN – The New Avengers #12

IGN – New Mutants #25

IGN – Northlanders #40

IGN – PunisherMAX #13

ICv2 – Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics’ TP

IGN – Superman #711

IGN – The Unwritten #25

IGN – X-Men #11

IGN – X-Men Legacy #248

Comicvine – Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 5/11/11

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 5/11/11

Comic Book Resources – The Buy Pile

Fear Itself Rallies Marvel’s Youth In Revolt

Official Press Release


Fear Itself has a stranglehold on the Marvel Universe and this May, Eisner Award-winning writer Sean McKeever and fan favorite artist Mike Norton, take the next generation of Marvel heroes’ fight for freedom outside the chain of command in Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt #1 (of 6)! In the wake of the Civil War, the Initiative would have been there to marshal the heroes of tomorrow against any force of evil, no matter how great. But for the heroes-in-training who managed to survive Norman Osborn’s corrupt regime, there’s only one honorable response to yet another call for mandatory service – run!

“With YOUTH IN REVOLT, we’re taking a look at how a palpable sense of fear and despair can affect the younger generation of heroes,” said McKeever to Marvel.com. “In the first issue, they’re deputized by the federal government in anticipation of terrible things to come, but what then? When they’re rushed into action without any strategy, who suffers? When things get out of hand, who will step up and who will crumble? And how well can they stand up to their own fears?”

Unregistered and untested, the former Initiative trainees will learn fast that even super-heroes have to cope with the horrors of war and the cost may be higher than they ever imagined! Can this team of youngsters push back the forces of Fear Itself and make it out on one piece? Find out in Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt #1 (of 6)!


Written by SEAN McKEEVER

Pencils by MIKE NORTON


Rated T+ … $2.99


Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt #1 Cover