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Pick of the Week – Aquaman #4

It says a lot that a character who at one point was a punchline is now one of the best comics DC is putting out.  This year’s relaunch was an attempt to invigorate a sagging line of comics, and it’s seen mixed results.  I will say Aquaman is one of the characters and series that’s benefited the most out of it all.  With amazing art, story and writing that keeps me interested, it’s a comic that I look forward to reading each month.

  • Aquaman #4 – see above
  • I, Vampire #4 – Vampires in the DC universe?  The mood and tone wouldn’t of fit a year ago, but Joshua Hale Fialkov has put together one of the most fascinating comics to come out of the new 52.
  • DMZ #72 – Brian Wood has put together one of the most politically relevant comics of the last decade.
  • The Cape #3 – The comic is full of holy shit moments.
  • Avengers: Children’s Crusade #8 – Reading the first issue you know it was leading to the Avengers and X-Men squaring off.  This limited series that’s been plagued by lateness will lead up directly into the next big Marvel event.

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 11/23/11

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

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 9.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.75

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

Story: 10 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story:8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Pick of the Week – Wolverine & the X-Men #2

I was a bit skeptical of the series when it was announced, but went into the first issue hoping for the best.  What I read was an entertaining, hilarious and kinetic series that had me sucked in.  There’s something so entertaining about that first issue that I can wait to see what’s coming next.  The “X” line of comics needed a shake up and this series is one of the best things to come out of it so far.  I can’t wait to read Wolverine & the X-Men #2 this week and that’s why it’s an easy pick.

  • Wolverine & the X-Men #2 – see above
  • DMZ #71 – Brian Wood is wrapping up this brilliant series that has some of the best political commentary out there in any medium.
  • I, Vampire #3 – Joshua Hale Fialkov has taken the vampire series and made it somehow fit into the DC universe.  It’s got an interesting take and I can’t wait to see where he takes it.
  • Aquaman #3 – Before issue one, I hated Aquaman.  After issue one, I was a fan.  This is one of the best super hero comics out there, solid writing and solid art.
  • 27: Second Set #3 – I’ve read Charles Soule’s third issue and reviewed it.  If you love music (and even if you don’t) this is an absolute read.

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 10/26/11

Some debuts and a lot of second issues for DC.  What’s worth it and what should be skipped?  Find out below!

All Star Western #2 – Two western stories in this issue.  The first continues Jonah Hex’ and Dr. Arkham’s investigation into the murder of prostitutes in Gotham.  We learn the “who” as far as the bad guys, but not really the “why.”  There’s some hints to it, but it’s not really laid out in this issue.  The second story is a zombie western that’s entertaining in a throwback sort of way.  Hex’s story is great, the second story is just so-so.  Overall though the comic is still a welcome addition to the DC line up.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Annihilators: Earthfall #2 – Hmm, I fear the cosmic side of the Marvel universe is starting to gas.  The Annihilators take on the Avengers in one of those misunderstanding fights.  The Church is also up to something, hatching someone… The story is pretty typical and has been tread before (two teams fight before teaming up) and the art is really off and inconsistent.  Rocket Racoon and Groot’s story is entertaining though, but that too just seems off.  Overall, I’m left pretty bummed.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Aquaman #2 – Going into the reboot, this series was one I’ve been more skeptical of.  I can’t say I’ve been too fond of Aquaman as a character and have never enjoyed his solo series.  Well, times have changed.  With this second issue, the series is becoming one of the top tier DC reboot series, standing above others in it’s quality of writing and art.  Just beyond solid and an absolute must read.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Astonishing X-Men #43 – Emma and Danger team up to free a computer program that’s detected.  I yawn.  The story isn’t “astonishing” and actually quite boring.  Hopefully the series gets it’s footing and figures out it’s place in the “X” world, cause right now it’s stumbling.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

Avengers Academy #20 – It’s post Fear Itself and the group has to decide what to do.  Instructors and students leave and the ending opens up for the series’ new direction.  It has to be better than what’s come before.  The series needs a shake up, hopefully it gets better than what it’s been.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Batman: The Dark Knight #2 – Someone is giving Gotham’s freaks a drug that gets them all roided up and Batman is on the case.  Lots of fighting ensues, but again the art is what stands out for the series, clearly much better than the story itself.  Also, the Joker pops up in the end, which is a bit odd considering his fate in other series… not sure how that works, but whatever.

Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.25

Captain America & Bucky #623 – An important asset has been captured by the Nazi’s and Bucky and Toro head to free him without orders.  During the mission they discover the horrors that the Nazi’s have been committing.  Unfortunately a bad fate awaits Bucky before he could see their liberation.  It looks like we’ll be getting a glimpse of Bucky’s Winter Soldier years next.  The comic’s been entertaining so far, here’s hoping the next arc is just as solid.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Daken: Dark Wolverine #16 – I’ve enjoyed the series overall, but this latest story that saw Daken being addicted to a drug is mixed.  I like the idea of the addiction and how it’s messed with his healing factor.  That opens up a lot of future stories if they stick with it.  But, the person behind it all seems silly and it doesn’t totally make sense with the lack of a lot of set up.  The motivation is missing even with the attempts at an explanation peppered throughout.  A mixed bag overall.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Daredevil #6 – The mystery over the firing of a blind man begins to unravel and it’s a big international conspiracy.  A certainly interesting story in how it’s being presented.  Mark Waid is giving us a top Daredevil series that’s a mix of pop and noir and all kinds of fantastic.  One of the best Marvel comics on the stand, beyond solid and an absolute buy.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

DMZ #70 – As the series winds down we’re given glimpses of the New York City that is and what might be.  A city, a nation, wracked by war and destroyed in spirit and mind.  Through seventy issues Matty Roth has explored this world as a reporter and as an agent for change.  For seventy issues we were drawn into this world that reflected events from our own.  In this issue we’re asked “how.”  How, for seventy issues, Zee has been able to keep herself together while Matty spiraled out of control like the city.  One went with the flow of events, the other tried to change events.  For seventy issues Matty has been part of the story, he’s been the story and for his role in this world, for his acts it looks like he’ll finally answer to someone.  Brian Wood is wrapping up this epic look at war, peace, journalism, corporatism and activism.  And it looks like it’ll end with a hell of a message.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

FF #11 – Attilan, the Inumans, Kree and Annihilus, how is this being contained in just the Fantastic Four!?  This story seems ripe for a massive classic crossover event.  Writer Jonathan Hickman is bringing together threads he set out a long time ago and it’s beginning to really pay off.  This issue was full of “holy shit” moments.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

The Flash #2 – While Barry might run like the fastest man on the planet his mind isn’t catching up to his legs.  In this issue he works on that with some really entertaining results.  There’s a lot of moments that made me feel like a kid while reading the comic and staring at the amazing art.  This is a series that’s speeding it’s way to the top of the pile of DC’s 52 revamp.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern: New Guardians #2 – Kyle is still trying to figure out why so many rings are being attracted to him.  The other corps. members aren’t too happy about it, leading to the predictable drag out fight.  The issue’s ending is what’s worthwhile for the issue, both Kyle’s interaction with the Guardians and what happens to him (as predictable as it is).  The issue is interesting so far.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

I, Vampire #2 – Joshua Hale Fialkov has put together one of the best series of DC’s new 52.  Instead of a straight forward vampire tale, they’re portrayed as freedom fighters, attempting their liberation.  An interesting take that resonates with modern times much more.  A beyond excellent second issue that puts the series up there as one of the best of DC’s relaunch, but also one of the best comics out there.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Journey Into Mystery #630 – Volstagg returns home to recount the story of Fear Itself to his children.  It’s actually a very cute issue that’s a great read and very entertaining.  There’s something sweet and innocent about it.  We’ll see where the series goes from here.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Justice League Dark #2 – What. The. Fuck.  I have no idea what the hell was going on.  And how is Deadman having discussions with Dove when he’s out and about in his series.  I’m so confused…

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Legion: Secret Origin #1 – I wasn’t a fan of the relaunch Legion titles and can’t say this one interests me either.  Just not my cup of tea.  There’s too many characters and not enough focus to explain it all to new readers.  But at least I got a cool ring out of purchasing it.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

The Mighty Thor #7 – After all of these months, we’re finally shown the origin of the Serpent and his war with Odin.  After all of the build up, it’s not very good.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

New Mutants #32 – Hrm, I still think the story could of ended an issue or two ago.  A casualty of being tied into Fear Itself.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Secret Avengers #18 – Another self-contained issue written by Warren Ellis.  This one sees the Shadow Council trying to gather a weapon.  It’s entertaining and there’s a lot going for it, but I just don’t see the overall direction of the series or it’s point.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Spaceman #1 – A very odd new limited series from Brian Azzarello.  I have no idea what to make of it, but it’s $1, so you have no excuse not to give it a shot.

Story: 6.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.5

Stitched #1 – Another messed up horror tale set in the Afghanistan war zone.  I have no idea what the hell is going on other than over the top violence.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Teen Titans #2 – Red Robin continues to gather his team as N.O.W.H.E.R.E. makes it’s move.  It’s clear one of the next big events will center around what’s going on this series.  I also like how Superboy plays into it as well.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 – We get more of the Turtle’s origins as they look for their missing brother Raphael.  I really dig the series, especially Casey Jones.  It feels like the old school gritty comics I loved and not the campy version they turned into later.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Ultimate Comics the Ultimates #3 – S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to engage the enemy straight on and all hell breaks loose.  Not the best issue, but this is the first action sequence of an epic story.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

Venom #8 – What!?  How did that fit in her!?  Another tie-in that’s such shoddier than the normal series.  I loved the letter from Flash’s dad though.  What could have had some amazing emotional impact is lost in a jumbled mess of a tie-in.

Story: 6 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6

Voodoo #2 – Writer Ron Marz asked people to look past the strip club setting of the first issue and I’m glad I did.  This second issue is more spy/on the run action than anything with the government after Voodoo who is on some sort of mission for her alien people.  Lots of action and some tight writing.  A great second issue.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

The Walking Dead #90 – The series’ power is it’s focus on human nature.  This issue shows that all as things somewhat settle down but human nature takes over as people react and plot.  Robert Kirkman is leading the series on it’s way to it’s 100th issue and it hasn’t slowed down in any way.  Beyond fantastic because the zombies aren’t the star of the comic, it’s the people doing everything they can to survive.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Wolverine & The X-Men #1 – A first issue that’s so beyond entertaining.  I laughed, had a bit of nostalgia and can’t wait for the second issue.  I love Toad being Milton and their attempting to get accredited.  Just so many fantastic moments in this kinetic and frenetic first issue.  Welcome back to form.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Around the Tubes

Another day that’s pretty quiet when it comes to news.  More importantly, a new episode of GP Radio is tonight at 8pm.  Make sure to tune in and join the conversation!  While you wait for the show, here’s some news.

Around the Blogs:

CBR – Marvel Promotes Jayatilleke To SVP Associate PublisherCongrats.

Slate – Once Upon a Grimm Fable – I’m shocked there hasn’t been more about this or even lawsuits.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – I, Vampire #2

Pick of the Week – I, Vampire #2

Joshua Hale Fialkov was tasked with one of the more difficult tasks in the DCnU, take vampires and integrate them in a non-silly way to the DC universe.  A task made more difficult as out of the big two, DC is not the one I’d associate with vampires.  But, what Fialkov brilliantly did in the first issue of I, Vampire was give us a series that stands on it’s own two legs.  Vampires are just the dark mirror image to the titans that fly around in the DC world.  Their the step children who wonder why they haven’t inherited the Earth.  While his series will eventually weave into the main DCU, and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s dark tone fits, Fialkov has shown in one issue he knows what he’s doing.  I, Vampire was one of the highlights of it’s week’s release and one of the top books on all the 52 DC released.

  • I, Vampire #2 – See above
  • 27: Second Set #2 – It’s easy to promote the series due to how nice writer Charles Soule is, but in reality the series would stand on it’s own no matter.  It’s that damn good and original.  The first issue dialed back the mystical elements and focused on a star starting from scratch.  The human touch made it stand out as a second volume I could easily get behind.
  • Voodoo #2 – The first issue was caught up in the DC brouhaha, but I really enjoyed the series as it had a spy feel to it and I’m still unsure who the hero really is.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men #1 – Wolverine takes his crew and heads East to start a new academy to teach the future generations of mutants.  This is the first major launch in the “X” regenesis, here’s crossing my fingers it was worth it.
  • The Walking Dead #90 – Do I really need to say why this is a definite bet as a top read for the week?

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/28/11 DCnU Week 4

It’s the final week of DC releases.  Out of the final batch, what’s worth it?  What won’t I be picking up a second issue?  Find out below.

All-Star Western #1 – Wow, a very impressive start.  Personally, I’m iffy on westerns. I either really enjoy them or downright hate them.  Jonah Hex is a character I’ve had little interaction with.  I saw the movie (horrible), read some of the comics (most pretty good).  I went into this only knowing it involved him and not what else to expect.  Taking place in Gotham, the story is a straight rip of Jack the Ripper, nothing too original, but it’s really good.  At Hex’s side is a young Arkham who studies not just the killer, but Hex, giving a very interesting point of view.  A solid comic that I’m afraid too many people will overlook from the title and it’s price.

Story: 9 Art: 8.25 Overall: 9

Aquaman #1 – It’s funny, I went into reading this what that “Aquaman is a joke character” in the back of my head.  The issue heads that off and just outright addresses that.  You can’t help but feel bad for the character when reading this and coming through a comic having an emotional response is impressive.  This issue just knocks it out of the park, and is up there as being one of the best of the new DCU.

Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.75

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – The art is the draw here as it plays a bit and crosses over with the other Bat titles.  It’s anarchy at Arkham as a jail break ensues.  The story is ok, but it’s the art that’s the draw.  Some amazing work here visually.  It seems out of all of the groups of titles, the three Bat titles is pretty impressive.

Story: 8.5 Art: 10 Overall: 8.75

Blackhawks #1 – Out of the two “war” comics it looks like this one will be the one to survive.  The story looks like it focuses on a UN military organization that’s supposed to be covert.  They’re around for?  Not quite sure, that’s not answered.  But, there’s a lot of talk about threats from nanites and some solid characters.  It’s an entertaining comic, definitely enough to check out the second issue.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The Flash #1 – I loved the previous volume of The Flash.  Not being a fan before it drew me into the character and got me interested.  This latest volume has the same fun feel to it and the same amazing art.  The Flash was a key figure in the previous DCU and I’d expect him to be so in this one too.  A very fun series that has as much energy and speed to it as it’s main character.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The Fury of the Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #1 – A slightly different take on Firestorm gives us a interesting story involving how the particle that created the character would really affect the world and why the two individuals who make him up would dislike each other.  The first issue is all set up focused heavily on the characters with some action thrown in there and that’s exactly what you’d expect from a comic written by Gail Simone.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 – Kyle Rayner gets the focus here as it seems this series will really look at the various Corps. that exist.  For some reason rings are leaving their users and heading to an unknown destination.  The story is interesting if you’re a Green Lantern fan, but I can see everyone else not caring much.  Definitely enough to get me to come back for a second issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

I, Vampire #1 – Read the full review here.

Justice League Dark #1 – A very interesting first issue that’s high points is the small details that’s added through out.  Overall, it’s an interesting concept, but screams of an attempt to merge the feel of a Vertigo comic with the DCU.  It’s a cool concept so far and those small details were so good, I’ll be back for the second issue.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

The Savage Hawkman #1 – Gone is the talk of cycles of life and love, instead we’re stripped down to Carter Hall, a man who struggles with the fact he’s Hawkman.  Again, we have a comic that focuses as much on the character as it does the character and impressively, makes me interested in a character who I’ve only disliked in the past.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Superman #1 – Clark Kent and Superman as a brooding/emo uninteresting character.  The first issue of the series seems to have focused more on The Daily Planet than Superman himself.  The threat too was a bit of a let down.  It seems that even after the reboot, Superman might still be struggling.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Teen Titans #1 – I got a X-Men vibe from this series that sees a shady government organization tracking down teenage metahumans.  That gets Red Robin to spring into action to get them together.  It’s a been there, done that story, but the character interaction so far is interesting and there’s the thing with Superboy that has me wondering what the hell it’s all about.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Voodoo #1 – More focus will be on the fact that Voodoo is a stripper than the more important bits about the story.  With recent issues with DC towards women, unfortunately Ron Marz has the bad draw of his comic coming out after that.  The story is interesting involving an alien invasion, but it has two strong female leads.  One is Voodoo, who is more than she seems and the other is an agent tracking her that shows she’s tough and not to be messed with.  It’s a comic with some great art and a lot of solid moments.  I’m sure many will overlook it and for all the wrong reasons and that’s a shame.  There’s a lot of layers here with what can be interpreted as commentary over the whole DC and women mess and about the comic book reading audience themselves.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here, yay!  Here’s some articles for you to waste the day away.

Around the Blogs:

Newsarama – UPDATE: THE Q: PROS – “Are American Comic Books SEXIST?”Some interesting responses.  Gail Simone I think nails it.

Las Vegas Weekly – Banned books: Barrick exhibit details the life of comic books and the controversial ‘50s boycottsA good excuse to go to Vegas, as if you need another.

Comicvine – Sexism in Comics is Not New–Here’s What You Should Do about It – Some sound advice.

Con Coverage:

CBR – APE Swings into San Francisco this Weekend

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – American Vampire #19

Ely Standard 24 – Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine

ICv2 – Bloody Monday Vol. 1

Comics Alliance – The Flash #1

CBR – Fury of the Firestorms: the Nuclear Men #1

MTV Geek – GEN Manga

MTV Geek – Justice League Dark #1

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 9/28/11

MTV Geek – New 52 Reviews: ‘All-Star Western,’ ‘Voodoo,’ I, Vampire,’ and ‘The Fury of Firestorm’

Around the Tubes

Lots of comics were released and today continues the deluge of previews for comics released this week as well as a lot of reviews!  While you wait for that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

So So Gay – An alternative universe: gay characters on the rise in comic books – A good article about gay characters in comic books.

Wired – Frank Miller’s Holy Terror Is Fodder for Anti-Islam Set – Spencer Ackerman has a great response to Frank Miller’s Holy Terror.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Aquaman #1

MTV Geek – Aquaman #1

MTV Geek – The Flash #1

CBR – The Flash #1

Publishers Weekly – ‘PW Comics World’ Reviews DC’s ‘The New 52’: Week 3

Bleeding Cool – Wednesday Comics Reviews – Aquaman, Justice League Dark, Voodoo, Firestorm, Dark Knight, New Guardians, Blackhawks, Superman, I Vampire, Hawkman, Flash, Teen Titans, All Star Western

52 Reviews, Part 4

So, for the fun of it, I collected all 52 DC #1 issues. And I’m offering up my final reviews of the entire group. Keep in mind, though, that I’m generally a Marvel fan and, while I’m working may way through DC’s recent big events, I’m only up through the middle of Countdown and I haven’t read any of DC’s non-event comics in a long time, so I’m coming at these stories with a bit of a disadvantage in terms of chronology and character knowledge. Since DC is certainly trying to attract new readers, though, this makes me come at them with a perspective similar to their hypothetical new fans… Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll have a post on my overall thoughts on the whole reboot.

All Star Western #1 (DC) – I was prepared not to like this too much. I liked Jonah Hex as a kid, but I hadn’t read it since then. And I generally don’t like anything Western. Add to the mix that Hex wears a Confederate uniform and is anti-science and anti-urban and there’s no reason I should’ve liked this. And yet I loved it. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti tell a very well-written tale that incorporates Western tropes, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes and the mythology of Gotham City. It all fits together very well, although a possible turn with the villains of the story could upset me if it goes the way it looks. I could probably do without another dead hooker story, but since it’s a Jack the Ripper homage, I’m okay with it in this case. It’s hard to argue that Moritat’s art isn’t perfect and while I don’t usually notice color artists in comics, Gabriel Bautista’s work is good enough here to get a shout out.

Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75

Aquaman #1 (DC) – Aquaman is a character I’ve never really liked. I bought all the jokes about how lame he and his powers were, so I never really paid much attention. Which played me right into Geoff Johns’ hands in this one. This is a funny comic book, maybe the funniest of the entire New 52. It makes fun of all of those jokes and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also puts all of those jokes to rest and shows us that Aquaman isn’t the joke we think he is, he’s much more powerful than that. This issue also sets a new paradigm for the character and is a great way to re-introduce him to the world.

Story: 10 Art: 8 Overall: 9

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (DC) – Hands down the Batman books are the backbone of the New 52. Every one of this is good to great and they give us a lot to look forward to. This is the worst of the bunch, but it is still readable, entertaining and looks good.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Blackhawks #1 (DC) – My deceased father was a childhood fan of Blackhawks and he always talked about them, even into his 60s. They weren’t really ever around much in my comic reading days, so I was interested in giving this one a shot as a way to connect with my dad’s comic book tastes. I think he would’ve liked this one and I thank the creators for giving me that connection to my father once again.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1 (DC) – Another character I haven’t read much of since my childhood is Firestorm. The way the character(s) work here is quite a bit different, so far, than what I remember. The issue is pretty good and Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone do some pretty strong writing in terms of tackling stereotypes and race. I will say the ending to the issue left me a bit confused, but hopefully that will be cleared up next month.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

The Flash #1 (DC) – This one was a bit of a spoiler for me, since I’ve only read major DC events up to Countdown. I had no idea Barry Allen was back. This is a pretty nice story with a good mystery and a pretty awesome last page. Brian Buccellato’s art is quite good, too.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 (DC) – The Green Lantern comics have also been pretty strong across the board and this one adds to that. The story here is quite interesting and leaves with a pretty good cliffhanger that will definitely have me back next issue.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

I, Vampire #1 (DC) – Wow. That’s really the best word to describe this, which I think is the best issue of the entire New 52. And I generally hate vampire tales. But this one is so well-written and so beautiful that I am now officially hooked on this series. The plot has such a great apocalyptic feel to it that I find myself wondering if the old I, Vampire tales were quite this good. I don’t remember them ever getting to this level.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Justice League Dark #1 (DC) – Magic tales are not usually my cup of tea, but DC seems to have been getting them right in recent years and this is no exception. Unlike most of the new issues, this one really is the start of something new and it is a good beginning that really makes me want more. There are some amazing visuals in this book, particularly the June Moone splash. Some of the dialog and text is superbly written as well, such as the line: “The reek of skinned babies and sliced eyeballs.” Man, is that creepy or what? There’s more where that came from.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

The Savage Hawkman #1 (DC) – No question this is the weakest book of the week. For one, I’ve never really been a huge Hawkman fan, but this issue is confusing, makes no sense at times (Hawkman starts off by shooting his old costume) and doesn’t look very good at times. It’s not terrible, but with all the other great comics DC put out this week, this one pales in comparison.

Story: 6 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.25

Superman #1 (DC) – George Perez re-introduces Superman here with a tale told in a throwback style with lots of third-person narration, a nostalgic tale of Metropolis’s history and a strong introduction to the themes and supporting characters in the series. Oh, and there’s some kind of epic battle with a fire-monster alien, too.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Teen Titans #1 (DC) – Another tale launching a new team with introductions to some of the team members, this one is entertaining and has a lot of potential. Scott Lobdell does much better here than on Red Hood, so much so it’s hard to believe this is the same writer as that crap. Red Hood looks even worse now that we see that Lobdell can write a strong female character (in this case Wonder Girl).

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Voodoo #1 (DC) – This issue conflicted me the most this week. After two weeks with controversies over female characters and their depictions as weak or nearly naked, it was disappointing to open this issue and see a half-naked stripper jump out at me. And then to see page after page of half-naked strippers for the entire issue. But Ron Marz shows that he isn’t writing as simplistically as you might expect. The opening page, as Brett pointed out to me, says “Are you ready gentlemen? Because this is why you’re here!” as if the near-nudity is meant as a tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended) thing and a slap at the fans who buy books for that purpose. But I kind of got the same feeling from this as I got from a story on Fox News where they condemn pornography while showing a clip from a porn movie. Marz does make sure to show us that the female characters in the issue are, at a minimum, intellectually, physically and even morally superior to the male characters (except for maybe the end of the issue where moral superiority drops off). This is definitely a comic where the female characters are the only characters that matter, but I wonder if that same point couldn’t have been made by having Voodoo work as a waitress instead of a stripper, since that would’ve fit the logic of the story just as well.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

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