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

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

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.25

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

 

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 12/14/11

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

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 9 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 11/23/11

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

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 9.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.75

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

Story: 10 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story:8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/28/11

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

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 6 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 8/31/11

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It’s a good week to finally catch up on reviews.  The DC universe is totally changed with two comics, but are they worth it?  Will the gamble pay off for DC comics?  We can’t answer that this week, but here’s the reviews for the week.

Fear Itself: The Deep #3 – A lot of talk about Undying Ones and me yawning.  The comic and limited series isn’t bad in any way, but there’s nothing to grab me.  It’s one of the numerous Fear Itself tie-ins that’s so far hasn’t shown me any reason that it was needed and couldn’t be done in the main comic with a tweaked storyline.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

Flashpoint #5 – One hell of an ending.  The story might have had some faults, but for all of the over the top action, it came back to the heart of the characters.  The ending with it’s tender, quiet moment is perfect in every way.  Flashpoint will easily go down as a classic event in DC and comics in general.  Beyond solid and as an end cap for the DC universe that was it’s great, but more importantly it’s the messenger of what’s to come.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

Iron Man 2.0 #8 – The story is cool as part of the mystery is solved, but the coloring for this issue is so off.  Why is Jim Rhodes a white guy for a good chunk of it?  The Palmer Adley story continues and overall it’s a decent story, but it looks like the last quarter of this issue kicks it up a notch.  The low art score is for the messed up coloring which does take away from the issue.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7

Journey Into Mystery #626.1 – The point of Marvel’s point one is to introduce us to the comic and the characters and this one does so well at achieving that.  It would seem that this indicates that this comic’s Fear Itself tie-in is over, which is good, because it can now move forward to telling the tales of the young Loki who stands out a lot from his previously older self.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Justice League #1 – This comic had to come out running and instead of something pumped full of energy, it’s a slow burn.  Taking place five years ago it really chronicles Batman and Green Lantern meeting.  It’s decent enough and there’s some great back and forth but Hal Jordan seems a bit more flippant and a smart ass than the serious and cocky character we’ve known.  There’s also some moments I outright question, especially in the beginning action scenes.  It’s an ok start, but I don’t think it’s quite the knock it out of the park DC comics needed.

Story: 7 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.25

The Mighty Thor #5 – Interesting…. but I’m still confused as to when this takes place in continuity.  Is this before Fear Itself?  Is it after?  I’m at a loss here.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

Secret Avengers #16 – And with that Warren Ellis takes over for the series.  It’s an interesting comic and the story is disposable, but it’ll be interesting to see what he does with the series.  The characters are a little off, and I hate the art, but here’s hoping future issues and his run is as solid as ones he’s done for other series.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 – I haven’t been much of a fan of Marvel’s Ultimate line, but this comic is pretty damn cool.  Full of action and a very cool concept, it’s got me hooked to check out the second issue.  This is an action comic on steroids, and fun to boot.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #14 – Can I just say holy shit.  This story has gotten tense, and I have no idea how they come back from it.  Archangel is now in full control and X-Force has gotten jacked up.  What’s Archangel up to and how will the team stop him?  We still don’t know, but it’s interesting some team members still haven’t been shown off in the teasers for what comes next in the “X” line of comics.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

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 – 7/20/11

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We’re a week late with these reviews due to San Diego Comic-Con, but never late than never!

Avengers #15 – I really like the story telling through interview style the last few issues have had and the tie-in to Fear Itself isn’t totally bad, but as a whole the series feels like it’s a bit on hold with a bigger story while it waits for Marvel’s summer event to end.  Thankfully it’s continuing it’s character development while it’s forced to participate in an otherwise underwhelming bigger story.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Cinderella: Fables are Forever #6 – The six issue limited series has been fun with Cinderella taking on Dorothy Gale and while it expanded the Fables world and showed a little more of what’s out there, the series seems to be for naught if all that it opened up isn’t used further.  But, overall the six issues are fun and entertaining and worth the read.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Daredevil #1 – And like that Daredevil is back.  The series has an old school vibe to it and that’s very welcome as Matt Murdock returns to New York City and attempts to put his life back together.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

DMZ #67 – This is it, the final story arc for Brian Wood’s brilliant series about war and what we do for the truth.  This series has been some of the best political commentary out there, and is an absolute must read.  When it’s over and done, you better believe I’ll be more than disappointed and will miss reading it every month.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Fear Itself: Deadpool #2 – Wow is this limited series bad.  It adds nothing to the great Fear Itself storyline and comes off as a blatant cash grab to suck more money out of people during an event.  The story doesn’t even make much sense.  Just horrible.

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.25

Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #2 – Nighthawk, Howard the Duck, Frankenstein and She-Hulk have to deal with Man-Thing in a Fear Itself tie-in that doesn’t do a whole lot to add to the story.  That seems to be par for a lot of the tie-ins being released.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Fear Itself: FF – So, in all of the other Fear Itself tie-ins those affected by the hammers are depicted as mindless monsters who speak in a foreign tongue.  In this series the Thing is speaking coherently in full sentences.  Hmmmm.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Fear Itself: The Home Front #4 – A mish-mash of stories that revolve around Fear Itself and one of them barely does.  While this series has been one of the better tie-ins, something is just off with this particular issue.  Dialogue and some of the plots just are off, with me laughing for all the wrong reasons.  Marvel has really missed the mark with this event.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2 – The Amazons have attacked the circus to retrieve and item and people are dying left and right.  It’s great when you know anything can happen in a series and anyone can die.  It keeps you on your toes.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2 – The perfect example of a comic where anything can happen.  There’s so many holy shit moments here and so much action that’s just brutal.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: The Outsider #2 – While off to the side, the series adds to the distrust the world’s meta humans have towards each other and helps explain why they haven’t ended Atlantis’s and Amazon’s war.  The story is full of deception and twists and turns that’s pretty entertaining.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #2 – The build up to war is all chronicled here.  This is the back story that shows why the world is the way it is.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Generation Hope #9 – I think the sub-title of this issue is “It Gets Better.”  The issue is clearly a moral story speaking to all those who get bullied for being different and letting them know it’s only a phase and there’s a better world out there.  Pretty interesting.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Invincible Iron Man #506 – Tony calls out Odin and offers his help to build weapons to win the war.  Meanwhile his crew figured out what to do about the situation in France.  The story is ok, but what’s important it Tony breaking sobriety.

Story: 7.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

Iron Man 2.0 #7 – Another Fear Itself tie-in that adds nothing to the bigger story and actually derails the momentum the main series had.  Such a waste.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

Lady Mechanika #2 – Such a long span between the first and second issue hasn’t helped.  The art is amazing but story suffers from such a long span.  I’d recommend going back and rereading the first two issues before diving into the second issue.

Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5

Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine #2 – Wolverine is on a mission to find the cause of the outbreak and the Punisher is involved.  The series is fun and entertaining, just like the first volume.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Mega Man #3 – There’s something so much fun about this series that captures the innocence of the animated series based on the hit video game.  Such a great comic for people of all ages.  My only issue is it’s very fast paced and we’re going through robots too quickly.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Men #541 – The team must deal with the Juggernaut who’s bearing down on San Francisco in a Fear Itself tie-in that’s ok.  Nothing bad, but nothing great either.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7

The Walking Dead #87 – The aftermath is beginning as the town begins it’s post invasion preparation and Rick deals with his failure to protect everyone and what happened to Carl.  The series continues it’s amazing move forward and hasn’t lost steam in 87 issues.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1 – It’s the aftermath and follow up to the War of the Green Lanterns.  Everyone is shaken and no one knows where the corps. goes from here.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 6/22/11


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It’s a thick stack of books dominated by some that made headlines.  Flashpoint and Fear Itself continue their march on our wallets.  What’s worth it, and what should you skip?  Find out below.

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #520 – It’s the Black Panther and Storm versus Kraven the Hunter.  The story was ok and there’s a decent resolution but overall the story left me wanting more, especially due to the fact Kraven has had some classic stories in the past.

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 – I know of the character John Constantine a bit and not really familiar with Swamp Thing at all, but this follow up to Brightest Day seems to fit the role of properly inducting the both of them into the DC universe.  The first issue is fun and interesting enough to make me want to check out the second issue.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Captain America #619 – The story of Bucky’s incarceration continues as his friends work on getting him out and figure out exactly what’s going on.  We find out what the Russians have been looking for and the transition of Steve Rogers becoming Cap again continues.  It hasn’t been the smoothing transition back with Fear Itself in full swing, but it at least makes sense in moving the story forward.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Dark Horse Presents #2 – Dark Horse’s second issue continues the quality we saw in the first with a mix of styles both in stories and art and though not everything carries over from that first issue, it’s still high quality.  Some things work better than others, but it’s well worth the purchase.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Deadpool #39 – To me the series has dropped a bit in quality falling way too much in the slapstick side of things.  I prefer the X-Force Deadpool versus this one that just comes off like a goofball.  I think this is it for me.  I really haven’t enjoyed the series in a while.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

DMZ #66 – A self contained story focused on Zee who has played the role of second fiddle for most of the series.  Instead we get inside of her head as to why she saved Matty on that day and her thoughts on her role in the DMZ.  It’s a powerful story that just shows the amazing narrative of this series.  Sadly, it also means we’re heading into the final story arc of the series.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Fables #106 – It’s the end of the story involving Mister Dark which comes not with a bang, but much of a whimper.  A lot of the issue is left for reflection more than anything and while it’s solid, it also feels like something was missing.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1 – Whatever happened to Kid Flash?  I’m pretty sure this is the future of the Flashpoint world and it’s pretty cool as the series sets up even further mysteries surrounding this new world.  The art is nice and gets you right into the action slowly revealing what’s going on.  As usual, a solid Flashpoint tie-in.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1 – We get a better sense of what’s going on with the Amazon’s new world as Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen get caught behind enemy lines.  The story is a little forced at times and there’s some potential here that’s hinted upon, but unfortunately can’t be followed up on.  Not the best of the Flashpoint tie-ins, but still better than a lot of what else is out there.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Flashpoint: Reverse Flash #1 – Wow and holy crap.  We get a real good sense as to what the Reverse Flash has been up to and this first issue just knocks it out of the park.  So evil, and so messed up, we get motivation, action and chills throughout.  Such a solid issue and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this three issue limited series has up it’s sleeve.

Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9

Flashpoint: The Outsider #1 – While set in the world of Flashpoint, this first issue doesn’t initially seem to have a major impact in the overall story like other series.  Even so, it’s a great comic with a hard edge and a main character I’m hoping to see more of post DC relaunch/reboot.  Just a badass first issue.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

G.I. Joe: Cobra #2 – I’ve become a huge fan of all three G.I. Joe series as the action and consequences have kicked up from what I remembered.  All three series takes different looks at the leadership void in Cobra and the scrambling to fill it.  It’s a solid story and plot that seems rather relevant in today’s world.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.25

Iron Man 2.0 #6 – The Immortal Weapons and War Machine are called in to take on two of the hammer wielders.  As expected the issue is a bit of a let down, but there’s  twist at the end that I’m interested in seeing where it leads.  A so-so issue that’s killing the momentum the series had by forcing it to tie into Fear Itself.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Mystery Men #2 – The second issue of the series is entertaining and fun and overall I think this five issue limited series will be a fun read, but there’s one moment in this issue that just comes out of the blue and seems really forced and a bit too convenient.  I think in the end this will be a good pulp read, but don’t think it’ll be Earth shattering.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Namor: The First Mutant #11 – And that’s a wrap for the series.  I can’t say it ever really lived up to it’s potential, but the finale has a decent ending to it.  There’s a lot of open threads and a lot is left on the table, but it’s good to see this series put out of it’s misery.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

New Mutants #26 – There’s a bunch that works here and also so much that doesn’t.  Overall this new direction isn’t feeling so much as new, as it’s what we’ve seen before.  The art is off and dialogue a bit unimpressive.  Here’s hoping the series gets a major shake up post “X” event.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

Secret Avengers #14 – A Fear Itself tie-in that focuses on Valkyrie and how she got that role.  The story is predictable and doesn’t have the emotional oomph it should, a forgettable issue overall.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Thunderbolts #159 – Three stories and all are actually pretty good.  They involve different aspects of the escape from the Raft and all three are entertaining, which is not expected since they’re Fear Itself tie-ins.  A good read even on it’s own.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160 – There was a lot of media coverage and hype of this issue and I can say I was underwhelmed.  There was a way more emotional impact that could have been done but instead we get the vast majority of the issue being a so-so fight and then just a few panels dealing with Peter’s “death” and the reaction to it.  Maybe those more vested in the series would have enjoyed it.

Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.25

Wolverine #11 – This particularly back story as to why this person wants revenge on Wolverine is good, but overall the plot is pretty blah.  Add in some really odd art that looks like ink thumbprint smudges all over.  This Wolverine series hasn’t quite lived up to it’s past glory.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7.25

X-Men: Legacy #251 – The team takes on two more of Legion’s personalities and there’s some cool moments here.  Overall, the series is showing a lot of improvement with it’s new direction.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Around the Tubes


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It’s Friday, Friday, Friday…. Sorry, that never gets old.  But, while you were looking forward to the weekend, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – Julia Ormond Wanted For The Man Of SteelSo, what’s the point a movie cast is too good looking?  I’m pretty sure this one is approaching that.

Con Coverage:

The Mary Sue – Marvel Among the Major Studios Not to Stage Movie Presentations at This Year’s Comic-Con

Bleeding Cool – Three New San Diego Comic Con Exclusives – Marksmen, Samurai’s Blood And Heavy Metal

Around the Tube Reviews:

IGN – Action Comics #902

IGN – Batman: Gates of Gotham #2

IGN – Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #520

IGN – Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1

IGN – Captain America #619

IGN – Deadpool Vol. 4 #39

IGN – DMZ #66

IGN – Fables #106

IGN – Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1

IGN – Flashpoint: The Outsider #1

IGN – G.I. Joe Cobra #2

IGN – Green Arrow #13

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #631

IGN – Infestation: Outbreak #1

IGN – Iron Man 2.0 #6

IGN – Justice League of America #58

IGN – The Mighty Thor #3

IGN – Mystery Men #2

IGN –Secret Avengers #14

IGN – Sigil #4

IGN – Silver Surfer #5

IGN – The Spirit #15

IGN – Star Wars: Jedi – The Dark Side #2

IGN – Superman #712

CBR – Superman #712

IGN – Thunderbolts #159

IGN – Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #5

CBR – Ultimate Spider-Man #160

IGN – Wolverine #11

IGN – X-Men Legacy #251

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 6/22/11

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 5/25/11

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It was a long weekend and week and I took my time with last week’s reviews.  It was a pretty thick stack of books though.  Here’s what was worth the purchase and what should have been left on the shelf.  Expect another edition this Sunday for this week’s releases.

American Vampire #15 – The battle against the new breed of vampires rages on in this excellent war meets vampire story arc.  What’s the secret of the island and why are these vampires so different?  We’re slowly learning the secrets in this excellently paced comic story.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #6 – The story didn’t always make sense, but at the same time it was a hell of a lot of fun.  Spider-Man and Wolverine’s adventure through time is over in a rather convoluted sort of way.  It was definitely fun and an entertaining read.  Here’s hoping we get a second volume of this.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Booster Gold #44 – There was a lot of buzz about this comic book that came out last week.  It was definitely entertaining and I can understand why folks enjoyed it, but generally the humor wasn’t for me.  But I see this being the sleeper of the the entire Flashpoint storyline.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #618 – The mystery of why Bucky has been sent to Russia deepens as it turns out to be a bigger conspiracy than expected.  There’s rumors swirling as to what will happen to Bucky and it’s clear Steve Rogers is returning to the red, white and blue, and this leads up to it all.  A new cap series launches soon with this one switching it’s focus.  An interesting ride so far.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Daken: Dark Wolverine #9.1 – Daken has been a character who lives in the shadow of his father Wolverine.  That’s true in the story and in the eyes of comic book fans.  This point one comic gives him a fresh start wrapping up the previous arc and charting him on his unique path.  The character has so much potential and hopefully we’re finally seeing it.  No matter what though, this is a fantastic comic.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Deadpool #37 – Deadpool is on a mission to get killed and the action is over the top and missing the usual that makes Deadpool so much fun.  This series has dipped quite a bit, falling more into the slapstick end of things.  Give me the depiction in X-Force any day, it’s far superior.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

FF #4 – While the council still decides what to do with the Reeds, Susan, Spider-Man and Alex head to the other Atlantis.  Hickman has had a vision that’s still ongoing and I have no idea what the end game is going to be.  The series is solid, and deserves the renewed attention it’s gotten.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

G.I. Joe: Cobra #1 – Another G.I. Joe comic debuts and like the previous two, it ties into the search for a new Cobra Commander, this time from Cobra’s perspective.  Like the previous two, the first issue is beyond solid and makes me wish I had been following all the lead up.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern #66 – It’s part seven of the War of the Green Lanterns and Jordan and Gardner are having some issues as the corrupted guardians run amok.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Green Lantern Corps. #60 – I’ve been waiting for that holy shit moment and it’s the eighth part of the War of the Green Lanterns that delivers it.  Rayner and Stewart are on a mission to stop Mogo and what’s done to achieve that is shocking.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #10 – The battle and War of the Green Lanterns continues.  With the impending shift at DC, it’ll be interesting to see how much of this remains vital, what’s used and what’s disregarded.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Hellraiser #2 – Unless you’re familiar with the Hellraiser series, it’s hard to care about or figure out what’s going on.  I’m not familiar with the characters and the story is ok, but not enough to make me want to continue as a new reader.  Please, please, please explain more in upcoming issues.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Incorruptible #18 – Max continues his road to redemption and attempts to recruit a politician to help, but as you’d expect things aren’t exactly as they seem.  Meanwhile others conspire to gain control of the damaged city as it attempts to rebuild.  The ending is a bit predictable, but it still doesn’t hurt the issue overall.  Mark Waid has done amazing things with this series and it’s sister comic Incorruptible.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Iron Man 2.0 #5 – A Fear Itself tie-in that is all set up and little substance.  Sadly, I have a feeling this side step and distraction of an event is going to kill the great momentum the series had.  The story is blah and art so-so.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Kirby: Genesis #0 – I liked the beginning of the issue and overall this is a tribute to Jack Kirby’s genius.  It’s familiar and riffs off of all the work he’s known for and some that didn’t see the light of day.  It’s impressive his style can be copied and the issue feels like Kirby did it himself.  Overall though, the issue is for those who appreciate the legend.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

The Mighty Thor #2 – A certain cosmic being is headed towards Asgard and Thor versus him should be pretty damn interesting.  The issue is all lead up and setting up what’s to come, but it’s pretty decent.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

Namor: The First Mutant #10 – The series still is struggling to find it’s foot hold.  Instead of just focusing on Namor’s rule and separatists/terrorists, we get distractions of time travel and other crap.  Keep it simple and the series would be excellent.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Onslaught Unleashed #4 – An interesting ending and I’m not quite sure what to think.  Mostly because I’m not sure exactly what it means.  The art continues it’s interesting style as the battle against Onslaught concludes.  I can’t imagine this is the end, and hopefully someone picks up the story from here.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Planet of the Apes #2 – Much like Hellraiser the series is written for those familiar with the material, but broken down, the story is really a search for an assassin, not much more.  Sadly, overall the issue isn’t as inviting to new readers not familiar with the material as you’d hope it’d be.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Power Man and Iron Fist #5 – Wait, what!?  What started as a great C-list exploitation comic turned into a nonsensical story.  Seriously, what the hell did I read?

Story: 5.5 Art: 7 Overall: 5.75

Secret Avengers #13 – A Fear Itself tie-in that tries to tell a decent story focused on a member of Congress, but overall the story makes no sense and falls so short.  There’s some interesting moments, but as a whole, wtf?!  It was kind of cool to see a comic artist’s take on where I live though.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6

Secret Warriors #27 – Hickman brings in back to the politics and shows us again how much of a badass Nick Fury is.  Such a good comic, it’s sad to see there’s only one issue left.  Here’s hoping we’ll get more of this in the future.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #537 – The Breakworld story continues and I roll my eyes.  I’m just not into this story at all.  It’s not bad, but as I haven’t read the lead up, I just don’t care.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.25

Venom #3 – The fight continues as Venom’s adventure in the Savage Land continues.  The series is a pleasant surprise, but there’s somethings in this issue I wish was kept for a later date.  Still, it’s very entertaining.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

The Walking Dead #85 – So where can writer Robert Kirkman take this series that he hasn’t so far?  We get a look at the long term and begin to ponder what a new civilization would be like.  As usual, the comic is more about the emotional impact and human interactions than the zombies.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

Wolverine #9 – The silliness of this issue just gets out of hand.  Guns that can shoot through the planet?  A gun fight for what seems to be no reason whatsoever?  Wow has this series just crapped out.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

X-Men: Legacy #249 – It’s impressive how much a series can bounce back with one issue.  This is the prelude to the new team the series will focus on and it looks like it’s going to be really interesting.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5

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