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Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/14/11

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

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 9 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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 – 7/6/11

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

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

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

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

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 9 Overall: 8.75

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.55

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

Story: 9.25 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25

Vengeance #1 – I really don’t get it.

Story: 6 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Con Coverage:

Fantagraphics Books – Comic-Con 2011 Thursday panels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Adventure Comics #528

IGN – Astonishing Thor #5

IGN – Batman and Robin #25

IGN – Batman Beyond #7

IGN – DC Universe Online: Legends #11

IGN – Elric: The Balance Lost #1

IGN – Fear Itself #4

IGN –Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Wolverine #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #3

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

IGN – Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Secret Seven #2

IGN – Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #2

IGN – House of Mystery #39

IGN – Hulk #36

IGN – iZombie #15

IGN – Jonah Hex #69

IGN – Moon Knight #3

IGN – Mysterious Ways #1

IGN – Red Skull: Incarnate #1

IGN – Secret Six #35

IGN – Shinku #2

IGN – Supreme Power #2

IGN – Sweet Tooth #23

IGN – Uncanny X-Men #540

IGN – Vengeance #1

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

IGN – X-Men #14

IGN – X-23 #1

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 7/6/11

Pick of the Week – Flashpoint

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I think this column is going to turn into a broken record through August, but the pick of the week is definitely Flashpoint #3 and all of the related tie-ins.  DC comics has been knocking it out of the park with this event series, it’s accessible and entertaining, constantly keeping you on your toes.  There’s been very few duds as far as tie-ins which has also helped propel it as the top event of the summer.

  1. Flashpoint#3 and tie-ins – See above
  2. Mega Man #3 – The second issue was a bit face paced, but there’s a great nostalgic feel to the series that reminds me of the enjoyment I had playing the old NES game and watching the Saturday morning cartoon.
  3. Chew #19 – Consistently one of the best series out there.
  4. Supreme Power #2 – Realistic heroes and their political fallout, yes please!
  5. Indie comic books – Elric: Balance Lost #1, Vic Boone #1, G.I Joe #3, three examples of comic book series by publishers who you should be paying more attention to.

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 6/8/11

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It’s a decent stack of books last week dominated by summer events.  What’s worth it?  Find out below.

American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1 – With the main series a little over a year old, I questioned whether an offshoot limited series was needed.  This one flashes forward to World War II as a team of vampire hunters must head to occupied Nazi territory to retrieve a scientist.  The story is solid and art fantastic, I can see why this was given the green light and looking forward to the rest of the issues.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Annihilators #4 – Both stories are decent, but neither blew me away.  It’s the end for this limited series and we get another chapter in a few months to see where the cosmic section of the Marvel universe goes.  A decent limited series but not quite to the quality we’ve seen in the past.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #519 – Panther is on the hunt to save his friend Brian, but Kraven stands in the way.   What happens when two solid warriors such as these are pitted against each other?  This story arc will let us find out.  A decent read, but not great.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Booster Gold #45 – We get a better sense of the world of Flashpoint as Booster does some investigative work to figure out what’s going on.  This, I’m sure is the Flashpoint tie-in everyone’s missing.  The first issue was great, this one was just good, entertaining though.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Deadpool #38 – Deadpool continues to piss off the Hulk in hopes of getting killed.  I keep getting pissed off by how slapstic the series has gotten.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Fear Itself: Deadpool #1 – Wow, just when I thought Fear Itself tie-ins couldn’t get any worse, this comes along.

Story: 5 Art: 7 Overall: 5.5

Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #1 – Just slightly better than the Deadpool entry.  What the hell is up with Marvel’s summer event?

Story: 5.5 Art: 6 Overall: 5.75

Fear Itself: Spider-Man #2 – The bright spot in the rather underwhelming Fear Itself.  The story focuses not just on Spider-Man but how others are gripping with fear.  It’s a solid story telling technique and really stands out in a pretty poor summer event.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 – Just when you think a Flashpoint book can’t get any better, this one comes along.  A solid story and great art, this one just makes me want a Rogues focused comic post Flashpoint (can we at least get some in the anthology book?!).  Beyond good.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #1 – A pretty simple pirate tale following Deathstroke and his crew as he hunts for his daughter.  The story is good and Flahspoint acts more as a background than anything.  An entertaining read that plays off of the world it’s set in quite well.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1 – What lead up to Atlantis’s attack on the surface world and the war with the Amazons?  You get a good idea in this book, though I’m not completely convinced and there’s definitely holes and questions left to be answered.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1 – A somewhat updated take on the Frankenstein and the Warner monsters.  The story is ok, but there’s some issues with parts of the story taking place in theory before the world shifted.  We’ll see if that piece of story plays into the switch back.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Ghost Rider #0.1 – Ghost Rider is getting a reboot and that seems to be complete.  I used to be a die-hard Ghost Rider fan, but it seemed Marvel never quite knew how to handle the character.  We’ll give this a chance to see if they can get it right this time.  This first issue has promise, but doesn’t quite blow me out of the water.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7 Overall: 6.75

The Iron Age Alpha – Really not quite sure what to think.  It’s another time travel story that seems to be unnecessary, or could be handled in the main series.  Not sure I’ll be getting the first issue as this prelude did so little for me.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

Journey Into Mystery #624 – Loki does what he knows best and schemes to get hell and hel on the side of Asgard in the battle to come.  There’s a lot going on and the chess of it is somewhat fascinating.  The new direction of the series is solid and very entertaining.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Mystery Men #1 – Though it feels a bit like The Twelve there’s some magic from that series is missing.  This first issue is fun and I think the complete series will be a fun read, but the first issue was just ok.  Maybe the complete whole will be greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

The New Avengers #13 – The team keeps taking on Superia and we finally learn what connects the story in the past with the story in the present.  Also a major decision is made about Mockingbird.  The issue has some great moments, but the arc as a whole was a bit uneven.  A solid ending though, with a twist I didn’t see coming.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Supreme Power #1 – I read the first volume of the series many years ago and clearly I’ve missed a lot and will need to go back and catch up.  A series that looks at the geo-political ramifications of nations controlling super powered beings!?  Yes please!

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.75

the Unwritten #26 – We learn a bit more about the history and origin of Tom Taylor and with those reveals come even more mysteries.  The series is thick and at times hard to understand but very rich at the same time as well as unpredictable.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Wolverine #10 – People Wolverine has wronged over the years band together to kill him and I roll my eyes at what seems to be the next piss poor Wolverine arc.  Seriously this series is having some major issues.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

X-Men: Legacy #250 – For such a momentus issue the three stories presented are a bit blah.  The first seems to be the new direction of the series and second shows us what’s sort of going on with some space faring mutants.  The third is a reprint of the first meeting with Legion by the New Mutants.  The art is so-so, but there’s a lot of potential here as far as story.  Here’s hoping the series gets back on it’s feet.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

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It’s Friday, and there’s a nice mix of stories especially three solid ones looking at lawsuits, lgbt issues and racism.

Around the Blogs:

Newsone – Latest X-Men Movie A Symbol Of Comic Book Industry’s RacismWas Darwin that forgettable?

The Beat – THE LEGAL VIEW: The DCU Relaunch and the Superman Copyright It’s absolutely a factor and we’ll see how much so when it relaunches.

The Mary Sue – X-Men: First Class Screenwriter Confirms LGBT Subtext as Totally IntentionalI though about this throughout the movie.

Post Flashpoint:

IGN – Secret Six R.I.P.

Comicvine – Two More DC Revamp Titles: Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad and Blue Beetle #1

Con Coverage:

Fantagraphic Books – Oslo Comics Expo 2011 Photo Gallery

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1

IGN – Batman: Arkham City #2

IGN – Batman and Robin #24

IGN – Birds of Prey #13

IGN – Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #519

IGN – Crysis #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Deadpool #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Spider-Man #2

Comic Book Resources – Ghost Rider #0.1

IGN – Ghost Rider #0.1

IGN – The Incredible Hulks #630

IGN – The Iron Age: Alpha #1

IGN – Journey Into Mystery #624

IGN – Ka-Zar #1

IGN – Mega Man #2

IGN – Morning Glories #10

IGN – Mystery Men #1

IGN – Netherworld #2

IGN – The New Avengers #13

IGN – PunisherMAX #14

IGN – Star Wars: The Old Republic – The Lost Suns #1

IGN – Supreme Power #1

IGN – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #159

IGN – The Unwritten #26

IGN – Wolverine #10

IGN – X-Men Legacy #250

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 6/8/11

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C2e2 is over and Sunday brought some news from Marvel.  We got a look of some of the new creative teams and some new series.  Below is a wrap up of the latest news as well as our special C2e2 section.

Around the Blogs:

Kotaku – Sunday ComicsWaste some of your Monday morning checking out some web comics.

Rabble – Women at the forefront of the graphic novel revolution!You go girl.

Bleeding Cool – Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Dark Knight Rises Role Revealed – Well this is interesting.

Comicvine – WWTCC: More cosplay photos!These get me want to head to Toronto Fan Expo even more.

C2e2 Coverage:

Newsrama – Rucka Returns to Marvel with ‘Back to Basics’ PUNISHER

Bleeding Cool – “I’ll Have A Hawkman Turkey Panini” – That Was C2E2 That Was

Bleeding Cool – Greg Baldino Wraps Up C2E2

Bleeding Cool – Greg Pak Off Hulk, David Liss And Patrick Zircher On Mystery Men, Rob Williams And Rebekah Isaacs On Iron Age, Kyle Higgins And Manuel Garcia On Supreme Power And Brian Bendis Has Left The Building

Bleeding Cool – Garth Ennis To Write Nick Fury MAX Series With Goran Parlov

Comicvine – C2E2 2011: Nick Spencer

Comicvine – C2E2 2011: Dennis Calero

Comicvine – C2E2 2011: Scott Snyder Part 1 (American Vampire)

Comicvine – C2E2 2011: Gail Simone

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Blogomatic 3000 – Greek Street Vol.2 – Cassandra Complex

Bookin Las Vegas – Andrew’s Graphic Novel Picks