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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

Your First Look At Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #4!

Your First Look At ULTIMATE COMICS HAWKEYE #4!

Following the shocking revelations from the last issue, Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #4, featuring the secret origin of Ultimate Xorn! The Ultimate Universe is at the brink of war as news of a new mutant serum breaks out. It’s up to Hawkeye, Hulk and Ultimate X to swoop in to obtain the serum for themselves before it’s too late. The odds are stacked against our heroes, but that’s just how they like it! Catch the explosive finale to Jonathan Hickman and Rafa Sandoval’s thrill-ride this November in Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #4!

ULTIMATE COMICS HAWKEYE #4 (SEP110521)
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by RAFA SANDOVAL
Cover by KAARE ANDREWS
FOC – 10/31/11, ON SALE – 11/23/11

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 10/19/11

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

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

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 7.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/21/11

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

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.25

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

Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

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

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

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

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

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

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 8/31/11

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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

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And with that the new DC universe was born.  Everyone rushed out to get it, right?  Well, while you decided if you wanted to see what all the noise was about, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

The Auburn Plainsman – Graphic novels provide alternative to traditional textbooksMaybe I would have enjoyed school more if we used these.

Bleeding Cool – Differences In Justice League #1 Between Print And DigitalPretty interesting stuff.  I wonder if the digital version will get updated.

MTV Geek – DC’s New 52 NYC Launch – With Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Pictures!Sounds like a lot of shops had a great time at their midnight launches.

Kotaku – A Guide to the Likely Hits and Probable Stinkers of DC Comics’ 52 New Super-Hero Comics – Video game website Kotaku attempts to pick what they think will be the hits and misses for the upcoming relaunch.

Con Coverage:

MTV Geek – FanExpo Canada Interview: Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak Take Alpha Flight To Ongoing Series Status!

Charleston City Paper – Hip-Hop and comics collide at Cola-Con

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Poisoned Rationality – Cardcaptor Sakura

IGN – Flashpoint #5

The Beat – Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1

IGN – Justice League #1

Bleeding Cool – Justice League #1

CBR – Justice League #1

Bleeding Cool – Secret Avengers #16

CBR – Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1

MTV Geek – Image Comics Reviews for 8/31: Butcher Baker #6, Invincible #82, and more!

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It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day.  More importantly than means the debuts of Justice League #1 and Flashpoint #5.  How many of you went to midnight release parties and how many are grabbing it today?  While you think about that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Korea Herald – Talk lifts lid on North Korean comic books – Not really enough info to justify it’s own blog post, but very interesting stuff.

Con Coverage:

CBLDF – Craig Thompson’s HABIBI Debuts at SPX 2011 to Benefit CBLDF!

CBR – Fan Expo: Marvel’s Next Big Thing

Fantagraphic Books – Exclusive Jim Woodring Tote Bag at SPX

CBR – Fan Expo: The X-Men Regenesis Panel

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Kung Fu Cinema – Infinite Kung Fu

Primary Ignition – Mr. Murder Is Dead

MTV Geek – Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1

Marvel Unveils New Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn Covers

Official Press Release

Marvel Unveils New ULTIMATE COMICS UNIVERSE REBORN Covers

Acclaimed Artist Kaare Andrews Announced As Ultimate Comics Cover Artist

Prepare for Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, signaling the biggest changes to ever hit the Ultimate Comics Universe! With all new titles and all new creative teams, fans new and old can’t miss out on this great entry point into the Ultimate Comics Universe. This August, following the traumatic events of Death of Spider-Man, Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn kicks off in August with Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 & Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1, and Ultimate Comics X-Men #1 & Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 in September each featuring covers by superstar artist Kaare Andrews!

“Kaare is doing the best work of his career with these covers,” said Marvel Senior Editor Mark Paniccia. “With Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, all of the titles will be tighter than ever, so when it came time to think up  ideas and concepts for the covers – we wanted a sense of unity to tie the books together. At the same time we wanted striking covers that jump out at you on the stands. Kaare’s bold design sense made him a natural choice.”

A new era begins as our heroes struggle to find their place within the Ultimate Comics Universe so be the first to your comic shops this August to see what all the buzz is about in Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 and Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1.

ULTIMATE COMICS HAWKEYE #1 (of 4)
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by RAFA SANDOVAL
Cover by KAARE ANDREWS
Variant Cover by ADAM KUBERT
Variant Cover by NEAL ADAMS
Rated T+ …$3.99
ON SALE THIS AUGUST!

ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #1
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by ESAD RIBIC
Cover by KAARE ANDREWS
Variant Cover by ESAD RIBIC
Rated T+ …$3.99
ON SALE THIS AUGUST!

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 CoverUltimate Comics Ultimates #1 CoverUltimate Comics Spider-Man #1 CoverUltimate Comics X-Men #1 Cover