Comic Book Reviews

Graphic novels. Weekly rags. The @$$holes.

Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:45 pm

Just caught up with the most recent three issues of SCALPED.

My heavens, is this a spectacular series. Jason Aaron just continues to drag you through the depths of human live on the rez. It is gripping, it is gut wrenching, in short, it is great. Vertigo has entered 2009 running high. DMZ and Fables have returned to form while Scalped remains as strong as ever.

If you haven't yet, seek out Scalped. Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera are doing something special here.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:36 pm

You know what? I WILL seek out Scalped on my next visit to ye ol' comics shop (prolly on Friday)... are the early issues hard to find?
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:12 am

Pacino86845 wrote:You know what? I WILL seek out Scalped on my next visit to ye ol' comics shop (prolly on Friday)... are the early issues hard to find?


To be quite honest I have no idea. I started reading the series with issue #1 so I haven't had to sift through boxes searching for early issues. But my experience with Vertigo is that you can usually find early issues if you look hard enough. Image, on the other hand, tends to make it impossible to catch up if you have missed the boat, but not so much with Vertigo.

There series just hit issue #25. There are three TPBs available at the moment. Issue #25, the most recent, just started a new arc. Now, to be honest, the series isn't mythology based so there is no HUGE story. There are a few main characters, but Aaron has been doing a wonderful job making the REZ the main character and weaving in and out of people's lives.

As I say, only three trades so it should be really simple to catch up.

Hope you enjoy it Pacino.

EDIT: And guess what? If you click here DC/Vertigo has generously offered you a FREE download of Scalped #1. It is in PDF form, but easy enough to read. And i almost forgot the first issue had nunchucks. Hope that helps!
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:59 am

Some reviews!

Blue Beetle #36 - The end has arrived. After 36 wonderful issues, the most refreshing book to be published at DC in some time comes to an end. Jamie Reyes was the Spider-Man of the DCU. He wasn't a "tragic" hero. He had a loving, supporting family. He had helpful friends. A stable girlfriend. I miss stories and characters like this. DC has the best teenage superhero in the biz right now (considering the Runaways have faltered over at Marvel). I only hope that they don't let him fall victim to some future event just to ratchet up the body count. A really sad day for me. 5/5

JSA #24 - The relaunch of JSA has been a bit strange. The almost immediate connection to Kingdom Come still doesn't sit right with me. I am really hoping that new writers Willingham & Sturges come in a do some house cleaning to make the book fit more comfortably into the DCU. There is some serious potential here, considering how great sales have been. Now, as for the issue itself, I have a feeling this suffered a bit from the O&O back-up as the pacing of the main story seems really off. There are some scenes that just simply do not make any sense. I am not sure what happened, but someone seems to have not done their job. 2.5/5

Green Lantern #38 - This conclusion feels majorly rushed. Hal just keeps on collecting rings and weird stuff happens. At this point, I am going to assume, once again, that the story's pacing was interrupted a bit by the O&O back-up. I can't wait for the Agent Orange story, however, if for nothing else than the very talented Phillip Tan! 3.5/5

Teen Titans #68 - This is an entirely Red Devil/Kid Eternity centered issue. I must say, I would dig it if Kid Eternity would stay on the team. I like what he adds. And this is an interesting development for Eddie. The O&O back-up had an interesting image. I don't what to think about it. Still, I hope for the best. Although I was really kind of hoping they would drop this whole Dark Side Club thing. Let's move on. Regardless, any place that I can get my Blue Beetle fix...I'll be there. Plus, bring back MISFIT! 3/5
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:54 pm

Yes Misfit finally came into her own in the last issue of Birds of Prey. I love the little spaz. More please. And let's definitely get her more involved into the Bat-Family. She is such a refreshing break from all the fucking torment. Misfit is one of the best character creations in a long while.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:22 pm

Misfit has become one of my favorite characters in the DCU. I hope she becomes a mainstay in the Teen Titans. Seeing her riff on Blue Beetle would be priceless.

I just finished reading Umbrella Academy #3 and 4. This is, without a doubt, my favorite book on the stands at the moment. Hazel and Cha Cha are just so rad. And holy CRAP Gabriel Ba can draw!

Dallas is shaping up to be superior to Apocalypse Suite. That is saying something. Major kudos to Gerard Way.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:42 pm

Here is a random assembly of reviews for you all.

Bad Dog #1-2 - Joe Kelly is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. He had two really awesome Batman/Superman Annuals, his I Kill Giants may very well be the best mini published last year, and now he is pumping out Four Eyes and Bad Dog. Now, Bad Dog is a buddy story focusing on two bounty hunters. One, is a vertically impaired, studly, alcoholic, foul mouthed (that doesn't even BEGIN to cover it), former pastor. The other, is a werewolf that has come to loathe his humanity so much that he refuses to change back from his wolf form. And so far it has been awesome. It is a mixture of dark humor, action, with a dash of drama. Now, the profanity laced dialogue of Wendell can get a bit old, but it is far from detracting greatly from the coolness of the book. Check it out, if you are so inclined. 4/5

Invincible #60 - This issue is more an experiment than anything else. Check that, it is also a huge, status quo altering, must read for any fan of Invincible. But of more importance to any review of the book is the experimental way in which the story was told. That is, Kirkman and co. tasked themselves with an enormous undertaking: tell an entire summer event in one 30 page book. The result, to be honest, is a bit of a mixed bag. The story is enormous (Dr. Angstrom, the dimension hopping 'thought-to-be-dead villain returns with a bunch of parallel versions of Invincible to destroy Mark), the number of guest stars is astronomical (30 guest stars in a 30 page book!), and the world of Invincible will truly never be the same. However, the nature of the experiment means that a lot of major beats get skipped over to continue the action. As I said, this was a novel attempt at streamlining those massive events, but the end result may be a bit underwhelming. Still, it is a must for anyone reading Invincible regularly. 3.5/5

JLA #31 - The major players all react to the events of Final Crisis. That is, in a nutshell, this issue of JLA. The story itself is actually kind of enjoyable, if only for some superb character work, but I have to question the logic of rehashing this particular story again. I mean, it seems as if the JLA had just fucking reformed and now it is already torn asunder? And I could help but laugh when Hal lectures Dinah about how the JLA hasn't done anything since it was reformed. Of course, it is true, but isn't that just a dig at the fucking writers? Aren't THEY the ones responsible for a JLA book that hasn't been remotely interesting? Is Morrison the only one capable of writing the JLA properly anymore? I mean for fucks sake people it isn't difficult. An enormous threat, incapable of being handled by any individual member, requires the work of a team of the best heroes available to tackle. Rinse and repeat with slight variation. Add in solid characterization and that is the JLA. At least this book had Shane Davis on art. The guy is as star. 2/5

Umbrella Academy: Dallas #5 - A Vietnam issue!? Fuck yeah! Initially, this seems like a recipe for awesomeness beyond all that we have seen before. And for the most part that is true, but the issue does suffer from set-up syndrome (ie all set-up for the spectacularly amazing final issue), which diminishes the enjoyment a tad. Still, there is no denying that some fun is to be had, what with giant mummies and Viet Cong Vampires. The real story comes next month, but the tease will almost certainly be worth the payoff. 3/5
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Fried Gold on Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:53 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:
Green Lantern #38 - This conclusion feels majorly rushed. Hal just keeps on collecting rings and weird stuff happens. At this point, I am going to assume, once again, that the story's pacing was interrupted a bit by the O&O back-up. I can't wait for the Agent Orange story, however, if for nothing else than the very talented Phillip Tan! 3.5/5

I thought the Rage of the Red Lanterns arc was still a good one but, as you say, the ending was essentially a Hal Jordan ringarama. It was also slightly confusing have the prologue with Hal back on Earth all of a sudden with no mention of his blueness.

Green Lantern Corps at the moment is a bit dull, up until the final pages of #34. The artwork is a bit pants too.

Overall, though, I am really digging the build up to Blackest Night. Neither of the GL books have lost their way like many of the other DC stories of late.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:07 pm

Buffy #24 - This issue of Buffy returns the focus to Faith and Giles and their exploits off the beaten path. Unfortunately, it is a clunker of a script by Jim Kreuger. This title has really been losing steam. I can't help but feel the story is in a holding pattern until Joss comes in an wraps everything up for the conclusion of the series. As it stands, I am buying this book at the moment more out of loyalty to the characters and Joss than because its merits as a book. 1/5

Flash: Rebirth #1 - I will be the first to admit that I know very little about Barry Allen. His death in CoIE happened the year before I was born and nearly twenty years before I got into comics. However, the same could be said about Hal Jordan and with GL: Rebirth, Johns did an outstanding job making his convoluted past make sense. I am expecting as much here, but some things don't add up at the moment. Why is Iris so young? Why have I never heard that Barry's father was arrested for killing his mother? When did Bart return (this, I imagine, is a product of Lo3W being delayed). Still, it was a damn enjoyable book. I am sure most of the answers will come in time. Without question, Johns gets all of the Flashes. I can't wait to see where this all goes. 4/5

Scalped #27 - The character driven one-shots continue, which really hurt DMZ last year, but Aaron is ensuring that Scalped doesn't suffer the same slow down. This issue of Scalped, like all the others, is fantastic. Aaron is a real talent. This is Brubaker, with an almost Southern slant. This is still the best Vertigo book available. Check it out. 4.5/5

Teen Titans #69 / Teen Titans Annual #1 - If there is one thing I enjoy, it is teen characters. I love the soap opera drama of teen life. One of my favorite shows of all time is The OC. It is natural, then, that I love the Teen Titans. I was overjoyed when DC snagged Sean McKeever from Marvel. I adored his Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane work and I was over the moon when they announced him for Teen Titans. Now, with the announcement of his departure from the book over "creative differences," I am left with many questions. What went wrong? It is clear Mckeever never got settled. The cast kept rotating, the book was constantly dragged into cross over madness, and most puzzling of all is that the book had a persistent macabre feel to it. I can't understand how the writer of the insanely fun and engaging Spidey Loves MJ could produce this...moody, blood soaked, wine fest. Either editorial imposed significant restrictions or McKeever needed the limitations of the all ages tag that was placed on Spidey Loves MJ. Maybe it was a bit of both. The thing is, there were flashes in there. Some REALLY awesome character moments (mostly involved Blue Beetle, Kid Devil, or M'gnn). But what we are left with is two issues with "Original Story" credits to McKeever and NO other listed writers (apparently, listing the writer as EDITORIAL wasn't an option) and a sure to be hackneyed crossover. With Bart back as Kid Flash and Connor's apparent return I am guessing that we'll see this book flounder and peter out until they can relaunch it with the New Classic cast. 2.5/5
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Green Lantern #39 -Blackest Night is surely going to be a massive event. That much seems certain. However, the build up to that event has begun to seem never ending. It has engulfed both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps for months now and the event won't even start until July. That is three more months of build up. That said, reviewing an individual issue becomes difficult because they are not complete by any means, but one chapter in a massive story. Now, I get why Johns is doing this. He has a particular story to tell and he is letting it unfold. But the thing I most enjoyed about the Sinestro Corps storyline was how it didn't overwhelm the main series until the actual arc. The plot points that built up to it were seeded throughout the stories Johns told. The book still focused on Hal Jordan being a super hero, but you felt something brewing in the background. Currently, all we can look forward to in the book is another Corps being introduced, more cryptic reference to prophesies, etc. How in the world is Hal Jordan in the JLA and protecting Earth when he is off in space dealing with all of this? I am excited for Blackest Night, but I kind of miss those days when Green Lantern had a life on Earth and did Super-Hero things. And I hope Johns returns to that once all of this has been sorted out. Let Hal have relationships. Refocus on the supporting cast that we have seemingly abandoned.

As for the issue itself, the Orange Lantern seems more interesting than Atroticus. Perhaps that is due to the amazing pencils of Phillip Tan. That guy is a real talent and a great get for DC. His work here is so different from his work on Revelations, but it looks just as wonderful. I hope he gets a monthly gig soon. 3.5/5

Titans #12 - I recently came to the conclusion that I have a serious thing for teen stories. I just love the angst, the drama, the fun, the insecurities, etc that come with telling those kind of stories. In a bid to better understand the teen heroes of the DCU I have recently began reading the New Teen Titans (Wolfman/Perez era) and Young Justice. The thing that strikes me the most about these stories is that even at their darkest, there was always strong character work and a real sense of family. Furthermore, there was never a lack of fun. That just seems to be missing from the Teen Titans and Titans series. Johns had done great work making Jericho a better character. Winnick and editorial (via McKeever) seem intent to destroy that good will. That McKeever was forced off the TT proves my worst fears. That is, that editorial (namely, Dan Didio) has their hand firmly on the tiller and are steering the group into much darker territory. I just wish Didio would look at his much championed Blue Beetle series for an understanding of how the TT should read. Or similarly, David's Young Justice. The stakes were high in those books, but it was never as macabre as the TT has been. Marvin being mauled, Kid Devil being tortured and crucified, etc. Lets bring the fun back people!

Anyway, this is all prelude to my thoughts on the recent issue of Titans, which serves as the first chapter in the "Death Trap" crossover which will ensnare this title, TT, and Vigilante. Once more, Jericho is out to kill and maim, at the behest of his father, and so the Titans are out to stop him. Yawn. While McKeever does well with showcasing the various relationships involved in the team the plotting is just awful. By all accounts, this a pointless story. There is not really any outcome that will be satisfactory. Either Jericho dies, which will only cement his character assassination, he'll be thwarted but live, making him a permanent villain, or he will be somehow redeemed, which is entirely unnecessary since Johns had already done that until it was reversed by Judd "I'm a shit writer" Winnick. 2/5

Infinite Horizon #1-4 - I don't recall ever reviewing the first three issues of this series even though I bought them all upon release, but since issue #4 only JUST came out I figured I would do a catch all review. For those unfamiliar, this is a re-telling of The Odyssey in a near future setting. It puts The Captain in Afghanistan, after the war consumed all the oil, and follows his attempts to cross the globe and get him to his Penelope. There really is not enough praise I can offer this book. Image has really done a stellar job of putting out quality product as of late. Between this, Invincible, Walking Dead, I Kill Giants, Bad Dog, and the Hickman books I am ready to believe once more in the supremacy of Image. You would be hard pressed to name a publisher offering better material. Unfortunately, this book got a bit off track shipping wise and the wait between #3 and #4 was an epic poem in and of itself. Still, it was worth it. Going back and reading all four books in one sitting was a real treat. This is wonderful storytelling and the art is just beautiful. The colors absolutely leap off the page. Issue #5 is SCHEDULED to ship next month, which one can only hope is the case because I can't wait for this to conclude. 4.5/5

I Kill Giants #1-7 - Joe Kelly has been creeping steadily up my list of favorite writers. I enjoyed his mixed bag of a run on Supergirl. I think his two annuals for Superman/Batman are excellent. But it is his work for Image recently that has him solidifying himself as a "Must Read" writer. The cornerstone of my love for Joe Kelly is this mini-series: I Kill Giants. It is so many things, all wonderful. The story is will tear your guts out in the end and then have you smiling through tears. It has the best qualities of those "kids" stories that I love. Essentially, the story is about a little girl named Barbara who is a giant killer. Part of the charm of this book is trying to figure out if this is real or the fantasy of a young girl. I won't spoil it, but the "answers" are elusive, although totally satisfying. The art is done in almost manga style and in brilliant B&W. It can be frustrating at times, but overall it is a superb looking book. I honestly could not recommend this book more. If you enjoy things like Where The Wild Things Are or Never Ending Story...check out I Kill Giants. You will not be disappointed. 5/5
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu May 21, 2009 5:02 pm

I just recently picked up about three weeks worth of new comics. One of the beauties of having purged my list of only titles that I really, really enjoy is that I had an excellent reading experience. Most of the comics were at least slightly above average. It is always really tempting to follow your favorite super hero characters no matter what (or at least, it is for me :oops: ), but hopefully I have put those days behind me.

Anyway, in lieu of lengthy reviews for each title I will just give a rundown of my favorites:

Umbrella Academy #6 - Excellent conclusion. Gerard Way is officially the real deal. Twelve issues of excellence and originality. Plus, Gabriel Ba makes it all look so pretty (and Dave Stewart coloring? Forget about it. So awesome). Lets hope this team stays together for a long time.

Ex Machina #42 - I prefer the political stuff in this title, but I won't deny the awesomness of some of the super hero-y aspects at the forefront of this current arc. Hopefully, we'll get some answers. Still, this stands as one of the more interesting books on the stands.

Great Unknown #2 - I love Duncan Rouleau. His Metal Men mini for DC was superb and this Image mini is shaping up to be a great sci-fi romp. I love his visual style. Anyway, we get a lot more info on what this story is about in this second issue and it certainly has me excited. I just wish IMAGE had a more reliable publishing schedule.

Invincible #62 - Kirkman, it appears, is the answer to IMAGE's erratic scheduling as he has made good on his "On time in 09" pledge (although he claims that next year there will be no such pledge, how fucking lame is that? Just put out the books for gosh sake). Even though this is a dialogue light/action heavy issue it is not devoid of intrigue (especially that last page!) Can't wait to see how this arc shapes out (kill Atom Eve and I am coming for you Kirkman. End of story).

Green Lantern Corps. #36 - Solid story, filled with heroics and sacrifice. Why is Peter Tomasi out Johnsing Geoff Johns at the moment?
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:03 am

I have been doing my best to catch up on some books I meant to follow.

Terry Moore's ECHO and PHONOGRAM to be precise. All I can say is WOW.

First, ECHO. I never read Terry Moore's STRANGERS IN PARADISE so I do not have a point of reference for his other work. However, I may seek them out based on the quality of ECHO. The story is simple, Julie is a photographer whose life is falling apart when, while photographing at Moon Lake, a new weapon is being tested that explodes and rains down a strange metal on her. This metal attaches itself to her body, which sends her on the run as the company that created the weapon wants it back (at all costs) and she discovers that she isn't the only who was effected by the events.

What makes this so strong a book is the little moments of characterization that Moore infuses into the story. Yes, it is a sci-fi tale, but it is ultimately about Julie and her life. It was already falling apart, even before these things started happening to her. Moore shapes interesting and complex characters. Not to mention he is an excellent artist. This book is well worth your money. If you like sci-fi stories featuring characters that feel real...give this a shot.

PHONOGRAM: RUE BRITANNIA is mesmerizing. It drips of cool. The wealth of information jammed into each issue offers value beyond that of the main story, which happens to be very interesting. I'll hopefully get a chance to write more later, but PHONOGRAM is a refreshing comic. It is so many things, too many to list, but all fun. Along with UMBRELLA ACADEMY, one of the best new series to launch in the last few years.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:42 am

BUT WHAT DID YOU THINK OF BATMAN & ROBIN #1 !!!!!!!!???????

I thought it was pretty neat, 'cause I swore by All-Star Superman, but I have no idea what's going on... the story is actually in continuity.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:30 pm

Heh, I read Echo and liked it a lot. I forgot about it though. Has issue #2 come out?
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:16 pm

burlivesleftnut wrote:Heh, I read Echo and liked it a lot. I forgot about it though. Has issue #2 come out?


It is up to issue 11 right now!
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:43 pm

Hmmm. I am a little behind then.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Fried Gold on Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:13 am

Pacino86845 wrote:BUT WHAT DID YOU THINK OF BATMAN & ROBIN #1 !!!!!!!!???????

I thought it was pretty neat, 'cause I swore by All-Star Superman, but I have no idea what's going on... the story is actually in continuity.

Yeah from what I hear it continues straight on from Morrison's other Batman stuff. (Not sure if it will be the main Batman comic now.) Sounds interesting that it's Robin who'll be the dark, brooding one in the duo.

We don't get it here for a week or two... is it worth the purchase?
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:57 am

I picked it up as a fan of All-Star Superman, and from that point of view Morrison and Quiteley again demonstrate that they are a wicked team... but in terms of the story I feel like a confused child who just walked in on a conversation he maybe shouldn't be listening to. But yeah, I think it is worth the purchase if only for completeness with what's to come: a lot of interesting build up here, I get the feeling that Morrison is writing all of Gotham as though it were Arkham Asylum so we should brace ourselves for some psychotic stories.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:08 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:I picked it up as a fan of All-Star Superman, and from that point of view Morrison and Quiteley again demonstrate that they are a wicked team... but in terms of the story I feel like a confused child who just walked in on a conversation he maybe shouldn't be listening to. But yeah, I think it is worth the purchase if only for completeness with what's to come: a lot of interesting build up here, I get the feeling that Morrison is writing all of Gotham as though it were Arkham Asylum so we should brace ourselves for some psychotic stories.


You should pick up Morrison's run on Batman leading up to Final Crisis. It's brilliant, and I sure it will make you understand this issue better.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:52 pm

My brother has a few of those comics already, I will probably get into them soon and make a list of what we're missing for tracking down...
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:49 pm

If you haven't already, I suggest picking up Vertigo's newest: The Unwritten. The first issue is only $1, but it may be difficult to find. The second issue came out last week.

Bottom line: it is fantastic. A wonderfully rich narrative about the power of stories. This is the real deal. Mike Carey and Peter Goss have created the next Vertigo master work. Get in now.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:21 pm

Yeah I picked up the first issue when it came out since it seemed interesting enough and was only $1... I read the second issue too, there's an interesting story building up but besides the final panel of issue 2 we've yet to see any *real* developments or payoffs. Still I like what I've seen so far and am eager for what's next.

Speaking of Vertigo, I'd been following The Unknown Soldier and have basically given up at issue 7. While the series is quite good, the story and art seem to come from the European school of thought, except when I started this series I thought it was going to be a mini... but now it looks like either a really long mini or an ongoing series, which I am totally not interested in (namely 'cause I am trying to avoid any ongoing series, with very few exceptions). I do, however, appreciate the authentic vibe and direct references to current events in Uganda, which turns the comic into a sort of real-time alternate reality (which is actually kind of cool at the same time as being informative).

And speaking of The Unkown Soldier, and after having just finished watching Band of Brothers for the first time EVAR (amazing achievement... the series, not my watching it), I can recommend the new Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion, which is a 6-part miniseries with frankly amazing art and a tone very similar to that of Band of Brothers (well Sgt. Rock is hanging with Easy Company after all).
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:51 pm

I bought the first five issues of Unknown Soldier but haven't started reading them yet. They were a blind binge buy.

The solicits for The Unwritten in Sept. promise Rudyard Kipling plays a pivotal role in the story...so awesome. I love the slow burn.

I heard the Sgt Rock mini was meticulously researched. May have to seek it out.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:25 pm

No reviews for the end of the month?
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:01 pm

I have some more general reviews for you all. Put simply, I would like to devote this time to the resurgence of Vertigo (which happens to coincide with the death of FABLES! See my post in the FABLES thread for more on that). I have already written about my love for The Unwritten, but I delved into some of Vertigo's other newer offerings recently and found myself smitten on almost all of them.

First up, Northlanders, a book I had written off for dead a long time ago. I love Brian Wood as a writer, but those first few issues did not pull me in. I noticed that he was teaming up with Ryan Kelly again on an arc and started to wonder whether or not I should give it a second go. And so I did. It seems I picked the perfect time because issue #17 was perfect and has been, as far as I can tell, the best reviewed issue of the series. It is a one shot that stands as some of the best historical fiction I have read in the comic medium. If you can find it (it is almost impossible to pick up out here now) I suggest you do so. It doesn't end there, though, issue #18 begins a two-part story about shield maidens that looks to continue the awesomeness. I feel like a fool for ever doubting it.

Next, Unknown Solider. I have only read the first five issues of this title (they are up to #9 now, I believe) but I can say it is a very promising new series from Vertigo. A common refrain of late for me is "well researched". Indeed, I am finding myself more drawn to smart, informed work. Now, Unknown Soldier is still a pulp/action book. Make no mistake of that. However, it also contains some very interesting information (and commentary) on the plight of Uganda circa 2005. The setting is ripe for storytelling and I especially appreciate the essays at the back by the author and the external information provided by the website. A solid start and another well done revamp of a classic DC character by Vertigo.

Finally, the already dead Young Liars. The book has been canceled. Issue #18 will be it's last. Sadly, I am only just now beginning to read this absolutely batshit insane, but thoroughly entertaining series. This book is ratcheted up to 11 at every turn. There is just no describing the things that occur within it's pages. Suffice to say that if you are into the insanely absurd, the sadistically violent, or the Laphams's Stray Bullets...you may want to give this book a look. It won't disappoint on the insane.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:27 pm

Just finished Umbrella Academy: Dallas. Loads of fun. I took so long to read it, that I went back and reread all six issues. HAZEL AND CHA CHA 4EVER! Anyway, very interesting story with a big surprise ending. My only beef (and this is my beef with things like Lost, Runaways, Fringe, etc.) is that I keep waiting for a moment when these characters are going to step up and be heroes; work as a team, and that does happen to some extent, but the negative feelings between the characters bring me down. Not saying it isn't good, but I like the characters enough that I don't want to see them suffering ALL THE TIME. Oh and Space-Boy w/ gorilla body and santa claus beard=hot in my pants.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby unikrunk on Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:17 pm

Just read Blackest Night numero uno...this is not so much a review, rather, a gut reaction posted minutes after putting the book down.

HOLY FUCK. :shock:

I have to go read this again, right now. If you read GL and CORPS, you are really going to love this. If you are familiar with the DCU at all, you are probably going to like this a lot. If you are a fan of horror comics in general, this fucker is made for you.

Crazy violent, grotesque, and fun as hell. It's like Johns and Co. took a look at the progressively-less-fun Marvel Zombies, shook their collective heads and laughed, and threw down the gauntlet with this bitch.

Great book, will be buying the next one. Cheggit out, see what you think, comics fans.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:03 am

It was a bit much for me. I'm growing tired of what I see as gratuitous violence in hero comics. For me, low-key versions of the "big" deaths in #1 would have been sufficient. They didn't need to be bloodless, but I didn't need to see Sue and Ralph Dibney beat Kendra Saunders to death with a mace and rip out Carter Hall's heart. It was too far over the top, IMO, but I guess that's what sells comics today. Give me Johns's work on Action Comics over this, any time.

Also, a very similar idea was done 20 years ago in the "Five Years Later" period of Legion of Super-Heroes, without all the gore. It was quite entertaining.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby unikrunk on Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:39 pm

I hear ya, Dennis, but I don't know; as a horror-comic, it rocked, IMO. Had all the right elements, lined up perfectly for unikrunk. That being said, I will not bother with something like, oh, say, Crossed. It does not work for me; for the same reasons I don't watch stuff like Hostel...the torture-porn thing is lost on me entirely. There are levels and lines, you know? Using the DCU for a horror concept works I think, if handled correctly.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:42 pm

If it hadn't involved classic DC characters I think my reaction would have been different. I have to imagine my possible reaction to Watchmen, if it had featured the Charlton Action Heroes as originally intended, to rouse a similar emotion. Some projects take characters into spaces I don't care to see, and I don't mind them, but I'm still protective of my childhood in certain ways.

Crossed is something best not discussed when I'm around. Boy, does that comic make me angry. I can talk about it, even discuss the horrible details, but it has made me loathe Ennis.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby StarchildAD on Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:14 pm

Read Scalped #30 and its still good as it always is. My only complain is I have to wait what seems like an eternity for the next issue. I almost want to just read them in full arcs but theres no way I can do that... damn it!!! Still good.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DDMAN26 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:15 am

I read Wednesday Comics issue 1, will read issue 2 soon. While some of the stories are hit and miss overall it's a lot of fun. Which is what reading comics should be.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby HoldyourfireAl on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:32 am

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 vol 2

I have to admit that when I first saw the promo pics of "melon-head" Ultimate Spider-Man, I was very worried. My fears were easily brushed aside upon reading Ultimate Spider-Man #1 vol 2. This is Brian Michael Bendis' baby and it is the book that plays on all his stengths of characterization and dialog. Bendis work on this book continues to remind me why I fell in love with comics back in 1974. Every character matters. There is drama and there is plenty of fun. It's almost as if Stan Lee were a young man and writing Spider-Man for this modern world of ours. A greater compliment I cannot give.



DAVID LAFUENTE really impressed me! I was dreading his art, but he totally turned me around! He is a master story-teller and every panel was exciting and fun! Will I embrace him as much as Mark Bagely? Maybe...:)



Al



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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:19 pm

Blackest Night #1: A pretty cool opening issue, but it wasn't anywhere near as cool as the Sinestro Corps. One Shot that got everyone fired up. The art is top notch, but that is to be expected from this crew. I am excited to see where it goes, but the hype may have done this one in before it even had a chance. 3.5/5

Brave & The Bold #27: I really enjoyed a good portion of the JMS Spidey run. It wasn't perfect, but it had some very memorable moments. Of course, it will always be remembered for the way it ended, but that is unfortunate. Further, I was one of the many impressed with the JMS THOR run. So, I was quite excited to see JMS head to DC. B&B #27 is exactly what i was hoping for from him. An excellent one-shot. Give me more of these, please. 4/5

Ex Machina #44 - 45: BKV knows how to end stories. Ok, maybe the end of Runaways was a bit off, but the ending to Volume 1 was spectacular. And the ending to Y: The Last Man? Pitch perfect. It should come as no surprise then to see Ex Machina ramping up considerably as it moves to a conclusion. It is apparently the year of the color spectrum. 4.5/5

Fantastic Four #570: Jonathan Hickman is an extraordinary voice in comics. I was very upset with Marvel for scooping him up, even though I knew it was inevitable. I adored his creator owned work, but the allure of working for the big boys was too much. Thankfully, the result is him on Fantastic Four with Dale Eaglesham. The Fantastic Four is good again. Rejoice. 4/5

Sweet Tooth #1: One of the more interesting titles to be released in a while. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. Jeff Lemire is the last person I would expect to make a Vertigo book. But here it is and it is about...a boy with antlers? The bizarre combination and Lemire's proven track record should be enough to get you to buy this book. Oh and it is only $1. Oh, and it is really fucking good. 4/5
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:09 pm

Fantastic Four #571: This issue was even better than the last. Hickman brings a vivid and endless imagination to the title, which has been missing for some time. This is the best the FF have been since I began reading comics at the tail end of JMS' run. I love Reed's passion, arrogance, and love for his family. It is such a great mix and Hickman nails it.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:38 pm

In an effort to catch up with all that I have missed, I decided to read some issues of Action Comics and Superman that happened post-New Krypton.

The first few issues of Rucka's Action isn't bad. Very violent and aggressive. The biggest surprise, for me, was how much I enjoyed the first three issues of Robinson's SUPERMAN w/ Mon-El as the lead. Especially the last issue, which had a very poignant last page. If his stories continue on like this, I may be convinced to pick up his JLA.

Robinson is a writer I am enjoying the more I read from him.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:24 am

Keeping the SUPERMAN family train moving along...

SUPERGIRL: WHO IS SUPERWOMAN?: I absolutely love the character of Supergirl. I have since the moment she was reintroduced into the DCU. I loved every issue of her series, even the ones people think are abysmal. This arc, by far, is the best Supergirl story I have read. Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle just knock this out of the park. I can't even tell you how impressed I am with what I have read of the Superman family as of late. Robinson and Gates, especially, are crafted wonderful stories. I would love to see a Supergirl/Mon-El team-up. I love that Kara is taking responsibility and finding her way. I am so very excited. I really hope Sterling and Jamal are in this for the long haul. Who knew life without Superman could be so good?
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:05 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Keeping the SUPERMAN family train moving along...

SUPERGIRL: WHO IS SUPERWOMAN?: I absolutely love the character of Supergirl. I have since the moment she was reintroduced into the DCU. I loved every issue of her series, even the ones people think are abysmal. This arc, by far, is the best Supergirl story I have read. Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle just knock this out of the park. I can't even tell you how impressed I am with what I have read of the Superman family as of late. Robinson and Gates, especially, are crafted wonderful stories. I would love to see a Supergirl/Mon-El team-up. I love that Kara is taking responsibility and finding her way. I am so very excited. I really hope Sterling and Jamal are in this for the long haul. Who knew life without Superman could be so good?


Yes finally Supergirl has some footing. Who is Superwoman? was a well crafted story with some excellent long lasting effects. And I am glad they now have the "stop showing kara's panties" edict. She's a teenager for christ sake and this ain't japan,
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:26 am

I picked up Superboy vol. 1 #131, 132 and 136, from 1966 and 1967. These have entertaining, silly Superboy stories, but I bought them for the second features.

In #131, "Krypto Joins the Dog Legionnaires" on the cover but inside is "The Dog from S.C.P.A.!" while patrolling space, Krypto sees a giant balloon pierced by a missile. The "balloon" turns out to be a massive, Bouncing Boy-type dog, Mammoth Mutt. Mortally wounded, he explains to Krypto that he was attacked by "dog crooks over on the next world" and passes on the mission of the Space Canine Patrol Agents. Krypto goes after the bad dogs but feels he needs a disguise. He puts on the emergency "Clark Kent glasses" he carries in his cape and calls himself Air Daile, the flying dog. Other SPCA members he meets are Hot Dog (guess what he does, and he's a dachshund), Tusky Husky (enlarges one tooth into a huge tusk), Tail Terrier (snake-like, elastic, prehensile tail), Chameleon Collie (shape changer), Bull Dog (grows large horns) and Paw Pooch, who grows many legs and extends his body. Krypto loses most his powers, but he employs his super dog brain to plan an escape using the abilities of the other dogs and they defeat the dog crooks. Interestingly, no one asks Krypto, in his Air Daile guise, why he's wearing a cape with the "S" shield.

In #132, "Krypto's Cat-Crook Caper!", the dog of steel gets his official SCPA uniform. We see a Legion-style tryout and hear a truncated version of the SCPA cheer: Big Dog! Big Dog! Bow Wow Wow! as the dog legionnaires salute their pennant, marked with the constellation Canis Majorus. The SCPAers hold a fund-raising rodeo on "Canine-Feline World, where cats and dogs live together in friendship!" Aww ... Cat crooks steal the proceeds of the rodeo and humiliate Krypto, who has to think fast to prove himself to his fellows and retrieve the stolen money bones.

Superboy joins the story in #136, "Decoy of the Doom Statues!" Another SCPA tryout, Prophetic Pooch, predicts Krypto's actions throughout the story in order to prove himself. We see bear aliens from Ursa Major (naturally), giant fleas and the SCPA memorial park. More cunning cats are foiled by the stalwart canines, but they make their escape. At last, Superboy appears and gets a taste of kryptonite from those troublesome felines. The dog heroes don't even save the day. Some random kid frees Kal-El and his best friend from the trap.

These stories are unsigned, possibly written by Jerry Siegel, who took low-paying assignments from DC for a while in the '60s. I can't identify the artists. No doubt interesting and even exciting to the children who read them forty-plus years ago, today they are good for a laugh and still quite entertaining. I think I got a good deal at $20 for all three, in reading condition.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:47 am

haha that sounds like a lot of fun. Krypto is the bomb. Must have scan of Krypto in Clark Kent glasses.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:58 pm

Those sound great Dennis! A puppy legion! A planet where dog and cat live in harmony! Awesome.

Well worth the purchase, if I do say so myself.

The Supergirl Annual was EXCELLENT. I love that SUPERGIRL has two really strong villains in her stable. Gates is just on fire. I can't wait to read his WORLD'S FINEST.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:21 pm

Image Image

I love the expression on Krypto's face in the second panel.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby burlivesleftnut on Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:19 am

DennisMM wrote:Image Image

I love the expression on Krypto's face in the second panel.


Haha those are perfect. I want my own krypto with "dog" logic.
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Absolute Promethea

Postby TheButcher on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:54 am

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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:38 am

Most of my comics reading lately has been with older/odder books... I have been keeping up with some new releases but I haven't read a lot of them yet (Glamourpuss, Wednesday Comics)...

IRREDEEMABLE: Ok I am planting my sword behind this series. They are up to issue 7, they've got a trade for the first five issues so far. The story kicks off with the most powerful man on earth, The Plutonian, who is basically a blonde Superman, beginning a murderous rampage. Why did this erstwhile goodie-goodie snap and become a seriously vicious evildoer? His former team mates try to assemble and figure out what the hell is going on... but they are dealing with a person who can hear every sound on earth at any time, who can be anywhere on earth at any time, who probably has the physical strength to literally tear the planet apart, and doesn't appear to have a weakness akin to Supes' kryptonite. I am a very cranky buyer when it comes to picking up new series because I am intentionally a casual reader... the dude at my comics shop has always been very supportive of this, and always recommends things I "have to" read. This book was one of them, and it's one of his best suggestions for sure.

HAUNT #1: the comic book guy recommended this as well... McFarlane is partly responsible for this title, so naturally my first instinct was to avoid it like the plague. I picked it up though because of the exuberant recommendation... ok the book is not bad, the first issue is compelling enough. I don't care too much for the artwork, because it's basically toned-down McFarlane style (McFarlane doesn't do the art, instead he has a couple of his cronies illustrating), which is actually acceptable... there are a couple of cool moments, illustration-wise, but the catch here so far has been the story. Haunt is pretty violent and vulgar, but it's well written enough to not look cheap, and there is a neat moment half-way through the first issue that should pique most readers' interest (I ain't spoilin' nothin'!). We don't see the titular character 'til the end of the issue, which also makes me wonder where they're gonna go next (without that cool moment halfway the book would've been mediocre), but for a start the creators half been successful thus far.

RELIGIOUS (for lack of a better term) COMICS:

I read Osamu Tezuka's Buddha series as it was being released by Vertical... awesome telling of Buddha's story, Tezuka having been a devout Buddhist was clearly passionate and serious about his beliefs, but he nonetheless took liberties as he told the epic story. You really get to understand the wonder that a master of the comics medium can accomplish, seemingly so effortlessly, especially when you consider what other masters have done in a similar vein-

THE GOLDEN PLATES: Have only just picked this up as a Mike Allred junkie. It is the telling of the Book of Mormon. Mike Allred is an extremely talented artist, I would even dare to call him a transcendental artist with a fundamental understanding of pop art. As a devout Mormon he obviously believes that the comics medium could be a great way to provide insight to people regarding the core beliefs of his religion. I am totally behind his cause in this regard, considering the scope of his talent. Having read the first issue so far though, I have to sadly state that the book is rather stiff. There is a lot of text, and I am pretty sure Allred has accomplished quite a feat in putting this book together, as by all means it is a beautiful comic, but so far it's been pretty tough getting through it... and the fact that it's in comic form might have something to do with that. The medium is very much designed as half-sprawled, half-serialized storytelling, and it might simply be the nature of the history of the Mormons, or the fact that Allred is *too* reverential of the Book of Mormon that it comes across as an illustrated textbook. Theology is a subject that has interested me since my teens, so I will continue reading through this series if only to get more informed about the Mormon religion, but I can't really recommend this to anyone unless they share my interest.

THE BOOK OF GENESIS AS ILLUSTRATED BY R. CRUMB: I am also an R. Crumb junkie, and this book just came out last year. It is an OGN, comes all nice in hardcover form, and as the title (as well as Crumb's foreword) suggests, it is the entire Book of Genesis with accompanying illustrations. Crumb simplified his task by taking this approach, and luckily the Book of Genesis in text form already flows really well, so the outcome is that you obtain a graphic novel that flows really well. Crumb is an atheist, but he acknowledges the impact of the Bible and in my opinion has a suitable respect for the material. I can imagine that some people would take offense to Crumb's illustrated Genesis, but if you know Crumb's other work and how adamant he is about his warped creative freedom, you will be impressed by how much he's restrained himself here. The result is a rather peaceful and beautiful graphic novel, it's nice to see Crumb's artwork in a different context. But if you are turned off by the subject matter, and would nevertheless like to see toned-down Crumb, there are other options out there, but this is the "biggest" project he's done in that vein.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:52 pm

Anyone seen Planetary #27 yet? I won't have it until the end of the week!
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:59 pm

DennisMM wrote:Anyone seen Planetary #27 yet? I won't have it until the end of the week!


Nothing but positive reviews from what I have seen. The issue is titled "Perfect" and I can't tell you how many reviews have used that term to describe the book.
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:03 pm

I got to my preferred LCS yesterday, after two weeks away, and my hold slot did not contain Planetary #27. I asked why and, upon checking, the owner told me I was not on the holds for the issue. WHAT? It's been on my holds list since #16! Apparently, all holds for the title were canceled after the book disappeared for two years, and everyone had to request #27 separately if they wanted it. Pisses me off greatly, let me tell you, as the shop had no extra copies and now I have to wait for the reorders to arrive!
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby Pacino86845 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:10 pm

I picked up Planetary #27 on my last visit to my LCS... it's the only issue I own, I'm not reading it 'til I can get my hands on the earlier stuff, will order the trades at some point. This series had better be good!!!
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Re: Comic Book Reviews

Postby DennisMM on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:16 pm

It's better than good; it's great.

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