Comic Book Reviews

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

Postby Spifftacular SquirrelGirl on Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:43 pm

instant_karma wrote:Just finished reading first issue of volume 3 of The Ultimates.

I'm too underwhelmed to write anything other than how underwhelming it is...


I did hear that was horribly bad... complete departure from Millar's Ultimates.

Jeph Leob what happened to you? :P
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Postby instant_karma on Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:00 pm

Spifftacular SquirrelGirl wrote:
instant_karma wrote:Just finished reading first issue of volume 3 of The Ultimates.

I'm too underwhelmed to write anything other than how underwhelming it is...


I did hear that was horribly bad... complete departure from Millar's Ultimates.

Jeph Leob what happened to you? :P


One word. Heroes.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:18 am

I picked up an issue of a comic called The Long Count, which basically takes place in a world where Latin America gave European invaders a big fuck you and sent them packing. The book takes place in the year 2012, which by Mayan calendars is the last year in like EVA. The first issue has beautiful art even though I couldn't tell what the fuck was happening in the action sequences, but the story and mystery are solid.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:21 am

I know we don't have a TON of comic readers here, but I was thinking we might close this thread (or start another) for the purposes of doing a 2008 Comic Review thread like the one for movies. Since comics AREN'T movies, I figured we could group things by Title, Event or Characters. I dunno. Just a thought.

Anyone else have any ideas on this?
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Postby Spifftacular SquirrelGirl on Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:05 am

burlivesleftnut wrote:I know we don't have a TON of comic readers here, but I was thinking we might close this thread (or start another) for the purposes of doing a 2008 Comic Review thread like the one for movies. Since comics AREN'T movies, I figured we could group things by Title, Event or Characters. I dunno. Just a thought.

Anyone else have any ideas on this?


I'm all for a 2008 thread. I don't get out to the comic shop as much as I used to but I love discussing comics. Plus there should be a lot to talk about next year as far as Skrulls and Final Crisis, right?
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:07 am

I'm not going to be around much, but I back that as a sound idea regardless of my preference.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:08 pm

Hey folks. After a brief absence...I am back to the Zone full time. I fell awful about neglecting the Comic Book Forum for so long so consider me down for the 2008 thread...and I will hopefully be a regular contributor.

And also...anyone pick up Pax Romana #1 last week? It is the new mini-series by the man who did Nighty News (jonathon hickman). It is a sci-fi tale about the Vatican developing time-travel and sending back an army of mercenaries to create a new Roman Empire with the Church at the head.

If you liked Nightly News than this will be RIGHT up your alley. Some real kick ass stuff.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:56 pm

Ok did anyone else read the latest issue of Batman? Because it was chalk full of crazyness and it also featured the return of...well lets just say there is some more Silver Aged Goodness to be found within those pages!

One of the better issues since GM has taken over Batman.
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Postby The Vicar on Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:05 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Hey folks. After a brief absence...I am back to the Zone full time. I fell awful about neglecting the Comic Book Forum for so long so consider me down for the 2008 thread...and I will hopefully be a regular contributor.


Didn't expect this for Christmas.
Damned glad news.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:18 pm

The Vicar wrote:
Leckomaniac wrote:Hey folks. After a brief absence...I am back to the Zone full time. I fell awful about neglecting the Comic Book Forum for so long so consider me down for the 2008 thread...and I will hopefully be a regular contributor.


Didn't expect this for Christmas.
Damned glad news.


:oops:


How about some reviews to start off the new year??!!?!

Reviews for December 28th, 2007

DC

Action Comics #860 - Geoff Johns is the perfect writer for the DC Universe. I have no doubt that one day he will be EIC of DC Comics. The man has such an insane understanding of the entire DC Universe that it isn't a stretch to think that he could write EVERY single DC book and make them all interesting and accesible. This new arc involving the Legion of Super Heroes has been quite a fun ride. Gary Frank is a solid artist and he will hopefully bring the consistency that this title has lacked. Bottom line is this: if it has Geoff Johns' name on the cover you should be buying it. End of story. 4/5

Batman #672 - I avoided the Ra's Al Ghul storyline that ran throughout the Bat titles recently. I just wasn't interested and frankly I resented the story for interrupting the ongoing stories in Morrison's Batman. This issue picks up on the story threads that started on the first few panels of Morrison's Batman run. As a result, it is kind of hard to follow considering those issues were released a year ago. Still, I found myself able to follow the story well enough to enjoy myself. And it honestly isn't hard to enjoy yourself with this book considering all the Morrison crazyness that exists throughout the whole book. And that last page reveal? Made me fricken laugh out loud and got me excited for the next issue all at the same time. It is stuff like this, the Ninja Man Bats and the International Batmen that should remain the focus of Morrison's Batman run. 4/5

Green Lantern #26 - With each new issue of Green Lantern it becomes increasingly apparent that Geoff Johns wants the title of "Greatest Lantern Writer Ever" and honestly...he might get it. Ever since Rebirth (a story I liked a lot) Johns has been crafting some of the greatest Lantern stories ever told. He has shown an uncanny grasp of every single character in the Lantern Universe and utilizing this understanding he has painting a clear picture of each character making each issue as accessible as humanly possible. He is truly a man at the top of his craft handling a character he was born to shape. The new developments in this issue prove to be extremely interesting and make me eager for what is to come next. My only complaint is that part of this story feels like it belongs in GL Corps and not Hal Jordan's Green Lantern title, but I honestly didn't mind that much because it is all just so awesome. And don't let anyone fool you...Mike McKone's art is good too even if he isn't one of the big two GL artists. 4.5/5

Hellblazer #239 - Andy Diggle has returned Hellblazer to a level of quality it has not seen in some time. This issue is almost completely without the title character, but it is still a very solid and GRAPHIC story. I love reading Hellblazer each month and that makes me happy. 3.5/5

Marvel

Avengers: The Initiative #8 - This series has been really up and down since its inception. I love Dan Slott, but sometimes this book can seem like a bit of a mess. When Slott does manage to get the focus right the book proves to be something really unique in the Marvel U. Between this issue and the recent annual it appears that the focus issues have been somewhat solved. I think a lot of it has to do with Christos Gage coming onboard to co-write. I love Gage and his presence here is quite the welcome one. 4/5

Captain America #33 - With each new issue of this series I am fascinated at how Ed Brubaker has continued to write interesting stories about a character who has been dead for 8 issues. This issue was mainly setup for the next issue where Bucky is poised to become the next Captain America. There is also a brief fight between Bucky and Iron man. What makes this title work so well is more than just Brubaker's writing it is also Epting's cinematic artwork. At this point in time it is fairly obvious that Brubaker's run thus far has been something special, but it remains to be seen what will happen once a new Cap will emerge. Regardless, Brubakers and Epting have earned my trust and I am eager to find out what 2008 has in store for "Captain America". 3.5/5

Daredevil #103 - Matt Murdock is beginning to unspool and frankly that is when the character is at his best. His woman is being messed with (again!) and he is getting desperate. I really hope the next issue takes it to the level that the last page promises. Imagine if Murdock has to come to grips with torturing someone in order to get the information he needs to save his wife? Ultimately, this storyline is only slightly above average. For most that would be fine, but for someone as talented as Brubaker the bar is set explicitly higher...especially given his outstanding first arc. Regardless, I am still psyched for the next issue. 3/5

Iron Man #24 - Iron Man, it seems, is in EVERY book that Marvel publishes. The guy is more prevelant than Wolverine and THAT is saying something. I fear that this oversaturation is having an adverse effect on the phenomenal work the Knauf brothers are doing in Iron Man's proper series. This series has been rock solid as of late and has gone a long way to undoing the bad will Iron Man generated in Civil War. The characterization is spot on and the art is solid. Also, the Mandarin has become so sinister and creepy it just rocks. And I also love how a lot of the art in the Marvel U has become kind of similar looking. Maybe it is just me, but Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Man, Iron Fist and Thunderbolts all FEEL and LOOK like they exist in the same universe. I love it. 3.5/5

Thor #5 - Man has this relaunch been rocky. I mean we are five issues in and the series just feels like it is struggling to gain any forward momentum. I constantly ask myself "is this GOING anywhere?" and I am genuinely uncertain. Not to mention the series has been decidedly weak on any sort of characterization. I mean I was a bit fuzzy on Thor history going in and nothing this series has done has helped me to further understand the main characters. And what is with Thor and his alter ego watching from afar? Did I miss something here? Was that scene inside his head of something? And Loki is a girl now? What?!?!?! That isn't to say the issue is without its merits though. The art is just outstanding and makes some of the more mediocre moments stand out a bit more. 3/5

Ultimate Spider-Man #117 - I always find it ironic when a decompressed story ends up feeling rushed. It just seems so odd. I couldn't believe what I was reading as I went from page to page. Is this the same guy who has delivered solid story after solid story for the past two years? I don't know. Every page feels so hurried and the emotional moment at the end just feels so forced. It is so frustrating when you consider that BMB has delivered emotional moments so well in past issues of Ultimate Spidey. Well, lets just hope the next arc rights the ship. 2.5/5

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Pax Romana #1 - I loved Nightly News. I really, really loved it. This new series by Nightly News writer/artist Jonathon Hickman put to rest any fear i had that he was a one hit wonder. The premise is so outlandish and I absolutely love it. Hickman has stated he wants to tell multiple stories within this universe and based on the first issue alone I can already tell you that I desperately want that to happen. In just one issue it is apparent that the universe he has built up is so rich and just begging to be mined for years to come. If you enjoyed Nightly News at all or you enjoy smart Science Fiction, check out Pax Romana. 4.5/5

The Verdict: What an outstanding week of comics. Boy did 2007 go out with a bang.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:35 pm

Sorry I missed last week, but it happens. How about this weeks reviews!

DC

Scalped #13 - Jason Aaron is so frakkin talented. The Other Side was pure brilliance and his first 13 issues of Scalped are pure Vertigo goodness. This issue kicks off a new storyline as Dash's dead mother is finally brought to the forefront. Aaron crafts a near perfect issue. The final three pages are quite excellent...credit R.M. Guera's art for that. Silence can sometimes be the most powerful way to get something across. Simply outstanding. 5/5

Marvel

Hulk #1 - Hm. This issue is sort of vexing for me because it had some pretty solid moments in it and the art was absolutely solid, but there was something that just didn't sit right with me. It was most certainly some of the best writing that Loeb has done since he has been back at Marvel...but that isn't really saying much since his output as of late has been absolutely horrid. Maybe I am crazy, but I just don't get why Marvel constantly feels the need to separate the Hulk from Bruce Banner. Still, there is enough here to make me come back for more. I was not really convinced that there needed to be two Hulk titles, and this does nothing to change my mind. Greg Pak made the Hulk relevant for the first time in a long while...so why not let him stick with the character Marvel? Some questionable choices editorially if you ask me. 3/5

Mighty Avengers #7 - This is why delays suck. The Mighty Avengers has been operating months behind and it is sucking all the momentum out of the title. This issue takes place after the big breated robot attack and it ends as the Venoms are taking over New York. The problem is that we already saw this go down in New Avengers. We know how it ends. If this title had come out concurrently with the New Avengers storyline than it probably would have been interesting...and the title has SOME redeeming qualities because Bendis writes great thought bubbles for Ares, but the title also suffers from the fact that...NOTHING hapens this title. The Avengers talk for a bit about Stark having boobs...and then they try to have a fashion intervention for Marvel Man. Yeah...seriously. Bagley's pencils are nice though. Still, only an average title. 3/5

X-Factor #27 - Yikes. I think this is the first issue of the Messiah Complex crossover that really had a noticable slide in quality. Which is surprising considering it was penned by my favorite writer of 2007 Peter David. There is a bit of exposition by the young Bishop that is just AWFUL. Thankfully, there is also an excellent layla miller moment that almost wiped the bad taste out of my mouth. That really sums up the issue. There are some cringe worthy moments in here, but they are normally followed by some genuinely good moments. A seriously uneven issue...and hey it only took eleven issues to give us a sub par issue. Not bad. 3/5

Dark Horse

The Goon #20 - So apparently, this issue kicks off The Goon going monthly...which is good because I love The Goon. I hope it does stick to a monthly schedule because that would give Dark Horse a real foothold on the indie market. With Buffy shipping regularly, now The Goon and the Star Wars titles...not to mention Hellboy and all of its affiliates. That is quite the strong lineup. Anywho, this issue is some flat out Goon goodness. It is funny, it has solid art, and it is pure pulp. Give this title a try if you haven't already. Lets hope going monthly gives this title the exposure it deserves. 4/5

The Verdict: Not many titles this week and most were considered average, but it isn't everyday I get to hand out a 5/5. That has to count for something. And plus...The Goon!
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:02 pm

Hulk #1 - Man this was bad. I mean awful awful awful. Who thought this was a good idea? Hmm, let's hype the shit out of this RED Hulk, and then let's not even show the mother fucker in the first issue. Stupid. Let's spend half the issue with Doc Samson and She-Hulk in some lame Crossing Jordan rip off scene. Stupid. How about we kill the Abomination in the first issue for no reason? Stupid. How about Doc Samson throwing a random punch at someone in the middle of a conversation? Stupid. It's all stupid. The half-retard janitor at my place of employment could have written a better story.
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Postby Chilli on Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:04 pm

I'll try and put up a few Graphic Novel reviews tomorrow.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:19 pm

burlivesleftnut wrote:Hulk #1 - Man this was bad. I mean awful awful awful. Who thought this was a good idea? Hmm, let's hype the shit out of this RED Hulk, and then let's not even show the mother fucker in the first issue. Stupid. Let's spend half the issue with Doc Samson and She-Hulk in some lame Crossing Jordan rip off scene. Stupid. How about we kill the Abomination in the first issue for no reason? Stupid. How about Doc Samson throwing a random punch at someone in the middle of a conversation? Stupid. It's all stupid. The half-retard janitor at my place of employment could have written a better story.


I share all of your complaints, but I still thought there was enough to get me to come back. More than anything...I just want Marvel to let Greg Pak write Bruce Banner as the Hulk again. It is so fucking silly to have removed him.

And how about the caption "Middle of Alaska...100 miles from anything" and then we pull back to see Rick Jones standing RIGHT NEXT to an outpost. 100 miles from anything, eh?

Oh and Doc Samson punching that Russian was the dumbest thing I have ever soon. I thought I was missing a page.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:49 pm

I did too!
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Postby DennisMM on Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:49 pm

What happened to the Doc Samson who appeared in X-Factor last year? He was a reasonable individual.

Lecko, I think they meant the outpost was 100 miles from anywhere, but I could be wrong. My first reading led me to the same thought you had.

How many times has Rick been the Hulk now? I think this is three - if he is the Hulk and it's not some red herring. Bad pun fully intended.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:41 am

I am totally digging on this X-Over. The latest issue was X-Factor was fine. I know you prolly didn't like it because it wasn't exclusively about the most boring team in the Marvel Universe, but I thought it was good. The BEST part of the x-over has been Layla and Jamie's story. So sad and tragic and x-men-y.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:45 am

burlivesleftnut wrote:I am totally digging on this X-Over. The latest issue was X-Factor was fine. I know you prolly didn't like it because it wasn't exclusively about the most boring team in the Marvel Universe, but I thought it was good. The BEST part of the x-over has been Layla and Jamie's story. So sad and tragic and x-men-y.


I love the heck out of Messiah Complex as well. And this latest issue of X-Factor was good, but lil' Bishop's exposition was cringe-worthy and Cyclops' complete dismissal of Jamie Madrox and Emma Frost shutting him down just pissed me off to no end. Seemed like a piss poor way to handle the situation considering.

But man that Layla moment this issue just tugged at my heart strings.

I liked the issue, but some things just didn't sit right with me. And why does Prof. X sometimes look like Patrick Stewart and sometimes not? The trade of this is going to be quite uneasy.
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:55 am

The Bishop monologue was far below David's usual level. He must have been forced to include all the background and couldn't find any other way.

"I'm Layla ... Madrox. I know st-"
The absence of a sound effect made that a very powerful moment. Although it was a dupe, she was killing the man she knows she'll marry.

I'm reminded by this issue that Mr. Sinister has both a dumb name and a dreadful costume. But so do any number of other villains created by the future Image boys.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:59 am

DennisMM wrote:The Bishop monologue was far below David's usual level. He must have been forced to include all the background and couldn't find any other way.

"I'm Layla ... Madrox. I know st-"
The absence of a sound effect made that a very powerful moment. Although it was a dupe, she was killing the man she knows she'll marry.

I'm reminded by this issue that Mr. Sinister has both a dumb name and a dreadful costume. But so do any number of other villains created by the future Image boys.


I think that Layla moment was my favorite of the whole event thus far. Just really powerful stuff.

I really hope the last few chapters pay off. This event has been really well put together...it needs to deliver.
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:02 am

I don't really give a damn about the story except as it affects X-Factor and Astonishing, if it affects AXM at all. Will Ellis get crossover immunity as Whedon has?
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:43 pm

I have a confession to make: I started reading Countdown again with the last issue where they finally find Ray Palmer. Surprisingly things have gotten a lot better, especially the revelation about Jimmy Olsen.

Superman #672 continued it's mediocre Insect Queen storyline. I've really been enjoying both Action and Superman since the end of the last Crisis, but this story is way dull.

The latest Wolverine storyline about what happens when Wolverine actually dies wrapped up in #61, and I will say this is about the worst story arc I have ever read. The idea is totally dumb, the art is fucking awful, and the writing is subpar. BLECH!

Did anyone read the first issue of The Twelve? No?

Lucky you.

Green Arrow and Black Canary #4 was pretty good IMO, but it helps that it has just about the best art of any book on the market. Cliff Chiang is a wonder. The style is very old school and beautiful.

I read some other stuff, but it was all mediocre crap.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:45 pm

burlivesleftnut wrote:I have a confession to make: I started reading Countdown again with the last issue where they finally find Ray Palmer. Surprisingly things have gotten a lot better, especially the revelation about Jimmy Olsen.

Superman #672 continued it's mediocre Insect Queen storyline. I've really been enjoying both Action and Superman since the end of the last Crisis, but this story is way dull.

The latest Wolverine storyline about what happens when Wolverine actually dies wrapped up in #61, and I will say this is about the worst story arc I have ever read. The idea is totally dumb, the art is fucking awful, and the writing is subpar. BLECH!

Did anyone read the first issue of The Twelve? No?

Lucky you.

Green Arrow and Black Canary #4 was pretty good IMO, but it helps that it has just about the best art of any book on the market. Cliff Chiang is a wonder. The style is very old school and beautiful.

I read some other stuff, but it was all mediocre crap.


Yeah I had heard that Countdown was showing some signs of life. I read the spoilers for every issue...and the stuff with Jason Todd and the E-51 Batman sounded pretty interesting. And could Jimmy Olsen give birth to the Fifth World? Perhaps.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Jason Todd subplot. I thought that was very interesting. I have never read Kingdom Come, so I don't know what the big deal is with Red Robin or whatever, but I am excited that his character might be making a big step.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:28 am

Reviews! Reviews!

DC

Booster Gold #6 - Man, time travel stories are tricky. The first few issues of the new Booster Gold series have been quite fun and I thought the last issue involving The Killing Joke was a great way to demonstrate WHY some stories should be left untouched. And then Johns and Co. decide to go and change the outcome of one of the biggest events in recent DC history. Now I have all the confidence that at the end of this arc, Ted Kord will die the way he was meant too...I mean he HAS too, right? And since the outcome is pretty much inevitable...I am left feeling kind of cold by this issue. Was it well written? Yes. But I just don't know. Something doesn't sit right. 2.5/5

DMZ #27 - Brian Wood continues to impress me. He has such a strong sense of the urban experience. More so than any other writer he really gets what it is to live in a big city. I really miss the main story, but these little one-and-done stories have been pretty solid, especially this one. This particular stories revolves around a D.J. and the club that he loves. A big shot DJ from Japan is coming in to broadcast live, this doesn't sit right with a few people and they try to prevent the club from being exploited. There is so much more to the story than this and that is the beauty of DMZ and Brian Wood. Each character, even though they briefly appear are fleshed out so well. The stories are so deep, rich, and complex. Yet they are still so...human. DMZ is a real treat and Brian Wood, when he is at his best, is one of the unique voices in the comics medium. 4/5

The Spirit #12 - I am finding it difficult to write about this issue. Will Eisner's The Spirit is a legend in comics. One of the classic characters created by one of the real giants in the history of comics. I am sad to report that I had no familiarity with the character before getting into Darwyn Cooke's run other than those two facts. This character was important. Now, Cooke's 11 previous issues have been good. Some better than others, but always an enjoyable read. Most of them were stand alone tales that really showcased what the character had to offer, even to a newcomer like me. His last issue is something entirely different. It is a towering love story. A grand love story. It is epic in its simplicity. Denny Colt has always, and will always love Sand Sarif. That, in a nutshell, is what this issue is about. There is something so familiar in this tale and I would say that is always the case with great stories. They are strangely familiar and that is what makes them so powerful. This issue is reason enough for fans all over to lament the departure of Cooke and co. from this title. I can't imagine how any writer could fill the shoes that he and his team have left. An outstanding conclusion to this run and one that is fitting of a character with such a pristine legacy. 5/5

Marvel

Incredible Hercules #113 - I can't even fathom how this book works. There is no reason why it should be this good. A Hulk book starring Hercules and Amedeus Cho? Certainly doesn't sound like a recipe for a top book. It shouldn't work, but believe you me it most certainly does. The second issue of "Incredible Herc" is even better than the first. Ares is written as an intelligent and Brutal God of War instead of a jock with a varsity letterman jackets as he is depicted in Mighty Avengers. A really solid foil for the tragic Hercules. Plus, I love me some Amadeus Cho. At this point I think it is safe to say I am absolutely sold on Greg Pak as a writer. What he and Fred Van Lente have crafted here in two issues has me completely captivated. Kudos. 4/5

Iron Fist #12 - I am simply amazed at how Fraction and Brubaker have created such a RICH mythology for Iron Fist in just 12 issues. The universe feels so fleshed out and so exciting. This issue may very well be the best of this current arc, which is saying something because this arc has been fantastic. My one real complaint is the art that wasn't done by David Aja. His art compliments Fraction and Brubakers writing so well that it really irks me to see someone else trying to draw this universe. Iron Fist is the best new Marvel U book to launch since Runaways. That's a fact. 4.5/5

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Fell #9 - It has been quite a long time since I was able to hold a new issue of Fell in my hands. As I was picking up this new issue I wondered: "I wonder if this title is as good as I remember." I can honestly say I was having my doubts. Then I read the issue and it all came back to me...like a breathe of fresh air. Self-contained, superbly written, hauntingly illustrated, and quite affordable. The biggest complaint I have of this issue is that when I finished it I realized it would be some time before I was going to be able to hold another new issue in my hands. This is what comic books should be. 5/5

IDW

Angel: After the Fall #3 - My love for Angel is boundless. It literally knows no bounds. I was so worried that this comic would not live up to the series. Especially that amazing finale. This issue put all those fears to rest. The last page cliffhanger just knocked my socks off. Expertly written, paced, and illustrated. 4.5/5

Dark Horse

Umbrella Academy #5 - This series is of the highest quality. That is as simple as I can put it. The premise is incredible solid. The writing is crisp and witty. The pacing is pitch perfect. The art can only be called visual heroine. It is instantly addictive and it pops right off the page. The universe seems capable of supporting a countless number of future stories. The next big franchise in comics has arrived. 5/5

The Verdict: One of the best single week of comics I have ever read. The great thing is that the comics were so diverse. If only every week were like this week.
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Postby DennisMM on Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:56 am

Just in passing, one quick review for this week. More to come.

DC

Countdown to Final Crisis 15 - We're marking time here until they pull out Final Crisis, but there are some nice moments. We learn the idyllic Earth Ray Palmer found hasn't been as idyllic as its retired heroes thought. Jason's attitude shifts perceptibly. I wish the cover were accurate, because I loathe Superman-Prime. And - it's crude, it's been done too much the last few years, it's not really worthy of Grant Morrison - but it's wonderful.

Wonder-Girl of Earth ?: I was like you once. I didn't know who I was. Wonder Girl? Troia? Darkstar? Nothing stuck. But everyone loved Diana. And why? She was weak! I killed her in less than a minute with her own flippin lasso! It took Belthera to show me what I could become. I know who I am now. Who the hell are you?

One punch takes her down.

Donna: I'm Donna Troy, bitch.
3/5
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:50 am

Reviews!!!!!

If all goes according to plan, I should be reviewing A LOT more titles. For the two of you that read these...you are in for a treat. Unless you hate my reviews...in which case you are in for hell on earth. MWHAHAHAHA!

DC

Blue Beetle #23 - !!! This issue of Blue Beetle is absolutely fantastic. I haven't really kept up with the series all that much, but I decided to catch up and boy am I glad that I did. Blue Beetle is the Spider-Man of the DCU. Between his main title and Teen Titans its obvious he is a fabulous character and I really hope that DC keeps him around. Truly awesome stuff. 5/5

Teen Titans #55 - Sean McKeever's Spidey Love MJ was probably one of my favorite titles for a while. It was just the right mix of teen drama and I do love me some teen drama. Given that fact, I was real pumped for him to take over the Teen Titans. Unfortunately, his first arc was an editorially mandated return to the Titans of Tomorrow story line. Needless to say it was a lukewarm debut for a writer that I hold pretty high. This issue is the first of what I have to imagine is the actual direction McKeever would like to take the TT in. And it isn't half bad. There is a bit too much whining over Conner Kent (the dude is dead LET IT GO!), but all in all I am excited about the Titans again. Oh and Sean McKeever needs to write Blue Beetle. Like right now. Someone make it happen. 3/5

Marvel

Astonishing X-Men #24 - Review to come

Iron Man #25 - It is interesting to read the Knauf's Iron Man each month. Why is interesting? Well, because Tony Stark is EVERYWHERE in the Marvel U and in most of those books he is treated like an enormous tool. And then there is this book, where Tony Stark is depicted as a complex hero, one who can honestly be considered the greatest and most misunderstood hero in the Marvel U. The greatest achievement of this particular issue is how the Knauf's have built up the classic Iron Man villain The Mandarin. I was honestly stirred when I was reading him layout his plans. What a truly great villain. Such a perfect mirror of what Tony COULD become. Having looked over the sales chart it is obvious that not many out there are reading this book, which is quite a shame because it IS one of the better books being put out by Marvel. 4/5

The Order #7 - Ouch. As if the news that The Order was being cancelled wasn't bad enough...we get this stellar, and BEST, issues of the series to date to remind us just what it is we'll be missing. I have to admit I never really got Namor before. That has all changed. Fraction makes Namor a solid anti-hero. He has real reasons to be pissed and to take the drastic measures he does. This issue also fleshed out our lead a bit more, which was sorely needed. The real shame here is that this series was just finding its legs. Damn. 4/5

She-Hulk #25 - This is really hard for me. I loved Dan Slott's She-Hulk. I love Peter David. But I don't love Peter David's She-Hulk. There just isn't anything beneath the surface. It all feels kind of hollow. The whole bounty hunter thing is stupid. The Skrull companion development is just posturing until Secret Invasion. Where is the She-Hulk I fell in love with? This series should have died with Dan Slott. 2/5

Ultimate Iron Man II # 2 - Review to come

X-Men #207 (MC 13) - And so the greatest X-Men crossover in recent memory comes to a close. How does it go out? With a bang? A whimper? Well, to be honest I am a bit conflicted. This is what the crossover was building towards? THAT was the whole point of Predator X? Was anyone really shocked by the whole Prof. X thing? And this issue also reminded me why I hate Rogue and Nightcrawler. The whole accent thing reads SO silly. I just laugh out loud when Rogue says "Ah" instead of "I". All in all, the ending was too bad. Cyclops has really come into his own under Joss and the X writers. And let me ask you this when Prof. X gets shot and his body is on the ground there are three panels on the page. Each panel pulls back further, and the first two show his body in the middle of the crowd...on the third panel, however, the body is gone. Was that an error or does it mean something? I sure as hell hope it meant something. Because an error like this on an issue this big would be embarrassing. 3/5

Young Avengers Presents #1 - I love the Young Avengers. Allan Heinberg's series was absolutely superb. They have been SORELY missed in the Marvel U. They fit into the larger universe much better than, say, the Runaways. Those kids work best in the background, but Young Avengers could take a prominent role, ala the Teen Titans. Instead, they have been pretty much MIA, which just sucks. This series marks their comeback in a series of one-shots that focus on the individual members. This particular issue is written by Marvel superstar Ed Brubaker and it focuses on The Patriot. My hopes were high for this issue considering my deep love for the characters, but if this is any indication of what is to come maybe the kids should remain MIA. Brubaker's writing is overly preachy and the art is pretty bad. He makes Bucky look like a teen idol and not the bad ass he is in Bru's Cap series. Talk about subtle as a sledgehammer. An issue focused on race released the week of the MLK holiday? Ugh. 2.5/5
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:26 am

Updated my reviews. Check it out.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:07 pm

some reviews.
He can't' love you back...
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:53 am

Kick the tires and light the fires...REVIEW TIME!!!!!

DC

Action Comics #861 - This week provides us with a double dose of Geoff Johns, with both Action Comics and Green Lantern being released. While Johns' Green Lantern gets most of the fan-fare, since Action Comics has gotten on a more regular schedule it has been quite thrilling and really showcases why the character is so iconic and why Johns is the master of the DC Universe at the moment. The Legion of Superheroes arc is winding down and it has been a real fun ride. I loved Brainiac 5 in this issue...his absence has really been missed in this story. Johns has said he has big things brewing for Supes and some comments made during this issue made me think this could be laying the groundwork for that. Really solid superhero stuff in this issue. 4/5

Batman #673 - Yeah, Grant Morrison rocks. I know some people like a comic to be kind of breezy, but I love it when I finish a comic and I immediately start reading it again because I absolutely HAVE to. Grant Morrison comics almost always demand to be read repeatedly. This issue is no exception. What a thrilling comic. Filled with awesome visuals and excellent writing. 4.5/5

Green Lantern #27 - The second of the Johns books released this week. This issue focuses on the ramifications of the death of Amon Sur by the hands of one of the "Lost Lanterns". It also introduces the readers to the Alpha Lanterns. As usual, the issue is incredibly solid. Not much to say about this title that I haven't already said. Probably the best super-hero book on the stands...most certainly the best super-hero titled published by DC. 4/5

Y: The Last Man #60 - Satisfying. Heartbreaking. Magnificent. Honestly, there aren't enough adjectives to describe how perfect this title is. I tried so many times to think of how this title would end. I simply couldn't come to a conclusion that would be satisfying on every level. And then I read the ACTUAL final issue and it all fell into place. Honestly, this title is perfection. My attachment to this series may have jaded me, but this is the best comic I own. Its the best comic I have ever read. And it concludes the best series of my time. Or at leas the best series since I started reading comics. 5/5

Marvel

Captain America #34 - I know this should be a big deal. A new Captain America debuts in this issue, but who would carrying the shield has been spoiled for like, months. It didn't even seem like Marvel even tried to keep the secret. So now that the issue is here I feel a bit...underwhelmed? I mean is it a solidly written book? Yeah. The art is typical Epting goodness, but I just don't know. I knew that we would eventually get to this point, but I was enjoying the ride and now that we are at the final destination...I am left feeling a bit empty. I am going to stick with it and see where this title goes, but I can't give it the high praise that, say, IGN comics is throwing its way. Not bad at all, but certainly doesn't have the impact it should. 3.5/5

Fantastic Four #553 - I know Dwayne McDuffie was just a transition writer for this title. He was steward of the title after JMS left and before Millar and Hitch start their run. But he has actually done a pretty excellent job. I was a bit wary of this time traveling arc, but it actually turned out to be an interesting story for the family. McDuffie certainly has the character's voices down. It's just too bad he wasn't given time to develop. Still, when Millar and Hitch are coming all others get out of the way. If you like fun FF stories...you could do worse. 3.5/5

Ultimate Spider-Man #118 - I know Bendis likes to write people talking. I know he loves decompressed storytelling. And I have criticized him numerous times for that. But sometimes it works. And in no comic is that more evident than Ultimate Spider-Man. His talky, decompressed storytelling hurts a title like New Avengers, but it is right at home here in Ultimate Spidey. This issue has no action. None. Its just teenagers talking. And it is really good. I love it. I love the idea of Ultimate Super Friends. I love the way this issue starts out in each characters head. I do not like how the death of H@rry Osborne has been handled. The end of last issue felt tacked on and it just feels glossed over in this issue. Still, solid teenage drama. Which I can't get enough of. 3.5/5
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:34 am

Oh man, dude, Cap #34 rocked my nuts on so many levels. I love how nervous Bucky is and how he is so different from Steve Rogers. The ending of that action piece in the center was hysterical. Bru is brilliant.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:50 am

burlivesleftnut wrote:Oh man, dude, Cap #34 rocked my nuts on so many levels. I love how nervous Bucky is and how he is so different from Steve Rogers. The ending of that action piece in the center was hysterical. Bru is brilliant.


Really? It was good, but it didn't hit any special nerves for me. I will still be reading, but compared to some other books released this week...Cap. #34 was only slightly above average, IMO.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:54 am

That's cool... you just suck.

;)

I guess the thing is this: I have been really wrapped up in Cap since it's relaunch. I thought bringing back Bucky was done brilliantly, AND I have really enjoyed his road to redemption. On top of all of that, the whole Lukin/Red Skull/Dr. Fawst stuff has been really compelling and creepy (poor poor Sharon Carter). So this issue was the perfect culmination to all of that, and I thought it was well done.

I half expected for the new Cap to make some big splash, but I like that at first he's still in stealth mode. I can't wait to see how the world reacts when he finally does make a big splash though.
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Postby DennisMM on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:33 pm

burl/Leckomanic comments cross-posted from New Comic Wednesday:

Leckomaniac wrote:How did you feel about The Twelve Burl? I have heard some pretty awful things about the first issue and I'd be interested in your thoughts.


burlivesleftnut wrote:I didn't like it one bit. But, thought I would give it one more shot.


I think The Twelve has potential, but #1 reads more like the beginning of a novel than a hero comic. The storytelling is very low-key, perhaps to differentiate it from the slam-bang stuff that goes on today. That sort of slam-bang went on in the '40s, too, but JMS may be trying to contrast the "small" world of Golden Age crime fighters with the interstellar, hyper-accelerated experience of 21st century heroes.

Seeing these guys in the current Marvel continuity - The Registration Act is mentioned in the background - could be interesting. I think JMS handles quiet stories with loud moments better than he does standard heroics, so I'll give this a few issues.


burlivesleftnut wrote:The other one by Alex Ross... Superpowers, I think it's called, was excellent though.


burlivesleftnut wrote:0... the premise is similar to The Twelve, but Superpowers is told well. And the art is phenomenal.


I disagree completely, burl. The writing is overloaded - too many words, both caption and dialogue. The narrative seems forced, even in an extra long issue. It feels as if they thought they had to cram all of this information into #0 and as a result the issue is stuffed beyond capacity. The last few pages shove far too much about the present at us. The set-up could have played out over two issues with a break after the Kokura battle. The entire story would have been less ponderous that way, I think - and I realize The Twelve is also caption-heavy.

The art - which on these Ross projects normally is dynamic - feels murky and cramped. That may be due to Ross not being penciling or painting the art itself, even though he is art director. They can't even make Eisenhower look like himself. That's fairly damning.

I realize they have to deal with copyright issues, but "The Death-Defying Devil"? He's Daredevil, dammit, and he was there 20 years before Matt Murdoch. If Marvel can't unpucker its ass long enough to let another company tell a story about a classic hero, Marvel shouldn't be publishing comics. Of course, the creators of this book have now established their own copyrights on the public domain characters they appropriated, so all's fair.

I won't be reading more of Project Superpowers.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:33 pm

Fantastic Four 553 - Huh? So let me get this straight. Dr. Doom comes back in time to stop Reed from turning the future into paradise, but only because he wanted the job instead. In this future paradise, Doom is the ONLY villain on the planet. So then the Future FF come back to take Doom back to the future, but instead of doing that, Reed and Reed send Doom off to a planet that has no heroes whatsoever. For what purpose? So that he can treat it with the same human dignity he brought to Latveria? The only thing hot about this issue was seeing a human (and totally hot!) Ben Grimm. The rest was startlingly stupid.
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Postby DennisMM on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:37 pm

Coming soon - "Planet Doom," soon to be followed by "World War Doom."
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:56 pm

A few reviews to keep the folks happy!

Dark Horse

The Goon #21 - Ah, The Goon. What a great title. The art is tremendous and the writing is so insanely witty. I laughed out loud numerous times throughout the issue, pretty much guaranteed when reading an issue of The Goon. The best thing about The Goon? The crazy universe that Eric Powell has created. Its just so rich and wacky. 4/5

DC

DMZ #28 - Ok, we're finally done with the one-and-done issues. This is it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed some of them and I dig one-and-done issues as a concept. But, even I have to admit it was touch and go there for a bit. This final issue is a bit perplexing, but in a totally good way. Its a bit more surreal than most of Wood's other issues. Its a nice examination of the moral gray areas that have been present throughout the title. Solid stuff, but bring on the new arc! 3.5/5

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Walking Dead #46 - I honestly do not have the words. This is the most savage comic I have read since...well since the first arc involving the Governor. There is a scene in this issue that is brutal. Pure and simple. Its impossible to get through. Kirkman writes violence so realisitic and its portrayed the same way...that I almost hate him for that. The sad thing? This all seems so plausible. If you get passed the zombies...this is what human life would like look if it all came crashing down. And its fucking frightening. 4.5/5

Marvel

Amazing Spider-Man #550 - I have been reading, but not buying this title, ever since OMD ended. And I enjoy it. I wrote extensively in the OMD thread how much I hated OMD and how I feel the quality of BND is due mostly to Dan Slott's involvement and a new focus and energy by editor Steve Wacker. Well, now we have Marc Guggenheim and its still good. And all those other things still apply. So, to recap, BND is quite good but that doesn't mean OMD was necessary. Guggenheim's law knowledge has been on display in his first two issues. Gosh, it's a weird time to be a Spidey fan. 3.5/5

Fantastic Four #554 - Reviewing the first issue of Millar and Hitch's run on Fantastic Four isn't easy. How do you judge the book? Do you ignore the superstar status of the creative talent and just judge it on its own? Do you ignore the mounds and mounds of hyperbole that spew out of Mark Millar's mouth? I don't know. What I do know is that this issue was only just average. It didn't feel like much of anything really happened. For what Millar promised this book would be, I was disappointed. It is good enough that I will be anxiously awaiting the next issue, but only because i hope the next issue will be what this issue SHOULD have been. A pretty shaky start for the new team who have repeatedly promised to return Marvel's First Family to their rightful spot at the top of the Marvel U. But whether they mean the top of the sales chart or top of my "Must Read" pile remains to be seen. A side note, I got to my shop at 1 PM and they were already sold out of this issue. I had it in my pull, but there where no more left on display and they had like two who rows dedicated to this book alone. So, it looks like their aim of returning this book to the top of the sales chart has been achieved. 3/5

Ghost Rider #20 - Daniel Way just plain sucks. He is one of those guys that keeps getting work and you just scratch your head and wonder "does this guy even have fans of his work?" I certainly haven't come across any. I bring this up only because his run on Ghost Rider is officially over. It sucked, like almost all his output does. But is set the stage for Jason Aaron to come on board. I love everything Jason Aaron has done in comics. From The Other Side to Scalped to his Wolverine issue that was released a while back. So I bought this issue of Ghost Rider hoping Aaron's talent could rescue Johnny Blaze from Daniel Way hell. After one issue I can safely say that I am sold. Aaron is the new Ed Brubaker and Ghost Rider is his Daredevil. Just trust me. I hope Aaron is staying on this book for the long haul because if he is I am certain we are all in for a lot of fun. 4/5

Wolverine #62 - I find Wolverine to be a vexing character. Part of what made him cool was the mystery surrounding him and his kind of being in the background. But for a while now the trend has been to remove any mystery from Wolverine and to throw him in every book imaginable. I mean if he is going to be in the X-Men, X-Force, and New Avengers does he REALLY need a solo title? Honestly? But Jason Aaron is handling the writing so that means I am on board. And you know what? Its awesome. Jason Aaron is just insanely talented. Thats really all there is to it. What Marvel needs to do is remove Wolverine from two thirds of the teams (New Avengers and X-Force preferably) and then let Jason Aaron take over the solo title. You hear that Marvel? Now DOOOO EEEETTTT!!!! 4/5

X-Factor #28 - What a refreshing issue. I enjoyed Messiah Complex a great deal, but I missed reading an X-Factor story. This issue picks up some of the threads left from MC, but totally jumps right back into the storylines from before MC hit. It felt great. It read great. Peter David absolutely nails this issue. Good stuff. 4/5

X-Force #1 - I gotta say, I didn't think I would like this as much as I did. The premise didn't immediately leap out and grab my interest, but I should have known that Kyle and Yost could pull it together to create something pretty interesting. Kudos. It looks like the X-Books are really back. 3.5/5
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:07 am

Just finished reading the first issue of The Question vol. 1.

Totally kick ass. The first issue alone has cemented The Question's position as my favorite character in the DCU.

Can't wait to read more.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:07 pm

Reviews!!!

DC

Ex Machina #34 - This issue into the past of one of Ex Machina's peripheral characters. It seems BKV is having a blast doing issues like these (he did a few towards the end of Y). It is a nice read, but not terribly necessary. The final page had me smiling, though. I don't mind these ancillary issues, but I would love to get back to the meat of the story, especially given last issue's big reveal. 3.5/5

Marvel

Hulk #2 - Why these series is getting such huge play in the press is beyond me. Truthfully, there are a great many things about this series that kind of has me baffled. A red hulk? A second Hulk on-going? Jeph Loeb? The list goes on. This series has no idea what it wants to be. It has no direction or clear focus. Its just a mess of a thing. I mean the main character thus far is Iron Man (like we haven't seen enough of HIM lately :roll:). And Jeph Loeb feels that a mature comic equals lots of blanked out swearing apparently. The red Hulk DOES appear, but we are no closer to any sort of answers. And apparently Rick Jones is...The Abomination?!?! Whatever. The only redeeming quality I can find in this issue is the art. Too bad Jeph Loeb's writing reads like fan-fic. 2/5

Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Rand... - Holy long title Batman! Wait, wrong universe. Anywho, this is a one-shot that sort of fills in some gaps for the main story going on the if IIF books. As usual, the team of Fraction and Brubaker (whose name is absent on this book, but who deserves some credit for the other work) deliver a stellar issue that only deepens the mythology of the character and the legacy of the Iron Fist. The art is hit or miss, but it never really took away from the story (except the second segment). I would say this is a must have for fans of the series. 3.5/5

Incredible Hercules #114 - I am going to get this out of the way early: I have a deep love for dogs. And anytime there is violence done to a dog it breaks my heart. Its a cheap trick, but damn does it work. I mention this, because it comes into play in this issue. Once again, Pak and Van Lente deliver the good writing a title that I am still shocked even exists. I love their Hercules, I love their Ares, and I love their Amadeus Cho. I was not too fond of their Natalia, but I never really liked her anyway. This issue sees Hercules totally tripped after being shot with bullets filled with the blood of Hydra and it is used to such great effect to really get inside the mind of Hercules. I honestly can't praise this title enough. Why Marvel ever decided to take Greg Pak off of writing the Hulk is beyond me. He writes circles around Jeph Loeb. 4/5

Runaways #29 - What the hell? Where did THIS come from? After some truly horrendous issues Joss Whedon FINALLY pulls it together and delivers an issue of Runaways that actually FEELS like an issue of Runaways. He finally nails down the voices of the characters and the plot and pacing weren't all jumbled and awkward. Furthermore, Michael Ryan's art really looks good in this issue. I can safely say this was the best issue since BKV has left and its sad that Whedon seems to have hit his stride so close to his departure. I really love the fact that Terry Moore is coming on and I hope Whedon can deliver a solid conclusion to what can only be described as a disappointing run. 4/5

Dark Horse

Umbrella Academy #6 - It is a rare thing to be left totally satisfied with an ending of a mini/story arc. Often times there is a level of disappointment or a feeling of being unfulfilled. Not here. Gerard Way and co. continue their absolutely stellar quality of work in this, the final issue of the first series of Umbrella Academy. These 6 issues have been, without a doubt, my favorite new series in quite some time. Its absolutely pitch perfect. And with the news that the second series will be coming before the end of the year...well color me excited. I'll be on pins and needles for quite some time. 5/5

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Invincible #48 - Robert Kirkman is really building a head of steam on his two most famous titles Walking Dead and Invincible. Both titles are moving towards issue #50 and both titles promise significant changes to the status quo. This title is not nearly as hardcore as Walking Dead, but still there is some trouble brewing. All the heroes are captured and its up to Invincible and Eve to save them, but is Invincible up to the task? The final panel is pretty compelling, an excellent hook. However, I always find that I have forgotten what happened in the previous issue when reading the current one. Perhaps its the erratic shipping schedule. It never detracts from my enjoyment, but I imagine that this title reads amazing in trade form. I hope Kirkman and Image get the schedules under order. I need Walking Dead and Invincible monthly, damn it! 4/5
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:19 am

Zorro #1 - Fucking Brilliant. Not only do they manage to unhinge everything who has ever been a Zorro fan has known, but they did it in such a creative and cinematic way. Much like Cassaday's re-imagining of the Lone Ranger, this has the beginnings of an EPIC super hero book. Kudos for introducing Native American folklore into the Zorro mythos. Man this book has me psyched.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:27 am

burlivesleftnut wrote:Zorro #1 - Fucking Brilliant. Not only do they manage to unhinge everything who has ever been a Zorro fan has known, but they did it in such a creative and cinematic way. Much like Cassaday's re-imagining of the Lone Ranger, this has the beginnings of an EPIC super hero book. Kudos for introducing Native American folklore into the Zorro mythos. Man this book has me psyched.


Wow. Really????

That is a surprise. Maybe I'll have to check this out.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:28 am

DO EEEET!
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Postby CeeBeeUK on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:27 pm

Anyone else read Locke & Key #1? I tried a search and couldn't find anything...

I saw an article about it on Cinematical (thanks LS) and thought I'd give it a look.

I, not being a voracious reader of comics, was quite impressed. The art was clear, characters were easily identifiable through the different time zones portrayed.
The story was good, it drew you in with good, well structured, non-linear flashbacks to set up the story.

I will be picking up the next few issues to see if if it carries on drawing me in.

I'm sure Joe Hill hates the comparison but the content and flow of the work really put me in mind of an early Stephen King story!
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:33 pm

Reviews!!!!!

DC

Action Comics #862 - When the first issue of this arc came out, I was a bit perplexed. It was an interesting premise, but it never really "clicked" for me. Subsequent issues have been of the highest quality, but again it just wasn't "clicking". And then I read this issue and it happened. It "clicked". Geoff Johns gets Superman. He fully understands why Superman is the greatest super hero. And it isn't the powers he possesses, but instead it is who he IS that makes him so great. He simply HAS to do the right thing. Even when he has no powers and the odds are against him, he has to act. If he lost his powers permanently he would STILL be a hero. But enough of Geoff Johns, lets talk about Gary Frank. Having him take over the art chores for Action Comics has been a real blessing. The book has been shipping on time and it looks just wonderful. The last page was really something special. At times the coloring can seem a bit...off, but once you are immersed in the story that feeling kind of dissipates. My only real complain is that it seems this story has been going on FOREVER. I have enjoyed it, but I am really ready to move and have Supes return to modern time. 4/5

Batman #674 - The last few issues of Batman leave me with the same feeling: these are the types of stories Grant Morrison should be telling. His run on Batman has had a few missteps and hit a huge snag with the Ra's Al Ghul storyline, but since then things have really picked up. The Internation Batmen storyline, and these last two issues, which provides a great deal of answers and also elevates the last of the Bat Imposters to a new status as a villain. There is a lot packed into this issue, which is typical for a Morrison comic. And his use of obscure Bat history is pretty awesome. And holy crap has Tony Daniel REALLY elevated his game since coming onto this title. Forget Kubert, I want Tony Daniel on this for the long haul. He really makes Morrison's story seem cinematic and the colorist does an exceptional job of making the art just pop. Solid craftsmanship all around. 4.5/5

Blue Beetle #24 - My recent love affair with the new Blue Beetle continues. I am SO angry that I came aboard just as Rogers was wrapping up his run on the book (if the recent solicits are any indication, that is) because if this current arc is representative of what the series has been like I have been missing out on some excellent stuff. This story is just so epic. It also demonstrates how unique the new Blue Beetle is in the new DCU. Rogers utilizes his ethnicity, his location, his age, and his family relationships perfectly. One of the reasons I love this title is because it almost feels like a companion piece to DC's All-New Atom. Both titles just feel so unique. I honestly feel like these stories can only be told in the DCU and only with THESE characters. Sadly, though, sales for both those titles (and Checkmate for that matter) indicate that they may not last very long. Which is a shame on a massive level. 4/5

Hellblazer #241 - If you read my reviews regularly (which I can't imagine any of you do) you know I have constantly praised Diggle's run on Hellblazer...so you can imagine what this review will sound like (a broken record probably). But I digress. This issue is just one of a long line of quality stories being told by Andy Diggle. "The Laughing Magician" arc is off to a good start and I love how he is building upon the foundation he is established. This run is showing no signs of stopping and I couldn't be more pleased. 4/5

Teen Titans #57 - This is a pretty mixed bag of an issue. I really like McKeever on this title. I think he does real solid work. However, I think he kind of over did it with the way the other teammates handled Kid Devil. Tim Drake is strict, but he isn't THAT much of a dick. Just kind of a bit of a jerk. I did love the scene of him yelling at Kid Devil and it pulls out to show him wearing his mask and cape in his underwear. Funny stuff. And the kids punking Batman was funny, too. Like I said, this issue is a mixed bag. Some good and some bad. Hopefully, McKeever gets a handle on things soon and delivers the quality I know he can produce. 3/5

Marvel

Captain America #35 - There was a lot to like in this issue. I was a bit down on the last issue, which was Bucky's first time as the new Cap, because I just didn't feel it. That feeling has subsided a bit, mostly because of Brubakers stellar writing. There are some really insightful moments in here that really let you into what Bucky is thinking. His uncertainty, his reservations, which feel a bit more real than last issue portrayed. But I still do not LOVE this book. The talent behind this book is superb. They are delivering quality on a consistent level. But Bucky as Cap hasn't really sunk in for me yet. I am having a little difficulty wrapping my mind around the whole situation even though it was telegraphed so long ago. I like the book a lot, but I always feel a bit awkward after reading it. Hopefully that feeling subsides as the story progresses. 3.5/5

Criminal 2 #1 - When people talk about Brubaker's immense talent they usually point to his work on Captain America. But the correct place to point would be right here. Criminal is noir perfection. If you like crime stories, this is the first place you should look because I can all but guarantee that you won't find anything better. And it isn't just Brubaker, Sean Phillips is in prime form here. His art is part of what sets the tone for the series and makes it so brilliant. Marvel really has stumbled onto something special here. For those who have yet to check this series out...do yourself a favor and buy the first two trades and then pick up this issue. You don't NEED to have any previous experience with the series to read this issue but you will most certainly benefit from it. 4.5/5

Daredevil #105 - This arc has been an uneven one. There have been some high points, but mostly the book has hovered at slightly above average. And then Brubaker delivers an enormous blow of an issue. The state he leaves Matt Murdock in at the end of this issue is devastating. It seems Brubaker is determined to throw everything he can at Murdock, but then again that has been when the character is at his best over the last few years. So I can't really complain. 4/5

Kick Ass #1 - I REALLY enjoyed the first issue of this series, but it wasn't without same big flaws. First, I didn't enjoy the first two pages. Perhaps this idea of copycats will be addressed in the series at a later date, but it really irked me. I didn't want this book to be about that. If those first two pages bugged me because it was precisely what I didn't want...the next page was exactly what I DID want. A stupid kid getting tortured because he decided to play dress up. From there, my complaints are a bit more debatable. One issue I had was with the pop culture references. I have a love/hate relationship with inserting pop culture into books. Guys like Whedon and BKV seem to do it with ease and make it feel so natural. But I hate how they date your book. I mean, I know this book is supposed to be about a kid trying to be a super hero in the world as WE know it, which includes pop culture stuff, but that doesn't make it stick out any less. You are basically removing any chance your book had of being timeless by inserting those references. My second issue is Millar's portrayal of his protagonist. I LOVED the idea of him being a normal kid, not a jock or a nerd, but someone who merely "exists" as he put it. That is something I have been toying with in my own writings. But then he goes on to portray the kid as the huge nerd/geek he says that he isn't. The whole stalker bit and being made fun of by those girls. It would have been more powerful if he just made the character nearly invisible to his classmates. Still, as I said at the start, there WAS a lot to like in this issue and I am most certainly in this for the long haul. But the book could have been something unique, something special, something timeless. But it wasn't and it isn't. 3.5/5

Ultimate Spider-Man #119 - So. Much. Talking. Bendis has a gift for writing dialogue, but two straight issues of NOTHING BUT TALKING. That is a bit much, even for me. It's not like there isn't anything interesting about the constant talking it provides some nice character moments, but this is a superhero comic...somebody punch something. And another thing, why the HELL would you put the last page reveal on the FUCKING COVER. "OMG! I WONDER WHO IT IS?!?!?!" Oh wait, its magneto because he is on the FRAKKIN cover and has yet to show up in the issue thus far. And what is Magneto doing as a villain in a Spider-Man book? Ugh. On the plus side, the art is solid. The transition from Immonen to Bagley has been seamless, thankfully. And the aforementioned character moments. But for realz...somebody better hit something next issue. 3/5

Cartoon Books

RASL #1 - Hi, my name is Leckomaniac and I have never read Bone. Whew, it feels good to get that off my chest. It is something I have been meaning to do, but catching up on all the good comics throughout the history of comics is difficult to do. Bone is near the top, but it is behind things like Starman and Sandman. Anyway, I say this because I feel I need to provide a frame of reference for this review. I decided to check this book out given the pure love that people feel toward Smith and I am glad that I did. This issue is mostly set-up, but it introduces some interesting stuff that makes me want to come back next issue looking for answers. I only hope the book can maintain a semi-regular release schedule given Smith's notorious lateness. This is a very interesting debut issue and definitely worth checking out. 3.5/5
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Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:37 pm

Updated! with two more reviews.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:38 pm

No comments yet on Thor #6? Falstaff describing the defecatory habits of Asgardians!
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
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Postby Leckomaniac on Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:52 pm

DennisMM wrote:No comments yet on Thor #6? Falstaff describing the defecatory habits of Asgardians!


I actually just read that last night. I am so disappointed with that series. 6 issues in and still nothing. This storyline should have been done in 2-3 issues. Max.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:36 pm

No, no - it's "decompressed storytelling." ;)

I agree. Thor was not meant to be a character piece.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:44 pm

This was an amazing week for comics. Two books with a perfect rating? Couldn't ask for anything more!

DC

All New Atom #21 - I am not sure if I have ever been more nervous picking up a book in my life. I have such a deep affinity for Gail Simone's All-New Atom. It is is one of my favorite current series in the DCU. And now she is gone and a new, albeit capable, writer is taking over. Add to that, the fact that this new writer has said he will take the title into a more "Action/Adventure" direction and not so much with the humor. Naturally, I feared for a title I love to be torn asunder. In the end, though, this was a good read. Remender immediately separates himself from Simone. It is clear that there is a different tone, but it is still Ryan. Considering the events of the last issue, it is not unreasonable to suggest that this new tone was breed from Ryan maturing after his encounter with Chronos. And there is some humor in the book. I just hope that Remender does include some MORE humor because it did make the book special. It doesn't need to be as focused on humor as Gail's run, but just a few more lines here and there would suffice. I will most certainly be sticking around to see wha Remender has in store for The Atom. 3.5/5

Green Lantern #28 - review to come

Scalped #15 - review to come

Marvel

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #1 - review to come

Logan #1 - I did not want to purchase this book. I have been trying to budget my spending better and I really wanted to let this title remain on the shelf. After all, I am no great fan of Wolverine. The character is so overexposed that I honestly have surpassed the point where I care about him. Not to mention that this title had been finished for years and was only seeing the light of day now. That didn't bode well. But it was written by BKV with a superb artist in tow. And then I noticed that there were two version of the comic: one in color and one in black in white. Well that sold it. I am buying the black & white version because, at the very least, I will have some pretty pictures to look at. Boy, am I glad that I didn't skip this book. It is absolutely stunning. First, the art. It is worth the price just for the art alone. If you can, buy the B&W version. It is breathtaking. It really is. And then there is the other guy, BKV. There is a tendency with Wolverine to go insanely over-the-top. The whole "I am the best at what I do" crap. But BKV ignores that tendency. This is a small, intimate story. He really makes the character of Logan interesting, because this is really Logan's story...not Wolverines. It is about the man, not the hero. If the first issue is any indication, this story will be an instant classic. Do not miss this. 5/5

Abstract

Terry Moore's Echo #1 - review to come

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Pax Romana #2 - Jonathan Hickman is a real talent. He is a breath of fresh air to the comic book medium. Nightly News was superb and Pax Romana is shaping up to be even more interesting. An amazing concept executing with such magnificent ease. This is an intelligent book that isn't afraid to flaunt that intelligence. There are some genuinely interesting concepts and ideas put forth in this book. Its true that the book is almost exclusively talking, but it is damn fine talking. Highly recommended. 5/5
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:03 am

Has anyone read Action Comics #855-857, where Eric Powell was doing the drawrings? How were they, and are they still findable or does one need to kill grandmothers to find 'em?
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