David Pepose's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Newsarama Reviews: 1509
7.0Avg. Review Rating

5.0
100th Anniversary Special: Spider-Man #1

Jul 15, 2014

In the case of the Fantastic Four 100th Anniversary, Jen Van Meter essentially created her own new team, tying into the Marvel mythology and adding something new to stand alongside those titans of yesteryear. Maybe that's some metacommentary, considering how much stuggle there has been to make the FF really sing the past 10 or 20 years. Peter Parker, however, is still a popular, bankable, unkillable brand - but when you're really only doing one issue of a hypothetical future series, why not go totally crazy? Why not take Spider-Man to places we've never even seen before? Ultimately, this comic's heart is in the right place, but - perhaps like Peter Parker himself - this book doesn't quite have the imagination to take that potential as far as it can go.

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3.0
1872 #1

Jul 13, 2015

The thing is, I love westerns. I think there is so much untapped potential for western comics, especially given that spaghetti westerns utilize so much of the same visual tricks as sequential art. Unfortunately, 1872 feels like the latest example of why so many publishers don't approach that genre. While this book has a solid foundation for its art, it moves so slowly and differentiates itself so little that it just feels like a bunch of Marvel characters randomly thrown together in variant costumes. If you want my fistful of dollars, you'll have to do better than that.

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8.0
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #3

Dec 20, 2016

With so many comic books out there that rely solely on its high concept, it's refreshing to see a book like 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, which instead lives and dies based largely on its execution of an otherwise low-key plot. It's easy to forget basic concepts like strong characterization, dialogue, and pacing, but Rosenberg and Boss deliver on all counts. With a foundation as rock-solid as this one, if you're not reading 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, you're missing out on one of the best new series of 2016.

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6.0
A+X #1

Oct 31, 2012

Maybe the big failing of A+X is that it doesn't quite live up to its core concept: Yes, we have an Avenger and an X-Man teaming up, but we never really see it last long enough to see the interpersonal sparks fly between these characters. The art looks fine, but we're not really seeing anything new with these team-ups. Here's hoping that as this series progresses, we'll see some bigger fireworks among Marvel's mightiest heroes.

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10
A+X #2

Nov 27, 2012

While I was lukewarm at best to the opening issue of A+X, I have to say this second issue really shows me that Marvel has what it takes to make this comic not just sell, but excel. This is exactly the showcase for established and rising talent that we've been waiting for " A+X #2 is an equation that should be a no-brainer for fans of the Marvel Universe.

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10
A+X #6

Mar 28, 2013

Stefano Caselli draws a ridiculously good Gambit, with tousled hair and modelesque features " Marvel, let Caselli draw the book next, he'd kill on it! But for now, A+X #6 will have to suffice " it may be this week's perfect read.

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9.0
A+X #7

Apr 25, 2013

David PeposeThis may be a comic with two stories in it, but the first one is so good, that alone is worth the price of admission. Zeb Wells absolutely nails a Beast/Iron Man team-up, as Hank and Tony snipe and snark at one another over intellect, ego and drinking problems (Tony with alcohol, Hank with his own experiments)

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7.0
A-Force #4

Sep 10, 2015

Artist Jorge Molina really outdoes himself with the latest issue of A-Force, as She-Hulk and her band of superheroines take the fight back to the Thor Corps.

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8.0
A-Force (2016) #1

Jan 6, 2016

With the one-two punch of a fun new character and some show-stopping artwork from Jorge Molina and Laura Martin, and you can't go wrong with A-Force. While this book starts off with a shaky foundation - namely, that you have to have read a Secret Wars tie-in to understand where Singularity came from - Wilson does a great job at firming things up, with her new heroine proving to be a fun addition to the Marvel Universe. With many of her heroines now in play, I can't help but look forward to seeing what Wilson does with Earth's Mightiest Heroines assembled.

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3.0
Action Comics (2011) Annual #3

Aug 7, 2014

Seven pencilers and six inkers are credited in Action Comics Annual #3, and the result is about as schizophrenic as you'd expect.

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3.0
Action Comics (2011) #8

Apr 4, 2012

With its nastier Clark Kent and its dirtier Metropolis, think of Action Comics as the evil twin of Grant Morrison's better instincts. It's everything but the things that really matter.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #14

Nov 7, 2012

Ultimately, after months of wheel-spinning and jerky story directions, Action Comics is back with a vengeance, packing a ton of action and heart into one issue. (And that's not even counting the headline-grabbing cameo by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, in a backup by Sholly Fisch and Chris Sprouse!) Big stakes, new worlds, a visitor on another strange planet showing us grace under fire " this is what Superman is all about. Definitely buy this book.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #16

Jan 10, 2013

This is one of those comics that's going to split readership down the middle " you're either with Grant Morrison or you're against him, as his wildly shifting structure in Action Comics #16 is not exactly meant for beginners.

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3.0
Action Comics (2011) #18

Mar 20, 2013

You have to give Morrison points for ambition, and even further kudos for trying to wrap his various threads together as ended his run. And while its admirable to build up Superman's supporting cast beyond the derivative sidekicks like Supergirl and Superboy, accommodating all of these characters means this comic doesn't feel much like a Superman story, let alone an enduring new piece of American mythology. This conclusion may be big and it may be expansive, but it's also so convoluted that even a Man of Steel can't quite hold it together.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #19

Apr 4, 2013

Definitely not a new era, more like a stopgap, but a decently drawn one nevertheless.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #25

Nov 6, 2013

Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder start off their Action Comics run not with a bang, but with a hurricane, as both Clark Kent and Lana Lang do their best to stand tall among the storm.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #26

Dec 4, 2013

Since the New 52, it feels a lot like DC Comics has focused more on the "super" and less on the "man." Greg Pak has taken a welcome departure from that trend, giving us a Superman that's been more readable than much of his other post-reboot appearances. Not all monsters are actually monsters, and not all superheroes are cold, unfeeling juggernauts. There's room for nuance and character behind the capes and tights, and I'm glad on that score that Action Comics delivers.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #27

Jan 8, 2014

What's perhaps most impressive about Action Comics #27 is that this, on the surface, is a low-key, run-of-the-mill story featuring the Man of Steel. The world isn't going to change, Superman's status quo isn't going to be upturned forever -- but this comic feels that much weightier because of it. This is a story that gets to the heart of who Superman is -- namely, he's a good guy who brings out the best from those around him. With stirring characterization like that, satisfying action and adventure are sure to follow.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #28

Feb 6, 2014

Greg Pak certainly puts the "action" into Action Comics this week, and while his trademark characterization still shines strongly, the frenetic set pieces are a little overwhelming.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #32

Jun 4, 2014

Superman may be "Doomed," but Action Comics hasn't seen this much life in it, well, since arguably its flawed, sporadic relaunch. Greg Pak and company have given Superman some real stakes, and because our hero is for once in a position where he can't just save the day by himself, his plucky supporting cast is forced to step up to the plate and help out. Even Superman skeptics should be giving this series another look, because Action Comics is back and better than ever.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #33

Jul 2, 2014

Action Comics #33 is a book with the unenviable burden of setting the stage for bigger moments to come. In that extent, it succeeds even when hampered by the reality of the issue. Superman: Doomed has a lot of potential planted by this opening issue. While there are some bumps here and there, the creative team has enough heart and hard work with this book to make a return trip more than valid. We just need to pick up the pace a bit.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) #38

Jan 9, 2015

A mixed bag, to be sure, but the execution does trump the off-putting high concept.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #41

Jun 3, 2015

Time will tell if DC's latest experiment with Superman will yield long-lasting results, but as far as this debut issue goes, this is an excellent second chance at making a good first impression.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #43

Aug 12, 2015

In some ways, Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder's work on Action Comics has been more revolutionary and provocative than the Man of Steel has seen since his early days in the 1930s. Yet you can't help but be a little disappointed that Pak and Kuder have basically had to backpedal out of their convictions, leading to a Superman book that has suddenly lost much of its bite. But the thoughtfulness in the rest of the execution - and especially the show-stopping art - has made Action Comics a true flagship book for the Superman franchise, and one that demands your attention month in and month out.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #44

Sep 10, 2015

Superman may have some new duds, but unfortunately, Action Comics feels like a pretty run-of-the-mill story featuring the Man of Steel.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) #45

Oct 8, 2015

Removing Superman's secret identity and much of his superpowers was meant to bring him down to Earth, but Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder's latest issue of Action Comics still doesn't quite handicap the Man of Steel.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #48

Jan 7, 2016

All in all, not a bad book, but it could use some tightening up.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #49

Feb 4, 2016

It's a week of big continuity changes at DC Comics, but the biggest of the bunch has to be Action Comics #49, which rejuvenates the Man of Steel into something at least resembling his former self.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #50

Mar 9, 2016

What's probably most disappointing about a book like Action Comics #50 is that it almost assuredly was not an easy undertaking - Pak and Kuder are having to juggle storylines with two other books, plus the editors on this issue had to juggle nearly a dozen art and production crew members to put this book out.

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4.0
Action Comics (2011) #51

Apr 20, 2016

Given Tomasi's strong characterization, it's a shame that Supergirl continues to be a missed opportunity for DC's published offerings, since she's now had an entire season on one of the biggest viewing platforms in the world. But even if that were not the case, I think I'd still have some issues with Action Comics #51, which winds up short-changing its lead characters at the cost of some pretty jarring (and ultimately not engaging) subplots. Hopefully this is just a case of a minor hiccup in consistency from some of DC's more reliable creators, and that the arc rallies in its next chapter.

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3.0
Action Comics (2016) #959

Jul 13, 2016

Having read literally every book in the "Rebirth" lineup thus far, I can say that despite some occasional missteps, DC has by and large made some encouraging course-corrections across its entire lineup. Unfortunately, Action Comics thus far feels like the exception to the rule, being the loud but insubstantial yin to Superman's heartfelt and evocative yang. While Dan Jurgens is clearly in an untenable position having to bring Superman's status quo back to a sustainable equilibrium, his attempts feel so stale that it's hard to give too much leeway, even for the benefit of the doubt. Here's hoping he can get through the necessary evil of continuity housekeeping quickly, and get Action Comics back to where it belongs.

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9.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #41

Feb 6, 2014

If you haven't been reading Max Landis and Jock's two-parter featuring the Joker, get on it now.

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8.0
Afterlife With Archie #2

Nov 18, 2013

Yet second chapters are always the toughest ones to pull off, and it's heartening to see that Afterlife with Archie didn't decompose too much between installments. The lunatic high concept of Archie being stalked by zombies is worth the price of admission alone, and if you can get over some of the occasionally tasteless beats, this combination of subversive writing and top-notch artwork make this book a book to both run toward and away.

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9.0
Afterlife With Archie #3

Jan 9, 2014

Teenage horomones meets Night of the Living Dead equals tension and bad decisions -- all-in-all, an equation that makes Afterlife with Archie #3 well worth reading.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #4

Mar 4, 2014

As somebody who reads an enormous amount of comics every week, you can sometimes get jaded by the endless deaths and cheap shocks needed to make an "event" worthwhile. But that makes comics like Afterlife with Archie #4 all the sweeter. Under the horror and shambling corpses, there's a moving character piece lurking beneath the surface. And perhaps that's the most surprising lesson that Archie Andrews has to teach us: that it's the heart, not the hordes, that'll really kill you. But when it comes to Afterlife with Archie #4, it's a testament that even the greatest heartbreak still feels oh-so-sweet.

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4.0
Afterlife With Archie #5

May 14, 2014

There's a lot to like about Afterlife with Archie as a concept, and after this issue, this creative team is poised to bring the Riverdale gang to some very interesting places. But as far as conclusions go, this first arc doesn't end with a bang, but a long, decomposing shuffle. Here's hoping that we don't have to wait so long for the next installment of this ingenious series, and that next time, Aguirre-Sacasa and Francavilla really go for the jugular.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #6

Jul 22, 2014

Pitting the innocence of Archie Comics against the scariest horrors of fiction seems, in retrospect, like a no-brainer. With Archie's long history of optimism and happiness and cartoony soap operatics, Aguirre-Sacasa doesn't need that much exposition to make Riverdale's fall from grace that much more tragic and terrifying. But by taking a turn to Cthulu, Aguirre-Sacasa also makes a bold statement in showing how flexible his concept truly is. Apparently the scariest threats are the ones you never could see coming.

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6.0
Age of Ultron #4

Apr 3, 2013

But Hitch isn't going to be on this book forever, and ultimately Age of Ultron has to be judged not just on how good the story looks, but ultimately also on where these characters go in their quest to save the world. Right now, the Avengers' biggest threat isn't a killer android from the future, but being decompressed within an inch of their lives with little to no characterization to show for it. With stakes raised so abruptly that you can sense the reset button looming, Age of Ultron winds up feeling like an event about nothing. It's the Marvel equivalent of cotton candy " this may look good, but it is far from filling.

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6.0
Age of Ultron #5

Apr 10, 2013

You can't always say a comic should be at Point A by a certain issue count, and you can't judge a specific issue by the mistakes of its predecessors. The stakes have been raised this week " thank goodness " and Bendis has put an intriguing new spin in the Avengers' desperate plan to stop Ultron. But that all said, it's clear this series won't be picking up the pace anytime soon, so if you're looking for high-octane action with all your favorite characters... you might want to look elsewhere.

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3.0
Age of Ultron #7

May 2, 2013

Perhaps the title says it all " even though the book is called Age of Ultron, the despotic robot isn't even present in this issue. And that's because this story isn't even about him anymore. Like Wolverine's time travel gambit, Bendis has sort of side-stepped his sweeping disaster story and tried to replace it with something entirely different " the problem is, that alternative just doesn't hold water, both with readers and from a storytelling perspective. Wolverine may be the best there is at what he does, but as Bendis and company show us here, that repertoire clearly doesn't extend to headlining time travel epics.

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4.0
Age of Ultron #9

Jun 5, 2013

That all said, we're one issue away from the end of Age of Ultron, and its glaring plot holes have proven to be a far greater threat to the integrity of the Marvel Universe than any killer android. It's clear there is some method to the madness - Bendis's warnings about the abuse of time travel is an intriguing thread that has popped up in a lot of Marvel books lately - but the actual execution of these ideas feels misguided. Maybe it's for the best that soon Marvel will be pulling the plug on this wayward event.

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2.0
Age of Ultron #10

Jun 19, 2013

But for me, it's not just disappointing " it's frustrating. Nothing of note has happened in Age of Ultron, and the likely reaction to saying that will be "what did you expect, it's a time travel story?" And judging by how well it's done on the sales charts, no one will see Age of Ultron as anything other than a financial success. But that's rewarding the worst kind of narrative behavior. It's not expecting anything out of our events " it's us tacitly approving that we as readers will read 10 issues of a comic where nothing happens. Maybe that was Ultron's big plan, after all " because even when the Avengers win, we still lose.

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7.0
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1

Jun 24, 2015

While it's unclear where this series might head - and I'll be honest, I've had my heart broken by Robinson before, like in his recent Fantastic Four arc - but Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies may also be one of those concepts that proves to be critic-proof. In many ways, this is a book about two extinction-level threats being thrown in the same room together - and no matter who wins, humanity loses. Here's hoping this match-up from Hell leads to some solid storytelling.

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7.0
Airboy #4

Nov 12, 2015

Ultimately, this series ends with ambiguity, but I think that's fair - Airboy seems more raw and autobiographical than I think anyone would expect, and that's what makes it such a compelling read.

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9.0
All New X-Men Special #1

Oct 7, 2013

Still, a solid if understated script still can work well, particularly when the characterization and artwork are all on-point. All-New X-Men Special #1 might not be one for the record books, but it's definitely a fun diversion that shows how well Marvel's various properties can fit together. If nothing else, come for the characters and stay for Kris Anka's gorgeous art.

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8.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #0

Oct 5, 2015

There's a lot going on in Avengers #0, but by and large, what's great is that Marvel is showing how diverse the team's concepts can be. There are premises and art styles for a variety of different readers, and for the most part, there's a level of competence that makes all of these books feel like contenders in an already crowded marketplace. For my money, All-New All-Different Avengers and Uncanny Avengers feel like the best books of the bunch, but I wouldn't put it past a writer as skilled as Al Ewing to make me like his books, even when I'm not a huge fan of the artists involved. Either way, it's no longer an Avengers world - it's something much bigger than that. And it's a universe I'm very much looking forward to exploring.

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8.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #4

Jan 28, 2016

After a shaky first arc bringing the team together, Mark Waid's sophomore arc on All-New All-Different Avengers starts to hit its stride, as he's joined by Mahmud Asrar, who makes a compelling case for why he's been tapped to draw Marvel's flagship title.

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9.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #5

Feb 10, 2016

In terms of structure, All-New All-Different Avengers feels so different from the traditional "Big Two" storytelling, instead taking just as much out of a 22-minute comedy as much as a beat-'em-up superhero yarn. Because the way that 22-minute comedies typically work is that they're based on families - you care not just about each member of the family, with their own individual quirks and foibles, but you care about how they interact with each other, as well. (Will Nova and Ms. Marvel become the next Ross and Rachel? Demand it, True Believers!) Ultimately, Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar understand the thing that should be intrinsic in superhero team books - people rarely show up for the villains, but instead show up to see how a superhero will overcome them. But in the case of All-New All-Different Avengers, they might have to overcome each other first.

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8.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #6

Feb 25, 2016

Mark Waid delivers a very smart, quickly paced time-travel romp, with some very fun moments, including Jane Foster weaponizing a temporal paradox, or Miles Morales using his Spider-smarts to get the jump on dozens upon dozens of supervillains.

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3.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #7

Mar 23, 2016

Juggling a super-team can't be easy, and neither can be taking the baton on a majorcomic book event - but given the names attached to this book, I'm kind of shocked that the ball was dropped this badly. There are some truly great moments to All-New All-Different Avengers, but you can't help but feel like the by-the-numbers execution for much of this issue doesn't feel like some sort of protest. Perhaps it's a matter of a light script being completely handicapped by inconsistent artwork - or maybe it's just a rare but total misfire from a pair of typically reliable A-listers. Either way, this type of output does not feel like the Pleasant Hill this book should be dying on.

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9.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #12

Jul 27, 2016

If there's one hiccup to this issue, it's Waid's continuing subplot featuring Nadia Pym, the All-New Wasp, having a day out exploring Washington, D.C. with Janet Van Dyne, which feels like a bit of an insubstantial interlude amidst the Avengers' battle to the death out in space. But besides this detour into B-story territory, All-New All-Different Avengers #12 is one of the strongest issues of this series yet. If you're a fan of character-driven superhero comics like Grant Morrison's JLA or Geoff Johns' Justice Society of America, you should definitely check this issue out.

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10
All-New Captain America #1

Nov 12, 2014

It's my business to keep up with comics week after week after week, but I'd be hard-pressed to recall a debut issue that's excited me as much as All-New Captain America #1. This is a book that has got the goods - a compelling lead character, death-defying action, some fast pacing and a couple of great twists. All that, and giving a perenially overlooked superhero his due? Let's just say that if Remender and Immonen can keep this streak going, Sam Wilson will have no problems filling in Steve Rogers' shoes as the All-New Captain America.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #2

Dec 17, 2014

Hinging on action, conspiracies and even just a hint of sex appeal, All-New Captain America #2 might share a bit more with a member of the British Secret Service than it ever did a Star-Spangled Avenger. And that's actually a fun niche that the Marvel Universe - even the trippy, psychedelic Winter Soldier comic - hasn't filled in awhile. With some superb artwork and some very tight plotting from Rick Remender, Sam Wilson seems to be filling Steve Rogers' boots far better than we could have hoped.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #4

Feb 18, 2015

What's particularly impressive about All-New Captain America is the way that Rick Remender anticipates his critics, the people who think that Sam Wilson isn't fit to fill Steve Rogers' boots. Instead of screaming into the Internet maelstorm, he leans into these readers' misgivings, and gives a fitting response: Sam himself isn't sure if he'll be able to do Steve Rogers proud. He's not as strong, not as fast, not as smart - and that means he's got to be twice as resolute. If that doesn't make him fit to be the All-New Captain America, then you don't know what the character truly represents.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #5

Mar 23, 2015

Some hiccups aside, it's clear that Rick Remender is listening to his critics - listening, but far from letting them deter him. In many ways, this first arc of All-New Captain America feels like it has just as much promise as Remender's first Captain America arc with John Romita, Jr. - it feels like a fresh new take on a long-time character, and Remender seems to be particularly thoughtful in terms of making an exciting, important new status quo for an Avenger who is long overdue some spotlight.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #6

Apr 29, 2015

Regardless of the bumps in the road, however, Remender and Immonen have put together a breezy, action-packed conclusion to Sam Wilson's first arc as the All-New Captain America. While it's a shame that Remender couldn't really commit to any of the character development he teased in this issue - I guess Secret Wars will be enough to juggle, beyond questions of whether or not Sam Wilson is sterile - but this is an enjoyable enough read. I think the mighty shield is in good hands with Remender at the wheel.

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8.0
All-New Ghost Rider #1

Mar 31, 2014

But considering how much the concept has flailed about in the past, All-New Ghost Rider isn't a bad respite. There's no way that Marvel is going to keep Robbie Reyes in the driver's seat - there's already too much iconography, too much history to just forget about Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch. But for now, it's good to rest the concept and see what other directions it might go. If Smith can provide a solid platform for Moore to cut loose next issue, I'd say that All-New Ghost Rider will be a fantastic showcase for a future superstar artist.

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3.0
All-New Ghost Rider #3

May 15, 2014

Moore's true believers will have every reason to stick around, but this relaunch of Ghost Rider is unlikely to win any new converts.

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5.0
All-New Ghost Rider #11

Feb 16, 2015

That said, because we're 11 issues in, many people will see this creative switch-up as too little, too late. And they're not wrong " there hasn't been a ton of new ground broken in All-New Ghost Rider, with Smith meandering along with Robbie's two-dimensional supporting cast. He's simultaneously brought Ghost Rider down to earth, but taken away any new avenues for the sort of insane adventures that have made this character such a staple. This comic on its own isn't a complete wash, but as a concept, All-New Ghost Rider has proven that it's a lemon.

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8.0
All-New Wolverine #1

Nov 11, 2015

This is a surprisingly endearing first issue, given all the rage and gore and violence that happened to follow the original Wolverine wherever he would go, even as Taylor picks up on a lot of the same themes that defined Logan's storied career. In many ways, with a foundation this solid, the world is Taylor's oyster - he could send Laura down the same byzantine paths through Weapon X like her predecessor, or subvert those tropes and let her grow into her own legacy as a hero. Either way, Laura Kinney's promotion as the All-New Wolverine is looking like a shrewd decision.

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3.0
All-New Wolverine #2

Nov 30, 2015

Considering that I really enjoyed the first issue of All-New Wolverine, I'm hoping that this is just an unfortunately hiccup. There's a lot of potential here, but it's troubling to see Taylor and company committing to a high concept that not only doesn't play to their strengths as artists, but has been mined so thoroughly and so well by such a high-profile group. We're only two issues in, but already this series is in need of some major course correction - we already have Orphan Black, and we don't need another clone of it. What we do need is for this creative team to show us how all-new and all-different this Wolverine can be.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #1

Nov 13, 2012

In terms of actual high concept, I'll admit that Bendis and Immonen haven't quite convinced me on the merits of All-New X-Men " at least, not yet. But in terms of actually taking over the X-Men universe, this actually looks like a subtle but intriguing start. Now that the exposition is over, Bendis and company have room to tear the roof off of the Jean Grey School, and that's cause for celebration. That all said, however, fun execution, small tweaks and my own love of the current direction of X-Men aside, it is still a little disappointing that All-New X-Men is anything but.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #4

Dec 17, 2012

Yet you don't watch fireworks for the story, and I think that All-New X-Men #4 follows the same concept. When you describe the actual story beats, not too much happens here, but because Bendis lets Immonen run wild with the action beats, you get more energy than this book has seen in awhile. Now that the opening salvo has been fired, Bendis does have to loop back and get to the real emotional meat of this story " namely, what happens when you see for a fact that your future did not come out the way you fought so hard to make it " or these fireworks are just going to be fleeting sparks for a sputtering X-Men franchise.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #6

Jan 17, 2013

New artist David Marquez scores a knockout with his characters, particularly with Jean and Scott actually looking young (and extra points for the subtle differences between young and old Angel). Definitely the best issue yet.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #7

Feb 6, 2013

The real triumph of All-New X-Men is that there's no splashy concept, no earth-shaking threat that needs to justify this book. It just is what it is, and what it is, is fantastic. From the writing to the art to the character arcs each X-Man seems to face, this book is quickly overtaking even Wolverine and the X-Men as the most likeable mutant book on the stands.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #8

Mar 7, 2013

What a great book. Brian Michael Bendis adds so much humor and quirkiness to the X-Men here, and it only gets better with David Marquez on art.

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7.0
All-New X-Men #11

May 3, 2013

Imagine the tastiest sandwich you can think of, but with some slightly stale bread on each end " that's the best way I can describe All-New X-Men #11.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #15

Aug 7, 2013

It's rare in the current gloomy comics environment for a book to be as uplifting and cheerful as All-New X-Men, but it's issues like this that reminds us why we like this team so much in the first place. Superheroics isn't all about capes, tights and punching, but ultimately the team dynamics - and even the weird quirky family stuff - underneath. The X-Men have always excelled at these sorts of soap opera stories, and the self-referential vibe of this time-travel story makes Bendis's twists and turns all that much more intriguing. This is definitely the best book I've read all week.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #16

Sep 3, 2013

While the main draw of "Battle of the Atom" is the mystery of the future X-Men " and there are some interesting beats here, particularly Charles Xavier's grandson and the new Xorn " ultimately the real hook of All-New X-Men #16 comes from the characters we've already known and loved. Who knows what lies ahead when a headstrong past and an ominous future go head-to-head? Sparks fly, the heartstrings pull, and two issues into this crossover, All-New X-Men shows no signs of letting up.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #20

Dec 19, 2013

This comic's story feels like it's going through the motions, and despite the smooch-tastic cover, even the introduction of X-23 isn't adding much to All-New X-Men.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #23

Feb 17, 2014

There will be some who feel that Bendis's trademark decompression still hampers "The Trial of Jean Grey," particularly with the double-page conversation spreads, not to mention the fact that it's taken three issues for much of anything to happen. (And there are others still who will scoff at Bendis's handwaving with the return of a cult classic X-Men supporting character, one who will have a lasting impact on Scott Summers and company.) Still, this comic crackles with energy and likeability, even if the actual amount of content might be a little too low to make this book truly memorable. But if action and drama are what you crave, All-New X-Men #23 is well worth a shot.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #24

Mar 12, 2014

There are a few minor quibbles, here and there, particularly at how short the fight sequence between the X-Men, the Guardians and the Shi'ar is - especially since Bendis has been building to it for five issues, and also at how one of the inexperienced X-Men manages to take out one of the strongest fighters in the galaxy. And those who don't like Bendis's style of dialogue won't likely be converted here. But there's a lot to like about "The Trial of Jean Grey," and it's mainly because it harnesses Brian Michael Bendis's talents as a writer so well. This odd coupling of teams might have seemed strange on the outset, but they're two great tastes that taste even better together.

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4.0
All-New X-Men #30

Aug 18, 2014

So why isn't this an A-list book? Perhaps it's because even A-listers can fall back on some bad habits. But after seeing those bad habits repeated again and again, it's almost like this book's daring us to lash out.

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7.0
All-New X-Men #35

Jan 22, 2015

There is a ton going on in All-New X-Men #35, and it's a marvel that artist Mahmud Asrar can pack Brian Michael Bendis's talky script together and make it all look this good.

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8.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #5

Feb 25, 2016

If you haven't been reading this book, you're missing out on the best X-book on the stands.

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8.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #6

Mar 17, 2016

While the end of the issue does veer into the realm of graphic violence, beyond that one misstep, this is the best X-title you aren't reading.

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10
All-New X-Men (2015) #13

Sep 15, 2016

There are plenty of X-titles on the stands " heck, plenty of Marvel books on the stands " but if you have to pick just one, go for All-New X-Men.

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9.0
All-New X-Men (2015) #14

Oct 20, 2016

While it might not have the flashiness of an event book, All-New X-Men isn't only the best X-Men book on the stands " it stands in the running for one of the consistently best Marvel books on the stands, period.

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10
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 10, 2016

To misquote a famous song, Scott Snyder's got a brand-new Bat, and better still, his artistic team is going above and beyond alongside him. All-Star Batman #1 is an exciting and well-constructed debut that juggles non-stop action with some truly sharp twists and turns. Pitting Batman against one of his greatest foes - as well as a cavalcade of potential threats from both the supervillain and civilian communities - this comic ramps up the tension and the stakes. If Snyder, Romita, and company can keep this momentum going, there's going to be a new flagship title in Gotham soon enough.

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8.0
All-Star Batman #4

Nov 10, 2016

In some ways, it feels like All-Star Batman #4 is eerily prescient - and depending on your political stance, perhaps even more unrealistic than a guy who already dresses up in a Bat-suit and fights criminals for fun. But the Batman’s mission isn’t just one of hope - it’s about trudging through the darkness, about pushing through the pain, and not letting even the worst horrors keep him from fighting back. Yes, humanity has a dark side - and at times, they even succumb to it. But All-Star Batman #4 is a book that is about persistence, about commitment, about seeing things through even past the bitter end. If Bruce Wayne can take the pain and still keep standing, Snyder and Romita might be asking the most timely premise of all: if he can do it, maybe so can we.

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2.0
All-Star Western #19

Apr 29, 2013

Out of all of DC's "WTF" concepts, All Star Western feels the most crass, and that's already coming after the forced injection of superhero antics this book has already received since its relaunch, in the hopes of making it "profitable." Yet like a bad kidney, this book rejects this foreign premise almost immediately, limping along until the story mercifully ends. "WTF," indeed " only diehard fans of Booster need to mine for this fool's Gold.

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10
All-Star Western #34

Aug 27, 2014

You'll have to read All-Star Western #34 to find out. As far as swan songs go, this is about as good as it gets - wonderful characterization, stirring action and art from a master craftsman. It's fitting, in a way, because this series is going to go out as it lived - criminally overlooked, but always packing some major artistic heat.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39

Jun 4, 2012

Even with appearances by the Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39 is Peter Parker's story first and foremost. There are plenty of rough edges here, particularly once you get to a somewhat hasty wrap-up, but the character works so well with the concept that it's easier to forgive missteps with the plotting. This comic doesn't reinvent the wheel, or even have any greater effect on the Spider-Man mythos, but it's still a surprisingly fun read.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #679

Feb 2, 2012

Ultimately, the structure of this story works great, and there's nothing wrong with Slott and Ramos's execution " new readers are still totally going to dig it " but this conclusion felt a little less than fresh for this longtime reader.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #681

Mar 8, 2012

Still, for a story that isn't character-defining or continuity-altering, Amazing Spider-Man earns its keep by showing what kind of sparks can fly when you put two smart-alec superheroes in space.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #682

Mar 21, 2012

While many event comics these days start off with a big opening salvo and a B-list casualty, Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli trust in their product enough to simply make the stakes bigger. Spider-Man will always innovate, always improvise, but the nature of his character means that in the right hands, Marvel will never need to reinvent the wheel to sell his stories. The gauntlet has been thrown, and the battle will take Spider-Man to the Ends of the Earth.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #683

Apr 5, 2012

This battle royale in a remote cave does feel a little similar to Slott's earlier crossover with the Fantastic Four, where the team also fought a horde of villains (including replicas of the Sinister Six). But with easy accessibility, a satisfying sense of pacing and some gorgeous art, Amazing Spider-Man places a high bar that its contemporaries would do well to emulate.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #684

Apr 18, 2012

We've seen the Sinister Six step up to a whole new league of villainy, and it's been really refreshing to see Spider-Man " and by extension, Dan Slott and his Amazing Friends " rise to the challenge accordingly. Amazing Spider-Man #684 is no exception. This issue isn't about toys and gadgets, but about looking at a villain in a new way, about finding something new in what can seem like an endlessly churned superhero universe. We've seen the Webslinger take down two of the Sinister Six " if the following chapters are anything like this one, I'm excited to see what tricks The Amazing Spider-Man has up his sleeves.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #688

Jun 28, 2012

Pacing-wise, this issue's great. The end twist? Superb. But in the end, Amazing Spider-Man #688 lacks the new insights to Peter Parker that has made the rest of Dan Slott's run so great.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #689

Jul 9, 2012

But at the very least, Slott, Camuncoli and company are committed to a set tone, and that is something they achieve in spades. Spider-Man has always been a character known for his flexibility, with stories ranging from Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane to "Kraven's Last Hunt." But have we reached our limit for how dark we can make a mainstream Spidey book? Perhaps, like the title of the arc says, there is no going back.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #691

Aug 16, 2012

Slott's epilogues are also really on-point this month, tying a nice bow on the Lizard's story while adding something new to another villain's. It's not a blockbuster ending, but it's easily one of Slott's smartest.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #692

Aug 22, 2012

As far as anniversaries go, I wouldn't say that Amazing Spider-Man #692 is the biggest celebration I've ever seen " but that said, I have the feeling that eight issues from now we might see some real fireworks. This comic has solid execution for a less-than-ideal concept, and paired with one particularly good backup story, that does push this comic into the "win" column.

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3.0
Amazing Spider-Man #693

Sep 6, 2012

Say it ain't so " I've been a huge fan of Dan Slott's run on Amazing Spider-Man, but this arc with the teenage superpowered narcissist Alpha isn't grabbing me.

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man #694

Sep 27, 2012

This can't be it... can it? Overpowered super-teen Alpha goes out with a whimper rather than a bang, making his story in Amazing Spider-Man feel like a failed experiment.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #695

Oct 8, 2012

Culminating in an explosive splash page featuring much of the Marvel NOW! lineup, this would be an amazing standalone comic " but the fact that it's an opening chapter makes Amazing Spider-Man #695 even more impressive. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel with new wrinkles or add-ons to the status quo, but instead takes a tried-and-true element to the Spidey mythos, turns it on its head, and lets the soap opera bubble over as a result. As long as Slott and Gage are behind the wheel on Amazing Spider-Man, you owe it to yourself to take yourself right into the "Danger Zone."

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #696

Oct 25, 2012

While the whole secret identity thing does get strained in terms of story logic, this is a fun diversion " even if it is just a diversion.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #699

Dec 6, 2012

Humberto Ramos' cartoony style at first seems counter to the somber subject matter, but you find that it winds up giving the issue energy and a needed lightness to keep it from getting too bleak.

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2.0
Amazing Spider-Man #699.1

Dec 12, 2012

The initial bait-and-switch aside " because honestly, this should have been covered in Morbius #1, not in Amazing Spider-Man, particularly not on the cliffhanger we're on now " the overall aim of this comic feels thwarted here. Are we supposed to care about Michael Morbius? Is Marvel trying to take a new spin on him? There is a ton of potential for new story angles and new artistic takes on the Living Vampire, but if this preview is any indication, this comic is no bark and even less bite.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1

Apr 30, 2014

It's not a question of whether or not this book will sell - it will, just because everyone will want to know what's happening to Peter Parker now that he's back to the land of the living. But critics (myself included) will say... not much. The question is, how much do you miss Peter Parker? Do you miss him enough that soap operatics and a few quips will be enough to satisfy you? Or are you looking for the next big change in Peter's status quo already, even in the face of event fatigue? I wouldn't say that this comic necessarily lives up to its name, but I will say that Amazing Spider-Man remains a solid read.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #5

Aug 18, 2014

It's clear that the old Parker luck will fall sooner rather than later, and with the threat of Morlun over the horizon in "Spider-Verse," I imagine that Silk will either be destined for a heroic sacrifice or a turn to villainy. But that doesn't stop Slott and Ramos from making her a welcome addition to the cast of Amazing Spider-Man for now. Slott and Ramos are hitting their stride once more, hitting the perfect balance between action and melodrama. For the first time in a while, it feels like Peter Parker has really, truly returned.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #7

Oct 8, 2014

But as I was saying before, the major problem with this comic? It's got two great stories, but only one can win out. Slott's Spider-Verse story, with its heightened stakes and fun new character, easily wins out over the Kamala Khan crossover, which feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity due to Ms. Marvel's undeniable appeal. Combined with the fact that Kamala gets 12 pages of this issue and Spider-UK only gets eight, and something feels off here. Still, while the pacing of this comic may feel a bit unsatisfactory, the actual content and execution is superb - even with its flaws, this might be one of the better issues of Amazing Spider-Man in quite some time.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #8

Oct 22, 2014

With Ms. Marvel, Spider-Girl, and even a no-name villain from Spidey's past, it's easy to enjoy Amazing Spider-Man #8. No worlds are saved, few characters undergo massive change, but it's a rollicking adventure filled with good cheer and a decent sense of humor. Sometimes that's enough. While this issue isn't likely to reinvent the wheel, Amazing Spider-Man remains an eminently solid read.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #9

Nov 6, 2014

Right now, there's a lot of set-up and not too much action, but it's all done so well that your spider-senses will be tingling for the next issue.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #10

Nov 20, 2014

With the Spider-Verse event in full swing, Dan Slott is the team player of the Spider-Office this issue, as he splits up the various Spider-Men into separate groups (which so happen to conveniently set up spin-off books like Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Woman, as well as a new arc in Spider-Man 2099). Slott should get a lot of credit, however, for juggling such an audacious number of characters - while they might not do a whole lot besides talk and size each other up, there's a lot of thought in the dynamics here.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #11

Dec 11, 2014

While this comic feels clunky with the constant scene changes (in the case of Miles Morales and the TV Ultimate Spider-Man, whose sole purpose is setting up Spider-Verse Team-Up #2), there are just enough awesome moments to see Amazing Spider-Man through.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #13

Jan 22, 2015

Sure, this book is busy as ever, but this is a highlight of the "Spider-Verse" saga.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #14

Feb 11, 2015

Dan Slott knows Spider-Man. And more importantly, he knows Peter Parker, and what makes him special. He showed this off during his other big events, such as "Spider-Island," where Peter showed he was the best in a city full of Spider-Men, or during "Dying Wish," where Peter literally staved off death itself due to sheer grit and goodness. These moments were special because they were derived from Peter Parker's innate character, his unfailing heroism. But for a series as focused on the metacommentary of Spider-Man himself, "Spider-Verse" seems to be surprisingly devoid of any definitive character moments for its central protagonist. Instead, this series has been distracted with all the minute variations of this character, that its creators forgot to establish what makes Peter Parker so incredible, so unique, that he can stand tall even among a dozen versions of himself.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #18

May 7, 2015

Ultimately, this isn't the strongest this book has even been, but even when it's idling, Amazing Spider-Man still operates at a higher level than most.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #1

Oct 12, 2015

Combined with a series of teasers for Marvel's other Spider-series - Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez's Spider-Woman is the best of the bunch, as Jessica Drew juggles pregnancy and crimefighting, while Stacey Lee and Paco Diaz really do some spectacular work for Silk and an Amazing Spider-Man epilogue - and you've got yourself a comic book I cannot recommend enough. Spider-Man is one of those characters that is so enduring that you can put him in any environment and still produce a fantastic story. Dan Slott, at his prime, is the best kind of storyteller to prove it. Spider-Man's friendly neighborhood has gone worldwide - and that's the kind of world I like living in.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #3

Nov 5, 2015

Dan Slott gives a fun new wrinkle to the Spider-Torch rivalry, as Johnny doesn't just try to beat the tar out of Peter in his own building, but they have to do so without revealing Peter's secret identity to his employees. Unfortunately, the fighting feels a little too short, with Peter being way too blase about some major property damage. But it's worth it, just to see all the familiar faces Slott is bringing back, with poor Clayton Cole trying his best to protect his workmates.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #4

Dec 9, 2015

But where some readers might see the plotting of this book as overly convenient, I like to think of it as unpredictable and open for anything. And really, isn't that what we wanted to see for Marvel's "All-New, All-Different" titles? Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli have put Peter Parker in a whole new arena, one where his capabilities are limited only to his imagination. It's not just a great place for the Friendly Neighborhood Webslinger - it's a great place for his fans, as well.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #9

Mar 10, 2016

Supercharged by the return of Guiseppe Camuncoli on art, Amazing Spider-Man #9 is a short-but-sweet kind of issue, briskly paced by Dan Slott as he throws set piece after fun set piece at the Web-slinger.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #12

May 4, 2016

While there's a tiny bit of slowdown when Slott has to introduce Augustus Roman " preparing for the return of Regent following his villainous turn in Secret Wars " there's more than a spoonful of sugar elsewhere to help this medicine go down. And given that the cover doesn't actually reflect the contents of this book, that's usually the kiss of death for a comic " but it's a real credit to this book's creative team that I don't feel cheated, but instead am glad we had this time to just focus on Tony and Peter's dynamic before opening things up to the rest of Shellhead's Avengers team. If you're looking for something to whet your appetite before Civil War hits theaters, you can't do much better than this.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #15

Jul 6, 2016

Ultimately, "Power Play" likely won't be seen as the strongest Amazing Spider-Man arc Slott and Gage have been involved in, with all the different characters and subplots muddying the waters of what this arc began as: the rivalry between Spider-Man and Iron Man, and the very different characterizations of Peter Parker and Tony Stark. While fans of the Spider-Marriage will likely cheer as Mary Jane Watson steps up to the plate, fans without that emotional connection can likely wait until Slott's "Dead No More" arc begins.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #16

Aug 15, 2016

Perhaps it's not a surprise that an arc featuring the Jackal might be a tough sell for readers, considering the character set off a chain reaction that nearly killed Spider-Man's viability as a series. To try to riff on such a potentially explosive storyline shows that Dan Slott must have an ace up his sleeve, one that will likely give this event the direction and emotion it needs " but as far as this prelude goes, Amazing Spider-Man #16 does feel like a bit of a misstep, missing out on some of the evocative human connection that's made Peter Parker such a fun character to follow all these years. Hopefully with all this exposition out of the way, this spider will find its footing soon enough.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #17

Aug 31, 2016

This isn't an opening salvo as much as it is the calm before the storm, and with R.B. Silva at his side, even this slow burn of a comic looks truly, well" amazing.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #18

Sep 21, 2016

With The Clone Conspiracy looming, it’s easy for readers to slow down with Amazing Spider-Man through the lengthy number of prelude issues. If it was important, it would show up in the actual event series, right? But Dan Slott and R.B. Silva work strenuously to earn your hard-earned dollars with Amazing Spider-Man #18, which brings back one of Slott’s best characters back to the forefront, as Doc Ock stands poised for a comeback.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #20

Oct 19, 2016

At the end of the day, Amazing Spider-Man #20 might feel a little superfluous against the grand scheme of The Clone Conspiracy - it might be considered a necessary evil for completists, but there’s still a little bit of evil nevertheless. Had this backstory come alongside some forward movement in the greater saga, this might be a bit more essential reading - but that said, even though Slott and Gage feel the need to (over)explain Otto Octavius’s return, they don’t skimp on the characterization or motivation to make Doc Ock’s journey a compelling one.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #22

Dec 21, 2016

Part of the reason why this book's energy feels low is also that the script doesn't give Giuseppe Camuncoli a ton of room to maneuver. Because so much of the book is recap - and again, it's not to say it isn't important or necessary, it's just delivered in a fairly spoon-fed fashion - Camuncoli winds up having to draw lots of montages and flashback sequences, which wind up coming across as a bit more Wikipedia-like than I think any of the creators would have intended.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #1

Nov 14, 2016

While many might view entertainment as a form of escapism, it's also a matter of relationships - both the relationships inside of the story, as well as the bonds formed between the characters and the readers themselves. Peter Parker is the kind of character that's easy to root for because he's easy to love, and watching this hard-luck hero get to make good on his personal life is something that inspires hope in all the imperfect Spider-Man readers in the world. If Conway and Stegman can continue their rock-solid work, Renew Your Vows is going to be an easy commitment for Spider-fans everywhere.

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10
Amazing X-Men #1

Nov 6, 2013

As far as first issues go, Amazing X-Men #1 has more than its fair share of solid hooks - stellar artwork, an engaging story, and the return of a fan-favorite character. Considering the revolving door of death in the Marvel Universe, it's refreshing to see Jason Aaron actually have a logical plan for Nightcrawler's return, one that might bring the X-Men to a new frontier - not across nations or across planets, but now through metaphysical realms themselves. If this opening is any indication, Amazing X-Men is going to be the X-title to beat.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #2

Dec 9, 2013

But looking at McGuinness's larger-than-life artwork - not to mention Aaron's over-the-top premise - are you really looking for nuance with Amazing X-Men? Or are you looking for some fisticuffs and the return of Marvel's mighty mutant swashbuckler? While there's no denying there's a bit of a sophomore slump to Amazing X-Men, there's enough fun and wonder to this comic that you'll likely come back for more.

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10
Amazing X-Men #4

Feb 19, 2014

Who would have thought that mutants in Heaven could wind up being one of the more heartfelt stories in recent X-Men lore? Yet Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness take a nutty concept and score a home run, all by distilling Nightcrawler to his core - and extremely varied - essence. In so doing, Aaron has performed a little bit of continuity magic, blowing up all those small character details of the Claremont (and even Chuck Austen) years, all while refitting them back into something that's surprisingly, cohesively relatable. Mutant politics are well and good, but the strength of the X-Men franchise has been showing that no matter what your mutation, you're still human underneath - and it's that return to form that makes Nightcrawler and the Amazing X-Men live up to their names.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #5

Mar 26, 2014

It's not the deepest story in the world, but I'll be damned if Amazing X-Men isn't one of the most fun X-books I've read in quite some time.

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5.0
Amazing X-Men #6

Apr 21, 2014

The tough thing about Amazing X-Men #6 is that it's not a bad book, nor are the creators bad at all. The tough thing about Amazing X-Men is knowing that this team is capable of so much more. Given his schedule, with Original Sin down the pipeline and Thor: God of Thunder gaining a ton of traction, it's perhaps not surprising that something would have to give - and it's not like the previous five issues of Amazing X-Men haven't been, well, outstanding. But as far as last hurrahs go, this is one party where Jason Aaron might have stayed just a little bit too long.

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1.0
Amazing X-Men #16

Jan 29, 2015

It's been a long time since I've seen a book this badly handicapped by the art. Jorge Fornes' hyper-angular style, combined with some poor page layouts and some even worse character designs, kills this book stone-dead, making it almost impossible to get into a war over Cyttorak's gem.

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7.0
America's Got Powers #1

Apr 12, 2012

America's Got Powers, at its core, is a book made by people who love superheroes, enough that it doesn't matter who fights, as long as somebody does. It's self-indulgent, and far from the most original deconstruction of superhero literature " although maybe it's the most honest. While the new toys in the sandbox might not be memorable, it's the way that Bryan Hitch plays with them that is this book's bread and butter. After all, this is Hitch's world " we're all just living in it.

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8.0
Angela: Asgard's Assassin #2

Jan 9, 2015

It may be just a little hard for some readers to follow, but stick with it, for both the art and the attitude.

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8.0
Animal Man Annual #2

Aug 6, 2013

Still, there's a lot to like about Animal Man Annual #2, which effective has its cake and eats it, too - not only do we get to watch Buddy act more like a human given the loss of his son, but we also get to experience the kinds of fun adventures that made Cliff such a touchstone in his life to begin with. By the end of this issue, you're feeling the heartache just as much as Buddy, and that's a victory for Lemire and Foreman. If you've been wondering what all the hubbub is about, Animal Man Annual #2 is definitely a book to check out.

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5.0
Animal Man #6

Feb 2, 2012

The sad thing is, Animal Man #6 may be the best executed issue of the run, but it's also easily the most disappointing.

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7.0
Animal Man #19

Apr 8, 2013

Yet there's something to be said about starting strong, and the human drama that dominates the first half of this book is a better Animal Man story than I've seen in quite some time. With Buddy Baker presumably taking a more down-to-earth role after this issue, there's a lot of potential for this superhero without a cause, without a mission, without a family. There's lot of human drama that can be mined here, if the book's creative team can ignore all the animal mythology for a bit.

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8.0
Animal Man #20

May 3, 2013

I can't help it " the movie issues of Animal Man always happen to be my favorites. Instead of drowning in mythology, Jeff Lemire writes a moving story about the intersection of being a celebrity and being a superhero. Lemire's portrait of the fall and rise and fall again of the Red Thunder is poignant, especially the hero's relationship with his son, which evokes the recent death of Buddy Baker's son Cliff.

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7.0
Animal Man #21

Jun 19, 2013

Despite the occasional wart, Animal Man is definitely a comic that's finding its way again, after months of subsuming its own identity in the "Rotworld" crossover with Swamp Thing. The New 52 has definitely had a place for a celebrity superhero, and the added horror spin? Well, there's plenty of potential there, too. This comic is not as deliberate as some readers might want, but there are a lot of moving parts that are each starting to show some legs. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

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10
Ant-Man #1

Jan 5, 2015

Bringing much of the sense of humor that defined Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Nick Spencer has brought his A-game - and brought an A-game art team in the form of Ramon Rosanas and Jordan Boyd - to Ant-Man #1. This comic is a perfect mission statement for Scott Lang, and if the upcoming movie can do half as good a job at defining the character, Marvel is going to be adding another powerhouse franchise to its roster. Get ready to enjoy your next favorite Marvel series.

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5.0
Ant-Man #5

May 11, 2015

Consider it growing pains - Ant-Man is going to be part of Marvel's collective consciousness for at least a little while, thanks to the character's upcoming film. But just like moviegoers are going to be curious how this character is going to stand out amongst the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spencer and Rosanas really need to carve Scott Lang's niche out further. While he's a little bit of a screw-up in the same vein as Spencer's Boomerang was in Superior Foes of Spider-Man, it's not pronounced enough to really make him stand out. There's tons of potential behind Ant-Man, but this issue barely scratches the surface.

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6.0
Ant-Man: Season One #1

Jul 23, 2012

Of course, "not bad" isn't exactly the same kind of ringing endorsement as "must-read!" Ant-Man Season One seems to make a conscious choice to target a younger demographic, and for that DeFalco and company should be applauded " considering Hank's mainstream Marvel status quo is hinged primarily on mental illness and spousal abuse, starting young readers fresh isn't a bad idea at all. That said, older readers will find this book isn't nearly sophisticated enough to suit their palates.

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6.0
Aquaman (2011) #5

Jan 30, 2012

For the first 20 pages, I thought I was reading a winner. Great art, accessible concept, tons of room for Aquaman to learn and grow and stretch himself, and to bring readers along for the ride. Instead, all of this immaculate setup came to nothing, being blown off for a cheap gag that belittled the very character we're supposed to invest in. There are plenty of reasons to deviate from structure in a story, but only if it's for a greater good. The end result for Aquaman came out as more fishy than fantastic.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #7

Mar 29, 2012

There is a little bit of decompression to this issue " the last page is an act break that I feel would have been more satisfying in the first few pages " but the book looks good, and promises some fun new additions to Aquaman's world.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #10

Jul 2, 2012

There's something about this team " both the heroes and the artists " that brings the best out of Geoff Johns, an accomplished writer who I feel is still on a quest to keep changing and evolving his style. That said, this book isn't perfect, as the focus on these new characters takes away from the already struggling Arthur Curry. But if Johns can tie in these cool new toys with some genuine new insight about the King of the Seas, he might be able to have his cake and eat it, too.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #14

Nov 28, 2012

There are a number of other threads in this book that could be seen as superfluous, or at the very least saps this book of its energy and speed " the two qualities that, along with Johns and Ivan Reis's star power, helped elevate Aquaman to a top slot month after month. That said, this prelude is just that " a prelude to something more. Where Johns succeeds in this book is to slowly build new histories between Aquaman and his greatest foes, and that victory, while a quiet one, may make bigger waves soon enough.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #16

Jan 30, 2013

While the occasional disconnect between the art and dialogue might slow down this comic " as well as the lack of a distinct theme to make this a little more evergreen " Geoff Johns is bringing us the Justice League we've always wanted... just not in their own book. Aquaman may be a less-than-compelling lead this month, but as a team player, this book manages to keep moving swimmingly.

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6.0
Aquaman (2011) #17

Feb 28, 2013

Definitely an epilogue, but I feel like Johns has bigger fish to fry than this minnow of a chapter.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #18

Mar 28, 2013

This book is missing a key likeability that holds it back from super-success, but the tonal shift is still a fascinating one.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #19

May 3, 2013

It's impressive how ambitious Geoff Johns is with Aquaman, packing in a ton of subplots and characters almost in defiance of decompressed storytelling. From Aquaman's behemoth aquatic friend Topo to the water-intolerant Atlantean Swatt to Mera's journey to another undersea world, there's a lot going on here, to the point where it's a challenge " albeit a fun one " trying to keep up.

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5.0
Aquaman (2011) #25

Dec 2, 2013

Every character has something interesting about them, even if they've been ignored or underutilized for years. That was the main thesis of Geoff Johns's run on Aquaman in the first place, but as Johns concludes his time with that most iconic of Atlanteans, you can't help but feel like much of his potential was untapped. Who is Aquaman? What can he teach us about responsibilities, about bridging cultures, about adopting and reshaping and transcending our own identities, our own preconceived notions? These are heady questions that could have been answered by the King of the Seven Seas - but for now, Aquaman's "epic" battle is more like a drop in the bucket.

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5.0
Aquaman (2011) #26

Jan 6, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new - with Geoff Johns off Aquaman, DC should take a bit more of a risk when it comes to Jeff Parker's tenure on the title. This is a run that deserves its own identity and its own style, but currently this comic is one step in the future and one step in the past. And that winds up being a real shame - there was a lot of good with Johns' run, but it also ultimately had run its course. Without a new artist, this comic is going to run the risk of being trapped in a rut - which, given Parker's clear potential in this comic, feels like a wasted opportunity.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #28

Feb 27, 2014

While readers who are craving over-the-top action and political intrigue may be disappointed, it's nice to see Aquaman be human, be vulnerable, and actually have even a little bit of a sense of humor.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #34

Aug 28, 2014

eff Parker and guest artist Carlos Rodriguez toe the line between silly and sublime with Aquaman #34, as the sheer potential of Parker's villain makes this a flawed but worthy beat-'em-up.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #50

Mar 31, 2016

This 50th issue anniversary for Aquaman may be inconsistent, but I have to give Dan Abnett credit for trying to lend a fresh breath of characterization for Arthur Curry and his supporting cast.

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9.0
Aquaman (2016) #1

Jun 22, 2016

He's been mishandled and poorly written more often than not, and that's why I think it's so heartening to read Abnett and Walker's take on him " it's very much proof positive that there's no such thing as a bad character, only bad execution. Maybe it's karmic justice that Arthur Curry has the last laugh after all. But it's hard not to be excited when you think about the depth of potential in this title " and best of all, Aquaman has only begun to scratch the surface.

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8.0
Aquaman (2016) #4

Aug 4, 2016

Perhaps it's not surprising that Aquaman might be quickly overlooked amongst all of DC's spotlight on "Rebirth" and the Suicide Squad film, but with politics also in full swing, it feels like Dan Abnett and Philippe Briones' take on Arthur Curry might be the most interesting superhero book on the stands.

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9.0
Aquaman (2016) #6

Sep 12, 2016

Ultimately, Aquaman #6 might not wind up having a ton of lasting fallout for Arthur and Mera Curry, but as far as concluding its first arc, Abnett and Walker have done an admirable job, using standard superhero tropes as a backdrop to a surprisingly rich and nuanced political landscape. And that makes perfect sense - Arthur Curry isn't just a superhero, he's a world power, and as Abnett has shown us, great power doesn't just equal great responsibility, but it also entails great complications as well.

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8.0
Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Jun 8, 2016

The measure of a character can be learned based on the types of adventures they can have, and Abnett and company have opened up Aquaman to a world of possibility. If this debut is any indication, Aquaman might become your favorite soon enough.

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7.0
Archangel #1

May 19, 2016

If you're a fan of alternate history stories like The Man in the High Castle, you should definitely keep Archangel on your radar.

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8.0
Archie (2015) #5

Jan 5, 2016

While there are a few bumps with some of the twists - namely, how Sheila's art exhibit can be seen as anything other than super-creepy is a suspension of disbelief I'm not sure even Waid can pull off - but for the most part, Waid and Fish's infusion of characterization makes Archie a book that's well worth reading. Waid has reinvigorated this decades-old property, showing a veracity and deliberateness to these teenagers that I don't think I've seen since Brian Michael Bendis first took over Ultimate Spider-Man. If you haven't been reading this masterful series, you definitely owe it to yourself to start now.

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10
Archie (2015) #8

May 12, 2016

All in all, this might be the single best issue of Archie yet.

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8.0
Archie (2015) #13

Oct 20, 2016

Serving as an interlude of sorts following last issue's big upheavals, Archie #13 also gets a change-up of a different sort, with Joe Eisma joining as the series artist. And boy, was that an excellent pick - Eisma has had a lot of practice drawing teenage characters over in Morning Glories, and there's a surprising amount of heart to his angular style, particularly during a scene where Archie struggles to live a life without Veronica in it.

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4.0
Armor Wars #2

Jun 18, 2015

As a concept, a murder mystery set in a techno-dystopia sounds great, a sort of Blade Runner-esque thriller for the Marvel Universe. But somewhere in the execution, Armor Wars doesn't quite connect.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #45

Dec 28, 2011

Lots of stuff is going on in this book, but it's never too heavy to get on board now.

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7.0
Astonishing X-Men #46

Jan 25, 2012

It won't reinvent the X-books like some of its sister titles, but Astonishing X-Men can still exist as a book that's merely just good.

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1.0
Astonishing X-Men #50

May 23, 2012

It leaves you in a weird position: do you avoid the book, and in a way then invalidate the importance of the moment? Or do you plunk down your dollars, no matter what the content, in order to make a political statement? The fact that you have to decide at all means something has gone way off the rails with Astonishing X-Men #50, an anniversary issue that never lives up to its promise.

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4.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1

Oct 13, 2014

There are some great moments in this comic, but they're often fleeting, stomped down by the unrelenting march of event storytelling. The X-Men, for example, look to be turning a corner beyond the infighting of Schism and Avengers vs. X-Men, and the Scarlet Witch and Rogue continue to be Remender's clear favorites. But for every great moment, there are plenty of eye-rollers, including Ahab stabbing his umpteenth mutant or the Red Skull pulling a secret plan out of Tony Stark's head from out of nowhere. Comics can be goofy, can be crazy, but they need some sort of internal logic in order to be believed - and Axis lacks that consistency to ground it. Without that, even with its plethora of characters, this crossover feels less than the sum of its parts.

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3.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #3

Oct 22, 2014

Now that the initial struggle against Red Onslaught is over, I want to hold out hope for the future of AXIS. Remender's done the necessary evil of introducing 30 characters for this storyline, and now that they don't have to be in such close quarters, I'm hoping the second arc will focus more on the shift in characterization rather than the lackluster superpowered fireworks. Despite how this review might read, I am a Rick Remender fan, and I know he's capable of strong pacing, striking fight choreography, and even better characterization. Here's hoping this comic can switch axes, moving from impenetrable blockbuster to a smart new spin on the heroism in the Marvel Universe.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #4

Nov 5, 2014

After a rough three issues, AXIS is definitely taking a needed upturn in quality with this fourth issue - that said, it still has a long way to go. There's something about this premise that still feels wonky, which is not a good thing this far into the story. What it'll take for AXIS to succeed is right in that scene with Carnage - showing these heroes and villains actually taking some bold actions to define themselves into their new roles. (Just talking about killing isn't enough.) It's taken four issues, but now Rick Remender has effectively turned the playing field upside-down - now he just has to show us why it was worth it.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5

Nov 13, 2014

Five issues in, however, AXIS hasn't managed to cross the inversion line from disappointing to exciting.

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6.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #6

Nov 24, 2014

Right now, AXIS has finally overcome its bloated introduction, only to get hit with another problem - a lack of consistency with the artwork. Given this series' weekly timeframe, shifting artists is perhaps inevitable - but is it necessarily conducive to a coherent, cohesive comic book storyline? AXIS has had plenty of sins in the past, but I feel like this sixth issue is primarily an editorial concern - perhaps the grab bag of artists will look better as one collected edition, but as a sequential read, this comic still has an identity crisis.

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7.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #7

Dec 10, 2014

That said, the one irony of AXIS #7 is that even though it's a series about the Avengers and X-Men turning into villains (and their so-called villains stepping up to the plate), this series has only gotten really good once Remender has ignored the vast majority of the characters involved. Sometimes you can only shove so many different voices in 20 pages before it starts to feel incoherent or rambling. Yet even as he narrows down the scope of his characters to some familiar faces, Remender does manage to distill the key element of AXIS - namely, the difference between a hero and a villain. And that's an achievement that justifies playing favorites.

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4.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8

Dec 18, 2014

We've got too many characters trading punches interchangably with one another, and it's ultimately too frenetic to be satisfying.

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2.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9

Dec 24, 2014

And that's the real tragedy behind Axis. It's not about good versus evil, or the sacrifices made to change the status quo. Marvel wanted Avengers vs. X-Men Part 2, and they got it - and this is more of the same haphazard, rushed storytelling and cog-in-the-machine visuals that flat-tire even the strongest writers and artists. You can't help but wonder if that's why Marvel has been lacking in its event game the past few years, even when it's thrown superstar writers like Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction and Brian Michael Bendis at it. You can't expect organic, coherent comics when you're stacking the deck against your creators like this. And that's a shame, because at the end of the day, Axis likely began with the best of intentions. But as they say, good intentions are all the road to Hell is paved with.

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4.0
Avengers (2010) #29

Aug 20, 2012

Had Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo not done such a superior job with much of the same content, I think I would have liked Avengers #29 much more than I did. Coming so much later than Aaron, however, this comic comes off as a case of too little, too late.

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10
Avengers (2012) #1

Dec 3, 2012

The flagship book of the Marvel Universe is finally upon us, and believe me when I say that it doesn't just meet expectations " it shatters them. Gods, super-soldiers and men of steel unite against a common foe no single super hero could withstand. It's a simple formula: World's biggest superheroes. Comics' greatest talents. The industry's biggest book. A perfect launch. Time to assemble, Avengers fans " your new favorite series has arrived.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #4

Jan 31, 2013

New readers may be confused, but those interesting in seeing where Hickman's mystery goes will find plenty to chew on here.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #6

Feb 21, 2013

dam Kubert and Frank Martin look as polished and painterly as I've ever seen them, which makes the small emotional moments " Shang eying the most powerful person in the universe intently, or Spidey giving a nasty smirk " some real oomph. Combined with a nice cliffhanger, this was a fun read.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #11

May 13, 2013

While action purists will likely make their way towards Uncanny Avengers, the Hickman faithful will still find plenty to like about Avengers #11. Even with its characters out of costume " or perhaps because of it " Hickman shows there are more directions the Avengers can go besides punching a bad guy in the face. As he continues to build up A.I.M. and his secondary heroes, Hickman just needs to start delivering the A-listers, and Avengers will truly live up to its full potential.

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2.0
Avengers (2012) #12

May 23, 2013

Twelve issues in, and Avengers is sadly starting to wear out its welcome. The problem with this comic is that, despite the title, Earth's Mightiest Heroes still feel like supporting cast members in their own book " Jonathan Hickman's plot essentially makes the Avengers babysitters for a new species of human.

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4.0
Avengers (2012) #17

Aug 8, 2013

It's been 17 issues, and Jonathan Hickman has finally expanded his roster of the Avengers... but considering how slowly this book has progressed, this feels more disappointing than fun.

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3.0
Avengers (2012) #18

Aug 25, 2013

It's taken me awhile to realize what book Avengers has been reminding me of, but it finally hit me - Dwayne McDuffie's Justice League of America. Instead of making this a book about the title characters, Avengers has become Marvel's de facto continuity book, setting up the status quo for the big event rather than actually delivering on its central premise - an awesome team-up book featuring the best and brightest of the Marvel Universe. With few sparks amid all the outer space fireworks, this is Infinite-ly disappointing.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #24.NOW

Dec 26, 2013

Ultimately, if you've been curious about Avengers but were turned off by all the hubbub of Infinity, Avengers #24.NOW is as good a time as any to try to get back on board. With some strong artwork and some ambitious plotting, there's a lot to like about this series, which seems to be subtly repositioning itself to make for a more stable read. If Hickman can scale back on some of the threats and focus more on what makes Earth's Mightest Heroes tick, this might be the beginning of an upswing for this title.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #29

May 15, 2014

Some might say this owes a little too much to DC's Identity Crisis, and others rightly may say this is too little, too late, but this is one of the best outings I've seen of Jonathan Hickman's Avengers.

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5.0
Avengers (2012) #30

May 29, 2014

Like the Avengers themselves, I feel lost here - and not sure I even want to wait while they try to find their way back.

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4.0
Avengers (2012) #34.1

Sep 15, 2014

Considering all the cast members in Avengers, it feels like a real misstep to have another issue focusing solely on Hyperion, particularly when Smasher, Cannonball, Sunspot, Captain Universe, or any of the other numerous characters in the series barely get any screen time - and that's not even including the A-listers beyond Cap and Tony that get zero love in this book. (Sorry, but putting them in Avengers World doesn't count, especially not when they have to move over so Euroforce can get a new origin story.) The thing about Avengers #34.1 isn't just that the premise feels limp or the ending feels a little anticlimactic - it's that Hyperion seems to threadbare of a character that we're reduced to just repeating catchphrases over and over again.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #35

Sep 17, 2014

Time is running out for the Avengers, but it's nice to see that even in the bleak times ahead, Hickman and company can still find ways to stoke our enthusiasm. For the first time in a long time, this series feels like we're getting some real bang for our buck, and considering this is mostly just a tease for a post-Axis future, that's a real victory. With tremendous stakes and a murderer's row of artistic talent, Avengers is back in rare form.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #37

Oct 23, 2014

"Time Runs Out" might be the kind of kick this series needed all along.

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8.0
Avengers (2016) #1

Nov 2, 2016

While Waid's other big team book, Champions, is on the fast track to superhero success, Avengers doesn't feel as sure of a bet. Though on a purely narrative level there's little difference between this book and All-New, All-Different Avengers, the change in art might make this book as easy of a jumping-off point as it is for readers to get on board. Yet All-New, All-Different Avengers had some moments of real brilliance in its short run, with Waid coming up with new and interesting team-ups for a diverse group of Marvel heroes " and with a challenging new artist and a story that could span all of time, I have faith that Avengers could be gearing up for a bold new era.

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6.0
Avengers A.I. #1

Jul 3, 2013

Additionally - and this is the clincher - Humphries leans so much on the semi-humorous bits that he doesn't really justify or explore the actual high concept enough: these aren't human heroes, but A.I. What does that mean? What is the difference? What sets this book apart? And what kind of leader is Hank Pym going to become? Without that hook, this book comes off as a group of D-list Avengers in a marketplace saturated with other Avenger titles. But with the team coming together like a well-oiled machine, here's hoping that Humphries and Araujo can show us what makes these tin men tick.

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2.0
Avengers A.I. #8

Jan 9, 2014

This is a tough book to read, with no real hook for most Avengers fans -- and yes, that even includes the shoehorning of the Uncanny Avengers. Unless you're a Hank Pym or Vision completist, leave this lemon on the shelf.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #32

Jun 25, 2012

While some writers swing for the fences and try to make daring new arrangements with decades-long continuity, Christos Gage focuses on the fundamentals. Things like theme, character, organic conflict. There is a craft and a structure for a good story, and Gage is disciplined enough not to cut any corners with Avengers Academy. It's solid storytelling that is all the more surprising given its youthful protagonists. Maybe the adults could learn a little something here.

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5.0
Avengers Academy #36

Sep 10, 2012

To rephrase another superhero epic, it's not what you do that defines a comic " it's how you do it. Gage should be hitting all the emotional high notes with his resolutions to these characters, who, like any good parent, he is giving enough interesting wrinkles to make them palatable to other writers, should the opportunity present itself. But in terms of this comic alone, it's a little too focused on hitting plot points, rather than fleshing out the character beats that make them special.

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8.0
Avengers Arena #1

Dec 11, 2012

While this book wears its influences unapologetically on its sleeve " and yes, the fact that these overpowered teenagers have accepted the new status quo so quickly is a little much to swallow, even with Arcade's new-and-improved powerset " there's still something guiltily, trashily fun about Avengers Arena.

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7.0
Avengers Arena #2

Dec 18, 2012

Distaste with the exploitative high concept aside " and I can only imagine that amount of hate Dennis Hopeless has gotten for doing this book " Avengers Arena is sort of the dark mirror image of Christos Gage's beloved sleeper book. More characters showing more character, but unlike the immortal IP of most Avengers books, these new concepts come with a very distinct expiration date. If Hopeless can balance the extended characterization with the sort of Battle Royale fisticuffs that set this series apart, it may escape the fate of its canceled predecessor yet.

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9.0
Avengers Arena #3

Jan 10, 2013

Definitely wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I do, but it's one of my top picks at Marvel these days... whether I like to admit it or not.

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7.0
Avengers Arena #6

Mar 14, 2013

Not bad, Dennis Hopeless. Not bad at all. Jumping to yet another narrator in the sixth issue of Avengers Arena, things finally start to heat up " it's not nearly as potent as the first issue, but finally claws are bared, swords are drawn, and some of these kids finally show they're not as friendly as we thought.

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9.0
Avengers Arena #10

Jun 6, 2013

Lots of good progression for these characters, and a conclusion that will launch a thousand Tumblr posts. Read this now.

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9.0
Avengers Arena #12

Jul 10, 2013

It's difficult to get too in-depth on this issue, for fear of spoilers " but suffice to say, if you've been reading Avengers Arena, whether you've been angry or been loving it, Hopeless and Walker have some sharp twists that you're really going to love. With some huge fireworks, some nice character dynamics between longtime teammates, and more than one big surprise, this arc goes out with a bang.

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6.0
Avengers Arena #13

Aug 15, 2013

Ultimately, this issue is for completists only, as this answers some pressing questions on how the responsible heroes of the Marvel Universe haven't figured out Arcade's plans - it's a decently written issue, albeit one that isn't a requirement for the overall Avengers Arena storyline.

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8.0
Avengers Arena #17

Nov 18, 2013

The kids are far from all right, as we have one issue to go before Avengers Arena transitions to Avengers Undercover. At this point, it's really Hopeless and Walker's book to lose - there's a lot of tension, a lot of heartache, and a lot of earned stakes to this comic, as Hopeless really has built up why these teenage heroes are now at each others' throats. If this issue is any indication, the next installment of this series is going to be all killer, no filler.

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7.0
Avengers Assemble #10

Dec 17, 2012

I think that Avengers Assemble has a lot going for it " strong art, strong dialogue, a minimum of continuity to get in its way, a tone that is largely all-ages " but it's also the underrated middle child of the Avengers franchise. This is a title without a grand purpose within the Marvel Universe, and the story itself stumbles a bit without a unifying high concept to ground it and guide it. Ultimately not a bad effort from DeConnick and company, but one I do fear may get lost among its more ambitious sister titles.

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8.0
Avengers Assemble #20

Oct 17, 2013

While the low-key nature of the writing and the art means fans won't break down the doors of their comic book shop to buy this book, it would be their mistake - Avengers Assemble brings the goods, through and through.

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9.0
Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1

Mar 1, 2016

Event books are typically characterized for wanting to seem smart, but ultimately wind up being low-calorie slugfests. Nick Spencer, however, has other ideas in mind. Marvel has always been thought of as "the world outside your window," but with the more fantastical elements of books like Jonathan Hickman's Avengers and Secret Wars, it's easy to lose track of the human element alongside this alleged big picture. But not so with Avengers: Standoff on Pleasant Hill - if Spencer stays true to his style and puts his characters' voices and opinions front and center, this could be a very compelling read.

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5.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #3

May 2, 2012

That said, good looks can only carry you so far, and Avengers vs. X-Men still hasn't hit that sweet spot in terms of story logic or nuanced characterization. Everyone's got to be at an extreme, and unfortunately, with the all-too-human characters of Marvel, that means nobody looks good. Ultimately, that won't matter much, as the appeal of most of the Marvel Universe in one place is too good for most readers to pass up, but I can't help but wonder what kind of a knockout we're missing here.

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5.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #5

Jun 6, 2012

The easy part was getting all these heavy-hitters together. And considering how it's assured that this crossover will set the tone of the Marvel Universe for a while, that might be enough for sheer sales. But Avengers vs. X-Men is lacking that drive and direction that, say, Civil War possessed, with the character interactions being just the same handful of qualities being rehashed again and again. With the plot taking a turn for the ludicrous, this issue is a collection of Marvel's finest not swinging for the fences, but simply knocking a bunt.

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6.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #8

Jul 18, 2012

Lots of shouting, lots of punching, but not a lot of specificity with Marvel's nuanced characters " that's pretty much Avengers vs. X-Men in a nutshell right now, down to the final boss(es) getting more powerful as the "heroes" press on. The X-Men are definitely coming off as the Redheaded Stepchildren of the Atom here, with no moral equivalency in sight, but if you're a diehard Kubert or Avengers fan, well, at least you've got a pretty fight to look at.

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9.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #9

Aug 1, 2012

Macro-story issues aside, I do hope that the Big Two take note on this issue, and make more event books read like this. Jason Aaron has taken all of Marvel's biggest characters and really put them into some hot water, all while hooking in jaded readers with some well-placed humanity and tension. It's obvious who the winners of Avengers vs. X-Men are going to be, but if we can really root for somebody in this series " anybody, really " then the readers are going to be who come out on top.

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5.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #10

Aug 15, 2012

By the end of the issue, I feel like we've more or less gone in a circle, with Hope still being an all-powerful deus ex machina, the X-Men getting evil-er, and Cyclops and Emma both still living to fight another day. This book looks great, but 10 issues in, it would have been nice to be more than that. With a throughline that is stretching beyond the breaking point, this book has all of the blockbuster we've come to expect from superhero epics... but none of the heart underneath.

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9.0
Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite #1

Apr 4, 2012

Is this a strong, fun read in its own right? Absolutely. With some gorgeous artwork, an action-driven plot with plenty of character and a new format to explore, the potential for this line is infinite. And after this first installment, reader enthusiasm for this product just might match it.

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7.0
Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite #6

Jun 19, 2012

As a story, Avengers vs. X-Men #6: Infinite does work. As an exciting platform for a new medium... well, it's still a work-in-progress. The price point does make this a good purchase for die-hard Cyclops fans who want to see him deal with the cosmic force that killed his wife, and for some, that will be enough. For me, I think it's a well-intentioned misfire. But then again, that's what evolution is all about.

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7.0
Avengers World #1

Jan 8, 2014

Hickman and Spencer do a great job at keeping a lot of balls in the air, even if they don't necessarily catch all of them this time - there are a few plot points that fall flat, and much of the bloated roster of the team still feels fairly underutilized. That said, there is a lot going for Avengers World, as Hickman and Spencer go against the grain in this era of decompression and pack a lot of story into one comic. This book doesn't quite nail its potential yet, but there's a lot to like about Avengers World #1.

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7.0
Avengers World #5

May 5, 2014

The overall execution of Avengers World is very strong - stronger than a lot of other superhero books on the stand, to be honest. But part of the problem with this book is that it isn't allowed to really stand on its own two feet. Because of Hickman's involvement, this book continues on the AIM-centric storyline that's been dominating the main Avengers book - only this happens to focus on two characters instead of, uh, four. But that also brings up the question of Avengers Assemble, which went on its own path and got canceled by lack of sales. What is it that Earth's Mightiest Superheroes need to translate those big movie sales into comic book dollars? Maybe Avengers World will bring us closer to the answer of what does and doesn't work. On the one hand, not too much happens here - but on the other, this team shows that this book has a solid foundation in terms of talent, and shows exactly what this franchise could be capable of. But it definitely still could be better.

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2.0
Avengers World #11

Aug 14, 2014

Oof. Talk about a decent story handicapped by some seriously gnarly art. Going from the expressive, cartoony artwork of Stefano Caselli or the clean, stylized work of Marco Checchetto to the rough, undynamic work of Raffaele Ienco is one of the biggest issue-to-issue trip-ups I've seen in a long, long time.

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8.0
Avengers World #19

Apr 9, 2015

While the other Avengers books might be crossing time and space before Secret Wars, Avengers World delivers a much, much more satisfying reading experience by staying closer to home.

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7.0
Avengers: Rage Of Ultron OGN #1

Mar 30, 2015

While this comic attempts to follow up on one of Disney's most bankable movies of the year, you can't help but wonder why Rage of Ultron can't commit to the same cast of characters that have struck so much gold in the cineplexes. The benefit of original graphic novels like this is that you don't have to be beholden to continuity - you can pick and choose characters and eras at your leisure - but in its efforts to include multiple eras of Avengers, Rage of Ultron loses something in terms of its focus. Still, if you can get over the abrupt shift in focus, this is a decent graphic novel with some gorgeous art and some very striking characterization for Marvel's premier bad robot.

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2.0
Avengers: The Enemy Within #1

May 16, 2013

Even with the Avengers name on the cover, this Captain Marvel story is one that you can probably skip.

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7.0
AVX: Consequences #5

Nov 8, 2012

While Gillen occasionally slips into slanginess with some of his characters' voices, this is a solid, if quiet, conclusion to his X-Men run.

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8.0
AVX: VS #2

May 16, 2012

The fights are short, but they are still admittedly pretty sweet. AVX: VS #2 is, in certain ways, an anthology on steroids " even if these stories are largely self-contained and have little to no effect on the Marvel Universe as a whole, these match-ups are an entertaining platform for some of Marvel's best and brightest artists to jam together. I still wonder how much better this book might have been with some more breathing room, but the fact remains: whether it's the Avengers or the X-Men who lose, readers of this series win either way.

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7.0
AVX: VS #3

Jun 13, 2012

With one fight feeling a little old hat and the other ready to knock your socks off, the end result of AvX: VS is still a win, albeit not the cleanest one. Those who buy this book are doing it not for plot development or even so much character dynamics, but seeing a good old-fashioned throwdown drawn by the best and the brightest. Right now, they've got half that. In order to keep the momentum going, Marvel has to keep the brackets shuffled a little bit better than this.

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2.0
AVX: VS #5

Aug 29, 2012

Fans of the Black Panther and Storm should steer clear of this story, which is not what you want to hear about the stars of a comic. But as a whole, there's not much more spark than throwing random sets of action figures together. Other installments of AvX: Vs. have managed to pull off some cool fights with quirky combinations " heck, Aaron and Fraction have written plenty of them " but this is worse than a dud. It's a bomb.

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6.0
Axis: Revolutions #3

Dec 4, 2014

This is a decent enough showcase for some surprising names, but the small scale makes AXIS Revolutions #3 feel just a little too disposable to be a must-read.

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8.0
Back to the Future #1

Oct 21, 2015

The original Back to the Future screenwriter, Bob Gale, teams up with scripters John Barber and Erik Burnham as well as artists Brent Schoonover and Dan Schoening to tell two prequel stories to the legendary series, and fans of the original series will likely love what they deliver.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) Annual #2

May 1, 2014

An unexpectedly fun read for what should have been a fill-in. DC should definitely look to these annuals for inspiration moving forward.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) Annual #3

Aug 3, 2015

Ultimately, Batgirl's accessibility and likeability remains its strongest asset, and it's a smart move from DC to use its rising popularity to showcase some of the other Bat-books on the stands. While this story occasionally reads as a little thin or hard to follow, the sagging middle is forgivable when you remember how strong the beginning and end are.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #14

Nov 19, 2012

This is a simple chapter with some simple, visceral thrills, but considering the baggage that Batgirl has been carrying with her return to the Gotham city rooftops, it's nice to get back to basics a little bit. Barbara Gordon is done moping, done being the victim, and uses that fury and hurt and rage to stage her own campaign against the Clown Prince of Crime. Not a bad tie-in for Gotham's latest crossover epic.

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4.0
Batgirl (2011) #16

Jan 17, 2013

Batgirl #16 seems to have the same problem that its sister title Batman and Robin does " it already said everything it was going to say a month ago.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #22

Jul 11, 2013

If you've been waffling on this book, Simone and Pasarin have delivered a reason for you to give Batgirl another shot.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #27

Jan 16, 2014

While the overall premise of "Gothtopia" - namely, Gotham and all of its denizens living in a hallucination-fueled utopia - still feels a little shoehorned, Simone makes the villain of the piece one of the creepiest new characters I've seen come out of a Bat-book in a long time.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #31

May 19, 2014

While you might say that this is leaning on a tried-and-true premise, who's to say that doesn't describe superhero comics as a whole? Gail Simone is able to flex some long-dormant muscles with Batgirl #31, injecting this series with some energy as she delivers a menacing and malevolent bad guy. But at the heart of it all, we find ourselves cheering not for Ragdoll as a bad guy - but almost as the return of a friend.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #32

Jun 13, 2014

It feels like we've seen a lot of Batgirl angry - we saw her mad when her insane brother James kidnapped their mother, we saw her mad when the Joker came back, we saw her mad when James was killed - yet I'd be lying if I didn't say that Gail Simone wasn't able to mine that for some good drama.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #34

Aug 13, 2014

While the cover claims that Batgirl has been "undefeated," I don't know if I'd go that far - indeed, I feel like her struggles have defined her character as well as this run in particular. For every step forward she makes as Batgirl, Babs ultimately winds up taking a step back personally, and it's that dichotomy that's made for some particularly effective melodrama in this series. While one could argue that sometimes Batgirl was too often stuck in a rut, she felt a lot more three-dimensional than some of the other poor dudes in the other Bat-books. This issue may have had its share of too-neat wrap-ups, but it does provide a clean wrap-up for Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher and Babs Tarr's highly anticipated run on the book. As far as goodbyes go, this may be the best way to wrap up this era of Batgirl.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #36

Nov 12, 2014

I wish more Bat-books were as good as Batgirl. Hell, I wish more comics were as good as Batgirl. It's smart, funny, a brand-new take on a classic, and it looks absolutely, jaw-droppingly fantastic. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need for a fresh start - and if this second issue is any indication, it looks like Burnside agrees with Batgirl even more than you might expect.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #37

Dec 11, 2014

Batgirl continues to be the best-paced, best-drawn book in the DC stable, even if this issue gets upended by some very non-P.C. villainy.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #42

Jul 29, 2015

While there are some missed opportunities as far as the dynamic between Jim and Barbara Gordon, the sheer technique shown by the Batgirl crew makes this for a fun read, one that most people likely won't have the persnickety objections that I do. Batgirl still remains one of the brightest and most fun books in the DC lineup, and if the biggest complaint is that its most action-packed issue is too action-packed, it's a great problem for readers to have.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #43

Aug 31, 2015

If there's one thing that Batgirl #43 does right, it's making sure that you not only care about Barbara Gordon, but that you pay attention to her vibrant supporting cast, as well. Like I said before, it's the contrast here - it's not just the headlining character who's important, but the people around her, as well. With some beautiful artwork and some really engaging characterization, this tiger-centric book isn't just good - it's grrrrrrrrrrreat.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #44

Sep 24, 2015

This is a great, action-packed issue, and perhaps even more importantly, Bengal seems to really be hitting his groove, subtly fitting in his style to flow more seamlessly from Babs Tarr's work.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #45

Oct 28, 2015

If there's anything that might detract a bit from this issue, it's that the wedding itself - which includes a trans female, which is absolutely historic for a Big Two comic book - feels a little drawn-out, even though Tarr draws it beautifully. But a few slower pages isn't enough to stop a superstar issue of Batgirl, one that brings together two of DC's best and brightest characters, and absolutely does them justice. This creative team has done a lot of great things with Barbara Gordon, but this wedding issue definitely takes the cake.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #48

Feb 3, 2016

While plenty of Batgirl's rogues gallery have been bright and bubbly villains, Stewart, Fletcher and Tarr remind us there's more to Barbara Gordon than just fun and games. Tackling some bigger perils than we've typically seen of this series, Batgirl is delivering an ambitious and superbly constructed storyline.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #49

Mar 3, 2016

This issue ties together so many wonderful threads from previous issues, and I really cannot say enough good things about it. Kudos to the entire team for having the vision and the guts to pull this one off.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #50

Apr 11, 2016

But that all said, it's very, very easy to be hooked, given the sheer scale and amount of fun this finale is. Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr have really reinvigorated this character, letting Barbara Gordon really stand out visually and thematically amongst an increasingly crowded lineup of Bat-books. Given that this series has been defined by its lightness and beautiful artwork, Batgirl #50 proves to be a fitting send-off to one of the best new DC books in recent memory.

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5.0
Batman (2011) Annual #1

May 30, 2012

Without a dynamic artist like Greg Capullo or Rafael Albuquerque taking the reins, an annual's expanded page count can bore readers just as easily as it can enthrall them. But with a downgrade in the art and a focus on a villain rather than Batman or any of his fun supporting cast, this book is for Freeze purists only. Snyder's main Batman book is still as untouchable as it gets, but this is too much money for not quite enough fun.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #3

Nov 21, 2011

And best of all? It's totally self-contained, even as it's part of a greater storyline " you can jump in without reading the previous two issues, even as you'll find that it's very difficult to leave. Batman #4 can't come quickly enough.

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10
Batman (2011) #5

Jan 23, 2012

Out of everyone in the New 52, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are officially the team to beat, showing how to make a satisfying chapter that makes readers eager for the next installment, rather than just follow along out of habit. Batman #5 is a comic that stretches itself " and it's protagonist " beyond the breaking point, and it's that level of ambition that's earned yet another perfect score. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is a pattern. Pick this book up yesterday.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #7

Mar 22, 2012

This story is great from a plot perspective, as it ties in Nightwing and Gotham City's hidden past far better than, say, Snyder's architecture-based Gates of Gotham. But after the rock 'em, sock 'em pace of the past six issues, this much denouement is a little bit like whiplash.

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10
Batman (2011) #10

Jun 18, 2012

If all comics could have a conclusion this well-conceived, we would be celebrating a golden age of storytelling. At the very least, we can celebrate a vindication. For those who doubted Scott Snyder " and yeah, I counted myself as one of those skeptics, for sure " this is the comic to watch. Because deep in the dark streets of Gotham, hidden away beneath secrets and scars and lies, a bona fide comics superstar is being born.

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10
Batman (2011) #13

Oct 9, 2012

Since the New 52, Batman has been blessed with an indomitable winning streak, thanks to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. But it's even more exciting that this issue is their best one yet. The Clown Prince of Crime might be at his most murderous, but make no mistake " he's going to put a smile on your face.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #15

Dec 11, 2012

In a lot of ways, I think this issue is an example of breaking a few eggs to make an omelet " Snyder has talked about Batman's extended family for awhile now, but outside of Nightwing hasn't really given them much screen time. Not only that, but I have the feeling that the new mysteries about Batman's early days fighting the Joker may spin out into something interesting moving forward. Yet the long game is not always as satisfying as the here-and-now, and the slow second half of this book kills the momentum and keeps Greg Capullo from doing what he does best: knock-down, drag-out action.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #28

Feb 12, 2014

The most hardcore of Batman readers may be rubbed the wrong way by Harper Row, from her incongruous introduction during Snyder's Court of Owls storyline to her casual use of (nonlethal) firearms, seemingly with the staunchly anti-gun Bruce Wayne's permission. It's no secret that Harper is a vanity character, Scott Snyder's attempt to bring a lasting legacy to the Bat-mythos long after he's gone. And that's ultimately what will make or break your reading of Batman #28 - do you want to see Harper Row succeed? If not, nothing Snyder will do will convince you to stay on-board - but if you're intrigued by the Bluebird's heroic flight, this issue may be the burst of girl power that Gotham City deserves.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #35

Oct 8, 2014

Besides the minor story hiccups, however, this is a great way to dive back into Batman, after months languishing in the past with "Zero Year." For the first time, Scott Snyder gets to bring in other elements of the DC Universe into his street-level, tough-as-nails Gotham, and the fireworks are about as big and fun as you'd expect. As far as first chapters go, "Endgame's" super-powered brawl shows this arc has the potential to be a knockout.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #40

Apr 29, 2015

Still, as far as conclusions go, Snyder and Capullo promised we'd see some fireworks - they just didn't mention how gut-wrenching they'd look. The finale of Endgame is violent and intimate, a raising of the stakes of what was set up years ago with Death of the Family. It's painful, like all good drama, and it absolutely sets up some new directions with the Batman books that could have some great potential. While there are a few bumps that keep this issue from perfection, I'd still say this is the best conclusion Snyder and Capullo have done since the Court of Owls.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #43

Aug 12, 2015

But even if takes a little while to warm up, the thought behind Batman #43 is more than sufficient here. It's clear that Snyder has put some thought into the passing of the baton from Bruce to Jim - and perhaps back from Jim to Bruce again. This transition could have been particularly bumpy, but Snyder has given us a suitable reason for Bruce to be absent, and has taken solid steps towards giving Jim Gordon a solid rogues gallery of his own. It's a brand-new Gotham City, and let it never be said that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo haven't taken great steps to earn it.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #45

Oct 14, 2015

Granted, this isn't a perfect comic by any means - whenever Jim Gordon isn't on the page, the story does slow down dramatically, as the amnesiac Bruce Wayne feels a bit too maudlin to command our attention, while the homicidal Mister Bloom's murderous rampage doesn't quite feel creepy enough to really grab us, even with the show-stopping final scene. But ultimately, that's not why we're reading this book - most people aren't eagerly awaiting Bruce Wayne's return, as much as they want to see if Jim Gordon can live up to his potential with his brand-new suit, his brand-new team, and his brand-new way of doing things. And as Jim Gordon has learned, you can't beat City Hall - but it's surprisingly fun watching City Hall beat him.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #46

Nov 11, 2015

There's a lot going on here, ranging from a new Bat-cycle to the history of the Narrows to Geri Powers' plans to put a Batbot in every major city in the DC Universe. It's a lot, and even worse, he's going to have a thankless job. Snyder's going to have purists calling for his head, not giving him the time or the leeway to show us a different angle on the Dark Knight - and honestly, given the fairly one-note characterization Bruce has had for decades, it's not bad to give Gotham a shift every once in awhile. But by not having a truly clean break from the past, Snyder slows down his own book. Granted, not every issue is going to be a home run, and expecting that is unrealistic - instead, consider this issue a seed that will bear fruit soon enough.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #48

Jan 20, 2016

Ultimately, Batman #48's greatest downfall also happens to be its greatest strength - it took a lot of guts for Snyder and Capullo to sideline DC Comics' most popular character and replace him with an everyman, and signalling Batman's return so soon makes me wonder what might have been with an organized, institution-friendly Dark Knight. You can't help but feel like the switchover is a little abrupt, almost as a reaction to post-Convergence reader attrition. But even while Jim Gordon's time as Gotham's sole Caped Crusader has come a little short, Snyder and Capullo are definitely positioning a triumphant return for DC Comics' original Dark Knight Detective.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #51

Apr 27, 2016

Throughout the "New 52" run of Batman, there's been a recurring question of "what is Gotham?" And while Scott Snyder might argue that Gotham is its history, I might do him one better: Gotham is its creators. There have been dozens of writers, artists, letterers and editors toiling over Batman's 75-year career, but I can think of very few who have delved this deeply to flesh out Batman and the city that orbits around him than Snyder and Capullo. Runs like this aren't just rare, they're unheard of " and to have a run like this actually be good is even more unprecedented. This conclusion is less of a fast-paced finale and more of an epilogue, taking the scenic route through 51 issues of blockbuster storytelling. Over the past five years, Snyder and Capullo have gone through a herculean undertaking, mapping and building Gotham from the ground up. I can only imagine what it must feel like now they get to just sit back and enjoy the view.

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7.0
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

While this first arc feels unsteady, with a pair of creators not nearly as bulletproof as their predecessors, the sheer ambition behind Batman might pay dividends down the road.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #5

Aug 17, 2016

Yet by the last page of this issue, it's clear that King has other plans " and that just as Batman (and his readers) are finally getting steady and comfortable, he's going to pull the rug out from underneath everyone soon enough. Of course, the problem with serialized comics is that you can't just tease the future " the here and now has to also feel engaging and exciting. In that regard, Batman #5 succeeds with some caveats, as King and Finch raise the stakes by pitting the Caped Crusader against a foe that is way out of his weight class. There are still some rough edges that could stand to be smoothed out, but this is certainly the best issue of this run yet.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #6

Sep 8, 2016

All in all, Batman #6 is a strong finale to King's opening arc, and one that heralds great things to come.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 19, 2016

This issue is one that’s primarily set-up, it allows for a couple of diversions which will please the readers anticipating the grander "Rebirth" plot, but it’s framed around getting the team together. What makes this issue work better than a standard comic where characters join forces is that there’s a thematic richness based on the actions taken in King’s first arc. Batman’s trip to Arkham is supplemented by knowing that this is a last hope. He’s not making a Suicide Squad because it’ll shake up the status quo, but because he’s already lost his vigilante protege, Gotham - he can’t lose Gotham Girl, as well. While Janin’s artwork has given new life to Batman as a title, King quietly pushes ahead with his ominous themes. Bane might have been the one to cripple Bruce Wayne, but it’s Tom King who might push the Bat past his moral limits.

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5.0
Batman (2016) #11

Nov 17, 2016

There's a mystery at the heart of "I Am Suicide" " at least, I hope there is " but it's going to take a lot of patience to get through this issue of Batman.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #12

Dec 12, 2016

Far and away the best issue of this run yet.

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8.0
Batman (2016) Annual #1

Nov 30, 2016

For every PlayStation or iPhone under the Christmas tree, there's sure to be an ugly sweater or a package of socks not far behind. With Batman Annual #1, you need to be willing to take the great with the not-so-great because overall, this is a very enjoyable holiday-themed Bat-book. Is it essential Batman reading? No, but it certainly has some remarkable moments, a nice dose of nostalgia, and is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

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7.0
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

While this first arc feels unsteady, with a pair of creators not nearly as bulletproof as their predecessors, the sheer ambition behind Batman might pay dividends down the road.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #5

Aug 17, 2016

Yet by the last page of this issue, it's clear that King has other plans " and that just as Batman (and his readers) are finally getting steady and comfortable, he's going to pull the rug out from underneath everyone soon enough. Of course, the problem with serialized comics is that you can't just tease the future " the here and now has to also feel engaging and exciting. In that regard, Batman #5 succeeds with some caveats, as King and Finch raise the stakes by pitting the Caped Crusader against a foe that is way out of his weight class. There are still some rough edges that could stand to be smoothed out, but this is certainly the best issue of this run yet.

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8.0
Batman (2016) #6

Sep 8, 2016

All in all, Batman #6 is a strong finale to King's opening arc, and one that heralds great things to come.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 19, 2016

This issue is one that’s primarily set-up, it allows for a couple of diversions which will please the readers anticipating the grander "Rebirth" plot, but it’s framed around getting the team together. What makes this issue work better than a standard comic where characters join forces is that there’s a thematic richness based on the actions taken in King’s first arc. Batman’s trip to Arkham is supplemented by knowing that this is a last hope. He’s not making a Suicide Squad because it’ll shake up the status quo, but because he’s already lost his vigilante protege, Gotham - he can’t lose Gotham Girl, as well. While Janin’s artwork has given new life to Batman as a title, King quietly pushes ahead with his ominous themes. Bane might have been the one to cripple Bruce Wayne, but it’s Tom King who might push the Bat past his moral limits.

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5.0
Batman (2016) #11

Nov 17, 2016

There's a mystery at the heart of "I Am Suicide" " at least, I hope there is " but it's going to take a lot of patience to get through this issue of Batman.

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9.0
Batman (2016) #12

Dec 12, 2016

Far and away the best issue of this run yet.

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6.0
Batman / TMNT Adventures #2

Dec 14, 2016

Now that the title characters are finally teaming up, maybe the third installment of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures will begin to live up to its promise.

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6.0
Batman and Robin (2011) Annual #1

Jan 30, 2013

Ultimately, this reads like half a good comic " Damian Wayne's Day Off is as good a concept as any (even if the Bat-suit throws off its balance wildly at first), but the subplot feels like a waste of space. That said, if you're looking to get your fix of Damian, this is a great place to check in, and easily more accessible than Morrison's more convoluted Batman Incorporated. A mixed bag for sure, but one that ultimately is a worthy effort.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #6

Feb 8, 2012

While it doesn't quite stick the landing, Tomasi has at least given himself some more room to make it right. The mystery of Batman and Robin " whether or not Damian would turn to evil " was never really a mystery, just by virtue of this book's title. The thing that was most important was how Bruce was going to connect with his son. And that conflict is still intact. Now that the explanations are over, I'm feeling confident that Tomasi will bring an even more satisfying emotional reunion when this storyline concludes next month.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #7

Mar 14, 2012

There's a lot to like about this action-heavy conclusion, but oftentimes Batman and Robin #7 also gets in its own way. After months of fairly methodical build-up " even some decompression last issue " the ending here comes off as a bit rushed, with the larger-than-life beats coming off as too big even for this story. It still stands as one of the stronger Batman titles, but that said, with this creative team, I know the potential for Batman and Robin is even deeper than what's on display here.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #14

Nov 14, 2012

Even so, this comic doesn't need a flimsy "Death of the Family" tie-in to make it fantastic. Peter Tomasi and company open this comic up with a bang, and it doesn't let up for a second. For Patrick Gleason, this is some of the best work he's done in ages; for Tomas Giorello, he's in the unenviable position of following a top-tier powerhouse. Regardless, if you're looking for a smart, stylish beatdown in Gotham, Batman and Robin is the place to find it.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #15

Dec 12, 2012

It's that atmosphere that makes Batman and Robin #15 such a treat, as it goes even further than its flagship book dares. It looks and feels disgusting, disturbing, creepy " all the qualities the faceless Joker has been designed to cultivate. With Damian Wayne getting more and more likable as he becomes more protective over his father figures, this is a great exercise in watching two fun characters clash and strike some sparks.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #16

Jan 16, 2013

In terms of execution, Batman and Robin #16 feels like the book we deserve, even if its not the book we need right now. We buy into action-heavy crossovers because we feel that's what "matters" in those rolling biographies of our favorite characters. While we will be continually disappointed on that score, this comic ultimately delivers on the surface, giving us plenty of punches and fisticuffs in dynamic style. But this comic also doesn't pretend to be anything more than a standard fight book, nor does it try to be, which I think ultimately makes it a little less durable than it should be.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #18

Mar 13, 2013

Batman and Robin #18 is a comic that makes you feel the wounds, the loss, the lack of direction that Batman himself must feel after one of his greatest losses. This is a beautiful comic, a powerful comic, yet it is also a comic with no answers.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #19

Apr 10, 2013

But all you need is one good guest star, and Batman and Red Robin has one on hand with Frankenstein on the scene. This is definitely an odd book, and a bit of a tonal shift from the more real-world stories Tomasi and Gleason had been telling for the previous 18 issues, but the execution winds up being refreshing. We've already seen Batman's brand of denial in books ranging from Teen Titans to Fallen Son, and even with a stunt like Carrie putting a wobble on things, with a creative team this good, this is well worth checking out.

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6.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #20

May 9, 2013

Not a bad read, but I also know this team is capable of more.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #23

Aug 21, 2013

In case you didn't read Batman Incorporated, Peter Tomasi recaps the story quite effectively, adding in some more action for good measure. But the real hero of this comic is Patrick Gleason, who stages this frightening melees perfectly, including Damian's tough-guy scowl at his impending doom, the larger-than-life nature of the Heretic, and the sheer broken-hearted look on Alfred's face as he wrestles with his own culpability.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #24

Oct 21, 2013

While the actual interaction between Batman and Two-Face has yet to materialize, Tomasi and Gleason have delivered a gorgeous-looking setup in Batman and Two-Face #24. Consistent as ever, this creative team is one of the best DC has to offer, and with the artwork and characterization looking this good, this is a book you'd be foolish to overlook.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #25

Nov 20, 2013

While Batman and Two-Face #25 won't cause any riots in the plot department, there's something to be said for doing the simple well. Batman is a character that thrives because he's built for action - and action is what Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason deliver here. If you're looking for a gorgeously drawn, no-nonsense fix of Gotham City fisticuffs, you could do much worse than Batman and Two-Face #25.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #26

Dec 23, 2013

All in all, the rock-solid creative team keeps this book afloat, even if this story isn't the strongest in the Batman and... series. Chances are, what will bring you to this book versus any of the other strong Bat-titles is Patrick Gleason's signature art style, but if you're a fan of continuity-free storytelling and sharp artwork, Batman and Two-Face #26 is a decent, if not revolutionary, book to pick.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #28

Feb 20, 2014

Batman and Two-Face #28 is bloated and at times rushed and messy, but it's also a story that's so bold, I can't believe DC actually went through with it

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #32

Jun 23, 2014

That may not be what this comic is meant to be, however. Tomasi has already spent plenty of time with Batman mourning the loss of his son - continuing to harp on that ad nauseum might prove to make this too dour of a read even for Batman. This is a fight comic, through and through, and while it's not the most striking superhero showdown I've ever read, Patrick Gleason's artwork makes it striking enough to stand out.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #35

Oct 16, 2014

If there's any one downside to this book, it's in the pacing - namely, because Tomasi has to introduce certain members of Darkseid's family, this story cuts out just a little abruptly, with the last page in particular feeling a big anticlimactic. But even with the ending sputtering out a bit, it doesn't hamper 18 pages of solid storytelling beforehand. If you're looking for hardcore Batman action, Batman and Robin #35 is the place to find it.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #37

Dec 17, 2014

The market has spoken, and it's spoken loud - Damian Wayne cannot die. And in so doing, Peter Tomasi has told the most balls-out crazy story he possibly could to get him to this previously mandated conclusion. Ultimately, whether or not you want to descend into this craziness is up to you - sure, it's self-indulgent, it's loosely (perhaps even sloppily) plotted, but that's like going to McDonald's and complaining they don't have steak. This is a fight comic, a gorgeous fight comic, even if it's got zero calories from a storytelling perspective. People will cheer because they have their Robin back, and for them, that's all that will matter. To paraphrase another Batman scribe: Maybe this isn't the book we deserve, but it's the book we need right now.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #38

Jan 21, 2015

This comic is an interlude, through and through, but it's one that's thoughtful and endearing, despite its occasional rough edges. Or in other words, it's similar to Damian himself.

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9.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #1

Oct 12, 2015

Ultimately, weekly comics are still an unproven storytelling method, with even the best examples having some major issues with pacing or a schizophrenic visual or narrative tone. But it's hard not to feel excited when you see a book that looks and reads as good as Batman and Robin Eternal. If DC can keep the art looking this good - and if Tynion and Snyder can keep their momentum going without Batman to guide his flock of Robins - then this might be the weekly comic we've all been waiting for.

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8.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #9

Dec 3, 2015

It's taken them years to do it, but DC might just have cracked the code when it comes to putting out awesome weekly comic books.

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7.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #10

Dec 10, 2015

All in all, DC continues its winning streak with this book.

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4.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #18

Feb 4, 2016

Ultimately, the need to wrap things up makes this comic feel less like a story and more like a Wikipedia entry.

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4.0
Batman And Robin Eternal #26

Apr 4, 2016

It might not sound this way reading this, but I truly believe that this finale coming out as a little less-than-engaging isn't such a knock against Tynion, considering that many, many other writers with much longer track records would have churned out something that instead would have just been completely incoherent. But as a reader who is looking for a piece of writing to really grab me emotionally, I can't help but think that this book lost its way by the end, sacrificing all that wonderful characterization of the first dozen issues in exchange for obligatory cameos, standard plot twists and low-calorie pyrotechnics. 26 issues can't be easy, but if the sprawling, distended, occasionally meandering focus of Batman & Robin Eternal has taught us anything, it's that for a weekly story like this, maybe less really is more.

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7.0
Batman Beyond (2015) #7

Dec 3, 2015

After its bleak and confusing opening arc, Dan Jurgens and company are starting to bring Batman Beyond back to its more charming roots.

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7.0
Batman Beyond (2015) #8

Jan 7, 2016

For ostensibly being a bit of a breather issue, Batman Beyond sure knows how to keep readers intrigued. While Tim Drake spends much of this issue worrying about Matt McGinnis, Dan Jurgens gooses this issue with liberal doses of action, such as a two-page fracas with Rewire, but the real meat of this issue has to be the fall of the Justice League to Brother Eye, which artist Bernard Chang knocks out of the freaking park.

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9.0
Batman Incorporated #1

May 23, 2012

This story is not the most straightforward thing on the stands today " even diehard Batman Incorporated readers may need a second or third pass to take it all in " but because it looks so good and has so much energy, it's tough to begrudge this book. While Morrison and Burnham may very well prove this cliffhanger to be a fake-out, I'm definitely ready to reinvest with this team.

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10
Batman Incorporated #5

Nov 29, 2012

This is an enormously powerful single issue, easily the best of the week. Do not miss this book.

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7.0
Batman Incorporated #6

Jan 3, 2013

There's little wrong with Morrison unraveling the mystery behind Leviathan " with lethal results " but there is an energy lacking that keeps this comic from its usual lofty heights.

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8.0
Batman Incorporated #8

Feb 27, 2013

Anyone interested in Gotham's future should give this book a read " and considering how far Damian Wayne had to come to become accepted as the new Boy Wonder, I think that's about as fitting of a sendoff as he could get.

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5.0
Batman Incorporated #9

Mar 27, 2013

The scale of this comic is particularly ambitious, and Morrison's juggling of so many characters and so many subplots is admirable in and of itself " yet there's a lesson to be learned here. When Damian was first introduced, Morrison thought he'd kill him in one arc... until he saw the character really taking on a life of his own. In death as he was in life, I guess, since the death of Robin has largely superseded any convoluted doomsday plots Talia al Ghul might come up with. Batman Incorporated isn't a story about high concept anymore, it's a story about emotions and family and heart " and that might be a Leviathan too big for even Grant Morrison to tackle.

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5.0
Batman Incorporated #10

Apr 24, 2013

Structurally, this comic makes plenty of sense, and I give Morrison a lot of praise for tying together so many forgotten threads for his final crescendo. Yet seeing this in practice winds up falling flat " think of a chef telling you how great a peanut butter-and-pickle sandwich might be, because that's what he had in the fridge. Batman Incorporated #10 is that same sort of weird-tasting combination, only years in the making. There may be some good constants here " Chris Burnham's art, Morrison's sense of deliberateness and scale " but that doesn't make this weird comic any easier to swallow.

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5.0
Batman Incorporated #12

Jul 3, 2013

Unfortunately, not only is the outcome of this "final battle" between Batman and Leviathan a foregone conclusion, but after all the possible buildup that Morrison has built over years and years of storytelling... all we get is a fistfight? Granted, Batman's reckoning with Talia will finally unfold next issue, but aside from the Heretic's final fate, this feels a little too easy, a little underdeveloped. This is neither Batman nor Morrison's finest hour.

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4.0
Batman Incorporated #13

Jul 31, 2013

Batman will never die, Morrison says, but will he always be shiny and new? I disagree, and I think this finale is proof: despite the coolness inherent in his concept, without a writer whose heart is truly in the product, this Dark Knight will always be just a shadow of his potential.

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8.0
Batman/Superman (2013) Annual #1

Mar 10, 2014

That said, there are people who might cry foul at this issue's large price point, shifting art teams and unfocused, almost jazz-like narrative - and they would be right. Batman/Superman Annual #1 isn't a comic that's going to go down in the history books, but instead is a bit more of a disposable but entertaining read. It's nice to see Greg Pak and DC Comics utilizing the Batman and Superman families beyond something like a depressing, status quo-altering crossover book - this is pure adventure with no frills, and that's what makes it fun.

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6.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #2

Jul 24, 2013

Who would have thought that twice the Batman and twice the Superman would be too much? Yet Greg Pak winds up putting the cart before the horse with a needlessly convoluted plot, compounded by some messy artwork by Jae Lee. Considering how talented this creative team is, it makes for a somewhat frustrating time - while this book still stands above much of the rest of DC's catalog, you can't help but feel this book could be better. The World's Finest, this isn't.

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7.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #3

Aug 28, 2013

Luckily for Batman/Superman, this book looks so good that you can begrudgingly forgive many of its other sins. That said, you can already see the wear and tear on Jae Lee, as now he's only drawn half the book, with many of his characters losing their key details due to his overuse of silhouette and shadow. We've seen already that Greg Pak gets these characters, but until he can streamline this story - namely, one Superman and one Batman is enough - this comic is barely going to get by on looks alone.

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6.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #18

Jan 22, 2015

It's an imperfect read, but one that ultimately hits more than it misses.

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6.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #21

Jun 11, 2015

Not a hugely auspicious issue, but not a bad one, either.

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7.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #28

Jan 18, 2016

If there's one thing that holds this issue back, it's that plotting-wise, Taylor doesn't quite have as much of a hook as he does with his characterization. While the idea of a murder mystery on a moon is interesting, having a tease about Kryptonian history has already been done to death, even dating back as far as the very issue of Batman/Superman over a decade ago. What I'm hoping will happen is that Taylor can give us one strong twist to make the end destination seem worthwhile, and continue on his fantastic characterization to make the issues getting there feel this punchy. For now, this isn't a must-read, but it's certainly a surprising show of quality, and perhaps a sign that bigger things should be in store for this team.

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8.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #29

Feb 11, 2016

Every so often, DC Comics puts out a title that I feel I have to keep harping on, just to let everyone know that this is the real deal - this is a comic book you should not only be paying attention to, but that you should be emulating. And in the hands of Tom Taylor, Batman/Superman is that book - instead of trying to reinvent (or reboot) the wheel or to goose sales with crazy high-concepts, epic guest stars or A-list names attached, this book rests on characterization only. And let me tell you, I wish more books had the courage to do the same.

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9.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #30

Mar 10, 2016

Lots of fun twists, great character moments, and a super-poignant ending make me wish this creative team could have stuck around for a long, long time.

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8.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #31

Apr 13, 2016

But ultimately, it's ironic that in his final days, Superman winds up sounding more true to himself than he has in quite some time, and that's a big compliment to Tomasi and company. Watching the World's Finest duo team up and face their own mortality is a great bit of characterization in an industry that all-too-often focuses on the short-term stunts rather than the long-term readability. While there might be plenty of big books out this week, you'd do well not to overlook Batman/Superman.

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8.0
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Dec 9, 2015

Some critics might accuse this book of being shallow, of not finding a deeper connection between its two franchises - but when it comes to Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I think they might be trying to reinvent the wheel here. Part of the reason why these two franchises work so well is that they don't need to justify themselves or continuously remind us of how they became who they are. Just rev them up, put them on a path towards one another, and watch the sparks fly. It's clear that Batman and the Turtles are in great hands - the second issue can't come fast enough.

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10
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2

Jan 13, 2016

James Tynion IV is leaning on a tried-and-tested structure with Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but for a project like this, I actually have to say that's a great idea. When you have a hook as simple as this, you don't need to reinvent the wheel - you just need to have a solid grip on characterization, and then let these mythologies clash as often as possible. If you're a fan of Batman: The Animated Series or anything Turtle-related, you're going to want to buy this book immediately.

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6.0
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3

Feb 11, 2016

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally join forces with the Batman himself, but James Tynion IV gets just a little ahead of himself with his plot structure, and winds up dropping the ball on this epic team-up.

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10
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4

Mar 9, 2016

When you read as many comic books as I read on a weekly basis, it's easy to name comic bookss that are smart. Or challenging. Or funny. Or just plain convoluted. But honestly, there are very, very few comic books out there that are as positively joyful as this book. You absolutely sense the enthusiasm that this creative team put into this book, and like all unexpected pizza toppings, once you're done, you can't wait until you enjoy it again. If you pick up one book from the Big Two this week, make it this one.

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8.0
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5

Apr 14, 2016

While this issue is a little shorter on content than some of the previous installments, James Tynion IV continues to deliver with the crowd-pleasers, as Damian absolutely tears through the Turtles, evoking the same sort of carnage from his first appearance by Grant Morrison.

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7.0
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6

May 16, 2016

While the seams are showing a bit in this last issue, that's not to say that there hasn't been plenty of good bits to Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a fun series that at its best has nicely wedded the best parts of two iconic franchises. Ultimately, six issues doesn't necessarily feel like enough space to adequately condense the sprawling universes these two sets of characters inhabit, and it's a real credit to Tynion that he's done as well as he has " and to Williams, for making it look this good. Even if the fan service winds up overpowering its structure, this is still a book that demands your attention.

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8.0
Batman: Arkham Knight #1

Mar 16, 2015

That all said, it's heartening to see a comic that doesn't just make financial sense, but works creatively as well. Batman: Arkham Knight is one such comic. If you've played the video game, this is a great tie-in to the next installment of the franchise, and even if you haven't, this is a smooth entry that clocks in at 30 massive pages of story. Whether you're buying this in installments or waiting for the collected edition, this is one great bit of outreach featuring one of DC's most enduring characters.

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3.0
Batman: Death By Design #1

Jun 4, 2012

The problem is, Taylor's classic art style, while refreshing, doesn't sustain interest as well as a cohesive story might. There's a lot of thematic potential for the rise and fall " and sabotage " of a metropolis, but Death by Design falls victim to convenient plot points and a villain who never justifies his chutzpah. Kidd purists will already be on board, but those who aren't members of the choir already won't find a firm foundation here.

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4.0
Batman: Earth One #1

Jul 3, 2012

Ambition is never a crime in the comics industry, and to be honest, I wish more books failed because they were too ambitious rather than the other way around. Batman: Earth One is one of those books. There's plenty of material to work with, and there's a ton of setup for future storylines. But what this book doesn't do is ultimately too damaging to ignore: for all its enthusiastic world-building, it fails to set up an exciting alternative in characterization to either the current Batman books or the epic Batman movies.

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4.0
Batman: Earth One #2

May 18, 2015

In a lot of ways, it makes sense for DC Comics to keep coming back to the origin of Batman - it was that same origin that redefined the company's fortunes, and perhaps its telling that they would come back again and again, hoping to strike gold the same way they did in 1986. Unfortunately, Batman: Earth One, Vol. 2 isn't going to have that same kind of instant magnetism. Those who are interested in reading more Batman stories after the mega-popular Christopher Nolan movies are going to wonder who this bumbler in a bat-suit is, and diehard fans aren't going to buy this low-tension storyline when they have Scott Snyder or the Arkham City games to electrify them. The sad thing is, Johns and Frank might be one of DC Comics' best teams - but it just so happens that their styles are not the right fit for DC's biggest icon.

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4.0
Batman: Eternal #1

Apr 14, 2014

But the real issue, beyond anything technical, is the overall premise to this first issue of Batman Eternal. Jim Gordon is not Robin. Batman isn't just Harvey Bullock or Renee Montoya. They come from two very different worlds, and you have to make a choice which one is going to be your focal point. By having the two at ostensibly equal levels, it either draws Gordon's gritty, realistic world into melodrama, or it takes Batman's larger-than-life theatrics and calls attention to its one-dimensionality. It's going to take a bit more than this to make me care about the Commissioner's latest dilemma, and it's going to take a lot more than this to make Batman Eternal worth 52 issues of investment.

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6.0
Batman: Eternal #2

Apr 16, 2014

While I think there's still something to be desired for making Batman Eternal a story that will really hook readers, you can't deny that both issues of this series at least draw the plot forward with something concrete. In the last issue, it was a train disaster - this issue is the return of one of Gotham's most insidious foes. With Jason Fabok's artwork giving this series a stable framework - at least, for now - this comic has done just enough to keep me interested for next week. At least for now.

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3.0
Batman: Eternal #4

May 5, 2014

Stylistic missteps and an overly slow plot makes this issue of Batman Eternal more filler than killer. Not much really happens here, something that a lot of weekly comics try to get away with (and often do). Everyone wants to see what happens to Batman, and because they get another chance next week, it's easier for them to forgive (and more likely forget) misfires like this one. I just hope for all our sakes that this book picks up and starts putting some weight behind this weekly schedule.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #9

Jun 4, 2014

With the all-consuming grind of a weekly story, it can take a lot not just out of the exhausted creative teams producing it, but for the overworked and overstimulated readers struggling to consume it all and make it all make sense. Sometimes a vacation is all you need to recharge your batteries and start fresh. Maybe Batman: Eternal #9 was the getaway this series needed all along.

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7.0
Batman: Eternal #13

Jul 7, 2014

Still, I have to give Batman Eternal credit where it's due, in the fact that this book has really been good at fleshing out Gotham as a character - something, I would argue, that Scott Snyder in particular has tried to do ever since he joined the Bat-books back on Detective Comics. With some strong art and a lot of ambition with its cast, Batman Eternal is definitely starting to shape up.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #15

Jul 21, 2014

This issue of Batman Eternal is very far removed from the usual Batman story, and I think that shows the flexibility of this ensemble title - it's not afraid to deviate from a "traditional" Batman story, instead tapping into many different types of stories, all united by that omnipresent Bat-symbol. This comic leans into Batman's horrific side without regurgitating the old stories about the symbolism of bats, instead showing the kinds of horrors that Arkham can conjure up. And with protagonists this unexpectedly good - a compliment you can also give the creative team - this book is the best kind of magic.

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4.0
Batman: Eternal #17

Jul 31, 2014

Maybe the problem is Batman. Things were going so well, as Ray Fawkes and company had Batwing team up with Jim Corrigan - the human host of the otherworldly Spectre - but this origin of Deacon Blackfire falls flat as soon as the Batman shows up.

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6.0
Batman: Eternal #41

Jan 14, 2015

Sometimes comics succeed based on their plots, and sometimes they succeed based on their execution. Batman Eternal #41 is a mixed bag in that regard, as it's got just enough "important" plot points - and surprisingly strong art - that people will likely feel vindicated buying it, if only because it feels bigger than many of the issues that came before it. That's the real struggle behind Batman Eternal - there are so many storylines that are picked up for only a few issues before being lost in the next subplot, and with magic, technology, action and criminal politics all fighting for the spotlight, it makes this book a schizophrenic sort of read. Still, clarity does come when you least expect it, and moments like these are ones to cherish in a book like this.

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7.0
Batman: Eternal #50

Mar 23, 2015

At the end of the day, what will really make or break Batman Eternal #50 is the big reveal of the mastermind behind this plot against Gotham - and to be honest, that's probably the biggest point of contention for me, personally. It's almost a sure thing that Tynion and company will explain this mastermind's rise from D-lister to man of the hour, and while it certainly affects a few other members of the Bat-family, I can't help but feel like it's a retread of "Hush," only with an even more implausible character. But with two issues to go, the Batman Eternal creative team will likely work hard to sell their plot twist. While readers and creators alike may be eagerly awaiting the finish line, this is one last sprint that feels breezy and fun - but time will tell if it ultimately comes off as satisfying.

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6.0
Batman: Eternal #52

Apr 1, 2015

Batman Eternal hasn't been a perfect series, nor does it have a perfect ending. But as a whole, there's a lot of ambition to this series that has made it a worthwhile venture. There's been a cadre of different artists on board, allowing DC to experiment with potential up-and-comers in the context of their most popular franchise, and the sheer breadth of the series, including villains from across Batman's rogues gallery, has made this feel like a must-read. The Bat-Family has coalesced and even expanded under Snyder and Tynion's leadership, bringing characters like Bluebird, Spoiler and Julia Pennyworth to the fold. While it might have helped to reveal this series' true big bad an issue earlier, Batman Eternal will be one of DC's most ambitious achievements for some time to come.

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7.0
Batman: Europa #1

Nov 18, 2015

Perhaps you can chalk it up to a slow week at DC, or simply a slowing down on all fronts with the holidays approaching, but Batman Europa winds up being one of the strongest of the DC books this week. Ultimately, that praise is due primarily to Jim Lee flexing his muscles, treating readers to see a master in action. While the change in styles might not be to everyone's liking, it's Lee that makes Batman Europa worth your time - hopefully, with that hook in place, Casali and Azzarello will up their game in future installments.

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9.0
Batman: Futures End #1

Sep 10, 2014

While admittedly this issue has its moments of feeling rushed, there's something so pure about Batman: Futures End #1, something that speaks to the power and longevity of DC's most popular character. You don't need crazy setup, you don't need explanation - you just need action. Even when he's at death's door, Batman is always ready for war. And that's a thrill that five years could never touch.

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2.0
Battle Scars #6

Apr 30, 2012

This could have been an easy bunt, and considering Marvel got from Point A to Point B in terms of aligning their IP, that might have been enough for them. But I expect more out of my comics, and I think this could have been worlds more interesting. Here's hoping that these Battle Scars leave some character on Marvel's newest addition.

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2.0
Batwing #0

Sep 10, 2012

In many ways, I see DC's #0 issues as a second attempt to bring in new readers who might have been unconvinced by the initial rollout of the New 52. Batwing could have been a more commercially viable take on Joshua Dysart's fantastic Unknown Soldier, but instead is about as bland and generic as it comes. Just because the man has a bat on his chest doesn't mean this title should get a free pass.

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6.0
Batwing #4

Dec 12, 2011

Considering that this origin story seems to be a done-in-one event, I can't help but think that we still haven't been given quite enough to really root for Batwing. On the one hand, there's only so many pages that Winick has to devote to this topic, but shouldn't that have been the point of this book? There is so much potential to not just entertain, but inform, about a topic that many people only know the bare surface level of. I applaud Winick for taking a step in the right direction, but in this case " and I'm just as surprised as you are that I'm saying it " I don't think he's gone nearly far enough. There's so much more room for both characterization and concept to Batwing, but four months in, I'm not sure how many people will want stick around to wait for it.

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2.0
Batwing #19

Apr 4, 2013

I think what gets me the most is the new replacement for Batwing, however " this semi-new character just feels so lazy and is so antithetical to the idea of a Batman for Africa that I'm just shaking my head. I'll check out next month just to see what happens with this new guy, but I'm not optimistic.

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7.0
Batwing #23

Aug 8, 2013

There's something charmingly old-school about Batwing, as this title has eschewed its original African locale and transformed into something akin to a modern-day Batman Beyond.

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5.0
Batwing #32

Jun 5, 2014

The end is nigh for Batwing as a series, but it's interesting to see that in its final issues, the book is starting to pick up. I hope that Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferrera continue to team up on art (and on a more high-profile book), as they really are the best answer to Bryan Hitch that I've seen in a long time.

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3.0
Before Watchmen: Comedian #1

Jun 20, 2012

You can't win all of them, and it seems that the third time is not the charm for Before Watchmen. Whereas the first two installments stood on their own two feet as accessible, standalone stories, Azzarello and Jones lean a little too heavily on Alan Moore's original text, leading to a story that emulates the tone but never really hits the right note. And that's the sad punchline for Before Watchmen: Comedian #1 " we're not laughing on the inside. We're not even crying. The reality is even worse " we're not reacting at all.

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3.0
Before Watchmen: Comedian #2

Jul 25, 2012

War is hell, but you wouldn't know it based on Before Watchmen: The Comedian. Too cool to show any strong reactions one way or the other, there's no theme, no stakes and no danger to pique readers' interest. This doesn't add anything to Eddie Blake's descent into despair and madness " unless you're a completist or a die-hard Jones fan, this book is skippable fodder.

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8.0
Before Watchmen: Comedian #3

Sep 12, 2012

Of course, with DC's spotty history with diversity lately " goodbye Asian-American Atom Ryan Choi, hello suspected terrorist Green Lantern Simon Baz " this is the kind of comic that will also lead plenty of people to be upset, to say that DC is being unthinking at best and cavalier at worst. It's not a clean comic, it's a dirty one. It's audacious that DC even printed it, and it'll definitely leave you thinking about it long after you finish it.

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3.0
Before Watchmen: Comedian #4

Dec 10, 2012

When you have to explain the punchline of a joke, chances are, it's not a very good joke. That's the problem with Eddie Blake's story in Before Watchmen. The message and drive behind this story are so oblique that this just feels like an exercise in wasting time, with no insight gained from Eddie's time at base camp or his slaughter on the battlefield. It's a senseless fictional crime, with the only victim being your wallet.

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3.0
Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1

Aug 23, 2012

Michael Strazcynski wasn't kidding when he said this series was headed to some lofty heights " the only problem is, will anybody understand it?

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5.0
Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #4

Mar 4, 2013

But despite comics being a visual medium, people also come back for the story. And that doesn't really work here. You've seen Before Watchmen: Doctor Manhattan before, and nothing you'll read in these 22 pages is going to add anything to Alan Moore's original work. This definitely is a nice platform for Hughes and Martin to strut their stuff, but that's pretty much the only draw for this bloodless book.

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8.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1

Jun 6, 2012

There's a lot going on in this book, which ultimately feels as dense as the original Watchmen, if nothing else. There are some moments that don't feel as compelling as others, if you can call that a critique " Captain Metropolis and Dollar Bill are two heroes that even Cooke hasn't cracked yet, in terms of making them sound interesting " but the thing that makes this book even more slippery is that Darwyn Cooke is a top-notch creator who can bring excellent execution to a perfectly simple, straightforward introduction. Before Watchmen might not add any luster to Moore and Gibbons's seminal work, but it also doesn't take anything away. Maybe that's the big shocker for this title " for a prequel book, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 stands, surprisingly, on its own two feet.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #3

Aug 29, 2012

The minor hiccups aside, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #3 is the real deal, a well-crafted narrative that manages to work within the air-tight confines of Alan Moore's original work. Great artwork, visceral characterization and a nice dose of stakes keeps this book hopping way more than you would ordinarily expect.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #6

Jan 23, 2013

But there is no more, and perhaps that is for the best. Darwyn Cooke pulled off what many thought would be impossible " he did establish a solid niche within Alan Moore's airtight original story in which to make his own spin. The fact that its good makes it even more striking. And while the very, very end of this story fades away rather than ends with a bang, this last issue proves that Before Watchmen: Minutemen was the little prequel that could. This is one knockout read.

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3.0
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1

Jun 27, 2012

That reaction is what Before Watchmen: Nite Owl is missing, perhaps not a surprise after the blowback Straczynski received after his incomplete runs on Superman and Wonder Woman. The good news for him is that he won't be crucified here, not for this work. But that's the gamble you take as an artist " you risk the odds, take a leap, and see if you'll fall or fly. Unfortunately, right now, Before Watchmen: Nite Owl still has its wings clipped.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1

Jul 5, 2012

This is the best Before Watchmen comic that doesn't have Darwyn Cooke's name on it, bar none.

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8.0
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #2

Aug 8, 2012

Even with a cliffhanger that seems far from revolutionary, there's still plenty to like about Before Watchmen: Ozymandias. This is one of the best-looking books that DC Comics publishes today, with a fantastic sense of mood and movement that makes you almost a little wistful that, say, Superman couldn't get the same treatment. But that visual panache makes Adrian Veidt special, makes him memorable, makes him strong. Ozymandias may have operated largely behind the scenes in the original Watchmen, but this prequel book is giving the King of Kings his due.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #4

Nov 29, 2012

Make no mistake, Before Watchmen: Ozymandias might just be the best-looking book DC prints today. Jae Lee makes Adrian Veidht into a bonafide badass, whether its going toe-to-acrobatic-toe with a gang called the Flying Tigers, or simply watching dozens of news screens in his arctic fortress.

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7.0
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #5

Jan 31, 2013

You're not going to get too much new insight into the life of Adrian Veidt here, but Jae Lee's artwork continues to be as dynamic as ever.

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6.0
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #6

Mar 14, 2013

Watchmen project finally concludes this week, and the biggest disappointment of Ozymandias is that the world's smartest man can't inspire any original ideas. Len Wein is basically retelling parts of the original Watchmen here without adding any new codas or perspective.

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7.0
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1

Aug 15, 2012

The thing that's holding back Before Watchmen: Rorschach isn't so much technique or execution, but direction. This is an inkblot test that has no answer, which is certainly a change of pace from the philosopher vigilante that ignited everyone's imagination back in 1986. Does it add to Walter Kovacs' myth? Not quite, and the reunion factor alone will probably not be enough for purists. But based on sheer looks, I'm willing to stay on board for a second chance.

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10
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1

Jun 13, 2012

Despite the title, this book isn't Watchmen. It'll never be. But as its own story, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre is a heartfelt, gorgeous story that feels less like a cash-grab, and more like art for art's sake. As crazy as it sounds, maybe DC will have its cake and eat it, too " at the very least, Conner and Cooke have earned your attention.

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6.0
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3

Sep 6, 2012

All in all, this still looks fantastic, but I'm hoping the finale brings back the maternal struggle that so well defined the first two issues.

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8.0
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #4

Nov 29, 2012

What started out as a journey of self-discovery has turned into more of a seedy revenge story set in the psychedelic Sixties. What makes this book stands out are the small character moments " well, that and the fact that this book is ridiculously good-looking.

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8.0
Betty & Veronica (2016) #1

Jul 19, 2016

For many reasons, Betty & Veronica might be an acquired taste, given Hughes' admittedly shaky focus on his lead characters, not to mention his prolific but unorthodox scripting method. Yet there's just enough good qualities to his work - particularly his beautiful art - that makes this book's rough edges feel like a refreshing change of pace rather than a disappointment. While Hughes has a while to go before his writing is on par with his visuals, there's a unique voice at the heart of Betty & Veronica - one that I think will only get stronger as time goes on.

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9.0
Bitch Planet #2

Jan 27, 2015

For those who may have dismissed Bitch Planet #1 as throwaway hype, DeConnick, De Landro and company have defied the concept of a sophomore slump with their second issue. If anything, this series actually continues to improve as its narrative focuses in, giving us a tough-as-nails protagonist and an insidious system for her to rally against. The biggest crime would be for you not to pick this book up.

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9.0
Bitch Planet #6

Jan 7, 2016

If you haven't been reading this masterful book, you need to get on it, stat.

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7.0
Black Canary (2015) #7

Feb 1, 2016

While the plotting could use a tune-up, there's something electric to the artwork in Black Canary, which keeps this book going even when the silent sequences feel a little hollow. Music, more than anything else, is about rhythm and pacing, and a better division of exposition would have done wonders to keeping this issue moving. Still, the premise and art of Black Canary are undeniably exciting, and that makes this issue one that's worth checking out.

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9.0
Black Canary (2015) #9

Mar 21, 2016

Matthew Rosenberg is one of Scott Snyder's first students in the DC writer's development program, and if this issue is any indication, that class is definitely going to be the next hotbed of DC Comics writing talent. This story is fun and easy to follow, and when you start off with that foundation, the crazy visuals are only icing on the cake. Here's hoping that this isn't the last we've seen of this fantastic creative team.

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5.0
Black Market #1

Jul 17, 2014

I was initially very excited by the premise of Black Market - when you have superheroes breathing fire or shooting lasers out of their eyes, who wouldn't consider their very organs to be a lucrative resource? Yet the first issue of Black Market doesn't quite deliver on that initial promise, only because we've seen much of these tropes before.

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5.0
Black Panther (2016) #3

Jun 29, 2016

Growing pains are an inevitable part of maturity, and in the case of Black Panther, it's not surprising to see that happening here " unfortunately, in today's ultra-competitive marketplace, readers might not stick around while they wait for the King of Wakanda to catch his breath. Coates' previous two issues felt like necessary exposition, but we're now getting to the point where this lengthy narrative rollout might be too little, too late. There's a lot of ambition to this book, particularly with its sprawling supporting cast, but there seems to be a lack of focus and excitement with T'Challa himself that needs correcting " and fast. Otherwise, the uprising in Wakanda might be nothing compared to the readership diaspora Black Panther might experience.

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8.0
Black Road #2

May 19, 2016

Brian Wood and Garry Brown deliver some nice grittiness and atmosphere with Black Road #2, a bleak historical romp that quickly hooks readers in with its odd couple protagonists.

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8.0
Black Science #5

Apr 1, 2014

If there's anything that continues to hold Black Science back, is that it's still not the most accessible book in the world - there's a lot of backstories, a lot of action, and not a whole lot of differentiation to identify each character. (Indeed, Remember rarely introduces them by name.) There are a lot of small tweaks that could be made to the writing and the art to make this book a more user-friendly experience, as readers spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to make out the action rather than to enjoy it. But if you're an adventurous reader who values style over smoothness, Black Science #5 is still an impressive read.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #13

Dec 18, 2014

Noto's use of color is what makes Black Widow so remarkable, whether its the chilly black-and-white as she visits Isaiah in the hospital, to the autumn reds that appear as she begins to oh-so-subtly boil over in rage.

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7.0
Black Widow (2016) #1

Mar 2, 2016

If you're looking for a team that is consistently great with their work, you'd be hard-pressed to name many people who do what Samnee and Wilson do, particularly on a month-to-month basis.

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9.0
Black Widow (2016) #4

Jun 21, 2016

It's a complicated web for even the Black Widow to sustain, but with creators like Samnee, Waid and Wilson as her handlers, fans shouldn't miss out on this exceptional series.

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8.0
Black Widow (2016) #6

Aug 18, 2016

This isn't a game-changing issue, and the conclusion feels a little convenient, but all in all, Black Widow still continues to impress.

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3.0
Blackcross #1

Jan 20, 2015

Many readers can criticize Marvel and DC for inaccessible storylines - and oftentimes, they're not wrong. The difference between the Big Two and Dynamite is that there's almost a cultural osmosis when it comes to Spider-Man, the Avengers or the Justice League, as generations have been bombarded with TV shows, movies, video games and merchandise to hammer home their characters' existence, if not their high concepts and status quo. Dynamite's Project Superheroes lineup doesn't have that luxury, and with a big name like Warren Ellis to draw in new readers, they owe it to customers - and themselves - to make their characters as easy-to-follow as possible. This comic may have its haunting moments, but the thing that should haunt Dynamite the most is how much better this comic should have been.

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7.0
Blackhawks #6

Feb 23, 2012

Mike Costa's script is a bit more hit-or-miss, however. It opens fast and has some great beats over the Blackhawk's mandate, as well as the aforementioned bar scene. But the entry point for the story is still pretty difficult, making it hard to understand the stakes or learn where the characters are going. That weakness makes this a book without context, a stylish look at spy-soldiers doing spy-soldier stuff. It may not make much sense, but it looks so sharp, you might not mind.

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5.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #6

Feb 20, 2012

And maybe that's the lesson to take from Tony Bedard and Ig Guara's relaunch of Blue Beetle. It's well intentioned, and in certain ways does try to incorporate some of the magic from the original series. But at the same time, how do you recapture that lightning in a bottle, when you aren't adding to it? This is a reboot of a reboot, but it ends up feeling like a low-calorie version of a favorite dish. There is a ton of room for Jaime Reyes to grow " and to be honest, would it have even been that terrible to just continue from the pre-boot continuity, a la Green Lantern? "but instead of being the character that feels fresh and takes new directions, Blue Beetle is sadly feeling like more of the same.

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8.0
Book Of Death #2

Aug 18, 2015

Still, it's to Vendetti and company's credit that while the world at large might not automatically know the deal behind characters like the Geomancer or Ninjak, titles like Book of Death are as fun and accessible - perhaps even moreso - than its caped counterparts over at the Big Two. Here's hoping that Vendetti can keep his momentum going.

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8.0
Briggs Land #2

Sep 15, 2016

Briggs Land #2 feels more like a reaction than a necessarily organic escalation to Brian Wood and Mack Chater's stellar first issue, but there are some glimmers of genius to this subversive series' sophomore effort.

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7.0
Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1

Sep 29, 2014

Bucky Barnes is a character full of potential, and it's encouraging to see a creative team like Kot and Rudy stretching themselves creatively on a property like this. That said, sometimes there are limits - sometimes you take a swing, and it doesn't always connect. That's not to say this is a bad comic - far from it - but you can't help but feel disappointed when a seemingly sure-thing creative team like this not score a home run.

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5.0
C.O.W.L. #1

May 28, 2014

Higgins and Siegel have some real potential on their hands with their core concept, one that can prove to be smarter and more complex than the standard capes-and-tights or capes-and-cops fare. One might argue that the authors needed time for setup, in order to introduce their brave new world - but I'd argue right back that this world isn't enough to stand on its own. In today's crowded marketplace, one shot is not just all you get to make a good first impression - one shot is just all you deserve. The idea of C.O.W.L. is that there's a better way to do superheroics, and on that score, I'm in full agreement with Higgins and Siegel.

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2.0
Cable and X-Force #1

Dec 11, 2012

Cable and X-Force had the odds stacked against it from the get-go, with an unfamiliar writer on the masthead to the C-list X-Men characters populating the book (not to mention a second X-Force book on the docket from Sam Humphries and Ron Garney), but the mismatch with the creative team really dooms this book from the outset. There's nothing to bring us up to speed on this team, other than the fact that somebody wants to put a team together, and the artwork " particularly with those gross orange jumpsuits " doesn't make you want to stick around to find out. Hopeless can write a decent script, as Avengers Arena can attest, but Cable and X-Force is already in need of a new direction, stat.

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6.0
Captain America (2011) #10

Apr 30, 2012

While the emotional connection isn't there " which, again, is a shame, since Cap kind of has a movie coming out this week " Alan Davis does put in his time and then some with this issue of Captain America. With his smooth, graceful characters and his dynamic action sequences, we might have seen this story before, but even the most jaded reader would say it at least looks good.

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9.0
Captain America (2012) #1

Nov 19, 2012

Ed Brubaker's Captain America was a slow burn, an espionage thriller, a thinking man's game. Rick Remender isn't playing. He's blown up the dam, he's cranked things up to 11; he's injected a ton of ambition and thrills and pure pulp into the veins of Steve Rogers, Super Soldier. Whether its defining the man behind the shield or giving him some serious stunts to pull off (seriously, that last-page cliffhanger made me literally hoot in excitement), this comic is definitely going to be the selling point of Marvel NOW! Definitely pick this one up.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #4

Feb 25, 2013

Captain America is marching to the beat of his own drummer right now, but there is some method among all this madness. The character is all-important here, as this is a chance to use all that goodwill from Avengers and build Steve Rogers beyond the buzzwords of "leader," "optimist," "nave" or "badass." The rest is all window-dressing, so your mileage may vary with Rick Remender's crazy concepts " while this issue might have been a little jerky in terms of sheer story content, there's something solid behind the shield.

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8.0
Captain America (2012) #5

Mar 21, 2013

There's a lot of sci-fi kookiness to this book that might not immediately scream "Captain America," but believe me " Rick Remender totally lands the dismount here.

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6.0
Captain America (2012) #12

Oct 14, 2013

Ultimately, some of the problems with Captain America #12 are considered necessary evils, as Remender has to build up the villains he needs to challenge our war-torn hero. That said, it feels like a lot of this ground could have been covered last issue, and the lack of connection between Steve and his enemies makes this book feel a little less weighty than it should be. With some slightly underwhelming art and some unwieldy structure, Captain America needs to get back into the trenches and fight some supervillains, stat.

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3.0
Captain America (2012) #16.NOW

Feb 4, 2014

It's fashionable to hate on New York. I get it. And it's easy to be glib and brush off Captain America #16.NOW as pure Yankee-hating, Patriots-loving, anti-Big Apple propaganda. But in all seriousness, despite Jet Black's rootfop hopping choreography, this comic feels like it barely takes any steps forward. There's a semi-interesting twist, but with the lack of progression and the alienating artwork, this isn't a great way to set up your next story arc.

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8.0
Captain America (2012) #23

Aug 13, 2014

Considering the general climate of the comics industry is to draw out a story while adding as little to the status quo for as long as possible, it's perhaps not surprising how refreshing Captain America #23 is. There's action, there's new developments, there's a ton of guest stars and even some great character beats for the lead character - Rick Remender is bringing his A-game here, which makes it all the more surprising considering that "The Tomorrow Soldier" didn't really crackle off the page as a high concept. It just goes to show you that good plotting and strong characterization trump elevator pitches, and it's something I hope to see more of from Remender. While the artwork still holds this book from being all that it could be, this is definitely the most enjoyable issue of Captain America in quite some time.

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6.0
Captain America (2012) #25

Oct 2, 2014

There's a fun cheekiness to Captain America #25, as Rick Remender makes some funny metacommentary about how the new Captain America - Sam "The Falcon" Wilson - has already been long-spoiled by the marketing machine. That said, the beginning of this issue feels a little disappointing, as you know Sam will survive Remender's last cliffhanger, and the throwaway explanation does little to endear.

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5.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #2

Oct 28, 2015

And ultimately, I don't like writing reviews like this, because these are talented creators who clearly have a lot to say. I think there is a ton of potential behind Sam Wilson: Captain America, because Nick Spencer gets that a country this divided can't not have some reflection on one of its greatest symbols. Steve Rogers might have grown up a Democrat in the 1940s, but Sam Wilson grew up with all the political tension of today - he's a guy who would absolutely have very different beliefs than his predecessor, and seeing Sam wrestle with expressing those beliefs gives this book a brand-new lease on life. But that excellent premise won't go far until Spencer and company really focus on exactly what story they want to tell.

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9.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #12

Aug 17, 2016

In many ways, it's anti-escapist escapism - while it has its share of rough edges, Spencer and Acuna are going for the original Marvel ideal, to show the world outside your window. It might not always show us the best view, but it's the kind of challenging and important storytelling that Captain America deserves.

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7.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #15

Nov 16, 2016

But that all said, given the surprise results of the presidential election, it now looks more than a little prudent that Spencer didn’t double down on the politics this issue, heralding a progressive victory that wound up never materializing in real life. Instead, Captain America: Sam Wilson #15 feels life a brief respite from what has been an increasingly brutal presidential campaign, and while I personally wish we could have had a more incisive post-election message, the sheer positivity of this script might in itself be a bit of a revolutionary act in today’s heated political landscape. But a temporary breather can only be just that - temporary - and it will be interesting to see how Captain America: Sam Wilson will move forward under a decidedly more conservative presidency.

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5.0
Captain America: Steve Rogers #1

May 25, 2016

It's a disappointing read, especially given that we know Spencer is capable of some great stuff, as you can see regularly in The Fix, Ant-Man, or even in slightly better work like Spencer's Sam Wilson series. But this is a case where the hype won't justify the book. Whether Steve Rogers: Captain America is a clone, under hypnosis or engaging in an undercover operation, it's hard to take this twist " or this comic " at face value.

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6.0
Captain America: Steve Rogers #4

Aug 24, 2016

There's something interesting about the idea of Steve Rogers serving as a secret crusader amongst one of the Marvel Universe's most dangerous terror groups, but it's missing some key ingredients to make it all come together.

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8.0
Captain America: Steve Rogers #5

Sep 27, 2016

While the artwork in this book might be dragging a bit, Captain America: Steve Rogers #5 proves to be the most compelling issue of this series yet, now that Spencer has turned this iconic Avenger into a clear and present danger for the entirety of the Marvel Universe. By finally making good on his premise of Cap as a villain in disguise, there are suddenly some real stakes for Steve’s journey - where he’ll ever be capable of redemption, or if we’ll even think he’s worthy of it when the time comes. While critics of Steve’s new status quo will still certainly find plenty to be up in arms about, those who are on the fence will likely find a lot to like about this book.

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8.0
Captain America: White #2

Sep 30, 2015

Ultimately, I'm not sure where Captain America: White is headed as a series, but as far as chapters go, this is definitely a strong installment. By stripping Cap of his most powerful weapon, Loeb has shown us what kind of man Steve Rogers really is, and it's that kind of sterling character beats that will make lifelong fans. While the last issue struggled a bit with its large cast and shifting time periods, Loeb and Sale bring a renewed focus to Captain America: White #2, making this a singular work amongst Marvel's offerings this week.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #2

Aug 20, 2012

Soy's artwork may prove to be a handicap for many readers, which is a shame, because DeConnick has some here with Captain Marvel. It's a testament to how well this character works that she could be thrown into a truly goofy situation, and we still take her seriously enough to want to see how she sees things through. If there was a different artist on board, there's no telling the kinds of heights Captain Marvel could attain.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #4

Sep 27, 2012

Kelly Sue DeConnick writes one charismatic protagonist with Captain Marvel, as Carol Danvers ignores the odds and barrels head-first into an alien spacecraft. Spunky, strong and likeable, DeConnick has made a wonderful superheroine in the vein of She-Hulk and... well, She-Hulk, honestly.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #10

Dec 22, 2014

In a lot of ways, Captain Marvel #10 is a standout - even if, despite this being Carol's 100th solo adventure, this issue has very little of Carol at all. But that's not to say that her presence isn't felt, and keenly. This is a celebration of Carol Danvers, and it's to DeConnick's credit that she's able to praise this heroine without her having to even lift a finger. She doesn't have to prove herself - she's done it for 100 issues already. Complete with a bonafide Christmas miracle on the last page, this is one off-kilter issue that still manages to deeply impress.

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9.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #15

May 14, 2015

While some may argue it's a little saccharine, it's a book that'll leave a lump in your throat, and it's the best possible way to end Captain Marvel before Secret Wars.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2016) #1

Jan 19, 2016

But for diehard fans of Captain Marvel, this series will almost assuredly be enough. Carol Danvers has gotten a promotion, and it winds up being the best of both worlds - we get the potential that comes with being in space, along with the humanity and familiarity of being close to home. Not only that, but the artwork in this book has gotten a huge overhaul, and that alone should bring readers to this book. With a new creative team and a new status quo, it's unclear if Carol Danvers will ultimately go "harder, faster, stronger, more" - but if this first issue is any indication, she's absolutely on her way there.

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8.0
Captain Victory #2

Dec 29, 2011

That lack of panache may have people overlook Captain Victory, but that's a mistake " this isn't a book you can judge by its cover, its artwork or its previews. It's a refreshing surprise that continues to be worth the read.

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9.0
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #3

Oct 29, 2014

I think in a lot of ways, Dynamite Entertainment gets a bad rap. They're known for their licensed books over anything else, and when you're printing out books like James Bond or The Green Hornet or Buck Rogers or Warlord of Mars, it's easy to overlook some truly artistic works being put out amid all the more overtly commercial work. Don't make that mistake. Captain Victory is easily the best comic that Dynamite is putting out these days, and if you're a fan of exciting, experimental comic book art, you owe it to yourself to pick this book up.

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1.0
Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand #4

Jan 30, 2014

From its misleading solicit to its glacial pacing, Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #4 is proof positive that maybe the Ultimates deserve to be eaten by Galactus.

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3.0
Catwoman (2011) #14

Nov 26, 2012

Ultimately, there's more than one way to skin a cat, but beyond the sly humor in the concept, Ann Nocenti doesn't make the most out of a strong crossover, delivering a really disappointing comic. If we cared more about Selina (or the child she rescues, then promptly forgets about), this would be different. If the stakes were higher, if we believed Selina might actually perish, this would be different. If we actually learned anything about Selina or the Joker's relationship with one another or with Batman in general, this would be different. This book is surface-level, shallow. A little more curiosity and care wouldn't have killed this particular cat.

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8.0
Catwoman (2011) #19

Apr 22, 2013

If Nocenti had pitted Selina against a cadre of Batman's foes " simultaneously, and on their home turf " I think she would have had a bestselling trade on her hands. That's saying a lot for this character and for DC right now, as they continue to throw WTF curveballs that spike sales but leave little lasting effect. No matter " while this comic doesn't quite hit its full potential, Catwoman #19 is definitely a huge improvement from what's come before. This is certainly worth a look.

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7.0
Catwoman (2011) #39

Feb 25, 2015

But ultimately, if you're paying attention, Catwoman fills a more serious niche than any of the rest of the DC Universe. While other books ramp up the violence and the sex in the hopes of drawing older crowds, Catwoman actually treats its readers with respect, expecting them to follow the plot without spoon-feeding them details. It's a refreshing change of pace to many comics on the stand, even if it's not necessarily an approach that will award this creative team with smash-hit numbers. But even that feels fitting, in terms of Catwoman's mob drama - don't all good crime bosses rule from the shadows?

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7.0
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1

Oct 19, 2016

Like its name might imply, Young Animal is still a new entity over at DC Comics, and it’d be unfair (and silly) to expect its lineup to adhere to a rigid similarity in tone or content. The whole reason for an imprint is to push boundaries, to see how far you can take different books while still maintaining a common thread across the line. Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye feels like the lo-fi cousin of the overachieving Doom Patrol, but I get the sense that it’s more of a case of a later bloomer rather than not having anything to contribute to the table at all. If Way and Rivera can find their focus and really give us more of a spotlight on their enigmatic hero, we might be in for a real showstopper.

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8.0
Champions #1

Oct 4, 2016

Champions is a breath of fresh air when compared to Marvel's stagnant Civil War II lineup, and while not quite as edgy or subversive as Young Avengers, the changing makeup of the Marvel Universe makes this the perfect time to unite this latest iteration of Avengers into a cohesive team. Waid deftly taps into the sheer likability of these kids, and teaming him up with an artist like Humberto Ramos feels like a no-brainer for this promising launch. While the grown-ups are duking it out over an Inhuman precog, the Champions are the ones who are truly stealing the show.

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10
Champions #2

Nov 2, 2016

The Champions aren't a team with a mission " instead, they're an age cohort, a meeting of the next great minds from the Marvel Universe. You don't need to have car chases when you've got Hulk-related drama. You don't need to have a bad guy trying to take over the world when you've got young superheroes in love. Sometimes you just need to stop and smell the roses in the comics business, and when you've got company as great as the Champions " not to mention the creative team behind them " this kind of getaway is exactly what readers needed.

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8.0
Champions #3

Dec 12, 2016

This book isn't always a perfect one, but it's on some of the most solid foundations of any superhero book on the stands - you owe it yourself to meet your new favorite super-team with Champions.

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9.0
Champions #4

Jan 4, 2017

They're precocious, idealistic and eager to do good " and even though they've just met, you can tell this is a team that is already inseparable. So do yourself a favor and read Champions " because this is a team you're going to want to stick around with for the long haul.

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8.0
Chew #25

Apr 5, 2012

This is a solid conclusion for a good arc for Chew, and it's going to be interesting to see where the cast goes from here.

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10
Chew #30

Nov 27, 2012

There's only so much you can say about Chew #30 without giving important bits away. As far as half-points go, this one is a doozy, and it's ultimately flawless in terms of execution or scope. Like Walking Dead before it, Chew is like a snake, lying in wait, because you didn't see this coming until it was all too late.

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7.0
Chew #32

Mar 19, 2013

You don't walk into a kitchen with a bunch of ingredients and no idea what to do with them. That's not just Cooking 101, the rule also applies for storytelling. In that regard, John Layman is doing exactly what he has to do to keep Chew headed to its final goal, particularly after some of the darker turns this series has taken in the past few months. Yet he's also missing a little bit of that lightness, of that goofy charm that made Chew so fun to read in the first place. If Layman and Guillory can leaven this book up with a little bit of its old humor, I think Chew will be back in fighting form.

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10
Chew #33

Apr 16, 2013

Tony Chu is back " and this time, it's personal. With a newfound focus that sometimes takes this comic to surprisingly dark territory, this comic is proof that Layman is working with an ironclad premise. A world where food is a superpower can be funny or fearsome, but it takes a special creative team to do both. With a hero that continues to surprise 33 issues in, this is one of the best issues of Chew in recent memory.

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9.0
Chew #35

Jul 9, 2013

Without giving too much away, let's just say that this issue concludes with Layman turning the very concept of "fridging" on its head. With a cliffhanger like that, there's a lot to like about Chew, a comic that hasn't rested on its comedic laurels, but instead has given its main character - and its readers - enough credit to evolve. While that makes for a very different product than when this comic debuted back in 2009, tastes change, and it takes a real craftsman to stay one step ahead of the reader's palate. This is one of the best issues of Chew I've read in a long time, and I'm very excited to see where Layman and Guillory take us next.

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10
Chew #37

Oct 8, 2013

What would you do for one more day with someone you loved? Chew #37 brings the spotlight back to an old fan-favorite in a way that proves that this creative team still has plenty of tricks up their sleeves, plucking the heartstrings while driving the main plot forward. Combining character, action, humor and heart, John Layman and Rob Guillory have produced easily one of the best comics of the week.

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9.0
Chew #39

Jan 22, 2014

What's great about Chew #39 is not just that John Layman is combining the different pieces of this universe's mythology to move the story forward, but he's also being very generous with the spotlight. No story can be propelled by just one character - nor should it. But by allowing the reader to root for more than one protagonist, it winds up being easier for the audience and makes the series as a whole stronger. Even without Tony Chu, Chew #39 proves that his friends and family are more than enough to tide you over.

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10
Chew #40

Feb 26, 2014

Considering how many issues of Chew we've read, it's almost surprising that we haven't seen Tony completely under the influence of some sort of psychedelic 'shroom. Layman and Guillory are delivering the ultra-fun acid trip we never knew we wanted, and while Tony Chu may be on the forces of law and order, Chew #40 might just be your gateway drug to a world of hilarious adventure.

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8.0
Chew #44

Nov 4, 2014

The end is nigh for Tony Chu and company, as John Layman and Rob Guillory gear up for their final 15 issues of Chew. And you couldn't end a chapter any bleaker than this. Yet just because it's shocking and gory doesn't mean it's not also imminently well-executed, and if your tastes run towards the bloody side of the spectrum, Chew #44 might be your favorite issue yet.

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8.0
Chew #45

Dec 3, 2014

In a lot of ways, the last issue of Chew was the real conclusion to the "Chicken Tenders" arc, with this being a haunting epilogue to the carnage of the previous issue. After all that action, Layman's made the right call by giving us a quiet moment to feel - and to mourn. And with a shocking twist on the final page, this arc looks to be the one that will inspire Tony Chu to take the fight back to the Collector. Coming after the holidays with a bleak finale, it seems that even with the increased body count, Layman and Guillory are giving us plenty to be thankful for with Chew #45.

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8.0
Chew #47

Mar 24, 2015

Like I said before, in Chew #47, stuff happens, and that stuff leads to some real complications down the line for our heroic everyman. If you're new to the book, well, it might behoove you to start from the beginning and catch up - but for longtime readers, this is a nice bit of familiarity alongside some potentially big status quo changes, as Layman and Guillory ready themselves to launch readers into their last couple of arcs.

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10
Chew #48

Apr 21, 2015

When you're putting together five years' worth of comics, it's easy to decrease in quantity. But for some of the better books out there, what might be worse is falling into a rut - a consistency of quality that's so static, it's hard to notice or articulate when you're deviating from your own lofty average. Chew is one of those books that's usually very good, month in and month out. But with this perfectly balanced mix of action, humor and resolutions between characters, this happens to be one issue that's excellent.

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10
Chew #50

Jun 30, 2015

With a solid hook at the end to launch readers into the last 10 issues, this may be the most satisfying issue of Chew in quite some time. Layman and Guillory wrap up all their loose threads as Tony has one last score to settle with the Collector, and there's just enough of a tease to keep readers coming back for more. Five years ago, the idea of a food-based detective comic might have been insane for most readers, but Layman and Guillory's Chew proves to be a rare medium well-done.

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7.0
Chew #54

Jan 28, 2016

This issue feels fairly subdued compared to most of Layman and Guillory's output in the past, as it's all about establishing key relationships and baseline abilities before the end comes - there's some very cool beats here, particularly seeing just how powerful Tony Chu has become as a cibopath, able to piece together a crime scene just by sniffing the air around him.

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8.0
Chew #55

Feb 29, 2016

That said, Layman and Guillory have promised us a big swerve, and with Chew #55, that moment has finally arrived. In many ways, an issue like this really drives that finality home, reminding us that while we've had 55 amazing issues of this series, once Chew is gone, it is truly gone. The end is nigh, and maybe the time for laughing is over. The last supper of Tony Chu is fast approaching - and while it may be bittersweet, issues like this remind us that this series deserves your attention.

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7.0
Chew #57

Aug 23, 2016

Over the course of 57 issues, Layman and Guillory have been spinning a lot of plates, and ultimately, it's not going to be surprising to see a few of them wobble - but that's not to say that this team can't end Chew on a successful dismount. With only three more issues to go, there's still a lot for this creative team to say, and part of the mystery of this series has been that we don't know which secret plot is ultimately the most important. Is it alien writing in the sky? Is it the hallucinogenic gallsaberries? Is it the avian flu? The Collector? Or is Tony Chu's greatest challenge still lurking in the shadows? Layman and Guillory bring up even more questions even amidst their answers, and while that might leave this particular installment in danger of being overstuffed, there's still lots to like about the last days of Chew.

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10
Chew #58

Sep 22, 2016

In many ways, this issue's quiet sadness reminds me of the film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World " some lofty company for what's easily been the best issue of Chew in a while.

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8.0
Chew #59

Oct 28, 2016

The end is nigh in Chew #59, and John Layman and Rob Guillory are making sure this is a finale you're going to remember.

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9.0
Chew #60

Nov 22, 2016

After giving us 60 issues that were this smart, this funny, this consistent, and this good, it's the kind of ending that Chew deserves. It's the end of an era, not just for Image, but for comics in general, one that leaves the industry a little bit lesser in its wake. Yes, it's weird, and yes, it's a curveball, and yes, the ending might even be an acquired taste - or maybe the best way to describe it is as a palette cleanser. And that metaphor might be a perfect way for this series to go. Because no matter the twists, no matter the strangeness, Chew is the kind of comic book feast we as fans often didn't deserve, but it's one I'd be happy to devour all over again.

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9.0
Chin Music #1

May 7, 2013

So what is Chin Music? Well, right now it's a maddeningly vague start that also happens to look fantastic. It's not a book " at least not right now " that's meant for people who want to have a clear grasp on what they're reading. That might draw just fans of Niles and Harris " granted, that's a decent-sized demographic. But if you're looking for a strong visual showcase, well, Chin Music is definitely singing your song.

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6.0
Chrononauts #1

Mar 17, 2015

Considering the time travel high concept of Chrononauts, it is a little disappointing that this story doesn't cut to the chase a little faster. To be fair, plenty of people will still buy this book, if only to keep up with Mark Millar's oeuvre - and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Millar is a proven commodity in comics, and he's one that's not afraid to put his own stamp on things - even if that means it occasionally gets a little broad. With him and Sean Gordon Murphy's exquisite artwork, Chrononauts may be the safest bet on the stands this week - it's just that it might be a little too safe for some.

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7.0
Chrononauts #2

Apr 14, 2015

One of the bigger issues I had with the first issue of Chrononauts is fixed here, in the fact that we now have a solid first act to hinge the rest of the story upon. Admittedly, there are some tics in the writing that are endemic to Millar's oeuvre - in particular, characters that can come off as self-serving and unlikeable, no matter how much bromance is thrown into the mix to try to lighten the mood. In certain way, you can't help but root for the antagonists of this book, as it's obvious Quinn and Reilly need to be stopped before the timestream is completely mucked up. But for now, this is a fun side trip, and it'll be interesting to see where Millar and Murphy take their "heroes" next.

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7.0
Citizen Jack #1

Nov 5, 2015

While this is an imperfect debut, it's definitely got some potential as the election cycle heats up.

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5.0
Civil War (2015) #1

Jul 8, 2015

It's disappointing for me to write a review like this, because on paper, this should have been a slam dunk. Charles Soule and Leinil Yu revisiting the most popular Marvel storyline of the past decade? Sign me up, right? But unfortunately, this opening salvo feels more like a failure to launch - there's too much navel-gazing and not enough action, making these political debates feel academic rather than visceral. There's too much distance in this nearly post-apocalyptic world for us to truly see Civil War as an allegory anymore - instead, this is one battle that seems to have lasted well past its welcome.

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7.0
Civil War (2015) #2

Aug 5, 2015

Ultimately, this series follows its namesake when it comes to having trouble finding a focus - but the original Civil War also was relatively simple in scope and scale compared to this. Yet if Soule can really dig into this alternate history, he'll find a whole world of storytelling possibilities. Here's hoping that this Civil War continues to heat up.

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8.0
Civil War (2015) #3

Aug 26, 2015

Comic books, in many ways, are always fighting a battle of attrition. They go for broke with their first issue, and then are constantly fighting to maintain both their sales numbers and their level of quality. Civil War, however, turns that script on its ear, as it's consistently improved issue after issue. If Soule and Yu can keep this upward trend going, I foresee a spectacular payoff for this clash of the titans.

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8.0
Civil War II #0

May 18, 2016

Minor flaws in the premise aside, Bendis and Coipel deliver some surprisingly charming work with Civil War II #0, which " at least thus far " doesn't feel like the shameless cash-in that you might expect from this summer event sequel. While it remains to be seen if this creative team can stick the landing once tensions escalate, this is a great way to further establish some deserving Marvel characters outside of the Captain America/Iron Man bubble, and a strong foundation for some bigger fireworks down the line.

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3.0
Civil War II #2

Jun 15, 2016

If iconic blockbusters were an easy thing to do, rest assured that Bendis and Marvel would be churning them out on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, we don't live in a world where every idea is a winner - but I can't help but think that between Civil War II and Avengers Standoff, it might have been better to rein in the writers involved until a more coherent storyline could have been churned out. Right now, there's none of the thematic or dramatic weight of the original Civil War in this sequel, which is quickly burning off the initial goodwill from its zero issue and its Free Comic Book Day Special. I hope Civil War II can turn itself around and find its own voice, but at this rate, this series' biggest casualty might be its own narrative consistency.

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6.0
Civil War II #3

Jul 13, 2016

Civil War II #3 is a decent chapter of an event story that feels like plenty of other event stories. But as far as memorials go, it's unfortunately pretty forgettable fare.

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3.0
Civil War II #4

Jul 27, 2016

I want to like this series. I want to like this story. But we're already halfway through this series, and Civil War II has barely even shown up.

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8.0
Civil War II #5

Sep 21, 2016

Yet considering how difficult it was to connect with the previous four issues of Civil War II, I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth with this much-improved installment. While Brian Michael Bendis might be known for his naturalistic dialogue, he’s able to utilize his structural strengths in a very different - and very refreshing - manner here, as he finally turns in a script that not only delivers on the promise of Civil War II’s high concept, but also gives his collaborator David Marquez a real opportunity to shine in an event comic book landscape. While it appears that the superhero fisticuffs might be taking yet a breather after this chapter, it’s hard to deny the sheer fun Civil War II #5 has to offer.

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3.0
Civil War II #6

Oct 26, 2016

We have two issues left on this series, and judging by the cliffhanger, it might mean something - but at this point, Civil War II has largely been about circling a conflict rather than diving into it head-on, leaving this event book about as unsatisfying as it gets.

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6.0
Civil War II #7

Nov 23, 2016

Yet with only one issue left to go, Civil War II remains a disappointing chapter for the House of Ideas. Even this series’ biggest moments feel calculated rather than organic, trying to goose sales with a handful of character deaths without really digging in too deeply about the underlying issues underneath. We live in a world where law and order is anything but simple, where we have to constantly interrogate ourselves about whether the ends justify the means when it comes to solving and preventing crimes. Unfortunately, Civil War II has seemed to all but abandon this difference in philosophy, with characters making extremely bad decisions just so they can all be in the same place, ready to punch one another until the page count ends. They say war is hell, but I’ve never heard of it being this uninspiring.

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4.0
Civil War II: Gods of War #1

Jun 9, 2016

There's some narrative meat in Herc's struggle to clean up his act, but unless you're a fan of Abnett's Hercules series, Gods of War is a fairly skill able affair.

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7.0
Civil War II: The Accused #1

Aug 10, 2016

The real hook of a book like Civil War II: The Accused is to place a character like Daredevil, who has his own problems in his own main series, and to show how he might react towards a pivotal point in an event storyline. In that regard, Guggenheim acquits himself well, adding in plenty of wrinkles that gives this admittedly low-stakes trial a little bit more energy. That said, one can't help but see some missed opportunities here, and it's a shame that Civil War II as an event isn't able to really look at the world outside our windows and develop a more solid message on the contentious debate between justice and lethal force. These shortcomings, however, are unlikely to be this creative team's fault, and if you're able to accept that Hawkeye's lightning-fast case might not be the trial of the century, you'll find enough for a decent diversion with The Accused.

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7.0
Civil War II: The Fallen #1

Aug 18, 2016

Checking in with those closest to Bruce Banner, Civil War II: The Fallen is a fairly hit-or-miss remembrance of the late Hulk, but thankfully, writer Greg Pak and artist Mark Bagley succeed where it counts most.

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8.0
Code Monkey Save World #1

Oct 15, 2013

That said, this comic certainly isn't for everyone - there are going to be plenty of people who think Code Monkey is a cipher of a character, particularly with his caveman-esque speech patterns (although, c'mon, he's a monkey, for crying out loud). Those who want a deeper theme and meaning will probably be better served elsewhere - but for those who are looking for the sheer crazy spectacle that only comics can provide, Code Monkey Save World #1 is a fun debut for a most unlikely hero.

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8.0
Conan / Red Sonja #1

Jan 13, 2015

While the fisticuffs may falter, there's plenty that works well with Conan/Red Sonja. These characters have plenty of life in them, and the art portraying them is just top-notch. With three more issues to go, Conan/Red Sonja is a must-read for fans of the genre.

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9.0
Conan / Red Sonja #2

Feb 12, 2015

Structurally, Gail Simone and Jim Zub's script flows much better than the last issue, and now they balance pulse-pounding action with some wry relationship humor, as both Conan and Red Sonja's significant others frown upon the instant kinship these two display.

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9.0
Constantine: Futures End #1

Sep 12, 2014

As far as done-in-ones go, this might be my favorite of Futures End.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #6

Nov 12, 2015

James Tynion IV, Ming Doyle and Riley Rossmo show us a day in the life of John Constantine, and I gotta say, it makes for the most entertaining issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer yet.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #7

Dec 10, 2015

New York City is a weird place - and it might be the best thing that's happened to Constantine in a long time.

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9.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #11

Apr 18, 2016

While it seems as though John's stay in Los Angeles might only be temporary, Tynion, Doyle and Foreman deliver a fun look at how the other side lives, showing readers the magic of another coast. While the perpetual sun and glitziness of Hollywood might have overshadowed a shady character like Constantine the Hellblazer after too long, this creative team has clearly drawn upon some real-world experience to create a fun jaunt that readers of any geography can enjoy.

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4.0
Convergence #1

Apr 8, 2015

Ultimately, the biggest sin that Convergence has made so far is its tone. While the premise is rooted in DC's long and varied mythology, it feels so self-referential - particularly with its talky villain - that it winds up feeling like naval-gazing rather than high-stakes action. Two issues in means we should already be deep into this story's narrative arc, and instead, we've barely even assembled the main players, let alone had them begin whatever conflict will carry readers through this event. It ultimately makes Convergence feel not like a bad comic, per se, but more of a directionless one.

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5.0
Convergence #4

Apr 30, 2015

Jeff King is finally starting to explain some things with Convergence #4, but some out-of-left-field storytelling choices still make this an increasing case of too little, too late.

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3.0
Convergence #7

May 21, 2015

Have you ever said the same word over and over again, until it just stopped making sense? That's basically what has happened with Convergence, which has so many different iterations of Superman and the rest of the DC Universe that it doesn't add up to any narrative conclusion.

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2.0
Convergence: Batgirl #1

Apr 9, 2015

This comic has it all - if by "all" you mean "mammary gland"-punching, surprise tackles mid-potty break, and a hamster that may or may not be eaten by Cassandra Cain. Despite the deep fanbase that Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake might have, Alisa Kwitney and Rick Leonardi's story's only real appeal is its unintentional humor value.

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7.0
Convergence: Blue Beetle #2

May 28, 2015

All in all, a surprisingly fun tie-in.

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3.0
Convergence: Crime Syndicate #2

May 28, 2015

When I saw that the Justice Legion Alpha was squaring off against their evil opposites in Convergence: Crime Syndicate, I was definitely pumped. And in certain ways, writer Brian Buccellato does bring his own strengths to the project - but that said, there's something missing in the execution

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7.0
Convergence: Green Arrow #1

Apr 16, 2015

While it's occasionally a little rough around the edges or abrupt with the storytelling, this book looks and reads good.

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8.0
Convergence: Harley Quinn #2

May 7, 2015

The end of this book feels a little abrupt, which can lead to some confusion, but this is the kind of Harley I want to see more of.

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7.0
Convergence: Justice League #2

May 11, 2015

Ultimately, though, you're really not reading a comic like Convergence: Justice League #2 for anything other than the fireworks. This event, which has felt more than a little stitched together, is all about fan service rather than deep storytelling or characterization, and after awhile, it gets a little old blaming a book for being anything other than what it is. This book is an action book, and while sometimes it osscilates between bright and peppy to something altogether darker. Still, for a series with such retro sensibilities, the expansive cast and fun artwork makes this a fun read.

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8.0
Convergence: Justice League Of America #1

Apr 22, 2015

While many of the Convergence books have been vastly uneven, I have to say, Convergence: Justice League of America might be one of the best issues they've put out in this event. There's a lot of great pacing, some endearing characters, and a sense of lightness and excitement to go along with all the polish of modern-day execution. The Justice League Detroit might not have gotten a lot of respect the past few decades, but this is one event comic where they - and the creators behind them - have truly tapped their vast potential.

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8.0
Convergence: Justice League Of America #2

May 21, 2015

The best Convergence tie-ins were the ones that kept their art team intact for both issues, and I'm calling it now - Convergence: Justice League of America has to be the most fun out of all the tie-ins, namely because it doesn't come off as completely ridiculous in the concept.

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5.0
Convergence: Justice Society Of America #2

May 28, 2015

Longtime fans of the JSA will find something to like here, even if anyone else likely won't be convinced.

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8.0
Convergence: New Teen Titans #1

Apr 23, 2015

Fans of old-school Teen Titans will have a lot to like about this book.

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7.0
Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #2

May 6, 2015

Additionally, longtime fans of the soap opera between Dick and Babs are going to love the ending of this book, which gives a lot of closure to all those 'shippers who have been pining since the days before Flashpoint. And in a lot of ways, that's the sort of opportunities that Convergence offers - the setting is rarely coherent, which will turn off a lot of people (myself included), but once you accept the vague, universe-bending locale, there's plenty of room for fan service in this ever-shifting canon. At the end of the day, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon do get a happy ending - and that's more than we can say for more superheroes.

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10
Cow Boy - A Boy and His Horse #1

Jun 4, 2012

The fact that this book starts off strong and only gets better as it continues speaks to the strength of Cow Boy, both in concept and in execution. This is an all-ages book that will appeal to anybody, whether they be young or young-at-heart. For a fistful of dollars, you can join in on the fun with Cow Boy, one of the most fun Archaia books I've seen since Mouse Guard. Best of the west, indeed.

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7.0
Cyber Force #1

Oct 16, 2012

The benefit for readers is, of course, that this comic is free. With Kickstarter having funded the campaign well over its goal, readers have little reason to avoid this book from a financial standpoint. While Cyber Force may be a tougher read than some, just based on the hardcore sci-fi concepts throughout the book, the brisk pace and distinct visuals make this worth a shot.

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6.0
Cyborg #1

Jul 27, 2015

While it's not without its glitches, Cyborg #1 is a step in the right direction - I'd rather Walker focus on establishing Vic as a character, with friends and family and a perspective, rather than just drop him into combat with the next villain of the week. It's unclear whether or not Cyborg will necessarily tap into all that deep potential, but for now, this first issue could mark the beginning of something special.

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5.0
Cyborg #9

Mar 24, 2016

There's a smart idea at the heart of Cyborg #9, which asks the question of whether or not you can legislate someone who's just as much machine as he is a man " but ultimately, the execution of this Shazam!-errific issue winds up getting hobbled by too much exposition and not enough twist.

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7.0
Cyborg #10

May 2, 2016

But perhaps the highest compliment I can give Cyborg #10 is that while it doesn't always hit its mark dramatically, Wolfman has the old-school mentality that every issue is someone's first, and even though this is the conclusion of a bigger story, he's got all the information you would need if this was your first time reading the adventures of Victor Stone. And given that he's not one of DC's most mainstream characters " at least not in the popular consciousness, although that may change once his movie comes out " you need to be able to get invested in Vic's personal journey quickly. And in that regard, Wolfman and company have done a great job here.

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9.0
Cyclops (2014) #1

May 12, 2014

I was a skeptical as anyone about the premise of this comic, which I felt was just a little too weird or crazy to work. Shows what I know - Rucka and Dauterman defy expectations as easily as they do gravity with this charming, heartfelt comic. With wonderful art and a truly endearing cast, Cyclops #1 is far and away the week's best superhero comic.

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9.0
Cyclops (2014) #3

Jul 30, 2014

There's a countdown at the end of this comic, and in a lot of ways, it made me think about the countdown this series has before it changes hands. Dauterman is continuing his ascent to the A-list with Thor, while Rucka takes a bow to get back to his novels. While John Layman is just as smart a writer as Rucka, I'll admit that this title won't feel the same without the talents of Dauterman to surprise and enthrall us. It's kind of like watching your child growing up - it's absolutely wonderful, but it doesn't last forever. So we better enjoy it while it lasts.

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3.0
Cyclops (2014) #6

Oct 27, 2014

Believe it or not, I usually admire John Layman's work, and was incredibly impressed with Garron during his issue of Batman Eternal, which might make this issue feel even more disappointing. Cyclops was a book that lived and died based on the talents of its creative team, rather than any of the high-concept, event-driven stuff that can get so many compulsive fans' wallets out. And with a creative team as universally praised as Rucka and Dauterman, it's hard to dispel doubts and really nail that first issue. Given that Layman and Garron are capable of great things, I wouldn't write this series off yet, but even with all that talent and promise, Cyclops #6 has hit some rocky waters.

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2.0
Damian: Son of Batman #1

Oct 31, 2013

I wish this had been a knockout, as I love Damian and I love Andy Kubert, but this book might be the biggest disappointment I've seen in awhile.

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10
Danger Club #4

Oct 3, 2012

Danger Club is as good as it gets, and will only read better in a collected form. But let's be honest here: this is a comic that earns your attention, demands your respect, and is absolutely worth coming into, cold or not. The world's greatest superheroes might just be the ones you haven't even heard of yet.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #8

Jan 23, 2012

When I heard there was going to be a crossover between Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil involving a love triangle with the Black Cat, I'll admit, I was skeptical to say the least. Mark Waid has officially made me do a 180, because this is one of the most fun crossovers I can remember in recent history. Great character dynamics, even greater art, and a continued example of superhero comics pushing themselves into new and interesting places. I feel sorry for you if you haven't picked this up, because only a blind man could fail to see how beautiful this book really is.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #9

Feb 20, 2012

Still, even though the sheer inventiveness of Daredevil isn't at its highest in this issue, a "solid" outing by Waid and Rivera is what would be considered a high point for many other superhero titles. To be honest, when most titles falter on their strong suits, they don't have anything to back it up with, and if we're going to lose out a little on Daredevil the Sensualist, I think seeing Daredevil as Man Made Demon is still a pretty good consolation prize.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #12

May 3, 2012

Yes, there are a couple of decent-sized plot holes with this subplot (like why someone would forge a paper just to accuse someone else of plagiarism), but what matters more is what's revealed for Matt as a character. There's little in the way of action in this book, but the story is downright compelling. This might be my favorite issue of Daredevil in months.

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3.0
Daredevil (2011) #13

May 17, 2012

Aside from a decently abrupt cliffhanger and a nice internal monologue from Waid, this comic has lost much of its power without an A-list artist in tow.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #14

Jun 21, 2012

But Chris Samnee is what seals the deal. I am so happy he's going to stay on this book, you have no idea. Perfect composition, perfect choreography " I adore the strobe effect he gives Matt, for example, as he flips and tumbles down a building. He's got expressive characters, great page layouts, the whole she-bang. Now that Matt has lost his greatest gifts, we've got a great cliffhanger here, as Marvel's best series keeps its record intact.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #15

Jul 23, 2012

The tension to this book " the fact that it seems that finally Matt Murdock is in a no-win situation " is what really grabs me as a reader. Thanks to Samnee's clean, expressive linework, you see the fear and determination on Matt's scruffy face as he struggles to escape this shadowy, claustrophobic kingdom. Waid shows us what could cause even a Man Without Fear to give pause, ending everything on a cliffhanger that's sure to have repercussions. In an era of predictable, even sometimes formulaic superhero comics, I can't see where Daredevil is going next. But issues like this are letting me trust this blind man's bluff " you don't get super-books that read better than Waid and Samnee's Daredevil. Buy it now.

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7.0
Daredevil (2011) #18

Sep 20, 2012

This story has some potential " and keep in mind that Waid and Samnee inject a ton of humanity into this book, which makes it very easy to resonate with this book " but it's lacking the heat we've seen in this duo's earlier work.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #19

Oct 22, 2012

The problem with this book just happens to be where the plot is going. We've seen the villainous Coyote before " at least, Waid makes us think we have " but the evolution for him getting to this point doesn't quite make a lot of sense. Furthermore, the bedeviling of Matt Murdock winds up raising more questions than it solves. There are a ton of opportunities for Matt to have been wiped out, no muss, no fuss, so Waid is going to have to work double-time to explain that one away. But if Waid can do it, he's going to have one excellent storyline on his hands... one that might give Daredevil a lasting addition to his already killer rogue's gallery.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #25

Apr 18, 2013

Sometimes a fight comic is just a fight comic. But when you have Chris Samnee drawing it, well, you get a winner like Daredevil #25.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #26

May 23, 2013

What's great about this issue is the pacing, as Matt moves from scared to emboldened to full-on badass within the span of 20 pages. Chris Samnee meanwhile lends a real humanity to Matt, particularly the sheer panic on his face as he begins to doubt even his own super-senses.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #34

Dec 19, 2013

Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez write a taut thrilled with the latest issue of Daredevil, with their strong execution and dense plotting transcending a fairly shallow plot.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #36

Feb 20, 2014

The best parts of this book are when Waid makes his own personal statement about Matt Murdock - namely, that he's a man of integrity, an integrity that is so strong it will both define him and kill him. And in so doing, Waid also take a bold step in undoing a step from none other than Brian Michael Bendis himself - outing himself to the world, and foresaking his lawsuit against the newspaper that published his secret identity in the first place.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #3

May 22, 2014

Mark Waid makes the Owl the scariest he's ever been in the latest issue of Daredevil, as he and artist Chris Samnee continue to produce rock-solid work as Matt Murdock struggles to adjust to San Francisco.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #5

Jul 9, 2014

Seriously, I needed a comic like this. Daredevil #5 straddles a great balance - it's uplifting without being totally unrealistic, and there's just the right mix of bitter and sweet to tell a story not just about continuity gymnastics, but about the all-too-human struggle a member of the Marvel Comics family is undertaking. It's gravy that there's a giant robot and superheroics in the mix. But seeing a story with writing this perfect and art this solid makes you stop and think. It helps put things in perspective. It reminds us why we opened up these funnybooks in the first place. And I think it's the kind of story I think this business could use a lot more of.

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4.0
Daredevil (2014) #7

Aug 21, 2014

A great fight scene just can't overcome some wrongheaded plotting for Daredevil #7, which undoes this series' Original Sin tie-in almost as quickly as it began.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #11

Dec 29, 2014

In the hands of two master craftsmen like Waid and Samnee, even a nobody like the Stunt-Master can get you revved up - or in this case, can leave a lump in your throat. The level of detail and sheer skill these two put into this book month and month again can make even the lamest-sounding high concept read like greased lightning. Daredevil #11 succeeds precisely because Waid and Samnee are able to direct this silly foe and make him resonate in a way that makes sense for Matt Murdock. If only every other creator in the industry had their knack at characterization.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #14

Mar 25, 2015

There are a lot of new angles to the new Man Without Fear - so many that I feel it's more jarring than a simple change of address. And that's a bittersweet thing. There is a ton of room for Mark Waid to manuver with Daredevil's new status quo, but only a limited amount of issues left for him to do it. Will this open approach to superheroism continue post-Secret Wars? If so, I can only hope it's done with the same level and care that Waid and Samnee have done this issue.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #17

Jul 29, 2015

Regardless of the scare factor not quite being here, there's still a ton to love about Daredevil, especially because of the gorgeous artwork that, honestly, we superhero fans don't really deserve. Samnee is a beast, and seeing this kind of virtuoso work makes me hope he's got something incredible planned once he and Waid exit the Man Without Fear. With the end nearing, Waid and Samnee have Matt Murdock right where they want him, and with that in mind, this issue is still definitely worth a look.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #1

Dec 1, 2015

Having attracted such a deep bench of stellar artists over the years, Daredevil is a series that would be intimidating for many creators. But thanks to Ron Garney and Matt Milla's beautiful artwork, Charles Soule has the breathing room he needs to start a new chapter in Matt Murdock's life. Whether or not Matt's new chapter as a prosecutor and a mentor pans out, Garney and Milla continue Daredevil's long line of artistic excellence, making this book definitely worth your time.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #3

Feb 1, 2016

Still, Blindspot could grow on us - and complaining about him does feel exceptionally nitpicky when you have all this gorgeous artwork to look at. Ultimately, Charles Soule's biggest success is just how easy it is to slip into Matt Murdock's life - both in and out of costume. Buoyed by some superb artwork by Garney and Milla, and this creative team reminds comic books readers and Netflix fans alike that now is a great time to be a Daredevil fan.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #4

Feb 29, 2016

While the first few issues of Daredevil were largely setup, Soule, Garney, Sudzuka and Milla are now cooking with gas, showing that there's still plenty of punch to Matt Murdock's post-Waid and Samnee adventures. While that previous era of Daredevil was about opening Matt Murdock up to new emotions and new readers, this run is all about Matt Murdock making his inevitable return to the darkness - a characterization which almost feels like gravity at this point. When you fight for the angels but have a face like the Devil, perhaps that faltering is inevitable. So it's great that this creative team makes a fall from grace look this good.

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7.0
Daredevil (2015) #5

Apr 4, 2016

That said, though, at the end of the day, if you're looking for just good Daredevil art, there's a huge back catalog of iconic stories featuring Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, John Romita, Jr., Joe Quesada, Alex Maleev, Chris Samnee and more, not to mention hundreds of commissions from just about every other artist you can think of. What's made Daredevil stand the test of time is that the series has consistently pushed the boundaries of both art and story, constantly pushing Matt Murdock to be the standard-bearer of what superhero comic books are able to achieve. Right now, Garney and Milla are doing great work establishing the right look for this series, but Soule still needs to figure out his own stamp on Daredevil besides his supporting cast.

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8.0
Daredevil (2015) #8

Jun 9, 2016

While the final sequence, featuring Matt engaging in psychic battle with a mind-reading card shark, feels perhaps a little too Claremont-ian old school, this is still a fun change of pace for the guardian of Hell's Kitchen.

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9.0
Daredevil (2015) #11

Sep 8, 2016

It's tough to come up with a compelling high concept in today's superhero landscape, but Soule makes Daredevil #11 one of the best books of the week.

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9.0
Daredevil: Dark Nights #3

Aug 12, 2013

If you haven't heard of Lee Weeks before this, you might want to keep your eyes peeled - if Daredevil: Dark Nights isn't a star-making turn for this artist-turned-writer, don't know what is. Soulful writing and moody artwork combined with a no-strings lack of continuity makes this series a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the Man Without Fear.

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8.0
Daredevil: Dark Nights #6

Nov 7, 2013

A great fun romp that fans of the Mark Waid run of Daredevil will certainly enjoy.

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10
Daredevil: End of Days #1

Sep 11, 2012

This may be the end of Daredevil, but Bendis, Mack, Janson and Sienkiewicz have delivered a new mystery that will leave you desperate for more. It's dirty, it's decedent, it's scary, it's sad. It's also well worth the wait. With perfect artwork and perfectly paced writing, End of Days #1 is a bleak, black epitaph that certainly gives this devil his due.

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2.0
Daredevil: End of Days #3

Dec 10, 2012

Bendis himself says in this story that a book about "Avengers: Where Are They Now?" would be the most depressing book in history. But the reality is it isn't depressing as much as it is dull. Phil Urich is on the prowl for a mystery that doesn't have any clues, for witnesses that don't have anything to say. What's the point of Daredevil: End of Days, when it almost aggressively fails to produce any of the tropes needed to make this detective story work? It's one thing to take a new spin on the genre, to have new ideas " but as this book should teach all of us, an absence of alternative directions altogether isn't revolutionary. It's just a waste.

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8.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Nov 23, 2015

While this book is far from the revolutionary effort of its predecessors, DKIII: The Master Race still proves to be a heroic first effort from three stellar sequential artists.

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4.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2

Dec 21, 2015

Maybe it's the nostalgia talking. Or maybe it's the composition of the creative team, that adding in too many compounds can turn gold into lead. Either way, this second issue of DKIII: The Master Race feels unfocused and distended, rather than the purposeful, iconic work that we've always associated with Miller, even at his most reactionary. This isn't a bad book, but when you're looking at creators with this level of skill and expertise, it's definitely disappointing to see this work, which at best can be described as unambitious. Now that all the pieces are on the board, hopefully Miller, Azzarello and Kubert can finally push forward on this larger-than-life narrative, because right now, this effort doesn't do justice to these creators' storied careers.

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4.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3

Feb 22, 2016

There's a quality hook to this project, with Batman and Superman putting aside their differences to stop a race of conquerors far worse than anything we've ever seen. But ultimately, you can't help but think that even at the end of the world, these cheap fireworks feels like nothing compared to the bad old days of the 1980s or the military-industrial complex of the early 2000s. Despite his controversies, Frank Miller should be considered a light of the industry, a roaring torch that led comics into a bold new era " and if DC Comics insists on evoking that legacy, they need to do more to live up to it, rather than cheapening it with a by-the-numbers rehash. But then again, maybe it's true. Maybe you can't recapture yesterday. Maybe the good things of the past need to remain just that " in the past. And maybe " just maybe " all fires must go out sometime. But if that's the case, it's a shame we all had to watch it happen.

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6.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6

Oct 17, 2016

One of the biggest challenges of Dark Knight III: The Master Race is, unfortunately, justifying its own existence in the face of a superlative first installment and a flawed but at least auteur sequel. Simply multiplying the threat isn’t enough - you have to also magnify, twist and subvert the kinds of traits that made the original work such a classic to begin with. And that might be The Master Race’s biggest downfall at the moment - if it was part of the standard superhero churn, it’d be some semi-average work, a beat-‘em-up script elevated by Andy Kubert’s A-list artwork. But average isn’t good enough for The Dark Knight Returns, it’s not good enough for Frank Miller, who’s forgotten more about comic books than I’ll ever know. With three more issues to go, there’s a chance The Master Race might acquit itself, but right now, it’s only guilty of a lack of vision and ambition.

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3.0
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7

Dec 28, 2016

Whatever you might think of his politics, Frank Miller has forgotten more about making comics than most of us will ever know - and while he might not quite have the explosive inventiveness of his '80s and '90s oeuvre, it feels like a misstep to dilute his voice with extraneous intermediaries, co-writers and co-artists. Because even in today's marketplace with today's market forces, it feels antithetical to the spirit of Frank Miller to have a book like Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7, a issue that not only delivers a bloated storyline, but that ultimately delivers a chapter that feels almost completely unnecessary. With only one issue left to go, it feels like the third time was not a charm for revisiting this iconic DC series.

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7.0
Day Men #1

Jul 16, 2013

Right now, Day Men has one advantage going for it " Brian Stelfreeze. Yet the ultimate question that this book poses " namely, is the vampire craze played out? " still doesn't have an answer yet. That said, there's only so much a creative team can pack into a first issue, and there's nothing dragging this opening chapter down " there's action, there's high-concept, and there's a ton of potential here. If Gagnon and Nelson can add their own bite to Stelfreeze's supernatural levels of talent, Day Men could be BOOM! Studios' next big hit.

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6.0
DC Universe Presents #5

Jan 19, 2012

It's a shame, because it takes all the thoughtfulness out of this book, with all the ingredients for a smart ending being twisted into something shallow and inorganic. Perhaps that's why I have such a bad taste in my mouth " this was an interesting premise of redemption that becomes its own worst enemy.

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9.0
DC Universe Presents #12

Aug 16, 2012

I didn't think I'd like this comic " boy, was I wrong. While occasionally Fabian Nicieza's script has some rough edges (including comments about "metrosexual pantywaists" that raised my eyebrows), there's a ton of enthusiasm behind this solo Kid Flash story, and it's infectious.

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10
DC Universe: Rebirth #1

May 20, 2016

After reading DC Rebirth Special, it only feels appropriate to paraphrase a line from The Dark Knight: Geoff Johns is the hero we need, but not the one we deserve right now. It's easy to be a booster for a winning team - but it's much harder to generate the kind of enthusiasm and thoughtfulness Johns has when you know something's not right. This book in many ways is almost a kind of authorial activism against the perceived wrongs of an entire industry - if Johns has given his oversight over the rest of Rebirth the same level of care that he's given this special, this might finally achieve the potential of DC Comics that even the New 52 failed to deliver. There's something missing in the DCU, but Johns and company have undertaken one Herculean Hail Mary to bring it back. "I can't give up. I have to get back..." his narrator tells us. "So I can deliver a message...it's not over." This isn't a comic - this is a call to arms. This isn't just a Rebirth - it's a much-needed redemption.

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8.0
Dead Drop #2

Jun 2, 2015

To me, Dead Drop #2 isn't just a fun read because of the fast-paced chase involved or the evocative artwork - but instead, it reflects a growing anti-authority vibe that's starting to turn the Valiant Universe on its head. At first, Valiant trusted power, with super-spy Ninjak or the monarch X-O Manowar being seen as trusted, if flawed, authority figures. But now with books like Imperium or Divinity, Valiant has slowly begun to flip the script, showing that absolute power often does corrupt absolutely. What does the future hold for the direction of the Valiant Universe? Chances are, we'll start to see the moral cracks begin to widen not in the big events, but in small, street-level stories like Dead Drop.

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8.0
Deadly Class #8

Oct 14, 2014

On the face of it, Deadly Class #8 is an intimate story, but it opens up this series to so much more. It's easy to jump into, and it's gorgeously drawn, almost reading as a snapshot of unbelievable horror and rage. The rest of the backstory, featuring Marcus and his cadre of trainee assassins, doesn't even factor in here. Nor should it - this is a prime example of not letting the high concept get in your way, instead letting the execution speak for itself. If you're looking to find out what all the hubbub is about with Deadly Class, there's no better time than the present.

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2.0
Deadpool (2012) #3

Dec 4, 2012

When your guest stars feel more at home with the plot than your main character (and is essentially giving your hero the actual tools they need to succeed), I'd argue something has gone wrong with your story. Deadpool could have been a wicked funny grindhouse sort of story, but instead it's a sort of tired Bugs Bunny-meets-zombies kick. The jokes don't make you laugh, the action doesn't make you gasp, the character doesn't make you care. This one might be too much for even the Regeneratin' Degenerate to come back from.

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9.0
Deadpool (2012) #7

Apr 4, 2013

Think of an extended MAD Magazine gag targeted squarely at comics lore, and you've got this comic in a nutshell. Quite the surprising " and satisfying " read.

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10
Deadpool (2012) #13

Jul 21, 2013

But what can I say " this blast to the past is charming. It's silly. It's also dumb. But watching Deadpool crash the '70s heyday of Power Man and Iron Fist is the sort of self-referential nerd humor that you can't help but enjoy. Can you dig it? Because I certainly do.

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3.0
Deadpool (2012) #14

Aug 15, 2013

While the last issue gleefully skewered the 1970s blaxploitation comics of Power Man & Iron Fist, this modern-day follow-up lacks that inside baseball charm. Iron Fist and Power Man really only make a cameo appearance, rather than actually lending some humor to the situation, and the jokes about the White Man wind up crossing the lines of good taste rather than being a guilty laugh.

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7.0
Deadpool (2012) #45

Apr 8, 2015

Like its titular hero, you have to take the bad with the good when it comes to Deadpool #45. The good happens to be really good, and to me, that outweighs some of the dead weight that's upping this book's price and page count. Most books wouldn't get that benefit of the doubt - but there's something that feels quintessentially Wade Wilson of having to make your way through some annoyances before getting to the real meat and potatoes. While the extra content may feel largely self-indulgent, Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan manage to get in two great stories featuring the Merc With a Mouth, and that makes this book worth the hefty price.

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7.0
Deadpool (2015) Annual #1

Sep 27, 2016

While I wouldn’t necessarily call this annual a must-read, there’s something goofy and fun about this admittedly disposable read. Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, and Scott Koblish are carving out a very funny niche in the Marvel Universe with these nods to comic book history, and while not every installment is going to be created equal, the premise alone will bring plenty of readers to this book’s gruesome conclusion.

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10
Deadpool (2015) #6

Jan 20, 2016

This isn't the first time that Deadpool has mined comic book history for some pointed gags, but every time this series does it, it always feels like a surprise. Dugan and Koblish have so much more to offer than the caffinated hijinks that will define Deadpool, particularly with his movie due to hit cineplexes soon. Issues like this, however, prove that Marvel's class clown has more depth than his jokes might let on.

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9.0
Deadpool (2015) #20

Oct 14, 2016

Coming out during the same week as World Mental Health Day, Deadpool #20 might be the sweetest and most endearing story featuring the Merc With a Mouth that I've ever seen.

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8.0
Death Of Wolverine #1

Sep 4, 2014

Charles Soule and Steve McNiven team up for a strong first outing of Death of Wolverine, which doesn't progress far in plot but looks absolutely gorgeous.

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8.0
Death Of Wolverine #3

Oct 1, 2014

And I guess that's the real test of Wolverine's mettle - even when his story takes ludicrous turns, we still want to see more of him. There's conflicts, complexities and multitudes underneath all that adamantium, and Wolverine continues to test and challenge the creators who work on him. And sometimes, in the case of Steve McNiven, even bring the best out of them. It's no lie that Death of Wolverine might leave you as conflicted as its central character, but, like Logan himself, the good far outweighs the bad. We're with him to the end. And that might be as fitting a send-off as it gets.

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3.0
Death Of Wolverine #4

Oct 16, 2014

And I think that's the real problem that Death of Wolverine faced all along - it didn't know what kind of story it wanted to be. Wolverine himself, for all his lost memories and wildly clashing histories, had one throughline in common - he was an animal trying to overcome his baser instincts and become a better man. This storyline, however, bounced from Wolverine accepting his fate, to welcoming death as a respite, to trying to keep others from sharing his own cursed existence. Any of those three themes would have made for a powerful sendoff, but the lack of commitment to any of them harmed the final product far more than a lack of a central villain ever did. Here's hoping that while this sendoff lacked Wolverine's trademark intensity, it'll give Marvel a chance to rest one of their most iconic heroes before he makes his inevitable return.

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10
Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1

Oct 29, 2014

Combine that with a shockingly deep finale, and Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America might be the best Marvel book out this week. It's a smart tie-in that doesn't just rest on its jokey laurels, instead elevating Deadpool and teaming him up with the most unlikely of allies. It's these sorts of pairings that make the Marvel Universe as rich and robust as it is, and Duggan, Kolins and Staples should be praised for putting together a comic as good as this. Even Wolverine himself would be proud.

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3.0
Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #1

Nov 6, 2014

Writer Charles Soule and artist Salvador Larocca team up to focus on the new experiments of the Weapon X project, but the characters all feel so disposable it's hard to get invested.

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6.0
Death of X #4

Nov 23, 2016

And that’s the message we should get out of Death of X: That the world is big enough for both the X-Men and the Inhumans. They don’t have to fight - they can be their own thing, and they can succeed on their own merits, not at the expense of one another. And if Marvel can finally figure that out - if they can finally figure out how to save these two struggling franchises - then maybe Cyclops didn’t die in vain.

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8.0
Death Sentence: London #1

Jun 11, 2015

While people who haven't read the previous Death Sentence series might not get the full context behind the rise of Weasel as a London hero or what the deal is behind Verity's (super-cool) powers as Artgirl, this is an intriguing start for this sequel.

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5.0
Deathlok #1

Oct 29, 2014

What's interesting about Deathlok #1 is that in many ways it does feel like a television show - or at least one third of a television show. And it would have been riveting. There's a ton of action here, and the set-up that Edmondson is putting together has a lot of promise. But with a crowded newsstand, you need to deliver on that promise from the beginning - particularly for a niche character like Deathlok. Here's hoping that a slow start doesn't terminate this new hero before he even gets to begin.

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5.0
Deathstroke (2014) #5

Feb 26, 2015

You'd probably have guessed that Deathstroke is already the kind of comic that will self-select its action-junkie viewership, and this issue is no exception.

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7.0
Deep State #1

Nov 12, 2014

Now, all I can say to describe Deep State at this point is that it's a strong start. Admittedly, it is a victim of decompression, albeit nothing that we haven't seen in a million other books on the stands. But with a deficit of strong characterization, a little bit further plot progression might have sealed the deal. For now, it's more on the razor's edge - the ideas are there, and the execution seems promising, so if the next issue makes more progress, Deep State could be a winner.

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7.0
Deep State #7

Jun 25, 2015

All in all, while this book likely won't linger in your minds for too long, this is an exciting and action-packed issue.

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8.0
Defenders Vol. 2 #7

Jun 11, 2012

In a lot of ways, Defenders #7 brings back a Matt Fraction I haven't seen in awhile, not with the hustle of Fear Itself or AvX or Iron Man or Thor. With Felicia Hardy, Fraction seems to have gotten a second wind, delivering a dynamic character that might be what Defenders has been missing all along.

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7.0
Defenders Vol. 2 #12

Nov 7, 2012

Yet for someone who has had plenty of misgivings over this iteration of Defenders, I give Fraction some credit for at least trying to wrap up his messy, loose story with a nice bow on top, and I give credit to Marvel for trying to bring this book in for a soft landing with a nice artistic pinch-hitter. This team wasn't the best one Marvel's ever launched, and it wasn't necessarily the best fit for Fraction as a writer " but sometimes you have to play the cards you're dealt, and Fraction is cashing out with some serious skill.

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3.0
Demon Knights #5

Jan 16, 2012

The thing about Demon Knights that gets me the most is that this is a smart concept, but the execution feels less exciting and more run-of-the-mill. There are a few moments of greatness to this book " particularly when the roguish Al-Jabr gets the better out of one of the Horde's emissaries, or a nice-looking panel of Jason Blood muttering to himself in his tent " but there's a breakdown in core concept that's keeping this book from where is deserves to be. Make no mistake, this could be a good book... I want to like this book. But with too many characters being shoehorned in too early without a core tenet to bind them " not to mention artwork that compounds the cluttered nature of this story " it's hard to put a finger on what could be done to fix this book. Lesser demons, indeed.

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7.0
Demon Knights #16

Jan 22, 2013

With this series soon on its way out, it's kind of a shame to see Demon Knights make such a strong turnaround. Had this been the first arc, I have no doubts this series would have at least been better received, even though I know Paul Cornell's name brand status hits a little bit harder than Venditti's. But rather than dive into the self-indulgent, inaccessible magicks and battle scenes, this new-and-improved Demon Knights focuses on character and team dynamics with great success. Definitely a pleasant surprise to pick up.

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7.0
Demon Knights #18

Mar 18, 2013

While the series is flagging a bit after Venditti's curveball opener, he ultimately does hit the plot points he needs to set us up for a satisfying conclusion to his opening arc. Because Bernard Chang looks as compelling as he does, it's easier to forgive some of the excess dialogue in this book " Chang makes it visual enough for us to move with. They may be a niche market, but there's a lot of potential to Demon Knights that is palpable just by reading it, and I'm feeling pretty confident that upswing will continue to next month.

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8.0
Descender #3

May 5, 2015

Ultimately, there may be some who are disappointed that this book doesn't progress too far - it's all a detour to the robot afterlife, which is gorgeously portrayed, but is still a little on the decompressed side. That said, it's nice to see two talented creators just shoot for beautiful imagery, and in that regard, Descender #3 scores.

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8.0
Descender #4

Jun 11, 2015

There are a few beats where the story drags - ultimately, I'm still not quite sold on how spectacular Tim is, or the intrigue surrounding his dreams - but by and large, this is a beautifully drawn comic with some very fun characters.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #14

Nov 8, 2012

There are a few hiccups here " Layman hasn't quite gotten Damian's snotty voice yet, and his "cure" for Poison Ivy's charms doesn't quite wow you in its explanation " but in terms of structure and plot, Detective Comics is easily DC's most improved book in its lineup today.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2011) #15

Dec 5, 2012

It's funny how the guy who used to be a Wildstorm editor, who then became the guy behind that cartoon cannibal cop comic, has also become one of the guys driving the Dark Knight. But John Layman has earned this, and continues to earn his place with Detective Comics as each issue keeps unfolding. Yeah, there are plenty of good Batman stories elsewhere, but Layman and Fabok do a great job arguing for one more. Smart plotting, strong characterization and a couple striking moments in the script make this book well worth adding to your pull list.

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10
Detective Comics (2011) #16

Jan 9, 2013

More writers in the Big Two should be taking note at John Layman's work in Detective Comics, which consistently builds up villains and thrills its audience with accessible, done-in-one storytelling. Tie-in comics don't usually elicit high expectations, but that winds up rewarding bad behavior when the books sell just on concept. But if you're looking for a tie-in book that doesn't just stand on its own two feet but actually kicks the doors down, Detective Comics #16 is as good as it gets.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) #18

Mar 6, 2013

They say any landing you can walk away from is a good landing, and when you consider the kinds of directions John Layman was being pulled, it's amazing this book reads as well as it does. Detective Comics remains one of the best-written books DC Comics publishes today, in spite of it being in the shadow of its more-publicized sister titles. While this book doesn't quite deliver on its promise, there's a lot to like about this solidly constructed comic.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) #19

Apr 3, 2013

The other problem DC has to conquer with this book is the price " even at the top of their game, $7.99 is a lot to ask for for a 26-page main story. Ultimately, the backups are just optional, so it makes it harder to justify the overall purchase, especially when the ending of the main storyline is so abrupt. Still, there's a lot to like about Detective Comics, and with a creative team this consistent, it's nice to see a comic reach its golden years with such panache.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2011) #23

Aug 12, 2013

Add that with a heart-breaking story about Kirk and Francine Langstrom - aka Man-Bat and Lady Man-Bat - and you not only have a fantastic comic, but you have two amazing stories for the price of one. Pound-for-pound, Detective Comics has become DC's best comic in terms of consistency and quality, and even with a concept as overdone as an "anti-Batman," John Layman proves that execution is far more important than high concept. A great job by all involved.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #27

Jan 9, 2014

If you can get past the $7.99 price point, this is an anniversary issue that does justice to one of DC's most enduring creations.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #39

Feb 9, 2015

On the one hand, Detective Comics is a beautifully drawn book, one that's probably within the top five best-looking books in the rest of the DCU. The problem? Most of the rest of those books are also Batman books, which makes the bar that much higher when you're going up against great art and writing like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman or Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's Batman and Robin. It's difficult to take the time to really tease out a mystery in comics form, and Manapul and Buccellato seem to be trying their damnedest to show Batman as a thinker as well as a brawler. The end result is imperfect, but their overall talent as artists keep this book from being a wash.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) #47

Dec 14, 2015

There are a few things that keep "Robin War" from being more than just a light, entertaining read - ultimately, unlike a conflict-ridden story like Civil War, the ultimate outcome of "Robin War" is never really in question, particularly when we see Jim Gordon immediately be won over by Dick Grayson, even when Grayson is engaging in breaking and entering, not to mention attacking a police officer. (Gordon immediately recognizing Grayson is another continuity wrinkle, given the Spyral hypnos masking his identity in his own title, but I digress.) Ultimately, this issue isn't going to win any awards, but it's solid and entertaining, and like "Doomed" before it, ties together one of DC's franchises in one action-packed story.

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5.0
Detective Comics (2011) #48

Jan 11, 2016

And that's a huge benefit to this book, which is otherwise feeling a little toothless compared to its sister titles, which have far stronger premises and points of view. Detective Comics can be a double-edged sword in its current incarnation " it provides an easy, continuity-free entre for readers, but only if the high concept of the story is strong enough to support it. Right now, this is a surprising whiff of the ball by Tomasi, who typically has much moodier, much more chilling premises in his work. That said, it's understandable " Tomasi is basically running in place until the main Batman title makes a strong move, and even the most steadfast of team players can sometimes come up short. Hopefully this is just a hiccup, and Pasarin can work with Tomasi on another story that is more worth his time.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2016) #935

Jun 27, 2016

There's a certain subsection of DC Comics fans that's likely been a little forlorn in recent years, with the spike in Damian Wayne's Q rating coming at the expense of Batman's other beloved sidekicks. And for those readers, Detective Comics #935 is like Christmas come early " it seems like a no-brainer to have Batman's various associates under one united team, and yet no one has been able to make it work until now. But not only is this title a new bright spot in the Bat-books, but already seems to be marking a career high for the creative team involved. For lapsed readers, now is the time to enroll, because Bat-class is officially in session " and this is some reading you're going to want to finish early.

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10
Detective Comics (2016) #936

Jul 13, 2016

While it's still early in terms of DC's Rebirth, right now, it's hard to think of a series that's been as high-quality and as fun as Detective Comics. On paper, the idea of a super-team featuring Batman sidekicks sounds like a derivative premise, but Tynion and Martinez prove that any premise can be a great one, with the right execution. The next installment of Detective Comics can't come soon enough.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2016) #937

Jul 28, 2016

While this series has previously been defined by Tynion's masterful characterization of the members of the Bat-family, this issue focuses on the Dark Knight himself, establishing Batman as a scary and ruthlessly resourceful combatant, while also leveling up General Jake Kane as a formidable adversary with a clear sense of purpose.

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10
Detective Comics (2016) #939

Aug 25, 2016

When you read as many comic books as I do, it's easy to point out which ones work and which ones don't - but it's also easy to see that plenty of comic books wind up toeing the line between "average" and merely forgettable. But seeing a team book with this much energy, characterization and skill is a rare feat in today's event-driven Big Two ecosystem, and so seeing a book as successful, engaging and fun as Detective Comics brings me a lot of hope for cape comics. If you buy only one book from the Big Two this week, you could do a lot worse than this.

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10
Detective Comics (2016) #940

Sep 14, 2016

While this issue follows the same trajectory as last month’s in terms of Red Robin stealing the show from the rest of his Bat-family, I don’t think readers are going to find anything to complain about with Detective Comics #940. With the conclusion of this seven-part (!!) arc finally upon us, I think it’s extremely safe to say that Tynion, Barrows and company have delivered the single strongest book of DC’s Rebirth era, bringing together both exciting action and compelling characterization in a way that almost looks easy, if it wasn’t so damn smart about it. If you haven’t been reading this book, you’re missing out on a truly incredible run.

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10
Detective Comics (2016) #943

Oct 31, 2016

The harmony of the three-man art team is quite fitting within this issue of Detective Comics, where Tynion manages to balance a massive ensemble cast, yet still give every character their own distinct moments to shine. It's the character development that continues to be the highlight of this series, where Tynion allows Batman to play second chair to the greater Bat-family at large. Still, the intrigue surrounding the Victim Syndicate is given a hefty shot of adrenaline in final page, which should result in some hard-hitting action in the next issue.

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7.0
Dial H #1

May 1, 2012

That said, Dial H won't be for everyone. Right now, yeah, we've seen this story of "schlub stumbles onto great power" a thousand times in comics, and Mieville isn't reinventing the wheel in that regard. Indeed, there are some moments that are a little too convenient, particularly how Nelson could dial a four-digit number on a rotary phone in the middle of a mugging... and still manage to come up with the same four-digit number the next day. This is not a book you buy for the message, or even for the characters involved, but to see what kind of weird, effed-up stuff is going to pop up on the page. The result is that Dial H might not linger in your mind, but the bizarro experience you get while reading it may develop a cult following in the months ahead.

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2.0
Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird #1

Jan 15, 2014

Melody's shirt may proudly proclaim "Keep It Weird," but ultimately Seekers of the Weird is anything but. It feels tired on the first read, with little to distinguish it from any other supernatural coming-of-age story. To make matters worse, the storytelling style winds up feeling hampered by the comics medium, with the stilted dialogue missing out on an actor's charisma to sell it. If you're looking to get your kids hooked on comics, pick another book - if you're a Disney diehard, you've got plenty of other options. If fun is what you seek, this is not the comic you are looking for.

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9.0
Divergence (FCBD 2015) #1

Apr 28, 2015

Of course, when it comes to Free Comic Book Day offerings, it's easy to speculate - indeed, many of the books offered are teases towards a larger storyline. It remains to be seen if DC sticks the landing with any of these three storylines, but in terms of high concept and sheer marketability, DC has one of the better books this weekend. If you're interested in seeing what's next for DC's biggest heroes following Convergence, you'll likely want to check this book out.

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4.0
Doctor Fate #12

May 23, 2016

Ultimately, when buying a comic book, there has to be some sort of hook " a reason why you have to jump on it month after month. Oftentimes DC and Marvel will rely on continuity game-changers to goose their sales, but the most satisfying books in my mind are the ones that are so inventive with their execution, so engaging with their characterization, that you'd be willing to check in on them even without the artifice of a supervillain of the month. Unfortunately, Dr. Fate was a book that seemingly stumbled out of the gate by failing to get its readers to identify with its protagonist " and 12 issues later, Khalid Nassour may very well wind up relegated to a footnote in DC history. It's not an enviable fate " or a great note for Paul Levitz to end his legendary career at DC upon " but for all its talk about sorcery and mysticism, Dr. Fate was missing the kind of magic that would bring readers under its spell.

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8.0
Doctor Fate #13

Jun 2, 2016

All in all, this is a surprisingly fun story that might prove to skeptics that this character still has plenty of unrealized potential.

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8.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #2

Nov 9, 2015

There's a whimsicality to Jason Aaron's Doctor Strange that might be off-putting to those who like their superhero comicbooks played serious and down-to-earth, but those who like a chuckle to their entertainment might find a lot to enjoy here. Like Strange himself says, the Sanctum Sanctorum is "the last truly weird place in New York City," and Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo seem to be having a blast giving readers the grand tour of the estate.

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10
Doctor Strange (2015) #4

Jan 6, 2016

While this series' first arc took a bit of getting used to, now that Jason Aaron has finally set up his new mythology, Doctor Strange is looking fantastic. This book not only establishes some stronger parameters for one of Marvel's most inconsistently-handled characters, but also sets up a potent threat that could affect a huge corner of the Marvel Universe. This book has some great artwork, some striking characterization, and sets up Stephen Strange for readers just in time before his big screen debut. It may have taken a bit to perfect this treatment, but if this issue is any indication, Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo are just what the doctor ordered.

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #7

Apr 27, 2016

Back when X2: X-Men United was first released, one of the most thrilling sequences in the movie was the assault on the X-Mansion, with even the indomitable Wolverine being overwhelmed by superior forces. Seeing heroes on the run increases the stakes and the tension, and makes the fight personal " and makes those same characters have to dig in deep and deviate from their typical status quo to save the day. Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have delivered a similarly harrowing sort of story in Dr. Strange #7 " but now that Strange has gotten his second chance, it's going to be even more exciting to see how this sorcerer strikes back.

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10
Doctor Strange (2015) #8

May 25, 2016

One of the problems that has faced Doctor Strange in the past is that as a character, he's often been seen as above it all, with his struggles and challenges sometimes being a bit too heady, a bit too high-concept for readers to fully connect or become invested in. But Aaron and Bachalo have made Strange's problems personal, with an overwhelming threat gunning for him and everyone he's ever known. With the action being this frenetic, this fantastic and this fun, knocking the Sorcerer Supreme down a peg might very well have been the best thing that ever happened to him.

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8.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #9

Jun 22, 2016

The Sorcerer Supreme has saved the world countless times, but maybe the cure has been just as bad as the disease " and if that's the case, the healing has to start at home. With that new twist in mind, Doctor Strange is proving to be some of the most exciting and complex superhero storytelling on the stands today.

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8.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #14

Nov 21, 2016

Ultimately, Doctor Strange is taking a bit of a breather after its dynamic opening issues, and that's okay " no comic should be expected to be pushing with that level of intensity month in and month out, because it'll burn out both the readers and the creative team. Aaron and Bachalo's latest arc is a screwy one, with the hell-diner setting being particularly kooky and weird, but that's been a goal of many of Aaron's previous superhero works " to push characters beyond their usual limitations and to take them into undiscovered territory. Given the talents of this creative team, Doctor Strange #14 proves to be yet another successful foray for the Sorcerer Supreme.

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9.0
Doom Patrol (2016) #2

Oct 17, 2016

There are some who like their comics uncomplicated and action-packed, and for those people, the oblique and roundabout way this series has launched will make this book far from a good fit. But for those of us who like the performative aspect of our comics " seeing the different variations of style and execution beyond simple plot-setting " will find something unique and engaging about Doom Patrol #2. With the return of two characters that have long been missing in action, this is a book that's well worth your time.

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7.0
Dream Thief #1

May 15, 2013

While the first issue might not be the most ironclad opener on the stands, there's plenty of potential for Dream Thief " with a protagonist who charms us despite (or perhaps because) of his many, many flaws, with a premise that will leave readers questioning, and with an artist that truly makes this story punch above its weight class, you wouldn't lose any sleep spending your hard-earned dollars on this book. With the central premise laid out and with a bunch of bodies on the floor, if this book can continue escalating both its plot and its main character, this is really Nitz and Smallwood's book to lose.

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5.0
Drive #1

Aug 31, 2015

Ultimately, I wouldn't count out Drive just yet - now that the world has been established, there's plenty of places for Benedetto and Fuso to go, and hopefully they'll put pedal to the metal and really ramp things up. But as far as this first issue goes, it's undeniably a slow start - and with so many other options on the stands, hopefully Drive's goodwill at the box office will keep its comic book counterpart from being left in the dust.

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7.0
Drumhellar #1

Nov 5, 2013

The thing that saves Drumhellar, aside from the strong artwork, is the flickering of humanity that comes through all the cryptic talk. Rossmo and Link allude to Drum's relationships with women like diner hostess Wanda, "naturopath" Padma and his mysterious ex Lupe. You won't get any answers here, but Rossmo is banking on the art being strong enough to justify the mystery. Ultimately, if the psychedelic artwork can sell you, Drumhellar might be a series worth partaking.

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9.0
Earth 2 #1

May 2, 2012

Perhaps James Robinson's greatest trick in Earth 2 is that he manages to engage readers even as he spends most of the issue playing with characters that we likely won't see again. Like DC's best epics " think Kingdom Come or JSA " Robinson and Scott's Earth 2 is about living up to legacies... but it isn't solely defined by them. There's a new pantheon being born on Earth 2, a new history, a new generation of hero. This may be the relaunch we were all waiting for.

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7.0
Earth 2 #2

Jun 6, 2012

That said, Robinson and Scott are creating a new universe, one that's already far more successful than the Tangent or Stan Lee relaunches of years past. There are some rough edges to this book, some that editors Pat McCallum and Sean Mackiewicz would have ironed out at the scripting stage, but it's a decent sophomore effort.

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6.0
Earth 2 #20

Feb 10, 2014

There's a lot of potential that's going untapped with Earth 2, as Tom Taylor has a murderer's row of characters that aren't bound by continuity or crossover edicts to dictate their status quo. But his pacing still has a ways to go - he has so many good ideas and even more superheroes to choose from, and by trying to cram them all in he doesn't do justice to any of them. Earth 2 may be a diamond in the rough for DC Comics, but it can - and should - be one of its crown jewels.

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4.0
Earth 2 #24

Jun 9, 2014

Judging by his output in books like this and Injustice, it feels like Tom Taylor is a writer better suited for binge-reading rather than month-to-month installments. As part of a larger whole, I think that Earth 2 might be a more palatable read, with the breaks between action and characterization feeling a little less pronounced. However, as a single issue, this comic feels a little bit directionless, with long speeches and battle sequences stopping and starting and petering out just before they begin.

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8.0
Earth 2: Society #1

Jun 10, 2015

Ultimately, though, since this book doesn't progress tremendously far in its first issue, the real hook for Earth 2: Society #1 rests on the strength of its artist. This is a book that's really gorgeous, and best of all, it's apparent that Jimenez is only going to go up from here. This is a quirky new take on an alt-world Justice League, but thankfully, Wilson and Jimenez look damn good doing it.

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8.0
Earth 2: Society #2

Jul 9, 2015

This book may not be as deep or as ambitious as some of the others on the stands, but with artwork this good, it's hard to think of a comic that's more fun.

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8.0
Earth 2: Society #4

Sep 10, 2015

Admittedly, there's a few hiccups in the execution here, with Jimenez's artwork sometimes getting too sketchy, or the page-to-page pacing sometimes jerking forward, but still, this book is one of the most fun DC titles on the stands.

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8.0
Earth 2: Society #8

Jan 14, 2016

Dan Abnett writes a short but surprisingly meaty story with Earth 2: Society #8, using low panel counts to let artist Jorge Jimenez go crazy with this alt-world JSA.

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8.0
Earth 2: Society #10

Mar 10, 2016

It isn't An Inconvenient Truth, but as far as good-looking action books go, you could do worse than Earth 2: Society.

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5.0
Earth 2: Society #12

May 12, 2016

With only one issue left in solicitations, it's doubtful Earth 2: Society will live up to its potential, but the sharp art and low-calorie action may prove enough for some readers.

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3.0
Earth 2: World's End #1

Oct 8, 2014

But right now, that potential is only barely being tapped. It's hard to justify a story like this if you need to spend half an issue recapping another series - particularly if World's End is going to be a weekly expenditure. You only get one shot at making a first impression, and for 21 listless pages, this book is going to test a lot of people's patience. Combine that with no firm art team to at least sell this book in a cohesive fashion, and World's End is going to have to work hard to win back readers' goodwill.

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5.0
Earth 2: World's End #26

Apr 2, 2015

The pacing of Daniel H. Wilson's story is all over the place, and the eight pencilers on board certainly makes for a scattered read.

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8.0
East of West #1

Mar 26, 2013

Many people will dismiss East of West not knowing where it is headed, or even worse, calling it self-indulgent on Hickman's part. I do think this is a comic that relies on the voices of its creators, but I think that's ultimately a good thing " I don't see Hickman or Dragotta going for the deep themes or the movie deals, but instead are producing a platform for pure style. That's good for now, even if that can't last forever. With sharp art and strong dialogue, this first issue has a lot going for it " but first impressions aside, only time will tell if East of West will find its narrative true north.

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9.0
East of West #20

Aug 27, 2015

Consider this one a trust exercise. I've been leery of Jonathan Hickman's writing before, sometimes finding it cold or self-indulgent, but East of West #20 ends with a nice payoff, as Hickman tells a unique story of diplomacy between the White Tower and the Endless Nation.

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