Doug Zawisza's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Book Resources, Comicosity, Superior Spider-Talk Reviews: 2451
6.9Avg. Review Rating

8.0
1,000 Comic Books You Must Read #1

Mar 14, 2010

This book contains quite a few recommendations that I haven't had the privilege of reading, as well as some books I know I should dig out to enjoy again real soon. This might be Isabella's top one thousand comics we should be reading, but I'd like to see the next thousand from him or a thousand from a few other comic pros.

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5.0
100th Anniversary Special: Fantastic Four #1

Jul 3, 2014

For a miniseries that has the potential to launch a whole new line of books -- or possibly a timeline to be revisited in future stories -- this adventure never really does more than introduce some characters and emphasize the fact that the Fantastic Four is always about family. I wasn't sure what to expect from "100th Anniversary Special: Fantastic Four" #1, but it wasn't this. Van Meter and Estep open the issue with promise, but before too long, the "traditional" Fantastic Four is back in action, but against a less-than-inspired foe. I'd like to see more of the Richards-Banner twins, the "future" Human Torch and the Enchantress instead of the Fantastic Four once more besting a borderline generic foe. Perhaps, like the refugees of "Days of Future Past" did throughout X-Men history, these new characters will be able to check in from time to time. This issue, however, doesn't really pack enough of a punch on its own to sustain in readers' collective memories until 2061.

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6.0
100th Anniversary Special: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Jul 31, 2014

"100th Anniversary Special: Guardians of the Galaxy" #1 is the most enjoyable, most accessible and most timely of the "100th Anniversary Special" series so far. This issue won't change the industry, but the on-sale racks are much better for having such a comic as this. With Guardians-mania hitting its apex, it might just be time to pull out all the stops and give this all-ages appropriate amalgamation of all things Guardians of the Galaxy a chance to carry on and build a legacy.

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7.0
1872 #1

Jul 13, 2015

The flow and the melding of story to art sputters a little in "1872" #1 but, for the most part, holds together nicely. As the various domains of Battleworld are set to do, "1872" #1 gives readers a fun, alternative take on the core of the Avengers. The additional characters around the fringe add depth, but the heart of the story is Captain America as Sheriff Rogers in the Old West, making this an ideal comic for Old West fans, readers who enjoy alternate timelines or folks who just want to read a new take on classic characters. This isn't the flashiest of the "Secret Wars" tie-ins, but it has a lot of character and just as much potential.

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10
A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #1

Mar 16, 2016

Between the story and the art, A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1 is a madcap romp through the anything-can-happen playground of comic books. The leads aren't superheroes, they're just characters in a drama. Except their drama includes some comedy, some fantasy, some science fiction and a whole lot of imagination. This comic, as mentioned once or more in this review already, has a little bit of something for everyone. Valiant had a strong offering when they came back to comic stands a few years ago, and offerings like A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1 are the type of thing only Valiant provides. Roberts, Lafuente, Winn, Reber, and Lanphear may not be delivering a literary classic, but they sure are delivering an entertaining escape, which is why we all read comics, right?

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9.5
A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #5

Jul 22, 2016

I forget the attribution, but recently I heard the perfect comic book story should include equal parts suspense, action, adventure, romance, and comedy. I'm pretty sure Roberts was not the individual at the heart of that attribution, but he sure hits all of those points. With an all aces crew of Norton, Passalaqua, and Sharpe joining him, A & A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #5 is a comic that is not to be missed. This is the type of relatable escapism so many of us read comics to enjoy. I just hope we get a little bit more from this creative team. This is a comic worth loving.

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8.0
A-Force #2

Jul 3, 2015

"A-Force" #2 appears to be a straightforward superheroine adventure on the surface but, as the pages turn, Bennett, Wilson, Molina, Yeung, Wong, Martin and Petit make it quite clear this isn't a straightforward anything. The mystery of the new arrival and whether or not the portals are hers would be enough but, embedded in the policies of Battleworld and the surrounding bureaucracy of it all, this story gets more personal. Easily dismissed as a gimmick, "A-Force" is anything but, packing in strong characters, smart characterization and wonderful artwork.

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8.5
A-Force (2016) #2

Feb 3, 2016

Like the cast of this issue, A-Force is an unexpected delight that is so much more than simply the sum of its parts. Sure, a certain level of expectation can be carried into this issue, but those expectations are left behind as Thompson, Wilson, Molina, Martin, and Petit make A-Force #2 a book worth searching out. Thompson and Wilson set the foundation with a cast of loveably believable characters, and the visual creative crew brings it all to life. This is one of the greater joys of the All-New, All-Different Marvel voyage.

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10
A.D.: After Death #1

Sep 28, 2016

Snyder and Lemire might be giving us autobiographical peeks or wildly creative fiction. Either way it's compelling and absorbing and pushes the limits of what comics can and should be. At several points in my reading of this issue, I found it to be a spiritual cousin to R. J. Ryan and David Marquez's The Joyners,except this story has just a little bit more hope around the fringes. Book One has my attention. Let's see what Snyder and Lemire do with Book Two.

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8.0
Action Comics #866

Jun 17, 2008

This book was well worth the price. It's probably the one single DC comic I've really, truly enjoyed lately. That said, this book carries the Sightings trade dress, whatever that really means. To me, it doesn't mean too much, as it neither adds nor detracts from an enjoyable read.

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8.0
Action Comics #870

Oct 8, 2008

In this issue, this comic lives up to its title, "Action Comics." Now if Hollywood would just learn a thing or two, borrow a page or twenty-two, and realize what a great Superman movie could truly be.

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8.0
Action Comics #871

Nov 12, 2008

"New Krypton" seeks to deepen the Superman mythos while providing new answers to old questions and addressing continuities cops' concerns, and through the fourth chapter the tale has done a nice job. With a month of issues behind it and another couple months of Superman related adventures remaining, this storyline appears to be one that will be pointed back to for inspiration from a new generation of Superfan and Supercreator. As mentioned before, don't let the numbering fool you, you'll be able to jump in with this issue and still enjoy the rest of the flight.

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6.0
Action Comics #879

Jul 19, 2009

While I am not keen on over-paying for my comics, the Captain Atom adventure given to us here is almost enough for me to consider buying the next issue -" just for that. The main story of "Action Comics" seems on a course to intersect with the events in other Superman titles, so Captain Atom may not have to lure me back all by himself. We'll see what Rucka and Robinson (together on "World of New Krypton," Robinson writing solo on "Superman") have in store for us and how engaging that story might be.

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7.0
Action Comics #880

Aug 17, 2009

"Codename: Patriot" is half over with this installment, but there seems to be a lot going on in this story "- almost too much. I look forward to seeing how Robinson and Rucka draw all of these divergent paths closer together towards resolution in the next two installments of this storyline.

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7.0
Action Comics #885

Jan 14, 2010

The two stories make this title worth reading. With word coming down of the upcoming "War of the Supermen" story set to rock the Super-titles this summer, this issue seems like a great place to start. If not here, where? If not now, when?

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7.0
Action Comics #891

Aug 1, 2010

"Action Comics" is taking the road less traveled here by putting Luthor in the starring role and diminishing the role of Superman, and I wouldn't have it any other way right now. After the past two plus years of New Krypton and "War of the Supermen," it's nice to explore the world surrounding the Man of Steel. Cornell is doing a great job with this story. This issue alludes to greater dealings beyond what is shown, and I can't wait to see where Luthor goes next. Luthor is far from a character that I empathize with, but he's certainly a character I enjoy reading.

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9.0
Action Comics #897

Jan 27, 2011

Luthor seems to be getting close to solving the puzzle that has driven him for two-thirds of a year, and Cornell is definitely showing his readers a fun time along the way. Luthor and Joker have been allies and adversaries. These two even share a passion against their archrivals, but they truly are, as robot Lois points out, polar opposites. Sure, they may not appear to be opposites, but Cornell does a fabulous job defining them as such over the course of this story. In my review of a previous issue, I stated that, "Luthor is far from a character that I empathize with, but he's certainly a character I enjoy reading." That holds true now, and with Cornell guiding Luthor's path, I don't see that enjoyment diminishing any time soon.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) Annual #1

Nov 1, 2012

Hamner's visuals in the lead story are impressive, clean and crisp. The artist provides plenty of detail, but implies so much more through his strong storytelling. His work isn't ornately decorated with shards and random shapes, but rather presented in traditional sense, with outlined panels intelligently composed throughout the issue. Hamner does play around with the orientation and composition of those panels, adding action and energy to his drawings. Sook, likewise, provides a masterfully composed story that needs no wording to transmit its message. With these two artists on board, the Superman brand is looking good and worth checking out. I just hope we don't have to wait another year for a Superman story to be this enjoyable.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #16

Jan 10, 2013

This isn't a big impact issue, but it is an enjoyable one that delivers good to great art and unpredictable adventures. The apparent disconnect between the lead-in and backup adventure makes "Action Comics" #16 feel more like an anthology book than a straightforward comic with a primary tale. With only one issue left, I can't help but feel as though Morrison has an awful lot of loose ends to try to tie up or trim off after reading this one.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #18

Mar 21, 2013

When all is said and done, Grant Morrison's run on this comic is sure to be held up as one of the best. That's not hard to do, considering the trials and tribulations Superman has endured since his death in 1992. This run, capped by "Action Comics" #18, celebrates the Man of Steel, his supporting cast, his heritage and his legacy all while serving as a love letter from Morrison to the concepts and characters that must have fueled his desire to create adventures for Superman.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #19

Apr 4, 2013

In the end, with all of the hoopla surrounding Diggle coming on as Grant Morrison's replacement and flaming out after one issue, "Action Comics" #19 is just another Superman story. It's no "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way" and it's not even "Man of Steel." "Action Comics" #19 is enjoyable, but tragic in its incompletion. While Diggle's work will continue to shade the remainder of this story, it's not going to be his story and given Daniel's track record with the New 52, I'm not racing back for the next issue.

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2.0
Action Comics (2011) #23.2

Sep 16, 2013

Zod of the films is far more interesting for his bluster and posturing than this Zod ever could be in his unfounded self-righteousness. Even the Terence Stamp version of Zod has more depth than this jungle-raised anarchist. Pak tries to use Zod as a prod to inspire the Kryptonians to build a better future, but in the shadow of Michael Shannon's portrayal of the character, Pak's version is thin and uninspired. No longer methodical, noble or cunning Zod now is damaged goods, cruel and menacing for no other reason than to be menacing. The end result is that "Action Comics #23.2: Zod" is simply a limp story. I hope when we see him again (which this issue all but makes certain we will) that the character is more inspired.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #23.3

Sep 19, 2013

Of all of the "Villains Month" offerings I've read, "Action Comics" #23.3 is most relevant to the "Forever Evil" event and does a fine job of lining up the pieces in seamless prequel fashion. Soule and company bring readers a day in the life of Lex Luthor. It just happens to be a very productive and fulfilling day, although not a particularly memorable one. This comic book serves as a nice primer to the events of "Forever Evil" #1 and a decent fill-in piece between issues of that series, but pales in comparison to other Lex Luthor stories that have been published under the "Action Comics" banner.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #25

Nov 8, 2013

In many ways, "Action Comics" #25 is the best sort of tie-in. People who are reading "Zero Year" in "Batman" get an answer to the question of why Superman hadn't waded in and tried to help Gotham City in its moment of crisis. Readers of "Action Comics" won't feel lost or confused. And hopefully, "Action Comics" just got some new regular readers who liked what they saw here. I know I did. Pak and Kuder are a great choice for "Action Comics" and I'm eager to see what happens next.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) #27

Jan 10, 2014

I've always enjoyed stories that manage to balance the troubled "man" aspect with powerful "Super" in the adventures of the Man of Steel and in "Action Comics" #27, Greg Pak and company do a fine job delivering such a story. Additionally, Lana Lang isn't a hapless damsel in distress, but an empowered woman who finds inspiration and initiative through the words and actions of her childhood friend. Couple that with an adversary that isn't a sleepy retread of Superman's more popular, but extremely narrow, collection of foes and this book begins to give "Adventures of Superman" a run for the money and a solid case for readers. Combined with the aforementioned digital first comic and "Superman Unchained," I'm happy to say I'm reading more enjoyable tales of the one-time big blue Boy Scout than I ever have in this New 52.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #29

Mar 10, 2014

"Action Comics" #29 is a good comic with a solid Superman story that presents Superman as a hero of the underdog and someone for us underdogs to look up to. I'm eager for more from this team, especially if they're going to continue to contribute positive, fun stories to the legacy of the Man of Steel. Pak and Kuder make Superman a character I can cheer for and sympathize with once again.

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4.0
Action Comics (2011) #34

Aug 8, 2014

"Doomed," like Doomsday himself, has taken a course all its own, seemingly unstoppable and certainly overwhelming. Pak, Kuder, Kolins and crew do a fine job of giving readers a dynamic, packed story to read, but it feels rushed and ill-fit for the space and time allotted. Credit given to a pair of writers certainly adds credence to the supposition that this comic book may have needed some help hurrying along to match deadlines or adjust accordingly. The scope of Doomsday blending into an attack from Brainiac (and more!) is ambitious, but it needs to be controlled just a bit to become a more enjoyable "Superman against all odds" story. I love the connectivity Pak and Kuder have built with appearances and cameos across the DC Universe, but I'd like to see Superman given more space to soar.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #51

Apr 22, 2016

With three installments complete and five on the horizon, there is simply no denying that “The Final Days of Superman” is going to have a significant impact on the Superman family of comics leading up to and following Rebirth. Thankfully, Tomasi keeps readers invested in the here and now as well, though, with plenty of action and adventure. His characterization of Superman in his growing desperation is believable, but the writer also gives readers a Supergirl to put faith in and enjoy once more. This could have easily been a coast between the previous Superman tale and the launch of Rebirth, but Tomasi and crew are doing their very best to make “The Final Days of Superman” one of the most enjoyable tales of the New 52 and, more importantly, a memorable Superman tale for fans to remember fondly, regardless of the era or surrounding continuity.

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9.0
Action Comics (2016) #957

Jun 8, 2016

With a slight cameo by the enigmatic Mr. Oz and the appearance of a surprising Superman cast member, Jurgens and crew don't simply make this a Superman comic. This is, as the title says, an “action” comic, and there's plenty of action and suspense. So the only thing to do is to give readers a splash page final image that'll stick with readers long after this comic is closed. From there, those readers checking their calendars in anticipation of the next chapter titled, “ANNIHILATION!” I'm pretty darn thrilled to be able to look forward to reading a Superman comic again.

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8.5
Action Comics (2016) #958

Jun 22, 2016

It's an interesting mash-up of familiar concepts blended together, but what readers and critics seem to be quick to dismiss (or simply forget) is the presence of the mysterious Mr. Oz. The hooded figure slips into the panels of Action Comics #958, adding a layer to the story, a non-combatant party to the fight, and a quantity of the unknown to this tale. Whether or not those ingredients result in a fresh recipe or a distinctly unimaginative casserole remains to be seen. So far, there's at least plenty of action, suspense, fighting, and solid art.

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6.5
Action Comics (2016) #959

Jul 13, 2016

While I didn't know what to expect with the visual team tagging out after two issues for a breather, I know now. Hopefully the second issue for Kirkham and crew gels a bit better than this one, and, maybe, just maybe, we'll get a little closer to the finale of the Doomsday battle.

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6.0
Action Comics (2016) #960

Jul 27, 2016

Overall, the art works for the story, but not for the series. Kirkham's style is divergent from series initiator Patrick Zircher's more realistic presentation, and, once collected, the flow from one to the next is going to be visually alarming. I'm not sure which artist is on deck for Action Comics #961, but that will be the fifth (and final? Penultimate?) chapter of “Path of Doom”. Whoever it is has a big-time battle ahead of them, as all of the players appear to be on the board, so it'll be time to see what Jurgens can really do with this tale.

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7.0
Adam.3 #1

Aug 12, 2015

"Adam.3" #1 is a bold step in a new direction. Kolins provides a quick introduction to the cast and the world but wastes little time in setting the table. Readers are invited in for the journey and are shown early on just how intense and invigorating this new world can be.

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9.0
Adventures of Supergirl #2

Feb 8, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl continues to be a must-read, day-of release. Comic book fans can look forward to every day of the week for one reason or another, and with the Supergirl show on Monday nights, we already had one reason, but Mondays aren't exactly known as everyone's favorite day of the week. Thankfully (at least every other Monday) Gates and company are giving us a reason to look forward to Mondays, and the cliffhanger of this installment will definitely have you pining for that fortnight to fly by like a certain Kryptonian.

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3.0
Adventures Of Superman #516

Jul 17, 2010

It's sad to think that just a year ago, a new issue of "Adventure Comics" from Geoff Johns, Francis Manapul, and Clayton Henry was an exciting event. Now? With a monthly "Legion of Super-Heroes" title existing, and a "Superboy" title en route, I wouldn't feel too bad if "Adventure Comics" got the axe. Unless it gets a creative kick in the seat, there's not much to recommend it sticking around.

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7.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #1

May 1, 2013

Parker and Samnee get the ball rolling quite nicely. I can't wait to see more from this duo, as "Adventures of Superman" #1 does a great job of delivering exactly what I want to see in Superman comics in a convenient package at a nice price. I want more of this. Now. Of course, I'll probably buy the print edition when that hits the racks too.

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8.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #3

May 16, 2013

While this series could be considered a tryout for artists and writers to see what they can bring to the adventures of Superman, I view this as a celebration of the character, calling upon comic book industry talents who might be otherwise too busy to create a Superman story or simply might not have the opportunity presented to them to do anything more than contribute to an anthology. For the price attached to the weekly installments of this series, however, Adventures of Superman" simply cannot be beat. It presents consistently high quality craftsmanship and entertaining stories that show Superman at his best. Jordan and Rossmo add their names to the talented roster to grace "Adventures of Superman," and I sure wouldn't mind seeing them come back. I'm pretty sure Rossmo's style would be just as effective on the Parasite or even a gritty version of Brainiac.

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9.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #12

Jul 18, 2013

While so many charges of heartlessness and out-of-character decisions and actions have been levied the Man of Steel's way of late, it really is enjoyable to read a comic with soul and compassion, especially when it features Superman. Williams packs humanity into this series, continuing the short-lived but growing tradition of strong stories in the pages of "Adventures of Superman." Whether you're waiting for the paper copy or considering downloading the digital version of the series, "Adventures of Superman" #12 is one that absolutely should not be missed.

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9.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #21

Sep 18, 2013

Charming and graceful, "Space, Actually" is evocative of the energy and enthusiasm of the once-popular Super Powers toy line given life through the work of Seeley, Norton, Bellaire and Abbott. It helps that Norton is among the best all-ages, any subject artist in the industry today. The crux of the story isn't anything readers haven't seen before, but the execution is simple and rewarding. As long as "Adventures of Superman" can continue to draw talent like Seeley and Norton to produce work like "Adventures of Superman" #21, this title will continue to be a go-to outlet for the adventures of the most well-known Kryptonian.

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8.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #40

Jan 29, 2014

"Adventures of Superman" #40 is yet another enjoyable celebration of Superman in this digital edition. While Landis and Jock may not be the top combination to tackle the first meeting between these characters, the story they deliver is certainly worth a read. As unexpected as this matchup is, this comic is able to provide some surprises along the way as it sets up an explosive cliffhanger dangling from the rooftop ledge of the Daily Planet. Luckily, readers only have to wait a week to find out what happens next.

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6.0
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #42

Feb 12, 2014

Even though the conclusion to Superman's fight with the Atomic Skull is telegraphed, it's still fun to see for the sake of being fun. This might be one of the silliest installments of "Adventures of Superman" to date, but it certainly delivered on two fronts: it gave DC a chance to publish Sugar and Spike again; and it put Phil Hester in the artist's chair for a Superman adventure. I'm not necessarily feeling the need for another Sugar and Spike appearance any time too quickly, but if Hester wants to return for more "Adventures of Superman," I certainly won't object.

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10
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #43

Feb 18, 2014

Editor Alex Antone has been working spectacular magic on this series since day one, crafting amazing creative teams. "Adventures of Superman" #43 is the sterling example of the series' potential as a whole. The issue definitely raises the bar, and practically begs all future creative teams to bring their absolute best to the table. I bought it and read it digitally, but I'll be getting it in paper as well, not just for me, but for younger readers in my life who genuinely don't know what they're missing out on, especially when it comes to Superman. Now, if Antone could only assemble a similar roster of creative talent and find a way to bring readers adventures from the Silver and Bronze Age Justice League of America"

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10
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #45

Mar 5, 2014

"Only Child" is a remarkable addition to the mythology of the Man of Steel. This three-parter epitomizes the notion of what this title should be and what Superman can and should be for comic readers. As the pacing for the digital to print goes, this story is going to add up to one magnificent standalone print comic book. Most importantly, though, this is my Superman. This is my dad's Superman. This is my six-year-old nephew's Superman. Marz and Shaner combine to tell a timeless tale of the Last Son of Krypton in a story that answers the perpetual question, "What's so special about Superman?" I only hope DC figures out a way to bring these guys back for more. A creative team that clicks like this and a timeless tale such as "Only Child" unlocks the potential of the DC Digital First program.

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10
Aesop's Ark #1

Jul 5, 2012

Coordinating the debut of Monkeybrain Comics with Independence (or in this case Independents') Day is a fine, nostalgic way to start. Taken for what it is -- a bold new offering with lots of baked-in familiarity -- "Aesop's Ark" has limitless potential for entertainment and enlightenment. I'm looking forward to much more of this ride. I just hope I don't have to wait forty days and forty nights to see more.

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8.0
Afterlife With Archie #4

Mar 5, 2014

While I took a massive dose of "Afterlife With Archie" in a relatively short time, I found myself closing the cover to #4 wanting a little bit more. Sure, more than twenty-two pages could get a little oppressive, but Aguirre-Sacasa, Francavilla and Morelli have constructed a fun story that crosses genres and transforms a cast of characters. While readers can get the whole gist from "Afterlife With Archie" #4, the run isn't so deep that it cannot be chased down and enjoyed in a short span. Those with more experience in Riverdale will have a more fulfilling read, but this is not an impenetrable issue. I have to hand it to those who recommended the series to me: they were right.

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7.0
Age of Reptiles: The Journey #3

Mar 3, 2010

This book is haunting in its apparent simplicity, but demands to be analyzed panel by panel to catch the details that have been there all along, but can only truly be discerned after hours of study. Without a single word, this book is easily one of the most intriguing pieces I've seen this year.

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5.0
Age of Ultron #1

Mar 5, 2013

Marvel makes no pretense about how large this story is. With an interesting collection of characters, this is certainly an event book that will garner attention, but this issue just isn't amazing. There are still, however, nine parts to go. Bendis' work tends to read better in chunks, without waiting between installments, and "Age of Ultron" #1 seems to follow in that trend. The cliffhanger of this issue is more of a page-turning cliffhanger than an issue-ending conclusion. I'm sure there will be plenty of readers who get a kick out of this opening chapter, but I might go back and re-read some of the other Ultron tales that Timothy Callahan mentions in his latest column before I re-read "Age of Ultron" #1. Maybe that will help me find a deeper appreciation for Hank Pym's most dangerous creation after this issue's letdown.

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4.0
Age of Ultron #5

Apr 11, 2013

"Age of Ultron" #5 is a display of the collection of heroes jumping through Tuckman's stages of team development in alarmingly quick fashion. Yes, many of these characters know one another and have fought alongside each other before, but there's an awful lot of space dedicated to talking and game-planning. This issue does sport twenty-five pages of story, but the series continues to tease exciting developments without much delivery. Maybe future-Ultron can send us some action-packed pages.

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8.0
Age of Ultron #6

Apr 17, 2013

"Age of Ultron" #6 delivers a couple gasp-worthy moments here and everything changes. I'm sure there's a magic history eraser button at the end of this story, but for now, the desperation just rocketed up to astronomical levels, claiming lives of many Marvel Universe stalwarts. This is the level of action and excitement, uncertainty and wonder event comics used to have. At the end of this issue, I can honestly say I have no idea what to expect of the next, and it's about time. "Age of Ultron" #6 took a while to get to, but there's no mistaking that the payoff is worth it, especially since the final page leaves the question of "Now what?" floating in the ether. This is a cliffhanger we were screaming towards and now that it's here, "Age of Ultron" #7 has become something I look forward to instead of dread.

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6.0
Age of Ultron #9

Jun 6, 2013

As penultimate issues go, "Age of Ultron" #9 is not a very tense issue. The Wolverines, Sue Storm and Pym noodle over how to make things right and it seems like their solution might be on target, especially given the narrow margin for error or expansive story weaving. That said, this issue doesn't seem to have much going on, save for multiple Wolverines, which makes for some fun moments, mind-bending time travel scenarios and wonderful artistic opportunities for Pacheco and Peterson. It's pretty obvious what's going to happen, I'm just wondering how close to the obvious it will really play out.

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7.0
Age of Ultron #10AI

Jun 26, 2013

This comic book cleanly directs readers to "Avengers A.I." #1 scheduled for release next week. Waid has successfully utilized Pym as a supporting character in "Daredevil," so seeing the writer get a chance for a grander story is rewarding, but disappointing in the knowledge that Pym's continued adventures won't be crafted by Waid, who clearly has as much to say about Hank Pym as he does Matt Murdock or Bruce Banner. For now, Waid has given us a near-definitive Hank Pym comic book, and I'm thankful for that.

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6.0
Agent Carter: SHIELD 50th Anniversary #1

Sep 21, 2015

"Agent Carter: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary" #1 is a decent read and fine epilogue for Immonen and Ellis' work on "Operation S.I.N.", but it doesn't pack any lasting punches. It's great to see Sif in place, which further connects the comic book "S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary" specials and the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." television series, but the story in "Agent Carter" #1 just seems like an inventory tale, keeping the license fresh and vital. I'm sure Immonen, Ellis, Rosenberg and Sabino would be able to craft more riveting adventures with more available real estate, and I hope they get that shot.

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8.0
Agents Of Atlas Vol. 2 #6

Jun 3, 2009

As long as Parker keeps pressing his vision onto the adventures of the Agents of Atlas, and is accompanied by fabulous artists like Gabriel Hardman, this book is going to be well suited to be a great book in need of more readers. Maybe a sample of the fabulous art, will inspire you to check out this issue. To get a peek, you can click onto our preview or the interview Dave Richards conducted with Jeff Parker.

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10
Alabaster: Wolves #1

Apr 14, 2012

As a reprieve from capes and tights comics, this book succeeds. As a horror-tinged suspense comic, this book excels. "Alabaster: Wolves" is the beginning of something new, a fresh take on the terrible creatures that lurk in the shadows and one of the protectors who keep those monsters from us. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a series of adventures featuring Dancy. If Kiernan and Lieber continue to bring us stories of this magnitude, I'll be right there, snapping them up.

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4.0
Aliens vs Predator: Three World War #1

Jan 17, 2010

Future issues should bring not only a more interesting plot, but a story that filled with the action and gritty adventure of the close-quarters battles favored by both of these alien species. "Should "is the operative word here, as it is possible that this matchup could just degrade into another tired franchise with the best stories behind it, or this could be a return to brilliance. One way or the other, this first issue exhausts itself setting up what is to come.

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6.0
All New Fathom #1

Jul 29, 2013

Although the story in "Michael Turner's Fathom" #1 struggles against itself at one point as the story experiences a severe information dump seven pages in, the action resumes quickly thereafter and the comic book is able to get back on track. This issue is a nice addition to Aspen's "10 for 10" promotion, but more importantly, a solid start for a series that is quite welcoming to new readers. Yes, there are bits and pieces reflective of previous volumes of "Fathom," but those are nicely handled by the creative team and blended into the story. As the trademark character for this publisher, it is only appropriate that Fathom be given a strong start. "Fathom" fans should keep an eye on this book, eager to see if Mastromauro, Wohl, Konat, Sotelo and Reed can continue to improve and mesh together for a strong new direction.

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8.0
All New X-Men Special #1

Oct 3, 2013

"All-New X-Men Special" #1 is a delightful throwback comic book that delivers a succinct story, embedded in current continuity without having that continuity weigh it down. There is no mistaking the current predicaments of the characters involved, but Costa doesn't bludgeon the reader with unnecessary exposition. Instead, Costa settles into the story, sets the action in motion and delivers a comic book worthy of what Marvel Annuals used to deliver: an extra-sized story with connections to other books. The story begun in this comic may continue elsewhere, but "All-New X-Men Special" #1 is a satisfying read all by itself.

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7.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #0

Oct 6, 2015

Those bold enough to purchase "Avengers" #0 are sure to find at least a couple stories to satisfy their interests. As a sampler anthology, "Avengers" #0 gives readers more than enough to make informed decisions for the upcoming half-dozen related titles, especially with each creative team checking in. It's not a necessity for all Avengers fans, but it certainly is a nice luxury that contains relevant, polarizing tales for the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe.

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8.5
All-New All-Different Avengers #9

May 16, 2016

This issue is all about connections, and with the addition of the all-new Wasp, it deepens Marvel's exploration into the concept of legacy. All-New, All-Different Avengers #9 gives readers a fun read, with the team fighting a slippery threat. There's still plenty of growth for the team and the characters, but I like the direction Waid and Asrar are pointing.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #1

Nov 12, 2014

Remender and crew hit the ground running (or is that the skies flying?) in "All-New Captain America" #1 and give readers a strong start for a new "Captain America" comic book. The issue ends with an eye-popping final page from Immonen that will leave readers hanging. Longtime Captain America fans will undoubtedly be impressed with the final image from Remender, Immonen, Von Grawbadger, Gracia, Navarro and Caramagna and will be clamoring for more. I know I am.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #4

Feb 23, 2015

The opening of "Captain America" #4 had me wondering why Remender couldn't just write a Falcon story, but submerging the reader alongside Sam in the world of Captain America certainly provides a deeper appreciation for where Sam has been and where Remender is leading him. By the end of this issue, Remender has made this a Captain America story, elevating the consequences beyond Sam Wilson and embedding Wilson in action that shows readers why this is a Captain America adventure and not a Falcon story.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #6

May 4, 2015

"All-New Captain America" #6 is a solid, satisfying conclusion to a story that has shaped the new Captain America, defined his cast and reinvigorated the franchise. Choosing to use a myriad of foes from Captain America's mythos was an inspired decision, and one that Remender, Immonen, Von Grawbadger, Gracia and Caramagna delivered quite well. This run of the star-spangled, shield-slinging Avenger is certain to be remembered fondly, and I will certainly enjoy re-reading it at some point in the future.

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8.0
All-New Hawkeye #3

May 29, 2015

"All-New Hawkeye" #3 is a fun, energetic mid-mission chapter in the all new adventures of Hawkeyes Kate and Clint. Neither character supersedes the others in the comic, but Lemire does give Kate some of the more memorable story beats this time out. Once the final cover closes, however, readers will discover that there are moments and comments that stick with them after, like accidentally referring to the next Kate you meet as "Kate Katie Hawkeye." Lemire builds and celebrates memories here, and "All-New Hawkeye" #3 is one of the good ones that should be held onto.

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7.0
All-New Invaders #3

Mar 24, 2014

My biggest gripe with "All-New Invaders" is that this issue only has nineteen pages of story for the four-dollar pricepoint. Granted, Robinson jams a lot of information into those pages and Pugh pours the detail into the panels, but page count is critical when bang for the buck comes into play, especially at $3.99. That said, "All-New Invaders" #3 is a nice, solid read, with a good deal to thrill readers and satiate long-time Marvel-philes. Robinson and company have provided a strong start to this series and this issue is a fine example.

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8.0
All-New Invaders #6

Jun 16, 2014

The quick summary of Radiance, is to compare her to Dazzler, but Robinson makes it quite clear that Radiance is closer to the power set of "Mighty Avengers" cast member Monica Rambeau. "All-New Invaders" #6 is an interesting change-up from the Kree-focused opener for the series, making it quite apparent that there is no intention to leave the roster as simply Human Torch, Captain America, Winter Soldier and Namor. This is a team that is growing and changing, and Robinson is mining the rich Marvel history to find untapped resources to reinvigorate and introduce to readers.

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7.0
All-New Invaders #9

Sep 1, 2014

As with all series, "All-New Invaders" has experienced some ebb and flow. Some issues are better than others, some have more nuanced tales with deeper backstories and other issues push at the boundaries these characters normally keep. "All-New Invaders" #9 serves as a tight showcase for Deathlok, but also gives each of the Invaders a chance to introduce themselves to readers. Deathlok makes a fine addition to this story, and a surprising key to open up the heroes just a bit more.

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7.0
All-New Invaders #12

Dec 1, 2014

Michael Kormarck's cover promises a bombastic battle that Robinson and company deliver on the inside. While no present members of the Invaders are on the cover, the presentation and trade dress showcase the connection to the rest of the series and cement the adventure solidly within the Marvel Universe. Lapsed readers might be a little shaken by the team inside, but "All-New Invaders" #12 sends the Invaders in a bold new direction, promising plenty of developments along the way. Robinson and company make "All-New Invaders" a fine blend of historic Marvel Universe and brand-new adventure, with rich history to add depth to the story.

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6.0
All-New Savage She-Hulk #1

Apr 7, 2009

"All-New Savage She-Hulk" #1 is rounded out with a seven-page behind the scenes conversation with Fred Van Lente, Jeff Parker, and Paul Tobin, moderated by editor Mark Paniccia. This may not be the most ideal way to try to justify the extra buck this issue runs above many other shelfmates, but it does offer a little more creativity than some randomly fished out reprint would. Check out the preview here.

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2.0
All-New Soulfire #1

Nov 14, 2013

"Michael Turner's Soulfire" #1 is more of a new adventure for longtime Soulfire fans than a true introduction for new readers. As such, I'm sure those seasoned vets will appreciate it more than I found myself able to. I'm not sure where this comic story is going, but I won't be hurrying along with it, unlike some of the other "10 for $10" launches.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #1

Oct 3, 2013

"All-New X-Men Special" #1 is a delightful throwback comic book that delivers a succinct story, embedded in current continuity without having that continuity weigh it down. There is no mistaking the current predicaments of the characters involved, but Costa doesn't bludgeon the reader with unnecessary exposition. Instead, Costa settles into the story, sets the action in motion and delivers a comic book worthy of what Marvel Annuals used to deliver: an extra-sized story with connections to other books. The story begun in this comic may continue elsewhere, but "All-New X-Men Special" #1 is a satisfying read all by itself.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #4

Dec 18, 2012

While I could lose countless hours looking at the fantastic art in "All-New X-Men" #4, Bendis doesn't let the story stay still for very long. He naturally plays to Immonen's considerable talent, with a wide range of expressions and settings, but takes Immonen's best and delivers a story that is filled with excitement, adventure and promise. While the premise and delivery are totally different, the original X-Men, reunited in a book driven by the search for new mutants has the energy and excitement fourteen-year-old me found in the early issues of "X-Factor" written by Bob Layton and drawn by Jackson Guice. An interesting blend of old and new, tribute and trial makes "All-New X-Men" one of my favorite books of the Marvel NOW! relaunch.

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7.0
All-New X-Men #8

Mar 7, 2013

The notion of dipping into the past and bringing the original X-Men into their future sounded like a novelty comic book to me. I didn't expect the story to last very long or to be terribly interesting. I expected a scene or two that was exceptionally poignant or maybe a memorable line or two. More often than not, however, the balance of great art and energizing story present in "All-New X-Men" #8 has been the norm for this series. Bendis' work is more effective in larger chunks, but there's enough going on in every issue of this series to provide a solid dose of entertainment in every issue.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #23

Feb 13, 2014

A last page reveal opens up the universe just a little bit more and made all the difference for me between buying this comic in paper or pawning a digital version from a pal. There's a lot of story to be told still and despite the slow, deliberate start to "The Trial of Jean Grey," Bendis and company are rounding the corner and raising the stakes. Now that the story is over half complete (although the checklist at the back identifies six issues contrary to the five parts promised on the cover) the conclusion of "All-New X-Men" #23 hits an unexpected note and offers a payoff to readers, locking them in for future installments, while raising questions, giving answers and promising a lot more adventure in the remaining three chapters.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #32

Sep 22, 2014

The issue provides Asrar with a chance to stretch a little bit and gives Bendis more than enough time to establish directions for his characters, but this issue feels light on action. X-23 is involved in the most active part of "All-New X-Men" #32, while the other characters have nice movements in their personal narratives. While I can appreciate what Bendis is attempting to accomplish, Miles Morales steals the spotlight and the All-New X-Men feel like supporting characters in their own book. Hopefully next issue balances out a bit now that the base introductions are complete.

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4.0
All-New X-Men #39

Mar 20, 2015

"All-New X-Men" #39 marks time between "The Black Vortex: Alpha" and "The Black Vortex: Omega." As the fifth chapter and near-midway point of the multi-title event, it serves as halftime, giving readers and creators a chance to catch their breath. Rather than providing a pep talk or bolstering wounds sustained thus far, this issue does little to inspire further action. It is almost as though this issue simply could have occurred between panels and the story and readers would be none the worse for missing it. As it stands, however, it may be a struggle to recall just what exactly did occur in "All-New X-Men" #39, save for some dynamic imagery.

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10
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 10, 2016

If DC wants to bring the heart of their comics to the bigscreen, then they really need to consider swapping out Snyders. Zack Snyder is taking some heat from fans, but Scott Snyder seems to know how to make fans happy with his interpretations of not only Batman, but the entire DC Universe. He balances character and action, seasons it all with intrigue and adventure, but never loses sight of the characters while doing it. “My Own Worst Enemy” is a buddy action-flick on par with “Lethal Weapon,” but set in a world wide open for special effects and dynamic visuals. This seems like Scott Snyder's buddy film, and I'm glad we have another Batman comic that plays fast and loose with the continuity, all in the name of a good, fun story. This is as approachable as Batman gets, both in terms of personality and in terms of continuity. Climb aboard. Let's take this ride together and see where Batman and Two-Face take us.

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6.0
All-Star Western #0

Oct 1, 2012

"All Star Western" #0 successfully delivers the story of Jonah Hex with all of the main components of the regular series in place. In that sense, this issue serves up a nice appetizer for readers to come back for more. I'll admit to being a lapsed reader as I tried to trim away titles in order to maintain a healthier comics budget, but this issue has given me enough of a reason to come back next month and plunk down another four bucks for another Jonah Hex tale. If this issue is any indication, I won't be disappointed.

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7.0
All-Star Western #18

Mar 31, 2013

"All-Star Western" #18 is a fabulous sampler of what Palmiotti and Gray do so well -- brilliant characterization, electrifying action and dark humor. As this issue concludes, the writing duo sets up more adventures for Hex elsewhere and also promise "the most unexpected guest star." Not only do readers have that to look forward to, but as of this issue, Hex has also run afoul of Vandal Savage, teasing plenty of great Jonah Hex stories waiting to happen.

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7.0
All-Star Western #19

Apr 26, 2013

Between the two sections of "All-Star Western," this book has been picking and choosing from the legacies and heritage of the DC Universe, but this issue reaches into the future to mix up characters that are truly entertaining together despite themselves. Jonah Hex is an underappreciated character that meets like in the form of Booster Gold. Thankfully, Palmiotti and Gray continue to prove that their ability to write great stories isn't hinged solely on the character's level of popularity. "All-Star Western" #19 is a fun cross-section of the bizarre excitement and interaction that the DC Universe offers creators and readers. It's also the first installment of something bigger. What that is remains to be seen, but in Palmiotti and Gray I trust.

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7.0
All-Star Western #24

Oct 28, 2013

"All-Star Western" #24 is simply another excellent installment in the adventures of Jonah Hex. One of DC's most consistently enjoyable titles, "All-Star Western" doesn't lose sight of the "Western" despite the current-day setting and modern guest stars. Gray, Palmiotti and Moritat are having fun playing with Hex, his reactions and, more importantly, the reactions of the world to Jonah Hex. Despite the ornery appearance of the character and the shift in subject matter towards the weird, "All-Star Western" #24 is a delightfully fun comic for the reader to soak in.

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8.0
All-Star Western #27

Jan 31, 2014

"All-Star Western" #27 is just another very good issue of a very good series. Where some titles find themselves mired in mediocrity and dragged down by unending storylines, this comic is fresh and entertaining every issue. I don't know what's coming next, but that is a large part of what makes this series so fun and engaging: every issue is a new adventure alongside the greatest gunslinger the DC Universe has ever known.

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8.0
All-Star Western #28

Feb 28, 2014

Palmiotti and Gray continue to make Jonah Hex a compelling character after all this time and show no signs of stopping. Following his adventure to his future/our present, Hex finds himself back on the new frontier, surrounded by a threat and more than a bit out of sorts from the trip. As Hex himself says, "Smells like home." With yet another great read in a collection numbering five score, "All-Star Western" #28 continues to be one of the very best comics DC has to offer. If you've missed out on Hex's first hundred tales spun by Palmiotti and Gray, now's the time to saddle up for the next hundred.

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10
All-Star Western #34

Aug 29, 2014

Jonah Hex has been given plenty of opportunity to reach readers through various series from DC, both in the New DC and the pre-2011 DC Universe. For the most part, those tales were written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and featured a slew of awesome artists. It isn't every comic of a series that can position each and every issue as being approachable for new readers and enjoyable for old readers, but Gray and Palmiotti did just that in over one hundred issues. "All-Star Western" #34 serves as a nice reminder of what they accomplished, gives them one last chance to do it all again, with Darwyn Cooke, Dave Stewart and Rob Leigh joining them, and allows the whole gang to wave Jonah Hex off into a gorgeous, well-earned Old West sunset of a different kind. Jonah Hex may be taking a break from the new comics' rack, but I've got a whole mess of Palmiotti and Gray goodness I can go back to whenever I want. Thank you, gentlemen, and thank you, Jonah Hex. It's been a remarkable ride.

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9.0
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #0.1

May 19, 2011

I was enthused to read the return of these characters as written by Jim McCann in the "Chaos War" special and more excited once I saw Phil Jimenez drawing the art for a cover or two. Reading this issue has given me reason to check the calendar so I can celebrate Canada Day. This issue is every bit worthy of comparisons to the "X-Men/Alpha Flight" story, except shorter and without Loki. It's good to have this team back. I hope they get to stick around for a long time.

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4.0
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #2

Jul 14, 2011

This second issue of "Alpha Flight" contributes a great deal towards setting up the story and the premise for this series, but it does so at the sacrifice of a good story. Taken by itself, this issue is flat, but clearly, this is intended to be the second of eight chapters, so I am certain it is simply a lull in the story before the real action hits. After all, how many times can this team go against the Box robots?

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4.0
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #8

Jan 25, 2012

This story could not have happened without "Fear Itself" to launch it, but it needed something else to keep it afloat. What should have been a resonating, emotional conclusion came through as more of a whispered "See you later." I'd like to see more of these characters, but they're going to need a little more electricity around them to get anyone's attention again. Who knows, maybe the next event -- "Avengers Vs. X-Men" -- has a role for this team. It would be nice to see these characters given another chance to continue to develop and earn a place in readers' hearts.

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7.0
Amala's Blade #1

Apr 25, 2013

"Amala's Blade" #1 has some fun moments in it and some wonderful coming of age bits too, but the throat slitting early in the book really discouraged me from thinking about sharing this comic with my young daughters. I'm anxious to see where the rest of the story goes, but so far, Horton and Dialynas have given me more than enough reason to come back and check out the next issue for myself.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #578

Nov 19, 2008

All in all, this issue reads well, offers some great Spidey moments and some beautiful art and, in general, has me quite stoked for the second part of this tale. That said, I'm not completely convinced that this tale couldn't have been told with a wedding band on Peter Parker's left ring finger. That argument, however, is rendered moot given the truly wonderful story bound by two superhuman staples.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #581

Dec 19, 2008

McKone's knack for detail (bricks on Aunt May's porch or rubble in Liz Allan's house, for example) meshes superbly with Slott's tale to offer a visual treat, especially at Marvel's bargain price of $2.99 (yeah, that is a little dig on Marvel's crazy price hikes). All in all, it's good to have fun Spider-Man stories that can be shared with younger readers (again, this issue is suitable enough for me to hand over to my comic-devouring eight-year-old) and enjoyed by more "seasoned" readers. This is the third issue out of four that I've purchased and if the quality keeps up at the level I've seen of late, I think there will be many more issues of "Amazing Spider-Man" in my collection in 2009.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #591

Apr 16, 2009

This is not the strongest of the issues that have resulted from the "One More Day" scenario, but it does play upon the circumstances put in play there, and for the most part would not have been possible without "One More Day." My biggest gripe, however, is that by revealing his identity to the FF, Spidey now spins them into his web of deceit that sits at the center of his current status quo.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #595

May 30, 2009

"Amazing" has been an enigma to me. Just when I expect to be disappointed, it elates me and the issues (like this one) that I have high hopes for are frequently deflated. I understand a great deal of that is driven by the writer, but there seem to be enough safeguards in place to preclude this from being a regular occurrence. Hopefully as "American Son" marches one we'll get a more solid foundation for Peter's insane actions, but until then, I might just resort to looking at the pretty pictures.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #600

Jul 21, 2009

This is not a comic to be taken lightly, but it is a comic that might be lightly taken by any fan of Spider-Man, new or veteran. If you find yourself with a spare fin burning a hole in your pocket this Wednesday, keep in mind that there are zero calories ingested in the act of reading a comic. This comic might just give you a fuzzy feeling inside too, as it reminds you that even though things may not always look up for Peter Parker, there are certainly times it is well worth it to look Peter Parker up.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #617

Jan 13, 2010

This is the story I expected in the "Web of Spider-Man" issue I reviewed a month back. This is a tale of redemption for the Rhino and it makes him a character worthy of note as he struggles to stay on his redemptive path. How the new Rhino factors into the overall "Gauntlet" storyline is yet to be told, but given the identity of his "mysterious benefactor," there is little doubt that we'll be seeing robo-Rhino again. Marvel, and more specifically, Team Spider-Man, continues to deliver quality, fun Spider-Man comics. The fact that the classic Spidey foes are getting significant screen time only adds to the enjoyment of these stories.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #622

Feb 24, 2010

While this was a nice interlude from the harried pace of "The Gauntlet," I've been enjoying the resurgence of old Spidey foes. I find that the classic villains make Spider-Man stories more compelling for me, and look forward to Curt Connor's return to these pages in the months to come.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #625

Mar 18, 2010

This "Gauntlet" storyline is starting to put some wear on Spider-Man and Peter Parker, and while I cannot pretend to know exactly what the endgame is, I am finding most of the issues to be compelling reading. This is certainly one of the most compelling yet.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #627

Mar 30, 2010

While I've been enjoying more than a few of the recent issues of this title, this issue was particularly enjoyable. Stern knows how to write Peter Parker as a challenged but not mopey character, and he seems to have fun doing it. I'm in for the rest of this story from Stern and Weeks and plan to kick back with my Pepsi Throwback to enjoy a return to classic form for this title.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #630

May 9, 2010

To this point, the end result is familiar, but the details along the way have changed a bit. After all, how many times has the Lizard ruined Curt Connors' life? I hope from here we find a new path, with more new details for this story to help avoid predictability.

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man #636

Jul 11, 2010

The highlight of the "Grim Hunt" story -- the true fight between Spider-Man and Kraven -- is still to come, and, hopefully, will outshine this weak issue.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #649

Nov 24, 2010

The drive behind this story is to put Spider-Man in a new situation, and Slott is certainly doing that. It's nice to see things looking up for Peter Parker, but given his history and the ol' Spidey luck, it seems like "Big Time" might be setting Spider-Man up for a bigger fall. I certainly hope I'm wrong, as I quite enjoy my heroes not to be completely driven by angst and put upon by misfortune. Where Slott takes it from here certainly remains to be seen, and I'll be tuning in to see.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #654

Feb 9, 2011

All in all, Marvel has made this a fun title once again. The costumes might be goosed up, the coloring brighter, but this is definitely the high-flying, fun-loving, strong-willed Spider-Man I became enamored with as a kid. It feels like a classic Spider-Man story from yesteryear. This issue in particular has me itching for more "Amazing Spider-Man," especially if Caselli's bringing the art.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man #655

Feb 23, 2011

This issue ends with a Spidey-appropriate cliffhanger, and the introduction of a new villain: Massacre. I didn't realize it while I was reading it, but towards the end of this issue, I was holding my breath, and it came rushing out as I flipped the last page over to the letter column. Truly, Dan Slott and Marcos Martin have provided a breathtaking (literally) emotional and entertaining issue of "Amazing Spider-Man." I'm happy to say that with Slott onboard that appears to be par for the course.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man #657

Mar 30, 2011

I'm not very generous with the five-star reviews. Once upon a time, I was questioned about them. I replied that I save five-stars for my personal favorites and the best of the best: the books I just know I'm going to read again, lend to friends, and probably buy again if those friends forget to return them. I'm thinking Mom's going to get this issue.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #661

May 19, 2011

Paul Benjamin and Javier Pulido provide a "silent" day in the life story of Spider-Man that is fun and loose, filled with lively visuals and stunning heroic-level coloring by Matt Hollingsworth. I suspect this part of the issue will remain in my mind far longer than the first segment of this issue.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #667

Aug 10, 2011

Ramos seizes the opportunity to depict a plethora of Spider-People in a plethora of Spidey outfits. Almost every costume gets some panel time from the pencil of Ramos, including the "Iron Spider" get-up and the Scarlet Spider hoodie. Plain and simple, this is a big, fun book that is filled with raucous action, exciting characters, and energetic art. "Spider-Island"

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #668

Aug 31, 2011

"Spider-Island" may be a simple story at its core concept, but two issues in, with four parts of the main story to go, we're almost as in the dark as Peter Parker, himself. And we know the main villain! Slott and Ramos are giving us a mystery with serious repercussions to figure out alongside our favorite Webhead. The "eventness" of this story, with its twenty tie-in issues and eight-part (six "actual" plus prelude and epilogue) may be chasing some folks away, but if you've got patience and finances enough for an entertaining eight-part tale, pull up a chair and web up a copy of this issue. It's not too late to join us on "Spider-Island" in these waning days of summer.

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man #671

Oct 12, 2011

As you can guess by now, my patience for the "Spider-Island" event is wearing thin. Between a story that is not enough about Spider-Man (with more than a few too many guest stars) and painfully slipping art, this book is in danger of exiling me from Spider-Island. Perhaps after the quarantine is lifted, we'll return to the fun-loving book this title transformed into when Dan Slott took over. I'd be almost ecstatic if that post-quarantine tale included some clean, crisp art from Stefano Caselli. For now, I'm counting down installments until we get past this event.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man #672

Oct 27, 2011

So there's a pile of cleanup that needs to happen, but this issue spends no time there. This issue unravels the web of wackiness surrounding the Spider-powered people of Manhattan and Spider-Man's desperate pitch to set everything right. It's been a crazy ride, one that didn't hit all the right notes for me, but still managed to tell a story that gave everyone a chance to see Spider-Man as more than just a wisecracking, wall-crawling Webhead. Spider-Man gets to be the hero in his own book, and that makes this gangly, sprawling adventure worthwhile.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #680

Mar 1, 2012

"Amazing Spider-Man" has continued to deliver great Spider-Man stories, poking into every corner and crevice of the Spider-Man section of the Marvel Universe. This issue, blending Spider-Man's foes, his allies, his employment, his teams and wide-ranging supporting cast is a fine example of what to expect from this series with Dan Slott on board.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #682

Mar 22, 2012

We get almost as much facetime with Peter Parker in this installment as we do with Spider-Man, but Caselli and Slott effortlessly make those pages every bit as interesting and entertaining. This book has everything a Spider-fan could wish for: a rant from J. Jonah Jameson, heroic allies for the Webhead, a wild amount of comic book science fiction technology and a very serious threat. There's also a passing skateboarder singing R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." See? Everything you could want to read in one great issue of "Amazing Spider-Man" plus fabulous art. Now is as good a time as any to grab a web and swing on in.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #687

Jun 15, 2012

"Amazing Spider-Man" #687 isn't the single greatest issue of the post-"Brand New Day" Spider-Man, but it is certainly a great sampler of what the current era of Spider-Man comics is all about. This is the conclusion of the bigscreen adventure "Ends of the Earth." Now things are going to narrow a bit in scope as Spider-Man tries to move forward from the tragic loss he experiences in this issue. He's also going to be spending a little more time with the comic book equivalent of his theatrical co-star: the Lizard.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #688

Jun 29, 2012

Marvel has gotten considerably more savvy about their comics offering up tie-ins and relevant parallels to the products based in other media bearing their brands, but this issue really doesn't do much to sell the Lizard to moviegoers considering a career change toward comic readers. It's quick-moving and packs a surprise ending, sure, but it lacks the enthusiasm and show-stopping art that gateway comic books need to showcase in order to entice new readers and turn them into fans. Maybe things will shape up a bit in the next issue, but by then we'll all have seen the Lizard onscreen and will be bringing an expanded set of expectations.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #691

Aug 20, 2012

Despite some hiccups in the art, "Amazing Spider-Man" #691 provided a solid, entertaining read that is sure to please most Spider-Man fans. After all, this issue features another Spider-Man adventure that has a tidy ending before leading into a celebration of the webslinger's fiftieth anniversary. Slott offers some teases of what's to come, but those teases almost feel like afterthoughts -- at least until the final panel of the issue. I've avoided preview solicitations for this title coming up, choosing to be surprised when the next issue hits the stands and with the conclusion of this issue, Slott and company have me looking forward to I know not what, but I'm definitely eager to find out.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #692

Aug 23, 2012

This issue, in all of its splendor and priciness is exactly what I would expect for a celebration of the Webhead and a chance for Spider-Man to be, well, Spider-Man. Granted he wasn't the only character in the spotlight, but this issue showed many facets of everyone's favorite spider-themed superhero. Slott has done a marvelous job with this character and continues to craft enjoyable stories from start to finish.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #694

Sep 27, 2012

A quick-fix, Saturday morning cartoon (and by that, I mean "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends") solution to the world's problems sets everything right as Slott continues to stack up the building blocks for the big Hobgoblin escapade. The "Alpha" storyline is fairly light and positively charged, well-suited as a counterpoint to dark, depressing comics where characters are getting mangled and murdered. Slott has made "Amazing Spider-Man" an enjoyable read with astonishing consistency and stories like the one contained in "Amazing Spider-Man" #694 prove that comics can, and should, still be fun. Especially when you've got a guy dressed up in web-covered red and blue pajamas.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #695

Oct 5, 2012

Dan Slott has some big plans for the book in "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 and he seems ready to poke at the foundation of Spider-Man's current status quo, like an over-caffeinated teenager boldly shoving Jenga planks out of a once-sturdy tower. This issue has a little wobble in it, not enough to topple that tower, but certainly enough to draw out concern for future moves. That said, Slott has provided plenty of entertaining stories in the past, enough to nurture hope that "Amazing Spider-Man" will be a fun, enjoyable read right up to the final issue.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #698

Nov 21, 2012

"Amazing Spider-Man" #698 is everything I've come to expect from Dan Slott's tenure on this title: solid story, good art, classic comic book plots and subplots, brash villains and a solid adventure. Does it live up to the hype? Yes. It does. This is a Spider-Man book that changes Spider-Man without completely discarding everything. Every Spider-fan can find something to cheer about in the story and the mystery Slott adds in is sure to put some pep in fans' steps and add a Spider-sense buzz to this title for its remaining issues.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #699.1

Dec 13, 2012

This Morbius story makes for a great tragic romance comic, a very good horror comic or even a decent science fiction comic, but as a Spider-Man comic, it simply falls flat. I completely understand Marvel's marketing ploy to hitch Morbius' star to the Spider-Man wagon, but truth in advertising would have labeled this comic book "Morbius the Living Vampire" #0.1. Would it have been more enjoyable with that label? Not necessarily, as "Amazing Spider-Man" #699.1 is a pretty darn good Morbius comic, good enough to change my mind about the character. For now.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #700

Dec 27, 2012

One of two books published by Marvel this week, "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 changes the face of Marvel Comics forever. Or, at the very least, for NOW! as the publisher is now set to roll out "Superior Spider-Man" following the epic conclusion of this issue and series. I'm glad Marvel scaled back their releases this week as this issue deserves a little more time and attention from readers and fans. Sure, there's going to be heartbreak and hostility at the outcome, but there is simply no denying this is an intense story.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #700.1

Dec 6, 2013

The point issue makes it approachable and marketable, especially with hype accumulating for "Amazing Spider-Man 2" following the debut of that film's trailer. While waiting until May might seem far away as the temperatures drop throughout the northern hemisphere, "Amazing Spider-Man" #700.1 is a near perfect snow day read. Morrell's story is not necessary to be set in the waning days prior to Otto Octavius' greatest victory and could certainly hold its own in any time period of the webslinger's history. Once upon a time, this story (and the subsequent chapters) would have been presented as a graphic novel, but now a series of specials seems the preferred method for delivering a slightly out of continuity adventure. That's fine with me as "Amazing Spider-Man" #700.1 provides a nice break from the constantly self-centered superior Spider-Man. I just hope the upcoming chapters are as independently enjoyable as this issue.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) Annual #1

Dec 12, 2014

As an anthology of Spider-Man-related stories, "Amazing Spider-Man Annual" #1 is great. As an Annual, however, it falls a little short. Rather than giving readers an extra-long single story, the conclusion to an event or the kickoff to a different event, "Amazing Spider-Man Annual" #1 seems like the recipient of the Inventory Story Drawer Cleanout Award. The adventures here are fun and upbeat, but nothing in these pages is particularly memorable. It's a nice example of Spider-Man comics, but not a must-have or must-read.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1.2

Jun 12, 2014

"Amazing Spider-Man" #1.2 may come across as a luxury. After all, it tells a story between stories that have been re-told and re-published many times over the last half-century, but it truly is a fresh adventure for Peter Parker and his surrounding cast. If you're like me and clock in to your comic book reading sometime after Spider-Man's title climbed into triple digits (or his brand expanded into more than one title) then you may recall the first time you saw those first issues, whether they were reprinted in "Marvel Tales" or another single issue or collected in a trade, such as "Origins of Marvel Comics" or "Sons of Marvel Origins." This series delivers the closest thing to that vibe, as Slott's story digs into the past emotionally and Prez's art pays fine tribute to Ditko's creativity. This is a luxury, but like all great luxuries, it's one that you'll truly appreciate indulging in.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1.5

Sep 25, 2014

While this is the fifth installment of five, readers can walk into this issue with no preparation, save for knowing it's place in the continuity of Spider-Man, and thoroughly enjoy. Yes, there are some questions that might creep into their minds, such as, "What ever happened to. . .?" or "Why did. . .?" but Dan Slott does his job here and gives readers a satisfying story with a clean ending. For now. Slott usually finds spots for his creations and has a tendency to project ideas out for newer characters. Surely "Learning to Crawl" will have some impact on modern-day adventures, but even if it doesn't, it is nice to take a stroll with Slott, Prez, Herring and Caramagna to the most formative days of Spider-Man's development.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #3

Jun 27, 2014

"The Amazing Spider-Man" #3 is less about the powers and adventures of Spider-Man and much more about the humanity surrounding Peter Parker. Putting Spider-Man in the fire alongside MJ's firefighter boyfriend, Ollie, is a wonderful touch from Slott, deftly illustrating real world heroics alongside superheroics while allowing Spidey a chance to reflect on how his choices impact the lives of those around him. Slott continues to build up the duration of his work with Spider-Man while finding new ways to showcase his love for the character.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #10

Nov 20, 2014

It seems as though "Spider-Verse" has been running for a long time at this point, but in reality this is the second chapter of the saga in "Amazing Spider-Man." As "Spider-Verse" is ratcheting up the speed, a mind map would treat this as the hub with spokes going off in no less than four directions. While a great deal of what happens next doesn't happen here, it is happening in the various "Spider-Verse" spinoffs as noted in the editor's boxes throughout "Amazing Spider-Man" #10. In the meantime, readers are treated to such highlights as one of the characters actually saying, "It's a clone thing. You wouldn't understand," while Old Man Spider-Man warns the Spiders to protect "The Scion. The Other. The Bride." There's a lot going on here other than crazy variations on Spider-Man, and it is really just starting to ramp up.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #13

Jan 23, 2015

"Amazing Spider-Man" #13 is a solid, readying-for-war story that gives readers lots to enjoy, including over-the-top action and amazingly spectacular characters. Slott and friends might be finding spots to shoehorn in some spotlight moments, but the story itself is still vital and progressing. Next issue is the big battle, and this issue is the grand table setting. Slott's learned from past events and gives readers plenty to look forward to.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #15

Feb 26, 2015

"Amazing Spider-Man" #15 closes the door on "Spider-Verse" as Slott and company look toward the future with Peter Parker clearly in control of his own destiny. There are plenty of threads to pick up but, for the first time in what feels like years, Slott will be able to tell a Spider-Man tale that doesn't revolve around Otto Octavius or build towards a universe-spanning event. For now, "Amazing Spider-Man" #15 is the first inhale for that breath of fresh air.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #16.1

Mar 20, 2015

Even though it's the start of a multi-part saga, "Amazing Spider-Man" #16.1 doesn't feel ominous or foreboding. Conway pitches a story that seems appealing and hits the ground running. All readers need to know about Spider-Man, Tombstone, Wraith or Mister Negative is all right here, no flashbacks or origin tales required. Just grab a webline and get to swinging alongside everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man; too bad the neighborhood part is in a downward spiral.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #17

Apr 3, 2015

"Amazing Spider-Man" #17 is less "amazing" and even less "Spider-Man" than I hoped for, with fourteen pages of main story and Spidey only appearing at the end of the adventure. Yes, a balance of the secret identity life and the costumed adventures needs to be struck but, after the mind-numbing and timeline-bending events of "Spider-Verse," I was kind of hoping for a Spidey vs. Villain-of-the-Month run to remind us why Spider-Man is special in a universe with considerably fewer Spiders. Instead, this feels like an installment of "Spider-Man Family," which could be fun. However, when I see Spidey and a villain like Ghost on the cover, I want to see those two fighting it out. Maybe next issue will deliver the Spider-Ghost scrum but, for now, "Amazing Spider-Man" #17 left me wanting just a bit more Spidey. This issue is alright but doesn't quite find its way beyond that.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business #1

Apr 7, 2014

This book has much more than a standard-issue Spider-Man story: Nazi gold, Kirby crackle, Kingpin wearing patterned, Hawaiian shirts, Spidey costumes both classic and black, a flashback appearance from the Parkers and other little nods throughout the Marvel Universe.

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3

Aug 7, 2015

Buried beneath a clunky story is the fact that this Spider-Man isn't as committed to his values as the "regular" Spider-Man. Slott makes it quite clear throughout the story but doesn't give the reader enough material to evaluate whether or not they prefer a slightly harder-edged webslinger. More noteworthy is the fact that Peter and Mary Jane feel content telling their kindergartner a life-altering secret and seeding lies around the rest of Spider-Man's story. "Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows" #3 is a decent enough inventory story, but not the type of tale I'm likely to go back and re-read any time soon. Its connection to "Secret Wars" is, currently, tenuous at most and the characters just don't have enough personality or vitality to make this storyline exceptionally memorable.

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8.5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #1

Nov 11, 2016

Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales, Web Warriors and Spider-Man 2099 have all demonstrated the power of the Spider-Man brand. Tweaked just a bit and shifted from another Earth, timeline, or dimension, those Spider-variants have been fan favorite, and I have no doubt this title can find its way there as well. Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 is a wonderful introduction to a new world that answers some questions, discards other questions, and turns it around on the reader, asking, “Are you ready to have some fun?” If you answer, “Yes!” then get out your webshooters and start slingin'.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #2

Dec 9, 2013

As a fan of Aaron's work on "Thor: God of Thunder" and "Wolverine and the X-Men," I had no doubt I'd be in line to snatch up "Amazing X-Men," especially with the larger-than-life, bombastically animated artwork of "Hulk" and "Nova" veteran Ed McGuinness. Aaron and crew up the ante by making the story in "Amazing X-Men" #2 an adventure of an afterlifetime while inserting character bits that makes this fan of "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" smile. There aren't a whole lot of fun, boisterous comic books out there -- especially not those that send their characters, literally, to Hell. "Amazing X-Men" #2 manages to be fun, despite the settings and delivers a comic book full of hope and excitement. I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for more.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #5

Mar 28, 2014

While the details of the story might not be the most memorable, there is simply no denying "Amazing X-Men" #5 tries to reinstall fun into the X-Men's corner of the Marvel Universe by reminding readers just what has been missing since Nightcrawler left. Aaron tempers the fun with introspection and gives readers a comic worth revisiting. This could be construed as anti-climatic, but it brings the X-Men back to a more complete place and wonderfully sets up Nightcrawler for a journey of self.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #8

Jun 9, 2014

Kyle, Yost, McGuinness, Farmer, Rosenberg, Caramagna and company deepened my concern as they deliver a complete installment in the adventures of the X-Men, including a nail-biting cliffhanger. While the arc is mostly build-up at the moment, the Wendigos are on the board and the X-Men are rushing to face them. I'm not sure everyone made it out of this issue alive, but Kyle and Yost have succeeded in making me curious to see if the Alpha Flight cameos pay off. After two meandering issues following Jason Aaron's departure, I was concerned about this series losing its way, but it has more energy and enthusiasm than I recall any X-title supplying in a long time. "Amazing X-Men" #8 has hooked me back into the series with potential and power.

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4.0
Amber Atoms #1

Mar 2, 2009

While the writing is already dry on the wall for some of the plotlines (seriously, does anyone NOT see King Yamoon trying to conquer unsuspecting worlds again?) I am interested to see how the story plays out and just who the people ransacking the Atoms' homestead turn out to be. Potential is here, now it is just a matter of acting on it.

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7.0
Ambush Bug: Year None #1

Jul 23, 2008

Do yourself a favor, put "Uncanny X-Men" #500 back, and pick this thing up. Your funny bone will be thankful for it. And if you don't like it, well, Keith Giffen went thataway!

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3.0
Ame-Comi: Power Girl #1

Jul 31, 2012

This "Ame-Comi" concept stood out as an oddity from the start, but the Wonder Woman story gave me hope that there would be some fun to found. Granted, I haven't checked in on the two stories in between, but this issue is nothing like what I found in "Ame-Comi: Wonder Woman." I'm going to dig through my back issues and remind myself just how good a Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti "Power Girl" comic can be.

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9.0
American Vampire #3

May 23, 2010

The American vampires "- Pearl and her benefactor, Skinner Sweet "- are the type of characters you don't want to embrace, but cannot help but be intrigued by. Their tale is brutal and gory, and the visual presentation of it is remarkable. The creators of "American Vampire" are collaborating "- truly working together "- to deliver one of the best comics on the stands today.

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9.0
American Vampire #5

Aug 2, 2010

"American Vampire" might chase some people away simply because of the outrageous amount of hype vampires are receiving nowadays, but Snyder, King, and Albuquerque are delivering a different kind of vampire story "- as different as the philosophies of the United States and Europe were in the years between World War I and World War II. While much of Europe was trying to rebuild, the States were trying to build anew, investigating the future and marching boldly toward it. That's what is happening here. The American Vampires "- Skinner Sweet, Pearl Jones, and Hattie Hargrove -" are true Americans, seeking new opportunity and making the most of it once they find it. This first arc may be over, but the stories of these characters most certainly are not. Snyder and King know better than to wrap up a story completely. Amazingly, this issue is still very well suited for new readers, but it certainly wouldn't hurt anyone to go back and read the whole series to this point.

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9.0
American Vampire #6

Sep 12, 2010

There might be some concern about this title among retailers and readers, with Stephen King no longer co-writing, but I can assure you, this book certainly does not suffer from a lack of King. Snyder has complete command of these characters, a passion for the tales told within, and a plan for this new mythology that we have only begun to glimpse. Snyder recently spoke to CBR about this new arc in a conversation that you can read here. I'm enthused about what has happened in this book to date and I look forward to more disturbing tales in the months to come.

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8.0
American Vampire #10

Dec 22, 2010

While the entire twentieth century is open for Snyder to play these characters against and through, the choices he makes in time and setting allow these characters to grow and breathe. Snyder avoids (what I would imagine is) the obvious temptation of having these characters appear Forrest Gump-like throughout the highlights of history, and puts the American Vampires exactly where and when they need to be to benefit the overall narrative. Since its launch, "American Vampire" has been a critical darling here at CBR, and my compatriots and I tend to agree that this is a book that you really should be reading.

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9.0
American Vampire #12

Feb 23, 2011

I buy quite a few comics, and I read quite a few more, but no comic has been as consistently entertaining and surprising over the past year as "American Vampire" has been. Snyder has offered up a dark mythology here that continues to reveal more and more about itself each month. This book truly has become the tale of American vampires, and it is a tale that demands to be shared as it celebrates the history of America, from the Wild West to the Roaring Twenties and beyond. There are plenty of stories yet to be told, and now is a good time to grab a seat and start sharing in these stories alongside those of us here at CBR. Please don't make us say we told you so

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8.0
American Vampire #15

May 26, 2011

This is a fantastic book that almost seems to reinvent itself with each new story arc, but upon further reflection doesn't reinvent itself so much as it visibly evolves. The roles and interactions of the main characters shift, just as your own role and interactions with your own supporting cast shifts with every new situation you encounter. Snyder has done a great job making these characters believable and human, so much so that when the fangs and claws are unleashed, they are that much more intensely satisfying and shockingly impressive.

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9.0
American Vampire #22

Dec 28, 2011

"American Vampire" with Rafael Albuquerque on board is as right as original recipe Coca-Cola, baseball in the summer, and tricked out sports cars. Snyder's investigation of the American tradition filtered through bloodsucking vampires makes for a brilliant variation on an age-old concept, a distorted history lesson and fun read all at the same time. There is no time like the present to hop over the door into the backseat of Travis Kidd's convertible and enjoy the ride. It's not often you're given a chance to jump onto a great title with a wide open transition like this, and you won't want to miss out.

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9.0
American Vampire #24

Feb 22, 2012

The theme of this issue is "consequences," and the legend of "American Vampire" is fit to burst with with them. Travis Kidd has made some choices resulting in some weighty fallout, and Skinner Sweet is the messenger of repercussion. There's one more installment left in this "Death Race" storyline, and I'm certain the consequences stemming from that issue will be set to play out in "American Vampire" for a good long time to come.

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9.0
American Vampire #26

Apr 25, 2012

Snyder twists the plot at the end, spinning the story on its head, giving Poole the shock of discovering something new and setting up a confrontation that demands more space than the next issue could possibly allow. Snyder also puts the question out there that's been lurking in my head since the beginning of the series, but at the risk of spoiling the finale, I'll just put it back in my noggin. This issue is quite the departure from the story Snyder has given us through twenty-five issues, but if there's one thing Snyder has proven time and again, things aren't always what they seem and connections are made quicker and more completely than readers of "American Vampire" can expect.

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8.0
American Vampire #29

Jul 30, 2012

"American Vampire" has been a disturbingly delightful book since it first hit the stands. Almost three years later, Snyder and Albuquerque revisit some familiar geography for Skinner and Pearl, and through the lens of time and place, the creative duo shows just how much everyone and everything has evolved -- some for the better, some not so much, all forever altered. This is the second installment of "The Blacklist," and the twenty-ninth issue of the series, but the adventures are still fresh, electric and exciting.

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8.0
American Vampire #31

Sep 26, 2012

Snyder and Albuquerque combine to lead Pearl down the path of introspection throughout the issue, but Pearl's assignment from the Vassals takes her, literally, back to where everything began. There is one hell of a flashback in this issue that presents a stunning way to bring the whole series -- the whole freaking series -- full circle. The final page is one of those gasping cliffhangers that sends the reader back to the credits box to check progress in the story (this is part 4 of the six-part "Blacklist" story) and almost as quickly to the internet to see when the next issue is due out (interestingly enough, on Halloween). Naturally, with Skinner Sweet as an ally, Pearl will face some dreadful foes. The challenge Snyder and Albuquerque leave her facing at the end of this issue, compounded by everything she endures throughout, makes "American Vampire" #31 one of the strongest issues of the series yet with a the setup that sets the bar high for the next issue.

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9.0
American Vampire #33

Nov 30, 2012

This chapter is ending, which enhances the feeling that this is simply the conclusion of the first movie. Now all we have to do is wait for the next. At least we can re-read and re-re-read the books. Snyder and Albuquerque have supplied us with a lot of great stories and "American Vampire" #33 can certainly take a place among the best of the best. Where Pearl Jones goes from here remains to be seen, but like Calvin Poole, I'll be waiting for that goodbye call.

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9.0
American Vampire #34

Jan 2, 2013

This issue might not provide a complete summarization for new and lapsed readers, but there are plenty of hints, clues, returning threads and continued notions to hold "American Vampire" #34 up as an example of what a zero issue could and should look like. The mystery lurking in the shadows of Abilena Book's house is captivating, certain to spark speculation and the double-page vision-filled spread of future story details is enticing to long-term readers of this title. Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque pulled no punches in this issue, giving readers every reason to wish them a relaxing and recharging sabbatical from this modern myth. Personally, if this is what they leave us with to take a break, I cannot wait to see what they come back with.

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9.0
American Vampire Anthology #1

Aug 28, 2013

Any one of these tales could be expanded on in the series or in a miniseries, as Snyder has done in the past with the escapades of the Vassals of the Morning Star. As they stand now, however, the stories in "American Vampire Anthology" #1 provide a fine sample of modern-day, mature audience comics from topnotch creators. This is the type of offering that should be forever preserved in a time capsule of the year that is 2013.

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8.0
American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #3

Aug 9, 2012

Last year, Snyder debuted "American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest," which expanded the reach of the Vassals and added diversity to the throngs of creatures going bump in the night. "Lord of Nightmares" adds even more depth and history to the Vassals of the Morning Star, revealing more hints of the true secrets behind the organization. The "American Vampire" franchise is a splendid example of growing a brand organically and the blossoming tradition of a summer Vassals miniseries is a wonderful example of how to nourish that growth while exploring new territory.

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8.0
American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #5

Oct 22, 2012

Similar to the bittersweet ending of last year's "American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest," this issue closes one door and opens another, perpetuating Snyder's wonderfully excited universe all the more. Despite their similarities and shared cast, Snyder avoids falling into a pattern with the adventures of the Vassals, providing "Lord of Nightmares" with some shocking surprises. Given that we had a miniseries starring the Vassals of the Morning Star last year and this year, I'm hoping we see more adventures of the clandestine organization next year. Until then, I am excited to see how the new direction for the VSM affects the primary narrative of "American Vampire."

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10
American Vampire: Second Cycle #1

Mar 19, 2014

While Snyder and Albuquerque don't tell the readers everything, they certainly transfuse enough of the awesomeness from the "American Vampire" series into "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #1 to make it a must-read. It's rare that a comic book this thoroughly developed and enjoyable comes around, offering readers a ground-level chance to enter a new world. It's even more rare when it happens for a second time. If you missed out on the first run of "American Vampire," start with this issue. If you've been eagerly awaiting the return of Pearl Jones and Skinner Sweet: wait no longer. "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #1 is just beginning and it's one hell of a start.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #4

Jul 9, 2014

The only shortcoming of "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #4 is the fact that Snyder and company presume the readers are with them for the long haul and know all the characters. I'm not saying there is any need to run a roll call in every issue, but a name check on Gentry or Calvin would help lapsed readers. It's not much worse than missing an introduction, but it does leave a pinhole in the near perfection Snyder, Albuquerque, McCaig and Wands have achieved with this series.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #6

Feb 9, 2015

Never short on shockers, Snyder and company ensure that readers are going to finish "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #6 and demand to have #7 in hand immediately. The writer mixes the fun and unpredictability of a 1960s adventure film with the expected levels (and so much more) of horror and surprise. Topping it all off, the characters in these pages are so familiar to long-time "American Vampire" readers that every appearance is like catching up with old friends and regaling in the stories of their adventures. If only "American Vampire: Second Cycle" stuck around longer or, at least, happened by more often.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #7

Apr 16, 2015

Anytime a comic book can leave you with a "Holy S---!" cliffhanger, it's a decent read; anytime "American Vampire" can do it, well, it's just another issue of "American Vampire," where anything can (and quite often does) happen as Snyder, Albuquerque, McCaig and Wands continue to deliver topnotch horror-filled adventures with each issue. After years of the narrative dance Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones have performed around the legend of "American Vampire," Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque continue to find new ways to elevate both characters in their respective roles. They make "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #7 a surprisingly approachable issue, despite being seven issues into this volume and scores of issues into the series. The creative team continues to deliver consistently high quality work, giving readers plenty of surprises and excitement along the way.

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8.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #8

Jul 6, 2015

"American Vampire: Second Cycle" #8 is part three of the "Dark Moon" tale. The original evil has set events in motion, and Snyder, Albuquerque, McCaig and Wands give readers a behind-the-scenes peek at the calamities to come. The issue opens with action and ends with suspense, which makes everything in between all the more impactful. By the time readers reach that back cover, they'll have forgotten about any delays and will almost certainly be itching to get the next issue to see what comes of Sweet, Poole, Pearl and Felicia.

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8.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #10

Oct 1, 2015

The painful gap between issues and the virtual impenetrability of this issue might be tough for newer readers going into "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #10, but it shows just how much work this creative team has poured into this series and these characters. "American Vampire: Second Cycle" #10 knocks down a couple plot threads, but it doesn't wrap anything up. Instead, it ramps up the intensity and teases readers for what's to come. Snyder, Albuquerque, McCaig and Wands have paced this story out, and this issue is that last jaunt before the final, full-out sprint to the finish line.

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9.0
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3

Aug 10, 2011

The final page of the third installment of this series delivers a splash page that just demands more. Fast. In the theater of war, nothing is out of the question, and in this series, all things are possible. Nazi vampires may have seemed like enough to draw readers in, but Snyder and Murphy give a payoff worthy of the price of admission, and then some.

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10
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #5

Oct 13, 2011

At the end of this issue, after the loose ends are seemingly cleaned up, we're left wanting more, just like Snyder planned the whole way along. That, my friends, makes this the perfect book. The past five months have provided a very enjoyable double dose of "American Vampire." There's been talk of this being a semi-regular occurrence, and after completing this series, I would certainly be among the first to open up my wallet to buy the next one.

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8.0
Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1

Dec 4, 2014

Any comic with "Asgard" in the title is destined to bring in the God of Thunder, but with Thor now being a different Thor than the one Angela is familiar with, Gillen elects to leave readers awaiting the confrontation between Angela and Odinson. To sweeten the pot, the writer teases a surprising reason for the visit, leaving readers with a cliffhanger in the process. It's a solid cap to a solid comic book, as "Angela: Asgard's Assassin" #1 gives readers yet another excellent female-led series in the Marvel Universe.

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8.0
Animal Man #2

Oct 6, 2011

This is, thematically, a descendant of Grant Morrison's, Peter Milligan's, Tom Veitch's, and Jamie Delano's "Animal Man." There are subtexts of superhero adventures here, but the primary action requires Animal Man to be more of an adventurer than a superhero. That adventure is anything but predictable. Lemire and Foreman give us a story that's disturbing and crazy, but memorable and exciting.

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8.0
Animal Man #6

Feb 1, 2012

"Animal Man" under Lemire continues to be an impressive, fun read. At a time when so many familial relationships in comics have been cast aside, it's rewarding to see a man trying to balance his duty to the greater good with that to his family. Lemire doesn't make the decisions easy for Buddy Baker, and that, in turn makes this comic a solid read. Like Morrison before him, Lemire has found ways to provide a deeper, more impactful story that strays off the beaten path, challenging and entertaining the reader at the same time. This is a nice interlude from the Rot story. Lemire doesn't just completely ignore that tale, though, and that makes this issue all the more engaging.

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8.0
Animal Man #8

Apr 9, 2012

Fans are always going to rush to compare any Animal Man story to Grant Morrison's run, but this book deserves to be taken on its own merits and it has plenty. Lemire has put "Animal Man" on tips of comic readers' tongues and in their hands with his edgy, dark tale, but it is the reaction of the family to the threat surrounding them that makes this comic sparkle. Buddy Baker is facing an unknown, scary threat: one that he is determined to spare his wife and children from, but it isn't a simple threat that can be defeated with a punch. Animal Man is out of his league, but still fighting.

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8.0
Animal Man #15

Dec 6, 2012

There are only a couple issues left of the Rotworld saga and to this point in the story, Lemire has kept me guessing. Some of the surprises are welcome, others are simply surprising, but this adventure has been anything other than predictable. "Animal Man" #15 offers a little bit of everything any good comic book story needs from character development to action to plot twists. Furthermore, this issue delivers some significant developments for Rotworld and continues to further the development of Buddy Baker.

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8.0
Animal Man #17

Feb 8, 2013

I'm unsure what awaits these champions of the Red and Green, but Lemire and Snyder have left an ample supply of story nuggets for future writers to mine. After all, there are plenty of tales to be told of the heroes of the DCU's fall to the Rot, the fights they endured and the decisions they made. Lemire, Snyder and company provide some insight within the pages of "Animal Man" #17, but it is evident that the story is not completely told. As for the conclusion to Rotworld, readers only need to open the cover of "Swamp Thing" #17 to begin the end of this lengthy journey.

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7.0
Animal Man #25

Nov 25, 2013

That said, it's disappointing that the conclusion of a two-part story is left so incredibly open-ended, but that is par for the course at DC as one adventure tends to lead directly to the next. The upside is that, prior to the final bewildering page of this issue, Lemire works rather diligently to bring Buddy and Ellen back together. After months of crossovers and more downbeats heaped on top of that, "Animal Man" #25 feels like a step in a forward direction. It's too early to tell if it's the right direction just yet, but Lemire gives Animal Man some purpose beyond just being an avatar of the Red. Buddy now has a recognizable foe and a task in front of him. This issue displays that Buddy can act like a hero, so maybe readers will see more heroic deeds from Buddy Baker in the near future.

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8.0
Animal Man #29

Mar 19, 2014

In essence, Lemire closes the book not only on his own adventures with Animal Man, but also wraps up the adventures Grant Morrison opened so many years ago and, hopefully, ushers in a new era for Buddy, Ellen and Maxine Baker. There won't be another Animal Man series in the foreseeable future, but Lemire will be keeping in touch with his former charge in the pages of the upcoming "Justice League United." I look forward to some actual superhero adventures from Animal Man, but will always have "Animal Man" #29 to return to, much as I do "The Coyote Gospel" in Morrison's "Animal Man" #5.

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7.0
Ant-Man Annual #1

Jul 17, 2015

In the first ever "Ant-Man Annual" #1, writer Nick Spencer does what Annuals were designed to do: tell an oversized story that has additional story potential and entertains the whole way through. This issue makes reference to the soon-to-conclude current volume of "Ant-Man" and also points readers towards the original graphic novel "Avengers: Rage of Ultron" without spoiling either and still applying the effects of each to the story here. Neither tale is necessary to appreciate this, but Spencer realizes the value in keeping connective tissue connected. With Ant-Man about to take over the spotlight cinematically, this comic is hitting at just the right time and provides plenty of pathways to explore in the near (and possibly distant) future, as Scott Lang continues to try to live up to the example set by Hank Pym.

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9.0
Ant-Man #1

Jan 6, 2015

The best part of this comic, however, is the fact that Spencer packs an entire story -- and an entire history -- into a single issue. Once upon a time, this may have been a one-shot or an Annual, but "Ant-Man" #1 gives readers a complete, detailed story to welcome them to Scott Lang's neighborhood. I didn't realize "Ant-Man" was exactly the comic book I was looking for right now, but it is, as Spencer and Rosanas have captured the same energy, enthusiasm and passion for the character that Waid and Samnee have in "Daredevil."

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8.0
Ant-Man #4

Apr 9, 2015

"Ant-Man" #4 continues to provide readers with an entertaining exploration of a man trying to live up to a heroic ideal. Scott Lang knows he's got a long way to go to be a hero but, most importantly, he just wants to be a good dad. Spencer shows readers that might be just as important as heroics and illustrates the lengths a man will go to in order to try to return normalcy to a portion of his life. In that quest, Spencer has peeled back the bravado and amped up the humanity, making "Ant-Man" #4 a relatable adventure tale with some interesting personalities lining the journey.

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6.0
Ant-Man & the Wasp #1

Nov 11, 2010

An interesting start to an awkward team-up, this book celebrates the Avengers corner of the Marvel Universe with great delight. This issue reads like an issue of "Marvel Team-Up" from the 1980s, with enough nods and winks to continuity and ongoing (or recent) events without letting itself be anything more -- or less -- than it is: a fun set-up to an adventure that promises some predictable moments that will be juxtaposed with more than a few surprises. Seeley is setting O'Grady up for a bit of character evolution. I'm looking forward to seeing if the character agrees and steps up or continues to revel in his scoundrel ways.

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5.0
Ant-Man: Larger Than Life #1

Jun 26, 2015

All plot and little else, "Ant-Man: Larger Than Life" #1 is a decent glimpse in to the world of Hank Pym and the origins of Ant-Man. Unfortunately, it falls short of being anything more than a printed commercial churned out by the hype machine as Marvel's latest cinematic release draws nearer. The addition of the two stories from "Tales to Astonish" elevates this comic nicely, giving readers a peek into the origins of Ant-Man and the variation in genre this character has experienced, from the horror tale of "The Man in the Ant Hill" to the boldly costumed debut of a hero in "The Return of the Ant-Man!"

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8.0
Ant-Man: Last Days (One-Shot) #1

Aug 27, 2015

This series started and ends strong, consistently delivering light-hearted but sincere super hero adventures. Spencer, Rosanas, Boyd and Lanham have filled this series with their absolute best work and "Ant-Man: Last Days" #1 is a fine sample of their topnotch comic collaboration. I'm thankful for this series as well as its finale and look forward to more Ant-Man adventures from this creative team soon.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #2

Oct 26, 2011

This issue is fast moving. I got to the end of the story and had to go back to count pages just to make sure the issue itself wasn't abbreviated as the story was briskly paced to great effect. As the Ookla the Mok song goes, "I know there's gonna come a day when they're gonna stare in slack-jawed wonder as they hear me say, 'I am Aquaman and nobody better mess with me!'" Two issues in, this series has me down with the slack-jawed wonder. As a fan of Arthur Curry, I've seen quite a bit, from his seahorse-riding days on "Super Friends" to the hook and back. This series, however, sets the high-water (had to do it) mark for "Aquaman."

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #5

Jan 25, 2012

This issue brings twenty-two pages of story (as opposed to the "new" standard of twenty) and gives us a complete tale in this issue. Plenty of mysteries and plot threads are started for the upcoming issues as the mystery of Atlantis continues to deepen. This title is a fun read with outrageous adventures that, as this issue proves, are unpredictable. Johns and company have found the way to make "Aquaman" a great title, and they've even done so without relying on any of Aquaman's traditional foes.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #7

Mar 29, 2012

Like many of the issues of "Aquaman" to this point, the story moves quite quickly. This is a fast but considerably enjoyable read. There aren't a lot of revelations, nor is there a great deal of character development, but the plot drives the story forward and for now, it really works. It heightens the sense of adventure and gives "Aquaman" a quality not unlike that of an Indiana Jones movie. The mystery of Atlantis and the history of "The Others" promises to bring some amusing stories and this installment is the perfect shallow end for new readers to ease in.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #9

May 24, 2012

"Aquaman" #9 is a fine slice of what makes this series so very enjoyable, from story to characters to art, but being couched in the middle of "The Others," it is a bit thick to wade into. For fans already soaking in this series, however, this issue is certain to be a highlight. Without spoiling it, I can say that there are two eyebrow-raising surprises in the final two pages of this issue. Coupled with Reis' stunning artwork, this issue is a must-read.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #10

Jul 2, 2012

"Aquaman" continues to be one of the handful of DC comics that I truly look forward to each and every month. This issue serves as more of a transition, shifting the battlefields and re-arranging the combatants with an awful lot that happens to move the growing legend of Aquaman forward.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #12

Aug 31, 2012

"Aquaman" #12 is just another fine example of what to expect with this character from Geoff Johns and crew. It's a classic good versus evil storyline where everything is in play. Characters will live, characters will die and there will be a whole lot of great looking art.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #13

Nov 5, 2012

"Aquaman" #13 would be one heck of an odd place to jump in and start on the series, but amazingly enough, the issue does a great job bringing all of the numerous plots, subplots and characters into focus, closing one chapter for Aquaman and company while delivering a solid tease for the next chapter. "Aquaman" has surprised some comic fans and won consistent critical and popular acclaim. Don't you think it's time to find out what all the hubbub is about?

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #16

Feb 4, 2013

This is what crossovers should be: action-packed, fun stories that entertain and dazzle, filled with character bits and powerful art. In "Aquaman" #16 there is plenty of Justice League action, including a major revelation for Cyborg that sets him among the most powerful characters in the DC Universe, but as it is couched in this crossover, it is handled without much pomp, simply leaving the thread open-ended for further investigation elsewhere. Additionally, there is well-measured, revealing character moments for Batman as his relationships with Cyborg and Aquaman are given clearer shape and finer detail. Most importantly, however, is the impressively handled plot twist that delivers one of the most thrilling final page since the DC reboot. "Aquaman" #16 is a great slice of life in the DC Universe and offers a nice assortment of characters and character moments for fans of many of DC's iconic heroes.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #17

Feb 28, 2013

With the wrap-up and the set-up that Johns pours into "Aquaman"#17, this feels much more like a zero issue, and both sets the table and preps adventures to come while addressing all aspects of the character. Johns provides glimpses into the bureaucracy that Aquaman is faced with now that he has assumed the role of Atlantis' leader. We also see the character's dedication to fighting for what is right, regardless of others' perceptions. Aquaman takes a call from Cyborg, illustrating the Justice League connections and addresses the Atlantean army and their desire for a strong leader. The crux of this issue, however, is how Aquaman addresses Amanda Waller's question, "Who are you fighting for?" That answer defines this Aquaman. I'm excited to see where Johns takes the King of the Seven Seas from here.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #19

May 3, 2013

All of this adds up to one of the most enjoyable books on the racks nowadays, and certainly a reliably entertaining read from DC. Johns drives this title forward with action and adventure. He layers plots and subplots one over the other. While that doesn't do much to develop the character of Aquaman, it's quite obvious Johns' Aquaman is conflicted right now, and that makes every subplot and the way they're each connected to one another all the more interesting. If you missed it this week, but happen to want to pick up a recent comic when you go to the shop on Free Comic Book Day, you really should sample "Aquaman" #19. I can guarantee you the three bucks you spend on this will outshine some of the freebies you pick up.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #21

Jun 28, 2013

I do wish there was a spoiler-free place where I could lock up my storyline suspicions. In the case of "Aquaman," I'd be able to go back to the suspicions I had in "Aquaman" #19 and say, "See! I was right about the Scavenger!" It's a plot twist that definitely has repercussions despite its forehead-slapping, "Of course!"-inducing obviousness. Johns sometimes sets up the obvious and continues down that road. In this case it pays off by meeting readers' anticipation with dynamic effect. Additionally, the second-to-last page with eight page-width panels stacked on top of each other hits the reader with rapid-fire imagery, leaving the reader wanting more only to find the turn of the page delivers an even steeper cliff to hang from. "Aquaman" #21 is a strong chapter in the adventures of the current King of Atlantis, but it does more to set up even stronger, more electrifying adventures in the months to come.

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5.0
Aquaman (2011) #23.2

Sep 26, 2013

"Aquaman #23.2: Ocean Master" has ties to "Forever Evil" and makes a strong case for Ocean Master to be considered a villain. It doesn't delve into the former ruler's origins, choosing instead to walk beside him as he seeks out his future. While this issue is closed with the tagline of "Not the End!" no indication is given if the story of Ocean Master continues in the pages of "Forever Evil" or "Aquaman." Villains Month is winding down. Given the overall impact of this tale, I'd say that's a good thing. I look forward to Ocean Master being more dynamic as a foe of Aquaman once again instead of simply being evil out of apathy.

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6.0
Aquaman (2011) #27

Jan 30, 2014

Before drawing a conclusion to "Aquaman" #27, the creative team re-introduces an obscure one-time Aquaman foe, at least by name, and teases out a subplot development from this story's conclusion as Aquaman's supporting cast begins to solidify. At the conclusion of the fight, Parker goes out of his way to show the surface world's appreciation of Aquaman following the conclusion of the battle, despite the obvious collateral damage set upon the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland. This is a nice way to emphasize Aquaman's concern for others and his willingness to share his time. This is a fine second issue for Parker's run on "Aquaman," but visual consistency would have helped elevate it beyond merely being "fine."

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #29

Mar 31, 2014

"Aquaman" #29 is a magnificent example of what Parker and Pelletier bring to this series. The titular character is every bit human as he is hero and, like the rest of us, finds himself in situations that he may not always be properly prepared for. His heart is in the right place and his head is clear enough to do the right thing, but victory never quite seems like a guarantee. "Aquaman" does a great job of standing apart, while remaining plugged in to the rest of the DC Universe, continuing to add to larger picture around the maritime legend. In "Aquaman" #29, Parker and Pelletier show readers they need no long-standing history with the Sea King in order to enjoy a riveting tale that happens to be filled with world-building.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #31

May 30, 2014

"Aquaman" #31 is just another fine example of what Jeff Parker; Paul Pelletier and inker Sean Parsons; Alvaro Martinez and inker Raul Fernandez; Rain Beredo and Travis Lanham bring to this title. While each of these professionals present remarkable work alone, the true collaboration of comics shines through when combined. This is what comic books are all about and this team is able to express that completely. The best part about it all is that Parker never makes "Aquaman" #31 feel like the latest part of a infinite storyline, this is simply an Aquaman story where he meets Swamp Thing and they fight. The main plot and the subplot may tie into other issues, but Parker gives the readers everything they need to enjoy this as a standalone.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #33

Jul 28, 2014

"Aquaman" #33 is a startling violent issue in Parker and Pelletier's run, with Chimera leaving a trail of damage and a pile of bodies. Parker makes it clear Chimera is as much monster as man and gives readers a story meant to make them uncomfortable -- as readers and as observers -- while Amnesty Bay and the medical ship "Haven" both sustain attacks from Chimera. Parker gives readers no guarantees in his take on the adventures of Aquaman and Mera, which is exactly how it should be. All of DC's less prolific characters should have the opportunity to shine with a creative team as solid as the one in place on "Aquaman" #33.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #35

Oct 24, 2014

"Aquaman" #35 is yet another fine example of this title bringing out the very best in talented creators while they come together as a single creative team. Parker, Pelletier, Parsons, Beredo and Esposito each augment one another's strengths and find their own particular way to influence the story at hand. "Maelstrom" is just getting started, but this creative team has "Aquaman" #35 shaped into mid-arc form. The thought that this tale is only going to get more intense is invigorating, especially as Parker and company leave readers with a last-page revelation that launches a queen-sized mystery for Aquaman and Mera in one of DC's greatest looking and most consistently entertaining titles.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #37

Dec 29, 2014

"Aquaman" #37 is a wonderful exploration of a corner of the DC Universe packed with potential. In just twenty pages, Parker, Pelletier, Parsons, Beredo and Sienty give readers the latest installment of Aquaman's quest, a history lesson on Gorilla City, a fight and a few more clues in the mystery behind "Maelstrom." Aquaman has been an adventure-packed read since the relaunch of the DC Universe in 2011, and this is another fine example of why, as it packs in everything superhero readers buy comic books for, plus some gorillas for good measure.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #39

Mar 2, 2015

Solid and consistent but considerably more brisk than recent issues, the pace of "Aquaman" #39 is adjusted to accommodate some big-screen shots that give Paul Pelletier plenty of room to put the action in the readers' faces. The journey has led to this point, and the conflict is unexpected and exciting. With only one issue left before the "Convergence" crossover and the creative team change-up, Parker, Pelletier and company are doing a bang-up job of packing "Aquaman" full of everything a comic tied to Atlantis should have: regal majesty, stunning creatures, a fantasy thread and lots of water and energy splashing all over the place as "Maelstrom" preps for its final chapter.

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4.0
Aquaman (2011) #41

Jun 26, 2015

There is a mystery afoot that Aquaman is heavily involved in, so much so that he travels to St. Louis. Through Aquaman, Bunn refers to St. Louis as "doubly landlocked," but there is not a more welcoming city for Aquaman in the heartland, or even off of any coast. The issue opens by the Gateway Arch, which is close enough to Mississippi to actually legitimize the notion that Aquaman should have been here before. Instead, this mystery puts Aquaman on his heels. Following suit with Hal Jordan's new status in the DC Universe, two of DC's magnificent seven characters (that are the backbone of the Justice League, no less) are on the run from their former allies. Like "Green Lantern," "Aquaman" #41 teases potential but fails to offer any sort of hook or reward for readers to return.

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8.5
Aquaman (2011) #50

Apr 4, 2016

Aquaman #50 clocks in at forty pages. Abnett and Booth aren't so much world building as sorting and sifting through concepts and ideas, which keeps the issue smartly paced and enjoyable. If Rebirth weren't just around the corner, Aquaman #50 would be the perfect jumping on spot for new readers, but given the window between now and DC's line-wide refresh, this is simply a fun comic that is actually worth the hefty pricetag for readers who like their Aquaman adventures quick, self-contained, and amusing.

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6.0
Aquaman And The Others #2

May 9, 2014

I'm not sure what to make of this book after a pair of issues. It's nice to see Aquaman being used as the anchor of a team, but the overall vibe this book is giving me is very similar to how I felt about "Primal Force" following "Zero Hour": I like the concept, I like the creators, but I can't help but feel that there could be more or that this could be bigger. With the mystery and allure of the Atlantean relics, Jurgens and Medina pack a lot of story and development into "Aquaman and the Others" #2, including a nice little scene that showcases just how resourceful the King of Atlantis can be for his teammates. That team is on rocky terms to say the least, but they do unite strongly against a common foe, salting this comic book with clich ideas a bit. In doing so, however, Jurgens is at least defining the personalities present on the team. Now that the challenge is met, Aquaman and the Others have a chance to take on a foe not steeped in history as a solo foe of Aquaman.

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6.0
Aquaman And The Others #11

Mar 9, 2015

As "Convergence" nears, stories and characters are sidelined while their series are put on hold or, in the case of "Aquaman and the Others," drawn to a close. Jurgens and Medina, however, treat "Aquaman and the Others" #11 more like a series finale than a season finale with the characters all but waving goodbye to the readership on the final page of the issue. This has been a fun, ancillary title for the King of the Seven Seas, but the lack of depth for the characters -- as showcased here -- is indicative of where this series could have used a bit more investment. If the Others come back, now that they've been established in the DC Universe, they'll hopefully be more than "Aquaman's other cast."

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9.0
Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Jun 8, 2016

If there's a good story to be told, the writers and artists are going to tell it, and Aquaman: Rebirth #1 is a great start to a good story.

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9.0
Archer & Armstrong #0.2014

Feb 5, 2014

Overall, "Archer and Armstrong: Archer" #0 is a sharp story that leaves the reader nicely prepped for the "Mission: Improbable" crossover with "Bloodshot and Hard C.O.R.P.S." #20. Despite the "facts only" presentation through the caption boxes, Van Lente makes Archer a sympathetic character, but telegraphs a potential for unpredictability. This is yet another solid read from the fine creative teams at Valiant Entertainment and one of the best, most concise and informative origin tales ever. "Archer and Armstrong: Archer" #0 gets a double bonus in that regard for not even requiring the entirety of the issue. Truly they deserve a triple bonus for keeping the origin contained to ONE issue where other publishers would feel compelled to make a collection-length tale out of this. Those other publishers should take a good, hard look at this issue and try to absorb the proper way to handle zero issue origin stories.

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7.0
Archer & Armstrong #14

Oct 14, 2013

Of the three issues I've sampled from Valiant over the past month, "Archer and Armstrong" #14 is the least compelling, but it is much more compelling than anything from DC Comics' Villains' Month. This comic isn't as action-packed as "Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps" nor is it as comical as "Quantum and Woody." Taken on its own merit, however, there is a lot of potential in the ongoing Sect infighting as Archer tries to find answers to all of his questions. "Archer and Armstrong" is another win for Valiant and another comic more readers should be checking out. I accepted the open invitation offered to new readers in "Archer and Armstrong" #14 and plan on coming back for more.

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6.0
Archer & Armstrong #20

May 8, 2014

When a member of the church of Retrology asks Armstrong for six hundred thousand dollars, he retorts with, "And they say you're not a real religion." That weighs in as the funniest line in "Archer and Armstrong" #20. Armstrong keeps the story light, while Archer is on a quest, giving "American Wasteland" a strong purpose. Now that the duo have infiltrated the Fameotorium, I'm curious to see where they go, what comes next and who the next deceased celeb will be.

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7.0
Arkham Manor #5

Feb 25, 2015

The end of "Arkham Manor" #5 sets the series' future upon the notion of a procedural by placing a hit list in Batman's hands. This becomes an interesting parallel to what could be on a television series set near Gotham City with a tighter, more personal feel in its scope. With stories that are fairly light on continuity, solid on action and briskly paced, that future should be worth checking out.

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8.0
Armor Hunters #2

Jul 11, 2014

That one panel comes and goes quickly as "Armor Hunters" #2 ratchets up the action more than a bit, apparently ready to spread into other titles very soon. Venditti and his co-creators are pacing this story along nicely, giving the Valiant universe a chance to react to the attack organically. X-O Manowar's reaction is the most visceral as he, literally, has the most flesh in this fight. All the same, Venditti manages to keep this from being an ancillary X-O book and truly makes it a central hub for a worldwide crisis, giving readers a plethora of characters to latch onto. If you haven't sampled the Valiant universe yet, you could do worse than jumping in right here, which is amazingly feasible, despite being the second chapter of the "Armor Hunters" story.

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8.0
Armor Hunters #4

Sep 25, 2014

A fight to the very end, the end of "Armor Hunters" #4 shouldn't surprise anybody with the Armor Hunters' defeat. However, it comes with an extreme cost and -- as Lady Colonel Capshaw says -- they are left with a new world in the wake of the great battle. Venditti and Braithwaite have provided as clean and complete a universe-wide crossover as you'll ever see in comic books, on par with what Marvel Studios executed with its Phase One films. Everyone's here, but nothing is being forced on anyone and no characters are lost in the journey. Crossover planners everyone should take note and imitate this event's structure, readers will be thankful for it.

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8.0
Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1

Oct 3, 2014

Colonel Capshaw works through an organizational identity crisis as M.E.R.O. becomes G.A.T.E. (Global Agency for Threat Excision) in a dense, transitional tale in the pages of "Armor Hunters: Aftermath" #1. Sharpe's letters shape the story, making everything flow nicely around and through CAFU and Reber's artwork. Sound effects and exclamations fill the space allotted, but don't obscure any storytelling or imagery flow, making "Armor Hunters: Aftermath" #1 a remarkably clean comic book for a "picking up the pieces" adventure. This comic book is a nice bridge between the excited chaos of the "Armor Hunters" battle and the future dawning in the Valiant Universe. It's not a completely necessary installment, but it certainly adds to the depth and breadth of this universe as heroes and creators alike work to build a more remarkable universe.

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9.0
Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1

Jul 28, 2014

This is the right way to do a crossover, not selective involvement, but line-wide participation with each character having time to shine and opportunity to expand their side of the story. Valiant's continuity is young and resilient enough to augment the fun inherent in comic book events, giving "Armor Hunters: Bloodshot" #1 a true "Anything can happen!" air. Bloodshot, through Harris, is a fun character to read, like the Punisher, but more entertaining. He still adheres to his mission, but does so in a manner that challenges the reader to keep up rather than stand pat, once the bullets start to fly. There is no shortage of action in the twenty-four (yes, twenty-FOUR) pages of "Armor Hunters: Bloodshot" #1 and, quite honestly, this comic book just amplifies my appreciation for the entire event.

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6.0
Armor Wars #1

Jun 5, 2015

Robinson, Takara, Sanz and Lanham craft a domain unlike the others in "Armor Wars" #1. This issue doesn't feel regimented by the "Secret Wars" event and, instead, forges ahead on its own, establishing Technopolis as a dynamic contribution to the larger Marvel Universe. Part espionage adventure, part police procedural and part dystopian sci-fi adventure, "Armor Wars" #1 is a solid introduction from Robinson and crew.

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8.0
Artifacts #1

Jul 28, 2010

I'm not going to say this story is "epic," or a "must-read," but I am certainly thankful I did read it. It's loud, widescreen comic book mayhem that sticks to the roof of your brain after the final page is turned.

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8.0
Artifacts #2

Oct 3, 2010

This issue, like the one before it, offers a fresh, exciting read with some compelling characters. Top Cow has a winner here in "Artifacts" as a new trail is blazed for these characters and their universe. Marz is putting just enough new characters and concepts in each issue to leave room for development, action, and evolution. It's a refreshing break from the standard fare on the new comic racks nowadays. This is that new comic that you've been looking for, that breath of four-color fresh air that is big and bold, but detached from excessive crossover muddling.

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8.0
Assault on New Olympus #1

Nov 8, 2009

With the Agents set to be a regular backup in "Incredible Hercules" this book is well worth looking into, buying, and enjoying thoroughly. Hercules has consistently presented enjoyable reads equivalent to the kind you once purchased comics in hopes of reading. "Agents of Atlas" has been a critically acclaimed title in its own right. Now, it's like peanut butter and chocolate.

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6.0
Astonishing X-Men #51

Jun 21, 2012

With all of the calamity and chaos surrounding the X-Men titles right now, this issue is a nice suspension of action. It's a wedding tale reminiscent of "Tales of the Teen Titans" #50, but with less over-the-top celebration. Sure, "Astonishing X-Men" #51 got substantially more media attention, but in the end, it's simply another comic book wedding and a quiet one at that, undisturbed by invasion or attack. Hopefully Kyle and Jean-Paul find their happily ever after. From here, however, Liu appears to have some plans that are going to test the X-Men a little more intently than the crisis of whether or not Avengers should be seated at the same tables as X-Men.

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5.0
Athena #1

Sep 20, 2009

Taking a risk in today's comic market by offering up a title featuring a female lead, "Athena" is able to offer readers a different take on a female warrior with a title that not only develops the character for the future, but also celebrates her past. While this comic may not be directly comparable to "Wonder Woman," it will be interesting to keep an eye on both titles and see if one influences the other in any way.

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9.0
Atlas #2

Jun 20, 2010

I think a few well-placed issues around the house this summer (my wife is a teacher and therefore has begun her "downtime") and we might have a new "Atlas" fan. Of course, if you picked up a few well-placed issues (the place is your local comic shop) you might find yourself ranked among the fans of this book too. It's just that much bombastic, gritty fun.

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9.0
Atlas #4

Aug 23, 2010

As I've mentioned before, this title is a breath of fresh air. It's the one comic, bar none, that I anxiously anticipate each month. Parker fills the pages between the covers with excitement, adventure, and fun. The stakes are high, the sides are sometimes a little blurry, but the story and art always find their mark. The changes sparked in this issue are certain to have ramifications in next month's finale, but taken at their face value for this issue, the story is a good one. "Atlas" is the title that should have been on everyone's reading lists. It's the comic that isn't afraid to be an over-the-top, fun-filled, wonderful comic. It's a tough sell, a comic that only has one issue left, but in this case, it's a comic that's worth trying to sell.

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10
Atlas #5

Oct 1, 2010

It's a shame Chad " and you " didn't get a chance to see this book sooner. Maybe then you could have helped to save "Atlas." For now, though, we have a treasure trove of stories woven by Jeff Parker and his allies on "Atlas." Track this final issue down. You just might thank me too. This all wouldn't have happened without Jeff Parker though. I'll be raising a pint to Parker and "Atlas" this evening.

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7.0
Atomic Robo: Ghost of Station X #1

Sep 7, 2011

This wasn't the "big book" I intended to get and enjoy the heck out of this week. I'm not even sure I had this plotted out in my top ten for the week. Nonetheless, I bought it, read it, and enjoyed it. It's a nice change of pace in such a busy week.

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3.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #4

Nov 7, 2014

"AXIS" #4 fails to impress, taking a thin concept and coating it with half-finished extensions of its core. This is like the worst bits of "Secret Invasion," "Fear Itself" and "Avengers vs. X-Men" thrown together without any heart in the story, which is especially troublesome considering the spectacular job Remender has done with other books and stories. Some of Remender's previous work had a slower burn to them, eventually paying out and changing worlds, but "AXIS" seems remarkably temporary. It's hard not to imagine the end of this series portraying a bunch of characters sitting bolt upright, shaking their heads and saying, "I just had the strangest dream!" "AXIS" needs to make another turn, quickly, to give readers something to get excited about.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5

Nov 17, 2014

The story spins around Spider-Man and Nova, making for a fine team-up and nod to the friendship present on "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated series. Readers already familiar with the pairing from that avenue who find their way to this issue are sure to enjoy Remender's playful banter. With the lines in the sand drawn and cleanly defined in "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" #5, the combination of Nova and Spidey in a team-up situation blended with the slick art from the Dodsons has at least temporarily reignited my interest in the series.

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4.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8

Dec 18, 2014

"Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" #8 delivers a story that contains a war of inches and millimeters, not one of major battles and tide-turning confrontations. The sides may not be completely identifiable (like Absorbing Man beating the heck out of anyone and everyone within reach simply because he can) but most of the players have indicated at least moderate allegiance to other parties. Although the issue has some fun artistic moments, it doesn't do much to move the story along.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9

Dec 29, 2014

In the end, "Grinding Halt" is an appropriate title for this final issue as the story finds its way to an end. The purpose of "AXIS" seems to be simply to have undone some wrongs while testing out others, and in the end, Remender was successful in that regard. He also set up no shortage of future adventures and even provides the springboard for a pair of titles to launch in January. "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" #9 is the capper to a series many readers will likely forget, but the repercussions of this adventure will impact stories for at least the very near future.

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4.0
Avengers (2010) #3

Jul 21, 2010

The lackluster non-interest I had in this re-invigorated Avengers brand certainly is not challenged by this issue. It's a decent read, but it wasn't something that's going to stick with me years down the line when I think back to those classic "Avengers" tales I love. Kang on the cover is a good start, and the last page is a fine step in a fun direction, but the rest of the book could use an infusion of "oomph."

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #13

May 18, 2011

I've enjoyed the "Oral History" pages and I quite like this issue. There's no denying that this issue is more set-up than delivery, but the set-up presented here is enjoyable in its own right. Now, I'm dialed in for the delivery. "Fear Itself" is here and it seems ready to make an impression upon the legend of the Avengers. This is going to be good.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #19

Nov 16, 2011

To sum it up for you, this issue features a change to the Avengers roster. Is it earth-shattering or even must-have reading? Nope. Is it fun and entertaining? Yup. Are Avengers fans going to be happy, disappointed, sad, mad, or ambivalent? Probably. It's a story of the roster changing and how that is affected by -- and affects -- the world around the team in this post-"Fear Itself" world. If you need a breather of an issue to reacquaint yourself with some old friends, this might just be what you're looking for.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #24.1

Mar 29, 2012

This issue is a sojourn for Vision and gives him a number of personal encounters that help remind readers who this character is while also offering clues about what he may yet become. Surprisingly more character-driven than one might expect from a comic starring a synthezoid, Bendis and Peterson have concocted a near-perfect Vision story. In all future "Avengers" point one stories, I'd like issues just like this one that further the relationships touched on in this installment. After all, is there a character who is more inherently an Avenger than the Vision?

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #25

Apr 18, 2012

The connection to "Avengers Vs. X-Men" is tenuous at best, coming in the form of three pages of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" red skies equivalent scenes. Simonson takes what Bendis gives him and puts a nice shine on it all. Unfortunately, the issue itself is filled with navel-gazing and seemingly inconsequential conflicts. The final page really delivers the true nature of the tie-in "Avengers" #25 serves to the main battle, but sixteen of the pages don't add much to the "Avengers Vs. X-Men" narrative. I'm sure there will be some greater payoff in the future, mostly for the Avengers proper, but for those expecting more in-depth collaboration with "Avengers Vs. X-Men," this comic simply does not deliver. For Avengers fans, however, this comic is certain to entertain and delight as Simonson's art is proudly showcased in a story somewhat tailored to his strengths.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #31

Oct 15, 2012

I'm just not sure why Marvel didn't simply hold onto the issues of "Avengers" that are going to be released over the next few weeks and make them double-sized. Readers certainly would have enjoyed a more concise read than feel strung out for the wait until "Avengers" #32. Personally, I'm antsy to get more of these stories. Additionally, this story is freestanding enough and serves as a transition from Bendis' marathon service with the Avengers into what that brand is set to become under Marvel NOW!

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #32

Oct 29, 2012

The "End Times" story provides "Avengers" readers with one last tour through Brian Michael Bendis' version of Earth's Mightiest Heroes and gives the writer a chance to tuck in or trim off the loose ends of his marathon run. As such, fan favorite characters abound and developments occur all over the place, but in this issue those things are on a smaller (pun intended) scale and are therefore much more personal. As a fan of the late-1970s through early 1990s Avengers, I'm finding a lot of enjoyment in this series and this issue in particular.

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #33

Nov 9, 2012

The Avengers should be loud and fun, with subtle character moments, which is exactly what Bendis gives us, although it moves so briskly it feels like half a story. "Avengers" #33 (and all of the "End Times" issues) are nice rewards for readers who have stuck by Bendis throughout his run or simply decided it was time to check in with Earth's Mightiest Heroes once again.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #2

Dec 19, 2012

"Avengers" #2 may not have a great deal to do with the feature film, and the layman coming into comic shops looking for the silver screen team might be put off by the cover price or double-shipping schedule, but there is simply no denying that Hickman has a plan. As the plan begins to take shape and the characters start to settle in to their roles, "Avengers" is a wonderful offering from Marvel NOW! It's the one title I'm actually damn glad to spend eight dollars on a month for what I get, especially since it's so far a story worthy of the "Avengers" brand. Hickman proved his mettle on "Fantastic Four" and his investigations of the perimeter of the Marvel Universe in this title pick up where that left off, adding more depth to the universe around the Avengers. I may not be exceptionally keen to the inclusions and exclusions on this team, but I trust Hickman will continue to make a strong enough case for me to appreciate the work he's done.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #5

Feb 7, 2013

Of the Marvel NOW! titles, "Avengers" is consistently the one I look forward to the most, regardless of the publishing frequency. Hickman made an indelible mark on the legacy of the Fantastic Four and so far he seems to be on track to do something equally memorable with Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #7

Mar 7, 2013

Although this is (at least partially) a result from the first story featuring the Garden, it stands quite nicely on its own and vividly exposes the Marvel Universe and its unfurling possibilities. The New Universe -- in part or in whole -- crashes into the Marvel Universe in this issue. Undoubtedly this will impact the story Hickman tells in "New Avengers," but taken for what it is, "Avengers" #7 is stunning, electrifying and enjoyable. With a charge into action and a great deal of discussion to finish this issue as we near an inevitable conflagration, this is Avengers comics for a whole new generation and I'm glad to be onboard with it.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #10

Apr 25, 2013

Bizarre aliens and a creepy scene driven by the presence of Validator post-Gardener fill "Avengers" #10 with uncertainty and excitement. Hickman opens the issue at the end of the story before leaping back to what transpired beforehand, which intensifies the drama and adds a bit of mystery to this adventure before he reveals the status of the system to readers in a cliffhanger. Par for the course, "Avengers" #10 is a great read when considered in the context of the grander adventure. As a standalone story, there's more than enough meat to this story for readers to sink their teeth into.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #12

May 27, 2013

The real hang-up I have with this issue is the resignation present in all of the Avengers. Hawkeye and Spider-Woman are as hands off in their lessons as they can possibly be, Thor and Hyperion seem more content to navel-gaze and Spider-Man (still Octavius) appears to have had an extra helping of jackass flakes before this issue starts. When the Savage Land kids are attacked, the heroes don't spring into action, obviously allowing for future issues to address the pursuit and conflict certain to follow. Luckily, the scheduling frequency of "Avengers" truly helps to keep Hickman's sprawling epic fresh and mobile. This issue needs a quick follow-up that Hickman, Spencer and company will almost certainly deliver, but like some of the previous issues in this volume, the threat just doesn't feel quite Avengers-worthy. That doesn't keep this from being an enjoyable issue all the same, it just isn't the greatest issue of the dozen "Avengers" have given under Hickman's supervision.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #15

Jul 5, 2013

"Avengers" #15 is another rich installment in Hickman's grand adventure. Filled with excitement, suspense and action, this series continues to build an adventure worthy of Earth's Mightiest Heroes coming together. By the time the last page hits, it leaves the reader wanting more and wondering what they just saw. All of the creators contribute to the surprise, and I look forward to what Hickman, Spencer and Caselli bring have in store for the next issue in a few short weeks.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #17

Aug 8, 2013

Essentially, "Avengers" #17 serves as the pep rally and fire-up dinner for the Avengers as "Infinity" draws nearer. After reading this comic book, I'm stoked for the continuation of the action and look forward to how this bigger Avengers team meshes. Hickman has made very deliberate choices in constructing his Avengers story to this point. The additions to the team made in this issue pay out dividends for seeds the writer spread in this series' first handful of issues. The final page of "Avengers" #17 declares "End Prelude," but the argument could be made this whole series has been a prelude to "Infinity" as Hickman, Spencer and company have prepared readers ready for the battle to come.

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6.0
Avengers (2012) #20

Sep 26, 2013

While this isn't a bad story, "Avengers" #20 is hardly a typical Avengers tale. It is more an "Infinity Auxiliary" adventure: still delivering details and further enriching the late summer Marvel event that happens to star most of the Avengers. This comic book focuses on the Ex Nihilo, Abyss and the Galactic Council's continued negotiations with the Builder Armada. These are all critical developments, albeit developments certain to be repeated more often than sitcom reruns over the summer. Hopefully, this is simply a pacing issue as the story turns the corner and begins the heated sprint towards the finish line now that "Infinity" is past the halfway point.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #23

Nov 21, 2013

For Hickman's part in this comic, we get a dynamic, rousing speech from Kl'rt countered by cockiness from Shang Chi. Hickman reminds readers of the scope of the conflict and the consequences thereof. One scene in particular is so masterfully measured out that despite the telegraphed conclusion, I found myself conflicted between cheering the outcome and being disgusted by the delivery of that finality. While some comic books would mail in or unnecessarily elongate the penultimate chapter of a major crossover, the prelude to the final issue of "Infinity" is bold and daring, delivering consequences to be felt beyond this issue. "Avengers" #23 has left me anticipating a mighty finish to a summer event I've found myself enjoying rather thoroughly. I just hope the final chapter measures up to the work delivered to this point.

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5.0
Avengers (2012) #24.NOW

Dec 26, 2013

All in all, though "Avengers #24.NOW" falls short of being a great comic for new readers, it excels in being a fine comic to close out the aftermath of "Infinity" while looking forward to what lies ahead for the Avengers under Jonathan Hickman. The issue may have suffered from a crew of oddly mismatched artists, but it doesn't completely jettison the work Hickman has poured into this franchise. As someone who is patient with Hickman's work and appreciates his ability to construct a long story, I can give "Avengers #24.NOW" a bit of a pass, but by numbering something ".NOW" and stamping a huge #1 on the cover, the story needs to be more approachable for newcomers.

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5.0
Avengers (2012) #25

Jan 27, 2014

The twist is fine, but the story around it needs a little more fire. I wasn't too keen about the inclusion of time-tossed Avengers as billed on the cover, in what might soon be the new house-style of bringing past heroes to their own present, but Hickman gives enough credence to the story to summon me back for more, especially after the writer assures his readership that things are starting to come together between his Avengers books. This issue is a calm before the storm sort of issue, promising action, adventure and mystery in issues of "Avengers" to come.

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5.0
Avengers (2012) #29

May 19, 2014

"Avengers" #29 widens the hole that Hickman has been digging for the Illuminati for quite some time now. Hitting the crossroads of "Original Sin" and the Incursions from "New Avengers," this title is now enmeshed into the seemingly inevitable implosion of the Avengers. Hickman does throw in a last minute surprise on the final page, but the surprise is a forty-thousand-foot image, detailed to dizzying heights by Yu -- unfortunately, it's not enough to carry the whole issue, and thus leaves a limp conclusion for "Avengers" #29.

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6.0
Avengers (2012) #34.1

Sep 12, 2014

Delivering a Hyperion story in a point-one issue of "Avengers" proves that one-shots are apparently dead without a brand to buoy them up. This is most definitely not an Avengers story, regardless of Hyperion's status with the team or the future impact this tale will have on Earth's Mightiest Heroes. "Avengers" #34.1 is packed with promise, it ultimately falls short of delivery. Hyperion should star in a comic and shine, but fails to work the spotlight here. It's a good, solid story, but it could have been more.

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5.0
Avengers (2012) #34.2

Jan 19, 2015

"Avengers" #34.2 isn't a comic book I would normally pay five dollars for, but Humphries' work with Starbrand (with a side of Nightmask and Spider-Woman) gives an under-defined character a chance to shine a little bit. Bengal's art is stronger in storytelling than detail but works just fine for the tale at hand. Independent of the current "Avengers" storyline and higher-priced than a typical issue of any "Avengers" title, "Avengers" #34.2 reads more like an Annual-lite and inherently feels a little bit more dispensable as well.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #35

Sep 18, 2014

As of "Avengers" #35, Hickman has taken his cast and his fellow creators on a long jump into the unknown, giving readers a whole new world to discover with the Avengers, but is it an Avengers world? Like all futures in Marvel's publishing history, this one is fraught with wonder, excitement, mystery and complications. The Avengers have definitely affected the world, but Hickman keeps all of the sordid details close to his vest for now, preferring to eke plot points and nuances out to the readers, treating each morsel as new discovery along the way. It's a fun enough premise, but it needs to gain some traction quickly in order to keep readers tuned in. Unless editor Tom Brevoort is going to regularly summon Cheung to satiate the readership.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #41

Feb 6, 2015

"Avengers" #41 brings a payoff many readers have been waiting for but, with three months still remaining until "Time Runs Out," it also leaves readers wondering just what Hickman has in store before the inevitable changes that will accompany "Secret Wars." The Incursions have frayed the nerves of the characters in these comics and piqued the curiosity of readers, but how many Incursions remain and what happens when the last one lines up? Hickman and company provide readers with plenty to feel uneasy about.

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10
Avengers (2016) #1

Nov 2, 2016

Let me tell you, my friends, there is a lot to come. Add that to a riveting Avengers read, with a solid, diverse roster that is both new and familiar, and Avengers #1 is as inviting an introduction to Earth's Mightiest Heroes as you're going to get. At least for 2016. Hope in the Quinjet and have a look around. Waid is writing a fun story, Del Mundo and D'alfonso are making it visually striking and even quite pretty, and Petit is bringing it all home, giving readers a wonderfully complete experience.

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4.0
Avengers A.I. #3

Sep 9, 2013

"Avengers A.I.," like the characters it features, has promise as a concept. It is farming virgin soil in the Marvel Universe, but isn't giving us characters with pathos. Hank Pym is a whiner on an ego trip and Vision is as conflicted as he's ever been. There isn't much to cheer for here and there isn't much to hook into. "Avengers A.I." #3 seems like a last gasp for me -- not for lack of technical execution, just for lack of soul, a concept that almost seems funny considering the struggles some of these characters face or wrestle with themselves.

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3.0
Avengers A.I. #8

Jan 8, 2014

I keep waiting for this title to get Avenger-y only to be continuously disappointed. "Avengers A.I." #8 is the most Avengerful issue of the series to date, with appearances by Unity Squad members Rogue and Captain America and a slight cameo from Cannonball in addition to regular cast members Vision and Hank Pym. Instead of Avengers-powered adventures, this comic routinely reads like a metaphysical meditation of an inside joke between network admins with paper dolls of Avengers on hand for appearance. After Jocasta's appearance to close out the previous issue, I was holding out hope for this book to finally earn its Avengers stripes, but once again, "Avengers A.I." #8 just disappoints.

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6.0
Avengers Academy #1

Jun 9, 2010

This is a fine addition to the Heroic Age, but it's not the most memorable comic of the bunch by any means. There's a half dozen new characters here that will surely be someone's favorites someday, but for now, they're just being introduced. Where they go from here defines how successful this first issue truly is.

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5.0
Avengers Academy #7

Dec 15, 2010

I really, really want to like this book, but it just isn't dazzling me. There's a threat of the month, the kids are presented with the opportunity to learn an after-school special-like lesson, and then we move on. The underlying current of the kids knowing that the adults have them marked as potential bad seeds needs to evolve a bit, before it becomes more of a crutch and less of a subplot. Nothing in this book has hooked me. This is an average issue of "Avengers Academy." It's quaint, and enjoyable, but not very memorable. I can appreciate where others might disagree with this assessment, but this is the one "Avengers" book I just can't get into.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #8

Jan 19, 2011

Sure, this issue does have a service announcement educational-type quality to it, but it does so in a manner that improves the story. What happens to the Academy from here is unknown, but with the work that Gage and McKone put into this issue, I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.

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5.0
Avengers Academy #14

May 18, 2011

"Avengers Academy" is a book that continues to receive considerable accolades, but I somehow continue to sample it with issues that are just slightly better than average. This issue seems on par with the others I've read in recent months: nothing of significant consequence occurs and the characters are less engaging for it. The Academy is a good concept, but lacks some electricity in execution.

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4.0
Avengers Academy #26

Feb 23, 2012

"Avengers Academy" still has a solid core concept, a handful of interesting characters and a decent creative team. Unfortunately, it also has the attention of events and has to pass time between those them. This issue is one of those moments: largely forgettable but indicative of what could be.

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4.0
Avengers Academy #39

Nov 9, 2012

Which sets me to thinking about the future of these future Avengers. As this series closes up shop, waiting for Marvel NOW! to bring "Avengers Arena," I can't help but wonder how these characters will fare in what is being summarized as a deathmatch comic. Some of the friendships Gage created have started to crack, but given that these characters are all moving out from Gage's watchful eye, nothing is guaranteed.

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7.0
Avengers Arena #2

Dec 21, 2012

I'm sure there's a wonderful reset button somewhere waiting to be pushed, but for now this adventure is filled with high-octane intensity. This is one of the Marvel NOW! titles I wasn't overly keen about, but the first two issues have delivered enough energy and excitement for me to come back for more. Walker's art is strong and emotional, matching the story note for note and then some. Despite the premise the series is built on and the fact that the eliminated heroes now number the same as issues released of this series, I'm curious to learn more about this ragtag bunch. Like a twisted game of "Survivor," the characters in "Avengers Arena" #2 begin forming cliques and developing alliances as they try to figure out what's happening and why. For now, the readers are right there with them as Hopeless does a good job making sure we want to stay.

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6.0
Avengers Arena #6

Mar 18, 2013

While "Avengers Arena" is essentially the same concept as "Threshold," this book clicks as Hopeless elects a new character to serve as the point of view for the readers in each issue. That focus helps this book to move forward, provides some background on the narrator and gives the reader more substance to each individual. Anachronism's frustration is believable, as is Nara's fury. Many of these characters had little (or no) previous or recent exposure prior to this series, but Hopeless, Walker and Vitti have constructed a cast of characters that continues to find ways to hook readers, despite the unfortunate fate they all potentially share. "Avengers Arena" #6 apparently adds to the body count from this title, but not before giving readers a little more to care about, especially with Arcade set to steal the show next issue.

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7.0
Avengers Arena #18

Nov 29, 2013

"Avengers Arena" #18 is less of a solid conclusion to the story and more of a finishing of a chapter. Hopeless and company don't end the series with a "The End" or even a "For Now..." choosing instead to simply leave the story continuing from the final panel with the Avengers logo "A." With more adventures on tap for several of these characters and Arcade still scheming, there's no doubt that the Avengers will have a hand in the further development of the remnants from this series.

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4.0
Avengers Assemble #3

May 11, 2012

The end of this third issue of "Avengers Assemble" delivers a cliffhanger and a wild moment that will surely have fans talking nearly as much as the final after-credits scene at the end of the movie. That certainly gives the story a massive swing in momentum, but the path to get there limps along considerably. While this book certainly does have the star power and momentum going for it, momentum rarely writes a good story. Even with the final page, this issue doesn't forge strong impressions or beckon readers to hurry back, but it does nicely present the secret threat behind the story to this point.

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6.0
Avengers Assemble #8

Oct 22, 2012

"Avengers Assemble" #8 is an exciting read, action-packed with great little character bits, but delivering an inordinately quick resolution for a story that has carried on for eight issues. At that length, the story becomes an event of sorts. Bendis acknowledges that with a big-time fight in the latter half of this issue, but it all happens so quickly I find myself wondering why it didn't happen sooner. Bendis is now off to "Guardians of the Galaxy," and given what I've seen here, I think it will definitely be entertaining. Before leaving this title, though, the writer was kind enough to drop a final scene on readers that is the comic book equivalent of the post-credits pieces from the films. Just a quick scene to sharpen our interest as his time on the book concludes.

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6.0
Avengers Assemble #9

Nov 15, 2012

"Avengers Assemble" #9 brings the title focused on the "movie cast" into the Marvel NOW! As DeConnick has made quite clear in interviews -- and certainly in the pages of this issue -- this title is going to be less concerned with only depicting the movie Avengers and more about branching out to the plush cast that carries Avengers ID cards. The first issue in this new direction is slightly underwhelming, giving readers less of a grandiose story than I expected for Marvel NOW! Caselli's art is full of energy and expression. Hopefully some of that will absorb into the story in issues to come.

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5.0
Avengers Assemble #18

Aug 22, 2013

Apparently the outer edges of the "Infinity" story will continue on for a second issue of "Avengers Assemble," but this first issue doesn't do much to inspire me to drop another four bucks without some convincing. I do enjoy how much command DeConnick has of Spider-Woman and look forward to a team-up with Black Widow, but beyond that I'm more hopeful DeConnick's use of a baseball metaphor will lead to some personality-dominant scenes and that once "Infinity" is done with the Avengers we can maybe see a baseball game like back in the 1986 "Avengers Annual" #15. That would bring in some fun "Avengers Assemble" #18 is simply missing.

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6.0
Avengers Origins: Ant-Man & the Wasp #1

Nov 6, 2011

As initial installments of event stories go (if this "Avengers: Origins" can truly be considered an event) this one is a fun kickoff with two characters that just don't get enough love. Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne are inspirational to a generation of heroes, especially Avengers, and really should be celebrated a little more often and more impressively.

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2.0
Avengers Origins: The Scarlet With & Quicksilver #1

Nov 28, 2011

I skipped over the Luke Cage issue of "Avengers Origins," but the other two I did read set a nice standard for what to expect from these books. Sure, neither of those stories are "must-read," but both offered additional insight to the development of the titular characters and the stories of said characters finding themselves Avengers-worthy. This issue ignores the standard and offers up a sub-standard. If this brand is to continue, I'm hoping for a return to form closer to what was established in the first two issues of this series. This issue is not only forgettable, but largely dismissible. The redeeming factor here is the limited appearance of a great line-up of Avengers and the visuals of the fight between the Brotherhood and the X-Men in their original blue and yellow uniforms. Even that, however, seems to be set up as another box on the checklist.

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8.0
Avengers Origins: Vision #1

Nov 9, 2011

"Avengers Origins" is a fun set of one-shots brushing up the origin stories of these fan-favorite characters, and this issue is a textbook example of what these stories should be like. With more issues on the horizon, every fan of the Avengers is sure to find a story or three of "their" Avengers. I've certainly found mine in this issue. If only we could have more.

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8.0
Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1

Mar 15, 2016

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 spills the beans on the Kobik project, as writer Nick Spencer and artist Jess Saiz bring together the multiple Captains America to prepare against a once-sleeping threat that has now awakened.

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8.0
Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

Feb 18, 2016

Avengers: Standoff Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 isn't so much about what happens in the pages of this comic, it's about what it is setting up for other comics. As a standalone, this comic might be a bit of a disappointment, as it has the Avengers branded on the cover, but no one bellows out our favorite battle cry. Rather, this is the start of a sixteen-part, eight-title crossover that will continue through April. This is chapter one of a larger, longer adventure. Spencer, Bagley, and company do a nice job preparing us all, but by the time readers see that final page, they won't be reflecting much on what they've just read, but will, instead, be looking forward to what's to come and what all of this means to the greater Marvel Universe.

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7.0
Avengers Undercover #4

May 16, 2014

Hopeless plays Zemo as a masterful propagandist and truly leaves readers shouting at "Avengers Undercover" #4's final page. Although the cast is small and populated by characters I could care less about, Hopeless scripts in enough humanity to bring me back for the next issue.

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9.0
Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #2

Feb 21, 2010

The backup by Scott Kurtz and Zach Howard, while brief, was effective, efficient, and quite funny. I've enjoyed Kurtz's sense of humor for years now (I first encountered it on a panel dedicated to the memory of Mike Wieringo in Baltimore in 2007) but haven't read anything from him in the superhero vein. "Nom. Nom. Nom." That's all I can say about this story that Kurtz jams full of action, adventure, humor, and irony. Howard delivers a fantastically ominous hibachi scene that is filled with peril for our man Jimmy Woo. It's the perfect backup to a perfect main story: both filled with fun, excitement, great characters, and laugh out loud (or at least audibly chuckle) humor.

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7.0
Avengers Vs. Atlas #4

Apr 25, 2010

I'm glad Marvel has put a great deal of faith in the hands of Parker and Hardman and allowed them to tell stories "- such as this one -- that set the stage for a return of the "Atlas" comic. This issue is not going to be required reading prior to diving into that series, but it does serve as a great appetizer, especially since Hardman and Parker will be the creative team.

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7.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #4

May 17, 2012

I'm not looking forward to seeing more of the same fourteen characters knock each other around, though. After all, aren't there more X-Men and Avengers that could be called in for the fight? I'm hoping if this fight continues (which it will for a few more issues if nothing else) that we see some shake-ups in it, which the last page of this issue pretty well guarantees.

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5.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #5

Jun 7, 2012

"Avengers Vs. X-Men" #5 comes in very tired, but the issue buzzes about with the fury of a second wind before completely passing out in sheer exhaustion. Act One of this series is done. The Phoenix has arrived. Hopefully, Act Two has fewer instances where scenes and matchups repeat in a seemingly endless loop. This issue certainly offers hope for improvement, but we're not even halfway into the series yet. Quite simply, I just don't know what to make of all of this. It's not riveting, but it is finally moving.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #6

Jun 21, 2012

I can understand the need to restrict the cast of characters, particularly given the depth on the writers' bench. At least now "Avengers vs. X-Men" finally feels like an event with severe consequences awaiting both sides.

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9.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #8

Jul 19, 2012

With the tie-in stories focusing on individual battles, skirmishes beyond the main team-on-team fights and repercussions of those battles, this series really feels like it has finally figured out what it wants to be. Unfortunately, like "Fear Itself" before, it just doesn't quite feel as large as its pitch. Nothing's missing; it's just that for a conflict that threatens the very fabric of the universe, there should be more parties invested in the outcome. Adding Wakanda, K'un-Lun and attacking hordes from Atlantis is a nice start, but "Avengers Vs. X-Men" needs more. The stakes are getting higher, so there's no time like the present for more parties to be interested.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #9

Aug 1, 2012

I feel as though I've said this before, but this issue of "Avengers Vs. X-Men" was the most enjoyable to date. Where most event series begin to trend toward predictability in their later issues, this series continues to offer up surprises and twists on traditional or stereotypically predictable plots. The end result is a story that picks up momentum at exactly the right time. There's only a trio of issues left in the main series and while there may be some obvious developments coming up, "Avengers Vs. X-Men" #9 has proven that predictability can be superseded by a fun story. If nothing else, it certainly provides readers with a chance to enjoy a Jason Aaron-written Spider-Man.

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10
Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite #6

Jun 19, 2012

All in all, I've been very impressed with what I've seen in the Infinite Comics. The stories themselves have been interesting, even though both offerings have featured characters I have never considered "favorites" of mine. Mark Waid, I'm convinced, could interest me in any character ever created and the razzle-dazzle of the Infinite Comic concept is enough to grab my attention. Hopefully, Marvel continues their wonderful streak with these Infinite offerings.

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8.0
Avengers World #1

Jan 8, 2014

"Avengers World" #1 brings energy and fun back to the adventures of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, shifting the scope just slightly to provide the members of the team with enough room to breathe and grow. As part of the All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, "Avengers World" #1 sets the world stage for a wide range of conflicts and a worldview from the boots on the ground. This issue sets up a number of plots bubbling with potential, and teases them together just enough to entice readers to join a whole new, yet notably familiar world.

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5.0
Avengers World #5

May 5, 2014

I wasn't sure what to expect when Marvel expanded the Avengers brand with "Avengers World." Quite honestly, I'm still not sure what to make of this series. Five issues in and there's not much of note from the series to date. "Avengers World" #5 doesn't do enough to make a huge dent, nor does it do anything to advance the dangling subplots around the globe. After half a year's worth of comic books, I would like to be able to summarize the accomplishments of a title, but all I can say about this book is it is another Avengers book, which just happens to have some wonderful Stefano Caselli artwork in it. Unfortunately, at four bucks a pop, even Caselli's artwork isn't going to be enough to keep me coming back for more "Avengers World." This book has been on the bubble for me and this issue does nothing to alleviate that.

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7.0
Avengers World #14

Oct 20, 2014

That image includes the Next Avengers (from that direct-to-video adventure of the same name from some years back, who also appeared in the Heroic Age "Avengers" series), Euroforce, S.P.E.A.R., the Ascendants and, of course, the Avengers. The composition completely fills the last two pages of "Avengers World" #14. Yes, it may seem like a bit of overkill, but after the fourteen-part saga that has carried readers through, it is perhaps the most appropriate way to reward readers and Avengers, showing a distinct conclusion before spinning off into a new storyline. That new storyline will undoubtedly be connected to "AXIS," but at least there is closure before piling on new stories. I'm hoping the next arc doesn't span this long, but the stable of creators, highlighted by Spencer and Checchetto certainly has ample opportunity and range for whatever come next.

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6.0
Avengers World #15

Nov 20, 2014

"Avengers World" #15 promises to be another comic book that features the charming gathering of the heroes, but a lackluster collection of characters is all that's left. This is definitely a story that needs "AXIS" to exist. Once the Inversion is explained, the writers provide some clues as to what is to come, but "Avengers World" #15 has a completely open ending since no one missed these "Avengers" before now, and they all appear somewhat expendable in this story. Couple that with a significant threat and Spencer and Barbiere give readers a suspense-filled book with high stakes in which anything can happen. After all, Doctor Doom is one of the good guys here.

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7.0
Avengers World #18

Mar 6, 2015

"Avengers World" #18 is a formality of a label. Instead, this comic could just as easily be called "Incursions and Repercussions" and the effect would be the same. As mentioned previously, the boundaries between "New Avengers," "Avengers" and "Avengers World" are disintegrating, which makes a fine case for Superman-like numbering to guide readers through the labyrinth of Avengers adventures as Incursions begin to give way to the set-up for "Secret Wars." In this case, however, Barbiere and Checchetto give readers a digestible, grippingly-entertaining and easy-to-comprehend chunk of the tale between worlds, as the space between universes gets ever thinner.

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8.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #2

Sep 1, 2010

By the time this story is complete, a year-and-a-half will have passed in the real world. That makes the wait between issues " or the wait for a collected edition " almost unbearable. The payoff, however, is a great story with high stakes made all the better by Cheung's fantastic art. Quite simply, it's a story worth waiting for.

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6.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #9

Mar 8, 2012

Poised between events past and events yet to come, "Avengers: The Children's Crusade" provided some great moments for the characters across multiple franchises. Set so close to the kickoff of "Avengers Vs. X-Men," I expected this final issue to be filled with considerably more action and excitement. This anti-climatic, quiet issue was still enjoyable, mind you, it just wasn't as bombastic as the talents and characters assembled would normally lead such a comic book to be.

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7.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade - Young Avengers #1

Mar 16, 2011

With Heinberg's flair for dialog blooming in all of these characters coupled with Davis' timeless pencils, this book is a nice detour from the adventure being depicted in "Avengers: The Children's Crusade," and I'm certain it will provide some repercussions. For now, however, it comes across as a missed opportunity. I'm walking away from this one feeling a bit let down. These adult Young Avengers are quickly introduced in this issue, but are never given a chance to prove much to us. Maybe we'll see more of them over in the main story, or maybe this was it. Whichever the case, at least we got some new Alan Davis interior artwork to enjoy.

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7.0
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1

Nov 10, 2010

My kids have loved the show, and my eight-year-old asks me at least twice a week if there's a new episode of "that team with Wasp." As a matter of fact, she just tore off to the couch to kick back and read this one. Looks like I might have to go buy myself another copy. Maybe while I'm there, I'll even pick a copy up for my nephew who just turned six yesterday.

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8.0
Avengers: Rage Of Ultron OGN #1

Mar 30, 2015

Remender, Opea, Larraz, Morales, White, Rosenberg, Almara and Cowles do a grand job making this both new reader friendly and openly appealing to longtime fans of the Avengers. Clocking in around one hundred pages, "Avengers: Rage of Ultron" is a fine example of what original graphic novels can and should be in an era where books are still more prevalent and readily-accessible than comics, especially to casual fans. This is a smart package that delivers a complete, well-paced and entertaining story with plenty of continuing adventure opportunities. Until that point, however, this is a story that can be read and re-read, shared with others and read again. Each time, I'm certain Avengers fans, regardless of their history with the team, will find more to appreciate.

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4.0
Avengers: Solo #1

Oct 29, 2011

This book is an oddity. It offers a whole lot of potential, but doesn't deliver on much of that potential. The recently published "Hawkeye & Mockingbird" series had more of a "Solo Avengers" feel to it than this comic does. There's no denying "Avengers" is the brand of choice at Marvel nowadays (I'm surprised Matt Fraction's new book isn't titled "Defending Avengers") but this title does little to merit that connection.

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8.0
Avengers: The Enemy Within #1

May 16, 2013

Priced at $2.99, the lead-in chapter to a five-part crossover adventure opens the story nicely; giving readers everything they need without a hefty pricetag or mind-numbing amount of chapters yet to come. While this time of year hails in summer movies, "Avengers: The Enemy Within" #1 is a nice summer comic book, filled with a story that has gravity and emotion aplenty, but not at the sacrifice of character moments or action. DeConnick and Hepburn have given readers a strong entry point for a story that should boost the profile of "Captain Marvel" at least a little bit.

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8.0
Avengers: The Initiative #20

Jan 3, 2009

You can see some of Kurth's art in the CBR preview for this issue.

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7.0
Avengers: The Initiative #26

Jul 25, 2009

Finally, fans of Tigra who were upset over the beat down the Hood put on her need to pick this issue up. Gage and crew are setting Greer up for a full recovery. Now, if they could just recover her tail. . .

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7.0
Avengers: The Initiative #28

Sep 27, 2009

Gage and crew have utilized the setting and surroundings of Tony Stark's Initiative (although now a perverted shadow) to share background on the characters in the story while advancing the story. In a scene between Norman Osborn and the Hood, as they attempt to address a calamity, we learn of the Montana roster and then see them in action, the same with the Force of Nature (Oregon's squad.) This title has a great deal to offer any reader familiar with the Marvel Universe, but it also offers quite a bit to those readers who may not know who the U-Foes are or what Penance's former ID was. Knowledge of this deepens the read, but ignorance of same will not impede anyone's ability to enjoy this book.

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8.0
Avengers: The Initiative #31

Dec 22, 2009

The big reveal on the last page -- which as this point isn't much of a secret if you've seen any advance solicits for January or February comics (or even the March ones) -- is nicely played out, with the revelations hitting more than one character at a time. The two characters that reach the dramatic conclusion are from different sides though, so using the comic book device of having one character half a world away finish another's thoughts or sentences is played out marvelously here. Gage has a handle on the characters, if only the book itself had a stronger sense of purpose.

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8.0
Avengers: The Initiative #32

Jan 27, 2010

Avengers: The Initiative #20
Posted Sat, January 3rd

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7.0
Avengers: The Initiative #35

May 17, 2010

As an experiment, I would dub "The Initiative" to be a success, albeit a success that had a slow start. Gage managed to maintain the unpredictability that Slott established while growing the cast substantially. This was a solid read month in and month out, even if some months its only tie to the world of the Avengers was in the title of the comic. Gage leaves the end of the series with a message looking towards the future. Based solely on the strength of the work Gage presented here, I'll be checking out "Avengers Academy." I do, however, hope that some of the other questions and open items get addressed in the meantime.

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6.0
Avengers: The Initiative Featuring Reptil #1

Mar 24, 2009

While I cannot promise that I'm going to run out and preorder any of the next appearances of Reptil (to my knowledge, there aren't any yet) I did enjoy the story. At $3.99, this issue provides almost 40 pages of story. No unnecessary reprints or filler here, just the introduction of Marvel's self-proclaimed next hot character.

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5.0
Avengers: The Origin #2

May 9, 2010

While I enjoy a good Avengers comic as much as anybody, in the end, this issue is an average tale of decompression on the origin of the Avengers. There's nothing startling here, and nothing overly exciting either. For the price, this book is a bit of a letdown, but at least it's a very sharp-looking letdown.

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8.0
Avengers: X-Sanction #1

Dec 14, 2011

This is the first shot fired in the war between Marvel's biggest franchise superteams. It is a giant tease of a story, but it is also a fun yarn in and of itself. It's a mere twenty pages in length, but there is no doubting repercussions are set to resonate from this adventure. It's a fun ride that precedes what should be an engaging event. Regardless of the future storylines spinning out of "X-Sanction," however, the first issue delivers fun, excitement and adventure -- all the things we read comics for, right?

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8.0
Avengers: X-Sanction #4

Mar 21, 2012

This series may have had its detractors, but it delivers a complete story acting as a concise set-up for "Avengers Vs. X-Men" and it has plenty of fun in the process. Sides aren't drawn here, but the causes worth fighting for are defined. From here, Loeb and McGuiness turn it over to other creators for "AvX." Their interpretation of Cable's journey is complete and they had a blast bringing that tale to light, something that particularly shines through in this closing chapter.

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7.0
AVX: VS #3

Jun 18, 2012

Of the three issues of "AVX: VS," this was the one I enjoyed the most, but it was not without flaws. This is a great superhero slugfest comic, but it's also easily forgettable and doesn't make a strong case for re-reading. The matchups have been shown no less than a handful of times in various issues of different comics, but the creative teams assigned to those fights in this issue were masterfully matched. I'd like to see more of Loeb and McGuinness working with the Thing and likewise for the Dodsons with Magik. Halfway through this series we've seen six matchups (three of which have featured Juggerlossus) and two of the best looking fights are in "AVX: VS" #3.

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7.0
Aw Yeah Comics! #1

Apr 29, 2013

Store proprietor Marc Hammond states that "Aw Yeah Comics!" is for love of the comic book medium and this first issue brings a whole lot of love behind a fourteen-page lead story that sets the tone for everything to come. This isn't groundbreaking comic book work, but it sure is enjoyable work that fits quite nicely into hands of any age or in front of eyes of any child. "Aw Yeah Comics!" does a great job of celebrating comics for comics' sake and really deserves to be checked out.

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6.0
Axis: Hobgoblin #1

Oct 22, 2014

"AXIS: Hobgoblin" #1 is a fun romp through a weird, not-as-dark-as-it-used-to-be-but-still-kinda-creepy corner of the Marvel Universe following the events of "AXIS" #3. Hobgoblin doesn't perform a complete heel turn to become a rescuer of kittens and defender of lunch money, but he does present himself in a much more relatable manner in Shinick's introductory offer. This is a fine start for an odd new adventure and one that I'm looking forward to continuing.

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2.0
Axis: Revolutions #1

Oct 30, 2014

Marvel has been cranking out event stories and garnishing the presentation with additional tie-ins and crossovers, but in this case, the presentation suffers. Anyone buying this comic book for an appearance from their favorite character is certain to be disappointed, while any event completionists are set up for confusing continuity at best and frustrating dismissal of it at worst. "AXIS: Revolutions" #1 is a comic book with a pair of stories that are fine on their own, but really add nothing to the grander Marvel Universe in general.

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6.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth #110

Aug 21, 2013

It's also a comic book that makes me pine for more adventures of "Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E." "B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth" seems to be a good choice as a surrogate to that title. I'll have to stick it out a bit, do a little research, take a few notes to keep characters straight, but that's testament to the complexity of the world Mignola and Arcudi construct. This isn't a great issue for new readers, but it is enjoyable, with good character vignettes and solid plot construction that seeds plenty more story to come. I just hope the learning curve for this newbie lightens up a bit in the issues ahead.

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9.0
Ballistic #1

Jul 15, 2013

"Ballistic" #1 is exactly the type of comic book no one is expecting or thinking they want until they have it in their hands. Like "Chew" and Grant Morrison's take on "Animal Man" in the 1980s, "Ballistic" finds new, irreverent and evocative ways to spin familiar subject matter with humor and flair to make it all seem new and innovative. This comic book wasn't on my radar, but it's certainly on my reading list now.

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5.0
Barb Wire (2015) #1

Jun 11, 2015

"Barb Wire" #1 is undoubtedly a deeper experience for readers familiar with the character, but a new number one issue should be more new reader friendly. That's not to say Warner and crew don't make this story memorable or inviting, but they don't offer much by way of character depth or development and there is very little to draw new readers back. "Barb Wire" #1 knows its target audience and guns for them, but continued adventures certainly have ample opportunity to expand and invite.

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7.0
Bat-Mite #1

Jun 5, 2015

"Bat-Mite" #1 is a far cry from anything the New 52 once offered, trading in grim, gritty and CW-marketable for a wider potential audience and more expansive product possibilities. Jurgens and Howell clearly have fun with this book, and the wacky, anything-goes nature of the character is starting to define the possibilities of this series. Now, it's up to the creative crew to make it all exceptional. This is a decent start.

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6.0
Batgirl (2009) #1

Aug 21, 2009

Going in with low expectations, this issue certainly delivered more than I anticipated, but in the comic marketplace today, books have to aim a whole lot higher to earn a reader's money. DC seems to be banking on their readers' sense of nostalgia as well as the symbol of the bat. Surprisingly, the bat icon plays an important role in this issue, offering a sense of duty to the character wrestling with her decision in this issue. If this book featured OWLgirl instead of BATgirl, I'm not certain it would have seen print.

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9.0
Batgirl (2009) #5

Dec 10, 2009

This book is classic comics at its best. No disemboweling, no improper innuendo, just good old straight-forward superheroics. "Batgirl" is to 2009 what Mark Waid's run on "The Flash" was to the 1990s: a rare commodity that should be appreciated by more folks. At a time when the cowl seems to be threatening to dim Dick Grayson's shining personality, Stephanie Brown stands as a beacon of hope in the cowl. I grabbed this book to review it, figuring it'd be worth checking in on it again. From here, I think I've got another addition to my monthly pull list.

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3.0
Batgirl (2009) #8

Mar 12, 2010

This title has been the surprise of 2010 for me. The issues I've read of this book have really won me over, but this issue really makes me hesitate. Thankfully, it appears that the second part of the crossover between "Batgirl" and Red Robin" has stronger art. ["Red Robin" #10 reviewed here.]

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8.0
Batgirl (2009) #12

Jul 18, 2010

I can't help but compare this title to "Nightwing" back when it started. Many people pooh-poohed that title, but it wound up finding an audience that became rabid enough to stave off Dick Grayson's intended demise. The title was just enough of a Batbook to matter, but strong enough to not use its Batness as a crutch. The same holds true here. If this title runs for half the duration "Nightwing" enjoyed, then there are some fantastic stories yet to come.

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7.0
Batgirl (2009) #14

Sep 13, 2010

This issue, like many issues in this series, is a done-in-one, another rarity in the comic book world nowadays. New readers can (and should, hint, hint) check this book out for a comic of a different kind.

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8.0
Batgirl (2009) #16

Dec 11, 2010

With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the Bat-franchise lately, this title has been a little overlooked, just as it was before Bruce Wayne returned. Through it all, "Batgirl" has maintained its consistent, invigorating high quality level of story month in and month out. After sixteen months, Batgirl has grown as a character, but "Batgirl" as a comic has not put any distance between itself and its readership. Some characters are defined by their supporting cast, others gain fame due to their rogues, but Batgirl's very existence is defined by her recognition of self and her choice to try to make things better in the way that only Stephanie "Batgirl" Brown can do so. This is Stephanie's story, and it is a real enjoyable one. Batgirl " this Batgirl " may not be the most recognizable of characters in the DC Universe, but this book makes her one of the most believable, relatable, and approachable. The holidays are here; give yourself a gift of an awesomely fun read. Check this book out.

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9.0
Batgirl (2009) #17

Jan 12, 2011

This is a series about the emergence of Batgirl into the role of a hero, a leader, and a wonderful person. It's a beam of sunshine on the new comics' racks, and it does a great job of brightening my day once every month.

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8.0
Batgirl (2009) #20

Apr 14, 2011

The world of "Batman, Inc." may seem overwhelming to some. The array of Bat-titles boggles the mind. For my $2.99, though, this book won't be beat by Batman-related title or, well, almost any other title each month.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #0

Sep 17, 2012

Zero month is supposed to be an outreach program that lures new readers to comics and it's something the Bat-family of titles has done very well so far both in quality and concept. In "Batgirl" #0, Simone and Benes deliver another good series installment that utilizes the zero month concept to the full, setting up the character's future adventures, reflecting on the past and teasing out some mysteries to be revisited another day. More importantly, Simone hits the nail on the head with this book, making it the perfect entry point for readers of all ages.

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4.0
Batgirl (2011) #2

Oct 12, 2011

As with the previous issue, Simone and Syaf leave us with a cliffhanger, but it's not a nail biter. It's a cliffhanger that doesn't threaten Batgirl directly. Overall this is a flat issue and I wouldn't be at all surprised if I don't recall much of it by the time the third rolls around.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #9

May 10, 2012

All the same, Simone joins the crossover, defines the threat in terms relevant to Batgirl and even gives a little more definition to the impact "Night of the Owls" is having on Commissioner Gordon. One need not stray from this title in order to understand the danger Batgirl faces and to enjoy the story Gail Simone and company deliver.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #39

Feb 19, 2015

The last page sets up a cliffhanger but points the reader to both the next issue of "Batgirl" as well as "Secret Origins" #10. Given that Stewart and Fletcher are writing that installment as well, it should congeal nicely with the rest of this series, but it seems ill-timed as "Batgirl" #39 takes readers right up to the bleeding edge of this sweeping adventure.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #44

Sep 24, 2015

The Velvet Tiger storyline wraps up in "Batgirl" #44, but the ongoing subplots continue underneath it all, shaping Batgirl's cast and seeding future drama. Other subplots pop up in this comic, including new developments for Frankie and Luke Fox. Fletcher and Cameron have done a grand job building up Burnside and the inhabitants around Barbara, and "Batgirl" #44 is a sharp sample of everything this title can be.

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4.0
Batman #703

Sep 12, 2010

This issue seemed poised for deep revelations, exciting subplots, and action aplenty, but it fell short in all areas. It is a nice little humanitarian piece, of sorts, that allows Dick Grayson to try to teach Damian Wayne a lesson on right and wrong, but it turns out to be an average comic. It does, however, do a good job of keeping the seat warm until all of the Batbooks are synched up for their next step forward.

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8.0
Batman '66 #1

Jul 3, 2013

This installment is part one of "The Riddler's Ruse: Mirth from Above" and ends with queries to prime the pump for the next installment. I could almost hear William Dozier's voice as the swipes across my iPod revealed the set up for next week. DC Entertainment has a nostalgia stuffed innovation in this comic that is filled with a fun -- that's right, fun! -- story and striking art delivered by topnotch talent. I, for one, will be tuning in each week waiting for that brief reunion with childhood entertainers.

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9.0
Batman (2011) Annual #1

May 30, 2012

Fans who grew up with comic companies producing Annuals in the 1970s through the 1990s will remember the once-yearly comics to be big stories, the four-color equivalent to the summer blockbuster. The stories were grand. The art was impressive. Frequently those Annuals would either kick off a longer-form narrative to come in the main series or elaborate a character or concept that otherwise was not afforded the luxury on panel time. With this foray into the realm of Annuals, "Batman" latches onto all of those components and produces a great read that would certainly be a fantastic way to spend your lawn-mowing money.

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7.0
Batman (2011) Annual #3

Dec 29, 2014

"Batman Annual" #3 is by no means a must-read in order to understand the "Endgame" story Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are delivering in "Batman," but it certainly does give readers more of the DC Universe's most famous madman at his madcap best. All too often, the focus on the Joker turns to the carnage and body count, but Tynion and company tighten the spotlight here, showing the true cost Tommy Blackcrow pays for his quest for knowledge. The Joker gets just a little more horrific by the end of this comic book and "Endgame" raises the stakes just a little bit more. Joker fans are going to want to pick this up and Batfans in general are certain to find "Batman Annual" #3 disturbingly entertaining.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #4

Dec 21, 2011

The story to this point has been a high-stakes collection of near misses, almost fatalities, and compounded stress for the titular character. Given what Snyder puts upon the cowl and cape of Batman in this issue, it doesn't look like it will be changing up anytime too soon. Snyder is doing a very good job of expanding Batman's world without alienating long-term fans. He's found new ground to overturn and, in doing so, just so happens to give Batman an unearthed mystery to try to solve. It's fun reading that combines the very best of the Batman mythos with the energetic brilliance of Capullo's artwork. The duo seems like the odd couple of comics, but with this story, their collaboration shines. Batman's fun to read again, and there truly is a sense of adventure as Snyder and Capullo make this a run that will prove to be memorable.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #6

Feb 15, 2012

There are only so many ways I can express how "Batman" continues to impress with issue #6. Scott Snyder is playing longball with the plot, but he doesn't elongate the story. Instead, he packs it full of details and developments, making the issue well worth the price of admission and rewards the reader with each successive read. "Batman" is consistently a quality book in DC's relaunch, showing no sign of letting up as the story continues to build toward the "Night of Owls" crossover.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #8

Apr 18, 2012

As kickoffs to events go, "Batman" #8 delivers a good set-up and sincere motivation for extending the story beyond the pages of one title. "Night of Owls" takes shape organically, and given the trouble Batman has had with the Court of Owls and their Talons to this point, it's a good thing he has his own crimefighting network to call upon. How the various members of the Bat-Family handle the Talons is certain to be central to the story moving forward, but in this issue it is clearly established to be a cafeteria-style option, allowing the reader to determine their own level of comfort and involvement in the event that Snyder has meticulously crafted.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #10

Jun 14, 2012

Snyder has done a masterful job adding depth to Gotham and to Batman. Having such wonderfully talented collaborators as Capullo and Albuquerque certainly helps. Next month wraps up the Court of Owls storyline in the pages of "Batman," but this penultimate chapter really should not be overlooked.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #11

Jul 11, 2012

I've enjoyed the heck out of this Batman story for the past year. With the excitement around the character building due to "The Dark Knight Rises" as well as the impending Joker story coming soon in the pages of "Batman," it's easy to lose sight of stories that don't involve recognizable foes, but that's part of what makes this story all the more enjoyable. The Court of Owls and the Talons are not linked to Bane, Catwoman or the Joker. They're freestanding new additions to the city of Gotham, brought to you by the imagination of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and the entire creative team. After this issue, Bruce Wayne, Batman and Gotham will never be the same. In my opinion, they're all better for it.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #15

Dec 11, 2012

As the Joker tells the Riddler in the backup story in "Batman" #15, "You're going to want to come along for the ride. This is going to be something to remember!" Indeed "Batman" #15 is just that -- an unpredictably bizarre tangle of ideas wilder than a roller coaster from the deranged mind of the Clown Prince of Crime as he sets out to make an appeal to "his king."

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10
Batman (2011) #17

Feb 13, 2013

Truly functioning as "The Punchline" to "Death of the Family," this issue will be received like many jokes: some will get it right away, some will need it explained and others will walk away with little comprehension of it. For those who get it, who have been dialed in to the setup, the delivery from Snyder and Capullo in "Batman" #17 pays off with a grand and satisfying conclusion to an epic tale the Batman corner of the DC Universe.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #20

May 9, 2013

As "Batman" heads towards "Year Zero," this issue gives a nice chance to join Snyder and Capullo as they say farewell, not goodbye, to today's Batman. The second of a two-part story, "Batman" #20 reads like a breath of fresh air, albeit one tinged with loss and lament as Bruce Wayne still has a long way to go to recover from the cruel hand fate has dealt him recently. I'm looking forward to the next story, but I will certainly have no problems looking back to this one to remind myself just how fun the comic book matchup between Batman and Clayface can be.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #23

Aug 14, 2013

Snyder's deliberate thoroughness in constructing the decisions Bruce Wayne makes on the road to becoming Batman (combined with the upcoming mountain of tie-ins) basically ensures that every moment of Bruce Wayne's pre-Batman life is about to be keenly detailed. While enjoyable, "Batman" #23 is akin to the first act of "Batman Begins" -- both stories are action-oriented slivers of the tale, but finely detailed and absolutely critical to the development of the character to come. The anticipation of that character, however, makes it all seem expository since the spotlight is entirely on Bruce. Readers know Bruce Wayne will be Batman and wait for that "first" appearance, but there is still a lot of solid story right here before Bruce even thinks about donning a cowl. Kudos to Snyder and Capullo for making this story interesting and exciting, but also for laying groundwork for what will, inevitably, be a masterful collected tale resplendent in all acts of the ascension of Batman.

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10
Batman (2011) #24

Oct 9, 2013

While the seven-dollar price tag is a punch in the wallet, "Batman" #24 is worth the price, giving readers everything they could want in an origin story. It's a richer experience for readers who have been plugged in to the "Zero Year" tale from the beginning and an even deeper experience for longtime Batfans, but this comic book is top-notch simply taken on its own. "Batman" #24 serves as a nice Bat-sorbet to cleanse frazzled Batfans' palettes of the Affleck and Villains Month aftertaste. With tributes and tinges of "Batman Year One" and "Killing Joke," "Batman" #24 delivers an ultimate primer for Batman in the current DC Universe and an incredibly enjoyable story to boot.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #26

Dec 11, 2013

"Zero Year" is yet another mega-storyline that has marched throughout the pages of "Batman," but the latest installment in "Batman" #26 delivers enough action and revelation in one issue to make the story seem instantly refreshed. Snyder, Capullo and team continue to do a fine job of adding more to the Batman mythology without negating anything. Doctor Death's appearance and development throughout the "Dark City" arc just adds more depth to the bullpen of loons Batman calls foes. Beyond simply adding depth to one of Batman's earliest opponents, Snyder serves as architect to the man Bruce Wayne will become in and out of the cowl. "Zero Year" is not just about Batman, it's also about Gotham City and all of the ancillary characters that happen through the life of Bruce Wayne, from Jim Gordon to Lucius Fox. Bruce Wayne is learning about himself, his allies and enemies and what it means to watch over them all.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #28

Feb 12, 2014

The timing of this issue is rather odd, especially for what is essentially a teaser for "Batman Eternal" in the midst of "Zero Year." I'm onboard and locked in to see how Snyder and crew weave the not-so-distant past with the near future, especially since the final panel of "Batman" #28 will make fans pump their fists in the air and shout, "Aw yeah!" before they cower back into their seats and wait for the other shoe to drop. This issue is a nice break from "Zero Year," a change of pace, a switch in visual impact, a breath of fresh air and a sign of hope for the Gotham of tomorrow as Snyder continues to construct and deepen the legend of Gotham City and its role in the mythology of Batman.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #29

Mar 12, 2014

While "Zero Year" is certainly a fantastic display of dancing between the raindrops and farming further details from the early days of the legacy of Batman, it is beginning to get a little long in the tooth. As an overarching saga, I have no doubt "Zero Year" is going to be a story to remember, but the monthly installments, taken by themselves, are bordering on impenetrable, begging the reader to try again, once more from the start. Thankfully, Snyder and company have broken the story up into chapters of the grander saga. That allows readers a chance to breathe and the story an opportunity to shift. "Zero Year" is a tale that comes together more as the camera pulls back to reveal the big picture, which is filled with Snyder's detailed, meticulous writing and Capullo's enthusiastically, brutally animated art.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #31

May 28, 2014

"Batman" #31 is yet another durable comic in the "Zero Year" story, which is quickly accumulating as a Batman tale begging to be re-read in its entirety from start to finish. As a sample of that grandiose adventure, this comic book has a lot to offer readers, but even more for readers with deeper experience following the character and this issue's creators. This is a building block in the evolution of Batman and Snyder and Capullo are sharing the construction process with the readers as the structure nears completion.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #35

Oct 13, 2014

After all the tooth-gnashing and grumbling about the price on the cover for this issue, "Batman" #35 proves to be worth every penny. As the Dark Knight detective continues to revel in his seventy-fifth anniversary, the creators working on his adventures weave new stories that add even more facets to the character. I'm sure there will be additional moaning about the fact that Batman fights the League, but Cyborg and Green Lantern are absent; or that Aquaman gets taken down like a punk; but there is simply no denying the passion and excitement this creative team brings to every panel of "Batman" #35. Part one of "Endgame" hits the ground with a dynamic explosion, letting readers know right away that this saga is going to be every bit as dynamic as "Court of Owls," "Death of the Family" or "Zero Year." I'm all in, regardless of price point, especially since every single contributor on this book brings their absolute best.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #38

Jan 28, 2015

In "Batman" #38, Snyder, Capullo and crew bring all the storylines together: "Zero Year," "The Court of Owls," "Death of the Family." It all congeals as readers follow Batman against the Joker, each trying to outwit the other, with the rest of Gotham teetering on the brink as the Clown Prince of Crime appears to have the upper hand. Batman is fighting for the city, but he's also fighting for his pride, his sanity and the lives of everyone in his city. "Endgame" stretches throughout Gotham's history, so it's only appropriate that Snyder and crew dive through Batman's.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #42

Jul 13, 2015

With an underlying mystery, the development of a character and the exploration of Gotham City, "Batman" #42 is still a fun book that affords Snyder and Capullo a chance to play. Additionally, the creative team continues to investigate the inspiration of Batman, just from a totally different, inspired perspective.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #46

Nov 11, 2015

"Superheavy" has opened a whole new wing in the legacy library of Batman's mythology. Seeded with new foes like Mr. Bloom, the arc exemplifies the teamwork required by comic book creators. No character is a bad character and no story a bad story; some tales simply need a little more cultivating, as Snyder, Capullo, Miki, Plascencia and Wands demonstrate in "Batman" #46, where Mr. Bloom is a serious threat and Batman is faced with a challenge unfamiliar to him. Where this creative takes "Superheavy" from here remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: it's going to be one hell of a ride.

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7.0
Batman (2016) #5

Aug 17, 2016

The ending, while appearing conclusive, doesn't feel satisfying or, well, even like an ending. This is Batman's comic, but he's just standing to the side, an afterthought in a panel that should be more fraught with emotion, especially given the rollercoaster ride that “I Am Gotham” has taken us all on.

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9.0
Batman and Robin #21

Mar 9, 2011

The only Batbook I've given my coin to on a regular basis has been "Batgirl," which I will continue to do so. Recently, Scott Snyder, Jock, and Francesco Francavilla made "Detective" a must-read. Now, however, it appears as though I'll be making room for some more Batbooks. I'm dialed into this book for as long as Tomasi and Gleason are on board.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #0

Sep 17, 2012

As chief architect of a fabulous creative team, Tomasi displays in "Batman and Robin" #0 exactly what the zero issue concept is all about: telling an origin story that serves as an introduction to a broader universe. From here, I want to see more of Talia and Damian training. I want to see the first few days of Damian testing his father's patience. I want to see Gleason drawing Man-Bat -- a lot. I want more of this book, from these creators, regardless of what I knew or didn't know before coming in to this story. Being totally honest, I've never been a fan of any of the Robin characters as Robin. Batman, to me, is a much more compelling character when his adventures feature him flying solo. That said, I hate Damian, but Tomasi has at least made him an entertaining character.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #4

Dec 14, 2011

I've gone from being a casual Batman reader in the pre-relaunch DC Universe to being a Batfan in this brave new universe DC has been delivering to us each and every month. Snyder's "Batman" delivers a great story of Batman's continuing investigation and defense of Gotham City, but the relationships being forged, investigated, and tested in "Batman and Robin" are every bit as compelling and equally fun to read. Of course, like Snyder on "Batman," Tomasi is leaving the title each month with a compelling ending. The difference is, here, you just never know what Damian will do and it brings me back each month to see how Bruce reacts.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #7

Mar 15, 2012

This story is the newer standard of twenty pages in length, in which Gleason draws six (four plus a double-page spread) splash pages. Additionally, several other pages are two-thirds splash, but through it all Gleason and Tomasi fill the pages with story. Many other creative teams would suffer from losing that much real estate to big moments, but even the smallest panel feels like a big moment in this story, making those splash pages even bigger. This issue ends with a predictably unpredictable splash page as Bruce and Damian are given a whole new set of problems to work through.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #15

Dec 13, 2012

All of that sets "Batman and Robin" #15 in motion and gives the reader quite an adventure to enjoy. This may not be the spine of the "Death of the Family" event, but it certainly is a strong story that stands well on its own, but gains so much more severity in the context of the larger narrative. Now's a great time to be a Batman fan. Or a Robin fan. Or just a casual reader looking for a compelling Joker story.

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10
Batman and Robin (2011) #18

Mar 13, 2013

I bought this digitally as I couldn't wait to get to the comic shop today to get started on my reviews, but I must confess I plan on buying the floppy of this book as well. Maybe I'll hold off for the hardcover, maybe I won't. At any rate, Tomasi and Gleason deliver a fantastic story of grief and despair that is certain to prove noteworthy, shareable and perhaps even timeless. Tomasi has gone on record to explain that Batman will share the title with a number of partners over the next few months, but what truly becomes of this book following that run of guest stars remains to be seen. For now, "Batman and Robin" #18 is one of the best single issues of Tomasi and Gleason's collaboration.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #19

Apr 12, 2013

The work between Batman and Red Robin is not very collaborative and does not end well. Tomasi reflects on the revelations from "Death of a Family" and leaves the rift between the duo growing wider and wider. "Denial" is a fitting title for "Batman and Red Robin" #19 on so many levels: Batman's refusal to refer to Damian in the past tense; Batman's embracing the twisted science that brought life to Frankenstein; the Dark Knight's continued insistence that he does not need help; Red Robin's solution to the problem; Bruce's return of the discs from Carrie Kelley. So much heartbreak and disappointment that leads to an amazingly touching, entertaining story. Tomasi and Gleason continue to make on heck of a case for making "Batman and..." the must-read Bat-title. Lucky for us, we're not limited to just one title and DC has found ways to make them all interesting.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #25

Nov 22, 2013

While "Batman and Two-Face" #25 is darkly lit and violent, it is every bit as entertaining a read as Tomasi, Gleason, Gray, Kalisz and Mangual have brought to this title. It's not the single best issue of the book, but it delivers the enjoyable consistency expected from this creative team. Batman's rotating spate of guest stars hits an odd spot with this issue, as Batman is less working with Two-Face and more working in direct opposition of his one-time ally without ever truly coming to blows. This issue adds depth to Bruce Wayne's past, puts a twist on Harvey Dent's disfigurement and leaves a lot more for readers to look forward to. With this creative team onboard, there's no doubt more good and great stories are sure to follow this very good tale.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #28

Feb 19, 2014

Long-time readers may be rolling their eyes at yet another team-up between Batman and Two-Face. As he has done so throughout this arc though, Tomasi reminds us that this is a new Batman universe with new takes on familiar origin stories and surprises still waiting at the flip of every coin or the turn of every cowl. Such is the case with this meeting of Batman and Two-Face. This five-part story has been intense and enjoyable, but Tomasi does a fine job of wrapping things up without drawing the story to a close. "Batman and Two-Face" #28 is another fine installment in the adventures of Batman and those he encounters as he continues to find his path.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #31

May 22, 2014

Just when this issue really gets rolling, the Tomasi and Mahnke leave readers with a cliffhanger -- albeit, a gorgeous looking page with great art from Mahnke, fine colors from Kalisz and subtly powerful lettering from Mangual -- but it is a cliffhanger nonetheless. Batman's quest to deliver Robin to his final resting place has been continuing on for quite some time. It looks like it has a few more steps to in its own journey. Apparently, Frankenstein will be joining him for at least part of one more issue. I just hope Tomasi remembers to invite Mahnke back for the adventure.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #33

Jul 28, 2014

Tomasi has given readers a wide variety of the personalities present in the DC Universe throughout Batman's quest for peace of mind following the loss of his son. More importantly, the writer has shown readers how Batman interfaces with that swath of characters, continually developing subtle nuances between the Dark Knight and his greatest allies and foes, while keeping Batman grounded despite the odds he faces or circumstances surrounding those combinations. The creative team has kept the adventure flowing around the quest for Robin. Now with "Robin Rises" in full swing, there appears to be no shortage of adventure on the horizon while Batman continues to call upon the rest of the DC Universe.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #40

Mar 26, 2015

"Batman and Robin" #40 is a fun story with giant robots and the Justice League but, in the end, it's a story filled with humanity as "Convergence" nears. When Batman is questioned on whether or not he's feeling alright because of his smile, Tomasi, Gleason, Gray, Kalisz and Mangual's work hits home in "Superpower: The Dynamic Duo."

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1.0
Batman and the Outsiders #40

Jun 22, 2011

Now that this lame duck has quacked, I realize that perhaps DC mailed in a whole lot of these almost-instantly forgettable stories a long time ago. Even the attempts at humor seem mailed in. That is all a giant shame, especially since there are some wonderful characters in this series. The series ends with thirteen Outsiders, so someone has to like some of them, right? Ok, so take away Freight Train and there's only twelve potentially worthy characters, but I still say someone's gotta care about some of them.

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8.0
Batman and the Outsiders Special #1

Feb 11, 2009

Of all the books bearing the increasingly-popular $3.99 sales tag, I feel this book has come the closest to rewarding me for my investment.

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7.0
Batman Beyond (2010) #1

Jul 2, 2010

I'm sure "Batman Beyond" fans will certainly prove to be a great deal more enthusiastic in their assessment of the story.

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5.0
Batman Beyond (2010) #6

Nov 25, 2010

That little more is set to debut in early 2011 as "Batman Beyond" swoops onto the new comics racks. This same team " including Dustin Nguyen on covers " will be the creative team in place for the ongoing series coming in January.

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6.0
Batman Beyond (2011) #3

Mar 4, 2011

This issue has a pair of letters pages in the back, specific to this title, that promise the pattern of three-issue stories (like the one this issue concludes) followed by one-issue spotlight stories that continue to build the comic book version of the "Batman Beyond" universe but shift the focus on other characters. This seems like a reasonable business model and might even help make this title more palatable to readers new to the "Batman Beyond" mythos.

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8.0
Batman Beyond (2015) #3

Aug 7, 2015

"Batman Beyond" #3 doesn't end with a splash page visual cliffhanger or even a "To Be Continued..." blurb; it just ends. I turned pages a couple times to confirm I had concluded the reading and even counted page signatures to ensure there was no printing error. The ending is abrupt and elevates the cliffhanger nature of the story. Jurgens, Chang, Maiolo and Sharpe all ensure "Batman Beyond" #3 is a satisfying read that continues to explore the new world alongside Tim Drake.

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6.0
Batman Beyond 2.0 #1

Aug 5, 2013

"Batman Beyond 2.0" isn't a complete reboot. More like a second season with a new creative team, there's still plenty here for "Batman Beyond" fans to enjoy. Modern-day DC fans will find quite a few winks, nods and surprises to enjoy as well as Kyle Higgins and Thon Silas continue their construction of Neo-Gotham.

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8.0
Batman Incorporated #2

Jun 28, 2012

I've been getting my Batman fix from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's work on "Batman" with an occasional serving of "Batman & Robin" from Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. With this sampling of "Batman, Incorporated," however, I find that I just might be in the market for yet another Bat-title.

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6.0
Batman Incorporated #9

Mar 28, 2013

"Batman Incorporated" #9 ties up the startling ending from the previous issue and resets all of the players on the board, providing a lot of setup and detail work. There's action in the fight between Batman and Heretic and emotional beats throughout, but it feels more like a calm after/before a storm than a satisfying read of its own.

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9.0
Batman Incorporated #13

Jul 31, 2013

At the end of "Batman Incorporated" #13, the gauntlet is thrown down, not just within the story as Ra's al Ghul begins to plot and scheme, but from Morrison as well. The long-time writer added depth and diversity to the world of Batman while refreshing some older concepts and fan-favorite notions. Now, however, Morrison is walking away, leaving the life he has nourished in the care of others to continue to nurture and grow. The clippings Morrison shows are intriguing and it will be interesting to see the blossoms those pieces produce in the future. Appropriately enough, Morrison leaves his superhero work behind as quietly as he entered into it. There's no fanfare to declare his departure. There is no text page or behind-the-scenes script reveal. Morrison just leaves on a high note, giving readers one more enjoyable Batman story on his way out the door.

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8.0
Batman, Inc. #6

May 12, 2011

While standard size for DC's $2.99 comics, this is a dynamically thick book with a great deal going on. It's also wonderfully entertaining. And, for now, it's the exciting, energizing writing of Grant Morrison. The story is clear in set-up and direction. The characters are inclined towards fun interactions, and the world of the Batmen continues to expand. Most importantly, at least to me in this instance, is the fact that this issue is completely welcoming of new readers. I knew of the general gist of the "Incorporated" concept before I even picked up this book, but reading this issue was quite satisfying.

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10
Batman/Superman (2013) #31

Apr 15, 2016

There is plenty of passion, heart and characterization in Batman/Superman #31, from Batman's first observation of Superman's eyes to the conversation between the two heroes as they fend off their attackers. Every decision Tomasi makes informs the readers and underscores the history shared by the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight Detective. The second installment of this adventure begins to outline the subplots and advance the plot, but also reminds readers why Superman is super and what adventures should be like when Superman and Batman team up.

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3.0
Batman: Arkham Knight: Genesis #1

Aug 27, 2015

"Batman: Arkham Knight - Genesis" #1 is going to be a must-read for devotees of the games but, for readers looking to latch onto a new Batman adventure, it's going to prove to be a headscratcher that doesn't provide much return on investment. This is a story all about the Arkham Knight and, while it sets up his origin, it doesn't give the reader much reason for return.

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7.0
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1

Mar 11, 2009

This series has promise, but I'm not sure Daniel has enough time over the course of the remaining two issues to jam in every single character he has put on the covers and promised in the pages in between. There are a few plot points here, but by and large, this story seems hauntingly familiar. I only hope Daniel is more creative in his plot twists and resolutions than the initial set up.

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7.0
Batman: Battle for the Cowl: Man-Bat #1

Apr 2, 2009

Unfortunately, this story bleeds out the end of this issue, without any solid clue as to where to follow. I found myself closing the cover significantly more interested in the fate of Man-Bat, but I am unable to determine where he will appear next, save for a guess in "Battle for the Cowl" #2. Following that, I would relish a chance to see Kirk Langstrom make some regular appearances elsewhere in the DC Universe. Maybe those same Outsiders could spend a little time with the winged crusader.

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7.0
Batman: Earth One #1

Jul 6, 2012

This reboot is inline with what much of the rest of the DCU did last year, reinventing characters and concepts, introducing new characters like Birthday Boy and presenting Gotham through fresh eyes. This also allows for established and known elements of the Batman mythos to be re-combined, forming new alloys and ideas that bear future exploration, such as the relationship between the Wayne and Arkham families. In the end, this story is better served as a standalone, able to be revisited by creators and readers when the time is right.

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8.0
Batman: Earth One #2

May 6, 2015

"Batman: Earth One" Volume 2 introduces a homicidal Riddler, increases the body count in Gotham City and expands the breadth of the universe being built in the "Earth One" series. Johns, Frank and crew aren't simply retelling the origins of Gotham City's most famous residents; they're asking "What if?" and "What would happen?" throughout, tweaking circumstance and setting just enough to make this story feel new without totally abandoning the Batman mythology. This Batman relies on his fists to get the job done but is learning that other methods might be just as effective, and it's fun to learn alongside him.

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7.0
Batman: Eternal #42

Jan 23, 2015

Readers have been waiting for Bluebird to fly into action and, in "Batman Eternal" #42, she truly does, giving readers plenty to buzz about. Higgins and crew ensure this is comic book stays lively and smart, and they reward readers here for their time and attention. Bluebird begins her contribution to the legend of Batman in fine, fun fashion, offering readers a story filled with straightforward heroics and fisticuffs.

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8.0
Batman: Li'l Gotham #5

Feb 14, 2013

This valentine from DC's Digital First lineup is certainly worth the price and will most definitely provide a longer lasting impression than candy or cards. As Nguyen and co-writer Derek Fridolfs have done throughout the series, "Batman: Li'l Gotham" #5 offers an amusing and picturesque celebration of Valentine's Day, with a super twist.

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7.0
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #7

Aug 2, 2009

This book was fun, and it gave younger readers a chance to be introduced to one of the most dynamic franchises in comic books Batman's proclamation at the end of the issue was also a nice wink and a nod to older, more seasoned readers, as he decides, "Maybe I'll stick around. This could be my greatest adventure yet. . ." If you cannot wait until August 5 for the ongoing "Doom Patrol" to start, head on back to your comic shop and pick this up. It's good, clean fun.

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3.0
Batman: The Dark Knight #4

Aug 1, 2011

Nothing about this book makes me want to come back for more, especially when my limited Bat-finances could be spent on books written by Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, or even Peter J. Tomasi. I guess I could be optimistic and hope that Finch might be sandbagging for the September relaunch. Maybe then we'll get more exciting Batman stories in "The Dark Knight."

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7.0
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #16

Jan 31, 2013

The opening chapter of Ethan Van Sciver's collaboration with Gregg Hurwitz is yet another fine Batman offering. Batfans looking for a quick fix that delivers good art, a solid, foundational story and stands independently from other Bat-titles will be pleased with "Batman: The Dark Knight" #16. DC has done a magnificent job of delivering great stories for the Batman franchise, but readers have to make some tough decisions as to which well-done Batbook wins their money if they're not at liberty to afford them all.

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7.0
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #28

Feb 27, 2014

Alfred confesses to Batman that of all of his foes, Man-Bat terrifies Alfred the most. In that one conversation, Hurwitz delivers insight to the reader without hesitation or unnecessary filter. That bit of dialog, combined with the more ferocious and bloodthirsty nature of this new Man-Bat makes it quite clear the writer has plans to make this a memorable conflict between the two characters influenced by Chiroptera. As he has done all along, Hurwitz continues to deliver wonderfully succinct stories that don't meander, choosing instead to deliver bang for the buck while treating readers to a wide array of Batman's foes. "Batman: The Dark Knight" #28 may have flown under some readers' radar, especially given that it isn't part of a sprawling epic or crossover, but readers should seek this one out. This is a concise adventure that provides readers with an enjoyable battle between Batman and Man-Bat.

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6.0
Battlefields: Happy Valley #1

Dec 25, 2009

Dynamite has a good series here with stories that Ennis truly seems passionate about. While it is hard to emotionally invest in these characters due to their lack of history, there is no denying these characters are human and can be related to or empathized with. For those looking for a war comic fix, you certainly cannot go wrong with Ennis' series.

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8.0
Battlefields: The Night Witches #1

Oct 30, 2008

We live in a world where war has become an accepted facet of life, but Ennis and Braun show how hellish that facet can be. This title is a riveting read, compelling in its subject matter and narrative movement. I look forward to what Ennis will do with this line, and this series in particular.

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6.0
Batwing #0

Sep 10, 2012

"Batwing" manages to pleasantly surprise every time I read it. Zavimbe is a nice alternative to Batman and Nightwing while still projecting many of their sensibilities without being restricted to the confines of Gotham City. An origin story that truly provides the beginnings of Batwing's heroic journey, "Batwing" #0 offers just enough to inform and intrigue, especially with the vignettes of scenes from Zavimbe's early days fighting crime. One scene in particular, with Zavimbe fighting some mutated humanoids (one of which is hippo-like and another crocodilian, like Sobek) appears to be from a tale that bears further investigation. I've enjoyed my check-ins with "Batwing," but frequently fail to return for a follow-up. This issue gives me just enough reason to do so next month. "Batwing" #0 is right in line with what a zero month should deliver.

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7.0
Batwing #1

Sep 9, 2011

As far as debut issues go, this one has it all: the establishment of both hero and identity, an introduction of foes who may yet become rogues in the characters of Blood Tiger and Massacre, an appearance by one of (if not the premiere) DC's most established and beloved heroes, and great art to boot. This book has plenty of potential, but a little raw out of the gate, which works to its advantage. Anything, at this point, is possible, and I'm certain the final page isn't the last surprise we'll be seeing. If you're looking for a new DC book to latch onto, this one just might be what you're looking for, but you may have to search for it, as it is sure to be an overlooked gem and is likely to have been under-ordered.

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8.0
Batwing #2

Oct 6, 2011

If anything, this issue doesn't have enough resolution, but the slower pace (driven largely by the results of last issue) does set up a tense showdown between Massacre and Batwing for the next issue. That issue will be the third issue of this series that I will buy, despite my initial indifference to this title.

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5.0
Batwing #19

Apr 4, 2013

Palmiotti and Gray use "Batwing" #19 to tie up loose ends, cut off dangling plotlines and clear the table for their story. By the end of the issue, it is clear what direction the duo is taking the title, or at least who will become the new Batwing. Driven by his losses, however, I am not certain we've seen the last of Zavimbe. Gray and Palmiotti make a solid effort to balance that character's baggage, clearing the way for a character that has tighter ties to Batman, yet is free to roam the DC Universe a bit more. This issue is an appetizer for what Palmiotti and Gray can cook up instead of the first sample of the main course.

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10
Batwoman #3

Nov 9, 2011

Perhaps inspired by the magnificent artwork, this story is picking up its pace, adding more problems for Batwoman, more depth to the world around her, and more winks and nods for longtime DC readers, all the while doing a great job looking beautiful the whole way. I know the Weeping Woman tale needs to end at some point, but it truly doesn't feel tired or drawn out yet. Life goes on around tragedy, and Williams and Blackman are doing a great job showing us that.

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5.0
Batwoman #7

Mar 19, 2012

This installment of Batwoman really did a whole lot of nothing. The series has been a visual spectacle to this point, but this issue made me realize just how much wasn't happening. It's an enjoyable read for the moment it happens, but it's also quickly forgettable. As the interstitial, setting up plot points going forward, this is a good vehicle, but I'd like to see a bit more.

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6.0
Batwoman #19

Apr 19, 2013

All of the pieces that piqued my interest back in "Batwoman" #1 -- Agent Chase, Director Bones, Bette Kane -- get some sufficient panel time in this issue. Not one of the subplots those characters anchor gets wrapped up, but this issue provide me with enough of a hit to keep me checking in on this book a little more frequently from this point. "Batwoman" #19 is a fine sample of everything that fills Kate Kane's corner of the DC Universe while teasing things to come.

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6.0
Batwoman #27

Jan 27, 2014

What could have simply been a meltdown for this title has been smartly averted as Andreyko and company are now settling into their groove and setting up stories for the future. Andreyko brings intelligence to the story without sacrificing action and continues to give Kate Kane room to grow. Haun's art, coupled with a visual boost from Manapul, hits the right notes and merges nicely with Andreyko's story. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman may have left the title, but "Batwoman" #27 proves to be enjoyable and worthwhile reading all the same.

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5.0
Batwoman #34

Aug 22, 2014

This won't be remembered as the greatest Batwoman comic ever, but it isn't the worst either. It defines Kate Kane as a wandering soul, with personal and larger challenges ahead of her. "Batwoman" #34 sets the stage for whatever follows the "Futures End" story coming up next month. Here's hoping there is a little more artistic stability and a solid sense of purpose for Batwoman in the near future as Andreyko seeds the stories in Kate Kane's world.

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3.0
Batwoman #35

Oct 20, 2014

While there is absolutely no solid indication that their mission was successful before "Batwoman" #35 runs out of space (no pun intended), this may wind up being a much better story once more of the foundation is under it. For right now, "Batwoman" #35 seems like the idea wall after ideas have just been thrown at it and these are the pieces that were sticky enough to not fall to the floor. With this ragtag bunch of characters in place, I'm willing to come back for a couple issues to see how this all shakes out, but presently, it seriously seems as though it could all end with Kate Kane waking up saying, "I just had the strangest dream!"

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7.0
Beasts of Burden #1

Sep 20, 2009

While thematically similar to "Pet Avengers," this story tries to take itself a little more seriously. It succeeds for the most part, but in the end, however, we are dealing with talking dogs, cats, and frogs, so some leniency in expectations needs to be provided. I'm ambivalent as to whether or not I am going to continue on with this series following issue #1. Perhaps a perusal of the material that preceded this -" as merely footnoted in the front cover and then once more in the letters page -" will help me decided whether or not I can commit a slice of my comics budget to this tale of tails.

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6.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2

Jul 16, 2012

"Before Watchmen" as a concept attracted an astonishing amount of attention and certainly no shortage of great creative talent, but in the end, the event just hasn't found a way to hook me and this issue is no exception. Cooke's artwork, with spot-on coloring from Phil Noto and wonderfully functional classic comic lettering from Jared K. Fletcher, makes the strongest plea, but I think I'll wait a while longer and find this tale in collected form later. Perhaps there the story will hold my interest long enough from one chapter to the next.

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6.0
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1

Jun 28, 2012

Using the artistic legacy of the Kuberts to define the heroic legacy of Nite Owl is a conceptual stroke of genius. It's a shame the story itself doesn't live up to the art. By and large, I have not been partaking of the "Before Watchmen" comics. The first half of this issue made me think I might be missing out on some good reads, but the remainder of the book quickly doused any concerns in that direction. I'd like to see more tales like the first part, especially if DC can include a celebration of legacy once again.

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7.0
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1

Aug 15, 2012

The Watchmen began as analogues for the Charlton heroes, and Azzarello and Bermejo really drive that point home. Sure, Rorschach's mask goes through the trademark metamorphoses, but the essence of the character and the battle he fights rings true to the source material. I'm certain the creative duo will add more distinguishing factors to Rorschach as this story progresses, and given the level I enjoyed "Before Watchmen: Rorschach" #1, I just might be back for more.

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4.0
Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #1

Jun 8, 2009

This issue doesn't offer much for Beta Ray Bill fans, as the character in these pages seems to be a mere shadow of the character created by Walter Simonson to be a capable replacement for Thor. Speaking of Simonson, this issue does offer Bill's first appearance, reprinted from the pages of "Thor" #337. This section of the book is well worth the cost of the book, but sadly it makes the newer material that much more pale by comparison. John Workman, Jr.'s lettering alone makes the reprint worthy of your hard-earned $3.99.

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9.0
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #2

Dec 9, 2011

While we're not given a satisfactory conclusion to the tale in this issue -- it is, after all, only the second installment in this series -- we're definitely given reason to come back for more. This series is full of uncertainty and excitement, great characters, a good setting, and the possibility for, well, anything to happen. I have no doubt that whatever happens, Bechko and Hardman are going to make it well worth it to follow along. Congratulations to BOOM! For not only delivering more "Planet of the Apes" product, but delivering more high-quality product that contributes to the legacy of the brand rather than just adding more clutter to the shelves.

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8.0
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #4

Feb 1, 2012

With this series now concluded, I'm certain it will be readily available in a number of formats and is certainly worth checking out, in single issues or collected edition. A follow-up to this series has already been announced. With Bechko and Hardman onboard, I'm definitely coming back to check that one out.

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8.0
Beyond Belief #1

Apr 24, 2015

"The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Beyond Belief" #1 is a solid introduction to the signature installment from the podcast created by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker but, more importantly, it's a solid comic story. Free of crossovers and stilted restarts and reboots, "The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Beyond Belief" #1 welcomes readers into a whole new world. It does so in an effective manner, avoiding excessive exposition and moving forward, beckoning readers to join and enjoy the ride.

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7.0
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #1

Mar 30, 2015

The opening scene sets expectations for "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad" #1. While everything could easily be a letdown after a mountainside explosion and the ensuing chaos, Hopeless and company give readers a little bit of mystery, some humor and plenty of suspense for the latest of the Disney Kingdoms line of adventures. The high concept of the ride could easily be reduced to black hats and white hats hosting a mountainside shootout, but Hopeless and crew are writing an adventure first and investigating the world around the black hats and white hats to find the most interesting bits to present in a comic that scratches the need-to-go-to-Disney itch for readers of all ages.

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6.0
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #5

Jun 14, 2009

This may not be all-out hilarity and hijinx like "Tiny Titans," but it does prove the writing duo is capable of more. As long as it also allows us to enjoy adventures featuring Captain Marvel and his sister, Mary, on a regular basis, I am pleased that DC has made this move. This continues to be a good book to share with younger readers, even if it is different from Kunkel's contributions to this title.

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7.0
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #13

Feb 26, 2010

Funny thing is, parents (or adults in general) needing a fix of the Big Red Cheese can certainly enjoy this book too. I know I sure did, and I look forward to next month's fisticuffs at the Field Museum.

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8.0
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #21

Oct 29, 2010

This issue has everything a Captain Marvel " or Marvel Family " fan could want: a battle against Black Adam (many of the other foes were defeated last issue), an appearance by the Justice League, Billy marveling at his powers and the worlds they open up, and some good old-fashioned Marvel Family happy chitchat to end the issue. It's a darn shame that with a title so utterly enjoyable we're going to be SHAZAM!-less for a while. Whatever DC's plans are for the Marvel Family, they'd be wise to somehow involve this creative team.

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9.0
Birds Of Prey (2011) #4

Dec 22, 2011

"Birds of Prey" is one of the titles I had no expectations for in the relaunched DC Universe. Throughout the third of a year that this series has been hitting shelves, however, this book has climbed up my must-read list. It's an action adventure book with plenty of action, adventure, and awesomeness. Loosely set in the DC Universe, this book delivers a great read all by itself each and every month.

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3.0
Birds Of Prey (2011) #20

May 17, 2013

I don't remember the last issue of "Birds of Prey" I read before this, and it is pretty safe to say I'm not going to remember much about this one. I came into this issue with minimal expectations, but those dropped on the floor, largely thanks to flimsy characters and adequate artwork. Knowing that Starling is now working with Freeze is enough to top my disappointment sundae and "Birds of Prey" #20 is likely to be my last issue of this title for a little while.

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10
Birds Of Prey Vol.2 #1

May 12, 2010

"Birds of Prey" has never been the top of my must-read list, but if this series maintains the level of quality put forth in this first issue, "Birds" will be perched on the upper limbs of that list. C'mon, you didn't think I'd let a whole "Birds of Prey" review go by without a pun, did you?

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4.0
Birds Of Prey Vol.2 #4

Aug 15, 2010

"Birds of Prey" was the one post-"Blackest Night" title I anticipated the most. After a strong start out of the gate, this series seems to be losing some steam. I hope it finds some more oomph -- and a solid artist who can deliver entire issues -- soon.

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7.0
Birds Of Prey Vol.2 #7

Dec 19, 2010

Syaf's art is a welcome addition to this book. Syaf brings a gritty, scruffy style to the book, adding some depth and dimension to the strong characters he draws. The conversation between Barbara Gordon and Batman gains an extra layer of peril under Syaf's pencils, just as the threat posed by Mammoth, Mortis, and the H.I.V.E. drones alongside them seem more threatening. Hopefully Syaf'll be here for a while as it seems as though this title has struggled to find its visual identity. It has one now, and after the half-year-long storyline, Syaf brings a breath of fresh air to match the newness in Simone's story.

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8.0
Birds Of Prey Vol.2 #8

Jan 16, 2011

The series started out with a six-part tale, now it's halfway through a four-parter, and Simone is moving her team into place for a fine run that is shaping up to define the "Birds of Prey" and their place in the DCU quite nicely.

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5.0
Birds Of Prey Vol.2 #9

Feb 12, 2011

This issue pits Oracle against Calculator for a (seemingly) grand finale. The end result, and resultant cliffhanger, set up what should be a tremendous final installment for this story. The matchup seems to favor the Birds tremendously, but Simone has a marvelous knack for packing surprises into her books. This one is no exception.

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9.0
Birthright #1

Oct 7, 2014

These characters, the gripping missing persons plot and the adventure in a faraway land mix together nicely in "Birthright" #1. Williamson, Bressan, Lucas and Brosseau give readers a rich, new, thrilling adventure with a couple surprises along the way. "Birthright" #1 gives a little bit away in the title, but the creative team ensures that readers are not going to be ready for everything that happens in this first issue. Image has yet another strong debut on the shelves with "Birthright" #1.

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10
Bizarro #1

Jun 4, 2015

"Bizarro" #1 isn't going to go down in history as the greatest comic ever -- er, not as the worst comic ever -- but it is a comic with humor and heart. Reminding readers that comics can be fun and absurd and that the characters in them were originally created for entertainment (not licensing) purposes, Corson, Duarte, Sienkiewicz, Pantazis and Napolitano offer readers a wonderfully strong comic with vast potential. This comic just might be the "worstiest ever" and will certainly hit the spot for reader jonesing for something different and fun.

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9.0
Black Adam: The Dark Age #1

Feb 22, 2009

Love stories don't always have to be mushy and this one certainly isn't. To add a little more incentive for you to consider tracking this book down, the current "Justice Society of America" storyline draws its roots from this book.

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7.0
Black Lantern Green Arrow #30

Feb 25, 2010

Krul will be spending much more time with the Green Arrow corner of the DC Universe in the coming months as he writes the "Rise and Fall" storyline that will alter the lives of Green Arrow and his allies. I just hope Krul brings the same passion to those stories that he has to "Blackest Night."

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6.0
Black Lightning: Year One #6

Mar 19, 2009

I'd like to see Van Meter and Hamner have another go at Lightning with a modern day story. Certainly, if nothing else, Hamner could design some better threads for Black Lightning than the clown suit he currently wears. If you didn't get a chance to nab this book as it came out, rest assured, DC will be releasing a trade paperbackl. Granted it'll be November, but it is coming out. Now it just remains to be seen who else DC feels needs the attention and "care" of a "Year One" series.

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10
Black Magick #1

Oct 28, 2015

This isn't Image's next "Saga," or "We Stand on Guard," or "ODY-C" or any of the other titles Image has hit a home run with. This is "Black Magick," and it is exactly everything you might expect at the crossroads where Greg Rucka meets Nicola Scott. The two have crafted a new world around the concept of witches and it's gorgeous, scary and mysterious. I am thrilled to be here.

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7.0
Black Panther (2005) #39

Aug 3, 2008

That said, some may find this issue annoying or burdened by the seeming equivalent of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Red Skies, as it almost certainly interrupted the "normal" flow of "Black Panther", given the fill-in creative team. Personally, I find this to be an enjoyable adventure addressing one of the elements that makes Marvel unique ""- how would a sovereign nation as advanced as Wakanda handle an alien invasion? Certainly many a comic shop debate has been inspired by such ponderings. Hopefully this issue can begin to answer one or two of those debates. After this arc is complete, Marvel's canvas will be deeper for it.

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6.0
Black Panther (2009) #1

Feb 2, 2009

This book has a tremendous amount of potential, but due to the re-genderfication (yeah, I made that up) of the character, I fear it will be construed as gimmicky. At this point, there is a strong scent of gimmick to this relaunch, especially since Marvel has been pushing this book for months now, and the character behind the promotion only graces the cover of this issue. While I expected this book to be a bit of a gimmicky letdown, especially following Jason Aaron's "Secret Invasion" tie-in issues, the fact that this title has Dr. Doom, Namor, Storm, and (for now) T'Challa makes it a read worth looking into. It is not the most impressive treatment that I've ever encountered for T'Challa, but it isn't the worst either. This book is treading middle ground right now and will make a decision soon as to whether it ascends into greatness or slips into becoming a boring, neglected title.

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6.0
Black Panther (2009) #2

Mar 8, 2009

I look forward to some present day action, and from the way the storyline is bubbling at the end of this issue, it appears as though I may not have to wait long. To this point, however, the pacing seems to follow standard issue Marvel decompressionism. Here's hoping it picks up a bit.

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5.0
Black Panther (2009) #3

Mar 31, 2009

While the pace of this book is nearing torturous, I remain hopeful that the story will pick up in spite of itself and provide some more prolific action in the next issue. The book reads well, it looks pretty, but it just moves s-l-o-w-l-y. If you're looking for the most incomplete single issue on the racks this week, here you go. If you are a reader frustrated by decompression, stay away. If thirty days is too long for your brain to try and recall miniscule plot advances between installments, hold out for the trade.

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5.0
Black Panther (2009) #4

May 17, 2009

This issue, while slow-paced, is not necessarily new reader friendly. If you're itching for some Black Panther reading, with this story especially, you'll want to wait for a trade. Another option, of course, would be to check in with CBR's review of issue #5 to see if any progress has been made.

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7.0
Black Panther (2009) #8

Sep 6, 2009

The first half-dozen issues may have chased a few readers away, but this issue definitely pays off the dedication of those readers who stuck around. Black Panther may be hip-deep in action in this issue, but the action and the challenges appear to be ready to exponentially ramp up with next issue's inferred guest star (no it is not Mickey Mouse). The book has regained a sense of political intrigue, reestablished the Wakandan way of things, and given us a diverse cast to enjoy. I was one of the readers chased off by the plodding first story arc. I'm back and I'm definitely looking forward to more of "Black Panther".

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6.0
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #521

Jul 13, 2011

David Liss drops a honey of monkey wrench into this story's final page. It's not an overly exciting final image, but the meaning is poignant and the implications are going to be significant. At the very least, Liss and Francavilla have done enough with this issue to make me come back for another.

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6.0
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #525

Nov 10, 2011

I keep dipping in and out of this book and I keep finding myself disappointed. I love the Black Panther character and I wholeheartedly support him carrying his own book, but his book needs to feel like more than a placeholder. So far with the issues I've sampled, I just haven't found anything compelling, and this issue is less so, with Panther now officially facing a complete collection of Daredevil foes. Daredevil's adventures against Panther's foe, Klaw, is more engaging and much more defined as a Daredevil story. Hopefully this book will pay attention and follow suit.

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8.0
Black Widow #1

Apr 14, 2010

I'm excited to have another Marvel series that I'm genuinely interested in reading. My first exposure to Natasha was through "Marvel Team-Up" #85. Later I would follow her adventures through "Avengers" as well as a series of miniseries, but this feels like a brand new beginning worthy of celebration.

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7.0
Black Widow #4

Jul 26, 2010

"Black Widow" is a title without true limits, featuring a character more integrated in the Marvel Universe than Kevin Bacon is in making connections between movie stars. This first arc -- and this issue specifically -- does a good job establishing that. Now it is time to build on that foundation.

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6.0
Black Widow (2014) #5

Apr 4, 2014

Edmondson and Noto have done a solid job keeping this series valid in the initial full-court press of double-shipping issues. Quality has been topnotch and the stories have been substantial. Edmondson might be trying to stay out of Noto's way a bit, but the two really do a fine job collaborating. Five issues in, however, it feels like the story is just wheeling to the runway for take off now. The cliffhanger leaves me anxious for Natasha and looking forward to "Black Widow" #6.

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10
Black Widow (2016) #1

Mar 1, 2016

All-New, All-Different Marvel has had some pretty sweet successes, and this is definitely another one on that count. Waid, Samnee, Wilson, and Caramagna are the best of the best at what they do, and, in the case of Black Widow #1, what they do is make gorgeous, thrilling, enjoyable comics.

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4.0
Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1

Nov 10, 2009

While some of Widow's potential is getting tapped here, this adventure seems slightly misguided. If someone truly wanted to wipe out the people Widow cared for, why telegraph it? With a character as crafty, connected, and resourceful as Black Widow, the mystery presented here seems very thin, the challenge more minimal and elusive than daunting. The thin veil of the present day story is a distraction to the more interesting details of Natasha's past. Hopefully Cornell can punch up the present day tale in the issues to come.

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4.0
Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4

Feb 18, 2010

Cornell and crew cleared the deck nicely for the upcoming series' creative team, so from here it's forward motion for Black Widow. Hopefully the next chapter in Black Widow's story has a little more bang for the buck -- or three bucks.

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10
Blackest Night #0

May 4, 2009

As far as free comics go, I seriously doubt they get much better than this. While it is just one giant advertisement "- with more ads for Green Lantern-related items, from the Blackest Night action figure line to the "First Flight" DVD -" this story sets the table nicely for the events to come in July. I only hope that the issues with a price tag higher than "free" are as enjoyable as this prologue.

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10
Blackest Night #1

Jul 15, 2009

My comrade, Timothy Callahan, is also reviewing this. Of late, the two of us have been more different than alike in our reviews, so I look forward to seeing what he thinks of this issue. I know what I think. This issue is, far and away, the best thing I'm going to read this week. I'm debating not even reading anything else. This is "summer reading" at its very best: high energy adventure, huge stakes, great characters, a dastardly foe, and great creative talent. Add one tall glass of your favorite beverage, a shady hammock of a spot of floor near a fan and you've got a great way to spend some summer free time.

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10
Blackest Night #3

Sep 16, 2009

The book has come out regularly. The creative team has remained consistent. This story "- the story of "Blackest Night" -- has a chance to be one of the greatest event stories ever told. Unbelievably, however, with this issue, it's even more approachable to any fan who has stood just outside of this story. Any fan with passing knowledge of the DC Universe can hop in and follow the adventure; there's plenty more to come.

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8.0
Blackest Night #6

Dec 30, 2009

Before "Blackest Night" I was a reader ready to declare "event fatigue" and throw in the towel on event books. This story " through all of its extensions in the "Green Lantern" titles and the multiple spinoffs " has been very enjoyable. The stakes are raised a bit more in each issue, but in this one, the "good guys" see those stakes, call, and raise their own. It's a shame that we have to wait until February for more of the main tale.

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8.0
Blackest Night #7

Feb 25, 2010

"Blackest Night" ends next month, but given the revelation of the White Lantern in this issue, I'm beginning to wonder how bright the "Brightest Day" is going to be, and for whom.

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7.0
Blackest Night: Batman #2

Sep 12, 2009

DC seems to have gotten the "supplemental" ideas right with "Blackest Night." While I do not feel compelled to purchase all of the "Blackest Night" series and tie-ins, I have found myself at least wanting to sample them all. Some hit me more than others. This series is one of the good ones, which I find quite interesting considering I am not reading any of the Bat-books with any regularity. I chalk it up to Deadman.

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7.0
Blackest Night: JSA #1

Dec 23, 2009

This is a very good "Blackest Night" tie-in, perhaps one of the best yet, as Robinson steps up to the challenge. I just hope the other two issues are just as strong. If timing plays out, the "Blackest Night: JSA" #3 will come out the same week as "Blackest Night" #7, and I have to believe that the timing of those two issues, combined with the professional relationship between Geoff Johns and James Robinson is more than just coincidental. The JSA will play a big part in ending the "Blackest Night," but first they'll get much deeper into it.

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7.0
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2

Jul 22, 2009

With a roster of talent just shy of that appearing in the pages of Wednesday Comics, this issue of "Tales of the Corps" (for some odd reason, with this title, I want to pronounce the "p", I don't have that hurdle to jump elsewhere) provides two entertaining tales and one story that should be immortalized in collected editions to come.

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8.0
Blackest Night: The Flash #1

Dec 3, 2009

With the Flash, it is only appropriate to add a story that takes place between the panels of another story, and in this case, the tale under the cover adds depth to the titular character and the event this series ties into. Of the "Blackest Night" tie-ins to this point, this single issue adds more to the story, the possible results of the story, and the effects on the DC Universe as a whole. Speculation is posited here regarding the resurrection of the Black Lanterns, and even what might wait for those characters beyond the "Blackest Night." From the first page to the last, this story -" due in no small part to Johns' double-duty as writer of both "- feels like a fold-out extension of the main "Blackest Night" series.

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9.0
Blackest Night: Titans #1

Aug 27, 2009

One thing is for certain: with Krul, Benes, Hunter/Sibal/Mayer and crew, I'll be back for the rest of this series and hoping that this team graduates to one of the regular "Titans" titles.

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8.0
Blackest Night: Titans #3

Oct 29, 2009

Krul has been the best thing to hit the Titans franchise in a long, long time, maybe since the franchise had new life imbued in it via Cartoon Network. He "gets" the characters, especially in the situations "Blackest Night" drops on them. Donna Troy reacts as a warrior would, but manages to maintain the emotions that made her a fan favorite character for decades. Unfortunately, Krul only has so many pages to work with and isn't able to devote pages to every character, but he does make a valiant attempt to let each character shine, adhering to advice Len Wein once gave about writing team books. DC would do themselves a great favor if they made Krul an offer and gave him a chance to write a regular Titans title. It'd be enough for me to check it out. Of course, if it featured some of these characters and/or art by Benes, then it'd be a lock.

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8.0
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1

Dec 6, 2009

The story in this issue seems to be done in one, but given the developments that Wonder Woman and many of her comrades are involved in the main "Blackest Night," there will be plenty of room for more Wonder Woman-centric activity in future issues. This isn't a must-have, must-read "Blackest Night" issue, which makes it all the more enjoyable. This issue adds subtext to one of the heroes embroiled in the turmoil of "Blackest Night," and answers the inevitable fan question of "So where's Max?" This story is more of a luxury than a requirement, and the creative team of Rucka and Scott are well-suited to this tale.

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8.0
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2

Jan 7, 2010

This series, like all of the "Blackest Night" tie-ins, offers more to the story. It doesn't supplant "Blackest Night," but it enhances what happens in the main title. No one reading "Blackest Night" is going to be lost if they skip this issue, but those reading this issue will have some questions about "Blackest Night" #6 quickly answered.

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7.0
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3

Feb 4, 2010

As mentioned above, these "Blackest Night" tie-ins are not must haves, but with the creative team that gave us "Blackest Night: Wonder Woman" this series became a "great to have" for me. Rucka set out to tell a great story in between the happenings of "Blackest Night" and did a great job.

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5.0
Blackhawks #1

Oct 2, 2011

The concept of the "Blackhawks" as a United Nations-sanctioned covert peacekeeping force has legs, but barely gets to stretch them here. The characters are just being given names and vague purposes, but that simply means that there isn't significant depth to anything here. Hopefully this is just the start and the rest of the story as it were will come into view more crisply in the next few issues.

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7.0
Blackhawks #4

Dec 29, 2011

With four months and a dozen bucks sunk into a number of the relaunched titles, it has come time for me to separate the keepers from the also-rans, the might-read-its, and the good-lord-nos. Congratulations, "Blackhawks," you'll be sticking around for another month. Let's make the mission a success. The easiest way to do that would be to offer up more of everything that made this issue so enjoyable.

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3.0
Blackhawks #8

Apr 27, 2012

Unfortunately, that best summarizes not only this issue but the entire "Blackhawks" series. It was serviceable, had some decent moments, showcased some good talent, but nothing here is memorable. Of the fifty-two titles that launched last September, this one had the most untapped potential. Maybe at some point the Blackhawks will resurface, but they'll need some help to catch notice.

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8.0
Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #2

Nov 13, 2013

Fans of Jonah Hex, Quantum and Woody and other confidently irreverent characters will find plenty to love here in Travis Clevenger, who despite his gruffness, manages to project likability. Clev is armed with an attitude certain to appeal to fans of the rougher-hewn comic book fan-favorites. Between this, the offerings from Valiant that I've sampled and a handful of Image books, I'm considering a split from the big two to be a little bit more attractive every Wednesday. With everyone jumping on comic IPs to launch television and movie franchises, "Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine" #2 is a godsend. The concept is so wonderfully fleshed out that Jolley and Kirk can almost assuredly count the minutes until this character is optioned for other media. Jolley and Kirk have provided a great story to encourage new readers to latch on.

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6.0
Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps #0.2014

Feb 26, 2014

Let there be no doubt "Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps: H.A.R.D. Corps" #0 is a bloody comic. When war and business cross paths, things can be unsettling, especially in periods of extreme upheaval. This comic is a collection of critical junctures throughout the history of H.A.R.D. Corps, all of which add to the fabric behind the Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps quilt. This is a fine addition to the series so far and should prove to be more beneficial as H.A.R.D. Corps continues to evolve, especially given some of the revelations set for in this issue regarding mental and physical stability.

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8.0
Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps #14

Sep 19, 2013

I vaguely remember the "Bloodshot" and "H.A.R.D. Corps" titles from the 1990s version of Valiant, but never invested any time or money in them. In my mind they quickly qualified themselves as "'90s concepts," and not necessarily in a good way. This interpretation of the properties is filled with action and intrigue and does a remarkable job of updating 1990s comic book concepts for a modern-day audience. With only one splash page in "Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps" #14, Gage, Dysart, Lupacchino and company deliver a packed comic book. This isn't a quick read; it's meaty and complex, filled with a compelling plot and diverse characters brought together around it. For the four bucks I spent on "Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps" #14, I feel like Valiant Entertainment has earned every penny. This issue has also convinced me that it's high time I check out the rest of line that has been receiving critical acclaim from comic book professionals and reviewers alike.

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6.0
Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps #19

Feb 21, 2014

While this super-powered corporately-funded wetworks team book might not be for everyone, everyone who buys this is in for a solid read, provided they're looking for a little bloodshed and destruction with their super powers on the side. This two-part story with Sears and ChrisCross on the art chores is a nice sampler of things past and things to come as "Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps" #19 closes a chapter for Bloodshot and begins constructing another.

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9.0
Bloodshot: Reborn #1

Apr 15, 2015

Regardless of readers' familiarity with Bloodshot, Lemire, Suayan, Baron and Lanphear serve up a masterful introduction. Readers looking for a fresh start will find it here, while longer-term Bloodshot fans will find a nice recap prior to Lemire kicking this adventure into high gear. Lemire gives readers a solid set-up, action and intrigue. Garrison tries to find his place post-Bloodshot, but it seems the world -- and Lemire, especially -- has other plans. It looks like this is going to be an action-packed, psychodrama-tinged adventure.

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1.0
Bloodstrike (2015) #1

Jul 13, 2015

Titled "The Junk," this story is adolescent teen humor at best, with dialogue like, "But -- my man parts ...ack." "Bloodstrike" #1 is a rough read. Liefeld might be trying for satire or parody here, but it falls flat and simply becomes more uninspiring artwork from one of Image Comics' founders.

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6.0
Blue Beetle #27

Jun 1, 2008

This issue isn't going to be the most memorable issue of the series, but it also had some very big shoes to fill. Unfortunately, this issue didn't even wear socks, but a bad "Blue Beetle" story certainly outstrips some of the other "great" books out there in terms of enjoyability. For the ingrained "Blue Beetle" reader, this story holds up well, but by no means would this issue be the one to share as a recruiting tool for new readers. Sturges starts up in July with issue #29, hopefully that one will provide a decent ramp for new readers to wheel up on. Come on back when that one hits and I'll clue you in.

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6.0
Blue Beetle #29

Jul 31, 2008

The stage has been set, the first issue launched, and "Blue Beetle" seems well on its way into the next big adventure. The book has survived 29 issues and been solicited to nearly a complete third year. I strongly believe that with this creative team, the book could easily hit #50 and gain a larger following on the way.

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8.0
Blue Beetle #35

Feb 1, 2009

This title has given the readers nearly three years of enjoyment, from pure awesomeness to chuckling points of reflection. There have been a few writers and a few more artists that have checked in, and a greater amount of creators who have pointed to this book as a "critical success." With his recent appearances and licensing spin-offs related to "Batman: the Brave and the Bold", it seems odd that this title is drawing to a close now, but it is what it is. For now, it is one of the best titles DC produces and the top of my monthly reading (and re-reading) pile.

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8.0
Blue Beetle #36

Feb 25, 2009

Let it be known that one of DC's most consistently enjoyable titles is no longer being published, but it goes out with a graceful flourish sure to provide fans with one final brush with comic books as they should be.

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7.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #0

Sep 24, 2012

"Blue Beetle" #0 is a great spot to jump in, especially with what looks like a critical arc on the horizon. While this issue is largely a flashback tale of sorts it dips in and out of the story, allowing historical figures relevant to this series to breathe and move throughout the issue. There isn't much from Jaime Reyes in this issue, but all of this leads to the final page which sets up a dire situation for Jaime to try to escape or defeat. I've been enjoying this series since it started. The stories are briskly paced and contribute to a larger narrative, and the upcoming adventure looks to be exciting and fun. There's no mistaking that DC is trying guide this book to hit the same notes that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko sparked with the formative days of Spider-Man. Bedard, Giffen and Guara may not be matching that classic note for note, but the story is as close to that as anything else on the stands right now.

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8.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #1

Sep 22, 2011

This is a fabulous book for a first issue, but I have one minor concern. The major characters in this title are all teens, and as such there are spots of humor that tends to be on the level with teens, including teen innuendo, which is every bit as bothersome on the printed page as it would be in real life. Sure, you could argue that it makes Bedard's characters more believable and real, but I could provide just as much of an argument that that pair of throwaway lines torpedoes what could have otherwise served as a strong all ages read. I'll leave it to you to decide, once you read this book, if you want to share it with younger readers or hold onto it for yourself. This is a great introduction to a wonderful world and a spectacular universe. Blue Beetle's back, and it's up to you to make sure he stays around this time.

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9.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #3

Nov 17, 2011

I sampled all fifty-two of the titles when DC relaunched them and have since been trying to pare down that bushel to a more manageable bunch. Each and every time that I sit down to do that, "Blue Beetle" makes it into the top ten. It's a fun book with classic comic sensibilities and magnificent art, and should be top ten all over the place. The stories are entertaining and the characters relatable. If you're finding the relaunch overwhelming and looking for that foothold in the new DCU, this just may be the book for you.

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9.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #5

Jan 19, 2012

Aside from that quirk, this issue is darn near perfect. Bedard's writing is strong, Guara's art is stunning, and the characters are human, exciting and fun. There's more crammed into this single issue of "Blue Beetle" than in some collected editions of other books. And there's plenty more to come. Jaime Reyes' world changed when the scarab fused itself to his spine. We're lucky enough to be invited along for the adventures that follow.

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10
Blue Beetle (2011) #6

Feb 17, 2012

This issue delivers on the promise of massive changes for the New 52. While "Blue Beetle" #6 may not have a braggadocio on the cover declaring the end of everything as we know it, Bedard and Guara deliver a game-changer for Jaime, his family and friends. Things happen in this issue forever altering Blue Beetle and those around him with possible lasting consequences for the DC Universe -- and I can't wait to see what's next.

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8.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #10

Jun 25, 2012

After some issues meandering around New York, bemoaning his circumstances, Blue Beetle might finally be finding a direction. If any of the pieces put on the table in this issue continue to be used, this series will soon be discussed as "most improved" title from last year's relaunch. "Blue Beetle" is finally carving out some space in the DC Universe, now it just needs to capitalize on that space and continue to churn out satisfying and entertaining summer reads like "Blue Beetle" #10.

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7.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #12

Aug 16, 2012

"Blue Beetle" #12 seems like a turning point in this series as Khaji-Da begins to attempt to assimilate some notions that Jaime has introduced to it, especially those from this issue proper. The heart of the first Jaime Reyes-starring "Blue Beetle" series was his confusion and attempts to curb the scarab's murderous tendencies towards foes. Given that the scarab here is perceived as flawed in its mission to begin transforming Earth for a Reach invasion, Bedard has taken some interesting paths towards building a new mythology for Jaime Reyes, Khaji-Da and the Reach. The #0 issue promises to reveal some of the secrets of Khaji-Da's origin, but this issue is a nice sample of what this series has been all about.

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4.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #16

Jan 25, 2013

DC has given the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle more than a few chances at securing a reading audience, but so far has not been able to sustain readership. While I am not certain that adding Jaime to a lesser-known and extremely new property like "Threshold" is the right idea to help raise public awareness of such a fun character, I certainly cannot fault DC for their lack of effort in testing new avenues to expose this character to wider audiences. The second volume of the adventures of Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle ends not with a bang, but a slow fade and a "To Be Continued. . ." plug for another title. Of the seventeen issues this series has had, it's a shame the final one is the most disappointing.

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8.0
Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Aug 24, 2016

Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1 is not a perfect comic, but it is a bold one. There's humor, melodrama, teen angst, and family sitcom alongside action, adventure, mystery, and world-building. I've missed Jaime Reyes. And Ted Kord. Now, thanks to Giffen, Kolins, Fajardo, and Reed, we'll be able to have some grand adventures with both of them. I know I'm looking forward to it.

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6.0
Booster Gold #14

Nov 15, 2008

This two-issue filler from Remender helped pad the schedule a bit (ironic for a time-travelling hero, no?) for Jurgens' re-debut next issue while also throwing some new toys into the Booster Gold sandbox. Hopefully Jurgens gets a chance to play with those toys. If not, Remender is welcome back to provide Dan with a breather, just as long as Oliffe and Ordway tag along.

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7.0
Booster Gold #15

Dec 14, 2008

For more insight from Jurgens himself, check out the interview CBR conducted with him recently.

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7.0
Booster Gold #19

Apr 13, 2009

This series is three issues shy of the twenty-five issue run from the previous volume of "Booster Gold" -" a mark this title is guaranteed to break, given that it is slated to have a "Blue Beetle" co-feature starting with issue #21. I'm sure this title will gain a few more readers in June, but why wait until then? Jump into the timestream, the water's fine!

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9.0
Booster Gold #21

Jun 11, 2009

Individually, this issue of "Booster Gold" would have gotten 3.5 stars, but with the addition of "Blue Beetle" "- and a good Beetle tale at that "- this issue jumps a full star. Even though this issue clocked in at $3.99, it is well worth the price. After all, the "Blue Beetle" segment is essentially half a comic, clocking in at ten pages to the twenty pages dedicated to the primary feature. Summer reading is here, and with DC pumping these "Second Features" into some good books, you might want to think about upping the SPF in that sunscreen before hitting the hammock. After all, you'll be there a little longer enjoying some more good reading if this issue is any indication of what we can expect!

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7.0
Booster Gold #25

Oct 17, 2009

At any rate, this book continues to be a highlight for me on DC's monthly offering, much in the same way "The Flash" was back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While Booster Gold is a title firmly grounded with both feet in the DC Universe, it is not DC's standard fare, and in this case, that's a good thing.

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7.0
Booster Gold #29

Feb 14, 2010

Next issue brings "Booster Gold" back to $2.99, with the continuation of the Coast City crisis. Hank Henshaw became the Cyborg Superman, he brought the destruction to Coast City, and Booster Gold let it happen. Booster's not going to let this go easily, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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6.0
Booster Gold #31

Apr 19, 2010

"Booster Gold" has been a consistently entertaining title since spinning out of the aftermath of "52" and this issue is just as entertaining, if not heavily burdened by consequence.

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8.0
Booster Gold #32

May 17, 2010

While the "Booster Gold" title has been on my list since it relaunched, I was pleasantly surprised by this issue, and remain hopeful that this slight detour in the direction of the title might help this book gain more recognition. This is a title that I've been following for quite some, and I do not see that changing any time soon.

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8.0
Booster Gold #34

Jul 15, 2010

This is a nice aside from the "Brightest Day" quest Booster is on. Giffen and DeMatteis are having a fun time playing with Booster Gold's world and reminiscing with the characters that brought them so much attention and adoration before. It's a nice reunion for all parties, including us readers.

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7.0
Booster Gold #36

Sep 12, 2010

Booster Gold, with and without the former members of Justice League International has been on his quest to bring down Max Lord for what would be more than a year of comics (five "Booster Gold" and nine "Justice League" over the course of the past five months. This title, however, has been filled with sidebars, unplanned adventures, and highlights that recall the glory days of the "JLI" so that the search has not drained the life from this title. As a matter of fact, I'd like to see Booster get a shot or two in on Max in this title. In the meantime, however, it looks like my fix for that is going to have to come from the covers. Good thing the stories in between are consistently entertaining, sometimes funny, and frequently fun.

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8.0
Booster Gold #39

Dec 13, 2010

This issue is a bit of a departure from the time-hopping tales of this volume of "Booster Gold," focusing on the person wearing the costume rather than his never-ending battle against the hiccups and heartburn caused by ripples in the timestream. Nonetheless, this is still an enjoyable read, just as so many issues of this series have been. Quite simply, and to paraphrase the cover, "Booster Gold" is the greatest hero you're not reading. Do something about that, will you, please?

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7.0
Booster Gold #40

Jan 13, 2011

All the same, this issue of "Booster Gold" packs a surprise ending, especially for anyone who's read this book at any point following its emergence from "52." Advance solicits have spoiled what's coming up " to a point " but they sure didn't latch on to how we're getting to what's coming up. I, for one, never saw it coming. It makes sense, sure, but I didn't expect it. Where Giffen and DeMatteis take it all from here remains to be seen, but I'll certainly be there to see it.

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8.0
Booster Gold #43

Apr 15, 2011

From here, though, Booster Gold heads into "Flashpoint," and Dan Jurgens returns to guide Booster through it. In the words of Rip Hunter, Booster's "about to be tested " pushed to his limits. . . and beyond." This issue is a nice spot to meet up with Booster before that leg of his journey begins.

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8.0
Booster Gold #44

May 18, 2011

Jurgens' return to this book not only marks the start of "Flashpoint" and a keenly-designed welcome mat and open door to this series, but it also sees the return of something far more important: all ages reading. Jurgens is a modern master of delivering stories that have retro sensibilities. Each issue that Jurgens crafts carries itself strongly, offers a good story, and a smart introduction to the world of "Booster Gold." I just hope tying this series into "Flashpoint" gives the book enough of a profile boost to give fans the opportunity to discover the best superhero book they didn't know they were missing.

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6.0
Booster Gold #47

Aug 11, 2011

Set to play a prominent role in "Justice League International" in "The New 52," "Booster Gold" leaves us with a nice set of fun, light-hearted, all-ages appropriate stories. I hope DC gives Jurgens another shot in their new world order, if even for a miniseries.

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7.0
Booster Gold: Futures End #1

Sep 25, 2014

Many of the "Futures End" one-shots give readers a one-and-done adventure. Maybe some teases are fed, or some concepts alluded to, but in "Booster Gold: Futures End" #1, Jurgens gives readers a slice of Booster Gold's life. This is just a peek, but it is absolutely vital to other books coming out from DC and likely leads back into the "Futures End" event and perhaps beyond. I'd love to see more of Booster Gold, and the story ideas Dan Jurgens has seeded here could certainly support a twelve-issue run or more.

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7.0
Brain Boy #0

Dec 13, 2013

"Brain Boy" #0 is a nifty slice of what Fred Van Lente brings to this character. Free from continuity, crossovers and even a supporting cast, "Brain Boy" #0 is all about the situation Matt Price is facing and his ability to deal with it. Through this avenue, Van Lente and company are able to establish the character's voice and enhance the reader's ability to invest in the character. The story in "Brain Boy" #0 is complete and rewarding enough to walk away from, but Van Lente and crew leave enough open for readers to all but demand more Brain Boy adventures.

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7.0
Brain Boy #1

Sep 11, 2013

After some panel time in "Dark Horse Presents" with art from Freddie Williams II, "Brain Boy" #1 brings the enjoyable resurrection of an old Dell Comics' property to modern comic racks. Van Lente and Silva make the story of Matt Price and his service to Albright Industries fresh enough to feel brand new. A fun read with a dynamic, surprise ending that puts Price in a bad spot and gives readers something to look forward to, "Brain Boy" #1 is another solid, unexpected offering from Dark Horse.

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9.0
Brightest Day #0

Apr 14, 2010

Issues numbered with a #0 have been deemed to be the perfect hopping on point for new readers, and this collection of characters has frequently hurt for new readers. Johns and Tomasi deliver a fine introduction that gives any reader a chance to step right in on the ground floor on this book or many of the others flying the "Brightest Day" banner.

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9.0
Brightest Day #1

May 5, 2010

DC has a surefire hit on their hands and on comic stands with this assemblage of story, talent, and characters. I get the distinct impression, however, that nothing is as it seems. Lucky for me, I only have to wait fourteen days to learn a little more about what's going on here.

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6.0
Brightest Day #4

Jun 16, 2010

This issue, as I already mentioned, feels thin, but that may be in part due to the fact that the story is moving quickly. There are a myriad of plotlines floating about that any given issue can only address so many. This book has a lot to offer, but it isn't consistent in the amounts of what it offers each issue.

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8.0
Brightest Day #5

Jul 8, 2010

There's not a whole lot of answers given in this issue of "Brightest Day," but there are some gasp-worthy (my wife was concerned for me) moments that make this book a compelling read. DC solicited this issue as a turning point of sorts for the series. "Deadman discovers the truth behind the formation of the White Lantern and what it means to the twelve returnees and the rest of the DC Universe. Plus, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Firestorm discover the price for their resurrections...and why they may be doing more harm than good to the world." That doesn't happen here. It's still a good read, though.

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9.0
Brightest Day #7

Aug 4, 2010

I've been hankering to get into this title since it was announced. That hankering was enhanced once I saw the lineup of returned heroes. Now, with some payoff starting to shine through, I'm itching to get my mitts on the next issue. There aren't very many days of summer left, but this issue hits the bigness of summer comics for all it's worth.

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9.0
Brightest Day #8

Aug 18, 2010

There's an "Of course!" moment at the end of the issue that makes too much sense once all of the elements and clues of the "Brightest Day" brand are considered. This issue delivered in a huge way for me. I hope the next issue does the same for Firestorm and Aquaman as this issue did for Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter.

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9.0
Brightest Day #10

Sep 16, 2010

"Brightest Day" has hit the point in the story where each character's purpose is defined, but they are trying to determine how they got to this point and how they are to achieve that purpose identified for them. The end result is that Johns and Tomasi have started limiting the content, choosing to focus on a smaller portion of the "Brightest Day" cast, giving the reader a chance to learn more about the characters. This has allowed the stories to leg it out a bit more, but it also leaves me pining for more at the end of each issue. The downside to that is that I'm unsure when the next Hawkman installment is going to be or when that next Firestorm fix will pop up. Luckily for me, I'm enjoying the tales of all the heroes in this title, so it's a plethora of nice problems to have right now.

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9.0
Brightest Day #11

Oct 7, 2010

Things are really starting to pick up in this series, as some of the characters seem plotted on a collision course. "Brightest Day" is closing in on its halfway point, and while I don't know exactly where it is going, I'm definitely interested in jumping in for the ride, much like Aquaman does to the unsuspecting truck driver in this issue. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, "I want to go to there."

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9.0
Brightest Day #12

Oct 20, 2010

This is another issue of "Brightest Day" that narrows its focus to one character in particular, then zooms out for an update on resurrected heroes from elsewhere. The end result is a more personal tale of J'onn J'onnz, although you wouldn't presume as much from the David Finch cover. The Reis cover " the variant " depicts the tale that rests inside. Still, this issue makes some significant strides in the life of one hero, but forsakes the other returned characters to do so. The story it does deliver is one of the most satisfying and electrifying stories in this series yet.

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8.0
Brightest Day #14

Nov 17, 2010

Out of this issue there are changes on the horizon, both for this title and for others flying the "Brightest Day" cover dress. I'm unclear as to how tightly those other storylines will weave back through this book, but for my money, "Brightest Day" delivers a solid story issue after issue and this one is no exception. There are sure to be a few readers living on Bat-hype right now who find themselves compelled to buy this issue. It serves as a nice (albeit shockingly brief) recap of events to this point while also making for a nice introduction to the "Brightest Day" concept as an event.

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8.0
Brightest Day #16

Dec 15, 2010

With ten issues remaining, I'm expecting to start seeing the stories of these characters (all of them, not just the two here) come together, but the last page of this issue has me wondering what comes next. There are cliffhanger final pages and then there are cliffhanger final pages that have you checking the calendar to see just how long you're going to be strung out for. That's a bigger concern with "Brightest Day" as it could easily be a pair of issues (or more) before we revisit these characters again. Until then, it might be worthwhile to go back and re-read these first seventeen issues.

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10
Brightest Day #18

Jan 19, 2011

This issue is where things start to click into place and answers start to address their questions. But, as some of those answers fall into place, I'm finding more than a few questions are rising up to replace them. "Brightest Day" still has a mystique to it regarding where the brightness emanates from and who it shines upon, but one thing is for certain: it's a fun read.

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8.0
Brightest Day #19

Feb 2, 2011

As event books go, this series has consistently entertained me, and provided some wonderful art twice each month. This issue made me realize just how much hasn't really happened to this point, but it is no less enjoyable for that. Johns and Tomasi realize that there are pieces that need to be wrapped up, such as Aquaman's inability to command living creatures of the sea, but I am concerned that in their haste to wrap this up and provide a larger threat to the Earth that some of these pieces might slide away without resolution. As I've said, I've been entertained, and I expect to continue to be, I just hope I can be entertained by a strong resolution.

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8.0
Brightest Day #20

Feb 16, 2011

In the end, though, the White Lantern proves once more to be batcrap crazy, as a hero accomplishes his mission and is strangely rewarded. There are four issues left, and I'm fairly certain there's going to need to be some quick resolution on some of the other stories.

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8.0
Brightest Day #21

Mar 2, 2011

This issue wraps with another one of the twelve apparently done for, but given the happenings of this issue proper, I'd wager next week's comic budget that the "final" bows we've seen to this point really aren't that final. There are, after all, eight surviving returned characters and only a trio of issues left in this series. Johns and Tomasi are ready to really pick things up here in the final three installments, but in the meantime, this issue does a pretty good job of providing a summary.

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8.0
Brightest Day #22

Mar 16, 2011

Clark's art, while heavily photo-referenced for backgrounds and atmosphere, is filled with stark shadows, adding to the great emotions and character acting Clark puts upon these characters. The final two pages take Firestorm away from the Antimatter Universe, and the contrast in art styles between Clark and Ivan Reis is dramatic and well-suited for the story and the shifting location. There is only a pair of issues left, and I'm still not completely certain what the end game is that is being played towards here, but I am definitely along for the ride.

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6.0
Brightest Day #24

Apr 27, 2011

With each issue, "Brightest Day" offered up genuine surprises. As we all know, those are a rare commodity in the comic business today. The reveal of Swamp Thing was a genuine surprise, and a welcome character returned to the DCU proper. Unfortunately it robbed this last issue of the opportunity to be a stellar surprise.

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0.0
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1

Jun 22, 2011

With this issue, DC has done a great job of assembling a book and crafting a story that makes me look forward to September's relaunch by convincing me that this current universe is something I really shouldn't waste time (or money) caring about. I'll be skipping the rest of this series (someone please let me know if Hawkman shows up and kicks any moss-covered ass). Bring on September and Scott Snyder, a writer who gets horror stories and adventure comics.

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5.0
Brightest Day: The Atom Special #1

Jul 11, 2010

The Atom's back, and this issue is a fine introduction to him, but it's light on action. Good thing the story continues in "Adventure" and not some other Super-title. This is a fine starting point for readers unfamiliar with the Mighty Mite, and it's approachable for younger readers as well.

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8.0
Bruce Wayne: The Road Home - Batgirl #1

Oct 18, 2010

Miller has made Batgirl a character that comic fans of all ages can appreciate. Batgirl is quick with a quip, like classic Spider-Man, unafraid of the world around her, like Nightwing, and full of hope, like Superman. The end result is a story that every fan can appreciate and fans of all ages can enjoy. "Batgirl" is going to gain some extra exposure through this "Bruce Wayne" event, and fans that find this character through this event will certainly be glad they met her here.

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5.0
Buck Rogers #0

Apr 22, 2009

My only hope is that the pages shown here are not excerpts to "Buck Rogers" #1, but rather a prequel to the adventures there. It seems as though this story is going to be separate from whatever may be in the first "true" issue of "Buck Rogers," as this issue's last page declares that the beginning to this story can be found in "Buck Rogers" #1.

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7.0
Buck Rogers #1

Jun 9, 2009

This series offers some promise for great summer reading. Beatty has quickly established a tone and a pace for this series, choosing to drive the series through the characters' actions. Dynamite, unfortunately, seems to advocate the decompressed method of storytelling, which will undoubtedly confound some readers going forward. If he manages to pack this much action into each subsequent issue, Beatty will be able to distract the anxious readers from their quest to immediately know all the facts about Buck Rogers.

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7.0
Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #3

Jan 12, 2015

"Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier" #3 is a trippy comic that gives readers a straightforward thriller assassination plot, albeit one that is set in space. Someday, comic book readers might look back on the adventures of Bucky in space with fondness, not unlike the general attitude towards Jim Steranko's "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." today. This is an offbeat book with innovative artwork, fun characters, wild settings and an entertaining story. What more does it really need?

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7.0
Buddy Cops One-Shot #1

Mar 15, 2013

"Buddy Cops" #1 is a humorous comic certain to find a following among fans of tales similar to "The Tick." As a matter of fact, Heather in this issue bears a slight resemblance to an offshoot (pun intended and if you don't get it, read the comic) of El Seed. I'm hoping we see more of Uranus and T.A.Z.E.R. soon as Cosby and Shaner definitely have a way with producing comics that bring the fun and the funny.

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8.0
Burning Fields #1

Jan 21, 2015

"Burning Fields" #1 launches the series with a mystery and a bang, but Moreci, Daniel and Lorimer are clearly not going to just coast with what they give readers in this issue. The cast is in place, the mystery is bubbling and bodies are piling up. This has the makings of a solid thriller, easy on the exposition and heavy on the uncomfortable moments.

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6.0
Buzzard #1

Jun 9, 2010

This first issue of "Buzzard" is sure to scratch some Goon-type itches for Powell's fans. For those new to Powell's work, this is a decent sample, but it'll only start the Powell-art itches for those newbies. Hopefully we all won't have to wait too long for those collective itches to be scratched.

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7.0
C.O.W.L. #3

Jul 31, 2014

I binge read this run, capping off with "C.O.W.L." #3. Higgins, Siegel, Reis and Peteri give Image yet another solid book worth checking out. Image has built up a nice little streak over the past few years and as long as books of this quality, with this level of talent continue to appear, I'll be a happy reader.

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5.0
Cable and X-Force #1

Dec 12, 2012

It's a darn good thing the double-shipping pattern gives us the next issue coming out next week (undoubtedly the oddest double-shipping assignment ever) as "Cable and X-Force" #1 feels like an incomplete thought. When I was a kid, there were things called double-sized premiere issues. This comic would have been much better served and more enticing than shelling out six bucks for forty pages, especially when the first twenty are little more than a tease. Sure, that might reduce profit margins a bit, but it would also reduce printing costs and also ensure that fans get a more explosive debut issue.

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3.0
Cable and X-Force #9

Jun 10, 2013

"Cable and X-Force" #9 is a disappointing comic book on many levels. The ingredients are here for awesome adventures and fun stories, but "Cable and X-Force" has not figured out how to concoct the proper recipe to make those ingredients into what they can be.

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6.0
Cable and X-Force #18

Jan 10, 2014

I'm not the most dedicated supporter of either X-Force title, but that doesn't matter to jump into the opening installment of "Vendetta." Hopeless provides sufficient background regarding the characters and their relationships that readers new and old alike will be able to join the flow of "Cable and the X-Force" #18. There's a misunderstanding at the heart of nearly every conflict between assemblages of heroes and this is no exception. Historically, however, we might be a little deeper into one of those conflicts by the end of the first of a four-part crossover event. From this point, however, we are all but guaranteed a fast, wild ride with plenty of explosions and fisticuffs, at least if this comic book is anything to base expectations around.

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7.0
Captain Action Cat #1

Apr 18, 2014

With Chris Smits by their side, Aureliani and Baltazar fill out the twenty-two pages with fun, and end it with a cliffhanger, giving readers plenty of bang for their four bucks. I'm curious to see where the story goes and how the inevitable inclusion of Captain Action is handled. This is a series bursting with potential and fun. I'm glad to see it on the racks, and readers of all ages looking for something light-hearted

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6.0
Captain America & the Korvac Saga #1

Dec 11, 2010

It is nice to go to a comic shop and have these reimaginings of classics available. It is the stories like the "Korvac Saga" that that older readers fondly remember and, therefore, might chose to share with younger readers, especially in this miniseries format. This is a fine addition to the all ages reads that Marvel has done a fabulous job of producing. It's a crying shame, however, that the House of Ideas doesn't seem to have any ideas about how to make the all ages line appeal to a wider audience. After all, there's a whole new generation of Captain America fans that will be slinging garbage can lids around as makeshift shields next summer. Marvel has to get this book into their hands.

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7.0
Captain America (2004) #617

Apr 27, 2011

All the same, this issue doesn't feature that legacy being filled. The Captain America costume lies empty in this issue and no shield is slung. Brubaker does an applaudable job handling the myriad stories, but I'd like to see more Captain America in my "Captain America" comic. I have no doubt Brubaker will get there, and I am certainly looking forward to that. In the meantime, "Captain America" promises to deliver three stories that have dynamic effect on the legend.

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7.0
Captain America (2004) #621

Aug 24, 2011

I wasn't a regular reader of Brubaker's "Captain America," but once I heard Samnee was headed to this title, I made sure to keep an eye out for it. I'm glad I did. Each issue is sowing further seeds of digging deeper into Brubaker's run and filling some of the gaps I left.

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7.0
Captain America (2004) #629

Apr 26, 2012

The first offering of a new "Marvel Team-Up" or "Marvel Two-In-One" type of book has a fair amount of promise. Playing up to the marketability of two stars from this summer's sure-fire hit feature film is a good way to launch a book and ensure that eyes see the book. Once the eyes get there, Bunn does a good job of offering up an entertaining story, but this issue is far from a complete tale. Successful team-up books of the past were able to master the done-in-one story but thread through a subplot or a few. Hopefully Bunn did his research and employs that formula going forward. For now, however, this is a pretty good start.

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4.0
Captain America (2004) #631

May 25, 2012

The team-ups of my youth were concise stories, complete in an issue or two at the most. Sure, there were underlying subplots and maybe even a recurring villain or two that would stretch beyond the team-up, but the stories were easily attainable, interesting, fun reads that had good to great art and fun interplay between the characters teaming up. "Captain America and Hawkeye" is getting long in the tooth and needs to wrap soon before it collapses under its own weight as it tries to figure out what it wants to be. This is a potentially fun concept, it just needs to be a little more deftly executed.

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6.0
Captain America (2004) #635

Aug 9, 2012

Unfortunately "Captain America and Iron Man" #635 keeps the action and dialog a little too pedestrian and slightly antiquated with Tony Stark showing some chauvinistic tendencies. The book feels like it wants to be a good all ages read, but the wooden characters and conflict resolution info dump prevent it from being exceptional, regardless of target audience.

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8.0
Captain America (2011) #1

Jul 12, 2011

In the end, this book does exactly what it is supposed to do: it makes me want to read more Captain America. I've been sampling the Bucky Cap book, but it never really hooked me in. This book, with Steve Rogers slinging the shield and sporting the flag-inspired togs, hooked me quickly. I'll definitely be back for more, and I sincerely hope it is more of the mix of superheroics, character interchanges, and action thriller that this first issue gave us.

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8.0
Captain America (2011) #11

May 11, 2012

Overall, this chapter of "Captain America" gave me the same feeling I had as a younger man, when I first discovered the adventures of the star-spangled Avenger as written by J. M. DeMatteis. Captain America is a believable hero, driven by the desire to do the right thing, but lodged deep within a world that weighs heavy on his shoulders. Regardless of the opposition, however, Cap perseveres and inspires those around him. This is the opening salvo of a new adventure for Steve Rogers, and it makes for a good story sure to welcome readers coming to this comic via the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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5.0
Captain America (2011) #15

Jul 30, 2012

After closing this issue, I'm left wondering what it is exactly that I just read. This just doesn't strike me as a memorable Captain America story. There isn't a higher standard of the American ideal in this book. Captain America is a fractured character in his own title, which makes for more drama with other characters, but for Cap, it's been done before. A little too much. Give me more stories of Cap fighting the bad guys and saving the day, please.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #3

Jan 21, 2013

As part of the Marvel NOW! initiative, there is no mistaking the direction Remender has plotted out as simply an extension of anything that has come before. Captain America is off on his own, struggling against a world he doesn't understand, but aware that people on that world need his help. Threading in the stories that built Rogers' determination adds some depth to the present day struggles, giving readers an extra bit of history to savor alongside the NOW!

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6.0
Captain America (2012) #8

Jul 1, 2013

While "Captain America" #8 is the first time I've checked back in with Steve Rogers in a couple months, the certain-to-be-controversial cliffhanger ending and "Oh, crap!" moments Remender constructs around it make me want to check in again very soon. Remender definitely has a direction and story he hopes to tell and has figured out exactly how to play to his art team's strengths. This might not be the most memorable Captain America tale I've ever read, but it certainly isn't the most predictable.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #12

Oct 14, 2013

"Captain America" #12 provides an extraordinary amount of setup, but these are simply towers of blocks, waiting for someone to knock them down. Remender is both the architect and destroyer of these towers, but the building blocks are simply mesmerizing. I'm enjoying Pacheco's collaboration with Remender on this series and can't help but hope they stick together for a while. This issue has moved "Captain America" prominently back onto my reading list while giving readers a great psychoanalysis of the first Avenger. Cap's in a delicate place right now -- not unlike those previous predicaments where some of his most memorable stories have grown from.

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8.0
Captain America (2012) #14

Dec 16, 2013

This book has been clawing its way upward in my reading stack and "Captain America" #14 makes another lunge up the pile. Remender has found threads to tug on and is beginning the process of unraveling pieces of Captain America's life yet again. The developments in this issue ensure that there is nothing resembling smooth sailing ahead for the sentinel of liberty. "Captain America" #14 is a statement issue encapsulating the vibe and spirit of Remender's run to date, but makes it quite clear that nothing is sacred or off-limits. This is leading to a fight Cap isn't ready to fight and how he handles that will define Captain America for the All-New Marvel NOW! era.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #15

Jan 27, 2014

Rick Remender continues to press the limits of Captain America's durability and capability to adapt to the excessive changes that emerge in his life. "Captain America" #15 provides the beginning of the healing process for Steve Rogers, but that seems temporary as the Iron Nail strikes at the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D. What should have been a recovery issue, or a transitional issue, is anything but as Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D find their worlds blown into even more turmoil at the conclusion of "Captain America" #15.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #16.NOW

Feb 7, 2014

While it is in the best interest of Marvel's marketing to include their major motion picture star characters in their own titles, "Captain America" #16.NOW is a fine, enjoyable comic book, despite the missing super soldier. Stalwart Cap fans might feel slighted and that is certainly within their prerogative, but if they give "Captain America" #16.NOW a chance, they'll find a real good comic story.

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6.0
Captain America (2012) #19

Apr 4, 2014

"Captain America" #19 is a solid action-packed story. It brings some contrivances, such as Cap ditching his helmet in a manner that plays into his opponents' hands. Klein and White combine for strong imagery, even if some of the storytelling could be given a little more room to breathe. This isn't the most memorable issue of Remender's run, but it is another solid addition to his catalog of adventures featuring Steve Rogers and company.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #21

Jun 6, 2014

With the conclusion of "The Iron Nail," I am truly at a loss as to what comes next. I did not see Remender ending this story in this manner, and the potential story paths beyond the final page seem daunting. Remender set out to shake things up a bit, and he certainly has. Steve Rogers is definitely going to change in reaction to the developments of "The Iron Nail" -- now, it's up to Remender to show readers what those changes will be.

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8.0
Captain America (2012) #22

Jul 7, 2014

"Captain America" #22's only shortcoming is a lack of Steve Rogers in action, but as readers discover, that is a bit of an impossibility right now. Remender manages to present the opening chapter of "The Tomorrow Soldier" as a new-reader friendly comic, a continuation of the epic he has been building since the launch of Marvel NOW! and a must-read for fans of "Uncanny Avengers" or readers hoping to get on the inside track for "AXIS." Remender has another winner filled with action and suspense on his hands here as there are no obvious clear cut answers for the future of Steve Rogers or the legacy of Captain America.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #24

Sep 8, 2014

The final page is a massive cliffhanger can get and definitely would have left readers wondering what it really means for the future of Captain America -- except for the fact that Marvel has made no secret of their plans for Cap. The announced plans and pending debuts have cooled a lot of what Remender and company put together in this issue, but the story itself is still entertaining and gripping.

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7.0
Captain America And The Falcon #1

Mar 3, 2011

This issue gave me a chance to be introduced to the art of Rebekah Isaacs. Isaacs' art is clean and strong, reminding me of Leonard Kirk tinged with Terry Dodson. The characters are expressive in both face and form, using their bodies to act through the book. I'd like to see her draw some further adventures of the Falcon, especially if those adventures take Sam anywhere near a football field. Football players, like gorillas, cars, and horses, truly separate the good comic book artists from the average, and Isaacs steps over to the good side of the room here.

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5.0
Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #1

Nov 13, 2014

For the most part, this is a very straightforward and somewhat forgettable adventure, but the lead character is, perhaps, off-center from what readers might expect in the debut issue featuring a new character. "Captain America and the Mighty Avengers" #1 has the potential to be very confusing to anyone thinking this is parallel or supplemental to the "All-New Captain America" #1 instead of inline with "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" #1. The potential for conflict teased for upcoming issues definitely plays to presumed familiarity, further the reducing the approachability of this first issue.

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6.0
Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

Apr 3, 2009

Maybe this 70th Anniversary celebration is leading somewhere or setting the stage for things to come, as teased in an advertisement in this book. A black page bearing a star and the single word "July" has already caused a bit of a stir. Maybe this 70th Anniversary comic is just good reading. Either way, at least Marvel knows how they should try to celebrate milestones. This issue, however, could have done with more Captain America for the cover price.

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6.0
Captain America Corps #1

Jun 16, 2011

This is one of the thickest books I've read in quite some time. I had to count the pages to make sure it was a standard-sized comic. Sure enough, it's a twenty-two page tale written by one of the legends of the industry. It's a Cap story for every Captain America fan, even if every Cap fan doesn't like all of the variations on the theme represented by these characters. You'll get your money's worth on this one.

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6.0
Captain America Theater of War: Operation: Ghosts of My Country #1

Oct 10, 2009

Of the lot of "Captain America: Theater of War" specials, this one seems the most disappointing for its fantastic lack of Captain America, but it stands up nicely. This is a history lesson, delivered by Marvel, under the premise of being a Captain America comic. Placed in the context of the goings-on in the "Captain America: Reborn" series, this issue gains significantly more depth and purpose than it does taken on its own merits. I like the "Theater of War" concept, as there is no shortage of American war stories to involve Captain America in, but I feel Marvel needs to be more judicious regarding the frequency of those stories.

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6.0
Captain America Theater of War: Operation: Zero Point #1

Nov 3, 2008

In all, this book was a good read, especially for folks who may be itching to read some adventures starring Steve Rogers, but it wasn't a very filling read. Consider it an appetizer for future adventures of the star-spangled warrior.

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6.0
Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of our Fathers #1

Apr 7, 2010

Captain America demands that the Black Panther choose a side. Pride steps in and the two tussle. The end of this issue sets up some pretty serious complications for the rest of the story. Sure, we all know Captain America -- and most of the other players in this drama -- survive, but we haven't ever seen this segment of their history in any form.

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8.0
Captain America: Man Out of Time #1

Nov 3, 2010

This book ends with a "Well, I certainly didn't see that coming!" moment as only Mark Waid can deliver it. As far as the various and sundry Captain America titles that have been (and are being or about to be) released lately, this one strikes me as one of the most enjoyable. It is, as the title states, as story of a man out of time. Even when he is back in the 1940s, Cap is tired and worn down, wishing for sleep. Waid has the ability to use that wish as foreshadowing for the part of the story we all know by heart, but when Cap arrives in modern times, the shock to his system is greater than we've previously imagined. This is a Cap tale for the ages, and one that I'll certainly come back to as the countdown nears for the big screen version of Steve Rogers.

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8.0
Captain America: Man Out of Time #3

Jan 12, 2011

With the plethora of Captain America titles on the racks and coming up to hit the racks as the comic reading world eagerly awaits a teaser trailer for the upcoming film, it might be easy to dismiss one or more of them. If you are set on spending a little extra time with the shield-slinger, however, then this is a great book for you to look into. It's all tucked nicely behind the cover of Captain America leaping into action in front of the Presidents his legend has grown under. It's the middle chapter of a five-issue series, but it is as complete and emotional an issue as you could want.

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7.0
Captain America: Man Out of Time #5

Mar 23, 2011

With Captain America poised to enjoy a spotlight in the collective cultural consciousness within a matter of months, it is only appropriate that Marvel produce a number of Captain America-themed stories. This one, however, is a timely retelling of the transition of a man, from wartime to peace, from one era to the next, from one purpose to a new one. This is a story of Captain America that can be read and re-read, shared and returned, enjoyed by one and all. It's Cap celebrating everything good about the progress of America in the duration he missed and it's a story about America remembering everything that's great about Captain America.

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9.0
Captain America: Reborn #3

Sep 15, 2009

"Captain America: Reborn" is the Cap story everyone has been waiting for since Cap was killed. This year marks the seventieth anniversary of Captain America's adventures in four-color, it is only appropriate that Captain America gets such terrific treatment. This story will be collected in time for the release of the feature film starring the Sentinel of Liberty, so if you miss it now, be sure to make a mental note to pick up the collected edition. After all, collected editions lend themselves to being read over and over again, which is what you'll want to do with this story.

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6.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #2

Oct 30, 2015

Spencer has carved a niche for himself in the Marvel Universe by writing about lesser luminaries like the Sinister Six, Secret Avengers and Scott Lang and elevating them to fan favorites. In this case, he's tasked with taking a fan favorite and spinning it around, giving it a kick or two to see what more can be done. "Captain America: Sam Wilson" #2 works just a little too hard trying to find itself and sets up future storylines where the "Captain America" aspect doesn't catch enough light to shine. That said, I'm convinced this book would be an amazing Falcon series. Spencer has earned some leeway in getting to the flow of his stories. With Acua and Caramagna alongside, this series has plenty of potential. These guys just have to fulfill it.

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8.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #7

Mar 31, 2016

Taken at face value