Adam Alamo's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Spectrum Reviews: 73
8.1Avg. Review Rating

10
Afterlife With Archie #7

Dec 18, 2014

If you haven't read an Archie comic in years, this series may be the perfect gateway for your return. If you've never read one at all, this issue is an excellent jumping on point to give one a try. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took the clich and horror genre tropes of the first 6 issues and added a heavy dose of drama and madness to craft quite possibly the best single issue of a comic I've read this year. In doing so, he passed the limit of what I thought could ever be in an Archie comic. If a 5-month hiatus leads to the kind of creative explosion presented this issue, then I'm all for the wait. But don't make it too long, for fear that I'll suffer maddening withdrawal.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #40

Apr 24, 2015

The All-New X-Men story began as a misguided attempt by present day Beast to change the future. Forty issues in, and with the realization that things are worse than ever, the time-displaced teens simply struggle to adapt to present day circumstances. This issue may not have been the most action packed of the series, but it has expertly explored and highlighted how these X-Men have changed and grown. At its core, that's what this series has always been about. I don't know what awaits these teens on the other side of Marvel's coming "reorganization," but I hope they stick around so we can find out.

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6.0
All-New, All-Different Avengers (FCBD 2015) #1

May 6, 2015

The stories were fairly new-reader friendly, so from that standpoint it looks like the new Marvel universe will be a great jumping on point for new fans. For me, I didn't see anything to convince me to stick around.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #5

Aug 15, 2014

Overall, this Original Sin tie-in didn't move forward with the "sin" that was revealed last issue. I have no doubt Slott will return to this particular narrative, but it seems odd to neglect it in an issue bearing the crossover branding all over the cover. That being said, I believe there is a lot of potential as Marvel adds a “never known before” additional twist to the origin of Spider-Man and I'll definitely be sticking around to find out what happens.

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6.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #5

Oct 3, 2014

It could be that with future issues I'll come to understand and appreciate this particular side story, but for right now it lacked a crisp and satisfying conclusion. It had an intriguing buildup that didn't pay off in any way that I could see and by the end I was weary of reading the rather verbose journal entries. I'll be excited to get back to the main narrative next issue, so for right now I'll file this issue away to be revisited some time in the future. I'm sure Snyder has a plan, even if I cannot yet see it, and I look forward to uncovering it as the series progresses.

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9.0
Archer & Armstrong #24

Sep 18, 2014

Archer and Armstrong #24 could have easily been a "zero issue" origin story for Mary-Maria, but I really liked having it placed in the main run. It was a nice pause in the overarching narrative that has been running full-steam since the series' onset. It also harkens back to the days when you can pick up a single issue of a comic and get a complete story. The story was solid, action packed, and new reader friendly, even if the series' title characters were missing. I hope we can get more straight character pieces like this in the future. The series certainly has enough interesting characters from which to choose and after this issue it adds two more.

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7.0
Archer & Armstrong #25

Nov 4, 2014

With Archer & Armstrong #25, Valiant brings to a close another great series with a plus-sized anniversary issue. While I didn't think it was as tight or relevant as previous anniversary issues, it did pack a lot of humorous material that kept with the spirit of the series. It also demonstrated that while this chapter may have ended, there are still plenty of stories left to tell. It saddens me to see this series end for now, but I look forward to reading more about this unlikely duo in whatever incarnation their story takes in the future.

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9.0
Archie #664

Feb 15, 2015

As far as Archie parodies go, I really loved this play on Game of Thrones. I like that DeCesare used something contemporary to lampoon, which to me demonstrates that Archie is continually modernizing a nearly 75 year old brand. Most of all, I thought it was just plain fun, which is something that the comic market can use more of. I don't know what the future holds with Archie's upcoming reboot, but I hope they keep these fun parodies as part of their stable.

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10
Archie (2015) #1

Jul 14, 2015

Archie Comics has really done something special with this Waid/Staples led relaunch of its core Archie title. They have done much more than give it a superficial refurbishing with a highly acclaimed creative team, but instead handed it off to a pair that obviously care about the character, history, and legacy. It's fun, hip, humorous, and modernized, but retains the classic narrative and all the things that make Archie great. I think nostalgia and curiosity are a big part of what made people check out this first issue, but it will be the solid story and art, as well as the endearing and enduring Archie spirit, that will ensure people come back.

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10
Archie Meets Ramones (One Shot) #1

Oct 5, 2016

What else can I say about this book other than if you are a fan of Archie and the Ramones, what are you waiting for? It's the best of both worlds! A fan of just one or the other? You may just walk away a fan of both. As Archie Comics pushes further into their reboot, it was just the shot in the arm of classic Archie that I needed. I only hope we can see more classic style stories like this in the future. Until then, I'll grab by friends Jackie, Judy, and Sheena, catch a ride to Rockaway Beach, and enjoy this book again under the California Sun. Yes, I know Rockaway Beach is in New York. But it's cold here. A guy can dream.

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9.0
Archie vs. Predator #1

Apr 15, 2015

This first issue of Archie vs. Predator was a great set-up for the mini-series. Alex de Campi weaves a story that doesn't immediately turn into murder, mayhem, and carnage, but instead gradually introduces the Predator into her world of teenage drama, crisis, and heartbreak. I really enjoy de Campi's take on the Riverdale gang, which is a bit more angst-ridden and believable than their usual portrayal. That being said, I'm looking forward to seeing more of the Predator moving forward. I feel bad for Archie and cast because this can only end badly for them. Nevertheless, Archie Comics continues to push the envelope with this latest collaboration with Dark Horse Comics, which is ultimately good for the reader.

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10
Armor Hunters #1

Jun 11, 2014

About the Armor Hunters, Valiant offers the following: "They will hunt. They will trap. They will kill. And they will rid the universe of the X-O Manowar's incalculable destructive powers…even if it means taking the Earth with it." After reading Armor Hunters #1, I believe it. Some comic events promise universe-altering, Earth-shattering ramifications; Armor Hunters delivers on its very first issue. For those weary of another comic event crossover, I offer you this piece of advice: forget all the others and jump in on this one before it's too late.

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9.0
Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1

Aug 7, 2014

Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 stands out from other crossovers in the Armor Hunters event, which either tie directly into the event's narrative or feature the Armor Hunters themselves (as X-O Manowar is doing with the origin of the Armor Hunters). That being said, it's no wonder Dysart has been in a tongue twist across social media when talking about this book, referring to it as Harbinger: Armor Hunters on more than one occasion. For all intents, Dysart manages to weave a fresh, original tale set in the Armor Hunters event, but really requiring little knowledge outside of the set-up. I've loved all the Armor Hunters tie-in issues so far, but this one feels the most "meaty" to me because it can stand on its own, which is ultimately a good thing for any crossover or tie-in issue.

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8.0
Avengers Undercover #5

Jun 16, 2014

Hopeless masterfully crafts this sequel in the vein of the best movie sequels, which after five issues I have no problem saying is better than the first. With this issue, the premise of Avengers Undercover may be clear, but the intent of all its players is not. It's with this ambiguity that Hopeless paints a rich, three-dimensional story that keeps you coming back for more. Case in point, while I root for the good guys, Hopeless has made me feel that maybe the so-called bad guys are just misunderstood.

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8.0
Betty & Veronica #272

Sep 12, 2014

Betty and Veronica #272 is primarily a set-up issue, with the last page promising that the next issue will provide the answers. Although the story is a little thin in that respect, there are tons of great one-liners and zingers sprinkled throughout this issue that gave me a good chuckle. There was a reference to Casablanca that was brilliant and finding out that Miss Grundy is a Walking Dead fan is priceless. These two scenes, something old and something new, demonstrate how far the publisher has come in modernizing their comics. I'm really curious to see where Uslan is taking this story of Betty and Veronica leaving Riverdale and this was a great start. Wherever they go, I'll be following.

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7.0
Betty & Veronica #275

Apr 17, 2015

The current storyline running through Betty and Veronica examines these two bombshells to discover what exactly makes a "Betty" and what makes a "Veronica." The backup story this issue also looks to the past to see how Betty and Veronica have changed over the years and how very much they've remained the same. These themes are a perfect fit for an issue that commemorates their long running series. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like it was enough given the nearly 75 year history of these characters and I was hoping for a more robust celebration. That being said, there are plenty of other milestone numbers yet to be reached and if it takes another 275 issues to throw them a proper party, I'll be there to join in the festivity.

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8.0
Cap'n Dinosaur One Shot #1

Jul 28, 2014

If you're a fan of Silver Age comics, or just comics that are fun, zany, and don't involve a five-issue story arc, then Cap'n Dinosaur may be for you. It's a completely original idea and a nice change of pace from the comic norm of today. And while one of its selling points to me was that it was a one-shot, I wouldn't mind seeing this as a regular title.

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9.0
Cyclops (2014) #2

Jun 8, 2014

This book is many things"the story of a father and son, a fresh new take on an established character, and hopefully some answers to looming questions"all wrapped up in a whole lot of fun! It's a multifaceted book that I think can pull together different readers for different reasons. Personally, I think it's a touching treatise about lost opportunities and the chance to make amends for past regrets. Greg Rucka is one of the best and he's managed to take a character that isn't necessarily my favorite and make it a must read.

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8.0
Cyclops (2014) #6

Oct 29, 2014

Cyclops #6 is a new beginning for another fun romp through space as promised to Cyclops when he took his father's hand and joined his crew of bandits, The Starjammers. This issue gets very "piratey," which is a lot of fun, especially when adapted to space adventures. I hope that John Layman continues to write strong character-driven stories, but letting the story be plot-driven every so often isn't a bad thing. This issue is extremely new reader friendly, while moving the story off to new adventures. I'm hopeful this series will continue to be as fun, adventurous, and touching as it has been. So far, it's off to a great start.

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6.0
Cyclops (2014) #12

Apr 4, 2015

Ultimately, this final issue of Cyclops tried to be too many things, and in doing so didn't accomplish much at all. It didn't really add anything to the Black Vortex saga other than to pinch-hit it to Captain Marvel and the heart of what made this series so great was sacrificed in the meantime. Layman did his best to focus on the father/son narrative that has driven the series from the beginning, but he just couldn't shake the wide shadow of the event. I don't think it was his fault and ending the series in the middle of a crossover event was a disservice to the creative team, character, and series. Subtract all the Black Vortex stuff and maybe there would have been enough time to send the series off with a proper finale rather than the lackluster one it got.

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8.0
Dead Body Road #6

May 29, 2014

This story of revenge invariably ends like all such stories, which is to say there's not really a cowboy riding off into the sunset. It's a thrilling and fun ride of murder and mayhem with no real winners except us, the audience. Sometimes I want to read great dramas, and other times I want to see bullets fly and cars blow up for no other reason than they can. Thank you Dead Body Road for providing the latter.

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9.0
Deep State #1

Nov 28, 2014

Deep State #1 is a solid premiere to a series that I believe will be a lot of fun. It quickly and successfully sets up the premise, the players, and the narrative while moving the story forward without any dawdling. Even so, it leaves enough mystery about all of these to allow Jordan to build a compelling story from both a character and plot perspective. There's certainly enough material out there to keep this story going for a long while and I look forward to the book tackling some of the conspiracies that I've wondered about. The tagline "the truth is out there" may belong to the X-Files, but with Deep State we may have finally found it.

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6.0
Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult #1

Jun 3, 2014

Overall the book left plenty of interesting questions to be answered and set up what will hopefully be a fun ride. Though not as strong a start as the other characters in this apparent shared Gold Key universe, it did enough to bring me back next month. It was an OK start to a promising series and I'm hoping to see the payout of the seeds planted here in future issues.

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6.0
Fables #140

May 19, 2014

Overall, I found the story and art here to be a bit generic. Had the story developed over more issues, perhaps the outcome would have been different. But as it stands, there were none of the usual twists and turns, no surprises, and very little reason for the story to exist. Boy Blue was one of the best-developed characters in Fables and "the boys in the band" deserved their moment in the spotlight. I expected more from this issue, especially as the series nears its finale.

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8.0
Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1

Jan 19, 2015

If you've ever been curious about Fables, but were intimidated by the high issue count and years of backstory, this is a great way to dip your toe into the world and give it a shot. It is extremely new reader friendly and quickly sets up the premise and players of the story. It's a crime/mystery story, a character piece on a central figure in Fables mythos, and an overall solid start to the series. This isn't the first time that the world of Fables has pushed beyond the core title, but it's a welcome addition to the family.

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8.0
Fairest #27

Jul 13, 2014

With Fairest #27, Mark Buckingham proves that he's been paying attention all these years as series artist for Fables. He's drawn out various plot points and familiar themes from the main series to craft a new story that will interest long time readers and easily draw in new readers who may worry about jumping on board so late in the game. To those who have grown cold on Fairest or stopped reading the book entirely, I would suggest they pick up issue #27 and give it another try. I believe this last story arc in the series could easily turn out to be the best.

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7.0
Faith (Mini-Series) #1

Feb 1, 2016

This first issue of Faith is a solid reintroduction to the character and a good jumping on point for anyone who is curious about the buzz surrounding this character. As a longtime fan, I'm happy to see Faith brought to the forefront, even as I know there is much more to her than this single issue lets on. I'm looking forward to seeing where Houser takes the story and how she develops the character. As much I know and love Faith, there is much more to be explored and I cannot wait to see what's to come.

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8.0
Fantastic Four (2014) #645

May 1, 2015

Is this really the end of the Fantastic Four gracing the racks of our local comic shops? I have my doubts. The Fantastic Four were the first heroes to usher in the Marvel Age of comics, soon to be followed by many other heroes still published today. The story certainly didn't indicate a finality and if anything, the future seems brighter than ever for this fantastic foursome. But for now it's pretty clear that we won't be hearing from them any time soon and this final issue packed plenty of stories to tide us over until they eventually return. When they return, I hope the new series takes a cue from this final run and remains about wonder, fantasy, fun, and family.

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8.0
Garbage Pail Kids Puke-tacular! #1

Jan 7, 2015

If, like myself, you hold a bit of sentimental recollection for the disgusting little rug rats known as the Garbage Pail Kids, you can't go wrong with this collection of repulsive stories. It's a pretty funny book overall and features a great array of writers, artists, and poop jokes. IDW is set to release their next Garbage Pail Kids one-shot in time for Valentine's Day and nothing says love like giving your wife a book titled "Love Stinks." Which is why I won't be doing that, but I may very well pick it up for myself based on this book. And yes, I know there was that one Garbage Pail Kid that actually had THREE names. Also, "Comic-Con Ron" is my new favorite Garbage Pail Kid.

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8.0
George Perez's Sirens #1

Sep 17, 2014

It's really good to see George Prez back in the saddle after so many years and this latest adventure starts off big. Prez delivers a lot of story and information with the first issue of Sirens and for the most part it all comes together well. I'm sure all questions will be answered as the story unfolds in future issues, but at the end of this first issue I felt as disoriented as some of the Sirens, the ending felt like being thrown into the middle of a conversation with little to no context.Moving forward, I'm interested to see how he balances fleshing out the large cast with providing insight into the plot. This first issue certainly set up a lot and it'll be up to future issues to deliver. With Prez at the helm, though, I don't think there's a lot to worry about.

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6.0
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1

Feb 9, 2015

This first issue in the Black Vortex event didn't blow me away. At best I found it average, which may be OK in the middle of a 13-part crossover event, but not what I expected right out of the gate. It was funny, action-packed, and featured some solid art, but overall it lacked the gravitas that I think the kick-off issue for an event needs. Future parts may include what I'm looking for and I'm hopeful given the array of writers and books that I already enjoy. I'm a fan of these characters and the current state of Marvel's cosmic titles, so despite any feelings I have for this initial entry, I'm still willing to give this event a shot.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega #1

Apr 26, 2015

Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of the Black Vortex event, although I thought it had a lot of potential. Perhaps this is a case of my expectations being one thing, but the story being another. However, I found the ending satisfying and I was happy to see the shake-up in the status quo. Many events promise big change, but never deliver. This one ultimately did with changes that have already made their way into our heroes' own titles. Despite any reservations I had about this event, I'm left almost feeling sad that the Guardians and X-Men have to part ways. Nevertheless, I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before they're all together again.

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6.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #17

Aug 19, 2014

Unlike "Avengers Disassembled," the conclusion to this Guardians of the Galaxy story finds the team right back together again. It wrapped up too neatly at the end, but I believe that Bendis set up the narrative in a way that he could explore the consequences of each character's experience in future issues. I hope he takes advantage of this because I know there is more to these characters than bar fights and explosions.

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10
Harbinger #23

May 28, 2014

With Harbinger #23, Dysart has demonstrated that he's a master of his craft. As the lead in to the final showdown between the Renegades and the Harbinger Foundation, he took an issue in the middle of a story arc and make it matter. He also paid homage to the original Valiant Universe, whose own Renegades suffered a loss that had lasting effects. He did it in a way that didn't feel cheap or gimmicky. On the contrary, he managed to make this issue one of the most anxiously awaited releases of this or any other title in the company's history. It is an issue that may have some fans lamenting the loss of their favorite character, but I have no doubt that in the end everyone will agree that this was an issue not to be missed.

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10
Harbinger #25

Jul 19, 2014

Harbinger #25 not only sets the new standard for anniversary issues, it exemplifies what the end of a volume should be. Joshua Dysart took five teens, made me fall in love with them, broke my heart, and reset the pieces for the journey to come. Thinking back to where this series began, I can hardly believe where it ended up. I cannot wait to see what comes next!

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9.0
Howard The Duck #1

Mar 13, 2015

Whether you know Howard the Duck from any of his prior series or from the "worst movie ever made," I believe Zdarsky's tale of this offbeat character is off to a promising start. I'm glad Marvel decided to dust off this B-list character for his own series again and give him an A-list creative team to make it happen. They've offered up a story that is fresh and original and, I suspect, is only the tip of the iceberg for what they have planned. Howard the Duck may be grudgingly "trapped in a world he never made," but this issue is so much fun that I look forward to being trapped in the world that Zdarsky and Quinones are creating.

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9.0
Invincible #111

May 21, 2014

I don't know if the promise that Invincible #111 is the start of something new and different is entirely accurate, but it certainly raised the stakes considerably and leaves a small void in my chest as I wait a full month for the next issue. I would never have expected that from a series that I originally thought of as spoofing superhero comics. I cannot wait to see where this ride takes us next and after reading this issue, neither will you.

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8.0
Invincible #116

Jan 24, 2015

Was this the most exciting issue in the series? No, it wasn't. It was mostly a character driven issue that focuses on the aftermath of recent events, so there isn't a lot of action and doesn't give artist Ryan Ottley the chance to draw copious amounts of blood and guts (though he does sneak in a couple bloody splash pages). However, I know it's only the beginning of a chain of events that will no doubt climax in the "terror, violence, mayhem, horror, and misery" that has become standard for this series. And although there is a ton of backstory, that I cannot recommend enough if you have not read it yet, this issue is a decent place for a new reader to jump in to get a taste for the series.

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6.0
Legendary Star-Lord #1

Jul 14, 2014

Overall Legendary Star-Lord #1 did little to promote Peter Quill's “legendary” status. It had the opportunity to reintroduce this character in a way that was meaningful and added depth. Instead, the story was an average day in the life of the Star-Lord and average will not make it stand out from the crowded field of Guardians of the Galaxy related releases. It ends with a surprise reveal/cliffhanger, but that alone was not enough to bring me back next issue.

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10
Letter 44 #9

Sep 2, 2014

This issue was jammed packed with plenty of action and a nice pay off for the premise introduced in the inaugural issue. The big looming threat is finally realized and like insignificant ants, the players are scrambling to deal with it. I suspect there will not be a pause in the momentum anytime soon, even as new plans are being hatched that will further complicate the situation. Letter 44 hit a sweet spot with this issue and I cannot wait to see what's next!

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8.0
Oddly Normal #1

Sep 20, 2014

Oddly Normal #1 is great start to a series that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. There are plenty of kids out there being alienated and bullied for being different. Look almost anywhere and you can find a teenager that feels his or her parents just don't understand. However, most kids don't have magical powers and that's what makes Oddly just a bit different while also remaining completely relatable. This ability sets up the adventure to come and I cannot wait to see where it takes her, I'll definitely be back for more.

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8.0
Ordinary #1

May 27, 2014

Writer Rob Williams took the simplest of ideas"giving everyone superpowers and making the "hero" of the story the one guy who remained ordinary"and turned it into a truly enjoyable story. It's one of those ideas that makes you think, "why didn't I think of that?" He made it interesting, funny, and original. It doesn't take itself too seriously and pokes fun at the superhero genre in a light and humorous way. Artist D'Israeli provides colorful and funky art that fits the story perfectly. After the ride that was this issue, I foresee more trouble, and fun, in the coming issues, which I will definitely be picking up!

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6.0
Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man #1

Jun 27, 2014

With such notable writers as Mark Waid and Kieron Gillen and an artist like Mark Bagley, I was expecting Original Sin #3.1 to wow me. It was an OK start, but not spectacular. At the end you get the "sin" or hook for this embedded mini-series, and so I may check out the next issue to see how that plays out. But if it doesn't get more exciting or the plot twist isn't a winner in 3.2, I may abandon the other issues documenting this particular sin.

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8.0
Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta #1

Jul 2, 2014

This inaugural issue of Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta is definitely worth checking out. It's a solid story that provides plenty to like, but also leaves plenty of mystery to unfold for future issues. If you remember what it was like to see the Exorcist (or some other movie that scared the hell out of you when you were younger) before you built up an immunity to all things scary over the years, I think this series will rekindle some of that feeling. If you're just you're looking for a good, character driven story, regardless of genre, I think this series could be for you as well. If you can find a copy at your local shop, check it out!

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8.0
Parallel Man #1

Sep 25, 2014

With 36 pages of ad-free story, Parallel Man #1 was a "meaty" debut issue that provided enough set-up, story, and a suitable cliffhanger to clearly dive into the next issue. I loved the small taste of alternate worlds that were shown this issue and I hope to see many more as Morris and Haugen continue to flesh out their characters and ideas. It's not always easy to hook me with a first issue, but the creative team found the perfect balance between action, exposition and intrigue here that has me definitely planning to return for next issue.

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7.0
Quantum and Woody #12

Jul 16, 2014

Overall, the last issue in the series wrapped things up decently, even if it wasn't the most exciting or groundbreaking issue. It had the usual bickering between brothers, plenty of comedy, and more absurdity than you can shake a stick at. Most importantly, it kept the door open for future volumes of the best worst superhero team there is!

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9.0
Rachel Rising #30

Jan 14, 2015

Overall, this issue may be a pit stop in the larger narrative that Moore is creating, but I went into this issue knowing that he plays the long game. Moore meticulously moves the story forward while subtly dropping at least one new plot point that should inevitably pay off. He also manages to take many different elements and mesh them together well to create a book that is simultaneously creepy, humorous, and at times heartfelt. The series is of the horror genre for sure, but this issue demonstrates that often it is so much more than that.

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8.0
Scarlet Spiders #1

Dec 14, 2014

For an issue that I went into with little expectations, I was pleasantly surprised with Scarlet Spiders. I have limited experience with the whole Peter Parker Clone Saga, but it didn't matter. Costa made sure to bring the reader up to speed and did a great job fleshing out these clones for a new audience. After all my trepidation about not knowing these characters, I walked away from this issue knowing a whole lot more than I thought I would, and I can't wait to learn more as this Spider-verse tie-in continues!

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8.0
She-Hulk (2014) #12

Feb 23, 2015

The outpouring of support received after the series end was announced was huge and in my opinion rightfully so. Charles Soule breathed new life into She-Hulk and gave us a cast of interesting supporting characters that I want to learn more about. I don't know what's going to happen to She-Hulk moving forward, but it's going to be tough to top this current run and creative team for me. Still, I'd like to see someone try to do it, rather than closing the book on She-Hulk like she did with the Blue File. I couldn't agree more with She-Hulk at the end of this issue when she said "see you in court." I most certainly do want to see more of She-Hulk in the future, both in and out of court.

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9.0
Sip Kids #2

Mar 31, 2015

SIP Kids continues to be a fun read that defines the early years of this comic universe. Based on this series, I'm now more inclined to pick up a Strangers in Paradise omnibus just to find out what happens to all these kids in the future. I'm really digging the vibe and I'm loving all the different personalities. I think I've zeroed in on my favorite character and it would be interesting upon a subsequent read of Strangers in Paradise to see if it holds up. Issue #2 ends with a definite "to be continued" (unlike first issue's ambiguous "the end?), which may or may not be resolved next issue. It's hard to tell because these issues are coming out quarterly and are set in different seasons. I don't know the reason for this, but I do wish it would come out more often. Until that happens, I'll be looking forward to spring.

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10
Spider-Woman (2014) #5

Mar 6, 2015

This issue delivers on the claim that it would shake up the status quo. The story takes a decided turn away from the previous story arc and creates an all-new starting point that is accessible to new readers and reinvents the series for current readers. Dennis Hopeless finally brings us up to speed on Spider-Woman's backstory and along with the vibrant and energetic art of Javier Rodriguez, superbly sets up the series for what's to come. I can't help but think that this is what the first issue in the series should have been. If the creative team continues to work this well together, I'll definitely be sticking around to see where they take us next.

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9.0
Star Trek / Planet of the Apes #2

Feb 11, 2015

For anyone who is a fan of Star Trek or Planet of the Apes, and especially for fans of both, shake off any hesitation, skepticism, or eyebrow raising you may have about this crossover and pick up this book. It's fun, well written, and most importantly, the spirit of each series is well represented. I'm eager to see how the story plays out and if it's as enjoyable as the first couple issues, I have no doubt that it will be great. Though Dr. Zaius may warn of heresy, I know Mr. Spock would say that reading this book is the logical thing to do.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #32

Aug 8, 2014

This over-sized spectacular could have probably been tightened up and begun the Edge of Spider-Verse event with the same effect. Conversely, the extra pages could have been utilized better and given a bigger bang for the buck. Nevertheless, the groundwork is set and after reading this issue, it should be quite clear for any reader whether or not they want to jump on board for the event. Personally, I cannot wait to see how Peter reacts when he meets up with Doc Ock, which is inevitable, or how Doc Ock will react when he realizes that in the near future, relatively speaking, Peter returns to claim his body.

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9.0
The Auteur #3

May 18, 2014

The Auteur is something different from the typical books you find on the shelf each week. There are no heroes and there are no villains (well except maybe for the serial killer, but he was found not guilty last issue!). But if you are looking for something off the beaten path, with fun art and an insane story that is "to die for," then this is your book. Parents, this one isn't for kiddies. I can't guarantee that future issues will be any safer.

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10
The Black Hood #1

Feb 26, 2015

The tale of the Black Hood is about as different from those set in idyllic Riverdale as one can get. Set in a city that is dangerous and unforgiving, the man destined to become the Black Hood is at best an anti-hero, though his journey towards redemption is only just beginning. Duane Swierczynski adeptly flexes his crime writer skills to present a piece of noir fiction that marks a distinctly dark turn for an Archie publication, but it's refreshing that the publisher is taking chances to tell this kind of story. Together with the amazing art of Michael Gaydos, I think the Black Hood is a strong start for the Dark Circle Comics imprint and raises the bar for its other upcoming releases. As if I wasn't on board already, I now await more Dark Circle comics with great anticipation.

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10
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

Oct 9, 2014

With Chilling Tales of Sabrina, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa continues to push the limits of what I thought could ever be in an Archie comic. He doubles down on many of the elements that have made Afterlife with Archie successful and creates a first issue that not only rivals the genius of what he did with Afterlife, but in many respects surpasses it. Together with the stunning art by Robert Hack, Archie Comics has another hit on their hands and I can't wait to see what else they have in store for Sabrina as this compelling story unfolds. This definitely ranks as one of the best comics I've read this year.

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10
The Fade Out #1

Aug 23, 2014

The Fade Out #1 continues the great Brubaker/Phillips tradition of creating engaging noir stories that plunge the reader into the dark recesses of their created world. It was a strong debut issue that was beautifully crafted and executed by these two masters of the craft. If this is only the beginning of the Brubaker/Phillips deal with Image Comics, then I cannot wait to see what comes next from this creative team. Until then, you can find me enjoying every bit of the seedy Hollywood underbelly found in The Fade Out.

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6.0
The Humans #1

Nov 12, 2014

I thought this first issue of the Humans was a bit of a mixed bag. The concept is there, and so is the cast, but the story seemed disjointed. I didn't get the feeling after reading it that I was invested in the characters or their plight. I really feel that for the book to work, it has to be about breaking the character tropes and offering up a little more than sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The book is crass and naughty in the way that bikers are, and I certainly appreciate that Keller didn't shy away from that (which means this book is not one for the kiddies). It keeps it real in a way that most comics would otherwise avoid. Hopefully future issues will get more deeply into the characters and make me buy into them as individuals.

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10
The Life After #1

Jul 15, 2014

I won't reveal exactly what Fialkov has thrown us into with this story. Getting to the twist is half the fun, but part of the reason is also that I'm not exactly sure myself about what's really going on! There is plenty yet to explore and I am definitely along for the ride. Do yourself a favor and join me in giving this unique and fun title a try.

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8.0
The Shield (2015) #1

Oct 17, 2015

The Shield is a solid third entry into Dark Circle's line of relaunched superhero books, following the gritty Black Hood and whimsical Fox with an action packed heroine that kicks butts and takes names. It's refreshing to see another strong female protagonist take the lead in a comic book and while many complain about gender swapping established heroes, I think Christopher and Wendig did the right thing here. Based on this opening foray, I think this series holds some real promise. It remains true that the revolution will not be televised, but one take on it will unfold within the pages of this comic and I look forward to seeing where it leads.

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8.0
The Superannuated Man #1

Jun 6, 2014

A friend of mine said his experience is people either love Ted McKeever's work or else go "huh?!" While Superannuated Man #1 had me saying "huh?!" plenty of times, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Was it weird? Yes. Did it have me wondering what exactly was going on? Sure. Did I question why it was released in Golden Age format? Certainly. But will I be back for the next issue? Bet on it. AND Ted had the great sense of humor to drawn the Superannuated Man in his own image (that's Ted in the photo above!) he has a new fan…me!

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9.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #6

Feb 20, 2015

I have to admit that during the long wait between issues, I contemplated dropping this series. I don't want to focus on the delay because there is a lot to love about this book, but that is definitely not a good thing when the delay becomes a factor to consider like with this series. But this issue completely sold me on the series once again. There was a synergy between the writing and art that showcased the strengths of all involved and as a result I'm really looking forward to where this creative team takes us next volume. The letters page mentions that it will be a while, but at least now I can go into the next journey of murder, mayhem, and mobsters with my eyes open.

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9.0
They're Not Like Us #2

Feb 6, 2015

At first I thought the title to this series referred to the main cast and how the world would view them. With their superhuman abilities, they're most certainly not like us. The more I read, though, the more Stephenson has me rooting for these morally ambiguous characters against a society they believe would ridicule, marginalize, and institutionalize them because of their abilities. In two issues alone, his strong narrative has me appreciating their worldview, even though I don't particularly identify with any of them or their plight. So now I see the title to this series from the telepaths' point of view, that being of a society that is not like them. Does this justify whatever it is they have to do to ensure their survival? Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain, I'll be sticking around to find out.

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8.0
Thomas Alsop #1

Jun 21, 2014

So who is Thomas Alsop? I don't think we fully get the answer to that with this very first issue. As the story unfolds, I suspect he will be more than the sum of the parts presented. I think the real winner here is the story, which ties Thomas's past and present together in a way that's interesting and compelling. And it definitely compels me to read the next issue.

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8.0
Thor (2014) #2

Nov 20, 2014

Jason Aaron could have easily written an issue laden with exposition that revealed the new Thor's identity and took us through the paces as she discovered her new powers. Thankfully, he chooses to move the story forward with a 20-page action sequence that instead sees our new heroine smash her way onto the scene. It's refreshing to let the action guide the story after a lot of heavy set-up. Wile we yet do not know much about who specifically this new Thor is, this issue definitely got me excited to learn more.

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8.0
Thor: God of Thunder #25

Sep 27, 2014

Thor: God of Thunder #25 ends one of the best runs on Thor in recent memory. It would truly be a distressing turn of events if it weren't picking up right where it left off next month with its relaunch. As such, the issue was less of an ending and more of a bridge to the new series, doubling down on Aaron's ambitious tale that spans the ages. I believe that Mjlnir is in good hands with Aaron and the future looks bright, if not for “Thor classic”, then definitely for the readers.

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7.0
Trees #1

Jun 5, 2014

Sprinkled throughout this story, you'll find the usual fare of futuristic world building. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, which served to further pique my interest in the book. I suspect that with this story we are in for the long haul before finding answers to the many mysteries, which means that the many loose threads introduced will ultimately be pulled together, but not too soon. I am not against this type of story telling, but I think as a stand-alone issue the overall narrative could have been tightened up. Nevertheless, this first outing was enigmatic and intriguing enough that I'll stick around a while.

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8.0
Unity #0

Oct 24, 2014

Valiant continues to exemplify what zero issues are all about. Unity #0 tells a story that provides some history to the main series, but can easily stand alone as a one and done issue. With this issue, Matt Kindt skillfully sets the groundwork for the tale he's been spinning for just under a dozen issues, while simultaneously hinting at the future of the things to come. There was definitely enough teased that I look forward to whatever else he has planned.

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10
Valiant 25th Anniversary Special (FCBD 2015) #1

May 6, 2015

In all respects, the package Valiant put together is the way to do FCBD. It had something for everyone and showcased Valiant's most exciting titles, brilliant art, and top-notch writing talent. As a current reader, I feel like I got something new out of the issue. I also feel like this is the book I could give people to introduce them to Valiant comics.

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8.0
Wayward #1

Aug 28, 2014

Do I believe that Wayward is the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Not really, but only because it's only like Buffy in the most superficial of ways. It has a female lead, there are monsters, and said female lead kicks monster butt. In reality, the story is unique enough to stand on its own merits and this debut issue did a solid job of setting up the narrative and introducing the players. In the end, I suspect this book will be as much about the lead's personal journey of self-discovery as it will be about monster slaying.

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6.0
Wild's End #1

Sep 21, 2014

Wild's End has the potential to be a fun ride. Who doesn't like a good alien invasion story? However, we've seen War of Worlds before, so I'm hoping there is some new spin on it other than just "WotW with animals." The characters have fun personalities and the protagonist especially appears to have hidden layers yet to be discovered. I hope future issues focus more on action, and the final scene in the issue was like the first shot fired across the bow of a ship, one that promises just that in future issues.

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6.0
Winterworld #1

Jun 19, 2014

I've come to expect that the goal of a first issues is to set-up the overall narrative of a series, so for me first issues aren't always the best gauge of how a series will read in the long run. However, after reading Winterworld #1, I'm not sure if setting up the narrative was the goal of this first issue. There was some action and some interesting looks into a bleak future, but I didn't get any sense of the purpose of this series or even who the players are. While all this may be addressed as the series unfolds, this first issue could have used a little more set-up if only to convince readers to return. I do love a story set in a grim future, and for now that premise alone will have to be enough to convince me to give Winterworld another try.

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7.0
X-O Manowar #25

May 23, 2014

Overall, the "Anniversary Spectacular" promised for X-O Manowar #25 is a hodgepodge of stories and bonus material that examines the various facets of X-O Manowar. There is a little bit of everything to please fans, whether it be an Armor Hunters lead-in, beautiful artwork, a set of humorous stories, or some bonus reading material that gives insight into the story creation. The re-launch of Valiant comics in 2012 with X-O Manowar is what reignited my passion of comics. As an old school Valiant fan, I remember the quality storytelling that Valiant brought to the table. This new incarnation continues that tradition. Though I enjoyed most of what was presented in this issue, I wish that it had more of the substance I have grown accustomed to and less of the fluff.

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