Andrew C. Murphy's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Weekly Comic Book Review Reviews: 41
7.3Avg. Review Rating

6
Avengers/Invaders #5

Oct 7, 2008

Krueger writes with the subtly of a sledge hammer. Look at the third panel of the next-to-last page. It's ridiculous, unlikely, and unnecessary. But this book has the Avengers, the Invaders, and SHIELD; and if you love the Marvel Universe, you kind of have to buy it. It remains to be seen, however, if this series will be remembered fondly once it's over, or if we'll all want to sweep it under the rug as quickly as possible.

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9.6
Avengers: The Initiative #16

Aug 27, 2008

All in all, it's tremendous fun, with interesting characters, a fast-moving, convoluted plot, and lots and lots of action. My only complaint is that, in weaving their tale, Slott and Gage are drawing upon over at least half a dozen different comic series spanning over thirty years of continuity, so it's practically impossible that any reader would truly “get” everything that's going on. Of course, that's also part of what makes it so fun.

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5
Black Panther (2005) #36

May 19, 2008

Also, Monica Rambeau (my personal vote for most boring Avenger ever) plays a bit part. Maybe if Storm had showed up in the book, as she does on Alan Davis' beautiful cover, things might have worked out better.

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6
Cable (2008) #7

Oct 1, 2008

It's not a bad book by any means, but it's not exciting either. Hopefully things will pick up next issue.

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7
Captain Britain and MI:13 (2008) #3

Jul 9, 2008

Heh.

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7
Captain Britain and MI:13 (2008) #4

Aug 11, 2008

But that bit with the sword still bothers me.

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7
Captain Britain and MI:13 (2008) #7

Nov 17, 2008

The art is pretty good, but the writing lacks the sort of depth that would make me really care about the characters. I have to admit, I haven't read Captain Britain since Alan Moore wrote him, so a lot of the details of the book don't mean much to me, but I imagine a lot of readers are in the same situation. Cornell has the rest of this plot line to convince readers that he can make this book work, otherwise I don't think it'll be around much longer.

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5
Daredevil (1998) #109

Jul 25, 2008

Supposedly this storyline wraps up next issue. All I can say is, it better be a hell of an ending, or this'll be my last issue of Daredevil until a new writing team comes along.

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8
Daredevil (1998) #111

Sep 23, 2008

To be honest, I'll probably wait to see what the next issue looks like before I pick this one up, but this new storyline might actually be a good one.

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8
Drafted #8

Jun 19, 2008

Drafted is supposedly being considered for adaptation to a motion picture, but we're really talking Sci Fi Channel movie-of-the-week.

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7
Ender's Game: Battle School #1

Oct 6, 2008

For those of us who have read the book, this series may seem redundant, since it doesn't add anything that isn't in the original. (Most of the dialogue is lifted word for word.) For those that haven't, this is a good place to start, if you can stand waiting between installments.

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7
Eternals (2008) #4

Aug 31, 2008

C'mon, guys, lighten up!

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8
Fables #77

Oct 20, 2008

As a single issue, there's practically nothing to this book. But Willingham clearly has plans for the future of the Fable universe. Think of the collapse of the Empire as analogous to the tearing down of Saddam's statue; chaotic elements hidden by fascistic suppression are beginning to stir. Regular readers will know that Willingham has proven that these interlude issues are an integral part of the larger epic. And of course it's always nice to see Bigby Wolf with his wife and children, as if Wolverine finally decided to stop working so hard at being a bad-ass and just allow himself to settle down.

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10
Incredible Hercules #120

Aug 18, 2008

One other thing: the Skrull Book of Worlds, their Bible, is as inconstant as they are. Forget Reed Richards escaping the Skrulls"if you really want to experience the true turning point of the Secret Invasion, imagine if Billy Graham or Rick Warren opened the Good Book one morning and the only words inside were, “YOU'RE WRONG.”

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9.6
Invincible Iron Man #2

Jun 6, 2008

Secondly: Isn't anybody going to mention the new Mobile Organism Design Only for Genocide? I mean, come on! M.O.D.O.G.? That sounds like Snoop Dogg's younger brother. (”Mo' Dog, mo' problems)

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9.6
Invincible Iron Man #5

Sep 3, 2008

Anyway, this is a great book. I should make a nod to the ending. It's a shocker, but I think careful readers will see how Stark gets out of it. Pick it up yourself and see.

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2
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #31

Jul 16, 2008

I'm going to keep buying the book despite its considerable flaws, I suppose, since Iron Man is such an important part of the Marvel Universe right now, and plenty of other readers probably will too. Maybe that's why the book is so bad. Because they know it can be.

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8
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33

Sep 20, 2008

Rhodey is written well, carrying his wounds and the burdens Stark has placed on him with quiet dignity. He doesn't moan about being alone and out-gunned"he seems more comfortable in this situation than he did at the Initiative. The book is mostly action, with just enough dialogue to give it a little depth. It remains to be seen if War Machine can carry the book for more than a few issues, but for now it's a quick, good read.

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8
Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #2

Aug 7, 2008

So, is this book worth your hard-earned cash? Will the next two issues pay off, or will they be as stupid as you might expect of a book that features a character named Fin Fang Foom? Hey, buddy, this is Vegas. You pays your money, and you takes your chances.

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8.4
Marvel 1985 #2

Jun 30, 2008

The task of putting supermen in the mundane world is a tricky one; the writer is always balancing on the razor's edge between the sublime and the ridiculous. Will Millar drop the ball? So far he's making it work, so I'll just have to keep buying to find out.

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9.6
Marvel 1985 #5

Sep 30, 2008

Edwards' art continues to amaze. Not many artists could capture the visual complexity of an old rural East Coast town (the marble Victorian buildings downtown, the decrepit row homes outside, the telephone and power lines everywhere) as backdrop for a parade of classic super-villains. I won't spoil the book by telling you who shows up on the last few pages, but he's appropriately mind-blowing.

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8.4
Moon Knight (2006) #20

Jul 18, 2008

So will this be the issue that turns things around for Moon Knight? I doubt it. No matter how well he's written, he's still a derivative character with a dull supporting cast and a lousy rogues gallery. But this issue, at least, is worth picking up.

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9
Ms. Marvel (2006) Annual #1

Sep 3, 2008

Anyway, such stories always end with a wink, or in this case a mischievous smile, which is close enough. Even if you don't normally pick up Ms. Marvel's books, get this one.

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8
New Avengers #46

Oct 24, 2008

What It All Boils Down To: This being Bendis, the issue is mostly tough guy talk, which Bendis loves. It works well, for the most part, though you'd think the Hood would be a little humbler now that the Avengers have kicked his ass once already. Like most of these Secret Invasion flashbacks, it's solidly entertaining. And I still have faith that the eventual wrap up of the invasion will be worth the years we've waited for.

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5
Newuniversal: Shockfront #2

Jun 14, 2008

Come on, Ellis. You can do better than this.

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5
Nova (2007) #18

Nov 4, 2008

What It All Boils Down To: This is really an obligatory Secret Invasion fill-in issue. I don't think I'm the only one who's had enough of the Skrulls now. The appearance of some semi-familiar aliens at the end of the book hints at a return to cosmic themes. Keep your fingers crossed.

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4
Omega the Unknown (2007) #9

Jun 4, 2008

But it just doesn't work. I've studied this book carefully, trying to figure out why. It's not the unfocussed plot, or goofy characters like the Mink, or Dalrymple's art (which, frankly, is sometimes painful to look at). The problem is Lethem. Like many prose writers, he just doesn't get the medium of comics. His dialogue doesn't flow from one panel to the next. It's as if he and Dalrymple are telling two different stories. Worse, his characters don't take themselves seriously. Gerber understood that no matter how crazy things get, if the reader can't see himself"see real people"in what he's reading, then the story is dead in the water. Lethem and Dalrymple are trying, I can see that, and I give them credit. But it just doesn't work.

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10
Secret Invasion #2

May 7, 2008

Oh, and by the way, those Skrulls who invade New York are totally awesome.

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9
Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1

Aug 13, 2008

The final scene cuts to a Skrull warship, and the Skrull empire's own personal version of Josef Mengele. To make him extra creepy, it looks like they tried to turn him into a Super-Skrull, but only got so far as a single Thing leg. He's trying to create the ultimate weapon, and you just know what"or rather, who"is going to be the power source…

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5
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #3

Sep 13, 2008

That's right, Xavin. And neither does anybody else.

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8
Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1

Jun 9, 2008

Wonder Man and the Beast: Seems Like Old Times by Christos N. Gage (Writer) and Mike Perkins (Artist)This one harkens way back to when David Michelinie was writing the Avengers. During the Skrull/Avenger/dinosaur fight, Wonder Man and the Beast are separated from the others, and have to fight their way out of a cave filled with King-Kong-style giant insects. The problem is, it's the modern Wonder Man, but the old, pointy-haired, devil-may-care Beast from the 80's, and either one of them could be a Skrull. While the Beast takes this all in stride, Wonder Man's discomfort is apparent from the beginning. He misses his old buddy, but he can't trust him. Unlike most of the others in this anthology, this story doesn't lead into anything bigger. It just takes two interesting characters and puts them in a unique situation that causes them to play off one another. Which is what every good vignette should do.

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7
She-Hulk (2005) #30

Jun 23, 2008

With an “A” for writing and a “D” for art, I give this book an overall

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7
She-Hulk (2005) #31

Jul 26, 2008

All in all, it's a decent issue. David's writing is good as usual (I especially like Maddrox playing pile-up on She-Hulk), and Cucca sure knows how to draw a tight T-shirt on his women, but the plot is a mass of improbabilities. It's just silly, and the sooner David gets back to She-Hulk's preexisting storyline, the better.

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8
Squadron Supreme (2008) #1

Jul 2, 2008

So As good as the original Supreme Power? Or as bad as the Doctor Spectrum mini-series? Stay tuned to find out.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #122

Jul 20, 2008

Whenever a great creative team leaves, especially when it's as abrupt as Ellis' departure, the question always arises, “Is this the time to stop buying the book?” For me, at least, the answer this time is “No.” This latest iteration of Thunderbolts may not be quite as good as the one before, but it's a quick-paced, well-crafted read, and I'm anxious to see where the new team goes with it.

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5
True Believers #1

Aug 2, 2008

I've got to hear the story behind that one.

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6
Ultimate Origins #2

Jul 8, 2008

I have faith in Bendis, and I've got high hopes for this series, but judged as an individual issue I have to give this a…

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10
Ultimate Origins #3

Aug 4, 2008

Heck, I know it's not Shakespeare (or, in this case, Marlowe), but in comics this is about as good as it gets

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9
Ultimate Spider-Man #124

Aug 1, 2008

Anyway,Ultimate Spider-Man #124 is another well-written, beautifully drawn book of the sort we've come to expect from this title. Spidey is funny, the sub-text is engagingly mysterious, and the new Beetle is waaaaaaaaaaay cooler than the original. I could go on, but really, if you love comics you should be reading this book yourself anyway.

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6
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #501

Aug 21, 2008

At least you're still alive.

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6
X-Men: Manifest Destiny #2

Oct 14, 2008

Comics are so short already, Marvel really isn't doing themselves any service by splitting books like these into even shorter vignettes. There's no reason the last two stories couldn't have been placed in the context of one of the many other X-books. The Iceman/Mystique storyline is obviously leading up to something, but I have no idea what. Reversal of the Decimation? But didn't Bobby already get his powers back? And the two of them have zero chemistry. Manifest Destiny feels like a grab-bag of lukewarm leftovers.

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