Andy Hunsaker's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Crave Online Reviews: 591
8.0Avg. Review Rating

8.0
A Voice In The Dark #1

Nov 22, 2013

Overall, A Voice in the Dark blends the killing of people with the coming of age and the slicing of life. The first issue sets up the players in what's sure to be an unsettling game. It's taking its time unfolding, with a mild undercurrent of tension that's sure to ratchet up quickly as we watch a person who wants to kill people dealing with a caller who wants to kill herself, which is where the first issue leaves us. It could become something very compelling once it gets its legs.

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8.4
Action Comics (2011) #1

Sep 7, 2011

If you can let go of the last 70-odd years of comic history and not bring all that baggage to bear on this new take, it's actually a pretty fun read so far. Maybe the ever-controversial Morrison will go off the rails figuratively in the next few issues, but he did it literally in Action Comics #1 and it turned out pretty exciting. We get inured to the idea that Superman is more powerful than a locomotive after decades of hearing it, but here, we see that it's really damn hard to stop a train with your bare hands. We're back to basics here, and it ain't a bad place to be.

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7.2
Action Comics (2011) #2

Oct 10, 2011

It's an entertaining enough story on its own, though, and it continues to earn enough good will to give the next issue a chance. The reveal at the end about who Luthor is working with is an interesting one, but it still doesn't feel right. Maybe it's just a matter of time and getting used to all this change after 70-odd years of traditional Superman, but we haven't seen the heart and soul of the mythos yet, and we miss it.

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6.8
Action Comics (2011) #4

Dec 7, 2011

Anyway, Action Comics #4 is all right. It's not great, but there's a bit of fun and cool to it, and some iffy stuff to cast the stink-eye upon. That's mostly what you get with the New 52.

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7.5
Action Comics (2011) #9

May 8, 2012

Might this be a huge new story that will eventually involve the standard Superman, or could we hope this could be a spin-off series of its own? Or will the next several issues of Action Comics be devoted to various other alternate Earths? Who knows? It's Grant Morrison.

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7.5
Action Comics (2011) #10

Jun 8, 2012

That's another reason why Morrison tends to get to do what he wants - good or bad, he's a writer whose next move we never see coming.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #23.3

Sep 20, 2013

Regardless, this is Lex Luthor doing what he does, using people as pawns to further his own ambitions, and one can imagine the lack of Superman made him a little more prone to sacrificing those pawns because no one is around who can put him in check. Enjoying his freedoms and all. The art from Raymund Bermudez is solid, and you really get a sense of how cold Luthor is. Depending on what brand of Lex you like, this could be an awesome issue for you, as his eerily calm ruthlessness definitely brings across a feeling of malevolence " and it feeds into what Geoff Johns had Luthor do to Kord in FE #1. It fits well enough. I suppose I just prefer my Lex to be a bit more perversely inspiring. An antithesis of Superman should be able to hit him where it hurts and make him doubt everything about himself by seeming to be absolutely in the right " but apparently, that's being left to Wraith over in Superman Unchained, relegating Luthor to Montgomery Burns-style everyday villainy a

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #29

Mar 6, 2014

Clark and Lana couldn't be more different, but they share a heart of gold, and you can feel their warmth and sorrow in Action Comics #29. It's good to have a Superman book that makes you feel things again.

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7.9
Age of Apocalypse Vol.2 #1

Mar 7, 2012

So far, it's interesting enough to check into and see where it goes.

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8.0
Age of Apocalypse Vol.2 #7

Sep 10, 2012

Make it happen, Mr. Lapham.

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8.5
Age of Ultron #2

Mar 13, 2013

We tend to like these kinds of stories that start with 'the heroes have lost and lost hard, and this is how they figure out how to win again.' We didn't particularly enjoy it in Dark Reign, which dominated everything and went on for an interminably long time, but in its own self-contained, quickly-released book like Age of Ultron, it's much more palatable and much more interesting. This is the first event book in quite some time that I've actually enjoyed.

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8.5
Alabaster: Wolves #1

Apr 12, 2012

Overall, it's a really good beginning - one that can probably be ascribed to an author adapting her own work to a different medium, knowing how to get the essentials out there to keep readers hooked. Alabaster: Wolves is a five issue series, likely adapting each one of the short stories in the original book. Hopefully, they hang well together as one full tale, and even if they don't, well, Dancy's had her one chance, and she certainly didn't let us down.

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8.0
Alabaster: Wolves #2

May 15, 2012

Overall, it's a solid next effort and I'll certainly be reading the rest of this five-issue miniseries. Dancy is a compelling mix of down-home earnestness, savage ferocity and sullen misery, and we still aren't entirely sure what her angle is. Ostensibly, she's a monster-slayer out to protect reg'lar folk, but is she mistaking a demon for an angel in her holy quest, or is there other stuff going on here? Hopefully, we'll find out soon. There's plenty of promise that it'll be a cool revelation when we do.

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7.5
Alex + Ada #3

Jan 21, 2014

Alex + Ada isn't any kind of exciting, action-packed adventure, nor is it a supremely engrossing drama. But it's got an easy comfort to it that doesn't demand much of any suspension of disbelief, and yet it also brings an awkward, real-life sensibility to a situation we all know is something we'll have to face someday soon " perhaps even within our lifetimes.

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7.5
All-New Marvel NOW Point One #1

Jan 7, 2014

It certainly doesn't stand alone as a story or anything like that, but if some quick hits are what you're into, Point One will provide a nice little variety pack, and will hopefully turn you on to some books with a lot of potential.

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8.0
All-New X-Factor #1

Jan 8, 2014

So how's Gambit? Well, he's certainly not offensive yet. Having Logan run him down like a dumb child helps deflate some of that lame LeBeau "mystique." and making it seem like he's stumbling into something way out of his league also negates that 'too cool for school' malarkey that made him so unappealing. So Peter David and his talent for interesting character work may actually be able to do the unthinkable – make me like a book that stars Gambit. That is some of the highest praise I can offer.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #1

Nov 14, 2012

All-New X-Men #1 is an interesting start, and it has the potential to be absolutely fascinating if it doesn't get too schticky or smugly glib with self-satisfaction. That shoe may indeed drop, but for now, the first one's hit the ground running.

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8.6
All-Star Western #2

Oct 27, 2011

There's also part one of a back-up story, also from Gray & Palmiotti featuring art from Jordi Bernet, about the demonic vigilante El Diablo, justifying the fact that this book is called All-Star Western and not Jonah Hex. The ghostly Lazarus Lane happens upon an old western town besieged by zombies, and it's up to him and his dark power to save the day. J&J own the DC west, and it'll be great to see them reintroduce all the good ol' boys in good ol' ways. Here's hoping they'll bring Tallulah Black back, too, and we'll know the New 52 thing was barely a hiccup for these guys - just like it was for Batman and Green Lantern.

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4.0
All-Star Western #5

Jan 31, 2012

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 4/10

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8.0
All-Star Western #9

May 24, 2012

Overall, All-Star Western #9 maintains the entertainment level of the series so far - particularly with Arkham's incredulity at the revelation that someone actually married Hex, and Hex's response at his attempted mockery of it. Also, it was nice to see that Arkham wasn't entirely dead weight, and actually played upon his appearance as dead weight to help pull off the plan. This book is good, and Hex is back in Gotham by the end of it all. Is he gonna remain there for good? Who knows, but if it helps get him in the mix with big-time crossovers, I'm eager to see how it works out.

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9.0
All-Star Western #11

Jul 27, 2012

All-Star Western #11 is a pretty cool issue of a pretty cool book. I'm very pleased that Gray and Palmiotti seem to get free reign over the Old West of the DC universe, and it's a consistently entertaining read.

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9.0
All-Star Western #12

Aug 23, 2012

J&J hit on all notes, with the Black action, and Hex making deals with Batman's ancestor, and even Arkham gets some hilarious potshots in on the CBers. "Perverse aberrations such as yourselves are the reason societies and religions formed - to elevate us from the fecal-smearing superstitious savagery of our murderous ancestors!" There's nothing better than a well-formed intellectual put-down like that.

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8.0
All-Star Western #21

Jun 28, 2013

Let me say that again. Jonah Hex is in Arkham Asylum. That is seriously all you need to know to start reading this book NOW. Never mind the irony that Hex had been reluctantly partnered with Amadeus Arkham himself for a long while back in his own time. Come on now. You have to find out how Jonah Hex will react to the Calendar Man.

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8.0
All-Star Western #22

Jul 29, 2013

So far, I'm enjoying this All-Star Western time warp, although I'm holding out hope that J&J will really deliver some truly great moments in a "Future Hex" story, where they've really only got one chance to do Hex In Modern Gotham right and proper, before shoving him into the modern-day would feel forced. Or even more forced than the series has felt thus far with Hex in Old Gotham instead of out west where he belongs. I have faith.

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8.5
All-Star Western #23

Aug 29, 2013

All-Star Western #23 helps us settle in to what may be a long haul for Hex in the modern-day… or maybe his connection to Batman will find a way to put him back where he belongs in short order. We'll have to see, but I trust J&J to make it a good time regardless.

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7.5
Alpha: Big Time #1

Feb 22, 2013

A good alpha issue for Alpha #1. This kid's a wiener. Fialkov's got his work cut out for him, making us like the guy enough to follow his story. So far, it's working.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man #672

Oct 26, 2011

There's so much to see. So much to enjoy. So much to love about Spider Island. Thank you, Mr. Slott, for restoring our faith in the ability to tell epic stories without sacrificing character or charisma.

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8.9
Amazing Spider-Man #678

Jan 20, 2012

Slott continues to be a master of pacing and tension and fun and enjoyment. Read Amazing Spider-Man.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #683

Apr 6, 2012

"This is our day, gentlemen. The day the Sinister Six reigns supreme." Something about that declaration is inspiring. Dr. Octavius referring to his compatriots - including a guy made out of sand, a guy wearing a fishbowl on his head and a guy in a rhinocerous outfit - as 'gentlemen' lends a quiet dignity to their collective madness, and the only way Amazing Spider-Man #683 could make me happier would be letting Mysterio kick a little more ass.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #684

Apr 18, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #684 is a great read all around, all the time. It's entertaining, it's high adventure, it's funny, it's smart and it's part of a series that's got everything you want out of comics - fun on every darn level.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #685

May 3, 2012

As usual, Humberto Ramos and his highly-charged kinetic style might very well be contributing to just how breathless Slott's stories become, because his work is just so damn dynamic and energetic. Hell, in this issue, he even gives Slott a cameo. The Amazing Spider-Man #685 once again proves that it's possibly the most consistently and thoroughly enjoyable read that Marvel Comics puts out, and you're missing out on plenty of exciting adventures if you don't dig in.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #686

May 25, 2012

I can't say enough good things about Dan Slott, and you've heard/read them all before anyway, so I'll just say he's still kickin' it with the densely packed and entertaining scripting, while Stefano Caselli's art is plenty great, too. Amazing Spider-Man #686 is good stuff, and anything that makes you actively root for Mysterio is welcome in my book.

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8.5
Amazing Spider-Man #687

Jun 15, 2012

Slott writes so densely, and so urgently that he tends to leave you a little breathless, and it's hard to imagine the goofy bits with Mysterio at the beginning are in the same issue as this grisly demise of a cult favorite character like Sable. It's possible he's got a plan to get her out of there, but since he's been building this story for years now, the last great plan of Doc Ock, it had to have a lasting effect somehow, since burning the world is apparently the Phoenix's job over in Avengers vs. X-Men. The art from Stefano Caselli is also top notch, bringing the kinetic energy of Humberto Ramos' work without the distended angles, so it may be a bit more palatable for mainstream appreciation.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #688

Jun 27, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #688, the next chapter in a stellar series of consistently great comic books. If you're not reading this book, I don't know what your problem is.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #689

Jul 5, 2012

Slott's reputation is that of a light-hearted storyteller, and there's been a lot of that in Amazing Spider-Man that's kept it so much fun for so long. However, he's not afraid to get into the macabre, either, and that's on full display in Amazing Spider-Man #689. It's still got the dense, entertaining writing that so characterizes him, but the wide range of themes and tones Slott can ace really makes us believe that Spider-Man is in the best hands possible, movie or no movie. The comic book has always been where it's at, anyway.

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8.5
Amazing Spider-Man #692

Aug 22, 2012

All in all, Amazing Spider-Man #692 pretty cool anniversary issue - we get some pathos, some comedy, and a big, thick ol' mess that Spidey's gotten himself into and will have a hard time extracting himself from. It's what Spidey's all about. Let's hope those Marvel NOW goons don't decide to yank Slott from Spidey for the sake of a stunt.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #693

Sep 10, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #693 is interesting even while being off-putting, and Slott's walking a very tight rope with keeping it that way while featuring a character as annoying as Maguire. Let's hope he keeps it going with Part 3 next time out, because we REALLY want to see this brat learn a lesson or twelve.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #695

Oct 3, 2012

The art from Giuseppe Camuncoli is much more realistic than the kinetic, angular work of Humberto Ramos, but it's still solid stuff, bringing the energy when needed. The players in the game here - two different Hobgoblins, the Bugle, the Labs, Stone, Kingpin, Madame Web - are all leading up to something interesting, and Slott, and Gage, for that matter, are the kinds of writers we can believe when they say they've got things cooking that will knock our socks off.

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8.5
Amazing Spider-Man #700

Dec 26, 2012

As a swan song to 50 years of Amazing Spider-Man, #700 does delve into a lot of what makes Peter Parker tick, what makes Spidey Spidey, and proves that strong core character is powerful enough to reform a supervillain once they truly understand it. I can't say this issue knocked my socks off, due to all the unanswered questions and my very real concern that an Otto/MJ skeeve-fest is in the offing, but it is a bold effort, a daring move and it will all probalby turn out just fine in the end. It's not a grand finale. It's just a new story arc. Let's roll with it.

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7.0
Animal Man #1

Sep 7, 2011

There's certainly a talented and twisted imagination at work here, and if the creepy stuff is your thing, you'll probably enjoy Animal Man #1. It's never really been mine, but your mileage may vary.

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7.5
Aquaman (2011) #14

Dec 3, 2012

"Throne Of Atlantis," which stretches between Aquaman and Justice League, looks to cement this new era of the bad ass Aquaman.

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8.0
Archer & Armstrong #2

Sep 10, 2012

Archer & Armstrong #2 is fun stuff. Nothing super-hilarious, but I am duly entertained. I must clarify that I haven't read the original Valiant Comics, and a reader did point out last time out that this seemed like a rehash of stuff better told in the previous incarnation. I can't speak to that, but I'd be interested in hearing what other old Valiant readers might have to say about it. As a newbie, though, it's a good time.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #50

May 24, 2012

Astonishing X-Men #50 is a pleasant enough set-up for the big deal next month, even if it's nothing crazy exciting. Get on board, perhaps you'll enjoy the ride.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #51

Jun 20, 2012

The much-ballyhooed gay wedding goes off without a hitch. Karma at least waits until after the reception has started before doing... something gross to Ol' Woofie. Having tuned in to check out the hype machine, I'm not sure if I'll continue reading this title now that the big event has happened. It's a good enough book, but aside from being the host series for a social landmark, these last two issues haven't really jazzed me, which may just be a purely aesthetic response on my part. Your mileage may vary, of course. It's a place to get something you don't really get in most other superhero comics. If you dig it, keep on digging it.

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8.5
Astonishing X-Men Annual #1

Nov 30, 2012

It's the Gage story that makes this issue a great read, though. He loves these characters as much as we do, and he likes to use lots of them at the same time. The more, the merrier, I say.

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8.5
Astro City (2013) #1

Jun 6, 2013

Astro City is a nice place to visit. It's good to see the gates are open once again.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #12

May 22, 2013

Avengers #12 is a very welcome chance to take a step back and process what's been going on so far in this book, and the lasting changes to Marvel's Earth it seems to have brought about. It stimulates the brainmeats without bogging us down with stoic unfamiliarity. Plus, with Hickman bringing in not only Garokk but the High Evolutionary, two essential components of that classic X-Men annual from yesteryear, dare we hope that he has plans to bring forth the forgotten son of Colossus in some fashion? Or maybe Terminus, who may seem more in line with big ideas in general? I'm surely planning to stay tuned to find out.

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8.5
Avengers (2012) #18

Aug 21, 2013

Avengers #18 somehow accomplishes the feat of amplifying the threat level the team is up against while simultaneously letting us breathe a little bit by seeing them get proactive and take the fight to the jerks, even if it doesn't go so well for them. It's only the first issue post-Infinity #1. We didn't expect them to win.

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5.0
Avengers A.I. #1

Jul 5, 2013

Avengers A.I. #1 is a big letdown – disappointing to read and not all that great visually. Most of what was wrong with it could have been fine and functional if Hank Pym was written like Hank Pym, but instead, he's written like a schmuck, and I suppose he will continue to be for the rest of the year. Joy.

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9.3
Avengers Academy #26

Feb 27, 2012

Also of note is what Gage does in "After School Special," aka the AA letters page. In it, he prints a long and relatively even-tempered letter from a Kentuckian objecting to AA #23 and Striker's coming out, believing that "alternate lifestyles" should not be portrayed in a comic aimed at teens because he feels it to be a political issue rather than a human issue. Gage then writes an equally long and even-tempered rebuttal explaining why he's so very, very wrong. Let's do this kind of thing more often, world. I'm looking at you, 24-hour news channels.

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9.0
Avengers Academy #28

Apr 4, 2012

Gage's writing is completely engaging, as usual, and we like all of these people. The art from Karl Moline is also pretty sharp, doing a very good job at juggling this huge cast of characters and managing all their expressions deftly. Avengers Academy is one of the best things Marvel has going for it right now, and the fact that they can publish stories like this that completely undercut their blockbuster endeavors without fear speaks well of them. There's room for all kinds here - and there's no better illustration of that than Avengers Academy, where all kinds mingle free and relatively easily.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #29

May 4, 2012

Avengers Academy #29 is a great way to tie in with the AvX event without selling out to it. This book is all about characters we like, and if Gage can do with the X-Kids what he does with the AA crew, I may have to start looking into those X-books, too.

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9.0
Avengers Academy #30

May 21, 2012

There's just always so much going on with Avengers Academy that it's one of the first books you want to read when a new issue is in your stack, and AA #30 is no exception. It's just compelling character drama, the kind that can make an iffy "event" good.

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8.5
Avengers Academy #31

Jun 7, 2012

And as usual, the acidic Hazmat has the best summation of the crux of the problem:

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8.0
Avengers Academy #32

Jun 20, 2012

WIth Avengers vs. X-Men taking an interesting turn, Avengers Academy #32 takes a step back from lightly satirizing the entire concept and brings us a small-scale personal conflict that certainly serves to illustrate the much larger issue about the Phoenix Five being the absolute arbiters of right and wrong for the entire world. Gage has proven wonderful at this sort of thing, and as always, we look forward to the next issue.

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9.0
Avengers Academy #34

Aug 1, 2012

This is a great book. I recommend it to everybody.

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9.0
Avengers Academy #37

Sep 20, 2012

Read Avengers Academy while it lasts. It is great.

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9.0
Avengers Academy #38

Oct 4, 2012

But overall, Avengers Academy #38 is just a blast, because it's all about characters bouncing off each other, and we comic fans love that stuff - to the point where it's slightly dangerous that we connect with these fictional people like they were our real friends, which makes us that much more upset when their book gets canceled. But Gage is such a class act that he even makes us feel better about it in the letters page - he's heartbroken that the book's going away, but he's happy to see these characters have caught on well enough that other writers want to take them on.

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7.5
Avengers Arena #1

Dec 12, 2012

For those of us who split the difference, it's going to be one hell of a headache.

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8.5
Avengers Assemble #10

Dec 14, 2012

If you want some Avengers fun without the complications, look no further. And start with Avengers Assemble #9.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #4

May 16, 2012

Hickman spends more time getting to the point of the story and less time focusing on forcing square characters into round plot holes to make them fight each other and kind of making us hate them, and thus AvX Round 4 is a step above the rest. Wolverine is cool, Gambit is not, and the Phoenix is finally here so the snotty slap-fighting is hopefully over. If any slap-fighting starts anew, it'll hopefully be more along the lines of extremely intense world-in-the-balance stuff rather than the "humans are so petty... and tiny" style.

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7.5
Avengers Vs. X-Men #7

Jul 5, 2012

Questionable motivations and suspect contrivances make it hard to connect with the story being told, but there are much cooler things happening here than in most summer comic stunts, so we'll take what we can get.

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7.5
Avengers Vs. X-Men #9

Aug 1, 2012

Once again, Avengers vs. X-Men splits the difference between event-book frustration and doing something new and interesting, which means it's just cool enough to keep us reading, and not going off on endless vitriolic Fear Itself/Flashpoint rants like last year.

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7.5
Avengers Vs. X-Men #10

Aug 16, 2012

Hey, it's still sorta fun. And it's not Fear Itself. So let's enjoy what we can. We do like liking things.

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8.8
Avengers: Children's Crusade #6

Jun 30, 2011

In the meantime, let's just be glad that she's fine. And she's Wanda.

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9.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #7

Sep 23, 2011

Avengers: The Children's Crusade has been one of those series you wish for. Putting right what once went wrong. It's been said that it was designed to end at the same time as X-Men: Schism and Fear Itself, which should be next month. So hopefully we won't have to wait nearly as long for #8 and #9 to give us this full story, so we can find out just what the future of the Scarlet Witch will be. As it stands now, though, some of us are just glad that she actually has a future to wonder about.

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7.9
Avengers: Children's Crusade #8

Jan 3, 2012

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 7.9/10

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8.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #9

Mar 7, 2012

Now let's just hope some of the creators involved with Avengers vs. X-Men have read this series and respect its tone and message about what they're about to do before plucking out its characters and plugging them into their fight card. If it feels just as contrived as it sounds, those of us who read Avengers: The Children's Crusade are going to have that much more difficult a time swallowing it. However, considering the pre-sale numbers are going through the roof for AvX, they likely don't care all that much.

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7.0
Avengers: X-Sanction #1

Dec 15, 2011

So, it's a decent start to the big AvX proceedings. However, as we've seen countless times over the past decade, a good start doesn't always lead to an acceptable finish. Time will tell. Cable would agree with that.

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8.5
AVX: Consequences #2

Oct 19, 2012

The interactions between heroes are so much more interesting than the big events these days, and important little character pieces like this are what carry us through when we get bogged down by hazy plotting. Guys like Gillen can help us make sense of it all.

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8.0
AVX: Consequences #4

Nov 1, 2012

It's disappointing that Gillen is managing to make me an X-Men fan just in time to see him stop writing X-Men. Let's hope the Marvel NOW X-books can rise to Gillen's game here.

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7.0
AVX: VS #1

Apr 25, 2012

Avengers vs. X-Men VS. #1 is not bad. It's not trying to be this big deal - it's just there for comic book slam-bang fun. That may change as the stakes get higher, it may not. I may be able to remember how to just go 'wheee!' along with a comic book, I may not. Either way, I yam what I yam and it is what it is, and if you dig what it is, who cares what I yam?

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8.3
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1

Feb 15, 2012

Shit's going down in the Mignolaverse. Hellboy's dead (he's still dead, right?) and most of the B.P.R.D.is down and out. And I'm back on board to find out what's next.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #9

May 10, 2012

That... could have repercussions down the line. And I'm on board to find out what they might be.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #14

Nov 14, 2012

Here's where Simone shines - dealing with twisted people. The shinola is hitting the fan, business has picked up, and when the Joker's involved, the stakes are always at their highest and we never know how things are going to shake out. That's going to make every book Death of the Family touches something you need to read. Batgirl #14 is no exception.

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8.5
Batgirl (2011) #19

Apr 10, 2013

Overall, Batgirl #19 is a very strong return with a flourish for Simone, and we're glad to have her back. Perhaps we hadn't appreciated her prior run as much as we should have, but now we've seen how bad it can get, and we'll trust her instincts going forward.

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8.5
Batgirl (2011) #23

Aug 16, 2013

We're past the time when I felt I was reading Batgirl more out of loyalty to Simone than I was out of genuine enjoyment of the book. Batgirl #23 has confirmed that all (or maybe just most) bets are off, and we don't know how far into the rabbit hole we're going to go.

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8.5
Batman '66 #2

Aug 26, 2013

… man, it's really hard to stop doing that. But then again, why should I? You just don't get this kind of rollicking frolicking in comics anymore, so it's a gas when you get a book wherein the last panel of the story involves the Dynamic Duo staring out at the reader, with Robin simply exclaiming "Gosh!" over the congratulations offered him for his fine work. Parker is nailing the dialogue and making us chuckle, chortle and cherish the madcap magic of Batman '66.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #23.1

Sep 4, 2013

As it is, though, Two-Face is little more than a triggerhappy thug with a more striking look than most, and the more masses he murders, the less we seem to give a damn about him or who he used to be, because there's no turning back with this high a body count. Well, there could've been with the New 52 switchout. Too bad nobody thought to do that.

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7.5
Batman and Robin (2011) #25

Nov 21, 2013

Regardless, it still feels like an "oh, by the way" sort of character reboot, though. Harvey Dent deserves an epic, but I fear he might be getting the shaft.

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7.5
Batman and Robin (2011) #26

Dec 20, 2013

We'll have to see how this shakes out now that everything's coming to a head, but there's not a lot of cause for optimism that the new status quo for Harvey Dent will be anything but lame. However, Erin McKillen makes for an interesting character , so it's up to you to decide whether or not the new blood is worth the sacrifice of the venerable classic.

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6.5
Batman and Robin (2011) #28

Feb 20, 2014

So long, Harvey Dent. You were my favorite Bat-villain, although I'm surprisingly fine with watching you go.

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8.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #8

Feb 26, 2014

Jae Lee is back on art duties, so the rejoicing never ends. This is magical stuff, really unique and exciting. Lee has touches of Norman Rockwell and Alex Toth, but never loses his original eye. Dealing with dark subject matter, Lee brings a texture of nightmares to his panels. Things are foreboding, especially with Batman and Huntress, and Superman becomes elemental, almost primal. Nobody works in the way Jae Lee does, which is something you can’t often say about comic book artists.

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8.0
Batman: Death By Design #1

May 29, 2012

In essence, Batman: Death By Design feels like the movie serial era of Batman, complete with the old-school Bat-computer with knobs and gauges and the like, and as such, it's really pretty cool that way. Kidd's script does explore some interesting architectural ideas and ramifications while drawing inspiration from reality, but the star of the show is Dave Taylor, as well he should be. The classically styled visuals, the slick look of Exacto, and the very inventive designs bringing Gotham City itself to life will definitely be a treat for your eyes.

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8.5
Batman: Earth One #1

Jul 4, 2012

Anyway, aside from that and the awful incorporation of the mass murder of young girls stacked in a basement in the continued SVUing of popular culture, Batman: Earth One is a solid read, if a dark and ugly one, with interesting canonical tweaks and the potential for more to arise - with D.A. Harvey Dent and new Mayor Jessica Dent ripe for some new stories. But it's Gary Frank who makes it all work.

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5.5
Batman: Joker's Daughter #1

Feb 5, 2014

If you enjoy watching the creepy be creepy for the sake of creepiness, you may dig Joker's Daughter #1. She takes the place of psychotic Joker groupie that was vacated when Harley Quinn graduated beyond flunkie-dom, taking it to a new level of ick. Some people are into that. If so, knock yourself out, you've got a new book to read. If not, you probably won't dig this book too much.

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7.0
Battle Scars #1

Nov 10, 2011

Anyway, Marvel's promising that Marcus Johnson is going to be a hugely important character as the mystery around him unfolds, and Yost has certainly earned enough credit to be allowed to unfold it the way he'd like. Battle Scars #1 isn't anything stunning, but it's just the first chapter in a larger story, and it does manage to remind us a bit about what Fear Itself was actually supposed to be, but failed to become.

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8.0
Battle Scars #6

Apr 25, 2012

Good-bye, good ol' Nicholas J. Fury, you badass, no-bullshit, hard-bitten, stogie-chompin', one-eyed master of espionage, shell games, international intrigue and balls-to-the-wall ass-kicking. It's been a a hell of an adventure, and we couldn't ask for a better pilot through the last 50 years of Marvel Comics.

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8.5
Batwing #1

Sep 8, 2011

As much as I dread what Winick sounds like he's doing with Catwoman, I highly anticipate him doing great things with Batwing. The setting is a breath of fresh air, but it's got enough familiarity working for it to make it easier to get into. Now, it's just up to the world to support it, and it damn well better be ready for a successful book set in Africa. It's about damn time.

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9.0
Batwing #7

Mar 8, 2012

Batwing is good reading. So read it.

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8.0
Batwing #13

Oct 5, 2012

Batwing is still good stuff. One hopes it doesn't fall by the wayside due to lack of attention.

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8.0
Batwing #19

Apr 5, 2013

All in all, if we have to Americanize Batwing in order to keep it around, I suppose I can swallow this. Palmiotti said at Wondercon that the new Batwing was going to be much more international and not confined to one region. While I'll lament the loss of the African focus, an intercontinental effort may still be pretty worthwhile. I think J&J can make that happen.

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9.5
Batwoman #0

Sep 24, 2012

When Batwoman is on, it's really damn good. Batwoman #0 is one of those times.

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9.6
Batwoman #1

Sep 15, 2011

Batwoman #1 has helped me do a complete 180 on this character. Where once I thought she was just another cheap knockoff, now I see the truth. This book is going to be stellar.

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9.9
Batwoman #2

Oct 13, 2011

It's already a pretty hefty web of intrigue being woven here, and with art this beautiful and ideas this intriguing, we have to cross our fingers and hope that enough people are noticing, and this is going to be one of the New 52 that lasts a long, long time. The only quibble is this 'look, Kate, you're the only person in the world with this ashen-alabaster skin, and Batwoman has it, too, along with the same shade of shock red hair.' Which is likely just an artistic choice to make her stand out to the reader, but still, it has a feeling of Nightwing, where if you're trying to kill Dick Grayson and fail, then a minute later, a guy with the same exact build and look in a domino mask comes after you - he's not Dick's protector, he's Dick. But hey, comic books. That's the stuff you take with salt grains.

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9.0
Batwoman #3

Nov 11, 2011

There's no way anybody has any idea where this story is going besides Williams and Blackman themselves, but it's an involving and breathtaking ride to wherever they're taking us.

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8.0
Batwoman #6

Feb 13, 2012

The main thing to take away from this is, while we'll certainly miss the treat for the eyes that Williams' art is, Reeder is certainly no slouch, and she does a great job of maintaining the mood and tone that has been established with this series. Thus, Batwoman is still good stuff.

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8.5
Batwoman #12

Aug 17, 2012

Batwoman feels like it's back in the saddle again - not that it was ever really off. It still feels like a breath of fresh air for the series, though, and come on - Batwoman and Wonder Woman. That's gonna be a cool team-up no matter how you slice it.

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9.0
Batwoman #13

Oct 23, 2012

Batwoman #13 shows Willians and Blackman back in top form, and it's a refreshing change of pace from most superhero fare.

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9.0
Batwoman #16

Jan 29, 2013

Batwoman is one of the biggest reasons to buy comics at all, with it being an overall feast for the eyes. But one of the best things going in the medium is hampered a bit by the digital format. The best comics work best as actual hard-copy comics. Could it succeed in a digital form? If designed differently, perhaps... but then it wouldn't quite be Batwoman.

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6.5
Batwoman #25

Nov 20, 2013

Maybe now, Batwoman will get to punch Owlman in the face at the end of Forever Evil, but I'm not sure her greater involvement in the New 52 at large is worth the loss of Williams & Blackman. If nothing else, though, hopefully Director Bones of the DEO will step up to the plate in a big way, too. It's hard not to root for a cigar-chomping guy with invisible flesh to show up more often.

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9.0
Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch #1

Aug 7, 2012

Here's hoping that Beasts of Burden can get its on ongoing series, as it would certainly be a refreshing change from capes, and a much more palatable form for dark stories to take than we usually get in comics.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2

Jul 17, 2012

Darwyn Cooke is bringing his A-game. That's always something to see.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #3

Sep 4, 2012

Cooke's illustration is as beautiful as always, and the stories unfolding in Minutemen are the most compelling of all of the Before Watchmen efforts. If you're going to read any of it, this is what you should read.

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10
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #4

Oct 19, 2012

Cooke's storytelling is masterful, his art is beautiful, and Before Watchmen: Minutemen may finally put to bed my kvetching that this whole project is misbegotten. Yes, most of Before Watchmen feels pointless, and if they actually attempt an ongoing series, it will be unfortunate, but if Darwyn Cooke is involved, it's damn well worth your time. He may have made The Silhouette my favorite character in the whole canon.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #6

Jan 25, 2013

It has Cooke's fantastically perfect artwork - particularly perfect for this retro series as well.

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6.0
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1

Jun 27, 2012

That's about all I can muster to say about it. It's just that lifeless.

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8.5
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1

Jul 5, 2012

But it still has to be the Watchmen of an alternate reality to be acceptable. This entire project would likely have been a little better received if they'd conceived it as such, rather than a straight prequel. It would have served the purpose of exploiting these characters without directly trying to change the original story. Sure, Alan Moore still would've thought it sucked, but fans could likely swallow it much more easily.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1

Jun 13, 2012

I want to hate these books and be all indie-cred about it, but I can't when they're this compelling. These first two books have been really good stories on their own. As long as I keep up the mantra that this isn't a prequel, but an alternate universe where life didn't turn out quite so miserable, I can enjoy comics instead of knee-jerk hating them. With apologies to Mr. Moore, I'll just quote Abed Nadir from Community: "I guess I just like liking things."

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8.5
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2

Jul 19, 2012

And I really hope they eventually do something together that's NOT a Watchmen spinoff. I'd like to take the guilt out of this pleasure.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3

Sep 11, 2012

I really want Cooke and Conner to team up on something else. Something new and wholly theirs so I can stop having reservations and just love the hell out of it. As it stands, I still kinda love this.

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9.5
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #4

Nov 28, 2012

It's the same refrain I've had with each issue - Conner's art is breathtakingly wonderful and Cooke's story is highly compelling despite the ludicrous criminal plot. Say what you will (and I have) about the need for the whole prequel project, but this Silk Spectre series gets into your heart and screws around with your emo-stuffs. Just like good comics should.

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6.0
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #520

Jun 23, 2011

It will be given a chance, but only one. Black Panther: Man Without Fear has been given many more than that, and it continues to underwhelm. I want to like this book. I really do. But this whole take is just not very intriguing, it's not compelling and it doesn't feel any different from the eight hundred billion other "big city vigilante" books out there today, and that's what Black Panther should always be. Different. Unique.

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7.0
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #521

Jul 13, 2011

You guys couldn't have told us that earlier and spared us all the angry twitching? Ah, well, all is forgiven, now that you've given us legitimate in-story cause to hate the American Panther, and even given us T'Challa pointing at that costume and saying "That was a mistake." We now know that Liss seems to get it. Here's hoping he's got something a little more nuanced to do with it now that he's got it.

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8.0
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #522

Aug 11, 2011

Judging from Liss' talk on the letters page, T'Challa won't be returning to Wakanda anytime soon, but at least we can hope that T'Challa will finally start to establish himself once again. Hopefully, somewhere else. Someplace that doesn't have any protectors. Someplace new and unique, like Wakanda once was for him. When he no longer has to balance the governance of an entire nation with his crimefighting activities, he should be able to set up a very impressive dominion over whichever city he chooses. That might be a T'Challa I'll be able to fully embrace again.

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7.5
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #523

Sep 20, 2011

Anyway, since Liss has proven himself capable of work I like, I'll stick with his Black Panther through the title changeover and see if there's any difference in tone or methodology enough to properly service the uniqueness of T'Challa. This last arc has been interesting at the very least, and hopefully things will start to improve. As they say, hope springs eternal.

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9.0
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #528

Jan 13, 2012

Alas, I was so concerned that nobody would bring the Panther back to what made me a fan of his in the first place that I felt compelled to keep shouting about it. And perhaps that helped lead to the unfortunate cancellation of this series, which ends with the next issue. We don't know what the future holds for T'Challa. Which side will he take in the big Avengers vs. X-Men war, since he's an Avenger and his wife is an X-Man? WIll he even be remembered in all the commotion? Let's hope so. But for now, Liss looks to be poised to send the Black Panther out on a really kick-ass high note, and if he's actually able to go through with dismantling Fisk's entire status quo, then it's a victory and a respect well and truly earned.

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8.8
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #529

Feb 13, 2012

Hell, let's just hope we as comic fans get another chance with him, too.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #1

Jan 7, 2014

Black Widow #1 is a solid start. Let's hope they can find a way to give a supporting cast to a woman who makes a point of supporting herself and no one else.

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8.0
Blackacre #1

Dec 7, 2012

BlackAcre #1 is a solid start. It remains to be seen if it'll manage to balance the gritty action with interesting social commentary, or if it'll become more of a standard common vs. wealth struggle. It's worth checking out.

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8.0
Blackacre #2

Jan 4, 2013

BlackAcre has the potential to be a very interesting examination of the dichotomy between the haves and have-nots. Or it could just be the standard kind of post-civilization turf-war fare, but given the opening of the first issue in the re-civilized future, I'm guessing Bordreau is going somewhere specific with all of this, and I'm on board to find out just where that might be.

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8.0
Blackacre #4

Mar 8, 2013

BlackAcre is an engaging series from Image worth checking out, even if it's a little hard to take a character named Kellogg seriously as a power player. All it does is make you want Frosted Flakes.

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8.5
Bloodshot #1

Jul 17, 2012

The visceral response to Bloodshot #1 might be what hooks you into the new Valiant. I think it's enough to make me stick with all the books for the near term.

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9.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #10

Jun 22, 2012

If Tony Bedard is going to have Bones as a recurring character, then Blue Beetle will make its way back to my pull list. The fact that Booster Gold appears at the end, possibly to establish a new Booster/Beetle partnership like what he used to have in the Old More-Than-52 with Kord, is a hint that maybe it'll find a way to tide me over until Bones' next appearance, too. I'd rather read Bones' own title, but that's not happening, so I'll be fine with this. I do have to say that the revelation that there's apparently a TMZ for the superhero set is a horrible and smart idea at the same time. Because of course there would be, even if we hate it for smearing people we like.

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8.0
Cable and X-Force #1

Dec 12, 2012

It's not Rick Remender's book by any means, but this hearkens back to the origins of X-Force with the big freaky-eyed tactician doing mysterious things and people just glomming into him as he goes about taking care of business. I'm looking forward to finding out the Colossus angle before I offer any final judgment on Cable and X-Force, and in the interim, I hope to hear some entertaining science-bickering between Forge and Nemesis.

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8.0
Cable and X-Force #5

Mar 6, 2013

Overall, this is a decently entertaining book that seems to be approaching a stride. I'm looking forward to the next insane adventure, and to the fate of Piotr Nikolievitch Rasputin, considering the drastic step he takes at the end of Cable and X-Force #5.

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8.5
Cable and X-Force #12

Aug 7, 2013

Regardless, thanks to Hopeless and Bunn for maturing Colossus once again after he was torn down to nothingness. Cable and X-Force remains an entertaining read.

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8.0
Captain America (2012) #3

Jan 18, 2013

Brubaker had eight years on the book, and had come to define what we expect when we read a Captain America comic. Remender's take is very much NOT that, and it HAD to not be that. It may seem strange to throw Captain America into situations where America doesn't matter in the least and there's no political intrigue to maneuver through, but it's just different enough to have a decent kind of cognitive dissonance about it. Plus, it's about Arnim Zola, and the only way he was going to make a splash is by doing horrible things to Captain America. And it seems like the worst is yet to come, and one can only imagine how weird Remender and Romita are going to get with this. I'm certainly down to find out.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #7

May 30, 2013

Captain America #7 is the beginning of the end of the Dimension Z travails, and it is succeeding in putting the freak Arnim Zola a lot higher on the Steve Rogers Shit List than he's ever been before, as the connection is now a deeply personal hatred. It remains to be seen whether or not we're going to get a much dirtier, more flawed version of Captain America when this is all over and done.

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7.0
Captain America Corps #1

Jun 16, 2011

As trite as alternate realities can get these days, it's still pretty cool to have established characters from different points in time like this team up for adventures. Hell, even Bill Clinton did it once, and we all know how much fun that turned out to be. Captain America Corps looks like it's on course to bring us that same kind of "yay, comics!" experience.

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7.0
Captain Atom #1

Sep 21, 2011

The fact that Captain Atom seems a hell of a lot more emotional than Jon Osterman ever did would lend credence to the notion that, yeah, this won't be the same thing we've seen already.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #2

Aug 16, 2012

It's fun. It's cool. Soy's art, again, is very hit or miss - sometimes cool, sometimes excessively murky - but it's a good time to be had here with Captain Marvel. I'm stickin' with it.

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7.5
Captain Marvel (2012) #11

Mar 26, 2013

Maybe it's just a matter of growing accustomed to different art styles, but I found Captain Marvel #11 to be a pretty enjoyable issue. The characters are engaging, the interplay is fun, and whereas I never really had much stock in Ms. Marvel, I find myself actually caring about Captain Marvel. As in, I'm worried about her getting evicted. When I start to get emotionally attached to characters, you've done your job.

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9.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #17

Nov 8, 2013

After another touching scene between intrepid Kit and the intrepid Carol at the end of the issue, the new Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan, is briefly seen in Jersey City, and we get a hint of her shapeshifty powers when she looks partially steroidal. We'll get plenty more on her in the near future when she gets her own book, and it's up to us to make sure the perception that comic fans are hostile to women is put to bed forever. I'm planning to give each of these female-led books at least three issues before I decide whether or not I'm on board for the long haul, and I hope you'll do the same.

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5.0
Captain Midnight #1

Jul 31, 2013

Captain Midnight #1 isn’t bad, but the creative team needs to step it up and give the veteran hero the respect he deserves.

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7.5
Catwoman (2011) #0

Sep 19, 2012

Overall, Catwoman #0 raises a lot of questions and makes us feel some things. It's not really a thrilling new direction for the series, though, but we're not exactly giving it the stink-eye, either. The jury is still out.

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7.5
Clone #1

Nov 23, 2012

The art is okay, mildly unpleasant at times as I'm not a big fan of Ryp's puffy faces, but solid at other points. The energy in this book is great, though, and it's got enough inertia to take us to the next issue.

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6.5
Collider #1

Aug 1, 2013

I want to like Collider, and it's not actively bad, but its first issue didn't bring the excitement I'd hoped for.

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8.0
Comeback #1

Nov 23, 2012

So... yeah, time travel confusion, and Walsh's art works well, even though it feels like the same style that's in every third book these days. It's cool enough to warrent a look, though. I'll be getting #2.

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8.5
Daredevil (2011) #16

Aug 3, 2012

Much has been made of Waid's lightening up of Daredevil after the years of needing a stiff drink to cope with reading each miserably dark issue, but DD #16 shows he's not afraid of those depths, either. Samnee and Javier Rodriguez continues the generally brighter look to the series, with clean lines and crisp coloring even when dealing with pitch blackness. They just continue to craft involving stories in this book, and it's well worth all the Eisners it won.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #22

Jan 21, 2013

Just like we can probably trust Dan Slott to find interesting things to do with Superior Spider-Man, we can trust Mark Waid to deal with The Big C with the appropriate grace and sensitivity to realism.

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8.5
Daredevil: Road Warrior #1

Feb 25, 2014

Great little story here, with the potential to turn into a great big story – which seems to be the case with Infinite Comics these days, considering that Deadpool: The Gauntlet (another series you should be reading) is introducing someone Wade Wilson is going to marry. Daredevil: Road Warrior is surely be setting up some things that will come to fruition in the West Coast Daredevil adventures, and you'll want to get on board now – because Infinite Comics are cool, Mark Waid is a good writer, and Daredevil is always a great read.

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8.0
Daredevil: Road Warrior #2

Mar 4, 2014

Then again, we've been led to believe all this time that Wade was going to get hitched to Shiklah, but then a mysterious vampire lady with an umbrella obscuring her face shows up to wrangle the vampire hobos, and it brings to mind the big Issue #27 wedding photo and the obscured face of Wade's bride, so there could be a bridal shell game happening here. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. Deadpool: The Gauntlet has been a fun ride either way, and of course it takes a succubus to find Wade attractive!

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8.0
Dark Avengers #1

Jun 6, 2012

Iffy nomenclature or not, it's a volatile mix of questionable personalities - and that's what makes Thunderbolts comics so much fun to read. This one is no exception - especially with the tagline at the end saying "Next: DEATHDEATHDEATHDEATH." Something tells me 'Toxie Doxie's going to run out of moxie.

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8.9
DC Universe Presents #4

Dec 23, 2011

It's a good read. It'll make a great trade paperback.

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8.5
Deadpool (2012) #1

Nov 7, 2012

Here's a swell chance to jump on board the Wade Train once again if you'd checked out for a while. Let the Good Time Charlies roll!

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8.0
Deadpool (2012) #14

Aug 16, 2013

It's also worth noting that the appearance of this Butler character, who has apparently been randomly harvesting Deadpool's organs for who knows how long, might be a sign of some of that compelling drama coming back as well. Regardless, they were able to make me laugh at a guy getting sacked, which you'd think is the lowest form of humor. But no! It works on so many levels!

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8.5
Deadpool (2012) #15

Aug 30, 2013

I do like the psychological drama that comes out here, there's something definitely creepy about Butler, and Declan Shalvey's artwork is pretty kinetic and interesting – never a dull moment with this guy. My hopes for a Deadpool revival – a complete one – are ever rising. I'm actually interested in his story and not just waiting around for the next gag. This crew seems to know what's up.

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9.0
Deadpool (2012) #19

Nov 14, 2013

The end of this big arc gives us a new lease on Deadpool going forward, and he's actually in the good graces of both Wolverine and Captain America, who have borne witness to his emotional breakdown and can both recognize his potential as a legit good guy. Whether or not he'll manage to follow that path is anyone's guess, but with Duggan & Posehn at the helm (and editor Jordan D. White apparently protecting the best parts of Wade's history, according to the letters page), it feels good to be able to call myself a Deadpool fan again with confidence. It's inspired me to want to re-read their entire run from the beginning – including killing all those zombie presidents.

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9.0
Deadpool (2012) #20

Dec 6, 2013

Sure, these are gimmick issues, but Deadpool comics should always be a place where gimmicks can feel right at home. Is there more to come? Will we get a Golden Age issue where Deadpool punches Hitler? We can only hope these folks have more madcap hijinks up their sleeves.

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8.5
Deadpool (2012) #21

Dec 18, 2013

Mike Hawthorne seems to be having a fun time with the art, which serves the story well. His work is very bright and crisp, and sometimes he gets to draw three Deadpools in painter uniforms smacking each other around like the Three Stooges, or Preston as the Virgin Mary to Wade's sombrero-sporting Baby Jesus. Working on a Deadpool book has to got to be a dream job for the artist, and if it ain't, it should be.

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9.0
Deadpool (2012) #23

Feb 14, 2014

The resolution of the Agent Preston In Wade's Head should come next issue (as evidenced by the great Watchmen reference on the final page), and after that, the whole Gauntlet business is going to jump to the print book, because Deadpool's getting married to Shiklah in issue #27, and that's gonna make for some seriously madcap hijinks. Seriously madcap! Wait, no, not Madcap, that was the annual. Just lower-case madcap.

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7.5
Deadpool (2012) Annual #1

Dec 2, 2013

Acker & Blacker (Bigger & Blackerer?) get points for actually trying to quantify this whole issue canonically, which was really probably just one of Way's writing-style affectations rather than any big plan to have the extra voice in Wade's head mean something. However, they seem to see Wade as more of a surly bastard rather than his trademark wack-a-doodle before the merger, although that might just be to differentiate him from Madcap a bit more, and to make their moody conclusion more resonant. Still, it's a cute, twisted little story that befits an Annual, and they've got good gags " like Thor accidentally killing people and hurriedly claiming "They died warrior's deaths!" " and the art from Evan "Doc" Shaner is suitably balanced between comic booky and cartoony.

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9.0
Deadpool: The Gauntlet #11

Mar 19, 2014

Read Deadpool: The Gauntlet. It's cool comics in computer-face form. And it's buckets of funsies.

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8.5
Detective Comics (2011) #15

Dec 5, 2012

Layman may have hooked me onto another Bat-book with Detective Comics #15. Maybe the more I read of him, the more likely I'll be to take another crack at Chew.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #19

Apr 8, 2013

Overall, it's an interesting effort from Layman, and certainly a respectable one, but I'm not sure how much confidence I have in Detective Comics going forward.

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9.0
Dial H #1

May 2, 2012

Yeah. This book is going to be fun. Wild, crazy fun. Miéville's ideas are golden from the get-go, and we can only imagine how much zanier they're going to be as the series wears on. The art from Mateus Santolouco has a great dark and freaky vibe to it, with some imaginative layout work and an energetic madness to its style. Dial H #1 is definitely weird fiction of the most palatable kind. Strap in, and let's see where this head trip takes us.

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8.5
Dial H #2

Jun 11, 2012

If you like the weird stuff like MODOK and the Bi-Beast, you'll probably enjoy the heck out of Dial H.

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8.5
Dial H #4

Aug 7, 2012

It's hard to believe something as inherently perplexing as Dial H exists within DC's New 52, but it does, and you should buy it so it will continue to exist there. It may be an acquired taste, but it's well worth the effort so far.

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7.5
Dial H #10

Mar 8, 2013

Dial H is a really nutty book that will likely read better when collected in trade form, but I love that I never have any idea what to expect from it.

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8.0
Dial H #11

Apr 8, 2013

We never have any idea where this book is going, and it will likely read better if you read collections to get whole story arcs at once. But Dial H is certainly worth your time to experience – and I'm looking forward to seeing if this has any actual effect on Flash comics.

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9.0
Dream Thief #2

Jun 21, 2013

If you're looking for a good, fast-paced ongoing mystery with elements of action, noir and the supernatural, odds are you'll enjoy Dream Thief. It's pretty freakin' cool.

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9.0
Dream Thief #4

Aug 23, 2013

It's just… cool. That's the word I keep coming back to, and it's hard to really nail that on your first try like Nitz and Smallwood have. There's a fine line there – if you try too hard, you just come off as lame and stupid like Gambit. But if you manage to ride that line and keep it from becoming obnoxious and cloying, you make fans of your readers. Dream Thief has done that for me.

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8.5
Earth 2 #1

May 1, 2012

It's a good issue, and sets the stage for something that feels pretty fresh. There are some residual nerves at work, hoping we won't lose some of these beloved characters to that pit of reinvention for its own sake in the Billy Batson Is A Dick vein, but so far, only Joan is in danger of that, and we don't really have enough information to pass judgment on that shift just yet.

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7.0
Earth 2 Annual #1

May 30, 2013

Cafu and Julius Gopez turn in a solid effort. The Captain Atom work has a dream state quality to it, as though we’re inside his thoughts and seeing his memories through his eyes. The panels outside of Captain Atom is harsher, thicker lines, heavier inks, more in your face color work. Cafu and Julius also know how to maximize panel placement. Some of the sweeping two panel action scenes are epic. If the story here is a bit frazzled, the art helps hold it together.

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7.5
EGOs #1

Jan 17, 2014

Overall, EGOs #1 is a solidly entertaining start to what could be a pretty cool series.

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9.0
Extermination #1

Jun 7, 2012

Extermination #1 has me on board for the long haul, with absolutely no reservations. It's going to be messed up and dark, but it'll be amusingly so, and black comedy is wonderful when done right.

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8.5
Extermination #4

Sep 21, 2012

What started as a neat concept - what if a superhero and his archenemy were alone in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and had to work together to survive scary monsters - has become a more detailed subversion of the entire superhero genre, while seeming to celebrate some of the more ludicrous conventions at the same time.

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8.0
Extermination #5

Oct 29, 2012

Hop on board the Extermination train, which certainly doesn't sound like something anybody should recommend to anybody, but trust me. It's a fun ride.

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8.5
Extermination #6

Nov 19, 2012

Extermination is a very cool book full of action, malarkey and subversive undermining of the whole superhero genre, while at the same time celebrating how fun it can be. Go get it!

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9.0
Fantastic Four #600

Nov 23, 2011

This 100-page extravaganza is a big, deliciously meaty feast of storytelling, just in time for Thanksgiving. Dig in.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #601

Dec 26, 2011

Steve Epting's artwork is solid as always, too, as well as his inking team working to make things moody when they need to be, bright when they should be and touching when Ben Grimm gets his groove back. If you're a fan of the classics, you can't go wrong with hopping onto Fantastic Four #601. If you think you're too cool for that, enjoy your gooey murderfaced symbiote. We'll be over here havin' fun.

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8.8
Fantastic Four #603

Feb 28, 2012

Everything's coming to fruition, and it's a big ballistic BA-BOOOOM of an impact when it does. This is the kind of fun you don't get in any other Marvel book, and chances are it'll read even better in trade form. It's not easy to jump right in, but try it anyway.

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9.0
Fantastic Four #604

Mar 14, 2012

It's a touching but not trite story about love and family with moving moments from artist Steve Epting, plus it's a giant god-fight with Franklin Richards cutting loose with his mind-bending power. It's a very satisfying conclusion to a huge saga that's beyond the comic book norm, and those don't come along very often. Enjoy it while you can.

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10
Fantastic Four #605

Apr 12, 2012

No wonder he's Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew.

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8.5
Fantastic Four #607

Jun 18, 2012

Fantastic Four #607 is a very interesting set-up to what I hope is a revitalization of the Black Panther concepts, and thus maybe we can get a spinoff series restarted once again - hey, maybe that's even in the cards for Hickman's future plans once he leaves the FF proper. We can only hope. If anything merits Hickman's high-minded approach to storytelling, it's the legendary, ancient culture of Wakanda.

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9.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #1

Nov 15, 2012

Fantastic Four #1 is a hootenanny of a kick-off. Let's hope this new team can keep it up.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #5AU

Mar 27, 2013

Fantastic Four #5AU leaves things in a weird and sort of interesting place, but I have no idea if it will continue in the next issue or if this is some kind of stand-alone tie-in that's just meant to be a sort of quick gut punch.

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7.5
Fantastic Four (2014) #1

Feb 26, 2014

By the way, there's no mention of the red-and-black outfits, not even some witty aside, and the FF kids are still in the whites. There is a bit of chicanery with the Foundation kids that momentarily breaks up the somber tone of the first issue, but all in all, it's a truly ominous affair. Hickman was able to make this team work by embracing the huge-scale cosmic events this family deals with, while Fraction's run succeeded on its embrace of the gee-whiz fun and interpersonal drama. It remains to be seen what shape the Robinson era will take, but it's probably going to be a bit depressing for a while. Let it settle in.

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8.3
Fantastic Four: Season One #1

Feb 6, 2012

It's just fun, which is what the Fantastic Four should be.

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7.0
Fantomex MAX #1

Oct 3, 2013

Fantomex MAX #1 is okay, but somewhat suspect from the get go. It's certainly weird, it could wind up being fun, but it could also become something gross.

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2.0
Fear Itself #6

Sep 19, 2011

As it stands now, though, Fear Itself has no business being this boring.

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9.0
Fear Itself: Spider-Man #3

Jul 14, 2011

This is how engrossing and emotionally engaging an event book should feel. Too bad it's relegated to a tie-in, but as long as it's here in some capacity, we can't dismiss Fear Itself entirely.

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8.0
Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #2

Aug 16, 2011

On the surface, this whole X-Force concept seems like it should fall into the 'dark for the sake of dark' trap, but in both Remender's series and Williams' efforts here, it manages to avoid that sensibility, while certainly maintaining that unrelenting bleakness. It's a strange thing, to still want to read books that bring up really murky feelings of ugliness, but in this day and age, Uncanny X-Force is managing just that.

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8.3
FF #13

Jan 3, 2012

Overall, it's going to take some effort to get up to speed with FF. It's intellectual and only very subtly emotional. But if you're tired of the same-old same-old, this should be worth that effort for you.

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8.0
FF #15

Mar 1, 2012

We won't know until Fantastic Four #604. But we do know that Franklin Richards is a really good-hearted kid, and his character has been developed enough to know that we really care about what happens to this little guy. That, in itself, is an accomplishment, considering he was once completely untouchable.

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9.5
FF #23

Oct 24, 2012

We love these guys, too, Mr. Hickman, and we tend to forget that in the greater hype that surrounds the movie stars and event books, but we have to thank you for reminding us why these people are Marvel's First Family, and why this can be considered the World's Greatest Comic Magazine. Or at least one of them. The beauty of this FF #23 reminds us that, in this post-modern age of bitter cynicism and detached irony, the happy ending is now a daring choice - and one that's more than welcome.

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9.0
FF (2012) #1

Nov 30, 2012

The Fraction FF era is so far off to a really cool start. It's a great time to hop on board what is surely a great space-time coaster.

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8.0
FF (2012) #3

Jan 25, 2013

Fraction's having fun, and this time, unlike his Defenders, it's fun we can all enjoy.

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8.5
FF (2012) #4

Mar 1, 2013

Matt Fraction is doing entertaining work here " I particularly enjoyed Blarrgh The Unliving " and he's also working with old continuity and keeping it real, which I respect. Putting She-Hulk back in what might be the most real relationship of her life is a nice way to avoid the usual temptation writers have to just play around with her penchant for promiscuity (not that there's anything wrong with promiscuity in general, as long as it's done responsibly). Fraction is having a lot of good old-fashioned yet new-fangled fun in the FF universe. Let's hope he keeps it up.

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8.5
FF (2012) #6

Apr 24, 2013

Of the two FF books, it certainly seems like Fraction has a clearer vision of what to do with this series than the main Four. It's a wild and woolly cast of weirdos, and I really like it that way, dummy! YANCY STREET.

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7.9
Flash (2011) #6

Feb 24, 2012

There's enough interesting stuff going on in The Flash #6 that I might jump back on the train and see where it takes me. With any luck, it will eventually take me to Wally West, but I can be patient if The Fastest Man Alive's journey to ginger is a slow one.

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8.5
Flash (2011) #13

Oct 26, 2012

Anyway, once again, I like everything around the Flash, and in Flash #13, even he's all right, because he gets to bounce off the Rogues in a fun team-up. Still waiting, however, to find out what's so great about Barry Allen that he was brought back from the dead. I think I'm still holding Flashpoint against him, since I don't get the Secret Six anymore just because he missed his mommy.

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7.0
Flash (2011) #15

Jan 3, 2013

Overall, the artwork DOES look pretty cool, and the elements of the story are fun, but while it's been a pretty solid ride the last few issues, Flash #15 just seems to undercut everything that was crafted so far. It's decent enough, and there's nothing actively bad about it. It's... well, it's just okay.

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8.0
Flash (2011) #23.2

Sep 11, 2013

It may be a long time before we see Wally West again, but there is a West who is now a Flash, if that helps. Foreshadowing, maybe?

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8.5
Flash (2011) Annual #1

Aug 30, 2012

I want to say Flash Annual #1 will get me back into reading The Flash again, and I'll definitely check out Flash #13 if it upholds the promise of Rogues vs. Gorilla City, but I know that, eventually, all of these bad guys will have to exeunt with a flourish, and we'll be back to focusing on Barry Allen. Then, my eyes will glaze over and I'll forget to buy it again. It's not something I blame Manapul and Buccellato for, though. I have no idea what to suggest to them that would make Barry interesting. He's not cool in Justice League and he's not cool in his own book. He's just okay. He's not really fun, and that's what I'd prefer out of a Flash.

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6.5
Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1

Jun 22, 2011

In the meantime, let's root for the series we do have to find its footing and make the case for an independent Lois Lane.

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8.5
Forever Evil #1

Sep 4, 2013

Maybe I shouldn't think about it too hard. It's time to watch the new Bad Guy Earth unfold, this time without Axe Cop to save us all.

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7.5
Forever Evil #3

Nov 6, 2013

All in all, Forever Evil is cool, in that same dark, tough-guy tone in which DC seems to be unifying all of their books. Maybe that's why it feels like I've been reading the same thing a lot of the time with DC's stuff – unless it's Larfleeze, it all seems to have the same Dark Knight kind of vibe. It's not a bad vibe, but when it's the only vibe, you can get burnt out.

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7.5
Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #1

Oct 31, 2013

It's possible ARGUS can emerge as a rock-solid part of the DCU. Team 7 didn't take, but maybe this series will.

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7.3
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Sep 17, 2011

Overall, it's a good start, and I'll certainly make an effort to acquire that taste with #2. Hopefully, it'll be able to differentiate itself from B.P.R.D. enough so as not to feel like a retread. The vampire seems like an entertaining asshole and the werewolf looks badass. It could happen.

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8.2
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #4

Dec 15, 2011

If you have doubts, allow me to reiterate: monsters, robots and Goddamned War Wheels.

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8.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #8

Apr 13, 2012

Overall, this is still a compelling book, where monsters are monsters and they fight other monsters, and sometimes realize all too keenly that they can't really transcend their own monster status. Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is an inherently cool concept, and there's plenty to like here, especially the lovably gruesome lead character. We'll hope that Matt Kindt has more good ideas when he takes over with #10.

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7.5
G.I. Combat #1

May 2, 2012

So, G.I. Combat #1 is a tale of two tales. One is shrug-worthy, but with potential, and the other is pretty engrossing. It's worth your time.

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7.0
Godzilla #1

May 25, 2012

In the end, Godzilla #1 doesn't do much to blow us away, but it's certainly teeing up for what could be a compelling Sisyphean effort on the part of the most rugged of humankind against the unstoppable tide of destruction.

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5.0
Godzilla: Gangsters & Goliaths #1

Jun 20, 2011

That said, one feels somewhat compelled to see exactly how Sato plans to use Mothra against a crimelord, and any chance that a Godzilla story manages to find a good hook to keep going is a chance that should be taken. Giant monsters are too cool not to try everything you can to utilize properly.

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8.0
Godzilla: Half-Century War #1

Aug 21, 2012

Overall, it looks like some cool adventure awaits in Godzilla: The Half Century War, and it's earned a reprieve from my previous disinclination to keep up with my favorite lizard's stories.

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8.0
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #4

Jul 7, 2011

I was uncertain about this series from the get-go, as much as I've liked Godzilla since I was a kid, but Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #4 is the issue that officially hooked me, and I'm in for the full ride.

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8.5
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #5

Jul 28, 2011

If you like Godzilla at all, this is the best you're going to get in the comic realm. Check out Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters while there are still a few issues left to go before the complete collapse of civilization.

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8.0
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #6

Aug 26, 2011

Two issues left, and we have to believe that the world's governments are out of ideas, and will collapse from here on out. We have no idea how Powell and Marsh are going to end their grand tale of the end of life as we know it, but even if it takes a Cormac McCarthy route, we can be comforted by the knowledge that these two writers are far too fun for this to ever get as depressing as The Road.

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6.0
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #9

Nov 28, 2011

The drop-off in quality isn't steep by any means with the writer hand-off, but there's some inevitable loss of excitement. We'll have to see if Ciaramella can inject it back into the story before we miss it too badly.

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7.0
Great Pacific #2

Dec 7, 2012

Still, Great Pacific has enough great ideas in it that I'm on board to see where it goes. Something about the pioneer spirit is engaging, even if it's a mess of complications and nastiness on a trash heap instead of braving the wild west. To be fair, it was a mess of complications and nastiness back then, too - and we're about to see all that echoed in this series. Should be compelling reading.

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6.5
Great Pacific #5

Mar 12, 2013

Some comic books have enough artistic pizzazz to command you to own them in print form. Great Pacific seems like one of those books you'd rather get digitally " you still want it enough to follow the story, but it's not going to be something you pass on to your kids or anything.

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7.5
Green Arrow (2011) #17

Feb 6, 2013

Overall, there's enough here to build on, and Lemire's proven himself to be a writer to trust. It's worth a few more issues to see if it's going to go pear-shaped or not.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #13

Oct 5, 2012

It's nice to say I'm on board to keep reading Green Lantern. At least for the short term. Once Baz is shuffled off to Justice League of America, Jordan will likely slip back in and drag everything back to Sucktown.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #21

Jun 5, 2013

Overall, some new blood on the GL books may be what they need. They've had their moments, but they haven't seemed to be consistently compelling lately. Maybe a fresh direction will help. Green Lantern #21 might not be a clean enough break, but hope springs eternal. Wait… that's Blue Lanterns…

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #24

Oct 2, 2013

"Lights Out" is off to an interesting start with plenty of potential. Let's see where it goes.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #28

Feb 6, 2014

All in all, the GL/RL #28 stunt was an enjoyable one, if not particularly exciting, giving us a frog lantern and a bit of bitchiness between a ball lantern and a box lantern, as well as dropping a major character into the Red Lantern fray that will hopefully spike its interest levels and get the Reds mixed in with the rest of the DCU.

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8.7
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #1

Sep 21, 2011

Green Lantern Corps is a great launching pad for the kind of GL adventures you actually want to read about. Why is there such a clusterfuck on Earth? Space is a massive place, and a lot more time should be dedicated dealing with stuff out there. It's refreshing to see these cool Green Lanterns realize that and go about their business without whining about bills. And although Gardner seems like a more chill guy, he's not without some obnoxious behavior, so Tomasi should have plenty to work with, as it can't be too long before his two leads are butting their hard heads against each other.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #18

Mar 13, 2013

The "Wrath of the First Lantern" storyline hasn't been the best, but I enjoyed the deep look into the mind and new origins of John Stewart in Green Lantern Corps #18. I'm hoping he'll remain somewhat relevant in the outcome of it all, but it's looking as though All Things Defer To Hal Jordan's Infallible Greatness will be how this all plays out. Yawn.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #21

Jun 14, 2013

As of now, it looks like Green Lantern Corps is the book you'll want to check out if you want to read about actual Green Lantern business rather than all the internal bickering and spectrum slapfights. It's not bad.

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7.5
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #24

Oct 13, 2013

Just a little, though, and if we give them the benefit of that doubt, "Lights Out" is a unique and interesting challenge for the Green Lanterns to face, with every element of their mythos being systematically destroyed. Oa is gone. Their Central Battery is gone. Every use of their power kills their environment and hastens the end of all life, and their leader is a bull-headed jackass who sucks and is bad and is dumb. How do they adapt? Do they adapt at all? I can't wait to find out.

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4.0
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #11

Jul 5, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 4/10

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1

Sep 28, 2011

*bias against Hal Jordan freely admitted. He's just the most boring GL of all time. Yes, I'm including Ch'p.

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8.4
Green Lantern: New Guardians #6

Feb 23, 2012

If you'd told me last year that the Kyle Rayner book would be my favorite Green Lantern title, I'd have scoffed. But here we are. Green Lantern: New Guardians #6 - stuff's actually happening, and it's bright and shiny and the most interesting ringslingin' goin' these days.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #21

Jun 21, 2013

So far, it's a reasonably good start for the new creative crew handling the Emerald Knights. They're getting back to they're actual damn jobs, they're realizing Hal Jordan is impossible to love, and they're dealing with the fallout of some catastrophic storytelling, even if it's becoming even moreso. Green Lantern: New Guardians #9 is all right by me.

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8.0
Happy #1

Sep 28, 2012

The art from Darick Robertson is pretty solid as well, which makes the contrast between gritty, violent realism and Disney-fied Happy more fun. It's possible this whole concept will cross the line between clever and "clever," but for right now, Happy! #1 is a goofy blend of overblown crime drama with overblown cutesy fun. No telling where Morrison is going to take this one.

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6.5
Harbinger #6

Nov 26, 2012

Everything's still very tentative about Harbinger, though (although the Phil Briones art is mostly lamentable when it comes to human faces). It could be interesting, it could be acceptable, it could, it could, it could. But it's six issues in and still all about could. I'd been waiting for Kris to return so I could pass a verdict, but it seems that jury is still out, or maybe they're just hung.

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8.5
Harvest #1

Aug 3, 2012

Harvest is a dark, twisted and interesting tale. A volatile mix of life, death, drugs and powerful people doing very bad things.

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8.5
Harvest #2

Sep 11, 2012

Lieberman is constructing a pretty involving story, keeping the kid-angst to an effective minimum and making us come around to liking Dane after the first issue painted him as such a walking catastrophe. It's redemption in progress, and the art from Colin Lorimer is greatly suited to it, with its very subtle colors within a mostly black-and-white look. It's a dark book both in subject matter and moody aesthetic, but Harvest is certainly a story worth your time to check out, should that pique your interest.

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1.0
Hawk and Dove #1

Sep 8, 2011

Sorry, Mr. Gates. I'll be happy to give you another shot at some point in the future, but you crapped out this time.

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8.5
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #1

Aug 2, 2012

Of course, next issue is bringing us Young Avenger Kate Bishop as a potential sidekick, so that might not stick as an idea. Then again, she's just a good archer, too. The lack of powers and lack of punisher-style gunplay could really make this a unique book. We'll just have to see how long this respectable restraint lasts.

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8.5
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #2

Sep 6, 2012

The two of them are teaming up to intervene in some shenanigans involving the Ringmaster and a bunch of high-end criminals who are planning to rob other criminals by distracting them with a fancy circus act. While Fraction drops in some amusing bits (like a Daily Bugle headline that reads "EVERYTHING AWFUL Oh God Somebody Do Something"), the first time he's actually made me laugh out loud comes from Barton's perception of Ringmaster's appearance.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #3

Oct 18, 2012

Fraction and Aja are just nailing it in this series, and it's a damn good time reading comics.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #9

Apr 15, 2013

Anyway, this book has it all. Drama, pathos, yuks, bad romance, bad guys who always say 'bro.' What are you doing if you're not reading Hawkeye? Missing out, that's what.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #16

Jan 24, 2014

Whether Burton or Bishop, Hawkeye continues to be one of the best titles Marvel cranks out. Fraction, Wu, Aja and Hollingsworth are a revolution.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 Annual #1

Jul 26, 2013

Pulido's artwork here is fantastic. Pop-art styling, funky layouts and even taking the time to illustrate Kate faces in her own dialogue boxes, which makes it feel like an indie-comic auteur's work, not the combined efforts of letterer VC's Clayton Cowles and colorist Matt Hollingsworth alongside Pulido. The artists that work on this book are mightily thorough and anything but workmanlike. I don't know what Hawkeye did to earn this treatment, but he's got it, and it works for him. And her. It works for all the Hawkguys.

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7.0
He-Man & The Masters of the Universe #1

Jul 3, 2012

Thus, there are some mysteries to be revealed that may turn out to be interesting, given Robinson's talent, but He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 is a bit disappointing.

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7.0
He-Man & The Masters of the Universe (2013) #1

Apr 19, 2013

Overall, it's got some spark with the dialog (something Giffen is good at), but it all feels kind of half-assed. Granted, it's hard to go full-assed at something like He-Man. They have a lobster guy named Clawful, you know, and a guy with a big fist named Fisto. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 is certainly a step up from the old cartoon as far as characterization, but that's not saying a whole lot.

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7.4
Heroes for Hire #9

Jul 12, 2011

Overall, DnA have given themselves plenty to work with here, and with this level of insanity, they could always work in more guest stars and superjerks and have a good time doing it. Here's hoping they don't drop the ball on Mr. Briedel and give him a cutesy name like Damnbulatory or Alchemica or something.

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8.0
Higher Earth #2

Jun 22, 2012

Humphries is taking a risk by not giving us the full scoop of his original series, trusting we'll be intrigued enough by the drips and drabs he dishes out and the plight of Heidi that we'll keep on going. So far, it works well enough, but with Heidi being the only likable character so far, it might wear a bit thin if its stretched out too long. It's fairly commonplace for new books to give us the what-for by issue #3, and that's often the threshold new readers will give a new series before deciding whether or not they're going to stick with it, so we'll see what happens then. The first two issues, though, are fairly imaginative with a breathless sort of pace to them, dropping us at the beginning and right in the middle at the same time. Humphries gets a vote of confidence.

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7.0
Hinterkind #1

Oct 3, 2013

The Hinterkind #1 may well lead to something good. But it just as easily could lead to nothing particularly special.

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7.3
I, Vampire #1

Oct 3, 2011

There's an "emo" style to Andrew, with the skunk stripe in his black hair, so if you're predisposed to hate that kind of thing, I, Vampire isn't for you. However, I hate vampires, but I kinda liked this, and this was second only to Hawk and Dove as the New 52 book of which I was certain I'd never want the second issue. Fialkov and Sorrentino have got me seriously considering it, and that's about the highest compliment I can give them.

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8.0
I, Vampire #3

Nov 28, 2011

The kicker is that this isn't some Elseworlds thing. It's set in the DCnU proper, and next issue even promises some Batman action. This means eventually, we could see Hawkman murdering the crap out of suckheads. How the hell is a horror book and a vampire revolution fit into the New 52 superhero world? It's enough of a question mark to tune in for #4.

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8.0
I, Vampire #5

Jan 27, 2012

I still hate vampires, but in this book, we're supposed to hate vampires, which I suppose is why it still has my attention. I'm looking forward to seeing how Batman responds to this murderous suckhead rebellion in full force.

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8.5
I, Vampire #6

Feb 27, 2012

But holy crap. Well done on pulling the wool out from under us, Mr. Fialkov, by building up this powerful, compelling, angst-ridden character and then turning him to dust. "Big ups," as the kids were saying 10 years ago.

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8.7
Incredible Hulk (2009) #631

Jun 27, 2011

There is actually some foreshadowing of the impending return of the Savage Hulk in Pak's Heart of the Monster swan song, as the Green Goliath is repeatedly refusing to let Bruce Banner out, despite Amadeus Cho pleading for him to get some help in figuring out how to end this wishing-well malarkey. For the most part, though, this is just packed to the gills with chaos, carnage and calamity, and it seems to be exactly what the Hulk needed after watching his ex-wife run off with one of his archenemies.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #633

Jul 27, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 8/10

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8.7
Incredible Hulk (2009) #634

Aug 16, 2011

So Pak's run comes to an end with the next issue. Will it turn out that Betty's wish was to separate Bruce Banner from the Hulk, and that's what will set up Jason Aaron and Marc Silvestri's run starting with the new Incredible Hulk #1? Sounds like a plan, but with how crazy unpredictable Pak's swan song has been, it's better not to venture a guess at all.

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9.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #635

Sep 1, 2011

On behalf of Hulk fans everywhere, we salute you, Mr. Pak, and you'll be missed.

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5.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #2

Nov 17, 2011

Overall, this book is likely to be off-putting to people who like the character of Bruce Banner, but possibly inviting to those who just like to see the Hulk being a badass. He does beat up gamma sharks... but we know people have a low tolerance for gamma-animals, if the hostile response to Ang Lee's Hulk (or John Frankenheimer's awful The Island of Dr. Moreau, for that matter) is any indication. The fact that Aaron is basing his whole premise around them is a dubious portent of things to come.

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5.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #3

Dec 23, 2011

For all the misgivings I have about where Aaron's Incredible Hulk is going, I'm not going to get all worked up into a nerd-rage about it - at least not right now with the holiday spirit and all. Here's the bottom line with this and most any run of comics - if it turns out good, hot damn, great. If it turns out crap, then it will eventually end and fade into obscurity as one of those chapters in the character's history we don't talk about. Every iconic character has some of them. Sure, it's annoying as all get-out in the short term when one of your favorite characters is going through a suck phase, or when you think it's a suck phase but everyone else seems to drool over it, but patience is a virtue. This, too, will pass.

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9.5
Infernal Man-Thing #2

Jul 20, 2012

There's nothing quasi about this profundity.

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8.5
Infinity #1

Aug 14, 2013

Infinity #1 isn't something that knocks us out with its first issue, because Hickman isn't that kind of writer. Hickman is a builder himself, and he's letting us see all the threads he's weaving first. Infinity is not a front-loaded book like most event books tend to be. Instead, Hickman is likely orchestrating it so, for once, the last issue of an event series is the one that knocks us out.

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9.0
Infinity #2

Sep 10, 2013

The stakes are very high in Infinity, as is the body count so far. We often complain about character death used as a shock tactic to try to make event books seem more important, but our faith in Hickman is strong enough that if he goes that way and kills someone we actually know, this story is thick enough with intrigue and legitimately-crafted cosmic menace that it will feel earned instead of forced.

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8.5
Infinity #4

Oct 9, 2013

Light broke through Hickman's heavy darkness in Infinity #4, and a whole new world of Inhumanity has opened up. Enemies are broken but not beaten. Anything remains possible, but for now, the dead are being Avenged.

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8.0
Infinity: The Hunt #1

Sep 16, 2013

Overall, the issue is pretty fun, with a dark swerve at the end that will likely shift the tone drastically. Still, some of us were worried that the Avengers Academy characters wouldn't resurface again without a claustrophobic trauma forcing them to kill each other for quite some time. At least this time, if they get killed, it will be by bad guys.

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7.5
Infinity: The Hunt #2

Oct 4, 2013

I liked this book at the start, and although Pan makes me nervous, I still want to like Infinity: The Hunt as a spiritual successor to Avengers Academy. Let's hope it earns it.

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8.5
Inhumanity #1

Dec 4, 2013

Overall, Inhumanity is interesting, it does what it needs to do to catch new readers up to speed, and it has me hooked to see what unfolds, and the first issue has prepared me to accept that the classic version of the Inhumans as created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee back in 1965 is probably gone for good. Now, your pizza guy could be an Inhuman, and oh, what a great point-of-view character he'd make for an Inhumans movie"

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5.0
Insurgent #1

Jan 16, 2013

While this is a step in the right direction for DC, I'm afraid Insurgent doesn't seem to have much more going for it beyond that. Your mileage may vary.

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7.0
Iron Man (2012) #5

Jan 2, 2013

The new Marvel NOW version of Iron Man could be really cool if the artwork was anywhere near as engaging as the story beats are. Unfortunately, it's not to be, so the series can't really get much better than noncommittal shrug of acceptance. All is certainly not right with it, but... eh, it's all right.

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7.5
Iron Man (2012) #7

Mar 6, 2013

Iron Man in the Marvel NOW era has managed to be fairly entertaining despite Land and a general feeling of directionlessness, and hopefully, the space-faring fun keeps on keepin' on with it's Trekky self.

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7.5
Iron Man (2012) #8

Apr 17, 2013

Perhaps it's strange that the two marquee Avengers " Iron Man and Captain America " are currently way out of their normal comfort zones in their respective books, but for Shellhead's part, it's still kind of intriguing. It's nothing spectacular or fascinating as yet, but there does seem to be some potential.

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8.0
Iron Man (2012) #9

May 1, 2013

Iron Man #9 is mostly set-up, with a cute bad-merc story as its basis. The real verdict will have to come when we know what Howard's revelation is really going to be. The preview looks interesting"

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8.0
Iron Man (2012) #10

May 15, 2013

Iron Man #10 is pretty solid and intriguing, but trepidations about where Gillen is going with all this are holding me back from fully embracing it.

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7.0
Iron Man (2012) #11

Jun 7, 2013

The jury's still out on Iron Man #11 and these new ideas for Tony's origin. This issue in particular is all talk, but we're just not sure what to believe, and we don't really want to believe what we're being told – and that puts us right in our protagonist's jet-boots, which has to qualify as a success. Not quite enough to overcome trepidation, but maybe it can all work out in the end. Right?

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7.5
Iron Man (2012) #17

Oct 23, 2013

Iron Man #17 is all talk, and artist Carlo Pagulayan portrays it completley straightforward, and it's just fine. We still have a lot to digest with this altered perception of the Stark family… and who knows? Maybe Arno will turn out to be evil Iron Man 2020, and this will all be a lot of hooey and malarkey being used to manipulate Tony. I'm sure we'll know the truth in seven years' time.

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8.5
Iron Man (2012) #19

Dec 5, 2013

The art from Joe Bennett in this issue is top notch. The splash page of Iron Man flying over the remains of Mandarin City is gorgeous, and his fight against the Triads running around with Mandarin tech just looks cool, as does the interruption of the press conference that Tony will have a hard time pardoning. So Iron Man is moving forward, taking the space-baby weirdness of the last arc in stride, and giving us some trade dressing that's going to look great on the shelf. Seriously, the "Iron Metropolitan" logo is wonderful, and that's twice now I've referenced how much I like logos. That ain't par for the course, y'know.  I'm guessing the kudos go to Tim Leong, the designer.

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8.9
Jonah Hex #69

Jul 12, 2011

We know Jonah Hex will be continuing on after the reboot, visiting Old Tyme Gotham City and all, but this story feels like a chapter near the end of the book. We'll have to wait and see what changes, if anything, in the story of this iconic and surly gunslinger. Let's hope it ain't much.

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8.0
Judge Dredd #1

Nov 23, 2012

Perhaps I don't have the proper street cred to be steeped in 2000 A.D. lore (and feel free to condescend to me if you do and you have unkind things to say about this book), but it's a nice start, with a satirical Robocop-esque feel to the Mega City One society - complete with either incompetent or impudent security robots frustrating their owners

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7.5
Justice League #0

Sep 19, 2012

The backup story gives us a bit more on the Trinity of Sin build-up, as the Wizard's last act is to find Pandora and apologize for the Council of Eternity passing a foolishly extreme judgment on her for simple curiosity - something that makes us wonder if Black Adam might not have had good reason to kill them all. We also get our first glimpse of The Question, fighting street crime and spouting to himself about his search for answers. Still not sure if making Q into this eternally damned immortal is a wise direction, but we'll see.

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7.8
Justice League #1

Aug 31, 2011

Overall? Justice League #1 does its job in a workmanlike manner rather than with any spectacular flair that we may have hoped for. It sets up a new world where nobody knows each other, it lays the groundwork for a big sinister alien plot as well as an origin story for Cyborg, it gives us decent superhero banter and it has Batman in it. It's not enough to blow us away, but it's just about enough to make us want a little more before we decide whether or not we're down with this whole New 52 thing.

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6.3
Justice League #2

Oct 20, 2011

Hopefully, when #3 comes out, the fact that Parademons are attacking will get things down to brass tacks and less... this. It's really weird seeing DC ape the Marvel 'fear and distrust' themes they use for most of their heroes and try to apply them to the Justice League, who have traditionally been much more accepted and respected. It just doesn't feel right. That might just be a factor of newness and it's worth sticking out this first arc to see, but it could also mean the mark is being missed here.

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7.5
Justice League #3

Nov 16, 2011

Anyway, Justice League #3 is finally getting to what we wanted out of this book in the first place. However, it has yet to manage anything completely awesome, even though Wonder Woman's splash page was as close as it's gotten. Hopefully it'll keep getting better from here, and eventually get us jazzed about the heavy hitters again.

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6.0
Justice League #5

Jan 25, 2012

I don't know what it's going to finally take to get me to drop this title. I feel like there's some journalistic need to keep following it, at least until this first 'here's how we got together' arc mercifully ends, but this series isn't good. It's fair to middling, and that's sad, because it's supposed to be the damn flagship.

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6.8
Justice League #6

Feb 29, 2012

The book isn't awful. It's just as I've said previously - fair to middling at best.

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4.5
Justice League #7

Mar 21, 2012

At least the art's good. But the time has come to give Geoff Johns nothing to do but Aquaman.

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5.0
Justice League #8

Apr 23, 2012

And let's hope they're not really going to rehash the Voltron/Captain Planet six-kid Shazam-merge from Flashpoint as the official new origin. Please. If this is all a big swerve, and Mary or Darla is going to be the new Captain... er, Shazam, there might be a glimmer of some kind of hope for the story - but again, slim to none for formerly sweet little Billy B.

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6.0
Justice League #9

May 21, 2012

Overall, Justice League has become forgettable. Kinda the opposite of what it's supposed to be. I almost forgot to review it.

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6.5
Justice League #10

Jun 29, 2012

The arc is pretty clear - Billy's been mistreated his whole life, so he's mistreating the world, and when he realizes he's found a home, he might open up and stop being a little piece of crap we want to see get kicked in the junk. Much like the main story, where the Justice League stopped being actively annoying now that they're origin is finished, maybe Shazam won't be so frustrating by the time this story plays out. But so far, this story just feels like it's missing the mark in service of some edict suggesting that being earnest isn't cool enough to properly market this property.

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8.0
Justice League #11

Jul 18, 2012

Then there's the Shazam backup story that I've been hating on quite a bit, because I strongly disagree with Geoff Johns' notion that Billy Batson was "too perfect" and that he had to turn him into a brat in order to make him compelling. At least the worst of that might be over, because he's now being a jerk to even bigger (and one-dimensional) jerks, even going so far as to protect his foster brother Freddy Freeman from harm. He's still not a character I'm rooting for yet (which is supremely sad to say), but at least the edge is off. That, plus the fact that Black Adam still seems to be the ruthless bastard we remember, with Gary Frank bringing that presence of his to bear with a dark strength, helps make this one of the better issues of Justice League in quite some time.

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9.0
Justice League #13

Oct 17, 2012

Finally, a Justice League I can enjoy. At least until Bathole starts bothering me again.

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8.0
Justice League #19

Apr 19, 2013

Overall, Justice League #19 isn't particularly exciting, but it does set the stage for some potentially interesting developments. We'll have to wait and see if they actually develop.

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7.5
Justice League #21

Jun 28, 2013

Besides, the original Billy Batson would want me to give the new kid a chance and let go of all those bad feelings. That's why he was so great.

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7.5
Justice League #22

Jul 11, 2013

There's also the concern that DC is trying to jump through hoops Marvel's already been through, what with having a civil war between superheroes leading to a long reign of bad guys, but the jury's still out on that particular indictment. It's a comic tradition to take familiar concepts in new directions, so we'll let Johns and Co. finish their story before passing judgment on whether this direction is new enough to matter.

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6.0
Justice League #23.2

Sep 11, 2013

Then again, it could turn out this new Lobo is full of crap, and the "impostor" is going to hand him his ass. Time will tell.

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8.0
Justice League 3000 #1

Dec 11, 2013

Justice League 3000 #1 is a great way to give a much-beloved creative team free reign to do what they do without having their style crimped by the mandates of the New 52. It could get pretty brutal, as any story where Superman is an unstable jerkwad threatens to be, but I'd guess that Giffen/DeMatteis know that there's more entertainment value to be had in Superman/Batman bickering catfights than in yet another book wherein Superman gets all murder-crazy-go-nuts. That's what will keep this book interesting.

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8.0
Justice League Dark #9

May 24, 2012

Overall, it's a pretty good new start, and Lemire has more than earned our trust that he'll be doing very cool things with the Justice League Dark - a name he actually introduces in this issue, and a name to which Constantine reacts very badly. That's fun.

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8.0
Justice League Dark #15

Jan 3, 2013

Justice League Dark #15 is a pretty fun book, though, as it has complete license to get really, really weird out of nowhere. That's magic, folks.

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7.0
Justice League International #1

Sep 9, 2011

And if the Super Buddies never existed... this book is just going to make fans sad.

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8.0
Justice League International Annual #1

Aug 30, 2012

Hell of a way for JLI to end.

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9.0
Justice League of America (2013) #1

Feb 20, 2013

This is a very strong first issue for Justice League of America #1, even though there's virtually no action in it beyond the vignettes for each hero. I'm hooked, and I want to see how this plays out.

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6.5
Justice League of America (2013) #3

May 8, 2013

Overall, Justice League of America #3 is not a bad issue, but it just feels a bit awkward, perhaps due to the pressure of deadlines, or perhaps because it's a book still finding its footing. There's no call to count it out just yet. There's a Trinity War coming, after all.

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8.0
Justice League of America (2013) #4

May 29, 2013

And just a side note – I know comic book costumes went apeshit with the midriff-baring costumes when Britney Spears first came to power and popularized it, giving comic folks a chance to be fleshy without being cleavagey, but doesn't it seem like that style has passed? Why is Stargirl still sporting that? Then again, I guess it's better that than having her holster up a whipped-cream shooting Katy Perry bra.

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8.0
Justice League of America (2013) #5

Jun 26, 2013

Not bad. The funky team dynamics and the mystery of the SSV will keep Justice League of America going for a while, likely going places we don't expect – although since the Doctor Light business carries over into Justice League #22, the crossover has already begun. Trinity War's a-tootin'. Put on your seat belts and lets get weirdly metaphysical.

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4.0
Justice League of America (2013) #7.1

Sep 5, 2013

Sure, Justice League of America #7.1 is actually a one-shot story about some guy with the same name, but the new origin by Matt Kindt (whose work I normally enjoy) assures us once and for all that the guy we used to like under John Ostrander and Gail Simone's pen is gone for good, and in his place is a completely generic and painfully boring lump they're calling Deadshot. The basics are sort of the same " mercenary with really good aim.

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7.5
Justice League Of America's Vibe #1

Feb 21, 2013

Johns co-wrote this story with Andrew Kreisberg, and it's decent enough. Nothing patently offensive, although the names Armando and Francisco still seem a little like... I don't know... swashbuckling Antonio Banderas character names to me. That's just me, though. Otherwise, it's a bit by-the-numbers, but it's fine that way. The art from Pete Woods is solid as well. There's nothing particularly exciting about this book, besides maybe the fact that Waller has a zoo full of botched human experiments and/or people who refused to play ball (including a prior 'Vibe,' a Thunderer of Qward, Pariah, a familiar face in Gypsy and apparently Darkseid's daughter), but hey, it's Vibe. The fact that he has a book at all is remarkable.

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6.8
Justice Society of America #52

Jul 1, 2011

But that's probably just wishful thinking. From the looks of things, Justice Society of America is likely going to end with a shrug, and that's just kind of a shame. Let's hope Guggenheim proves me wrong.

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7.0
Katana #1

Feb 13, 2013

Overall, Katana #1 is not a bad issue, really. I'm just not sure if there's enough here to get me to a #2. Your mileage may vary.

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7.0
Larfleeze #1

Jun 26, 2013

Giffen and DeMatteis are in fine form with their freewheeling piss-take on the greed-fueled MINE MINE MINE lantern, holding over the same tone Giffen had in Threshold, although not connecting at all with the fact that over in Green Lantern and GLC, he's apparently launching an all out attack on Oa. Maybe this is after that, maybe this is before that. We ain't know. What we do know is that if we can't have more Threshold, Larfleeze will hold us over for a while. Hopefully, DC won't see fit to meddle with the formula and will allow the veteran writers to carve out their own corner of the DCU this way. They let Scott Lobdell do it, for pete's sake. Maybe we'll get some resolution to The Hunted stories tied in with this book. Let's hope so.

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8.0
Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #3

May 15, 2012

Hutchison's use of the Scarecrow as the magnet for Gale's expository dialog works better here than it did when he was using Toto in that role, and now that most of it's out of the way in the first issue, it's much less prevalent here anyway. Save for the Wicked Witch, but she's doing the villain monologue to her big ugly monkeys, so that's to be expected. There's not a great deal of depth to the story, but it's imaginative, fun, and a refreshing change of pace.

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8.0
Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #12

Nov 4, 2013

Manning's a proven storyteller, and it's nice to have some confidence in this book again. It's felt a bit blunt and unremarkable at times, but I still enjoyed the core concept enough to stick with it, and now we're focusing on gorillas with wings, which is inherently fantastic. Also, Borges has returned to handle the art for this arc, and he brings some striking visuals to the proceedings as well, bringing a presence to this installment, which is mostly expository set-up. It may only be for a few issues, but I'm certain they'll be issues I enjoy. Anything that invokes Gargoyles so strongly is aces in my book.

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7.5
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure #1

Jan 2, 2014

This is a seven-part series, so hopefully Willingham has enough time to craft a story that breathes. It's mildly interesting at the moment, but not particularly exciting. Perhaps that will change as the tale develops. We're likely to get Kato action in the next issue, after all, and the recent resurgence of Red Sonja makes me curious as to how she'll fit into a world like the one in Legenderry. Also, the Phantom could be really cool, too. The possibilities are fun to consider, but that goes with just about any reimagining of franchise characters in different settings. Willingham's job will be to make that translate into a good tale, and he may just do it.

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8.0
Lobster Johnson: Satan Smells a Rat #1

May 31, 2013

It's Mike Mignola and John Arcudi turning in another swift, pulpy yarn that does what it aims to do " be an in-and-out adventure in the dark, murky side of the law. Kevin Nowlan's artwork is fairly bright and clean for a grubby story like this, but it works perfectly, from palooka to his creepy benefactor to the mad scientist to Lobster's scare tactics. The closeups are fantastic. It's a fun read, and although it's quick, I wouldn't call it light, what with all the shootings.

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8.5
Loki: Agent of Asgard #1

Feb 4, 2014

Loki: Agent of Asgard promises to be a very fun book, one where we root for a classic villain determined to recast himself in a different life and shed the trappings of the big horns. You can bet this will also be a blueprint for a future Tom Hiddleston solo film franchise, too.

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8.5
Love Stories (To Die For) #1

Sep 5, 2013

Manning has made his hay in the short story realm, with books like Nightmare World made up entirely of 8-page stories, each with different artists and of vastly different tones, but given the fact that he had through-lines connecting all of those stories to a greater whole, he proved that you don't have to sacrifice the long arc to keep with self-contained short stories. He has an impressively economical way of getting into your gut and finding buttons to press to get your attention and twist your feelings around. Love Stories (To Die For) is the perfect vehicle for his brand of writing. I'm very much looking forward to more of it.

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7.5
Magnus: Robot Fighter #1

Mar 7, 2014

So, hey, if you've ever been curious about Magnus: Robot Fighter, and you should have, because it's called Magnus: Robot Fighter, maybe give the new Magnus: Robot Fighter #1 a shot when it comes out next week, and see if it's your bag, man. It's solid sci-fi stuff. Not super exciting as yet, but it has promise.

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8.5
Manifest Destiny #1

Nov 15, 2013

Manifest Destiny #1 promises to be some really solid storytelling, focusing on a time when the world was still a mystery to those who thought themselves above it, and a world which too often valued the pioneer spirit above basic human decency.

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8.0
Manifest Destiny #3

Jan 9, 2014

Manifest Destiny so far has been about as pleasant a diversion as a book full of gruesome unpleasantries can be. Time will tell it if unfolds into something more than that. The potential is surely there.

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7.5
Mara #1

Dec 27, 2012

The jury's still out on Mara overall, though, but it's a #1 issue from Brian Wood. That means it's certainly worth giving a shot.

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7.0
Marvel NOW! Point One #1

Oct 17, 2012

Overall, it functions as pretty much an issue of Previews rather than anything that really needed to exist. New people jumping onto this might be just as confused as ever with all the random jumps to various other characters. It's really nothing more than a meh as a whole, with some bits of intriguing work popping up here and there. I will be checking into all of these books, but this issue is mostly shrug-worthy.

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8.5
Masters Of The Universe: The Origin Of Skeletor #1

Oct 30, 2012

There's nothing inherently cheesy about the world of Eternia - it's a great blend of science and sorcery, a really colorfully interesting fantasy realm. If DC can manage to actually make a Masters of the Universe ongoing series that puts He-Man himself as far in the background as possible, we might just have a really good book on our hands. Even Fisto is cooler than He-Man. Keep that guy off-panel. Make his disappearance a back-burner mystery that Duncan, Mekaneck and Buzz Off occasionally give lip-service to as they struggle in the war against Skeletor's army and Hordak's legions. Masters of the Universe #1 is a great start - let's we can get more like this.

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7.9
Men of War #1

Sep 7, 2011

Men of War is a good effort in a good direction so far, and here's hoping it works well enough to justify more things like it, such as maybe a Lois Lane book set in the thick of the shit that is the awful American media - it'd be amazing if she could get herself embedded in Rock's unit, too. Fall in, DC.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #2

Oct 2, 2013

Mighty Avengers is a really fun book, and you should read it if you like awesome super-hero action.

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8.5
Mighty Avengers (2013) #3

Nov 7, 2013

Overall, though, Mighty Avengers is jam packed with entertaining superhero action. Read it, support it, and make sure that nobody can make the dumb argument that non-white characters can't sell a book.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #4.INH

Dec 12, 2013

So check into Mighty Avengers, because it's a damn good time featuring a nice mix of very popular characters and folks you don't often see – including a Blue Marvel team-up with Hauptmann Deutschland, The Captain America of Germany. That happens in Mighty Avengers #4. You know you want to see that.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #7

Feb 27, 2014

Al Ewing keeps things crackling with dialogue and well-thought-out storytelling, while Valerio Schiti gives us a very impressive look at just how capable White Tiger is as she tears through Power Man, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and She-Hulk with an almost stunning ease and a certainly kinetic look. Mighty Avengers continues to be the place to go for the more traditional, banter-filled, character-based superhero team action while Jonathan Hickman's main Avengers book deal with really heavy world-ending plots. It's a great, fun book and it's worth your time.

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8.0
Mind the Gap #1

May 9, 2012

Mind The Gap #1 is definitely worth a look-see, and it has plenty of room to grow. No capes, no bombast and no standard comic-book fare, and that's a good thing. Just an interesting trip through the mindscape of a woman lost in the space between.

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6.0
Mister Terrific #1

Sep 16, 2011

Anyway, if you're jonesing for some kind of JSA fix, Mr. Terrific is the only place to look in the New 52, and despite the new look, he's still pretty close to the Michael Holt you remember. Karen Starr might not be your Power Girl, though, and if that's going to be a problem - just wait a while. You know she'll get a cape eventually, and with any luck, maybe they'll start an underground Justice Society together. Wallace does pretty firmly establish that anything is possible in this high-minded man's life, and that's a decent foundation to build on.

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9.5
Moon Knight (2014) #1

Mar 3, 2014

The only thing that gave me pause about this issue was Mr. Knight referring to a hideout as just "a hide," which made me first think he was talking about someone's skin again, but that's so minor it's even beneath a nitpick, and I'm sure that's a thing in the UK or something. All in all, Moon Knight #1 is supremely entertaining and I hope Ellis gets a long run with this book.

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8.0
Morbius: The Living Vampire #1

Jan 3, 2013

It's a solid start, and that's coming from a guy who has never really liked vampires all that much. When done properly, though, just about any character can become interesting. Morbius The Living Vampire #1 has done that for its star.

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8.3
Mystery Men #2

Jun 23, 2011

This is just a good, fun adventure in classically-styled crimefighting. Bring on the mystery.

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9.0
Mystery Men #4

Aug 26, 2011

And Mystery Men is just a damn cool book. Give us more.

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9.0
Mystery Men #5

Sep 19, 2011

This is a good series. Enjoyable, entertaining, flush with potential and quite simply cool. Marvel had better make absolutely certain there is a future iteration of this team.

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8.0
National Comics: Eternity #1

Aug 21, 2012

I was a bit disappointed to notice the indication that this is only a one shot, as National Comics' Eternity is a series I'd probably check into for a few more issues, should they ever appear. Maybe it'll circle back again after the rest of the line-up gets their turn at bat.

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8.0
New Avengers (2010) #26

May 11, 2012

New Avengers #26 might be worth your time, if you're into the Fisting. Get your minds out of the gutter.

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9.0
New Avengers (2013) #3

Feb 8, 2013

This book sits in your gut and makes you feel its drama. This are certainly not the old Avengers.

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9.5
New Avengers (2013) #7

Jun 20, 2013

New Avengers #7 is highly charged for a what could be considered a "breather" issue full of talk, and Deodato's art is just fantastic. His Doom is perfect and T'Challa's barely contained anger towards Namor is palpable, as is the dark mood that pervades everything. This is the best Avengers book going right now – it's weighty and bleak, but really damn good.

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9.0
New Avengers (2013) #10

Sep 19, 2013

That right there is some alien bastardry that you can't wait to see smacked down. Hickman has earned the trust that he will deliver that in a very satisfying, yet non-pandering way.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #14

Feb 5, 2014

Hickman's writing remains enigmatic and learned, and what it lacks in entertaining dialogue it makes up for with aspiration and heady thought. Simone Bianchi does an admirable job of translating these ideas into a vacillating tone of hope bookeneded with despair. New Avengers is by no means a fun book, but it is darkly compelling, and it makes us fret about what the lasting impact of these soul-staining events will have on our iconic heroes.

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9.0
Nowhere Men #1

Nov 28, 2012

Nowhere Men #1 instantly clicked for me, and if you give this Image book a shot, maybe it'll do the same for you.

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9.0
Nowhere Men #2

Jan 9, 2013

These first two issues have been so well-crafted and intriguing, though, that I doubt that somewhat-overused genre element is going to be a hinderance at all. We have no idea what happened to the people who made it through the warp gate, or to those left behind on the space station when things went kablooey. We have no idea what's going on with Ellis' coma, where the hell Walker is, or what ugliness Grimshaw has planned. All this did was give us a touchstone to hold onto while exploring some really captivating new ideas. Calling it now: Nowhere Men is going to be the Saga of 2013 - the book all your cool friends tell you you should be reading.

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8.5
Nowhere Men #3

Feb 1, 2013

Nowhere Men is still something you can step up to on the ground floor. Get after it, folks. It's going to go to some interesting places, never you fear.

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7.5
Number 13 #0

Nov 23, 2012

This story first ran in Dark Horse Presents, and a miniseries is to follow. It's freaky enough to warrant further investigation. Just... come on, writers. You're supposed to know how to conjugate the verb 'suppose.'

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6.8
OMAC #1

Sep 8, 2011

So O.M.A.C. is what it is. If you want to read new comics with an almost religious adherence to Jack Kirby's style, it's the place to be. If seeing other people copy Kirby's style just makes you want to go check out Kirby's actual work instead, it's hard to imagine Giffen and DiDio wouldn't be okay with that result, too. Well, Giffen, maybe. DiDio wants you to buy the new stuff.

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9.9
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1

Oct 6, 2011

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is a fantastic piece of work which excels both in writing and visuals, and I can't wait to see how the rest of this series pans out. The only reason this isn't a 10/10 is that I will miss the vivid vocabulary of the more avidly alliterative apperception of the charcter. That's hardly fair, but hey, reviews rarely are, either.

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9.6
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #2

Nov 11, 2011

This book is brilliantly dark and surprisingly emotional, bringing the Penguin up to the upper echelon of Batvillains who have a deeply compelling tale of how they came to be the monsters they are. It's the kind of thing he's needed for a long time, and as much as we'll miss the wackier aspects of the character as traditionally portrayed, the version of the Penguin Hurwitz is forging is closing in on the level of masterpiece.

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9.3
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #5

Feb 10, 2012

This series is stunning, heartbreaking, maddening, and saddening. It's the kind of reintroduction into the New 52 that every Bat-villain deserved. Thankfully, at least one of them got it.

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7.9
Peter Panzerfaust #1

Feb 16, 2012

It's not a kiddie story, though, as Peter is shooting Nazis down and about to kill a few more when the story abruptly ends with a howl. This sudden stoppage made me go 'uh, okay, whatever' at first, but now that I know the truth, I realize it was supposed to be A Moment. Peter's also not actually flying, but he makes a hell of a leap between buildings to inspire the others to do the same, so it looks as though this will be firmly grounded in reality. Wiebe's script is engaging and just cool, though, and Jenkins' art is great at setting the scene and the mood of the tale's contrasting emotions of misery and hope.

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8.0
Phantom Lady #1

Aug 31, 2012

Phantom Lady and Doll Man has three more issues to fully find its legs, and with all the exposition out of its way, it's got a pretty good chance of doing that. Added bonus, the story of the Bloody Bender Crime Family of Metropolis stretches back a couple of centuries, including a serial killing spree in Kansas in 1872. How much you wanna bet they eventually show up to give Jonah Hex some hell in All-Star Western? I'm up for it.

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7.5
Phantom Stranger (2012) #0

Sep 5, 2012

The Brent Anderson art is pretty solid, and there's enough here to make us take a look at a second issue next month. It's probably not going to ever be the most scintillating read, but this is likely where all the important stuff about the upcoming "Trinity War" will be revealed, so it'll be crucial. Alas, it's a little hard to shake the notion that defining the Phantom Stranger detracts from how cool he is.

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5.5
Phantom Stranger (2012) #7

Apr 4, 2013

Maybe, once DeMatteis becomes the sole writer of The Phantom Stranger, it'll go in some interesting directions, but for now, the only potential hook the big Trinity of Sin event will have is whether or not it'll monkey with the reality of the New 52 again, and maybe shake out some of the missteps. Pandora's connection to Flashpoint makes that hope hard to dismiss. In the meantime, we'll endure.

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8.5
Planetoid #1

Jun 28, 2012

Planetoid #1 is worth checking out, and chances are The Slab is going to kick things up a notch when we get to see that place.

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8.0
Point of Impact #3

Dec 13, 2012

We've got murder, mystery, and mounting police pressure, as well as two men in love with the same dead woman trying to avenge her death, while at the same time dealing with their own devastations. It's a solid, involving pulp story well worth checking out.

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1.0
Red Hood And The Outlaws #1

Sep 22, 2011

Do we really have to be such dicks about having dicks?

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8.0
Red Lanterns #22

Aug 1, 2013

Of course, the book could always sink back into what it was, given that Dex-Starr the Angry Cat has resuscitated Atrocitus, but so far it seems like Soule knows how this book should work, and it's doubtful that he'll regress. Good news for fans of blood-soaked vengeance.

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8.5
Red Sonja (2013) #2

Aug 14, 2013

I never had much interest in reading about Red Sonja before, but I do now. A writer you trust can work wonders with characters you once dismissed.

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9.5
Red Sonja (2013) #3

Sep 13, 2013

If you've ever been curious about Red Sonja, this is the series to read.

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9.0
Red Team #2

Mar 28, 2013

Red Team gets right into the meat of the vigilante fantasy wish fulfillment that permeates pop culture, but with an ominous tone that makes us remember that we need to be careful what we wish for.

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9.0
Red Team #7

Mar 7, 2014

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Garth Ennis can tell a fuckin' story. This one isn't as soul-crushing as Fury: My War Gone By, but it sure as hell ain't a walk in the park, neither.

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7.9
Resurrection Man (2011) #6

Feb 14, 2012

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 7.9/10

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8.0
Revelations #1

Jan 2, 2014

Revelations #1 is a palatable kind of dark, with characters you can like right away, but it doesn't quite rocket out of the gate – and that's fine. It's got six issues to work with, and not every story has to be a barn-burner. Ain't nothin' wrong with a whodunit.

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6.5
Revolutionary War: Alpha #1

Jan 9, 2014

Revolutionary War could turn out to be an interesting revival of a slew of characters that could have been relegated to a bygone era, or it could just turn out to be a short-lived reunion party for the old guard that doesn't mean they'll be back on regular duty anytime soon. Either way, it'll serve as an interesting window into what many of today's British creators probably grew up on.

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8.0
Road Rage #1

Feb 16, 2012

Either way, "murder by truck" makes for a good comic book.

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9.0
Rocket Girl #2

Nov 15, 2013

Rocket Girl is a very fun, energetic ride, about a girl who's perfectly happy with jumping back in time, setting up shop, and fighting crime with her jetpack while rolling her eyes at adults trying to figure her out. Montclare and Reeder don't seem to be in any rush to slow things down with an origin story. Instead, they've jumped right into the fun and said "let's just watch a teenage girl who means business chump the world for a while, shall we?"

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8.0
Rocket Girl #4

Mar 21, 2014

Rocket Girl is kind of a blast.

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7.9
Rocketeer Adventures #4

Sep 2, 2011

Bottom line is that these characters are fun and come from a great era that we never get tired of exploring, especially in comics. Bringing the Rocketeer ahead into the 1940s and the World War II era is just aces, and here's hoping IDW gets the moxie to keep this show on the road.

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7.5
Rose & Thorn #1

Sep 28, 2012

If you want something freaky, Rose & Thorn #1 should do the trick.

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8.5
Saga #5

Jul 20, 2012

And that brings another 'perhaps' to mind as to why I haven't fully accepted Saga - perhaps it's just that I'm more interested in the ancillary characters than I am in the main protagonists, Marko and Alana. They're cool enough to like, but not quite enough to love. At least not yet. Vaughan has earned all the time I'm going to give him to try and change that.

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8.5
Saga #7

Nov 19, 2012

You shouldn't have that issue. Therefore, if you pick up Saga, you'll probably love it like everybody else does. I'm sure I'll get there eventually. I mean, it's about a goat-guy and a fairy-lady and a ghost babysitter flying a rocket-tree through space and evading TV-headed royal robots and spidery-lady mercenaries who make sex tapes with their merc lovers. And giants with crusty ballsacks. What's not to like, really?

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9.0
Saga #8

Dec 20, 2012

Brian K. Vaughan has certainly given Saga legs, balancing the tense threatening bad guy jerk-attack issues with familial drama such as what's going on in Saga #8, working with a limitless galaxy of possibilities with this story. Literally anything can happen, and that's a lot of the charm. I do like having no idea what to expect on each page. I was not expecting a seahorse-guy, that's for sure. But he evens out the crazy with easily identifiable character work, examining longstanding ancestral hatreds and just how hard it can be to open a mind up to a better way.

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8.5
Saga #9

Jan 18, 2013

The complexity of this story keeps us guessing, as we never know what we're going to see out of Saga. Fiona Staples will draw anything Vaughan concocts, and she'll go all out doing it.

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9.0
Saga #12

Apr 12, 2013

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples once again create a great new layer on this story, crafting strong dramatic tension and leaving us with a cliffhanger that won't be resolved for a few months, as the book will be going on a short hiatus. Hell of a way to leave us hangin', though. Prince Robot having a TV for a head is the reason I stuck with the series long enough to learn to love it, as it inexplicably took me a while to settle in, but I'm on board now, as well we all should be.

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8.5
Saga #13

Aug 16, 2013

Vaughan's compelling cast of characters are back in good form, and Saga's return is a welcome one. Sure, it was only a few months, but hey, I missed it and I'm glad it's back.

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8.0
Saucer Country #1

Mar 14, 2012

We can only hope. In the meantime, we'll have a cool book about space invaders and social crusaders to read. Check out Saucer Country #1.

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8.5
Scarlet Spider #4

Apr 11, 2012

Stegman's art is also pretty stellar, and manages to make Kaine look like Peter Parker just enough to invoke the spectre of great power and great responsibility, especially while he's looking in the mirror and regretting his evil past. With Stegman knocking the art out of the park and Yost refreshing old concepts and distilling them to their coolest forms, Scarlet Spider is a series to check out - chances are the best is yet to come.

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8.5
Scarlet Spider #5

May 10, 2012

That's why this series works. It's entertainment with a fresh edge.

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8.0
Scarlet Spider #8

Aug 9, 2012

Yost has kept Scarlet Spider consistently entertaining in its completely reckless anti-heroic action. Artist Khoi Pham isn't quite original SS artist Ryan Stegman, but he's not too shabby when it comes to expressive faces. If you're not on board with this series yet, get there. The impending crossover with Venom will most likely be a wild festival of what not to do when you're trying to be a superhero.

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9.0
Scarlet Spider #10

Oct 11, 2012

I love that there's a foul-mouthed Spidey. I love that there's a Spidey who'll empty a gun into bad guys if there's a gun handy - and in Houston, there's always a gun handy. I love that there's a Spidey who is looking for every chance he can take to avoid a hard slog toward doing the right thing, and looking for boundaries for that stupid sense of responsibility he hates - whatever lines he can possibly draw so it doesn't extend to every damn situation that comes up. It feels different, fresh and it's really damn entertaining.

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8.0
Scarlet Spider #13

Jan 11, 2013

Scarlet Spider has been a very good book about a morally-compromised character trying to fight the good fight anyway. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that Dan Slott wanted a piece of that action in the flagship book. However, we can't help but feel Superior Spider-Man is biting off too much of Scarlet Spider's niche. Hopefully, they can make it different enough that one won't doom the other.

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8.5
Scarlet Spider #14

Feb 15, 2013

Anyway, Scarlet Spider is a neat series, and it's not afraid to get dark - and it does so without being simply for the sake of darkness. You should read it.

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8.0
Scarlet Spider #22

Sep 27, 2013

Scarlet Spider doesn't get a lot of attention " the current massive Otto Octavius stunt draws the focus, and it's well-deserved " but it's a cool little book, separate from everything else and making a go of doing its own thing, much like Flash Thompson was doing as Venom in Philadelphia. Sadly, it's all coming to an end for Kaine with issue #25, canceled right alongside Venom. We'll miss both of these books.

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8.5
Secret Avengers #16

Sep 2, 2011

Anyway, it's not the Secret Avengers you knew thus far, which were pretty cool and who we'll miss, but if you can handle the tonal shift towards high adventure, you're gonna like Warren Ellis' take on the team.

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8.9
Secret Avengers #19

Nov 29, 2011

I'm certainly a fan of Remender and I look forward to his run, but I'm also really enjoying the compact and decidedly badass stories Ellis is giving us with his quick run. Great for new readers to hop on, too.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #27

May 23, 2012

Remender always brings us interesting stories, though, and he does have an eye for canon as well, so it will bear keying into Secret Avengers #27 and beyond to see how this shakes out and eventually leads Carol to become the new Captain Marvel.

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8.5
Secret Avengers #28

Jun 21, 2012

Overall, Remender's one of my go-to scribes in the House of Ideas these days, and while I'm sad he's leaving Venom, Secret Avengers promises to keep up the good work.

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8.5
Secret Avengers #29

Jul 26, 2012

Remender always serves up intricate plots with a darkness pervading them - making one wonder if he'll have to lighten things up a little in his upcoming Uncanny Avengers - and his stories are often compelling journeys through the murkiness of moral quandaries. Matteo Scalera's art in this issue leaves some to be desired, feeling rushed in spots while excelling in others. But Secret Avengers is just cool, and promises to get cooler the more it trucks in supervillain society.

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8.5
Secret Avengers (2013) #2

Mar 14, 2013

Science cults, man. There's a bit of that over in Archer & Armstrong this week, too, where brainiacs obsessed with destroying the universe and leaving a peaceful void form their own cult of nothingness and actually succeed " well, they think they do, anyway. A.I.M. may not be obessed with the absence of all that is, but given Forson's screed against greed, we can see they've got some kind of high-minded agenda and that they won't be bought off.

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9.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #4

May 13, 2013

While we're very excited to see Marvel's first live action prime time television series since The Incredible Hulk ended in 1982, there are some things that comics can do that TV can't – and that includes stuffing each episode full of movie star superheroes. Secret Avengers is the place to be.

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9.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #8

Aug 29, 2013

Thank you, Secret Avengers, for giving danger cred to my favorite diabolical nerd cult.

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9.5
Secret Avengers (2013) #12

Dec 5, 2013

Secret Avengers is back on track. It makes me look forward to how this is going to spin into Spencer & Jonathan Hickman's Avengers World.

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9.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #13

Dec 18, 2013

Secret Avengers is an intense book thick with intrigue, but which isn't afraid to spend some time having Taskmaster mock guys named Todd.

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10
Secret Avengers (2014) #1

Mar 11, 2014

Secret Avengers #1 is staggeringly good. Kot and Walsh have swished a three pointer in the game of Marvel Now. They are, by far, in the lead.

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9.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #35

Jul 6, 2011

Especially since it's being replaced with this.

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8.5
Shadowman #1

Nov 9, 2012

Shadowman #1 is another solid entry in the Valiant Comics superherouniverse. Go team!

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8.0
Silver Surfer (2014) #1

Mar 25, 2014

While it does feel like it's still finding its legs, as you might expect from a first issue, the tone of Silver Surfer #1 feels fresh and inviting for new readers, and not too far afield from tradition to make it feel wrong. Slott is great at comedy, but he doesn't shy away from drama either, so I don't suspect the classic angsty Surfer is being banished completely " although it's possible Dawn might balance that out somewhat if he veers toward the hand-wringing guilt too much. Slott and Allred seem to be trying to show us that the Surfer can be fun as well as thoughtful, even if Norrin Radd would likely never believe that of himself. I'm all for letting them try to catch a new wave and see if the Surfer can ride it for a long while.

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8.0
Six Gun Gorilla #1

Jun 14, 2013

Six-Gun Gorilla promises to kick it up a notch next issue, now that the title character has made his showy entrance by blowing some heads clean off. You might want to get in while the gettin's good.

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9.0
Six Gun Gorilla #6

Dec 6, 2013

Stokely's artwork is cartoony, but once you settle into it, it serves the story very well, because it's highly emotive and extremely detailed. Six-Gun Gorilla is the kind of book that will read best when collected, so don't hesitate to pick up the trade when you can and follow Blue's metafictional quest to accept his pain and save his universe from a life of desperately grasping for emotional engagement through rubbernecking at the suffering of others. It's a book that has defied expectations, truly provoked thought, and maybe helped a person or two not be so frozen by potentially negative outcomes that they never actually attempt anything that would qualify as living a life.

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7.0
Spider-Men #2

Jun 29, 2012

The next issue will likely be the make-or-break for me, but if you're not one to agree with anything I've said above about my reactions to Spider-Men, then go right ahead and pick this up. Bendis has long been a polarizing writer when he's handling big-time superhero shenanigans. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

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8.5
Spider-Men #4

Aug 14, 2012

Spider-Men #4 is fun. Let's see if it can be conisistently so.

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8.0
Star Trek #1

Sep 22, 2011

If Johnson's plan is to reimagine every episode of the original series with new circumstances, it could turn out to be pretty cool and a lot of fun. There's already an interesting conflict developing between Spock's recommendation to kill Mitchell and Kirk's fierce defense of his longtime friend, just as it was in the original. However, how will this new, more emotional Spock behave differently than the more reserved Leonard Nimoy version? That's what we'll keep checking back to find out.

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7.5
Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1

May 15, 2013

The book ends with a quick shot of shenanigans about to go down in London at the hands of Benedict Cumberbatch, which is something we've seen implied from all the trailers – thus making it a direct lead-in to Star Trek: Into Darkness. If you still can't wait for the film, check out our dueling reviews – will you hate it like Bibbs, or love it like Fred?

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8.0
Star Wars: Agent of the Empire -- Iron Eclipse #3

Mar 13, 2012

Overall, Star Wars: Agent of the Empire is a cool little series, full of intrigue, high-octane chase sequences and Han Solo. Truth be told, that's what you want out of Star Wars stories more than anything else. Let's get some bounty hunters up in here, and we're set.

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8.5
Starlight #1

Mar 6, 2014

Starlight #1 is a great start to the Millarworld universe. Let's hope it lives up to the promise.

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8.6
Static Shock #1

Sep 8, 2011

Everyone's always said that Static Shock was cool, and thanks to the New 52, I finally know why. This book is energetic, upbeat, snazzy and engaging so far, and here's hoping it keeps up in the future. Take advantage of the new #1s and hop on board this one, if you like good-time comics fun.

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8.5
Storm Dogs #1

Nov 9, 2012

Storm Dogs is cool. I'm on board to see where this adventure takes me.

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3.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #1

Sep 14, 2011

As much as Glass wanted to term this new iteration of the Suicide Squad as "kick-ass," it falls far short of that mark. It's just grating.

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6.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #6

Feb 9, 2012

Overall, still not a book I'm interested in reading, but not quite the crapfest I expected this book to be for as long as it lasted. It's okay. It's just not for me.

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8.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #14

Nov 14, 2012

So I'm in for at least the next issue, to see how this all plays out. And if Floyd Lawton can be resurrected with his proper look and then get weird powers every time he dies and comes back, that could be very entertaining. But seriously, ditch the everyday boring loser look. GIVE HIM BACK THE STACHE AND THAT BLACK GREASY HAIR. It's amazing how much of a difference a look can make sometimes in keeping characters from feeling generic.

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7.0
Superboy (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

For me, however, I just don't think it's enough to get me interested in reading about a character named Superboy. Irrational? Entirely. Yet, it's there. The notion of an Young and Evil Superman doesn't do much for me, either. Of course, it won't be that simplistic when the story unfolds - there's enough depth in Superboy #1 to illustrate that - but it's just not exciting. At least not to me. Your mileage may vary.

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8.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1

Jul 8, 2013

Overall, The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1 kicks a new, fun series off to a bent-in-the-head sort of start. Given Spencer's talent for intrigue and skullduggery, this could pan out into something stellar.

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8.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

Oct 8, 2013

Superior Foes of Spider-Man is perhaps a bad name for this book, making it seem like a cheap tie-in to the Superior Spider-Man gravy train and maybe mandating that it can't go any longer than that does without some kind of new nomenclature, but the book itself is a nice look into the everyday lives of the colorful criminals of Marvel's New York. We tend to love these guys as concepts, but Spencer is showing us who they are as people… and even though they're fun to watch, they're not all that likable.

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9.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #6

Dec 13, 2013

Spencer's dialogue is very entertaining, and it's obvious he enjoys juggling hair-brained schemes and criminal shenanigans like this. It's always a good time when great writers take obscure characters and just have a ball with them in ways that make sense. Plus, Steve Lieber's artwork is a lot of fun, imaginatively detailed and very much in the David Aja Hawkeye vein, which gives this book a very contemporary and snazzy feel. You just feel like you're reading something cool when you open up Superior Foes of Spider-Man, so you should do that. Read it. Keep it going. Because small-time supervillains in a world of big-time superheroes is always an engaging juxtaposition. It's fun, it's funny, and it looks great. What more do you need out of a comic book?

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8.5
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8

Feb 6, 2014

Superior Foes of Spider-Man is going to need a new name soon, once Superior Spider-Man gives up the ghost. Maybe they'll become the Amazing Foes of Spider-Man. The Spectacular Foes... the U-Foes, no, wait, that's taken. Okay, I'm taking suggestions, but also suggesting that you should be reading this book if you like morally ambiguous good-time comics.

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7.5
Superior Spider-Man #2

Jan 30, 2013

By the by, the art from Ryan Stegman is odd, because it doesn't seem like the stuff he was doing in Scarlet Spider. Instead, it feels like he's trying to ape Humberto Ramos. That does make for some decent continuity with the old book, but Stegman should really just be Stegman. I mean, Stegman is good.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #3

Feb 7, 2013

Perhaps if the people very put out by this whole story arc can start reading here, bypassing all the ick, they might be hooked enough to check in for the long haul. Perhaps.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #4

Feb 22, 2013

Overall, I'm firmly on board with Superior Spider-Man now that the whole creepy vibe has dissipated. I'm really looking forward to Otto taking on big-time Spider-villains.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #10

May 23, 2013

Slott's story is kind of fascinaSlott's story is kind of fascinating. As much as I miss standard Spidey shenanigans, this is a compelling and unsettling look into the mind of a villain who is doing something villains never do " live the lives of the heroes they hate most.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #11

Jun 6, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #11 is exciting, tense and, given Jameson's deeply personal stake, somewhat emotional – and this is just the beginning of the arc.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #13

Jul 11, 2013

In the meantime, we get this weird, bizarro-but-brilliant version of Spider-Man that may not technically be superior, but is highly engrossing nonetheless. Also, Giuseppe Camuncoli's Lizard looks amazingly weirdo scaly.

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9.5
Superior Spider-Man #14

Jul 25, 2013

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say this book is actually superior to the ol' Amazing Spider-Man, but it's relentlessly fascinating entertainment. Our familiarity with the characters has been turned on its ear, or maybe dropped on its head, and there's a sense that all bets are off, and we have no idea where this is going (beyond, of course, the likely return of Peter Parker in time with the movie sequel next year). Imagine what happens if the Goblin turns out to be Harry Osborn again, and Spider-Man straight-up kills him without hesitation, because Ock couldn't care less about Peter's friendship. Or maybe this will turn out to be Gabriel O'Hara, the Goblin 2099, and that's why Spider-Man 2099 is going to come into town thanks to the Age of Ultron effect.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #16

Aug 23, 2013

This is good stuff. I have every confience that it will continue to be good stuff to the point of being great stuff.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #17

Sep 5, 2013

Aside from that nitpick, Spidey Now! vs. Spidey Later! is hitting all my fanboy buttons right now.  I can't wait to see how this all plays out.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #20

Oct 31, 2013

Giuseppe Camuncoli's art is solid as usual, and Slott continues to make this book goddamned fascinating, constantly reordering and redefining Spider-Man's universe – or 'undoing the web,' as Jessica Carpenter puts it – by shifting the man at the center of it to his absolute archenemy. Make no mistake, the Green Goblin has been displaced as Spider-Man's worst foe. Dr. Octopus has now earned that honor in spades. The debate will rage that the death of Gwen Stacy tops anything Otto has done so far, but Otto has killed Spider-Man himself, taken over his body and destroyed nearly all his relationships, and it's more than likely that somebody close to Peter is going to die before the dust settles. There's nothing the new Goblin Kingpin of Crime can do to best Doc Ock in this competition.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #21

Nov 14, 2013

Superior Spider-Man is the most consistently enjoyable superhero book Marvel's putting out. Two times a month, every month, always a blast. God bless Dan Slott.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #24

Dec 19, 2013

Yeah, this whole aspect of Superior Spider-Man is the one thing that I have to willfully suspend some disbelief to go along with – but it's not that hard, because the rest of the book has been so entertaining. Things are getting ugly right now, though, as the friends and family of Peter Parker are throwing down the gauntlet, and Otto doesn't ever take that well. Humberto Ramos is going hogwild, as his exaggerated, hyperkinetic art style is perfect for tentacled goo-monsters like Venom. It's hard to gauge the full impact of this issue until we see what Slott and Gage are building to, but I'm optimistic. With the Green Goblin mucking with Hobgoblin's business, Venom rampaging and the Avengers stepping back in, we seem to be leading to a gigantic clusterfudge of epic proportions, and it's time to brace ourselves for more controversy from the Spider-squad. I'm ready for it.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #25

Jan 15, 2014

Superior Spider-Man may be telegraphing its end, but if you can read it without plugging into the comic book publicity machines, you'll enjoy it even more as it speeds headlong towards its undoubtedly loud, crazy, and messy finale.

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9.5
Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW

Feb 12, 2014

*Oh, and the letters page reveals that a new Spider-Man 2099 series is likely in the works for later this year! Hot damn! Dare we dream that Peter David returns to write the character he created two decades ago?

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9.5
Superior Spider-Man #28

Feb 26, 2014

Slott’s run on Spider-Man has not only been iconic, it has redefined how we look at the character. This is on the same level of greatness as Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns. It’s just that damn important.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #29

Mar 14, 2014

Superior Spider-Man has been a highly compelling work, but its time runs short, so cherish what we have left.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #30

Mar 26, 2014

See you soon, Otto. Somewhere. And the lessons you've learned here will make you very interesting whenever you resurface.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man Annual #2

Mar 19, 2014

Superior Spider-Man has been some of my favorite Spidey business in ages. I can't wait to see how it all comes to a head.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5

Oct 24, 2013

Marco Checchetto does a solid job with capturing all this chaos, but the whole Sun Girl thing was a bit confusing at first. She shows up as a tiny yellow speck, and then a leg getting tackled by Bulldozer, so we don't quite grasp that there's somebody on the scene until Otto mentions a vague memory of punching her once. Also, the introduction of the Wrecking Crew seems a bit awkwardly placed, with Piledriver and Wrecker's intro boxes switched. So it feels like there may have been minor miscommunications going on, but overall, Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5 is a lot of good time comic book action.

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7.5
Superman (2011) #0

Sep 28, 2012

Superman #0 raises questions that may or may not be answered anytime soon. Lobdell has indicated that he's got a very in-depth plan for what he wants to do with this title, but there's no telling how much editorial influence may be exerted on him to change that. It's The Man of Steel, and there's a movie bearing that name coming out next year and all. I'm curious enough to check back in for the next issue, but I can't say that's not without reservation. How's that for a triple negative?

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8.9
Superman (2011) #2

Oct 27, 2011

Let's hope Perez's respect for tradition isn't why he's leaving the book after issue 6, to be replaced by Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen. We were told at New York Comic-Con that Perez had a different project he was more jazzed about and might just not have had enough in the tank to keep going on Superman. Let's hope it was his choice, and not because he wasn't kewl and New 52 edgy-new enough.

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4.5
Superman (2011) #23.3

Sep 23, 2013

Anyway, I suppose there's a chance that, 20 years from now, somebody could reinvent this guy to be cool, as current Scarlet Spider books are doing with Kaine, but it's going to take a couple of decades to imagine a way to do that. Step 1: Ditch the Butt Cape.

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7.0
Superman: Lois Lane #1

Feb 27, 2014

Lois Lane #1 is solid. While it's not the tone I'd hope for in her own ongoing (should she ever get one), it serves this ambitious story reasonably well.

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7.5
Supurbia #1

Mar 8, 2012

So it's a decent start, although with some trepidation left to keep from embracing it whole-heartedly. Something about the Night Fox and Robin thing feels too cheap and easy, but Randolph does make a point of revealing that early on, obviously more interested in the actual ramifications of such a thing rather than building it up to be a big revelatory 'ain't I clever and hilarious' joke as many writers would. And "hella" is an expression that makes my skin crawl, so I'm not looking forward to seeing it all the time as somebody's code name. Nitpicks, surely. Supurbia #1 is still certainly worth checking out.

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8.0
Supurbia #2

Apr 6, 2012

When it comes down to it, what do you really want out of your fiction? Compelling characters you can invest in, be they stalwart, heroic, conniving or petty. Supurbia's got those, and chances are they're going to get even better as their lives intertwine evermore. Check it out. Once you get past the pitch, you should be able to find some good stuff to enjoy.

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8.0
Supurbia Vol. 2 #2

Dec 17, 2012

I'm thinking Sovereign.

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7.5
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1

Aug 20, 2013

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 is a decent start, but it won't blow anybody away. It doesn't seem to be trying to – it's likely a brightening response to Spencer's dark take. It'll be more of an 'oh, hey, these guys. Neat.' sort of response than anything.

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7.9
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1

Dec 1, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 7.9/10

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7.9
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol. 2 #1

Dec 1, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 7.9/10

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8.3
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol. 2 #2

Dec 22, 2011

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents ain't that lovable, either, but it's a damn sight better. Too bad it's only a 6-issue limited series.

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8.5
Talon #0

Sep 26, 2012

It's a good start for Talon, although that costume on the cover is highly suspect. It's dangerously close to being one of those '90s headwrap things I hate so much, but funky cool goggles help balance that out. The jury's still out on that, but it's obviously designed to show us that owls don't always have to be creepy.

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8.0
Talon #1

Oct 24, 2012

It's not the most exciting issue, but it's cool, and this is certainly a solid foundation for what's to come. I'm just not sure I like the design of the Talon costume. Maybe it'll just take some getting used to, but I'm a vocal opponent of the '90s headwrap, and this is dangerously close.

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7.5
Team 7 #0

Sep 12, 2012

Team 7 itself is one of those books that isn't all that interesting on its own, but you know it's going to play a big part in shaping DCnU history so you'll feel compelled to read it just to know what the new deal is. So there you go.

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7.3
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Aug 29, 2011

Overall, it'll take some getting used to, thinking that these goofball characters will be able to tell some really good stories instead of being flashy marketing tools, but honestly, some of the best comics involve the ability to swing from ludicrous concepts to surprisingly real moments with ease, and the Ninja Turtles could certainly accomplish that feat. TMNT #1 is a good start in that direction. We'll know more if and when we first see Shredder.

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8.0
The Answer! #1

Jan 31, 2013

The Answer #1 has me hooked for the next few. And it's more fun if you imagine Exclamation Point Man's punches make the same sound that exclamations points used to make on The Electric Company.

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8.5
The Answer! #2

Mar 1, 2013

The story is fast-paced and oddball, the dialogue is amusing and engaging, the mysteries are plentiful and the art is kinetic and very expressive. The superhero stuff is fun, but it's secondary to the mess Devin's getting herself in with full cognizance of it's messiness. I enjoy how quick on the uptake she is, and I also dig how far out there the Answer seems to be. It isn't THAT far, really, but he just comports himself with a casual weirdness that makes us really wonder what the heck the deal is.

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #10

Aug 2, 2012

So, sure, I've crammed a Captain Marvel review into this Avenging Spider-Man #10 review. They're so closely intertwined, though, that it feels natural, and they're both in support of Carol Danvers as the new Cap, which feels so cool that it should've been done a long time ago. The AvSM two-part tale has been a lot of breezy fun with a nice emotional twist at the end. It's good comics.

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8.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #15.1

Dec 26, 2012

The result so far is that I'm interested. I can't say I'm excited yet, but I'm interested. Let's see what trick is pulled in Superior Spider-Man #1.

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8.5
The Avenging Spider-Man #16

Jan 21, 2013

I can't believe I care about Kaine. Yost is a miracle-worker. And Avenging Spider-Man should be an interesting ride for as long as he's in control of it.

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8.5
The Avenging Spider-Man #17

Mar 1, 2013

Overall, Spider-Man's books right now are a one-two punch of twisted goodness. My reservations at the start about this whole Freaky Friday switch have been put to bed, and I'm really fascinated with learning how it's going to turn out.

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #20

May 13, 2013

Avenging Spider-Man may not get to define what happens in the ongoing saga of Superior Spider-Man, but it is giving us a very intriguing picture of the everyday functioning of Otto Octavius in the world of superheroes to which he is not accustomed and ill-suited. While I will enjoy it when Peter Parker comes back eventually, we know he'll have the lions share of all Spider-Man stories in perpetuity, give or take a clone or two, so I'm content to watch this unique look at a different kind of wall-crawler for as long as it continues to unfold. It's disconcerting to read a Spider-Man who hates all the good guys and is a completely arrogant ass, but it's pretty entertaining, too.

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8.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #21

May 31, 2013

By the end of Avenging Spider-Man #21, we're somehow rooting for Evil Spider-Man to get one over on the good guys, and Yost managing that is a remarkable feat. Go team Spider-Man.

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7.5
The Fearless #9

Feb 20, 2012

We've still got three more issues to go to see how this all shakes out. Will it be a fond, honorable farewell to one of the best Defenders, or will they flip the script and instead bring the long-dead love that Valkyrie's eager to join in Valhalla back to life and let her find some happiness? Or will Sin wake up the big robot and we'll have to deal with 2 Fear 2 Itself: Fear Itselfer? I don't know, but they've got a hook to bring me back.

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7.5
The Fearless Defenders #1

Feb 7, 2013

Overall, it seems we'll be getting some solid entertainment from Fearless Defenders. Go team!

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8.5
The Fearless Defenders #2

Mar 18, 2013

Fearless Defenders is a very promising bit of good-time adventure storytellling. It's got a fun, energetic vibe that should make most fans of cool superhero comics happy.

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7.5
The Fearless Defenders #10

Oct 11, 2013

Superior Spider-Man is so incredibly great, and much more dynamic than we could ever have thought. He works on so many levels and with so many writers, from Dan Slott to Christopher Yost to Robert Rodi " it seems he's refreshing and exciting for everybody who gets their hands on him. Del Mundo's art remains well-suited for spider-action, and it always seems to be moving. This is one more winning entry in the finest hour of Otto Octavius, and both Fulmina and Ren feel like fully idiosyncratic characters from the get-go, and we look forward to seeing more of them.

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8.0
The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1

Sep 28, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 8/10

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10
The Goon #38

Mar 27, 2012

Early on in The Goon series, despite his flair for dark comedy and stellar artistic skills, one could have made the mistake of writing Powell off as just some shock writer trying to gross people out in inventive ways, and that this world he's created couldn't last very long without becoming pretty repetitive. How wrong you would be. These last two issues have firmly established that anything can happen in The Goon. Powell can make you laugh, make you squirm, make you cry and make you hurt. You never know what you're going to get anymore, and that's something to be truly admired.

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8.5
The Goon #39

Apr 30, 2012

We love our capes here at Crave Online, and we love our Red and Green Hulks, but how's about we all do ourselves some favors and branch out a bit more? I've got trades of Fear Agent and Morning Glories here waiting for me to have time to read them. What non-superhero books would you recommend to anyone? Let 'er rip.

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8.5
The Hypernaturals #1

Jun 28, 2012

The concepts are cool and intriguing, the art is fairly snazzy and DnA do know how to work in large-scale interstellar settings. The Hypernaturals #1 is far more approachable than any Legion of Super-Heroes book I've ever read, and it already seems to have an undercurrent of compelling drama that tends to be lacking from LSH (at least what little I've read in my attempts to get into it). These heroes aren't quite shiny and happy, but they're aspiring to it, as far as we know now. Definitely worth a look.

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7.5
The Illegitimates #1

Dec 18, 2013

The Illegitimates is a cute idea, decently executed so far, but time will tell if it has any legs.

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9.0
The Iron Age #3

Aug 10, 2011

*The f-bomb is tastefully replaced with ampersands and dollar signs in the actual book. I just like profanity.

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7.0
The Lone Ranger: The Death of Zorro #4

Jun 20, 2011

Dynamite's Lone Ranger stories haven't all been 'gleaming hero saves the day' types of adventures, and given the tragic pall hanging over the characters in The Lone Ranger: The Death of Zorro, this one will likely fall into that category, even if we can't wait to see these bushwhackers get their comeuppance. Despite what few mitigating factors there are for these weary southern soldiers, there ain't no death too gruesome for these bushwhackin' bushwhacker bastards not to deserve.

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7.0
The Lone Ranger: The Death of Zorro #5

Jun 30, 2011

That's what Parks' story is really about, and despite the troubles with the art and the issues with the pacing of the story, it's still one of those tales that leaves you with a wistful appreciation of an era long gone.

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9.0
The Massive #1

Jun 28, 2012

They're in charge of a small crew on a ship with limited resources, sailing waters that have gone from charted to uncharted very recently. In its maiden voyage, The Massive is shaping up to be a very tense ongoing story, full of desolation, mystery and danger. There are no zombies or anything supernatural involved at all, but given the tone and post-civilization setting, one could make an argument for calling this The Sailing Dead.

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8.5
The Massive #3

Aug 14, 2012

Despite it all, the crew of the Kapital still have purpose. They still have goals. They still want to make the world a better place. And more of The Massive would do just that for those of us in this particular reality.

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9.0
The Massive #7

Dec 13, 2012

The Massive has been one of my favorite books of the year - one that I look forward to each month. It's just really damn engrossing.

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7.5
The Massive #15

Aug 30, 2013

So The Massive #15 is a confusing issue, with a sort of anticlimactic 'uh, okay?' ending to a tense story surrounding runaway nukes. I can't rightly say whether or not this is a stumble or just another building block for Wood's world. Garry Brown's artwork is decent, and Jordie Bellaire's colors really help him excel with environments and backgrounds, moods and tones, even if faces aren't always the best. Still, this has been such a solid book so far that it gets the benefit of the doubt.

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8.0
The Massive #21

Mar 28, 2014

The Massive is a book that will likely read better when collected, although one imagines you can say that about any comic book series ever. But in this case, it's a lot about tone and mood, and disrupting that on a monthly basis can have a deleterious effect. But when the trades come, check it out.

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9.0
The Movement #1

May 1, 2013

The Movement #1 is instantly fascinating, and with a trusted voice like Simone at the helm, there's little chance it will squander its potential. I look forward to seeing just how broken these characters are when we really get into their heads. It's hard to drop a new book with a cast of all new characters and get us interested in investing in them from the get-go, but Simone's got the moxie to pull it off. To some, I imagine it may come off as heavy-handed, but what is any superhero book if not a heavy hand smacking down the jerks du jour? It's not going to remain as simple as it may seem on the surface " of that, I'm quite sure.

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7.5
The Movement #2

Jun 7, 2013

The art from Freddie Williams II is pretty solid, if also a little murky here and there. Strong where it needs to be. It might take some time and some doing, but there's enough to like about The Movement that we can bear with it during its growing pains.

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8.5
The Movement #4

Aug 9, 2013

Overall, The Movement is certainly moving along fast. It has likable characters and a backdrop of chaotic civil unrest that feels painfully relevant. It may not have quite hit its stride yet, but the foundation is solid. The groundwork is there. The future is promising.

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8.5
The New Deadwardians #2

May 1, 2012

While it's a bit dry at times, that's pretty much what you'd have to expect from a tale set in the stuffy old London of this era. It helps set the mood and tone required for this story - it wouldn't be quite right if it wasn't so austere. However, it likely won't remain so for very long, once the class warfare kicks into gear and we start to get more of the history of the societal structure. The New Deadwardians is certainly worthy of your attention, should you choose to investigate further.

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8.5
The New Deadwardians #3

Jun 5, 2012

Culbard's art is very clean even when its depicting fllth, and it's refreshing compared to so much of the muddy art we see in a lot of these stories dealing with darkness and creature mystery. Abnett's made us like and respect Suttle despite his prim standoffishness, and set up this post-zombie society in an interesting fashion. The New Deadwardians is an interesting read if you'd like a less obnoxious take on the classic undead tropes, so check it out while it lasts.

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8.5
The New Deadwardians #4

Jul 2, 2012

The New Deadwardians is a good series, with bright and clean art from I.N.J. Culbard, even if his heads seem misshapen a lot of the time. There's still something enjoyable about it. Worth a look, for sure.

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8.5
The New Ghostbusters #1

Feb 15, 2013

Thankfully, we're not losing the original cast of characters we all know and love, as their spirit world adventure looks as though it'll unfold right alongside Janine & Co.'s amusing attempts to fill their shoes. If that remains the case, The New Ghostbusters #1 just added another layer of fun to these paranormal investigators, and gave them some welcome gender diversity, too. Plus, Venkman in space. Sort of.

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8.0
The Outliers #1

Aug 23, 2013

You won't go wrong if you want to check out The Outliers as well. It's a nice change of pace and a reminder that superheroes aren't everything, and they should never be the only thing.

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6.5
The Ravagers #1

May 30, 2012

The Ravagers #1 seems to exist entirely to branch out from the Superboy/Teen Titans storyline and not really to involve new readers. It's just kinda there. Not a yay, not a nay, just a meh.

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7.9
The Ray #1

Dec 16, 2011

Overall, The Ray #1 might be a little too self-aware for it's own good, but so far, it's a breezy good time.

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8.0
The Ray #3

Feb 22, 2012

Overall, this series has had a bright and refreshing tone and pace that's different from a lot of the New 52, and hopefully, this can get an extension to be a full on regular series. It's good, solid entertainment, and that last page of Chanti's makes me hope for another intriguing twist on the traditional role of "love interest for the hero" by the time this all shakes out.

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8.0
The Royals: Masters Of War #1

Feb 14, 2014

Prince Arthur is the type of bastard that Dylan was castigating in his song. One might then wager that he will turn out to be the man kicking the hell out of Henry in Berlin at the start of the issue, because he illustrates he's got more power than his little brother. The notion that superhumans are like nuclear warheads, and their involvement in a war leads to mutually assured destruction, is not a new one, but it's always an interesting one. The Royals: Masters of War promises to examine what happens when duty clashes with responsibility, and the odds are good that it will be pretty compelling when it all shakes out.

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7.2
The Savage Hawkman #1

Sep 28, 2011

There's not a lot new or unique going on in The Savage Hawkman #1, but the mystery of just what the deal with Nth Metal is going to turn out to be should prove fertile ground for subsequent issues. If you like the look of this severe, pointy-armored hardass enough to want to see him beat things up, you'll likely be satisfied with this series. For others, we may have to give it another issue or two to let us further inside of the head of Carter Hall to figure out why we should find him interesting.

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7.5
The Saviors #1

Dec 26, 2013

Overall, though, nothing too exciting or different yet, but The Saviors should make for a leisurely, enjoyable sort of read when it's all said and done.

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7.0
The Secret Service #1

Apr 12, 2012

If you like Millar's brand of humor, you'll likely enjoy The Secret Service #1. If you like his dramatic chops, you might be willing to put up with the humor-esque parts to enjoy what Gibbons helps him achieve here, although the whole Mark Hamill thing brings some dread to the notion of where he's going with this. This is the guy who wrote Civil War, after all. He can be impressive or he can be annoying. It's a bit too early to tell which one this is going to turn out to be.

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8.8
The Shade #1

Oct 20, 2011

Everybody in this issue is simply likeable, which is more than I can say for Justice League.

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8.9
The Shade #5

Mar 1, 2012

The Shade is a delightful book, even when it deals with crimes of a hideous nature. It has a vocabulary and is not afraid to use it, and that's to be commended. And yet, it deflates itself whenever there's any inclination toward pretentiousness. It's just good reading.

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8.0
The Shadow #1

Apr 23, 2012

So Ennis and Campbell have hooked me for their first story arc, and in my experience with Ennis, that usually means he'll hook me for a few more.

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8.5
The Shadow #4

Aug 3, 2012

The Shadow is a series that may be better read in trade form, but it's only four issues in - you shouldn't have a hard time hunting down the previous three, and I would recommend that you do.

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8.5
The Shadow #5

Sep 25, 2012

The Shadow #5. It's Ennis writing tales of bloody comeuppance. That's always worth a read.

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8.5
The Spider #1

May 4, 2012

If you like dark and surly crime noir, villains like The Cholera King and The Silver Falcon, and a strange psuedo zombie mystery, not to mention twisted emotional entanglements, asshole cops and a lot of smoldering cigarettes, The Spider is your book. And if you're not sure about any of that, just take a good gander at how cool this guy looks. It's undeniable.

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5.5
The Spider #4

Aug 6, 2012

I have enjoyed much of Liss' work before, and I still really want to like this series, but The Spider #4 went off the rails and resorted to clichés and uninspired dialog choices, and it's very disappointing.

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6.5
The Spider #6

Nov 23, 2012

The lead bad guy in this issue looks like some hipster/stoner dingus, Richard Wentworth himself looks like a 19-year-old poser, and it just feels wrong enough to undercut the effectiveness of any story trying to be told here. Yet, I keep buying it, because I figure it HAS to get cool eventually. That's how much I want to like The Spider.

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8.0
The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #1

Sep 10, 2013

The Star Wars #1 is a neat little treat. Non-essential, but if you like the property but not so much the franchise, you may have a good time with this.

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7.4
The Transformers #21

Jul 7, 2011

According to editor Andy Schmidt, the Chaos storyline is hoping to iron out some continuity kinks from all the stops and starts this series has had, but things don't bode well for that when Beachcomber appears alive and well after being nearly lobotomized and deemed nearly unsalvageable by Soundwave's meddling back during the Spotlight: Blaster issue. So let's hope Costa can iron out his own scripting kinks and Chaos will be something as epic as they want it to be.

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8.6
The Transformers #24

Aug 30, 2011

And it'd be a hell of a climax for Chaos. Lets hope Roberts gets to run wild on his way to that point. If that's where he's going.

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8.8
The Transformers #26

Sep 27, 2011

Come on, man. Megatron vs. Galvatron. Both with power levels amped to insane levels. This is gonna be fun.

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8.5
The Twelve #12

Apr 27, 2012

Now that's a series waiting to be spun off. Even if it feels a little cheesy, these are still compelling characters we like and hope to read more about. Let's also hope JMS and Weston can team up for that, too, and keep it on a tighter schedule. Now that The Twelve is done, it remains a cool, interesting series playing with Marvel's Golden Age, and let's hope that it can somehow live on and forge some connection with David Liss' Mystery Men, too.

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8.5
The Victories #1

Sep 7, 2012

The Victories is a five issue minieseries. Whethar it's going to focus on a different "Victory" each issue, or follow the story between Faustus and the Jackal, I don't know. But it starts off pretty darn solid, and certainly very gruesome and rough-edged. If that's your thing, so might The Victories be.

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9.0
Think Tank #2

Sep 6, 2012

The black and white art from Ekedal is pretty well done, managing to bring home the horrors of war without the striking colors of it. The eyes we look into in each panel are very real, and the level of detail in the backgrounds and each face is quite impressive. I don't know if it's made me smarter, but Think Tank is a pretty cool book, and well worth your time to check out.

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9.0
Thor: God of Thunder #1

Nov 15, 2012

It's a strong debut issue for Thor: God of Thunder, and the idea of a deity-focused serial killer is an interesting one. We'll see if Aaron can stay on track with this compelling set-up.

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7.5
Threshold #1

Jan 16, 2013

Scott Kolins' artwork in the backup story fares a bit better than Tom Raney's in the main story simply due to its stylization, but both are solid. Giffen's dialogue is cute and fun, establishing a swashbuckling tone for the proceedings. If you're in for some rip-roaring space adventure, you could do worse than Threshold.

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8.0
Threshold #2

Feb 13, 2013

Now that I can see a general direction, tone and intention for Giffen's Threshold, a sort of cosmic realm that's much like his Annihilation stuff (techincally part of the main continuity, but separate enough from it that those who aren't all that thrilled with the New 52 in general have a place to go within DC to enjoy comics), I'm warming to it more than I did with the first issue, where I couldn't stop hating on the name Jediah Caul. A slight mental adjustment, and I think Threshold is going to be an engaging place to spend some funnybook time.

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8.5
Threshold #3

Mar 22, 2013

It took three issues, but I'm now fully checked into whatever Keith Giffen is going to do with cosmic DC in the pages of Threshold. We may not have Ted Kord back, but we can at least get that flavor that made him famous with a bunch of new characters that DC is not likely to demand to use, abuse and murder anytime soon.

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8.1
Thunderbolts #159

Jun 23, 2011

Overall, though, there's a lot crackin' over here in Thunderbolts, and we can only hope the hammer nonsense wraps up soon and these creators can get back to their real stories.

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8.3
Thunderbolts #163

Sep 13, 2011

As far as bad guy teams bordering on goodness go, Thunderbolts isn't quite Secret Six for me, but it's not trying to be either. It's still a lot of fun and surprises that'll keep you guessing as to who's going to lean which way each month, and you can't ask for more out of a book than that.

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8.5
Thunderbolts #174

May 17, 2012

Hopefully, the actual Thunderbolts won't be lost for long, and the Dark Avengers stint will bring in some new eyes who will then be schooled in compelling moral ambiguity that doesn't need 'Dark' tacked onto it like this was 1993 or something. In the meantime, Thunderbolts #174 is a great send-off to the Fixer, a character who absolutely encapsulates that ambiguity and goes out chock full of it.

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9.0
Thunderbolts #176

Jun 21, 2012

While I'll continue to hope Parker takes over The Incredible Hulk when Jason Aaron leaves, as well as being thankful that a lot of Hulk supporting characters are now rolling with his Red Hulk, I've got my fingers crossed that he may bust out some 2099 action that actually pays attention to the original 2099 comics. Until now, Marvel has liked the notion of 2099 here and there without really paying heed to the actual books. That recent teenage Miguel O'Hara thing just wasn't right. It probably WON'T be, but even if it isn't, chances are it'll still be pretty fun.

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5.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #1

Dec 5, 2012

Guess I'll have to be if I'm going to try to enjoy this new Thunderbolts. It's easy to buy, considering all the big names on the team, but it's hard to buy any of their reasons for being on that team in the first place.

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5.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #2

Dec 19, 2012

So it seems that Thunderbolts is destined to be a book about a bunch of characters I like guided by creators I sadly don't. Way's writing still feels limp, although that may seem moreso because Dillon's work, while technically sound, feels so staid and lifeless. This just means each new issue is going to be a fresh bit of agony for me.

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6.5
Thunderbolts (2012) #18

Nov 21, 2013

It's just really weird overall. It's kind of fun on occasion, but it also just doesn't feel right at all. There are team books where dysfunctional character dynamics make for good reading, but you have to be able to accept the reasoning that they'd stay around each other despite their differences. This book almost makes sense, enough so that you can understand why they'd try it, but always has the undercurrent feeling that this is a Team That Should Not Be.

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8.0
Time Warp #1

Mar 28, 2013

Anyway, Time Warp #1 overall is a lovely collection of shorts from good people. If you're anything like me, you'll dig it.

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6.0
Transformers Heart of Darkness #4

Jun 29, 2011

It was enough to win me over for once, and since it's likely Bay's last entry into the franchise, at least he went out fighting. Transformers: Heart of Darkness, by contrast, went out with a shrug.

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8.0
Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1

Nov 7, 2013

That all said, it's fun getting Ye Olden Optimus back into the mix, and seeing the whole gang starting to get back together now that Starscream's actually asking for help. The art from Phil Jimenez and Andrew Griffith is very solid as well " the double-page splash of the Metrotitan erupting out of the very fabric of Cybertron and absolutely dwarfing Bumblebee and the exiled Autobots is actually breathtaking. So it's up to Roberts and Barber to make sure that this exploration of the past doesn't wind up just rehashing old stories " and they've both more than earned enough trust in their work so far that we can rest assured that it won't be. Elements here are great threads to hang a story upon, and Dark Cybertron promises to shake things up considerably for the whole IDW TF universe.

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8.5
Transformers: Dark Cybertron Finale #1

Mar 27, 2014

Overall, though, Transformers: Dark Cybertron has been an interesting epic, full of dark twists, new surprises and hope for the future. The franchise is in great hands. At least as far as comics go. The movies… yeesh.

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9.6
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #1

Jan 12, 2012

So I say to you out here in comic-book land: pick up Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #1. If you've never read Transformers before, or if you haven't in years, give it a shot and let me know what you think. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but even though there are still a truckload of characters being juggled here, it's being done in such a refreshing and entertaining way with this concept that is so unassailably cool that it could actually hook in new readers and make some new fans. Let's hope so, because I'd like this to go on for a long while.

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8.9
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #2

Feb 15, 2012

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye, folks. You want good, space-faring fun with a huge cast of kooky characters and interpersonal intrigue? How's about readin' about robots?

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #4

Apr 19, 2012

There are also some side plots back at the Lost Light - Swerve has a bar now, which is perfect, and Tailgate's confusion about the war comes into full focus as Rodimus and Rewind finally take the time to educate the guy on what he missed - and it leads to the realization that Cyclonus might not be the best friend to have. Roberts writes his issues densely, with plenty going on, but also with a lot of detail and information to keep readers up on what's going on without drowning them in canon. Even folks with a passing interest in Transformers should check out Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. It's a great series that makes everybody an engaging character, and #4 is no exception.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #4

Apr 19, 2012

There are also some side plots back at the Lost Light - Swerve has a bar now, which is perfect, and Tailgate's confusion about the war comes into full focus as Rodimus and Rewind finally take the time to educate the guy on what he missed - and it leads to the realization that Cyclonus might not be the best friend to have. Roberts writes his issues densely, with plenty going on, but also with a lot of detail and information to keep readers up on what's going on without drowning them in canon. Even folks with a passing interest in Transformers should check out Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. It's a great series that makes everybody an engaging character, and #4 is no exception.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #5

May 23, 2012

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and its sister series Transformers: Robots in Disguise are the best TF comics ever. They're dense, they're deep, they're challenging and they're funny. What more do you want out of your comics?

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #6

Jun 28, 2012

Nick Roche handles the art for this issue, and his style is fantastic, and so amazingly similar to the equally talented Alex Milne, Roberts' usual artist, that it's almost indistinguishable - and that's a highly impressive feat. Both of them were born to draw Transformers, and I hope they stick with it for a good long while, because Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is the best series this fandom has ever seen. There's just SO much to see and SO much going on at all times.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #7

Jul 26, 2012

Seriously. Best Transformers comic series of all time.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #8

Aug 22, 2012

Seriously, take the time and make the effort to get into Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. It's priority is making the lore the most accessible it's been, without being afraid of actually using it. Plus, it's just really goddamned entertaining.

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10
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #10

Nov 1, 2012

There is so much wonderful density in plot and character to digest with each new issue of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye, and #10 is no exception. Roberts and Milne have both found their calling, and they must never stop telling amazing stories in this world. THEY MUSTN'T. Because this continues to be the book that makes me the happiest every month.

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10
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #12

Dec 20, 2012

This book is amazing. Give it a chance, won't you?

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #13

Feb 12, 2013

So MTMTE #13 is a fun romp that's not brainlessly so. James Roberts continues to give me the book I'm happiest to read each and every month, and I hope he never stops.

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9.5
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #15

Mar 22, 2013

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #15 is a powerful book. The entire series is a godsend to longtime Transformers fans who have hungered for substance. You never know what is coming with James Roberts, and that's part of what makes this book a must-read.

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9.5
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #16

Apr 26, 2013

Thank you, James Roberts, for giving us Transformers fans something to point to that will best explain why we love this mythos so much " something that's not cheesy '1980s stuff or offensively obnoxious Michael Bay movies. For as much as Bay seems to worship the concept of 'balls,' he'd never have the stones to introduce this kind of sensitivity into the proceedings. Roberts outshines him by far.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #18

Jun 24, 2013

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is just good comics. Not good Transformers comics, but good comics. Long may it rule.

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9.5
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #19

Aug 1, 2013

We also have to talk about Alex Milne, the artist who manages to inject an immense amount of detail into the designs of these mechanoids, and colorist Josh Burcham, who is somehow able to decipher abnormal robot body parts in all these intricate black and white panels to know what bits should be which colors. This art is busy, it's kinetic and it's just as dense as the writing, and in that vein, it sometimes takes a few reads to figure out exactly what's happening. IDW takes some heat for the artwork on a lot of their licensed titles, but they do not skimp on Transformers: MTMTE, and that's what helps make this book the best TF fiction ever made.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #20

Sep 3, 2013

My usual refrain remains true. Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is the best we've ever had it as TF fans. In fact, some of us realize that the history of TF fiction and fandom may mean that James Roberts is a better writer than we deserve, but we never want him to leave. No pressure.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #21

Sep 27, 2013

I say it every month. Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is the best fiction in the history of the franchise. It's everything I wanted when I was a kid " it takes these awesome concepts and characters, knows what is awesome about them, and makes them into something, well" more, much more than meets the eye.

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7.5
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #23

Nov 21, 2013

While this issue doesn't have the sheer joy of Transformers greatness that MTMTE usually has, the Dark Cybertron story has potential, and when Roberts gets a hold of the old continuity elements, he remembers to explain them and deal with them as if they're new to the reader. I've read all of the stuff, and I still need a refresher on the plots gone by from time to time. Still looking forward to Shockwave's master plan " it can't simply be in service of an old crackpot despot like Nova Prime.

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9.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #27

Mar 14, 2014

Dark Cybertron hasn't been perfect, but it seems to be putting to bed a lot of lingering old continuity threads from the previous regimes, and MTMTE #27 is a confirmation that the past will soon be the past and we'll be heading off into completely uncharted waters, which is fresh, new, and inspiring.

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9.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #2

Feb 22, 2012

Best time to be a Transformers fan. Provided you only read comics and buy toys and don't bother with those loud movies.

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9.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #3

Mar 29, 2012

Long live IDW's Transformers universe. This stuff is great, and again, not just 'great for Transformers.' These are great comics, period.

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9.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #9

Sep 11, 2012

So something out there in the strange natural phenomena of Cybertron is forcing groups of mechs to become gestalts? Will the same thing happen to Ironhide and the Dinobots (since Grimlock is over in MTMTE and unavailable to make it a pure Dino-thing)? It's hard to say right now, but Barber's doing a really good job at setting up mysteries and intrigue, and that's why we love it.

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8.5
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #13

Jan 11, 2013

MTMTE tends to be the more entertaining book, possibly because it has the luxury of focusing on a raucous group of vagabond adventurers on a quest throughout the galaxy, and thus has the freedom to be funnier. RID has the heavier weight of being analogous to real-world sociopolitical problems in tense, fragile societies in the Middle East. Sure, it's about giant robots, but treating them like real people has been key to the success of these two IDW books, and while RID might not be as flashy, it's still a really great factor in the evolution of this franchise beyond just toys and shooting.

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8.5
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #14

Mar 5, 2013

The next issue promises to be even more explosive than this one, capping off the big first-year arc of Transformers: RID with GIANT ROBOT FIGHTS. Well, Transformers are already giant robots, but Devastator and Superion are gestalts, meaning EVEN GIANTER ROBOT FIGHTS! Also, everything's going to come to a head, the future of Cybertron will be forever affected, and more characters are probably gonna die. Hoo-boy.

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9.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #16

Apr 23, 2013

IDW's licensed properties tend to be a little hinky when it comes to the art, but not the Transformers books. Andrew Griffith does a fantastic job rendering these giant mechs, and I hope he and TF: More Than Meets The Eye's Alex Milne never stop. If MTMTE didn't exist, Transformers: RID would be the best Transformers comic of all time. As it stands, these two books together make fans of legit, non-Bay Transformers pleased as freakin' punch. They've raised the bar, and here's hoping they both keep going at this level ad infinitum.

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8.5
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #26

Feb 14, 2014

Dark Cybertron has been a bit of a mixed bag so far, but Chapter 9 in Transformers: Robots in Disguise #26 is where things get seriously epic. Multiple writers and artists have made for a good but not always fluid read, but now we've got Andrew Griffith back in the saddle, and he's one of the few guys who I've often said was born to draw Transformers. Also, it's got a city punching another city many times.

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9.0
Uber #1

May 14, 2013

ber trades on historical realities for its fiction, although Gillen freely admits that he's certain hardened World War II experts would catch things he's missed or messed up. He also stresses that he's not Garth Ennis, whose knowledge of war minutiae is legendary. Gillen's focusing more on the conflict between humanity and the atrocities they are capable of perpetrating " what that does to a person, and the struggle to keep one's soul in the savage madness of it all. He's right about this not being a book to "enjoy." But it's certainly a book worth reading.

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8.5
Uber #2

Jun 10, 2013

Gillen's story remains heavy, and this installment is particularly tense, and he also continues to seemingly apologize for writing any of this in the afterword, reaffirming his desire to find a way to tell a World War II story ethically. White's art remains dark and unflinching " not perfect, but he certainly goes for broke at crucial moments, like showing us the way to kill Panzermensches is putting a bullet in their eyes. ber continues to impress, while giving the reader an ugly, unsettled feeling in our guts, reminding us that despite all the hay made from it in fiction everywhere, war remains hell.

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8.0
Umbral #1

Nov 15, 2013

Johnston's story keeps you guessing – you don't really expect things like Arthir getting zapped out of existence, leaving Rascal holding the bloody stump of his arm – and he wastes little time in getting the story in gear. The first issue is a full-on shadow-jerk invasion, after all. If magic and toothy things what go 'boo' in the night trip your trigger, you shan't go wrong with Umbral #1.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers #9

Jun 19, 2013

Uncanny Avengers #9 is just an all-around solid, interesting, compelling book, setting the stage for something epic coming this way – and there's STILL the whole Red Skull/Onslaught thing waiting in the wings.

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7.0
Uncanny Avengers #14

Nov 27, 2013

I've enjoyed a lot of the intricate plotting of Uncanny Avengers, and I'm really excited to see Doom 2099 getting involved somehow (even if it's the blue-cloaked version and not the red-cloaked President of America Doom), but this should have been a supremely affecting issue, given the events unfolding that have been built towards since the get-go. Unfortunately, if we don't believe in the motivations of the characters, if their actions don't quite make sense, all you come away from the book feeling is a general sense of head-shaking dismissal.

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9.3
Uncanny X-Force #13

Aug 26, 2011

Not that he needs to - Uncanny X-Force should sell itself by now, regardless of spoilage - and nobody's going to complain about AoA Nightcrawler being around. He was one of the cooler parts of the original crossover anyway. Yeah, it might be lame to trade the pious Kurt Wagner for the dickish Kurt Darkholme, but he'll need to be dickish to stick around with this team of cool jerks.

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9.5
Uncanny X-Force #14

Sep 6, 2011

Uncanny X-Force is a damn good read.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force #25

May 9, 2012

Overall, Uncanny X-Force #25 seems to be celebrating the landmark issue by stripping things back down to basics, and shedding some cast members ostensibly to make room for new blood. Remender's corner of the Marvel Universe is still quality stuff, and hopefully he can build back up to something just as epic as The Dark Angel Saga.

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8.5
Uncanny X-Force #26

Jun 18, 2012

Uncanny X-Force seems to be back in the right form. It's even making us feel sympathy for Apocalypse, considering he's in altruistic teenager form being ruthlessly mocked by the other students at Wolvie's school. The dark underbelly of the X-world is where it's at.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #35

Dec 19, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #35 is a great final chapter in a truly epic (in the legit sense of the word, and not the everyday erosion of the meaning of the word now used to describe fails and socks) saga. Remender, much like Jonathan Hickman, is a guy who writes big and ends well. I'll miss this book, and I'm as surprised as anyone that we went out on a happy note.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #1

Jan 23, 2013

So it's a decent start for Uncanny X-Force #1, and it does warrant a few more issues to find its new footing. Humphries does get kudos for bringing Puck onto a non-Canadian team. That's nothing to sneeze at.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men #538

Jun 15, 2011

Besides, if the humans are going to bear down on Utopia like it seems in this Schism stuff, ain't nothing like having a big bunch of alien ass-kickers next door owing you favors.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men #542

Aug 18, 2011

So, overall, the plotting is at least interesting, there's plenty going on and there's lots of showing off of mutants and their powers, but the art from Land is occasionally interesting but mostly aggravating, and its the reason for the points knocked off the rating below.

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2.0
Uncanny X-Men #543

Sep 21, 2011

I ranted enough about artist Greg Land in last issue's review, so no need to rehash it all here. So, Uncanny X-Men #543 is just a complete disappointment all the way around.

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6.9
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #2

Dec 2, 2011

So that's pretty much it. The entire second issue of the Uncanny X-Men reboot is the bad guy explaining his plot. Normally, that might feel uninspired, but it serves the purpose here of getting us used to this new take on Sinister's attitude - perhaps this goofy smugness comes from a scientist finally achieving the goal he's worked on for over a century - and it's a fairly interesting plan. Plus, it'll get an angry pitcher-headed space god dropping down to Earth next issue. So it's okay. Not spectacular, not exciting, but it's okay.

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6.9
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #5

Jan 19, 2012

So, Uncanny X-Men #5 has a good hook for X-Force fans, but it might not be enough for them to accept the huge trade-down to Land from the amazing stuff of Jerome Opeña.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #15

Jul 5, 2012

It's a good set-up, and there's hope for a good payoff, depending on what Sinister's grand plan turns out to be. I'll certainly check in for the next installment.

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8.5
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #16

Jul 19, 2012

He's not going to be allowed to win, of course - the Avengers have to be the ones to beat them, and we already know this takes place before AvX #8. But Sinister is going to get something out of this, and I can't wait to see what that will be.

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8.5
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #17

Aug 27, 2012

"You didn't try to understand me," the Phoenix tells him. "You only tried to master me." Sinister was never going to approach it any other way. The question now is whether or not he'll survive to try to learn from that mistake, or if he's been purged entirely. This is comics, so we have a pretty good inkling of which way that will lean.

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7.5
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #18

Sep 13, 2012

For me, Uncanny X-Men #18 is only nine pages long. The rest of it is some wheel-spinning malarkey about Scott Summers being bitchy and showing us that, during the big fight in Avengers vs. X-Men #11, Scott and Emma Frost were also having a lovely dinner with each other on the astral plane wherein they were eating steak glazed with human blood. Whatever, yadda yadda, Phoenix Corruptus ad nauseum. It's all rendered very well by artist Ron Garney, but I've had my fill of Cyclops.

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8.5
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #20

Oct 17, 2012

I have no idea where this leaves my favorite X-Man, and I don't imagine this will get much play when he joines Dennis Hopeless' Cable & X-Force book, either. But this is no longer a nice-guy Colossus that can be relegated to the back row of the X-Men class photo anymore. This is a very broken and completely morally compromised man full of anger and loss. So much loss, as detailed in my review of UXM #18. He's not the naive farm boy anymore. I feel really bad for the guy, and I wish Gillen could be the guy showing us what's next for him.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #1

Feb 14, 2013

So it feels like Bendis is still getting his feet wet with X-characters, and perhaps he'll make the proper adjustments soon and find the right rhythm. More likely, though, is that this is just going to be how these characters are now, because that's the way he wants to write them. When he gets to play in a world mostly of his devising, like Ultimate Comics or Daredevil alternate realities, we like him. When he's trying to fit into the mainstream 616, not so much. Well, at least I don't. All y'all kept him writing Avengers comics for a decade, so I'm apparently in the minority here.

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8.0
Venom #4

Jul 5, 2011

All in all, this is a series I'll be sticking with, if Remender can keep from resorting to busting out the slobber-monster every other issue, as the slobber-monster is the least compelling aspect of the current situation. And slobber monsters just feel outdated in comics anyway. Keep the damn tongue in your mouth and tell some good Flash Thompson stories. That's the guy I want to know more about.

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9.0
Venom #5

Aug 2, 2011

As we head towards Spider Island, in which Venom is supposed to figure rather significantly, it's looking as though we can bet on Dan Slott handling the high-adventure side of the event, while Remender shows us the disgusting and horrifying side of life with everybody in Manhattan getting crazy spider-like abilities. It seems like a good balance... and we'll need the one to cope with the other.

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9.0
Venom #6

Aug 23, 2011

I never thought I'd be this interested in the life of Flash Thompson, and I also never thought I'd care that much about a symbiote, but here we are. The improbable is still possible, and Venom is just a really cool book you should all check out.

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8.0
Venom #13.3

Feb 28, 2012

Venom #13.3 crystallizes this arc and makes it finally feel like more than just a weird diversion. The art from Julian Tedesco and the colors from Dommo Sanchez Amara really work well together with really creepy demonic imagery and the fiery discomfort of the netherworld. My only problem is Mephisto actually saying that something is "made of awesome and win." I am not ready for that to be actual dialog from a metaphysical demon. Maybe in 20 years, it'll be the norm, but I can't accept that outside of internet memes yet. Stop that.

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8.5
Venom #14

Mar 8, 2012

This whole arc seemed like a diversion at first, but really picked up intensity and is now this really dark, ugly chapter in the dark, ugly histories of all of these pseudo-heroes.

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8.5
Venom #18

May 22, 2012

It's a really cool issue to read, progressing the plot to a fevered pitch, and the art from Lan Medina is pretty snazzy in its madness. Venom remains one of the cooler books out there, about a fascinating train wreck of a hero.

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9.5
Venom #22

Aug 14, 2012

Thanks for a great run, sir, and for perhaps the best chapter in the history of symbiote stories.

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6.0
Venom #38

Aug 2, 2013

Venom #38 isn't bad. Just kind of rote.

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8.0
Villains For Hire #0

Nov 3, 2011

Overall, it's still the same fun the series has been so far, and it remains to be seen whether or not this will be a segue into making the Villains For Hire operation the actual focus of the series, or if it will split time with Heroes For HIre, or if it'll just be a stunt re-titling for an arc or three.

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7.0
Voltron #1

Dec 8, 2011

The art from Ariel Padilla is pretty solid. Voltron himself looks great and enormous, and the huge-scale destruction really looks catastrophic. His human faces are good and expressive as well, and thankfully, each member of the team is actually wearing the proper colors associated with their respective lions. What exactly is the bond with the lions if Voltron doesn't need them as pilots? We don't know yet. Voltron might actually need them after all, since in this first issue, he not only gets beaten down by the replicating Robeast, but he's even captured... off-panel, for some weird reason, but it's more traction than Zarkon usually gets, and that makes for a compelling reason to check into the next issue.

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8.5
Where is Jake Ellis? #3

Mar 15, 2013

Go read Who Is Jake Ellis? first, because Where Is Jake Ellis? drops you right in the middle of things and doesn't really bring you up to speed. Once you do, though, you'll be glad you did, because it's just a very cool read with a good sense of pacing that never really drops into anything trite.

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8.5
Wild Blue Yonder #1

Jun 21, 2013

Overall, Wild Blue Yonder #1 is entertaining and quite forgivably derivative, and it sets an interesting stage for what promises to be some quality adventure storytelling,

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9.0
Winter Soldier #14

Jan 24, 2013

Butch Guice is also jumping ship, which sucks. His art has been the backbone of Winter Soldier. Nobody pencils noir like Guice. There is always a mood set within the panel, there’s always a sense of natural movement to the characters. Guice’s so good with character forms and faces that he easily draws specific emotional reactions out of the reader. Graced with an ability for action movement, plus the style and control to make each beautiful pencil count. His presence on Winter Soldier will be sorely missed.

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7.0
Wolverine (2010) #306

May 15, 2012

Paul Pelletier’s art is great when the violence is high. This guy fucking loves blood and guts. He’s right at home in the horror world and when he unleashes the action the work is killer (pun FULLY intended). The few scenes in the Jean Grey School just lay flat on the page and do nothing. They largely feel like Pelletier phoned them in because there wasn’t enough blood and action to excite him. With Wolverine #306, I’m cautiously optimistic that the greatest mutant hero ever could truly become great again.

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8.5
Wolverine and the X-Men #11

May 30, 2012

And yet, even the jokes here are pretty good - particularly Aunt Petunia's Favorite Nephew Benjamin J. Grimm aka The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing fighting Sunspot and not knowing who he is, then asking "you still got the guy with the giant maggots around?" That's just fun. So why is Aaron's Hulk so bad? I couldn't tell you. Just be glad that Wolverine and the X-Men is good right now.

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7.6
Wonder Woman (2011) #5

Jan 19, 2012

Overall, Wonder Woman continues to be what it's been for me - decent stuff I like well enough, but nothing I'm ever super excited to read. However, I've got a new perspective on it, and that might help it grab me a bit more in the long run. The symbol of truth, justice and love isn't really there anymore, and she is missed, but it can also be fun to see how a more down-to-earth and mistake-prone Diana deals with her extraordinary circumstances. And maybe this Poseidon thing will bring her into confict with Aquaman, and maybe Azzarello can handle it a hell of a lot better than Flashpoint.

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7.9
Wonder Woman (2011) #6

Feb 20, 2012

Of course, by the end of the issue, she's traded one annoyed god for another, and has to go pull Zola's scrawny non-fat out of the fire once again, although this time, it's the fire of the underworld. Maybe Azzarello's intentionally obscuring things - making his readers do the legwork to figure out what's going on means they have to pay attention and not treat his work as forgettable. Or maybe I'm just dense and slow on the uptake. Either way, Wonder Woman isn't my usual bag, but I'm thinking of making room for a new bag.

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5.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #7

Mar 26, 2012

The net result of all is that Wonder Woman #7, and most of the series, for that matter, hasn't really been a pleasant read. It's been interesting and unique enough to stick with this long, but Diana is trucking in a world that's all ugly underbelly - and she's about to journey into the literal underworld to boot.

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7.5
Worlds' Finest #1

May 2, 2012

Worlds' Finest #1 certainly has potential and room to grow, but there are some red flags that may or may not spell problems in the future. For now, though, optimism wins out, and hopefully the blue-striped track pants are a temporary thing. Please. This ain't the '70s.

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8.4
X-Club #1

Dec 9, 2011

Overall, X-Club #1 is a fun book that should appeal strongly to those of us who love B-listers, and who will like to watch the pomposity of Marvel's Merry Mutants being satirized to their faces. Aspiring to be Warren Ellis is a noble goal.

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9.3
X-Club #2

Jan 17, 2012

So get X-Club #2, then go back and get X-Club #1, and then continue to buy the rest of this miniseries until they make it an ongoing. This, I command.

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8.0
X-Force (2014) #1

Feb 11, 2014

Overall, X-Force #1 is promising because of Spurrier, who manages to make us care about characters we ordinarily wouldn't – like David Haller in X-Men Legacy. It's a start not without its bumps (a phrase I chose instead of saying 'it's a bit of a Rock-He start,' so be thankful at my restraint), but I'm still on board.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #1

Nov 15, 2012

It was a tall order, trying to get people to give a damn about Legion, but Spurrier's done an admirable job with X-Men Legacy #1. The art from Tan Eng Huat is decent as well, if a bit jagged in its expressiveness, and the colors from Jose Villarrubia also really help to differentiate the weird world in David's mind from reality. It's certainly worth checking out to see if you can get into it.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #5

Feb 1, 2013

This is one of those books that's likely going to need a lot of support to keep going. Sure, it's got X-Men in the title, but its central character is a really weird one, and we as comic fans tend to like weird characters well enough to enjoy their existence, but we tend not to gravitate toward their books, sadly. Let David Haller be one of the ones to defy that rule.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #7

Mar 15, 2013

X-Men Legacy #7 is fun times, folks. Hop aboard this weird-ass space coaster. You get a tale of a young dude trying to find his place in the world mixed with the inner-mind story of a man trying to carve a path to sanity, or at least stability.

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9.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #10

May 3, 2013

X-Men Legacy might be my favorite X-book going right now, and it's set up a fascinating set of circumstances that I've got no clue how Spuirrier plans to resolve. The writing is entertaining, interesting and provocative, and the art might finally be on its way to catching up with it.

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8.5
X-Men Legacy (2012) #15

Aug 21, 2013

So X-Men Legacy #15 is interesting and solid, but my head's still spinning about all the tension build-up swerving into a few nice moments and a sudden bang to end it all. It's left us a bit unhinged. Just like David. And if there's anybody I wouldn't mind seeing him going after, it's the smug thing that was once Cyclops.

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9.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #20

Nov 21, 2013

But there's still time to catch it while he's doing amazing things with David Freakin' Haller, of all people. X-Men Legacy ain't over yet, and the conclusion promises to be richly entertaining.

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9.5
X-Men Legacy (2012) #24

Feb 17, 2014

It's good reading, and highly recommended. So long, David Haller.

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8.0
X-Treme X-Men Vol. 2 #1

Jul 25, 2012