Ben Berger's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Weekly Comic Book Review Reviews: 64
6.3Avg. Review Rating

3
Army of Darkness: Home Sweet Hell #11

Aug 12, 2008

I won't say that this issue's a total miss, but the humor, horror, and action all seem off. It doesn't feel Evil Dead to me. I'm not asking for a remake, but there should be a larger connection to the source material than the title. None of the off-shoots of this series has made a slam dunk – look at the Evil Dead games. I liked them, but that was mostly Bruce's delivery of the dialogue. It's possible that Evil Dead can't be great without Campbell and Raimi, but the potential is there. I think that's why it's such a bummer to see it miss.

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1.6
Army of Darkness: Home Sweet Hell #12

Sep 7, 2008

As an Evil Dead fan it's hard to recommend this book. From a writing standpoint, it never feels Evil Dead-ish. It may look like it sometimes, use some of the same phrases, but it just isn't. I doubt many fans will get into this book. There are just too many changes are made and none of them for the better.

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8
B.P.R.D.: The Ectoplastic Man #1

Jun 27, 2008

I really enjoyed this book. The fact that Johann's origin isn't the norm is a definite plus. Admittedly, I have a love-hate reaction to the last panel of the book. It's an awesome ending on one hand because you don't see that fight, but its disappointing at the same time since I wanted to see it.

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4
Batman #682

Dec 4, 2008

We were promised answers in 681 that we didn't get, and it's more of the same here. I like Grant Morrison as much as the next guy, but how long does he think he can keep this up? Sooner or later the fans are going to turn on him, this story, and his style of storytelling. The "style" being all setup and no payoff. At the risk of sounding crude, the last year or so, RIP and Final Crisis in particular are just verbal masturbation on Morrison's part. I know a good bit about Batman and I'm still lost as to what's going on half the time. Are all of this obscure references to the past an inside joke for him and the elite DC fan? Is he intentionally alienating the casual fan? You decide. The point is, just because you use big words or throw in long-forgotten references doesn't mean the story is great, epic, or groundbreaking.

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5
Batman #683

Dec 28, 2008

Ultimately, I'd say that if you were looking for a great book cover to cover, this isn't for you. But if some decent dialogue, good art, an awesome cover or any combination of those is enough, go pick this up.

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8
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #2

Jul 1, 2008

Jones and Niles as a duo compliment each other better than most I've seen in a long while. I'm interested in seeing where this is all goes, as it has loads of potential. The run being 12 issues makes me a little nervous that it may start to drag, but if they can keep the pace of book two we're in for a wild ride. Their dark and creepy take on The Dark Knight will definitely be a fun read.

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9
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #3

Jul 30, 2008

If you've ever wanted to see a Batman horror movie, this is as close as you'll get outside of a vampire or alien cross over. We should all be so lucky to have a creative team so in synch. We're nine issues away from the conclusion, and while it's too early to tell how things will end I'm excited to find out. All I need is a few Joker issues and I'll be set.

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5
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #4

Sep 2, 2008

Part of why I like this series was how different it is. It's possible that Steve Niles is trying to say or do too much with this issue. Either way, the writing feels off. I'm all for Midnight's agenda – it seems like he has a good plan – I just wish we could get a better sense of what it is. Even though I'm left wondering what happened, Gotham After Midnight is still some of the best Batman reading out today.

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8.4
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #5

Sep 30, 2008

Steve Niles, has answered my wishes, and the Joker appears to be the focus of the next few issues. Expectations are high for me, and I think he can pull it off. I've been interested in his take on the character since he was seen in Arkham, and now I'll get my wish. Best of all, some of the focus will be taken from the villain I'm assuming everyone isn't interested in. Niles' Batman is definitely worth checking, and it's not too far in.

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5
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #6

Oct 29, 2008

Every comic will have it's problems, but each issue in this series seems to have a new one. Whether it's too much action or story, it's pretty clear that twelve issues is way too many for this arc. I'd be much more lenient if it was an ongoing series, or even a bunch of one-shots but I shouldn't be reading a different take on Batman each month within the same title. The big picture Niles portrays is good, but all the remaining filler is becoming more and more cumbersome.

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6
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #7

Dec 3, 2008

People who love unique, detailed artwork should definitely stick to reading this series. If you're just in it for the story, it might be a little tougher to keep following. Niles' depiction of Batman is spotty at best, with his writing showing the characters duality to an annoying degree. Too much genius one week, too much fighter the next, this is a balance he's yet to find throughout the series' run. It's not a good sign when a comic is most enjoyable without it's two main characters. Still, the artwork is amazing and in my opinion worth the price of the book.

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6
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #8

Jan 2, 2009

Since the series has been hit or miss as of late, it's hard to get too excited about this being a good issue. That inconsistency makes it most frustrating for fans because there's so much potential that isn't being capitalized on consistently. Still, Kelly Jones remains a hero and the art of this book should be admired by all.

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8
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #16

Jul 9, 2008

This is essential reading for any self-respecting fan of Buffy, Whedon, or a similar genre. It's a really good jumping off point for new readers because it's the start of the next wave of the season eight story (but you should read the first two trade paperbacks if you can). And while it definitely helps to have a working knowledge of Buffy or to have read the rest of season eight, Whedon does a great job of making it accessible.

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8.4
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #18

Sep 9, 2008

Each issue of Season Eight just makes me wish the show was still on. I'm sure certain things would need to be cut if it was being filmed, but the world Whedon has created is just too rich to ignore. His style is specific, and that might be part of the problem that the masses don't get it. So sadly, for those of us who do get it, we have to wait and hope someday that Joss will be as greatly appreciated as he deserves.

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8
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #19

Dec 2, 2008

Season Eight has been fantastic for fans of the show. However, I'm ready for things to move back to the present. Not that this portion of the story's been bad. But having two separate stories, two centuries apart from one another was just a little harder to follow than I would've liked.

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9
Civil War: House of M #1

Sep 16, 2008

House of M: Civil War is a sure pickup, as it offers a lot for an origin story. Gage and Divito gives us a lot of exciting scenes and an interesting character study of one of Marvel's beloved villains/ anti-heroes. If you want a tale that follows the psyche of Magneto and some explanation as to how he gained leadership of the mutants, then this is the book to pick up. This issue perfectly sets the history of the House of M.

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8
Civil War: House of M #3

Nov 12, 2008

It's a slow week for this title, but a necessary one. Things are set up nicely for a dramatic conclusion to Magneto's rise to power. I wish this information had been spread out better over all three issues, but as it stands now we're ready for war.

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8.4
Conan the Cimmerian #3

Sep 20, 2008

My only complaint is that it's still tough to see where things are going. Conan's returning home to Cimmeria, but why? Conan's fought raiders, saved a childhood friend and presses on deeper into his homeland. But so far there's no villain, no Thulsa Doom, or the like with an evil plot to foil. Conan the drifter is fine, and definitely works in the context of this story. But sooner or later I think I'll want to see him pushing towards a goal rather than killing raider after raider. And for the record, Conan, Conacht, and Caollan– just because you're a god-dang Cimmerian, it doesn't mean your name has to start with the letter "C."

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8
Conan the Cimmerian #5

Nov 23, 2008

After seeing these little glimpses of his life, anyone else really want a Connacht series?

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9.6
Dead of Night: Devil-Slayer #1

Sep 8, 2008

Devil Slayer #1, is the perfect setup for this mini-series. The choice to make the reader wait to see the demons, to commit an entire issue to Danny and his back-story works so incredibly well. Keene and Samnee compliment each other greatly, and if they can keep this up they've got a winner on their hands. I was expecting demons right away and now I'm glad I didn't get it. If this sounds up your alley, or close to it, don't miss this book.

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7
Dead of Night: Devil-Slayer #3

Nov 23, 2008

Even though much of Devil Slayer feels like it's been done in one form or another, it's still a great read. All of the elements tie together really well, which makes the generic plot elements less noticeable. A satisfying conclusion is gonna be a bit of a challenge, but I think this team's up for the task. Hopefully, this becomes an ongoing series, there's a lot of potential for future stories.

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8.4
Farscape #1

Jan 3, 2009

I grabbed this book on a whim because I loved the TV series. I fully expected it to be another GhostbustersThe Other Side and was prepared to bash it without remorse in this review. That was before I realized series creator Rockne O'Bannon was involved. My only reaction now is, "what took you so long?" If you loved the series or Sci-Fi in general, buy this book. The quality of writing is outstanding, the art is solid, and it's a continuation of a great series cut down in its prime.

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5
Ghostbusters: The Other Side #2

Nov 18, 2008

While it remains an interesting read, The Other Side does little to argue that it's just using the license. There's nothing that really adds to the Ghostbusters story. There are many departures from the source material and none of them are for the better. And while no particular fault stands out enough to make the book "suck," we as Ghostbusters fans should want, and deserve better.

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1.6
Ghostbusters: The Other Side #3

Dec 24, 2008

From the art to the writing to the premise, this story falls short. Ghostbusters is my favorite movie, so I may be the wrong person to read and review this. Still, I'll always want another good Ghostbusters story. I need to learn to cut my losses earlier. If you're a hardcore fan of the films, this isn't for you. If not, there may be a silver lining for you, but I wouldn't bet on that either.

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0.8
Ghostbusters: The Other Side #4

Jan 21, 2009

To say I didn't like this story is a bit of an understatement. My level of disappointed nerd-rage is hard to put into words. I would say for Ghostbusters fans this is about as close to nuking the fridge as you can get. The story had potential but things went downhill at an alarming rate. Stay away Ghostbusters fans, it looked good from afar but up close it's far from good.

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9.6
Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch #1

Nov 3, 2008

Mike Mignola never ceases to amaze me. I think his use of mythology– and more importantly different mythologies, is what makes his stories unique. A lot of writers will pull from the bible, or something else mainstream. How many writers will pull Moloch outta the hat? Part of the reason he's able to do that is the character of Hellboy and the world he's created. I do agree with Kyle that parts of the book are hard to follow because of the art style. At the same time most of the people who read Hellboy expect this style and are prepared. Hellboy's had some really good one-shots and mini-series lately. This book is no exception. Like those other stories, my only problem is that it ends. This is an excellent comic, with great appeal for new and old fans alike.

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9.6
Hellboy: The Crooked Man #3

Sep 29, 2008

It's rare in comics to have an arc maintain such high quality from start to finish. Initially, I was expecting more of a direct confrontation with Hellboy, Tom and The Crooked Man. I'm glad I didn't get it, this isn't that kind of story, and that is enough reason to pick this up.

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8.4
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1

Dec 10, 2008

It looks like it's gonna be another rough one for Hellboy. Things have gotten bad early and we haven't even found a giant yet. Mike Mignola is one of the best writers working in comics today. His consistency and originality are second to none. This is another awesome Hellboy story that's a great starting point for new fans and a great continuation for vets.

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2
Indiana Jones & The Tomb of the Gods #2

Sep 24, 2008

Adapting a license like Indiana Jones to me, should simply be a "go big or go home" mentality. The story's pacing is slow and it's plot feels unpolished. We don't know anything about this key, or it's origin, or what it protects. Not enough questions are introduced to get you interested. As a result, it leaves the title to be too bland, or generic for such an action-packed franchise. Things might pick up, and the book might have a great climax in the end, but I wouldn't hold my breath after two clunky issues. I'd say, wait for the trade.

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8
Joker's Asylum: The Joker #1

Jul 10, 2008

Sadly, I feel consistency may be tough to find in this series since a new creative takes over for the next issue. From the perspective of making deadlines, I get it, but it's almost a sure thing that the overall story will suffer since each team will probably have a new take on The Joker. There's a lot of good work in this issue, for what it's worth, and I'm excited to read more about Arkham's best, seen in the eyes of Arkham's worst.

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9
Joker's Asylum: Two-Face #1

Aug 5, 2008

The worst part of this series is that it's ending. Lord knows Arkham has more crazies who could benefit from a Joker's Asylum run. A weekly comic with such high quality is certainly rare, and that alone should warrant a purchase. I would have preferred to read this issue much earlier in the series, but I'm glad DC saved the best for last. It's definitely overtaken The Penguin story as my favorite issue.

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1.6
My Name Is Bruce #1

Sep 28, 2008

I feel a prelude or non-direct tie-in would've been a better way to go for this book. It's pretty clear that it wasn't a priority for everyone involved. Since that's the case, why spend your money on it?

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7
Punisher (2004) #60

Aug 20, 2008

I don't know if Garth Ennis will ever come back to work on The Punisher. I certainly hope so. I wish he'd gone out with more of a bang. This issue is more of a fade away than a spectacular burnout. I was expecting something huge, something that would be near impossible to followup. Instead, I got a solid story that feels anticlimactic because it's the end of the Ennis era.

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7
Punisher (2004) #61

Aug 26, 2008

This is a fun read that should help the Ennis zealots see that the character can move on without him. Some of it feels like it's been done, but it's early in the arc and frankly it's a well done well issue. Hurwitz and Campbell are off to a good start and hopefully this issue is the beginning of something great.

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3
Punisher (2004) #62

Sep 24, 2008

Ultimately, I think this book is unfocused. The ideas are there, but the execution is lacking. The Punisher feels out of place in his own title. Hurwitz needs to find the middle-ground between his inner monologue for Castle and everything else. As it stands now, The Punisher is trying to be too many things. It's not that the character can't be multifaceted, but those facets need to be on the same spectrum.

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9.6
Punisher (2004): Little Black Book #1

Jun 18, 2008

I can't say enough about this comic. Since there are so many books for each hero these days, it's rare to find one that nails it across the board. This issue was so good that it makes me sad that Victor Gischler won't be given the keys to Punisher MAX once Garth Ennis leaves. This is a definite read for Punisher fans.

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8
Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe #1

Aug 23, 2008

Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe holds up pretty well. It's so over the top it's almost funny at times, but the core of the book is the story which remains satisfying. There are better stories out there, and it's harder to fully appreciate since it's just an alternate time line story, but it's a complete story and one no true Punisher fan should miss.

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8.4
Punisher: War Zone (2008) #2

Dec 24, 2008

I don't think Garth Ennis will ever truly leave The Punisher. His run on the character was defining for both his career and character. Valley Forge was his final arc, now it's War Zone, and I'm sure there will be another "ending" down the line. But, Ennis writing Punisher isn't something anyone should complain about. The resurrection of Ma might seem like a stretch from a story perspective… her death appeared pretty final. But, that hasn't stopped these two issues from kicking ass.

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7
Punisher: War Zone (2008) #4

Jan 8, 2009

It's a slow one for the Punisher this week. I'm not sure this issue was entirely necessary, but we'll know in a few weeks at the arc's conclusion. The content is good, but you're not missing too much if you skip this issue.

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8
Punisher: War Zone (2008) #5

Jan 21, 2009

As goofy as parts of it are, I love this story. The deadpan humor of Castle's inner monologue is fantastic. The lighter tone of a Marvel Knights Punisher makes the character more accessible to fans with a weaker stomach, but Ennis' chops as a writer keep it hardcore for the diehards. Punisher fans new and old should give this a read.

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8
Spawn #185

Nov 2, 2008

I think Jason brings up some pretty good points about this issue and Spawn as a whole. It's a series that was a top seller. Then something went wrong. Going back to issue 100, when Simmons arc seemed to end, but didn't. After killing Malebolgia instead of going to heaven and gaining redemption (a goal for much of the series), he walks away and says both sides are equally bad. That may be true, but it felt like a cop-out to keep Simmons on the title. So in my opinion, the decision to kill or remove Simmons from the equation is 84 issues late, but it's a good move. I wish he'd gotten more of a send-off, and the fact that he didn't makes me wonder if he's really gone. McFarlane's return has definitely brought some new life to the book, even one issue in. I agree that issue 185 hasn't answered many questions but I'm willing to give McFarlane the benefit of the doubt. This book's peaked my interest.

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6
Spike: After the Fall #1

Jul 15, 2008

Spike: After The Fall may turn out to be very good. Maybe Lynch is a slow starter, and we've yet to really see where this is going. I'm finding it tough though, and I watched the show! So I can only imagine how it would be for a newcomer. One thing's for sure: without some clarity as to what's going on this series is in danger of losing readership.

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7
Spike: After the Fall #2

Aug 6, 2008

Though prior experience with Spike and his world are a plus, issue two is better than issue one. Lynch does a good job of keeping things interesting with great little moments, even though it can be confusing at times. I just wish we could get a flashback or something to bridge the gap between the show and the comic for those of us who haven't been following it.

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8
Superman/Batman #49

Jun 26, 2008

This comic has a lot of action in it, and I was able to get into what was going on right away. This is a credit to both the writing and the art teams. The book's concluding scenes really tie everything together and speak volumes for the characters. I was able to pick this up, get right into it, and enjoy it without reading the rest of the series. I think that's as high of a selling point as anything.

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7
Superman/Batman #50

Aug 3, 2008

Batman and Superman are like brothers in many ways, and this story reinforces that. Having Thomas Wayne reverse engineer much of Wayne Tech from his time on Krypton is a great touch. That said, I feel my biggest complaint is that it doesn't seem like much happened; since most of the issue is a flashback it's hard to really feel that progression. While it remains unclear if we'll continue to see Thomas Wayne and Jor El in this book it's still a good read with lots of good stuff for any fan.

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8
Superman/Batman #53

Nov 5, 2008

Even without too many seeds being planted for the arc, this issue does more than enough to get me excited. The pressure is on for issue two, since not much was established beyond the power-switch. Nevertheless, the role-reversal should have a wide appeal for both these heroes. Fans should check this one out.

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8
The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs #2

Jun 18, 2008

Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs is a great read for anyone who liked the movie. It has the same cult, classic feel that made the movie so much fun. One thing I really enjoyed is the fact that the paper feels like old school newsprint – not the glossy pages we're now accustomed to. It may have been a budget thing, or a style choice, but it's fun either way. If you liked the movie, buy this comic!

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7
The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs #4

Sep 2, 2008

Lost Boys has been one of the most enjoyable arcs I've read in a while. The respect to the source material is unmatched by any tie-in I've seen and that's a relief. I've said it before: if you're a fan of The Lost Boys mythos buy this book, you won't be disappointed.

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4
Transformers Spotlight: Optimus Prime 3D #1

Nov 25, 2008

While the idea of a 3D comic sounds great, this is clearly an attempt to snatch a few extra bucks. They reprint a decent story, and charge an extra three bucks for crappy glasses that won't make it through a single read? No thanks. If you can find it, get the original run of this comic because six bucks is just way too much for this.

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8
Transformers: All Hail Megatron #1

Jul 14, 2008

All Hail Megatron #1 is an excellent pilot and does everything a good first issue should. It sets up the world quickly and efficiently while leaving you wanting more. How does Megatron seize complete control of the planet? How did he take out Prime? Why haven't The Autobots attempted to save us? I want to know, and if you read this comic, so will you.

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8
Trinity #1

Jun 14, 2008

Fate has a lot to do with the story, so if that's not your thing this isn't the book for you. A lot of balls are put in the air very quickly, so the question remains as to whether or not it'll pay of down the road. My only complaint with Kurt Busiek's writing is his handling of Batman's dialogue. When he appears as Bruce (which is most of the book) he seems to stay in that persona even when it's just him talking to Superman and Wonder Woman. Luckily, when he's in the suit it feels more at home, the no-nonsense character we know and love. Not much is revealed in this opening chapter but there's room for a lot of potential.

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5
Trinity #2

Jun 17, 2008

The main problem I have with weekly comics is the pacing. More issues means more time in most people's minds, so there's a real tendency to "pace." That's why I prefer monthly titles, there's just a larger sense of urgency to keep everything fresh and exciting. The hallucinations our heroes experience are really confusing, until you find out that the events aren't really happening. Once you know that, it's expected to force some progress (or answers) and none come! Instead of moving to the Batcave to analyze, we get a Green Lantern story. This many missteps (and we're only at issue #2) isn't a good sign.

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4
Trinity #3

Jun 25, 2008

While better than last week, Trinity #3 still fails to capture the promise of issue one. This issue has a lot of fighting and very little plot. It's all flash, no substance. That being said, I still find myself hanging on, as there are a few points that peak my interest. My concern for the casual reader is they'll have given up on the series by the time it gets really interesting and it'll be too late to jump back on.

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5
Trinity #4

Jun 30, 2008

Trinity #4 is better than the last two issues, but not by much. There are so many people involved that it's getting harder and harder to differentiate who's doing well and who's not. This issue has slowed the nosedive and even ends with a glimmer of hope that things will start to get more interesting, but at the end of the day I want proof, not leads.

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7
Trinity #5

Jul 9, 2008

With Konvikt out of the way, it finally feels like Trinity can move forward. The League has been fighting him since week two, and he just feels like a plot device to establish what each member of the Trinity brings to the table. At the end of the day, it's taken Busiek and Nicieza five weeks to establish these characters without giving a real sense of what's going on. With that out of the way now hopefully, we can start to see this team (and the creative team) cash in on the promise of issue one.

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7
Trinity #6

Jul 15, 2008

The up and down roller-coaster continue with this issue. It's not that any of it is bad, but it's either all action or all information. No matter which of those is the case, half of the story (Busiek or Nicieza's) seems to suffer. If they could get this series running all cylinders we might have something really great on our hands, till then it's just slightly above average.

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2
Trinity #7

Jul 22, 2008

Inconsistency continues with Trinity. Busiek can't seem to decide if it's an action story or something more cerebral. Sure the last five to ten issues may be incredible, but is anyone still going to be reading? We all know that a payoff is only as good as its setup. Someone should mention this to the creative team.

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0.8
Trinity #9

Aug 5, 2008

I may be a minority in thinking so, but this series isn't good. Nine weeks, and almost no story movement. Nine issues is almost 300 pages. I've read books with complete stories much shorter than that. I consider myself a fairly patient man. I don't need constant explosions, loud music, or hot babes to be entertained (though it helps). With Trinity, I just don't have it in me anymore. I hope you don't either, don't buy this book. It's time me and this title parted ways.

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8
Ultimate Hulk Annual #1

Jan 10, 2009

Think what you will about Jeph Loeb, I like his work on Hulk. I think this issue would've worked better as a one-shot than the intro to an ongoing series since there's no hint as to what Hulk will be up to. Still, this series has the potential to be pretty interesting, I just hope it isn't a funny series of mishaps. If we see Hulk at the laundromat I'm out.

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7
Ultimate Origins #4

Sep 12, 2008

The biggest problem with this series is that it's tough to stand on it's own. Wolverine's book was part one-shot, part setup. Cap was a retelling of his origin, as was Magneto. Hulk is mostly about Fury with parts of the larger story. Each issue is good, but it's different month to month. From the writing to the art, it has a lot of good parts but so far Ultimate Origins has yet to feel whole.

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5
Ultimatum #1

Nov 5, 2008

Although a lot of fans don't like Jeph Loeb's writing, I tend to in general; feeling that he's more hit and miss than most. I didn't read Ultimates 3 but the consensus wasn't good. Still "the end" of the Ultimate U is an interesting idea in itself. What's frustrating about the book is that there's too much setup of the universe and not enough for the story. Most of the book shows the major players and recaps their relationships. That's fine, but one would have to assume that anyone reading Ultimatum would be up to date with these relationships. If I hadn't read Ultimate Origins, I'd be clueless to what was going on, and I'm still not so sure. Generally I like to give an arc at least two issues before I decide to pass on it, and it's a good thing here because it looks like the story won't start till issue 2 . I agree with Andrew though, this story's appeal is more on the event than the characters. But now, we have a broad-strokes idea of the world, so hopefully things can get spaced ou

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1.6
Wolverine: Chop Shop #1

Nov 11, 2008

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7
Wolverine: Killing Made Simple #1

Aug 13, 2008

Killing Wolverine is a fun read, I'll admit that. However, neither story feels as full or satisfying as it could, so it's hard to justify the four bucks with so many other better titles out there. If you're tight on cash you might want to pass on it, but hardcore Wolvie fans or those with some extra dough may want to give it a shot.

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2
Wolverine: Manifest Destiny #1

Oct 28, 2008

Having Wolverine finally deal with his returned memories is a good concept for a story. It's a shame that the end result is mediocre. It's not that things can't or won't pick up, it's just that the first issue has to set the tone for the remainder of the series. This one misses the mark by a long shot.

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