Chad Nevett's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Book Resources Reviews: 811
6.4Avg. Review Rating

4.0
5 Days to Die #1

Sep 2, 2010

While the idea behind "5 Days to Die" is interesting, Schmidt is in such a rush to get the story going that it loses a lot of its impact because of a lack of context. Maybe future issues will fill in the gaps more, but, right here, it's hard to properly connect with the protagonist or get the main idea behind the series without it being spelled out in a text piece.

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8.0
7 Psychopaths #1

May 26, 2010

Fans of European comics, war comics, or Sean Phillips' art should give "7 Psychopaths" a read as it presents a novel idea to the heavily worn concept of assassinating Hitler. The idea and character work demonstrates a lot of promise for the remainder of the story and I'm sure I'm not the only one very interested to see how this mission plays out.

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8.0
Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1

Jul 5, 2010

You're not likely to find a better looking comic this week than "Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plan" #1 and the art alone makes it worthwhile.

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7.0
Absolution #0

Jun 10, 2009

Some might see the advertising that says this is "the king of masked hero mayhem that only Avatar can deliver" and assume it's all swearing, nudity, and graphic violence, but this issue stays away from being too explicit. Of course, the sort of events that it would take to drive Dusk into this sort of dark territory would be horrifying and not for squeamish readers, but Gage and Viacava do well to keep most of it off-panel. A great introduction to what, hopefully, turns out to be a great series.

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7.0
Absolution #1

Aug 5, 2009

"Absolution" has a lot of promise and may very well turn out to be a great examination of the effects that being a superhero can have on a character over an extended period of time. The ideas are there, but the execution just doesn't match them yet.

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7.0
Absolution #6

Jan 17, 2010

The second half of the comic isn't just a let down because of the art, as the writing falls short there as well. While the initial discussion between John and Chris is powerful and some of the best work I've read of Christos Gage, the complexity and reality of the situation is pushed aside for a far more simple and open-ended conclusion. Not entirely a failure, the final pages certainly lack the maturity and fearlessness of the opening pages. Unfortunately, those final impressions are what the reader is left with of "Absolution," a book that came close to being great but settled for being good.

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8.0
Act-i-vate Primer #1

Nov 5, 2009

In a book of this sort, it's hard to pick out best and worst strips since that will depend on what genres and types of stories you enjoy, but, as I said earlier, there is plenty here that everyone will enjoy. An eclectic, sprawling anthology, "Act-i-vate Primer" showcases the best that Act-i-vate's got and, as Warren Ellis notes in his foreword, at the bare minimum, you can think of this as helping some cartoonists keep putting out quality work online for free -" and get plenty of great comics in the process.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #2

Oct 5, 2011

For the first time in a long time, Superman is a vibrant, engaging character thanks to "Action Comics." His core values haven't been lost, merely shifted to different targets than traditional for the character, harkening back to when the character debuted in "Action Comics" in the late '30s. It's a bold reworking of the character and, so far, it's made for some highly entertaining comics.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #4

Dec 11, 2011

In the end, "Action Comics" #4 is necessary to the story that Grant Morrison is telling, but that doesn't make it as lively or energetic as the first three issues. The action is determined by an external force rather than the characters themselves, and that sucks a lot of the drive out of the issue. Things happen because they happen and Morrison doesn't seem to find that any more interesting than we do. Hopefully, this issue is just a hiccup in an otherwise strong run.

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10
Aetheric Mechanics #1

Nov 18, 2008

The solutions to the explicit and implicit mysteries are the same and very quite ingenious on Ellis's part as the revelation both exposes the utter lack of depth in Raker and pushes him to grow beyond himself. "Aetheric Mechanics" may seem simple on the surface, but it is one of the best things Ellis has written in recent years, mixing a sentimentality not often seen with his obsession with emerging technology to a wonderful effect. He and Pagliarani create a world that is intricate, detailed, and not easily dismissed.

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5.0
After Dark #1

Jul 28, 2010

"After Dark" #1 does somewhat feel like a movie pitch with its clich plot and ensemble cast, but Peter Milligan throws in some nice, dark touches that make it worth giving a look if a 50-page comic about a post-apocalyptic world appeals to you. With Leonardo Manco scheduled to do the art for the second issue, things should be more consistent on that end in two months.

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4.0
Age of Heroes #4

Aug 18, 2010

What "Age of Heroes" #4 boils down to is an 11-page Black Panther story that fans of the character would, understandably, be hesitant to pay four dollars for, a fun quasi-Captain America story, and then two teaser 'stories' for low-interest characters. Again, I'm not sure who the target audience for this comic is. On an individual level, most of the stories are well done and offer something for those interested, but there's no overriding theme or idea that ties them together, making this comic work as a whole.

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3.0
Age of the Sentry #5

Feb 4, 2009

(Hey, look, in CBR's preview it's Legion of Su "- the Silver Age Guardians of the Galaxy!)

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7.0
Age of X Alpha #1

Jan 26, 2011

The main story of "Age of X" doesn't get going in "Alpha," but this different world is established, as are some of the different takes on familiar characters. The first and final stories are the most effective, and the framing sequence packs in a lot of information. Think of this issue as a primer for when the story kicks off next month in "X-Men Legacy" #245 and a good one at that.

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3.0
Age of X: Universe #2

May 2, 2011

Ultimately, "Age of X Universe" didn't add much to the larger story and comes off like an extraneous project added on after the actual story was fully formed. Within that framework, some interesting things could have been done, but what happens here is a clichd 'change of conscience' that doesn't work really.

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5.0
Air #8

Apr 17, 2009

As a follow-up to last issue's attempt to bring in new readers, I'm not sure how successful "Air" #8 is, as it attempts to drive home that what's happening is Very Important without accomplishing that goal. It's really a forgettable comic, neither bad nor good, it lies somewhere in the middle.

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6.0
All Nighter #1

Jun 27, 2011

David Hahn begins "All Nighter" #1 incredibly well and can't quite live up to that first page. The rest of the comic is entertaining, bolstered by the protagonist and his strong art, but it never gets going completely. Right now, it meanders from scene to scene, looking for direction. There's enough promise in this first issue that the second warrants a look, though, and, hopefully, with the introductory stage over, the plot can get moving then.

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4.0
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #1

Jun 13, 2011

As far as first issues go, "Alpha Flight" #1 is unremarkable. The fight is serviceable and does its job, but it's hard to say you'll remember anything about it a couple of days later. So much is going on that none of it gets a chance to make an impact except for the odd thing. The issue does end on a strong, interesting note and that may be its one saving grace. That cliffhanger is a hard one to not want to follow up on.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #593

May 6, 2009

As I said before, McKone's art is at its best here. His Spider-Man is almost always shown in motion, giving the character a real dynamic feel not always gotten across. This is a fast-paced issue and the art more than keeps up. Waid and McKone seem perfectly in sync, working to make the other seem stronger. Together, they've produced a fun, thrilling comic book "- pretty much what "Amazing Spider-Man" should be.

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3.0
Amazing Spider-Man #610

Nov 10, 2009

As a fan of Ben Reilly and the Clone Saga, I had high hopes for "Who is Ben Reilly?" but it's a go-nowhere story that collapses under its own overly complicated plot, much like the original Clone Saga. Marc Guggenheim has done some good work on "Amazing Spider-Man" over the past 20 months and it's a shame that this is how he leaves the book.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #638

Jul 21, 2010

Not the train wreck comic that people thought it would be based on "One More Day," the first part of "One Moment in Time" blends the classic story of Peter and Mary Jane's wedding with new events to show how history was changed. It's a small, subtle change and the shifting art styles is a little distracting, but the overall package is good. This issue is a good sign for the rest of the story.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #639

Aug 4, 2010

So far, "One Moment in Time" has surpassed expectations with Quesada sticking to strong character work and Rivera's gorgeous pages. The explanation for Mary Jane and Peter never marrying but remaining a couple is a serviceable one and plays rather well thanks to the raw emotion on the page. It should be interesting to see how the next two issues explain the events surrounding "One More Day."

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #640

Aug 18, 2010

It's still not entirely clear why this story is necessary, but Quesada and Rivera are certainly making it an interesting read. This issue sags more than the previous two, because the idea of a loved one of Spider-Man being targeted once he reveals his identity has been so built up and discussed that actually seeing it happen is tedious. And, there's an element of this story that simply feels like Quesada is checking off the boxes of plot points instigated by "One More Day." The identity becomes secret again, and Mary Jane and Peter break up? Check back next issue.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man #641

Sep 8, 2010

There's a symmetry to how "One Moment in Time" ends after it began by using and adding to "Amazing Spider-Man" annual #19 with this issue rewriting scenes from "Amazing Spider-Man" #545, the finale of "One More Day." Joe Quesada shows off a bit with dialogue that uses the same phrasing with small changes and it's effective enough, though lacking in an organic flow at times. "One Moment in Time" does answer all of the questions it promised to address and Paolo Rivera's art has been fantastic throughout. Still, in the end, the story can't help but feel like it exists just to answer questions that didn't necessarily need to be asked ever again. Nothing presented here makes the Spider-Man universe a more interesting place.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #654.1

Feb 16, 2011

As an introduction to the new Venom, "Amazing Spider-Man" #654.1 is a fine comic. The plot is generic and allows for Flash to be both suave and an action hero, playing upon his lost legs and his double-life especially well. While this may not be the fantastic new 'jumping on point' for "Amazing Spider-Man," it is an effective way to sell the new "Venom" series to readers.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #677

Jan 15, 2012

For fans of "Daredevil," this crossover is almost like getting two issues this month, while regular readers of "Amazing Spider-Man" get a taste of what makes "Daredevil" such a great comic. The plot here is one that allows Waid and Rios to focus on the characters, which isn't often the case with crossovers. Usually, the plot drives things to the point where characters get lost; it's refreshing that that isn't the case here. This comic shows that Waid knows what the coolest parts of crossovers and team-ups are: seeing your favorite characters interacting. Frankly, after this issue, I'd be happy to read a Spider-Man/Daredevil team-up book every month.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man Presents Jackpot #1

Jan 12, 2010

There are a couple of interesting asides that give the book some value: the idea that Ehret is deliberately underachieving, by only going after regular, unpowered villains; the fact that she's a superheroine who is also a mother; the look at her time spent with The Initiative; and the application of her training, with the question of whether it's really adequate. Any of these things could have been turned into a strong center for a Jackpot series, but instead it's a fairly generic story in the Spider-Man format, and a bit of a wasted opportunity for it.

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6.0
Anchor #5

Feb 14, 2010

Not only does "The Anchor" #5 mark the beginning of the second story arc, it also ships on the same day as the first trade, which collects the first four issues of the series. It may be somewhat stagnate for the beginning of a new story arc, but that also makes this issue a great jumping on point for new readers.

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4.0
Ani-Max #1

Aug 28, 2010

"Ani-Max" #1 has its charms, but the concept is blatantly unoriginal (doubly so if you consider Animal Man), not just in the powers the character has, but in the way he obtains them. If you ignore what came before, this is an entertaining comic, though the art has some noticeable rough patches and the origin story seems crammed in. It will be interesting to see if this continues as a comic series and how the story develops since a pilot/origin is limiting to a degree.

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7.0
Anna Mercury #5

Jan 8, 2009

This five-issue series already has a sequel in the works and its ending is another allusion to an Ellis work: "The Authority" #4 where the question of right and wrong is measured in a body count. Were more people saved than died? The Authority were content with the answer while, here, we get a different answer, a more heroic one. Saving the day may be all that matters, but that doesn't mean you can't do it better next time. A wonderfully optimistic message if I've ever seen one.

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7.0
Anna Mercury 2 #1

Jun 11, 2009

If the first series and this issue are any indication, "Anna Mercury 2" will be action-packed with some witty dialogue and thoughtful scientific and sociological concepts. High-concept blockbuster movie comics at their best.

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6.0
Annihilators #2

Apr 11, 2011

"Annihilators" continues to be a great value with two full-length stories for $4.99, and the second issue is an improvement over the first. Still, the Rocket Raccoon and Groot feature holds the comic back as it flails about for direction and finds none. The Annihilators' story definitely picks up and, hopefully, the direction that both stories get in this issue will mean that next issue will be another improvement.

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6.0
Annihilators #4

Jun 12, 2011

Not everything works in "Annihilators" #4 and it's the weakest cosmic title from Abnett and Lanning in a while. After "The Thanos Initiative," this feels like a breather more than anything. A light romp lacking in cosmic consequences. That's a smart approach, but one that does hold the comic back to a degree. With "Earthfall" on the horizon, hopefully this was just a bump in the road instead of an indicator of a larger problem.

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5.0
Annihilators: Earthfall #2

Oct 31, 2011

Conceptually, "Annihilators: Earthfall" #2 is smart, playing the Annihilators and Avengers against one another in a manner that makes sense and would seem out of place if it didn't happen. The art doesn't carry its share of the load for the fight scenes, though, which is disappointing. An entire issue of the Avengers fighting the Annihilators could have been a visual feast and, instead, it's merely a good comic.

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4.0
Annihilators: Earthfall #4

Jan 2, 2012

"Annihilators: Earthfall" was a big enough story to warrant more than four issues, something that was apparent early on and no more so than in this final issue where rushing to the finish undercuts the entire story. Everything continues along at the same pace it always has and, then, it's suddenly done. With no new Annihilators comics or any cosmic books from Abnett and Lanning on the horizon, it's a disappointing way for their time on the cosmic books at Marvel to seemingly end.

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6.0
Artifacts #0

May 3, 2010

It may not be a strong story, but "Artifacts" #0 does introduce the centerpieces of the upcoming Top Cow event and gives readers the necessary information to pick up the first issue. As well, by giving information on all 13 artifacts, there is a mix of known objects and new ones for Top Cow fans to learn about here. All in all, a solid issue to lead into the event.

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1.0
Astonishing Thor #1

Nov 24, 2010

"Astonishing Thor" #1 is astonishingly bad. There's barely a story, groan-inducing dialogue, stiff art, faux-painted colors, and it makes for an unimpressive start. While not tying directly into current continuity, this comic does rely on Marvel continuity heavily and is meant to be the Thor of the Marvel universe, but doesn't sound or even act like him. Of the current crop of Thor titles, this is, by far, the worst.

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7.0
Atlas #3

Jul 21, 2010

"Atlas" #3 is a good superhero comic where the art outshines the writing a little. Parker crafts an interesting, entertaining story, but his dialogue is flat. It's easy, though, to see why so many love the book.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #1

May 19, 2010

"Avengers" #1 does exactly what it needs to: heralds the beginning of "The Heroic Age" with the reformation of the Avengers. Bendis's writing has the appropriate weight to it and Romita on art helps a great deal in getting the epic feeling across. This is the title that some fans have been clamoring for ever since Bendis wrote "Avengers Disassembled" and it's a fantastic debut.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #4

Aug 25, 2010

"Avengers" #4 manages to up the ante after three issues of action. Bendis and Romita are going all out in this arc to create a larger than life time travel story for the Avengers and, so far, they're knocking it out of the park. And, if the final scene is any indication, issue five should be another winner.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #6

Nov 1, 2010

"Avengers" #6 a fitting and smart ending to a very strong opening story for the relaunched "Avengers." If Brian Michael Bendis hadn't already cemented himself as one of the title's top writers, his work here with John Romita, Jr. definitely does the job. I can't imagine a better way to kick off this book or the "Heroic Age."

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #9

Jan 30, 2011

"Avengers" #9 finally exposes the Illuminati and reveals how the Hood began his quest for the Infinity Gems. It's an issue driven by characters, something that Bendis and Romita both excel at. For some, like me, this issue has been a long time coming, and it delivers.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #12

Apr 21, 2011

The first five issues of this story didn't quite blow the doors off, but "Avengers" #12 finishes things well. Not everything works, especially the first scene, and, yet, it's satisfying. The art is great-looking and the final pages are smart.

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #14

Jun 17, 2011

"Avengers" #14 does what a good event tie-in should: it tells a story unique to the title that manages to expand upon the main story of the event. A whole issue of the newly Worthy Thing and the Red Hulk fighting in Manhattan fits the bill.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #20

Dec 22, 2011

For what it is, "Avengers" #20 is an entertaining issue. The awkwardness and silliness in play is charming and grounds a story that seems primed to fly off into the 'gravest of threats to ever face the Avengers' territory. The inversion of the surface and reality of Osborn's attacks is interesting: the one that seems the strangest is the most effective, while the rest are so obviously set up to fail that one wonders why bother -- aside from the prospect of Spider-Hulks, of course. With this story still in the opening barrages, it's hard to take it too seriously when the stakes are likely to get higher in upcoming issues. For now, "Avengers" #20 is an entertaining superhero pop comic.

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #21

Jan 23, 2012

H.A.M.M.E.R. attacking the Avengers and catching them off guard isn't an original idea, and, yet, Brian Michael Bendis and Renato Guedes pull it off through intelligent pacing, structure, characterization, and good art. It goes to show that, even if something has been done before, good execution can win out.

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4.0
Avengers (2010) #22

Feb 20, 2012

Despite the inter-Avengers Norman Osborn crossover humming along nicely both here and in "New Avengers," "Avengers" #22 is a definite step backwards quality-wise. With the Avengers captured, the story is in a holding pattern until the escape or prison break from Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. It would be unearned and bad storytelling if the heroes were captured then immediately escaped, defeating their captors. It makes this issue necessary for pacing purposes -- but not much else.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) Annual #1

Jan 7, 2012

"Avengers Annual" #1 raises some interesting points and seems to be a part of a larger story Bendis is telling about the public turning on the Avengers. Wonder Man's argument against the Avengers has some merit and doesn't get the follow-through it warrants, especially in the response from the Avengers. Hopefully, Bendis will return to the ideas raised here and develop them further.

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7.0
Avengers 1959 #1

Oct 9, 2011

"Avengers 1959" #1 delivers on everything that fans of Howard Chaykin would want: a simple, straight forward story with fantastic storytelling and line work. When the 1959 Avengers team showed up in "New Avengers," the idea was too good to let rest and, thankfully, Marvel thought so, too.

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5.0
Avengers Academy #15

Jun 19, 2011

There are some good moments peppered throughout "Avengers Academy" #15 that try to rise above the melodrama and clichs inherent to the premise of young superheroes 'going off to war.' It's an entirely appropriate plot for a "Fear Itself" tie-in, but Gage's writing can't escape the inherent limitations. Like I said at the beginning of this review: competent yet unremarkable.

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6.0
Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet #1

Aug 18, 2010

Fans of the original "Infinity Gauntlet" may miss the cosmic characters or the stronger focus on Thanos, but "Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet" #1 sets up the premise well with a focus on the Marvel heroes that a wider range of readers would be familiar with. Some of the choices Clevinger and Black make may raise some eyebrows, but it's clear that they're telling their version of the story and have a plan. Plus, Churilla drawing Thanos! I cannot stress that last point enough.

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6.0
Avengers Origins: Thor #1

Dec 4, 2011

If you've never read the story of Thor, "Avengers Origins: Thor" is an entertaining and coherent read until the final scenes. Kathryn Immonen writes the characters with depth and Al Barrionuevo matches her on art. Unfortunately, this story isn't simply an old one that's been told numerous times, it's been told numerous times recently in numerous mini-series and one-shots from Marvel. With a plethora of recent Thor stories about his youth, this comic stands out amongst the "Avengers Origins" books as the one that seems unnecessary.

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8.0
Avengers Prime #1

Jun 2, 2010

"Avengers Prime" #1 begins the work of repairing the damage done to the relationship of the three heroes most consider the core of the Avengers: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Thor. Bendis and Davis get things off to a great start by addressing their problems and moving on to the big action stuff and a classic Avengers villain.

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8.0
Avengers Prime #2

Aug 4, 2010

Despite the odd and problematic reveal at the end of the issue, "Avengers Prime" #2 is a fun, entertaining issue with a fantastic creative team all working in harmony. This is how superhero comics are done and it's a shame that issues only come out every two months.

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8.0
Avengers: The Initiative #27

Aug 26, 2009

"Avengers: The Initiative" #27 is a fantastic done-in-one issue that compresses a two-part story into a single issue without feeling rushed. If you haven't tried this book yet, this issue is completely new reader friendly and definitely worth paying three bucks for.

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5.0
Avengers: The Initiative #34

Mar 24, 2010

There's a general sense of padding about the issue, that it's there to simply show what happens between the panels of "Siege" #3 where the important, essential actions happen. This is the leftovers, at least in the second half. It doesn't stand up against other tie-ins that manage to carve their own little corner of the story, showcasing something unique about the event. While the beginning of the issue does that, the second half is largely a repeat of "Siege" #3. It's a decent, solid issue, but somewhat redundant placed so closely to the main "Siege" series when it clearly has more unique ideas and characters to focus on.

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6.0
Avengers: The Origin #1

Apr 8, 2010

It's hard to say if this book is aimed just at continuity nerds or it's meant to be a window into the Avengers' past for newer readers brought in over the past few years by Brian Michael Bendis, but it's a good issue either way. Both Casey and Noto have a flair for combining the bombastic elements of these old stories with modern styles and trappings. There are a few things that don't work, but it's an entertaining read that gives the story of the Avengers' formation a little bit more room to breathe.

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6.0
Avengers: The Origin #3

Jun 2, 2010

Some may consider books like "Avengers: The Origin" a waste of time, paper, and talent, but Joe Casey and Phil Noto bring a strong level of craft to the material and manage to introduce a few moments that make it rise above the 'expanding on a story everyone knows' level. Casey's Ant-Man or Noto's Asgard are great things that wouldn't happen were it not for this project. I can't wait to see what other intriguing or stunning moments that come out of the two remaining issues.

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7.0
Avengers: X-Sanction #2

Jan 7, 2012

Halfway in, "Avengers: X-Sanction" is proving an entertaining read. Cable taking down the Avengers one by one has had some nice surprises and the storytelling's directness and clarity is refreshing. Jeph Loeb's previous experience writing Cable is one of the reasons why the writing is so sincere and direct. He knows the character and doesn't need to work his way into his head or get to know him as he writes the story. This series was sold as Cable vs. the Avengers and, so far, it's living up to that hype.

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6.0
Azrael #8

May 24, 2010

A solid superhero book, on the surface "Azrael" #8 doesn't look like it can stand up to a lot of other books on the shelves, but, upon a closer reading, it's compelling and interesting. Plus, the ending is absolutely wonderful. One of the best final pages I've read all year.

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4.0
Azrael #9

Jun 21, 2010

While the ideas are fantastic in "Azrael" #9, the execution falls down as the story is cut short. I would have loved to see a longer, more complete presentation of the idea of faith as the eighth deadly sin and Azrael as its embodiment.

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5.0
Back to Brooklyn #2

Nov 4, 2008

Ennis and Palmiotti do get things right in making "Back to Brooklyn" #2 very new-reader friendly and explains everything someone who missed the first issue would need to know to follow along. Sadly, the plot isn't likely to keep said new reader engaged, or make him or her want to read issue three.

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0.0
Bang! Tango #4

May 10, 2009

Actually, there is one redeemable thing about this comic: Howard Chaykin's cover. Give it a look and then move on, I say. "Bang! Tango" #4 has set the standard for "worst comic book of 2009." Needless to say, I won't be picking up issue five.

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9.0
Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #15

Sep 23, 2009

An unexpected delight, "Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror" #15 is a must read if you want to spend half an hour laughing as the indie comics scene injects some much needed humor and weirdness to the concept.

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5.0
Batgirl (2009) #2

Sep 16, 2009

"Batgirl" #2 has many of the right components for a quality book: interesting characters with unique perspectives and motives, a solid art team, and a great overlying concept. But, the pacing of the issue makes it hard to find an entrance point and leads to confusing, jumbled scenes. If Miller would slow down a little, I'm sure this could be one of DC's better books.

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8.0
Batman #683

Dec 24, 2008

(Neal Adams's bare-chested Batman returns courtesy of Lee Garbett in CBR's preview of the issue!)

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8.0
Batman #686

Feb 11, 2009

While the style may differ, like Moore's ode to Superman, Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert deliver the first part of what looks to be an homage to the past seven decades of Batman stories. The mystery of what's going on may drive the plot, but the stories of how others view the Dark Knight are the real core of this story. Fans of Morrison's run will certainly enjoy what's going on and, hopefully, everyone else will, too.

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4.0
Batman #688

Jul 8, 2009

The image of "Batman" as the secondary Bat-title is not helped here with this issue repeating scenes from "Batman and Robin" #2, a move that effectively sabotages Judd Winick as he's forced to contend with Grant Morrison. The lighter tone sets Winick apart, but isn't enough for this book to stand by itself.

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5.0
Batman #700

Jun 9, 2010

"Batman" #700 has an entertaining story at its heart with a fun gimmick. The three timelines don't mesh together entirely and the fact that Frank Quitely couldn't do all of the pages in his chapter hurts it somewhat, but this is a fun Batman anniversary story. The problem is the packaging that doesn't quite justify the five dollar price tag. Considering the regular $2.99 price, this comic isn't worth

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7.0
Batman #702

Aug 25, 2010

Not quite the worthless throwaway it might have seemed upon first glance, "Batman" #702 provides some key elements for Grant Morrison's ongoing Batman story, specifically the current "Return of Bruce Wayne." His writing here is poetic and purposeful, and continues his work to elevate the character beyond the limitations of a simple urban vigilante.

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5.0
Batman (2011) #3

Nov 16, 2011

I've spoken of the "third issue slump" before and how it seems that comic series' third chapters tend to be the weakest, when the teases of the villain have grown weary and it's too early to fully reveal what's going on, leaving only necessary plot moments devoid of life and energy. Unfortunately, that's what "Batman" #3 amounts to. It handles many of those necessary plot points competently, but doesn't make them memorable or turn them into anything more than scenes to get through. The issue does end on a clever revelation regarding the Court of Owls, with Snyder managing to tie together several threads of the story inventively, showing promise for the future of the story. Otherwise, it's Batman does things you've seen a thousand times before, and that's fine, I guess.

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9.0
Batman and Robin #1

Jun 3, 2009

With expectations high, "Batman and Robin" #1 could have easily disappointed, but it not only meets those expectations, it exceeds them. No one could have asked for a better introduction to the new Batman and Robin.

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9.0
Batman and Robin #3

Aug 26, 2009

While this issue moves quickly, barreling towards the conclusion of the opening "Batman Reborn" story, Morrison and Quitely still find room for the small moments like Batman and Commissioner Gordon talking things out or Alfred going about his duties. It's hard to believe that this issue is only 22 pages they pack in so much. "Batman and Robin" #3 is an excellent comic with twisted writing, art that more than keeps pace, and all of the excitement you want from a Batman and Robin comic book.

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8.0
Batman and Robin #8

Feb 10, 2010

A fun, action-oriented issue that propels the reader forward throughout, "Batman and Robin" #8 plays off the ground work set by Morrison in previous stories effectively and ends with some plot threads hanging for the conclusion of the story, which, thankfully, will be released in only two weeks. I, for one, cannot wait.

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9.0
Batman and Robin #13

Jul 7, 2010

The first issue in "Batman and Robin Must Die!" has a similar feeling to the beginning of "Batman R.I.P." where everything is starting to fall apart and you just have to know what happens next. Paired with an artist as talented as Frazer Irving, Grant Morrison's writing takes on an even more ominous and depressing feeling, like, this time, maybe the bad guys may have a chance. I can't wait until issue 14 to find out.

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8.0
Batman, Inc. #2

Dec 22, 2010

As far as an introduction to the Batman, Incorporated concept goes, this opening two-parter is very strong: a new hero that readers can get behind, a villain that's bad for the sake of being bad, plus some fun interplay between Batman and Catwoman. Morrison and Paquette get it all right.

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9.0
Batman, Inc. #4

Mar 27, 2011

"Batman Incorporated" #4 reads like something of a return to Morrison's earlier "Batman" work as he merges the present with the past to both craft a new story and fold a part of Batman's continuity into that narrative. With Burnham and Fairburn, the original Batwoman fits into the current continuity without losing any of that Silver Age charm that made her old stories so fondly remembered. If anything, Morrison shows how her influence on Batman helped create that lighter tone. And, if that weren't enough, it's an issue full of action and thrills. One of the single best issues in Morrison's tenure on the character yet.

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9.0
Batman, Inc.: Leviathan Strikes! #1

Dec 22, 2011

The fate of "Batman, Incorporated" was one of the big questions when DC relaunched its complete line in September. "Leviathan Strikes!" begins with a disclaimer that it takes place before "Flashpoint" and the resulting relaunch . That gives Morrison license to push things further. It may not 'count,' but "Batman, Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!" is the best comic DC has published in the latter half of 2011. The wait for "Batman: Leviathan" in 2012 is already too long.

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7.0
Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money #1

Nov 3, 2010

A fun, campy story, "Follow the Money" is worth checking out for 44 pages of Howard Chaykin art and a gloriously fun and stupid story centering on a gloriously fun and stupid villain. Not grim, not gritty, just entertaining and skillfully done.

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5.0
Batman/Doc Savage Special #1

Nov 11, 2009

Included after the story are sketches by Rags Morales for "First Wave" with descriptions by Azzarello and, honestly, these do more to entice than the comic itself. It's hard to judge how "First Wave" will read with the full, larger cast, but if this special is any indication, expect mediocrity.

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6.0
Batman: Battle for the Cowl: Commissioner Gordon #1

Mar 25, 2009

"Batman: Battle for the Cowl: Commissioner Gordon" isn't a bad story and does an able job of demonstrating the police's role in a Gotham without Batman. It's also worth it to see Gordon in action, a role he isn't provided nearly enough. Though, it is odd to see the police act so helpless without Batman considering this isn't the first time he's disappeared. After all, he was gone for an entire year during the run of "52." Ignoring that, this issue might have been better served as a back-up story or splitting the duties with a story focusing on another cop like Bullock. Otherwise, a decent read.

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2.0
Batman: Battle for the Cowl: The Underground #1

Apr 29, 2009

The only reason to buy this comic is if you're already buying every issue relating to "Battle for the Cowl" and, in that case, this one won't disappoint, because there's that big "Battle for the Cowl" logo on the cover and a pointless plot that fits in perfectly with the main book. Mystery solved.

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7.0
Batman: Gates of Gotham #3

Jul 24, 2011

The story of the past and the strong character work in the present keep "Batman: Gates of Gotham" #3 lively and entertaining. Explorations of the past can be dry or seem irrelevant and that's hardly the case here. The various elements come together and enhance one another. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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5.0
Batman: Odyssey #1

Jul 7, 2010

It's too early to call Adams' return to Batman a success or failure, obviously, but this first issue isn't the 'knock it out of the park' return to the character that many fans were clamoring for. Adams' art isn't as clear as it once was and the writing is fairly mediocre, but there's something compelling about this issue that will have me buying the second.

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5.0
Batman: Odyssey #2

Aug 4, 2010

Whether the farcical and comedic elements of "Batman: Odyssey" #2 are intended, they're hard to miss. Adams's storytelling is downright silly and absurd at times, while the story seems intended to be serious. It's a fun comic that won't be to everyone's taste, but looks like Adams is having fun creating. It's pretty fun to read, I must admit.

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6.0
Batman: Odyssey #4

Oct 8, 2010

Not the Batman readers are used to now, it's easy to see why Neal Adams' "Batman: Odyssey" would turn off some readers. It's very hit or miss at times, especially with the plot, but the messiness of the emotions and art give the comic a powerfully compelling energy. Sometimes, it's laughable, but "Batman: Odyssey" is infinitely readable.

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7.0
Batman: Odyssey #6

Feb 7, 2011

Despite assurances otherwise, "Batman: Odyssey" #6 continues the thrown together feeling of the series and that's a big part of its charm. Neal Adams seeming tosses out any idea that comes to him, ignoring logic for energy and cool things to draw. For some, it is no doubt a torturous read; for me, it's a wildly entertaining and joyous read.

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3.0
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #5

Jan 29, 2012

Since this story is obviously art-driven, it's disheartening to see what little Finch does with what's here. The Scarecrow is a melon-headed comedy act and Batman cowers most of the issue until he becomes a mass of muscles attacking Superman awkwardly. For Batman's hallucinations, Finch draws simple montages of villains and allies, nothing that seems particularly scary, even knowing the inner workings of Batman. Like or dislike Finch's art, it's rarely boring to look at it, and that's what it is here. It seems like someone going through the motions of both a Scarecrow story and a Superman/Batman fight. There's nothing new or exciting.

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8.0
Batman: The Return #1

Nov 17, 2010

Though the art is a mix of good and bad, Morrison's writing is spot on to make "Batman: The Return" the exciting first chapter in a new era for the hero and his allies. A larger mission, a new enemy, and plenty of new ideas are provided, but they all adhere to the same basic concept of Batman. "The Return" is a brisk, entertaining read that kicks off the Batman Incorporated era with style.

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8.0
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3

Jun 23, 2010

Ultimately, it's hard to go wrong with 'Pirate Batman,' and the team of Morrison and Paquette manage to deliver a better comic than you'd expect. So far, "The Return of Bruce Wayne" has been entertaining and surprising. With this issue completing the first half, there's still a long way to go before Bruce Wayne is back being Batman and I, for one, cannot wait to see what happens next.

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9.0
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5

Oct 13, 2010

"The Return of Bruce Wayne" #5 uses the detective genre to position Bruce Wayne closer to his true identity than ever before and draws upon everything that's come before in Morrison's Batman work. Morrison balances between Bruce as detective and the larger picture very well, making sure each part is given adequate space and focus. Though Ryan Sook doesn't draw the entire issue, Pere Prez manages to replicate his style remarkably well. This issue was definitely worth the wait.

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9.0
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6

Nov 10, 2010

Despite the challenges of the issue, it's a very simple story at its core, one that goes back to the beginning of Batman and shows, again, how skilled the character is. This issue is pivotal to Morrison's work on the character and outlines the next step. Intellectually provoking, so much of the issue is also driven by passion and emotion. It's not just Batman trying to outthink a god, it's his friends doing everything they can to help him save the world and his own life. The issue may be late, but it was worth the wait.

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6.0
Battlefields: The Firefly and His Majesty #4

Mar 18, 2010

The idea of a small German unit with depleted supplies fighting against larger forces through skill and superior weaponry is an interesting one, but it's only introduced in this issue. Otherwise, this is a fairly typical Garth Ennis war comic, which is still pretty good, just not up to the standards that he's set.

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6.0
Battlefields: The Tankies #2

May 26, 2009

"The Tankies" may be on the lower end of Ennis' war comics, but it's still a good, entertaining read. The subject of tanks in war isn't one often explored and Ennis demonstrates that tanks can lead to as many mistakes and horrible situations as anything else.

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3.0
Berserker #0

Feb 12, 2009

"Berserker" #0 offers an interesting preview of the series, but at $2.99 for eight pages, it's really not worth it. When other publishers offer similar previews in far more cost effective manners, there's no excuse for such a giant rip-off from Top Cow. Not to mention that the majority of this comic is promotional material for non-"Berserker" comics, which results in the one "Berserker"-related promo interview being truncated, while an interview for the "Witchblade/Darkness" crossover is given more space. All in all, a decent preview packaged in a horrible manner.

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5.0
Berserker #1

Jun 24, 2009

"Berserker" still hasn't shown all that it can do, but the hook here is strong, and the juxtaposition between former soldier Farris and high school student Aaron could lead to some interesting situations should they meet. Hopefully, next issue will begin fleshing out these characters a bit more now that the groundwork has been laid.

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4.0
Blackest Night #4

Oct 28, 2009

If this were a tie-in issue to "Blackest Night," I would be kinder since it is a generally competent, inoffensive comic, but as the fourth issue in the main series, it lacks drama and a genuine feeling of importance until the final pages. "Cool, right?" Not really, no.

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6.0
Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way #1

Mar 15, 2010

"Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way" #1 offers a look at six artists that may be drawing your favorite books in the coming years and while not all of them look ready for that just yet, all show potential.

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5.0
Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way #2

Mar 23, 2010

Like the first issue, this one is hit-or-miss, but with a little more miss. Though, the good stories and artists make it worth looking at because some of these artists look like they'll have bright futures.

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4.0
Breed III #1

May 15, 2011

That "'Breed" is finally being collected and concluded is good closure on one of Jim Starlin's lesser known works, but the debut issue of the third series is not a strong one. The structure Starlin uses, having the lead character tell a story instead of simply presenting it while it happens, hampers things and sucks all of the energy out of the comic. Artistically, Starlin's compositions are as good as always, but the line work and colors leave a lot to be desired.

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7.0
Breed III #7

Dec 10, 2011

"'Breed III" ends on a high note with Starlin's best art in years and a smart use of his hero. After such a hard-fought battle, the ending itself is slightly anticlimactic and the 'lie' that the issue is titled after isn't shocking (or even surprising) in the least. Starlin leaves the door open to revisit Stoner as he embarks on a new-but-related mission. With this series, he's seemed to have gotten his groove back and, hopefully, it won't be too long before Starlin graces us with some more creator-owned work.

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3.0
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #2

Jul 31, 2011

A go nowhere plot predicated upon a nonsensical problem wouldn't be so bad if not for the horrible character work. Were it not for the art of Renato Arlem, this would be a candidate for the first comic series to receives two zero star ratings in two consecutive issues. Here's hoping he returns for issue three or it may be a 'return to form' next month.

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6.0
Bring the Thunder #1

Dec 1, 2010

"Bring the Thunder" #1 is a solid beginning to the Alex Ross-created comic about a US soldier in Afghanistan turned into a superhuman. So much of the issue happens without a proper context, though, that it's hard to get too hook yet. The art is strong and Ross and Nitz make an effort to write the lead as a unique character. If the larger context is entertaining and works, this series could turn out to be a pretty good comic worth checking out every month.

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4.0
Buck Rogers #3

Aug 27, 2009

"Buck Rogers" #3 presents some interesting and engaging ideas with a fantastic set up initially, but, as the issue progresses, it's hard to maintain interest as nothing seems dangerous or to matter a great deal. Beatty seems to be attempting to capture the awe and wonder of past Buck Rogers stories, while also grounding it in 21st century sensibilities of realism, and the two clash heavily, creating a mishmash of storytelling.

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7.0
Bullet to the Head #1

Jun 28, 2010

"Bullet to the Head" #1 has the first 26 pages of "Du Plomb dans la Tete" with the main focus on the killing that sets the story into motion. It's an entertaining issue that stops at a somewhat random place and, will no doubt, read better in collection since that's its original form. But, fans of crime comics like "Criminal" should give this a look as it's a looser, more relaxed story so far with a brief spurt of violence carried mostly by two characters just talking about shoes and women.

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7.0
Bullet to the Head #4

Oct 4, 2010

"Bullet to the Head" #4 reenergizes the story to a degree after it came dangerously close to slipping into complex obscurity with too many characters with too many connections. Last issue and this one clear the decks somewhat to provide a renewed focus and easier to handle cast. You don't often see stories switch gears like that in the middle, but it works very well here.

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9.0
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #1

Mar 31, 2011

If "Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker" can live up to the reputations of the comics I compared it to at the beginning of the review is hard to say. The first issue is an excellent start. It's a comic that revels in being a comic, taking advantage of the medium to both inhabit and comment upon its dominant genre, the superhero.

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8.0
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #4

Jul 4, 2011

From the cover on, "Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker" #4 looks nothing like pretty much every other superhero comic available. It's loud, crazy, energetic, and doesn't even try to reflect the real world. It's just fun and cool and awesome. Exactly what it's striving for.

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6.0
Cable #8

Nov 6, 2008

(Check CBR's preview of the issue, too. )

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2.0
Caped #1

Mar 24, 2009

Have you read "Brat Pack" or "The Boys"? Then you've read "Caped," except with more wit and entertainment value. The high concept here has promise, but the execution is nothing new and very bland.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #45

Jan 1, 2009

(James Barnes fights the Man with No Face in the past and present in CBR's preview!)

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #46

Jan 26, 2009

(Steve Epting is back and CBR has http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=1915&disp=table" target="_blank">the preview art to prove it!)

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #48

Mar 25, 2009

With great art, lots of action, and solid character work, "Captain America" #48 continues the series' unbelievably consistent and fantastic run. Brubaker and a trio of artists finish up James Barnes' first big adventure since establishing himself as Captain America and it's quite the success.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #601

Jul 14, 2009

While it doesn't tie into the current "Reborn" story, this 'lost annual' does feature Steve Rogers as Captain America again, which seems fitting. And, after the celebration of Captain America's history in issue #600, Gene Colan illustrating the book also seems fitting. His art really overpowers the writing and makes this a must buy.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #604

Mar 26, 2010

"Captain America" #604 is another very good issue of the series that builds on what came before without being beholden to it. The story is interesting and I can't wait to see the conclusion after the final page reveal of 1950s Captain America's plan. It's big and crazy in that classic supervillain kind of way and works perfectly.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #606

Jun 10, 2010

"Captain America" #606 doesn't change too much from its usual routine, but the addition of Butch Guice to the art gives it a fresh feeling. His blending of different styles and elements make for a visually interesting and compelling comic, while Ed Brubaker's character work is, as always, stellar on this title.

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7.0
Captain America (2004) #609

Aug 26, 2010

As "No Escape" moves towards its conclusion next issue, Ed Brubaker writes a great confrontation between Captain America and Baron Zemo. Zemo is your typical confident, five-steps-ahead-villain, while James shows he's not as adept at being a superhero as he thought. This story arc has been a definitive one for James and this issue keeps up the quality.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #611

Oct 31, 2010

"Captain America" #611 finally deals with issues that the book has danced around since Barnes returned as the Winter Soldier and, then, took up the mantle of Captain America. No easy answers are given, but the contrast of how problems like this are usually handled with how Barnes is treated here is very interesting. Despite this story being a longtime coming, nothing about this issue felt predictable or obvious. A great start to this story!

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5.0
Captain America (2004) #615

Feb 27, 2011

"Captain America" #615 is a disappointing end to "The Trial of Captain America" story arc with a courtroom scene meant to be both moving and surprising and, instead, has uncharacteristic swerves and theatrics that fall flat. While the final page provides potential for future stories, the means by which the series gets there is the first major misstep it has had in a long time.

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6.0
Captain America (2004) #619

Jun 26, 2011

"Captain America" #619 falls short in a few ways and is a weak ending for both "Gulag" and the Bucky-as-Cap era of the title. Still, Brubaker writes some nice character moments and clearly has the makings for a good story, it's just one that doesn't quite fit into this comic. Where the characters go from here will be interesting as, next month, the title splits in two with a new "Captain America" #1 and "Captain America and Bucky" #620. It's a shame that this issue doesn't provide a clearer ending and idea of what's coming next.

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7.0
Captain America (2004) #620

Jul 31, 2011

What makes this comic necessary as an ongoing series instead of a mini isn't clear yet. What is clear is that the character work and art are both top notch, making that question moot to a degree. As far as 'soft launches' go, only one issue in, I think we can consider "Captain America and Bucky" a success.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #625

Dec 30, 2011

2012 brings a new "Winter Soldier" series, leaving questions about "Captain America & Bucky" and the purpose it could serve. Originally, it seemed to provide a series for James Barnes now that Steve Rogers is Captain America and, with his return in "Winter Soldier," that left this title looking like the odd one out. If this issue is any indication, "Captain America & Bucky" could just be the best Captain America comic available, exploring new territory both in the past and present with one of the best artists in comics on board. In a week of three Captain America comics, this is the one that's a 'must buy.'

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7.0
Captain America (2011) #5

Dec 30, 2011

Ending the year with "Captain America" #5 is an appropriate choice. The story that ends here isn't a hard ending since it sets up the story that begins (or continues) in issue six, raising ideological questions for Steve Rogers that will no doubt drive much of what happens in 2012. The familiarity of the territory for the title and character is offset by Ed Brubaker's approach to it. Rooting the story in Rogers' past so deeply is both a liability and strength where the skill of execution gives the latter the edge over the former.

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7.0
Captain America (2011) #6

Dec 30, 2011

"Captain America" #6 manages to follow up on the previous story and begin a new one in an entertaining and lively manner. The questions about the state of America take the back burner to Rogers's concerns over his powers and Brubaker smartly calls back to the "Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier" mini-series he last year to add on the tension. There's a strong sense of direction in this issue and Alan Davis joining the book on art is gravy.

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8.0
Captain America: Reborn #1

Jul 2, 2009

"Reborn" easily could have turned off new readers since it stems so heavily from the pages of "Captain America" and the four-year story Ed Brubaker has been telling there, but everything you need to know is here in this first issue -- and it's a good one!

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7.0
Captain America: Reborn #4

Nov 9, 2009

This series has been building to the return of Steve Rogers and this issue takes things one step closer. It's more mechanical than previous issues, but it's still a great read and the Hitch/Guice art is simply gorgeous as you can see in the preview pages. If only most event books were as good as "Reborn"...

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7.0
Captain America: Who Won't Wield The Shield #1

Apr 21, 2010

(Check out the art in this book! It's some good-looking stuff!)

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4.0
Captain Atom #1

Sep 22, 2011

There are suggestions of an interesting hook for "Captain Atom" except it's buried under a typical, average superhero comic. The art points to something unique about the character and his relationship to the world, while the writing only mentions that in a long expository scene about his powers. Maybe this comic will become more of a stand-out as it progresses; unfortunately, that possibility isn't certain and isn't presented in this issue.

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8.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #7

Nov 12, 2008

(To see some of the great writing and art in this issue, check out CBR's preview.)

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9.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #8

Dec 10, 2008

(Ever seen a demon beat with a paper sword? No? Well, check out CBR's preview of this issue then!)

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9.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #10

Feb 11, 2009

Chad Nevett

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8.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #11

Mar 9, 2009

(Or, at least read CBR's preview pages!)

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5.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 Annual #1

Jun 2, 2009

"Captain Britain and MI:13" Annual #1 doesn't match up to the brilliance of the main book, but it does shed some light on some important events, including leading into the next chapter of "Vampire State."

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6.0
Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1

Feb 25, 2010

As far as first issues go, a lack of strong plot development is expected, but this one is lighter than most. "Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island" #1 is still entertaining and bold in its fearless presentation, unafraid to throw a lot of contextual, historical facts at the reader and hope that he or she can keep up. The mixture of comics and text is effective and, hopefully, is maintained throughout the series. Overall, this issue makes me want to read the next one and that's what matters most.

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7.0
Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #2

Jul 2, 2010

"Captain Swing" #2 is an issue that throws a lot of information at readers with two of the most important details just slipped in there for fans of Ellis to pick up on. It's still unclear where the plot of this series is going, but it's intriguing and Raulo Caceres draws some gorgeous pages. Many of the ideas aren't new to Ellis comics, but he does approach them from a different perspective, making this a solid addition to his body of work.

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7.0
Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #4

Oct 31, 2011

"Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island" took longer than expected to finish and the wait was somewhat worth it. Ellis' writing is wondrous and magical in the right places, harsh and cold in other appropriate spots, and Caceres' art brings the world to life with its detail. This series fits into Ellis' body of work seamlessly and, yet, still stands out as a strange piece of work that meanders a bit and acts as a prologue, of sorts, to "Gravel" and "Doktor Sleepless." With the collection coming out soon, fans of Ellis' work and weird sci-fi should give it a look.

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9.0
Casanova: Avaritia #2

Oct 5, 2011

"Casanova: Avaritia" is a different comic from "Luxuria" and "Gula," and that's a great thing. The first issue was a little hard to absorb because of expectations, but this issue doesn't have those problems. It hits the ground running and packs in so much that one read isn't going to do it. More than that, it's an improvement over the first issue as the expectations aren't as high for Fraction and company. The pressure is off a little and it shows in a more relaxed, skillfully done issue. I can't wait for number three.

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2.0
Catwoman (2011) #3

Nov 20, 2011

It seems that the only way for stories to 'mean' anything or for heroes to gain 'meaning' is for a death to happen. Well, here it is, and it's an empty, calculated death that carries no emotional weight whatsoever. You'd think we would be done with pointless, obvious deaths of secondary characters that exist only to die, but I guess we're not.

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5.0
Cerebus Archive #1

May 7, 2009

People looking for some insight into "Cerebus" will be left wanting, but, otherwise, "Cerebus Archive" is a solid beginning to Sim's career in comics, showcasing some of his earliest work. With "glamourpuss," Sim seems very interested in the history of comics, both his own "- as a result, some real insight into independent Canadian comics in the '70s -" and others, and, for those with a similar interest, this is just what you've been waiting for.

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4.0
Charlatan's Ball #5

Dec 4, 2008

Sadly, Casey just can't make this simple story work with his off-the-wall bits of dialogue and not-so-subtle pop culture references. Five issues in and there's no sign of improvement.

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6.0
Charlatan's Ball #6

Mar 12, 2009

This issue finished the first season of "Charlatan Ball," so who knows when the next issue will come out " but Casey promises it will. Hopefully, when it does, things will tighten up a bit and Casey will find a way to inject a little wit and characterization into the fun.

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9.0
Chew #6

Nov 26, 2009

So, in summation, I was wrong. "Chew" #6 is a very good, very funny comic book, and I am a very stupid man sometimes. But, I'm also glad I was wrong in this case, because it means that "Chew" is a comic worth reading, one that I plan to read monthly now, and that's a pretty great thing. If, like me, you avoided this book for whatever reason, go buy this issue and join me in hopping on the "Chew" bandwagon... better late than never, right?

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9.0
Chocolate Cheeks #1

Feb 14, 2010

If sound effects like "SNEEZEBLOOD!!" or prayer fights make you laugh, "Chocolate Cheeks" by Steven Weissman is definitely up your alley. More than that, Weissman's fantastic art is worth giving this collection a look even if you haven't read previous "Yikes" books.

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6.0
CLiNT #1

Sep 4, 2010

"CLiNT" #1 is definitely a Mark Millar production with a tone that matches his work, both in the articles and the other comics, and that most of the issue is comics content is a good sign. Not everything lands and not everything is new, but the magazine is still a slick periodical with a lot to offer.

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7.0
Conan the Cimmerian #20

Apr 28, 2010

"Conan the Cimmerian" #20 is a solid issue that continues to tell one of the most popular Conan stories: his greed and pride leading to his downfall. However, with some gorgeous art and Truman's capable writing, it's still entertaining and, even, surprising in places.

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5.0
Conan: The Weight of the Crown #1

Jan 14, 2010

Given Robertson's lack of writing experience, a more minimalist approach to the narration would have worked better than what's done in "The Weight of the Crown" where the only scenes that really rise above the level of mediocre tedium are the battles.

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5.0
Creepy Comics #3

May 24, 2010

The issue is closed out with a very short story about werewolves that's easy to overlook and the reprint story, which is interesting in the question it raises: why would a man so against killing make a disintegration gun? The ending somewhat answers the question, but not really. But, it's a serviceable story in a serviceable issue. Fans of horror comics should find something here, but it's not a comic worth seeking out otherwise.

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10
Criminal Vol. 2 #7

Dec 4, 2008

A strong end to a typically strong story that proves, yet again, that "Criminal" is one of the best comic books out there, both in its craft and its content. Brubaker and Phillips grab you from page one and don't let go, even after the final page, as that final panel will stay with you for a while.

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9.0
Criminal: The Sinners #2

Dec 1, 2009

"Criminal: The Sinners" #2 is a very good comic, although I must admit that the end of this issue has the plot twist in a way that I'm not sure about. Then again, this title has never steered me wrong and it doesn't look like it will start soon.

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3.0
Daken: Dark Wolverine #7

Mar 28, 2011

Concerned more with plot mechanics than character, "Daken: Dark Wolverine" #7 downplays the title's strength: Daken's character. Ever since "Wolverine" became "Dark Wolverine," Daken's mercurial personality has been the appeal of the title and pushing him to a background player in his own title takes away the best part of it. All that remains is empty posturing and bad melodrama.

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3.0
Daken: Dark Wolverine #9.1

May 29, 2011

Maybe "Daken: Dark Wolverine" #10 will be a better 'jumping on point' with it actually beginning the new stage of Daken's life. This issue is nothing more here than him saying "I'm not going to copy my father anymore; I'm moving to Los Angeles." See how easy that was to express? Lingering on the point only produces a hollow, unsatisfying

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6.0
Daken: Dark Wolverine #10

Jun 18, 2011

The opening scene of "Daken: Dark Wolverine" #10 seems like a battle cry, a declaration that this series will do crazy things and not worry about spoon-feeding everything. And, then, the issue decides to spoon-feed everything. The explanation of how Daken got to wearing a Captain America mask and using a bazooka is far less interesting than him doing that. Hopefully, Williams realizes where his strengths lie, because they're not in the second half of this comic.

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5.0
Daredevil (1998) #504

Jan 29, 2010

Diggles writing doesnt keep up. His scene to scene work is good, but the plotting in this issue is mechanical and clichd. Hopefully, he plans to go somewhere interesting in the future and subvert the story conventions hes falling prey to and this issue will take on new meaning in retrospect, but, taken on its own merits, its not good plotting.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #2

Aug 20, 2011

The word I'd have to use to sum up "Daredevil" #2 is 'enjoyable.' This is a pleasant, fun, enjoyable read. Excellent craft, a smart approach, a strong take on the character, and art that stands out stylistically and in storytelling. There's a reason why the first issue was so heavily praised and it's on display in the second issue.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #8

Jan 23, 2012

There wasn't much doubt that the conclusion to this crossover would be good given the first part and the quality of "Daredevil" so far. Still, to have a comic live to up to expectations and not disappoint is a victory in and of itself.

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7.0
Dark Avengers #3

Mar 18, 2009

Together, Bendis and Deodato are doing good work on "Dark Avengers" with the occasional great scene like the one between Norman Osborn and the Sentry that begins the issue. If future issues continue the dark, psychological interplay between these deranged characters, then "Dark Avengers" will be a must read each month.

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6.0
Dark Avengers #4

Apr 29, 2009

(Mike Deodato draws some pretty pictures in CBR's preview of this issue!)

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6.0
Dark Avengers #6

Jun 23, 2009

(Norman Osborn versus Namor in CBR's preview!)

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7.0
Dark Avengers #7

Jul 13, 2009

Matt Fraction is proving his A-list chops in "Utopia," writing a compelling crossover that seems almost too full of characters and ideas rather than needlessly drawn out. He's taken what could be a lame, redundant concept in the Dark X-Men and made it interesting, and not simply a copy of the Dark Avengers. With "Utopia" half done, the second half is sure to be equally impressive.

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5.0
Dark Avengers #10

Oct 22, 2009

Despite the various problems of this issue, the second half does show improvement and the ending is very promising -" and in a way that Bendis has to follow-up on next month. "Dark Avengers" has been a solid, above average book so one lackluster issue isn't something to get too worried about, but this one is a misfire.

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4.0
Dark Avengers #13

Jan 20, 2010

Ultimately, Deodato's success can't cover up Bendis' failure to provide strong new insights into the Sentry or his past. The technique of structuring stories so that one or two issues are devoted to filling in the blanks from previous stories is one that Bendis has used several times in the past and it has one big weakness: by the time you reveal the solution to the big mystery, expectations are high and the payoff better be great. It's not here, as most of the time is spent recounting known parts of the Sentry's past and the new revelation is the sort that will make many wonder exactly what Bendis is thinking.

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6.0
Dark Avengers #15

Mar 18, 2010

Acting as a supplement and explanation, of sorts, for the Sentry's behavior in "Siege" #3, "Dark Avengers" #15 works to a degree. It continues Bendis' storytelling pattern of dropping hints and presenting incomplete scenes that are answered and filled in later, but this issue doesn't provide enough oomph to really give a payoff.

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8.0
Dark Avengers #16

May 12, 2010

Everyone knew "Dark Avengers" wouldn't last forever and it goes out strongly with nearly every character getting his or her moment, and Bendis contributing a final goodbye essay to close things out. For fans of the book, this issue is satisfying and the right way to close the book on Norman Osborn's Avengers.

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8.0
Dark Avengers Annual #1

Dec 2, 2009

Despite the added dollar price tag, "Dark Avengers" Annual #1 is a must for any fan of the title or Noh-Varr, and is a very good comic otherwise. And, as an added bonus, the final page of this issue may just turn out to be the most talked about page from Marvel this week.

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8.0
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1

Sep 9, 2009

With so many characters and three months of build-up, "Exodus" could easily have imploded under its own weight, but Matt Fraction and his trio of artists don't just pull it, they surpass expectations. "Utopia" may have been slow-moving at times, but the conclusion is strong and leaves both the X-Men and the Dark Avengers in different, unexpected places than they were when the story began.

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6.0
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1

Jun 23, 2009

(Judge the art for yourself in CBR's preview!)

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6.0
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1

Mar 4, 2009

(Go see Sean Chen's preview pages to judge his work for yourself! I mean, I could be wrong, right?)

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8.0
Dark Reign: The List: Wolverine #1

Oct 28, 2009

"Dark Reign: The List " Wolverine" isn't essential reading for those following "Dark Reign," but it is a fun and entertaining read as Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic team up two of Grant Morrison's Marvel creations and just let them go wild. It is definitely worth picking up.

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7.0
Dark Reign: The List: Amazing Spider-Man #1

Nov 19, 2009

The end of the issue is a little hokey, but still satisfying as Slott manages to keep things from getting too out of hand. Also included is a reprint of "The Pulse" #5, which featured Norman Osborn's public outing as the Green Goblin in a confrontation between Spider-Man and Luke Cage. The juxtaposition of Osborn then and now is fun to see as it's only been a few years since then. Overall, this is a strong conclusion to the "Dark Reign: The List" one-shots and teases Osborn's downfall in "Siege" well, showing the first big chink in his armor since "Dark Reign" began a year ago.

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8.0
Dark Reign: Zodiac #3

Oct 8, 2009

Hopefully, this isn't the last we see of this new Zodiac and his gang as this series shows a lot of promise for a villain that's in it just to screw with people and cause destruction for the sake of destruction, especially now that the bad guys are the good guys and the good guys are, well, still good guys.

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7.0
Dark Wolverine #76

Jul 21, 2009

Since Daken is still relatively unknown to readers and characters, Way and Liu use that to their advantage, keeping both groups off balance here, no one quite sure what Daken is really up to. However, he is turning out to be a far more interesting character that the title "Dark Wolverine" would lead you to believe.

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1.0
Dark Wolverine #79

Oct 22, 2009

After a very good first story arc, "Dark Wolverine" looked like this year's front runner for the 'best comic that looked like a lame cash grab but is actually rather good' award, but this arc is drawn by a terrible amateur who hasn't come close to mastering the basics and features a story that has no clear purpose or point. What happened?

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7.0
Dark Wolverine #83

Feb 24, 2010

By building on a lingering idea from a previous Thor story, the "Siege" tie-in arc of "Dark Wolverine" looks like it will work tangentially to the event, existing mostly on its own, expanding on Daken's appearances in "Siege," but also telling its own story. As far as tie-ins go, it's a smart approach that works quite well, especially with Giuseppe Camuncoli on art.

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2.0
Dark Wolverine #87

Jun 21, 2010

"Dark Wolverine" is at its best when Daken and the story have a purpose. When it languishes in these pointless interludes and one-off stories, it descends into pseudo-poetic storytelling that never amounts to anything entertaining or meaningful.

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7.0
Dark X-Men #2

Dec 16, 2009

"Dark X-Men" is a good comic, but the slow pace makes it drag a little. However, Cornell and Kirk's strong character work nearly makes the slower pace worth it as we get to spend more time with this diverse cast and get inside their heads a bit

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2.0
Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2

Jul 27, 2009

(For the first three pages of each story, check out CBR's preview!)

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5.0
Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3

Aug 25, 2009

"Dark X-Men: The Beginning" #3 is the best issue of the series, but it's still not great. The format and structure of the book limits what the creators can do and takes a lot of the surprise out of their stories. Maybe if this series led up to the revelation of the Dark X-Men, but watching Osborn recruit people when you know what's going to happen next is tedious. Also, a minor complaint, but the solicitations promised Humberto Ramos artwork, which doesn't appear here at all, which is a let down.

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8.0
Darkwing Duck #2

Jul 26, 2010

Silvani also blends his work well with Brill's writing, getting across visual jokes like the grumpy look of the retiree or the insanity of Quackerjack when Negaduck is mentioned. They're a very smooth team, working in harmony to make "Darkwing Duck" another winner for BOOM! The company continues its track record for great comics based on films and TV shows. I can't wait until next issue!

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9.0
Daytripper #4

Mar 15, 2010

"Daytripper" slowly, somehow, continues to improve with each issue, revealing more of Brs' life, always ending with his death. Moon and B craft these small, touching, poetic comics that resonate with one another, building up emotions, and drawing the reader in more and more with each passing page, each passing panel. It shouldn't work, but it does. Boy, does it.

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10
Daytripper #8

Jul 19, 2010

"Daytripper" is a comic that's surprised me. I knew that Moon and B working on a book together would be great, I just didn't expect this level of poetry and humanity, the sort of comic that can break my heart with its final words even if I see them coming. This is a masterpiece and we're all lucky to be here as it comes out one issue at a time, month after month.

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3.0
Dead Run #1

Jun 1, 2009

"Dead Run" reads like an unproduced film treatment -" one that was unproduced for a reason. The concept is uninspired, the characters vague and lacking depth, but the art is well done.

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3.0
Deadpool (2008) #6

Jan 13, 2009

Turning "Deadpool" into a darker book was a choice that made a lot of sense considering his job as an assassin but, instead of gallows humor, Daniel Way opts for gratuity and senseless violence. The opening three pages actually show some promise of wit, but the remaining 19 pages reveal them as nothing more than an aberration.

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2.0
Deadpool (2008) #19

Feb 19, 2010

Given the high standard set by Joe Kelly and Eric Canete four months ago, a return meeting of Deadpool and Spider-Man no doubt has some fans excited and this issue is a let down with a lame plot and even lamer jokes.

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8.0
Deadpool Max #1

Oct 7, 2010

Some may wonder if so many Deadpool comics are necessary, but, after one issue, "DeadpoolMAX" certainly proves that it offers a different sort of Deadpool comic. It plays up the absurd adult humor well and keeps the eponymous lead off panel for most of the comic to make his presence more impactful. It's one of the strangest and most screwed up comics of the year and I'll definitely be back next month!

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8.0
Deadpool Max #2

Nov 17, 2010

"Deadpool MAX" #2 wallows in the muck and filth, building its comedy on the sort of material that polite people don't laugh at with grotesque drawings. You probably won't like it. But, me, I love this comic.

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9.0
Deadpool Max #4

Jan 20, 2011

Who knows, at this point, if "Deadpool MAX" will cohere into something grand and amazing, but, right now, it's a funny, moving, stupid, insane, ridiculous, ludicrous, messed up, over-the-top, weird comic that has me wondering if the Pynchon connection is just me or if anyone else is seeing it. Not that that matters, because it's a great comic and you should read it.

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8.0
Deadpool Max #7

Apr 25, 2011

The subtle emotion that Baker is able to depict in Deadpool is surprising. For a man in a full body suit and mask, Deadpool emotes throughout the issue in a way that wouldn't be possible if he were drawn by a lesser artist. That skill helps sell the writing where Deadpool's sincerity and pseudo-maturity are at the center of the issue. After six issues of showing himself to be a mercurial and immature character, his dedication to what he thinks is his family is almost admirable. Sure, he's insane, but his insanity is well-placed here.

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8.0
Deadpool Max #12

Oct 2, 2011

"Deadpool MAX" #12 both ends the first year/season of the book and sets into motion the premise for "Deadpool MAX II," which begins next month. Finally, Deadpool and Bob come together as the comic book secret agent bosom buddies they were always destined to be. It's a shame about all of those folks in Cincinnati. Really.

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9.0
Deadpool MAX II #1

Oct 24, 2011

The wait may not have been long, the book may not be any different, and the relaunch may be entirely arbitrary, but everyone in the world is made a better person for the return of "Deadpool MAX." That Marvel continues to publish this comic is the surest sign of the publisher's intelligence, so willing to allow mockery of itself and its characters out into the world when the quality is so high. If we're lucky, David Lapham and Kyle Baker will never depart this book and we'll eventually get volumes three through, like, twelve.

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5.0
Deadpool Team-Up #892

Jul 5, 2010

"Deadpool Team-Up" #892 doesn't wow, but it's got a solid premise with some good gags throughout. The biggest problem is that none of them are followed through entirely with Deadpool acting a little too one-note. But, it's an entertaining issue nonetheless.

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2.0
Deadpool Team-Up #894

Apr 16, 2010

Given that much of the appeal of both Deadpool and FrankenCastle is the big stupid violence that each gets into, the lack of that here is questionable. The joke that the issue ends on should come at the midway point, because what it suggests next would be entertaining to read. This comic, not so much.

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3.0
Deadpool Team-Up #897

Jan 7, 2010

Fans of Deadpool will find something to enjoy in this comic (namely, Deadpool) and, perhaps, fans of Ghost Rider will as well but, for anyone else, this is nothing more than a mundane team-up book that fails to reach the expectations set by the quick, one-sentence summary of "Deadpool and the Ghost Riders fight a demonically possessed

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3.0
Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1

Jun 30, 2009

When "Merc with a Mouth" was announced, various online commentators remarked on how unnecessary a second Deadpool title is and this debut issue does nothing to quell those opinions.

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5.0
Death-Defying Devil #1

Dec 11, 2008

(Give Edgar Salazar's art and the great John Romita Sr. variant cover a look in CBR's preview!)

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8.0
Defenders (2011) #3

Feb 6, 2012

The chaotic, unknown approach seen in "Defenders" #3 makes for an energetic comic. Fraction and the Dodsons utilize quick cuts and fragmentary scenes, building towards a rousing climax. In interviews, Fraction has said that this is the work-for-hire comic most like "Casanova." The way that both comics have that 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach to storytelling is never in doubt. Since the plot is so chaotic and muddled, it can best be seen from afar and, with each issue, that long view becomes clearer and clearer.

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8.0
Demo, Volume 2 #1

Feb 4, 2010

While not a 'knock you on your butt' issue, the debut of the second volume of "Demo" is a very good comic and a worthy continuation of the first series. The comic itself also keeps the same format of the original series with back matter material, including Wood and Cloonan telling us everything we need to know about the first series, process material, and a preview of the next issue.

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8.0
Demo, Volume 2 #3

Apr 11, 2010

"Demo," though, is still a very welcome addition to the shelves for its brief return. Each issue delivers something new and unexpected, always executed with great skill. Both Wood and Cloonan push themselves on this book to do different types of stories, rarely repeating themselves and that's refreshing. It's one of the books I look forward to most each month.

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10
Demo, Volume 2 #6

Jul 7, 2010

In the text piece at the end of the issue, Wood suggests that more "Demo" may happen again in the future and I certainly hope so. I'm not one to insist that writers and artists do work they don't want to do, but I hope that Wood and Cloonan return the series at some point, if only for another six issues, because these short visual stories have been the highlights of whichever Wednesday they've come out on.

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8.0
Detective Comics #855

Jul 29, 2009

Youre not likely to find a better looking superhero comic on the stands than Detective Comics #855 with J.H. Williams III and Cully Hamner delivering career-best work in already stunning careers. That is, until issue 856 comes out next month.

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8.0
Detective Comics #857

Sep 24, 2009

"Detective Comics" #857 continues to thrill with bold, inventive art from both the main team of Williams and Stewart, and the second feature team of Hamner and McCaig. Rucka writing both gives the issue a uniformity, but the artists are the stars here.

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5.0
Detective Comics #862

Mar 8, 2010

While the main story is questionable and unsatisfying despite the good art, the second feature of "Detective Comics" #862 picks up the slack with humor and action.

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6.0
Detective Comics #864

Apr 29, 2010

That said, this issue of "Detective Comics" follows up on a logical point with Jeremiah Arkham as the Black Mask, exploring how to reconcile that idea with the Arkham that's been a feature in the Bat-titles for years. It's a solid issue with some clever writing in places.

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8.0
Detective Comics #871

Nov 24, 2010

"Detective Comics" #871 begins Scott Snyder's tenure as writing of the title strongly with an intriguing mystery and very good character work, putting Dick Grayson and Jim Gordon at the center of the book. With Jock, David Baron, and Francesco Francavilla on art, the comic is absolutely gorgeous. If you want a Batman comic with the emphasis on the detective and a classic Bat-comic feel, Snyder and company deliver the issue for you.

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2.0
Detective Comics (2011) #2

Oct 5, 2011

Much like the first issue's 'shocking' cliffhanger, this issue ends on a moment that will surely get people talking. And, much like last issue's end, it comes off as cheap and something meant for the moment but will be forgotten quickly. "Detective Comics" #2 doesn't deliver a Batman comic that's engaging and entertaining, it's too mired in sickness and grime without cleverness.

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3.0
Die Hard: Year One #1

Sep 30, 2009

A disappointing debut, "Die Hard: Year One" #1 falls victim to overwritten captions that slow the issue down, while the plot doesn't actually get going until the final pages. There's, honestly, not a lot here that says that the second issue is a must read. Worst of all, the tone here doesn't match up with that of the "Die Hard" movies, and isn't that the point of this comic?

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8.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1

Jul 12, 2009

All in all, this is an experiment that works and also contains a fabulous essay by Warren Ellis that introduces Philip K. Dick in a broader way. All in all, a great package ideal for newcomers and fans alike.

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7.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dust to Dust #1

May 27, 2010

"Dust to Dust" #1 doesn't do anything dramatically different or wild with the world of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" but it introduces some key elements of the world and a similar plot of hunting down rogue androids. The hunters, though, are definitely unique and provide a window into the world that hasn't been seen yet. Fans of Dick's work should enjoy this expansion of the novel.

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8.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dust to Dust #2

Jul 5, 2010

I wasn't expecting to like "Dust to Dust" since prequel comic series for novels, TV shows, and movies tend to be pretty bad, but this series has started off strong. Roberson's decision to have the android hunters be an android and an empath give that plot a unique feel, while Robert Adler's art jumps off the page, demanding to be poured over. Fans of Dick's work should read this series.

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8.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dust to Dust #6

Nov 1, 2010

"Dust to Dust" is a surprising treat in the way it takes some of the basic ideas of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and "Blade Runner" and plays with them, twisting them. Roberson latches onto the idea of emotions, how they affect humans and how androids function without them, and is getting a lot of mileage out of it. Throw in some action, compelling, unique narration from the three main characters, and great art, and you've got a comic worth reading each month.

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7.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dust to Dust #8

Jan 23, 2011

Fans of Dick's novel should definitely track down "Dust to Dust," a story that fits into that world perfectly and delivers a strong, surprising conclusion with this issue. Personally, I'd like to see Roberson return to the surviving characters, especially Reed, that's how much I liked this series.

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9.0
Do Anything Volume 1: Jack Kirby Ripped My Flesh #1

Apr 26, 2010

"Do Anything" may not be like Ellis's other comics writing, but that wasn't the point. Its charms are its own and it's a unique view of a particular period in comics history through the perspective of one of the medium's top talents. For those that read it when serialized and didn't care for it, it reads much better as a whole. If we're lucky, Ellis will come back for another round as his writing here is marvelous and insightful.

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6.0
Doc Savage #1

Apr 14, 2010

While the "Justice, Inc." second feature outpaces the lead story, "Doc Savage" #1 is a thrilling ride of an issue that doesn't slow down. It follows up on the promise of the "Doc Savage/Batman" special and "First Wave" #1 nicely.

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8.0
Doc Savage #6

Sep 8, 2010

The news that Brian Azzarello and Ivan Brandon would be writing the second arc of "Doc Savage" was enough to warrant giving the book another chance, but with artist Nic Klein, they've produced a comic that grabs you from panel one and doesn't let go. It's quick, disarming, creepy, and utterly compelling. Definitely a comic worth checking out and adding to your pull list for the foreseeable future.

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5.0
Doc Savage #7

Oct 18, 2010

"Doc Savage" #6 heralded a strong, new run on the book and this issue doesn't follow-up as well as it could. The beginning is a little too confusing, but it does begin to recover through the second half and ends on a high note. Maybe it's a case of an issue that will read much better as part of the whole story, but, taken alone, it's a let down unfortunately.

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7.0
Doc Savage #10

Jan 14, 2011

As far as 'time out' issues go, this is one of the better ones I've read. Stopping the story mid-arc to tell a related interlude is risky, but Brandon and Winslade make it work by focusing on telling an entertaining action story, and highlighting the relationship between Savage and MacKenna. These scenes easily could have been flashbacks interspersed in a regular issue, but, by putting them all together as a single story, there's more cohesion and impact.

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3.0
Doc Savage #13

Apr 18, 2011

After a strong arc by Ivan Brandon, Brian Azzarello, and Nic Klein, "Doc Savage" #13 is a big step down. Jones gets the details right, but not the feeling, while Qing Ping Mui's art is a messy of lines and distorted perspectives and figures.

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7.0
Doktor Sleepless #10

Dec 18, 2008

The identity of the suspect and what happens when Preston Stoker interferes will have possibly grave consequences for the good Doktor, and has Singer confronting the reality of what it means to be a cop in Heavenside. Warren Ellis and Ivan Rodriguez are doing strong work on "Doktor Sleepless" and people should start paying attention.

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8.0
Doktor Sleepless #12

Apr 9, 2009

While some dismissed "Doktor Sleepless" as a pale imitation of "Transmetropolitan" and the ideas and themes Ellis explored there, it's since established its own space, differentiating itself from his other work. There are obvious overlaps, but this book is its own beast, and it's a damn fine read. Don't be surprised if, years from now, people are talking about how great this book was and you find yourself playing catch-up via trades.

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5.0
Doomwar #3

Apr 21, 2010

Fans of Dr. Doom may want to check out this issue since Maberry does a nice job with the character and sets up an interesting tension for the rest of the story surrounding him, but that's only part of this issue. The remainder is nothing new and reveals little about the characters. Not a bad read, but somewhat dull.

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6.0
Dracula: The Company of Monsters #2

Sep 27, 2010

There's potential in "Dracula: The Company of Monsters," especially if the end of the issue indicates that Vlad will be used to help run the company, so it can crush its competitors. Shifting his skills from the field of battle and the monarchy to the board room could be very entertaining. Where a character like Evan fits in isn't clear, though. If anything, he seems redundant and a distraction right now. He brings the reader into the story, but loses his function after that's accomplished. All in all, this is a solid book with plenty of potential. Hopefully, that potential will be realized.

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6.0
Dragon Prince #3

Nov 25, 2008

(Check out CBR's preview and see just how easy it is to hop on board this book!)

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7.0
DV8: Gods and Monsters #1

Apr 22, 2010

"DV8: Gods and Monsters" #1 sets up the premise of the series well, but doesn't quite deliver on showing the characters interacting. However, the plot set up at the end of the issue suggests that the lack of confrontation between characters will be remedied sooner rather than later. Fans of the original series will no doubt enjoy this and it is new reader friendly for those that missed the original.

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8.0
DV8: Gods and Monsters #2

May 24, 2010

While we don't get an extensive look at the geopolitics of the various tribes, Bliss' story is a good start with the final pages of the issue pushing to another member of the team, Powerhaus. "DV8: Gods and Monsters" #2 builds on the potential shown in the first issue with good writing, great looking art, and a clear direction that's both entertaining and interesting.

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8.0
DV8: Gods and Monsters #4

Jul 24, 2010

While the overall thrust of "DV8: Gods and Monsters" isn't entirely clear, it is coming into focus with each issue. Brian Wood's approach to the book is familiar in its highlighting one character each issue, but unconventional in its slowness and patience. Rebekah Isaacs's art shares a similar patient quality, of not being in a rush, while still having a strong energy. It will be very interesting to see how the second half of this mini-series plays out.

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8.0
DV8: Gods and Monsters #7

Oct 25, 2010

Readers won't have to wait long with the final issue of "DV8: Gods and Monsters" scheduled to ship on November 3 and, after this issue, a longer wait would be difficult to live with. Wood and Isaacs have built to this issue and, then, brush everything aside for an even larger threat that shows just how useless and stupid the actions of the group have been. They've spent the story thinking they were better than the people they've ruled over, but they're just as weak and helpless as they are. It's a powerful cliffhanger to lead into the conclusion.

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5.0
Electric Ant #1

Apr 7, 2010

"Electric Ant" #1 is an interesting comic, especially for fans of Philip K. Dick like myself who can compare it to the story and debate over which changes work and which ones don't, but it doesn't offer anything new or different. The story of a man who discovers he's an android is one that people are familiar with; The draw of this story is how Dick plays with that later in the story, so the opening chapter is sure to be the weakest. I'm curious to see how Mack and Alixe handle the rest of the story and think people should stick with it since it should get much more interesting.

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5.0
Eternals #7

Jan 8, 2009

(Eric Nguyen's art in "Eternals" #7 is pretty good, so check out CBR's preview of his debut!)

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7.0
Exiles Vol. 2 #6

Sep 1, 2009

Its hard to pinpoint what doomed this relaunch of Exiles to a quick death, but it certainly isnt the quality of work by Parker and Espin; This is the best issue of the series Ive read since Judd Winick was on the book. Its a shame that its the final issue. Maybe in a few years, people will be ready for the concept again. If Jeff Parker is on board then, I know I will be, too.

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8.0
Existence 2.0 #3

Sep 29, 2009

"Existence 2.0" #3 concludes this series with lots of action, shocking revelations, numerous double-crosses, and then comes screaming to an end that will rip your heart out. With "Existence 3.0" on the way, I'm left wondering how Spencer and Salas can follow this up, but I'm eager to find out.

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6.0
Existence 3.0 #1

Dec 8, 2009

With the strong immediate hook of the first series, "Existence 3.0" #1 gets off to a slow, less engaging start. Ron Salas's art is still very fluid in conveying action, and he does a fantastic job with the opening, but after the two-page spread that completes the sequence, the issue sinks. Hopefully, things pick up since the concept is good and these creators delivered last time. It would be a shame for this to turn out to be the bad sequel that shouldn't have been made.

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7.0
Faces of Evil: Prometheus #1

Jan 14, 2009

(Federico Dallocchio's unique art is almost worth the price of the comic alone, so give it a look in CBR's preview!)

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6.0
Fantastic Four #566

May 19, 2009

The end of the issue is a bit of a surprise and sets up the Marquis as a real threat and, hopefully, Millar and Hitch can follow through on the promise the character holds.

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5.0
Fantastic Four #569

Jul 29, 2009

The finale of the Millar/Hitch run ends with neither on the book completely, but I don't think that would have helped this mediocre, convoluted story since Millar still plotted it and Hitch is replaced by an artist very much his equal. It's a shame that this 16-issue run couldn't end with more of a bang, but it does have some rather good moments.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #573

Nov 26, 2009

With this done-in-one issue of "Fantastic Four," Jonathan Hickman blends big ideas and smart character work to deliver a great read that takes a somewhat boring concept like Nu-Earth and adds a twist to it that sets it up as another unique and alien location in the Marvel universe.

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1.0
Fear Itself #7.2

Nov 10, 2011

What makes "Fear Itself" #7.2 feel so empty and lacking in story is that its sole function is to introduce plot points that, should you pick up "The Mighty Thor" #8 or "Journey into Mystery" #631, will no doubt be recapped. The manner in which they're introduced here are not more interesting or entertaining than reading a two-sentence recap of what happened. That's the biggest failure of this comic: it's nothing more than 20 pages of epilogue that's really a two-sentence prologue for another story. "Stories end. Stories begin." None are actually told here.

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6.0
Fear Itself: Book of the Skull #1

Mar 17, 2011

If you were excited for "Fear Itself," "Book of the Skull" won't dampen that excitement, but it certainly won't increase it. It's an entertaining superhero story that follows a plot that has been done many times before, both in Ed Brubaker's "Captain America" and elsewhere. Both the art and writing feel inessential to "Fear Itself," nothing that can't be covered in a line of explanation.

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8.0
Final Crisis #7

Jan 28, 2009

Ultimately, "Final Crisis" is one hell of a read. It may not be the "event comic" that people expected or wanted, but that's only because Grant Morrison decided to give us something better.

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8.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #1

May 20, 2009

"Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance" looks like it could be the best of the bunch with Casey and ChrisCross at the helm, building on what Grant Morrison set up. They even work in a funny Aquaman being useless joke that sheds some light on the team dynamics. A funny, engaging read -" it's only one issue in and I want an ongoing series already.

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8.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #3

Jul 22, 2009

In "Dance," Joe Casey and ChrisCross are at their best, delivering action, thrills, laughs, and even the odd moment of introspection. And, in this issue, a very San Diego appropriate issue that will make some long to be at the convention and, others, glad they're at home.

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8.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #6

Oct 21, 2009

While one subplot is resolved in a somewhat odd and unbelievable fashion, "Dance" #6 is a strong conclusion to the series as Casey brings his exploration of this young superhero team to its logical endpoint, while also suggesting a bright future for the group. With any hope, they won't be absent from comic shops for very long.

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8.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #2

Jun 11, 2009

"Escape" #2 is a difficult to sum up since so much of what makes it great is in how its executed, not what actually happens. What happens is unclear and part of the ongoing mystery, but the manner in which Ivan Brandon and Marco Rudy tell it is marvelous and far different what you normally find in superhero comics. It's not for everyone, but good on DC for trying something new and different.

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7.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #3

Jul 16, 2009

Of all of the books to spin out of "Final Crisis," "Escape" is the most experimental and, in many ways, truest to Morrison's sense of storytelling, clearly drawing on elements of his non-superhero work like "The Filth" and "Invisibles" here. Whether or not Ivan Brandon and Marco Rudy can stick the landing is what we'll have to see, but, halfway through, this book is very impressive and one that demands multiple reads to fully appreciate.

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7.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #6

Oct 14, 2009

While the conclusion of this series doesn't live up to its potential, there are still plenty of intriguing concepts and ideas that suggest that the Global Peace Agency and Tom Tresser will play a big role in the DCU's future, and that both Ivan Brandon and Cliff Richards are creators that should be watched.

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4.0
Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink #1

May 28, 2009

What could be a promising idea, a staunch skeptic of superheroes becoming one himself in a crime-ridden city, is lost in an unoriginal plot and awful coloring. Wallace does manage to raise some interesting points on the downside of being a superhero and how becoming one doesn't happen overnight, so hopefully things will improve as he has a chance to explore those ideas.

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9.0
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D #2

Jan 21, 2009

(While everything falls apart, Doug Mahnke's art remains fantastic in CBR's preview!)

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6.0
First Wave #1

Mar 3, 2010

"First Wave" #1 is a good starting place, but is too scattered to be effective. Given the number of characters and plot threads that Azzarello is looking to introduce, this issue reads like the beginning of a big event book somewhat. The plots that are here look promising, but this issue doesn't offer much more than a taste.

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7.0
First Wave #2

May 17, 2010

Though somewhat scattered still, a growing picture of the plot of "First Wave" is becoming apparent, particularly with the bold and somewhat creepy ending of this issue. Azzarello and Morales make a better team than I thought they would, working in harmony very well. It will be interesting to see where this series goes from here.

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8.0
First Wave #3

Jul 29, 2010

The slow build of "First Wave" is beginning to pay off despite much of the story still remaining a mystery. But, the central focus is almost apparent and the characters are all mired in interesting and intriguing stories. With half of the series over, it will be interesting to see how Azzarello pulls it all together for a satisfying payoff.

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7.0
First Wave #4

Sep 29, 2010

Despite delays, "First Wave" #4 continues to build on the previous issues as it combines the seemingly disparate narratives into a cohesive one. The construction of this series has been interesting to watch play out and, with two issues left to go, how Azzarello and Morales tie everything together by the end will be exciting to see.

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4.0
First Wave #5

Dec 13, 2010

"First Wave" #5 is the worst issue of the series yet and doesn't engender much hope for the finale, especially if the art manages to deteriorate even more by then. Hopefully, Azzarello's writing can pull the various plot strands together for a satisfying conclusion.

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3.0
First Wave: Special #1

Apr 11, 2011

In a line of books that's been very hit or miss, it's not too surprising that "First Wave Special" #1 is a miss. It is surprising that Starr and Winslade are the team that lead to one. Not up to the standard either has set in their previous First Wave works, the special is a disappointing read with a baffling conflict at its core.

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8.0
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1

Jun 4, 2011

It's a shame that "Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance" is only three issues long. Already there seems enough depth in this Gotham and its protector that it could easily carry an ongoing series.

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3.0
Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1

Jun 19, 2011

It's hard not to view "Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons" #1 as a textbook example of an event tie-in book that exists because this event needs some tie-in books. The plot is nonexistent and only two characters get any real sense of characterization. The comic does end with a cliffhanger and an indication that a plot will commence next issue, but that's not good enough. It's insulting that this is a comic that's nothing more than 'Boston Brand is self-centered and Dick Grayson loves his family while the troupe is stuck in Europe.' Well worth the $2.99 cover price.

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7.0
Flashpoint: Project Superman #2

Jul 31, 2011

When you add in the comparison to the regular DC Universe, the humor becomes more apparent. Instead of a tragic turn for the worse, what happens here seems more like one of those issues of "What If...?" where the goal was to explore the 'darker' side of the Marvel Universe and wound up, many times, delivering over the top comedies. It may not be intended, but "Flashpoint: Project Superman" #2 delivered more laughs than any comic this week.

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6.0
Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1

Jun 6, 2011

I'm not sure that "Flashpoint: Secret Seven" #1 holds together completely and is little more than a series of crazed moments that entertain in the moment. Those moments, though, are very entertaining. More than anything, this is an interesting comic that you wouldn't see DC publish normally and using "Flashpoint" as the chance to try something a little out there is great to see.

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0.0
Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket #1

Jul 3, 2011

If comic companies want people to stop mocking and dismissing event tie-in books, they need to stop publishing muddled, sloppy, awful comics like "Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket" #1. It's a complete waste of time, money, and paper.

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7.0
Flashpoint: The Outsider #1

Jun 26, 2011

The first extended view of the Outsider is an intriguing one. We've seen him go about his business and get into a big superhero-y fight. What remains to be seen is how much depth there is to the character and if he has legs beyond "Flashpoint." If this issue is any indication, he does.

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7.0
Forgetless #3

Mar 8, 2010

"Forgetless" continues to surprise, particularly with the twist at the end of lead story in this issue. It's never quite what I expect it to be, and the contrast between the two stories in each issue is interesting. Definitely worth checking out.

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9.0
Frankenstein's Womb #1

Aug 5, 2009

"Frankenstein's Womb" is not what many would expect from Warren Ellis at this point, but, like his other Apparat graphic novellas, he indulges in areas he's not normally known for, and once again proves that he's one of the most versatile writers in comics. And, for at least one moment, proves "Wizard" correct in calling him the 'next Alan Moore.'

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8.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Sep 16, 2011

"Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." was a title I was planning to skip until it became one of the comics I was reviewing this week. That was my lucky break, because it's a high concept, entertaining comic with great looking art and writing that manages to introduce the characters, the plot, and how they all fit together without seeming heavyhanded. Consider "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." added to my pull list.

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7.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #4

Dec 19, 2011

One of the nicest surprises of the DC relaunch has been "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." and its focus on absurd ideas and an action-driven story. It's appropriate that, next month, it will enter into a short crossover with "O.M.A.C." since both comics share a similar sensibility.

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8.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #6

Feb 12, 2012

"Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." #6 delivers the best of both worlds in storytelling: a self-contained story and the first part of a multi-issue arc, showing off how Jeff Lemire can balance the two. Both revolve around exploring S.H.A.D.E. and the organization's past in its own way, ending with an intriguing cliffhanger.

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8.0
Free Comic Book Day 2009 Avengers #1

May 6, 2009

An all-out brawl between the two Avengers groups is only teased here and the "putting aside our differences to face the greater threat" is a bit cliched, but, otherwise, Bendis and Cheung make what could be a continuity mess very simple and accessible. Plus, you can't beat the price.

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6.0
Ghost Rider (2006) #29

Nov 16, 2008

(And get your first taste of this brawl by checking out CBR's preview of the issue!)

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8.0
Ghost Rider (2006) #32

Feb 18, 2009

(Angels versus Spirits of Vengeance in CBR's preview!)

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10
Ghost Rider (2006) #34

Apr 23, 2009

If you didn't buy this issue this week, buy it next week. If your shop doesn't have a copy, demand they order you one. If they say no, find another shop. All over this comic, because it's that damn good.

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6.0
Ghost Riders: Heavens On Fire #3

Oct 9, 2009

(Roland Boschi and Dan Brown do good work. See for yourself in CBR's preview.)

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7.0
Glamourpuss #4

Nov 26, 2008

Not a perfect comic by any means, "glamourpuss" #4 does continue the tradition of being very unique and interesting as a process comic, exploring Dave Sim's current obsessions. The big weakness is still the fashion magazine parody elements, but even those have their worthwhile moments.

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8.0
Glamourpuss #5

Jan 28, 2009

This issue not only offers some improved fashion magazine parody contents, but also concludes Sim's thorough analysis of and theorizing on Alex Raymond's photorealistic style (and its evolution over the years). That doesn't mean Sim is done, just that he's ready to move past Raymond and onto those who Raymond not only influenced, but those who took Raymond's techniques and made Raymond evolve to keep up.

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7.0
Glamourpuss #6

Apr 2, 2009

"glamourpuss" #6 is a necessary breather issue as Sim steps back a little to examine advertising comics as a context for his upcoming discussion of Stan Drake, and it sheds some light on part of comics' past that I wasn't aware of. "glamourpuss" continues as a unique read, quite unlike anything else on the shelves and a must for anyone with any interest in art and comics history.

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4.0
Glamourpuss #10

Dec 8, 2009

While the issue does make an attempt to tie together Drake's marriage to Bunny with the strip and the larger concept of an artist meeting and becoming involved with a real person who resembles/embodies his creation, it isn't a strong enough concept to pull everything together. Sim's own morality can't help but come through strongly, particularly when he responds directly to Woody Allen's quote "The heart wants what the heart wants." After nine fantastic issues, "glamourpuss" delivers a bit of a dud, but still remains a unique and stimulating comic.

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9.0
Godland #26

Feb 18, 2009

My only complaint? Issues don't come out quick enough! It's been ages since #25 and this latest "Gdland" issue proves once again how brilliantly cosmitastic this comic is.

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9.0
Godland #27

Apr 17, 2009

What's left to say about "Gdland" that hasn't been said already? It's a book that gets read last whenever it comes out, because not many books can follow it. It may have lost its way (both in plot and schedule) a while ago, but it's back to being one of the best books you can read. I'll say it again: "Gdland" is cosmitastic!

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9.0
Godland #30

Dec 17, 2009

As "Gdland" approaches its end, the stakes get raised in story, and surrounding the story, as metaphysical and metafictional questions get asked. Let's just hope that the universe survives long enough for the answers.

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9.0
Godland #32

Jul 10, 2010

"Gdland" has always had its 'trippy' or ambiguous moments, but none more so than this issue where both Casey and Scioli experiment with their craft to present both a battle and a revelation. What exactly it means isn't 100% clear, but it shouldn't be and it makes for one of the best issues of this consistently fantastic series.

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8.0
Godland #35

Jan 2, 2012

A surprising amount of plot resolution happens in "Gdland" #35 and, with only a couple of issues left possibly, things are definitely prepping for the big finale. Even still, nothing in this comic remains static. For all we know, the danger presented at the end of this issue will be dispatched in a couple of pages before something even bigger reveals itself. The release schedule may be lax, but every issue of "Gdland" is a source of joy, excitement, and entertainment.

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5.0
Gotham City Sirens #2

Jul 23, 2009

All of the characters act consistently with previous portrayals, and the plot is interesting, and, no doubt, many readers will walk away satisfied, but the lacking energy or indefinable quality that elevates a book from workmanlike to great or brilliant is missing. Guillem March draws his ass off, but even that can't save this issue from being completely forgettable once that final page has been read.

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7.0
Gravel #6

Nov 12, 2008

"Gravel" #6 acts as a slight breather after five-and-a-half issues of Gravel fighting magicians, and as a chance to focus on who he is. It's almost comical to see a man who is not surprised by undead horsemen coming to kill him squirm under the idea of "inheriting" wealth and social class.

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8.0
Gravel #8

Jan 14, 2009

This issue is a great jumping-on point for readers, with a new story that recaps and builds on the previous one, and the return of co-writer Mike Wolfer on art. "Gravel" continues to be a surprising, witty, and fun read " "Hellblazer" were an action story and all John Constantine wanted was beer money.

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7.0
Gravel #14

Oct 14, 2009

Ending the second story arc of the series, "Gravel" #14 does a good job of putting what came before behind it while also building on it for the next story. This book has brought the character a long way from simple SAS officer who moonlighted as a combat magician for beer money and the next arc looks like it will be even more surprising.

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8.0
Gravel #21

Oct 28, 2010

I'm sad that "Gravel" is ending as this large story has been some of Ellis's most engaging writing of the last few years. A basic quest story with obvious obstacles, how Gravel has overcome them provided a lot of entertainment. More than that, the book has been a continuation of some of the ideas about England that Ellis has approached elsewhere, most notably in his short run on "Hellblazer." "Gravel" was rooted in England and its culture with old grudges based on location raised, and the lead always looked down upon by his 'betters.' Even if the character never returns, the ending here is a fitting one and, to be honest, where do you go after King of English Magicians?

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6.0
Greek Street #1

Jul 5, 2009

(You can check out CBR's preview of the issue, but the comic is only a buck, so just go buy it instead!)

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6.0
Greek Street #5

Nov 10, 2009

While a good issue, it's disappointing that, after five issues and one story arc, what "Greek Street" is all about and where it is going isn't entirely clear. The ambition of the book is laudable, but without interesting, complete stories along the way, that ambition may not get realized.

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7.0
Greek Street #10

Apr 11, 2010

Those that have stuck with "Greek Street," hoping that the patience would pay off are rewarded in this issue and the last as the series is coming together. While a true sense of direction isn't readily apparent, enough of a connection with the characters has been established that Milligan can play with expectations and their actions carry weight. It's rare that you can say that a comic improves with each issue, but this one does.

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7.0
Greek Street #12

Jun 2, 2010

What stands out most about "Greek Street" #12 is the refreshing nature of the book stepping outside its regular cast to show another person reliving Greek stories. Whether or not Alex will tie into the larger story or if any other of the familiar cast will show up is unknown, but it definitely makes for a nice change of pace.

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5.0
Greek Street #14

Aug 6, 2010

While I will be disappointed when "Greek Street" ends in two issues, this issue doesn't present much of an argument for the series continuing. This issue is a downturn for an otherwise solid story arc and definitely fits in with some of the early issues of the series.

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2.0
Greek Street #15

Sep 9, 2010

"Greek Street" comes to an end next issue and its final story arc looks like a half-hearted attempt to wrap things up quickly and cram in part of the larger, long term plans for the book. It's not successful, especially as a follow-up to a three-issue departure arc that left almost every character from the book off-panel. It's a jarring read and a pretty good argument for why the book should end, no matter what the sales chart says.

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5.0
Greek Street #16

Oct 8, 2010

"Greek Street" may be a lost masterpiece, done in before its time, but the 16 issues released don't suggest that. Instead, they present an ambitious comic that was too lost in its intellectual games to deliver compelling and engrossing characters and stories. It wandered, looking for something to latch onto, always promising an endgame that would make it all worthwhile, and that final point never came. Instead, there's another convention, another intellectual game... "A winged bloody chariot."

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2.0
Green Arrow (2010) #4

Oct 3, 2010

Given the proper focus or time, the plots in "Green Arrow" #4 could possibly be engaging and interesting, but neither are given the chance. They're fragments of nonsense where even the characters shrug and wonder what just happened before walking away, content that the mystery will solve itself some day. Not the best way to create interest or interesting, good comics.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2011) #2

Oct 9, 2011

"Green Arrow" #2 is, paradoxically, a difficult book to fully grasp because it's so remarkably simple. Superhero comics are never this uncomplicated and direct. There is no subtext, only text: Oliver Queen is Green Arrow because he's a good person and he fights villains that are bad guys because they're bad people. The only flaws are when motives are forced into the simple reality of the comic. Otherwise, "Green Arrow" #2 is as pure a superhero comic as you can get, for good or ill.

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3.0
Green Hornet #3

Apr 28, 2010

"Green Hornet" #3 is just another issue in this story that will see Britt Reid, Jr. step into his father's shoes and take up the mantle of the Hornet, his father's death the requisite tragedy to make it happen. It's a little clucky and clichd, but the art is dynamic in places and the issue ends on a cute joke.

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6.0
Green Hornet Annual #1

Sep 1, 2010

For fans of the current "Green Hornet" series, this Annual adds an interesting and necessary part of the story, showing what happened between some of the scenes of issue three. Anyone thinking that this is a chance to give the book a try, though, may want to look elsewhere.

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7.0
Green Hornet: Year One #2

Apr 14, 2010

"The Green Hornet: Year One" is shaping up to be a better read than Dynamite's pumping out of Green Hornet titles would suggest. Matt Wagner is treading similar ground to his excellent work on "Sandman Mystery Theater," while Aaron Campbell has raised his art to a whole new level.

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3.0
Grifter #1

Sep 15, 2011

So much is left undefined in "Grifter" #1 that it doesn't function well as an introduction to the character and has changed so much about the character that those familiar with him will be left scratching their heads over who he is at this point. With a big mystery at the center of the book, questions over who exactly the protagonist is are not needed.

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5.0
Grim Furry Tales: Seeds #1

Feb 28, 2009

"Grim Furry Tales: Seeds" is a little too unfocused and random, relying on existing fairy tales to provide some of the more entertaining stories. Future installments of "Grim Furry Tales" are planned and, hopefully, Brandt provides clearer direction and purpose in those volumes, because there is promise here, it's just intermittent and far too infrequent.

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7.0
Groom Lake #3

Jun 16, 2009

"Groom Lake" is a funny, cynical book that may tell a story we've all read before, but in a different way thanks to Chris Ryall and Ben Templesmith's off-beat sensibilities.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #16

Jul 23, 2009

"Guardians of the Galaxy" continues to be one of Marvel's top titles, consistently delivering quality stories and characters, and this issue is no exception. When Jack Flag yells, "Swear to god, I hate cosmic stuff!" here, you can't help but disagree because Abnett and Lanning are writing one hell of a book.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #21

Dec 23, 2009

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is the book you want to be reading if you want action, excitement, drama, and a sense that anything can happen. Two issues ago, half of the team died and, in this issue, it looks like another death may not be far off. This title is consistently one of the best superhero comics Marvel produces.

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6.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #24

Mar 17, 2010

"Guardians of the Galaxy" has set a high standard over its two years and this issue falls short a little, but still maintains the entertaining charm that's made it such a joy to read.

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5.0
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #3

Aug 11, 2010

"Hack/Slash: My First Maniac" #3 is a fun horror comic and it's easy to see why the "Hack/Slash" series has such a strong following. Tim Seeley writes Cassie very well and makes it easy to root for her, while creating an entertaining case for her to deal with. This issue bridges the gap between her coming to town and next issue's conclusion to the story. While underdeveloped in places, it's definitely worth giving a look if you like horror, if you haven't already.

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5.0
Halcyon #1

Nov 12, 2010

"Halcyon" has a strong, interesting idea behind it, but this first issue spends far too much time getting there. It's all world building, but doesn't come off as essential world building. Only a few characters get any memorable panel time and the final pages are the most engaging and exciting. Like I said at the beginning, this issue feels more like a teaser than a strong debut. Instead of leading with the book's most interesting idea, it postpones it. I'm interested to see what the second issue does with it.

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7.0
Halcyon #2

Dec 9, 2010

Overall, "Halcyon" #2 is a much more intriguing and compelling issue than the first, but it's still too soon into the story to get a solid read on the title. It has the potential to be a unique, imaginative story that explores a very fascinating post-superhero world, but it could also turn into just another supervillain plot that needs to be foiled. I'm hoping for the former and, so far, "Halcyon" hasn't disappointed.

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6.0
Halcyon #5

Jun 5, 2011

"Halcyon" was an ambitious series, one loaded with potential, and it never reached it. The idea was so big that five issues couldn't do it justice and the shift to a much more personal story gives the series a lopsided imbalance. What actually happens in this issue is clever and makes for a strong ending " of Sabre's story. But, this wasn't never just Sabre's story and that's the problem.

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3.0
Haunt #1

Oct 4, 2009

As I said at the beginning of this review, if this book appeals to you because you're a fan of McFarlane and his work, you'll probably enjoy "Haunt" #1. If you're not, you'll most likely find this a pointless comic that never really offers anything new and feels like a bad joke.

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7.0
Haunt #19

Dec 4, 2011

In "Haunt" #19, Joe Casey and Nathan Fox make an effort to please both existing readers of the title and newcomers, succeeding for the most part. The art is gorgeous and is worth poring over again and again to see exactly what Fox is doing. Casey glosses over a lot, but also provides a clear direction of where the book will wind up soon. The end of the issue is pure insane violence and leaves things in a very interesting place.

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8.0
Haunt #20

Jan 2, 2012

"Haunt" ends 2011 with a pair of strong, entertaining issue from Joe Casey and Nathan Fox. The new direction is surprising and entertaining. At this rate, "Haunt" may be one of the best comics of 2012.

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7.0
Hawkeye & Mockingbird #4

Sep 4, 2010

Going into this issue, I'd heard a lot of great things about "Hawkeye & Mockingbird" and they're all true. McCann is writing a fun, character-driven book that throws in some great action scenes by the Lopez Brothers.

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4.0
Hell Yeah #1

Mar 9, 2012

If "Hell Yeah" #1 spent less time worrying about telling us about the past and more time telling us the story, it would be a much more entertaining and engaging read. Instead, it begins well, drags in the middle and spends the rest trying to play catch up. It's an all-too-typical first issue offering enough glimmers of potential to warrant coming back for a second.

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7.0
Hellblazer: City of Demons #1

Oct 18, 2010

"City of Demons" #1 is an entertaining beginning to a spin-off mini. If there's one character that can carry the occasional mini-series or one-shot outside of his ongoing series, it's John Constantine. Si Spencer and Sean Murphy set a good example and the conclusion of this issue shows a promising premise for the remaining four issues.

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9.0
Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil #1

Nov 22, 2010

If you've never read a Hellboy story before, this is your sort of book. Both the lead and back-up require almost no prior knowledge of the character and there's the gorgeous Richard Corben art. Both stories seem constructed to work with Corben's strengths as an artist and, at 70, the man can draws a fantastic comic page.

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5.0
Heroes for Hire #7

May 23, 2011

"Heroes for Hire" #7 is an entertaining comic on the whole and has a good dynamic. Spider-Man's inclusion seems somewhat random when there are plenty of others heroes who could fill a similar role. But, contrasting him with Paladin works for the point that Abnett and Lanning are trying to make. Disposable fun that would have been at home as an issue of "Web of Spider-Man."

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6.0
Herogasm #1

May 20, 2009

While there isn't a lot going on here beyond variations on the same joke, "Herogasm" #1 is a brisk and entertaining read. Hopefully the amount of time spent on mining "superpeople having lewd sex" here means the plot will pick up next issue.

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6.0
Herogasm #2

Jun 21, 2009

Though an improvement over the first issue, the second issue of "The Boys: Herogasm" is still so mired in sex and drug jokes that aren't funny or were at one point until beaten into the ground that it still seems a lesser addition, a watered-down version of the monthly book. The plot does pick up the pace a bit here and, hopefully, it will continue in that direction.

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7.0
Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1

Feb 3, 2009

"Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead" #1 is a very engaging read with a lot of wit and action. Steve Pugh builds on Warren Ellis's concepts in the best way and illustrates them in a striking and energetic style with unique coloring. Definitely worth checking out.

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7.0
Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #2

Mar 24, 2009

Highly entertaining, "Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead" mixes horror and sci-fi concepts well, and also contains a compelling mystery. Pugh's work here will certainly turn heads.

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1.0
Hulk (2008) #18

Dec 19, 2009

It's hard to do insightful when the message of the book is forget intelligence and embrace big stupid fighting and your artist is known for pin-ups not storytelling. Perhaps if there were a stronger case presented here for why Samson takes this ill-advised turn, this issue would be more tolerable, but it comes across as undoing much of the work done by previous writers and striping the character of the elements that make him interesting. Then again, if "Hulk" was lacking anything, it was angry, stupid guys who just want to fight.

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8.0
Hulk (2008) #30.1

Mar 20, 2011

"Hulk" #30.1 manages to not only deliver a strong jumping-on point by establishing clearly who the Red Hulk is and introducing a new adversary, it also provides a major turning point in the title. It's an issue obviously designed to hook new readers and impress old ones.

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4.0
Hulked Out Heroes #1

Apr 15, 2010

I'm not sure what the logic behind this comic is, but it's definitely one meant for fans of Deadpool, not anyone looking for a bunch of their favorite heroes Hulked out and smashing things. It's still entertaining in a chaotic, stupid way, but has little to do with "World War Hulks" and doesn't deliver on its promise.

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3.0
Human Target #1

Feb 10, 2010

All in all, "Human Target" #1 seems like an attempt at DC to cater to the TV show's fanbase, but the execution doesn't replicate anything that makes the show interesting or worth watching. Wein's writing is plodding and slow, especially the narration, and lacks much of the wit and charm without the show's three stars.

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6.0
I, Zombie #1

May 5, 2010

You can't go wrong with a one dollar first issue and "I, Zombie" #1 isn't one to grab your right away, but with art from the Allreds and a few interesting moments, this issue shows that the series has potential.

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6.0
I, Zombie #5

Sep 6, 2010

Ultimately, reading "iZombie" #5, I'm left with one question: why should I care? The comic never answers that or gives me a good reason to come back next issue aside from some good dialogue and great art. But, without a solid emotional core or intriguing plot, those positives just hang there and don't seem as appealing. On the surface, this is a pretty good comic, but it's lacking something underneath.

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7.0
Ignition City #1

Apr 8, 2009

Hopefully, this is just the first series of many for "Ignition City" as there is obviously a lot of potential material for future stories provided in this issue alone. After nearly three years, Ellis' concept of "Where did the space heroes go to die?" has arrived and it's a good read.

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9.0
Ignition City #2

Apr 26, 2009

"Ignition City" is turning out to be as good as everyone hoped it would be as Ellis and Pagliarani deliver a very personal story but set against a larger world, one that they could get lost exploring -- and, yet, never seem to. Last issue hinted that they might, but this issue is more focused. Often brilliant and heartbreaking, you should be reading this book.

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8.0
Ignition City #3

May 30, 2009

"Ignition City" walks the same line that "Planetary" did in providing both insight into the fictional world and characters' pasts and delivering a story with plenty of forward momentum. Like "Planetary," Ellis has chosen a mystery plot, which allows for plenty of both and it works for a very nice balance.

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8.0
Ignition City #5

Nov 1, 2009

"Ignition City" #5 concludes with a caption that says "The end," but it would have been fitting to see the words "A beginning" since this issue ends with the setting up of a different status quo for the former space heroes and Mary Raven, one that makes sense and introduces some good story possibilities. While Ellis has said that he doesn't plan to follow up on "Ignition City" in the near future, hopefully he will revisit the concept since it has potential for future mini-series.

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9.0
Immortal Weapons #1

Jul 21, 2009

(Fat Cobra! Who doesn't love Fat Cobra? CBR's preview has lots of Fat Cobra!)

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6.0
Incognito #1

Jan 1, 2009

(Who doesn't love Sean Phillips's art? Well, check out a whole bunch of it in CBR's preview!)

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8.0
Incognito #4

Jun 17, 2009

"Incognito" is a compelling story with some of the best art you're going to see this month. Brubaker and Phillips, as always, work in perfect harmony.

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8.0
Incognito #6

Sep 8, 2009

While Brubaker and Phillips are returning to "Criminal" next, "Incognito" #6 sets up future stories very well and puts Zack in an interesting place for them. It's hard to say where the two will take these characters next, but, based on this opening story, wherever that is, count me in.

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5.0
Incognito: Bad Influences #1

Oct 31, 2010

"Bad Influences" #1 is a skillfully constructed comic, but it's lacking a pulse. I wouldn't go so far as it say it's like Brubaker and Phillips are going through the motions, but, by the end, it's clear that the real heart of the story lies ahead and this is simply the necessary exposition that's required. The new status quo is really the old status quo without the charm. The end of the issue holds promise and Brubaker and Phillips have earned some leeway, so this series is worth continuing with, just not based on the strength of this issue necessarily.

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7.0
Incorruptible #2

Jan 20, 2010

Two issues in, "Incorruptible" is setting itself apart from the book it has spun out of by taking a more ground-level approach to the world, focusing on the effects of the Plutonian's rampage on a human level. The plot set in motion at the end of the issue is an engaging cliffhanger/teaser for next issue.

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8.0
Incorruptible #4

Apr 2, 2010

While the 'villain becoming a hero' concept is an inversion of "Irredeemable," Waid also inverts the focus by sticking with Max here while revealing him in a similar manner to the way the Plutonian's true nature has been revealed. It's not a simple case of a bad guy seeing the light, but his selfish desires being directed toward a different goal. This book is an interesting case where the change of character is possibly only superficial, making it a great complement to "Irredeemable."

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6.0
Incorruptible #7

Jun 25, 2010

More than that, there isn't a clear direction in the book. Max Damage becoming a hero is so vague that even the character doesn't quite know what to do. Already, the book suffers from not being entirely sure what to do next, or so it appears. Hopefully, this is just a planned bit of uncertainty as Max finds a narrower focus as there is a lot of potential in this book as the first arc showed.

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8.0
Incorruptible #9

Sep 1, 2010

With its third arc, "Incorruptible" comes closer to "Irredeemable" again and shows a glimpse of Max the villain. The contrast between Max then and now is stark, but not as great as you'd think, putting the past eight issues into a different light. While this isn't the first time we've seen the old Max, it hits harder. And, Waid shows some of his twisted side with the issue-ending cliffhanger that surprised the hell out of me.

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7.0
Incorruptible #15

Feb 23, 2011

It took a while for "Incorruptible" to completely find its footing and it's nice to see that it has. Waid and Takara make a great team and are able to keep the book's identity firm despite featuring characters from "Irredeemable" heavily. It never feels like an additional issue of "Irredeemable," always its own thing.

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6.0
Incredible Hercules #132

Aug 11, 2009

While not as great as hyped up to be, "Incredible Hercules" #132 is an entertaining and enjoyable issue. Not every joke works, but those that do are funny " and that there's a superhero book trying for this fun, light, funny tone is admirable, and worth a look.

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7.0
Incredible Hercules #133

Aug 25, 2009

Through the seventh smartest person in the world, Van Lente and Pak find a relatable and interesting character in Amadeus Cho. This issue provides readers with a quick catch-up on who Amadeus is and what he's gone through, making this a great jumping on point. As well, the final page is one of the best cliffhangers of the year.

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8.0
Incredibles #7

Mar 24, 2010

"The Incredibles" definitely makes good use of the cast of characters from the movie and offers a fun, entertaining superhero book free of excessive violence and full of heroism for the sake of heroism. It manages to combine old fashioned superhero fun with modern sensibilities and, sometimes, offers fantastic moments that stand with the best of Marvel and DC.

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9.0
Incredibles #14

Sep 29, 2010

A fantastic mix of short stories and larger plot, "The Incredibles" #14 shows both mixing and coming to a head at the same time. There's a great mix of humor, action, and drama that focuses on the characters. Every issue is a joy to read and I can't wait until #15.

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6.0
Indomitable Iron Man #1

Feb 3, 2010

The majority of "Indomitable Iron Man" #1 features gorgeous, stunning art by Will Rosado and Howard Chaykin that's well worth the price of admission. After seeing how well the character lends itself to that visual style, you may wonder if Iron Man even needs the reds and golds he's so often associated with.

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9.0
Infinite Kung-Fu #1

Aug 29, 2011

"Infinite Kung-Fu" is so entertaining and big and just plain fun to read that its large scope never drags it down. It's like the best kung-fu movie you've ever seen, unimpaired by time or budget constraints, willing to take everything about kung-fu that everyone loves and throw it all together. McLeod basically shows how it should be done here.

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9.0
Infinite Vacation #1

Jan 12, 2011

The idea behind the series is strong enough that, when this story is over, many, many more could be told. But, the focus on a strong protagonist is exactly what's required. A lot of information is thrown at the reader and grounding it all in a very flawed human that could be the reader makes the book accessible, both intellectually and emotionally. "Infinite Vacation" #1 is as smart and engaging a comic as you could hope for.

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8.0
Invincible Iron Man #7

Nov 6, 2008

And if that didn't convince you to pick up this issue, maybe CBR's seven-page preview will.

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5.0
Invincible Iron Man #10

Feb 4, 2009

All in all, neither the writing nor art make me want to continue reading this series despite the cliffhanger ending. You can't say I didn't give "Invincible Iron Man" a fair shot, though.

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5.0
Invincible Iron Man #12

Apr 1, 2009

The centerpiece of this issue, Iron Man versus Namor, plays out pretty much how you would expect it to in this "parade of enemies" story, but Fraction throws in a few curve balls in the other plots. Fans of the comic will no doubt dig this issue since it isn't all that different from what came before, which is a shame, because the series has shown small bursts of brilliance, even one or two in this very issue. Just not many.

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5.0
Invincible Iron Man #500.1

Feb 2, 2011

In one respect, "Invincible Iron Man" #500.1 is a strong character study of Tony Stark with an emphasis on Matt Fraction's mastery of his voice and Salvador Larroca showing off his cartoony skills. In other, it's an obtuse and vague comic that doesn't seem to relate to the current title or offer much reason to pick up the next issue, which is supposed to be the reason for these '.1' issues from Marvel. It's a fine self-contained story, just not an arresting comic that demands you come back next month.

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3.0
Invincible Iron Man #506

Jul 24, 2011

The role of tie-in books during events is a tricky one. Some are left with large gaps that can be filled, while others are constrained by the mechanics of the event. What's sadder is when there's the potential in a comic to fill some of those big gaps and, instead, it spends an issue mostly treading water, running out the clock until it's able to pull the trigger on a 'big moment.'

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4.0
Iron Man 2.0 #1

Feb 24, 2011

The art problems are unavoidable, but the writing is what lets this comic down most. Spencer shows he can handle James Rhodes when he's talking to Tony Stark, and then the book loses any sense of individuality when Stark disappears. It literally reads like "Iron Man 2.0" in the sense that this could just be a second Iron Man title, no War Machine necessary. That may change, of course, but there not being a compelling reason for a new War Machine coming in the first issue of his new comic is a pretty big strike against the series.

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8.0
Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Sep 4, 2010

As a concept, "Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." #1 may not appeal to a lot of readers, but it's a pretty great artist showcase book. Joe Casey writes three stories that add to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents we see in the movie, while the three artists all deliver different visual styles that will blow you away. This is one of the best-looking comics you're going to find on the shelves this week.

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4.0
Iron Man 2: Public Identity #1

Apr 28, 2010

If you're curious about what happens between the two Iron Man movies, give this comic a look. The plot has potential and the characters' voices are spot-on with the movie versions. While the lack of likenesses to the actors is a little off-putting, the art also suffers from inconsistency, but the storytelling is strong. It's a solid comic that's overwhelmed by small problems.

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3.0
Iron Man/Thor #1

Nov 3, 2010

"Iron Man/Thor" #1 is a bland, mediocre comic that only strengthens the argument that movies mean a flood of forgettable comics that don't warrant reading. What little story is here isn't compelling or interesting; Everything is held back for the 'shocking' final page that isn't much of a cliffhanger. It's disappointing work from everyone involved. Thankfully, I probably won't remember this comic at all by tomorrow.

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7.0
Irredeemable #2

May 4, 2009

(Check out the first few pages of this issue in CBR's preview and, then, pick it up. It's good.)

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7.0
Irredeemable #4

Jul 1, 2009

"Irredeemable" is shaping up to be a good examination of what would happen if Superman were to turn evil, but Waid is also managing to avoid most of the pitfalls a concept like that has. So far, it's been an enjoyable, darkly funny, and engaging read. Well worth checking out.

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9.0
Irredeemable #8

Nov 19, 2009

While "Irredeemable" may have began as a simple 'Superman turns evil' story (or, at least, appeared as such), it has become a complex and nuanced examination of what being a hero requires and what happens if someone isn't capable of living up to that standard. Mark Waid is doing career-best writing and Peter Krause is proving that he will be a fan-favorite artist some day. This is simply one of the best comics month after month.

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7.0
Irredeemable #11

Feb 24, 2010

With the issue dominated by the two scenes focusing on the past, there isn't much room for plot advancement and what little there is seems rushed and incomplete. The issue ends with the promise of revealing Bette Noir's real secret about the Plutonian and, while alluring, it's also a cheat given that this issue revolved around that secret, conveniently postponing it until next issue. "Irredeemable" #11 is another very good issue in the series, but it's bursting with characters and plot strands to the point where it's noticeably straining to include everyone.

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8.0
Irredeemable #14

Jun 2, 2010

In many ways, this issue is just another example of the title's high level of quality, but it also shows a different side of many of the heroes. Their determination and skill in a difficult situation, and their drive to protect the world even if some view them as threats. For a series that's focused on the shortcomings of heroes, this issue is a rare example of a focus on the heroes being heroes, stepping up to do what's necessary and right no matter what. Those threads have always been there, but an entire issue devoted to the idea is needed after so much time wallowing in how heroes can go wrong and fail to live up to their callings. "Irredeemable" is probably the best work of Mark Waid's career and the complexity of the world and its characters is why.

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9.0
Irredeemable #17

Sep 8, 2010

Somehow, "Irredeemable" manages to keep upping the ante and the surprises. This issue reveals some big pieces of information and does so through great dialogue and art. Waid and Krause make this title a top-of-the-pile-read-right-away comic every month and this issue is no exception. But, maybe, just in case, leave time after for a shower if you're easily disturbed to scrub the 'ick' away.

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7.0
Irredeemable #25

May 9, 2011

Beginning its third year, "Irredeemable" is still going strong with compelling stories, great character work, and strong art. It's become a more serialized comic than when it first started and Mark Waid is doing his career-best work. Like a lot of great comics, it's easy to take "Irredeemable" for granted, but, sometimes, it's worth stopping and remember just how good it is.

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3.0
Jennifer Blood #3

May 9, 2011

After three issues, it's not too hard to see that "Jennifer Blood" isn't working. Tonally, it can't find a place that works and the way that the idea of a vigilante housewife out for revenge is handled is so by-the-numbers and obvious that nothing surprises. Ennis is usually a 'must buy' writer; not this time.

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6.0
Jersey Gods #1

Feb 4, 2009

I do wish that the series began with Barock and Zoe already married and the details of how they met given in flashbacks or even saved for later in the series. The concept for this book is so intriguing that starting off slowly instead of in medias res seems an odd choice, and maybe not the best.

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6.0
Jersey Gods #2

Mar 5, 2009

It seems wrong to fault this book, because it isn't what I expected, but since those expectations were built by the creators, I don't know what else to do. With any hope, the book will kick it into high gear and move past the clich god war, and to the domestic comedy promised. But, make no mistake, this is still a fun, good read, one that Brunswick and McDaid should be proud of.

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7.0
Jersey Gods #3

Apr 7, 2009

Each issue of "Jersey Gods" sees Brunswick and McDaid grow in confidence and skill. While not quite a 'must read' yet, it's well on its way.

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7.0
Joe The Barbarian #2

Feb 17, 2010

Morrison's writing isn't bad here as he choreographs many of the changes that Murphy and Stewart pull off so well, but the effectiveness of those techniques is mostly in the hands of the artists. Morrison's development of the fantasy world and its story is very basic, the sort of thing that you've seen before in numerous fantasy stories. While it is the sort of world that a boy Joe's age would think of, not much of it is surprising or up to that level often associated with Morrison. His writing is effective at creating an interesting fantasy story with a neat twist, but without as skilled an artist as Murphy, it wouldn't read nearly as well since, so far, the story hasn't progressed beyond its clever premise yet.

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8.0
Joe The Barbarian #6

Jun 28, 2010

While not a work that affects me emotionally greatly, "Joe the Barbarian" is nonetheless an entertaining and intriguing comic. Grant Morrison's writing has depth, while Sean Murphy is making a name for himself that has people talking about him as an artist to watch since he can only get better.

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8.0
Joe The Barbarian #7

Sep 20, 2010

This issue pays off the build-up of Joe winning the support of the enemies of King Death and leading them against the dark master, while also finally reaching the bottom of the house. The final page delivers a strong cliffhanger, mixing the two worlds in an interesting way. "Joe the Barbarian" #7 is an entertaining and engaging read, because Morrison and Murphy work in concert so well together, kicking things off with some stunning action before hitting us with the heart of the story. I can't wait for the finale.

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7.0
Joker's Asylum II: The Mad Hatter #1

Jun 21, 2010

You won't gain any new insight into the Mad Hatter in this one shot, but it provides everything you do need to know about him. By focusing on what makes him such a madman, Walker gives an easy reference point for the character, and the combination of Giffen and Sienkiewicz on the art reflects the writing perfectly.

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6.0
Jonah Hex #51

Jan 12, 2010

"Jonah Hex" #51 is a pleasant read that won't be making any 'best of the year' lists, but also won't make you wish you'd spent your three bucks on something else.

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7.0
Jonah Hex #63

Jan 10, 2011

I don't pick up every issue of "Jonah Hex," but, when I do, I always enjoy the comic. It's not a 'set the world on fire' sort of read, it's a solid, entertaining one. The sort that you read and put away and some day find a stash of when we've forgotten you had them. This issue fits the bill perfectly and manages to add that extra level of personal involvement to the story.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #622

Apr 14, 2011

The debut of the new "Journey into Mystery" is definitely the sort of comic that Thor fans will love. Gillen writes a fantastic Loki and sets the book on a smart course for the future. A title starring Loki may not be the first book that springs to mind as a logical spin-off from "Thor," but is proves in one issue that it should be.

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2.0
Journey Into Mystery #626.1

Sep 3, 2011

The best 'point one' issues have been the ones that manage to introduce the concept while also offering something new for regular readers of the comic. With an unnecessary 'between the panels' story from an earlier issue by people who don't do the comic regularly, "Journey into Mystery" #626.1 ranks among the worst. It embodies all of the possible negatives in the 'point one' comics in its redundancy, questionable choice of creators, and hasty production values.

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6.0
Journey Into Mystery #630

Oct 31, 2011

Overall, "Journey into Mystery" #630 is an amusing, entertaining comic that begins the follow-up to "Fear Itself." Volstagg's role in the event is surprising, and his reaction lends itself to a fun comic. The only problem is that the writing and art don't go far enough to make Volstagg's story a fantastic tall tale, walking some middle ground that leaves you wanting more.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #632

Dec 18, 2011

Christmas issues in superhero comics don't often work. They're too sappy (or cheesy) or seem like a fill-in that doesn't matter; "Journey into Mystery" #632 avoids those problems. There's heart to this story, but not so much that you want to throw up, and it genuinely feels like the 'next issue' of the series, not one where the holiday theme has been forced upon it, derailing it for a month. If Christmas comics were reread every year like TV specials are rerun, this issue may be a candidate for earning a permanent spot in that rotation.

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6.0
Justice League Dark #5

Jan 28, 2012

It seems unfair to praise a comic for its boldness and willingness to subvert conventions before condemning it as a dead end issue for the series. But, that's exactly what "Justice League Dark" #5 is. Any sort of follow-up will seem disappointing after a finish like this, like a surrender of principles set out here against the entire concept of the comic. A natural jumping off point.

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3.0
Justice League of America (2006) #57

May 23, 2011

From a plot and structure standpoint, "Justice League of America" #57 is solid. The Justice League regroups while Eclipso advances his plans to destroy Earth, giving off a sense that everyone is screwed while balancing the two halves of the issue well. The execution falls down with cluttered pages that seem to do everything they can to make the reader lose interest and look away. There's potential here, but it's not reached.

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6.0
Justice Society of America #20

Nov 5, 2008

The small character moments in this issue make up for the lackluster, cliched plot, although the two-page history of the multiverse by Starman stops the issue dead. The look on Mr. Terrific's face upon seeing his wife alive, the problems between Huntress and Robin, and both Power Girls' attempts to find out where they belong are just a few of the parts that make this comic better than its whole.

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6.0
Kato Origins #1

Apr 21, 2010

"Kato Origins" #1 is a good beginning to the series and offers a clear, confident take on the character. The art works best when taken one panel at a time and the narration doesn't come together at the end, but it's engaging and shows promise for the series as a whole.

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1.0
Kick-Ass #5

Jan 10, 2009

(John Romita Jr.'s art is great to look at, but just don't read Mark Millar's words in CBR's preview of "Kick-Ass" #5.)

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2.0
Kirby: Genesis #0

May 29, 2011

The concept of a one dollar preview book is a good one as many publishers have shown, especially balancing the book between comic and bonus materials. "Kirby: Genesis" #0 fails on execution, providing little hint of what the series will actually be about besides 'throw Kirby characters together and see what happens.' Not much of a concept and not much of a comic. If Kirby's name wasn't in the title and his concept art wasn't in the back, I wouldn't know this had anything to do with him.

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4.0
Knight and Squire #2

Nov 11, 2010

The concept of "Knight and Squire" #2 is solid, but, after a promising, smart opening scene, the issue becomes a boring, flat read. The wit and energy of the characters displayed in their appearances in "Batman" and "Batman and Robin" is replaced with passive action that leans heavily on British cultural references. Except, all that's here are the references, something Cornell accomplished much more effectively in "Captain Britain and MI:13" by balancing those references with lots of excitement and bold storytelling. No, this comic left me completely cold and wondering what the point is besides having a British superhero book for the sake of having a British superhero book.

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8.0
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century: 1969 #1

Aug 1, 2011

Part fun fiction exercise, part straight up adventure story, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969" is a flat-out fun book to read. Underneath all of the references and allusions is a very easy-to-follow story that has all of that other stuff built up all around it. If you don't know who people are, it still works, and that extra knowledge is a rewarding bonus for those in the know, or who have read Jesse Nevins' annotations. As well, the ending is a perfect cliffhanger that makes the final volume in the story, "2009," seem much too far away.

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6.0
Loki #1

Oct 21, 2010

"Loki" #1 offers a different perspective on the god of lies, one that may be him succumbing to his own gift for deception. However, there's not enough depth in the issue to truly grab the reader. Both the writing and the art skim along the surface too much, not able to go beyond and truly explore Loki or offer much more than a hint that such an exploration may happen in the remaining three issues.

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7.0
Loki #2

Dec 19, 2010

So far, "Loki" has been a pleasant read where the art overshadows the writing. Aguirre-Sacasa has a strong grasp of the trickster, but has chosen the one Loki-centric story that's been done to death. He tries to add original touches and succeeds at times; it's simply that Loki killing Balder somehow is not as inherently interesting as almost any other Loki story could be. Still, as far as Loki mini-series go, this is pretty good.

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7.0
Loki #4

Mar 20, 2011

"Loki" #4 not only wraps up the plots that have been set up, it provides the culmination of Aguirre-Sacasa's portrait of Loki, moving through his petty jealousies and desires to be as liked and loved as his brothers through to his ultimate desire, his true nature, to simply destroy everything around him. Just because he can. It's an interesting portrayal of the character and, hopefully, one that informs how he's written in the future. Along with the "Siege: Loki" one-shot, this is the essential guide to the character.

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8.0
Lone Ranger #18

Sep 15, 2009

Believe the hype with "The Lone Ranger," as it's a very good read, a strongly visual one that demands you slow down and appreciate the gorgeous art. Sergio Cariello and Marcelo Pinto do fantastic work as a team, giving "The Lone Ranger" a unique, stunning look.

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8.0
Madman Atomic Comics #15

May 2, 2009

The ending of the plot is a little predictable and quick, but saved with cute and funny dialogue. It may be my first issue of "Madman Atomic Comics," but it certainly won't be my last.

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7.0
Madman Atomic Comics #16

Jun 18, 2009

(Play spot the musicians game on the first page of CBR's preview of this issue!)

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4.0
Magneto: Not a Hero #1

Nov 10, 2011

"Magneto: Not a Hero" #1 is an okay first issue. The plot is obvious and facilitates the necessary conflict to showcase Magneto as both an X-Man and as someone with his own agenda. Scottie Young has Magneto's voice down and Clay Mann draws him well. The reveal at the end of the issue is a logical one and provides for an interesting antagonist going forward.

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6.0
Magnus, Robot Fighter #2

Oct 19, 2010

"Magnus, Robot Fighter" #2 is a comic that pulls in a couple of directions, but is entertaining nonetheless. The approach is somewhat antiquated and that separates it from most other comics. There's a simplicity to the comic that makes it fun to read.

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1.0
Magog #4

Dec 11, 2009

"Magog" #4 offers little entertainment value since it is devoid of character development, a plot that engages, and aesthetically-pleasing or technically competent art. When this series was announced, many wondered why oh why DC would publish a Magog comic series. After reading this issue the only answer I can offer is because they can.

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3.0
Malignant Man #1

Apr 26, 2011

I hope "Malignant Man" can escape the set course it's on, because that's what drags this first issue down. Take out the specific cancer-based elements and you have dozens of other stories almost beat-for-beat. The hook this series has is good, but even it can't overcome the general sense of 'been there, read that' that this comic inspires.

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7.0
Memoir #1

Jan 23, 2011

"Memoir" #1 doesn't hit the ground running with a quick plot, preferring to take its time, an approach that has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is that, by the end of the first issue, not much is new for anyone who was aware of the comic before picking it up. But, that's a negative in the short term. On the whole, it's an engrossing read that sets the stage well. Hell, I want to know what happened in Lowesville and isn't that the point?

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7.0
Men of War #1

Sep 11, 2011

Mostly an introduction to Corporal Joe Rock and his new mission, "Men of War" #1 does a great job of making sure we know exactly who Rock is and what kind of man he is. It also makes sure to give lots of combat, while raising the question of what effect superhumans have on combat zones. Judging from this issue, it could prove to be one of the more interesting books in the DC relaunch.

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8.0
Men of War #6

Feb 5, 2012

With the departure of Ivan Brandon, "Men of War" will stagger on for two additional issues, but this feels like the true conclusion of the series. The confrontation of Rock with the face of endless war calls back to the first issue perfectly. "Men of War" was one of the best titles of the 'New 52' and it will be missed.

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6.0
Mighty Avengers #20

Dec 17, 2008

(Lee Weeks on art? Yes please! Check out his wonderful flashback scene in CBR's preview!)

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3.0
Mighty Avengers #34

Mar 4, 2010

"Mighty Avengers" #34 offers the conclusion to a long-running subplot in the book, but it's rushed and not executed strongly. Loki's presence is required in "Siege" and that story takes precedence, understandably. The issue ends with a big cliffhanger that offers hope for future issues, but this issue is sloppy and a let down.

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4.0
Moon Knight (2011) #3

Jul 10, 2011

It's hard to believe that a Bendis and Maleev comic is this bland, but "Moon Knight" #3 practically drowns in it, mostly because of its leading man. Marc Spector doesn't seem to have any character except a little bit of craziness and a stereotypical TV producer personality that's probably a sad little act. While many comics have managed to be great without a strong, compelling lead, this issue shows just how much of a problem that could be heading forward.

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7.0
Moon Knight (2011) #5

Sep 11, 2011

Trying to read "Moon Knight" #5 like any other superhero book, even one written by Bendis, doesn't work. It's too skewed, almost written so close to the craziness of its characters that the reader needs to step back and see them for the quasi-losers and weirdos they are. It's not a book about proving one's self or making good, it's just a comic about a screwed up guy who dresses up in a bright white costume and thinks he's awesome.

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8.0
Moon Knight (2011) #8

Dec 11, 2011

Everything about "Moon Knight" #8 seems like an improvement over the previous seven issues. The level of ease and comfort is noticeably higher, as is the strong sense of direction. It's not just Maleev that looks like he's hitting his stride on this title, it's Bendis as well. There's always a period of getting to know characters and becoming comfortable with them and their world, and it seems like Bendis and Maleev have passed that point. This is a tight, entertaining issue, possibly the best of the series to date.

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8.0
Morning Glories #1

Aug 11, 2010

The double-sized debut issue of "Morning Glories" works in a large part because it bucks the usual trends for books like this. Nick Spencer embraces the odd mysteries and unseen darkness of the school, throwing it in our and the characters' faces, a tactic that only raises more questions. His writing is fearless here and makes me wonder what's in store as the series continues.

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8.0
Muppet Show Comic Book #1

Jan 19, 2010

While the series of mini-series suggested that "The Muppet Show Comic Book" would be out each month anyway, the launch of an ongoing series by Roger Langridge is a wonderful guarantee. If you like funny jokes, some vaudeville routines, and lovely, gorgeous cartooning, you definitely need to buy this comic.

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4.0
Nation X #2

Jan 14, 2010

"Nation X" #2 is a mixed bag anthology issue that should deliver for longtime X-fans, but lacks the space to really deliver on the promise of some of the stories.

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7.0
Nemesis #3

Sep 22, 2010

"Nemesis" #3 contains a wonderfully violent action sequence from Steve McNiven that ranks among his best work before he does the 'quiet' scenes with great skill. Like many blockbusters, the writing and story are almost beside the point with the visuals and spectacle taking over. What will remain with you is Nemesis hunched over a dead body and bathed in blood, not the plot details.

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7.0
Nemesis: The Imposters #2

Apr 9, 2010

"Nemesis: The Imposters" is shaping up to be a strong sequel to "Escape" with both Ivan Brandon and Cliff Richards delivering great writing and art. Paranoia in the heart of the DCU makes for an interesting read and the final page manages to turn everything upside down once again.

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7.0
Nemesis: The Imposters #3

May 9, 2010

With a lot of questions remaining, "Nemesis: The Imposters" #3 sets up the finale well, but, if "Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape" was any indication, not everything will get answered. But, that's okay, because Brandon's writing is bold and confident, unafraid to leave parts of the comic to the reader to fill in. Maybe just asking the question is enough. We'll see.

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8.0
New Avengers #47

Dec 3, 2008

The tie to "Secret Invasion" #8 comes at the end and is even more powerful here than it is in that issue. By focusing on the connection between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, and the importance of family, Bendis makes a heartbreaking moment even more so, which is quite the feat.

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7.0
New Avengers #49

Jan 28, 2009

(Billy Tan's artwork continues to get better each month as demonstrated in CBR's preview!)

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5.0
New Avengers #50

Feb 25, 2009

This issue is saved from being just another typical issue of "New Avengers" by the guest artists and Bendis's writing some witty and funny dialogue (at least, some of the time). The plot twist and ending are both clever, and point to Bendis having some long-term plans with the current "Dark Reign" status quo.

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7.0
New Avengers #51

Mar 25, 2009

(Chris Bachalo! Billy Tan! Compare and contrast via CBR's preview!)

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6.0
New Avengers #53

May 27, 2009

You'd expect this issue, at times, to feel like it's stalling for time until it can reach that final page and deliver the big reveal of the next Sorcerer Supreme since Bendis is known for decompressed storytelling, this issue is one of his more packed ones. He manages to get some solid characterization in and balance it out with action, even if it is mediocre. Billy Tan's art looks very rushed here, but he has next issue to end his run on the title on a positive note. All in all, a solid read.

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7.0
New Avengers #61

Jan 28, 2010

Overall, a strong issue, but not necessarily one that some readers will be expecting and one that doesnt look close to providing some conclusiveness to the fight between the Hood and the Avengers.

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8.0
New Avengers (2010) #1

Jun 16, 2010

"New Avengers" #1 is a continuation of the previous volume, but also a new chapter with Luke Cage setting up his team in Avengers Mansion. No longer on the run, Cage and company now get to be the sort of Avengers team that longtime fans will recognize and gain a sense of legitimacy as a result. A fun, strong opening issue that dives into the action by the end. So far, "The Heroic Age" is off to a very good start, especially in the Avengers' corner of the Marvel universe.

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8.0
New Avengers (2010) #4

Sep 8, 2010

Even though this story is built on events from the first "New Avengers" series, it stands alone well here with the premise clearly presented and explored through entertaining action and character interaction. Dr. Strange steps out as the point man for the heroes, setting up the surprise at the end of the issue. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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6.0
New Avengers (2010) #9

Feb 12, 2011

The larger picture of this "New Avengers" arc isn't entirely apparent by the end of the issue, but there are enough interesting moments and some great art to carry the day. The teases of what this arc could be about are interesting, especially the cover for issue 10. As far as a set-up issue goes, it's effective and, hopefully, should read better as part of the whole.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) #12

May 15, 2011

What exactly the two stories have to do with one another is still a mystery. Part of me can't help but hope that they're unrelated, presented together like this as a means to help Chaykin and Mike Deodato with deadlines by spreading out two short arcs over a longer period of time. But, with the Nick Fury story in the past mostly done with, next issue looks like it will be dominated by Deodato and the present. Giving this issue so much space to show the raid on the Red Skull's base was a smart choice and allows for a lot of great-looking Howard Chaykin art.

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5.0
New Avengers (2010) #16

Sep 14, 2011

"New Avengers" #16 has a very straight forward and obvious reason behind it: put Daredevil on the team. It accomplishes that, partly by selling the reader on the greatness of the character. Ultimately, it's a comic that seems more like a means to an end than an organic story.

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2.0
New Avengers (2010) #18

Nov 10, 2011

If you skip to the end of this comic, you'll see all you need to: the new Dark Avengers. How Norman Osborn recruits them is unnecessary and is a waste of space in this comic. Aside from names, none of the characters are introduced and none join for any reason other than wanting to help Osborn take down the Avengers. Adding names above each character on those final two pages would have accomplished the exact same thing that the previous 18 pages did. This is a tedious comic that betrays one of the worst tendencies in Bendis's storytelling style.

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8.0
New Avengers (2010) #21

Feb 20, 2012

Ensemble fights can be downright dull in superhero comics, simply replaying the same battle over and over again. Surprisingly, Bendis and Deodato deliver a smart and entertaining fight issue hot on the heels of a battle royale against Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. More knock-down, drag-out fights are a given for the future and "New Avengers" #21 is a good sign things will stay fresh with a high level of innovative thinking.

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9.0
New Avengers Finale #1

May 12, 2010

While "New Avengers" may be relaunching next month, this giant finale issue seems appropriate and is touching. After so much time hiding, the team finally gets a big victory and shows that they can stand alongside any other Avengers team. The issue also provides closure on the Hood's story, which has been an integral part of the book for the past 30 or so issues, allowing the book and its cast to begin again next month. It's everything you could want from a conclusion to Marvel's premier book of the past five years.

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3.0
New Mutants (2009) #24

May 2, 2011

"Age of X" began well and with a lot of promise, but the second half of the story has been a big letdown thanks to a less-than-stellar reveal in the fifth part, and, here, a finale that spends so much time on something that doesn't matter before delivering an obvious finish.

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7.0
No Hero #2

Oct 31, 2008

The end of the issue points to the series speeding things up a little, but even the leisurely pace here isn't a big problem. Ellis and Ryp aren't just telling a story here. They're working to create a world that's believable, and are doing a good job at it.

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7.0
No Hero #4

Mar 5, 2009

"No Hero" continues, though, to move at a glacial pace and doesn't read as well in single issues as it no doubt will as a whole. After all, it is billed as "a serialised graphic novel," but even in issue-format, it's gripping and entertaining. The comedic moments in this issue really help it from going too overboard into melodrama, and help break the tension a bit. It's better to laugh at the guy with no skin than to cry for him, right?

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8.0
No Hero #7

Sep 24, 2009

The second part of Ellis's superhero trilogy of works for Avatar, "No Hero" concludes in a disturbing combination of violence and horrible consequences.

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8.0
Nonplayer #1

Apr 7, 2011

Where exactly "Nonplayer" is heading is a little bit of a mystery, but Nate Simpson's art alone is well worth the price of admission. That his writing shows skill and confidence beyond what you'd expect from someone writing his first comic is a fabulous bonus. Definitely one the best surprises of 2011.

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5.0
Nova #33

Jan 20, 2010

The art and the writing are a match in "Nova" #33, both very inoffensive, competent, and safe. No new ground is broken, not even much character development of Nova or Darkhawk is advanced, but a lack of originality and stylistic flair are the only faults this book has. It's a perfectly enjoyable, mundane superhero comic, though that's something that Abnett and Lanning haven't produced many of lately. That's what makes this one somewhat disappointing.

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5.0
Nova #35

Mar 18, 2010

That actually sums up this issue of "Nova" well: no style. It's a mediocre, generic superhero book that lacks the flair of other DnA-penned books. The ending of the issue is the only place where the comic has any real sense of drama and embraces the imaginative skills of the duo. The rest is solid and good, but not anything special.

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8.0
Officer Downe #1

Jul 19, 2010

"Officer Downe" is a fun comic that revels in its violence and simplicity. Joe Casey adds the right mix of absurd situations and dialogue, while Chris Burnham's art steals the show. This is exactly what you want from a one-shot featuring a new character.

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8.0
OMAC #3

Nov 6, 2011

Conceptually, "O.M.A.C." seemed like it would feature a Spider-Man sort of hero where O.M.A.C. complicates Kevin Kho's personal life. That happens to a degree in this issue, but the focus is much more on delivering lots of superpowered brawling. Giffen's art is perfectly suited to that and the writing specifically enables that approach. More than a lot of the new DC relaunches, this is a comic that you can just look at the art and still understand what's going on. Not many superhero comics rely on fights like this anymore and it's a shame since it's so compelling and entertaining.

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8.0
Our Love is Real #1

Jul 10, 2011

There's a simply joke at the heart of "Our Love is Real," but the way it plays out adds extra levels and humor. This story is an introduction to an odd future, one where sexuality has evolved (or devolved depending on your view) in strange ways. Hopefully, this isn't our only visit to this world as it seems like one that could be explored in more depth.

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2.0
Outsiders (2007) #26

Jan 21, 2010

This isn't exactly an auspicious debut of the DiDio/Tan era on "Outsiders." The writing is dull and bad, while the art is inconsistent and puzzling. The big reveal at the end shows some promise of redemption as it's an interesting idea that could cause further dissension in the group, but considering the state of the Superman books, one has to wonder if the timing is right -- a question that's disheartening considering that the writer of this comic is DC's executive editor.

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5.0
Outsiders (2007) #39

May 22, 2011

If "The Outsiders" #39 had more space or a more specific focus, it would be a stronger comic. So much is going on that nothing gets enough space or attention with numerous plots ended before they have a chance to begin it seems. Since the book is ending next month, the rush to wrap everything up is surely a factor and that's a shame, because there was potential here for the sort of simple, entertaining superhero comic book that you don't see too much these days.

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5.0
Pale Horse #4

Sep 16, 2010

"Pale Horse" would have benefited from a larger, more expansive story, but there's an appeal in focusing specifically on Cole's quest for revenge. The price is that the larger story of a plot to overthrow the Union and its failure doesn't cohere into the main narrative. However, the art is strong and suggests that Christian Dibari is a name to watch for in the future.

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8.0
Pax Romana #4

Nov 19, 2008

Hickman says that this is the first of many stories he hopes to tell in the Pax Romana universe and, hopefully, he produces another series soon, because this alternate history looks to be an interesting one.

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5.0
Pilot Season: Crosshair #1

Oct 6, 2010

"Crosshair" #1 is a promising issue with lots of potential. The complex conspiracy at its heart is a little underdeveloped for what could be the only issue of the series we'll ever see, while the art is very inconsistent between two different but solid styles. Despite these problems, the creators did accomplish one important thing: I want to know what happens next.

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2.0
Pilot Season: Forever #1

Oct 18, 2010

Pilot Season books tend to go for high concepts and twists on the familiar. "Forever" doesn't deliver a twist, it just delivers the familiar and does so without anything new or interesting. Definitely the most disappointing and forgettable first issue of this Pilot Season.

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6.0
Pilot Season: Murderer #1

Dec 9, 2009

"Pilot Season: Murderer" #1 has a strong hook, but doesn't develop the protagonist enough, nor does it depict his power to hear/see thoughts effectively. However, it does make me want to see more as the concept is good and I'm curious what a series about Jason would be like.

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8.0
Planetary #27

Oct 7, 2009

This final issue acts as an epilogue, part finale, part reunion show, one last piece of unfinished business, one last chance to see these characters interact, and for the fantastic team of Ellis, Cassaday, and Martin to collaborate. In some ways, it's superfluous, just an issue for the fans, but what's wrong with that? A story as big and sweeping as "Planetary" deserves one last send-off, 28 pages of story wrapped in the beautiful fold-out cover by Cassaday and Martin that manages to work in the entire series in its own way. I, for one, cannot wait to finally reread the entire series -" so if DC could hurry up with that second Absolute volume, I would appreciate it.

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7.0
Poe #1

Jul 12, 2009

(Dean Kotz and Digikore Studios do some very nice work here as you can see in CBR's preview!)

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7.0
Power Girl #7

Dec 19, 2009

A solid, intriguing issue that simply lacks an original plot to really make it shine. Working with the limitations and clichd nature of the story, Gray, Palmiotti, and Connor get as much entertainment and humor out of it that they can, but it's not as much as they're obviously capable of. But, the issue ends on a strong cliffhanger, so I'll make sure to be back next month and all of you should join me.

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8.0
Power Girl #9

Feb 18, 2010

This is a fun, entertaining issue of "Power Girl" that reminds me of a Spider-Man comic if you ignore Kara's lack of romantic problems. Her personal life is a mess and her superhero life isn't much better. To anyone who claims to hate the overly violent and darker superhero comics out there: this is the book for you.

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3.0
Power Girl #16

Sep 24, 2010

The joy of "Power Girl" was its light tone that managed to humanize Kara, while still presenting her as a competent hero worth rooting for. None of that is apparently in this issue where she's presented as somewhat stupid and presented with a lazily 'serious' and 'dark' plot that's uninteresting as it is overdone.

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7.0
Powers Vol. 3 #2

Dec 22, 2009

While new readers may come to this book expecting lots of police action, this issue breaks from that element of the series for much of it, delivering old school superhero action that's very well done. Too much of the issue is given over to that without much actual payoff, but it's still quite entertaining. And the issue ends with a fantastic cliffhanger.

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6.0
Predators #1

Jun 9, 2010

"Predators" #1 is a slight, but interesting debut to the prequel mini-series for the upcoming movie. The lead story is a series of violent deaths one after another, while the back-up is more character based, but still containing brutality. It will be interesting to see how both stories play out and tie in to the movie, but it is off to a solid start.

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6.0
Predators: Preserve the Game #1

Jul 15, 2010

If you liked the movie, this comic is such a natural outcropping that it will feel like a lost fourth act. Lapham picks up on a natural conflict between Royce, Izzy, and the Predators and plays it out exactly as you'd expect.

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3.0
Prelude to Deadpool Corps #2

Mar 10, 2010

If the idea of a kid Deadpool amuses you, this is the comic for you. Gischler doesn't really take advantage of the different world to any strong degree aside from his very good use of Xavier. The writing isn't bad, but the art is such a mismatch for the characters that it drags the comic down a lot.

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9.0
Prison Pit Book 3 #1

Sep 23, 2011

The only bad thing about "Prison Pit" Book 3 coming out is that it will be another year until Book 4 is released, especially with the cliffhanger that this volume ends on. Ryan shows himself to be an inventive cartoonist, never satisfied with staying in the same place even while dealing with similar subject matter to the first two volumes. Nothing here feels like simple repetition, which, with extreme violence like this, is hard to pull off.

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10
Prison Pit Book Two #1

Sep 15, 2010

Thuggish, brutal violence for 113 pages may not be for everyone and that's what "Prison Pit" Book Two. It's over-the-top, extreme, uncompromising, and very, very funny. It's the sort of book you can't put down even after you're done; you just keep jumping around and admiring the stark viciousness that jumps off the page.

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4.0
Project Superpowers: Chapter Two #1

Jul 21, 2009

Fans of the first series and three minis will, no doubt, enjoy this issue, which picks up right where those stories left off. Everyone else may have a bit of work ahead of them, but the core ideas here are solid and may lead somewhere interesting.

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7.0
Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys #2

Oct 8, 2009

The character work on the Fighting Yank, in contrast to that of the Revolutionary, is strong, this issue acting more as a spotlight for him than the Revolutionary. Along with Jim Krueger and Doug Klauba's two-page origin story at the end of the issue, the Fighting Yank's past and character are explained very well. With him set up so well and the Revolutionary just introduced, this issue reads more like the first issue of a longer story. Hopefully, that story will be told sooner than later as it has the potential to be a great read.

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9.0
Prophet #22

Feb 27, 2012

Amidst the critical acclaim of "Prophet" #21, some wondered if the issue was praised so heavily because it's wasn't a superhero comic. This issue clearly demonstrates the praise was merited because "Prophet" is a very good science fiction comic. Graham and Roy use familiar tropes and ideas as a base for much of what they do but how they build upon them and create a full and complex, unique world is astonishing. There's something new and exciting on every page, a rarity in comics.

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6.0
Punisher (2009) #3

Mar 19, 2009

While the goofy and comedic "Punisher War Journal" didn't quite work, "Punisher" succeeds with a more serious tone akin to "Daredevil" or the MAX book. Remember, Opena and Brown are a great team (see "Fear Agent"), working harmoniously, but the book suffers from the lack of its strong protagonist with the Punisher presented more as a thug-for-hire than the driven vigilante we're used to.

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5.0
Punisher (2009) #8

Aug 19, 2009

Ultimately, this issue of "The Punisher" highlights why Frank Castle doesn't really work in the Marvel universe as much anymore: the only villains he gets to kill are losers, which makes killing them meaningless and the Punisher a bit of a joke. We're supposed to think that the Punisher is a force to be reckoned with and these nobodies are the cream of the crop when it comes to his superpowered victims? Call me when he kills someone whose name I'll remember in two weeks.

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10
Punisher Max #1

Dec 29, 2009

And while the Punisher may always continue on killing people, it will be hard work for anyone who wishes to top what Garth Ennis did with the character as this volume concludes that seminal, amazing, marvelous, fantastic run with two powerful, deep, and impacting stories full of violence, pain, misery, and intense emotion. You should own these comics as they are the finest Punisher stories you're likely to find anywhere and, possibly, the finest work in Garth Ennis' stunning career.

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6.0
Punisher MAX: Happy Endings #1

Aug 25, 2010

If it weren't for Ryp's art, much of this issue would fall flat, but he makes the uninspired plot much livelier and funnier than it has any right to be. Milligan's writing does pick up in the third act as he delivers an unexpected ending, making for a solid overall issue.

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4.0
Punisher MAX: Naked Kill #1

Jun 1, 2009

If cheap, gratuitous violence with hints of equally cheap sex is your thing, then "Naked Kill" is definitely your book of the week. If not, well, the art alone makes this book worth checking out.

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8.0
Punisher MAX: Tiny Ugly World #1

Oct 21, 2010

David Lapham writes crazy and disturbing better than most and "Tiny Ugly World" shows that skill off very well. He takes a traditional Punisher story and twists it for maximum effect until a final scene reveals the true role of the Punisher. More than that, he manages to work in some dark comedy and not many writers can make a 'penis in a jar' gag work. Lapham does and that's a special thing.

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7.0
Punisher Noir #1

Aug 19, 2009

"Punisher Noir" provides a few surprises and does a good job of differentiating itself from the regular Punisher story. However, there isn't much in this issue except for set-up, which is done very well, but doesn't take the place of a good plot, something we only see a brief glimpse of.

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7.0
Punisher War Journal (2006) #26

Jan 1, 2009

(Andy MacDonald's Punisher looks pretty stupid with his big gun on Christmas in CBR's preview!)

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5.0
Punisher: Frank Castle #66

Jan 21, 2009

(Michael Lacombe draws pretty pictures in CBR's preview! Check it out!)

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6.0
Punisher: Frank Castle #73

Aug 19, 2009

I hate to continue the Ennis comparisons, but this plot seems so much like the sort that he would come up with that it's impossible to ignore. Gischler clearly has talent and he's paired with a great artist, but he needs to take a page out of Ennis' book and make with the funny a little. The MAX Punisher title has been trying to escape Ennis' shadows since he left the book and doing a story clearly influenced by him isn't the best way to do that, so why not embrace Ennis? There's a reason why his run was a classic -" and this story could be, too.

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8.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #1

Dec 9, 2008

(Get your first look of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's return to the Punisher in CBR's preview of this issue!)

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8.0
Punishermax #1

Nov 12, 2009

"Punishermax" #1 can't help but draw comparisons to Garth Ennis's work on the title, and Jason Aaron never seems to try and escape those comparisons. Ennis is the elephant in the room, but, after a few issues, his presence will fade, particularly because Aaron and Dillon deliver a great first issue here and it doesn't look like they'll stop with the quality anytime soon. Once again, the mature readers Punisher comic is a must read.

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8.0
Punishermax #5

Mar 14, 2010

The first story arc of "Punishermax" has been a resounding answer to those that thought that Garth Ennis 'ruined' the Punisher for future writers, as Jason Aaron told an emotionally powerful and impactful story using, of all people, Wilson Fisk. And the story's not over as this issue concludes with a set-up for the next arc: "Bullseye." I can't wait.

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8.0
Punishermax #7

May 14, 2010

The Aaron/Dillon run continues on with the second part of "Bullseye" and it's a very good comic. This version of Bullseye is entertaining and completely mad, and I can't wait to see what he does next in his effort to kill Frank Castle.

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9.0
Punishermax #9

Jul 28, 2010

"Punishermax" #9 continues the strong roll the series has been on for the past few months where it went from being good to great to, then, being essential reading. An impressive, inventive, original comic month after month with both Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon doing stunning work. Buy this comic.

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9.0
Punishermax #10

Feb 13, 2011

It's rare that a book that falls off the schedule like "Punishermax" did is actually worth the long wait, but this issue is. Whether it's Bullseye delivering a monologue dissecting Frank Castle while killing thugs or Frank playing on the fear of terrorists to distract the police, this issue is not just entertaining, it's thought-provoking and shocking. I can't wait until next issue's conclusion of "Bullseye" and am thankful the wait won't be quite so long.

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8.0
Punishermax #14

Jun 12, 2011

It's hard to read "Punishermax" sometimes, because of the terrible reality of the protagonist. He's a man that was ruined by a war only to find himself a new war. Here, we see him between wars and after he's lost faith in himself and that new war. It's unsettling, and Aaron and Dillon play it just right.

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9.0
Punishermax #22

Feb 12, 2012

"Punishermax" ends on a near-perfect final issue. In telling the rise and fall of Wilson Fisk, Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon also exposed Frank Castle in ways no one expected, leading to the only fitting conclusion: his death. This final issue struggles to say what that death means and, ultimately, it doesn't mean anything. Frank Castle killed thousands of people and died in the process. The war is over.

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4.0
Rann-Thanagar: Holy War #6

Oct 31, 2008

Nothing in this issue seems substantial enough to carry it, not even the supposedly epic Synnar origin, which is a familiar Lucifer-esque story with no fresh insights. Like the rest of this series, there are some interesting ideas, but nothing to really carry the book.

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1.0
Rann-Thanagar: Holy War #8

Dec 27, 2008

I would say that the best thing about this issue is that this series is over, but with "Strange Adventures" on the horizon, neither DC nor Starlin have gotten the message that it's not that no one cares, it's that anyone who did care has simply stopped.

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8.0
Rasl #4

May 2, 2009

While more "Rasl" would be a great thing, Smith's slower pace of three 30-page issues each year is producing some spectacular work.

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7.0
Rasl #6

Jan 25, 2010

While the main plot progresses a small amount, the strong focus on Tesla does make this issue feel slighter. Smith's art continues to be top-notch, but, hopefully, March's issue moves things forward more with the background material remaining more in the background.

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6.0
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5

Mar 18, 2010

One of the biggest strengths of this issue is Abnett and Lanning's ability to find small character moments, giving the series its own, albeit limited, sense of wholeness. Beyond that, it's an action comic that progresses the larger story of the Marvel cosmic universe as it heads towards "The Thanos Imperative," meeting up with one of the subplots in "Guardians of the Galaxy" by the end. As far as perfunctory books go, though, it's pretty good and definitely worth it for that cosmic fan that doesn't mind spending a little extra cash to get a view of the bigger picture.

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6.0
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5

Apr 2, 2010

This is a good conclusion to this mini-series, one that sets up events seen in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and puts the Inhumans and Kree in the right place for "The Thanos Imperative." The end of the issue is especially strong, as Abnett and Lanning move past the somewhat clichd morality debates and emphasize Medusa's role as leader.

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3.0
Red Hood And The Outlaws #3

Nov 21, 2011

What should be an illuminating issue of "Red Hood and the Outlaws" is more of a turn-off issue. It's clear what Scott Lobdell is going for and the way he writes the comic makes this a lackluster issue. In an issue that should make readers understand the protagonists more and make us want to root for them, he accomplishes the opposite.

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8.0
Red Mass for Mars #4

Jul 21, 2010

Hickman's minimal writing allows Bodenheim to carry the issue and he does so ably, delivering art that befits the epic scope of the action of this issue. While the wrap-up to "Red Mass for Mars" is surprising in its restrained writing and focus on the battle, something Hickman's Image work has avoided to a degree, it works very well as an action book, showing the final stand of superhuman against a superior force, and putting forth his philosophical point in action. Fans of his Marvel work should definitely look for the trade in October. I mean, only if the idea of Superman and Batman teaming up with every other superhero to fight off an alien invasion in space sounds cool to you, of course.

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4.0
Red Robin #4

Sep 9, 2009

"Red Robin" #4 concludes the opening story arc of Tim's search for proof that Bruce Wayne is somehow still alive for no reason other than he thinks it must be so. In other hands, the concept could be executed in a manner that explores the effects of death and the huge events that superheroes, even the urban vigilante types, must deal with on a day-to-day basis, but, here, it's tedious and presented poorly.

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5.0
Red Robin #19

Jan 16, 2011

"Red Robin" #19 is an entertaining comic when looked at on a scene-by-scene basis, though some scenes are weighed down with exposition. As a whole comic, it never feels consequential. Part of that seems to be the plot, and the rest is execution. If this plot is supposed to matter, it should come across as such. Still, if you like light, action-based superhero comics with a little bit of silly fun thrown in, this makes for a good read.

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8.0
Red: Eyes Only #1

Dec 29, 2010

Fans of "Red" will not be disappointed with Cully Hamner's writing and they'll be blown away by his art with Val Staples. The writing doesn't seek to reinvent the idea of the book or character, and the art is Hamner's best to date. If the absence of Ellis made you nervous, don't be. "Eyes Only" is exactly the sort of prequel that any fan of "Red" would want. I honestly can't wait to see what Hamner will do next.

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5.0
Robert E. Howard's Hawks of Outremer #1

Jun 13, 2010

Despite its historical setting, "Hawks of Outremer" isn't a large departure from other Robert E. Howard properties like Conan, Solomon Kane, or Krull. The hero at the center is a violent man of action with somewhat heroic motives, surrounded by cowards and decadent rulers. If the entire issue was like the second half, this would be a much stronger read, but the slow start really hampers things.

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7.0
Robin #183

Feb 18, 2009

"Robin" may be over, but this issue clearly tells the readers that Tim Drake has a long and exciting future ahead of him in the Bat-books, and that he's definitely grown-up over the past 183 issues.

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6.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2

Aug 7, 2011

"S.H.I.E.L.D." remains an interesting book with enough quality to warrant reading every issue; it simply hasn't lived up to the pre-release hype or the potential exhibited at its best. Too often, a brilliant page will be next to a lackluster one. This issue offered a little consistency thanks to its simple, direct plot, and that still wasn't enough.

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7.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. #4

Dec 18, 2011

The plot doesn't advance a great deal in this issue, which is a little disappointing after an issue-long fight last issue. However, that's balanced out to a degree in how things happen here. This isn't a straight linear, cause and effect comic, and the storytelling reflects that. It applies some smart concepts to how it tells the story and, with three distinct timelines in this issue, what happens next is anyone's guess.

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5.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. #5

Jan 3, 2011

"S.H.I.E.L.D." isn't like any other comic on the stands, but that isn't just a good thing. There's almost appalling lack of plot or consistent character work, focusing more on hints and allusions to a larger picture. It drifts in and out of events, and delivers powerful and affecting scenes when it focuses like the discussion between Stark and Richards here. But, do those fragments add up to anything? That remains to be seen. For now, this is another piece of a puzzle that's beginning to not seem worth the effort.

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7.0
S.W.O.R.D. #3

Jan 18, 2010

It's sad to see that "S.W.O.R.D." won't be given much of a chance to find its feet or an audience as it has improved with each successive issue. Kieron Gillen and Steven Sanders work very well together and this is the most entertaining that Hank McCoy has been since Grant Morrison was writing him.

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8.0
S.W.O.R.D. #5

Mar 11, 2010

Though it's run was brief, "S.W.O.R.D." told a very entertaining story with the space version of S.H.I.E.L.D., firmly establishing the group within the Marvel Universe and setting up future appearances. The end of this issue features the perfect callback to the first issue and concludes the story (and series) on a sweet moment. If you haven't, you should pick up the complete series at your first chance.

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7.0
Sacrifice #1

Dec 17, 2011

Exactly what is happening in "Sacrifice" #1 is not entirely clear. Has Hector travelled back in time? Is it all in his head? Either way, what it all means is unknown and is an intriguing and gripping mystery. Where it will go is anyone's guess, but the confident storytelling on display here by Humphries and Rose makes it easy to trust that they have a plan and it will pay off.

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8.0
Sam's Strip: The Comic about Comics #1

Feb 22, 2009

Though it lasted less than two years, "Sam's Strip" was a pioneering strip whose use of characters from other strips continues to this day with various crossovers between strips. "Sam's Strip: The Comic about Comics" is a must for any fans of comic strips, and includes very insightful introductions by Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas. Once again, Fantagraphics delivers a stellar package

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9.0
Scalped #23

Nov 19, 2008

The art and words work best in emotional scenes, like Dino on the phone with his parole officer. The panic and angry frustration in his words is matched perfectly with his body language and facial expression. Aaron and Guera are perfectly in sync here to the point where it's hard to tell who does his job better sometimes. They are fast on their way to being one of the top collaborative teams in comics today, just as "Scalped" is just about the best book coming out monthly.

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9.0
Scalped #24

Jan 2, 2009

Two years of "Scalped" comics have come out and each builds on what came before to tell an intricate and complex story, this issue is no exception. While he my have began as an easy-to-hate villain, Red Crow is now a complex man who stirs up conflicted responses. Is he hero or villain? He's neither, because that's not the way things work. Jason Aaron and RM Gura simply present him as a man who tries to do what he thinks right even if those things are wrong. Simply brilliant.

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9.0
Scalped #26

Mar 11, 2009

As much as I mass Dashiell Bad Horse as the focus of the series, it's hard to complain when "Scalped" is this good as an ensemble piece with the focus roams according to its own whims. What's more, I'm simply astonished at how well Jason Aaron and Davide Furn tell a self-contained, stand alone short story here that is gripping and sucks the reader in.

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9.0
Scalped #28

Apr 26, 2009

A major issue in the ongoing plot of "Scalped" as not only do we know who is behind the two murder cases driving much of the story, it looks like the characters will know soon as well. Putting the cases at the centre of this issue instead of a character is a smart move on Aaron's part, highlighting their importance and, finally, providing a few answers. Of course, these answers do raise a question: what happens next? It should be fun finding out.

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8.0
Scalped #32

Oct 17, 2009

Like most middle chapters, this part of "The Gnawing" is mostly about moving things along, but Aaron and Gura do that with great skill, embracing the speed with which things are happening now, piling it all up so it can fall over in future issues. It's not just treading water, padding things out, as the issue ends with a few big changes as a new alliance is formed and trouble continues to approach the reservation. If you're not reading "Scalped," what are you reading and how is it better?

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9.0
Scalped #34

Feb 5, 2010

"The Gnawing" was promised a game-changer of a story and, with this week's conclusion, it was proven as such. Both Jason Aaron and R. M. Gura delivered their best in this issue by showing just how far Dash and Red Crow will go to save themselves, solving their immediate problems by creating new ones that will have to be dealt with in the future. "Scalped" remains a shocking, gripping comic and the best Vertigo book currently being published.

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8.0
Scalped #38

Jun 1, 2010

How this issue will affect the larger picture of "Scalped" isn't entirely clear, but the end of the issue shows us, in part, how Wade relates to the rest and he's a very important character --probably the character most wondered about since the series began. As always, "Scalped" is an emotionally turbulent read and a wonderful one at that

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8.0
Scalped #40

Aug 30, 2010

Most of "Scalped" #40 is struggle and pain and misery, and it's done very well as usual, but it doesn't stand out like the playful, fun four-page scene between Red Crow and Wade. Jason Aaron and RM Gura continually produce fantastic comics and it's easy to take them for granted, so they like to remind us all how good they are by mixing things up like they do here. Forty issues in and this series is still a constant surprise

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8.0
Scalped #50

Jul 4, 2011

"Scalped" #50 is both a celebration and a reminder of the book's consistent level of quality. While Jason Aaron has spoke of an end point, it's hard to not want at least 50 more issues now. But, for now, why not just recognize one of the best ongoing monthly comics there are?

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9.0
Scalped #55

Jan 15, 2012

"Knuckle Up" is a story arc that's pushed a lot of characters towards the end of the series and no issue does more of that than this one. The fight between Dash and Shunka is a definitive one and, somehow, isn't the biggest, most surprising part of this issue. This is one of those mythical 'nothing is the same' issues that publishers promise often and rarely deliver upon. Drawn by anyone, this would be a good comic, but, in the hands of R.M. Gura, it's a great one, one that ensures that "Scalped" makes many 'best of 2012' lists already.

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4.0
Scarlet #3

Nov 8, 2010

"Scarlet" is a bold comic, one that stinks of effort to be that way. In the pursuit of pushing the envelope, convenient storytelling shortcuts are taken: Scarlet is much better at this than an amateur should be, Brandon hops on board without any argument, and, so far, everything is far too easy. But, it's only three issues in and these problems may not seem so bad in a larger context. Right now, though, it's a hard book to take seriously.

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4.0
Scarlet #5

Apr 4, 2011

"Scarlet" #5 concludes the first book of the series and, rather than a strong conclusion to the title's opening chapter, it reads like a set-up for the next. The plot moves characters mechanically into place, ready for issue six to pick them up and put them into new motions. The final three pages, though, contain some very strong writing by Bendis that shows this is a book that's about more than just the broad plot. There are characters here and it's a shame they didn't come out much in this issue.

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9.0
Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye #1

Apr 1, 2009

Fans of the original series are treated to numerous, small callbacks (Doc Hero finally gets that beer he asked for!), but "Slaves of Mickey Eye" is new reader friendly, too. Without the constraints of corporately-owned shared universes, Morrison and Stewart deliver an absurd and insane comic with just about the strangest (and yet most earnest) superhero of the twenty-first century. Here's hoping it won't be another five years until this trilogy concludes.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #1

May 26, 2010

Some disparities between writing and art aside, "Secret Avengers" #1 hits the ground running and never slows down. A great mix of action and intrigue, fans of Brubaker's "Captain America" will no doubt find this comic a great companion book, especially with the plot twist he introduces at the end of the issue.

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7.0
Secret Avengers #3

Jul 28, 2010

While the issue is slower than I would like and doesn't move things forward as much, the individual scenes are all very entertaining and the ending of the issue has a genuine 'we're all screwed' feeling. "Secret Avengers" is shaping up to be a really solid superhero team book with both Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato showing that they can do more than grounded, dark stories by playing against expectations with a grandiose cosmic adventure.

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5.0
Secret Avengers #5

Sep 24, 2010

A compilation of familiar concepts and hints of the 'good old days' of Nick Fury that never cohere completely, "Secret Avengers" #5 is a disappointing issue from this creative time. It's serviceable in the explanation of how Max Fury came to be working with the Shadow Council and does pick up on a thread from "The Marvels Project" that makes the secret group working against Rogers's Avengers more interesting. It's a fine comic that doesn't satisfy completely if only because of the high standards set by the creators previously.

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7.0
Secret Avengers #7

Nov 28, 2010

Even with that small problem, "Secret Avengers" #7 continues to be an entertaining comic with lots of action and mysteries. Brubaker builds the title around Steve Rogers and the mysterious Shadow Council with a final page that suggests that a confrontation between the two is coming sooner rather than later. I, for one, can't wait.

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6.0
Secret Avengers #9

Jan 30, 2011

Still, "Secret Avengers" #9 does deliver some great action scenes and a tease of future fights between Rogers and Steele. The purpose and role of the Shadow Council continues to unfold and their claim of looking at the bigger picture is interesting. Are they the bad guys or not? That question hasn't been answered and, I imagine, when it is, it won't be quite so simple.

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4.0
Secret Avengers #11

Apr 4, 2011

"Secret Avengers" provides some interesting glimpses into John Steele and his history, but doesn't reveal anything Earth-shattering. As the first of two issues focused on Steele, this feels like a set up for the real revelations next issue.

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4.0
Secret Avengers #12.1

May 1, 2011

"Secret Avengers" was a book without a strong purpose or direction aside from 'fighting the Shadow Council' and this issue doesn't inspire confidence in the concept working without that large enemy standing opposite the group. As debuts, and 'point one' issues, go, this is a disappointment.

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9.0
Secret Avengers #19

Nov 26, 2011

"Secret Avengers" #19 is 20 pages of a superhero comic you've probably read before. The story isn't original or that different from many that have come before. What makes it so compelling and entertaining is the execution. This is a lesson is how style and skill can turn even the most basic of stories into something refreshing and new.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #21

Jan 15, 2012

"Secret Avengers" #21 is a thematic conclusion to Warren Ellis's six-issue run on the title, bringing together ideas from the previous five issues and using a larger cast. In some ways, it's the issue that best demonstrates Ellis's approach to the title, summing up everything that came before and different types of stories that can be told under the banner "Secret Avengers." And, of course, the art is fantastic. It's a shame to see this run end.

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7.0
Secret Avengers #23

Feb 27, 2012

What really impresses is the art. Hardman's high-contrast style doesn't use a lot of shading and lends itself to Breitweiser's colors. There's a sense of bright lights even when it's dark. The way Hardman approaches his pages is relatively simple, yet effective: he uses grid layouts until he tilts things, throwing the action askew to a degree. On the final page, this really works, making that startling last image stand out even more. Both the writing and art come together at the end quite well, making the next issue a hard one to miss.

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7.0
Secret Invasion #8

Dec 3, 2008

While it doesn't provide the best story ever told like everyone no doubt hopes it will, "Secret Invasion" #8 does conclude the story well and sets up the next stage in the Marvel universe in an appropriately surprising and compelling manner, choosing to focus more on character than big plot movements " which is how it should be when you think about it.

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7.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #5

Jan 7, 2009

(A hooded villain obsessed with bricks who uses a crutch? Check out that oddball in CBR's preview!)

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8.0
Secret Warriors #2

Mar 4, 2009

With Caselli's art and Hickman's writing, "Secret Warriors" is shaping up to be one of Marvel's best books after only two issues. These characters showed potential in "Secret Invasion" and look to be fulfilling it here. Hopefully, this book will make it through the 60 issues Hickman has planned.

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9.0
Secret Warriors #3

Mar 29, 2009

Each issue of "Secret Warriors" has been a step up from the previous with Hickman, Bendis, and Caselli upping the ante with each issue. This issue includes a surprise or two that readers won't see coming, but should have. Intriguing characters, a fantastic concept, enthralling action, and the odd "Oh my god!" moment -" "Secret Warriors" has it all.

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7.0
Secret Warriors #5

Jun 24, 2009

While this issue does lack a certain depth that the previous four have delivered with some great character work by Hickman, this one also delivers a confrontation that's been building for the entire series. If anything, "Secret Warriors" #5 again proves that this is a book that is unafraid to move the plot forward quickly and to change the status quo issue to issue.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #8

Oct 1, 2009

As always, "Secret Warriors" surprises and builds to a cliffhanger conclusion that doesn't feel forced but makes you want to come back next issue to see what happens. With "Dark Reign " The List: Secret Warriors" shipping next week, the wait won't be long, thankfully.

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7.0
Secret Warriors #12

Jan 29, 2010

Despite the many positives of this issue, its hard to view it as a singular cohesive whole when its so informed by what came before and the scenes included lack the drama and entertainment value they possess for someone whos read every issue. The focus of this series shifts so easily that which characters are shown seems random until the eventual payoff, which may not be for some time. Its a great series to read, but not necessarily one issue at a time.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #17

Jun 25, 2010

While most of the regular cast (if there is such a thing) doesn't appear in this issue, this arc looks like it will focus on Fury and the Howling Commandos more than anything, and that's established clearly. It's not entirely clear what's happened, but Hickman and Vitti set up an intriguing situation, providing a good mix of lightness and dark, often shifting from one to the other to great effect. Despite the lack of knowing where things are headed, the execution is strong on a single issue level, balancing the needs of the larger story and the immediate serialization.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #19

Aug 26, 2010

With "The Last Ride of the Howling Commandos" kicking off the second half of this series, Hickman sets up a rather hopeless feeling for Fury and company's chances against Hydra and Leviathan. But, he does in style with Vitti in one of the issue's most affecting and powerful issues to date.

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7.0
Secret Warriors #23

Jan 2, 2011

As "Secret Warriors" heads towards the end, Hickman stops and gives us a breather issue, giving us a good look at Sebastian and that he's able to live up to his potential more than we've seen. It fits into the larger context of the title while standing alone. It's a pleasant issue, one for the fans.

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7.0
Secret Warriors #28

Jul 30, 2011

"Secret Warriors" only lasted for two-and-a-half years and, in that time, it became a steady assurance of quality every month. It was a book that demanded patience and thought, active readers who were willing to follow Hickman where he wanted to go, and not expect immediate explanations. It was a slow burn that ultimately paid off. It will be missed.

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8.0
Severed #1

Aug 7, 2011

The biggest flaw that stands out in "Severed" #1 is the possibility to setting up too much of a horror, something that Snyder, Tuft, and Futaki can't deliver on. That opening scene grabs you right away, but it also promises something so horrifying as to warrant the reaction from the older Jack. Basically, this is a very impressive comic and it sets a high standard for the series after this point. I guess that's the nasty underbelly of a first issue that's a great read.

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4.0
Sherlock Holmes #1

Apr 27, 2009

While the issue ends well and almost makes me want to read what happens next, the same can't be said for everything leading up to it. Fans of Holmes will surely disagree, loving the adherence to the format of Doyle, but what works in prose doesn't always work in comics, and this issue is a clear example.

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5.0
Sherlock Holmes #2

Jun 8, 2009

In individual issues, "Sherlock Holmes" reads slowly with unnecessarily long and entirely unrelated scenes. Not only that, but scenes that do contain vital information are crammed into pages with six or more panels, while those unnecessary scenes are given large, open, four-panels-or-less pages. It's a sort of baffling storytelling that, hopefully, makes sense by the end of this series " but, for the moment, is the true mystery.

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7.0
Sherlock Holmes #5

Oct 5, 2009

"Sherlock Holmes" #5 wraps up "The Trial of Sherlock Holmes," bringing together all of the loose threads and ending in a typical Holmesean fashion. An entertaining and interesting read.

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9.0
Shuddertown #1

Mar 29, 2010

The pacing of the first issue is somewhat relaxed and dreamlike. Hernandez seems to drift through it in a daze of pills and mental problems. Is he responsible for the deaths he's investigating? Is he even fit to be a cop? Is he lying to us? "Shuddertown" #1 is a comic that requires close reading and attention and, hopefully, will pay off big time over the course of the series. Nick Spencer continues to be a writer worth watching and Adam Geen makes a great impression here.

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3.0
Siege #4

May 12, 2010

Clocking in at an expanded 30 pages of story, "Siege" #4 feels like it needed more pages at the end to really bring the event and the events of the past five years to a stronger conclusion. Bendis provides some nice feel good moments, but nothing firmly final. That's been his problem with these event books in the past and it continues here, sadly.

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4.0
Siege: Captain America #1

Apr 14, 2010

"Siege: Captain America" is a solid, but forgettable, issue. It's a textbook example of a tie-in issue that adds little to the main crossover, but tells an entertaining story. For "Siege" readers curious about Steve Rogers and James Barnes that aren't reading "Captain America," this could be worth a look, but, for anyone else, it's easily missed.

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5.0
Siege: Embedded #1

Jan 5, 2010

"Siege: Embedded" #1 provides two plots for future issues to follow up on, both of which show potential. This issue, unfortunately, presents neither well. The Urich plot is fuelled by coincidence and a sense of unavoidability, while the Keller plot doesn't have a chance to get going. Hopefully, as "Siege" moves forward, the possibilities presented here will be exploited.

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8.0
Siege: Secret Warriors #1

Apr 29, 2010

"Siege: Secret Warriors" is mostly an issue of fighting and action, but it has a strong purpose in its connection to the slain Ares and his son. More an epilogue/sequel to "God of Fear, God of War" than a "Siege" tie-in, this issue is a can't miss for fans of "Secret Warriors" as we see a side of Alex that we haven't encountered before

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8.0
Siege: The Cabal #1

Dec 2, 2009

As a prologue to "Siege" and the turning point of "Dark Reign," "Siege: The Cabal" works quite well. While there are some convenient storytelling choices, like never seeing how Osborn's secret weapon is directly, it's a good way to kick things off. "Siege" is apparently the last of the big Marvel events for a while and it's looking good so far.

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6.0
Skaar: Son Of Hulk #11

Jun 4, 2009

With the popularity of "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk," this "Planet Skaar" storyline should attract some new readers who want to see the Hulk and his son destroy everything around themselves to get at one another, and this issue seems to cater to that by setting Skaar up in a similar manner as the Hulk. The big surprise, though, is the art of Dan Panosian whose drawing is reminiscent of John Romita, Jr.'s art, and acts as a visual callback to "World War Hulk," which is a lovely touch.

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6.0
Soldier Zero #2

Nov 17, 2010

"Soldier Zero" #2 is an improvement on the first issue, getting into the meat of the story, but it's also very exposition heavy. Cornell's character work is good and grounds the story in some semblance of reality. Sadly, after two issues, it's still too early to tell if this book will be worth reading on a regular basis. Two issues in and the story is barely going.

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5.0
Soldier Zero #5

Feb 21, 2011

"Soldier Zero" #5 may welcome a new writing team, but there's no big change in tone or focus. DnA make an effort to continue on what Paul Cornell started, for both good and bad. For new readers, there's everything you need to know and, for old ones, there's a lot of rehashing and repetition with Application Nine.

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5.0
Son of Hulk #17

Nov 29, 2009

While not a strong issue on the whole, the scene between Hiro-Kala and Galactus makes this issue much better and makes the appeal of the upcoming "Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk" series more apparent. Most readers may not know much about Hiro-Kala, but this issue clearly shows that he will be making an impact over the coming months and will be a fine addition to Marvel's cosmic characters.

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9.0
Spaceman #1

Oct 27, 2011

"Spaceman" is a nine-issue mini-series that Azzarello and Risso plan to come back to in between other projects and, already, the possibilities seem endless. Orson isn't your typical sci-fi hero with his childish intelligence, monstrous appearance, and utter lack of purpose. With the first issue priced at only a dollar, how can you not give it a shot?

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8.0
Spaceman #4

Mar 5, 2012

It's easy to write off "Spaceman" for being "boring" and not as "exciting" as "100 Bullets," entrenched in language games and a future where nothing is explained easily. Really, it's Azzarello and Risso at their very best, using all of their skills to create a fully formed world and cast in an exciting crime story. When the first issue came out, I said it was a 'must buy' at one dollar. At three times that price, nothing has changed.

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8.0
Sparta U.S.A. #1

Mar 5, 2010

"Sparta, U.S.A." won't be for everyone as it requires patience and a little effort on the reader's part to understand. However, if Lapham's previous work is any indication, that patience and effort will pay off big time by the time the series is done.

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8.0
Sparta U.S.A. #3

May 9, 2010

"Sparta, U.S.A." continues to be a comic that pushes things, combining fantasy elements with social commentary with gossipy intrigue. It's unpredictable and confident in its presentation, an entertaining and insane read.

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6.0
Sparta U.S.A. #5

Jul 10, 2010

The concepts of "Sparta, U.S.A." are strong and interesting, especially the basis for the underground where the Spartans have been raised in subterfuge since birth, but the execution of this issue is scattered and rushed with individually strong scenes not fitting together as a cohesive unit. I'm very interested in seeing how it plays out in next month's finale.

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6.0
Sparta U.S.A. #6

Aug 10, 2010

That's a problem, too, because the end of the issue doesn't feel like a conclusion, it's more an open ending for future stories, and I would have liked to see something a little more definitive, but there are only 22 pages. That does mean that "Sparta, U.S.A." doesn't end as well as previous issues suggested, but it's still a good ending. With any luck, Lapham and Timmons will get a chance to follow-up on the promise of that final page.

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6.0
Spider-Man 1602 #5

Feb 18, 2010

"Spider-Man 1602" #5 wraps up this fun and light series strongly with a lot of action and adventure, though the final pages push the 'cutesy' envelope a bit far. Otherwise, if you just want an entertaining adventure comic to read, this book does the job ably.

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4.0
Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Face #2

Jan 12, 2010

The number of plots intertwined in this comic is rather large, which works against it somewhat, overcomplicating things too much. It seems that every aspect of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man's lives relate, somehow, to the experiments of Dr. Octavius on African Americans, too large a coincidence to dismiss. Both his personal and professional lives are caught up in this plot through various links like Robbie Robertson or the underground club he happens to bust being a storage facility for the heinous acts.

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8.0
Spider-Man: Fever #2

May 9, 2010

"Spider-Man: Fever" #2 has both Dr. Strange and Spider-Man progress on their quests, the issue ending with an odd revelation about Spider-Man that should make the final issue very interesting.

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8.0
Spider-Man: Fever #3

Jun 11, 2010

Despite it being published under the Marvel Knights imprint, "Spider-Man: Fever" #3 wraps up a series that reaches back in time and presents a classic team-up story with something for readers of all ages. Brendan McCarthy captures the magic of the Silver Age Marvel books and filters that magic through his sensibilities for one of the most fun and exciting reads of the year.

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5.0
Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #1

Sep 30, 2009

Six issues of this story may be too much for some, but this issue suggests that they may not be enough to allow this story to be told at a smoother pace. This issue feels like the story is on fast-forward as Mackie and DeFalco try to cram it all in. Ironically, the first Spider-Clone Saga went too long and "Spider-Man: The Clone Saga" looks like it will be too short.

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4.0
Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #6

Feb 24, 2010

While not as satisfying as the concept claimed, "Spider-Man: The Clone Saga" has acted as a nice trip down memory lane (albeit in an altered form) by revising Ben Reilly, Kaine, and the other elements of the original Clone Saga. The final issue delivers a new, different overarching plot explanation and doesn't end completely satisfying, but it is an interesting issue full of action.

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6.0
Spider-Woman #1

Sep 22, 2009

Divorced from the impetus for this series, "Spider-Woman" #1 isn't as powerful as it could have been, coming off as overly melodramatic based on the way that Jessica Drew has been portrayed since the end of "Secret Invasion." The added pages for this issue help as the second half is better than the first as Jessica leaves her self-pity behind to focus on her mission at hand. Hopefully, future issues will continue in that direction as this constant 'My life is so bad' narration doesn't work without some actual evidence of hardship.

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7.0
Spider-Woman #2

Oct 21, 2009

Not quite at the level of quality most would expect of a Bendis/Maleev book yet, "Spider-Woman" #2 is an improvement on the first issue and, hopefully, that trend will continue. The plot is intriguing and Jessica Drew's character is being given chances to show who she is rather than telling us, it makes for an entertaining read.

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7.0
Spider-Woman #6

Feb 18, 2010

"Spider-Woman" #6 is one of the strongest issues of the series yet as Bendis and Maleev move the character from self-loathing and living in the shadows to fighting in the day and building her confidence. Jessica Drew is starting to look like the cool superspy/superhero that Bendis has been saying she is for years.

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7.0
Spitfire #1

Aug 5, 2010

Fans of "Captain Britain and MI:13" will no doubt delight at this issue, but it functions well as a solo (or team-up) story for Spitfire with Cornell and Casagrande doing a great job of making the story all about her. New readers shouldn't have any problems jumping in and having fun with Lady Jacqueline as she and Blade hunt down a vampire traitor in New York.

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6.0
SpongeBob Comics #1

Feb 12, 2011

For a debut issue, "SpongeBob Comics" is effective at capturing the tone of the show and allowing the creators to present their own takes on the characters at times. It suffers sometimes from not being able to rely on the strengths of animation and, hopefully, will take advantage of the things that comics can do that animation can't, adapting its style to this medium more. Me, I'm just wondering what sort of look I'm going to get when I add it to my pull list on Wednesday.

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6.0
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight: Romulans #1

May 20, 2009

(Give Wagner Reis's art a look in CBR's preview.)

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5.0
Star Trek: Deep Space 9: Fool's Gold #1

Dec 28, 2009

Honestly, this issue is mostly mediocre storytelling from the writers and artist aside from any use of Odo who seems to be the only character anyone involved truly understands and can use to good effect. Perhaps, when this is over, the creative team should just work on an Odo solo story since that's where their strengths lie. Until then, "Fool's Gold" is fairly average, but does have an intriguing mystery to be solved.

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5.0
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts #1

Nov 24, 2009

On the whole, "Ghosts" #1 isn't an inspiring beginning since it reads like the first act of a fairly forgettable episode, but it does show some potential and very well could turn out to be a classic "Next Generation" story.

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5.0
Station #4

Nov 9, 2008

However, Carvalho's small flaws aren't what hold "Station" back from being great. His art and Stokes' writing are both competent and not very ambitious. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as it does make for an entertaining albeit forgettable read.

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7.0
Stephen King's N. #1

Mar 4, 2010

Like Marvel's other Stephen King adaptations, the creators involved are top notch and that skill translates here. Horror is a very tough genre to do effectively in comics and this issue falters in places because of the static nature of the medium, but Guggenheim and Maleev create tension through N.'s words and how he reacts to what he encounters to get across the frightening elements of the story. It's a great use of a character to stand in for the reader and allow him or her to experience the events of a comic through said character.

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