Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Vine Reviews: 441
8.7Avg. Review Rating

10
1602: Witch Hunter Angela #1

Jun 10, 2015

After the extremely uneven run of 1602 tie-ins, this can only be called an extremely pleasant surprise. Bennett, Gillen, Sauvage and Hans have come together and made something truly beautiful here: a superhero fantasy story that feels like its beholden to both of those genres without being restricted by either one. It revels in what it is, and rightly so. Its characters feel rich and fleshed out, even if not all of them are direct references or analogs, and the world has a wonderful sense that it continues to stretch well beyond the panels that tell the story. The complaints above are the definition of minor annoyances and barely detract from what is one of the strongest debuts for a Secret Wars title yet.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #23.1

Sep 4, 2013

Plot quibbles that extend beyond the pages of this particular issue certainly can't keep it from being an extremely entertaining and eye-opening read. Brainiac is definitely becoming one of the bigger behind-the-scenes power players in the New 52 and this issue certainly feeds into that narrative. Nelson does one helluva job making Cyborg Superman into a compelling, somewhat tragic figure, and I actually like that he doesn't lean into the "tortured villain" trope too heavily. Zor-El was a jerk BEFORE his transformation, he's now just a more driven, powerful jerk even if he DID have the best of intentions. I may have some objections to how Villain's Month is being handled, but that can easily be put aside as this issue stands fantastically on its own.

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8.0
Age of Apocalypse Vol.2 #14

Apr 3, 2013

Despite my criticism of the book being hard to understand if you're not a fan of the two more obscure series, I also appreciate it on some level since both series are due for the chopping block. It only seems natural that the creative teams would want to send them off in a way that the people who helped support the books in the first place would appreciate, and even without that appreciation, the art and the writing are enough to stand firmly on their own and establish plenty. If you're a fan of either (or both) Age of Apocalypse or X-Treme X-Men, this book is very much for you.

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10
All-New Captain America #4

Feb 18, 2015

Theres a great cliffhanger to end the issue, leaving the audience champing at the bit for the next issue and establishing that Remender and Immonen know exactly what theyre doing and were a great choice for creative team on this title. This issue helps to justify and define what kind of Cap that Wilson will be, and the fact that it NEEDS justifying isnt great, but here we are. This book is so much greater than an attention grab and deserves to be read.

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8.0
All-New Captain America #5

Mar 18, 2015

Its hard to believe this is only issue 5 as this story, and the characters in it, already feel so developed and evolved. Remenders done a fantastic job of writing memorable, stand-out moments and characters and the artists have rendered them fantastically as well, and this issues no exception. The plotline veers into coincidence and luck a little more than is probably healthy, but that hardly ruins what has been an intense, roughneck, deeply satisfying issue.

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10
All-New X-Factor #1

Jan 7, 2014

Its not exactly a secret that X-Factor was one of my favorite books of the last ten years, and that I wasnt PRECISELY sad to see it go because it seemed to get such a loving, perfect send-off. Normally such an ideal afrewell would have me seething at a revival this soon afterward, but two things must be considered. The most important is that, as mentioned previously by yours truly, these seeds were sown in the pages of the final X-Factor issues AND we have the series original writer back at the helm. The second is that no one in their right mind would put the words X-Factor and shameless cash-grab in the same thought process, so this issue is far more a return of old friends, and I cannot wait to see more from this book.

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10
All-New X-Factor #2

Jan 22, 2014

Its interesting and rare to see a story arc, especially an introductory one, wrap in two issues. Last page aside, we were introduced to an all-new villain with a very interesting plan, we got to know the team, became reacquainted with some old friends, fin. Its a great, low-risk barrier to entry for a title that I think has all the potential in the world to continue the fine legacy of previous X-Factor stories. More importantly, it places just enough pressure on the creative team to keep the pace going at a brisk rate, but to not scrimp on little character moments that will help define the future relationships both in and out of the team. It's a great start to what will hopefully be a great series.

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10
All-New X-Factor #3

Feb 12, 2014

I absolutely love whats being done with this book. It has some of my favorite characters from a great run on X-Factor and introduces, and quickly defines, other characters. There are three spots on the roster already filled, but the intro page hints at three more and while were getting a look at a likely one by issues end, Im still excited to find out who the others are. Between the writing and the art, this is a delightful book to jump onto. If you like your mutants not overpowered and handling not-exactly world shattering events, this is a book for you.

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10
All-New X-Factor #4

Mar 12, 2014

The roster is growing issue by issue and I couldnt be happier with the direction its going. This is a very strange roster, but youll never hear me complain about unusual characters getting the spotlight from those who have three-picture film deals. Its good to see a creative, vital book that lets the B-listers of the universe shine.

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8.0
All-New X-Factor #5

Mar 26, 2014

All-New X-Factor is still delivering on the glorious promise of its concept: a corporate-sponsored team culled from both previous iterations of X-Factor and characters new to the roster, bringing with them all the baggage and personalities of previous issues. It still has some of the most evocative art on the shelf and an absolutely glorious sense of humor and fun to it, making it an easy recommendation. Any odd-numbered issue makes a fine jumping on point, so if you cant find the first four, dont worry about it.

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10
All-New X-Factor #6

Apr 9, 2014

It would appear the roster has filled up by issues end, and what a strange and wonderful cast of characters it has turned out to be! And much to my delight, this issue continues the mini-arc precedent set in the first four, making this a series of somewhat self-contained stories rather than one larger overarching one. I feel like the team weve got have been excellently established across the last six issues and we now know what were working with. I cannot WAIT to see what the assembled teams first assignment is.

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8.0
All-New X-Factor #7

May 7, 2014

The end of this issue is shocking, even if I have NO idea if its sticking around, and the start of it is pure, character-driven glee for me. As a fan of X-Factor's tradition of strange rosters and even stranger interactions, I love it. Even as a comic reader in general, Peter David knows a thing or two about writing characters as compelling first and their origins/archetypes second. The ultra-expressive art and beautiful color-palette add to the subtle emotions of the issue and establish a strong tone.

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10
All-New X-Factor #8

May 21, 2014

This issue presents us with an interesting, unexpected development and still grows the team in an organic way, even if the team itself takes something of a backseat. I get that on a team of this size, not everyone can have the spotlight all the time but, I also feel like theres been a better balance in previous issues. The ones who ARE in the spotlight, however, are incredibly entertaining (looking at you, robotic group members) and this is another great ending to a brief arc that leaves so much potential for the next storyline, so Im ultimately still waiting anxiously for the teams further development. Also I have to give kudos to Peter David and Di Giandomenico for more truth in bizarre covers. And just what IS going on with Harrison Snow?? SERIOUSLY!

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10
All-New X-Factor #9

Jun 4, 2014

This is still an effective stand-alone issue, even if it does refer back more than previous ones. I wasnt sure about this being the storyline they decided to go longer on, but by the end I was sold. We get the introduction of a new character with an absolutely amazing name (that I kinda cant believe no one had used before, at least no one of note in the big publishers), we get an insane amount of storyline seeding and, honestly, Im still amazed that its GAMBIT of all characters I cannot wait to see more of next in two weeks.

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8.0
All-New X-Factor #10

Jul 2, 2014

Id read this book for the characters alone, and thats what Im going to keep doing. If the plotlines remain reasons for these people to stay together and interact with one another, I can be alright with that. The art is certainly strong enough to support this as a mostly character-driven book, and its bright and wondrous to boot, and the writing remains delightful and upbeat. If each arc ends with a shrug and a Here we go AGAIN, Id actually be fine with it.

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10
All-New X-Men #26

Apr 30, 2014

The last page of this issue means so much for how the rest of it will proceed, and not just in terms of whos on the page, but in terms of who isnt. I can see this jumping off in a very, very major way. Its an establishing issue, but what it establishes could be one of the most exciting X-Men events in a single title in awhile.

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10
All-New X-Men #30

Aug 13, 2014

It looks like were going to get into another crossover with the revelation of Professor Xs Last Will and Testament, so Im glad we got this break to develop these characters and give them some new ways to interact. The unexpected resolutions, the unlikely hook-up and the continuing flirtation all come together, never feel forced, and make this book dramatic without being dour. Bendis has got something really, really great set up here and I cant wait to see how he continues to execute on it.

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10
All-New X-Men #31

Aug 27, 2014

Minor artistic flubs aside, this is a book that effectively threads fun with drama. Its more than just teenagers bouncing off each other, but it has a certain delight in being that as well. Im honestly completely in the dark on what will happen next in this book, but it could go a number of ways, some of which would be incredibly novel. Bendis has always been a writer whos been great at capitalizing on what makes a character great and, whether using well-establshed ones, or establishing new ones for himself, hes always done it well. I have confidence hell choose whatevers best for the story he wants to tell and well all benefit from it.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #32

Sep 17, 2014

Im still interested and intrigued to see where this book goes, but what we have here seems to be an unfortunate hiccup. It reads like an establishing issue for the Ultimates universe, and not just the characters in it, but that universe is similar enough to the main 616 one that it feel like its going through the motions and killing time. There are some interesting developments (I cant wait to see what Beast gets into), but overall the issue feels needlessly prolonged. At the very least, it is still a blast to read and look at and fans of the series will find much to enjoy, but were going to have to wait until next issue before things really take off.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #33

Oct 29, 2014

Geographical head-scratchers aside, this issue is great fun. I enjoyed Miles and Jeans interactions a great deal more, we get some Ganke, and Im happy anytime hoofed Doom shows up. It may not have the Earth-shattering consequences of some recent storylines, but theres a certain fun atmosphere permeating and a real Howre they gonna get out of THIS one feel giving it a solid sense of whimsy.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #36

Feb 11, 2015

Usually Bendis is able to keep his ducks in a row and work an entertaining, well-paced story into six issues, but this is a rare faltering for him. While the book is a visual feast, it simply doesnt have the story or enough character focus to drive the narrative forward. There are some great character moments, but theyre mostly focused on five of what is a gargantuan group, the rest of who did essentially nothing but fill up backgrounds. This isnt a bad issue by any means, and it wasnt a bad story by any means, but it felt like a massive holding pattern from very early on and never managed to overcome that.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #7

Oct 8, 2014

Its refreshing, after a large build-up and delivery of new supervillain(s) to get a nice, quick story with a relatively small cast and an extremely welcome teamup from Ms. Marvel. The two characters work amazingly (pun intended) well together, and I honestly hope this isnt the last we see of her and Spideys adventures. What Im also hoping for is more followup on what Ana-Maria was saying to Peter as I think itd be a great, subtle development to his character. We dont need a total system overhaul (though SUPERIOR SPIDEY was fun while it lasted), but a small change here and there would go a long way. Oh and the acknowledgement of Spidey and Carol Danvers' odd, abbreviated romance was another thing I truly appreciated.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #8

Oct 22, 2014

Slott and Gage are clearly building to Spider-Verse, but its certainly not coming at the expense of the main AMAZING SPIDER-MAN title. While we might not be getting huge plot developments and high-stakes, were getting some great character work and, quite frankly, the dust is STILL settling from SUPERIOR SPIDER-MANs massive shakeup, so its relaxing to actually have a status quo to return to. Kamala and Peters story is great fun to read and juxtaposes strongly against the savagery of the EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE back-up, but the two dont clash and are both, ultimately, entertaining.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #11

Dec 10, 2014

This is the most intense Spider-Verse issue yet, and for a series thats been this cranked up for this long and managed to SUSTAIN it, that is definitely saying something. Slotts managed to take an epic, far-reaching story and given it an intimate, personal feel that actually puts a lot of emotional investment in its massive cast. A cast that the artistic team makes look incredible in almost every single panel they appear in, balancing action with impactful character moments. If youre any kind of Spider-fan, you should be reading all of Spider-Verse, but if you can only check out one book, it should be this one.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #12

Jan 7, 2015

Perhaps the problems of the tie-ins has been more pronounced in the past and it simply hasn't been as noticeable because this is the first a tie-in hasn't been available readily, but in either case this is a strong issue in what has, so far, been an enormously satisfying event. The visual changes match the tonal ones and make the whole series feel like its entering a new act, and if what we see at the end is any indicator, its definitely going to be the final one. At every turn, whenever some reveal or event feels like it could either be one of the best or one of the worst things, Slott manages the former every time.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #13

Jan 21, 2015

Developments from other issues aside, this is an example of some incredible buildup to a final showdown. The outcome of the events might be a foregone conclusion, to some extent, but that hasnt dulled interest for exactly HOW things shake out and especially WHO walks away. Slotts done a great job with building the readers attachment to a lot of these totems, and the various tie-ins have built them even more, so even if its almost certainly assured that 616 Spideys walk away, who ELSE does is still a great source of suspense and anticipation.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #14

Feb 11, 2015

A terrific end to an excellent event thats been better than it has any right to be at JUST about every turn. Its hard to say how much more or less enjoyment can be derived from the core series with or without the tie-ins, but they definitely cant hurt, which isnt to say this issue doesnt stand as a powerful ending either way. It focuses on the core characters, and while that could feel like a cop-out, it actually means that the anyone not interested in picking up 6 or 7 (or 10 or 11) extra titles is still getting a great, self-contained story. Theres still an epilogue to look forward to, but this was a great ending.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #15

Feb 25, 2015

A very fun end to what has been a rather grim event. Slott even brings up a few head-scratchers left from Spider-Verse, most notably that Karn was rather quickly forgiven despite his murder of literally hundreds of people both innocent and heroic. Minor complaints pop up, but ultimately solid, satisfying endings are so rare in comics, both mainstream and otherwise, that it feels like a victory anytime there is one, and thats what this feels like: a great ending to a better-than-average (or better than it had any right to be) event.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #16

Mar 11, 2015

A slight stumble is hardly unexpected after a story as consistently great, epic and even world-shattering as Spider-Verse and while its good to see Peter return to his more grounded roots, its also beginning to feel rote and in need of some shaking up. This will hopefully be a minor speedbump on the road to re-establishing the status quo and re-establishing the new direction for Spidey to go in.

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8.0
Amazing X-Men #2

Dec 4, 2013

This book is still an awful lot of fun and definitely doesnt take itself too seriously. Which is good, because its about a bunch of superpowered mutants wearing leather and spandex searching the afterlife for their dearly departed friend while battling air pirates. So, you know, be ready to smile more than think. And after how heavy the last few months have been for the X-Men, Im ready to kick back and have some fun. We even get a glimpse of another character's

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6.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #2

Oct 15, 2014

The final two-page splash of this issue actually makes me think theres something going on worth looking forward to, and Id like nothing more than for this series to pick up and become what I think it can be with this incredibly talented team. The art is great and there are some very solid concepts in it along with a grand reveal that actually STILL has my interest, but overall, it feels like it either needed more time to develop or more time to wind up. Perhaps the tie-ins will offer a bit more in the way of stakes or characterization, but after the one-two punch of INFINITY and ORIGINAL SIN, this event leaves a lot to be desired so far.

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6.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #4

Nov 5, 2014

AXIS has a great core concept, but the devils in the details of making a truly great, memorable event. In this case: the details are muddled and indistinct and the emotional stakes simply arent there. To put it another way: I enjoy whats happening, but I dont like HOW its happening. The art is still a standout and the team does a great job communicating both tone and implying so much more, but the writing isnt sustaining an ongoing sense of interest and comings-and-goings of this issue in particular feel like they're happening because they must rather than should.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #10

Apr 24, 2013

It truly is a shining statement about this book that I enjoy it as much as I do despite not understanding a huge swaths of it. I have a feeling this, and much of Hickman's work, will read much, much better in trade as even the brief week's delay between issues makes the plot difficult to piece together. But as it is, this is an issue for those already invested in the Avengers in general, as well as this storyline. The characters don't develop, they are who they are and your enjoyment of this book runs almost directly parallel to how much you enjoy the cast in the first place. It just so happens that I enjoy them very much.

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10
Avengers (2012) #15

Jul 3, 2013

The above complaint can be easily rectified with a second reading, and thats not necessarily a bad thing as the art and dialog make this a book worth going back to. Hickmans Avengers run has, so far, had such a cohesive, flowing narrative that I truly think the book reads equally well in trade or single-issue format and I cant imagine its easy for Marvel to decide where the division should happen. I cant wait to see what the book brings to the table next, particularly with Caselli on pencils.

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10
Avengers (2012) #16

Jul 17, 2013

I cant think of a reason to mark down a superhero book for trying something new, interesting and different. This is a book well worth reading, well worth investing in and well worth getting absolutely lost in. I havent even mentioned what happens to Banner in the S.H.I.E.L.D. base (another fake spoiler: its on the cover) and I absolutely cant wait to see how that plays into the entire story. A.I.M. Island is still in the mix, with the Scientist Supreme seeming to have, or at least thinking he has, a handle on the situation, but who can tell for sure? One of the things that makes this book amazing is, as I previously said, a complete lack of knowledge of where its going or what will happen and I think thats great news for people growing weary of calling plots a mile off. This is a great book for neophytes or old-timers alike.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #17

Aug 7, 2013

This issue concludes with the words "End Prelude," and with what is established (and what is the final visual) at issue's end, it's a wild ending. I wouldn't go so far as to declare "nothing will be the same" or "world will be shattered," but this new roster has a ton of potential to go very, very right or very, very, very wrong (and I mean both in the best possible way) so I truly can't wait to see what this book has to offer next. This issue ties together several dangling plot threads while leaving enough touched upon, but unanswered, to make the upcoming weeks and months ones to very much anticipate, but as all good lead-ins do: it also stands remarkably well on its own. If you've been reading the Avengers since Marvel NOW's launch, you're already picking this up, but if you haven't, get ahold of some back issues and grab this one while you're at it because something big is coming and this is just the book to introduce you to it.

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10
Avengers (2012) #18

Aug 21, 2013

This book doesnt seem to be a tie-in as much as a continuation and a critical part of the event. This is an interesting tact to take as it essentially turns a 6-part story into a 16-part one, but well see how necessary it is for Infinity #2 (or New Avengers #9). Marvels even included a very simple chart in the back of this issue explaining where the tie-ins and off-shot issues land in the continuity. Its a lot simpler than it sounds, trust me, there are only three main titles. Regardless, this issue does stand fairly well on its own, but as a continuation, its spectacular. Its good to see the Skrulls again, Klrt in particular, and seeing them try to elevate themselves is actually very moving, but this book is definitely about bombast and action and it accomplishes it beautifully.

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10
Avengers (2012) #19

Sep 11, 2013

This issue is a great continuation of the events from Infinity #2, and even continuing from #1, as well as the previous Avengers titles. I know its easy to dismiss this as just another event book, especially so soon after Age of Ultron, but by having a singular writer across three titles, the tone, tenor, pace and goals of the books remain consistent across the three titles, making them all very much worth picking up. This book helps flesh out the events that are happening in the main book, showing you corners you may not have noticed or forgotten about, and thats the best thing a close tie-in like this can do. It isnt 100% necessary, but its definitely worth checking out if youre already invested in Infinity, or in Hickmans Avengers roster.

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10
Avengers (2012) #20

Sep 25, 2013

Hickmans vision continues on with incredible clarity and impact. This book is incredible for its ability to fit seamlessly into the larger narrative of Infinity while simultaneously being friendly to fans of past issues who havent kept up with the other titles, or even the main one. Hickman isnt normally big on recapping or explaining, so its great to see him bend that rule since so much goes on in other titles.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #22

Oct 30, 2013

This issue is probably the first that Id say is truly skippable, and unfortunately, that applies to either readers of the Infinity series or Avengers (something Hickman has been great at differentiating), but that doesnt mean its bad by any stretch. In fact, Id say that it SHOULDNT be skipped as there are some great character moments, but its less intrinsic to the overall plot of either title than previous issues have been. That said, if you already get the book or have four bucks to spare in your comic budget, by all means pick this one up. It may not be required reading, but its well worth the extra credit.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #23

Nov 20, 2013

Note: Leinil Francis Yu has released a 'disclaimer' he had to do the art in two weeks.

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10
Avengers (2012) #26

Feb 12, 2014

Hickman is continuing to tell some of the most elegantly odd comics in Marvel and across the medium itself. Every time a new issue of one of his books comes out, it further proves that these characters arent too old to learn some new tricks and putting established characters into strange, new situations can still be incredibly fun. For anyone who thinks comics have run out of ideas, show them to Hickmans Avengers run.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #29

May 14, 2014

This issue is about answering the question of Caps memories, but it sneakily slips in another unanswered question from the pages of New Avengers at the very end, and its that moment that leads to a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. One that takes the book in a potentially bizarre and completely different direction. Im fascinated to see Marvel as a company taking risks with things like continuity and setting and this book is another example inline with that idea. While some of it might be familiar territory for some readers, its still very, very much worth looking into for both fans of this series and a MUST for followers of New Avengers.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #30

May 28, 2014

The parts of this issue that work work amazingly well. We get some great character moments, regardless of how those characters got here, and, while this may be a lot of unused potential, this issue still has weight and power behind it. Its also great to, much like during the glorious Infinity event, see a tie-in that requires none of the core book to enjoy nor understand. If you have no interest in Original Sin, but still love reading Hickmans Avengers, feel free to pick this one up.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #36

Oct 8, 2014

This is a concept issue that just happens to have some engaging, fascinating characters. While that gives the reader an emotional core, its not without its narrative flaws, but overall the writing and the art meet so well and establish such a strong emotional core, that even though I dont fully follow whats happening, Im still finding myself extremely invested. Wherever this book is going, if this quality keeps up, I can easily suggest coming along for the ride.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #37

Oct 22, 2014

Things are still muddy and mysterious, but this issue, at least, feels like it's doing far more with the characters it has in terms of defining them and giving them a context in the greater narrative. The fact that it does more to define that NARRATIVE is also not hurting anything. I still have faith that Hickman will fill out the backstory of exactly what went down and while we're losing out on some emotional investment, there are enough small hints and details to make it feel like it's all building to something substantial.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #39

Dec 10, 2014

The whole crossover thing (it will even be continued in the next issue of NEW AVENGERS) isnt bad on its face, its just a bit disappointing that a series that had so perfectly sidestepped all the potholes that come with needing to read other books in order to follow the plot finally stepped in one. Its still a very, very good issue, the writing and visuals are beautiful and heartfelt while still having an edge of both desperation and hard-hitting action. Its a tough balancing act to achieve, but this issue manages it with aplomb.

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10
Avengers (2012) #40

Jan 14, 2015

This is an incredible issue in this series, both in terms of how the plot develops and the characters are framed, as well as paying off a lot of threads I was afraid would be left dangling, and it was a doozy of a plot point (the fears that nothing would come of the rivalry between Namor and TChalla were, again, unfounded) so seeing it pay off here the way it does is not only great reading, its deeply satisfying. The one complaint stands out, but hardly ruins, what might be the best issue of this series yet.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #42

Mar 4, 2015

Its great to see a buildup issue that neither feels like a holding pattern nor that its focused solely on the plot. Hickmans ability to consistently have characters drive plot, rather than the other way around, means a lot more investment in the outcome, even if that outcome is in a major comic company, thus having only a few real variations. Its the mark of a great creator to take these preconception of how events will turn out and STILL make the reader care about the goings on within them.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #43

Apr 1, 2015

This issue has some minor quibbles to be made about it, but does so much more right that it still shouldnt be missed. If for no other reason than the absolutely mammoth inventions that Earths defenders come up with, while still feeling like the book is taking place in some kind of reality rather than a far-future sci-fi universe. Its a keen balancing act to pull off, but Hickman and Mayhew manage it, making this issues build extremely worth reading.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) Annual #1

Dec 4, 2013

Despite what I just said above, this book brought a constant smile to my face. There is a wonderful charm and wit buoyed by beautiful art and that easily overcomes some confusion for a plot that wasnt particularly important (this is very much an issue about characters), particularly for a standalone annual. I have scarcely read a book that is more unabashedly fun, at least a mainstream superhero book that is, and that charm counts for an awful lot. I can safely say, regardless of beliefs, this is a holiday special well worth looking into. Not at all like SOME holiday specials...

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8.0
Avengers Arena #16

Oct 9, 2013

It's funny that this book has taken so much flak for being a "stunt" or "killing so many characters" when really, over sixteen issues, Hopeless has killed fewer characters than Superboy Prime did back in a single issue of Infinite Crisis. None of the deaths, no, not even the ones that made everyone so very angry at the beginning, were done arbitrarily or without reason and that's the linchpin that holds the entire book together in the end. There's a certain suspense that holds the book together that is absent from a LOT of mainstream books, and it's what I mentioned before: you honestly don't know who's going to live and who's going to die.

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10
Avengers Arena #17

Nov 13, 2013

Now that we know where this book is headed, Im excited to see how we get there. Im still not entirely sure who lives and who dies, and thats part of the fun. We seem to complain about how predictable and samey everything is and this book absolutely blows that notion out of the water by being unpredictable, but never untrue. The art matches the desperate, messed-up tone of the writing to a tee and there's even a little time for a quip or two to make sure it's not ALL doom and gloom ALL the time.

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8.0
Avengers Assemble #16

Jun 12, 2013

Captain Marvel has been remade as one of Marvel Comics premiere A-listers, and while it may have begun with Brian Reed, Kelly Sue has cemented the character and defined her in ways that she hasnt been in over forty years. This issue even gives her a plotline thats all her own, and while it may lag in spots, I still think its one of the best on the shelf. The cross-over with Avengers Assemble (which Deconnick has also uplifted of late) is a perfect fit for continuing the storyline, and even stands fairly well on its own. But if youre a fan of Capt. Carol Danvers, theres NO reason not to pick this up.

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10
Avengers Undercover #1

Mar 12, 2014

Avengers Undercover makes a fantastic first impression and picks up most of the best characters (who survived) from Avengers Arena. Anyone who thought the horrific events of Arena would be forgotten/swept under the rug, you feared in vain because its clear that these kids, most of whom arent appearing in any other books, arent done working through their pain, nor their hunger for vengeance against the one who wronged them. I think it's a truly novel idea to have actual trauma being dealt with in such a genuine way rather than just having the characters move onto their next adventure.

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10
Avengers Undercover #3

Apr 23, 2014

One cast member, at least, gets an incredible development but, again, not until the end. Its a great, satisfying moment, though, so its well worth the trip there. This issue is a great example of why I was thrilled that this book was announced so close to Avengers Arenas ending: events like those that happened in Murder World SHOULD have severe, psychological consequences in comics that are aiming where this one is aiming, and this delivers on that premise while STILL not being completely dark and gritty. In fact theres very little grit to be found, and thats been replaced with some genuinely funny, if darkly so, moments that make this one of the more interesting books in mainstream superheroing.

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8.0
Avengers Undercover #7

Jul 9, 2014

Someone finally mentions that Baron Zemo is a Nazi. Not an "I disagreed with you on the internet Nazi, and actual Master Race Nazi. Thats been a real pet peeve and Im glad its been acknowledged at least. This is a great issue that I feel highlights a character whos been getting short-shrift lately, both in terms of AVENGERS ARENA AND this title. Im not saying she hasnt had any great moments, but its great to see one of my favorite Runaways rate her own issue. Things are in a very strange place right now with where the book leaves off, but its definitely entertaining, and Im definitely hotly anticipating the next issue.

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6.0
Avengers Undercover #8

Aug 13, 2014

This is a single issue that feels like it should have been at least two issues. I wouldnt have minded taking our time and really seeing where all the former Murder World kids are, particularly with a little more internal monologue and character focus. Im still interested in seeing where this story goes, and I still really like these characters, but this issue felt like it was hurrying both in terms of the writing and the art.

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10
Batgirl (2011) #36

Nov 12, 2014

Its great to see a new team on a book not only succeed but succeed to this degree so fast out of the gate. A strong opener has an even stronger follow-up and were now to the point that its clear the writers and artists have a strong, clear vision for this title and that the creative shift wasnt simply to try and drum up interest in a book that may have been flagging in terms of sales. Weve got a brand new creative team for a brand-new age and its given us, despite the character not actually changing, a brand-new Batgirl. And she couldnt be in better hands.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #37

Dec 10, 2014

Its only been three issues, so its far too soon to write off a book that gets this much right because of a few complaints. This is still one of the most fun, visually interesting books in mainstream comics and its still worth getting into. This issue, in fact, is still a great jumping on point which is handy as back issues are becoming increasingly harder to find. Im hoping the setting asserts itself more strongly and begins to define its characters role in it, but for now Im content with how they simply bounce off each other in fun, delightful ways.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011): Endgame #1

Mar 18, 2015

Theres a certain audacity to books like this, which used to be more common, that can still be appreciated, even if there is a perceived value reduction. The story is fantastically executed, and this actually stands as an evergreen issue, despite being a tie-in to a larger narrative. If this were a one-shot divorced from the Endgame label, itd work just as well. While it can be read quickly, it truly should be savored and theres plenty to appreciate from one panel to the next.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #22

Jul 17, 2013

Emotions still run high and are plentiful across the book, dont get me wrong, and I love a good superhero scrap as much as the next fellow, but the one in this feels like wasted potential. Its a very small part of the book, which IS part of the problem, but it absolutely doesnt wreck it or make it difficult to recommend. This is one of my favorite entries into this stages of grief storyline and absolutely worth picking up, if for no other reason than the beginning and the ending. Theres also a very interesting tease on the final page that makes me very, very interested in whats down the road for Batman and his partners.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #33

Jul 23, 2014

Between the amazing visuals and somewhat novel presentation of a well-worn trope, as well as the continuation of a genuinely interesting story, this is still an issue worth reading, whether youre following Robin Rises closely, or just a fan of the Bat-family. If you havent picked up the previous issue in the storyline, Id actually say its not entirely necessary as this book does well standing on its own, or at least as a continuation of ISSUE #32. Either way, its well worth picking up.

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8.0
Batman Beyond (2015) #1

Jun 3, 2015

If youre a superfan of Batman Beyond, this is still very much worth a look, but adjust your expectations. Dont necessarily point them down, this is still a good book very worth reading, but dont expect to know everything right off the bat (yeah, I said it). The art does a fantastic job of drawing the reader into this new status quo and softens the blow quite a bit while the writing gets a lot of sympathy for this new Batman very quickly. And if you have no previous franchise investment, then by ALL means give this issue a look. It is an intriguing start to what will hopefully be a great new direction for the character.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #15

Jul 16, 2014

This book is shockingly consistent given its hectic release schedule. While the book may try a little too hard at being all things to all people and all storylines, the visuals and dialog more than make up for the scattershot approach and even poke a bit of fun at the chaos. Theres still an intriguing mystery at the heart of this tale, and whatevers going on in Arkham seems to be absolutely brimming with potential, to the point that Im already ready for more.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #22

Sep 3, 2014

This is another solid entry in this series, and it feels like the beginning of a truly amazing storyline. The fact that its also a continuation of a previously started storyline is actually to its credit and a testament to how consistent the books been overall. I honestly cant wait to see what next weeks issue brings as these are two characters who couldnt be in better hands than they are now.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #23

Sep 10, 2014

Selina is the main focal point of this story and I didnt mention her a great deal as its hard to talk about her story without delving into some serious spoilers, but what is developing with her is becoming increasingly interesting. Whether this turns out to be what I think it is, and based on the final panel, its definitely looking like a move in that direction, or not, the story has been entertaining and surprisingly easy to follow. But moreover: extremely worthwhile to follow.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #24

Sep 17, 2014

Its nice when this series takes a breather to focus on the general Bat-family, even those who dont yet realize their membership status. Theres a reason Stephanie Brown has been one of the most demanded characters in the NEW-52 relaunch and we are on a very so-far-so-good course. The books weekly release schedule will allow the creators to close any gaps in her characterization, and something tells me shell fit right in when the time comes. A slight misstep with Bats himself is no reason to stop following a book with this much continued, consistent momentum.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #25

Sep 24, 2014

The complaints about Hush are a little more fanboyish than Id like, but since were not getting his origin until next issue, I have to judge him based on my previous experiences as this is storyline is the first weve seen of him in the New-52. The rest of the issue stands up amazingly well, Im particularly loving the banter between family members we havent seen much of together (Jason Todd and Tim Drake NEED their own spin-off) and Im enjoying the development of Harper Row. Its also very cool to see that theres still a villain or two that can keep Batman on his heels, ever off-balance. It has a humanizing quality, and thats whats at the heart of most great Batman tales.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #31

Nov 5, 2014

BATMAN ETERNAL continues building momentum well past its halfway point. While not every issue is killer, theyre all at least solid and great at continuing to build the characters and storylines that continue to grow apart and come together at the most unexpected points. Its a series that constantly keeps the reader guessing, but also keeps them thinking as its not difficult to follow, but it can get a bit labyrinthine with a cast this size, so maybe a staff this size is the only natural reaction. Whatever theyre doing, it continues to work week in and week out.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #34

Nov 26, 2014

The storyline appears to be turning another corner, and now would be a good time to grab a few back issues and get into this book. Its seemingly found exactly what it wants to be and how it wants to get there, eschewing the more globetrotting, bombastic storylines for some real intimate, smaller-scale stories. Too many cooks sometimes spoil the broth, but thats of no concern here as the consistent quality of this book hasnt significantly wavered in several issues.

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10
Batman: Eternal #35

Dec 3, 2014

The main problem with this book has a number of decent resolutions, making it a minor problem overall and the rest of the book is well-executed from top-to-bottom. As a jumping-on point it establishes the stakes and the state of Gotham with extreme economy, avoiding the problems of a holding pattern, and allowing it to function as an issue that fans of the series can get plenty out of.

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10
Batman: Eternal #39

Dec 31, 2014

Act 3 of this book, if it wasnt already introduced, is surely in full-swing now. Were coming up on the beginning of the end and there are still a few tantalizingly teased out mysteries to solve as well as a few more hanging threads to tie up. This book has been a perfect example of controlled chaos: seemingly disparate parts coming together in organic, interesting ways. This book wins the unofficial award for Biggest Surprise of 2014 and I STILL, after 39 rapid-fire issues, cant wait to see how it all ends.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #48

Mar 4, 2015

This book remains one of the most consistent on the shelf and at this point, barring some catastrophic tailspin of an ending, the best weekly title ever produced. The creators manage to build upon one anothers visions without stepping on each others toes, and the art in this issue is one of the highlights of the whole series, making this a great one to jump back into or continue on with.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #49

Mar 11, 2015

With less than a months worth of weekly offerings, this issue feels like the true beginning of the end, and that means that is coming at the perfect moment for this series. Without wearing out its welcome, and by fitting a vast number of ultimately interconnected plotlines, this will be one collection that is worth keeping an eye on. Its becoming increasingly hard to pick out single issues on their own as theyve bled together in a way that, without proper creator correspondence, would have been a garbled mess but as it is makes something more akin to a tapestry. This may only be one piece of that tapestry, but its a solid one.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #50

Mar 18, 2015

This is still an enormously satisfying issue in a phenomenal run of a great story. This will likely read incredibly well in trade as the cohesion will be even more apparent, but this issue manages to keep ramping up both the stakes and the players. The series isnt over yet, and this issue drives that point home with still another gloriously suspenseful cliffhanger.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #51

Mar 25, 2015

To reiterate: the twist at the end of this issue is a phenomenal one that pays off longtime readers of recent Batman stories, but even people who jumped on with ETERNAL can appreciate it on a visceral, basic level which is one of the hallmarks of a truly great twist. Another great hallmark is that its a wonderful payoff that makes total narrative sense, especially in the long-term. The occasional speed bump cannot derail a story this powerful and this effective, and this issue continues the consistency of the overall title.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #52

Apr 1, 2015

First things first: the mastermind revealed last issue looked different, and the new look was less evocative of his general theme, but this issue revealed that it was simply an alternate version of the same costume and it still looks fantastic this issue. Beyond that, the Bat-Family really comes together and the various plotlines coalesce as new relationships and even new POTENTIAL relationships form to give a near-limitless amount of potential for future stories. Which are also incredibly interesting. BATMAN ETERNAL's team managed to pull out an ending that feels satisfying and even gives a sense of finality. With as much as this book accomplished, and as solid as the ending is, this one's going to be looked back upon fondly.

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10
Batman: Joker's Daughter #1

Feb 5, 2014

If this is the direction Jokers Daughter is going to go, I say bring it on. Its early in the year, but this is a candidate for Most Improved Character already and its going to have to be one HELLUVA turnaround for someone else if theyre going to overtake her. Ordinarily with characters like this, we get to HEAR about how dark and twisted they are, but they are rarely made so unglamorous as what we see here and, again, very little if any of it is done purely to shock. It is most definitely shocking, but it serves the narrative and, more importantly, it serves the character. In my introduction, I mentioned that this book seems defined by its protagonists own metaphor, and I mean it. This is a character seeking dark rebirth and not only achieving it within the narrative, but in the very IDEA of the character.

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10
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) Annual #1

May 29, 2013

Ive only kept up with Dark Knight sporadically, but this is a perfect stand-alone issue and a great excuse to pick up the book. Im not sure Ive ever seen someone try to make Batman funny without sacrificing tone or setting or even descending into full-on camp. Sure, hes said funny things, but thats almost always being serious to a fault, this book is actually pure comedy with some very effective horror moments. Shaun of the Dead is the closest analog I can draw in terms of tone, as both the comedy AND the terror are extremely effective, and thats great company for the book to keep as far as Im concerned.

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10
Batwoman #21

Jun 19, 2013

Batwoman might best be described as a sleeper hit. Im not sure what the sales figures are, but theyre obviously enough to keep the book afloat and thats a relief because its one that, while flying consistently under the radar, is also consistently excellent. Its good to see Batwoman getting back to the more grounded horror themes, but this is a last cry of epic fantasy, but one that stays firmly entrenched in the muck and grime of Gothams unseen corners. Its a masterful blending of fantasy and horror that I highly recommend anyone pick up.

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10
Batwoman #22

Jul 17, 2013

This book is absolutely amazing and this is issue is one of the best yet. I adore how Bane is written, I love Batwomans idea of interviewing and interrogating Batmans rogues about his mentality, his methods and any possible weaknesses he possesses. Its a series of amazing scenes that do a great job setting the tone of the book along with the scenes of Bette training with the elite squad The Murder of Crows. If theres one thing this book knows how to do, its establish tone, but if there are two things, they are: establish tone and provide a consistent level of excellence. Batwoman is the best Bat-book youre not reading and you owe it to yourself to start as this is actually a pretty good jumping-on issue (but scoop up the last two if you can, theyre both great).

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10
Batwoman #23

Aug 21, 2013

This issue balances the emotional with the surreal and supernatural in a way that makes it an absolute must-read. This very easily could have fallen to being a filler issue, but there are just enough great plot threads (did I mention the D.E.O. setting some of the most dangerous Arkham inmates free in Gotham to lure Batman out?) balanced with character development to transform it from a glance to a must-read. A truly great filler issue is still a must-read and this accomplishes that emotionally and even in terms of the events and action, though most of the action is in Katherines head. This is actually not a bad jumping-on point, so if youve been wondering about Batwoman, pick this one up and start reading one of the most under-the-radar books on the shelf.

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8.0
Batwoman #24

Oct 16, 2013

Its not the best issue to go out on, being that it isnt the end of the arc, but that can hardly be blamed on the creators since their run was supposed to last two MORE issues, but as exits go, this one definitely leaves its mark. I dont know what the new creative team has planned, but its got a massive legacy to live up to as this issue continues the high quality storytelling and gorgeous art that made the previous issues such stand-outs. Even though it isnt fully resolved, finally seeing Batwoman and Batman throw down is an absolute treat and must be seen to be believed, and while I wasnt a huge fan of the B-story, its still well executed enough that it doesnt even come close to ruining the issue. The payoffs in this issue were well worth the wait.

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6.0
Batwoman #25

Nov 20, 2013

Im not ready to write off Andreyko yet (see what I did there?...huh?...WRITE...off...HUH?) as this issue doesnt feel like it was well planned, and thats not necessarily the creative teams fault, I honestly think they did really well with what they had. Still, I have to review the issue I read and I really cant recommend this book, even to fans of Batwoman as its simply a retread of content and characterization that weve already seen.

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6.0
Batwoman #36

Nov 19, 2014

Last issue established a strong base, this one is building on top of it. Im not a fan of every direction its going, but overall I still enjoyed this issue and, especially with what happens with Jason Blood on the last page, am up for whatever comes next. Its an issue of extremes and when its up, its great, but when its down it is very so-so. The ups outweigh the downs, though, and if youre a fan of Batwoman in and out of costume, Id say this issue wont steer you wrong.

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6.0
Batwoman Annual #1

Apr 30, 2014

This answered most of the questions I had leading into the current run of Batwoman, but I still found myself somewhat disappointed in a creative team that I have seen capable of great things separately. Its by no means a bad issue, and I actually highly recommend picking it up if you were a fan of the previous team if, for no other reason, than to get SOME kind of closure and to be able to move into the new run with greater continuity, but there are definitely problems. Characters are overly-expositional and major plot points are quickly discarded, but that battle is most definitely a sight to behold and the reckoning of the D.E.O. is still satisfying to watch unfold.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #5

Apr 2, 2014

This book is one of the best examples of crafting the story you want to tell in the framework of a superhero comic, and its something that both Marvel and DC are starting to explore more and more. If you took the name Black Widow off of it, you wouldnt even necessarily put together that its a Marvel property, and I think thats amazing. Its a great look at how superhero books can change to reach much wider audiences and its an absolute FEAST visually.

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10
Black Widow (2014) #6

May 7, 2014

An amazing debut followed by a great first arc has made this a must-buy and a book to eagerly anticipate. Its tone is even more geared toward espionage than Secret Avengers was and it is another great example of using the medium of superheroics to tell different, fresh stories. The art establishes the tone, the writing plays perfectly into it, the creators work amazingly together. If you were reticent about starting a new series, this one is absolutely worth it.

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10
Black Widow (2014) #7

Jun 4, 2014

Whether its a standalone one-shot, or the beginning of something new, its worth checking out. Black Widow has never been better than this and the writing and visuals compliment and work off of each other so amazingly well, that Im having a hard time envisioning her being done better than this in the future. Therere very few superheroics to be found here, and the few there are dont contradict the tone, but dont let that dissuade you: this is one of the most interesting, ongoing books being put out by ANY publisher.

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10
Black Widow (2014) #8

Jul 2, 2014

This issue threads the needle on being a standalone and a jumping off point for what looks to be the focus of the next arc. This is an interesting way to write the book, and I actually endorse it as it gives new readers multiple places to begin reading the title while still rewarding longtime readers with lots of small details that continue popping up, so whether youre looking to get started or a fan salivating for the next adventure, you would be well served picking up this issue.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #9

Aug 6, 2014

Despite being a little too tied to another book which is, to both issues credit, also by Edmonson, I still thoroughly enjoyed this as a starting point for another, longer storyline. Fun comics may be getting their share of praise, and rightly so, but theres something to be said for a comic that takes itself deadly seriously and goes out of its way to EARN that tone, which this one does. Black Widow is fast becoming the covert hit of the year, and I cant think of anything that would be more apropos. Edmonson writes Natasha as cold, but she never comes off and boring or emotionless and Notos visuals continue to be almost unreal in how consistently great they are considering he does them all solo, making this book a look underneath the curtain of the Marvel U, but one thats worth checking out if you want to see what goes on when the Infinity Gauntlet isnt obliterating entire worlds.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #10

Sep 3, 2014

This issue continues what I consider to be a ten issue winning streak of this series. BLACK WIDOW hasnt failed yet and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Weve got the character nailed down and established perfectly, so we can dig into the nitty-gritty of her every day life and something tells me that we havent seen the last of Hawkeye either. Widow finally getting some satisfaction from whoevers been jerking her around should be a sight to behold, and this issue sets that up beautifully.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #12

Nov 19, 2014

The end of this issue presents us with quite the cliffhanger and its going to turn into another thing that Widows going to have to deal with in the wake of being further and further scrutinized by her peers, which is just the WORST timing, isnt it? As for this issue, the internal consistency might not be 100% there, but its still an interesting question to bring up, and the rest of the issue, the part thats all Natasha all the time, is great as it is, both in terms of building character and establishing the next story arc.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #17

Apr 22, 2015

The art is still good-to-great across every page, and its to the books credit to this point that such a minor thing could cause such a blip, but thats the trouble with setting the bar so high. This is a phenomenal issue for showcasing Black Widows strength of character without resorting to a lot of cliches and tropes. We get a Natasha who has a ton of nuance and character, but ultimately puts duty and her own sense of the right thing above what she might want, either in the short or long term.

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10
Black Widow (2014) #18

May 27, 2015

Its unknown whether or not this series will continue beyond SECRET WARS, but if this is the last we see of this creative team on this character, it will have been a satisfying conclusion. Of course hope springs eternal that theyll continue, and they do a good job of setting up possible threads that could be picked up later without making the end feel hollow. Natasha feels like shes in a different place after this, and thats a great thing for Edmonson and Noto to accomplish.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #19

Jun 24, 2015

This isnt the end, but its certainly the lead-in to it. Natasha appears that shell go out not with a bang but with a whimper as this is a very staid, subdued issue. And while its cliffhanger leaves an obvious route for some big action to find its way in later, its to the creative teams credit that theyre STILL able to craft such an amazingly compelling single issue that has no action outside of the mental workings of espionage and moving various pieces across the chessboard. Its also interesting to see a more brash, bold Black Widow make moves that the older, more experienced one would likely scoff at. This is a fantastic character study for one of the greats, and a worthy beginning of the end.

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8.0
Cable and X-Force #17

Dec 11, 2013

Its awfully gutsy for a book to take the name of X-Force and be as engaging and character-focused as this one is (though between the Kyle/Yost X-Force and Uncanny X-Forces, the name is definitely coming to mean something more). Its absolutely a book about superhero action, but its a very bizarre, strange trip in a way that seems completely distinct from the OTHER bizarre, trippy, character-focused X-Force book. And for my money, I hope the relationship between Domino and Colossus continues to develop, because its one of the most fascinating at Marvel.

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10
Captain America (2012) #13

Nov 6, 2013

I absolutely love the direction this book has taken and have been enjoying it a great deal more since it took it. Its a great use of a little utilized villain, its got tremendous psychological potential for the main character and it uses his supporting cast expertly.Caps not the easiest character to write but Remender seems to have him down pat. The art, despite a few flaws, has a great sense of motion and impact, and in an issue like this, that counts for plenty.

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10
Captain Marvel (2012) #17

Nov 6, 2013

This issue ends on one of the most touching, emotionally satisfying moments that Ive read in a mainstream superhero book in a very long time. Theres a real emotional connection not just to the protagonist, but to her loved ones and friends. The characters all feel like real people and that makes you care about them all the more and it makes them as integral to the book as whos on the cover (although in this case, thats not a problem). Although this is the end of this titles numbering, weve definitely not seen the last of Danvers nor DeConnick and this issue is an incredible rarity. It makes for an amazing last issue and an amazing first. Theres no reason not to get into Captain Marvel from the start, but theres also no reason not to get your introduction from this issue.

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10
Captain Marvel (2014) #2

Apr 9, 2014

This is a pure fun book through-and-through, and after what the Guardians just went through, they can use one of those. Lets not forget that, for all the high, sci-fi drama, this is the team that involves an extradimensional angel, a space-ent and a sentient, genetically engineered raccoon. Theres a fundamental absurdity to a lot of these characters that this book isnt afraid to lean into and the results are some absolutely incredible comedy. But even amidst all that, theres enough drama to keep the pages turning and the plot moving.

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10
Captain Marvel (2014) #3

May 14, 2014

If the worst thing you can say about an issue is that you wish there was more of it, that says something all by itself. This is, bar-none, one of the most fun books on the shelf that still manages plenty of legitimate drama. It manages to subvert expectations of both genre and plotline by hewing closely to how they're expected to work before suddenly twisting in a completely different direction. Sounds like Danvers' flying style, now that I think about it.

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10
Captain Marvel (2014) #4

Jun 11, 2014

Only four issues, and this is one of my easiest to recommend series. It strikes a wonderful balance between whimsy and action, drama and wonder. The plot definitely takes off in this issue, and itll be interesting to see where it goes from here, especially as concerns the greater Marvel Universe. I love Danvers history with Infinity being brought to the fore as an important point of reference, and think this book leads the charge perfectly as an entry point on the Marvel Cosmic titles.

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10
Captain Marvel (2014) #5

Jul 9, 2014

This book remains an absolute joy. As much as I wouldve liked to have seen it go another direction, I cant deny how amazing the final four pages are to see. The marriage between visuals and writing go far deeper than simply showing what was (likely) in the script as each creator is complimenting the others perfectly, making this book move with a subtle grace thats hard to pull off at the best of times. This is actually also a jump in anywhere story, you might not get ALL the nuance or references, but Id say that its approachable enough to start anywhere (and then frantically seek out any issues you had missed).

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #6

Aug 13, 2014

It may not be the most original resolution, but I cant deny its STILL a ton of fun. I like the fact that Danvers didnt just swoop in and save the day and, but she was still integral to the story and the peoples efforts to save themselves. This book does an incredible job of maintaining an all-ages feel while still having some pretty hard-hitting themes and commentary. But at the end of the day, its about having a good time and thats exactly what it delivers.

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10
Captain Marvel (2014) #7

Sep 10, 2014

Captain Marvel is on her way home, but Im glad she gets to have an adventure or two before arriving there. After the last arcs more somber, sober tone and subject matter, it feels good to get back to a more madcap tale full of hijinks than something that involves the greater antagonists of the Marvel Universe. We get some great insight into Captain Danvers inner-workings, specifically her anxieties, and that makes for some great, if fleeting, drama and the new artist is doing a fantastic job establishing himself on the title. This issue defines a great jumping-on point but theres also plenty for longtime fans to sink their teeth into.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #8

Oct 8, 2014

This book is setting out to define itself more and more with every issue almost as its own discrete existence in the Marvel Universe. Despite frequent guest appearances by the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy or James Rhodes, the book still feels independent and like its blazing its own trail. This issue gives us the finale of a brief, but very fun, story arc and perfectly sets up the fact that the next one could be about almost ANYthing. There are even a few touching moments to make sure we stay emotionally invested in the characters journey.

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10
Captain Marvel (2014) #11

Jan 14, 2015

The fact is: that IS what villains do, so its not all that unusual that very little is explained, and its not really the point of the book. This is a book that has a great sense of spirit without descending into preachiness or soapboxing, and it reinvigorates what was a title in danger of beginning to sag. Theres clearly plenty of verve left, though, and between Deconnick and Lopez, the books never looked or felt better.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #12

Feb 11, 2015

While the choice to return to the stars this soon might not be the best one, this issue at the very least is great, simple fun. The previous problem of the book becoming directionless and drifting through space has, at least for the time being, been solved with a concrete storyline and direction for Captain Marvel to go in, and with an issue this strong, its hard to be TOO upset. This issue, and this book overall, manages the tricky balancing act of being extremely fun while keeping a great sense of dramatic tension and emotional investment.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #13

Mar 11, 2015

This issue reinforces a lot of what makes this series as a whole great, and when the biggest complaint about a series is that you just want to see more of what it does well, thats certainly not the worst thing. Theres a ton of potential and nothing is off-limits, so Deconnick and Lopez will continue to to stretch their creativity, and with more issues like this, the rewards will be fantastic. Wherever Carol goes, she entertains and this feels like a great return to form.

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10
Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #3

Jan 8, 2014

The level of emotion this book brings to the table is not to be underestimated in terms of superhero books, or in fact ANY kind of genre in the comics medium. This is as much a book about its characters and their development as it is about the world ending, and the title absolutely delivers on that front. Watching Spider-Man still so determined to help people despite everything falling down around him, despite his own personal issues, despite EVERYthing feels absolutely like picking up a Spidey comic and realizing EXACTLY what the character is all about for the first time. Hes about helping people, no matter what the future is hurling at him and this issue communicates that amazingly.

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8.0
Catwoman (2011) #36

Nov 26, 2014

This is a completely new direction for Catwoman, and a few hiccups are to be expected. These also dont fully detract from what is a highly entertaining read and a great example of how to shake up a title without abandoning its core principles or forcing the characters into roles they dont fit into. This still FEELS like a Catwoman book, its just one thats going in a new, incredibly exciting direction.

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8.0
Catwoman (2011) #38

Jan 28, 2015

While we may have seen the end of fun-loving Selina Kyle for the time being, this one brings a certain realistic edge that the character has needed to elevate herself from being a simple distraction for a long time. The best stories featuring her have also featured that edge, but this is the first time its been front-and-center. Valentine is taking her in some truly excellent and interesting, even uncharted, directions, and the artistic team seems capable of steering the ship, even if it gets a little rocky at times.

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8.0
Catwoman (2011) #41

Jun 10, 2015

This is a great return to form for this title with a few minor hiccups along the way. The setup might be taking its time, but whats being set up has all the hallmarks of an absolutely fantastic, epic mob movie with one of the best reimaginings of an old, OLD character that has happened in recent memory. CATWOMANs strengths lie in the core cast and this issue delivers a satisfying check-in of them. While its not perfect, it feels like this is going to be one of those titles that, when the payoff DOES come, its going to make the entire journey seem even better and well worth it.

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10
Chew #42

Jun 25, 2014

Even if you missed last issue, jumping on this one wont be a problem as long as youre reasonably caught up. This is a series absolutely worth starting at the beginning for, however, as seeing the characters develop and grow over 42 issues (8 volumes collected in trade) makes every future issue rewarding on a whole other level. Despite the over-the-top visuals, this is one of the best developed, consistently well told stories in comics.

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10
Chew #44

Nov 5, 2014

Forget riding into the sunset, Chews painting that sunset with an extra coat of dark red. And while the titles still got a while of planned storylines, it looks like they will take place with a cast that is vastly altered, in one way or another. Im actually using that as a bit of a double-meaning as I have no idea what the results of this will be and Layman has been known to swerve an apparent character death in a complete different direction (remember that Tonys partner didnt ALWAYS have that metal face). Whatever happens, if the book maintains this level of quality, I will be all in on seeing what comes next.

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10
Chew #45

Dec 3, 2014

Between the emotional turmoil and the shakeups on that level, the cool poster and the always-amazing art, this is a worthwhile conclusion to a story arc that also leaves at least one enormous question mark for next arc to tackle. The conclusion is at once shocking and heartbreaking, moreso for the fact that it may be over a month before we get any kind of resolution to it. While last issue may have had some of the potency taken out, it dosent fully invalidate it as there are still incredible consequences to it and theres plenty to look forward to with whatever happens next.

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10
Chew #46

Feb 25, 2015

Its impossible to stay mad at Agent Chu (or Colby) though, and this issue is a great place for anyone whos lapsed to jump back into the action. This is a great start to a new arc and it feels like the book is going in some very, very fascinating, and often dark, directions all building to something very major. So its to Layman and Guillorys credit that they dont forget to bring the laughs to even things out and remind the reader that its not all dour murder/apocalyptic plans. Sometimes theres a giant, working gummi tank.

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4.0
Convergence: Batgirl #1

Apr 8, 2015

Its difficult to tell who this coming is for. If its for fans of the Bat-Family from before the New-52 began, it spends too much time recounting where the characters were in the intervening time and also doesnt make it clear that thats who were dealing with. If its for new readers, theyll be completely baffled by this cavalcade of new faces and masks. While the pacing is good and the flow is great, and there are some stand-out character moments in the writing and concept, the whole experience falls flat and feels muddled.

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8.0
Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1

Apr 22, 2015

This is a great example of very quickly investing the reader in characters they might not be entirely familiar with, and while it doesnt fully work, it works enough to make this issue incredibly compelling. This is an issue where what happens next has a measure of suspense and stakes because these characters dont NEED to survive this event, so the emotion thats already been invested in them can be ripped away at a moments notice. And that is the definition of anxiety.

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8.0
Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #2

May 20, 2015

Considering the limitations this issue is working within, it pulls off an entertaining, engaging story with a great economy of space. The ending is a giant cliffhanger, which is both a good thing and a bad, but even with the cliffhanger, it actually feels satisfying and complete. Theres not a lot of character or story, but the action and dialog are both strong enough to make this an easy recommendation, particularly to fans of this permutation of Batman and the Outsiders. Even with little prior knowledge, theres really only one large, OMAC-shaped hole in the basic understanding of the issue, so its still an easy recommendation.

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6.0
Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1

Apr 15, 2015

The writing in this issue feels appropriately like a throwback, though it also tends to use a great deal to say very little. This is a text-heavy issue, but it still feels hard to follow if theres no pre-existing connection to the source material. Theres that handy guide to which universes are being presented at the start of the issue, but nothing is said about them. The art, though, is truly excellent and though it trips up in a couple of places, it still makes these characters look as cool as they ever have, particularly the much-maligned Azrael. And thats no small shakes.

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6.0
Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #2

May 13, 2015

This isnt a bad issue by any stretch, and it has a very, very strong concept at its core, and its such a strong concept that it actually winds up carrying a great deal of the title. The strength of the action also helps, but it cant overcome an overall lackluster cast of characters nor the times where the visuals fail. Its worth reading if theres a pre-existing fandom for either of these groups, but the characters dont come through enough to achieve greatness.

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8.0
Convergence: Harley Quinn #2

May 6, 2015

Seeing Harley Quinn like this combined with a surprisingly moving and tragic ending is enough to elevate this issue and make the whole better than the sum of its parts. Theres a darkness permeating the entire thing that doesnt always feel like it has a place, but the characters are consistent and the storytelling is ALWAYS interesting, making the issue feel at once fun and powerful.

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8.0
Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #1

Apr 8, 2015

This is a clinic on how to make an effective, self-contained story. Whether a fresh-faced newbie or a seasoned, salty veteran this is a story that will resonate emotionally. Gail Simone adores these characters and that adoration comes through on the page, but doesnt stop her from putting them through the ringer and taking them to their limits. The art conveys the writing wonderfully, and the story feels tremendously effective from start to end.

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8.0
Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #2

May 6, 2015

Gail Simone does an absolutely phenomenal job making these characters relatable and giving a real, hard look at exactly what makes them tick, whether the reader is a super-fan or just checking out what life was like BEFORE all that New-52 business. The art paints a glorious picture as well, making it feel like a truly fair fight rather than the abject slaughter it may have appeared to be, and even though it comes off as abrupt and abbreviated, the issue still wraps up a compelling, emotionally satisfying story in record time.

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6.0
Convergence: Superboy #1

Apr 15, 2015

Making this incarnation of Superboy interesting is a feat unto itself and deserving of praise, but theres just not QUITE enough here to leave enough of an impact in terms of the characters. Its becoming increasingly difficult to tell who books like these are for as new readers wont have the slightest clue whats going on, but longtime readers, or fans of the character, wont get enough of said character to be fully satisfied. Theres a great issue somewhere in here, but it lacks the time to grow and develop and it feels like the creative team did what they could to tell as compelling of an issue as they could.

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8.0
Cyclops (2014) #2

Jun 4, 2014

Lost time aside, seeing such an interesting story that previously only wouldve been possible in the pages of What if? is, so far, a ton of fun. Corsairs written with the perfect balance of roguish charm and Scotts doing his best to look knowledgeable, but is still incredibly inquisitive and in awe of all the strange, new sights and sounds. Theres certainly a dark undercurrent to the whole thing, but this is overall a very bright and happy issue in a very witty, happy title.

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8.0
Cyclops (2014) #3

Jul 30, 2014

I was starting to worry that this book was veering away from its central characters and going to focus more on the bizarre, galaxy-spanning adventures but this issue does a great job of grounding the characters, literally and figuratively. While theres a lot of recap to get through and some odd moments, its a good setup for future issues and, while I enjoyed this one a great deal, Im excited to see where this leads.

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8.0
Cyclops (2014) #4

Aug 27, 2014

Im still not a fan of the pace, but everything else about this book makes it easy to recommend. The parts we DO get to see between Chris and Scott Summers are heartwarming and heartbreaking, and we get some truly incredible character moments about the boy Summers is versus the man he becomes. Those moments, and the great art, make this issue very worthwhile.

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8.0
Damian: Son of Batman #3

Dec 31, 2013

This is still a title well worth looking into, one that tells an interesting story and leaves off on a potentially amazing reveal. The art is truly the reason for the season, however, and Kuberts art is absolutely worth looking into and really takes off in this issue. I feel like this was the issue that made me truly believe this concept was a good one and if the next issue remains high quality, this will go down as a great, self-contained tale.

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4.0
Damian: Son of Batman #4

Jan 29, 2014

It's unfortunate that this book had been so steadily improving only to snag on this final issue. The visuals are still stunning and any page would make a worthy addition to any collection, but the dialog and storyline seem to have been a distant second priority because it descends into nonsense and unearned twists with teases that never pay off. It never reaches to total madness of something like Batman: Odyssey, but it comes off very much as a book that should be purchased for visuals over story content. The visuals still make it worth checking out, but that comes with a pretty giant IF.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #32

Oct 23, 2013

Daredevil got a shot in the arm after Bendis and Maleevs superlative run, and while I have tremendous respect for that, as well as Brubaker, Lark and Diggles efforts, I feel like Mark Waid gets the character in a way that he hasnt been since his very inception (and maybe, in a weird way, even more than that). His perfect balance between light-hearted wackiness and absolute, deadly seriousness as well as his ability to pull from the VERY obscure parts of the Marvel pantheon (REMEMBER WHEN HE FOUGHT KLAW?!?! HOW DID THAT NOT HAPPEN SOONER?!?!) and make them absolute masters of terror the likes of which theyd never been before. This book definitely seems to be veering into goofy territory, but I have learnt never to assume anything about the direction I think this Daredevil book is going, but I do know that four weeks is WAY too long to wait for another. Somehow, Ill manage.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #33

Nov 20, 2013

Mark Waids run continues charging into legendary status on Daredevil, putting hornhead through the ringer while also putting him in completely novel situations. Its one thing to take a characters existing cast of supporting characters and tell an interesting story around those, but its quite another to go outside his usual run-in buddies and find stories that are not only interesting, but that make sense given the characters history. This run accomplishes a both and introduces a ton of new alliances and rivalries that will, hopefully, be picked up by future storylines.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #34

Dec 18, 2013

Daredevil remains a favorite of mine, and this issue is simply another reason of how and why. Mark Waid takes concepts that shouldnt work as well as they do and not only makes them work, but shoot far past what logical expectation tells us should be possible. I cannot stress enough what a joy this book has been to read, particularly going into it with little to no expectations. And having some of the best artists, both up and coming and established, behind him hasnt hurt one iota. I truly think that this is as great as Daredevil has ever been.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #2

Apr 23, 2014

It looks like, despite renumbering and a completely different location, were still getting the same high-quality Daredevil weve come to expect from this creative team. The change to San Francisco has not only given the setting a different flavor, but changed the character lineup significantly, making it far, far more than merely a palette swap. The last time Waid and Samnee revived an old character from total obscurity, we got the absolutely terrifying Spot Centipede and I cant wait to see what happens with this newest revived villain. This book is nothing but potential, and its going to be an incredible ride seeing it fulfilled.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #3

May 21, 2014

This is a superhero book for people who love superhero books. It is one of the purest examples of the traditional kind of story done exactly right, and while it may not be breaking new ground, its instead building a palatial estate on the ground thats already there. Don't mistake thinking you've read this story before, even if you're experienced in the genre, Waid and Samnee are teaching old dogs incredible new tricks.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #4

Jun 18, 2014

Ill never complain TOO loudly about getting too much plot this quickly when its written and drawn THIS well, if anything I just want more of it. Thats a good complaint for a book to receive, though, and this one continues its incredibly consistent quality. The worldbuilding Waid is doing is subtle enough that one would barely notice it, but it creates a subconscious idea of greater things beyond the central story, making his world feel populated and diverse. The art makes the world worth looking at and following every single step of the way as well.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #5

Jul 9, 2014

This story is incredibly heartfelt and stands as a great example of how backfilling can actually, greatly benefit a story. This was a great, lingering question and the answer didnt disappoint, but it also served to make the current storyline stronger. Its always a good idea to introduce these slice of life stories about the people in superheros lives to keep them and their stories grounded and at least a bit relatable, but it can be risky because they tend not to be as exciting or thrilling as a more common story. Waid and Samnee have both indulged in and dodged that pitfall by making Daredevil integral to the issue, but making the core of the story one between Matt and Foggy.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #6

Jul 23, 2014

This is definitely a story for Daredevil fans, both new and longterm. People looking for some kind major tie-in to Original Sin would be better served looking to a different tie-in as this one could have been just as well served with information unrelated to that event. This isn't to say that this shouldn't have been a tie-in, but it's more the traditional version of that phrase where fans of the book can pick it up and not need to know much, or anything, of the larger event. The writing is great, the art is beautiful, and the storyline is fraught with intrigue. Everything we could want from a new storyline.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #7

Aug 20, 2014

This issue has its flaws, but it doesnt let those override what is an amazing second half. And while the first half may falter, it falters beautifully with some great visuals and choreography and impressive action. Ultimately, though, the issue comes together when Waid gives us a twist on Matt thought he saw and takes the characters in a completely new, mostly unexplored, direction. Its a difficult thing to answer questions THIS long-standing, but this issue manages to not only accomplish it, but make it well worth reading as an addition to Daredevils canon.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #8

Sep 17, 2014

Another arc begins, another villain returns with an even more awful, terrifying form. The end of the issue especially lets you know what youre in for in the rest and does an even better job of tension-building with an eye toward future issues. Purple Man became one of my favorite under-the-radar villains under the eye of Brian Bendis, but when I heard that Mark Waid was going to take a swing at the character, I knew there could be a new champion of one of the most sinister villains in the Marvel U. So far, so good.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #10

Nov 19, 2014

The final pages of this issue make me so completely excited to see what Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have next for poor Hornhead. Without going into any spoiler territory, though the characters got a great cast of villains, and Waids even given us some brilliant ones both of his creation and from elsewhere in the Marvel U, his greatest foe has always been himself. That sounds trite, and maybe it is, but that doesnt mean it isnt true and that especially doesnt mean that Waid isnt ready to crack his knuckles and give us a Matt Murdock story weve never seen before.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #12

Jan 14, 2015

The fact that storylines that could be considered holding patterns are STILL this entertaining and satisfying is a credit to the incredible creative team. Its not always perfect, but I can never wait to see what happens next, and Im constantly impressed by how well they tell these stories of Murdock and company and with the incredible economy that theyre able to get at the real, emotional depths of the characters.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #13

Feb 25, 2015

This is an issue that sets a lot up, but never feels like its either filler or getting overly expositional, and that has got to be a difficult job. Waid and Samnee seem more than up for the task though, and based on what theyve started with this issue, it seems that theres going to be a great deal of payoff here, particularly since the Owl has been a specter hanging over the title, and for him to finally come through is thrilling.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #14

Mar 25, 2015

As tricky as it was getting here, this issue feels like a fantastic new start for this character, only without any of the renumbering that so often comes with that. Samnee and Waid feel like theyre putting their unique stamp on DAREDEVIL, and its an audacious but highly, highly worthwhile one. While its unclear exactly how long this will last, it appears that the ride will absolutely be one thats worth getting on and incredibly enjoyable. Heres to hoping it sticks around for a good, long time.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #15

Apr 29, 2015

Too much of a good thing might not be the best, but its still pretty great! Waid and Samnees ability to take this book on a roller-coaster of tone while still keeping it consistent is one of their most amazing talents, and this issue is a great illustration of that. While things are still, generally, bright and shiny, theres a lot happening under the surface that the visuals do a great job of exploring, making this one of the more diverse, dynamic books on the shelf. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the FANTASTIC parody cover. It's subtle, but it gets the point across amazingly well.

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6.0
DC Universe Presents #19

Apr 17, 2013

This book is a great introduction to anyone who wants to meet the (very likely) stars of another New-52 book, but who hasn't been keeping up with Sword of Sorcery. Considering that book is getting cancelled, there's a fairly clear through line for Beowulf to burst onto the scene. It's a fairly novel approach to the character as well (futuristic, monster hunting super-soldier)

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6.0
Deadpool (2012) #32

Jul 23, 2014

I'm still interested in seeing how this storyline shakes out, particularly now that Deadpool has made the jump to the storyline involving his daughter. I can't imagine this whole thing getting swept under the rug, so how this alters Deadpool, one of Marvel's least responsible heroes, is still up for grabs and something I can't wait to see. It may not be perfect, but this is still a story well worth picking up for those who can't get enough yellow word balloons and expertly balanced drama with their comedy.

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8.0
Deadpool Kills Deadpool #3

Sep 4, 2013

Though it's become more a roller-coaster than a narrative, it's still one helluva ride! This book is giddy, gory meta-fun for the whole family (not actually for the whole family) and has one of the more interesting overall concepts I've seen in comics. I can't believe a one-off What if?... led to two of the most fascinating, introspective books to come out of Marvel. It's not a perfect book, it's not a perfect issue, but it's absolutely, positively worth checking out, even if you're not Deadpool's biggest fan. And if you hate Deadpool, what could be better than watching him slaughter himself over and over again?

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8.0
Deadpool Kills Deadpool #4

Oct 30, 2013

This is a great end to a great series that could have easily been written off as a joke. I have to give the creative talent here all the credit in the world for telling that story with the perfect blend of humor and seriousness. Its funny in all the right places and grim, dark and dramatic in all of them as well, making this transcend a cash-in on a popular character and elevating it to a great story all its own.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #19

Apr 3, 2013

Those complaints do not ruin what is a very entertaining, VERY over-sized Detective Comics event. I haven't been keeping up with Detective, but had absolutely no trouble jumping into this issue with its great stand-alone story and the new characters/factions that are introduced are absolutely intriguing and I hope have plenty of stories planned for them. The book may not say 900 on it, but it certainly reads like it is. It's short on massive revelations or moments, but long on great plot setups and solid storytelling.

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10
Earth 2 #14

Jul 3, 2013

The above complaint is minor at best. Ill never fully object to more Nicola Scott art, after all, and this really feels like what the book has been building to. The battle is epic, we even get appearances from a couple of Earth 2 favorites that I didnt mention because I dont want to spoil, so theres nothing stopping me from recommending this, besides the fact that if you havent been reading, you really should pick up at least the previous collected volume. The book is definitely predicated on a basic understanding of the situation up to this point, but I dont necessarily think that writing with longtime fans in mind is inherently a bad thing.

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8.0
Earth 2 #15

Aug 7, 2013

This remains one of the best action-oriented comics on the shelf. The amount of depth and nuance that has been brought to these stories, despite the focus on massive superhero brawls, is commendable and almost unreal. This issue, minor complaints aside, stays on that target, still developing the Flash as a complex and nuanced character, showing a great repartee, both verbally and physically, between Barda and Miracle and even showing how two type-As like Alan Scott and the Atom can work perfectly together when push comes to shove. Showing characterization through action is one of this books strongest suits and its something this issue does so subtly that you just may have missed it. Which is a great excuse to go back and read it again!

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6.0
Earth 2 #15.2

Sep 11, 2013

I think the books main problem is that it could have had half the pages that take place in the present cut and used to increase the pages that take place in the past. If youre going to explain a villains tragic backstory, it helps for the reader to be able to find some kind of sympathy or SOME way to identify with what the characters are going through, but as it is, everything happens too fast to form any kind of meaningful attachment. Its still an interesting origin story, and the art really deserves to be seen, but its far to scattershot to form a truly meaningful narrative.

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10
Earth 2 #16

Oct 2, 2013

What an issue to go out on and what an moment to leave on. Again, the twist/reveal/cliffhanger is absolutely jaw-dropping, and theres no hyperbole in there. Even the Juan Doe propaganda-style cover is a thing of beauty and fits into the narrative and the story. Rereading the issue, Im already seeing plenty of hints that I missed to the reveal, so its definitely not a twist for twists sake, which is the hallmark of an excellent one. The entire tone of the issue as a superhuman war that looks more like the traditional wars that have been fought has been an interesting tone that the book has taken over the last several issues, and this closes that out perfectly. Theres plenty of story still untold and plenty of loose ends to tie up, but even as an issue, this was amazing.

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8.0
Earth 2 #17

Nov 6, 2013

Theres plenty of room to fall into a nice groove and I really like where this title is headed overall. Its nice to see that, even after last issues reveal, there are still one or two revelations to be had. Its very, very clear that there are still plenty of cards to be played and Im still on edge with utter anticipation to see exactly how and what those cards are.

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8.0
Earth 2 #19

Jan 8, 2014

This is still a highly entertaining, excellent book with massive entertainment value. Im still shaking my head and mouthing obscenities about the Superman reveal, so the ride is still a thrilling one. Im also still completely in the dark about how exactly this storyline ends, which is always a bracing face full of cold water in mainstream superhero comics. But in a good way! This book remains one of DCs best, unpredictable but never forced.

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6.0
Earth 2 #20

Feb 5, 2014

Im not willing to write off Earth 2 yet by a longshot, this is one decent issue against three good-to-great ones, but Id like to see it get back on track and focus on either bringing the team to bear or even starting to strike back. There are still a few players whove yet to enter the arena, so Im still anticipating more goodness out of this book.

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6.0
Earth 2 #21

Mar 5, 2014

This is still a title that Im invested in and one that I want to see through to its end, I just wish that end were approach was a little more balanced. Obviously, no one can stop Supes or there's no storyline, but seeing someone slow him down would be a nice change of pace. Im hoping this arc is either a brief one or introduces SOMEthing new, because another issue of Superman annihilating random things and everyone talking about how they need to stop him from annihilating more things may be more than I can take.

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6.0
Earth 2 #22

Apr 2, 2014

Hero-worship of Batman and some character inconsistencies aside, I like the direction this book is going. Were seeing the beginnings of hope returning to the title, though the forces of Darkseid STILL havent run up against anything even resembling a challenger or a foe capable of stopping them, so Im actually hoping for a fairly pitched, lengthy last stand so the victory at least feels earned. This issue is a nice departure from the dour grimness of issues past, and if the series continues in this direction, I truly think it can right itself.

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10
Earth 2 #25

Jul 2, 2014

I doubt this is a fluke, but Ill still hold off on declaring the book entirely back on track, but its definitely heading in that direction and I couldnt be happier. The other fear I had of it becoming just another Superman or Batman focused book also seems to have been unfounded as the original players are now back firmly in the spotlight. As someone who loves a good alternate Earth story, I couldnt be more thrilled to be excited about this title again.

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8.0
Earth 2 #26

Aug 6, 2014

This isnt a perfect ending, but its a very good one. It takes a few missteps, but Val-Zods arc is ultimately incredibly satisfying and the visuals help elevate it as a whole as well. There are moments of levity and humor, which help contrast the ending, equal parts hope for the future and grim realizations, and it leaves the world in an incredibly interesting place. As long as you dont take the cover at face value, this is a very satisfying end to one of the most tumultuous arcs in recent memory.

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6.0
Earth 2: Futures End #1

Sep 3, 2014

I love the concept of this book and I really enjoyed the visuals as static images, but taken in aggregate this book is all over the place and extremely difficult to get into. I would have actually preferred if this were just a blueprint or a snapshot of this world with an overarching narrative rather than focusing on the few characters it does. Those characters give us a glimpse into the world, but the pacing is such that theyre almost impossible to follow and wind up working against the strength of the issue rather than with it.

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10
Edge of Spider-Verse #1

Sep 10, 2014

Id love to see another long-form story with this character, and this is a great promise of that. Im saying this as a fan of the character and especially of the setting, but I think the book does JUST enough to bring the reader into this world, though at that point its more in service of the greater Spider-Verse storyline. The art, though, is good enough to stand on its own and if youre either a fan of this version of Spidey or want to know more about one of Ocks most unusual soldiers against the threat recently introduced in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, this is definitely worth a look.

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8.0
Edge of Spider-Verse #4

Oct 1, 2014

This doesnt add much to the mythos nor build of SPIDER-VERSE, but thats not really what its here for. Its here to be a single serving of another take on the Spidey we all know and love (and in this case: are glad we dont know and probably kinda hate). I especially got a little fanboy glee when the climax of the issue was revealed and just flat-out loved the horror comic aesthetic of the rest of the issue. Whether or not youre interested in the overall event, this is worth checking out if you want a solid one-shot horror comic.

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10
Edge of Spider-Verse #5

Oct 15, 2014

We just saw one SPIDER-VERSE tale get a (well-deserved) solo-story and honestly I think this is a setting that could sustain another one. Alternate universes have always, to me, felt like small pockets of indie comics in the midst of the Big Two as they aren't as tied down by things like massive continuity and a need to go back to the established status quo. There are also some delightfully cheeky references to the very clear inspirations for a lot of the setting and character designs that you don't even need to be terribly eagle-eyed to catch. This is a solid standalone, but what would be truly great is seeing it with the more even pacing of multiple issues.

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10
Fantastic Four (2012) #7

Apr 24, 2013

Fraction is incredibly lucky he has artists of this caliber backing him up, and we're very lucky he's as good at writing these characters as he is, because the above complaint very nearly knocked a star off, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. On the one hand, the plot isn't terribly clear or comprehensible, and I really don't like Valeria in this issue, but on the other hand...everything else, even parts of her dialog, are absolutely perfect and it's more than enough to overcome my complaints.

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8.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #11

Aug 14, 2013

This book still gushes with creativity and enthusiasm and that makes it a lot of fun to read and experience. Its by no means a perfect book, but the good outweighs the bad enough to make it an easy recommendation, especially if youre looking for something a little more lighthearted, but not strictly for children, on the shelf. I really do admire how much Fraction and Bagley have created in the already expansive Marvel Universe and timeline, how much uniqueness this book brings to the shelf, and that enthusiasm counts for an awful lot.

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6.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #12

Sep 11, 2013

This book is still highly entertaining and worth looking into if youre already a fan of the team, but its not likely to win any new converts. The writing is good enough to keep the book in the realm of entertaining, though I still think too much is taken for granted as being comprehensible and requiring no exposition, but the art is definitely suffering under the intense release schedule.

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10
Gotham By Midnight #3

Jan 28, 2015

What a strange and wonderful book this is for DC to take a chance on. Its a horror book that uses dread and implication more than violence and gore, its got a grounded, street-level center and a modern feel that makes it feel relevant and in the moment. Theres a major threat at the center of it, but its a slow, calculating threat and only moments and fragments of it are seen, leaving up to the reader to fill in gaps with their imagination AND think of the implications of what this means not just for the characters, but for Gotham itself.

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10
Gotham By Midnight #5

Mar 25, 2015

Well-worn or not, this is at least an interesting version of the above trope and one that holds the current occupants of the place a little more accountable than the original. It also does a fantastic job of tying back to the previous storylines of this arc, making the whole thing come together rather than just seem like a series of barely-connected introductions to these characters. The writing and art compliment each other amazingly, allowing both to do things that they otherwise couldnt in either this genre or even any other medium. Its always a treat to see a comic book that really takes advantage of the medium to tell its story, and this is an issue that absolutely would not have worked THIS effectively anywhere else.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #23

Aug 7, 2013

Filler or not, the issue entertains and that can't be understated. It's nice to see a hero that's usually such an unwavering paragon falter, even if it is only slightly, as it makes that character a bit more grounded and relatable. I definitely like where Venditti is going with both the character and the supporting cast. Rather than resting on the laurels of what came before, he's establishing plenty of his own creations, particularly in the rogue's gallery, and I'm onboard for whatever happens next.

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10
Green Lantern (2011) #23.2

Sep 11, 2013

There are a few panels, one in particular, of incredible brutality and the book seems to be kept at merely a T rating because the violence is being done to alien beings, even if theyre extremely human-looking ones. This didnt bother me particularly, but it bears mentioning. Ultimately, however, this is a great issue and a tremendously strong reintroduction of a character. Im now anxious to see how Mongul intersects with the Green Lanterns and Id love if Starlin (and Porter for that matter) were still involved somehow. Even if you have little interest in the Lanterns, this book is worth checking out as they play basically no role in it, and if you do, this issue will be introducing you to what will hopefully be their next great villain.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #32

Jun 4, 2014

The Uprising storyline has been a highly compelling one, and the developments this issue seem content to keep pushing it forward. Weve still got three issues to go, but this one feels like a much more advanced one, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. I think that, even without the full knowledge of whats going on, this is still worth picking up, though youll definitely get more out of it if youre also reading GREEN LANTERN CORPS.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #33

Jul 2, 2014

Complaints aside, I cant wait to see what happens in GREEN LANTERN CORPS, and thats saying something for a crossover title. Its not a perfect issue, but it doesnt need to be one as the overall story holding up has been consistent and great, and its flaws are easy to ignore. The panels that work far, far outnumber the ones that dont and give this issue the image of a grand, sweeping epic, an image it rightly earns. Assuming the final issue makes good on the rest of the series quality, Uprising stands to end as one of Green Lanterns truly great events.

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6.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #19

Apr 10, 2013

I'd recommend this issue to anyone heavily invested in the Wrath of the First Lantern storyline, though those people are likely already going to buy it. Fans of Green Lantern Corps as a title likely won't be disappointed either, but ultimately the entire issue, no matter how well drawn or paced, rings rather hollow and bereft of focus or character development. Mogo's return is quickly reduced to an easy plot device and, while I hope it will have far-reaching implications, at the time being it's merely a drop in the bucket of the greater plot. This entire event is beginning to feel very, very rushed, just as the last Green Lantern event was quickly swept aside as this one began.

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6.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #20

May 8, 2013

I complain about a myopic, almost tunnel vision that Guy Gardner gets in this book, but it's still an entertaining book, and an incredibly well-drawn one to boot. But I have a hard time looking past the fact that it's become much less of a team book and much more focused on one single Green Lantern, who also happens to be the one I find most obnoxious and unbearable. The reason he and Stewart work so well together is that Stewart is there to keep a level head and look at the things objectively and intelligently while Gardner acts on instinct and flies off the handle. Without that grounding, he's left to his own devices and that's just not as interesting. That combined with the completely backwards release schedule makes this one hard to recommend to anyone not already heavily invested in the series and character.

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10
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #21

Jun 12, 2013

Van Jensen has introduced four all-new characters from four COMPLETELY different backgrounds and races, and I honestly cannot wait for the next issue to see what comes of them. Additionally, Green Lantern Corps seems to be getting back to the heart of what the Green Lanterns are: space cops! As much as I loved Johns run, there were so many times when a sweeping, epic space opera obfuscated, or forgot, that the Green Lanterns arent a standing army, theyre galactic police and though Johns didn't write all the Green Lantern books, the events that he wrote permeated all of them. There are so many unturned rocks for that context and that idea, that I am absolutely thrilled to see someone tackling them.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #22

Jul 10, 2013

Did I mention the alien dirty talk? This book is still a joy to read, and having too much ambition isnt the worst thing in the world. Its not completely perfectly executed, but Im happy that someone is focusing on the smaller Lantern stories. The art is fantastic, the writing goes perhaps a step too far, but not nearly enough to wreck the book, and I cant wait to see what the future holds for the title.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #25

Nov 13, 2013

I havent even mentioned the reintroduction of the villain Anarky and thats partially because I cant figure out how, or if, hell fit into Johns greater storyline and also partially because I dont feel I had room for him up there. But this is a great book, and frankly a book thats been LONG overdue (ever since, I dunno, the Zero Issues of the New 52, maybe?), so Im happy to see it. I think the story is a great one, it shows Stewarts mentality and his willingness to do things the RIGHT way, even if thats not the CORRECT way.

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10
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #26

Dec 11, 2013

This is absolutely the sleeper hit of the Lantern books. Since its more focused on the Corps, with Stewart as the leader, we get a lot of new and very interesting characters as well as one of the most well earned romances in the DCU. Im incredibly happy with how the Lantern recruits have come into their own in a very short amount of time and issues like this that bring their pasts and cultures into sharp focus are welcome additions to a cosmic series that is very human focused. Im also always a fan of seeing Hal Jordan put into his place, so this issue is especially delightful.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #27

Jan 15, 2014

The Green Lantern book Ive been waiting for continues to live up to my expectations. Seeing the Lanterns behave like actual law enforcers is a delightful shift from their saving the universe from cosmic apocalypses, which is seems like it should be another branch, is a breath of fresh air for well-trod characters. I truly hope this new role for Corps remains an ongoing thing, because I personally cant get enough of it and I know Im not the only one.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #28

Feb 12, 2014

This book is just plain great. Its got more of a personal touch than the core Corps book (see what I did there?), despite its larger cast, and I feel like were getting to know these characters, both old and new, very well. The whole notion of recruiting Sciencell prisoners on a kind of parole is an absolutely fantastic one. Ive always been a fan of siege stories or stories where the central characters are under attack, and this one has not disappointed.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #29

Mar 12, 2014

This is one of those books I am truly glad exists. Its consistently great, its doing something very cool and unique with an underappreciated concept and, while it has become embroiled in yet another cosmic conflict, the core of it being a book about space cops is kept intact. While the plot isnt always clear, its always entertaining and the characterizations more than make up for any shortcomings.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #30

Apr 9, 2014

Im still very glad this issue exists. It helps clarify one of the largest gulfs in knowledge that has been a sticking point since the crossover began and none of the artists do a bad job, in fact theyre all good, but there are just so many breakneck shifts from one page to the next that its difficult to keep up with all the different styles and the pace of the book suffers as a result. We get the durlans from planet Durla, but theyre NOT the race of orange-skinned antennaed shapeshifters, theyre something else entirely and that part makes the first 2/3s of the issue incredibly difficult to wrap your mind around. This is still a very good, very necessary issue in the grand scheme of both the book and the greater crossover, but I dont get why it was divided up like this.

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10
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #31

May 14, 2014

A great issue if youre into the Uprising crossover and a great issue if youre just reading Corps. John Stewart may not take center stage until later, but the underlying focus on the Corps as a whole is most definitely intact and does a great job of spotlighting some of the more obscure Lanterns across all of the Corps. The action scarcely lets up, breath can scarcely be caught, and the ending warms the cockles of my fanboy heart.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #32

Jun 11, 2014

This issue is another great chapter within this event and now that were past the halfway point, were definitely getting more plot development. While Id recommend buying both titles if you want to get the full story, theyve so far demonstrated that fans of one book, but not the other, wont be left out in the cold. This issue continues from the previous one seamlessly and continues the story of John Stewart and his Corps without needing to have read GREEN LANTERN. Though, if you did, it certainly wont hurt and DOES contribute to a greater enjoyment of the title overall.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #33

Jul 9, 2014

The plot may not hold together perfectly, and I may not fully embrace where it seems like its going, but I still say its a very good conclusion to a great cross-over. While it seems like future issues may not be returning to Stewart's recruits, I can't hardly hold that against the book NOW (and haven't). The ending is the hardest part of a story to land, and Jensen, Chang and Maiolo were still able to deliver a satisfying, consistently good finale. Whether Stewarts recruits are front-and-center for the next storyline, Im still onboard to see where he goes next.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #34

Aug 13, 2014

Jensen, Chang and Maiolo are all talented enough to keep me reading this book to see what happens next, even if Im not thrilled about the direction that its going, and this issue stands as a great one-shot and a decent jumping-on point. There are still unanswered threads, Von Daggle aims to tie at least one of them up, and while another crossover may be the last thing I want to see at this point from the GL Universe, I cant deny that this creative team will make it interesting and enthralling to read. And until then, its great to see some development and intimacy with Stewarts character.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011): Futures End #1

Sep 10, 2014

If youve enjoyed any of Jansens run on GREEN LANTERN: CORPS, but perhaps dropped off during the crossovers, or at any other point, you owe it to yourself to pick this issue up. Even though its only a single issue long, the storyline is a return to form and its a story well executed. It feels like an excellent combination of a victory lap but also the set up for a new, incredibly interesting potential storyline.

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10
Green Lantern: New Guardians #19

Apr 17, 2013

Green Lantern: New Guardians feels like it's often relegated to third-tier status within Lantern books. It stars one of the most controversial Green Lanterns, it tends to be very isolated from the rest of the GL universe and stories, and it has a very large supporting cast, but these things are also, to my mind, the book's greatest strengths. Out of all the books to be a part of these last two cross-overs, this one is the easiest to just pick up and read without needing to really get into the previous books. Bedard also does an amazing job of juggling the giant cast, the unlikely team-up of Kyle Rayner and Carol Ferris illustrates this best, but giving each and every character plenty to do and a lot of growth. Cosmic events are the most difficult to have personal, introspective character moments in, but Bedard absolutely accomplishes it while also not skimping on the giant space battles. A great issue that strikes a great balance.

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6.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #20

May 22, 2013

This is still a good book and well worth reading, particularly for fans of the character and the series in general, but it rang just a little too hollow in the end to fully recommend to without reservation. Still, this creative team has been great to read, and they leave plenty for the next team to either pick up or ignore as they see fit and at its best it gave us some truly memorable and unique moments with a character I love.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #21

Jun 19, 2013

It fortunately wasnt a very pronounced weakness, nor one that ruins the issue. This is a great jumping-on point for new readers who want to check out something truly strange in their Lantern book, but its also a perfect continuation of the tone of the previous issues. This makes a hat-trick for the new creators on the Green Lantern books, all three have, so far, been excellent and set up a lot of great potential.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #22

Jul 17, 2013

Despite a lot of repeated ideas, this series still drips with a lot of originality and great new ideas, and Im especially intrigued in seeing where Relic is going and what he wants. Theres a lack of the actual New Guardians, but theyve been replaced by a DIFFERENT set of New Guardians, so the books title is still technically accurate, but I do hope to see the return of the rest of the team soon. In the meantime, Kyle Rayners hands are kept full in an entertaining, engaging way that practically demands to be read. The character dynamics mixed with the action and new, strange beings are reason enough to ignore the very minor shortcomings and see where this is all going and what its all building to.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #23

Aug 21, 2013

The final page of this book is absolutely devastating and has me salivating over what the next issue (well the issue AFTER Villains Month) will bring. This issue continues the greatness that has been brought to this book and I continue to recommend it month after month. Ive always been a huge fan of Kyle Rayner and, even though Johns gave him plenty of credit in Rebirth, always thought he was overshadowed by more serious-minded Green Lanterns (yes, even Guy Gardner), so to see him get not only his own title, but royal treatment like he hasnt seen since he had the Ion power is an absolute joy. Minor quibbles aside, this is a great book for anyone interested in a little sci-fi mixed with their superhero story, and with a very different, more fantastical, tone from the other Lantern books.

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10
Green Lantern: New Guardians #25

Nov 20, 2013

As much as I actually wound up enjoying Lights Out, Im glad to see everyone getting back to what they do best, especially in Kyles case where what he does best is be amazed by new and strange things. Hes the perfect character to be exploring the wild, bizarre aspects of the universe and this is one helluvan introductory adventure to send him out on. Im excited to see where it takes him and Im absolutely thrilled to see that Carol Ferris is along for the ride.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #26

Dec 18, 2013

In what seems to be becoming a trend, this book, and this issue, continue to merge sci-fi sensibilities with superhero characters and settings, delivering a perfect mish-mash of content and displaying a beautiful and vast universe. One of my biggest problems with Green Lantern books was, often, they all focused on Earth, making them seem redundant (especially as it meant that, at any time, Earth had double the Lanterns as any other space sector), so to see Kyle branch out and really explore the strange corners of the DCU. I, of course, dont mind if he returns home every now and again, but its great to see Bedard taking him in some new, interesting directions.

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10
Green Lantern: New Guardians #28

Feb 19, 2014

This issue is a great jumping-on point and a great example of why this book needs to exist. The DCU is so much cheerier and more expansive with exploratory titles like this that dont have to tie into giant, megalithic continuities and has some space to breathe and establish itself and its tone. This book does that well and this issue shows exactly how it does what it does. Ive also loved the shorter two-issue arcs as they help the book stay fresh while enticing new readers.

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10
Green Lantern: New Guardians #29

Mar 19, 2014

This is a story arc worthy of greater focus than the others have had, and it seems like were going to see a great deal more of this planet and the factions that inhabit it. This is a good thing as I was enjoying the planet hopping couple of issues, but am definitely not against a more complex, nuanced story that needs a little room to breathe. I dont know what will happen in the issues to come, nor how long this storyline will last, but I know that Im definitely invested in its cast of characters.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #31

May 21, 2014

This issue takes the series in a direction at once foreign and familiar, and Im already on-board. We still get the U.S.S. White Lantern (still no Lanterns Log, stardate, I AM WAAAAITIING!) and its clear that Carol Ferris the Guardians still have a role to play but seeing the two different foci is a nice change of pace. Im just hoping we get to resume some of the unexplored storylines once they come back together, rather than returning to status quo, but I have faith in the creative team to make it compelling either way.

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10
Green Lantern: New Guardians #32

Jun 18, 2014

I love this as a turn for this book to take: the horror episodes of Star Trek were actually some of my favorites, both in the original run and ESPECIALLY in Next Generation. Space itself is a dark, strangling nightmare so inserting a truly malevolent, depraved force into it only adds to its innate sense of dread and terror. We get a great reveal at the end, but things are far from solved nor are they anywhere near okay. This issue teases out whatevers going on brilliantly and Im actually dreading whatever comes next, and I mean that in the best possible way.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #33

Jul 16, 2014

This is actually quite a unique issue for mainstream superhero comics. Horror is a theme very, very rarely attempted and, as a result, seeing it pulled off effectively is an even rarer treat, and one that deserves both spotlight and praise. This arc has already gone to some very weird, disturbing places, and it doesnt look to be letting up as we're only in issue two.

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8.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #34

Aug 20, 2014

Ordinarily an artist team this large creates problems when one shifts into the other, but I actually could barely tell when the transition happened. It was only when I REAAAAALLY looked a second time (after noticing how many names were on the title) that I even noticed, so good on them for that as well. This is an enjoyable issue, but I was a little disappointed by the very sudden tone shift. As much as Ive enjoyed the smaller, self-contained stories, Id have liked to have seen another issue focusing on what was happening on the massive, dark station.

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

Feb 4, 2015

A great start to an ambitious project. The mysteries of the Black Mirror are teased through a combination of flashback and present experimentation, and while the team has a thrown-together feel, theres something to be said for hitting the ground running. The art looks great, Humphries does a great job of investing the reader immediately in the lovable cast and theres scarcely time to catch ones breath as the action explodes across the page along with an already great cliffhanger ending.

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10
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #6

Sep 25, 2013

Those complaints are about as fanboyish as I get (does the fact that Im AWARE of it negate some of it??), so I can still very safely say that this book is worth the wait every month. Im absolutely enraptured by how theyre going to answer the question of exactly who Angela is and where she comes from. Many of the characters comment on how familiar she seems and I cant tell if thats a tongue-in-cheek reference, or if it will actually amount to anything, but either way I cant wait to find out. Some of the best creators in the industry are on this book, so if youve ever been unsure of a cosmic superhero book, this is one to convert to.

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10
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #8

Oct 30, 2013

The change of art is a little jarring at first, but it quickly becomes the highlight of the book and an extremely compelling reason to give it a look. The characters are amazingly well defined, to the point that you could read standalone snippits of their dialog and pretty easily identify who said it (and not JUST I AM GROOT!) The dynamic of this team strikes a great balance between we dont like/trust one another and a fully functional one to the point that the adversarial banter doesnt seem forced or shoehorned, but like a natural part of the story.

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10
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #9

Dec 4, 2013

Im a huge fan of this titles more grounded, character-driven tone. Its been struck from the beginning, but I feel like Francavillas visuals do it so well, and Bendis ability to write to those strengths cant be understated. The characters all have distinct personalities, and I so far love whats been going on with Angela, so Im anxious to see what we get now that Infinity has ended and the Guardians can go off on their own again. But in the meantime, this is a great addition to the already fantastic pantheon of Infinity tie-ins that still work on their own.

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10
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #10

Dec 31, 2013

Guardians of the Galaxy is back on course to be one of the most entertaining books in Marvels roster and one of the best ways to mix your sci-fi wants with a hearty dose of superhero action. What it lacks in the heady, huge-concept ideas department it more than makes up for in the sheer fun department. The book doesnt take itself too seriously, and in a book with a sentient space raccoon and walking tree (I swear I dont MEAN to bring them up every review in this context), that is most assuredly for the best. This book is a pure delight.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #13

Mar 26, 2014

I enjoyed this ending, flaws and all. It opens some new, very interesting paths, it begins a few new dynamics, and most of all: it is a ton of fun to read. The art is spectacular and lends a great emotional depth to a comic that could have, very easily, been all sizzle and no steak. Theres a little more setup than I normally like at the end of a major story arc, but its easily outweighed by how much closure is ultimately achieved, even if we dont get it on EVERY detail. Theres still a lot of story to be told for both these teams, and Im anxious to see what happens now that theyre back to their own devices.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #22

Dec 17, 2014

The meandering central plot is helped not only by the side stories, but by an extremely strong core cast of characters with some exceptionally talented creators. Its a book that really illustrates how important having creators who not only know what theyre doing, but are passionate about the characters as it can elevate otherwise mediocre material into goodness if not greatness. Guardians of the Galaxy would be great as a day-in-the-life style book, but it also shines when it goes big, which well hopefully be getting to soon enough.

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4.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #24

Feb 11, 2015

This is not the most promising start to an event thats had a decent amount of hype around it. It feels a bit too much like its hearkening back to the days of Marvel being owned by a toy company and creating new versions of all their characters for the purposes of having new toys to put out, only thats not true anymore. There are still some cool moments, but those moments are overshadowed by an issue that feels like its on autopilot with very little passion. Theres still plenty of time to right the course of this ship, but this is an inauspicious beginning.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #27

May 20, 2015

This is a great issue for jumping back in on what the Guardians of the Galaxy are up to, and while it looks like next issue will launch right into Secret Wars, this is a great stopping point that will hopefully be picked up after the fact. Theres some confusion and a few panels that dont look quite right, but those are easily eclipsed by the quality of dialog and characters and the self-contained, interesting narrative that sets up plenty for future issues.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #2

Jan 22, 2014

These are minor quibbles in what is still a highly entertaining and witty book that puts our best gal in some preposterous, but hilarious, situations. Poison Ivy makes a welcome appearance, there are puppies and kitties galore and Harley is likable enough, the violence slapsticky enough, that she comes off as a bit more cartoonish than viciously brutal. Tonally, its a great melding of her original Bruce Timm/Paul Dini animated series appearance and her harder-edged New-52 persona and well worth checking out.

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10
Howard The Duck #1

Mar 11, 2015

A lot of things had to go just right in order for this to work as well as it needed to, but the pieces have all fallen into place and this is a very, very effective introduction to a character who, statistically speaking, barely anyone likely remembers from anything more than a one-off cameo. Whether youve been down with the Duck for years, or had to lean over to ask your friend why they were laughing so hard at the end of Guardians, this issue is a fantastic introduction to one of Marvels most painfully put-upon characters and a great sign of things to come.

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8.0
Howard The Duck #2

Apr 8, 2015

Humorous characters tend to be hard to write because they are extremely difficult to make compelling while still hewing to what makes them funny. Deadpool runs across this problem all the time and truly great creators know how to work around the problem without betraying the core funniness of the book. Zdarsky has a great head for writing Howard as a complete screwball, but then turning things on their head and not just having some introspective, powerful moments, but theyre moments that actually tie INTO the humor. The art might not be perfect throughout, but when it gets there, its truly great and it still tells the story entertainingly throughout.

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8.0
Hulk (2014) #9

Dec 3, 2014

I like this title and I want to know more about it, particularly its strange lead. While Hulk, sorry Doc Green, may be going in a direction thats difficult to track, it hasnt become truly problematic yet and wont for a few more issues of unanswered questions and questionable characterizations. This issue also features a great comedic run with Kitty and Magik to lighten the mood considerably and Bagleys art does a great job of communicating the hyper-emotional tone that permeates most Hulk books, and this one especially. This issue seems to be signalling the start of something great.

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8.0
Hulk (2014) #10

Jan 7, 2015

This was, ultimately, a massive brawl of an issue with some exposition on the side, and theres nothing wrong with that, considering whose name is on the cover. Finding new and novel ways to present characters, particularly characters who have an already extensive history, might not be a challenge unique to comics, but its certainly more common in this medium than others. And while the battle between the two main characters in this issue at first seems like well-worn territory, it actually winds up coming off as particularly novel as weve got two sentient, thinking Hulks rather than one clever one and one berserker. Its a small change, but a critical one and it gives the issue a sense of novelty and continues this storyline in an interesting direction while showing Duggan's ability to come up with new and interesting ways to have gamma powered people smash into each other.

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8.0
Hulk (2014) #15

Apr 22, 2015

Even with a wobbly conclusion, this is the fight that readers have been waiting for and it delivered. The beginning wasnt great, the ending wasnt perfect, but everything in between in this issue was absolutely wall-to-wall bonkers in the best way possible. There are few battles that have had such a strong core of solid emotion and real stakes both for the characters physical and emotional well-beings, but this one manages to accomplish both and accomplishes them organically. Theres a tremendous sense of satisfaction after all is said and done, and it leaves on still another puzzling, shocking cliffhanger teasing the final issue.

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10
Indestructible Hulk #8

May 29, 2013

Indestructible Hulk went from one unlikely, but great, artist to an incredibly likely, and still great, artist. Its been a lateral move in terms of art, and the story stays the same quality as well, but in classic form its a story thats definitely more suited to Simonson than it would have been to Yu. This issue explores another character in a deep, profound and interesting way without forgetting whose name is on the cover and I think its another example of Mark Waid having a renaissance. The man has raised the bar on superhero comics and I can recommend it this book to anyone who enjoys superhero books. Even if youre not a fan of the Hulk, this book is an absolute delight.

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10
Infinity #3

Sep 17, 2013

This is a book that seamlessly mixes its action and its exposition/dialog and an issue that feels much, much longer than it actually is, and I mean that in the most positive way I can. There's so much amazing content crammed into these pages that this feels like it should be oversized, but it's not, and that reason alone is enough to pick up Infinity. Second printings of earlier issues are beginning, so this is a great time to catch up if you were worried about ANOTHER major Marvel event this year.

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10
Infinity #4

Oct 9, 2013

Infinity remains an absolutely top-notch event book, one thats easy to pick up on its own, but becomes richer the more side-titles you read. The core book stands perfectly, though, and should be an example to all future event books. This issue also retains a trend that Ive very much enjoyed in that the tide begins to turn against the antagonist gradually, so the books finale seems less pulled from out of nowhere or reliant on a deus ex machina to snap its fingers and make everything okay again. The pacing is amazing, the plotlines are skillfully juggled, and the characters are riveting. Add to that the sharp, intense art and youve got one great issue of a spectacular event.

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10
Infinity #5

Oct 30, 2013

The above (again, minor) complaint certainly doesnt reach deus ex machina levels, and for that Im glad, its just a slight sticking point. This issue is a completely worthy chapter in what has been Marvels best event in a long, long time. Even if youve been reticent to read big superhero events, this one should be given its day in court. This issue, in particular, strikes a great balance between downtime and incredible developments in terms of plot and even some characters. If they can stick the landing, I think Hickman and company will have created something truly special with this event.

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10
Infinity #6

Nov 26, 2013

A fitting end to a fitting epic. This issue ties up the disparate elements from the rest of the book, bringing them all where they need to be and even treats us to a glimpse of things to come. While the battle, and even the war, are over, not everything is resolved and not everyone is content, but this is a profoundly satisfying end to what was a great event. Highest recommendation and I cant wait for the omnibus.

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10
Invincible #105

Sep 4, 2013

Dont let the above dissuade you if youre a longtime fan, Kirkman introduces enough plots and develops characters enough to fully make this issue a worthwhile one (again, its one of his strongest traits as a writer), I just feel like a lot MORE could have been done if the narrative didnt have to slow down as much as it does. This issue is still a great example of what makes Invincible one of the best books on the shelf and should absolutely be checked out by any fans, new or old.

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10
Invincible #106

Oct 16, 2013

This issue is a really great balancing act. There's just enough action that it never drags, there's a lot of character interactions and developments, there are plenty of teases to keep the reader intrigued, and there's Battle Beast. It's got EVERYTHING!

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10
Invincible #107

Dec 11, 2013

We still get a great tease for whats to come with the underground pair, so its not a completely wash, and the other two storylines absolutely deliver on all fronts, so its hard to hold it against them. Were definitely in the setup process across the three plotlines and so far Kirkmans been amazing at transitioning from setup to execution, so Im absolutely willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and strap myself in for the ride.

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10
Invincible #108

Jan 29, 2014

This is what I like to refer to as a payoff issue. Kirkmans been leading up a lot, hes had a lot pokers in various fires and clearly several have turned red hot. This issue has some absolutely shocking moments that simultaneously wrap up and set up future storylines gloriously. I have some rough idea of what will happen next, or at least have deluded myself into thinking I do but thats also what I thought when this issue started, so clearly I actually have NO IDEA. And that is absolutely thrilling.

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10
Invincible #109

Mar 12, 2014

The Best Superhero Comic in the Universe! I dont know how long thats been the tagline for this book, but its been real, real accurate, especially lately. This most recent arc feels like its building toward something incredible and I am absolutely sold on taking that journey. I truly cannot wait for next issue, nor the issue after THAT that's teased on the back cover of this book.

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10
Invincible #110

Apr 9, 2014

Beyond the obvious incident, theres an incredible theme of racial purity being upheld that I think might be undercut, but is definitely present and makes the whole thing EVEN MORE uncomfortable and despicable. Im going to come out and say that this is an important issue of an amazing comic, and not just from the plots standpoint. Knowing how Kirkman has operated over the last 110 issues, this isnt going to be some blip on the radar, this is going to have far-reaching, devastating consequences, even if theyre not immediately apparent. The drama has been brought to a whole other level in this issue, and Im absolutely reeling with wondering where it goes next.

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10
Invincible #111

May 7, 2014

Books often dip after a particularly shocking or high-quality issue. Not Invincible. Invincible shines under pressure like the diamond it is and ascends to an even higher quality. At this point, Im pretty sure its in lower-Earth orbit. I used to joke that Invincible got better and better with every passing issue, but the longer the series went on, the less it became a joke. And while it hasnt been true 100% of the time, this is one time among many that the issue tops the one that preceded it. Who KNOWS what #112 will bring?

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10
Invincible Universe #7

Oct 2, 2013

Those complaints are minor at best as this continues to be one of my favorite under-the-radar books. The storylines are easy to jump into, the dialog is witty and the tone is consistent. Its a book that manages to mesh some legitimate drama (see the Best Tiger issue) with amazing humor (this issue!), but it never feels like its giving either short-shrift. The action is also absolutely top-notch, so if you cant get enough of the world that Invincible and company inhabit out of one book per month, this one is absolutely worth checking out.

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10
Invincible Universe #8

Dec 4, 2013

This is an absolute must-read for any fan of the...well, Invincible Universe. Its the perfect compliment to that story, but even if youve never checked it out, or dont want to have to start at the beginning of a well-established title, this can whet your appetite for great superhero action. Its the perfect walk-in, check-out, BUY title as the cast is constantly shifting focus and theres going to be SOMEone that you wind up attaching to. Someone like Best Tiger. Cause hes the best. Tiger.

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8.0
Invincible Universe #10

Feb 5, 2014

Invincible Universe remains a delight, and though fans of Invincible will likely get the most out of it, I actually recommend it to anyone looking for an offbeat superhero comic, and also as a way to get in deeper to a pair of the best series on the shelf. The writing and the art are both a treat great and the flaws are a cinch to overlook in the face of such consistently good storytelling.

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10
Invincible Universe #11

Mar 5, 2014

I love the world building that this book engages in. If youve wanted to get into the vast, beautiful world of Invincible, theres no better gateway and if youre already there, theres no better companion. Theres nothing that makes a world feel more inhabited than seeing what its supporting cast is up to when the cameras on the big guy, who actually even makes an appearance this issue. Its brief, but its absolutely perfect.

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10
Invincible Universe #12

Apr 2, 2014

This is a completely worthwhile end to whats been a great series. It not only made the normal Invincible book feel larger and more fleshed-out, it became great in its own right and completely worth reading, even if you had no interest in Invincible. The book will, no doubt, shortly be collected in trade, and theres no reason not to jump in if youre ANY kind of superhero book fan.

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6.0
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #7

Dec 3, 2014

The story of Danny putting the iron back into his fist is good enough to hold this book up and recommend it, though this issue is not particularly new-reader friendly. Dig up some back issues and definitely check out the first trade if you feel the itch to get some unconventional kung-fu in your superheroics, or whatever genres you particularly enjoy. This is still a good issue overall, but considering the previous ones it falls flat.

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10
Journey Into Mystery #652

May 22, 2013

This series deserves a great deal more love than it gets. I think its great how much Marvel promotes it, and Im hoping its selling well because these stories have yet to disappoint. If youre looking for a fun comic with a strong female lead that doesnt skimp on dramatic beats, this is the perfect book for you. Even if you just want an interesting story with some characters who are too often in the shadow of the A-listers, I cant recommend this one enough.

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10
Journey Into Mystery #654

Jul 24, 2013

Its worthwhile to get to know these characters, because theyre being written in some of the most interesting, nuanced and subtle ways of any of their existences. This is a book that has it all: high drama, action, heartbreak, and a ton of humor to top it all off. Its one of the most under-the-radar books in the Big Twos arsenal and it absolutely deserves more recognition, if not higher sales. It's a book that takes some very usual genre conventions and applies them in a very unique, dynamic way to create something original out of something we've already seen.

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10
Journey Into Mystery #655

Aug 28, 2013

Even with the plot a little obfuscated at times, this issue, and this book, have been a joy to read and a thrill to experience. Immonen, thankfully, has a couple of projects lined up, but Id love to see her on another Marvel book, preferably one that got the kind of promotion that seems to be helping Captain Marvel soar (of course, the amazing creative team on that one is a big part of it too) as a new title. Its rare to see a creative team that so perfectly work off of one another with Schitis amazing faces perfectly conveying Immonens rapier wit and Bellaires colors making both the lines and the writing come to life. There are a lot of heady concepts in this book, but at its heart is, well, an awful lot of heart, and thats what makes it, ultimately, worth a look. When this is released in trade, I cant recommend it enough and, of course, if youve been reading, you HAVE to pick this one up. Its what Sif would want!

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10
Judge Dredd #12

Oct 23, 2013

This book remains one of the best action-comedies on the shelf and this issue does little to derail that reputation. It gives the reader plenty of head-tilting bizarreness that even when it veers a little too far off the trail, it always rights itself in the end AND the trip is always worthwhile. There are a few hiccups along the way, but nothing to seriously hamper the experience.

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8.0
Justice League #38

Jan 21, 2015

This issue may not be setting the world on fire, but frankly the world could use some cooling off anyway. What we get is a solid, Luthor-focussed issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE (still feels weird to type Luthor and Justice League without talking about them battling) that helps answer a few questions, but leaves a few tantalizingly open, and does a great job cementing the characters role in the League. Hopefully hes there to stay, because he brings a certain something to the title and the team that strengthens it on a lot of levels.

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10
Justice League 3000 #2

Jan 15, 2014

This book balances humor and action amazingly well. By setting the story a thousand years in the future, but using a familiar cast, we get a best of both worlds situation where DeMatteis and Giffen are free to work their strangely dark humor, but we, as readers, still have a solid anchor point. Porter and Hi-Fis art is just cartoonish enough to be delightful right up until it needs to be dark and even a little messy.

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8.0
Justice League 3000 #3

Feb 12, 2014

The characters still develop well, just not always consistently, and this books visuals are amazing. It stumbles sometimes in the writing, but thats overall very solid as well and definitely worth looking into. One thing I can say about this story is that it is unlike anything else in the DCU and that alone, pulled off as well as this is, makes it worthy of checking out and following.

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8.0
Krampus #2

Jan 22, 2014

This book is still one of the better examples of bawdy, joyfully violent fun and even endures beyond the holiday season, so I still recommend giving this look at one of Christmas most forgotten figures a look. The characters may not be fully fleshed out, but it has only been two issues and what I have seen is likable enough and compelling enough as well. The visuals, also, do a great job sustaining the books tone and purpose.

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8.0
M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin #1

May 27, 2015

Whether or not the protagonist is likeable (he isnt) or theres some prurient image at the end of the issue, this is still a very fun book that has a very new and interesting take on a well established character. MODOK has been a joke for a long time and its interesting to see him treated like a legitimate threat rather than laughed off as the impractical, hilarious being that he is. This issue shows a bit more of a serious story than may have been expected, but its still highly entertaining, and shows some vulnerability in its protagonist, strange and ham-fisted though it may be.

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10
Magneto (2014) #10

Sep 24, 2014

More than a refresher on the central characters past and motivations, more of a check-in and a state of the magnet, if you will (you wont, will you?) that establishes his character while adding a ton to it. Magnetos methods may still be too extreme for most to find palatable, but its impossible to hate the man, and this adds more layers to the sympathy by both reminding us where hes been and, more importantly, where hes going.

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10
Magneto (2014) #17

Apr 15, 2015

While the flashbacks may go a step too far in getting to the depths of Magnetos character, everything else about this issue moves with such an amazing pace, and with such darkly beautiful visuals, that its easy to not only look past them, but to feel that theres still a tremendous value in this issue. Seeing a vulnerable Magneto not only try to keep up appearances, but make what must be one of the hardest decisions of his lengthy existence is well worth the price of admission and sets the stage for even more to come.

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6.0
Magneto (2014) #18

May 13, 2015

This issue could have been a classic had it stuck to what this series has done best: framing critical, important action around the kind of person Magneto either is or wishes to be. As it stands, its still a fantastic read for fans of the Master of Magnetism, and seeing him interact with his often neglected child is great, but needing to adhere to a certain set of rules and limitations imposed by an outside story ultimately hurts it.

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10
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1

Sep 11, 2013

This book is great, cornball fun and a great intertwining of the '50s sci-fi aesthetic of Mars Attacks with the '70s look and feel of Judge Dredd. I cant recommend it enough for fans of dark humor or keen satire. Its action is over-the-top violent, its dialog is taking itself JUST seriously enough to be hilarious and the cross-over is shockingly seamless considering how wildly different the two properties are. If youre a fan of either, or IDWs previous Mars Attacks books, then this is definitely worth a look and if youre a fan of both, what are you doing reading this review? PICK IT UP NOW!

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8.0
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #2

Oct 9, 2013

None of those complaints stop this bizarre cross-over from being one of the most organic and hilarious out there. Taking two franchises that excel at parody, over-the-top gore and satire and cramming them together in one ultra-violent package was a risky idea, but it's worked out brilliantly. I had high hopes for this book, and it continues to deliver. We're only on issue 2, but I feel like there's so very much more to tell in this series and frankly anything that delivers more deadpan comedy (from equal parts Dredd and the Martians) is great in my book.

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10
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #3

Nov 13, 2013

Canon or not, this book is amazing fun. From the 70s VS 50s sci-fi mentality, to the lantern-jawed parody of action movies that Dredd has always excelled at, to the martians hilariously, unexpectedly inane dialog, this book holds a very special place in my heart. For any fan of sci-fi in general, its absolutely worth picking up, but for a fan of either title, or both, its an absolute must-read.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #7

Feb 26, 2014

This isnt to say the issue isnt worth reading. Im going to take a very strange stance and say that, despite my above complaints, this is still a great book with some amazing writing and some incredible art, the fact that I still enjoyed it as much as I did despite knowing very little about its core character is a testament to how well it does. And those absolutely carry this into the realm where it can be recommended as I still care about the group as a whole and I care about, and am invested in, their dynamic and their future stories.

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8.0
Miracleman #1

Jan 15, 2014

This issue really defines a mixed bag in terms of what you get. On the one hand, its very cool to see the original stories and, for me, very, very fascinating peering behind the curtain at exactly what went on behind the scenes with this character (the interview with Anglo by Joe Quesada is especially interesting, especially since very little of it focuses on the comic and a great deal focuses on the man himself) but I could see someone who couldnt care less feeling like theyre paying extra for nothing. Buyer beware, in that case, but the core story here is as rock solid and resonant now as it was thirty years ago.

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10
Moon Knight (2014) #8

Oct 1, 2014

The last couple of pages let us know that something very strange is brewing in this comic, and that something MIGHT just be an ongoing storyline. Im not sure if these stylistic flairs will continue, but Id love to see what else these creators have up their sleeves for how to present that story in different, unique and even bizarre ways. If you liked what MOON KNIGHT was before, theres no reason not to stay right on and see where its going from here.

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8.0
Morbius: The Living Vampire #5

May 29, 2013

This series is something of an anomaly because it truly is a street-level tale. The main character has powers, but theyre not terribly dramatic and hes very vulnerable. Its far more about the setting hes found himself in and how that setting impacts him than it is the character impacting the setting (he says as much himself at one point) and I find that to be a novel approach to an ongoing superhero book. This is one of the overlooked gems of Marvel NOW!, especially since his appearance in Amazing Spider-Man re-invigorated the characters presence and role in the Marvel U.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #3

Apr 16, 2014

This book shines brightly in a very dark, serious era. Though Marvels books tend to have a little more levity, a great many of them are still serious, for both good and ill. This title brings a smile to the readers face that cant be denied. The writing, the art, everything is engineered to be a joy, but that doesnt mean theres no drama, and its great to see some real story and character development to let us know that this book isnt just going to be pure fluff.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #6

Jul 16, 2014

Its certainly not a major complaint and the new artist acquits himself amazingly well, which isnt an easy feat when filling in for someone with such a one-of-a-kind look as Alphona. But Wyatts look is definitely all his own as well, so the uplifting tone of whimsy is maintained seamlessly. This is, very simply, one of the most fun books on the shelf and this issue continues that. Even Mr. Jack-Of-All-Books fits in perfectly and Im actually hoping he sticks around for a few more issues, not just because of who he is, but how well I think hed fit in...or really NOT fit in, which is always the funnier option.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #7

Aug 20, 2014

This book is like cake...except its good for you. Its like steak cake...which sounds awful, but this book is GREAT! Awful metaphors aside, this is one of the cheeriest books you could hope to read, but the cheeriness is complemented by amazing characters with realistic motivations and genuine, witty dialog. I have to give G. Willow Wilson credit for taking Wolverine, of all people, down a peg or two without completely negating the characters dignity or respectability. Though the two part ways at issues end, I would love to see an ongoing series of Wolverine tutoring Kamala in the ways of super heroism.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #10

Dec 17, 2014

MS. MARVEL is a title thats gotten a ton of attention over the last year, and its issues like this that illustrate why: its got its own unique voice, its talking about things that other comics (in general, not just superhero ones) arent talking about with a megaphone loud enough to reach a much, much larger audience than most books that WOULD talk about it do. Its got characters all its own and a visual style to match and I cant recommend highly enough that, regardless of your taste, you give it a look. Unless youre absolutely opposed to whimsy and brightness, youll have a good time.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #11

Feb 4, 2015

This is one of the few titles on the shelf, either Big 2 or otherwise, that can get away with not really having a longterm storyline. Shes still a new enough character that readers are still getting to know her, so a status quo needs to be established before it can be shaken up, so the somewhat wandering, ponderous plotline is actually a strength as we get to know this cast. With how hard it can be for new series to succeed, its great to see one not only surviving, but thriving and contributing to the greater universe just by introducing it to SO many new, different characters. With the Inventor, Kamala may have found her first real archenemy, and thats an important step for any hero to take.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #14

Apr 15, 2015

The arts not bad by any stretch, it's actually quite good, and it fits the issue more often than not, but there are a few times when the more manga-ish influences feel like theyre overpowering the tone and tenor of whats been previously established. Wilsons writing still comes alive across every page and panel, leading her characters through the height of teen joy and the depths of teen angst while presenting them as real and sympathetic (with some obvious, appropriate exceptions) and that, it turns out, is more than enough.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #16

Jun 17, 2015

The end of this issue is enormously satisfying and the next issues preview cover is a great follow-up on it. Theres also a wonderful feeling of hope permeating the whole issue thats very in keeping with the general tone of this book, and while the tie-in nature of it does overpower at times, it cant keep the incredible skill that the creative team has put into it from coming to the fore. There are a lot of unanswered questions and dangling threads that likely wont be resolved next issue, but it gives Ms. Marvel something to do after this whole Battleworld thing dies down and things return to some semblance of normalcy. And that gives fans something to look forward to!

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8.0
Nailbiter #10

Feb 4, 2015

Its a difficult thing to keep one core mystery so strong and so compelling across such a long-scale read, but this issue continues to show that this book is more than up to the task. Williamson and Henderson seem to know exactly what theyre doing and how they wanna do it, and so far its working out pretty great for them. Whether or not we get an immediate explanation for what we saw here, this issue helps establish that there are still plenty of dark corners of Buckaroo left unexplored.

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10
Nailbiter #11

Apr 1, 2015

Its rare to find a single issue that not only perfectly encapsulates what came before, but so effectively teases whats to come. Whether a long-time reader, or someone whos been looking to see what all the gory, crunchy fuss is about, this is a fantastic issue that shouldnt be missed. Williamson gives us completely new takes on most of the remaining characters and shows us a completely different side of at least two of them as the roles quickly reverse on exactly who has the power in a given interaction.

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10
Nailbiter / Hack/Slash (One-Shot) #1

Mar 4, 2015

Its impressive how much content there is in this over-sized one-shot, especially considering how well paced and natural the issue feels. There are quite a few people with their hands on these issues, and while its clear there was some cross-pollination, both the individual stories feel like the products of their respective teams, while still having the right feel for the others. Its a wildly successful crossover and it actually matters to the canon of NAILBITER and HACK/SLASH (the former much moreso), making it even more fun to read for fans of either.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #8

Jul 24, 2013

This is, bar none, one of the most fascinating, strange books on the shelf and this issue, even though much of it is grounded in politics, is an excellent addition to the pantheon of New Avengers. Its incredible to me that Hickman has told such a sweeping, epic sci-fi tale over the course of only eight issues and the artistic consistency Deodato has brought cant be understated either. It might be tricky to follow, but its well worth the effort every time.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #9

Aug 28, 2013

Hickman is officially three-for-three on his Infinity titles. Theres absolutely nothing to dislike here between his incredible pacing and characterization with Deodatos pitch-perfect panels. Over the last several years, since the very first Annihilation books, Marvel has refocused on their cosmic characters and settings, but theyve been writing them like more grounded books: characters first, and this issue is one of the best examples of that. The problem with so many cosmic comics, and cosmic media in general, is that it feels detached or removed from real events or consequences, but thats no longer the case. This issue illustrated that characterization is a number one priority for this upcoming event. Even if youre sick of Marvels giant, world-shattering events, even if this event reverts back to the status quo and doesnt really change anything, its well constructed enough that the titles are, so far, very much worth picking up.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #10

Sep 18, 2013

Whether youre fully invested in Infinity or not, whether youre a longtime reader of New Avengers or just love superhero comics in general, theres not a single reason not to pick up this title. Grab the previous ones if you can find them, but rest assured that this is an easy book to follow and catch up on. I feel like how great it is might be getting swallowed up or overshadowed by the other Infinity titles because, as I stated before, this would have worked without the tie-in. Absolute highest recommendation.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #12

Nov 27, 2013

It feels odd complaining about too much good stuff, but it has been known to happen from time to time (anyone whos ever eaten an entire pizza knows what Im talking about), but thats a minor point in the grand scheme of things. This is a fantastic read from cover-to-cover, a great New Avengers title and the perfect epilogue to the Infinity event. Theres little reason not to check it out.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #13.INH

Dec 31, 2013

The above can be easily solved with repeated reading, and I absolutely love all the potential that gets introduced here. Im especially enamored of Doctor Strange as I think, lately, hes been underutilized due to his tendency to become too ridiculously overpowered. I think with a steady hand, he could be reined in and have some very, very interesting stories around him. The seamless transition from one storyline to the next means this can be picked up by new readers, but will most definitely be enjoyed by stalwarts as well.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #14

Feb 5, 2014

This book is still the best that thinkin mans superhero readers can get. And no, theres absolutely nothing wrong with reading something deliciously simple to just enjoy, but a book that touches on some higher concepts is definitely a standout and this book does that quite well. Its greatest accomplishment, however, has to be integrating all the characters into it organically and seamlessly. A lot of times when we get writers like this telling stories like this, the characters are just window dressing, but this story without these characters would be monumentally and demonstrably different, and I think that bears mention and praise.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #15

Mar 19, 2014

Pacing issues aside, this book is still one of the most thought-provoking on the shelf with its emphasis on morality and multidimensional theory that feels more genuine and grounded than such things generally do in comics. Much in the same way that gravity has recently been leant to the notion of time travel in the Marvel U, I feel like other dimensions and the consequences of what happens therein havent been the focal point of comics in this way since the early days of Exiles. The visuals are beautifully apropos and, apart from what I mention above, very clear and flowing. This is one of the most thought-provoking superhero books on the shelf.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #16.NOW

Mar 26, 2014

Again, there have been times when Hickman has thrown us some pretty severe curveballs, this one just happen to swoop inward and strike me square in the forehead. Now that Ive exhausted the extent of my baseball metaphor, Ill just say that I still have faith in this all making sense in the end, but at this point there are too many loose threads (many of which are created by this issue alone) to assume everything will work out. The writing and art are still fascinating, and I imagine Ill look back on this issue in the coming months and go OOOOOOOOOH, THATS what that was! and so I still highly recommend this title.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #17

Apr 30, 2014

Its all coming together and Im finally getting a solid, firm grasp not only on Incursions, but how theyre stopped and exactly at what cost. This is the most interesting issue yet as, for the first time, Hickman appears poised to deliver an actual fight between the two Incursion worlds heroes rather than simply having a doomsday weapon OR having the Incursion World inhabited by pure antagonists like the Mapmakers or Black Priests. This is blurring the already shaky moral ground upon which the Illuminati stands and now, as weve grown to know the denizens of this new Earth, it makes things even more complicated.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #19

Jun 11, 2014

Though we have another wait ahead of us, this one is more bearable than it previously has been. The last two covers have hinted at whats to come, but the next issue promises to deliver on it and whether it does or not, this is still a very, very great issue. We get more character insights, theres a development with Black Swan and Maximus that I didnt even have time to mention that spells uh-oh no matter HOW you look at it, and the conversation between the Avengers and the Society is pure, old-school sci-fi greatness.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #20

Jun 25, 2014

This is one of the most incredible battle across all of superhero comics. Its been over a decade since Marvel and DC crossed over and while this may not be another crossover in the most literal sense, it certainly works on every level it needs to. Its even incredibly even-handed, though the characters who go up against one another may not be the 100% ideal ones, theyre the best ones for the plot that Hickman has built making them, as far as Im concerned, even more the ideals.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #21

Jul 30, 2014

This is easily the most significant issue since the introduction of Incursion, and Hickman continues to set the bar ever higher both for himself and whoever picks up after he departs the tile. The writing and the visuals work together to tell a story that shows Marvels willingness to stretch superhero titles to their limit, not just in terms of where theyre willing to go, but how theyre willing to get there. This remains one of my favorite sci-fi books that just so happens to star superheroes.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #22

Aug 6, 2014

Getting a follow-up to last issues spectacular cliffhanger hasnt reduced the anticipation nor the impact of either issue. The fact that this one ends with yet another one that is just AS impactful speaks volumes to how well paced and well thought out this series has been. Taking the focus and suspense off of whether or not the characters will survive and putting it on their emotional and mental states, whether they'll be able to endure, and asking the question of how far theyll go has made this a breath of fresh air on the shelf as that is a question with a less definitive answer. Whatevers coming next has me almost wishing this weekly schedule was a permanent change.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #23

Aug 20, 2014

I reserve the term "jaw-dropping" for times when a moment was so shocking, my jaw actually drops. So believe me when I tell you: the last three pages of this issue left me cleaning dust out of my beard. What this issue gives us is an intimate look at these geniuses and titans of their world at their most introspective and scared. What it sets up is a storyline that will dwarf even this one.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #24

Sep 24, 2014

This is actually a great jump-on point, though if you can get it and last issue I highly recommend going for it. I have absolutely no idea where this story could be going, but this has been an incredible introduction. A highlight of Hickmans run on New Avengers has been having absolutely no idea what comes next for several issues, making it not only suspenseful, but incredibly gripping.

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6.0
New Avengers (2013) #25

Oct 15, 2014

This will all likely make sense by the end of the arc, or even series, but this issue as it now stands is merely good. This is still a story arc with an absolute tone of potential still excited for what may be coming in this title, but Id also be lying if I said I wasnt disappointed after how stellar the last issue was that this one backslid on both emotional impact and the sense of time and place. The art is still amazing and the concepts are, at the very least, interesting enough to keep me coming back, but this is a definite bump in the road.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #26

Nov 19, 2014

Im not sure well ever get either an info-dump or an issue (or two) that fully explains how it came to this, but even enough pieces to put together a cohesive puzzle would be sufficient at this point. This book typifies the kind of thing that will almost certainly read better in trade, but this issue is the strongest one in awhile, with an amazing creative team using great characters in extremely interesting ways. Its good to see that amidst all these grand, giant ideas that people are still what makes this story tick.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #27

Nov 26, 2014

Things are fast coming to a head in the tale of the Incursions, and this issue contains one of the first major developments on that front in some time. How all the pieces will fit together is still anyones guess, but its good to see this issue continue down the right track with further plot and character developments. Theres even a bit of wit and humor to lighten the enervating load that the heroes, and readers, must be feeling at this stage making this a great addition to one of the most epic stories in Marvels history.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #29

Jan 28, 2015

That we can get satisfying emotional beats alongside some that are less so is a testament to how well both the characters work together and how deeply satsifying this storyline has been overall. There are still more gaps in the story to fill, but its actually begining to feel like were going to get some satisfaction on just about everything. We see the return of a long-absent character (along with some others, also long-absent from this specific title) and get a Doom check-in, with mandatory amazing quote, all while we head, inexorably, toward much, much larger things. This issue isnt a perfect jumping on point, but in terms of its importance to Secret Wars, it shouldnt be missed.

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6.0
New Avengers (2013) #30

Feb 25, 2015

This isnt a bad issue of NEW AVENGERS, but its not a great one, though it likely is leading to something far, far greater, as these issues often do, but standing on its own, this isnt a terribly strong issue. It sets up a lot of great stuff, and there are some very, very solid moments in it, but it ultimately comes off as too clinical and detached for its own good.

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6.0
New Warriors (2014) #4

May 7, 2014

This isnt a bad issue by any stretch, and the good parts outweigh the bad to the point that Im very much looking forward to what next issue brings. I think its a great shift to see a cast of also-rans taking on a massive, world-ending plot where none of the A-listers are even aware of it as it lends some really fresh, interesting perspectives to the whole thing. This isnt the strongest issue of the four, but based on the other three, and the parts of this one I like, I'm optimistic therell still be plenty to look forward to in this book.

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10
Nova (2013) #5

Jun 26, 2013

Even the COVER of this book takes on amazing meaning if you extrapolate the meaning of the father affixing a helmet (Novas most notable piece of equipment) to his sons head in his childhood. There are layers of meaning within this book that should keep older readers happier, that and the absolutely stellar writing, characterization and art. Even for younger readers, this books rating doesn't suit its very friendly atmosphere. In an industry that seems like its becoming increasingly dark, this book shines as a pure delight and an absolutely stellar all-ages book. And I do mean ALL ages.

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8.0
Nova (2013) #14

Mar 5, 2014

Nova continues to be a visually interesting book, hangups aside. Its returning to a place I havent seen referenced since the LAST Nova issues, its using Marvels deep and wide cast of bizarre characters to their fullest extent and, most of all, it is a TON of fun to read. Sam Alexander is becoming more likeable with every issue and seeing him take on the mantle of Nova is one of Marvels best cosmic stories and still getting better.

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8.0
Origin II #3

Feb 26, 2014

This book is ultimately goregous and amazingly well-realized. Weve now crossed the halfway point and this series, it seems, is another gamble that will pay off for Marvel comics, introducing an actual supporting cast for Wolverine that extends to the modern era. Im hoping we see some of these meetings or realizations come up in the stories Logan is involved with, but even if we dont, this book stands very well on its own.

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8.0
Punisher (2014) #4

Apr 2, 2014

The Punisher, as with Edmonsons other book Black Widow, is a great book for anyone looking to branch out from superheroes or break INTO them. If it helps your palette at all, think of it as an action/crime series with a supernatural bend because thats essentially what it is and I love it for it. Castles always struggled to find his place in the Marvel U, and that place often gets relegated to parody or self-aware references. This is a book that posits his place is right alongside the other hitters in the Marvel U, even if it isnt among the A-listers.

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8.0
Red Lanterns #24

Oct 23, 2013

Red Lanterns actually stands fairly well on its own, despite being a part of (yet another) Green Lantern cross-over. Soule has done a great job of having the Reds strike out on their own in very few issues, and the end of this issue makes it clear that, after the dust has settled, that may be truer than its ever been. Im intrigued to see what this means for the future of the series, and this issue still stands up well enough, even if not terribly much happens and it cancels one of the most interesting developments from the previous issues, Im still invested, and impressed, enough to highly recommend it.

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8.0
Red Lanterns #25

Nov 27, 2013

This book remains a great, solid read every time I pick it up and has been one of the most refreshing surprises to come of the Corps creative shake-up. Its further proof that whos on a book matters as much, if not more, than which character is inside as a great creative team can do great things with practically anyone. This book continues to be one I look forward to every month.

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8.0
Red Lanterns #26

Dec 31, 2013

The award for Most Turned Around Book in 2013 (not a real award) goes to Red Lanterns, as far as Im concerned. Im not sure how it happened, but a book about a bunch of outer space monsters that vomit acidic blood on their enemies became rote and dull. Ordinarily I dont like shoehorning humans into alien stories (it feels like a cheap way to get someone the audience can identify with), particularly as this book already had one of those, but the combination of Charles Soule and Guy Gardner seems to be just what the book needed. This storyline may not have been the most epic or groundbreaking, but it set a great foundation for what the tone and tenor of this book can be.

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10
Red Lanterns #29

Mar 26, 2014

Even though the raging Kryptonian is well-worn territory by this point, and this book doesnt have a terribly fresh take on it, it at least feels EARNED here. Karas rage does exactly what I wish itd been doing in her own title: comes out in bursts that she tries to control, but ultimately fails. And when she rages this time, theres little anyone can do to calm her, so its interesting to see everyone just sort of stand aside and let her vent. I think Supermans points are well taken, I think shes very justified in both her actions and her emotions and, most of all, I think the rest of the Reds are hilarious without being reduced to comedic relief. This book has it all and uses it to great effect.

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10
Red Lanterns #30

Apr 23, 2014

Were almost a year later, and I still cant believe that one of my absolute favorite books on the shelf is not only Red Lanterns, but it stars Guy Gardner. This book has been on such an upswing and with the new idea of the racing for the new Red Lanterns now becoming the books central focus, I only see even better things from here. Thats a solid idea with longterm legs, and with Supergirl along for the ride, it only sounds better.

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8.0
Red Lanterns #32

Jun 25, 2014

The good still far outweighs the bad and this is a great opening to the hostilities between Guy Gardner and Atrocitus. This is a storyline thats been building since Gardner took over the Reds and, quite frankly, did a better job of it than Atrocitus. There are not just new pieces but new powers on the table, and were in for another great ride on this particular title. Theres scarcely been a better time to jump on this title than this issue.

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6.0
Red Lanterns #34

Aug 27, 2014

This is an unfortunate note to leave an arc that Ive otherwise been crazy about on. Its not a bad issue nor is it a bad ending by any stretch, but Soule has done such an amazing job up until now with these characters that I couldnt help but feel disappointed with how things resolved here. Im still looking forward to seeing what he does with the future of the title, and Im a huge fan of the changes hes made to Gardner, but this wasnt the strongest end to a great storyline.

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6.0
Red Lanterns Annual #1

Jul 30, 2014

I liked this issue overall but I was also disappointed that the potential Red stories were cast aside in favor of a quick pay-off. I think the longform style of the issue actually benefits it and allows the pace and drama to develop organically, but theres so much that feels like it was skimmed over. My feelings on this series are well-known, but the problem with setting a high bar is the continuous need to clear it and in this way the issue falters. Im still looking forward to seeing where the finale goes and Id still recommend any fans pick this issue up as it does a good job of continuing the storyline.

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8.0
Red She-Hulk #66

Jun 5, 2013

The greatest tragedy of this issue is that theres so little of it, and thats not a bad complaint to have said of the book itself. Unfortunately, the pacing inevitably suffers and things that should be meditated upon are hurried through, but even catching glimpses of a world this interesting is enough to fully recommend this book to any fans of character-over-action storytelling that STILL manages to have some of the best action on the shelf.

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8.0
Red She-Hulk #67

Jul 3, 2013

I complain about being lost in the book, but I have rarely had so much fun being lost. I get JUST enough to be fascinated and intrigued, and the characters are all written with enough style and flair that theyre always entertaining to read, even when exactly what theyre doing isnt clear. Likewise the art is solid enough to never be confusing or unclear, so the book is still a great read and leaves off with a team that I really, truly hope get their own title and their own chance in the spotlight. A great sendoff for a great, underappreciated run.

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8.0
Regular Show #1

May 15, 2013

Regular Show Issue 1 is great, all-ages fun in the exact same vein as Tiny Titans or Adventure Time: excellent fun for kids while being clever enough to hook adults. Whether you're a fan of the show or want to see what it's all about, this is a great place to start and a strong opening from a creative team who clearly "get it" in terms of what the cartoon is about. While this particular issue feels a little derivative (again, it feels very strange to write that about a comic that is SO UTTERLY STRANGE), I definitely think there's enough of their own voices to take the story in completely different directions from the show.

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10
Runaways (2015) #1

Jun 16, 2015

Over-the-top visuals that very occasionally go too far sounds like a minor complaint and it turns out: it IS! Teen years are a weird time, so some visual exaggeration isnt entirely out of place, and the writing compliments the art perfectly, though it also veers into being a BIT too over-the-top in one or two places. Its a wild title, though, and these complaints are minimal and dont diminish what is a tremendous return to form for Marvels biggest mischief-makers. The reveal at the end of the issue is just the wonderfully apropos cherry atop an already towering sundae. This issue is a great example of how to do teen drama while making it compelling and, of course, whimsical without sentimentality. Stevenson, Greene and Rauch were made to create this series, and heres to hoping they stay on it, and whatever it becomes, for a long time.

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10
Saga #24

Oct 29, 2014

Another agonizing wait to be salved by a new trade paperback release AND a hardcover collection of the first three volumes. This is such a wonderfully unique and strange world thats been created around these characters that its not JUST the plot that keeps interest, its seeing what on EARTH is going to be on the next page. From the first splash to the last and everything in between, I cant remember a book that more exemplifies the notion of being a page-turner. The final image of this issue also brings up SO many more questions that Im sure well get answers to...BUT NOT FOR AWHILE! This is a perfect opportunity to catch up with one of the most unique books in the medium of comics.

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10
Saga #25

Feb 4, 2015

A slight omission isnt even close to being enough to derail this issue's momentum. This books popularity has soared to unforeseen heights, and its easy to see why with issues like this. While it remains difficult to recommend as a jumping-on point, it remains a perfect reason to go back and start in on the previous volumes (just get all four at once, youll save yourself three subsequent, panicked trips back to the shop) to see what, indeed, all the fuss is about.

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8.0
Scarlet Spiders #2

Dec 17, 2014

This is a perfect side-story for those looking for something more out of the main Spider-Verse title, though Id be hard-pressed to recommend it as a standalone. Its good enough that Id love to see this trio travel either other dimensions, or even the 616, on their own adventures, and that says quite a bit. The writing doesnt always serve the story in the best ways, but the character interactions get plenty done and the tale is paced briskly enough to keep things interesting, particularly leading into the final issue of the mini series.

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8.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #3

Apr 10, 2013

My (perhaps irrational) quibbles aside, this is still a great issue. I'm definitely feeling more of the Warren Ellis/Ed Brubaker "spycraft with superheroes" tone this time around and I hope it continues. Excellent writing coupled with great art makes this easy to recommend to anyone looking for a superhero story with fewer superpowers and a bit more finesse.

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10
Secret Avengers (2013) #4

May 8, 2013

I remember a complaint, even by some comics fans that should know better, the complaints that Hawkeye and Black Widow have no place on The Avengers when the movie was coming out. This book proves why those complaints were poorly thought out and even evidence of antiquated thinking: people like Hawkeye, Black Widow and Mockingbird go places and do missions that the likes of Captain America or Thor shouldn't or couldn't. The Avengers need to be ready for ANY threat, not just the big, obvious ones, and this book, really specifically this issue, shows the worth in having a few members on your team who know more about problem solving than "punch/blast/think at it until it goes away." If you're even slightly interested in one of the most psychologically realistic books on the shelf, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

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8.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #5

Jun 26, 2013

This book teases that things are not at all what they seem and that the next issue will touch more on the events of it, and thats a good thing because its an issue that ends with an excellent, if somewhat baffling, twist. Im hoping the explanation is something other than what is obvious (sorry to be vague, but Im tip-toeing around some major spoilers) but based on Spencers track record, things will only get more intriguing from here. This remains a premiere book for anyone looking for a superhero book that behaves more like a spy book and is a great example of how far the superhero genre can be stretched and still remain both firmly entrenched in a world of fantasy, but also one of grounded reality. The occasional artistic trip-up, and somewhat nebulous character reasonings, absolutely dont keep this book from being a recommendation to anyone looking for something a little different from their mainstream Marvel book.

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10
Secret Avengers (2013) #6

Jul 10, 2013

Despite not fighting for the continued existence of the universe itself, or fending off transdimensional invaders, this book remains one of the most tense, high-stakes superhero comics on the shelf and this issue is no exception. There's something very gratifying about a book that still stars an Avengers cast, but takes its time not only in terms of action, but in terms of some very intriguing political maneuvering. When the boardroom conversations are as intense and engaging as the in-the-field fisticuffs, you've got something very special. The book never forgets to have a sense of humor though, both acknowledging the incredible similarities between Maria Hill and Daisy Johnson's appearance as well as having Rhodey's solution to the drone problem be...well I mentioned it before, but I still can't bring myself to spoil it, you've got to see it to believe it.

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8.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #7

Aug 14, 2013

This is still one of the most interesting superhero books on the shelf by virtue of how unique and different it is from any other. It brought together a predictable, but completely appropriate, team to do what a team like that WOULD do best: espionage and a whole lot of it. Hawkeyes issues may not be as spotlighted, but the characters are still interesting and consistent and the art is still perfectly matched to the writing and does a fantastic job of establishing and maintaining and tense, thrilling tone.

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10
Secret Avengers (2013) #8

Aug 28, 2013

While the galaxy goes mad and the Earth is invaded across multiple Marvel books, its nice to have a book thats still focused solidly on a smaller, more personal story. Bobbi Morse has gotten very short-shrift since making her comeback in Secret Invasion (her reveal was treated like one of the biggest of the book), so Im glad to see someone scooped her up and is putting her back in the spotlight. Shes an interesting character with a great, modern design and I really didnt want to just see her in Avengers team shots. Nick Spencer is also the master of the well-earned cliffhanger as this issue ends on a great one just like the last issue and the one before and on and on!

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8.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #9

Sep 18, 2013

Secret Avengers remains an entertaining book with a very different story to tell, and for that reason alone (well that and the 8 great previous issues), Im willing to go along on this journey, at least for a little while. Not everything in this issue makes sense, but there are a couple of amazing, totally earned reveals that get me very, very hyped for what this series does next, and sometimes a filler issue is just a filler issue, even if it IS an entertaining one. This would also be a pretty great jumping on point as it explains a lot of the bigger concepts this book deals with as well as recapping some of its history, so if youve been meaning to check it out, by all means do so!

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10
Secret Avengers (2013) #15

Feb 12, 2014

That is a mean, mean, MEAN cliffhanger to leave us on, guys. NOT COOL! But its only as good as it is because of how great this series has been, so I guess youre okay and were all going out for ice cream. Between the minimalist writing and the fluidity of the action scenes, this book would already be an easy recommend, but the combination of wheeling and dealing and comic relief that M.O.D.O.K. provides is icing on an already delicious, nutritive cake.

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10
Secret Avengers (2013) #16

Feb 26, 2014

This was one of the most intriguing, dynamic storylines of the past year and it even had the decency to resolve itself in a satisfactory, satisfying way. The characters are hardly unscathed, but most of them may never remember exactly how they were scathed, as it were. Theres an amazing image of Maria Hill near the end of this issue where she gets a closeup that sums up so very much of this title. She knows what she has to do, but she hates that she has to do it. Thats the thinking that permeated the entire run.

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8.0
Secret Wars 2099 #1

May 27, 2015

While the above complaints might take up a lot of room in this review, but its because they require specificity, not because theyre that big of a problem. This is a good, meaty first outing that establishes stakes and introduces characters seamlessly while allowing the reader to connect with, and even care about, them right off the bat, and with how long it took the INHUMAN series to pull that off, its really impressive that this issue manages to make it work so well and so fast. There are also a couple of moments that are genuinely novel and should make for some immersive, fascinating story beats.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #2

Mar 5, 2014

This book is more than whimsy, its more than simply happy, its reveling in its own surrealism and wonderful sense of bizarre humor. The art and the writing gel perfectly to give it a weird sense of humor. She-Hulk has always been at her best when shes having fun, and even better, as a lawyer and we are 2 for 2 on that being the focus of this title. Which is precisely where it needs to be.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #3

Apr 2, 2014

This is one of the best books on the shelf if, for no other reason, than for how different from other books it is. Its a superhero book with the soul of a small, indie comedy. You can know next to nothing about Marvel continuity or characters and still easily immerse yourself in it, and while I keep seeing complaints about the visual style, its part of what makes the book so unique and it compliments it perfectly. If youre not reading this book, theres still plenty of time to hop onboard either at this issue, or by picking up the previous two.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #4

May 7, 2014

This book has one of the funniest and most earnest endings of any Ive read all year and anything that involves the description gigantic Doombot diplomacy has to be checked out. I had a good friend point out that a LOT of people have complained about Pulidos bizarre art while people seem to love All-New Ghost Riders (rightly so on the latter part). Id say its because both styles suit their respective books perfectly, but while Ghost Riders insane, kinetic visuals suit that books over-the-top action, the unreal strangeness that She-Hulk meets with a shrug is a much, much harder tone to illustrate, but Pulido does an amazing job of it. This is a very unique book that uses the medium of comics in a way that wouldn't work in any other medium.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #7

Aug 6, 2014

While Id love to have a few more questions answered, or a few more mysteries solved, its hard for me to turn down a straight-up, standalone story about unstable shrinking methods. Theres a grinning glee that permeates this entire issue and its bereft of irony or sardonic detachment. This is, very simply, an incredibly fun issue of an incredibly fun book. It doesn't apologize for that, and it brings on artistic talent to make sure that the tone is communicated in every panel. Fun books are one thing, but this feels like a fun book that was unearthed from a time capsule AND turned out to be vastly ahead of its time.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #8

Sep 3, 2014

If last issue was a delightful return to form, this one is the book settling back in for the long-haul. Its the first in an ongoing arc and Jenns back in full-time lawyer-mode, which is what this book does best. The book definitely has serious moments and takes its subject matter with the sincerity it so richly deserves, we get still more shorthand examples of the kind of person Cap is, even without his powers, but it never loses sight of making the reader smile nor having fun with its core cast.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #9

Oct 22, 2014

The buildup in this case is agonizing, particularly with the last pages reveal. A big part of that is because no ones life is actually on the line, so the case truly could go in either direction since its not a matter of a character living or dying. I have no idea how this can end or what the resolution will be, but I cant WAIT to see what it is as there are so many ways to do right by it in so many different directions.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #11

Dec 24, 2014

Whew! Quite the issue and the beginning of what looks to be a truly worthy send-off. The fight itself is fantastic, the reveals are shocking (the one at the very end is an especially great payoff for longtime fans), and the entire issue manages to feel at once whimsical and deadly serious. We even get more out of Angie and Hei-Hei! Including a rather surprising appearance from the latter that Im actually amused at the lack of shock for. She-Hulks seen a lot, and it takes quite a bit to legitimately surprise her and frankly I love how thats represented here. Its a great fight and an amazing character piece, one that should be hastily consumed by anyone whos a fan of this book.

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8.0
She-Hulk (2014) #12

Feb 18, 2015

The issues pacing troubles may be the fault of the title ending, but theyre impossible to overlook entirely. However, they also are far from ruining a solid, satisfying final issue in what was a very daring, and all too brief series. Theres a massive shake-up on the horizon, and itd be great to see this one make a comeback, but until then this is as good of an ending as one could hope for to a great run for an underappreciated character.

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8.0
Silk #1

Feb 18, 2015

This is a strong introduction to a new character, and while she may be based on a pre-existing one, at the very least that gives her a foundation for fans to already know about, and be intrigued by, her, which will hopefully lead to this book taking off. The creative team is new, but theyre incredibly strong, and it seems unlikely that anyone picking this issue up to peruse it would be able to put it back down. Its got its flaws, but those seem to mostly be giving the readers too much all at once, which is easy enough to correct. This is a solid debut for an intriguing character.

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10
Silk #2

Mar 18, 2015

Silk might be one of the most intriguing new characters to come along in a good while. Introducing her in the pages of a pre-established characters title was a good move, as it built an audience and familiarity, lessening the usual sales slump that an all-new character usually has when they launch their own solo series. Putting two relative newcomers to Marvel on the book was another calculated risk, but its paying off beautifully as theyre both talented enough to make it stand out and do something truly great and even novel, making a star from a character that could have been nothing more than also-ran.

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10
Silk #3

Apr 29, 2015

This issue solidifies this series a must-follow, marking the third consecutive high-quality mark. This creative team has found their stride in seemingly record time, presenting a character who is already compelling, fun and has a ton of room to grow in any direction, be it ultra-dramatic, whimsical, gritty, or, the most likely outcome, some combination of all those. There are few things greater than seeing potential realized, and thats what this issue is: it feels like Silk can go anywhere, and it makes the reader feel lucky for being along for the ride.

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8.0
Silk #4

May 13, 2015

Its good to start getting a sense of how others perceive Silk, particularly if shes going to be sustaining her own solo series, but its even better to start get a better sense of how she perceives herself. Theres been a lot of great reactionary events in the last three issues, but this is the first time when her sense of self really feels like its calcifying, and its making the character even more intriguing. Though the frantic pace of the issue makes it sometimes feel like she needs a breather from this breather, it still does a great job continuing her character development.

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10
Silver Surfer (2014) #6

Oct 1, 2014

Whether this becomes a series of mini-arcs in the form of various adventures or not, and whether or not thats a good thing, has yet to be seen. What I do know for sure is that this issue in particular hits a real emotional core that bookends some visually amazing whackiness. Its interesting seeing the idea of the Surfers humanity represented as something other than learning compassion or nobility, but to see him return to emotions that we have rarely, if ever, see the master of the power cosmic display. And while this is most definitely HIS title, Dawn Greenwood is fast becoming an amazing star (pun intended) in her own right, showing Surfer that theres more to life than...well surfing.

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8.0
Sinestro #1

Apr 16, 2014

Im still fond of the overall look of the issue and I love the way Sinestro is being written in it. I think this is a great title to get in the ground floor on and answers the question of how to make a book that stars a villain compelling: give him a compelling, even sympathetic, motivation. The world-building is already seizing my interest and the creative team gives us a great cliffhanger to end the issue on.

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10
Sinestro #2

May 21, 2014

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: writing a compelling villain solo title is one of the most difficult things in all of superhero comics. Making the villain compelling, while still true to its previous stories, without making it an unlikeable sociopath that sounds like its being written by an angry 13 year-old is part of the difficulty, but this book never even strays CLOSE to that territory. Sinestro may be a terrible person, but his motivations are strong and realistic and the character is written with a terrifying charisma that makes his ideas horrifically compelling. His supporting cast is strong as well and theres a threat in the shadows that seems ready to burst into the light at any moment giving us all plenty to look forward to.

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8.0
Sinestro #4

Jul 30, 2014

The characters are what have made this book great and theyre what continue to make this issue great. Sinestro has scarcely been this interesting or sympathetic in a long, long time and his Corps is now populated by more than just ravening monsters whose only question is where their next kill will come from. While those ARE still a presence, the more interesting, if off-putting, characters are getting the spotlight they have thus far earned. The plots may have its problems, but theyre more than eclipsed by the strength of this cast.

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10
Sinestro #5

Aug 27, 2014

I havent even mentioned one of my biggest previous gripes with this series that this issue handles quickly and effectively (its a spoiler, so I wont get into it), adding to its list of accomplishments. I was a fan of the title previously, but this issue elevates it in so many ways and so effectively that Id say its on the track to being a must-read. Villain books arent easy to pull off, Bunn just makes it look that way.

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10
Spider-Gwen #4

May 6, 2015

Marvel had an unexpected hit on their hands with Spider-Woman when she made her debut in Edge of Spider-Verse and theyre handling it about as well as they possibly could. These creators are putting out one of the best alternate-universe books in the last twenty years, and theyre reaping the benefits with strong sales and amazing word-of-mouth. As this first story arc begins to wrap up, things are showing little-to-no sign of slowing down.

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8.0
Spider-Man 2099 (2014) #6

Nov 26, 2014

This is what a solid tie-in should be: directly related to the big event, but able to stand on its own and tell its own good story. If youre just reading 2099, this still functions as a great story and the recap is all youll need to get caught up. If youve been reading Spider-Verse and need to grab all the tie-ins you can, this will STILL be completely natural and easy to follow. The visuals do an amazing job telling the story, and the writing has some genuinely great moments of banter and development to give it a great core. Now there may have been one or two lost moments, but this issue still stands either on its own or as a part of a larger narrative.

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6.0
Spider-Man 2099 (2014) #7

Jan 7, 2015

This issue feels like it was a filler issue where one was not called for.Knowing more about the inner-workings of the Inheritors, even if it didnt manage to find a silver bullet solution to the problem, sounded like a great time for some character building (where better to bond than over an autopsy table?) as well as some mythos-building, finally learning SOMEthing concrete about the characters. Where were left by issues end, doesnt feel like well get that opportunity, at least not within this event. The art is still great, and Im still loving the characters, especially that quick appearance by one in particular from this timeline, but regarding this issue isnt a strong entry either in the series nor the Spider-Verse event itself.

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10
Spider-Verse #1

Nov 12, 2014

If you want storyline and character development, this may not be the book for you. However, if you want a bizarre concoction of storylines and characters all based around everyones favorite wall-crawler, this truly is the book for you. There's an incredible level of creativity and imagination on-display here and it shows the many, many different directions a character can go while still having a strong, central theme. Clearly the book is constructed around having this many creators on it, but it's still admirable that with so many creators, the core of the issue is as strong as it is.

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8.0
Spider-Verse #2

Jan 14, 2015

A novelty it may be, but its a great one that manages to evoke a ton of emotion for some of these characters. Whether its righteous fury with punk-rock Spidey, a knowing chuckle at any of the more referential stories or the satisfaction of a trick well executed, the stories accomplish what they set out to do. The fact that its more cotton candy than prime rib isnt a failing, its a deliberate choice of tone.

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8.0
Spider-Verse (2015) #1

May 20, 2015

This is a very strong opening outing that manages to introduce a lot of characters while never being overwhelming, and thats very, very impressive. The visuals might not hit 100% of the time, but trading some inconsistency for a sense of real uniqueness is a bargain its easy to make and even easier to appreciate. This is a great introduction to some characters its truly good to see again in a world that seems genuinely interesting and full of a ton of a potential.

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8.0
Spider-Verse Team-Up #1

Nov 5, 2014

If youre already invested in Spider-Verse, this ones a no-brainer. It presents more of the spiders that weve already met and even introduces us to one or two more. This series is beginning to feel like a real love-letter to Spider-Fans, and this series looks to be the fan-service-est of them all. If youre on the fence about the series, or the main characters, this wont do anything to change your mind, but if all you want is more, this delivers.

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8.0
Spider-Verse Team-Up #2

Dec 10, 2014

Both of these stories are still good if not great, it just feels like there should have been more of the second one. The first one stands strongly enough that the issue is absolutely worth checking out, however, and both stand as further strengthening the characters involved in Spider-Verse. The second story is still a solid one, it just doesn't have a chance to make a real impact. The creators across the board do a great job with what theyre given, its just unfortunate that one team had much, much less space to work with.

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4.0
Spider-Verse Team-Up #3

Jan 21, 2015

This was a disappointing issue after two very, very strong ones and part of that is for how needlessly chaotic it feels. I understand that theres a certain expectation of action for mainstream superhero books, and that these only had half as much space to tell their stories as a normal issue, but both stories feel rushed and only one feels truly relevant to the characters while the other feels relevant to the plot, but neither feel relevant to both. The art winds up being uneven as a result and the whole issue suffers for it. There are definitely some cool parts and some redeeming qualities, but compared to the last two issues this one doesnt deliver. The stories in both are interesting, even worth picking up if you're as into Spider-Verse as I am, but the executions on both leave a lot to be desired.

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8.0
Spider-Woman (2014) #5

Mar 4, 2015

As far as new starts go, they dont get much better than this. Drews shed a lot of her previous attachments, giving her a real chance at a new beginning freed from a great many of the constraints, both for the character and the stories she could be involved with, of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even the Avengers. Its time for her to re-establish herself and Hopeless and Rodriguez are absolutely on the right track as far as that goes.

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10
Spider-Woman (2014) #7

May 6, 2015

A gorgeous book with a tremendous cliffhanger and a mystery thats only getting weirder. This books officially on a roll. While the slow drip of answers may be a little infuriating, it hasnt gotten to the point where its truly problematic as the characters are still well-written, the art is amazing, and, perhaps most importantly, the storyline still feels compelling. The answer to a mystery nobody cares about is irrelevant, so as long as it remains an answer worth seeking, a little patience may be called for. Hopeless hasnt let down yet, and Rodriguez, Lopez and Muntsa Vicente are finding their voices more and more every issue.

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8.0
Star Trek / Planet of the Apes #1

Dec 31, 2014

This idea is great on paper and has a solid execution. It evokes the source material, perhaps a bit too slavishly every now and then, while still telling an interesting story all its own within that framework. Plenty is left up in the air to discover, and with this as an example, I have ever confidence that itll be well worth looking into. Oh and the storyline is called The Primate Directive. That's...that's just the best.

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10
Star Wars (2013) #7

Jul 10, 2013

This book remains one of the absolute best on the shelf and must be read by any fan of Star Wars, or even science-fantasy.

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10
Star Wars (2013) #8

Aug 14, 2013

If youre a Star Wars fan, new or old, theres no reason not to pick this book up. Start at the beginning so you can claim you were here all along, because this book is going to be one that is remembered years from now as one of the best pieces of Star Wars media ever released. That may sound hyperbolic, but I assure you this book earns every word of praise Ive heaped upon it by not only overcoming incredible odds AS a Star Wars Expanded Universe title, but being a great comic book in its own right. Highest recommendation, even if youre not a fan theres enough intrigue and interesting (and new) characters to turn heads.

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8.0
Star Wars (2013) #12

Dec 11, 2013

If the above was vague, its only because I still wholeheartedly endorse this book as both an amazing addition to the Star Wars Universe and a great sci-fi story in its own right. You could change the names of all the pre-existing characters and still have a magnificent story, but the fact that its a familiar, beloved universe actually makes it all the more amazing.

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6.0
Star Wars (2013) #18

Jun 11, 2014

While this may not have been my favorite issue of the series, it was a good end to a great arc that still leaves me looking forward to whatever Wood and company want to bring next. While it isnt free of fault, if youve been following the story, you owe it to yourself to see how this one ends. The big moments are well worth the price and the flaws still dont outweigh the issue's many strengths.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #3

Mar 25, 2015

The formula this issue follows is still an effective one, and heres to hoping that this isnt Doctor Aphra, or her droids, sole appearances in this new, exciting Star Wars Universe. They may not be the most original of characters, but that doesnt mean theyre not any fun, and this issue does a great job introducing them to us. Vaders goals are becoming grander and grander, and its going to be interesting to see how this ties back into the Original Trilogy (if at all) or how he keeps it all under wraps.

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10
Star Wars: Darth Vader #4

Apr 8, 2015

This issue feels like it picks up the pace of the series perfectly, finally calcifying Vaders main plan while checking in with one or two of the loose threads that had been left in the form of the bounty hunters. This feels like a clinic on how to write a great villain book: Vaders obviously not a GOOD person, but Gillen and Larroca make him a COMPELLING one. He often traded on pure cool-factor, but this series seems intent on making him an actual, thinking, complex person.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #5

May 13, 2015

The second reveal at the end of the issue is shocking enough to render the first almost irrelevant, but this is still a solid, great issue featuring some amazing action and even a few chuckles. Unless the ball is entirely dropped next issue, this storyline will have been one of the best, if not the best, in Darth Vaders comic book story history. The combination of character development, power utilization and great new characters have all been building to this issue, and while the payoff is a little uneven, it still feels like the journey has been worth it.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #6

Jun 3, 2015

Its a rare stumble in what is otherwise a fantastic issue. Its always interesting when a creative team effectively reminds the reader that Darth Vader was the same person as Anakin Skywalker from the prequels. Its surprisingly easy to view those as totally separate movies, and Gillen and Larocca are excellent at giving glimpses, in the form of brief flashbacks, to Vaders past. And, of course, when news of his present reaches him, the book reaches a wonderful fever pitch of intensely satisfying emotional moments culminating with a giant question mark practically begging to see whats next.

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8.0
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1

Apr 30, 2014

Im so very intrigued by this issue and by this books mission statement in general. A book that explores the darker, non-force related side of the Star Wars universe is something I 100% endorse as it makes the universe far, far more interesting. As much as I love the Jedi and Sith, the entire universe rotating on the axis of what theyre up to can get a little dull, particularly as it often results in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE being at stake, so a book focusing on a more intimate story is just what I wanted to see. The Rebellion might be known for their massive victories, but Im intrigued by the small plots that made those victories possible as well.

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8.0
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #2

May 28, 2014

Im absolutely willing to stick with and recommend this story on the hope of what the code could be AND because the next issue features Chewie as its agent and, quite frankly, who can resist a nice Wookie spycraft story? NO ONE, THATS WHO! Beyond that, this is a great issue examining a less-seen side of the Star Wars saga and continuing to show the seemy underbelly in an interesting, dynamic way with a TON of story potential. Its also very, very cool to see Leia on her own building on and adding to her well-deserved reputation across the genre.

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10
Supergirl (2011) #23

Aug 21, 2013

Supergirl has gone from forgettable and even skippable to a must-read. This arc with the morphing planet and the Cyborg Superman is one of the most interesting in all her history, not just the New-52, and while I dont blame the previous writers for what seemed to be an event-driven book, I certainly praise the current one for what hes accomplishing. And again, the artist isnt the one advertised, and certainly isnt the ONE anything, but theyre all still great and make this book visually incredible. Whether youre a fan of the character, or just been reticent about the previous arcs, this book is well worth checking out and picking up.

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8.0
Supergirl (2011) #24

Oct 16, 2013

The complaint is a slight one and doesnt stop the character from remaining as well-written as shes ever been, striking out and forging her own, distinct, path for herself, away from her more well-known cousin. Thats been the true joy of Nelsons (admittedly short) run so far: watching Kara forge her own identity. Theres a shake-up in the mix soon, so I hope its a trend that continues, but for now, this is an excellent issue to end an arc on.

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4.0
Supergirl (2011) #26

Dec 18, 2013

Supergirls a weird, tricky character. She cant just be Superman With a Y Chromosome because it defeats the purpose, but making her fret and hem and haw every decision certainly isnt the right answer, it just turns her into Overly Emotional Superman. I feel like I may have been too hard on this particular issue because it followed a truly great run, but its hard not to be after the character made SUCH progress and development, particularly in the issues leading up to and including Cyborg Superman. I truly hope the next few issues develop her character more.

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4.0
Supergirl (2011) #28

Feb 19, 2014

Theres a good match for this concept hiding somewhere in this book, but its buried pretty deep at this point. Kara would actually stand out MORE in the Red Lanterns in the state that shes in for being so completely defined by a single personality trait: her anger. She needs more than that as both an amazing legacy character and the protagonist of her own series. Theres such a rush to show how angry she is this issue that they neglect to show us why we should care.

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8.0
Superior Carnage #1

Jul 17, 2013

It feels strange to criticize a #1 issue for being too introductory, but this issue manages. I dont want to harp on that fact too much though, as its still a great issue and well worth reading if, for no other reason, than to see villains try to tame the savage beast that Carnage has become. The final page even makes a villain who is C-list at best look threatening, menacing and a powerhouse villain, so that deserves some definite credit. Im very, very interested in seeing where this book is going.

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8.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #3

Sep 4, 2013

Exposition it may be, but it is HIGHLY entertaining exposition and this is, ultimately, a book where not a lot happens, so it isnt like we missed out on some giant, cosmic battle for the fate of the world. Still, the pacing still suffers to some extent and Id have liked to see more of Abner and Fred interacting in the present. The book is still great enough to be easily recommendable to anyone looking to brighten the mood of the often grim and grimy comics that regularly line the shelf. This ones close to the street, but its got a lot of heart and a whole lotta laughs and, as I said last week, its always a treat to see how the other side of the law lives in a superhero universe.

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10
Superior Spider-Man #14

Jul 24, 2013

This issue opens with a narration from a citizen of Hells Kitchen whos had to adapt to life underneath the Kingpins ever-present shadow, and it gives the reader an excellent view of why people would support such an extreme action against Fisk. This isnt the Spider-Man were used to, so it makes sense hed have different methods for dealing with a villain of this caliber, and while some fans may balk at people just giving him a pass, when we see into the minds and eyes of the civilians forced to live under the boot of a known criminal overlord, it begins to make more sense why theyd support this new Spider-Man. But Slott isnt letting Octavius off the hook, as this book shows, and its becoming increasingly clear that the superiority of this Spider-Man may, indeed, only be his own declaration.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #33

Sep 17, 2014

This is one of the most interesting Spider-Man books on the shelf right now. Im absolutely thrilled to see the return or more accurately follow-up, of one of my favorite villains we havent heard a peep from in almost ten years. Its also a great juxtaposition seeing Superior Spidey on the shelf at the same time as Amazing and seeing the massive differences between the two.

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10
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2

Aug 14, 2013

Absolutely amazing. This was a book that exactly and precisely lived up to the hype I had for it, and in fact surpassed it in many ways. Even without the shared past of Octavius and Kaine, this wouldve been an interesting read, but WITH that past? Its suddenly catapulted into the stratosphere of interest for me since now the two of them have a shared past that only ONE of them knows about! And one of the best ways to generate suspense and interest is to let the audience in on something the characters are unaware of, which this book realizes and executes on perfectly.

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8.0
Superman (2011) #33

Jul 23, 2014

A return to form isnt the worst thing that could happen to the Man of Steel, and doing it in this way is certainly going to be a big help. A team of top-tier creators with total creative control and freedom could be just the shot in the arm that Supermans needed, and with a support network like the one weve seen here, theres nowhere for him to go but up. Up. And away.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #24

Oct 2, 2013

I ultimately like the new direction Swamp Thing has taken. There are only so many times you can threaten all of existence and the universe through weird time/dimensional travel and have it be impactful in a book like this, so Im glad things have mellowed somewhat in terms of the more grand consequences. Things are still, of course, highly meaningful to Alec Holland, but its much more his story than the story of the entire DCU. Im also a big fan of the newly introduced Capucine. Shes a very unusual character to be appearing in a mainstream comic, and I hope that she continues to develop and be central to the storyline.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #25

Nov 6, 2013

Im still enjoying Soules take on the character very much and I still very much recommend this issue if, for no other reason, than I feel like it has a very novel take on the characters powerset and some absolutely incredible visuals to back it up. The problem I list above is definitely one of long-term that could be solved gradually issue-to-issue, making this easily recommendable.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #26

Dec 4, 2013

Im still happy learning more about this mysterious antagonist, and what Ive learnt I absolutely love. Id have actually been happen if this book had been nearly all flashback as opposed to cutting back and forth as the characters history, and tragic fall, is gripping in a very unexpected way. Its always nice to see a villain with an interesting motivation, and this is a great take on a common one, elevating it expertly.

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10
Swamp Thing (2011) #27

Jan 8, 2014

This books finally gotten the injection of life and vigor it was so sorely missing. And while not everything is perfect in the land of the Green, its a great time to pick up one of the most bizarrely compelling books on the shelf. Ive previously complained that the book was beginning to feel too grounded in reality, but this issue, has blown that away and returned it to the grandiose vision of surreal strangeness that it feels like it was always meant to be.

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8.0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #45

Apr 29, 2015

There still look to be some interesting, long-lasting changes for what happened last issue carrying on with this one, even if they aren't AS grim as they at first appeared, which helps to balm what feels at first like a total fake out. The writing and art are also strong enough to tell a solid, compelling story driven by its characters, which also goes a long way to helping the swerve not come off as a total gimmick. This is still one of the best comics at balancing its light-heartedness with gritty drama, and while its hard to entirely agree with the direction this issue takes, its easy to see the quality of the creative team shine through.

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8.0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #46

May 27, 2015

This issue might be more establishing and building than delivering, but it really does feel like its building to something fantastic. Thereve been enough great stories told in this universe that it doesnt need to prove itself fully issue after issue, but theres still something to be said for taking a breather when a breather is called for. Still, pushing forward cant be all bad, and this issue certainly isnt as the various factions begin to gear up for what looks like will be their final confrontation. This issue is a good one leading to what will hopefully be a great one.

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6.0
Ten Grand #5

Nov 6, 2013

I never noticed it before, but this book is very reminiscent of Hellblazer, and thats definitely not a bad thing. It has a different tone, but a very similar protagonist and very similar ideas, but Joe Fitzgerald is more likeable, in many ways, than John Constantine. This is to praise the writing and characterizations that remain strong in the face of this artistic shift. It isnt that the art is bad, Id actually love to see C.P. Smith on a story that was originally intended for his particular skillset, but I have to say that this feels like a stand-in issue from a visual perspective. Its still worth checking out, but be aware of what youre getting into.

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6.0
Thanos Rising #2

May 1, 2013

I generally enjoy Jason Aaron's writing, but this one was never going to be an easy nut to crack. The origins of Thanos' obsession with Death was already a long-shot to be a worthwhile payoff so late after the character was first introduced, and I'm not saying that there need to be a massive conspiracy or that Thanos had to emerge from the story as a truly sympathetic character, but this is one time a little bit of psychological unrealism could have been appreciated. Honestly? With all of his past misdeeds, this origin probably does make sense on paper, but the revelation that Thanos is flawed in that specific way, such a "standard" way, is a little disappointing. The story's not over, things could change, but what this issue revealed could have been left unsaid and conjectured about it. Answers in fiction are only necessary if they suit how interesting the question is, and that's simply not the case here.

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6.0
Thanos Rising #3

Jun 5, 2013

Ive said before that Im a huge fan of both Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi, and that continues to hold true, but this book is a rare misstep. Not only is it rote in its execution, it doesnt really add anything to Thanos as a character. Knowing what we now know doesnt give us a better understanding of him, either as a man or as a villain and the book is beginning to feel like Dexter in Space with a lot of its tropes. This issue still grinds by on the strength of the art, but unless the next two are absolutely astounding, I cant see what the purpose of this book has been, and thats the thing at the end of the day: the books not BAD by any stretch, its just not adding much.

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10
The Fearless Defenders #7

Jul 31, 2013

Without going into TOO much detail, I will say that I love that this issue brings back a trope from old Thor comics and applies it to Valkyrie in a way that is far more interesting than even the original was. This is definitely an issue that focuses on Val and Dr. Riggs (though Misty Knight DOES appear at the end), but with how last issue ended, there really weren't many other options, so I'm absolutely willing to accept that and go along for the ride. I'm also happy that the one new character introduced in this series isn't just relegated to Redshirt status by the end of the first arc, but seems like she's going to stick around. This is a great point to start getting into Fearless Defenders (but by all means, check out the last arc as well).

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6.0
The Fearless Defenders #11

Nov 13, 2013

This book still has a lot of great potential and is still quite a bit of fun to read, but it needs to get a clear, coherent statement of intent in terms of tone and certainly in terms of cast. There are eight people on this team, and Id have trouble naming all eight, let alone telling you why theyre on the team or what their central motivation is. Im not saying comics should just use the same characters over and over, far from it, but if youre going to have a wide, diverse cast, the book cant lose sight of large chunks of them for entire issues at a time. I still think this is a good book, but it desperately needs some solid direction.

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10
The Multiversity #2

Apr 29, 2015

As bizarre and out-there as this issue is, it's strange to say it's one of Morrison's most comprehensible and accessible, though that doesn't make it EASY. It's a book that needs to be read as quickly as possible for the meaning to sink in, then backtracked on and really enjoyed, but the story itself is actually straightforward and it comes to an enormously satisfying, exciting conclusion. It's hard to say why THIS difficult-to-fully-understand title stands out from others, but there's something very, very special about it that makes it the perfect endings to a truly bizarre journey.

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8.0
The Multiversity: The Just #1

Oct 22, 2014

Grant Morrison has, apparently, had the idea for MULTIVERSITY floating around the aether of his brain for quite some time, and it seems like its been worth the wait. The concepts introduced here are so profoundly interesting on their face that the only truly disappointing thing is with the issues length and one-shot format. The visuals are perfect at communicating exactly what this book is all about, both on the surface and under and its still a story worth reading and a world worth exploring, even if nothing else is done with it, it sounds corny, the ideas and imaginings it conjures are worth the ride on their own.

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10
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4

Apr 22, 2015

This is a title that puts the laughs well before things like plot, though character development also takes a front seat in the list of priorities. This title is underrated in its ability to generate human characters, even if they might not be the most realistic, that would actually feel disingenuous in an issue thats going for smiles and laughs more than pathos and introspection. The meta beginning alone is worth it AND perfectly communicates what the issue, and the book at large, is all about.

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8.0
The Wake #4

Sep 25, 2013

Were only four issues in, so having unanswered questions isnt unacceptable at this point and what the book gets right it gets very, very, VERY right. Through all the confusion weve got an amazing plot with absolutely fantastic creatures alongside an intriguing set of mysteries. The art is perfectly complementary and creates an atmosphere at once oppressive, claustrophobic, and absolutely terrifying.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #126

Apr 23, 2014

This is a very worthy, very appropriate end to this epic arc, even if it wasnt without flaws. As far as comic book endings go, its about as great as we could hope for and it sets up innumerable directions for the series to go from here. So take a breather, creators, you earned it and I absolutely cannot wait to see where the series goes next.

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8.0
The Wicked + The Divine #6

Dec 17, 2014

Though it can sometimes overpower itself, I am still adoring this book just like one of the gods in it would want me to. The visuals are beautiful, the characters are nuanced and the story its telling is part slice of life and part apocalyptic epic without causing a feeling of cognitive dissonance that often comes with such disparate stories and tones. Its a book with a wide appeal, but its also a very, very slow burn (as evidenced by the fact that very, very little actually HAPPENS this issue) but its always going somewhere and its been worth the trip so far.

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10
The Witcher #1

Mar 19, 2014

Even if youre not a fan of the Witcher media already, I think theres a lot in this book to enjoy, but if you are, this is a must-buy. Either way, if youre onboard for a tale of dark, tragic fantasy youll find something to enjoy here. The main character may not quite resonate for those who dont already know what hes about, but Jakob helps ease things along by giving the reader someone to immediately relate to and the monsters and setting makes this book unlike many others on the shelf.

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8.0
The Witcher #4

Jun 18, 2014

This is an absolutely great addition to the Witcher mythos, and with the most recent English translated novel marred by a dicey translation, its easily my highest recommendation to fans of Geralt who need to get a quick, easy fix. The writing and art might stumble occasionally, but the flaws are far from ruined and vastly eclipsed by the issues strengths. This book perfectly sets up a tense finale that I already cant wait to read.

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10
The Witcher #5

Jul 16, 2014

There are enough twists, turns and amazing dialog to easily forget the books few flaws and make it a worthwhile edition to any fans library. It might require some research, but frankly the world of The Witcher is vast and fascinating enough to make that research a great deal of fun. With the third game in the trilogy coming out and the third novel having a disappointing translation, this issue concludes a tale that was needed and, moreover, appreciated.

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8.0
The Witcher: Fox Children #1

Apr 1, 2015

This is a no-brainer for fans of general lore who STILL havent had their fill before the next massive videogame release for Geralt. While its doubtful this will tie directly into it, Querio and Tobin get the characters and setting well enough to give fans plenty to enjoy, though newcomers may want to seek out either the first book or even game, as the comic becomes far, far more enjoyable with that context already established.

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10
Thor: God of Thunder #9

Jun 12, 2013

I have a hard time defining what, exactly, it is about this book that draws me to it, but theres definitely something and it is a STRONG pull. I now realize the last two issues, which I wasnt as fond of, werent dragging, they were leading. Specifically, leading up to this issue which, if I havent made it crystal clear, is nothing short of astounding. Its always been tricky to find villains worthy of Thors godlike power, but Gorr is one of the best, and most compelling, ever and this issue represents the culmination of so many disparate elements coming together perfectly that I have to recommend it to anyone looking for a truly legendary book.

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8.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #8

Apr 17, 2013

Thunderbolts, as a title, has a difficult task in the Marvel Universe: a team of legitimate killers with really only one traditional "hero" (ironically Venom, of all people) in their ranks, but the book has to sustain likability of the characters, or it risks treading into Suicide Squad territory, which is a fine concept for a book, but not really what Thunderbolts is all about. What's even more impressive is Daniel Way giving the characters unexpected depth beyond what's expected of them: Punisher and Elektra finding something in each other beyond "the kill," Deadpool's surprisingly tragic heartbreak at that situation, General Ross actually back in a position of leadership, and Venom as the surprising moral center of the group. This issue's also a great jumping-on point as it's the start of a whole new story arc.

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8.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #12

Jul 3, 2013

Luckily I love the Castle/Natchios dynamic, so this issue was great for me to read, and while I may have complained about Dillons art in the past, his strengths are definitely on full display here. His strengths are for drawing ugly people doing ugly things, and this issue is concerned with nothing else. Soule does such a seamless job that I actually was only barely aware he hadnt been writing this series the entire time! Pick this up if you like the Punisher, or if you want to see the Thunderbolts team dynamic take a seismic shift.

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10
Thunderbolts (2012) #16

Oct 2, 2013

Im not one of those people, though, I think this title strikes the perfect action/comedy balance. Its like Tango & Cash or Legend of the Drunken Master: the humor is just as integral to the tone and storytelling as the action and plot. Its a great book to pick up and just have fun with, and its a very easy one to jump onto thanks to how straightforward the plot is and how well the recap page covers everything you need to know. Comedy is one of the hardest things for a nonverbal medium to do well, but Soule has shown a real knack for it, keeping one of the more underappreciated tenants of Thunderbolts charging ahead.

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10
Thunderbolts (2012) #17

Oct 23, 2013

Just when I was ready to get a little bored with the mobster subplot, Soule goes and makes it interesting by adding a twist from the Infinity storyline itself and Im back to being interested. Theres definitely a lot to this book, and I can understand why its not necessarily for everyone, but for my money, its tough to find a better melding of comedy and action in Marvels pantheon, and very few books in comics in general can accomplish it. If youre ready to not take some very serious characters very seriously, its an easy recommend.

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10
Thunderbolts (2012) #20.NOW

Jan 15, 2014

This book remains one of pure, violent fun. Its not so vicious as to need warnings, other than for those who cant handle any kind of humor with their dead serious characters. The art is over-the-top enough to suit the satirical nature of the book, and anytime this team travels in a van, it perfectly communicates the kind of team they are. They dont have a Quinjet, they dont even have a super-practical Quinjetta, they have a van. Theyre the antihero supergroup and if they were a band, theyd be playing amazing fairground shows.

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8.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #25

Apr 23, 2014

This book gets brutally violent in a way that even previous issues had barely scratched the surface. We get at least one on-panel death of a squadmate that is horrific and the implied deaths of two more (though this being comics that is, of course, very up in the air), but theres still plenty of room for a chuckle here and there, even if its a dark chuckle. At someone elses expense. Someone named Deadpool. This is a great character-development issue, and I hope these changes stick around.

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6.0
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1

Jul 31, 2013

With a classic team tackling it, I have to assume this book is intended for fans of Tom Strong, of which I do not count myself. I've never intentionally avoided the series, just never got around to it and at this point I wish I had because this seems like it'd be an amazing homecoming for die-hard fans. I wish I counted myself among their number, as I would very much LIKE to love this book, but even without the background, it introduces so many varied characters and immediate, emotional plotting that even an outsider like me can identify with.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #6

Apr 10, 2013

I honestly have no idea where Remender is going with this storyline, but I'm on-board with whatever it is if it means more of what I've read here. The story is, again, completely believable in terms of an "untold tale of Thor" and does a great job of bringing together two characters that often interact with completely disparate teams in a way that feels not only genuine, but even a little bit fresh.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #7

Apr 24, 2013

The points above do little to muddy what is a fantastic issue. I think my problem with the first four or five parts of Remender's run was that there was a severe dearth of character moments and team interactions, which are still so critical even in massive, galactic-level throwdowns. Otherwise we, the readers, aren't simply won't be invested, no matter how cool everything looks. That won't be a problem if these two issues are any indication. Remender tells the story and builds characters with such an economy and effeciency that even a few pages per character is enough to give us a window into their thoughts.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #8AU

May 22, 2013

This is easily my favorite Age of Ultron tie-in. The dialog is brisk, the art jumps and the story it tells actually develops the villains from the main universe. We get to learn exactly how and why the Apocalypse Twins became as ruthless as they did and it's very interesting seeing them behaving a bit more naively and even a little compassionately at times. They're written in this book as though they actually WERE children, which is in stark contrast to their dour, almost funereal tone in the main Uncanny Avengers storyline. This book is worth picking up whether or not you care about Age of Ultron.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #9

Jun 19, 2013

This continues to be a must-read book, so if you decided to drop it after the first arc, feel free to come on back. The characterizations are great, and it has SO MUCH of it for a team book, but the real strength lies in the ways these characters interact with each other. Since theyre so clearly defined and consistent, the good times and the bad ones all make sense and all enhance the greater narrative of the book. That coupled with the absolutely incredible art makes this one of my quickly climbing favorite books.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #10

Jul 24, 2013

Even a lot of meandering can't eclipse what is a great read and some amazing characterizations. Remender expertly juggles each and every character, ensuring that most, if not all, have at least a few moments in the spotlight, which makes this an easy book to recommend as there's almost certainly someone in here you'll wind up liking.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #11

Aug 28, 2013

The above complaints stand, but this is still a highly entertaining and well-crafted issue. The action may be stiff, but the individual panels are still gorgeous and sometimes a book needs a nice, stable holding pattern issue. Im definitely still anxious to see what happens in the future of this book, especially with the last few pages here, and cant wait to read more, but this particular one felt like it was dragging its feet. That said, its still an absolutely great book and well worth picking up.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #13

Oct 23, 2013

I dont know what the future holds for this title, but this issue is still an absolutely great one. I didnt even mention Wasp and Havok taking down Dark Banshee in the opening pages, and its one of the best scenes in there. This books transformation from a concerning trend to a must-read is one of the most gratifying in Marvel NOW and an absolute joy to see. Rick Remender was one of my favorite writers, between X-Force and Fear Agent, with a solid Secret Avengers run, and its great to see his talents continue in a high-profile team book. Daniel Acua, Ive mentioned before, was an unlikely choice for a high-science fiction styled traditional superhero book, but hes worked out to a tee, proving himself an extremely versatile artist, and whether or not my concerns wind up having any weight, this is still a great issue with some incredible moments.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #15

Dec 18, 2013

This book is an incredibly intense experience and I enjoy the continuing notion of Captain America being reticent or even unable to give up the reins of leadership and the team doesnt cohere as well as others, but thats part of the appeal. These are people with wildly different views on the world and it makes sense that they wouldnt see eye-to-eye on everything. We also get more absolutely gruesome visuals from the newly risen Sentry, which are gloriously gut-churning. I also love how a ton of these events are tied back to the very start of all these in ways both subtle and overt.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #17

Feb 26, 2014

Forget continuity, forget the whys and whens and just imagine what the NEXT issue of this title is going to be. I have scarcely been more excited for a mainstream superhero book because before I didnt know what was going to happen next, but I was sure it would all work out. Now I just dont know whats going to happen next.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #18.NOW

Mar 26, 2014

This is an incredible start to what will, no doubt, be a very strange arc. Theres a goal theyre working toward that will, of course, undo the horrific events of last issue, but it was something that was planned and telegraphed last issue, so it doesnt feel like the author is pulling a solution out of the ether for the sake of having a shocking finale that only gets undone later. Everything feels like it fits together and this has been the story that was going to get told from its introduction in issue #6.

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10
Uncanny Avengers #20

May 28, 2014

I love that weve spent awhile in this timeline, and I actually wouldnt have minded spending even MORE time in it if wed been given the chance. Perhaps we will at some later time, but for now it seems like well be leaving and its a testament to the strength of the storytelling that I cant wait for that either.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #21

Jun 25, 2014

While the issue may get to its end too quickly, what an absolutely jaw-dropping end it is. Remender managed to answer one cliffhanger with an even grander, more chest-tightening one. Im back to having absolutely no idea whats coming next and, while I wouldve liked to have gotten there just bit more slowly, I am fully onboard with whatever Remender has planned forwhat will likely be an incredible, stunning conclusion. Acua does his heaviest lifting yet, along with White, holds the issue up high and proud with some of the most dramatic, kinetic visuals of the week.

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10
Uncanny Avengers Annual #1

Apr 30, 2014

This is still an annual and, rather than being a jumping-on point, this annual decides to fly the opposite direction and go completely mad. We get to see the roster weve come to know and love as well as a whole new Avengers group that may be a one-off, but I for one would love to see more of (even if its literally the least marketable group ever assembled). This book is, ultimately, a hilarious and, at times, frighteningly accurate satire of both the comic book industry and media in general, as well as the media surrounding the media and...if I keep going on like this, am I play INTO its narrative, or am I hanging a lantern on it?

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #4

Apr 10, 2013

It's only been four issues, so perhaps my problem with the pacing isn't fully warranted, but this book almost feels supplemental. It's amazingly well-written and well-drawn supplement, so for now it's still easy to recommend, but I'm hoping they cut to the chase in the next issue or two. It really did bother me that they just casually revealed the All-New X-Men cliffhanger, but to be fair, those two things are the only things that kept the book from being a perfect 5. I can't stress enough how much I hope these new characters are sticking around for the long-run as I've come to absolutely love each and every one of them in a very, VERY brief time.

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10
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #5

Apr 24, 2013

Uncanny X-Men has been an unstable, but always great, title, but this arc feels like they're finally going to start breaking new ground and setting the team's place in the Marvel Universe.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #7

Jun 26, 2013

Minor quibbles aside, this book still stands as a great example of balancing style with characters. Irvings terrifying visuals somehow find a home in a story about mutant children learning how to use their powers, and Bendis writing remains solidly focused on giving each character their moment, however fleeting. Despite rehashing a contrivance that has gone from almost-never used to being dangerously close to over-used, I am fascinated to see where the story goes and cant wait to pick up the next issue.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #8

Jul 10, 2013

We get some great pay-off by the end of the issue, so the fact that its not the strongest in the series is of little consequence as its still excellent. I always like to see new or formerly-second string characters get their time to shine and Bendis is one of the best in the biz at doling out those moments to those characters (remember Luke Cage BEFORE Bendis?? Me either, Sweet Christmas!) in a way that still seems organic and in keeping with the rules of the established universe. Chris Bachalo returning is just icing on an already filling and delicious cake as he sinks his teeth back into the characters he helped establish with appropriate gusto. Pacing issues can easily be ignored in the case of an issue this strong, and I still heartily recommend this book.

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10
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #10

Aug 14, 2013

Its a matter of quality over quantity at a certain point, and while this book may not be the lengthiest read in single-issue form, its absolutely gorgeous to behold and experience. This is an issue that I practically lost myself in, which is why it was so jarring when it was suddenly over, but its one of the most immaculately paced of the week, so its little surprising when it abruptly ends. The experience is well worth it, though, and I am on the edge of my seat for the next issue.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #15.INH

Dec 11, 2013

What there is of the girls night, especially of Emma Frost, is absolutely hilarious and joyous, and the art is glorious to behold from cover-to-cover, so this is still a book worth picking up whether or not you care about Inhumanity or Infinity. Bendis has a knack for writing characters, especially those on the B-list level and those whove gotten ignored or overlooked in previous books. Plus, theres a new character trying to bond with her teammates, and its handled very, very well. Even though it has plenty of larger plot, this is ultimately a very fun issue thats a great jump-on point for the book in general.

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10
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #19.NOW

Mar 19, 2014

This issue does a great job of illustrating why this is still my favorite of all the X-books. Its got a great, well-written cast featuring tons of new characters and some of my favorites of old, and some of the most consistently great art out there. This issue is a great place to jump on and, minor plot quibbles aside, is a glorious celebration of a straight-ahead superhero story.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #20

Apr 16, 2014

This is a fine issue in a strong title, and Im not ready to throw in the towel by a LONG shot (19 great issues VS 1 merely good one isnt so bad). The characters are still fascinating and the art is still, mostly, amazing, but the plot itself needs a shot in the arm that Im hoping next issue will bring. This is a lot of setup, and I'm normally okay with that, but it feels like it comes after a great deal MORE setup, and it feels time to deliver. This is a piece of the puzzle, but its a minor one.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #22

Jun 18, 2014

The ending of this arc is somewhat weak, but only in comparison to how great the rest of it was and this certainly isnt a BAD issue. Im not sure if it was cut short to make way for an Original Sin tie-in or if it was always the plan to have it end on such an abrupt note, but either way thats the ending we get. The art is still worth gawking at, the few flaws absolutely do not ruin it, and the characters are as well-written as they ever have been, particularly the one or two who get a new lease and a new outlook on life. I cant wait to see where these characters go, and despite my misgivings, I absolutely cant wait for the Original Sin tie-in as secrets are something this team has no shortage of.

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10
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #23

Jul 16, 2014

This is definitely the start of something much, much larger and Im incredibly impressed with how well Bendis and Anka juggle and unite all these disparate themes and storylines, making all but one of them relevant to the immediate storyline. The one thats left out will almost certainly become more relevant later. The characters in this issue are the real reason to read it, and theyre very, very worth it. Even for someone like me who absolutely loves what Cyclops has become, I can still delight in him being taken down a peg or two, particularly when its well deserved and well observed.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #29

Dec 24, 2014

After the UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL (the second half of which came out today as the ALL-NEW X-MEN ANNUAL), I think Eva Bell has the potential to be a serious contender for one of the best new characters of the year, regardless of where this issue or even storyline takes her. We get more great developments from the other characters, as well as some pretty shocking plot points to go with them that a weak last few pages dont even come close to eclipsing. Theres a reason this book consistently rates as my favorite X-title on the shelf, and this issue is a great example of that: even when its not perfect, its still a great read.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #30

Jan 28, 2015

Time travel is one of the least effective tropes in fiction because it requires so much mental gymnastics, or writing stuff off as it works because it does, and it becomes ESPECIALLY problematic in mainstream superhero books where its been too often use as a magic wand to fix a seemingly unfixable situation. That this issue still holds up is a testament to how passionately the characters are written and how beautiful the visuals are. Its unclear where this story is going, but as long as these characters (and a creative team of this quality) are leading the way, it should be worth the journey.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #31

Feb 18, 2015

This issue, and a great deal of this story arc, trade on small moments. Moments between characters, moments of reactions, moments when we learn what makes these people tick and thats a good thing. The visuals are still beyond reproach and the characters are fantastic, but the story itself is weak, and while its far from irredeemable, it definitely leaves a sour taste in ones mouth.

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10
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #34

May 20, 2015

Even though it feels abrupt, this is still a taut, evenly paced (riiiight up until the last few pages) issue that leaves the reader wanting more, but not unsatisfied in the least. Its great to see Bendis going back to Dazzler, particularly in the wake of her recent transformation and the tendency of X-Books to lose track of their characters, what with the massive cast that each book tends to sport, making this catch-up even more satisfying. Anka and Gracias art makes what could have been a dry, or perfunctory issue bristle with tension and life and the result is one of the better standalone issues this book has received in a long time. The new recruits are in an interesting place by issues end and it makes one genuinely curious as to whats to come in their future.

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10
Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #3

Apr 16, 2014

I might not agree entirely with the tonal shift of its titular character, but I cant argue with the quality of the storytelling. I know this is listed as a limited series, but I am hoping that it kicks off a series of standalone vignettes centering around various encounters with Winter Soldier. Marvel could use an injection of pure pulp and this book seems well-positioned to deliver just that, and there are still plenty of stories to be told.

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10
Wolf Moon #2

Jan 7, 2015

Even mini-series need some establishment, and this one works most, if not all, the time. Maybe its because werewolves never seem to get a fair shake in pop culture so they haven't become tiresome, but seeing something truly interesting and novel done with an underappreciated, long-running monster is a true breath of fresh air to the genre and the medium of comics. The mythology getting established is a fascinating one, though I have no clue how much will actually be filled in by the end, and Im not positive I WANT all of it to be cut-and-dry. Whatever happens, this issue is a tremendously enjoyable ride and helps cement this book as one well worth checking out if youre at all interested in seeing a new approach to an old favorite.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men (2014) #2

Mar 19, 2014

Last issue was an amazing debut from a stellar creative team and this continues a lot of that momentum. Theyre not reinventing the wheel, but theyre producing a consistently great product and have brought the focus squarely back on the students with the teachers as more of a support staff role, which feels like a step in the right direction. With so many X-books on the shelf, its critical to make each titles focus justify its existence, and this book is so far two for two on that.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #23.1

Sep 18, 2013

There are definitely some pacing and content issues, but the book is still ultimately very well written and makes me really hope that we'll be seeing a lot more of Cheetah in the future. The art makes this book extremely easy to recommend, but the writing is no slouch either and does a great job of illustrating a character who isn't exactly sympathetic, but she's definitely well and realistically motivated, which goes a long way to making her more fleshed out and, more importantly, interesting to read and follow. It's always great when a B-lister makes it to the A-list, so let's hope that's the case here.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #23.2

Sep 25, 2013

It may not be the most unique tale ever told, but this is still one helluvan issue and its worth checking out for any fan of Wonder Woman as it seems like this particular fellow is going to be playing a pretty substantial role moving forward. The art is definitely a contributing factor to this recommendation as it captures the epic, mythic, glorious scale of this story of gods and bastards.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #25

Nov 20, 2013

This book continues to be a breath of fresh air not just in the New 52 but across superhero comics in general. As weve seen several excellent meldings of sci-fi and superhero, this book perfectly melds the fantasy genre with it, and thats a great deal tougher in my opinion. This is a great jumping-on issue for anyone whos been curious whether the book is worth checking out.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #34

Oct 1, 2014

This is a great example of how to build to a finale. The pieces are all on the board, theres a great, suspenseful cliffhanger, characters have undergone their arcs, but the solution to the central conflict is still very, very up in the air. Regardless of what that solution winds up being, Azarello and Chiang (as well as Wilson) will have solidified a concrete legacy for one of DCs more popular, oldest characters.

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10
X-Factor #254

Apr 17, 2013

X-Factor is at its best when the storyline is appropriately small-stakes to accommodate the fact that the team is more about dynamic and characters than about giant battles and ridiculous power-levels. Unfortunately, the roster has swelled to massive levels over the last couple of years and the storylines have had to swell to meet it, but very fortunately, the characterization has kept up. Even though the team is less about solving mysteries than it is preventing catastrophes these days, we still get so much insight into the massive cast's inner workings, that it still retains that intimate feel. I've felt the last few issues slipping away from that, but this one grounds it firmly again, even as demons, both literal and figurative, are fought and decisions are made that will effect all of Earth. Peter David reminds us, while the decisions themselves are important, how those decisions are reached is the much, much more interesting part.

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10
X-Factor #255

May 1, 2013

X-Factor is STILL, I've said it before I'll say it again, one of the most underrated books on the shelf. The characters and the team were once almost a punchline, but Peter David's work since the Madrox mini-series has absolutely elevated the team to one of the most emotionally resonant and diverse groups in the entire Marvel Universe. They don't squabble like the X-Men, they aren't brooding killers like X-Force, they're not whacky like X-Statix, they truly are just what they are and that's the best of all of those teams. They're dysfunctional for sure, but they also work together like few other teams and have a sense of humor about their situation. Pacing issues aside, this series continues to be one of Marvel's unsung best. I can't say that I'm sad that it's ending, it sounds like a mutual decision and I'd rather see it go out on the creators' terms than have it shamble along without passion or drive, but I'll definitely miss it after September.

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10
X-Factor #256

May 15, 2013

If you've been reading X-Factor, you absolutely must pick this issue up. Certain events transpire that completely change the dynamic of the rest of the Marvel Universe, there's a literal siege on the palace of a Lord of Hell, but, as always, the book is about the individuals that have made it up for the last approximate ten years. I say approximate because, obviously, not all the characters have been in the book for that long, but those who have seem to have found a place they can truly belong, and grow, outside of their humble origins. I know that Peter David still has issues to go before the series concludes, but if this had been the end it would have been a worthy, if not a little urgent, one. I can't recommend this issue to those who haven't been following the series closely, but I can recommend the collected trade when it comes out to anyone who likes a ton of character in their superhero stories. And of course, to anyone already reading, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

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10
X-Factor #257

Jun 5, 2013

Absolutely amazing. I thought I wouldnt be ready for more X-Factor so soon after such an emotionally draining arc, and an ESPECIALLY draining final issue of that arc, but here I am ready to love again. The B-story of the boy and his uncle trying to bring back the woman of the house is actually quite affecting and shouldnt be discounted, but its hard to talk in-depth about without revealing too much. Suffice it to say, again, that theres a great moment when you think a well-worn trope is about to be trotted out, but things go in an entirely unexpected, and absolutely tragic and terrifying, direction. Cover-to-cover a great issue and thus begins the six-issue End of X-Factor, and if its any indication, this should be the best arc yet.

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10
X-Factor #258

Jun 19, 2013

The book is tremendously enjoyable with the characters being absolutely top-notch. Peter David is truly giving these characters a glorious send-off, spotlighting both, so far, with not only apt, but improved and even different, looks at their characters. This issue, though, does something special as its one of the few Id recommend even with little interest in the storyline. It stands very well on its own, and is, very simply, a great, character-driven story.

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8.0
X-Factor #260

Aug 7, 2013

X-Factor charges bravely on toward certain doom and remains one of the most emotionally resonant character-driven books on the shelf. Peter David is clearly not content to just shamble across the finish line, but to give it one last sprint and this book continues its excellent run of quality. I truly think it will be remembered as one of the best, most consistent, and certainly longest runs in comics, and a strong ending is a critical part of that. Its a part that seems destined to be fulfilled, and I cant wait to read the next two issues.

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8.0
X-Factor #261

Aug 21, 2013

I love both these characters and I love seeing an issue that focuses squarely on them. Their banter is great, the sorrow is real, their ending is appropriate and very satisfying, even heartwarming. A couple of missteps cant keep down what is the penultimate X-Factor title under Peter David and this is a great one for longtime fans of the series. If youre not one, become one! The series reads amazingly well in trade and now theres a clear-cut beginning, middle and end, so theres no excuse not to get onboard.

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10
X-Factor #262

Sep 4, 2013

This is the send-off that I was really hoping X-Factor would get: some very minor threads are introduced for other creative teams to pick up if they so choose, but nothing is left unresolved with the central characters. This is an absolutely amazing conclusion to what has been a spectacular arc in what has been one of the most legendary runs in comics. To not only be writing the same book for ten years, but to keep a level of consistent quality that Peter David has is nothing short of incredible and it has been an absolute joy to keep up on some of Marvel's most interesting, overlooked B-listers. I have no idea what the future holds for the characters nor the title itself, but whoever it is had better have tremendous feet for the size of the shoes they have to fill.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #3

Jul 31, 2013

This was a helluva three issue starting run and this book is off to an absolutely incredible start. I love the unlikely roster, I'm always a big fan of a team coming together out of necessity rather than any kind of plan, and I really love bringing back some characters whose fates I'd been wondering about, even if it is just temporary. The entire thing has a very abrupt, truncated ending and while the wild pace serves the book's tone well, I still think this arc could've been at least one issue longer without sacrificing that action. All that said, I still give this, and the two issues that preceded it, a wholehearted recommendation.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #9

Jan 22, 2014

Theres so much to love about this comic, that the few flaws are, by no means, dealbreakers. This is actually a surprisingly original and unique idea for a storyline using a great many underappreciated, underrepresented characters, giving the book its own distinct feel despite being still another X-Men title. Standing out for so many reasons in such a deep, wide field is admirable enough, but standing out while telling a story this interesting and new deserves very special mention and these visuals are still as easy on the eyes as they ever were, while containing enough strength to practically burst through the panels.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #11

Feb 19, 2014

VerdictNeither of those points stop this book from being incredibly enjoyable. Theres a reason this book is a breakout hit of Marvel Now! Its got an amazing roster with some incredible creators behind it telling stories that revolve around old characters used in novel and interesting ways as well as teaming up characters who arent usually seen together, and who may not like each other very much (the dynamic between Monet and Rachel Summers is delightful) coupled with some of the best art in the industry.

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6.0
X-Tinction Agenda #1

Jun 3, 2015

This issue is the definition of a good, solid issue. Its not spectacular, but its also not anywhere close to being bad. It deals with some very heady, heavy issues and doesnt always nail the right tone or tenor with it, but still manages to get some thoughtfulness peppered here and there. This seems to be as close to an X-Factor book as theres going to be, so it would have been nice to see more members of that core group, but the ones who do return are welcome and the new ones (or are they merely obscure?) have a lot of unrealized potential. In fact the book itself, based on this issue, has a lot of potential. Heres to hoping it gets realized as the title continues.

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10
Years of Future Past #1

Jun 3, 2015

Clearly those complaints are extremely minor in the grand scheme of things and this is a refreshing take on some very well-worn territory. Its interesting to see Bennet and Plascencia take this old-school story and, while still being very respectful to what came before, taking it to a new, exciting place. Usually the dystopias that are in comics are only flashes or fragments of what could be, either corrected or forgotten by the time the next arc begins, so seeing one taken to not only the future, but years and years into the future is a breath of fresh air and helps establish both stakes and a sense of place. This almost feels like the final issue, or very close to the end, but theres still plenty of ground to cover and plenty of great characters to explore.

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