Craig Lemon's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 85
7.5Avg. Review Rating

6.0
2000AD #1322

Jan 7, 2003

So, worthwhile looking at for Caballistics Inc and Nikolai Dante along, Sinister Dexter and JD are fine but need more work and innovation to push the rating up, and Slaine disappoints.

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6.0
2000AD #1324

Jan 22, 2003

Another issue, another mixed bag - it's undeniably a better read as a run of three or four issues rather than a standalone.

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6.0
2000AD #1326

Feb 6, 2003

And so to Nikolai Dante by Robbie Morrison and John Burns, topping off all the violence seen so far by throwing a few bouts of sex into the equation...and why not? This is currently the best thing abut 2000AD at the moment, each of the last five parts have been of a consistently high standard in writing and art; maybe this strip closes each issue to leave it on a high? In any event, long may Dante reign.

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6.0
2000AD #1327

Feb 11, 2003

And so to Nikolai Dante, once more the best the comic has to offer (although even this slips a little in that the central point of the story, that Dante's mum falls into a trap, is unbelieveable - how on earth did she survive as pirate queen so long if she falls into such obvious traps?) - excellent art, great script, makes the mag worthwhile.

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8.0
2000AD #1333

Mar 27, 2003

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6.0
2000AD #1339

May 6, 2003

And so to the last strip - Andy Diggle's Snow/Tiger, part four. Snow is the female British secret agent, all stealth and subtlety. Tiger is the male American secret agent, all guns and bluster. So no stereotypes there, then. Get past the (so far) awful characterisation and there's a promising storyline of neo-nazism in the US - unfortunately something similar was done a few (ok, a lot) years ago in Swamp Thing, so for me reads like a bit of retread. Anyone without those issues should love it - the action is suitably bombastic whilst remaining crystal clear...take a bow, artist Andy Clarke.

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8.0
2000AD #1350

Jul 21, 2003

A hell of a good start for this set of stories, one worth checking out for half-a-dozen issues to make sure the quality continues.

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6.0
2000AD #1355

Aug 27, 2003

Strontium Dog rounds off the issue, with part six of Wagner and Ezquerra's The Tax Dodge seeing the plot revealed - the bad guys are after a pair of soiled, ancient, holy ... and holey ... underpants. And they're using a tourette's parrot-like bird to get them. Meanwhile Johnny Alpha is handcuffed to his own personal tax inspector, and has to sort this whole mess out. Maus this ain't, but a lot of fun it is - best strip in the comic.

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8.0
2000AD #1359

Sep 24, 2003

Three excellent tales, one so-so and one poor get 2000AD a better than normal review; this is an excellent issue to try as a sampler, the best in some weeks.

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6.0
2000AD #1362

Oct 15, 2003

Next issue sees the return of Caballistics Inc, presumably this was bumped from this issue to allow Durham Red to actually appear in Episode One of her own strip, but this is the one I'm really looking forward too...next issue might well act as the proper relaunch...

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6.0
2000AD #1365

Nov 6, 2003

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6.0
2000AD #1381

Mar 23, 2004

Apart from Dredd and Rogue Trooper, the issue feels like its coasting along to the next relaunch; this is not atypical of 2000AD, but it would be nice if plans were afoot to address thisafter all, do the quarterly relaunches work in terms of boosting sales, or would more fuss about new series by established creators have a greater benefit?

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7.0
2000AD #1382

Mar 24, 2004

Overall, an improvement on last time thanks almost entirely to Dredd; if you like Durham Red feel free to add an extra half-mark.

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8.0
2000AD #1384

Apr 7, 2004

Overall - best Dredd in months continue, nice one-off, interesting couple of extra stories, one waste of time.

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8.0
2000AD #1391

May 24, 2004

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7.0
Ant #1

Mar 23, 2004

Immense amount of promise shown, but the book stands on a knife-edge for the future. Definitely one to watch.

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4.0
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again #3

Aug 4, 2002

If this is an example of how DC feel they can beat Marvel in the marketplace, I wouldn't be surprised to see them in deep trouble in the next twelve months. Certainly Alessi's boast of CrossGen being bigger than DC within two years seems eminently achievable.

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10
Blade of the Immortal #70

Aug 31, 2002

About the only problem I can find with this book is that it is up to issue #70, and this particular plotline is just over halfway through; that's no real jumping on point for new readers, but in all honesty this book requires your attention, even if in a handful of back issues or one of the trades (Cry of the Worm is the first TP), but this is a good issue to start off with...you'll want to know what happens next; what more can you ask?

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8.0
Blade of the Immortal #71

Oct 13, 2002

An excellent series, one of Dark Horse's best.

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8.0
Blade of the Immortal #73

Jan 29, 2003

This book is very bit as good as Lone Wolf & Cub, and benefits from the regular changes in perspective rather than being religiously devoted to the exploits of one man. Recommended.

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8.0
Blade of the Immortal #74

Feb 1, 2003

Another excellent issue in this marvellous series, it's one of Dark Horse's finest.

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8.0
Blade of the Immortal #75

Mar 4, 2003

For a three-character storyline there's a heck of a lot of subtext going on; it's somewhat of a surprise that the main plotline of the series ties into what seemed to be a diversion, now we know there's something nasty happening behind the scenes but we don't know what it is....argh, need those next few issues now!

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8.0
Brath #1

Mar 25, 2003

You can't help but feel that Brath's son is going to bite the big one in a few issues, though.

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10
Cerebus #286

Feb 6, 2003

So, if you're looking for something to make you think, something to teach you a little about the world outside your doorstep, something that delves beneath the surface of typical reportage, then this issue is essential. If you're looking for a return to the "good old days", then this issue is essential. If you just want a comic for an entertaining 20-page read, forget about it.

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10
Cerebus #301

Apr 1, 2004

I could continue to wax lyrical about the contents of this issue from here to doomsday (which, according to Sim, is on 30th December 2006), but apparently the print run is very limited, so get over to groups.yahoo.com/cerebus and sign up now - you just have to post a message saying "Give Me My Copy Of #301 Now" and you'll be emailed with details.

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6.0
Chimera #1

Mar 4, 2003

Promising, yet disappointing. Avoid the titillation, concentrate on the story, and there's a cracker of a comic here.

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8.0
CLA$$WAR #3

Sep 7, 2002

I really don't want to have to wait until January to pick up the continuation of this story, so I'm going to have a contact at Com.X hack into his computer there and email it to me. Mail me if you want a copy.

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8.0
CLA$$WAR #4

May 4, 2004

It's a bit like Supreme-Power-to-the-MAX, ideal for fans of that book or Rising Stars, or for anyone who demands a little more ... intelligence ... from their superheroes.

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8.0
CLA$$WAR #5

Jun 13, 2004

Yet I can't find any indications on the net that Act Two is coming at all, let alone imminently - it's possible, of course, that Com.X will wait for the sales figures for the trade collection of Act One before committing to Act Two, although I would venture that sales would only be improved by the knowledge of the story's conclusion upcoming publication - we want the whole story, dammit!

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6.0
Clockmaker #1

Feb 9, 2003

I'm hoping that future instalments will allow the artists to break free of traditional thinking and really let their imaginations run riot, and give us an oversized comic that is oversized for a reason. At the moment it is just a brave, but flawed, experiment.

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6.0
Comic Effect #34

Jul 23, 2003

In conclusion, the book is a mixture of Silver Age nostalgia and modern reviews; this dichotomy is uneasy at the best of times, it feels that someone who'd enjoy one segment might not get as much out of the other...surely there's a place for two magazines, one covering each topic in greater detail? Having said that, if you're a Silver Age buff, consider this a book and an essential purchase - if you're more of a modernist like myself, consider this carefully - $3.50 is not a huge price to pay for some decent articles, and you might just get a kick out of the Atlas debacle too.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #41

Jan 9, 2003

Oh, and how much did this miss a letters page to talk about Daredevil, hype up the trades and the next issue, and allow Bendis to spout forth on all things DD? Essential for new readers, I would've thought, and a massive missed opportunity for Marvel.

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6.0
Firebreather #1

Jan 7, 2003

It's a pleasant read, the art is pleasing to the eye although the colouring suffers from an abundance of red, orange and yellow throughout - it's an attempt to breakaway from traditional superheroes and spandex and present normal people in abnormal situations and abnormal people in normal situations, is suitable for all ages and a pretty good introductory comic...I do suspect it reads better for a reader still in high school than a more, er, mature chap such as myself. It's got promise.

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8.0
Firebreather #2

Feb 10, 2003

An immensely promising book, with just the right undercurrent of fatalism for Duncan - for example, he has consistently moved schools, so has been unable to make long-lasting friends...in which case why should he even bother trying to make friends and fit in at a new school, when he's bound to move again in short order?

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8.0
G.I. Joe #10

Aug 21, 2002

Zarana is one evil lady and when she tells the Cobra Commander that she can handle things, I don't doubt her the least bit! The preview cover for the next issue intimates that #10 will showcase her in depth, she's Zartan's sister and we should learn an awful lot more. This was truly an excellent issue!

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8.0
Ghost In The Shell II: Electric Boogaloo #1

Feb 20, 2003

However, what has really drawn in quite a few people is the lush art - there are some really nice sequences and gorgeous drawings through - some computer generated scenes tie-up with the appropriate segments of the plot, and whilst it is quite hard going, it at least looks very pretty whilst you're working it out.

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10
Grendel: Red, White & Black #1

Sep 26, 2002

Highly recommended, even if you're unfamiliar with the character - the introductory piece tells it all.

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8.0
Grendel: Red, White & Black #2

Nov 20, 2002

There's a story told by Isaac Asimov about him writing short stories about certain characters whilst his fans demand more novels, which is far too self-indulgent for me to detail here (drop me an email to hear it) but is very relevant - although these shorts are occasionally hit and miss, always welcome, and nice to have, we (the readers) really want a full-length Hunter Rose series, a novel please, Mr. Wagner. It doesn't help that Rose's beginning and ending has already been told; after all, any future about him can hardly contain a credible threat to his health, as we know when, where and how he dies already. Maybe a re-imagining along the lines of Paul Chadwick's five part retelling of the origins of Concrete, Strange Armor is in order? A twelve-issue series giving us the full low-down on everything to do with Hunter Rose from beginning to end, the definitive word on the definitive version of a fantastic creation.

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8.0
Grendel: Red, White & Black #3

Jan 23, 2003

The only reason this book didn't hit the top mark is simply because if you're not familiar with Grendel and/or Hunter Rose, then much becomes meaningless...you need to appreciate Argent and Stacey to understand the nuances in their stories, and there is no allowances made for first-time readers. Despite this the book still works if you're unfamiliar with all that has gone before, you just need to work a little harder at it.

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8.0
Hawaiian Dick #2

Feb 11, 2003

Griffin's art is perfectly sorted to the dark tone of the book; his work looks a little like a cross between Sean Phillips and Warren Pleece, it's good stuff. Overall an engaging book, it all wraps up with issue #3, and the trade collection should be a very nice read.

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2.0
Hellblazer #174

Aug 4, 2002

Waiting for John Constantine to step out of the shower and reveal the last 25 or so issues have been a dream...

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10
Hellblazer #175

Aug 30, 2002

This is quite probably the best title DC are selling at the moment. Jump on board if you haven't done so already, and enjoy yourself.

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10
Hellblazer #176

Sep 30, 2002

Still back on top of his game, if only DC would change the logo back to the 'classic' Hellblazer to match.

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6.0
Hellboy Weird Tales #1

Apr 9, 2003

So, one very, very good story, one almost as good, one disappointmentnot a bad start.

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6.0
Invincible #1

Jan 31, 2003

Having said that, it's worth checking out if you're not overly familiar with the backstory of teen heroes, or if you want to jump in on the ground floor with a new guy...

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6.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #203

Feb 13, 2003

You have to dig for the gems, but they are worth it in the end...but work is needed to move the mag to the next level.

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8.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #208

Jul 1, 2003

The other reprints are from the Battle series, Darkie's Mob, a horrendously racist strip set in Burma in WWII; herein art parts 27 to 32 and it's running out of steam. What's nice about this strip is the gradual whittling down of Darkie's forces to just seven by the end of the strip - no pretense is made that anyone will survive the ending of the series in a few issues' time - what's bad is it just seems to be going on and on and on.

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8.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #217

Mar 23, 2004

A half-page column by Rennie on plagiarism and the sharing of ideas (mentioned as Idea Space by many other writers) is followed by the concluding strip in the comic and its a cracker. Its the concluding episode of Judge Anderson: Half-Life by Alan Grant and Arthur Ranson, and you really cant go wrong with this pairing. The rebellion in the past on Judge Deaths homeworld is torn to pieces and Anderson shocked back into awareness in current Mega-City One, but shes bringing a visitor with her, and this particular visitor cant be stopped superb story, and at 12-page chunks its solved the prior problems of shorter continuing strips in the Megazine. This one needs collecting in a book right now.

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7.0
Kade #1

Nov 19, 2003

As it stands, then, a qualified recommendation - the book is worth buying for the art and the potential in the storyline (especially for fans of, say, Sojourn) but it just needs a little something extra to take it to the next level. Here's hoping issue #2 delivers that extra.

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7.0
Less Than Hero #1

Mar 24, 2004

Each issue is topped off with an interesting and funny one-page text piece from either writer or artist, and as a package and a rollicking adventure, its very well done. Check out their website, and give it a shot.

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8.0
Lone Wolf 2100: The Red File #1

Apr 12, 2003

The 2100 setting involves a War Spore being released and gradually wiping out the human race, these EmCons are androids some of which have developed their own sentience and conscience, all have enhanced abilities and are exceedingly effective fighters; this book reveals almsot the whole backstory of Itto and the political maneuvering in the background - has an EmCon effectively usurped control of a mega-corporation and is now ruling much of the world?

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8.0
N-Jin #0

May 30, 2003

Boultwood is a real find for Com.X, he has an attractive cartooning style, reminiscent of Monster Club and Out There - very Ramos in execution, and it does sit slightly uneasily with the decidedly adult language and themes of the stories - this is my biggest concern, really - the covers and the art makes this look like a comic for kids...but it ain't.

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8.0
Negation #8

Jul 29, 2002

While things look up for Shassa, then the realization of tragedy hits as Javi gets a hole blown threw his chest. A climatic ending that tantalizes the imagination of the reader!

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8.0
Noble Causes: Family Secrets #4

Dec 26, 2002

Whether other issues concentrate on characters rather than powers as this one does I've yet to find out; my personal taste means I prefer the character moments rather than having four or five pages wasted in yet another slugfest we've seen a thousand times before; if this issue is indicative of the series as a whole, then it's the perfect way to either expand your superhero reading into the world beyond just plain old heroes, or to start the bridgehead into heroes if you've never fancied the industry's obsession with violence.

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6.0
Peter Parker, Spider-Man (1999) #52

Feb 4, 2003

An entertaining enough two-issue story, that isn't so much a Spider-Man adventure as it is a look at a pair of second-tier villains who attempt to come up with a plan that would prove a success against Spider-Man. Now, given Manhattan is home to almost every single super-hero in the Marvel Universe, I always find it a bit strange that the villains always seem to draw out the super-hero they want to encounter, but then again since this book is called Peter Parker: Spider-Man, I guess it shouldn't be all that surprising Spider-Man is the hero of this adventure. The issue does a solid job of making the struggles of these two villains interesting, and while the action is a bit hard to follow thanks to the rather unfocused art, the general idea of the issue is well presented. I also hope that future stories starring the Shocker keep this recent arc in mind, as the character does undergo a fairly important change in his status quo.

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4.0
Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta #1

Sep 11, 2002

It just feels so totally pointless. This isn't really a story that had to be told; although the cameos of other JLAers are worked in nicely it's just insubstantial. And the ending sucks. Disappointing.

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10
Powers #27

Jan 9, 2003

Couple this package with pages of letters and interviews with Bendis, plus a special two-page extract from the upcoming trade "Bendis Total Sell-Out" and you have one of the finest comics on the market, and possibly Image's best.

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8.0
Puncture #5

May 31, 2003

So, issue five. With the delay since issue four, it might as well be a new issue one and the bloody thing works as an issue one too. Track it down. Hunt for it. It will take effort, but its worthwhile.

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10
Route 666 #6

Dec 26, 2002

Frankly this book is my #1 CGE book; yes it has outstripped Ruse in six short issues – and when the first trade comes out (collecting issues one through six/seven), it will be one of the essential books of 2003 to have.

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8.0
Route 666 #9

Mar 25, 2003

Great dialogue, great pacing, great story. Until they hit a circus. Visions of weird travelling circuses filled with freaks, committing crimes and then moving on abound and have become something of a cliche by now, and it sure seems this circus is going to be just as run-of-the-mill as the others. Here's hoping Bedard has a bit of magic up his sleeve to make it stand out, but it's the first time in nine issues that I've cause for concern over the future direction of this series...fingers crossed!

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8.0
Ruse #14

Dec 26, 2002

By far the best touches in this comic are the dialogue and the art – although the plot is somewhat straightforward and been-there, done-that, very Famous-Five-esque, almost the entire issue is rendered in effective darkness – by which I mean the whole story is set at night, yet the art is clear and moody lighting sets the various scenes excellently. Beatty has picked up the dialogue baton from Waid extremely well, a few deft touches show he is beginning to get comfortable on this book. Let's hope for more originality in the plot department next time, and Beatty will be welcome to stay on this title for a long time.

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6.0
Ruse #16

Mar 3, 2003

More worryingly, it looks like Simon and Emma will be away from Partington for some time - maybe Beatty just doesn't feel comfortable having these characters running around Waid's creation, he certainly seems to have taken every opportunity to get them out of it so far, and I'm not really looking forward to the "stranded on an island" sequences coming up. Back to Partington, and back to form, as soon as possible please!

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8.0
Sojourn #13

Jul 29, 2002

Ron Marz now throws in a fantastic cliffhanger as Arwyn and Gareth must now determine how to enter the fabled city of Ankhara!

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8.0
Spooner #1

Mar 23, 2004

Its a high quality, funny book unreservedly recommended for the older reader and their spouse equivalent, be it male or female.

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6.0
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Infinities #1

Aug 31, 2002

A steady, dependable although not over-exciting or imaginative, kick-off to this four-part series. Here's hoping it really kicks loose in the next three issues...

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6.0
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Infinities #2

Oct 13, 2002

What I am looking forward to is the Return Of The Jedi Infinities series, where the Ewoks should get torched by a whole set of flamethrowers...

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6.0
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Infinities #4

Jan 22, 2003

Artwise, it's the usual bang-up job, especially a full-page spread of Vader being taken back to his Tusken Raider massacre from Attack Of The Clones..but the plot owes too much to that movie, and, strangely, suffers from deviating too far from its own source movie to be truly satisfying.

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8.0
The Path #9

Dec 26, 2002

In any event, the extended dialogue does not harm the book in any way, it's helpful in clarifying one or two points about events so far, and it means that this issue is inadvertently an excellent point to start reading the book. It's one of the top three or four CG books at the moment, give it a look.

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10
The Path #11

Mar 3, 2003

The best title published by CrossGen this month, one of the best published by anyone this month, you're missing a treat if you don't read it. It's not fun. It's not funny. It's great...but you've got to be in it for the long haul.

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8.0
The Path #12

Mar 25, 2003

If you're a non-reader, pick it up - if you've been following it so far, prepare to mark time.

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10
The Pro #1

Aug 16, 2002

And if all that is not enough to make you buy the bloody thing, just check out the scene depicting what would happen should Superman ejaculate - Larry Niven had it first, but Ennis has it funniest...

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8.0
The Victorian #16

Dec 19, 2002

So, an excellent intro to the series proper, and it looks like I might just have to get ahold of those first two trades to catch up...

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8.0
The Victorian #22

Mar 23, 2004

Now that answers are coming thick and fast, the book demands a re-read of the previous issues to shed new light on prior events what more could you ask?

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8.0
The Victorian #23

Jun 3, 2004

Artwise the guys do yet another bang up job - okay, so I know the book is on a bimonthly schedule, but they make the time pay, they seem to have invested their all in this series. The final trade, when it comes out, will provide a fitting endcap to the series...christ, I'm gonna miss this and it ain't even over yet.

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4.0
Tomb Raider: Journeys #9

Jan 9, 2003

The other part of the problem with this book is that it is all too easy for Lara. It just feels like scripting-by-numbers - meet the tribe, have a fight, get naked, have a deep meaningful conversation, have another fight - it's all so ho-hum, I'm afraid. The art is too focused on Lara's body and nothing else, the story seems to serve getting her naked, it's like the bad old days of Witchblade, all style and no substance. I'm hoping the next storyline picks things up substantially.

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8.0
Two-Step #1

Oct 16, 2003

If you like Warren Ellis writing, youll love this book, it hits all the usual buttons. If you dont particularly care for him, youll wont like it, because it hits all the usual buttons.

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8.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #31

Dec 2, 2002

A pretty big issue in that it does feature the death of a supporting player, and this death is sure to make an impact on Peter's world. The issue also does a pretty good job of tying this book to the larger picture that is the Ultimate Universe, as this book gets itself a guest-star from the pages of the Ultimates, and we see that Nick Fury is already actively protecting his future investment. The plot involving the fake Spider-Man also gets a good kick in the pants when it comes to forward momentum, as Spider-Man gets a reason to really be ticked off at this impostor, and the book ends with the two finally getting together. Since next issue looks like it's going to be the final chapter in this latest arc I imagine that we'll finally learn who's under the mask, as while the big money is probably on Mysterio, I rather like the chances of it being the Chameleon. Brian Michael Bendis could also throw a nice twist into the mix, as once they begin fighting I doubt any of the witnesses will

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man #35

Jan 21, 2003

Then for what happen to happen as it does, so suddenly and so completely...this is Bendis not only playing with the form, but playing with expectations of his work, turning it all on its head and producing what could well be the best set of comics Marvel has ever published

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man #36

Feb 9, 2003

Whatever Marvel are paying this dynamic duo isn't enough, if you only buy one Marvel book this month, make it this one. And it's only $2.25 … what's that all about? Shut up, and buy it.

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8.0
Venture #1

Jan 27, 2003

Even so, these niggles aside, the story works well, the art is fantastic - reminds one of the early days of the Black Panther book, nicely finished "realistic" art without seeming four-colour cartoony at all. I guess my only concern over this book is its longevity - get past the photog blackmailing the hero and where does it go? Not into standard superhero-fare I hope

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6.0
Venture #2

Feb 5, 2003

Again, it's a good ground floor book to get into, but Mr Faerber, please strike off into areas previously unexplored!

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8.0
Violent Messiahs: Lamenting Pain #2

Jan 9, 2003

Each and every page and panel is packed with detail, yet the backgrounds never clutter up the foreground action; there's superb pacing and exciting dialogue, the whole package works exceedingly well. My own doubt regarding this book is how essential it is to have read the first series before you can enjoy it - I loved the first trade, and got a real kick from this series, but I can see that new readers might feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of stuff going on here. However, it's good enough, and exciting enough, to draw you in, so I recommend giving it a shot.

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9.0
War Story: The Reivers #1

Nov 14, 2002

Totally recommended, roll on the next three, and where's the bloody trade of the first four, DC?

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8.0
Way of the Rat #9

Mar 3, 2003

The best parts of this issue deal with the situation away from Boon, which is ironic in that these events would've looked great had Boon just run into them in the course of events, but the book would've been boring if it was just Boon fighting seemingly endless hordes of goons and then hitting the events in the last couple of pages. If Boon can stop fighting and actually do something far more interesting instead, then this book can really take it to the next level.

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8.0
Way of the Rat #10

Mar 25, 2003

The issue is only really let down by the pacing being so fast the issue is over in a flash, and the feeling the comic is amongst those in the CGE stable intended for more juvenile audiences - the death and destruction so far is not really very obvious...not that I'm necessarily asking for gore, but there should've been a phenomenal number of deaths so far and much of the city wrecked - rather than a couple of walls down and that's about it.

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