Dan Horn's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Book Bin Reviews: 110
7.7Avg. Review Rating

8.5
Action Comics (2011) #1

Sep 7, 2011

This was a solid debut, and I expect it will only get better as it goes along. With an excellent cliffhanger and some really ingenious ideas already on the table, Action Comics is a must-read. But what does it all mean in regards to its social commentary for us non-god-like entities? I think Morrison is simply telling the working class to stand up for itself. He toes a precarious line here, somewhat promoting non-lethal violence (perhaps as a last resort) as a means to reestablish civil equity, but I think the overall message is a commendable "power to the people."

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #2

Oct 7, 2011

Marginal problems aside, the new Action Comics has really been fun and intriguing, offering readers a classic rejuvenation of a tired character. I look forward to next month's installment, albeit with un-bated breath.

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4.0
America's Got Powers #1

Apr 12, 2012

Ultimately (no Bryan Hitch pun intended), America's Got Powers doesn't warrant anyone's attention or money, unless one is in the market for eye-roll-inducing sludge.

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9.0
Batgirl (2009) #22

Jun 16, 2011

It's going to be hard to see Miller's run on this title come to its inexorable end this summer. I'm not sure what will happen to Stephanie Brown after this, what with Barbara Gordon resuming her work as Batgirl. It will definitely be a sad day for many readers. I mean, this is the girl who slapped Bruce Wayne in the face for messing around as the Insider when he returned! It's hard to believe she'll be relinquishing her role as Batgirl, but seeing her evolution in Miller's revamp of the character has been a blissfully entertaining, character-driven saga of redemption.

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4.0
Batman #697

Mar 17, 2010

I have to admit that, though Daniels current story arc isnt good by any stretch of the imagination, his writing has been improving. DC should have put Tony Daniel on another book for the time being to let him cultivate his talents. Then, perhaps he would have had a clearer idea of how to tell the story he wanted to tell. It could have been great. It could have been a contender.

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9.0
Batman #698

Apr 15, 2010

After counting the days until Tony Daniel would no longer be writing on Batman, I'm now wishing he had more time on the series to continue telling stories like this. If you're a Bat-fan and you've been unimpressed with Daniel's other work, you'll definitely want to hop on board this story arc. This is where Tony Daniel proves himself and makes me eat my own words.

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8.0
Batman #708

Mar 22, 2011

Guillem March's Neil-Adams-meets-Paul-Pope-meets-Goseki-Kojima art, on the other hand, is absolutely brilliant. I've been enthralled by his work since first seeing it on the covers of Gotham City Sirens, and as his work has bled into other titles, I've grown even more enthusiastic about his incredible character designs, psychedelic palette, and East meets West sensibilities. Guillem March is an artistic dynamo whose work is well worth the cover price.

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5.0
Batman #711

Jun 15, 2011

The artistic team here really puts forth a great effort, however. There are a few standout pages and panels from both issues that Scott, Winn, and Hannin have contributed to. In #711 (oh, thank heaven) two particularly caught my eye: a scene early in the issue depicting Harvey rising from the grave, and a page where Batman is investigating the body of Falcone's goon in the phone booth. They have a dark realist edge, but there's a definite flare for old-school mainstream Batman oddly balancing it all out. That's not to say the art is perfect, but it does have its moments. I'm still having trouble getting past the silly cuffs Daniel's Batman design has on his wrists. Nevertheless, Scott and crew do some decent work here, giving a bright flip-side to this otherwise tedious arc.

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6.0
Batman #712

Jul 20, 2011

All in all, this is not a bad issue of Batman, comparatively, but still not quite good. I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll even give Tony Daniel's Detective Comics a try in September.

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10
Batman (2011) #1

Sep 21, 2011

Greg Capullo's arrival to the mainstream couldn't come too soon. His stylized, exaggerated characters, noir city-scapes, and gritty pulp sensibilities paired with Glapion and Plascencia's finishes are absolutely gorgeous. I won't be able to stop looking at this issue for a while. This is a pitch-perfect tuning to the Batman franchise.

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10
Batman (2011) #5

Jan 19, 2012

I'm getting chills just thinking about how clever and how truly horrifying this issue was. This can't be a Batman comic, my common sense keeps insisting. But here it is in my hands with "Batman" printed across the cover. I once accused Snyder of being too predictable, telegraphing the outcomes of his Detective story arcs, but with this solitary issue Scott Snyder has ascended to comic book royalty in my mind. This is terrific stuff, even if it makes my stomach turn.

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6.0
Batman (2011) #7

Mar 27, 2012

And therein lies the difficulty in grading a comic book like the rebooted Batman: love or hate certain aspects of the manner in which this series is handled, but you can't deny the formidable overall quality of this book, Greg Capullo's gorgeous artwork included. Batman, triumphs, shortcomings, and all, is simply a blessing for many discerning fans of the legendary vigilante. This just so happens to be an issue that doesn't do enough to help readers suspend their disbelief, in effect showing its ass a bit.

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8.5
Batman and Robin #11

Apr 11, 2010

There's a lot going on in Batman and Robin, but it's not a complete cerebral overload like Tony Daniel's Batman travesty. The mysteries presented are interesting enough to keep you turning the pages and buying the book month after month. There's a real feeling of progression as issue 11 begins blending many of the series' as of yet loosely commingled components. Issue 12 should see all of the past year's events coming to a climactic head, leading up to Morrison's Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries beginning in May.

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8.0
Batman and Robin #12

May 7, 2010

All of that aside, there are some moments of genuine character development and plot progression. Dustin Nguyen and Scott Hanna also lend the newcomer Andy Clarke a hand in this issue and really improve upon the past two issues' somewhat amateurish artwork. This little diversion may not have been as visionary as Morrison's previous work on the series, but it's not horrible by any stretch of the imagination. Let's hope Grant hits the next few issues of the series out of the park. I, for one, am very interested to see what comes next as Joker becomes reincorporated into the stew, Thomas Wayne, most likely the disenfranchised former leader of the Black Glove, reemerges, and the Penitente makes his ominous return to Gotham.

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4.0
Batman and Robin #24

Jun 8, 2011

Humdrum plot, pedestrian art, and little bearing on the future of the Red Hood, Batman, or Robin make this a book to pass over. Hell, this example of the pointless absurdity that DC's monthly titles are becoming makes almost all of their series that much easier to pass on.

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3.0
Batman and Robin #25

Jul 7, 2011

I used to really love Winick's work. What the hell happened here? For once, I'm looking forward to a reboot of this series at least to get it back on the rails it was chugging along just a few months ago.

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7.5
Batman and Robin (2011) #1

Sep 14, 2011

The closing page is really unsettling, adding a dash of the weirdness that I was expecting from the very beginning. This issue lays a solid foundation if nothing else, rife with action (which unfortunately makes for a short read) and character development and intrigue. We're not really given a clear link between the heist and the new villain, though, and that is definitely a mark against this debut: a missed opportunity to deepen the book's cliffhanger. Gleason's art is on point; really some of the best work he's done to date, which has me wondering if Mick Gray might have quite a bit to do with the look of this book's interiors. I think the rest of this series is going to age to perfection quickly and will be a dependably satisfying addition to any reader's pull list.

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9.5
Batman and Robin (2011) #2

Oct 12, 2011

Again, it's difficult to gauge exactly when this series takes place within the new DC continuity (Ace makes his "first" appearance here), but I've honestly all but completely stopped caring. Tomasi's Batman and Robin #2 is a fantastic character study, and Gleason, Gray, and Kalisz's interiors are wonderfully dynamic and engaging. Batman and Robin is a great book for Batman fans looking for a twist on the Wayne family and something just slightly outside of the box.

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9.0
Batman, Inc. #3

Mar 10, 2011

Grant Morrison continues to dazzle. It's true that even hisworst work is interesting, but this is one his best Batman stories yet.

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6.5
Batman: Gates of Gotham #2

Jun 22, 2011

This is unfortunately shaping up to be a series that could easily be a pass for most recession-strapped comic fiends. Unless you are a steam punk who enjoys being brownnosed by literary tourists dabbling in your neck of the woods, this isn't an essential read.

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8.5
Batman: Streets of Gotham #10

Mar 29, 2010

Apart from Dini's archetypal work, this series has showcased thewriting talents of some other scribes in DC's extensive Rolodex. #10comes hot off the heels of a solid two-issue run written by MikeBenson. The way the editorial team of Streets of Gotham has beenbreaking up the monotony of otherwise plodding arcs with fresh stories,writing, and characters every few months has been profoundly effective.Marc Andreyko and Jeremy Haun's quirky and gritty Manhunter features are just icing on the cake. This is a title worth adding to your monthly pull-list, as you'reguaranteed to never grow weary of BSOG with its ever-changing cast of characters and creative lineups.

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9.0
Batman: Streets of Gotham #12

May 22, 2010

Once again, leave it to the creative team of BSOG to bring such goofy D-list characters to sterling clarity right before our eyes. Streets of Gotham's plots always find a road less travelled to take readers down. Whether it's Hush trying to frivolously spend the Wayne family fortune away with charitable donations, Firefly's spontaneous combustion poison killing Gothamites all over the city, or a story starring a nonessential character like the Carpenter and a psychopath film director who is turning his new hide-out into a maze of deathtraps, every arc in this title's run has been fun and innovative.

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7.0
Batman: Streets of Gotham #21

Mar 24, 2011

I'm also actually quite upset that we didn't get to see theconclusion of Fabian Nicieza and Szymon Kudranski's Ragman back-up feature."Ashes to Ashes" was one of the only second feature stories that wasreally quite gripping. Nicieza is one of the most underrated writers out there.His stuff is fantastic.

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3.0
Batman: The Dark Knight #3

Jul 14, 2011

Not a single delay from this series has been warranted by the lackluster panels, the goofy character designs, or the grade-school level scripting. Instituting retroactive Batman continuity by way of the unfortunately named Dawn Golden directly preceding a massive retcon? That's just the flavorless, Vaseline icing on this dry, stale, crumbling cake. Batman: The Dark Knight #3 is just as vanilla as any of Tony Daniel's work on Batman, but incomprehensibly uninteresting and twice as much of a waste of time.

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6.5
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #10

Jun 27, 2012

Overall, this is a great start to a new page in The Dark Knight series. I hope to see some new artistic teams come on board with future arcs. That would truly make this a fantastic book.

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9.0
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

May 13, 2010

This issue doesn't do a whole lot as far as answering questions or tying up loose ends, but it's a great comic nonetheless. You should definitely pick this up. I have a feeling this is just a very good introduction to what will be a very good miniseries.

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6.5
Batwoman #1

Sep 15, 2011

This story isn't all bad. There are some interesting glimpses into what the future holds for Batwoman. The scene at the DOE in particular is weird and engrossing. Hopefully the rest of this issue is just suffering from a case of premiere jitters. If we can resume a form similar to Rucka's Batwoman: Elegy or Williams' Batwoman #0, this series will be one the best books on comic store racks.

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8.0
Batwoman #21

Jun 19, 2013

I haven't truly been enjoying Batwoman for a while. It's been a book that I pick up whenever Williams is providing art for an issue. However, the guys working on this book may have won me over again with this installment. We'll have to see if the inspiration illustrated here carries over to future issues.

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8.5
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #521

Jul 14, 2011

It's an issue that's not without its fair share of shortcomings, but coupled with Francavilla's noir stylings Liss's Black Panther #521 is uncommonly amusing and a thrilling tie-in to Fear Itself. And, not to spoil anything here, but thank god it's not T'Challa donning the American Panther suit! I was pretty worried about that when I'd seen the press releases for the red, white, and blue costume designs. Every purist can now breathe a sigh of relief, and if that statement's not ironic then I'm not sure what is.

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7.5
Bloodstrike #26

Mar 28, 2012

Gaston's art is superb; a sleek, stylized, bombastic illustrative display with a fantastically versatile palette. The interiors of this issue are certainly worth the price of admission alone, and it's a sensible price point at that. It's another promising start for a Liefeld revisionist.

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6.5
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #1

Apr 2, 2011

Perhaps the two do balance out the book into something worth reading, but if Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker #2 doesn't step its game up, I'll be dropping this series from my pull-list without hesitation.

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9.0
Comic Con Exclusive: Severed #1

Jul 25, 2011

Severed is a classically tempered horror tale, just as much about the period and its lead's adventure as it is about its bogeyman. It's a literary thriller, admirably cutting against the grain of modern horror proclivities. This first issue is a wonderful taste of the unsettling and suspenseful things to come in the seven-issue series. Futaki's art perfectly encapsulates that cold, inhospitable landscape of the times, gorgeously illustrating Illinois and New York Autumns, while playing on a young boy's wide-eyed wonderment with a diverse palette. Pick this book up on August 3rd!

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8.5
Danger Club #1

Apr 4, 2012

Danger Club #1 presents an entertaining premise and interesting characters, augmented by incredibly dynamic artwork. It does a wonderful job of seeding its concepts subtly without laboring through unnecessary exposition, and it impressively wraps up its first chapter--or prologue, perhaps--while leaving its readers desperately wanting more. To be fair, some of Apollo's diatribes are awfully trite, and his exchanges with Kid Vigilante leave something wholly original to be desired, but these are minor discrepancies and the scripting overall is commendably solid. I'm definitely hooked on yet another Image series.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #1

Jul 20, 2011

Daredevil #1 isn't just a solid start for the hero's new series; it's a powerful portent of greatness to come. Really fantastic, sincere stuff. All comics should be this good.

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9.5
Daredevil (2011) #16

Aug 6, 2012

If you're not reading Daredevil, then you need to start. It's really that simple.

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7.5
Deathstroke #1

Sep 16, 2011

The action in Deathstroke #1 is fast-paced and dynamic, though this issue is surprisingly light on violence. Bennett and Thibert's artwork also seems too polished and neat to communicate the repugnance of this vicious character. Slade does do something pretty cold-blooded, which I can't spoil for you here, which definitely changed my perception of where Higgins is going with this title, and the briefcase mystery absolutely has me hooked. It's a cheap episodic cliffhanger, but it's effective. I'm in this series for the long haul, I think. Deathstroke may not be what I was expecting, but that certainly isn't a bad thing, per se. Only time will tell whether this series is going to be simply OK or maybe more than that.

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8.5
Deathstroke #2

Oct 12, 2011

Still, this issue was an interesting change of pace from the otherwise plodding premiere episode. It's barely a character study, but it's bizarrely cognizant of that fact, replacing literary value and subtlety with disturbingly casual acrimony. What it lacks in humanity it makes up for in strangeness and vigor. This is graphical exploitation at its most ridiculous and obscene. I'm looking forward to much more of this.

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8.5
Detective Comics #863

Mar 31, 2010

Though, paling incomparison to Rucka's previous Detective story arc, Cutter's finaleutilizes a unique storytelling dynamic and yields an interestingcliffhanger.At first I was skeptical about the new direction Greg Rucka,who is no stranger to writing Batman, was taking Detective Comics. It was onething to replace Bruce Wayne as Batman with Dick Grayson. It was quite anotherreplacing Batman altogether on Detective Comics with the new Batwoman. As itturns out, a break from Batmans prolonged proprietorship of Detective Comicspages was just what the doctor ordered. From psychedelic villains to mutantsand blade-covered kidnappers, Rucka has infused Detective Comics with a sort ofwhimsical depth that it hasnt seen in well, ever, really! Couple that with thetop-notch artwork thats accompanied Ruckas storytelling (the virtuosic J.H.Williams IIIs mind-boggling, literally outside-the-box panel work and Jockscurrent stone-cold grit), and youve got yourself one of the most refreshingtakes on the Ba

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8.5
Detective Comics #864

Apr 28, 2010

Rucka also offers his Question featurette in this issue, pitting the Question and Huntress against the seemingly unbeatable Vandal Savage.

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9.5
Detective Comics #875

Mar 31, 2011

It's great to once again have a monthly Batman book this well-done. Of course, Batman takes a backseat here, but I can live with that as long as we keep getting more of this awesome storytelling. I can finally stop wishing for that perfect creative team to rejuvenate Detective. They're already here.

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9.0
Detective Comics #876

May 4, 2011

This is the quintessential Detective Comics, and it's disheartening to think that we're already well into Snyder's stint on the series, meaning it will be concluding in a matter of months. I'm going to cherish it while it lasts.

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9.0
Detective Comics #877

May 30, 2011

Despite a flawed presentation (apart from the bright green ad marring Jock's otherwise beautiful cover art this month, the issue is also encumbered by two previews, one of which being an annoyingly bulky lead-in to a miniseries based on the film Super 8) Snyder and Jock's Detective is still the best Batman book I've read in years.

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7.0
Detective Comics #878

Jun 30, 2011

But, like I stated earlier, I felt burned by the lack of imagination in the epiphanies that closed the book on two of Detective's mysteries. While the last page had many critics gasping and giddily applauding, I was rolling my eyes. So much for Snyder's ability to lay genre cliches and overused plot devices to rest. I don't want to spoil anything, but it would take some serious counter-intuition to think that this chapter's two disclosures could have ended any differently. It was so staggeringly apparent since the very beginning that I was sure Snyder wouldn't take the easy way out. I was positive it was all just a ploy to throw us off someone else's trail. Alas, it wasn't, and I really can't say that it's that great of an ending to this story. Even the character of Tiger Shark is a bit inconsistent, just within the few pages that he graces, going from forcing lackeys to speak for him to suddenly having no qualms about speaking for himself. It's all good fun, but I was always under the

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9.5
Detective Comics #879

Jul 13, 2011

This chapter is lousy with allusions to boilerplates past, promising to tie all loose ends, or at least address them, just in time for September's soft reboot, and "The Skeleton Key" is all the better for it. This is THE comprehensive Dark Knight epic, and though it's stumbled here and there, every turn has been painstakingly mapped to lead the reader to this very point. I just hope Snyder can pull off an appropriate coup de grace to all of this.

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8.5
Detective Comics #880

Jul 28, 2011

It's sad to say that this issue is the penultimate chapter of Snyder's stint on Detective, which I suppose also means the end of the line for Francavilla, Jock, and Baron's regular duties on a Batman comic, but I'm anxious to see what the writer cooks up when he has fewer time constraints to worry about in the pages of the Batman reboot. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. We've still got the climax to this epic storyline just over the horizon, and while I sympathize with the Comic Con panel attendee that shouted he wanted a Detective Comics #900, I'm glad to see Tec go out on such a high note with such a fantastic creative team.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2011) #1

Sep 7, 2011

In terms of value, this book had so much more to it than Justice League #1 did and Detective #1 costs a dollar less. This is, however surprisingly, the book to follow from here on. Tony Daniel, this has been me eating my own words.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #2

Oct 7, 2011

Overall, Detective Comics is still a title I'm looking forward to reading for the foreseeable future, but I anxiously await Daniel's regression into his Batman run mediocrity.

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7.5
Dial H #3

Jul 10, 2012

Dial H is rather lighthearted fare, wearing cursory commentary about public funding for libraries and other social aspects on its sleeve while concentrating mostly on embellishing a 90's-Vertigo predilection for bizarreness. Mieville gives his audience a good amount to read for $2.99 and presents an interesting meta-mystery thriller. Santolouco's art is unrefined, but in a way that reminds me of Richard Case's work on Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol; space and depth seem uncertain and characters and settings are angular and unsettling. Many parallels can be drawn between the tone of Dial H and Morrison's Doom Patrol for that matter, namely the emphasis on sociopathic silliness, but Dial H is off to a much slower and more muddled start than Morrison's Doom Patrol run. Still, Dial H will sate your jones for strange.

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9.0
DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood #1

Aug 8, 2014

Milburn's Twelve Gems is one of those unexpectedly brilliant little books with a lot of heart and artistry. There are some plot holes, but this isn't really the kind of book where one should get wrapped around the plot-axle too much. It's a swift and rewarding read for fans of fantasy, space operas, vintage video games, and sequential art in general.

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9.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dust to Dust #1

May 28, 2010

Robert Adler's panel work gives scenes the seamlesstransitions they need to carry a story divided amongst several main characters.His use of shadows and intense urban backdrops make Dust to Dust just as gritty as this prequel should be.

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4.0
Elric: The Balance Lost #1

Jul 6, 2011

Francesco Biagini's artwork is really superb, which is a shame for it to be wasted on this story.

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10
Fatale #1

Jan 4, 2012

One final thought about this fantastically gritty and terrifying issue: Thankfully included in Fatale #1 is a peripheral delight, the return of the editorial essay, which is reminiscent of some of Brubaker and Phillips' other works. The analytical piece, written by Jess Nevins, is a comprehensive view of H.P. Lovecraft's impact on genre literature, particularly horror, and the connotations of cosmic horror. The editorial is a much appreciated cherry on top and propels the debut installment as a whole toward perfection.

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7.5
Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1

Jul 7, 2011

Like I'd mentioned before, this story may be pretty derivative of every other book, movie, and comic book that has used the "streaming execution" premise before it, but Williams' Uncanny X-Force is exuberantly white-knuckled and quick witted, a short-fused powder keg of violent adventure. Coupled with the awesome, ultra-detailed artwork of Simone Bianchi and Peruzzi's perfect balance of shadow, matte, and fluorescents, Williams' work on this book may not be a "must-read," but you won't be disappointed if you choose to give it a look.

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9.0
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1

Jun 2, 2011

Azzarello and Risso have concocted a slick, superhero neo-noir that really plays on presuppositions of the Batman character and his legacy. The artwork is fiercely evocative of Risso's 100 Bullets grit and grime, and the scripting is pitch-perfect. I would have loved to see this as an Elseworlds book, but it's so good that I'm not too disgruntled by it being a Flashpoint tie-in. Obviously this is a character model that won't stick once Geoff Johns' epic has run its course, but it should be a compelling reverie while it lasts.

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8.5
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #2

Jul 6, 2011

Really the only problem with Batman - Knight of Vengeance lies in its succinctness. Reveals come at a Gatling gun fire rate, and it's difficult to get steeped in the ephemeral lore of a world that's so fleeting. Once again, I have to fault DC with short-changing a really wonderful concept, but Azzarello and Risso's Knight reigns the Flashpoint tie-ins nonetheless.

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6.5
Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #1

Jun 8, 2011

I have to say, though, it gets a bit difficult to discern what marked similarities a direct tie-in to Flashpoint such as Deathstroke and an otherwise isolated supplement like the vastly superior Batman - Knight of Vengeance have in common. Right now it seems more of a hodgepodge than a comprehensive epic, and I think that statement pretty much sums up the entire Flashpoint event: all dressed up and nowhere to go.

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8.5
Godzilla: Half-Century War #1

Aug 9, 2012

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1 proves to be a worthwhile monster story that becomes a standout when considered for its artistic achievements. Stokoe's got me hooked again.

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8.0
Green Wake #3

Jun 8, 2011

This issue is perhaps my least favorite of the series thus far, because I feel as though it divulged a bit too much at too rapid of a pace. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that the series was originally only meant to cover a five-issue span. Now that the series has been green-lit by Image to continue as an on-going, I'm hoping for the attention to detail the first two chapters of Green Wake had to carry over into the rest of the book.

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4.0
Grifter #1

Sep 15, 2011

There are so many more plausible directions to go in with a character this versatile. Why we're getting this lukewarm junk, I can't tell you. This is turning into a trend with a majority of the New 52.

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7.0
Harvest #1

Aug 1, 2012

Colin Lorimer is the star of this comic, however. His art is by turns beautifully detailed and horrifyingly gruesome. He knows how to draw your eye and set a suitably grim tone with his sparse palette. Harvest #1 is truly an artistic tour de force for Lorimer.

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7.0
Hell Yeah #1

Mar 7, 2012

In the end, I would have to recommend this book for its clear potential and enjoyable quirks, but I have to warn that this isn't something so ambitious, cool, or bizarrely original as to be the next King City or Orc Stain. But, for 32--count 'em, THIRTY-TWO!!!!--full pages of story for only $2.99, you really can't beat this value. Eat your hearts out, Big Two.

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5.0
Hell Yeah #2

Apr 4, 2012

Szymanowicz's art seems a bit tighter here, but not by much. Lewis' palette is still vibrant and might be the most interesting thing you'll find in this book. Unfortunately, Hell Yeah just isn't as frenetic, fun, or incendiary as it should be, and that's the real problem with this book: it's just bland.

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9.0
Iron Man 2.0 #3

Apr 17, 2011

There's a bit of a disconnect between the artists in this issue as the transitions are pretty glaring, but each artist still does a fantastic artist with his own portion of the issue. The choppy progression in the artwork does nothing to make this chapter any less marvelous. Spencer's Iron Man 2.0 has the makings of one of Marvel's best titles.

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7.0
Iron Man 2.0 #4

Apr 24, 2011

This is still a good comic, merely passable by Spencer's standards, but I'm just hoping this isn't indicative of Fear Itself's incursion laying waste to this title's potential. Here's to holding your breath...

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5.0
Justice League #1

Jan 1, 1970

Is this the standard by which DC will hold the rest of its new line? Let's hope not. Our respective pull-lists are about to become much shorter.

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6.0
Ka-Zar #1

Jun 8, 2011

I suppose only time will tell if Jenkins pulls Ka-Zar from this issue's doldrums, but I'd like to think that this story will turn out to be more than just an unsubtle bombast on modern socioeconomic evils.

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2.0
Men of War #1

Sep 8, 2011

The artwork by Derenick and Winslade is very inconsistent and almost amateurish throughout this issue and feels more like something you would see in a political publication from Bluewater Comics than something you should get from a comics publishing giant. I'll be incredibly surprised if this series survives another five months.

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7.5
Mind MGMT #3

Aug 2, 2012

The book's pace should pick up somewhat with next month's issue, which should get readers to a big reveal in the series.

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6.0
Orchid #1

Oct 12, 2011

Morello and artist Scott Hepburn give Orchid a concrete foundation, but don't succeed in much more than that. This story isn't as explosive as I would have guessed a Morello helmed comic to be, nor is it as relevantly charged and intelligent as I would have hoped. It does show some promise, though.

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8.5
Pigs #1

Sep 15, 2011

Unfortunately, this is little more than a pilot episode of the new Image Comics series, and there's not much else to say about it other than it's really whet my appetite for more. Pigs is sure to be a raunchy, raucous espionage romp.

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2.0
Point One #1

Nov 10, 2011

The bottom line is this: Point One is not only a six-dollar collection of fluff that keeps you wanting for some sort of payoff, but it's also a reproachable display of comic book industry advertising at its most exploitative. Publishers across the board need to be focusing in on cultivating brilliant new creators and developing intriguing new stories, not milking existing franchises and writers/artists for every possible dollar. That marketing strategy is getting extremely dull. This collection has actually turned me off to books, like Scarlet Spider and The Defenders, that I otherwise was interested in reading. Now I'm not sure I'll be adding any of the titles here that weren't already on my pull list, and I'm sure to shy away from anything with Jeph Loeb's name on it for the foreseeable future (sorry X-Sanction). This was, in my opinion, a debacle.

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9.5
Punisher (2009) #15

Mar 31, 2010

Sure, it's campy and sometimes silly. Sure, it's predictable (after defeating Hellsgaard, Frank'll probably use the Blood-Stone to become human again to continue punishing the wicked, like this whole Frankencastle thing never happened). But, the really gut-wrenching and visceral moments that Remender throws into the mix make the whole thing come together as a true comic book classic. I, for one, can't wait to read Punisher #16 next month!

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10
Punisher (2009) #16

Apr 30, 2010

Even though Roland Boschi's artwork was nothing short of astounding in #15, it's very good to see Tony Moore back on the series. Moore's art on the Punisher is every bit as good as it has been throughout his and Remender's Fear Agent comic from Image. The years of chemistry between Rick and Tony is palpable within these panels, and the payoff is some of the coolest artwork and storytelling in comic books today. Remender's magnificent Punisher run continues to be the best series Marvel can muster under the weight of its own bloated mass of crossover convolution. This is a balls-to-the-wall, nonconformist, grade-A tale: the best "idea" the House of Ideas has had in a long, long time.

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9.0
Punisher: In The Blood #5

Mar 31, 2011

For fans of Rick Remender's always terrific writing and of the Punisher, this is a must-read. Punisher: In the Blood is a fantastic companion to Punisher: Dark Reign and should not be allowed to fall through the cracks into obscurity.

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6.5
Punishermax #6

Apr 14, 2010

The result of the line-up change was a little more thanunderwhelming for die-hard Frank Castle fans that originally saw Aaron and Dillonsappropriation of the anti-heros series as a glimmer of hope. With a strange modern day rehash that has no bearings in continuity and artwork that is hardlygritty or reminiscent of Dillons usually archetypal work, Punisher MAX doesntoffer much to keep fans reading. The plots are thin, the dialogue and narrationis scarce, and theres just not a whole lot to look at: Not much style, notmuch substance.With issue 6, Aaron and Dillon introduceBullseye into the mix and do in fact spice things up quite a bit compared to previous issues. Aaron adds some depth to Frank's internal fight as his age and his conscience seem to be creeping up on him at long last. But, there's still something off about the whole thing. They tout Bullseye as this unstoppable expert in the art form of murder, yet he's still using these goofy methods of killing his targets that have been

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8.5
Punishermax #14

Jun 9, 2011

For fans of mature comic books, of Aaron's Scalped, and of the Punisher this is a must-read series. Some really incredible storytelling is burgeoning here.

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9.5
Robot 13 #3

Mar 24, 2010

Robot 13 #3 can be ordered directly from http://www.blackliststudios.com. Digital and mobile versions are also currently available from http://www.Panelfly.com, http://www.RobotComics.net, and iTunes. The series has also been nominated for the 2009 Rondo Awards' "Best Horror Comic Book." Check out http://www.rondoaward.com for information on voting for Robot 13.

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8.5
Screamland #1

Jul 27, 2011

Screamland presents a totally novel idea with enough heart and wit to make you sympathize and relate to its strange cast of characters. Its narrative is sincere and humanizing, its artwork a blast to pore over. Leslie's cartooning is fun and imaginative, and Mellon's work on the Invisible Man backup story is gorgeous, ingeniously unraveling panel work like so much gauze and film. This first issue does a fine job of constructing its standout premise and giving us a taste of things to come. In Screamland, Image has another all-star on its roster.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #12.1

Apr 28, 2011

Still, this is the best direction I've seen this book going in, and it's incredibly promising.

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8.5
Secret Avengers #16

Sep 1, 2011

If Spencer's run was the improvement upon the tepid Brubaker formula for Secret Avengers, then Warren Ellis is the man who is putting the formula out of its misery entirely. He couldn't be doing readers a better service.

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9.5
Sin Titulo #1

Jul 30, 2014

Cameron Stewart's Sin Titulo is David Lynch distilled in two dimensions, even moreso than Lynch's own The Angriest Dog in the World, which coincidentally was also once published by Dark Horse through its Cheval Noir anthology. Much like Lynch's Mulholland Drive, by the time the rug-pulling occurs in Sin Titulo's case (to be clear, Sin Titulo's rug-pull isn't so much a "twist" as it is a "reveal and reset," but it still manages to feel true to the Lynchian trope), Stewart has told us something profound about all the flawed definitions of "man" that were applied to our fathers, about how our fathers in turn put their sons on the same paths to flawed manhood, and about the ways in which art can absolve us of these flaws. More than that, he has challenged us, through such spare and alarming imagery and such evocative text, and perhaps that alone is worth the price of admission.

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5.0
Smoke and Mirrors #1

Mar 27, 2012

Smoke and Mirrors #1 offers readers an intriguing premise, but fails to find its own plot until late in this first issue and is hamstrung by its mundane artwork.

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6.0
Stormwatch (2011) #1

Sep 8, 2011

Maybe with the opportunity to decompress a bit, and with a different artistic team, this series would flourish, but I'm not so sure readers are going to give it that chance. Stormwatch may be doomed to cancellation yet again.

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6.0
Superior Spider-Man #1

Jan 11, 2013

I don't know that I'll be returning to this series, but this opening salvo certainly was a mindlessly enjoyable read. Sometimes that's what you need, and if you need it often, then The Superior Spider-Man might be your new fix. The series has some charm, however hackneyed.

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8.5
Swamp Thing (2011) #1

Sep 9, 2011

Yanick Paquette's art and Nathan Fairbairn's colors are by turns gorgeous and disturbing compliments to the storytelling in Swamp Thing #1, though Paquette's Superman, who makes a cameo appearance to ask Dr. Holland for Swamp Thing's help, oddly looks like he could do without all the Twinkies and Ho-Ho's. This is a solid beginning, if not in keeping with the posited formula of the New 52, and I think Snyder's got this series in the bag.

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7.0
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #7

May 21, 2011

I'm almost certain this series, as well as Iron Man 2.0, will recover from its inertia and apply some torque to get the wheels spinning again, but for now I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed by Nick Spencer's plot organization.

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6.5
The Iron Age #2

Jul 14, 2011

Unfortunately, I can't endorse this issue with the same fervor I may have for the previous two books in this event series. The stories are nostalgic and entertaining, fast-paced and action-packed, but they lack the depth of Gage and Williams' contributions, which were featured in our Best of 2011 (Thus Far)! article. Dragotta's artwork in "On 42nd Street..." is gorgeous, reminiscent of the pulpy, grind-house exploitation and kung-fu films of the 70s, but I was disappointed with the legendary Frenz and Buscema's inconsistently ugly panels. The premise is wearing itself a bit thin as well, the fact that a separate and inexplicably simple quantum leap is needed for each interconnected vignette becoming dangerously tedious. The Iron Age is still, as ever, an enjoyable deviation from the formulaic crossover events of the Big Two and should be read, if not with a grain or two of salt.

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9.0
The Lindbergh Child #1

Jun 19, 2010

The book reads a little more like courtroom stenography than historical literature and is at times as matter-of-fact as a text book. Though a bit dry in that regard, the content has been researched and scrutinized exhaustively, and may very well be one of the most definitive collections of evidence and insight into the case aside from the Mercer County and New Jersey State Police reports. Not content to simply relay the series of events however, Geary provides readers with several leads and possibilities, provoking much contemplation on this Depression-era unsolved crime. Presented with all the facts of the case, the Lindburgh abduction and the following events truly seem much stranger than fiction, and, implemented with Geary's chaste black comedy and vintage sans-gray scale artwork, The Lindbergh Child is a slice of Americana a la the master of graphic historical mystery himself.

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7.0
The Mighty Thor #1

May 3, 2011

The allusion to an imminent showdown with Galactus and the Silver Surfer definitely whet my appetite for next month's issue, though. I'm looking forward to this story picking up.

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10
The Unwritten #12

Apr 14, 2010

Carey and Gross appear to be having an absolute blastsynthesizing this visionary tale, and their readers are having just as much fungoing along for the ride.The Unwritten continues getting better and better!

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8.5
The Unwritten #13

May 14, 2010

The two co-conspirators Mike and Peter are so adept at weaving all of this convoluted plot twisting together, it's hard not to love even a comparatively dry and expositional chapter in this story, like #13. This issue may not have you quite as near to the edge of your seat, but it serves its purpose in getting readers caught back up to speed and in sewing the seeds of year two's plot line. Don't skip out on this issue or you may be lost for ever when it comes to the series' future events!

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9.5
The Unwritten #24

Apr 15, 2011

Bruckner is delectably devilish and fiendishly manipulative. He represents a character singularly possessed by bitter vengeance, and the torment that racks his brain manifests vividly in his demeanor through Davison and Chuckry's moody charcoal and pastel finishes over Peter Gross's impeccable layouts. The setting of the stairwell is also evinced in a way that relays the unearthly nature of it without leaving the reader feeling gipped by something that is purely psychotropic fluff. In fact, The Unwritten as a whole retains an uncanny palpability despite the prevalence of empyrean whimsy, and that is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Carey and Gross are making readers very "happy ever after" with this book.

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9.0
The Unwritten #26

Jun 11, 2011

Peter Gross's artwork is continuously understated, subtle, shrewd in its delivery. Gross has cut his teeth on some really strange fantasy stories, making his attenuated approach here pretty fascinating and refreshing. Yuko Shimizu provides yet another superb cover image that captures the conflict at the heart of the story.

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9.0
Thief of Thieves #1

Feb 9, 2012

Overall this is a fantastic and incredibly well-scripted beginning, if not entirely representative of the plot that follows.

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9.0
Turf #1

Apr 14, 2010

Upcoming #1 second printing cover

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7.5
Turf #5

Jun 4, 2011

However, those drawbacks can be masked by Ross's enthusiastic delivery and by Edwards' lavishly gritty art deco presentation. Turf may not have been the perfection I had hoped for, but, in the words of Ross himself, "I'd say it has potential."

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8.5
Uncanny X-Force #5.1

Mar 22, 2011

I really enjoy how Remender plays with the team dynamic.Everyone has a role, and every battle is like a game of chess. There's always adecisive strategy, and then a counter-strategy involved in the story'splotting. It's always cool to see these characters powers used in adverse ways.If I had one complaint, though, it would be that Fantomex seems ridiculouslyoverpowered. But then, of course, he's the guy who can't really be trusted atthe moment, so maybe his supremacy isn't such a gift to the team as much as itis a liability.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #6

Mar 23, 2011

At the beginning of this review, I said that I wasdisappointed with this issue, only to ruminate further on that and realize thatI still loved it. I suppose I was hoping Rick would give us anotherten-out-of-ten, but instead he's "just" given us another great comic book. I really can never complain about this guy.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force #8

Apr 25, 2011

Still, there's a magic, a nostalgic effervescence, transmitted from these pages, a look back at how cool and action-packed superhero comics can really be under the right circumstances. Uncanny X-Force remains exuberantly white-knuckled while peppering in keen introspection and character development. This is perhaps the first instance I can remember since I was a kid marveling at Jim Lee's artwork on X-Men that I've felt someone has achieved such a consummate X-book. Uncanny X-Force highlights the team's idiosyncratic loves, hates, companionship, distrust, drama, and violence in an incredibly accessible and transparent fashion. Despite any diminutive drawbacks any one issue faces, this is hands-down the best book Marvel is publishing right now.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #11

Jun 2, 2011

Mark Brooks artwork proves an excellent foundation for Dean White and co-inker Andrew Currie and a refreshment from last month's dabble in mediocrity. Brooks' character models are fantastic and his action sequences are fluid, heart-pounding, and dynamic. This is as good as it gets when considering a good ol' fashioned comic book romp.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force #12

Jul 28, 2011

Brooks, Currie, and White are a powerhouse artistic team. As much as I miss Ribic and Opena's work from early in the series, Brooks and Currie's ultra-detailed panels are fantastic, if not a bit more mainstream. As long as Dean White is on colors, I think I'm happy with any artist on this book, really.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #14

Sep 1, 2011

But really the greatest thing about this issue is seeing virtuosic artist Jerome Opena working with the equally virtuosic colorist Dean White once again. It feels like it's been an incredibly long time since we've been graced by this duo's confluence of talent, but it's definitely been well worth the wait. Opena's stylized panels are brimming with ingenuity and small details, and White's colors are vivid and lush. The visual collaborations on this title, as I've remarked before, are an embarrassment of riches. Let's not forget Esad Ribic's incredible covers! I'd love to see this artistic team of Opena and White do much more work together, but for now Uncanny X-Force will absolutely do in a pinch.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #17

Nov 10, 2011

UXF is definitely not without its faults, however minuscule, but it's also so deep and character-driven that those faults only seem to further reflect those of its intricately developed players. This really is a remarkable era for this super-team, and anything that comes after it will be judged by Uncanny X-Force's nigh-impeccable standard.

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6.5
Uncanny X-Force #19.1

Jan 4, 2012

This isn't a terrible chapter in Remender's UXF series, but it certainly feels incomplete. I wouldn't have liked to see this stretch on for any more issues, but I would have liked to have seen a more restrained and thoughtful prologue here to Age of Apocalypse. Even something like Prophet's vignette in the mess that was Point One would have sufficed if dilated to a single-issue story. With UXF #19 just released and #20 right around the corner (Rick Remender remaining as industrious as ever), it's fairly easy to dismiss this book's flaws, enjoy its strengths, and look eagerly to the future.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #28

Jul 30, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #28 is an issue that recalls the excitement of this title's first year-and-a-half. Things are looking up again for this epic series.

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10
Venom #1

Mar 9, 2011

ASM 654 is where the new Venom's story begins I really love this character, from Slott's introduction ofFlash as Venom to Remender's depiction of this tragic new hero. This series isthe perfect follow-up to Remender's Punisher run. Uncanny X-Force is awesome and all, but Venom is the title I'll be following religiously, just as I didwith Frankencastle. Read this now!

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7.5
Venom #2

May 4, 2011

Tony Moore, with sketchy finishes by the Crime Lab guys and muddy colors by Rauch, gives us more superb illustrations this month. His Kraven looks frighteningly deranged and downright scary. Tony's action panels are classically dynamic with a contemporary grit rubbed into their open wounds. How about doing an issue of Uncanny X-Force, Tony?

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10
Venom #5

Jul 28, 2011

Well, that's about all I can muster the will to say about this issue with the lump it's put in my throat. This may be the first time a comic book has had this kind of profound, personal impact on me. Everyone needs to read Rick Remender's Venom right now.

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6.0
Whispers #1

Jan 12, 2012

This debut leaves something to be desired, especially following last week's brilliant Fatale #1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, but the Luna Brothers' Girls had a similarly clunky start, managing to be both cliche and more than a bit on-the-nose. Being a fan of the Lunas, I'm fairly secure in betting that Whispers will eventually develop into something that is the sum of its parts, with immersive, well-written installments outweighing the banalities of its introduction. Even this issue shows a good amount of promise. It's enough to warrant picking up Whispers #2 for sure.

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7.5
Wolverine and the X-Men #8

Apr 4, 2012

If you haven't been reading this book, now's the time to jump on board. You don't need to be a Marvel Zombie to enjoy a comic book this "uncanny."

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