Daniel Schmergel's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: IGN Reviews: 32
7.3Avg. Review Rating

8.6
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #585

Feb 4, 2009

One thing that "Character Assassination" in general, and this issue in particular, makes very plain is that the Spidey brain-trust has a clear plan for our favorite web head. In Amazing Spider-Man #585, those plans have finally reached fruition, and their impact will undoubtedly be felt by Spider-Man and all of his amazing friends.

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5.5
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #586

Feb 11, 2009

[Editor's Note: This review originally indicated that John Romita Jr. drew the issue when in fact Barry Kitson was assigned to the art. We liked the visuals regardless! Apologies for the confusion and error.]

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8.5
Batman #687

Jun 10, 2009

Ultimately, though, with his deft understanding of characterization and human emotion, Winick justifies the continued existence of this book alongside Batman and Robin. He reminds us that Batman, as scary as he may have been, was a human being who was driven by love as much as a thirst for revenge, and that the individuals who carry on his legacy are no different.

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7
Batman #688

Jul 8, 2009

Ultimately, if Batman is going to succeed in the shadow of its sister title, it's going to need to establish a unique identity for itself, and deal with themes different from those in Morrison's work. Otherwise, the comparisons will continue to be unavoidable, and what was once the Bat-Family's flagship title will become, at best, redundant.

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9.3
Batman and Robin #2

Jul 1, 2009

Or, to be more concise about it, brav-friggin-o.

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8.1
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1

Mar 11, 2009

But if Daniel can end up fashioning a cohesive and enduring storyline out of all this noise, he will have achieved the nearly impossible: replacing Batman.

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6
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2

Apr 13, 2009

Nonetheless, let's not lose hope yet. With the concluding issue still to come, it remains possible that Daniel will wrest this story from the jaws of chaos and exercise some control over his narrative. And maybe, just maybe, surprise us once or twice along the way.

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7
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3

May 20, 2009

Perhaps, though, it's unfair to judge this series entirely on its own merits. After all, Battle for the Cowl is meant to serve as a bridge between the stories of Batmen old and new and, in that sense, it's a rousing success. While many plot threads are left dangling at the end of this issue, they will hopefully be picked up in the regular Batman titles upon their return. And though I may not have been particularly thrilled by Battle for the Cowl, it did make me excited for the tales still to come, for the future of the new Batman and Robin, and for the next chapter in the story of a legend.

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8.8
Final Crisis: Revelations #5

Jan 28, 2009

The significance of this tie-in's connection to Final Crisis may be nil, but Rucka has taken on bold subject matter here — God, life, death, redemption, vengeance—and written about it thoughtfully and innovatively in the context of a battle between super heroes. It's a remarkable achievement, enhanced by Philip Tan's excellent artwork and unique panel breakdowns. Rucka has broken bold new ground in the portrayal of religion in the DCU, and I hope he continues to add to the canon in the years ahead.

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4
Hulk (2008) #10

Feb 25, 2009

The Hulk is stupid. I get that. But that doesn't mean his comic needs to be.

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8.8
Invincible Iron Man #17

Sep 2, 2009

By the end of this issue, things are looking quite grim, not just for Stark but for his compatriots Maria Hill and Pepper Potts as well. Tony, for the first time in years, seems human again, just a susceptible to failure or mistakes as the rest of us. But the final act of this arc is coming up, and it's time for Tony to show us that, in control or not, he's still a super hero.

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5.5
Justice League of America (2006) #30

Feb 18, 2009

McDuffie's work on JLA has been uneven thus far—hampered by leftover plot lines from Meltzer's run and DC-dictated crossover events. Hopefully, next issue's pseudo-reboot will provide him with the opportunity to craft his vision of what the Justice League is meant to be.

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8.8
Justice Society of America #26

Apr 29, 2009

While portions of the story may seem downright corny, it's hard to imagine a more appropriate conclusion to Johns' run on the Justice Society than this sweet little story. It reminds us that, for Johns, the Justice Society was never really about heroes and villains, or battles and catastrophes. It was about the nature and importance of family; the way it both sustains you and challenges you to constantly strive to be the best person, or super hero, you can be.

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8
New Avengers #49

Jan 28, 2009

In other words, someone's about to get beat down. And, thanks to the deft building of anticipation in this issue, I'm excited as hell about it.

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9
New Avengers #50

Feb 25, 2009

Bryan's Score: 8.3

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8.3
New Avengers #55

Jul 29, 2009

Now try not to complain too much about it.

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6.8
Red Robin #1

Jun 10, 2009

Therefore, though this issue has its share of problems, fans of Tim Wayne shouldn't give up on Red Robin just yet. If Yost can imbue his main character with a more clarion motivation, and steer his plot in a clearer direction there's still enormous potential for this series.

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7.3
Robin (1993) #182

Jan 21, 2009

The opening page of this issue is a flashback to one of Tim's first outings as Robin, with Batman by his side. In that moment, we catch a glimpse of what Tim is missing, as well as the sadness and sense of loss that he is attempting to stave off by throwing himself into the role of Gotham's protector. Tim's strong emotional core is what has always made him one of my favorite comic characters, and it's a quality that also separates from the other potential heirs to the legacy of Bruce Wayne. He's come a long way since showing up at Dick Grayson's doorstep, insisting that "Batman needs a Robin!", and this issue has me damn excited about where Tim Drake may be headed next.

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9
Secret Six Vol. 2 #8

Apr 8, 2009

Unlike most comic book archetypes, these characters live in the same grey area—between right and wrong and good and evil—that most real people inhabit. Consequently, their story comes across as more genuine than those of typical comic book characters, And it's to Simone's credit that a title featuring a man dressed as a cat, an insane disjointed clown, an uber-assassin, and the daughter of an immortal is truer to the human condition than just about any other comic book being written today.

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6
Supergirl (2005) #37

Jan 21, 2009

Ultimately, the entire issue can be summed up by its final page, which is meant to be shocking, but is actually the most predictable moment in the entire story. Hopefully, as the arc progresses, Gates can find a way of inspiring excitement and surprising his readers.

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2.8
Teen Titans (2003) #69

Apr 1, 2009

The best thing about this issue is the art by Allan Goldman and Yildiray Cinar, which, while not particularly notable, is certainly serviceable. But, as for the rest, it serves as an extremely disappointing beginning to the newest era of the Teen Titans.

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5.8
Teen Titans (2003) Annual #1

Apr 1, 2009

Nonetheless, if you are curious about the Teen Titans' new direction, I must suggest you skip Teen Titans #69, and pick up this issue instead, which at least give the suffering Teen Titans fan a modicum of hope for the future.

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7.9
Ultimate Comics Avengers #1

Aug 12, 2009

But, seriously, how can I really complain? After the aforementioned nightmares, Ultimate Comics Avengers is like a dream — one that, hopefully, will only gets better as it goes along.

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9
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

Aug 12, 2009

So, yeah, Bendis may be guilty of a little hyperbole, but comic fans are better off for it. The decade's most consistent title is back, and, without exaggerating, I can tell you it's better than ever.

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8.5
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2

Sep 2, 2009

Nonetheless, despite a few shortcomings, the second issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man isn't any sophomore slump. On the contrary, it's another step in the right direction.

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7.3
Ultimate Spider-Man #132

May 13, 2009

The issue ends with a predictable cliffhanger that promises to be resolved next month, and will hopefully settle the issue of Peter Parker's Ultimate fate. (Sorry, I couldn't resist that pun.) I, for one, hope this isn't the last we'll see of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe, as his struggle, not just as a super hero, but as a teenage boy trying to navigate the path between child and adulthood, has, thanks to Bendis, proved to be one of the most compelling stories in recent comic book history.

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6
Ultimatum: Requiem: X-Men Requiem #1

Aug 5, 2009

No, it's best to just follow the lead of the X-Men: bury the dead, say your goodbyes, and walk away.

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7
Ultimatum: Requiem: Fantastic Four Requiem #1

Aug 5, 2009

Even as a half-accomplishment, Ultimate Fantastic Four stands out as one of the few success stories of Ultimatum. While it may not redeem the storyline, it at least manages to recycle Ultimatum into something almost consumable.

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7.4
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #506

Feb 18, 2009

In addition to all this character-driven goodness, we get some interesting developments regarding the role the X-Men will play in the larger mutant community, and further adventuring with Beast and Angel's fringe science team. Compared to the stronger work Fraction is doing with Colossus and Emma, the fringe science team's adventures come across as a little silly. I understand it's supposed to be madcap and all that, but Fraction is going to need to come up with some more original concepts than what has been presented here if he's going to pull this plot arc off with the aplomb he clearly capable of.

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8
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #509

Apr 29, 2009

Meanwhile, Land's art continues to impress, despite his detractors' protestations. While this may not be the perfect X-Men book, it's quite solid, and once more of his plots reach fruition, Fraction may end up being the definitive X-Men writer of this generation.

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8.1
Uncanny X-Men (1963) Annual #2

Jan 21, 2009

In general, murky is an apropos way to describe the state of the current Marvel universe, and towards the end of the issue, Emma herself does an excellent job of summing up this new, morally-ambiguous age of superheroes. It is an era that Emma is especially suited for, and in this annual Fraction does an exceptional job of reminding us why.

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4.5
X-Men Forever #4

Jul 29, 2009

It's sad when our heroes can't live up to their own near-mythical stature, and even sadder when they continue to try. Claremont's work on Uncanny X-Men remains one of the greatest storytelling accomplishments in the history of comics, but he would do well to give up this ghost, lest he further tarnish his once sterling reputation.

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