Danny Djeljosevic's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 221
7.2Avg. Review Rating

8.0
'The Supervillain Handbook' Is a Must-Have for All Aspiring Megalomaniacs #1

May 13, 2013

Wilson and King Oblivion have a follow-up due soon, so interested parties would do well to pick up The Supervillain Handbook in soon in order to understand the sequel -- I assume.

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9.0
Action Comics #897

Jan 30, 2011

Save for the antiheroes of Secret Six, there has yet to be anything resembling a superhero in the pages of Action Comics since Lex Luthor became protagonist. Its easy to overlook that fact because DCs super-villains have been more compelling than a lot of the companys heroes these days. If Action Comics #897 is any indication, maybe the DC universe doesnt need superheroes at all.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #4

Dec 13, 2011

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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10
Adventure Time #1

Feb 9, 2012

The best "licensed" comics maintain a fidelity to the source while also delivering a unique comic book experience independent of whatever they're working from. For me the gold standard had always been the Archie Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series which developed its own weirdo universe with giant cow heads and wrestling ducks, but based on first issue alone, Adventure Time is going to rival any other licensed comic and maybe even some of the non-licensed ones.

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8.0
Adventure Time #11

Jan 14, 2013

This series is going to go down as a classic, while every other non-boat-rockin' tie-in comic will be soon forgotten.

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8.0
Adventure Time #12

Feb 5, 2013

Adventure Time in a nutshell: the comic that refuses to do the bare minimum.

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9.0
Adventure Time #15

May 1, 2013

I've written before how excited I am that there's this weird licensed comic blowing kids' minds, but I'm even more excited for the generation of comics creators who are growing up on Adventure Time to take over and do something different because a stupid licensed comic showed them that people can actually have fun making these things.

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10
Age of Reptiles: The Journey #1

Nov 9, 2009

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to reread this comic book seven more times.

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7.0
All Nighter #3

Aug 16, 2011

All-Nighter is a curious beast. As another entry in the "young cool people" genre that I'm incredibly fond of (see: Scott Pilgrim, Lil Depressed Boy) it feels distinct with some solid character work and dialogue. The characters all look remarkably different from one another, each with their own personalities and each drawn with their own specific looks and manners of dress.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #2

Dec 3, 2012

By the end of All-New X-Men #2 I wanted more, but not in the good way -- this is an issue that ends as soon as it begins -- continue to All-New X-Men #3 to actually see the X-Kids get into trouble. This will probably read great in the trade -- Bendis comics often do -- but how does anyone who isn't already resigned to reading comics like this expected to want to continue?

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6.0
American Vampire #1

Mar 21, 2010

I dont yet now if American Vampire will succeed with two 16-page stories that take place in different eras. It will be like trying to figure out a picture given only a few puzzle pieces. However, Im interested enough to continue reading, though I expect to stop caring about this title after a while.

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7.0
Animal Man #6

Feb 7, 2012

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery. His webcomic The Ghost Engine (drawn by Eric Zawadzski) will debut in Spring 2012.

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6.0
Animal Man #16

Jan 14, 2012

The final page promises that "The final battle begins!" next issue -- not that it's the conclusion, but that the conclusion is about to begin. I guess it's too easy to make fun, but I will say that at least this series is a $2.99 title and every time I think about dropping it I read a new issue and stay on for the ride -- that is, until they unceremoniously assign a new writer to the book and I'll be free forever.

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7.0
Animal Man #19

Apr 10, 2013

Even with artist changes and such, Animal Man has been able to maintain a decent quality -- especially when you study the artwork of Steve Pugh. With his ability to draw convincing animals (harder than you'd think, and consider here that Pugh has to draw a realistic cat that can also talk) as well as character acting and Animal Man's trademark "weird shit," Pugh is the total package and the book's greatest asset.

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6.0
Animal Man #20

May 7, 2013

Jeff Lemire and John Paul Leon revisit Tights, Buddy's movie from issue #6 a la those Starman issues where Jacket Starman visits Ghost Starman, and it's artistically very solid because you can never go wrong with a comic drawn by John Paul Leon. At least, visually speaking.

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5.0
Aquaman (2011) #1

Oct 2, 2011

The banal Aquaman humor actually makes sense when Johns introduces the guy in the book, as he has the guy stand in front of an speeding armor car, driven by some gun-toting bad guys. What good is this orange guy with a trident?

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8.0
Assassin's Creed: The Fall #3

Feb 10, 2011

Other comics creators, take note: this is how you do it.

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7.0
Atomic Robo: The Deadly Art of Science #1

Nov 9, 2010

The Deadly Art of Science is the fifth volume in the Atomic Robo saga, but make no mistake, its highly accessible like any good all-ages kinda book should be. Im looking forward to the second issue of this series to see the adventure really kick off.

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6.0
Avengers (2012) #4

Feb 5, 2013

Pretty art from Opea and White is followed by, um, less pretty art from Adam Kubert and Frank D'Armata. Kubert's alright -- he shines on some pages while on others he makes some layout decisions I cannot abide (a 2x4 grid of slender vertical panels? really difficult to read) but he's got a vague Chaykin vibe I can't resist.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #7

Mar 13, 2013

Me, though, I'm tickled that Hickman is using daffy, mildly obscure stuff like Captain Universe and the New Universe characters from the '80s as part of a comic that just became one of the highest grossing movies of all time. If mainstream comics aren't interested in making money or growing their audience and instead choose to service weirdos like me who have read Final Crisis more times than they've read Watchmen, I'm cool with that. Who cares about other people when I can be entertained?

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4.0
Avengers (2012) #10

May 7, 2013

The real issue with this issue is Mike Deodato, who seems to be entering that "shameless use of computer art" phase of his career. Now, I don't mean drawing stuff using a tablet -- everybody does that these days and you don't even notice. Deodato's art in this issue looks like he's putting textures over awkwardly posed 3D models (and, even worse, copy-pasting alien creatures all over the damn place) and it's pretty jarring and distracting. It's art that's as mechanical and soulless as the tools used to make it.

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3.0
Avengers Assemble #1

Mar 15, 2012

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery. His webcomic The Ghost Engine (drawn by Eric Zawadzski) will debut in Spring 2012.

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9.0
Avengers Assemble #9

Nov 19, 2012

Look, I know I'm way too excited for a comic book run based on a single issue (but I haven't been wrong before), but Avengers Assemble #9 seriously reads like the perfect companion to the Joss Whedon movie, and should be given to any fan of the movie who wants to get into the comics.

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10
Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1

Mar 5, 2011

In conclusion, there is no comic that will ever be better than Axe Cop.

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2.0
Azrael #1

Nov 3, 2010

With its pseudo-realistic mise-en-scene and total lack of imagination, Superman: Earth One is the worst kind of comic book--the kind that reads like a glorified screenplay. While this kind of faux-Hollywood nonsense was all the rage in 2002, its now 2010. We can do better, and Superman deserves better.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: 1947 #4

Oct 19, 2009

BPRD 1947 #4 is a standout issue in a standout series, setting up for what will hopefully be killer conclusion with more pathos, monsters, and pancakes.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: 1947 #5

Nov 16, 2009

While BPRD 1947 #5 isn't the slam-bang "killer conclusion" I hoped for after reading #4, it doesn't really need to be. I'd have liked to have seen what happens to loose threads like Anders, but maybe the open-ended denouement means that we can anticipate a BPRD 1948.

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8.0
Batgirl (2009) #18

Feb 12, 2011

Please, everyone, buy Batgirl and make sure it stays around for a while. If you do, Ill let you watch me eat a burrito.

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8.0
Batgirl (2009) #19

Mar 14, 2011

I got into Batgirl late in the game, having skimmed the first few issues and only really getting interested in the super-fun Batgirl/Supergirl team-up issue (#14). Then came the hilarious Robin team-up (#17) issue and I declared myself a full-on Batgirl enthusiast. Now, Im chomping at the bit to track down the back issues and find out just what else Id been missing this whole time that I wasnt reading Batgirl. You (yes, you) should do the same and realize the error of your ways. Batgirl is the superhero comic you need in your life.

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7.0
Batgirl (2009) #21

May 16, 2011

My production complaints aside, Batgirl #21 is another solid issue in this underrated series. Sales figures suggest that the book is doing pretty decent, but I feel like they could be better. Batgirl should be put in the hands of every single Buffy the Vampire Slayer reader chomping at the bit for Season 9 to come out.

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8.0
Batgirl (2009) #24

Aug 15, 2011

Batgirl #24Posted: Monday, August 15, 2011By: Danny Djeljosevic Bryan Q. MillerPere Prez, Guy Major (c), Dave Sharpe (l)DC History lesson: in 1998, Peter David quit his legendary run of The Incredible Hulk due to an editorial dispute (Marvel wanted Savage Hulk back, David wanted to write his comic). His final issue (#467) was an extended denouement set in the future that, among other things, teased all the stories David wouldn't be able to write. Simultaneously a somber, much-earned sendoff to the title he redefined and a middle finger to Marvel for botching the book he made a hit again, David's final issue is a major moment in the idea that these for-hire writers actually have something at stake artistically in these corporate comics.

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6.0
Batman (2011) #19

Apr 18, 2013

After a whole lot of darkness, Scott Snyder brightens up Batman by not just by having a lot of it take place during daytime, but also by bringing in some less-serial-killerish supervillains, namely Clayface and Reaper -- who are still a bit spooky, but they're also a transforming pile of mud and a rejected design from a tie-in comic for GWAR. Either way, it's exciting to me for reasons I'm not sure I understand -- I think it's because it creates a vibe reminiscent of the classic 1990s animated series, especially as Snyder creates an intriguing hook for the opening pages as shown by the the gatefold cover reveal.

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10
Batman, Inc. #3

Mar 13, 2011

It has a luchador in a wheelchair. And, thankfully, Morrison keeps on with the Batman 66 cliffhangers. As if you had any doubt that he was having the time of his life writing this book.

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10
Batman, Inc. #4

Mar 28, 2011

Batman Incorporated just keeps impressing me. I thought it couldnt get better than the opening scene of #3 with the intriguing cannon fodder British superheroes, but then #4 comes along with 22 pages of amazing art and fun Batmantics. As soon as I finish this sentence, Im going to ask Batman Incorporated #4 to move into my apartment with me, so I can wake up next to it every morning.

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9.0
Batman, Inc. #7

Jul 3, 2011

Because most of the people who read Batman Incorporated probably don't read Scalped, Issue 7 will probably be a lot of comic book readers' first glimpse into the despair known as the Indian reservation. I'll spare you the history lesson, but I'll say this: it's not like Elton John would have you believe.

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10
Batman, Inc.: Leviathan Strikes! #1

Dec 27, 2011

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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7.0
Batman/Doc Savage Special #1

Nov 16, 2009

Regardless, Batman/Doc Savage Special is a fine introduction to a world full of promise that hopefully won't be squandered when the main event unfolds in four months. Fingers crossed.

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10
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

May 16, 2010

By showing us the different threads that make-up the tapestry of the mythos, Morrison reminds us what makes Batman such a special and enduring character.

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5.0
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4

Aug 2, 2010

That said, this issue feels like a misstep in a potentially great series. Morrisons script barely shows through the less-than-stellar art, but I keep faith that the remaining two issues will show the book getting back on track barring any other shocking artist changes. Cameron Stewart, you are missed.

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10
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5

Oct 16, 2010

As Bruce Wayne gradually reaches the present, we get increasing ties to Morrisons entire Batman run--the Black Glove, Barbatos, the conspiracy surrounding the Waynes and even Carter Nichols, the obscure time travel-obsessed scientist reintroduced in Batman #700. These moves in issue #5 make the series more than just an examination of Batman or an obligatory event comic to resurrect a character that we knew was going to come back. More than that, The Return of Bruce Wayne is a vital part of the huge Bat-story that Grant Morrison has been telling since he took over the book.

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10
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6

Nov 14, 2010

Thats because everything in the DC Universe is completely fucking insane.

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8.0
Black Dynamite: Slave Island #1

Apr 19, 2011

However, in the face of the macro, my complaints are relatively micro. Considering how many comics get it all wrong, Black Dynamite: Slave Island should be celebrated for getting it most right -- as both a fun comic book sequel and a loving tribute to the late All-Star Running Back Ferrante Jones.

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6.0
Box 13 #1

Jun 9, 2010

Theres something delightfully comics about adapting a forgotten radio series into a comic, so this one is worth checking out for that factor.

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7.0
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #1

Mar 29, 2011

But Im a very patient reader. I read Final Crisis in single issues and never once complained. So Im excited to follow Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston (whose art Ive neglected to mention thus far -- he sells the absurdity Caseys going for while casting them in varying, dazzling color schemes, often in glowing pinks and blues) and see where they take us in Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker. I only expect that I wont know what to expect.

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7.0
Captain America and the First Thirteen #1

Mar 11, 2011

Its easy to see these one-shots getting ignored, which is a shame because Captain America and the First Thirteen is solid, fun superhero comics, and a good amount of content (35 pages) for its $3.99 price tag, especially considering how many of Marvels ongoing, multi-part, 22-page issues cost the same price. I didnt even know it was coming out until I checked this weeks releases, but now Im set on picking up a few of the other Captain America and... one-shots coming out this month.

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10
Casanova Vol. 2 #1

Jul 12, 2010

Internet, please buy Casanova this time. Its fun, exciting, and often quite funny. Its James Bond for nerds. Its Nick Fury for cool people. I guarantee it will make you smarter and prettier with each evil twin and floating casino.

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10
Casanova: Avaritia #1

Sep 10, 2011

The greatness of Casanova is nigh-fucking-impossible to put into words, at least in the casual, non-ejaculatory manner you have to resort to in order to convince other people to read it. Even the last time I met Matt Fraction at a convention I couldn't quite articulate it. The best I could do was "I love this book. I mean, I. LOVE. This. Book" and explain how I bought the original Luxuria trade, tracked down all the single issues for the backmatter (still missing issues 2 and 3) and then the Icon single issues, and then the Icon trades. But that doesn't really express how good it is -- it just expresses how obsessed I am with it. So, fuck it, I'm just going to talk about David Bowie since there's a good amount of that coursing through the veins of Casanova anyway. I mean, "Luther Desmond Diamond?"

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10
Casanova: Gula #1

Jan 15, 2011

Of the two story arcs so far, Gula is my favorite, not only because of the amazing near-cerulean color tones of the original printings, but because of the way Fraction changes what the book is, turning it from a solo book about this protagonist doing counter-missions for the bad guys into a book into an ensemble book about said protagonists absence. The amazing bit of Gula is how the story its has its own feel, one distinct from Luxuria, which, on one level, is an amazing exploration of what a story is, how you can take a collection of characters and scenarios and ideas and milieu and remix them into something. Same instruments, different sound, making for the follow-up effort that punches the very concept of sophomore slump in its stupid face. This is the best pop album youll listen to all year. And its a comic book.

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10
Casanova: Gula #3

Mar 19, 2011

If youre a Casanova virgin, Im really excited for you right now -- the final chapter in this volume is, for lack of a better term, a fucking doozy.

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10
Casanova: Gula #4

Apr 15, 2011

All I know is that the future needs Casanova.

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9.0
Change #2

Jan 14, 2013

While some less creative, dreadfully uninteresting critics were quick to pan the thing, I found Change #2 exhilarating in the same way I enjoy the best Grant Morrison comics -- it's something different that challenges you to keep up instead of just giving you the same failed movie pitches and toy tie-ins every month. To me it's not necessarily clear what Change is really about, but that's why I'm excited to read the rest. So I can find out.

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9.0
Change #3

Mar 6, 2013

It's hard to talk about something that you don't quite understand -- albeit in that delicious Grant Morrison way -- so this is going to be a short one. There's more one issue to go in this series and I'm still not sure where Change is going or where it's going to end up, but the moment-to-moment storytelling is so intriguing that I'm stoked to see how it ends -- and to reread it a few times to get a good look at the big picture.

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8.0
Comeback #1

Nov 26, 2012

Ed Brisson of Murder Book writes a straight-faced crime comic a beautifully shocking moment in this first issue and a sci-fi twist that doesn't overwhelm the dominant genre of this story -- the perfect kind of comic book to give to someone who's into the non-superhero work of Ed Brubaker and Brian Bendis. Appropriately Michael Walsh offers a Sean Phillips-ish flavor, creating moody images of people talking and doing illegal things that end up beautifully colored as Jordie Bellaire -- who it seems colored half the single issues we're covering this week -- keeps the proceedings from being a boring series of grays and browns with nice swathes of blues, reds and oranges.

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7.0
Comeback #4

Mar 6, 2013

On the art side, Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire provide really great interior pages with some fantastic sequences and striking images where everything turns one color or the background drops out for emphasis. I love stuff like that, especially when Walsh drops the background and fills it with thick, emotional brush strokes. It's one of those things you can do in comics without being deemed too flashy or gimmicky -- sometimes creating an abstract visual representation of the emotion or power of the moment is better than just meticulously drawing characters in tangible locations with natural coloring.

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7.0
Constantine #1

Mar 25, 2013

The result is decidedly a watered-down Hellblazer, but one that still works pretty effectively because Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire have experience writing the guy in Justice League Dark and John Constantine is generally fun to read. Not only that, but Fawkes and Lemire write the first installment of a story arc that feels like a complete episode with a beginning, middle and end. On the art side, Renato Guedes draws the thing pretty damn well, which helps the book's case -- that is, until somebody else fills in.

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7.0
Cowboy Ninja Viking #1

Oct 26, 2009

Cowboy Ninja Viking #1 has a great payoff with its final page, which had me giggling for a good minute at its shocking revelation. I cant wait to see whats next and, more importantly, if the premise can sustain an ongoing series.

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6.0
Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier #1

Aug 12, 2010

We know that our characters are safe for a while thanks to the opening scene, but the stuff leading up to that is intriguing enough due to the memorable characters. Im loving the dolphin-killing Japanese prime minister. But I cant wait for them to get into space to see just what happens after those opening 12 pages. Hopefully more trip balls-y imagery and cosmic insanity.

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7.0
Dark Avengers #185

Jan 22, 2013

Dark Avengers #185 also introduces a rehabilitated U.S.Agent, which I don't think anybody was clamoring for -- I was happy with what little of John Walker was left -- but I'm kind of pleased to see that the Dark Avengers now have a Dark Captain America. The more I think about this book, the more I like it.

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7.0
Dark Horse Presents #1

Apr 23, 2011

Dark Horse Presents #1 is a mostly solid collection of stories and a promising return of a series that can serve as a platform for readers to discover new talents or get acquainted (or reacquainted) with established ones. This opening issue falls way too heavily on the established talent, but maybe that's for the best to grab readers and keep them coming back. The original Dark Horse Presents gave us comics like Sin City, so it's exciting to see what future classics will debut in the pages of this new series.

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7.0
Darkwing Duck #1

Jun 17, 2010

Even though it sounds like a dreary start to what should be a fun all-ages comic, by the end of Darkwing Duck #1 its clear that the expected superhero action and slapstick arent too far off for this series. Plus, Darkwing Duck is an ongoing series, so it wont be over in four issues. Lets hope its a success.

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9.0
Darkwing Duck Annual #1

Mar 1, 2011

Darkwing Duck: great for kids, great for fans, great for everyone. Also, great comics.

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9.0
Detroit Metal City #4

Mar 10, 2010

I love comics about music, and Detroit Metal City is no exception. It's important to note that I'm not the biggest metalhead on Earth, but this graphic novel is so self-aware and hilariously over-the-top that it can appeal to people--provided they can stand all the crude humor--who have no interest in Motrhead (even though they should).

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6.0
Devil #1

Feb 21, 2010

If youd like to know more about the world of Devil, wait for the next issue. If you were put off by the violence . . . well, at least it was a full story of cops fighting virus-vampires.

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8.0
Dorohedoro #1

Mar 17, 2010

Most of all, Im looking forward to the masks.

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7.0
Elric: The Balance Lost #1

Jul 5, 2011

When I reviewed the Free Comic Book Day Preview of Elric: The Balance Lost, I marveled at the high fantasy trappings colliding with intradimensional craziness and was just a little intrigued by the taste of Michael Moorcock's world(s) we were getting from Chris Roberson and Francesco Biagini. Plus, it had Elric shrieking and killing things with a sword. While excited to find out more, I didn't read up on any Moorcock in preparation for the series proper (that would have shown initiative), but I certainly eagerly read the first proper issue of The Balance Lost. After all, the perspective of a newbie is important to this kind of thing, right?

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8.0
Elric: The Balance Lost #2

Aug 2, 2011

Comics need to be more fucking bonkers than they are. Movies are kicking our ass despite being at least 10,000% more poorly written and 50,000% less imaginative. These filmmakers, they're capable of doing pretty decent superhero movies and these days. They can adapt Lord of the Rings now, y'now. We gotta step our shit up or we'll get eaten alive.

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7.0
Elric: The Balance Lost (Free Comic Book Day) #1

May 3, 2011

Elric: The Balance Lost is a 10-page comic padded up to 20 thanks to some illuminating backmatter where BOOM! CEO Ross Richie talks about Elric's history in comics and we get some sketches from Biagini. For newbies like me, this whole issue is a valuable primer, and one that whets the appetite, giving readers a taste of what to expect when the series debuts in July: smart scripting and fantasy violence in equal doses.

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9.0
Fair Trade Comics: Cow Boy #1

Sep 27, 2012

In a culture where the overwhelming assumption is that stuff for kids is supposed to be brain-dead, Cow Boy is one of those comics that perfectly makes a case for the power and necessity of all-ages comics. It's the sort of story that could only spring from the minds from its creators, not commissioned by any company.

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10
Fair Trade Comics: Monsters #1

Aug 14, 2012

Monsters is the best (and probably rarest) kind of education one can hope to get from an artistic work because the protagonist's learning is tied so organically to the story itself -- one that leaves the reader a coda that's hilarious and, surprisingly, kind of sweet. If there's ever a case to be made for creator-owned/indie/Fair Trade comics, it's Monsters, a comic about real people that tackles a real subject that mainstream comics couldn't/wouldn't/probably shouldn't address.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #1

Nov 19, 2012

I've never been too keen on Mark Bagley -- he's a bit too workmanlike, light on flair, mostly notable for his ability to hit deadlines, being the Alan Davis you can get. But on Fantastic Four #1 -- ironically, working with frequent Davis inker Mark Farmer -- he's perfectly fine. It helps that Paul Mounts' colors are nice and heavy on otherworldly blues. To me, the most exciting thing about Bagley's art is the prospect that there might not be countless fill-ins on this book.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #3

Jan 14, 2013

I know I've said this before, but while I'm not really a Mark Bagley fan, Fantastic Four is some of his best work, likely because he's drawing weird stuff, being inked by Mark Farmer so it looks a bit like Alan Davis and is olstered by Paul Mounts' amazing purply cosmic colors.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #4

Feb 19, 2013

It's a much slower take on the Fantastic Four than we've seen in recent years, as Fraction takes time to develop his cast. The educational family vacation aspect is a strong one, and puts a focus on these characters and how they interact (or don't interact as the case may be). Some readers may be a bit antsy about where this run is going, but I'm willing to follow the characters while big ideas grow closer to coalescing.

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8.0
Fear Itself #1

Apr 10, 2011

Colorist Laura Martin, thankfully, knows who shes working with, and she keeps the earth tones to a minimum. She renders some amazing blues and greens, and handles the otherworldly Asgardian colors (previously seen in Fractions Thor care of Matt Hollingsworth) beautifully. I could just stare at these pages all day. In fact, I just might.

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7.0
Fear Itself #2

May 6, 2011

By the end of issue two, it seems like Fraction, Immonen and company have thrust us from the first act into the second. The third issue will surely deliver on all the superhero action the first two issues have been leading up to, but so far the setup has been compelling on its own.

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8.0
Fear Itself #4

Jul 8, 2011

Fear Itself #4Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011By: Danny Djeljosevic Matt FractionStuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger (i), Laura Martin (c), Chris Eliopoulos (l)Marvel When I read Fear Itself, I'm not just reading characters with hammers fighting characters without hammers; I'm also reading Matt Fraction writing Fear Itself as he scripts easily the most technically daunting task in his comics career. Imagine, for the first time, having to juggle multiple characters, ideas and themes while having to deal with a slew of editors and writers whose comics are tied directly into yours, an entire industry of fans and peers' eyes on you -- all while having to come up with a crackerjack story. It must feel like playing piano on a tightrope.

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6.0
Fear Itself: Book of the Skull #1

Mar 22, 2011

Id hardly call it a must-read, but Fear Itself: Book of the Skull is a suitable book to whet the appetite if of those chomping at the bit for Fear Itself to go into full swing in a couple of weeks.

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7.0
Flash (2010) #1

Apr 18, 2010

I didnt expect to say this, but The Flash #1 is a solid, entertaining, and (by god) accessible superhero comic in a world where a superhero comic is rarely all three things. I cant wait for #2. I pray my praise isnt for naught in 30 days.

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7.0
Flash (2010) #9

Feb 13, 2011

Johns takes a lot of shit these days, but the guy knows how to give each of his books a markedly different feel--which is especially true of The Flash, one of the books where Johns originally made a name for himself. Theres a comfort and a familiarity to the story that shows the writers handle on the world of the series and the characters in it. So far, The Flash is what I want a Flash book to be. Hopefully it doesnt get muddled by the Flashpoint crossover.

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8.0
Forgetless #3

Mar 1, 2010

Until the next issue of Forgetless, well just have to dance.

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6.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #16

Jan 22, 2013

Kindt and Ponticelli close out the series with a self-contained issue that reiterates the basic idea of the comic while leaving room for more stories that probably won't happen. Awesome that DC gave this character a chance and awesome that it lasted 16 issues -- longer than some cancelled series in recent years that I liked more. Being a book published in the New 52, it's tempting to imagine how much better this could have been without the editorial baggage that it came with, but for that I always have the original Grant Morrison Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein to enjoy. Have you read that lately? It's bonkers.

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6.0
Freedom Fighters #9

May 2, 2011

Freedom Fighters #9Posted: Monday, May 2, 2011By: Danny Djeljosevic Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayTravis Moore, Walden WongDC ADVANCE REVIEW! Freedom Fighters #9, the final issue of the series, will come out on May 4, 2011.

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8.0
Friends With Boys #1

Mar 7, 2012

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery. His webcomic The Ghost Engine (drawn by Eric Zawadzski) will debut in Spring 2012.

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6.0
Giant-Size Atom #1

Mar 3, 2011

Mostly, though, I wish this one-shot collected the entire story as opposed to just dumping the remaining chapters. The opening page does a decent job of explaining the situation to readers who werent following the initial Adventure Comics, but it feels somewhat incomplete without the previous chapters and the Brightest Day: Atom one-shot that kicked it off. Best to wait for the inevitable trade that collects the whole thing in one neat little package.

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8.0
Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #1

May 12, 2011

In the wake of other Image books like Infinite Vacation and Nonplayer getting tons of buzz from critics and fans, it seems like this one's getting a touch shortchanged. Which is a shame because Gladstone's School for World Conquerors is the kind of fun, sophisticated, Day-Glo kids' superhero comic that we've all been waiting for.

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6.0
Gorilla-Man #2

Aug 9, 2010

As an added bonus, Gorilla-Man #2 features an old Tales to Astonish story in which a scientist invents a machine that transfers his personality to animals. Its okay -- I wish there were some story and art credits -- but the last panel is fucking genius.

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7.0
Graveyard of Empires #2

Aug 23, 2011

Does the world need another zombie comic? I honestly don't think so, but they still keep trickling out, desperate to grab some of that unlikely Walking Dead money. I thought the zombie hybrid genre was over in at least 2009, but here we have Graveyard of Empires by Mark Sable and Paul Azaceta in the year 2011. While it might be late to the party, maybe that's a good thing, keeping the book from getting lost in the shuffle of superhero zombies, cowboy zombies, flapper zombies and -- oh, I dunno -- caveman zombies.

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8.0
Guarding the Globe #4

Mar 8, 2011

Do me a favor, Internet: buy lots of copies of Guarding the Globe so it justifies its own ongoing. I want to read as much about these characters as possible.

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7.0
Haunt #28

Jan 14, 2013

Well, that was pretty fun while it lasted.

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4.0
Hawk and Dove #1

Sep 12, 2011

Either way, you're not getting any of that in this comic, and I'm sure nobody reading a Rob Liefeld comic wants that.

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8.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #7

Feb 5, 2013

The art changes prove that Matt Hollingsworth is this book's secret weapon. His colors are so integral to Hawkeye's look that the art shifts never feel jarring or distracting. It helps that the artist choices are in the book's wheelhouse too, but the colors make all the difference.

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8.0
Herc #10

Dec 3, 2011

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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8.0
Herculian #1

Mar 1, 2011

Erik Larsen has been one of the more consistently creative Image founders (read: he actually continues to make comics), so it's great to see him venture out into adventurous, weirder territory. I wish more established creators did this, and I especially hope that we see more of this from Larsen in particular.

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3.0
Hero Worship #1

Aug 8, 2012

*And I do mean "himself" -- women in this comic seem to exist only to emasculate, from the girl who calls Adam gay to the Zenith foundation employees who say that no, Zenith won't be here and insist that Adam's just feeling overwhelmed by his presence in the Foundation.

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4.0
Hunter's Fortune #1

Nov 2, 2009

Shame that the book is serialized, as might read better as a whole. As it is, Hunters Fortune is a light, inoffensive read that can be conveniently forgotten once more substantial comics show up, like sitting through a formulaic sitcom before a new episode of Lost.

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7.0
Hybrid Bastards! #1

Oct 6, 2010

Faint praise aside, Hybrid Bastards! is appreciated.

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3.0
Incorruptible #1

Dec 13, 2009

Granted, Waids take on the idea is a bit more heroic than those darker comic book series, but just because its closer to a straightforward superhero comic doesnt mean it should lack nuance. Then again, these complaints are a lot to pin on a first issue, so prove me wrong, Incorruptible #2.

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8.0
Indestructible Hulk #5

Mar 25, 2013

While people are (rightfully) fawning over his Daredevil, Waid is coming out with one of the most underrated superhero books Marvel is putting out. How are we still calling Mark Waid books underrated? Why haven't comics readers learned yet?

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7.0
Indestructible Hulk #6

Apr 10, 2013

Mark Waid's script is the first of a three-parter, but he fills the pages with enough to make this not feel decompressed -- there's character interaction, fighting and a worthy cliffhanger. Come to think of it, Waid's another cat who makes it seem so goddamn effortless.

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9.0
Infinite Vacation #1

Jan 16, 2011

Is it too early to start compiling that Best of 2011 list?

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4.0
Intrepid #1

Feb 15, 2010

Two issues in and Im not sure what Intrepid is or why I should be reading it. The book has its fair share of action, but without context or mystery or personality Intrepid is just confusing and irrelevant.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #20

Dec 1, 2009

It's a shame that Invincible Iron Man comes but once a month because it's easily one of Marvel's best superhero comics, if not the best superhero comic right now. If the rest of "Stark Disassembled" is as good as this opening chapter, Matt & Sal may as well start writing their Eisner acceptance speeches now.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #25

May 3, 2010

Invincible Iron Man reminds me of Grant Morrisons New X-Men back in the day--a comic that felt informed by the film adaptation, but not slavishly devoted to it. Its accessible to movie fans but still stands up as a distinct comic book work. All it takes was a bit of pop culture significance and some talented creators.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #501

Feb 25, 2011

Before he was the Marvel superstar writing three of the company's biggest titles, Fraction was an indie comics creator, writing non-superheroic graphic novels and talking about the art of comics and the industry itself in places like Comic Book Resources and his own online magazine, Savant. While it's easy to go back to his comics activism days and see the dramatic irony in reading a guy express his disinterest in writing superhero comics a decade ago now about to unleash Fear Itself upon the world, one need look no further than Invincible Iron Man to see that Fraction isn't completely relenting to the form, but subverting it, going beyond the superhero genre to make a modern, relevant, forward-thinking comic book thriller about the politics of technology -- something that has more in common with Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President than Batman. It's almost like what Ryoichi Ikegami did with the Spider-Man manga back in the '70s. Fraction keeps decreasing the amount of Iron

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #502

Mar 22, 2011

Its hard not to imagine Invincible Iron Man as being in dialogue with the films (and its no secret that the two have informed one another), so its refreshing to see a villain that isnt a giant armored villain. While the standard superhero trope is for the hero to fight some perverse mirror version of himself (which is the real reason why characters like Venom endure), this doesnt have to be so literal. Fraction posits Doctor Octopus as a perversion of Tony Stark, but hes physically different enough to make him an exciting foe.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #503

Apr 22, 2011

To those of the opinion that stories that don't tie into other things don't "matter," "Fix Me" seemed like it was going to be a quick "filler" arc to entertain readers before a potentially more weighty Fear Itself tie-in. I'd argue that "Fix Me" matters most -- not just because it perfectly just what makes Tony Stark awesome, but because it's a classic kind of superhero vs. supervillain story that's given weight without cheap gimmicks. Also we learn that even if the angry nerds win, the cool nerds are still cool.

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6.0
Iron Man (2012) #2

Nov 26, 2012

One interesting bit -- this issue features a note from Kieron Gillen about how he's approaching this series as a more improvisational work than his Journey Into Mystery, which was meticulously plotted from page one. I know the next arc has Iron Man going into space like how Fraction ended the last run, so that inspires confidence in where this title's going. Which makes me wonder if this first arc is just meant to be a (here's that word again) transitional story where fans of Invincible Iron Man are eased into the next era. Kieron's a music guy, he knows all about those kinds of records.

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7.0
Iron Man 2.0 #1

Feb 27, 2011

Ultimately, Iron Man 2.0 is a bit more straightforward than Spencer's other ops-based superhero book, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and thus less of a challenge. However, it promises to be equally strong thanks to its intriguing first issue.

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10
Jimmy Olsen #1

Apr 3, 2011

So concludes the rehabilitation of Jimmy Olsen, sadly. DC has ceased their co-feature experiment and, save for T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Nick Spencer has headed for the hills into the arms of Marvel Comics. Hopefully, Spencers successors will follow his example when handling Supermans Pal. Also hopefully, Spencer will have successors when it comes to Jimmy Olsen. (Im easily Google-able, DC Comics.)

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8.0
Joe The Barbarian #1

Jan 24, 2010

All of this great work is given additional yet vital mood by colourist Dave Stewart's use of earth tones, making for a comic that feels like a rainy day when you're stuck inside the house and the world only succeeds to depress.

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7.0
Journey Into Mystery #646

Nov 26, 2012

The retooled Journey Into Mystery #646 offers a promising start to a new era of Thor-related fantasy adventure comics, with Valerio Schitti drawing beautiful images of monsters Sif hitting things, Immonen writing jokes and offering a very promising set-up to the current story arc. Looks like the warrior goddess is getting a bit bloodthirsty. Loving Sif's new costume, too.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #648

Feb 5, 2013

FYI: Marvel has three female-fronted solo titles -- Journey Into Mystery, Captain Marvel and Red She-Hulk, and each one is distinct. Upcoming are two all-woman team books (Fearless Defenders and X-Men). Of these five, created by men and women alike, only one title explicitly mentions a character's gender. This is how you do it, Comics.

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7.0
Journey Into Mystery #651

May 1, 2013

From Marvel's best female-fronted comic that isn't Captain Marvel, we get a pretty enjoyable one-off issue about a giant wolf god. But I'm mostly concerned with the art of Pepe Larraz this time around.

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4.0
Justice League #14

Nov 26, 2012

This entire arc could have been condensed into one issue and it probably would have been fine. Spending two months on an extended fight scene with the payoff of "Oh snap! Cheetah wanted to get captured as part of a bigger plan!" smacks of running the clock down.

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7.0
Justice League #18

Mar 25, 2013

Geoff Johns loves the DC Universe, and DC's strength is that the world is basically overpopulated with superheroes and the resultant goofy shit. The DC Universe should always be the most superheroiest of the cape comics worlds, and this issue shows that by gathering a bunch of diverse superhero characters -- robots, devils, kung fu ladies, magicians, street heroes, people with fire for hair, ex-sidekicks -- around a meeting table in a satellite. Most importantly, Johns and Saiz introduce a new-new Atom, who is a lady with goggles, which I'm so all about that it ain't even funny.

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6.0
Justice League #19

May 21, 2013

There's still a lot of dumb stuff in this book -- the hokey briefcases with the superheroes' symbols on them, Atom coming out of a laptop screen as a weak modernization of the old guy's "coming out of the phone" trick, but it's well illustrated and there's enough density in the book that it doesn't feel like a waste. Talk about damning with faint praise.

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9.0
Justice League Dark #1

Oct 2, 2011

Especially after Red Lanterns #1 ended up a flawed (to put it lightly) book that seemed more like an intellectual experiment in resuscitating braindead characters than an enjoyable piece of fiction, I was wondering if Milligan was just resigned to making mainstream comics that lacked the spark that made me want to track down all his classic work. Thankfully, I don't easily give up on a creator because Justice League Dark is as good as its title is awful.

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5.0
Justice League Dark #16

Feb 5, 2013

Cool that Janin's been on this book since Issue #1; ignoring the odd fill-in, it's really nice to see that, nearly 1.5 years in, somebody's stuck with a book at DC, and on some level, this is marginally better than Justice League, but hardly as interesting. It's got kind of a Grant Morrison-y, Vertigo-type thing going on -- evidenced by having Peter Milligan, Jeff Lemire and now One Soul's Ray Fawkes on it as co-writer -- and instead of going balls deep in the weird it's becoming the book that appears to be edgy and off-kilter because they fought a talking tree once. Justice League Dark should be more interesting than it is.

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4.0
Justice League of America (2006) #39

Nov 30, 2009

At best, Justice League of America #39, points out the ridiculousness of Blackest Night proper by focusing on minor characters instead of Green Lantern and the Flash. In setting up for a zombie Plastic Man (oh please no), suddenly the silliness of a zombie Elongated Man becomes apparent, doesn't it?

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6.0
Justice League of America (2013) #2

Mar 25, 2013

Still digging this book, even moreso now that it's no longer about two people talking about who's going to be in this comic. David Finch's art is whatever -- some parts I enjoy and others not so much and I really really really really really wish Catwoman would zip up -- but Johns writes some decent bits of humor and covers a surprising amount of ground before the intriguing cliffhanger. It's all good dumb fun.

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6.0
Justice League Of America's Vibe #2

Mar 25, 2013

The result is perfectly respectable superhero comics, for whatever that's worth. It certainly deserves more of a look if you're a DC Comics fan who just wants some superhero action but dislikes the '90s Image aesthetic of the New 52. It's competently written in a television episode style, where a single issue tells a complete story while also advancing the meta-plot, which I think is a really good idea for superhero comics -- the self-contained plot gives a new reader something to hold onto while someone who's been keeping up gets more big plot developments. Hopefully Gates continues the trend, because the last thing we need is five-issue story arcs of Vibe.

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5.0
Justice League: Generation Lost #1

May 17, 2010

Obviously it would feel cheap to try to recreate the feel of the old JLI stories, especially without some of the major players (both creators and characters), but why bother with a reunion show otherwise? Clearly its only going to attract the nostalgic and people who are really, really invested in what happens to B-list characters between myriad death scenes. To everyone else, it will seem as outdated and incongruous as Ices costume. Seriously, nobody thought to redesign her?

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2.0
Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #1

Mar 26, 2010

Internet, before you shell out money for comics like this, you need to think to yourselves, Is this what you want your superhero books to be? Horrible, maudlin and full of faux-gritty ugliness? DC Comics will think so if you keep buying it. Please, do not buy this book. I beg you.

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10
Katana #1

Feb 19, 2013

Katana is going to be the most misunderstood comic book of 2013 and I'm going to revel in it until the series proves me wrong -- or, failing that, when the entire creative team is fired.

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5.0
Katana #3

May 7, 2013

Katana is pretty much the same as it was in prior issues -- it's kind of weird (hint: there's a scene in which our hero hits a dude with a bowling ball), there's lots of combat and Katana once again fights the karate wino while wearing a cute outfit that doesn't look like she was dressed by some beardo comics artist. I think Nocenti is (wisely) giving her artists photo references.

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4.0
Kill Audio #2

Nov 5, 2009

Kill Audio is a very annoying comic, but not only for its content. What really bothers is the very obvious ways it could have been improved--a brighter color palette and the removal of any word that isnt a sound effect.

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7.0
Klezmer: Tales of the Wild East (Book One) #1

Feb 2, 2011

Klezmer Book One ends on a cliffhanger--just who will they be performing for??--and I hope First Second gets around to publishing the other two books in this series.

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10
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century: 2009 #1

Jul 3, 2012

*I know what my next big Comics Bulletin writing project is!

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10
Legion of Super-Heroes (2010) Annual #1

Feb 6, 2011

And to read them, we will need sunglasses.

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7.0
Limit Vol. 1 #1

Nov 29, 2012

I can't speak for the quality of future installments of Limit, but the fact that this series only lasts six volumes is extremely promising -- it's a low, finite number that suggests a desire to tell a complete story in a sensible amount of time instead of stretching the narrative out to a tiring 40 volumes. Based on Limit Volume 1, I'm excited to watch these schoolgirls murder one another and maybe learn something in the process.

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6.0
Love and Capes: Ever After #1

Feb 15, 2011

Love and Capes: Ever After #1 is a fun little comic, a slice of life-y relationship comedy that shows that you can make a comic book about superheroes that isnt action-centric. I dont know how far Zahler plans to take it or if how far into the superhero married life he wants to or can even sustain it, but I plan to stay on board to find out.

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9.0
Luchadoras #1

May 18, 2011

Luchadoras is a powerful comic with a misleading title, as Mexican wrestling only features briefly but makes a clear reasoning for the feminized title--the luchadores in the book wrestle one another for entertainment while our unmasked heroines wrestle with the lives they're given.

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5.0
Lucid #1

Jun 8, 2011

While the combination of magic and espionage is strangely palatable--it's not chocolate and peanut butter, closer to tofu and peanut sauce--McMillian and Wieszczyk could stand to ramp it up and go even bigger with the magic stuff and the twisty topoi of the spy genre. Maybe, like in the movies, the sequel will be better than the first one.

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9.0
Mara #2

Feb 5, 2013

After Issue #1 I was sure I was buying it more for the art than the story -- even though the dystopian volleyball premise is exciting for being something we haven't really seen before -- but Wood's second issue is pretty strong. I found the expository worldbuilding a bit tedious in the opening issue, but here it works, probably because we're embedded enough at this point that not a lot needs to be explained to us. There's fallout from the events of the previous issue, followed by some intriguing escalation. And it's all very pretty.

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7.0
Mega Man #1

May 14, 2011

And it's all done without a lick of irony or self-awareness. In the opening flash-forward, we see that Wily's lair, as a fan might hope, is indeed a giant skull-shaped building with the mad scientist's logo on the forehead. While it'd be funny to point out the patent ridiculousness of the whole thing, there are enough comics that do that with the ironic distance of an embarrassed adult. Some of our comics have to be pure, for the children's sake. And Mega Man #1 promises pure, fun robot adventure comics, with slick art to match.

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8.0
Memorial #1

Dec 26, 2011

Like most first issues these days, Memorial #1 is introduction and setup, but Roberson and Ellis introduce enough weird elements -- An evil ventriloquist's dummy! A land inhabited by fictional creatures! A bear statue with less-than-noble intent! -- to go along with the fantasy intrigue and keep me on board for the rest of the series.

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8.0
Memorial: Imaginary Fiends #1

Mar 25, 2013

I love the idea of doing these kinds of side adventures to further explore the world, and hopefully Roberson and Ellis do more of these digital-first stories between main volumes of Memorial.

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10
Message to Adolf Part 1 #1

Oct 1, 2012

It's only half the story so far, but it really doesn't matter. Even without a proper conclusion in mind, these (roughly) 640 pages contained within Message to Adolf Part 1 comprise transcendent comics, a harrowing, heartwrenching masterwork culminating decades of craft and experience to create an adult work about serious themes that never reads like a cynical grab at prestige. Message to Adolf Part 1 is more than an epic political thriller or a tragic tale of innocence lost; it's some of the purest cartooning you'll ever experience.

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7.0
Mind MGMT #0

Nov 19, 2012

It may seem like a "for fans only" sort of thing, but if you're curious about checking out the series, this three-dollar one-shot offers a fine sampler. If you're into the psychic weirdness, the watercolor art and unconventional paper stock, then there's already at least six issues of a series that's just like it. So get crackin'.

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8.0
Minicomic: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever #1

Jun 28, 2012

While ultimately a great big entertaining goof -- which makes any negative reaction from people who take such things seriously even more hilarious -- there's certainly value in seeing straight-faced rock stars depicted as tender lovers while Hall & Oates are hardcore Satanists -- besides the obvious joke. It's a parody, but it's also the act of overturning our perception of musicians and the self-serious way musicians wish to be perceived. When you take yourself that seriously, you deserve to be drawn cuddling with Morrissey, who you know would hog the bed.

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7.0
Morbius: The Living Vampire #1

Jan 14, 2012

Morbius #1 doesn't come running out of the gate, but it's a stylish debut that works to establish who the hell Morbius is and what he can do. As such, it's heavy on the expository first-person narration, but not overwhelmingly so. I'm optimistic about it. Rich Elson's art is solid and Keatinge -- who's made his name over the past year doing left-of-the-dial superhero comics -- should do well with this offbeat horror/superhero comic.

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8.0
Morning Glories #4

Nov 18, 2010

The final pages of Morning Glories #4 made me grin with the same excitement that I had reading Runaways under Brian K. Vaughan. Similarities aside, both have a tension missing from the usual mainstream ensemble book. As much as I love, say, Uncanny X-Men, you know that Cyclops and Jubilee are Cyclops and Jubilee and you dont have to worry about them until the big yearly crossover. In Morning Glories you never know wholl survive or where their loyalties lie. Because its an ongoing serialized comic and not a weekly TV series from the '60s (though The Prisoner uses the repetitive nature of television to artfully absurdist ends), Im confident that each story arc wont end with the cast waking up in their dorms only to start all over again, so I cant wait to see what happens next.

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8.0
Muppet Show Comic Book #1

Jan 15, 2010

More comic books need to be as smart as The Muppet Show Comic Book. This is a kid's comic that doesn't feel like the guy writing it thinks children are idiots. For one thing, he uses words with more than two syllables -- something not even accomplished by many comics ostensibly written for "adults." Langridge's pages have a surprising amount of content, unafraid to have 11 panels on a page and making The Muppet Show Comic Book one of the few $3 comic books that doesn't feel sparse.

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7.0
Mystery in Space #1

May 14, 2012

The various editors all contributing to this anthology is akin to a record with a different producer on each track -- individual songs might be okay, but as an album it doesn't hold together. While on one hand it's cool that apparently everyone in the Vertigo office jammed together to put out Mystery in Space, as a collection of nine stories all under the same cover, there's a distinct lack of unity.

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8.0
mystic #1

Aug 7, 2011

NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Danny Djeljosevic was the only Comics Bulletin staffer to read and review Mystic #1 this week. However, he has politely agreed to adhere to the Sunday Slugfest format -- for better or worse.

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7.0
Nanny & Hank #1

Jun 24, 2010

People say theyre sick of vampire stories, but I think theyre just sick of the kinds of vampire stories that are all the rage these days. If youre tired of romance novel vampirism, trade in your longing stares, glistening chests, and muscular embraces for wrinkles and sharp teeth, and see how that suits you.

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10
Nausica of the Valley of the Wind Deluxe Edition #1

Dec 31, 2012

Shockingly, despite his fame through animated features, we haven't seen much of Miyazaki's comic work make their way to the English speaking world. Nausica of the Valley of the Wind is one of the few, and it's rightfully endured. In this current deluxe edition, Viz gives Nausica the treatment it deserves -- a fancy (but not too fancy) repackaging of a great fantasy epic that looks nice on your shelf, but that you can also read without being too afraid of messing it up. This is an essential edition of a series of essential comics.

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5.0
New Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 14, 2013

And that's biggest problem with this debut: a lack of clarity. Despite some promising bookend material, this feels like one of those "cold open" first issues where I don't know what the book's about yet. That said, I like the focus on the Black Panther, which makes me wish Jonathan Hickman was just working on some crazy sci-fi Black Panther solo series instead. Seems like it'd be right up his alley.

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7.0
Next Men #1

Dec 14, 2010

Byrne has a clear aim with Next Men #1--to reintroduce the team and set up the current story. He succeeds in both, making for a promising first issue of a series that will hopefully allow Byrne to finish the story he started in 1992. I cannot tell you how a die-hard fan will appreciate it, but as someone who until this very moment knew nothing about Next Men, Im intrigued enough to want to catch up on Byrnes original run.

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8.0
Nikolai Dante: To Cool To Kill #1

Dec 7, 2011

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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7.0
Nola #1

Nov 9, 2009

Nola is total pulp and I mean that in the best way. It's a modern-day blaxploitation comic without the pastiche but complete with evil white men who deserve a good killing. Let's just hope that Nola is as mean as it promises.

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8.0
OMAC #1

Sep 12, 2011

Of all the DC relaunch titles (save I, Vampire and maybe Hawk & Dove) O.M.A.C. seemed to be met with the most confusion from fans, partially because DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio had a hand in its story and partially because, well, most readers' familiarity with the concept comes from all that OMAC Project stuff from the Infinite Crisis era. Which is unfortunate, because O.M.A.C. is one of those insane Bronze Age Jack Kirby comics that he wrote, drew and edited back when he jumped ship over from Marvel. And yet you all laughed when this O.M.A.C. relaunched was announced. Why everybody gotta be down on O.M.A.C.? Didn't Jack Kirby get enough shit from you guys when he was alive?

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8.0
Pale Horse #1

Jun 19, 2010

Pale Horse is the kind of western you dont find anymore in the movies--one where the material is allowed to embrace its genre and be unabashedly trashy, which I mean in the best way. This might be one of my favorite releases from BOOM! Studios thus far, provided theres more violence to come and absolutely no funny business with sea creatures, werewolves, clockwork men, monkey cults, or Cthulhus. I beg you, comics.

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8.0
Pigs #1

Sep 13, 2011

Pigs #1 had me waiting. Surely this promising tale of Cuban sleeper cells in America was going to eventually drop in some zombies, a spaceship or at least some literal pigs (see: Guerillas). Nope. Still waiting. C'mon guys, if you're going to do a comic book, at least give us a hint in the first issue that there are going to be zombies. G. Willow Wilson held off on the crazy reveal in Air until around the fifth issue, but even the first had a talking serpent in it.

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6.0
Planet of the Apes #1

Apr 26, 2011

Planet of the Apes #1 is a promising start to the new series, and a thoughtful picking up of where the film franchise left off. Battle for the Planet of the Apes was clearly rewritten to accommodate a slashed budget, but the best thing about comics is that you don't need a budget to create a suitably epic sci-fi parable.

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7.0
Planet of the Apes #3

Jun 21, 2011

It's amazing to see a mainstream pop comic where women figure so prominently. Of the protagonists in Planet of the Apes the comic book, the three that stick out the most are women: Alaya the Voice of the ape city Mak, Sullivan the pregnant mayor of the human Southtown and the mute human Chaika, who ends up being the spotlight of this issue. The Bechdel Test is a bullshit way to evaluate art (Reservoir Dogs didn't pass, huh? No kidding), but I love to see a comic with strong female leads.

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8.0
Popeye: Plunder Island (volume four) #1

Feb 24, 2010

Thats twice the number of the average installment of "Zits"! Thats triple the number of the average "Mary Worth"! Where did we go wrong, America? Why does a single "Popeye" strip from 1934 have more depth than an entire Sunday comics section? Granted, my complaints wont change things, so at least we have these Popeye reprints.

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9.0
Prophet #32

Jan 14, 2013

Simon Roy gets an entire issue to himself. Guess how well that went.

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8.0
Prophet #34

Mar 6, 2013

As always, Prophet #34 features a back-up story; this time it's Part 1 of "Care" by Matt Sheean and Malachai Ward. Ward is a creator I've been obsessed with lately -- his knack for textured, landscapey sci-fi makes him a perfect fit for Prophet -- and his comic with Sheean is decidedly Prophet-esque as it involves a society where its denizens sacrifice one of their own to a creature who creates a gas that sustains their own environment. It's beautiful imagery rendered in calm pastels.

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4.0
Red She-Hulk #65

May 7, 2013

Betty Ross is a pretty cool character, the draw being that she's got a anti-Banner thing going on where she loves being a Hulk and generally enjoys messing shit up, but the plot is doing almost nothing for me, and the emotional draw is a kid I haven't seen in the three issues I've read so far.

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9.0
Regular Show #1

May 15, 2013

Once again, BOOM! Studios shows how it's done -- hire good people to make licensed comics that offer their own experience unique to the medium and you'll have something that critics (like me) will enjoy and product that fans of the TV show (like me) won't feel like they wasted their money on. So I guess my favorite Cartoon Network licensed comic from BOOM! is whichever one I'm currently reading.

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5.0
Regulators #1

Mar 29, 2010

With its story of imperialism, moral compromise, and the fact that it ends with a quote from a 19th century English poet, one gets a sense that Loew is shooting for something bigger, a sci-fi story with themes and a compelling story. He doesnt quite succeed, but the attempt is appreciated.

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6.0
Resistance: Book 1 #1

Jun 1, 2011

Resistance has the makings of a good bit of kiddie lit--classroom fare that history-minded teachers could assign to kids alongside Number the Stars--but only if they get the whole story. If First Second is smart, they'll compile all three volumes when the thing is complete.

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3.0
Riot Shell #0

May 10, 2010

Then come the pinups. Some are drawings by artists with pretty decent styles and some are photos of some poor model they got to wear Shells fetish gear. If youre wondering how they gave the model a robot arm, its easy--someone drew it on.

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6.0
Ristorante Paradiso #1

Apr 28, 2010

I suppose then, considering most manga last a zillion volumes, Ristorante Paradiso qualifies as a short story. Given that, the book is good read by sheer virtue of not overstaying its welcome. However, I'm not sure that, without more food and higher stakes, I'd continue onto Gente. Though I would watch someone's indie movie adaptation of Ristorante Paradiso.

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9.0
Saga #9

Jan 22, 2013

One of the great things about Saga -- besides its colloquial approach to sci-fi/fantasy -- is that each issue has something memorable about it and a bunch of memorable, vividly painted characters to go along with it. I'm not really the guy to cite specific issue numbers, but there was the one with the TV robot having banging a chick. There was the one with giant balls in it. There was the one with the brothel planet. While that's all related to nether regions -- surely just a product of how my brain works -- Issue #9 is the one with the main guy's girlfriend and probably the best moment of Lying Cat yet. Meanwhile, I have trouble differentiating most superhero comics beyond "that issue where the guy hit the thing, Part 3 of 7."

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8.0
Saga #11

Mar 25, 2013

It's really a funny exchange and it's sure to offend some, but there's also a fearlessness to it that we don't see enough of in these "left of the dial" books. Which isn't to say that every indie-mainstream book needs sex jokes, but in a world where you have to fight for your audience you need to be as brazen as this -- because there are tons of easier options in the world (television) and you have to offer readers stuff they won't see on Breaking Bad. And ifyou're going to come out with single issues first, each chapter should have something to justify not-tradewaiting.

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7.0
Scam #1

Jan 24, 2012

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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7.0
Secret Avengers #12.1

Apr 29, 2011

Rogers' big concluding speech about the ensuing moral complexities from his job as "America's Top Cop" feels vaguely like Spencer talking through his character. Obviously, it's not a one-to-one ratio between an indie comics guy who quickly and recently became a mainstream comics wunderkind and a superhero turned government agent -- there's less Vonnegut-style time-travel, for one thing -- but it feels like both Spencer and the former Captain America are addressing the horrid base criticism of "selling out" (which I don't really think is possible in the comics industry), but Spencer/Rogers offer a satisfying answer: I don't know, but I'll do my best.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #36

Jan 14, 2013

Secret Avengers was my first experience seeing the work of artist Matteo Scalera, who's been illustrating it for the past couple of arcs, but I gotta say I like the cut of his jib.

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7.0
Skullkickers #6

Feb 26, 2011

If I was a regular reader of Skullkickers, I might be able to tell you that these stories fit in perfectly with the series so far. But I can't, so I'll just say this: it's awesome.

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7.0
Slow Storm #1

Jan 19, 2011

Slow Storm is a promising debut book for Novgorodoff. Id say that I cant wait to see what she does next, but I already have a copy of her follow-up book, Refresh, so I dont have to wait.

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8.0
Snarked #0

Jun 21, 2011

For a guy that's only shown up on most people's radars over the past few years, Roger Langridge is shaping up to be one of the greats. Like Carl Barks on Donald Duck, Langridge has shown an amazing talent to make other people's characters his own thanks to transcendent work on titles like The Muppet Show Comic Book and Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

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7.0
Solomon's Thieves: Book One #1

Jul 6, 2011

Solomon's Thieves: Book OnePosted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011By: Danny Djeljosevic Jordan MechnerLeUyen Pham & Alex PuvillandFirst Second The Crusades - a series of loosely connected Holy Wars where thousands of knights ran off to the Holy Land to evict its current denizens - lasted 200 goddamn years, yet it's oft-ignored in popular culture outside of Dan Brown-level antics and that one Ridley Scott movie that nobody likes. I guess it's hard for Western culture to accept a scenario where the God-fearing white people are the bad guys, no matter how just they think their war in the Middle East is. Hm!

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5.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #19

Apr 18, 2013

Appropriately, Adam Glass offers no finality with his run as he departs as unceremoniously as some of the Suicide Squad's own members, but not before setting up a couple of plot threads that Kot presumably will take on and offering a shocking final moment that isn't particularly shocking or convincing, but a good enough cliffhanger.

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8.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #20

May 14, 2013

Imagine the New 52 Suicide Squad if it were good, basically, and that's what we have here with this new creative team. Judging by the solicits, future issues seem like they're going to be a lot weirder.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #2

Feb 5, 2013

But yeah, otherwise this is what I expect whenever I read Spider-Man comics -- some webbing around, some non-costumed drama with the supporting cast, some mild chuckles. Spider-Man's got an unfuckwithable formula like that -- even the Marcus Webb movie, for all its flaws, understood that and succeeded in that respect even if it didn't in pretty much any other. If you don't play with those elements, you could be making Spider-Man comics all the way to that unspecified Prophet future and it'd still be a decent read.

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6.0
Superman #699

May 3, 2010

It pleases me to say that Superman #699 contains neither clap nor trap. Reading a random comic in the middle of a big multipart crossover could have easily been confusing, but this ones an enjoyable installment even if I dont bother finishing the story, which I probably wont. I would still, however, like to know if Usagi Yojimbo is any good.

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4.0
Superman #701

Jul 17, 2010

At least its not bad to look at. Eddy Barrows is a fairly solid artist for the book, though his Superman fluctuates between sensibly muscular and approaching the dreaded Caucasian Hulk territory where he just looks stupid. If hes Super, he doesnt need gigantic muscles. Hes got a bit of a Brent Anderson vibe--and I think Astro City is a good comparison to draw with this book--particularly in the facial expression territory. His pages are often six panels stacked on one another, but this kind of story isnt really conducive to sequential experimentation.

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9.0
Superman (2011) #14

Dec 3, 2012

Superman is certainly a book written in detention at the Chris Claremont School of Writing -- loads of third-person caption boxes, thought bubbles, three footnotes on a single page (!) and relationship drama that sets up who these characters are before people stop punching. It's superhero comic books as superhero comic books, written as if the Jim Shooter era never ended. It's decidedly a comic written by someone who wants to write a comic book -- not one by a failed screenwriter or someone who wishes he was writing a creator-owned series that the market refuses to support.

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5.0
Superman (2011) #18

Apr 2, 2013

Script-wise, Lobdell does a lot in his alotted 20-pages -- he introduces a bunch of new plot points and advances Clark Kent's freelance blogger status while giving us a healthy dose of both alter egos. I just wished a good chunk of it looked better.

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8.0
Superman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1

Feb 7, 2011

And why exactly did Superboy and Wonder Girl start out looking distinct from Superman and Wonder Woman only to suddenly transform into characters who vaguely look like their parent characters?

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2.0
Superman: Earth One #2

Nov 8, 2012

The original Earth One was enormously popular, which is deeply troubling because this high-profile series presents some of the worst comics have to offer -- sloppy writing, not-very-good art and incredibly juvenile shit that adults should be ashamed of conceiving of, much less reading. If people who would have become lifelong lovers of the form are being recommended to start with the Superman: Earth One series, then comics as an industry is fucking doomed.

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8.0
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5

Mar 20, 2011

As Colleen Franklin remarks in this issue, Things get decidedly more old-school from here as the superheroes finally spring into action as a team. I cant help but take her statement as an ironic remark, as Nick Spencers T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents takes an old set of premises and makes them excitingly modern. I cant wait to see how he concludes this story arc.

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6.0
Thanos Rising #1

Apr 10, 2013

It's okay stuff -- not nearly as bombastic or entertaining as something involving a purple guy from space named Thanos should be, and nicely illustrated by Bianchi who dials back the crazy intricate layouts he's generally known for. Then again, it's not necessarily for us, but for the curious audiences who will pick up the trade come Guardians of the Galaxy and/or Avengers 2.

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5.0
The Authority: The Lost Year #3

Nov 22, 2009

Obviously, I'm not sold on this story, but we'll see if Giffen can somehow make it his own.

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5.0
The Great Ten #1

Nov 6, 2009

Granted, its only the first issue. Theres still nine issues for The Great Ten to prove itself. But it would require fleshing out the rest of the team and for the writing to transcend the bad art. Good luck, The Great Ten.

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6.0
The Intrepids #6

Aug 23, 2011

The covers didn't tell you this, but Kurtis J. Wiebe and Scott Kowalchuk's mad-scientist-battlin' comic book The Intrepids is a six-issue miniseries. It's easy to assume Wiebe wanted to do something similar to his Green Wake, where, if the series was a big enough hit, he could just expand his mini into an ongoing and keep going past the intended concluding issue. Maybe The Intrepids wasn't big enough a hit to sustain for more than six issues at a time, assuming the creators even want to come back for more.

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7.0
The Li'l Depressed Boy #2

Mar 8, 2011

It feels like Im damning the thing with faint praise, which I suppose I am, but the book is really worth a read if youre into that kind of story. I, for one, will be adding Lil Depressed Boy to my ever-expanding collection of webcomic RSS feeds. And I just dont add any webcomic to that -- just the good ones.

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8.0
The Manhattan Projects #9

Feb 19, 2013

Jonathan Hickman writes a bunch of weirdo comics about planets and people doing questionable things with science, seemingly without regard for whether he owns the rights to the work or not, which makes him admirably consistent in some sense. But The Manhattan Projects is my favorite Hickman work because it's so goddamn daffy -- it's the act of watching a creator put out what interests him, completely unfettered of the fact that these characters need to be in movies.

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8.0
The Mighty Thor #1

May 1, 2011

The Mighty Thor #1 is a gorgeous comic, and one that will blow the minds of any newcomers who find themselves enticed by the movie.

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2.0
The New Mutants Forever #1

Aug 9, 2010

These Forever books continue to baffle. While its cool to see creators returning to characters they defined, its also exists on some glorified fan fiction plane of irrelevance. Its alternate history for the nostalgic.

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2.0
The Shield #1

Nov 2, 2010

With its pseudo-realistic mise-en-scene and total lack of imagination, Superman: Earth One is the worst kind of comic book--the kind that reads like a glorified screenplay. While this kind of faux-Hollywood nonsense was all the rage in 2002, its now 2010. We can do better, and Superman deserves better.

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8.0
The Sixth Gun #1

Aug 17, 2010

With The Sixth Gun Bunn and Hurtt show us how to do a proper genre-bending comic, one where the supernatural elements purposefully weaved into the Western milieu and made intrinsic to the story as opposed to arbitrarily thrown in just to see what happens. One day well get exorcise the specter of Wild Wild West and stories like this help. Most importantly, its a fun book with loads of action and cool ideas. I cant wait to see how the rest of The Sixth Gun turns out.

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7.0
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1

Oct 4, 2011

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1 feels like someone finally made a version of Kick-Ass for actual nerds. Granted, James Gunn's Super is the best version of Kick-Ass -- followed by Matthew Vaughn's amazingly fun, over-the-top film adaptation and then, in last place, the comic itself -- but the new miniseries by Justin Jordan (of the Lovecraftian war Zuda webcomic Rumors of War) and Tradd Moore feels like a book that appeals more to the modern comics reading young person than the surprisingly broad Millar-Romita Jr. joint.

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2.0
There is a Comic Called 'Ninjabitch' and We Read it For You #1

Mar 18, 2013

For more on Ninjabitch, check out Diamondgoat Media.

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7.0
Thor (2007) #621

Apr 5, 2011

"The World Eaters" has been -- in its monthly, piecemeal form -- a story arc that didnt really bother easing readers into the world but instead thrust them into the cosmic craziness. Solid stuff, but maybe not the best jumping-on point for new readers. That should come in April. Galactus? Bring it on.

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9.0
Thor: God of Thunder #1

Nov 9, 2012

As the only guy who's still impressed that "the Scalped guy" can do gonzo superhero stuff really, really well (even though he keeps proving it over and over), I was pretty stoked reading Thor, God of Thunder #1. It's got Thor flying through space to answer a prayer from an alien, three time periods in our hero's life (past, present and desolate future) dealing with the same threat and a cosmic serial killer who murders entire pantheons of gods.

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8.0
Thor: God of Thunder #7

Apr 18, 2013

This latest issue of Thor: God of Thunder has Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic bringing two of the book's three timelines together as modern Thor meets the aging, heavy-crowned Thor of the future, a team-up that involves the pair bringing huge casks of legendary ale onto a flying boat before zooming into space, and something called "Omnipotence City, Nexus of All Gods."

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8.0
Thought Bubble Anthology #1

Dec 7, 2011

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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5.0
Uber #0

Apr 10, 2013

Even though Gillen himself touts this as the first issue, it's still a zero issue which often comes with its own stigma and expectations -- that it's just a prequel and isn't hugely necessary to being able to follow the story. I'm curious to see what #1 (and #2 and #3 and") is like, so take my rating as a tentative one.

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6.0
Uber #1

May 14, 2013

As with Issue #0, the visuals are the worst part of ber, with White and Keith Williams' linework slathered in gray by Digikore Studios. It's okay to make a comic look good, you don't have to be scared. I promise. I'd probably be happier if Digikore brought in the same palettes they use for their Archie Comics work.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #2

Dec 3, 2012

I quite liked the first issue, but I definitely needed the second -- with its clever use of superpowers, snappy dialogue and widespread mutant murders -- to really keep me reading.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers #5

Apr 2, 2013

Either way, Remender promises that characters will disagree with Havok, which already seems built into the story with this issue considering Rogue seems to actively hate being on this team. Havok also has it pretty cushy -- he's a handsome blonde who was simply handed leadership to the Avengers because of who he is and won't get attention in his secret identity unless he uses his weird circle powers. I feel like Remender's going to write a scene where somebody with scales and tentacles says "Yeah, it's easy for YOU, but what about the rest of us?"

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #6

Apr 18, 2013

It's a fun self-contained interlude -- beautifully illustrated by Daniel Acua, another one of those mega-talented artists that I'm shocked is drawing superhero comics -- that sets the stage for some of the stuff Rick Remender's been teasing over the past couple of issues.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #1

Oct 8, 2010

Its the tweaked roster, the bright colors and that terrible opening pun that signal that Uncanny X-Force will be distinctly different from the previous X-Force series. Hopefully Remender, Opea, and company follow through with the promise of this issue. If they do, this book could rival some of the better X-Books.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #5

Feb 20, 2011

Yep, Uncanny X-Force is the best X-Book right now. Hell, its one of the best books PERIOD that Marvel is putting out.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #2

Mar 6, 2013

I don't know if this comic even makes sense to people who don't know their X-Men, but I imagine if you don't it's just kinda weird. Don't worry, it is for us too and that's why I like it.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men #539

Jul 1, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #539Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011By: Danny Djeljosevic Kieron GillenIbraim Roberson, Jim Charalampdis (c), Joe Caramagna (l)Marvel At this point we've all come to accept the serialized, multipart story as a given in our pop comics. Which sounds a bit proggy if you ask me, but it's not like I'm not buying Fear Itself and a few of its requisite tie-ins. Either way, a standalone issue sticks out these days in a weird way. Considering all the talk of what's "important" in superhero comics these days (CIRCLE THE CORRECT ANSWER: none of it/some of it/all of it/none of the above), it seems like a succession of 22 pages that comprise a self-contained story isn't high on that list -- whoever's compiling it, and for whatever reason. I don't trust this person.

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4.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #12

May 18, 2012

I know it's work for hire and you can only care so much about stuff you don't own the rights to, but one hopes that Kieron Gillen's editors send him a gift basket every time Greg Land draws one of his comics.

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7.0
Unthinkable #1

Dec 16, 2009

Unthinkable is exactly the kind of pop comic we need: one that shows the scale of what comics can achieve over other forms that tell similar stories and, more importantly, one with crossover appeal to court Tom Clancy/Dan Brown crowd. The extra benefit of reading Mark Sable and Juan Totino Tedesco's comic is that Unthinkable is far more thoughtful than the average cheap airplane read. Please, let's not wait for the movie version.

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8.0
Vengeance #1

Jul 10, 2011

Joe Casey loves to write about kids. It's made for some of his best, most underrated comics -- The Intimates, Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance! and now Vengeance. Hell, writing to a young crowd is how the guy (along with the rest of the Man of Action crew) made his bones working in television! Shame that the state of mainstream comics is seemingly all about marginalizing anyone under 18 that hasn't been completely indoctrinated, which means that nobody -- the die-hard fans who don't care or the casual readers for whom this is right up their alley -- will read an awesome comic book by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta. Which sounds mean and pessimistic, but even Casey himself is aware of that.

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7.0
We Will Bury You #1

Feb 26, 2010

Hopefully the writers will keep pushing the characterization of the two women. I find Mirah the most compelling so far. This issue was a pretty good setup and shows that the book, as well as the creators, have strong potential on the title.

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8.0
West Coast Blues #1

Jan 13, 2010

Just as shocking is the book's protagonist, who Tardi never attempts to make likable for the reader. We understand and identify with Genaut's boredom with the mundane and his later plight, but he never is redeemed as a character. That would feel artificial and Hollywood. No, this is a real crime story: Ugly acts by ugly people who dont care about being liked.

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9.0
Witch Doctor #1

Jun 28, 2011

Crazy people make the best comic books. Just look at Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Frank Miller and, of course, Warren Ellis, though he'll tell you he's the sane one and we're all crazy. Either way, I have Ellis to blame for introducing me to Witch Doctor a few years ago. By which I mean he has a forum and Seifert and/or Ketner posted about their book there once. Sorry if that sounded like a name-drop. I totally didn't mean to fool you.

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7.0
Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #1

Feb 8, 2011

The following four issues will prove if the story will satisfy as much as the visuals, but I have faith in Mignola and Arcudis ability to tell a ripping good yarn, but based on the art alone, Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever is necessary comics.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #1

Jun 5, 2013

But nobody ever took the opportunity (or got clearance from Marvel editorial, more likely) to round up the major female X-Men and put them all in one comic together -- except that time Chris Claremont and Milo Manara did it but that doesn't count. Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel have done it for real, for really real, and decided to call it X-Men because that's what it fucking is.

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5.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #1

Nov 19, 2012

Legacy was never a book I understood, but this relaunched edition has Simon Spurrier making the title literal by focusing on the late Professor X's son, Legion, the Crazy Jane of the X-Men universe. The result is weird and surprisingly un-X-Menish, but lacks the personality required to make this a sleeper hit as artist Tan En Huat seems responsible for making it all seem interesting.

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8.0
X-Men: Schism #1

Jul 17, 2011

Schism seems to be exclusively about the main X-Men team, because I'm certain that X-Factor doesn't care whether or not X-Men splits up into two separate entities due to a difference in opinion on the direction of mutantkind. At least, that seems what the plot of Schism is going to be, especially considering we already know that we're going to have a Cyclops-led X-Men book and a Wolverine-led X-Men book in October. Such is the nature of superhero comics: it's the announcement that's the surprise, not the comics themselves.

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9.0
Young Avengers (2013) #4

May 1, 2013

Marvel seems to be letting their creators run wild on their properties, and (creatively speaking) it's been paying off. Hawkeye finds Matt Fraction doing the most Matt Fractiony comic he could make short of Casanova itself and Rick Remender is going so Fear Agent on Captain America that I'm shocked Marvel editorial even allows it.Young Avengers is a strong contender for my favorite book because, depending on who you are, chances are I like Phonogram more than I like you and the guys who made that are making this one and people forgot to tell them they're making a Marvel comic.

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8.0
Zatanna #10

Mar 14, 2011

Zatanna #10 ends on whats ostensibly a cliffhanger, but one marked by an equivocal The end...? Which is actually quite funny -- its as if Paul Dini wanted to give any haters an out of his book. I cant imagine any haters existing ( I love the idea of someone just dropping the book at a fairly dark point in the story to conclude the series at a Twilight Zone-ish twist ending. I, for one, will be sticking around to see where this goes.

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