Dave Conde's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Major Spoilers Reviews: 30
6.7Avg. Review Rating

10
47 Ronin #2

Jan 5, 2013

The art is by Stan Sakai and it is perfect. If you are not familiar with Usagi Yojimbo, what's wrong with you? And if you are, then this is finally proof that he can draw samurai that are not rabbits. The art is sparse but masterful. If you removed all the text you would still know the emotions (often subtle) going on in each character in each panel. With just a few lines, each face captures the inner life of the character, without being exaggerated or cartoony. It is the perfect choice for this story, capturing both the otherness of the time and place of the story and the commonalities that resonate between people of any nation.THE BOTTOM LINE: You will believe a man can fly

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8
Age of Ultron #1

Mar 9, 2013

Another place where Hitch could be overreaching is in panel variety. Ninety-some percent of the time he does a great job of mixing up the panels to control the story pace and direct the reader's attention to the important story elements. However, there are a few times where I had to stare for a few seconds to figure out if I should follow the story from left to right across two pages, then down, or to read one page then the next. It's a minor quibble and I suppose once the great migration to digital is complete the problem will go away entirely.THE BOTTOM LINE: LET THE SUN SHINE IN.

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8
Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #6

Sep 21, 2012

Even when not at its best, the world cannot get enough Atomic Robo. I give Atomic Robo Real Science Adventures #6 four stars""if you have never read Atomic Robo before, make it three and a half stars (and hang your head in shame). It's good on its own and great as the sixth of six issues.

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9
Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils Of The Pacific #5

Dec 17, 2012

I give Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #5 four and a half stars""it is a great issue that is also the end of a great arc. I was torn between lingering over the art and whipping through the pages to discover what happened next. Buy it, read it, cherish it.

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3
Captain Atom #0

Sep 25, 2012

If you've been reading Captain Atom, I can't imagine this issue gives you any new information and certainly no satisfying conclusion. If you haven't been reading Captain Atom, this issue gives you no reason to want to read more. I give Captain Atom #0 one and a half stars""It's not the worst comic I've read recently, but one of the least compelling.

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4
Dark Avengers #179

Aug 17, 2012

Every story has it's slow parts to give contrast to big action and excitement. With two and a half stories going on in this book, it feels like .they're all hitting their lull at the same time. It's not terrible, but as much as I've enjoyed Parker's run on this book, I'm disappointed. I give it 2 Stars of of 5, but I have my fingers crossed expecting the title to get better in the next couple issues."Poo-tee-weet?"

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7
Dark Avengers #185

Jan 19, 2013

The art was pretty good, with only the occasional wonky face to complain about. The fight scenes were decent though brief. There just wasn't time to do more than flash a little action. The highlight of the issue was the character design, which is always a big draw when a story is set in an alternate universe. As I mentioned before, there's not a lot of time in a story like this to get into the minutia of the setting, so you imply a lot of depth with allusions ("When I took charge of Mole Man's kingdom...") and with design-it's a minor "Holy crap" moment when we first see the Thing looking every bit the King of the Monsters.THE BOTTOM LINE: Can you dig it?

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2
Deadpool (2008) #60

Sep 8, 2012

You might have gotten the impression that I didn't care for this issue. While I have enjoyed Daniel Way's Deadpool stories in the past, lately I've felt he might be coasting. Deadpool is set to be relaunched with comedians Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan writing and I have hope that their comedy sensibilities will allow them to better balance the stories. For now, I give Deadpool #60 1 star""It didn't actually hurt me to read it, but it didn't give me any of the things that I look for in a Deadpool book.

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3
Deadpool Killustrated #1

Jan 28, 2013

I give Deadpool Killustrated #1 one and a half stars""an improvement on the previous series (feint praise indeed) but fails to provide satisfying amounts of either Deadpool or literature. The final page reveal hints at a hook that could be worth following-a new protagonist that we can root for against Deadpool. Promising, but for me too little, too late.

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8
Defenders (2011) #11

Oct 6, 2012

This issue has left me with a bunch of questions. If the 616 Earth and its heroes are an arsenal of weapons against the Death Celestial, why are they so woefully inadequate to the task? If the answer is going to be to use the Concordance Engine, why would the Omega Council bother in the first place since they had the Engines to begin with? Even if the next issue doesn't deliver the answers that I want, the story along the way has been well worth the read. I give The Defenders #11 a solid four stars""As long as the ultimate resolution isn't Iron Fist continuity-punching the Concordance Engine, I'll be happy. (I hope I didn't jinx it.)

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8
Demon Knights #0

Sep 18, 2012

For a zero issue, this does what it is supposed to do, giving a grounding in the back-story of one of the main team members. If I hadn't already been reading the title, this issue would have made me check it out. I give Demon Knights #0 4 stars""if you are at all interested in a fantasy story in the DCU, pick it up.

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8
Demon Knights #18

Mar 17, 2013

I give Demon Knights #18 three stars""not bad but not as good as it has been. It's a good fantasy story with interesting, differentiated characters. Most of the issues I had with it could be fixed next issue or put into new context. And faint though the praise may be, it's still my favorite thing published by DC lately.

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8
Fables #122

Oct 28, 2012

THE BOTTOM LINE: WOLF IT DOWN, COME BACK FOR MORE!I give Fables #122 four stars""I'm taking away a third of a star for the backup story but in all, it's a good issue for long time readers as well as a good intro for new readers who might want to get a feel for the book. Buy it.

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7
Fairest #6

Aug 10, 2012

I don't want to say that Willingham is writing for the trade, but I don't know how else to finish this sentence. That's not all bad. The full arc is a great story and when you read all of it, this issue is a wonderful ending. If they recapped everything each issue, it would take up at least 6-8 pages of the total story and repeatedly kill the story's momentum. I give Fairest #6 3.5 out of 5 Stars, although I would give the eventual trade 4 or 4.5. The trade will rock. You should buy it. You will enjoy reading it and owning it. Of course, I read it in the original issues...

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5
Fantastic Four (1998) #610

Sep 13, 2012

My first thought is that there's not enough substance to this issue, but in context it's not so much a story as an introduction up for the longer arc. The stage is set and I am interested in seeing where this is going. Hickman deserves credit for taking historically goofy villain, the Wizard, and giving him a threatening edge. I give Fantastic Four #610 two and a half stars. It's like a restaurant with great food but in small portions, it's a flaw but not a fatal one.

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8
FF #21

Sep 3, 2012

I didn't used to like the Fantastic Four, only picking it up occasionally to read about the real protagonist: Dr. Doom, but this run won me over, even getting me to add this spin-off title to my pull list. I give FF #21 4 stars-A good issue continuing the plots and characters that we have come to love. It may not be as shocking and action-packed as other parts of the run, but it demonstrates that sometimes "not fighting" can be a good story, too.

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7
Fly: The Fall #3

Dec 28, 2012

Otherwise, the art has an occasionally wonky face or angle but largely avoids the failings that I've been running into recently. Character designs are distinct and clear (Although I'm not sure if Francis' freckles were supposed to remind me of Jimmy Olsen). Most importantly, the facial expressions change from panel to panel and match the emotion of what's going on/being said. The fight scenes are competent-not terribly ambitious but solid. The action makes sense and progresses from panel to panel. It may sound like I'm damning this book with faint praise, but it's surprising how often these seeming "basics" are botched by professional artists. Bottom line, I liked the artTHE BOTTOM LINE: You will believe a man can fly

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9
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #6

Feb 21, 2013

I give Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #6 four and a half stars"Restoring my faith in the comic book medium. This shows that comics can be about talking animals without being childish. You should be reading it.

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7
New Avengers (2010) #31

Oct 22, 2012

I give New Avengers #31 three and a half stars"I started picking up New Avengers because of the characters, particularly Jessica and Luke, and to that extent the issue delivered. The rest could have been better, but it was enough to make me want to see what happens next issue. I know it's building to something, and I'm hoping it's something I'll like.

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5
New Avengers (2010) #34

Nov 29, 2012

I give New Avengers #34 two and a half stars""it has a lot of good parts, but added up to a little less than their sum. If you've been reading this series, then you've got to read the finish. If you were looking to read the arc in the inevitable trade, I'd say "read it" but it wouldn't be at the top of my recommendation list.

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8
Number 13 #0

Nov 23, 2012

I give Number 13 #0 four stars""it has me hooked. It's not going to be a happy story, but I will be eagerly anticipating the future issues to learn more about these characters and their world. Buy it.

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9
Princeless Vol. 2 #1

Dec 10, 2012

I give Princeless V2 #1 four and a half stars""I liked it.(Adult wrap-up: Princeless is a fairy tale for kids but doesn't pretend to be anything else. There are some story elements that will catch young readers by surprise but seem obvious to adults. Still, the funny parts are still funny and the characters are interesting if neither grim nor gritty. There's a theme of feminism and backlash against old, patriarchal stories that might seem heavy-handed but that Alicia barely noticed. It's just a matter of course to her that the princess would be the hero of the story and that she would stand up to the male figures that would tell her who to be. Hopefully that means that sexual equality is" let's say improving.)

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4
Secret Avengers #32

Oct 15, 2012

I started reading this title because it promised some big, new ideas and had the Irredeemable Ant-Man. The big ideas have been fun to explore but the explorers themselves have been getting on my nerves and the tragic human frailties of Ant-Man have been replaced by a robot. It's been at the precarious bottom of my pull list for months and may have just fallen off. I give Secret Avengers #32 two stars"not a terrible book, but there are better stories on the shelves I could spend my money on. Some of them also by Rick Remender.

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5
Secret Avengers #37

Feb 10, 2013

I give Secret Avengers #37 two and a half stars""if you've been reading Remender's run, then see it through. If you haven't, then this ending shouldn't put you off catching the trades, but doesn't make it a must-read either.

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7
Sledgehammer '44 #2

Apr 15, 2013

I give Sledgehammer 44 #2 three and a half stars""good, but I feel like something was missing. In the end, I'm not sure why it was a two issue mini-series. It could have been a tight, enigmatic one-shot that left you with wanting more. Or it could have been a four to six issue, trade-ready arc that delved into backstories and delivered a satisfying ending. I recommend it, but unless you're a Hellboy or WWII fan, it won't be at the top of the stack.

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9
Super Dinosaur #14

Oct 1, 2012

Overall, I love Super Dinosaur and so does my ten-year-old. In a time when the industry stagnates and the average age of readers continues to climb, it is good to see a comic that can bring in new readers. I give Super Dinosaur #14 four and a half stars""Whatever your age, you should be reading this.

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9
The Avenging Spider-Man Annual #1

Nov 10, 2012

The only part that bothered me was the design of the Richards children. Their proportions looked just a little off, such that they reminded me of Judd Winick's Barry Ween, Boy Genius, which was distracting. Any issues I may have had there are completely forgiven, however, after looking at Walker's drawings of the Thing, which among the best I've seen. He makes a guy made of orange rocks look realistic, and that's even harder to do than it sounds.THE BOTTOM LINE: ACTION IS HIS (AND YOUR) REWARD!

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8
The Manhattan Projects #7

Nov 9, 2012

All that said, some of you will not care for it. It fits and supports the story, but no one will say that it's just a joy to look at. You'll probably know it in a few pages, and if that's the case you will be able to move back to more conventional comics. And you're life will be the poorer for it.THE BOTTOM LINE: Wolf it down, come back for more

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6
The Unwritten #40

Aug 24, 2012

Until I started writing this review, I didn't appreciate how weird this title really is. That's because it does such a good job of staying internally consistent and drawing you into the characters. So, even though I think it could be better, I give it a solid 3 stars-A decent enough issue with fabulous ideas that are under-developed. I'm curious to see how much more can be done in this setting before the title ends, but in a way that has me eager for the next issue.

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2
Thunderbolts (2012) #3

Jan 12, 2013

One other thing-the secondary character designs. We're told that Kata Jaya is in Southeast Asia, but looking at the people who live there, I would never know. From the look of them, the rebel army members could be Asian, or Native American, or Hispanic or even Germans with tans. And when the truckload of local conscripts shows up it is somehow a multicultural group of guys you'd see in a beer commercial. I'm not asking for stereotypical racial caricatures, but if you want to set the story in an "exotic" culture, the people are part of what make that culture unique..THE BOTTOM LINE: WON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN...

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