David Henderson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Multiversity Comics Reviews: 119
8.0Avg. Review Rating

8.6
100th Anniversary: Fantastic Four #1

Jul 4, 2014

This is an experiment that could have very easily fell flat without the energy of the creators involved. Not to compare too much, but one of things that made "DC One Million" a book that holds up is that, even now, it still feels like a book handed back from the future. Whether this is a book that has that kind of lasting effect is for time to tell, but I can tell you now there is no reason to pass this up. The writing and the artwork wholly embrace the family-focused aspect of the Fantastic Four that makes it such a long-lasting title and builds around it a world that feels both new and familiar. Whether the rest of these 100th Anniversary can live up to this opener is something we'll have to wait and see for, but this issue is an experiment that has paid off.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #26

Dec 5, 2013

Overall, this is the issue the level of quality “Action Comics” has needed since Grant Morrison's departure. Pak and Kuder easily live up to the title by providing more than enough action to shake a stick at, but using all of it to delve into the character of Superman and his choices when faced with that kind of danger. These two get Superman in a way many don't and they flaunt it on every page. This is the issue that could very well turn around a series that has been directionless for quite some time and with Pak now heading up two Superman books at DC, he could very well be the man to go to for the Man of Steel.

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2.9
Age of Ultron #4

Apr 5, 2013

Pass this up until you can read it collected and maybe then it won't feel like such a waste of time.

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5.0
Age of Ultron #10

Jun 21, 2013

Then we come to what was touted as the big twist of the book. Joe Quesada's secret final pages and the appearance of Angela. Which is literally all it is. It's a two-page spread of her just standing there in space and then a teaser for her appearance in “Guardians Of The Galaxy”. Underwhelming? Yeah, you could say that. For all of Marvel's press surrounding Angela's involvement in the finale, for her to have literally no involvement (she only appears in the final pages after Ultron is defeated) is more than a little disappointing. In fact, the entire conclusion to the series is disappointing. After Ultron is defeated, the issue then becomes nothing but a series of cliffhangers and teasers for upcoming books that are set to handle the fallout of the event like “Hunger”. There's little closure here other than the knowledge that they did actually win against Ultron this time. This whole event felt like it ran out of steam before it could even get going.

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7.5
All-New Ghost Rider #2

Apr 11, 2014

Ultimately, while this isn't the sharp increase in quality from #1 to #2 that other All-New Marvel titles like “Black Widow” had, it's still on that uphill slope towards greatness. Perhaps it's because the writing leans a little too heavily on a style of origin story that we've seen before that book only really comes to life during the Ghost Rider segments, but there's enough heart and character in that origin that it deserves better. With the promise of amazing action that will surely lead to the grudge match between the Ghost Rider and the teased villain here (that will hopefully give the Ghost Rider more to do than just look freaking badass), there's a lot of potential here to be tapped if it can just get past this unfortunately slow start.

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5.5
Amazing Spider-Man #700.1

Dec 6, 2013

Overall, this issue was pretty disappointing. Whatever skills Morrell has a writer, they don't feel applied here as the dialogue comes off as stilted and unnatural and characters act only in a way that serves the specific story structure. Nothing feels organic about the writing which even brings down how good it is to see such a classic-feeling Spider-Man story. This doesn't feel like set-up to a grander story in the next part, which thankfully will only a take a week and not a month to finish, it just feels empty. Only Klaus Janson's art, which creates a timeless quality to his style, is of note here and even then he doesn't get to draw anything of worth. Except perhaps that page of Spider-Man stopping the cable car from falling. That might be worth it.

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6.8
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #3

Jun 27, 2014

Ultimately, this series still seems to have a way to go to reach the heights it was at prior to, and even during, “Superior Spider-Man”. While there is a lot of focus in addressing what came before, in tying up loose ends, it seems to have sacrificed in telling a story that's exciting in the now. Hopefully, one of the many threads being built up in this issue will payoff and propel the writing forward in that manic, threat-after-threat, challenge-after-challenge gauntlet that Dan Slott pulls off so well. Until then, it's just a case of pushing through the slow start, enjoying the artwork, and hoping that a return to form comes sooner rather than later.

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9.1
Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business #1

Apr 4, 2014

So, in conclusion, while it may be Dan Slott and Giueseppe Camuncoli who are bringing Peter back in “Superior Spider-Man”, I would say that Waid, Robinson, Dell'Otto and Dell'Edera already did that. This is simply an amazing Spider-Man story that really benefitted from the graphic novel format not only because it got to display the artwork in one go without breaks or delays, but allows the story to play out naturally over the course of the book with trying to split it into chapters. This is a Spider-Man story from people who love Spider-Man for people who love Spider-Man.

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8.5
Amazing X-Men #1

Nov 7, 2013

To conclude, this is still a stellar opening despite it's one persistent problem. It does bring down the ending of the issue that the cliffhanger doesn't exactly grip you for the next issue, but the sheer talent put on display more than makes up for it. Aaron and McGuinness are two creators with such love for the character of Nightcrawler that it can't help but seep through the page and make even the most cold-hearted bastard excited for the elf's return. Where this series will go once Nightcrawler has returned, though, is hard to say, but for a first issue this was more than serviceable.

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8.2
Amazing X-Men #6

Apr 18, 2014

Overall, you couldn't have hoped for a better issue from Jason Aaron's farewell. Instead of wallowing in having to leave, Aaron creates a point which closes out the story he's been telling for years now and leaves the characters in positions to go on to newer stories from different writers. Having Wolverine and Nightcrawler walk off into the sunset is exactly the closing page this saga needed and both Aaron and Stewart hit the emotionality of it exactly right. This is, from first page to last, the kind of pure fun issue that “Amazing X-Men” has promised and Aaron and Stewart have left the title in a position to be one of the best X-Books out there as long as the next creative team can capitalise on that.

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7.2
Animal Man #23

Aug 22, 2013

Overall, with nearly two years worth of issues under its belt, “Animal Man” still remains one of DC's strongest books. The writing is top notch, blending human emotions with grand superheroics and just real, nasty horror that is wonderfully rendered by the artists. After hitting something of a bump in the road with an overly long crossover in ‘Rotworld', it's nice to see this book hit its stride again.

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8.9
Animal Man #29

Mar 20, 2014

Overall, Lemire and Foreman delivered a conclusion to their run of "Animal Man" with style and grace and emotion and while it might not be the type of finale to throw one last wrench into the mix to surprise readers, that doesn't make it any less of an effective ending. Seeing how far the family of the Bakers have come since that #1 over two years ago really made this issue something special. As did seeing Travel Foreman and Jeff Lemire work together as artists on this issue and not just writer and artist.

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7.2
Avengers (2012) #28

May 2, 2014

Overall, this was the kick into gear that “Avengers” needed going into “Original Sin”. It wipes the table clean from the last arc while repositioning pieces in ways that will make future stories all the more interesting for it. Hickman's writing is as dense and elaborate as ever, jumping back and forth during the conversation that frames the issue to conclude plot threads, but it's his spot on character writing that really solidifies this issue. Teaming with Larocca to create a more somber and downplayed issue allowed for artwork that feels just as measured as the writing. While it's not a perfect issue and still not quite at the heights reached during “Infinity”, it's certainly back on track.

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5.5
Avengers Assemble #20

Oct 18, 2013

Overall, this is a very strange issue. It's a tie-in to “Infinity”, but the events seem to be more linked to the upcoming idea of “Inhumanity”. It focuses on the “Uncanny Avengers” team, but even though only three of the team features here, the issue still only cares about The Wasp. Yet for all of that, there is still one gem that shines through. It may not be important in the long run, but one well-written human story is enough to elevate this issue despite all it's problems. If only the issue constructed around it was as good as that story.

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6.8
Avengers World #3

Feb 21, 2014

In conclusion, your honour, this was a strange one. One of those issues that comes along and really makes you go “Huh, I wonder why they did that.” While for an issue so early in the series, dedicating the entire thing to just one fight scene after establishing the numerous response teams might have been a strange move, it's hard to deny how entertaining the fight is. This is entirely thanks to Stefano Caselli, who takes Hickman & Spencer's script and creates a genuinely beautiful comic out of it. Without Caselli putting 110% into the artwork of the issue, it's easy to imagine falling completely flat. Thankfully, even thought I couldn't tell you the point of it, we still got an entertaining issue out of it.

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9.6
Batman (2011) #26

Dec 12, 2013

Overall, “Batman” #26 is a surprising issue because there should be no way this arc and this series are still so good, but they are thanks to the talent involved. Somehow Capullo and Snyder have taken apart the Batman origin, a tale as old as a time and as simple a story as you could hope, and put it back together in a sprawling epic that touches every part of Bruce Wayne's life and every part of Gotham City. I have no idea how these guys have pulled it off, but they have turned “Batman” into one of the best comics out right now and this issue is no different. Long live ‘Zero Year'.

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7.9
Batman (2011) Annual #2

Aug 1, 2013

All in all, this is a really surprisingly good story, but it definitely begs the question: was there much point for this? DC has a whole line of Annuals for their books, sure, so it's not like this is only Annual coming out which really helps the book's case. If there weren't Annuals coming out for most every book DC publishes that would certainly make this feel a lot more pointless, but because there is it feels more like a welcome one-and-done story that was surprisingly well put together. You could almost say that it wasn't the book we need right now, but it is the one we deserve. Or you could, instead, say that this is a very promising start for a new creative talent who handles a weighty book and character voices well and was joined by a fitting collaborator. Even if it was a very different final product than what was promised.

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5.5
Batman Incorporated #11

May 24, 2013

Despite being known primarily as the artist for the series, Burnham proves here that he can hold his own as a writer too. The issue is a one-and-done story that focuses on the Batman of Japan and Crazy Shy Lolita Canary, who was introduced in Morrison's “

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9.8
Batman Incorporated #12

Jul 5, 2013

As a conclusion to a story that Morrison has been telling on and off over the course of seven years, this last issue before the climax has not missed a step. The writing is superb as always and Morrison gets to briefly explore a side of Batman that has never been seen before while finally getting to tie everything together to lead into the last issue. The art is simply wonderful and Burnham gets to let loose with a raw Batman that is full of rage and doesn't have anything left to hold back. If you've been following this story since the beginning, this is as fulfilling an issue as you could want.

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8.1
Batman Incorporated: Special #1

Aug 29, 2013

Unfortunately, while it ends with a whimper instead of a bang, this issue works more than it doesn't. It gave much welcome focus to characters that had unfortunately been sidelined for some time and allowed the creators show off their talent in a compressed space. If this was DC's last hurrah for "Batman Incorporated", it could have been much worse and it's thankful that it wasn't. Even though that $4.99 price tag seems steep for three out of five stories, Faribairn and Leon's Raven Red story is worth it alone. Fare thee well, Incorporated, you did well.

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9.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #1

Jun 27, 2013

While Batman has always seemed to land on pretty solid ground, it's taken a while for Superman to find sure footing in the New 52. However, it seems like with Greg Pak, Jae Lee, Ben Oliver and “Batman/Superman” that has changed. Pak, Lee and Oliver manage to bring these characters together and ground them in the universe of the New 52 while presenting that universe in a way that's never been seen before. This is a sucker punch of a good comic book; an issue that works so surprisingly well, it knocks you out.

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9.8
Batman: Black and White #3

Nov 8, 2013

Overall, this is the strongest offering of “Batman: Black & White” to date. While the mix of hyper-stylised stories and more conservative comic offerings may come off as uneven, there is not one weak story among them. Each creative team takes a very unique look at the Dark Knight Detective that allows stories like Scott's and Hughes' which would never be found anywhere but in these pages. That's what makes this series stand head and shoulders above the competition and why this is the issue to beat. This is as close to damn perfect as comics get.

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7.0
Bedlam #7

Jun 13, 2013

There are a few elements at play against this issue from the unfortunately lightweight story to the series style taking away somewhat from Ryan Browne's art that maybe make this issue a little less enjoyable as it should be. Hopefully, this is just teething pains as the book switches artist and story arcs because this book is a lot better than this issue makes it out to be. Here's hoping when the next story arcs kicks in that it returns to the strength that this book should be at.

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8.4
Black Market #1

Jul 17, 2014

This was a surprising hit of a first issue, incorporating excellent use of knowing its genre inside and out (and hoping its audience does to) withartwork that both compliments and juxtaposes the writing to create a world that feels familiar yet just off ever so slightly. Barbiere and Santos have created a superhero story that's both unlike any other superhero story and isn't really a superhero story after, and yet they tell it with such grace that it's infectious, making the series at only 4 issues long feel like a pull list must have.

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8.9
Black Widow (2014) #2

Jan 24, 2014

Overall, this was a grand step up from an already strong opening. Edmondson managed to side-step the quibbles of the first issue's story (not enough focus on one job, not enough danger to Natasha as a character) by focusing solely on one job, from beginning to end, and presenting enough complications in the job that allowed for rather excellent action scenes. Those action scenes, and the issue as whole, were drawn beautifully by Phil Noto, whose complete artistic control over the issue gives it one of the most visually cohesive styles seen in comic recently. While the one-and-done nature of the story means we've only managed to get a short glimpse into the life of Natasha, Edmondson and Noto have proved what they can do with the series and now will be able to delve deeper into the life of the Black Widow further down the line. This series might have been a long time coming, but it thankfully has not disappointed now that it's here.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #7

May 31, 2013

All in all, even though this issue didn't present much in the way of progression to the conclusion of the story arc, it was still compelling to see Rogers, in all his determination, strive to save his son. Hopefully, this will lead to more a more satisfying build up to the climax of the arc that doesn't feel just as slow paced. Remender clearly has a grasp of what makes Captain America an engaging character to read and being joined with Romita Jr. has brought his story to life. Let's just hope he sticks the landing.

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9.1
Captain Marvel (2012) #12

Apr 19, 2013

DeConnick, Sebela and Andrade have constructed and incredibly enjoyable issue that mixes genuinely tense action with emotional concern for the main character. If there's one thing that brings the issue down it's only that the supporting cast that has been built around Carol for the past three issues is rarely featured in this one. It doesn't bring the issue down in any way as the driving force of the issue is still Carol, but those characters that relied on Carol were missed in this issue. Hopefully, with the crossover we'll see that it becomes Carol who must rely on them instead.

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9.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #17

Nov 8, 2013

This series could not ask for a better end-cap and what's better is that there's even more on the way.

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8.8
Captain Marvel (2014) #1

Mar 13, 2014

Ultimately, this issue was just what “Captain Marvel” needed. Instead of just becoming another story arc in the previous series, this feels like a new direction for the character not in terms of story and art, but in tone and content. DeConnick and Lopez really delivered on the necessity of having a new #1 and utilised it to it's fullest. Not only is it completely accessible to new readers, but it's expands on what came before and provides a new direction for established readers to follow without discarding the stories that made them fall in love with the character. Marrying that with DeConnick's excellent writing that shows a focus on mature character exploration that mixes incredibly witty dialogue into the mix and Lopez's incredibly versatile storytelling that can fit his style to the ever evolving emotional to of the issue and it becomes a rather amazing #1. If that aim was to go higher, further and faster than before, then DeConnick and Lopez have delivered.

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9.1
Cyclops (2014) #3

Aug 1, 2014

This is a book I was genuinely not expecting to be as good as it is and I am glad that I was wrong; this is a fun comic book from two creators that seem to be having genuine fun making it. Enjoy the ride while you can.

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8.9
D4VE #1

Nov 21, 2013

Overall, this was an excellent start for “D4VE” and really showcases what these two talents can do and where they can go with such a deceptively simple idea. While this was mostly set up, alluding to a grander plot to come, Ferrier's wit on display and the depth of the world-building thanks to Ramon's art. This is just yet more proof that thanks to Monkeybrain you really do get more for less.

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9.2
D4VE #5

Jun 5, 2014

As this point it seems safe to say that Monkeybrain is the sleeper hit of the arms race of comics publishers. While Image is revitalising print and Marvel is doing its best to implement their strategies into their universe all the while DC tries to recapture the magic of the 90s, Monekybrain has been putting comics as good as “D4VE” without the fanfare they deserves. Well, this is the fanfare it deserves: at $0.99 an issue, this series combined would put you back the exact same and extra-sized print issue would and would give you five times the content. Don't just take my word on how good “D4VE” is: trust the math.

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4.1
Damian: Son of Batman #1

Oct 31, 2013

Overall, this should be a much better book than it is. Kubert was an excellent fit art-wise, but his disappointing writing definitely wasn't. There are a lot of missed opportunities in the issue that could have capitalised on the core concept to create a story exploring a son mourning his father. What we get instead is a small handful of scenes with inconsistent characterisation from it's lead character no less and very little in the way of emotional draw. There's an overwhelming sense of “Oh… I guess that's it, then.” that starts from Batman's death until the last page reveal which is less of a twist and more of a headscratcher. It's disappointing to see an issue with so much potential just fail to deliver on any of it.

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6.9
Daredevil (2014) #1.50

Apr 10, 2014

Overall, Daredevil's 50th anniversary celebration feels like kind of a mixed bag. While all three stories try to speak to a different style that defined that character at different points in his history, only some of them manage to hit their mark. While Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez created a story that's practically essential reading for the current run, Bendis and Maleev really failed to deliver on the promise of them reuniting. Rounding that out with a rather unassuming story by the Kessels that harkens back to a part of the characters history that might not resonate with most makes this a rather awkward book. There's some great, there's some not so great, but I would still say the great outweighs it enough to justify the $5 price point. Mostly.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #4

Jun 19, 2014

The point is this: “Daredevil” is a great book. The character writing is on point and it gathers details from almost ever major run preceding it to craft a Matt Murdock that is accepting of everything that's happened to him. The plots are tightly written, with the collaboration between Mark Waid and Chris Samnee allowing for writing that makes the absolute best of the artwork. And the artwork. Oh, the artwork. “Hawkeye” may get the credit for kick-starting the idea of Marvel using indie comic sensibilities to make their comics stand out, but “Daredevil” has been doing it for just as long and has crafted a magnificent sense of style. It combines Chris Samnee's feel for Alex Toth-esque cartoonist realism with the bombastic feeling of a guy in devil tights running around San Francisco. Suffice it to say: I am a fan.

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9.5
Daredevil: Dark Nights #1

Jun 6, 2013

This might very well be the definitive introduction to Matt Murdock anyone has ever written. Instead of treading old ground by rehashing an origin story yet again, Weeks has told an original story and used that to explore the history of Matt's character. Daredevil continues to reign supreme as the Marvel character that somehow draws the best work from everyone involved. This is not to be missed.

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6.1
Daredevil: Dark Nights #8

Jan 9, 2014

Overall, when looking at this issue I see the conclusion of a still mostly enjoyable story despite its flaws. Yet, I can't shake the feeling that there was very little point to this series as a whole. Despite how strong Lee Weeks' story was, the series definitely peaked there and could not recover and stumbled to the home stretch. This series seems more like an experiment in showcasing smaller stories from a wider variety of creators that shot itself in the foot right out of the gate with an uneven showcase of stories. A valiant effort, but nonethless it still resulted in a strong first impression that it couldn't follow through on.

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8.7
East of West #5

Aug 16, 2013

Overall, there are very few things I could bring myself to complain about over this issue. Coming off some action-heavy issues dealing with the siege of New Shanghai, the series needed a breather and it's here in the form of the first real confrontation between Death and his wife. It's simple and it's heartbreaking and it's emotional and it's everything series needed to draw readers even deeper into this alternate world that Hickman and Dragotta have created. The issue is a love story in the middle of a global conflict and Hickman slows down just enough on his information train to give us a look into the mind of Death and why he fights and what he fights for. It sets up his emotional stakes in the coming, supposedly imminent war and it gives us a reason to care going forward because, knowing Hickman, it's likely that nothing will be the same after this.

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8.3
Elektra (2014) #2

May 23, 2014

Ultimately, this issue continues the strong start of the first issue. While the choice to forgo the usual introduction to Elektra's life outside of the costume like many other recent Marvel #1s has been both a positive and a negative, the positives mostly outweigh the negative. It's largely a matter of Blackman and Del Mundo diving straight into a mystery not really giving the reader a chance to get know Elektra before bringing in the action, but that action is beautifully portrayed regardless of our emotional connection to it. Going forward, while the plot is interesting and engaging and Blackman knows how to write a mystery, the series needs that emotional connection to Elektra to make it work.

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7.2
Fantastic Four (2012) #16

Jan 16, 2014

Overall, Karl Kesel and Raffaele Ienco gave it their all to catch Matt Fraction's throw and run it into the end-zone. While it may not be an a touchdown celebrated by many or remembered in the shadow of “FF”, it's still a touchdown. A conclusion to a fun story that tried new things with a team perhaps intrinsically built to play things safe, this was the best last issue this series could hope for without the inclusion of Matt Fraction and Mark Bagely themselves. Not only that, but we get a send-off to the series as whole as well as “FF” from Kesel, Lee Allred and one of the most underrated artists in the industry that feels incredibly heartfelt and gives a powerful last impression. Quite the send-off, indeed.

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8.2
Fantastic Four (2014) #4

May 16, 2014

The name of the game with this series is bringing the Fantastic Four back to the fun adventure stories that they work best in. This issue nails that by giving Leonard Kirk free reign to bring the most fun aspect of the F4 and the FF's powers to the forefront in an issue-long knock down brawl with the Frightful Four. While that leaves James Robinson focused on character writing rather than really furthering the plot, it's not a bad thing as his character writing is solid and the artwork and action more than make up for it. If you have been waiting for a series to recapture the magic of the Fantastic Four, this is the series you should be buying. If not, you should still be buying this anyway as Robinson and Kirk are an excellent creative team and are really putting their all into this series and putting out their best possible work.

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7.8
Genesis One-Shot #1

Mar 19, 2014

Ultimately, Edmondson and Sampson have created a thoughtful and challenging one-shot that, while not perfect, is still aiming high enough that when it works it transcends any problems it has. Edmondson's writing and Sampson's artwork go hand-in-hand to tell a morality tale disguised by the abstract tale of a man trapped by the power he is given that pays homage to everyone from Lewis Carroll to Terry Gilliam to David Lynch. It's a fable of the consequences of using influence to change the world and it's the kind of story that is more important in the telling than in the execution. For that, whatever flaws this story may have, the story it's trying to tell almost entirely supersedes them.

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9.1
Ghost (2013) #1

Dec 19, 2013

Overall, this is everything you could hope for from this issue whether you read the miniseries or not. DeConnick's ear for dialogue and focus on unique, personable characters is in full force here which is backed up by a story that just shows a hint of what is come, dripped in mystery and action and even horror. Not only that, but this issue shows how perfect a co-writing team DeConnick and Sebela are as the whole package feels like a seamless whole that never once plays it's hand with who wrote what and is instead focused on simply telling it's story. Ryan Sook's art contributes that seamless package by creating a real world atmosphere to the setting of Chicago which makes the mystery elements of the story work even better while allowing the horror and action elements to stand out. All this and it still has time to set up plot points to pay off later down the road make it one of the better #1 issues in recent memory and an incredibly strong start to the series.

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7.8
Giant Size Spider-Man #1

May 29, 2014

So, for a Spider-Man anthology that re-tells not only Spider-Man's origins, but the origins of some of his classic villains, somehow Joe Caramagna and the art team pulled off the impossible and made it work. Not only did they make it work, but they made these some of the best examples of re-tellings of these stories. That's largely due to the fact that Caramagna was able to weave a thematic narrative throughout each story that echoed the arc Peter took in early Stan Lee-written stories as he comes to terms with Uncle Ben's death. That positions this to be the perfect companion piece to some of the stuff Dan Slott is doing as anyone who (somehow) didn't know of the comic origin of Spider-Man could be easily pointed here before seguing in ‘Learn To Crawl' or even the new “Amazing Spider-Man” series.

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9.6
God Hates Astronauts #1

Sep 4, 2014

There's not a lot more I can say about "God Hates Astronauts" as a whole. It's funny, it's crass, it's absurd, it manages to pack more gut-busting laughs into a 30 page comic than some do in an entire series and it's all tied up in the bow of seeing this series evolve into a one-two punch of being funny and a well-told story. It could very easily have been the case that this was an idea that didn't translate well when expanded out into a full issue, but, thankfully, the opposite true and it's mostly thanks to Ryan Browne's evolution as a story teller. While, yes, this is still the farce that you know and love, there is the beginnings of a genuine and more earnest story being told here, and this first issue is an excellent hook for both new readers and old. If you're looking for a comic to have you crying with laughter, look no further than "God Hates Astronauts".

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3.0
God is Dead #1

Sep 5, 2013

Honestly, there's not a whole lot to say about this issue. Not only is it a disappointment considering Hickman's current work at other publishers, it's a disappointment that they charged $3.99 for this. The issue feels almost half finished with how little content there is to work with here. There are no interesting characters present because the half dozen human characters that do appear feel little more than cardboard cutouts. Not only is there no sense of Hickman's characteristic writing that brings out fully realised characters in a few lines of dialogue, there's no sense of any character whatsoever. This is just disappointing because not only am I personally a huge fan of Hickman's work, I honestly hoped that this would be a good series that would allow him to perhaps tell a story that wouldn't be found anywhere else. As it turns out, there was no story to be found here either.

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8.4
Great Pacific #11

Oct 24, 2013

Overall, thanks to much needed character focus, this was a strong closing to “Great Pacific”‘s strongest arc so far. Joe Harris has created in Chas Worthington a complex and flawed individual whose biggest enemy is his own determination. Surrounding him with side characters that are just as interesting and finally taking a closer look at how they tick has lead to a much more compelling narrative than when we last saw a story arc end. Teaming Harris' character focused writing with Martn Morazzo's artwork has created a gorgeous world filled with detail and characters that feel wholly unique. “Great Pacific” keeps getting better and better.

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9.5
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #11

Jun 28, 2013

For an idea that may have started as a joke, the idea of a Pizza Dog issue will, ultimately, be seen as inspired thanks to the raw talent of the creative team involved. While the story may be simple, focusing more on how the character of Pizza Dog exists within the confines of the book's universe, it's entirely engrossing thanks to the unique way it is presented to the reader. The mystery of the rooftop may not be the crux of the issue as was thought, but it gives an insight to the character of Pizza Dog (a sentence that, likely, has never been typed before) and allows the reader to connect with him beyond him simply being a dog. It may have started as a joke, but thanks to the creative team the Pizza Dog issue will likely go down in history.

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8.7
Hexed (2014) #1

Aug 14, 2014

I can think of no reason to not pick up "Hexed" #1. The world that Michael Alan Nelson has created is inventive, unique and interesting populated with fascinating characters and more mysteries than you can imagine. What we got in 2009 was but a taste of the world that Lucifer inhabits and Nelson comes shooting out of the gate here to prove that things are going to get wild from here on out and there is no better time to jump on this train. It also helps that the book is gorgeous, from the covers by Emma Rios to the interiors by Dan Mora, who fuses intense style with genuine storytelling substance. This is simply a fun comic that you have nothing to lose by checking it out, as it is very hard not to love "Hexed".

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9.2
High Crimes #6

Jan 24, 2014

“High Crimes” had an incredibly strong opening last year and we called it a “must-buy”. A year and five issue on and things have only improved. The story is twisting and turning at every step, the stakes are raising with every foot of mountain climbed and the boiling point of the tensions between characters is soon going to erupt, making this a tense thrillride of a comic. This is the kind of white-knuckle storytelling rarely found outside of film and Sebela and Moustafa have distilled it in a comic positively overflowing with style and research. Despite writing one of the most consistently best comics of the last year, Sebela and Moustafa still have nowhere near the recognition they deserve as storytellers making them, as they say, definitely ones to watch.

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5.2
Hulk (2014) #1

Apr 17, 2014

Ultimately, this issue was kind of a disappointment. While “Indestructible Hulk” languished with some run-of-the-mill arcs towards the end of its run, there was a hope that this new #1 would bring back the energy the title had during its early days. Instead, it seems to have slipped further with the new direction not even being all that clear other than the twist at the end of the book. Mark Bagley seems to try his hardest to make certain moments shine, but not even he can save an issue that doesn't even seem to know where it's going. Perhaps this series will be able to turn itself around with a second issue, but this #1 is definitely not up to the standard set not only by Waid himself with the recent “Daredevil” #1, but by All New Marvel NOW! as a whole.

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6.0
Indestructible Hulk #7

May 3, 2013

This issue should have been no less than stellar from two practically legendary creators on a book that takes a staple of the Marvel universe in new directions and new locations, but it just feels like so much filler. Perhaps that's to do with it being the middle chapter of a three-issue arc, sure, but Waid and Simonson, while both trying to tell an exciting adventure that hopes to capture the feel of old Silver Age team-up comics, just play it all a bit too safe to make the issue work beyond being little more than a middle of the road comic. The dialogue can be fun at times, especially with Thor, and the action is great, but while the characters (what little we see of them) still shine this issue just adds very little to the story arc as a whole.

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7.0
Inhuman #2

May 30, 2014

Ultimately, yes, this is a solid improvement over the first issue and that's because Charles Soule and Joe Madureira seem to have something to focus on. Actually, no, that should be someone. The first issue suffered from introducing so many mythological and world-building elements with no emotional core to weight them down, but by focusing on Medusa's attempts to rebuild Attilan and find Black Bolt, the second issue feels much more like the start of the grand epic that Marvel promised us. While the book may have been a victim of circumstance over the late-game change of writers in development, it looks like Soule and Madureira have settled in and hopefully we will get something great out of this.

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4.5
Inhumanity #2

Jan 30, 2014

Overall, the key word to describe this issue is frustrating. It's clearly a victim of circumstance and there's a story just underneath the surface bubbling to get out, but between the change in style to link it even closer to “Inhumanity” and the change in writer of “Inhuman” this has left this issue in a weird place. However, Fraction and Bradshaw do still clearly try their best to bring us a good issue with Fraction's writing being stellar even if there is very little resolution and Bradshaw's art being simply gorgeous for the first half of the issue. It's hard to fault an issue for being disappointing when it clearly wasn't the fault of bad writing or bad, but simply unfortunate changes in circumstance. However, that still leaves us with a disappointing issue.

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8.9
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #2

May 9, 2014

Overall, this is a much better issue than the first issue largely thanks to Kaare Andrews' writing beginning to build a greater story arc here. While the problems of Danny Rands sudden, veering turn in broodsville still lingers over the book, Andrews makes up for it by building an excellent story around that and telling that story with excellent art. It's still early days so anything could happen as this series develops, but this is a very strong start to the series.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #651

Apr 26, 2013

This issue is a prime example of why this series is just great and why Kathryn Immonen was a perfect fit to take over from Kieron Gillen. It's just a really simple fun and adventure story that doesn't come piled with any backstory or any convoluted comic book-ness that could keep new readers from fully enjoying the issue. Literally anyone could pick this book up and enjoy the story within and that is entirely down to the creative team and their deft handling of the story and the characters. This is nothing short of pure fun.

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9.1
Journey Into Mystery #655

Aug 30, 2013

Our journey has come to it's end and while it's a sad farewell, it was the most fitting this series could ask for. It was funny and it was heartfelt and it was action-packed. It was an issue that conveyed how much fun the creators had putting it together and that speaks to how much fun it is to read. So don't shed a tear for “Journey Into Mystery” because this is the most fun journey with a series I've had. Here's hoping these three cross paths again sometime soon on something else.

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9.2
Lazarus #2

Jul 25, 2013

Slow burn, character oriented, dystopian fiction is tricky to pull off with comics. The serialisation of the story means it's a difficult task to keep the story flowing at a pace where not everything pays off a once, but the reader also doesn't feel like they're are sitting waiting for something to happen. Thankfully, Rucka and Lark have nailed that balance perfectly thanks to wonderful characters and a world design that speaks volumes in a handful of panels. These are two amazing creators at the top of their game working together on a book that should have readers engrossed for a long time coming. And while it's nothing something that usually gets a mention, but the issue's back-matter in addition to a letter column provides even more world building in the form of a timeline of the Carlyle family. That's the kind of attention to detail that makes this book great.

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7.3
Magneto (2014) #4

May 22, 2014

“Magneto” is taut, violent, unflinching and ultimately a complex look at man haunted by the violence of his past using that to save others from the future he exists in. Cullen Bunn has finally found a book at Marvel that plays to his strengths and he seems to put his all into this book, crafting a direction for Magneto that feels unique but still speaks to the classic origins of the character. The artwork for this makes it all the better as Javier Fernandez infuses each page with an oppressive atmosphere that makes the violence all the more brutal and genuinely surprising for a book not part of Marvel's MAX line. While things could do with picking up, it's still a strong start that keeps climbing.

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7.5
Mara #5

Jun 20, 2013

“Mara” has been a superb series so far from two excellent creators and has really become a new standard in exploring superheroes in comics. This issue was a bold move from those creators as a more introspective approach to the build of a conclusion that we usually see in superhero comics and it worked. Brian Wood and Ming Doyle have created an excellent look at how superheroes work by creating their own universe and looking at the concept of superheroes through a different lens. This is truly how the Superman story should be explored for the 21st century.

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8.7
Marvel Knights X-Men #1

Nov 14, 2013

Overall, while there's not a whole lot to say about this issue due it mostly being set-up and an introduction to the story, it's still an impressive opening. Despite being Marvel Knights, Revel doesn't stray too far from the Marvel NOW! norm and actually benefits from it as he tells a tale that could easily stand beside the strongest X-book right now. It's Revel's art that makes this stand out the most, though, as he creates an atmosphere unlike any other book thanks to heavy inks and a soft colour palette from Cris Peter. This could very well count as one of the better X-Men series of the decade thanks to Brahm Revel speaking to what makes the X-Men great while stripping them down to a raw, bare bones story. This is definitely one to pick up and if the rest of the series and the Marvel Knights series can keep this up, Marvel will definitely be onto something.

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6.9
Mighty Avengers (2013) #11

Jun 13, 2014

It's a shame that such great writing can be brought down by art that could be just as good, but just isn't quite there.

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9.1
Mind the Gap #15

Oct 4, 2013

While this is indeed the end of the first act of “Mind The Gap”, it, rather fittingly, feels more like a metamorphosis. McCann deftly pulls back the veil on a number of mysteries that have been a part of the book since the very first issue, but ends the issue with even more mysteries going forward. Coupling wonderful character writing that manages to genuinely tug at the heartstrings with wonderful art that conveys the emotional weight of the issue, this was the perfect way to cap this act. A special note should also go to Jim McCann's letter at the end of this issue, which gives an even more personal context to the emotions of this issue. Bring on Act Two.

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7.6
Monster & Madman #1

Mar 14, 2014

Overall, this was a surprising read. Sure, their collaboration in “In The Dark” made me actively seek this out to read, wanting more stories told by these two, but the surprise really comes from just how well these two work with each other. They are perfect collaborators with Niles writing to the strengths of Worm's artwork and Worm being able to bring the sense of dread and foreboding in Niles' writing to the forefront with his artwork. This is definitely an issue worth checking out, especially for those with a hankering for horror comics, and it shows that Steve Niles has in no way lost his touch and has found an incredibly fitting new collaborator in Damien Worm.

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8.4
Moon Knight (2014) #1

Mar 6, 2014

Ultimately, this is everything you could hope for from a “Moon Knight” #1. The title completely re-envisions the character, providing a new style and status quo for the character in the stories to come, but does so by remaining incredibly true to the original idea of Moon Knight. Warren Ellis took a character who was a street level hero that never reached the dizzying heights of Daredevil or Batman and brought a crime noir spin that feels both new to the character and yet strangely familiar. Like this is the book Moon Knight always needed and yet no realised until now. Yet, for as needed and welcome a change as Ellis' writing is (when it works), it's the art of team of Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire that really make this book as good as it is.

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9.1
Ms. Marvel (2014) #1

Feb 6, 2014

Ultimately, this was an incredibly strong opening issue for a series the represents a very important move on Marvel's part. While it is possible that this issue could come close to pandering to the newly founded sub-section of comics fans found on tumblr, as a tumblr user myself I don't see that as a bad thing. For every muscular white dude punching another muscular white that panders to the "core" comics fans, there should be another issue of this or of "Young Avengers" or of "Nova". Because just as much as those other two titles there, Kamala's problems feel real and genuine and relateable even to a non-Muslim and seeing her journey from that to superhero is important. It just helps that it's written by someone with a clear love for the story she is telling and drawn by someone who can make that story look like nothing else on the shelves right now.

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9.1
Nailbiter #2

Jun 6, 2014

Ultimately, this is just as strong an opening as "Nailbiter" #1. While it's true that the story is still in slow burn mode and it might take a while to get going, once it does there will be no stopping this train. Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have built a universe for this story that already seems to have untapped hidden depths with the potential to go places few other crime books have dared to go. Teaming that with pure raw talent in both writing and art, that makes "Nailbiter" one of the most well crafted, well told, well put together books I have seen in a long time and it's only two issues in. This book can go to many great places and you will want to get on board now.

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7.8
New Avengers (2013) #6

May 30, 2013

Even despite the hiccup of the vagueness with which Hickman introduces the concepts of this issue, it's still an enjoyable read thanks to his grip on the characters and their moral struggle with their situation. It's still early days for this series, but to see how Hickaman and Epting are setting up the storylines it seems that this is going to be a fun ride.

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8.8
New Avengers (2013) Annual #1

Jun 26, 2014

As a stand alone issue that exists outside of the main story of "New Avengers" that explores the consequences of Strange's actions in the main story, Barbiere and Rudy have knocked it out of the park. As a possible pilot for a solo series for the character by the two of them, this is a rousing success. Frank J. Barbiere brings his talent for weaving genres to the character and really delves inside the characters mind in a way that few writers have in a long team. Teaming him with Marco Rudy, though, was what really made this issue special as Rudy brings an unconventional eye for artistry and design that, while it echoes the likes of Dave McKean and David Mack, feels perfectly suited to the character and a wholly original take on a character that is soon to be on everyone's radar. If Marvel is paying attention, they would let these two write and illustrate as many Doctor Strange stories as they want if they can make them as good as this.

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5.8
New Suicide Squad #1

Jul 11, 2014

This wasn't the relaunch I was hoping for with this series and, to be blunt, that is rather disappointing. There are a number of ideas present here like the on-the-nose use of new members who are a little too similar to current members in order to create conflict within the team and the corporate power struggle between Waller and Sage that could have made this new era of “Suicide Squad” stand out. However, this issue sacrifices the most important part of the book in order to play up that power struggle; the Squad itself. There is still a chance to save this book, not all hope is lost, as Jeremy Roberts really put his all into making what little of the Squad is shown action shines against the rest of DC's catalogue. All this series needs is a solid second issue to really showcase the Squad and bring Roberts' action-packed character-driven artwork to fore to kickstart this series into something really enjoyable.

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6.5
Nova (2013) #6

Jul 18, 2013

“Nova” has worked so far because it managed to marry the teen superhero trying to learn responsibility that Marvel Comics have had on lock since 1962 and grand space opera adventure that made the Cosmic line so engaging. Except here, only lip service is paid to the latter which is why it feels sadly lacking as an issue. It feels like #1 material except we're at #6 and the title feels like it should have progressed beyond were it is right now. Hopefully, this is just teething problems for an otherwise good issue that will sort itself out as Wells and Medina get settled in. “Nova” should really be taking it's place beside the original “Amazing Spider-Man” issues and Miles Morales' “Ultimate Spider-Man” issues in the hall of fame of teenage superhero coming of age stories. Hopefully, one day, it'll get there.

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7.8
Nowhere Men #5

May 23, 2013

Stephenson and Bellgarde have created an engrossing and engaging world of intrigue and mystery with excellent characters, but unfortunately the strength of the world building sacrifices the progression of the plot. Five issue in already and very little actual progress seems to be made. Hopefully either things pick up or this book might be marked down as all style and no substance.

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8.2
Nowhere Men #6

Oct 17, 2013

It may have taken its time getting here, but it was worth the wait. Stephenson brought much needed weight to the series through some well written dialogue spats as Bellegarde did what he does best in rendering this wholly unique world. With Bellaire and Fonografiks rounding out the team, this issue really outdid all others before it. This may be the best issue of “Nowhere Men” yet and hopefully it only gets better from here.

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8.5
Punisher (2014) #2

Feb 20, 2014

Ultimately, this is another example of Nathan Edmondson using the second issue of a series to take what worked in the first issue and improving on the rest. With the help of Mitch Gerads' art, they have created a very different kind of Punisher book than we're used to, but it works because of how familiar it is at the same time. It's action-packed and bright and vibrant and just a lot of fun and it's exactly what the book needed to be to step out of the long shadow of the Punisher runs that came before it. This issue will hopefully put to rest any comparisons to Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto's time on the book as it's clear they are very different animals.

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7.5
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #1

Sep 26, 2013

Overall, this is a very simple Punisher story idea turned into a very good Punisher story, despite limitations. Guggenheim really understands Frank Castle as a character and manages to show him in a light that he's never really been shown before. Yet, thanks to Leinil Yu, Castle feels just as dangerous unarmed and in a courtroom than he does in the streets with an M60. For what it is, this is a very good Punisher story.

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7.2
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #2

Nov 1, 2013

Overall, this is as strong a conclusion as this series could get. The seams are clearly showing from where this story was expanded from one to two issues, leaving some parts feeling rushed and muddied, but it still holds up. Guggenheim's writing is a clear fit for the Punisher and while placing him in a courtroom doesn't feel quite as monumental as you think it would, it did lead to some original moments in the storytelling. This is helped by Mico Suayan who ably succeeds Leinil Yu in creating such an atmosphere to the book that even simple courtroom dialogue scenes are engaging. It's not perfect by any means, but the world isn't better off without it either.

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7.0
Red Sonja (2013) #1

Jul 19, 2013

Despite the falter at the end of the issue, Simone and Geovani have still created a comic that serves an excellent introduction to Red Sonja as a character. They both fully understand what makes her impressive and formidable as an action hero yet have already shown that they can make her an interesting and complex character with subtle character-building moments peppered throughout. And props must go, once again, to the fact that at no point does the issue feel the need to show Sonja butt and boobs in the same panel through an impossible pose to keep the reader's intention. It kept with good writing, good art and an interesting character.

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8.9
Revival #14

Sep 27, 2013

While it may not get the big press that other comics get, “Revival” has quietly and confidently been telling a story that explores the human condition in the face of an impossible situation. Seeley's writing has used his honed horror writing skills to create a fantastic horror comic that is chock full of fully realised, human feeling characters. Each character feels not only real, but important. That leads to a very serialised story that, thankfully, has no dead weight to bring it down. There is no quiet moment that breaks the tension that builds throughout each issue. Pairing that with Mike Norton's ability to play that story incredibly well against a town landscape that feels real and persistent was simply genius.

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9.1
Rocket Girl #3

Jan 3, 2014

Ultimately, Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder have created one of the most fun comics to come out of 2013 and it simply keeps getting better. With fun characters and dialogue, an interesting plot with a mystery to solve and action scenes that make full use of Reeder's talents, this issue has a lot going for it. If there's only one downside, it's that it has so much going for it that it can't possibly hope to fit it all in in one issue. If you're not reading “Rocket Girl”, you are missing out an a lot of fun.

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9.6
Saga #17

Dec 20, 2013

“Saga” #17 is a high point for the series, there's simply no beating around the bush. While Vaughn seems to be open about the manipulation of the deaths of these characters, when each beat hits there's no discounting how emotional each one is. It's a testament to this series that is has created such emotional connections between reader and character that an issue like this works in such a small amount of time. That's because of the teamwork between Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples and how they have both infused these characters with such life and humanity that you can't help but feel for them. That's why this series has seen near universal praise and why it will continue to do so until it goes down in the history books.

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8.0
Savage Wolverine #6

Jun 13, 2013

While this issue is largely set-up for the story to come, Wells and Madureira bring enough action, humour and heart in their exploration of Wolverine to make it a very enjoyable issue. Wells really has a grasp on Wolverine's voice that allows him to take a more complex look at the character and having Madureira as a collaborator lets him bring over the top action to the page. Bringing back Peter Parker, however, was this issue's stroke of genius and really makes it stand out as the start of what should be a very enjoyable arc.

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7.0
Savage Wolverine #14

Jan 10, 2014

Ultimately, even though there was nothing here we hadn't seen before plot-wise, Isanvoe still proves that he can write and draw a fun Wolverine story. The dialogue is spot-on and creates an atmosphere that engrosses the reader in the noir stylines of the writing. Combining that with atmospheric art that serves to engross the reader in the time period of the story and you have a story that definitely focuses on atmosphere and it pays off. Just because it doesn't bring anything all that new to the table doesn't mean that this issue wasn't a blast to read and I can only hope Isanvoe develops the story to new and interesting places.

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9.3
Secret Avengers (2014) #3

May 15, 2014

If you want a comic that brings the best of Ales Kot and Michael Walsh's creator owned work and marries it with the Marvel Universe, there should be no reason not to pick this up.

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4.6
Secret Origins #1

Apr 24, 2014

Yet, overall, this issue still just feels like it should have came out this time two years ago. While the stories are well told, even if it feels like the creators are constrained from actually being creative with the stories they have to tell, there's just nothing here to make them feel necessary. If this was a last ditch attempt by DC to save face and bring new readers to their titles then perhaps putting out a book retelling stories that have not only already been told in titles they've published in the New 52, but in comics and movies going back to the 70s, wasn't the best idea. It was a nice effort, though.

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9.8
Sex Criminals #2

Oct 25, 2013

What we have here is the perfect combination of two creators at the top of their game who are in complete synergy with one another creating a comic book that totally bucks the trend. “Sex Criminals” is so sexually frank without a hint of immaturity, bringing laughs by exposing the real truth: sex is actually rather ridiculous. At that heart of it all, though, is an examination into love and human connection and what could be real faade in how we perceive sex. With two issues this strong, this series is destined for great things that are already being teased in the pages of this comic, creating mysteries that promise to expand and already wonderful mythology.

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9.9
Sex Criminals #5

Mar 21, 2014

There's no other way to put it: “Sex Criminals” just keeps getting better and better. It should be impossible for a series to have such exponential improvement with each issue as the story begins to come together and evolve and the creative team settle in to creating the series with a greater ease, but Fraction and Zdarsky have pulled it off. “Sex Criminals” could stop at the end of this first arc and it could still be counted among the greatest comics ever published, that's how good the writing from Fraction is and that's how good the art from Zdarsky is.

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9.8
Shaolin Cowboy #2

Nov 15, 2013

Or you just spent $3.99 on a comic where nothing happens, you know, it swings in roundabouts.

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9.0
She-Hulk (2014) #1

Feb 13, 2014

Ultimately, this is exactly the kind of #1 this series needed and it's evident that the key word here is fun. From the first page to the last, this issue is simply a blast to read thanks to Soule's writing which blends his experience as a lawyer and a quick wit to create incredibly fun dialogue and Javier Pulido's artwork which is simply stunning and really compliments Soule's humour and makes excellent use of page layouts. This is the kind of first issue that presents the character in a way that gives both old readers and new equal footing going in and brings both the character and the reader to a place that allows the rest of the series to unfold. This is a masterclass in how to create a new direction for a major character that is both fun and accessible and shows that lawyers can be fun if they get to smash robots every now and then.

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7.8
Sheltered #5

Nov 22, 2013

Overall, this issue brought to a close the series' first arc in as slow a manner as it opened. Hopefully, the cliffhanger at the end of the issue is a tease that thing are about to pick up the pace which is what this series needs. It already has an extremely solid, if twisted, premise behind it fleshed out with fascinating characters and a location dripping with atmosphere thanks to the art. All it needs is that jumpstart that comes with a solid story arc that ramps up the stakes and the tension and this could become a truly great series.

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8.1
Shutter #1

Apr 8, 2014

This is a first issue that promises much more to come, and it will be one hell of a trip to get there.

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9.4
Southern Bastards #1

May 1, 2014

Overall, this is the inception of yet another feather in the cap of Image Comics' dominance thanks to Jasons Aaron and Latour. These two creators are perfectly in line with each other, merging into one creative mind to put on the page a passion project that is fuelled by the fire of seeing something they love ruined. From that fire springs a comic that takes the stark brutality of a film like No Country For Old Men and puts that on the page with some of the best work each creator has put out to date. This is not one to miss.

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9.0
Spread #2

Aug 7, 2014

Justin Jordan, Kyle Strahm and Felipe Sobreiro have managed to bottle that sense of uneasy, sleep-with-one-eye-open anticipation of horror in "Spread". While it is still very early days and momentum will surely be built as the story goes along, Jordan's use of larger self-contained issues has allowed a sense of narrative to form in only two issues. There's really no telling where this story will go, but one thing's for sure: it's going to be a hell of a ride getting there.

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9.7
Storm #1

Jul 24, 2014

I was very excited for this book. Greg Pak is a writer I love and trust and seeing him tackle characters that mean a lot to so many, but who are often neglected in the grand scheme of things (his work with Doctor Strange was second to none) like Storm is why I haven't given up hope on comics. Thankfully, sometimes, that excitement pays off as Pak and Ibanez clearly put their all into this issue, allowing it to stand as a one-off introduction to the character for new readers and a long letter to her legacy for established readers. This could very easily have existed as a successful one-shot, but the fact that Pak and Ibanez get to keep doing this every month makes me thankful for small miracles.

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9.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #21

Jun 14, 2013

Overall, this was a stunning conclusion to the first story arc by this new creative team and if there's any justice in the world, they will be around for many more. The grasp on the characters and the world this series takes place in is unlike anything that came before thanks to the fresh persperctive and raw talent of a new writer and a new artist. This book finally has a solid identity going forward thanks to this new blood and if that last page is anything to go by, the ridiculousness is only going to get better.

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6.8
Superman (2011) #34

Aug 29, 2014

This issue marks a continued stride towards a brighter future for "Superman" in the hands of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. While there are times in this issue that the storyline could come off as clich, the fact that there hasn't been a really strong story in the pages of "Superman" in over thirty issues means a clich story is better than nothing. Even if that wasn't the case, at least Johns is bringing back shades of the writing from his run on "Action Comics" with a focus on exploring the humanity and duality of Clark Kent and Superman. Teaming him with John Romita Jr. would have made this a run to take notice of, even if it hadn't lived up to the expectations; thankfully it did, as both Romita and Johns seem to be putting their all into making this the run that brings Superman back to the fore of DC's publishing.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #2

Jul 11, 2013

Overall, though, the issue only falters there. Scott Snyder is really showing that working with the New 52 Superman doesn't necessarily mean that a good Superman story can't be told. The character feels just as Super as ever here and thanks to being teamed up with Jim Lee, Snyder can really let loose with grand, epic set pieces the likes of which Man Of Steel would be jealous of. If they keep it up, this might end up becoming the main Superman title of the DCU.

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7.2
Superman: Lois Lane #1

Feb 28, 2014

Overall, this is hopefully the issue that both Bennett and Lois Lane needed. It showed that Marguerite Bennett could tell a story like this and make it interesting through her excellent character writing and it showed that Lois Lane could be the focus of a story like this instead of in the background of any number of Superman stories. Not only that, but any one of the artists featured here could follow Bennett and Lois Lane to an ongoing series (as long as they're credited properly) and it could stand out against the rest of the New 52 as a unique series. If this was to be seen as a pilot of sorts for a Lois Lane ongoing, I would wager it should be greenlit for a season. If not, then it's still a good issue that paid its dues to a great character and her long legacy from a writer who is capable of more than this and a team of artists who were undercut by editorial.

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9.0
Ten Grand #3

Jul 4, 2013

It may have taken a couple issues, but “Ten Grand” is finally comfortable settling in on it's story going forward and that just makes this issue all the stronger. From Templesmith's art being as great and atmospheric as always and bringing life to the book to Straczynski finally letting the lead character breathe a little and explore him emotionally, this series is stronger across the board than it was when it started. And that is a very good thing because going forward, with the right storylines, this could be the serious contender to be the next “Hellblazer”. And wouldn't that be something?

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8.6
The Empty Man #1

Jun 12, 2014

As you may have guessed, I enjoyed "The Empty Man" a great deal. It's an inventive horror story that makes great use of world-building writing and rough, noir-ish artwork to give a look at world just close enough to ours that it is truly terrifying. While Bunn doesn't really get to stretch his writing muscles, this being the first issue and all, Vanesa Del Rey more than makes up for it as she shows herself to be an artist that can masterfully create tone and atmosphere. If Del Rey wasn't on the radar before this, this should be the series that puts her in high demand. Bunn and Del Rey have created an issue that dares you to face the horrors within and then hooks you and pulls you back for ore.

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5.0
The Fearless Defenders #3

Apr 11, 2013

This should be a really great book. It should be about a bunch of badass ladies doing a bunch of badass things and spitting in the face of the idea that a superhero comic needs a big, burly dude in tights to make it sell. But everything is played so safe, so conservative that there feels like there's no stakes in the story. For a third issue, where the stakes of the first arc should be ramping up, we're left with an empty fight and a lot of dialogue. Which would be okay for any other mediocre, run of the mill comic, but it kills me to see it in this one.

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6.0
The Fearless Defenders #6

Jul 12, 2013

There's something to be said about a series with an excellent concept, but with an execution that does it no favours. For a book about a team-up between at least a dozen big name female Marvel characters, Cullen Bunn's continued focus on only a select few feels like he's limiting the scope of the book more than anything.

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8.5
The Legend of Luther Strode #5

May 17, 2013

As the penultimate issue of the series, Jordan and Moore really bring their A-game to bring a lot of action and violence, as well as a lot of heart and humor, to the issue. Characters live and die, but no matter what they all feel entertaining and purposeful to the story thanks to the great writing talent behind the book. Yet even thought the issue is full of violence and action, it never fails to connect to the humans elements of the characters. If Jordan and Moore can keep this up for the finale, this has shaped up to be an excellent series.

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8.0
The Manhattan Projects #13

Aug 9, 2013

Overall, while there may not have been a lot to this issue to talk about (as most of the finer details do get covered in our Projections), Hickman and Pitarra have shown that they have not lost any steam. This series is just as inventive and unique now as it was over a year ago. The character interactions are beautifully crafted and bring such a range of emotions to the page that it's almost impossible not to care for at least one of the characters here. Hickman and Pitarra are still going strong with “The Manhattan Projects” and here's to another year.

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9.8
The Sandman Overture #2

Mar 27, 2014

Just as the first issue exceeded massive expectations and cynicism, showing that it was more than just a cash-grab revamp, this issue exceeded the weight created by the delay to deliver one hell of an issue. Sure, it's been five months and the story's still only getting started, but what this issue teases to come would make another five month wait worth it if the issue was as good as this one. Gaiman and Williams have delivered the series that “Sandman” fans have been waiting for for years and they have not disappointed.

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6.8
The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #1

Sep 6, 2013

Overall, this feels more like an exercise in bringing a story that has not been seen by many to established fans of the series than anything else. While the faithfulness of the adaptation is admirably, there's not a lot here for anyone not already enamoured by the universe Lucas created in 1977. It's a book clearly aimed at those who are already so invested in Star Wars that they'd pick up a comic adaptation of a rough draft script and for that it does it's job admirably. There's just not a lot here for anyone else, unfortunately, despite Mayhew's gorgeous artwork.

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9.0
The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #2

Jul 12, 2013

It also made a nice change to see Grant Morrison in a comic where he wasn't playing himself.

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8.9
The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #6

Jan 2, 2014

This is a grand conclusion to an equally grand story that, while ultimately rather simple, stands as shoulder-to-shoulder with the great teenage disillusionment stories of the past. This is the rage of a generation focused through Gerard Way's music and told as a story and it really works. The whole creative team, from Gerard Way and Shaun Simon to Becky Cloonan and even to Dan Jackson's colours and Nate Piekos' letters, have come together to tell a story that deserves to be recognised among the greats. If there is only one downside to “The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys” it's there are enough ideas contained within pages to have kept this story going for much, much longer. Not many comics finish with me wanting even more, but this one did.

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8.9
The Wake #3

Aug 2, 2013

All in all, if you have a craving for a very solid horror comic and you've been jonesing for that fix since "American Vampire" went on hiatus, you should be picking this up. Snyder is not only as good as ever, but the structure of "The Wake"'s issues mean that he's even better than usual here. And, unless you somehow dislike his art, Murphy is as jaw-droppingly attentive to detail here as always and the issue is worth it for his art alone.

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9.7
Theremin #4

Jan 31, 2014

This comic really has to be read to be believed. There's no way to put in words just how insane it is that these two creators have no only made this issue work, but made it enjoyable and understandable and have made it feel like seamless part of the grander story they are telling. From Curt Pires' writing to Dalton Rose's art, this comic feels born of true creativity and it's something of a breath of fresh air. This is the kind of story that really only a comic book could tell (sorry Kaufman) and only these two could make as readable as this. If Image Comics is creating a revolution in print comics, Monkeybrain has been quietly creating an underground indie scene that will blow the roof off of the comics industry.

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9.5
Thor: God of Thunder #8

May 10, 2013

Even though this arc has only just started, it's looking to be just as truly epic as the first was. Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic are pretty much the absolute perfect team for this book. The story they are telling will easily go down in history as the point where Thor was truly re-envisioned and brought back to greatness. Everyone needs to be reading this comic because it might just be the best Marvel NOW! has to offer.

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7.8
Thor: God of Thunder #13

Sep 20, 2013

After creating the saga that could very easily best all Thor stories to come, Jason Aaron has proved here that he's not willing to just sit down and phone it in the rest of the way. Even his attempt at creating a new reader friendly opening to a story arc feels epic and true God-like storytelling of the previous arc. While it is let down by artwork that was let down by poor colouring, it's still strong enough to stand head and shoulders over a lot of other stories out there. Now, this is how you do a villain story and make him terrifying.

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7.8
Trees #4

Aug 22, 2014

"Trees" is a definite slow burn of a series. It's been four issues and I would not argue with someone if they were to say that nothing's happened. This might be a series that will be much easier for some to read collected, but for this issue it proves that Ellis and Howard's focus on character-driven story telling can still make for an entertaining issue.

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9.8
Trillium #8

Apr 3, 2014

So, in the end, it turns out that "Trillium" built throughout the series as one of the most genuinely well-written romances in comics as well as being a platform for Jeff Lemire to completely screw with medium conventions to create a genuinely satisfying and wonderful conclusion to an amazing series. I mean, who would have guessed? It turns out the Jeff Lemire is an amazing writer and artist who can craft a simply, eight-issue series that has more heartfelt creativity than most long-running series. This is a truly great conclusion to a series that it's hard to overstate the quality of and anyone who picked this up at first and dropped it should be ashamed of themselves and anyone who hasn't picked it up should immediately do so.

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7.3
Veil #3

May 8, 2014

While there's still a while to go in terms of discovering the mystery of Veil, the quality of storytelling on display make this issue an enjoyable read as it brings more elements into the story to keep the fire of the mystery burning. That's a fire that wouldn't be burning without Toni Fejzula, mind you, as his artwork really steals the show and brings amazing depth to the writing of Greg Rucka by filling out the details of the world through the panels. Mixing that with almost unparalleled storytelling ability makes Fejzula an artist who many, many people should have their eye on right now.

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8.0
Velvet #3

Jan 17, 2014

Overall, this is the third solid issue in a row from the “Velvet” crew. While it's still early days and there's not much to talk about with the slowly building mystery as very little has actually been revealed, the fact that it's still engaging and enjoyable is a testament to the talents on display. Brubaker's subversions of the genre have allowed for an incredibly interesting and complex lead character with a past only briefly touched on that could keep generating stories for years to come. Coupling that with the strength of the character interactions and dialogue and it makes her a joy to read. Then, adding the gorgeous art of both Steve Epting and Elizabeth Breitweiser on top of that makes this a series you really don't want to be missing.

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7.0
X-Men (2013) #4

Aug 23, 2013

Overall, this issue doesn't exactly stand up against the opening arc in many aspects, but scrapes by on pure personality alone. Wood clearly gets why these women are popular enough to warrant a team and a title dedicated them, but too often falls in the trap of feeling like a ‘man writing about women' instead of just telling his story. It's a shame because when he does tell the story, it works. Especially now that he has an artist as capable as Lopez to bring all together and make this issue enjoyable, despite everything.

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8.8
X-Men Legacy (2012) #24

Feb 14, 2014

“X-Men Legacy”, under Simon Spurrier's pen, has gone from a story about an under-used, little known character that couldn't really live up to its own potential to a heart-warming, genuinely life-changing story about the importance of self-belief. This last issue, then, could not be more fitting as it turns out that David Haller's greatest enemy all along was himself. This is the kind of story that is a grand, epic battle between ideologies in that way that only comics can deliver and is likely to gain more than enough comparisons to “

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8.0
Young Avengers (2013) #8

Jul 26, 2013

Probably the only thing that really brings this issue down from being one of the best of the series is simply the length of the story arc. Personally, I've never been a fan of longer story arcs and as much as this issue was enjoyable, it's the eighth issue of the series and we're still trudging along with a conclusion only just in sight. It's not enough to make the issue less enjoyable, more a comment on the series a whole so far. Gillen has been excellent at keeping any of the issue from feeling like filler, but this long a story arc right off the bat eventually leads to some dead weight. This issue isn't it, I just hope it keeps this strong as it finally reaches it's conclusion.

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9.3
Zero #1

Sep 19, 2013

As stated, there is a lot to like about "ZERO" simply because of how much it does right. Kot's writing is tight and evocative and captures the lost magic of the war comics through a really strong narrative. Michael Walsh's artwork creates a harrowing war-torn landscape that easily blends small, emotional moments as well as pulse-pounding action scenes and intricate spywork. This is an extremely strong opening to a series that is set to go onto great things is this issue is any indcation.

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