Diana Kingston's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 43
6.3Avg. Review Rating

4
1602: Fantastick Four #1

Sep 3, 2006

Overall, I suppose its a passable read if youre a Fantastic Four fanatic, and you really need your next fix, but aside from artistic representations of a quaint English backdrop, theres nothing here you cant find in any other series about the Richards family.

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6
52 #1

May 14, 2006

The writing is technically good, and I imagine DC fans will be very pleased with it. But if you havent been following the latest developments in the DCU, dont start here.

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4
Abra Cadaver: The Afterlife Adventures of Harry Houdini #1

Aug 20, 2006

enough or interestingly enough to do so.

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8
All New Atom #1

Jul 11, 2006

I confess I have doubts about this book's ability to survive in today's market: it's different and it's smart, and that's probably why it won't last a year. But I tend to think most people who'll give this book a try will be pleasantly surprised.

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10
Astonishing X-Men #15

Jun 23, 2006

Whedon gets the X-Men, in a way that very few of his contemporaries do. While the pacing is a bit problematic due to artistic delays, this arc - and the entire Whedon run - are going to read magnificently in trades.

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10
Astonishing X-Men #16

Aug 28, 2006

My only complaint has less to do with the content of the issue and more with its publication: I don't think the bimonthly format was appropriate for this particular arc, given its condensed time frame and reliance on cliffhangers as transitional devices. But apparently the book is returning to monthly release starting with this issue, so hopefully the momentum Whedon has built won't go to waste with the final two chapters.

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4
Batman #654

Jul 3, 2006

As a glorified but forgettable fill-in, "Face The Face" is merely mediocre; as the launching point for Batman's OYL stories, it's awful. Let's hope Morrison and Dini do better with their respective titles.

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6
Batman #655

Jul 30, 2006

Clearly not a shining example of his best work, then. But Batman and Robin are characterized nicely, Junior creeps me out, and now that the initial hurdles are out of the way, its certainly possible for Morrison to kick things up a notch. Ive seen him do it before. For this issue specifically, though, Im going to have to go with average, with potential.

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7
Beyond #1

Jul 2, 2006

This issue really deserves , but Im dropping half a bullet because of what happens at the end. Had that scene played out with any other character, it would have worked, but I doubt anyones gullible enough not to see through the final product (and if they are, I have some invisible Armani outfits Im just dying to get rid of). The book would have been stronger without that last tacky moment, but other than that Beyond! is off to a pleasantly surprising good start.

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8
Captain America (2004) #17

May 11, 2006

Still, you don't often see this kind of long-term planning at Marvel. And if you've been reading the series for a while now, you'll certainly enjoy how things are unfolding and playing themselves out.

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8
Captain America (2004) #18

May 14, 2006

This issue might as well be called Out of Time: Part 18, both in a positive and negative sense: positive because were getting the kind of epic that just isnt done these days, negative because this is the story Brubaker is telling, and its not going to change anytime soon; if youre not enjoying it, you might as well sit this run out. Personally, though, I think its working out rather well.

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6
Captain America (2004) #22

Oct 2, 2006

Brubaker's writing remains as strong and consistent as ever. But that's divorced from the fact that we've gone ridiculously off-course.

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10
Daredevil (1998) #85

May 21, 2006

As the penultimate chapter of The Devil In Cellblock D, this issue gives the distinct impression that everything is on the brink of spiraling out of control: unlikely alliances are made, plots are hatched, and the body count is rising. I cant wait to see what comes next!

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8
Doctor Strange: The Oath #1

Oct 1, 2006

This is, without a doubt, an example of how to write Doctor Stephen Strange in the 21st century. Future writers of the Sorcerer Supreme, please take note.

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8
Exiles #80

May 8, 2006

While the "World Tour" as a whole will ultimately succeed or fail depending on its outcome, it's certainly provided some strong stories in the interrim.

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6
Exiles #81

May 29, 2006

A solid issue, familiarity issue nonwithstanding.

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4
Exiles #82

Jun 19, 2006

"The World Tour" ends with a somewhat-new status quo for the Exiles, but it's just not enough; this "epic" storyline fails by virtue of having a thoroughly underwhelming conclusion. Very disappointing indeed.

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10
Fables #49

May 12, 2006

While the outcome of Mowgli's hunt might not come as a major shock to many readers, it's still a welcome conclusion to the arc, one that will undoubtedly have a big impact on many characters in the series. The issue ends on an uncharacteristically optimistic note, suggesting that good times are coming; whether that's true of our poor, battered heroes or not, I think it's certainly true of Fables and its future.

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10
Fables #50

Jun 19, 2006

While the cast of Fables is largely based on fairy tale characters, they've become individualized enough under Willingham that there's a real sense of satisfaction in watching things go their way at last. Sure, it ultimately amounts to a "feel-good" issue... but hey, they've earned it.

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4
Hard Time Season Two #6

May 9, 2006

All in all, it's a rather catastrophic train wreck. I feel I should give it points simply because it's really not the writers' fault here - the bottom fell out from under them, and they did the best they could. Sadly, that doesn't change the end result: a perfectly good series ruined by external circumstances (in this case, incompetent marketing).

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2
Hard Time Season Two #7

Jun 13, 2006

This finale is just disrespectful to every reader who had followed the series thus far. It's fair enough to say that cancellation was abrupt, and that this issue would have felt rushed and congested under the best circumstances. But that doesn't excuse the writers from at least trying to end things properly in the space available. They owed the people who'd been buying this series at least that much.

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4
Hero Squared #1

May 30, 2006

Rain of Expository Anvils aside, there's not much to say about this issue: it presents a rather by-the-numbers sitcom set-up that fails to amuse, the plot is static, the characters are flat...

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10
Jack of Fables #1

Aug 1, 2006

Fable, who now gets his chance to shine.

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6
Manifest Eternity #1

Jun 9, 2006

It's not exactly the most spectacular debut issue in the history of Wildstorm, but Lobdell can still turn it around. The concept driving the series is a strong one, with lots of potential, and Manifest Eternity will live or die based on how that potential is used.

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4
Martian Manhunter #1

Aug 17, 2006

I personally think this is symptomatic of a larger problem with J'onn J'onzz: he's basically an amalgam of other, more popular DCU figures. He's the last Martian just as Superman is the last Kryptonian, he's detached from humanity but walks among them like Batman, he has a strong moral center like Hal Jordan... the character has never struck me as "individualized" in any sense, and maybe that's why this issue is too generic to be distinctive on any level. It's sort of like how a Black-Eyed Peas album sounds like one 72-minute song: after a while, it just grates, and you wish the tune would change.

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8
New X-Men (2004) #26

May 11, 2006

The book is standing on its own two feet

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10
Runaways (2005) #16

Jun 6, 2006

This is Runaways at its best: exciting, littered with interesting character moments, and full of surprises.

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6
Son of M #6

Jun 2, 2006

I'm giving this book three bullets in recognition of the fact that Hine's writing is actually very strong - he certainly has a firm grasp of Pietro's character. This issue falters solely due to editorial mandates; had there been no cause for a flimsy last-moment conflict between the Inhumans and America, and had Hine not been required to set Pietro up for imminent appearances in X-Factor and (one assumes) Civil War, it likely would have wrapped up properly, or at least more cohesively. As it stands, the final issue of Son of M collapses under the weight of its own relevance to other impending crossovers, and matters more for how it affects the Marvel Universe than for how it affects the individuals within it.

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4
Spider-Girl #100

Jul 17, 2006

One would hope that DeFalco and company might take advantage of the relaunch to clean up the mess, scale things down and reconnect with the actual character of Spider-Girl... but based on solicitation texts and the like, the forecast appears to be "more of the same." More's the pity.

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4
The Amazing Spider-Girl #0

Oct 9, 2006

I'd hoped DeFalco and company would use this rare opportunity to streamline the book, to trim the cast and the storylines down to a more managable level... but if this issue is a demonstration of things to come, Amazing Spider-Girl is simply going to be more of the same. And I just don't think that's enough anymore.

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8
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #475

Jul 10, 2006

I never would've thought a writer who specialized in the urban crime genre (Catwoman, The Fall) could pull off an X-Men story so well. But "The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire" is off to an excellent start, with a mix of well-paced action and solid characterization. If consistency is maintained, this could shape up to be one of the better runs of Uncanny X-Men in recent memory.

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8
Union Jack #1

Sep 17, 2006

In any case, the dialogue is tight and effective (aside from two clumsy exchanges between the Arabian Knight and Sabra), and Gage does an excellent job in setting up the dominoes. Based on this opening chapter, Union Jack has the potential to offer an exciting action story, with a threat thats extremely credible without being too over-the-top.

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2
Wetworks #1

Sep 25, 2006

I suppose there's a case to be made that readers more familiar with Wetworks from its previous incarnation will have much less difficulty with this one. Of course, the series has been out of circulation for over a decade; apparently, Carey and Portacio are assuming that their entire readership has eidetic memory. I strongly warn readers not to purchase this issue if they're not already acquainted with Wetworks; accessibility is minimal.

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8
Wonder Woman (2006) #1

Jun 11, 2006

Overall, this issue offers a very strong debut for Heinberg and the Dodsons. Donna Troy stands as an accessible entity, someone we can understand without a PHD in DC history/mythology. The type of story being told here (the rise of the successor) isnt one thats very common to the superhero genre - Robin hasnt become Batman, Superboy hasnt become Superman - so it should be interesting to see what happens. I never, ever thought Id say this, but Im really looking forward to the next issue of Wonder Woman.

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6
Wonder Woman (2006) #2

Aug 29, 2006

But it does lead me to the one thing that really bothers me about this issue: it completely shifts the focus away from Donna. In retrospect, I may have misread the relaunch: my original impression was that Heinberg set Donna up to be the legitimate New Wonder Woman, with Diana as a supporting character (a nice inversion, but also the natural progression of a "legacy" story akin to Starman). But she sits the whole issue out, and Diana gets the spotlight, so now I'm wondering if the whole thing was just a feint to get people talking, before snapping us back to status quo. It would be a touch too manipulative for my tastes, but if that's what Heinberg is doing here, he certainly seems to have pulled it off by creating the perfect stage for Diana's return.

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6
Worldstorm #1

Oct 17, 2006

You know, if Lee had launched Worldstorm with these books, rather than Wetworks and a vacuum where Wildcats should have been, the project would probably be seen in a much more positive light by now. And I don't have to be a geriatric ex-superdetective to figure that out.

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4
X-Factor (2005) #6

May 23, 2006

It's not enough to assure your readers that it'll all make sense someday: not in this market, not when there are so many alternatives available that can tease future developments and provide actual stories while we wait. This is why Fallen Angel failed, and it's pretty evident that no lessons were learned.

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10
X-Men (2004) #188

Jul 17, 2006

I'm giving this issue a perfect score because I think the odds were against Carey pulling this off. Not only has he done it, but he's done it really well.

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4
X-Men: Fairy Tales #1

May 22, 2006

X-Men: Fairy Tales does what it says on the tin, so I can't fault Marvel for false advertising. But the results aren't very inspiring either. If I want to read the story of Momotaro, I can just look it up; beyond the questionable merits of retelling some popular legends, this miniseries doesn't seem to offer much more.

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6
X-Men: First Class #1

Sep 24, 2006

The end result is a perfectly average, disposable romp featuring the first X-Men. Its pretty superfluous, and Parkers writing isnt quite compelling or entertaining enough to make it anything more, but if youre looking for a '60s plot with a '90s script, this is the place to go.

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6
X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong #2

Oct 9, 2006

Personally, I like what Pak's doing here; the Phoenix has always been more interesting as a plot device than as an actual character, and here it's being used to unearth the truth about the Stepford Cuckoos. In fairness, Morrison dropped plenty of hints in his time, but the explicit revelations are long overdue. Warsong may not have the deeply personal tone of Endsong, but it's making good use of peripheral X-characters and interesting past stories.

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2
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5

Jun 1, 2006

Milligan's previous enthusiasm is completely absent here, making Dead Girl a tedious read at best. If he doesn't care about his work, why should we?

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4
Y: The Last Man #48

Aug 8, 2006

which means nothing's actually changed with her. Ultimately, the whole story falls to pieces.

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