George Chimples's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Major Spoilers Reviews: 100
7.0Avg. Review Rating

3.0
Age of Apocalypse Vol.2 #7

Sep 11, 2012

I have been reading this series from the start, but it does not seem to be going anywhere.

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4.0
All-New X-Factor #1

Jan 14, 2014

All-New X-Factor #1 is a slightly sub-standard comic for three bucks. For four, its a total disappointment. If Marvel wants customers to pay premium prices, they must deliver premium content. Unfortunately, there is little in the pages of All-New X-Factor #1 to place it above the pack of crowded superhero comics. Perhaps when the crew is properly filled out, the old David magic will be wrought on this book. If the corporate concept is fully explored, there will be something identifiable about this team. But as this issue stands, I can only recommend All-New X-Factor #1 for Polaris diehards and fans who wish their superheroes wore futuristic Puma tracksuits. Actually, Im definitely in the latter camp, so I might stick around for another issue. If it were $2.99, Id probably stick around longer.

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9.0
All-Star Western #1

Oct 1, 2011

All Star Western #1 is reminiscent of many things: Conan the Barbarian, Gangs of New York, The Alienist, From Hell "" but all the elements are blended together well. While it's not strictly set in the Old West, the story still has enough Western DNA to deserve its title. For an extra dollar, you get 8 more pages of story, and those pages are put to good use, giving the issue a roomy, expansive feel. Palmiotti and Gray have been writing Jonah Hex for years now, and this issue is less a relaunch and more the perfect jumping-on point. Four and a half out of five stars.

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8.0
And Then Emily Was Gone #2

Sep 2, 2014

And Then Emily Was Gone will appeal to readers ready for something off-beat, challenging, and disturbing. Fans looking for a different brand of horror should definitely check out this comic. But if you're wary, be warned: it is not for the faint of heart.

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8.8
Arcadia #1

May 12, 2015

A smart, confident science fiction debut of a new series that is well worth your time.

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7.5
Arclight #1

Jul 7, 2015

Pretty as a cloud and perhaps just as hard to grasp. But still fun.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #2

Oct 23, 2014

I've been burned by the last few Marvel events in a bad way. Original Sin, Age of Ultron, Fear Itself "these all had good starts that fizzled out with unsatisfying endings. Avengers & X-Men: Axis isn't starting out so hot. So maybe it will buck the trend and end up on a high note? This issue suffered from a plot structure that did not make thematic sense, but it ended with a cliffhanger interesting enough to hook me into the next one " if only to see if it can be resolved in any sort of sensical manner. I am a big fan of Remender's work and have been enjoying the pages of Magneto and Uncanny Avengers from the start, but unless there's marked improvement in the next issue, I will probably cut my losses. Avengers & X-Men: Axis #2 does not yet live up to the hype promised by the build-up.

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6.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: New World #4

Nov 17, 2010

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: New World #4 of 5 provides more of Guy Davis's great artwork, paired with a creepy baby monster story, but ultimately falls short of the mark. This book is necessary only for Mignola-verse diehards; all others need not apply. This issue has four AK-47s, two fractured skulls, one humans vs. tentacle monster firefight, one wendigo vs. tentacle monster smackdown, and one baby Cthulhu in swaddling clothes. It expresses 3 beeps, 2 blams, 1 shikt, 1 shakt, 1 wham, 1 whack, 1 crunch and 1 cra-aack. 3 out of 5 stars.

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8.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1

Feb 21, 2012

The Dark Horse's B.P.R.D. line consistently puts out some of the best stuff in comics, and it fills a horror-themed comics niche that few of the other big publishers were doing well (up until Animal Man and Swamp Thing). Right now isn't the most forgiving time for new readers storyline-wise, but it is definitely worth it to catch up to what is going on presently in the Hellboy universe. The Long Death is a strong start to what promises to be another great arc, and it's a chance to seefierynew talent James Harren at work. B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death #1 earns itself a grand four out of five stars.

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9.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1

Mar 28, 2012

The Pickens County Horror is a good read for anyone who wants a good horror comic, whether you are familiar with the world of Hellboy or not. Big Red is mentioned once and what's going on in the rest of the world is present on the margins, but pretty much everything that occurs in the story is independent of outside knowledge. That is why I do not hesitate to recommend this issue to fans looking to dip their toe into the waters of the Mignolaverse but who don't know where to start. There aren't any complicated characters with miles of backstory to learn in this issue; it's just good, clean storytelling with bang up art, and it gives you a feel for what a good B.P.R.D story feels and looks like. I have argued in the past that the B.P.R.D. line is the most consistently entertaining horror storytelling in the business, and The Pickens County Horror is no exception, earning a coveted four and a half out of five stars. Take a look.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #14

Nov 21, 2012

Batgirl #14 is a worthy component of the "Death of the Family" crossover. If the art could be stabilized, it would rate even higher. I'm not going to read every issue of "Death of the Family" because my wallet just can't handle it, butBatgirl might be making the cut.

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10
Batman (2011) #16

Jan 21, 2013

The stakes are high, the heroes actually feel threatened, and the Joker is appropriately, actually scary. Snyder is not presenting these shocking deeds for mere shock value (well, except maybe for the ridiculousness of Joker's face being held on by a belt), but as part of a larger narrative about good, evil, sickness and chaos. I can understand the violence level being insurmountable for some readers, and the faint of heart or weak of stomach should not tread these pages lightly. But for this reader, as the "Death of the Family" steams headline towards its finish, the ride has been worth every penny. Batman #16 earns a very rare five out of five star rating. Check it out.

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8.0
Batman Incorporated #0

Oct 1, 2012

Batman Incorporated #0 is a strange issue, but Batman Incorporated is a bit of a strange title overall. I like it, but Morrison's storytelling has become a bit disjointed even by his standards. If you're a fan of the main series, I would not miss out on this issue. But if you are a reader looking to get into this title, issue #0 is not the place to start. But speaking as a regular reader, this issue delivered plenty, with some great pages of artwork, resulting inBatman Incorporated #0 earning four out of five stars.

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0.0
Batwing #0

Sep 13, 2012

Batwing is just a painfully generic, clichd , lazily executed mess.

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7.0
Batwing #1

Sep 9, 2011

The pieces are in place, now Winick just has to put them together. He's got an art team that can provide what he needs and a very scary villain in Massacre. All Batwing #1 needs more of is Batwing.

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6.0
Birds Of Prey (2011) #0

Sep 25, 2012

As an introduction, Birds of Prey #0 hit the right beats. I have a better sense of the characters than I did going in, and I know the general set-up for the series. It was a decent, pleasurable read. But I'm reading enough decent comics right now, and this didn't do enough to clear the bar into my pull list. But if you've got the room in your budget, Birds of Prey looks like it might be a good title for some stand-up superheroics. Birds of Prey #0 earns three out of five stars.

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7.0
Blackacre #1

Dec 13, 2012

How good Blackacre is going to be in the coming issues will be decided on how far Boudreau can tale the characters away from their very basic introductions. I can't express how much I enjoyed the first few pages, and if he can deliver that same quality more consistently in future issues, Blackacre will be a very good series indeed. As it is, I can recommend this book with reservations. If you like post-apocalypticdystopiaand/or military science fiction, Blackacre is a book you will probably enjoy. But unless it makes a leap forward in narrative quality, it is not one for the pull list (yet). Blackacre #1 earns three and a half out of five stars.

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5.0
Blackhawks #1

Oct 3, 2011

Blackhawks #1 did not inspire me, but as always at Major Spoilers, your mileage may vary. This is a big loud action film of an issue, and if that's what gets you going, this should be a perfectly entertaining book worth your $2.99. Unfortunately, I felt no connection to any of the characters and the plot did not hook me with anything original. The ephemeral nature of Blackhawks #1 earns a middle-of-the-road two and a half out of five stars.

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6.0
Cable and X-Force #1

Dec 18, 2012

I liked Cable and X-Force, in spite of some of its flaws. If there is good character interactions, I can forgive a lot of other problems, and Hopeless wrote these characters well. If he can develop a central plot that is as engaging as its cast, this book might be a winner. As it stands, I'll stick around a few issues and see how it pans out.

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8.0
Captain America: Patriot #1

Sep 19, 2010

This book is respectful of its Golden Age setting, while providing the depth of a modern comic. It describes the kind of World War 2 that only existed in comic books, where fascist fifth columnists lurked in every shadow and the only remedy was a two-fisted scrap followed up by some patriotic speechifying. It felt aged without being dated, and I'm excited to see how Kesel and Breitweiser handle the 1950s. Captain America: Patriot #1 has twenty newspaper headlines, fifteen Axis plots foiled, one black eye, one order of moo goo gai pan and one wwak. Four out of five stars. Check it out.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #1

Jul 23, 2012

One of the trickiest things about Carol Danvers is her ridiculously convoluted backstory made all the more difficult by her constant changes in codename, costume, and seeming identity. Lately, Danvers has been settled as Ms. Marvel, one of the most prominent and strongest members of the Avengers. Captain Marvel adds yet another codename and costume to Danvers already stacked list, but the issue is fresh and inviting to new-comers. Hopefully this identity will stick, as DeConnick has crafted a great beginning and sold me on Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel. There's been some hand-wringing about Danvers taking on the mantle of the late Mar-Vell, but the issue is handled in a thoughtful way and the change feels good.If the art only matched the writing better, this issue could have easily been a four star debut. As it is, Captain Marvel #1 still gets a very good three and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #1

Mar 19, 2014

While Captain Marvel #1 is not a true #1, it may be a good jumping on point, especially if you were driven from this book by the art as I was. DeConnicks writing has always been solid, and now it is matched by an artist thats more in line with the type of stories she's telling. The new arc looks to put Captain Marvel back into a more galactic adventurer role, which is a good fit for the character. With future issues focusing more on outer space shenanigans, I think some of the plotting problems present in Captain Marvel #1 will disappear. When good writing couples with good art, you've got something worth reading. Check it out.

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4.0
Carnage #1

Oct 26, 2010

In all honesty, I'll probably still buy the next issue just to see where it goes, but I can't really recommend this book to casual fans. Carnage #1 contains seven mispronunciations of the word mother, three suits of power armor, one instance of Tony Stark getting the bird, one instance of web-swinging while eating breakfast cereal, and one angry mob. There are 8 thwips, 6 snkts, 2 screees, 2 thwaps, 1 thwip and 1 zzzzzark. 2 out of 5 stars.

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9.0
Change #2

Jan 15, 2013

Change is a difficult book. But it never forgets that it is entertainment " there is always something interesting and strange going on. It never collapses under the weight of its own pretension " the ending of this issue alone is ambitious enough to put up with any near-purple prose. As it is, sometimes I enjoy being confused and sometimes I feel like the writer is just screwing with me; some of Grant Morrison's work has fallen into the latter camp lately, but Change is definitely of the former. When it's all over, I think I will enjoy piecing all this together.

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5.0
Convergence: Action Comics #1

May 5, 2015

Even by Convergence standards, this is an inconsequential, uneven book.

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5.4
Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1

Apr 20, 2015

Entertaining, but slight; feels inconsequential.

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7.2
Convergence: Hawkman #1

Apr 28, 2015

A nice slice of adventure and characterization makes for a good Convergence read.

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7.0
Convergence: Justice Society Of America #1

May 5, 2015

An issue that takes an interesting angle, putting it in the upper echelon of Convergence books.

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6.0
Convergence: Suicide Squad #1

Apr 20, 2015

Heavy-handed art style drags down a good entry in the Convergence crossover.

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6.7
Convergence: The Question #1

Apr 12, 2015

A brief reunion with two beloved characters by the creators that know them best – but the wider Convergence issue seems an afterthought

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8.0
Dark Engine #1

Jul 23, 2014

This is one of the more interesting fantasy first issues I've picked up this year, and I think it's well worth a look.

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6.0
Dark Gods #1

Nov 4, 2014

Dark Gods #1 is a good introductory issue in how it lays out its central conflict, and presents some intriguing ideas. It's less successful in introducing an interesting cast or putting in a good central hook. I'm in for a few issues, for the flashes of brilliance shown in this issue, but the central, modern-day story needs to improve rapidly for me to stick around. The title and cover art promises this grand epic of gods and apocalypse, but then the protagonist is so conventional and the plot so slight, Dark Gods read like a let-down. If the scope expands, or some flesh is hung on ol' Josh Resnick's bones, Dark Gods has an interesting enough idea at the core to be a good book. Right now, it's not there.

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9.0
Deadly Class #2

Mar 2, 2014

Image should be commended for putting together a package that puts the Big 2 to shame. For $3.50, you get twenty-nine pages of story uninterrupted by ads, with some additional back material from both Remender and Craig. So not only is the content good, its also good value. Deadly Class #2 is a fantastic follow-up to a stunning debut, beginning a series that I think will rank amongst the best in 2014. Check it out.

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9.0
Deadpool Annual #1

May 11, 2011

This annual is good, not-so-clean, fun comics reading. The only people who won't like this are people who just don't like Deadpool, but it should appeal to all others. Of the three annuals, I was least interested in the Incredible Hulks one, but the last page reveal got me excited even for that. Layman's funny, nuanced work on Chew is in a similar vein to this annual, and I'll be really pleased if he can do more writing for Marvel in the future.

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8.0
Deadpool (2012) #1

Nov 13, 2012

Deadpool #1 is possibly the title I was anticipating most from the Marvel NOW! reshuffle. I grew up reading the classic Fabian Nicieza minis and the Joe Kelly run "" from such humble beginnings, what began as a Deathstroke knock-off has transformed into one of Marvel's most unlikely and (over?)popular stars. The character of Wade Wilson has changed greatly as interpreted by various writers. Unfortunately, I could never get into Daniel Way's take on the character "" the introduction of the split personality/duelling thought boxes rubbed me the wrong way and he became so zany, the character lost the grounding that made him interesting. It's still too early to see what direction Duggan and Posehn are taking this version of Deadpool, but this issue was an entertaining dbut well worth my three bucks for Tony Moore's art alone. Deadpool #1 earns four out of five stars, and a place on my pull list. Check it out.

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6.0
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1

Aug 6, 2012

This book has few pretensions other than doing what it says on the tin. If you hand-wring over violence, or want something cerebral in your comics, this is assuredly not the miniseries for you. But Bunn is doing a little something extra which makes me hope this is more than just idle bloodshed. He performs a slick trick by using The Watcher (which provides a nice link to the much-missed What If series) and Deadpool's penchant for breaking the fourth wall to close the issue in stylish fashion. This issue did not blow me away, but the last pages did hook me for the next issue. If Bunn's script continues with similar cleverness, this series could be something quite special. After all, the mindless mayhem actually benefits from an intelligent writer. This first issue contains seven corpses, two counts of excessive arson, two decapitations, one melted man and one instance of head-exploding. Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1 earns 3 out of 5 stars.

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8.8
Descender #1

Mar 9, 2015

A pretty, pretty book with a solid story.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2011) #13

Oct 5, 2012

I was highly anticipating Layman'sdbuton Detective Comics and this issue did not disappoint. It reminded me of Scott Snyder's excellent Batman #1 in how it showed the depth of the writer's understanding for the character of Batman, while providing plenty of action for the casual comic reader. Detective Comics #13 earns a place on the pull list and an almost perfect four-and-a-half out of five stars. Check it out.

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8.0
Dial H #2

Jun 12, 2012

Dial H #2 is not the slam dunk of the stunning first issue, but it is still a darn good read, building atmosphere and pathos better than most books on the stands. China Miville is still finding his footing as a comic book writer, but growing pains notwithstanding, I feel very comfortable recommending this book to most any reader. This issue features eight heroes (although a ninth, Rancid Ninja, is unfortunately never seen), six broken windows, three attempted poisonings, two snailtrailed thugs, and one account of mollusk-on-mollusk violence. Dial H #2 earns a very respectable four out of five stars.

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4.7
Extraordinary X-Men #1

Nov 10, 2015

To be the headliner, you need to bring your best stuff. These X-Men don't.

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7.0
Fatima #1

Jul 3, 2012

Did you like Planet Terror better than Death Proof in Grindhouse? Then you should like this. Are you easily grossed out? Then stay away. Gilbert Hernandez isn't reinventing the wheel with Fatima: The Blood Spinners. He's just doing fun, bloody, zombie gross-out stuff on his own terms. This is not the most vital of comic books, but it is definitely fun. And fun is good. This comic has 39 headshots, 10 instances of government-sponsored assassination, 2 exploded eyeballs, 2 living bikini babes, 2 living dead bikini babes, 1 gang beat-down, and 1 instance of a character named "Puggy Bittermeat." Fatima: The Blood Spinners #1 earns a gore-drenched three and a half out of five stars.

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6.0
Fear Itself #1

Apr 11, 2011

Fear Itself #1 features four dragons, four blows to the head, three cows, Thor ignoring the first rule of the Ghostbusters ("When someone asks you if you're a god, you say yes"), an interview with a VERY smirky Bendis and Odin chokeslamming Thor. It also majorly skimps on sound effects, providing only one (albeit very poignant) tch-chk.

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7.0
Fever Ridge #2

Mar 20, 2013

Fever Ridge #2 is a bit of a strange follow up to the first issue, as it takes a break from the main characters to present the historical background of the Pacific Theater. But history is all about the context, and Heimos and Runge ably deliver what could be dry exposition in an exciting way. Heimos and Runge are building up a promising war comic, reminiscent of The Thin Red Line orThe Naked and the Dead.All-in-all, I definitely did not regret shelling out four bucks for this.

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7.0
Fury MAX #9

Feb 19, 2013

Fury Max #9 is a two-fisted tale of over-the-top macho martial prowess. But it also has something a bit deeper concerning issues of political expediency and pragmatism, with an almost nihilistic ending. It's not a triumphant tale by any measure. Fury's character isn't anything approaching heroic.The titular character is a sort of stock military man that will be familiar to most readers in the military genre "" the grizzled badass who is too tough to die, but doesn't seem to have much reason for living. But characters like these are Ennis's stock and trade "" he has an affection for them that shines through in his writing. And while nothing in this story surprised me, it certainly did entertain me. Fury Max isn't breaking new ground, but it does what it does well. Fury Max #9 earns three and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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5.0
G.I. Joe (2013) #1

Feb 26, 2013

The idea of a visible,publiclymarketed G.I. Joe team is an idea that has some legs. This is the first title in a three monthly series roll-out, so this is a good time for Joe fans to get involved.Ultimately, G.I. Joe #1 was a fun issue and I will probably stick around for another issue or two. But I don't see this title having a ton of mass appeal. There are just too many problems, whether in the artwork or the sometimes-cloying cleverness, for G.I. Joe to entice the fans. If the kinks do get worked out, I think Fred Van Lente can write some good stories around this concept.

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5.0
Ghost #0

Sep 25, 2012

The central mystery of who and what the ghost is definitely drew me in, as did the closing pages. The sensitivity with which the aftereffects of the death is handled was refreshing and intriguing, proving to be the best showcase for DeConnick's writing ability in this issue. That one scene did more than anything else to excite me for the regular series. But the gaps in Noto's art unfortunately reduce this issue's mark, as does the over-the-top asinine nature of Tommy Byers. There is a lot of potential in these creators, but this issue did not fully develop it. Ghost #0 rates a middling two-and-a-half out of five stars.

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6.0
Ghostbusters: Infestation #1

Mar 8, 2011

The Infestation storyline hasn't made for must-read comics, but Ghostbusters: Infestation #1 is the best of the lot. It's entertaining enough for casual fans to pick up, but still isn't essential reading. And at $3.99, it is priced a little too high. That said, I'm interested enough to pick up the next issue.

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2.0
Grifter #1

Sep 16, 2011

Grifter #1 confused and frustrated me, but that's just one man's opinion. There's a bit of action, and if you like CAFU, you'll enjoy the book more than I did. It seems Nathan Edmonson is going for a They Live meets Total Recallaction vibe, which is a noble pursuit, but the opening salvo was not effective. Your mileage may vary, but my verdict is approach this book with caution. One star.

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4.0
Invaders Now #1

Sep 14, 2010

If you have a great love for these classic characters, you might want to check it out, but otherwise, Invaders Now! doesn't really justify itself. Invaders Now! contains two dweeby Young X-Men, two decapitated demons, one gigantic mutated sea turtle, one immolated genocidal dictator, and a whole lotta green gas. Two stars out of five.

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9.0
Journey Into Mystery #648

Feb 7, 2013

The buzz surrounding Journey Into Mystery spurred measured expectations in me, and this titlemore than met them. With Northlanders no more, I have been looking for some worthy Viking-style entertainment. Thor: God Of Thunder is more of a cosmic title, whereas this has all the Asgardian ass-kicking a soul could want. It is a lot of fun, with a mythic backbone and a pulpy heart. Journey Into Mystery #648 earns four and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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4.0
Justice League of America (2013) #1

Feb 22, 2013

I don't mind a little cynicism in my comic books. But if I want to read about a superteam of assassins, criminals and killers, I am not looking at the Justice League of America. There's so much of this sort of bland, muddy moral compromise in the NuDCU that everything blends together and it loses all meaning. I would feel differently if maybe Johns had started out with a more straight-forward superteam and subverted it slowly. Or if he'd just pulled it off with a little bit more panache, or if there was a more compelling artist attached. But as it is, this debut did not convince. Justice League of America #1 gets two out of five stars.

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8.0
Key of Z #1

Oct 25, 2011

Key of Z doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to zombie fiction. But it does what it does solidly and soundly. If you're a zombie fan, and you're looking for your next fix, Key of Z is what you want. Sanchez & Echert's story looks to go in an interesting direction, and Kuder draws the hell out of some nasty zombies. Check it out. Four out of five stars.

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7.0
Men of War #1

Sep 10, 2011

Men of War #1 is unapologetically straight forward and apolitical, and doesn't break any new ground. People die, property is damaged and while gritty, it is not terribly realistic. It has a lot more in common with The Green Berets than Platoon, so if you're looking for an action-filled war comic with a minimum of hand-wringing, this is for you. Brandon and Derenick do action and explosions right, and while it remains to be seen whether this Rock can equal his predecessor, he's off on the right foot.

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7.0
Moon Knight (2011) #1

May 11, 2011

Moon Knight #1 exhibits 6 thups, 4 puts, 3 buddas, 3 cracks, 2 clangs, 1 rrrumble, 1 kerplunk, 1 vvrooommmm followed shortly after by a vvrooom, a bam, a crunch, a whump and a fump. There are also 2 chest shootings, 2 chest kickings 2 crushed skulls, 1 game of catch-the-van, and a fist, Moonarang and fire extinguisher to the face and 1 executive producer credit for Marc Spector. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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9.0
Moon Knight (2014) #1

Mar 12, 2014

Moon Knight #1 is a well-executed, self-contained murder mystery, with an interesting one-off villain and good character beats. The team of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey is a strong one. What I like best about this issue is how Ellis handles the somewhat thorny idea of Moon Knights personalities. Whether youre calling it multiple-personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, the idea of split personalities is a pretty corny concept that could possibly be the most annoying mental disorder in genre fiction. Unfortunately, its also core to the concept of this character. Ellis isnt ignoring that, but he looks to be handling it in a way that gave me chills. The idea he presents, coupled with Shalveys masterful art on the final page, sunk the hook for me. Moon Knight #1 should appeal to readers both old and new. Check it out.

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4.0
National Comics: Eternity #1

Jul 26, 2012

National Comics: Eternity ends with cliff-hanger and sets up a villain, making it seem that this one-shot is a backdoor pilot issue for a possible on-going series. Unfortunately, this issue does not make a compelling argument for a Kid Eternity monthly. The dialogue is capable, the art is good, but the core concept is neither original nor compelling nor particularly well-executed. Oddly enough, a character hewing closer to the original Kid Eternity concept, with the power to summon mythical or historical personages, seems like it has fresher potential than this brand new incarnation. National Comics: Eternity #1sadly rates a below average two out of five stars.

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5.0
National Comics: Looker #1

Sep 1, 2012

National Comics: Looker #1 is an inessential exercise in bland genre storytelling.

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8.0
Neozoic: Trader's Gambit #1

Apr 26, 2013

If you're looking for a comic book where people punch the crap out of dinosaurs, Neozoic: Trader's Gambit #1 is unquestionably the series for you. It makes no pretensions beyond being a delivery vehicle for high-octane, dinosaur-involved action set pieces. If you haven't caught up on the series, I highly recommend getting caught up with the first trade paperback, but you shouldn't be too lost if you jump on here. Neozoic: Trader's Gambit #1 is a fun, fast-paced, energetic read. It earns four out of five stars. Check it out.

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4.0
New Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 7, 2013

The central conflict is poorly spelled out, and that spells doom for this issue. There's no reason not to expect that Hickman cannot recover from this early stumble" but it is odd to see him stumble in the first place.

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10
Northlanders #37

Feb 15, 2011

Northlanders #37 contains thirty thousand Vikings, seven hundred longboats, twelve doves, five trebuchets, one dead horse, and one guy hit with a trebuchet boulder, as well as five twangs, two ka chunks, one thok, one krak, one kasplash, one vzzzzz and one bmp (this is the sound of a man getting hit by a boulder). Five out of five stars. Check it out.

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6.0
Nowhere Men #1

Dec 5, 2012

I respect Stephenson's ambitions on Nowhere Men, even as I think this issue's reach exceeded its grasp. It hit the ground running a little too hard, leaving me unable to properly process the core conflicts and characters and how they relate to one another. There are so many balls in the air "" corporate necessity versus idealism, a Syd Barrett-styled scientific genius, a research colony dealing with disease and isolation "" that none of the individual stories got the attention they deserved. I feel that over time, these problems will wash out, as more issues fill in the gaps created by this first issue. Nowhere Men #1 is not a stunning debut, but it is definitely an intriguing one. Nowhere Men #1 earns three out of five stars, and definitely a second look from yours truly further down the road.

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10
Prophet #26

Jul 2, 2012

This is meant to be a strange experience that rewards the reader with glimpses of alien worlds unlike anything in our reality. If that doesn't sound like something you are interested in, that's fine. But if it tickles your fancy in the slightest, pick up an issue.

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2.0
Red Lanterns #0

Oct 1, 2012

Red Lanterns #0 did not draw me in as a new reader. It's clear that Atrocitus is one angry, messed-up guy. But there's little to separate him from the many other similarly angry, vengeful characters that litter the comic book landscape. The guy's got blood magick and ties into the larger Green Lantern mythos, but nothing in the storytelling here hooked me for further reading. I have the feeling that Peter Milligan is shackled on this title, for whatever reason. If he could cut loose, maybe it could actually be fun. Red Lanterns #0 rates a disappointing one out of five stars.

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9.0
Saucer Country #1

Mar 19, 2012

This is a good first issue, as Cornell lays out a bevy of complex issues, combined with identifiable, interesting characters and a mysterious central conflict. The art serves the story, with shadowy illustrations of realistic individuals in a fully realized world. If four-color fisticuffs and tight spandex are what gets your motor running, this issue will not quicken your pulse. There is precious little action, as the struggles are of the internal and thoughtful variety. But if you have ever found yourself digging on an episode of The West Wing or The X-Files, you will find plenty to enjoy in Saucer Country. Saucer Country #1 earns four and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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10
Southern Bastards #4

Sep 10, 2014

Southern Bastards is a stellar entry in the revenge/crime genre. The final page swerve promises to complicate the narrative even further, taking the series in a direction that is rife with potential to explore some interesting issues rooted in the setting. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour have made it clear that this book is something of a return to their roots, as both were born and raised in the South. There's a rich metaphor embedded in the comic pages, as Earl Tubb's stand may resonant with everyone who both loves and hates where they come from, balancing the idea of leaving a bad situation against trying to make a place worth saving better for everyone. Southern Bastards #4 is a delicious slice of sweaty country noir that's just getting started. Check it out.

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4.0
Space Punisher #1

Jul 19, 2012

Beyond deploying the Punisher into a sci-fi setting, there is nothing new in this tale. Remix culture is without value if all you're doing is just fusing things together without adding new meaning. Merely providing an excuse for Frank Castle to swing a lightsaber does nothing innovative or exciting with this character.Ultimately, Space: Punisher #1 is not bad, but it is not particularly good either, and at a $3.99 price point, Marvel should be delivering something more thanmediocre. If you want to see the Punisher rack up an impressive bodycount of aliens rather than mobsters or are jazzed about him wielding a lightsaber, this is your book. If that does not interest you, give this book a pass. Space: Punisher #1 squeaks out two out of five stars.

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10
Spaceman #1

Oct 31, 2011

Spaceman #1 is a fantastic first issue. Appealing both visually and intellectually, Azzarello and Risso have created a comic book that pops from the first page, building an engaging new world while promising a great story to come. With an asking price of a single dollar, there isn't a better value in town. Spaceman #1 scores a perfect five out of five stars. Check it out.

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9.0
Spaceman #9

Sep 8, 2012

I will freely admit that Spaceman does not entirely make sense to me. I still cannot divine the precise relationship between Orson's Martian goldsmuggling fantasy and the bulk of the action. I'm still parsing some of the more obscure dialogue. But that doesn't matter to me. Spaceman is a book that greatly rewards re-reading, with a density of thought and metaphor absent from many other comic books.Spaceman earns a lofty four and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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9.0
Spider-Girl #1

Nov 24, 2010

Spider-Girl #1 is a strong debut, setting up the sort of classic heroics that Marvel Comics has been somewhat lacking of late. It harkens back to the original Spider-Man setup without being overly derivative, and provides all the action, emotion and humor readers of all ages could want out of a comic book. It's just good, clean superhero fun, with organic relationships and relatable characters. It also has some of the best sound effects I've seen of late. The full list consists of: 2 beeeeeedeeeeeps, 2 knocks, whattooooom, kraakooooomm, whummppff, whumppff, krakkkk, yannkk, shunnk, krakkk, punktt, whoooooompff, clikkt, , fwuumpppt, ka-chink, thwakkkkt, and a kluumpppp. Spider-Girl #1 has twenty-one tweets, six pigeons, two face punches, two automobile break-ins, one attempted jewel heist, one attempted art theft, one purse-snatching, one car-jacking and one library destruction. Four and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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6.0
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1

Feb 15, 2012

I'm not hip to much of what's going on in the Star Wars Extended Universe these days, as I am one of those grognard Star Wars fans for whom the prequels spoiled everything. But Ostrander and Duursema might make me rethink some of my prejudices. This issue starts off slow, with too big of an infodump at the beginning, but it's forgivable. The world-building that Ostrander does shows his affection for this new setting, and I want to be along for the ride Ostrander and Duursema promise to take us on. They're not reinventing the X-Wing here, but they are producing some good, clean fun in the Star Wars universe, and sometimes that's all you need. Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm #1(what a mouthful) captures what makes the Star Wars universe special, and is worth a look for any Star Wars fans.

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6.0
Storm #1

Jul 30, 2014

Storm #1 did not blow me away. As a one-shot, it would be too slight to stand on its own. But as the first issue of a solo series, it did a solid job. Greg Pak established a clear character voice for Storm and grounded a good theme in the forefront. At the same time, I didnt read anything that seemed like a basis for future plot. There was no hook set for later issues. The preview of the next issue promises some Callisto/Morlock action, so thats a good sign for me. If youre a Storm fan like me, Storm #1issue will notdisappoint, but Id wait a few issues more if I was more of a casual-type.

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8.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

This is one of my favorite books to come out of the DC relaunch, but it definitely isn't for everyone. If I didn't make it clear enough, this book is mean, but it happens to be my kind of mean. It is also one of the best of DC's number ones at making clear just what it is doing right out of the gate. There isn't any questions about what is or isn't in continuity, and the ending literally drops the team into the action in classic cliffhanger fashion. Unfortunately, the shenanigans on art left a sour taste in my mouth, making what could have been a stunning debut merely really good. Four stars out of five.

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8.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

This is one of my favorite books to come out of the DC relaunch, but it definitely isn't for everyone. If I didn't make it clear enough, this book is mean, but it happens to be my kind of mean. It is also one of the best of DC's number ones at making clear just what it is doing right out of the gate. There isn't any questions about what is or isn't in continuity, and the ending literally drops the team into the action in classic cliffhanger fashion. Unfortunately, the shenanigans on art left a sour taste in my mouth, making what could have been a stunning debut merely really good. Four stars out of five.

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4.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #20

May 9, 2013

Marvel Comics has found success by grooming creators from the indie world and letting them loose in the Marvel universe. There's so many different flavors to choose from, due to the writers and artists being allowed indulge wildly differing styles and themes. With all the behind the scenes rumors of DC's editorial heavy-handedness, I can't help but wonder if Suicide Squad is a casualty of editorial policy. Ales Kot's Change was one of the weirdest, most interesting comics I've read in 2013. But his unique voice here seems diluted. It's a shame, because I was looking forward to something special, but ended up with another grimdark slog that is increasingly becoming DC's stock-in-trade. I might stick around for another issue or two to see if Suicide Squad improves, but this issue was a disappointment. Suicide Squad #20 rates two stars out of five.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #5

Mar 9, 2013

This is a weird comic for me to rate. I love some parts of it and hate others. A resulting issue of my ambivalence is that I keep thinking about The Superior Spider-Man #5, and how it fits into a larger discussion of violence and media portrayals. Few comics can spark that sort of reflection. Dan Slott is evidencing proof that he is thinking deeply about these issues and the characterizations at the core of the story. If he weren't, I would rate this issue as exploitative trash. But it definitely is not that. The Superior Spider-Man #5 is thorny and complex and problematic, even as it takes the form of a typical capes and spandex super adventure. So" having to pick a number, I'll say that The Superior Spider-Man #5 rates a three and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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6.0
Superman Unchained #1

Jun 13, 2013

Thinking about this issue, it's hard for me not to compare it to Scott Snyder's debut on Batman #1. That was my introduction to Snyder as a writer, and I still remember it vividly. Snyder and Greg Capullo made a familiar character feel fresh. Snyder introduced Gotham as a character in itself, exploring the city's relationship with Bruce Wayne. This gave his first story arc a through line which he would then masterfully subvert. Superman Unchained #1 doesn't have that same sense of a thesis. There's something going on about atom bombs and Lex Luthor is mean and Clark Kent is a blogger, but all this feels more perfunctory than personal. At my comic book shop, DC distributed free copies of All-Star Superman #1. DC did no favors to Superman Unchained by inviting comparisons to one of the best Superman stories ever. All-Star Superman #1 did everything with the character that Superman Unchained #1 doesn't; it delivered a unique, meaningful story epic in scope, rich in metaphor.

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7.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #21

Jun 8, 2013

I know some people were driven away from Swamp Thing due to the interminable nature of the Rotworld storyline. But that's wrapped up and a new driver is at the controls. Soule's voice for Swamp Thing is distinctive from Snyder's, but it is just as good. If you like Swamp Thing, this new creative team is well worth your time. The next few issues will be featuring the new villain Seeder and I think John Constantine (in Scotland!!), so if any of that is of interest, I recommend picking this title back up. Swamp Thing #21 earns three and a half out of five stars. Check it out.

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8.0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7

Feb 27, 2012

At $3.99, I can understand how some people might be nervous about taking a chance, but every issue of this book has been, at the very minimum, solidly entertaining. This incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is much more than a simple exercise in nostalgia. It stands on its own merits as a relevant, fun ongoing series that is well worth the attention of any comic book fan. And as an aside, I deeply appreciate IDW's policy of keeping their advertisements on the back pages, as well as providing an ample letters page. It makes the read uncluttered and enjoyable, and I wish more publishers would follow suit. I am more willing to pay a higher price when my eyes are burnt by distracting adverts every three pages. Anyhow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 is a bang-up issue, and it gets a well-earned four out of five star rating.

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6.0
The Cape: 1969 #1

Jul 12, 2012

The Cape 1969 #1 is a rough depiction of war in the simple sort of way. Profanity is liberally applied, people are wasted left and right, while there is zero Platoon-style reflections on the deeper meanings of war. What is on display is the full-on horror and capriciousness of combat. Again, I have not read the source material for this prequel, but from what I understand, the protagonist of The Cape was nasty bit of business, not meant for the faint of heart, and this is certainly a very violent comic. The execution of this issue could have been stronger, but it did pique my interest in the source material. Tracking down Joe Hill's short story and/or the comic adaptation is definitely on my to-do list, and I'm hopeful the character of Captain Chase will be more deeply explored in future issues. The Cape 1969 #1 earns three out of five stars.

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9.0
The Creep #0

Aug 10, 2012

The Creep #0 is an expertly executed, character-driven noir comic that stacks up with anything on the stands right now.The mystery this issue sets up is still largely unexplored. Two boys have committed suicide, and beyond that, not much is known.This issue traffics in dark stuff "" suicide, mental illness, abuse and regret, but it does so with an emotional sensitivity and honesty that ensures every moment is earned. With an artist and writer working together in synch, a compelling mystery, and a fully realized protagonist,The Creep is a miniseries to watch out for.The Creep #0 earns a rare, near-perfect four and a half out of five stars.

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9.0
The Humans #1

Nov 7, 2014

I didn't see any particular reason for the bikers to be apes in this comic, other than the visual novelty, but that ended up being reason enough. True story, I hate apes. Growing up with the last name Chimples, you might wonder why that is. I've always hated ape gimmicks in comics, and most ape characters. I love The Humans. It's my kind of trash. The Humans #1 is drive-in fare, pure exploitation and pulp. It's loud, dumb, stupid, fun, and clearly made with a lot of love. I have a soft spot for any comic that is willing to write its back material in character, and also provides an original soundtrack to boot (only two songs, but they're both very dope). If you're looking for a comic that hearkens back to the grindhouse biker flicks of the 60s and 70s, if you're a little sick and weird, then The Humans is for you. Check it out.

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9.0
The Mercenary Sea #1

Feb 14, 2014

The Mercenary Sea #1 is a strong debut, combining a forceful, unique art style with strong writing. This is an unabashed adventure series with some already interesting characters, and an art style that lines up perfectly with the themes and setting. All my criticisms are small ones, as I wholly enjoyed this issue and can recommend it without reservation. With The Mercenary Sea, Image has taken another chance on a new creative team, and I think it's given them another hit. Check it out.Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleRedditTumblrEmailMoreLinkedInStumbleUponPrintDiggPinterest

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9.0
The Mighty Skullkickers #1

Apr 30, 2013

Skullkickers reminds me a lot of Major Spoilers' favoriteAtomic Robo in terms of what it's doing. These sort of books are just a lot more fun than most anything coming out of the Big 2 right now. In one issue, there's a doppleganger fight, a wild rumpus, a horde of intelligent apes, a dwarf vomiting seawater then calling out for meat beer "" hell, someone even chops up a melon! This is a series I'd recommend to most anyone. Midway through this arc, Skullkickers shows no signs of slowing down. I also appreciate how, at the end of each issue, the creators pull back the curtain a little and showcase different bits of their creative processes. This is evidence of a creative team that truly wants to engage with a fanbase, and maybe provide a little inspiration as well.

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8.0
The New Deadwardians #2

May 1, 2012

It's hard to talk about something like The New Deadwardians without addressing the overabundance of zombie/vampire fiction on the market at the moment. Needless to say, The New Deadwardians is more than another Pride & Prejudice & Zombies-type cash-in. Abnett has really thought out his world, and is inviting his readers into something fresh. Coupled with the art of Culbart and Mulvihill, The New Deadwardians #2 follows through on the promising first issue, earning four out of five stars. If you're looking for some zombie/vampire fiction but have trouble separating the wheat from the chaff, you could do worse than check out The New Deadwardians.

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9.0
Thor: God of Thunder #1

Nov 21, 2012

Bottom line, Thor: God of Thunder is pretty darn rad. Aaron has made it tough on himself by juggling three intertwining timelines, but it comes off as an interesting experiment in storytelling rather than some flashy gimmick. This is a good example of a creative team working perfectly in-sync - what could be a very complex story flows smoothly, tying together different narrative streams with well-drawn action and comprehensible structure. So far, this might be the best thing out of Marvel NOW! Check it out.

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7.0
Thunderbolts #154

Mar 8, 2011

This issue isn't a great jumping-on point, so unless you've been reading Thunderbolts or are a big Man-Thing fan, it's not essential. It's a little too conventional for that. But it is further evidence that Jeff Parker and Declan Shalvey are creating one of the best, most consistently entertaining books that Marvel is putting out right now. At $2.99, this book deserves a look from anyone who likes reading good superhero comics. Thunderbolts #154 contains three extradimensional hunters, two spears through chests, one giant gecko, one shotgun to the face, and one immolation, in addition to two bblams, one kraack, later out done by a krraackk, a rrmmmmmrr, a hraaoonk, a hhssssss, a scrhrrsssh, and finally, a bronkbronkbronk.

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7.0
Uber #0

Apr 11, 2013

In all honesty, Uber #0 is somewhat exhausting to read on the first go around. There is maybe one sympathetic character amongst the many presented in this issue (and that is being generous). The issue also suffers from a lack of distinctiveness on the part of the creators, both visually and narrative-wise. It's hard to tell one German soldier from another, even when it's Heinz Guderian addressing his staff " and having all the supersoldiers share similar codenames like Siegfried, Siegmund and Sieglunde is confusing. The pacing was a little clipped, with a new scene and characters every three pages or so. But then, this is a zero issue so perhaps these things are established better in future issues.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #1

Oct 12, 2012

Uncanny Avengers #1 is a strong debut. When this comic was first solicited, I really was not sure if I wanted to read the adventures of Scarlet Witch (who I hate) and what I felt was a mashed together supersquad. But this is a very good creative team, and they've sold me with a solid, entertaining first issue which establishes itself immediately.Uncanny Avengers #1 rates a four out of five stars. Check it out.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force #1

Oct 8, 2010

Uncanny X-Force #1 depicts nine cultists, three nubile slaves, two Neimodian-looking dudes, one human sacrifice, one Miami Sound Machine reference, and one The Thing action figure. It has four breeps, four thnks, two shwunks, one grennchh and one grakadoom. Four out of five stars.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #1

Feb 1, 2013

Books like FF and Young Avengers are priced at $2.99 with more high-profile creators " I don't understand it. I know this moaning is unlikely to be heard, but the point must be made: you can only squeeze so much money out of your readers. It puts an unreasonable burden on a book like Uncanny X-Force " for an extra dollar, my expectations are raised accordingly. And so while this is a decently told superhero story, it's going to have to be more than decent to get my regular business.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #1

Nov 10, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #1presents a daring step forward for Cyclops's team, but in this issue, I'm more impressed by what Gillen is doing with the villain rather than with the heroes. It will be a real challenge to make this team likeable, and while Gillen definitely knows what he's tackling with these guys, I still need convincing. As one of the flagship X-books, Uncanny needs to feel big, and on that account, Gillen and Pacheco succeed admirably. This is a bold issue with a strange and interesting threat and a political bent that makes it clear thatSchismwas a game-changer. This first issue of Uncanny X-Men wasn't a home run like Wolverine and the X-Men, but it did swing hard enough for a worthy four out of five stars.

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9.0
Venom #20

Jul 19, 2012

Venom #20 is not an appropriate jumping on point if you have not been following Flash Thompson's adventures up until now. But it is a testament to the groundwork Rick Remender has laid out for the character, and as good a reason as any to catch up on this great series. This is a series that rewards loyalty, and most issues have matched the quality of #20. I appreciate Marvel having Cullen Bunn co-write this book. Remender is about to leave the series for a higher profile gig on Uncanny Avengers, and I like the idea of apprenticing the new writer to the old one. Seems like a good idea. In any event, this is superhero comics done right - action-packed, character-driven with moral choices that feel like they have real meaning.Venom #20 proudly earns four-and-a-half out of five stars. Check it out.

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8.0
Wild Blue Yonder #2

Jul 31, 2013

If you're looking for a fresh original world, and you like post-apocalyptic settings, dogfighting, jet packs and/or good comic book art, there will be something in Wild Blue Yonder that appeals to you. This is only a five issue miniseries, and I wish it were longer. Already, these are characters and this is a world that I would like to be reading about for some time to come. Wild Blue Yonder #2 earns a lofty four out of five stars. Check it out.

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7.0
Wolverine (2014) #1

Feb 8, 2014

Of the big Marvel debuts this week, I found Wolverine #1 the least gripping. Its not a bad issue, and Im probably good for another month or two. This series will be a success if it can sort out a concept that seems a bit muddled at the moment. Is this supposed to be a return to basics for Wolverine, going back to a simpler, gruffer Logan without the professorial moralizing? If so, why is he going on space adventures? If it's supposed to be a bold new direction, why is Wolverine against killing his opponents in a fight in one scene, then down with cold-blooded murder in the next? If the thematic issues are sorted out, Wolverine could be an interesting series, asCornell and Stegman are a good team. As it stands,Wolverine need some work before I can recommend it without reservation.

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10
Wolverine and the X-Men #1

Nov 3, 2011

Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo seem tailor-made to make this book succeed. They've set the bar high; now let's see them clear it. People who are concerned with the doom and gloom that has been pervading the majority of the Marvel Universe for the past few years would be well advised to check out this issue. It's a fresh new start for (some of) the X-Men. It even has something for the folks put off by a $3.99 price point "" a listing of classes offered at the academy is comedy gold (sample: sex education from Remy LeBeau, an eyewitness account of world history from Logan), as well as a handy chart showing who is who amongst the faculty and student body. This issue exceeded expectations, and I hope the book continues to match this standard of quality. Also, Doop! Wolverine and the X-Men #1 earns five out of five stars. Check it out.

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9.0
Wytches #1

Oct 10, 2014

I initially read Wytches #1 the best sort of mood, late at night, in a sleepy, dreamy sort of state, and I got proper freaked out. Re-reading it in the full light of day proves that it still holds up. I don't give out five star reviews lightly; Wytches #1 deserves every single one. It's a heartfelt, well-made horror comic, rife with stunning scenes which will sit with the reader long after the issue has been put down. My expectations for this book was high, and Snyder, Jock and Hollingsworth met every single one. I have no idea where Wytches is going, but I am definitely in for the ride. Check it out.

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5.0
X-Factor #233

Mar 26, 2012

This issue feels like a rare misstep from Peter David; X-Factor is one of the more consistently entertaining books from Marvel. Still, there are a few nice moments in the issue, and it does lay the ground for a good conflict between Multiple Man on one side and Polaris and Havok on the other. A mediocre Peter David issue is still generally better than most, but unfortunately, my dissatisfaction with the art drags the final grade down a touch. X-Factor #233 rates an average two and a half out of five stars.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #1

May 31, 2013

Some might ask if we needed another X-Men title in such a crowded market. On the face of it, it's a hard sell. Psylocke and Storm are heavily featured in Uncanny X-Factor, Shadowcat has a prominent role in All New X-Men, and Rogue and Rachel Summers are able utility players in a few books. But a book this good-looking and this fun doesn't need to do more to prove itself than simply exist. This is a straight-up entertaining first issue, and I will be adding this to my pull-list, plain and simple.

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6.0
X-Men: Regenesis #1

Oct 24, 2011

In the final summation, X-Men: Regenesis is good for anyone interested in understanding how the teams will be split leading into the X-book relaunch. If you plan on picking up Uncanny X-Men or Wolverine and the X-Men in the coming days, Regenesis serves up some interesting bridging narratives. For anyone else, and at $3.99, it's not really worth it. The book gets 3 out of 5 stars for being ultimately inessential; it would have been nice if these stories could have been told in the Schism storyline proper.

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10
Young Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 25, 2013

This is an issue that's explicitly poppy, in terms of its energy and influences, and it captures all that's good about pop culture, pop music or pop soda. Sweet, smart, well-produced with a bubbly energy, right after I read it, I wanted to read another issue. The heroes in Young Avengers are emotional (as teenagers are), but they are heroes " this makes it a good tonic for those concerned with overwhelming doom and gloom in their comics. Big adventure with an emotional core is the essence of classic Marvel storytelling, and Gillen and McKelvie and everyone else absolutely nails it here.

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