Iann Robinson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Crave Online Reviews: 613
7.2Avg. Review Rating

7.0
A+X #1

Oct 31, 2012

While not anything to get excited about, A+X is an enjoyable read and probably the closest we'll get to Marvel Team Up.

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7.5
Action Comics (2011) #19

Apr 3, 2013

Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel will only be on Action Comics for three or four issues. I don't know if that's because DC felt the Diggle/Daniel route was lackluster or if it became lackluster because DC's editing team can't stop screwing with every story. Whatever the reason, Action Comics #19 is not the high-octane reboot I was hoping for.

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8.5
Action Comics (2011) #23.1

Sep 9, 2013

Artist Daniel Brown makes the Cyborg look awesome. The new robotic arm is all kinds of demonic, as is the half skeleton mouth and new body design. The rest of issue #23.1 isn't quite as effective. When Brown is penciling the Cyborg story, the art comes together beautifully, Nicely detailed, great backgrounds and shadowing. The Krypton work is a little too stagnant. Brown never gets the textures going there that he does in the Cyborg work. Overall, the work is solid, and the Cyborg Superman is kick ass.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #28

Feb 5, 2014

With Pak and Kuder at the helm, the world of Superman just got that much stronger.

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10
Afterlife With Archie #4

Mar 5, 2014

Afterlife With Archie is not just the most exciting comic on the shelves right now; it’s also one of the most important. Sacasa and Francavilla have redefined how we look at the world of Archie. I cannot stress enough how special this book is.

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9.0
Age of Ultron #1

Mar 6, 2013

Age Of Ultron #1 has hooked me in. Lets hope I'm still feeling this way by issue #10.

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9.0
Age of Ultron #3

Mar 27, 2013

Age of Ultron, quite simply, shows us all how event stories should be handled.

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5.5
Age of Ultron #5

Apr 10, 2013

Age Of Ultron #5 is a decent issue made better by the emotions Bendis writes into an otherwise uneventful script.

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8.5
Age of Ultron #6

Apr 17, 2013

Age of Ultron is exciting, emotional and best of all fun. Bendis has created a blueprint that maps the best of what an event series can offer.

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5.5
Age of Ultron #7

May 2, 2013

The shark hasn't consumed Age of Ultron yet, but there's blood in the water and fins abound.

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7.0
Age of Ultron #8

May 15, 2013

Age of Ultron started strong, but Bendis' need to go right off the reservation has cost it dearly. What started as dark and exciting has now become convoluted and tedious.

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7.5
Age of Ultron #9

Jun 5, 2013

Age of Ultron has become a cleverly disguised re-launch of Hank Pym via Brian Michael Bendis. While I have no problem with that, it's disappointing that the powerful story started early on will never be fully fleshed out.

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5.0
Age of Ultron #10

Jun 19, 2013

Much like Avengers vs. X-Men, Age of Ultron wasn’t so much a story, as it was a ten issue catalyst for more Marvel product. Smart business. Not much artistic integrity to it.

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6.5
All-New Ghost Rider #1

Mar 25, 2014

Tradd Moore handles the art, which is perfect for what Felipe Smith is doing. The work has a modern feel, blending parts of anime and underground comic book art sensibilities, with an urban graffiti feel. Moore's work has an original hook to it, as well as an interesting way of communicating movement. His dynamics are really odd, as is his line work and sense of anatomy. Mixed with the vibrant colors from Nelson Daniel and Val Staples, Ghost Rider looks great. It's too bad the story is so unappealing.

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6.5
All-New Invaders #1

Jan 22, 2014

All New Invaders #1 opens up some interesting doors for the long-standing team. Let’s just hope a more pronounced artist is handed the reigns.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #2

Nov 30, 2012

All-New X-Men #2 is already one the most exciting mutant books on shelves.

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7.0
All-New X-Men #4

Dec 24, 2012

All-New X-Men is still a top-notch book with great art. I just hope Bendis doesn’t crush his new creation under the unbearable load of time travel.

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5.5
All-New X-Men #5

Jan 7, 2013

Stuart Immonen, whose art I usually adore, is off his game in this issue as well. All the art feels rushed, as if the deadlines got the best of him. Part of it isn’t Immonen’s fault. Bendis has crammed so much exposition in this issue that the artist has entirely too much to draw for one issue. Still, the visceral excitement and strong characters are lacking here. All in all, All-New X-Men #5 is a misstep for Bendis’ new series.

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2.0
All-Star Western #1

Sep 29, 2011

As far as the art goes, I hate it. I hate every last pencil slapped across the page by Moritat. His lines are too thick, and his use of background is so off that it seems as though he drew the foreground characters, cut them out and stuck them on a pre-drawn backdrop. Imagine a comic done in Colorforms and you start to get the idea. I despise how Hex is drawn and everybody else looks unfinished or rushed. All Star Western #1 is a poor artistic start to a classic character's reboot.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #664

Jul 4, 2011

Giuseppe Camuncoli's art is passable, not great. Granted, my love for Humberto Ramos is well documented, but that's not the case here. When Camuncoli draws Spider-Man, Anti-Venom or Mr. Negative they look great, everybody else looks rushed and thin. There's no definition to the lines, no weight to it. That really becomes an issue during the action panels, where the three heroes look great, the main villain looks solid, and everybody else hangs there like so much nothing. Even with the so-so art and the holes in the plot, issue 664 is still a win. I'm excited for Spider Island mainly because Dan Slott is writing it and Humberto Ramos is handling the art. I don't think that team up can produce a bad issue of Spider-Man; they know the character too damn well.

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8.9
Amazing Spider-Man #666

Jul 28, 2011

I don’t think Dan Slott is so into entropy that he’ll completely destroy Spider-Man’s life, but I like how he’s taken elements of the past and shown how they effect Spidey’s present. I’m also enjoying the mystery here. An entire island full of spider-powered people is a power keg waiting to explode, but how and why the explosion happens isn’t easy to predict. Stefano Caselli’s art is some of the strongest he’s pulled off in a while. I’m still not a fan of his human faces, they tend to look too harsh and pointy, but his movement is wonderful. He really captures the action and joy of Spider-Man swinging through New York being a hero. It’s not Humberto Ramos, but it’s still an awesome job. Spider-Man 666 is the beginning of something big and in Dan Slott’s hands that can only mean good things.

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8.5
Amazing Spider-Man #667

Aug 10, 2011

Back in full swing on issue #667 is Humberto Ramos, and he’s having just as much fun as Slott. Nobody captures the visual fun and excitement of a comic book like Ramos does. His pencils take a modern style and merge it with a time when comics popped off the panel, bigger than life. There’s a real sense of being a comic book to what Ramos does and it’s exciting to watch unfold. Every panel is a bold statement with something happening, even if it’s not action. When the action does drop in, Ramos takes it all to another level. The marriage between his art and Slott’s words is the perfect storytelling device. I miss when comics were this much fun and I’m really intrigued to see where Spider Island goes next.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #668

Aug 31, 2011

Humberto Ramos does more stellar work here. The man knows how to give us action; he knows how to make comics seem bigger than life without it getting ridiculous. His childlike excitement in drawing a city full of web slingers is palpable. This is the kind of comic book art I love, the stuff that is beautifully produced but never lets us forget these are comics. It’s heightened reality that leans more towards an animated vision. Even though the faces are rather basic, they convey emotion perfectly. Ramos is an artist that, with each passing issue, I love more and more. Amazing Spider Man #668 and Spider Island are textbook examples of what makes the medium of comic books so extraordinary.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #671

Oct 14, 2011

On a side note, Ramos outdoes himself with the cover. As sad and pathetic of a nerd as this makes me sound, the cover of Mary Jane Watson is really hot. I know that my fellow geeks that have girlfriends will be attempting to get those girlfriends to wear Mary Jane's outfit.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #673

Nov 3, 2011

I enjoyed the art from Stefano Caselli and I give him full props for the cover and its nod to one of the most recognized Spider-Man issues ever. The work is fairly straight ahead comic book art, nothing too flashy. Caselli has a nice touch with faces and figures, plus he is great with the dynamics of a panel, laying them out like camera angles. I think the restrained vibe of the issue is better served with Caselli’s humanistic art than Humberto Ramos’ more over the top work. I prefer Ramos to Caselli, but I do think the somber tone of the book is suited to Caselli’s art.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #674

Nov 18, 2011

The art from Giuseppe Camuncoli is the only problem with issue 674. The work isn’t bad; it’s just really hit or miss. Camuncoli’s Vulture is amazing; the splash page reveal makes him look positively badass. Then there’s his Kingpin, who just looks goofy. The Hobgoblin looks great but the Vulture children look like Goth posers, which is never good. The most damaging part of the artwork is the faces. Camuncoli’s eyes are always popping out and more often than not the expressions on the faces are ridiculous overdone. It’s especially harsh with the Chief Prachett the Vulture children and the Kingpin. I hope Camuncoli gets that under control, I’d hate for tepid art to hurt what is setting up to be another awesome Dan Slott tale.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #676

Dec 28, 2011

Want to know the best part? HUMBERTO RAMOS IS BACK!!! I love me some Humberto and he rocks this issue to the core. His bizarre over-the-top style works perfectly with Slott’s story. I love how he pencils Doc Ock and M.O.D.O.K. plus nobody can ramp up an action scene like Ramos. The Sinister Six is a bigger than life team and Ramos’ drawing style is exactly the same way. With Ramos back and Slott at the helm, 2012 could be another year of the spider!

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #677

Jan 16, 2012

What you get is a seriously fun book that never feels off or out of sorts from what Slott has done. Granted, Waid is only here for one book, but a lot of the younger scribes could use a lesson on this even when they take over a series. You don’t need to destroy to move ahead. The art from Emma Rios is really interesting, it almost has a look of old French advertising pencils in fashion magazines of the sixties. Thin line, a refined sense of style that never gives up the action. The scene where Daredevil and Spider-Man enjoy some high-flying fun atop the Chrysler building is wonderful to look at. Rios has a lot in common with Spider-Man artist Humberto Ramos only she’s a little subtler and less angular. I wouldn’t want Dan Slott to walk away from Amazing Spider-Man, but this little break with Mark Waid is a nice treat.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #679

Feb 7, 2012

Humberto Ramos is still in top form here. I know many find Ramos’s art off putting but for me it’s exactly how comics should be, slightly over the top, a little bigger than life and one hundred percent fun. Even with the so-so storyline, Ramos manages to make the issue fun. If anything, Amazing Spider-Man #679 got me excited for the start of Ends Of The Earth storyline and the return of the Dan Slott we all know and love.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #680

Mar 2, 2012

Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art is the only Achilles' heel. Camuncoli isn’t bad, but his art isn’t great. The main problem are human heads, which have the same square jaw, flat head look to them. J. Jonah Jameson constantly looks like the top of a constipated totem pole. Camuncoli has a nice sense of action and definite strong lines in his work. The faces are just hard to get past as are some of the sloppier background pencils. Nothing here is offensive, I just wanted better art for such a tremendous story line.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man #690

Jul 25, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #690 is not Dan Slott’s best work but hey, everybody has an off day.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #694

Sep 26, 2012

Before we get into Amazing Spider-Man #694, I have to give major props to whoever chose the cover art. This cover hearkens back to one of my favorite comic book events ever. In 1976, DC and Marvel teamed up for the first time to bring us Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, which found the two heroes joining forces to try and stop the nefarious plot hatched by Lex Luthor and Doc Ock. I owned this comic; read it thousands of times until it literally fell apart. It was an awesome surprise to see artist Humberto Ramos’ homage to the book.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #696

Oct 26, 2012

I hope Dan Slott doesn’t shit the bed with Amazing Spider-Man #700. I love Dan Slott and I want to keep on loving him.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #698

Nov 21, 2012

The history of Spider-Man takes a serious twist in #698. All we can do is hope the story is something we cherish instead of another blow to the already battered Spider-Man hopefuls.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #699

Dec 6, 2012

On the lighter side, artist Humberto Ramos once again nails the art across the board. There are those who love Ramos and those who hate. The haters won’t be won over here. The work is still bigger than life and very much comic book art. Ramos loves to play with dimension and body scale but he also brings action like nobody else. If I have to endure rapid-fire panels, why not love how they look?

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #699.1

Dec 13, 2012

I will say this, the art is something different. Punisher artist Mark Checchetto steps in for the first two pages involving the prison break (spinning out of issue #699) and, while his work is still great, it loses some of the Punisher edge once colors get involved. The big story here is Valentine Delandro, who pencils the rest of the book. Delandro has been using is noir style over in X-Factor to great success. Now the artist for Morbius, Delandro takes that noir and filters it through a Silver Age look that I’m impressed with. If Morbius sucks writing wise, we now know it’ll be pretty to look at.

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3.0
Amazing X-Men #1

Nov 6, 2013

Even Ed McGuinness, who is usually so dependable for quality art, falls short of the mark. I don’t think it’s McGuinness’ fault – I think he was trying to draw in the same vein Aaron was writing. Everyone involved has overly exaggerated reactions, especially Hank McCoy, who spends most of the issue looking like He-Man’s battle cat standing on two legs. The art here is so over-the-top, it’s borderline obnoxious, which matches perfectly with Aaron’s writing.

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9.0
American Vampire #22

Jan 2, 2012

The art from Rafael Albuquerque is really wonderful. Until I read this series I was unfamiliar with his work but I’m now a fan. Albuquerque knows how to draw the human form, he knows how to give faces the right reactions and emotional impact. Taking that knowledge he stylizes the art to give it a look the combines early EC horror and modern superhero books. He’s also great with action and clearly has a love of penciling violence. Albuquerque gets Scott Snyder’s vision and draws accordingly. Between the story and the art, American Vampire is another notch in the belt of a writer who seems to be unstoppable.

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9.0
American Vampire #23

Jan 30, 2012

Knocking the visuals out of the park is artist Rafael Albuquerque. From the opening scene, this guy nails every panel. It's not easy to replicate a car chase for 22 pages but Albuquerque makes it look easy. His ability to represent motion and real danger in a drag race within a two dimensional medium is nothing short of staggering. It feels like the race is whizzing by you, you sense the peril in every single page. I also love his eye for details and his ability with the human form, especially faces. Snyder in the story and Albuquerque behind the visuals is the reason American Vampire is the full-on blast that it is.

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9.0
American Vampire #24

Feb 27, 2012

Rafael Albuquerque. Really? Fuck this guy. What gives him the right to be so incredibly good at what he does? The art in American Vampire #24 is flawless. Rafael delivers, from panel to panel, a visceral feeling of speed. The secret is how he injects movement into everything going on, not just the obvious. Close up shots of character’s faces have motion, cut away shots of cars have motion. Everything in this issue is flying past you at top speed. There’s a centerfold in American Vampire #24 that forced me to drop comic and walk around the block for a minute. It’s that good. Once again, the unstoppable punch of Scott Snyder’s writing and Rafael Albuquerque’s art raises the bar by which all other comics should be measured.

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8.0
American Vampire #28

Jun 27, 2012

One thing Albuquerque doesn’t do is spend a lot of time on huge splash pages. Every panel he draws is linked to the next; they all build off each other, so to throw in some random splashes would kill the vibe. When the last page comes and Albuquerque wants to makes a statement on what is to come, then he gives us a glorious full page of Skinner and Pearl ready to fight. These images are laid out more like a film than a comic book and it’s very effective. American Vampire #28 is just another notch in the belt of a team that is one of the best around.

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9.0
American Vampire #29

Jul 27, 2012

American Vampire is one of those series that rises above comic books and becomes great literature.

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9.0
American Vampire #34

Jan 4, 2013

It’s sad to see American Vampire go, but incredibly exciting to think of the future.

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9.0
American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #3

Aug 10, 2012

American Vampire: Lord Of Nightmares is not only incredibly entertaining, it also expands the already massive scope of the entire series.

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9.0
American Vampire: Second Cycle #1

Mar 19, 2014

American Vampire returns the same way it left, with its hand clutched firmly around readers' throats.

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8.0
American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell #1

Jun 13, 2013

Albuquerque also handles art duties. His work is glorious as always. Stylized, eccentric, and always beautiful. What makes his work so perfect for American Vampire is how romantic it is. Though dealing with violence and horror, there is a underlying humanity, romance and love to the stories. Albuquerque brings that out in his pencils. His human characters all have great emotion in their faces and eyes. It's rare when you can't see any other artist being part of a series. With American Vampire, it's definitely true.

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10
Animal Man #2

Oct 7, 2011

Foreman uses almost no backgrounds outside of color and he wields the power of shading in a gifted way. He sneaks everything up on you. When his human forms, violent creatures, and plain backgrounds come together you see how the rest of the world is fuzzy compared to this one. It's really a major achievement for a comic book. I also enjoy how Foreman uses colors in the background to help elevate the emotion of scene. The only book that compares to this one right now is Swamp Thing and I'm hoping the red monster there is connected to the Red of Animal Man. These two books coming together would be a real triumph for comic fans. The combination of art, literature and comic book ideals doesn't come together any better than this.

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10
Animal Man #3

Nov 4, 2011

Bringing all of this together is the art from Travel Foreman. I can’t think of a more visually appealing book on shelves right now. Foreman isn’t drawing comics here; he’s creating other-wordly expressions that bring life to a bizarre story. This is part horror comic, part creepy children’s book drawings and part acid trip. There’s a flow to the art here that is organic, which works perfectly with the themes and subtext of the story. Each drawing is something you can stare at for several minutes before moving on. Foreman doesn’t just help tell the story; he is as much a part of Animal Man as Lemire is. It’s one of the best examples of symbiotic harmony I’ve seen in comic books ever. Animal Man is becoming one of those comics that raise the bar for the entire medium.

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9.5
Animal Man #4

Dec 9, 2011

Travel Foreman. What the hell can I even say about the art from Travel Foreman? The man is absolute genius with a pencil. The art is constantly moving and I don’t mean with action. Each form that Foreman draws seems to vibrate with a living energy. Part of it is how fluid the art is, part of it is Foreman’s panel placement and part is how big the sandbox is that Foreman has to play in. Lemire’s story is so well crafted that it leaves a real open ended arena for the art. Foreman can put anything on the page and it will work to tell the tale. It’s true synergy. Animal Man #4 continues the series’ impressive streak and sets it apart from the rest of the DC Universe.

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6.0
Animal Man #7

Mar 11, 2012

Another massive problem is the art. For some reason issue #7 has split penciling duties between Travel Foreman and Steve Pugh. I have nothing against Pugh, I'm sure in his own book his work would be tremendous. Here, it absolutely kills the issue. Foreman's work is so central to what makes Animal Man work that Pugh's work stands out like a sore thumb. With such a tedious storyline, Animal Man needed the Foreman genius to see it through. Lacking both plot development and any consistency in the art, Animal Man #7 is, well, a bum out.

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8.0
Animal Man #9

May 8, 2012

I'm getting used to new artist Steve Pugh. While still not a fan of how Pugh draws human forms, his fantasy stuff is cool as is the horror work. He has a sense of what's disturbing and bizarre and when he nails it, it's amazing. The inside out whale, The Red's talisman, even a lot of the background work is exceptional here. Pugh had some big shoes to fill and while he will never be Travel Forman, he does a solid job on his own merit.

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7.0
Animal Man #18

Mar 11, 2013

Colorist Lovern Kindzierski does what he can with the colors, but Pugh's inks make it hard. The shadowing is inconsistent, so the colors look like they're fighting the pencils. There's also a drab look to the color scheme, as if we were seeing the story through a thin film. None of the art is awful " it just betrays the emotional charge of Jeff Lemire's writing.

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6.0
Animal Man #21

Jun 20, 2013

Steve Pugh’s art is solid, even if it does look like less-developed Travel Foreman pencils. Pugh’s work has that same creepy elegance to it, but it feels restrained, like Pugh is holding back. The best of what he does leans towards the weirder elements of the story. The multi-animal humanoid monster, the dying animals, the scenes within The Red, that all looks great. His normal human interactions are sullied with badly drawn faces and dull backgrounds. Hopefully Lemire will return to the more bizarre elements of Animal Man, which will allow Pugh to really open up.

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10
Animal Man #29

Mar 20, 2014

Animal Man was one of the strongest series in the DC arsenal. It's a shame to see it end.

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7.0
Animal Man Annual #1

Jun 1, 2012

Probably the best reason to pick this up, outside of being a collector, is Timothy Green II’s pencils. This isn’t Travel Forman level art, but I like what Green does more so than the artist that’s currently on Animal Man. Green’s faces are a little rough but his action jumps off the page and his sense of pacing is spot on. Overall, with the delicate and detailed pencils, Animal Man Annual #1 is more fun to look at than read.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #1

Sep 28, 2011

Ivan Reis’ art is top notch, of course. I absolutely loved his vision for the humanoid sea creatures and the story being light on action gives Reis a chance to really flesh out how Aquaman should look in this new light. The last Aquaman series started strong and turned to crap. Let’s hope this time the man from the sea gets the respect he deserves.

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9.5
Aquaman (2011) #3

Nov 24, 2011

Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman may be the shining stars of the DC Universe but with this reboot, Aquaman is becoming the hero to watch.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #4

Dec 29, 2011

As always, the art from Ivan Reis is totally on point. His strong lines and eye for detail really brings out the depth of where Aquaman and Mera are. He creates darkness and fear. He also keeps those damn humanoid creatures looking as fucked up as possible. The pages involving the battle is some of the most beautiful work that Reis has ever done. Nobody kicks out an action scene like Reis. Everything just pops off the page. With Johns taking it to the mat and Reis serving up delicious art, Aquaman could be the book to watch in 2012.

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8.5
Aquaman (2011) #6

Feb 23, 2012

Joe Prado’s art is good, solid, workingman’s comic book art. Nothing here is flashy, nothing particularly dazzling, but the lines are strong and it tells the story. Prado is particularly good at movement, especially when dealing with Mera’s control of water. He gets across the point of just how powerful Mera’s abilities are and how dangerous she can be. This kind of work is rare because it doesn’t come with any pomp or pretention. It may not make a statement, but Prado’s pencils illustrate Johns’ thoughts in a visually appealing way.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #7

Mar 30, 2012

The art from Ivan Reis is glorious. It's especially wonderful during the opening section with Black Manta. Reis just lets go in these panels and the violence and action are above reproach. I was also impressed with the storm scenes, Reis does a great job of capturing the power of the sea. With Reis on art and Johns using his full creative juices, Aquaman is constantly setting the bar higher and higher.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #9

May 23, 2012

The art from Ivan Reis is exceptional as always. I love the way he draws Black Manta. Just as Johns does with his story, Reis makes Black Manta look threatening. This isn't a goofball in a diving suit; this is a badass who is out to kill Aquaman. Reis also does exception splash pages as well great detail work. Look at the panels when Mera is using her power to control water, tell me that doesn't look amazing. Aquaman #9 is another huge leap forward not just for the hero but also for the New 52.

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8.5
Aquaman (2011) #10

Jun 30, 2012

I particularly loved how he showed the flashbacks. The use of saturated red really gives the tale of Aquaman slaying Manta’s dad a feeling of blind rage. The art is so visceral it almost dictates that Aquaman have killed out of anger not accident. Aquaman #10 isn’t a bad issue; in fact it’s quite good. I just hope that in trying to upgrade Aquaman, Johns doesn’t improve him into a failure.

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9.0
Aquaman (2011) #11

Jul 27, 2012

Aquaman #11 is another huge step in redefining the iconic character.

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8.5
Aquaman (2011) #13

Nov 5, 2012

Still a leader in the New 52, Aquaman’s story quality dips a bit with issue #13.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #15

Dec 27, 2012

I think Johns is so excited by the big crossover that he's forgetting how the slower unfolding plots and dark themes of Aquaman really helped to make the book so wonderful. He's bringing the bright pop of Justice League to the harder edge of the Aquaman book and it doesn't work.

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8.5
Aquaman (2011) #16

Jan 30, 2013

This series is a key step in proving to the world that Aquaman is relevant and necessary and kicks a lot of ass.

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6.5
Aquaman (2011) #17

Feb 28, 2013

Aquaman is one of the most consistently well-written series that DC has to offer. Let's hope that, once Geoff Johns leaves, it remains that way.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #23.1

Sep 11, 2013

Claude St. Aubin's art is solid, but a bit hit-or-miss. When it is on, like with the suited up Black Manta or the underwater scenes, the work is wonderful. Aubin has solid lines and colors, though he could stand to shade things a bit more. When his work is off, it is pretty off. Superwoman looks like a bad pinup model, and some of the panels are lazy with the detail work. Overall, St. Aubin is a solid performer, he just needs more consistency.

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5.0
Aquaman (2011) #23.2

Sep 30, 2013

Geraldo Borges' art is decent, though he really excels at the water scenes. The opening splash page, involving OM and his crew ready to slap out at the surface dwellers, is amazing. The on-land pencils are a little lackluster. They lack the punch of the aquatic art. Borges has a nice handle on pacing. Very little happens here action wise, but the story never drags. I wouldn't consider the work in Ocean Master exceptional, but it does have its merits.

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6.0
Aquaman (2011) #26

Dec 31, 2013

Paul Pelletier’s art is inconsistent, but in a really odd way. Whole panels never suffer, but items within them will. It’s not each page, just a few strewn throughout the entire issue. Sometimes one character looks fine and the other is off. Pelletier excels in the battle between Aquaman and the Karaqan, but some of the more intimate moments suffer from weird expressions on faces or uneven form. Nothing happening here is bad, it’s just uneven to a point you can’t help but notice.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #15

Jul 22, 2011

Chris Bachalo's art doesn't do much to save the situation. The documentary film stuff looks way too much like Bachalo attempting to do John Romita Jr. (the earlier Avengers artist) and the battle work with the Hulk is way too muddled to be effective. I was confused why Bachalo's Hulk looked, for lack of a better term, goofy. The Hulk looked like a bad cross between the Maxx and Evil Ernie, which just didn't work at all. Avengers #15 isn't a bad issue, it just isn't what should be. Something that's plagued the entire Fear Itself story arc thus far.

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5.0
Avengers (2010) #18

Oct 24, 2011

The art from Daniel Acuña is good, a more fine art approach to the book than John Romita Jr. Acuña’s art works particularly well here because Avengers #18 is a stagnant issue. There isn’t much movement or action, so you’re really stuck focusing on the art itself, which is quite beautiful. If Avengers becomes more action oriented, which I hope, I’m thinking Romita Jr. would be a better choice. Though it has a lot of positive elements to it, Avengers #18 is another issue in the continuing decline of the individuality of the Avengers.

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2.0
Avengers (2010) #19

Nov 21, 2011

Marvel can whip out all the sales figures they want, Brian Michael Bendis writing the lion’s share of the Avengers books stinks. With Bendis at the helm, we now get both Avengers and New Avengers dueling Norman Osborn as well as having to follow the Bendis way of making a book incredibly average to read. I also hate Daniel Acuña’s art. If I’m going to buy this swill then I should at least get John Romita Jr. art. Acuña’s dentist office art style just weighs everything down. Avengers #19 is the last issue of the series I will buy until Marvel gives me at least one choice without Brian Michael Bendis.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #25

Apr 19, 2012

The opening splash page is all you need to see why Simonson is one of the all time greats of the medium. His art jumps off the page, it’s brimming with movement and excitement. Every single detail works for the greater image, something not all artists understand. Simonson is also killer for detail, just look at the panel when Thor first arrives back; it’s brilliant work by an absolute master. While Avengers #25 is a toss away story wise, it’s a statement to how great art can make any issue a masterpiece. Hopefully this signals a return on a semi-constant basis for Walter Simonson and his genius.

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #29

Aug 20, 2012

The one reason to rejoice over Avengers #29 is that Walt Simonson does the art. Like John Romita Jr. and Frank Quitely and a few others, Simonson really just inherently gets comic books. The way he approaches the art is so perfect, this spectacular blend of larger than life and yet easily acceptable. Simonson’s pencils are so fluid, but carry so much weight. Each action shot is so detailed that you can spend five minutes on each panel. I still buy Avengers simply because Simonson’s art is some of my favorite in the world.

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #30

Sep 20, 2012

The art is by comic legend Walt Simonson. It is above reproach. The man is a God and we should all tend to bowing down before his greatness. It’s just too bad he’s being wasted on filler issues.

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7.5
Avengers (2010) #33

Nov 12, 2012

Regardless of the lackluster art, Avengers #33 shines.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #1

Dec 5, 2012

Hickman is a writer of unmatched ability and Opeña’s art is staying with him every step of the way. Avengers #1 is bold, exciting and instantly addicting. Jonathan Hickman is taking The Avengers down a whole new path.

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10
Avengers (2012) #2

Dec 19, 2012

The new age of The Avengers raises the game higher than we ever though possible.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #3

Jan 24, 2013

While the story of Avengers #3 has great depth, the art really doesn’t. Jerome Opeña’s work is so hit and miss that the visuals never get a good rhythm going. Some of his work with faces is great, others are much too cartoonish to blend with the rest of the art. I enjoy how he renders the Hulk and Captain America, but his Tony Stark and Thor are sloppy. Where Opeña shines is delivering action, when Hulk punches Hyperion, you feel it. It isn’t that Opeña is untalented, it’s more that some pages are glorious and others extremely average. It might not be so noticeable with a lesser story, but here the art failings are painfully obvious.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #4

Feb 4, 2013

The art from Adam Kubert is gorgeous. With so much story to tell, a misstep in the art could prove disastrous. Kubert doesn’t flinch. He lets you see what you need to see and allows your imagination to fill in the blanks. When Kubert does put pencil to paper, the whole book raises to another level. Kubert can easily switch between light pencil strokes in certain areas and more powerful lines in others. He never loses his ability to draw emotive faces nor does his unique style cause him to ruin the action. When Kubert opens up, it’s pretty amazing work.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #5

Feb 11, 2013

Helping this epic story unfold is the art from Adam Kubert. Really, what more is there to say besides this is art by Adam Kubert? Yes, Kubert’s lines are strong, his inks heavy and his ability to dictate action unquestionable, but what makes Kubert so good is his ability to bring in and release the work. When heavy detail is needed, Kubert is right there, when a simpler panel is required, Kubert backs off. This creates a more cinematic look to the art, which fits in perfectly with the transcendent Hickman’s story is.

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6.5
Avengers (2012) #11

May 10, 2013

AIM is coming for the Avengers. I can’t wait.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #21

Oct 17, 2013

Helping bring this Shakespearean level story to life is Leinil Francis Yu, who pencils with the same eye towards complexity as Hickman writes. Yu's work is just as massive, straddling the line between comic book fare and fine art. His line work is delicate and he has a real affinity for shading. His creatures are all wonderful, each with their own visual personality. The panel placement is exciting and layered like Hickman's writing. Only a true master could equal with drawings what Hickman has accomplished here with story.

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8.5
Avengers (2012) #23

Nov 25, 2013

Leinil Francis Yu continues to be an unstoppable force on this series. I’ve heard whines that his pencils are too dark, his line work too detailed, but to me those are the keys to what makes his art work. Hickman’s text is so rich, so densely packed, that light-hearted art would tear it down. Yu matches Hickman’s intensity with every tightly packed panel. It’s a perfect marriage of images and words.

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7.5
Avengers (2012) #24.NOW

Dec 24, 2013

Regardless of the art hiccup, Jonathan Hickman as done it again. Just as he finishes raising the bar, he jumps it, leaving us stoked on an entire year of Hickman-driven Avengers stories.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) Annual #1

Dec 6, 2013

Helping keep this Annual jolly is Dave Lafuente. I’ll be honest, in a standard comic, I wouldn’t be a fan of what Lafuente does, but it is perfect for this story. The pencils are cartoonish, almost over the top in their attempt to be animated. Tony Stark is a bit angular, and Banner looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Interestingly, Lafuente brings his over-the-top style down a few notches during the conversation between Cap and military vet. The art fits each aspect of the story perfectly.

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6.0
Avengers Assemble #1

Mar 16, 2012

The art from Mark Bagley is pretty standard comic book fare. Nothing happening within these pages is bad, but it's also not art to get excited about. Bagley's pencils tell the story, that's it. His work doesn't heighten the book, which would be more acceptable if the story was a little more interesting. I doubt I'll keep buying Avengers Assemble but, if you are dying to learn about one of the best superhero teams ever before the movie comes out, I guess you could do worse.

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6.5
Avengers Undercover #1

Mar 11, 2014

The art from Kev Walker is an interesting choice. While the spine of this story is dark, Walker’s visuals are bright, even over the top in some panels. The pencils themselves are nothing special, a factory-like comic art style mixed with a dash of manga and a smidge of indie work like Ghost World. The art tells the story, but little else. I also found Walker’s human faces to either be overloaded with expression, or else dead eyed. Overall, it wasn’t awful, but nothing to be excited over.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #0

Mar 28, 2012

Frank Cho's art is solid, but I don't think it's special enough for this event series. While Cho's lines are strong, his lack of shading and hit-or-miss ability with faces hurts the overall effect. His action is stilted as well. The pencils on their own are fine, but together lack any real movement. An artist with a bit more flair should handle a series as big as Avengers Vs. X-Men. One that can combine realistic characters with over-the-top action. Cho's so-so art aside, Avengers Vs. X-Men #0 has me more interested in this story than I was in Dark Reign and Civil War combined.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #1

Apr 4, 2012

Well done gentlemen. Very well done.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #3

May 2, 2012

John Romita Jr.’s art is, as always, absolutely beautiful. I could describe it but I gush so. Great sense of timing, amazing penciling skills, great figures and faces and all within the confines of how much fun comic books should be. As for AVX #3, it’s not a great issue but I’m not giving up on the series just yet.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #5

Jun 6, 2012

AvX #5 does have art from John Romita Jr. which always kicks ass. I am an endless sucker for his pencils and how they capture the larger than life idea of a comic book without becoming silly. Everything Romita does is unique, you always know it is his work you’re looking at the same way you always know it’s Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. Avengers vs. X-Men hasn’t crossed the line into failure yet, but Marvel better get a move on with the story.

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7.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #6

Jun 20, 2012

On the downside of the art, Coipel’s human features are way too small. Everybody ends up having this same blank look on his or her faces. I enjoyed the panel placement but thought he could jazz it up a bit, especially for a big series like this. I’m still interested in what the end brings for AvX; I just wish I didn’t need a GPS to get there.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #8

Jul 18, 2012

Avengers Vs. X-Men #8 is a welcome directional shift to the series.

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5.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #11

Sep 12, 2012

The art from Olivier Coipel is solid, though a few things bug me. Why does Hulk have a hipster haircut? Why does Professor X look like Doctor Strange’s buddy Wong? I like the action here and Coipel has a real way with drawing fire. Truth be told, if Jack Kirby himself had returned from the grave to draw this issue, it wouldn’t have mattered. AVX #11 is exactly the kind of bloated event series we’ve come to expect from Marvel.

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7.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #12

Oct 3, 2012

In five years, when comics are back in an early '90s sensibility where the writer takes a distant backseat to the artist, people will point to AvX and say "Yep, that's really when it all started".

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8.5
Avengers World #1

Jan 7, 2014

Avengers World is another check in the win column. Hickman and Spencer do more with one issue than most can do in an entire run.

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6.0
AVX: VS #2

May 16, 2012

Spider-Man/Juggernaut: (4 story, 4 art)

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9.5
Axe Cop: President Of The World #1

Jul 26, 2012

Axe Cop: President Of The World not only gives me hope for comics, but for humanity as well.

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8.0
Axe Cop: President Of The World #3

Oct 8, 2012

Ethan Nicolle’s art is just cool to look at. Everything he pencils, I want a toy of it. Ethan understands the types of stories his brother is writing and really tries to present the art that way. Quiet backgrounds, all the action up front in each panel. Axe Cop has a children’s cartoon vibe to it, but that doesn’t make the art any less impressive. I love Axe Cop and I can’t wait to see what Malachai comes up with next.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #1

Sep 8, 2011

Art wise Ardian Syaf’s stuff is rock solid. The action work is impeccable as are the gorgeous splash pages. I love how Syaf changes his art style for different aspects of the story. The work is light and airy during the day with Barbara Gordon. It becomes darker, more steeped in shadow and dark colors when she’s Batgirl and, for the flashbacks, Syaf actually draws the work grainy, like an old movie camera playing. Syaf’s light touch works very well with Simone’s word play. Batgirl #1 proves once again how good Gail Simone is and, having read a lions share of the new 52’s this week, there’s a lot these folks can learn from a storyteller like her.

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7.5
Batgirl (2011) #2

Oct 14, 2011

Ardian Syaf does some solid work here. I don’t know whether writer or artist decided to set the actual Batgirl sections in the rain, but it works perfectly. Syaf really communicates the numbing effect a constant rain can have on you. Things are darker, sadder; it allows the natural world to mimic how Barbara is feeling. My only critique is that Syaf’s action can be very stilted. Panels that should be bursting with movement seem frozen, even in small scenes. At times they come off like paintings. That lack of movement becomes distracting as the issue goes on. Overall, Batgirl #2 is a great read. One that brings me even closer to being excited about Barbara Gordon as Batgirl again.

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9.0
Batgirl (2011) #4

Dec 19, 2011

Again, the art from Ardian Syaf is first rate. I love that this man can draw human forms and face correctly. I also love his panel placement and use of the whole page to dictate the story. Syaf uses the entire space of a page and it helps the movement and action immeasurably. Simone writes with a forward motion style and it dictates a need for this kind of art. The opening dream sequence is a perfect marriage of art and word. It creates a powerful series of images that leap off the page. Syaf is also good at solid old-fashioned knock-down drag-out fight panels as well. Batgirl #4 is awesome and belongs amongst the current stellar line of Bat Books.

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5.0
Batgirl (2011) #8

Apr 16, 2012

Some will say that issue #8 sets up a coming conflict between Batgirl and her brother James, the serial killer. While that might seem like a dark and interesting idea, to me it’s a cop out. Scott Snyder already gave us a brilliant story featuring James Gordon in Detective Comics before the big reboot. This feels like somebody taking table scraps and trying to make dinner out of it. The art for Batgirl is cool, but apparently it took three artists to put it together. It just feels like Batgirl is becoming a mess, one that I just don’t care about anymore.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #15

Dec 14, 2012

I find it curious that Jason Aaron fucked up both Wolverine and Incredible Hulk, Grant Morrison has shit-canned Action Comics, Tony Daniel couldn’t find a real voice for Detective Comics and David Finch nearly derailed Batman The Dark Knight, but none of them are fired. Even if they’re moved to different books, it’s handled with a lot more respect than Simone received here. A more cynical man, like myself, might believe it’s because she’s a woman writing strong female characters instead of victims. Regardless, DC have screwed the pooch hard this time and once Gail Simone leaves I will not pick up another copy of Batgirl.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #16

Jan 17, 2013

Ed Benes’ art is a very odd duck. In the smaller panels, the pencils are a little too basic to keep up with the pace of the book. However, the larger panels and the splash pages really pop. The back and forth begins to take you out of the story, which is never a good sign. I also don’t care much for Benes' rendition of the Joker. It lacks the menace and deformity of Greg Capullo’s original concept.

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3.0
Batgirl (2011) #17

Feb 14, 2013

Daniel Sampere’s artwork is better than Fawkes' writing, but it’s nothing to get too excited about. Sampere does very standard, factory-like pencils. His lines are bold, his work shaded nicely, but it does little more than tell the story. There’s no flair, no excitement behind his work and his movement leaves much to be desired. The fire scenes with Batgirl are nicely done, but overall this is just average work that any decently trained artist could pull off.

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4.0
Batgirl (2011) #18

Mar 14, 2013

Batgirl deserves better than this. Hurry back, Gail.

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8.0
Batgirl (2011) #27

Jan 15, 2014

Batgirl #27 and Gothtopia could assuring in either another multi-verse story, or it could be setting readers up for DC’s own Ultimates type run. Only time will tell.

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6.5
Batman #711

Jun 16, 2011

Batman #711 is sliding down a slippery slope. I was so happy with how Daniel's re-invigorated Two-Face in the last issue, that I wasn't expecting the disappointment I had with this one. Hopefully the return of Two-Face will climax with real excellence and Tony Daniel will start doing his own art again. If Two-Face doesn't make it through the big reboot, I'd hate his last story to end with a whimper and not a bang.

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7.0
Batman #712

Jul 22, 2011

On the art side, Steve Scott does a great job. I like his strong lines and his ability to convey motion. I say that a lot, the ability to convey motion, and not just to say it. What makes comics work is the ability to bring 3D realism into a two dimensional medium. So many artists can’t do that so I always applaud those who can. Scott’s art, as good as it is, just isn’t Tony Daniel, which is strongly missed. Want to know how much of difference there is? Tony Daniel did the cover for Batman #712. Compare it to the inside work and tell me who you’d rather see pencil an issue. This isn’t a bad issue, just a rather clunky end to a story that seemed to give Two-Face some new life.

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5.0
Batman #713

Aug 22, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING 5/10

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6.5
Batman '66 #1

Jul 17, 2013

Batman ’66 may not hold up over the long haul, but issue #1 is a lot of fun.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #0

Sep 12, 2012

Some of the best work here happens within the makeshift batcave. I really dig Capullo’s instinct on the type of outfits and tech that Bruce would originally gone with. The scene doesn’t point out anything particular, it just gives multiple hints as to where things like the Batmobile the Batplane and so forth got started. The only thing I didn’t like about Batman #0 is that it sets the tone for a story we won’t see until 2013.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #1

Sep 21, 2011

The only let down is Rob Capullo’s art, which is very hit or miss with this issue. The opening battle is gorgeous, with strong movement and some wonderful detail work, especially on Two-Face. However the scene with Commissioner Gordon doesn’t work at all, mainly because Capullo draws Gordon to look like Groucho Marx-meets-The Triplets Of Belleville. At one point, Dick Grayson looks like he’s about twelve, but then the murder scene Batman investigates is wonderful. Capullo really captures the dilapidated nature of the apartment and the brutality of the kill. I’m not giving up on Capullo because there is more good than bad, it’s just the bad really sticks out. Regardless, Batman #1 is cause to celebrate not only the return of a singular Dark Knight, but also that he rests in the capable hands of Scott Snyder.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #2

Oct 19, 2011

Greg Capullo’s art is another highlight to the issue. I love how he splits his work between fluid action and almost portrait work. When the story calls for action, Capullo’s work jumps off the page, but in the quieter moments, when characters are talking or relating to each other, everything freezes. Capullo allows your focus to fall on everything within the panel and it helps create real atmosphere for Snyder’s story. Batman #2 is another top-notch entry from one of the only writer’s that keeps me constantly guessing and constantly excited to see what happens next.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #3

Nov 17, 2011

Greg Capullo’s art is beautiful in this issue. I was especially impressed with how he handles the opening mob action. It’s so violent and so brutal but keeps the darker fine art edge that Capullo is known for. The fact that his line work is so thin but translates with such weight is a testament to how good the work is. Especially with Batman, who looks truly menacing here, a dark spirit of vengeance out to stop a killer. Batman #3 isn’t the most visceral issue and there are a few kinks in it, but having followed Snyder’s work for this long. I trust there’s a reason for everything.

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9.5
Batman (2011) #5

Jan 18, 2012

Greg Capullo's pencils, for the first time, really hit me as wonderful. I've always liked the work, but with Batman #5 Capullo and Snyder are in perfect harmony. Every panel depicting Batman's slow descent into madness is a true representation of Snyder's idea. It's not just a visual representation of what Snyder wrote; the art also gets into the nooks and crannies of the ideas behind the writing. Batman's face reflecting the insanity, his shredded costume, the various ways he sees himself, it's all stunning work. If this level of kinsmanship continues, we could be looking at the best thing to happen to Batman since Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #6

Feb 15, 2012

Like Snyder, Capullo is at the top of his game. Batman #6 is not just a beautiful book to look at, it moves effortlessly with high-octane action. The battle between Batman and the Talon soldier is epic and brutal. Capullo has a style reminiscent of the work Frank Miller did on The Dark Knight Returns. I’m impressed with his representation of Snyder’s ideas. The way he made Batman look and see the rest of the world, it was dark and primal. Capullo’s art doesn’t leap off the page as much as it slowly draws you in and holds onto you. Batman #6 might not be the most original story ever told, but Snyder and Capullo are still head shoulders above their competition.

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9.5
Batman (2011) #7

Mar 21, 2012

Batman #7 takes the already iconic Scott Snyder and solidifies him as one of the truly great storytellers in comics.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #8

Apr 18, 2012

Helping Scott Snyder’s genius is art from Greg Capullo. I’ve been iffy with Capullo’s work in the past, but issue #8 is stellar across the board. Outside of Capullo’s original style with his pencils, he absolutely nails the motion of Batman #8. Snyder’s story never stops moving and Capullo does the same with the art. He also does some great work with tension by laying out the panels evenly and then blows the page up with a great splash page or action shot. With so many others of the reboot series failing by issue 8, Batman remains flawless.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #9

May 9, 2012

When all is said and done with Batman #9, the identity of at least three major members of the Court Of Owls is revealed, though only to Batman. Scott Snyder smartly keeps the names from us and allows Batman’s reaction to dictate how serious it all is. The nonstop action ends on a dime in the last pages this book, but it doesn’t feel awkward, it completely works. The death at the end of Mr. March gives the scene emotional gravitas, which in turn stops the action cold without feeling off. Who are the names on the list? How does this affect Batman and the whole Batman Universe? I am waiting on pins and needles to see how all of this works out.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #10

Jun 13, 2012

Most will say I’m just a Scott Snyder fan boy and I give him carte blanche to do whatever he wants. To that, I say check out my review of Batman Annual #1. The reality is that Snyder has shaken up the Batman world in a way it needs to be shaken up. I can only sit back and wait to see what he has in store for the Dark Knight next.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #11

Jul 11, 2012

The end of the Court Of Owls story arc is not without controversy but things that really expand a medium usually are. Snyder has, once again, blown open the dark corners of the Batman mythos and added depth to a world that was already incredibly rich. Snyder and Capullo prove that they not only understand Batman, but also storytelling, sequential art and comic books as a whole.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #12

Aug 8, 2012

Don’t get me wrong, Cloonan can draw. It just doesn’t thrill me, and I find it doesn’t work for Batman. Even worse are Andy Clarke’s back-end pages. While Cloonan has her stumbles, she at least can express movement. Clarke’s work just sits there, a harrowing mess of cross-stitching that is best served in kids books like Harold and The Purple Crayon. Regardless of my nitpicks, Batman #12 is a nice breather from the epic struggles the Dark Knight has recently undergone, and the sudden interest in Harper Row piques my interest in her future.

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10
Batman (2011) #13

Oct 10, 2012

Batman #13 only has 22 pages but within them writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo have redefined an icon and returned the grandeur and terror that rightfully belongs to the greatest villain in the history of the sequential art medium.

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9.5
Batman (2011) #14

Nov 14, 2012

Batman continues to be extraordinary. This incarnation of the Joker is one of the best in years.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #15

Dec 12, 2012

"Death Of The Family" is one of the greatest Joker stories ever told. It belongs up there with The Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum, The Man Who Laughs, The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge or Death In The Family. An absolute classic.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #16

Jan 16, 2013

With the end of Death Of The Family approaching, Snyder and Capullo will cement themselves as the best creative team behind Batman since O’Neil and Adams.

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9.5
Batman (2011) #17

Feb 13, 2013

"Death Of The Family" will go down as one of the best Joker stories in history. Snyder and Capullo should be thanked by anyone who loves Batman.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #18

Mar 13, 2013

Batman #18 is a strong issue, despite it being more a necessity of Grant Morrison's ego than anything involving Scott Snyder's epic run.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #19

Apr 11, 2013

Batman #19 may not be an epic story arc, but it process Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo can tell any Batman story, in any style, and make it sing.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #20

May 8, 2013

The art from Greg Capullo remains astonishing. Capullo pencils with the same eye towards movement that Frank Quitely does. The thin lines and sketched characters makes the art move like cinema. Having that style, Capullo does some wonderful things with Clayface. When the villain morphs, it comes across like a living, breathing transformation. Capullo also makes Clayface disturbing, which can be hard to do. Danny Miki’s inks go a long way in solidifying Capullo’s work. FCO Plascencia’s colors are used sparingly, but effectively.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #21

Jun 12, 2013

Batman: Zero Year is well on its way to establishing itself as the new origin gospel in the new DC Universe.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #22

Jul 10, 2013

Greg Capullo continues to bring first rate work to Batman. His unique style of drawing human characters takes center stage in issue #22. Edward Nygma looks like an Irish thug with his mutton chops and angular face. Bruce is always angry, even when he’s being contemplative, and this rage boils beneath the surface. While the backgrounds and colors are wonderful, there is no center piece, no Batman to focus on. This gives Capullo a harder task. He needs to generate visual interest in a book where the central character doesn’t even exist. As usual, he executes it perfectly.

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8.5
Batman (2011) #23

Aug 14, 2013

Batman #23 is a solid, if flawed, installment for Zero Year, and Snyder continues to etch his place alongside Dennis O’Neal, Frank Miller and Chuck Dixon, as one of the most important Batman writers in the character's  history.

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0.0
Batman (2011) #23.1

Sep 4, 2013

To put it simply, Joker deserves better.

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6.5
Batman (2011) #23.4

Sep 30, 2013

Though the art betrayed the darkness of the story, Killer Croc's one-shot remains a favorite among the Villains Month releases.

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10
Batman (2011) #24

Oct 9, 2013

Snyder and Capullo continue to redefine Batman. Strengthening the mythos, adding to the legacy, and allowing Batman to grow in new directions without sacrificing what we hold dear about the character. This era of Batman is something very, very special.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #25

Nov 13, 2013

The meeting of story and art on this level is rare in comic books. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are, quite simply, the Lennon/McCartney of Batman.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #26

Dec 11, 2013

Snyder and Capullo are inextricably tied to Batman for all time. Your children’s children reading Batman will marvel at them, the way fans do now at Kirby & Lee.

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7.5
Batman (2011) #27

Jan 22, 2014

Greg Capullo continues his tour de force with Batman. I’m not only a fan of Capullo’s work, his signature style and interesting, complex pencils, but I also love his scope. He presents his work with the eye of a cinematographer, which really helps Batman pop. Hats off to inker Danny Miki, too. Inking the type of detail-oriented work that Capullo does is not easy. Too little and the pages seem unfinished, too much and they become muddy. Miki hits the nail on the head. Same with FCO Plascencia’s colors, which are muted, but still exciting.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #28

Feb 12, 2014

If the entirety of Batman Eternal is the same caliber of this preview issue, then the bat-fans out there have yet another reason to rejoice.

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10
Batman (2011) #29

Mar 12, 2014

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Snyder and Capullo, the Lennon/McCartney of Batman.

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7.0
Batman (2011) Annual #1

May 31, 2012

Jason Fabok’s art is nicely done, with the exception of the flashback to Wayne and Freeze’s first meeting. The lion’s share of this book is solid comic book fare. Strong lines, a nice sense of pacing and action, and Fabok’s talent with the faces of the character. I enjoyed how he used brighter tones to show the flashback of Freeze as a child and then left the rest of the story dark, almost noir. The scene where Wayne and Freeze first meet steps outside all of that and attempts a painted fine-art feel, which just hangs there with no punch to it. Batman Annual #1 is a great story, but this new origin for Mr. Freeze sets the character down a road fraught with boredom.

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3.0
Batman and Robin #25

Jul 11, 2011

The art from Greg Tocchini and Andy Smith is decent enough; nothing that knocked me out of my chair or even really made me take notice. The best artwork of the entire book was Guillem March’s cover. Batman and Robin #25 is a testament to just how done this series is. When the big Subway sandwich inserts are more exciting than the rest of the book, it’s time to call it a day.

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3.5
Batman and Robin #26

Aug 14, 2011

I did enjoy the art, which I didn’t expect. Usually the fine art of side of comics doesn’t do much for me, but here it works. Greg Tocchini who brings a soft hand to the art handles the first fourteen pages. There are no hard lines, no rough edges that give definition, everything is subtle and easy. While I know this isn’t the medium Tocchini probably works in, the art in Batman & Robin #26 comes off like it was handled with magic markers. The final five pages are the work of Andrei Bressen, who combines a more typical comic book style with a flair for the dramatic. Visually this issue is a real joy, it’s very pretty and fun to look at. If the story had been up to par with the art, this final adventure of Dick & Damien could have been something that rose above the banality of the series itself.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #1

Sep 14, 2011

Patrick Gleason’s art is stellar. Following Frank Quietly is no easy task, but Gleason absolutely kills it. He takes his masterful execution and technique and combines it with an eye for the story. Gleason can see what Tomasi sees and he brings that to the page. The work is dark and barren, leaving us always focusing on the main characters until it’s time for action. Gleason has a serious knack for creating movement. Big props also to Mick Gray for some killer inks and John Kalisz who uses his color palette to gel together all the elements of the book. Batman & Robin #1 is, so far, one of the best of the New 52 releases.

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10
Batman and Robin (2011) #2

Oct 16, 2011

The other heroes in this book are colorist John Kalisz and inker Mick Gray. Gray’s work gives definition to Gleason’s pencils and Kalisz’s colors are impeccable. The dark overtones that are given depth by the flashes of color help push the movement Gleason creates into another zone. It’s breathtaking work. Between Tomasi’s Batman & Robin and Scott Snyder’s Batman, the Dark Knight is once again the most interesting character DC comics has to offer.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #4

Dec 14, 2011

Helping tell this tale is artist Patrick Gleason. Not everything Gleason does is perfect - I don’t particularly care for his faces, they look a little too "manga meets Hellboy" for me. However, what he does do well is so good it makes up for it. He has a true sense of action and movement. Between his bold lines and backgrounds, each panel has life to it. Mix this with how he places them and Batman & Robin moves like a motion picture. I also have to give props to Mick Gray for his insane inking work and the rich color designs of John Kalisz. These three visual artists bring into focus Peter J. Tomasi’s opus towards fathers and sons and heroes and villains.

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7.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #6

Feb 14, 2012

The art from Patrick Gleason is first rate. I enjoy how each panel is stark and set deeply in a noir sensibility. Everything is centered, the attention of completely put on the foreground. Gleason’s strong lines and use of basic colors gives everything a great composition. The final pages of the story are a statement of how good Gleason is at movement. The final splash page leaps out of the comic book with a visceral power that is undeniable. Batman & Robin #6 is a nicely penciled decent book that, with a little editing, could have been amazing.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #7

Mar 19, 2012

Patrick Gleason's art is, as always, stellar. This issue is a symphony of violence that never stops moving forward. Panel to panel, the action is incredible and the intensity of the battle keeps growing. There's an early splash page, where Batman has just entered Ducard's lair that is stunning. It could be one of the best shots of the Dark Knight this year. Gleason makes every single scene count and by the end, you're as worn out as the participants. While many of the New 52 series have found themselves faltering with issue 7, Batman and Robin #7 has given the series a new lease to continue kicking ass.

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8.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #10

Jun 16, 2012

Patrick Gleason’s art is, as always, mind numbing. This guy walks right to the edge of over-drawing each panel and then kicks some dust off that edge. His ability to maintain control gives us some gloriously detailed work, and some of the best human forms in comics today. There are some times when the faces look a little off, but Gleason has really grown into his role for Batman and Robin. Look at his first close up of Maximums or the cross etching he does on Damian’s Robin during the four-Robin confrontation. It all adds so much to the story. Tomasi may be kicking Damian Wayne back a few notches psychologically, but he’s really finding his voice for this series.

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6.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #11

Jul 13, 2012

Batman and Robin is a trip, a venture into uncharted sections of Batman’s world. Moving through uncharted waters can lead to disaster and genius. It’s always fun to see which Peter J. Tomasi will bring to us.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #18

Mar 13, 2013

Batman and Robin #18 s a powerful issue; I just hope this requiem isn't for both Damian Wayne and the series itself.

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5.5
Batman Beyond Universe #1

Aug 21, 2013

While not visually stunning to look at, the stories in Batman Beyond Universe #1 are both solid, enjoyable reads.

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4.0
Batman Incorporated #1

May 23, 2012

The art from Chris Burnham is a pretty crappy attempt at being Frank Quitely. Batman is drawn like a bad caricature of himself, almost like somebody used a cheap action figure as the basis. Robin looks like a Campbell’s Soup kid and overall the art is just lacking. If you want to know how ridiculously bad Batman Incorporated is, just flip to the panel where Robin introduces Batcow. You can’t make this crap up folks.

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9.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #1

Jun 26, 2013

Great writing, gorgeous art, Batman/Superman #1 is everything you want in comic book.

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10
Batman/Superman (2013) #2

Jul 25, 2013

Smart, exciting, gorgeous. Batman/Superman is something very special, presented by two talents at the absolute peak of their game.

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9.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #3

Aug 28, 2013

Without the art of Jae Lee, Pak's ideas would be nothing. There is a shadowy darkness to how Lee draws. The edges are soft, the expressions slightly off, as though the characters are sensing something elusive happening just behind what they can see. Lee's work flows in a way I haven't seen in many artists. Each panel is a soft work of art, something tiny and exceptional to be marveled at. It matches perfectly to what Pak is writing.

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9.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #7

Jan 8, 2014

Brett Booth’s art is glorious in both scope and execution. I don’t know if this guy could pencil a quiet independent book, but man, can he kick the ass of an action epic. DC has chosen to use a sideways vantage for this story. In other words, the pages are set up horizontally like a calendar. Booth takes full advantage of each page, cramming as much action into every panel as will fit, and then hitting us with explosive splash pages. Booth’s work is a gut punch of constant action.

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8.0
Batman: Black and White #2

Oct 7, 2013

Batman: Black & White continues to impress, dazzle, and tell captivating stories in small spaces.

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7.0
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #0

Oct 1, 2012

The pencils from both Mico Suayan and Juan Jose Ryp are very inconsistent. Some of the work is gorgeous, lush scenery and dense backgrounds really give the impression of Gotham closing in around Bruce. Some of the characters are well done, particularly young Bruce Wayne. Other characters look too much like Mad Magazine cartoons. At times the detail work is really excellent and at others really overbearing. None of the art in Batman: The Dark Knight #0 is bad, it’s just so inconsistent it takes you out of the story.

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5.0
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #1

Sep 29, 2011

I suppose The Dark Knight could become an important part of the Batman legacy, but I doubt it. The series had its chance and David Finch blew it. He only really returns here for the art, which is glorious. Finch can draw and has a hell of a sense of movement and action. His style is uncluttered, so every panel has something specific to focus on. I love how Finch draws Batman and I would love for him to be drawing one of the other titles. Here, it seems like a waste of time. DC would have been smarter to add another Superman book or a new title altogether. Batman: The Dark Knight feels like an afterthought. If DC is hell bent on keeping it, then perhaps it can function like Legends Of The Dark Knight and tell Batman tales of old.

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8.5
Batman: The Dark Knight (2011) #10

Jun 27, 2012

There are some great subtle moments here to. The exchange between Batman and the kidnapped girl is very effective and most of it is the art. The panel where the little girl gently grabs Batman’s finger is crushing. It shows how lost Batman is to help her, even with all his power and resources. Finch also blazes with the art once Gordon is drugged and kidnapped. His hallucinations of failure and horror are stunning, some of Finch’s bets work. I think Dark Knight has finally found balance with a team made up of two of the best at their craft.

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4.0
Bedlam #1

Oct 31, 2012

I understand this is a first issue, but to me, that’s when the comic should grab you and hold your attention. Bedlam, thus far, is banal and boring.

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5.0
Before Watchmen: Comedian #1

Jun 20, 2012

Jones also falters on human faces. His versions of the Kennedy’s look more like a caricature, something you’d see being drawn at a street fair. The cover for Comedian #1 is spectacular but it doesn’t translate to the interior of the book at all. Before Watchmen rages on and leaves the trampled corpse of Alan Moore’s genius book behind it.

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9.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1

Jun 6, 2012

Cooke’s art is gorgeous. It helps that I love Golden Age work, so Cooke’s ability to marry that era with the modern world is always exciting for me. Even if you don’t love the era, Cooke’s work is still exciting. His pacing is good, his action jumps right off the page the same way Will Eisner or Jack Kirby’s work did. I’m happy Minutemen came out simply because I love Darwyn Cooke and he’s done a great job. That being said, this isn’t going to become part of the Watchmen lore because nothing outside of what Moore wrote ever will.

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4.0
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1

Aug 15, 2012

While a fun story, the lackluster art and indifference towards Alan Moore’s original work makes Rorschach #1 little more than a money shill.

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9.5
Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #1

Oct 22, 2012

However, say you’re not much of a reader. That’s cool, because the art in this comic is ridiculous. Don’t get overly despondent, but Powell isn’t the artist. Kyle Holtz is, and he kicks huge amounts of ass. There is a wisp of what Powell does in Holtz’s work on this book, but Holtz also adds the flavor of old time EC Comics like The Haunt Of Fear, Tales From The Crypt or Vault Of Horror. Holtz’ thick lines and serious love of inks has that same in-your-face presence as the EC stuff, plus the art is always moving - every panel feels like it’ll jump off the page. Powell and Holtz have created words, plot and art that is as hateful as it is excellent and I am all on board for it.

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9.0
Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #2

Nov 16, 2012

Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities and The Orm Of Loch Ness is one of the best horror comics to come out this year.

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4.0
Black Dynamite #1

Jan 15, 2014

Ron Wimberly’s pencils don’t really help matters. Granted, a comic like this is supposed to be over the top, but Wimberly falls victim to the same thing Ash does. It’s too much; each panel is trying too hard to make sure we know that it is parody. By the final page, the pictures are inconsequential and become little more than background noise. Comic stalwart Sal Buscema gives some decent inkwork, but JM Ringuet’s colors are drab, hitting another nail into the coffin of indifference for Black Dynamite.

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9.0
Black Science #1

Nov 27, 2013

Black Science is a winner. Any sci-fi fan will be hooked.

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7.5
Black Science #2

Dec 18, 2013

Black Science is a good time with a lot of oddity to it. Remender seems to understand that he's dealing with some well-worn sci-fi clichs, and he's allowing his imagination to fill in those blanks. Part of what works is the visual scope of the story. Artist Matteo Scalera, who worked with Remender on Secret Avengers, goes for broke here. Everything is bigger than life, from the landscape to the aliens and even to the reactions of the characters. The evil businessman is so gloriously sinister, and the disgraced mercenary so begrudgingly serious. Scalera ramps up the clichs, and at the same time, he manages to keep an original slant on the story. Only time will tell how Black Science ends up, but for right now, it's a great read.

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8.0
Black Science #3

Jan 29, 2014

While the blurred focus of Black Science is unnerving, Remender and Scalera are executing a very challenging brew of ideas.

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5.0
Blackhawks #1

Oct 1, 2011

The art from Graham Nolan and Ken Lashley is the real star of Blackhawks #1, but I’m not sure who to thank, since Nolan is given credit as layouts and Lashley as finisher and cover. Regardless, the pencils are detailed but not clean. The combination gives the art a bizarre sense of life, as if each character or machine is moving independently of the other. The work allows for considerable action to happen within a two dimensional medium. Outside of the art, there isn’t much to rave about here. In other words, Blackhawks down.

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7.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1

Sep 6, 2011

However Season 9 ends up, I can’t help but feel the concept and idea of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is faltering. For one, the dialog and whole vibe of the series is extremely 90s; it doesn’t feel as if Buffy ever moved forward. One the flipside the story arcs have gone completely over the deep end. The freedom of being in print has opened up Buffy and her gang to things that are new and exciting but often lose the quiet and cool nature of the original idea. I’m sure many are just in love with the idea that Buffy lives and for them Season 9-1 will be a good time.

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9.5
Captain America (2004) #619

Jun 23, 2011

Again, the art here works to split the stories up. Butch Guice, Stefano Gaudiano, Mitch Breitweiser and Chris Samnee work the art giving the book ends stories a sixties Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. feel, while the middle story with Bucky has a gritty and violent look to it. All the work here helps to raise Brubaker's plot as each panel is a tribute to how important movement and tone is to any issue. Though this run of Captain America seems to be coming to end, at least Brubaker will remain through the re-launch. I'm glad for that, because Brubaker has given a new life to Captain America, one that stays true to what Jack Kirby and Joe Simon created but also adds layers to it that make the hero a more well rounded human being.

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8.1
Captain America (2011) #1

Jul 13, 2011

Steve McNiven does some outstanding work here. It’s not perfect, such as how 1944 era Nick Fury looks like Wolverine, but for the most part it’s a win. McNiven’s art naturally has motion to it. Nothing he pencils are controlled by the dimensions of the panel, the action literally leaps off the page. He’s also great at human faces, something so many working artists seem to suck at. Captain America #1 isn’t a gangbusters all-out slam dunk, but it is a solid launching pad for the star spangled hero. I also know to trust in Brubaker, he always manages to take things to new levels of greatness and I expect nothing less here.

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9.0
Captain America (2011) #2

Aug 22, 2011

The art from Steve McNiven is a real stand out. McNiven understands that he’s drawing for words from Brubaker, so he has no qualms with restraint. When dialog is going on he draws each panel as if it were a stand-alone picture. It allows you to focus on the words as much as what’s happening visually. When the action comes, McNiven opens up full tilt with great effect. That marriage of restraint, technical ability and a natural way of bringing motion to action sequences makes McNiven’s work here so wonderful. With Captain America #2, Ed Brubaker proves again that he’s just about the best comic book writer in the business today.

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10
Captain America (2011) #19

Oct 25, 2012

Captain America never truly goes away, and in November, Marvel are starting over with issue #1. At the helm is writer Rick Remender along with artist John Romita Jr. I’m fans of both men but, sadly, they have already failed. Nobody in the foreseeable future will be able to touch what Ed Brubaker has done here. It’s a staggering run from a man of staggering talent.

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6.0
Captain America (2012) #1

Nov 21, 2012

Eventually, the Remender/Romita Jr. collaboration will find it’s own voice. Let’s just hope that it happens before too many people get turned off.

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5.0
Captain America (2012) #2

Dec 24, 2012

Captain America is the failure to communicate. The failure is how Rick Remender has chosen to communicate his desire to step outside the Ed Brubaker shadow.

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4.0
Captain America (2012) #4

Feb 25, 2013

Captain America, the Remender tales, is so bad that I can’t even enjoy the art from John Romita Jr. As one of my favorite artists, this should be a no brainer, but instead, all I can see is great talent being wasted on a bad story. On its face, Romita’s work is still above reproach, I just wish it wasn’t bringing to life a story as awful as this one.

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5.0
Captain America (2012) #10

Aug 28, 2013

Captain America should be a great series. I usually love Remender and I always love Romita Jr. Sadly, this time their contribution to an icon's history is a complete bust.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #11

Sep 12, 2013

Oddly enough, Carlos Pacheco picks up where John Romita Jr. left off. This is odd to me because each man should have been doing the other work. Pacheco’s darker shadowing and more realistic pencils would have helped the Dimension Z story. John Romita Jr., one of my personal favorites, would have been perfect for the return of Cap to his own time. Though I love Romita Jr., his blockish characters never fit the dire nature of the Dimension Z arc. Pacheco’s work here is strong, his shadowing nicely executed. The softer pencils of the flashbacks work well against the stronger, heavier inks of the current timeline.

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5.0
Captain America (2012) #16.NOW

Feb 4, 2014

Pascal Alixe artwork is bizarrely inconsistent. His line work is thin, and he tends to pencil characters in small, far-off shots, which makes them look either disfigured or unfinished. What's odd is that the Jet Black scenes, when she's jumping buildings, are wonderful. Alixe has an exceptional ability to communicating movement. The problem is that what's moving often looks like blobs of color. Even faces look off, which is never a good thing for a book that already lacks clarity.

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7.0
Captain America: Living Legend #1

Oct 3, 2013

While some will rejoice, I find myself put off by Adi Granov’s art. The talent is there, and his ability to create fine-art landscapes rich with characters is undeniable. That being said, this Norman Rockwell approach to comic book art is stiff. Movement is so stifled that this book ultimately becomes a list of small paintings. These paintings are gorgeous, but they have no life. They elicit no excitement, so as comic book pages they fail.

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5.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #1

Jul 21, 2012

Captain Marvel is a stumbled start but I’m hoping that the talent DeConnick showed in Avenging Spider-Man ultimately shows through. There should also be an immediate artist change.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #1

Mar 11, 2014

The art from David Lopez is solid, though I don’t know if it works for the series. Lopez’s line work here is thin, without much in the way of background detail. Lopez’s use of shading and blacks gives the visuals a certain narrative heart that goes hand and hand with the storytelling. While it works with this issue, I’m not sure how it will play out once Captain Marvel gets intergalactic. Lopez’s work is great for more interpersonal stories, but might not translate into big action.

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7.0
Carnage USA #1

Dec 14, 2011

My only reservation, and I realize it’s a personal taste matter, is the art. I don’t like Clayton Crain’s style, I never have. I don’t like the dentist office “fine art” way of doing comic books. It looks like a bad watercolor project and it completely doesn’t work for this book. Crain is obviously a master artist, but his style keeps taking you out of the story, which is annoying. I’m sure Carnage USA will have Crain’s art throughout, which is too bad. That being said, don’t let the misguided artist choice allow you to pass by one of the best kick off issues I’ve read in a long time.

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6.0
Cataclysm: Ultimates #1

Nov 20, 2013

Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 ushers in the end of the Ultimates, and succeeds on a story level. The failure here is with Carmine Di Giandomenico's art. There is zero consistency to what he's doing. Some points look great, as though time and effort were put into it, but others look rushed. Several of the Fury panels give the character an oblong skull. Giandomenico's proportions are off, and his faces look too inconsistent to be interesting. The end of the Ultimates deserves better than slapped-together art like this.

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5.0
Change #1

Dec 12, 2012

hange has its moments and may find it's voice in the upcoming issues. That being said, issue #1 fails to do what first issues must do, and that is generate interest in what is going on

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0.0
Constantine #1

Mar 20, 2013

Constantine #1 is not just bad, it is a puppy killing moment of absolute failure.

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7.0
Damian: Son of Batman #1

Oct 30, 2013

Andy Kubert is a tremendous artist, just not a very good writer.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #1

Jul 21, 2011

Pablo Rivera’s art is a bizarre misstep. I say bizarre because his work on the opening battle with Daredevil and The Spot is perfect, as is his ending with Daredevil on patrol. Everything else, the little scenes in-between, is where Rivera loses me. There’s no life to those scenes, they just lay there looking more like basic colored pencils than a finished product. I must also come clean that I so wanted Neal Adams, John Romita Jr. or some other icon to be handling the art. If Rivera is going to continue as the main artist for Daredevil, he needs to raise his game just a bit. I haven’t forgiven everything Marvel did to Daredevil, and I still have the sour taste of Andy Diggle’s abysmal work in my mouth. That being said, Daredevil, however cautiously, is exciting me for the first time in a while.

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8.5
Daredevil (2011) #2

Aug 17, 2011

Paolo Rivera’s art screams of another era in comic books. It’s not that the art is basic, but it’s focused more on the here and now instead of trying to cram too much into each panel. During the fight with Captain America, Rivera uses sold colors for the backgrounds, which works to give the section movement. When your eye is focused only on the characters and not the backgrounds, the mind is quicker to animate what’s happening. When Rivera needs to give us background detail he does it wonderfully, but his real power is how well he captures the characters and uses the details within them to move the story. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #5

Oct 30, 2011

Marcos Martin’s art is a real conundrum here. There isn’t much in the way of intricate detail, the lines are bold and the shadowing very economical. Panels are laid out straightforward for most of the book and the whole thing has a very '60s noir style to it. This work should just sit there, like tiny little pictures that have no connection. Instead, the movement is incredible, the action leaps off the page even if it’s just the sweating face of a scared victim. That kind of kinetic energy is rare in comics, especially ones where the whole kitchen sink isn’t tossed into every panel. Martin’s style is the epitome of less is more and it adds to the refreshing nature of the whole story.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #6

Nov 30, 2011

On that note, the art in Daredevil #6 is once again stellar. Marcos Martin not only knows how to draw these kinds of stories, he also understands how to pace them. Martin’s art is light, lots of big areas, and strong lines. His minimalism on detail allows for maximum movement, not just panel to panel but also within them. He’s one of the few artists that can block out a page in a pretty standard way; box panels right next to each other, and keep it interesting. The best example of his ability is on page five, fourth and fifth panels. Two henchmen are talking about how Bruiser beat Daredevil and suddenly Daredevil is there. You don’t see what happens, but your imagination fills in the blanks nicely. Waid and Martin are an awesome team that have brought the world’s most melancholy and depressed superhero back into the light!

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #7

Dec 27, 2011

Paolo Rivera really steps it up here. Either that or I’m just a sucker for a really well done snow scene. I enjoyed how Rivera turns the weather from tranquil to violent slowly over several panels. There were also specific panels that I felt really pushed the story along. Page four, third panel from the left. It’s a simple pencil of Matt Murdock looking at his prize from the earlier battle. The last panel on page 10, a shot of Daredevil trying to use his radar is another gem. Rivera uses his bold lines and colors against the details of weather, which gives the entire issue serious depth. Daredevil #7 is a filler issue, no doubt, but the talents of Waid and Rivera help to keep it above the standard fare.

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6.0
Daredevil (2011) #8

Jan 18, 2012

The art from Kano is solid enough. It’s reminiscent of Paolo Rivera’s work in earlier issues where the lines were thinner and the shading bolder. Kano keeps things very neat and centrally focused in his panels. When he opens that focus up, it feeds into the motion of the scene, which ramps up the action. As good as the art is, it just can’t save Daredevil #8, a thoroughly disappointing end to a story that started with great promise.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #10

Apr 10, 2012

I know I’ll get hell for this, but I think Daredevil could use a change in the art. No matter who’s been helming the pencil the art for the series has had a very open, colorful and old comic book throwback look to it. It’s worked thus far and I’ve been a huge fan of it. Now, however, the art feels wrong for the story. If things are going to get dark and violent, the open and colorful look won’t work. Daredevil needs a grittier look from here on out. Don’t get me wrong, the art on Daredevil 10.1 from Khoi Pham is solid, it just isn’t right for the upcoming arc.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #15

Jul 23, 2012

Daredevil #15 is another solid entry into the already impeccable work of Mark Waid’s run on the iconic character.

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6.0
Daredevil (2011) #17

Aug 20, 2012

Michael Allred’s pencils help keep this from being a total failure. The work here is bold, big and rich in color. The minute details are sacrificed for large, open panels that often bleed into each other. Allred uses the Silver Age style of action in Daredevil #17. Each panel is an action snapshot, there’s not much flow from panel to panel. Regardless of the snapshot effect, the action is still exciting to look at. If I had to offer up a problem with Allred’s pencils, it would be that Foggy looks more like Peter Lorre than himself. Outside of that, it’s Allred’s artwork that keeps this unnecessary issue of Daredevil afloat.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #18

Sep 24, 2012

The art from Chris Samnee is solid as ever. I love how he puts a modern spin on the Silver Age style of art. He maintains the heavy inks of the era but his strokes are thinner, the detail work a little more refined. Samnee never allows his panels to become too complex, even his characters are made up of only what they need to define them. The broad art gives characters weight and draws the focus to who is in the foreground of the panel rather than the entire panel. It’s a strong story telling device. I hope Waid pulls a cool trick out of his hat to explain the sudden dip in writing. I have faith.

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6.0
Daredevil (2011) #19

Oct 22, 2012

I know Waid is a legend, and I’ve always been a big fan of his. That aside, Daredevil is failing on an epic level.

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7.5
Daredevil (2011) #21

Dec 24, 2012

Daredevil has survived a weak storyline over the past few issues. Lets hope that clears up quickly.

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7.5
Daredevil (2011) #24

Mar 25, 2013

Daredevil #24 levels the playing field for new readers, but with so much going on, let's hope the Man Without Fear doesn't collapse under his own weight.

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9.5
Daredevil (2011) #26

May 22, 2013

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil continues to prove that there are always great stories to tell, even with our most aged characters.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #27

Jun 27, 2013

Daredevil is awesome. A series that reminds all of us why we started reading comic books in the first place.

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7.5
Daredevil (2011) #29

Aug 6, 2013

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is currently in a series without equal.

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8.5
Daredevil (2011) #30

Aug 21, 2013

Making sure Waid’s upbeat lyrics remain visually fun is Chris Samnee. Once again, he knocks it out of the ballpark. Samnee pencils Silver Surfer in a very uncomplicated manner. Most artists try to make Surfer this deep, slightly melancholy character, which he is. Samnee, however, is confident enough to let Surfer be a comic book character, a flying bad ass with the power cosmic. Those darker portrayals of Surfer are cool, but it is nice to ease up on them every so often. Samnee’s Silver Age love shines right through the Silver Surfer.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #31

Sep 19, 2013

Daredevil is the man without fear and the book without equal.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #32

Oct 25, 2013

Waid and Samnee are a smashing team. Their Daredevil brings a life to the story we haven’t seen since Brubaker and Miller.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #36

Feb 19, 2014

Chris Samnee’s art is amazing as always. Just flipping through the issue you can see how well his pencils blended with Waid’s ideas. Past Daredevil books, as brilliantly drawn as they were, often remained dark and menacing. Samnee’s unique style let Daredevil breathe, and gave it an upbeat feel without the series becoming goofy. Samnee was also able to turn it all on a dime, and suddenly, those menacing shadows would return. Samnee understands the character, and always nails the panels.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #1

Mar 19, 2014

I seriously hope Chris Samnee stays on Daredevil for as long as Waid does. They work perfectly together. Samnee has the same light touch to his art that Waid does to his writing. While not the same style, Samnee has the same appeal that Steve Ditko or Jack Kirby had " that ability to make the work leap right off the page. The bold lines and heavy inks give everything a strong presence, while the slim details in the background give pop to the foreground art. Waid and Samnee are a winning team, one that I hope stays with the red-horned hero for years to come.

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9.0
Daredevil: Dark Nights #2

Jul 5, 2013

Daredevil: Dark Nights is a punch right to the chest. A charged narrative of emotion and wonderful storytelling.

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10
Daredevil: End of Days #2

Nov 9, 2012

Daredevil: End Of Days is about as good as comic books get.

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9.0
Daredevil: End of Days #4

Jan 8, 2013

Daredevil: End Of Days is a powerful story that rattles the emotional core of the superhero world.

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9.0
Daredevil: End of Days #5

Feb 11, 2013

The art is in interesting brew of images. Klaus Janson handles the pencils, while Bill Sienkiewicz does the full color painted splash pages. Both artists ping pong off each other well. Janson tells the lion’s share of the story with his inspired noir style. The saturated rain, the heavy feeling of melancholy, it all works beneath the foundation of masterfully well done human forms and action scenes. It’s beautiful work for a story that never ceases to gripping and exciting.

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7.0
Daredevil: End of Days #8

Jun 5, 2013

While the final curtain for End Of Days may be disappointing, the art continues to impress. The combined style of comic icon Bill Sienkiewicz and Klaus Janson, have kept End Of Days visually exciting since page one. Co-writer David Mack, who uses a fine art paint style to give the scenes a dreamlike quality, handles the flashback sequences of Daredevil lecturing Urich’s kid. Sienkiewicz angular style, combined with Janson’s modern day noir edge, is perfect for the story being told here. I wish the story had been as dedicated to originality as the art.

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5.0
Dark Horse Presents #3

Aug 23, 2011

I’d get into all the rest of the stories but none of them are worth writing about. I particularly loathed Richard Corben’s contribution because I can’t stand his art and he tells the same reject-from-Heavy-Metal-Magazine type story over and over. While I can’t recommend Dark Horse Presents #3 I will say that if you dig Steranko, it’ll be worth the wasted cash just to have his story and interview. Outside of that this is a definite pass for your pull folder.

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6.0
Deadly Class #1

Jan 22, 2014

Wes Craig’s art is the best thing about Deadly Class. It’s a visceral style, one that captures movement in every panel. The line work is thin, but Craig’s pencils bring it all together into something consistently interesting. He also varies his approach depending on the scene. The way he illustrates the death of Arguello’s parents is like a children’s book turned into a horror film, which is very different than his straight pencils. Lee Loughridge is there for the assist with really great color work. Urban sprawl can tend to look drab, but Loughride manages to keep the melancholy aspect of it, without losing a solid palette.

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0.0
Defenders (2011) #1

Dec 7, 2011

Not helping matters is the art from Terry Dodson, which comes across like bad animation cells from some eighties Saturday morning cartoon. There’s zero depth to anything that Dodson does and his panel placement keeps the excitement at zero. For some reason he draws the Hulk like a big green baby and Iron Fist looks like he’s either always going fast or constantly surprised. Perhaps Dodson read the script and decided to phone in his art the way Fraction did the story. Whatever the reasoning, The Defenders #1 is an embarrassment and Marvel should be ashamed of themselves.

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5.0
Demon Knights #1

Sep 15, 2011

The art from Diogenes Neves is the real star of the issue. He does a lot with very little story, managing to take insignificant little scenes and make them pop to life with his art. There’s a definite John Romita Jr. vibe to what Neves does and it works for this kind of story. Fantasy work should have a straight comic book art feel to it and that’s what Neves nails here. I just wish he’d had more to work with as far as the story goes. At some point I might be eating crow, I might be crawling through Liger manure in order to make amends towards Demon Knights. However, based on issue #1, it’s doubtful.

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6.0
Detective Comics #878

Jul 1, 2011

So the issue is lame, but it is also beautiful Jock's art has slowly become some of my favorite in the medium. I love how he draws the human form; I love his Batman in particular. It has grit to it, a Vertigo series sense of noir and violence that I love. For lack of a better term, Jock draws in a very sinister style. I'm not writing Scott Snyder off, he's way too good to do that. I'm just sad that one of the coolest story arcs in recent Batman history ended with a thud.

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9.0
Detective Comics #879

Jul 13, 2011

My only issue is the art from Francesco Francavilla. It's not even that Francavilla's work is bad, he just isn't Jock and this issue screams for Jock. The pages involving Joker are where Francavilla really shines but still, it isn't Jock and the rest of the book lacks the punch visually that the writing has. I'm sure Francavilla fans will disagree and I can understand that. What he's doing isn't bad; it's just that Scott Snyder and Jock are a perfect team. Detective Comics #879 is full on kick ass. This is a bowl of crow I will shovel down happily.

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10
Detective Comics #880

Jul 28, 2011

The hands down capper of the issue, the thing that just makes every page sing is Jock's artwork. For me, in issue 880, Jock delivers the best cover in comics thus far in 2011. The Joker on this cover will go on to be a tattoo staple for any Batman fan, I guarantee it. Inside, Jock just goes off, creating one memorable panel after another. The splash page when Commissioner Gordon finds his ex-wife is stunning. Jock brings back the physical grotesqueness of the Joker. The scars are deep and wide and for the first time in a while, The Joker is hard to look at. The sense of noir, the rain work, everything is absolutely perfect and when it marries to Scott Snyder's words, the results are breathtaking. Detective Comics #880 is a major marker in Snyder's journey to become mentioned in the same breath as names like Miller, Moore, Waid, Byrne, O'Neil, Wein and all the others who have changed the face of comic books.

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9.0
Detective Comics #881

Aug 10, 2011

Actual nuts and bolts of what happens in issue 881 are irrelevant; the true depth here is in the character study. One particularly stellar section has Jim and Dick facing off in a battle of words as Dick searches for them. Jim makes a distinction between Dick and Bruce (he has long since figured out the Batman identity scenario), which is so telling and so true that it snaps everything Snyder has been doing into place. Since he's taking over for Batman after the reboot, I hope those elements stay in place. While I'm not sold on DC ending the era I grew up with, I can think of no more perfect finale than Scott Snyder's brilliant run.

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5.0
Detective Comics (2011) #1

Sep 8, 2011

Tony Daniel's art is, of course, above reproach. He even managed to make me like the Batman "armor" suit by giving it a bit more fluidity than previous incarnations. The action scenes are visceral and alive, the depth of shadow and use of powerful lines to give the characters weight is on point. It's everything we expect from Daniel. Visually, Detective Comics #1 is stunning, but as far as story goes, it's only fair. It may just take some getting used to, so I'm not denying the New 52 yet. However by the end of Detective Comics #1, I was really missing Batman the way he used to be.

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2.0
Detective Comics (2011) #2

Oct 5, 2011

I’m supposing the rush to write this debacle left Daniel’s no room to make the art count. For some reason, Bruce Wayne always looks like an Asian man who just went swimming and Commissioner Gordon looks like Boner Rex, The Seventies Porn Star. I was especially mystified as to why Harvey Bullock now looks like seventies TV cop Baretta had a kid with Claude Akins. Detective Comics #2 is not only an embarrassment to Dark Knight fans, but to comic fans in general.

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7.0
Detective Comics (2011) #9

May 6, 2012

If Daniel wanted DC #9 to be about Dr. Arkham, then he should have made it all about him. How he uses his deception and trickery to beat the Talon assassins at their own game. Instead, he tried to combine the doc and Batman, with tepid results. On the flipside, Tony Daniel’s art is first rate. I absolutely love how he draws the Black Mask. If Daniel could bring the kind of vision and passion to his writing that he does to his art, he’d be unstoppable. Sadly that’s not the case, and Detective Comics #9 does more to dull the edge of the Talon’s claws than sharpen them.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #23.3

Sep 18, 2013

If I have one complaint with Detective #23.3, it is the art. Szymon Kudranski tries so hard to show the darkness of the new world that he ends up muddying his own work. The lines here aren't very strong; Kudranski prefers thinner, sketchier lines. When those lines meet his over zealous use of shading, the result is a hair too shadowy to be enjoyable. I appreciate what Kudranski is trying to do, he just needed to either use stronger inks in the outlines or ease up on the shading.

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9.0
Detective Comics (2011) #27

Jan 8, 2014

Detective Comics #27 pays homage to the greatest superhero of all time (yeah, I said it). Sure, the price tag is a little goofy, but with so much talent, DC gets a slide. Most importantly, Detective Comics #27 shows that even after three quarters of a century, the Dark Knight’s adventures or just beginning.

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6.0
Doctor Who Vol. 3 #1

Oct 9, 2012

Doctor Who #1 is a win for Andy Diggle, but he needs to get a new artist fast.

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7.0
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #1

Feb 4, 2013

Frustration builds because of the art. Simon Fraser’s work looks rushed, as if he was handed the project a few hours before deadline. The faces have little expression to them, often the bodies look bulbous, and there is no real detail or clever panel layout at all. Why would a story so clever, one that is celebrating fifty years of Doctor Who, be passed on to an artist who looks as though he doesn’t care about the material? It’s maddening to enjoy a story so much, but with each page epic failure comes with great success. I hope Simon Fraser is not the chosen artist for all the issues.

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8.0
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #2

Feb 28, 2013

Prisoners Of Time #2 is a great story and gives me a lot of hope for the rest of this series.

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3.5
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #4

Apr 18, 2013

Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #4 does not set a good stage for the next seven issues.

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6.0
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #5

Jun 3, 2013

The art from Philip Bond is passable, better than some issues, no better than others. IDW never seems particularly focused on great art. It’s odd for a comic book publishing company to consistently give readers boring artists, but it must be working for them. Bond’s pencils are clean, his lines strong, but no one here has any character. The Fifth Doctor looks almost goofy, as do his companions. I would almost rather this story arc had been a book than a comic if the art is going to be this dull.

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6.0
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #11

Nov 18, 2013

Sadly, the art from Matthew Dow Smith is little more than a means to an end. Every comic book must have a visual element, but it doesn’t always mean said element leaps from the page, nor does it mean the element elevates the issue into something special. Smith’s art flat lines, it tells the story but does nothing else. Character faces are much too similar, the panels are awkward and clumsy, and it just has no visual appeal. It’s a shame, because issue #11 was the first example of Prisoners of Time really knocking it out of the park since the first few issues.

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6.0
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #12

Nov 25, 2013

Issue #12 of Prisoners of Time, even with its dull art from Kelly Yates, shines in its story. The rest of the series was a far too uneven game of hit and miss.

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7.0
Dredd: Underbelly #1

Jan 29, 2014

Artist Henry Flint brings Judge Dredd and his world to life. His work is rough around the ages, but has a visceral charm that works with Dredd. The lines are thick, as are the inks, which helps give each panel a weighty definition. Flint's action is right on, as is the tension of the panels. I do wish the violence had been more in your face, something I've come to expect in Judge Dredd comics.

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8.5
Earth 2 #0

Sep 5, 2012

Earth 2 #0 makes an already amazing series even better

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8.0
Earth 2 #2

Jun 12, 2012

The art from Nicola Scott is hit or miss. Her faces are a little too one dimensional for me, they all seem to be making the same face or have the same structure. Where Scott shines is action. It’s tough to bring the illusion of movement to a character like The Flash, but Scott does it with great style. Her lines are thinner, so it helps make The Flash feel as though he’s real moving at the speed of light and beyond. If the story continues to be this good, Earth 2 could become a premiere DC book faster than you can say The Flash.

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7.5
Earth 2 #3

Jul 6, 2012

The problem comes with the Green Lantern pencils. Scott mostly drops the ball here, especially with Alan Scott’s face. Look at the exchange between Alan Scott and the “power of the green” on page eleven. In one panel, Alan Scott looks normal, in another, he has a chin you could kill a puma with. The face is always just a little off, which makes it hard to get into what’s happening. I do like Green Lantern’s Earth 2 suit, so it has that going for it, which is nice. Earth 2 #3 may rush the GL origin a little bit and the art may be lackluster on pages, but overall I’m still excited to see where this series goes.

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10
Earth 2 #6

Nov 12, 2012

Anyone looking for the absolute best in comics should look no further than Earth 2.

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9.0
Earth 2 #12

May 3, 2013

Earth 2 continues to astound. It's easily one of the best New 52 titles going.

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9.0
Earth 2 #13

Jun 7, 2013

Earth 2, like Green Arrow, Animal Man and JLD, is a hidden jewel in the DC crown, a title more people should be paying attention to.

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9.0
Earth 2 #14

Jul 8, 2013

Robinson is a master storyteller, and Nicola Scott executes perfectly what is in his mind’s eye. Earth 2 is really spectacular stuff.

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8.0
Earth 2 #15

Aug 8, 2013

Nicola Scott’s art continues to work in perfect harmony with Robinson’s words. Scott’s work is very heavy. Her lines are thick, the inks over them deep, and even the detail work has a certain gravitas to it. The shading is also key; it gives each hero a certain level of definition and power. Flash is lean, Green Lantern bulky, Steppenwolf’s main dog huge and overpowering. Add to all of this how she uses huge panels to allow plenty of room for the action, and you get another visceral shot in the arm from Nicola Scott.

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7.0
Earth 2 #15.1

Sep 6, 2013

While not a badly written story, Desaad's Earth 2 one-shot is terrifyingly unnecessary.

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6.0
Earth 2 #15.2

Sep 13, 2013

Solomon Grundy's issue wasn't bad, it just didn't measure to what it could have and should have been.

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9.5
Earth 2 #16

Oct 4, 2013

Earth 2 continues to be the hidden gem in the New 52 treasure chest. A visceral, smart and exciting series for sure. Worst part of all of this, though? Earth 2 #16 is James Robinson's last issue. **shudder**

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9.0
Earth 2 #17

Nov 7, 2013

Earth 2 is an incredibly entertaining ride. The freedom to create a world from the ground up has allowed it to be one of the most exciting, diverse, and entertaining titles DC puts out.

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9.0
Earth 2 #18

Dec 9, 2013

Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott continue to make Earth 2 a hidden jewel in the DC Crown by constantly shifting reality and playing with the icons we love. Amazing stuff.

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10
Earth 2 #19

Jan 10, 2014

Earth 2 slaps the mouth of any other book out there. Taylor’s ideas and Scott’s art are a two-fisted knock out that you don’t get up from. This is one of those books you salivate for each month. If you’re not reading Earth 2, you should be.

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7.5
Earth 2 #21

Mar 5, 2014

Thankfully, the most beautiful woman in comics has returned with her stunning artwork. Nicola Scott plays with the big boys and leaves many of them in the dust. Her pencils have the same main event vibe as Jim Lee or David Finch, but with more character, and a real devotion to facial expressions. Scott is bold in the action, but never sacrifices mood or backgrounds. She renders a complete image in each panel, which gives the entire story a feeling of immediate danger.

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5.0
Earth 2 Annual #2

Jan 29, 2014

Robinson Rocha handles art duties, and while he’s a competent artist, he’s not Nicola Scott. Her work is singularly unique, and a defining part of Earth 2. Rocha’s style is well suited for comics, but nothing spectacular. The line work is thin, and the faces tend to run together. I did enjoy some of his panel placements, and a few perspectives he took the visuals from, but overall I couldn’t help missing Nicola Scott. The colors from Scott Hanna are okay during the darker aspects of the story, but anything in the daylight comes across blown out.

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10
East of West #1

Mar 27, 2013

East of West is astonishing. Something that may reset the bar by which all other comics are tested.

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9.0
East of West #2

Apr 25, 2013

While East of West is still in its infancy, so far it is one of the best series of 2013.

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10
East of West #3

Jun 10, 2013

Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta have hit upon something very special with East Of West. Rarely are text and art married in such perfect harmony.

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6.5
East of West #5

Aug 15, 2013

While I'm still a fan of East of West, issue #5 fell short of expectations.

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6.0
East of West #7

Nov 11, 2013

Nick Dragotta's art continues to be one of the strongest things about the series. Dragotta has a keen eye for creating surreal surroundings that are alien, but not unfamiliar. His line work is solid, and the use of solid colors in the background allows for a nice sense of unease. Dragotta also has a great imagination for machines, and for creating a hybrid of nature and technology. While Hickman's work in East of West is starting to unravel, Draggota's art remains tight as ever.

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6.5
East of West #8

Dec 18, 2013

East of West, with its combination of excellent script and wonderful visuals, would be an unstoppable force if readers were afforded one protagonist to get behind.

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8.5
East of West #10

Mar 13, 2014

East of West is a complicated story that forces you to think. It’s also visually stunning.

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4.0
Evil Ernie #1

Oct 15, 2012

Evil Ernie #1 isn’t evil, it’s just dull.

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3.5
Fear Itself #4

Jul 6, 2011

At the end of Fear Itself #4, we learn that The Serpent is really Odin’s pissed off brother that nobody knew about. The final panel is Thor attacking the possessed Hulk and Thing. That’s it, it ends there and readers will be left with a feeling that somebody over in the Marvel offices owes them money. Stuart Immonen does some really nice work here. He manages to translate, through his art, the fear that Fraction can’t translate through the written word. Immonen can get great scenes done within small panels and really goes for the gold in the bigger work. If Fraction understood scale and tension the way Immonen does, Fear Itself may not be the unbelievable mess it is. At this point, I don’t care what happens to the Marvel Universe, I just want Fear Itself to be over.

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2.0
Fear Itself #5

Aug 10, 2011

So is Iron Man drinking again? If he is, how can he build weapons? Captain America thinks we’ll lose so he packs it in? Why? If Thor can take Hulk and Thing out, wouldn’t he be a formidable foe to the God Of Fear? Fraction seems so in love with his scenes that he doesn’t care about telling a story. Fear Itself is an empty shell of a tale told in a shock and awe style that wouldn’t entertain a five year old.

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0.0
Fear Itself #7

Oct 19, 2011

The final epilogue goes back to the Hulk, who’s seeking the help of Doctor Strange in order to battle the evil spirit that possessed him during Fear Itself. That launches The Defenders. So that’s it. Fear Itself ends in the same messy, drawn out and unsatisfying way it began. What’s worse is how Marvel takes a final issue that is already too long and adds these tacky epilogues. Fear Itself could have been something really special, instead it’s a lesson on all the things writers and comic book companies should avoid.

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8.5
Flash (2011) #23.1

Sep 9, 2013

Chris Batista's pencils are nicely done. Like Ethan Van Sciver or Doug Mahnke, Batista has an easy professionalism to his work. These are the kinds of pencils you go to when you're looking for a big comic book feel. Solid line work, great action, multiple splash pages " Batista is tremendous with shock and awe. Gorilla Grodd looks terrifying here, and that's not easy to do with an angry gorilla.

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7.5
Flash (2011) #23.3

Sep 30, 2013

Bland art aside, The Rogues are such an interesting group I might start picking up the Flash books again.

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5.0
Flashpoint #5

Aug 31, 2011

The only real star of this attraction is Andy Kubert, whose art is glorious to behold. Every single panel is a vision of what this man can do with a pencil. Few have been able to really capture the movement of the Flash or put across how fast he moves like Kubert. The action scenes rage, the tiny moments are drawn with deep lines to the face, which put across the emotions. In fact, the only scene in this mess that carries any weight is when Bruce Wayne reads a note brought to him by the Flash from his Flashpoint Universe father. It's a touching scene and one completely devoid of speech; it's all Kubert's incredible artwork. Flashpoint has failed as a story to do more than usher in the era of the DC reboot. It's a shame such wonderful art should be wasted on such drivel.

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4.5
Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

Jun 29, 2011

Ben Oliver's art is really inconsistent here. Some pages are beautiful, while some look like he had no time to finish them. The tennis match between quality and matchbook-art-school-average continues throughout the issue. Hopefully, Oliver will get his act together by the second book. Thus far the individual issues of Flashpointless have been better than the main series. As of right now Flashpoint Hal Jordan is the first misstep. That may change by the end of the third book. Let's hope it does.

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5.0
Flashpoint: Wonder Woman And The Furies #1

Jun 15, 2011

The art from Scott Clark is pretty average. Nothing he does is awful, but its also nothing to help lift this boring story out its contrived hole. Clark seems to prefer lots of tiny details as opposed to strong lines. You can see Aquaman's long, luxurious locks blowing in the wind but the character himself has no weight. With so much rich psychological material that could have been born of Aquaman and Wonder Woman going to war, DC has opted to punk out and make sure neither of the iconic characters have any real blood on their hands. It takes the gravitas not only out of Wonder Woman And The Furies but out of Flashpoint as well.

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8.0
Forever Evil #2

Oct 2, 2013

Forever Evil allows a bright future for the darkest times the New 52 have seen yet.

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8.5
Forever Evil #4

Dec 24, 2013

Forever Evil is a stomp-foot good time. Geoff and Finch have decided to throw a comic book party and we’re all invited.

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8.0
Forever Evil #5

Feb 5, 2014

David “Big Fight” Finch brings his penciling A-game to the proceedings. Pretty much anything Finch touches looks great, even incidental panels pop off the page. Battle wise, the art is exceptional. Violent, filled with great action, and insane detail. Finch brings a bit of his darker side to the Sinestro/Green Ring battle, even giving Sinestro a bit more of a monstrous look. Bringing more excitement to Finch’s line work is inker Richard Friend, and the wonderful color decisions from Sonia Oback. Visually Forever Evil #5 is another check in the David Finch win column.

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8.0
Forever Evil #6

Mar 5, 2014

As always, David Finch’s art is excellent. Like Jim Lee or Doug Mahnke, Finch is a main event artist. When your book needs to be huge, when it’s got to be smash mouth, thick lines and heavy inks, you call Finch. Everything is executed with razor precision and laid out with an eye towards cinematic action. Finch is like Hitchcock – he’s so good that, even in the factory-like nature of these tent-pole books, his personality and mastery of the craft shines through.

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4.0
Forever Evil: Arkham War #1

Oct 10, 2013

Scot Eaton’s artwork is passable, but nothing spectacular. He pencils comics in a very factory-like way.  Nothing jumps off the page, the panel layout is pretty standard, but it tells the story. Eaton has solid line work, and some decent shading. His Bane is a little too ridiculous, but other than that, it’s an acceptable job for what the issue is.

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5.0
Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #1

Oct 16, 2013

The artwork is surprising in how weak it is, especially with both Patrick Zircher and Scott Hepburn working together. Two artists should render something near perfection with Rogues Rebellion. Instead, the work feels rushed and uninteresting. The panel placement is dull, the character largely repetitive. Even at the end, when a more pop-art style takes over, Rogues Rebellion suffers visually. The book isn’t awful, but it isn’t great. I expect more when such a classic team is on the line.

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8.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #0

Sep 18, 2012

While not as thrilling or bizarre as the standard series, Frankenstein Agent Of SHADE #0 is a really entertaining reboot of a classic character that solidifies his existence in the DC Universe.

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8.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #9

May 25, 2012

The art from Alberto Ponticelli does a lot to bring Lemire’s story to life. You can tell he’s having fun coming up with all these Rot creatures as well putting some real psychopathic faces onto Frankenstein. Ponticelli has a great eye for action and movement as well some nice panel layouts. Sadly, #9 is Jeff Lemire’s end run as he has jumped over to Justice League Dark. Let’s hope the future scribe manages to keep the joy, humanity and general weirdness of the series alive.

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8.0
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #10

Jun 16, 2012

Alberto Ponticelli’s art is first rate. This guy blends his own modern style with that of the old Creepy comics and horror books. Everything is surreal, just off center enough to be sure we know it’s not of this world. Ponticelli’s eye for movement really comes through with issue 10. So much of the issue is fighting or falling or fighting while you’re falling. Without an ability to bring that action off the page, Frankenstein Agent of SHADE just would not work. Thus far, this is one of my favorite DC titles. Lets hope that Matt Kindt keeps up his flair for good writing.

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4.5
Ghosted #1

Jul 10, 2013

Goran Sudzuka’s art is run-of-the-mill comic book art. His panels tell the story, but that’s about it. Nothing Sudzuka pencils is bad, it’s just not anything eye popping. This is work-horse art, the kind of drawings that turn the words into images, but never transcend the nuts-and-bolts of that. Facially, Sudzuka draws a bit too consistently. Each character shares a “look” that makes them blend together, and the backgrounds are largely uninteresting.

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0.0
Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #1

Jun 27, 2013

The Godzilla lore comes fully equipped with all the ingredients needed to make an awesome comic book. Turning out this dreck is shameful.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011) #20

May 8, 2013

Green Arrow is a smart, funny and surprisingly human adventure. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have done some amazing work here.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011) #21

Jun 5, 2013

Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino hit the bullseye perfectly with Green Arrow. Sharply written and featuring beautiful artwork, this is another hidden gem in the New 52 crown.

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7.5
Green Arrow (2011) #23

Aug 12, 2013

Andrea Sorrentino's art continues to dazzle. His creativity is especially peaked here during the flashbacks. Instead of keeping with his standard art, Sorrentino pencils the scenes almost like hieroglyphics. It adds a nice dimension to what is otherwise just easy exposition. The rest of the art is just as formidable. Sorrentino's pencils with light strokes, but still manages to give his characters weight. He's also selective about her details, giving the characters center stage.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2011) #23.1

Sep 6, 2013

Green Arrow has taken an old character and made it all kinds of new badass.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011) #27

Jan 13, 2014

Green Arrow is book that continues to get better with every issue. Lemire and Sorrentino are in top form here.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011) #28

Feb 7, 2014

Wonderfully written, exquisitely drawn and gorgeously colored. Green Arrow is a dark, compelling and thoroughly wonderful rebirth of a classic character that is also visually stunning.

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2.0
Green Lantern (2005) #67

Jul 14, 2011

None of what happened at the end of Green Lantern #67 would bug me if it made a lick of sense. Nobody involved acts anything like themselves in this one issue, and the Guardians freakout smells badly of pushing the plot for the reboot. It’s pathetic that after the greatness of Blackest Night and the massively entertaining War Of The Green Lanterns, that DC would allow such an ending just to drive their misguided reboot.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #0

Sep 6, 2012

Doug Mahnke’s art, while always exceptional, is a little phoned in this time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good work, but it doesn’t have the flair the usual Mahnke work does. I like his ideas behind Simon Baz. He’s strong, and has much the same presence that John Stewart has. While not dazzled by Mahnke’s performance here, I am excited to see where he goes with Baz and his uniform and how he uses his powers.

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2.0
Green Lantern (2011) #1

Sep 14, 2011

Even Doug Mahnke is phoning this one in. The art here is boring, so drab and uninteresting I couldn’t believe he drew it. There’s one panel, where Jordan is smiling, that looks like Jordan slipped in Sling Blade teeth. It’s as if Mahnke realized how bad this all was and decided to pencil the story as basically as he could. If you’re new to the Green Lantern mythos, maybe this junk will fly, but anybody who is a long time fan will be bored and more than a little disappointed.

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4.0
Green Lantern (2011) #3

Nov 13, 2011

All is not lost here. Johns does a great job of nailing the relationship between Sinestro and Jordan. The dialog between them is perfect, crisp and filled with what makes the characters so enduring. Jordan’s bravado goes toe to toe with Sinestro’s ego. It’s one of the only entertaining things in the whole issue. Doug Mahnke’s art is, as always, awesome. His lines aren’t just solid but also bold. There’s great detail and movement in each panel. It makes the lackluster story at least beautiful to look at.

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2.0
Green Lantern (2011) #6

Feb 14, 2012

The art in Green Lantern #6 is atrocious. Mike Choi needs to stop with comics and look for work in the dentist office painting industry. Why does Hal Jordan look like an Asian teenager? Why does Sinestro look like Vinnie The Butcher from some bad gangster movie? I understand the whole hand-painted fine art thing, but this is just bad. Green Lantern needs a better artist and writers who are interested in telling great stories, not dragging bad stories out.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #8

Apr 16, 2012

Doug Mahnke’s art is the only reason to seriously pick up Green Lantern. As always, Mahnke brings his A game to the pencils. Strong lines, sick detail and a flow that makes the action leap off the page. It’s exciting when Mahnke is behind the art, he can draw faces and figures easily but also uses the panels like lenses of a camera. Different shots make for different emotional reactions. With writing so sub-par, it’s really nice to have something to look at.

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8.5
Green Lantern (2011) #11

Jul 31, 2012

Does Green Lantern #11 make up entirely for the last 10 issues? No, not by a long shot, but it is a step in the right direction.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #12

Aug 17, 2012

The second half of the art is taken care of by Jim Calafiore, who does a similarly wonderful job. Both artists have a solid love for detail, but Calafiore’s work is a little more fine-art inspired, especially his rendition of Black Hand. The combination of the two never feels off, it blends seamlessly. I also have to acknowledge colorist Alex Sinclair, whose work is exceptional here.

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6.0
Green Lantern (2011) #13

Oct 8, 2012

Green Lantern sits at a crossroads. The series can either come back from it’s lackluster year swinging or it can start becoming a bloated, convoluted mess of lame plots and too many characters. In other words, Green Lantern is dangerously close to becoming DC’s X-Men.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #20

May 22, 2013

Over the last ten years, I have had ups and downs with Geoff Johns and his Green Lantern run. To this day, I find Rebirth boring, but I love the Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night and even War of the Green Lanterns. Everything past the New 52 reboots, in my opinion, has been garbage. Still, Johns has stuck with a series that, when he took it over, nobody cared about. In his time, he has given us some amazing work, expanded Sinestro, brought new colors to the corps and even managed to shake up the Guardians idea. Green Lantern #20 may be an overblown finale, but if anybody deserves it, Geoff Johns does.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #23.1

Sep 4, 2013

Rags Morales pencils are solid, but very bare bones. Green Lantern #23.1 is all about creating the idea of a universe bigger than ours, and Morales takes that to heart. Lots of splash pages, larger than normal panels filled to the parameters with figures. The scale Morales works with creates a perfect landscape for the story. Outside of a few pages, he is relaxed with backgrounds and high detail work. Like the light energy, most of this work is to generate a feeling or connection.

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6.0
Green Lantern (2011) #23.3

Sep 23, 2013

While the story from Charles Soule is unremarkable, the art from Alberto Ponticelli is very well done. Ponticelli's slightly surreal pencils add a subtle horror book touch to GL #23.3. While not as directly horror oriented as Creepy, Ponticelli definitely calls on those textures to create the art. Shading, odd color choices for skin, all the details and cityscapes have a certain "rot" to them. It's all very effective. As good as the art is, it can't save another unnecessary story from Villains Month.

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4.0
Green Lantern (2011) #23.4

Sep 25, 2013

Villains Month is starting to strain not just the wallet, but also the patience.

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4.0
Green Lantern (2011) #25

Nov 11, 2013

I'm still very positive on the new Green Lantern direction, and the attempt to tear down Hal Jordan, I just feel DC needs to pump the brakes a bit.

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5.0
Green Lantern (2011) Annual #1

Aug 29, 2012

The title "Rise Of The T,hird Army" would be better suited paying homage to the Beastie Boys album and calling itself Some Old Bullshit.

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9.0
Green Lantern (2011) Annual #2

Oct 30, 2013

The new Green Lantern team is exactly what this universe needed. Exciting, refreshing, and amazingly fun to read. I’m so excited for the future of the GLU!

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps #63

Aug 18, 2011

Green Lantern Corps 63 puts an open-ended cap on the 63 issue series by leaving some questions for the next volume. Will the tensions between human and alien Lantern become and issue? How does Boodikka work into the future of the team and will they be attacked while weak from so many quitting? Granted, I’m not sure how all of that will work within the “five year” reboot timeline. That entire timeline idea resets the reality of the DCU, so how the Green Lantern story just continues on the same is a mystery to me. Regardless, for those who loved this volume of the Green Lantern Corps, #63 is a decent end for it.

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7.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #8

Apr 24, 2012

Fernando Pasarin makes a solid return with GLC #8. His work really helps to save the issue, at least aesthetically. His layouts are killer, his art always highly detailed and fun to look at. I dug his work showing the scope of the Sinestro Corps battery and while the bar fight was unnecessary plot wise, Pasarin made it look cool. I know others find this whole run with GLC to be “fun” and filled with levity. To me, the entire universe feels like it has no direction and if it does, it’s the wrong one.

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5.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #9

May 23, 2012

The art from Fernando Pasarin is acceptable but that's about it. Pasarin's panels feel rushed. The details on the human faces change every few pages and there's not much detail to what's going on. He also appreciates the far off shot of multiple characters way too much. The work in those panels is sketchwork at best; it doesn't look like finished art. Green Lantern Corps #9 features no war, no plot development and nothing that would push a reader to buy the next issue.

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6.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) Annual #1

Jan 30, 2013

If GL rings can bring anything into existence, I’d like to will them to force the creative team behind all the books to raise their game a great deal.

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9.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #3

Nov 25, 2011

With everything firing on all pistons, Green Lantern: New Guardians is becoming the series for fans to pay attention to. Not as heavy-handed as Green Lantern or as simplistic as Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians #3 is one of those issues when art and story come together perfectly.

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7.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #4

Dec 29, 2011

Part of the bigger picture is how issue #4 of Green Lantern: New Guardians feeds into this complete lack of direction within the Lantern Universe. None of the books seem to be able to gel or find their voice. Green Lantern Corps has the most fun and New Guardians is the most consistently well written, but still aren’t anything great. All of the Green Lantern titles feel jumbled, like a giant mess nobody at DC wants to clean up. I’m hoping the creative forces get their act together and align to get the entire Green Lantern Universe on track. As always, Tyler Kirkham’s art is stellar and the colors from Nei Ruffino make the issue worth checking out. Story wise though, there’s just nothing to see here.

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7.0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #22

Jul 17, 2013

Green Lantern: New Guardians #22 is a solid issue, but it seems to be setting us up for a story the GLU has examined to death – the power of the ring. Instead lets focus on the minds of the people, the fall from grace of the Corps. Try making the GL titles human again, instead of just another gigantic space adventure.

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8.5
Green Lantern: New Guardians #24

Oct 17, 2013

Brad Walker. His pencils are insane. He uses every single inch of every single panel. He clutters the pages without allowing the page to feel cluttered. His line work is strong, as are his faces and forms, but his detail work is the real gut punch. Walker uses the panels and their placement very cinematically. The book sweeps with motion and excitement. It’s a seriously visceral slice of comic book art. Walker is to be commended.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #0.1

Feb 27, 2013

John Dell's inks assist McNiven excellently. Dell touches on the cross-hatching, but doesn't get overbearing with it. His outline inks are strong, but he lightens up with hair and facial features. Bad inks could ruin the nuances of McNiven's faces but Dell nails it. Justin Ponsor's colors are wonderful. He uses soft tones to bring the coziness of the farm and the romance to life. Then he abruptly switches, using harsher blue tones beneath everything when the aliens attack. Colorists don't just fill in the pencils, they create mood, and Ponsor does a great job.

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8.5
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #1

Mar 27, 2013

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is a strong first step in the rebooted world of a beloved team.

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8.5
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #5

Aug 6, 2013

Guardians of the Galaxy is an exciting book. There’s something in here for geeks across the board.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #10

Jan 3, 2014

Solid issue, with good action. The next arc of Guardians of the Galaxy may not start until issue #11, but as transitional issues go, this is worthwhile read.

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4.0
Hardcore #1

May 20, 2012

The art is boring. Brian Stelfreeze basically regurgitates the mix of animation and computer graphics. The type of easy work that Image and other companies use to get a book off the ground. For me, Hardcore #1 is a boring disappointment, but it might get better. I won’t know because I have no interest in reading it, but it might evolve into something better than the forgotten Saturday afternoon drive-in flick it is now.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #0

Nov 20, 2013

I know the Harley Quinn book won’t be this odd, but issue #0 has hooked me into reading what comes next.

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6.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #2

Jan 22, 2014

I have high hopes for Harley Quinn, but it’ll need a real story and a better artist before it clicks.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #13

Oct 16, 2013

Hawkeye is brilliant. Touching, heartbreaking and completely engrossing. There is not a better book on the stands right now.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #15

Feb 28, 2014

Hawkeye doesn’t just entertain, it inspires. Fraction and Aja have raised the bar by completely rethinking the narrative and visuals in comics.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #16

Jan 24, 2014

Whether Burton or Bishop, Hawkeye continues to be one of the best titles Marvel cranks out. Fraction, Wu, Aja and Hollingsworth are a revolution.

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9.0
Hellboy: The Fury #3

Aug 15, 2011

Some will take issue with how Hellboy manages to defeat an ultra-dimensional god-like being with his giant fist and a flashy knife and I think they’ll miss the point. Mignola tells a story the way he sees fit but he also knows this is a comic book. No matter what really happens the good guys always win, even if that win comes at a high price. That’s Hellboy in a nutshell, and I’m not sure what the naysayers are expecting.

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6.5
Hunger #1

Jul 24, 2013

Leonard Kirk’s art is very uneven. Just looking through the book, you can tell Kirk is less interested in some panels than others. The entire beginning, set in a burger joint, is sloppy, even lazy – several panels where background characters have no faces, a lack of any detail work, etc. When the story shifts to outer space, Kirk comes alive. The pencils are crisp, the line work solid, and the action intense. If he’s going to draw this book from now on, Kirk needs to keep his A-game in all his panels.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #1

Oct 26, 2011

With all the positive things happening in Incredible Hulk #1, it’s hard to ignore how the new story arc dismisses a lot of the themes Greg Pak brought into the history. In order to enjoy the series you have to separate it from what Pak has done, which is a shame since he had the greatest run on the strongest one there is in recent memory. That aside, The Incredible Hulk #1 was an excellent kick off to the next stage of the character.

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4.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #4

Jan 16, 2012

Art wise, Incredible Hulk #4 is Whilce Portacio trying to be Mark Silvestri and failing. I like Portacio’s work, but not here. It appears Silvestri’s recent medical issues have taken him off the book so Marvel would do better to find one artist with an original style as a opposed to a string of artists doing Mark Silvestri impressions.. I’ve been reading The Incredible Hulk consistently for two decades or more. Now, four issues into the reboot, I’m done with the series until Jason Aaron steps down.

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3.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #5

Feb 9, 2012

The only thing that could have saved the Hulk was art from Marc Silvestri, alas that is not to be. For whatever reason, Silvestri isn’t on the Hulk anymore and now we’re stuck with Whilce Portacio trying to be Marc Silvestri. It’s not that the art isn’t solid, but nobody is Silvestri so Portacio trying to be him doesn’t work. I was really appalled by Portacio’s Banner. Why he decided Banner needed to look like a skinny emo kid with a giant head is beyond me. The rest of the stuff is hit or miss. All the pencils during Doctor Doom’s scenes are wonderful, the rest just seem like a bad copy of a better artist. If Marvel is going to keep this travesty of a series going, they should at least find one great artist with a style completely outside of Marc Silvestri and allow him/her to take over. Granted, it’s a band-aid on a bullet wound, but at least the miserable slop of the current Incredible Hulk would be fun to look at.

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6.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #6

Mar 16, 2012

The art is still a mess. Whilce Portacio still draws Banner like a skinny hipster and he's still trying to mimic original artist Marc Silvestri. Some of the panel layouts are cool, but overall the art is incredibly underwhelming, even sloppy. Where does Hulk go from here and is Banner really dead? I should be driven to find these answers but the way Jason Aaron writes, I just don't care. Still, Incredible Hulk #6 is, thus far, is the dog with the least amount of fleas.

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0.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #7.1

May 17, 2012

Marvel, House Of Ideas, whatever you're calling yourself these days, I implore you to put this madness to an end. The new Hulk reboot is a complete and total failure. The promise of Marc Silvestri's art has fallen through; Jason Aaron has managed to derail the series in just seven issues, and the art post-Silvestri has ranged from bad to laughable to unacceptable. Bring Greg Pak back, give Ed Brubaker the series or Zeb Wells or Greg Rucka or Mark Waid or Dan Slott or even hand it over to Bendis. Do something before you do some damage that we all, finally, walk away from.

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7.5
Indestructible Hulk #1

Nov 21, 2012

Indestructible Hulk #1 is a solid effort but I remain very, very, cautious in my optimism.

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5.0
Indestructible Hulk #2

Dec 21, 2012

Leinil Yu’s art is an entirely different deal. I hate it. All the faces are drawn as though they’re dirty and most often the faces shine as if partially made of metal. Yu’s Hulk is just bad. In an attempt to make him look like Banner, the Hulk loses that monster effect and ends up looking like ‘roided out weight lifter. I’m also not sure why Yu has such a thing for Hulk’s teeth, but he does. In almost every panel that features the Hulk, he’s open mouthed and bearing his teeth. It’s off-putting to look at, as is most of Yu’s art.

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10
Indestructible Hulk #6

Apr 3, 2013

Walt Simonson and Mark Waid are a perfect combination for Indestructible Hulk. This is what comic books are all about.

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9.0
Indestructible Hulk #7

May 2, 2013

Simonson and Waid. Waid and Simonson. Together the two are creating a Hulk story that demands you read it.

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9.5
Indestructible Hulk #8

Jun 2, 2013

Indestructible Hulk is a winning book. Simonson and Waid a winning team. The best there is drawing and writing the strongest there is. What’s not to love?

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6.0
Indestructible Hulk #10

Jul 15, 2013

Matteo Scalera’s art is really hit or miss in issue #10, mainly due to the mouths of the characters. They are over-pronounced, to the point that they often make their owners look like monkeys. It might be Scalera’s obvious manga influences, or just that he has an issue with scale. Whatever the case, the mouths tend to give the whole issue a comedic vibe it doesn’t need. Scalera needs to step up his game.

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9.0
Indestructible Hulk #12

Aug 22, 2013

The Indestructible Hulk continues to smash its way into Hulk glory. An awesome spectacle.

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2.0
Indestructible Hulk #16

Nov 27, 2013

The art from Mahmud Asrar is atrocious. It fails on every single level. Proportions, character faces, shading, backgrounds, action, everything. Imagine a badly drawn episode of Pokemon, and you might get close to the horror show here.

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5.0
Indestructible Hulk #17.INH

Dec 20, 2013

The art here is a mess. Clay & Seth Mann handle pages one through ten, and twelve through thirteen. Their style is flimsy, with thin, weak lines, and character faces that brush very close to parody. Banner’s face is particularly ridiculous. When Miguel Sepulveda takes over, the work is much better, but the contrast of the pages is so obvious that it takes you out of the story. Three people should be able to offer up better art for an iconic character.

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5.0
Infernal Man-Thing #1

Jul 5, 2012

Now you can get the slings and arrows ready, because one of my big problems with the story is the art. I realize Kevin Nowlan is considered the “artists artist,” but I can’t stand his work. It all comes across like soulless watercolors from a dentist’s office. Perhaps on huge canvas this type of work would be stunning, but confined to comic book panels, it looks, well, goofy. I hate the way Nowlan does human faces, especially the woman Brian Lazarus meets in a coffee shop. She always looks almost like the Joker. Again, I wanted to like the art as much as I wanted to like the story, but I ended up enjoying neither.

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8.5
Infinity #1

Aug 15, 2013

Infinity #1 is packed and gorgeous to look at. However, I must agree with Iron Man’s statement towards the end of the story.  “I’m getting tired of end of the world scenarios”.

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10
Infinity #5

Oct 30, 2013

Infinity is a work of staggering excellence. Jonathan Hickman is absolutely one of the best writers in comics, not just now, but ever.

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10
Infinity #6

Nov 27, 2013

Hickman has raised the bar with Infinity. This is a game changer, a story that will have fans in awe and fellow creators inspired. Nothing short of brilliant.

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6.0
Inhumanity #1

Dec 4, 2013

Saving the day visually is Oliver Coipel’s nicely done art. He has a real playground here. Fraction’s story pans decades, races, aliens, everything. Coipel takes full advantage of that. His pencils are creative, always shifting perspectives and dynamics. The end result is art as grand as the story, but not as dull.

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6.5
Iron Man (2012) #1

Nov 7, 2012

Iron Man #1. An obvious attempt to jump-start interest in the third film but handled with enough integrity and talent to read like any other Iron Man tale.

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7.5
Iron Patriot #1

Mar 25, 2014

Garry Brown's art seems like an odd choice for this series, but it works. When you crack open a book involving superhero armor, you expect something bombastic. Brown relies more on subtlety. His line work is thin, but exquisitely detailed. Brown also has a great sense of shading and movement. There is a darkness to the work, something that breathes a level of maturity into the story. Brown is one of those rare talents who can draw the quiet conversation between a father and son as well as a smash-mouth superhero fight.

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5.5
Jinnrise #1

Jan 14, 2013

JinnRise is an acceptable and fun first issue that suffers from poor art.

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5.0
Joe Palooka #1

Dec 21, 2012

If you’re hardcore into MMA fighting then pick up Joe Palooka. If not, approach it as you would a pissed off UFC fighter. With extreme caution.

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6.0
Jupiter's Legacy #1

Apr 24, 2013

Despite some great art, Jupiter's Legacy is further proof that Mark Millar is not nearly as solid a writer as he thinks he is.

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7.5
Justice League #15

Dec 27, 2012

Writer Geoff Johns seems to know the story he wants to tell, but he's in too much of a rush to tell it. I'm also not thrilled with his writing for Justice League. Clearly, he has no idea how to write for Batman. Nothing Batman says sounds or feels like the Dark Knight. It's as if Johns feels the Justice League Batman should be much different than the caped crusader from the pages of Batman or Detective Comics. I haven't read the mess that is New 52 Superman or the new take on Wonder Woman, but both characters have identical voices to them in Justice League, and both come off with dialogue that "sounds" clunky.

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8.5
Justice League #16

Jan 23, 2013

Helping with all this chaos is the art from Ivan Reis. It’s not easy to pencil water, nor is it a simple task to give a storm the kind of visceral feeling that Reis gives the Ocean Master. Reis has such an easy perfection with the human form, he can focus on creating multiple levels of detail. The two-page fold out of Ocean Master unleashing his troops is a wonderful example of this. Reis’s ability to communicate emotion and action is perfectly framed in the panel where Superman loses his temper. Johns’ story thus far is a great one, but it wouldn’t be half as effective without Reis’s art.

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8.0
Justice League #23

Aug 28, 2013

Ivan Reis' art remains superior as always. There are some artists that inherently understand comic books. Reis is one of them. His line work is always top notch, his details excellent, and his use of movement inspired. Issue #23 holds a lot of information and Reis helps disseminate it through his visuals. Two-page splash pages, off-panel placement " he makes all of it tie together. Strong work for an artist who never lets up.

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5.5
Justice League #23.2

Sep 11, 2013

Ben Oliver and Cliff Richards deliver pretty standard sci-fi art. There’s some whimsy to the pencils, the kind that would grace the cover of pulp sci-fi books. Nothing here is spectacular, but it does the job. A bit more imagination in the aliens would have helped; they’re pretty by-the-numbers. It’s clear the focus here is the new Lobo, but attention to the rest of the characters would have been a bonus.

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9.0
Justice League #24

Oct 23, 2013

Justice League #24 gives us more meat to chew on with Crime Syndicate, and makes their story fresh enough to belong in the New 52.

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6.0
Justice League #25

Dec 11, 2013

On the lighter side, Doug Mahnke’s art is gorgeous to look at. Mahnke is a big fight type of artist. His lines are thick, his perspective gloriously huge. If Mahnke was a cameraman, he’d be hired for all the huge action adventure films. The massive splash page with Owlman is killer. Mahnke doesn’t really do subtle, but that’s okay, because he doesn’t have to.

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6.0
Justice League #26

Dec 24, 2013

Too bad, because Ivan Reis’s art is big fun to look at. Reis gets that this is a big deal for DC, and he pencils Justice League in such a way. Everything is bigger than life, each panel is the money shot. At times, Reis’ strong ability to bring action to life saves issue #26 from being completely boring. Reis always brings his A-game – it’s just largely wasted on Justice League.

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5.0
Justice League #27

Jan 24, 2014

I’m not sure who to give art credit to. Layouts have been done by Ivan Reis, but finishes were handed over to Joe Prado, Jesus Merino and Vincent Cifuentes. Overall, the work is nicely executed. I’m assuming Reis didn’t do the line work for the individual characters, as it’s not quite as thick or heavily inked as his usual work. This kind of art is like quality special effects in a blockbuster movie. They look great, but are to be expected. As solid as all of this is, nothing jumps off the page as wholly original.

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7.5
Justice League Dark #13

Oct 26, 2012

Justice League Dark continues to be one of the brightest spots in the new DC Universe.

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7.5
Justice League Dark #20

May 27, 2013

Justice League Dark continues to impress, remaining a hidden gem in the DC Universe.

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7.0
Justice League Dark #22

Jul 24, 2013

Mikel Janin’s art is nicely done, even if it is a little too close to Frank Quitely for comfort. They both have a soft light way of drawing characters. There’s a stiffness to Superman, a rugged reality to Batman, a supermodel vibe to Wonder Woman, all penciled with something that crosses between cartoon and comic book art. With styles so similar, Janin needs to find something that takes his in another direction from Quitely, outside of the fact that he’s not quite as good.

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7.5
Justice League Dark #23

Aug 27, 2013

Trinity War is a mess. I’m looking forward to the return of JLD pre-event status.

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8.0
Justice League Dark #26

Jan 1, 2014

Justice League Dark continues to create compelling stories by coloring outside the DCU lines. It’s some of the most daring work being done in the New 52.

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9.0
Justice League Dark Annual #1

Oct 31, 2012

Justice League Dark is easily one of the brightest jewels in the DC crown.

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8.0
Justice League of America (2013) #6

Jul 17, 2013

Trinity War is a superhero mosh pit. A crackling adventure on an epic scale.

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7.0
Lazarus #1

Jun 27, 2013

Bumps aside, Lazarus #1 is a promising first issue.

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5.0
Lazarus #2

Jul 24, 2013

Lazarus is a competently told story, but needs to find its own voice quickly.

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8.0
Lazarus #4

Oct 7, 2013

The art from Michael Lark jumps off the page in issue #4 unlike it has before. The detail work is still there, the thin lines and sketching are still solid, along with the shading. However, Lark brings the movement of the story to new heights. Forever’s battle against the soldiers coming to kill her is epic. Panel after panel the violence is extreme, and swift. It really helps to bring home the power that Forever wields.

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8.5
Legion of Super-Heroes (2011) #1

Sep 23, 2011

Francis Portela's art is wonderful. His ability to keep the work clean and bold allows for maximum detail, which is necessary for a comic like Legion. Portela also knows how to add subtle nuances to the faces and expressions of the Legionnaires in order to keep them different and interesting. Overall, the art has the same frenetic pace as the writing and together the synergy is quite refreshing.

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0.0
Loki: Ragnarok and Roll #1

Feb 19, 2014

Jerry Gaylord's art doesn't fair any better. He is so preoccupied with making every panel over the top that they just become goofy. I appreciate the attempt at frenetic energy, but it fails here because it is empty. A bad story with art that tries too hard does nothing but give you a headache. Much like the clich characters, Gaylord's illustrations of them, especially in the club, are laughable creations of somebody who must have never set foot in a nightclub in his life. Girls with names like "Impurity"? Give me a break.

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4.0
Lord of the Jungle #1

Jan 23, 2012

The art from Roberto Castro is passable but nothing to get excited about. His approach to the work has a factory like nature to it. Every panel is handled to push the story along, there’s nothing dynamic or original about it. Castro’s pencils just adds to the dull and unnecessary vibe that surrounds this issue and probably will the series. There are so many interesting and new ways to have this iconic character exist in comics; I’m befuddled by Dynamite’s decision to use the most well-worn and repeated version.

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9.0
Magneto (2014) #1

Mar 3, 2014

With so many of the X-Men titles being about intergalactic or world-ending situations, it’s nice to see a street level story for once. Especially when it kicks as much ass as this one did.

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8.0
Marvel Knights: Hulk #1

Dec 13, 2013

Piotr Kowalski brings his refined artistic sensibilities to Marvel Knights Hulk.  While keeping some of the trappings of standard comic book art, Kowalski brings something almost intangible, a dynamic in his pencils more akin to cartoons in The New Yorker, or old Broadway theater posters. The lines are soft here, relying more on complex strokes than hard, thick inking. Kowalski’s faces are outside the norm for comics, but the way he communicates the Hulk in flashbacks is very powerful. This is a perfect blend of fine art skill and comic book appreciation.

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8.5
Masks #1

Nov 28, 2012

Masks is a great book. The kind of comic book storytelling I wish we saw more of.

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8.0
Masks #2

Dec 24, 2012

Masks isn’t just for those who love Golden Age books, it’s for those who love comic books across the board.

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5.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #1

Sep 11, 2013

Greg Land pencils the book and, while not everybody is smiling like a smug cunt (the Greg Land staple), there is some of that. The entire scene between Spectrum and her tailor is cunt-smiles all around. Land is a competent artist, just not very exciting. Character faces are usually forced into reactions all the time, the shading is more often than not dull and, overall, Land can communicate the action, but not involve you with it.

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10
Miracleman #1

Jan 16, 2014

If Watchmen is the Ramones of the movement to mature and darken the world of superheroes, then Miracleman is The Stooges and the MC5 rolled into one.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #1

Feb 3, 2014

With so much slam-bang noise being made by the other Marvel Now issues exploding onto the screen. Ms. Marvel makes an impact with a quieter style that's more elegant and charming.

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3.0
Mudman #1

Nov 16, 2011

"Here’s mud in your eye."

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9.0
New Avengers (2010) #16

Sep 16, 2011

Another thing kicking this issue into high gear is the art from Mike Deodato. I’ve been enjoying the more lighthearted work over on the actual Daredevil series so much that I forgot how cool he is when he’s drawn with a darker flair. Deodato’s sense of movement and action is so well executed here. I also loved his panel layouts. So much movement and drama can be displayed just in how the panels are put together and Deodato takes full advantage of that. Each panel is just a tiny visceral work of art. The New Avengers #16 proved me really, really wrong and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) #17

Oct 17, 2011

Mike Deodato and Will Conrad do a great job with the art. These two are detail-oriented artists, putting as much into the backgrounds as the focus of each panel. At the risk of sounding insulting, Deodato and Conrad have a very Michael Bay vibe going on in issue 17. Every single panel is the money shot; it's all presented with huge movement and epic action. This is one of the highest-octane comics I've read in a long time and it's all because of the art. It's clean even for such high detail and the characters are spot on. This is easily my favorite thing about this entire issue.

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6.0
New Avengers (2010) #29

Aug 10, 2012

Nothing happens here, nothing is solved, the plot isn’t pushed forward, it’s just a filler issue. Mike Deodato’s helps save the issue with his pencils. The opening two page spread is fantastic, a complete knock out. Deodato loves shading, and the inks weigh heavily in the faces of each character. With such little action, the pencils and inks help convey the emotion of the situation and the depth of desperation the Avengers are feeling. While the story is lackluster, Deodato’s art does a great job of lifting the whole issue above mediocrity.

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6.0
New Avengers (2010) #31

Oct 18, 2012

I wasn’t as big a fan of Michael Gaydos’s art. His lines are weak and they push across the line between a loose and flowing fine art look and that of just being sloppy. Gaydos’s faces seem to be one step away from melting and his overreliance on shadow just kills any depth to the work. He also has trouble not making female faces look incredibly masculine. Shaky artwork aside, New Avengers #31 is a well-crafted kick off to what seems like a good story.

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8.0
New Avengers (2010) #34

Nov 28, 2012

Mixed feelings about art and Bendis leaving aside, New Avengers #34 is an absolute gem of a book.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 2, 2013

Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers is a darker themed and very exciting new road for the series.

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9.0
New Avengers (2013) #2

Jan 18, 2013

Overlooking the flaw that there are no real New Avengers in this starting story, Jonathan Hickman has pushed this title into a whole new arena.

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8.5
New Avengers (2013) #4

Mar 25, 2013

Intelligent and exciting, New Avengers continues to prove that Hickman is an MVP amongst comic book writers.

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9.5
New Avengers (2013) #5

Apr 24, 2013

New Avengers continues to outdo itself. Just when you think Jonathan Hickman can't top himself, he does.

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10
New Avengers (2013) #13.INH

Jan 1, 2014

Jonathan Hickman's staggering talent has injected a much needed shot of intelligence and adrenaline into New Avengers. Bianchi's art is equally devastating. An absolute gut-punch of a book.

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4.0
New Warriors (2014) #1

Feb 19, 2014

I have no clue where the future of New Warriors will go. Hopefully it will be something a little less pedestrian.

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5.0
Night Force #1

Mar 11, 2012

Tom Mandrake's art doesn't help the situation. The lack of consistency in the work is staggering. On some pages the pencils are nicely done, strong lines, good use of shading, and a real excellent nod to noir. In others it looks like bad Mad Magazine rips offs. From page to page, there is no stability of form. Night Force comes across like Mandrake tried one day and didn't the next. The uneven art hurts an already uneven story. The return of Night Force isn't a bad thing, it just isn't anything to get excited about.

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7.5
Nightwing (2011) #9

May 16, 2012

On the bright side, Higgins does a great job of giving Nightwing the upper hand against an indestructible foe. The art from Eddie Barrows does a great job of bringing Higgins’ story to life. Not only is there great movement to each panel, but Barrows also has a great way of introducing pain. Between the blood, the motion and the weapons, Barrows art really makes you feel how beat down Nightwing is. It makes his triumph against his grandfather that much sweeter. I’m back on board Nightwing for now; cautiously optimistic that it will stop sucking.

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8.0
Nightwing (2011) #10

Jun 25, 2012

Both men seem to have an eye for detail and a great use of shadow, especially the exchange between Commissioner Gordon and the Deputy Mayor. The only issue I have with the art is how Dick Grayson is drawn outside of his costume. He’s way too young and he has this weird Asian quality to his face. I don’t care about that except Dick Grayson isn’t Asian so it seems odd. Other than that, the art is really solid. I particularly loved the cover, which comes from Eddy Barrows, inker Eber Ferreira and colorist Rod Reis. If this quality keeps up, Nightwing could become a real asset to the New 52.

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6.0
Nightwing (2011) #11

Jul 23, 2012

I’m not giving up on Nightwing just yet. I hold on to the hope that Higgins will find his voice and that the series will take off in some new and interesting ways.

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7.0
Nightwing (2011) #26

Dec 13, 2013

I’m really excited for Kyle Higgins' direction with Nightwing. If he gets a stronger artist, this could become a premiere title for DC.

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6.5
Nightwing (2011) Annual #1

Nov 1, 2013

Art for this annual comes from three sources. The main pencils belong to Jason Masters, assisted by Daniel Sampere and Vicente Cifuentes. With three times the artistic power, you’d think the work here would rise above standard comic book fare. It doesn’t. Nothing happening within the pages is bad, it’s just nothing to get excited about. Having no idea who is responsible for what, it’s hard to say who owns what errors. In several panels, there are problems with body proportions, which takes you out of the story. The faces are pretty interchangeable, such as the female Hollywood producer and Barbara Gordon. While those mistakes are glaring, the movement and action in the panels is executed very well. The overall effect is that the art tells the story, but never establishes itself as part of it.

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7.0
Nova (2013) #1

Feb 20, 2013

Nova #1 is a solid jump off point to bring a peripheral hero into full frame.

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8.5
Nova (2013) #3

Apr 22, 2013

An effective blend of sci-fi and superheroes, Nova is continuously entertaining and all around great fun.

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6.0
Nova (2013) #6

Jul 20, 2013

Paco Medina’s art is rather lacking. The facial expressions he pencils are entirely too overblown, plus each face looks dirty, as if Sam and the rest of the cast need to wash themselves. The pencils are also stagnant, there’s no movement to them at all. A book like Nova needs art that moves at a brisk pace. Medina’s work is rushed, it comes off too still for something as action oriented as Nova. I think Zeb Wells writing would be better served by another artist.

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6.5
Nova (2013) #9

Oct 28, 2013

Nova continues to be a great title, but Zeb Wells deserves a more interesting artist.

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0.0
One-Hit Wonder #1

Feb 26, 2014

The end of One Hit Wonder doesn't matter because none of the rest of the book matters. This is like something Sapolsky mined from Quentin Tarantino's dumpster. The art is terrible as well. Ariel Olivetti has a style that seems taken right from a dentist's office wall-art. No expression, nothing interesting, just panel after panel of easy characters and dull action. I'm not sure who at Image Comics approved this garbage, but lets hope their job is up for review soon.

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5.0
Origin II #1

Dec 24, 2013

Origin II needed to capture fans right out of the gate. It has failed to do so.

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7.0
Pigs #1

Sep 14, 2011

The only place I felt a bit let down was the art. Given how amazing the cover is and the general vibe of the story, I really wanted a darker, more noir feeling to the whole thing. Breno Tamura is clearly a talented artist, but it’s very straightforward. The layout is standard, the work itself has a seventies comic book feel but never jumps out at you. There is a school of thought that art doesn’t always have to pop. Fair enough. That being said, it should meld with the story, and here it just doesn’t. Pigs needed darker, more stylized visuals and that just doesn’t come across.

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8.0
Punisher (2011) #1

Aug 3, 2011

Marco Checchetto turns in some of his best work to date with Punisher #1. I like his interplay between standard panel layout and more unexpected pages. Checchetto understands that for real movement and action to unfold, there has to be a succession of images that allow our imagination to fill in the blanks. His work on both scenes of violence move like film sequences and the rest of the book keeps a rapid fire pace that makes the issue a page-turner. Punisher #1 is a re-launch of a character that is beset on all sides by the violence and greed of evil men. You have to tell that story with fluidity and action, something Cheecchetto does with ease. I won’t come out fully and say the Punisher is back; Marvel could still screw it up, but for now I’m happier with the character than I have been for a long time.

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9.0
Punisher (2011) #2

Aug 24, 2011

Helping Rucka tell his tale is artist Marco Checchetto, who also bats it out of the park. His style is softer than you’d expect, not a lot of hard lines or edges. By using that technique, Checchetto brings in a feeling of low budget 70s exploitation films. Think Taxi Driver or The Panic In Needle Park. Helping Checchetto achieve that vibe is colorist Matt Hollingsworth, who uses shadow and light, deep colors and blurry backgrounds to set up a very urban scene. Punisher #2 is a breath of fresh air for those of us tired of seeing Frank Castle stuck in bad stories with writing that was beneath him. If Marvel leaves Rucka alone and doesn’t screw it up, this might be a new dawn for a character long overdue for a reboot.

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9.5
Punisher (2011) #4

Oct 12, 2011

The story that Norah ultimately decides to tell is a nice touch, one that shows the line between not feeling bad for who Frank Castle kills but also not seeing the Punisher as a hero. Once again, Rucka’s masterful storytelling works wonders in recreating a character many had long thought lost to stupid plot twists and writers who confused machismo with drive. The art from Marco Checchetto is still great. He has the Punisher looking a little younger than I’d like but I can overlook that. The story is brought to life in a very cinematic way. During the Punisher scenes, the art is done with a muted blue overtone, very dark, while the other scenes have vibrancy to them, more color involved. Everything here remains within the noir ideal; but Checchetto’s art is pushed further by Matt Hollingsworth’s color work. Four issues into this reinvention and Greg Rucka and his team have done more to breathe new life into the Punisher than any one has in decades.

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7.0
Punisher (2011) #5

Nov 21, 2011

The work by Marco Checchetto is awesome. Especially the winter scenes. He conveys the isolation of winter very well, which mirrors Frank’s soul. I wasn’t a huge fan of Punisher with a beard. Though it was well drawn, Punisher looked like Eddie Rabbit and Keanu Reeves had a kid who worked out a lot. The rest of the book held that noir sensibility, but Checchetto really wove in the entire idea of winter and how it affects people. Punisher #5 gives me cause for alarm, but only just so. I trust Rucka will pull this from the fire.

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9.0
Punisher (2011) #14

Aug 24, 2012

When the action kicks in, Suayan jump-starts what he does and brings a lot of motion to it. When Punisher slides across a building and lands squarely in a bad guy’s jaw, you feel it. The panels where Gerard dies by Alves’ hand are gorgeous in their brutality. Punisher #14 continues to give more weight and literary significance to a character that always deserved it.

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8.0
Punisher (2011) #16

Sep 26, 2012

Ironically, Marco Checchetto’s is at it’s best during the rain park scene. His use of shadow, the way he pencils rain to make it look heavy and thick, it adds so much to the feeling of despair washing over Alves. The rain is a purifying metaphor and Checchetto drives that home. The man has always known how to draw and has always had his own dark style, but these pages at the end of Punisher #16 are some of his best work. It’s too bad the story fell just short of the mark.

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8.0
Punisher (2014) #1

Feb 3, 2014

If the story begins to click with the visuals, Marvel Now's Punisher could be the book to beat in 2014.

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4.0
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #1

Sep 25, 2013

As much as it pains me to say it, it’s time for Castle to go. Let those who have penned his best stories come together for a year-long story arc that culminates in his death. Let Punisher go gracefully, let him step out while he still has dignity.

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5.5
Punisher: War Zone #1

Oct 24, 2012

Punisher War Zone #1 is not a great start to Rucka’s swan song, but, like I said, I have faith.

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5.0
Punisher: War Zone #2

Dec 6, 2012

Another problem with War Zone #2 is the art. Carmine Di Giandomenico is either a naturally sloppy artist or wasn’t given much time to pencil this issue. Everything in this issue feels rushed, from the blocky human characters to the overly dull backgrounds. Nothing pops, nothing looks like time was taken with it. Panel after panel, Punisher War Zone #2 comes off as rushed and slapdash.

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4.5
Punisher: War Zone #4

Feb 4, 2013

While I hold no hope for the art, I do hope that War Zone #5 ends this Rucka run on Punisher with the kind of impact it deserves.

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8.0
Punisher: War Zone #5

Feb 27, 2013

Punisher: War Zone was a bumpy ride, but Rucka proves with this issue why he needs to be counted as one of the most important contributors to Frank Castle's legacy.

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8.0
Punk Rock Jesus #1

Jul 14, 2012

Punk Rock Jesus is a blast of fresh air in a comic world that can become stilted with superhero tales.

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10
Punk Rock Jesus #3

Sep 12, 2012

Punk Rock Jesus is nothing short of masterful. The characters are rich with personality, the plot is layered and the textures in the art allow for maximum enjoyment. I have not been this excited about a comic book in a long time.

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10
Punk Rock Jesus #4

Oct 15, 2012

Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus belongs in the same league as Watchmen, it’s a complete game changer.

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10
Punk Rock Jesus #5

Nov 16, 2012

Punk Rock Jesus is as good as comic books get. Nothing else comes close.

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7.0
Punk Rock Jesus #6

Jan 2, 2013

Punk Rock Jesus is still the best mini-series of 2012, but #6 is just shy of delivering on the level the other five issues did.

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1.0
Rebel Blood #1

Mar 21, 2012

The art from Alex Link doesn't help matters. I'm guessing he was trying to make it weird or noir or horror-noir but it mostly looks rushed and unfinished. Somebody needs to inform Mr. Link that hurriedly slashing a bunch of lines together doesn't make the work seem "edgy" or "dark." Rebel Blood is a travesty. Avoid it like you would avoid an oncoming herd of real zombies.

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7.0
Red Lanterns #24

Oct 24, 2013

This could have been a great book, but instead it’s incredibly frustrating. My reasons? The art. Writer Charles Soule has penned a great book, and artist Alessandro Vitti just craps all over it. Let’s start with Guy Gardner, whose head and face are on a Rob Liefeld level of awful. At some points, Gardner looks like his nose is broken, on other panels his face is flat. Hal Jordan’s face is worse. Vitti has him making these absurd faces, like he’s pooping razor blades made of acid. Panel after panel, the art is just sloppy, badly formulated and boring. It completely saps the energy of the book.

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8.0
Red Skull: Incarnate #1

Jul 9, 2011

I liked how Pak set the scene up. Schmidt refuses to kill an innocent puppy when tasked to it by the dogcatcher, but when the other dogs in the yard attack and kill the puppy, Schmidt snaps and beats them to death. It's a nice juxtaposition of the Red Skull's violent rage and this side of him we don't know that defends those who are small and weak. I'm interested to see how Pak deepens the already established history of Johann Schmidt, how he elaborates on the myth and brings humanity to the story. The art for Red Skull Incarnate is put together in a really unique manner. Mirko Colak creates every panel as almost a Norman Rockwell snapshot. While this sacrifices motion, it makes the story epic, almost tragically beautiful. Most of the time this kind of fine art falls flat for me, but here it elevates the story.

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0.0
Robocop: Beta #1

Feb 26, 2014

Emilio Laiso's art is strictly by the numbers. No flair, no originality, just standard comic book art, especially for companies like Boom. The only thing that does stand out is how sloppy and rushed it all looks. The Michael Keaton likeness alone is enough to put the book down. Perhaps Laiso would excel on another project, but here he makes a boring story worse.

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8.5
Satellite Sam #1

Jul 3, 2013

Satellite Sam #1 is a killer opening. Sexy, vulgar and completely entertaining.

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7.0
Savage Wolverine #1

Jan 17, 2013

Savage Wolverine #1 is a good start. Let’s hope Cho can keep it up.

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10
Savage Wolverine #8

Sep 23, 2013

Joe Madureira’s are is phenomenal. The pencils are grotesque at some points, at others merely creepy. There’s a certain air to Savage Wolverine, a vibe of violence and decay, something surreal and disturbing. Madureira nails that perfectly. The Arbitrators are vicious but somehow regal, Elektra is severe and yet still feminine, and when the berserker rage hits, it’s some of the best Wolverine art in recent memory. I can only hope that Wells and Madureira are in it for the long haul.

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6.5
Savage Wolverine #9

Oct 2, 2013

The art is classic Jock. Very angular, lots of dark shading and jagged lines. The terrain of the planet is bare, but Jock manages to make the backgrounds like dangerous. Logan looks solid, though some of the panels have him looking like wrestler Sami Callihan (who goes by Solomon Crowe in WWE’s NXT). Jock’s action is still well done, and his ability with texture is second to none. Savage Wolverine #9 is a solid entry to a new storyline. Let’s just hope Jock can pull it off with the same level of excellence Zeb Wells achieved.

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7.0
Savage Wolverine #14

Jan 7, 2014

I’m glad Savage Wolverine is around. It’s a superb playground that allows talented creators to give their ideas on the enigma that is Wolverine.

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8.0
Secret #1

Apr 11, 2012

The art from Ryan Bodenheim is solid and executed with a real eye towards cinema. Bodenheim uses color more as a gel over the eye of "camera" on each panel. The figures are black and white but the color scheme is different to match the emotion of each panel. It's a very effective, in a minimalist way, of getting the story across. It's brutal, slick, and very film noir. As of right now, Secret could go either way. It could travel a road to greatness or shit the bed entirely. Issue one gives me enough hope that I'll move on to issue two.

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5.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #1

Feb 15, 2013

Secret Avengers #1 is an idea that could play out well in a mini-series. It feels like a real stretch to try and push it into a monthly.

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9.0
Severed #1

Aug 2, 2011

Attila Futaki’s art is what ties up this little package. Doing period anything - horror, war, high seas adventure - works only if the art kicks ass. With Severed, Futaki attacks it as if he was the dark and weird cousin of Norman Rockwell. The pages are atmospheric and tranquil, but there’s a darkness to them that bubbles just under the surface. Futaki’s earth tone color palette helps give Severed a more realistic vibe. He’s painting a lighter era of American history but making sure we know that darkness is there. The story possibilities with Severed are endless, especially with Jack being an old man when we meet him. If Severed #1 is any indication, Snyder, Tuft and Futaki could bring to comic books a series that would make Poe or Lovecraft proud.

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8.5
She-Hulk (2014) #1

Feb 11, 2014

Javier Pulido’s art is perfect for this series. His work is very stylized, bringing in elements from the Silver Age, but blending them with an animation vibe. While still cheery, and upbeat, Pulido manages to cram in action in all the panels. The simple act of She-Hulk ordering drinks at a bar is executed in a really exciting way. I also applaud his character faces, which are wonderfully expressive. Pulido never lets us forget that we are looking at a comic book.

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9.0
She-Hulk (2014) #2

Mar 7, 2014

 She-Hulk is another win for Charles Soule. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

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8.0
Sheltered #1

Jul 10, 2013

Sheltered is a gut check. Brisson and Christmas have decided to come out swinging. A great read.

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5.0
Sidekick #1

Aug 7, 2013

I'm sure Sidekick will expand and deepen as the series continues, but already the structure is questionable, and many of the scenes follow the standard of an "adult themed" superhero series.

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4.0
Silver Surfer (2014) #1

Mar 25, 2014

As unhappy as I was with the writing, the truly egregious sin comes from Michael Alrred’s art. Again, Silver Surfer comes across like a bad cartoon. Surfer doesn’t look sleek and dynamic – he looks doughy. The other characters are sloppy, and there is a rushed look to the entire issue. It’s as if Allred was more focused on being funny than creating a good look for the series. Surfer books don’t work with art that looks like a cross between poor indie art and old Archie comics.

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5.0
Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 #1

Mar 12, 2014

The glaring problem is the art. After a beautiful Alex Ross cover, the interior work is just lame. It’s a problem Dynamite has had in the past, a dedication to finding people who can draw characters to look like their human counterparts, without actually finding great artists. Juan Antonio Ramirez is a solid factory artist, somebody who understands what goes where and why it goes there, but he has no style, no presence, and the Six Million Dollar Man book suffers because of it. This is the kind of work that would be a good fit for backgrounds, but not main characters or action. Dynamite needs to make an artist switch if they want Six Million Dollar Man to really catch on.

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8.0
Sovereign #1

Mar 20, 2014

Paul Maybury’s art is excellent, especially for this kind of series. The work has a distinct and specific look, one that draws on inspiration from old, classic stories like The Three Musketeers or The Man In The Iron Mask. His pencils are thin, but exquisitely detailed. There is a rustic quality about every panel, which allows for Roberson's  story to really come to life. Hopefully, that story finds stable ground and Sovereign finds an audience.

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6.0
Spider-Men #1

Jun 14, 2012

Sara Pichelli’s art is solid. I like her discretion at background detail. If there’s little action in the foreground we get heavy backgrounds, if the action is heavier upfront, the backgrounds are almost nil. Pichelli’s human forms are well executed and I like how she pencils Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. Nothing here is stunning, but it is solid and does help tell the story. I’ll continue picking up Spider-Men to see where the story goes but, as of issue #1, I’m underwhelmed.

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3.0
Star Wars #1

Jan 9, 2013

Another thing is the art, which sucks. The name of the artist doesn’t matter here because it’s that same repetitive style that tends to creep into these kinds of comics. The panels are placed very rigidly and the art within them looks more computer-created than hand drawn. This is art that only tells the story - it simply brings to life what the written word says. With no life or identity of their own, the pencils within Star Wars #1 become more a hindrance than a help.

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6.0
Supergirl (2011) #1

Sep 26, 2011

Instead we get something that feels aimed at dumbing down the character and excluding any fans that have followed her from the start. Green might turn it all around but honestly, I don't care enough to read another issue. The art from Mike Johnson is cool but not spectacular. I was confused as to why Supergirl had lip-gloss on, though I did like the pencils of her eyes when the heat vision kicks in. The work moves the story along but, like the plot, does little else. Supergirl #1 is a good read for new fans, young girls looking to see what she's about and grown men trying to explain why Supergirl would be a great costume for their girlfriend to wear on Halloween.

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5.0
Superior Carnage #1

Jul 17, 2013

Overall, Superior Carnage is anything but.

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5.0
Superior Spider-Man #1

Jan 9, 2013

The art for Superior Spider-Man is handled by Ryan Stegman, whose style is so close to Humberto Ramos that it makes you more miss Ramos than champion Stegman. Nothing is inherently wrong with the pencils, I'm just unsure why Marvel would stick Slott with a Ramos clone as opposed to just getting him Ramos. Even if I loved the story, I'd still think the art is an average copy of a superior artist.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #6

Mar 20, 2013

Superior Spider-Man is a challenging story arc. It forces us to look at how we have defined Spider-Man and how we have taken him for granted. Powerful stuff from a powerful writer.

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6.5
Superior Spider-Man #8

Apr 17, 2013

I'm in no way giving up on Superior Spider-Man, nor do I expect to be let down once the story plays out. Issue 8 is just a bad day, a stumble on the path towards greater Spider-Man glory.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #9

May 1, 2013

I have full faith in Dan Slott. His hold on Spider-Man is nothing less than brilliant.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #12

Jun 19, 2013

I can’t deny it. Superior Spider-Man is one of the best written series of the year. Dan Slott should be commended for reinventing a villain, a hero and a long running series.

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9.0
Superior Spider-Man #15

Aug 9, 2013

Like the death of Gwen Stacy, the alien costume, or even the death of Uncle Ben, Superior Spider-Man will, for certain, go down as one of the key moments and greatest runs in Spider-Man history.

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9.5
Superior Spider-Man #18

Sep 18, 2013

The always-good Ryan Stegman nails the artwork. Superior #18 is a big issue; a slam-bang action issue that’s also brimming with plot movements. Stegman controls the art with the same mastery that Slott does the text. No wasted lines, no filler panels. Stegman also keeps a bigger perspective on the action through panel placement. His usual solid lines and gift of communicating movement are in tow as well. I am a hardcore Humberto Ramos fan, but Stegman is awesome, too.

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10
Superior Spider-Man #19

Oct 16, 2013

Issue after issue, Dan Slott adds not only to the canon of Spider-Man, but the very fabric of comic history. A run doesn’t get more important than this.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #23

Dec 4, 2013

Superior Spider-Man continues to be one of the most important eras in the history of the character. Issue #23 is just a dull bump in that road.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #26

Jan 29, 2014

Several artists pencil Superior Spider-Man #26. Humberto Ramos, Javier Rodriguez and Marcos Martin. Ramos handles the Goblin fight, Rodriguez the Avengers arc, and Martin the scenes involving Peter Parker in Ock’s mind. The three artists styles are very different, which works really well for the story. Ramos’s bombastic style brings out the action of the Goblin War, while Rodriguez’s lighter touch gives the Avengers scenes their own life. Finally, Martin’s work clicks especially well within the dream-like center of Ock’s brain. Three compelling visual styles for a book that is anything but.

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5.0
Superior Spider-Man Annual #1

Nov 20, 2013

Javier Rodriguez’s art is satisfactory. It’s nothing to rage about, but it tells the story. Rodriguez is coming with the same nod-towards-the-silver-age vibe of Chris Samnee, but somehow doesn’t elevate the work past mere cartoons. It’s hard to take Blackout seriously when he looks like Morbius dressed up for a western themed wedding. I’m sure in another setting Rodriguez’s art would work, here it just feels too goofy.

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4.0
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1

Jul 24, 2013

David Lopez's art jumps the shark in one issue. The beginning is great. Solid line work, a really cool looking Spider-Man, and great movement. At about the time The Avengers confront Doc Ock's Spider-Man, the work falls apart. Thor looks twelve, Captain America looks pointy, the whole thing comes across way too cartoonish. If Marvel wants to continue the Superior Spider-Man arc, they have to do better than this.

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4.5
Superman (2011) #23.1

Sep 6, 2013

Jeff Johnson's art is a little too goofy for this issue. Johnson has an obvious love for '80s comic book art. The lack of shading, the broad backgrounds and his use of overly thick lines are well executed, but wrong for this Bizarro story. With so much death and pain involved, there is an inherent need for something dark, shaded, and a bit less cut and dried. Johnson's work isn't bad, it just fails to meet the dramatic requirements of Bizarro #1.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #1

Jun 12, 2013

Superman Unchained is poised to bring a new layer of depth and excitement to the first superhero.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #2

Jul 10, 2013

Superman Unchained is an exceptional piece of work. A fun, imaginative, and exciting story produced by one of the finest teams comic book fans could ask for.

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8.5
Superman Unchained #3

Aug 21, 2013

Superman Unchained reinvigorates the hero through keen insight and flawless art. There’s a reason Superman has been around seventy-five years. Snyder and Lee take those reasons and ramp them up as high as they can.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #4

Nov 6, 2013

Superman Unchained is unquestionably the new bar by which all Superman stories should be told going forward. Snyder and Lee have reinvigorated not just the Man of Steel, but also his supporting cast. A knockout series across the board.

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9.0
Superman Unchained #5

Dec 31, 2013

Great fun to read, and beautiful to look at, Superman Unchained is subversive. Wrapped within an exciting comic book tale are ideas and emotions that will go on to redefine Superman as an icon.

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7.0
Superman Unchained #6

Mar 21, 2014

Jim Lee’s art is another lesson on how to pencil a big fight book. Heavy inks, thick lines, details, an amazing ability with anatomy and action, Lee makes it look easy. There are a few artists out there who have achieved this iconic status but don’t allow their work to become easy, or repetitive. Jim Lee is at the top of that list. You can feel his passion for the work in each panel.

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8.5
Superman/Wonder Woman #1

Oct 9, 2013

Superman/Wonder Woman could end up seriously redefining the idea of a power couple.

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9.0
Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Nov 13, 2013

Superman/Wonder Woman is a prime example of how to write these icons. Soule and Daniel have knocked this one out of the park.

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8.5
Swamp Thing (2011) #0

Sep 5, 2012

I also enjoyed Kano’s knack for panel placement as well as switching of styles between human and creature. His humans are thin lines, very meek looking. In contrast, his monsters are thickly drawn with an enormous amount of weight to them. What Kano does in this book is really terrific horror art. Swamp Thing #0 can be considered another victory for both author and artist.

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9.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #1

Sep 7, 2011

The art from Yanick Paquette is cool except for his glaring inability to draw Superman’s face. First off, this is the reboot and I hate the new Superman costume. The whole armor guise makes the Man of Steel look like he mugged Tron. I also dislike the new “S”; it’s way too big. None of that is Paquette’s fault and he does a solid job with the new design. The lion’s share of the art is spot on, especially the very awesome Swamp Thing. My only gripe is that Paquette makes Superman look like the guy from Man Vs. Food. It’s disheartening to try and focus on what Superman is saying but also keep waiting for him to take a spicy food challenge. Regardless of that, Swamp Thing #1 is an issue that can stand proudly with the long and brilliant history of one of DC’s most under appreciated characters.

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10
Swamp Thing (2011) #2

Oct 7, 2011

There’s a definite connection between Swamp Thing and Animal Man outside of them being the two most interesting DC comics out right now. Both have master storytellers telling tales derived from nature, both series have art that does more than illustrate the words and both are creating a heightened sense of reality, one just to the left of normal. I hope these two characters cross paths one day, but more I hope that Snyder and Paquette and Animal Man’s Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman continue to put out bold and exciting comics that raise the bar of what can be done.

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9.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #4

Dec 9, 2011

The art from Marco Rudy is a massive part of what makes Swamp Thing #4 work. The opening scene is incredibly gruesome but also really creepy. Rudy has an interesting style in that his lines are strong but the panels are still tuned with a fine art sketch vibe, very detailed. The visuals are always right in tune with the story, neither really ever overshadows the other. Swamp Thing #4 continues Snyder’s quest to add his own verse to the Swamp Thing mythos.

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9.5
Swamp Thing (2011) #6

Feb 6, 2012

Marco Rudy’s art is the uppercut knock-out shot of the entire exercise. First, let me talk about layout. Not since Batwoman have I seen layouts this spectacular. Each page contains a really special statement to what comic books could and should look like. Epic double page spreads, panels that begin one place and end inside a second panel. Moving panel edges, combinations of various scenes, its all so gorgeous that it lifts Snyder’s story into something else. Rudy also has a keen sense of macabre and that which is really unnerving. In short, the guy can draw fucked up and creepy better than most. Swamp Thing #6 is a keeper.

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10
Swamp Thing (2011) #7

Mar 8, 2012

Yanick Paquette absolutely unleashes here. The art is glorious. Paquette throws the gauntlet down with what’s possible regarding panel layout and fills in those panels with wonderful, beautiful and graphically horrific things. Every single stroke of the pen is brilliant. Every vile creature of The Rot is disturbing and the visuals of the Parliament Of Trees burning really impactful. It’s as if Paquette knew this was a game changer and decided to unleash his own vision of hell. Swamp Thing #7 is a stunning piece of comic book literature that should be the new bar by which al other books are measured.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #9

May 3, 2012

Visually, the issue fires on all pistons. Goddamn but Yanick Paquette is a fucking beast. His work on Swamp Thing has been so good, so outside that box that I hope other artists are paying attention. His layouts are imaginative, his pencils perfect, his ability to communicate horror or action or beauty is above reproach. I especially love his eye for detail. While Swamp Thing #9 wasn’t as much fun to read as usual, it was seriously fun to look at.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #10

Jun 12, 2012

Art wise, Francesco Francavilla is right on as always. His version of Anton Arcane is so evil that in one panel the character is reborn. I love Francavilla’s use of shadow in this issue. The shots of Arcane are shaded in a way to bring maximum creepiness and yet the swamp images are shaded in a style that makes the swamp inviting but secretive. I was especially knocked out by Francavilla’s use of color. The panels are so lush that they almost bleed off the page. I’m still waiting for this war to happen, but for now I can sink a little deeper into the swamp.

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8.5
Swamp Thing (2011) #11

Jul 12, 2012

Swamp Thing is not an easy character to write or visualize and Scott Snyder and Marco Rudy do an outstanding job of it.

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9.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #18

Mar 6, 2013

Swamp Thing #18 is a perfect end to a historic run from Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette.

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6.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #23.1

Sep 18, 2013

Jesus Saiz's art is well executed, but he's not given much to do. Outside of a few flashbacks, most of Swamp Thing #23.1 is a conversation between Abby and Arcane in an open field. Saiz makes the most of it, especially where zombie Arcane is involved. The small details and line work give zombie Arcane an awful, decaying vibe. Abby is solid, too, though her look is way too early-eraMcFarlane Image comics for me. Overall, Saiz has some effective pencils, though I'd like to see what he does with more content.

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6.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #25

Nov 11, 2013

While the story of Swamp Thing continues to stagger, the art excels. Jesus Diaz, while not Yanick Paquette, is seriously talented. He excels at creating this natural world. His details work is exceptional, and his pencils really capture an organic feel to the whole Swamp Thing Universe. It’s not easy to differentiate characters who all look the same, so kudos to Diaz for that. Visually, Swamp Thing #25 is much more exhilarating than the story.

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8.0
Talon #0

Sep 28, 2012

Talon #0 is a solid beginning to a new hero. It’s now up to James Tynion IV to carve out a niche for him in a crowded superhero world.

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5.0
Teen Titans (2011) #1

Oct 1, 2011

The art from Brett Booth is well executed. It’s got a bit of an Ed McGuiness feel to it as everybody is a bit bigger than life and super ripped. I like how Booth draws faces and he has a good sense of movement and action. His lines are clean so the detail work comes across nicely. Overall, Teen Titans #1 is an enjoyable book but I don’t know how it will serve DC. I believe it may be too different for longtime Teen Titans fans and as a new reader myself, there’s nothing here that excites me to buy issue #2.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2011) #26

Jan 3, 2014

Teen Titans continues to impress. A well-written, well-penciled slice of superhero adventure, mixed with a small dose of science fiction. Excellent work.

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7.5
Teen Titans (2011) #27

Jan 30, 2014

Tyler Kirkham’s art is solid. His pencils aren’t particularly unique, but he’s a powerful storytelling force. There is no lack of ability with character faces, and the action is nicely done. Kirkham has a good sense of movement and pacing. The work tells the story, and doesn’t get in the way of what Lobdell is doing. It may not be the most exciting artwork in comics, but it communicates the overall arc very well.

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7.0
Teen Titans (2011) #28

Feb 28, 2014

Tyler Kirkham’s art has that big comic book feel. Kirkham has a great understanding of how panel placement can elevate the action of a story. His pencils are solid, though very much in line with a standard comic book look. Heavy lines, dark inking, a penchant for being slightly over the top with the facial expressions. Kirkham also seems to love huge boobs, or at least this issue makes it seem that way.

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8.0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9

Apr 26, 2012

I wish the art from Dan Duncan were a little stronger. When his stuff is on, it looks great, but it’s way too inconsistent. Often, the lines are so thin that the characters look undefined and Duncan’s proportions are sometimes way off. One arm is thicker than the other, a head seems too big for a body, that kind of thing. It’s not that Duncan’s art is bad; it’s just that a series as well done as this deserves top-notch pencils.

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6.0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13

Aug 22, 2012

TMNT #13 does hit troubled water with the art, which sucks. Andy Kuhn is a fairly big deal in the world of comics but I’ve never been a fan of what he does. His work is too rigid for me. It looks too stylized. In TMNT #13, his work looks unfinished or at the very least rushed. Why do all the TMNT have really tiny heads? Why is Splinter so buck toothed? Why do all the humans have the same look on their face across the board? It’s especially offensive how badly Kuhn pencils Casey Jones. At one point, it looks like Casey has the mumps, in another, he has no lower jaw. Really sloppy work for an otherwise killer title.

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6.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #20

Apr 1, 2013

Lazy art aside, TMNT continues to be one of the best comics on the shelves today.

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8.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #21

Apr 25, 2013

TMNT #21 does little more than allow us to step back from the onslaught of action over the last twenty issues. Splinter's warning is a nice segue to the Kitsune story arc, but the real star here is Kevin Eastman's pencils. From the first appearance of TMNT to now, nobody has captured the spirit of these books like Eastman. His pencils are savage, almost punk rock in their unrefined style. Eastman enjoys working with odd angles, allowing buildings to bend into bizarre mountain ranges. Streets twist into darkened roads. Eastman's work has a surreal element to it that cannot be duplicated. One can only hope that he continues to pencil TMNT.

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8.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #22

Jun 5, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to surprise, impress and kick major ass.

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7.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #24

Aug 5, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to get better, and continues to redefine the franchise.

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7.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #26

Sep 30, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to impress. With this kind of writing, there is no limit to where it can go.

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8.5
Ten Grand #1

May 20, 2013

Ten Grand is a gorgeously illustrated book that is able to become much more than the sum of its parts.

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9.0
Ten Grand #3

Jul 5, 2013

Ten Grand is that rare occasion when comic books transcend genre, and became true literature and art.

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10
Ten Grand #4

Aug 7, 2013

Ten Grand is absolutely the sleeper hit of the summer. The creativity level here is staggering.

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8.0
Ten Grand #5

Nov 6, 2013

Don’t get me wrong, Smith is a wonderful artist. His work here is first rate, and he brings it a real sense of layering, using pencils, paints and even computer graphics. Smith keeps the surreal nature of Ten Grand, as well as the fine art sensibility. Problem is, Smith is nowhere near as inventive as Templesmith. As solid as the work is, the symmetry of Straczynski and Templesmith is gone, and it hurts the overall impact of the book. I’m sure in a few issues all will seem well, but this first example of the new art direction is hard to swallow.

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8.5
Ten Grand #6

Dec 19, 2013

Ten Grand is an exceptional work. Beautifully rendered, expertly written, and the kind of creepy good time so few books provide anymore.

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10
Ten Grand #7

Feb 12, 2014

Ten Grand is something very special. A gift from Straczynski and Smith, as well as a clear example of when comics transcend the medium, and become a game changer for everyone who experiences it.

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9.0
Ten Grand #8

Mar 20, 2014

Ten Grand should be seen as a new industry standard. All those in the world of comic books need to study this story and the art behind it.

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #1

Nov 10, 2011

Joe Madureira does some spectacular art here. Like Humberto Ramos, John Romita Jr. and a few others. Madureira pencils comics with the understanding that they are larger than life. It's interesting because he doesn't do it with bold, clean lines. The work is very delicate, lots of small lines and bits of shading. It lands between the comic art of Ramos and the fine art of Marc Silvestri. Madureira's stuff bristles with action, everything seems to constantly stretch and move. It gives Avenging Spider-Man a distinct look and allows Zeb Wells' more action-oriented scenes to jump right off the page. As a follower in the church of Dan Slott, I was not initially on board for Avenging Spider-Man. Wells and Madureira have made me a believer.

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #2

Dec 12, 2011

The art from Joe Medureira is awesome, which hasn’t always been true of the artist. At times his work can be downright ugly, but with Avenging Spider-Man his very stylized pencils work. The strength of Medureira’s work is his combination of strong lines and detail. Red Hulk is just a huge block while Ra’ktar is gigantic but covered with armor, bones, muscles outlines, and all of it very detailed. The action leaps off the page as do character reactions. I can see where some might think Medureira is too stylized, like the work of Humberto Ramos or Bill Sienkiewicz, but it’s very effective for the story Zeb Wells is telling. Let the rest of Marvel prepare for mutants vs. movie stars next summer, Avenging Spider-Man is the comic book lovers series for sure.

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7.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #4

Feb 17, 2012

Greg Land’s art is the only sore point for me. It just comes across as extremely lazy. The panel layouts are simplistic; the pencils just sit there with no movement or action at all. I also dislike how Land draws faces; they’re eerily devoid of life. On the positive side, I did like how his version of Spider-Man, it has a nice old school flavor to it. Despite the lackluster art Avenging Spider-Man is another solid notch in the belt of Zeb Wells and his talent.

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8.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #6

Apr 11, 2012

Marco Checchetto does some really nice work here. He keeps the art moving at the same pace as the writing. Action busts right off the page and out of panel boarders. Checchetto's faces aren't my favorite, though The Punisher looks cool so maybe if a beard is involved the art improves. Where Checchetto shines is penciling heroes and battles. It's pure comic book bliss. I realize that mutants in a pissing contest with Avengers is awesome, but don't overlook the awesome sauce being drizzled richly over "The Omega Effect" and Avenging Spider-Man #6

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #9

Jul 16, 2012

Avenging Spider-Man continues to be a shining gem in Marvel's crown. A book that remembers when comic books were just about having fun.

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6.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #11

Aug 30, 2012

Avenging Spider-Man #11 is one of the best-written issues of 2012, and it was handed over to an artist that is completely substandard. So heartbreaking.

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9.0
The Creep #0

Aug 13, 2012

Do not be deceived by the cover of The Creep #0, for what you shall see is a stunning piece of Frank Miller artwork that belongs in his Sin City era. However, when you crack open the book the art is nothing like that. Do not walk away from The Creep because of this deception, for you will miss a very cool and rather oddball detective story. Writer John Arcudi (The Mask, B.P.R.D., Major Bummer) takes the idea of the hardboiled detective and adds a serious dose of humanity and melodrama.

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5.0
The Crow: Curare #1

Jun 13, 2013

The Crow: Curare is for hardcore fans only.

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4.0
The Crow: Death and Rebirth #1

Jul 3, 2012

The art is abysmal. It looks like bad watercolors done by a first year art student. Another part of what made The Crow so good was the simple romantic beauty in the art. This Crow is trying so hard to be technological and futuristic that, again, the humanity is lost. All the characters tend to run the same facially and by the end of the story my head hurt with all the washed colors. The original Crow is a true artistic statement, one that has stood the test of time and will remain iconic even against garbage like this.

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7.5
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story #1

Nov 18, 2013

Overall, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story is impressive. Even with the content exclusions, you have to respect the scope of what Tiwary, Robinson, and Baker are trying to accomplish.

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5.0
The First X-Men #1

Aug 3, 2012

The art from The First X-Men looks more like a collection of county fair caricatures than the work of one of the most important artists in comic book history. As unnecessary as I find the retread of pre-X-Men history to be, it can be done with flair and style. It can be entertaining. Neal Adams and Christos Gage’s attempt fails across the board.

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7.0
The Goon #35

Aug 31, 2011

As always Eric Powell’s art is the glue that holds the entire project together. Goon #35 is another tour de force for a man who has a very unique way of drawing the Goon’s surreal landscape. Powell’s work here is more disturbing than usual, especially with the freaks of the circus. It’s the maniacal glee with which Powell attacks these freaks that jumps off the page combined with his ease with action that makes Goon #35 so enjoyable. This stuff isn’t for everybody but for those who enjoy the weird, the funny, the odd and the destructive; Goon #35 is another top-notch entry into that world.

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8.0
The Goon #41

Aug 31, 2012

So it goes, on and on and the stories become more and more grisly. At the end, Powell sets up a coming battle for The Goon. Powell’s sense of what makes the macabre both scary and funny is at the heart of The Goon #41. As you read the book, you're repulsed by a story that you’re laughing at. Powell also makes this work with his particular brand of art. I love how Powell pencils - how much larger and life and dripping with sickening detail his stuff is. The Goon is one of those books that sneaks up on you and knocks you out.

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9.0
The Li'l Depressed Boy #9

Feb 22, 2012

Issue #9 ends with LDB getting the movie theater job. His joy at being employed is not sufficient to overpower his dismay at working at a movie theater. Struble leaves the issue with that, forcing us to wait until issue 10 to see how LDB handles gainful employment. By the end of issue #9, you’ll feel a connection to LDB that you don’t understand. Struble puts it in all the issues. That feeling is you identifying and commiserating with the hero. It’s powerful stuff; I just wish Li’l Depressed Boy came out every week so I could find out what happens next in the very real world or a very surreal character. As always, Sina Grace’s art is sweet and beautiful. He adds texture to the story and gives a sense of how LDB sees the world. His work draws you in just as much as Struble’s writing.

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8.0
The Li'l Depressed Boy #12

Jul 12, 2012

Mixing the look of LDB with the low-key backgrounds and the rich colors gives us a visual indication of the emotions going on. The fusion of simple, funny and realistic dialog, blended with the surreal colors and the very real supporting characters, creates an entire world that surrounds us. We feel comfortable in an issue of LDB and any win for him is a win for us. That kind of emotional and intellectual involvement is what makes LDB not just a great comic, but also great art.

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8.0
The Li'l Depressed Boy #13

Sep 19, 2012

Helping this surreal world find life is the beautifully understated art of Sina Grace. The work here is focused only on the characters within the panel. Spike and LDB are drawn beautifully, with a real sense of delicate pencil strokes and moderate inking. Grace’s backgrounds are usually clean, devoid of too much detail and there only to give the characters a framework to exist in. Much like the writing, the art in Li'l Depressed Boy makes its point subtly and skillfully. Though it doesn’t come out nearly enough, every issue of this series is a treat.

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8.0
The Li'l Depressed Boy #16

Apr 19, 2013

Once again, LDB handles the joy and pain of normal life with a gorgeous and surreal narrative. Everything happening in this story could happen to any of us, yet Struble's writing is so romantic, so melancholy that it feels like a world just outside our own. It's not easy to make the mundane interesting, but Struble pulls it off. He knows when dialog works best and when to turn the scene over to Grace alone. It gives LDB a cinematic quality, as if you're reading a small indie film instead of watching it.

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8.0
The Mighty Thor #3

Jun 22, 2011

The art from Olivier Coipel is better here but his faces still irk me. No matter what's going on, it feels like Thor has one look on his face constantly. I'm also still not a huge fan of Coipel's Silver Surfer, though I did like his Galactus. I would have to say the art is passable, even pleasant, just nothing to get too excited about. What is worth getting excited about is how Fraction has raised his game. Perhaps he's working out all that need to be convoluted with Fear Itself or maybe he's finally settling into what it takes to write Thor. Regardless, I hope he continues on this path, the rainbow path, to Asgard!

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8.5
The Mighty Thor #5

Sep 5, 2011

The art from Olivier Coipel and Khol Pham is top notch, except for the Surfer. I still don’t like the way he’s drawn here; it just never comes together the right way. Outside of that, everything is nearly perfect. I love the movement, the way the action leaps off the page. When Thor and Surfer are duking it out, you feel it; you can actually conceptualize the power being wielded. I was impressed with the actual page layouts; it’s some very solid use of the space given to tell the story. The Mighty Thor #5 is a keeper, and a further step into the mystery of Matt Fraction’s consistency.

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4.0
The Mighty Thor #8

Nov 27, 2011

The art doesn’t help either. This is a dark storyline; it needs solid art, bold lines and a powerful presence. Instead artist Pasqual Ferry’s work is light, almost the illustrations of a fantasy book for children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Ferry, but his work isn’t right for this story arc. It’s the same problem that the last run of Aquaman encountered. The last few issues of the final run had a fantasy element and the art followed suit but didn’t work. The same thing holds true here. The Mighty Thor is a book about Norse Gods, war, battles and magical elements mixing with the mortal world. It needs a storyline you don’t need breadcrumbs to follow and art that leaps off the page. In short, it doesn’t need what it currently has.

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7.0
The Mighty Thor #11

Feb 24, 2012

Pasqual Ferry and Pepe Larraz are good artists, but not the pair I would have chosen for Thor. Their style is too flowery, too muted and the watercolor look just doesn’t scream Thor to me. Some of what they do is okay. The Trolls look cool, and some of the Demogorge action works, but mostly it is just boring and almost silly. Especially Tony Stark. Not only does he look like a gay hairdresser, but somehow the Iron Man costume is drawn like a yoga outfit. If Marvel would assign a decent artist, and Fraction could maintain this level of storytelling, The Mighty Thor might become a premiere superhero book.

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9.0
The Phantom Detective vs. Frankenstein! #1

Feb 17, 2012

At one point and exchange between the cops and the Phantom Detective is highlighted on each page by the head of the man talking with panels describing his story surrounding him. None of the modern work takes away from the Golden Age feel, but it does help make the book more exciting. Here’s to hoping Moonstone Comics never run out of monsters or heroes.

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10
The Sandman Overture #1

Oct 30, 2013

Lavishly written and gorgeously illustrated, Sandman: Overture demands your attention. Gaiman makes us all realize how much we’ve missed him. 

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10
The Sandman Overture #2

Mar 26, 2014

Williams' mix of watercolors, paintings, heavy inks and modern pop art is brought to life by the colors of Dave Stewart. As complex and layered as Williams' work is, it would become a cluttered mess if the colors were not executed perfectly. Stewart understands every stroke of the art, and colors it expertly. He also understands how to create a dream world, and the combination makes Sandman very special.

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6.5
The Shadow: Year One #1

Feb 20, 2013

Matt Wagner's exceptional writing skills save The Shadow: Year One from dreary art and glacial pacing. Will this be a successful run? Only The Shadow knows.

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7.5
The Strain #1

Dec 8, 2011

Mike Huddleston’s works well for The Strain. It’s a combination of fine art and a classic children’s storybook look. What raises it above the standard Dark Horse title is how Huddleston changes the look slightly from the historical tale to the modern story. The changes are tiny but the devil is always in the details and those details help The Strain be visually compelling. If you don’t like vampires or you’re easily annoyed at the similarities between vampire stories, then The Strain isn’t for you. If you dig vampires or you can just relax and dig a cool gothic-tinged story about the undead, then The Strain will be a nice addition to your pull list.

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4.0
The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #1

Jun 13, 2013

The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys is like the emperor’s new clothes. Lots of cool, and lots of shiny, but with very little else backing it up.

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5.0
The Vault #1

Aug 1, 2011

The art is another thing that hampers the development of The Vault. With such a heavy story and so little action, the art should be leaping off the page. The characters should be pronounced and what motion exists should be exciting. Instead the art blends the characters into one faceless “team” and does nothing to give life to the script. Grabbing a reader with an opening issue is important and The Vault fails to do that. That being said, there is enough going on within its pages to make taking a risk with this new series something to think about.

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8.5
The Wake #1

May 29, 2013

The Wake #1 is a solid start. I’m really excited to see where a dream time like Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy take this series.

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9.0
The Wake #2

Jun 27, 2013

Like its antagonist, The Wake sneaks up on you. Its creepy, tense, and claustrophobic story emerges from the depths and drags you into it.

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8.5
The Wake #4

Sep 25, 2013

The Wake continues to make the deepest parts of the ocean even scarier.

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10
The Wake #5

Nov 20, 2013

Intelligent, beautiful, smart, and completely intriguing. The Wake boasts two of the best creators comics has to offer performing at the very peak of their powers.

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9.0
The Wake #6

Feb 26, 2014

The Wake #6 is another solid issue in a storyline that’s been hard to figure out and impossible to put down. This thing has epic, summer blockbuster action film written all over it.

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9.0
The Wake #7

Mar 26, 2014

Murphy knocks the art out of the park yet again. I could describe his eye for detail, wholly original penciling style, and knack for creating complex action within a small space, but that isn’t the real gift here. What makes the most impact is that Murphy’s work is completely unique. Nothing is like it; nothing even comes close to imitating it. As professional as it is, there is grimy vibe to what he does, a broken, violent desperation that creates this dystopian future perfectly. It’s wonderful to look at, page after page.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #86

Jun 30, 2011

Art-wise... its The Walking Dead. I don’t like the art, I have never liked the art, and I will never like the art. I will not like it on a plane, I will not like it in a train, I will not like the art I say!! Some people find this art to be exactly what the series needs; I find it dull and repetitive. Regardless of my problems with the art, The Walking Dead continues to be a series that’s head and shoulders above the rest. With this new direction Kirkman has given rise the tension. I’m excited to see what happens next, and you can’t ask much more from a comic book.

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6.5
The Walking Dead #88

Aug 17, 2011

A war in the town would keep the series going, but then what? Would it end gracefully or be reduced to eking out easy plot twists. The strength of Walking Dead has always been that Kirkman sets things up, lets this new world move into place before erupting into violence. This idea of a mutiny has had no build up - there hasn’t even really been a mention of people not liking Rick. Hopefully, I end up eating crow - something I’d much rather do than admit to my friend Kirkman kept the book going with easy answers and sudden plot devices.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #89

Oct 5, 2011

I just wish the art were better.

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5.0
The Walking Dead #90

Oct 26, 2011

Nothing here is going to derail how good Walking Dead is but it could mean we’re hitting one of those lulls that can make the series hard to get through. The Kirkman Loop always pays off but sometimes it can be incredibly drawn out. Issue #90 could be an indication that readers have a long ten issues to get through before the big bang I’m sure is coming with issue #100. As always, I didn’t like the art at all.

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7.0
The Walking Dead #92

Dec 15, 2011

Walking Dead #92 is going to spring board all of us faithful readers to the whatever sinister thing waits for us in issue #100.

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5.0
The Walking Dead #93

Jan 26, 2012

When the backbone of a series is one event it can be hard to keep it going. I'm fairly certain Walking Dead has progressed beyond the original scope of the story and I applaud Kirkman for that. However, now it's time to move on, either really shake the series up or end it before it becomes boring. Either way, something needs to go down and I hope it does by issue #100. If not, the Walking Dead series may be as predictable and slow moving as the zombies that inhabit it.

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7.0
The Walking Dead #94

Mar 2, 2012

It's a pretty sure bet that issue #100 of The Walking Dead will be a game changer and Kirkman seems to be putting pieces in play that will test Rick Grimes beyond anything else. Will he survive? Will he maintain his sanity, or could issue 100 be our last dance with a man we've come to know and love over the last several years? This kind of smart writing and layered plot is what keeps Walking Dead so interesting.

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5.0
The Walking Dead #96

Apr 19, 2012

I'm sure the next four issues of The Walking Dead will be awesome and will lead to a new dawn for the series itself. I have enough faith in Kirkman to be sure of that. However, issues #96 is a casualty of that coming excitement.

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7.0
The Walking Dead #97

May 9, 2012

Walking Dead #97 should have been titled "Now that's what I'm talkin' about!" The last few issue of the series have wavered in quality, but issue #97 reminded me why I've been following Walking Dead since the beginning.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #98

May 31, 2012

I love how Kirkman uses real life rules in a fantasy setting. If a real zombie apocalypse came down, the world would become a brutal place where death was constant. Just because a character is our favorite, doesn't mean he won't die at any second. It's that dedication to drama and tension that has kept The Walking Dead on another level above most other comics. I'm waiting for issue 100 with equal parts excitement and dread.

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6.0
The Walking Dead #99

Jun 22, 2012

Walking Dead #99 isn't the most exciting issue, and I would have liked to have seen Kirkman do something a little more interesting than a page by page look at who may or may not die come issue #100. That being said, the issue does what it set out to do. I have a full scope of all the people that are on the line and my anticipation for what comes next is palpable. If Walking Dead #100 is Christmas morning filled with toys, then issue #99 is Christmas Eve when you get socks and pants from Grandma.

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7.0
The Walking Dead #100

Jul 11, 2012

So there you have it. Issue #100. Glenn is dead, Rick and his gang are against it worse than ever and Robert Kirkman has hooked us all right in. Some folks have decided to give up Walking Dead because they are so disgusted with issue 100. Some think it's the best thing ever. I'm in the middle, leaning towards the latter. I respect the balls of issue 100, but also think it doesn't live up to what it could have been. Regardless, I'm still in for the long haul.

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7.0
The Walking Dead #101

Aug 15, 2012

Walking Dead #101 holds true to Kirkman's humane storytelling and his ability to keep a personal connection to a fantastical story.

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5.0
The Walking Dead #102

Sep 19, 2012

Whatever Kirkman has planned, he needs to get on with it. Walking Dead #102 works not because anything happens, but because Kirkman pulls a masterful bait and switch.

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4.0
The Walking Dead #103

Oct 18, 2012

At this point, Kirkman would be better to wind down Walking Dead as opposed to spending two hundred more issues with Rick and the gang meeting people who are assholes and fighting them. The Negan storyline may end with some "shocking twist" but at this point, who cares?

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4.0
The Walking Dead #104

Nov 14, 2012

At 104, the adventures of Rick and his crew have become flaccid.

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3.0
The Walking Dead #107

Feb 13, 2013

I know I always end my reviews with “And I still hate the art,” but my recent look back at when Walking Dead was a great read made me re-think that idea. Original artist Tony Moore was awesome. His work stood out, you could tell one character from another, and the art popped. Current artist Charlie Adlard just doesn’t have the same abilities, and it’s really hurt the series.

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0.0
The Walking Dead #108

Mar 18, 2013

At this point, The Walking Dead has become the family member I should turn my back on, but I just keep giving the relationship one more shot. Then, as always, I am kicked in the nuts by said family member's actions. What will it take before I say "NO MORE!!" and give tough love a chance? It could possibly be issue #108, where writer Robert Kirkman not only jumps the shark, he filets it and serves it as the kind of fish sticks you'd find in a seedy carnival in a soiled part of town.

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0.0
The Walking Dead #110

May 8, 2013

At this point, the only surprising thing about Walking Dead is how it can outdo itself in mediocrity. Each time I think the series has bottomed out, it surprises me by sinking lower. I'm on pins and needles to see how Negan is defeated. I can't even imagine the levels of suck that Kirkman will wallow in.

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2.0
The Walking Dead #116

Nov 13, 2013

I guess with Kirkman's focus on the show, logic and story fly right out the window. Walking Dead has been limping along for nearly fifty issues now. It needs to end. It won't affect the show, which is simply using the characters to create new storylines. Kirkman either needs to step down as writer and give fresh eyes to the series, or pack it in. The brilliance of those first few years are in jeopardy of falling to the lame, repetitive, and uninteresting series Walking Dead has become.

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4.0
The Walking Dead #122

Feb 27, 2014

Inherently, there is nothing wrong with issues like these. They can often allow the action some breathing room so it doesn't become overbearing. The same would have been true with Walking Dead, if this wasn't the 22nd issue dealing with the same exact villain in much the same way. Even the Governor, who was a much more exciting character, only got 21 issues, and this arc still has four issues left. When you're pushing two years on the same arc, with no variation to it, any filler issue becomes an even bigger albatross.

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3.0
The X-Files: Season 10 #1

Jun 19, 2013

Not helping matters is the atrocious art from Michael Walsh. Once again, IDW saves a few pennies by giving us sloppy, rushed and badly put together art. Scully looks like somebody smashed her face with a pan, and Mulder looks about as much like Mulder as I do. Lazy shadowing is used to give the art a bit of noir heaviness, but to no avail. I don’t know why IDW refuses to invest in solid artists but, that being their game, pretty much everything they put out looks awful. X-Files Season 10 #1 is no exception.

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6.0
Thief of Thieves #1

Feb 9, 2012

The artwork from Shawn Martinbrough (currently penciling the ill-fated Black Panther) is solid enough. I won't lie, I don't love his style but he tells the story well enough. The main issue I have is how Martinbrough draws faces. Sometimes they're fine but usually they carry goofy looking expressions or, at the very least, the same expression over and over. For Thief Of Thieves to reach its excitement potential, Martinbrough is going to have to work on panel placement and jazzing up the layout of the book. As an inaugural issue, Thief Of Thieves works well enough to give it the benefit of the doubt. Let's hope Kirkman and his crew work out the kinks soon.

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6.5
Thor: God of Thunder #1

Feb 20, 2013

Thor: God Of Thunder #5 isn’t a deal breaker; as there’s always hope I’m wrong. Having read a lot of what Jason Aaron does, I just don't have much faith.

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8.0
Thor: God of Thunder #3

Dec 20, 2012

Esad Ribic’s art is really hit or miss here. When he does hit, his blending of fantasy art a la Frank Frazetta and comic book art is perfect. Thor visiting the death of each God is where Ribic’s art really works. When the art falls flat, it really fails. The entire scene of Thor at the mystical hall of records is garbage. For some reason, Ribic has Thor looking like Captain Overreactor in each panel. Thankfully, the more quality work wins out over the other stuff, but Ribic should work harder to make every panel as perfect as possible.

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8.5
Thor: God of Thunder #4

Jan 10, 2013

God Of Thunder is a visceral return to Thor’s roots as a warrior of the eternal realm. It is a treat for the eyes, heart and imagination.

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6.5
Thor: God of Thunder #6

Mar 18, 2013

Thor: God Of Thunder #6 is gorgeous to look at but story wise does a serious disservice to a wonderful new enemy.

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6.0
Thor: God of Thunder #9

Jun 17, 2013

Thor: God of Thunder is beautiful to look at, but that isn’t enough to hide Jason Aaron’s consistent issues with storytelling.

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7.0
Thor: God of Thunder #11

Aug 15, 2013

While visually stunning, ultimately the war between Gorr and Thor turned out to be a bore.

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8.0
Thor: God of Thunder #13

Sep 18, 2013

Artist Ron Garney does a nice job of bringing the fantasy elements of the story to life. While not quite as awesome as Walt Simonson’s Malekith, Garney’s is grotesquely evil.  The work here has a watercolor vibe to it, with the lines and details lightly sketched and inked. Thor: God of Thunder #13 has a light touch to it, one that goes hand in hand with older '70s pulp fantasy books. I’m not sure how this will translate action, but thus far Ron Garney is doing an excellent job.

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3.0
Thor: God of Thunder #15

Nov 13, 2013

Thor is an icon, one that deserves better than sitcom adventures in Candy Land.

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5.0
Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW

Feb 12, 2014

Thor: God Of Thunder #19 is a solid beginning, but with a huge uphill climb ahead of it. Let’s hope Jason Aaron gets there, and hopefully with a new artist.

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6.5
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1

Jul 31, 2013

Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril is a great book if you know the history. If not, you may find it too exclusive to fully enjoy.

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9.0
Trillium #1

Aug 7, 2013

Trillium. Jeff Lemire does it again. Bravo!!

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6.5
Trillium #2

Sep 5, 2013

As off-putting as these little incidents are, it doesn’t dissuade me from continuing to read Trillium. Lemire is a slow starter. Sweet Tooth didn’t grab me for the first few issues, and Animal Man almost lost me. Trillium remains exciting to me, and it also remains one of the few books I’m left guessing at when it ends. As for the art, well, I like Lemire’s bizarre sense of the human anatomy. Some will hate it, and I get that. For me, it’s the kind of weird art the story needs.

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9.0
Trillium #4

Nov 11, 2013

Jeff Lemire has talent he hasn’t even tapped yet. Trillium is another step forward in his becoming one of the most original storytellers around.

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10
Trillium #6

Feb 7, 2014

Trillium is a treasure. A culmination of art and story that is as rare as the flower the series is based on.

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8.5
Trillium #7

Mar 5, 2014

Once again, I tip my hat to Lemire's artwork. In anyone else's hands, this story becomes just another huge sci-fi epic. Lemire's pencils are much more delicate, some might even say crude. It's a style that works uniquely for what Lemire does. It's not for his other titles, like Green Arrow " this style works only for his creator owned properties. There is something as jarring and odd in Lemire's art as in his storytelling.

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8.0
Trio #1

May 14, 2012

The art, also from Byrne, is exceptional as always. I love that Trio is published on card-stock paper instead of glossy. The panel layout is very traditional, but still great to look at. Byrne’s art is larger than life, a great mix of ability, ego and experience. He doesn’t waste any space on superfluous backgrounds or details. Everything is focused on the characters, which affords Byrne the ability make every panel a rich and highly detailed portrait. There’s simplicity to this kind of art, a love of drawing without being “edgy” that’s lost on a lot of modern artists. Trio isn’t the greatest book I read this week, but it is a good one. If you love Byrne or his era of comics, I highly recommend it.

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9.0
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1

Feb 5, 2014

Mirko Colak's artwork is unstoppable here. Vibrant, explosively colored by Lauren Affe, and brimming with movement. Colak has a unique style, one that blends a modern flair with an old school, pulp magazine style. Each panel is a small work of art, one that pushes the storyline in such a way that it becomes more cinematic than just sequential art.

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8.5
Uncanny Avengers #1

Oct 10, 2012

While hurting from inconsistent art, Uncanny Avengers is the first good thing to come out of Avengers vs. X-Men.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #2

Nov 28, 2012

I do like that Rick Remender is getting his weird on. Uncanny Avengers, one of the few silver linings in the overall mess that was Avengers vs. X-Men, starts off dark and then just gets weird. I'm hoping this tone follows the book for at least the first year.

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7.5
Uncanny Avengers #3

Jan 28, 2013

John Cassaday’s art is not a win here, it’s way too sporadic. His Red Skull is amazing, so is his Captain America, but his general pencils are too simplistic. Cassaday does communicate action well during the fighting, but he doesn’t allow the shadowing to go dark enough. The overly basic backgrounds and stock character looks don’t reflect Remender’s dark themes. Overall, the art just doesn’t do the story justice.

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7.5
Uncanny Avengers #5

Apr 1, 2013

Uncanny Avengers is a smartly written and really entertaining book. If Marvel could get the art team to rival Rick Remender's script, it could become a serious force to be reckoned with.

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6.5
Uncanny Avengers #6

Apr 11, 2013

Uncanny Avengers has been so solid thus far. I'm hoping Remender doesn't go too far off the reservation before coming back.

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7.5
Uncanny Avengers #8AU

May 27, 2013

A cool throw away story with tremendous art. Uncanny Avengers #8AU is an appealing time killer.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers #11

Aug 30, 2013

Daniel Acuña’s art drives Remender’s words home. The kind of darkness the writer is trying to communicate would fail if not for Acuña’s pencils. Acuña works much the way Remender does. Every single page is densely packed with characters, backgrounds, action and details. Most of the time, the panels can’t hold the amount of action Acuña is bringing forth. It’s a perfect marriage of art and text.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers #17

Feb 28, 2014

Artist Steve McNiven is allowed to let loose in this issue. McNiven has always had a strong comic style, good with action and faces, but here, there is no holding back. From the glorious Captain American splash page, to the so-brutal-you-can-feel-it bashing between Eimin and Thor, McNiven nails every panel. Ships, multiple characters, explosions, galactic fighting and even up close and personal fisticuffs – this is some of the most exciting work McNiven has given us thus far.

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8.5
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #11

Apr 29, 2012

I know Greg Land gets a lot of static from people on his art style, but I dug his pencils here. His Cyttorak-powered Colossus is an ass kicker. Land also brought great movement and pacing to the Colossus/Red Hulk fight. Granted, a lot of the faces looked the same, male or female, but overall Greg Land does some nice work with Uncanny X-Men #11. I’m digging the way Marvel is handling the tie-ins for AVX. Instead of handing us filler issues, they use the tie-ins to develop the surrounding story. Uncanny X-Men #11 is the best of that lot so far.

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7.0
Vampirella Strikes #1

Jan 4, 2013

The art from Johnny Desjardins is fairly typical of what Dynamite puts out. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the art - it just doesn’t pop off the page. Desjardins does have a great way with gore, and he seems to really shine when drawing decaying demons. The rest of the art is fine, as it does the job of telling the story, but with something this interesting I expect the art to rival the story.

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10
Velvet #1

Oct 23, 2013

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting are one of the most important teams in comic book history. Velvet is a book that would bring smiles to the faces of Dashiell Hammett, Ian Fleming and John le Carre.

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9.0
Velvet #2

Dec 4, 2013

Stylish, exciting, and smart, Velvet is another win for the unstoppable force of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting.

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9.0
Velvet #3

Jan 15, 2014

Velvet makes a strong case for Ed Brubaker to be the best writer in comics today. He and Epting are an unstoppable team.

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8.0
Voltron #2

Jan 23, 2012

Ariel Padilla’s art is the only shaky thing with Voltron. It’s not that the work is bad, but it is very hit or miss. Padilla excels at the technological work. The spaceships, the laser battles, the spacesuits and weaponry. Where he falls short are the human figures, which always feel rushed or half finished. Every panel featuring a facial expression is a little too posed for me, particularly with Zarkon who looks mid-thirties one panel and then sixty the next. I like Padilla’s line work and his capability with action; I just wish he’d concentrate more on the faces. It’s not a deal breaker with Voltron but it does take away from what is otherwise a flawless return.

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8.0
Voltron #3

Mar 5, 2012

The art from Ariel Padilla is solid. I’ll be the first to admit that the American/Manga art hybrid isn’t a favorite of mine. It makes things look too basic, characters start looking the same and they always seem to have the same expression. On the plus side, it makes for great movement, something that really helps in an issue where the action is minimal. While many may see Voltron #3 as not enough, I see it as another well-written piece of an interesting puzzle.

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7.5
Voltron #12

May 15, 2013

Taking aspects of the Voltron we all know and love, Brandon Thomas has reinvented the entire series and excelled in making it brilliant.

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4.0
Voodoo #1

Oct 3, 2011

The art from Sami Basri is solid and it proves the man knows how to draw the female form. The art is extremely clean, all solid colors with very little shading. I’m not sure if Voodoo being centered around a woman drove Basri to create a world that feels soft and pretty, but that’s the best way to describe it. I have no idea what the future will hold for the Voodoo character or the series. To me, it feels like another toss-at-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks issue from the New 52.

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2.0
War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #1

Jul 21, 2011

The art is also substandard and looks completely rushed. To be honest, artist Miguel Sepulveda and Tyler Kirkham make everybody look like fish. Panel to panel, character after character, everyone has this fish look to them. It’s hard to explain, but trust me, it’s impossible to miss, especially with Sinestro, The Guardians and Hal Jordan. I had hoped Aftermath would make me feel better about the tremendous let down in War Of The Green Lanterns, but it didn’t. Instead, it reinforced the idea that DC cares very little about what’s going on within their stories. It’s all about the reboot now.

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4.0
What If? AVX #1

Jul 3, 2013

I suggest a new book. What If Avengers Vs. X-Men Was Way Way Better?

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8.0
Winter Soldier #1

Feb 3, 2012

My only trepidation is the art from Butch Guice. Don’t get me wrong, the man is a master artist and kicks ass at what he does, but it feels off in this issue. Too busy at times, a little too melodramatic at others but mostly way too dark. I understand the noir aspect of the story and the dark themes, but the abuse of shading and blue undertones detracts from the tale. I’m sure in a few issues I’ll get used to it but for this first jaunt into the world of Winter Soldier it didn’t work for me. My nitpicking aside, Winter Soldier is another gem from Ed Brubaker and another step in making Bucky Barnes just as interesting and iconic as his red, white and blue partner.

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9.0
Winter Soldier #5

May 25, 2012

Butch Guice’s art is, as I’ve said, a major player here. There’s a combination of '60s era comics, pulp books and modern comics all at work. Guice strives to make every panel interesting, even if its just characters talking. There’s a grace and fluidity to how Guice draws that fits the story perfectly. He understands the idea of noir and of the spy thriller and executes his art that way. When the action opens up, so does Guice. He uses a lot of cues from old war comics, such as a white panel with just a body hitting the ground as bullets hit it. The combination of that with his knack for showing movement helps elevate Winter Soldier #5 to even greater heights. This was a great arc and I look forward to more top-notch work from Brubaker and Guice.

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9.5
Winter Soldier #10

Sep 18, 2012

Winter Soldier is another flawless entry in a story that is deeper, more exciting and better written than pretty much anything in the Marvel Universe.

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9.0
Winter Soldier #14

Jan 24, 2013

Butch Guice is also jumping ship, which sucks. His art has been the backbone of Winter Soldier. Nobody pencils noir like Guice. There is always a mood set within the panel, there’s always a sense of natural movement to the characters. Guice’s so good with character forms and faces that he easily draws specific emotional reactions out of the reader. Graced with an ability for action movement, plus the style and control to make each beautiful pencil count. His presence on Winter Soldier will be sorely missed.

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6.5
Winter Soldier #15

Feb 6, 2013

For right now, Winter Soldier seems to be in very capable hands

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5.0
Winter Soldier #16

Mar 11, 2013

The rest of the faces are over done with sketch lines in hopes of communicating emotions. Instead, everybody looks like they need to wash their faces immediately. Klein also has all his characters make this consistent face like they need to crap. Klein's heavy use of blacks in his pencils, inks and colors, give Winter Soldier the feel of a badly lit B-movie. Nic Klein either needs to raise his game, or move on.

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6.5
Wolverine (2010) #12

Jul 18, 2011

Once again the real star here is Renato Guedes and his incredible pencil work. I love the way Guedes draws Wolverine, especially his nod to the old school with Wolverine’s hair. His ability with human faces, the thin lines that give definition to each face is really what saves the day. As unfulfilling as Roger’s story is, the scene where he loses his wife is absolutely devastating, largely due to Guedes art. I’m not giving up on the Wolverine series, and I still think Jason Aaron does great work, I’d just hate to see something as great as the Red Right Hand fall victim to being dragged out so long that nobody cares.

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4.0
Wolverine (2010) #13

Aug 4, 2011

Renato Guedes once again does a fine job with the pencils. Not to be repetitive myself, but I do love the way he draws Wolverine. It’s a nice mix of the old school high-hair and new school more subdued-coiffed hero. Guedes attempts to bring a sinister to vibe to the Red Right Hand, but it’s hard beneath such dull writing. The action scenes are nice, the violence is realistic to the subject matter. In short, the whole issue is really fun to look at. I want to like Jason Aaron’s work, I started out as a big fan, but he’s just not measuring up. How do you take one of the most violent, insane and action oriented characters and manage to make them boring issue after issue? Pick up Wolverine #13 and find out.

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3.0
Wolverine (2010) #14

Aug 25, 2011

CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 3/10 (and that’s only out of respect for Guedes)

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8.0
Wolverine (2010) #19

Dec 1, 2011

The art from Ron Garney is one of the bright spots of Wolverine #19. An issue so centered on action demands an artist who can deliver non-stop motion. Garney’s slight penciling style doesn’t present bold images but they are crisp and they do move. All of the battle kicks alive off the page; even the smallest motions are noticeable. A few of the panels are so well done that you can feel the pain as Fat Cobra or Wolverine pummel someone into hamburger. It’s a great combination of story and artwork. What the future holds for Wolverine is unclear, but for now Jason Aaron has done a great job with a solid story arc.

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3.0
Wolverine (2010) #20

Dec 21, 2011

Bigger than the story, the art is the main problem with Wolverine #20. The work Renato Guedes does here sucks. The Kingpin looks like a giant deformed baby half the time, the other he looks like George "The Animal" Steele. Every single solitary face in every panel has some kind of dumb expression. It’s as if he can’t draw a face unless it’s doing something dumb. I also hate his line work. The drawings look sloppy and rushed. The art kept me thinking it was going slide off the page at any moment. For an issue that’s supposed to launch the biggest arc in Wolverine history, issue #20 doesn’t do much but remind us why this series needs some new blood.

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7.0
Wolverine (2010) #300

Jan 17, 2012

While not the travesty that The Incredible Hulk is, Wolverine #300 isn’t really a fitting anniversary issue for the iconic character.

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7.0
Wolverine (2010) #305

Apr 26, 2012

Paul Pelletier's art is the star of issue #305. I love how he draws Wolverine, I also love his hybrid of modern and '70s-style comic book art. His work has a dirty feel to it, like a dark, violent horror story. Pelletier has a great handle on what makes action leap off a page and his detail work is extraordinary. I'm hoping as the issues wear on that Bunn's writing will catch up to Pelletier's pencils. For now, I'm just happy Jason Aaron is gone.

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