J. Montes's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Weekly Comic Book Review Reviews: 273
7.4Avg. Review Rating

9.6
Action Comics #866

Jun 17, 2008

There's honestly nothing I can complain about in this issue as a whole with the exception that purists may not be happy with this retcon. With All Star Superman's last issue on the horizon, I'm thrilled to know there's another Superman book (and it's montly!) out there that I can enjoy. If you're a casual Superman reader or someone who's looking for a place to jump aboard, this issue's it.

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9.0
Action Comics #867

Jul 14, 2008

I never thought I'd be buying Action Comics on a regular basis, but this is the first time I've done it since Superman's death back in 1993. If that's not saying something, I don't know what is.

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6.0
Action Comics #868

Aug 16, 2008

*Sigh* Green man in a suit.

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7.0
Action Comics #869

Sep 21, 2008

Superman finally finds a way to defend himself, but as it's pointed out, there's nothing he can do that Brainiac probably hasn't thought of. The way this issue ends is quite stirring and fans of Star Trek may feel like they've seen a scenario like this before, but the fate posed to Earth is undeniable. Sure, there's no way Superman (nor DC's editors) will let something like this come to pass, but I'm hoping Geoff Johns will find a way to wrap this up in an entertaining fashion.

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10
Action Comics #870

Oct 8, 2008

The last couple of issues felt like this story was losing steam, but Johns comes back in a big way. He swings for the fences and hits a grandslam. This is easily the saddest issue of Superman I've ever read and one I will not soon forget. It's a great time to be a Superman fan.

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9.0
Action Comics #872

Dec 12, 2008

Another excellent chapter to the New Krypton storyline. A must buy.

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9.0
Adventure Comics Special: The Guardian #1

Nov 7, 2008

The art isn't brilliant and you're not going to see many (if any) punches thrown, but this book does what it needs to doset up Superman's future and reveal more of the government's assassination plot against him. Oh yeah, and it's well written, too.

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0.8
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #9

Mar 1, 2008

When things finally become serious, the book becomes readable and even a tad interesting. Alex Sinclair's lush coloring returns, we get some trademarked gorgeous splash pages by Jim Lee, and even Frank Miller's narrative becomes compelling. It's just too bad it only lasts for five pages. If you must buy this book (like me), make sure you pick up the variant Neal Adams cover. It's pure awesome.

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0.8
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #10

Sep 25, 2008

Save us, Jim. Save us!

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10
All-Star Superman #10

Mar 28, 2008

Normally, a bi-monthly book like this would bother me, but because Morrison manages to keep stories somewhat self-contained (while keeping an underlying story arc), it's very easy to jump back on aboard. This issue is the most personal and moving stories of the series thus far. It's also the best.

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9.6
All-Star Superman #11

May 30, 2008

As plain and simple as Frank Quitely's art looks, there's an incredible amount of substance in the way he uses negative space and scope. There really isn't another artist like him working in the industry right now and he's one of the few mainstream artists that can get away with using such minimalism. Jamie Grant has always made this book pop with his coloring. The vivid palette gives this book a life of its own and adds to its charm. With next issue wrapping up this creative team's run, I'm bracing myself for a hell of an ending. I'm really going to be sad to see this series end. You can't go wrong with any issue in this series. Pick them all up!

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10
All-Star Superman #12

Sep 18, 2008

I'm so sad this one's over. It's not just one of the greatest Superman stories ever told, it's one of the greatest superhero tales of our time.

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8.4
Amazing Spider-Man #547

Jan 17, 2008

Other than this minor qualm, the story is interesting, not to mention wildly entertaining. What really got me is the last page where Spidey seems to meet his doom. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but I will say it made me laugh out loud (for all the right reasons). I may have hated One More Day, but I'm really digging Brand New Day and the weekly format. It just feels right especially with the frantic pace of Dan Slott's storytelling. Not as strong as last issue, but a good read nonetheless

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9.6
Amazing Spider-Man #548

Jan 23, 2008

I'll always hate Joe Quesada for taking MJ away from Peter and ruining continuity with poor storytelling, but I'll be the first to admit that this new stuff is fun. Whether the next creative team will be able to build upon what Dan Slott has masterfully (and almost effortlessly) created, is something we'll find out soon. Very soon.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #550

Feb 13, 2008

So how was the issue? Uneven. The story doesn't flow well – it jumps around way too much for my liking. It's weird too, because both Marc Guggenheim and Salvador Larroca are fantastic when Spidey's doing his super hero thing. But when it comes to everything else in this issue, they falter. Larroca's civilians look off (especially Peter) and his storytelling stumbles (especially when Menace attacks the theatre). The same goes for Guggenheim. His dialogue isn't as entertaining and the pacing languishes. We do learn Jackpot's real now, though!

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8.4
Amazing Spider-Man #551

Feb 20, 2008

All in all, I was pleased with how this issue wrapped up. Salvador Larroca's art flows much better with the action and narrative this time around. It also probably helped that he didn't have to draw too many civilian faces, either. Despite missing the supporting cast, everything is paced just right and Guggenheim clearly makes the distinction of what separates a rookie from a veteran superhero. His humor is hit and miss, but most of the time, it hits (especially when Spidey questions the cops on why they shoot at him and not Menace). The only thing I hated was the gratuitous plug for “Brothers & Sisters”, a show Guggenheim produces. Was that really necessary, Marc?

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8.4
Amazing Spider-Man #552

Mar 5, 2008

Feeling more like a double-sized issue, this book goes touches on just about every subplot that's part of the Brand New Day storyline. Peter's supporting cast is back in full force and it's great to see him interacting with his circle of friends. I'm really interested to see where this whole thing with Carly goes! This issue's not as funny, but it's a good read. Gale and Jimenez have created a dense book that'll keep your eyes occupied for a long time.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #553

Mar 13, 2008

As the last page begs the hilarious question: Does Marvel hate politicians so much that they're going to kill another? We'll find out next, week! The book is still fun, no doubt about it. But it's very hard to overlook the book's one glaring flaw: The Freak.

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8.4
Amazing Spider-Man #554

Mar 20, 2008

While the story line isn't wrapped up this issue, it does a good job touching on all the underlying stories, while giving us a hint of things to come. Bob Gale is to be commended for working things out. I'm actually interested to see where this story with The Freak goes now. And Phil Jimenez wraps up his run with another issue of stunning visuals.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #555

Apr 2, 2008

This new arc's off to a decent start. There's a glaring continuity problem that'll make some readers groan, but we get a rightful explanation in the letters column. Zeb Wells definitely knows his characters, now he just needs to execute on the story.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #556

Apr 9, 2008

Spidey fans will be very pleased with this issue. Everyone else? Pick it up along with #555. I think you'll be surprised.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #557

Apr 16, 2008

Hats of to Chris Bachalo for his Mayan God design. It's undecipherable at times, looking like pieces of husk, bone, and straw all tossed onto a skeletal structure, but when we get a pull back on the camera and see this thing for what it is, I gotta say, it'd make one heck of a cool statue! His art here is probably the best of the three issues. I know I've said this before, but the borderless pages, the white panels, and the coloring are exceptional. Great package, all around.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #559

May 16, 2008

Despite my misgivings with some of the story elements, these imperfections ultimately end up as the contributing factors that make this issue so damn fun. Oh, and the Starbrand Coffee ad is a nice easter egg. Give me more, I say!

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #560

May 21, 2008

Once again, topping off the story is Marcos Martin's art. From the opening page his art is a joy to behold. All the meticulous detail he puts into his pages ensure that readers won't be skimming through the pages. From the movie posters in the theatre lobby to the pieces of Andy Warhol inspired art in the museum to the brilliant use of half tones, I was constantly reminded why this artist is a dream to have on this book. This is beautiful comic book art, folks. We've got one more issue left before he parts ways with this title and I'll be savoring every moment of it.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #562

Jun 13, 2008

Mike McKone's art is excellent, by the way. He's given the task of drawing a wide range of characters and villains with this issue and does a fantastic job on all of them. His storytelling excels too, especially during the rooftop chase scene. The lineage of great Brand New Day artists continues and Bob Gale once again proves he's the weakest link of Spidey's “Braintrust”.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #563

Jun 20, 2008

Mike McKone's art is definitely the highlight of this book. His compositions are tight, clean, and just beautiful. He brings a lot of energy to Bob Gale's script and allows the reader to skip through all the unneeded dialogue (not that I condone doing this) while preserving the story. As I said, this is a good issue for Bob Gale. Hopefully, he'll continue to improve, because he's not out of the woods yet.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #566

Jul 18, 2008

But how come Peter doesn't have a spare Spider-Man suit around?!

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man #567

Aug 15, 2008

I love Phil Jimenez's body of work, but to say he draws a better Vermin than Mike Zeck is blasphemy. What started off as a fun storyline sadly concludes as a yawn fest. Talk about dropping the ball.

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9.6
Amazing Spider-Man #570

Sep 5, 2008

Romita's art grabs the reader and doesn't let go. He's in fine form right from the opening panels (the second panel will induce flashbacks of the 1960s cartoon run). From Venom vesus Anti-Venom to Venoms versus Spider-Man, this issue's just a total blast from cover to cover. Don't miss out on this one.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #573

Oct 16, 2008

At $3.99, this issue stings. The final chapter does a good job of delivering the goods, but the newer plot points introduced is making Brand New Day feel a bit too convoluted. We need answers before more plot is introduced.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man #574

Oct 24, 2008

This is easily the best thing Marc Guggenheim's ever written. The ramifications brought to the character can't be undone while the ending is noble, fitting, and agonizing. If you buy this issue make sure you read the letters column afterward. There's a great, emotional piece in there by Steve Wacker.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #575

Nov 1, 2008

Quite a fun issue if you don't go in looking for something deep. I miss the Chris Bachalo who drew great stories like Death. I want that guy back.

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8.4
Amazing Spider-Man #576

Nov 6, 2008

I'm a bit fatigued with Spider-Man dealing with inner-city children, but this little arc is actually fun and quite satisfying.

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9.6
Amazing Spider-Man #578

Nov 19, 2008

Mark Waid's Venom back-up story from a few issues ago was pretty decent. Here, we finally get to see what he's capable of with full script; his presence on this book is highly rewarding. Marcos Martin is a hell of a storyteller and his visuals captivate throughout. He honestly deserves all the accolades he's been given. This is classic Spider-Man storytelling at its finest and that cover is the perfect, iconic homage to Steve Ditko.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #580

Dec 15, 2008

A fun Roger Stern vehicle that's reminiscent of classic Spider-Man stories of years past. If that's not enough buy this for Lee Week's gorgeous art.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #581

Dec 20, 2008

Not one of Dan Slott's best stories, but entertaining nonetheless. Peter's new supporting cast is still not very likable and too full of themselves. I wouldn't cry if someone like Menace killed them all.

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2.0
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

Oct 31, 2008

This book plays out more like a double-sized issue than an annual. There's no back-up stories, no pin-ups, no specials. It's a story that finally gives us some answers, yes, but the manner in which the answers are delivered leaves a lot to be desired (and feels cheap).

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2.0
Astonishing X-Men #24

Jan 25, 2008

Oh, Cassaday's artwork is lovely as expected.

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8.4
Astonishing X-Men #25

Jul 2, 2008

As much as the reintroduction of the team roster bored me, I absolutely loved the maturity and camaraderie shown between Cyclops and Wolverine. It's never been easy between these two, but this issue finally shows that there's been some growth over the years and it's just written brilliantly. Please, let's keep this forward momentum going. The X-Men is all about evolution and after undoing nearly everything Grant Morrison did, maybe – just maybe - Marvel editorial will be smart enough to let things stick this time.

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6.0
Astounding Wolf-Man #5

Mar 19, 2008

The Astounding Wolf-Man (and new readers) would really benefit from a synopsis page at the beginning – and I know that's not asking much either. Kirkman devotes three pages just to the letters column alone. I'm sure one page of “things that went on before” wouldn't hurt. Heck, you could even put it on the masthead like you do with Walking Dead! If you're curious about this book my advice is to wait for the trade. It's just too hard to keep up with on a bimonthly schedule. and I know Jason Howard does most of the work, and it's probably the cause of the schedule, but if all it takes is hiring a colorist to speed things up, I'm all for it!

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7.0
Avengers/Invaders #2

Jun 3, 2008

The fight is really the highlight of this issue, and it's handled very well. The Avengers make short work of The Invaders and that's how it should be. What's bound to happen next issue seems very forced and I'm actually not looking forward to it.

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6.0
Avengers/Invaders #3

Jul 7, 2008

As a stand alone issue, I enjoyed what I read, but I do agree with Kyle in that there's just too many characters and too little happening. This is the same problem that's plaguing Kreuger and Ross' Project Superpowers title (but on a much worse degree). Their next project really needs to be scaled down. Enough with the huge casts of characters and just work on telling a story, guys.

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8.4
Avengers: The Initiative #10

Mar 14, 2008

Anyway, this book's worth buying just for the scene between Ant-Man and Taskmaster alone. It just wouldn't be right without mentioning Stefano Caselli's incredible artwork. This guy can do no wrong.

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9.6
Avengers: The Initiative #11

Apr 13, 2008

Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage, and Stefano Caselli deliver pay off after pay off. I honestly thought I might find myself getting bored with just a “slugfest” of an issue, but the way the whole situation is approached makes the battle very engaging. Even characters that I normally hate like Rage and Slapstick step up to the plate and deliver some excellent performances. Stefano Caselli's art brings this book to life, but with colorist Daniele Rudoni, the art almost feels like stills from an animated feature. This title may be the furthest thing from an Avengers book, but let me tell you, it ranks up there every month with the best of them.

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9.6
Batman #674

Mar 3, 2008

This issue is quite the stunner. Not only does the “bad guy” get away, but Batman's now faced with a situation he's never dealt with before. The themes Morrison brings to the table are ones that are quite obvious, yet never haven been addressed. If a superhero dies, and that superhero is an important fixture to his or her community, is the community (its citizens and law enforcement) ready to deal with such a scenario? How would they go about “replacing” the deceased superhero? These are the type of questions raised in Batman #674, and the lengths the community is willing to go through to find these answers is profound. This is shaping up to be one of the best Batman stories in years. Don't miss it.

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9.0
Batman #676

May 15, 2008

The RIP storyline is off to a wonderful start. It remains unseen if one will need to buy all the tie-in books to get the whole story or if reading just Batman will be enough. I'm hoping it's the latter. I do know that reading the Batman story in DC Universe #0 enhanced this issue's scene with the Joker. So if you've got 50 cents, hunt a copy down and enjoy. Tony Daniel's art is top notch and Morrison's writing is, well, very Morrison-esque. For most of us, that's a good thing.

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9.0
Batman #677

May 29, 2008

As you can probably guess, this issue created more questions than it answered. But it's loaded with mystery and motives from so far back, it seems like only Bruce's dead parents may only know the answers. Long time readers of Batman may be well rewarded if they've got enough historical knowledge under their belt. But I have a feeling most of this is all coming out of Morrison's head. Whatever's going on, it's a heck of a dark journey and a lonely one for Bruce Wayne.

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7.0
Batman #678

Jul 3, 2008

Perhaps my only beef with this issue is the lack of resolution with Alfred. Though we see him for just a brief moment latter half through the issue, nothing new is explained on his past dealings with The Black Glove nor of his fate. Anyway, this issue is weird, but perversely fun?

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7.0
Batman #679

Aug 14, 2008

After posting my review for last issue, I had one reader ask how I could give Grant Morrison a pass for this “incomprehensible nonsense”. I agree that this arc has been more of fragments and pieces rather than a story. Most of RIP requires digging into Batman lore, which I honestly don't have the time to do, but I have read some of the annotations out there and found them to be quite telling. Based on the story's merits alone, it's a mess riddled with too many nods to Batman's past. And I can't think of too many readers who've been reading Batman since the Silver Age. Yet on the same token, what's being told here is completely different and unique from any other Batman story I've read and because of that, I think it requires a closer examination. It may not be comprehensible at times, but it cannot be denied that there's something intriguing going on with this story that keeps me coming back month after month. Bring on The Joker and Black Glove!

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6.0
Batman #680

Oct 2, 2008

Next issue promises a big showdown and we know it won't end well. The reemergence of Damien into the storyline only confirms what we've all been speculating on for months. Grant Morrison has one issue left to end this on a strong note. If he pulls it off without bewildering his audience, this will have been worth the effort. And by effort, I mean the research and annotation digging 99% of us had to do.

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9.0
Black Panther (2005) #39

Jul 28, 2008

Buy this issue.

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9.0
Black Panther (2005) #40

Sep 3, 2008

I know a lot of other heroes in the Marvel Universe have been duped by these Skrull happenings, but the way she's duped is just awful (and almost as stupid as Logan not killing Mystique *ahem*). Having Ororo be a damsel in distress is a cop out. How could the former leader of the X-Men be played so easily? It's just plain stupid. But hey, you can't win them all. Pick this one up for the battles and just to know why Black Panther is such a bad ass.

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10
Captain America (2004) #34

Jan 30, 2008

This issue is phenomenal. Everything we've been reading since Captain America's death has been leading up to this issue and it pays off in a big way. And while it's Cap's turn to shine once again, this is probably one of the darkest days of the Marvel Universe since Steve Roger's death last year.

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10
Captain America (2004) #35

Feb 28, 2008

I know I sound like an old record, but Ed Brubaker has done it again: Captain America #35 is enthralling, intense, and politically charged. Seeing Bucky kicking butt as Captain America is so much fun, too. I actually caught myself smiling when he took out a bunch of guys with his shield throwing. Butch Guice does an excellent job filling in. In fact, I didn't even know he was on art chores until I read the credits. This book is phenomenal.

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10
Captain America (2004) #36

Mar 22, 2008

On the story side, things continue to move along with Red Skull and company finally getting a tad nervous about a new Captain America floating around, while Sharon Carter's disappearance compounds their problems even more. And Tony Stark? He's come a long way since Civil War. Seeing him cover for Bucky will restore a lot of people's faith in SHIELD's director. Fantastic issue.

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8.4
Captain America (2004) #37

Apr 13, 2008

Lastly, Steve Epting returns to art duties this issue. To be honest, I can't say that I missed him. If that isn't saying something about Butch Guice's fill-in work, I don't know what is. Either way, it's great to have Epting back where he belongs. His art, as always, flows in harmony with Brubaker's script. Though I have to say I miss some of the day lit outdoor scenes of the last couple of issues. It was nice seeing some bright colors in this book. Now we're back to the moody and muted earth tones again.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #38

May 20, 2008

In a nutshell, most of this issue feels like a retread of events we've been seeing for months now. It's like a dog chasing its tail. Or maybe I'm just getting a little impatient. Whatever the case may be, there's no slighting the excellent storytelling by Steve Epting or the story arc as a whole. It's still firing on all thrusters and I'm still dying to see what happens next, but it's really time for this story to pick up steam.

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6.0
Captain America (2004) #39

Jun 24, 2008

Lastly, the cover art, while stark and beautiful is one of the biggest pieces of false advertising I've seen in a long time. I mean, come on, if these two are gonna rumble, show it in the comic!

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9.6
Captain America (2004) #40

Jul 16, 2008

And the ending? It may not be as shocking as Captain America #25, but make no mistake it's up there. We're finally hitting the end of the Death of Captain America epic and the story's kicking it into overdrive. Good lord, stop reading this review and go read this issue now.

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9.0
Captain America (2004) #41

Aug 18, 2008

Bucky betting with Euros. That's pretty funny.

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9.6
Captain Marvel #3

Feb 15, 2008

I'm usually not keen when it comes to mini-series, but Captain Marvel, much like last year's Namor mini-series, is a great story that actually affects continuity. Highly recommended.

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9.0
Captain Marvel #4

Mar 20, 2008

With one issue left in this series, I'm very, very eager to see how things will end. There's still a lot left to be answered, so I hope we don't get some kind of “To be continued in Secret Invasion” cliffhanger. I've never read a Captain Marvel comic before this series, so in my humble opinion, what Brian Reed and Lee Weeks have done with this series speaks volumes. Oh, and the variant cover by Terry Dodson is to die for.

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9.6
Captain Marvel #5

Apr 17, 2008

Part of me wanted Mar-Vell to revert to his Skrull ways and become a villain, but the direction Brian Reed went – keeping him a symbol of peace on Earth – was much more satisfying. The conclusion of this book was equally as satisfying, giving us resolution to the Church of Hala and the supporting characters. Its open-endedness will undoubtedly echo for some time to come, perhaps giving way for another “Return”. I'm sad to see this series end, but somehow I know we haven't seen the last of Mar-Vell.

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9.0
City of Dust #1

Oct 3, 2008

It's been a while since I've read a Steve Niles book and boy, have I missed him. City of Dust's debut issue does not disappoint. Like many of Radical's other titles this book echos the near perfect marriage between story and art.

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6.0
Conan #49

Feb 23, 2008

I'm beginning to get into this story now, but like I said, it's just over too quickly. Those who wait for the trades on this series will have a much better time with it than the monthly readers. Timothy Truman, like Kurt Busiek before him, is quite a wordsmith. His narration of the story is excellent. Tomas Giorello's art is growing on me as well. Next month will conclude this story line and the series. We know Conan's going to slay that monster, but how he does it should be the fun part.

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8.0
Conan the Cimmerian #0

Jul 1, 2008

Consider me on board, at least for the first few issues.

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8.0
Conan the Cimmerian #2

Aug 23, 2008

Tm Truman is settling in nicely with this new run. Connacht's story definitely took me off-guard when first introduced, but seeing it completed makes a lot of sense. I give Truman and Dark Horse credit because it's quite unorthodox to have a new series do little with its main character for the first two issues. But Connacht's story touches on two important pieces of criteria: it sets the tone for the entire series, and gives the reader insight into Conan's ancestry. This is not the fun-filled, jovial adventures (and sometimes creepy) adventures that Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord brought us five years ago. Conan's world is colder, more brutal, and mature. It'll be great to see how these series of tales unravel.

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10
Criminal Vol. 2 #1

Mar 4, 2008

Words can't begin to describe how enamored I am with this story. It's honest, hard-hitting, and so well written. Brubaker does such a wonderful job getting you into the heads of both men and their situations. You can't help but feel sympathy for either of them, despite their faults. When the crap hits the fan (and it does), it'll leave you gasping for what happens next. Like I said, the story will continue, but with this expanded issue (32 pages), Brubaker is able to keep it all self contained. Don't wait for the trade to come out. Buy this today. You'll be happy you did.

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8.0
Crossed #0

Aug 10, 2008

Maybe I was too softened by making my last Ennis reading the one of Dan Dare – a book that's sophisticated, perfectly scripted, and oddly tame (when compared to the usual Ennis fare). Either way, the visuals here are nightmarish and the story will make your hands weak. I'm not sure if I'll be back for another issue, but if I do come back it's only because I'm a glutton for punishment (or my curiosity will get the best of me). If you're thinking of giving Crossed a try, consider yourself warned. I know a dollar comic is awfully enticing, but do tread lightly.

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9.0
Crossed #1

Oct 10, 2008

And I love it!

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9.6
Dan Dare #3

Jan 25, 2008

I really can't recommend this book enough. The pacing is perfect, the story is not decompressed, and Gary Erskine's art is excellent. If you're curious to see a different side of Garth Ennis or if you've ever wondered if he could write a different genre, this book is a must read.

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9.0
Dan Dare #4

Mar 3, 2008

What's made this book so good is Garth Ennis' ability to juggle multiple plot threads at the same time. He gives just enough of each subplot to keep us satisfied, while building character relationships, advancing the story, and blowing up stuff. Dan Dare, simply put, is the perfect model of how to tell a multi-facetted story. Other than last year's Annihilation series by Marvel, I can't think of a better “space” book being produced right now.

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6.0
Daredevil (1998) #105

Feb 29, 2008

The epilogue, thankfully is much stronger than the climax. But it's completely twisted and depressing. I think no matter the circumstances here, there was no way to end this confrontation in a satisfactory manner; Brubaker might have written himself into a corner. He got himself out, but like the fight between Daredevil and Mr. Fear, it wasn't pretty.

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7.0
Daredevil (1998) #106

Mar 29, 2008

Art problems aside, this is a solid issue. The last 10 or so pages do well to augment the pain Daredevil's feeling. This is one of the lowest points we've ever seen this character at and it'll be interesting to see if he digs himself deeper into despair or finds a way to dig himself out. Poor Matt Murdock never seems to catch a break. Now I'm depressed. Thanks, Mister Brubaker!

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8.4
Daredevil (1998) #108

Jul 1, 2008

Daredevil #108 continues the engaging detective story ushered in last issue and literally forces Murdock to get back on his feet and take a case he most likely cannot win. Because of the odds against him, he takes it as a challenge upon his legal prowess and so begins an intriguing story of “who did it?”. Dakota North is a fantastic supporting character and I hope she continues to stick around. It's been a long time since this book had a strong supporting female and the chemistry she brings to this book reinforces its new direction. Couple this with a well-paced story and some strong art by Michael Lark and you have the makings of a winner.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #112

Oct 28, 2008

I was a little weary of this whole Lady Bullseye storyline, but it's turning out to be quite good. Whiny Matt may not be completely gone, but at least he's not acting like this for the entire issue.

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8.0
DC Universe Zero #1

May 1, 2008

If you read Marvel's Secret Invasion Saga comic and are expecting a similar book packed to the gills with tons of history – don't. This book is hardly here to educate, but more so titillate. With art by DC's top talent and a mere price of only 50 cents, there's hardly anything to complain about. I wasn't too keen on DC's big summer events, but after reading this, I'm pretty pumped. Bring it on!

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8.0
DC Universe: Decisions #1

Sep 23, 2008

As much as I hate how the writers handled this situation, the themes being addressed are undeniably fascinating. Now I'm interested to see what happens when other heroes get involved in the political arena. Will Superman stay neutral? Will Batman endorse anyone? This should be interesting.

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9.0
DC Universe: Last Will and Testament #1

Aug 27, 2008

We get glimpses of DC's other big characters, they all take a back seat to the plot against Deathstroke. So yes, you'll get your brief glimpses at Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman, but none of their appearances feel forced (though there's no denying they're obligatory). And who better to illustrate these sequences than Joe Kubert, himself. Hopefully this isn't his last hurrah through the DC Universe for Joe, but if it is, I'll consider this a treat. For Joe Kubert's artwork alone, this book is worth its bloated cover price. Luckily, the story and art delivers, too.

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9.0
Detective Comics #840

Jan 22, 2008

Ra's Al Ghul confronts Batman and explains his disappointment in him and how he plans to move into Gotham to basically make Batman's life a living hell. At this point, Bruce seems to have had enough. What follows is what Bruce will do when pushed too far. It's smart, devious, and even cruel, but in many ways it's justified. Detective Comics #840 has very strong dialogue and characterizations by Paul Dini. I'm not a regular Batman reader, but I can easily say that this is Dini at the top of his game and an issue not to be missed. Dustin Nguyen provides some shaky storytelling at the beginning of the issue (the action is portrayed a bit off), but finishes very strong.

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8.4
Detective Comics #841

Feb 11, 2008

Paul Dini's writes up a fun Batman story and even throws in a couple of laugh out loud moments for good measure. Batman's foes can be a little on the ridiculous side and it's perfectly illustrated that he doesn't take a lot of them seriously. This story is self-contained which more than welcomed.

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5.0
Detective Comics #846

Jul 11, 2008

Dustin Nguyen's art is still wonderful on the eyes, but if you were to ask me what I prefer, Morrison's mess of a puzzle of Dini's straight forward silliness, I think I'll take the former.

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6.0
Detective Comics #847

Aug 7, 2008

We all know this is just going to lead to a confrontation with Hush and I'd rather it happened sooner than later. The Hush background stuff is becoming ridiculous and the more time I spend with this unlovable loser, the more I want to see him disposed of. The only time he was a good character was before his true identity was revealed. From there, it's been downhill. Please, kill him off and let Batman rest (or retire) in peace.

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6.0
Detective Comics #848

Sep 5, 2008

As for the rest of the issue, it's standard Batman fare. Bruce walks into Scarescrow's experiment and must use his brain and reflexes to get out of his predictament. It's very “by the numbers” and anticlimactic, but the situation's drama is heightened thanks to Dustin Nguyen's artistic skills and John Kalisz forboding color palette. There's an underlying plot at work here – Batman's being distracted, worn down so that Hush can come in for the kill. It'll be interesting to see where Dini's story ultimately takes us, but for now this is all average at best. To its credit, however, the issue is paced quite well, but it honestly has little to do (again) with the RIP storyline running in Batman. Like Morrison's storyline, maybe this will all make a little more sense in a couple of months.

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3.0
Detective Comics #849

Oct 10, 2008

It's better than the previous issues, but still not worthy of your hard earned cash. If the next issue redeems this series, wait for the trade.

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0.8
Detective Comics #850

Nov 17, 2008

This story is not only awful, but it had nothing to do with the RIP storyline. For a milestone issue, it fails in just about every department. Thank god it's over. One of the worst reads of the year.

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8.0
Dynamo 5 #11

Mar 11, 2008

Faeber delivers another solid issue and sets up an interesting plot that'll most likely plague the kids in the future. This newly freed villain with “death touch” like powers is a fascinating character, and I'm very much interested to see how he plays into this story down the line. The surprise turnabout of Visionary's mother was unexpected, but in a way, realistic. Mahmud Asrar brings his usual repetoire of excellent pencil work to the book. There's no hard hitting double-page splashes to be found, but his interpretation of Faeber's script makes for a lot of eye candy (especially Scrap). Mahmud, if you're reading this, I intend to get a sketch from you someday! The good fun continues, but the lateness is making this book lose some of its luster.

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8.0
Echo #1

Mar 6, 2008

If you can make it past the clumsy opening, you're in for a treat. I only say clumsy, because the art contained within the opening pages feels so amateurish in terms of weight, perspective, and dynamics. Once we the story moves to the ground level (literally), Moore's art begins to shine. Echo is one of those books that you'll just need to take at face value. There's no real hard science involved and Moore doesn't give a lot of explanations, but it's probably for the best. Instead, we're presented with a classic science fiction situation in a more modern and realistic setting. Count me on board for next issue.

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7.0
Echo #2

Apr 10, 2008

These rest of the issue is otherwise excellent. Moore does a great job with his compositions and narrative. They're both much improved over the first issue. There's a scene in particular with Julie and her dog that grounds this book with a lot of realism. We get more of the government conspiracy, and a new player enters the story who will most likely become Julie's adversary. There's a lot to like about this issue, but I'm just not convinced (yet) that this is a title that will read well on a monthly basis. That's not necessarily a bad thing – Scalped and Walking Dead are similar books that read much better in trade form – so we'll see.

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9.0
Echo #3

May 23, 2008

Echo #3 has an excellent balance of plot movement and character development. It reads at a brisk pace and Moore's art strongly compliments the high drama that takes place at the beginning and end of the issue. My only complaint is the lettering which gets a bit shaky at times. Otherwise, it's a fine issue that's sure to satisfy. It won't answer any lingering questions, but it does move the story forward.

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7.0
Eternals #1

Jun 8, 2008

To answer your question if this book's worth picking up, I think so. Readers unfamiliar with The Eternals may still seem confused or lost despite the many recaps laden throughout the issue. There's nothing mindblowing at work here, either, but as a debut issue it's a solid story with a decent hook. This is not Jack Kirby's Eternals and because of that the story may not work for some people. But I'm quite alright with that. This is actually much better.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #554

Feb 13, 2008

Millar promised us a science fiction story with high adventure and this issue lays down the foundation for that. I'm not convinced by some of the characterizations presented in this book (Johnny Storm), but all in all, the concept and plot is exactly what a modern Fantastic Four book should be. We all know what to expect from Bryan Hitch when he draws and he doesn't let us down. His art is nothing short of breathtaking.

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9.6
Fantastic Four #555

Mar 15, 2008

The creative team is firing on all cylinders. Paul Neary and Paul Mounts deliver some beautiful inks and colors over Bryan Hitch's pencils. And Russ Wooton's has to be commended for his choices in typefaces (it all just fits perfectly). Fantastic Four is in very capable hands. Prepare to be enraptured from page one.

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2.0
Fantastic Four #556

Apr 9, 2008

That said, the “snowless” pages are fine. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch continue their run with a solid, but not spectacular issue. It's the obligatory fight issue, not the fun science issue like last month, so don't expect to be blown away with crazy, out of this world concepts. But what should have been a fun and entertaining issue is snowed out by Paul Mount's blizzard machine. If I'm Bryan Hitch, I'd be pissed. This is unforgivable.

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9.0
Fantastic Four #558

Jun 22, 2008

Bryan Hitch continues to push himself as an artist. There's not much action in this issue, but make no mistake, there's a good amount of it in the opening pages. When we see The Thing crash through a series of skyscrapers I just couldn't help but laugh. Afterwards, the story quiets down considerably and this is where we get to see a different side of Hitch's work. He does some tremendous panel work, contorting the camera and keeping the eye entertained through many domestic moments. This is a really good comic.

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8.4
Fantastic Four #560

Sep 26, 2008

This is an issue of answers, explanations, and plot advancement. Don't expect surprises, because chances are you won't get any. If you've been having fun with the ride so far, chances are your experience won't be hampered. Just don't expect the shocking cliffhanger that Millar usually spoils us with.

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8.0
Fell #9

Feb 11, 2008

Nearly all of Fell's past stories have been open-ended. This issue continues that tradition. Sure, we wanna see what happens to the hospital director, but Ellis leaves that to our imaginations. There's no denying that this is a strong issue, but it's beginning to feel a little too “Law & Order” for me – like it's just going through the motions.

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5.0
Final Crisis #1

May 29, 2008

I'm going to stick around and see if I can make sense of everything. Hell, maybe I'll learn some stuff about the DC Universe. But judging from the tone of this first issue, I'm going to have to do a lot of homework to make sense of it all. Readers who've followed DC's line of books for years will most likely enjoy this first issue, but for the rest of us, it's unfriendly nature to neophytes may evoke a hostile response.

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3.0
Final Crisis #2

Jun 25, 2008

For the 10% of comic book reading populace who “gets” every reference and can follow the story without “help” gets my admiration and applause. I honestly wish I could comprehend this story and I wish I could enjoy it. I'm a fan of the creative team, and J.G. Jones handles the monumental task of drawing a billion superheroes (and villains) almost effortlessly. Alex Sinclair also deserves kudos for his coloring work here. Unlike the boring, moody palettes he brings to Jim Lee's artwork, the colors he uses here brings the world to life. It's just a shame I couldn't enjoy the story as much as the artwork, because the art is, quite frankly, the only criteria that prevents this book from getting an “F”.

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8.4
Final Crisis #3

Aug 6, 2008

J.G. Jones once again does some terrific work. If you can, find the Supergirl cover. It's to die for (and strangely reminiscent of that girl on the cover of Grand Theft Auto IV). There's a few notable pages that'll make your jaw drop – particularly one involving the aforementioned assembled heroes. My confidence in this series is restored and I never thought I'd feel this way, but I'm actually now anticipating the next chapter of this series more than Marvel's Secret Invasion. Crazy!

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8.0
Final Crisis #4

Oct 23, 2008

It'll be interesting to see if and how the heroes of the DC Universe overcome this mess. Earth is really in the crapper right now.

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5.0
Final Crisis #5

Dec 11, 2008

If you have the stomach to follow, go right ahead. It's not easy, but if you dig in, you might be able to hang with the story.

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10
Final Crisis: Legion Of Three Worlds #1

Aug 21, 2008

Out of all the Final Crisis spin-off books, this was the one I was most worried about. As it turns out, it's the best read of the bunch. Shame on me for doubting the power of Geoff Johns. And George Perez? He's the icing on the cake. This is a near-perfect comic if I ever saw one.

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9.0
Final Crisis: Legion Of Three Worlds #2

Oct 16, 2008

At first, I didn't think I'd enjoy this issue, but that quickly turned around as Geoff Johns' script began to connect the dots. Those who thought the first issue was full of too much exposition will most likely be much more pleased with this second installment.

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9.0
Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns #1

Oct 30, 2008

Tired of Secret Invasion and Final Crisis? Rage of the Red Lantern may be just what you need!

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8.4
Final Crisis: Requiem #1

Jul 14, 2008

Doug Mahnke draws some strikingly detailed art and handles the ensemble cast like a pro, while Peter Tomasi delivers a strong, heartfelt script. It won't make you cry or anything, but it will make you appreciate one of DC's most under appreciated (and lovable) characters. Is the cover price a bit too high? Yeah. But then again story told here is much more comprehensible and compelling than the first two issues of Final Crisis we've been fed so far.

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8.4
G. I. Joe #0

Oct 27, 2008

At $1.00, buying this issue's a no-brainer. Granted the production values are excellent and the stories conveyed here seem to have genuine promise, but like most of IDW's titles the prices of these forthcoming G.I. Joe series cannot be possibly justified (unless they're 48 pages each). As excited as I am to read these on-going series, I'll be holding out for the inevitable trades.

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7.0
G.I. Joe: America's Elite #35

May 29, 2008

I may have come on to this title a bit too late, but I had fun with what I was given. Cobra Commander's got one more trick up his sleeve and I'm anxious to see what it is.

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8.0
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1

May 31, 2008

Cassaday's art is simple, and not so breathtaking as it used to be. It's lost some of its luster, and the use of photographic backgrounds from the opening pages is jarring. As a whole, Cassaday's work gets the job done. keeping the cohesion from the past 24 issues intact. The closure of this storyline is fitting, bringing things full circle, so to speak. I may not have been blown away by its conclusion, but other than maybe X-Men: Legacy, this title is still miles away better than all the other X-Titles combined.

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8.4
Green Arrow / Black Canary #5

Feb 18, 2008

If you're not reading Green Arrow/Black Canary, you're missing out on one of the best character driven superhero books around. Misgivings on this issue aside, Judd Winick is writing some of the best work of his career with this series. Regular artist, Cliff Chiang is sorely missed this issue, but Andre Coelho does an admirable job filling in.

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8.4
Green Arrow / Black Canary #6

Mar 18, 2008

As short as it is, I had a blast with this issue. We finally get to see more Canary and her attitude, plus Judd Winick does a nice job displaying the chemistry she has with her husband. Oliver's still saddened and full of anguish, but he's contained to just one outburst this issue. My only complaint is when he has his outburst it almost feels like he's pouting like a spoiled kid. That said, when the action gets rolling (and it does very early), it thrusts Oliver back into his element whether he likes it or not. It may be a distraction to him, but it's great to see him enjoying himself again. Oh yeah, Cliff Chiang is back on art and boy is it a beautiful thing.

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9.6
Green Lantern (2005) #36

Jan 3, 2009

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've been dying for a Green Lantern fix for months. This issue delivers in spades and leaves you dying for the next installment.

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9.6
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #1

May 13, 2008

In a perfect world, this comic would be one of those big budget, science fiction epics we'd see on television a weekly basis. But since it's not, the comic will have to do. If the creative team can keep this momentum going (and I have no doubt that they can given their track record on Annihilation and Nova), Guardians of the Galaxy will quietly become one of the best new series of 2008.

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9.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #2

Jun 18, 2008

Honestly, this is what a great comic comes down to: Good times. This book is having a blast and we're all invited.

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8.4
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #4

Aug 22, 2008

I think Kyle's grade might reflect his feelings of the series more than the issue by itself. While I enjoyed this story quite a bit, I feel it's the weakest offering so far. There's nothing bad about this issue, per se, it just failed to wow me. This is most likely due to me being spoiled with the team's constant dealings with galaxy shaking events (Annihilation, those crazy fissures, etc).Here, they're confined to the Knowhere and other than the constant back and forth between Rocket Racoon and Cosmo, I didn't find much more to get excited about.The bomb Starlord drops at the end is definitely a big one, and with Drax pissed off you know things are about to hit the fan. This is one of those story arcs that'll let things stew before coming to a full boil. And I can already feel the heat.

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4.0
Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode #1

Oct 21, 2008

All in all, this is a decent start to the series, I just hated the surprise reappearance of Loomis at the end. Talk about feeling way too forced and coincidental. This book also needs more consistency on all fronts.

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8.0
Hercules: The Thracian Wars #1

May 5, 2008

With a retail price of $1.00 for the first issue, you're getting a fantastic deal, not to mention a bloody start to what I'm hoping will become an epic series. The dark tone of Steve Moore's story is further bolstered by Admira Wijaya's stunning visuals. There's some great textured work here that makes the world feel foreboding, yet real. If the creative team can maintain this quality of work, I'm definitely on board for the long term. I just need to know where this whole story is headed, because right now, it's all a bit too mysterious. Fantasy buffs will most likely enjoy this first issue.

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9.0
Hercules: The Thracian Wars #2

Jun 3, 2008

All in all, this series is one of the sleeper hits of 2008. It's the perfect marriage of story and art on a very high level. With Caliber and Hercules, Radical Comics is off to a strong start as a new publisher. High ly recommended.

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9.6
Hercules: The Thracian Wars #3

Jun 24, 2008

This issue is as near flawless as they come. Each month, I put off reading this comic until the last minute and each month I kick myself for not reading it sooner. Don't be like me. Do yourself a favor and play catch up with this series. You'll be glad you did.

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10
Hercules: The Thracian Wars #4

Aug 6, 2008

There's been a lot of people trying to compare this book to Frank Miller's 300. Even Radical's marketing team is guilty of this. But other than both using Greek characters and violence, there's really no comparison. Apples and oranges. If I could only read one, I'd easily take this series. Superior art, a color cast of characters, and an original (and more stronger) story wins out here.

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9.0
Hercules: The Thracian Wars #5

Sep 1, 2008

Though Hercules may be without some of his partners by the end of this issue, I'm hoping we'll see a reappearance at some point down the road. This is a great series, easily one of the best stories I've read of 2008. Do yourself a favor and hunt down the back issues of wait for the inevitable trade. Just make sure you check it out. As for me, bring on the next series!

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9.0
House of Mystery #1

May 9, 2008

The art teams do an excellent job of translating the spooky atmosphere to the comic page (especially that creepy fly story), and the writing teams both turn in stellar scripts. There's a bit of confusion involved with a few of the opening plots that may throw off some people, but I urge you to keep reading. As the issue progresses, things begin to unravel. And while you won't get all your answers from this first offering, you will get just enough to make you come back next month. The industry needs more comics like this. Highly recommended.

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5.0
House of Mystery #2

Jun 9, 2008

As for the art, it's one of the bright points in the book. Jill Thompson's muted watercolor work is hauntingly beautiful. It's only a few pages though, so don't expect too much. Luca Rossi handles art chores for rest of the issue and produces quality that matches the previous issue. In other words, it's good stuff. The story, however is strictly average at best. And that's something House of Mystery should never have.

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4.0
House of Mystery #5

Sep 9, 2008

Someone let me know when it's safe to come home.

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6.0
Hulk (2008) #2

Feb 20, 2008

As much as I'm not caring for the story, I am looking forward to the big slugfest coming next issue. Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines just make it so much fun. I completely give them all the credit for making this series somewhat bearable.

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8.0
Hulk (2008) #3

Apr 24, 2008

I know a lot of people are hating this book and I was one of them initially. But understanding this book's identity is one of the keys to enjoying it. If you can accept the voice Loeb is giving this book, you'll be plenty entertained. It's pure fan-service. It's the Hulk unleashed, beating monsters and wrecking stuff. This is what made the Hulk fun! And as long as Loeb and McGuiness can keep this train rolling, I'll stay on board. Because sometimes you go to the movies to see an Oscar worthy performance. And other times you just wanna see things blow up. This is the latter, and I'm enjoying the fireworks.

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5.0
Hulk (2008) #5

Aug 11, 2008

I don't know about you guys, but when I read the conversation between Green Hulk and Abomination it reminded me of the Dinobots talking in Transformers. Anyone else get that vibe?

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8.0
Immortal Iron Fist #12

Jan 22, 2008

Regular artist, Dave Aja is joined by two other artists this issue and only handles a few pages himself. As you can imagine, he's given the task of rendering the action shots, and it's just so brilliantly done that the rest of the issue suffers; the other artists are completely dwarfed by his brilliant work.

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7.0
Immortal Iron Fist #13

Mar 24, 2008

And Xao? What started off as a ruthless villain has now become somewhat of a parody. Sure, he's good at threatening, but it's very telling when his prisoners (Luke Cage and company) don't take him seriously. And when I finally got to the last page, I laughed out loud. A poignant cliffhanger that's proper to this entire story line. Kick their ass, Danny!

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10
Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death #1

Feb 21, 2008

This issue answers a lot of questions currently being addressed in the current Iron Fist series. It also offers a wealth of information and backstory to Iron Fist mythos. Iron Fist was never this rich of a character (in terms of history and depth) until Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction restarted his series. Here, Fraction goes the extra mile, painting a lush tale and bringing so many mysterious characters to life. This is one of the best Iron Fist stories ever.

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8.4
Immortal Iron Fist: The Origin of Danny Rand #1

Aug 25, 2008

Sure, this book may just be a reprint, two stories for $3.99 ain't a bad thing these days.

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9.0
Incredible Hercules #113

Jan 23, 2008

Khoi Pham's art is to die for. I think this is my first encounter with his art (if I've seen it before, I've not really noticed), but his art on the flashback sequences is amazing. When Hercules goes nuts, his facial expressions are simultaneously funny and psychotic. This book is a pleasant surprise.

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9.0
Incredible Hercules #114

Feb 21, 2008

Khoi Pham is insanely talented and his supporting art team of Paul Neary and Stephane Peru do a great job of bringing his work to life. If you're not picking up Incredible Hercules for the story, you should be picking it up for the art. Either way, it's a win-win situation for all. Buy this book. Support it. It deserves to stick around.

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9.6
Incredible Hercules #115

Mar 21, 2008

Using a perfect blend of hilarity, flashbacks, and action, the writing team of Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente smack another issue out of the park. There's a wonderful chemistry between Hercules and Cho that almost make this book feel like a “buddy cop adventure”. Penciler, Khoi Pham along with Paul Neary and Danny Miki on inks serve up another fantastic feast for the eyes. I heard Pham is leaving the book soon, and I really hope that doesn't happen. Arthur Adam's cover? His best Hercules piece to date. The farewell tribute to Hercules' colorist Stephane Peru, who recently passed away is touching. Seriously, there's nothing to not like about this book.

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8.4
Incredible Hercules #116

Apr 15, 2008

So what is the deal with the gang hanging around San Francisco? Well, it appears Athena has made a startling revelation and she realizes mankind is going to need a lot of help. What this revelation is won't come as a surprise to most, but it sure did surprise me! With Khoi Pham now gone as penciler, I was weary of what we'd be getting out of Rafa Sandoval. But Sandoval easily survives his trial by fire and delivers some really good art. Some of his facial expressions are a bit wonky (particularly Ikaris), but everyone else is down pat, especially Hercules.

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8.0
Incredible Hercules #118

Jun 19, 2008

There's just no way to take this book seriously. Sure, there may be a moment where things get heated, but for the most part, it's very reminiscent of an action-comedy or cop-buddy flick. Again, much credit to Grek Pak and Fred Van Lente for writing one of the best titles on Marvel's block. Rafa Sandoval's art, along with his supporting team of Roger Bonet and Martegod Gracia are outstanding as well.

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8.0
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #25

Feb 19, 2008

The bonus stuff we get at the end of the issue is a nice touch, but not necessarily needed. We get a fun trip down memory lane as Bob Layton discusses the past revisions of Iron Man's suits. Then there's an excellent reprinting of Iron Man's first appearace from Tales of Suspense #39 – always a gem. Lastly, we're treated to a preview of Iron Man: Viva Las Begas #1 by Jon Favreau and Adi Granov! Sure, this issue's a bit more expensive, but I think the bonuses justify the extra dollar. Plus it's issue #25. Did you expect anything less from a milestone issue?

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8.0
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #26

Feb 22, 2008

As far as art goes this is Roberto De La Torre's best Iron Man work to date. He and colorist, Dean White hit a homerun are pure magic together. De La Torre really knows where to put the camera. His angles give the art so much more expression and drama. I'd really, really love to have the double-page splash they did in this issue made into a poster.

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8.0
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #27

Mar 23, 2008

Iron Man may not be as consistently good as Marvel's top tier titles like Captain America, Daredevil, and Iron Fist, but it's got a strong mature story that's been brewing for quite a while. It's not fun super heroics like Spider-Man, it's a serialized drama that acts very much like a TV show. And the villains are no joke either. This version of the Mandarin portrayed is the one we've always wanted to see. And if they do make a second Iron Man movie, this is how he should be patterned after.

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8.4
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #28

Apr 19, 2008

If you've been following this book for the past year or so, prepare for a very gratifying conclusion. For the rest of you waiting to jump on, wait till next month when we'll most likely get a Secret Invasion related story. Or, you could pick up this issue for the buttkicking alone. Either way, it's a win-win situation.

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6.0
Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1

May 6, 2008

As for the story itself, it feels a bit disjointed at times, but there are some good moments scattered about (like Iron Man being boo'd off the airplane). It's too early to tell if this series will be worth the price of admission, but I do like how Jon Favreau's writing style is much different from the norm. It's good that Favreau doesn't waste any time, the downside is this issue is over before you know it. If it continues at this blistering pace, a trade might be more worthwhile.

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7.0
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1

Nov 20, 2008

If you're current with the JSA storyline, you'll probably find little faults with this issue. But if you're a casual reader or just picking up this book out of curiosity, I urge you to approach with caution.

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10
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman #1

Nov 14, 2008

This is well worth you $3.99 if not more. This is easily one of the best comics produced this year or any year. With people like Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, James Robinson, and now Alex Ross surrounding him, Superman as a character hasn't had it this good in decades.

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8.4
Justice League: New Frontier Special #1

Mar 10, 2008

If you loved New Frontier, picking up this follow-up is a no-brainer and worthy edition to your collection. For everyone else, I realize $4.99 is a bit on the high side, but for a one-shot like this, it's worth the price. Check it out!

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9.6
Kick-Ass #2

Apr 2, 2008

If anyone does any real ass-kicking this issue, it's John Romita Jr. Naysayers will silenced not just by his storytelling, but by his action sequences as well. There's no gratuitous single or double page splashes filled with crazy over-extended limbs. In fact, there's not any real gratuitous violence in this issue at all. It's just real. This is where the sure brilliance of the creative team comes into play. Showing a lot of restraint, they keep the action grounded. When Dave's on the ground being beat, he doesn't do some crazy move to get back on his feet, he flails his legs and arms just hoping he'll connect with a devastating blow. And that's what this creative team does: They connect with us on a primal perverse manner. It's we, the readers, who are the gratuitous ones.

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9.0
Kick-Ass #4

Aug 28, 2008

As much as I find these new characters disgusting, I couldn't help but oogle over the carnage they inflict. And the hilarious last sentence uttered by Hit Girl on the final page literally made me spit my drink out at McDonalds. Well played, Millar. Well played.

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7.0
Kull #1

Nov 10, 2008

This is a solid debut and I had a good time reading it. My problem is that there isn't anything here that sets this apart from other similarly told stories. Perhaps as the book continues we'll learn more about why Kull's such a great character, but from what I gathered the only thing that makes him somewhat interesting is his approach to war. The mishandling of the battle near the end provides a possible setup for consequences down the road, but somehow I don't see politics playing a big role in the storyline. I don't think I'd want to see it either.

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0.8
Last Defenders #1

Mar 15, 2008

There's definitely a lot to be desired with this book, but one of its worst shortcomings is the art. Jim Muniz's pencils are complete with an assortment of odd and stiff poses by characters, and the biggest crime is how he manages to make She-Hulk look retarded. Even Colossus, at times, looks completely bloated. Sorry, but I won't be back for issue #2. There's nothing here that appeals to me. A resurrected series like this needs to cater to new readers, not just old ones. But, because the story is incomprehensible to the average comic reader, it fails.

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5.0
Legion of Super-Heroes (2004) #38

Jan 28, 2008

It's got to be leading somewhere, but from what I've seen so far the plot is giving me no indication on what's gonna happen next. It's almost like Shooter's making this up as he goes along. The only thing I can surmise is Lightning Lad's inevitable breakdown. I can always count on Manapul's art to be good, but if I'm still confused by the end of next issue, I'm probably going to drop this book.

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4.0
Logan #2

Apr 3, 2008

Logan's narrative about Hiroshima and the effect of the bombing feels incredibly forced. It's like Brian K. Vaughan is trying to say, “Look, I'm smart. I researched what happened and now I'm sharing it with you.” Really, it comes off like a book report. Most people know about the shadows of people being burned into ground when the bomb went off. This story's a lazy one, and the art isn't very far behind. Eduardo Risso does a decent job conveying the story, but his action sequences are too over the top for my tastes. Nothing he did this issue failed to capture my attention like he did in the previous, except for his accurate rendition of the lone building left standing from ground zero.

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9.0
Marvel 1985 #1

May 27, 2008

Marvel 1985 will be fun for just about any fan of Marvel Comics. It's an revisitation to a familiar time, when things weren't so gloomy. It's also a refreshing concept that goes beyond super heroes and villains. It's like Kurt Busiek's Marvels in a way, but it's based in the 80s and seen through more innocent eyes. This kid isn't witnessing any key events of the past like Busiek's protagonist – he's caught right in the middle of it!

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8.0
Marvel Zombies #4

Jan 24, 2008

Compared to earlier issues in this run, not much is accomplished in this one, but the funny dialogue more than makes up for it. Also, the zombies finally start their *real* civil war – and there are casualties! Bring on issue #5.

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8.4
Marvel Zombies Vol. 2 #5

Mar 1, 2008

If you've been largely unsatisfied with this series like many of my friends, issue #5 will most likely satisfy you. Me? I loved every single issue. Kirkman could haven taken the easy way out, giving us more of the same. But he didn't. Instead, with Marvel Zombies 2, we got a worthy follow-up that tried to do something different. He also got us to care about these zombies! And that's to be commended.

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3.0
Marvel Zombies Vol. 3 #1

Oct 6, 2008

Marvel Zombies is not Shakespeare. It's messed up fun! And all the charm that made its predecessors such a gory delight is disturbingly absent. Please fix this!

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6.0
Marvel Zombies Vol. 3 #2

Nov 12, 2008

Yes, this story's improving but it's hampered with stupid decisions and annoying diatribes. If Fred Van Lente's trying to make me hate Machine Man, he's succeeding. And what's going on with Morbius? Other than being briefly mentioned his plotline isn't even touched upon in this issue.

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7.0
Mighty Avengers #9

Feb 22, 2008

Brian Bendis is going all weird and random on this book. I'm not sure what its voice or direction is, but the constant odd-ball surprises are quite funny. There are some outstanding questions that need answers, however. If Doom didn't order the attack on New York, who did? And where is Doom's army of Atlantians (read last year's Sub-Mariner if you don't understand what I'm talking about). Mark Bagley? Wow! This guy blows the doors wide open when he gets to the battle. If this is his last Marvel comic book, he definitely went out in style.

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9.6
Mighty Avengers #10

Mar 16, 2008

It's so obvious that the creative team had fun with this throwback to the 1970s. From the faux old school coloring job to the Marvel in-house advertisements on the bottom of each page, the team strives to make you feel like you're back in the early days of the Marvel Universe. It doesn't hurt either that Mark Bagley's style is old school Marvel bullpen influenced, either. Even the opening splash page screams of early Bronze Age goodness. Do yourself a favor and pick up this issue. It's hands down, the best issue of Mighty Avengers yet.

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7.0
Mighty Avengers #11

Mar 26, 2008

The issue is good. It's entertaining. But it's not great. In fact, most of it is forgettable. It's got gobs of action and nice bits of dialogue, but it's also more of the same stuff we've seen in the previous two issues. Only the conclusion and epilogue really stand out as memorable. Even Mark Bagley's art feels more rushed than usual. And if this is his last penciled Marvel comic (for now), then it's even more of a let down. I will say this, though: The second to last page serves as a hint of what we'll be seeing when the Skrulls finally unveil their plans next issue.

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9.6
Mighty Avengers #12

Apr 22, 2008

Don't let the cover fool you. This issue has little to do with the Avengers, themselves, and it might have stood better as a one-shot, but whatever the case, this is one heck of a story and Alex Maleev does nothing but illustrate Bendis' script brilliantly. In many ways, this issue plays out like a Jason Bourne movie as Fury bounces around from place to place, surprising people and issuing stern warnings. Bendis has found the perfect way to reintroduce him back into Marvel continuity and he serves up one a heck of a thrilling story, too. If you've been following Secret Invasion, this is a story you cannot afford to miss.

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5.0
Mighty Avengers #14

May 19, 2008

Guest penciling the book this month is Khoi Pham, whose recent work in The Incredible Hercules has been nothing less than brilliant. Here in this book, his art feels more domestic and less exciting (sad to say). But I can hardly fault the guy, he makes The Sentry look like a complete wuss. And he is a wuss. Does that make this good storytelling? Only if you're trying to make me hate The Sentry even more. Put this artist back where he belongs.

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9.0
Mighty Avengers #15

Jun 24, 2008

What makes this book excellent is that it shows how clever Brian Bendis is. The seeds he's planted over the past year are finally sprouting and as you can expect, there's a reason for everything. Each plot, no matter how throw away they've been (like that female Ultron storyline), suddenly becomes legitimate. This is another “connecting the dots” issue that clearly shows how Earth's Mightiest Heroes (and us readers) have been played for fools. It also finally answers the question if the real Ant-Man has always been the abusive husband or if his Skrull counterpart is. So is it worth picking up? Most definitely. The story is engaging and the art, pure Romita Jr. “goodness”.

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9.0
Mighty Avengers #16

Jul 15, 2008

If you buy this book, you'll blow through it in 5 minutes, but these are high quality minutes you're paying for. Brian Bendis allows Khoi Pham to do the heavy lifting and the result is a strong, memorable issue. It doesn't do much to push the Secret Invasion story forward, but it does serve as a nice reveal to the beginnings of New Avengers.

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7.0
Mighty Avengers #17

Aug 27, 2008

I'll agree that Khoi Pham's art, which I usually love is a bit uneven in this issue but the story is a poingant and strong one. Sure, this issue is rife with more “connecting of the dots”, but I like how this whole story leads up to the Ultron story arc seen last year. It does a good job showing us how Hank found himself involved with Tigra. But there's more to this story than backstory, it shows us how the Skrulls are making a costly mistake. Moreso, it shows us that there are even some things that they cannot control or predict; an inherent flaw in their invasion plan. And who knows – sooner or later is looks like it's going to backfire.

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5.0
Mighty Avengers #18

Sep 17, 2008

As you can imagine, the end of the issue brings us up to current events in Secret Invasion – which is good. After this issue, I'd rather pass on the team's growing pains and just see them kick some butt. Great art, average story.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers #19

Oct 17, 2008

This is essentially issue #6 of last year's Captain Marvel mini-series from Brian Reed. And that, by no means is a bad thing. Even though this is the end of a character, the last page shows a seed that will mostly likely germinate from the ashes.

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0.8
Mighty Avengers #20

Dec 21, 2008

Read it at your comic store and use your $2.99 on another book.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel #25

Mar 27, 2008

It's great to see Ms. Marvel last 25 issues. Hats off to the fans and Marvel for having faith in Brian Reed and not letting this book die. Let's make sure it stays that way. Pick up this issue. It's well worth your money.

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6.0
Ms. Marvel #26

Apr 21, 2008

All in all, this is decent issue of Ms. Marvel. It contains the usual above average story that I've come to expect from this title, but being one of the first Secret Invasion satellite books, I was expecting something more exciting.

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7.0
Ms. Marvel #27

May 28, 2008

The art team has changed yet again with this issue, giving it an uneven feel. But fill-in artist, Andre Coelho does a very nice job portraying action and emotional elements. Despite the constant rotation of art teams, one thing that's (thankfully) been consistent is the picking of artists who know how to draw a sweet looking Ms. Marvel. That definitely counts for something. All in all, this issue caps what's been a lackluster Secret Invasion tie-in with a strong finish. I'm definitely on board to see what happens next.

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8.0
New Avengers #38

Feb 14, 2008

This issue features no action or fist throwing, but plays upon a story that's been building for a long time. The “Secret Invasion, Infiltration” title on the cover is a bit misleading, so don't expect any revelations. All in all, a solid read.

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4.0
New Avengers #39

Mar 26, 2008

Consider this issue the calm before the storm. If you're anticipating Secret Invasion, you'll want to pick this up just to stay within the loop of things. Everyone else: proceed with caution.

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8.4
New Avengers #41

May 25, 2008

I had a lot of fun with this issue. It's actually got Avengers in it, plus it's more concurrent with the main Secret Invasion storyline. It's not a key issue, but it does act as a decent supplement until Secret Invasion #3 hits the newsstand next month.

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3.0
New Avengers #43

Jul 22, 2008

Look, maybe it was necessary to tell this story. I can understand that. But it could have been done so without all the redundancies. Unfortunately, this issue feels like a waste. It's essentially weak supplemental material that might have been better served as a backup or a side story to some double-sized issue. It doesn't belong here. Save your money and skip this one unless you absolutely need your Billy Tan fix.

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6.0
New Avengers #45

Sep 25, 2008

Sorry for the tangent, but yes, the last couple of pages of this book, as miniscule as they are, gave this story more relevance. It just would have been nice to see more than a reaction from the Skrull Queen. If this sounds like a book you should skip, it probably is. Nothing shown here really adds to the Secret Invasion story – it just ties up loose ends. But if you want to see some gorgeous Jim Cheung artwork, you may want to add this book to your collection. The choice is yours.

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8.0
New X-Men (2004) #46

Jan 17, 2008

I'm not sure if the next part will be a double-sized issue, because there's still a lot of lingering questions that need to be answered. Knowing Marvel, we'll have to wait for the upcoming X-Men Divided arc to get the answers we need.

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4.0
Northlanders #1

Jan 28, 2008

It seems like Brian Wood's put a lot of research into this book, but I need more than just a revenge tale full of unlikeable characters who use modern curse words just because the author thinks it'll make the book more edgy.

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2.0
Northlanders #2

Jan 29, 2008

Brian Wood may be trying to show diversity in his work by taking on this title, but it just shows how weak he can be as a storyteller. I can't, in good faith, put any more money into this title. Maybe I'll read someone else's copy or wait for a trade, but there's no way this book is worth $2.99.

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2.0
Northlanders #3

Feb 19, 2008

There's not much writing in this issue – most of it is a showcase for Davide Gianfelice's excellent storytelling skills. He does a phenominal job with the script he's given, but to be honest, he deserves to be working on a better title. Northlanders is just a waste. If you love Brian Wood, support him by picking up DMZ. It's okay not to like everything he does. No one's perfect.

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7.0
Project Superpowers #1

Mar 2, 2008

Krueger is careful not to introduce too many characters at once this issue. Because of this, we really get a grasp on what drives Dynamic Man and Green Lama. We're also given a small dossier at the end of the issue giving us a little character history. Carlos Paul, working off of Alex Ross' breakdowns produces some excellent. While this issue's story is no where near as “epic” as last issue, it's entertaining, nonetheless. I'm not *dying* to read the next issue, but I am satisfied with what I got out of this one.

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3.0
Project Superpowers #2

Apr 7, 2008

I'm hoping this series rights itself back on course. It doesn't hurt much when you start a series from issue #1 and it's a crappy book. But when you start a series off as spectacularly as this one did and hit a rock with the storyline, well, it's a complete downer. Carlos Paul and Alex Ross deliver the goods on art, once again – no complaints there. But this story needs a fixing.

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8.0
Punisher: Force of Nature #1

Feb 18, 2008

Interestingly enough, the Punisher takes a secondary role in this book. Sure, he facilitates all the mayhem, but this story is really about the criminals' struggle to survive out at sea. It's obvious that these criminals will die, that's just the Punisher's way, but how they arrive at their demise is what makes this such a well crafted story. Great artwork by Michel Lacomb compliments this story. My only complaint is the $4.99 price tag – ouch.

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8.4
Rasl #1

Mar 3, 2008

I'll admit it, Rasl came in under my radar this week. I just happened to see it on the shelf and decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did, too. The premise, while nothing new, is engaging and it gives way to a lot of curiosity (not to mention a bevy possibilities). Smith's art is sharp and clean, while not being overly cartoony in style. My only reservation is that the issue reads very quickly. Don't get me wrong here, it's not decompressed at all. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with a book paced this quickly, but having to wait until May 2008 for the next issue is madness!

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6.0
Resurrection #1

Feb 16, 2008

At $3.50 an issue, Resurrection is a bit pricey. I suggest trying a couple of issues to see if it's to your liking. Me? I'll stick around a bit longer.

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9.0
Risers #1

Mar 30, 2008

This is a good start to the series. Kurt Belcher and Stever Farfan do an excellent job conveying the tone of the story with their stark black and white imagery. There's times where it's a bit too dark for my tastes, but otherwise, very solid storytelling. Great work, guys! If you're interested in reading this book, Alterna Comics has a first four issues up for download here.

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2.0
Robin #175

Jul 27, 2008

Right. Like that's going to happen.

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9.6
Scalped #1

Feb 8, 2008

This book is hardcore, probably the most hardcover Vertigo book I've read since Garth Ennis' Preacher. It's full of testosterone, politics, sex, and things you probably see on an episode of Cops. There's a lot of tension in this book and there's usually something that hits the fan in each issue. If you can find these back issues at your local comic store, do not hesitate to pick them up. You can also pick up the first trade paperback, “Indian Country” which collects issues #1-5 for $9.99. Consider me on for the ride. If you're interested giving this book a read, issue #1 is available as a free download from DC Comics.

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9.6
Scalped #4

Feb 8, 2008

Then there's Bad Horse's mother. She was never a perfect mother and she's seen as a thorn in the side of progress on the reservation. There's a scene in issue #4 illustrated by R.M. Guera where there's few words used. It's a beautiful montage of flashbacks and emotions, and you just can't help but feel empathy for her. We also get to see some of Bad Horse's past. His life outside the reservation made him a better man – a man driven to succeed at any cost. Meanwhile, Carol's true colors come out and Bad Horse takes things into his own hands. The ending of issue #5 is ominous.

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8.0
Scalped #6

Feb 9, 2008

After issue #9 things slow down. We get to learn more of Lakota culture and how awful life can be on a reservation. It's depressing, to say the least. Issue #11, the final part of the Casino Boogie story line goes out with a whimper, bringing us back full circle to Gina's demise. We get some answers, but there's still a lot of outstanding questions looming. I wanted more from this story and felt kind of let down with the lack of resolution with Diesel. It's also been rough having Bad Horse absent for three consecutive issues.

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6.0
Scalped #12

Feb 9, 2008

We get a lot of foreshadowing, yes, but it's also safe to assume that everything his mom says is easily going to happen anyway. I guess the Bad Horse is too dumb not to figure out the obvious and needs it spelled out to him. Great dialogue as usual by Jason Aaron, but this issue felt like unneeded filler.

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10
Scalped #13

Feb 9, 2008

Jason Aaron weaves two tales here that parallel. When they both finally intersect it becomes tragic and extremely powerful. I thought the first three pages were gut wrenching, but the last three are by far, more moving. R.M. Guera is a masterful storyteller and Jason Aaron is incredibly lucky to have his talent along side. This is easily the most emotional issue of Scalped yet – and the best.

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10
Scalped #15

Mar 10, 2008

Much like Officer Bad Horse, the ending of this issue left me completely speechless. Aaron's pacing is spot-on perfect and R.M. Guera again proves that he's one of the best artists in the industry. Scalped #15 is a hell of a good read. Easily one of the best issues of the series so far.

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8.4
Scalped #16

Apr 6, 2008

Like many previous issues of Scalped, we're treated to a series of silent panels where Aaron let's R.M. Guera run loose with his storytelling. This kind of thing never gets old, and it's become something I look forward to seeing when I pick up this title. Great work guys, and give Shelton a happy ending. Someone deserves one!

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9.6
Secret Invasion #1

Apr 1, 2008

Secret Invasion is off to a dizzying start and like its pacing, it'll leave you breathless. You did good this time, Bendis. You did good.

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10
Secret Invasion #5

Aug 14, 2008

Buy this issue. It's coated with a series of reveals and counter measures we've all been clamoring for months. It's a pay off story, and one of the best I've ever read. After months of languishing in near mediocrity, Secret Invasion is back and unfortunately proves that this story would be better read in trade format. But who wants to wait nearly a year for that? Gimmie the next issue now!

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5.0
Secret Invasion #7

Oct 22, 2008

At this point I just want this series to be over.

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2.0
Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man #1

Sep 4, 2008

This book adds nothing to the overall Secret Invasion storyline, nor does it have a compelling plot. Save your money. Avoid this one or just wait for the trade if you must. I'm sure the real Spider-Man will show up eventually.

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8.0
Secret Invasion: Front Line #1

Jul 6, 2008

If you're enjoying Secret Invasion and wish to expand the story with some non-essential, supplimental material, this is a very good first issue that may actually be worth your money.

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7.0
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #1

Jun 25, 2008

In the end, the book's a little light on story, but the characters are nailed perfectly and the art is vibrant and appealing. It's not for everyone, but if you know where I'm coming from, you're sure to enjoy it. If you're leaning more towards Andrew's sensibilities, then you might want to skip this.

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8.4
Serenity: Better Days #1

Mar 22, 2008

Too bad Adam Hughes didn't do the interiors, because his cover art is just spot-on perfect. My only complaint is the coloring. I hate it with a passion! Skin tones are too red, and a lot of the colors seem flat and dull. Someone please get a new colorist on board this series. It's just painful.

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6.0
Shark Man #2

Feb 29, 2008

Thankfully, the art remains jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Making a book of this quality has got to take a lot of time. The increased paper stock is most likely the culprit for the higher price of the book ($3.50), but believe me, it's worth every penny.

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4.0
Skaar: Son Of Hulk #2

Jul 28, 2008

I don't know what's going on over at Marvel, but if the lateness is going to continue I'd rather the powers at be just cancel the book. As much as I want to like this book, there's too much going against it to make me want to continue buying it. Art that's hampered by the non-presence of an inker and 14 pages of story? I'd rather put my money on a title that's more timely. Besides, I can get this same fantasy element from Conan. So really guys, what's the point?

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9.0
Sky Doll #1

May 12, 2008

Despite my accolades for the book, I personally don't find it to be anything original. Its story very much reminds me of concepts touched upon by Macross Plus, A.I., and Blade Runner. You could even throw in Pinocchio in there if you wanted. Whatever the case, this book is worth checking out. It's the perfect marriage of story and art.

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10
Solomon Kane #1

Sep 29, 2008

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. These days, I know there's a temptation to wait for the trade, but in this case I feel it's highly justified to reward the creative team (and publisher) for delivering a comic book of such high quality.

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1.6
Spawn #175

Feb 11, 2008

While we come to learn how the Simmons name came about in Spawn #175, this story feels out of place. I thought a story like this was reserved for the Spawn satellite books. Not anymore, I guess. From what I remember, Spawn was originally an urban book about mystery, the supernatural, and redemption. Now it's just a predictable, gratuitous tale of revenge filled with violent money shots. I really want to enjoy Spawn again, I really do. But this issue does nothing for me, and that makes me sad.

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7.0
Spider-Man Family #7

Feb 20, 2008

As for the other stories, well, they're nothing too special. We have a reprinting of Venom #1 by David Michelinie and Mark Bagley, Spider-Man: Death & Destiny #1, and another installment of Spider-Man J – the manga version of Spider-Man. Priced at $4.99, Spider-Man Family weighs in at a hefty 104 pages, which if you think about it, is a bargain.

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10
Spider-Man/Human Torch #1

Apr 16, 2008

If you want a comic that embodies all that is fun and good about Spider-Man, this is the series to read. It's got touching moments, lots of gags that'll make you laugh out loud, and classic Spidey moments. This is still, by far, Dan Slott's best work to date. Marvel needs to put this out in a trade like yesterday.

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9.0
Spider-Man: Brand New Day -- Extra! #1

Jul 31, 2008

At $3.99, this book's worth every penny especially when you compare it to similarly priced books from the Marvel line (Spider-Man: With Great Power, anyone?) – no silly cardstock covers or gimmicks – just good stories. Check this book out, and don't let the awful Greg Land cover deter you.

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2.0
Spider-Man: With Great Power #2

Feb 29, 2008

Marvel says it wants Spider-Man to be care-free and fun again, but this book is anything but. Peter Parker is a complete emo, filled with teenage angst and zero charisma.

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4.0
Spider-Man: With Great Power #3

Mar 30, 2008

Tony Harris does more incredible artwork in this issue. It's, by far, the highlight of this series. He had to be happy to finally get out of the wrestling locker room and draw New York, monsters, and just more Spider-Man-esque stuff. The colors continue to be a big part of this book as well – J.D. Mettler and Paul Mounts create a world rich with color and what can I say? It's just a feast to the eyes. Story wise, this book passes… barely. Art wise, it's utterly beautiful.

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) #35

Nov 25, 2008

If you've been wanting an excuse to jump into Supergirl, this is the perfect issue. We get an updated “Secret Origin” (ala Green Lantern, but much, much shorter), plus a reveal involving her exposure to Kryptonite. It's a great package that's neatly tied into the current Superman mythos and reimaging by Geoff Johns.

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8.0
Superman #667

Jun 28, 2008

Renato Guedes is a heck of an artist. He has an excellent sense of scope and when the monster attacks Metropolis, he gives us some awesome views of the path of destruction. The cityscapes he draws are highly detailed and his grasp of displaying powerful action is just superb. If and when Superman has his showdown with Atlas, we're in for one heck of a treat. Hi-Fi's coloring work is the icing on the cake, adding a lot of dimension to Guedes' linework. This is a perfect example of how much difference a capable colorist can make. Because of the Hi-Fi's work, we see all the action taking place near sunset. Buildings begin to turn a little pink and we see their long shadows extend over the streets. It's great atmospheric work and one that shouldn't be ignored.

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8.0
Superman #678

Jul 26, 2008

It's hard to imagine myself buying two Superman books on a monthly basis but it's finally happened. I can't wait to see Atlas and Supes duke it out for real next month. This may just be his most formidable foe (on a physical level) since Doomsday. Please make this epic and give us more Krypto!

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9.6
Superman #679

Sep 8, 2008

In the meantime, James Robinson and Renato Guedes are pulling out all the stops to make this one hell of a storyline. But what makes this issue such a blast to read culminates on the very last page; it made me laugh, gasp, and cheer all at once. This arc is a proof that there's plenty of good Superman stories left to be told. Keep it up, Mr. Robinson!

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9.0
Superman #680

Sep 26, 2008

I'm hoping this isn't the end of the Atlas story arc, but something tells me he's done for. As for Krypto, he needs to be in more Superman books. What he does here is just too much fun. This is the Old Yeller of superhero comics and not to be missed. The art is excellent and the story is simple and fun-filled. What's not to like?

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10
Superman #681

Oct 30, 2008

I haven't read all the books from my weekly stash yet, but it's going to be awfully tough to beat this issue. With the Superman titles getting better and better, these creators have got to hit a ceiling sooner or later. Hopefully it's later.

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7.0
Superman #683

Jan 5, 2009

If you can get past the pages of horrible art, this issue's another solid chapter in the story of New Krypton.

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10
Superman: New Krypton Special #1

Oct 25, 2008

This is the best comic book released this week. This issue also marks the return of the “Triangle System” making the story easy to follow across all the Superman titles. The bad part is I'm going to have to buy all these titles just to be kept in the loop! But it's all worth it for a more superior story, not to mention, tight continuity. It's a great time to be a Superman fan and the perfect time for new readers to jump aboard.

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8.4
The Amazing Spider-Girl #16

Jan 22, 2008

The storytelling is strictly old school fun and Ron Frenz, god bless him, just gets better with age. While many modern artists concentrate on just the characters, Frenz gives you the whole package with beautiful backdrops and dynamic angles. Unlike many of his peers, he's a complete artist. Being someone who was raised on the DeFalco / Frenz run of the 1980s, it gives me nothing but happiness to pick up this book month after month.

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3.0
The Amazing Spider-Girl #17

Feb 20, 2008

Ron Frenz delivers solid art, as always. Tom DeFalco, however, has dropped the ball with this story line. Hopefully, he can wrap this up by next issue and we can move on to better things.

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8.0
The Amazing Spider-Girl #18

Mar 17, 2008

It's great to see the creative team back in good form. I was afraid they'd hit a creative wall after the dragging we were put through last issue. Great way to end an arc. Oh and that last page with Wes, May, and Gene. Wow… just wow!

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7.0
The Corps #0

Oct 7, 2008

Rick Remender's name may be the only reason why people continue to buy this book. Because as far as preview/teaser issues go, the story here is slightly above average at best. Were this book written by anyone else I highly doubt people would give this book a second chance. That said, Remender's good track record will keep me around to see what transpires.

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9.0
The DC Vault #1

Oct 13, 2008

Clocking in at 192 pages and containing more than 25 different artifacts from DC's past, it's hard to pass this one up at $49.95. It's the perfect companion to last year's Marvel Vault, though I found the collectibles in the Marvel Vault to be superior to DC's offering. Still, for any fan of DC's characters and legacy (or any comic book fan in general), this is a must-buy. It presents nicely on a coffee table, but keep it away from kids and careless hands. It's a bit on the fragile side.

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10
The Order #7

Jan 29, 2008

Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson are pure magic together. Breaking them up is a crime. After reading The Ultimates 3 #2, this book solidifies more contempt towards the decision making at Marvel Comics. How Marvel can cancel a series like this after issue #10 – a title which offers more realism and better storytelling than the Ultimates 3 ever could, is a mystery to me.

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8.0
The Order #8

Feb 21, 2008

It's gonna be sad seeing this book go. Other than the Runaways, Marvel has no west coast team books and that's a shame. When you consider the quality of this book, there's not too many others that have a roster this fleshed out or this likable.

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4.0
The Order #9

Mar 24, 2008

Remember when Barry Kitson actually drew this book? Me too. It's a complete bummer we're at the next to last issue of the series and Kitson's finished pencils are still sorely missed. Sure, he does the layouts and Javier Saltares does a competent job on finishes, but this is Kitson's book as far as I'm concerned. Not seeing him ride this book into the sunset is just disheartening. I hate to say it, but this is the first issue of The Order I've been disappointed with. The story finishes strong with a sad moment for the team, but everything that happens prior to that is a yawn fest. Please guys, don't let this book go to the crapper with your last issue.

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3.0
The Order #10

May 3, 2008

What I found more interesting is where things go from here. Yes, this is the last issue, but the team will live on and I've got a hunch they'll be showing up in Fraction's upcoming Iron Man series. Speaking of Iron Man, Fraction has done a nice job sneaking old shell head into this storyline. In many ways, this last issue acts as a bridge to the aforementioned Iron Man series. The effects of what Ezekiel Stane has done (and promised) will undoubtedly echo throughout that series in the future. But honestly, I hope we never see him again. He's one of the most annoying villains ever. On the flip side, the return of Pepper Potts into the Iron Man universe will surely make many old readers happy. But as for this series, I was initially sad to hear of its cancellation. But given the stories of the past two issues, I'm glad it's over and we can all move on.

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9.0
The Stand: Captain Trips #1

Sep 10, 2008

Mike Perkins carries over the fantastic style he delivered in Captain America to The Stand. His work here is much more grounded in reality. In fact it may be too grounded in reality – there's a few scenes that look a little too photo referenced for their own good. But all in all, this is a beautiful book that's further accented by Laura Martin's brilliant coloring. Unlike The Dark Tower series that Marvel's been putting out The Stand needs no prior reading. And for that, I highly recommend it to just about anyone looking to dip their feet into Stephen King's world.

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9.6
The Twelve #2

Feb 7, 2008

J. Michael Straczynski is one hell of a wordsmith and he knows how to write for ensemble casts – his character dialogue flows incredibly well. Each is given so much depth and their distinct voices expose the flaws that accompany their personalities. You care about these characters, flaws or not, and despite one or two of them being complete jerks, you also get that they're a product of their times, not ours. Don't wait for the trade, buy this book now. It's the complete package.

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9.6
The Twelve #3

Mar 12, 2008

The way this story is written, it's completely realized as something you might see on HBO. It's taking its time – moving in baby steps, but each step is a joy to behold. I love these characters to death; they feel so real – so humanized. Sure, there's a few psychos among them, but that just adds to the intrigue. Probably the best mini-series you'll ready this year.

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9.6
The Twelve #5

May 14, 2008

I'm running out of good things to say about this series. It's got seven issues to go before it reaches its conclusion and if the creative team can keep the quality at this level, The Twelve will go down as one of the great pieces of comics literature – up there with Watchman and The Dark Knight. I really do not say this lightly, either. The Twelve is not as revolutionary as the aforementioned titles, but it is definitely a redefining of a genre – the reemergence of the Golden Age heroes as complicated, three-dimensional personalities.

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9.6
The Twelve #6

Jun 15, 2008

While there may be a lack of any true villainy, I think the story's actually more compelling by eliminating the classic good versus evil spiel and forcing these people to see that the world isn't painted in extremes. It's safe to say that The Twelve (along with time, itself) are their own worst enemies. This is easily one of the best issues of the series thus far.

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8.4
The Walking Dead #47

Mar 12, 2008

While this issue didn't stun me, it did what it usually does: entertain. We've finally got the battle we've been waiting for and while this is only the first half, there's already plenty of ramifications in store for the survivors. It all happens so fast, too, that we're barely given time to mourn the loss of those who die. But in true fashion, Kirkman reminds us that this is a war, and there'll be time to mourn the dead later. Right now, it's a desperate fight for survival (for both sides) and we've gotta wait another month to see who lives. Argh!

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10
The Walking Dead #48

Apr 5, 2008

I have no idea what Kirkman has planned from here on out. It takes a lot of guts to shake things up on the level he did here. But the future is now completely wide open.

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9.6
The Walking Dead #53

Oct 9, 2008

Last month I applauded the series refinding its footing and getting back on track. Now it looks to be headed in a whole different direction. This is a most welcomed direction and one fans have been dying to see explored. The added bonus of Kirkman addressing Michonne's disorder seals the deal. This is a must buy issue.

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9.6
The Walking Dead #54

Nov 12, 2008

It's not a key issue, but it's one that works effortlessly on all levels. The creative team is in top form here, moving the series into new ground.

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8.4
The Walking Dead #56

Dec 18, 2008

Some great character moments here, but Rick leaving himself open while he takes a piss seems a bit out of character. I love what Robert Kirkman is doing with Abraham. Conflict and tension is what drives this book (with the zombies taking a secondary role as the background threat), and it's clear that an emotional basket case like Abraham is going to cause lots of trouble for our team of survivors. We've been so focused on a new direction and the zombie menace that we forgot how many loonies there are in this bunch! Bring it on!

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9.6
Thor (2007) #6

Feb 28, 2008

Notably absent from this book is the opening page that explains what's happened in previous issues. I'm not sure why it was omitted, but it would have been a welcome addition considering how this book has been delayed for months! Otherwise, this is the best issue of Thor yet.

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10
Thor (2007) #7

Mar 21, 2008

With The Twelve and now Thor, J. Michael Straczynski's on one hell of a roll. The way this story flows – the intricacies of Odin's narrative and the hard hitting themes of sons abandoning their fathers – are all done to perfection. We all know Marko Djurdjevic is a fantastic cover artist, an his debut as a storyteller is nothing less than stunning. I love Olivier Coipel's art, but this month, I honestly didn't miss him. Hell, I could only hope to have Djurdjevic on this book on a monthly basis, but I'll take what I can get. With this book seemingly back on schedule, I'm very excited to see what comes next.

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8.4
Thor (2007) #8

Apr 23, 2008

For those who complained that this new Thor series has been drudging itself along, this two-part storyline should silence those complaints. And really, how can you complain with Marko Djurdjevic doing the art? The guy was born to draw this book and as much as I love Olivier Coipel, there's just no competing with Djurdjevic.

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9.0
Tiny Titans #1

Feb 18, 2008

Art Baltazar's art is vibrant, colorful, and just screams fun. The facial expressions do most of the work here, and the way these characters interact with each other is just hilarious. There's also little things that'll make you giggle like Wonder Woman's lasso being used as jump rope! This book in a way, reminds me of the antics we were shown in the old Tiny Toons TV show and that's surely not a bad thing.

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8.4
Titans #1

Apr 11, 2008

Anyway, if I haven't convinced you to pick up this book on the art alone, give it a shot regardless. This is a good debut book that keeps the estranging of new readers to a minimum, and it's a lot of fun to boot. This is how Marvel should have done Young X-Men #1… but anyway…

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9.0
Tor #1

May 9, 2008

I thought Joe Kubert had all but retired, so I really can't convey how exciting it is to have a book like this in my hands. It's not the prettiest book I've seen, nor is it the best story I've read, but it is a classic comic in every sense of the word. It's a gift that we as a comic culture should be thankful for. Once these pioneers are gone, we'll be wishing they did more in their twilight years. Thankfully, Kubert will not go quietly into that good night. Now, if we could just get John Romita to do a mini-series…

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8.4
Tor #2

Jun 7, 2008

There's really nothing I can complain about with this issue. Some may find it too shallow on the surface – too simple. And I can see where they're coming from. But you gotta remember that you're getting old school storytelling – not some crazy cerebral Grant Morrison story. The only thing I can say is that this is visual storytelling on a highly entertaining level. Fans of comics really owe it to themselves to pick this book up. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's still something that should be appreciated.

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8.4
Tor #6

Oct 4, 2008

This series could have easily been concluded with issue #5 – it had all the makings of a satisfying ending. While things don't feel forced with this issue, the lack of any real resolution to Tor's fate may leave an bad taste in some readers' mouths. I'm hoping Kubert has enough energy to do another series, because there's stuff here that needs to be resolved. That, and the series is a joy to read.

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5.0
Ultimate Human #2

Feb 25, 2008

If you're going to do a Hulk / Iron Man book, you should probably have them fighting in the first issue right? Wrong. Ultimate Human #1 was just “okay” for me. It had no action and just too much expository information. Yet, there was just enough of a cliffhanger in there to keep me interested. Issue #2 delivers on most fronts. We get an interesting concept and a good plot. What keeps this book from being great is the little over-explaining Ellis does from time to time, and the art. It's ironic that Cary Nord was the only reason I picked this series up in the first place, and yet his art is the element I find most lacking. This series is improving, but not by much.

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9.0
Ultimate Human #3

Mar 31, 2008

Anyway, if you've been following this series like me, be ready for a nice surprise with this issue. I love how unconventional it is – yet, it works. If this series were a TV show (because that's what it feels like), this episode would be nominated for an Emmy (or something). Very cool.

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7.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #119

Mar 2, 2008

All the formalities are out of the way, now let's see some action!

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9.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #120

Mar 28, 2008

Eventually, the X-Men show up and tell Liz to join them. Liz wont have it from anyone. She tells everyone to literally go to hell, and runs off into the arms of her best friend, Mary Jane. A lot of good happens from here on, with Peter making another crazy decision involving his waning secret identity. Still, this issues got a lot of great moments and dialog. Im also pleased that it didnt run another one to two issues, either. Bendis wraps the story up perfectly and Stuart Immonen delivers another fantastic issue that has something for everyone. Tender moments, action scenes, moody night shots its all here! Someone please remind me to buy a page of his artwork in the near future. Its that good.

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7.0
Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3

Nov 5, 2008

Mary Jane and Brian Bendis not only cockblock Peter, but the readers as well. Peter takes it like the good guy he is; our lovable loser gets another night of blue balls. A wasted opportunity!

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0.8
Ultimates 3 #2

Jan 29, 2008

Loeb and Madureira are not only the wrong team for the Ultimates, but for the Ultimate Universe as well. This story may have played well to the comic book audience of the 1990s, but in 2008 it's way behind in the times.

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8.0
Ultimates 3 #3

Feb 26, 2008

I wasn't too impressed with Joe Madureira's art the first two issues, but he has completely won me over this time around. With Christian Lichtner, who seems to have finally gotten a grasp on not making the coloring too dark, this is easily the duo's best work to date. Before ever turning a page, I'd actually read through it and then look over the art for a few minutes before turning. It's stunning. And while I still firmly believe that this book is still not worthy of being called “The Ultimates”, it's finally getting better. Maybe these guys can turn this ship around.

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1.2
Ultimates 3 #4

Jun 30, 2008

I have no idea where this book is going anymore. And to think it's going to wrap up next issue is just unthinkable. The only thing I can make a wager on is that it's going to say, “To be continued in Ultimatum” at the end of issue #5. There's just too many subplots and dangling threads (that have been randomly conjured up, no less) to be wrapped up in another 22 pages of story. This series has done nothing but sullen The Ultimates brand and lower the integrity of the creative team. Joe Mad's art is the only reason why people are buying this turd, because the story is a convoluted mess and the coloring is still too dark. Why he would want to be associated with a piece of garbage like this is beyond me. At least with Hulk, I know that Jeph Loeb is purposely writing a bad story for the hell of it. Here, there's just no excuse. Even the cover sucks.

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2.0
Uncanny X-Men #496

Mar 7, 2008

Mike Choi and Sonia Oback continue to dazzle my eyes with their art. But it's not perfect: Logan looks too youthful and too much of a pretty boy, while the fight scene in the bar is completely uninspired from an action standpoint. The nod to Neil Gaiman's Eternals mini-series was probably the only thing I really liked.

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5.0
Voltron: A Legend Forged #1

Jul 21, 2008

Despite the enormous amount of grievances, I remain a supporter of this book. Why? Because it's a more grown up Voltron story, and one that I'm actually interested in seeing finished. The art may not have any semblance of Japanese anime, but that's okay. The characters, for the most part, are easily identifiable and the story actually dares to push the Voltron mythos into new territory. If Blaylock can tighten up his dialogue and maybe hire a new artist, this book could thrive as a strong offering. Until then, it remains strictly average and I remain cautiously optimistic.

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1.6
Wolverine (2003) #62

Feb 16, 2008

Garney's art does not disappoint. But as good as it is, it lacks the refinement that Bill Reinhold gave it when they were together on Amazing Spider-Man. His Wolverine and Mystique, however, are excellent. Jason Aaron brings his trademark “natives speaking in languages we don't understand” routine. He does this a lot in Scalped and he does it here, too. We get the gist of what the Mexicans and Afghanis are saying, but it's never fully translated. As I said, his script is lazy and there are logic problems, but I have hopes that he'll find his footing and turn things around.

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1.2
Wolverine (2003) #63

Mar 14, 2008

To be fair, there are a few moments that I liked. The flashbacks between Wolverine and Mystique are getting more interesting. Also, the scene where Wolverine's looking for an excuse to smack down an American solider in Baghdad is pretty hilarious. But fleeting moments like these don't make a good story. Until Aaron starts treating Wolverine with the respect he deserves, this book isn't worth your $2.99. Sorry, this book fails, but I'll give it a “plus” for humor and the flashbacks.

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #66

Jun 16, 2008

Old Man Logan is not a mind-blowing debut, but it will fill you with lots of intrigue. The story's properly set up and the production values are top notch. Coming from the team who did Civil War it's hard to really doubt the lack of quality we'll be receiving as the story progresses. I can't wait to see how this ties into Millar's Fantastic Four run and/or 1985. This is like Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven – but Wolverine style!

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9.0
Wolverine (2003) #67

Jul 29, 2008

Steve McNiven and his creative team are again at the top of their game, handing us some beautiful pedestrian moments and plenty of striking imagery. It'd be easy to play this story close to Earth X (design-wise), but thanks to the color palette and more “dirty” design work, that's been completely avoided. McNiven creates a color cast of misfits of all shapes and sizes and its this uniqueness that sets him apart from other artists of his caliber. The details he puts into his panel work will have your eyes scouring for easter eggs and clues of this strange world. This comic is fun, and in the end, that's all we readers really want.

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8.4
Wolverine (2003) #68

Aug 28, 2008

At least I know why she's called Spider-Bitch now.

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8.4
Wonder Woman (2006) #14

Jan 27, 2008

Issue #17, due out next month, will conclude this four-part arc. If you've got the extra money, go out and pick up #14-16. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

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2.0
Wonder Woman (2006) #17

Feb 17, 2008

The first two issues did a great job at building this story line up. Unfortunately, it comes crashing down with this issue. I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but it's a heck of a let down. A 36 page issue would have fixed the pacing and story, but as it stands, Simone just crams too much stuff into 24 pages and it doesn't work.

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5.0
Wonder Woman (2006) #18

Mar 26, 2008

I was really hoping for a leap into the unknown – something that would be ominous and challenging for Diana. Instead, I was given something familiar to her in an unfamiliar setting. There's still an interest in where this story will go, but what could have been something great has severely diminished to near mediocrity. As sweet as Bernard Chang draws Wonder Woman, the rest of the art is a mixed bag; sometimes it looks great, other times a bit rough around the edges.

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9.0
Wonderlost #1

Apr 19, 2008

It can't be easy putting those awkward years on paper like this for people to read. And with each issue running about 60 pages, you're definitely getting a whole lot to read (and see, if you get my drift). My only reservation is at $5.99 per issue, that's asking a whole lot from your audience – especially for an unknown, black and white book. Personally, I think it's a small price to pay for something completely out of the norm and rousingly entertaining.

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8.4
X-Factor Vol. 3 #28

Feb 15, 2008

Tangent aside, Peter David's dialogue is fun, as always, and you can tell he loves writing Strong Guy. Pablo Raimondi's art is outstanding. His painstakingly detailed backdrops (especially Mutant Town), are beautiful and well complimented by Jeremy Cox's colors. And as much as I hate pop cultural references in my comics, there's a scene involving an iPhone that's hilarious! This is how an X-Book is done. Way to go, guys.

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2.0
X-Force #2

Mar 9, 2008

Okay, the whole Warlock thing surprised me – it even made me grin a little. It's a character I've been missing for a long time. But honestly, concept aside, I don't trust Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. Plus, this idea is pretty hokey. So far, this writing team has done nothing but stumble with this story line and the concept behind it. This book is below average on all fronts – art included. Clayton Crain is good with a Wacom tablet, but his art is so inconsistent that I can't say it's good. Sometimes it looks decent (though over-rendered), other times it looks like a step up from refined thumbnails. His action sequences are also very stiff. I'd like to see this book succeed, but I just don't see it happening without a lot of help or new creative team.

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8.0
X-Men #207

Jan 24, 2008

All in all, this is a fitting end to the Messiah Complex. I've never expected much when X-Titles crossover, but this one's been pretty good. It started off slow and chugged along for 10 issues, but the last three chapters have paid off. I also liked the way they ended this book – not all hope is lost for mutant kind.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy #208

Mar 4, 2008

I honestly expected this issue to be crap, but instead I was pleasantly surprised. The issue's ending is somewhat predictable, but I'm interested to see where Carey takes this story. I'm just hoping they don't do the whole “Xavier's a bad guy now” story.

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9.6
X-Men Legacy #209

Apr 1, 2008

I realize a lot of people feel cheated about Professor X's supposed death in Messiah Complex (I know I was), but the way Mike Carey's built this story around him is nothing short of excellent. And in the end, that's what really counts.

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2.0
X-Men: Divided We Stand #1

Apr 20, 2008

Ultimately, we don't need a book like this. We don't need to see what the lesser X-Men characters are doing during their time off. There's a reason why New X-Men was canceled: It sucked and so did the characters. This issue does little to prove otherwise.

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10
Young Liars #1

Mar 6, 2008

This book is a must buy. After the subpar writing Lapham's given us with Spider-Man: With Great Power and Terror Inc., Young Liars is a display of a man on his “A” game. This is how you write a debut issue.

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9.6
Young Liars #2

Apr 14, 2008

Young Liars is a wonderful piece of work that communicates well to people in their late 20s and early 30s. It's a painful reminder of youth and how dangerous life really was in those reckless years.

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4.0
Young Liars #7

Sep 16, 2008

As it turns out, there are aliens and this book has officially become the weirdest, most morbid title on the stands today. I don't know if it deserves Twin Peaks praise or if I should roll my eyes and laugh at the absurdity. One thing is for certain, however: I'll be picking this book up next month because I gotta see where this whole thing goes. It's just too messed up of a storyline to ignore. And for the first time in my career as a critic, I have no idea how to grade this book.

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5.0
Young X-Men #1

Apr 3, 2008

Yanick Paquette's pencil work is solid. His art won't blow you away, but he has a firm grasp on how to tell a story. And that really sums up this entire debut issue: it's strictly average and by the numbers. Completists will no doubt buy it without any hesitation. But for the rest of us, $2.99 might be a bit steep for just a book filled with mediocre characters and an average story. I'll give this book two more issues to impress me before I write it off. If the last page is any indication, that just might happen next issue. Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Guggenheim. Don't let me down!

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