James Hunt's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Book Resources Reviews: 592
6.9Avg. Review Rating

7.0
28 Days Later #1

Aug 25, 2009

That does assume, of course, that those readers are coming to the title with prior knowledge of one or both films. Anyone who approaches the series fresh might end up in serious trouble, because there's very little given to the set-up, and frequent references to events that don't have enough context without the movies. It's fair to say that Boom! is allowing the book to play to its audience, but if you were thinking of going into it cold, then it's unlikely that the first issue will prove as a satisfying introduction to the world of "28 Days Later" -- the rest of us, though, can expect to be quickly hooked by it.

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4.0
5 Ronin #3

Mar 21, 2011

More than halfway through the "5 Ronin" miniseries, there's yet to be an issue which works on every level. Hopefully, the starring roles for Psylocke and Deadpool might do something to change that, but I have low expectations for what's coming. It's a rare misfire for Milligan, but a misfire nonetheless. Shame

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7.0
A+X #4

Jan 25, 2013

If anything really lets the book down, it's the price. The fight against $3.99 comics is long over, but material this slight can't help but feel expensive. Its "inessential" nature means it's easy to drop from any pull list, and costly enough to make it hard to dip into. A shame, because it's consistently one of the most fun comics Marvel releases in any given month. If you want to watch Marvel creators truly cut loose, this is easily the best place to do it.

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6.0
A+X #10

Jul 22, 2013

"A+X" issues tend to live or die on the desirability of their creators, and luckily this issue has at two artistic coups that make it worth the money. Fans of neither may feel a little underwhelmed, but this is exactly the sort of thing the book should do: give auteurs an outlet. This issue contains two better-than-average instalments, and that alone makes it worth sampling no matter the authors' level of recognition.

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7.0
Action Comics #894

Oct 28, 2010

"Action Comics #894" isn't a bad comic by any means. In fact, it's quite good in most ways that count. It just can't help but miss the high standards it courted. Replace Death with some other character and this could have been a truly excellent issue. But invoke her, and the readers who arrive in her wake will expect far better than they receive. It's a risk Cornell clearly felt comfortable taking, but not, it would seem, one that has paid off.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) #0

Sep 7, 2012

So a mixed bag -- for the lead story, good ideas that never quite get the delivery they demand, and for the backup, decent delivery but no clear purpose. It's the same combination that drove me off the book some issues ago, and that will fail to keep me around any longer for a second time.

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10
Action Comics (2011) #1

Sep 11, 2011

"Action Comics" #1, then, can only be called a complete success. If there's anything you can call a disappointment, it's that for Morrison's fans, it may be almost too conventional. Even so, as a first issue, as the start of Superman's career, it's hard to criticize. You might not like the idea of there being a second "Action Comics" #1 in the world, but having read this, it's tough to imagine a comic more worthy of the legacy.

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5.0
Action Comics (2011) #6

Feb 1, 2012

The back-up strip by Sholly Fisch and ChrisCross, at least, is the best yet, and the first that feels like it might have something approaching a point. Examining the character's final days in Smallville, it alludes to entire stories in single scenes, rendered in a tranquil and elegiac fashion by Cross. A welcome palate-cleanser after a disappointing main course.

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6.0
Age of Apocalypse Vol.2 #1

Mar 8, 2012

With so much about this book's premise already telegraphed in its prelude, the big question (certainly, for me) was what hook Lapham would come up with to bring readers back. The appearance of an unexpected character at the end prompts a tentative eyebrow raise, while the narrative twist intrigues rather than excites. There's definite potential, if only it can lighten the tone slightly and give us reasons to care about the characters. Let's hope issue #2 delivers.

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6.0
Age of the Sentry #1

Sep 24, 2008

While it could veer instantly into retread in future issues, there's nothing especially wrong with the opening couple of stories. It may disappoint Sentry fans hoping for some insight into the modern character's mindset, but it should delight anyone looking for a little bit of Silver Age silliness to divert them.

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4.0
Age of Ultron #2

Mar 15, 2013

What really harms the issue, though, is the wider story behind it -- or rather, a lack of one. Two issues in, the story doesn't seem to have forward momentum, or even a coherent narrative. It's a prologue. The cliffhanger to the first issue, which posited that things were so dire they had left even Captain America broken, simply isn't even a concern for the readers or characters. Bendis' event plotting has always been weaker than his character work, but here it borders on non-existent. Maybe things will change with issue #3, maybe not -- but at this point, it feels like time to wait for the collection and hope it reads a bit better like that.

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4.0
Age of Ultron #8

May 20, 2013

As events go, "Age of Ultron" feels like more of a misfire than anything in recent memory. Some of the tie-ins have been good, but the core series has had pacing trouble and utterly failed to sell its premise right from the start. Considering what the series is named, the plot has veered so far off course that you might reasonably wonder why the series is called "Age of Ultron" at all. Admittedly, there's still time for the concluding issues to pay off this plot with a dramatic and impactful twist, but as stories go, it just hasn't got a hook.

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6.0
Age of X: Universe #1

Apr 4, 2011

Ultimately, the biggest problem with "Age of X Universe" isn't its execution, but its conception. Given the apparent premise of "Age of X" (which, admittedly, has yet to be revealed) I have a worrying feeling that this is a series dedicated to telling stories which didn't happen, based on false memories of characters who are trapped in a world that doesn't really exist. It's the kind of affliction that made the additional "House of M" prequel miniseries feel like pointless chaff. There are some fun moments, but nothing that particularly illuminates the characters or setting of "Age of X" " they're just a pair of What If stories set in the same universe. If that's what you enjoy, it's a fine example of it but, make no mistake, it's nothing we've not seen before.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #6

Jan 18, 2013

At the moment, every issue of "All-New X-Men" raises as many questions as it answers, and in a way, that's the key to its success. It's rare a comic can leave today's over-informed readers so flummoxed, but this one manages to do so. The possibilities seem endless, because the story treads on genuinely new ground. It's not quite "Ultimate Spider-Man" brilliant, but it's easily one of the better comics Bendis has written in some time -- and for a writer as prolific as he is, that's worth noting.

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7.0
Alpha: Big Time #1

Feb 21, 2013

Whether those consequences actually come to pass remains to be seen, but it's a bold image on which to end. Fialkov can't be accused to taking his time to get to the story, and it's the sort of cliffhanger that's going to bring readers back. It's not a perfect first issue -- it has a lot of exposition to slog through and some fairly perfunctory scenes of, "Let's give back Alpha his powers," not to mention that Fialkov seems to stumble a little over the voice of the Doctor Octopus Peter Parker. However, if teenage superheroics are what you enjoy, this is a good version of the classic setup starring a newly-sympathetic Alpha, and an enjoyable read overall.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #555

Apr 4, 2008

If any element of the issue really fails to meet expectations, it's the villains, who so far appear to be some fairly generic Mayan spirits of some kind. It feels a little bit like a monster-of-the-week "Buffy" episode. The villains aren't really the centerpiece of the issue, however, so we can let it slide for now. The heroes are the star of the piece, and in fact, after seeing Wells' take on Wolverine, I almost want to see how he'd fare on his solo title. With the right mix of comedy, bad luck and old-fashioned action, Wells easily sustains the high standard of Brand New Day's stories, and there's no sign of the Spidey juggernaut slowing down just yet.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #559

May 20, 2008

So, if there was any ever doubt -- Slott's return retains the same brilliance he originally brought to the table, and Marcos Martin, while a fairly radical shift from the previous roster of artists, turns in some excellent work.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #565

Jul 14, 2008

With a prominent villain and a developing subplot inside Peter's cast, this issue re-establishes the title's momentum ahead of August's six part Thunderbolts guest appearance, featuring Norman Osborn and Venom. Guggenheim manages that nicely, and while there's nothing hugely groundbreaking, it's more than up to the task of keeping us entertained before the big villains arrive.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #571

Sep 17, 2008

New villains aside, the most rewarding element of this story has been Peter's interaction with more familiar faces, like Venom/Gargan, Osborn, and Brock -- and having Romita Jr. draw it should only please fans who want to feel a little more of the Spider-Man magic that they've missed with all the focus on spinning a new web to surround the character. Readers were promised a blockbuster story this summer, and now over halfway through, it's already certain that it's living up to those expectations.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #586

Feb 17, 2009

It's a satisfying read, and itself largely justifies the return of Osborn, retaining the character's past while using him in a new way. If there are really any Spider-Man fans out there still staying away because of "One More Day", then maybe it's time to swallow that pride and give the series a shot -- you're missing some classic issues in the making.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #590

Apr 7, 2009

If there's any problem with the issue, it's in the structure, which ends on not one, but two cliffhangers "- both of which are immediately predictable. Now, in fairness, it's difficult to end every issue on something that'll excite jaded, grown-up fans, but it's a brave writer indeed who ends on two cliffhangers that anyone over the age of 12 could predict the resolution for. There's the chance Slott will throw a curveball and bring something unexpected to the next issue, but more likely he's just going to pick up the story seamlessly, so that it reads fine without a break when it gets collected. That, at least, is forgivable, and thankfully the issue isn't too marred overall.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #601

Aug 10, 2009

All things considered, "Amazing Spider-Man" #601 might actually be a better package than #600. It might lack its predecessor's value for money, but the quality is far more consistent.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #618

Jan 25, 2010

As is traditional for a Marco Martin comic, though, it's the artwork that makes the issue fun to read. Martin's pencils are nothing short of phenomenal, a rare example of an artist who can make mediocre material into something brilliant with his sheer ability. It's a shame the story for one of Martin's rare outings isn't better, but even on a bad day, Slott outclasses most of his peers, so we can at least be thankful of that.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #628

Apr 25, 2010

Overall, then, it's a fairly high quality issue. The variety of characters is unusual, but makes a refreshing change from the recent parade of reinvented Spidey villains that allegedly comprises "The Gauntlet" -- indeed, this issue seems so divorced from that plot, with scant mention of the regular supporting cast, that one wonders if it wasn't some sort of inventory. Still, a book with Spidey's rapid schedule can get away with that once in a while, and although this comic doesn't reinvent the wheel, it does at least give it a satisfying spin that justifies the cover price.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #634

Jun 21, 2010

On the plus side, Michael Lark's artwork for the issue is fantastic. Atmospheric and gritty, perfectly in sync with the tone of Kelly's writing. The spider-books are undeniably some of the highest-quality books Marvel is releasing, technically speaking. The only gripe is that so far, this particular story isn't managing to be quite as interesting as it thinks it is.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #648

Nov 11, 2010

With a Spider-Girl backup rounding out the page count, there's a lot of story here even for a $3.99 book. Whether the change is drastic enough to win back the readers who left is debatable but, at the same time, if you've been enjoying "Brand New Day," there should be nothing here that turns you off. It's a strong start to a new chapter in Spider-man's life, and one I'm glad to be here for.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #651

Jan 17, 2011

That aside, it's a strong issue, and one which suggests that "Amazing Spider-Man" has lost nothing in its transition back to a single-writer vision. Hopefully the next arc will have a little more focus, but as an introductory/re-introductory story, there's almost nothing wrong with this one. It feels the start of a new era, and better yet, one worth reading.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #656

Mar 21, 2011

With that in mind, there's no way that this issue could match the heights of the previous one, but it came far closer than expected. Amazing Spider-Man is one of Marvel's flagship series, and it's always enjoyable when we get issues like this which remind you exactly why that is. Undeniably great stuff.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #658

Apr 18, 2011

Regardless of how interested you are in Spidey's role in the FF as an ongoing prospect, it's clear that his own title won't ignore it entirely. We don't need to see every arc as FF-heavy as this issue (after all, that's what FF is for) but in terms of establishing how the FF fits into Peter's life, this issue tells us all we need to know, and it's a story worth reading for that reason alone.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man #660

May 17, 2011

The package itself isn't awful, even if it feels like a below average issue of the title. It's hard to argue with getting three different stories advanced in one hit. It's just a shame that the lead feature feels more like an unwelcome diversion than a proper Spider-Man story. Let's hope the token interaction with the FF can now be considered fulfilled, and that the book can return to more conventional Spidey stories.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #666

Jul 27, 2011

It's been quite some time since Spider-Man had his own crossover like this, and the shift in gears is giving the book a palpable sense of excitement " and to think, this is just the prelude!

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #673

Nov 7, 2011

The art, from Stefano Caselli, is tough to fault, and provides important visual continuity with both Ramos' style and the "Spider-Island" prologue from a few months back which was also illustrated by Caselli. However, it's the synthesis of Slott's writing, Caselli's pencils, and Frank Martin's coloring that makes the final page work so well, providing an iconic Spider-Man image that feels, in its own way, like as big a deal as any of the plot developments in the issue. The visual is an instant classic. In its own way, it's a reward for the fans as well as the character, and most of all, a perfect final image to close out the storyline with, as Manhattan becomes "Spider Island" one last time.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #674

Nov 21, 2011

As usual, then, "Amazing Spider-Man" maintains a high level of quality with only a few minor flaws. Perhaps it would have made sense to make a cleaner break somehow following Spider-Island, as this seems more like a return to mundanity than the start of a new storyline, and doesn't compare well to its immediate predecessor. Acceptable, yes, enjoyable, yes, but Amazing? For the first time in a while, not quite.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #678

Jan 23, 2012

While it's unlikely neither Ramos art nor Slott's writing on this issue is going to win over any nay-sayers, if you've enjoyed their work so far, this is as good as anything they've done on "Amazing Spider-Man," with an ending that guarantees you'll be there for the next issue.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #679.1

Feb 20, 2012

Ultimately, this issue is a success but only a mild one. When the series is only just coming off the back of one of its best and biggest storylines in years, there's a sense the same elements it featured so heavily -- evil scientists and the employees of Horizon Labs -- should perhaps rotate out. To be fair, it's not enough of a problem to quit the book over but it also can't help feeling a bit like more of the same.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #686

May 28, 2012

Still, there isn't long to go now, and there aren't any huge technical failures -- it's simply more hit than miss for me. The ending of this issue at least promises a battle royale worth coming back for, and in the end, where Spider-Man is concerned, even a miss for Slott is better than most.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #697

Nov 19, 2012

The dialogue (presumably Gage's) is convincingly Slott-esque too, and has the characters' voices down perfectly. It's a little less quippy than Slott alone tends to be, but still casual and convincing. It's not at all jarring to have a guest-creator on board, and Gage helps maintain the book's consistency. Indeed, that consistency can sometimes work against it, making it easy to forget that the general quality of "Amazing Spider-Man" has been very high of late. If this is what Marvel organizes for a normal month, readers can't help but look forward to the upcoming grand finale.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #699

Dec 6, 2012

Similarly appropriate is how this story incorporates elements as far back into as issue #600, reminding readers how Peter's experiences influence one another. As well as the main story, a few unresolved subplots from Slott's run appear to be converging on issue #700, which suggests a knock-down, drag-out finale that'll lead us into the new era with a clean slate. If the stories that follow #700 are going to be as good as this one, it's hard not to be excited.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38

Apr 11, 2011

Combined with the hints we get at the Hulk and Deadpool's stories, I can actually imagine wanting to see what's contained within them anyway, especially if they're as off-the-wall and unexpectedly fun as this one was.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39

Jun 4, 2012

That said, this is a well-executed, if increasingly thin story that relies on an emotional core that can only just support the necessary weight. There's a decent concept at its heart, but the execution doesn't quite work. Not bad, but not as good as it could have been.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man Extra #3

Mar 24, 2009

Overall, then, "Amazing Spider-Man Extra" does still seem to exist to plug continuity gaps, but it does so in a way that adds texture to the Spider-verse while keeping the stories generally optional. The bimonthly series has yet to find its feet, but so far, it's been more good than bad. The strength of the series is that it offers sneak peeks of exactly where the characters are going to turn up next, and what they're doing when they're out of the main title. That being the case, "Amazing Spider-Man" fans should really just treat it as another issue of the ongoing, and I'm happy to say that it does hold up to that level of scrutiny.

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3.0
Amazing Spider-Man Presents Jackpot #3

Apr 19, 2010

So, what I assumed would be a book about establishing the new Jackpot and her world actually turned out to be one designed to take her off the board entirely. To be honest, I can't fathom why this story was done in a miniseries rather than in the main title, where people might have actually read it. Regardless of how good or bad it was, the biggest crime of this series is that a potentially interesting character from the Spider-Man universe has been quietly shuffled into limbo. Given that Jackpot was a major part of the "Brand New Day" relaunch (even though it was the Alana Jobson version) it's a shame to see wasted opportunity, and that's what this feels like.

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son #1

May 24, 2010

It's an odd side-effect of the increased emphasis on the character's solo title that this story would probably have had a better chance if it were just another arc on "Amazing," rather than a spin-off. It isn't horrible, but it is unremarkable. Nothing about the title or concept feels compelling enough to grab reader interest, whereas an in-built audience would have been satisfied, if not blown away. To that end, if you can still make room for yet another Spider-Man book in your life, it ticks the boxes -- but I'd expect three times a month is more than enough for most.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat #1

Jun 21, 2010

Even so, there's nothing about the issue that wouldn't be right at home in "Amazing Spider-Man," so if the plan is to attract readers of that series, then mission accomplished; It's not essential reading, but if you're looking for something to complement the current Spider-title, this fits the bill fine.

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8.0
America's Got Powers #3

Aug 26, 2012

Still, it is ultimately a complimentary complaint, and "America's Got Powers" remains surprisingly overlooked, given the talent on it and the quality of each issue. If you haven't tried it, now's the time to get on board.

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5.0
America's Got Powers #4

Dec 24, 2012

That's not to say that it doesn't look (and read) well, but whether it's the delays or the story choices, it's lost a lot of its momentum. Even the excellent value (26 pages for $2.99!) can't quite compensate. It'll read better in the trade, there's no doubt about that -- but the series needs to recapture some of its initial momentum for the rest of its single issues.

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6.0
Angel: After the Fall #6

Apr 7, 2008

Next issue will presumably go some way towards answering the series other big mysteries -- why Gunn's a vampire, and why Angel isn't -- and while those mysteries are compelling enough, it's taken a while for the series to get to that stage. I'm cautiously optimistic, as the series has only been improving with each issue, but with the short-story format, this arc is prone to more variable in quality that could yet damage its chances of holding on to readers.

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6.0
Angel: After the Fall #9

Jun 25, 2008

With the new story beginning, this issue acts as a good jumping on point for new readers. At the same time, any lapsed readers might want to give it another shot. Things are definitely looking up.

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7.0
Angel: After the Fall #12

Sep 10, 2008

As a hardcore Buffyverse fan, it's heartening to see the series improving as it continues. If future issues are of similar quality, then when the Season Six arc finishes and the series becomes "Angel: Aftermath" with #17, readers might actually be likely to stick around -- something which, in the series earlier days, was not all that certain.

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7.0
Angel: After the Fall #26

Oct 12, 2009

"Angel #26," then, was an unexpected surprise from a writer and series I'd previously written off. It hasn't set the world alight, but compared to how it used to be, it's a vast improvement. I'll definitely be back for the next issue.

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8.0
Angel: Revelations #1

Jun 4, 2008

It's definitely good to see Marvel happy to put out a series that looks a little more experimental than their usual fare, and if there's any justice in the industry it'll pay off nicely.

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7.0
Anti-Venom: New Ways to Live #1

Sep 18, 2009

Against my preconceptions, "New Ways to Live" looks as though it'll turn out to be an enjoyable series. I was prepared to be indifferent to it, and perhaps that what leaves me pleasantly surprised, but as an Eddie Brock fan, I feel genuinely entertained by the character for the first time in a while. A few more issues like this and I might actually come around to the idea of Anti-Venom.

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10
Astonishing Spider-Man And Wolverine #1

May 10, 2010

It's rare that such an obviously commercial book achieves such a high creative standard, and perhaps a book like "Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine" is the perfect antidote to all the Secret Invasions and Sieges Marvel readers have endured recently. Finally, a story that exists for its own sake, told by the best creators around. You can't ask for more.

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7.0
Astonishing X-Men #28

Jan 27, 2009

It's all quite good, although it's hard not to feel, when reading "Astonishing X-Men", that "Uncanny X-Men" has truly been repositioned as the flagship title for the series. The story here is entertaining, but it doesn't feel important. "Astonishing X-Men" reminds me of DC's All-Star line, functioning as a creator showcase as much as a character one -" but given that we've got plenty of other X-Books to choose from, well, that's okay with me.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #31

Oct 7, 2009

The issue's final page involves a strangely un-telegraphed reveal, and is certainly one that could only have come from the mind of Ellis. Quite how it relates to the rest of the issue remains to be seen, but it's hard to pretend you don't want to find out.

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6.0
Astonishing X-Men #36

Feb 28, 2011

When all is said and done, there's nothing openly awful about this book, but as with many of the X-titles, I can't figure out what its identity is supposed to be. Way and Pearson are good, but they're not on the level of Ellis, Whedon, Cassaday et al by any stretch. If this is just another X-Men team book, then it's really got to be much better than "okay" " and frankly, I'm not sure this is.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #43

Oct 31, 2011

In a way, it's a shame this story was put in "Astonishing X-Men," as it's exactly the kind of material that would feel at home in "X-Men Legacy." If you're a huge fan of Danger, or you like done-in-one X-Men stories with a narrower focus that most of the books offer, this issue is worth picking up. It's perhaps not hugely important in the long run, but then not every story has to be. It's entertaining, that's enough.

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6.0
Astonishing X-Men #44

Nov 28, 2011

It's certainly not a bad story, but so far it's done little to justify its position in the revamped line-up. Where every other title has gone for a mission statement as its opening issue, "Astonishing X-Men" simply offers more of the same. Even if that's the point, it would have been nice to see it said with a little more confidence.

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5.0
Astonishing X-Men #47

Mar 5, 2012

As arcs go, it's certainly not terrible and the call-back to Ellis' run makes this an "Astonishing X-Men" story as far as one can be -- but again, it's not really clear what the book is doing with itself. It's nice to see Cyclops getting an effectively solo adventure -- but is that the kind of story this title is for?

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1

May 16, 2010

Still, "Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis" is an entertaining, if idiosyncratic X-Men story. Those who have enjoyed Ellis' run to date will probably find it a real treat. And those who haven't? Probably best to stay away from this.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #2

Jun 25, 2010

Which, in a way, is good, because so far the writing on "Avengers" has been imperfect, though not massively flawed -" although the less said about the painfully self-indulgent "Oral history of the Avengers" supplemental the better. What bugs me is that for a second issue of such a high-profile launch it's hard not to feel as though it should be eliciting a more dramatic response than "it's alright, I suppose." Of all the Avengers launches so far, it's actually the flagship title -" this title "- which is leaving me coldest. If that turns out to be the case for everyone who reads this book then I'm not sure it's a good thing in the long run.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #8

Jan 3, 2011

Generally speaking, the Avengers has been great since its relaunch, but it's good to see Bendis doing a bit more of the character material he does well, rather than his impression of an "action" book. The final issue cliffhanger promises that the next issue might well follow the character-centric approach, so it's one that Avengers readers should be able to look forward to without concern.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #28

Jul 30, 2012

A possible point of criticism is that it hasn't been that long since "Dark Reign," when every tie-in book followed a failed-assassination-attempt plot. However, deployed in isolation, the concept holds up. You wouldn't want every tie-in to be like this, but one is actually not so bad.

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4.0
Avengers (2010) #30

Sep 24, 2012

It's fair to say that Bendis and Simonson have produced better than this, and recently. "Avengers" #30 fails as a tie-in and on its own terms. There was a good idea at the core of the issue, but it's been so poorly executed that it outright ruins the issue. Unless you're a completest, you can safely avoid this one.

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4.0
Avengers (2010) #34

Nov 23, 2012

As a result, it's tough not to feel as though Bendis' tenure on the franchise reached its natural conclusion some time ago, and that "Avengers" is representative of a weak attempt to carry on against better judgement. The strong showing of "All New X-Men" #1 certainly shows that he's got better in him.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #19

Sep 12, 2013

Its importance might change further down the line, but those who turn up for the crossover will probably get the sense that this is more of a continuation of the current "Avengers" story than a particularly important "Infinity" tie-in. It's an appreciated strategy for crossovers: telling a story that isn't mandatory to understand the event but also isn't just spinning its wheels between panels. For the moment, it's the best of all worlds. Let's hope that continues.

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6.0
Avengers A.I. #1

Jul 5, 2013

Recent Marvel launches have a lot of strong competition, but "Avengers A.I." #1 manages to stand out as something other than just another "Avengers" book. It's got its own feel, a cast of somewhat obscure characters and a unique concept driving it. That's more than enough to convince me to stick around for the next issue.

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5.0
Avengers A.I. #4

Oct 14, 2013

There are some good ideas in here, and Humphries has done a good job of taking a cast of misfits and nobodies and turning them into a group you want to read about, but broadly speaking it's suffering from similar problems to his "Uncanny X-Force" run: truncated plotlines, disjointed sequences and a little too much abstract imagery. It's clear that Humphries has an ambitious drive, but at the moment -- on "Avengers A.I." at least -- his work isn't quite reaching the clarity needed to realise his intentions for it.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #4

Sep 27, 2010

"Avengers Academy" is undeniably still a green book, but it quickly found its feet and is growing with each issue. It's even structured in such a way as to make it a satisfying issue-by-issue read, which is something increasingly rare at Marvel, particularly when the rest of the Avengers franchise seems geared towards collected readings. A great book with great characters, destined for greater things.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #12

Apr 25, 2011

"Avengers Academy" might be largely confined to its own world right now, but the day these characters step out into the wider Marvel Universe will be an enjoyable one for us all. For now, it's safe to say that "Avengers Academy" is a fantastic addition to Marvel's canon, and one worthy of the name Avengers. Let's hope year two is as much fun.

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7.0
Avengers Academy #16

Jul 25, 2011

Ultimately, while the intrusion of "Fear Itself" into the book's ongoing narrative might not be doing "Avengers Academy" any particular favours, at least Gage is capable of making the most of the crossover in ways that let him advance his regular plotlines. If you didn't know better, it'd seem almost as if it were planned. If only all crossovers could be as bearable.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #21

Nov 1, 2011

As a jumping-on point, this certainly works. It's kicking off a major storyline, it's settling the cast into a new status quo, and it's bringing in both old favorites and new characters. "Avengers Academy" is one of Marvel's most consistently enjoyable titles, and if this issue is anything to go by, it's going to stay that way well into the future.

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7.0
Avengers Arena #3

Jan 14, 2013

That said, there's something about the book's concept that feels off. On the surface, it's entertaining, but it lacks depth. When comparisons are drawn with the stories it's directly influenced by, there's nothing like "Battle Royale's" social satire, or the "Hunger Games'" skewering of the media. The plot is compelling and the characters are developed well, but ultimately it's lacking the strong metaphor that underpins other stories in this genre. Perhaps that will arise over time, perhaps it'll continue on its character-driven path -- but unless it finds something to say with its characters and setup, it's never going to escape accusations of being an imitation, regardless of quality.

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6.0
Avengers Arena #9

May 13, 2013

"Avengers Arena" #9 is odd, because it seems to read better than it's objectively written. It's tough to say whether that's because of the book's strong premise, its fantastic art or Hopeless' convincing character work, but it's enough to make me think that yet again, it's worth sticking with.

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7.0
Avengers Arena #13

Aug 19, 2013

Still, Gage's script is full of humor and follows the story down a logical path. There's a delicate balancing act at work, because even though we, as readers, know that Pym is being fooled, he never comes across as being unreasonably stupid. In his situation, you can imagine being just as convinced as he is. It might be six issues too late and come over a little like an exercise in box-ticking, but as far as those stories go, this is about as strong as they get. It feels more like a treat for fans who've been waiting for answers since day one, but hey, there's nothing wrong with that once in a while.

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8.0
Avengers Prime #4

Nov 12, 2010

With "Avengers Prime" firmly settled into its groove, there's little else to do except acknowledge that this issue, as the penultimate issue of a miniseries, can't really be criticized for failing to provide much in the way of twists and reinvention. There's more to come, and as we prepare for the final act, what sticks out most is that it's a book being created to high standards. A must-buy for Avengers fans, and a refreshing change of pace from Bendis' usual approach to the team.

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9.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #0

Mar 29, 2012

In fact, the one thing this issue doesn't do is actually pit the Avengers and X-Men against one another. They don't meet or even speak on the phone. We simply see the problems both are dealing with and are invited to draw our own conclusions over how that will set both families on a collision course with one another -- and why not? This is, after all, the prologue to the story. Still, if it's representative of the quality of the crossover to come, then Marvel should soon have some very happy fans on its hands. Fingers crossed, everyone!

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9.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #2

Apr 19, 2012

As with any event book, you could pick at its imperfections until they rip open and declare it a failure -- but ultimately, when the book is called "Avengers Vs. X-Men" you can't exactly criticize it for delivering just that. As fun to read as it looks like it was to create.

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7.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #12

Oct 3, 2012

There are things about this issue that still don't work on a micro scale. Aaron's pet theme of faith crops up and seems to serve little to no purpose in context, while the importance of the Iron Fist isn't really clear (from this issue, at least). But in general, the issue delivers a strong ending which resolves the story's ideas and core plot. Where crossovers are concerned, that makes it something of a rarity. It's not necessarily the finale the previous issues lead to -- but it's probably the finale the creative minds (and fans) were hoping for.

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10
Avengers: Children's Crusade #4

Jan 9, 2011

The only thing one can reasonably hold against "Children's Crusade?" The schedule. When superhero comics are this brilliant, this page-turningly compelling, the fact that we're being asked to wait two months for each issue borders on actual cruelty. Roll on, March.

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9.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #8

Jan 2, 2012

With only one more issue to go, we can confidently say that this series will become a classic read. If you're not reading it, it's probably a bit late to start, but do yourself a favor and buy the collection.

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6.0
AVX: Consequences #4

Nov 5, 2012

Still, as a de facto X-Men title between cancellations and launches, it's doing its job. And crucially, it's leaving characters in a more interesting place than where it found them, which means it's doing its job well. For a series with a thankless remit, it's better than I would have hoped.

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10
AVX: VS #1

Apr 27, 2012

"AVX: VS" #1 is, in many ways, the comics equivalent of professional wrestling. There are big moments of drama. Memorable images. The occasional shot of dialogue that'll make you smile. But really, it's all about seeing who wins the fights, appreciating the techniques of the characters (and creators) and getting invested in the outcome even though it's of no material consequence. If you like that idea, then you're going to love this book. If you think it sounds stupid, then 5-star rating or not, you can comfortably skip it.

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8.0
AVX: VS #6

Oct 8, 2012

It feels like unhelpful shorthand to praise a comic for being fun, so even though that's what "AVX VS" #6 is, let's instead praise its other qualities: it's humorous, inventive and routinely gorgeous. Best of all, it puts together unusual creative teams and gives them the space to do what they do best -- and as any comic reader knows, that's where magic comes from. It's no surprise "AVX VS" #6 is full of exactly that.

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5.0
Battle Beasts #1

Jul 17, 2012

In short, it's a bland and inoffensive attempt at turning toys into a story -- but is it worth a read for anyone who wasn't a massive "Battle Beasts" fan? No. Not at all.

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4.0
Battle Scars #1

Nov 13, 2011

It's clear that the small seeds are intended to grow a mighty oak of a story, but based on this first issue it's hard to imagine people being interested enough to hang around that long. The central idea of a man thrust into the crazy world of superheroes is well-defined, but the series wasn't sold on that. It was sold on the strength of its lead character, and at this point he just isn't interesting enough to carry it. Whatever twist Yost and Co. are working towards should probably have come at the end of this issue, because without it, there's no hook, and this reader, at least, isn't going to spend any extra money hoping that one will appear.

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4.0
Battle Scars #2

Dec 18, 2011

In terms of the book's components, there's no major failing of the writing and art. It reads fine and looks great, especially during action sequences. There's just nothing to the story beyond the question "What's so special about Marcus Johnson?" and the crushing inevitability that we won't find out for another few months. I appreciate a good mystery, but a book needs more than that, and in the end, I'm not sure this has anything else going on.

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4.0
Black Widow Strikes #1

May 7, 2012

It's certainly not an awful comic, but there's a distinct feeling that no-one involved is putting their best foot forward. Licensed tie-in comics have a rich history of mediocrity and sadly, even an association with what is (for this week, at least) the world's hottest brand in pop-culture can't break that cycle. Don't feel bad for skipping it.

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8.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #16

Jul 7, 2008

It's a more-than-solid first issue for Whedon and the Season 8 cast, but coming from this series, would you expect any less?

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5.0
Cable #3

May 12, 2008

"Cable" isn't technically bad by any means, but it does have some wrinkles that could be ironed out. It already has a strong concept and characters - now it just needs a little more plot to go with them.

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7.0
Cable #6

Aug 13, 2008

Now that the first arc is truly complete, the "Messiah Complex" epilogue is over and the series worryingly provides a perfect jumping-off point. The ongoing mystery of the baby's identity is clearly not going to be definitively resolved for a while, and there aren't many other plot threads for readers to focus on, unless you're waiting for the Bishop/Cable rematch. If that's the only ongoing thread, it's not necessarily going to keep people around for long.

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6.0
Cable #7

Oct 8, 2008

The book's not bad, of course -- a little plodding, occasionally a little sterile -- but it does at least seem to have a clear idea of what it's doing and where it's going, even if it's not rushing to get there. The main problem is that it shouldn't really be called "Cable" at all -- it's not about him, and it doesn't seem to want to be. At this point you could quite easily have titled the comic "Bishop" and it wouldn't have been that jarring a change. For something billed as a solo book, that's inarguably a problem, and one that doesn't look like it'll be addressed soon. "Cable" is definitely worth following if you're interested in the fallout from "Messiah Complex," but if it's the character you're interested in, then it's unlikely to satisfy that particular craving.

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7.0
Cable #18

Sep 9, 2009

If Emil manages to hang around longer than the end of this story arc, then perhaps there's hope (ahem) for the series yet. Bishop acquiring his own ward opens up story possibilities, especially if Hope and Emil's Romeo-and-Juliet relationship continues to develop -- but there's no guarantee the plot is going to do anything except go back around the way it came before. I'm always hopeful that things can change, but it's looking increasingly obvious that "Cable" isn't quite the high-priority read that it once appeared to be.

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5.0
Cable #20

Nov 16, 2009

The art, by Gabriel Guzman, is reasonably serviceable. The storytelling fundamentals work fine, but the rendering is variable -- some panels look great, others less so. It doesn't help that the locations are hard to make particularly interesting, and the Brood are so familiar and generic that even the best would struggle to turn a memorable image out of the story. The art mirrors the writing, which mirrors the plight of the title itself. There's nothing particularly bad, but it's all just a little too samey, and ultimately, unremarkable.

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5.0
Cable #21

Dec 22, 2009

In sharp contrast to the writing, the artwork on Cable has been variable and uneven, something exemplified by this issue. Humberto Ramos makes an unlikely appearance pencilling the opening "chapter", offering a nice visual recall to the days of the "Messiah Complex" storyline that kicked all this off. Lan Medina pencils Chapter Two, with some convincing, if conventional work. Paul Gulacy tackles the third chapter in an apparent rush, with some wildly off-model face and distorted expressions. He's demonstrably better than this. The three styles clash unfortunately and it lowers the quality of an issue that, under the right artist, could've been one of Cable's more notable outings. As it is, it's all just a bit -- unremarkable.

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5.0
Cable #24

Mar 15, 2010

Of course, since Cable as a whole has been little more than an extended trailer for the series, it would be a real disappointment if it accomplished that much at the very least. And until we actually do get to read "Second Coming," it's going to be a bit difficult to know whether it's truly done any more than that.

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6.0
Cable and X-Force #2

Dec 24, 2012

The big problem, really, is that "Cable and X-Force" is a book that's still finding its feet in a marketing event filled with creators who have hit the ground running. Hopeless is one of Marvel's most interesting new voices in some time, but there's a danger that with so much high-profile competition, his book will be the first on the chopping block when people are cutting back their pull lists as a result of the Marvel NOW! prolific release schedule. There's nothing massively wrong with the book, but two issues of relatively slow burn and teased-out exposition doesn't seem like the best tactic for grabbing those all-important fence-sitters. Let's hope Hopeless gets a chance to prove himself with more issues.

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6.0
Cable and X-Force #6

Mar 25, 2013

When the action moves outside the boundaries of conversation, things get a little better in some ways and worse in others. The double-page spread of the alien craft looks great, but it's tough to tell whether it's supposed to be dematerializing, bursting out of the ground or even dropping from the sky. Within individual panels, the storytelling works, but the over-use of widescreen panels makes the book monotonous in both pace and tone. The art isn't what you'd call bad, but it harms the story as much as helps it. On "Cable and X-Force," Hopeless clearly tries to show rather than tell, so there's a definite sense that with an artist better-suited to that technique, this mostly good book could actually become great.

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9.0
Captain America (2004) #38

May 26, 2008

If there's anything really wrong with this issue, it's that it's ultimately just another chapter in the wider story. Taken alone it's hard to read. Still, Brubaker and Epting are crafting a Captain America story that, by this point, can't fail to become legendary. It verges on being a definitive one for the character even though it doesn't have Steve Rogers in it ""- at least, not so far ""- and because it's being told outside the current Skrull-induced craziness of the modern Marvel Universe, it has near-perfect pacing that'll mean it should stand alone for years to come.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #44

Dec 2, 2008

Even so, Brubaker's work on the title is undeniably worth reading. It's hard to argue that his "Captain America" run has been anything other than great comics, and will certainly be enjoyed as a classic further down the line -- it's a lucky opportunity for us, then, that we get to experience it first hand.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #50

May 20, 2009

The second backup is a strip by Fred Hembeck, which references the oft-forgotten Cap-impersonator from "Strange Tales" #114 " the "first" 60s Cap, as he puts it. In a "piece to camera" the Acrobat muses over his past in the traditional Hembeck style. Overall, it makes for an enjoyable supplement to the other two stories, and if a comic's going to cost $3.99, then this is the sort of extra material I wouldn't mind paying a little for.

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5.0
Captain America (2004) #602

Jan 25, 2010

The backup strip brings Sean McKeever and David Balden's Nomad into the fold -" a welcome development for a character whose miniseries was criminally overlooked "- though less welcome for the presence of Araa, a super-heroine who has failed to find an audience once or twice already. The character's appearance distracts from the introduction of Nomad and her own supporting cast, and although the classic superheroics are a welcome counterbalance to the heavy politics of the lead story, it can't stop this from feeling like a lackluster issue overall.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #607

Jul 5, 2010

Regrettably, the comic is slightly tainted by McKeever and Baldeon's Nomad backup, which although a fitting complement in the early days, has veered away from the tone and subject matter of the title into less interesting territory. Nomad's position on the fringes of the Captain America universe is increasingly tenuous, and unless Brubaker intends to bring her into the fold more convincingly, it's hard to see why this backup continues to run, particularly with the launch of "Young Allies." Not that I want to complain too much about having a higher page count for $3.99, but to be honest, it'd be nice if the backup counted a little more than this.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #610

Oct 4, 2010

Still, perhaps this was intentional " or perhaps there's a rematch coming. Despite the downbeat ending, this arc in Captain America has been one of the most enjoyable for some time, and for all the finer details of Zemo's appearance, a large part of that has been in the character's reintroduction. I wouldn't be upset to see more of him from Brubaker in the future.

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8.0
Captain America (2011) #2

Aug 17, 2011

Still, that doesn't ultimately take anything away from a book that is, quite simply, a technical masterpiece. Whether you're new to Captain America or a long-time fan, there's something to enjoy here. And if you're a fan of superhero comics at all, the "Captain America" relaunch is undeniably producing some of the best right now.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #11

Sep 16, 2013

Remender's work on "Captain America" has been tonally strong since day one, and issue #11 is a reminder of exactly how good his grasp of the character is. It's a take quite unlike Brubaker's, but still entirely valid. The decision he makes at the end of this issue is haunting and pensive, and feels like something Brubaker's Cap would never have done. That Remender makes it work is proof that following a critically acclaimed run isn't always a poisoned chalice.

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8.0
Captain America: Reborn #2

Aug 4, 2009

As you might expect, this issue features a couple of major plot developments, including the cliffhanger -- though in this case, they're likely to be far more interesting to those who have been following Brubaker's run than for those who just came aboard for the mini. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed this issue more than the first, or perhaps I'm just glad that the pretense of "death" for Rogers is over, but either way, I'm now looking forward to issue #3.

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7.0
Captain America: Reborn #5

Dec 16, 2009

Sadly, that realization will come as small comfort for those who have waited six weeks since the last issues. Although there's nothing wrong with this issue, whatever suspense existed in "Captain America: Reborn" to begin with has long since evaporated. It's undeniably good, but when a comic leaves you with a feeling best expressed by the sentence "how much longer to go?," well, that's not exactly a classic issue in the making.

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10
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1

Dec 22, 2009

If there's anything we can take away from this one-shot, it's that all the "event" comics in the world aren't a substitute for a good story. This issue knows what it wants to say about Captain America, and it does it with flair and brilliantly refined craft. A new chapter for the character and, perhaps, the start of the best one yet.

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9.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #2

Jun 18, 2008

Leonard Kirk is also doing some of the best work of his career. With this series, his style shows hints of Brian Hitch and Alan Davis, and there's no way that can be taken as a bad thing. Between his art and Cornell's writing, "Captain Britain and MI-13" has stormed out of the gate as Marvel's best and most original launch in some time. I'd call it a sleeper hit, but really it's too good for cult status. It deserves to be massive.

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10
Captain Britain and MI:13 #9

Jan 13, 2009

Put it this way: catch me in the shop and I'll even BUY an issue for you. Issue #9 is as satisfying an ending as any story has ever received, and if you want to know how good that feels, you'll need to be around for the next arc. Please don't disappoint me.

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8.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #13

May 19, 2009

There's very little left to say about "Captain Britain." The critical success might not have been matched by the title's sales, but at least we can be sure that even if the book's sales have failed, the members of creative team have not. If there's any silver lining, it's that Cornell will be free to bring his finely honed writing to other, more popular books.

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8.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #15

Jul 22, 2009

Still, there are worse ways to finish off a series that with a story like this one, and the closing sequence is a fantastic way for it to end on a high. There's no dismantling of the team, nor any attempt to put the toys back in the box -- The team's story doesn't end, it just reaches the end of an act -- MI-13 is here to stay, we just won't be following their adventures any more. The door open for a follow-up, and if there's any justice in the world, this isn't going to be the last we see of the team.

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6.0
Captain Marvel #5

Apr 19, 2008

Now completed, it seems fair to assess the "Captain Marvel" mini as more good than bad, but as a series in itself it doesn't quite work. Given Marv's appearance in "Secret Invasion" #1, it seems like it'll be almost essential reading for those interested in the crossover, but if you don't care about Skrulls at all then you can pretty much write off the entire series. Kudos to Marvel for setting this all up in advance in a way that makes total sense, but if you wanted to get a genuine Captain Marvel story out of it, well, I'm not convinced it fits the bill.

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5.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #1

Jul 19, 2012

It's a shame that this didn't click with me, because I'm a big fan of the character and was hoping for something to be enthusiastic about. Instead, this is an odd issue that delivers its best material early then doesn't seem to build to any kind of point. Unlike Danvers' previous series, which had a clear (if vaguely-defined) hook of her attempt to become an A-list superhero, this one spends more time trying to figure out the character's nature than convincing readers that there's a story coming. It probably makes sense from the perspective of a creator to spend time establishing the framework and testing her boundaries, but as someone who's already invested in the character, I can't help feeling that I'd rather read a comic about what she does, not who she is.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #11

Mar 25, 2013

Still, those are minor nitpicks against the book's otherwise enjoyable story. The promise of the new Deathbird and her downright cold-blooded intimidation techniques are more than enough to bring me back next issue. If this is an average instalment, I want to be around when it really hits the high notes.

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7.0
Carnage USA #1

Dec 18, 2011

This review began by stating that a Carnage appearance needs a good story in mind to work, and this one seems to have the ingredients for that. Carnage has a goal, however twisted, and he's proven has the means to accomplish it. Despite that, it maybe feels as though the Avengers went down a little too quickly, but the final page promises that symbiote fans aren't likely to feel too aggrieved by that, having seen what happens as a result. If you don't already buy into the idea of Carnage, this comic isn't going to convince you otherwise -- but those sympathetic towards the character (i.e. if you grew up reading comics in the 90s) will find their tastes more than catered for.

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10
CBGB #1

Jul 27, 2010

You could be forgiven for finding a tribute book like this to be a little fawning or sycophantic, and in truth it's hard to argue against such accusations without violating the premise of the work. It's safe to say that it's not reverential to a fault, however, and the book works as both a history lesson and a journalistic document of modern attitudes towards the venue. At the same time, the stories in this issue address universal themes, and the fact that it's rooted in a real time and place is an almost secondary extra. It's a comic that's definitely worth owning, and one that you can be certain is still going to be as relevant and enjoyable a decade from now as it is today.

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5.0
Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #3

Sep 13, 2010

But that's the problem: It's hard to complain about this book, but it's also hard to praise. As long as you accept the contradiction of there being very little Comic Book Guy in the issue, it's diverting enough to justify the cost. But compared to some of the utter classic, TV-episode-eclipsing Simpsons Comics I've read over the years, it falls far short. But, of course, let's not be too disappointed, because I wouldn't be a Comic Book Guy myself if I wasn't reading it and secretly thinking that I could do better.

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4.0
Daken: Dark Wolverine #1

Sep 13, 2010

Ultimately, the problem with Dark Wolverine is, in many ways, the same as it always was: an unlikeable main character with ill-defined goals, and not a shred of heroism to endear him to the audience. It's clear that Liu and Way know what they're doing with the character, but in all honesty, they have yet to convince me that it's worth doing at all. And if they can't do that in the first issue of a new series, I'm not sure they'll ever be able to.

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7.0
Daredevil (1998) #109

Jul 30, 2008

The one thing that does have me eager to read the rest of the story is Ben Donovan's apparent willingness to die for a crime he didn't commit. Between that and the attack on Dakota at the end of this issue, I can at least be hopeful that the arc will, at least, deliver a satisfying conclusion, and I'll find it much easier to forgive a dull journey if the destination's exciting. It'll be some time until my goodwill towards the "Daredevil" team is exhausted, but it'd be nice to see a major shake-up soon.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #111

Oct 1, 2008

The first couple of years of Brubaker's run on "Daredevil" felt largely like fallout from Bendis' epic tenure, so it's both surprising and pleasing to see that this one issue appears to define, quite quickly, a new (if not radically different) tone for the series which makes the series feel, for the first time in a while, like Brubaker has plans to leave his own distinctive mark on the series, rather than just end up as the footnote that followed Bendis.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #115

Jan 27, 2009

Ultimately, the short, fast approach of the entire "Lady Bullseye" arc has proven a welcome change of pace for "Daredevil", and the plot threads left dangling promise that an exciting follow-up should be on the way in short order.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #502

Nov 16, 2009

Overall, Daredevil is as good as it has ever been, and Diggle's run is off to a stronger start than many would have predicted, given the long shadow cast by his predecessors. This issue, with its focus on the criminal underworld, may have been slower overall than the last two installments in Diggle's run, but it was always going to be a tall order to compete with the first two showings. Despite the downtime, "Daredevil" is currently as good as it has ever been, and hopefully Diggle's run will be a long and celebrated one.

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7.0
Daredevil (1998) #509

Aug 16, 2010

The main strength of the issue also informs its biggest failing. For better or worse, this story is mostly an attempt to flesh out behind the scenes of Shadowland. Removed from that context, I'm not sure how entertaining it would be. If, however, you're looking for the book which adds much-needed depth to Shadowland, there can be no doubting that this is it, and I can highly recommend it as a companion to the crossover, if not a substitute for it.

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6.0
Daredevil (1998) #512

Dec 6, 2010

In fairness, there's nothing wrong with the story as a coda to "Shadowland." The main problem is that there isn't going to be an issue #513 in anything but number alone. It's rare an issue could have the words "Jumping Off Point!" slapped on the front, but this is one of those times. Daredevil will, presumably, have his own series again in a few months. Whether this one will survive much longer without him remains to be seen.

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10
Daredevil (2011) #5

Oct 31, 2011

Indeed, if there's any problem with "Daredevil," it's that it's over too soon, and the next issue can't come quickly enough. Admittedly, the cliffhanger isn't very convincing (has Matt drowned? I'm guessing not.) but the way it's shown is enough to leave you wondering not whether he'll escape, but how he'll do it given what we know. I'm confident Waid has an interesting answer up his sleeve, and if nothing else, it's good to feel as though monthly readers are being catered for by the structure. There are very few comics that you feel you could give to anyone, but surely the current run of "Daredevil" is one of them.

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4.0
Daredevil (2011) Annual #1

Aug 13, 2012

Perhaps "Daredevil Annual" #1 is merely suffering from its role as the middle part of a trilogy. Perhaps the standards of Waid's run are just impossible to live up to. In any case, there's nothing here that justifies a feature-length story or the extra cost of such. Only die-hard completists and ClanDestine enthusiasts need apply.

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9.0
Daredevil: Dark Nights #1

Jun 10, 2013

The only real shame is that Weeks' story is only three issues long -- but if the quality control currently being applied to the character is maintained throughout "Daredevil: Dark Nights," there will be more stories that are just as good, which is no bad thing. The first issue is not so much an unexpected hit, but definitely a pleasant one.

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8.0
Daredevil: Dark Nights #4

Sep 6, 2013

You wouldn't naturally think that Daredevil was a character who could sustain two ongoings, but between 8 issues of "End of Days" and now four issues of "Dark Nights," Daredevil has essentially had a year's worth of a second series. It's hard to say why it's working. Perhaps it's the quality of the creators, but perhaps it's just because it hasn't been tried before. Whatever the reason, Daredevil fans are spoiled for choice with two top quality titles on shelves.

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9.0
Daredevil: End of Days #4

Jan 7, 2013

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the miniseries is the complete lack of Murdock himself. Sure, we've had hints that he (or some other Daredevil) might be lurking in the shadows, but for a book that purports to be the "last" Daredevil story, there's actually very little of him in there. In a way, that makes sense -- Daredevil's a character who works in the shadows, using fear as a tool. And that's what he's doing now, even while dead. It's grimly appropriate, and lends a fantastic undertone in a story that might yet go down as one of the best Daredevil yarns in history. "Daredevil: End of Days" is simply a must-read for fans of the character.

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9.0
Daredevil: End of Days #7

Apr 22, 2013

To be completely fair, the only reason it's not a five star book is because, ultimately, it's a comic that only exists to talk about Daredevil -- about the way the character operates, the acts he inspired, the world he inhabits. It's part love letter, part deconstruction. In all honesty, a comic that exists only to remind us how great its title character is can't really achieve full marks, but that's largely academic. For "Daredevil" fans everywhere, it's more than enough to make it an essential read.

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9.0
Daredevil: Reborn #1

Jan 14, 2011

Either way, it's a strong start, and pleasingly character-centric following the wide strokes of "Shadowland." Diggle's run has had its ups and downs, but if the rest of Reborn is as good as this, it's sure to end on a high note.

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8.0
Daredevil: Reborn #3

Mar 28, 2011

Certainly, "Daredevil Reborn" is a return to form following "Shadowland", which pulled back so far back to the wider picture that it lost sight of its heart, and a welcome reminder that Diggle has as good a grasp of Daredevil as any of his predecessors.

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8.0
Daredevil: Season One #1

Apr 16, 2012

It's a fun adventure for the character, but it's less a story about Daredevil than it is the first part of his story. The idea, presumably, is to lay the groundwork so that readers can explore more by reading the rest of his published career, and in that sense it's a success -- but if you're familiar with the character already, don't expect anything other than an enjoyable retelling of his early adventures.

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8.0
Dark Avengers #175

Jun 11, 2012

Aside from the name change, it's business as usual: strong characterization, great art and the same villains-as-heroes premise. Whether this "new era" grabs you ultimately depends on how interested you are in the incoming team and how willing you are to wait around for the old one. Other than that, the outlook looks promising.

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4.0
Dark Avengers #184

Dec 17, 2012

As it turns out, it's rather a weak start to the team's new era -- one that spends a lot of time setting up the wrong characters on the wrong world. Is it any surprise that readers might be left feeling like they're reading the wrong book?

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4.0
Dark Avengers #186

Feb 4, 2013

Perhaps that's the real flaw. As readers, we expect super-villains to lose, but here we have to buy into their success even though they're barely reacting to their situation, much less giving us a reason to want them to escape. Three issues into a storyline, there needs to be a bigger reason than "because it's their book," but for now, the series seems uninterested in presenting one.

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9.0
Dark Avengers: Ares #1

Nov 3, 2009

Ares, then, is an unlikely hit in just about every area. Despite inauspicious beginnings, "Dark Avengers: Ares" has had a better start than some ongoing series get, and at this point, the knowledge that it'll only be three issues long just feels... unnecessarily cruel.

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8.0
Dark Reign: Hawkeye #1

Apr 14, 2009

Diggle may not have been at Marvel long, but if "Dark Reign: Hawkeye" is indicative of his work, let's hope he stays with the company a long, long time. Diggle has managed to turn an event-driven story into a compelling character-based story, and an opening issue this strong ensures that I'll stay with the series for the duration.

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3.0
Dark Reign: Hawkeye #5

Feb 1, 2010

Taken as a whole, though, the real problem with the story is that doesnt feel like it has much to say about the character. Early hints that the series would look at how playing hero might affect Bullseye appear to have fallen by the wayside, leaving the book struggling to find a core concept. It was never worse than okay, but with a writer like Diggle attached, okay is well below par.

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7.0
Dark Reign: Mr. Negative #1

Jun 21, 2009

Although Van Lente does a lot to expand Negative's character and back story throughout the issue, there's no denying that the appeal of the book lies mainly in seeing a lot of supervillains on the loose as much as in Negative himself. It's not a harsh judgement to say that he's still not that interesting as a stand-alone character -- but a few more issues like this, and he might be.

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4.0
Dark Reign: Mr. Negative #3

Aug 24, 2009

Technically speaking, it's not a complete bomb, but between Van Lente's mechanical execution of the plot and Gugliotta's promising but not-entirely-ripened pencilling, there's very little reason to recommend the book. It's not going to upset you, but to be honest, if you come away from it feeling anything, that's probably a plus. For me, it's just. . . there.

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6.0
Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #1

Jun 29, 2009

Although an enjoyable issue, I'm not fully sold on the direction of the series itself. There is a cliffhanger that truly screams for resolution, but the second plot about villains and a new "Redeemer" character leaves me cold. It's a mixed bag, but ultimately should be worth another look in the future.

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8.0
Dark Reign: The Cabal #1

May 2, 2009

If "Dark Reign: The Cabal" can be accused of anything negative, it's that there's really very little to it that'll matter in the long term. Given the title, you could be forgiven for expecting some major developments in the "Dark Reign" mythology, and instead you're treated to a loose collection of vignettes about the Cabal's members. As a product it's a tad misleading, but ultimately, as a piece of entertainment, it's so good that you'd be a fool to let that bother you. Expectation shouldn't get in the way of good stories like these.

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6.0
Dark Reign: The Goblin Legacy #1

Aug 3, 2009

Although the new material is little more than window dressing, the new work done on the reprints means that the issue does offer enough new material to make it worth a look. If we have to see these kind of cheaply-produced, handbook-style comics, I'd much rather they followed the template of this one.

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6.0
Dark Reign: The Hood #1

May 28, 2009

Overall, there's little to complain about, but similarly little to get excited about unless you're specifically a fan of the character. Doubtlessly, the cliffhanger will leave existing Hood fans itching for the next issue, but in all honesty, I had to hit Wikipedia to decipher the importance of the final page reveal. Parker just about gets away with it, but when one suspects that the majority of the audience will come to this book as I did -- out of "New Avengers," rather than the previous "Hood" series -- you have to question the wisdom of an ending like that.

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8.0
Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1

May 19, 2009

The artwork from Mark Brooks is nothing less than stunning. Brooks has shown in the past that he can handle teenage casts brilliantly on the "Ultimate Spider-Man Annual", but paired up with Christina Strain's colors, the series takes on a vivid, animated appearance. It imbues the book with the required youthful energy, bringing the cast to life and providing the perfect visual counterpart to Cornell's dialogue. Instantly a worthy successor to the Young Avengers name.

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4.0
Dark Wolverine #80

Dec 1, 2009

Indeed, it's hard to say whether it's a problem with the art or writing, but the one thing about the issue that can be truly said to fail is the ending. A lot of discussion already centers on whether it's supposed to be ambiguous -- whether Emmy killed herself or not "- but if people can't figure out if it's intentionally ambiguous or not, then the storytelling hasn't done its job somewhere. Beyond that, there's nothing huge to complain about, but it's a weak conclusion to a weak arc in a book that has a weak premise to begin with. I don't know where this series is going or what it's supposed to be doing, and as a reader, I can't help but feel that Dark Wolverine needs some direction -" fast.

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6.0
Dark Wolverine #85

Apr 26, 2010

Certainly, Dark Wolverine has survived better on its own than many expected, but the true test of its mettle will presumably come at the end of this story, when it becomes time for the book to strike out alone. As it is, this arc is effectively the finale to the current era of Wolverine and Daken's relationship, and the book sets that particular ball rolling reasonably well.

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6.0
Dark X-Men #5

Mar 15, 2010

It's tough not to enjoy the rather downbeat conclusion as something a miniseries would have trouble doing with more traditional heroes, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like it says much about the characters -- except that they failed to escape the shadows of either Norman Osborn or Nate Grey. And when that's a problem in their own title, it's hard not to wonder whether the series can support another story about the characters, whose purpose died at the conclusion of the Utopia crossover.

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6.0
Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1

Jul 9, 2009

Overall, "Dark X-Men" #1 is the best kind of crossover tie-in. There's a clear story being told, and, more importantly, a genuine need to tell it. Its status as an anthology means the quality is variable, but ultimately good enough. Anyone already reading "Utopia" should certainly give it a look.

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3.0
Dark X-Men: The Confession #1

Sep 23, 2009

Sadly, despite all the trails and build-up, the contents of "Dark X-Men: The Confession" really fail to deliver on almost every level. After reading this, I don't feel like I understand the characters any better, nor does it reveal anything about the events of "Utopia" that weren't already clear. The issue itself doesn't even really have a confession -- the characters mutually admit their shady dealings, but it's not as revelatory as the name suggests, nor even as its quasi-counterpart "Civil War: The Confession" was. As an X-Men fan, I want to like it, but as a critic, I can't bring myself to.

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4.0
Deadpool Annual #1

May 9, 2011

And when the driving force of the changes appears to be a result of the difference between "our" Spider-Man and this one, maybe it's ultimately no surprise that a Deadpool Annual is left with very little to say on the matter.

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6.0
Deadpool (2008) #33

Mar 7, 2011

Whether or not the issue convinces you that "Deadpool" is a series worth reading is debatable, but as comic in its own right, it's not bad. In fact, perhaps the best thing I can say is that if you only read one Deadpool comic this year " or indeed, in your life " then this one should undeniably suffice. Maybe that's enough.

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8.0
Deadpool and Cable #26

Feb 7, 2011

Certainly, a Deadpool comic isn't ever going to win any Eisners, but if you're a fan of Cable and Deadpool " together or separately " you could do far worse. It achieves what it set out to do, and does so very well. For that, it truly earns its 4 stars.

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3.0
Deadpool Killustrated #1

Jan 28, 2013

Perhaps the problem is simply that "Deadpool Killustrated" is the kind of idea that works best as just that: an idea. As soon as you try to execute it on the page, possibilities collapse, the perfect joke in your head becomes an imperfect telling of the joke. The thought of Deadpool slashing his way through the classics is twice as good as the trudging, mechanical reality of it. There's only the barest hint of a twist in the story, but it can't hope to inspire the attention it needs when set against such wilful absurdity. In the end, this is a comic that needed to be rapid-fire. Instead, it's stuck on automatic.

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9.0
Demo, Volume 2 #4

May 10, 2010

Four issues in, it's clear that this series of "Demo" will prove a worthy successor to the original. It's rare a comic this essential comes out in any month, so to be guaranteed at least two more -- well, I'm looking forward to it.

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9.0
Dial H #3

Jul 10, 2012

Still, set against this book, the rest of the DCU looks positively anodyne. It's a thrill to read and a joy to support. Nelson is an unusual yet engaging protagonist and the supporting cast are full of weird and curious figures that invite you to learn more about them. If you're not frustrated by complicated stories and Morrisonian narrative sleight-of-hand, it's a must-buy. Quite simply one of DC's best titles at the moment.

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8.0
Dial H #10

Mar 11, 2013

Speaking of the lack of gloss inherent in Ponticelli's leads, it's that which makes the final page all the more interesting. Nelson and Roxie are being quite literally seduced by the alter egos they taking on, and it's easy to see why. The book's big theme centers understandably around identity, so it's both shocking and understandable to watch them living out a situation that, in their "real lives," wouldn't occur. Of course, it's also unsettling, because readers know something they don't -- that the bodies they're wearing belong to other people. "Dial H" #10 has a genuinely compelling ending that should leave readers more than ready for more.

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9.0
Dial H #13

Jun 10, 2013

It'd be churlish to complain too hard about material this intentionally anarchic, since that's also its main appeal, but it's also true that it could stand to be a bit more conventionally structured if it wants to draw in new readers. It's a moot point, considering its impending (and rather disappointing) cancellation. Still, it's a comic that benefits from being re-read, and that's true of this issue more than most. "Dial H" is a great title that'll leave a huge gap when it's gone.

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9.0
Dial H #15

Aug 9, 2013

Still, if this is all readers get, at least it was worth the time and effort. "Dial H" was routinely brilliant, and will hopefully enjoy a long life in trade. Nelson, Manteau and their friends deserve that much at least.

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8.0
DMZ #32

Jun 26, 2008

So, as the review began by saying: this issue is like all the previous ones. Entertaining, and intelligent, not perfect, but always close to it. Read it.

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10
DMZ #34

Sep 1, 2008

Burchielli's artwork remains strong, and his depiction of the rain-soaked DMZ in this issue deserves specific praise for accurately capturing the apprehensive air permeating the city during the climax to this story. The grimy pencils and muted palette means that every page looks as gritty as Wood's writing makes it feel. At this point, it's hard to compare the series to any other comic, and the only appropriate reference point I can come up with is "The Wire", as the two mix long-form drama with ambiguous, real-world politics without ever attempting to suggest that there are easy answers to the complicated situations depicted. "DMZ" is always enjoyable, but this recent arc has been a definite high point.

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4.0
Dollhouse: Epitaphs #1

Apr 4, 2011

Of course, maybe they do know what they're doing. The creative team of the "Dollhouse" miniseries is going to be completely different from this issue, and that means when the series does come out, I'll give it another chance all over again. It's hard to imagine that there are "Dollhouse" fans out there who won't buy the comic anyway, but if by some miracle you're reading this review first, take my advice and wait for it to turn up in the bargain bins before you waste your money.

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5.0
Doomwar #1

Feb 21, 2010

With the art and writing both possessed of good and not-so-good qualities, this is a comic that has to rely on its content alone to compel the reader. Certainly, there's no reason that can't be enough, but in this case things are a little too complicated to fully engage a newcomer. If you've been following "Black Panther" already, it may well feel like an explosive start to a major event in Black Panther's continuity, but casual readers attracted by the title or issue number will probably come away from it disinterested. Despite all that goes on, an appreciation of the Black Panther is necessary for the story to work, and I suspect that like many who will find themselves reading this issue, my own appreciation of the character simply isn't big enough to sustain me into the next chapter of the story.

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4.0
Everybody Loves Tank Girl #1

Jul 30, 2012

Still, this is a series likely to attract people not for its writing, but for Mahfood's artwork, and on that level it works completely, which is why I'll continue to buy it. It's just a pity that it feels like a throwback, when it could have been a leap forward.

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5.0
Excel Saga, Volume 17 #1

Apr 15, 2008

While not quite the comedy epic that the previous volume was, it's hard to complain about any amount of new "Excel Saga". Even so, when considered objectively, it's a fairly lackluster installment in the series made all the more excruciating by the long wait between releases. Volume 18 is due in December, so there's no excuse for not catching up beforehand!

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6.0
Exiled #1

May 7, 2012

So, a slightly faltering start for the crossover, but not one which readers of either series should be put off by. It's hard to imagine newcomers sticking with it, but fans of either series will find something at once familiar and original and that's enough to mean it deserves a chance.

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6.0
Exiles Vol. 2 #4

Jul 7, 2009

Still, the concern is a minor one, since something about the Exiles formula clearly appeals to people. Given that it originally launched in 2001, it's doing remarkably well to keep going, but with writer's like Parker, it's not hard to understand the title's appeal.

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6.0
Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1

Dec 4, 2009

"FotH: Alpha," then, is an odd comic. As a stand-alone piece, it's a fun little jaunt through Marvel history that'll raise a smile in most readers. As an event bookend, though, it doesn't remotely work. Not because of any particular failings from the creative team, but simply because their remit is at odds with the book's apparent role. There's plenty to enjoy, but if you're only looking for revelations connected to the big Hulk event, it seems that you can safely skip this one.

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4.0
Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #2

Mar 1, 2010

Despite the attempt to tell a story about Thundra and Lyra, the reliance on flashbacks for several different characters and an inability to stick with one plot thread ultimately ruin the issue's flow. This material would have made for a fine back-up feature, but the emotional core is too far removed, and the plot mechanics too disparate to form a satisfying story. It's not the worst comic the Red Hulk has appeared in by a long shot, but in the bigger picture, the only thing its contents are good for is padding out future handbook entries on the Red Hulk, Thundra and Lyra " and that's not enough of a reason for it to exist.

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7.0
Fantastic Four #601

Dec 26, 2011

As a stand-alone issue, it's difficult to call "Fantastic Four" #601 a good read. It's entertaining in the way the final 20 minutes of an action movie might be if you haven't seen the start. There's clearly more going on, though, and there are moments of obvious pay-off that new readers will miss. Technically, it's brilliant; but if you've not been keeping up with the story since it began, you're simply less likely to feel it the way long-time readers will.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #1

Nov 14, 2012

Perhaps that's a good thing after the structured, gargantuan ideas of Hickman's run. Perhaps there is still a big twist coming that'll deliver something unexpected. But it's not in this issue. "Fantastic Four" #1 appears to be a deliberate attempt to go back to basics. It's not bad, but nor is it the punch in the face the book really needed to shake it out of its perpetual complacency -- and if Matt Fraction can't deliver that, who can?

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7.0
Fantastic Four: Secret Invasion #1

May 21, 2008

Even if it's unlikely to set the world alight, there's nothing at all wrong with this comic. The inclusion of Lyja might be a barrier to some, but for people like me it's a welcome reward for what is literally a decade of waiting. Part of me suspects that Lyja's not going to make it out of this story alive precisely so that her particular loose end can be considered tied up. Either way, we're going to get a decent story, and a tie-in to "Secret Invasion" is the perfect time to tell it. In my book, that's two perfectly good reasons to pick this up.

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8.0
Fashion Beast #1

Sep 10, 2012

It's fair to say, however, that this first issue slice doesn't quite give us enough to get sucked into the story just yet. Again, this would appear to be a pacing issue caused by the adaptation -- but then if you're buying this reasonably niche product, you're probably ready to forgive its shortcomings anyway. Indeed, it's worth remembering that "it ended too soon" is far from the worst failure to be accused of.

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9.0
Fear Itself #7.1

Nov 2, 2011

So as it turns out, this isn't really an epilogue, but a prologue. It answers questions that maybe you didn't know you even wanted to ask. And if it turns one of the more gratuitous moments of "Fear Itself" into a success, well, it's hard to complain about that. Could it have been a scene in Fear Itself #7? Yes. But much against my expectations, I have to admit it was better to do it this way.

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8.0
Fear Itself: Spider-Man #1

May 8, 2011

However, the best praise I can give Yost and McKone with "Fear Itself: Spider-Man" has been saved until last, and that's the assertion that this series is straddling the crossover line expertly. As a stand-alone Spider-Man story, it wo. As a tie-in miniseries, it works. It should satisfy both halves of its target audience, and if it continues to do so while taking the story in a more interesting direction in future issues, well, so much the better.

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6.0
Fear Itself: The Deep #1

Jun 6, 2011

Any Defenders fans who notice that this is aimed at them will probably enjoy seeing the characters back together again (even if there's little chance for the newer members to make their presence felt), and Lee Garbett's artwork is largely clear and enjoyable, so aside from Namor's characterization, there's little to criticize. Nor is there anything to distinguish it, though, and alongside so many tie-ins, well, that's a problem that it seems too late to fix.

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8.0
Fear Itself: The Fearless #1

Oct 20, 2011

Indeed, there's very little the book does wrong. The problem, if any, is that it extends (and to some extent, repeats) the premise of "Fear Itself" beyond the point where one expects most readers will be interested in reading about it. Fans of Valkyrie will be justifiably thrilled with her emergence as a wildcard (and Bunn's handling of the character is by far the best reason to come back next issue) but on a conceptual level, the series struggles to evoke any feeling other than fatigue. Not necessarily the fault of the creators of this series, but unfortunately, something they'll have to deal with.

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5.0
Fear Itself: The Fearless #3

Nov 21, 2011

Although the plot is still nascent and the lead characters largely hard to get excited about (except Crossbones, who radiates malice with every word) "The Fearless" is losing its initial momentum and right now appears to be running on the energy supplied by its artists. It's tough to say whether there were simply too many contributors or whether the idea was perhaps mis-sold, but while this isn't a bad series, it's certainly not the series I was hoping for.

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8.0
Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1

Jul 10, 2011

Despite the criticisms, this is one of the strongest "Fear Itself" minis yet, and a good X-Force story to boot. It would have worked just as well in the regular title as in this miniseries, and when the main series is as strong as it is, that's a lot of praise. "Uncanny X-Force" fans should certainly pick it up. If you're looking for something with strong ties to the plot of "Fear Itself," you won't find those here, so be careful. As long as you know what you're in for, there's no reason you shouldn't enjoy it.

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6.0
Fear Itself: Wolverine #1

Jul 9, 2011

Once again, the event itself is being used as a backdrop for an entirely unrelated story. There's arguably a thematic link, in that the lead characters are terrorists (who operate by inspiring fear) but that's a tenuous link to the most tenuous element of "Fear Itself." This might well turn out to be a perfectly serviceable Wolverine story " and certainly, it'll sell better off the back of the crossover " but all things considered, it's probably not going to be the story that readers are expecting.

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4.0
Gargoyles: Bad Guys #2

May 5, 2008

The book is published in black and white, ostensibly to lower production costs and speed up production times. To be honest, I'm fairly concerned at the idea of paying $3.50 for a black and white book. There's nothing technically wrong with the artwork, although it does have that almost unavoidable licensed-comic look of slightly distorted character likenesses. There are a smattering of good moments, but ultimately it's not enough to redeem its many problems. This is one for hardcore fans only, but it's got a long way to go before it reaches the wider appeal it needs. I'm not sure it has time in the remaining four issues to reach the level it needs to.

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9.0
Generation Hope #1

Nov 4, 2010

Right now, "Generation Hope"'s biggest problem is that it feels a little hobbled by the need to finish off a plot thread left dangling by "Uncanny X-Men." Once we get into the meat of the story, all the signs suggest that it's going to be great, and it makes me even more excited about the idea of Gillen joining the flagship series, too. Whether you're an X-Men fan or just want the chance to see two of Marvel's best newcomers firing on all cylinders, "Generation Hope" is a book worth picking up. Walk, run, fly, teleport, or bodyslide by one to your nearest retailer immediately.

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8.0
Generation Hope #4

Feb 21, 2011

Overall, then, "Generation Hope" is fast succeeding at molding a group of all-new characters into interesting additions to the X-Men stable, and this issue emphasises their unique qualities and sets up the directions they'll be heading in, both individually and as a team. If the three issue fight scene the book opened with made you worry about the book's pacing and balance, this issue should allay those fears. In many ways, it reads like a first issue. With the status quo established, we can now look forward to seeing some stories told in it.

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8.0
Generation Hope #8

Jun 19, 2011

Between Espin's always-enjoyable artwork (which works just as well with the more talky scenes in this issue as it did in the previous, more action-based, stories) and Gillen's excellent handling of character, plot, and dialogue, "Generation Hope" has quickly become a title of dependably high quality, with engaging long-form character and story arcs working in sync. And when that's not enough, issues like this remind us that there are still plenty of surprises hiding up its sleeves.

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8.0
Generation Hope #10

Aug 22, 2011

Although "Generation Hope" has been a great read since it began, it's issues like this, which tie it to the wider X-universe, which are going to make readers interested in it. If you're reading "Schism," this issue " and the next " promise to be nothing short of essential purchases.

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8.0
Generation Hope #12

Oct 17, 2011

As far as "Generation Hope" goes, this issue ably demonstrates the potential of the characters beyond the book's current remit, and acts more as a lead-in to a new run than a full stop on its current one. Subplots are reprised, rather than completed. Whether the book is being supported by fans of Gillen or fans of the characters remains to be seen, but there's certainly no shortage of stories for Asmus to continue when he takes over. It's sad that Gillen is leaving the series, but there's no doubt that he's leaving with the title primed to persist beyond his presence.

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8.0
Generation Hope #13

Nov 16, 2011

I fully admit, I was ready to drop this series once Gillen left, an opener this strong has left me wanting to read the next issue. If Generation Hope #13 can spur any other readers into a similar 180, well, that's got to be one in the win column for Marvel.

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6.0
Generation Hope #17

Mar 26, 2012

In the end, it's serviceable. Neat, but uninspired. With any luck, we'll see the Gen Hope kids appear in a better context in the future, but right now, X-Men-in-training wasn't working for the audience. In more prosperous times this title would have had a strong run, but it's no surprise to see it limping home under the current market conditions. A good try, but one that ultimately came at just the wrong time.

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6.0
GeNext #1

May 17, 2008

I can definitely see this turning out to be a fairly entertaining little series, as long as you're the kind of person the book is aimed at. The quality is such that if the level is maintained, I can see these characters being popular enough to warrant guest-starring in "New Exiles" before long, so anyone reading that title might want to take a look. Ultimately, the book's biggest flaw is its central premise. If the idea of Chris Claremont writing a five issue "What If: X-Men" series makes you think it's worth buying, then this is exactly what you want. If not, it's unlikely to win you over.

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6.0
GeNext #3

Jul 16, 2008

"GeNext" is still, overall, a package worth purchasing. Three issues into a five-issue run, it's already more good than bad, but some cracks are showing and only the next two issues will let us see whether this is a minor hiccup or an indicator of how the series is going to end up.

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6.0
Ghost Rider (2006) #27

Sep 22, 2008

While the book's persistent quirkiness might put some readers off, it's still far more appealing than it currently appears. After years of titles that hit the skids a year after their inception, Marvel's second- and third-tier characters are finally pulling their weight as bastions of quality writing, free from excessive crossover interference. The best thing about "Ghost Rider" #27? Not a Skrull in sight.

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6.0
Giant Size X-Men Forever #1

Jun 7, 2010

The issue is padded out with a reprint of "Uncanny X-Men" #108, containing a classic Phoenix story referenced in the issue. It's always fun to revisit this period, when the X-Men were at their most vital, but I can't help feeling that as a choice of reprint, it's a little over-familiar, particularly given the target audience for this specific series. Even so, it's not difficult to be charmed by it. Ultimately, the weak art of the main feature makes it hard to call this one of the better "X-Men Forever" issues. But as a "giant size" collection, it is at least good value.

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7.0
Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1

Oct 4, 2013

For the most part, though, it's a fun read, and it's certainly enjoyable to see something a little different. In an era when creator-owned comics often aiming to be as literary, dense and plot-driven possible, de Campi and her collaborators have gone in the opposite direction, reminding us that there's room in the industry for all forms of story, even the ones that start with a title and work backwards. It could backfire -- there's definitely a sense that it's preaching to fans of the genre, rather than finding a new audience for it -- but broadly speaking the nostalgia is the driving force, rather than the point, and in the end it's hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm.

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9.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #2

Apr 29, 2013

Still, originality isn't the only quality worth looking for in a story, and between the rock-solid skill on display and a well-told story, "Guardians of the Galaxy" #2 is more than worth the price of admission. It's a gamble, particularly if you're not massively interested in Marvel's cosmic titles -- but as long as you like reading well-made comics, it's a gamble that should pay off.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #5

Aug 1, 2013

Despite the slow-burn of Angela's appearance, there's very little here that doesn't work, and to cap it all off, there's a final page twist that can't help but have readers excited for the next issue. If space-opera superheroics are your thing, "Guardians of the Galaxy" #5 is definitely worth picking up.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #7

Oct 21, 2013

Still, answers about Angela are delivered in spades, and on that level it's beyond reproach. Too much information is better than too little, and frankly any story with Sara Pichelli visuals has to be worth buying. If the lack of action bothers you, think of it as a breather as the team wades into the "Infinity" crossover next issue. Somehow, I don't think a lack of action will be a problem for the next few months.

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9.0
Hawkeye & Mockingbird #1

Jun 7, 2010

Literally the only thing that upsets me about Hawkeye and Mockingbird is the feeling that it's far from being a sure thing. In many ways, this series has the potential to be the next "SWORD", the next "Captain Britain", the next "Power Girl" -- a smart, funny, fresh take on superheroics that winds up ending before its time. This series deserves a long and entertaining run. Let's get the word out.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #5

Dec 10, 2012

To put it succinctly, with five practically perfect issues under its belt, "Hawkeye" is a book you need to be reading. If you've ever wanted to witness a character-defining run in the marking, this is your chance. Don't miss out.

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5.0
Hawkeye: Blindspot #2

Mar 14, 2011

It's a shame that a book as good as "Hawkeye and Mockingbird" has given way to a weak miniseries such as this, particularly when McCann is the writer of both. I'd normally call McCann one of Marvel's most promising rising stars, so it's unclear what's gone wrong here. Hopefully, it's just a blip. It should be noted, though, that when "average" is the worst you've done, you're still way in front of the curve. Ultimately, it seems unlikely that "Hawkeye: Blindspot" will do anything to change anyone's mind that "Hawkeye & Mockingbird"'s cancellation was a mistake, even though it's not particularly poor in its own right. It's certainly a shame, but unfortunately, not one we can do much about at this point. Let's just hope McCann has a decent conclusion in mind.

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8.0
Hit-Girl #1

Jul 2, 2012

There's definitely a sense that the creative team is in their groove and it's just different enough from "Kick-Ass" that we can avoid calling it a rut. You may not like "Hit-Girl" #1, but you can at least respect it. Funnily enough, that seems quite appropriate.

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1.0
Hulk (2008) #4

Jun 30, 2008

It's a crying shame that this is the Hulk book on the shelves at the point where publicity for the character is at the highest it's been in years. More's the pity that Greg Pak, who steered Hulk brilliantly over the last two years, isn't the one who gets to reap those benefits. Instead, no-one benefits from Marvel putting out this rubbish comic. Not the readers, not the retailers, not the creators, and certainly not Marvel.

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6.0
Hulk (2008) #14

Aug 29, 2009

For the first time since its relaunch, "Hulk" feels like a comic I could read. Not necessarily one I want to -- the Red Hulk is still too irritating a protagonist -- but it isn't so dumb that it feels like an insult to customers that it got published at all. Things might actually be moving in the right direction.

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6.0
Hulk Team-Up #1

Sep 18, 2009

That sour note aside, the comic is as good as one could expect. Although the title suggests "Hulk Team-Up" #1 might be a new ongoing, the indicia describes this comic as a one-shot. So, off to an optimistic start, then, are we? The issue does make an effective proposal for a "Hulk Team-Up" series, and with the small problem that the Hulk himself doesn't technically exist anymore, it would be nice to see more.

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5.0
Hulk Vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide #1

Apr 29, 2008

Even fans of the "Incredible Hercules" title will find this one a little lacking. It's strictly a book for those who think the idea of the Hulk fighting his way through Ancient Greek mythology might be a fun idea.

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6.0
Hulk: Broken Worlds #1

Mar 11, 2009

There's nothing technically wrong with any of the stories, even if you approach them purely as "What If?" shorts -- they do stand alone, but let's not pretend that the comic is anything more than an exercise in servicing nostalgia. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean the book isn't ever going to be on any "top 10 comics in 2009" lists. It's one for hardcore Hulk enthusiasts only, but at least they will enjoy it.

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5.0
Hunger #4

Oct 21, 2013

Overall, with its emphasis on providing a lead-in to "Cataclysm" and on resolving the relationship between Galactus and Gah Lak Tus, "Hunger" feels a lot like one of those "stories about stories." There's nothing wrong with "Hunger" in that it gets characters from the last story and lines them up for the next, but considered in isolation it just lacks any real substance.

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6.0
I Am An Avenger #1

Sep 6, 2010

That an anthology title has turned out to be a mixed bag should surprise no-one. The fact that it had two pieces I enjoyed makes it above average, even if there were two that I was massively indifferent to alongside it. I'd recommend the book for Young Avengers and Iron Fist fans, or people who love Marvel's wackier, more joke-y concepts. And if you find yourself in both of those groups, then good news: Marvel just put out the perfect book for you. The rest of us might do better to wait for the issue to hit the clearance basket.

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9.0
Incredible Change-Bots #2

Apr 18, 2011

With a few jokes thrown in specifically on the subject of sequels, everything about "Incredibly Change-Bots Two" builds on the original without being a complete retread. Although the nerdier references were largely exhausted in the first volume, there's plenty here to enjoy and, indeed, its casual approach actually gives it wider appeal. If you're planning to sit through "Transformers 3" later this year, do yourself a favor and read "Change-Bots Two" first.

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7.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #601

Aug 31, 2009

Still, at least you are getting more for your money, and it's nice to have a Hulk book that I can truly enjoy back on the stands. Finally, the Hulk line feels like it's catering for all Hulk fans.

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7.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #614

Oct 18, 2010

At the very least, now that "Incredible Hulks" has been freed from a seemingly perpetual crossover with the other books in the Hulk family, and similarly, with the Hulk actually back in it as a starring character, things feel like they're moving in a positive direction. If the series could just get rid of the franchise refugees it's currently hauling around and write a book just about the father and son team of Hulk and Skaar, it might actually prove itself the successor to Pak's original Planet Hulk/World War Hulk run. Things are certainly getting there.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #2

Nov 14, 2011

After years of finding the Hulk mythos near-impenetrable, Aaron's clean-slate approach is working for me, though fans of the "old" order will no doubt be pleased to see it getting a nod or two in this issue. Aaron's approach seems to actively seek new ground for its star duo rather than emulating past successes, and for the most part, it's working. There are creases to iron out, not the least is the uneven artwork, but with the promise of a new supporting cast, a fundamentally altered relationship between the Hulk and Banner and at least one central mystery to chase down, there's enough going on to bring readers back, issue after issue.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #3

Dec 22, 2011

The biggest strength of Aaron and Silvestri's Hulk is undoubtedly the tight focus on the character that the art and writing afford. It's a welcome change from the last few years, where multiple spin-offs of the character dominated his world. It might not be perfect, but it is interesting, and most importantly, it doesn't feel like a homage to earlier work. Hulk fans everywhere can (and should) expect to be entertained and intrigued in equal measure.

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6.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #6

Mar 19, 2012

Six issues in, it's fair to say that there are things in Aaron's "Incredible Hulk" run that haven't yet delivered on the initial promise and perhaps it's that the story is too long. There's one more issue to go before Aaron is joined by a more subtle and understated artist in Steve Dillon, which may have a positive affect on the writing.

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9.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #7.1

May 22, 2012

With the Hulk receiving an unexpected boost from his appearance in "The Avengers," this book couldn't have come at a better time. As with the movie, this is a version of the Hulk you can root for. One who's the star in a world that's supposed to belong to someone else. Pick it up, and you won't be disappointed.

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9.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #8

Jun 4, 2012

While at this point the Punisher guest slot doesn't seem to actually service the story, the issue's finale suggests we may see some more guests soon enough, and that in turn suggests that it's not something happening by accident. We'll no doubt see before long. If you've got any interest in the character, now is a good time to start reading -- although do yourself a favor and read the similarly great #7.1 issue too!

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5.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #15

Oct 25, 2012

A bold experiment, then, but one which wasn't as successful as it could have been. Not so much "Incredible Hulk" as "Unconventional Hulk". Whether you enjoyed it or not, it's safe to say that it was time to wrap it up. It's just a shame that didn't happen more definitively.

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6.0
Indestructible Hulk #4

Feb 21, 2013

"Indestructible Hulk" #4 is great on a micro level, but doesn't quite hold together on the macro level. It's fun, basically well-written and drawn, but it doesn't meet the much higher standards both the writer and artist are capable of. It's not objectively bad -- but when readers expect (or at least hope for) more, it's hard not to be disappointed by such middle ground.

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7.0
Indestructible Hulk #10

Jul 15, 2013

It's certainly not a bad story, and it's good that Waid spends some time on what makes the Hulk interesting -- his power and unpredictability -- but as an extended action sequence the issue isn't particularly compelling, and the wrap-up feels rushed. Despite its flaws, it's still part of a superb Hulk run, and Waid writing more Daredevil is never a bad thing. On that basis, even as a sub-par entry for the series, it's still better than most.

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9.0
Infinity #4

Oct 11, 2013

Of course, now that the "big" development of the series has happened, it does beg the question of where the story's going to end. It's been a while since the conclusion of an event felt anything other than pre-ordained (probably not since "Civil War," in fact) but "Infinity" is giving off the same anything-could-happen vibes. It's testament to Hickman's superb writing that readers should expect something really special yet to come.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #25

May 3, 2010

As if providing a new reader-friendly story, great writing, and enjoyable artwork wasn't enough, this issue is also double sized, despite being priced at $3.99. As well as a double-length feature, which is packed with memorable reveals and twists, you also get a few pages looking at the development of the new armor design. From any angle, this is one of the best value comics Marvel has put out in months, and anyone even thinking of buying Iron Man should be assured that now is the time to get on board.

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8.0
Iron Man (2012) #1

Nov 7, 2012

It's not quite the dramatic overhaul the Marvel NOW! branding may have implied, but with Gillen's snappy dialogue and thematically layered writing on display alongside some well-tempered artwork from Greg Land, it's got all the hallmarks of a strong series in the making. "Iron Man" #1 sees Tony Stark heading into uncharted waters and, crucially, makes a convincing argument for readers to tag along.

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6.0
Iron Man (2012) #16

Oct 7, 2013

In any case, Gillen and Pagulayan manage to sell both the happiness and turmoil of returning home to find that things aren't necessarily how you left them -- and perhaps more fundamentally, that you're not the same person who left. Given the deliberately self-contained nature of the opening two arcs, it's particularly promising that Gillen appears to be re-establishing a supporting cast for the title. It's not the finest issue of the series so far, but it does its job and makes you excited to read what comes next. Any comic that does that has to be worth reading.

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4.0
Iron Man 3 Prelude #1

Jan 7, 2013

The plot works on its most basic level, although it does suffer from the kind of false peril that licensed material is prey to. Will War Machine get killed after the cliffhanger? Well, no, because we've seen him in the trailer for the movie set after this comic. It's a mistake to build the stakes around a character we know to be untouchable -- but ultimately that choice is typical of a book that seems to be giving its readers very little credit.

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6.0
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #29

May 27, 2008

Moore provides a near-seamless changeover from the Knaufs' work on the title -"" if you didn't like it then, you're not going to find your opinion changed, but fans of their work should come out pleased. New, post-movie fans should still be focusing on "Invincible Iron Man", but if they're desperate for more, this issue would be a more-than-accommodating choice.

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4.0
Iron Man: Legacy #1

Apr 18, 2010

The reality, then, is that this book achieves just about enough to get away with its flaws. To his credit, Van Lente's masterful handling of the tone makes the cliffhanger work in ways it shouldn't, and that's enough to bring me back for issue #2 "- but there are problems with the book's concept and execution, and that's never a good start.

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7.0
Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1

Apr 17, 2008

Even so, it's a strong opening for a miniseries which promises Iron Man doing the kind of classic superheroics he's currently not really free to pursue. Unlike some of their contemporaries who stand as living proof of the adage "you can never go home again", Michelinie and Layton's return sees them slip effortlessly back into the writing seat as if they'd never left the character. Undoubtedly, a promising start.

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9.0
Journey Into Mystery #635

Mar 19, 2012

Still, the story holds up and it's not as if readers haven't been prepared for this approach. "Journey into Mystery" is intellectual without being stilted, and not afraid to be funny where it could be melodramatic. A consistent monthly read and as ever, one worth investigating.

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9.0
Journey Into Mystery #641

Jul 25, 2012

Because few things hurt quite like a story can. Like a vaccine for despair. Like training wheels for heartbreak. It may be upsetting, but you come out of it better equipped to deal with reality. In a medium where character deaths are deployed as readily as punctuation, it's a privilege indeed to read a story that understands how to execute a death story so it matters to the audience.

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9.0
Journey Into Mystery #645

Oct 25, 2012

So in the end, not unlike its title character, "Journey Into Mystery" was the little book that could, and did, and suffered for it. Effectively, it was a Vertigo book in the Marvel Universe twenty years too late. It's tempting to say that we shall not see the likes of it again -- but how depressing would it be to actually believe that?

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8.0
Jupiter's Legacy #2

Jul 1, 2013

Still, that's mainly a production complaint. The story itself is good, and after a fairly slow first issue spent establishing the world and characters, the second issue sees its various plots start to move quickly and definitively. It's too early to say whether this is "the greatest superhero epic of this generation" as "Jupiter's Legacy's" back cover asserts, but it's certainly on the right track, and if nothing else, it feels like an interesting thematic companion to "Kick Ass" in the way it deconstructs the idea of a superhero. Perhaps Millar has a new point to make in that well-worn arena, perhaps not, but after two issues this good, he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

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9.0
Kick-Ass #3

Jun 9, 2008

Just the fact that Marvel is willing to publish "Kick-Ass" at all, with two of its most high-profile creators on board, has surely cemented the credibility of the Icon brand. If Marvel can put out this without any worry, then surely nothing is off limits?

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8.0
Kick-Ass #8

Jan 27, 2010

Kick Ass arrived on the scene like a boot in the face, never compromising or apologizing for what it was, and in the end it only works on the same level as Frank Millar's "All Star Batman" -- either you enjoy the sheer absurdity, or you don't -" and for those of us that do, this issue provides as satisfying a punchline to the joke as we could've hoped for.

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8.0
Kick-Ass 2 #1

Oct 24, 2010

Whatever you think of the subject matter, it's a fact that "Kick-Ass 2" has one of the most technically able creative teams in the industry, and that level of ability is reflected on every page. You may not like what it says or does, but it's hard to fault the way it's all done. If you liked the last series, then there's no doubt about it: get in line for this one too.

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6.0
Kick-Ass 2 #7

Mar 26, 2012

The problem, really, is that "Kick Ass 2" lacks any specific arc or direction. If we were to boil this series down to its core idea, it's not so much "more is better" as "more is more". When "Kick Ass 3" does come out, we can only hope it presents some new ideas because if "Kick Ass 2" did fall short of expectations, that was the reason.

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8.0
Kick-Ass 3 #2

Aug 9, 2013

Indeed, Millar and Romita make it look effortless, which is a testament to how much effort they must put in. Romita especially seems to be having fun with Kick-Ass in a way that never comes across in his Marvel work, fantastic though that is. Creator-owned superheroes are always a gamble in a market dominated by Marvel and DC, and yet seeing two artists choosing to work on their own ideas within the genre -- and succeeding -- presents a fine example to the creators of tomorrow.

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7.0
King Size Cable Spectacular #1

Sep 18, 2008

Even so, for readers of "Cable", this story represents a fairly important feature-length installment worth reading in place of this month's absent issue. Meanwhile, those who aren't reading "Cable" might still enjoy it, as it presents a self-contained flavor of how the series works. It's nothing more than that, but in fairness, it isn't trying to be, and succeeds in doing exactly what it attempts to.

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8.0
Knight and Squire #1

Oct 18, 2010

Overall, it's an oddly paced opener, but one that mostly succeeds in holding the reader's interest. If there's any major criticism, it's that the story lacks a cliffhanger or hook to keep the interest bubbling over until next issue. If this were a one-shot, that would be fine, but for a miniseries it's hard not to want something a little more than "the continuing adventures of Knight and Squire" to bring you back next month. Other than that, it's very strong and with some interesting ideas that could potentially carve out a whole new area of the DCU. Definitely worth a look.

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6.0
Last Defenders #1

Mar 29, 2008

Apparently, "The Last Defenders" is pointedly named as such. Quite how that's going to pan out, I don't know - so far, the book's main flaw is that there's no real hook introduced that makes them anything more than the budget Avengers, a generic super-hero team just like all the other ones, only utilizing third-tier characters. However, with the appearance of Ex-Thunderbolt Atlas in the offing for a future issue, it's got my interest in the short term. There's still a chance for it to distinguish itself somehow.

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10
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century: 2009 #1

Jun 25, 2012

But in the end, "Century 2009" reminds us that "League" isn't just a story: it's all stories; a romance-horror-comedy-satire-polemic-parody to inspire and inform. At a time when Moore's opinions are being analyzed and dissected so publicly, it's worth remembering that whether you agree with him or not, he remains one of the most talented writers ever to grace the medium. And that's one thing that can't be taken away from him.

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9.0
Lenore Vol. 2 #5

Apr 9, 2012

Even so, despite being in its 20th year (the series re-numbered when it switched publishers) "Lenore" is a comic whose standards have never slipped and it deserves recognition for that fact alone. If you like one issue, you'll like them all and you'll never be disappointed by the story direction because you'll never have a chance to build up expectations about where it's going. How many other comics can guarantee you that level of entertainment and unpredictability?

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8.0
Little Things: A Memoir In Slices #1

Apr 9, 2008

It's not for everyone, admittedly. Some people simply won't get the appeal, which is a fair enough matter of taste. Fans will, not unexpectedly, get exactly what they wanted. If you've never read Brown's work and are anxious to go for something a little less graphic and emotionally brutal than his Girlfriend Trilogy, then you're in luck -- this is as good a place to start as any.

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10
Local #12

Jun 24, 2008

Of course, speaking of "looking back" -- "Local" is now due for release in a hardcover format. The episodic nature of the series means it'll benefit massively from a collected edition. My recommendation? Buy two, then give one to someone who doesn't read comics and see what they make of it. It's just that good a series.

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8.0
Mara #2

Feb 4, 2013

Answers to those questions are surely forthcoming, and in the meantime readers are left to wonder what the series is really about. It's clearly an ambitious comic with something to say, and its creators have the chops to realize those ambitions and deliver that message. All that remains is to pay attention while the creators tell their story, and after two issues, I'm as interested as ever in how it's all going to play out.

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8.0
Marvel 1985 #3

Jul 23, 2008

The only thing about the book that seems incongruous at this point is the title and setting itself -- the choice of 1985 as the time period seems both arbitrary and irrelevant. Hopefully, more will be made of it. That aside, "1985" doesn't have any major flaws, and after a slow-ish start, readers should find the ending of this issue grabs them sufficiently -- and frankly, if a Fin Fang Foom appearance doesn't do it for you, then maybe the series wasn't for you in the first place.

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5.0
Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #1

Apr 7, 2009

There's no denying that this is a self-indulgent series, but done sparingly, that's perfectly forgivable. As a method of packaging previously online-exclusive shorts for the direct market, this is far more preferable to something like "Astonishing Tales," and its idiosyncratic tone makes it a memorable read, even if half of it isn't very good. It's a far worse crime for a comic to settle for mediocrity than it is for one to stall halfway towards greatness, and so even though the "Assistant-Sized Spectacular" falls into the latter camp, I'll still be picking up issue #2. It's earned that much of a chance.

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8.0
Marvel Divas #1

Jun 30, 2009

(Check out the first six pages of the issue in CBR's preview.)

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7.0
Marvel Girl #1

Feb 21, 2011

Although this kind of story is never going to win an Eisner, it's the sort of book that'll scratch any itches you've got about seeing Jean Grey in action. It's a competently executed and enjoyable read, and while it works as a stand-alone story, it also manages to inform the character in her other appearances. It's likely that if you were ever interested in buying this, you already own it. If you're still on the fence, give it a chance to entertain you.

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5.0
Marvel Zombies Supreme #1

Mar 7, 2011

In some ways, I actually wish this comic was bad, because at least then it'd be interesting. But it's not. It's dull. If you enjoy it, good luck to you, but it's not for me.

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6.0
Marvel Zombies Vol. 4 #1

Apr 14, 2009

Even so, all things considered, it does feel like Van Lente has once again found a story with promise that can be told using the Marvel Zombies "- and that's just enough to make it worth reading.

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7.0
Marvel Zombies: The Return #1

Sep 6, 2009

Shoving the zombies into a 60s Marvel-verse where the inhabitants are ill-equipped to deal with such a violent reality is an amusing idea, but I'm not sure it works as well as it could in this issue. There are some moments that hit exactly the right note -- the scene where the Sandman realizes that the silver-age rules on violence don't apply anymore is grimly entertaining -- but however amusing it is, if you're not already laughing at the idea of Marvel Zombies after this long, this overtly comedic spin probably isn't going to change your mind.

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9.0
Marvels: Eye of the Camera #1

Dec 2, 2008

By the end of the issue, readers are left in no doubt that this series will be far more about Sheldon himself than the events he witnesses. If you buy this issue simply expecting to see him photographing the events of "Inferno" or "Secret Wars" then you may be disappointed -- indeed, only events from the 60s get a look in here. It's certain that any Marvel fan will be engaged by Busiek's studied portrayal of life inside the Marvel Universe, but, as with any good comic, it's the characters that make it worth reading.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers #10

Mar 29, 2008

In fact, between recent "Mighty Avengers" and "Amazing Spider-Man" issues, it's like someone, somewhere appears to have realized that pacing a comic for the trade is just one way of doing it. Could the shift back towards satisfying, single-issue stories be happening right now? Either way, this month's "Mighty Avengers" is a ridiculously fun comic, contrasting well with the current depressive state of the "New Avengers" title.

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7.0
Mighty Avengers #12

Apr 25, 2008

Despite the tonal shift being more than a little jarring, Maleev's art is more than welcome wherever it turns up. Bendis has described this issue as something of a trailer for their long-promised Spider-Woman series, and if that's the case, we can all look forward to a stunning title in the future. Hopefully the next few issues of "Mighty Avengers" will round out Fury's storyline into something a little fuller, but for now the scene is set masterfully - it's now up to Bendis and Maleev to make good on that promise.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers #13

May 9, 2008

My only gripe? Don't let the cover fool you into thinking there's anything remotely Cap-related in this entire issue.

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6.0
Mighty Avengers #22

Feb 25, 2009

Overall, Slott has brought a unique feel to the series most hard-pressed to justify its existence as the Avengers line expands. It's easy to see who "Mighty Avengers" is aimed at -- old-school Avengers fans -- and it should have little trouble appealing to exactly those people.

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6.0
Mighty Avengers #35

Mar 28, 2010

It isn't just there for the writer, however, as Ultron is the obvious choice of villain to illustrate Pym's growth as a character. He began Slott's run underrated, if not outright pitied -- but now, he's ready to lead the charge against his wayward android "son". Although the ideas of Ultron declaring himself the "Ultimate" version of the character (which we've seen before...) and an infinite number of Jocastas as his robot "brides" come over a bit too Twilight Zone-rejects, there's still a certain charm to Slott's take on the book that means it works -- just about.

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5.0
Mind the Gap #1

May 3, 2012

It's true that no part of "Mind the Gap" fails outright, but it seems somehow weaker than the sum of its parts. There's not a bad creator in this bunch, but something isn't catalysing their collaboration. More often than not, it's visually flat and overly wordy, eager to tell instead of show. McCann's admissions that this comic started life a TV script are easy to believe and would explain some of the book's problems: without actors to add charisma, or a camera to convey intimacy, the story too often feels distant and lifeless. On screen, it would have worked. On the page, it doesn't seem to.

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8.0
Mixtape #1

Apr 23, 2012

In general, however, this is a strong debut from the creative team and one clearly packed with love for its subject. It's impossible not to be charmed by that, even if some of the edges are rough. To be honest, if you're the audience for this comic you'll have known from the moment you read the title. The best thing we can say about it is, quite simply, that it is everything you're hoping it will be.

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6.0
Ms. Marvel #27

Jun 1, 2008

As a whole, it's a weak ending to an otherwise entertaining storyline. Ms. Marvel is well-positioned to cherry pick the best elements of Secret Invasion and utilize them as necessary, so as long as the next few months are weighted towards superheroics instead of soap opera, it should provide a decent, Secret Invasion-inspired story that doesn't require you to read every other title.

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7.0
Ms. Marvel #28

Jul 1, 2008

Certainly, there's little to complain about. While the crossover should bring potential new readers with it, Reed is apparently attempting to snag them by presenting a standard, accessible issue of the series and hoping that's enough to convince them. If the rest of the arc is up to this standard, it should be plenty.

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5.0
Ms. Marvel #41

Jul 14, 2009

This issue brings yet another new penciller for the arc, as Sergio Arino takes over from Sana Takeda, the originally solicited artist for this issue. There are good and bad scenes -- the anatomy seems inconsistent at times, but the final page showing the return of Carol is a great image that showcases Arino's promise. The cliffhanger kicks off the "War of the Marvels" story, so it looks like Moonstone's involvement in the title might be winding down soon -- though if "Dark Avengers'" plans allow it, it's clear that she could make for an entertaining foil for Carol in the future, and hopefully Reed will exploit that.

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7.0
Ms. Marvel #47

Dec 1, 2009

When the solicits revealed this, it seemed like a sane decision. Aside from three or four decent Moonstone-led issues, the book had been faltering in quality for a long time. But coming off the back of this issue it's hard not to be a little upset about what could've been accomplished. If Reed was consistently as good as this issue "- which he was in the first year of the title, at least -" it might have people trying to save the series rather than acknowledging that the time is right. There's still a chance that "Ms. Marvel" is going to get a stunt relaunch instead of an outright cancellation, in which case, let's hope Reed concentrates more on this type of story, and realizes the series' potential more often.

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8.0
New Avengers #39

Mar 28, 2008

Finally, after months of build-up, it is actually starting to feel like Secret Invasion is here. If you're not already reading "New Avengers," now's the time to start " this title promises to be an unmissable piece of the event.

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8.0
New Avengers #40

May 3, 2008

"Secret Invasion" has only recently begun in earnest, but issues like this make it feel like it's been unfolding for years. An essential read for anyone following that story, even if you're not following this specific Avengers team.

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9.0
New Avengers #42

Jul 2, 2008

Perhaps the best thing about the plot points that Bendis is finally paying off in "New Avengers" now is that it makes you want to go back and re-read all those early issues to find clues. Surely, if a good comic is one that makes you want to read the next issue then the mark of a truly great comic is one that makes you want to go back and read the previous ones.

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7.0
New Avengers #45

Sep 29, 2008

The issue's real savior, though, is Jimmy Cheung, who can't seem to put a foot wrong. His widescreen style and ability to pack in characters makes him a perfect fit for a universe-spanning book like "New Avengers". The only shame is that he can't draw more issues, because under his artistic direction, even a weakly-plotted issue like this seems perfectly executed. Even so, of all the various "Secret Invasion" tie-ins that have turned up in "New" and "Mighty Avengers," this does appear to be the least essential of the bunch.

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9.0
New Avengers #48

Dec 22, 2008

All things considered, it's been a while since "New Avengers" felt quite this brilliant. Now that the "Secret Invasion" slog of Skrull-induced paranoia is behind it, the series feels like it's moving forward again -- it might be on issue 48, but this almost functions as a new issue 1, and that can only be a good thing.

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6.0
New Avengers #55

Jul 28, 2009

So don't get me wrong, it's not a bad issue. Nor is it a particularly good one. It's technically very strong, but ultimately lacks passion, falling back into almost exactly the same rut it was in before "Secret Invasion" started. If the previous arc on "New Avengers" didn't excite you very much, then there's little here that's likely to change your mind -- and for book that used to thrive on being on the fringe of the Marvel Universe, that can only be seen as a bad thing.

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8.0
New Avengers #58

Nov 2, 2009

If anything about "New Avengers" disappoints, it's the sheer lack of focus on the Avengers themselves. At times, it feels as though Bendis is happy to write anyone but the team -" Night Nurse, The Hood, Osborn -- they all get a look in. That's fine on occasion, but sometimes you wonder if the word "Avengers" belongs in the name at all...

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6.0
New Avengers #64

May 4, 2010

Indeed, that kind of lukewarm response is what typifies my relationship with "New Avengers" at the moment. It's fine, but it doesn't impress like I want it to. Over the course of 64 issues I've gone from a loyal Bendis supporter to a rather unenthusiastic (and worse, habitual) purchaser of "New Avengers." Even on its bad days it's good, but with the prospect of a fresh writer coming to the property for "Secret Avengers," I'm increasingly tempted to drop "New Avengers," and issues like this don't do anything to convince me that's the wrong decision.

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6.0
New Avengers (2010) #2

Jul 27, 2010

In truth, there's little about this issue that Bendis' fans won't have come to expect over the last few years. While I'm confident that the issue will serve a wider story worth reading, it's hard to get too excited over this in and of itself. Better to just enjoy the jokes, take in the artwork and not worry too much about where the story is going until it actually gets there -- then go back and read it all properly.

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4.0
New Avengers (2010) #19

Dec 14, 2011

With convoluted plotting, off-center personalities and too many characters for its own good, "New Avengers" seems to weaken with each issue. Bendis certainly has his fans. Sometimes, I'm one of them. But compare this with the likes of "Ultimate Spider-Man" and it's hard to disagree that Bendis is capable of far, far better.

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5.0
New Avengers (2010) #26

Apr 30, 2012

But the fact remains: this is an "Avengers Vs. X-Men" tie-in that has no Avengers and no X-Men. On a technical level, it's actually quite good -- but the story itself is so far from what it purports to be that any reader hopping on board for the crossover alone is likely to be nonplussed.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) #30

Sep 17, 2012

Still, judged as an issue of "New Avengers" rather than an installment of crossover, it does work, and it's going to have consequences that will presumably be explored sooner rather than later. There's enough "AvX" content to justify the banner, but at this point it's back to doing its own stories -- and to be honest, it's all the better for it.

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9.0
New Avengers: Reunion #4

Jun 2, 2009

This series has been an unexpected hit, and definitely worth picking up in collected form if you haven't been buying it already -- without giving away the ending, there's plenty of room for a follow-up. Marvel would be mad not to commission one. It's the best superhero action movie never made -- and as we know, good superhero movies should always come back with an even better a sequel.

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8.0
New Mutants (2009) #1

May 13, 2009

Praise aside, It's hard to tell whether the title is supposed to be aimed at nostalgists or a new audience. The last page reveal brings back an X-villain familiar to readers of the original "New Mutants," but that anyone who started reading X-Men titles within, say, the last 15 years, could easily have no clue about. There's no denying, however, that this is an X-Men comic for X-Men readers and by the climax it has already assumed a lot about its readership, so maybe, in this case, they can get away with it. A pleasingly strong opening for a concept that could've been so much worse.

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8.0
New Mutants (2009) #5

Oct 6, 2009

Overall, there's little to complain about. Baldus' art may turn off those looking for a more traditional look alongside the more traditional superheroics, but every other element of the book lines up nicely. New Mutants does feel a bit retro, but it doesn't rely on that alone to carry the story -" and that's why it succeeds even though it shouldn't.

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6.0
New Mutants (2009) #11

Apr 5, 2010

All things considered, the issue ticks all the necessary boxes, and it's easy to appreciate the lengths to which it goes to provide a satisfying "New Mutants" story that also works as part of the wider crossover. If tie-ins were all this neat, maybe crossovers wouldn't have such a bad rep.

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6.0
New Mutants (2009) #12

Apr 19, 2010

Although it's true that there's nothing going massively wrong here (and to be fair, more interesting things happen in this comic than in the last chapter of "Second Coming") it's still a bit hard to see where it's all going. At the moment, the majority of X-Men are running around having fights that don't resolve, and the forward momentum seems to be dwindling. It can just about get away with it on a weekly pace, but let's hope something big happens soon.

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7.0
New Mutants (2009) #22

Feb 28, 2011

"Age of X," and the situations and relationships are interesting. Cyclops and Frenzy make for an interesting pair (though let's all hope for no more alternate-universe Summers characters) and seeing Rogue/Legacy as "Age of X"'s de facto lead is fantastic if, like me, you're a big fan of her. I don't know where it's going, but a strong pair of opening issues means that I'm looking forward to finding out.

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7.0
New Mutants (2009) #26

Jun 27, 2011

Despite the minor flaws with its execution, it seems as though the book's new direction is going to work well. The creative team is solid, if still finding its feet, and at least they're aiming high. If every issue ends up this ambitious with its content and approach, the decision to take New Mutants in a new direction will be fully justified.

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8.0
New Mutants (2009) #43

Jun 4, 2012

And, of course, the wider point about the Disir: how myths and legends have historically treated women rather badly. It's interesting that Sigurd, the notional hero, and the Disir, the apparent villains, have switched roles over the course of five issues. The exploration of this idea makes the story deeper than it first appears and now that it's over it'll be interesting to re-read it all with knowledge of the ending intact and see how its points are made.

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8.0
newuniversal: 1959 #1

Aug 4, 2008

If the book fails on any level, it's that much of the significance is going to be lost on anyone who isn't a fan of "newuniversal" already. The presentation of events in a non-chronological manner don't hide a fairly thin plot, and the book's main feature appears to be to flesh out the history of this world. Even so, it's never anything less than a decent read, and offers proof were any needed, that Gillen's much more than just "that Britpop writer."

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8.0
Nomad #1

Sep 9, 2009

Because of this, anyone who picks up Nomad hoping for a new piece to Brubaker's intricate Captain America mythos might be put off, because this is virtually stand-alone material. It's done very well, but whether its audience will find it is another matter. For that reason alone, it's worth giving it a try -- whether you're a Cap fan or not.

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8.0
NYX: No Way Home #1

Aug 14, 2008

Far better than it should've been, "NYX: No Way Home" sets the series up as something along the lines of (but not entirely identical to) "Runaways" -- not exactly a bad place to start. An impressive opening salvo from a team of fairly modest profile, and one that looks like it'll provide an entertaining read over the course of the series.

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6.0
Onslaught Unleashed #1

Feb 11, 2011

Even so, the quality of this comic is such that it should easily please both Young Allies and Onslaught fans, far more so than the last appearance of the latter, in fact. It'll be interesting to see what motivations and plans McKeever applies to Onslaught outside of his initial context, and it's hard not to hope that he ends up bringing the character back into circulation by the end of it. Either way, it's a story worth sticking around for.

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5.0
Onslaught Unleashed #2

Mar 14, 2011

All things considered, though, "Onslaught Unleashed" is simply illustrating why it is that Young Allies failed; It's straightforward superheroics done by two competent professionals, but it lacks whatever spark it needs to make it into something great. Maybe McKeever and Andrade will find it before the series ends. For the sake of Onslaught fans everywhere, I hope so.

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10
Optic Nerve #13

Aug 2, 2013

As usual, the only problem with an issue of "Optic Nerve" is that it's over too quickly. Still, after wondering about the relevance of the format in issue #12, two years later he's made sure there's a solid argument for its continued existence right here. Thoughtful, accomplished and deeply layered. It's as good as a comic gets.

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8.0
Osborn #1

Nov 19, 2010

Emma Rios' work on the lead is itself strong, and although her Peter Parker could look a little more Parker-ish, it's clear that Rios is an artist with a bright future. Between her and McKelvie, it's a good-looking book, while Ellis and DeConnick keep the writing engaging. It's likely to wrong-foot those looking for Osborn in a starring role, but if you can see past that failure of expectation, there's a huge amount to love.

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9.0
Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1

Jul 8, 2008

It really has been a while since Marvel released such a charming comic, especially one so clearly aimed at a different audience than most of their superhero fare. While it's early days for the miniseries, the strength of the first issue is practically enough to keep it running on goodwill for the remaining 4 issues. Not everyone is going to appreciate or understand the tone of "Hellcat," so the important thing now is to make sure it finds its way into the hands of those that will as soon as possible, because there's almost nothing else like it, and originality like this needs all the support it can get.

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6.0
Peter Parker #1

Mar 29, 2010

A multi-page backup by Fred Hembeck and some behind-the-scenes material rounds out the book, and the resultant package is fairly good. Undeniably, it's worth having the material in print, but it's hard not to feel like it's a bit late to be releasing this as anything more than a curio for the regular "Amazing" buyers. That being the case, well, it probably could have gotten away with being an arc in the series itself, rather than tucked away online or in a miniseries where, one suspects, very few people will actually bother to read it.

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7.0
Peter Parker, Spider-Man #156

Aug 6, 2012

It's fair to say this does have the feeling of a fill-in issue, but as a story it's a nice celebration of the character and his past (Who knew Uncle Ben had other maxims?). It's not especially clear why, of all the possible titles and numberings, this should be "Peter Parker: Spider-Man" #156.1 and it seems to further exemplify Marvel's approach to titling and numbering as "anything that sells, regardless of how much sense it makes" -- but that's no reason to ignore what is, ultimately, a great one-off tale by a pair of solid creators.

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9.0
Phonogram: The Singles Club #1

Dec 8, 2008

"Phonogram 2" ultimately represents a huge leap forward for both Gillen and McKelvie's craft and the audience the series is capable of reaching. That said, the subject matter and sheer weight of the metaphor means that not everyone's going to "get" the series -- the rest of us, though, can content ourselves with pining for issue 2.

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10
Phonogram: The Singles Club #3

Jun 14, 2009

The b-sides for this issue are a fantastic supplement to the "a-side", as Kid With Knife retells the story of "Rue Britannia," rendered as a hilarious pastiche by Leigh Gallagher, and featuring Gillen's most self-effacing moments yet, alongside yet another two-page outing for Indie Dave with art by Lee O'Connor. Once again, "Phonogram" delivers a truly stunning single issue package that makes the most convincing case yet for the continued existence of the "floppy" format. If only every comic had as much work put into it as "Phonogram."

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10
Phonogram: The Singles Club #4

Jul 28, 2009

As ever, the main story in "Phonogram" is supplemented by two b-side strips and a shedload of annotations and essays. In one b-side, David LaFuente turns in a dead-accurate illustration of the delirium that accompanies earworms. In the other, Charity Larrison's airy artwork accompanies the latest installment in the "Indie Dave" arc, with some particularly impressive character design. As ever, there's a lot to like about Phonogram. If you can make it to the end of this issue without finding something to enjoy, then frankly, there's no hope for you.

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10
Phonogram: The Singles Club #5

Nov 9, 2009

With such negativity surrounding the main story, it's hard to love this issue like the others in the series, but that's largely because "Phonogram" has set such lofty standards for itself. The fact that my main criticism of the issue concerns how it made me feel is, in truth, a celebration of its quality "- unlike far too many comics, the one thing it didn't leave me feeling was bored.

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10
Phonogram: The Singles Club #6

Dec 9, 2009

The issue is also rounded out by two more b-sides, both starring Kohl (David, not Helmut). In the first, PJ Holden's dark and moody visuals perfectly evoke the kind of provincial drinking establishment the story is set in, and briefly return "Phonogram" to its "Hellblazer"-tinged past. Elsewhere, Cadwell's clean lines and vivid colors are an instant fit for the Phonoverse, and for someone more familiar with smaller chunks of art from his webcomic, "The Everyday," it's a treat to see him tackling full-size storytelling and composition. His is clearly a name to watch out for in the future, but then that seems to be true of just about everyone who touches "Phonogram."

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10
Phonogram: The Singles Club #7

Feb 11, 2010

And that, more or less, is it. "Phonogram" was, if nothing else, a reviewer's comic. It had depth, subtlety, and best of all, it had a point it wanted to make. There are valid criticisms you could charge the series with. Perhaps you found it cliquey. Perhaps you found it pretentious. Perhaps you simply thought a story about people in a nightclub wasn't really that interesting. But Phonogram was different, and ambitious, and more often than not, it met its own criteria and then some. It played with storytelling, and with format, and it did it all while looking great and having the kind of dialogue you can quote. Whatever your personal opinion of the series, you have to admit that the shelves will feel much emptier without a new Phonogram to look forward to.

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10
Power Girl #12

May 31, 2010

The question, then, is whether what follows can match expectations. It's not a matter of living up to the standard of Gray, Palmiotti, and Connor -- few could hope to -- but, at the very least, it has to not feel like a pale imitation of its current self. For what it's worth, I'm far more interested in what the creative team does next, rather than what the character does next. Gray, Palmiotti, and Conner finally provided the starring role that Power Girl was born for, and although the 12-issue run is too short by half, at least it exists at all. It's a story so well-told that it deserves a place on everyone's shelves.

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5.0
Powers: Bureau #2

Mar 11, 2013

Despite the obvious talents of the creative team, issues like this are giving me a sense that "Powers" isn't the book I hoped it was, in terms of content rather than talent. Fair enough, then -- but with two creators this good aboard, it's hard not to be disappointed that it wasn't more accessible.

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7.0
Psylocke #1

Nov 12, 2009

There's a nagging feeling in me that this story, as intriguing as I find it, will probably be deeply uninteresting to people who aren't already invested in the character. That said, it's been a while since Psylocke had much of the spotlight, and even longer since she did so in a way as well-written as this. I, and the planet's other five Psylocke fans, welcome it.

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7.0
Punisher (2009) #1

Jan 12, 2009

If you ever wondered how The Punisher could survive against a character who is essentially Superman with psychological difficulties, then you need to read this issue. It's very convincing in its depiction of such a fight, and a great extended action scene to boot. There's not a huge amount in the way of underlying story, but it will keep you entertained for the duration of the issue. These days, that's probably enough. The extra dollar gets you a whole bunch of handbook-style back matter which is fairly interesting

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8.0
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #1

Sep 27, 2013

In fact, at two issues, this almost feels as though it'll be over too soon. This kind of mystery could be strung out into an 8-issue mini, and in some ways it would have benefitted from extra space. On the other hand, as a graphic novella it has a lot of potential to endure. Get in, get out and leave no room for error. In that sense -- and the fact that it has no overt ties to continuity -- it feels like an instant classic. As long as Guggenheim can stick the landing with the resolution, there's no reason it can't become one of the definitive Punisher stories.

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8.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #2

Dec 23, 2008

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10
Punk Rock Jesus #1

Jul 16, 2012

Ultimately, this is a comic destined for cult success at the absolute least, and probably greater. With its dark sense of humour and an uncompromising approach to somewhat subversive material, it feels like an underground hit that belongs to an earlier era. In more ways than one, this is a legend in the making. Definitely give it a shot, if only so you can say you were there when it happened.

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4.0
Rampaging Wolverine #1

Apr 20, 2009

As with every other Wolverine one-shot released over the last year, Rampaging Wolverine is otherwise fairly unremarkable. It seems to be aimed at the two extreme ends of the market -- the Wolverine completists at one end, and at the other, those who only want to read a single Wolverine comic a year. It might, at a push, also interest people who are unusually charmed by monochrome art, but to be honest, the rest of us can safely skip it.

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7.0
Red Robin #11

Apr 12, 2010

Yost's run on "Red Robin" has been consistently enjoyable, and with only one more issue to go (following the final part of this story in "Batgirl") things are coming full circle in a satisfying way. It might not be a high-profile series, but it's a fun slice of super-hero fiction that recognizes its strengths and plays to them.

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8.0
Reset #1

Apr 23, 2012

There's no doubt that fans of Bagge's other work will enjoy this, but it may surprise those who have found his other series (such as "Hate") a little too acerbic. There appears to be a strong, traditionally structured story at the heart of this issue and plenty of directions in which it could develop. It's a slow-burning introduction with an occasionally frustrating lead, but by the end of the issue it's concept and characters should have you engaged enough to want to continue -- if not to learn what'll happen to Krause, then at least to see what the real truth of the Reset technology is.

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7.0
Resurrection #1

Jun 8, 2009

Ending with a cliffhanger that will leave you intrigued as to where the story is going, "Resurrection: Book Two" #1 isn't perfect, but it is an enjoyable start to a series with a unique central concept, and worth a look for anyone who's into post-apocalyptic stories -- particularly if you don't want to read yet another zombie book!

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8.0
S.W.O.R.D. #2

Dec 11, 2009

Nonetheless, with two genuinely fun issues under its belt, SWORD has quickly established itself as a must-read series, not just for X-Men fans, but for anyone who appreciates the diverse storytelling opportunities of the Marvel Universe.

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10
Saucer Country #1

Mar 15, 2012

The only real criticism that can be levelled against "Saucer Country" #1 is that it ends too soon. Not for the story, but for the reader. A double-sized issue to kick the series off would have been perfect. As it is, there's plenty of intrigue and entertainment here to last until issue #2 -- let's just hope the wait isn't a long one.

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5.0
Saucer Country #4

Jun 15, 2012

It's a shame, because there's a lot to like here: the characterisation is good, there's clearly a lot of thought placed in the plot, and Kelly's visuals are worth the cover price alone -- but it's all adding up to a book that just doesn't have the visceral punch it needs to make each issue feel satisfying. It's as though Cornell has paced the comic as he would pace a weekly TV series, and ultimately, that's too slow for monthly comics.

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9.0
Savage Wolverine #6

Jun 12, 2013

In all fairness, there are things that might turn people off. The issue's mixture of Elektra, Bullseye, the Kingpin, Japanese villains and Wolverine doesn't exactly break new ground, and Spider-Man disappears halfway through. The final page reveal doesn't quite land, because it's more heavily reliant on visuals than position as a story beat -- and despite how dynamic the artwork looks, there isn't actually a lot of action. Those looking for a big fight scene will have to come back next issue. Still, with craft like this, that's not a problem, because there's a very good chance that you'll want to.

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6.0
Scarlet #6

Feb 11, 2013

Still, it's a book filed under "interesting" rather than "great." Bendis and Maleev are a creative team always worth reading and it's clear that the scale of this series is about to change dramatically, which is compelling in itself -- but right now, it feels a little like "Scarlet" #6 was a more attractive idea than it is a physical comic.

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7.0
Scarlet Spider #1

Jan 11, 2012

It's true that there's a lot here to like, and certainly the book is far from being a duplicate of "Amazing Spider-Man" purely because the lead and setting are both so different, but it's unequivocally not the book Scarlet Spider fans will have been hoping for. The scorched earth approach (virtually everything but the name) worked for Rick Remender on "Venom" not that long ago. Only time will tell whether Yost and Co. can make that strategy succeed a second time.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #2

Jul 3, 2010

Certainly, "Secret Avengers" feels like a shot in the arm for the franchise after a long period under Bendis' hand. Although I do generally enjoy his work, it's hard to deny that we weren't long overdue for a new voice and new characters. Brubaker provides both, a perfect alternative to the core Avengers books for those who want something a bit different but still Avengers-esque. The line's relaunch has been strong overall, but two issues in, it's clear to me that if you only buy one Avengers title, "Secret Avengers" is the one to go for.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #10

Feb 28, 2011

Pacing aside, there's little to complain about, though. It's still the best of the relaunched Avengers books, and I suspect it's going to read even better as a collection. With one more issue to go, all we can do is hope that Brubaker makes the most of it.

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7.0
Secret Avengers #21.1

Jan 29, 2012

It's a shame this wasn't knock-your-socks-off brilliant, as we've seen Remender capable of that in the past, but as an introduction to a new run it definitely works. It would have been nice to see some of the new "Secret Avengers" cast members turn up to solidify the start, but whether you call it an intro or a prologue, there's plenty here to maintain readers' interest until next issue.

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9.0
Secret Avengers #26

Apr 30, 2012

It's not perfect -- the art is bound to be divisive and the story seems to veer sharply away from the task of stopping Phoenix in the latter half -- but if all tie-ins were this good, no-one would complain about buying more books to follow the story.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #27

May 28, 2012

Although the outcome of this story is known (to an extent) thanks to scenes from other Marvel titles which come afterwards, it'll be interesting to see how things shake out. At present, Captain Marvel's fate seems uncertain, and if the character is facing a re-introduction it's not the horrifying prospect it could have seemed. Similarly, finding out how this story affects the "Secret Avengers" cast will be an incentive to come back. It's rare you get to read about superheroes failing, but the framework of "AvX" means that there's space for that to happen. I can't wait to see what Remender does with that.

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8.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #1

Feb 14, 2013

It's safe to say this isn't a hugely revolutionary story, but it's very well constructed, and takes an unusual premise and makes it work. At the same time, readers are left with questions that demand answers. That said, the best thing about the book is that it successfully merges the movie Avengers with their comic counterparts in more than roster. If anything's going to win "Secret Avengers" some new fans, it's that.

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6.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #3

Apr 15, 2013

"Secret Avengers" #3 is not a perfect issue, but it is good to see that the series has hit the ground running. It's already in its groove and clearly, Spencer has a tone in mind and is sticking to it. The strong character moments and fantastic artwork just about cover for a plot that struggles to hit its beats in time for the final page, and if this is as haphazard as it gets, that's something the team can be proud of.

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8.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #7

Aug 19, 2013

It'd be nice if the creative team was a little more consistent, but there aren't many mainstream series around to which that criticism couldn't apply. As it is, "Secret Avengers" has a unique premise and a strong tone unlike anything else Marvel is currently publishing. Spencer's work can vary in quality across a greater range than most writers, but on "Secret Avengers" he's definitely doing some of his best work. If you enjoy a mixture of intrigue and action, you owe it to yourself not to miss it.

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5.0
Secret Invasion: Front Line #1

Jul 9, 2008

Despite a lot of good elements going into the creation of "Front Line", something about it fails to click with me. Reed does a good job of quickly introducing and humanizing the cast. With an extended pre-attack opening sequence, a focus on a wide cast of nobodies, and a street-level view of larger-than-life disaster, "Cloverfield" feels like a definite reference point. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be one of familiarity. Where the "Civil War" version of the series included some big superhero names and recognizable civilians, this incarnation tries to engage you purely on the strength of a largely new and unknown cast -- and that's going to be a hard sell for anyone.

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4.0
Secret Invasion: Front Line #3

Sep 10, 2008

Unfortunately, after three issues, I'm left with almost no desire to see what the fate of these characters is. Whether or not they survive doesn't really seem to make a difference. The concept was worth a shot as an experiment -- "Cloverfield" in the Marvel Universe -- but unlike its predecessor, it seems increasingly unlikely that it's going to be an unexpected success.

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8.0
Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3

Oct 13, 2008

In any case, the series is more than justified by the fact that it openly attempts to tie up one of Secret Invasion's dangling plot threads, and it does so in a way that makes for an entertaining read. Three issues down, it's safe to say that this is probably the most successful of the various spin-off series, with some engaging writing and some brilliant cosmic artwork from Tom Raney. I'm not usually an Inhumans fan, but this has me hooked.

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7.0
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #1

Jun 30, 2008

Certainly, "Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers" is a must-buy to fans of either parent series, but if you're looking for a place to get started on the property, don't be fooled by the idea of a crossover helping you pick things up. Do yourself a favor and go get those trades first so that you can enjoy this series properly.

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8.0
Secret Invasion: Thor #1

Aug 19, 2008

Strangely, many of the "Secret Invasion" tie-ins are in danger of eclipsing the central series -- indeed, the majority of them already seem to contain more action than five issues of the parent series! While it's perhaps not that important in terms of the overall plot, Fraction promises to deliver a decent Thor read. Ultimately, that's what makes the crossovers work.

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6.0
Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1

Jun 17, 2008

If you're a big fan of any of the characters featured, you're certain to get at least one short you'll enjoy, but ultimately it suffers from the same problem as almost every other anthology comic -- you'll probably find yourself disliking roughly half of what you read. For anyone other than the most dedicated Secret Invasion fan, it's probably not a shrewd investment.

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7.0
Secret Invasion: X-Men #1

Aug 18, 2008

Cary Nord's artwork is enjoyable superhero fare of the kind that he's good at. Using San Francisco as the battlescape gives Nord the chance to show off some nice city panoramas, effectively grounding the location and providing beautiful backdrops at the same time. Between his art and Carey's writing, "Secret Inasion: X-Men" is a decidedly different take on the events of the crossover, and a welcome chance to see some of the more sidelined X-Men take a prominent role.

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6.0
Secret Invasion: X-Men #4

Dec 1, 2008

Still, as the definitive answer to what the X-Men were doing during Secret Invasion, it's ultimately a passable series that justifies its existence by filling its role in continuity. Not amazing, but if you want X-Men fighting Skrulls, then it'll do.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #1

Feb 2, 2009

Like all good issues, "Secret Warriors #1" ends on a cliffhanger revelation strong enough to bring you back next month, but be warned: it's a real doozy. Usually when you're told that the ending of an issue will have severe consequences for the Marvel Universe, it's easy to assume that it's just marketing hype -- but in this case, it truly is a massive shift that calls into question a huge amount of Marvel's history. You can guarantee that it's going to cause some fairly heated reactions, and either way, if it gets people talking about this new series, that can only be a positive thing in the long run.

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5.0
Shadowland #2

Aug 10, 2010

Diggle's "Daredevil" run has been generally very strong, and the build-up to "Shadowland" has been fit to stand alongside the best of Bendis and Brubaker's runs. But now that the event is here, something seems missing, and right now it appears to be the personal air that has made "Daredevil" a consistently brilliant series for the last 10 years. It's fair to say that after that long, there's nothing wrong with trying something new, but two issues into the story, it's hard not to conclude that ultimately, it doesn't appear to be working.

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6.0
Shadowland #3

Sep 2, 2010

On the plus side, the development at the end of this issue is an interesting one, though not entirely unexpected. The series has been gradually improving, so perhaps with his obligations to the crossover format out of the way, Diggle will deliver a fantastic two-part finale. Three issues in, though, I have to admit that with half the series gone, it hasn't lived up to the standard I was hoping for. But, then, I'm not sure I can remember the last Marvel event that did.

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7.0
Shadowland: After the Fall #1

Dec 12, 2010

Overall, it's hard to shake the feeling that the contents of this comic are largely redundant, but between the atypical interpolating structure, excellent artwork from both Roberto De La Torre and Marco Checchetto, and inventive, character-specific palettes from Morry Hollowell, it's ultimately a better read than "Daredevil" #512, the comic with which it shares so much, and a more reflective coda to "Shadowland" as a whole.

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3.0
Shadowland: Bullseye #1

Aug 10, 2010

The implied connection to Bullseye's death might make this seem like an important piece of the Shadowland puzzle, but it's hard to recommend to all but the most completist fans. John Layman is capable of far, far better, and it's hard to see what he thought he was doing here that seems to have failed so badly. Whatever it was, it seems best that we simply agree to move on and never mention it again.

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7.0
Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow #1

Aug 23, 2010

So far, it's one of the better Shadowland tie-ins, and I'm looking forward to the rest. I'm finally sensing a potential in the character which I've failed to get any hint of in the past.

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6.0
Shadowland: Ghost Rider #1

Sep 20, 2010

Overall, it's a reasonably decent issue, and an enjoyable outing for Ghost Rider. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it's cool enough and seems to know what it's doing. Decent script, decent art, and it's got Ghost Rider parked on a whale. If you want any more than that out of a Ghost Rider comic, you're probably backing the wrong horse.

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7.0
Shadowland: Power Man #1

Aug 23, 2010

It's almost a shame that this book is tied so directly to Shadowland, because it simply reinforces the notion that it's another spin-off, rather than a stand-alone story introducing a new hero. One must assume that Marvel know best how to promote their books, but had I not chosen to review it, there's no chance I'd have picked up this book and given it a chance at all, purely because I wouldn't normally buy spin-offs. I could, of course, be in a minority, but the constant talk of crossover fatigue makes me question whether that's truly the case. Like "Daughters of the Shadow", this is a strong book, and one that makes me care enough to come back -- and that's a rare thing for one, let alone two crossover spin-offs to do.

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5.0
Shadowland: Spider-Man #1

Oct 11, 2010

Ultimately, there's nothing truly upsetting about the story or its execution. It's just a shame that, once again, a Shadowland spin-off books has used the event as a generic backdrop rather than an excuse to flesh out the core story. Bar some minor thematic links and the appearance of ninjas, this Spidey/Shang Chi Vs. Mr. Negative story could have come at almost any time. It says a lot about the importance of managing reader expectation that as an issue of "Amazing Spider-Man" it would have been welcomed, but in a story ostensibly related to Shadowland, it can't help but feel like filler.

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6.0
Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #1

Oct 6, 2009

At $3.99 for 48 pages of story, it's certainly a rare bargain, and if Marvel wanted to extend the black and white anthology format to other characters, I can imagine it performing well. Standard anthology rules apply, but the issue is more good than not, and that, combined with the fact that the issue offers something unique in Marvel's output, means that it's well worth supporting.

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8.0
Siege: Spider-Man #1

Apr 25, 2010

Reed, as a writer, is someone who can turn out excellent books on occasion, which makes his sub-par work feel all the more disappointing. This issue, thankfully, is one of the former examples and although it isn't very Siege-centric, fans of Spider-Man (or Ms. Marvel) should definitely give it a look.

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6.0
Silver Surfer #2

Mar 28, 2011

Maybe that's not such a bad thing, for a change, but it does mean that those of us (and I include myself in this) who picked up the story hoping for Pak's take on the Surfer as continued from his various guest appearance in Hulk are going to be slightly disappointed. This is all about Norrin Radd, the man, and for better or worse, that's a subtly different story than what I was hoping for.

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8.0
Spider-Island: Avengers #1

Sep 12, 2011

It has to be said, then, that if you only buy one Spider-Island spin-off, this is probably the one to go for. It feels like the Avengers have been dropped into a Spider-Man story, and they're not quite sure how to deal with it as a result. It won't radically alter the outcome of the crossover, but it's good for a few laughs. Why deny yourself that?

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9.0
Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #1

Aug 15, 2011

In fairness, if you're looking for more Spider-Island, maybe this won't be your cup of tea. But at the same time, if you're enjoying "Amazing Spider-Man," you'll probably appreciate the kind of character-focused interplay that dominates this book. It's not much of a tie-in so far, but a great comic nonetheless.

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4.0
Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire #1

Oct 8, 2011

It's a shame, because the baseline quality of Spider-Island has been quite high so far, at least as crossovers go. "Spider-Woman" and "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" require you to have a built-in level of interest and enthusiasm for the characters to fully entertain, but they have, at least, been complete stories. "Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire" is a genuine misfire. A pity, from such normally reliable writers.

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9.0
Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #1

Jul 12, 2010

In any case, regardless of the quality of the writing, Mario Alberti's art is reason enough to pick up this series. It's a little bit Ditko, a little bit Kirby, and therefore perfect for this combination of characters. It'll be interesting to see whether Alberti's style reflects the various eras along with Gage's writing, but even if it doesn't, it's beautiful enough that it won't matter. It's hard to ask for superhero comics better than something like this one: perfectly drawn, brilliantly-written and aimed directly at its target audience. It's as close to flawless as you can reasonably want out of a miniseries.

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10
Spider-Man: Fever #1

Apr 7, 2010

There's a raw imagination to each page of "Spider-Man: Fever" that blows away the cobwebs of every dreary, by-the-numbers superhero title you've read in the last five years. It actually makes me nostalgic for the days when Marvel published books this interesting and unusual as a matter of course. Admittedly, if every comic was like this it might get exhausting. But right now, there's more than enough room for it on the shelves.

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9.0
Spider-Men #1

Jun 1, 2012

The waiting is the only hard part about the issue, though -- in every other respect, it's a joy to read. Technically excellent with well-judged pace and tone, it's everything a Spider-Man fan could want. Now let's see more of it, and soon. The wait for issue #2 is going to be a hard one (especially for someone reading the issue two weeks before it's street date!) but one thing is sure: when the second part of the story arrives -- as the saying goes -- action will be our reward.

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9.0
Spider-Men #4

Aug 13, 2012

However, it's clear "Spider-Men" will go down in comics history as a perennial favorite. Indeed, it's already hard not to root for a sequel where Miles gets to return the favor and visit Peter in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Maybe it'll happen, maybe not, but if it's half as much fun as this series, it'd be justified. Let's just hope we don't have to wait another 10 years for it.

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2.0
Star Trek #21

May 31, 2013

In fairness, the character dialogue and interactions are natural, on-point and mostly accurate (although Scotty seems a little off, for either version of the character). Despite stiff storytelling typical of books that rely on ultra-realism or photo-reffing, Fajar has the look of the characters and world down, although the influence of colourists Stellar Labs cannot be overstated in realising the glossy feel of Abrams' universe. The problem isn't with the individual moments, but with the glue binding them together. There are three plots in this book, none of which show any sign of tying into the other. Existing readers of the series may be fine with it, but as a Trek fan that came looking for more after the movie, the problem isn't just that I'm not engaged by the story, it's that I'm actively being pushed away by it.

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5.0
Star Trek: Countdown To Darkness #1

Jan 25, 2013

Still, it ultimately does what most licensed comics do -- provides a story that looks and reads good enough for a general bookstore audience, but doesn't really meet the much higher standards of monthly comics most CBR readers will be used to. It's an issue of accessibility as much as technical ability, but that's explanation rather than excuse. It is what it is. Not as good as the real thing, but better than nothing.

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8.0
Star Trek: Infestation #1

Feb 14, 2011

In all honesty, if this issue represents the general quality of all of IDW's Star Trek work then I'm starting to think I'm missing out for not having bought any. There's nothing new going on here with either zombies or Star Trek, but by executing both perfectly, the Tiptons, Gary Erskine, and Casey Maloney have come up with a winner. Let's hope that part 2 is just as good.

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8.0
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hive #1

Sep 24, 2012

Still, as a "TNG" fan, I can't deny getting what I wanted out of this issue. It's perhaps a little too close to the plot of the Voyager episode "Scorpion" for my liking (Borg encounter superior foes, turn to humans for help) but other than that, it was mostly well-executed and, more importantly, instantly familiar. A must-buy for fans of "TNG" who want to see what the old gang's up to.

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7.0
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hive #4

Mar 4, 2013

Still, for those of us for whom "Star Trek" means Picard and his crew, it's hard not to be enamoured with this story, which ultimately represents a great opportunity to spend time with the crew one more time. The scope and gravitas of events suggest that this might have even been the "next" TNG movie, had things not gone in a different direction for the franchise. Considered on those terms, it works, and despite Braga's obsession with all things Borg, I'd actually be very interested in seeing a TNG comic with him "showrunning" similar to the way this series was handled. IDW, make it happen!

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8.0
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1

Jul 11, 2010

Other than that, it's an enjoyable, fast-paced read and one that seems to embody the spirit of the Heroic Age. It's hard to articulate just how good it is to read a series starring an Avenger that doesn't even mention Norman Osborn, or Skrulls, or the SHRA. In all honesty, it feels like a bit of a novelty as a result. Whether read as a complement to the existing Avengers titles, or as a stand-alone story, there's plenty here to keep Steve Rogers fans entertained and give him some time in the spotlight to find out who he really is, if not Captain America.

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9.0
Strange Tales II #2

Nov 8, 2010

There's no denying the talent on display and, with so many unusual styles on offer, it's inconceivable that you won't find something that leads you to more work you might enjoy. Arguably, there's a slight tendency towards Silver Age pastiche " a genre well-worn even by more "mainstream" creators " but it's hard not to be charmed by such personal versions of familiar characters, even if they are being used in parody. As with any anthology, it's certain that some stories will click more than others, but even if you only like a few, it's well worth buying the issue just to read a few stories you haven't seen before (and might never again).

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5.0
Superior Carnage #1

Jul 22, 2013

Anyone buying a Carnage series is going to get what they want out of this book -- Carnage on a rampage -- but even then, it's hard to recommend a story where the title character is practically reduced to the margins. Given that it's got two critically-acclaimed Carnage miniseries as forerunners, the use of the "Superior" adjective can't help but seem like misjudged hubris.

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8.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #3

Sep 9, 2013

Overall, it's a charming, matter-of-fact look at life on the fringes of super-powered life, and exactly the kind of book that deserves a bigger audience. For readers that love the tone of "Hawkeye," this is one of the few places to find anything even remotely similar, and that alone makes it worth a try.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #3

Feb 11, 2013

It's clear that despite the reservations of some fans, the technical strength of this story alone is likely to make it one of the greats -- provided Slott and company can sustain it. If this is indeed a "typical" issue of "Superior Spider-Man", there's no reason to believe they can't.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #6AU

Mar 31, 2013

"Superior Spider-Man" #6AU is not a bad comic. It's even a mostly good one. But the fact that the plot is in a holding pattern makes it hard to love, and there's no doubt that it's the weakest "Superior" issue yet. With that in mind, it can't help but be a little disappointing overall.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #13

Jul 15, 2013

Although the pace of the issue was arguably a little rushed, considering this was a three-parter, it's fair to say that it maintains the series' high quality. Too much story for one issue is a preferable problem to too little, and the book's rapid turnover of its own status quo keeps readers guessing about the conclusion of every story. It's easy to love, and even though it's tough not to want the "real" Spidey back, the quality of this comic is enough to justify an extended period without him around.

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8.0
Superior Spider-Man #16

Aug 23, 2013

There's no question that "Superior Spider-Man" is a classic era of storytelling in the making, and it's particularly impressive for forging entirely new ground, rather than homaging or re-imagining previous Spidey stories. Readers have never seen the character written like this before, and while Dan Slott has always been one of the best Spider-Man writers around, there's a real sense that this is his opus. Quite simply, a must-read title for any superhero fan.

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4.0
Thanos Rising #1

Apr 3, 2013

Perhaps Aaron and Bianchi can make it work as the series progresses. There are moments of genuine brilliance in the execution, not least the scenes between Thanos and his mother. But in the long run, it's hard to feel like this is doing anything to improve the character. It's enough to know that he's the Mad Titan -- filling in the gaps can only make him less interesting. And in the same way learning that Darth Vader was whiny and lovesick made him look ridiculous, the more time spent with this version of Thanos, the less threatening the adult version seems. For a villain that readers have to believe is intent on wiping out the universe, that can't be a good thing.

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5.0
The Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth #1

May 22, 2012

Still, while the stories themselves may not be literary high points, we must give credit where it's due: this is Marvel trying to give exposure to characters who wouldn't sell under their own names in the hope that something might click. If you're reading "Ends of the Earth" and want to see more of that story, there's certainly nothing that'll make you feel as though you've wasted your money. But for the most part, it's a pair of sub-plots surgically exorcised from "Amazing Spider-Man" and given a zombified existence in their own comic.

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10
The Avenging Spider-Man #1

Nov 9, 2011

Usually, I think defending a star rating in the body of a review is a little too meta, but in this case I feel it's worth discussing. This isn't a 5 star comic in the sense that it's the next "Sandman" and everyone should have a copy on their shelves. It isn't. It's a pop comic. A firework, not an atom bomb. But with art this good and writing this entertaining, you can't fail to enjoy it -- and that's a 5 star experience however you look at it.

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #3

Jan 19, 2012

Still, that's little more than nitpicking. In terms of pure entertainment, it's tough to beat this book: consistently funny, good-looking, built on classic relationships. It's superhero comics in their purest form. If you don't enjoy this book then it's entirely possible that you're in the wrong genre. The first arc of this series has undoubtedly been a success, and the letters page makes it clear that Madureira is planning to return for an Elektra team-up in the future. That, alone, is enough to make me keep an eye on this series.

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4.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #4

Feb 15, 2012

Even so, he's no Joe Madureira, and combined with Wells' ironically off-the-mark interpretation of Hawkeye, it makes for a disappointing comedown after the highs of the opening arc. It isn't awful, but ultimately, a Hawkeye book likely to upset Hawkeye fans isn't fit for purpose.

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10
The Avenging Spider-Man #5

Apr 2, 2012

It's a pleasant surprise to see what is essentially Marvel's B-list Spider-Man series turn out one of the best Spider-Man (and indeed, Captain America) stories in years but that's what we've got here. If any criticism can be leveled against it, it's that the story arguably veers towards being sentimental or trite, but it's convincing on its own terms and in an industry dominated by downbeat endings where no one really wins, there's more than enough room for this kind of light-hearted story once in a while.

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9.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #7

May 14, 2012

With Zeb Wells having departed as writer, there is a slight shift in the tone and humor of the book, but it's nothing so drastic that previous readers might be upset. With a strong emphasis on action, comedy and fun, it's everything the first five issues were (though I admit skipping last issue's "Omega Effect" crossover) and retains its status as one of the most enjoyable Marvel books currently being published. In a line full of crossovers and multi-part epics, "Avenging Spider-Man" is an oasis of understated brilliance and gives you exactly what you want to read when you pick up a book with Spider-Man and She-Hulk on the cover.

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5.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #8

Jun 25, 2012

Sadly, for a series with a generally good pedigree, there's no doubt that this issue is veering into completest territory. It's not a great story, but it's a decent complement to "Ends of the Earth" and it'll function well in that role when it's presumably included in the trade collection. But otherwise, it's average on every level.

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8.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #11

Aug 28, 2012

Of course, that's not to say the issue isn't good, because it is. Wells and Dillon are both consummate craftsmen who know how to deploy their skills to create a story that works -- but somehow, placed together, they haven't quite created the spark that helps turn a good comic into a great one.

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6.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #15.1

Dec 28, 2012

It's probable that "Superior Spider-Man" #1, when released, will address these concerns. It is, after all, the "real" first issue. But "Avenging Spider-Man" #15.1 -- part-epilogue, part-prologue -- seems to do more harm than good. It's not that Peter Parker can't be replaced as Spider-Man (the stunning career of Miles Morales suggests otherwise) -- but this comic isn't doing his latest replacement any favors, and at a time when one suspects that favors are sorely needed.

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5.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #21

Jun 3, 2013

For the most part it is a technically competent book, and even when Yost isn't so strong on plotting the characters and dialogue are enough to remind you of his abilities -- but for a title already struggling with its identity (no joke intended) it's just as well that it's heading for a relaunch. It appears to have become just another ongoing monthly Spider-Man book, and that was the very thing it was always intended not to be.

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4.0
The Green Team #1

May 23, 2013

Maybe they're building to some kind of epiphany about the evil of excessive wealth without moral conscience, but there's no hint of that in this issue. By accident or design, the issue is irony-free and utterly lacking in self-awareness. It's not a bad story, nor is it poorly-crafted -- but considering how strong and provocative the concept is, an execution so toothless can't help but be underwhelming.

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8.0
The Iron Age - Omega #1

Aug 28, 2011

With that in mind, "Iron Age Omega" is a good ending to a good series. It won't be to everyone's tastes, but with solid art and enjoyable writing, it provides a confident conclusion to a fun little mini-event. If you've made it this far, it won't disappoint.

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8.0
The Iron Age: Alpha #1

Jun 12, 2011

As it turns out, far from being a throwaway miniseries, "Iron Age Alpha" looks like it's going to be a fun continuity-revisiting storyline for the Marvel fans in all of us. The final page twist suggests that Williams is going to keep the references broad, so even if you're not an Iron Man completist you should have little trouble following the story. If event comics are leaving you cold, or you long for a different take on Iron Man " or, indeed, just a good Iron Man story " the "Iron Age" miniseries this leads into looks like it's going to be all that and more. Worth a look.

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10
The Massive #1

Jun 15, 2012

In any case, "The Massive" is everything readers have come to expect from Wood: provocative, original, and fiercely intelligent in both conception and execution. Don't you dare miss it.

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8.0
The Massive #4

Sep 17, 2012

As usual, Brian Wood and his collaborators have turned in an issue they can be pleased with. Many a creator-owned series has lost its footing by the time the first few issues are out of the way, and the draw of the book's concept has had to concede audience attention to the plot and characters, but "The Massive" #4 is as fresh as it ever was. Encouragingly good.

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10
The New York Five #1

Jan 29, 2011

But enough of the technique, what of the story itself? It is, as you can probably guess, a gripping read with an unexpectedly tense cliffhanger. In a genre more suited to sci-fi and fantasy, it's good to see a writer unafraid to do a simple, slice-of-life comic, and do it so well. It's almost like "Gossip Girl" might be, had the writers of that show remembered not to make every character utterly wretched. Don't let the book's Minx origins put you off. There's no shame in reading a comic this good.

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10
The New York Five #4

May 2, 2011

In keeping with the book's "slice of life" themes, the series doesn't end with anything earth-shattering. Some people have changed, some haven't, and they all have to come to terms with a couple of unexpected developments. You can't fault the technique on display, and if the utter lack of testosterone in the subject matter puts you off, then it's ultimately your loss to deal with. In a genre overwhelmed by male characters, it's great to see a male creative team attempt a female-led book, and for them to get it so right. "New York Five" and its predecessor might ultimately feel like the smaller siblings of Wood and Kelly's previous series, "Local," but it's just as perfectly formed. If nothing else, they've created a comic you would be proud to give to your female friends and relatives " and ultimately, the industry can always use more of those.

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7.0
The Transformers #1

Nov 23, 2009

That aside, it's easy to get sucked into the TF-verse off the back of this comic, and an ongoing series has immediate appeal compared to the way things have been handled thus far. It's a new beginning, and I think there's good reason to be cautiously optimistic about it. Let's see where this goes.

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4.0
The Transformers #3

Jan 19, 2010

Ultimately, though, it's Don Figueroa's above-average treatment of the subject matter that makes the series worth buying at all. The bold lines and colouring recall the look of the animated series, while Figueroa himself manages to squeeze expression out of even the most confusing designs. Nostalgists will enjoy seeing his depiction of the characters regardless of context, and as an Ultra Magnus fan, this issue makes me particularly happy. It's rare I buy a book purely for the art, but this is one where the art is certainly more of a draw than the writing. The Transformers have seldom looked this good; It's just a shame the plot doesn't match up to the visuals.

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8.0
The X-Files: Season 10 #1

Jun 20, 2013

There's definitely room for improvement, but it's also much better than you'd expect based on the results of similar projects. Harris can particularly be praised for getting straight into a story, rather than spending an entire issue on introduction and scene-setting. As long as he manages to avoid getting dragged too quickly into the convoluted series mythology, this series might just be a winner.

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6.0
Thor (2007) #7

Mar 29, 2008

There are some of JMS' idiosyncrasies present that grate a little, but somehow I can forgive them. While I'm still unsure how interested I am in a "Thor" ongoing, this one issue has at least convinced me that I could easily enjoy it. I may well be back next issue.

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9.0
Thor: God of Thunder #2

Nov 28, 2012

It's clear that Aaron and Ribic's run on "Thor: God of Thunder" has all the makings of something very special. Not every Marvel NOW! creator reshuffle has resulted in a perfect mix, but this one definitely has. For the first time in a long time, Thor has a comic that can match his movie incarnation for visual thrills and visceral fun. An indisputable must-buy.

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10
Thought Bubble Anthology #1

Dec 11, 2011

Most importantly, this is a comic which displays the best the industry has to offer, particularly in terms of the UK small press, which typically doesn't travel far. Thought Bubble has quickly established itself as one of the UK's premier conventions, and if this is representative of its quality, it's not hard to see why.

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9.0
Thought Bubble Anthology 2012 #2

Nov 12, 2012

It's a genuinely inspiring collection, brimming with talent and ideas, bursting at the seams with love for the medium. At a time when the price of comics is frequently used as a criticism against the slight nature of an issue's contents, there's no finer way to spend $3.99 than on this: 30 double-sized pages of brilliance, guaranteed to introduce you to some fantastic creators, both new and old.

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6.0
Thunderbolts #122

Jul 28, 2008

Ellis' suddenly-announced departure may have left a few people concerned about the future of "Thunderbolts", but Gage's "Secret Invasion" fill-in suggests that the newly announced writer of Andy Diggle will still have a hard act to follow. For a title that's been plugging away as long as "Thunderbolts," it's promising to see the quality bar remains high even for a fill-in like this.

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8.0
Thunderbolts #126

Nov 17, 2008

Overally, Diggle and De La Torre's run is off to a promising start, and hints at big developments for both the team and the future of the Marvel Universe -- especially for anyone wondering just what Norman Osborn's role might be, post-"Secret Invasion."

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5.0
Thunderbolts #131

May 6, 2009

I can't speak for fans of Deadpool, but to someone only interested in the Thunderbolts, the crossover as a whole has been an unwanted interruption that has negatively affected the quality of the title. Even though Diggle has given his best shot at giving each of the Thunderbolts characters their turn in the spotlight, "Magnum Opus" always felt like a Deadpool story with the Thunderbolts shoe-horned in, rather than a genuine crossover. The best thing I can say about it is that, well, at least the diversion was a short one and things can get back to normal next issue.

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5.0
Thunderbolts #138

Nov 23, 2009

Overall, as much as I want to like "Thunderbolts," there's a definite sense that the momentum left by Ellis and Deodato's run on the series has definitely expired. Parker is as competent a choice as any to keep the book coasting along, but we're past the point where that's enough -" the series badly needs to be re-energized. Whether the current team is capable of turning around the book's growing sense of malaise is a far less certain prospect.

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8.0
Thunderbolts #144

May 29, 2010

Whether you're an old "Thunderbolts" fan, or someone attracted to the title by the likes of Cage, Juggernaut and, er, Man-Thing, you should find this an enjoyable read. If there were ever any doubt, the final page twist left me with a huge grin on my face and a strong desire to read the next issue immediately -- and it's been a long time since the series gave me that feeling.

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9.0
Thunderbolts #150

Nov 19, 2010

Ultimately, this is a fantastic issue, and a brilliant single-serving primer for those curious about the series. Superhero comics don't get much better than this.

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9.0
Thunderbolts #156

Apr 25, 2011

Even so, when the worst thing you can say about a book is that there's too much going on, it's hard to call it much of a criticism. "Thunderbolts" has always been one of my favorite titles, but under Parker and Walker it has the kind of energy not seen since Ellis took the title over. It's currently got a vastly different tone from that era, of course, but there's still an "anything can happen" vibe. Highly recommended.

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7.0
Thunderbolts #159

Jun 27, 2011

Still, that's better than most anthologies, and it's hard to find too much fault with being given more material, more cheaply than if it had been two separate issues. This, if nothing else, is an experiment I'd like to see repeated, and that's all the encouragement I need to call it a success.

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8.0
Thunderbolts #161

Aug 8, 2011

Still, if Thunderbolts can deliver this well for its core fans every issue (and recently, it has done exactly that) then maybe it'll pick up readers through word of mouth alone. It's a clich to say it, but despite being a mid-level performer, "Thunderbolts" is quickly proving itself one of Marvel's best titles. Perhaps not always perfect, but it's consistently enjoyable and, most importantly, providing a read unlike anything else in the line right now.

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8.0
Thunderbolts #164

Oct 8, 2011

Despite such complaints, "Thunderbolts" remains a very high quality team book with fantastic art, enjoyable writing and a wide variety of characters. Universe-spanning in the best way, and highly recommended.

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8.0
Thunderbolts #172

Apr 9, 2012

In a wider context, however, it does feel a little like this storyline has run out of steam. It's exciting to see the old team face the new team, but the time-skipping story is incidental to that. After so many issues, the format seems tired and reasonably easy to see the course of: the team fights the locals, then jumps into the future before the consequences come back to haunt them. We do appear to be leading towards some payoff, but even with this most enjoyable diversion taking place, it's hard not to be reminded that it's long overdue.

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7.0
Thunderbolts: Reason in Madness #1

May 13, 2008

It'll be interesting to see how much Gage's future run on "Thunderbolts" builds off the one-shots he's been responsible for. Even if they never get referenced again, they're all stories of reasonably high entertainment value that are worth a read if only for the fact that they're nice, single-issue character stories. If they never become anything more than that, well, that's still enough to justify their existence.

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6.0
Transformers Spotlight: Cliffjumper #1

Jun 21, 2009

Although it's fair to say there's little about the issue that's breaking new ground, any Transformers fan who picks up the comic should find something to like -- even if that's just the artwork by Robby Musso, who delivers some chunky, expressive robots set against an atypically (for a Transformers book) organic landscape. If you're a dedicated Transformers fan, you'll be pleased, and if you're just dipping in, it should scratch the itch. Ultimately, you can't complain when a comic achieves that much.

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4.0
Transformers: Infestation #1

Feb 7, 2011

Perhaps worst of all, although the book appears to be trying to stand alone, the final-page twist relies on a story detail from "Infestation" #1 only covered on the recap page, and since I read this prior to "Infestation" #1, it was unclear what questions I was supposed to be asking of the twist. That alone, seems like bad form for a comic labelled issue #1, and it's unfortunately indicative of the comic's quality as a whole.

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8.0
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #1

Jan 16, 2012

If there's any problem here, it's that it takes a long time for the characters to begin their own story. We already know Rodimus is leaving, but much of the issue involves cast members from the other Transformers book trying to convince him to stay. There's a pay-off at the end, but that means it feels a little more like a bridge between two stories than the start of new one. Even so, it's the strongest Transformers launch for a long time. After years of trying hard and never quite pulling it off, IDW might finally have cracked it with this creative team. If you're a Transformers fan who has repeatedly lapsed over the years (as I was) this is definitely the time to give it another try.

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8.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #1

Jan 29, 2012

It's tough to say which of the two Transformers relaunches is stronger, but such difficulty definitely stems from them being equally different takes on the same material, in much the same way as the two X-Men titles differ. In this case, I perhaps favor the wackier, less straightforward take, but it's understandable that some might not. With each as technically strong as the other, Transformers fans are spoiled for choice.

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9.0
Transformers: Robots In Disguise Annual #2012

Oct 1, 2012

Admittedly, the book isn't a perfect proposition as a stand-alone story -- it's heavily rooted in the political wrangling of the ongoing series and narrated by a character who only appeared in Japanese cartoons -- but that doesn't make it impossible to follow. It's even a rare example of an annual that justifies the increased space. Only IDW's frankly painful pricing lets it down in any substantial way. If you've ever read and enjoyed a "Transformers" comic, this is worth a look.

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5.0
True Believers #1

Aug 6, 2008

Unfortunately, when a miniseries as under-promoted as "True Believers" hits the shelves, it's got to grab every reader it can get and not let them go. The only way it's going to avoid becoming the next "B-Sides" or "Livewires" is through extremely good word of mouth. Without a major twist or hook to get people talking, the series seems already resigned to being nothing more than average, and at this level that's simply not enough.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Avengers #2

Sep 13, 2009

It's gratifying to see the Ultimate line's relaunch going this well, and even the last page shocker -- one that no-one will have seen coming -- suggests that the Ultimate comics are ready to re-establish their identity. Between this and "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man," the line is firmly back in must-read territory -- let's hope it stays that way.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs. New Ultimates #4

May 23, 2011

Even if the Ultimate Universe is heading for a reboot, it's good to see Millar making his exit in style. As a property, the Ultimates never quite recovered from Loeb's stewardship, but this issue suggests that Millar will at least put them back to the point where their credibility has been repaired. If we've got two more issues like this in store, the end of this series is going to be good fun.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Captain America #4

Apr 11, 2011

Even so, the series itself is well-constructed, challenging, and interesting, and all the other things you'd expect from Jason Aaron and Ron Garney. It's one of the better things that the Ultimate Universe has produced of late (although that's not saying much) and if you want to read a Cap story that's completely different from any other, this is undoubtedly a prime candidate.

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5.0
Ultimate Comics Enemy #3

Apr 18, 2010

A mixed bag, then, but not one that works very well. The book's art is its saving grace, preventing the over-familiar story execution from becoming as boring as it could have been. Right now, it feels impossible to explain what the story is actually about. Three issues in, we should be past that stage, and it's a definitely problem that, to be honest... we're not.

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4.0
Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1

Mar 6, 2010

"Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1," then, isn't quite as good as it could be, or perhaps should have been. But it is generally an improvement over the last Ultimates series. That, at least, we can be thankful for.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

Aug 13, 2009

There are a few places where the relaunch may bamboozle readers. A 6-month gap has introduced a few changes to the status quo, but in comics, this is a familiar, easy-to-swallow device. If anything disappoints, it's actually the lack of shake-ups. This is a good issue -- a great one, in fact -- but it's not substantially different from what came before. Following a major crossover event and hype from editorial, the title's familiarity turns out to be both its biggest strength and biggest weakness.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #150

Nov 29, 2010

The ending twist sets up an interesting new status quo for the series, though one wonders if it isn't a little bit "Avengers: The Initiative". Still, it's Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man; There's no reason to think it'll be anything but decent. It's always worth a look, and this is no exception.

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10
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160

Jun 22, 2011

In any case, so ends an era, with writer and artist, hero and villain, friend and family member all at their absolute best. Even so, for all of this story's superlative execution, what should excite us as readers is the thought of what happens afterwards. Ultimate Peter Parker might be dead, but Ultimate Spider-Man will live on, and the stories that are coming will truly be treading fresh ground. That, in the end, is the only justification anyone really needed for killing Peter Parker -- and what it inspires will be the only true measure of how successful this story was.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1

Sep 14, 2011

In a month when readers have been prompted to think about the craft of the first issue (courtesy of DC Comics) "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" #1 makes it look easy, striking a strong balance between showing what readers need to know and teasing what might come later. Most importantly, what the issue lacks in costumed antics, it makes up for with character. It's only the second time we've seen Miles Morales on the page, but already we're starting to see how his background and outlook differ from Peter Parker's. It suggests that we're going to see a Spider-Man quite different than the one we're used to -- but at the same time, it's still one who you'll want to read about next issue. A very conventional start to the series, but in the Ultimate line in particular, that's exactly what it should be.

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10
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #4

Nov 9, 2011

As with every issue thus far, the cliffhanger moment is one which makes you want to return next month, and it'll be interesting to deal with Spider-Woman -- who, lest we forget, has all of Peter Parker's memories. We can probably assume that she'll give her blessing, if not take it further and become a mentor figure, but it's a conversation that needs to be had, and I'm on tenterhooks waiting to read it. When a book is this good, it almost goes without saying.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #5

Dec 26, 2011

As ever, the only substantial criticism that can be handed out to Bendis and Pichelli's "Ultimate Spider-Man" is that there isn't remotely enough of it. Every issue feels to short, and every gap between them too long. It remains to be seen what Miles' long-term impact will be on the Ultimate Universe (and pop-culture in general) but if Bendis maintains this level of quality, there'd be no blame to lay at his feet if things don't succeed.

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10
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #7

Feb 24, 2012

Aside from the weak choice of villain, there's nothing to complain about here. It started off well but seven issues in, "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" is strong as ever -- as enjoyable as it is brilliantly-crafted and an undisputable classic in the making.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #16.1

Nov 2, 2012

In every way worth mentioning, this issue is a treat to read. Unlike some point one issues, it's an essential purchase for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the character. And if nothing else, it's worth buying just to see two creators working at the top of their game.

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3.0
Ultimate Comics X #5

Jul 4, 2011

Still, if anyone's ever wondered what "damned with faint praise" means, that previous paragraph tells you. A series most notable not for being any good, but largely failing to be as bad as everyone was predicting. That's not exactly a quote worth slapping on the hardcover.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #16

Sep 27, 2012

Even so, this is a story that seems to know where it's going with well-executed visuals and a tightly-wound plot. Far from being a stunt, the President Cap plot makes sense in context and is being treated with sufficient respect by the writer. If you pick it up hoping to find out what Captain America does once he's elected, you definitely won't be disappointed.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #8

Mar 5, 2012

Ultimately (no pun intended) this is a reasonably good comic, but in context it falls a little flat. It feels like a chapter of a story continued next issue, but that's not how the structure of this book seems to be working. It's not really clear what Spencer's doing and there's a very real danger readers will lose patience with this book before he lets them know.

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7.0
Ultimate Doom #1

Dec 27, 2010

Generally speaking, then, it's a mixed bag. Although technically good, it fails to deliver much of what it promises. Most of the criticisms could be eliminated by changing the issue number and title but, unfortunately, that's not the way it played out.

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4.0
Ultimate Fantastic Four #60

Feb 24, 2009

Conclusion aside, it's a competent but forgettable issue. Pokaski makes the best of the role he's got with some entertaining dialogue, and although Tyler Kirkham's artwork is something of an acquired taste, you have to admit that its adherence to the Top Cow house style means that it matches Finch's look on Ultimatum better than any Marvel artist would. As the "concluding" issue of UFF, this demonstrates quite well exactly why the Ultimate Universe needed a retool in the first place. The series goes out with a whimper, and one decidedly unbecoming of what should be Marvel's "gold standard" line.

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3.0
Ultimate Hulk Annual #1

Jan 5, 2009

It's not hard to find something good about this book -- after all, McGuinness' opening few pages look great, and the remaining pages of Djurdjevic's are fantastic, despite the fact that he has to go to some fairly extreme lengths to ensure that the nude Hulk stays work-safe. Unfortunately, good art does not make a good comic, and no matter how pretty it is, there's nothing so essential that it excuses the quality of the writing. This is one for completists only. Don't let the "March on Ultimatum" banner fool you; there's nothing so far that suggests any relation to the crossover, besides the fact it appears to take place before it.

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6.0
Ultimate Human #4

May 6, 2008

Well-timed to deal with the "Iron Man" and "Hulk" movies this year, "Ultimate Human" stands as proof that Marvel still has some clue how to approach the Ultimate line of titles. Ellis, meanwhile, effortlessly demonstrates with his unique style why he's one of the industry's top writers, even when he lets some of his excesses get the better of him, because even if the plot doesn't fully grab me, the characters are spot on. The smart thing for Marvel to do now would be to get him onto "Ultimates", and prove that the title and characters do have legs beyond Millar and Hitch. Someone, make it happen please.

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9.0
Ultimate Origins #1

Jun 2, 2008

Ultimate Origins promises to be a rare thing -- a completely self-contained story that'll have major ramifications. When you turn the last page, you'll feel like what you've read is mostly prologue, but it's a prologue that'll leave you more than ready to read the rest of the story.

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8.0
Ultimate Origins #2

Jul 15, 2008

As with the last issue, however, "Ultimate Origins" is proving itself to be a strong read that expands the history of the Ultimate Universe -- past and present -- without resorting to changing the material purely for change's sake.

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5.0
Ultimate Origins #5

Oct 21, 2008

It's frustrating that a series that started with a large amount of promise should stumble so badly at the end. It's a wellspring of missed opportunities, and represents Bendis' most genuinely lackluster effort in some time. It feels more like it was compiled from his story notes than a comic he wrote. Worryingly, when even Bendis struggles to make the Ultimate Universe interesting, it doesn't bode well for the immediate future. Let's hope Ultimatum justifies the impact it's already had on this series.

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9.0
Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3

Nov 3, 2008

As a package, there are no huge faults with the annual -- a minor art glitch here, a pacing problem there -- but on the whole, it does deliver a satisfying story that can be read in one sitting, while also tying into the main series in an important way. In short, it's everything that Quesada wanted Marvel annuals to be when they returned from their hiatus, and it's everything a reader could want out of one too. Definitely worth a look, whether you read "Ultimate Spider-Man" or not.

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8.0
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #3

Mar 5, 2009

While there's a debate here about just how much praise the comics industry should give writers from other media who treat the medium like a hobby, rather than work, it's very hard to argue against such entertaining results. "Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk" #3 is, almost inexplicably, just as fun today as it would've been 3 years ago.

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5.0
Ultimatum #1

Nov 10, 2008

While Loeb hasn't ironed out the flaws many found in his recent "Ultimates" run, there is at least a sense of moving in the right direction. Some weak characterization and dialogue notwithstanding, the issue has a comprehensible plot, and the events alone should be enough to make "Ultimate" fans stay interested.

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2.0
Ultimatum #4

Jun 9, 2009

It's fair to say that despite my best hopes, I didn't like this comic much at all. The best thing I can say about "Ultimatum"? With only one issue to go, well, at least the end will be with us soon. That's something we can all be pleased with.

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5.0
Uncanny Avengers #4

Mar 1, 2013

Still, the last couple pages suggest Remender has bigger ideas about what "Uncanny Avengers" will be, and his "Uncanny X-Force" run proves he has the chops to deliver storytelling on that larger scale. When paired with a more appropriate (and faster) artist, it's likely the book will improve. There's an audacity to the ending that has to be admired and at the very least, it's earned a pass for yet one more issue. It's hard not to feel that with the difficult first arc out of the way, "Uncanny Avengers" will finally start its upward trend.

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7.0
Uncanny Avengers #6

Apr 15, 2013

Personally, when the series was announced, I was expecting something much more along the lines of issue #5 (which felt like a classic team book) but "Uncanny Avengers" #6 is perhaps a better example of what the series should be like: unusual yet engaging, bold but not unwieldy. It doesn't tick all the boxes, but a few more issues like this and the series could still regain the momentum it managed to lose over its first arc. If you jumped off any time in the last few months, it's worth coming back for a re-appraisal.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #8AU

May 24, 2013

As crossover tie-ins go, this is perhaps the best readers of the series could expect: something that continues the title's story without slowing it down too much. Admittedly, if you're looking for "Age of Ultron" content, you may well be disappointed because the relevance to the event is minimal and skippable " but if you're reading "Uncanny Avengers" on an ongoing basis, don't be fooled by the "AU" numbering: this issue is worth owning.

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5.0
Uncanny Avengers #11

Sep 2, 2013

"Uncanny Avengers" #11 is still some way away from being a bad comic, but with this series, it's always hard not to feel as though the creative team is falling short of their capabilities. Readers expect more from Remender and his collaborating artists, not because it's not good, but because they've spectacularly risen to the challenge in the past. Considering the book was originally pushed as the "flagship" for Marvel NOW!, it should at least be challenging pretenders to that throne. As it is, this issue doesn't feel like it's putting up much of a fight.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #1

Oct 11, 2010

From the first issue, it looks like "Uncanny X-Force" might be a success, and it certainly deserves at least as long a run as its immediate predecessor. Despite the presence of Wolverine and Deadpool, Marvel's most over-exposed duo, this book feels like something you don't get elsewhere: an ensemble team book with strong fundamentals and a clear idea of where it's going. Let's hope the next issue keeps up this level of quality.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #4

Jan 31, 2011

The issue ends with a pretty startling moment, one that crystallizes why this book is so enjoyable. Its art and its plotting are constantly unpredictable and exciting, and Remender has taken characters that were either sadly forgotten (Fantomex and EVA) or should have been long ago (Deadpool) and turned them into gripping protagonists. "Uncanny X-Force" is a strange, exciting, and truly vital comic. There's nothing else like it on the stands today, and that's probably for the best. I'm not sure any of us could handle more than one book this catastrophically great.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #5

Feb 21, 2011

Esad Ribic also returns to the X-verse following his turn in "Dark Reign: The List: Wolverine," the story that this issue chiefly builds on. As before, his work is fantastic, clean, almost ethereal, but completely adept at rendering the crazier ideas of The World alongside appearances by Spider-Man and Captain America (or, at least, Deathlok-ed versions thereof.) The X-line is remarkably strong right now, but issues like this mean that "Uncanny X-Force" is quite simply must-read stuff. Ignore it at your own detriment

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force #11

Jun 6, 2011

With its mixture of strong characterization, continuity porn, and plot-focused storytelling, "Uncanny X-Force" is undoubtedly the X-Men book for X-Men fans. With Kieron Gillen on "Uncanny X-Men" and Mike Carey on "X-Men Legacy," the line is under the auspices of some fantastic writers right now, and Remender sits comfortably alongside them. Let's hope he sticks around.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Force #14

Sep 4, 2011

Once again, "Uncanny X-Force" has to be called one of the most fantastically executed Marvel comics currently being produced. If you're severely put off by references to decades-old X-Men continuity, you might want to give it a miss, but those who are sufficiently immersed in the lore will find it one of the most entertaining X-books in years.

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10
Uncanny X-Force #18

Dec 14, 2011

Best of all, though, as good as this story was, it didn't need a crossover, or tie-ins. It didn't even need Wolverine to be conscious. No gimmicks, no pandering, no advance spoilers. No better way to have told this story. If the creators involved never picked up their tools again, they could rest easy knowing that just once, they did everything right. But with this much passion and ability on display, something tells me an early retirement is the last thing on anyone's minds.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Force #19.1

Jan 8, 2012

As a piece of entertainment, there's no doubt that it's well-executed story. As a product, though, it's difficult to justify (to the buyers) why they should have read an issue of one series under the name of another. Despite the thematic similarities and a little narrative confluence, there's nothing here that justifies the name "Uncanny X-Force" being put on the cover. If Marvel wants to dispel the notion that Point One issues are skippable, issues like this aren't the way to do it.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force #29

Aug 20, 2012

It's fair to say that the ending of this comic (without spoiling it) suggests an interesting direction for Psylocke, and one that maybe even revisits some material from the earliest appearances of her current incarnation. For longtime X-Men fans, this is the X-title to read. As Remender heads towards the next arc, it seems likely this book is building towards a fantastic conclusion, and issues like this suggest he's playing a fantastic long game.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #1

Jan 28, 2013

Admittedly, there are things about the book that feel a little shaky. The narrative captions are a little too expository at times. The cut-away scenes at the end of the issue don't really gel with the rest. The mission Psylocke is on feels far more mundane than anything she faced in her time with the previous X-Force -- but on the whole, it works despite those flaws. This is a comic that grabs you on the first page and speeds towards its conclusion. The only big complaint, frankly, is that it's over too soon.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #497

Apr 28, 2008

Choi's artwork is a welcome change from the recent, grittier styles that "Uncanny X-Men" has seen, and the bright, fun colors fit the tone of the book entirely -- the idea of a city regressing to the 60s is a fairly camp concept in itself, and Choi's artwork nicely fits that tone, with masses of attention on the small details. He's also good for the grander strokes, though -- the opening sequence where Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus fight some giant robots is a great piece of action-adventure, brilliantly choreographed and nicely executed. "Divided We Stand" does feel like something of a stop-gap solution, but if this is what we get as "filler", I can't wait to see how good the book's going to be in the future.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #506

Feb 23, 2009

It's not perfect, but for the first time in years Uncanny X-Men has once again become the X-Book I look forward to most each month "- ultimately, that's got to count for something.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #512

Jun 29, 2009

After the messy conclusion to the "Sisterhood" arc, it's good to see Fraction getting back into more coherent territory. Hopefully, future issues will resemble this one more than the last few.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men #516

Oct 20, 2009

With that in mind, it's hard to give this issue of "Uncanny" a huge amount of praise. The best you can say is that it largely overcomes the creative team's weaknesses. "Nation X" is shaping up as a slightly better-than-average arc -- but it's hard not to feel like the potential for it to be so much more isn't being tapped.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men #523

Apr 12, 2010

On the plus side, there are moments of excellent depth for characters like Colossus, who defuses Nightcrawler's anger at the existence of X-Force with a single well-placed philosophical question. There's also a clear and interesting lead-in to the next issue, offering the chance to see the New Mutants in action rather than more of the "Alpha Team" that has dominated the story so far. Honestly, I don't expect this issue to be typical of the crossover in general, so hopefully the next chapter will prove me wrong

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #525

Jun 13, 2010

Nonetheless, this is a strong return to form for both Fraction and the event in general. After a floundering middle act, there's a strong sense of purpose again, and a lot of plot threads waiting to be picked up on. Once again, I find myself eager to see where things will end up when the dust settles.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #526

Aug 2, 2010

As well as the main feature, there's also a lead-in to "Avengers: Children's Crusade" which explains Magneto's presence in that series. Well-drawn, well-written and relevant to "Uncanny X-Men" as much as the series it's bridging into, this is exactly the sort of backup we could do with more of. Combined with the main story, it makes for one of the better single-issue packages seen for some time.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men #528

Sep 27, 2010

Artwork aside, "Uncanny X-Men" does, at least, feel like a progressive book again, and it's hard not to be excited about the direction it's moving in. With the effects of M-Day finally reversed and Kieron Gillen announced as the incoming co-writer, the future of the X-Men feels brighter than in a long time.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #531

Dec 27, 2010

Despite Land's technical foibles, it's one of the stronger issues for some time. Perhaps Gillen has something to do with that, perhaps not. The beauty (and curse) of co-writing is that they get to share the blame. If every issue's this good, that probably won't upset them.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Men #536

May 1, 2011

As ever, the Dodsons' artwork is fantastic, and the art team packs a potentially difficult, conversational issue with interesting character designs and location work to help ensure it never drags. Weaker artists could have had serious trouble with the pace and subtleties of the story, but the Dodsons are more than capable collaborators. The results are fun, interesting and original, and you can't ask for more than that from any superhero comic. Highly recommended.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #544

Oct 19, 2011

Regardless of whether you accept the premise of this being Uncanny X-Men's "final" issue, there is, at least, the sense of an era ending here. The characters are grave and pensive, even if the story they're wrapped in is a little more knowing about their situation. It's not so much a victory lap as it is a limp back home with aching thighs and the knowledge that you've got to go out for another run tomorrow. But that's all right. "Schism" has left the X-Men in uncertain straits, and while this doesn't clear the board, it does, at least, convincingly reset the pieces.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men Annual #3

Mar 21, 2011

As much as I hate to leave a story unfinished, this wasn't enough that I want to read more, and that means I'm left with a third of a story I'll never read the end of. I can see the value in Marvel trying to encourage people to pick up more annuals, but as a reader I have to admit that it's make me more wary of buying into this kind of cross-annual story in the future.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #2

Dec 1, 2011

In any case, "Uncanny X-Men" #2 is another high-quality addition to a largely successful line relaunch, and finds its corner admirably against its sister/companion-title, "Wolverine and the X-Men." The competition probably isn't doing its writers' stomach ulcers any favors, but the readers? We're spoiled for choice.

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10
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #4

Jan 8, 2012

Brandon Peterson's artwork is strong, and although his interpretation of the phalanx is a little dark and sketchy, it befits the more horror-based approach that this story pursues. It's a good-looking comic with clear storytelling, and given such a tight story Peterson manages to pack in the visual information we need. Done-in-ones are an increasingly rare treat, and as such, demand a little extra when they do come along. "Uncanny X-Men" #4 is a great taste of what the series is offering, and an instantly memorable issue to boot. Definitely worth owning.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #10

Apr 16, 2012

Where this issue excels, though, is in its treatment of the X-Men as a soap opera. Multiple subplots get advanced, new ones are created and there's a sense that the story moves on even though the villains are dispatched. There's no reset button ending and no happily ever after. It's probable that the developments of this story will reverberate through Gillen's "AvX" tie-ins, and that only makes them more intriguing. Particularly when you see that final panel.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #3

Mar 15, 2013

It might only be the second best X-Men title Bendis is writing, but this issue, with its emphasis on the mutant political situation and Cyclops' current ethos suggests that there's a lot of potential in Bendis' take on the characters and their situation. "Uncanny X-Men" #3 is a definite improvement over earlier issues, and hopefully one that marks the beginning of an upward trend.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #5

Apr 29, 2013

"Uncanny X-Men" #5 is good (especially the artwork), but with the plot moving slowly in no particular direction and the characters failing to bed in, it's hard not to look across the floor at "All-New X-Men" and ask what "Uncanny X-Men" is doing with itself. With a team like this, just "good" doesn't feel like enough.

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5.0
Valkyrie #1

Oct 4, 2010

As it happens, nothing here is badly executed, but it does all feel a bit too by-the-numbers to be especially entertaining. The problems are largely about what's left out of the story " a hook, a twist, a satisfying resolution " and of particular concern is that Valkyrie never really evidences any personality outside of being a female Thor. Perhaps, if a new status quo had been properly established, it could have been a springboard into more stories, but the story ends with the character almost literally riding off into the sunset. There was the chance here to make Valkyrie into a viable stand-alone character, but by time we turn the final page, the job is only half-complete. So close, and yet, so far.

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5.0
Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1

Sep 22, 2009

To be honest, after reading this I'm still not convinced there's any need for a Moon Knight title. Given the utter lack of interest there's been in the character over the last 30 issues of this series' predecessor, I'll be surprised if a relaunch makes any difference in the long term. If anything, repositioning Moon Knight as a more generic superhero seems to do away with the one thing that made him stand out. It's not a badly executed read, but it can't get over the question of why it exists in the first place.

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8.0
Venom #10

Dec 12, 2011

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this story, though, is that despite being the voice of authoritarian government, Captain America is really correct: Venom is too dangerous for one man to control, and we've already seen him go too far. He's taking the wrong risks and making the wrong decisions. We might be rooting for Flash because it's his book, but it's not quite as clear-cut as that. I fully expect that idea to develop over the next few issues, and there's no question that I want to be around to read it.

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7.0
Venom #13.1

Feb 13, 2012

Still, for a story that has no natural connection to any of these characters beyond Ghost Rider, it's working out remarkably well. The pace is just right for a weekly crossover, and if you're bored of endless combinations of Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-Man, this is essentially a team book that carries no danger of them turning up at all. Give it a chance, and you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

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3.0
Web of Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1

Oct 19, 2009

It'd probably help the title's chances if one of the three stories could make me glad I bought it, but while Sean McKeever and Stephanie Buscema's Frog Man six-pager was by some distance the best of the lot, with a cute story and some energetic, animated-style artwork, it wasn't substantial enough to recoup $3.99's worth of goodwill by itself. Unfortunately, despite the slight reworking, "Web of Spider-Man" makes all the same mistakes that "Amazing Spider-Man Family" anthology did, without replicating the relevance of the stories that made the "Amazing Spider-Man Extra" anthologies the enjoyable reads they were. Perhaps the next issue will be completely different -- it is an anthology, after all -- but in all honesty, I'm not sure I'll be around to find out.

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5.0
Web of Spider-Man Vol. 2 #129.1

Aug 26, 2012

However, it's debatable whether this concept is strong enough to carry two issues, particularly when the execution overall is often a little weak. As an amusing one shot, it might have left you wanting more, but the cliffhanger doesn't really seem strong enough to pull people back for the second half. It isn't awful, but nor is it easy to recommend. If you're a fan of more comedy-tinged Spider-Man outings, this is for you, but ultimately, it won't satisfy everyone.

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2.0
What If: Fallen Son #1

Dec 16, 2008

Ultimately, we're left with amateurish writing, poor artwork and a story that barely fulfills its premise. Not everything has to be Shakespeare, but surely readers deserve better than this?

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5.0
What If: Wolverine - Father" #1

Dec 12, 2010

Certainly, the book isn't a complete mess, but it's also hard to say that it's a success. The results say very little about Daken and Logan that we didn't already know, and what it tries to say isn't very well-conveyed. A couple of good moments aside, the book's main contribution to the world is showing that Rob Williams could probably write a very good Wolverine, given the chance to tell a longer story. That's the kind of thing that makes it useful to editors, but ultimately, of little interest to the fans.

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4.0
What If? AVX #1

Jul 8, 2013

As for the issue's attempt to incite a desire to return for more, close readers will see that there's potentially a little more going on than the page makes explicit, but it's still in typical "What If"?" territory: unexpected deaths, things going rapidly awry, but no particular point to make -- at least, not yet. A 4-issue series means there's the potential for a closer examination of the themes and ideas than the average one-issue cover version can manage, but let's face it: like all "What If"?" stories, it's a novelty at best.

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5.0
What If? World War Hulk #1

Dec 15, 2009

"What If? World War Hulk" isn't going to be the kind of comic you come back to again and again, nor is it going to be hailed as a classic. But if you're really itching for a follow-up, of sorts, to the events of World War Hulk then it does, at least, deliver on that level.

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #64

Apr 12, 2008

While "Wolverine" is currently bouncing from creative team to creative team having essentially become a series of self-contained mini-series, it'd be a real shame if, after "Get Mystique" wraps up, Aaron and Garney didn't return for another shot at the character like Guggenheim did following the good reaction to his "Civil War" story. For now, there's still plenty to wonder about before the arc is over. Wolverine's gone through a lot to get hold of Mystique, but the question remains as to what he'll do once he captures her. The cliffhanger page, while gratuitous, at least promises that Aaron won't pull any punches in letting these characters act as freely as possible " and that, at least, doesn't bode well for Mystique.

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5.0
Wolverine (2003) #69

Nov 16, 2008

Some of the sharper moments in the issue come from Millar's character moments, but without a more concrete theme to hang those on, they remain little more than moments that contribute only to the tone of the story, not the substance of it. It's possible that Millar can pull a twist out of the bag in the next issue that redeems the series, and certainly I'm looking forward to finding out just what "they" did to Wolverine -- but it'll really need to be something special to make the last few issues worth the aimless, poorly-paced ramble through an alternate future that there's no reason to care about.

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5.0
Wolverine (2003) #72

Jun 2, 2009

With one chapter left, it seems unlikely that Millar has any massive tricks up his sleeve that can redeem his meandering, flippant story. It's almost worth reading for McNiven's art alone -- but not quite. It'll undoubtedly make a far more satisfying read when the collected edition is released, but after a solid year since the story began and the likelihood of yet more waiting for the finale one-shot, you have to wonder what everyone was complaining about when Marvel released #73 first. At this point, wouldn't we rather they just got on with the rest of the series?

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5.0
Wolverine (2003) #900

May 16, 2010

Those two aside, the extremes of quality are largely avoided, with the middle-ground well-trodden. But then, it's an anthology, that's what they do. Due to the range of stories, I expect any reader will find at least one they love, but for $4.99 for one 8/12 page short isn't really enough for me. Presumably it's enough to entertain the legions of Wolverine fans out there, but unless you're one of them, there's nothing here that screams "must buy."

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8.0
Wolverine (2010) #4

Dec 21, 2010

When all is said and done, though, the final page of this issue can't help but leave Wolverine fans with a reason to pick this book up, though. Next issue promises a scene we've never witnessed before, and with a character who has been around the block as many times as Logan, that's something to be savoured.

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8.0
Wolverine (2010) #9

May 30, 2011

Jason Aaron's "Wolverine" has been consistently enjoyable ever since he picked up the character, and while "Wolverine goes to Hell" was a diversion that maybe felt a little outside of Wolverine's usual comfort zone, he's firmly back in it with this one, and the quality of the read shows that. Enjoyable on every level.

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7.0
Wolverine (2010) #13

Aug 8, 2011

In general, then, this is a good issue, weakened largely by its similarity to those around it. There are certainly worse criticisms you can level at a comic, but it does beg the question of how well this'll work as an arc. It feels, thus far, like the weakest of Aaron's Wolverine stories in some time. That still means it's good, but it's not quite all it could have been. Hopefully the final issue will provide the extra missing ingredient.

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8.0
Wolverine (2010) #19

Dec 5, 2011

In a wider context, this storyline injects some much-needed levity into Aaron's run. Although consistently excellent, there's been a tendency towards some rather serious material -- Wolverine in hell, Wolverine possessed by a demon, Wolverine killing his offspring -- so it's nice to conclude an arc that has the ability to smile in the face of apparent horrors, rather than take them seriously. All things considered, a nice end to the "San Francisco" years, and if the pay-off isn't particularly strong thematically, well, at least it works geographically.

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5.0
Wolverine (2010) #310

Jul 7, 2012

Still, as comics go, it's merely unimpressive rather than particularly bad. It's unlikely to make new readers care, but if you've been following the story of Romulus over the last few years, then at least it seems that you're about to get some kind of resolution -- and then we need never speak of him again.

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6.0
Wolverine (2010) #1000

Feb 14, 2011

It's certainly a good looking book, and since no story fails entirely, you should feel like you've gotten your money's worth. Certainly, if you just fancied reading a couple of Wolverine stories (as I did when I picked it up) it'll sate that desire, but at the end, Cross' is the only one that you might want to go back to once you've read it once.

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6.0
Wolverine (2013) #3

May 13, 2013

It's not the worst Wolverine comic you'll ever read by a long stretch, and Cornell's vision seems strong enough that the series as a whole will go somewhere interesting, given the time - but when the character is available in so many other places, it's a pity "Wolverine" #3 didn't elicit stronger feelings.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #2

Nov 28, 2011

So far, the only real problem is that the attack here does beg the question of whether Wolverine's decision to move away from Utopia has provided any substantial improvement in their chances of survival (and it'd be good to see that addressed), but as a free-standing story, Aaron and Bachalo knows what they're doing and it's undeniably great fun.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #10

May 14, 2012

It's certainly a book that will delight X-Men fans with its extensive character studies and its focus on inter-character relationships all over the X-Men franchise, but it's hard to imagine those dropping in for the sake of a tie-in will be entertained due to the focus on X-Men intrapolitics. It does answer the question of why Wolverine was willing to fight his friends, but there's a distinct lack of "Avengers Vs. X-Men" that in the end is likely to put non-regular readers off.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #11

Jun 4, 2012

Technically, it's an excellent comic with top quality art and scripting with a clear set of ideas to deliver. The only way it could have been improved is with a narrower focus, but that's not a mistake on Aaron's part, just the way he's choosing to execute. Still, all things considered this is probably the best tie-in yet and definitely worth a look.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #23

Jan 14, 2013

It's a testament to the creativity and capability of the book's team that this issue works at all, but it's perhaps a step too far into the weird, even for a series that typically embraces such things. It worked better that it should have, but let's hope this was an interlude, not the new norm.

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7.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #25

Feb 18, 2013

If anything's a problem with "Wolverine and the X-Men," it's that the sheer pace and number of storylines and characters leaves it feeling cluttered and often unsatisfying in a single-issue chunk. It's interesting to see Wolverine's brother turn up, but there are plots from last issue, from two issues ago, from probably ten issues ago that it'd be nice to see acknowledged, if not necessarily resolved. Yes, the concentration of material is part of the book's charm, but it's also what limits the amount of enjoyment you can get from any one issue. It looks great and it's an entertaining read, but after yet another hyper-dense issue of new plots springing up every three pages, it's hard not to feel as though a breather every now and again might be a good idea -- and once again, this is anything but.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #27

Mar 31, 2013

Despite that, it remains a consistent and overall enjoyable read. Few writers could get away with what Aaron does in this book, but that's part of what gives "Wolverine and the X-Men" its fiercely individualistic charm. Issue #27 isn't a classic on its own terms (and in fairness, the middle parts of any story will struggle to be) but in the end, it is a good indication of everything that makes the book what it is.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #27AU

Apr 22, 2013

Still, it's fair to say that this comic is better than it should've been, and that alone makes me eager to see what Kindt might do with the Marvel Universe when given a bit more room to craft a story of his own devising. It also makes me want to see more interaction between Wolverine and the Invisible Woman, which is something I never really expected. On those levels, it can only be called a success. If, however, you're looking for something about the "Wolverine and the X-Men" kids or an essential component of "Age of Ultron," this isn't the comic for you. That doesn't mean it isn't worth the time, but make sure you know what you're buying when you go into it.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #2

Feb 12, 2012

Still, with three more installments to go, there's plenty of time for the stakes to be raised. Even if that doesn't happen, this is still an immediately entertaining read with fantastic art, placing a spotlight on a little-explored character.

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7.0
Wolverine Origins #29

Nov 4, 2008

There's definitely a lot of mileage in this story, which examines the jumbled past of two morally grey X-Men and compares it with their present, and it's certainly accomplished its task of making me buy issues of "Wolverine: Origins" that I'd usually skip over. I'm perfectly pleased to do so, as long as the story is good. Even though these kind of crossovers made the X-line in particular very difficult to read around 10 years ago, I'd go so far as to say that used this sparingly, they're actually really enjoyable. Roll on the next two issues.

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5.0
Wolverine Origins #41

Oct 25, 2009

Unfortunately, after the rather climatic-feeling reveals of last issue, this one can't help but feel a bit limp. The Wolverine/Banner/Skaar scenes are perhaps worth a look, but otherwise it's destined to become a rather unremarkable comic.

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6.0
Wolverine Origins #50

Aug 2, 2010

Wolverine fans won't have long to wait for a new book, of course, with no less than two Wolverine on-goings cropping up alongside a Daken relaunch and an X-23 ongoing, but it's fair to say that this story had gone on long enough, and this issue, despite its flaws, can at least claim to be a fitting send-off for the title.

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4.0
Wolverine: Dangerous Game #1

Jun 10, 2008

A good second story doesn't really excuse the poor quality of the lead. Once again, this issue comes at the increasingly (and worryingly) popular $3.99 price point, and yet again, fails to deliver equivalent value. It's the latest in a line of sub-par Wolverine one-shots. The idea and format certainly have merit, but the quality needs to improve quickly before the audience is driven away for good.

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6.0
Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted #1

Jul 10, 2013

As a monthly proposition $2.99 isn't too great an outlay, but remember that this is a 13-part weekly comic. It's going to cost almost $40 for the whole story. It's too expensive for what it is. Perhaps there's a good reason why the economics don't work at $0.99 per issue. Maybe Marvel plans a price drop further down the line. But at $2.99, they'll only sell one issue to me, where at 99c, they'd have sold 13. "Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted" proves that Marvel has the stories and creators to bring in a new, digital audience, but given the choice between one issue of this and three issues of similar-quality material from their competitors -- even for a Marvel devotee, it's not a difficult choice.

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8.0
Wolverine: Manifest Destiny #1

Oct 29, 2008

While it sometimes seems as though Marvel thinks that there's always room for one more "Wolverine" story in the market, if they were all as strong as this issue there'd be far less reason to complain about that. As it is, you can at least rest assured that this is one of the better stories you can find the character in. A very promising start.

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8.0
Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size #1

Sep 23, 2009

Old Man Logan might not quite be the classic it could've been, but there's no denying that it's gone out with a bang. I wasn't the biggest fan of the story overall, but this final chapter is difficult to hate "- if you don't like watching Wolverine successfully hack his way through his enemies, then frankly, you don't like Wolverine. That may be all that this issue is, but in the case of Wolverine, well, that should be enough.

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6.0
Wolverine: Savage #1

Feb 8, 2010

The issue, then, is a rather odd mish-mash of styles. It's violent enough to show Wolverine using his claws on living creatures, but it's also tongue-in-cheek enough to show him doing the washing up. If you're the sort of person who avoids Marvel Adventures books because they're not in continuity, then this probably isn't for you. But if you're the sort of reader who appreciates a good story on its own merits, regardless of how it chooses to entertain you -" well, in having a sense of humor about its lead, it's instantly better than most of the other Wolverine one-shots we've seen recently.

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4.0
Wolverine: The Amazing Immortal Man & Other Bloody Tales #1

May 19, 2008

What really hurts this book rating is the price tag -- at $4 for a bunch of ultimately inconsequential Wolverine shorts, it needed to really justify that expense, and doesn't really do so. In fairness, there is an audience for this sort of material -- the casual Wolverine fan who simply wants a quick read -- but it's not going to be a must-buy for anyone except die-hard Lapham fans.

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3.0
Wolverine: The Best There Is #2

Jan 10, 2011

All in all, "Wolverine: The Best There Is" does little to convince me that a secondary Wolverine title needs to exist. I can almost buy the idea of giving him a mature-labelled series, but if this is the best use that can be made of the freedom to have Wolverine be a little more violent, then honestly, I'd rather not see it at all.

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8.0
Wolverine: Weapon X #10

Feb 8, 2010

Even so, it's an enjoyable issue over all, and perhaps it actually becomes more so when taken in isolation. It's the kind of introspective Wolverine story we see far too little of, and the kind that you can return to again and again. If you're a fan of Wolverine as a character, rather than a pure killing machine, it's undoubtedly a must-buy.

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7.0
Women of Marvel #2

Dec 6, 2010

The ending Shanna piece is probably the most technically impressive, both in terms of Mary HK Choi's writing, which meshes 1950s pulp homage/pastiche with idiosyncratic humor, and Nuno Plati's art, which gives both the jungle and Shanna an sketchy, lithe and ineffable air. Between the inventive storytelling and beautiful, cinematic visuals, it's a real gem, and ultimately, one which just about tips the book into "worth buying" territory.

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8.0
World War Hulks: Spider-Man Vs. Thor #1

Jul 19, 2010

In any case, it's still a far better comic than one could have ever predicted. Whether the concept will hold out over a second issue could be debated, but after an opener that strong, I'm more than willing to stay on board well beyond the opener.

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7.0
X-Factor #205

May 24, 2010

Still, it's hard to criticize a book like "X-Factor" for looking after its core audience, and if some incoming readers recognize its quality as a result of the crossover, well, that can only be a good thing.

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7.0
X-Factor #208

Aug 30, 2010

It's been a while since I reviewed "X-Factor," so I'm pleased to say that the book remains as strong as ever, helped enormously by the fact that the crossover has been banished from its pages once again. Solid, entertaining, and with a next issue preview that you can't help but look forward to. Not bad at all.

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7.0
X-Factor #212

Dec 21, 2010

At this point, at the end of the second/third major arc (depending on how you count the "Second Coming" crossover) it's hard to say whether "X-Factor"'s new direction is working especially well. Certainly, it's providing some interesting character combinations, and giving Madrox and Co. a chance to build their profile in the Marvel Universe, but at the same time, it lacks the intricacies and character focus of the few arcs that came before the relaunch. Arguably, it needed a change, but 12 issues in, it's not clear whether that change was for the better.

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5.0
X-Factor #214

Jan 24, 2011

It's rare that an issue of "X-Factor" isn't uniformly above-average, but honestly, that makes it all the more disappointing to find an issue that's merely average. Let's hope David's plans come to fruition sooner rather than later so we can claw a little back from what we just read.

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5.0
X-Factor #215

Jan 24, 2011

It's rare that an issue of "X-Factor" isn't uniformly above-average, but honestly, that makes it all the more disappointing to find an issue that's merely average. Let's hope David's plans come to fruition sooner rather than later so we can claw a little back from what we just read.

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7.0
X-Factor #221

Jun 20, 2011

Despite these complaints, it's important to note that X-Factor is, as ever, good in its own way. Solid foundations mean that every issue advances the story, and even the shakier moments offer plenty of entertainment for your money. Could it be better? Certainly, and it often is, but for now it's good enough.

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5.0
X-Factor #222

Jul 25, 2011

Still, the world's loss is "X-Factor"'s continued gain. When "X-Factor" has the right combination of script and artwork, it's one of Marvel's most enjoyable series, but between Lupacchino's absence and David's increasingly sluggish plotting, it's been a while since the book was on top form. Let's hope this storyline ends soon, and maybe the post-"Schism"/"Children's Crusade" effects can give it a much-needed shot in the arm.

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8.0
X-Factor #237

Jun 11, 2012

So, another good issue of "X-Factor" that recaptures the long-absent spirit of the book's early days. It's great to see a title cast in such a retro mold of sub-plots and single-issue stories that doesn't feel out-of-date. Where most books attempting to do something a bit more traditional end up feeling stilted and outmoded, "X-Factor" combines an older style of comic book storytelling with thoroughly modern techniques -- and the fact that it's not involved in any crossovers right now is just one more reason to enjoy it.

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7.0
X-Factor #247

Nov 26, 2012

Still, this issue reminds readers that if any comic on the stands right now is an antidote to the crossover-driven cycle of event and relaunch that permeates Marvel's line, it's "X-Factor." As usual, David delivers a wonderfully self-contained issue that should still work for new readers. Its tone, register and emphasis on old-school fundamentals means "X-Factor" won't be a book everyone takes to, but for now, it remains a book the X-line can be pleased to host overall.

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8.0
X-Factor #250

Jan 21, 2013

According to publicity, the Hell on Earth War storyline is one that has been percolating David's books as far back as his run on "Incredible Hulk," so for those readers who have followed his career since then, it's tough not to be excited at the prospect of a larger denouement. "X-Factor" is rarely anything less than great, and with so much work already having gone into this storyline, there's every reason to believe that, like this issue, this story's going to be even better than usual.

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6.0
X-Factor #256

May 20, 2013

Still, after multiple issues of scaled-up action, a chance of pace would be nice. Hopefully "X-Factor" can end strong on some more character-centric and shorter stories more typical of the book's tenure. David's past form on final issues is impressive (his "Incredible Hulk" and "Captain Marvel" finales spring to mind) so let's hope that "X-Factor" gets the send-off it deservers after so many issues.

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6.0
X-Factor #258

Jun 24, 2013

At this point, it remains to be seen whether this is just a series of epilogues of if there'll be a last-minute twist drawing everyone back together, but either way, at least no-one's getting neglected. That said, Wolfsbane has never felt like a natural fit for the superhero lifestyle so there isn't much drama over her leaving it. It's an issue that's fine, but has no huge surprises to deliver. Of course, next issue promises to finally address the relationship between Shatterstar and Longshot, so if it's surprises you want, maybe that one's worth waiting for.

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5.0
X-Factor #261

Aug 23, 2013

In the end, this feels an unspectacular issue in an unspectacular storyline. The idea of revisiting the cast members in turn to give them a proper send-off before the book's conclusion is good, but unusually for David, he doesn't seem to have made it work. Title aside, it doesn't feel like the series is reaching an ending. Instead of the grand send-off the series deserved, readers get a selection of weak gestures around the idea that life will probably just go on as normal. Apt for the series, perhaps, but not as enjoyable as the alternative.

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9.0
X-Factor Forever #1

Mar 22, 2010

Rounding out the contents are a handbook-style recap of X-Factor from their early days as the X-Men up until Louise Simonson's run concluded, and more interestingly, the first part of an "Origin of Apocalypse" backup strip which tells Simonson's version of the character's beginnings. It's not much of a story in itself, but as a fan of Apocalypse, I can't help enjoy it, and it only helps the book feel worth its price tag. Once again, despite all logic to the contrary, "X-Factor Forever" transcends its nostalgist3 beginnings to become a genuinely entertaining and enjoyable book.

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7.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #30

Apr 23, 2008

As ever, David's "X-Factor" is, even in light of recent shuffles, setting the standard for the entire X-line to follow with its blend of modern superheroics, soap-opera plots and complex character interaction. An utter must-buy for any mutant fans.

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5.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #35

Sep 23, 2008

Unfortunately for readers, while the story and script are both engaging, neither can be fully appreciated until Stroman tightens up his work. You know there's a problem when the artwork actively distracts you from the story. It feels harsh to criticize so strongly, but it can't be ignored that Stroman is clearly capable of much better work, and the buyers of "X-Factor" deserve better too.

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8.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #37

Nov 28, 2008

Even though the rest of the line is belatedly catching up with it, X-Factor remains not only the single best X-Book being published, but one of the most consistently written ever. If only it could find a full-time penciller...

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9.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #41

Mar 23, 2009

In an industry where any increase in sales at all would be bucking the trend enormously, "X-Factor" seems almost capable of making such a turnaround. There was a time when the title was routinely described as "the best X-book Marvel is publishing" -- whether David got complacent, or the rest of the line simply improved to match his standards is a point for debate. A point that is indisputable, however, is that over the last couple of issues, David has placed the series back on top of the pile. Masterfully written, entertaining to read, it's one of those comics that should delight anyone who thinks they're a fan of superhero soap-opera, or those who cry out for single-issue stories instead of plodding, decompressed arc. If either of those sentences describe you, pick it up immediately. Don't let the hard work of these creators go to waste.

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8.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #42

Apr 20, 2009

There's very little to criticize about X-Factor as it stands -- Valentine DeLandro's work is light years ahead of most of the book's previous artists, and it's particularly nice, as a reader, to see some consistency on a book that'd been dogged by artistic reshuffles in recent years. It might not be quite so obviously the best X-title around anymore, but it makes me care about the characters and never fails to leave me ready for another issue. In that respect, it's got everything I'm after in a comic.

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8.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #46

Jul 15, 2009

Still, that's a minor concern in an otherwise enjoyable issue. After floundering for some time around "Messiah Complex" and "Secret Invasion," "X-Factor" has really fallen back into its groove. Perhaps that's purely down to David's writing. Perhaps it's down to some excellent art teams turning up over the last few months. Or perhaps it's simply the return of Layla Miller to the title that has re-energized it. Either way, I can't wait for the next issue.

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8.0
X-Factor: Nation X #1

Jan 11, 2010

This is just the latest example of Marvel playing fast and loose with its own continuity, and although it's easy to accuse detractors of nitpicking, ultimately this kind of thing harms both the story and the reader's experience by sucking all the dramatic tension out of titles; "X-Factor," still on the fringes of the X-Men franchise, is a book which works best when it thrives on that tension, rather than deliberately sabotages it.

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6.0
X-Factor: The Quick and the Dead #1

May 10, 2008

Those things aside, it's a perfectly serviceable issue, made enjoyable by Peter David's flair for dialogue and Raimondi's fantastic artwork. Whether it's supposed to be a character reset because the X-Office is done using him, or the beginning of a new arc for Quicksilver is unclear, but either way, the issue is worth the money for anyone interested in mutants, or even Avengers continuity -- not just "X-Factor" buyers.

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7.0
X-Force #4

Jun 3, 2008

While it's not perfect, "X-Force" is at least entertainingly imperfect, and there are far worse positions a title could be in. Kyle, Yost and Crain have many more chances to make their work click properly, and if they throw as much passion into every issue as much as they do this one, we'll all reap the benefits soon enough.

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7.0
X-Force #5

Jul 22, 2008

Speaking of the offensive, it's actually quite astonishing to see what Marvel are allowing Kyle, Yost and Crain to get away with in the pages of "X-Force". There's a lot of graphic brutality in the title and the bleakness is nothing short of unrelenting, with Rahne still experiencing the negative effects of the drugs she was given and Archangel in a blind, despairing rage over the loss of his wings again. There's nothing close to a ray of sunshine in this story so far. Yost and Kyle are more at home with the tone than they were in "New X-Men", but it's arguable how much despair readers can take. No-one's asking for broad comedy and slapstick, but as they say, a change is as good as a rest -- anything a little less on the gloomy side, even for a second, would be a welcome addition to the title.

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6.0
X-Force #10

Dec 29, 2008

X-Force isn't perfect, but it is unique and has a clear idea of what it wants to deliver. The completion of the title's second arc cements a strong identity and further defines an already well-rounded cast. The X-line as a whole is offering some very high quality reading these days, and this issue is a good example of exactly how "X-Force" manages to hold its own against strong competition.

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7.0
X-Force #14

Apr 22, 2009

So far, Messiah War has kept a tight focus, doing well to replicate the gravity of its predecessor, Messiah Complex, while having only a fraction of the page-time to work with. Each chapter is a speedy read, but when it looks this good and tries this hard, it's all adding up to a crossover that's going to be fondly remembered.

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4.0
X-Force #25

Apr 4, 2010

"Necrosha" never felt like the crossover it was billed as, seeing that "New Mutants"/"X-Men Legacy" got scant mention throughout. It's now pretty clear that it was really just an "X-Force" storyline with lofty ambitions that struggled to be realized in the execution. Ultimately, after months of build-up, it's hard not to come away feeling. . . underwhelmed.

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7.0
X-Force #28

Jul 12, 2010

In fairness, "X-Force" does provide the big story beats that the audience needed to see, and it does so with obvious confidence. The problem is that it does so at the expense of the smaller details.

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5.0
X-Force Annual #1

Dec 8, 2009

For any other team, a narrow focus on one or two characters would be fine "- welcome, even. But taking the two most over-exposed characters in the Marvel Universe (with a total of 6 titles to their names) and billing it as an "X-Force" annual... well, to be honest, it's not really on, and in the end it sours the reading experience just that little bit more than it should.

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6.0
X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue #1

Apr 1, 2009

Choi and Oback's artwork is a merciful respite from the mediocrity of the plotting, though it's not the only good thing about the issue. Yost and Kyle's dialogue is often very good, especially when Deadpool arrives in an even more insane than usual. "Messiah War" doesn't have quite the same