Jeb Delia's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: CHUD Reviews: 400
7.0Avg. Review Rating

7.0
'68 #1

Sep 30, 2011

Bonnie Lass is a sprightly lark of a book, that only occasionally takes itself more seriously than it needs to. Highly recommended to lovers of wacky, cartoony art and endearingly dumb jokes.

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9.0
100 Bullets: Brother Lono #2

Jul 19, 2013

I could talk about how the creative team have acquitted themselves here, but you know what I would say. So, I'll just finish with this. Azzarello and Risso are seasoned creators, and they do what they do well in starting a series that's one part Spaghetti Western and another part The Postman Always Rings Twice. Brother Lono doesn't quite signal a coup for the pair, but another entry in the career of a creative pairing with this degree of command over the genres they choose to work in is always welcome.

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8.0
3 Guns #1

Aug 2, 2013

I like the idea of a comic book version of an '80′s-style buddy-action movie franchise, and Steven Grant seems quite ready to deliver us such. Is there going to be a 1 Gun prequel?

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7.0
47 Ronin #1

Nov 9, 2012

47 Ronin is about what you'd expect from Richardson and Sakai in terms of quality. It's good and up to its task, but nothing earth-shattering. There are certainly worse ways to spend your comics budget this week, but probably others that are more thrilling.

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9.0
A Voice In The Dark #1

Nov 29, 2013

Oh, and the real hook? In the text piece at the end of the book, we get Larime Taylor's story, along with a photograph: the writer and artist of this admirably diverse comic is a white dude with an aging-hippie ponytail, who has a disability that robs him of the use of his arms, and forces him to do all his work on computer, with a Wacom tablet, by means of a stylus held between his teeth. This first issue would be a helluva start for a fully-abled woman of color; for a physically-challenged white male, it's a noteworthy achievement. More to the point, though, it's a gripping introductory chapter (as well as a generous 40 pages) that would have me eager for more, even if I knew nothing of the author's personal story.

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4.0
A+X #1

Nov 3, 2012

I have nothing against team-up books per se, and comics that are allowed to stand apart from the rigors of monthly continuity have their special charms. But they rarely manage much in the way of depth or resonance in so few pages, and a comic that I've pretty much forgotten the minute it's over isn't one I'll be forking out for in future.

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6.0
Action Comics (2011) #1

Sep 9, 2011

Grant Morrison and Rags Morales relaunch Action Comics with a sequence of callbacks and shoutouts to the original (several panels and situations are taken straight out of early issues of Action). We have a Smallville-style Superman who is not quite yet fully super, a bit of a card (he even appropriates Rambo's "your worst nightmare" line), and with a mean streak where bad guys are concerned. And, of course, no one loves the Golden Age more than Morrison, so the tale spun here, of Metropolis' reaction to the mysterious "superman" that has emerged, is pretty good.

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3.0
Action Comics (2011) #5

Jan 9, 2012

None of this changes the fact that this simply isn't the comic we need right now, and worse, it's actively part of the problem. It's reinventing the wheel, when what we need is a cradle-shaped rocket to bear new ideas safely away from the imploding mess that is the mainstream superhero genre.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #9

May 11, 2012

On the other hand, this comic slipped out last week and seems to have flown under everyone's radar, so maybe this will go down as one of the all-time examples of a comics writer biting the hand that feeds him an getting away with it. But even if DC is still going to let him get away with this kind of thing, I can't imagine Morrison wanting to let them for much longer. A better universe awaits.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #18

Mar 22, 2013

The final issue of Morrison's Action Comics is much like the rest of his run: stimulating and provoking, but with only the briefest flashes of that little bit of something that's made his past work with the character so special and memorable.

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9.0
Adventure Time #1

Feb 10, 2012

Graig: I agree fully. Honestly though, as much as I enjoyed everything in this issue, my favourite part of this book: the Creator Bio/Next Issue page. I don't know what it is about this page that tickles me so pinkly, but the photo of Lucy Knisley under “Also featuring: ‘Laudromarceline'” has doubly sold me on the next issue. It's now a priority to start watching this show, Actually at this stage I'm hoping it lives up to the comic.

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8.0
Age of Ultron #1

Mar 8, 2013

Of course, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out structurally: a story that should have, essentially, capped off the pre-Marvel NOW! version of the Marvel U, is going to have to stand as a little self-contained island of awkward continuity alongside the new directions we're seeing from writers like Remender, Fraction, Hickman, and Bendis himself. Just imagine if it works, though: it might actually convince the powers that be of the fact that endless reboots and resets aren't needed to prolong the life of superhero comics: just get some great storytellers, with some good ideas, and turn them loose.

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8.0
Alabaster: Wolves #1

Apr 13, 2012

Alabaster: Wolves is a series worth checking out if you're willing to deal with some minor barriers to entry. If you like Moorcock's Elric stories (an obvious touchstone) or some of the better Hellblazer runs, give this one a shot.

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5.0
Aliens Vs. Parker #1

Apr 12, 2013

There's the germ of a good genre-comedy here, and Scheer and Giovannetti are talented enough to pull it off, but they need more familiarity with storytelling in the medium and tailoring to their artist's strengths to do so. Maybe with this first series under their belt a sequel or second effort from the team would prove more successful? It wouldn't be unwelcome anyway.

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8.0
All-New Ghost Rider #1

Mar 29, 2014

I've never worked up much interest in Ghost Rider as a character, and I really figured that Aaron's recent psychotic run on the book was as much singed-skull action as I'd need for the foreseeable future. But even if I'm not wholly convinced that making the rider a Hispanic muscle-car racer is enough of a conceptual rebirth to invest me in the character, I'm absolutely onboard for the first arc, just to see what other eyefucks Moore, Daniel, Staples, and Smith have in store for me.

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5.0
Alter Ego #5

Feb 28, 2014

While I like that this comic is treading some uncommon ground for modern comics, any time the primary objective of a story is nostalgia, a reader has to really love the genre as much as the writer to make it worthwhile. Since I'm far too young to have nostalgic feelings for the WW2 era crime comics, I find those kinds of comics to be overly simple and kind of boring. In this case, mixing in the old Alter-Ego concept really didn't help and actually mired the story down with exposition necessary to catch up new readers on the old concept. Regardless, there are a lot of people whom I firmly believe will enjoy this much more than I did. So, I wanted to give Alter-Ego #5 some attention for a nice effort that needs to find its fans.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #666

Jul 29, 2011

Yeah, it's a “prelude,” but a good one, and I ‘m thankful that Marvel didn't get gimmicky with the whole “666″ thing by bringing back Mephisto or whatever (I know there's a big multi-cover promotion going on in conjunction with this issue, but I've only seen the one posted here). I think it might be time to settle myself back in to regular reading of Amazing Spider-Man.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1

May 3, 2014

Though Marvel somewhat treads on Slott's toes by having already revealed to the press one of his little secret tidbits from this issue, they've given him his head with the character over the past few years, and while not everything has clicked equally well, Superior Spider-Man showed that he could craft a strong superhero adventure that wasn't wholly reliant on his trick bag of jokes, eccentricities, and Stan Lee-era nostalgia. He's at the top of his game with this reboot, and if your tolerance for Ramos' art is higher than mine, this might be at least a four-star recommendation.

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7.0
Amelia Cole #1

Jul 13, 2012

Still, for all of the flaws present, this is one damn likeable comic book. There's a kernel of earnestness here, and I think that the book would be well served by erring more toward that impulse than to the urge to be hip or cool. There is a lot of skill and potential on display here, as well as a bit of heart. If the creative team can bring a bit more passion and confidence to future issues of this series, I'll probably be able to quote another part of Gonzo's song, "I'd like to go back there someday."

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6.0
American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #1

Jun 15, 2012

Still, I think it's wise of Snyder to make this book a spinoff from the main series and not part of the main storyline. Dracula stands for the old world, for the dead hand of the past; it may be fundamentally impossible to make him seem new, and by doing so, he becomes a bit of a drag on any attempt to innovate. You can make him scary, but you can't really make him feel vital.

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9.0
Animal Man #2

Oct 7, 2011

Lemire understands what has been done before with Animal Man, from Morrison's meta-foundation to Jamie Delano's creepier explanation of Buddy's powers, and he utilizes them and twists them to his own unique working. He's honoring the character's past without repeating it. Artist Travel Foreman has an exceptionally unique style, which often sees bodies and faces contorted in weird ways, as well his inking is a strange mix of thinly constructed lines, hard black shadows and feathery brushed shading, altogether making for a unusual-looking book, yet an absolutely perfect fit.

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8.0
Animal Man #3

Nov 5, 2011

I haven't read anything like this in a while, and I'm happy to say I'm in it for the long haul.

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6.0
Annihilators: Earthfall #1

Sep 30, 2011

As with the last mini-series, “Earthfall” also features a Rocket Raccoon back-up feature, though now reduced to 5 pages of tightly told frivolity. Unlike the main feature, Abnett and Lanning capture the perfect tone for the characters, and are backed up by the appropriate artist in Timothy Green II, whose expressive illustrations have a cartoonish nature without being too cartoony about it.

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6.0
Aquaman (2011) #1

Sep 30, 2011

But if anything works in Johns' script, it's in large part to Ivan Reis, who has transformed into one of the premiere artists in the industry over the past few years. Teamed with Joe Prado on inks, his lines are feathery, his shadows are soft, but they combine to make some beautiful imagery. Reis knows how to craft a powerful splash page, but he crafts talking heads with as equal interest and care, and the dexterity in his facial expressions have reached new levels here as Aquaman reacts with many different levels of frustration throughout. As with Green Lantern #1 and Doug Mahnke, here Johns is teamed with an artist who is able to overcome a middling script and make a book that's worth coming back to.

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7.0
Aquaman (2011) #10

Jun 29, 2012

Aquaman is a really well executed series that's been getting harder to recommend. Not because of any complex continuity issues or lack of quality, but a lack of impact. We've had plenty of payoff recently, but it's payoff without setup, like a punchline without a joke.

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8.0
Archer & Armstrong #0

May 11, 2013

This is a zero issue that's worth the stop, and even if you haven't already checked out the series yet, worth getting on.

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9.0
Archer & Armstrong #1

Aug 10, 2012

Though Archer & Armstrong remains the only Valiant title to survive the recent purging of my comic book collection, my fondness for the characters was relatively faint. Consider it rekindled.

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8.0
Archer & Armstrong #6

Jan 18, 2013

Archer and Armstrong is one of 2012's great surprises, and is continuing strongly into 2013. Well worth reading from the beginning, it's a series that effectively balances comedy and adventure that feels like it has real stakes. In a world where old pulp characters are getting serious treatments, Archer and Armstrong is here to remind us that good pulp can makes us laugh as well as gasp.

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5.0
Astonishing X-Men #50

May 26, 2012

Is the comic any good? Well, writer Marjorie Liu steals a base by bringing in the Black Widow, a character she writes as well as anyone, for some expository convo with Wolverine, so that's a good thing. But that's only one of several similarly static sequences in which we're peppered with more backstory and explanation than ought to be necessary in a series that operates theoretically outside the strict confines of monthly X continuity. There's the requisite flying and punchups for those in the cheap seats, but I don't get the sense that Liu is balancing the relationship stuff with the splode stuff as well as she has in past outings (so to speak). Anyway, the real thing happens next issue, so you might as well wait for that one; you can hunt down the .jpg of Kyle's reaction shot to keep you amused in the meantime.

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9.0
Astro City (2013) #1

Jun 7, 2013

This series has always switched in tone between the more intimate, subdued and "realistic" scenes and the larger, more traditional comic book moments, but here there's a more tongue-in-cheek self-awareness to the "comic book" scenes as well, reflecting the snarky, Joss Whedonesque tone of modern comics. There's even some fractured, overlapping dialogue that seems to be a nod to Brian Michael Bendis. (Don't worry, it's just a panel or two.) I would have been delighted just to get more of the same when it comes to this series, but this issue makes it clear that Busiek and Anderson want to keep moving forward stylistically as well. The world of Astro City never stands still; why should its creators?

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6.0
Atomic Robo Presents: Real Science Adventures #1

Mar 30, 2012

By the way, if you're wondering why my individual page counts don't add up to the listed 26, Red 5 precedes each story with a full title page; while it does provide a nice transition from story to story, anyone computing cost per page might want to bear that in mind. And since we don't get a lot of free comics to review here at Thor's Comic Column, I should also mention that I was actually able to review a free pdf of this book, which means my evaluation is probably a bit more generous than it might have been if I'd had to pay for it. It's all quite nice, but I suspect most readers would find their money better spent on one of the complete-story Atomic Robo collections that are currently available, and telling the folks at Red 5 that a full-length ongoing from The Sparrow would be most welcome.

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7.0
Atomic Robo: Ghost of Station X #1

Sep 9, 2011

The sales charts would suggest that most of you out there aren't reading Atomic Robo yet, and I'm disappointed: get on it, folks. Like Hellboy or Invincible, it's the kind of pure comic-book fun that I know a lot of you don't feel that you're getting from the Big 2 these days.

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7.0
Avengers (2010) #25

Apr 21, 2012

That's not to say it's bad, necessarily, but as a setup for the Avengers/X-Men crossover that's just getting under way, it has a tenuous feel, with lots of beginnings (Cap and Thor reunite, A.I.M. lays the groundwork for its latest scheme of conquest, The Protector gets marching orders from the Kree Supreme Intelligence, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman snog), but the sense that the payoffs are still quite a ways down the road. There are some nice moments (I like the idea that Noh-Varr's too busy to respond to Thor's effusively elegant greeting: "Oh. Okay. Yeah, listen""), but not much goes on that won't be referenced over and over again in future issues of the crossover. Simonson delivers when Bendis gives him a big team throwdown with A.I.M., but the writer also hands him a fair amount of characters standing around or watching TV. This is definitely not the story I'd have dreamed of Simonson returning to Marvel to illustrate, but I'll take what I can get.

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10
Avengers (2010) Annual #1

Jan 9, 2012

But, hey" damn fine artwork.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #1

Dec 7, 2012

As is typical for a debut issue, I try to balance my grading between what's actually contained within the book's covers, and what expectations are created by the creators' track records, and what they offer for openers; given that, I'm expecting some great things.

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7.0
Avengers (2012) #18

Aug 23, 2013

Avengers #18 is a more or less "obligatory" early chapter in the story, but it overcomes that handicap with sharp execution.

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8.0
Avengers 1959 #1

Oct 7, 2011

It seems likely that the concept of the self-contained miniseries will eventually be the first permanent casualty of declining comics readership, since without the need to “keep up” with happenings in the rest of the Marvel U, a reader might as well wait for the trade version of a story like this. That said, this comic does an exceptional job of packing the first “set-up” issue of this mini with great colorful comic book fun.

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7.0
Avengers 1959 #5

Jan 13, 2012

Being a climactic showdown and all, there's not a ton of analysis to be done regarding this comic; if you're a fan of Chaykin's cheerful brutality and fresh-faced cynicism, you've probably been onboard for four issues, and have already devoured this one, hoping for more. If you're one of those readers who takes a more, shall we say, “measured” approach to Chaykin's sensibilities, I'd at least suggest you consider browsing the trade in your LCS, to see if it's for you: like Rick Remender's Punisher, Chaykin's 1959 Avengers are a highly idiosyncratic take on familiar Marvel characters, by a creator with a vision that's unique, to say the least.

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5.0
Avengers A.I. #1

Jul 6, 2013

I have the sense that Humphries is going for something on the order of Nextwave here, with Victor more interested in coming up with a cool superhero name than anything else, while the Doombot rages about being forced to join the team (after Pym cheerfully introduces him, Doombot snarls "My most fervent wish is to crush your pathetic freedoms beneath my boots."), all the while having Pym act loonier and loonier. But where Ellis and Immonen kept their satirical knives sharpened the entire way, Humphries and artist Andre Lima Araujo (at least in this first issue) seem more interested in just grafting a bit of yuk-yuk-yuk onto a standard superhero adventure, and Araujo's cheerfully cartoony pencils emphasize the wacky at the expense of anything that might carry weight. It's an amusing idea for a one-off, but a continuing series that hinges on unhinging such a core Marvel U character as Henry Pym is likely to run out of steam sooner rather than later.

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5.0
Avengers Arena #1

Dec 14, 2012

Whatever virtues stuff like Battle Royale and Hunger Games may possess, Hopeless and Walker seem content just to let you know they've read them (or are at the very least aware of them), rather than growing or expanding upon the “inspiration.” It's not impossible that there's a grand plan underlying this comic that will reveal itself in future issues, but I'll take the risk of missing out on it.

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6.0
Avengers Assemble #1

Mar 16, 2012

There isn't anything here readers of genre fiction haven't experienced before, but it's competent and classic in all it accomplishes. Each character is highlighted in a spot-on moment, the villains are clear (although their goals have built up a nice mystery), the action is compelling, and it's anything but decompressed storytelling as the team is formed from issue #1 and already thrust into a narrative struggle. I can't help but lament, however, Bendis' waste of natural talent. He's long since abandoned his true calling, crime fiction, even having steered Powers in a more traditional superheroic direction. Being waist-deep in superheroes can't be his ultimate goal as a writer. Can it?

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6.0
Avengers Assemble #18

Aug 23, 2013

One nice thing about Infinity is the relatively manageable size of the project: outside of the Infinity/Avengers/New Avengers continuity, there are only three "tie-in" issues from other titles. Avengers Assemble #18 is the first of them, and while it's a typically thoughtful, entertaining outing from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, with classically old-school superhero art from Barry Kitson and Gary Erskine, it's somewhat hampered by a scheduling glitch on Marvel's part.

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6.0
Avengers Origins: Luke Cage #1

Nov 19, 2011

I should tell you that there is also a 6-page preview of the upcoming Jeph Loeb / Ed McGuiness X-Sanction series. I'm sorry.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #1

Mar 30, 2012

Again, Avengers vs. X-Men #1 is what it is; an eventuality. This one could easily have been phoned in but what you get is a well-written, well-drawn reward for longtime Marvel readers. It truly reads like the comics event of the summer and so far, delivers on its premise and promise.

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #6

Jun 22, 2012

I don't know that Avengers vs X-Men #6 works particularly well as a standalone comic, but as the most provocative chapter in what has, so far, been a relatively mundane crossover event, I give it high marks.

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6.0
Avengers: The Enemy Within #1

Jun 1, 2013

It's more or less par for the course to hope that a creator can use this sort of crossover with the A-team to attract new readers to a fringe title like Captain Marvel, so yeah, I'd like to see that happen. But I'd also like to see this crossover find a tone that doesn't swamp that book's virtues in a barrage of word balloons and snarky wisecracks.

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1.0
Avengers: X-Sanction #1

Dec 16, 2011

I know this is leading up to some big Avengers/X-Men thing, and I'll try not to pre-judge what other creative teams may have to offer. But for now, can't we please send Loeb back to negotiating TV deals for Marvel and have him quit pestering these poor comic book characters and their long-suffering readers?

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4.0
AVX: VS #1

Apr 27, 2012

That said, if you do wind up picking up AVX: VS #1, do it for The Thing/Namor showdown, a solid FIVE STAR EFFORT. The Magneto/Iron Man effort" well, they both get to live to fight another day.

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7.0
Axe Cop: President Of The World #1

Jul 30, 2012

I love it, but your mileage may vary depending on how you feel about the Axe Cop concept.

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5.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1

Feb 17, 2012

Not the best start for a new series, but it has a lot of good will. There's dread and atmosphere a plenty, but it's all very familiar: Special forces team is sent to deal with supernatural threat and most of the team is wiped out, leaving a mismatched duo to fend for themselves while hashing out personal problems. It's competently done, but the maudlin mood and murky art isn't welcoming for new readers, and can't manage to recreate the old spirit for fans.

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7.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1

Mar 30, 2012

While this is technically issue 1 of 2, it's really just another chapter in Mignola's ongoing epic, and will be required reading for anyone invested in the Hellboyverse.

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8.0
Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1

Aug 12, 2011

Story-wise, of course, this isn't a vast remove from the usual Hellboy stuff"monster killer kills monsters against gothic old-world backdrop. Mignola's a guy who knows what he does well, and is happy to keep working in that mode. It seems his fans are happy to see him doing this as well, so if you're one, you know what to expect. And why should that be a problem, when he does it so well?

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8.0
Batman '66 #1

Jul 19, 2013

I started this review by talking about comics' desire to distance itself from its cheesy past, but of course wallowing in nostalgia is a recipe for creative ossification, too. But whereas much of modern DC seems to be providing the worst of both worlds in this regard, Batman '66 hits the sweet spot of paying tribute to the past while using it as a springboard for something that feels fresh.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #0

Sep 14, 2012

Overall, given the quality of these books, particularly as done-in-one books, the zero issues may actually be a high point of the New 52 so far, a genuinely accessible starting point for new readers to hop on in a manner the new #1s didn't quite manage to accomplish en masse.

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10
Batman (2011) #1

Sep 23, 2011

With Batman #1, Snyder and Capullo spotlight all of the things that make Batman great. From Batman's handling of Rogues Gallery to a single panel of the Bat-Boys of Bruce, Dick, Tim and Damien together, they hit all the right marks that every Bat-fan, smart, new and old needs to see and then some.

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10
Batman (2011) #5

Jan 24, 2012

I truly believe this issue of Batman will continue to occupy this space within my mind, as well.

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10
Batman and Robin (2011) #2

Oct 14, 2011

Batman and Robin #2 is simply a comic with a lot of soul. We need more of this.

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10
Batman and Robin (2011) #18

Mar 16, 2013

Patrick Gleason beautifully portrays all of this from a Peter Tomasi script; the feelings of hurt, the outrage and at times, the indignation. Gleason's Batman/Bruce Wayne is a man on the verge of breaking. Gleason, with the final page, leaves you with nothing but a man. Gleason on one page strips away Batman and Bruce Wayne and leaves you with a man I thought I'd never see; a man without answers, a man trying so very hard to deal with what he's lost. In that final page, he's never been more of a father.

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10
Batman and Robin (2011) #19

Apr 12, 2013

She's exactly what the New 52 needs more of right now.

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7.0
Batman Incorporated #1

May 26, 2012

Other than this hiccup, Batman, Inc. seems to be back on track. As I wrote about the latest issue of Action Comics, it seems more and more like Morrison is detaching himself from DC's editorial mandates and corporate policies, trying to find his own path and stick to it while ignoring any attempt to fit in. The ship may be sinking all around him, but Morrison's band plays on.

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8.0
Batman Incorporated #13

Aug 2, 2013

I'm quite certain that this final issue will read differently picking it up a month(ish) after the last one, than it will having reread Batman Inc from the start of the New 52 run, than it will rereading the full series run from the beginning, than it will reading back to Morrison's first Batman and Son story. When the time allows, it will be interesting to see how its context changes. Equally it will be interesting to see Morrison's overall impact on the Bat-lore going forward.

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5.0
Batman Incorporated: Special #1

Aug 31, 2013

Batman Inc. Special wants to be that issue of Superman/Batman so badly it hurts, but it lacks the conviction and clarity of purpose to be anything other than an overpriced distraction. We don't need to keep redefining Batman or snowcloning him across the world " we just need better Batman comics and more of them. This is not one of them, but it could be much worse. Seriously, it's just that " fine, safe, boilerplate. I'm not expecting Christmas and birthday rolled into one every time I open a comic book, but at least give me something worth getting excited about.

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7.0
Batman, Inc.: Leviathan Strikes! #1

Dec 23, 2011

There's a lot of weird time-jumps and hallucinations that make it kind of hard to tell exactly what's going on in this story, in true Morrisonian fashion, but it builds to a nonetheless exciting climax with a lot of fascinating if sometimes half-baked ideas (again, typical for Morrison) and a twist that seems logical enough, though as presented I felt it made Leviathan rather less interesting and more generic than I would have hoped, more like something we've seen before. That's just an initial impression, though, and the stage is set for an interesting conclusion to Morrison's bat-saga, which will thankfully be coming in the new year; it would have been spectacularly lame to leave Morrison's epic, which has been rolling forward for over fifty issues across multiple titles, without a true ending.

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6.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #1

Jun 29, 2013

Even though Batman/Superman is nothing revolutionary, I do find myself wanting to see where it goes, and if it develops the voice that it needs to to thrive. I doubt that it will ever be more than a solid good time that looks great, but sometimes that's enough.

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10
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #16

Feb 10, 2012

Batman: The Brave And The Bold #16 is unfortunately, a final issue and yet, isn't. It is a simple statement of what makes comics a great medium in which to work. We need more comics like this.

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5.0
Battle Scars #6

Apr 27, 2012

Do I sound cynical? Not at all" because I know what the whole point of this exercise really is: to get the original Nick Fury out of the Marvel Universe so that Garth Ennis can once more have his wicked way with the crusty superagent in his upcoming new MAX series! See, now that they've got a big-time movie star playing Fury onscreen, everyone can forget the legendary gaffe of George Clooney putting the kibosh on a Fury film when someone slipped him a copy of Ennis' previous outing with the character. Instead, Ennis can make Nick the same antisocial bastard we saw in Fury and in his Punisher MAX appearances, without offending anyone's tender sensibilities, since no one outside the established MAX/Ennis fanbase will ever see it– I can't wait. Well played, Mr. Quesada!

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8.0
Batwoman #1

Sep 23, 2011

Still, there's no other book like this on the stands, and it's so refreshing to see a book that backgrounds continuity and other wankish fan concerns for pure sensation. Whereas so many superhero books make art subservient to the story, this book flips the dynamic around, shaking up the status quo and giving us a glimpse, however brief, of how comics could be. If the common complaint about comics is that you can blow through them in ten minutes, maybe providing comics that can be appreciated like a museum gallery will help provide us with our money's worth.

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8.0
Bedlam #4

Feb 18, 2013

While it's hard to disparage the Batman and Joker relationship right now (give the incredible conclusion to "Death of the Family" in the Batman title this week) Spencer has crafted a stimulating twist on it, taking it somewhere deeper and darker he probably couldn't have gone with DC's characters. Bedlam is a sober, moody, chilling and graphic bit of business, which, depending on your receptiveness to such things is either great praise or a dire warning.

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5.0
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1

Jun 8, 2012

Given the talent involved in all these comics, there's no point in dismissing them en masse: any serious fan of Darwyn Cooke is going to want to see his latest project, regardless of what it is, and the same will hold true for fans of creators like Amanda Conner, Brian Azzarello, or J.G. Jones. And I don't doubt that some of them will turn in some great-looking stuff. I just don't know that it will add up to much; Minutemen #1 certainly doesn't.

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4.0
Before Watchmen: Moloch #1

Nov 9, 2012

This is a shame, as a Moloch story is one of the more potentially interesting Watchmen spinoffs, and as with the Minutemen or the Tales of the Black Freighter, it might have actually broken new ground. But like the Minutemen, the story circles around to cling to the events of Watchmen, making this nothing but padding. The ending, admittedly, hints at a potentially interesting twist–"and an unconvincing redemption for the lead character"–but the series was already "potentially interesting" before I cracked it open, and that potential never paid off.

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6.0
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1

Aug 17, 2012

In a sense, that's the problem of picking up characters who were built to exist in a closed loop: they are no longer the characters they once were, and that has been the Achilles heel in the Before Watchmen effort from the beginning, no matter how much talent has been brought to the table. Rorschach is worth it for the art alone, but I think that this would have worked better as a revival of The Question, or Mr. A, both characters with more flexible relationships to the outside world.

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4.0
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1

Jun 15, 2012

While Cooke and Conner try to capture some of Moore and Gibbons voice, they ultimately fail. It feels much like the Watchmen film: it is an aping rather than a tribute. Silk Spectre gets some of the motions down, but the content behind them feels off. Like the image the nom-de-crimefighting of the principal heroine evokes, Silk Spectre, and the Before Watchmen effort, is but a shade.

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7.0
Black Kiss 2 #1

Aug 3, 2012

I can't exactly recommend Black Kiss 2 (or 1, for that matter) in any general way: if you don't buy into Chaykin's perversely sullied worldview, you may find this comic exploitive in all the wrong ways. Problem is, apart from the shock value, Chaykin simply can't shut up enough to let his art tell the story, so there's little of the sense of creepy discovery that the best horror storytelling provides; everything's signposted in big, screaming letters. It's best thought of as a more or less direct pipeline to the id of one of comics' most important veterans: if the latest chapter of the career of Howard Chaykin is a priority for you, Black Kiss 2 is a must; the casual horror fan may find the whole thing a bit too obvious.

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6.0
Blackacre #1

Dec 7, 2012

It's possible the sense of blandness is partly emanating from the artwork, by Wendell Cavalcanti and Sergio Abad. Sterile and stiff, with rather distorted-looking human faces, this is a decidedly amateurish effort that can't seem to decide if it's going for old-fashioned sleekness or modern detail, and as a result falls between two stools. Even the colors are mechanical and flat. I've given better reviews to comics with worse art, but that's usually because there was a sense of amateurish exuberence present; here, there's an assembly-line feel that makes it seem like an attempt to ape some of Avatar's lesser offerings. I don't mean to sound TOO harsh here–Blackacre #1isn't really worse than some of the weaker issues of, say,Astro City–but the art really turned me off. Too bad, because the script shows a really impressive level of proficiency.

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4.0
Blackhawks #1

Sep 30, 2011

The character, costume, vehicle and set designs are all generally uninspiring when that, like G.I. Joe, is what should be focused upon to sell the book. The characters don't need elaborate superhero costumes, but they do need something more defining, and certainly shouldn't have such an extreme 90"s aesthetic to them. The coloring is a rare miscalculation from the usually exceptional Guy Major. The illustrations are filled in with muted browns, grays and greens, with no real flair or flourishes to catch the eye. The characters seem to blend into their vehicles just as the buildings seem to blend into the ground and sky. It's just a dull looking book.

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7.0
Bloodstrike #26

Mar 30, 2012

It certainly is Extreme! The premise is by-the-numbers, and I have to admit to feeling ennui myself at the assembly line of killers in costumes that mainstream comics have been serving up these days, but there's enough of a unique spin here to make it worthy of a read. It's strange, in retrospect, how a company created by artists (the epitome of style over substance) has over the years been so embraced by talented writers. The likes of Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Joe Casey have all salvaged previously clichd characters, and although I wouldn't put Seeley in their ranks he has managed to do something I thought impossible: make Bloodstrike entertaining.

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6.0
Blue Beetle (2011) #1

Sep 23, 2011

My main disappointment with the new Blue Beetle (and the entire New 52) is that every title is rated “T Teen” and that there's no younger reader books here. While Blue Beetle is relatively clean and I could hand this issue off to my 9-year-old, I'm not sure about the next one, or the series as a whole. Not to pigeonhole the character (who's been given a major boost from his animated appearances), or Guara's art, but I was hoping this would be a bit more of an all-ages book, a gateway or transitional book from kiddie comics to the DCU-at-large. That DC hasn't thought to put any such title in their line is one of my biggest frustrations of this initiative.

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7.0
Bounce #1

Jun 1, 2013

Despite some of my reservations, there is a lot of potential here, even if it's not fully present right out of the gate. In another three issues or so, this might really be something.

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7.0
Bravest Warriors #1

Oct 26, 2012

To a kid, of course, this should be pure catnip, and that is, after all, the audience Kaboom! is courting. The Adventure Time comic has almost instantly become an enormous success, spawning a couple of spinoffs with remarkable speed and reminding us all of a time when licensed kid's properties were the bread and butter of the comic book industry. Anything that can make inroads towards getting kids back to reading comics is to be welcomed with open arms, and Bravest Warriors should help continue that work nicely.

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6.0
Brilliant #1

Sep 30, 2011

And that's pretty much your first issue: you'll meet the main characters, discover their well-drawn backgrounds and relationships, reflect on their inspiration (a brief window in the 20th century when writers of science, and of science fiction, had more in common than they had separating them), and get a tease of where they're going to take it. For those who enjoy following a story as it unfolds, it's a fine first chapter. For those who feel as though more ought to happen when they crack open the book, or want more bang for their buck, my guess is that the eventual trade collection will be well worth your time and money.

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8.0
Buzzkill #1

Sep 21, 2013

Despite that hiccup, Buzzkill is a very appealing book. It's honest and humane, and has a bit of a dark edge that never crosses over into the crass or the dour. It seeks to deconstruct external realities rather than a fictional genre, and for that it seems the creators learned the right lessons from Watchmen. For the genre, it's not a deconstruction, but a return to first principles of the things that make the genre endure. Time will tell if Buzzkill is worthy of entry into "the canon," but for now it's a smart, good looking comic book that you should probably check out.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #620

Jul 29, 2011

Captain America and Bucky #620, a book set in Marvel's past, is one of superhero comics' most forward thinking books. You should really check this one out.

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6.0
Captain America (2004) #629

May 11, 2012

Bunn picks up on the heroes' relationship with one another effectively and enjoyably, and introduces a conventional yarn about super-science-gone-wrong, which is fine since it involves human-dinosaur DNA mixing and a potential viral outbreak of dinosaurism (or perhaps I'm just reading too far into things). It's an enjoyable start, though a little too protracted, as if to pad out the intro to make it last a full four issues. I'm hopeful long-term that the “Captain America and…” winds up being less rigid about its four-issue per structure and gives the stories as much or as little time as they deserve to bring the fun.

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6.0
Captain America Corps #5

Oct 28, 2011

Of course, in a marketplace where it's not usually hard to find trade paperback editions of vintage Avengers comics, the eventual collection of something like Captain America Corps would be tough to recommend instead. But if you just need a quick injection of what the House of Ideas used to feel like, give it a shot.

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7.0
Captain America: Living Legend #1

Oct 4, 2013

See, this is the initial issue of what was to have been the Astonishing Captain America series: like the other Astonishing books, the idea was more or less self-contained, out-of-continuity adventures, with big names given the opportunity to take some time developing their stories. I don't know if the originally-planned 2010 launch (it was, in fact, to be the comic-book debut of Cap's movie costume) was cancelled due to Granov's" um" "measured" pacing, but apart from a couple of internal references to the year being 2011, nothing about the story feels particularly out of place in 2013, so it's particularly disappointing that an additional two years' delay was evidently still not enough to get Granov to finish the remaining three issues (it appears that they'll be done by Star Wars artist Augustin Alessio).

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5.0
Captain Atom #1

Sep 23, 2011

It's a decent read, but it really needs to define itself in the second issue to make a stronger impression if it hopes to survive.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #1

Jul 20, 2012

The Big 2′s mania for rebranding, repurposing, reintroducing, and rebooting characters has become so omnipresent that it's scarcely worth comment anymore; it's definitely rare to find a new #1 book like this one, that actually validates the idea: it takes a viable legacy character, finds ways to explore her history while moving forward, and tells an engaging story in the process.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #11

Mar 22, 2013

Captain Marvel isn't the kind of storytelling departure that we're getting from, say, Hawkeye, or FF: it's a good, well-characterized superhero adventure comic, with a female protagonist, that needs to make no allowances for gender. But it's decidedly NOT a book to judge by its cover.

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6.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #14

Aug 2, 2013

Captain Marvel continues to be plagued with inconsistent artwork, and this issue's division of labor between Scott Hepburn and Gerardo Sandoval, with color from Andy Troy, suffers from a distracting back-and-forth between the two; I'd also suggest that while I applaud the anti-cheesecake mandate that this series has, marking Carol's big hero moment by giving her a cartoony Gollum-like mad-face just feels weird. I don't want to dismiss this crossover out of hand"among other things, its breathless five-issue run didn't outstay its welcome"but it never quite hit the heights that DeConnick's two series have managed on their own.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #1

Mar 15, 2014

I'm not entirely sure that this first issue will grab new readers the way that DeConnick's previous launch did, but those already invested in her treatment of the character will find that Carol Danvers remains in good hands.

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10
Casanova: Avaritia #4

Jun 22, 2012

Jerry Cornelius predates punk rock, but he anticipates it so well that it's tempting to credit him as a founding father of the movement: the literal father-killing, the freewheeling anarchy, the deep well of compassion and woundedness disguised as apathy and amorality, the anything-goes aesthetic. If there's a significant difference between him and Casanova, it's that Cass is post-punk and has the benefit of several decades of hindsight. Cass, like Jerry, doesn't just destroy his old relationships, he literally breaks free of the story he's in, and where he ends up at the end of this issue (which could actually function as a pretty effective finale for the series) suggests that he might soon be dabbling in the same kind of metafictional awareness as Jerry Cornelius did. Because why not?

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6.0
Change #1

Dec 14, 2012

If you are willing to forgive some pretty egregious faults, Change is an exciting rush of artistic ideas, but damn if it isn't hard to fully recommend.

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8.0
Chin Music #1

May 11, 2013

Besides the crisp storytelling, Harris's art deftly handles the shifts in tone as we move from the darkened office to the heat-blasted desert to the elegance of a Chicago hotel. He's working in a darker, more fluid style than fans of Starman or Ex Machina might expect, a tribute to his versatility. If there's as much blood to follow as we've seen so far (and I have no reason to doubt that), no one's looking forward to that prospect more than Harris himself: he seems to be having a grand, ghoulish time of it already.

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6.0
Clone #1

Dec 7, 2012

Which is a shame, as there's a lot of talent in this book. Juan Jose Ryp has been around for a while now with his Geoff Darrow-esque style. He doesn't skew toward humor as much as Darrow does, and his faces aren't quite as expressive, but his lines feel very similar, and he's every bit as adept at capturing movement amidst all of his detail. Here, Ryp feels like a very big gun in the service of a very small child. He makes the story feel urgent and important, but it ultimately doesn't have the experience and the touch necessary to really hit anything.

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4.0
Cobra Annual #1

Jan 13, 2012

Gallant's art is capable, with scenes and settings stripped down to essentials without much busywork with lines or fine detail. He handles the rapid pace of the storytelling by serving it in a straightforward, no nonsense manner, which serves the story but never pushes beyond that. Gary Erskine provides some bold inks on Gallant's lines, making it noticeably clean but the colorist, J. Brown, doesn't use that clean space for anything but the expected, typical palette. It's all around underwhelming and, at 8 bucks, worthwhile only to the most devoted Joe fan.

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6.0
Collider #1

Aug 2, 2013

I think that once the story kicks into gear and the concept goes to some more interesting places, Collider is going to be worth your time. The first issue holds a lot of promise, but not really any satisfaction in and of itself despite the talent and intelligence on display. Give it another few issues, and Collider might be something special.

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8.0
Comeback #1

Nov 30, 2012

Illustrator Michael Walsh works in a style not too dissimilar to Sean Philips, Michael Lark or Charlie Adlard, with heavy inks and solid lines, and no subtle shading. It's certainly an effective style for the type of story being told and he has a strong ability to deliver talking heads. Altogether Comeback is unassuming but engaging, drawing the reader in with sharp genre play and stimulating concepts.

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5.0
Conan And The People of The Black Circle #1

Oct 25, 2013

And while Olivetti's art is expectedly skillful, it lacks the rough, and frankly “barbaric,” quality that Nord brought to the series' original incarnation. Lines are clean and smooth, and his Afghulistan sparkles like something out of Disney's Aladdin, with colors that verge on being too vivid. That's a perfectly valid choice if an artist is working with a generic fantasy setting; but Howard's prose places us in a darker, dirtier, more lived-in environment than we have here. The figure work is impeccable, faces distinct and well realized, paneling often creative, and I suspect that Olivetti will bring vigor and punch to the large-scale action scenes to come. There's unquestionable artistry in this comic, and even some fun" there's just not much in the way of the mood or magic that has kept Howard's work indelible in the three-quarters of a century since his passing.

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7.0
Conan the Barbarian #1

Feb 10, 2012

A fresh jumping on point for new readers and fans alike, but it manages to suffer from too much information and too little at the same time. It's an exciting experiment, however, handing the reigns over to Wood and Cloonan and I'm anticipating where it goes from here.

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6.0
Constantine #1

Mar 22, 2013

Constantine will be fine. As always, it's everyone in his vicinity who has to watch out.

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5.0
Cyber Force #1

Oct 19, 2012

Despite some rather good "production values," Cyberforce is way more enamored with its thin concepts than its story or its characters. After reading this issue, I could not tell you one word about the central conflict, or about what drives the series' principles. That's been the case with a lot of this year's first issues, and it's rarely been a good sign. I suppose that for the price tag of nothing, the book is worth picking up for the artwork, and the core ideas of the book do have the potential to set the stage for a fun story. But the writers have to concern themselves with story before that can happen.

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5.0
Dancer #1

May 18, 2012

Now, to be fair to Edmondson, he's working within the constraints of the continued-story comic series, and if he'd been able to tell the entire story in a single graphic novel (or movie screenplay, which this is trying to pretend not to be), he'd have had more time to let the story develop and breathe; here, he pretty much has to shoot his shot at the end of issue #1 if he wants to get readers back for #2. There's certainly some “How?” and “Why?” questions that he may still answer in clever and creative ways in issues to come, with more background about our endangered couple. But I think I'll wait for the trade collection to find out.

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6.0
Danger Club #1

Apr 6, 2012

As violent as it is, it doesn't quite feel as mean as something like some of Millar's work. There's still a friendliness here, but little story. As a first issue, this seems to be an aggressive setting of tone and premise. If future installments can flesh out the characters and story more, and push beyond the influences, this might turn out to be a series to keep an eye on. But on its own merits, I have to recommend this first issue with some degree of reservation. It looks damn good, but feels lacking as a chunk of story, like the climax to a run that doesn't exist.

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4.0
Danger Girl: Trinity #1

Apr 20, 2013

On balance, Danger Girl continues to leverage its position as one of the few female-centric adventure comics in the shops these days, but its assumption that its female readership is satisfied with warmed-over action movie clichs, or that its male readership will keep coming back as long as there are enough of those “headlights” and butt shots, is going right past tiresome to mildly offensive.

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6.0
Daredevil (2011) #7

Dec 31, 2011

Those trades, and any future issues of Brody's Ghost are looking mighty enticing, though.

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5.0
Daredevil (2011) #10.1

Apr 6, 2012

Waid collectors and DD completists will want this, and anyone else picking it up will get at least a feel for why Daredevil is garnering so much praise these days, based on Waid's tidy, imaginative scripting. But, honestly, both newbies and regulars can skip this one and not miss anything crucial.

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9.0
Daredevil (2011) #30

Aug 23, 2013

But for all the outer-space fun and games going on in the Avengers titles, Mark Waid'sDaredevil030 Daredevil demonstrates just why it keeps winning all those darned awards, by telling a nicely self-contained cosmic-superhero story that harks back to the sheer fun of the Marvel comics of the 60"s, while remaining wholly contemporary.

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7.0
Daredevil (2011) Annual #1

Aug 10, 2012

This is the first Davis book I've read in a while that I can't endorse without reservation: the script is simply not up to the level of his best, certainly not a patch on the breezy fun of last month's FF annual. But compared, say, with what his rough contemporary, Neal Adams, is offering these days, then just for the art alone, I'd say it's five bucks better spent.

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9.0
Daredevil: End of Days #1

Oct 5, 2012

Frankly, the long delays on this project left me wondering if it could possibly live up to its promise, and there's obviously still a long way to go; but if, by the end, we have a Daredevil story worthy to stand with Born Again or Underboss, I won't be at all surprised.

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8.0
Daredevil: End of Days #8

Jun 7, 2013

Daredevil: End of Dayswas promised, reworked, started, and delayed, so many times, that some readers may feel that time has passed it by: Mark Waid's current run on the monthly title is the first since Bendis' departure to truly find its own way, honoring what Bendis did with the character while never forgetting that Daredevil began as just another long-underwear vigilante; this "street-level" story is less suited to today's Disney-Marvel landscape than it would have been in the glory days of Marvel Knights. But as a standalone piece of comic book storytelling, it's a reminder of just what a breath of fresh air Bendis stories like "Out" and "Underboss" were a decade and more ago.

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7.0
Dark Horse Presents #19

Dec 28, 2012

Dark Horse Presents #19 is one of the better collection of stories I've read in recent years, but inessential, especially when, it would appear, anything of merit will wind up in a trade or its own book… like the Black Beetle. The Black Beetle adopts the pastiche of pulp wonderfully while The Whistling Scull transcends it.

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7.0
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Way Station #1

Dec 16, 2011

It was really cool to meet Stephen King, by the way, in a Wal-Mart of all places. I'm enjoying what others are doing with his work, but I wish more risks would be taken.

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4.0
Darkwing Duck #18

Nov 11, 2011

This is the last hurrah of Boom's Disney comics, anyway, presumably because Disney's acquisition of Marvel means they can print their own comics there rather than licensing them out to an outside company like Boom. So I guess the feeling was that it all had to end with a bang. Still, I think this was a misstep for a "good" all-ages series and a "decent" one, respectively. I'll be interested to see if Brill, in particular, makes the jump to Marvel, and what happens to these characters in the future. I do recommend picking up some of the Darkwing Duck trades (and, while I'm at it, the classic Carl Barks reprints!) but this is definitely not the place to start.

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5.0
Day Men #1

Jul 19, 2013

A must for Stelfreeze enthusiasts, a mild recommendation for anyone else.

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8.0
Dead Letters #1

Apr 5, 2014

If Dead Letters carries a certain sense of running off a familiar noir playbook, it has also set for itself a conflict that opens up some unusual possibilities for the form, though at this point, Sebela's scripting (as opposed to his overall concept) isn't as compelling as one could hope for. That's far more than made up for by Vision's art, which has exactly the right blend of street-level grit and comic-book exaggeration to make Dead Letters feel like something very special, despite the derivative nature of its setup.

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7.0
Deadly Class #1

Jan 25, 2014

There's no question, though, that Craig's fantastically laid-out work is going to make at least this first issue worth a trial purchase. Artists who are equally good at providing realistically sketched environments, innovative perspectives, and deliriously entertaining action sequences, are few and far between; Craig is right up there with David Aja and Matt Kindt in blending all those characteristics: this is the kind of visual storytelling that can lay a fresh coat of paint on what seems, so far, to be a rather derivative story.

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7.0
Debris #1

Jul 30, 2012

Wiebe, even though he fumbles on the characters a fair bit, has created a fun and unique spin on the YA post-apocalypse. It's never said how society collapsed, but it appears that it has something to do with these animal spirits that build bodies for themselves out of junkyard trash. It actually sounds kind of awful, but it's a really slick visual, and the monster fights are a lot of fun. The plot concerns Maia, who having just come of age is made the protector of the last tribe of humans on Earth. Her task is to deal with these aforementioned animal-robot monsters, but when disaster strikes she must leave to find something that could determine the fate of her tribe. So, for all that I complained about this book earlier: I still want to see what happens, if only so that I can get more of Rossmo's art over the coming months.

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9.0
Debris #4

Nov 3, 2012

I'm in want of more, but I'm also wonderfully pleased with what I got.

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7.0
Defenders (2011) #1

Dec 9, 2011

All in all, The Defenders #1 is what any fan of The Defenders and most importantly, superhero comics wants. It's well-written and well-drawn, providing a platform for characters to simply do the spectacular. Where better than The Defenders?

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8.0
Demon Knights #1

Sep 16, 2011

The story here is pretty basic "getting the team together" stuff, but unlike some of the awkward setups the New 52 have gifted us with so far, Cornell here gives us a clean, compelling introduction to the various characters, with some nicely detailed character snapshots and some refreshingly knotty relationships, particularly the revelation of Xanadu's relationship to Etrigan, all sketched in efficiently and with snappy pacing. Getting a compelling introduction to a story and its protagonists in a first issue shouldn't be a lot to ask, but given how rare this quality seems to be at the big two these days (even, or especially, amongst this latest torrent of #1s), I can't help singling Cornell out for praise.

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6.0
Detective Comics (2011) #1

Sep 9, 2011

As a "debut" issue of a new comic, I don't know that it would exactly bowl me over, and if you've ever read a Batman comic before, you've read this one. But if you're a fan of the Caped Crusader, here's the first chapter of his latest adventure.

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8.0
Diablo #1

Nov 28, 2011

It's possible that I'm missing out on a lot of fun Easter eggs that any fan of the Diablo games would be better able to appreciate; it's also possible that this comic would outrage fans of the games with the deviations from the mythology. I'll rely on commenters below to set me straight. But from a newbie's perspective, this is a very well-done comic that's accessible and entertaining for anyone.

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9.0
Dial H #1

May 4, 2012

Dial H is a solid new entry in the New 52 canon. The Horror/Superhero segment of the DCU has been on a roll, and this is no exception.

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5.0
Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1

Mar 23, 2012

I wouldn't be so critical, but the potential here is too great to be squandered. Dominique is a female lead, a person of color, and a graduate student (as opposed to a CW teenager): that's a trinity of rare intrigue, and although I'm no fan of decompressed storytelling a little time could've been spent in this first issue to establish characters before setting them off running into random incidents and gore drenched room upon gore drenched room. This is one of four attempts in Vertigo's initiative to establish a new face and persona. It's an average start, but there's possibilities here.

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8.0
Dream Thief #1

May 17, 2013

To say anything about Dream Thief besides "It's quite good!" would rob you of the experience of being surprised by what you find. If the rest of the run lives up to this first issue, then we're in for a treat, but for now it's well worth getting in on the ground floor on something that has a great deal of potential.

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7.0
Earth 2 #2

Jun 8, 2012

Still, for all that's good about it, Earth 2 is not yet a series that I feel like I can love. For all that's different, and all the possibilities that are present, the book's style and narrative tacks a little too close to the typical, a bit too familiar. Of course, future issues and story arcs may change that perception, and the book may herald an opening for exploring different ideas in the DCU. But my faith on that score is quite weak at present. Although, at its very worst Earth 2 promises to be be a fun comic book that's well written and well drawn, and that is always welcome.

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8.0
East of West #1

Mar 29, 2013

No question, I'm onboard this series for a while, at least: I'm as intrigued as anyone by a good mystery, and there's plenty here to choose from; I'm hoping that there will be some distinctive characterization and involving plot to go with it.

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8.0
Empowered Special #4

Jun 15, 2013

According to Warren,Empowered is ”a sexy superhero comedy… except when it isn't.” Long may it run.

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7.0
Extermination #1

Jun 8, 2012

For a buck, Extermination is a great buy. Were each subsequent issue a dollar, I would be on-board indefinitely, alas, next month it's back to $3.99 a pop. But as I said, it's the exception, and I will be back for more even if I have to sacrifice a DC or Marvel pull to do it.

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8.0
Fables #113

Jan 24, 2012

Plus it's 32 pages for $2.99, which is easy on the wallet.

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7.0
Fairest #1

Mar 9, 2012

In fact, perhaps you're looking at that Adam Hughes cover (or maybe you've already got the wraparound version as your computer desktop), and you're wondering" uh, dude, where the women? A fair question. On the one hand, Ali Baba and Jonah are an amusing, if largely predictable, pairing. On t'other hand, this is a series which was being sold in advance as a bit of a showcase for several of Fables‘ strong female characters; in fact, there's exactly one (full-page, I'll grant you) panel in this issue that even features a woman who's not unconscious. Here's hoping that Willingham can do his women proper justice without slighting the story he's begun telling, and without making either feel like a distraction from the other; my rating is largely based on future confidence that he'll deliver the goods.

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9.0
Fantastic Four #600

Nov 28, 2011

Ming Doyle brings a 60"s Ditko vibe to a tale of psychic connection between Black Bolt and Medusa; Lenil Yu calls back to Matt Fraction's The Mighty Thor while Hickman brings out the frightening grandeur of Galactus; and Franklin and Leech get the last word as Farel Dalrymple and Lovern Kindzierski's rough, cartoony art help Hickman sum things up with a story that's funny, ominous, and an indication that the grand epic isn't going to slacken in its newly bifurcated version. And less than a dime a page.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #601

Dec 23, 2011

Rating a comic like this in an exercise in context: there's nothing in it you haven't seen before. But if you can still get caught up in a blockbuster superhero saga, well-told, with memorable authorial touches, you won't do better. Can't wait for next issue.

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9.0
Fantastic Four Annual #33

Jul 13, 2012

Don't worry if you're either unfamiliar with ClanDestine, or have been put off by the convolutions of some of their previous appearances; all you need to know is that this is vintage, character-driven, old-school superheroing, with absolute knockout art. If that's your thing, don't hesitate.

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6.0
Fantastic Four: Season One #1

Feb 10, 2012

In the end, this book succeeds in its principal artistic goal: it tells a reasonably faithful version of the origin of the Fantastic Four, in visual and verbal language that is more comfortable for 21st century audiences. The question is, how much is that worth? Bear in mind that if you're reading this column, you are, by definition, NOT the newbie audience this is supposed to be for, but it's your 25 clams. Either way, I read it over a $1.80 cup of coffee at the store, so I'm $23.19 to the good on this.

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8.0
Fantastic Four: Season One #1

Mar 16, 2012

To the extent that any of these Season One titles are “needed,” the X-Men probably benefit more from a “modern” version of their origin more than the Fantastic Four did, but the question remains, to what end? Is there some possibility of a new continuity for an ongoing series of hardcover bookstore titles? Not even the most deluded Marvel marketer could imagine that as reality. And if the monthly comics remain the core “canon,” (the backup story is a reprint of the first Gillen/Pacheco “ReGenesis” story), then the Season One books run the risk of being pretty, but irrelevant. Gotta admit, though, this one is DAMN pretty.

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10
Fatale #1

Jan 9, 2012

I have ZERO doubt it will all be worth it.

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7.0
Fatale #5

May 11, 2012

I may seem down on Fatale, but it is a good book and can be downright thrilling in spots. It feels like it could be more, though. At the close of its first arc, Fatale has yet to live up to its true promise.

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6.0
Fear Itself #7.1

Nov 11, 2011

It's not an outright successful fake-death/rebirth, but at least it wasn't milked for too long.

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8.0
FF (2012) #1

Dec 7, 2012

As effective as Fraction is, though, the real draw for many will be Mike and Laura Allred, for whom no introduction is needed at this point. Their quirky, retro style"oddly stiff, but in a somehow charming way"conveys more character with a few clear lines and flat colours than any three more typical modern superhero artists could do. Jack Kirby once responded to the host of imitators he'd spawned by saying that, if people really wanted to be true to his artistic philosophy, they'd do something new. The Allreds seem to embody what the King was talking about: without being imitative of Kirby's style, they've evoked his spirit, and that of the great Silver Age comics in general.

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9.0
Flash (2011) #3

Nov 28, 2011

The Flash is the best title DC is putting out at the moment. It's fun, it's exciting, and it's pushing the boundaries of the medium. This is the next natural evolution of superheroes, which is appropriate considering how Barry ushered in the Silver Age.

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8.0
Freak Angels #1

Nov 8, 2013

It's joyfully ridiculous and direly earnest in all the best ways that eccentric '70's Kirby materials were. Scioli is obviously a Kirby devotee, and models this entire project in his image. Scioli's art is a bit clunkier than the King's, his figure work more primitive and stiff, and character consistency an issue from panel to panel, but the sheer wide-eyed science fantasy of it more than makes up for any artistic failing.

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6.0
Freelancers #1

Nov 9, 2012

I have no idea what's in store for this comic; while I'd enjoy more “Tiny Fighters,” I'm also curious to see if Gagnon and Smith have any plans to bring their engaging vision to the grown-up versions of their creations in future issues: that, I'd buy. As it is, I'll give this one a recommendation, mostly based on the fact that, as I say, you do get one good story for your buck, even if it is a pretty short one.

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7.0
Frost: Rogue State #1

Apr 26, 2013

Trautmann has a strong interest in espionage and military, and his printed work largely over at DC (like The Shield and JSA/Kobra) really was a testament to how adept he is at writing this stuff, so in advance I knew he could be trusted to both deliver the action, the bad-ass character and not be so hoary about it. Make no mistake, Frost is definitely a "men's action" product. The character is equally Jason Bourne as he is Mack Bolan, and the first 99-cent, 16-page issue really gets into it, how Frost's past as a raised-from-childhood military weapon informs his current follow-his-own-path nature. Of course there's gunplay, punching and explosions as well, but there's actual character seeded in the midst of all that roughhousing.

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8.0
Fury MAX #1

May 4, 2012

If you were hoping for ‘splode and savagery from the latest Fury MAX series, you might have to wait an issue or two; if you want to read a comic that has sharp dialogue, a strong sense of history, and intelligent observations about the nature of warfare in its Coldest guise, you can dive right in.

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5.0
G.I. Joe Vol. 2 #8

Dec 9, 2011

I have a theory that beneath that silvery gunk is, quite simply, Cobra Commander's helmet (as seen on the variant cover here), and not the actual face of the character who won the contest. If it is, that's one sick joke on the reader, IDW. This whole thing is devilish. I like it and I hate it at the same time.

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4.0
George R. R. Martin's The Skin Trade #1

Jul 13, 2013

While on paper, there's nothing wrong with adapting a short story in this way, in practice the result has more than a whiff of bottom-feeding cash-in, something that's dogged Avatar for years now. Without even having read the original story, I'm going to suggest that tracking it down–presumably it's in one of Martin's published collections–is probably more worthwhile than buying this comic.

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6.0
Ghost #0

Sep 21, 2012

Not a terrible start for the new series, but at this point, it's mostly my confidence in DeConnick's abilities (and hope that the flaws in Noto's art might have reflected some kind of deadline pressure) that have me hopeful for future issues, more than anything actually in evidence this time around.

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8.0
Glamourpuss #26

Aug 25, 2012

While I wouldn't specifically recommend buying this issue for the Raymond feature (since you'd be thrown into the middle of it, with no specific guarantee you'd ever see the ending), I'd give Glamourpuss #26 the same endorsement I'd give any of the previous issues: there's nothing else out there quite like it, and if you have any serious interest in the art or technique of sequential storytelling, you will find something new and fascinating in every issue, that will be well worth your three bucks; grab some back numbers, too, while you can.

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9.0
Glory #23

Feb 17, 2012

I've often felt that what superheroes really need is to sprout some new branches away from the trunk of Marvel and DC, a place where there's no status quo to shake up and room to create something from scratch that might actually appeal to new readers. Glory's notquite a new character, but she's certainly unshackled by the heavy weight of continuity and, perhaps more crucially, her authors show a delightful willingness to think outside the box that is the superhero paradigm. Like its titular character, Glory manages to be old and new at the same time, and keep the best aspects of both.

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6.0
God is Dead #1

Sep 6, 2013

When I was a young'un, I discovered James Blish's 2-part novel, Black Easter and The Day After Judgement, in which Satan is turned loose upon a world that has abandoned, or been abandoned by, God, and discovers that the responsibility for the portioning of good and evil is too much even for his dark shoulders. Profound and all that, with Satan given a long, Miltonian exegesis; but at that age, all that metaphysical shit went over my head: what excited me were the sections where the US military takes on the forces of demons and darkness. But at this point in my life, even more than seeing giant gods go toe-to-toe with American nukes, I think I'd prefer a bit more of that metaphysical shit in my reading. I'm probably adding a half star to this rating based on the hope that Hickman has some of that up his sleeve for future issues.

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8.0
Great Pacific #1

Nov 21, 2012

It's a fascinating and intelligent debut issue that uses the medium and genre in smart and effective ways. It will be interesting to see if Great Pacific remains rooted in a quasi-reality, or if it starts shifting to “out-there” proportions. Either should work quite well.

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9.0
Green Arrow (2011) #17

Feb 9, 2013

What's most refreshing here is what Lemire and Sorrentino do with the status quo, not just specific to Green Arrow, but as a genre trope. Usually the first issue of a new run introduces us to new players, and they all have obvious roles. Ongoing fiction usually unfolds like a sort of game, with characters conforming to certain sets of rules. The superhero genre particularly leans on this, mostly because it's a good way to maintain familiarity with a readership that's constantly in flux. The first issue of this new run of Green Arrow seems to be saying, in effect, there is no status quo, characters are expendable. I don't know how long this series is going to stay on edge like this, but for now Green Arrow proves to be an exhilarating read.

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5.0
Green Lantern (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

While Hal Jordan and Green Lantern devotees will assuredly like this first issue as it carries on existing threads while starting a new story, I hesitate to say it's a good jumping on point for new readers (my stepson saw the cover and I had to give him a 15 minute rundown on why Sinestro isn't a good guy, but also isn't a bad guy). Counter to the rest of “The New 52″ initiative, it's still somewhat mired in tons of continuity for any new reader, and I'm not certain new readers coming from the film will be caught up enough. At the very least the book should have had a preface page, a quick synopsis of what's come before.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) #9

May 11, 2012

Of course it's hard to recommend this book to new readers. The book just isn't in that place. If you're at all enticed by this review but haven't read any of Johns' run on Green Lantern, pick up a copy of Rebirth and work your way on from there. Oh, and enjoy the ride.

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7.0
Green Lantern (2011) Annual #1

Aug 31, 2012

That's the problem with Justice League in a nutshell, and it's further illustrated by Superman and Wonder Woman's kiss. Much has been said about this relationship over the past couple of weeks in the comics sphere. Really, I have no problem with it as an idea, or the idea that this iteration of Superman can date around a bit (there are stories there, after all) before setting his sights on Lois Lane, or any of that. The problem that I have with it is context. It comes out of nowhere, just like pretty much every single moment in Justice League. It puts the lie to the idea of a "grand plan," that's in place. We're swimming in a sea of half baked ideas predicated on a certain vision of what DC Comics "should" be, and narrative comes second to fulfilling the dictates of that "should." It stinks.

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7.0
Grifter #1

Oct 14, 2011

Grifter started off being far better than it had any right to be, and one issue later, it's easy to see that, while solidly entertaining, there's plenty of room to be better still.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #11.NOW

Feb 1, 2014

Characters and dialogue: A+. Plot and pacing: B-, but that comes with the territory. Making me want to read more about their adventures with Tony Stark in space: sold, I'm in. Acting as a point of entry for an ongoing series: C-, but it does a damn sight better job of it than Thunderbolts did.

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7.0
Happy #1

Nov 3, 2012

I'm honestly not sure what to think about Happy at this stage. It has indeed become more interesting and I anticipate more deviation and playing with the genre in the two issues that remain. I can't say I necessarily like it, but as with so much of Morrison's work seeing it as a whole makes all the difference in appreciating and/or enjoying it.

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8.0
Harbinger Wars #1

Apr 12, 2013

It's yet to be seen if Harbinger Wars will pay off the potential of the concepts at the heart of Harbinger and Bloodshot, but the book is a success by being what many superhero crossovers refuse to be: a stripped down meat and potatoes action story with cool ideas and some heart. It doesn't hurt that, like a soldier between his third and fourth tour and an unemployed graduate on the grounds of Zucotti Park, there are a lot of good reasons for these concepts to occupy the same space.

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8.0
Hardcore #1

May 18, 2012

Fans of the Paul Verhoeven classics Robocop and Total Recall will feel right at home here. Those films are obvious touchstones, from the book's look to the jaundiced and sly tone. Like those films, the sci-fi conceit of Hardcore functions as a vehicle for a bit of social criticism, but at this point the book seems more interested in spinning a yarn than offering a critique. The conceit revolves around an espionage invention called a "hardcore," a microchip that can be fired into a person's brain stem that renders them controllable by a government assassination squad for 72 hours. There are some pretty obvious parallels here to some of the more problematic aspects of GWOT like warrantless seizures and botched drone attacks, but those are ideas more present in the concept than the actual unfolding of the narrative. If Hardcore ends up exploring them more explicitly with the verve and humor that this first issue is packed with, it will be a very special series.

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8.0
Harvest #1

Aug 3, 2012

Harvest is absolutely worth picking up for what it gets right, though. To say anything more would be to spoil much of what makes this book so surprising, shocking, and genuinely fun.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #1

Aug 3, 2012

I suppose if I wanted to quibble, I could say that this nicely self-contained first issue doesn't really do much to set up a long-range storyline for the series" but I don't want to. In fact, screw that—here, my friends, is that modern desiderata of the superhero genre: the perfectly-paced and executed done-in-one story. If the succeeding issues are anywhere near this good, this'll give Daredevil a strong run for its money as Marvel's best superhero book.

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8.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #3

Oct 19, 2012

Marvel released a slew of four-star comics this week (including Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Thor, and X-Factor), but this one's the four-starriest.

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8.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #7

Feb 1, 2013

If you're not yet reading Hawkeye, one of the beauties of this series is that pretty much any issue can serve as a jumping-on point, so compact and crisp is the storytelling. And since a portion of your four bucks this time out goes to a good cause, what are you waiting for?

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #11

Jun 29, 2013

Normally, I'd fear overselling the virtues of a comic like this, but I'm not really sure I could: it's easily the best single issue I've read this year.

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4.0
He-Man & The Masters of the Universe #1

Jul 13, 2012

All of this is competently done by Robinson and Tan, but all that that means is that the book isn't offensively bad. It just feels typical, which is quite the feat considering the source material's trippy feel and lack of character foundation.

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6.0
Heart #1

Nov 5, 2011

"Heart" is a solid story executed solidly with the potential for more, and I look forward to what the next three issues will bring. Put on some Social Distortion and give it a shot.

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6.0
Hell Yeah #1

Mar 9, 2012

Hell Yeah #1 is a comic full of promise and one well worth taking a look at.

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6.0
Hellraiser #7

Nov 11, 2011

Can't they get a cup of coffee and hash this out already?

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6.0
Higher Earth #5

Oct 5, 2012

Higher Earth #5 isn't quite the "perfect jumping on point" as advertised, but I suppose that it's good enough for what it is. If anything, I have half a mind to check out earlier issues and see if there's more here, and that's at least a little something.

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5.0
Hit-Girl #1

Jun 29, 2012

Those who are deeply invested in the world of Kick-Ass won't want to miss this" but since I've never actually met anyone like that, I will simply say that most readers can give this one a pass.

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6.0
Hunger #1

Jul 26, 2013

Hunger hits just shy of the scale it should be operating at, but it's not completely out of reach. With a book featuring not one but two world-devourers, there's plenty of potential left.

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4.0
Hunger #4

Oct 18, 2013

Hunger's an awkwardly dull footnote to the fascinating history of the Ultimate Universe (orignal home of the Marvel Zombies, among other things), a quick money-siphon before Bendis delivers the genuine article.

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7.0
Huntress #1

Oct 7, 2011

It may be that DC is using this as an introduction to their planned “Earth 2″ diversion with the forthcoming JSA series, or it may be just a 6-issue mob/espionage/action story, either way it's off to a good start, and definitely worth coming back for more.

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8.0
I, Vampire #2

Nov 5, 2011

As I noted, this is a heavy vampire horror book but set squarely amidst the DCU. The actions of the first two issues aren't going to remain unnoticed and it'll be interesting to see how Fialkov incorporates the tights and capes into the blood and teeth while still retaining it's chill. While I was two steps away from being done with vampires (they're as overexposed as zombies) I, Vampire has found a way to keep me interested, in spite of its covers.

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10
I, Vampire #6

Feb 24, 2012

I was thinking recently about how unfortunate it was that the “New 52″ were already launching into team-ups and cross-overs and mini-events, seemingly to the detriment of establishing each individual title. Next month, the arc that Fialkov has built in I, Vampire spills over into Justice League Dark, and, just like Batman's appearance in this title the past two months, it seems like a natural fit in a shared universe, and even more so given the events of this issue. This is a book worthy of attention, the darkest gem in DC's lineup, and this issue is the best yet.

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7.0
Infinity #1

Aug 16, 2013

In the first issue of Infinity, Hickman has laid the foundation for a pretty good spacebuckling adventure, and I won't be at all surprised if he can bring Thanos some of the eccentrically glorious villainy that Jim Starlin gave him (and few have approached since). I'm sorry that Cheung evidently won't be around for future issues, but Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver are certainly capable enough. And if we must have the obligatory listing of all the upcoming crossover issues to purchase, it's nice to have it in the form of one of Hickman's stylish infographics. I just wish I could muster a little more enthusiasm for the launch of a well-conceived, well-executed superhero epic. I must be getting old.

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6.0
Infinity Heist #1

Sep 28, 2013

I certainly recommend Infinity Heist to fans of Superior Foes who just can't wait for its next issue for their fix of humorous henchman hijinks, but anyone else looking to see what the criminal class of the Marvel U might look like to the eye of writers in the vein of Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiassen, should really start with Superior Foes.

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8.0
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1

Apr 12, 2014

Like a lot of artist-writers, Andrews is stronger on the former than the latter, and his dialogue can be pretty on-the-nose, though in this kind of hard-boiled tale, that's almost the point. But this is a great start to a new Iron Fist series, one that has the potential to stand beside Immortal Iron Fist, but very much on its own little bootied feet.

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6.0
Iron Man (2012) #1

Nov 9, 2012

And to return to the subject of being fair to Greg Land: I suppose that photo-referencing isn't the worst way to make Tony's armor look like a realistic piece of machinery, rather than a colorful track suit; and at least, when Land draws Iron Man himself, he doesn't have to worry about convincing facial expressions. So, on balance, I guess this is probably the right book for him.

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5.0
It Girl and The Atomics #1

Aug 10, 2012

Again, Great Lakes Avengers is a good comparison: Paul Pelletier's classically-styled superhero art worked because of Slott's sly, subversive scripting; here, Norton is doing a perfectly straight job of illustrating a slightly-too-straight story. Madman fans and Norton completists will want to check it out; otherwise, I suggest waiting for Allred's upcoming collaboration with Matt Fraction on FF.

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9.0
Itty Bitty Hellboy #1

Aug 31, 2013

The true litmus test of this book was to see how it would play with my four-year-old daughter, and after getting past her initial wariness, she wound up giggling profusely and loving the book. She started talking about Roger and Liz and Karl as if she'd been reading them for years, and she had me repeat the characters on the cover a half dozen times over as she committed them to memory. But even if you're not four years old, or don't have kids, this is just pure joy in 22 pages, far better reading than most Sunday funnies, and you know if you were still buying newspapers you'd still be reading those.

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4.0
John Carter: The World of Mars #1

Oct 14, 2011

It's hard to rate this book, since it's obviously a companion piece to a film that isn't out yet, so I can't say whether it's a warranted prequel, fan service, or just fluff. It's a dull introduction to the whatever story it's telling, but it looks pretty good telling it.

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7.0
Journey Into Mystery #653

Jun 29, 2013

Artist Valerio Schiti continues to delight with his melding of space opera and sword & sorcery, and in his hands (with typically fine colors from Jordie Bellaire), Sif is one of the most visually distinctive and expressive female characters on the stands today.

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7.0
Journey Into Mystery #654

Aug 2, 2013

Succeeding Kieron Gillen's tumblr-faved epic of mystery, identity, fantasy, and mischief was no easy undertaking, but Immonen's portrayal of Lady Sif made her among the more interestingly believable"more "human""protagonists in Marvel's current line, and this final tale of the ins and outs of love and loss and 'splode with Beta Ray Bill has been a rousing yarn, with all the Kirby-like grandeur you could ask for among the quieter emotional moments.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #655

Aug 31, 2013

While I continue to feel that Immonen's among the most overlooked writers working in superhero comics today, Schiti's art here is the sort of calling card that suggests that an Avengers or X-Men assignment can't be far off (if Marvel's not stupid enough to let the guy get away altogether).

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7.0
Jupiter's Legacy #1

Apr 26, 2013

It's only a first issue; the story may yet take an interesting turn, the characters might step outside their cookie-cutters, some light may be shed on questions of lineage and legacy, and it promises many many more pages of art from one of today's giants, aided by a brilliant colorist. There's certainly worse ways to spend three bucks.

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7.0
Justice League #1

Sep 3, 2011

I had my issues with Justice League #1, sure. It felt a bit rushed yet overly decompressed, a lot has to happen here and yet, when it was all said and done, all we got were hints of what will be. In Silver Age hands, the team would've been assembled, the day done and the cause won. Justice League #1 is a sign that a new age truly has dawned. On the strength of this issue, I find myself growing OK with that.

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4.0
Justice League #6

Mar 2, 2012

Johns and Lee do drop some rather enticing hints, but they're enough to make this first arc seem like something less than setup for bigger and better things. These first few months of Justice League, like much of these first few months of the New 52, have felt like treading water until we're ready to actually start swimming.

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5.0
Justice League #7

Mar 23, 2012

This issue is in equal measure the good and the bad that Geoff Johns has to offer. Being the premiere book in DC's line now, it's not nearly as good as it should be, in my opinion, and so It's not something I would recommend, but it's also not so offensive that I would advise you not to read it either.

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7.0
Justice League Dark #1

Sep 30, 2011

I may be nitpicking a bit; in most respects, really, this is a strongly-executed comic book. I guess I just felt like I was getting hit with a whirlwind of plot threads that were barely introduced, just as Superman and Wonder Woman are hit with a whirlwind of teeth (?) while trying to reach the source of some magic run amok. And the mere fact that the Justice League sequence felt more integral to the story than anything that the supposed main characters do may be at the heart of my issues here. Once again, the concept of the New 52"and the apparent need to reintegrate the Vertigo characters into the DCU"is getting in the way. Once we can dispense with that business, Justice League Dark (with huge hunks of caramel and nougat) might become something special.

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6.0
Justice League Dark #9

May 26, 2012

Under Jeff Lemire, this book could be the title it should be. Justice League Dark #9 is a fun and intriguing look at the possibilities lying in the dark.

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6.0
Key of Z #1

Oct 21, 2011

Recommended for zombie fans looking for their next fix; probably not quite worth the four bucks for anyone else.

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6.0
Kick-Ass 2 #7

Mar 16, 2012

I had hoped that the promise of a giant showdown between the armies of Kick-Ass and Red Mist would be a sort of street-level Apocalypse that would put a capper on the series, but (as with most comic-book Apocalypses) it's just a setup for the next chapter. Which, I have to admit, I will probably check into, at least at first. But I'll completely understand anyone else who can't be bothered.

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4.0
Lady Rawhide #1

Aug 9, 2013

The fact is, while Trautmann has come up with a more-than-serviceable plot here, there's still an upper limit on what we can expect from the umpteenth vigilante-versus-corrupt-power-structure story, and such pleasure as the reader might derive from that is just not enough to overcome the needless pandering in the visuals. I'm scoring this comic based on the technical merits of its strongest points, but in fact, I can't honestly say that I'd recommend it at all, given the better options available in a crowded marketplace— more than a few of which, by the way, feature female protagonists who don't appear to do their adventuring as underwear models.

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5.0
Last Mortal #1

Sep 23, 2011

With the exception of the ill-advised flashback sequence, the final issue has an incredibly well-executed end game, one that goes a long way to justifying the path that led to it. Mahoney and Sablik provide creators commentary at the end of each book, focusing on a facet of the book or its history, and here they discuss working out their finale, and it's obvious that they put the right amount of thought, stress and effort into it and came to the best conclusion imaginable.

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8.0
Lazarus #1

Jun 29, 2013

Lazarus is a really solid first issue, but there are the seeds here of something that could end up being really great. If nothing else, Rucka has a much firmer and subtler grasp on the subjects that he's critiquing than pretty much anyone else currently working with this subgenre.

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8.0
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century: 1969 #1

Jul 29, 2011

If you're still with this series, or Alan Moore's work in general, the esoteric nature of this work is probably not going to come as a surprise; LoEG is now geared squarely at the hardcore, and you're either in or you're out. There's no real point pining for the wiz-bang adventure narratives Moore spent much of his career cranking out; like the League itself, he's moved on to something new. And also like the League, he knows that you have to keep trying to reach out and engage with the world and the culture"even if your experiences send you to the loony bin.

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7.0
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century: 2009 #1

Jun 29, 2012

Of course, this does lead to a final showdown with another pop culture character, one that's legitimately clever and works on multiple levels. There are enough of these lingering "OK, that's awesome" moments in 2009 to satisfy the thrill-seeking comics fanboy in me, yet I can't help but feel that this series has lost its way a little. It honestly seems like there's a lot more Moore and Kevin O'Neill could be ranting against, particularly in regards to how more and more of our "creative real estate" is being locked up by big corporations, and how this process is forcing pop culture into an endless spiral of franchises, reboots, prequels, and so on. I'd never come down on a comic for trying to evolve into something grander, even if I loved it the way it was before, but for the first time I feel like Moore and O'Neill's larger points are surprisingly banal and simplistic. Though, given their attitudes towards pop culture, maybe that's the point.

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9.0
Legion of Monsters #1

Oct 21, 2011

Juan Doe provides the illustrations in a style all his own. His characters are cartoonish but in a hard, angular way, straying far far away from the typically round manga influence that pervades the industry today. There's a quasi-street art design aesthetic but adapted into a clear storytelling sensibility. He's got a great sense of pacing, character design, and comedic timing, and with this one issue has become an instant favorite artist of mine.

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3.0
Legion of Super-Heroes (2011) #1

Sep 23, 2011

It may just be a transition pain, but it's a debilitating one. The Legion loyal will no doubt be happy that they haven't been subjected to another total reboot, but I can't see this earning the title any new fans.

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8.0
Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1

Jan 13, 2012

Like Hellboy himself, Johnson began as more of a cool pulpy concept than a fully fleshed-out character, and he's well situated to operate on the fringes of a story, while Cindy and the forces surrounding her take center stage. The usual caveat about this probably reading better in trade applies, but if you still have an appreciation for the chapter by chapter build of a hard-boiled mystery, dig in.

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7.0
Lord of the Jungle #1

Jan 24, 2012

Have I been converted By Lord of the Jungle? Nah, but I was entertained. This reads more like it's aiming for the trade, but at least there are a few ripples of originality. If you're looking for a familiar tale with a new, but harmless, twist, this is for you.

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4.0
Lost Vegas #1

Mar 8, 2013

Kowalski's art is very, very good. He effectively captures Cooke's sense of disconnect, both in the book's more mundane scenes and in its very graphic sex scenes. His characters feel a bit like those that Sean Philips draws, who manage to be rendered realistically, but have a sense of expressiveness usually unseen in more natural artistic styles. As a whole, Sex is easily one of the best new books that Image has put out in months.

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6.0
Magneto: Not a Hero #1

Nov 11, 2011

Magneto: Not A Hero #1 surprised me in its simplicity. It's a surprisingly well-written, well-drawn Magneto comic that in the midst of the greater “Regenesis Saga,” actually does what it needs to do… it entertains.

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9.0
Mara #3

Mar 16, 2013

Mara gets this. It's no coincidence that Mara's burgeoning powers arise with a sense of dissatisfaction with her life of privilege. She is, in effect, a sort of Marxist product: at once a product of a commercial culture at its zenith and the symbol of its eventual demise. The themes of this story serve as a critique of modern commercial culture, but they also shed light on the problems that plague the modern superhero story by grasping onto the core ideas of liberation and rebellion that are at the core of the genre's inception.

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6.0
Mars Attacks #1

Jun 22, 2012

In either case, here's two gimmicks that have surprised me and even pleased me to some degree. Maybe I'm feverish, or just in a good mood. I don't expect it to happen too often.

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8.0
Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #1

Sep 16, 2011

All well and good. But there's one caveat that I have to offer: there's a total of 21 pages of actual story here (not counting the credits page and letters page) for your four bucks. I certainly don't pretend to have an answer to rising costs amid a stagnant economy, but I do know that this model is not sustainable. I'm not actually docking the book in terms of rating for this, but I do think it extremely unlikely that this comic will ever see issue #160, or #100, or anything close to that, if this is the value-for-money equation we're looking at.

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7.0
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1

Oct 4, 2013

This comic will certainly be a change of pace for Spider-Man readers, regardless of how they feel about the current Superior version*. I don't know that my grade necessarily reflects a purchase recommendation, so much as it is acknowledging that you really do have to at least sample this at the store, because Ruby's art has to be seen to be" well, maybe not believed, but at least experienced.

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6.0
Marvel Now What? #1

Oct 25, 2013

It's tempting to pat Marvel on the back for being able to laugh at itself this way, but there's a creepy sense that it's not coming from reaction against the rampant commercialism that's threatening to ossify the Marvel Universe (with the Star Wars universe up next): it's coming from a media giant that is so impervious to satire, or criticism of any type, that it can basically throw its most obvious cash-grabs in our faces, let out a supervillain's jeer, and dare us to do anything but pony up for the next round. Still, much of it's pretty funny, I did laugh, and thanks to writers Sara Benincasa and John Devore, I've been able to annoy people all week by declaiming "Doom demands brunch!" On balance, then, more or less a win, even if I suspect it means I've been co-opted even more than I thought.

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7.0
Marvel NOW! Point One #1

Oct 19, 2012

Conclusion: save your money for Young Avengers and FF for sure; Agent of SHIELD and Guardians of the Galaxy maybe. If the upcoming series that the Forge story previews were a solo book, I'd be more inclined to pick it up. And nothing save a change of writer would get me to drop coin on this version of Nova.

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3.0
Masks #1

Nov 30, 2012

However being a showcase for Ross' art means pages tend to max out at four panels and splash pages are frequent, so for a 22-page book it feels light and short. Having little connection to the characters I have no excitement for their meeting, and the book provides no anticipation so it's all rather plain and unfortunate spectacle.

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6.0
Mass Effect: Evolution #1

Oct 21, 2011

Basically, if Lapham and Baker's version of bad-boy whimsy caught your attention with the previous Deadpool MAX series, this one's worth a look, though it's not off to a particularly intriguing start. For anyone else, there's better Deadpool, better Lapham, and better Baker, available elsewhere.

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4.0
Memorial #1

Dec 31, 2011

It's disappointing that Roberson has created a vista upon which anything can happen, and has ended up doing the same old thing. There's potential for infinite possibilities in later issues that can ease into the plot and characters with more grace and finesse, but I'll wait for the word of mouth on that.

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7.0
Men of War #1

Sep 9, 2011

The back-up element was unsolicited, though looking back I see that the book was indeed listed at $3.99 and 40 pages (though it is only 28 pages of story). DC attempted back-up features in multiple books a couple years back as a value-added option to raising the price point to $3.99, but the venture lasted less than a year and they rebounded with a “Holding the line at $2.99″ campaign for all titles. I'm skeptical that this one-off in “The New 52″ will fare any better. Much speculation has already gone on, even before the release of any of “The New 52″, about which won't make it past the first year. While I'm certain there's an audience for war comics, and I think that Men of War from my limited frame of reference, actually fits the bill quite nicely, it feels that by saddling it with a back-up feature (regardless of quality) and the higher price point that it's been earmarked to fail from the onset.

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6.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #1

Sep 13, 2013

Early word is that the book has been under-ordered by retailers, surprising absolutely no one, and it's got a hard struggle ahead of it in finding an unbiased audience in an overcrowded marketplace. I honestly believe were this a Heroes-For-Hire or even Luke Cage or Power Man solo book that there would be less scrutiny and next to no conversation about race surrounding the title, though also likely no more successful. I think Luke Cage has evolved beyond the "Sweet Christmas" blacksploitation origins and become a central figure for the Marvel Universe, one who earned a team lead and even his own title without needing Spider-Man to back him up. There's the best of intentions with Mighty Avengers, and some talent to back it up, but not the right next-level talent to both overcome any ingrained prejudices (if this were, say Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato Jr, I don't think we'd be having the same conversation) and elevate the status of yet another Avengers series.

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10
Mind MGMT #6

Nov 3, 2012

It's an interesting project to be sure, but as I start back in on a second read through, I'm just starting to grasp how enthralling and exciting it is.

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6.0
Mind the Gap #1

May 4, 2012

I have a feeling that when issue #4 is out, this will be a book that I eagerly await every month. But not yet.

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6.0
Miniature Jesus #1

Apr 20, 2013

Definitely wait for the trade on this one, or at least bank issues until the five issue series is complete. As it stands, what we have in this first issue of Miniature Jesus is the work of an obvious talent, but an incomplete statement.

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4.0
Mister Terrific #1

Sep 16, 2011

The sequencing of the book is challenged too, with Wallace introducing a mystery that makes it's way to the fore by the end, as well as a quick bit of back-story on Michael's loss of his wife and unborn son, followed immediately by the mysterious appearance of a time hopping teenager who claims to be his son. With an opening superhero adventure, and the social soiree, it really is too much at once, and though comics used to read like this all the time 30 years ago, storytelling is expected to be a little less on the nose. I can predict, given the massive dump of a set up this first issue that subsequent issues may move along more smoothly, at least that's my hope. The character deserves a shot at a quality series, and so far the cover (by J. G. Jones) is the only thing living up to it.

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7.0
Mister X: Eviction #1

May 3, 2013

What stands out is Motter's design sensibility, informed by the architecture of silent German films. This lends a fitting noir sensibility to these crime stories, but it also reinforces the key conflicts presented in them: the struggle between identity and conformity, order and chaos. Unfortunately, none of these thematic elements are ever really paid off here, and in that way it is very much a first issue. Still, it is the opportunity to be exposed to a reputed talent and to see that talent at play, and that is always a risk worth taking.

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9.0
Moriarty #7

Dec 9, 2011

I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. For those fans of Conan Doyle's classic tales, or anyone looking for a rollicking adventure, Moriarty is worth a look.

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8.0
Moth City #1

Apr 26, 2013

Gibson's illustrative style is inelegant, but unique, and it conveys information smoothly and smartly. Fans of Matt Kindt or Jeff Lemire will be right at home in Gibson's muddy, earthen world (his colour sense is what I groove on the most). Like Marvel's "Infinite Comics" digital offering, Gibson takes advantage of the format by layering his panels with multiple "takes" giving the illusion of motion, one of the most alluring additions digital comics brings to the table. As well, the programming that backs these comics allows the creator an increased control over the reading experience, pacing the panel reveals and reading order that contribute something else unique to the reading experience. Gibson uses both of these techniques masterfully, moreso than any other digital-only I've read, and with a story whose purpose isn't to just show off these things. It's great stuff.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #1

Feb 8, 2014

As I say, it's tempting to consider the new Ms Marvel in the context of its commercial prospects, and what it means in terms of diversity and inclusiveness in today's comic marketplace, and I won't disagree that those considerations carry some weight. But I'd rather recommend it on the basis of it being first and foremost a well-told superhero origin story that, while invoking the classic comics of the mid-20th century, may also have something worthwhile to say about the culture wars of the 21st.

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10
Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1

Oct 26, 2012

Sometimes a comic book can celebrate the entire medium simply by being different, and by being very, very good. This is one of those times.

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10
National Comics: Looker #1

Aug 31, 2012

I do not know what the fuck I've just read but…

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7.0
National Comics: Madame X #1

Oct 26, 2012

This isn't New 52, after all.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) #16.1

Oct 7, 2011

Look, I know everyone hates Bendis, and what he's done with the Avengers; I won't try and argue you out of that. But if Neal Adams' recent comeback has been met with mixed results so far, this comic makes it seem as though he's finally got his legs back under him again. In the time since he last worked for Marvel, the main cast of characters has shifted a bit, and this issue is basically one balls-out series of action beats featuring many characters for whom the Adams touch is not nostalgic, but actually fresh and new. Ms Marvel soars, Wolverine bleeds, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones go to town on armored flunkies, and Adams' lanky, animated Norman Osborne hits that perfect blend of presentable madness that makes him appear more formidable than the bulky man-monster-in-a-suit way that we see too often; we also get a startlingly creepy Green Goblin reveal. And it ends with a moment of triumph for Osborne that seems like a good setup for the next few months of Avengers books.

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5.0
New Avengers (2010) #34

Nov 30, 2012

I won't particularly miss Bendis on the Avengers, not because I don't like his writing (he can be hit or miss for me, but generally enjoyable), but because the “big guns” version of the team was not only less interesting to me, but Bendis himself seemed less invested in it: go back through his nearly 300 Avengers issues, and replace the amount of time spent on overexposed characters like Spider-Man and Wolverine with more focus on Jessica Jones or Danny Rand, and you'd have something closer to a Bendis book achieving its real potential. And with a final issue whose strong script is marred by erratic art, I can't really muster up much of a recommendation.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) Annual #1

Sep 9, 2011

If you're not happy with Simon Williams as the latest Marvel hero to go from villain to hero to villain again, you'll want to skip this while cussing out Bendis; if you're just pissed that you're only getting the first half of the story, you'll want to skip this while cussing out Buckley or Brevoort. But if you want to see Dell'Otto wreak gorgeous, gleeful havoc on spandex characters, it's the book for you.

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2.0
New Crusaders #1

Oct 12, 2012

I fully acknowledge it's pretty dreadful stuff, yet, inexplicably, it still appeals to me. There's just something about these doomed to fail characters…

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7.0
No Place Like Home #1

Feb 24, 2012

Of course, the other thing that's too early to know is whether this story is going to offer some interesting perspective, or even clever riffing, on its source material, or if it's just invoking Oz as a readership hook. Ultimately, though, if Tirroto can make the mystery pay off, and do so in such a way as to justify Dee's continuing adventures (which he indicates to be his plan), that will be a secondary consideration" so long as nobody from Frank Baum's family objects to “Dorothy”‘s cleavage.

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8.0
Nowhere Men #1

Nov 30, 2012

This type of corporate vanguard story is not unique in comics, but they're irregular enough that they've yet to feel tiresome or derivative, and when they're well done they add a compelling alternative to the status quo, and with this a fine addition to Image's exceptional roster of alternatives.

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7.0
Occupy Comics #1

Jun 1, 2013

This is all very well, and I applaud this book's existence, but when I said this book is like the flipside of The Green Team, I meant it. That includes the fact that it's a moral, passionate work with its heart in the right place"but with questionable entertainment value.

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6.0
OMAC #2

Oct 7, 2011

It's not as crazily off-beat as Kirby's original (which is still pretty odd three decades later), which is too bad, since I think that surrealism might fare better with a modern audience. It's not brilliant, but it is fun in an old school rock 'em sock 'em way.

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6.0
Orchid #1

Oct 14, 2011

Whether this planned twelve-issue series will settle itself into sufficiently interesting storytelling to justify spending four bucks (or whatever) on future issues seems kind of doubtful, but it's certainly worth your spending a hundred pennies to find out if you disagree with me on that.

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6.0
Painkiller Jane: The Price Of Freedom #1

Nov 8, 2013

Given the limitations outlined above, it's kind of hard to recommend this to anyone except perhaps those looking for a snarling, bad-tempered version ofDanger Girl. But it's a solid choice for that rarified subgroup.

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7.0
Peanuts #0

Nov 5, 2011

Is this a good jumping on point? No, it's in the middle of a story arc but not so far behind that you can't pick up the first two issues. The real problem is it wants you to go out and buy six or seven trade paperbacks and then come back, but at least the present day story is straight forward and accessible.

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5.0
Pilot Season: The Beauty #1

Oct 28, 2011

Tough call: on the one hand, I'd suggest waiting for reactions to the first story arc, to see if The Beauty develops into something that can transcend its more conventional elements. On the other hand, of course, the question of whether or not it will continue is dependent on buyers NOT waiting. Still, there are other books out there equally in need of your support, that will give you back more bang for your buck.

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9.0
Planet of the Apes #12

Apr 21, 2012

Month in, month out, Planet of the Apes is a must read, and it hasn't let me down yet. If it's not part of your pull list yet, make it so.

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5.0
Point of Impact #1

Oct 12, 2012

Point of Impact is an idea with potential, and it has its heart in the right place, but the execution is a noble failure. With a different artist and a length beyond four issues, this could have been something.

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8.0
Powers: Bureau #1

Feb 18, 2013

I suspect I'm not alone in feeling that the previous Powers series occasionally found themselves getting derailed, or outright lost, due in part to the circumscription of local police taking on world-altering situations, and while they were always worth following for the issue-to-issue storytelling, the debut of Powers: Bureau suggests that Bendis and Oeming are flexing their long-term plotting muscles again.

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7.0
Powers: Bureau #7

Sep 21, 2013

In the end, if I were considering Powers Bureau #7 solely on its own merits, I might score it a bit higher than I have; but as an indicator of whether this once-great series is moving out of its somewhat confused fog, and into something as fresh and worthwhile as its initial incarnation, I'd say the jury's still out.

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10
Prophet #21

Jan 24, 2012

Prophet is definitely a title to watch, and will likely be something worth remembering.

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10
Prophet #28

Aug 31, 2012

But that is part of what makes Prophet so good. It seeks to challenge on every level, from the thematic to the aesthetic. It achieves these aims without ever sacrificing readability or clarity. Sometimes you need to remember why you read comic books. Prophet is one such reminder.

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8.0
Punisher (2011) #1

Aug 5, 2011

And that' s actually got me wondering" there is nothing in this first issue that would be out of place in the MAX version of The Punisher: it's every bit as bloody as anything Ennis ever wrote (“Parental Advisory” seems like an understatement), and makes me fear that maybe Marvel's going to close up shop on the MAX book, since they've clearly allowed Rucka and the artists to take the gloves off in a big way here. That would certainly be a shame, as Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon are turning out a uniquely warped comic series; the irony here is that Rucka and Checcetto might actually be out-MAXing them.

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7.0
Punisher (2011) #3

Sep 9, 2011

I've sort of run out of time this week, and can't really do a complete review of this book, but I have to give a quick tip of the hat to Greg Rucka, Marco Chechetto, and Matt Hollingsworth for demonstrating that there is more than one way to integrate Frank Castle into Marvel's superhero universe: while I enjoyed a lot of Rick Remender's over-the-top run, in this issue, The Punisher meets, of all people, the new Vulture, and the often-airborne story is spectacularly dark, dangerous, and gloriously kinetic. The plot manages to complicate Frank's life with an unexpected character reappearance, while always feeling wholly true to the more grounded (so to speak) version of the character that Rucka is shaping. Good stuff.

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8.0
Punisher (2011) #12

Jun 22, 2012

Granted, following up the whole "Franken-Castle" thing would have presented a challenge to any artist, but I can't quite shake the feeling that this may be another case of Marvel trying to shape a character for maximum movie adaptation opportunities. Still, that's a pretty small point: Rucka's Punisher continues to do a fine job of telling crime-comic stories in a superhero universe.

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8.0
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #1

Sep 28, 2013

The list of outstanding Punisher standalone minis from the past decade or so is awfully long (to say nothing of the regular series work from guys like Ennis, Rucka, and Aaron), and while Guggenheim's script may not delve as deeply as the best of them, this book is a good choice for Punisher enthusiasts, and an abolute must for fans of Lenil Yu.

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9.0
Punishermax #22

Feb 10, 2012

I don't know if this conclusion also signals a folding of the MAX tent altogether, but I'd have no problem with that, really; Marvel's never put the marketing muscle behind the concept to make it work as its own line, and now that its first unequivocal success since Alias has finally wrapped up (after over a hundred issues, once you throw in all the miniseries), I'd say it's time. And full credit to Aaron and Dillon: given the challenge of writing a coda worthy of Ennis' epic, they've succeeded to a degree I'd not have expected.

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8.0
Quantum and Woody #1

Jul 13, 2013

Fowler and Bellaire do a serviceable job here, but that's all that's really needed for this phase of the story. It's a first issue, so naturally Quantum & Woody has yet to really tip its hand. This just isn't a showy book, and the weirder elements of the series aren't in play yet. Still, they do a good job of capturing the humor and humanity needed to make Asmus' script work. All in all, a really solid book.

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9.0
Rachel Rising #14

Feb 1, 2013

In other words, if you're a fan ofperceptivecomic writing,greatcomic art, and ominously creepy horror stories, I can't recommendRachel Risingtoo highly" however, what I recommend you do is seek out the first trade collection:Rachel Rising Volume 1: The Shadow of Death, collecting issues 1-6.

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9.0
Rachel Rising #19

Sep 13, 2013

And, in fact, this issue is something of a departure: a more or less self-contained historical piece, tightly plotted and well characterized; even the fact that one of the characters is familiar to regular readers of the series wouldn't leave the new reader lost. They would, though, lose the resonance of recognition, and sensing how this short piece fits into the whole. And then, on the final page, Moore peels back yet another layer of the book's central mystery, and I realize that the task is hopeless: Rachel Rising demands to be read from the beginning (Moore pretty much acknowledges this by refusing to include even a paragraph of recap at the beginning of each issue), with the new reader coming fresh to the story.

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10
Ragemoor #1

Mar 23, 2012

In summation, buy the damn thing already.

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7.0
Red Hood And The Outlaws #8

Apr 21, 2012

In short, if you need your comics full of the hoity and the toity and sometimes, things that make sense, Red Hood and The Outlaws may not be the book for you. Now, if you simply want a superhero comic that seems to enjoy being a superhero comic, then this is a comic you may want to check out.

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7.0
Red Sonja (2013) #1

Jul 19, 2013

Which is not to dismiss the book out of hand. The setup is a good one: a figure from Sonja's past, to whom she owes her life, or at least her freedom, comes to her for help in an hour of dire need, and the redheaded swordmaiden will be forced to contend with insuperable odds to return the favor. Simone's Sonja has the rough haughtiness of a proven warrior, balanced with the flame of indignation when she sees the weak exploited. She's about as convincingly badass and capable as a character can be in her underwear, and Geovani has a nice feel for his setting. It's an intelligent, well-crafted first issue of yet another in the interminable iterations of the Hyborian Age, for those not yet burned out on that. I guess I had sort of built my hopes up for something more revolutionary, which is certainly not Simone and Geovani's problem.

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10
Reset #1

Apr 21, 2012

Reset reads like great stand up. You go in a few expecting jokes, but walk out with a bit of understanding and pathos. What at first glance seems like impotent bitterness is revealed as sadness comingled with a sense of tragic anger. In the face of that, all that you can really do is laugh.

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6.0
Resurrection Man (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

Abnett and Lanning are joined by Fernando Dagnino, whose style isn't quite the same as Butch Guice's but isn't all that different either. He's more on the side of Gene Colan giving the book a bit more of an old-school horror vibe, though it's a really soft horror that's largely more comfortable in action/suspense/thriller mode. Dagnino's style is as much about mood and setting as it is about movement, character and action, which leads to some wonderful visuals of the plane in the sky on a stormy night and of the post-crash burning wreckage in the woods. The story is good but it's really the visual atmosphere that sells it. Looking forward to more.

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5.0
Road Rage #1

Feb 17, 2012

If you've found yourself caught up in car-chase comics before (The Hire, Supercharger, etc.), you'll find this well-executed, if a little short on the actual chase stuff. Otherwise, not sure I can give it a huge recommendation. Might make a helluva movie, though.

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8.0
Saga #1

Mar 16, 2012

Despite whatever nitpicks I may have, Saga #1 is obviously a strong debut for an intriguing story by two creators with a vision, and it certainly doesn't feel like a rehash of the kind of thing we've seen before. For many fantasy series, the implication of a sprawling, years-long epic to come feels like a threat; for Saga, it's something I can actually look forward to.

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8.0
Saga #5

Jul 20, 2012

Most importantly, it finally feels as if the plot is coming together. While the chaotic feel of the book has been exhilarating these past few months, the story that it's had to tell has felt very straightforward and not terribly compelling. There have been some recent wrenches thrown into the characters' lives, particularly the not-quite-villain bounty hunter dubbed The Will, who made a very rash decision in the last issue. He seeks some help from an old friend, but it's fairly obvious that no help will be forthcoming by the issue's end. Until now, I've been interested in Saga as an aesthetic experience, but with its fifth issue it seems that Vaughn has found a voice for the plot as well as his concerns. After five months, Saga has earned its prerelease excitement.

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9.0
Saga #6

Aug 17, 2012

Brian K. Vaughan has yet to let me down with any of his comics work, and his impeccable track record continues with Saga. I'm not sure that it's going to exceed Y: The Last Man or Ex Machina as his best work, but I'm not sure that it won't either. What's incredibly evident is how much fun he's having with this series, how much thought he's put into it already, and just how much he loves and knows his main characters. He has a journey in mind that he wants to take his characters on, and as he exclaims in his letter column (remember those?) he's exceptionally pleased that there's a growing audience wanting to join him on that journey.

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9.0
Satellite Sam #1

Jul 6, 2013

Even without the noir elements, which don't really make themselves apparent until the end of the story anyway, this makes for a wonderfully fresh and original comic, something unlike anything else on the stands right now. The golden age of television may be over, but comics are one medium that keep a little of its scrappy spirit alive.

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10
Saucer Country #1

Mar 16, 2012

Saucer Country #1 is a book I've been genuinely looking forward to and I can happily say it far exceeded my already high expectations.

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6.0
Savage Wolverine #1

Jan 18, 2013

Self-recommending for Cho fans, Shanna fans, and Wolverine fans. I think that's probably enough buyers that they won't miss your four bucks at all.

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10
Scalped #60

Aug 25, 2012

In some ways, the ending also feels like a new beginning, but Aaron has says that he's not planning any more Scalped, and while it's possible to imagine more stories that could be told in this setting, they're not necessary: the throughline from Indian Country, the first story arc, through the absorbing stories of characters like Diesel, Franklin Falls Down, Shunka, and Sheriff Kurnow, to the concluding Trail's End, has been as involving and moving as any comic I've read in years. It may hurt to know that I won't be reading new installments of Scalped any more, but honestly, it had to end this way.

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8.0
Secret #1

Apr 13, 2012

Where Hickman's other creator-owned series which launched last month, Manhattan Projects, was a bit hindered by its high concept in the opening chapter, Secret is perfectly paced and more accessible. Not that it's a competition, mind you.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #20

Dec 31, 2011

I only have one reservation: if we had a scoring system with quarter-stars, I'd definitely knock one off for John Cassaday's cheesy Planetary-lite style cover, which really conveys nothing whatsoever about the tone of the book. But it's not worth docking the book a full half-star, as long as you don't let it stop you from picking up a terrific piece of comic entertainment.

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8.0
Serenity: Leaves On The Wind #1

Feb 28, 2014

So yeah. The Firefly crew are back, and they're big damn heroes. Looks like you really can't stop the signal after all.

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8.0
Severed #1

Aug 19, 2011

Thankfully, joining the writers Scott is artist Attila Futari whose attention to detail leaves a lot of opportunity for the eye to wander around the page. Futari's work is very natural and European in sensibility, giving both the 1910′s and the 1950′s prologue a tangible setting that his characters don't just inhabit but live and breathe in. The earthen color palette Futari works with estalishes a crisp fall atmosphere that leaves the book with a damp bite turning to a full-on chill with an early snowfall. That mood the writers Scott build with their story is perfectly complimented in the art.

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9.0
Severed #7

Feb 10, 2012

This issue's epilogue wraps back to an older Jack, where we left him from the prologue, hinting, in truest horror fashion, that perhaps this story isn't as finished as we'd though. In the letter columns issues prior Snyder and Tuft made mention they have more Severed in their pocket, and this issue's endgame certainly seems to allude to that. Whatever issues I have with the finale to the story, any disappointment I might have is made up with by the hope of more. While I wait, I can spend even more time getting lost in this creepy little world.

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10
Sex Criminals #1

Sep 28, 2013

That Sex Criminals is for adults only goes without saying-as it says on the back cover, “Don't Sell This to A Kid. What Are You, Nuts? Seriously.” But for comic readers of what we might call an “appropriate age,” this is not to be missed.

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7.0
Shadowman #1

Nov 21, 2012

Shadowman is entertaining and well worth a look, but time will tell if it lives up to its predecessor's cult reputation.

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9.0
Six Gun Gorilla #1

Jun 15, 2013

A goofy high-concept gimmick can be death for any story, and this comic combines that with the fact that it's a reboot of an old, musty public domain character who's in even less demand these days than someone like The Shadow or The Green Hornet. But Spurrier and Stokely overcome these handicaps with passion and sincerity, and whatever lingering doubts remain are dispelled by their engagement with the context of their work. While Dynamite comics (to use the most obvious example) seems to be desperate to convince us that the unreconstructed heroes of the pulp era are still relevant, Six Gun Gorilla works to shape them into something new. That's the only way pulp, as a genre, is going to escape being trapped in amber.

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6.0
Smallville Season 11 #1

May 4, 2012

Smallville fans will be pleased. I hesitate to call myself a Smallville fan, but I too am pleased. If you enjoyed the TV series, specifically in its later seasons, it's a must read.

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9.0
Smallville Season 11 #16

Aug 16, 2013

This is just insanely entertaining all around. If Azzarello ever leaves Wonder Woman, Miller's the guy to pick up the torch (or give her a second series even), or if another TV series is in the works, he's the guy to run it.

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7.0
Snapshot #1

Feb 9, 2013

There's kind of an upper ceiling on expectations of a story like this, particularly in four issues: with puzzles nested inside other puzzles, it will be sufficient if Diggle delivers a satisfying set of answers along with the brisk pacing.

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10
Spaceman #9

Aug 25, 2012

Spaceman is still a story that I haven't feel like I've quite cracked yet, so all of my postulating on its themes is quite tentative. But that is the thrill of Azzarello and RIsso when they are at the top of their game. Puzzling at first, Spaceman is a story that I will be glad to continue to live with and unfold.

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8.0
Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #1

Aug 12, 2011

Editor Steve Wacker sums things up at the end of the book by making it clear that Marvel would love to see this miniseries as a launching point for a full-blown Cloak and Dagger ongoing. If they can keep this creative team together, I'd be completely onboard for that.

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8.0
Spider-Men #1

Jun 15, 2012

You will note that I've put up both the regular cover and “alternate” versions of the cover with this review, because someone at Marvel needs to be shamed into admitting it was their idea to take Pichelli's perfectly serviceable original cover, with the two masked Spider-Men, and replace it with one where their faces are badly photoshopped over it (and, worse, to make that the “official” cover!). I understand that Toby Maguire or Andrew Garfield may have it in their contracts that they have to spend X amount of time onscreen without their masks, but Peter Parker and Miles Morales don't get to make those sorts of demands. Christ, that thing is fugly.

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5.0
Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Oct 21, 2011

It's an innocuous start, and yet, I think it's exactly what this series needs. There's enough here in concept alone to keep even the mildly curious coming back for at least one more issue.

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7.0
Star Wars: Crimson Empire III - Empire Lost #1

Nov 5, 2011

A few choice cameos and nods to fans make for an enjoyable experience, and the action and intrigue are enough to bring me back for a second issue, but it'll have to be an impressive second issue. At the very least the painted covers will make sweet posters.

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5.0
Steed and Mrs. Peel Vol. 2 #0

Aug 31, 2012

Given that this is an introductory “#0 issue,” it's possible that Waid's future plans for the series will involve more than just cleverly riffing on past memories of the TV series; but absent the living, breathing chemistry of Macnee and Rigg, and the immediacy of the production values, music, and photography of the original, it's hard to see this being anything more than a nostalgic nod to the past.

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7.0
Steed and Mrs. Peel Vol. 2 #1

Jan 24, 2012

Steed and Mrs. Peel does a good job at hinting at the elements of the original TV show's strengths, but it does tend to point up how much the personal chemistry of Macnee and Rigg helped ground (and elevate) scripts that might otherwise be an unconvincing jumble of the mundane and the ridiculous. Not the place to start with this property, but for fans, a nice bit of nostalgia.

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8.0
Storm Dogs #1

Nov 9, 2012

Though characterization takes somewhat of a backseat to the world building in the first issue, it's evident in the backmatter of the book (which includes behind the scenes sketches, script excerpts and insight into character creation and development) that there's as much thought put into the people as there is in all the other facets of the book. We're only getting a glimpse at the surface of the universe Hine and Braithwaite have built as their playground, and I'm already invested and keen to see more.

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8.0
Stormwatch (2011) #1

Sep 9, 2011

Stormwatch #1 is a brilliant comic exploration of the scope and depth of DC "new" universe. Definitely one you'll want to pick up.

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7.0
Stumptown Vol. 2 #1

Sep 14, 2012

I was left impressed with Matthew Southworth's work after the first volume, which I recall being bold with his line weight and not afraid of shadows, but not ala Mignola, nor any attempt to push Stumptown into noir stylings. Instead, alongside a superb attention to detail (just check out that car Dex sits on on the cover) Southworth brought Portland to life in the pages. He does so again here, but this time his work is more open, with the lines much looser and the shading being left to the colorist. Unfortunately the best description of Rico Renzi's colors I can come up with is muddy. I don't know if there was a printing error but the colors make the pages look fuzzy or washed out and generally unappealing to look at. It's a shame because in black-and-white or duo-tone (like on the cover) I think Southworth's work is incredible.

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7.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

It's not high-art, but it is quite entertaining. Glass' script lacks the gallows humour that it's immediate predecessor, Secret Six, had, but it's not completely devoid of levity either. In filling the void of Secret Six, it will be interesting to see if Glass can build a team like Gail Simone did, and if he's even interested in building a support organization like the 80′s Squad had. The foundation Glass has laid so far is really good, but what it really needs is consistency on art. Two different artist handle the duties on this issue's 20 pages, each distinct enough from the other to be noticeable and a little distracting.

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6.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #8

Apr 13, 2012

Plus, I can't wait to see if/how Yo-Yo escapes from King Sharks' intestines.

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4.0
Suicide Squad (2011) #20

May 11, 2013

Oh, don't get me wrong, I can see why a lot of folks would like this book. It has what you'd expect from a New 52 comic; it has conflict a'plenty. There's indecision, posturing, cynicism and betrayal all over the place. I didn't dislike Suicide Squad #20; it just wasn't what I'm looking for in a comic these days. It's very much a New 52 comic.

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6.0
Supercrooks #1

Mar 23, 2012

Not a bad start to a story, though the events of this issue will be easily summed up on the recap page of issue #2, which is where we'll find out just what Millar's got to offer on this one. So feel free to wait.

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8.0
Supergirl (2011) #1

Sep 23, 2011

It's an engaging first issue, and probably the cleanest, leanest story of the New 52. I'm not certain if this will be the definitive Supergirl comic, but it's off to a great start all the same.

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8.0
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1

Jul 6, 2013

Writer Nick Spencer mingles scruffy urban noir with a nicely skewed sense of humor, and Boomerang's narrative voice has just the right touch of tough-guy snide ("Together, we're the new Sinister Six! And, yes, I am aware that there are only five of us. Thank you."). Though I suspect the series will be more plot-driven as it moves along, this first issue sets the tone with wry humor, and touches of slapstick. Steve Lieber (Whiteout) was one of the artists on the Hurricane Sandy issue of Hawkeye, and while his layouts here tend more to the conventional than Aja's, he does have a similar sense for a lived-in urban setting. I don't know if a book like this can find an audience without dragging in Spidey, or other big guns, on a regular basis, but for however long we have it, Superior Foes of Spider-Man seems likely to be a real treat.

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #1

Jan 11, 2013

I hope I'm jumping to conclusions: I hope that Slott has a few twists, turns, and kinks left in this one before the inevitable return/renaming/renumbering, and my grade reflects some confidence in that.

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6.0
Superman (2011) #1

Sep 30, 2011

As I say, good comics come from good creators telling good stories, not from corporate imperatives toward change, and in the end, Perez and Merino understand that, basically, old-school Superman was never broke and, commercial considerations aside, really didn't need fixing.

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5.0
Superman (2011) #6

Feb 24, 2012

After six months, it would seem that DC doesn't really know who Superman is yet.

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6.0
Superman (2011) #13

Oct 26, 2012

The book isn't perfect (thought bubbles are an odd choice), and time will tell if this team really "gets it," but there are a few of reasons for fans of Superman to be at least cautiously optimistic.

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7.0
Superman Unchained #1

Jun 15, 2013

Superman Unchained #1 is a fun, intriguing addition to the Superman mythos This feels fresher and newer than what's current carrying the “S” on comics racks and more importantly, accessible. I came more for Superman but will be staying more for Superman's interactions with the greater world. Snyder and Lee's Superman is just a very good man. It took two years. I'm glad he's finally here.

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8.0
Superman Unchained #3

Aug 23, 2013

This third issue shows things starting to add up. We still don't quite know what Luthor is up to, but Snyder slows the action down a bit here to set up some serious stakes for Superman, and they aren't just the threat of physical violence at the hands of the series' new (semi)villain character, Wraith.

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6.0
Superman: Doomed #1

May 17, 2014

Doomed is shaping up to be a crossover unlike any other: epic in scope and stakes, yet still retaining a sense of the intimate. With writers like Greg Pak and Charles Soule leading the charge, this may be worth continuing to look into.

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10
Supreme #63

Apr 6, 2012

Here, Moore's final script provides a nice segue into Erik Larsen's tenure on the book (Larsen provides the art for this issue with Cory Hamscher), and unlike the previous issue, this IS a cliffhanger. This means that what would have been Moore's final issue will instead be written at least partially by Larsen, and I'm not 100% sure how I feel about that. But then, it's pretty churlish to complain when a long lost chapter to a beloved series has just landed at my feet. That's still one more issue than I had any right to expect.

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8.0
Supurbia Vol. 2 #1

Nov 30, 2012

I'll admit that I'm scoring this issue a bit higher than it might warrant as a standalone, but knowing just how well Randolph pulled off the first Supurbia miniseries, I'm willing to grade heavily on future potential.

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9.0
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1

Aug 16, 2013

While the DC comics version was more sophisticated in a sense, and genuinely good reading, it wasn't nearly as much fun as this is. A long, healthy run is looking good.

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7.0
Tall Tales From The Badlands #3

Feb 8, 2014

With or without that moneyback guarantee, I can recommend Tall Tales From the Badlands to readers looking for a new twist on a familiar genre.

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7.0
Teen Titans (2003) #100

Sep 3, 2011

By the looks of the new Teen Titans book in the new DCU, the lightning has gone out of the bottle again (yes, I am pre-judging). I could be surprised, but when a broken thing is finally fixed, it seems not such a good idea to go ahead an break it again so soon.

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5.0
Teen Titans (2011) #7

Mar 30, 2012

Teen Titans is a mostly bad book with some good, fun touches, but it just feels ends up feeling inauthentic. Those itching for teen superheroics might want to check out Superboy instead.

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7.0
Ten Grand #1

May 3, 2013

Paranormal procedurals can be tricky to pull off, since a mystery story is typically most satisfying when the impossible becomes the inevitable, and Joe seems to be operating in a universe where not much seems "impossible" in the first place. But even if JMS fails to completely stick the landing (or even finish the thing), as has been the case with previous books like Rising Stars, Squadron Supreme, and Midnight Nation, he and Templesmith promise that it'll be an engaging ride along the way.

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

May 18, 2012

Somewhere back in dim antiquity, there's a version of me that would have found this comic an awesome amount of fun; that is, unless I had bought a Spider-Man comic with the expectation that Spidey would actually do something in it.

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8.0
The Avenging Spider-Man #1

Nov 11, 2011

The pros, however, outweigh the cons. If you're looking for a no frills, pure Spider-Man action, this is the ticket.

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10
The Avenging Spider-Man #7

May 11, 2012

Upon finishing this issue, I wished for more fun, clever comics like this one. Upon finishing this review, my lap is still empty so" make with the comics, folks.

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6.0
The Avenging Spider-Man Annual #1

Nov 3, 2012

Not a book to change your life, and not a story that really justifies the 27-page count on any basis save squeezing out an extra buck. But for anyone who's got a soft spot for the heroes involved, you could absolutely do worse.

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8.0
The Black Beetle #1

Jan 25, 2013

Dark Horse has been moving away from their pulp template with titles like The Massive and Mind MGMT, but they're still the premier publisher of new pulp stories in the comics medium, and these two very solid entries testify to that fact.

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10
The Creep #0

Aug 10, 2012

Both a compelling mystery and a heartfelt examination of urban loneliness, The Creep is something that you simply must check out.

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7.0
The Crow: Skinning the Wolves #1

Dec 14, 2012

For all of the skill on display, The Crow: Skinning the Wolves feels a bit typical. It fits snugly into the modern tropes of the modern "historical revenge" sort of fantasy that industrial scale suffering seems to have unleashed on our culture, and its voice is a little too reliant on an early 90s Sandman sort of vibe. Still, the book manages to satisfy, and while there are some elements that feel very derivative, it manages to avoid the cliche.

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8.0
The Damaged #1

Aug 19, 2011

It's possible that Damaged will revert to yet another story where the protagonist strides in slo-mo through a hail of bullets to execute deserving bad guys while the audience cheers. But as the title seems to indicate, I think Lapham's aware that a vigilante is just as likely to be a troubled, impotent person who creates just as many problems as he solves.

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6.0
The Darkness #101

Mar 23, 2012

I was surprised by The Darkness this month. It feels like a book full of possibility. Fans of almost any genre will find something to like here: we touch on superheroes, crime, horror, and Michael Moorcock's Elric stories. In fact, Estacado himself reminds me of Elric quite a bit, and The Darkness itself Stormbringer. Here's hoping that, like Elric, Jackie Estacado will be able to swim in the soup of genres that his creators have placed him in and finally reach his potential. But the emphasis here is on possibility. This issue's merits are many, but it's not quite a homerun on its own. Still, it's enough to bait the breath for further issues, and that's quite something.

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5.0
The Dream Merchant #1

May 17, 2013

There are worthwhile things about this comic; I appreciate Novosadov's sketchy, not-quite-indie artwork, which has a Fabio Moon-style energy, and the basic storytelling here is rock solid. It's just employed in the service of a story that gives us little reason to care as of right now. I'm always reluctant to sweepingly condemn a first issue, since so much more of the story remains to unfold, but this comic has 45 pages to make its point, and it's just barely getting started by the end. If a comic's not going to grab you by the throat and make you pay attention right from the beginning"and again, I do appreciate the lack of a hard sell"then it's got to hook you with originality or other unique qualities, and The Dream Merchant doesn't really manage any of that. It tells the story of a man who's so caught up in his own dreams that he can't engage with his life; and it's a story that, itself, is so caught up in itself that it can't engage with its audience.

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8.0
The End Times of Bram and Ben #1

Jan 11, 2013

The book has several well-crafted comedic scenes like that, where ideas are taken to their logical conclusion, and is seems like the comic is just getting started at the cliffhanger. For a medium referred to as "comics", this grasp of humour is disappointingly scarce, which makes The End Times of Bram and Ben a real discovery. One might almost say"a miracle.

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8.0
The Fearless Defenders #7

Aug 2, 2013

As Fearless Defenders kicks off its second story arc, it's tempting to gloss over any flaws in the script for the rare chance to savor stunning interior art from Stephanie Hans. Her covers for Journey Into Mystery were right up there with what we expect from books like Fables, but when she finally got the chance to offer her glorious painted interiors on Kieron Gillen's final issue of the series, she gave us the best single-issue superhero comic artwork of 2012. And while I seriously doubt we can expect her to become the regular artist on this book (or any monthly) she goes a long way to adding some gravitas to Bullen's scattershot script.

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10
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story #1

Dec 13, 2013

In a way, The Fifth Beatle reminds me of Fraction and Zdarsky's Sex Criminals: a story that would, on its own, be as readable and well constructed as any biography I've read recently, is elevated even higher by artwork that compels re-reading, and a reminder of the unique virtues of graphic storytelling.

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3.0
The First X-Men #1

Aug 3, 2012

Artistically, this is immediately recognizable as a Neal Adams book (the wild looks of astonishment, the use of posture and body perspective to convey emotion), and the draftsmanship and paneling are impeccable: they're also the sort of thing he was doing in his sleep thirty years ago, and doesn't appear to have awakened since; again, nothing about the look of the book suggests that drawing comics was getting his juices flowing again, or that he had new ideas to explore. It's just the latest collector's artifact for the Neal Adams completist. He didn't become a legend by repeating himself, but by challenging himself, and us. Only challenge he faces here is getting another four bucks out of me next time.

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6.0
The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #7

Mar 30, 2012

It's not perfect, but it has a definite sense of direction, and it's already building momentum. It still may not be what old school Firestorm fans are expecting but this issue is a good step towards brighter days for ol' flame head.

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10
The Goon #38

Mar 23, 2012

Powell prefaces the story with a dedication to “the best grandma anyone could ask for,” and from the pictures, his late gran appears to have been a Wanda Jackson/Patsy Cline type guitar-slingin' gal, and while Kizzie doesn't appear to resemble her much, Powell brings the love for both women alive on the page.

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7.0
The Goon #39

Apr 27, 2012

Last month, The Goon #38 delivered a strong, unusually emotional entry in Eric Powell's ongoing saga of zombies, fists, debauchery, tommyguns, excrement jokes, ghouls, demon babies and the like. Naturally, one wouldn't expect Powell to operate in that mode for too long, so this month you'd expect things to be back to the grossouts and the silly" and you'd kinda be right, but"

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6.0
The Green Team #1

Jun 1, 2013

Mostly, though, it's an effective comic"it's just, in this age where people are losing their homes and America's infrastructure (both physical and economic) is crumbling because a few monstrously wealthy gadabouts decided to play roulette with other people's money, is this really the comic we need?

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8.0
The Hypernaturals #1

Jun 29, 2012

After so much goodness in their Marvel Cosmic work, I shouldn't be as surprised as I am by how successful DnA are at bringing a new, original cosmic series to life. But Hypernaturals works, and works incredibly well. Fans of Legion of Superheroes, Guardians of the Galaxy and superheroic space opera take note.

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8.0
The Last Battle #1

Dec 23, 2011

Dan Brereton's art is the obvious highlight here. The style he adopts for this book is sort of a combination to the heroic styles of Cary Nord and Bruce Timm, which fits this story perfectly. The colors are just gorgeous to look at, as well.

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6.0
The Last of the Greats #1

Oct 7, 2011

While virtually any miniseries probably reads better in collected form than single issues, Last of the Greats is one that I definitely suggest treadwaiting: by the time it's done, there should be enough general buzz about it to let potential readers know whether or not it took off from its rather slow-paced opening chapter.

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7.0
The Manhattan Projects #1

Mar 9, 2012

The Manhattan Projects isn't a triumph out of the gates, and it's not Hickman's strongest work, but it's certainly not boring, and the places it's leading to are definitely unknown. In a landscape of retreaded ideas and familiar characters, it's definitely worth sticking with.

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10
The Massive #1

Jun 15, 2012

The Massive is one of the must read creator-owned titles of the year. Wood's talent for exploring current events through plausible scifi hasn't let up. It may take you a couple of readings before you find your way in, but The Massive rewards the effort.

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9.0
The Massive #4

Sep 14, 2012

The world building in the series, is what I'm most impressed with. Wood has decimated the planet, but not in simplified form, like your typical zombie apocalypse or whathaveyou. Instead Wood approaches the new world order from all angles, looking at commerce and borders, technology and infrastructure, governments and organized crime and many other strands that form the complex web of global society. Wood isn't interested in a simplified world, he wants this new world to be as complex to navigate as the old one. Through the book's central story as well as keenly designed and deftly orchestrated backmatter Wood really weaves a post-apocalyptic society that never actually went through an apocalypse. It may wind up a total Libertarian fantasy, but we're only four issues deep so far, so I guess we'll see.

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6.0
The Mercenary Sea #1

Feb 15, 2014

What really sets The Mercenary Sea apart from the usual Doc Savage/Phantom knockoff adventure is Reynolds' artwork, which I suspect is going to be both a strong selling point, and a complete deal-breaker, depending on the reader.

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8.0
The Movement #1

May 3, 2013

But of course, the politics are inextricably bound up with the nature of this book, and exactly what Simone chooses to say with it will have a massive impact on its quality, regardless of how entertaining it remains on every other level. Right now, this comic is walking a razor's edge, and it could fall off with the very next issue. For now, though, this is the first really interesting comic DC's published since The New 52 broke, and a possible glimmer of hope that we might get more superhero comics with something to say.

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7.0
The New Deadwardians #1

Mar 30, 2012

In the same fashion, the story itself is hardly bursting with freshness or pulse-pounding originality. It's a deeply familiar set of tropes, even with a story as deftly set up as this one. Yet the fact that it manages to work as well as it does within the confines of such a well-trod genre is a commendation in and of itself. The Edwardians inhabited a British Empire that was already dead but still hadn't realized it, whose best days were behind it but still had momentum; replace "British Empire" with "genre" and you've described The New Deadwardians as well. But, also like the Edwardians, it continues forward with formality, seriousness, and a stiff upper lip. VERY stiff.

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3.0
The New Ghostbusters #1

Feb 18, 2013

The art, by Dan Schoening, is appealing in its own way, but I don't know that it's the right fit for this series. His ghosts and monsters definitely look like they fit right in with the aesthetic of the original movie and the cartoon. However, his ultra-stylized cartoon renderings of the "real world" characters and places fails to really create a contrast between the mundane and the ghostly. Schoening's storytelling doesn't do much to elevate the script, either. A good artist can give a script a sense of movement, but that is not something that's present here. It feels like Schoening is simply "drawing the script" here, but given the limpid plotting and humor, he may not have much of a choice.

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8.0
The Private Eye #1

Mar 29, 2013

Even more so than Saga, it feels like Vaughan here is willing to let the art bear some of the load of storytelling, and to take a step away from reality into the world of stylization. It's an impressive creative progression for him, and I'm excited that someone as successful as he is is willing to make it on his own terms. Vaughan could have used comics as a stepping stone and then abandoned the medium forever; it's gratifying to see him still granting the medium his interest and respect.

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8.0
The Rinse #1

Sep 3, 2011

At full price, this one would be recommended; I'm giving it an extra “star” for being a bargain.

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6.0
The Rinse #4

Dec 9, 2011

It's clear that The Rinse, as a series, is intended to be a longer, deeper story: not to be too spoilery here, but plenty is left open-ended so Jeff and IRS agent Della Dash can continue their opposite-sides-of-the-law-attract flirtation. I'd be interested to see if Phillips can get a bit more “show, not tell” with his plotting in the future, and I'd enjoy seeing what a different artist might bring to the party.

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7.0
The Rocketeer / The Spirit: Pulp Friction #1

Jul 26, 2013

That's also the biggest drawback to the overall impact of the comic: there was always a dark core at the center of both of these strips, whether it was the sexual frustration at the heart of Cliff's relationship with the often downright unpleasant Betty, or the Spirit's frequent appearance in his own comic as a supporting player in stories of human weakness and folly that came right out of Saki, or an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And given the inevitable need to streamline both characters for casual enjoyment, as well as the restrictions inherent in this kind of licensing, Waid and Smith can barely hint at the darker elements that kept these characters memorable, despite the passage of decades (in the case of The Spirit), or the tragically small output of Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens. What Waid and Smith might have come up with on their own, not shackled by the realities of corporate entanglement, is left just an enticing tease.

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8.0
The Secret History of D.B.Cooper #1

Mar 16, 2012

It's an enjoyable read, but with the added touches it's an even better experience, loaded with the mystery of how it all builds to Cooper's infamous deboarding. I'm in.

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8.0
The Shade #1

Oct 28, 2011

Robinson's scripting isn't the tightest, I often had to reread conversations to get the flow and intonation right, but he's certainly got his mojo flowing, something I wasn't expecting to ever return, having actually gave up on him altogether a couple of years ago after once being a huge fan. He's joined in the first arc of this mini-series with Cully Hamner who illustrates conversations with just as much gusto as his action sequences. Hamner's heavy lines and clean layouts give the series an animated feel, perhaps not true-to-life, but definitely lively. Though I don't recall him ever working on Opal City before he seems to have a sense of ease and familiarity in illustrating its denizens which makes it a warm read under a cool title. The art team is slated to rotate out throughout the series, with talent like Darwyn Cooke, Frazier Irving and Jill Thompson amongst the other names. This, from purely an artistic standpoint, is going to be a gem of a title.

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9.0
The Shade #4

Jan 13, 2012

From Tony Harris' pulp-inspired cover to the lively adventure serial plot, this is pure entertainment, working exceptionally well as both a done-in-one and thematic tie to the overall series.

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8.0
The Shade #11

Aug 17, 2012

Irving's style is at it's worst unique, and at its best, as it is here, jaw dropping. His storytelling prowess rivals the best the industry has to offer, and his creativity in layout, page construction and character design only seems to be growing. I could stare at these splash pages for ages.

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8.0
The Shadow #1

Apr 21, 2012

In the end, it has to be admitted that revisiting yet another well-worn character from days gone by may be of limited value for a lot of readers, but Ennis' enthusiasm for the character, and confident plotting, do the job about as well as you could ask.

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8.0
The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun #1

Mar 29, 2013

As a series of individual tales, I could see Sons of the Gun as a gateway into the main series, though I would implore that the first trade is where anyone should start. Be warned, it is addictive. With the Carlton Cuse-guided NBC pilot currently shooting, hopes are high for a success that brings even broader exposure to these incredible comics. I love the main series and would happily shell out for any franchise material that maintains it's consistently high level of quality, which Sons of the Gun does.

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3.0
The Spider #1

May 26, 2012

Liefeld has his fans, and they'll probably like this book. But for the rest of us, it's like Bob Dylan's Christmas album without any of the confidence to go completely crazy (like this), and yeah, without any of the past glories. Youngblood could have been something deliriously loopy, but it makes the mistake of caring what you think.

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8.0
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1

Oct 7, 2011

The nerd-becoming-superbeing isn't exactly a new trope, but there's still room to work with it, and the first issue of Luther Strode plants enough seeds of intrigue, and hints at enough secrets to come, that I'm on for the ride.

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8.0
The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #1

Jun 15, 2013

This keeps with the theme of the story, that punk rock rebellion can be superficial, just another indulgence for the spoiled. Killjoy's wannabe freedom fighters may love striking an antiauthoritarian pose, but that doesn't mean they actually have what it takes to make real changes. Rock and roll can't save the world just by existing, and buying the T-shirt doesn't make you a revolutionary. Fortunately, Way's not like his characters"he's no flashy tourist to the world of comics. He's settling in for a nice, long stay.

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7.0
The Underwater Welder #1

Aug 17, 2012

The end of the book captures a very tangible emotional moment, the one many new fathers have when they realize the severity of the tectonic shift that's occurring beneath the feet of their lives. Their entire foundation is shaking and the structure of your life has to be rebuilt to support that quaking or else it will all crumble beneath you. Through his art it's a defining moment that Lemire shares with (hopefully) millions of other fathers out there, myself included. It's handled beautifully, I just wish the journey that got Jack Joseph there resonated as strongly.

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8.0
The Unexpected One-Shot #1

Nov 19, 2011

I'm intrigued. The pinups in the back alone hint at a concept rife with possibilities. I admit a part-Darth Vader Red Baron has me excited, and the shots of the adult Greys in battle gear are quite striking. There is that risk, however, of coasting entirely on a concept. There's also the risk of playing into the “bad grrl” genre, with T&A and big guns substituting for storytelling. Luckily the creative team of Carbon Grey look to be avoiding those pitfalls, and have established a setting worth revisiting, with class, politics and war all crashing into a theme of control. Each story revolves around the human spirit somehow managing to triumph over the system, even if it's a small victory. This union of the human spirit is universal and captures empathy and sympathy well, even in a world of killers and diplomats.

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7.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #1

May 17, 2014

I'm still not entirely convinced that there's a case to be made for La Cosa Nostra taking the place of Iran, North Korea, or Putin's Russia as the principal international thorn in America's side, but I'm sufficiently engaged in Valentine's story to stick with it for now.

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5.0
The Vault #1

Mar 2, 2012

All in all, fans of Gastonny will want to take a peek, as he's in fine form, but anyone else might consider saving their money for the film.

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9.0
The Victories #1

Aug 17, 2012

There is certainly much here that is derivative, but Oeming goes after Victories with such gusto that even the most derivative elements feel fresh.

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8.0
The Wake #1

Jun 1, 2013

The Wake is, as of its first issue, nothing revolutionary, but it appears to conceal some ambitions that it is confidently keeping under the table until the right time. Until then, it's just damn solid.

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6.0
The Walking Dead #100

Jul 13, 2012

Remember when you read issue #100 of The Walking Dead"?

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7.0
Theremin #1

Apr 20, 2013

Theremin comes from Monkeybrain Comics, a digital only publisher that's taken the unique stance of offering up every issue of their titles for only 99 cents. The books seem to hover around the 12-15 page point, which is more than worth the money compared to other digital and physical offerings.

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6.0
Thief of Thieves #1

Feb 10, 2012

Thief of Thieves is a very well made comic book, and looking forward I can see a lot of potential. But that's part of the problem. Make me care right now. I can see this becoming a great series, but you might want to wait for a few more issues before really jumping in.

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7.0
Think Tank #1

Aug 3, 2012

Think Tank is well worth picking up, but like so many of Image's other high concept Sci Fi titles from the past year, I find myself wishing that it pushed a little bit harder and dug a bit deeper.

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6.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #1

Dec 7, 2012

In addition to slightly resenting this series for sundering Rucka's relationship with the Punisher, it's also tough to see the character back in Steve Dillon's hands and not pine for more of his collaboration with Ennis on the character. Dillon always gives good gore, and having a cast of characters that don't all have the same nose (given that we have both masked and female characters featured) will add a bit of visual variety. There's the usual stiffness to some of his paneling and postures, but his aggressively bleak work is certainly appropriate for what Way has set out for him; the question is whether we really need another black-hearted book about psychotic superheroes, even one executed as efficiently as this one.

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8.0
Time Warp #1

Mar 29, 2013

Those two stories are easily worth the price tag, which is more than I can say for a lot of the twenty two page books retailing for two bucks. While the other stories in the collection aren't quite up to that standard, there's something to like in nearly all of them.

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10
Tiny Titans #50

Mar 23, 2012

Aw Yeah, TItans, you'll be missed.

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3.0
Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #1

Jan 18, 2013

Part of me feels that I'm somehow being unfair to this comic, and maybe it's worth keeping an eye on. But right now it's proof of a philosophy of mine: breaching the bounds of good taste is an admirable goal, but only if you have the talent to back it up.

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4.0
Transfusion #1

Oct 12, 2012

Reading the two genres books back-to-back, it's interesting to juxtapose them, and see how Transfusion's attempt at being clever falls apart as it tries too hard to distinguish itself as different, while Non-Humans embraces its influences and it's only in its adhesion to the conventions that it effectively differentiates itself.

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10
Trillium #1

Aug 9, 2013

In short, Trillium is unique for its cohesive vision, but it's also filled with really fun genre ideas and an emotional milieu that rings true. Socrates posited that his cure was the hemlock, and thus death. Trillium seems to say that we might be able to do better than that, but we won't really know until issue 8. Strongly recommended.

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7.0
Uber #6

Oct 11, 2013

It's unfortunate that Avatar doesn't intend to issue the first trade paperback collection of Uber till next year (there's an expensive, limited-edition deluxe hardcover on the way first). While issue #6 is a theoretically decent jumping-on point, since we've moved on to a different setting and group of characters, it really needs the context of the first story arc to be truly effective (or even intelligible in some ways). Indeed, this is probably the weakest issue of the series so far, but that's largely due to it having less buildup, and fewer new discoveries for the reader. Avatar does have the previous individual issues in print for online ordering, but it would be nice for new readers to binge on the series' beginnings in a reasonably-priced collected form before it gets too much further along. Either way, though, if alternate history, and intelligently explored questions of science-fiction and superpowers, are of interest, it's time to get caught up on Uber.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1

Sep 3, 2011

If you were intrigued by Hickman's start to The Ultimates, and you're ready to settle in with the larger story he's telling, then you'll find this an intriguing chapter. But you're not going to find it a knock-off-your-socks standalone.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Iron Man #1

Oct 19, 2012

The art by Mario Buffagni, with color from Andy Troy, is clean and appropriately modern in design, old-school in its storytelling. The flashbacks made this first issue feel a bit of a slog, but if future issues emphasize forward motion, it should be a reasonable supplement to Iron Man's participation in the ongoing Ultimates series.

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10
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1

Dec 9, 2011

I'm more than impressed. With all the "Death of Spider-Man" hype, and the resulting ballyhoo around "the black Spider-Man", it's refreshing to see that this book isn't just a gimmick. Bendis and company are pouring soul into this, making for impressive reading, and no doubt a fantastic journey. The "Must Have" has done its job. I will continue to read (though probably in trade), and for the first time in about 30 years of reading comics, I may actually call myself a fan of Spider-Man.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #1

Sep 3, 2011

In fact, there are signs, starting with the monologue on the first page, that Hickman's going to try and deal with the fundamental amorality and unpleasantness of Millar's vision. I don't think it's a coincidence that, as the story opens, Captain America has gone missing, and we then get a plot in which the Avenger's arrogance puts them in a tight spot. It seems like Hickman's going to take the hard road of redeeming these characters from the amoral dunderheads Millar made them out to be. This means that we have to start from the same place Millar (and Loeb, I'm assuming) left off, which makes for a less than appealing comic"but I'm expecting great things further down the road. With any luck, Hickman can put the "hero" back in "superhero".

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10
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #9

May 11, 2012

With two issues remaining in Hickman's run, given the scale, I expect no resolutions, and no closure to the story Hickman's been telling, so hopefully, in co-writing with Humphries the transition seems more seamless than jarring, and that, at least some of the concepts and master schemes he was building towards will be fulfilled.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #15

Sep 21, 2012

And on the odd chance that you haven't seen USA Today lately, I won't spoil the (not entirely logical) plot twist in this issue: if you're not currently reading Ultimates, issue #15 would be a perfectly reasonable jumping-on point; and since Marvel's already spoiling #16 for us, you'd better get on it fast!

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5.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #25

Jun 7, 2013

I's possible this story will serve as an important step towards the bigger scheme of the Ultimate Universe (“HUNGER” as the promos proclaim) but more likely it's just biding time, filling the schedule until the Event arrives.

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7.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #1

Sep 23, 2011

As the first chapter of this new version of the X-Men saga, this should leave you wanting more, and it definitely does. However, one could reasonably argue that it wouldn't have killed Spencer to, in fact, give you a little bit more—at least more action—in this issue.

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6.0
Ultimate Fallout #6

Aug 19, 2011

The comic mini-series with the blandest title in history wraps up this week pretty much the same as it's gone on for the previous five issues: herky-jerky stop-and-start storytelling, with a crazy quilt mixture of characters and creative teams. Which doesn't make it bad by definition; it does mean, though, that it helps to be in the mood for a sort of low-key roller coaster ride.

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6.0
Ultimate FF #1

Apr 19, 2014

With its hipper-than-thou personality clashes, and nods toward forward-looking science, Ultimate FF #1 feels a lot like one of Warren Ellis' Ultimate books, which means it's probably no coincidence that its big reveal at the end nods back to one of Ellis' more controversial choices. This first issue leaves us up in the air about future direction: Fialkov's intent to shake things up is laudable, but so far I wonder if we're not actually looking at the Ultimate U's version of Avengers AI: a fairly conventional superhero yarn about super-smartasses, with a few good jokes thrown in; either way, stronger art will definitely help.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers #1

Oct 12, 2012

Ranking a book like this is always tough: no corporate-managed superhero comic can ever fully exploit the medium's possibilities in the way that, say, a Chris Ware or Charles Burns, can. But in the context of the beginning of whatever Marvel Now! conceives itself to be, and as a way of hooking readers on its future potential, it's hard to imagine it being done any better.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #1

Jan 25, 2013

In short, this is a book that emphasizes craft and clarity, and in the tangled, confusing world of the X-Men, that's something that deserves a cheer.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #1

Feb 18, 2013

Uncanny X-Men #1 wasn't terrible. Not at all. It was a Cyclops story. And the thing about a Cyclops story is that you, the reader, knows what he doesn't. He's Cyclops. He's doomed; set up to have his ass handed to him and can't even see it. Uncanny X-Men #1, in that regard, is excellent in that it simply invites you to the fall.

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4.0
Valen the Outcast #1

Dec 9, 2011

I guess it's worth a dollar.

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7.0
Villains For Hire #0.1

Nov 5, 2011

It's a simple enough concept, and old pros Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning approach it straight on, with entertaining action, strong dialogue, piles of spandex and a brewing larger conflict. Renato Arlem isn't called upon to do anything unusual for an action-oriented comic, so it comes across as an old school romp of fights and tights. It looks good, and it goes down easy. My biggest problem with the book was indeed my own, in that I couldn't separate Misty from Oracle, as she's playing pretty much the same role, only with bigger hair and more cleavage.

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8.0
Wolverine (2010) #300

Jan 13, 2012

So this was an entertaining diversion. It's comfort food, but much more like a burger from Five Guys than McDonalds (certainly as pricey, which may deter the casual reader). It has macabre humor, solid characterization, dynamic art, and a fast pace and drive towards a perceivable goal. There's nice nods to continuity (Wolverine mentions being an Avenger, and Sabretooth cracks on Wolverine for being a headmaster now) without dragging the narrative down, and even the illusion of change: Yukio is crippled, Amiko is older, there's a new Silver Samurai, etc. Aaron does a good job of keeping the ball rolling, and while this isn't necessary at this point it's at least classic Wolverine done right.

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7.0
Wolverine (2013) #1

Mar 16, 2013

No substitute for more of Saucer Country, I'll grant you, but a must for fans of either Alan Davis or the bad-tempered mutant Canuck.

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7.0
Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #1

Jan 9, 2012

I have my doubts that this story is headed anywhere particularly startling (among other things, it's a self-contained miniseries), and Logan's virtual-world “assignment” feels pretty old-hat, but I like the sharpness, both in tone and appearance, of Wood's version of Quire. And while (with apologies to Jason Aaron), I really don't much care what anyone does with Wolverine anymore, he's well-handled here; less tiresome and overbearing than he can be. Definitely worth a look-in for Wood fans curious about his new project.

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5.0
Wolverine MAX #6

Apr 26, 2013

I think this misses an opportunity to examine the stubborn inertia of anger. Logan's humanity means more when it is hard-won through his ambivalent struggle with rage and his good fortune in finding loving friends and allies who refuse to give up on him. His humanity is worth less when it comes naturally instead of being perpetually endangered.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #0

Sep 21, 2012

Chiang's art is quite good here. He captures the feel of classic Wonder Woman stories within his own distinct style, which throughout this run has had a sense of lyricism that's hard to pin down. His action doesn't have much visceral impact, but it unfolds at a similar lyrical pace as the rest of his storytelling. This is for the best, as the unfolding of the series has revealed a story about clashing ideals of the Self, and the combat must do its part to convey those ideas. What we lack in widescreen superheroics is recompensed by a clear-eyed thematic focus on the part of the artist, a success in a run full of them.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #19

Apr 26, 2013

It's almost… good. Rocafort could be one of the great Superman artists if he were teamed with a writer that took a firmer hand in dictating how he tells his story. As it is, he's really good at capturing the scale of Superman's power, but his narrative style has no flow to speak of. While his drawings are undeniably pretty, there's just no momentum. Then, there's barely any momentum in the script. For all of Lobdell's neat or fun ideas, there's just nothing hooking them together. If there were, we might have something.Wonder Woman

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6.0
X #0

Apr 12, 2013

No complaints about the work of artist Eric Nguyen and colorist Michelle Madsen: the art in this issue is appropriately tough and arresting; frankly, it wouldn't have looked out of place in a Punisher MAX book. If the art team stays together, they bring enough visual punch to carry a series like this, even if the story's still looking for its own identity.

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7.0
X-Factor #229

Dec 23, 2011

David has, over the years, proven exceptionally adept at balancing the drama with levity, solemnity with action, and just making the book a continually enjoyable, and, at times, evocative read. Though it may prove a bit to “inside-baseball” to be the best jumping-on point for new readers, it is a big reminder of what type of book it is and why its loyal readers keep reading it.

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7.0
X-Factor #250

Jan 18, 2013

As many readers know, David suffered a stroke late last year, and if that meant handing over the reins of the book to someone else, even temporarily, that would be completely understandable. But I'm going to hope for his recovery, not just for him and his family, but for my own selfish reasons: I want him to feel well enough to keep turning out this charming gem of a book.

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6.0
X-Factor #257

Jun 7, 2013

X-Factor has been one of Marvel's most pleasant change-of-pace titles for the past few years, and while I'm sorry to see it end, the rather conventionally “epic” Hell War storyline did suggest that it might be time for David to take a fresh look at his favorite Marvel characters; I'm less worried about losing X-Factor than I am wondering whether Marvel will be inclined to give David the leeway to make his next project as rewardingly individual and idiosyncratic as this series has been at its best.

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7.0
X-Factor #262

Sep 6, 2013

I hate to be too hard on this comic: it's not without wit and heart, and I think we can all agree that a series as good as this iteration of X-Factor deserved to go out on its own terms. This final story arc wasn't the series' strongest, but if Peter David felt it was one that needed telling, I won't begrudge him that.

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10
X-Men (2013) #1

Jun 1, 2013

X-Men #1 is the rare comic that was worth the wait and more. Wonderful characters, a story that makes you want more and an artist at the top of his already considerable game. X-Men #1 is a comic that has what it takes to take my money.

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8.0
X-Men (2013) #3

Aug 2, 2013

The result is a comic that has some of the perceptive character work of Wood's Ultimate X-Men run, but with sharper, more stylish action. If this keeps up, the potential is there for this to be among the best X-Men series so far.

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4.0
X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2

Nov 2, 2013

Collected in trade form, the throughline of this event may overcome the wild inconsistencies in tone between titles, and within this one issue, setting up the next year's worth of mutant merriment. Or you could just wait and pick up Amazing X-Men #1, and find out how fucking Nightcrawler comes back from the dead.

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4.0
X-Men: Gold #1

Nov 15, 2013

I lost touch with the X franchise some years ago-an inevitability, really, as with rare exceptions (Si Spurrier's X-Men:Legacy is probably the best recent example), getting the most out of Marvel's mutants involves something resembling full immersion, and not one segment of this comic would entice you to do that.

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6.0
X-O Manowar #1

May 4, 2012

I should clarify that it doesn't necessarily seem aimed at the reader of old, but instead new readers, however, demographics have shown that the bulk of the superhero comic buyers are people who would have been there the first time around, so I kind of wonder what the point is. That said, origin stories are so tedious and cliche that it is what comes after that will really measure the success of the relaunch and whether it's worthy of your time (and money). I find it hard to recommend as is, but it just may be worth a closer look in trade.

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4.0
X-Treme X-Men Vol. 2 #1

Jul 30, 2012

I wouldn't normally be terribly disappointed in an unsatisfying X-Men series (after all, there's always another one right around the corner), but Pak is one of Marvel's best writers (and one of the few that really seemed to get what Morrison's New X-Men was all about in his Phoenix: Endsong series a few years back), so I don't think it's unreasonable to have had relatively high hopes for this one going in. By specifying that X-treme X-men takes place prior to the current Avengers – X-men crossover, Marvel more or less invites readers to simply sit back and enjoy the ride, but Pak needs to get a firmer grip on his story before that's going to happen.

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8.0
Young Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 25, 2013

Gillen has said that he wants this series to show the transformative period between the (roughly) 16-year-olds of Heinberg's run, and the 18-year-olds he depicts here, on the cusp of adult responsibility. The arc subtitle, “Style > Substance,” feels like an ironic commentary on the power of that transition, because there's just as much emotional truth underneath as there is super-powered fun on the surface.

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8.0
Young Avengers (2013) #6

Jun 29, 2013

For regular readers of Young Avengers, this issue may look like a bit of a breather till next time, but that's deceptive: new readers and old will be equally drawn in and compelled not to miss issue 7.

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