Jim Kingman's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 38
7.7Avg. Review Rating

10
100 Bullets #57

Jan 14, 2005

In Voodoo Downs aftermath, the once wayward Minutemen have pretty much fallen into Agent Graves line. Graves is soon going to make his move against his former bosses, the Trust. Then all Hell is gonna break loose, and Ill be back to taut nerves and sweaty palms as the series climaxes and concludes. I dont know who is going to survive 100 Bullets. I just hope its me.

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6
52 #1

May 14, 2006

52 #1 is not a bad comic. It may even be a great chapter. But the only thing I know for certain is that its only a drop in the large saucepan of a really big stew known as the current DC Universe. And the drops are going to keep right on coming into a wealth of already dissolved ingredients that will eventually, hopefully blend to make a tasty meal. Until that time, were only tasting the concoction in preparation and not the finished product, and I know that doesnt make sense because we are tasting the final product in the form of all that is One Year Later. Mysteries abound, confusion reigns, and the story can only continue unfolding. The Circumvolutionary Age of Comics is here. Its going to be a heckuva year.

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4
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #512

Oct 3, 2004

And thats what we have here. Days of Our Lives in the pages of a superhero comic book. Sins Past: Part Four is the stuff of soap opera. It even employs soap opera fantasy: aging characters at a swifter pace than humanly possible, simply to allow the kind of comic book action and confrontation readers expect from a superhero tale. But for the longtime Spider-Man reader, The Revelation is a harsh body blow. Its sensationalism. Its betrayal of established character. Its bad editing: Gwen went to London, not France (Im sorry, I dont care how high the writer or editor is ranked in Wizards popularity polls. If they trip up on established continuity, the faithful reader is going to be distracted because of the oversight). Sins Past does get high marks for Deodatos artwork. And Ill reserve overall judgment because this story arc still has a ways to go. But at this particular point, I feel bad for devout Spider-Man readers. I went through this ten years ago with Hal Jordan. No fun.

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10
Astro City Special: Supersonic #1

Aug 22, 2004

There is a beautiful full-page illustration by Anderson of Supersonic soaring enthusiastically over what appears to be Arizonas Monument Valley. Whether the sun is rising or setting Im not sure, but the scene took my breath away. Its an image of Supersonic in his heroic youth, while the thought captions placed beside and below him are from the present, where he is currently in battle and getting beaten quite soundly. But Supersonic is not giving up. Hes hanging in there, determined to triumph. And he does. As have Busiek and Anderson. This book is worthy of its special title.

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8
Avengers (1998) #500

Aug 1, 2004

My only complaint was that the fall of the Avengers was just so relentless and overwhelming. I couldnt catch my breath. I hope matters slow down a bit in future installments. I hope the unseen foes are a surprise when finally revealed. I hope the Avengers survive this chaos!

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5
Avengers (1998) #501

Sep 5, 2004

On all counts, youd think that the Avengers were some novice group under fire for the first time instead of the experienced super-group that they really are. In the storys defense Ill reiterate that its an exciting, intense read and the artwork unquestionably shines, but the implausibilities that abound here are unfortunately marring my enjoyment of the comic.

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6
Avengers (1998) #502

Sep 26, 2004

Another month before more explosions can resume! My review space has abruptly filled! Its time to cut-off! Oh no.

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8
Batman #646

Oct 21, 2005

While Batman #646 is the beginning of a new story arc, it still carries over major plot threads from previous issues while directly tying into the aftermath of Villains United. No problem with me. The Batman has his hands full, and the action and drama has been turned up to a fevered pitch. This Batman, as far as Im concerned, is in terrific shape, both mentally and physically. I just know hes going to emerge triumphant. And thats the Batman Im happy with.

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10
Common Grounds #4

Apr 26, 2004

At the books center is the Common Grounds cafe, of which there are many across the country. Current and retired superheroes and supervillains go there for coffee and crullers, and sometimes they find themselves chatting with forgotten foes they once battled years before. The human elements are accentuated here. Its a terrific concept, and positive word of mouth is slowing spreading on this book. It deserves it. Artwork by Chris Pacheco, Dan Jurgens, and George Perez certainly doesnt hurt, but this is not the kind of comic thats gonna easily crack the Top 100. Itll need strong support to survive. Its going to need good sales. So Im off to buy the first three issues right now so I can read em all right away, and then look forward to hopefully more Common Grounds!

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10
DC Comics Presents Superman #1

Aug 8, 2004

DC Comics Presents: Superman is a fitting tribute to arguably (but no argument from me!) the greatest comics editor of them all, not to mention a terrific comic book cover. No un-tribute like conduct here. Now its time for me to reread Superman #264. I hear the crickets outside the apartment. A cool evening breeze comes through the open window after a long days heat. It reminds me of summers way back when, and its exactly how I want summer to be now. There are splendid comics, both new and aged, before me. Suddenly, I dont feel so old anymore.

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7
Defenders (2005) #1

Jul 24, 2005

Again, nothing new in the way of plot (many issues of the original Defenders series billed the group as a non-team banding together only when the life of Earth was threatened, which is pretty much what we have here), but in the artistic hands of Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire the dialogue and situations have a humorous, lighthearted focus that youre not going to find in House of M or any of the DC books leading up to Infinite Crisis (not to mention most issues of the original Defenders). The colors are vibrant, the skies are bright and clear, and the costumes and superhero shorts distinct and classic. The facial expressions are priceless. And even with Earth threatened for the umpteenth time, Stranges life once again in jeopardy, the Defenders having a hard time getting along, and Dormammu killing people left and right, the tone isnt at all serious. Defenders #1 is simply a fun comic to read; the kind of fun that makes rereading it such a pleasure, and the thirty day wait for the

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6
Elektra (2001) #35

Apr 26, 2004

The best part of the comic is the cover. Daredevil and Elektra are swinging off into the sunset, staring at each other, love in their eyes, both in full costume. Its the happy ending for them that were never going to read.

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7
Enginehead #1

Apr 26, 2004

McKeevers art, however, is sensational. I admit it wont be everyones cup of tea but nonetheless it is wholly suited here. His dense, smeared, distorted, scratchy style captures the various moods that Kelly is setting into place, gloomy in one panel, overlapping with brightness in the next. And if ever DC decides to resurrect the Metal Men in their own book, McKeever would be the perfect artist for it. His rendition of Tin on page 16 is perfect. Too bad Tin refused the offer to join the team! Okay, the first issue has me won over by the artwork while skeptically hooked by the story. Now lets hope it really kicks into gear.

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10
Fantastic Four (1998) #512

Apr 30, 2004

Theres also some adult interaction between The Thing and his gal, Alicia Masters, to add the right touch of seriousness to the almost relentless levity. But no gloom, no doom, not even in foreshadowing! I can handle this kind of story every five issues or so! Waitthis tale is continued! I can hardly wait for #413!

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8
Glass Eye #1

Oct 14, 2005

We live in a world plagued by bad dreams, dull lives, the ravages of time, video games, the misinterpretation of historical figures, relentless pranksters, and zombie films. And thats not such a bad thing when seen through a glass eye. Glass Eye is a black and white independent comic published by Blind Bat Press. Mark Innes is the publisher/editor and he has compiled short works of several fine creators into the kind of anthology only an independent comic can publish. I am very impressed by this debut. All the stories have their own voice and distinct feel and pacing, and each warrant several readings. Theres an on-the-edge rawness displayed here. The tales dont lose direction, they draw you in, then bite with a point. I knew I was hooked when the worms in the first story started talking amongst themselves. And the rugged, rocky, untarnished-by-man landscape of the dinosaur world on the back cover took my breath away. Glass Eye is a book worth checking out.

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8
Green Lantern: Rebirth #1

Oct 31, 2004

Finally, as a longtime Hal Jordan fan who did not like the way the character was abused and misused over the last ten years (although looking back as I did in the first paragraph, its a heck of a story; did I mention he also brought Green Arrow back to life?), I could have easily given this issue five silver bullets. Green Lantern: Rebirth is a solid first step in the right direction for getting the Silver Age Green Lantern back on track. However, in initially touching on so much GL history it will probably leave new readers out in the cold. Past issue references, explanatory footnotes or an additional text page of GL history would have enhanced this first chapter greatly (and probably this review, come to think of it).

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10
Identity Crisis #1

Jun 14, 2004

Im going to miss Sue Dibny. She didnt deserve this. I love seeing my League back in action. I hope justice is served. And Ive got to give Meltzer all the credit in the world, because he has made me realize just how much I cared, and still care, about the Justice League of America.

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10
Identity Crisis #2

Jul 18, 2004

For this long-time reader, who has always seen the Satellite Era of the League in a positive and, over time, nostalgic light, the revelations are jolting. Still, it is all very well-handled. Meltzer works hard, and succeeds, in making this story connect to the Leagues history. He gives a sense of urgency, drama, tragedy, and pathos to the proceedings. While reading this tale, Meltzer made me angry, amazed, sympathetic, and thoughtful, all at the same time. He brought back many good memories, and has messed with every one of them. Morales and Bairs artwork is terrific. I cant stand whats happening here to my favorite characters in Identity Crisis #2, yet Im going to read it over and over again, just like I used to read each issue of JLA in my younger days, enjoying every page and panel of it.

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8
Identity Crisis #3

Aug 15, 2004

Identity Crisis is one compelling story. Thats why I love it. But there are good characters being horrendously treated, and thats why I hate it. And you bet I cant wait until the next issue.

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10
Identity Crisis #4

Sep 19, 2004

While the cliffhanger ending is kind of weak (and somewhat removed from current continuity over in the Superman books), its enough to make me really, really want to discover who the villain is. Someone, or someones, very powerful and very smart is behind all this. I believe that if I studied IC hard enough the answer would be right in front of my face (up until now Ive been making guesses; now I feel as if Ive been supplied with clues). On that note, Im going to read IC #4, and the issues leading up to it, one more time! And then its on to the hallowed pages of Justice League of America!

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6
Identity Crisis #5

Oct 24, 2004

Next month the focus is on Batman and his role/reputation as Worlds Greatest Detective. I expect a major revelation on page 30 of Identity Crisis #6. I dont think Ill be disappointed. But I hope Im not repulsed, either.

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8
Identity Crisis #6

Nov 14, 2004

On the other hand, with that gripe out of the way, Identity Crisis #6 is a great issue. Brad Meltzers story remains thrilling, painstakingly constructed, and full of small and big surprises. Much is revealed this issue while many questions arise. And if Sues killer is who Batman thinks it is, itll truly be a shock. Im on the edge of my seat to see how Meltzer rationalizes it. If the killer is who I think it is, then its a shock with a plausible explanation, but a shock nonetheless. Also, Rags Moraless art is simply fantastic, and I really like how a potential visual mistake in issue 3 is revealed here to be another part of the JLAs dirty secrets. Good twist here. Overall, there is a sincere effort by the books creators to make this story work, satisfy, and surprise on many different levels, and I commend that. I now have one month to play Batman and arrange and process my theories to see if Ive solved the puzzle, confident that Meltzer will throw me for one last aweso

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8
Incredible Hulk (1999) #82

Jul 4, 2005

A pleasant surprise, Incredible Hulk #82. Cheers to all involved in its production!

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8
Infinite Crisis #1

Oct 16, 2005

Granted, Infinite Crisis #1 is by no means a self-contained story. New readers and speculators alike may be confused or put off. I do wish there had been a synopsis of some kind to bring everyone up to speed on what is happening in the book. References and footnotes to other involved titles would have enhanced the epic feel. But as far as epic superhero storytelling is concerned, Infinite Crisis #1 delivers the goods, and is well worth the anticipation. Is it potentially the greatest superhero epic since Crisis On Infinite Earths? Could be. It is a commendable start.

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4
JLA #115

Jun 12, 2005

There is an emphasis on melodrama in these books, as if Im watching soap operas saturated in colorful spandex, and while I concede that it makes for some intriguing moments, a little imagination would go a long way toward making these comics something special.

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7
JSA: Classified #2

Aug 28, 2005

I originally felt that Amanda Conners artwork, both here and in JSA Classified #1, conveyed a slight Manga style that I am not exactly comfortable with. Then I began to study a few of the individual panels and discovered more subtle details. Im warming up to it. The key sequence on page 19 involving Power Girls openness with Superman atop the Daily Planet building is particularly emotional, especially when Karas eyes begin to well up with tears. That got to me. Heres hoping she gets her due. Its time to give Power Girl a real history, a solid identity, and comfortable sense of self. Shes always been a power girl, now lets see her as a power player.

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8
Justice League Unlimited #11

Jul 11, 2005

All in all, I was very impressed and satisfied with Justice League Unlimited #11. Its the kind of comic I will enjoy rereading on many summer nights to come. Now, I wonder how long its going to take me to find that filed copy of Metal Men #49?

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10
Loveless #23

Apr 3, 2008

This story may in time transcend Loveless itself. The series has a following of around 7,000, which usually spells imminent doom in the comics industry. But with Top of Thunder Azzarello and Zezelj have created a short, concise, unforgettable story that may very well stand the test of time and low sales. It doesnt just have classic written all over it. It has class embodied within it.

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8
Marvel Monsters: Devil Dinosaur #1

Oct 10, 2005

If youre looking for todays grim and gritty atmosphere in comics storytelling, you will be disappointed. Pass this book up. If youre looking for a throwback to Kirbys remarkable impact on comics structure and design, then steer clear, this isnt about aping Kirby. But if youre looking for satisfying escapism, a nice break from all thats real, and a gentle homage to a comic whose creator proved capable of so much more, then the new Devil Dinosaur is just for you. Youll be Eternally grateful you gave this book a shot.

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10
Planetary #20

Aug 1, 2004

I read Rendezvous the first time and thought, Gee, that was a quick read. Then I read it again and thought, Boy, theres a lot going on here. Then I went through it page by page and enjoyed the artwork alone. Then I started reading it backwards. Then I read it from start to finish again. Then I started pulling out the back issues and began reading them. Ill be reading issues of Planetary all weekend. Come Monday Ill be anticipating the next issue, and we all know how long that anticipation is going to be!

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10
Solo #8

Jan 5, 2006

Ruins is a tale of decay and depression, melancholia and remains. It is about the twilight of longevity after the most personal of devastation. Kristiansen exhibits 20 panels of comfortless landscapes, darkened halls, silent rooms, and desolate paintings. We bear witness to the decimation of ones work though art when existence no longer has meaning. At storys end there is quiet irony and finality, of lost beauty that could endure through memory if memory were not cast to ruin.

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6
The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive (2006) #9

Mar 8, 2007

Of course Im being selfish. I want to look up to The Flash again, and I want DC to make it so I can believe that I can look up to The Flash again. While The Flash #9 served a purpose and got me thinking, and I appreciate its providing me the perspective and clarity for what Im feeling, Im sad that the days when the character inspired me are gone. The Flash has taken several steps back. I suppose the time has come for me to move on.

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2
The Warlord #1

Mar 6, 2006

But not me. While DC has resurrected Jonah Hex and Sgt. Rock with solid results, I feel theyve missed the mark with The Warlord, and thats a shame.

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8
Ultimate Nightmare #3

Oct 17, 2004

The writing is fine, the art terrific, and there is a genuinely tension-filled sequence involving The Ultimates, pages 6-15. Nick Furys team is definitely treated to the meat of the comic here, while the X-Men are awarded the cliffhanger on page 22. There are a few clues dropped in at the beginning as to what is happening overall -- although if the year 1927 is supposed to ring a revelation bell I still need to do some historical research -- but for the most part the reader has a ways to go before all will be revealed. So Ultimate Nightmare: Chapter Three stands as a solid chapter to what is, of course, a serialized book, primed for trade paperback.

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6
Ultimate X-Men #49

Jul 18, 2004

As a non-X-Men fan, I was entertained by Ultimate X-Men #49. Though not necessarily hooked, I was impressed enough to consider trying a back issue or two.

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8
Vimanarama #1

Feb 13, 2005

Morrison provides some good humor in this story, especially in the conversations between Ali and his brother and father. That, of course, disturbs the heck out of me, because there was humor in Seaguy #1, too, and I wont soon forget how that turned out. But for the time being, Vimanarama, while hard to pronounce and even harder to write, is a lot of fun, in the kinetic and frenetic GM way. Still dont trust that Morrison, though.

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4
X-Force (2008) #1

Aug 12, 2004

That being said, Liefeld certainly delivers on the artistic front. I was especially impressed with page 22 where some guy named Shatterstar does one of those vicious Liefeld kicks (similar to how Mike Grell used to have Karate Kid leap across rooms all those years ago). Hey, its what I paid to see. I didnt buy X-Force for the story. There is a story here, somewhere; after all, something has to be going on so everyone can pose dramatically over the course of 23 pages. But I had no intention of reading the comic. If I started doing that, I would most likely be disappointed and then become highly critical. As stated above, there are many others who will be doing that with far more enraged eloquence than me. When theyre done writing their perfectly valid opinions, they will put X-Force aside -- like Im doing right now because I am now done looking, writing and thinking about it -- and enjoy the really good stuff that came out this week. The X-Force fans, meanwhile, are already eagerly

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10
Y: The Last Man #26

Sep 5, 2004

Pia Guerras artwork may first appear a little bright and relaxed for such a serious storyline, but it fits perfectly. Her rural landscapes are exquisite. Brian Vaughan is making his strong writing skills known on many books, notably Ex Machina, but Y: The Last Man is where he really shines. The man knows how to pace a story, and he is a true master of the cliffhanger. One month between issues is just too long!

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