Justin Partridge, III's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Newsarama Reviews: 309
7.8Avg. Review Rating

9.0
100th Anniversary: The Avengers #1

Jul 23, 2014

The 100th Anniversary gambit has been a very ambitious one for Marvel, one that mostly has disappointed readers and critics alike. You would never think that as you read James Stokoe’s Avengers #1. Stokoe handles the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with am insane confidence that is heightened by the powerful visuals that make up this one-shot. James Stokoe may have been one of those dark horse indie creators that readers never thought would get a shot to handle the A-list characters of Marvel’s premier teams, but 100th Anniversary Special: The Avengers #1 shows that Stokoe has been playing in his own league for years, and he is more than a match for these characters. This one-shot is a stunning display of a creator’s talent and we should count our blessings that we have artists like Stokoe lurking in the wings of comics, ready to swoop in and smash conventions at will.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #26

Dec 9, 2013

After a few misfires and false starts, it seems that Action Comics has finally found sure footing again with Pak and Kuder. This team has delivered a fun and surprisingly intimate first volley that gives us more than a few hints toward a larger, surely entertaining upcoming arc. Always forward, dear readers. Let's hope Pak never gives us a chance to slow down from here on out.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #29

Mar 6, 2014

Pak and Kuder are quickly becoming one of my new favorite creative teams and, for the first time in a long while, Action Comics has once again become one of my favorite books on shelves.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #31

May 15, 2014

Superman may be on the road to ruin and doom, but Action Comics is looking to be better than ever.

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8.0
Action Comics (2011) #36

Nov 10, 2014

Every small town has its secrets, even one as idyllic as Smallville, and Greg Pak, Aaron Kruder, and Wil Quintana have given us one hell of a sneak peak under Smallville's seemingly perfect public face. Action Comics #36 may not be the biggest Superman story going right now, nor is it the most action packed, but it is most definitely the most engaging one. Greg Pak and his art team understand that you don't have to shoehorn a set piece into every other page in order to tell a compelling story. All you have to do is present engaging characters with real human motivations and foibles and let them be humans, instead of the infallible ideal of humanity that some comics present. Action Comics may be a title that was built on all action, all the time, but Greg Pak and his team have made it a book about characters above all else.

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10
Action Comics (2011) #40

Mar 12, 2015

While Pak's script is razor sharp, as per usual, the real star of this issue is artist Aaron Kruder. Kruder seems to be having the time of his life rendering the insane citizens and cities of Bizarroworld and the ultra-crazy, cute effects of Doomzarro's powers. It is something you have to experience for yourself.

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9.0
Action Comics (2011) #42

Jul 2, 2015

Greg Pak's tenure on Action Comics has been filled with emotional storytelling, but this new status quo for Kal-El allows him to tell more intimate, street level stories while still exploring who Superman is and how he deals with this new found predicament.

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7.0
Action Comics (2011) #46

Nov 19, 2015

While not an altogether horrible installment, Action Comics #46 feels like a bit of a stumbling block amidst a consistently solid crop of issues.

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5.0
Age of Apocalypse (2015) #1

Jul 9, 2015

Age of Apocalypse offers none of that, but it has plenty of ammo pouches and huge forearms to go around.

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9.0
Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and The Bird #1

Nov 17, 2015

While readers familiar with this world and character will get the most out of this debut, Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and The Bird #1 is a book tailor made for fans of books like the Anita Blake series or old school Vertigo Comics fare. Writer Caitlin R. Kierman walks a fine line between new issue and latest installment, delivering a debut issue that gives new readers just enough to come back for more, while surely pleasing long time Alabaster fan. Combine that with the vibrantly two-toned visuals from Daniel Warren Johnson and Carlos Badilla and you have a debut issue that is sure to get people talking.

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7.0
All-New All-Different Avengers #1

Nov 11, 2015

My critiques about structure aside, All-New All-Different Avengers #1 is a youthful breath of fresh air for the Avengers line. Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Sonia Oback along with back-up artists Mahmud Asrar, and Dave McCaig deliver a fast-paced, character-focused debut that is well-aware of the universe that it inhabits, instead of standing apart from it. Though we don't see the full might of this new squad just yet, All-New All-Different Avengers #1 shows that the creative team has a firm handle on the characters separately before they start them playing off each other and fighting the battles that they can't face alone.

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7.0
All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1

Oct 6, 2015

Point One books are always interesting, and this new one-shot collection is no exception. Despite a few of the stories not fully landing, the strong narrative through line coupled with some restrained yet entertaining looks at Marvel's next slew of debuts make All-New All-Different Marvel Point One feel like a great run of trailers right before the next new blockbuster. It has long been said that Marvel has the deepest bench of talent in superhero comic books, and this new collection is a very strong argument for that sentiment. Marvel has a cadre of talented writers at their disposal and twice as many artistic talents waiting in the wings and this Point One is a great platform for them to show exactly what they can do, as well as what we can expect from their new books on the horizon. All-New All-Different Marvel Point One may not be essential reading, but it is all kinds of fun all the same.

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10
All-New Captain America #1

Nov 17, 2014

This first issue doesn't have an agenda or a larger point to get across - it simply wants to tell you a thrilling tale starring one of Marvel's new A-listers and it does so in grand style. I had high expectations for this comic going in, and I'm thrilled that All-New Captain America #1 exceeded them at every turn.

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8.0
All-New Doop #2

May 26, 2014

While comic fans have praised certain comics for their realistic portrayal of superheroes and their exploits, there is always a large part of us that clamor for abject weirdness in the pages of our favorite funny books. It has been there since the very start; the need for the surreal. Drama and consequences are all well and good, but every once and awhile you need a book that completely cuts lose in regards to character and ideas. All-New Doop #2 is that book. It’s a book that wears its heart on its sleeve, while throwing itself off the deep end as to how weird it can be and is. While the X-Men universe is home to a great many insane concepts and characters, Peter Milligan, David Lafuente, and Laura Allred present a very convincing case for Doop taking the cake as the weirdest, most charming member of the X-Men universe.

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8.0
All-New Hawkeye #4

Jul 23, 2015

All-New Hawkeye #4 shows that this creative team is more than comfortable thinking outside the box to deliver a heartfelt tale starring our favorite archers.

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3.0
All-New Invaders #1

Jan 22, 2014

All-New Invaders is the worst kind of disappointment; one that offers the promise of something great from two talented creators, only squander that promise with less than stellar offerings. All-New Marvel NOW has given us pretty solid first issues since the start last month, so in the larger scale of things All-New Invaders isn't that large of a blow to the creative output as a whole, but as a fan of The Invaders, a superfan of Namor, and someone who was intensely excited about this book, it certainly is a let down.

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8.0
All-New X-Factor #1

Jan 8, 2014

Peter David is one of those names in comics that you automatically take notice of when you see his name on a book, and here, he seems right at home, giving us almost a spinoff of the series that made him a comic writer's writer. Coupled with a stellar art team and an unlikely team, we are getting something that is wholly different than the standard X book that we are used to seeing on the shelves. I may not have been an X-Factor fan during its original incarnation, but you can bet that I am a fan of them now.

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7.0
All-New X-Men #18

Nov 14, 2013

Though this isn't a really game-changing issue, its a nice bit of talky dramatics going into the next chapter for the Original Five.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #28

Jun 11, 2014

History has always been written by the victors and for much of All-New X-Men #28, it looks as if the X-Men aren't going to be around to finish their own chapter. From the very start All-New X-Men has been about the X-Men struggling to prevent the extinction of their race as well as fighting for a better tomorrow for all of mutantkind. Now, another group of mutants, aims to take them out of the equation in order to finally do what they couldn't; secure a place in the future for mutants around the world and uphold the name that the X-Men has drug through the mud. All-New X-Men #28 is a compelling de-construction of the core concept of the book and a much-needed shot into the arm of a series that has felt a bit tired for the last few months.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #29

Jul 9, 2014

Though the Fantastic Four has taken the moniker of “Marvel’s First Family,” the X-Men is and will always been synonymous with family when I think of Marvel. After many shaky first encounters and initial friction between members it seems that the New Xavier’s School has finally become the family that we all knew they could be. All-New X-Men #29 finally presents us as an audience a firm ground for the characters to grow from leading into future issues. The All-New X-Men have been proven in battle, time and time again, but now they have proven themselves to be something much more powerful than a super-team going forward - they are finally a singular family unit.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #33

Nov 3, 2014

They say that you can never go home again, and for the most part, the All New X-Men are experiencing exactly that. While the covers and solicitation for this arc seemed to detail a team-up heavy jaunt into a whole other line of comics, Brian Michael Bendis and his team seem much more concerned about how that would effect the characters beyond how they would fight alongside each other. All New X-Men #33 is an economically written and entertaining tale that manages to inject a few great ideas into the superhero drama. The X-Men comics have often been about more than just tights and fights, opting instead to rely on character and plotting. All New X-Men #33 has both in spades which comes at the perfect place in the run to feel organic.

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6.0
All-Star Western #28

Feb 26, 2014

Jonah Hex has always been defined as an outcast and now, thanks to some out of the box thinking on Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's part, he is now an outcast in the most unexpected way possible. All-Star Western has always been a quietly weird and subversive book, but it seems that with #28, the team is fully committing to this and the book is all the better for it. This might not be the most action packed or violent issue of the series to date, but its an issue that gleefully uses the story troupes that used to define it to tell a quiet and engaging story, while setting up an interesting dynamic for future issues. Jonah Hex may be defined as one thing, but All-Star Western refuses to be defined by just one thing or conventional storytelling, and it's all the better for it.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #9

Nov 5, 2014

After a long summer peppered with all sorts of mega-events and crossovers, Amazing Spider-Man #9 blasted away all the fatigue I had felt when it came to comic blockbusters. All it took was a big, insane story that was well-told and well-rendered on the page. Who would have thought, huh? Bits aside, Dan Slott, Olivier Coipel and Justin Ponsor (as well as the art team who handled this issue's fantastic backup story) make the most out of this opening issue, translating the character work that made the lead in one-shots so compelling for a wider audience and never letting themselves get caught up in the usual trappings of event comic storytelling. Even though it has been touted as this huge, universe shaking event, Amazing Spider-Man #9 just feels like a slightly bigger chapter in Spider-Man's life instead of an overwrought and undercooked blockbuster, and that's exactly how it should stay.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #2

Oct 26, 2015

To grow is to change and Amazing Spider-Man #2 is changing beyond just a mere superhero yarn. As Peter's influence grows, as does his responsibility, and we all know how Peter Parker feels about responsibility. While it is fun to have Peter back in the suit full-time and juggling a life as a CEO and superhero, it is even better to see Dan Slott not keeping his characterization static and using the stories that came before this new series as bedrock for Peter's new adventures. Nothing is more frustrating as a reader to find that arcs that were important at the time now don't matter now that a newer, shinier story is being publishes. Thankfully, Amazing Spider-Man #2 side-steps all that and makes the Slott era feel more connected than ever.

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10
Amazing X-Men #1

Nov 7, 2013

Aaron and McGuinness deliver a solid, fun number one that sets up the team and the hook for Kurt's return that is sure to keep you grinning from ear to ear from page one until the very end.

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8.0
Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1

Dec 8, 2014

Much like the character herself, Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1 has no time for what came before. Angela has been knocking around in the Marvel Universe with criminals and her own kind for a bit now but never really achieved the standout position that we all hoped she would. Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1 changes that for the better. Now, unfettered by team books and guest appearances, audiences can finally see what exactly she can bring to the 616 while still offering new bits of characterization for her fans from the Image days.

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8.0
Animal Man #25

Nov 20, 2013

Hollywood Babylon was a great, easy-to-digest arc that shows just how good Animal Man can be at its best and what is on the horizon when Jeff Lemire raises the stakes for his characters. That has always been the hallmark of Lemire's work; he refuses to let his characters get complacent. He realizes what needs to happen to make his characters and plots interesting and he turns it up to eleven whenever possible, giving them new and interesting challenges to overcome, both in their personal lives and within the larger world around them. He is willing to show them as people first and heroes second, subverting the standard way that writers write comic book heroes. These next few months could be some very, very tough ones for Buddy Baker, but they will be nothing but great reading for us.

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10
Animal Man #29

Mar 24, 2014

Endings are notoriously difficult in comics, yet Lemire and Team Animal Man make it look deceptively simple in their execution. They had a story to tell and they told it in the best possible way that they could and that's all that we could have hoped for in a finale. Thank you, Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman. Thank you, Steve Pugh. But most of all, thank you, Buddy Baker. We part only to meet again.

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8.0
Ant-Man #1

Jan 12, 2015

Scott Lang may be a bit of a loser, but he is our loser, and Ant-Man #1 brings him back into the fray with wit and style. Though I may not have loved Ant-Man #1 as much as my colleagues and the larger Marvel audience, I still found a lot to enjoy in Nick Spencer's latest indie-flavored superhero yarn. Scott Lang is a character that has a lot of legs, and I'm not just talking about the millions of ants at his command. Scott can be a hero one minute and a total louse the next. Ant-Man #1 shows an understanding of that and shows that Spencer isn't afraid to paint Scott in an unkind light, even though we all know that is heart is in the right place. My FF-related nitpicks aside, Ant-Man #1 is a funny, fast-paced, and emotional re-debut of one of Marvel's future franchise players. Pray to whatever gods will hear you that Scott doesn't screw it all up in the meantime.

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7.0
Ant-Man #5

May 7, 2015

Issue five might be the least funny of all the issues thus far, but what it lacks in comedy, it more than makes up for with pathos. Lang may think he's D-list or worse, but Ant-Man continues to cast him as a compelling leading man starring in a solo title that understands his value and narrative weight.

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9.0
Ant-Man Annual #1

Jul 16, 2015

Ant-Man Annual #1 is a rollicking and often hilarious proto-introduction to Scott's world and the appeal of a guy who can shrink and quip with the best of them.

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8.0
Archie (2015) #2

Aug 18, 2015

Archie #2 may not be groundbreaking, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. Waid, Staples, and the rest of Team Archie don't seem at all concerned about the minutiae of the rebooted title, and instead seem only concerned with making us care about Riverdale and its teen inhabitants. Archie #2 takes the energy and look of the debut issue and expands it ever so slightly to include new characters and to further the romantic tension between Riverdale's one-time power couple, as well as ever so slightly hinting at the dark-haired new girl that will surely throw a wrench in everything. This new Archie isn't a fluke, and this second issue shows that it still has more laughs and heart to deliver.

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10
Archie (2015) #3

Sep 29, 2015

Archie #3 was the last comic book I expected to give me a strong case of the feels, but all the same, I am glad it did. While still funny and fresh feeling, Mark Waid and the Archie art team present the classic Archie/Betty/Veronica love triangle in a way that feels relatable and avoiding of cliches. Teenage embarrassment is often an easy source of comedy for comic books, but Archie #3 understands that its never funny for the people involved and used that to inform Veronica's debut and turn her into more of a character and less like a romantic ideal. Though we will miss Fiona Staples in Riverdale, Archie's first installments prove that this new series will continue to be entertaining and resonant moving forward.

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5.0
Archie Vs Sharknado #1

Jul 23, 2015

With Archie vs. Sharknado #1 you get what you pay for and what you get is over the top camp and not much else.

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10
Archie vs. Predator #1

Mar 23, 2015

Archie vs. Predator #1 is a book that no one will see coming. People going into this title expecting some sort of gory deconstruction of the Archie universe will instead be greeted by a fun, tried and true Archie story filled with jokes and vintage artwork. Alex di Campi clearly loves these characters and wants to do right by them, as well as the format, but that doesn't stop her from making Archie vs. Predator #1 fun; she does all of this and more without relying on the promise of bloodshed. The script is sharp, the artwork is the genuine Archie article, and it features one of sci-fi's favorite killing machines; I am hard-pressed to find a better way to sell it. Archie vs. Predator #1 has no place on grocery store shelves, but it has certainly earned a place in your pull list.

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9.0
Archie vs. Predator #3

Jun 22, 2015

Things are looking grim for Archie Andrews and the gang, as Archie vs. Predator #3 continues the Archie Elseworlds hot streak with a violent, funny, and emotional issue that sets up the series for a surely explosive finale. Alex de Campi and her art team deliver an issue that still stays true to the core values and look of Archie, while still standing alone as its own insane tale.

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4.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #2

Oct 16, 2014

Call it event fatigue or maybe just an early issue of an event that hasn't found its feet yet; call it whatever you want, but Axis #2 isn't as great as it should be. We all want events to be these larger-than-life stories starring giant personalities and tied together with rousing set pieces, but Axis doesn't have any of these yet. Axis #2 is the worst possible thing that an event comic could be this early; its boring and completely lacking in the energy that makes certain events must reads issue after issue. I have faith that Rick Remender and his rotating stable of artists could turn Axis into a rollicking yarn that closes out Marvel's year with a bang, but as it stands right now, with Issue #2, Axis is a bit of a dud.

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5.0
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8

Dec 22, 2014

I didn't expect to respond to Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #8. I know how, looking at my score and reading my review, you might find that laughable, but I'm being genuine. I came in expecting the mess that I had seen previous, and for the most part, got it, save for a consistent art team and a few choice character moments. Rick Remender is an interesting and engaging writer and I have faith that he can bring this year-end slugfest to a satisfying landing, but these middle issues have been just that; middling. This doesn't bode well for Secret Wars.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #22

Oct 30, 2013

Yu alone would be worth the price of the issue, but the only thing keeping this book from getting a perfect score is the density of Hickman's script, which has been an issue since the beginning. While the opening of his run may have been better suited for new readers, these tie in issues very much feel heavily tied into the major event and may be frustrating for people just trying to dip their feet into the larger world of Avengers comics. Minor complaints aside, Hickman's nuanced script, along with Yu's highly detailed and vivid artwork make this yet another highly re-readable entry into the sprawling Infinity saga. This calm before the storm that takes the time to focus on different characters than the usual cape comic stars is exactly what sets Jonathan Hickman's work apart from other major writers who tackle large scale events. You buy the comic for the grand scope and the rich plotting, but you keepbuying it for the quiet character work in between the battles.

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6.0
Avengers (2012) #25

Jan 24, 2014

Jonathan Hickman, as per usual, plays his cards close to the chest, seeding the mystery of the arc early in the cold open and then quickly establishing that something is very wrong with this new/old set of Avengers, yet never really giving us any information aside from a quick flashback to their world in a familiar peril.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #28

May 1, 2014

Jonathan Hickman's Avengers run has been one of the more polarizing runs of Earth's Mightiest Heroes since its debut, but #28 makes a great case for the title's inventive, densely layered, and epic storytelling.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #29

May 19, 2014

When a monthly comic that you follow regularly has a giant title proclaiming its connection to a larger macro story that is happening elsewhere on its cover, it may as well have a giant red X stamped across it, but I am more than happy to report that Avengers #29 not only uses the Original Sin arc to inform its action, but also uses it to wonderful effect in terms of the trajectory of the Avengers title as a whole. This is something that has always been coming for Hickman, Rogers and Stark. This was a seed that was planted in #1 and now it is growing into a viciously deadly plant that seeks to tear apart these men, and in doing so, the Avengers themselves. Jonathan Hickman isn’t interested in justAvengers #29 is just a taste of that that scale might be.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #34

Aug 27, 2014

The Machine may be broken, but Cap will never let go of the dream, nor will he suffer Tony Stark's machinations any longer. Avengers #34 may not be the most team-heavy issue, nor will it ever be considered one of the best Avengers comics of all time, but it will definitely stand as a major highlight of Jonathan Hickman's intricately plotted run. The high-concept sci-fi coupled with a fantastic understanding of what makes Steve Rogers just so heroic melds together into a satisfying superhero comic experience that would soften the heart of even the most critical of Cap readers. The greatest thing about comics is that you can throw characters like Steve Rogers into impossible situations just to see how things shake out, and Hickman has done just that, without losing sight of exactly why Captain America is Captain America.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #38

Nov 19, 2014

Heavily serialized storytelling is always a crapshoot, and that counts triple for monthly comic books. More often than not, readers will lapse on a title and then try to come back to it, a few issues down the line, and the book they find is not the book that they left. Jonathan Hickman's Avengers run has been a lot like that. It has been frustrating, obtuse and often times inaccessible - and I say this as a fan of the title. That said, these strikes against it still doesn't take away from the meticulous plotting of Avengers. I've often said that nobody puts more time and effort into the plotting of major arcs like Jonathan Hickman, and Avengers #38 is one of those fantastic examples of his narrative payoffs. There are still way too many questions and not enough answers still lingering on the surface of Avengers but for now, we know way more than we did last month and, for now, that is more than enough.

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9.0
Avengers (2012) #44

Apr 29, 2015

There was once a grand idea and two men behind it all, aiming to keep the world safe. Now, all that remains are the ashes of that idea and the ashes of a world in ruins. Avengers #44 is a grand mic drop of a comic that offers little to no respite before the wars to come. Jonathan Hickman along with a solid art team wrap up the remaining loose ends introduced in both Avengers titles before unraveling them all, along with whole realities, in the upcoming event. Everything has its time and everything dies and Avengers #44 shows us exactly what that looks like; it looks like cities crumbling, whole fleets shattered in space, and two men, former friends, fighting in the wreckage of a broken machine.

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8.0
Avengers Assemble #24

Feb 27, 2014

Avengers Assemble is about to take its final bow, but you would never know it by reading this issue. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Warren Ellis continue to propel the story forward at a full clip while still taking the time to give us the cheeky characterizations that have made Kelly Sue's Avengers Assemble so fun in the first place.

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8.0
Avengers World #1

Jan 8, 2014

Nick Spencer has been a writer that I've been following ever since his stellar work with Morning Glories and upon his first works with Marvel, I had hoped that he would find a book that would launch him into the forefront of Marvel's deep creative bench. It seems that with this, and the sleeper hit that is Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Spencer has finally found his place among the big names at the House of Ideas and it couldn't have come at a better moment. Its about to become Nick Spencer's world and we will just be living in it and that's perfectly fine with me.

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10
Avengers World #3

Feb 24, 2014

Hickman's Avengers roster may be one of the largest and most eclectic in recent memory, but even Hickman can't give all of these characters proper time to shine. Now, it seems, thanks to Nick Spencer, he doesn't have to. Hickman may have his wheels within wheels, but Spencer has the power of character on his side and sometimes that is all you need to give us a stellar comic. On paper this comic may not sound like much, but as soon as you see exactly what is on display here, it makes all the sense in the world. You have a compelling lead, a script that understands just why this character is so compelling, and an art team that brings it all together with powerful images. The Master of Kung-Fu has never hit harder.

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7.0
Avengers: Ultron Forever #1

Apr 2, 2015

Avengers: Ultron Forver isn't perfect and its more than a little goofy, but still manages to be a fun read starring the future synthetic ruler of Earth's cinemas.

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10
Batman '66: The Lost Episode #1

Nov 24, 2014

Critics and fans alike have responded to Batman '66 since its inception, and deservedly so. The title offers new and older fans an entry back to a time where comics and television were just starting to intersect and effect pop culture as a whole. Batman '66: The Lost Episode takes that just a step further by revealing an engaging "What If" scenario for fans and Ellison aficionados alike all wrapped a fantastic looking Technicolor package. Though we never got to experience a Harvey Dent-centric stretch of episodes, Batman '66: The Lost Episode is a fun and tonally sound romp of what could have been, rendered by one of the giants of the industry.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #25

Nov 14, 2013

Ambition has always been the hallmark of Scott Snyder's Batman run, and that's what keeps it being a consistently readable comic month after month. Snyder isn't interested in telling small stories within his Batman comics and it makes every arc feel like an event.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #34

Aug 13, 2014

As much as I have love Scott Snyder's epic take on Batman, I really look forward to issues like #34. Of course readers respond to huge, sprawling stories and I love it just as much as the next guy, but there is something about seeing a writer take a step back and let someone else take a crack at an issue that couldn't be further from what came before it. Gerry Duggan, Matteo Scalera and Lee Loughridge present us a tightly plotted, done-in-one story that feels right at home sat next to the blockbusters and weekly tales. Batman #34 doesn't blow any doors off of anything nor does it offer some new game changing bit of characterization. It simply is, and what it is is a pretty good Batman story.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #36

Nov 12, 2014

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in regards to the Joker, they are 100% correct. After a lengthy absence, Scott Snyder and Team Batman have brought the Joker back once again and broken loose all manner of hell in Gotham City. Scary movies get less scary every time you watch them because you come to expect every jump and every gag. With Batman #36, Snyder and his team have given us the truly unexpected. We don’t know what jumps are coming next. We can’t even begin to know all the punchlines. The Joker is once again a character that we can expect anything and everything from. Scott Snyder has thrown him back into the darkness and maybe even he doesn’t know what exactly came out. That is most frightening thing of all. The Joker may have been a cuddly punchline before Endgame, but now, he’s back where he belongs - in our nightmares.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #42

Jul 9, 2015

While Bruce Wayne grew a foxy beard and took himself out of the equation, Batman #42 shows that Gotham City is in more than capable hands.

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7.0
Batman (2011) #45

Oct 15, 2015

While it may not be another blockbuster, Batman #45 is still worth more than a passing glance.

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9.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #31

May 21, 2014

Most fans would agree that when it comes to team up books, there is an alarming amount of chaff, yet when one works as well as Batman and Frankenstein #31 does, its definitely something that makes readers stand up and take notice. Titles like this are often times built around name recognition; the hope that pairing two fan favorite characters together will move units and get people invested in their respective solo titles. Peter J. Tomasi isn’t interested in presenting the easy way to go with Batman And. He is betting on story potential instead of name recognition, and if Batman and Frankenstein #31 is any indication, he is about to hit a very large narrative jackpot.

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4.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #6

Dec 9, 2013

With Pak's bullet train scripts coupled with Brett Booth's expressive pencils, DC should have a sure-fire hit on its hands, but it doesn't - not yet at least. Aiming to be more than an obvious team-up book, DC has taken a chance on a different kind of point of view with this arc of Batman/Superman and, with two issues in, its proven to be more of a hindrance than selling point. Its a shame because this issue was fun, but it was just too hard to look past the too tight and simplistic panel layout and cramped nature of the pencils. With only one more issue to get through until we get the normal format back, let's hope that the spark that was lit with #1-4 gets reignited.

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7.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #8

Feb 27, 2014

After the missteps made last arc, I was ready to drop this title altogether, but this opening volley is propulsive and gorgeous enough to keep my interest at least until the end of this crossover.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #11

Jun 18, 2014

“Very Special Episodes” are a time honored tradition around the holidays and Batman Eternal #11 may be the most unlikely one that we’ll receive. Batman titles have always carried a deep underlying theme of family underneath all the derring-do. Batman Eternal #11 embraces this and succeeds for it. Everyday people have complicated relationships with their fathers imagine throwing double lives and super-villainy on top of that. When DC Comics gets a book right, it is hard to touch them, and from the looks of Batman Eternal #11 it looks like DC might finally be on the road to becoming untouchable again.

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8.0
Batman: Eternal #36

Dec 10, 2014

While Batman Eternal #36 may be centered on Bard's one man crusade against the Bat family, it is still the family that remains at the end of the issue, still grasping at the unseen hand behind it all and struggling to parse through the cryptic ramblings of the newly returned Hush. Serialized storytelling lives and dies by its characters, but thankfully, readers are still more than happy to spend week after week following the exploits of our favorite Bat themed warriors, but Batman Eternal #36 casts them almost as utility players in their own story. Focusing instead on Bard and his, frankly, justifiable hatred for the Dark Knight and his ilk. Unforeseen consequences and the fallout of superhero action, albeit an poor imitation of that action, is something we rarely see in comics, because, if I'm honest, most of the time the plots don't land as hard as they should. Batman Eternal #36 lands assuredly, and tells a compelling human story amid the masks and the mayhem.

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10
Black Science #1

Dec 2, 2013

Black Science is the latest mark in the win column for Rick Remender and Image as a whole. The book is completely unlike anything on shelves right now, yet strangely familiar in its first plot. This is a book about a man who thought himself above the rules and standards of normality and now, he must pay the consequences. This is a man who just wants to go home and keep his family safe, but he has the whole of the multiverse standing in his way, but like all men of science and reason, he will do whatever it takes to prove his intellect superior even if it kills him and everyone he loves. As Shaw said, science creates problems, but Grant McKay and his Anarchist League of Scientists will stop at nothing to prove him wrong.

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10
Black Science #4

Feb 27, 2014

Its a book that commands attention with a signature look and tone that is rarely seen within American comics but as firmly supplanted itself within the ranks of Image's new creative boom.

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8.0
Black Science #8

Aug 26, 2014

We all want to make our dads proud in one way or another, but regrettably, for the time being, Pia and Nate McKay don’t have that chance anymore - but instead of crumbling and accepting their fates, they buckle down and trudge forward. Fueled by the words of their father, they rage against their surroundings and their own limitations, truly becoming their own people and every inch the people their father hoped they would be. Black Science #8 has quite a lot going for it, wrapped around gorgeously and moodily rendered pages. While previous issues have presented bone crunching action, high ideas, and plenty of intrigue, Black Science #8 shows that this title can still be great even without all of these elements, as long as it replaces them with a genuine human story.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #5

Apr 3, 2014

Black Widow #5 continues to do unexpected and ambitious things with the Hawkeye model and makes a monthly case for being Marvel's best-looking title.

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9.0
Black Widow (2014) #7

Jun 9, 2014

Black Widow is a jewel in Marvel's solo title crown for a myriad of reasons. It's always visually interesting and deftly written, making it a welcome addition to any pull list. But it's the willingness to present its lead in an unflattering light, painting her as the complex, flawed, and dangerous woman that we've always heard she was that puts Black Widow just a cut above the other solo titles that Marvel is now presenting monthly. We asked for the best, and Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto seem fully committed to delivering it.

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8.0
Blackcross #2

Mar 31, 2015

Project Superpowers: Blackcross #2 isn't a superhero comic - at least not yet. Warren Ellis, Colton Worley, and Morgan Hickman have taken the tried and true concept of Project Superpowers and molded it into something aimed at today's comic reading populace. Blackcross may be Dynamite's first made for tv drama and, of course, it was presented to us by Warren Ellis. Though the heavily serialized nature of the narrative may hurt its audience in the short term, Project Superpowers: Blackcross has the potential to be yet another blockbuster franchise for Dynamite Comics.

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10
Bodies #1

Jul 30, 2014

Bodies #1 is exactly the kind of book that one would want and expect from Vertigo. Nothing is ever what it seems to be at first within the pages of a Vertigo book and Bodies #1 is a perfect crystallization of that mentality. We have an seemingly impossible murder than spans decades along with a group of detectives, a few of which may be hiding things from everyone, including themselves, as well as hints toward a wide spread conspiracy and a looming event that may or may not be the end of the world as we know it. Bodies #1 aims to be a great many things, but above all, it is a wildly engrossing debut issue to what very well could be one of this year's top works from Vertigo.

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7.0
Captain America (2012) #13

Nov 12, 2013

My problems with issue structuring aside, Remender's Captain America continues to be a pulpy blast of grit that, with ever issue, distances itself away from Brubaker's sleek, spy-drama epic that only strengthens it with every passing issue. Marvel NOW! has had home run after home run when it comes to its creative team shuffling, and one doesn't have to look any further than Rick Remender's Cap to find a pitch-perfect example of taking an established character into new territories of storytelling while still staying true to everything that has came before it.

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5.0
Captain America (2012) #15

Jan 24, 2014

If you have been following Remender's Cap from the start, you'll be pleased enough with this issues, but I would be remiss to recommend this as a jumping on point for new readers.

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5.0
Captain America (2012) #20

May 15, 2014

While Remender started out his run by reaching for the stars, it seems now that he's slowly inching his way back down to Earth, the weight of his portentous and heavy-handed dialogue dragging him and his run down.

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9.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #1

Oct 15, 2015

While Sam's first title was fun and fast-paced, Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 finally feels like the book that he deserves.

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9.0
Captain America: Sam Wilson #2

Oct 29, 2015

Captain America: Sam Wilson #2 may be drawing ire on cable news, but it continues its streak of being a superhero comic with important things on its mind.

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9.0
Captain America: White #1

Sep 21, 2015

Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, and Dave Stewart tapped into something special with their Color series, and Captain America: White #1 starts their latest entry off on a great note. Though the issue's cliffhanger rings false since we all know the fate of Bucky Barnes, it doesn't make this debut any less thrilling or emotionally engaging. Few writers have struck that balance between hero and man with Captain America, but Captain America: White makes it look easy, jettisoning the tired "man out of time" troupe and simply writing Steve as a man above all. Captain America: White #1 may be a throwback to vintage Marvel Comics, but it shows that throwbacks can still be relevant in today's comic landscape, thanks to some fantastic artwork and a character-first approach to storytelling.

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8.0
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1

Jul 16, 2015

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1 is comparable to the Secret Wars version of Ewing's Mighty Avengers series and that's the best possible compliment one could pay this debut. If you enjoyed that title, you'll more than enjoy this entry into the Battleworld canon.

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10
Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1

Aug 5, 2014

Modern comic fans often lament that we will never have another Kirby and while that may be true for the most part, luckily we have titles like Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers and a creative team that is devoted to the wild creative energy that Kirby presented and represents now. Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, Jim Rugg, Brad Simpson, and Ulises Farinas know they aren't Jack Kirby, nor do they really have to be. All they have to do is give their audience a great comic reading experience and they deliver that within the first few pages of Captain Victory and then ride that wave until the climax. They don't have to be exactly like a Kirby book, they just have to use that creative momentum and core concept to deliver something that is truly their own and they do from beginning to end.

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9.0
Casanova: Acedia #2

Mar 10, 2015

As a reader, you could always sense that Casanova was something special to the creative team, but Acedia, so far, has shown that they don't feel it is sacred enough to no try new things with it. That's what makes this arc feel so exciting; it is everything you loved about Casanova previously filtered through an entirely different, more grounded lens. Casanova Quinn may not fully know who he is just yet but Acedia #2 makes damn sure that comic book fans know his name.

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8.0
Casanova: Acedia #3

Jul 28, 2015

While other arcs have sustained themselves on action and bombast, Casanova: Acedia is a bit of a tougher sell. Acedia has felt like a murder mystery without a body; the central question being the why and how Cass is stuck, memory-less, in a time stream both recognizable yet wholly different. The story and characters feel familiar and we have tantalizing hints at Team Casanova's endgame, but its hard to engage a story that feels like just a single piece of a larger puzzle. Thankfully Matt Fraction, Michael Chabon, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, and Cris Peter build each issue of Acedia as an entertaining story that can stand on its own.

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4.0
Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #1

Nov 13, 2013

This book makes it feel like Marvel is subscribing to the lessons that the 90's comic market taught them, which is that #1's sell units and they don't have a problem telling us, as readers, little white lies on the cover to get us to buy books. This issue just feels like a epilogue to the regular series instead of the beginning of the end, like we were promised. It seems a bit like a feint on the part of Marvel to get people invested in the collapse of this universe, but it really just feels like marking time until the actual crumbling starts. Maybe that will be more interesting and actually deserve the title Cataclysm.

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9.0
Conan: The Avenger #1

Apr 28, 2014

Licensed properties are easy to ignore, and even easier still to completely mess up. But it is the attention to detail and adherence to canon that has set the Dark Horse Conan books apart from other licenses. Since 2005, Dark Horse has been the place to go for bone crunching and thoughtful Conan the Barbarian stories and an authoritative voice in establishing a cohesive canon for "The Hyborian Age" created by Robert E. Howard. Fred Van Lente and his team start off slow, but quickly burst forward in a dead sprint with Conan The Avenger #1. It seems that our favorite barbarian is still in very good hands with Dark Horse.

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8.0
Constantine: The Hellblazer #2

Jul 13, 2015

Its hard being a friend to John Constantine and it seems that that difficulty extends to beyond the grave. Constantine: The Hellblazer #2 isn't just a new status quo for John and his brand of occult weirdness, but also a bold new artistic direction for the character as a whole. Gone is the attempt to bring John into the fold of proper DCU and in its place is personal, creepy stories of woe and loss, just like the bad old days. Writers Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV, along with Rossmo and Plascencia, get Constantine; they get his faults and failings as well as his charms and that shows. John Constantine isn't a superhero nor a good friend, he's a con man who just happens to know a handful of spells and that just might get him killed or worse.

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5.0
Convergence #5

May 6, 2015

And so Convergence #5 adds up to another dud in a long line of duds. While DC has been hyping Convergence as another event in the vein of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the actual product has been anything but. Perhaps Jeff King and his team can pull the nose up and make the home stretch of issues something truly special with genuine stakes and rousing superhero drama, but there isn't much evidence of that to be found in Convergence #5. Dick Grayson wondered if there was a point to it all and audiences are starting to wonder the exact same thing when it comes to Convergence.

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7.0
Convergence: Green Arrow #1

Apr 20, 2015

And so, as the dome comes down and champions must rise, a family is reunited, but for how long? Convergence: Green Arrow #1 sidesteps all the melodrama that usually comes with AAA event titles and replaces it with something even more narratively fertile: family drama. How long writer Christy Marx can sustain this remains to be seen, but the smaller stakes and human drama of Convergence: Green Arrow makes it stand out among its contemporaries that seem more concerned with just skipping to the punching. Adding the pulpy, expressionist art of Rags Morales and his art team is just the street-level icing on the cake. Convergence might not be off to the best start, but at least Oliver Queen and his family are putting their best foot forward. How long they stay on this path, however, will be the real test.

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7.0
Convergence: Infinity Inc. #1

Apr 30, 2015

The world may have forgotten who Infinity, Inc. was, but Convergence: Infinity, Inc. #1 is a solid debut and reintroduction for one of DC's forgotten stables.

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5.0
Convergence: Speed Force #2

May 7, 2015

The Convergence tie-ins so far have skewed away from being just fight books, but regretfully, Convergence: Speed Force #2 feels like exactly that and nothing more.

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8.0
Convergence: Superman #2

May 7, 2015

Though the story was just a lead up to the heartfelt final page, its hard to deny the power of a bare bones story about Superman just trying to do good by the people he loves.

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5.0
Convergence: Titans #1

Apr 8, 2015

All told Convergence: The Titans #1 is a mixed bag. In terms of artwork, the book looks fantastic, riding a wave of nostalgia with a retro look and dense panel layouts. Story wise, this debut issue leaves a lot to be desired. Roy Harper, as a leading man, is all over the place and Donna Troy and Starfire are relegated to cannon fodder as the battle for Gotham's place in reality starts. Convergence: The Titans #1 is a rocky start for the Titans entry into this latest event, but the seed of a good comic is definitely there, barring a completely disastrous second installment.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #1

Mar 19, 2014

As I said before, Team Daredevil doesn't exactly break new ground here, but they didn't really have to. Waid, Samnee and Rodriguez have proven their mettle time and time again, and Daredevil #1 is just the latest example of their creative synchronicity. They don't have to completely blow up their own format or give us something that we haven't seen before. They just have to give us a fun comic, and that they deliver in spades. The only thing we have to do it hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #2

Apr 25, 2014

The team of Waid and Samnee are at the top of their game still in this new volume of Daredevil and from the looks of #2, it will be a long time before there is a lull.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #4

Jun 23, 2014

Matt Murdock has hit rock bottom many times before now, but how do you save someone who is determined to not only hit rock bottom, but to die from it? We may not get a definite answer from Daredevil #4, but we still get a fast-paced, compelling issue all the same. Waid, Samnee and Rodriguez have become a team that you can depend on like clockwork to deliver energetic and gorgeous comic books, month after month. Daredevil has been flying high since its reboot and from the looks of this fourth issue, he shows no signs of coming back to the ground any time soon.

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8.0
Daredevil (2014) #8

Sep 22, 2014

While Daredevil #8 flirts a bit with the darker tone that readers have seen in prior runs, Waid, Samnee, and Wilson still seem committed to delivering slick, charming comics filled with compelling character work. Daredevil is now the kind of book where its lead can go out in public wearing a shirt with his own superhero logo on it and no one bats an eye. Before Mark Waid's tenure, it had been a long while since we had seen Matt Murdock smile, and while his life still may not be perfect, he isn't getting tortured every Wednesday anymore. While Daredevil #8 is light on action, it packs a heavy tease as to what Matt is going to be coming up against next, both in his private and professional life. Let's just hope he doesn't lose his smile after everything is said and done.

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10
Daredevil (2014) #15

Apr 30, 2015

Believe the hype, Daredevil is and continues to be one of Marvel's can't-miss titles.

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9.0
Daredevil (2014) #17

Jul 30, 2015

Waid and Samnee's Daredevil may be ending soon, but Daredevil #17 shows that this run isn't going down easy for the audience or for Matt Murdock.

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8.0
Dead Boy Detectives #1

Jan 6, 2014

Not even a year ago, I was worried that we may see the end of Vertigo Comics, an imprint that has given us so much brilliant content over the years. But now with the strength of recent on-goings and now the stellar debut of Dead Boy Detectives, we may yet see Vertigo Comics best years ahead. Toby Litt and Mark Buckingham have taken all the best parts of previous incarnations of the Dead Boy Detectives and filtered them through a quirky, highly entertaining lens and have delivered a slam bang first issue that recaptures the inventive nature of early Vertigo efforts while making is wholly accessible to new converts and die hard Vertigo freaks alike. Plus, its nice to see a book that fully embraces the darker tone of the imprint with a cheeky sense of fun and reverence to what came before it. In short, if you are a Vertigo fan, this is a book expressly for you.

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8.0
Dead Boy Detectives #5

Apr 25, 2014

Dead Boy Detectives started out strong and by the looks of the opening of this next arc, it has no plans of slowing down yet.

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9.0
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1

May 14, 2014

In 1974, kung-fu was all the rage and Marvel comics saw an opportunity for a new kind of action comic, taking a chance on a genre that had proven to be lucrative. Now, some forty years later, Mike Benson and his vastly talented art team have taken what others have built and crystallized it into an explosive opening chapter in the life of this compelling character. Shang-Chi may be a great many things; Avenger, master of martial arts, Agent of MI:6. Yet Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1 finally presents him with another title that his fans have been clamoring for for ages: Leading man.

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5.0
Detective Comics (2011) #30

Apr 7, 2014

A new creative team is always a jarring experience. More often than not, the first issue from them is always the weakest as it takes time for the team to not only find a creative flow but also establish just what kind of story they want to tell. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are talented creative voices and while Detective Comics #30 stumbles more than it flies, I wouldn't be surprised if the next two or three issues right the ship and become some of their best work at DC. Manapul and Buccellato are certainly capable of delivering focused and singular work. It just isn't Detective Comics #30.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2011) #43

Aug 6, 2015

Detective Comics has been one of DC's sure-fire Batman titles for a while now, and now that Jim Gordon is in the suit, the streak is still alive and well.

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8.0
Detective Comics (2016) #935

Jun 22, 2016

Detective Comics #935 succeeds thanks to inspired artistic choices and James Tynion IV's well-rounded look at the characters he's brought to the table. By building up the new team, new base, and not being afraid to use a lighter touch for Gotham's main protector, the title allows the characters to gel into a realistic family unit, instead of paying lip service to the idea while Batman tears through the city as a lone hero. Detective Comics was one of the more promising debuts of "Rebirth" and with #935, the creative team shows that that promise was no mere fluke.

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6.0
Django / Zorro #1

Nov 12, 2014

Django/Zorro #1 should be getting a higher rating. I will be the first to admit that. Even as I read it, expecting to be blown away by the story, I found myself being more and more disappointed by what I was reading, mainly because I would then have to sit down and then relate to you guys that this isn't as good as it should be. In a lot of ways, this is a bummer, but on the upside, this is only the first issue and by the time the second issue comes out, I could be eating a bunch of crow because of how good #2 is. Though it may have been made for the headline marquee, Django/Zorro #1 isn't the blockbuster that we really wanted.

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10
Doc Savage #1

Dec 10, 2013

Audiences today have become so saturated with shallowness disguised as action storytelling that they have no idea the amount of skill it took to not only introduce a cast of characters quickly, but why they were interesting and worth coming back for a another adventure. Here, with this #1 issue, Roberson and his team quickly introduces a brand new generation to the character of Doc Savage, and the type of story that he inhabited, but in a way that displays the charm of Doc and The Fabulous Five hold and beautifully packaged for the next generation of pulp fans who found these stories and characters through comics. Chris Roberson just flat-out gets it. He understands pulp storytelling and knows how to deliver scripts true to that genre. If this isn't for you, then pulps may not be for you - but that won't stop Roberson and his team from staying true to the format and the characters.

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10
Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult #1

May 28, 2014

When you are a huge fan of a genre, you feel as if you have seen almost everything that genre has to offer. You have watched countless hours of content and read every page you could get your hands on. You are jaded in your obsession. Its this feeling that makes Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult #1 feel all the more special. Mark Waid and his outstanding art team have taken bits and pieces from various inspirations and stories from the past and crystallized them through this reboot into something truly fresh feeling. We've seen the noble vampire hunter, we've seen the cynical demon fighter, and we've seen the distant practitioner of the arcane arts. We've never seen anyone like Adam Spektor. Now all we have to do it buy the ticket and take the ride with him.

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8.0
Doctor Who: Four Doctors #1

Aug 12, 2015

The multi-Doctor story can be a fine tight rope to walk. You can either reach dizzying narrative heights of a 50th Anniversary Special or descent into nostalgia baiting of a The Two Doctors. Thankfully Titan Comics' Four Doctors #1 skews toward the former and starts this new weekly Doctor Who event on a funny and engaging note that is sure to please fangirls and boys alike. Paul Cornell, Neil Edwards, and Ivan Nunes all understand what makes these Doctors and their respective companions entertaining and then deliver that full force. The plot and enemy will fully reveal themselves in time, but for now, let us just enjoy the fabulous time traveling ladies and their dense Doctors as they argue in a coffee shop.

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9.0
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1

Jul 22, 2014

Whovians are a fickle bunch. While we clamor for any bits of new information about the next series, we are desperate, yet unsure of stories that take place outside of canon. Thankfully there are dozens of novels, hours of audio, and now Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 . As the license lapsed from IDW last year, many fans were worried about the fate of the Doctor and his adventures in comic form but, after reading Titan Comics’ debut issue for this ongoing, it is clear that the imprint and creative team has gone to great lengths to deliver a stellar Doctor Who title. Time will tell if the series goes wibbly-wobbly, but for now, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 is everything a Whovian, young or old, could want from a debut issue.

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6.0
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #2

Jun 17, 2015

And so, the second installment of Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor comes to a close with another cliffhanger and a firm grip on its characters but not much else. Cavan Scott, Blair Shedd and Anang Setyawan offer up a solid Doctor Who yarn brimming with ideas and weird aliens abound, but it all ends up being forgettable as a monthly issue. Perhaps once The Ninth Doctor is all collected, this second issue will work much better than it did on its own, but as of now, issue two may only be for Who purists and completists. In the grand scheme of Doctor Who, the Ninth Doctor is always known as the most skippable Doctor, and unfortunately The Ninth Doctor #2 doesn't do much to combat that line of thought.

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8.0
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #6

Jan 7, 2015

Fans of old can revel in the familiar, yet fresh nature of the story as well as the name recognition of the villains while newbies can see what all the fuss is about with an emotive and scary new story arc. It is a win all over; just make sure not to blink.

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8.0
E Is For Extinction #3

Aug 26, 2015

While mutants are being hunted and ostracized in other Secret Wars X tie-ins, they are letting their freak flags fly high and proudly in E is For Extinction #3. While Secret Wars rages and raves, its tie-ins have given creators free reign to pretty much do whatever they please with the characters that live in the outlands. E is For Extinction may very well be one of the purest examples of that free reign. Writers Chris Burnham and Dennis Culver along with artists Ramon Villalobos and Ian Herring took one of the X-Men's most iconic eras and spun into into something wholly new yet recognizable and entertaining, all while never compromising their strange and singular artistic vision. X-books don't all have to be gloom and doom - they are at their best when they are all-new and all-different, and E is For Extinction #3 is about as different as it gets.

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9.0
Empire: Uprising #1

Apr 21, 2015

Empire: Uprising #1 is a lot of things, but above all it is a viciously entertaining read. Fans of the original Empire will find a lot to love about this newest extension of Golgoth's story as well as a look into how his world has changed in just one short year. However, Empire: Uprising #1 also serves as a brisk and bloody introduction to the world of Empire that will surely send new readers seeking out what came before as well as waiting breathlessly for the next installment. Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, and Chris Sotomayor go for the jugular with this debut issue and don't let go until the final page. The uprising has begun and we, lucky readers, get to experience it in all its macabre glory.

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6.0
Extraordinary X-Men #2

Nov 19, 2015

Maybe next month Extraordinary X-Men will be the blockbuster X-book we all expected it to be, but for now, it's only scratching the surface of its potential.

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7.0
Fantastic Four (2014) #1

Mar 3, 2014

A brand new day is dawning for the Fantastic Four and though James Robinson and his team stumble a bit during this first issue, they clearly have something to say and big plans for The Fall of the Fantastic Four. Fantastic Four #1 is the latest in a long line of "pilots" designed to not only introduce new readers into established characters quickly, but a way to establish a new way of telling serialized stories within comics. Though, the practice may not be widely accepted just yet within the ranks of die hard comic fans, this new way of presenting story arcs has connected with a new crop of readers and brought countless new fans into the fold. Marvel is looking to be ahead of the curve, and who better than the First Family to be on the bleeding edge?

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5.0
Fantastic Four (2014) #3

Apr 25, 2014

There are hints of greatness in James Robinson's Fantastic Four, but as of now it still just feels like a collection of scenes instead of the family that we know and love.

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10
FF (2012) #16

Jan 22, 2014

As I said before, FF meant a great deal to me as comic fan and I am beyond pleased with this finale. Matt Fraction, Mike Allred, and Lee Allred delivered a book that was quietly saying important things about family, acceptance, and relationships all while making us laugh and delivering thrills month after month. There will be a hole in my heart going forward after the ending of FF, but I know that I will always have this three ring circus of a family whenever I revisit these issues in the future. I will always love my Tong with all my heart. I will always believe in Darla Deering. I will always pitch my woo to the Jen. And most of all, I will always have a place in the Future Foundation. Don't choke on any waffles.

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8.0
Flash Gordon #1

Apr 8, 2014

Flash Gordon is a character that many people know, but not many seem to really get. All too often he is associated with the famous cinematic turkey that carries his name and rarely do fans go beyond that. Flash Gordon #1 strips all of that away. Gone are the campy elements and scenery chewing and in its place is a compelling and vibrant sci-fi adventure. This isn't the Flash of the 1980's. This is the Flash Gordon that Alex Raymond presented us in the 1930s, just with a sheen and momentum that only modern comics could deliver.

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8.0
Forever Evil #7

May 21, 2014

As DC’s latest summer blockbuster Future’s End starts to ramp up, it is easy to forget that the company still has yet another event delivering its finale. Forever Evil from the start was billed as a game-changing event for the DC Universe as the Justice League was declared dead and the Crime Syndicate from Earth-3 staked their claim to our Earth, never counting on the possibility that some of DC’s greatest villains would fill the void left by the missing Justice League and start to fight back against their vicious rule. While Geoff Johns and his team may have stumbled more than once within the pages of this event, I am elated to report that Forever Evil #7 delivers a mostly satisfying, albeit a bit rote in places, finale to the New 52's version of The Day Evil Won.

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5.0
Forever Evil Aftermath: Batman vs. Bane #1

May 1, 2014

What starts out as an interesting take on a story about a new protector of Gotham City quickly devolves into a punch fest of little consequence.

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9.0
Frankenstein Underground #1

Mar 17, 2015

Frankenstein Underground #1 won't be for everyone, and I will be the first to admit that, but even if it isn't, even the most cynical among us couldn't deny a curiosity about exactly how one of our modern monster masters would tackle one of the most famous horror icons. Mike Mignola, of course, doesn't take the easy route toward a straight adaptation of the Frankenstein tale. Instead, he and his outstanding art team deliver something odd, emotional, and more than welcome in the pages of Dark Horse Comics, a company that made its name with the horror genre and the works of Mike Mignola. Frankenstein Underground #1 is a satisfying throwback to the creature features of old and is sure to impress both stodgy purists and modern horrorhounds alike.

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9.0
Frankenstein Underground #4

Jun 25, 2015

Frankenstein Underground #4 may not be the flashiest monster book on shelves right now, but it most certainly is the most satisfying and as the lore gets deeper, so will audience's enjoyment.

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7.0
God is Dead #8

Mar 6, 2014

With just two issues into his run, Mike Costa has set himself and his story arc well apart from the original six issue series that he co-wrote with Jonathan Hickman. Instead of focusing on the divine like Hickman did, Costa has given us a small scale story focusing on the humans surrounding the gods and the toll it takes being in their service and under their subjugation.

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7.0
Grayson #6

Jan 19, 2015

Despite the problems with the ending, Grayson #6 is still a solid read, filled with exciting visuals and an unexpected care toward its characters. Tim Seeley, Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Jeromy Cox deliver a sleek, fast paced adventure story that lights a bright fuse for the rest of the arc. One thing that has sustained Grayson so far is how absolutely weird it is willing to be. Reading Grayson is like getting the star high school quarterback into The Invisibles. It is so much fun to see good looking people engaged in surreal things or talking about the arcane details of some fringe idea. That is Grayson's niche; it is for people who like seeing hot people taking on weird enemies with even stranger bosses.

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8.0
Grayson #10

Jul 23, 2015

Grayson is a title that no one expected to be this good, but yet, 10 issues in, it stands as one of DC's most surprising and consistent hits.

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9.0
Grayson #12

Sep 23, 2015

Its funny to think that a book like Grayson, one that was met with wide-spread derision and doubt upon its announcement has now become one of DC's most entertaining and innovative titles on shelves right now. Fingers crossed that Dick Grayson's winning streak continues long into the months to come.

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8.0
Grayson #13

Nov 2, 2015

While the headline last month was Dick Grayson's return to Gotham, Grayson #13 shows that it doesn't have to rely on gimmicks and crossovers to stand as a compelling monthly. Tim Seeley, Mikel Janin, Hugo Petrus and Jeromy Cox take the title back to basics while enriching their own narrative direction by marrying superhero hijinks with spy drama mechanics. Grayson #13 is one of those rare issues of comics that work as a reader's first issue and as a loyal audience's latest installment; a feat that shouldn't go unnoticed in this day and age of serialized storytelling. While Grayson may look like all abs and death-defying leaps on the outside, on the inside it is quickly becoming DC's dark horse blockbuster.

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8.0
Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega #1

Apr 22, 2015

Black Vortex Omega is a great read on a surface level because it keeps the action coming and never slows down until the very end. But it also goes a bit beyond just surface-level enjoyment. Black Vortex Omega is also great because it is one of those rare event comics that actually delivers a satisfying narrative arc for the team and for specific characters. There isn't too many crossovers that can say the same. Sam Humphries and his art team confidently bring Black Vortex to a conclusion that will only get better once it is all collected in one volume. The X-Men may stand alone on Earth, but in the expanse of space they have found a larger family in the Guardians and one can only hope that this weird, ramshackle group sticks around for a bit longer.

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9.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #8

Nov 4, 2013

All in all, if you haven't given Guardians of the Galaxy a chance before now, these tie-in issues are the perfect places to start. #8 is an easy entry point into the world of the future movie stars, along with a fun side story to the larger Infinity epic, topped off with some gorgeous art from one of the most talented pencilers working today.

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5.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #13

Mar 26, 2014

They say its better to burn out than to fade away, but sometimes neither is the best option. Both Guardians of the Galaxy and All New X-Men have been consistently entertaining feathers in the cap of Brian Michael Bendis and crossing both titles over will be looked at in the future as largely successful. Yet pushing aside the cast of one book to make room for developments that will only effect the events of the other book in the mix caused this crossover to end on a needlessly sour note. You don't always have to stick the landing, but it helps when you at least give us some sort of high note as we head toward the next thing.

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5.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #19

Sep 24, 2014

We should be used to thing going wrong for Peter Quill by now. He most certainly is. Guardians of the Galaxy #19 is a pure example of Peter's best intentions crumbling around him, but, oddly enough, I don't care as much as I should. Bendis and his rotating art teams have been turning in fantastic stories starring the Guardians since the very start, so it is a shame that a story as big as this one, in terms of canon, falls so flat. I've been anxiously awaiting the reveal of what happened to Richard Rider and how Drax and Quill escaped from their certain deaths, but, you and I will have to wait yet another month to actually find everything out. Comics, kid, they will break your heart - or at the very least, disappoint you on a structural level.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #23

Jan 26, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy #23 isn't a terrible comic. In fact, their are flashes of greatness throughout the issue; for example, the work of Valerio Schiti and Jason Keith and the firm grasp that Bendis has on the personalities of everyone's favorite a-holes. Those aside, a finale should feel like a finale, and Guardians of the #23 doesn't feel like one at all. It feels more like a stop gap issue, leading into another crossover with the X-Men. While some may argue that that is just the way comic narrative's are structured or that comic finales will never truly feel like a definite ending because they are constantly ongoing, the fact remains that the effort should at least be made. Guardians of the Galaxy #23 makes a real effort, both in its scripting and its artwork, but not toward its own act break, where it should really count.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) Annual #1

Dec 16, 2014

We all get homesick from time to time, especially around the holidays. However, we aren't usually thousand of light years away from our homes when we do get those kind of blues. Even though this a comic featuring a fantastically staged fight scene in space and more than a few great Rocket zingers, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 succeeds because of its attention to the human details. Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Cho, and Jason Keith make the action soar simply by framing it with a woman's desire to see home again. It's funny the things you can accomplish just with a few eight-panel grids. Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 is big, crazy, and filled with laser fire, but is the human element that sustains it beyond pulpy enjoyment.

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8.0
Guardians Team-Up #1

Mar 9, 2015

When a character is so popular, solo titles often aren't enough. So publishers flood the shelves with team-up, but this often leads to over-saturation. It's the Wolverine/Batman Principle. Thankfully, Guardians Team-Up #1 never feels like this in the least. This debut issue is just a fun, fast-paced yarn chocked full of jokes and sharp visuals. A book that thankfully doesn't allow itself to get bogged down in the team-up aspect of the title. Brian Michael Bendis, Arthur Adams, and Paul Mounts swing for the fences and absolutely hit it out of the park with a first issue. If Guardians Team-Up #1 is them setting the bar, then we are in for some truly fun and hilarious issues in the near future.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #15

Feb 26, 2014

Clint Barton is a good man; underneath the bluster and the prickly nature of his personality he is a man that desperately wants to do good. Though that desire to set things right, though, Clint Barton has put himself and his building in grave danger. The thought of this never occurred to him and now he must face what he has coming. This kind of character development and an unending committal to the serialized structure of the series is exactly what makes Hawkeye the hit it is today. We care about these characters because the creative team cares about them, to the point that they wouldn't dream of giving them a free pass or an easy go of them. Sometimes they don't deserve it; Clint Barton certainly doesn't right now. This looks bad right now, but its exactly what makes us come back for more.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #21

Feb 9, 2015

Clint Barton has known loss and heartache; sometimes he's directly responsible for the fallout, but Hawkeye #21 shows just how good of a man Clint can be and the how dearly that can cost him. Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth tapped into something special with the debut of Hawkeye and as the series barrels toward its conclusion, the title has become less about the lovable loser that pals around with Avengers, despite his normalcy, and more about a man desperate to do the right thing in the face of a cruel world. Hawkeye #21 is one of those rare comics that makes a reader feel a myriad of emotions from start to finish. It will make you laugh, it will thrill you, and leave you feeling breathless as you take in the final pages, but even rarer still, it will show you a character that has become something more than what he began as - a man worthy of his place among earth's mightiest heroes.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #22

Jul 15, 2015

The world was never at stake in Hawkeye nor was a city in peril due to some alien menace. Clint, Kate, and Pizza Dog lived on the streets and so each story lived there too, and somehow, that became the most interesting and innovative thing we could read each month (or several months, but that's neither here nor there). Hawkeye #22 is simply the best possible ending for our archers. The building and the people in it are safe, everyone got their version of a happy ending, and it was a futzing honor to have experienced it. Team Hawkeye's aim was true at the beginning and now, it's just as true here at the end.

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6.0
He-Man: The Eternity War #1

Dec 29, 2014

He-Man: The Eternity War #1 could be the start of something pretty cool down the line. Even though Dan Abnett's first script falters despite an interesting premise, there is still promise to be found. Nostalgia can be a funny thing, so much so, that I could have gotten more out of this comic had I completely given into it upon first reading it. That said, I don't want a comic to sustain itself only on the feelings generated by my prior feelings for the property. That's what He-Man: The Eternity War #1 feels like; a great premise hindered by set characterizations. Thankfully, this is only the first issue, and there is nowhere to go from here but up.

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8.0
Hellblazer (2016) #1

Aug 24, 2016

After some fits and starts with the "New 52" and a return to form as he stalked New York, The Hellblazer #1 continues to move John Constantine back to a place where readers want him; on the streets and pulling fast ones on those more powerful than him. Simon Oliver, Moritat, and Andre Szymanowicz strike a nice balance between what came before and what lies ahead from the trench-coated magus with a focus on character, slick pencils, and moody colors. Things may be quiet for now, but it is only a matter of time before the dam breaks and John Constantine is standing where he always it, at the center of the whole bloody mess.

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7.0
House Of M (2015) #2

Sep 2, 2015

X-books sometimes suffer from a overabundance of riches when it comes to their character sets and House of M #2 is a prime example of that. While not as egregious as some of its counterparts, House of M #2 still allows its main selling point, a humans vs. mutants tale of overthrowing oppression, to get bogged down in frivolous character action and distractions. Dennis Hopless and Cullen Bunn are talented writers and surely they can bring this Secret Wars tie-in for a smooth landing, but this month, their title is as shaky as Magento's hold on this kingdom. Thankfully the art team delivers more than a few fantastic pages to keep House of M #2 from being a complete wash and sometimes that is the best possible outcome.

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8.0
Howard The Duck #1

Mar 16, 2015

Howard the Duck and Tara are on the case and while Heroes for Hire they aren't, they will still charm the socks right off of you and will probably end up stealing them because, you know, people need socks. Howard the Duck #1 might have sounded like a flop in the making a year ago, yet under the smartass pen of Chip Zdarsky and the always fun Joe Quinones and Rico Renzi, this debut issue hits all the right notes and the right time. After the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, all sorts of weirdoes and reprobates waugh'ed for a new Howard movie. While that seems less and less likely, we have the best possible alternative in the form of Howard the Duck #1. Howard may have had his fleeting time in the limelight of the silver screen, but it's only when he's in the funny pages that this long-suffering mallard feels truly at home.

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8.0
Howard The Duck #3

May 13, 2015

Howard the Duck #3, along with its back-up story with art by Spider-Gwen and Southern Bastards' Jason Latour, is yet another solid and entertaining issue of a series that has yet to hit its peak. Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones, and Rico Renzi are firing on all cylinders, yes, but Howard the Duck so far still feels like there are places to go and jokes to tell. Howard is a character whose schtick is often played out after only a few issues, but this series has avoided that trap by simply not forcing it. I can't wait to see what Howard and Tara get up to next because I know it will either be funny or ridiculous or some combination of both. With any luck, Howard the Duck will keep us entertained for as long as our hairless ape attention spans will allow.

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6.0
Huck #1

Oct 20, 2015

Huck #1 is a pairing of two titans of the comic book industry, but that alone doesn't a great comic book make. Despite a more grounded script from Mark Millar and some great visual storytelling from Rafael Albuquerque, Huck #1 still feels too bare bones to really catch on with readers, especially among the current crop of incredible Image Comics output. As a concept, Huck scores, and perhaps further along in its run, Huck will pick up a head of steam that cannot be denied, but as a debut, it leaves much to be desired.

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4.0
Hulk (2014) #1

Apr 17, 2014

Even the greats stumble every once and awhile. Replacing the momentum of Indestructible Hulk with what essentially feels like a 21-page info-dump, Mark Waid delivers the new status quo for Bruce Banner, but the finished product feels more clunky than what we are used to getting from Waid.

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8.0
Infinity #6

Dec 2, 2013

This event never felt like anything other than the natural progression of the story presented to us in Avengers and New Avengers #1. Each thread offered in the larger event was dovetailed gorgeously into each title, giving us a larger story experience that has been sorely missed within event comic storytelling. With the curtain dropping on Infinity, one can't help but be excited for what else is on the horizon. Its always teased, but this time Jonathan Hickman has delivered on the promise that the Marvel Universe has changed and now we get to see what stories can be told in this new Marvel Universe, and I for one, cannot wait to see what Act Two looks like.

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4.0
Infinity Man And The Forever People #1

Jun 18, 2014

Infinity Man and the Forever People #1 just tramps along, looking beautiful, but offering nothing of substance for comic fans. This comic may walk the walk as a cover song, but it comes nowhere near talking the talk.

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5.0
Inhuman #1

Apr 3, 2014

After a rocky inception period, Inhuman #1 finally hit shelves this week and its a real mixed bag. Charles Soule does a good enough job presenting new Inhumans and a zealous tribal leader who offers an alternative to the House of Boltagon, yet the stilted dialogue keeps the comic from being the regular stellar work that we are used to getting from Soule

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8.0
Inhuman #2

May 28, 2014

When Inhuman and Inhumanity were announced, readers relished the idea of another facet of the Marvel universe, long treated as peripheral, was finally getting a place among the main continuity. After a less-than-earth-shattering opening salvo, it seemed that Inhuman looked to be another misfire of an event. Inhuman #2 puts most of those fears to rest, promising a glorious reign for the Inhumans as Marvel A-listers. Charles Soule, Joe Madureira and Marte Garcia have stepped out from the cloud of a weak first issue and found their work transformed and improved into a properly thrilling comic book yarn. The face of the Marvel universe is changing, and the future looks Nuhuman.

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10
Inhumanity #1

Dec 5, 2013

This is a fantastic introduction not only to the characters of the Inhumans, but to how they will shape the Marvel Universe in months to come.

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7.0
Inhumanity #2

Jan 30, 2014

Matt Fraction started Inhumanity with a bang and in #2, he brings the same amount of reverence and scope the the characters that will be shaking up the Marvel Universe in the months to come.

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6.0
Inhumans: Attilan Rising #1

Jun 1, 2015

Charles Soule is a writer who has made his name in comics with his surprising takes on established properties. He killed Wolverine with grace, kept Swamp Thing true to his horror roots, and is now bringing the regality back to the Inhumans. With Inhumans: Attilan Rising #1, he aims to keep that same level of regality in the larger narrative of Secret Wars, but falls prey to the perilous first issue trap of telling instead of showing. Thankfully, this front-loaded debut issue is rendered by a capable art team and plays its trump card of a newly charming Black Bolt at the precisely right time, sending readers out on a high note to hopefully pick up a fully charged second issue. Attilan may be on the rise, but this month, it takes a bit longer than anticipated for it to get fully up to speed.

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7.0
Inhumans: Attilan Rising #5

Sep 28, 2015

Inhumans: Attilan Rising #5 may be a bummer of a finale, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. As the Inhumans are poised to finally take their place among the A-list of the Marvel Universe, Charles Soule, John Timms, Robert Poggi, and Frank D'Armata give us the Black Mirror version of an Inhumans story and largely, it works. While other Secret Wars stories are having fun with their respective characters and storylines, Inhumans: Attilan Rising showed us kings and queens can and will fall in the face of an malevolent god.

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8.0
Injection #1

May 12, 2015

A new Warren Ellis series is always something to get excited about, but Injection #1 holds the special distinction of showing what a creative team can accomplish when completely untethered. Ellis, along with Shalvey and Bellaire, absolutely go for it with Injection and while the purposeful withholding of narrative information might turn some readers off, dozen more will be sucked into this new tale of science gone wrong. First issues are designed to serve as the benchmark for the series as a whole, a touchstone for the audience that will determine if this world is one they want to return to next month. Injection #1 may not knock the needle off of anyone's quality barometer, but it still succeeds in being an enigmatic first installment from a tried and tested creative team.

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8.0
Invincible Iron Man (2015) #1

Oct 7, 2015

Brian Michael Bendis' #1 issues might not ever be as forthcoming as fans would like, but dammed if they aren't entertaining and teasing enough to leave audiences wanting more. Invincible Iron Man #1 gives readers just enough that they understand the tone of the book as well as Bendis' direction with Tony, but not enough that the whole thing is laid at the feet of the readers. Bendis, Marquez, and Ponsor make Invincible Iron Man #1 Tony's grand reintroduction into the Marvel solo title landscape with a character first debut that still keeps many of its cards still close to the chest. Who knows what the future holds for Ol' Shellhead, but one thing is for sure, he is headed there in good hands.

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9.0
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #2

May 12, 2014

If character is indeed king, then Danny Rand and his rich wealth of side characters and backstory are the crown and the entire kingdom. Kaare Kyle Andrews proved himself a wildly talented writer/artist combo on books such as Spider-Man: Reign, but it is his work on Iron Fist: The Living Weapon that will establish him as an industry titan in the coming future. It is one thing to deliver a hard-hitting action story that is visually exciting as well as inventive within the medium, but it is quite another to couple this visual storytelling with a genuine understanding of a lead character plus the will to tell a compelling and rich story that never overwhelms its audience with lore or grittiness. Character matters and, fortunately for the Danny Rand Fan Club, Marvel and their creatives seem to really get that.

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8.0
Iron Man (2012) #18

Nov 12, 2013

After a shaky, but entertaining first year on the title it seems that Kieron Gillen is finally fully committing to the superhero sci-fi aspects of the title and we are it seems, just based on the ideas presented to us in this fast paced and ambitious issue that builds, quite exponentially on the already wildly idea heavy arcs before it, constantly shifting what we thought we knew about the world of Tony Stark, while moving us, as readers, forward on a bullet train of super science and unconventional superhero storytelling. This is Gillen given the keys to a kingdom and running wild, just like he did during Uncanny X-Men. He once described his writing for Marvel as "taking an established character or team and keeping it afloat in the best way possible, while maintaining my voice." Now, with Iron Man, Gillen has completely made imbued the world of Iron Man with his distinct stamp and set the title to flying once again.

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8.0
Iron Man (2012) #23.NOW

Mar 20, 2014

Tony Stark has always been a man of science, but now he's facing an foe that transcends mere human technology and is unlike anything he's faced before, finally giving this new volume of Iron Man an interesting, fresh new direction.

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8.0
Ivar, Timewalker #2

Feb 17, 2015

Ivar, Timewalker #2 has a lot going for it to only be two issues into its run. It is already juggling several heady science fiction ideas while presenting two compelling leads as well as being more than a bit cheeky. Beyond the amazing elevator pitch that is this book, I see Ivar, Timewalker becoming a major feather in Valiant Comics' cap, standing tall aside titles like Archer and Armstrong and The Valiant. It isn't very often that we get science fiction in comics that isn't afraid to poke fun at itself and present its leads as fleshed out human beings instead of exposition machines. Ivar, Timewalker #2 does all of these things while never losing the momentum that it gained with its debut issue, choosing instead to build on it while still developing its own unique voice. Time travelers and their tales are a dime a dozen, but Ivar, Timewalker is one of a kind.

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10
James Bond #1

Nov 3, 2015

James Bond #1 might piss off the staunchest purists out there, but to me, a longtime Bond fan, this debut from Dynamite Entertainment is everything I could have wanted in a Bond comic book. Warren Ellis, Jason Masters and Guy Major confidently differentiate themselves away from a largely familiar canon and deliver a hard-hitting, fast paced, and well-crafted debut that only hints at what's to come for James Bond. This debut gives us the goods but not all of them at once. James Bond #1 starts the series off on a high note that demands your attention and leaves you wanting more, which is the best kind of debut. James Bond #1 might not be the Bond that you are used to, but it makes a very strong case for a Bond that will send you looking beyond the films.

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4.0
Justice Inc. #1

Aug 19, 2014

I was pretty excited for Justice, Inc. #1. Dynamite Entertainment has been consistently knocking it out of the park with their vast line of pulp titles and I just assumed that this would be yet another check mark in their win column. But, as they say, you can't win them all, and there isn't much about Justice, Inc. #1 that could be considered a win. Michael Uslan certainly has a great pulp book in him. Hell, he has written several great ones already, but this first issue isn't one of them. My fingers are crossed that Uslan and Timpano have some truly great issues in store for us that will send this dream team up into the world with the kind of storytelling that we expect from them if only to make me forget how overstuffed and clunky this first issue was, but, until then, only the Shadow knows what narratives lurk in the heart of their writer.

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3.0
Justice League #28

Feb 24, 2014

It took an appearance of some of my favorite characters to reignite my interest in the Justice League, but it took Geoff Johns a mere four pages to stomp out those embers. I sincerely hope that after Forever Evil wraps up that the Justice League titles will rediscover the whimsy and sense of wonder that made the League a blast to read in the first place, but if Johns' take on the Justice League is the new status quo, we may be in for a very long wait. Justice League used to be the go-to book when you wanted fun, breezy yarns about larger-than-life heroes and impossible exploits, but in a bid to gain narrative legitimacy, it feels like DC has become increasingly embarrassed in the very things that made us fans in the first place.

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8.0
Justice League #40

Apr 30, 2015

Justice League #40 may not be the most active of prologues, but the touchstones to the original Crisis cycle, the inclusion of the New Gods, along with the anthology feel of the artist's pages is a must for readers looking for truly big DC fun.

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7.0
Justice League #42

Jul 20, 2015

All told Justice League #42 is a good, but not great issue from a creative team that has touched greatness before. Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson are a solid creative team and have the potential to make "The Darkseid War" a proper blockbuster once they blast away the exposition and playing for time. Thankfully though, we are just two issues into this arc. They have plenty of time to right the ship, and get to the good stuff hiding just underneath Johns' verbosity. What remains to be seen is if the Justice League is left standing after the smoke clears.

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7.0
Justice League #43

Aug 19, 2015

Justice League #43 is a good comic book, but it could be a great one. Surely at some point the hunt for Mister Miracle will yield something great in the home stretch of the "Darkseid War," but as of now, its just distracting from the real meat of the plot. Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson have great issues in them and have delivered them before, but they can't all be rock solid. Justice League #43 is solid enough but it could be more if it was just a bit more focused on the plots that are continually interesting. At least now we have a explosive start to the "Darkseid War" and the only thing left to do now is see who makes it out the other side once the dust settles.

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6.0
Justice League (2016) #1

Jul 20, 2016

While bombastic and filled with striking visuals throughout Justice League #1 still comes up short narratively. Bryan Hitch, while capable of delivering rousing stories, sells his debut short by not taking full advantage of the team dynamics that made his previous series such an enjoyable experience. Though the script could use some more team-ups, Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea and Tomeu Morey sell the story hard by rendering the solo vignettes as dynamically as possible with slick pencils, heavy inks, and eye-catching colors. That said, no issue can survive on great art alone, and as a result, DC's premier super-team has a uphill battle ahead of itself going into its second issue.

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9.0
Justice League of America (2015) #1

Jun 18, 2015

If you are looking for an easy access point into the DC universe or just an exciting action romp, look no further than Justice League of America #1.

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9.0
Justice League of America (2015) #4

Oct 15, 2015

Still Justice League of America #4 looks tremendous and reads even more so as the plot thickens and quickens heading into the title's endgame.

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9.0
Justice League United #0

Apr 23, 2014

Zero issues, like pilot episodes, have to burn brightly and quickly, making some kind of impression on readers and retailers alike. In order to have any sort of future as an ongoing title, opening issues have to establish a readership as well as a tone and direction for the series. The characters can go and do anything, and that raw potential lends Justice League United its energy. Jeff Lemire, Mike McKone, and Marcelo Maiolo deliver a superhero story that isn't aiming to revolutionize, yet succeeds in feeling fresh and completely different than the rest of the Justice League books on shelves right now.

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8.0
Justice League United Annual #1

Nov 3, 2014

Justice League United Annual #1 is pure example of a book finally finding its own voice. After a lackluster opening arc, Lemire and his team seem to finally feel comfortable with their team as a whole, and with that comfort comes ambition. No one wants to read a comic that plays it safe and tells a middling superhero story that audiences have read time and time again. While the story of this annual isn't going to bust open a new paradigm within comics, it is the kind of breathlessly huge story that audiences gravitate toward. I would much rather read something that shoots for the moon and misses than a story that doesn't even try to aim. Justice League United Annual #1 not only shoots for the moon, it shoots for a moon in a neighboring universe. Time will tell if its aim is true, but for now, long live the Legion and the JLU.

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7.0
Justice League United: Futures End #1

Sep 1, 2014

I wasn't expecting much from Futures End: Justice League United. Honestly, I was expecting another tonally off gathering of some of my favorite characters with some of them side lined in favor of other fan favorite stars. Thankfully, Jeff Lemire, Jed Dougherty, and Gabe Eltaeb surprised me in the best possible way; by giving the readers and I a straight forward superhero tale that let the characters shine and the weirdness of comics permeate throughout. It may be too soon to call, but so far the Futures End one-shots have outshined the event itself by a fairly wide margin. After reading issues like Futures End: Justice League United it is easy to see why.

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8.0
Karnak #1

Oct 21, 2015

Karnak #1 is a weird book, but it's the best kind of weird. Warren Ellis, Gerardo Zaffino, and Dan Brown plainly introduce readers to this new incarnation of Karnak with little fanfare but a whole mess of action, as well as interesting philosophical ideals and a lead willing to speak the hard truths. Karnak may have been on the sidelines during the Inhuman's latest push into the limelight, but Karnak #1 boldly places him on the forefront of the new Inhuman revolution while never softening the lead - or attempting to make him more palatable.

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9.0
Klarion #1

Oct 13, 2014

I love DC's roster of magic characters, and while Klarion the Witch-Boy may have been the last one I thought would get a solo ongoing, I am happy to report that it is more than worthy of your attention as a reader. Ann Nocenti, Trevor McCarthy and Guy Major present Klarion #1 as a from-the-ground-up reboot for a lesser-known character that could very well become a fan-favorite. Klarion #1 shows that you don't have to be a slave to earlier adaptations of a character to tell a compelling story. You can keep the sense of history that the character carries with it, but still manage to make it your own in order to present the audience with something fresh. Klarion #1 is that something fresh, in the strangest way, in a market that sorely needs it.

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8.0
Legendary Star-Lord #1

Jul 2, 2014

Audiences can’t get enough of charming roughish characters and Legendary Star-Lord #1 is every bit a comic about one of Marvel’s most dashing criminals. Sam Humpries, a writer to cut his teeth giving us books about weirdoes and outcasts like Uncanny X-Force and Avengers A.I., shoots for the stars with this new solo series, but always reminds us that underneath the exploits and explosions there is a living, breathing man. The Legendary Star-Lord #1 also continues the artistic hot streak that has made up Marvel’s cosmic character line. Medina, Vlasco and Curiel deliver a book that feels lived in while never looking like anything other than a high-flying space adventure, bringing to mind the works of Jim Starlin and Howard Chaykin. We may have to wait until August 1 for Peter Quill to become a box office star, but today he’s a star at your local comic shop.

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8.0
Loki: Ragnarok and Roll #1

Mar 5, 2014

Loki lies, but now it seems that his lying in pursuit of ill deeds is over. Or is it? That will certainly be the question that each issue of Agent of Asgard will ask, and it's a question that I have yet to mind pouring over as I read the series. Al Ewing has tapped into something special here with Loki, and while it is understandably not for everyone, its definitely something that can only get better as it goes on. Often, comics and comic writers seem to fear comedy and comedic takes on characters, but Al Ewing is throwing himself into Loki's insane world, and he isn't afraid to let him tell a few jokes and look ridiculous. Comics can be immensely clever, and Loki: Agent of Asgard is arguably one of the most clever comics on shelves.

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6.0
Mad Max: Fury Road - Mad Max #1

Jul 9, 2015

Though fun in parts and decidedly on brand for Vertigo Comics, Mad Max: Fury Road - Mad Max #1 fails to get out of second gear and achieve the shininess of this summer's loudest blockbuster.

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8.0
Magneto (2014) #1

Mar 6, 2014

I was unsure about what a Magneto ongoing would be about or look like when it was announced but upon reading number one and seeing just how far it was willing to go while presenting it's story, I am more than interested to see just where else Erik is headed and just how far he is willing to go in his pursuit of justice.

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8.0
Magnus: Robot Fighter #1

Mar 11, 2014

Its a classic fish out of water story - except this fish can break a robot's face with just one well-placed punch. When the Gold Key relaunch was announced I was hesitant to get as excited, because I was worried that some of the character's more dated aspects wouldn't translates well for a modern comic audience. But now, with Magnus: Robot Fighter, I see that these fears were largely unfounded. Dynamite seems to understand that they can use these characters to tell unexpected stories about larger issues than just fighting robots and dinosaurs. These classic characters have more than earned their place on the racks next to their contemporary counterparts.

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10
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #2

Nov 7, 2013

This is a book that will only get better upon each re-read as you will always find something new packed away in a page that you hadn't before. If you aren't reading this book, you are doing yourself a great disservice.

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9.0
Marvel Zombies (2015) #1

Jun 10, 2015

Marvel Zombies #1 has no business being this good but thanks to a keen script and dynamite visuals, it is and we should be grateful. Simon Spurrier takes the name recognition of a Marvel cult hit and transforms it into a thrilling, hilarious and engaging character study that just happens to have zombies running around. With big events like Secret Wars, it is assumed that we, as readers, will be inundated with many forgettable tie-ins and a handful of special ones - Marvel Zombies #1 is one of those rare handfuls. Whether you want jokes, pathos, or to see an amazing lady carrying a great title on her shoulders, Marvel Zombies #1 has you covered.

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10
Mighty Avengers (2013) #3

Nov 6, 2013

This may sound like wool-gathering on my part, but I, as a comic book fan, am always looking for a new book that refreshes me on why comics can matter and I believe with every inch of my being that Mighty Avengers is that book. Its a story about misfits coming together, belonging, becoming a family and contributing to the larger good. Isn't that something that we all want? To belong? To never be alone? Mighty Avengers shows us that with comics, you are never alone. You will always have a place amid the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. We are all Avengers. All we have to do is speak the word and they are by our side, no matter what.

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8.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #9

Apr 11, 2014

Mighty Avengers may have dipped a bit in quality this month, but even the low points in Mighty Avengers soar beyond expectations.

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9.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #10

Jun 2, 2014

Like chocolate and peanut butter, fun and superheroes are two tastes that taste great together. Al Ewing, already a Tumblr celebrity with his work on Loki: Agent of Asgard, displays a true affection for superheroes once again with Mighty Avengers #10, balancing their larger than life exploits with genuine human emotion and characterization. Ewing stated in the first issue that these were his favorite comic book characters growing up and now he gets to tell stories starring them. He wants them to be as fun as possible while displaying what made them his favorites as a kid. And they're quickly becoming our favorites, too.

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7.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #2

Jun 4, 2014

The Ultimate Universe, at its very core, as always been about subverting our expectations and giving us brand new versions of the characters and stories that we loved in the 616 universe. Ultimate Spider-Man flirted with the notion of doing a full out adaptation of the Clone Saga in its early volumes and now it seems that Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man is going to do more than just flirt with this story. Miles Morales are been baptized by fire recently and came out the other side a full fledged superhero. It’s only natural that now he has to deal with proper superhero hijinks, just like Peter Parker did before him. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that he doesn’t end up wearing a weird off-the-shoulder sweater with the spider on it before this is all over.

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8.0
Miracleman #2

Jan 30, 2014

Moore's script crackles with a younger, rawer energy than anything we've ever read from him before while still reminding us of the prosaic and dense prose that enticed us in the first place. Gary Leach's art really takes off in this issue, providing some truly scary visuals as well as some vast, cinematic panels.

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10
Miracleman #7

Jun 9, 2014

Alan Moore has a plethora of titles in his bibliography that one could argue as his masterpiece: Watchmen, From Hell, Top Ten, the list goes on and on. But now, we are finally getting a chance to experience one of his seminal works with fresh eyes. Moore's comic work has become so sporadic that even the smallest bits of new material is a gift to fans across the world, but with Miracleman we not only get something new of Moore's to chew on, but we get a work that feels much more raw and fresh than the rest of his past works. This is Moore before the word "masterpiece" followed him around. This is Moore before the legend overtook the writer. This is Miracleman and it has every right to be called a true masterpiece. .

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10
Mister X: Razed #1

Feb 24, 2015

Orson Welles once said that an audience hardly remembers a lead character, but if those lead characters keep discussing a character that never makes an appearance until the few minutes before the first act break, the audience will say that actor who simply walked across the stage before curtain is the greatest actor that they have ever seen. It's all because of making a dramatic cross. That is the best possible analogy for how good Mister X: Razed #1 is. The titular character makes only a handful of appearances but still makes an impact, even if he isn't a fully active participant in the stories detailed. Dean Motter makes the most of this reintroduction of Radiant City and its citizens by side-lining the main character and allowing the design and noir sensibilities to take center stage all contained in a beautiful Art Deco package. Mister X is back and Dark Horse Comics is all the better for it.

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8.0
Moon Knight (2014) #1

Mar 10, 2014

While Hawkeye may have inspired a line of charming, character-centric comics in its wake, Moon Knight seems to be taking this formula and running it straight into the realm of the penny dreadful. Warren Ellis, a writer who has made his name giving us famous outcasts, has definitely found another such weirdo to lend his distinctive voice to and an art team that is 100% along for the ride. Moon Knight always seemed like a character that was always just one run away from truly breaking out as Marvel's next big star, and now it seems under this creative team, he's finally poised to take his turn in the spotlight.

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10
Moon Knight (2014) #4

Jun 4, 2014

Moon Knight #4 reads like something we've never read before but feels like books we have loved for ages. If comics could be considered gateway media, this may be the issue that people choose to hand to the uninitiated as an pure example as to what to expect. Just don't bring food into Spector's car.

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9.0
Moon Knight (2014) #6

Aug 11, 2014

The bell is rung, and we gather here not to bury Warren Ellis’ Moon Knight but to praise it, because it was some damn fine superhero comics. Moon Knight #6 doesn’t reinvent the wheel or pretend to be yet another entry into a critical darling of a series. It simply tells a hard-hitting and razor-sharp superhero story that would have felt right at home alongside the Marvel Knights titles of the early 2000s. Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellarie took a character that no one could really call A-list, and shined a spotlight on him simply by telling thrilling stories with him. Moon Knight as a character may not last long within the comic reading consciousness, but the Ellis, Shalvey, and Bellarie run of Moon Knight will definitely stand the test of time as a solid run of gorgeous, filler-free comics.

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8.0
Moon Knight (2014) #8

Oct 6, 2014

Moon Knight fans rejoice, your favorite lunatic is in good hands. After a shaky start as well as the daunting task of filling some enormous shoes, Moon Knight #8 looks to be the start of a confident and entertaining continuation of what was started with the first set of issues. Wood, Smallwood, and Bellaire seem committed to delivering comics that are wholly their own and resisting the urge to ride the coattails of what came before. Moon Knight, as a title, is still tightly plotted, more than a bit violent, and pulpy as all hell, and really, isn't that all we wanted in the first place? If Moon Knight #8 is any indication, we are in for a solid Season Two.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #2

Mar 24, 2014

No one actually utters the words "With great power, comes great responsibility" in the pages of Ms. Marvel #2, yet the message echoes throughout the comic. Kamala Kahn has experienced her first brush with something larger than herself in this issue and all the while her father's words from the Quran repeated in her head: "Whoever kills one person, it is as if he has killed all of mankind and who ever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind." That always made Kamala feel better, and it should make us feel better, too. Uncle Ben would be very, very proud.

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10
Ms. Marvel (2014) #8

Sep 10, 2014

Ms. Marvel #8 is a lot more than the cutesy book that Jamie McKelvie's cover advertises it to be. While filled with adorable moments throughout, Ms. Marvel #8 definitely takes the training wheels off Kamala Kahn's superhero training. G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring understand that jokes and smiles can only get them so far with this series, and now it is time to start upping the ante for Kamala in a big way. Things will probably get tough for her, and understandably so, but through it all, Kamala will still be the hero that we all know that she can be. That's the very definition of good drama; a worthy character struggling through odds that they might not overcome for the good of all. Ms. Marvel #8 shows us that Kamala Kahn is well on her way to becoming the hero we both need and deserve.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #18

Sep 14, 2015

Ms. Marvel #18 doesn't reinvent the wheel or introduce a slew of new ideas into the Marvel universe. It is simply a well told emotional story accompanied by some fantastic artwork. G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring have tapped into something special with Ms. Marvel and its only fitting that the original team that introduced us to Kamala Khan team her up with her hero and send her out into the larger Marvel universe with a personal story that hits home for her and her readers. Ms. Marvel #18 may be the tale of Kamala's "Last Days" pre-Secret Wars, but based on the strength of these final issues, Kamala has a very bright future ahead of her.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1

Nov 23, 2015

While Ms. Marvel may now be a card-carrying Avenger, that doesn't mean that her life has gotten an easier. Ms. Marvel #1 takes Kamala's new status quo and introduces it in such a way that is sure to please long time Kamala Korps members as well as newcomers to Khan's life and superhero career. G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring have tapped into the rare, almost impossible to find well of teen storytelling that hasn't been found since the heady days of the Runaways and most recently Ultimate Spider-Man and Young Avengers. Kamala's life is sure to get much harder before it gets easier, but, fortunately for us, her problems will be wrapped in a beautifully drawn and fun-to-read package.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #12

Dec 2, 2013

Though the conflict has been won for now, it seems that our favorite team of hard traveled heroes still have much to contend with. Hickman, not being on to rest on his laurels, has not only delivered one hell of an event, but kept New Avengers essential to the larger event while never sacrificing its established ongoing story. Now, in the ashes of Infinity, he's used the springboard of the macro story to establish a new and interesting status quo for his characters on top of the existing mythos of the series. This is really great stuff and refreshing as an event weary comic fan to see a writer so committed to making an event not only matter, but have very real consequences for all the characters involved. Everything has a solution and I, for one, am glad to see Jonathan Hickman committed to that.

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9.0
New Avengers (2013) #13.INH

Jan 6, 2014

New Avengers #13, coupled with Avengers #24, serve as a pallet cleanser for the recent glut of Infinity centric tie-ins and to present the new direction for each series going forward. In Avengers #24, Captain America tells Tony Stark that he only sees black clouds and death on the horizon and Tony replies that he sees what's coming. With New Avengers #13, we now see precisely what Tony sees; we see death in the form of the Black Priests and the black clouds of universal entropy looming overhead. Will our heroes be enough to stop the spread of universal decay? Will the Illuminati be forgiven for their clandestine crimes and machinations? Only Jonathan Hickman knows and all we can do is read and hope.

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3.0
New Avengers (2013) #15

Mar 20, 2014

New Avengers has been one of my favorite Marvel NOW titles, but after this and more than a few wheel spinning issues previously, it may be time to find a new team of super-jerks to follow.

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8.0
New Avengers (2013) #18

May 15, 2014

If you dropped this book long ago, no one could really blame you, but with issue #18, Hickman and Schiti may be finally on the road to regaining a lapsed readership.

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5.0
New Avengers (2013) #29

Feb 2, 2015

In four months, time runs out but New Avengers #29 seems more concerned with theorizing about what that means instead of showing our heroes dealing with it. Like I had said before, this could all be untrue by the time the next issue of the series rolls around, but for a series with this great of a hook and a wealth of interesting characters, I don't understand how it could be so boring. Jonathan Hickman has been a writer that has delivered thrilling and thought provoking comics time and time again, and you would think that a series like New Avengers would be his superhero swan song, but #29 finds him still hobbling along aided by jargon instead of throwing our heroes into action. The table is set and it has been for a while now; how long until the guests grow tired of waiting for the goods, and get up to find a more satisfying meal?

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7.0
New Avengers (2013) #32

Mar 30, 2015

And so it went, that gods who traveled to spaces unseen by human eyes were trampled in the unbending march of time. And what's even more tragic is that the story continued on without them. New Avengers #32 isn't the best issue of the series so far, but it is still a required one. Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin have delivered an issue that coldly went about the dark deeds that were needed in order to get us in the headspace required for the upcoming finale. If New Avengers #32 is any indication, than things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better and all we can do is read the stories, hoping for some version of a happy ending. Whether we get one or not, that still remains to be seen.

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10
New Avengers (2013) Annual #1

Jun 25, 2014

I cannot imagine that Strange is an easy character to write. The rules of magic in the Marvel Universe seem to be in a state of constant flux and Strange was always at the very eye of that narrative nightmare hurricane. With New Avengers, Jonathan Hickman leaned into the skid of Strange being all-powerful and sat him at a table with other titans, as well as a hefty power upgrade, at the cost of his soul. With New Avengers Annual #1, Frank J. Barbiere and Marco Rudy reintroduce us to the man behind the Eye of Agamatto, warts and all, with a gorgeous single issue that makes a very strong case for a solo Strange ongoing. Stephen Strange sold his soul to have the power to save every reality, but he still makes house calls. But don't worry, you can trust him - he's a doctor.

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2.0
New Suicide Squad #1

Jul 9, 2014

Most times the Suicide Squad, much like Parker Lewis, can’t lose. We, as readers, can’t get enough of anti-heroes. The Suicide Squad has always been a team made up of volatile A-personalities who have to learn how to survive together. New Suicide Squad #1 isn’t a team, it's isn't even a time bomb - it's just mediocre. Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts have plenty of time to right the ship and could quite possibly offer us a second issue next month that garners a metric ton of goodwill back, doing justice to the characters and giving readers an entertaining entry into the Suicide Squad canon. But New Suicide Squad #1 is neither entertaining or true to the characters it portrays. This is New Coke X when you asked for real cane sugar Dr. Pepper. Sage may think that you couldn’t mess this up if you tried - he's just lucky he doesn’t have to read his own comic.

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9.0
Origin II #1

Dec 26, 2013

Kieron Gillen was the last person I thought would tackle a story like this, but now, after reading Origin II #1, its hard to image anyone else delivering this emotional, and effecting of a first issue. Gillen and Kubert take the expectations and preconceived notions that readers have regarding a story like this and deliver not only a pitch perfect Wolverine, but a master class in comic book storytelling. Though less sophisticated readers may cry foul that its not as violent as a "true" Wolverine story should be, they would be remiss skipping Origin II #1. Gillen isn't interesting in giving into what's easy when it comes to writing Wolverine, instead he throws himself into the story with aplomb, delivering a stellar first issue and what looks to be a worthy sequel.

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8.0
Original Sin #0

Apr 23, 2014

The board is set and the pieces are starting to move and hopefully by now, Mark Waid and his talented art team have given readers their first tantalizing glimpses into what Original Sin has in store for them. All too often prologue comics are only worth looking into for completionist purposes. Usually they are limited to close to the chest plotting and a small drip of information when it comes to characterization, but I am more than pleased to say that all of that is nowhere to be found in the pages of Original Sin #0. Mark Waid and his team, clearly unsatisfied with just delivering a run-of-the-mill tease, offer up an easy access point into the characters and backstory of the players involved with Original Sin all wrapped up in a gorgeously rendered and fun superhero yarn.

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7.0
Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #1

Jul 15, 2014

Crossovers can been forgettable at best and frustrating at worst. That said, Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #1 aims to be that rare crossover that transcends the huge title card that its cover carries and tells a story that feels like a compelling extension of the titles it branches from. Al Ewing and Jason Aaron infuse just enough of their own work from their respective solo titles to make this debut issue feel more than a sum of its own parts. While The Tenth Realm doesn't wow like the solo titles it springs from, it still offers an entertaining tale of two brothers going on a strange adventure all in the name of family. Now all we have to do is wait until Loki screws it up.

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8.0
Planet Hulk #1

May 19, 2015

It's a simple story. A man going to the ends of the Earth to save his friend. Of course, set against the backdrop of Secret Wars, nothing is really that simple. However, Planet Hulk #1 presents its men on a mission tale with speed, pathos, and even a giant bug fight. Writers Sam Humphries and Greg Pak throw themselves headlong into the uncharted territory of Greenland and deliver a classic pulp yarn stocked with the new versions of Marvel mainstays as well as a few choice connections to a fan favorite story arc. People may complain that not much happens in the pages of Planet Hulk #1 or that the action beats are few and far between, but not all stories need constant battle to feel important or engaging. Planet Hulk #1 is printed proof of just that.

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5.0
Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1

Sep 9, 2014

Dark Horse Comics has had a long and fruitful relationship with licensed comics, and while Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 isn't the most stellar start to their new licensed venture, there is still the spark of potential there. I honestly don't think it will really shock readers to find out that the book based on a notable bummer of a movie isn't exactly ground-breaking, but who knows? The creative team is certainly capable enough just based on this first issue to actually turn the known potential of Prometheus into something captivating. Add to that the possibility of a crossover that we were teased with in the film itself as well as the potential thrill of seeing a Predator and an Engineer tangling within the pages of Prometheus: Fire and Stone and we may just have a pretty strong story on our hands later this year.

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10
Public Relations #1

Jun 23, 2015

We have all sat through our share of workplace comedies but never have we seen one quite like Public Relations #1. Mixing the mundane with the fantastic along with a hefty dose of laughs, Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus, David Hahn and Hi-Fi hit a home run that is just begging for an audience to experience it. Even though we are still a ways from its proper release in stores, this is a comic that needs to be on your radar yesterday. Comedy is a fickle mistress, especially in the medium of comics, but Public Relations #1 makes it look easy, on top of its playful mixing on genres. Mark your calendars, true believers. September 2nd is when you can pick up your new favorite comic and if Public Relations #1 is the bar being set, future issues have their work certainly cut out for them.

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8.0
Punisher (2014) #1

Feb 5, 2014

Fans of the Punisher and newcomers to Frank's war alike will be pleased with this new #1. The Punisher has always been a character that never really clicked for me like it had other people, aside from rare runs that went for laughs and satire instead of gloom and pathos. I always wanted a clear entry point into Frank Castle that struck both of those chords in a new and interesting way but it seems that I got exactly what I asked for in the form of Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads' Punisher #1, which is sure to make anyone take notice of Marvel's premier antihero.

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9.0
Rat God #1

Feb 4, 2015

If Rat God #1 is your first look at the works of Richard Corben, I envy you. Corben has been an artist's artist for longer than some of us have been alive, and Rat God #1 illustrates that he is still working at the peak of his weird powers, delivering a true-to-form Lovecraftian set-up, wrapped in gorgeous, rock album ready artwork. Speaking to a larger point, Rat God #1 is a book that you could only get from Dark Horse Comics, an imprint that made its name on horror yarns and pulpy output from heavy hitters just like Corben. Rat God #1 is a comic that should have been made in the late '70s, but thank the Elder Ones that we have it now, and a huge Ia Ia Cthulhu Flagetgn to Richard Corben for being the same insane person that wowed a previous generation with works just like this. Rat God #1 won't be for everyone, but for everyone else, it will feel like a cold blast of air on an acrid day.

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7.0
Reanimator #1

Apr 7, 2015

And so, after many incarnations and guest-starring roles, Herbert West finally gets the solo series he deserves. Reanimator #1 isn't exactly a blockbuster return, but as far as first issues go, it still works by being an unexpectedly big take on horror's studious grave robber. Keith Davidsen's grounded take on one of H.P. Lovecraft's enduring anti-heroes isn't perfect, but still worth reader's attention, especially the legions of Reanimator fans that stalk comic shop floors.Reanimator #1, for all its faults, shows that West is much bigger than just horror. Now the only question is, just how big does all this go? Is Herbert West the next Walter White? One can only hope.

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7.0
Red Skull (2015) #1

Jul 2, 2015

The Dirty Dozen this isn't, but Red Skull #1 provides the next best thing; a group of villains and anti-heroes tasked with an impossible mission with a next to nil success rate.

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8.0
Red Sonja (2013) #0

Jul 30, 2014

Zero issues are always a gamble in the eyes of the average comic book reader. They either deliver a fun flight of fancy into the world of a character that is largely unfamiliar to them or a forgettable dalliance into a title that they don't really wish to support past the issue they just purchased on a whim. Thankfully, Red Sonja #0 is of the former category, offering new fans a look into what everyone is talking about in regards to Simone's Dynamite work as well as a substantial taste of Red Sonja's badassery. Red Sonja #0 ticks all the boxes of a good one-shot while never sacrificing the charm or readability of the main monthly title. It is a rare thing when zero issues become solid and entertaining entries into the larger title, but Dynamite Entertainment seems committed to delivering quality with this recent rash of zeroes on the shelves.

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9.0
Rick and Morty #1

Apr 6, 2015

Bottom line, if you love the show, you'll love the comic, and if you've never watched the show, this debut issue will make you want to run out and buy the DVDs as soon as you are humanly able. Oni Press has struck gold with Rick and Morty #1. Zac Gorman, C.J. Cannon, Ryan Hill, and back up artist Marc Ellerby have given audiences, both in and out of know, a solid debut issue chocked with comedy and pathos that can go nowhere but up. Sitcoms are always tricky for comics to really take to, but the breathless insanity and solid emotional core of Rick and Morty may be the latest one that the medium embraces and takes to a whole other crop of fans. To sum it all up, WUB A LUB A DUB DUUUUB!

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9.0
Robocop (2014) #1

Jul 1, 2014

It had to be a daunting task taking on a property as beloved as Robocop, both for BOOM! Studios and for Joshua Williamson. As a fan myself and after enduring more than a few lackluster takes on the character, I wasn't entirely convinced that another ongoing series was the answer. Thankfully, Williamson, Magno and Louise proved me dead wrong and delivered a stellar first issue that feels right at home in the canon of Robocop. Robocop #1 is the total package. It has swearing. It has blood. It has guns. It even has a cameo by Kirkwood Smith. But above all, it has an engaging story populated with fully realized characters. You'd buy that for a dollar.

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8.0
Runaways (2015) #1

Jun 18, 2015

It might not be the team you remember, but this first issue certainly contains the same crackling youthful energy of the Runaways we all loved; just with 100% more moody Bucky Barnes and that's certainly a great thing.

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8.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #2

Jan 14, 2015

A book like S.H.I.E.L.D. is always a pleasant surprise. As someone who has grown to love the cast of Marvel's first foray into television, it does my fan's heart good to see them start to flourish in the larger scheme of the Marvel universe. S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 moves quickly and assuredly through its story, and while it doesn't offer anything ground breaking in terms narrative or form, it is still a blast to read, and also proves that teaming Kamala Khan up with anyone will yield entertaining results.

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10
Satellite Sam #7

Mar 26, 2014

All of the best film noir protagonists have some deeply inherent flaw in their character that almost pushes them into anti-hero territory. The cast of Satellite Sam is no different. Its these character traits coupled with the compelling setting and storyline that make Satellite Same such a rewarding read month after month. In just the course of seven issues Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin have given us a full cast of characters that are already different people than they were when we first saw them slaving over a new medium delivering subpar children's programming. This book is most certainly not for everyone, but for the degenerates that make up its audience, Satellite Same will plunge to the lowest depths and highest highs to bring you a well told and compelling story.

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8.0
Satellite Sam #11

Feb 10, 2015

Satellite Sam, with its sleaze-filled serial narrative, has always been an interesting and daring entry into Image Comics' oeuvre, but with #11, Fraction and Chaykin show that Satellite Sam is much more than just lace and ribald visuals. It is a well researched slice of the times starring men and women who are committed to their jobs to the point to ruin. The crew of Satellite Sam may not be the best group of people or the most reliable, but they have each other and, by God, they have their show and sometimes that's enough to keep them from spilling over the edge. For how long they can keep teetering on that edge, who can say - but at least they won't blow their start times.

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9.0
Secret Avengers (2014) #2

Apr 11, 2014

Ales Kot's Secret Avengers is a complete 180-degree turn from the cloak and dagger slog that was the previous volume and it could not have come at a better time for the title.

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9.0
Secret Avengers (2014) #3

May 15, 2014

While the Secret Avengers spend the majority of their time working silently behind the scenes, Kot and Walsh have delivered yet another issue more than worthy of the spotlight.

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8.0
Secret Six (2014) #2

Feb 11, 2015

Rejoice, fans and lovers alike, the Secret Six have returned and the DC Universe is all the better/weirder for it. Gail Simone made a bold choice bringing back the Six for the New 52, but based on the first two issues, she has made the most of it by tossing the majority of the first title out and striking out to tell a new story with a new set of characters. Secret Six #2 has all the hallmarks of what made the last series so easy to connect to; a large, slightly insane main story populated by interesting characters that are shippable as all hell. We still have miles to go with this new Secret Six title, but this second issue confidently shows that Simone and her team are walking the right path.

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9.0
Secret Wars #2

May 18, 2015

Events are a dime a dozen in comics, but Secret Wars so far has felt less like an event and more like a huge ending of a story started all the way back in the heady days of "Marvel NOW!" After the dust settled on the destruction of the last incursion, something wholly new and wild was presented to us in the form of Secret Wars #2. How often can one say that about a major comic event? Every step of the story up til now has been carefully planned and foreshadowed and I would be very surprised if everything afterward wasn't planned with the same eye for detail. Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, and Ive Svorcina have an epic tale to tale in the pages of Secret Wars, and our only job is to enjoy it. All hope may very well lie in Doom right now, but the trials of Battleworld still await.

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8.0
Secret Wars #4

Jul 2, 2015

Secret Wars before now hasn't exactly blown readers away, but this fourth issue blasts away the exposition and finally puts the "battle" in Battleworld.

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8.0
Secret Wars #7

Nov 11, 2015

Secret Wars #7 may not be perfect, but it is a vast improvement over some of the lackluster previous installments. Though the All-New All-Different universe that Secret Wars spawned is starting to make its debut across the whole line, Secret Wars #7 shows that the story that got us there still has some surprises still up its sleeve. While the jury is still out over whether Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, and Ive Svorcina will stick the landing, Secret Wars #7 shows that at least for now, this event has its feet firmly planted underneath itself.

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10
Sex Criminals #3

Nov 20, 2013

Sex Criminals has been a book that I was excited about from its announcement and now that we are three issues in, I couldn't be more entertained by it. Its so much more than just a comedy, or just a love story, or just a weird semi-autobiographic romp. Its something brand new, yet completely recognizable to all of us . Fraction once asked "Where was The Apartment of comics?" and with Sex Criminals, I think he and Chip Zdarsky have given us a worthy heir apparent to the sex comedies of old. They have given us a wildly original, wholly engaging delightful comic that keeps us howling just as much as it keeps us feeling.

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10
Sex Criminals #11

Jul 30, 2015

It doesn't matter if this is your first time or your eleventh time hanging out with Jon and Suze, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky live to satisfy and that's precisely what Sex Criminals #11 does as it returns to dirty up our comic shop shelves.

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10
Sex Criminals #13

Oct 13, 2015

Sex Criminals #13 is a great comic for a lot of reasons, like the fantastic artwork and the sharp script, but its importance to asexual representation this month cannot be overstated. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have never shied away from incendiary or rarely discussed topics, but Sex Criminals #13 scratches a very specific itch that has gone long un-addressed in pop culture. Representation is important, and Sex Criminals #13 finally shines a tasteful light on an often overlooked, and misunderstood, section of humanity.

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10
She-Hulk (2014) #2

Mar 10, 2014

Charles Soule's star is quickly on the rise in the world of comics, but She-Hulk is making a very strong case for the standout book in his current output and a big part of that is Soule's charmingly retro take on Jennifer Walters. For too long have certain comics reveled in the darkness of what people have called "legitimate comics," but there is absolutely no room for that sort of thing in the pages of She-Hulk. This isn't to say that the comic is juvenile, but there is a certain freshness to seeing a creative team commit to just telling fun and engaging stories with characters that they are clearly having a blast working with. Its almost enough to make you want to break out your old Merry Marvel Marching Society badges.

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9.0
She-Hulk (2014) #5

Jun 11, 2014

We all have secrets, but for the most part, none of our secrets are aiming to murder us. She-Hulk #5 is a great book in a lot of ways. It's a very well-written and beautifully drawn book, but even more then these reasons, it is a book that seems committed to raising the quality of its storytelling every month. Charles Soule every month delivers an engaging story that raises the scale of She-Hulk's life little by little, expertly blending the mundane activities of a lawyer with superhero derring-do. Marvel has really tapped into something with their solo title line and She-Hulk is a shining example of what a solo title is capable of. It has a compelling lead, a fun, interesting ensemble cast built around the lead, and it isn't happy with just telling small stories. This is Jen Walters' world. We just get to happily live in it.

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9.0
She-Hulk (2014) #12

Feb 18, 2015

As the writer states in his farewell letter, this isn't the last we will see of Jennifer Walters. She will be back on shelves soon in the upcoming A-Force and surely, at least at some point in the future, another solo series. Keeping that in mind, it is still hard to let She-Hulk go. Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, and Muntsa Vicente took a character and introduced her to a new legion of fans that were hungry for a title just like this one. She-Hulk was bold, different and a title that hit shelves at exactly the right time. She-Hulk #12 continues that streak of creative singularity and sends Team Jen off with a smile and a feeling that everything will be okay in their world. Someone once said that the best endings just feel like beginnings, and that's what She-Hulk #12 delivers - an ending that could very well lead to something bigger and better for Jen. And that is exactly what she deserves.

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8.0
Siege (2015) #2

Aug 10, 2015

Siege #2 might not hit the same highs as Nextwave, but it sure as hell continues its ballsy legacy of being something truly singular.

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7.0
Silk #2

Mar 19, 2015

Silk still has a lot of ground to cover before it becomes a true blockbuster title, but the potential is on full display in this second issue.

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6.0
Silver Surfer (2014) #4

Jul 21, 2014

Silver Surfer has been one of Marvel's ambitious creative gambles that has more than paid off during its debut arc. That said, even great titles disappoint sometimes. Silver Surfer #4 is a beautiful-looking comic that is peppered with a few engaging character moments, yet as a whole, it lags a bit. While not unreadable, I don't see much in issue four that I could give to a new reader of the Surfer to get them to come back next month, aside from the promise of more jokes and a possible Defenders reunion. Silver Surfer is a book that is more than worth a spot on your pull list, but issue four might not be the best jumping on point unless you are a Guardians of the Galaxy completist. They say you can't go home again and for the Silver Surfer, that may be more true than he ever cared to realize. Time will tell if that makes a good story or not.

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9.0
Space Riders #1

Apr 1, 2015

There isn't much more to say about Space Riders #1 other than to read it as quickly as possible and then force your friends to read it so you can gloat about having read it before them. Space Riders #1 is all the best parts of being retro with absolutely none of the nostalgia. Fabian Rangel, Jr. and Alexis Ziritt clearly have creative voices that work well in tandem and they have delivered something wholly special to shelves this week. In a market dominated by dramas, superhero books, and grand events, it is all kinds of refreshing to read a book that only aims to be entertaining and achieves that goal by heaping a giant pile of crazy onto the laps of its readers.

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7.0
Star Wars (2014) #3

Mar 11, 2015

I wanted to be blown away by Star Wars #3 and that may have been my downfall. Aaron, Cassaday, and Martin have already done the impossible and breathed new life into one of fandom's most sacred of properties and even managed to make it pretty fun to read for the most part. Star Wars #3 isn't tough to get through or clumsy in its execution; it just feels like too much too soon. Aaron has always been a writer willing to throw characters and audience into the fire early on and forcing us to find our bearing amid the chaos, but why ruin the good thing that he had established character-wise with an issue chock full of explosions? I suspect that Star Wars #3 will be some people's favorite issue of the series so far, and depending on your tastes, you wouldn't be wrong, but for this reviewer, it would have made more of an impact on me if the characters had taken center stage like the previous issues.

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8.0
Star Wars (2014) #7

Jul 30, 2015

Artist Simone Bianchi is a welcome sight no matter what the title is, but his Star Wars #7 pages are a particular delight.

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9.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #4

Apr 9, 2015

Darth Vader #4 might not be the most uplifting read this week, but that doesn't make it any less rewarding of one.

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8.0
Star Wars: Darth Vader #7

Jul 6, 2015

Darth Vader #7 gives us both sides of the titular Sith lord, with the man and the machine and both proving very compelling. After years of the image of Vader being used to sell T-shirts and posters, Darth Vader has finally stripped all that away and presented Vader once again as a character and not as a marketing tool. Kieron Gillen has cut to the mechanized heart of Vader and presented him in a way that is equally terrifying and gripping, all while surrounding him with fun side characters with motivations all their own. While the main Star Wars title aims for swashbuckling action, Darth Vader continues to be a twist filled character study that has no problem showing its leads as the viciously pragmatic people that they actually are.

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9.0
Star Wars: Lando #3

Aug 31, 2015

Lando #3 has a lot of layers hiding underneath it's slick surface. While the issue's widescreen action beat is definitely something that can get readers in the door, Lando #3 also ratchets up the tension of the chase and delivers a grounded, human take one of Star Wars' most intriguing characters. Lando #3 is the kind of issue that makes you wish that this series was an ongoing instead of just a miniseries. Charles Soule, Alex Maleev, and Paul Mounts have tapped into a character set and tone that could sustain multiple arcs, but for now, we have three solid issues starring a band of scoundrels and one hell of a long con. That's enough for now, but you can't help but feel greedy for more.

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9.0
Star Wars: Princess Leia #2

Mar 18, 2015

Princess Leia #2 is Leia as she deserves to be presented; a capable, strong, and intelligent lead with goals and agency far removed from the men in her life. It is a pity that it took us this long to get a book like Princess Leia but I am overjoyed that is it here now, when we need it the most.

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8.0
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3

Oct 19, 2015

Fans have been scrambling for even the tiniest hints of what The Force Awakens has in store for audiences, but they need look no further than Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Shattered Empire #3. Shattered Empire is the prequel that we expected from the actual prequels. It hits all the right notes of a classic Star Wars yarn; selfless heroes, insurmountable odds, and rousing set pieces that aim to excite and enrich the characters instead of just offering empty spectacle. While Marvel has been nailing the original trilogy tales, Greg Rucka, Marco Checcetto, Angel Unzueta and Andres Mossa send us into the theater to watch the new adventures on a high note.

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7.0
Starlight #1

Mar 4, 2014

While this may not be a perfect start to the Millarworld Universe, it is certainly an unexpectedly thoughtful entry into Mark Millar's canon and and welcome change of pace and tone from the man who gave us The Ultimates. Science fiction is a genre in which you can tell a myriad of stories, ranging from cosmic horror to explorations of class, yet who could have guessed that Starlight would be a thoughtful mediation on age and one's place in a world that has moved on? Duke McQueen may be fading on Earth, but still has a chance to re-ignite his spark beyond the stars.

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10
Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #2

Aug 26, 2014

The hope of these licensed books are to deliver an authentic and canonized feeling experience in a graphic format and that is exactly what Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #2 is. Picking up this comic makes you feel as if Steed and Peel never left your TVs, and that is the best possible scenario for a largely forgotten property like this. It makes me wish that Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed wasn't just a limited series, because BOOM! Studios may have something special here for both die-hard British TV fans and new fans alike.

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9.0
Steven Universe: Greg Universe Special #1

Apr 28, 2015

While I discussed the stand out stories of the Greg Universe Special above, each story brings something entertaining to the table, culminating in one truly great anthology. BOOM! Studios' Steven Universe ongoing title has time and time again captured the spirit of the show, but this special one-shot has effortlessly captured the show's heart and emotional layers in one easy-to-digest package. Steven Universe: Greg Universe Special #1 is filled with laughs, fantastic art, and multiple moments that might make readers misty-eyed as they read. Greg Universe might not be the star of show, but Steven Universe: Greg Universe Special #1 makes a pretty compelling case for how he could be.

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5.0
Superboy (2011) #34

Aug 18, 2014

Superboy #34 isn’t a perfect finale by any means, nor will it stand the test of time against other finale issues when compared to them. That said, that doesn’t mean that it is a bad comic or unworthy of fan’s attention. Superboy #34 gets a great many things right on top of looking great throughout, but its truncated script holds it back from being a truly great finale and leaves it being just merely a fun and breezy single issue. And so the New 52 Superboy title dies as it lived; punching enemies so hard that they break the sound barrier, and for that, I thank it. Superboy #34 isn’t ground-breaking or essential, but it is entertaining, tightly written, and it looks great, and that’s all we can really ask of it and its creative team.

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10
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5

Nov 18, 2013

If you would have told me at the start of Marvel NOW! that my favorite comic would be about a bunch of idiot super-criminals trying to scrape by in the hard-luck world of the 616 underworld, I would have called you a liar, but nonetheless, Superior Foes of Spider-Man hasn't had a missed issue yet. It's hilarious, dark, and chocked full of unique storytelling unlike anything seen in a major published title. Superior Foes of Spider-Man is the kind of book you would see coming out from an independent publisher, but yet, Marvel took a huge chance with a weird little book like this, and it heartens me to no end to see that people have responded to it as well as they have. Who could have guessed that the best Spider-Man book on the shelves would be a book that barely has Ol' Webhead in it at all?

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7.0
Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW

Feb 12, 2014

Otto Octavius has always thought of himself as superior to everyone around him, going so far to declare himself as the eradicator of all crime in New York. Now Dan Slott has started to send him crashing back down to earth with the rest of us lowly people just to show him how wrong he is and its been a long time coming. Men, no matter how intelligent or powerful, are not gods nor will we ever be. Otto Ocatvius is about to learn this and I have a feeling that it is going to be a hard-taught lesson.

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6.0
Superman (2011) #35

Oct 27, 2014

Superman has been used in a myriad of ways narratively in the last few years. He's been a tool used to deconstruct the very medium. He's been the fresh face of whole new DC universe. He's been the head of a whole new Justice League for a whole new generation. However, its as the star of solid comic book plotting that he truly soars. We don't call him the Big Blue Boy Scout for nothing and Superman is finally that book again. Geoff Johns, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson, and Laura Martin deliver a no-frills, easy-to-pick-up story with Superman #35 that makes no illusions about its place in the Superman canon nor does it try to overreach and be something important. It is simply a story about a hero trying to be the best that he can, and that is more than enough.

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8.0
Superman (2011) #39

Mar 19, 2015

Superman losing his powers isn't anything new, but Superman #39 shows us a Kal-El that has rarely looked more human.

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8.0
Superman (2011) #45

Oct 29, 2015

Superman #45 may take a pretty hard right turn but it's a fun ride all the same and one that adds a new level of energy into the story of the new Man of Tomorrow.

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3.0
Superman Unchained #4

Nov 6, 2013

This is a title that I very much wanted to love. One of my favorite writers was tackling a character that I had always wanted to experience again in a monthly format with an artist known for his bombast and bullet train momentum. I forgave a weak start, but month after month, I was never hooked enough to justify my spending $3.99. It's never been that Snyder is a bad writer, or Lee a terrible artist, quite the contrary actually. Its just that they don't ever seem to be interested in delivering anything new or noteworthy with the series. Its a generic story from two immensely powerful creative. This could have been so much more, but instead its just more of the same and that's what makes this series' failings all the more painful.

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5.0
Superman Unchained #7

Jul 2, 2014

On concept, Superman Unchained should be the perfect Superman series. But, sometimes even the stars get the wrong, and Superman Unchained #7 is one of those rare examples. Superman is a character with near limitless narrative potential but more often than not, he is regulated to a mere force of destruction with an eloquent mind. Snyder writes the narration as if it comes from a poet, but can’t stop showing the man behind that narration punching things, and Jim Lee is more than happy to oblige him. History may one day look kindly upon this weird misfire in comicdom, but as a reader in the present, you really aren’t missing anything.

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7.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #30

Apr 3, 2014

Swamp Thing hasn't hit many lulls in its thirty issue run, but this month we see just what a Swamp Thing lull would look like and even still, it's solid comics.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #40

Mar 4, 2015

And so we have reached the final page for Swamp Thing and while the actual final panel may raise questions that only Charles Soule has the answer to, the comic that preceeded it is still a satisfying finale on all fronts. Soule filled some very big shoes when it took over the title, but you would never know it from the confidence of his plotting up until and including this final issue. Charles Soule just used the momentum that was already there from the previous writer and turned it into something that was wholly his own. Swamp Thing ended on its own terms and that, as fans, is all we can ask for from a title. Rest well, Alec Holland, you have surely deserved it.

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10
Swamp Thing (2011) Annual #2

Oct 31, 2013

Of the new crop of annuals that were just released this week, Swamp Thing Annual #2 is definitely a creepily lyrical must read.

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6.0
Teen Titans (2014) #9

Jun 25, 2015

Teen Titans #9 may read a bit stilted, but with dynamite visuals in hand coupled with colors that leap off the page, it is difficult to write off the Titans completely.

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2.0
Terminal Hero #1

Aug 11, 2014

I have loved Peter Milligan's work for as long as I can remember. Books like Shade the Changing Man and X-Statix shaped my tastes for years even after I read them. These feelings aside, I cannot in good conscious recommend Terminal Hero #1 to anyone. The hook is an interesting and the intention as a story about stripping cancer of its gruesome, ugly power is pure enough, but the execution is poor at best and insidious at worst. I understand that this may sound like hyperbole, but I challenge anyone to read this book and not feel grossed-out by Rory’s disregard for human decency during certain scenes. I challenge anyone to read the scenes with Emma and not feel ashamed at the sheer ugliness of her role within the story. Remember when your parents would say that they weren’t mad, they were just disappointed? Well, I’m not mad at Peter Milligan - just very, very disappointed.

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10
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2

Apr 14, 2015

Life can be a touch difficult when you are a teenage witch, but if The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 is any indication, Sabrina Spellman's life might be on track to become a living hell. And to think, the hardest thing that Sabrina had to deal with before now was Bye-Bye Birdie auditions. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 may not have the breakneck pace of Afterlife With Archie or the constant threat of zombie action, but none of that matters when you have an artist like Robert Hack on your book or a spooky and thoughtful script underneath it all. Robert Agurrie-Sacasa shows with Sabrina #2 that he can deliver without filling every page with flesh eating monsters and thinly veiled satire. Archie Horror is in great hands and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stands poised to please horror fans that hunger for something beyond zombies, vampires and other overplayed monsters.

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8.0
The Devilers #1

May 21, 2014

While The Devilers #1 doesn't really break new ground in terms of the genre or offer up a Freddy Kruger like icon for a villain, Fialkov and Triano instead give us a cracking good time rolling around in the brimstone and blood of a genre that they clearly love, giving the audience only the slightest taste of what sights lie ahead. Abandon all hope ye who enter here, but expect one hell of a time.

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8.0
The Disciples #1

Jun 9, 2015

The Disciples #1 isn't a perfect horror debut for Black Mask Studios, but it is an effective one. Steve Niles, Jonathan Mitten and Jay Fotos deliver a first issue that is equal parts private eye procedural and horror yarn, all condensed into a a well-constructed science fiction landscape that can only be expanded in further issues. Horror is a tricky genre to tackle in comics. It can either come across as exploitation or end up feeling bone-dry as it ramps up to actual scares. The Disciples #1 avoids both of these extremes and settles itself into a creepy middle ground that promises bigger and better scares later on. This debut issue is yet another reason to stand up and take notice of Black Mask Studios and a worthy example of just what kind of stories you can experience when you look beyond established imprints.

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9.0
The Dying and the Dead #1

Jan 28, 2015

The Dying and the Dead #1 is a fantastic-looking book just on the surface level. Even if it wasn't scripting as well as it is, it would still be worthy of your attention due to the Steve Dillion-like pencils of Ryan Bodenhiem and the narrative-driven color choices, but this being a Hickman book, you get all of that, plus a brisk, entertaining script from one of the more insane and engaging writers working today. The main narrative thread running throughout The Dying and the Dead #1 is that of choice; making choices and living with that choice even in the face of dire consequences. Thankfully, audiences have a clear path in front of them, one that leads them to a fantastically put together comic that will challenge their expectations and deliver a narrative experience that will leave them gasping for more.

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8.0
The Fade Out #2

Oct 1, 2014

Ed Brubaker on another noir book is a no brainer in itself, but the inclusion of Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser on art make The Fade Out a sure fire hit for fans and collectors alike. A creative team that works this well is a welcome change from the dominate singular personalities that make up the industry. Of course, most comics are collaborative efforts between all parties involved, but singular creative visions and statements from a creative team are as rare as some the variants they are covered in. Thankfully, Image Comics seem wholly committed to delivering this singular creative statements on a monthly basis and The Fade Out #2 is just one of many. Hollywood was a tough town in the 1940's, but with guides like Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser, we just may come out ahead in the end.

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9.0
The Mighty Thor (2015) #1

Nov 19, 2015

While functioning well as a rebooted solo series The Mighty Thor #1 also rewards long time readers of Jason Aaron's tenure with the character and sets it up for a more personal fight beyond the usual trolls and villains.

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6.0
The Multiversity #2

May 4, 2015

For better or worse, The Multiversity ended up being what we all expect it to be; a grand experiment in narrative that had some truly cool DC Universe moments. For all of The Multiversity #2's faults and frustrating inaccessibility, it delivered some great character moments, but we weren't reading this just for great character moments. Will time be kinder to The Multiversity? and will I ever feel smart enough to full understand the narrative games that Grant Morrison plays? Only the Monitors know. The stories spin on without us as The Multiversity #2 reminds and this one sure spun, hard and fast. Whether it actually landed is another thing entirely.

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10
The Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes #1

Sep 22, 2014

Some readers were understandably turned off by the universally spanning and hard to pin down story of the debut issue of Multiversity. Thankfully those that may have been less than impressed with that first issue can probably find something to enjoy about Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors from the Counter-World #1 which plants its feet confidentially in pulp conventions to tell a story both large and small. Anything could happen in Stingray, and anything does happen in a Grant Morrison comic. Morrison and his art team make the most of this second issue in order to prove that Multiversity aims to be more than just navel-gazing about the concept of the 52 worlds. It aims to be an entertaining and creative statement about them. Stand by for action.

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9.0
The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1

Dec 17, 2014

Multiversity, so far, has given us a cosmic pondering on the character of Superman, a jaunt into the pulps of old, superheroes through the lens of reality television, and a paranoid mirror image on the works of Alan Moore. But Thunderworld Adventures is the first straight superhero story of the event thus far and it soars with an old school energy that the previous issues, aside from S.O.S, have lacked. While other issues have relied heavily on the meta story unfolding in Multiversity, this month's installment casts off the heaviest chains of the story and is just happy to tell a thrilling superhero tale. A villain plots a nefarious plot and a group of mighty mortals step up to take him down and protect the innocent. I ask again - what more could you possibly want?

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1.0
The New 52: Futures End #1

May 12, 2014

Some of the most emotional and uplifting storytelling I have ever encountered has been from what people would consider “dark” stories. We, as fans and consumers of culture, have praised and awarded stories about some of the most horrific and bloody periods in our history. Storytellers have time and time again told these stories in thoughtful, economic ways in order to be able to reach us in the most effective way possible while also never compromising the content or appealing to our baser natures. The New 52: Futures End #1 doesn’t even attempt to be anything but exploitative. It goes out of its way to appeal to every baser nature we have a comic fans. It is everything we say we don’t want in comics, yet buy and consume in record numbers. The New Frontier is long behind us. All is now Eye. Eye is Order. Eye is All. But it doesn’t have to be.

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3.0
The New 52: Futures End #17

Aug 27, 2014

The New 52: Futures End has all the makings of a great DC event comic. It has an all-star creative team, a group of interesting characters, and a big, crazy hook that could be too good to resist. But, regrettably, the weekly format of the book coupled with the truncated script weighs the title down time and time again, refusing to let it spread its insane wings and truly fly. If you have been enjoying The New 52: Futures End thus far, or aim towards completion then #17 will be right up your street, but new readers or those curious about where the title is after 16 weeks need not bother. From its eking character reveals to its thudding transitions, The New 52: Futures End #17's outlook appears to be increasingly bleak.

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4.0
The New 52: Futures End #35

Jan 5, 2015

Combine all these together, and what you get is another forgettable issue of The New 52: Future's End. Which is a shame, because I really want to like this book: it's my kind of crazy, and it stars a bunch of characters that I really love and who have been missing from the main roster of DC heroes. However, the weekly distribution of the book and the writers' frustrating habit of never making the scenes and characters gel in any way at all keep this book from succeeding.

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3.0
The New 52: Futures End #48

Apr 2, 2015

And, so this is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with a thud.

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7.0
The Royals: Masters Of War #1

Feb 12, 2014

The Royals: Masters of War is exactly the kind of big, slightly goofy, idea that you have come to expect from Vertigo. But like other Vertigo offerings, its treated with just enough narrative momentum and fun so that you never really get a chance to be anything other than entertained and charmed by it. Sure, the idea of a royal family with superpowers is something that has been done before and can only work in comics, but its an idea that can work well under the stamp of Vertigo Comics, and while this issue stumbles a bit, its still right at home alongside the other big idea titles that came before it.

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6.0
The Royals: Masters Of War #3

Apr 11, 2014

While the rest of the series has yet to really live up to the promise of the debut issue, Royals: Masters of War #3 is still an epic, yet dour, jaunt into a superpowered WWII.

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9.0
The Sandman Overture #1

Oct 31, 2013

This issue moved me deeply and the Karen Berger credit just solidified the feeling that I was in for something very, very special.

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8.0
The Sandman Overture #6

Oct 5, 2015

The problems with writing a successful prequel are legion, with many lesser creators simply rushing out a half-baked story that rings false to the story that came before. Thankfully, The Sandman: Overture never felt like that, and even though it felt like ages between issues, Gaiman, Williams, Stewart, and original series letterer Todd Klein brought new and old readers back to the Dreaming with a story that never overreached itself or felt like a cheap cash in on '90s Vertigo nostalgia. The Sandman: Overture #6 isn't quite the classic that the finale issue of Sandman is, but it didn't have to be. The Sandman: Overture from the very start stood as its own story and it ended that way as well. That's what made the finale work. That's what made this prequel work. It was a story worthy of the Prince of Stories himself, and that's more than any fan could have hoped for.

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8.0
The Shadow #0

Jul 21, 2014

The pulps are alive and well at Dynamite Entertainment and The Shadow #0 is a shining example of how true that is. Cullen Bunn continues his hot streak of impressive comics while delivering dream of a pulp character team-up. The Shadow #0 also walks the walk with gorgeous panels from Colton Worley and Marc Rueda rounding out a one-shot more than worthy your attention as a reader. Are you watching closely? Dynamite Entertainment wants to show you something that will astound your very eyes - the mystery men of yesterday by the top talent of today.

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9.0
The Shadow (2015) #1

Aug 5, 2015

Relaunch doesn't have to be a dirty word when it comes to comic books. The Shadow #1 shows that, in the right hands, a relaunch can be precisely what the doctor ordered. Fast paced, unrelenting, and a blast to read this debut from the latest in a long line of creative teams hits the sweet spot between established property and perfect entry point. You don't have to read The Shadow #0 or any other Shadow title in order to fully enjoy The Shadow #1, you simply have to like good comic books.

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9.0
The Shadow: Midnight In Moscow #1

May 28, 2014

It's an amazing time to be a Chaykin fan. With Satellite Sam hitting stands monthly, the release of his fabulously filthy Black Kiss II and the original graphic novel Century West last year, this is the first time in a long while that the name Chaykin has been seen on shelves on a regular basis. With The Shadow: Blood and Judgment, Howard Chaykin made his name in comics and then went on to revolutionize the medium in ways that no one could have possibly predicted. Now with The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow #1 Chaykin returns to the character that made his career in grand style, displaying that underneath the icon, there is still just an artist who wants to tell an entertaining story.

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10
The United States of Murder Inc. #1

May 14, 2014

While they may be sporadic, Brian Michael Bendis’ creator owned winning streak, and the entire Icon line as a whole, continues in grand, stylish fashion with the release of The United States of Murder INC. #1. Bendis and his team also continue to produce top notch product as the result of their creative partnership. Bendis sometimes is only as good as the artists working with him and by that yardstick, he and Michael Avon Oeming along with Taki Soma have become one of those sure fire creative teams that will always deliver to the reader both a satisfying narrative experience and stunning visual storytelling. There is a reason that critics and audiences alike respond to stories like Casino and White Heat and now comics has yet another series that can stand toe to toe with some of these great mafia movies of recent memory.

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10
The Wicked + The Divine #1

Jun 23, 2014

Comic fandom has never had a book like The Wicked + The Divine. Every month we travel to our local source of comic books and we read about the exploits of gods and goddesses. We write fan-fiction starring these immortals. We don the costumes of these heroes and commune with others who share the same reverence in exhibit halls all across the world. Superheroes are our gods. The Wicked + The Divine #1 translates this concept literally. Gillen and McKelvie are a pair who have always been fully aware of the impact their works have on the comic reading populace so, of course, they would be the pair who gives fandom its first pure fable.

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9.0
Thor (2014) #6

Mar 12, 2015

Thor #6 finds Jason Aaron still playing his cards close to his chest, but things are definitely heating up for both the current and former Gods of Thunder.

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9.0
Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW

Feb 12, 2014

Jason Aaron has written a great many Marvel characters very well, but with Thor, he seems to have finally found his sweet spot. Since his first issue, Aaron has turned in some of the best work of his Marvel career, balancing multiple plots, rising action, and a pitch perfect characterization of The Mighty Avenger. He's seems a guy who was born to write Thor and a writer who completely understands the power of the character, along with the character's ability to star in a myriad of stories beyond the shackles of the basic superhero fare and we, as lowly mortal readers, are the one's who reap the benefits.

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9.0
Thor: God of Thunder #20

Mar 20, 2014

Jason Aaron has clearly been having a blast writing the Asgardian Avenger, and from the looks of #20, we are in for nothing but great Thor comics from here on out.

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10
Thor: God of Thunder #23

Jun 18, 2014

If Thor: God of Thunder had been published during the late 70's, people would have painting panels from it on the sides of their van. THAT is how metal Thor: God of Thunder #23 is. Aaron, Ribic, and Svorcina are firing on all cylinders with this finale issue. This creative team has really yet to hit a low point with their work together on this title. As a fan of the series, I get excited when I see their names on the solicitations. Many metal songs have been written about Thor and Asgard, but if you want a perfect metal experience packaged as a stellar comic book, look toward Thor: God of Thunder #23. So raises your fists high and bang your head as hard as you can, the Thunderer wants to see you thrash.

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9.0
Thors #1

Jun 16, 2015

Thors #1 is every bit a Thor book simply wrapped around the tried-and-true conventions of a police procedural. While that may not sound like much on paper, Jason Aaron and Chris Sprouse make the absolute most of it by merely playing it as straight as possible, casting Ultimate Thor as a put-upon workaholic faced with a seemingly impossible investigation. After their enigmatic introduction in Secret Wars #2, Aaron and Sprouse cut to the bone of who exactly the Thor Corps are and how they operate through Battleworld with really interesting results. The last thing I expected when I cracked open Thors #1 was a tightly constructed police story, but after reading it, it makes all the sense in the Nine Realms.

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6.0
Thors #2

Aug 3, 2015

Walking a beat is tough and its twice that when your friend and partner has just been killed and you don't have a single lead to go on. Thors #2, at its very heart, is still a loving homage to detective fiction and that in turn, proved to be its downfall this month. While Ultimate Thor may be the Thor Corps' top cop, he's still vulnerable and hot-headed like we know Thor to be. Thors #2 gives Jason Aaron and his art team an outlet to allow Ultimate Thor to vent his anger and engage in some good old fashion wanton destruction before putting his head on straight and getting back to the case. Thors #2 may be the grief period, but in Battleworld, you don't have long to grieve and if you do, you may just end up the next subject of an Irish wake.

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8.0
Trees #2

Jun 25, 2014

The last sentence in Trees #2 is "It doesn't care," in reference to the titular Tree. Issue #2 shows us implicitly how true this sentence is. Trees isn't about the Trees. Why would it be? Good science fiction isn't about the invaders, it's about the invaded. Trees is about an occupied Earth. Trees #2 is Warren Ellis and Jason Howard giving us a deeper look at that occupation and how humans around the planet are responding. The Trees may not care, but life still goes on around them. That is until, they do something about it. Aliens are real, and they didn't come in peace - they came in indifference.

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8.0
Trillium #8

Apr 7, 2014

Jeff Lemire is moving on to bigger things, but Trillium proves definitively that he will always be the same writer to burst onto the scene in the pages of Vertigo comics. Books like Trillium will always mean a great deal to me as a comic book fan as they show us as an audience the very best of a writer and artist and then allow you to see just how much they love the medium and what they are capable of accomplishing within it. Vertigo Comics is the place that people go to make a statement about their work, and Jeff Lemire, with Trillium, has made a statement that will echo throughout his entire career.

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8.0
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1

Feb 5, 2014

We love the classics and are always a bit hesitant when those classics are revamped and repackaged with a shiny new cover and presented to us all over again. As someone who's only exposure to this character is by controlling him in a 64-bit video game, this comic serves as a great introduction to Turok's personality and the world that he inhabits. Gone is the running and gunning tough guy that I played in the video game and in his place is a sensitive, relatable outcast in a dangerous world - he is every bit of a classic hero. Pak uses simple storytelling techniques to tell a compelling story, and coupled with the slick art of Colak and Affe, we are presented with a great introduction to Turok and this line of classic books.

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10
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #200

Apr 2, 2014

When it was announced that Peter would die in the Ultimate universe, the outcry was instant and deafening. But now that we have seen what's come after, we're left with an interesting perspective. Miles is not going anywhere. But we also love Peter Parker - just like Miles - because he makes us strive toward being the best possible person that we can be. Even as a memory, Peter Parker inspires us to be optimistic and goofy and selfless. As we wrap up 200 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel is quick to remind us just how bright Peter Parker's life was and is, while at the same time setting Miles Morales up for him to soar to new, impossible heights. Miles and Peter represent the best of us, so Brian Michael Bendis and his talented collaborators send this volume out with the best of them both.

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8.0
Ultimate FF #1

Apr 16, 2014

First impressions are key in comics and judging from Ultimate FF #1 the geniuses/insane cast that Joshua Hale Fialkov and his art team have assembled has made one doozy of a first impression. Comparisons to Hickman's run and most likely Fraction and Allred's run as well will be made eventually, but that seems to be missing the point in a big way. This isn't about what the other titles have have carried the FF name were or did. This isn't about a legacy or upholding some sort of tradition. This book is about the future and the fun of exploring every possible outcome. This is about barreling forward into the void of the unknown. The past is history and the future is a mystery. One that the Future Foundation intends to solve.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers #14

Dec 2, 2013

Amid the onslaught of events and tie-ins, you need not look any further for high stakes, event worthy storytelling than Uncanny Avengers. Rick Remender clearly has huge, ground shaking plans for his team and they may not come out of the other side alive, if they come out at all. With this latest arc, Remender is proving just how capable of a writer he is with over the top plots and genuine hard hitting drama that never feels forced or just there for pure shock value. These stories have weight and consequence, and its wonderful seeing them taken so seriously, while never sacrificing the inherent weirdness that make comics what they are.

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5.0
Uncanny Avengers #19

Apr 28, 2014

Its painfully dull when heroes are constantly and quickly coming out on top in comics. I will be the first to admit that. No one wants cookie cutter, three-issue story arcs that never even hint that the good guys might not come out of the other side of this scathed in any way. Considering this, its becoming harder and harder for me to describe Uncanny Avengers to people as the fun, out-there comic that we were given during the first arcs. Rick Remender is an intensely talented writer and is churning out quality work throughout the comics industry right now, but it seems that his work on Uncanny Avengers has taken a downward turn as of late. Perhaps after Kang and Havok get the band back together, we will see a return to the heady and exciting days before Planet X.

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9.0
Uncanny Avengers Annual #1

May 1, 2014

If the current story arc of Uncanny Avengers has been proving to be too much of a grind in terms of enjoyment, Uncanny Avengers Annual #1 is sure to re-light that spark of fun for The Avengers Unity Squad.

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6.0
Uncanny Avengers Vol. 2 #2

Feb 25, 2015

Uncanny Avengers could be a really great comic. It has all the makings of one, for sure, and it also has a writer and artist behind it that is willing to push it into places that are unexpected and weird. That is why Uncanny Avengers #2 is disappointing. Instead of using the momentum from a solidly odd debut issue, Remender went with what was comfortable with diminishing returns. Instead of feeling like the new, fresh series that was promised, it feels like more of the same, wrapped in a great-looking package. A team book should function like a team book, instead of a book with seven leads that barely want anything to do with one another. We have seen these characters fractured, despondent and broken, but now it is time to make good on the idea that started all of this. Hopefully, in time, we can get there.

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5.0
Uncanny Avengers Vol. 2 #3

Apr 2, 2015

Uncanny Avengers is still treading some very dark waters, but this third issue may be hinting that the series as a whole is lost at sea.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers Vol. 2 #5

Jun 25, 2015

It took five months, but Uncanny Avengers is finally cooking with gas.

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8.0
Uncanny Inhumans #2

Nov 18, 2015

While the All-New All-Different Avengers may be grabbing all the headlines, Marvel's new premiere team has delivered yet another solid, propulsive issue. Uncanny Inhumans #2 not only makes great use of one of Marvel's best antagonists, but also positions this new team as a major force in the "All-New All-Different Marvel" landscape. While this issue raises the stakes and starts the team working together, Charles Soule also keeps the title heavily entrenched in human emotions and down to earth storytelling, even though the Inhumans are anything but down to earth. Coupled with some dynamite visuals, Uncanny Inhumans #2 marks another strong outing for Marvel's newest superteam.

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4.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #17

Feb 24, 2014

Bendis seems to be hearkening back to the heady days of the Blue Team/Gold Team X-Men but he hasn't quite found his feet again in the pages of Uncanny after Battle of The Atom. The first two arcs showed the very vast story potential of this X-Men team, but after adding the All New squad into the fray, he has stumbled balancing the large cast of mutants he's given himself. The new mutants are very welcome fresh blood in the mutant community, but until Bendis gets them to stop bickering, they might just continue to be background noise.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #23

Jul 16, 2014

Uncanny X-Men has been called a superhero soap opera for as long as the days of Bryne and Claremont. If anyone was the heir to the throne of this era of emotional and engaging superhero stories, it would be Brian Michael Bendis and Uncanny X-Men #23 is proof enough. Since their Marvel NOW! debuts, Bendis’ X-Men books have always occupied their ends of the X-Men yarn spectrum. All-New being the high adventure, Blue Team-like book, while Uncanny took on the more brooding, high drama Gold Team spot. The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier seems to be the Uncanny X-Men’s most explosive drama yet, but let's hope that we aren’t chasing the carrot of story resolution for too long yet again.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #35

Jul 22, 2015

Uncanny X-Men #35 might not be the blockbuster people will expect going into a huge finale, but it is an effective and emotional entry into the Uncanny X-Men canon. This team, though eager and skilled, still has no idea just what it means to be a mutant in the Marvel Universe. Yet, they are reminded exactly what that means thanks to a single thrown bottle from a scared woman. Brian Micheal Bendis and Valerio Schiti aim right for the throat with this issue and hit their mark in bold fashion that never feels like a "Very Special Issue." Uncanny X-Men #35 puts the audience in the perfect thematic space going into the finale. One can only hope that they stick the landing.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #600

Nov 4, 2015

Uncanny X-Men #600 was not worth the wait. Though the two series that proceeded it where filled with great characterizations and a throwback style to the soap opera days of the X-Men, their finale leaves much to be desired. While it is fun to see artists return to the series and knock it out of the park, you can't help but wonder what kind of book this would have been if the script had lived up to their talents. Surely to be a must for completists and collectors, Uncanny X-Men #600 doesn't offer much aside from some great pages and the feeling of a writer running out of steam.

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9.0
Velvet #4

Mar 5, 2014

Like all good spy stories, every character has a secret, and Velvet is no exception. Ed Brubaker has always been a writer that takes the genre he is working within very seriously, while never sacrificing what made that genre entertaining and effective in the first place. Velvet may be his best genre work to date. He has surrounded himself with a team of professionals that understand just how to present this story and character in a way that honors every aspect of spy fiction and the character herself. While this may not be the book to wade into the middle of on a whim, it is a certainly a book that is worth your time and attention and, in time, your respect.

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10
Velvet #6

Jul 23, 2014

Spy fiction, once thought a dying genre, is one that takes a delicate hand to do well. With so many spy stories of recent years relying on sci-fi like technology or dizzying set pieces, Velvet stands apart as a solidly entertaining throwback to the nickel novels of old. Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweiser have given us a character and title unafraid to take the methodical pace of older spy fiction and translate it beautifully into the medium of comics. Velvet #6 takes the already engaging titular character and presents her as a directed force of vengeance shaped by the mistakes and lies of her past, making her a living, breathing, and compelling protagonist. Velvet has been this good from the start and from the looks of Issue #6, it won’t stop being this good for a long while.

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5.0
Voltron: From the Ashes #1

Sep 15, 2015

Debut issues are always tricky, but Voltron: From The Ashes #1 seems to stumble more than it stands on its own. Despite having a fantastic hook and some great monster designs, this #1 needs to learn to walk before it can run. The talent is all there as well as the name recognition of being based on a well known property, but its legs can't stop shaking underneath it to deliver a satisfying experience. While the course could be corrected come next month, Voltron: From The Ashes #1 perhaps should have stayed buried.

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10
Weirdworld #1

Jun 15, 2015

If this review imparts anything onto you it should be this: do not sleep on Weirdworld #1. In this column, me and my fellow reviewers have told you about countless forgettable tie-ins and weak-sauce spin-off books more times than we care to remember. Weirdworld #1 isn't anything like that. Written by a writer on an unprecedented hot streak and rendered by a duo of artists who consistently deliver dynamite interiors, Weirdworld #1 is unlike anything you have read from Marvel in a long while. If this sounds like hyperbole, I implore you to experience it for yourself because that's exactly what this comic is - an experience, and one that has to be seen to be truly believed.

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9.0
Will Eisner's The Spirit #1

Jun 30, 2015

And so, we are off and running with Dynamite Entertainment's newest pulpy gem and The Spirit #1 is a gem in every sense of the word. Matt Wagner, Dan Schkade, and Brennan Wagner turned in an issue that not only celebrates the legacy of the Spirit but translates it through a modern filter for a new set of readers. The Spirit can be much more than just flirting with vixens and punching out hoodlums and this debut displays that effortlessly. The Spirit #1 is every inch a Spirit tale, just starring those closest to him instead of the actual man himself. This shift in focus gives The Spirit a pathos that we haven't seen before and will surely keep readers coming back for more until the time for flirting and punching comes again.

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8.0
Will Eisner's The Spirit #2

Aug 6, 2015

The Spirit #2 brings us no closer to solving the mystery of the missing Denny Colt, but it still finds pathos and narrative momentum with the other characters that used to play second fiddle to the man in the mask. Central City may still be without its avenging angel, but the city, and his solo title, is still well protected by his friends and loved ones.

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8.0
Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #2

Mar 19, 2014

Prequels are tough to pull off, but despite the look and what people may have heard about The Bitter March, this comic is much more than just a standard prequel. This is a book about divided loyalties, secrets, lies, danger, and dangerous men. We should have known all along that Rick Remender wasn't going to deliver a paint by numbers prequel tale or a pointless movie tie in. He isn't that kind of writer and The Winter Soldier isn't that kind of character. He deserves much, much more than something that we've seen before and Rick Remender was just the man to give this to us.

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9.0
Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland #1

Jun 17, 2014

Though Lovecraft died in obscurity, he has, without question, inspired scores of writers and caused monumental shifts in what we know today as the horror genre. While his influence on prose writers is easily apparent, comics have always been tailor made for the kind of storytelling that he was known for. Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland #1 is exactly the kind of story that Lovecraft would have told. While it takes more than a few cues from some of his most known works, it still stands apart as a great single issue of a great comic series. Team Witchfinder has taken everything great about a good Lovecraft tale and crystallized it through the lens of modern comic book storytelling, introducing readers to not only Sir Edward Grey, but to the works of H.P. Lovecraft as a whole. Great stories always leave you needing more, and Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland #1 leaves you needing, wanting, and hoping for much, much more.

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9.0
Wolf #1

Jul 27, 2015

Ales Kot, Matt Taylor, Lee Loughridge and Clayton Cowles have delivered a debut that is absolutely steeped in the influences of comics and genres past, but makes them all feel brand new again. Brian De Palma once said that noir feels like some sort of recurring dream and that's the perfect way to describe Wolf; a hazy dream that refuses to let you go even in the cold light of day. The archetypes and the conventions are all there, but they are presented in such a way that you don't recognize them and you don't want the story to end. That's the best kind of debut; the real deal from a team and imprint stocked with real talent.

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10
Wytches #1

Oct 13, 2014

As a horror fan, Wytches was a book that I was hotly anticipating from a creative team that I knew could handle the genre very well. This debut issue did not disappoint. Scott Snyder, Jock, and Matt Hollingsworth have tapped into something primal with Wytches; the idea that evil lurks in the dark corners of our lives forever and will be there long after we are gone. This evil could be family tragedy or constant torture by a bully, but it is still there, no matter the form. The only thing we can do to combat it to face it and come out of the other side of it changed, hopefully for the better. Image Comics recently has been responsible for some of the most personal and ambitious comics of recent memory, and Wytches looks to be another solid entry into that canon using the oldest and strongest emotion known to mankind: fear.

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8.0
X-Force (2014) #3

Apr 21, 2014

The world needs X-Force and more than that, the members of X-Force need X-Force. Betsy Braddock has a problem but yet, she can't bear to stay away. Nathan Summers has nothing but the mission so he channels his focus through X-Force. Marrow doesn't have anywhere else to go but she has found a calling and place along side her own kind helping her people. The X-Men line has always been a place where writers and artists can tell a wide range of stories about a myriad of human behavior through the lens of superhero action. X-Force may, on the surface, just appear to be about a bunch of grunts cutting a bloody swath through the enemies of mutantkind, but if you are willing to dig a bit deeper, its about much, much more.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #19

Nov 20, 2013

As X-Men: Legacy races toward its end, I have to savor each new issue. As I said above, its really refreshing to be exposed to a series that not only wholly surprised you as a reader, but has a defined direction from the very start of the story. Every issue has been a new puzzle piece to slot into the one that came before it, and I cannot wait to see the completed piece. We are in for something truly amazing.

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8.0
Years of Future Past #1

Jun 3, 2015

Years of Future Past #1 is a dark, yet optimistically retro entry into the Secret Wars canon thanks in large to Marguerite Bennett refusing to allow the characters to just roll over and accept their fate.

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