Kelly Thompson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Book Resources Reviews: 507
7.0Avg. Review Rating

5.0
5 Ronin #1

Mar 6, 2011

While there are definitely things to appreciate in this first issue of "5 Ronin," from evocative art to Milligan's sometimes beautiful writing, in the end it feels a bit soulless. An emotional connection of some kind could have made something as blas as revenge a bit more engaging.

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3.0
5 Ronin #4

Mar 25, 2011

If Milligan's story or execution had been particularly good or emotionally resonant, maybe he could have saved it from the unfortunate choice of casting Psylocke, the only lead female, as a prostitute, but it's not. We're left, instead, with a bad decision and a poor execution.

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8.0
A Boy and A Girl #1

Dec 19, 2013

Rich and Nourigat's "A Boy and a Girl" proves, in the end, to be more than the sum of its parts. Not content to be just another love story, it offers up thought provoking ideas on the human (and inhuman) condition with a lightness that makes it easy to digest.

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6.0
A+X #1

Nov 1, 2012

At the end of the day, I think price point is the biggest issue. This comic costs $3.99, which is just way too much money for what you're getting. Comparably, the same day, I bought "Batman: Li'l Gotham," which (even ignoring any quality comparisons) at 20 pages is nearly twice the size of either of these stories on their own and cost only 99 cents. Even though there wasn't anything horribly wrong with "A+X" #1 and the idea of the series in and of itself is fun, my comics budget is precious. I wouldn't buy this comic again unless it featured my absolute favorite creators or favorite characters (thus I will pick up "A+X" #3, which features Rogue and Black Widow by Chris Bachalo). However, I think that kind of reader defeats the very purpose of the book. The book should be super fun stories that allow readers to search out new characters they might not have otherwise known they'll love, but at $3.99 a pop, it seems unlikely to happen.

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8.0
A+X #5

Mar 7, 2013

Though this issue is undeniably fun, it's still a lot of money for two 10-page short stories that are, by their own admission, of no consequence, except as a good time. But when they hit like these two do, they are indeed a very good time, and better than many of the more "important" comics I read on a weekly basis. If "A+X" can continue delivering creative teams and short comics of this caliber I may have to keep reading despite the price tag. Your move, Marvel.

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7.0
A+X #7

Apr 29, 2013

When reading such short pieces as "A+X" tales, it's hard to decide what makes it worth reading, especially at a $3.99 price tag. The stories, because they are so short, are necessarily slight and they rely perhaps too heavily on jokes and clever pairings. In the end, individual mileage likely varies from reader to reader based on both affection for the character pairings and interest in the creative teams. So far, I confess to being far more entertained than I would have imagined.

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4.0
A+X #9

Jun 20, 2013

As anyone reading "A+X" month to month can attest, the quality varies wildly, primarily dependent on the creators involved, the cleverness of the tale and (to a lesser degree) the character pairings. Regardless, even for the better tales, $3.99 remains a very high price point for stories with little significance beyond some laughs and pretty pictures. It's an especially hard sell when you barely get even that, as with this month's offering.

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2.0
A+X #11

Aug 29, 2013

As always, and like any short story collection, "A+X" as a title, is a gamble. "A+X" #11 doesn't pay off in any way, shape or form. Save your money for an issue of "A+X" with some creators you love and trust and skip this one.

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8.0
Adventure Time #7

Aug 27, 2012

"Adventure Time" is one of those great books that seems like it would be enjoyable to anyone young and old. For kids it's full of rad (I use this word deliberately, I promise) adventures and adorable character design with popping bright colors; and for adults it's got sharp-witted writing that can't help but leave you smiling. "Adventure Time" is the definition of a fun and funny comic, something far too rare these days.

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8.0
Adventure Time #13

Feb 25, 2013

Capturing the innovation and originality of a show like "Adventure Time" is not easy, and it's impressive to see this series doing it so well. It's also incredibly refreshing to see some great comics for kids that are also so effortlessly enjoyable for adults. "Adventure Time" gets it right.

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8.0
Adventure Time #31

Aug 22, 2014

"Adventure Time" continues to be a nearly flawless example of adapting one medium to another. The writers and artists continue to capture, with seeming effortlessness, what makes the "Adventure Time" world so creative and exceptional, "Adventure Time" #31 is no exception.

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9.0
Adventure Time 2014 Annual #1

May 1, 2014

"Adventure Time" continues to get so much right about talented creators, energy, enthusiasm for characters, and boundless creativity when it comes to comics -- and "Adventure Time: 2014 Annual" is just another great example of that commitment to excellence in comics. Also, after discovering Becky Dreistadt here, I will follow her anywhere.

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8.0
Adventure Time: Candy Capers #1

Jul 12, 2013

The "Adventure Time" comic books are, without hyperbole, some of the best adaptations I've ever seen from one medium to another. Without sacrificing anything, the bright colors, graphic character designs, and bizarre no holds barred sense of humor of the cartoon lends itself effortlessly to comics. And since Kaboom!/"Adventure Time" has done such a superb job of sourcing the talent -- both writing and art -- for these books, they are easily at the top of any list of good comics, and great adaptations.

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7.0
Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens #6

Dec 17, 2012

On the whole, the "Adventure Time" comics are doing an excellent job of capturing the energy, fun and humor of the show, and this mini-series was no exception.

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8.0
Alex + Ada #1

Nov 7, 2013

The cliffhanger in "Alex + Ada" is excellent, and I'm hard pressed to imagine a reader that wouldn't be intrigued enough to come back for issue two to see exactly where Luna and Vaughn plan to take this story. On the whole "Alex + Ada" #1 is simply an excellent start to an exciting new book.

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7.0
Alex + Ada #3

Jan 17, 2014

On the whole, "Alex + Ada" remains a solid entry in Image's increasingly strong line-up. With lovely subtle art, smart, crisp writing to match, and an intriguing concept poised to go in compelling possibly "dangerous" directions this is a book worth checking out.

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8.0
Alex + Ada #7

Jun 20, 2014

Exposed weaknesses aside, "Alex + Ada" #7 is a smart and very cool book telling a supremely engaging story that moves well despite being technically rather decompressed. We've all read stories that mine similar territory to "Alex + Ada," but never quite like this. Luna and Vaughn have already proven that they have something interesting to say, and with time they might even be headed towards legitimately insightful.

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6.0
All-New Doop #1

Apr 11, 2014

In the end, I admit to interest in where Milligan plans to take this book and more specifically where he plans to take Doop as a character, since the end reveal is a rather aggressive new direction. However, I liked the character before, and almost resent the idea that he has to change so much in order to get a "real" story. Why pine for Kitty? Doesn't nearly everyone already pine for Kitty? I'd rather learn more about what Doop does and who he/it/whatever is, than see him fall for the most loveable of all mutants. Time will tell if Milligan can turn this into a worthy limited series, or if it indeed will fall by the wayside as fun but ultimately inconsequential.

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3.0
All-New X-Factor #2

Jan 27, 2014

Perhaps this quieter version of "All-New X-Factor" would have been more passable in a different era of comics, but there's a large amount of high quality and incredibly well-conceived superhero books on the market -- including those that sit next to this one on Marvel's own shelves. With a thin plot, inconsistent writing, ill-considered costume design and poor character work, this just doesn't cut it.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #2

Nov 28, 2012

Time will tell if this idea has the legs to be interesting long term, I have to believe with a launch and book this big they've really thought it out, regardless, as a standalone comic, this is a great issue.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #5

Jan 4, 2013

"All-New X-Men" is Bendis and Immonen at their best, which is always a great thing to behold. For me, as a reader, it's been the first big surprise of Marvel NOW! A book I didn't expect much of, despite the creative team, has turned out to be a total joy to read.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #7

Feb 11, 2013

All in all, Bendis' "All-New X-Men" has been a pleasant surprise. This issue is perhaps the weakest of the bunch thus far, but it's still a solid comic book, and the potential, as Bendis keeps showing readers, remains marvelous.

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7.0
All-New X-Men #10

Apr 5, 2013

Ten issues into its run, "All-New X-Men" has surprised me repeatedly since its inception. Smart character work, gorgeous storytelling by both Stuart Immonen and David Marquez, and a story that's keeping readers on their toes is all adding up to one of the more interesting Marvel offerings of 2013.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #12

Jun 10, 2013

I was an early skeptic of this title and it has impressed me from go, regularly subverting my expectations. I'm still not sure if it can go the distance (is there a very clear plot strategy here? I hope so.), but from sheer emotional weight alone, "All New X-Men" remains a book that stands out from the pack, and continues to be one of the most beautiful books on the shelf.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #17

Oct 7, 2013

For readers that can manage the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy "Battle of the Atom" in general and "All New X-Men" #17 specifically, there's a great time waiting in this latest stunningly beautiful piece.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #22.NOW

Jan 24, 2014

This misstep with Kitty is particularly alarming considering Bendis' similar issue while writing Magneto in "Uncanny X-Men" #16 -- also a really great issue, which depicted Magneto as a character at odds with his previous appearances in the series. In the end, a stunningly gorgeous and surprisingly charming "All-New X-Men" #22.NOW is undermined by two panels of sloppy character work and all-too-convenient plotting.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #24

Mar 17, 2014

With stunning art, it's impossible to be too disappointed in "All-New X-Men" #24, but from a writing and plotting point of view, it's pretty unremarkable. It's especially disappointing as the lead up to the finale of a major story arc that should have real emotional weight given the history and context.

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8.0
All-New X-Men #27

May 19, 2014

It's impressive that 27 issues into this book, a book many (including yours truly) feared would be a gimmicky nightmare, there's still a ton of creativity on display with the original creators still on board, which is indeed rare. Now that the teams from "Uncanny X-Men" and "All-New X-Men" are housed under the same roof, it will be interesting to see what Bendis can do as he has two books focused on one huge team. It brings back nostalgic memories of the old X-Men Blue and Gold Teams era with a whole different spin.

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6.0
All-New X-Men #29

Jul 14, 2014

Overall, though "All-New X-Men" #29 has a few nice moments, it's uneven and not as strong as previous issues. The storyline feels like it's dragging out. Although it has an ending, when a comic dips its toes into time travel, there needs to be something more definitive than what's contained in this issue.

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9.0
All-New X-Men #31

Aug 29, 2014

When "All-New X-Men" hits its mark, even a slightly quieter issue not filled with a world in peril, it really sings. Bendis and Asrar turn in lovely work that renews my love for these characters and belief in the potential of this book.

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6.0
Ame-comi Girls #2

Nov 16, 2012

Like "Ame-Comi I: Wonder Woman" this book starts out with a ton of charm and a bold new take on long existing characters, but the abrupt ending and thin plot (at least at this point in the "Ame-Comi" series) leaves a lot to be desired as a standalone reading experience.

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9.0
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1

Jun 12, 2011

Snyder has, in just the last year, made an impressive mark in comics with his powerful storytelling, fine craftsmanship, and detailed character work. This latest book is no exception. Next to his exceptional work on "Detective Comics," "American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest" is easily Snyder's most compelling work to date.

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7.0
American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell #1

Jun 14, 2013

All in all, Albuquerque's art is more than gorgeous enough to compensate for the minor weaknesses. The book is a nice easy read full of beautiful moments, and adds at least one intriguing new character to the "American Vampire" landscape.

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6.0
An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O' The Wisp #1

Oct 21, 2013

While "An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O' The Wisp" #1 has some execution problems, it is committed to a strong visual style, and almost revels in the knowledge that it is a strange little book. It clearly wants to be that strange little book, and that may not be a bad thing. Certainly there's enough of interest to warrant a look at the second issue.

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9.0
Angel & Faith Season 9 #1

Sep 1, 2011

As someone deeply familiar with this universe, it's hard to know how well this first issue might work for a new reader. I think enough is there to make it new reader friendly, but this is dense stuff with a lot of complicated history behind it, so that's always a bit of a tightrope to walk. For existing fans however, this is a hell of a start to a new series. With an incredible creative team in place and Whedon's rich universe to play in, this issue is a slam-dunk.

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8.0
Angel & Faith Season 9 #4

Dec 3, 2011

""All in all, "Angel and Faith" is a very strong series that shows no signs of letting up. With an incredible creative team, closer ties to the ongoing "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9" series, and a great first arc under its belt, this series is off to a great start.

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8.0
Angel & Faith Season 9 #5

Jan 1, 2012

"Angel & Faith" continues to barrel through as one of the best and surprising new books out there. Smart and funny, with beautiful art and exceptional character arcs, so far "Angel & Faith" is comics done right.

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7.0
Angel & Faith Season 9 #7

Mar 5, 2012

"Angel & Faith" has been a strong book since it debuted and this issue is good, but just doesn't quite hit the same sweet spot that others have managed.

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6.0
Animal Man #0

Sep 10, 2012

On the whole, this is a solid origin issue, but there's nothing must-read about it. Compared to Lemire's very good run on "Animal Man," it feels like a little side-step that we just have to get through before returning to the great stuff. While "Animal Man" #0 is a strong entry among the DC zero issues I've read so far, it's a weak entry among good comics in general and Jeff Lemire's work specifically. It will be good to get back to business as usual on this book next month.

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8.0
Animal Man #3

Nov 5, 2011

This title deserves all the praise it's getting as it's a solid, emotional, and thoroughly engaging book that is both complex enough to engage readers familiar with the characters, but simple enough to be new reader friendly. "Animal Man" stands out as one of the best books of the new DCU and it shows no signs of stopping.

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6.0
Animal Man #10

Jun 11, 2012

"Animal Man" has been a strong book from go, one of the best of the New 52 and a book that developed one of the greatest new characters of the DCU in the form of young Maxine. It will serve the book well if Lemire can finally move Buddy into a little more active and intelligent role in his own title, rather than being the guy that has to be told everything all the time.

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4.0
Aphrodite IX #2

Jun 17, 2013

I tried "Aphrodite IX" on a whim (having a vague fond memory of the original series -- or maybe just a cover? -- from my youth) but what I found wasn't anything I'd come back for a second time. Too bad, as I've always liked her weird green hair, and the idea of cool killer androids is never far from my heart (especially when they grow self-awareness and a conscience), but there was really nothing of that in this issue except the green hair.

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8.0
Avengers (2010) #18

Oct 19, 2011

We all need that quiet before the next storm, and "Avengers" #18 with its fun character moments and intriguing set up is a great example of that small book that actually makes the next crisis we're running toward work.

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6.0
Avengers (2010) #23

Mar 1, 2012

"Avengers" has been a solid book. Bendis and Acua are a great fit together, but it's falling short of what it should be given the talent and characters involved.

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8.0
Avengers (2012) #1

Dec 4, 2012

On the whole, this is a great start for both Marvel NOW! and for The Avengers in general. "Avengers" #1 feels like a book that both longtime fans of comics (and specifically the Avengers) can sink their teeth into, while speaking to a much larger film audience that might be interested in trying on this book. Blending and balancing those two ideas and audiences is no small feat and if Hickman and Opea can keep it up, we may indeed have something really interesting on our hands.

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5.0
Avengers Academy #22

Nov 19, 2011

"Avengers Academy" is a book that has been hit and miss for me since it began but it's obvious now that the book desperately misses artist Mike McKone. It would also do well to pare back its cast to a more manageable level, and to limit its big A-list guest stars until these new characters are more assimilated. Magneto casts a long shadow and if you don't know what to do once you're in that shadow, things can only go badly.

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6.0
Avengers Academy #27

Mar 7, 2012

In fact, the only problem with The Runaways as guest stars in "Avengers Academy" is the painful reminder of what a superior book "Runaways" was to so many superhero books. Gage and Moline do some great work in "Avengers Academy" #27, but the inconsistency really undermines that work and makes this issue adequate at best when taken as a whole.

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7.0
Avengers Academy #35

Aug 20, 2012

My biggest complaint (other than backgrounds needing more attention) is that Big Zero has a far more interesting character design than anyone else in the book (save perhaps Mettle and Hazmat when powered up). It's a small nitpick, but a reminder of how much fun comics can be and how safe the designs for much of Avengers Academy are in general. It makes me want to see Gage really take the kid gloves off when it comes to some re-design. We're 35 issues in -- maybe it's time for new looks after the "Final Exam" is over.

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6.0
Avengers Arena #4

Feb 14, 2013

There's a ton of potential in "Avengers Arena," but I find myself wishing that Hopeless was writing a completely out-of-continuity book, and maybe not even a Marvel book, so that he really could let loose and be bold in his choices. As it is right now, some issues are more enjoyable than others, but already the series feel too formulaic and rote.

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3.0
Avengers Arena #7

Apr 12, 2013

I consider myself a pretty devoted Hopeless fan, having thoroughly enjoyed everything of his I've read prior to "Avengers Arena," but for whatever reason -- flawed conception, editorial interference, poor execution, all of the above -- this book is a miss. I gave it as many chances as I could and I'll surely give Hopeless himself another chance as I know he can write a great comic, but "Avengers Arena," seven issues in, has had ample time to prove itself, but all it's outed itself repeatedly as not worth the time or money.

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8.0
Avengers Assemble #11

Jan 18, 2013

"Avengers Assemble" #11 is not a book that is going to change the world, it's not even a book that will end up on a "best of" list, but it's just good old-fashioned fun, and sometimes that's exactly what readers want and need. I am, after this first arc, officially a monthly reader of "Avengers Assemble." Go ahead and bring it, DeConnick and Caselli. I'm on board and can't wait to see what's next.

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7.0
Avengers Assemble #15AU

May 9, 2013

All that said, "Avengers Assemble" #15AU is not a comic book that will blow you away. There's nothing here that will leave its mark on you forever, you may even forget about it not long after reading. But it is a good solid comic book, that manages to tell a nice heroic story, and excels at telling a complicated one that any reader can pick up regardless of irritating event tie-ins.

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8.0
Avengers Assemble #17

Jul 22, 2013

This crossover between "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers Assemble" has been deceptively satisfying. It has never shied away from letting it be Carol's very personal story and one in which she never loses agency. However, it has also nicely melded with the larger world and heroes that populate Carol's life. Crossovers can be the death knell for a lot of fans, but this one was well chosen. Given DeConnick's writing of both titles and the natural character overlap, fans should give both "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers Assemble" a chance when the story ends. These are both solid superhero books delivering consistent and compelling stories.

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5.0
Avengers Assemble #20

Oct 21, 2013

In the end, there's just not that much to get excited about or connect to within "Avengers Assemble" #20. The comic itself is fine, delivering a clear and easily understood story, but it's not one you're likely to remember and at the current price of comics, adequate but unmemorable is just not enough.

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8.0
Avengers Assemble #23.INH

Feb 3, 2014

In DeConnick, Ellis, Buffagni and Woodard's hands, Anya is a character I would follow to any book and it suddenly feels like a crime that she doesn't have one. But such is the power of the right creative team writing a character they're fond of -- magic can happen, even in an otherwise inconsequential book. "Avengers Assemble" #23.INH is a great example of how fun simple superhero books can be in the hands of people who enjoy writing fun superheroes.

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6.0
Avengers Assemble #24

Mar 3, 2014

"Avengers Assemble" continues to be, despite a little hiccup in this issue, a really great venue for telling tales with a rotating and flexible Avengers cast. It's been accessible in a way that some other big team titles aren't, and I'll miss it greatly when it's gone. Perhaps more to the point, DeConnick and Ellis are a great writing team, and they've proven that Anya/Spider-Girl probably deserves another shot at her own title, preferably with some heavyweight guest stars. Here's hoping she gets it!

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8.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #1

Apr 4, 2012

There are a lot of quality creators involved in "Avengers Vs. X-Men," enough that I find myself intrigued even though the concept is not one I'm wild about. This first issue was a good example of the creative talent managing to rise above the concept and leaves me hopeful they'll be able to bring something even more interesting to the table as the series progresses.

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7.0
Avengers Vs. X-Men #10

Aug 20, 2012

Although I have not cared much for the hero Cyclops has turned into over the past few years, it's been well-developed and slow building work. Bringing it to a head this way has many rewards. Additionally, I'm hard pressed to think of two characters I'd secretly like to see go head to head more than Emma and Cyclops, so as we prepare for that showdown, I confess to secret giddiness. Perhaps the biggest problem is that I care less than ever about Hope's involvement in any of this. Still, these writers took what we all expected and did their best with it, and in this reviewer's opinion, saved this crossover from the brink of pointlessness. As in any good story, there is no black and white. Nobody is entirely right or entirely wrong, and if nothing else that will hopefully leave an interesting field in the wake of "Avengers Vs. X-Men."

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6.0
AVX: Consequences #2

Oct 18, 2012

With the right hand (and I think Gillen can be that hand), "AvX: Consequences" has the potential to be more interesting than the crossover that birthed it. Time will tell if it can go deep enough and ask enough tough questions to make this book more than merely additional "AvX" padding.

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4.0
AVX: VS #2

May 17, 2012

The promo for "AVX: VS" #3 suggests that we're going to see both The Thing and Colossus/Juggernaut again (which will make three appearances for Colossus/Juggernaut in the "Avengers vs. X-Men" crossover and two for The Thing). Why? With all of the great potential matchups out there, why do we need to see these particular characters repeatedly, especially when these are two characters that arguably have very low stakes for this particular "Phoenix fight" compared to so many others on the field. I don't think even the 15 year-old in me that cared less about plotting and character development and more about punching people out would be moved by these bouts.

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7.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: Russia #1

Sep 25, 2011

Despite everything coming together very nicely in this issue, it didn't quite have a wow factor for me that made it the must-read I wanted it to be. Perhaps the problem is, as I mentioned above, that the final reveal was lost on me. If there was something especially significant about that reveal, maybe it would have been enough to give this story the slight punch I felt was missing. On the whole though, a solid well-done comic book, and a nice start to a new arc for B.P.R.D.

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9.0
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1

Feb 20, 2012

"B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death" #1 is a very smart comic in how it handles plot and character with gorgeous visuals. Mignola's "Hellboy" universe books are usually very good but this is one of the best I've read in some time. I can't wait to read the next issue.

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5.0
Batgirl (2009) #21

May 14, 2011

Nguyen is a great fit for this book, and a coup. Miller is lucky to have him, and I hope he'll continue to bring his A-game while he has one of the best pencilers in the business at his disposal. And Stephanie Brown is lucky to have them both.

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9.0
Batgirl (2009) #24

Aug 10, 2011

As readers we've been lucky that some writers were given the opportunity to close their books up nicely, before the re-launch, some of course were not so lucky :: cough "Birds of Prey" cough ::, but Miller does the best of any that I've seen thus far (with the exception of "Detective Comics") and gives readers something satisfying and emotional, personal and proud, for both the book and the character. Miller's love for the character and book is palpable on the page, and you can't ask for more than that.

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8.0
Batman (2011) #0

Sep 13, 2012

However, if you can clearly separate the main story from the back up story, you're in for a treat. Both, on the whole, are very strong. Their only significant flaw is they don't work as well together as I'd like. Perhaps after reading Synder's story set the book down, have a sandwich and come back later to read Tynion's back-up. Both deserve high-praise individually, regardless of being a bit confusing when paired together.

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9.0
Batman (2011) #16

Jan 15, 2013

While "Death of the Family" hasn't been my favorite Batman arc of all time, it's good solid comics, and this issue has readers poised for it to get even better before it finishes. It's only the best of creative teams that can take a character I've already tired of and re-invent them, all while building a pivotal story. I can't wait for what's next.

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3.0
Batman (2011) #23.1

Sep 4, 2013

Short of some compelling, albeit horribly disturbing, visuals by Clarke, there's nothing of interest in "Batman" #23.1. In fact, it's odd that it even exists as a comic book. It's an idea (and execution) that should have been left on the cutting room floor.

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7.0
Batman and Robin #25

Jul 7, 2011

"Batman and Robin" has not been a must read for me since Quitely left, though I hung on devotedly for a while, but there was some fun and interesting stuff going on in this issue. Perhaps more importantly, it was a look at Jason Todd that made me see the potential for him as a truly interesting and layered pseudo bad-guy.

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6.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #1

Sep 16, 2011

As is becoming apparent with the New 52, some books are getting major makeovers and reconstructions, and others, like "Batman & Robin" feel like they got the most basic of touch ups " in this case switching out Dick for Bruce " and were set back on track without even a change of creative team. I'm sure more changes will emerge over time in this book, but for now, it seems like business as usual in "Batman & Robin." Unfortunately, this was just one okay issue from a sometimes brilliant run. Time will tell if it has more to offer down the line.

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6.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #22

Jul 21, 2013

Most of "Batman and Catwoman" #22 is a home run, with a nuanced look at Batman and Catwoman's very complicated relationship and a successful done-in-one story for the two characters. However, Carrie Kelly's very presence as written and illustrated feels like a garish blemish in an otherwise smart and subtle book.

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6.0
Batman and Robin (2011) #23

Aug 22, 2013

"Batman and Robin" has always been an interesting book, even when it wasn't exceptional. Without Robin, its fate is unclear (though this issue continues to make the case that a Robin replacement will happen). Unfortunately, while Robin as a character may be replaceable, Damian is not. It's good that readers get the full force of Bruce's mourning in this title as it's where the grief belongs and generally it's being handled well, but I confess to a complete lack of interest once it's time to "move on" to a new Batman and Robin.

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8.0
Batman/Superman (2013) #13

Aug 29, 2014

Pak takes everything one might expect in a Batman/Superman book and subverts it just enough to make it more interesting than you'd expect. When those ideas are paired with such exceptional artwork it's easy to be smitten with "Batman/Superman" #13 and excited for this new arc.

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8.0
Batman: Gates of Gotham #2

Jun 23, 2011

This is a strong Bat-book in a field fairly full of strong Bat-books, but Snyder has proven that he knows this world well. With a strong team in Higgins and McCarthy, "Gates of Gotham" is a must read.

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7.0
Batman: Gates of Gotham #5

Aug 26, 2011

"Gates of Gotham" was a strong series from start to finish and one of the better stories I've seen that focuses on the Bat-family. The strength of this series is largely thanks to the wonderful parallels it drew between past and present from the first issue to the last, combined with an opportunity to see the Bat family working together in all their functional dysfunction.

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9.0
Batman: Li'l Gotham #2

May 23, 2013

In a way, Nguyen and Fridolfs have hit on the absolute perfect book and tone for this series. Batman's over the top colorful villains are the most natural fit possible for these expertly crafted stories that take themselves just seriously enough to have significance and just lightly enough to make them the brightest most refreshing corner the DC Universe has seen in a very long time. At the end of the day you can just feel the love seeping out of every corner of this book, and love is something the DCU needs desperately these days.

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8.0
Batman: Li'l Gotham #5

Aug 19, 2013

Even with one story doing the heavy lifting, Nguyen and Fridolfs' "Batman: Li'l Gotham" remains a bright warm light in a relatively dark humorless DC Universe. "Batman: Li'l Gotham" takes the absolute best of the Bat-Universe and comics in general, mashing them together into heart-warming, hilarious, and beautiful stories that comic fans of all ages can enjoy.

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7.0
Batwoman #0

Sep 24, 2012

Though the story doesn't offer much that we didn't already know, it does bring an interesting twist to Kate's idea of when she believes she finally "became Batwoman." It's a good moment that says a lot about the character on a lot of well layered levels, a story element worthy of the character and feels like the kind of important storytelling you would see for Bruce/Batman and other A-list characters. If only the rest of the issue had the gravitas of those last pages, this book would be a huge standout along with books like "Dial H" #0. Instead it's just one of the better zero issues among a sea of mostly mediocre comics.

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9.0
Batwoman #2

Oct 12, 2011

If you read comics and you're not reading "Batwoman" I just don't know what you're doing and you should maybe consider giving up this whole "comics thing". This book is breaking boundaries and being a hell of a good read while it does so. You just can't ask for more than that.

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5.0
Batwoman #11

Jul 23, 2012

I appreciate that Williams and Blackman tried out this ambitious story. There were times when I thought it might work if it all tied together brilliantly in the end somehow, but the finale has not proven to be worth the confusion and disconnect. I'm certainly in for the next round, but I hope it's more like the first arc.

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5.0
Batwoman #15

Dec 21, 2012

The "Batwoman" ongoing always had very big shoes to fill after the exceptional "Batwoman: Elegy" from Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's "Detective Comics" run that set the stage, but issues like this don't even come close to that quality. It's not a "bad" comic but it's hard to not compare it to what we all know it can be, especially since we've seen it before.

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7.0
Batwoman #16

Jan 24, 2013

As an art book "Batwoman" #16 is five-stars, easily; as a comic book, I can only see giving it three and a half stars. I wish it could be more, truly, as the jaw-dropping art and care that clearly went into that aspect of the book is something I want to reward, but the book is overwhelmed by too much narration and too many narrators.

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4.0
Batwoman #20

May 20, 2013

There's no book I'd like to love more than "Batwoman," but it's apparently just not meant to be. Williams III remains one of the best artists in comics, and McCarthy is turning into a true talent, but issues like "Batwoman" #20 make me wonder if I should even be reading the book, let alone trying to love it.

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5.0
Batwoman #23

Aug 26, 2013

There was a time when "Batwoman" as a title held so many of my hopes and dreams for mainstream superhero comics. Unfortunately, the book has not delivered. It's not a bad series, but unless it's being drawn by J.H. Williams III, there's just nothing exceptional. For a book that started with such promise and ambition, that's a disappointment.

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5.0
Birds Of Prey (2010) #11

Apr 15, 2011

With "Birds of Prey" #12 next month we head into a brand new arc and with an exciting new artist for the book, and hopefully a new direction. I find myself excited about the future of the book and all the possibilities Simone might unleash in her enthusiasm for these characters.

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8.0
Birds Of Prey (2010) #12

May 14, 2011

"Birds of Prey" #12 is a huge step in the right direction, and almost feels like the "real" launch of the series. This issue has a much stronger and a more appropriate creative team, a smart terribly creepy storyline that's still full of humor and personality, and a cover that announces itself to the world in full badass mode.

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4.0
Birds Of Prey (2010) #14

Jul 15, 2011

There's probably a good story in here somewhere, but a complete misfire on the art makes it impossible to find.

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6.0
Birds Of Prey (2011) #6

Feb 20, 2012

It's unfortunate Saiz is absent for this pinnacle moment for the story arc, as his attention to detail and flair would have helped with delivering a more powerful issue. As is, the art doesn't feel worthy of the story Swierczynski has set up and ultimately makes "Birds of Prey" #6 a bit of a let down from the fantastic and powerful series presented in the last five issues.

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8.0
Birds Of Prey (2011) #8

Apr 19, 2012

"Birds of Prey" has consistently been one of the best and most surprising books of the re-launch with lovely art, smart storytelling and good character development including the introduction of a brand new character in Starling. As a reader, I worry about it getting swallowed up in the "Night of Owls" crossover, but mostly I hope that it helps get the word out to other readers about what a strong and intelligent book this is. It absolutely deserves a bigger following.

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4.0
Birds Of Prey (2011) #18

Mar 22, 2013

"Birds of Prey" has been beset by frustrating creative shifts since early on in the reboot. Though Swierczynski stayed on until just recently, the constant artistic shuffle has taken this book from a title I listed among the best of the New 52 to a book I totally lost interest in. Though Marx is just getting started and might be able to find her footing, this first installment is not promising and the art continues to be a miss.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #3

Feb 10, 2014

"Black Widow" continues to prove itself as a finely constructed, utterly engaging comic that's free of heavy continuity -- at least so far. It's exactly the kind of beautiful book Natasha deserves, and let's hope it can keep on this steady and impressive roll.

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6.0
Black Widow (2014) #6

May 9, 2014

Edmondson and Noto have done a fantastic job overall of establishing the series, and who the Black Widow is within that context, but this issue definitely suggests it may be time to spin the dial and change things up. With a solid base now established, it would be a missed opportunity not to see other shades of Natasha under Edmondson and Noto's direction.

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8.0
Black Widow (2014) #10

Sep 8, 2014

"Black Widow" #10 is a fantastic example of the smart understated work Edmondson and Noto present in this series. Full of action, but pared back, poetic, beautiful, and easy to digest for readers new and old, it's solid superhero-meets-spy-comics every month without fail.

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7.0
Brides of Helheim #1

Oct 3, 2014

"Brides of Helheim" #1 is a nice start and one worth checking out, especially if you like Norse mythology, but I hope that the creative team can dig a bit deeper and kick it up a notch in the next issue.

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9.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1

Sep 14, 2011

Joss Whedon has managed the impossible yet again, somehow reinventing and reinvigorating these beloved characters and putting them on entirely new paths and adventures. I cannot wait to see where he's taking us this time, although I cannot pretend that I desperately hope that one of those places will be one where Buffy and Spike get together. Hey, I said I struggled to keep the balance between critic and fan, I didn't say I succeeded.

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9.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #3

Nov 10, 2011

"Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9" is shaping up to be an excellent series committed to Joss Whedon's long standing tradition of exploring and pushing on these beloved characters in a myriad of complex ways. Already, just three issues in, the results are compelling, and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9" has quickly become one of the best books I'm reading, and the first book I reach for, which speaks volumes."

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8.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6

Feb 8, 2012

Regardless of that misstep, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Nine" #6 is a comic to be reckoned with. If the creative team can continue to be this true to Whedon's characters, we're in for a run of powerful stories, indeed.

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9.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #7

Mar 14, 2012

If it were not for my absolute faith in Joss Whedon, this development might worry me. How will it resolve? Is there a plan? What does it all mean? But I do have great faith in Joss Whedon, as last issue reminded me when he delivered a controversial story I could both respect and felt absolutely true to these characters he's created. So I will sit back and wait very impatiently at whatever he has in store for these characters. Chambliss and Jeanty have proven themselves more than worthy of rolling this story out with all the respect, beauty and consistency it deserves. I am unprepared, but incredibly intrigued.

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7.0
Butterfly #1

Sep 26, 2014

"Butterfly" #1 is a strong opening and well worth a read, but a few small decisions hold it back from being a truly exceptional first issue, especially in a field already peppered with smart spy stories.

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9.0
Captain America (2004) #636

Sep 17, 2012

Between this book and Matt Fraction and David Aja's "Hawkeye," I'm feeling a real love for clever, beautiful superhero comics. Like Fraction and Aja, Bunn and Francavilla seem to be doing something a little different, if only in the perfection of the execution. "Captain America and Black Widow" #636 has the kind of quality and smarts that all superhero comics should aim for.

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #638

Oct 29, 2012

Bunn and Francavilla have proved to be an excellent match up for this spy tale, and one can't help but wish to see more of them -- perhaps even on a horror book, as their noir-ish collaboration would lend itself beautifully to an even darker story. Regardless, I'll be sad when this arc is done and Natasha exits the book. In the meantime, I'm excited to see where they're going to lead us in the concluding chapters, and I sincerely hope for a Natasha vs. Natasha knock-down-drag-out.

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6.0
Captain America (2004) #639

Dec 3, 2012

Seeing Bunn and Francavilla cut loose with the spy noir vibe on this book makes me wish we could have something like this more regularly. While this issue has not been the strongest of the run, a book like this with either noir or even horror elements with creators like this at the helm would be a great and unusual addition to Marvel's slate.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #5

Oct 22, 2012

"Captain Marvel" has been a solid book since it's debut, but it's nice to see DeConnick and Rios together again. Their affection for working together, and for Carol as a character, is palpable. They're having a great time making comics and it's evident in this issue.

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9.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #9

Jan 21, 2013

I have liked a lot of what DeConnick has done with this series but I struggled with Dexter Soy as the artist. The fit just wasn't quite right. With Andrade, "Captain Marvel" is a whole other book. I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel felt his style was too extreme and not as mainstream as they want/need "Captain Marvel" to be, but for me, if this issue is any indication, he is a perfect fit. Andrade is as comfortable drawing a fantastic fight scene with giant dinosaurs in downtown Manhattan as he is sharing and intimate scene with Carol and her doctor. That's exactly the balancing act this book needs, as it highlights the balancing act that is Carol's life. Together, DeConnick and Andrade have made this book everything I've wanted it to be and I'd love to see them get the opportunity to keep it up.

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9.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #10

Feb 21, 2013

While "Captain Marvel" has taken a while to find its footing, it has really begun to sing in these last few issues, in large part thanks to DeConnick and Sebela finding a wonderful balance between the oh-so-human Carol and her superheroic persona. "Captain Marvel" has a vision and voice that only the best of superhero books can manage and I can't wait for what's next.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2012) #13

Jun 20, 2013

While "Captain Marvel" has struggled a bit in finding the right artist and thus settling on a consistent visual identity, it has never struggled with Carol Danver's identity, which has been stunningly handled and developed over the last year. I hope Marvel continues to support this book as DeConnick's work with the character has been exceptional and the book, despite some hiccups, has been a solid superhero title overall, with flashes of genuine brilliance.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #2

Apr 14, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed DeConnick's first run at "Captain Marvel" despite some problems with the book, but this new series has thrown out everything that didn't work, kept everything that did, and engaged a perfect creative team to bring readers a truly exciting second run at a book that works. Too often in comics, the baby is thrown out with the bathwater for a relaunch, and I'm very glad the creative team managed to hang onto the baby in this case.

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8.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #4

Jun 16, 2014

While the previous "Captain Marvel" series had a lot going for it, it was a bit uneven and ultimately lacked the same cohesive vision of this revamped series. The new "Captain Marvel" is firing on all cylinders and is a wonderful argument for not throwing the baby out with the bath water. It's simply a damn fine comic book.

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7.0
Captain Marvel (2014) #6

Aug 15, 2014

Though not the strongest issue of the arc, "Captain Marvel" #6 is still good solid comics and this is a simply magic creative team that one hopes will be delivering Carol's adventures for a long time to come.

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9.0
Castle Waiting: Volume 2 #18

Nov 23, 2012

For readers that have been reading Medley's series all along, this is another great installment, and one that is both open ended enough so that Medley can do whatever she likes, but complete enough that it feels finished if need be. For those that have never tried "Castle Waiting," I cannot recommend it more highly, though you should of course start at the beginning.

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2.0
Catwoman (2011) #0

Sep 24, 2012

I've been excited about a new creative team on this book, and since Melo is not going to be the ongoing artist, I suppose I will give issue #13 a chance to see if Nocenti can do something with present day Selina, but this is a really bad start. I shudder to think of someone that enjoyed Christopher Nolan and Anne Hathaway's great take on Selina in "The Dark Knight Rises" picking up this issue in the hopes of finding a good jumping on point. I can't imagine that person ever picking up a Catwoman comic ever again if this was their first taste.

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4.0
Catwoman (2011) #14

Nov 23, 2012

While this issue might hang together more impressively within "Death of the Family," it's incredibly unsatisfying as a standalone. While Sandoval is quickly finding his footing for Catwoman and has the potential to be a great artist for the book, it feels like we won't know what Nocenti can really do as writer until she's out from under the shadow of the crossover.

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4.0
Catwoman (2011) #16

Jan 24, 2013

Between the lack of clarity in the storytelling and the plot not making a lot of sense in the first place, this book just doesn't deliver. It's enthusiastic and full of energy and I want to give it credit for that, but ultimately it's disappointing. Four issues into this new creative team run I'm afraid I'm going to have to move on from this book. Someday, Selina, we will meet again!

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5.0
Catwoman (2011) #26

Jan 6, 2014

I keep coming back to "Catwoman" because I love the character and hope the book will have magically transformed while I've been away into something I can love, but it keeps just missing the mark. "Catwoman" #26 has less overt problems with voice, character and storytelling than previous issues by this team, but it's still just a mediocre comic book.

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5.0
Coffin Hill #1

Oct 14, 2013

While "Coffin Hill" #1 isn't entirely successful, there's a good book somewhere here, and I'll certainly give it another issue to find its legs. Kittredge and Miranda may have something wonderful in "Coffin Hill" if they can just pare it back, focus up and find its soul.

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9.0
Collider #1

Aug 1, 2013

"Collider" #1 is a fantastic start to an exciting new series and a reminder of what a quality powerhouse Vertigo is and can be. It's also a nice reminder of why the industry needs more books from Vertigo, not less. A higher quantity of smart, beautifully executed comics that explore the fantastical and bizarre without being about traditional superheroes is a very good thing.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #1

Feb 9, 2012

Wood, Cloonan, and Stewart are an exemplary creative team, and Dark Horse deserves credit for bringing them together for this book. There's an effortlessness in their collaboration that makes reading a pleasure. With an excellent first issue under their belt, their collaboration is already leaving its unique mark on Conan, and perhaps converting more skeptical fans, like me.

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8.0
Conan the Barbarian #4

May 21, 2012

"Conan The Barbarian" thus far has been the perfect example of how to make great comics. Dark Horse is getting it right with top talent, a consistent schedule and smart editorial choices. The result is simply great comics, month after month.

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8.0
Copperhead #2

Oct 13, 2014

Farber, Godlewski and Riley's "Copperhead" is a total delight. It's a dark horse I never saw coming that mixes the best elements of westerns and space stories effortlessly with its classic detective tale.

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8.0
Creator Owned Heroes #1

Jun 8, 2012

On the whole, "Creator Owned Heroes" is a wonderful idea and one I'd not only like to see succeed but like to be repeated over and over by all sorts of creators (and publishers). Though the interviews are fun and will hit some fans' sweet spots, I'd rather have a third great story in there. Regardless, it's inspiring and exciting and if they can keep this level of quality, I expect they'll do well.

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3.0
Cutter #1

Oct 3, 2014

While a weekly horror book in October is a great idea, at $3.99, the quality is just not where it needs to be. "Cutter" #1 suffers badly when compared with other terrifying, smart and well-considered horror books.

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5.0
Cyclops #1

Apr 2, 2011

There's a lot that works surprisingly well in this one-shot, and for Dean Haspiel's art alone it's worth picking up. Unfortunately, some of the great ingredients don't quite come together as one would hope, and the story ends up overwhelmed by too much of a few of the less successful elements.

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8.0
Cyclops (2014) #5

Sep 29, 2014

Though there are some minor visual failings in "Cyclops" #5, Rucka's clever story solidifies an emotional bond for this father and son that makes it one of the best issues yet in the series.

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3.0
Danger Girl: Trinity #1

Apr 18, 2013

For longtime "Danger Girl" readers, I'm sure this is a fun and sexy beginning to a new mini-series, but for a reader unfamiliar with the characters and uninterested in gratuitous cheesecake there's little to grab onto and no real reason to return for a second issue.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #10

Apr 2, 2012

Considering all the press it's gotten, one assumes that people who love superhero comics are already watching "Daredevil" with a close eye, but ten issues in, even a simple story like this one proves this book is in excellent hands. So much of what Waid and Rivera have tapped in "Daredevil" is what has been missing in mainstream superhero comics. It manages to be important and also entertaining, full realistic darkness, but with the hope that should come with superhero stories.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #16

Aug 6, 2012

"Daredevil" #16, while not especially ground breaking or important, is still solid comics -- in some ways, it's comics storytelling at its finest. When a story is told with no great twist or hook is still utterly enjoyable, it's clear the reader is in good creative hands. This issue also highlights how exceptional the creative teams on "Daredevil" are -- when Samnee is your guest artist, you have a damn fine comic indeed.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #29

Aug 5, 2013

"Daredevil" #29 is likely not a book that will blow your mind, or that will be remembered forever and put on a Top 10 list some day, but it's exactly the kind of strong "meat and potatoes" superhero stories readers should both hope for (and demand) in monthly comics. It doesn't break barriers or break all the rules, but it still manages to be smart and well-considered, beautifully drawn and engaging.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #33

Nov 25, 2013

"Daredevil" #33 is a great example of a solid comic. While the issue isn't the pinnacle of Waid's seminal run, as the writer's series winds down, it's all the more important to appreciate the shocking high consistency of "Daredevil." This book's exit will leave a gaping hole in Marvel's line, but readers are incredibly lucky to have had it this long.

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9.0
Daredevil: Dark Nights #2

Jul 5, 2013

"Daredevil: Dark Nights" is a must-read for any serious fan of superheroes. Full of startling and vivid visuals and powerful writing, these first two issues suggest an exceptional and moving mini-series.

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8.0
Dark Avengers #176

Jun 25, 2012

On the whole there are a lot of strengths to this book from a cast of colorful characters with intimate and complicated relationships to the epic feel of any story that travels through time. While as a new reader I'm still figuring some things out, there was more than enough great stuff here to warrant a return.

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8.0
Dark Horse Presents #8

Feb 5, 2012

Mignola, Wood, and Dorkin's stories make this issue of "Dark Horse Presents" well worth the money. Though anthologies are risky, they also offer an opportunity for every reader to find something that resonates. By picking such quality creative teams, Dark Horse is going about this anthology smartly and they've absolutely converted this reader.

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9.0
Daybreak #1

Feb 11, 2013

Surprisingly effective and emotionally engaging, Ralph's "Daybreak" is bold and scary in all the best ways. Though at heart it's a horror story, it's also just about people, and survival, and loneliness, like all the best zombie stories are.

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9.0
Deadly Class #4

May 5, 2014

"Deadly Class" has been impressive from the start with its bold, aggressive and unapologetic concept and commitment to that concept. However, issue number four is the best issue yet, by a good distance, and I'm on the edge of my seat to see what this creative team will bring next.

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9.0
Deadly Class #7

Sep 22, 2014

"Deadly Class" #7 is an issue that continues to develop a concise identity, thanks to a clear vision by creators Rick Remender, Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge -- and it is tremendous.

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9.0
Deadpool (2012) #1

Nov 7, 2012

I generally enjoy Deadpool more as part of an ensemble cast, especially due to the oversaturation of the character in the recent years, but there's no way not to buy issue #2 of "Deadpool" after such a strong debut. The "Deadpool" creative team was expertly chosen and knows exactly what they're doing, a great sign for future Marvel NOW! books in the coming weeks.

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8.0
Death Vigil #1

Jul 10, 2014

A huge 40 pages would make "Death Vigil" a good buy even if it weren't such a charming surprise. But it is a charming surprise with a good sense of humor, smart subversive world building, and very pretty art, all adding up to a book well worth a read.

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8.0
Deathmatch #1

Dec 28, 2012

At 99 cents for this first issue, "Deathmatch" #1 is a particular steal, but even regularly priced this is a comic worth checking out. Jenkins and Magno have set up a very cool and smart story that, although it could easily fall into seen it all before clich, is so far expertly avoiding all those traps and delivering a great reading experience.

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7.0
Deathmatch #3

Mar 1, 2013

Even in an issue in which "Deathmatch" stumbles a bit as it juggles exposition heavy back story, it's still a solid comic, and one that is worth picking up -- against all odds. I remain impressed, and perhaps more importantly, excited to see where Jenkins and Magno are taking us.

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8.0
Deathmatch #6

Jun 3, 2013

In a book that is literally about characters battling to the death in a "match," it's nice that Jenkins is taking the time to really think about what might make these pair ups interesting and give the battles an incisive physicality. It's the polar opposite of lazy superhero writing and is the kind of smart writing that makes this surprise title stands out from the superhero comics crowd.

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7.0
Deathmatch #9

Sep 9, 2013

"Deathmatch" has proved to be that high-concept book that just works thanks to bold storytelling, smart writing, and highly detailed art. "Deathmatch" #9 isn't the best issue of the series, but it's a solid comic book that edges readers ever closer to what's sure to be a bold conclusion.

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7.0
Deathmatch #11

Nov 15, 2013

"Deathmatch" has been a great surprise. While this issue lays it on thick, and not everyone will feel satisfied by the complex explanations, it's still a fascinating book with excellent stakes that feel earned. As a reader, I'm anxious and excited to see what Jenkins and Magno will do next month, and the future beyond that is rife with potential.

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8.0
Defenders (2011) #1

Dec 6, 2011

In the end, "Defenders" #1 is a beautiful, very fun book that leaves you with the feeling of a lot more of the same to come. While it might have benefited from digging just a little bit deeper, I'm absolutely excited to see what Fraction and the Dodsons can deliver in the coming issues. This is a good start to what promises to be an exciting new series.

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7.0
Defenders (2011) #8

Jul 16, 2012

"Defenders" has not been the most consistent book for these first eight issues, with a variety of different artists piloting in and a sometimes strange take on plotting, but Fraction is a good writer and he's clearly having a fun, which comes across in the pages. The book has also benefited from some really great artists "- if you're going to have rotating artists, these are good ones to have! Still, I hope in upcoming issues Fraction can anchor things a bit more so we have a little more consistency to go with our rollicking good times.

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5.0
Defenders (2011) #11

Oct 8, 2012

Matt Fraction's "Defenders" has been a good book, and though the art has been solid regardless of the artist on board, the rotating artists does give the book an inconsistency tonally that's disappointing. A book about these A-Listers that tumbles through time, space and alternate dimensions should just feel more fun than this issue. Hopefully we can get back to that soon.

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8.0
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant #1

Aug 29, 2013

"Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant" is simply a lovely book. Appropriate for all ages, but never too dull to engage the adult mind, it's pure adventure -- and who doesn't like adventure?

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8.0
Delphine #1

Jan 4, 2013

On the whole, "Delphine" is an engaging fairly tale for those that like their fairy tales dark, and for those that appreciate a whole new level of creativity in their interpretations of existing work. "Delphine" is also a nice contrast to the unrelentingly bright and happy fairy tales that are so often seen when it comes to modern reinterpretations of those early dark tales.

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9.0
Demeter #1

Jun 20, 2013

While "Demeter" is currently available for the insanely low price of $0.99 on comiXology, the print version is available via Cloonan's website. No matter what the format, I urge readers to pick up all three and spend some time immersed in Cloonan's beautiful but haunting world, all for less than the price of your average superhero comic.

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9.0
Detective Comics #877

May 26, 2011

Snyder is doing seminal work on "Detective Comics," work that others are going to build on and try their best to outdo. Comics will be better for it, but I'm not sure many that come after are going to be able to do it better than Snyder is doing it right now. If you read comics and you're not reading "Detective Comics" right now, you're screwing up.

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10
Detective Comics #881

Aug 9, 2011

This was quite simply a historic "Detective Comics" run by Snyder, Jock, and Francavilla. It makes the ending of this run and the re-launch next month all the more bittersweet, but if you're going to go out, what a way to go out. It's nice to know that the last running issue of Detective Comics prior to starting over at number one was one of the best runs the book has ever had. That can't ever be taken away.

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5.0
Detective Comics (2011) #23.2

Sep 11, 2013

The art is the star in "Detective Comics" #23.2, an otherwise useless origin story that brings little to no real insight into Harley Quinn. That said, tackling Harley Quinn's origin is a thankless and near impossible task and it's unsurprising that Kindt was unable to deliver a fantastic one-shot with all of that working against him.

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8.0
Dial H #1

May 4, 2012

The sole complaint I have of the book is that there's just so much going on, and so much of it is bizarre that there are places where it's a little hard to follow. But it's honestly so good and interesting, that I found myself not caring much that I had to do a little extra work to make sure I was getting everything. Certainly the layers, the creativity, and the sheer quality make this book worth the extra effort.

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8.0
Dial H #5

Oct 8, 2012

One small failing of the book is that is quite complicated. For new readers that might have jumped on at issue #0, this arc probably feels pretty inaccessible. While this issue is a satisfying conclusion to this arc, and one that introduces plenty of new mysteries for future stories, I can see how new readers might be thrown. Hopefully they can see the quality both Miville and Santolouco are bringing to the table, and give it the chance that the already devoted "Dial H" readers know it deserves -- readers are in good hands with this creative team.

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6.0
Dial H #8

Jan 14, 2013

This particular issue of "Dial H" has some artistic inconsistencies and a slightly confusing story as The Centipede puts the pieces together and meets up with our heroes, but it's still a totally creative book that deserves as many readers as possible.

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4.0
Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1

Mar 22, 2012

"Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child" has an interesting setting and the potential to be a story that focuses on characters, places and themes we don't get to see enough, but so far the execution is not living up to the idea.

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10
EGOs #1

Jan 17, 2014

"Egos" takes some really classic superhero tropes, like the building of the "exciting new team!" concept and turns it completely on its head. As a reader, I found myself completely caught up in Moore and Storms "all new team!" before Moore flipped the script and made everything more interesting. It's a talented creative team that can make something as old hat as the "all new team" feel so fun and exciting, but it's a whole other level of creative team that can then throw that excitement out the window simply because they've got something more interesting planned. I simply cannot wait to see what this series has in store.

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8.0
Elektra (2014) #2

May 26, 2014

All in all, while there are still some rough edges to be worked out (most notably, Elektra being allowed to take real ownership of the title), Del Mundo's visuals are magnificent, and exactly the follow up that a character of this caliber has deserved for a very long time. It took nearly 30 years, but finally a new "Elektra" title has a chance at stepping out of the shadows of "Elektra: Assassin" and breathing fascinating new life into the character.

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6.0
Elektra (2014) #4

Jul 21, 2014

Like "Red She-Hulk," which felt like it wanted to be called "Machine Man," Elektra still feels like it wants to be called "Bloody Lips," and that's maybe a book I would buy, but for an Elektra solo title, Blackman and Del Mundo's "Elektra" is not quite getting it done. Despite incredible art by Mike Del Mundo, "Elektra" continues the struggle to find its voice.

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9.0
Elektra (2014) #5

Aug 22, 2014

Though the non-visual side of the series stumbled out of the gate, "Elektra" #5 has found some glorious footing. If Blackman and Del Mundo can maintain that energy and precision, they may have a wonderful ongoing series on their hands.

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6.0
Emma #1

Mar 6, 2011

Overall, this is working well as an adaptation. Though I was disappointed in comparison to Lee's other work, the art is still lovely and unique. For any fan of Austen or adaptations in general, there's a lot to enjoy here, and even more to anticipate in the next issue.

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5.0
Evil Empire #1

Mar 10, 2014

I think there's actually an interesting story in "Evil Empire" #1 somewhere, but it's not presented in the best way. Had Bemis and Getty presented a better destination, a better opening hook -- then perhaps the lack of nuance in the journey might have felt worth it. Unfortunately, as presented here, clunky and heavy-handed and with an unclear destination in mind, it's hard to invest in the journey, regardless of cliffhanger ending.

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6.0
Fables #107

Jul 30, 2011

This particular storyline will continue in the recently announced "Fairest" mini-series from Willingham and Phil Jimenez, which sounds promising, but this issue on its own is a bit frustrating of a read. Hopefully when Rose's tale begins in "Fairest" she'll be able to claim some agency in her own story, despite her definitively inactive "power."

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6.0
Fairest #1

Mar 8, 2012

Perhaps knowing what Willingham is capable of as a writer is part of what stands in the way of enjoying this first issue as much as I'd like. I've read amazing stories by Willingham and so far this just doesn't feel like his best effort. The visuals are stunning and Willingham can easily turn this series around, but for now I'm not as impressed as I'd like to be.

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8.0
Fairy Tale Comics #1

Sep 30, 2013

I've always been a huge fan of both Fairy Tales and their adaptations into different media. However I've learned the hard way that those responsible for the re-imagining matters a lot when it comes to how well they actually work. Editor Chris Duffy has assembled a truly spectacular array of talent for this volume, and I can only hope that future editions will follow.

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4.0
Fantomex MAX #1

Oct 3, 2013

Going in, I hoped that "Fantomex MAX" would feel like "Hawkeye": creative, unconventional, smart and sharply funny. That was perhaps too much to hope for given that "Hawkeye" is one of the best comics currently on shelves, but this feels so far from "Hawkeye" it's not even playing the same sport, let alone fighting in the same weight class. I wanted to like this for all the right reasons, but it's a misfire from page one with a tonal disconnect and forgettable premise and characters.

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9.0
Fatale #2

Feb 2, 2012

This is absolutely the best of creative teams, clearly doing something they love. And there's nothing better than that -- creators at the top of their game, pouring that much energy and passion into a story -- the exceptional results simply cannot be denied.

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9.0
Fatale #24

Aug 4, 2014

Brubaker and Phillips' "Fatale" is an excellent example of the great modern comic -- an exercise in perfecting storytelling, in creating a cohesive and consistent vision for an entire story the same way you would expect a great novel, film, or television show to look and feel. "Fatale" #24 is an excellent example of why this is a book to be read again and again, standing the test of time, in spite of the fact that -- or perhaps because -- people will always worship monsters.

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8.0
FBP: Federal Bureau Of Physics #3

Sep 16, 2013

Three issues in, "Federal Bureau of Physics" is shaping up to be a great book in Vertigo's library. Next to "The Wake," this is the most fun, creative and smartly challenging book of Vertigo's new line. Hopefully, it's a sign of even more great things to come for the imprint.

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8.0
FBP: Federal Bureau Of Physics #6

Dec 16, 2013

"FBP" continues to be one of my favorite books that is also way over my head. I have to leave a fair amount of investment in understanding the particulars at the door in order to enjoy "FBP," but as long as I do, I find I always come away happy.

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3.0
Fear Itself: Black Widow #1

Jul 2, 2011

Unfortunately, if you're not reading a lot of 'Fear Itself' then the final page, I suspect meant to have serious impact, is mostly lost on you. That, paired with the eye-rolling deus ex machina device makes for a real let down of an ending. On the heels of Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuna doing wonderful, very smart, very beautiful things with Natasha in her short-lived "Black Widow" series last year, I've become a big fan of Natasha. It's a shame to see her wasted in such a throwaway tale.

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6.0
FF (2012) #4

Mar 1, 2013

All in all, I'd say half of this book works like gangbusters and the other half falls short. From a writing standpoint, everything that relates to Bentley and his crew including the shocking cliffhanger is fantastic, but Jen's date is a weak spot that readers have to return to time and again. Meanwhile Allred's art varies from absolutely stunning to lacking clarity from page to page, making this an inconsistent issue at best.

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6.0
FF (2012) #6

Apr 29, 2013

This issue promises a strong cliffhanger leading to something a bit more significant in our future and I'm interested to see how Fraction and merge this light (and slight) book with something that has a bit more gravitas. If he can do it, I'll be more excited than ever to have a book like this on the stands. If he can't, I'll still be glad its here. Even when it's not a perfect book it's still a unique snowflake in a blazing desert.

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7.0
Figment #1

Jun 12, 2014

After a rough opening ten pages, Zub and Andrade really find the sweet spot for their book. With Figment and Blair's relationship as the cornerstone of the series they have something solid and energizing to work with and though the first third of the book is a bit of a bore, by the end it's full of promise.

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7.0
Flash (2011) #3

Nov 27, 2011

Overall, this book is very close to being brilliant, but while it blows its budget on some of the epic set pieces and larger ideas, it feels like it's cutting corners on the some of the smaller but unfortunately key storytelling elements that make a story work on the most basic of levels. This is a good comic book in its current form, but it could be great.

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4.0
Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2

Jul 22, 2011

With brilliant Cliff Chiang covers, and characters Dick Grayson and Deadman starring, I had high hopes for "Flashpoint: Deadman & The Flying Grayson's" but there's not much here to hold onto and the result is an unsatisfying mish-mash.

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5.0
Flashpoint: Wonder Woman And The Furies #1

Jun 16, 2011

In general this issue delivered an interesting story and set up despite some utterly bizarre art decisions. Abnett and Lanning have this series surprisingly well in hand, even for a non-believer like myself. Time will tell if others can follow them as competently.

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5.0
Freelancers #1

Nov 8, 2012

I would absolutely read an ongoing comic about the young adventures of Cassie and Val by Gagnon and Smith. I would consider reading the grown up adventures of Cassie and Val if Gagnon and Smith were delivering those as well, but with the current creative team on the main story, even at this bargain basement price, I'm afraid this is a skip.

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9.0
Friends With Boys #1

Mar 7, 2012

While Hicks' debut comic "Zombies Calling" was great fun, her books have gotten progressively better over the last few years. Her artistic skill grows and her writing becomes more layered and nuanced with each new book. "Friends With Boys" is so good it leaves one simply excited to see what she'll do next.

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5.0
Gambit #1

Aug 7, 2012

The ending of "Gambit" #1 has some promise about where this series could be headed in the future -- i.e. a much less stereotypical story, but this first issue is best ignored. Everyone on board can do better, which I hope will be reflected in future issues. I'd love to see Remy LeBeau in a regular series that's as good as I know that character can be.

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6.0
Gambit #4

Oct 29, 2012

The teenaged me wants to love this book, and "Gambit" #4 is certainly a solid issue, but it still feels like it's missing that all important x-factor (no pun intended) to help it level up. I'm not sure what that missing element might be, but I'd be happy to see Gambit rehabbed into a stronger character, and it seems like having his own series might be that opportunity, so I hope it gets the chance to find its feet, its "x-factor" and an audience.

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4.0
Gambit #8

Jan 24, 2013

I'd love to be reading about Gambit's adventures in a solo title, and I may give this another try as I seem to have just been unlucky in the issues I've picked -- the first had some technical issues with the art that I heard were solved -- and here we've got the giant team of artists all chipping in. I see Rogue due to appear in a future issue soon, so perhaps I'll give that a try to see how Asmus handles that relationship. I find, despite the disappointment, I don't want to give up on "Gambit" just quite yet.

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4.0
Gambit #12

May 16, 2013

I keep dipping a toe into "Gambit" as I continue to hold an almost unreasonable affection for the character, and I hoped that these issues with Rogue (another character I enjoy) would help me settle into a nice affection for the book. Unfortunately, with the tag team art, and my inability to connect to Joelle and thus care about her fate, I'm underwhelmed, again.

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4.0
Gambit #17

Sep 26, 2013

I was certainly excited, if a bit anxious, about Gambit getting his own series, but Asmus and Mann were never able to pull it together. Inconsistencies in the art (and creative team in general) plagued them, and never was there a sense of what they wanted to do for Gambit, or whyreaders should root for him, not just as a hero, but as a character that deserved his own title.

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9.0
Generation Hope #6

Apr 23, 2011

Like all the best comic books you can see Epsin and Gillen working in wonderful synch on "Generation Hope," and it makes me excited about what they can do here together.

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9.0
Generation Hope #9

Jul 23, 2011

Kieron Gillen is hitting it out of the park on "Generation Hope," and though all the artists on the title thus far have been excellent, with McKelvie as his right hand, this is a nearly perfect book. If you're not reading this book, you're missing out on some great comics.

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8.0
Glory #23

Feb 16, 2012

Time will tell if "Glory" can find that perfect tonal balance but no matter what it will be a good time watching these creators (and characters) get there. "Glory" #23 has some of the most innovative and ballsy work comics has seen for a long time. This is a re-launch, people.

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9.0
Glory #25

Apr 15, 2012

As a fan of Campbell's work I always expected to enjoy his visuals for this book, but I was not necessarily convinced the story and characters would compel me. However Keatinge has delivered an interesting take, and one worthy of Campbell's visuals. The result is book you simply must be buying, if only for the fearlessness with which it is executed. You won't see much like this elsewhere in "mainstream" comics and that makes it precious indeed.

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9.0
Glory #34

Apr 5, 2013

At the end of the day I have to give Image (and Liefeld) huge props for their willingness to let Keatinge and Campbell truly cut loose in this book. As a result it was perhaps not their most popular title, or one that could go on forever, but it will stand the test of time as being one of the boldest, bravest, and most wonderfully bizarre superhero books -- a superhero book that is utterly un-superhero in the best of ways.

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7.0
Grayson #1

Jul 10, 2014

All in all, though the series still has some rough edges to smooth out, "Grayson" #1 was a solid start to an interesting new book and new direction for DC. Hopefully this creative team can stay in place for the foreseeable future -- and if we're very lucky, some of the other re-launching books will have the same energy and rush to them that "Grayson" exudes.

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8.0
Green Wake #2

May 9, 2011

We need more comics like "Green Wake:" smart and mysterious, beautiful and well considered. It's a book that will leave you thinking and wondering about it long after you put it down, the mark of a great comic.

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9.0
Green Wake #4

Jul 9, 2011

"Green Wake" is shaping up to be one of the great mini-series of 2011. Smart, fast moving, and full of intriguing mystery, "Green Wake" is a beautiful book that you'll be thinking about for hours after you finish.

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8.0
Green Wake #6

Oct 31, 2011

The most impressive thing both Wiebe and Rossmo have managed to do here, however, is to wrap up their initial arc and then effortlessly pick it up here so that it still feels organic and not like some desperate attempt to keep the magic going. No, they've still got the magic, and there's nothing desperate about it.

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8.0
Green Wake #10

Mar 5, 2012

So often in comics endings don't deliver as they should, particularly true when a series is cut short, but Wiebe and Rossmo easily avoid that trap and end this series the way it deserves with an emotional punch and just enough mystery resolved to satisfy readers.

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6.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #14

Apr 24, 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" #14 is a very expensive, mediocre issue with two shorts -- one exceptional and one exceptionally bad, but neither very relevant -- and leaves me on the fence about coming back next month. The characters are interesting, but judging on this issue alone they worked better as the guest stars in other books than as the stars of their own.

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4.0
Guardians of the Galaxy: Galaxy's Most Wanted #1

Jul 7, 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy: Galaxy's Most Wanted" #1 does have one thing in its favor in that it includes a reprint of Thor #314 which has a battle between Thor and Drax The Destroyer.

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8.0
Harbinger #1

Jun 8, 2012

It's exciting to see such a strong new offering from Valiant as the publisher begins its launch of new books. Dysart's reputation as a talented writer precedes him, but he delivers on that reputation absolutely in this first issue.

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9.0
Hark! A Vagrant #1

Oct 7, 2011

Kate Beaton's "Hark! A Vagrant" collection is perfect for fans of her work both new and old. Whether you've already read every single strip online or are completely new to the work, the book is a must have for any comics fan that likes their humor smart and their visuals hilarious.

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5.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #1

Dec 20, 2013

In the end, "Harley Quinn" #1 zigs when it should zag and falls asleep at the wheel when it should be driving laps around the track. Even if there's room in the current DC for a true off-the-wall Harley Quinn title, "Harley Quinn" #1 isn't it.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #1

Jul 31, 2012

Marvel has had their share of missteps lately, but they have also made so many cool and smart choices of late, like bringing on Brian Wood and letting Fraction and Aja do this book exactly as I imagine they wanted. The result is a smart, modern comic that pulsates with creativity. "Hawkeye" #1 joins books like "Wolverine & The X-Men," "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" and "Daredevil" as one of the best and most interesting superhero books on stands.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #3

Oct 18, 2012

One of the best things about what Fraction and Aja do in "Hawkeye" is that it works completely free of continuity -- something easy to overlook in the general brilliance of this book. Though you would be a fool not to pick up the first two issues, you simply don't have to. This story, like the two before it, stands effortlessly on its own with brilliant, funny storytelling full of heart and promises. It's pretty exciting to find a comic book you can love this much. Thank you gentlemen. More, please.

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10
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #6

Dec 21, 2012

Being in love with a superhero comic book is such an amazing experience. It's rare enough that I'm having trouble remembering when I last felt this way about a superhero book. Perhaps it was Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's "Batwoman/Detective Comics" run? It's fitting that though these two titles could not be more different, they both perfectly represent what makes superhero comics work. Brilliantly talented creators with a passion for their work, fantastic characters, and editors/publishers unafraid, and even excited, to do something a little different and a lot wonderful.

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #8

Feb 28, 2013

Eight issues in, "Hawkeye" continues to be the standard upon which all great mainstream comics should be judged. Consistently beautiful, funny, smart, human, heroic and decidedly alternative, despite its publisher, it's simply the best superhero book I've read in a very, very long time. This issue stumbles slightly by acknowledging that other comics exist -- in introducing the complexities of Clint's love life in continuity -- but it's barely enough to even put a dent in everything else that is oh-so-right about "Hawkeye."

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #12

Jul 12, 2013

Superhero fans are lucky to have such a stunning book as "Hawkeye." To think, a year ago, I was exceedingly grouchy that Hawkeye was getting his own book (by Fraction and Aja no less!) while Black Widow languished without. While I still think Natasha deserves her own book -- and with as celebrated and perfect a team as Fraction and Aja -- I can't possibly regret the continued brilliance that is "Hawkeye."

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9.0
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #13

Oct 18, 2013

Death in comics can be such an easy clich. The sideways angle that Fraction and Aja use to approach this issue is like a quiet revelation. Kate's inspiring but melancholy speech to Hawkeye (who sleeps through the whole thing) is the kind of desperate and wonderful missed connection and agonizing humanity that "Hawkeye" is all about.

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9.0
Hellboy: The Fury #1

Jun 5, 2011

For anyone that doesn't regularly read Hellboy it should also be noted that the book does an excellent job of bringing potential new readers up to speed. In two easy to read illustrated pages at the start of the issue, readers are given "the story thus far." It's incredibly effective, despite the Hellboy lore being complicated at best. It surely beats retcons, relaunches, and reboots. "Hellboy: The Fury" is a great comic, that despite the character's intricate history makes for a great jumping on point for anyone that has been interested in the character and wanted to take the book for a spin.

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6.0
Herobear And The Kid: Saving Time #1

Apr 24, 2014

All in all, it's good to have Kunkel's characters back, and perhaps this issue still has him shaking off the dust and getting back into his groove. We need more good, kid-friendly, all-ages comics, and if Kunkel can get "Herobear and the Kid" back up to snuff it'll be a welcome and needed addition to the comics landscape.

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5.0
Heroes for Hire #4

Mar 3, 2011

This is not a bad comic, but it suffers quite a bit when compared with its previous issues. The bright spot is the ending, which leaves us with an powerful cliffhanger as other issues have, and which hopefully signifies a return to what has been working so well in the series thus far. Overall, though this is an unsatisfying issue on the whole, the book has otherwise been exceptional. Hopefully we can get back to business as usual in the next issue.

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5.0
Heroes for Hire #5

Apr 8, 2011

This issue, like the previous issue, ended on a bright note that seemed to herald a return to what worked so well in the first three books. However, once burned"twice shy. I'll be giving this book another chance for sure, but I'm not sure how many more chances I have left in me.

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7.0
Heroes for Hire #6

May 8, 2011

We're still not quite back to the exceptional comic that "Heroes For Hire" was for the first three issues, but issue #6 is a marked improvement from the last two issues, and leaves me hopeful for the next one. Keeping this creative team on board and focused will be key to not losing momentum, not to mention fans, for this book.

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8.0
Heroes for Hire #11

Sep 11, 2011

All in all, "Heroes For Hire" #11 is one of the stronger issues, particularly in the writing and penciling. The writing delivered the kind of twists and turns that not only tell a compelling story but also build upon already existing great characters to make them even greater.

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8.0
Hexed (2014) #1

Aug 15, 2014

With an interesting, if slightly uneven, execution and a particularly strong ending, there are many reasons to come back for a second issue of "Hexed."

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10
How to Be Happy #1

Aug 4, 2014

Davis' work has a take-no-prisoners approach to storytelling that will generally leave you gasping for more, or for mercy. At the same time her work is blissfully free of judgment. In "How To Be Happy," Davis doesn't seek to teach a clich lesson or shame anyone, she's simply grasping for the truth, and reading her work will leave you grasping for it too.

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7.0
Hunger #1

Jul 25, 2013

Overly earnest work sometimes falls painfully flat, so it's always with come hesitancy that I enter into something so grandiose as "Hunger" #1 appears to be, but Fialkov's down to earth approach (so to speak) really sells it. As a result, a concept I wasn't necessarily interested in becomes a story I'm intrigued enough about to keep reading. In the end, Fialkov's contrast of the intimate and the monumental is more than enough to warrant a return for issue #2.

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6.0
Huntress #1

Oct 6, 2011

Overall this is a the beginning of a solid mini-series with an underused character full of potential. It's better than most of the new DCU 52 books I read. It makes one wish that this book was going to keep going instead of being relegated to a mini-series. Regardless, if you like strong well-rounded female characters, support this book so we can see more like it.

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7.0
I, Vampire #0

Oct 1, 2012

A year ago, "I, Vampire" was a title I never really had much interest in, let alone expectations that it could last in such a massive re-launch considering its characters were new and without an existing fan base. However, consistently good work from both Fialkov and Sorrentino has made it one of the stronger titles of the "New 52" and this zero issue is a solid jumping on point for anyone that has been intrigued but hesitant.

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7.0
I, Vampire #5

Jan 28, 2012

"I, Vampire", could have easily fallen into clich, as vampire stories tend to when they're not well-conceived. However, thanks to Fialkov's strong writing and solid character work, and Sorrentino and Maiolo's gorgeous artwork, "I. Vampire" continues to be one of the more interesting titles from DC, and one with the best ongoing hook.

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5.0
I, Zombie #11

Mar 11, 2011

The upside is that there's still a lot of potential here. Gwen, a zombie, is now dating a monster hunter, which seems rife with possibilities; Ellie sounds like she's going to help Marvin find a less simian body to inhabit; and eventually I suspect Anon and Galatea are going to get up to some mischief, whether together or separately. But almost a year in, I'm wondering why we're not well on our way to a lot of that already.

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8.0
In Real Life #1

Oct 20, 2014

In the end, Doctorow and Wang have created a socially relevant, heartfelt and emotionally engaging story about a female gamer that will likely inspire and encourage generations of awesome girls.

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5.0
Infinity: The Hunt #1

Sep 11, 2013

In the final analysis, I found myself wishing that Marvel was letting Kindt and Sanders do a legitimate "Contest of Champions" book. That's a book I would certainly commit to buying at least a few issues. But based on the first issue there's nothing new or special in "Infinity: The Hunt" #1, and the quality isn't high enough overall to make it a must-read.

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7.0
John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1

Sep 14, 2011

All in all this is a strong and beautiful start to a compelling adventure tale, and I'm excited to read the next chapter.

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8.0
Jonah Hex #66

Apr 12, 2011

I said this won't be my last issue of "Jonah Hex," but I'm afraid this issue has set the bar rather high. I look forward to next month and hope that Gray and Palmiotti can deliver another equally chilling tale.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #646

Nov 20, 2012

Overall, what's most impressive is that Immonen and Schiti have created a journey for Sif in this first issue that feels both epic and also extremely personal. The story ends on a particularly compelling note, one that leaves me anxious for the next installment, and with this creative team at the helm, I'm excited to see what's next.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #648

Feb 1, 2013

This is a creative team and book that snuck up on me. Immonen, Schiti and Bellaire are surprising and impressing me with the one fine issue after another. There's a deftness of hand in both idea and execution that makes "Journey Into Mystery" a joy to read.

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6.0
Journey Into Mystery #651

Apr 29, 2013

Despite a decent story from Immonen, the book badly misses both Schiti's art and Sif's star power, further proving what a dream team of creators and character they truly are. If anything, "Journey Into Mystery" #651 has reminded me how much I generally enjoy this book, how consistently stunning it has been and how much I hope the creative team gets the opportunity to continue cranking out delicious tales.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #655

Aug 29, 2013

For a run cut too short, this is a solid wrap up for an interesting book. Looking back at "Journey Into Mystery," one can only hope that the series' talent is quickly snapped up for other interesting projects and that Sif, so wonderfully brought to life by Immonen and Schiti, finds herself a home elsewhere. Especially considering her beefed up role in the forthcoming "Thor 2: The Dark World" it seems like Sif's star should be on the rise, despite the cancellation of this very good book.

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7.0
Julia's House For Lost Creatures #1

Sep 15, 2014

As a comic, "Julia's House For Lost Creatures" probably only rates about average. It's very simple and doesn't make a lot of use of sequential art on balance. As a children's book, it's a delightful charmer for any young child, but not necessarily one with enough layers to grow with them for long.

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7.0
Justice League Dark #0

Oct 1, 2012

The most successful of the zero issues this past month have been ones that managed to show something new about their characters or bring important ideas to the table, while still being new-reader friendly. Lemire's "Justice League Dark" #0 isn't an amazing must read-comic, but it does manage to intrigue on the character front and serves as a decent jumping on point for one of the stronger ongoing books from DC.

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7.0
Justice League Dark #4

Jan 1, 2012

This series still isn't doing everything it should be, in large part because there are just so many characters on the board, but the story is interesting, the characters compelling, and the art improving by leaps and bounds with every issue.

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4.0
Justice League Dark #8

Apr 30, 2012

Next month Jeff Lemire will be taking over writing tasks for this title, and I sincerely hope he can find a way to make "Justice League Dark" work. The character line up is an embarrassment of riches, but those characters come with a lot of power and thus they need a very careful hand. These first eight issues never managed it, despite some bright spots, but I look forward to seeing another writer try.

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8.0
Justice League Dark #9

May 25, 2012

"Justice League Dark," from the beginning, has been one of the new DCU books I was most excited for and most wanted to like, but it never quite hung together right. It's good to see that DC realized they had a great concept and great characters and made a few tweaks rather than canceling the title outright or doing a complete overhaul. So far just changing out the writer has given the book a new look and feel, and a direction I'm excited to see play out.

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7.0
Justice League Dark #11

Jul 27, 2012

On the whole, I'm delighted with the direction this book has taken under Lemire's pen. I'm not quite in love with all the characters yet, but the story is complex and intelligent and nothing is quite what it seems. Similarly, Lemire seems to have reinvigorated Janin and the book looks better than it ever has, a great example of DC making a few smart changes rather than jettisoning the project or creative team altogether.

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6.0
Justice League Dark #16

Feb 1, 2013

"Justice League: Dark" is the dark horse of my pull-list. I wanted to like this book from go based on concept and characters alone, but it still struggles to convince me to fall in love, despite Mikel's lovely artwork. But I'm not giving up; I've read enough "almost great" issues that I'm going to stick it out. Even when the book doesn't hit on all levels it's still a compelling read full of potential.

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5.0
Justice League Dark #18

Mar 31, 2013

"Justice League Dark" continues to be a book that I want to like more than I do. It's not bad, but it's just not great. Some issues and arcs are better than others, but 18 issues in, nothing but the art has really blown my socks off, despite featuring some of my favorite characters in all of comics. I'm not sure what's missing here, but I wish one of these great creators involved with the book could figure it out. I still feel there's a brilliant book here, but it's still just waiting to be discovered. Maybe that last panel in this issue holds the key?

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5.0
Justice League Dark #22

Jul 25, 2013

This issue does expand to include a couple extra pages. I guess those pages, plus the massive number of characters on the board, are supposed to justify the extra price, but for this fan, it doesn't even come close. Give me my old "Justice League Dark" trying hard to be the best book it can, for my regular price, and featuring my small, underused cast members, anytime.

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1.0
Justice League Dark #23.1

Sep 5, 2013

This is perhaps the worst "big two" comic book I have ever read. A terrible idea coupled with rushed nonsensical visuals that never come together into a readable story. The fact that a book like this can make it past any kind of editorial process or quality control at DC Comics is a shock.

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5.0
Justice League of America (2013) #1

Feb 20, 2013

Johns takes pains repeatedly in this issue to make clear that this is not a new "Suicide Squad" -- and for good reason, since that's exactly how it feels. But why distance themselves from it? A vintage "Suicide Squad" knock-off would not be so bad, but their desperate attempt to stay away from it only spotlights the similarity of the concepts. At 34 pages of story, I guess the $3.99 price tag makes sense, but it's ultimately a very high price to pay for a comic that is, at this point, only mediocre.

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5.0
Katana #2

Mar 18, 2013

Though this issue is very uneven, especially the forced ending, there's something intriguing in "Katana" that makes it unique to the DC line, and that's a good thing. Two issues in, it struggles to find a strong and consistent voice, but given time there might be something worthy here.

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10
Lazarus #4

Oct 7, 2013

"Lazarus" #4 is a pitch perfect ending to a stand out new series; it's the kind of book that reminds fans just what great comics are capable of. Emotional and resonant, beautiful and smart, "Lazarus" leaves readers begging for what happens next.

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9.0
Lazarus #5

Dec 13, 2013

From its first issue, "Lazarus" was one of the breakout stars of an already impressive line up from Image. As the beginning of a second arc, "Lazarus" #5 proves that the book has lost none of its steam, growing in scope and complexity. Forever Carlyle is poised to become one of the comic book character greats.

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9.0
Lazarus #7

Mar 24, 2014

"Lazarus" is a book that just gets better and better as it builds up the kind of layers to characters and world building that all comics should strive for. The depth is rich and the emotion is palpable, and I'm on the edge of my seat for what's next.

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9.0
Lazarus #11

Sep 12, 2014

"Lazarus" is Rucka's best work in a long time, which is no small feat given the consistent high quality of his output. "Lazarus" is layered and smart, and with every issue Rucka and Lark deepen and strengthen everything that came before while aggressively pursuing new aspects of the world and characters.

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6.0
Legendary Star-Lord #2

Aug 8, 2014

Lack of substance and inconsistent execution plagues "Legendary Star-Lord" #2. It's not a bad comic, but there is little to distinguish it from the pack.

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9.0
Legion of Monsters #2

Nov 19, 2011

Two issues in, "Legion of Monsters" is a wildly fun layered romp, with a significant mystery buried at the center. Solid character work, strong writing, and recklessly wonderful art have come together to make one hell of a book.

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9.0
Legion of Monsters #4

Jan 22, 2012

With its boundless enthusiasm, gorgeous art, and smart writing, "Legion of Monsters" is a fantastic book, the kind of mini-series that deserves an ongoing. And if we can't have more "Legion of Monsters" I'd love to at least see some more from the excellent creative team of Hopeless, Doe and Quintana. There was magic here, and I have a suspicion they could easily capture it again.

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5.0
Legion of Super-Heroes (2011) #1

Sep 23, 2011

In the end this might have been a good, or even a very good random issue of "Legion of Superheroes," but as a number one issue it's a mess. I was legitimately excited about the idea of jumping into a whole new super group I'd never tried before. Now was my chance! And I took it, but it was a colossal failure and I won't be signing up for a second chance.

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7.0
Li'L Sonja #1

Feb 3, 2014

Cute goes a long way with an all-ages book of this kind, and the story is fun enough, but there's not much to encourage a second read. In the end, "Li'l Sonja" #1 proves to be charming, but ultimately forgettable.

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6.0
Li'l Vampi #1

Jan 9, 2014

Strong work from all parties is unfortunately undermined by bad layout decisions which prevent each of the stories from performing at their highest level. Still, I'd happily ingest more "Li'l Vampi," especially with cartoonist Garbowska at the helm.

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9.0
Loose Ends #1

Jul 13, 2011

"Loose Ends" is ballsy and bold, and I wish more comics could be like this book. While we all know that every story out there has been seen before and too frequently done to death, the execution in this first issue by Lautner, Brunner, and Renzi is straight up sublime.

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6.0
Lot 13 #1

Nov 1, 2012

This is only the first issue and there are enough good things at work here that there's plenty of time for the creators to turn it around and make this a solid little series. However, I hope in future issues they can pay more attention to the little things that really make a book work, otherwise this mini will end up feeling a bit ill-conceived and sloppy. The concept and talent here deserves, and can deliver, more.

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5.0
Low #1

Aug 1, 2014

Certainly a single issue is not enough to say definitively whether there's something interesting, engaging or new to be found in "Low," but this first issue feels like a misstep. Remender and Tocchini are capable and experienced creators, so surely they can turn things around, but "Low" #1 is not as encouraging as one would expect from creators at this level.

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7.0
Madame Frankenstein #2

Jun 9, 2014

Two issues in, Rich and Levens' "Madame Frankenstein" mini-series is more interesting than I would have expected as it blends together some disparate ideas and genres to make a more fascinating whole. Still, as a reader, I yearn for some agency for Courtney/Gail and suspect the book will become more layered once it reaches that point.

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2.0
Magdalena #7

Jul 2, 2011

I'm willing to concede that this book, being the start of a new arc, and thus incredibly slow in the action department save the vampire slayage, is perhaps not an accurate representation of the how the book usually reads. But in an issue low on action, I'd hope that strong character work would compensate. Instead I found it impossible to care about either of the main characters and it felt like a lot of filler so that we could get a hot chick fight. I certainly don't mind a hot chick fight, but I'd like there to be believable women behind that fight.

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7.0
Magus #3

Mar 12, 2011

Three issues in, this remains a solid mini-series that deserves more attention than it's getting. Though there are some writing inconsistencies and a plot that is too big for its mini-series britches, the idea remains impressive. When the writing lets loose, it's a lot of fun. And the beautiful artwork is worthy of the best most expensive books on the stands.

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8.0
Mara #4

Apr 19, 2013

"Mara" is not a traditional superhero story, nor is it deliberately not a superhero story; rather it's a fascinating character piece exploring what it's like to have power, and what it's like to live in a society that feeds on that power, with no concern for you. In corrupt world, Mara is a bright shining star, and I'm excited to see how Wood will close up this unique mini-series.

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7.0
Marvel Knights X-Men #2

Dec 5, 2013

Two issues in, "Marvel Knights: X-Men" is shaping up to be an interesting and beautifully illustrated little mini-series. Certainly for fans of Rogue, dealt a horrible blow last week, this out of continuity gem that gives her lots of room to shine, is a must-read.

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8.0
Marvel Now What? #1

Oct 28, 2013

"Marvel Now What?!" #1 doesn't have the pedigree of Marvel's exceptional "Strange Tales II" from 2010/2011, but it's still refreshing to see this sense of humor from Marvel and more importantly that willingness to laugh at themselves. This isn't a book that will (or should) win any awards, but it will give any fan a good chuckle.

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8.0
Men of Wrath #1

Oct 2, 2014

"Men of Wrath" is a strong start to Jason Aaron and Ron Garney's first creator-owned effort together and a smart choice for the Marvel Icon line -- a debut issue with a dark edge and an ending that defies you to ignore the next issue.

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5.0
Mighty Avengers (2013) #8

Mar 17, 2014

"Mighty Avengers" #8 is full of characters I'm interested in and want to love, but this issue is mediocre at best, despite having one of the best artists in superhero comics on board. I'll give it a few more issues to win me over because of the characters, but it's going to have to really up its game to keep me as a reader.

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6.0
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Aug 8, 2014

Ironically, though Bendis is a writer known for his deconstructed stories, this one felt rushed and packed too full. If Bendis had given himself and Marquez more pages to deal with the emotional ramifications and spent less time on, let's face it, a mostly pointless Green Goblin fight, this book might have had some real gravitas, as it is it's nearly forgettable the moment you put it down.

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9.0
Mind MGMT #1

May 25, 2012

I would love to see more books like Kindt's "Mind Mgmt" at places like Dark Horse. Though I'm sure books like this are risky and don't get as much high-profile attention, the quality is simply sublime.

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8.0
Minimum Wage #2

Feb 10, 2014

This book is never going to be a huge seller for Image the way something like "Saga" is, but it's a wonderful way for the publisher to expand their library, adding variety and layers to an already impressive line. "Minimum Wage" is a great book to round out that line as it's got its roots and influences easily traced to the best of indie comics. It's slightly aggressive and cringe-inducing in its portrayal of reality, but all in the best of ways.

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7.0
Morning Glories #8

Mar 17, 2011

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this book continues to be the art. While clear, crisp, and easy to follow, it's just far too uneven for so otherwise compelling a book. The characters are mostly well drawn, but occasionally look nothing like themselves, even from panel to panel. The backgrounds are generally bare, making the book feel visually inconsequential, instead of rich. A story this textually loaded, with intrigue upon intrigue layered together, should feel that way visually as well, but Joe Eisma's art is too inconsistent and sparse to manage it at this point.

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4.0
Morning Glories #10

Jun 12, 2011

"Morning Glories" continues to be an intriguing concept, with a ballsy approach. Nick Spencer has clearly outed himself as a talented writer, but this book needs to start leading somewhere and adding up to something or readers are likely to wander away. I know I've certainly started drifting.

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7.0
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2 #1

Jun 27, 2013

As with any collection of short stories, reader mileage will vary. On the whole these stories were enjoyable and did a decent job of further building the world of "Mouse Guard" but it wasn't a volume that will stay with me the way much of the regular series has.

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8.0
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #5

Aug 13, 2012

"Mouse Guard" continues to be one of those books that just works on every level, delivering satisfying emotional adventures for a vast cast of characters. The sole issue with the series is that issues can't come out more frequently.

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9.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #2

Mar 24, 2014

"Ms. Marvel" is a superhero comic book long overdue, but even for those that haven't been waiting for something like this, it's hard to argue against it. It's fun, it's smart, it's beautiful, heroic and inspiring. Here's to a long future for "Ms. Marvel" and Kamala, hopefully with Wilson and Alphona at the helm.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #4

Jun 2, 2014

Four issues in, and "Ms. Marvel" shows no signs of letting up. It's the definition of a well-constructed comic book with the perfect creative team, one with not only incredible talent, but an obvious passion for their subject material. If you're not reading it, you're making a mistake.

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8.0
Ms. Marvel (2014) #8

Sep 15, 2014

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring are a dream team, crafting an effortlessly enjoyable superhero coming-of-age comic in "Ms. Marvel." If you're not reading, you're not just missing out on a wonderful series, you may just be missing out on the start of a zeitgeist for comics.

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7.0
Mudman #3

Apr 9, 2012

"Mudman" is traditional mainstream superhero comics done with an independent bent, and it's what makes the book interesting and clever, but the stakes still need to be raised considerably in order to bring "Mudman" to a must-read level.

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6.0
My Little Pony Annual #1

Oct 31, 2013

Though the annual is double-sized (clocking in at 47 pages plus a slew of alternate covers) it's also a heft more than double-sized price tag, so mileage may vary on value for your dollar. For fans, this is a fun and pretty -- if insubstantial -- book; for newcomers, it's a detailed and friendly introduction to the primary characters (as Equestria Girls) of the "My Little Pony" world.

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6.0
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #4

Mar 7, 2013

Though surely to be a delight for kids with its bright visuals, expressive personality-driven ponies, charming story of friendship and goodness, it doesn't have the additional layers needed to make it a great read for adults as well. It's fun, but a bit shallow, and ultimately (like the show) it's capable of more. More jokes and more layers. However, the book is just getting started and there's plenty of time for Cook and Price to find that sweet spot of just enough story to make sure that the visuals don't get lost in too much story.

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7.0
Mystic #1

Aug 5, 2011

I think for a younger audience, especially young girls, this is an ideal book. It's fun and beautiful, well-considered and energetic. It's the kind of book we need more of, quite frankly. It's not a perfect comic book for me specifically, but good comics are good comics, and this is a good comic.

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5.0
Nailbiter #1

May 8, 2014

In the end, though the book has its visual strengths, the poor acting gives it a decided lack of depth, and some of the weaker storytelling choices are jarring. A series exploring the town of Buckaroo and how it has become a birthplace of serial killers -- the why, the how, and the very nature and nurture of that phenomenon -- would be quite interesting. It's possible that Williamson intends to focus on the town more than one killer, but what's presented in "Nailbiter" #1 is not particularly convincing or innovative.

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4.0
National Comics: Looker #1

Aug 30, 2012

There's certainly a market for hot female vampire anti-heroes (Vampirella's series springs to mind instantly) but you need a better and more consistent book than "National Comics: Looker." There's simply not enough greatness or intrigue here to compel a reader to come back for more.

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7.0
New Mutants (2009) #23

Mar 25, 2011

Overall, Carey is doing amazing things with "Age of X." It will be a shame if when it's over we have to go back to business as usual. In Carey's hands, that's still interesting, but not as interesting as this has been.

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8.0
New Mutants (2009) #30

Aug 26, 2011

All in all, this was a great little comic book that manages to feel like its own book despite having a "Fear Itself" banner stamped onto it. A single issue like this ensures I'll be picking up the next issue, and you should too.

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6.0
New Warriors (2014) #1

Feb 24, 2014

All in all, "New Warriors" #1 is completely competent and an enjoyable enough superhero comic, as well as one that deserves kudos for handling a tough reintroduction to a large roster. However, it's just not an issue that's going to leave an impression over time, and unless you're already very attached to the characters, I'm not sure there's enough to compel readers to return.

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8.0
New York Drawings #1

Oct 15, 2012

Though I've immensely enjoyed seeing Tomine's illustration work in "The New Yorker" over the years, and I hope that continues -- both for my benefit and for the steady work I'm sure it provides Tomine -- reading the few strips included here is a reminder that he is so much more than just a talented illustrator. He is an exceptional storyteller, one with a sharp self-deprecating and observational sense of humor that never ceases to make me laugh and think. Reading and absorbing this lovely book really leaves me yearning for more actual comics from Tomine. He's greatly missed, even though he's not really left us.

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8.0
Northanger Abbey #2

Dec 17, 2011

When you're dealing with an adaption of a novel, it really is in the art that the work sinks or swims, for if not for the art, why not just read the original prose? Marvel has been smart in choosing powerful artists with very distinctive bold styles for these adaptations. That has helped to set them apart from what could be very rote executions of pre-existing works. There's nothing rote about Butler and Lee's take, and for fans of adaptations or of Austen, this new series should be a treat.

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9.0
Northlanders #42

Jul 15, 2011

It's a true shame that this is the last arc of Brian Wood's exceptional "Northlanders" series, a series that has been among the best ongoings of the last few years. But it's a relief that Wood is clearly prepared to deliver his absolute best work with this nine-part story. Frankly, I'd expect no less.

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9.0
Northlanders #50

Apr 15, 2012

These words can be taken so many ways, but coming as they do at the end of an excellent run of a quality series I cannot help but see those words as a comment on the state of comics. It's both a beautiful and sad sentiment, and one that is all too true. Perhaps it's a bit overdramatic for comics commentary since it's intended to be a more literal comment about life and death and everything in between, but I cannot help but nod to myself in agreement with the words on all levels.

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4.0
Orchid #1

Oct 12, 2011

I'm always up for a good dystopian story, and there's an interesting idea in here somewhere, but it's getting buried in a quagmire of conflicting elements and visuals. Hopefully the creative team can sort out the weaknesses and rebound in the second issue with something a little more focused.

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9.0
Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta #1

Jun 27, 2014

The plot reveal toward the end of "Outcast" #1 takes the book from being a thoughtful standalone story to a more marketable story -- something you can package and brand and launch into an ongoing series (as well as a television show), which is not necessarily bad. "Outcast" #1 would have been a good standalone comic, or the first piece of a wonderful graphic novel, but instead it's the first installment of something much bigger and more ambitious. Given the quality in this first issue, it's without doubt that readers will return for the next piece of the puzzle -- and if Kirkman, Azaceto and Breitweizer can keep it up, many, many more pieces.

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8.0
Ozma of Oz #6

May 8, 2011

I've often mourned the fact that Young works almost entirely on all-ages books these days as it leaves me reading his work less frequently than I'd like. However, seeing what he's doing here, you can't really blame him for the choice, as he's clearly enjoying every minute of it. There's a freedom and excitement in his work on the Oz books that's thoroughly contagious in its wonderment.

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8.0
Ozma of Oz #8

Jul 9, 2011

Children and adults the world over are lucky comic fans indeed to have Shanower and Young doing these exceptional adaptations. They're the kind of comic books that could make you a fan of comics for life, no matter what age you are.

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4.0
Painkiller Jane: The Price Of Freedom #1

Nov 7, 2013

While Painkiller Jane is an interesting enough character and the idea of a cool buddy cop book starring two ladies is certainly appealing, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. So far there's just nothing particularly sharp, funny, or original in "Painkiller Jane: The Price of Freedom."

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10
Paying for It #1

May 19, 2011

Great autobiographical and memoir work manages to transcend the narcissistic and mundane, finding ways to become intimate and relatable. Despite being a woman, having been in a romantic relationship most of my adult life, having never been to a prostitute (and not to mention not being a Canadian) I found myself engaged (and engulfed) by Brown's own questions to himself about romantic love, and the incompatibility of romantic love as a lasting and immutable thing. I pondered his questions intently, my own answers surprising me. It's only in the best work that we are inspired to turn important questions back onto ourselves to truly examine and learn from them, and "Paying For It" is exactly that kind of work.

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8.0
Polarity #1

Apr 8, 2013

If you're tired of all the same stories and like your comics smart, unexpected, and slightly off the beaten path, give "Polarity" #1 a read. It has all the elements in place to be not only a hell of a first issue, but also a hell of a mini-series.

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8.0
Power Girl #22

Mar 19, 2011

Sami Basri's art has been consistent and reliable for his entire run on the series, and mostly suffers by having to follow up Amanda Conner's art, which was more emotional and a better fit for Karen's personality and style. Basri's art is very pretty and soft, but occasionally flat and stiff, which doesn't help the fun that sometimes seems to be missing. This, however, is one of Basri's better issues, as he gets a chance to cut loose with some dinosaurs (always fun) and also do some good character work with Karen and Clark as Power Girl and Superman.

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7.0
Powerpuff Girls #1

Sep 26, 2013

On the whole, younger readers will enjoy this bright fun issue, but there's not much here to revel in as an older reader. Only the absolute best of all-ages properties can truly manage to satisfy readers of all-ages, so perhaps it's too bold to expect from every book.

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9.0
Powers Vol. 3 #10

Jun 4, 2012

It's rare to see a series that's been around this long still manage to feel so fresh and page-turning. It's wonderful to see that after all this time, Bendis and Oeming have lost none of the magic that got them noticed in the first place.

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7.0
Powers: Bureau #1

Feb 14, 2013

Regardless of small complaints about the execution, Bendis' hook for this new ongoing story is brilliant and one readers will be coming back for in droves. I, for one, can't wait to see the always stellar Bendis and Oeming execute it.

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8.0
Powers: Bureau #8

Dec 2, 2013

"Powers: The Bureau" is a dense enough world that at this point that jumping on board as a new reader is not effortless. However, a new arc is the best time to give such a thing a try, and with a little effort, even a new reader can come on board with "Powers: The Bureau" #8 and get what makes it such a great book -- and more to the point, such a fascinating world worth exploring.

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6.0
Powers: Bureau #9

Apr 28, 2014

Though "Powers: The Bureau" #9 is not a bad issue overall, some elements lacked clarity thanks to minor failings in the storytelling -- both art and writing. Ultimately, it was a lackluster and confusing ending to an otherwise solid issue.

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9.0
Princeless #1

Nov 10, 2011

Overall, this is an exceptional book and the best kind of all-ages comic: one fun for kids, but still with plenty of depth and humor for adults. "Princeless" is a must-read comic, regardless of your age.

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9.0
Princeless #4

Feb 15, 2012

In the end, this series serves as an excellent springboard for what I hope will be many more issues of "Princeless." It's a book overflowing with charm, humor, warmth and smarts. I simply cannot wait to see what Whitley and Goodwin have in store for these characters moving forward.

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6.0
Princess Ugg #1

Jun 6, 2014

All these inconsistencies aside, I still really liked lga as a character and want to see her journey unfold. Though the visuals let me down from a storytelling perspective, I like the design and energy of the book and I can't help but see its vast potential. Though this first issue is a bit of a miss, I'll definitely be back to see if Naifeh can smooth out the rough edges and create something really exciting out of the framework he's established.

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8.0
Punk Rock Jesus #2

Aug 13, 2012

Like many, the first I really saw of Sean Murphy was his gorgeous art for Grant Morrison's "Joe the Barbarian" and I've subsequently bought everything of his I've seen. He's quickly established himself as one of the great comics artists working today, but "Punk Rock Jesus" proves him to be a talent to watch on multiple levels. He has the makings of more than just a great artist, but a great comics creator as well, and we may be seeing it right now with his bold and exciting "Punk Rock Jesus."

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9.0
Punk Rock Jesus #6

Jan 4, 2013

Everything about "Punk Rock Jesus" shows Murphy to be not only the brilliant artist we've all known he's been, but also the extremely talented creator that we'll all be getting to know for many years to come. The entire mini-series, though it had a few unsteady moments, was breathtaking, fearless and exactly the kind of comics the medium needs more of.

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8.0
Quantum and Woody #1

Jul 11, 2013

With such a solid first issue, "Quantum and Woody" is poised to be yet another critically acclaimed hit for Valiant comics. In a very short time, Valiant's line seems determined to bring readers smart, fun comics with talented creators -- comics that operate just slightly outside the corporate comics box, to the benefit of all involved.

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9.0
Rachel Rising #1

Aug 4, 2011

I've read a surprising number of really good "independent" new comic books this summer, and "Rachel Rising" is at the top of that really good pile. Intriguing and mysterious, beautiful and smart, "Rachel Rising" is a must read for anyone interested in "good comics."

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8.0
Rachel Rising #3

Nov 13, 2011

One of the best new series to debut recently, among a sea of new series, "Rachel Rising" is a fantastically mysterious horror story filled with beautiful art. I can't think of much I'd rather read.

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8.0
Rachel Rising #5

Feb 6, 2012

"Rachel Rising" is chock full of decadent mystery, unspeakable horror, strong characters, and beautiful black and white artwork, and it's on its way to becoming the best of Terry Moore's already impressive work.

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9.0
Rachel Rising #7

Apr 19, 2012

Although I'm a long time fan of Moore's work, I find "Rachel Rising" to be his most interesting work to date. He's taken a careful, steady hand with it and every issue has revealed more mysteries, while still leaving the reader confident that the story knows exactly where it's going. "Rachel Rising" is the definition of must read comics.

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7.0
Rachel Rising #9

Jul 23, 2012

"Rachel Rising" is thus far one of my favorite offerings from Terry Moore as he perfectly blends and contrasts a story and characters that feel entirely realistic with fantastic elements of horror and mystery. This particular issue is not a standout from the pack, but the series as a whole so far is one of his best.

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8.0
Rachel Rising #10

Aug 25, 2012

Perhaps my favorite thing about "Rachel Rising" is that Moore has expertly strung us along for nine issues, building mystery and revealing tiny clues along the way, all leading to some big reveals in this issue. Yet, there's still obviously a lot to come. If what's to come is as interesting as what we've already seen, then we're all in for a treat.

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8.0
Rachel Rising #14

Feb 4, 2013

Terry Moore's "Rachel Rising" has simply not had a weak issue since its inception. Some issues have a bit more gravitas or importance than others, but they're all strong and so far show no sign of stopping.

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8.0
Rachel Rising #15

Mar 30, 2013

"Rachel Rising" has been an incredibly strong series from its first panel, leaving no doubt about Moore's talent for horror and the ability to effectively balance it in a realistic story full of humor and insight, emotion and drama. With every issue of "Rachel Rising," I become more certain that it's my favorite work of Moore's to date.

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7.0
Rachel Rising #17

Jun 10, 2013

Perhaps my favorite aspect of Moore's story thus far, beyond the sheer delightful horror that he's managed (and my unreasonable affection for Jet, whose fate I wring my hands over constantly) is the wonderful moral grey area he's managed. It's difficult to pin blame on characters as many of them have done very bad things, but perhaps not of their own free will. Even more importantly, our "villains" have an actual legitimate point, as most great villains do. Their revenge is certainly unfairly directed, but they more than deserve their revenge, even if it is too late to visit it on the responsible parties. What goes around comes around, even if it's a century too late, and the people of Manson are headed toward finding that out the hard way.

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9.0
Rachel Rising #23

Feb 17, 2014

"Rachel Rising" remains Moore's strongest and tightest work to date. It has not let up one bit, slowly tightening its horrific grasp on readers and the fictional town of Mason. If you're not reading "Rachel Rising," you're missing out.

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8.0
Rachel Rising #26

Jun 30, 2014

Though "Strangers in Paradise" may always be his most famous work, "Rachel Rising" continues to be Moore's best. The series is a stunningly beautiful and effortlessly intriguing blend of horror and humanity; the very things that make people -- and the world -- tick and go boom.

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7.0
Rachel Rising #28

Sep 26, 2014

Moore does a great reversal in the opening of "Rachel Rising" #28, setting the reader up for a gruesome -- if rather obvious -- beat, only to turn it on its head by the end of the issue, making it even more gruesome and far more complex. It's a moment that reminders readers in short order that nothing is quite what it seems and never has been. Those are that kind of smarts that keep a horror story going strong for more than two years.

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9.0
Rat Queens #5

Mar 3, 2014

It was a mistake not to be reading Wiebe and Upchurch's "Rat Queens" from go, a mistake I have now corrected, and you should too. "Rat Queens" is joyously violent and violently joyous. It's awesome, and I'm in, terrible name be damned.

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7.0
Rat Queens #7

Jul 21, 2014

Though "Rat Queens" #7 feels like a bit of a misfire compared to some of the humor and heroic greatness the series usually displays, it's just a small misstep to an otherwise awesome book.

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6.0
Red She-Hulk #58

Oct 15, 2012

With so few female led titles at Marvel these days, it's especially exciting to have a "Red She-Hulk" series. Parker and Pagulayan have the skills to deliver a strong series and the set up has a lot of potential, but it's not yet found its groove in this first issue.

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5.0
Red She-Hulk #60

Dec 10, 2012

If Parker, Pagulayan and Alves can capture the magic of that final panel and extrapolate it out into the rest of the book they might have something, but three issues into this series, I don't see it.

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5.0
Red She-Hulk #63

Mar 8, 2013

I have stuck with this book out of interest in the character and hope that Jeff Parker's solid writing could eventually turn this title into something compelling. Unfortunately, a combination of passionless art and She-Hulk's continued minor role and lack of agency in her own book has finally forced me to move on. Maybe next time, Red She-Hulk.

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6.0
Revelations #1

Jan 3, 2014

On the whole, the set up here for the mini-series is nice, and Ramos's unique visuals combined with Jenkins capable writing are more than enough to warrant a look. However, in this first issue at least, "Revelations" is missing some deeper layers or exceptional execution that might make it work more effectively in 2014 than in 2005.

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7.0
Revival #9

Apr 22, 2013

While "Revival" #9 as a single issue is not going to blow readers' minds, it's another strong entry in a strong series. With each issue, "Revival" has racked up new mysteries, but has never felt like it doesn't know where it's headed. Too many books I read suffer from "Lost"-itis with no clear plan for a resolution, leading to broken hearts all around. "Revival" has excelled with consistently good individual issues and a confident story arc assuring that all will be revealed -- eventually.

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7.0
Revival #11

Jun 20, 2013

"Revival" is a detective meets horror meets zombie book that isn't a zombie book at all, in the best of ways. The compelling mysteries at the center of the book are coming at a solid and well-paced clip, driving forward my need to know with each new installment. One of the best things Seeley and Norton have set up is that it feels as if there are limitless places they can take us, and I'm excited to see where we will indeed end up.

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6.0
Road to Oz #1

Sep 10, 2012

"Road to Oz" #1 isn't the most compelling opening for Shanower and Young's Oz adaptations but that may be due, at least in part, to remaining faithful to the material. Regardless, there's no doubt, even with a slow start, that this limited series will be of the same high-quality and attention to detail as those that have come before. Shanower and Young are a gift to comics, and their interest in kid-friendly material -- all too rare in today's comics landscape -- is something for which we should all be grateful.

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9.0
Rocket Raccoon #1

Jul 1, 2014

All in all, Skottie Young's "Rocket Raccoon" #1 is a nearly perfect book in concept and execution. Young and Beaulieu have delivered a gorgeous funny issue.

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8.0
Ruse #1

Mar 19, 2011

Waid wouldn't be able to accomplish any of this nearly as well as he does without the capable lovely art assist he gets from Micro Pierfederici. Pierfederici has a strong sense of place and character and tells a clean clear story while also making time for some really beautiful panels, especially of Bishop. There are a few minor inconsistencies where the art looks slightly rushed, but overall it's excellently paced and easy on the eyes. It synchs up well with Waid's slightly off-beat story.

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10
Saga #2

Apr 15, 2012

I find myself quite in love with this book a mere two issues in. You know you're reading something exceptional when you look around at most of your comics and wonder why the hell they're not half as good as the book you just put down.

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10
Saga #11

Mar 22, 2013

"Saga," eleven issues in, has simply not missed a beat. It continues to be a perfect blend of humor and drama that will make readers gasp alternatively in horror and hilarity at every turn. Vaughan and Staples are doing career-defining work and it's exciting to watch. This is the book to read. Period.

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9.0
Saga #13

Aug 14, 2013

"Saga" remains, now 13 issues in, easily one of the best ongoing comics around. Vaughan and Staples have created a world that positively seethes with vitality and creativity. Like the best comic books, just when you think they've pushed as far as they can push, they break through and push to even greater heights. At this point it's impossible to even guess at what awaits readers in this new arc, but suffice to say, I expect continued greatness.

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9.0
Saga #15

Nov 4, 2013

Fifteen issues in, "Saga" has not stumbled once, delivering powerful comics with a shocking consistency. "Saga" is the definition of a well-considered, brilliant, beautiful comic that will stand the test of time. This is the bar to aim for.

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8.0
Saga #18

Feb 3, 2014

When a comic book is as exceptionally consistent as "Saga," it's hard not to get unreasonably attached to the characters. As a result, it will be hard to wait for the next installment, but like every time prior, I'm sure I'll not be disappointed in the next arc. Vaughan and Staples have got this down to a science.

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9.0
Saga #21

Jul 28, 2014

The word "saga" might imply to some readers a large bombastic story, but some of the dictionary definitions are simply "a long, involved story" and a "series of incidents" and Vaughan and Staples interests seem to lie at the definition's heart. They are interested in tiny, intimate stories that connect beautifully into a larger and more epic picture, all of it having a connected and universal meaning, that is also manages to be highly personal. Or perhaps I'm just reading too much into everything as I continue to reel from the emotional one-two punch of ongoing heartbreak at their magnificent hands.

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9.0
Saga #24

Oct 31, 2014

Though "Saga" #24 marks the next break for the book as it heads into its planned hiatus, it's a strategy that does not seemed to have hurt the enthusiasm people have for the series in the least, and more importantly it has ensured a flawless and consistent vision. "Saga" remains, more than two years in, a fascinating, innovative book that constantly surprises. It went from "great" to "important" long ago and shows no signs of stopping.

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8.0
Saucer Country #3

May 21, 2012

Kelly's skills take a lot of pressure off of Cornell, allowing him to do exactly what he needs to with the story, without worrying about whether Kelly can deliver the visuals in a realistic and compelling way. A book like this could easily go wrong, but thanks to a strong creative team that is confident in their endgame, it's instead a fascinating book and one of the most unique I've read in a long time.

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7.0
Scratch 9: Cat Tails #1

Aug 5, 2013

Between the stories are one page introductions to each, which, honestly, are the weakness of the book. Perhaps they make more sense to regular "Scratch 9" readers, but as this is my first outing with the title, I didn't get any of the in-jokes or recognize the characters as anything that mattered to the individual tales. Other than that, "Scratch 9: Cat Tails #1" operates as a great introduction to Scratch 9, and the expansiveness of the character's potential for any new readers.

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4.0
Secret Avengers #14

Jun 23, 2011

I pick up pretty much any comic featuring Valkyrie (well, depending on the artist) but they rarely have much insight to offer on the woman herself. This issue was, unfortunately, no exception. And thus Valkyrie remains a mystery to me, one I wish some great creative team would come along and solve.

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10
Secret Avengers #16

Sep 1, 2011

"Secret Avengers" #16 is a nearly-perfect superhero comic book. I would like Marvel to clone this issue, program in slight variations (some should include dinosaurs) and begin cranking them out immediately please. Thank you.

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8.0
Secret Avengers #18

Oct 27, 2011

We now have three of the six planned standalone Ellis stories, and I have to say that as a reader they are a welcome change from many of the superhero comics I read. Whenever I read one-shots, I tend to lower my expectations quite a bit thanks to the limitations of 22 pages, but these issues go a long way toward proving that a great standalone comic is entirely doable. I will take as many of these as I can get. Keep 'em coming Marvel.

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9.0
Secret Avengers #20

Jan 1, 2012

When Ellis' spectacular "Secret Avengers" run wraps up with issue #21 next month, it is going to make one of the best "Avengers" collections ever. These are smart and beautiful superhero stories worthy of the name.

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7.0
Secret Avengers (2013) #9

Sep 23, 2013

There are so many Avengers-branded books that I haven't been reading "Secret Avengers" regularly, but after this issue I'm going to have to come back next month. If they're this good even for quieter issues like this one, maybe I've been missing out.

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7.0
Secret Avengers (2014) #1

Mar 13, 2014

Not every book can (or should) be "Hawkeye" but when you aim for it and don't quite stick the landing, it's noticeable. What's here is enjoyable and eminently promising and in the end it will be better served finding its own voice, rather than aping "Hawkeye's."

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8.0
Sex Criminals #8

Oct 13, 2014

Eight issues in, "Sex Criminals" is going strong. Fraction and Zdarsky have created a book in which the unexpected is always right around the corner, but somehow in a fluid natural way that's emotionally resonant and fulfilling, even while you're laughing your ass off.

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8.0
She-Hulk (2014) #1

Feb 12, 2014

Overall, "She-Hulk" #1 is a great start to a new series for a character well deserving of the spotlight. If Soule can find a way to better balance the lawyer element of the book by sprinkling in a bit more action, he and Pulido are likely to have a hit on their hands.

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9.0
She-Hulk (2014) #7

Aug 8, 2014

Not every "She-Hulk" story can or should be a simple done-in-one as this is, but Soule, Pulido and Vincente have found the magic in this issue and I hope they can hold onto it. "She-Hulk" is a book unlike any out there right now and the chemistry between the characters and creators is near perfect. This one is a slam-dunk and I hope there are many more to come.

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8.0
Sisters #1

Aug 29, 2014

"Sisters" is yet another strong offering from Telgemeier, adding to an already impressive line up of books and proving yet again that she's one of the most impressive modern comic creators.

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6.0
Spider Island Spider-Girl #1

Aug 21, 2011

Thanks to incredibly strong art by Larraz and some nice character work and a fun plotting twist by Tobin, this is a good start to a promising event mini-series.

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8.0
Starlight #1

Oct 27, 2014

"Starlight" is a really fun adventure mini-series, beautifully illustrated by Parlov and Svorcina. It just felt at times that "Starlight" had the potential to level up to something really spectacular and memorable, something highly emotional, and instead it settled for just good fun.

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8.0
Starlight #4

Jun 16, 2014

So far, "Starlight" is a fantastic adventure with a ton of potential. It revels in its nostalgia but also promises to mine new territory in exciting ways.

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6.0
Static Shock #1

Sep 8, 2011

Overall, "Static Shock" has some punch and promise. If McDaniel and Rozum can slow it down a bit and take their time and get the art team ironed out, I think this book has real potential. I certainly hope DC can do those things for the book, as I'd love to see a success here.

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7.0
Storm #2

Aug 22, 2014

Though Pak and Ibaez's "Storm" #2 could use a bit more pop, it's a strong (if safe) start to a long overdue series for the character. These first issues feel like a solid base on which to build a book with long-range plans.

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9.0
Sugar Skull #1

Sep 19, 2014

Burns plays a long game and it's particularly impressive that he has taken so many horrific images and ideas throughout "X'ed Out," "The Hive," and even here in "Sugar Skull" and still managed to bring them together in an emotionally resonant way that feels both tender and sorrowful.

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7.0
Suicide Risk #1

May 6, 2013

"Suicide Risk" is certainly worth a few issues to see if Carey and Casagrande can find that magic that makes a great new superhero story with a twist. All the elements are in place for it to happen, and I'm willing to give them a few months to hammer out the kinks, you should too.

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8.0
Suicide Risk #3

Jul 5, 2013

If you like superhero stories with a dark bent and stories that feel like they have real significance and ramifications, give "Suicide Risk" a try. It's risky and interesting with phenomenal world building and characters.

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9.0
Supergirl (2005) #65

Jun 16, 2011

It's unfortunate that DeConnick is only on "Supergirl" for three issues, as it's clear she could go far with the title. She has exactly the right kind of spunk and personality to make it a much more interesting book than it's been in the last few years. DeConnick's three-issue arc is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something smart and fun this summer.

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7.0
Supergirl (2005) #66

Jul 23, 2011

I'm enjoying "Supergirl" for the first time since I've started reading it, and it makes the forthcoming relaunch in September feel bittersweet. Prior to DeConnick coming on board, "Supergirl" is not a title I would have minded a relaunch on so much, but now I'm feeling attached to what she's done here and the character she's shown me. I feel disappointed that we won't get to see where DeConnick might have taken us.

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5.0
Supergirl (2011) #3

Nov 20, 2011

"Supergirl" is a book I really wanted to like. And the first issue, though too decompressed, surprised me in some good ways. Unfortunately here, the surprises seem to have disappeared, and what we're left with is not much.

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4.0
Supergirl (2011) #10

Jun 25, 2012

Both unimaginative and overly written, this book falls down in every area that isn't the visual. A good comic needs both unfortunately, and so this book ultimately fails.

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6.0
Supreme: Blue Rose #4

Oct 20, 2014

At this point in the series, I have to admit that the savvy reader, especially one with a tight budget, might be better advised to read "Supreme Blue Rose" in trade. It's clear that Ellis and Lotay are doing something special here -- and the book may well turn out to be utterly magnificent -- but right now, the intractable story makes it hard to justify reading monthly.

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8.0
Supurbia #1

Mar 7, 2012

All in all, "Supurbia" is an incredibly interesting start to a new mini-series full of potential. I can't wait to see where Randolph and Dauterman will take this story, and if the first issue is any indication it's going to be a ton of fun.

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6.0
Supurbia Vol. 2 #2

Dec 17, 2012

There's a decided audience for this book, and if you like your superheroes with plenty of soap and very little action, Randolph and Dauterman are delivering exactly that with a whole lot of enthusiasm.

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8.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #9

May 7, 2012

Thanks to the talent on both "Swamp Thing" and "Animal Man" I find myself not only enjoying these books immensely, but also actually looking forward to their crossover -- which is no small feat!

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7.0
Ten Grand #1

May 3, 2013

"Ten Grand" #1 didn't blow me away as I hoped it might, but there was more than enough good here to warrant a look at issue #2. The art alone warrants it. The story has a ton of potential, especially now that the pesky "wife in refrigerator" trope is out of the way.

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8.0
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

Oct 6, 2014

Overall, "Sabrina" #1 is a great start to a nice little surprise of a book. With a lot of extras -- 28 pages of original story, three sketchbook pages, and a five-page classic Sabrina reprint (in this case, Sabrina's first appearance "Archie's Madhouse" #22) -- it's also a pretty great deal.

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9.0
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1

Sep 2, 2014

The history of "The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage" is already incredibly rich. Beyond the exciting way Van Meter leaves off the debut issue (one which defies readers to ignore the second), there are so many layers and aspects to both Dr. Mirage and her world, both ripe for exploration.

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7.0
The Double Life of Miranda Turner #2

Dec 16, 2013

On the whole, "The Double Life of Miranda Turner" is full of charm and enthusiasm. It's easy to jump into and has an energy and free-wheeling sense of adventure that's hugely enjoyable.

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7.0
The Dream Merchant #1

May 16, 2013

"The Dream Merchant" #1 is worth a look based on Novosadov's art alone, but there is great potential in Edmondson's story. This first issue was not nearly as successful as I'd hoped, but just based on the suggestions of where it's headed, I'll be buying the second issue as well. If Edmonson can bring the story up to the level of Novosadov's visuals it will be a mini-series worth having.

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5.0
The Fearless Defenders #2

Mar 18, 2013

I'm hard pressed to think of two characters I'm more interested in reading about for a team-up book, but so far I'm not seeing nearly enough to draw me back for a third issue. In time Cullen and Sliney might find their own chemistry and thus find it for Val and Misty, but at this point I'm not optimistic.

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5.0
The Fearless Defenders #12

Dec 9, 2013

When it comes to "Fearless Defenders" there was simply an embarrassment of riches when it came to the characters on display, especially toward the end. It's perhaps that embarrassment of riches that ultimately held this book back, because it never managed to be quite as good as its cast demanded, and in fairness to everyone involved, sometimes less is more. It's hard to give everyone their due in a book so loaded with great characters. For example, the great Elsa Bloodstone has literally one line and no real actions in this issue. Still, for all its weaknesses, Bunn and Sliney clearly loved what they were doing, and I sincerely hope that Marvel continues to see experiments like "Fearless Defenders" less as failures and more as opportunities to learn from so that they may try again.

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7.0
The Fox #2

Dec 9, 2013

On the whole, "The Fox" is turning out to be fun, charming, solid comic, even if doesn't yet have the gravitas to leave a permanent mark. Between Haspiel's lovely stylized art and Waid's excellent voice for Paul/The Fox, there's plenty here for readers to come back to.

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6.0
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Vol. 1 #1

Nov 14, 2012

In fairness to this adaptation, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is a good book that sets the bar very high. Unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, this graphic novel doesn't come close to the quality of the original, or the film adaptations.

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8.0
The Intrepids #5

Jul 31, 2011

Barring that one small quibble, "The Intrepids" is firing on all cylinders, a solid little comic that should have a great future ahead of it. If you haven't been reading, pick up it up now and get on board. Smart, fun, passionate comics sadly don't come around every day, but this one fits the bill nicely.

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7.0
The Last Broadcast #1

May 26, 2014

It's always tough with a mini-series to gauge how well a first issue can set the stage pacing wise for a series -- giving enough to build reader confidence that the creative team can deliver a fully realized and rewarding story; but Sirangelo and Iumazark have struck that balance well in this first issue. They've set up mysteries and established a gorgeous visual landscape and strong world building without overwhelming readers. There are some small weaknesses in the visuals and the story is ultimately still a bit confusing, but there's certainly enough here to merit reading the second issue.

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8.0
The Midas Flesh #3

Feb 24, 2014

All in all "The Midas Flesh" is the kind of book I wish there were more of on the stands. It's smart and funny, it's aware of itself, but not at the expense of a good story, or characters that feel real and relatable. It's well plotted and engaging, and perhaps most challenging of all, it straddles that very difficult -- and far too rare -- place of being suitable and enjoyable for almost any age reader.

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8.0
The Midas Flesh #7

Jun 30, 2014

All in all, this has been a fantastic and unexpected pleasure of a mini-series. "The Midas Flesh" is all-ages appropriate, gorgeously illustrated, whip-smart, and emotionally engaging, qualities too few comics even aspire to, let alone succeed in delivering.

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6.0
The Midas Flesh #8

Jul 28, 2014

Overall, though they stumbled on the dismount, this was a surprisingly fun and smart series, with fantastic characters -- the kind readers don't see often enough in comics -- and a clever idea at its center. "The Midas Flesh" #8 presents an ending that is unconventional and unexpected, and in this case I think that is both a weakness and a strength.

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9.0
The New Deadwardians #1

Mar 29, 2012

Vertigo has been making a big push with their four new books launching this month and this is easily the best of the bunch. Unique and highly enjoyable, "The New Deadwardians'" fresh take on vampires and zombies will make you rethink all you thought you knew.

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7.0
The New Deadwardians #4

Jun 29, 2012

Regardless, there is more than enough here to keep readers coming back until the end. Even slightly off its game, "The New Deadwardians" is easily the best offering from Vertigo's new launches, and one of the best from DC period.

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8.0
The New Deadwardians #8

Nov 1, 2012

If you missed out on this series, I seriously urge you to seek it out either in back issues or digitally, or if you must, pick it up in trade. It's truly one of the more interesting, intelligent and fun mini-series I've read in a while. I hope these two have more up their sleeve, though as I've said, they've set the bar dangerously high with "The New Deadwardians."

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9.0
The New York Five #3

Mar 27, 2011

Overall this comic delivers an insane amount of pleasure, especially considering it is 32 luxurious pages for only $2.99. Truly great slice-of-life comics are far too rare in monthlies, but this is one of the best.

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2.0
The Ravagers #1

May 31, 2012

When DC announced it was pulling six titles and launching six new number ones, I know many hoped some of the new books would be more well-considered than some of the less successful New 52, but "The Ravagers" in one fell swoop has destroyed that idea. Though not all of the books are likely to be as bad as this one, quite frankly it's surprising that this book made it through to print even without the obvious errors.

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8.0
The Ray #1

Dec 15, 2011

"The Ray", with a phenomenal creative team and a solid first issue, promises to be an action packed comedy mini-series full of enthusiasm and energy. It's also one of the most racially diverse DC books I've read in a while now, which is a welcome thing indeed. More of this please, comics!

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9.0
The Red Wing #1

Jul 14, 2011

"The Red Wing" #1 is a brilliant start to what looks to be a fascinating series. It's one of the best books I've read in months, in part because while it delivers a lot of satisfaction within this single issue, it promises so much more for the future.

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8.0
The Return of Zita the Spacegirl #1

May 26, 2014

On the whole, Hatke's Zita series is exactly what the comics world needs -- more wonderfully developed passionate comics about superheroes geared toward kids. The stories and lessons in "The Return of Zita The Spacegirl" are beautifully universal without ever feeling cloying and it's exactly the kind of book every kid remotely interested in superheroes and adventure should read.

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2.0
The Savage Hawkman #20

May 27, 2013

The issue closes, linking Hawkman up with his "new team" of the Justice League of America. Here's hoping he recieves better treatment there than he did in "Savage Hawkman" -- the character certainly deserves it.

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7.0
The Saviors #1

Dec 27, 2013

There's a lot to like in this first issue of "The Saviors," and if future issues are more like the second half than the first half, readers are in for a real treat. The cliffhanger ending and concept itself has some real promise, and with the stunning artwork there's a lot to look forward to.

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7.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #1

May 15, 2014

In the end, there's a lot to like for a first issue, and based on Bendis and Oeming's reputation and what they've set up, it's a no-brainer to tune in for the second. However, time will tell whether they can distance themselves from "Powers" or if "The United States of Murder, Inc." will forever live a bit in its shadow.

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9.0
The Wake #2

Jun 28, 2013

The layers and depth in Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's "The Wake" both conceptually and visually are stunning. As a reader, I feel grateful that this is a maxi-series (ten issues) as all of that page time is needed to get to all the mysteries and complexities that these creators have in mind. At the same time, the book is so good that the greedy reader in me wishes "The Wake" was an ongoing, even though comics with definitive ends have proven to be superior over time. "The Wake" is definitely positioned to be one of those superior tales.

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9.0
The Wake #6

Feb 27, 2014

"The Wake" continues to be a great book that demonstrates the passion and drive of its creators. Snyder and Murphy's love of the story is palpable on the page, and this issue is an incredibly strong kick off to what looks to be a promising conclusion -- one of the best of 2013, and already headed toward the best of 2014.

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9.0
The Wake #8

May 12, 2014

With another excellent issue under their belt, Snyder and Murphy's "The Wake" continues to skirt that fine line between the magnificently epic and undeniably intimate with ease. The only regret is that it's not an ongoing series, and that the end will come far too soon.

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9.0
The Walking Dead #83

Mar 31, 2011

Carl's fate is, of course, the big question mark at the end of this book. With Carl's fate we have Rick's, as to pretend they're not inexorably linked at this point is to pretend insanity. But the truth is, there's far more carnage in this book than just Carl, and it's a must read, though a grim one to be sure.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #86

Jul 2, 2011

There are times when I've felt that Kirkman's attention wasn't fully on "The Walking Dead" and that some issues or arcs suffered because of it. But nearly 90 issues in, juggling multiple projects, including a television show, Kirkman's eye seems well on the ball in even these important quiet issues, and it feels like a good time to love this book. I'm on the edge of my seat to see if can deliver the arc I'm hoping to see for one of the more layered characters to come out of comics in the last decade.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #89

Oct 6, 2011

"The Walking Dead" has had peaks and valleys throughout its run like any long-running series, but unbelievable commitment by Kirkman, Adlard, and Rathburn to the story and characters has made it one of the best ongoing comics in the last ten years. This issue is no exception.

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9.0
The Walking Dead #93

Jan 26, 2012

There's a lot to like as we watch what a well-oiled machine Rick has turned his group into. He operates like any general in a war room, delegating as necessary and placing people where their strengths will be best put to use. It's cool to see what these characters have become on this long journey, and as always it's Kirkman's strength with these characters that carries us through one ebb and into the next flow.

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9.0
The Walking Dead #97

May 14, 2012

This latest development for "The Walking Dead" is very smart stuff with the kind of payoff one has come to expect from this book. For even when this comic is quiet, you always know it's building to the next thing. Even when the next thing is all of your heroes sort of becoming villains, seemingly overnight, except that it was happening all along.

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8.0
The Walking Dead #109

Apr 12, 2013

What's found in "The Walking Dead" #109 is almost exactly what readers will find in all the other issues: a wonderful combination of beloved characters struggling in a zombie apocalypse. In this particular issue, Maggie struggles with her loss and tries to make herself a new home with a new community. Yet she doesn't seem terribly surprised to find that she's not as far from Rick's plans as she may have thought. As mentioned above, the setup for the next issue is intriguing enough that I'm confident it will be at the top of my reading pile when it releases.

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6.0
The Walking Dead #115

Oct 14, 2013

"The Walking Dead" #115 is not by any means my favorite issue of the series, nor is it a particularly brilliant book, but it's a solid comic that knows exactly where it fits in -- one puzzle piece that will complete a much larger and more fascinating whole. Sometimes, with an ongoing series like this, that's exactly what a book should be.

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5.0
The Walking Dead #125

Apr 14, 2014

In summary, "All Out War" has been a bit too big for its britches. It has reached too far and tried to rope in too many characters and too large a conflict and thus becomes less personal and emotionally resonant than the series usually is. Still, it's rather impressive that even when in the weeds, "The Walking Dead" remains solid reading.

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5.0
The Walking Dead #130

Aug 18, 2014

Kirkman is a gifted storyteller and his work on "The Walking Dead" has been consistent and impressive for a very long time, but it's hard to see the incredible reveals in "The Walking Dead" #130 as anything but mishandled, lacking the impact and horror to make them properly land.

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9.0
The Walking Dead #132

Oct 6, 2014

The masterful execution of a fantastic and terrifying new idea marks "The Walking Dead" #132 one of the best issues in years. In one fell swoop this series proves that it has plenty left to say, surprises to deliver and terrors to unpack.

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9.0
The Wicked + The Divine #2

Jul 18, 2014

With "The Wicked + The Divine," Gillen and McKelvie have delivered a creator owned book that so effortlessly represents their creative synergy in the best of ways. Their years of working together creating fantastic books was only a prelude to this stunning crescendo that has built to this moment. I cannot wait to see what else they do with it.

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10
This One Summer #1

May 15, 2014

Though the themes and issues of "This One Summer" are large and emotional, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki execute the story with such precision and care that it never tips into melodramatic, instead preferring to be quiet and nuanced and thus infinitely relatable, real, and emotional. "This One Summer" is a near perfect book and an example of two creators working in such perfect sync they appear more as one creator than two.

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5.0
Translucid #1

Apr 21, 2014

"Translucid" #1 is just a really confusing first issue. There are good ideas, but they're buried underneath a strange execution that explains little and makes it impossible to emotionally invest in the characters or story.

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8.0
Trillium #1

Aug 7, 2013

Still, weaknesses aside, the concept on its own is fascinating, and I'd be shocked if most readers weren't salivating to read the next chapter to see what Lemire has up his sleeve. With a critical eye it's impossible to not see some of the seams in the work, but from a pure enjoyment standpoint I found myself incredibly fond of what I read and excited to get my hands on what comes next.

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6.0
Trillium #4

Nov 11, 2013

"Trillium" has some intriguing ideas, and issue number four has a dramatic turn worthy of continued reading, but on the whole the story and visuals are not well matched and hold one another back.

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10
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #3

Oct 12, 2011

"Ultimate Spider-Man" is a relaunch done exactly right. A perfectly chosen creative team paired with a modern and forward thinking character to create a nearly perfect book that can work for long-time fans and new readers alike. Against all odds and 20 years of reading, "Ultimate Spider-Man" is the book that has finally made me a monthly Spider-Man reader.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #6

Jan 19, 2012

Never did I think I would be so excited about a Spider-Man comic book, but after six months, this is still one of the titles I most look forward to most every month. That's thanks to a perfectly paired creative team delivering an exceptional origin story. This month proves that it's more than just that; it's also smart decisions on the part of Marvel, choosing a fill-in artist of Samnee's caliber and style, making sure that the book doesn't hit a wrong note at this early point in the book's run.

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7.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #13

Aug 6, 2012

Over a year in, "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" continues to be one of the best and most consistent books I buy, with strong creative teams and a clear devoted vision for the book, Brian Michael Bendis has created a great new superhero in Miles Morales, one I'd love to see stand the test of time.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #15

Sep 24, 2012

"Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" has not had a bad issue in the bunch, but as Bendis syncs Miles' world more completely with the rest of the Ultimate Universe, some holes are showing through. We've spent so much time with character-building over the last fifteen issues that I think we've missed a bit of world building. I'm sure the book (and Bendis) can easily overcome this, but I suspect a bit of growing pains as we get Miles readers fully acclimated to what's really been going on in the Marvel Ultimate Universe.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #2

Oct 13, 2011

Overall there's a lot of potential here; Spencer and Medina could be a formidable team. Reading this issue, one can only hope that they're still just finding their stride. There's definitely time for them to turn this around and make this book into something special rather than just superhero business as usual.

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4.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #4

Dec 17, 2011

It's hard to know where the problem lies, when both the art and writing exhibit the same technical proficiency, but absent soul (for lack of a better word) the book feels empty. It's frustrating, because the pieces are all in place between the writing, art, characters, and "fresh start" to see something truly engaging and bold, but instead we're getting something that feels afraid to take much risk.

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4.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #12

May 25, 2012

All told, I'm glad to see this book changing direction with a new writer coming on board next month. While Spencer had some good ideas, for whatever reason they never quite came together into a satisfying read and it will be good to see if someone else can turn the book around.

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7.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #13

Jun 15, 2012

"Ultimate Comics X-Men" is a book I've wanted to like from the start, as I tend to enjoy good reinventions of characters I love, but it's never come together for me. Judging by this issue alone, this title is now on the right track, and those who might have stopped reading should get back on now to see what Wood and Medina can do together. It seems like this book could be excellent in the coming months.

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7.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #14

Jul 16, 2012

As I've said before, it's exciting to see Brian Wood with his decidedly non-mainstream roots, taking on these iconic characters in a world in which he has freer reign than he would in a non-Ultimate universe. It's already smart and cool and I can't wait to see what's next.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #17

Oct 15, 2012

One of the biggest advantages to reading stories in the Marvel Ultimate Universe is the chance to see well crafted and emotional "What If"?"-type stories with our favorite characters. Brian Wood does exactly that with his run on "Ultimate Comics X-Men" and turns this book around dramatically with a clear vision in the few short months he's been on board.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #18.1

Nov 23, 2012

Brian Wood writing X-Men (of any sort) is a real treat for readers. I urge anyone interested in smart stories and gorgeous contrasts of the epic and personal to check out what he's doing with "Ultimate Comics X-Men." The future is sure to be fascinating.

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4.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #21

Jan 14, 2013

It's disappointing to see Brian Wood's normally excellent work on "Ultimate Comics X-Men" go astray with a crew of additional creators helping out. What this book needs is a clear artistic vision to match the clear writing Wood has given the book. Certainly what we have here, which is less Brian Wood, is not a good solution.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #24

Mar 18, 2013

There's no doubt that Wood and Asrar make a great team. I'd love to see them longer term on this book (as I understand it Asrar cannot stay indefinitely) but as it is, I'll enjoy them while I've got them!

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8.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #27

Jun 17, 2013

This is the penultimate issue in "Natural Resources," and the last page is a gem of a cliffhanger as the arc barrels toward the final issue. It's hard to believe that I swore of "Ultimate Comics X-Men" once. What a difference a year (and the right writer and artist) makes!

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7.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #31

Sep 23, 2013

On the whole, "Ultimate Comics X-Men" #31 is a cool set up for the battle to come and it ably moves some interesting pieces on the chess board. Unfortunately, uninspired art keeps it from being anything particularly special.

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8.0
Umbral #3

Jan 24, 2014

Three issues in, "Umbral" remains intriguing, with a fresh modern voice paired with high-fantasy in a way that feels relatable and cool. Rascal is a fantastic protagonist and the fact that she zigs when you think she's going to zag, even just in dialogue, is incredibly refreshing and fun.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #8

May 10, 2013

Though I'm a fan of John Cassaday's work, he was not the right fit for this title, and it's clear that Acua is an ideal artist for this kind of book and for Remender in general. Ever since issue #5 (with guest artist Coipel) "Uncanny Avengers" has become a title to watch, but do yourself a favor and read up before you jump in, you will get that much more from the stories Remender has to tell.

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6.0
Uncanny Avengers #10

Jul 29, 2013

There's a lot of history coming out of the Avengers/X-Men Schism, and more naturally a lot of characters with differing philosophies and beliefs driving the core of Remender's "Uncanny Avengers" and it makes for a dense smart read, and perhaps a masterful arc -- eventually. However, as a standalone comic book, it might not be that exceptional, even with Acua's gorgeous painted artwork.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #13

Oct 28, 2013

"Uncanny Avengers" on the whole has been an interesting book with incredibly strong visuals, and this is one of the better issues as the plot and character work drives toward a powerful conclusion. Plus, even though I am endlessly tired of seeing heroes fighting heroes, I confess that Rogue vs. Scarlet Witch (as is promised in the next book) holds some guilty pleasure appeal.

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6.0
Uncanny Avengers #15

Dec 20, 2013

Despite everyone involved bringing their A-game and really trying to sell the story, it doesn't quite work. The massive suspension of disbelief is far too great a request at this point, and once broken there's nothing for it to stand on. The book doesn't feel epic and important the way that the double page spread credits/title page leads readers to believe. Add to that an inability to recover from recent apparent deaths, and I find myself not caring about the fate of Earth, even if I believed Remender was allowed to "end it all."

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5.0
Uncanny Avengers #24

Sep 19, 2014

Regardless of how you felt about Remender's previous "Avenge the Earth" arc, it at least had passion and conviction behind it. This story, combined with a flawed and inconsistent visual execution, is off to a rocky start that feels like it's just spinning its wheels.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Force #5.1

Mar 17, 2011

Rafael Albuquerque's untamed passionate art is a departure from the controlled slickness of Jerome Opena's art, but it works well for the tale, which is all blood and guts (er"cybernetics) and passion. Albuquerque's art is high energy and rough around the edges, but in a good way that feels visceral and immediate. There are some frustrating inconsistencies, especially in the rendering of Psylocke, whose face we never quite get a feel for here, but for the most part the art is a good tonal match for Remender's brutal tale.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Force #25

May 14, 2012

However, Remender and Opea have earned the benefit of the doubt and so I'll be staying on to see what they can do next. Hopefully it's as creative and interesting as what they've done for the first two years. Remender already surprised me once with this book in making it one of my favorites, I'm happy to be surprised again.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Force #33

Nov 8, 2012

"Uncanny X-Force" has been an incredibly strong book since its inception, and though this isn't my favorite issue of the series, even when it's underperforming it's still a good, solid superhero comic.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #2

Mar 1, 2013

On the whole, "Uncanny X-Force" has proved a surprising entry into the NOW! Line. Its predecessor was of course extremely beloved and so it has some big shoes to fill, but I'm happy to see it going its own way and doing it full out, rather than trying to do a pale imitation of what had come before. Here's to the next issue, I'm in.

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4.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #4

May 10, 2013

Not unlike "Justice League Dark," I love the potential of these characters mashed together in one book, but issue #4 of "Uncanny X-Force" is by far the worst issue yet, and it's frankly, a huge bummer. The art is pretty enough and I like the characters to the point that I may give this a few more chances, but after this issue I feel highly skeptical.

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3.0
Uncanny X-Force (2013) #8

Jul 18, 2013

In the end "Uncanny X-Force" does suffer in comparison to Remender's wonderful run on the book, if only because in his hands Psylocke once again became a fascinating and complex character, one you couldn't help but root for and mourn for as tragic events spun out of control. In Humphries hands Psylocke is as thinly drawn as possible, she is written as shallow and cruel, whiny and confused -- and ultimately impossible to like or enjoy. As a fan of the character I had hoped renewed creator interest in her would nicely rehabilitate her, now I'm wishing she would just get put back in the toy box so that things don't get worse.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #535

Apr 15, 2011

Gillen is off to a fantastic start with his "Uncanny X-Men" run, although anyone that read "S.W.O.R.D." or has been reading "Generation Hope" will find that to be no real surprise.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men #538

Jun 17, 2011

As with a lot of comics I read these days, this arc lets down in part because it over-promises and under delivers. The cool initial build up oversells the story's potential and, as a result, the happy easy ending doesn't feel particularly well-earned or honest. Gillen can do better, and the Dodsons, well, I'd honestly like to see them cut loose a little. They have long ago mastered what they're doing now, what might be on the horizon for them if they really pushed themselves? That is something I would very much like to see.

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4.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #11

Apr 30, 2012

With a writer as strong as Gillen at the helm, I hoped "Uncanny X-Men" could rise above the paper-thin concept I'm seeing thus far from the "Avengers Vs. X-Men" event, but it doesn't manage it.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #17

Aug 25, 2012

"Uncanny X-Men" hasn't been a book that has worked for me as much as I would have liked over the last year, considering how much I like both the characters and Kieron Gillen as a writer, but reading this issue makes me realize that my issue has mostly been with the art. Not much can be done about that, but it sure is nice to enjoy this book with a great creative team that can deliver on all fronts.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men (2011) #19

Oct 8, 2012

Ultimately, especially as written by Gillen, this book could have been a critical and emotional moment for Scott Summers and "Avengers vs. X-Men," but instead it just feels like a fill-in issue to pad an already overblown conflict.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #1

Feb 14, 2013

In truth, this was not the powerful first issue so many readers expected -- rather, a slightly awkward stumble. However, there's a ton of potential thanks to the characters on the field, the plotting Bendis already set up in "All-New X-Men" and Bachalo's passionate and stunning artwork. There's time for this book to find its sea legs and compete with the best of Marvel NOW!, which so far, has set a very high bar.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #4

Apr 12, 2013

"Uncanny X-Men" started off as the weaker of the new X-titles, despite Bachalo's stunning visuals, but this issue is a game changer. It suggests hidden depths and grand plans, all of which have epic potential for both exceptional character work and pure fun superhero stories.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #6

May 23, 2013

All in all, the use of artists of Bachalo and Irving's caliber and creative vision to alternate arcs on this book is a hell of an idea. If things keep up, this is going to be one of the best looking comics on stands, regardless of which artist is at the helm. "Uncanny X-Men" had a shaky first issue for me, but ever since a game changing fourth issue, the title has been nothing short of spectacular.

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9.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #10

Aug 19, 2013

"Uncanny X-Men" continues to impress and subvert expectations each month. Every issue is consistently smart and beautiful, while pushing a consistent and intriguing agenda. This book feels like it's going places, and while time will tell if everyone on board can ultimately deliver "the place," I'm totally enjoying the ride.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #12

Sep 19, 2013

There's no doubt that there's a self-congratulatory meta-ness to this book, but it's all too fun to care whether it's annoying or not. Seeing past, present and future versions of characters I love stacked on top of one another, agreeing and disagreeing -- not to mention fighting it out -- is just too damn fun to complain. So far, "Battle of the Atom" is not going to win any prizes for being "the most important comic series" or "the unforgettable comic series," but it may win prizes for the crossover that makes readers shake their head and smile the most -- and that's something.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #14

Nov 22, 2013

While "Uncanny X-Men" isn't doing anything important or even groundbreaking, the book is consistently funny, charming and stunningly illustrated. At the end of the day, "Uncanny X-Men" #14 is simply a joy to read, managing to be engaging emotionally and highly amusing at the same time.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #16

Jan 16, 2014

In the end, incredibly strong visuals from Bachalo do their best to save "Uncanny X-Men" #16 from some bad writing on Bendis' part that seems decidedly out of place for Magneto's character. In the end, perhaps it's best that Magneto is not returning to the pages of "Uncanny X-Men." Hopefully, he will find more accurate character work in his own series.

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6.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #20

Apr 21, 2014

All in all, "Uncanny X-Men" is an interesting book with stunning visuals. This issue is not "Uncanny X-Men" at its best, but thanks to beautiful art, it's still a reasonably enjoyable installment.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #22

Jun 23, 2014

It's incredible how much an artist can prop up a weak comic book, for though the story in "Uncanny X-Men" has not wowed of late, it remains strong thanks to the sheer visual treat of Chris Bachalo and team.

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7.0
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #25

Sep 8, 2014

Maybe it's simply because it's been so long since Xavier's death, but the emotional punch in this issue is lacking in a devastating way, considering what a poignant issue this could have been. Perhaps the story will gain more resonance when it reveals the actual reading of the will, rather than the obligatory condition that Xavier makes in order to actually hear the will. Either way, it's hard not to be disappointed. The fact that "Uncanny X-Men" #25 was marketed as a special issue that is both oversized (30 pages) and higher cost ($4.99) set expectations even higher, and on a deeply emotional level, it just doesn't deliver.

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4.0
Vampirella (2014) #1

Jun 9, 2014

In the end, there just isn't anything new in "Vampirella" #1. The plot is recycled, even if Collins tries her best to give it a slightly new spin, and Vampirella is so devoid of any specific personality or skills that -- despite her eye catching looks -- she could be subbed out with any noir detective, horror hero or dark superhero.

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8.0
Velvet #1

Oct 21, 2013

On the whole, "Velvet" is yet another strong and interesting book, both for Brubaker and for Image. In fact, "Velvet" should move to the top of any reading pile immediately.

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8.0
Velvet #4

Mar 10, 2014

Four issues in, it's Brubaker, Epting and Velvet that prove a force to be reckoned with. Despite a large number of strong books with female leads and A-list creative talent on stands right now, "Velvet" continues to hold its own as one of the best.

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9.0
Velvet #6

Jul 28, 2014

Velvet has been strong from issue one and it shows no signs of stopping. Brubaker, Epting and Breitweiser together is combination simply beyond reproach, it's magic, and thus so is Velvet.

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6.0
Villains For Hire #0

Nov 5, 2011

Though this book feels more like an epilogue to "Heroes For Hire" than a prelude to "Villains For Hire," it's a good fun book. If Abnett and Lanning can bring that to their new mini-series then we're all in for a good time.

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5.0
Voodoo #5

Jan 28, 2012

The idea for this book " that of a hybrid human-alien spy running around the country gathering intel to send to the big bad aliens back home -- is a compelling one. However, the three issues I've read have just not been very interesting. It's disappointing to see one of the few books with a female lead suffering from creative team upheaval and low sales, but the concept thus far doesn't seem to work as executed.

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8.0
Winter Soldier #2

Feb 20, 2012

"Winter Soldier" #2 is packed with a bracing plot, great character development and moody appropriate visuals, making for a great read. The second issue doesn't quite match the bar set by the first but is still a good book poised to be a great series.

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9.0
Wolverine and Jubilee #3

Mar 27, 2011

So far, this is the kind of mini-series that makes one wish it was an ongoing. Immonen and Noto together are a kind of perfect dream team that would be welcome on any book.

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9.0
Wolverine and Jubilee #4

Apr 23, 2011

This is the kind of mini-series that has you wishing it was ongoing. A perfect merging of writer and artist, character and story, and each strong issue has added up to a wonderful cohesive whole. "Wolverine and Jubilee" is the best mini-series I've read this year. It's also a wonderful promise of Immonen as a true powerhouse in superhero comics, and a the promise of a rehabilitated Jubilee, a character I haven't cared about in a very long time, but am seriously interested in now.

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9.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #1

Oct 26, 2011

If I have to offer up any criticism, it's that the book doesn't seem like it actually knows where it's going. However, with creators like Aaron and Bachalo at the helm, I find myself oddly unconcerned. It's nice to feel taken by the hand and led into a world you already know intimately only to find it has been given a serious upgrade that could very well drive it most excellently into the future. I'm in.

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9.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #6

Feb 23, 2012

Of all the numerous new books I've read in the last six months, this is one of the few I continue to be most excited about. Every month Aaron delivers a smart, fun, surprising book while Bradshaw has turned in amazing visuals complementing everything this book is about.

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7.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #9

Apr 19, 2012

Fortunately for this book, the writing is excellent, the visuals are absolutely stunning, and the though the core idea as it relates to the event doesn't make any sense, the people involved still know how to put together an entertaining and beautiful book. However I'll be very glad when "Wolverine & The X-Men" can return to business as usual. It's a much smarter book than this event will allow it to be.

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5.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #12

Jun 28, 2012

Aaron and Bachalo have delivered one of the best new series of the last year with "Wolverine and The X-Men" and Aaron has time and again proven himself to be an incredibly smart writer. Seeing them deliver such a mediocre book here despite their best efforts it's easy to conclude there's a serious and much deeper problem with this event. Aaron and Bachalo do their best and the result is one of the better "AvX" tie-in issues I've read, but it will still be a huge relief to see them get back to business as usual in this title.

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5.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #16

Sep 14, 2012

It's probably fair to say that Aaron is playing a long game here. That this smaller standalone issue about one character will set the stage for larger arcs and for getting readers to eventually care about Kilgore or to at least recognize him as a true threat, but for me, it was unsuccessful and thus ends up being a rare miss for this otherwise delightful creative team.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #20

Nov 15, 2012

The first half of this issue is easily a four-star book, but the seeming pointlessness of Mystique and Silver Samurai just feels like filler and a conservative seen-it-before solution to what opened as a bold new spin. The book ends on a solid cliffhanger that promises fun (and tragedy) for future issues, but the middle bit just drags so much it's hard to ignore it.

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6.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #24

Jan 24, 2013

"Wolverine & The X-Men" has been a strong and interesting book throughout its run and I've been impressed time and again with where it has gone and how it's been handled. This is a good quiet issue, but not a great one. It's perhaps more disappointing because it hovers just on the edge of being utterly fantastic, but can't quite get there.

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7.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #30

Jun 3, 2013

"Wolverine & The X-Men" #30 is an enjoyable, solid superhero comic book. It's not going to blow your mind, but especially if you're already invested emotionally in these characters, you'll enjoy every page.

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5.0
Wolverine and the X-Men Annual #1

Dec 2, 2013

Though "Wolverine & The X-Men: Annual" #1 does have ten extra pages to attempt justifying the $4.99 price tag, the story itself does not have the magnitude for either the added pages or price. It's not a bad story, and it's executed adequately on the whole, but there's little of significance from either a plot or character point of view, and thus for the hefty price tag, it's an easy book to skip in the grand scheme.

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5.0
Wolverine and the X-Men (2014) #2

Mar 24, 2014

I want to like the freewheeling unconventional nature of this book, especially since Asrar's art is a huge draw, but so far inconsistent writing and plotting are making it kind of a mess. It feels like a runaway train headed for a brick wall, and that wouldn't be bad if I had confidence that Latour had control and could pull us out of it before we hit the wall, but right now, it feels like nobody has control.

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9.0
Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #1

Jan 6, 2012

Overall, this is a great first issue to a promising new miniseries, and perhaps more importantly, the hope that we as readers might be treated to more superhero stories from Wood via Marvel.

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8.0
Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega #5

May 7, 2012

"Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega" was a good mini-series that has me anxiously awaiting what Wood will do next, especially since he has a lot of X-Men stories on the horizon with "Ultimate X-Men" and adjective-less "X-Men" starting next month.

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7.0
Wolverine MAX #1

Oct 26, 2012

Not every piece of "Wolverine MAX" #1 works as well as the rest, but some aspects work well enough that the net result overall is a solid comic book. I'm in for a second issue, it's always fun to see what Logan can do in the hands of energized creators.

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4.0
Wonder Woman (2006) #609

Mar 31, 2011

At the end of the day, the book is sadly in a state that begs to be reset back to zero (or pre-600), to give Diana a return to the glory she deserves, even though another reboot seems painful to even think about. It'd be wonderful if the end of the Odyssey arc brings things around as promised, but at this point it seems unlikely at best, and impossible at worst.

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3.0
Wonder Woman (2006) #611

Jun 4, 2011

The seeming madness that is "Flashpoint" (at least where Wonder Woman is concerned), has brought us news that Wonder Woman will, in fact, be one of many characters relaunched and her book sent back to #1. In Diana's case, she's in a terrible mess currently, so it's hard to object too strenuously to that plan. At least in this new Diana world there will be Cliff Chiang art. Silver linings folks, silver linings.

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4.0
Wonder Woman (2006) #614

Aug 26, 2011

This is one of the few books that I find myself truly excited to see re-launched next month, not just because of the powerful creative team coming on board, but because the Diana I have seen for the last 14 months in this book has not been a Diana I could really love. And I'd like a chance to love Wonder Woman again, both the book, and the character.

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10
Wonder Woman (2011) #1

Sep 21, 2011

Azzarello and Chiang have created a book worthy of Wonder Woman, herself " a hell of a ride " beautiful and smart, fast-paced and epic " from start to finish. Standing at the top of the new DCU 52, second perhaps only to "Batwoman" #1, "Wonder Woman" #1 is a must read for any fan.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #5

Jan 19, 2012

"Wonder Woman" is the bright shining star of DC Comics' new 52. It's a book many had their eyes on thanks to such an innovative and bold choice of creative team; but it's also a book that had many fans skeptical given the troubled history of the book. It's nice to see such a fantastic payoff, with Diana again in a truly wonderful and well-considered book.

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4.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #7

Mar 22, 2012

As a feminist comics reader, it is tough to find great books starring female characters and I hoped that with such a fantastic creative team as Azzarello and Chiang we had found it in "Wonder Woman," a book and character deserving nothing but the best. However, The Amazons as an idea are not simply one-dimensional monsters -- flawed though they may be (as any fictional character or people should be) -- and presenting them as such sends a horrible message, especially in a medium and genre with so few positive strong female portrayals. At the end of the day, I tend to choose story over all else and if this truly served the story I would agree to come along, but Azzarello just doesn't get us there and as a result the book feels like a huge misstep in what was until now a fantastic run.

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4.0
Worlds' Finest #0

Sep 10, 2012

There are some great ideas in this book -- one of powerful female friendships, emerging superheroines, tragedy that builds character -- but the disconnect between the art and story is simply too much for the book to bear and as a result it doesn't succeed on any of the emotional levels it aims for. This book feels like it never knew what it was supposed to be and thus fails to be anything, which is a shame, because it's a wonderful (and too rare) opportunity to showcase these young heroines.

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9.0
X-23 (2010) #13

Aug 5, 2011

With this issue, "X-23" has thoroughly brought me back on board. I have high hopes for it to be one of my favorite books so long as this dream team is working together in such perfect synch.

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9.0
X-23 (2010) #14

Sep 9, 2011

Readers have two more issues to look forward to in this arc before Noto moves on and I suggest enjoying them while we've got them. Liu and Noto are a superhero dream team bringing their absolute best to "X-23."

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9.0
X-23 (2010) #20

Jan 7, 2012

"Especially with these two creators on board, the cancellation of this book is a huge loss to comic readers and the diversity of Marvel's line, which will shrivel to zero female led titles when this and "Ghost Rider" end in a couple short months. "X-23" did not always work as well as it does now, which just further goes to prove why it's important for titles like this to be nurtured and given time to find their voice and heart. For "X-23," it has been in the last six or seven months as Noto and Liu paired up to create some exceptional comics. Perhaps we'll see Liu and Noto together again in the future sometime. Sadly, who knows where Laura will be? (Yeah, yeah, "Avengers Academy", I know.)

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9.0
X-23 (2010) #21

Mar 19, 2012

It's a shame to lose this comic as since Liu and Noto teamed up, it's been a very smart, cool, and beautiful comic. At least fans of the character can be glad she has moved over to "Avengers Academy," rather than disappearing into character obscurity. Knowing Liu is on "Astonishing X-Men" gives me hope we'll be seeing Laura in those pages in the future as well.

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5.0
X-Club #1

Dec 11, 2011

In the end, there isn't much here to encourage continued reading, but if you really like these underused characters and have been wanting to see them get some panel time, it's worth a look. Marvel has had a surprising number of very strong number one issues of late, and this, unfortunately, falls well short of those books.

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8.0
X-Factor #216

Mar 6, 2011

"X-Factor" doesn't get enough credit; there's a real art to delivering a good solid comic book every month independent of crossovers and movie tie-ins, and it's been many months since I read an issue that didn't deliver just that.

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6.0
X-Factor #219

May 21, 2011

Overall this issue of "X-Factor" underwhelmed and I find myself anxious to move onto the next. But month after month "X-Factor" delivers solid superhero tales full of fantastic characters, so it's just a matter of time before David nails another issue perfectly, and until then, there was still fun to be had here.

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6.0
X-Factor #228

Dec 11, 2011

In the end, this is a decent comic book, but one that suffers from following just about every comic that has come before it. I can't get on board with the plot because I don't buy that it has lasting ramifications, and so the emotional impact is powerfully blunted. It's unfortunate all around that this is the sandbox David has to play in, but it is what it is.

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10
X-Men (2013) #1

May 29, 2013

All in all, Wood and Coipel have delivered the definitive superhero relaunch with "X-Men" #1. Teeming with powerful, fascinating characters, enticing action, a smart villain, high stakes and stunning visuals, "X-Men" #1 is on the short list for best superhero book of the year, and in a year full of strong contenders, that is no small thing.

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9.0
X-Men Legacy #246

Mar 12, 2011

Mike Carey's "Age of X" crossover is shaping up to be a great ride, one which I catch myself wishing wouldn't end. This is easily one of best X-books I've read in the last yea

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3.0
X-Men Legacy #248

May 14, 2011

Carey's ambitious story these past few months was some of the most fun I've had reading the X-Men in a long time, but the ending and this aftermath are a real let down. There are still interesting things to be mined here as a result of the storyline, but it has to be more competently executed than this if he wants people to continue to come along for the ride.

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5.0
X-Men Legacy #251

Jun 23, 2011

After a few stumbles post "Age of X", Carey is getting his story back on track, but ultimately the art lets us down emotionally, leaving too much to be desired.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy #253

Aug 14, 2011

"X-Men Legacy" remains one of the most reliably good reads of the X-titles thanks to Carey's strong and careful work. And if you're a fan of Rogue, "Legacy" has consistently been a fantastic and nuanced exploration of the character.

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6.0
X-Men Legacy #256

Oct 2, 2011

Continued strong character work and epic battles from Carey keeps this issue from going too far off course, but sloppy rushed feeling work from the art team keeps anything from working as well as it should. One would hope that the art side of things can come together before Carey bids adieu to the series in a few issues. I'd hate to see Carey's exit after such a wonderful (and lengthy) run tarnished by mediocre art. He'll be much missed regardless.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy #259

Dec 3, 2011

""In the end, Carey turns in an incredibly clever script that twists the mundane into the intriguing, but the art fails to consistently do the same, thus holding this issue back considerably. A quieter issue like this would rarely be a landmark "must read" comic simply because of the subject matter, but with stronger art it could have stood out as one of those surprising little stories that sneaks up on you and becomes a favorite.

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4.0
X-Men Legacy #260

Jan 11, 2012

There are some good things in this issue -- the sense of humor and a commitment to these characters without shaking up the whole established team unnecessarily -- but on the whole the book fails to deliver the well-developed characters that we've become so accustomed to reading thanks to Mike Carey. Time will tell if Gage and Baldeon can find better, more honest notes to hit in future issues.

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3.0
X-Men Legacy #267

May 31, 2012

Christos Gage is a fine writer, as he has proved with other strong titles like "Avengers Academy" and his excellent run on "Angel & Faith" but he just does not have a good handle on these characters, especially Rogue, and it's showing more in every issue. In an issue like this, where the art also falls down badly, it turns this into a really unfortunate book.

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3.0
X-Men Legacy #270

Jul 27, 2012

Overwritten and unimaginative at every point that truly matters, there is the germ of a good story completely mishandled in its execution. It's a particular shame that these last issues have been so disappointing -- as an X-Man and Rogue fan, I've been waiting a long time to see Rogue and Ms. Marvel share the page in a significant way. Clearly I'll have to keep waiting.

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3.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #3

Dec 21, 2012

I can appreciate the almost schizophrenic way in which Simon Spurrier is executing "X-Men Legacy" as a deliberate choice, given the main character, but the approach in the end is alienating. The book feels like chaos, but not the kind that you enjoy falling into, more the kind that you eye warily and tiptoe past so you can go about your business in peace.

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6.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #9

Mar 24, 2011

Overall this series has been underwhelming in areas, but Bachalo's art raises it up to one of the more interesting X-books out there. It's worth picking up every month just to find out what visual surprises Bachalo has in store.

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4.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #12

Jun 4, 2011

"X-Men" has been floundering. Certainly without Chris Bachalo's infectious bold sometimes insane art there's not much to excite in this title right now. The book deserves some more centered and compelling stories and a consistent ongoing creative team. Without it, this feels like an X-book lost, unsure of itself, and pointless in its purpose.

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9.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #30

Jun 14, 2012

Wood's strong character work and lovely writing paired with Lpez's gorgeous art that gets better with every book is an absolute recipe for success. When you add the fact that the two seem to be in superb synch you've got a near homerun on a book that less than a month ago was barely a blip on the radar.

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6.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #34

Aug 20, 2012

Brian Wood has done wonders with this book in a few short months, turning it from a forgettable X-Men series into one of the must read X-titles, but when the art is not as strong as the writing, the whole book suffers, and this issue greatly misses David Lopez's presence. Wood keeps the book rolling well enough and readers shouldn't let this slightly off note throw them, but it will be good for everyone involved when Lopez is back.

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8.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #36

Oct 1, 2012

It's a shame we're losing this great creative team after just one more issue. I can only hope Marvel recognizes the potential of this pairing and find another book worthy of them in its reshuffled Marvel NOW! Universe. In just a handful of issues Brian Wood and David Lpez made one of the lost and "lesser" X-Men titles a must read. Seeing Wood work inside the vast Marvel Universe is a little bit like getting to, if only temporarily, follow a white rabbit down a dark but delightful rabbit hole. With Lpez as his partner in crime, the visuals can live up to whatever Wood dreams up at the bottom of that rabbit hole.

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9.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #37

Oct 15, 2012

All in all "X-Men" #37 is another great issue and a strong, if bittersweet, resolution to a run that has come to an end far too soon. If Marvel is smart, it will reunite this creative team as soon as possible on a new book for Marvel NOW!

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7.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #39

Dec 10, 2012

In retrospect, Peck's ability to rescue this book from banality time and again feels even more impressive given that Domino is the central character, for what is Domino except a character that time and again rescues situations from their foregone conclusions.

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4.0
X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2

Oct 31, 2013

In fairness, this book was 31 pages for a $3.99 price tag, so in page per dollar, "X-Men: Battle of the Atom" #2 is a pretty good deal. However, the sum is just not greater than its parts when it comes to the crossover event. While certain books stood out as solid comics, others (like this final installment) crumpled under their own weight. Schizophrenic in tone, purpose and creator involvement, this was a poor way to end an event that delivered very little as a cohesive story in the first place.

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2.0
X-Men: Gold #1

Nov 14, 2013

The X-Men (and their 50 year anniversary) deserve better than "X-Men: Gold" #1, and so do the longtime fans. If you really want to go back and celebrate 50 years of X-Men, take a long lovely afternoon thumbing through long boxes and re-live the greatness, as there is none to be found inside "X-Men: Gold" #1.

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8.0
X-Men: Schism #3

Aug 18, 2011

Though the whole series has been strong, "X-Men Schism" is hitting its stride now with solid plotting work, good character moments, a ratcheting up of tension, and a good cliffhanger. This series has also been a great taste of the energy and enthusiasm that Aaron will bring to his "Wolverine & The X-Men" title when "Schism" creates its inevitable break in the family.

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3.0
X-Treme X-Men Vol. 2 #1

Jul 27, 2012

There's an interesting idea buried in here somewhere -- "travel between dimensions to kill ten evil Xaviers that have been created!" -- but it's almost utterly lost in all the other noise of the book. "X-Treme X-Men" #1 is a complete misfire for a new series, which is a shame because in the past Marvel has proved they know how to do compelling things with alternate universe stories. Maybe next time.

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10
Young Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 24, 2013

There's such passion and even conviction in what Gillen and McKelvie are doing on this book. It's easy feel the love and care on these pages, which is something mainstream comics don't have nearly enough of. With books like "Young Avengers" leading the pack, Marvel NOW! is shaping up to be one hell of an interesting line.

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9.0
Young Avengers (2013) #8

Jul 29, 2013

Pound for pound, "Young Avengers" remains, one of the strongest books of the Marvel NOW! launch. It sits on the short list with titles like "Hawkeye" and "X-Men" because the book feels like exactly what it is: the best creators in the superhero business doing something they love without a lot of red tape and crossover nonsense getting in their way. "Young Avengers" is the future of superhero comics, and it's good to see a future so bright.

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8.0
Young Avengers (2013) #12

Nov 22, 2013

"Young Avengers" has consistently been a book to watch over the last year, breaking boundaries visually every month and telling wild dimension-hopping yet character-based adventure stories with excellence. News this month that "Young Avengers" will be ending in a few short issues is a disappointment, but assuming Gillen and McKelvie can end on the expected high-note, it will be a comfort to have this strong nearly perfect series immortalized forever.

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9.0
Young Avengers (2013) #15

Jan 9, 2014

Right out of the gate, "Young Avengers" had a both inspired and cohesive vision about the kind of book it wanted to be. Above and beyond the perfect character designs, "Young Avengers" incorporated incredibly creative and well-conceived social media aspects -- a necessary component for any book about modern youth that expects to be taken seriously. The incorporation of these elements from first page to last rooted this otherwise fantastical book into reality in an innovative and groundbreaking manner. "Young Avengers" will be greatly missed, but hopefully its lessons will be absorbed and built upon in the future.

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8.0
Zatanna #10

Mar 11, 2011

For those that might have bailed on "Zatanna" or never tried it out, this arc (starting with issue #9) is worth checking out, thanks to a fun villain and gorgeous Chiang artwork.

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7.0
Zatanna #11

Apr 2, 2011

A not so strong ending to an otherwise fun arc is ultimately saved by Igle's superior artwork, and the book overall is similarly saved by the promise of Igle's continued presence. It's great when a strong artist is so perfectly paired with a comic, this is a match made in heaven for fans.

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5.0
Zatanna #13

May 21, 2011

"Zatanna" is not a bad comic book, and it has had its highs and lows over the last year, but this issue, which despite fantastic art, feels just mediocre, unfortunately seems to be the default setting. Dini's writing has been solid throughout the series, but the plotting lacks imagination and significance and the issues end up being mostly forgettable. I keep reading because I like the Zatanna character, but I sure wish they'd find something truly magical for her to do.

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