Kelvin Green's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 415
6.6Avg. Review Rating

9.0
1602 #8

Apr 18, 2004

There were times when I thought that this series was a pointless bit of fluff. Certain issues in the middle of the run failed to move the story along, and it became hard to see this as anything more than a vanity project for Gaiman and Marvel, something theyd agreed to do, but didnt have much enthusiasm for. But in this final issue, Gaiman has pulled it all together in a splendid and satisfying way that has pleasantly surprised me. I think this is where I eat my hat, so pass the Lea and Perrins

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6.0
1602: Fantastick Four #1

Sep 3, 2006

While DC are rightfully vilified for their obsessive stripmining of Gaimans Sandman mythos, the original work did at least have a level of depth and complexity that would have been worth exploring further, had stronger creative teams been tasked with that exploration (Lucifer being the exception that proves the rule). 1602 was a well constructed bit of fun and little more, making Marvels flailing attempts to follow up even more anaemic by comparison. Fantastick Four isnt bad, but it just feels so very pointless.

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8.0
A1 Big Issue Zero #1

Aug 29, 2004

Three out of the five stories here were very enjoyable, although Im almost embarrassed that two of those were superhero tales. Of the other two stories, one was okay but pointless, and the other was well done but just didnt engage me. Thats actually pretty good for an anthology title (I remember times when 2000ad couldnt muster a single decent strip in five), and so Im quite pleased to recommend this. Im a little concerned about the wisdom of releasing an anthology title into the US market, as Americans Dont Read Anthologies, but diversity and variety are to be praised, and if anyone who comes to this comic as a fan of one particular genre goes away from it with at least a passing interest in something a bit different (and by different I dont mean horror comics by Steve Niles), then A1 will be a success. Well worth reading.

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8.0
Absence #1

Jun 25, 2011

Now this is going to get complicated. Absence is not to be confused with The Absence, a comic I've reviewed on previous occasions, as they're quite different; for a start, I know what the title refers to in the case of Absence, and I'm still none the wiser when it comes to The Absence.

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7.0
Absolute Dumbass #1

Dec 21, 2005

All in all, this comic is a highly entertaining collection of fun stories and is also excellent value for money. Id advise putting aside one or more of your tired old superhero purchases and picking this up, especially if you have any interest in a bit of ribald scifi humour.

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6.0
Action Philosophers! #1

Apr 25, 2005

I'm perhaps being too harsh on this book, as it's really only implied that it's a comedic approach to philosophy, and it's a bit unfair to judge it on what it's not. But on the other hand, to judge it on what it is leaves me in an odd position, because it appears to be a visual study guide. It works as such, but in that case, shouldn't it be in a bookshop rather than a comic shop?

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6.0
Adventures of Bio Boy #1

Sep 25, 2005

So, why only ? Well, the stories are a bit light; its perhaps a bit churlish to complain after going on about how free and exciting the comic is, and truly the last thing this book needs is to be weighed down with unnecessarily complex plotting and dense dialogue, but theres a happy compromise in there somewhere. Id like to see some more twists and turns and a bit more intrigue perhaps; the setting and characters should be more than able to provide interesting and fun complexities in later issues, such as backstabbing game show contestants or executives from rival television shows. If Cipriano can do that, then hell have a very strong title on his hands.

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9.0
Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid (volume one ) #1

Aug 12, 2009

It is fair to say that part of the joy of The Rainbow Orchid is that it has a massive nostalgic pull, taking me right back to the days when the only comics I could get from the library were these colourful cartoony things from artists with unusual Gallic names. Yet a greater part of my enjoyment of the book--enough to get me to buy it a third time--is that it's just very well put together. It's an exercise in a type of storytelling that we do not see too often in English nowadays, and it's a cracking adventure yarn populated by compelling characters. The obvious comparisons will continue to be made, but this is a great comic on its own, very significant, merits.

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7.0
Agents Of Atlas #1

Aug 10, 2006

I really don't know if there's enough here to grab the attention of someone who has no chuffing idea who the Human Robot and Venus are, but even so a good, if not exactly A-list, creative team, an interesting cast and a fascinating premise together result in a promising first issue.

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4.0
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1

Jul 19, 2005

I suspect Ill be in a minority in my opinion of this book, as DCs smug hyperbolic marketing tends to work like a self-fulfilling prophecy. But this is shite, and no amount of aggressive marketing will change that. It would have been shite had it been a standard issue of one of the ongoing Batman comics, but as a big over-exposed media event, its particularly egregious.

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4.0
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #2

Sep 22, 2005

*Thats not me misrepresenting the emphasis of the words. Batmans internal monologue is presented in lower case lettering, and FORCE and KILL ORDER are capitalised, which implies that Batman randomly shouts at himself in his own thoughts. Which, you know, is a bit crazy.

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7.0
All-Star Superman #1

Nov 20, 2005

So, this is a great Superman comic, and while I dont follow the character particularly closely, this is certainly better than any of the recent Superman titles I have read, and is infinitely better than All Star Goddamn Batman The Child Molester. But its not particularly special in any way, and its certainly not the best Superman comic ever. To pick just two out of the hat, Alan Moores For The Man Who Has Everything and the absolutely exemplary Hitman #34, are both better than this.

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8.0
All-Star Superman #2

Jan 29, 2006

Im still not getting any particular Greatest Superman Story Ever vibes from this book, but it is proving to be a wonderfully entertaining romp and a welcome revitalisation of a lagging character.

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8.0
All-Star Superman #7

Apr 13, 2007

This is still the best Superman comic in years, and it's still probably the best comic DC are publishing right now, and it's easily the best of the current crop of Grant Morrison comics, but compared to the pitch-perfect, exquisitely paced, brilliantly constructed previous issues, this looks positively flabby. There's a density of imagination that's just not present here, and Grant Morrison is capable of better.

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5.0
Amazing Fantasy #1

Jul 5, 2004

So Amazing Fantasy is just about okay. There's nothing here that compels me to pick up the next issue. I don't particularly care for the characters, the plot, or the art. In fact, the only thing that interests me is how this relates to the Spider-Man mythos as presented by Straczynski, and I can find out about that connection by looking out for when other reviewers start talking about it, and flicking through that issue in the comic shop.

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8.0
Amazing Fantasy Vol. 3 #15

Dec 6, 2005

Its somewhat disappointing that Marvel didnt take this opportunity to test the waters regarding black and white comics or non-superhero tales, but nonetheless there is a strong showing here. Whether any of these new concepts can crack the insular superhero comics market is unknown, but I hope that some of them make it; Id even be quite happy to see an ongoing Monstro/Mastermind/Blackjack anthology title if thats the best we can get.

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7.0
Amazing Fantasy Vol. 3 #16

Jan 5, 2006

This isnt the triumphant return that I expected from both Furman and Deaths Head, but its a good entertaining comic nonetheless. If you couldnt care less about Deaths Head, you can probably knock a bullet or half off the score above, but if you couldnt care less about Deaths Head, then you probably have some kind of degenerative brain disorder, and I cant help with that.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #505

Mar 24, 2004

This is still how Spidey should be written, and this is still one of the best superhero comics out there, but Im afraid that its getting a bit dull.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #507

May 27, 2004

This is an excellent comic. New readers may not get as much from it as those of us whove been reading for a while, but thats what the collected editions are for. Is this bi-weekly now? Two weeks is too long to wait.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #508

Jun 22, 2004

So, a disappointment then. Its a well-written and beautifully drawn comic, but as the final chapter of an epic story, its very much an ineffectual sigh.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #510

Aug 6, 2004

The writing carries this issue, and its a good thing that Straczynskis writing is so strong, as Deodato Jr is terribly unsuited to this comic. This isnt bad by any means, and Im sure that my opinion of the art isnt a common one, so I wont let it affect my score. Straczynskis taking Spider-Man in an interesting direction, and the art doesnt detract from thattoo much.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #511

Aug 31, 2004

Its funny how this issue has turned the tables. Before, the story relied on Straczynskis writing to carry it forward through some choppy art, and now that the art has improved, its becoming clear that the story isnt nearly as strong as it appeared to be. This is still the best Spider-Man book available, steering well clear of the abortion that is Avengers Disassemble and free of Mark Millars brainless portrayal of the Marvel Universe, and JMS is still the best Spidey-writer weve had in years, but this storyline is rapidly starting to look overly ambitious and dangerously likely to fall on its arse.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #512

Oct 12, 2004

I saw all this coming a mile off, but its still an interesting twist, and I think that Straczynski does a good job of playing this in a mature manner. What he lacks as a writer of mysteries, he makes up for as a character writer, and I think he deserves a great deal of credit for what hes done with this issue. Its not sensationalist or exploitative, but mature and sadly, all-too believable. If anything undermines whats going on here, its not that Gwen has been tarnished, but that the art is not good enough to portray the story well.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #513

Oct 31, 2004

* Ive been getting a lot of complaints about this. I should mention that Ive actually really liked Deodatos work in the past, but his work on this title has been below-average.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #519

Apr 25, 2005

So, it's alright. To be fair, all of my problems with the comic are very minor niggling ones, and the story itself is well paced and decently constructed. It's a vast improvement over previous issues too, and that's great to see.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #521

Jul 11, 2005

Despite my many criticisms, this isnt a bad issue. JMS handles the characters very well and this just about makes up for the flaws elsewhere; Id just be happier if the flaws were ironed out instead of compensated for.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #522

Aug 2, 2005

I cant remember the last time Ive actually enjoyed one of Straczynskis Spider-Man issues, but the emphasis on character and dialogue over the writers attempts to re-invent the Spider-Man canon have paid dividends with this issue.

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #523

Sep 23, 2005

DROP BENDIS FROM THE MAIN AVENGERS TITLE SHARPISH, THEN GIVE STRACZYNSKI A BIG FAT BUNDLE OF CASH AND LET HIM WRITE IT INSTEAD, BECAUSE HE UNDERSTANDS HOW THE CHARACTERS WORK IN A WAY THAT BENDIS CAN ONLY DREAM OF.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #524

Oct 3, 2005

So much of this issue is given over to setting up for next month's Spider-Man event that the issue as a whole feels a bit flat; the Avengers/Hydra storyline seems rather casually dealt with, and as a result there's a rushed, disjointed feel throughout. Still, not a bad comic by any means, just a tad unfocused.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man #525

Nov 7, 2005

So, the first act of The Other is done with, and beyond a rather vaguely defined theme of death, the point of all of this is really rather unclear. Peter David is a great writer, and yet he's been unable to make this work; next up is Reginald Hudlin, and given how his Spider-Man issues have been received thus far, I don't anticipate an upswing in quality. House of M turned out to be an utter waste of time and effort, and at this point, I don't see The Other being any different.

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3.0
Amazing Spider-Man #526

Nov 28, 2005

Mike Deodato does quite a good job on the art, particularly in conveying the desperate savagery of the battle (as did JRJR when he drew this the first time around), but that aside, this is another atrocious episode of Marvel's big Spider-Man story event. I've long been calling for closer links between the multiple Spider-Man titles, but if this is the result then Marvel shouldn't have bothered; I'd prefer to go back to the days of loose continuity, when it almost seemed like we were peering into alternate reality versions of the character at times. Even better, let's go back to the days of just one Spider-Man title. Perhaps then the four (!) editors would have time to exert some tiny, miniscule, infinitesimal smidgeon of quality control over their supposedly flagship title.

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4.0
Amazing Spider-Man #527

Jan 2, 2006

Its nice that some point to this mess has finally emerged, but the crossover has hardly improved as a result. The writing has a clumsy pace as Straczynski desperately tries to make up for time wasted following dead-end plot points concerning Morlun and That Robot Guy, and the new ideas introduced arent particularly compelling. This man or monster thing is better suited to Wolverine or the Hulk than Spider-Man, and furthermore Straczynski and his colleagues have so far failed to make this iteration of the concept stand out from the other times it has been applied to this character (including by JMS himself). All in all, this issue comes across as a last grab for interest and relevance in a painfully superficial storyline. Couldnt they have just given Spidey a new costume and a couple of new powers without dragging us through all this bilge?

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #528

Jan 31, 2006

Im glad that it ended with an entertaining issue, but "The Udder" has been an atrocious waste of time and effort from all involved, and Marvel should be ashamed of presenting such bilge as a publishing event.

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5.0
Amazing Spider-Man #529

Feb 26, 2006

This really isnt the most impressive beginning for Marvels Civil War event; its a strange and desultory comic that seems more like its marking time than providing a springboard into a larger story. Even as a regular issue, its a bit naff. You can safely skip this one.

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6.0
Amazing Spider-Man #539

Mar 18, 2007

Ron Garney turns in some odd panels here and there (theres one particularly distorted panel in which Peter looks like his face has melted), and his depiction of Aunt May as the dusty old biddy of the Ditko era rather than JRJRs more modern interpretation annoys me far more than it should, but on the whole hes settled in nicely as this titles penciller, producing solid if unflashy work. Straczynskis script is adequate, certainly a step up from some of the aberrations of earlier parts of his run, but nowhere near his heights, due mostly to that overly familiar feel to proceedings. All in all, this is a good solid issue of Amazing, with no major flaws other than that strange feeling that Marvel are trying to pass off copies of decades-old storylines as something new and exciting, and thats just not good enough.

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2.0
Amazing Spider-Man #545

Jan 1, 2008

I want to be optimistic about this retcon. It does seem to have wiped away a lot of the crap Spidey has faced in the past couple of decades, from the Clone Saga, all the way up to The Other (shudder) and Civil Bore, and the creators lined up over the next year or so do inspire some measure of confidence (although does anyone really think that Steve "Action Figure Theatre" McNiven will keep to a weekly schedule?), but even the best writers and artists would be hard pressed to make something from the ruins Joe Quesada's big sweaty ego has left in its wake, and that's assuming that said creators will be left alone by editorial, which is about as likely as Elvis crashing a UFO into the head of the Loch Ness monster. Future potential aside, this is just a bad comic that brutally misunderstands the central character, boasts lazy grotesquery in the place of art, and indulges in embarrassingly inept writing akin to teenage poetry. Even one bullet is too much for this trash.

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7.0
Annihilation #1

Aug 6, 2006

Im being picky, but its merely because at its core, Annihilation is a very strong bit of storytelling, and that only makes the flaws stand out in sharper contrast. In taking a very simple premise and building upon it with strong characterisation and dramatic plotting, Giffen and his collaborators have easily outperformed the ambitious, pretentious and illogical Civil War. That said, a touch more ambition and inventiveness on the creative side of things would perhaps make this story excel in its own right, and not merely in comparison with Marvels bloated and shambolic main event.

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8.0
Annihilation #3

Oct 19, 2006

I'm astonished that Marvel, after the past couple of years of ill-judged event stories and crossovers, and the current squandering of their main event, have managed to produce something so well balanced as this. Using the war as a backdrop for strong characterisation and turbulent plotting has resulted in a solid miniseries with modest ambitions but considerable creative success. If all crossovers and events were so well done, I wouldn't get a sinking feeling every time one is announced.

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6.0
Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1

Jun 17, 2007

The reason why Peter Jackson didnt include the Scouring of the Shire sequence in his Lord of the Rings adaptations is because, while it serves a purpose in the broader scheme of the books, dramatically it comes across as a strange and extraneous addition after all the large-scale drama that has gone before. Thats how this comic feels to me, only that I cant work out what the purpose is, beyond squeezing some extra cash from the Annihilation brand. Disappointing.

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8.0
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1

Apr 13, 2006

* I'd hoped that the Hulk, due to time dilation caused by the Swirly Thing the Idiotati threw him into, had fought his way up to the head of a galactic empire, and that the Annihilation Wave was him and his space armada, heading back to Earth to get revenge on his "friends". "Hulk Smash" on a galactic level, as it were. Alas, it is not to be.

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8.0
Annihilators #1

Mar 10, 2011

*Which, you know, is fine and not really a criticism. I mean you don't go to Beta Ray Bill and Gladiator if you want Chekov. Although that would be amazing.

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5.0
ArmorX #1

Mar 6, 2005

This issue seems like a bunch of worn cliches wrapped around a controversial central situation, and it lacks depth. Ironically, whats been set up here suggests that this could prove to be a very interesting series, but on the other hand, the empty core doesnt inspire confidence that the creators will be able to go in those interesting directions. So its a difficult one to call. Despite a weak first issue, however, Id suggest giving ArmorX a chance, as two or three issues should make it clear whether theres any worth to the series. With stronger pacing, that would be clear now, and thats the books central flaw.

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5.0
Astonishing X-Men #1

Jun 1, 2004

I'm sure that a lot of my dislike of this comic comes from my various biases against its content and philosophy, and I'm sure there's an element of going against the hype too. However I'm equally sure that what I say here won't make a difference, as this'll sell shedloads anyway. I'm going to give this a few more issues to prove itself, but this isn't the best start, especially for such a high-profile event.

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6.0
Astonishing X-Men #2

Jun 30, 2004

This review seems more negative than perhaps it should. This issue is a vast improvement over the first in terms of writing, and Cassadays art, though unsuitable, is attractive. On the whole, its an above-average comic, and worth reading, but its hard to get excited about this being the next stage in the X-Mens evolution (pun sort of intended) when what came before was so much better.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #3

Aug 5, 2004

I was previously quite unimpressed by this over-hyped title and I considered dropping it. I charitably decided to give it until #6, and Im glad I did. Im still not astonished, but Im considerably more impressed. (Yes, I will continue to use that astonished joke until I get bored or a hundred requests not to, whichever happens first)

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7.0
Astonishing X-Men #4

Aug 31, 2004

(No emails or message board posts. None. So the highly dubious "astonished" joke stays for another month! Hurrah!)

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #6

Nov 7, 2004

Perhaps it's because I've never been an X-Men fan, but I don't see this as being the world's greatest comic as so many others do. It's just not innovative and exciting enough for me to be really impressed. That said, it is exceptionally well-written and very well illustrated, and as such is undeniably an excellent comic book.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #7

Dec 26, 2004

Good solid superhero storytelling, thats what youre getting here. Theres still a feeling that this title is lacking something, but when what is here is so well done, it seems a bit churlish to complain.

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4.0
Astonishing X-Men #8

Feb 21, 2005

But those are merely blips in what is a surprisingly bland and uninteresting effort from creators who should know and do better. This title has the potential to be the best X-book Marvel is publishing, and sometimes it is. But this issue is rubbish thats only just salvaged by some effective visuals, and as such, this weeks best X-book is bloody Wolverine. With the characters and creators involved in the two titles, thats an utter abomination of logic.

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5.0
Astonishing X-Men #9

Apr 4, 2005

*Im very embarrassed to know this, especially as it seems to demolish my claims that Im not an X-Men fan. In my defence, this issue just happens to be one of the roughly seven X-Men comics I own.

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4.0
Astonishing X-Men #10

May 20, 2005

Somewhere in here, theres a decent creative team struggling with some bloody awful plotting. Perhaps the plot was imposed by editorial, as has been happening elsewhere at Marvel, or perhaps Whedon is distracted by scripting duties on his Wonder Woman movie, but this is just bilge.

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2.0
Astonishing X-Men #11

Aug 2, 2005

I am, for the first time in this title's short history, Astonished. But not for the reasons Marvel might have intended.

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2.0
Astonishing X-Men #12

Sep 14, 2005

So if this is such a sloppy puddle of vomitous filth, why the bullet? Well, it's not all bad; Cassaday and Martin continue to show that they're much too good for this comic with some wonderful action scenes and cracking fight choreography. There's a real sense of movement and energy in these pages, particularly in the fight between Beast and Porno Grip Ultron. Cassaday's Wolverine is a bit too, er, stout though; he looks more like Puck from Alpha Flight. Also worth mentioning is that single panel of Beast crouching over the shattered remains of Porno Grip Ultron and growling "Mine"; it's an intelligent and slightly creepy use of the character's cat form and psychology that hasn't been seen since Morrison's era (and as such, all the more surprising for its inclusion). Good stuff. But some nice art and one panel's worth of decent characterisation can't save this shameful mess. This has been an Astonishing (ha!) waste of time, effort and money for all involved. For the art team, w

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4.0
Astonishing X-Men #13

Feb 19, 2006

This isnt a really bad issue, and Marvel have published and are publishing much worse, but given this creative team, it should be much better; it really fails to make any kind of splash, and thats perhaps the more damaging flaw. A high profile title like this shouldnt be coming back from hiatus with such an average and unexciting issue (not that it was a planned break; its pretty clear that this should have come a month after #12, but still, youd think that when the gap became necessary that theyd reshuffle things a bit to make this a more effective season premiere, although again, that would imply an editorial office with the capacity to make coherent editorial decisions). The problem isnt that the comic is bad, the problem is that its flat, and its dull, and thats just not good enough, given the hype, the creative team, and even the title. But I suppose astonishing neednt necessarily mean astonishingly good.

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3.0
Astonishing X-Men #18

Nov 28, 2006

John Cassaday and Laura Martin make it all look great, of course, but they're wasted on this malformed non-story, as frankly is Whedon. Hints of the writer's ability poke through the morass, with his trademarked snappy dialogue very much in evidence, but snappy banter and pretty pictures can't save this mess.

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8.0
Atom Eve #1

Jan 4, 2008

This issue's greatest strength is that despite, by necessity, retreading familiar ground, the creators deliver a title that's entertaining on its own merits. By rights, this should read as a superfluous and inconsequential addition to Invincible canon, but Cereno and Bellegarde do such a good job of making young Eve their own that it's easy to forget the earlier origin. While I do prefer their more personal work (such as the excellent Hector Plasm and the peerless Walking Dad), this is a strong piece of work made all the more impressive by the limitations placed upon it.

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8.0
Atom Eve #2

Mar 10, 2008

I don't know how much control Kirkman had over the direction of this miniseries, but Cereno and Bellegarde have done more to make me understand and like Atom Eve than Kirkman has managed in almost fifty issues of the parent series. That alone would make this miniseries (Duoseries? Biseries?) a success, but it's also strong superhero storytelling in its own right.

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2.0
Avengers (1998) #79

Mar 7, 2004

All in all, this isnt a bad comic as such, but Austens run does deliver far, far below expectations, even for a mainstream superhero title, and when the main interest in the storyline is seeing which classic British hero will join the team, you know youre in trouble.

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4.0
Avengers (1998) #80

Mar 30, 2004

Its not all bad though. The new Captain Britain has potential (although she is a woman, and so her destiny under Austen is likely to be ignominious), and the return to the original costume turns out better than might be expected. Furthermore, most of the issue is taken up with action scenes, which Coipel likes to illustrate with big space-wasting panels. As such, theres a lot less room for Austen to be Austen, and thats a very good thing indeed.

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9.0
Avengers (1998) #500

Aug 1, 2004

Character mishandling aside, however, this is brilliant stuff. What a relief.

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8.0
Avengers (1998) #501

Sep 5, 2004

I may be in a minority, but I think this is excellent stuff. There are, I admit, some niggling problems with art and scripting, but there have been much worse problems in the very recent past, and it seems that more fuss is being made of them now because this is a high-profile event. True, Marvels promotion of the storyline is shameful on many levels, but the story itself works very well, largely due to the fact that Bendis is the first writer in years to have understood what the Avengers are about.

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9.0
Avengers (1998) #502

Sep 26, 2004

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I liked this issue, as I've defended this storyline throughout the many criticisms it's received. It is a surprise, to me at least, that I found myself as deceived as those critics. I liked what I thought was going on, but it turns out that I wasn't looking hard enough and that there's much more here than I'd imagined. And guess what? I like that too. This is great stuff, and if you've not been impressed so far, I urge you to take a second, deeper, look.

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9.0
Avengers (1998) #503

Nov 7, 2004

*I'm not counting Doctor Stranges appearance when hes supposedly on trial for crimes against time, according to recent Amazing Spider-Man issues, or Magnetos when hes either dead or rebuilding Genosha to accommodate wheelchair access, depending on who you believe. Im not counting Quasars presence or the fact that the wrong Spider-Woman has turned up. I wont single this issue out as a continuity mess when Marvel as a whole is like that nowadays, and besides, I do not give or take points for adherence to continuity. If Spidey took off his mask and revealed himself to actually be Red Sonja or something, then I might have a problem with it, but then again, such a weird change probably would have a good, or at least interesting, story behind it, so Id probably let it pass

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8.0
Avengers Finale #1

Nov 14, 2004

It might seem like I hated this, but I really didnt. Its clunky and clumsy, but it gets more right than it gets wrong, and those final few pages get it exactly right. This is a fitting end to the Disassembled arc, and as such I wonder why it simply wasnt included in the main titles run.

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7.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #1

Jul 16, 2010

Neither the reappearance of the Young Avengers, nor the homecoming of their original creative team, come as a bolt from the blue, or even a triumphant return. Rather, the feeling is one of comfort, of a return to something familiar. That is not to say that the comic is an exercise in cozy nostalgia without the quality to back it up. Heinberg and Cheung may not be making a big splash here, but they are delivering good, strong superheroics, and it's good to have them, and the Young Avengers, back.

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6.0
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1

Nov 9, 2004

All in all, Im not that excited by Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I dont see the point in it, and the actual work doesnt impress. That said, its by no means a bad piece of work, and Ive read Avengers stories that have been far more exciting but a great deal less competent (Red Zone for a recent example). Its also only a first issue, and later issues may be more interesting. This first issue didnt work for me, but theres enough potential here for me to pick up future issues.

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6.0
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #3

Dec 24, 2004

Sadly, some decent art and a page or two of sensible and intelligent writing isn't enough to draw me back, and I'm not going to stick with this title. It's not the interesting and clever event that Marvel advertised, and it's dull as a very dull metaphor for dullness. For some reason, a lot of other people are really liking this, but it's just not for me.

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7.0
Bad Planet #1

Dec 12, 2005

Bad Planet is, for me, a very pleasant surprise; I dont know exactly who did what, but the writing is better than Id expected both from novice comics writer, Jane, and Niles, a creator who really has not impressed me in the past. Above average art and a very interesting design sense also contribute to making this a very enjoyable title, and Im keen to see how the story progresses in future issues, even if the subject matter might be rather too close to the truth

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7.0
BAM! #28

Oct 28, 2005

Three top-notch and two average but forgettable efforts is a very good record for an anthology; 2000AD often fails to achieve even that. It's something of a shame that the lead strip isn't stronger, but all in all this is a very strong comic, and fully deserving of its reputation.

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8.0
Batman #655

Jul 30, 2006

This is a suitably impressive debut from the new creative team, but things havent quite clicked yet. There is a slightly static and artificial feel to things in this first issue, but if thats the only problem, its not a bad start at all.

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5.0
Batman #656

Aug 24, 2006

"Not good enough" is an apt description of the issue, and for the storyline as a whole so far; despite the superstar creative team, my expectations regarding this title were not high, but I at least expected good solid superheroics, and the complete lack of such is frankly baffling.

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7.0
Batman #657

Oct 2, 2006

Things are starting to look up for this title, and while it's nowhere near as impressive as it should be given the creative team involved, it is a fairly solid comic, and much better than the previous efforts. If Morrison and Kubert can build on the quality of this issue, they may start to deserve the hype.

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6.0
Batman #658

Nov 12, 2006

Ive given this creative team four issues to live up to their reputation and potential, and aside from a couple of glimpses, such as the sharp script, that hasnt happened. Add to that the promise of forthcoming fill-in stories, and Im left wondering when exactly this comic is going to start being the riotously impressive rejuvenation of Batman its supposed to be.

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8.0
Bear #5

Jun 22, 2004

Its so refreshing to be able to sit down with a comic and not have to worry about keeping up with story lines and character development, to just enjoy it as a self-contained experience. The violence and vulgarity probably means that I should consider this a guilty pleasure, but a pleasure it is nonetheless.

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6.0
Beyond #1

Jul 2, 2006

Beyond! is very well put together, but a good empty retread is still an empty retread. The series certainly isnt a total loss, but things need to pick up in future issues with a more definitive statement of what the series actually has to say, and why we shouldnt just go and read the original instead. Nostalgia alone is not enough.

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6.0
Beyond #4

Oct 10, 2006

Beyond! continues to look good, and McDuffie juggles a potentially difficult cast surprisingly well, but the plotting is, frankly, substandard. The overwhelming feeling is one of wasted time and space, and that's holding this series back.

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8.0
Black Panther (2005) #1

Jan 30, 2005

This is a very impressive start to the series, and its certainly got me interested in seeing where things go from here. As someone who has never found the Panther to be a very compelling character, thats some achievement on the part of the creative team. Thoroughly recommended.

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7.0
Blood Bowl: Killer Contract #1

Jun 23, 2008

This issue doesn't do as much with the sports comic concept as I'd like, but it does boast interesting characters, compelling plots, and a unique setting; while it's not quite a touchdown** Blood Bowl: Killer Contract is an impressive first down***.

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8.0
Blood Psi #1

Apr 17, 2007

Vampires really aren't my thing (I like Bram Stoker's original novel, and The Lost Boys movie, and that's about it), so Winter and Burns are facing an uphill struggle with me, but they manage it by turning in a great-looking book that delivers far more than the surface elements suggest. It's an unusual format in today's market, but this series of one-shots has thus far been a creative success, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

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7.0
BritForce #1

May 27, 2010

BritForce benefits from strong art and a writer who clearly wishes to examine some big ideas, but it is hindered somewhat by a generic cast and some minor scripting issues. Somewhere in here there is a great superhero comic, just below the surface, trying to get out and make its mark.

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9.0
Bulldog: Empire #1

Jul 11, 2005

Good characterisation and plotting, a fascinating setting and wonderful art; you cant really ask for more than that in a comic, can you?

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8.0
Captain America (2004) #29

Jul 20, 2004

I cant believe I like this comic so much. I enjoy Kirkmans other work, especially the wonderful Invincible over at Image, but I didnt think hed be capable of making me enjoy a Captain America comic. I tolerate the guys presence in The Avengers because he serves a useful purpose there, but I tend to ignore him when he speaks however, as the tripe that turns up in his speech bubbles is interminable. So it was nice to see Wasp gradually taking on Caps tactical responsibilities, suggesting that maybe the team might phase Cap out completely over time. But now Kirkmans made me like Captain America on his own merits, the audacity and unexpectedness of which is alone worth four bullets.

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8.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #2

Jun 17, 2008

**** See also the NBA and NFL stars whose twilight sporting years are spent playing for the Brighton Bears or the London Monarchs.

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8.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 #4

Aug 12, 2008

**** At least until the next one inevitably lumbers into view like some microcephalic giant.

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7.0
Captain Britain and MI:13 Annual #1

Jun 2, 2009

**Mephisto makes what I think might be his first post-One More Day appearance, but decides not to screw with Brian's marriage, presumably because Captain Britain is unimportant enough that Quesada can just cancel the comic rather than flagrantly ruin the core concept.

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8.0
Captain Marvel #1

Nov 11, 2007

All in all, this is a strong start to a series that I didnt believe would have any direction or purpose to it. Marvel has pleasantly surprised me, as has Brian Reed, who did not impress with his work on Spider-Woman and the pointless Illuminati. Reed seems to have a sense of the titles direction, as well as some good ideas for the character, and the comic drips with potential as a result. For the first time in a long while, Im actually pretty confident about a new Marvel title; therefore, watch it sink within a year.

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3.0
Children of the Grave #1

Jan 30, 2005

Theres a workable idea in here, but when its filtered through a G.I. Joe cartoon, I really cant recommend this. I really hope that no one looks to this as anything but an unfunny spoof.

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5.0
Civil War #4

Sep 24, 2006

Civil War remains a flashy, clich-ridden (oh look, the black guy is the first to die!) and badly characterised title that utterly fails to live up to the potential of the concept. Millar at least appears to be trying, but you want an Alan Moore or Grant Morrison to pull off something that aims this high. Still, its already proven to be a vast sales success, which is all that apparently matters, and a bit of nay-saying at this stage wont change anything. But if youre reading this in a few months from now, perhaps wondering if the deluxe overpriced hardback is worth buying, Id say go and pick up Annihilation instead; it doesnt aim so high conceptually, but delivers a story with much more going for it than this hollow exercise.

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4.0
Civil War #5

Nov 19, 2006

But around 400,000 of you dont seem to care about all that, so I give up.

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4.0
Civil War #7

Feb 25, 2007

If you liked the previous issues of Civil War, youll enjoy this. Youd also be quite deranged, as this has been the most weakly-plotted, content-free excuse for a major storytelling event, let alone one with alleged intellectual depth, that Ive read in a long time. Civil War seems like its been the same fight scene repeated for ten months and eighty issues, climaxing (if thats the right word) in a limp non-comittal excuse of an ending in which even this emaciated plot remains largely unresolved. Surely Marvel can do better.

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4.0
Civil War: Front Line #1

Jun 11, 2006

I do feel a little churlish for picking this comic apart as I cant remember the last time that either Marvel or DC attempted to tell a story that was actually about something significant. But merely trying is not enough, and theres no excuse for the sheer unbridled hamfistedness of this poor effort. Theyre certainly aiming high with this, but theyve ended up in the shit.

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8.0
ClanDestine (v2) #1

Feb 5, 2008

This is a very good comic, and yet I feel like I'm being slightly generous with the four-bullet score, as despite all the strong creative work, one thing that's missing from ClanDestine is a definitive statement of intent. There seems to be no reason for this title's existence, nothing to suggest why this comic matters; Davis spends the issue (re)familiarising the reader with the characters and setting, but neglects to explain what this series is actually going to be about, beyond Alan Davis Drawing Stuff. The well-written characters and absolutely stunning art easily win four bullets for the first issue, and a not insubstantial measure of goodwill toward future episodes, but the general lack of focus needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

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3.0
Claws #1

Aug 21, 2006

I don't think anyone really expected Claws to be any good, but wouldn't it have been nice if someone at Marvel had decided to buck expectations and actually try to produce something worthwhile or, you know, fun? I think thats the real disappointment; the concept behind the comic is inane, but it could have worked, or at least been entertaining, if the creative energy of something like Nextwave had been put behind it. The listless underachievement of the effort here has no hope at all.

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6.0
Company #1

Jul 12, 2005

I dont want to appear too critical of this comic. In all honesty, I found Company to be a highly effective tale of mystery and horror, and I think both artist and writer are a good match for the story and each other. It just needs a bit of a polish here and there to make it really stand out.

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6.0
Criminal #1

Oct 9, 2006

There is just enough potential here to keep me fairly interested in what Brubaker and Phillps have in store, but I can't deny that this comic has some fairly major flaws. This just isn't the groundbreaking work of genius it's supposed to be, but more disappointingly, it's also nowhere near as good as a Brubaker/Phillips book should be.

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7.0
Criss Cross #1

Jun 19, 2005

So for me, Criss Cross is a bit of a mixed bag. Its a mature and interesting comic, and the premise holds a great deal of potential for entertaining stories in the future. Given the death of the writer, there may not be any future issues, but nonetheless, Id recommend this comic, if only because it provides a glimpse of what comics can do if the U.S. industry could get out of its rut.

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8.0
Dan Dare #1

Nov 25, 2007

I suspect that Eagle purists will probably not get on with this, but while the modernisation of the concept is definitely a bit uneven in places, theres enough potential in the update for a strong writer like Garth Ennis to exploit. I would have hoped for a more stunning debut, but its a good start. Four tentative bullets.

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6.0
Daredevil (1998) #61

May 27, 2004

This is a pretty average comic. Its done well, with strong writing and art, but theres nothing compelling enough to bring me back for more. Not a waste of time, by any means, but not really my kind of thing.

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6.0
Daredevil (1998) #76

Aug 28, 2005

Obviously, Im just not the right audience for this comic; the Kingpin scene aside, there are so many stylistic choices that, while not ill-advised by any means, just do not work for me as a reader, even if Bendis is reining in his usual excesses. While I do recognise that this is an effective bit of storytelling, its just not for me.

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6.0
Daredevil (1998) #82

Feb 12, 2006

This isnt the most confident and impressive debut from Brubaker, but I know he is capable of better, so Ill put the flaws here down to opening night nerves. Otherwise, it looks like Brubaker is going to easily provide the sort of stories that fans of the Bendis run have been reading up until now, and while thats never really caught my interest, maintaining this titles quiet success with its existing fanbase is perhaps the most important goal for Marvel. Daredevil #82 could be better, but its probably good enough.

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8.0
Daredevil: Redemption #1

Feb 6, 2005

That said, I enjoyed this issue a great deal, and rather more than I thought I would, too. Ive got a couple of Frank Millers issues, a handful of the Ann Nocenti/JRJR comics, and Kevin Smiths storyline, so Im by no means an enthusiast, but this seemed like a pretty good Daredevil comic to me. In this issue we have an effective set up for a compelling mystery, and lots of interesting tensions and ambiguities. As long as Marvels editorial department havent kludged up the pacing of future issues, this could be a considerable success, and certainly proof enough that sometimes it is worth producing miniseries starring characters who already have their own ongoing title.

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6.0
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1

Feb 4, 2007

This is a solid, well-produced comic, but its also a disappointment. I really cant grasp at which audience this is supposed to be aimed, as it doesnt serve up anything new to Dark Tower veterans, and doesnt seem to have enough meat on its bones to serve as a proper introduction for new readers. Its a passable fantasy comic (and I'm very pleased to see a fantasy title from a major publisher), but its nonetheless burdened by an overwhelming sense of pointlessness. Later issues will probably be better, but this is a bit naff.

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5.0
Darkstalkers #6

Apr 21, 2006

By far my favourite part of the entire issue was the short back-up tale concerning the Darkstalkers universe's version of Red Riding Hood, and that's only due to Skottie Young's energetic art, as again the writing is rather flat and unimpressive. I should perhaps not expect too much from a video game tie-in, but when the game's own manual and end sequences provide a better look at the backstory of the characters and setting than an actual work of narrative fiction, then there's a problem. There's potential in these characters and their world, and I'm quite baffled by the creative team's inability to capitalise on that potential.

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8.0
DC: The New Frontier #3

Mar 24, 2004

Im obviously a sad superhero-addict as I preferred the previous issues action with the Flash and Wonder Womans attack on Superman, but this is a very well-written and astonishingly well-drawn comic nonetheless. On the whole, Im not a DC fan, but Cooke has me hooked (!) with this series.

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8.0
DC: The New Frontier #4

Jun 4, 2004

*I should point out that like Nietzsche, Kingdom Come picked a valid target for its criticisms, but like Nietzsche, its proposed solution was inane and nave. I should also point out that that is quite possibly the most wanky sentence Ive ever seen in a comics review

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8.0
DC: The New Frontier #5

Aug 5, 2004

I assume that the next issue will be one big battle scene as the assembled heroes fight off the big menace, and given that, Id suggest that this series could have probably done just as well with one fewer issue and a bit of re-arranging. Cooke has turned out to be a strong writer, and this series is a significant achievement, but a bit of intelligent editing might have been in order. This issue especially could certainly have done with some tinkering, but Im probably being churlish, as this is still better than a lot of stuff out there.

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6.0
Dead Men Tell No Tales #1

Jun 12, 2005

I dont wish to appear to hard on this comic, as I did actually enjoy it. While the overall supernatural direction is a bit of a bore, there is a compelling plot beneath that and the comics other problems are easily fixable. Theres a lot of potential here.

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7.0
Dead Men Tell No Tales #2

Oct 9, 2005

Im rather torn on this aspect, as I found the character studies of this episode more interesting than the zombie pirate antics, but at the same time I do recognise it as something of a clumsy diversion in plotting terms. So yeah, this is an enjoyable comic that fully deserves the score Ive given it, but am I a fan of the series as a whole? Not yet, no. But if theres more of this good character work coming up, and the whole thing could be paced a bit better, then perhaps.

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7.0
Deadpool Team-Up #895

Mar 2, 2010

But more of the funny next time, please. Perhaps Deadpool can hit The Sentry with a pie or something?

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5.0
Defenders (2005) #1

Jul 24, 2005

I cant shake the feeling that this has been overhyped somewhat; theres a general air of half-heartedness around the comic, as if Marvel just wanted to thumb their nose at DC by poaching a popular creative team but without any clear idea of what they wanted that team to do, resulting in a very unsatisfying comic. Perhaps my colleagues will find this more engaging. Perhaps it s actually very funny if youre in the right mood. But this comic did nothing for me.

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5.0
Deprogrammers #1

Aug 8, 2005

The art is significantly better; Valiente shows talent, although there are a number of panels that feature half-hearted backgrounds and wobbly linework, and the big fight scene towards the end of the comic suffers from a couple of dodgy panels. Characterisation is good however, and the artist certainly deserves much praise for making something visually interesting from a comic that largely revolves around someone strapped into a chair in an empty room. This single issue is a good, albeit fairly superficial, deconstruction of the superhero, but beyond that it flounders; the comic doesn't seem to have an idea of where to go from that point, or at least not a satisfying one, and that dampens interest considerably.

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4.0
Devil's Keeper #1

Aug 1, 2005

This comic cost seventy-five of your American cents, and while its not brain-munchingly awful enough for me to decry it as a waste of that small amount of money, I cant recommend it. If youre into martial arts comics, buy a handful of Way of the Rat or Master of Kung Fu back issues instead.

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6.0
DMZ #1

Nov 18, 2005

These aren't fatal flaws by any means, but they do make it very difficult to engage with the story; it tries to present itself as a gritty political satire, but undermines that with overly hip embellishments. There's still a great deal of interesting stuff going on, and I'll be interested to see how the story progresses, but the affected coolness is almost impenetrable.

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4.0
DMZ #2

Dec 23, 2005

This is a frustrating title, as the potential inherent in the setting, the potential Wood himself has mentioned again and again in promotional material for the series, is there, but it remains obscured behind a morass of trendy stylistic elements. If Wood could resist trying to win over the cool kids and just concentrate on telling the story he so obviously wants to tell, this would be a much better comic.

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7.0
DMZ #4

Feb 28, 2006

For me, this is the best issue of DMZ so far, but it seems like very much of an aberration in that regard; Im not confident that future issues will be more like this than the profoundly irritating first couple of episodes, but this issue at least is an entertaining read.

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7.0
DMZ #5

Mar 24, 2006

Brian Wood has a good title on his hands here, but I think he needs to take a step back and decide on his narrative focus. The ill-defined protagonist is getting too much screen time at the expense of what's really good about this book, and that's the fascinating setting.

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7.0
Doctor Strange: The Oath #1

Oct 1, 2006

When I first heard about this series, I was expecting something that spoofed the character, especially as Strange doesnt really fit in with the current tone of so-called filmic realism at Marvel, but this is considerably more complex than anticipated, and I find myself intrigued by what Vaughan will do with the character. Im keen to see more, and you cant ask for more than that from a first issue.

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8.0
Drax #1

Sep 25, 2005

* Kelvin's Pet Peeve No. 87 (of 6453) is whenever somethings described with glee as a darker version of something else, as it implies that rather naive and superficial attitude that darker is somehow and by default better (see All-Star Child Abuser Batman), a concept I'd hoped had been resoundingly proven false in the grim 'n' gritty fanwank frenzy of the 90s. This example struck me as particularly foolish as it ignores the fact that Lilo & Stitch is already quite dark, and its difficult to see how it could be much grimmer without being gratuitous. But oh, and indeed, well.

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4.0
Drax #4

Jan 26, 2006

Mitch Breitweiser's art is great, especially the brutal fight scenes, and if nothing else, this series has given a very talented artist a chance to shine. And even though there's no sense of character development or progression at all, the characters' personalities do come through well, in a static, "waiting for something to happen" kind of way. But good art, some well-realised but badly developed characters, and a wafer-thin plot don't make for a good reading experience. I wasn't expecting much from a Drax miniseries, but somehow I was expecting better.

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6.0
Eagle Flies Again #14

Nov 12, 2006

Ostensibly a fanzine devoted to Eagle, the original home of scifi icon Dan Dare, Flies Again actually has a wider focus, this issue covering the likes of 80s horror title Scream, 2000AD and Judge Dredd. Theres a good variety of articles and opinions on show here, although the emphasis is on nostalgia rather than news, and to be perfectly honest, that doesnt interest me nearly as much as knowing whats new and interesting in the world of British comics. Production values are high, and the articles here are well written and evocative, but they just dont grab my attention in the way that the pieces in something like Redeye do. Perhaps its because I grew up with Transformers and Spider-Man rather than Scream and Eagle, or perhaps Im just not turned on by nostalgia, but this undeniably well-produced title just does nothing for me. If youre of the target audience though, you might find your nostalgic cockles well-warmed here.

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7.0
Eberron: Eye of the Wolf #1

Nov 9, 2006

Again, Devil's Due haven't made the best use of the potential of their licence, but they're getting closer, and strangely enough, it's the writing that holds things back a little here. I'd still love to see a comic that really grabs the possibilities of the D&D settings and runs with them, but this isn't a bad interim step.

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7.0
El Arsenal: Unknown Enemy #1

Aug 26, 2005

To be honest, I picked this up out of desperation; Im getting bored of superheroes and Im looking for other genres to fill that void, particularly science fiction. But this turned out to be much better than I thought; a compelling read that does a great job of both introducing the characters and their world and setting the mood. Im slightly concerned that the subsequent issues will simply be a series of firefights, but this is a good start.

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8.0
Eternals #1

Jun 18, 2006

Its just so wonderfully refreshing to see some of the big Marvel Universe concepts return as its this crazy mix of space-opera, lunatic mythology and cosmic melodrama that got me into Marvel comics in the first place. Add to that an intriguing plot and amazing visuals, and the result is one of the most entertaining and exciting Marvel titles Ive had the pleasure to read in a long while.

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6.0
Eternals #2

Jul 25, 2006

The first issue of this series was fantastic, but the warning signs I saw there seem to have been borne out. Perhaps seen in the context of the completed series, this episode will look better, but taken as a single issue it seems rather weak, despite the efforts of the undeniably talented creators.

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7.0
Ex Machina #6

Nov 21, 2004

All in all, I feel that this is a very good comic, and I can easily see what all the fuss is about, but on the other hand, theres something at a basic conceptual level which doesnt really work for me.

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6.0
Fallen Angel #1

Jan 1, 2006

Im generally more confident about this version of Fallen Angel than the last. Peter David seems to have looked at the reasons why the previous series did not work as well as hoped and learned from them, and the comic has a more balanced and enjoyable feel as a result. With any luck, the title will be a success this time around.

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2.0
Fantastic Four #536

Mar 30, 2006

What little content there is here is quite solid and well done, and Mike McKone draws a great Fantastic Four (although his Doctor Doom looks a bit weedy), but it's nothing special and certainly doesn't make this any less of a waste of three dollars (or your local equivalent). For shame, Marvel.

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6.0
Fantastic Four #554

Feb 8, 2008

There is some promise here. We've got a return to the epic science fiction concepts that are the bread-and-butter of the title, and we've got an artist who excels at the kind of visuals that accompany those ideas; on the other hand, we've got some clumsy writing and unsuccessful shortcuts in the art. None of these problems ruin the comic, and it's still quite competent, but I can't help but feel that "competent" is just not good enough from this creative team; Millar and Hitch are better than this, and I hope that future issues are more representative of their abilities.

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6.0
Fantastic Four: The End #1

Oct 29, 2006

This isnt terribly compelling stuff, largely due to the cluttered and slightly ponderous writing, but it is an absolutely gorgeous looking comic, and there is just enough in the setting to make me wonder how things will, yes, end. It remains to be seen what exactly Davis has in mind, but I suspect that Peter Davids Hulk: The End will remain the best of Marvels attempts at this format.

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6.0
Fear Agent #1

Oct 23, 2005

However, these problems are not particularly damaging at this point; by examining the lead so closely in this first issue, Remender gives himself a firm foundation for future issues. As long as those future issues round out the Fear Agent world with some additional cast members and some interesting plots for them to get involved in, I can accept a first issue that puts the emphasis elsewhere.

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8.0
Fell #9

Jan 20, 2008

Yet again, I find myself disappointed by the bare bones, almost perfunctory, plotting of this comic, while at the same time absolutely enthralled by the creativity and inventiveness that is brought to the surface as a result. One day, Ellis and Templesmith will crack it and produce a truly great issue of Fell in which the story entertains just as much as the storytelling impresses. That day is not here yet, but nonetheless, this is an excellent comic.

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6.0
Flight: Volume Six #1

Oct 14, 2009

I'm very interested in narrative and plot, so these stories, and one or two others, stand out for me. That's not to say that the rest of the contributions are weak, but the emphasis is very much on visuals, and as such I find them lacking. Some of the pieces are stunning to look at, make no mistake, and more than adequately show off the artistic skill of their creators, but I can't help but feel that a good comic needs to be more than simply a sequence of images, no matter how pretty; there has to be some complexity or meaning to that sequence, something to get into and think about, and there's just not enough of that in Flight. As an art book, this is more than worthwhile, but it feels as if the other side of comics has been forgotten; Flight is a great and successful showcase of visual talent, but it's a shame that there's no similar display of exceptional writing ability. I don't even mean verbose scripts, or lengthy narratives, but it would be nice to see, in a future volume, more

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6.0
Forgotten Realms - The Legend of Drizzt Book III: Sojourn #1

Mar 27, 2006

This isn't a bad piece of work, but it is a disappointing one. There is talent and quality on show here, but they're stifled by silly, and easily fixable, flaws. Given the relative dearth of English-language fantasy comics, this isn't a bad read, but it could be a lot better.

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5.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2

Nov 10, 2005

This isn't a bad issue in itself, but it does very little to drive forward an already-floundering storyline, and we're still no clearer as to what this big event is actually about. Hudlin deserves praise for delivering an entertaining issue against all expectations, while his bosses deserve to be taken out back and beaten with sticks for forcing this nonsensical crossover on us.

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5.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3

Dec 9, 2005

This really isnt a bad issue at all, not least because something actually happens, but it should have been Part Three of this ridiculously overextended story, not Part Seven. Finally the plot gets into gear, and Im now actually interested in the next issue, rather than being deathly afraid of how inept itll be, but it's too little too late to save the crossover as a whole, which has been ill-conceived and badly constructed. Yeah, this is probably the best issue of The Other so far, but the story as a whole is still an awful mess, and Id not recommend it to anyone.

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4.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4

Jan 31, 2006

On the plus side, this book has great art and, mercifully, is beginning to distance itself from the "The Udder," but the choppiness of the script detracts greatly from the book's successes. While this is better than previous issues, it does nothing to convince me of the necessity for a third Spider-Man ongoing title.

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7.0
Generation M #1

Nov 27, 2005

It's a shame, as Im sure that this book would probably sell more as an arc in The Pulse than it will as a separate miniseries. And it would deserve to. Jenkins writes Jessica and Phil very well, the plot is quite compelling, and as mentioned above, the art team do a wonderful job. The visuals have a detailed and sumptuous look to them that is based on actual detail and texture, and not unnecessary crosshatching or overly enthusiastic rendering, and the more down-to-earth look suits the tone of the story perfectly. All in all, Generation M is a fine effort, but I cant help but feel that Marvel are blindly scuppering its chances at success.

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4.0
Ghost Rider (2006) #1

Jul 9, 2006

All in all, this comic betrays a lack of creative thought. Beyond a very brief, and completely out of place, bit of stunt driving, theres nothing here that couldnt be done with any other Marvel character. This just doesnt have any kind of distinctive Ghost Rider feel; perhaps theres no such thing, and thats why the character has been in limbo so regularly and for so long, but even so theres no excuse for something so very bland and unimaginative. The general impression is that, with the upcoming movie, Marvel decided they should be publishing a Ghost Rider comic, but found themselves with nothing of significance to say about the character, beyond trotting out the same old clichs. Disappointing.

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3.0
Gift #13

Sep 26, 2005

The ideas on show here are slightly dubious (this is the second comic Ive read recently that seems to revel in high school massacres), and the execution (no pun intended), which could have covered for this, is just not strong enough. Theres really nothing here that I can recommend.

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6.0
Gotham Central #37

Nov 21, 2005

So I'm a bit lost regarding the various ongoing subplots and characterisations, but this issue does serve as an effective street-level reaction to Incontinent Crisis, and is probably my favourite issue of the crossover so far.

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5.0
Gun Fu: Showgirls are Forever #1

Apr 6, 2006

Even I appreciate a bit of tawdry and obvious comedy now and then, but this comic just did nothing for me. It's uninspired and unexciting, and generally nowhere near as good as it could be.

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8.0
Gutsville #1

Jun 14, 2007

I'm very impressed with Gutsville thus far. It's not only entertaining but rich and finely crafted too, and the result is a great comic. Keep an eye on this one, as it could turn out to be the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

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8.0
Gutsville #2

Sep 24, 2007

I'm concerned that Gutsville will, in the end, be nothing more than an intricate setting dressed up with gorgeous art, as the actual story seems to already be playing catch-up. I hope I'm wrong, as so much hard work has clearly been put into this title that it would be incredibly disappointing if there turned out to be no real substance behind it. Gutsville is a good comic poised upon the verge of greatness, if only the pacing can be given a bit of a jolt.

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7.0
Gutsville #3

Apr 7, 2008

There are a couple of disappointing glitches in this issue, but Gutsville remains one of the most unique and interesting comics being published right now by the big US publishers.

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8.0
Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1

Aug 8, 2012

I must admit that when I first saw the cover, I though I might have trouble reviewing Halcyon & Tenderfoot, as while I can enjoy a comic aimed at young readers, I can also often struggle to engage with them on the level required to put together a review. That said, the more I thought about the comic, the more I realized that it might be more complex than it had first appeared. I might be wrong, I might be reading far too much into it, but it's enough that I'm interested to read more and see if my suspicions are correct.

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8.0
Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1

May 31, 2012

I must admit that when I first saw the cover, I though I might have trouble reviewing Halcyon & Tenderfoot, as while I can enjoy a comic aimed at young readers, I can also often struggle to engage with them on the level required to put together a review. That said, the more I thought about the comic, the more I realized that it might be more complex than it had first appeared. I might be wrong, I might be reading far too much into it, but it's enough that I'm interested to read more and see if my suspicions are correct.

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6.0
Harry Johnson #1

Oct 3, 2004

Did I like this comic? To be honest, no I didn't. That said, I can see what the creators are trying to do, and I think they've succeeded admirably. It's an attempt that may fail due to the insular and unfriendly direct market, which actively keeps comics out of the hands of the masses, but I wish the creative team behind Harry Johnson the best of luck. They're a smart bunch who are trying to help the industry, and they deserve a shot. If you're fourteen and loved the Austin Powers movies, check this out. If you aren't fourteen, but know a fourteen year old (even if its the fourteen year old inside  ), ditto.

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4.0
Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars #1

Oct 30, 2005

I fail to see how this is at all the ambitious and far-reaching project that the website arrogantly proclaims it to be; it seems rather more like a gratuitous exploitation of someone elses work for kewl effect. But worst of all, its just not a very good comic.

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10
Hellboy: The Corpse #1

Mar 30, 2004

At the time of writing, Ive not seen the film yet, and am only slightly acquainted with the Hellboy comics, but for me this comic serves as an excellent introduction to the character and his world. If Dark Horse can get this into the hands of non-Hellboy-reading comics fans, and non comics-reading-Hellboy fans, then Im confident that theyll see an increase in sales. And if nothing else, this shows that comics can be Bang! Pow! Biff! without that being the embarrassment many comics fans think. Sandman and Hellblazer might be mature and thoughtful takes on horror and mysticism in comics, but rarely are they this much fun.

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8.0
Hero Killers #1

Jun 13, 2006

While Im a big fan of Devilchild, I sometimes preferred the back-up strips, as they often displayed more enthusiasm and energy than the main feature, and that vitality is also evident in this one-shot. If the rest of the so-called one-shot club matches the quality of this debut release, and I see no reason why not, then Moonface Press should have a success on its hands.

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8.0
Hound of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel #1

Aug 12, 2009

The Cushing film remains my favourite adaptation of the story, and I do confess to preferring Culbard's work on the pulp science fiction of Huzzah! However, this is certainly a strong effort--perhaps not enough to have me hooked, but certainly intrigued, and keen to see how the next in the series, A Study in Scarlet, turns out.

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4.0
House Of M #6

Sep 19, 2005

* This is not a spoiler. It's been patently obvious from the first issue that Quicksilver's behind this new reality. That'll be the big twist, you see. The heroes will be going to kill Magneto for this, but it was Quicksilver all along! How clever!

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2.0
House Of M #8

Nov 8, 2005

Still, it does look nice. If you bought some of Coipels original art from this series, youd get the benefit of some wonderful drawings, without any of those awful words polluting the pages. Well worth the extra money, Id say.

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5.0
Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

Feb 5, 2006

Dont get me wrong; this is a competent and solid issue. But when Marvel are telling us again and again that this is the opening chapter of one of their big story events, I tend to feel that they should be aiming higher than competent and solid. Perhaps if Marvel and Pak spent less time promoting the story, and more time polishing it, theyd have a more impressive end product.

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4.0
Infinite Crisis #1

Oct 16, 2005

Now I know this is a big event, and the DCheads are excited about it, but my gosh it's absolutely packed full of terrible writing. Big doesn't necessarily mean better, and a turd with a picture of the Golden Age Superman stapled to it is still a turd.

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3.0
Infinite Crisis #2

Nov 12, 2005

I know Im not the right audience for this comic, but I dont need to have read DC titles from the age of five to be able to recognise a bad comic when I see one. And dont be fooled; this is a bad comic. I know Marvel and DC compete, but shouldnt they each be striving to produce better comics than the other?

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4.0
Infinite Crisis #3

Dec 30, 2005

All in all, I have to say Johns is the wrong person for this job. I know he has his fans, and that DC is especially fond of him but his style does not fit for this kind of story. His strength is in solid, if bland, character work, not epic universe-shattering plot-driven stories, and it shows in the erratic and confused storytelling. When DC have Grant Morrison working for them, someone who thrives on this kind of story, assigning Johns to something like this is a baffling decision, and it becomes increasingly so with each issue of this weak and shambling miniseries. The DC Zombies (does DC have zombies? Revenants? Ghouls?) will love it of course, and its better than both House of M and The Other, but a story event like this needs to be the best it can be, not just better than the competition, and this is a long way from that.

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4.0
Infinite Crisis #4

Jan 23, 2006

Ive been told many times that DC have higher standards of quality than Marvel, and that they truly respect their fans, but Im not getting that impression from this series at all. Rather, I get the feeling that they know how best to manipulate their fans, and that providing a good quality product comes second to that. Were this a simple monthly ongoing title, Id still consider it to be flawed, but as the centrepiece of DCs publishing plans, its inexcusably bad.

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3.0
Infinite Crisis #6

Apr 9, 2006

This series started off in something of a wretched state and as its gone on, its shaken itself apart like a Trabant doing the Paris-Dakar Rally. Except that would be more interesting than this pretentious and unwieldy mess. Ignore this and just hope that the 52 and One Year Later stuff is better.

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8.0
Invincible #11

May 11, 2004

If the only flaw in the comic is the special effects lettering, and it isn't a fatal flaw by any means, then Invincible must be a pretty good comic. And you know what? It is.

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8.0
Invincible #12

May 27, 2004

Funky lettering aside, this really is one of the best superhero comics out there. Superb stuff.

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8.0
Invincible #13

Jul 5, 2004

Its another superb issue of Invincible. Image should be very proud of this comic, as it manages to show up the very best of the output of Marvel and DC. Excellent stuff.

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8.0
Invincible #15

Sep 6, 2004

Invincible is a bloody excellent comic and if youve got any interest in superheroes at all you should be reading it.

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8.0
Invincible #25

Sep 9, 2005

So is it fair to mark this down for not delivering on expectations engendered by business practices elsewhere in the comics industry? Is it churlish to complain that the bonus features arent quite up to snuff given that they are bonus features and the creators were under no obligation to produce them? For all my years of studying esoteric principles of philosophy, I confess that I dont know; so this comic gets as a good solid average issue of Invincible, and as Invincible #25. And Ill get a stern reprimand from the SBC Reviews Overlords for being indecisive and mucking up the reviews format. With any luck, Ill be able to walk again in a month.

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8.0
Invincible #29

Mar 28, 2006

I don't often review this title, despite having bought it from the start, because it tends to bubble along quietly and only occasionally break out with an issue like this. But the fact is that even when Invincible is bubbling along, it's doing so at a level so far above that of most other mainstream superhero titles that it's no contest. This book is everything that young superhero books like Teen Titans and Ultimate Spider-Man strive for but can't quite achieve. Great stuff.

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8.0
Invincible #30

Apr 6, 2006

Appropriately expressive, the art too is geared more towards conveying the personalities and feelings of the characters than bedazzling the reader with distracting special effects, and that modest approach works very well here. While never flashy, this is consistently one of the best looking superhero comics available, and the art teams quiet dedication to their craft is to be applauded. As more and more superhero books disappoint me, Invincible is a vivid reminder of the kind of fun storytelling that got me interested in the genre in the first place, but the depth of characterisation means that it's so much more than an exercise in nostalgia. It's an engaging and unpretentious bit of superheroic action that's not only refreshing in this day and age, but also entertaining in its own right.

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8.0
Invincible #33

Jul 6, 2006

Yet again the art team excels, although there are no impressive fortyish-panel spreads this issue. Ryan Ottleys work always looks like the artist had great fun drawing it, and the dimension-hopping plot gives him a variety of wild and wonderful things to illustrate, as well as quieter, more pensive scenes, all of which he handles with aplomb. Bill Crabtree also deserves considerable credit for making the story work as well as it does, with some insightful colouring choices, most notably the dark tones used for the scenes between Invincible and his nemesis, which give those pages the look of a movie thriller and up the tension subtly but effectively. Every month, just as I look at the solicitations and begin to believe that today's superhero comics are becoming irredeemably shite, Invincible reminds me of all of the things I love about the genre. You can keep your Civil Wars, Infinite Crises and Onslaught Reborns; they cant possibly compete with this spot-on celebration of the gre

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6.0
Invincible #37

Dec 14, 2006

where was I? Oh right. So no, this isn't the best Invincible issue for long-term readers like me, and it's certainly not much good as the first issue for a new reader, as it delivers little of what's so unique and compelling about the title. I do think that Chris was a bit harsh in his scoring, but I can't blame him for being disappointed, because I am too.

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8.0
Invincible #41

May 24, 2007

(Still, if you're on the fence, give issue #42 a go. It will be cheaper than a normal issue, and will provide a recap of the series so far.)

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8.0
Invincible #45

Sep 6, 2007

By today's standards, Invincible is something of an aberration. Its cast members just go about their business, whether it's punching aliens in the head, or going on that tricky first post-separation date, and plots don't fall neatly into six-issue chunks of sweeping hyperbolic nonsense. Instead, everything chugs along nicely, and while that approach might seem sedate and boring, the creators never allow it to become so, ensuring that while they never threaten to engulf the actual storytelling, the high concepts and spectacle inherent to superhero fiction are nonetheless all present and correct. It's rare to see this consistent level of skill and confidence in the genre today, and Invincible shows that there's a place for simple stories done well.

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8.0
Invincible #48

Feb 17, 2008

Invincible is not a flashy title, nor is it particularly ground-breaking one. What it is, is a well-judged celebration of what makes, or perhaps made, superhero comics so much fun to read, put together with obvious enthusiasm by a creative team that clearly love what they're doing. So many superhero titles today are tiring in their absurd grittiness and misjudged grabs at realism; by contrast, Invincible is a very welcome jolt of genuine gusto, and I love it.

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8.0
Invincible #49

Apr 7, 2008

It would be easy to just tread water in the run-up to the anniversary issue, but Kirkman and his team resist that temptation. While there are many ongoing plots bubbling away, and this issue isn't particularly self-contained (although in all honesty, I don't think anyone would have too much trouble following what's going on), it's anything but filler. Aside from all that, this issue is a thrilling read in its own right, and a great example of superheroes done absolutely, perfectly, right. Marvel and DC take note.

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7.0
Iron Man: The Inevitable #1

Dec 29, 2005

This is a solid but rather unremarkable comic, perhaps made to seem more so by Marvels decision to publish it as a separate title; as a mini-series event, The Inevitable doesnt make much of a splash, but as a storyline in the ongoing and perpetually late Iron Man title, it would stand out much more. That said, the art is the star here, and this is a good Marvel debut for Irving.

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8.0
Irredeemable Ant-Man #1

Oct 3, 2006

Marvel have done the impossible; after a lengthy period of making me utterly dislike my very favourite titles through cretinous creative decisions, they've done the opposite here and made me quite interested in a third-hand hand-me-down of a character concept that's never really worked. True, it's because they've assigned a very strong creative team to the task, but still, someone at a company I was beginning to think was being run by demented monkeys commissioned and put this together, and it's great stuff.

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10
Jack Staff #5

Jun 22, 2004

Dont buy this issue. Buy the previous four Image issues, the twelve Dancing Elephant Press issues (handily available as a chunky Image tpb) before that, and then buy this one. Jack Staff is a truly superb comic that shows how things should be done, and you owe it to yourself to read the whole lot.

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9.0
Jack Staff #6

Nov 2, 2004

This is another excellent issue of an excellent comic book. If the British setting and unconventional (for US comics) art style have put you off in the past, then let that stop immediately. This is one of the best superhero comics available today.

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8.0
Jack Staff #7

Feb 21, 2005

Hes also a great artist, and Phil Elliots colours superbly fit Grists line art. Particularly impressive is the dream sequence, rendered in black and white, with touches of greenish-grey; probably not the best way to complement a colourist, but it is a strikingly attractive sequence. Elsewhere, the bright primary colours of the 1942 scenes and the more subdued and dark occult bits also look superb. Elliots flat colouring style is probably somewhat unpopular in these technicolour days, but its a treat for the eyes. This is a little bit different from the other superhero titles out there, even notable recent titles that have done so much to reinvigorate the genre, but its also one of the best. Jack Staff is always a joy to read and is a great example of the strengths of the medium.

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8.0
Jack Staff #9

Nov 3, 2005

And I come to the end of the review and find myself almost contradicting my opening paragraph; this isn't the best issue of Jack Staff I've read, but I've still given it four bullets out of the possible five, and that should tell you how good this comic usually is.

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9.0
Jack Staff #12

Nov 28, 2006

If you haven't been following this series, then this issue's plot may leave you lost and bewildered; that said, Grist's involving storytelling means that this is self-contained to some extent, as the high stakes of the battle are abundantly clear, and the battle itself is conveyed with such skill that it should be enjoyable even to those who've missed out on the story so far. This really is a great superhero comic, and if you've not been a reader so far, then you've been missing out.

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8.0
Jack Staff #13

Mar 6, 2007

By Paul Grist's usually high standards, this is a fluff piece, but even so there's lots to enjoy and lots to think about, and that's why it still scores highly. Paul Grist's fluff is worth the fluff of twenty other guys.

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4.0
Jack Staff Special #1

Jan 27, 2008

If I have a complaint about this wonderful comic, it's that the pace of the writing is perhaps just a bit too breakneck. Grist's strengths in plot construction work best when there's a bit more space; his multi-issue storylines come together beautifully, but this issue rushes from a Conan-esque ancient age, through the modern day, and into a dark possible future, and it does feel slightly like the breathless highlights of a wider story. "Slightly" is the operative word there though, and a rushed Paul Grist comic is still an absolute joy to read.

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6.0
JLA/Avengers #4

Apr 5, 2004

Of course, Im being churlish here. Im complaining about aspects of this series which are the very reasons for its existence. And dull as it might be, at least its a story that makes sense and has an internal consistency, which is more that can be said for the main Avengers title since Busiek left. Its perfectly all right if you like this sort of thing. Its just that I dont.

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8.0
JLA/Hitman #1

Sep 24, 2007

This is good work. The crossover is set up in an efficient and convincing way, the key players are introduced quite effectively (particularly Tommy and his world, who obviously need more of an introduction than the League does), and we're left with a solid cliffhanger, leading into a second issue that promises not only to deliver some exciting (and probably hilarious) action, but also more well-observed character interaction. Regular readers will know that I don't normally pick up DC comics; that's because they're rarely this good.

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7.0
Jovas Harvest #1

Sep 18, 2005

But my poor eyes someone pass me a bandage.

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8.0
Justice League Unlimited #8

Apr 10, 2005

So thanks to Michael Deeley and Reviews Overlord Keith Dallas for suggesting this one. I had more fun than I thought I would, and as a comic lover, its just great to read a simple yet solid comic story once in a while. No flashy tricks, just good art and good writing, with no sensationalism and no hype. Cant say fairer than that.

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7.0
Killer Stunts, Inc. #1

Apr 17, 2005

I'll give Killer Stunts a tentative thumbs up, because theres obvious talent at work here, and this first issue is a great read. That said, I hope that even though this is clearly an action-led series, the creators will take the time in future issues to provide more of a balance.

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8.0
London Horror Comic #4

Feb 3, 2012

There has been a gap of a couple of years between the third and fourth issues of London Horror Comic and in his latest editorial Kamath goes into some of the difficulties in getting the most recent issue into print; the honesty and enthusiasm of the writing is inspirational, but it would all be hollow sentiment were it not for the quality of the end product, which shows that all the heartbreaking setbacks were worth it in the end.

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6.0
Losers #9

Mar 7, 2004

And of course, Jocks scratchy art is still a joy to behold.

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8.0
Losers #11

May 5, 2004

The real sticking point with me, is the price of this comic. $2.95 for an extended action sequence really isnt good value for money. While Lee Loughbridge excels in colouring Jocks art in a wonderful limited range of colours, I would be happy to see this comic in black and white if the price were lower. Jocks art works very well in black and white, as any reader of his 2000ad work will agree, and while the colouring on this series has been consistently excellent, Id be willing to put up without it for the sake of a few pennies. This is a great comic, but not so great value.

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7.0
Losers #12

Jun 4, 2004

The reason that this is such a disappointing and perhaps damning flaw is that the rest of the comic is so good. The characterisation is great, even if the characters dont have much depth as yet, and the stories are exciting, even if the overall plots arent. The action is over-the-top, exciting and wonderfully choreographed, and the art is superb. It all fits together so well on an issue-by-issue basis, but just falls apart when seen in terms of longer story arcs. Fix that problem, and this is a four or four-and-a-half comic, but I cant honestly give it such a score at this point. Good stuff, just not good enough.

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7.0
Losers #13

Jun 30, 2004

The Losers is a great asset for Vertigo, and one thats blissfully devoid of connections to Robert Smith-esque dreamlords. With just a bit of tinkering here and there, it could be their flagship title, but for the time being, its just an admirable, but underperforming comic.

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5.0
Losers #14

Aug 5, 2004

The Losers is well put together. Taken on an issue-by-issue basis, its a pretty impressive achievement, but reading it as an ongoing series has become a chore.

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8.0
Losers #15

Aug 31, 2004

The Losers as a whole gets somewhere between two and three bullets from me because while its nice to look at, its boring as heck. This particular issue gets four bullets easily, but dont expect to be as impressed by the others. Get this, enjoy it, and pretend its a self-contained graphic novel.

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4.0
Losers #17

Nov 1, 2004

We already know that the team was on a mission for Max and were double-crossed, forcing them underground (Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune), and this storyline isn't really fleshing that out in any satisfactory way. Everything thats happened so far could be relayed in a speech bubble, and indeed has been. The only significant items here are Cougars bit as mentioned above, plus some non-committal hints at Roques duplicity which will probably result in nothing interesting. All in all, the feeling conveyed yet again is that Diggle is wasting my time with this. It seems as if he has no idea what to do with this book, and is giving us a completely unnecessary flashback in order to fill up space. Even Jock's art looks tired and rushed.

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6.0
Losers #25

Jul 19, 2005

I would greatly appreciate it if, in future, you cut out the unnecessary characterisation, and return the comic to its usual soulless and pointless self. If you cant manage that, then perhaps you could make sure that each issue has a sticker on the cover, warning potential readers that they might in fact enjoy that issue. Something along the lines of Danger: This issue isnt quite as shit as all the others would be appropriate.

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6.0
Losers #26

Aug 2, 2005

This comic has always been a good-looking title, but finally, twenty-six issues and two years in, Diggle found a plot worth reading. Hooray.

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8.0
Man With The Screaming Brain #1

Jul 25, 2005

All in all, this is a good introductory issue that sets everything out well and entertains at the same time, and thats even without the sci-fi madness set to begin next issue. Much better than I thought itd be.

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6.0
Man With The Screaming Brain #2

Sep 20, 2005

This makes for a disappointing read; three issues of set-up in a four-issue miniseries. I'll have to watch the film version and see if its a case of the medium failing the script, or the script failing the medium.

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7.0
Marvel Adventures Avengers #3

Jul 25, 2006

The defining characteristic of both art and writing would seem to be a comptetent and practical, but not always exciting, approach. This is never going to stand as a highlight in Avengers publishing history, but it's a good solid elaboration of the core concepts, without being horribly compromised by any misguided "creative" vision.

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8.0
Marvel Adventures Avengers #4

Aug 18, 2006

Together, a slightly more complex plot and an inspired take on the villains make this the best issue of the title so far. Jeff Parker refuses to be limited by the restrictions of the Adventures line and is putting entertainment first, to deliver Avengers stories that do a better job of exploring the concept than the main title has in a frustratingly long time. It might be nice to see what Parker and company do if freed of those restrictions (hint, hint, Marvel), but for now, I'm quite enjoying the refreshing taste of "Diet Avengers."

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4.0
Marvel Adventures Avengers #5

Sep 29, 2006

This is a thoroughly disappointing issue. The previous creative team delivered solid, entertaining Avengers stories that often transcended one's expectations of a Young Readers title. This creative team seems to be taking the opposite approach and producing dodgy work, perhaps because they feel that the kids this title is aimed at either won't notice or won't care. Shoddy.

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6.0
Marvel Heroes #33

Mar 31, 2011

This isn't Eisner-winning stuff, just a fan-pleasing tussle between one popular Marvel character and another who should be much more popular. There are no great insights or developments here for Death's Head, but for some fans -- myself included -- it's enough to have him appear outside of a reprint, and the intended audience doesn't give a fig where this comes in the character's chronology so the fight is probably enough for them. All in all, this isn't a "terrific example of the art form of comics" -- although the games section has potential -- but it's not trying to be, and it succeeds on its own terms.

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6.0
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1

Apr 18, 2004

Perhaps future issues will justify this title's existence, but at the moment I'm just baffled as to what the point is. Well, actually I'm not. The point is to get more readers and more money, which is fine. But Marvel need to make the product worth reading too, and at the moment, they're not.

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5.0
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #19

Oct 26, 2005

I might have looked upon this comic a tad more favourably if the art had been slightly less hostile to human perception, and if Marvel had had a better sense of decorum and professional courtesy than to hire Pat Lee, but at best it would have got only a bullet or so more; the story doesn't so much grow here as flounder about a bit before having a lie down, making for a rather forgettable issue.

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2.0
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #20

Nov 17, 2005

So, "The Other" takes a further slide in quality. Do we live in such cynical, unprofessional times that Marvel are content to put out utter shite, safe in the knowledge that because it's a crossover, we'll buy it anyway? Or is JMS not only the architect of the crossover, but a Machiavellian schemer who has lined up all this awfulness so as to make his own forthcoming issues look better? If it's the latter, his friends have left him a very deep hole to dig himself out of.

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4.0
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #21

Dec 21, 2005

The seventh chapter of "The Other" gave signs of some improvement, but those are discarded here in favour of more time wasting and water-treading, and some of the worst art ever to appear in a Spider-Man comic. This comic is pointless, ugly and dull, and youd have a much more interesting time at a month-long conference for washing machine manufacturers.

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2.0
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #22

Jan 31, 2006

If nothing else, "The Udder" has, by matching up writers and artists in a number of varied ways, given us a fascinating insight into many different flavours of dreadfulness, with Pat Lee and Reginal Hudlins collaborations standing out as the worst. Even so, this issue is particularly egregious, even when compared to the rest of their shameful oeuvre.

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7.0
Marvel Team Up #15

Dec 20, 2005

I suppose its unfair to compare this book, even favourably to another, and not judge it solely on its own merits. But the fact of the matter is that this is a far better superhero team book than Not Avengers, and Id imagine it sells a fraction of that titles numbers. If this ends up getting cancelled while Bendis and Finch subject the world to another interminable six issue arc about someone like Armless Tiger Man (guest starring the Not Avengers), then theres something very rotten in the House of Ideas, and its my duty as a reviewer to make a big stink about it. So there.

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7.0
Marvel Team Up #19

Apr 10, 2006

Post Script: It's been pointed out to me that Mike Mignola drew an issue of X-Force in 1992 which featured Cable assaulting a Hydra base, as he does here, so perhaps it's not so far off after all

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7.0
Marvel Team Up #22

Jul 20, 2006

This isn't one of the best superhero comics I've ever read, and it's not even one of the best in this series, but it is an excellent example of superheroics done right and done well. And sometimes (like in these creatively defunct, event-driven, days) that's good enough.

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7.0
Marvel Zombies #1

Dec 9, 2005

I still cant help being disappointed that Marvel cant branch out without doing it in a half-arsed manner, but I suppose that its the final product that counts, and this is a pretty good final product. Nice use of the old Marvel Zombies joke too.

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5.0
Marvel Zombies #5

Apr 13, 2006

I'm a big fan of Robert Kirkman's writing, and I think he's not only doing great work now, but still has some masterpieces ahead of him (>koff!< Avengers! >koff!

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2.0
Mega Morphs #1

Aug 23, 2005

Complete and utter irredeemable shite. There are much better Big Giant Robot comics out there. Whats sad is that Marvel used to publish some of them.

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8.0
Middle Man #1

Aug 26, 2005

Theres a very slight hint of blandness around the edges here, but for the most part this makes for a compelling first issue. And if you rush out now and get this issue, you can get the next one at the same time; hows that for service?

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7.0
Mighty Avengers #1

Mar 4, 2007

Im still baffled as to why Bendis needs two books to do what forty years of Avengers writers did with one, and his editors really need to crack down on his excesses, but this is a pretty strong start. That said, Bendis first New Avengers arc was pretty good, especially by his later poor standards, and even Chuck Austen managed a decent first issue in his run. So, lets say Im cautiously optimistic for now.

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5.0
Mike Barons Detonator #4

Jan 20, 2006

When I encounter so many very badly written or badly drawn comics, it seems churlish to complain about one that is anything but badly done. But I have to be honest, and for all its obvious quality, Detonators blandness prevents it being an enjoyable read.

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4.0
Moon Knight #1

Apr 2, 2006

Theres potential here, but the overwhelming feeling I get from this comic is that the creators either dont see that potential, or dont care to explore it, content instead to just play up the least distinct and most obvious aspects of the character. When youre launching a new title featuring a C-list character, youve got to do more than merely depend on similarities to other, more popular, characters, and the residual affection earned by a better series published years ago. House of Ideas, my bottom.

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6.0
Mora #4

Jan 20, 2006

Fantasy is a sorely under-explored genre in comics, and since the Big Two arent going to touch it with a bargepole (no Marvel, Thor doesnt count), its up to creators like Paul Harmon to tell these stories. A few glitches in presentation aside, I like what Harmon is doing with the genre, and Id like to see more.

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7.0
Mr. T #1

Jun 5, 2005

Happily, I wouldnt mind getting used to it. While this comic hasnt excited me, it has impressed me. The idea of a licensed Mr. T comic coming out nowadays didnt sound like the most promising idea, I must admit, but the talent assembled have convinced me that it is at least a viable proposition. This is well worth a look.

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8.0
New Avengers #1

Dec 5, 2004

As noted above, I was coming to this with at the very least a neutral attitude, and while its not better than I expected, its better than I feared. Im not convinced by the plotting, but its very early days yet, so well see where it goes. Not a bad start at all.

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8.0
New Avengers #2

Jan 9, 2005

Beyond the relative lack of depth on show here, theres not much I can complain about. I fail to see the wisdom of revealing Spider-Mans face to the assembled villains; if Spideys got time to web up a sling for his broken arm, though, Im sure he could fashion an impromptu replacement mask. But Bendis has enough to explain with Sentry and Wolverine (still conspicuously absent, and the letters page gives mixed messages about his inclusion), so Ill give him the benefit of the doubt on that, at least until I see where hes going with it. More questions for Bendis to answer, but it would be unfair to criticise him for not dealing with them immediately. Theres plenty of time for answers. This is a good fun fight scene, with some clever moments and lots of impressive ones, but it is at the end of the day, just a fight scene. Its not fair to call it padding though, as theres lots going on, and the issue does serve more of a purpose than just filling out the page count of a collecte

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8.0
New Avengers #4

Mar 26, 2005

(That said, that last page has me dreading the next issue, which Im sure wasnt Marvels intention when they decided on yet another tiresome guest appearance from this character)

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7.0
New Avengers #7

Jul 19, 2005

All in all, this is a bit of a step down in quality from recent issues, but the flaws arent fatal by any means. Assuming that Bendis can pull off a risky storytelling technique in future issues, this should be a very interesting storyline, but this opening chapter is something of a disappointment.

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5.0
New Avengers #8

Aug 7, 2005

I dont want to be giving this such a panning; Avengers has long been my favourite title, and I really want this to be a bold return to form after the rubbish Marvel has published since Busieks departure. But Bendis is killing this comic before its even had a chance to get started; hes set up plots that arent going anywhere, and hes based this entire arc around a mystery that hes managed to squeeze all excitement and interest out of in only two issues. Its not bad, but it just seems so vague and pointless. When the best part of the issue is a three-page parody of Silver Age comics, you know youve got trouble.

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4.0
New Avengers #9

Sep 16, 2005

So we've got some good art, an excruciatingly slow-moving and dull non-story, and some bizarre and unnecessary retcons to a core character; yep, New Avengers #9 is a winner all right.

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2.0
New Avengers #10

Sep 26, 2005

But on the whole this is sanity-shreddingly, internet-breakingly dire, a prolonged exercise in shameless unstoppable cack-handery, and I can't believe that it's taken four bloody interminable issues to wade through this faeculent nonsense.

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4.0
New Avengers #11

Oct 13, 2005

I wonder, are Alan Davis and Kurt Busiek busy right now?

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2.0
New Avengers #12

Oct 28, 2005

This is an awful comic. Utterly, iredeemably, brain-numbingly, testicle-shrinkingly awful. Marvel are supposedly a professional comics company and shit like this really should be beneath them. But perhaps Im just a raving optimist.

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2.0
New Avengers #13

Dec 4, 2005

Im truly baffled by the positive critical reception that greets this comic every month; the art is terrible, and the writing is just empty fluff, all style over substance. The sooner Marvel wise up and let Robert Kirkman have a crack at this book, the better. As for now, I cant even wipe my arse with this; the papers too shiny.

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5.0
New Avengers #14

Jan 6, 2006

So yeah, Bendis has again hijacked this comic in order to do a solo story about a character who already has a solo title, but otherwise this is a relatively good issue for him, with no major oversights or errors, and much better art. But I really wish we could get all this set-up out of the way now and get on with some Avengering. This is supposed to be Marvels premiere team book, and its about time Bendis (or someone more suitable, like Robert Kirkman) took it out for a spin.

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5.0
New Avengers #15

Feb 9, 2006

I find myself almost enjoying this issue, but I suspect that its really more to do with the brief cameo by a favourite character than any true increase in quality; the many disappointing writing tics Bendis has introduced to this title are all still present and correct, and while a strong showing with one particular character helps to distract from these problems, it cannot solve them.

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4.0
New Avengers #16

Feb 17, 2006

This issue is one of the weaker ones so far, as it makes use of almost every one of the stylistic elements Ive grown to despise over the course of this titles wretched, misbegotten, existence. It only scores as highly as it does because McNivens clearly getting the hang of things, and because something actually happens, and its an actual Avengersey type story. Otherwise, its the usual pap.

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6.0
New Avengers #17

Mar 28, 2006

So yeah, there are a lot of problems with the comic, but there's a glimmer of hope here that Bendis is coming to some kind of slow understanding about what it is that makes an Avengers story work; we've got the big action scenes, and we've got some good character development. The pacing's still off, so we get a meagre amount of each, but things are looking up.

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6.0
New Avengers #25

Nov 28, 2006

In taking a simple premise and resisting the urge to stretch it out to ridiculous lengths, Bendis has managed to produce a halfway decent Avengers issue here. It certainly won't go down in history as a classic as it's far too flawed for that, but it's not too bad at all, and it does look great.

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6.0
New Avengers #28

Mar 27, 2007

This comic looks fantastic, and there are some moments of potential in the writing, but the plotting is still a bit flabby, and I still don't find ninjas, or the mystery of Ronin's identity, to be nearly as exciting as Bendis evidently does. Not bad, but I think Bendis would have been better off drawing a line under this mess and moving on rather than going for another run at it.

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6.0
New Avengers #29

Apr 13, 2007

To be fair, this isn't a bad remake of the first time Bendis did the Ronin plot, but it's still a remake, and the good writing and great art are being wasted on a story that's doing little more than rehashing a failed plot from the past. The writing in this issue is a lot more solid than that of the last, but if I'm honest, I'm only sticking around for Yu and McCaig's fantastic artwork.

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4.0
New Avengers #30

May 17, 2007

Thank Asgard then for Leinil Yu, who at least makes the mess look good. I adore the rough, almost savage, style of his linework, and the scratchy woodcut-like details he puts into every panel give everything a textured and visually interesting look. Yu's storytelling is energetic yet clear (one strange panel in which Iron Man seems to be enacting a solo production of Hamlet aside), and Dave McCaig's vivid colours bring the whole thing to bright, technicolour life (that said, the cover is an excellent example of how great Yu's work would look without colour too). This really is a great-looking comic, but looks alone can't rescue the tangled wreckage that passes for the writing.

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4.0
New Avengers #35

Oct 15, 2007

You know, the first New Avengers arc had a lot going for it. An interesting new team, a strong sense of direction, and some good, fun super-heroics. Okay, the art was shit, but you can't have everything. Since then, that initial promise has been squandered again and again as Bendis turns in uninspired, unfocused detritus like this each and every month, but at least the art has improved.

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4.0
New Avengers: Illuminati #1

Mar 26, 2006

This is an odd comic because the premise is immediately intriguing and promises great things, but that promise is never delivered on. Somewhere in here, theres a dramatic and exciting superhero comic with some interesting ideas to explore, but sadly, its being suffocated by a writer who simply isnt capable of telling the stories he wants to tell.

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7.0
New Thunderbolts #1

Nov 17, 2004

Its a well crafted comic, with generally excellent art and strong writing throughout. Characterisation and dialogue are just as well done, and everything works together to make a fine comic. Its all very traditional, and theres nothing really flashy going on, but its a solid, well-crafted comic, and asking for anything more than that somehow seems churlish. If you like traditional superheroics, then youll love this. Even if you dont theres a lot to enjoy here, as the entire creative team are at the top of their game.

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6.0
New Thunderbolts #2

Dec 13, 2004

Its a shame that this aspect of the book bothers me so much, as Im enjoying everything else thats going on. Its still a bit too fast paced, as if the creative team are trying to get everything done before the book gets cancelled, but on the whole its a very enjoyable read, with great art, and a refreshing focus on classic superheroics. If the writers and editors can work out exactly what they want to be doing with this title, it would lead to a massive improvement, but at the moment, it feels strained and fragmented.

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6.0
New Thunderbolts #4

Jan 16, 2005

(Oh and I miss the title/credits pages. This issue and the last reverted to the awful blank white Marvel house style intro pages, and I much preferred the old-school ones from the first two issues, which were more visually interesting than these badly designed insults to the eyes. I understand that Marvel wants to pretend that their trade collections are cohesive graphic novels, and not, um, trade collections, but Id rather read a book with the occasional integrated credits page than put up with these atrocities of visual design.)

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5.0
New Thunderbolts #6

Mar 13, 2005

I want to like this comic, I really do. Its good honest back-to-basics superheroics, sticking (a very welcome) two fingers up at the likes of Avengers Disassembled and Identity Crisis, but it fails to capture the energy and excitement that are inherent in the superhero genre. Its certainly not a bad comic, but considering whats going on, it just seems like this should be a more impressive and exciting reading experience. Instead its competent but underwhelming.

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7.0
New Thunderbolts #9

Jun 20, 2005

All in all, this is in my opinion the strongest issue so far. Its an intelligent and ambiguous character piece, and its exactly the type of thing that this title should have been doing all along.

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8.0
New Warriors (2007) #4

Oct 10, 2005

One of the most bizarre things about Marvel at the moment is that a great number of their flagship titles are ineptly-produced garbage (New Avengers), while an equal number of these no-hoper projects that no one's buying and Marvel aren't bothering to promote (Drax) are actually rather good. New Warriors falls firmly into the latter camp. Great stuff.

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5.0
newuniversal #1

Nov 26, 2006

I didnt hate this comic; it would be more accurate to say that the creative team havent done enough in this first issue to make me like it. This really isnt a bad effort, but theres just nothing here to grab the attention. Nostalgia alone wont do it.

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9.0
Nextwave: Agents Of HATE #1

Jan 22, 2006

This is the Warren Ellis comic Ive been waiting for; it showcases all his many strengths as a writer, with none of the grumpiness or slightly unconvincing obeisance of some of his other titles. Perhaps Planetary or Transmetropolitan are better comics, but this is a great deal more enjoyable.

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8.0
Nextwave: Agents Of HATE #11

Jan 1, 2007

So there you have it; another excellent issue of Nextwave that's being ignored by the ab-human hordes also known as US comic fandom, because they have no taste. Well done cretins, you've killed another great title. Bah.

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9.0
Nextwave: Agents Of HATE #12

Feb 19, 2007

I cannot for the life of me imagine why the majority of you lot think that all of the above is in any way less awesome than Captain America and Iron Man arguing about a strained civil rights metaphor for eighty issues. You're hairy, live-birth nut-eating skin monsters, the lot of you, and you never deserved a comic like Nextwave.

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8.0
Nova #1

Apr 15, 2007

My only real concern is that exploring Novas reaction to events in the Marvel Universe may not provide enough substance to carry an ongoing series (and Im certainly less than enthused by the suggestion that well be mired in Iron Man/Registration Act nonsense next issue). That said, this is a good start, and if Abnett and Lanning have some good plot ideas in mind for the future, theres no reason why this title cant be a success.

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9.0
O Men v2 #1

May 16, 2006

The O Men is without doubt one of the best superhero books published in recent years, often putting the so-called professional titles to shame, and if anything this new volume looks to be even better. The core quality of the book remains intact, but the subtle improvements add a bit of strictly-unnecessary but nonetheless welcome polish, and the change in the direction of the story is a compelling one. This is recommended without reservation; if you like superhero comics at all, you should be reading The O Men.

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9.0
O Men v2 #2

Dec 15, 2006

This title exudes the sense of verisimilitude the bigger companies flail at with ill-judged civil rights metaphors and "realistic" dialogue, while also easily capturing the essential magic of the genre; yet again, The O Men shows what can be done with the superhero genre if one concentrates on simply telling good solid stories without going for cheap stunts.

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9.0
O Men v2 #3

Apr 17, 2007

As for the art, it's not the most visually stunning of comics, as most of the issue consists merely of characters chatting with each other. That said, Eden makes sure that this never gets boring; there's a lot of variety in the storytelling, and he also chucks in some effective visual effects for flashbacks and the like (including a very well done segue from the opening flashback sequence to a "silent" title page). It's a subtle and understated look, but no less impressive for that. All in all, this is a good strong issue, driven by solid, thoughtful character work and intelligent plot construction. It's not the most vastly impressive issue of this series, but there's something to be said for quiet expertise.

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9.0
O Men v2 #4

Aug 3, 2007

This issue's cover proudly proclaims that the new story arc is an excellent jumping-on point, and I'd have to agree. The wild and unpredictable plotting is enough to grab anyone's attention, and there's just enough background material and exposition to make new readers feel welcome. Meanwhile, long term adherents to the O way will find old friends and new faces alike put through the wringer, and it makes for a thrilling read.

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7.0
Omega Flight #1

Apr 1, 2007

This is a solid superhero story with some minor glitches in the art and a slightly leaden pace, but both writing and art show obvious potential, not least in Oemings ability to make these relatively obscure characters interesting and compelling. If the minor flaws can be ironed out in future issues, this deserves to be the success that Alpha Flight comics very rarely are.

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2.0
Onslaught Reborn #1

Dec 4, 2006

Don't buy this shite. Instead, donate at least $3 to The Sam Loeb College Scholarship Fund. That's the whole cost of the issue, rather than the "significant portion" Marvel claim, and you'll be supporting a worthy cause without at the same time supporting an unworthy product.

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8.0
Outcastes #1

Aug 25, 2008

** Although the "can't read your laptop on the toilet" argument is certainly compelling.

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6.0
Paragon #1

Jul 25, 2005

The main strips are of good quality, and the ongoing "Undertow" in particular promises to be a strong backbone to the comic. Writer/editor/artist Candlish needs to work a bit on the overall presentation and design of the comic (the cover is a bit bland and the layouts of the text pages are rather unimaginative), but all in all, this is a good strong start.

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7.0
Paragon #2

Sep 28, 2006

I'm very pleased by the improvements in this comic; the title's strengths were evident in the previous issue, but just didn't quite come together properly. While this issue isn't perfect, Candlish is definitely heading in the right direction, and delivering some good comics entertainment along the way.

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7.0
Paragon #4

Jun 18, 2009

*An unofficial title, I can only assume.

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7.0
Paragon #5

Feb 19, 2010

Paragon is filled with good work and has a proper brilliant concept in Battle Ganesh, but the stories are wasted in a format that restricts their potential. It's a shame, because what it feels like is a taster for a series of really good titles which never arrive.

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7.0
Paragon #6

Sep 21, 2010

Paragon needs a more frequent release schedule, more self-contained stories, or some kind of recap mechanism in order for the anthology format to succeed. "Battle Ganesh" does better than most, as writer The Emperor slips some expository dialogue into his script, but the simplicity of the strip works in its favour, as one doesn't need to know every detail of what happened in the previous issue to understand the concept of an elephant god smiting his opponents. The other strips, "Undertow" in particular, feel lost, aimless and without context, and it is a shame, as it is clear that there are some good ideas in there somewhere. Once more, flaws in Paragon's format undermine the title as a whole, but this is a better issue overall, which gives some hope for future releases.

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8.0
Paragon #8

Sep 15, 2011

Time-travelling samurai Jikan returns in a couple of strips already seen in the collected edition of his adventures; of these the first is the best, as Candlish delivers a minimalist, almost abstract, art style that is pleasing to the eye and more interesting than his usual approach, which makes a return for the second instalment.

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6.0
Paragon: The Jikan Chronicles (volume one) #1

Feb 16, 2011

Paragon: The Jikan Chronicles can be purchased from Lulu.com here.

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9.0
Pest Control #6

Nov 17, 2004

Its taken a while, but I think that Pest Control is really starting to hit its stride now. There has been constant improvement since the comic began, and that bodes very well for the future. Recommended.

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8.0
Pest Control #7

Apr 25, 2005

Springford's art has always been strong, but he consistently shows improvement, and there are some great images in here. He's proving more and more adept at visual characterisation too, with the dialogue scenes working very well indeed, especially the aforementioned Penny/10 exchanges. Character designs are also a strong point, and I particularly enjoyed Penny's Dr. Who-like assumption of a new costume to go with her new body. That she looks cute and adorable in the outfit is of course just a bonus. The Ominous Comics boundaries have up until now been quite rigid; Pest Control does the weird stuff, and Martin Eden's The O Men does the strong characterisation. There's been some dancing over the border from both sides, but this issue of Pest Control counts as a full-on Poland 1939 invasion into Eden's territory, which surely means that some kind of retaliation is imminent. What this means, of course, is that Eden and Springford each have someone to compete with, and what it leads to

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8.0
Pirates #1

Dec 24, 2004

All in all, this is a very good package. The stories within are all entertaining, and the book itself is an attractive product. Of course, everyone loves pirates, just as everyone loves robots, ninjas and monkeys, but even if youre one of those disgusting deviants who is immune to the charms of dashing seagoing criminals, theres much to enjoy here as the tales within are great examples of comics storytelling.

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8.0
Portent #1

Mar 23, 2006

This is a great looking title with a refreshingly different setting and lots of interesting stuff going on. Of late, Ive been lamenting the dearth of good fantasy comics in the US market, but with The Portent things are looking up. If you have any interest in the genre at all, you could do worse than giving The Portent a look.

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3.0
Praxis #1

Oct 2, 2005

I dont like this comic at all. It seems exploitative and mean-spirited, and really not my sort of thing. I hope that Ive just misread it and that future issues will prove me wrong, but Im somehow not confident.

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7.0
Random Encounter #2

May 20, 2005

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this comic, and while it has flaws, none do any irredeemable harm to the book. With a bit of tinkering in one or two areas, this could be a top-notch action/humour comic, and I eagerly look forward to the next issue.

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8.0
Random Encounter #3

Jul 25, 2005

Balces growing comfort with and understanding of the comics medium is clear, and his energetic storytelling style makes for an infectiously fun and entertaining read. Recommended.

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4.0
Red Sonja: She-Devil With a Sword #0

May 1, 2005

Itd be nave and foolish to expect this comic to be an exercise in feminist deconstructionism, but even so, surely the comics industry can do better than this?

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7.0
Redeye #3

Dec 13, 2004

Redeye is an excellent magazine. Even if you have little interest in the British self-published scene then theres a lot to enjoy here. Id say its worth picking up at least one issue of the magazine just to see what you might be missing with the technicolour gaudiness and vacant writing of magazines like Wizard. Good stuff.

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9.0
Redeye #4

Jun 17, 2005

With every issue of this magazine I see, I become increasingly more impressed. The Brit-centric subject matter might put many off, but from the perspective of content and production, this stands head and shoulders above most, if not all, other print magazines dealing with comics.

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7.0
Redeye #5

Apr 10, 2006

Not the strongest issue, then, but this remains an essential purchase for those with an interest in independent comics, particularly those from Britain.

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8.0
Revelations #1

Sep 15, 2005

I came for the pretty pictures but instead found an unexpectedly compelling mystery thriller.

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8.0
Revelations #2

Oct 25, 2005

Revelations doesn't quite fit into any of Dark Horse's established niches, and it's certainly not the type of story one might expect from the creative team behind Spectacular Spider-Man, but perhaps that makes it all the more refreshing. Expectations aside, it's a superb little mystery story.

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6.0
Robotika #1

Jan 31, 2006

Its a shame this book suffers from a couple of small but distracting flaws, as otherwise its an entertaining and interesting comic that Id like to see more of. I couldnt ignore the obnoxious sidekick or the slightly humdrum story elements, but you might have better luck.

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6.0
Rock N Roll #1

Nov 27, 2005

So its a more than competent work that does some very interesting things with the mechanics of the comics medium, but its all at the expense of a strong narrative core. Rock N Roll is certainly worth reading, and is wonderful to look at, but theres not enough story for me. If youre less uptight than me about such things, feel free to add another bullet to the score.

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8.0
Runaways (2005) #25

Apr 8, 2007

You couldnt ask for a better start. This unjustly overlooked title gets the expected celebrity boost from Whedons presence, but the writer also delivers on his potential, which given his lacklustre X-Men work was less of a certainty. I hope Whedon continues to deliver such strong work on this title, and I hope he sticks around for longer than the projected six issues, because hes proven to be a great fit for the Runaways.

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6.0
Runes of Ragnan #1

Aug 15, 2005

Time now for the quick and pithy summary; this is Marvel's Thor, as done by Todd McFarlane, only good. McFarlane's influence is obvious, but what is also obvious is the care and dedication the creators have put into this in order to produce an attractive product, dedication which has largely paid off. If you've been waiting for Marvel to get off of their collective arses and put out a new Thor comic, then you could do a lot worse than try this one out.

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6.0
Savage Brothers #1

Aug 13, 2006

Theres a great deal to enjoy here, but I have little desire to pick up future issues, most likely due to the generic protagonists. I wish I had less ambivalence to the clichs, but this comic just feels somewhat hollow to me, despite its many strengths.

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6.0
Scar Tissue #1

Aug 12, 2005

Oh yeah, and the films called Heart Condition, in case you were wondering.

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8.0
Scoregasm #1

Sep 10, 2011

So here comes Scoregasm from Andy Winter, the writer of Blood Psi, Septic Isle and Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag. It tells the story of Billy Foley, a talented young player for League Two side Newhampton Town, and his struggles with sleazy journalist Jake Thompson after Billy lets the excitement of the game get the better of him and reveals his preternatural footballing prowess.

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8.0
Sentry #1

Oct 14, 2005

I approached this comic with some trepidation after the abysmal lead-in story in New Avengers, but it's a lot better than I dared to hope. We'll see how things go in future issues, but for now this is a fun and enjoyable book, and the only problems I have are purely conceptual; with the Sentry around, the Avengers seem somehow demoted, almost like a B-list team, and his presence makes finding a place in the Marvel Universe for the beleaguered Thor even more difficult. As such, I really don't think the Marvel Universe needs a Superman, indeed his presence undermines things a little, but he's a fascinating character nonetheless.

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8.0
Sentry Vol. 2 #3

Dec 9, 2005

Ive been a bit ambivalent towards this series in the past; I dont see any compelling reason to bring the Sentry back into the Marvel Universe when the original series did such a good job of packing him off, and the Not Avengers arc and the first two issues of this series did little to convince me otherwise, with a lack of conviction palpable throughout. While Im still unconvinced about the Sentrys return, this issue has at least given me hope that there is some point to it.

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8.0
Septic Isle #1

Jun 30, 2008

Those minor flaws aside, there's much to enjoy here, and plenty to think about. Septic Isle is not a groundbreaking piece of work, but it is nonetheless a strong and very welcome addition to a genre that is under-represented in modern western comics.

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6.0
Sequence #1

Sep 11, 2005

Sequence is not a bad comic by any means, but it is a shame to see superheroics of a rather generic sort, and individual stories that, due to either a lack of compelling central concepts or an unfamiliarity with the specific requirements of anthology storytelling, fail to stand out. Theres considerable talent here, but more thought needs to be applied to what exactly the creators want to do with it; simply stuffing together a number of fluff pieces (strong as they are in execution, none of the stories here seem to really be about anything) isnt good enough. Harsh perhaps, but these creators can do better, and I hope to see them do so in future issues.

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9.0
Seven Soldiers of Victory #0

Feb 27, 2005

So Im impressed. Even as someone who generally enjoys Morrisons work, I wasnt expecting much of interest here, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a good fun story that manages to also say some interesting things about superheroes and the type of people who would take that up as a career, and why they might subsequently give it up. Its an effective short, self-contained story as well as being an excellent introduction to the main Seven Soldiers super-storyline (!), so its good value for money too. That said, Im not sure its inspired me enough to invest time and money into picking up every issue of the upcoming quasi-crossover-thingie (mainly because the protagonists of that do not appear here, but again thats heading into spoilerish territory), but I couldnt ask for a better introduction to Morrisons grand plan.

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5.0
Seven Soldiers of Victory #1

Oct 31, 2006

Morrison perhaps set himself an impossible task with this issue, and while it's just about an adequate conclusion to the Seven Soldiers saga, it's bewilderingly far from a satisfying one. The central battle between the heroes and the villain is handled well, but everything else is so confused and erratic that I can't help but be disappointed.

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6.0
Seven Soldiers of Victory: Guardian #1

Mar 27, 2005

I may have given the impression that I didnt like this comic, which is somewhat misleading. I liked it a great deal; its a superb comic, truth be told, but given that its part of Grant Morrisons Big Comics Experiment, I just expected a great deal more. This would get four bullets easily under normal circumstances, but it just seems out of place as part of this event.

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9.0
Seven Soldiers of Victory: Klarion The Witch Boy #2

Jun 20, 2005

To my eyes, this is by far the most successful of the Seven Soldiers titles, and one of the best titles Ive read in a long time. Ignore Shakedown to Boogaloo Crisis, this is DCs big event; a solid, superbly crafted comic. They can rape and murder a thousand C-list superheroes, but theyll never produce something as fine as this.

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8.0
Seven Soldiers of Victory: Klarion The Witch Boy #4

Oct 27, 2005

Ive not followed the majority of the Seven Soldiers stuff, as thats Too Much DC For Me, but by gosh, the whole thing was worth the time and effort for Morrison and his collaborators if only because it spawned this series.

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #6

Jun 17, 2005

This comic is great fun. It really is quite hard to make comedy work, but Pearce does an excellent job here, largely because he doesnt stick to one type of comedy. Relying on merely spoofing Action Force would have been risky, but bundling that up with some neatly observed social satire, good visual humour, marvellous attention to detail and some cracking dialogue, theres hardly a duff note. He aims wide and hits every mark. Good stuff.

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #7

Jun 13, 2006

Much as I liked Robert Kirkmans ode to 90s comics in Marvel Team-Up #19, it didnt go far enough to make use of the possibilities inherent in the premise; Pearce doesnt shy away from making fun of an era in comics that more than deserves scorn and ridicule, but at the same time his affection for that period is clear, and together the combination of satire and tribute makes for an entertaining read.

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #8

Apr 30, 2007

I'll be honest: based on the issues of this title I'd read previously, I wasn't sure that there was enough potential in the comic to carry an ongoing, but Graham Pearce has proven me wrong. Not only has the writer found new targets for his wicked mockery, but this issue also delivers a compelling and dramatic story, making the package as a whole all the more satisfying. And it's cheap too, at just One English Pound for thirty-two pages (plus the odd free twelve-pager if you ask nicely).

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #9

Aug 27, 2007

I should also mention the cover, which is not only a striking (and comical) image, but Pearce has decided to have some fun by giving it a tactile, three-dimensional aspect too. It's a wonderful display of the creative freedoms afforded by non-corporate comics, as well as being fun in its own right. I won't spoil things, and I doubt I could do the cover justice anyway, but suffice to say it's a neat extra touch that shows a genuine intent to entertain. That intent is apparent on every page of this comic, in the writing, in the art, and even in unexpected places like the cover, and the result is a comic that's a real joy to read; if you're not reading Sgt. Mike Battle, you're letting the terrorists win!

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #10

Jan 18, 2008

This latest adventure for the good Sergeant is largely an improvement on previous issues. Graham Pearce's skills as a storyteller visibly improve with every release, and they were none too shabby to begin with. Unbridled enthusiasm for the medium exudes from every page, and if I had to scrabble around for a criticism of the comic, it would be that it's just not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as previous issues. That said, even if the jokes have faded into the background somewhat, confident storytelling has emerged, and it's great to see solid, unpretentious, action comics done so well.

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #11

Jun 7, 2008

The spoofing and lampoonery is turned down a tad this issue, but the enthusiastic storytelling and clever writing are more than enough to make for an entertaining comic, and there's definite worth in returning to the basic elements which made the title work in the first place, especially with the general improvement in craft that we've seen since those first issues.

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #12

Dec 5, 2008

As a bonus, my review copy came with a flyer advertising the newly remastered anniversary edition of WATCHBLOOD, essentially What If... Rob Liefeld Had Created Watchmen? I don't know if this is going to be a real product, but I do hope so, as the Liefeld pastiche seen in a previous issue of SMB: TGAH was spot on.

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #13

May 18, 2009

**I can see Battle becoming something akin to Judge Dredd, not a protagonist as such, but rather the reader's point of entry into stories involving other characters and concepts. Again, this is no bad thing.

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9.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #14

Nov 2, 2009

(WATCHBLOOD update: Once again, Pearce's Rob Liefeld/Alan Moore pastiches has been delayed. While the joke continues to work, I wouldn't mind actually seeing the real thing after all this build up!

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8.0
Sgt Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero #15

Jun 28, 2010

It is fair to say that this is not the strongest episode of the series so far, and both the introductory editorial and the letters page indicate a real worry on Pearce's part that reusing a previous comic might seem a bit of a cop-out. Those fears are, I think, unfounded; if this comic is in any way substandard, it is only because previous issues have set that standard so high.

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7.0
Sgt. Mike Battle: The Greatest British Hero #16

Jun 23, 2011

Kelvin Green erupted fully formed from the grey shapeless mass of Ubbo Sathla in the dark days before humans walked the earth. He grew up on Judge Dredd, Transformers, Indiana Jones #12, the Avengers and Spider-Man, and thinks comics don't get much better than FLCL, Nextwave and Rocket Raccoon. Kelvin lives among garbage and seagulls and doesn't hate Marvel nearly as much as you all think he does.

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6.0
Shonen Jump (US edition) #18

May 5, 2004

And its got fan art pages. If DC and Marvel want kids to read their comics again, they should have fan art pages. Kids love to draw, and fan art will save the US industry!

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7.0
Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward #1

Feb 25, 2008

This is a great deal better than I expected from a video-game tie-in; Stamb's artwork is a particularly good fit for the strange and unsettling tone of the series, and Waltz sets up the scenario quite well. There's perhaps not enough about Silent Hill itself in this first issue, and that may be a bit of a gamble, but on the whole this is a strong introductory issue.

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7.0
Smoke and Mirror #1

Jul 31, 2005

Is this a bold and original step forward in superhero comics? It doesnt look like it, no, but it is a competent and confident comic, and theres always room for those.

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6.0
Snaked #1

Nov 2, 2007

Snaked is a truly fascinating comic. It's all very disjointed and the various threads are so very different in tone and genre, and yet it's clear that the producers have a definite plan in mind. I'm certainly very interested in seeing how everything is connected, but there's just enough choppiness in the art and writing that I'm also concerned that the creative team won't be able to pull off the big plan when all is said and done.

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6.0
Son of M #1

Dec 19, 2005

The truth is that this is a pretty good comic, and a fair continuation and expansion of House of M; that said, HoM was so lacking in merit that I cant help but feel that Marvel would be better off putting the whole mess behind them and letting these talented creators devote their energies to something other than flogging a dead Bendis.

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8.0
Spandex #1

Nov 16, 2009

For information on this comic, see spandexcomic.wordpress.com

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8.0
Spandex #2

Jun 10, 2010

Spandex has been receiving a lot of attention due to its LGBT trappings, and why not, since it is an underserved subject matter and audience. It is perhaps fair to say that without this aspect, the title would lack a high concept, but even if that were true, what remains is a fine example of the craft of the superhero comic, with attractive visuals, strong characters, and solid plotting.

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8.0
Spandex #3

Dec 4, 2010

This issue is an example of the kind of thing I was hoping for and expecting from Spandex from the outset. Martin Eden is one of the strongest, and most unrecognized, writers of superhero stories working in the medium today, but the high concept of the series has seemed a bit disconnected in previous issues. That's not the case this time around, and the result is a comic which, though self-published, puts the output of the big companies to shame.

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7.0
Spandex #5

Dec 1, 2011

So Spandex #5 is not one of the stronger comics we've seen from Martin Eden, but it's still a solid bit of superhero storytelling. It's only in comparison with the title's normal level of quality that it falls a little -- and only a little -- short.

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8.0
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1

Jan 10, 2006

I hope that Marvel have already committed to a collected edition of this book, and aren't basing that decision on sales of these single issues; it'll die an ignoble death in the stunted and incestuous Direct Market, but I think it has all the elements it needs to succeed in the bookshops. Theres absolutely no reason why this cant be the manga crossover success Marvel so desperately want it to be, if only they have confidence in it.

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2.0
Spider-Woman: Origin #1

Dec 25, 2005

This is the very definition of a pointless revamp; it adds nothing to the original and is in many ways very much worse. Of course, Marvel get to fleece the Bendisites for a bit more cash, but if you have any interest in Spider-Woman, Id personally feel better pointing you to the Essential collection (which will end up cheaper) than this rubbish.

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5.0
Squadron Supreme #1

Mar 19, 2006

This comic reeks of pointlessness; I dont see how this brings anything compelling and innovative to the Squadron Supreme concept, let alone that of the JLA. There are a couple of nascent good ideas in here, but on the whole, Squadron Supreme commits the cardinal sin of superhero comics: its dull.

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7.0
Starkweather #1

Jan 2, 2005

All in all, this is an accomplished work. While not much beyond the setting stands out as being particularly noteworthy, its all very competently and confidently done. An excellent start to what looks to be a very interesting series.

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7.0
Starscape Vol.2 #1

Mar 28, 2005

(This issue also comes with a free gift, upholding an age-old British comics tradition: a VCD, playable on most computers and DVD players, containing a classic Superman cartoon and Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead.)

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6.0
Strange (2004) #1

Sep 21, 2004

The general impression here is one of pointlessness. The additions and changes dont bring any new insight to the character, and Im hard pressed to see why this should replace previous versions of the characters origins. Its not bad by any means, and future issues might do a better job of justifying the series existence, but this first issue fails to convince me that you need a miniseries to tell Stranges backstory, when one back issue (or a page from the online or print versions of the Marvel Encyclopaedia) will do the job just as well.

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5.0
Street Nights #1

Sep 4, 2005

Despite its derivative setting and erratic art quality, Street Nights is an interesting title that more than justifies its existence with some snappy writing.

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6.0
Sugar Glider #1

Mar 15, 2011

So yes, Sugar Glider is a bit wobbly around the edges in places, but it seems to be due to a lack of confidence and experience rather than a deficiency of talent. Those flaws should be ironed out in future issues, of which I hope to see many more, as there is plenty of potential in this character.

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7.0
Sundown: Arizona #1

Jul 10, 2005

Not only did this comic surprise me with how good it actually is, but it also proved that theres still life in the horror-western sub-genre, and thats an achievement in itself. Itll be interesting to see where this series goes in the next two issues, and itll also be interesting to see what these promising creators do next.

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6.0
Super-Villain Team-Up/Modoks 11 #1

Jul 15, 2007

I had high hopes for this story; MODOK is one of Marvels craziest character concepts, one Ive been fond of since I was a child, and based on the premise of this series, I was looking forward to something that properly played up the absurdity of the character while delivering a fun crime caper. Perhaps thats to come in subsequent issues, but the first chapter of MODOKs 11 is definitely more bland than fun.

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2.0
Supergirl (2005) #1

Aug 14, 2005

To my eyes, this is a big failure; nothing in this issue does anything to justify the existence of a distinct Supergirl title, and the general impression given is that DC simply decided there should be a Supergirl comic, without having any good ideas of how to make it worthwhile. Ive never really been a DC fan, and I really couldnt care less about Supergirl, but I did read a handful of issues from Peter Davids run on the previous version of the character, and they were a lot more interesting than this utterly pointless garbage.

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6.0
Teen Titans Go! #6

May 5, 2004

I realise that its difficult to properly review something aimed at someone whose age and experience give them a whole different outlook on life to myself. Perhaps Im just too old to understand this comic. Perhaps kids will just be pleased to see their favourite characters in action, and wont even notice the difference, but I dont like to underestimate childrens capabilities, and I cant imagine a fan of the cartoon, whatever age they are, enjoying this comic too much.

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7.0
The Abnormals Special #1

Sep 15, 2011

Kelvin Green erupted fully formed from the grey shapeless mass of Ubbo Sathla in the dark days before humans walked the earth. He grew up on Judge Dredd, Transformers, Indiana Jones #12, the Avengers and Spider-Man, and thinks comics don't get much better than FLCL, Nextwave and Rocket Raccoon. Kelvin lives among garbage and seagulls and doesn't hate Marvel nearly as much as you all think he does.

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8.0
The Absence #1

Oct 21, 2010

There's a little bit of Strangehaven in here, and a little bit of Twin Peaks, but it's not as overtly weird as either. Yet. All in all, The Absence is a compelling and atmospheric title which would not be out of place at Vertigo, and it's a joy to see something so elaborate and ambitious come from a self-publisher. Good stuff.

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10
The Absence #3

Apr 9, 2011

This third issue not only maintains the high standard set by the first two installments, but it improves on them with its well-judged plotting; The Absence has a gripping and dramatic plot backed up with strong art and exceptional visual design and storytelling. Don't neglect this brilliant comic just because it's not a product of one of the big publishing companies, as you'll be missing out on a great piece of work.

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3.0
The Authority Vol. 3 #1

Oct 22, 2006

(Oh, and wheres the created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch credit, WildStorm? Tsk, tsk.)

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6.0
The Goon #14

Dec 15, 2005

The promo issue was good, this issue could be a lot better, and all in all, I'm struggling to see what the fuss is about this title. There's an atmospheric setting in there somewhere that I'd certainly like to see more of, but there's also a lot of interference from extraneous and unnecessary bumf.

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6.0
The Goon #21

Feb 9, 2008

I'm still not entirely convinced by this title. I think I'm getting closer to understanding what's good about it, but perhaps I need to go back to read full arcs, rather than random singles here and there. The Goon is not a bad comic by any means, but for me, something just isn't clicking.

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8.0
The O Men #3

Jun 7, 2008

With this issue, Martin Eden maintains the high quality, particularly in characterization, that has become expected of The O Men; truly this title is the very model of how to do proper superhero stories for a mature audience.

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9.0
The O Men #23

Mar 30, 2004

To be fair, what flaws there are in this comic are tiny, and are really only likely to be picked up on by pedantic sorts, like comics reviewers. The art in this issue does fall a bit below Edens usual high standard, but its still strong, and the writing really cannot be faulted. In a time when DC and Marvel try to cover deficient stories with flashy art, this comic is for them an embarrassment and for the reader a joy. But Im not going to tell you what happens. Youll have to buy it yourself to find out.

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9.0
The O Men #24

May 27, 2004

Great stuff again from one of the best comics out there, self-published or not. Its a crying shame that this is ending so soon.

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9.0
The O Men #25

Nov 17, 2004

I wouldnt recommend this particular issue to a new reader, as were so close to the finale now, but its still an excellent issue, and Id encourage anyone unfamiliar with The O Men to go and pick up the back issue collections to bring them up to speed. Easily the best comic Ive read in months.

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9.0
The O Men #26

Feb 4, 2005

All in all, this is another excellent issue of one of the best superhero comics I've ever read. And I'm including the big companies in that too. This is absolutely superb stuff, and it's a crime to let yourself miss out.

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10
The O Men #27

May 20, 2005

Eden has said that this issue can be read in isolation and still enjoyed. I think so, but I do believe you miss out if you havent read all of the preceding issues. Do yourself a favour; take some of the variant cover editions off your pull list, and start reading The O Men from the beginning instead. You will not regret it.

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6.0
The Pulse #11

Sep 18, 2005

See? Im not always nasty to Bendis. This is exactly the kind of good solid character work that makes him popular, the kind of stuff he should be concentrating on instead of getting out of his depth on epic superhero stories that he just doesn't have the mindset for. Okay, that there was a bit critical

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8.0
The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite #1

Sep 16, 2007

Apparently, Gerard Way was working in the comics industry before he started his angst-pop songster collective, so I dont know if this can really be called an impressive debut. But it is an impressive comic, with solid writing and strong art, and enough in the way of mystery and compelling characterisation to bring me back for more. Good stuff.

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6.0
The Wannabes #1

Sep 4, 2005

This is actually one of the better first issues Ive read in a while; the premise and setting is clearly defined, and we get just about enough of an insight into the main characters personalities to be able to follow them. Theres room for improvement, certainly, but theres more than enough here to grab a readers interest.

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7.0
Thor (1998) #80

May 27, 2004

So, its okay. I have niggling problems with it, like the portrayal of Loki as a snickering villain which really isnt the most intelligent use of the character, and the apparent death of Fin Fang Foom (okay, thats a really minor quibble, but I like the big green guy!), but theres nothing here that does any fatal harm. On the other hand, theres nothing here that really grabs me and makes me want to get the next issue. Im mildly interested in where all this is going, but not enough to fork over my own money to see it, especially if it might suggest to Marvel that crossovers work. If this storyline ends up in a collected edition, Ill pick up a copy from the library, but otherwise Ill pass.

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6.0
Thor (2007) #1

Jul 1, 2007

This certainly isnt a bad comic. It looks good, and there is an intriguing sense of mystery surrounding the direction of the title (although what JMS does reveal seems a tad similar to Gaimans Eternals), but Marvel have maintained for years that no one knew what to do with Thor, so they were going to rest the concept until someone came up with a thrilling new approach. If Straczynski has hit upon that great new idea, it certainly doesnt show in this bitty and unconvincing issue.

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7.0
Thor (2007) #7

Mar 20, 2008

This is not bad at all. JMS has some good ideas about the nature of gods and their relationships both with each other and humankind, and I like that the writer is attempting to do something a bit different with Thor than a mere rehash of Kirby and Simonson and the rest. While it's not always entirely successful, at least he's trying. As well as that compelling central agenda, this issue also benefits from good art, a well written relationship between Thor and his father, and a definite sense that the title is starting to find its feet. It took a while to get to this point, but better late than never.

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7.0
Thunderbolts #0

Jul 19, 2005

This is the kind of good honest superheroics Ive always expected of Thunderbolts and yet rarely seen, and its a terrible shame that its compromised by an editorial department who cant do their job.

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8.0
Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag #1

Apr 20, 2009

*Although there's joke at Ennis' expense in here which had me laughing louder than I have at a comic in years.

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3.0
Tomb Raider: The Greatest Treasure of All #1

Dec 13, 2005

I really didnt expect a Tomb Raider comic to actually be good, but competent would have been a happy compromise. Sadly, we dont even get that much here. Bloody hell.

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5.0
Transformers Energon #23

May 28, 2004

Im probably being too harsh. This could be a lot better, but its not a bad comic. Perhaps the target audience dont care about the things I dislike, but Im not sure anyone from the target audience is reading this. If they are, and theyre enjoying it, good for them, but Im personally losing interest in this title.

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7.0
Transformers Energon #24

Jun 22, 2004

The attempts at tackling some serious issues are similarly muddled, but on the other hand, its great to see the attempts being made. This disregard for the constraints of a toy-based comic are what made Furmans original UK work so impressive, and its good to see that he seems to be applying it here, even if the result is a little fuzzy. Transformers has always been about war, and here Furman looks at a side previously ignored in the Transformers mythos, but which is all too prevalent in our world: prisoners of war, and the abuse thereof. Obviously a comic about colourful giant robots based on a kids toy line isnt going to be the place to look for sharp socio-political commentary, and that contradiction leads to a frustrating lack of clarity as the issues are hinted at but generally avoided, but the fact the issues are there, and are dealt with even to such a minor extent, lends this issue of Energon a level of depth and complexity that previous issues have been sorely missing.

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6.0
Transformers Energon #25

Jul 20, 2004

Aside from these problems, this is a solid issue. Its a simple story thats well told, if certain problems are overlooked, and the art is pretty good. Its not great, but its generally acceptable, aside from the fact that I know that Furman can do better.

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7.0
Transformers Energon #26

Aug 5, 2004

There are no obvious problems with this issue, which in itself is an achievement for a Dreamwave Transformers comic. I just hope that Furman can keep up with this level of quality.

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6.0
Transformers Generation One #3

Mar 30, 2004

So, Brad Mick is no Simon Furman, and Don Figueroa is no Geoff Senior/Dan Reed/Bryan Hitch/Andy Wildman/etc, but you take the best you can, and this is pretty good.

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6.0
Transformers Generation One #4

May 5, 2004

This isnt a bad comic, but Ive come to expect better from this creative team and this is a bit of a let-down to be honest. That said, this is still the best Transformers title Dreamwave are currently publishing.

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4.0
Transformers Generation One #5

Jun 22, 2004

This series started off so well, but it has degenerated into confusing nonsense. Avoid.

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7.0
Transformers Generation One #6

Jul 20, 2004

But as I say, thats more of a problem with the series as a whole than this particular issue, although it does creep in at the edges here too. This issue is much more of a success than its predecessors because it focuses on the action and the drama, and generally avoids incompetent attempts at mystery. If the series as a whole could manage that, Id be much happier with it.

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4.0
Transformers: Micromasters #1

Jul 20, 2004

7) (okay Im pushing it now, but Im almost done), the Micromasters were a stinkingly awful concept a decade and a half ago, and they certainly dont hold up now. As guest stars in the main title, they might work, but they cant maintain a tile of their own. If this is the first in a series of comics dealing with Rubbish Transformers Concepts, then Im really not going to be pleased. Whats next? Pretender Beasts?

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6.0
Transformers: War Within: The Dark Ages #6

Apr 27, 2004

Ive enjoyed this series so far even though many of these flaws were in evidence before, so perhaps Im being a little unfair just because the ending doesnt make sense. In that case, add half a bullet to the score above. But no more, because this really is a disappointing finale either way.

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2.0
Trigun Anime Manga: Wolfwood #1

Mar 4, 2005

If twenty-five cents is nothing to you, then by all means have a look, but Id advise you to spend it on something else. As a comics enthusiast, I considered this corruption of the medium as worthless. Surely Dark Horse is making enough money from their manga line that this rubbish isn't necessary?

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6.0
Turning Tiger #1

Dec 16, 2011

Find out more about Turning Tiger at Renegade Art Entertainment.

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7.0
Ultimate Extinction #2

Feb 24, 2006

The Ultimate Galactus trilogy-and-a-bit has been something of a mixed bag, but Extinction is shaping up to not only be the strongest chapter so far, but a very strong miniseries in its own right. Theres a palpable sense of escalating tension (even though this is set before the main Ultimate titles), and the creative team seem to be putting in a more confident job with each issue. Good stuff.

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9.0
Ultimate Fantastic Four #32

Aug 28, 2006

There's the usual action and humour, and even Greg Land's art isn't too bad, having shed a lot of the stiffness he's known for. But the core of the issue is an absolutely spot-on examination of Reed, Doom, and their difficult relationship. Mark Millar utterly nails their differences, and crucially, their similarities; they're both proud and arrogant individuals, but they're both honourable and heroic too. Yes, it's Reed who wipes the floor with the Zombie Four (in a sequence, to give Land his due, that crackles with storytelling energy) , but he's in Doom's body at the time, and he's making use of Doom's unique abilities. And it's Doom who, after letting slip a tiny bit of humility that only endears him further, finally saves the day and sets up a fantastic (pun very much intended) finale. It's not a perfect issue, by any means; the plot feels a bit rushed, and there are some illogical twists and turns along the way, but the focus is very much on the characterisation, and it's fla

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8.0
Ultimate Nightmare #1

Aug 8, 2004

Im a little concerned that the miniseries as a whole will follow the lead of this first issue and be a somewhat insubstantial read, but overall, this is a good strong start to the series, and Im certainly looking forward to seeing where this ones going.

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8.0
Ultimate Nightmare #2

Sep 19, 2004

Im enjoying this series much more than I thought I would, having been lured primarily by Hairsines art and having no particular love for the Ultimate line or Ellis work. Im a bit concerned about the pacing of the story, but for the most part this is a highly entertaining tale of mystery and horror. In fact, Im enjoying this a lot more than either of the parent titles.

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6.0
Ultimate Nightmare #3

Oct 17, 2004

So it's a very atmospheric piece, but the content leaves a lot to be desired. It would be nice if future issues pick up the pace a bit, but this is starting to look a lot like an extended prologue to something else. Of course, thats what it apparently is, but thats no reason why it cant be an effective story in its own right. It's alright, but not as impressive as I'd have liked.

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7.0
Ultimate Nightmare #5

Feb 27, 2005

All in all, this issue has a couple of problems, but isnt too bad at all. However, after the ponderous tedium of the preceding issues, the upswing in quality is too little too late. Yes, the hook into the next chapter is effective, and I do want to see what Ultimate Galactus is like, but theres no way Im paying money for more of this. No way.

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8.0
Ultimate Secret #3

Oct 7, 2005

Delays and erratic pacing in the plot had almost completely put me off the Ultimate Galactus storyline, but a fresh art team more to my tastes and some snappy and entertaining scripting from Ellis have reignited my interest, and now I'm quite looking forward to the rest of the story.

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7.0
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1

Feb 2, 2006

This is a good looking comic, and a pretty strong writing debut from Lindelof; I'm keen to see more, but this first issue hasn't done anything to divest me of my concerns regarding the series' content and substance. I hope to be proved wrong.

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6.0
Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #2

Feb 28, 2006

This is a book thats ostensibly about two violent superhumans fighting each other and so far weve had one page of fighting (well, two really, but it was a double-page splash) in two issues of build-up, including irritatingly inept attempts at sagacity and some tiresome jokes. Im sure everyone would be much happier if Lindelof and Marvel stopped trying to make this comic something its not, and instead tried to make it entertaining. Its not too much to ask, surely.

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7.0
Ultimates 2 #4

Mar 20, 2005

Im still baffled by this titles popularity. Its certainly not a bad comic, by any means, but its never been an exciting read for me. That said, this issues focus on the mysterious origins of Ultimate Thor have done enough to keep me onboard for this arc at least. Its an intriguing mystery, and its going to be fun to see where it goes from here.

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8.0
Ultimates 2 #12

Oct 3, 2006

I shouldn't like this, as it's clumsy and bitty and just not well put together, despite the simple structure. But my word, it's good to see the Avengers in action, kicking arse and saving lives on an epic scale, and not just sitting around chatting inanely. Bendis take note.

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5.0
Uncanny X-Men #448

Sep 6, 2004

Even putting aside my unfamiliarity with, and general distaste for, the X-Men, I can't recommend this. While the art is nice, it's not as nice as it could have been with a different inker, and the story is full of so many ridiculous inconsistencies that I can't take it seriously. As a superhero comic, it's flawed, but generally readable. As an X-Men comic, it's a comprehensive failure.

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4.0
Union Jack #1

Sep 17, 2006

I applaud the attempt to do something different with Union Jack and distance him from his well worn vampire-hunting roots, but due to the simplistic and naive approach taken, the Tom Clancy shenanigans come across as ill-fitting and unconvincing. Ed Brubaker is having a much more successful go at the spy/superhero sub-genre over in Captain America, Union Jack has had more entertaining, albeit vampire-soaked, outings in the past, and the story of a broadly similar character is told in an infinitely better manner in Images Jack Staff; only a Union Jack completist need bother with this, and I doubt there are many of them around.

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10
Usagi Yojimbo #83

Jul 25, 2005

I don't read enough Usagi Yojimbo. Neither, most likely, do you. Take immediate steps to change that.

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9.0
Usagi Yojimbo #84

Sep 12, 2005

Sakai is also a master of characterisation; a superb cartoonist, he captures the personalities of the characters so well through his art that the script is almost unnecessary. He slips up once, in #84 as the titular samurai warrior is introduced into the storyline, prompting some clumsy Claremontesque expository dialogue and unexpressive visuals. But thats only a couple of pages of clunkiness in two full issues of top-notch comics storytelling, and thats not a bad result at all.

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10
Vimanarama #1

Feb 13, 2005

This is an absolutely wonderful comic. Its got fun and exciting imagery, a funny script and well-rounded characters. And of course, its shoved off into an imprint where hardly anyone will read it. All comics should be at least this well-made, and you owe it to yourself to read Vimanarama.

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9.0
Vimanarama #2

Mar 28, 2005

This is exactly the kind of thing that got me into comics in the first place. It's bright, it's imaginative, it's fun, and it's intelligent. At three issues, I'm sure it's going to be far too short, too.

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6.0
Warlock #1

Sep 13, 2004

It almost seems unfair to be so harsh on this comic because of the conceptual problems. After all, it's generally very good in other areas. But the sheer idiocy of the central concept, coupled with the fact that it's been shamelessly "borrowed" from somewhere else, just ruins the whole thing for me. It's such a big problem that it gets in the way of the creative team's other achievements and makes the comic, for me, an unenjoyable read.

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8.0
Weird World of Jack Staff King-Size Special #1

Jun 25, 2007

To be honest, I must admit to being a little disappointed with this comic. It doesn't display that assured mastery of plotting and storytelling that makes the average issue of the main title such a joy to read, but I have to temper that disappointment, as this is still a solid and entertaining adventure, and it's merely in comparison with the mighty main title that this looks so anaemic.

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8.0
West: Justice #1

Jun 2, 2010

* I know enough to know that Clint Eastwood would beat anyone in a fight--except maybe Bruce Lee, obviously.

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9.0
What If: Thor #1

Jan 9, 2006

The other problem with the book, another thats not really major in any meaningful sense, and that I cant in good conscience mark the comic down for, is that its just not long enough (which makes the terrible nu-Watcher bits seem all the worse). This creative team do such a great job with Thor and the gang that I want to see much more from them than just twenty-odd pages; if the current plan is to keep Thors title on hiatus and just publish a miniseries now and again, then Id love to see Kirkman and Oeming put out a four-to-six issue story in this vein, or an oversized graphic novel. This creative team has a clear understanding of how to tell a great Thor story, and if I can have a special New Years wish, it would be that Marvel give them more space to tell it next time.

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8.0
Wisdom #1

Nov 7, 2006

This is considerably better than I expected; I'd have thought that Marvel would have followed standard procedure and attached some third rate creative team to the miniseries, only to express shock and surprise when the negative reviews flood in and sales dwindle to nothing. Instead, the combination of a strong creative team and a promising central concept has resulted in a title which, while a little lacking in depth, has much to enjoy.

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9.0
Wolverine (2003) #21

Nov 1, 2004

Theres still not much thats original or unique about this arc so far, but with this second issue, the creative team is showing that even the most hackneyed elements can be made exciting and interesting if done with confidence and skill. I never thought Id be enjoying a Wolverine comic, and here I am, loving it. Sign of the apocalypse, most likely.

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7.0
Wolverine (2003) #22

Nov 22, 2004

This remains a fast-moving and exciting story, which is a rarity at Marvel these days, but its going so fast that the wheels are coming off, and Millars too concerned with steering to pay attention to the fact that everythings coming apart. This is still more fun than a Wolverine comic has any right to be, but the cracks are starting to show.

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #24

Jan 25, 2005

This is nothing special, but it's solid competent work that manages to impress despite the fact that it's bloody Wolverine. Great stuff.

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #25

Feb 20, 2005

As a big action finale, theres not much in the way of characterisation or depth going on, but its really not to be expected here. This is a story that exists only to have fun in the Marvel Universe, continuity, and occasionally logic, be damned. And on that level, its a great success. Simple fun comics that dont resort to depicting adult situations in an idiotic misunderstanding of what constitutes a mature story; whod have thought that would ever work nowadays?

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #27

Apr 25, 2005

Again, I feel a bit dirty and ashamed that I enjoyed a Wolverine comic so much, but I just can't help it. Its stuff like this that makes me glad that I discovered comics. Its not art, but by Jove its fun.

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #29

Jun 20, 2005

Yet again, I feel that I should take up a religion just so I can properly repent for liking an issue of bloody Wolverine, but when its this much fun (he rides a Sentinel into battle! Against ninjas!), I just cant help it. Its big and its silly, but its just the sort of thing that Ive always liked about comics, and its a much-needed antidote to the po-faced seriousness that seems to be so fashionable nowadays.

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6.0
Wolverine (2003) #30

Aug 1, 2005

So its not bad, as there are plenty of highlights throughout, but this comic just feels like a bit of a disappointment after the entertaining excesses of previous issues. Perhaps itll read better as part of the whole, but on its own Wolverine #30 reads like exceptionally well-done filler.

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8.0
Wolverine (2003) #31

Sep 20, 2005

All that said, this issue is a fitting end to what has been an entertaining over-the-top cavalcade of violence and silliness; I feel a bit dirty for enjoying it so much, but Wolverine reprogrammed a Sentinel to squish ninjas. Thats just pure comics gold.

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9.0
Wolverine (2003) #32

Sep 26, 2005

It's ridiculously ironic that this has come out in the current comics climate; it's a single self-contained story with no connection to "Infinite House of Bendis," and no padding to make it TPB length (for which we must thank the late Will Eisner); it's a mature story dealing with adult themes that somehow manages to avoid the juvenile enthusiasm for human degredation that characterises the industry's current attitude to "maturity"; and it's a Wolverine story that makes use of the character's essential attributes in a sensible and interesting manner rather than just playing him up as a maniac with knives in his knuckles. All in all, this is an intelligent, sensitive and well-crafted comic, easily the best thing I've read from Mark Millar. Why can't he always be this good?

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6.0
Wolverine Origins #1

Apr 16, 2006

With an issue like this, the burden is on Marvel to prove that a second ongoing Wolverine title (on top of his numerous team book appearances) is a worthwhile venture. Based on this first issue, I have to say that theyve failed to do so. There's nothing here which couldnt have been done in the main book (as was originally intended), and theres certainly not enough in the way of distinctiveness or innovation to justify this as a separate title. This is a perfectly acceptable (if generic) Wolverine story, but its also utterly pointless and unnecessary.

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8.0
Wonder Man #1

Dec 10, 2006

This comic benefits from a jaunty art style, a witty script, and a fun, compelling, premise, and Im quite surprised to have enjoyed this so much. True, Peter David doesnt do much to make Wonder Man himself any more interesting a character, but even so Im keen to see whats next.

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0.0
X-Force #1

Aug 15, 2004

I don't like giving a comic no score at all. I feel like I should perhaps reward Nicieza's attempts at damage control, but then he is collecting a paycheque for this, and that's reward enough. Matt Yackey's colouring is actually pretty good, but I can't give this comic even half a bullet for that. No, much as I dislike doing it, this comic gets no bullets from me. None.

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7.0
X-Men #166

Jan 23, 2005

(Oh, and I cant place the title as a literary quote, so could it be a hint at whos behind the Golgotha mystery? And if so, isnt he in Genosha? Pointers and suggestions very welcome.)

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5.0
X-Men #179

Dec 18, 2005

So again, this title has made me fail in my job as a reviewer, as Im really not sure if its any good or not. I think the odd stylistic quirks may be deliberate, but even if so, Im not sure they work as intended, and the surreal and detached feel they give the comic as a whole does not, for me, make for a generally enjoyable read.

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7.0
X-Men #182

Feb 16, 2006

Elsewhere, there's the usual hyperactive soap opera shenanigans with characters I couldn't care less about, and art from Larocca that finally lives up to the reputation the artist has acquired. But it's the playful sense of parody throughout that's caught my interest; maybe it's not deliberate, and Milligan's playing this completely straight, but either way, this is a fun look at a day in the life of a rather dull supervillain.

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3.0
X-Men: Apocalypse/Dracula #1

Feb 20, 2006

I know that I'm the victim of my own optimistic expectations here, and that an Apocalypse/Dracula miniseries was never going to be high art, but there's potential in the premise, at least for something fun, and it looks like that potential has been sadly squandered. Things might pick up in future issues as the two titular characters actually meet, but on the basis of this disappointing first issue, I doubt it.

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8.0
X-Men: First Class #1

Sep 24, 2006

Ive given this comic the benefit of the doubt and reviewed it purely on its own merits; as a coherent part of the main X-Men saga, you can knock off half a bullet because of the vast difference in tone between this and its alleged parent titles. Taken on its own, though, First Class is a strong and enjoyable bit of comics storytelling.

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4.0
X-Men: Messiah Complex #1

Nov 5, 2007

So what have we got here in Marvel's latest event? Well, a crossover based on convoluted X-Men continuity rather than solid plotting, sub-par scritchy-scratchy Image-era art, and hordes of variant covers. Welcome back to 1992 everyone. It's still shit.

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8.0
X-Men: S. W. O. R. D.--No Time to Breathe #1

Sep 15, 2010

All that said, S. W. O. R. D. is a bright and funny scifi superhero comic which, while not quite of the same calibre as the mighty nextwave, is in the same general area. Which must be why it got cancelled after only five issues, because today's audience hates fun and enjoyable comics, obviously. It would be wrong to write it off as a superficial comedy title, however, as there are some serious points being made, but the creators are savvy enough to know that profundity includes the word "fun".

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8.0
X-Statix #21

Apr 18, 2004

One thing I like most about this comic is that the creators are having fun. The concept of the two teams racing to find pieces of Doops brain is absurd, and while it makes fun of the quest format, its also clear that Milligan and Allred are going to have fun with the quest. While the comic is ironic and satirical, its never mean-spirited, and thats why this comic is such a joy to read. Its had a tendency in the past to tread water and produce less than exciting issues, but currently X-Statix is on a high.

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7.0
X-Statix #22

May 5, 2004

This is the best Avengers comic out this month, and its not even a proper Avengers comic. Fancy that.

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7.0
X-Statix #23

Jun 4, 2004

This issue, like the last, suffers from the structure imposed upon it. While some characters work well together and let the story write itself, some just dont work together at all and lead to stories that just dont come together well. Still, the main story is just about strong enough to make this comic worth buying, even if the second story is a clunker.

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8.0
X-Statix #24

Jul 5, 2004

Its debatable what the point is of reviewing the penultimate issue of a series, as a favourable review is hardly going to change matters (unless a hundred thousand people buy this issue, I suppose), but I suppose that if nothing else, its worth mentioning that X-Statix is going out on a high note, not humbled and broken by the fact that the legions of whinging Cable fans have won.

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8.0
X-Statix #25

Aug 5, 2004

Theres just one more issue to go with this, so a review seems to be rather unnecessary at this point. But if youre still reading reviews of this comic and not the comic itself, then let me tell you that this issue features more of the usual intelligent satire, laugh-out-loud comedy, excellent characterisation, and fine art. If Milligan takes any of this over to X-Men when he starts writing that, you mainstreamers are in for a treat.

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10
X-Statix #26

Aug 31, 2004

Marvels cleverest comic bows out finally, with a dignified and completely appropriate ending that, like the series as a whole, seems to have confused whole chunks of the readership. Your loss. This was a wonderful series and this is a wonderful issue.

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8.0
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1

Jan 15, 2006

My only complaint about this comic is that its somehow not particularly compelling. Im pleased to see the characters back in action, and Im interested in finding out more about the Pitiful One, as Ive always loved the concept of hiding a characters identity from the reader (is it Paste Pot Pete?), but Im not sure that without those aspects, Id be coming back to this title. Perhaps Marvel are content to rely on the X-Statix fan base for sales, or perhaps Im being too picky, but this comic doesnt grab the attention as much as Id like. All that said, its a minor complaint if anything, and I remain pleasantly surprised that Marvel published this slice of fun.

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9.0
Young Avengers #3

Apr 25, 2005

If nothing else, Young Avengers proves that "Disassembled" wasn't a complete waste of time. It's a progressive, interesting and exciting superhero comic (from Marvel?), and I'm hooked.

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9.0
Young Avengers #5

Jul 12, 2005

This is by far my favourite Avengers-related story (including the grotesquely overrated Ultimates) since Avengers Forever and Busieks "Ultron Unlimited" arc. If Marvel is looking for something to get the big hardback collection treatment, I nominate this.

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9.0
Young Avengers #12

Jul 3, 2006

Sadly, the writing is not quite as gob-smackingly impressive. As a climax to the "season," it's a bit flat and feels a little rushed, suggesting that the decision to go on hiatus after twelve issues was not planned from the outset. The result is a comic that feels somewhat compromised as it rushes through an overly-convenient resolution to the ongoing plot (the Kree have been at war with the Skrulls for centuries, wouldn't they have plans in place to prevent exactly the kind of thing that happens here?), almost as an afterthought to the action. All that said, Heinberg's strengths are still very much in evidence. Characterisation is strong as ever, even if the main cast are shunted aside somewhat, and the relationships between the characters are complex and interesting; all of which makes the hiatus even more unbearable, as I want to see more of these kids interacting with the Marvel Universe and each other, even if that's perhaps at the expense of superhero action. And so, while N

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4.0
Young Avengers Presents #1

Jan 29, 2008

Young Avengers was the best thing to come out of the ill-advised "Avengers Disassembled" event, actually building something constructive out of all the juvenile "destrukshun is kewl" nonsense, but since the first series ended, the property has been continually mishandled, as if Marvel know they have a hit, but don't know what to do with it. Young Avengers Presents... looks to be following in the same sort of rut, and I'm really not sure this format best serves the concept. It remains to be seen what other writers can make of the stunted set-up, but if one of Marvel's shining lights can't dredge up anything impressive, I don't hold out much hope.

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5.0
Young Avengers Presents #3

Apr 8, 2008

So more wasted opportunities then. I don't know what's going on with the second Young Avengers series, whether Marvel is waiting for original writer Allan Heinberg to complete other commitments, or if there's something else going on behind the scenes, but much as I like the characters and concept, there's just no point at all in publishing this mini-series. With a stubborn refusal to develop the plots or characters, and an inability to come up with anything else to fill the gap, the resulting comics have read exactly like last-minute fill-ins or the dreaded Annuals. I really don't understand who Young Avengers Presents is for. Fans of the characters are not getting anything particularly new from the title, and I'm not sure what's gained from priming new readers when the main title remains in limbo with no sign of returning. Pointless.

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7.0
Your Round Presents: Tequila #1

Aug 27, 2007

While the stories contained in Tequila aren't exactly Herculean feats of plotting, the enthusiasm and considerable skill of the contributors shines through, resulting in a series of entertaining and evocative stories that are well worth a read.

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5.0
Zombie #1

Sep 17, 2006

Great-looking it may be, but Zombie is dragged down by lacklustre writing and is incredibly disappointing as a result. The original comic was a less gothy and pretentious version of The Crow; what weve got now is a less interesting and exciting version of Return of the Living Dead 2. What a lifeless comic.

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