Kevin Fuller's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: IGN Reviews: 142
7.2Avg. Review Rating

7.6
Agents Of Atlas Vol. 2 #2

Mar 4, 2009

Artists Carlo Pagulayan and Gabriel Hardman also put in a strong performance. Their contrasting styles on the past/present are a nice touch and help alleviate some of the confusion brought about by the poor transitions. If that problem can gets fixed, I see no problem with this title fulfilling its potential and becoming a great change-of-pace that isn't available from other Marvel offerings.

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7.5
Agents Of Atlas Vol. 2 #7

Jul 1, 2009

As this arc winds down, Parker has already lined up things for the future. Things have been going so smoothly for the team up to this point that I'm assuming bad things are in the offing. Now only if there are enough readers for it to get that point. It's not exactly essential Marvel reading, but it fills a nice hole that was lacking previously.

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7.8
All-New Booster Gold #4

Nov 14, 2007

Besides that one blemish, the story progresses along nicely as the buddy cops try and prevent another hero disappearing from existence. As an added bonus, we finally start getting to the bottom of who's to blame for these problems in the first place. While nothing earth shattering just yet, it's nice to see that the overarching story being addressed. It's still early enough in the series to jump on board, which seems like a smart move with both the short and long term prospects appearing bright.

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7.7
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #550

Feb 13, 2008

Salvador Larroca's art has always been confounding to me. It always seems to be 80% well done, with the other 20% looking like a train wreck. The majority of the issue is very pretty to look at with the above mentioned cinematic style, but there are a number of faces that are very poorly done. Jackpot seems to possess the qualities of the Two-Face girl from Seinfeld and Harry's girlfriend Lily reminds of how Mattel used to just paint a Barbie doll a different color for Barbie's African-American friend (I have no idea how I know this). It's really that bad, but as long as you can overlook some fugly faces, it's still a solid read.

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8.2
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #599

Jul 15, 2009

Even with the disjointed art situation, "American Son" has been a great story that finally reincorporates Amazing Spider-Man into the greater Marvel narrative with a Dark Reign tie-in that feels like a completely natural extension of the Spidey story. Joe Kelly gets the vast majority of the credit for this, and I hope to see him more often in the Amazing Spider-Man writer rotation. If you've been sitting this title out, there no better time to get back in than now.

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8.1
Angel: After the Fall #3

Jan 16, 2008

The art is still very hit or miss this issue. Franco Urru's main strength would be his drawing the various demons Angel & Co. run across. Each is unique and menacing in their own ways, but the human (and human-ish) characters are a little less even. The faces and such actually look pretty, but lose a lot of detailing and resemblance with added distance. Also, I keep thinking Connor is a girl. Even with the uneven art, this is still developing into a solid series. Longtime Angel fans will be especially interested in learning more about the huge plot point at the end.

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7.8
Angel: After the Fall #9

Jun 18, 2008

Even with that, I like the direction this title is headed. The story is headed in new directions without completely abandoning the past, and I'm positive the art will improve in the coming issues, so this might be a good opportunity to jump on if you haven't already.

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7.3
Annihilation: Conquest #5

Mar 12, 2008

As you can see above, it's not the concepts behind Conquest that are the problem. It all has to do with the execution. There's just too much happening, that everything feels shortchanged. We're switching between three different groups (Star-Lord, Ronan, and High Evolutionary), as well as witnessing various Ultron flashbacks. I might get crucified for making such a suggestion, but I think all the different sides would been better served if the series were longer than six issues or some of the plot were part of an additional tie-in series. I can honestly say that I have no idea how everything is going to be wrapped up in a satisfactory fashion by next issue. While I generally hate the concept of the tie-in, it's not so deplorable if there's enough material to do it, especially when the alternative is trying to cram it all into one six issue series.

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6
Avengers (2010) #6

Oct 27, 2010

While I wasn't completely sold on the first arc, there's still a lot of potential there. Bendis has built in a long term plan with Tony Stark that will hopefully play out for a while in the series. The one thing that'll kill any interest I have in this series though will be jumping right back into other epic "save the earth/universe/grand duchy" six issue mini-event. I love them as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just need to take a step back and breathe.

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5.6
Avengers/Invaders #2

Jun 4, 2008

All this begs the question though, should you be reading this series? It's not tied to any other ongoing current events, since it seems like everything occurs before Secret Invasion. That also limits any effect it'll have on other events outside this series. Unless you have any particular affection for the Invaders or Ross/Krueger themselves, then I would say pass it, since 12 issues is a big commitment for a very mediocre series.

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8.3
Avengers: The Initiative #11

Apr 16, 2008

I've had mixed feelings about Stefano Caselli, but he's starting to grow on me. I'm still not sure he's cut out to handle personal scenes (weird faces at times), but hectic wild fight is right in his wheelhouse. Again, I still have my overall doubts about the series, but those doubts become less and less each issue.

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7.5
Avengers: The Initiative #25

Jun 24, 2009

Pacing issues aside, I'm really intrigued where this series is going now. The changing of the guard in the Initiative opens up numerous plot possibilities after the original concept had seemed to run out of steam. With some improvement in overall execution, this title could quickly become the must read title it was towards the beginning of its run.

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7
Birds of Prey (1998) #111

Oct 17, 2007

The one drawback of this issue though is that the storyline is a continuation of the Countdown (GASP!!) showdown between Oracle and the Calculator (worst name ever). Luckily, the original "fight" occurred relatively early in the series, so you might not have quit in frustration by that point. Also, the Countdown backstory, while nice to know beforehand, isn't mandatory for you to understand/enjoy this issue. Instead of being an entirely online "fight" like before, there is at least some traditional fisticuffs action added in for variety as well this time around. In the end, it's still a Countdown tie-in by a fill-in creative team, but don't let that stop you from reading a fun self-contained story.

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7.5
Birds of Prey (1998) #113

Dec 19, 2007

Longtime fans will be happy to know that McKeever doesn't do anything earth shatteringly different in his first issue. It's still the characters you know and love and the plot continues a storyline from earlier this year, but there are differences in the execution. The dialogue isn't quite as snappy, but the most notably change is the seriousness of final third of the book. While Simone was never afraid to broach serious events, she would shy away from being too heavy-handed. McKeever's approach shouldn't be considered good or bad just because it differs slightly from Simone's, but it does give you an indication of where the title is going in the short term. Hopefully some of the concepts he introduces reach their full potential…

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7.9
Birds of Prey (1998) #115

Feb 20, 2008

At the same time, Misfit has been the other major focus of this arc. As opposed to Zinda, Misfit doesn't have much back story to draw from, so McKeever works to fill in that missing characterization by showing her as more than just a clumsy energetic wannabe hero. If Misfit can transition into the complex character that the others already are, future writers (McKeever only has two more issues to go) will have even more to work with on future arcs. Nothing more needs to be said about Nicola Scott's work. It's a perfect match to the subject matter and action. Oh, and it's pretty too. Overall, it's a strong issue, especially for you continuity enthusiasts out there…

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8.3
Black Adam: The Dark Age #4

Nov 14, 2007

In previous reviews, I've always referred to Peter Tomasi as "editor-turned-writer". For now on though, I'll just use the term "writer", since he has more than proven that he has the chops to do this gig full-time. He does a remarkable job of keeping Teth-Adam in a perpetual state of what I like to call controlled-chaos. There's never a calm moment for him, always on the verge of exploding at any second. He also occasionally incorporates parts of Adam's character/personality before everything went straight to hell. Adam will still show honorable traits, but only in the same way that is honorable to save someone from a burning house that you set on fire. Having such a nuanced portrayal of the character is what's going to keep him from sinking back to the status he possessed before his rise to fame/infamy.

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8.6
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #10

Jan 2, 2008

This issue also marks the return of Joss Whedon to the writer's chair. Brian Vaughan did a fantastic job of capturing the voice and mannerisms of all the characters, but there's still no substitute for the guy that created those distinctive voices in the first place. Whedon makes the wise decision to keep things simple this time around. While there are still a lot of "special effects" throughout the issue, they're there more to aid the storytelling, as opposed actually being the storytelling like some complained about in his first arc. The issue is a close examination of Buffy and Willow's relationship, which has been hinted at being very uneasy of late. There are a number of surprising revelations that will have repercussions going forward, and that's the best part things are now moving forward. Joss used his first arc to reorient us back into the world of Buffy, but now it's time to move. This finally starting to feel like a "season", just like all the other seasons I've en

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4.9
Cable & Deadpool #45

Sep 26, 2007

My big problem with this issue though is the depiction of Bucky. Bucky is way too foulmouthed, quick-tempered, and trigger-happy for my liking. In trying to incorporate some of Brubaker's reimagining of the character, Nicieza goes a little overboard this time. Some of this could have been purely for comedic effect, but even then it doesn't really fit the rest of the issue, which is oddly pretty restrained in terms of humor (for a Deadpool title that is). Again, the concept is still a good one. I'm just hoping for better execution next time out.

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7.4
Cable & Deadpool #46

Oct 24, 2007

Fabian brings his A-game to the table as well. His comedy has always been hit or miss with me, and leaning more towards miss on average, but this issue hits comic gold on more than one occasion. Nicieza pays special attention to the fact that Deadpool is around eight years in the past, but that it's also 1967 at the same time, so expect a lot of fourth wall tomfoolery. The difference between Deadpool's time traveling and something like Booster Gold is that Deadpool doesn't go that extra mile. Even though we still have the future interacting with the past, Deadpool doesn't strive to creatively interweave itself into the universe's history. It's more content to make a joke and move on, which can be a fun experience in its own right. If you've been tempted by Skottie Young's phenomenal covers the past couple issues, this might be the time to look and see what's on the inside as well.

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3.2
Cable & Deadpool #47

Nov 28, 2007

The actual content of this issue is very schizophrenic, with very scenes/settings constantly shirting and moving. The reader has no time to get their bearings before being whisked away to something new altogether. The reasoning is all explained towards the end, but not in a way that makes me feel better about reading 17 prior pages of gargled plot. There are still a couple funny moments, but those can only get you so far. This issue is only for the most diehard Deadpool fans. As only a moderate Deadpool fan, I think I'm calling it quits until the 50th and final issue.

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7.7
Cable (2008) #2

Apr 2, 2008

While it may seem like I've pointed more bad than good about this title, don't take that to mean I didn't enjoy it. It's just that both the writing and art aren't what's typically found in an X-Men book, so I didn't want anybody to go into the series with the wrong expectations. If you're cool with that, then you have a fun and decently engaging story ready for you.

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4.5
Cable (2008) #3

May 7, 2008

I had a lot of hopes for this series going into it, but those are gone now. In general, the post-Messiah Complex mutant titles have been mostly lackluster. I feel a general lack of direction from the various new/retooled series, which makes me wish Marvel wasn't quite as ambitious as they were coming out of MC. Not everything was broken, but they weren't for a complete overhaul anyways. It's still early though, so they still have time to right the ship. Here's hoping they do…

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5.5
Cable (2008) #22

Jan 6, 2010

After a one issue break, Gabriel Guzman returns to handle the art. He has a very clean style, but it just lacks any consistency from panel to panel. Faces are awkwardly stretched in a number of close-ups, and Hope's age fluctuates wildly. I can't really recommend this series, since it's pretty much been the same tired story we've seen the entire run. While there's a lot of uncertainty with Second Coming on the horizon, I couldn't even tell you what purpose this series will serve afterwards, or if it'll even exist at all.

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9.3
Captain America (2004) #37

Apr 16, 2008

After all that praise, I do have one nitpick about the issue. Bucky has a weird flashback/modern dream sequence that really felt out of place. I understand what Brubaker was going for, but it feels like it could have been handled a little more smoothly. Really though, four paragraphs of praise compared to three sentences of criticism is quite the lofty ratio.

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8.3
Captain America (2004) #604

Mar 24, 2010

Regardless of the backup feature, this is a great issue. Brubaker is doing what he does best – tell simple tales that skillfully reference real events in a unique way. Combine that we great character development, and I'm a happy reader. This is one of my favorite titles, and I'm sure it will be as long as Brubacker writes it.

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8.5
Captain Britain and MI:13 #3

Jul 9, 2008

With a solid story and characters, the only question left is the art, which is just as strong. Leonard's style matches the story perfectly. It's highly detailed but able to handle quick chaotic fighting. He makes sure nothing is too realistic, since anything too gory (hooray for kid-friendly decapitations!) would have adversely affected the tone Cornell is trying to set. As I said earlier, this is a great complementary Secret Invasion tie-in, but it's also simply the beginning of what appears to be a fantastic ongoing series.

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9
Captain Britain and MI:13 #4

Aug 13, 2008

I don't have much to say about the art, but that's usually a good thing. Leonard Kirk's style is a good fit with the story and tone, which pretty much means it's not realistic by any means but doesn't devolve into being too cartoony either. The action is handled smartly and there are a couple panels that take full advantage of the magical nature of creatures. All in all, I made it through an entire review without saying something negative, which is a rarity for me. If you're looking for something new to add to your pull list, this should definitely be something to check out.

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8.7
Captain Britain and MI:13 #5

Sep 17, 2008

Captain Britain and MI-13 has to be the most surprising new Marvel title to come out this year. Nothing was expected of it, but it has delivered the goods every issue thus far. Now that we're one issue into the second arc, I think I can safely recommend this title to anyone looking to add something new to their pull list.

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8.1
Captain Britain and MI:13 #10

Feb 11, 2009

I have nothing to really add about Leonard Kirk's art that I haven't said before. It's good, very good and flows perfectly from panel to panel. Cornell and Kirk continue to stay until the mainstream comic readers' radar, but that hasn't stopped them from putting out a great product. While I have my reservations about the inclusion of Dracula to the mix, I have full faith that Cornell to change my mind in the same way he did about Blade and Black Knight.

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8.8
Captain Britain and MI:13 #13

May 13, 2009

Captain Britain continues to amaze me every issue. It's even reached the point that I not only don't hate Blade as a character, but I might even like him a bit at this point. He's being set up for an even bigger push after the events of this issue. Still, don't mention Blade at all when pushing this title to friends. They'll think it's a trap (I know I would). Don't even mention the story at all. Go with the classic but simple "Just read it." You won't win any debate contests with that dazzling piece of rhetoric, but it just may work in the end.

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4.8
Countdown to Final Crisis #16

Jan 9, 2008

The writers seem to be compensating recently by writing in "shocking" twists like the "Bob"/Ray Palmer situation. Unfortunately, they're only shocking because they make no sense when compared to all the previous events. I'm still hopeful though. There were a couple of interesting developments – a possible alliance and finally some clue into the never-ending Jimmy Olsen mystery. I'm now back in until the end though, so at worst I'll keep fellow reviewers from a completely wearing down the page on their thesaurus that contains the word "bad".

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7.3
Dark Avengers #12

Dec 16, 2009

For a Dark Avengers book, there's a notable lack of Avengers present. If you're looking for the full evil-team experience, you'll probably be disappointed, but it's not without its charms. The final splash page provides an unexpected (if slightly unclear) reference to the coming Siege event. Mix in some crazy changes in store for Sentry (for good or for bad), and you have what'll be one of the most talked about series released this week. I only wish the actual storytelling had been executed better.

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6.1
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2

Apr 1, 2009

As with the art, the story shows a lot of promise and potential but isn't quite executed as one would hope. Hickman's overarching ideas so far show that he has a lot in store for Marvel's first family in the future. Hopefully, he uses this limited series to work out the kinks and deliver a truly outstanding product.

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7.7
Dark Reign: Hawkeye #4

Jul 29, 2009

Andy Diggle has transitioned a series that started almost solely Id-driven into something more complex and engaging. Not that you have to worry about it getting too intellectual, since it still is Bullseye we're talking about. I still don't see this series having any real lasting ripple effects on the overall Dark Reign storyline (do you really see the Urich investigation leading anywhere substantial?), but it is a satisfying addition for any Bullseye fan out there.

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5.2
Dark Wolverine #76

Jul 22, 2009

Dark Wolverine isn't a lost cause. There's enough subterfuge and intrigue build something unique and interesting, but at the moment, there's not a solid foundation holding everything together. Way and Liu need to make sure there's an internal logic thread leading the action, since this looks like it'll get more complex as time goes on. This isn't Deadpool, where things don't necessarily have to make sense. Unfortunately, these are the same complaints I had with the Romulus storyline in Origins, and we all know how that is turning out, so you can see my lack of optimism with Dark Wolverine…

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6.5
Dark Wolverine #78

Sep 16, 2009

I was about to say it was nice to see a relative scaling back of the "Daken manipulates everyone" theme from the first arc, but then I realized that the same amount of manipulation is happening – just the source has changed. I'm not to the point of giving up hope on the series though. I just wish Way and Liu would speed up the slow build a bit. This isn't a beloved established character they're writing. Playing coy with major plot points is bound infuriate more readers than they intrigue, since their fuse for such tactics is much shorter for Daken than it would be for someone like Spider-Man. Hopefully this storyline gets to the point sooner rather than later…

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5.4
Dark Wolverine #84

Mar 31, 2010

This isn't the worst arc of Dark Wolverine I've read, but it is certainly the most disappointing my mind. There was so much potential for this arc, not just leading up to it, but even after the first issue. It's almost amazing how quickly the momentum swung in the past two issues. I'd almost prefer a consistently mediocre title, since the occasional good/great month always seems to get my hopes up before the eventual fall back down to earth. Still, if you were looking to finally get into Daken before Reckoning commences, this issue seems well suited to accomplishing that one goal, which may have been the intention the entire time. Too bad the arc was a waste for anyone else.

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6
Dark Wolverine #90

Aug 25, 2010

Artist Mirco Pierfederici has a very distinctive style. His deep saturated colors and bold outlines are very reminiscent of Daniel Acuna, but I wish the color palette was a little more varied. Jesse made mention of this in his review of issue #87 – Pierfederici seems to overly rely on orange and blue in his work. Since the colors complement each other, the end result is very pleasing to the eye. The problem is that when it finds its way onto every page, the effect goes from pleasing to grating…

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7.6
Deadpool (2008) #3

Oct 8, 2008

The biggest problem I really have with the Deadpool thus far is that the first three issues were purely a SI tie-in. Captain Britain also began its life as a tie-in arc, but it also found time to set up the series as a whole at the same time. The team was built, motivations were established, and future plot threads were introduced. That didn't happen here. With the exception of the last page of this issue, I know nothing about the general direction of the series than I did before I picked up the first issue. While I don't ever expect the plot to supplant the spectacle in terms of importance on this title, anything would have been better than the nothing we received. In the end though, I had fun reading this issue and arc. Hopefully and overarching story will come into play, but I'm not counting on it.

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7.9
Deadpool (2008) #7

Feb 4, 2009

With "Magnum Opus" starting up next month, it's almost weird to see anything with Deadpool this tied into the overarching Marvel narrative after being relegated to the fringes the past few years. Hopefully the increased exposure and Way's smart handling of the character will keep this title strong for the long run…

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7.5
Deadpool (2008) #13

Aug 12, 2009

While a story this crazy and out there would probably get old fast with repetition, it's a breath of fresh air after twelve issues of tie-ins and crossovers. The humor is abundant and varied, with the quality fairly above the fart-joke level Deadpool sometimes gets dragged down into. Hopefully this arc will be a nice wacky vacation before integrating himself back into the Marvel status quo that has served the character so well up to this point. Either that, or at least give me a Deadpool/Bullseye miniseries, since they've more than proven their chemistry together.

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5.3
Deadpool Corps #1

Apr 7, 2010

As you can tell from the above, I'm not a fan of Deadpool Corps. As a Deadpool fan myself, I'm used to accepting occasional to frequent mediocrity with the character, but that's not the case anymore. With three ongoing titles at the moment, you don't have to settle for something this bland, since Daniel Way is doing a much better job. I could hope for improvement here, but I can only see the quality worsening as the novelty of the concept wears off.

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6.5
Deadpool Team-Up #898

Dec 3, 2009

The bottom line is this issue is fun but frustrating, and your enjoyment all depends on what you're willing to put up with.

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7.7
Fantastic Four (1998) #562

Jan 3, 2009

Where do I fit in the debate? I'm one of the people in the middle. I dislike that Millar regularly glosses over major plot elements, but still feel that the good he brings to the table greatly outweighs the bad. I don't love it as much as many reviewers, but still recognize that it's still extremely well executed even with the faults. The teaser at the end was more than enough to keep me anticipating the next issue, whenever that may be…

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8
Fantastic Four (1998) #564

Feb 25, 2009

Even though I'm a little disappointed that the Masters of Doom arc will have to wait a bit longer, Millar more than makes up for it with a short Christmas mystery/horror tale to keep my sated until then. Hopefully the payoff/reveal next issue is as good as I'm expecting.

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8
Fantastic Four (1998) #581

Jul 28, 2010

I have to confess I'm a little perplexed why Papa Richards would visit Reed's pre-stretchy college days for help, but I'm confident that'll be explained next issue. Regardless, it's good to see Hickman extend himself beyond the self-contained one issue stories his run has been known for recently. With the big "Three" story arc coming up in a couple issues, stretching the plot out a bit (if even only to two issues) was probably a good call as a transition. Aside from the writing, Neil Edwards has done a superb job as the fill-in between Dale Eaglesham and Steve Epting. I absolutely love his figures, and his take on young Reed/Ben/Doom was spot-on. I hope to see more of him on other titles in the future.

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8.5
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #10

Feb 18, 2009

After last month's artist abortion, things are back to normal with this issue. Brad Walker does a great job of depicting some of the weirder element involved with a cosmic title. Most importantly though, Rocket Raccoon doesn't look like he's about to die of rabies anymore. I thought it was a basic rule of comic art…anthropomorphic animal heroes have to have a level of cuteness to them, something Rocket was lacking completely last month. With the return of good art, there's not much to complain about with this title, and it's only bound to get better during War of Kings.

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7.7
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #15

Jun 24, 2009

While I'm not standing-up-and-cheering excited about this series, that doesn't mean it's not good. I've just built up high expectations from DnA in general and in this series in particular. Right now, it's an important tie-in that provides a decent read, and things will no doubt get back to the status quo after War of Kings concludes. In other words, hold tight if you're a current reader, but feel free to wait a bit if you're not.

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7
Hawkeye & Mockingbird #2

Jul 8, 2010

While the supporting players are a little disappointing, the story does a lot to make up for it. Bobbi's past has always been shrouded in secrecy, so it's great to see McCann start fleshing that out right away. Things get a little soap opera-ish at times, including females slapping each other and an ending twist you can see from a mile away, but that's all part of the charm that is this series.

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7.2
Heralds #1

Jun 3, 2010

Heralds is going to have a quick shelf-life as a weekly project. Marvel made a wise decision to release issue #1 on a somewhat lighter weak to hopefully attract more interest. While it's not everyone, Immonen has so far written a story that provides a nice change of pace from the rest of the market. At worst, it might be a good idea to pick up as a trade to mix things up.

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7.5
Hit-Monkey #1

Jul 8, 2010

As we've previously seen, Hit-Monkey is played completely serious. Way is definitely winking at the audience throughout, but any humor is purely derived from the fact that it's a monkey doing all these things and nothing more. Way's smart writing, Dalibor Talajic's fantastic art, and a surprise character reveal on the last page should make this a fun series going forward.

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3.3
Hulk (2008) #11

Apr 22, 2009

Yes, it's really this bad. It's so dumb that I can't possibly get any enjoyment out of reading this title. At least it's a quick read. With most "bad" comics, I can at least point to something that gives me hope that things can turn around for the better, but there's just nothing there. If this review convinces even one person to take this title off his/her pull list, then I've done my job…

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3.7
Hulk (2008) #12

May 20, 2009

I'm not saying this type of title wouldn't appeal to anybody. There is a place for mindless punching/fighting in a comic diet, but there are other better options to get your fix. Even something like X-Force (Messiah War excepted) or Deadpool provide better action, humor, and plot. I really can't see how this appeals to anyone older than 13, other than the name in the title, but your mileage/maturity may vary.

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8.9
Immortal Iron Fist #11

Dec 19, 2007

Keeping the focus away from fighting also has the bonus effect of keeping the actual tournament scenes quick and fresh, with no scene or panel going to waste. This issue's fight is particularly transfixing and brutal. David Aja's art is as impressive as ever, while Kano handles the flashback scenes admirably as well. With a great unpredictable plot and equally polished art, I can't recommend this title highly enough.

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8.2
Immortal Iron Fist #20

Dec 3, 2008

The only thing holding the series back from its formerly lofty position is the artwork. Travel Foreman is the epitome of inconsistent. Some of the panel during the climax are amazingly well done, but every thing else feels extremely rushed. It doesn't matter how good a panel is if it's surrounded by five poor ones. Foreman definitely has potential, but we haven't seen it fully realized at this point. In the end though, the series is still a solid read. Seierczynski is doing an admirable job of building upon what was left before him, which is all you can ask for really.

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7.9
Incredible Hercules #141

Feb 17, 2010

Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente should be congratulated for building a unique/entertaining series from scratch and winning over a lot of skeptics (myself included) along the way. This isn't the end of the road though, since the story will continue with Prince of Power, and I have no doubt that the quality will be at the same high standard.

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7
Incredible Hulk (2009) #601

Aug 26, 2009

While I still have some reservations about some of the lower level details like characterization, the high level concept is really strong. Not the mention the fact that Bruce Banner is a complex character who has mostly been MIA the last few years, so it'll be refreshing change of pace to have him around again. Hopefully, Pak and build and solid enough story to tell the reader interested once that novelty wears off.

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7.3
Incredible Hulk (2009) #603

Oct 21, 2009

While still early, Greg Pak's series is showing a lot of promise. Bruce Banner is the star of the show after taking the backseat for so long as his alter-ego. The next step is to build the rest of the story and cast up to that same level. I'm confident that the writing will reach that point over time, but the art will continue to flounder unless there's a change from Olivetti.

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8
Incredible Hulk (2009) #616

Nov 11, 2010

Barry Kitson teams with Scott Hanna on art this issue, which Kitson doing the breakdowns and Hanna the finishes. They work very well together, with the actions scenes being very well constructed. The only complaint I have is that Hulk being a little too stocky/squished than normal. The backup feature continues the trend of being mostly forgettable, especially since the main theme involving Jen Walters was better expressed in the main story itself. While it hasn't been perfect, Greg Pak has built a solid story that looks to be building towards a fantastic final chapter. Hopefully Pak can use the momentum to make his next arc great, from beginning to end.

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7.8
Invincible #47

Dec 5, 2007

Robert Kirkman accomplishes a lot in this issue. He visits so many plotlines, while at the same time not neglecting the main story of the issue. I actually thought it was a double issue at first, but he just used the regular space so efficiently. You'd be amazed how much he can get across from a scene in only two pages. The two-page scenes take up the first half the issue, and then give way as a couple of the threads intersect in a good old fashion fight. There aren't exactly dire consequences involved with the fight, but it was more of a means to the end of telling a good story. Mix in a couple funny moments, and you get a fun character-driven issue that's laying the groundwork for what seems like will be another highpoint for the often overlooked series.

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7
Invincible #48

Feb 20, 2008

Besides that, nothing of consequence really occurs. If you're a huge Invincible fan, this'll be a completely satisfying arc, since it's following a tried and true formula. This is especially true when Ryan Ottley's consistently impressive art is added to the equation. If you're more of a casual fan though, you might be better served just holding out until issue 50 rolls around, since I'm assuming the train will be running at full speed after that.

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8.2
Invincible #54

Oct 22, 2008

With the change in focus next arc to a plot thread most readers have been avidly awaiting, it seems like all signs are positive in the near future. Here's hoping they can keep up with their release schedule…

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6.4
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #23

Oct 31, 2007

After being led to believe that Tony Stark essentially wielded absolute power as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., we are suddenly shown that he is actually beholden to a committee that's even above him. Such a radical change in the perceived power structure would have been easier to swallow if it weren't for the fact that is shown to be completely unnecessary, since the plot would have arrived at the same destination regardless of this addition. The Knaufs also continue to slow build the Mandarin's storyline. The problem is that his story has lost all the momentum it had when he was originally reintroduced. Also, the fact that he's maneuvering under the guise of a high-ranking industrialist brings obvious comparisons to the Red Skull's situation in Captain America, and you're pretty much going to lose every time when compared to that title. Still, if Iron Man can reach some of the potential it's showing in this arc, this series could start being called a poor man's Captain America, which

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5.8
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #31

Jul 16, 2008

In the end, things are pretty blah, but it's not the end of the world. Next issue is bound to be better simply by virtue of it having a better balance between space used for the good and bad storylines. Also, at worst, this is a fill-in arc. After this and the required Secret Invasion tie-in, we'll see where the future of this series is headed. Feel free to take a break until then.

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7.9
Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #2

Oct 17, 2007

"Vanguard" is of particular interest. Marc Guggenheim (former Law & Order writer) is in his element as he tells the story of two detectives trying to unravel a murder in which the victim can't be identified and the prime suspect looks strangely like a bald peeping-tom that lives on the moon. The pace is methodical, but in the good way that builds intrigue/suspense instead of the bad that just makes things boring. The art is a little too dark and rich for my tastes, but it's not horrible. The Hellcat story is the other standout. I'm especially happy that Marvel is giving some face time to a character that's been around in one form or another since 1944. While none of the events actually make any sense thus far (Marvel is in dire need of more identical attractive redheads though), it's executed in such a way to make that a positive. It doesn't hurt that Stuart Immonen's style gives it the same zany vibe that Nextwave had. If the title is able to maintain the same level of quality

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7.3
Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #3

Nov 14, 2007

The quality of anthology series like this is always quick to change by the very nature of there being a revolving door of creators/story moving in and out every month, but Marvel has made me a believer in the concept for now.

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6.8
Models, Inc. #1

Sep 10, 2009

Realistically, if you're really looking for a comic to fill that female void in your reading list, I would most probably direct you towards Marvel Divas unless you had an unhealthy obsession with fashion (don't we all…). That's not to say this is bad – Models just unfortunately looks like the knockoff, even if it was actually conceived before Divas.

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8.3
Ms. Marvel (2006) #26

Apr 23, 2008

The art is a stark improvement over my last Ms. Marvel foray. Adriana Melo's style is noticeably less bright and vibrant than past artists. At the same time though, the less lively art doesn't mean the reader has to miss out on Carol Danvers' more…feminine characteristics, so I consider it the best of both worlds. Good art mixed with smart writing is never a bad thing. Add in an intriguing twist at the end, and now I've been lured back to a series by a major event. Maybe I should just automatically divert a portion of my paycheck directly to Marvel for the foreseeable future…

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5.6
Nation X #2

Jan 13, 2010

The most defining aspect of short story titles like Nation X will always be its downfall. It's a great opportunity to give independent writers some experience and see if they're ready for bigger/better things. The problem with that is that most aren't ready, and the overall quality shows it. I'd still say only about half of the issue was good, and that's just not enough to recommend unless you have a particular affinity for the characters.

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7
New Avengers (2010) #5

Oct 13, 2010

While the writing can be inconsistent at times, artist Stuart Immonen is always at the top of his game. He seems to relish the more mystical subject matter and lets his creativity run wild. His use of character layering and shifting perspectives makes even the more dialogue-heavy scenes look lively, and his final page was a sight to behold. While I've noted my complaints about Bendis's writing this arc, he has still mixed in enough intriguing plot elements to keep me tuned in for the conclusion, especially with Immonen bringing it to life.

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6.9
New Avengers: Reunion #3

May 6, 2009

Regardless of my thoughts on the exact plot points in this particular issue, I really like this series as a whole. Even though it's covering serious topics, it has enough lightheartedness to keep the "dramatic" from becoming "melodramatic". I really want to see more of Jim McCann going forward. While not all the way there yet, you can already see that he has the potential to do some really good work going forward.

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7.2
New Mutants (2009) #10

Feb 10, 2010

The series finally has a discernable direction, a step forward that can't be understated. With the consistently strong character development, even the appearance of an interesting storyline would make this title a must read. The problem is that the series reenters event hell next issue with Siege and then Second Coming after that. Hopefully, Wells will get the opportunity to build something great afterwards, but it's not easy with so many distractions.

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7.4
Newuniversal: Shockfront #1

May 14, 2008

All in all, the writing is still solid but with so-so art. If you read newuniversal, you'll feel right at home. If you're interested in getting into it for the first time now though, I'd suggest going back to the first six issues or review wikipedia at the very least, since you'll be missing a lot if you don't.

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8.7
Nova (2007) #8

Nov 14, 2007

I've complimented Marvel on a number their artist decisions recently, and this is another example. If you're going to change artists, you want the transition to be as smooth as possible. Sean Chen hands over the artist duties on this arc to Wellinton Alves, but I didn't even realize that fact until after I had finished reading. You really can't have a smoother transition than that. So you have strong art to go along with an entertaining storyline where you feel like anything (telepathic Russian dog) could happen. You can't ask for more than that.

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8.3
Nova (2007) #12

Apr 9, 2008

All in all, Marvel's cosmic universe is only going to get bigger after Conquest concludes, and Nova has already established itself as a great series on its own. The future looks bright as long as Abnett and Lanning's names are still on the cover, no matter who the artist is (unless that artist is me, then all bets are off).

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8.4
Nova (2007) #13

May 7, 2008

After a two issue break, Wellinton Alves is back on art for at least the short-term future, and I couldn't be happier. While I've never really disliked any of the various artists on the title, Wellinton Alves is definitely my favorite of the bunch. The figures look great and the facial expressions are spot-on. Most importantly though is that he has knack for making alien settings look unique but still believable, which is a prerequisite for this type of series. Even with the change in focus/direction, my opinion of Nova won't change as long as the art and writing remain this strong.

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8.5
Nova (2007) #14

Jun 4, 2008

The one thing I like most of all is the general lack of focus on Galactus. In two issues, Galactus/Surfer have been in the spotlight for only 25 percent of the pages. Instead, we get the more ground-level perspective with other factors driving the plot, which is a nice twist on what you usually get. It's little creative decisions like that that keep me consistently enjoying this series, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

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8.4
Nova (2007) #19

Nov 26, 2008

Is everything perfect? Not completely. The jealous brother storyline might become a bit clich, especially given the last page. Also, there have a lot of changes have been made in a very short time, and it's still too early to tell how everything well mesh together. One thing's for certain, Abnett and Lanning haven't steered Nova wrong just yet, so I'm more than willing to trust them for now.

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6.8
Nova (2007) #21

Jan 28, 2009

As I said above, this is a pretty poor outing from a storytelling perspective. I feel perfectly justified in suggesting readers skip this issue unless they're diehard fans. That doesn't change my long term opinion of this series though. It's still one of the best titles Marvel puts out every month, but this issue was definitely an exception to that statement.

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8.3
Nova (2007) #26

Jun 24, 2009

As I said previously, this is a event tie-in in name only. This story would have been told regardless of outside events, it just serves as a catalyst with the rest being untouched. With the regularity DnA have done this, I have no fear of this title's quality dipping even if more crossovers swing this way. These creators have proven they're able to roll with the punches and still put out a great product.

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6.6
Nova (2007) #30

Oct 28, 2009

I know I've been rough on this issue of Nova, but that's more because I know what this title is capable of. With this short post-War of Kings arc out of the way, there are no more Mindless Ones on the horizon to drag down the plot. Hopefully Abnett and Lanning take advantage and start addressing some of the issues plaguing the book. If not, Realm of Kings is right around the corner, which may or may not be a good thing…

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7.5
Nova (2007) #34

Feb 3, 2010

After a few issues of the amazing Andrea DiVito on art, we sadly have to settle for Mahmud Asrar this issue. His style is actually not too dissimilar from DiVito's, but his depiction of the Old Sphinx needs work. Last issue, Old Sphinx was so decrepit that he had tubes going every which way in and out of his body. Asrar's is almost indistinguishable at distance, and only slightly rougher looking in the face up close. You'd think six thousand years difference in age would make you look a little less like a steroid freak...

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7.6
Nova (2007) Annual #1

Feb 13, 2008

The art is split between three different artists, with each being tasked with depicting the past, present, and future. While there's nothing particularly wrong with any of the art, Wellinton Alves is far and away the star with his pencils of Nova's future. Nova has never been wanting for good art, but it'd be nice if Marvel could give us one good artist instead of a new good one every couple issues. As I stated earlier, this Annual isn't really required reading even though it does progress the core story. However it's still a quality read if you have the time and money.

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6.1
Punisher (2009) #8

Aug 19, 2009

I consider this arc more of a speed bump than an actual worrying sign, since Remender has shown himself to have a strong grasp of the character previously, but I wouldn't hold it against you if you decided to sit the rest of this arc out.

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8.6
Punisher War Journal (2006) #15

Jan 9, 2008

The art is no longer as glaring a problem as it was under Ariel Olivetti, and might even be becoming a strength. Scott Wegener (Atomic Robo) works well with a comedically-inclined script. The only problem is with Punisher's face, which makes it very appropriate when Kraven calls Punisher a "tiny monkey." Marvel also gets bonus points for keeping artistic continuity too, since the arc started with Cory Walker before Wegener, who both have similar styles. As long as Marvel lets Fraction do his thing without getting mired in tie-in hell, we'll have a solid title on our hands.

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7.7
Punisher War Journal (2006) #22

Aug 6, 2008

While this is not Fraction's best work, he has a strong feel for the character and has been consistently good and occasionally great. It's just unfortunate that Marvel hasn't found an artist yet to match that same level of quality/effort.

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8.3
Punisher War Journal (2006) Annual #1

Nov 5, 2008

All in all, the double sized issue flew by. Nothing epic happens, but it didn't need to. Spurrier wanted to tell a different kind of Punisher story, and he did it quite skillfully. Hopefully, Marvel takes note of his creativity and puts him on something a little more permanent in the future.

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7.3
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1

Nov 11, 2009

DnA make a smart decision in sticking to what works in issue one. While more in-depth character moments need to happen sooner or later, they're sacrificed at present until introductions were out of the way and the cast became more manageable. Combine that with the reveal of a couple more recognizable/well-rounded characters being added to the mix, and you have a solid start to a tie-in title.

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6.7
Runaways (2008) #4

Nov 26, 2008

I'm still going to wait for the next arc before giving an official thumbs up or down on the long term prospects of the series. Of course, the chances of a thumbs up would be much higher with another artist on board. Humberto Ramos makes Kevin cry…

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5.7
Runaways (2008) #6

Jan 28, 2009

I'm still pessimistic about the short-term prospects. The next arc will deal with Chase's apparently evil shock-jock boss, which hasn't been all that compelling to this point. The one thing that readers can jump for joy about though is that this is Humberto Ramos's final issue! No more weird proportions and unintelligible action scenes! At this point, you take the small victories…

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9.4
Secret Invasion #1

Mar 31, 2008

On the whole, this is a very strong start of the series. While we get a clearer idea of what our heroes are up against, there's still a lot of uncertainty, especially where it concerns the bigger names. Personally, I'm very excited to see where this series goes.

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6
Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1

Aug 13, 2008

This series is not for everyone. It doesn't seem to be all that connected to the main Secret Invasion story, with the possible exception of Black Bolt's role as a member of the Illuminati. Still, Pokaski did his research, so the characters are true to form, which may be enough if you're a big enough Inhumans fan. For others, it's simply another iteration of the same general Skrull story we've seen countless times at this point.

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7.6
Secret Warriors #10

Nov 25, 2009

While I may not agree with the decision have this story be part of the ongoing Secret Warriors title, that doesn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the issue. Hickman is able to get in his trademark dialogue while at the same time adding complexity to characters in dire need of it. I have no doubt that next issue will get things right back on track, which is good, since "on track" makes it one of my favorite Marvel team books every month.

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8.5
Secret Warriors #17

Jun 23, 2010

This is a fantastic issue for kicking off a new arc that seems to be moving the series past the initial set up phase. The characterization and dialogue are spot-on, and this issue makes two in a row where the final page reveal makes the wait for the next issue all the more interminably. If you haven't gotten into Secret Warriors yet, this would be the perfect place to start. Don't be scared by the complexity, there's a recap page.

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7.8
Siege: Spider-Man #1

Apr 21, 2010

The only thing really holding back this issue is that it adds absolutely nothing to the overall Siege story. All the events occurred before the end of Siege #3 and are pretty meaningless in the overall scheme of things. To some readers, that may be a deal breaker, but that shouldn't completely discourage you from giving this a chance. That's especially true if you're a Ms. Marvel fan, since it sheds new light on events from that series. In the end, it's a fun story with a creative fight and pretty art, which isn't a bad combination at all.

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8
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #3

Oct 8, 2008

I know this series isn't exactly required reading. It's not even tied to any other Spider-Man continuity. At the same time though, it's an incredibly fun and unique read. Marvel experiments with atypical series like this from time to time, and most fail pretty terribly. It's probably too late to hop on now, but definitely give it a look when/if it comes out as a trade so that it can hopefully live on after this.

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8.7
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #4

Nov 12, 2008

This is definitely the worst possible time for a series like this to need good sales to continue its life. It'll always be an ancillary title that's a great change of pace to the other comic fare people buy. I know lots of people cutting back to core titles given their uncertain financial situation, which just compounds the problem. Given all that, if you are one of the rare few that are looking for a new title to read, I urge you to check this out. Terry Moore has built a solid foundation that already has more plot than can fit in five issues, so it's not like he's out of ideas. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see them come to fruition…

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6.1
Spider-Man: Noir #1

Dec 17, 2008

So far, I can't really recommend this to anything other than lovers of all things Spider-Man. There certainly is potential, especially given the curveball thrown at the end of the issue, but I recommend holding off for now.

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5
Squadron Supreme (2008) #2

Aug 20, 2008

As I stated above, I don't really understand the purpose this series serves, since it's now nothing like its predecessor and seems to be redundant with other series/universes being published by Marvel. The only possible interesting possibility is if Hyperion and gang reemerge after the "Marvel" characters establish themselves. That would create an DC/Marvel amalgam world, which could be interesting if done right. Of course, Marvel could already have had that if they had concluded Ultimate Power differently. That also would have injected some much needed life into the Ultimate Universe, but all that potential is now wasted on a series that probably won't even survive until that point anyways.

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8
Thor (2007) #613

Aug 25, 2010

The story itself is fantastic, as Thor silently works his way through Hell and its various trials and distractions, and Tyr gets some much needed character building. I was also most impressed by Richard Elson's art. Elson was given a wonderful opportunity with the entire issue occurring in Hell, and he doesn't disappoint. Elson lets his imagination run wild with crazy landscapes and truly creepy monsters. For what was supposed to but a short stint as a fill-in writer, Gillen has made a great impression in a short period of time. It'll be sad to see him leave the title. His writing combined with some fantastic visuals make this a can't miss issue.

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9.8
Thunderbolts (2006) #118

Jan 2, 2008

I can honestly say that I've never been the biggest fan of Mike Deodato's previous work, but he is perfectly suited for this series. He has an uncanny ability to make the dark darker and the moody moodier. He also adds in a number of absolutely chilling scenes throughout the issue. I never knew that you could draw a guy sitting on a toilet in such an unnerving way. You notice that I still took off .2 from the score in the end. The only reason I did that was because, if done correctly, this arc's conclusion will definitely get better.

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7.8
Thunderbolts (2006) #130

Mar 18, 2009

Beyond that, the team member interaction/characterization was kind of lacking. This will hopefully be fixed/fleshed out after the arc, since if I don't know much about most the cast, then the average reader will be even more lost. In the end, this isn't Shakespeare or even the complex nuance of the Ellis run. At the same time, it's a quick entertaining read, which was ultimately the goal. If you want dark and moody, Diggle is more than capable, and it will return once Magnum Opus concludes.

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7.2
Thunderbolts (2006) #140

Jan 20, 2010

I still can't completely say what I think of Jeff Parker's Thunderbolts run so far. He's worked hard to get the team beyond its one-dimensional roots, but the actual plot has revolved heavily around guest stars that he's already shown great success with. The pieces are there, but I need to see an arc without the AoA crutch before I can weigh in one way or the other.

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5.5
Ultimate Comics Enemy #2

Feb 24, 2010

Hope isn't completely lost. There's a hint here and there that something bigger may be brewing, but that doesn't excuse what is a very lackluster issue, which is only slightly redeemed by some proficient art. So far, the series has tried to get by on explosions and mystery and little else. At the same time, Bendis has always seemed to know what he was doing when it came to the Ultimate Universe, so there's definitely a larger plan. My only question is if we'll see that here, or if this is just a tease for something in future.

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8.5
Ultimate Human #1

Jan 2, 2008

The first issue doesn't break any new ground, but when you execute the old ground so well, you really don't have to. Cary Nord does a fantastic job on the art. He has a very versatile style that is as detailed or murky as the scene requires. He especially did some really cool panels with reflected images. He does go over the top sometimes with facial expressions, but I personally prefer over-expressive faces more than under-expressive. A solid first issue, but it still has work ahead of it to wash the dirty taste of Ultimate Power out of the reader's collective mouth…

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9.2
Ultimate Human #3

Mar 26, 2008

I'm starting to have a love/hate relationship with Cary Nord's art. His close-ups are highly detailed and full of emotion. Unfortunately, that effect lessens greatly as figures move further into the background. At times, more distant shots make it seem like the page was smeared with Vaseline, with only rough splotches of color making it through. Luckily, those are kept to a minimum. As we all know, there's a predetermined quota of fight scenes for all series involving the Hulk. We haven't nearly come close to meeting that figure yet, so expect it to commence early and often next issue, but don't let that deter you from reading one of the more surprisingly satisfying Marvel limited series since the original Annihilation.

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7.9
Ultimate Iron-Man II #2

Jan 23, 2008

The story continues with Stark's quest to clear his father's name and the growing acrimony between him and the military. The interesting thing was that I wasn't really enjoying volume two as much as I did the original, which was weird, since I didn't sense any notable changes in Card's style. Then it dawned on me what it was. When I originally read volume one, I had done it all at once, which I think works better with the way Card writes. Card has a very deliberate and measured pace, methodically placing dominoes in a row before pushing them over. This can be misconstrued as boring, since you're getting a slow building payoff instead of the typical comic book system of multiple cliffhangers/resolutions mixed in. It's almost like being forced to watch an episode of Law & Order in 9 minute chunks every few days. While you still probably get the gist of what happened, the overall impact is severely lessened. That's why I'm going to make the rare recommendation to actually trade-wa

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8.5
Ultimate Iron-Man II #4

Mar 26, 2008

Pasqual Ferry again does a phenomenal job on the art. He can somehow make his style mesh perfectly with a mundane and ordinary setting on one page, but still handle high concept sci-fi on the next. He also gets bonus points for making Tony look like Aristide Bruant (esoteric reference for art history majors). With the ongoing Ultimate Universe titles currently consisting of Ultimate Spider-Man and little else worth mentioning, it's good to see Marvel put out a couple of strong limited series (the other being Ultimate Human) to keep things interesting.

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7.7
Ultimate Origins #2

Jul 9, 2008

While I'm not as ecstatic as I could be over the series, I'm still definitely rooting for to be a great creative success. I still believe the Ultimate Universe has some gas left in the tank, and something like Ultimate Origins is a great way to reignite interest. Issue #1 was a great start, and while this issue was a step down, don't let that get in the way of a strong overall series.

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7.9
Ultimate Origins #3

Aug 6, 2008

Artistically there's nothing really extraordinary here. However, it doesn't hamper the storytelling - competent artwork is always fine by me. This series isn't perfect, but it's an intriguing nonetheless. If you're still a big Ultimate fan, then it's a must read. If not, the subject matter is still handled quite well and may be worth you time, as long as you don't contemplate the logical inconsistencies for too long.

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7.8
Ultimate Origins #4

Sep 10, 2008

The series has also cemented my opinion that the current Ultimate Universe doesn't matter any more. With the exception of Ultimate Spider-Man, my reading of other Ultimate titles has been sporadic for quite some time. Still, all the plot elements and references all appear to be coming entirely from the first couple years of the Ultimate Universe's existence. Since then, all the titles have done their own thing with little connection between them. Origins is almost an afterthought. It's great that we finally have these answers, but the effect on the current state of the Universe is minimal at best. Maybe Ultimatum will change that status, but Jeph Loeb seems to have the anti-golden touch of late, so I'm not exactly what you'd call optimistic.

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4
Ultimate Power #8

Oct 31, 2007

This series' one saving grace is Greg Land. Even if his female characters all look like high-class call girls, his work still amazingly detailed and beautiful. I just wish he was working on a better series, because the sooner this one goes away - the better…

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8.7
Ultimate Spider-Man #115

Oct 24, 2007

Stuart Immonen is doing his best to make me forget Mark Bagley even existed, and he's doing it with simple touches. If you go back through the issue, the most detailed/smooth/clean thing he draws in the news coverage of Spider-Man getting arrest on Kong's TV, which is his pseudo-way of showing and HD-quality image in animated form. When he puts so much effort and thought into something so inconsequential, you know you'll be happy with the rest of his work.

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7.4
Ultimate Spider-Man #127

Oct 22, 2008

I consider this issue an improvement on the last. Before, it was a blah storyline that was poorly executed. Now it's a blah storyline with much better execution. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but this is a title with a pretty strong track record, so don't expect it to be in a funk for long.

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3.8
Ultimates 3 #3

Feb 20, 2008

While I'm not the biggest fan of his work, Joe Madureira is the perfect choice for a series like this. Everything is done in a rich, over-the-top style that's flashy in all the right ways. There isn't a better artist to draw huge muscles, breasts, and constant angry glaring. I'm still hoping I'll wake up tomorrow, and I'll find out this was a fever dream "What If" gone wrong, but the hopes of that happening are pretty dim at this point.

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5.8
Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #2

Jul 29, 2009

The one thing I felt was missing most from this issue was the typical supporting cast. That's the emotional reaction/response I wanted to see, but it was nowhere to be found. Thankfully, Bendis at least didn't drag out the "is he dead or not?" towards the end of this issue, since that makes the purchase of this issue not completely unnecessary. I would recommend just waiting until the August reboot and skip this, but your mileage and Spidey fanaticism may vary.

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7.1
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #508

Apr 15, 2009

While it seems all I did was complain this issue, this series has the potential to be great. Fraction has shown that in other series, but it hasn't reached that level yet. Something as simple as a more active editor would do wonders in molding the sometimes overambitious story into something a little more manageable. As stated earlier though, I heartily recommend this as a trade purchase, since it flows a lot better as a whole. Individual issue buying is probably only for X-Men diehards and readers that appreciate more methodical, if sometimes disjointed, storytelling.

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5.2
Vengeance of the Moon Knight (2009) #8

May 5, 2010

One of the things I used to like about titles like Moon Knight was how insular they were. While set in the Marvel Universe, they had a nice corner to play around in themselves. Unfortunately, Marvel seems to be forcing Moon Knight to play with the neighborhood kids now, which can occasionally lead to arcs like this. It shouldn't detract completely from the promising start this series has had. Just be aware that Spider-Man plays a prominent role on next issue's cover. You've been warned.

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7.7
War Machine #5

Apr 29, 2009

The opening arc does a good job of setting the table for future issues. Pak seems to have a strong grasp on his cast (even if it might be a little large) and where he wants to take things. If the teaser on the last page is any indication, War Machine will be fun action-packed read that just may have an impact on the larger Marvel Universe.

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7.4
War Machine #6

May 27, 2009

On the whole, this is a fun series that definitely qualifies as one of the best new titles to come out of Secret Invasion/Dark Reign. Instead of just being event aftermath filler, it has an original concept and direction that isn't being met by any other titles.

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8.1
War of Kings #4

Jun 3, 2009

With the event past the halfway point, War of Kings has more than surpassed my expectations at this point. Right when I feel like I have a firm grasp of what's coming next, DnA pull the rug from under me. With two issues left, I can honestly say I really have no clue what's coming up next, which is probably the best compliment you can give a creative team.

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9.2
War of Kings #6

Aug 5, 2009

So let's recap – Abnett and Lanning have created an event that logically flows from and references the plot/story of previous cosmic titles. The characterization is top notch and even transforms previously marginal characters into ones I want to see more of. Consequently, the main story and even the tie-ins don't get bogged down into pointless punch-fests. To top it off, the conclusion was not only fun and satisfying; it also opened a lot of possibilities for Abnett and Lanning's ongoing narrative as they continue to build the cosmic universe. I typically give out a qualified recommendation for even some of my favorite books. While I say you should read it, there's usually an "if you're --- or ---" included. That's not going to be the case here. The only reason you should not be reading the cosmic titles at this point is if you're homeless and have to choose between shelter or comics. No other excuse will be accepted…

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8.6
War of Kings: Ascension #1

Apr 8, 2009

When WOK: Dawkhawk/Ascension was first announced, I wasn't really expected much, but I have been proven wrong once again. Sooner or later I'll learn just to trust Abnett/Lanning until they prove me wrong, which hopefully won't be for awhile. If you didn't read any of WOK: Darkhawk, it's still not too late to start on this storyline. There's nothing you missed that can't be cured by 5 minutes on Wikipedia.

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7.6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1

Feb 4, 2009

In the end, I care about and am more interested in the character now than before I started reading. That's a key first step. I could moan all day about this being a blatant attempt to catch lightening in a bottle again (a la Nova), but I could care less as long as it's executed well, which it was. Here's hoping the big reveal next issue keeps the momentum going.

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8.3
Wolverine (2003) #68

Aug 27, 2008

In the end, the story is pretty much a gussied up What If tale. That's a turn off for a lot of people that prefer content that'll have an impact outside of that particular title. Not me though. Give me a well-executed story (even if superfluous in nature) with pretty pictures to go along, and I'll be happy.

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5
Wolverine (2003) #900

May 13, 2010

In the end, Wolverine #900 is about what you'd expect. One or two stories offer some entertaining moments, but the rest are absolutely bland and rarely get beyond the well-worn Wolverine clichs. I understand the need to charge extra ($4.99) for an issue that spans 104 pages, but I can't in good conscience recommend this comic to anyone that isn't a Wolverine fanatic who just received a huge income tax refund. That's probably not the biggest segment of the comic buying population.

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5.4
Wolverine Origins #45

Mar 17, 2010

While I wasn't that big a fan of the past two issues, I don't think it totally negates the positive steps I saw at the beginning of the arc, since the parts I didn't particularly enjoy have run their course. If you haven't read this series before now, there's no reason to start, but the finish line is so close that current readers would be hard pressed to stop now.

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6.7
Wolverine Origins #48

May 26, 2010

On the bright side though, the Romulus/Daken story is done for now, so Logan at least can go in a new creative direction regardless.

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7.5
Wolverine: First Class #2

Apr 23, 2008

As stated above, this series is not for everybody. If you want a violent and bloody Wolverine story, you have countless other choices every month. If you want a trip down memory lane or just a good book to introduce a younger relative to comics, then you're good to go.

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5.3
Wolverine: Under the Boardwalk #1

Dec 9, 2009

No matter how good the art is though, I can't recommend picking this up when the story is so bland and uninventive. There's better noir content out there if that's your thing, and it's not like this ties into any of the overarching Dark Reign/Siege storyline either. That pretty much leaves Wolverine fanatics, but you were going to buy this no matter what I said anyway.

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7.1
X-Factor (2005) #29

Mar 12, 2008

Also sadly missing in action is Pablo Raimondi on art. I love his work so much that it's usually the first thing I look at on the cover when I pick it up off the rack. That's not to say Valentine De Landro does a bad job. It's actually quite good, with the exception of Rictor looking a bit like Charles Bronson at times, but there's always something unsatisfying about having to rotate artist so often. I know when you read this, it probably comes off as a pretty damning review, but it really isn't. If I were a teacher, I'd definitely point out more flaws on my best students' work than the more sub par ones, since I know what the best students have done in the past and are still capable of in the future.

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5.1
X-Factor (2005) #30

Apr 16, 2008

I'm still missing Pablo Raimondi on art quite a bit, but Valentine De Landro fills in admirably. The atmosphere is still dark and shadowy, but doesn't have that same level of polish that I'm used to with Raimondi. Even though I'm disappointed by this issue in particular and the arc in general, I'm optimistic that this is an aberration. David still has a wealth of material to play with. Madrox's relationship with his dupes, Siryn's pregnancy, and Layla Miller's eventual return are all hanging plot threads that need more exploring, and all of them will be much more exciting than a showdown with Arcade…

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8
X-Factor (2005) #208

Aug 25, 2010

The one thing I wasn't so much a fan of was the execution of Madrox's storyline. I think it's safe to assume that most readers were able to figure out the identity of Jamie's new client last issue in the very first panel, so there really wasn't much surprise to the eventual reveal. I've always loved how Marvel characters seem to either have an encyclopedic knowledge of the universe of villains or absolutely none at all. Given the stature of this particular villain, it seems silly that she would put so little effort in hiding her identity, and that Jaime (who acquired a wealth of knowledge sending out dupes over the years) would have no clue either. In the long run, it's a small quibble, but it still took me out of the story more than it needed to. In the end, X-Factor is always at the top of its game when not burdened by event tie-ins, so I expect good things going forward.

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8
X-Force: Sex & Violence #2

Aug 11, 2010

While the writing provides a very satisfying (albeit shallow) experience, the true draw here is the art. Gabriele Dell'Otto's painterly style is a sight to behold, from the characters to the action. The facial expressions were a particular delight. While not a vital story in terms of overall continuity, the combination of great art and an entertaining storyline make this a solid choice if you find your comic stack a little light this week.

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6
X-Men (2010) #2

Aug 11, 2010

It's still too early to write off the series completely of course, since most of the characters from the initial solicits haven't even made an appearance yet. At the same time though, a complete cast isn't really going to make much of a difference if the storytelling problems aren't corrected by the time they arrive.

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8.3
X-Men Origins: Colossus #1

May 14, 2008

Sometimes the best art is the kind you don't even notice at all, which is exactly what you get from Trevor Hairsine here. The figures are strong, the settings are detailed, and the action is crisp what more can you ask for? Not much I say, which is why I heartily recommend this book. Unless your first thought when you heard about the concept was "SACRILEGE!!!" If so, it's probably best you stay awayand possibly get some blood pressure meds.

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6.8
X-Men: Kingbreaker #3

Feb 18, 2009

Unless you're a completist, this is a series that can easily be skipped with nothing lost when War of Kings comes around. You know Vulcan will play a pretty big role, and nothing that happens this issue or next is going to change that at all. I'm just hoping something occurs that makes him actually interesting to read about…

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6
X-Men: Legacy (2008) #221

Feb 18, 2009

Being the middle chapter of an arc, this particular issue will probably prove an aberration of sorts. At least I hope so. Again, it's clear that everything that I take issue with in this installment was done so intentionally by its author, so in the end I'm inclined to think of it as a necessary evil. Ever since Whedon's departure from Astonishing, Carey's Legacy has proven by far the most consistent X-book on the stands. Here's hoping its creative team can remember the qualities that made this happen, notably by refocusing on character over chaos and astuteness over flash.

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8
X-Men: Legacy (2008) #238

Jul 28, 2010

Carey also works in a strong undercurrent about duty, as a Vault member chooses her own way, Rouge deals with the consequences of not following orders during Second Coming, and Indra is confronted with a family dilemma. Each has demands placed upon them, and it's interesting to see how each handles it based on their past experiences and culture. Legacy has always seemed like the X-title that has always suffered the most from mutant-events. Unless the main story is spread among the main titles, Legacy is stuck with superfluous side stories. With Second Coming finally finished, Carey has done a great job of reclaiming the series and getting the new arc off on the right foot.

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5.8
X-Men: Worlds Apart #1

Oct 15, 2008

There's a lot of competition for your comic dollar currently, even if you only consider X-Men comics. I had numerous problems with this particular issue, but most of that had to do with the setup leading to the main storyline. Not much is known about the main plot yet, except for the bad guy, so it's not like there's no potential in this series. At this point though, I can only recommend this series for Storm and/or Black Panther fans, since it appears it'll have it's most last effects on them and not the X-Men. Everyone else should consider picking up the trade if the story improves next issue.

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4.6
Young X-Men #4

Jul 9, 2008

I know, that's a lot of words to say something's bad, but is there anything to feel optimistic about? The answer is a qualified yes. The only light on the horizon is that nothing is set in stone yet. We still haven't seen the full team. We still don't know what the long-term plot of the series is going to be, so there's still hope Guggenheim finds the right character and plot mix. The only thing that keeps me from believing that will happen is that most of the problems are how he's telling the story rather than the story itself.

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3.8
Young X-Men #5

Aug 20, 2008

You may think I'm being hasty, since it really is only five issues in. The problems I'm having with this series are so fundamental though, that I don't think a change of scenery or villain. Especially since the "In Future Issues of Young X-Men" page at the end only show me nothing creative or new, just rehashing previous X-Men stories and guest appearances…

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