Loretta Ramirez's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 30
8.5Avg. Review Rating

10
Abadazad #1

Feb 18, 2004

Mike Ploog and J.M. DeMatteis have created an inspiring and innovative new series. Conjuring the spirit of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, ABADAZAD is likely to become one of the most charming comic book series in circulationone that can be thoroughly enjoyed by children and adults.

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10
Abadazad #2

Mar 18, 2004

Although brimming with fantasy, ABADAZAD also offers mature and touching commentaries on the hardships that modern-day children face. Therefore, its no wonder that CrossGen ends this issue with a few pages devoted to parents and teachers, advising them on the merits of comic books to inspire both fantasy and communication. Arguably the best debut of the year, ABADAZAD is a delightful read that may finally make comic books something parents eagerly want to share with their children.

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6
Avengers (1998) #74

Nov 27, 2003

Hawkeyes return to THE AVENGERS is the highlight of this issue as his dialogue and action spice up this story-arc and ends the issue with a thrill. Geoff Johns handle of the characters is impressive; but though the art is well detailed and excellent with action, its less successful in capturing the expressions appropriate to these characters.

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8
Avengers (1998) #75

Dec 12, 2003

Its a pity that Geoff Johns ends his tenure as AVENGERS writer with the next issue, because his stories celebrate the heart of the team. And though the plot of this issue was simply a battle, the personalities of the characters were as vivid as theyve ever been: Iron Mans smug professionalism, Captain Americas compassionate leadership, She-Hulks tough-girl love, and Hawkeyes charming determination. This was an uplifting issue that allowed the characters to sparkle in their individual ways.

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8
Avengers (1998) #77

Jan 11, 2004

Yet despite the character and art flaws with Captain America and despite the Wasps inexplicable ineptitude, the story is a quick and fun read. Hawkeye is endearing, and the family is sympathetic. And its difficult to resist the desire to see a return of effective and modern-day chivalrysomething that might brighten the lives of the tragedy-scarred family or brighten the pages of upcoming AVENGERS.

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10
Avengers (1998) #78

Feb 13, 2004

Together, Copiel and Austen have created a character-driven plot that, amidst action, highlights the characters core powers and weaknesses. And though the issue has a few flaws, especially in its re-explanation of the Scarlet Witchs powers, the reversal of superhero roles and the possible ramifications of these reversals create a suspense and tension that make the month-long wait between this issue and the next almost unbearable.

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4
Avengers (1998) #79

Feb 26, 2004

The issue ends in a double cliffhanger that may maintain reader interest; but by that time, the characters have become so abruptly unrecognizable that its hard to accept the events as real. Suspension of belief has been compromised, particularly for Wasp/Pym and Hawkeye fans. In fact, Hawkeye fans may want to stick solely to Hawkeyes own title for the upcoming months.

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6
Avengers (1998) #80

Mar 29, 2004

Overall, the credibility of this story-arc continues to be questionable because of Austens lack of attention to detail and lack of logical narrative progression. Readers reach intriguing plot points, but the experience is too jarring, too contrived. Fortunately, the art partially compensates and there are a few promising developments for the upcoming story-arc finale.

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10
Avengers/Thunderbolts #5

Jul 3, 2004

The issue ends in perhaps the best cliffhanger of recent memory as Hawkeye, the character whose perspective is most closely aligned with readers, must make a choicewho wins? Songbird wonders: What does he do now? Hang onto hopeonto that bedrock belief of his that theres good in everyone if you give it a chance to come out? The characters and readers realize that Hawkeyes decision isnt merely leading to the end of a battle, but the possible end of a precious belief that people can always be better. And this is a powerful, albeit disturbing, dilemma to leave readers with, wondering if a former criminal who previously demonstrated great signs of compassion and honor, can ever really be trusted. Yet, this is exactly what good storytellingand the THUNDERBOLTS seriesis all about: leaving readers guessing, not just about the characters, but themselves.

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8
Avengers/Thunderbolts #6

Aug 15, 2004

And that is exactly the charm of THE THUNDERBOLTS, and exactly the reason why the announcement of their new series has filled the comic community with anticipation. Readers never know what to expect when reading about these characters. And although this miniseries concludes, feeling more like a trailer for the upcoming series than the conclusion of a self-contained story-arc, the creative team does deliver intriguing predicaments and superb characterizations of the Thunderbolts and Hawkeye. So, its with an admirable degree of success that this miniseries ends and an ongoing begins.

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10
Earths Mightiest Heroes #1

Nov 5, 2004

Again, this issue is all about fun and tribute. Casey and Kolins definitely deliver satisfaction here, in such a way as to make any long-time Avenger reader proud. And even with all the obvious nods to the 1963 issues, the book maintains a modern and easily accessible presentation.

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10
Earths Mightiest Heroes #4

Dec 31, 2004

In short, the art is as enjoyable yet as complicated as the writing. And its a pleasure to see the Avengers portrayed both as familiar superheroes and as evolving characters within the premise of classic comic book fun.

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10
Earths Mightiest Heroes #5

Jan 13, 2005

Actually, this entire series has been brilliant so far. Casey and Kolins are at their sharpest, providing insightful character portrayals, rousing stories, and respect for the Avengers rich history.

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10
Flash (1987) #200

Aug 26, 2003

By the end of this issue, long-time fans of The Flash can be proud, not only of their hero but of the books creative team. As for new readers, this is an opportune time to join the speedster experiencejust hold tight and prepare for thrills.

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8
Flash (1987) #201

Aug 28, 2003

Although slower and less vibrant that usual Flash stories, this set-up issue is a well-calculated attempt to establish a new reality for West and the readers. The result: Johns and Dose effectively prepare readers for what promises to be a powerful story-arc.

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8
Flash (1987) #203

Oct 31, 2003

So, perhaps costumes are the symbol of heroic deeds; and perhaps costumes transform a drab world into a world of dazzling promise. The rising suspense and action of this issue supports such an argument. But, more crucial is the fact that the person who dons the costume is a herosomething that is concretely emphasized by the Ignition creative team; The Flash costume sparkles because Wally West is wearing it.

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9
Flash (1987) #206

Jan 30, 2004

FLASH 206 closes with a lingering excitement for Wally Wests costumed future. Johns and Porter have complete control of their story, and ignition has definitely been achieved.

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10
Hawkeye #1

Oct 23, 2003

The HAWKEYE series offers clever dialogue and distinctive art that focuses around a charming, albeit meddlesome, character a character driven by the need to save and to be saved, a character wholl never quit aiming for that perfect shot, not even in a strip joint.

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10
Hawkeye #2

Nov 21, 2003

Throughout, the art is cleverly angled, sharply detailed, and appropriately moody. The action is mounting, and the dialogue is witty. Better yet, this issue follows Hawkeye as he continues to redeem himself and anyone else in need of a second chance.

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8
Hawkeye #3

Dec 18, 2003

In art and in story, this is a perfectly harmonized creative team. As a result, HAWKEYE has consistently delivered a fast, funny, and highly-stylized package that highlights morality and human relations. And in spite of Niciezas tendency to exaggerate Hawkeyes brash side, Hawkeye remains a strong and familiar character whose rich history continues to impact his stories.

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10
Hawkeye #4

Jan 30, 2004

Great attention, in fact, is given in every detail of this issue by both Nicieza and Raffaele. In art, pacing, characterization, and themethis is a thoughtful story that begins with a boy missing his bus and ends with a man embarking on a mission.

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9
Hawkeye #5

Mar 11, 2004

Overall, this story delivers the action many readers have been waiting for. The art and writing are tighter than ever, and although Hawkeyes personality is overshadowed by his mission, readers are likely to be filled with anticipation for the upcoming finale of this first story-arc.

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8
Hawkeye #6

Mar 31, 2004

The story concludes in a light-hearted manner. Hawkeye says good-bye to his Myrtle Beach hot-tub friends (warning them to lay off the KFC); and Belinda Mathius, the storys villainess, is appropriately punished for her fanaticism. And in this end, Fabian Nicieza and Stefano Raffaele have successfully delivered a fresh and fun story-arc, at the heart of which is a fabulously spirited archer.

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10
Hawkeye #7

Apr 22, 2004

In sum, Nicieza continues to offer in-depth character moments, but now adds spicier action and familiar faces to the mix. And with Bennett on pencils, this story is a precious reward for any Hawkeye or classic superhero fan.

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9
Hawkeye #8

Jun 11, 2004

In short, Nicieza and Bennett have told a great character story, one that is fulfilling but also poignantpoignant because Hawkeyes solo adventures end here. Theres a saying: All good things must end. Apparently, Marvels editorial takes that old, tired proverb literally, so much so that they hastily bring to an end good books like HAWKEYE. Still, HAWKEYE has accomplished much in its short rundelivering superbly crafted stories, fleshing out the archers previously sketchy origins, and allowing Hawkeye to finally, albeit briefly, shine as a solo act.

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6
Iron Man (1998) #71

Aug 26, 2003

Overall, this issue has some entertaining character moments and effective atmospheric art, but demands a lot of attention to decipher the action.

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4
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #1

Jan 14, 2004

As an opening-issue, this story is witty, well-paced, and drawn in a harmonious fashion. The story ends with the partnership in motion as Basildon and Shelley track an enemy who creates his own agents through the DNA of world villains, including Hitler and Stalin. However, Basildon is so unlikable that its hard to see past his arrogant smirks and shockingly odious word bubbles to fully appreciate this set up issue. In short, his offensiveness dominates the story.

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10
New Thunderbolts #1

Nov 11, 2004

The Thunderbolts, in fact, are all about forgiveness, along with a potent mix of new beginnings, character development, juicy secrets, and classic superhero fun. This issue manages to show this and to prove that theres a lot of story left for this reassembled team.

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8
Noble Causes: Distant Relatives #1

Sep 3, 2003

The Noble Causes creative team has created a large cast of striking personalities. Character-driven and family-focused, this is a unique superhero book where responsibility is neglected, honor trampled, and powers abusedall in the name of love.

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8
Ruule: Ganglords of Chinatown #1

Nov 19, 2003

Beckett Comics, the publisher of RUULE, is so confident in this series that it has shipped five free copies to more than 2,750 comic book retailers, so costumers can have advanced looks before buying. After reading this issue, its clear why the publisher is willing to accrue such promotional costs. With its thoughtful handling of character andespeciallysuperior art, RUULE #1 is a quality new series.

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