Matt Demers's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Vine Reviews: 126
7.1Avg. Review Rating

6
Action Comics #903

Jul 27, 2011

When crossovers are done right, they're some of my favourite stories in comics. This issue of Action Comics was one of those moments, as having a bunch of heroes come together to fight a simple (but menacing) threat was done well. Crossovers lose their luster when the threat is over-the-top or the story drags on too long; fortunately, this arc seems to be wrapping up in the next issue, with a hopefully logical conclusion.

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8
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #2

Jul 13, 2011

I'm excited to see where this book goes, as Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak have done a great job at both establishing a new storyline and bringing up old continuity for older fans.

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6
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #3

Aug 10, 2011

Well, we're at the three issue mark and things are starting to ramp up; I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad, and there's little predicting what's actually going to be coming at the team. Things are going to get tough for our Canadian Compatriots, and I'm going to have to wait until next issue to see if the build-up from this one was worth it. Pick up this issue if you're not familiar with Aurora and want some good back-story.

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6
Alpha Flight Vol. 4 #5

Oct 12, 2011

While I'm happy that this series seems to be hitting its stride, there are still some glaring logical mis-steps that I feel bring the book down. I mean, the army Alpha Flight is trying to raise is just impossible by any means, and the premise of the story just seems hokey.

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8
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #664

Jun 29, 2011

If you're looking for a good jumping-on point for Amazing Spider-Man, next issue would be the time to do it. However, if you're looking for the last "normal" series of issues for Spider-Man before Spider Island kicks into effect, this storyline is the place to do it. It's a great Spider-Man story without becoming formulaic; numerous "easy way outs" could have been taken that would have diminished the quality of this story greatly.

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6
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #669

Sep 14, 2011

This issue seems to fit this "middle child" position in Spider-Island where the big bad is revealed and the rest of the time will be spent solving the problems set up in the first act. I've been following this event really loosely, but I can definitely say I want to see what happens - especially when a secondary mutation in the Spider Virus is involved.

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6
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #670

Sep 28, 2011

It's kind of pessimistic to say that Spider Island's tie-ins have been better than its main series, but it's true. The viewpoint has jumped around so much that I've had a hard time caring over any one person's story. Peter hasn't exactly done much in the last two issues besides react to spider mutations: isn't he supposed to be the main character?

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8
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #674

Nov 16, 2011

This issue was a great one, and it's surpsingly exciting, considering it's a "fallout from Spider-Island" deal. I'm looking forward to the storylines to come, and Slott managed to plant seeds for new arcs without diluting what was going on in the here and now. Give this issue a buy.

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10
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #679

Feb 1, 2012

I don't give five-star reviews often because I usually reserve them for books or issues that blow me away. While this issue wasn't one that left me pondering my life and how I should change it, it reminded me how superhero stories can be well-paced with decent helpings of dialog, exposition and action.

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10
Animal Man #2

Oct 5, 2011

I'm going to give this book a rare five-star review because the problems I had with the book aren't exactly permanent ones; after all, we're two issues into the series and still don't know the "new" Buddy quite yet. The reason that I say "give it time" to this book, and not others is that Jeff Lemire has put together an amazing book without the excuse that "it'll get better."

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10
Animal Man #4

Dec 7, 2011

If you had told me last year that a new ANIMAL MAN series would be this level of creepy, I would have laughed you out of the comic store. However, Lemire manages to skirt the line between "just enough" and "too much" with ease, and the book is one of the few New 52 series that are consistently good.

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8
Animal Man #6

Feb 1, 2012

Jeff Lemire threw a bit of a Hail Mary pass with this issue, as it's a concept issue that might not rub everyone the right way. I have to praise him for trying, however, as it's got me curious about its significance. Could we see a more involved Cliff in the coming months? Will Buddy Baker fall into the same perils as his character, Red Thunder?

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8
Annihilators: Earthfall #1

Sep 28, 2011

I've liked Marvel's cosmic offerings since Annihilation, and this book is continuing the tradition of stong writing, good characters and tremendous amounts of action. I feel like the book will ramp up as issues go on, and a "main character" that isn't Cosmo needs to emerge.

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6
Annihilators: Earthfall #2

Oct 26, 2011

There's often a problem with guest stars, as some writers don't know how to handle them. The Avengers in this issue seemed a little bit off in dialog, but I guess that can be forgiven. The rest of the issue, dialog aside, seemed was definitely on the food side, but not amazing by any means.

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8
Astonishing X-Men #46

Jan 25, 2012

Part of the reason I enjoy Greg Pak so much is his ability to make me care about characters that I would otherwise have not; his run on Hulk and his work for this issue have affirmed that belief, as I really couldn't see myself enjoying any iteration of Emma Frost.

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6
Avengers (2010) #15

Jul 20, 2011

For a Fear Itself tie-in, this isn't that bad of an issue. It managed to make some of the Avengers' background members look like champs, and really, that's a sign of good writing. However, I can't help thinking that some of those interview pages could've been used for something a bit more constructive: more action, more character development... more anything!

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6
Avengers Academy #18

Aug 17, 2011

Unlike the other Fear Itself tie-in's I've been enjoying this month (Uncanny X-men, Thunderbolts) I can't really get into Avengers Academy. I enjoyed the whole "you're in a warzone now" focus, but now that the kids seem to be way out of their league, I'm afraid they're going to pull a Wesley Crusher-esque "wow, we sure showed those adults!" solution out of their butts.

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4
Avengers Academy #20

Oct 26, 2011

One of the first comics I ever read was a West Coast Avengers issue, and I couldn't help but think about how hokey it sounded; it took a good concept like the Avengers and just said "Yeah, we're in a new setting! That's cool, right?"

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6
Avengers Academy #23

Dec 14, 2011

The main problem with this character arc with Striker is that there hasn't been enough "personal time" in order to justify such a radical shift. Striker's last personal arc was ages ago, and seeing all this personal exposition coming out in one conversation seems a bit of rushed. While I know Marvel wouldn't take an event like this lightly, but it almost feels like they did.

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8
Batgirl (2009) #22

Jun 15, 2011

This book won me over as a good purchase: if you're looking for a great Stephanie Brown story with a little bit of foreign flavour injected, this is the place to do it. Sadly, the London story will continue in Batman: Incorporated #9, so readers are going to have to split their collection for the whole arc. A bit frustrating, but doable.

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8
Batgirl (2009) #24

Aug 10, 2011

Like I said earlier, I'm sad to see Batgirl go. This series was light-hearted without being too goofy, and expanded a character that was much-maligned after her resurrection. The cover of the comic not only says goodbye to Steph, but all the people that helped her make her who she was. I will miss these characters, and this book.

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6
Batgirl (2011) #4

Dec 14, 2011

While the fight scenes in this book seem plentiful, I never really feel like Barbara is in any danger; she seems to have the fighting skills of a black belt without the attitude to back it up. It's getting to the point where I want to fast-forward through the fights and get back to the meaty character development, because without a diverse array of challenges for the character to face, the story becomes stale.

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2
Birds Of Prey (2010) #14

Jul 13, 2011

I feel like as a lot of books wrap up before the DCU reboot, it's easy to just shrug off any weak last issues and say "eh, it'll be different soon." I'm hoping the Birds are taken care of better when Duane Swierczynski takes over the helm: I feel the Birds could benefit much more from him.

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6
Birds Of Prey (2011) #2

Oct 19, 2011

I think I'm giving Birds of Prey one more issue before I retire it from my pull list for good. While the first trade of the original series wasn't exactly magic either, there's been time to develop the characters and find out what the readers actually like. Not capitalizing on that just seems to be missing the point.

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6
Blue Beetle (2011) #1

Sep 21, 2011

Like every other New 52 book I've read (save Animal Man), I feel like I need a couple more issues to see if this book is worth my time or not. While the original Jaime Blue Beetle origin had the advantage of tie-ins to get the audience warmed up (Infinite Crisis, Brave New World, etc), we're going into this one cold turkey. Like with Mister Terrific, I feel like the characters have had a coat of bland varnish washed over them, but I think it's to make things a bit more accessible.

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4
Blue Beetle (2011) #2

Oct 19, 2011

While this book is stunningly average, I find it extremely disconcerting that Jaime can (likely) kill or maim two supervillains without as much as a thought. Yes, the Scarab has a mind of its own, but a hero's first kill is usually a big deal; there's a hearty amount of reflection that comes with taking someone's life.

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8
Captain America (2004) #619

Jun 22, 2011

Captain America seems to be one title that remains in the background until events of a major crossover force it into prominence. With the events of Fear Itself #2, that's going to happen once again, as readers will have to deal with the metaphorical changing of the guard. It's sad, however - I was just getting used to Bucky as Captain America, and applauded Marvel with being unafraid to stick Steve in a more bureaucratic role. I guess the statis quo remains constant in the end.

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8
Captain America (2004) #624

Nov 23, 2011

I'll admit that up until this issue (and some back-issues, to prepare) I haven't read Cap & Bucky before. I was pleasantly surprised, however, as the book is quality. Chris Samnee does wonderful things with in order to covey a sense of mood: this is important, as an artist able to imprint himself on a property is a rarity in this day and age.

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8
Captain America (2011) #3

Sep 21, 2011

Brubaker writers amazing Captain America; that's my thoughts on this series so far in a sentence. I've never been a big Steve fan, but his recent run (along with his other work) have made me a convert. Ed is the only man who can have Captain America fight a giant robot version of himself and keep me from closing the book.

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8
Captain America (2011) #4

Nov 16, 2011

What I like most about this book is that it was balanced amazingly. We got a lot of exposition from Steve in the dream world, and a greater explanation of the motivations of the arc's bad guys. I found Steve asking the same questions I had: this is a good thing, because it means the writers have planned for the audience's curiosity.

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4
Captain America (2011) #8

Feb 8, 2012

This book was really hard to review, as I usually love Brubaker's work. However, the art was just not up to par, and it really made the narrative suffer. I couldn't help but think over and over at how 90's this title looked, from Cap to Falcon to Sharon to everyone; that isn't a good thing, ladies and gentlemen.

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8
Conan the Barbarian #1

Feb 8, 2012

I'm not going to hide my love for the Wood/Cloonan creative team; they've produced some of my favourite comics of this modern era. However, I'm not being a fanboy when I say they've managed to make me interested in a character I had no prior interest in.

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8
Daredevil (2011) #1

Jul 20, 2011

I've never been a big Daredevil fan, but I went into this book with an open mind and was definitely surprised by its quality. Hopefully Mark Waid has a long and productive run on this title: lord knows it could use it.

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10
Defenders (2011) #1

Dec 6, 2011

However, I'm willing to forgive that one little foible because this issue had me smiling from beginning to end. Like I mentioned above, the threat of the book doesn't leave your head scratching in confusion, the characters are well laid-out, and the consequences are apparent without having to rely on cheap stunts for shock and awe.

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8
Defenders (2011) #2

Jan 4, 2012

This books is solid through proper execution and a well-planned script; the pacing doesn't feel rushed, and there's enough action in each issue to keep you from getting bored with the somewhat-quirky plot.

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6
Defenders (2011) #3

Feb 1, 2012

Despite the above, I think it's good that Fraction kept this arc from rolling on too long; the greater theme of this book is chaos, and it will be great to see what the Defenders can whip up with this new toy of theirs. The only problem is that I see one of the members leaving (don't ask me, I just have an intuition), which might send the book into a downward spiral.

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6
Detective Comics (2011) #3

Nov 2, 2011

Detective Comics struck me as a title that was a bit different than "just another Bat book"; the continuity was usually lighter, and we got to see a more introspective side of Bruce. While the issues I've always read are very Bat-centric, I think we need that inner dialog while seeing Batman in action.

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10
DMZ #66

Jun 22, 2011

As the last "solo story", this issue made me feel a little weird in the pit of my stomach. As a big Brian Wood fan, I can say that this issue is one of his strongest, and made me appreciate what the character has done for the story as a whole. There is little wrong with this issue, and serves as a calm before the proverbial storm that is the last arc. While I hope Zee will have a role in that final story, this would be a fitting end to her involvement to the series. Amazing work from an amazing writer: it's a pity that DMZ is ending.

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6
Fear Itself #4

Jul 6, 2011

With Fear Itself half-over, things are steadily progressing towards the crux of the story. With Thor facing insurmountable odds on the last page of this issue, along with the other Avengers in various states of turmoil, it seems that the next two issues will be very big deals, indeed.

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8
Fear Itself #5

Aug 10, 2011

Despite my complaints above, the good in this issue really outweighs the bad. Even though there was only two pages of build-up, Thor's fight was really well-done, and felt like it was long-awaited. With him spending the first issues of this series moping and in captivity, his call to arms was definitely a highlight of this series.

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10
Fear Itself #6

Sep 14, 2011

Like I said earlier, I've actually come to enjoy Fear Itself for what it is: a great crossover that seems to be just about good versus evil. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's formulaic, because it takes advantage of the rich Marvel history while still treading new ground.

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8
Fear Itself #7.2

Nov 9, 2011

This book felt good to read because it was not so somber that it took up too many pages to get a point across, nor did it pack it so full of action that the message of Thor's passing was lost. It was a good balancing act, like most comics are.

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8
Fear Itself: The Worthy #1

Jul 27, 2011

Really, there's not much to say about this issue besides "pick it up if you don't know all The Worthy." It'll give you a greater understanding of the characters, why you should care about them and a look into what might happen when all this Fear Itself stuff blows over.

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4
Fear Itself: FF #1

Jul 20, 2011

For $2.99, this issue might seem worth it: you get a little bit of insight into the mind of a Worthy, and you get to see a little of the internal conflict that is going on in Ben Grimm's mind. However, you also get a whole lot of bad to go a long with it: an inept Richards family, a head-scratching absence by Spider-Man, an appearance by Alicia that should probably have ended with her maiming, and no lasting consequences. I'd pass on this one.

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6
Fear Itself: The Deep #3

Aug 31, 2011

This book suffers from the same problems that every Defenders book has in that the team members are too powerful for the threats they're facing. SSilver Surfer? Hulk-Spawn? Sorcerer Supreme? King of Atlantis? Man, this shouldn't been nothing to them.

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4
FF #7

Jul 27, 2011

Like I said above, this issue is very slow; we see a lot of set-up that's being continued on from the previous issue, but little in the way of actual progress. It's like issue #6 was preparing for Black Bolt's return, and #7's entire story was devoted to it actually happening. Seeing such a shift from a FF-centered storyline to a "Kree and Inhumans"-based one was a bit jarring. I'm not sure what to think of it.

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8
FF #10

Oct 12, 2011

This issue is great for people who love a lot of exposition and talking; there's a lot of storylines being seeded for the future, here, and not a lot of action. However, you need that every once and awhile to balance out a book; you can't have action all the time. I think that Hickman did a great job of pacing the arc, if not the issue, and I'm looking forward to the next storyline as a result.

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2
Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries #1

Jun 29, 2011

I give this book a big ol' "skip" recommendation, and will continue to do so unless the next issues serve to bring some badly-needed development.

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6
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Sep 14, 2011

The main problem I had with the new Frankenstein is that this issue could have been spread over two or three. There just seemed to be an urgency to skip all the "hokey introduction stuff" and get the team out the door and into the demon-fighting wilds. It reeks of an action movie where the director doesn't take the plot seriously and just wants to move onto blowing things up.

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4
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #2

Oct 12, 2011

I can see this book filling a void between the long production cycles of Hellboy and BRPD, but it doesn't approach the level of writing or structure. The "black humour" that's supposed to be present isn't exactly striking any chords with me, and since it's said to be the selling point of the book, I'm less than impressed.

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4
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #3

Nov 9, 2011

It's hard to review this series without comparing it to HELLBOY, and I believe DC's counting on that when it markets the title. They're essentially the same formula: big monster guy fights with other monster guys as part of a paranormal organization that deals with threats of a weird nature.

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6
Generation Hope #15

Jan 18, 2012

This book was mediocre in most senses of the word: the art kind of just fell down a ravine in terms of quality after the first few pages, useless characters from the 90's showed up (Random was every referenced as a bad cliche in the book), and the major conflict was solved Hope flashing the almost-Phoenix Force, or what Marvel wants us to think is the Phoenix Force.

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4
Herc #10

Nov 30, 2011

I really wish I could have read this book with a blindfold on, because it probably would've made me enjoy it a lot more. Certain scenes made me cringe a little, but there is a solid story here. You just have to wade through a little bit of grease to get to it.

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4
Incredible Hulk (2009) Annual #1

Jun 29, 2011

I once stated in an earlier review that Greg Pak is the only person who can make me care about Bruce Banner and the Hulk; this holds true with this issue, as I was almost bored reading through it. It's not a horrible book by any means - it's merely the conclusion of a storyline that's stunningly mediocre and doesn't really break any new ground.

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6
Infestation 2 #1

Jan 25, 2012

For all the nitpicking I did above, I liked this book a lot more than other "major" books this week; by all definitions, it was a good comic, but it just didn't seem to deliver on what it promised.

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6
Invincible #83

Oct 5, 2011

The only reason I keep reading Invincible is because of Kirkman's past success. I really hope that the series turns around, but I think it's been through so many "very special" story arcs that it's impossible to get back to the way things were. The series has taken such a serious turn with increasingly soap-opera storylines that I'm finding myself rolling my eyes more with every issue.

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6
Invincible #87

Jan 11, 2012

While I haven't exactly enjoyed this book as of late, this book's on a track to improving itself. Props to Kirkman for making an effort to drag himself out of a pit of boredom, confusion and overcomplexity.

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8
Invincible Iron Man #505

Jun 15, 2011

This is still a solid book by any means, but it seems to have toned down the shock and awe from last issue. While I'm not usually a fan of using death as shock, it was done tastefully to show that Iron Man might not be as powerful in the situation as he'd like. Resting on a pile of stone body parts was just very morose, and I think that's what Fear Itself needs: not necessarily "shock fear," but "emotional fear."

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8
Invincible Iron Man #508

Sep 21, 2011

Invincible Iron Man has the distinction of being an amazing book that's been made better by Fear Itself; not that the crossover is bad, but there's just so many things that could have been done wrong with the title. Props to Fraction for keeping things together and keeping Tony's supporting cast entertained while the world unfolds around them.

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10
Invincible Iron Man #509

Oct 19, 2011

I think this is a fitting end to Tony's Fear Itself involvement, and I'm glad to see that the book is on a course back to normalcy. Stark Resilient's corporate espionage was really fun, and it just seems to keep getting sucked into other events, like Siege or Fear Itself. Hopefully we'll get a little bit of cooling off, a lot more backstabbing (figuratively!) and we'll get to deal with the aftermath of Tony's alcohol binge. Great book!

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10
Invincible Iron Man #510

Nov 23, 2011

"Oh boy. This is gonna get awkward."

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8
Invincible Iron Man #511

Dec 21, 2011

Like I said earlier, it seems refreshing to finally move beyond the drama of Fear Itself without actually severing all ties. Things like Paris, Tony's falling off the wagon, Pepper's crying or other key events aren't swept under the rug and continue to affect the ongoing storyline. Instead of being another open-and-shut chapter of Tony's life, Fear Itself planted seeds that are taking root and growing as we speak.

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8
Invincible Iron Man #512

Jan 18, 2012

It's going to be interesting to see where the Mandarin's plans go, as it seems to be an international threat that would beg for a much larger response than Iron Man alone can handle. To be honest, I pictured something like this to be worthy of a cross-over, considering how many "big names" are present and how much power is at stake.

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8
Journey Into Mystery #632

Dec 14, 2011

This issue is really simplistic, even for a one-shot. However, it manages to warm the heart and tell a great story, so I have nothing but good things to say. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you can appreciate Loki genuinely trying to be kind, and in the end, cute puppies supplement an extremely well-written story.

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8
Journey Into Mystery #633

Jan 11, 2012

I've been really enjoying this book lately because it's consistently impressed me with its pacing and the characterization of Loki. It harkens back to the initial resurrection of Thor, when the gods were interacting with their (then) new neighbors in Broxton, and it wasn't the painful experience that movies make culture shocks out to be.

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6
Journey Into Mystery #634

Feb 8, 2012

This book has been consistently awesome in recent months, with this issue being the only major stumbling block. I'll have to see what happens next issue in order to make a solid judgment on whether quality is sliding, but for now there seems to be no cause for alarm.

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4
Legion of Super-Heroes (2011) #5

Jan 18, 2012

I just didn't get the point to the issue, as the multitude of small stories just reiterated my main problem with Legion books: a large portion of the book's pages are taken up with introductions and reminding the readers who the people are and what they're doing.

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4
Mister Terrific #1

Sep 14, 2011

To be honest, I had the same reaction about Mister Terrific as I did about last week's Static: both seem to have filtered out the personality that made the character great. Instead, we're given more superficial gadgets and displays of power that really don't tell us much about the person behind the powers.

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8
New Avengers (2010) #19

Dec 14, 2011

While this issue wasn't particularly action-packed, it was heavy on character development that actually advanced the story. Seeing Gorgon behind the scenes, hearing that Osborn "has a man on the inside", seeing the Avengers run into an already-subdued crisis and watching Victoria Hand get pelted with eggs makes for an entertaining story.

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6
New Mutants (2009) #26

Jun 22, 2011

I'm kind of disappointed with this issue, as the volume as a whole has been really well done. Hopefully this arc won't last longer than it needs to, and we can get back to the inter-personal drama that's made this series a winner. I want to see more of the characters that the book is supposed to be about, not a long introduction to a villain when a short one will do.

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8
New Mutants (2009) #27

Jul 13, 2011

This issue was a good redemption for the mediocrity that was last month, and kept me interested in the story lines to come. I was actually kind of afraid that this would be the start of a decline in quality; thankfully, that isn't the case.

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8
New Mutants (2009) #28

Jul 27, 2011

This is a great issue because it manages to give us some character development and recap a number of storylines at the same time. This is a great jumping off point for people who want to pick up the book, and who want to be ready for the crazyness in the coming months. If the art was a little better, I would've given this five stars, easily.

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6
New Mutants (2009) #31

Sep 28, 2011

I feel like this series is lagging a bit behind in terms of Fear Itself, as it's just getting to the meat of its story when the main book is almost done wrapping up. I can see New Mutants' tie in ending with the next issue (hopefully), and getting back to the "good stuff." With X-Men: Regenesis on the horizon and the New Mutants joining Cyclops' team, I hope they're put to better use than they are now.

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6
New Mutants (2009) #34

Nov 16, 2011

But they point is, those "aren't going anywhere" strings are going to tie up sometime, and right now, Abnett is just laying down the foundations for the stories to come. However, this means that we run into a bit of a Chekhov's Gun conundrum: a whole bunch of guns have been mentioned and none of them have been fired..

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6
New Mutants (2009) #35

Dec 21, 2011

I feel like while the New Mutants have moved out on their own, they need a little more time to settle into their new digs before the book has the ability to hit the high points that it once did. Right now, the team doesn't seem to do much apart from hunt down new members, and great plot points like the Cannonball/Dani romance and the mutant psychologist have been largely dropped. This is a shame, because those points brought depth to what is essentially a very standard team book.

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8
Nightwing (2011) #4

Dec 21, 2011

This book is doing its job in that it's making me want to pick it up week after week. There's a nice balance between action and drama that doesn't make me tire of either, and seeing Dick grow as a person endears me to the character.

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6
Nightwing (2011) #5

Jan 18, 2012

I've been a pretty big fan of Nightwing's New 52 run so far, but this was the first time that a whole issue disappointed me. There were simply too many unanswered questions and bland panels for me to enjoy it like previous issues; it made no headway on the arc's story and kind of left us floundering.

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8
Power Girl (2009) #25

Jun 15, 2011

While I have to admit I haven't been keeping up with Power Girl as much as I'd like, this issue doesn't punish me for doing so. That's what the strength of this series has always been: a light-hearted, continuity-light book where readers can just sit back and have a good time.

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8
Punisher (2011) #1

Aug 3, 2011

Pick up this issue if you've liked what the Punisher has been in the past. It glosses over the weirdness of Franken-Castle and brings us back around to what we all love: mobsters dying, guns blazing and the thirst for vengeance being satiated. This isn't Punisher MAX, but it'll do.

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10
Punisher (2011) #4

Oct 12, 2011

Like I said above, this is a story that does the "slow burn" right by shifting viewpoints and allowing us to get a refreshing look at Frank without tiring the source material, so to speak. I mean, we've been explained the Punisher's origin a bunch of times by now, but reading it again at the beginning of the issue didn't seem forced.

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8
Punisher (2011) #5

Nov 16, 2011

In the end, I think this issue does a job of winding down the first arc of the story and illustrating the overall tone of the book. What started off as a bang has transitioned into a more somber story, and the little boy coming to the realization that the Punisher isn't the awesome person he thinks he is mirrors what the readers are going through.

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8
Punisher (2011) #6

Dec 7, 2011

If anything, this issue really reminded me of a PUNISHER MAX storyline where a woman that's crossed paths with Frank becomes an assassin to get revenge. It doesn't make this issue any worse, but it keeps me from fully appreciating it. I mean, I thought this was why Punisher was turned into Franken-Castle and back again: to get new, exciting stories. The fact that this issue feels cribbed from another series starring the same character leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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10
Punisher (2011) #7

Jan 4, 2012

Basically, if you liked GOTHAM CENTRAL, you really need to read this issue. Every single page reads like it's straight out of the Marvel equivalent, and it does an amazing job of making two bit characters into something much more.

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8
Punisher (2011) #8

Feb 1, 2012

While I don't have any major complaints about this book, it still doesn't get a perfect grade because I can't help but shake the feeling that this is a very standard Punisher story. There weren't any points that made me bolt upright and say "Man, this is unbelievable work!"

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8
Red Robin #25

Jul 13, 2011

It's a pity that this title is going to be gone after the reboot, as I really was a fan. Red Robin, Robin and Nightwing always were enjoyable to me because they took characters that had to live under Bruce's shadow and gave them the room to breathe.

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10
Secret Avengers #18

Oct 26, 2011

Warren Ellis and David Aja are two of my favourite creators, and I can't imagine a better combination to pull of Secret Avengers. There is so much here that allows both gentlemen to work to their strengths: Ellis' technobabble-y dialog and Aja's beautiful kung-fu sequences both shine.

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10
Secret Avengers #19

Nov 23, 2011

Have you ever read Warren Ellis' GLOBAL FREQUENCY? If you haven't, and want more of the same thing that was in this issue, read it. It's amazing.

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6
Secret Avengers #21

Jan 11, 2012

Keeping with the "done in one" formula of Warren Ellis' SECRET AVENGERS, we get another look into the true "black ops" role of this team. While I had extremely high praises for this book last month, it seems that it can't shake the feeling that it borrows heavily from GLOBAL FREQUENCY, another Ellis title.

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6
Secret Avengers #22

Feb 8, 2012

I feel that the book needs to stop fluctuating from writer to writer and find a formula that works. Instead of having a rotating cast, there should be something concrete; it should take notes from Jeff Parker's "Thunderbolts", which relies heavily on character interaction to get its point across.

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8
Secret Six Vol. 2 #35

Jul 6, 2011

It'll be interesting how Simone ties up the series in one issue next month: I'm a bit worried that it'll feel a bit jam-packed, but hopefully she'll be able to put it off. All I really want right now is some resolution for the Six. They've been through so much together and have faced a lot of adversity: I'm not saying they deserve to be absolved of all their crimes, but they at least deserve the peace they've been craving.

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10
Secret Six Vol. 2 #36

Aug 3, 2011

I'm giving this issue a rare five-star review because I think it deserves every bit of it. As a long-time reader, I can appreciate where this title has come from (in Villains United) to where it ends, here. This issue wrapped up everything about the series in one package without sacrificing tone, character or plot; it brings everything full circle, and leaves me with a sense of closure that we don't often get in comics.

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10
Skullkickers #11

Oct 5, 2011

Coming back to the characterization of the two main heroes, I think it's amazing how a writer can keep readers from hating characters who manage to mix buffoonery with moments of brilliance. I don't want to see a character who's too good at his job(because really, who wants a faultless hero?), nor do I want to see one that happens upon the solution with dumb luck.

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8
Skullkickers #12

Nov 30, 2011

This issue is great for those of you who haven't picked up this book yet and want a nice introduction to the story. Because of the small story portions, you get to experience everything the universe has to offer, from fiendish dueling minstrels to the madcap logic of the Dwarf. Pick up this book if you haven't yet.

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8
Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #1

Aug 10, 2011

At three issues, this mini-series seems to be a bit of a "standard" comic book story, if anything. If I had to guess, it might even fill the "Tie-In That Has Nothing To Do With The Main Story" space on my Crossover Bingo card.

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8
Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #2

Sep 21, 2011

I'm really liking this book because it seems to have a lot of spunk. Things like having the word balloons reversed in a mirror shot really make me feel that the editors aren't paying too close attention to this title, and that leeway is letting the writer shine. Then again, it could be just the opposite: maybe this is what Cloak and Dagger need in order to make them relevant again in the Marvel Universe. Definitely pick these three issues up, as they're unlikely to be collected in trade.

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8
Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1

Aug 31, 2011

This issue reads like an issue of Immortal Iron Fist, which is possibly the best kung fu book of the modern age. Things like technique captions, strong art and a great cliffhanger makes this book a winner.

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6
Spider-Island: The Amazing Spider-Girl #1

Aug 17, 2011

I'm really torn on this issue; there are definite redeeming qualities, but the writing isn't as strong as it has been in Young Allies, or even Avengers Academy. I'm going to hold off on a recommendation until the story progresses: this can either be a quintessential Spider-Girl story, or a huge bust.

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4
Static Shock #3

Nov 2, 2011

When I read Static, I can't help but feel like I've been re-reading something that I've already experienced before. So many of the tropes in this story are carelessly lifted from other heroes in an attempt to legitimize Virgil, and it doesn't wear too well on him. It's like he's taken Peter Parker's old, lame, moth-hole-filled suit and tried to pass it off as Versace.

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4
Static Shock #5

Jan 4, 2012

While the dream sequence origin was good, it took them five issues to give the reader something concrete. Five. On a monthly schedule, that's almost half a year of Static hinting at "Dakota" without giving the reader any meat. This meat is what keeps us buying the book beyond the initial surge of launch, and I think that it's taken much too long for us to get it.

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8
Superboy (2010) #10

Aug 3, 2011

However, this issue has done its job in that it's gotten me excited for the conclusion of the story arc, and has formed a deeper connection with a villain that I otherwise would not have cared about. That takes talent. Props, Mr. Lemire.

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4
Superboy (2011) #4

Dec 14, 2011

I was going to say that this book was stunningly mediocre, which is disappointing considering the tonal shift from the "Old 52" series. However, I remembered that there was a glimmer of hope with the "Bonnie and Clyde" villains, but in the end it bugged me how Superboy really wasn't troubled with them.

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4
Superman (2011) #5

Jan 25, 2012

I'll admit that I've stayed away from the "A-List" of New 52 titles (Superman, Action Comics, the Bat-Books, Green Lantern, Justice League) out of fear that they will be terrible, and really, this issue didn't do much to dissuade me. While it's not a "throw in the trash" issue, it doesn't come off as anything but blunt, heavy-handed and talkative. I'd like to note, though, that I have caught up with the books I'm reviewing: I think it's important to establish context.

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8
The Boys #60

Nov 2, 2011

As always, The Boys seems to have this magical way of disguising amazingly good plot within some truly stupid sequencing; it's gotten to that point where I've accepted that everyone in the story's world is a complete and total douche, and unlikely to change.

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8
The Mighty Thor #5

Aug 31, 2011

I think the reason I enjoy this book so much is that I'm suffering from crossover fatigue; there's been so much "Serpent!" this and "Hammer!" that, and I haven't enjoyed a "regular" Thor story in a long time. THis book satisfies that need, couples it with great art and adds some great writing to top it off. This book is aces.

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8
The Mighty Thor #6

Sep 28, 2011

This story arc was a good old romp through Asgard, which I think is what Thor needed in the midst of Fear Itself. It ties itself into the events of the crossover without becoming obnoxious, which is fulfilling its intended purpose, I believe.

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8
The Mighty Thor #7

Oct 26, 2011

Thankfully, this issue isn't exactly required reading for Fear Itself, nor does it skimp out on the juicy details. It's easy to see the parallels between Cul and Odin and Thor and Loki; Fraction must have planned that out as a treat to readers.

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8
The Mighty Thor #8

Nov 23, 2011

Back during FEAR ITSELF #7.2, I said that Tanarus seems like a bit of an ass; I'm actually glad I was right about this, and that Marvel wasn't expecting us to take him seriously as a replacement for Thor. I fully expect the "right" God of Thunder to be back in the winged-hat and chainmail in the next couple months, especially after a nice jaunt to the underworld.

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8
The Mighty Thor #10

Jan 25, 2012

MIGHTY THOR is quickly becoming one of my favourite books due to its contained storylines and its effective use of existing characters while introducing good new ones. If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's strong dialog, narrative and progression, and MIGHTY THOR has it in spades.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #159

Jun 22, 2011

This book is a solid title, and gives us some insight into one of the major events of Fear Itself; even if the Raft is repaired, there's still a lot of villains out there on the loose. After all, there needs to be threats for the superhero population to contain, and these events mirror the start of New Avengers with another Raft "breakout."

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #160

Jul 6, 2011

After a couple issues of uncertainty, both this issue and the last have cemented Thunderbolts on my pull list. I legitimately had a fun time reading through the mind-probing sequence, and would recommend it wholly. Seeing all these characters interact with each other while remaining individuals is great: too many team books just smoosh them all together.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #161

Aug 3, 2011

This issue was solid as always, if not a little plodding. It's a cooldown issue between the madness of Juggernaut and the conclusion of Fear Itself, where the T-Bolts will hopefully have a place. It would be a shame to see them lost in the shuffle with such strong writing, and with the team finally starting to work together, it would be a crime to not explore that.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #162

Aug 17, 2011

Thunderbolts, like Uncanny X-Men, is a Fear Itself tie-in I've been enjoying immensely. It's consistently producing great stories, even if their "big gun" names (Luke Cage who?) aren't present. That's what I like to see: consistent quality.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #164

Oct 5, 2011

Thunderbolts is one of the best books Marvel is putting out right now. Jeff Parker can make characters I didn't care about before seem really interesting with great inter-personal conflicts and great dialog.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #166

Nov 30, 2011

Now that Fear Itself is over, I'm worried that THUNDERBOLTS might fall by the wayside in terms of storytelling; I want Jeff Parker to be able to tell great stories, but this time-hopping excursion really seems to have overstayed its welcome.

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6
Thunderbolts (2006) #167

Dec 21, 2011

One time period was interesting. Two was stretching it. Three? I'm hoping that there will be an over-arching point instead of just visiting random periods from the Avengers' past. Eventually, I'd hope that they return to the present and get back to backing up SHIELD and doing a bit of wetwork.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #168

Jan 4, 2012

I don't want this criticism to affect the perception of this book. In my previous reviews, I've spoke of my hopes that Parker will take a break from the current time-jumping arc, and he delivered with this issue.

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6
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #4

Nov 9, 2011

Sadly, since Spider-Man is part of a much larger universe, this heel-dragging is necessary; you can't just throw Miles out into the world without some kind of context, and this issue was meant to provide it. The Uncle Ben credo gets passed on to a new hero, the Daily Bugle gets another Spider-Man to harass, and Miles gets the satisfaction of trying on a new "super-suit" for the first time.

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8
Uncanny X-Men #539

Jun 29, 2011

If you want an issue that both explains the tone of the previous couple-year's worth of X-Men Comics and looks to set up the next few, as well. Pick up this issue. While it's not directly tied into the upcoming "Schism," it does highlight the way of Wolverine's thinking that would affect it. It's a nice way to ease into the event when you might not have any prior context.

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6
Uncanny X-Men #540

Jul 6, 2011

Like I said above, this issue's more of a staging ground for the larger threat ahead. However, that shouldn't come at the expense of a solid story, which is what Uncanny X-Men has been, lately. It's a pity that the volume will be wrapping up soon: hopefully it will be with more of a "bang" than a "thud."

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6
Uncanny X-Men #541

Jul 20, 2011

Well, I can't really say much besides this issue is a set-up for a potential deeper problem that will be explored in issues to come. As much as I don't like "set up" issues where little to nothing happens, they're necessary. Gillen does a good job at making the Juggernaut threat seem serious, and that's just what it is.

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8
Uncanny X-Men #542

Aug 17, 2011

I can really sum this up as a great issue, and it was set up amazingly in previous books. It's building up to something big, and with Fear Itself winding down, I look forward to see the X-Men's conflict tie up, as well. This has genuinely been one of the most entertaining tie-ins I've seen to the crossover. It would receieve a rare five stars from me if the art weren't a little tiring to look at. Buy it anyway.

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8
Wolverine (2010) #18

Nov 9, 2011

Like I said above, this book has a great theatrical flair to it, and though it's labelled as a REGENESIS tie-in, it's got little to do with the main events of the X-Universe. It's a great little romp, with kung-fu, witty dialog, some hair-brained schemes and a menacing villain - definitely worth a buy.

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8
Wolverine (2010) #19

Nov 30, 2011

Now that Wolverine has tied up his loose ends, he can move back to New York and finally get this School started up. I may be alone with this, but would anyone else like his book turn into his "downtime" between classes?

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6
Wolverine (2010) #20

Dec 21, 2011

It seems like a bit of a waste to have Wolverine's solo book be so detached from the Regenesis storyline when Logan is such a central character in that crossover. Like the many team books he's in, you can't help but wonder where the heck the guy finds the time.

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8
Wolverine (2010) #300

Jan 11, 2012

I had a lot of fun with this issue because of the loyalty to the overarching Wolverine history that's present. If you'd like to take a classic Wolverine story involving Japan, this issue feels like it - that's a very good thing.

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4
X-Club #1

Dec 7, 2011

This book started out alright, but as the pages turned I felt more and more pessimistic about its ability to entertain in the long run. The characters and conflict weren't very well established, and their simple roles don't make me want to pick up this book any further. While it's note a horrible book by any means, it will need to go into major "science mode" in order to salvage any good impression.

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