Matt Sargeson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Weekly Comic Book Review, Comics Bulletin Reviews: 83
7.6Avg. Review Rating

8.0
A+X #1

Nov 3, 2012

Whether or not this series will be worth a $3.99 investment over the next few months will be largely based on your affinity to the creative teams in place on each issue, and will best be judged on a case-by-case basis. Certainly there's nothing on show here to suggest that these tales will weave themselves in any consequential away into larger Marvel continuity, though if you're looking for some nostalgic team-up action you can't really go wrong. And if you're a fan of Ron Garney drawing Captain America, this is a rare opportunity to sit back and enjoy the master at work outside of your well-thumbed trade paperbacks.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
A+X #2

Dec 4, 2012

When your daily allocation of free time feels like it's ever-dwindling, praise be for comics like this. Stand-alone in nature, small in page count but big on talent, filled with riotous fun from cover to cover " a more enjoyable use of 10 minutes I think I'd be hard pressed to find. I've previously made sure to check the creators headlining each issue before putting down my $3.99, but no more. No-one's phoning in their A+X performances, and as such this is one team-up book that I'll be sure to always make time for.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
A+X #4

Jan 29, 2013

I'm not sure that this particular title can make the transition to ongoing series (predicated as it is on the events of Avengers Vs X-Men) but it certainly makes the case for a team-up book finding a regular place on the stands. It's been a joy to follow its plucky partnerships since #1, yet it works just as well as a random impulse buy added to your basket on any given trip to the comic shop. And at the end of the day there's not many titles that can claim that.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
A+X #7

Apr 29, 2013

Buy. This. Book. The stories are solid and the team-ups fizz, but the real draw is Orphan Cheeps' artwork on the Thor/Iceman story. It's nothing short of a revelation, and I offer my thanks to Marvel for bringing this head-turning new style to our attention. Let's hope they scramble to sign the duo up for a more substantial project as soon as possible. As a wicked fun no-continuity-attached read and now as a testing ground for new talent,A+X is delivering a brilliant package for its $3.99.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
A-Babies vs. X-Babies #1

Oct 25, 2012

While I'd be happy to see the concept of A-Babies vs X-Babies left here without the need for a toddler-themed ongoing or mini-series etc., I'd definitely welcome this team back for the odd Holiday Special or the like. This is without a doubt a truly funny and disarmingly sweet comic book, with high production values that make it an enjoyable read for big kids and actual kids alike. Brothers, sisters, heed my words: march into your local comic shop, slam your $2.99 down on the counter, and, with pride in your heart, demand a copy of A-Babies vs X-Babies as soon as humanly possible. Just, y'know, maybe make sure the store's pretty much empty when you do.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Age of Ultron #1

Mar 11, 2013

If you equate a more realistic depiction of villainy and violence with a move towards conceptual maturity then this is something of an unqualified success. It may not be what you've come to expect from Marvel but there it is: take it or leave it. It's early days for Age of Ultron but darkly impressive ones, and while we've all seen our fair share of Marvel crossover events nosedive into mediocrity following strong opening issues, as far as introductions go this one's a doozy. Just don't expect your favourite hero to pop up and save the day. Chances are they've already tried – and failed.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Age of Ultron #2

Mar 17, 2013

It's true that Marvel event books often translate a little better when read in collected form, and in that tradition it certainly feels like these first two issues would have benefited from being packaged together in one bumper-sized offering. But then Marvel would have only sold one $4.99 comic rather than two $3.99 comics (thereby proving why I don't work in marketing). Still, I can forgive the fact that this issue barely moves the story along when the story itself is so good. Bendis' tale of woe continues unabated, the feel-bad hit of the season; fingers crossed it keeps it up.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Age of Ultron #3

Apr 1, 2013

Bendis and co are still going strong, delivering a stoic, grim-faced adventure that manages to feel like a bold maturing of the main Marvel line even if's failing to have any kind of impact on the company's other titles. Still, as an event book I can't help but feel that it's an impressive and occassionally daring piece of work that, at least as long as Bryan Hitch is still around, deserves a place on every comic fan's Pull List.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Age of Ultron #4

Apr 7, 2013

It may end on yet another cliffhanger moment but this one feels extra cliffhanger-ry: the stray Avengers have all rallied together and the transition into Act 2 of Age of Ultron feels imminent. Whatever your thoughts on the series' pacing up to this point, its constituent parts have remained distinctly impressive. This latest issue is another sure-footed entry, the product of high-grade components. It reads great, looks even better and is confidently adding the finishing touches to its grand set-up; let's hope the pay-off manages to do it proud.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Age of Ultron #5

Apr 15, 2013

The end of the first act of Age of Ultron is here, and it's a great set-up for remaining five issues. Two groups of heroes have set off in opposite directions on the timestream and either one could result in final victory or further defeat. With some great character moments and a last burst of quality from Bryan Hitch, this series is still well on its way to being the best crossover event Marvel have published in years.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Age of Ultron #6

Apr 23, 2013

For all its violence and diverting temporal hijinks Bendis has still managed to include enough depth in Age of Ultron to turn out a reasonably thought-provoking book. Better than that, this script is also a lean, mean, time-travelling machine, accomplishing much in its meagre page count and leaving the series in a terrific place " I have literally no idea what to expect next. The change in art may take some getting used to, but not the quality in storytelling; that I'll take of much of as I can get.

View Issue       View Full Review
3.0
Age of Ultron #7

May 3, 2013

Yep, this issue is a stinker; thankfully I write in a well-ventilated room or otherwise I'd be dry-wretching on the floor by now. It's difficult to place the blame on any one thing so I'll name a few: weird character design, clichd plot devices, random dinosaur battles, so-so art, a lack of any sense of permanence or wonder in the book's new setting and ponderous action scenes. I'ma fan of Bendis. I'm a fan ofAge of Ultron. But this issue is by far the worst in the run.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Age of Ultron #8

May 20, 2013

A place-holding diversion it may be but AoU #8 at least manages to spin an entertaining yarn; likable as opposed to lovable, still relying heavily on the singular delights of the What If? Formula. The art's improved and the plot continues to thicken, but really"can't we just skip to the end already?

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Age of Ultron #9

Jun 9, 2013

Seen in isolation, this is actually a pretty good issue. The time travel shenanigans and their repercussions are well explained and there's a rewarding amount of sentiment to be found in some of the book's key moments. But in reality it operates as a part of a deeply-troubled whole, and it'll take the following issue before we truly know if all the time-tripping trouble has been worth the effort.

View Issue       View Full Review
2.0
Age of Ultron #10

Jun 24, 2013

Haters will continue to hate on AoU and they may soon be joined by some freshly-indignant fans. Following the almost standard Marvel Event template of starting with a bang and ending with a whimper, AoU fumbles its final chapter by choosing to be more of a 'Coming Soon' hype-train than a satisfactory conclusion. Its beauty is only skin-deep. Inside, this thing's rotten to the core.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
All-New X-Men #1

Nov 15, 2012

Whatever baggage you may be tempted to bring with you into All New X-Men #1, it's important to accept this comic (hell, every comic) at face value, and with that said I think this is a pretty terrific read. The storytelling on offer, from script to art to lettering, is operating at a highly refined level, with Bendis moving various pieces into position that could easily see this story spiral out in any one of several different directions. Whichever path is taken, I get the feeling that this could just turn out to be something special " there seems to be heartbreak and hurt (built on good old-fashioned character work) on the horizon, and if Bendis can accomplish that in spite of all the time travel and controversy he'll have achieved a real coup. From the characters' perspective the future might not be looking too bright, but for All New X-Men it's looking reassuringly positive.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
All-New X-Men #2

Nov 29, 2012

If nothing else, All New X-Men is proving to be a timely reminder that when Bendis' interest peaks " when he's fully enthused and stimulated by the challenges put before him " he's hard to beat. Luckily for us, it is something else: a high concept story with all manner of open-ended possibilities as to what will happen next, stocked with a diverse cast of well-rounded and beautifully illustrated characters placed into some fascinating situations. Above all, it's great comics, and surely one of the brightest stars in the Marvel NOW! firmament.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
All-New X-Men #3

Dec 10, 2012

With Scott's position in All New X-Men more thoroughly explored, and a bit more light shone on Magneto, Magik and Emma Frost's positions in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the stage is now set for the much anticipated showdown between the X-Men of the past and the present. It's a stepping-stone issue, sure, but the pay-off would have to fall ridiculously short of expectations to de-rail the momentum Bendis has built up to this point. So far, so good; this title remains an essential part of the Marvel NOW relaunch.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
All-New X-Men #6

Jan 19, 2013

And, six issues in, that's still my overall feeing on this book. It may continue to suffer a little from feeling a bit like a What If? Story (and it may carry on doing so until its cast starts interacting with the wider Marvel universe) but I'll be damned if it isn't some seriously enjoyable comics. Bendis is still putting in a whole heap of heart and energy into the scripts, and his artists continue to match his enthusiasm on each and every panel. It has its knockers, sure, but for me this is still earning its place at the top of my Read Pile with each and every issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
All-New X-Men #8

Mar 10, 2013

All New X-Men is quite a difficult book to review as the fact that it never seems to put a foot wrong makes finding new ways to rave about its quality increasingly hard to find. Still, that's purely a problem for critics " as a reader it makes this book one of the soundest $3.99 investments on the stands. Continuing with the excellent character work and exemplary visuals as well as once again moving the story forward to exciting new places, All New X-Men #8 is another winning chapter in one of Marvel NOWs greatest titles.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
All-New X-Men #9

Mar 26, 2013

Still very much the reliable workhorse of the Marvel Now line, Bendis' flagship X-title continues to lead the pack in terms of its rocksteady characterisations and inarguable visual appeal. While the latest issue doesn't move the story along all that much, I'll take a 'coasting' issue of All New X-Men over a 'game-changer' issue of most other books any day of the week.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
All-New X-Men #11

May 7, 2013

Another fortnight, another strong issue of All New X-Men. There may be a million characters in it but each one, almost without question, feels vital to the plot and well-rounded. With a few moments of action that may well raise the hairs on the back of your neck and some of the prettiest art around, Marvel have arguably got the team book to beat.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Avengers (2012) #1

Dec 6, 2012

Long story short? Avengers #1 is brilliant. I love it. It's even better than I expected, presumably because with Jonathan Hickman you never really know what quite to expect. While the bold direction he's chosen may alienate some, I'm sure it's bound to excite many more, and there's little getting around the fact that this is exactly the shot in the arm that the series needed. And we only have to wait two weeks for the next instalment? Christmas has come early my friends"Santa Hickman has made it so.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Avengers (2012) #2

Dec 22, 2012

And I guess that bi-monthly thing is the deal-breaker. If I'd had to wait a full month for this issue since the last (and another month until the next) I don't think I'd have been quite as unforgiving, but fortnightly instalments help alleviate certain pacing issues. This issue features more exposition and world-building than I'd have expected but it's still exciting and still exhibits such a dramatic shift from the Avengers books I've been reading for the last 10 years that I'm enough in its thrall to forgive most of its slight shortcomings. And at least it's only two weeks until we get to see what this new team of Avengers can do – I'll be saving my deepest breath yet for that one!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Avengers Assemble #14AU

Apr 16, 2013

This issue isn't a bad tie-in by any means, managing to provide an entertaining account of Black Widow's first encounter with the Age of Ultron while playing a neat compositional twist into the bargain. Not so much an essential read but certainly a recommended footnote, and so far probably the best AoU crossover on the shelves.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Avengers Assemble #15AU

May 14, 2013

If you were likewise born in dear old Blighty then Ewing's script may irk, but otherwise this is another solid fill-in chapter to the Age of Ultron event. It's good to see what became of Captain Marvel and it's fun to catch up with Captain Britain and his MI13 cohorts too. Again, nothing indispensable, but if you're into AoU then it's well worth a read.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Avengers: The Initiative #23

Apr 20, 2009

So, another great entry in what must surely be the most consistently pleasing Avengers title on the shelf; well handled team dynamics, inventive use of continuity, knockout art...if you're still buying Mighty Avengers and not this, you know what to do.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #1

Oct 23, 2012

Making a welcome return, Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness brings a sense of adventure and humour to a backdrop of horror. For readers looking for creepy thrills, Dark Horse Comics has often been called home and this book would sit neatly alongside any Mignolaverse titles one might find on their pull list. If any criticism can be made, it's that in contrast to the prior instalments this entry is slightly less stand-alone and definitely benefits from having read the last two volumes. Still that's another gripe that comic fans are usually happy to live with: digging into trade paperbacks to be brought up to speed – especially when the pay-off is as sweet as this.

View Issue       View Full Review
2.0
Cable and X-Force #5

Mar 12, 2013

There is no accounting for taste. I know this because so far the Twilight films have grossed more than $2 billion dollars, Justin Beiber sells out arena tours the world over, and Cable and X-Force #5 is fifth on Marvel's current list of Top Ten Digital Bestsellers. In a series where what little happened previously seemed irksomely pointless, this issue (where practically nothing happens at all) represents a new low. A few witty one liners from Dr Nemesis aside, this book is a scandalous waste of $3.99 and calls for deployment of the ultimate report card criticism: Must. Try. Harder.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
Deadpool (2012) #1

Nov 7, 2012

Hilarity is presumably set to ensue, but for the time being Deadpool is landing a little flat. As an introduction to the character for new readers it hits a lot of the important beats " Wade's healing factor, his outsider status, the character's irreverent tone " and it probably benefits from a certain distance from wider Marvel continuity. But for a 're-launched' title there doesn't seem to be much of a break with what came before; if that's the case, you have to ask why Marvel bothered at all. To grab an easy sales-spike by dropping it into the Marvel Now release package? I guess if that is the ploy, it's one that's totally worked on me. But picking up a #1 issue on a whim and sticking with a title for the long haul are two completely different things, and I'll reserve judgement for now on whether or not Deadpool proves to be a Pull List essential.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Fantastic Four (2012) #2

Dec 15, 2012

However the real challenges for Fraction, Bagley and co. are still to come. Fantastic Four #2 caps what is essentially a 2-part opener for the series (with the first FF issue acting as a kind of #1.5) but it's not until Reed and his family are among the stars that we'll get the true sense of the title's worth. So far, fans of Marvel's First Family have no cause for concern; things are clipping along nicely, it not a little conservatively.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
FF (2012) #1

Dec 6, 2012

Its quality is such that I really hope Marvel score a huge success with this title. Despite its apparent status as a bolt-on to Fantastic Four, there's more than enough here to see this book stand on its own two feet. The eclectic cast and offbeat art exude a universal appeal that welcome all comers, no matter how well- or ill-versed you are in the history of comics' first family. If you were tempted by the critical praise heaped upon Hickman's run but wary of dipping a toe in mid-run, feel free to jump on in at this brilliant new starting point.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #0.1

Mar 1, 2013

As a Point One issue this is more of a straight-up origin tale and character study of the book's lead than it is an introduction to the wider team. But it's still a wonderfully effective primer, and while it might be hard to tell from this exactly what to expect from the series, this much is clear: it'll likely be of a very high quality. Making the best case yet for comic fans to be excited about Marvel's latest plans for the stars, Guardians Of The Galaxy is definitely one to watch.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #2

Apr 28, 2013

Despite getting too caught up on Earth too early in its run, Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy does enough to remain a convincing slice of cosmic fun with its intergalactic cosnspiracies and explosive alien invasions. There's the odd janky bit of characterisation and visual design but not enough to distract from what is, otherwise, a thoroughly entertaining read. Weirdly it's almost more of a successfully Avengers-y book than any of Marvel's current Avengers series. Which is a good thing"right?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Indestructible Hulk #1

Nov 24, 2012

Waid's master stroke lies in setting Banner free from confines of his role as a tortured pariah and letting loose the brilliant creative Genius within, albeit one who accepts that every now and then he just needs break out and smash something. Waid gives the impression that Bruce really enjoys this new status quo, and the feeling's infectious; I can't remember a time that I was so entertained by a Hulk comic. A brilliant issue for newcomers and a welcome breath of fresh hair for long-time Gamma fans, Indestructible Hulk is a perfect example of how to get a relaunch just right.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Indestructible Hulk #2

Dec 23, 2012

But, as always, I've gotta trust in Waid, right? The guy knows what he's doing. The end of this issue suggests that next month's instalment will see Hulk's new status quo further established which will surely result in this issue falling behind in the rear view mirror, a fun but otherwise incongruous diversion. I like Hulk when he's happy, but he still needs to learn to play nicely with others.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Indestructible Hulk #4

Feb 25, 2013

There's still much to love and admire in Waid's Indestructible Hulk and the few fissures present in the fourth issue's execution still can't hope to diminish the title's overwhelmingly positive potential. All in all the kinks are still being worked out, and seeing as this series represents one of the greatest shake-ups to the ongoing saga of the Hulk in recent memory I'm more than happy to give Waid and co the benefit of the doubt. After all, Bannerville wasn't built in a day.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Indestructible Hulk #5

Mar 22, 2013

Mark Waid's been pegging the success of Indestructible Hulk on putting its hero in a variety of hostile environments and seeing if he'll sink or swim. At the beginning of this two-issue arc Banner looked to be splashing about worryingly and on the brink of drowning, so to come back this issue and see him confidently swimming lengths in the Olympic Size swimming pool of Atlantis is a pleasant surprise. Great dialogue, clever concepts, and lovely art bring the title straight back into my (list of) good books. Life under the sea: not so shabby after all.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Indestructible Hulk #6

Apr 9, 2013

The idea of Bruce Banner leading a scientific expedition to Jotunheim was always likely to bear entertaining fruit but the presence of Waid and Simonson working together to realise it is a real treat. I consistently find Indestructible Hulk to be one of the more interesting and enjoyable books to come out of Marvel NOW and this issue is no exception. If for Simonson's art alone, this story arc is definitely one you should consider picking up.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Indestructible Hulk #7

May 7, 2013

Bright and breezy with an infectious sense of energy, this latest Indestructible Hulk storyline is a real winner. Waid writes to Simonson's many strengths, Simonson drives Waid's lively script to ever brighter, more imaginative heights. Both may be old masters, but no-one seems to have told them " they're still making comics with the verve and panache absent in most creators many years their junior.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Indestructible Hulk #8

Jun 4, 2013

A fittingly fantastic end to the best story arc yet on Indestructible Hulk and a showcase for two legendary creators at the top of their game, Gods and Monsters has been an utter joy to read from start to finish. It's had a little something for everyone, from funny character moments to riotous smashing, and, once collected, will read even better in a lush Hardback presentation. I don't know how the next story arc can hope to top this but, for time being, to Waid and Simonson I offer a hearty 'Bravo'. Now"any hope of an encore?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Infinite Horizon #4

Apr 11, 2009

All in all The Infinite Horizon is a must-buy title that reinterprets one of the great texts of Western Civilisation within an all too believable vision of a proto-apocalyptic future, while still paying dues to the original on all the right beats. My only concerns at this point are hoping that Image don't make me wait another year for my next fix and that there'll be enough space in the next two issues to really give this fantastic series the ending it deserves.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Iron Man (2012) #6

Feb 10, 2013

So it's good. As a 'jumping on point' it performs its task admirably, and I'm interested to see where it goes from here. And yet"I have to say, I was expecting more. I liked the preceeding five issues of Iron Man well enough, but agreed with the general criticism brought against them; for a relaunched title their heavy emphasis on Extremis left them manacled to the events of the past. In some ways it would have made more sense for Marvel to have released those chapters as a bridging mini-series perhaps, and left this star-trekking status quo as the star of the relaunch proper. But would even that have shaken the feeling that this is a case of the Emperor's new clothes? Only time – and an impending case of inter-stellar court justice – will tell.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
Iron Man (2012) #7

Mar 11, 2013

The idea of Tony Stark being tried by an alien race for the murder of the Phoenix is a great idea in theory but suffers a little in practice. There's no actual Iron Man action, and precious little evidence of the genius of the man inside the armour. When you remove all that, what exactly is Tony Stark? Just a man. A man, in this case, who's going through the motions of a few convenient plot contrivances and overused sci-fi tropes. It's inoffensive enough, but the whole 'Iron Man in Space' concept is quickly squandering its potential. Let's get this arc out the way and then we'll see if Iron Man's worth keeping or dropping from the Pull List.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Iron Man (2012) #9

May 7, 2013

A great jumping on point that perfectly marries the past and the present, The Secret Origin of Tony Stark already feels like it could be the crown jewel in Gillen's run. With some excellent banter between Tony and Death's Head, a visual upgrade courtesy of Dale Eaglesham and an intriguing does of mystery, Iron Man may yet have earned a reason to make it back onto your Pull List.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Iron Man (2012) #11

Jun 12, 2013

As retcons go The Secret Origin of Tony Stark is a biggy, but Gillen's skill manages to turn a potentially controversial debacle into a pretty enjoyable (and strangely believable) premise that could give Iron Man a great deal of mileage for months to come. There's still secrets to come and plans to unfold, but it's off to a great start. Take it with a pinch of salt, maybe, but definitely stick around to see how it turns out.

View Issue       View Full Review
2.0
Morbius: The Living Vampire #2

Feb 26, 2013

As it stands, I cannot recommend this book to you right now. Its slim elements of promise are smothered by an unconvincing script, two-dimensional cast and uninspired art style " the Holy Trinity of 'meh'. Morbius may not feel at home languishing in the shadowy, forgotten corners of the Marvel Universe, but for the time being he definitely deserves to stay there.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Northlanders #16

Apr 13, 2009

This should make a great trade, especially seeing as how itll doubtless be packaged with "Lindisfarne" when it hits. And, of course, theres always the new arc to look forward to, which could literally be told from any perspective Brian Wood sees fit--as long as that perspective carries a sword and brings the mother-chuffing ruckus, of course.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Nova (2013) #1

Feb 25, 2013

Nova is easily the best thing Jeph Loeb's produced for Marvel in a long, long time. You may not think that's saying much, but its accomplishments go further. It's a confident start for a newly created teenaged hero and a resuscitativebreath of fresh air for the franchise. What I originally had pegged as an also-ran to Guardians of the Galaxy may well prove to be an essential companion piece and, with Iron Man bringing up the rear, a solid foundation to Marvel's Cosmic ambitions.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Nova (2013) #2

Mar 21, 2013

I may have had my fair share of problems the quality of Loeb/McGuinness collaborations in the past but I can't deny the youthful, optimistic force of nature that is Nova. It's a book where the hero, the audience and the creative team are all invited to share in the same levels of unbridled fun, and as such it inhabits its own particular niche on the stands. It may be too light and frothy for some, but anyone who's still a kid at heart will find much to like. Keep it comin' Ed and Jeph"keep it comin'.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Nova (2013) #4

May 21, 2013

Striving towards top-billing on Marvel's admittedly meagre Cosmic line-up, Nova continues to gather an impressive amount of momentum. It's got a likeable lead cast in a revenge story with a twist, all set against a backdrop of bold, boisterous action. Sam Alexander may not change the world but I'm having a great time watching him save it.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Nova (2013) #5

Jul 3, 2013

Both the art team and Nova himself benefit from having the limitless imaginarium of Space as a backdrop to their activities. Sam gets to tussle with talking cyborg-space-Tigers and alien space fleets, to hang out with characters as diverse as Rocket Raccoon and Gamora as well as Uatu the Watcher, and all of the above happens in this issue. It also provides a great conclusion to its first story arc, one that's left a great foundation for the next set of hands to build on. As long as Sam Alexander stands, the Nova Corps " and Marvel's cosmic ambitions " appear to be in safe hands.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Nova (2013) #6

Jul 23, 2013

It's a subdued start from Nova's new creative team but a decent one, and it lays a solid foundation for what's to come. Even at half-strength Nova remains brimming with good ideas and a fresh-faced attitude towards super-heroics and with Wells and Medina at the helm it looks like the best is yet to come.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Overlook #1

Apr 27, 2009

For those missing Criminal while Brubaker goes Incognito, or to those that love Fraction and Dwyer's Last of the Independents (and Amen to that) you'll find something to like here. When all's said and done this is a pretty intriguing first issue that'll have me picking up #2. While a set-up is only as good as its pay off, watching The Nickel get his face pulped while flashing that splintered, shit-eating grin should easily provide enough entertainment for another two issues.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Punisher: War Zone #1

Oct 28, 2012

There's been some pretty strong mini-series from Marvel recently " Spider-Men and Daredevil: End of Days spring to mind " and this book certainly carries on that trend. Rucka appears to have a well-judged perspective on how to make his audience believe that The Punisher vs The Avengers is a fight that would last more than 30 seconds. It may be a premise that we've seen a few times before, but Punisher War Zone starts out strong in delivering the definitive take.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Rasl #4

May 4, 2009

RASL is weird and dark, and still manages to establish its ground in real-world environment without ever coming off as hokey. If you like Warren Ellis and (to a lesser extent) Grant Morrison, this book is definitely for you. Back issues seem hard to get, but the trade of the first 3 chapters should be on the shelves about now. Save yourself the dollar and disappointment of watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine and bag yourself this indispensable read.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Skaar: Son Of Hulk #10

May 5, 2009

On the whole though this issue wraps things up nicely. Next month we'll see how Skaar matches up to his first crossover event, as well as his first trip to Earth. There's always a chance that his first meeting with dear old Dad will descend into a simple 5 issue brawler, but with Grek Pak at the helm I'm sure it'll be another great, well-measured treat for Gamma fans. That's assuming Loeb doesn't have Skaar team up with Squirrel Girl to go on an all ill-advised all out wedgie assault on Avengers tower. *sighs into infinity*

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
The Fearless Defenders #1

Feb 6, 2013

But my worry is that The Fearless Defenders may not have done quite enough to secure repeat customers. In large part its success is predicated on the chemistry between its two leads, but with the team up occurring late in the book there isn't really sufficient room for the relationship to blossom. Still, this partnership could be extremely enjoyable if given time to percolate; some titles are just built for the long game. Let's hope that its audience – who are currently spoiled for choice in terms of swiftly established, quality Marvel titles " will afford it the opportunity to deliver.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
The Stars Below #1

Nov 2, 2012

I've been a fan of Monkey Brain Comics digital-only releases since their major push into the market in July through the trusty Comixology app. While they release some enjoyable on-goings like Edison Rex and Masks and Mobsters, one-shots like Kurt Busiek and Steve Lieber's Thoughts on a Winter Morning and now Smith and Ellis'The Stars Below make for some exceptionally well-crafted tales that lie a little off the beaten path. At 99 cents (all profit from which goes to charity The Hero Initiative throughout the month of November) you really can't go wrong. A beautifully illustrated fable that is sure to a spark a sense of wonder in children and adults alike, The Stars Below is a brief but worthy chapter in the annuls of Great Animal Comics and undoubtedly the first (maybe the last?) to make a hero out of a Pigeon.

View Issue       View Full Review
4.0
Thunderbolts (2012) #1

Dec 9, 2012

For feeling a bit listless and uninspired, and for failing to establish a distinct sense of purpose or direction in its opening issue, Thunderbolts is hard to recommend. Full of characters who've mostly had their main books cancelled or who've been given the boot from their respective Avenger or X-teams, Thunderbolts has somehow managed to instantly feel like a dumping ground for troubled properties with none of the charm of the Baron Zemo, Norman Osborn or Luke Cage eras to counter the air of desperation. It's early days, sure, but as far as first impressions go this #1 is a bad one.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Ultimate Comics Iron Man #2

Dec 4, 2012

Hitting the halfway point while still holding much of the Mandarin mystery in reserve, Ultimate Comics Iron Man is one of the more impressive Ultimate mini-series of late, and a solid addition to the line. If it isn't, as I expect, being used to test the waters for a potential ongoing series for the character it should still be commended for carrying itself with a similar commitment to quality and for attempting to leave its hero in a better state than they found him in. If you're an Ultimate Comics fan and not picking this up, worry not as I'm sure this'll read brilliantly as a collected volume, though I'd still heartily recommend jumping in on the ground floor.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #16

Oct 21, 2012

While maybe not setting the world on fire, this issue does an excellent job of depicting the world on fire. And on that front, about time too; four chapters into Divided We Fall/United We Stand and our hero is finally getting his licks in. It's another highly competent instalment in a series that can do no wrong and proves that Miles Morales still has plenty more to offer to both the Republic and his readership.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #20

Feb 11, 2013

I can't stress enough how important this book is to the continued existence of the Marvel Ultimate universe, operating as it does in such rarefied levels of quality that it leaves it sibling titles looking helplessly drab in comparison. With this new Spider-Man finally beginning to make first contact with Peter Parker's well-worn rogues gallery, the book could so easily have given in to an impression that it was simply reinventing the wheel. In fact, it's trying to develop the Jet Pack. A great story, fantastic visuals and another entry in a series that, for me, can do little wrong;Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is an ever-dependable 'Must Read'.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #22

Apr 27, 2013

As disarmingly emotional as the death of Peter Parker? Not quite, but taking into account the barely 2 year run Miles has held on Ultimate Spider-Man compared to Peter's 10-plus, it's impressive that this issue comes as close as it does. The usual exquisite characterisations are front and centre, assembled from a truly harmonious gelling of script and art. Plus: epic fight scenes. This book has it all at the moment and is soon to go to some even more interesting places. If you're currently reading it, rave about it to anyone who'll listen; if you're not, get in while the getting's good!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #23

May 19, 2013

The ‘One year later' gimmick could have remained just that, but under Bendis and Marquez it's turned into a great opportunity to expand on Miles strength of character; to give him the adequate time and motivation to grow into the costume, the power and the responsibility. Wordy it may be, but they're the right words, packed with heart and drama and accompanied brilliantly by Marquez' enviable talents. A Spider-Man book that still keeps you hooked without the web-slinging? Peter Parker would be proud.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #24

Jun 26, 2013

As the cover implies this issue is more devoted to getting the introduction of Cloak and Dagger into the Ultimate Universe right rather than progressing Miles' story. As long as you're cool with that then this is issue should be sure to please, though it still represents a bit of a dip in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man's otherwise impressive forward momentum.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Ultimate Comics Wolverine #1

Mar 19, 2013

Cullen Bunn does a fair enough job, though it's one he'd be hard pressed to mess up. He's working with one character who's long dead and one who few care about; the stakes are pretty low. It's a fairly inauspicious start to the series, one where themes of family secrets and shadowy government conspiracies are as likely to cause eye-rolling in its audience as much as they do excitement. At $3.99 an issue can I recommend you pick it up? Not really. Collected as a trade? Let's wait and see.

View Issue       View Full Review
3.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #17

Oct 28, 2012

For Sam Humphries, inheriting this book from Jonathan Hickman meant both good news and bad news. The good news was that he'd been gifted a deconstructed Ultimate Universe, freshly torn down and ready for him to re-build. The bad news was he had to follow Jonathan Hickman, surely a hard-as-nails challenge for any writer. To be fair, for the most part he's done a pretty good job. He brought Cap back in from the cold and sunk his teeth into the challenge of making him president. At the same time he capably documented the action in the largest theatre of war within the Divided We Fall/United We Stand landscape. Still, this issue suffers from the feeling that the creative team was tasked with wrapping up a storyline in less-than-perfect time/page constraints and shoe-horning in a Deus Ex Machina, one that will (hopefully) get punched in the face a lot in the next issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
2.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #18

Nov 18, 2012

Mainly it's been an issue of pacing. So many ideas have needed to be established since the end of Hickman's run and they've been crammed into as short a release window as possible. As a result Divided We Fall/United We Stand in the pages of Ultimate Comics Ultimates has seemed like a bunch of ill-conceived scenes just being rushed through to get everything back to the way it was before Hickman jumped on board; it's as if someone got cold feet with the brave new world he'd created and decided that after one step forward it was time to take two steps back. How frustrating. It may well be that the status quo was reinstated as a platform for some fantastic stories yet to come, but if so this has been a case of the long term's gain coming at the expense of the short term's quality. In that sense, breathe easy fellow Ultimates fans " the worst is surely behind us. I hope.

View Issue       View Full Review
1.6
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #20

Jan 27, 2013

Then again, there is very little linking this version of the Ultimates to its former glories. No danger, no wit, no innovation. I hate to pour out and out scorn upon a title, but there has been so very little to recommend in the pages of Ultimate Comics Ultimates of late that I'm at something of a loss to offer much else. I will, once again, give Humphries the benefit of the doubt that a sharp incline in quality is just around the corner, but as each month in the series' company drags on, the less I can claim to truly believe it.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #22

Mar 13, 2013

Has Humphries' Ultimate Comics Ultimates somehow gotten so bad that it's good? That's difficult to say, though it is starting to carry a certain goofy charm that had me smiling rather than swearing (my main response to the last few issues). Still it does seem to be wasting time with detours when its most exciting plot " the Infinity Gauntlet " is right under its nose. Ah well"I'll take any improvement where I can get it. Still think twice about buying it, but borrowing it for a read? Yeah, this month it's most definitely worth it.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #24

May 13, 2013

Thus ends Humphries' Ultimates reign. His legacy is one of entertainment, the kind you almost had to toss your brain out of a moving car in order to enjoy, but entertainment nonetheless. However its sins were many and this issue's no different, going out with a bang but the best of a sorry bunch. Hopefully Josh Fialkov can find a way to turn things around, otherwise this title may be one injured Dog that's best put out of its misery.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #27

Jul 15, 2013

The torture of Tony Stark is definitely this issue's 'highlight' but really the whole thing's impressive. The tension presented by Reed's villainous cadre and their plans to wield the Infinity Gems increases on an almost page-by-page basis, and the characterisations of everyone involved are strong enough to lend proceedings some welcome depth. This is some highly enjoyable comic bookery, the kind that's been absence from The Ultimates for way too long. Praise be to Fialkov; I can't wait to see what else he's got in store for us next.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #28

Aug 6, 2013

Okay, it's nothing that reinvents the wheel, but Fialkov's Ultimates does refresh the once-troubled series and in a short space of time he's given it back its edge. It feels dangerous again, and chock full of potential " I haven't enjoyed this series so much in months. A must-read if you're a regular Ultimates fan, and there's enough here to warrant making a return trip if you're a lapsed reader.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #17

Oct 12, 2012

I'd been looking forward to Brian Wood making his presence felt on this series, as his talent for giving a voice to the disenfranchised always seemed like such a great fit for this book. I'm glad to say that this issue is the best evidence yet that he's taking the Ultimate X-Men, who often seem to inhabit the most overlooked corner of the Ultimate Universe, in the right direction. He's shaped Kitty Pryde into an iconic leader for a new generation of X-Men who find themselves in world where there's nothing to lose, and everything to fight for.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #18

Nov 4, 2012

The dense nature of the various points this issue seeks to address sees the denouement carried out in very brisk fashion, largely operating on a system of telling rather than showing. Kitty narrates across pretty much every panel, dispensing information such as: "We'd been fighting in the hills and canyons for weeks, waging a guerrilla war, liberating camps and freeing mutants." Personally, I'd have liked to have seen a bit more of this 'guerrilla war' being played out; but here, as in the pages of Ultimates Comics Ultimates, it seems that time and page constraints ran contrary to the ambition that the Ultimate Universe editorial team had in mind for the crossover. However, there's no denying that Wood's tenure on the title has already born some great hopes for the future of the series, and I'm confident that this issue will be looked back on as the beginning of something great rather than the conclusion of something adequate.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #19

Dec 3, 2012

I get that things aren't looking great for the Kitty's rag-tag group of survivors, but the air of oppressive hardship and survivalist pragmatism that Wood's decided to weave throughout the story make it, for me, hard to get excited about. I'm still on board with the book for the long haul and believe that there's a strong possibility that this is simply a dense, mood-setting issue that's at odds with my current demeanor, but I'll certainly be relieved when the Ultimate X-Men catch a break and get to let their hair down.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #20

Dec 18, 2012

All-in-all I'm slowly coming round to this book's charms, though I'd say it still has a fair way to go before it proves itself indispensable. The best stuff always seems to be just over the horizon, and Wood seems content to take his time getting there. That's all well and good, but with so many great comics on the stands right now I could just do with a little more forward momentum from Ultimate Comics X-Men to prove that my investment so far has all been worth it.

View Issue       View Full Review
3.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #22

Feb 19, 2013

All in all, with rumours circulating this week of the Ultimate line's possible cancellation within the next 12 months, I'm finding it hard to produce a case against such a decision. There's been flashes of brilliance among the books since the Ultimate Comics rebranding (in Bendis' Spider-Man, a constant stream of brilliance, actually) but few that I can recall on the X-Men side of things. There's still time for all that to change, but maybe not as much as Wood's plot requires. Doing only just enough to keep its head above water, Ultimate Comics X-Men really needs to start splashing its arms and kicking its feet before it gets pulled under by the sullen currents of its oppressively dense concepts.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #23

Mar 4, 2013

As unhappy as I've been with Ultimate Comics X-Men of late, this issue almost makes up for the sins of the past. Tightly paced, passionately scripted, beautifully illustrated, it's an unfaltering recap of the events of the last 12 months told from a compelling alternative view point. It's also one of the best 'jumping on point' comics I've read in a while. Here's hoping Wood has another couple of stand-alone stories waiting for us before we get back to the exhaustive pessimism of Kitty Pryde's Utopia.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #24

Mar 19, 2013

I've bitten chunks out of this title before, and I still stand by those complaints " it was bloated in concept and sluggish in execution. This issue is none of those things. Utopia's finally come alive (in more ways than one) and the results are uniformly positive. There may be no official relaunch in sight but this issue feels like Wood started over mid-series"and this time he's nailed it.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
X-Men (2013) #1

Jun 4, 2013

Looking for a little girl-on-girl action? Brian Wood has you covered. However, even if the fact that X-Men features a female-only cast is its biggest draw, the real hook is the quality of storytelling on offer from both writer and artist. When it comes to female empowerment in comics many talk the talk but stumble when it comes to the walking bit. No such trouble here. X-Men #1 shrugs off the gimmicks and gets down to the good stuff and, in doing so, has almost instantly become one of the most impressive books in the already strong line-up of current X-titles.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
X-Men Legacy (2012) #5

Feb 6, 2013

It might be the benefit of having read all five issues in quick succession but X-Men Legacy is proving to be a pretty good diversion from the team books that make up the bulk of the X-franchise. Like Morbius: The Living Vampire " Legacy's fellow oddball Marvel Now title " it lies a little off the beaten path, reminding us that the House of Ideas can still occasionally surprise with decent strong self-contained series amidst the ever-expanding core of densely connected titles. There's fun and freedom to be had when working with under-used characters at the outskirts of the Marvel Universe, and Spurrier, Molina and co are making the most of it. It's that rare exception: this book you should absolutely judge by its covers.

View Issue       View Full Review

Reviews for
the Week of...

May

2nd

April

March

More