Matthew J. Brady's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 107
7.3Avg. Review Rating

4.0
Afterburn #1

Nov 8, 2007

So, not recommended. The series is only four issues long, and with the same writers and artists, I dont see any room for improvement. Sorry, guys, better luck next time.

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8.0
Agents Of Atlas Vol. 2 #5

May 19, 2009

Yep, it might be getting monotonous, but this is certainly a hugely fun series that just keeps getting better. Parker appears to have a plan as to where he is going, so hopefully people are reading and keeping the book from being cancelled too soon. Keep up the good work, Jeff!

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8.0
Agents Of Atlas Vol. 2 #6

Jun 2, 2009

That's right, it's more effusive praise for Jeff Parker, but he deserves it. He's the best talent Marvel has right now, utilizing the full breadth and depth of their universe to tell fun, exciting stories. They better try to keep him around for as long as they can, and hopefully he'll continue to give us what we want: good comics. You can't ask for anything more.

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9.0
Agents Of Atlas Vol. 2 #8

Jul 14, 2009

And Parker isn't resting on his laurels; he's got a subplot going here involving Jimmy Woo and his former love Suwan (who has taken over half of his empire and doesn't seem receptive to his attempts at communication) that looks to expand into another full-fledged arc full of drama, action, and cool ideas. Judging by the success of the series so far, it should be tons of fun to read; this is almost certainly the best superhero book Marvel is currently publishing.

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10
All-Star Superman #12

Sep 21, 2008

Is this overpraising the book? Maybe so, but it's definitely something to make Superman seem so amazingly heroic, self-sacrificing, and, well, human. To make a seventy-year-old character seem fresh and new is not an easy task, but Morrison and Quitely seem to be able to do anything they wish. It's a treat to watch them work, and it's sad that this is their final outing. Of course, the final page all but promises a sequel, but who knows when or if that will ever happen. Still, it's something to hope for; in the meantime, poring over the details of Quitely's art and pondering all the wild concepts Morrison comes up with will make for some excellent re-reading. Long live All-Star Superman!

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8.0
Anna Mercury #1

Apr 6, 2008

So overall, it's an interesting issue that definitely gives enough reason to come back for more. Ellis's technological sci-fi ideas are always interesting and enjoyable, and he does a great job of exploring their impact on society. I have an inkling that he might be going for an allegory of the war in Iraq, but we'll have to wait until future issues to see if I'm reaching or not. But even without that aspect, it looks to be interesting, exciting reading, so I'll definitely be there.

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10
Asterios Polyp #1

Sep 23, 2009

However, while the basic description I've provided sounds somewhat banal, the execution is where things really take off. Mazzucchelli pulls out all the stops to bring this story to life. He uses a lot of visual tricks--including one that is sort of on the nose in that it's explained in the text. The scene sees characters depicted in a specific style--as if their personality and inner feelings are externalized, taking over their entire being. It's a fascinating visual idea, allowing Mazzucchelli to cut loose with various artistic styles and techniques to represent a whole range of humanity.

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10
Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #2

Sep 4, 2008

So if youre a fan of Atomic Robo, this series continues to offer the stuff that made the series popular to begin with (in a four-page backup strip illustrated by Derrick Fish, it also answers the question of what happened with the giant pyramid monster that was left hanging in one of the issues of the original mini-series). And if youre new to the concept, by all means, check it out. Its a great, fun, exciting ride, with some sharp writing and beautiful artwork. Dont miss it!

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8.0
Bat Lash #1

Dec 16, 2007

So, while its definitely too early to make a judgment on the series as a whole, the first issue shows some promise of an exciting, enjoyable western series, with nicely-drawn characters (in both senses of the term) and some excellent art. Hopefully it will get even better and become a classic story. Or at least a fun romp through a genre that gets little play these days. Well see how it goes.

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7.0
Bat Lash #2

Jan 14, 2008

So I dont know if its to everyones taste, but Im finding the series to be a nice, well-paced western, with well-realized characters and some really nice art. I hope Im not the only one reading it though.

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7.0
Cla$$war: The Collected Edition #1

Oct 21, 2009

So its not a perfect book by any means, and it does seem to be both a product of its time and a bit ahead of the curve (even if were finally seeing it after that curve has passed), but its got some nice ideas and incredible visuals, and the promise of more to come at some point. But even if that second volume never appears, this one contains material thats worth reading, if only to get a glimpse of the time when this sort of politically-aware, supposedly-realistic superhero story was new and fresh. And hopefully Hairsine and Foreman will get a chance to match their work here someday; that possibility on its own is enough reason to beg for a follow-up. In the meantime, Ill spend hours studying globalization and macroeconomics so I can respond to said sequel with a well-rounded online riposte. Comics fans can be globally aware too, right?

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4.0
Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #4

Jan 14, 2008

The story also ends rather abruptly, which might have worked in the original, but fails here due to the way the storys themes werent expressed very well. A one-page interview with Doctorow in the back of the issue reveals some of what he was trying to get across while writing the story, and the comic just didnt do a good job of conveying any of that. Its too bad; Doctorow is a really good writer, but the best parts of his writing arent coming through in stories like this one. Oh well, at least weve always got the originals.

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6.0
Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now #5

Feb 21, 2008

So overall, as with most of the other parts of this series, I can't really recommend this issue. Adaptations of another work from one medium to another need to bring something new and interesting to the table for them to be worthwhile, and this one doesn't really have anything that distinguishes it enough to feel like it should be read in comics form. I wanted to like it more than I did, but I think I would point anybody interested to the original story instead.

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10
Criminal #7

Dec 2, 2008

That perfect combination of writing and art is what makes this book the best example of crime comics currently on the market. Brubaker and Phillips have nailed the particular alchemy that combines strong, believable emotion, compelling, realistic plots, and the noir mood that seems to permeate through to the very fiber of the pages. Let's hope their brief hiatus to work on the supervillain series Incognito doesn't derail it in any way.

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10
Criminal Vol. 2 #6

Oct 21, 2008

So, surprise, surprise, it's another excellent issue of the best series Marvel publishes. If Brubaker and Phillips don't get to keep doing this book indefinitely, the world will be poorer for it. Be sure the check it out so that doesn't happen.

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6.0
Dan Dare #3

Jan 28, 2008

So, while I plan to keep reading the series, I dont know if I can really recommend it, except to fans of Ennis, war comics enthusiasts, or those who follow obscure (in the United States, at least) British comics characters. Maybe the series will get better, but for now its pretty much just average.

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6.0
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1

Mar 3, 2009

Given this single issue, it's hard to judge whether the series will be worth reading. Hickman does set up a story that could well be very good, but the fact that he doesn't do much more than that here is kind of a mark against him. And the artwork doesn't help, either. So, this first issue only gets a mild recommendation, but keep an eye out for the rest of the series. It could be a keeper.

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8.0
Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #2

Jul 28, 2009

But surprisingly, it's the writing that wins the day here. Reed is having fun with the idea of villain-as-hero, and it's nice to see him treat the character as having a good time being bad without much in the way of angst. It should be interesting to see how it plays out. If we're stuck with this status quo, it's good that we'll be able to get some decent stories out of it.

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7.0
Dark Reign: The Hood #1

May 26, 2009

Parker does set up some interesting developments here, like a possible mutiny among the supervillains, and a mysterious person tracking the Hood with murderous intent. It should be interesting to watch it play out, but hopefully a reason for the series' existence will come into focus, since right now, it seems to be an excuse for Marvel to release another comic with the "Dark Reign" banner plastered on the cover. Parker is using the opportunity to try to give the character some dimension, but hopefully it won't be a pointless exercise.

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8.0
Dark Reign: Zodiac #1

Jun 23, 2009

It's probably not a comic for everybody; the violence is some of the most extreme you're going to see in superhero books, outside of mature readers titles. But if you can handle the viscera, Joe Casey is using the occasion to go all out with the transgression, and Nathan Fox is matching him step for step. I might be the only audience for something like this, but that's fine with me.

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6.0
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1

Jul 19, 2009

If you havent read the novel before, this isnt the worst place to start, but its definitely not the ideal edition.

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7.0
Doc Frankenstein #6

Dec 3, 2007

A mention should definitely be made of the lateness of this book. The last issue came out something like fifteen months ago, completely destroying any momentum the story had going. I, for one, couldnt remember anything save the basic plot (Doc versus the church) and was confused as to what was going on with the various characters (I still dont know what was going on with a teenage girl student of Docs and her pet reanimated dodo bird, who get a few pages of story here). Docs crisis of conscience especially suffers from this delay; with the issues read closer together, we would be able to follow the developments that are affecting him, but taken so far apart, its near-impossible to keep up what what is going on with him. If the Wachowskis want to keep from losing any of the readers theyve got left after this delay, they should really try to maintain a better schedule. Or maybe everybody should just wait for the trade.

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8.0
Doktor Sleepless #3

Oct 26, 2007

So Im happy to report that Im looking forward to reading what Ellis delivers next. I was on the fence about whether to keep reading this or not, but this issue puts me firmly in the eagerly awaiting more camp.

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6.0
Doomwar #1

Feb 16, 2010

So, if you're a fan of the Black Panther, this is probably monumentally important and exciting, but for everyone else, it's business as usual for a Marvel comic. By all means, try to read some sort of political message into it, because other than finding out that Wakanda is surprisingly easy to attack, that will probably be the most you'll be able to get out of it.

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5.0
Drafted #2

Oct 11, 2007

So, the book is getting more interesting, and might eventually develop into something worthwhile. I still cant really recommend it, but depending on what happens in future issues, it could turn out to be a decent story. Well see what happens.

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2.0
Dust #2

Sep 28, 2007

So what's the point of this exercise? It seems to be little more than an advertisement for a strategy board game of the same name. While that might be an enjoyable diversion, spending eight dollars to see some characters stand around and try to convince you to buy it is not.

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6.0
End League #1

Dec 30, 2007

So while its an interesting concept, it doesnt seem fully-formed enough to make me want to keep reading. Who knows, Remender might pull the rug out and come up with some really good stories, but Im just not interested enough to come back for more. But that might just be my own preferences; if youre intrigued by the unique concept, it might be worth a look.

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6.0
Evil Dead #1

Jan 11, 2008

So, as a comic, its probably best for Evil Dead fans. Theyll probably relish the opportunity to see a high-quality artist work on their pet series, instead of the dodgy art that usually shows up on the various Army of Darkness series. But its not going to surpass the film anytime soon, unless theres some sort of turnabout in the next few issues. Myself, I dont see much reason to keep reading. Now if they got Eric Powell to adapt Evil Dead II, that might be a different story.

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7.0
Fantastic Four #570

Aug 25, 2009

So, yes, it's a good debut which should lead to some good, exciting, thought-provoking stories down the line. If it all turns out to be for naught, we can look back and complain, but at the moment, hope springs eternal. Don't let us down, Hickman!

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7.0
Fantastic Four #572

Oct 27, 2009

It seems like Hickman might still be finding his feet on the series, but considering the ambition he's already shown, hopefully that means the best is yet to come. He's gotten the story dealing with Reed's actions in Marvel's various plots of the past few years out of the way, so now he'll be able to focus on the other characters as well, and make this an exciting cosmic science fiction comic with a focus on character again. I'm pulling for him.

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7.0
Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure #1

Feb 12, 2008

But it's still an interesting read, especially with the included bonus materials. John Morrow, publisher of TwoMorrows Publishing and editor of The Jack Kirby Collector, provides some commentary on the history of the issue, along with pages showing Kirby's rough pencil art (including notes in the margins that show what Kirby was originally planning for the story's plot). And then the repurposed issue #108, so we can see how the artwork ended up being used (if you ask me, the altered version actually makes a better story). It's a fascinating document of what happened, and a really interesting look at some of the artistic results of Kirby's departure from the company. So while it's not the best Fantastic Four story, it's definitely worthwhile for Kirby fans. I'll take this over some lame "reimagining" of his classic works any day.

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6.0
Fantastic Four: True Story #2

Aug 26, 2008

So, I suppose it's a mixed issue, with some neat concepts that could have stood to be more fully explained. It's nothing that I would encourage people to avoid, but we'll have to see where the rest of the series goes before I would give it a recommendation.

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8.0
Fantastic Four: True Story #4

Nov 11, 2008

Not everything works perfectly (I'm not sure I understand the role that Dante and Sense and Sensibility's Elinor play in the story, and the conclusion of their plot is kind of silly), but that's probably nitpicking; it's a solid, enjoyable story, putting the team into a unique situation and using their powers and personalities to good effect. If you enjoy fun superhero comics, what else do you need?

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4.0
Fell #9

Jan 20, 2008

So like always, its an enjoyable issue of the series. Fell is a great protagonist, full of compassionate violence, and Snowtown is a great setting for him to exorcise his demons. Ellis indicates that a major turning point is coming in the sixteenth issue, so hopefully we wont have to wait another year to get there. Heres hoping for a more regular schedule!

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8.0
Firestar #1

Apr 20, 2010

McKeever and Rios aren't exactly reinventing the wheel here, but they do manage to take a minor character and do something with her that seems fresh and interesting, rather than the rote stories that usually get told on the edges of superhero comics. If more of those "spandex" comics could do something like this, telling human stories about realistic characters that occasionally get into punch-ups with villains, maybe more people would read them. Like women, say. That would make this a real Year of the Woman. I wouldn't bet on it though.

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7.0
Girl Comics #1

Mar 2, 2010

As with any anthology, it's a bit hit-or-miss, but it's still pretty good reading overall, especially for offering a different sort of take on the Marvel universe than we usually see. And for extra value, in addition to the stories mentioned, there's an introductory "girl power!" montage by Colleen Coover, a kind of creepily sexual pin-up by Sana Takeda, and text pieces celebrating two influential women in the history of Marvel as a company, Flo Steinberg and Marie Severin. Not a bad package overall, and while it might not garner the effusive plaudits of its indie predecessor, it's still a worthwhile read. Bring on the next issue!

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5.0
Glamourpuss #1

May 5, 2008

In the meantime, I dont know if I could really recommend this comic to anyone outside of what must be a small subset of comics readers, meeting in the center of a strange Venn diagram containing those interested in art methods (theres plenty of discussion of brushes and pens, the kind of thing that makes my eyes glaze over), Dave Sim fans who dont get offended when he discusses women (he seems to avoid controversy for the most part, but when a noted misogynist touches on topics like anorexia, one wonders if a can of worms is being opened), and photo-realistic art enthusiasts (and it must be said that whatever you feel about the words, the art is spectacular). Or maybe its just for those who are morbidly curious whether it will just be a train wreck.

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8.0
Glamourpuss #2

Jul 28, 2008

And that good stuff is pretty good, if only because there's really nothing else like it on the stands. The artwork continues to be gorgeous, and even if the comedy flirts with reprehensibility, it's still quite funny. I don't know how Sim is going to keep doing this for twenty issues, and whether anybody besides him will care at that point, but for the moment, it makes for a unique, enjoyable read. But if he starts talking about creative lights and emotional voids, it's all over.

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9.0
Groo: Hell on Earth #2

Nov 26, 2007

So maybe its just absence making the heart grow fonder, but I am overjoyed to get a new, quality Groo series. I hope the team gets back on a more regular schedule (and maybe finally gets around to the Groo/Conan crossover theyve been promising), but Ill enjoy this while it lasts (just like a nice bowl of cheese dip).

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8.0
Groom Lake #1

Feb 22, 2009

Interestingly, the series seems slightly similar to Maintenance, another book about a facility full of odd characters and rampaging monstrous entities. The potential is here to see Templesmiths rendition of plenty of other types of beasties, and with Ryalls humorous characters and their deadpan reactions to strange situations, youve got a winning combination for a unique and enjoyable series. More, please.

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9.0
Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft #1

Jun 3, 2008

In addition to the three comics stories, the issue contains the full texts upon which they are based, making for a pretty good value. Like all of Marvel's MAX line, this book cost $3.99, but it's 32 pages with no ads, and it features sumptuously creepy art by a master of the medium. If you're a fan of Lovecraft, Corben, or horror comics, I definitely recommend that you check it out.

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9.0
Hellboy: Darkness Calls #6

Nov 12, 2007

But even with my lack of knowledge, I still think this is an excellent book, full of awesome action, beautiful visuals, and great writing. Its probably better as a collection, allowing readers to experience the story all at once rather than over several months, so I definitely recommend picking the trade paperback up when it comes out.

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8.0
House of Mystery #1

May 12, 2008

So it's an auspicious debut, striking just the right balance of introduction and story, primed to draw new readers into the fold and keep them coming back month after month. I for one can't wait to see what Sturges and Willingham have to show us.

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10
I Killed Adolf Hitler #1

Oct 8, 2007

It's really a beautiful little book, if a bit short for the price ($12.95 for 48 pages). But Jason's work deserves to be pored over, studied, and pondered. The beautifully simple art and wonderful storytelling are well worth any cost.

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8.0
Immortal Weapons #1

Jul 21, 2009

It's a very good issue, adding to the universe of Iron Fist in a way that makes everything seem more rich and exciting while still fitting in with the rest of the Marvel universe. And if that wasn't enough, there's even a serialized backup story by Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman about Danny Rand helping one of his students recover her kidnapped brother. It's a good way to tide fans over while they're waiting for the return of the main series, and it makes the book a great value overall, with almost 40 pages of comics actually justifying the $3.99 price tag. If the rest of the miniseries is this good, maybe the regular creative team should take a break more often.

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7.0
Immortal Weapons #5

Nov 24, 2009

So maybe we shouldn't be too disappointed about the end of the series; it's been a fun ride, but not exactly essential, and it's set up some good concepts for anybody who wants to pick them up down the road. It's been nice having some good martial arts action in the Marvel Universe, so hopefully it won't be too long before somebody realizes what a cool character they've got sitting here. May his fists continue to be a thing like unto iron, pounding his unique stamp upon our subconscious.

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9.0
Incognito #3

Apr 14, 2009

So, for a middle chapter, there's some good content here, with enough plot progression to set up the finale, but enough to keep the attention on this month's issue without making readers feel like they're just waiting for the climax to get here. It's always good to see Brubaker and Phillips continue to knock stories out of the park, and they have yet to disappoint. Let's hope it stays that way.

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7.0
Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1

May 6, 2008

So while it's a somewhat slow start, with Favreau still getting his legs in the writing of superhero comics and Granov making time until he can draw more action, it's hopefully leading to a good payoff. Once we get to that armor-on-dragon action, it should all be worthwhile.

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8.0
Jack of Fables #16

Nov 5, 2007

So its a pretty good issue overall, but its obviously a fill-in. Next issue will see the regular creators embark on another extended storyline, involving Jack reassembling Humpty Dumpty (I think). That should be good.

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6.0
Jonathan Mostow's The Megas #1

Feb 24, 2008

So while its not a home run, it does have potential to be a worthwhile comic. I cant really recommend a book on potential, so it might be better to wait for a collection, but if youre a fan of Mostow and the premise seems like something you would want to read, go for it. But otherwise, you would be better off waiting to see how it ends up.

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5.0
Kate Lawson and the Ship of Lost Souls #1

Feb 29, 2008

So while I cant really recommend this book, Im tempted to give it a pass in hopes of encouraging some promising creators. Nichols is especially good in parts of the book, delivering moody, expressively creepy vistas and some really nice pictures of sailing ships. I hope he continues to develop his artistic skills and moves on to work on better material. But unfortunately, this book isnt really up to par yet.

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7.0
Kick-Ass #1

Feb 26, 2008

Millar often seems to strive to be controversial, and thats definitely the case here. He fills the book with swearing and graphic violence, which is probably enough to get his fans on his side, even though he is portraying comics fans in general in a pretty harsh light. I suspect this will be talked about as much as Wanted was, with many people calling Millar a terrible writer who personally insulted them (while still spending money on the book). But its certainly not a bad story, and there are some hints of interesting developments to come. And the issue ends on a moment that really makes you want to see what happens next. So, while I dont know if I would recommend it, I predict that it will cause much hand-wringing (and high sales).

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8.0
Left on Mission #5

Nov 26, 2007

So, overall, this is a very nice, concise spy story that would make a good short story or movie, but works excellently in comics form due to Francavillas artwork. Unfortunately, the story has been a bit hard to follow due to the publishing delays, but hopefully it will be collected into a trade paperback soon, allowing for the best way to experience the story. I definitely recommend picking it up in that format.

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8.0
Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

May 12, 2009

It should be great fun to see this story play out, and here's hoping for some good animal action and more interspecies comedy. Marvel could have a sleeper hit on their hands, so don't miss out.

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7.0
Lucha Libre #1

Sep 28, 2007

Other content includes an article about the history of Lucha Libre (the sport, not the comic), character profiles, essays about the genesis of the series, a look at "art toys" of the characters, and faux covers of a fictional Lucha Libre comic book throughout the past forty years. It's a nice package, and a good value for the $5.99 cover price. I don't know if I liked it enough to pick it up regularly, but it will at least be worth a look.

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7.0
Madman Atomic Comics #5

Dec 3, 2007

So while its not the best issue, its still a decent Madman outing, and it sets up what is sure to be a huge cosmic battle that will change Madmans world forever. Or maybe not, but at least it will be fun to read and beautiful to behold. I cant wait to read it.

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4.0
Madman Atomic Comics #6

Feb 7, 2008

I dunno, maybe Allred just lost interest in the cosmic space story and decided to rush through it in order to get his characters back to Earth. Thats what Im hoping, anyway. The alternative means more pretty pictures but less sense, and thats a combination that will soon drive me away from the book. And if even loyal Allred followers like me are gone, that probably wont leave anybody else.

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4.0
Madman Atomic Comics #7

Mar 20, 2008

So, like most any issue of the series, the best aspect is the beautiful art (I think I might be wearying of Allreds cosmic space vistas though; all the Kirby dots and colorful planets run together after a while), but when there is so little to the issue outside of pretty pictures, its only barely worth reading. And thats for a veteran fan of the artist and the character. I really wouldnt recommend it to anybody who is new to the book. Im still hoping that Allred can turn things around, but he has yet to do so, and thats a shame.

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8.0
Maintenance #6

Nov 12, 2007

So, I highly recommend checking this series out if you havent already. The first volume, collecting the first three issues is out, and a collection of issues #4 - 6 should be coming out soon. Its tons of fun and could probably use more readers. Dont pass it up!

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8.0
Maintenance #7

Jan 14, 2008

So, its another enjoyable issue of mad science-based wackiness, with the promise of more rip-roaring action next time, as Doug, Manny, and a couple of their buddies (including one of my favorites, the Manshark) venture into space to rescue Mendy. I cant wait.

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8.0
Marvel Boy: The Uranian #1

Jan 5, 2010

As with any extended story, the final outcome remains to be seen, but judging by this first installment, it's more of the expected Jeff Parker quality. He's got his characters figured out, so given the chance to explicate them, he's probably ready with charts, graphs, and EKG readouts. There's little chance of faltering here. And if we get wacky old comics thrown in, only the better. This originally seemed like it might have been a fairly unnecessary outing, but Parker fans needn't have worried; he's delivering the quality as much as ever.

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7.0
Marvel Divas #1

Jun 30, 2009

Of course, this all begs the question of what the purpose of the book really is. Is Marvel trying to capture the elusive female audience here and get them hooked on their rich universe? Perhaps, but it seems odd to almost completely ignore the costumes and powers; if you like this, Marvel doesn't really have anywhere for you to go next. Still, it's a mostly enjoyable read, even if it does wear its inspiration on its sleeve. Aguirre-Sacasa seems to be relating a nice little slice-of-superheroine-life drama; it should be pleasant enough while it lasts.

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5.0
Models, Inc. #1

Sep 8, 2009

If the main story was more like the backup feature, this book could be a winner, combining Marvel superhero action with enjoyable dialogue and personality. It could still go in that direction in future issues, but little of that quality is evident here. It seems that until Marvel can try to stretch a bit outside its usual boundaries (or maybe get some actual women to write their female-targeted stories), the elusive girl audience will probably continue to stay that way.

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7.0
Nomad: Girl Without a World #2

Oct 13, 2009

It's hard to tell where the story is going here; a plot involving Rikki's friend/brother John (he was her brother in her original universe, but he's not aware of that, or of her status as an interdimensional superhero) makes for one of the strongest moments here, and it's definitely going to come into play later on. McKeever seems to know what he's doing, so hopefully trusting him won't be a mistake.

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8.0
Northlanders #8

Aug 3, 2008

So overall, it's a great opening story to Wood's continuing series, with a well-developed character arc, some visceral moments of blood and gore, and a good showcase for an artist new to American comics. It should be interesting to see what Wood comes up with for future stories, and if you missed out on this beginning, be sure to pick up the trade paperback collection. It's good reading.

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7.0
Nylon Road: A Graphic Memoir of Coming of Age in Iran #1

Nov 25, 2009

Overall, its a very interesting book, and a great look into Iranian life for those of us on the outside, but it cant help but pale in comparison to the more famous work by Marjane Satrapi. Persepolis managed to tell a similar personal story, but it provided historical sweep and context, making the book feel like it was about an entire culture rather than just one person. Bashi, on the other hand is almost solipsistic in her take, with everything filtered through her emotion and experiences. It still makes for an arresting tale, but one in which the reader has to remind themselves is not unique, rather than one that places itself within the context of a wider culture. But even though there are criticisms to be had, its still a vital, interesting work, and one that shouldnt be ignored in favor of something more popular.

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8.0
Powers Annual 2008 #1

Apr 15, 2008

So, for fans of the series, it's a nice installment of the longer story, and a good bit of lost history for Detective Walker. Non-fans won't get too much out of it (other than a gory barbarian tale, if that's your sort of thing), but longtime readers should be happy. Oeming proves himself adept at telling stories from the past, so hopefully he'll get to do so again. For added value, the "letter column" contains a lengthy transcript of a conversation from Bendis' message board, in which he and other comics creators discuss writing comics. It's interesting stuff, but I don't know if it's worth paying for twelve extra pages to read it. But you still get a cool comics story, so I'm not complaining.

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7.0
Programme #4

Oct 22, 2007

So its still a pretty good book, if a bit slow in monthly form. Hopefully the pace will pick up in the next few issues. Milligan has been laying the groundwork for an epic, large-scale conflict, and hopefully hell be able to deliver when it counts.

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7.0
Punisher (2009) #12

Dec 22, 2009

Overall, it's not perfect; it seems to be trying to walk a balance between a serious take on the main character and an embrace of the sillier trappings of the greater setting, but there's just not that much that's interesting to say about Frank Castle, and this weighs down what could be a fun bit of monster action. But even though the character development lags, there's plenty of enjoyability to be had here, and it looks like the real action and violence are going to kick in with the next chapter. If things don't get even better at that point, we should ask Marvel for our money back.

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8.0
Punisher (2009) #15

Mar 30, 2010

Whether you're on board with this storyline probably depends on how seriously you take all the regular superheroic nonsense of the Marvel universe, but as long as you're willing to enjoy some wacky ideas and good old ultraviolence, Remender has a fun story going here, which is a nice change for a character that can often get too morose for his own good. It seemed like a long shot, but so far, it's actually paying off.

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6.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #1

Dec 9, 2008

It's hard to tell how well this will all work as a story from this first issue, since it's all setup. Ennis is putting the pieces in place for a violent story, but he only barely gets started here. It's hard to say how good the series will be from this point, but Ennis can usually be counted on to deliver some enjoyable violence and good jokes. Dillon's art certainly helps; the two of them have done some really good work together, and that trend seems to continue here, with a standout image being a panel of a gangster's head vaporizing from a shotgun blast. The verdict is still out as to whether the series will be more like "Welcome Back, Frank" or the stuff that followed (a scene involving a monkey and some mutilated genitalia seems to indicate the latter), but I remain ever-hopeful. And since this is a weekly series, we won't have to wait too long to see.

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7.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #2

Dec 16, 2008

But overall, this is turning out to be a good return to Ennis and Dillon's old stomping grounds. If they manage to bring it all together to tell a good story, this could end up being a really good sequel. We'll have to see how it goes.

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8.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #3

Dec 23, 2008

So put your fears to rest: Ennis would have to come up with something ridiculous to screw up what he has going here. On the other hand, that last-page reveal is pretty crazy, so maybe he's trying to push the boundaries of what is expected and what readers will accept with the Punisher. We'll have to see, but I expect it will be some really good reading.

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8.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #5

Jan 13, 2009

So, we've got one issue to go, and hopefully it will all click into place, like a well-designed watch. I have every faith in Ennis that he can pull it off, and that issue should be a really fun read. This isn't great literature or anything, even by Ennis' standards, but they're some of the most enjoyable and well-done mainstream comics currently being produced. Let's hope the final issue doesn't do anything to harm that impression.

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8.0
Punisher: War Zone Vol. 2 #6

Jan 27, 2009

So don't expect any sort of groundbreaking literary magnificence here, but if you want an entertaining story about the Punisher facing a challenge and overcoming it through his propensity for wanton violence, look no further. If Ennis wants to come back and do this sort of thing every few years, let's hope Marvel goes for it. His brand of mindless action is always acceptable.

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9.0
Punishermax #5

Mar 9, 2010

And this isn't the end, either. Kingpin has risen to power, but that's just all the better for Frank to take him down, although the issue ends with a teaser that shows he'll have his work cut out for him, with the arrival of another supervillain import, Bullseye. We'll see how well Aaron makes him work in this gritty world, but considering how well he's done so far, it's probably nothing to worry about.

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8.0
Rex Libris #9

Nov 26, 2007

So, its a fun series, with lots of crazy, intellectual content and a wild sense of adventure. If the weird art style doesnt bother you too much, I recommend checking it out.

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8.0
Runaways (2005) #28

Oct 15, 2007

So its definitely worth reading, but it will probably work better when issues are read closer together. I look forward to the final two issues of the story, so hopefully I wont have to wait another six months to read them.

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8.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Apr 6, 2010

One hopes that Hickman has a well-thought-out plan here, since every indication points to exciting and interesting secrets revealed, crazy sci-fi action, and mind-bending concepts like time travel and cosmic Marvel characters like Galactus and the Celestials. And, of course, it would be nice if he gets a chance to tell whatever story he has planned, rather than getting cancelled after four issues or so. But whatever the case, it's nice to see Marvel do something so interesting and offbeat, expanding their universe into the past as well as the future and setting one of their more imaginative writers loose to come up with whatever he can. It might not be perfect, but we can enjoy it as much as possible while its here.

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7.0
S.W.O.R.D. #2

Dec 8, 2009

Tiresome Dark Reign nonsense aside, this is certainly an enjoyable series, full of neat ideas and potential for good stories. Maybe Kieron Gillen will be able to move into his own territory once the "event" is over, but even until then, he'll probably be able to fit in plenty of wackiness and crazy action, doing the best that he can to play the cards he's been dealt and still hit the jackpot. I'll be pulling for him.

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8.0
Screamland #1

Jan 7, 2008

While its a nice-looking story, and a good concept, this first issue seems a bit slight. We really only get an introduction to the character, and a brief setup to the story. The series will be five issues long, so, like many comics stories these days, it might be better to read in a collected form. But it seems like it will be a good series with some really pretty art, so it will probably be worth reading in one form or another. Ill take what I can until Frankenstein goes out of fashion again.

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5.0
Siege #3

Mar 16, 2010

However this works out, it's probably for the best; if the event had dragged on any longer, it would have seemed like another one of those long affairs with a disappointing payoff. This way, it can finish up and get to the next status quo with a minimum of fuss. Of course, it's really not necessary at all, but if fans have to have this sort of thing, Marvel could do a lot worse. Either way, don't expect me to shell out any money for it.

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7.0
Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #1

Nov 4, 2007

I dont know how much interest most comics readers will have in this sort of book, but fans of the Silver Surfer will probably enjoy an adventure of his that doesnt involve the Fantastic Four or Galactus. Of course, the book could go south in the future, but its an interesting beginning, and it might turn out to be quite good.

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8.0
Sky Doll #1

May 13, 2008

It's definitely an interesting book, and the art is absolutely incredible, full of astonishing detail, bright, shiny colors, and nice character work. Not to mention a good sense of humor, whether it's in slapstick comedy or a sly level of sexuality. The only thing that I don't especially like about the book are superficial, namely the price ($5.99 for 48 pages of story and an additional 16 pages of promotional material for the other Soleil books that Marvel is publishing) and the format (the "album-size" art has been shrunk down to fit into the standard U.S. comics pamphlet, leaving strips of white space at the top and bottom of each page). If you can overcome those factors, and you like a little bit of offensiveness mixed in with your social commentary, you should definitely check it out.

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7.0
Snaked #1

Oct 23, 2007

On the whole, its an interesting comic, but it might read a bit better when its collected. This first chapter delivers some interesting scenes, but there just isnt much here to encourage readers to keep following the book.

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7.0
Soleil: Universal War One #1

Jul 15, 2008

So it's kind of hit-and-miss, overall. If you like big ideas (and the promise of even bigger ones) and pretty pictures, you might be able to let those elements gloss over the storytelling weaknesses, or at least help you ignore them until you see what happens next. The series is definitely worth paying attention to, if only because it's all too rare to see European comics get imported to the United States. Here's hoping the next one won't have to settle for a qualified recommendation.

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6.0
Spider-Man 1602 #2

Nov 17, 2009

So really, if you're dying to see what your favorite Marvel superheroes and other characters that fill out the line would be like in the Elizabethan era, it's not a bad read. The question remains, however, why the comic exists at all. If writers want to tell a story set in the 17th century (even one with superheroes), why does it have to be about Spider-Man? Can't we come up with an original idea, or do we have to keep parroting familiar stories we've all heard before, dressing them up in frilly Olde English drag? Jeff Parker has been shown to be an idea machine, and he can make stories work even under ridiculous constraints, but wouldn't it be better for everyone to let him really use his imagination and come up with something unique? I suppose we'll have to take what we can get for now, but hopefully one day he'll be free of these silly corporate shackles and able to express himself fully. I know I'll be looking expectantly toward the horizon, waiting for that day to come.

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6.0
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Vol. 2 #1

Aug 5, 2008

Who knows, Moore and Rousseau might manage to build the series into something special, turning it into their own unique work. But if this first issue is any indication, they've retained just enough of their predecessors' work to remind us what was so great about it, but not enough to recapture the magic. Maybe, since I'm a fan of the original series, I'm being too hard on the book, but unless they either improve greatly or go in a different direction, they're not going to be able to keep the existing audience for the series, much less expand on it.

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4.0
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Vol. 2 #3

Oct 7, 2008

Rousseau's art probably doesn't help; none of the characters stand out as a memorable design, and his tendency to draw Mary Jane as plain-looking with odd shadows under her eyes doesn't make her stand out as somebody we want to watch live her life. And the other characters don't come off that well either; the long, skinny necks look weird, and at several points, characters seen from the side have strangely-elongated faces and tiny foreheads. Guillem Mari's colors don't help either, often adding ugly, mottled computer-generated backgrounds that are probably supposed to evoke certain emotions, but don't make it past mild repulsion. It's not a very appealing-looking book, and combined with Moore's semi-boring writing, the whole thing comes off as average and pointless. Skip it, I say.

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7.0
Starr the Slayer #3

Nov 3, 2009

How Way will end this in the final issue of the miniseries is up in the air, but it should be interesting to see if he plays with the concepts of storytelling, possibly having the bard and Carson competing to finish the story. Or maybe he'll just make it a bloody battle full of shouted obscenities. Whatever the case, it should be fun to read. It's a pretty inessential comic, but as long as you can handle the "maturity", it's a pleasing diversion.

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8.0
Strange (2009) #2

Dec 1, 2009

Will long-time Dr. Strange fans be satisfied with this sort of thing? Probably not; it's kind of an entry-level take on the character, although the visible struggle he's having in trying to deal with demonic threats without access to his abilities is an interesting layer to his character. But it seems that Strange's comics haven't been big sellers, so maybe a new start is what's needed, something to build a fanbase and get people interested in the character and his exotic adventures. If that's the case, this series seems to be doing its job, and hopefully it will do well enough to allow Waid and Rios to tell some of his further adventures. I'll be trying to cast my own spells to help it happen.

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9.0
The Boy Who Made Silence #3

May 26, 2008

So, while its not exactly an easy series to follow (in the sense of grand plot), its still a beautiful read, giving a poetic look at human existence thats unique among pretty much any comic out there. Hagler is an amazing artist, and even if I never fully understand what hes doing here, Ill be glad Ive gotten to read it.

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9.0
The Damned: Prodigal Sons #1

Apr 13, 2008

So I would definitely recommend the comic. It's a worthy follow-up to the original miniseries, and I'm very excited to see what's in store. Bunn and Hurtt have a great story going here, so catch it before you end up like Eddie, since you won't be fortunate enough to come back like he does.

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8.0
The Destroyer #5

Aug 4, 2009

Who knows if Kirkman was trying to tell a serious story about aging here, or if he was just having fun with violence, but he certainly delivered an enjoyable little series that was shocking, repulsive, and hilarious in equal amounts. It's not the best thing ever, but if you want to see some blood get splattered around, you could do much worse.

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9.0
The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite #2

Oct 22, 2007

The issue raises a lot of interesting questions, and its a testament to the skill of writer Gerard Way that it all seems so compelling. Hes helped out immensely by Gabriel B, who delivers the same amazing visuals he became known for on Casanova. The character and creature designs are beautiful, and the scenes of the post-apocalyptic earth, a ghostly orchestra, or tin-can robots attacking a carnival are all executed with such energy that I couldnt help but smile. Dave Stewarts colors add a lot to the book, with bright blues or pinks for laser beams and dark, moody clouds at the funeral. Its a great-looking book, and I cant wait to read more.

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7.0
Transhuman #1

Mar 31, 2008

So, while Im interested to see where the story is going, I dont think its as good as Hickmans other work. Yet. Im hoping future issues will turn me right around, but for now its merely an interesting idea waiting for some fleshing out.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #1

Sep 15, 2009

It's not going to set the comics world on fire or anything, but it looks like this will be an entertaining miniseries, with nice art, good action, and maybe even some interesting character work. With only four issues, it shouldn't drag out too long, and it seems like Ellis will have a good time exploring some technological ideas and bouncing characters off each other. We could definitely have it worse.

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4.0
Ultimate Comics Enemy #1

Jan 26, 2010

Maybe all will make sense at some point in future issues, but as of this first installment, this seems to be another conglomeration of plot points and characters that don't fit together very well. If the big, crazy threat was something other than just more destruction, it might mean something, but it might as well just be a photograph of Bendis' scribbling and erasing things. Without some grounding in what we understand as this comic's reality, it's just a magic genie or something, there to show up and push the characters in various directions until the next Ultimate Fantastic Four or Ultimate X-Men series is supposed to start. Nobody, whether creators or readers, needs to waste their time on that.

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8.0
Vatican Hustle #1

Dec 9, 2009

Perhaps Houston is planning a sequel, in which case hes definitely left readers wanting more. Hes got such a unique visual sense and instinct for crafting memorable images that one certainly hopes hes not done with this sort of thing. Its enough of an assault on the senses that readers might not be begging for more, but theyll certainly be happy to have some anyway.

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8.0
War is Hell: The Phantom Eagle #1

Mar 18, 2008

It's really wonderfully done, with some nice character moments, some incredible plane-based imagery, and some unexpected moments that really hit you in the gut. I can't wait to see what Ennis and Chaykin have to show us in future issues, and what horrors of war will be inflicted on their characters next. Whatever the case, I definitely know better than to get too attached to anybody.

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10
Wasteland #18

Jul 3, 2008

The series continues to be a recommended read, whether you follow it every month or wait for the trade collections. However, reading the monthly issues provides the bonus of travelogue-style text pieces that flesh out the world of the book. Johnston and Mitten are putting out some really nice work here, and it would be a shame to miss it.

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8.0
Wolverine: Saudade #1

Sep 9, 2008

So overall, it's not the greatest thing ever, with a plot that is fairly rote, but the beautiful artwork and unconventional style push this book over the top, making it one of the better Wolverine tales in recent memory. If you're interested to see what results when creators who aren't usually associated with mainstream superhero material do when given the keys to Marvel's top moneymaker, be sure to check this out.

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7.0
Wolverine: Savage #1

Feb 2, 2010

Overall, it's pretty fun, but not so hilarious that it's a must-read or anything. If you're seeking a light-hearted romp with a character who doesn't normally do that sort of thing, this is your chance. Don't miss out; you might not get another one. Or do, it's not that big of a deal.

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8.0
World War Hulks: Hulked Out Heroes #1

Apr 13, 2010

So, who knows where this Hulks thing is going or how stupid/enjoyable it will end up being. But given Jeff Parker's involvement, at least some of it should be readable. That's not the most ringing endorsement, but for this miniseries at least, it's nice to see a superhero comic that realizes how dumb it is and just has fun, rather than trying to somehow wring some drama out of taking a non-serious situation too seriously. Let's see more like this, please; as long as Parker is writing comics, I'm sure we will.

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9.0
X-Men Vs. Agents of Atlas #1

Oct 6, 2009

So, if you're expecting more of Parker's signature wit, clever plotting, and explosive, imaginative action, you won't be disappointed here. He's probably the best writer Marvel currently has working for them at the moment, and it's a shame that he's so often relegated to low-profile titles like this, considering his talent for superhero storytelling. Or maybe it's a benefit, allowing him to avoid the "blanding" effect that a major spotlight series or crossover might bring. Whatever the case, he's continuing to do interesting, fun things with superheroes, and I'll be happy as long as that lasts.

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10
Y: The Last Man #60

Feb 3, 2008

So its a great ending to the series. Its satisfying, in that it gives us an (open) end to a great story, but its also unsatisfying, in the way that every goodbye shares. We dont want this story to end; theres so much more time we could have spent with the characters, and so much more that we want to see. But it has to end, and Vaughan and Guerra finish it up perfectly, letting us imagine everything that we didnt actually view. The series will live on in our minds, and we can be thankful for the time we had. Thanks, guys.

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7.0
Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special #1

Jun 16, 2009

Overall, it's probably one of the weaker of the 70th anniversary specials, but it's not a bad read. There has got to be better materials to throw in the reprint section though. At least Marvel is doing something somewhat interesting with these, and by telling stories removed from whatever ongoing mega-plot they've blanketed the rest of their comics with at the moment, the specials are some of the more enjoyable comics they're currently publishing. Let's hope they can bring that energy to some other books at some point.

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