Michael Bailey's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 206
7.9Avg. Review Rating

8.0
52 #1

May 14, 2006

In The End: This was an excellent way to start the series. There were enough teases to build interest and enough interesting characters to get emotionally involved. A weekly comic is a dodgy proposition. There is the chance of failure but with the creators involved, I highly doubt that will happen. The great thing about this series is the excitement. There was a time in the early days of my reading and collecting comics where summer was an almost magical time when the publishers pulled out all of the stops to sell their comics and put out the big crossovers, sometimes even taking their books bi-weekly. As great as last summer was and as much as it brought that feeling back, I have a feeling that this summer is going to be even better.

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8.0
Action Comics #821

Oct 5, 2005

In The End: It has been quite some time since I have been this excited about the Superman titles, and Gail Simone is certainly one of the reasons. This issue was a lot of fun and had some quirky moments, but Gail managed to keep her own voice and sub-plots going. Byrne and Nelson's art still has that epic feel, especially in the action scenes and this issue had one of the best fight scenes of the year.

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8.0
Action Comics #832

Nov 4, 2005

In The End: I missed Gail's writing, but this was a fine read. Byrne and Nelson's artwork, while not the best it has been over their run on the title, allowed this story to feel like it fit with the last six or seven issues. I also continue to be impressed with Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan's covers, and it is good to see Jurgens working with the character again.

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8.0
Action Comics #835

Feb 14, 2006

In The End: I wrote something similar with Verheiden's last Superman issue, but the sentiment remains the same: I am going to miss Gail on this series. While I wasn't totally behind all of the stories she wrote, Gail proved that she had a clear handle on the character and knew what made him tick. Her stories were always character driven and had an honesty that I appreciated. This last issue may not have been her best, but it was still a great read. I'm going to miss Byrne as well. John Byrne was the reason I came into the Superman books and having him around for awhile was very nice. His work, inked mostly by Nelson, was a lot of fun and had a great deal of storytelling to it. Plus very few artists can handle an action sequence the way Byrne does. This has been a really excellent run on the series, and while I'm pretty jazzed at the next phase in the character's life, it is also a little sad to see this particular run end.

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8.0
Action Comics #837

Apr 7, 2006

In The End: Things are coming along just fine. Kurt and Geoff know their business, and they are letting the story unfold at a nice pace. Nothing feels padded here. The mystery of the Kryptonian crystal (the Sunstone apparently, though it has "Doomsday" written on it) is also playing out nicely and is definitely keeping my interest. Pete Woods' art may not be my bag, but it is serving the story well. I may miss going to the comic shop just about every week and getting a new issue of a Superman comic, but if things continue along this path, it won't matter. Better to have two great Superman comics a month than three or four mediocre ones.

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8.0
Action Comics #838

May 9, 2006

In The End: Under another wonderful Dodsons' cover was another great Superman comic. I don't know how to deal with this. It's going on year two of not being disappointed with at least one of the Superman books I read, and it's kind of strange.

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8.0
Action Comics #839

Jun 13, 2006

In The End: Y'all ready for some football? And by football I mean an epic confrontation between Superman and his arch-enemy Lex Luthor. The set-up has been beautiful, now I'm ready for the payoff. The addition of Zod's name brings up some intriguing questions about the Sunstone and its origins. It would have been nice for the writers to have provided a translation for the Kryptonese, but making us do some of the work is part of the fun. Kurt, Geoff, Pete and Renato have written and drawn a fantastic story, and I look forward to seeing how the events will play out.

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10
Action Comics #840

Jul 14, 2006

In The End: Along with the writing, Pete Woods' art made for a satisfying conclusion. His versions of both Superman and the Fortress of Solitude were great. This was the very best Superman story that has been published in years, and I almost don't want it to end. Superman, however, is in the best possible place he could be, and Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns have proven that they can write a great Superman story. The future is pretty bright for the Man of Steel, and with the way things are going it would take some effort to mess it up now.

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8.0
Action Comics #841

Aug 1, 2006

In The End: Now that's how you end the first chapter of a story arc; a giant alien hovering next to the Golden Gate Bridge. In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. The Dave Gibbons cover, with its mock tabloid appearance, was great, and the story had a good mix of humor and action. I will admit that I'm glad that Kurt handled the dialogue as I believe that he is the stronger of the two writers working on this story. Fabian is good, but to me Kurt is better. While Superman seems to be focusing on Clark in Metropolis and the world, this arc appears to be working on a more galactic level. As a reader of both titles, I appreciate the balance in that. While I am looking forward to seeing Geoff Johns and Richard Donner coming on to this title, I am equally looking forward to see how this story arc plays out.

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10
Action Comics #843

Oct 24, 2006

In The End: I absolutely dug the cover to this month's issue. The tabloid headlines have been amusing but this one actually made me laugh. Between that, the way the ending played out, the sly allusions to future storylines and the fact that there was a cameo by an obscure villain from the past (the poorly named Amalak), I had almost no complaints about this issue. Pete Woods' art continues to impress, and he executed the alien locations and large cast of character nicely. Sure next issue is a huge deal with Donner, Johns and Kubert coming on to the book, but this story was a lot of fun and proved to be more than a filler story until the supposed event comes out.

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10
Action Comics #844

Nov 21, 2006

I even bought the variant cover which I hardly ever do. That's how much I liked this book.

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10
Adventures Of Superman #643

Sep 14, 2005

Final Thoughts: The mark of a great writer is to tell the same story from two different perspectives and make them both equally valid. Rucka made me believe that Superman was right with this issue just as he made me believe that Wonder Woman was right in her title. This was a great coda to the best story to come out of DC so far this year.

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8.0
Adventures Of Superman #644

Oct 21, 2005

In The End: Rucka turned in another solid issue. It may have been all over the place, but in the end it worked. Rucka's Superman storyline has started up again, but there are still echoes of Maxwell Lord's death. The last page had some great possibilities, and I really got the sense that Luthor is coming back in a big way. Of course, Infinite Crisis has something to do with that as well.

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8.0
Adventures Of Superman #645

Nov 17, 2005

In The End: I was really satisfied with this issue. It was paced out beautifully with one scene leading organically into the next. The battle with Ruin carried that story along just enough to keep me interested, and I enjoyed the little revelations that came up during their fight. All of the various story elements are coming together nicely to make a great reading experience, and I am looking forward to seeing how everything plays out.

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10
Adventures Of Superman #646

Dec 6, 2005

In The End: I am really going to miss Greg and Karl on this title. It is so rare to find a writer and artist that do so well with Superman. This issue is Greg's best thus far and promises for an explosive ending. It is rare for me to read a comic and consider it a classic, but this is definitely one of those issues. If there are any future editions of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, it should include this comic in its line-up.

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8.0
Adventures Of Superman #647

Jan 10, 2006

In The End: A wonderful conclusion to a great storyline. This was an interesting exercise in what makes Superman work as a character, and I enjoyed the themes Rucka and his fellow writers explored. There were many twists and turns along the way, and the conclusion was most satisfying. Characters were brought down and then redeemed, and Superman showed that no matter what they do to him, Superman will never give up on his friends. This is a great time to be reading this title in particular and the Superman books in general.

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8.0
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #2

Sep 22, 2005

In The End: This is shaping up to be an interesting storyline. The reworking of Dick Graysons origin works for me. Millers writing is somewhat deceptive, but has a lot of heart to it. This is also definitely some of the best art of Jim Lees (and Scott Williams) career.

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8.0
All-Star Superman #1

Jan 16, 2006

In The End: Despite some problems with specific parts of the writing, I enjoyed this first issue. It did have a very cinematic feel to it and the plot has been set in motion in fine style. This was a very good Superman story, and I think that Morrison has a solid handle on the character. While I feel that the problems (minor though they were) I had with this issue will continue, Morrison's obvious love of Superman and his ability to write the character will more than make up for it.

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8.0
All-Star Superman #2

Jan 29, 2006

Besides, how can you not like a comic that has a future Superman ask about J-LO? I understand his confusion. Heck, Im from the present and I'm still not sure what a J-Lo is.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #531

May 26, 2006

In The End: This issue literally had the best balance of action and drama that I've seen in awhile. I'm glad that this seems to be a developing trend in the comics I read. Straczynski nails another issue of Amazing Spider-Man and gets me excited about the upcoming event. This is something that both DC and Marvel have been doing over the past year, and I'm glad for it because it is always nice when the final product lives up to the hype. I feel bad for Peter because he is about to be put in a very awkward position. Of course, this is his lot in life; thrown into something he's not quite prepared for and forced to make some hard decisions about how to deal with it. Still it's dramatic and that makes all the difference. Straczynski had a good idea what makes the character tick today and as long as he keeps writing the character I'll keep buying the title.

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7.0
American Virgin #2

May 9, 2006

In The End: This is a very thought provoking book. I just have no idea where it's going. There is no clear indication about where the story will end up at the end of this issue. It could go in a really interesting direction, or it could end up being just another bland Vertigo book. I'm going to take the chance anyway. Heck, I may end up liking the book ,or at the very least find out if I was right about my theory that Adam's girlfriend was either going to leave him or give in to her own temptations. No matter what, this comic is further proof that as long as Steven T. Seagle isn't writing Superman, I'm fine with the work he produces.

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8.0
American Way #1

Mar 3, 2006

In The End: So far so good. John Ridley has created a fantastic alternate reality with complex, believable characters where the heroes are not what they seem. Georges Jeanty, aided and abetted by Karl Story, delivered a great looking comic with wonderful character designs and terrific storytelling. I was extremely impressed with this first issue and have high hopes for the rest of the series.

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10
American Way #4

Jun 27, 2006

In The End: I'm still digging Georges Jeanty's art. This story would not be the same without it. His style gives the era and characters a distinctive look, and his storytelling is amazing. Between his art and Ridley's story, this is shaping up to be, in my opinion, the best series of the year. I have no idea where Ridley and crew are taking this story, but I am enjoying the ride. I am looking forward to seeing the New American confront Hellbent, if that is the direction Ridley goes. This book is just awesome, and if you aren't reading it then do whatever you can to pick it up because this is a serious classic in the making.

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8.0
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures #1

Nov 13, 2006

And, more importantly, my wife liked it, and she's harder on things like this than I am.

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8.0
Annihilation #3

Oct 17, 2006

In The End: Well, like Shrek and his friends, Nova and crew are up chocolate creek without a Popsicle stick, which is fantastic. Yeah that sounds weird, but as a reader this series brings up the "cant wait for the next issue" feeling that I like so much. Giffen has taken a large cast of characters and made me care about them. The action is intense, the dialogue is spot on and the art is amazing. Theres a lot going on, but Giffen never loses the reader or at least he hasnt lost me. The great thing is that this is only issue #3, and were already at the hopeless stage, which makes me wonder what else is going to happen, and if things could get any worse. Not to sound sadistic, but I kind of hope they do. It will make the eventual (Im assuming) victory that much more satisfying.

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10
Annihilation: Prologue #1

Mar 12, 2006

In The End: Here is where Marvel starts to turn it around in my eyes. DC pretty much handed it to Marvel last year with the set-up for Infinite Crisis because House of M seemed to be a decent enough story that came from a truly bad idea. Between Civil War and Annihilation Marvel seems to be stepping up to the plate in terms of making their events matter in the eyes of the reader. Giffen delivered a story that played to all of his strengths as a writer and creator, and the art by Scott Kollins and Ariel Olivetti gave that story an epic scope. There are some funny moments, but they only served to lure the audience into a false sense of security before hitting them with something tragic. This is one of those rare instances where I had absolutely no interest going in and have nothing but interest coming out.

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6.0
Ashes #1

Oct 31, 2005

In The End: While I may not want to read the next eleven issues I can't say that I feel like I wasted my time. Sanchez obviously has a plan and he is executing it well. Ordaz's art reflects the story and shows an eye for detail that is nice to see in an independent book. Frankly I think I would enjoy this more as a movie, but that probably has more to do with the fact that I don't normally buy comics like this.

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6.0
Astonishing X-Men #13

Feb 19, 2006

In The End: As the first story of a new arc that is garnering such attention, this issue was kind of a let down. The writing was decent enough and the art was nice, but I just didnt get any kind of vibe off of it that would make me want to come back for more. Again, a lot of this has to do with the fact that I am not big on the current era of X-Men, so those readers who are may disagree with me, as is their wont. As someone coming in from the wilderness, I feel the issue didnt sufficiently bring me up to speed other than some confusing text next to a picture of Wolverines claws. I dont need Storm explaining her powers every time she uses them, just a little heads up on what I may have missed. I dont think that it is too much to ask.

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8.0
Back Issue #16

Jul 18, 2006

In The End: I cannot say enough about this magazine. If you are like me and have a deep love and respect for comics from the 70s, 80s and even the early 90s, this magazine is for you. This issue was particularly strong and sported an awesome Snake Eyes cover by Mike Zeck. There were some clunky articles, like the last one about Captain Action, but the good features far outweighed the bad. Any magazine that can mix He-Man, G.I. Joe and Gumby is well worth owning.

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8.0
Batman #647

Dec 8, 2005

In The End: I am digging this story arc and this title. I don't care what anyone says. I really like Winick's writing lately. Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen's art was crisp as always, and I have really become a fan of their style. The mark of a good title is when you get to the point as a reader where you can't wait for the next issue. It is going to be a long four weeks.

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8.0
Batman #652

May 9, 2006

In The End: I have no idea who the killer is and frankly, I don't want to know or even try to guess until the reveal is made. This is a well crafted mystery, which is the best way to re-establish Batman for "One Year Later." Don Kramer's art was solid as well, especially his Batman with the large bat symbol and the long, flowing cape. Kramer, along with Bair and Faucher, really made the scene between Batman and Bullock work, and I especially enjoyed the sequence at the end. The cutting back and forth between Batman's confrontation with Harvey and Robin's fight with Killer Moth was great. This story arc is coming along nicely, and I have faith that Robinson will keep up this level of quality for the rest of the arc.

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8.0
Batman and the Mad Monk #3

Nov 7, 2006

In The End: Like Bob Dylan's opinion of Alicia Keyes, there is nothing about this series I don't like. The story is great, and the art is freaking awesome. There are so many iconic Batman poses that I can hardly stand it, and they all work within the context of the scene they appear in. Okay, maybe the bit where he is standing in the Batcave with the cape pulled up was a bit much, but some things you just have to let go. The ending was a true cliffhanger and proves that this series was not built with the "write for the trade" foundation that so many stories follow these days.

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10
Batman and the Monster Men #1

Nov 30, 2005

In The End: Between the art and the writing, this series has started off great. Matt Wagner is a very talented creator and has obviously put a lot of thought into this story. It is really nice to see a good Batman story again and before it is over I have the feeling this series will be up there with The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.

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8.0
Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #203

Apr 25, 2006

In The End: I still dislike Leslie Thompkins, but she was a necessary evil to the story. Writers like using her I guess. This issue was heavier on action than the previous two, but since it was the conclusion, this makes sense. Gage took three issues and used them well. If the story had been stretched out longer, it would have felt padded, but Gage hit all of the beats and turned in a great arc. He took a concept that could have gone horribly (the accusation that Thomas Wayne was a serial killer) and threw in enough twists and turns that despite the fact that the identity of the killer was pretty evident by part two, it still felt like something of a surprise. This arc deserves to be put in a collection, though the fact that it was only three issues may hinder this.

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6.0
Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #208

Aug 8, 2006

In The End: I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ariel Olivetti's art. The darkness of the story only worked because of the art. I have been a fan of Ariel's for some time now, and I dig what he has done with Batman. Greasy Lee was only disturbing because of Ariel's art, and he knows how to do characters and situations that are attractive and how to do characters and situations that are gross and disturbing. Who else could make a villain hocking a loogey on Batman as an attack work? The guy spit mucus, or at least what I think is mucus, on the Dark Knight and then got burned in salt water. Now that is impressive.

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10
Big Max Comics #1

Apr 6, 2006

In The End: Never underestimate the power of a monkey on a comic book cover. During the sixties it was like printing money apparently. Seriously, though, this is a really fun comic. Dan Slott has created a somewhat absurd but affable hero surrounded by a world full of crazy. This is a really solid comic with humor and a boat load of action. James Fry and Andrew Pepoy's art makes the whole thing go down smooth and while their style is cartoony, it also has a lot of detail and power to it. If you're a fan of over-the-top super-hero fun or big gorillas then this is definitely the comic for you.

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8.0
Birds of Prey (1998) #86

Oct 7, 2005

In The End: I hope that Gail stays on this title for some time. It's funny to say but I think she is doing better things with the characters than Chuck Dixon did, though I have a large amount of respect for Dixon's work. The different art styles played on the different themes and moods Gail seemed to going for. All in all, a great issue and a nice breather before the action and intrigue begin anew.

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10
Birds of Prey (1998) #89

Jan 16, 2006

In The End: There is no letting up as far as Gail Simone's Birds of Prey is concerned. She has a solid handle on the characters and seems to be having fun with the action and dialogue while not forgetting that the audience cares about them as well. One of the best announcements to come out of the recent One Year Later solicitations was that Gail was going to continue writing this series. It looks like I'm sticking around for awhile.

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8.0
Birds of Prey (1998) #99

Nov 13, 2006

In The End: While I wasn't entirely thrilled with this issue I can't say that I disliked it or point out too many problems I had. Gail is a fantastic writer, and she has really made this book her own. This is one of the few books that survived the purge I made of my pull list a few weeks back, and I am truly glad that I stuck around. Gail is a good enough writer to know when to shake things up, and this was the perfect time to do so what with the hundredth issue coming up. I'm not entirely sold on Huntress's new costume, but that is another matter entirely. It will be interesting to see who the new member of the team will be, and I hope that at some point we'll see Dinah again in the pages of this title.

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8.0
Birds of Prey (1998) #100

Nov 23, 2006

In The End: A new era begins! How often have we as comic readers read or heard that? Well, as clichd as it may be, it also applies here. Gail Simone has kicked off a new epoch for the Birds and a change in format that has a lot of potential. The cover of this book stated that this was a Special Extra Sized Anniversary Issue, and it was indeed special. Gail turned in a tight story that had the usual action, drama and suspense that those of us who like the series have come to expect in addition to a tender, character driven back-up feature. Even with the slight problem I had with Katarina, this was a truly great issue, and it generated a lot of excitement in me for the future of this series.

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10
Captain Atom: Armageddon #4

Feb 2, 2006

In The End: Pfeifer is definitely doing right by Captain Atom. This series is coming along nicely in no small part to Camuncoli and Hope's artwork. The style is smooth and the composition strong. The page layouts are interesting and they give the action (or lack of it in certain cases) the extra push to sell the scene. I also dug the Dale Keown cover and while it is just Captain Atom coming at the reader with glowing fists, it was still a nice piece of art.

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8.0
Checkmate #1

May 12, 2006

In The End: So how do you start off a series about an organization that will monitor and police meta-human activity all over the world? Simple, you disband it and thus the political intrigue begins. This was an impressive first issue that hit all of the beats that it needed to. While action will be an important part of the title, what will make this book work is Rucka's ability to mix the world of intelligence and super-heroes and balance both genres equally. I have all of the faith in the world that Rucka will make it work, and that this will be a book I look forward to month after month.

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10
Checkmate #4

Aug 8, 2006

In The End: Of all the new series that were spawned out of Infinite Crisis, this is my favorite. It has everything I like about a series, and Rucka has made the concept work. He did the right thing by having the team forced to fight right from the beginning even if that was a fight for political survival. Rucka has laid out the concept and characters and let us know up front that anything can happen. Jesus Saiz's art gives the series a realistic credibility and was integral to my enjoyment of the overall story. This series is amazing and has the potential to be something truly special. A political thriller is hard to pull off in a world full of super-heroes. I trust Greg Rucka to make it work.

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8.0
Civil War #1

Jun 13, 2006

Always go with Cap. It seems like a good rule to follow.

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6.0
Civil War #3

Jul 23, 2006

In The End: This event has a lot going for it. There are some interesting ethical and quasi-political issues being raised but most of those are being explored in Front Line, not here. This issue served a purpose. It brought the two sides into their first physical and verbal conflict and brought a character that had been missing for some time back into the public eye, both of which are important. The problem I have is that the sheer size of the event and all of the books associated with it are threatening to be more interesting than this book, which should be the most important. This title should be the one that I cant live without. It should be the comic that I look forward to the most for the next several months. Instead, it is just a tease to get me to buy other books. I understand that this is something that should have an impact on all of the main titles that Marvel publishes, but at the same time this isnt the book that should launch a thousand comics. Yeah, its my cho

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4.0
Civil War #4

Sep 24, 2006

In The End: I cannot support this series any longer. What started off as a good concept has turned into a sensational mish-mash of shock and awe. I realize there are three more issues to go, but I dont see this story turning around. Because of this, I am going to do the one thing every reader should do when they reach that point where that is all they can stands and they cant stands no more: leave. I wont be buying anything else that is connected to this storyline. I am not calling for everyone to follow me in this because there are people out there who are enjoying this and think that this is the best thing Marvel has done in decades. That is their right. The thing is the story has gone in directions that make no sense to me and instead of beating my head against the wall and wasting my time, money and energy in something I dont like, it is better to just walk away. I could turn out to be wrong and the ending could be fantastic, but Im not going to wait around hoping thin

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6.0
Crisis Aftermath: The Battle For Bludhaven #1

Apr 25, 2006

In The End: I don't know. I read this book twice, and while I like certain parts of it, there are other parts that sets off all kinds of bells and whistles. This was a first issue, and there is some confusion that should be expected since the writers and artists are setting up a larger story, but The Rann-Thanagar War was pretty epic, and it managed to have something of a clear story from start to finish. Gray and Palmiotti are good writers, but I don't think this is one of their best efforts. Dan Jurgens' art was great and was one of the few things that was consistently good about the issue. Maybe the second issue will be better, and since I plan to stick around for all six issues, I certainly hope so.

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6.0
Crisis Aftermath: The Battle For Bludhaven #4

Jun 13, 2006

In The End: I'm going to read the next two issues if for no other reason then I'm committed at this point having read the first four. This series could be a lot better. There are good points, to be sure, but frankly the synopsis at the beginning of the issue is sometimes more entertaining than the story that follows it is. Gray and Palmiotti are talented writers. I've enjoyed their work in the past, and my dislike for this series is not a personal slight. It's just not my bag, and I don't think the next two issues are going to change my mind.

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8.0
Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre #1

Jun 27, 2006

In The End: Cliff Chiang made the Spectre with a Van Dyck work. (And it is a Van Dyck, not a goatee. Van Dycks are a form of goatee that has its origin from seventeenth century Flemish painter Sir Anthony van Dyck who had a thick goatee and mustache with upturned ends. These days it is defined as a goatee that is connected to the mustache. I know this because when I worked for a major airline they told me that I could have a Van Dyck but not a goatee. Ah, semantics.) It was a little weird at first, but I got used to it quick. Chiang's artwork was solid and grounded the fantastic nature of the Spectre, which served the story well. I'm enjoying this Infinite Crisis Aftermath series a heck of a lot better than Battle for Bludhaven. The premise is sound, and so far the execution is as well. I was very impressed with the final product, and it has far exceeded my expectations.

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2.0
Cry Wolf #1

Oct 31, 2005

In The End: Try as I might I wanted to like this book, but there is much there to work with. Crill and Frey have the potential but, as of right now, don't have the talent to pull off the kind of story they want to tell.

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10
Daredevil (1998) #82

Feb 12, 2006

In The End: What an ending. What a freaking amazing ending. Brubaker and Lark pulled off a fantastic introductory story that makes you want to come back for more. The drama and action are in perfect balance, and the shock ending was a major punch in the stomach for those who werent expecting it. If nothing else, Brubaker and Lark have created a story that would make both regular and casual readers want to take notice. Brubaker has the potential and ability to be the best Daredevil writer since Frank Miller, and I have a feeling that this story will stand as one of the best Daredevil stories ever told.

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10
Daredevil (1998) #84

May 19, 2006

In The End: So I'm guessing that the Punisher killed the pimp so he would get thrown into jail. I'm also guessing that he did so because he has some interest in Matt Murdock. I loved the reaction to the beat cop when Frank gave himself up. He called for back-up. I don't know why. Unless they are corrupt, the Punisher hasn't made a habit of killing police officers. It was a great end to the issue though and definitely made coming back next month mandatory. Things are only going to get worse for Matt from here on out, and I for one am glad for it.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #85

May 21, 2006

In The End: Youll learn a lot in this issue of Daredevil. Youll learn that Matt can be pushed to go places he normally wouldnt, though some of you may already know this. Youll learn that as much fun as it may be and as much street cred you might get by mouthing off to the Punisher in front of everyone, the end result could be rather painful and most of you should know this. Youll learn that Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano are a fantastic art team that captures the mood and intensity of the writing. You will also learn that Brubaker knows how to pace an extended storyline to keep it fresh and exciting issue after issue. This arc was an excellent time to start picking up Daredevil and as long as Brubaker keeps writing the book, Ill keep buying it.

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8.0
Daredevil (1998) #87

Aug 1, 2006

In The End: Despite the feeling that this finale was a bit out of place when compared to the rest of the story arc, I have nothing but good things to write about this comic. It had two big reveals in one issue, and both worked for me. Iron Fist is the perfect character to have been hired to play Daredevil. Of course Foggy never died. This issue also served the essential function of setting up the next story arc, though Brubaker is giving us the skinny of Foggy's new life before that. More importantly, Matt grew as a character and it's basic creative writing that for a story to be successful, the protagonist has to go through some time of journey. Sure it's a journey the character has been on before, but I think time has proven that Matt's life is going to suck no matter what and that he is going to have his highs and lows. The real test is whether the writer has what it takes to make the story click with readers. In Ed Brubaker's case, the answer is yes, at least in this reader

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8.0
Day of Vengeance #5

Sep 16, 2005

In the End: This may not be my favorite of the four prelude series but that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying it. Willingham is crafting a great story, which along with Justiniano and Wong's art has made for a solid read.

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8.0
Day of Vengeance #6

Sep 26, 2005

In The End: I got to the end of this issue and actually said, out loud, to no one but me, "Oh my God, this is going to end badly." I mentioned in my review of the previous issue that this book could have been a sleeper hit. I still think that this one slipped under a lot of readers' radar, but I'm glad I picked it up. The ending was exciting, and when I realized what was going on I knew that I didn't waste one moment on this series.

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8.0
Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special #1

Jan 13, 2006

In The End: I really enjoyed this special. The writing was sound and Justiniano's (aided and abetted by Wong and Faucher) art was phenomenal. That vertical, two page spread of the magic users assembled was worth the price of admission. As much as I loved the story the sight of that magical ass whooping lynch mob was just awesome.

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8.0
Defenders (2005) #2

Sep 1, 2005

Final Thoughts: As great as this series is and as much as I am enjoying it, I am kind of glad it is only a limited series. The writing and art are great, and I am enjoying the story, but like their two Justice League reunion stories I dont think it can sustain an ongoing series. While they are around, though, I am going to buy and most likely enjoy this book.

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8.0
Detective Comics #818

Apr 13, 2006

In The End: Jason Bard is the PIMP. Man, what he did was cold but so awesome, like old school James Bond and stuff. What a great way to end this issue and bring Jason into the story. While I think things could pick up a bit as far as the tempo of the story goes, I also believe that I should trust in Robinson's storytelling. If this is the Batman that is going to be around for the next few years then I am definitely interested in sticking around. This isn't the Batman I remember from times past, but it is absolutely the Batman I want to read right now.

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8.0
Detective Comics #819

May 9, 2006

In The End: Even though the main part of this issue was brief, the Jason Bard portion more than made up for this. This is an interesting way to tell the story as far as the Detective Comics side of the arc goes. As much as I enjoyed the Croc fight and the Jason Bard investigation, the best part of this issue by far was the one panel gag involving Alfred. The set-up was beautiful with Batman acting all serious about the gun getting looked over by someone with fresh eyes and then cutting to Alfred sitting in the Batcave whistling while he worked Seven Dwarves style. This is why I like Robinson as a writer. He has the ability to inject moments like this into his stories without having it seemed forced or out of place. Plus it was funny, which always helps.

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8.0
Fables #41

Sep 19, 2005

In The End: Homelands has proved to be a fantastic storyline that has propelled the overall story along. Now we know who the Adversary is and now the Adversary has a reason to further attack the Fables. Willingham has mentioned that the Arabic fables will be coming to Fabletown, so that should prove interesting. I continue to enjoy Mark Buckinghams art. I was never a big fan of his Batman work, but his style is perfect for this series.

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8.0
Fables #42

Nov 4, 2005

In The End: A quiet issue, but a good one. Mark Buckingham (along with Steve Leialoha) continues to produce art that plays off of Willingham's writing. The best moments of this issue (such as the limo parked in front of Fabletown) come from the art. Without the quality of the art team, this book would not be as good as it is.

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8.0
Fables #54

Nov 7, 2006

In The End: I enjoyed this issue on a number of levels. It introduced what I hope will be an ongoing villain to the mix and added to the recent escalation between the Fables and Geppetto. The addition of the back-up stories to the title has been a lot of fun and the off beat tales seem to give Willingham a little more room to play with certain concepts from the main story. This title continues to be a welcome departure from what I normally buy, and issues like this are a good example of exactly why that is.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #539

Oct 3, 2006

In The End: If you read this issue in conjunction with Amazing Spider-Man #534 then you get the same story from two different perspectives. Even still, the two issues stand well on their own, especially this one. JMS makes the Thing a character I can like and respect. Mike McKone and crew's art was very slick and enjoyable. I've appreciated McKone's art since his stints with Superman and the Teen Titans and his versions of the Marvel Heroes are to my liking. Along with Amazing Spider-Man and this book the whole Civil War affair has become worth it. JMS definitely writes a Fantastic Four I can get into.

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8.0
Flash (1987) #225

Sep 23, 2005

In the end, I liked this final issue of your run. I'm going to miss your work with the character, but thankfully you are writing enough titles, especially Green Lantern, that I can still get my fix. Howard Porter will be missed as well as his sleek style made for some great art. Thanks for a great run.

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4.0
Flash (1987) #226

Oct 21, 2005

In The End: Ugh. I haven't been this upset over a comic since Spawn #1. The story was bad. The art was bad. There is nothing about this issue that I liked. If I was seventeen and back in high school, this book may have done something for me, but I'm twenty-nine and expect something more from the books I read. This story had inventory fill-in story written all over it.

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6.0
Flash (1987) #227

Nov 18, 2005

In The End: While I didn't care for its style or tone, this wasn't a bad issue and was certainly heads and tails above the previous one. I know I may have come across as a little harsh, but in the end I am going to give Cavalieri a chance and see where he takes the story. Who knows, I may have to eat a little crow by story arc's end.

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6.0
Flash (1987) #228

Dec 2, 2005

In The End: This was much better than the last issue, but it still feels a bit off. There is something about Cavalieri's version of Wally West that doesn't sit too well with me. It is in the realm of possibility that I am simply missing Geoff Johns on the title, but I believe that is only a small part of it. This story is getting more interesting and now that Kid Flash and Jay Garrick are involved it has a lot of potential.

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6.0
Flash: Fastest Man Alive #1

Jun 25, 2006

In The End: This comic had some great writing, and the art was superb. Everything about it says that this comic should be fantastic and to a certain type of reader, Im sure it will be. I just cant get behind it. DC has messed up royally when it comes to Bart Allen. Peter David had done some nice work with the character, and Geoff Johns brought Bart even further but now, three years later, its all messed up. Maybe Im being childish about the entire matter, and I will see this current story through to the end, but unless something happens that makes me really me away, Im going to do what every reader who doesnt like what he is reading should do: Stop reading the book.

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10
Friday The 13th #1

Dec 12, 2006

In The End: I've been pretty hard on Gray and Palmiotti's writing of late, but I have nothing but praise for their work here. I don't know if they are fans of the film series, but from what they and the artists produced here, they were obviously right for the job. The cliffhanger ending was fantastic because it left me wanting more. If the story and art continue to be this good, I may have to take back a lot of what I said about the writers in the past. This comic feels like it would be an acceptable installment to the franchise. So far, as a fan of comic books and Friday the 13th, I am very satisfied.

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6.0
Friday the 13th: Bloodbath #2

Apr 25, 2006

In The End: A fun end to a fun story. Pulido obviously had fun writing the story, and Mike Wolfer put a lot of detail into the blood and gore. This book may not be for everyone, but if you like the movies, I suggest tracking down the first issue and buying this one as well. It is well worth the eight dollars you will spend.

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2.0
Friday the 13th: Jason vs. Jason X #1

Apr 25, 2006

In The End: How many different ways can I say this book is worthless? In all honesty, the only reason I am going to pick up the next issue is to see how the actual fight goes. Is that any reason to want to pick up a book? A fight? In all honesty this books makes Youngblood #1 look like Maus.

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8.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2005) #1

Oct 17, 2005

In The End: I may be sticking around after this storyline. I haven't completely decided yet (mostly due to financial considerations), but I really want to see how Peter deals with Spider-Man after this crossover ends. This issue had some great writing and art and served as a nice break from the insanity I have immersed myself in with all of the DC books I read.

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8.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2005) #7

May 2, 2006

In The End: A solid end to a solid story. The fact that it was a two-parter kind of threw me off. I've gotten so used to four to six issue story-arcs that a story which takes only two issues to tell is a rarity. This after a one-shot, no less. If anything Peter David seems to be attempting to make this Spider-Man book as new reader friendly as possible, which is great and interesting considering the first four issues of the title were taken up with a massive crossover story. This issue had a good mix of furious action and quiet moments that had a good deal of character development to them.

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8.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2005) #8

May 8, 2006

In The End: Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel's art was fantastic throughout the issue. They nailed the loneliness that Ben was feeling, and it was interesting to see their alternate version of Peter Parker who had a whole different set of mannerisms and ticks than the one we are familiar with. The ending had the shock value it was intended to have and was a great way to close out the issue. Peter David and crew have started an interesting storyline that, knowing the people involved, is probably going to take a good number of twists and turns before it is over.

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8.0
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2005) #11

Sep 5, 2006

In The End: A little romance between Flash and the school nurse? Interesting. Interesting. Not as interesting as the original Mysterio supposedly showing up at the end of the issue but close. I love this kind of cliffhanger ending. This was a great issue, made all the better by Todd Nauck's artwork. His art in this issue sold all of the emotional beats, humorous and otherwise, that Peter wrote, and as I mentioned in the beginning of this review, it is fantastic to see these two working together again.

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6.0
G.I. Joe: America's Elite #14

Sep 1, 2006

In The End: As predictable as this story is, I'm hanging in there, for now at least. Even if I have an idea of the ending there is something intriguing (in a train wreck sort of way) of watching the how and why. I can do without the Storm Shadow sub-plot, but other than that, it could turn out to be a fun little romp. I've made several comparisons to the Sunbow animated series, mostly in a derogatory way, but that doesn't mean that they were all bad. Otherwise I wouldn't have bought the DVDs. It's not Larry Hama G.I. Joe, but it's not all that bad either.

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10
G.I. Joe: Declassified #1

Aug 10, 2006

In The End: This is a very enjoyable book that should appeal to Joe fans old and new. That may sound clichd, but at the same time it's true. Devil's Due has done a great job of making this a fun series (complete with the Blister Card variant cover and the SNAKE-EYES file card on the back). I'm not sure that it is worth nine dollars, but it is cool nonetheless. I was also impressed with Pat Quinn and Valentine De Landro's artwork on this issue. It had a really clean style, and I liked the detail they put in the uniforms and weaponry.

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7.0
G.I. Joe: Declassified #2

Dec 8, 2006

In The End: This was a fine edition to the Declassified series of mini-series and specials. Hama came back to the fold and told a tight little story that gave some insight into the original Joe team. The untold tale of Shooter was an interesting touch and showed that at any moment, any of these characters could die in the line of duty. Sure, it didn't really happen all that much in the first hundred issues or so of the Marvel series, but Hama's hands were tied there due to licensing issues. Devil's Due seems to have more freedom in this regard, and Hama made good use of it.

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8.0
G.I. Joe: Scarlett Declassified #1

Dec 8, 2006

In The End: This book was well worth the price of admission. O'Sullivan told Scarlett's story and along with Phil Noto made her more than a member of a larger cast. I'm not saying that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Scarlett fan now, but I think that this special gave me an insight into her character or at least how O'Sullivan, Noto and Devil's Due currently see her. If you are a fan of the current G.I. Joe series published by Devil's Due, this book is well worth your time and attention.

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8.0
Giant-Size Invaders #2

Dec 8, 2005

In The End: For five dollars, this book is a bargain. Obviously, I recommend this issue to both Roy Thomas and Invaders fans, but if you want a tight little story with reprints of great comics from the past, I suggest you pick it up. The stories were fun and the opening tale was fantastic and shows that Roy Thomas still has the ability to tell stories about these characters. This book was good, clean, Nazi fighting fun. What more can you ask?

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6.0
Green Arrow (2001) #53

Aug 30, 2005

Final Thoughts: As good as it was to see Messner-Loebs writing again, this book wasnt his best. The art did a lot to enhance the better qualities of the story. This was a decent enough diversion, but it also made me realize that I wanted to get back to the destruction of Ollie and crews home and the search for Dr. Light.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #54

Oct 7, 2005

In The End: I'm glad I decided against dropping this title. This issue was a great set-up to the ongoing story but also gave the reader an emotionally heavy fight with a huge revelation at the end. The cliff hanger came a mile away, but that doesn't mean it didn't work.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #55

Nov 10, 2005

In The End: Wow, what a creepy last page. Despite the heaviness of the action I really liked how this issue played out. Winick continues to write a great Green Arrow, and the art by Garney and Reinhold really made the action come alive on the page.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #56

Dec 2, 2005

In The End: While Green Arrow wasn't a huge part of this issue, I really didn't mind. Mia was the star and Winick made it work. This story continues to be both exciting and interesting and this issue had a great cliffhanger ending.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #60

Mar 31, 2006

In The End: This has to be one of the best set-up issues I have ever read. Everything was laid out for the audience, and all of the major players were introduced. This concept has a lot of potential and more than ever, I am glad to be following this title. McDaniel and Owens' artwork really played up the human side of the story. I even liked the cover, which had an awesome image of Ollie in a revised costume pointing an arrow at the reader. This had an old school feel to it and really stood out from the other books on the shelf.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #61

May 12, 2006

In The End: You know what I hate? Misleading covers. From what I gathered, this issue was supposed to feature a bust-up between Green Arrow and Deathstroke and then Slade doesn't even show up until the last page. Sure it had that great cliffhanger feel and I thought the rest of the book worked out just fine, but there's still that part of me that feels like I was lied to or something. Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens pull off another great issue as far as the artwork goes, and I am enjoying their work on the series. This book is heading in an exciting direction, and I'm glad that Winick has stuck with the character during One Year Later. If you aren't reading this book, start now; things are getting really good.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #64

Aug 8, 2006

In The End: Oh, so that's where Mia has been all this time: hiding out with a bunch of junkies. I would have never expected that from her. I mean if Roy was missing, the first place I'm looking is where those who chase the dragon hang out. All kidding aside, it's nice to see Mia back in the pages of this book even if it was only a cliffhanger ending. I'm not quite sure what to think of this story arc. Winick came out strong with his first One Year Later story, but this one is taking a while to get going. Despite this, I still dig what Judd is doing with the character, and the characterization more than made up for the lack of plot movement.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #66

Oct 10, 2006

Now if only I could get the lyrics, "Hearts on fire, strong desire, rages deep within," out of my head. I guess it doesn't help that I have the song on my laptop.

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8.0
Green Arrow (2001) #67

Nov 7, 2006

In The End: Now that is an awesome cliffhanger ending. Again, some of the drama has been removed because we know at least some of the characters survive but still. The next issue will hopefully pull everything together and show the group working together as a team before getting back to the present.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2005) #4

Sep 14, 2005

Final Thoughts: Hector Hammond is a voyeur, but it works for the character. Johns continues to prove that bringing back Hal was a good idea, and van Sciver's art really sold the story and made me uncomfortable. The only real complaint I had was I could have gone my entire life without the mental image of someone hosing Hammond down to get him clean. Thanks, Geoff. No sleep for a week for me.

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10
Green Lantern (2005) #5

Dec 16, 2005

In The End: A much better issue than I thought it was going to be. The story was amusing and a lot of fun. Ethan Van Sciver definitely brought his "A game" this issue, and Hal looked great. I am interested to see where this story is going and wonder if it is going to tie into Infinite Crisis or not.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2005) #6

Jan 16, 2006

In The End: This series continues to be one of the more off beat titles that I read. Geoff Johns is taking a different track with how he deals with Hal and his supporting cast and villains and is firmly establishing that world. Simone Bianchi's art was close enough to Ethan Van Sciver's to keep a consistent feel to the story but distinctive enough that I didn't spend the issue thinking, "Hey, this is a lot like Ethan's art." I liked the style and the coloring gave the book a very singular look. If anything, this comic deserves recognition for making Hector Hammond an interesting and almost likable character. I never thought that could happen.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2005) #10

Apr 7, 2006

In The End: There was a lot to like about this book. I continue to enjoy Geoff's characterization of Hal. He has a solid handle on the character and definitely knows what makes him tick. I especially dug the Sinestro Corps bit halfway into the comic. Ivan Reis and Marc Campos are great choices for the art chores as there styles compliment the action and drama that the series provides. A solid issue overall.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2005) #11

Jun 2, 2006

In The End: Well, that was a pretty awesome last page, which was made all the better by Ivan Reis' art. I never thought I would be glad to see Cyborg again since the character had been played out by 1999 but like it I did. If I'm reading right, Johns has revealed that the new Manhunters were created by the Cyborg. This makes perfect sense, to me at least. I can buy that the Cyborg traveled to Biot, created a new breed of Manhunter and gathered up the living former members of the Corps to do whatever it is he is doing to them. If Johns is going to play around with the destruction of the Corps then the being responsible for that (by, you know, nuking Coast City) should be a part of it. The final page was a great ending, and I can't wait for the next issue.

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10
Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1

Sep 26, 2005

In The End: The Corps is coming back and it looks like this story is going to be huge. Johns and Gibbons hit all of the beats they needed to make this seem like the Corps coming back together is a big deal. There is a sense of history while at the same time the creative team is definitely looking towards the future. All in all, a great start is a hopefully great series.

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6.0
Highlander #0

Jul 31, 2006

I also feel it is worth mentioning that the preview they included of Dynamite's upcoming Lone Ranger series looked absolutely amazing. Just thought I would share that with you.

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8.0
Highlander #1

Dec 19, 2006

In The End: I'm the type of guy who likes it when he's wrong. I thought this story wasn't going to be all that good, but I was pleasantly surprised by this first issue. The story in concept and execution is sound, and I am really looking forward to seeing where Brandon Jerwa and Michael Avon Oeming take it.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (1999) #85

Sep 1, 2005

Final Thoughts: Despite myself, I am enjoying this crossover arc. I was prepared to dislike it because of the overall premise, but Peter David made it work. My only real complaint, outside of the whole House of M premise, is the annoying cover design. I guess it is eye catching, but the red, white and blue stripe motif is also annoying.

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7.0
Incredible Hulk (1999) #88

Nov 29, 2005

In The End: A neat little Hulk tale. While this was a set-up, it was an entertaining issue on its own. Way's writing and Cha's art created a really solid story. The only reason it didn't get a higher rating was the circumstances that involved Bruce turning into the Hulk, which may be a personal thing but I have to go with how I feel. Despite this, I am looking forward to the rest of the story arc and am excited to see what Way does with the Hulk.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (1999) #89

Dec 16, 2005

In The End: This story arc is shaping up well. The ending of this issue was a great cliffhanger and promises an exciting next issue. Daniel Way has a really good handle on the characters involved, and he has a story to tell. If he continues to write like this during the next few issues, I think that the result will be a fun story with a lot of action and intrigue.

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10
Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

Feb 5, 2006

In The End: I have high hopes for Planet Hulk. This may not be a wise idea since it sets me up for a fall, but between the art and Greg Pak's writing I think this will end up being one of the all-time classic Hulk storylines. The scope is huge, and the contents are living up to that. Greg Pak designed the world the Hulk landed on to be just enough of a threat to make things interesting but still added some wanton destruction to give the reader a little bit of that old Hulk smash! I have a feeling that the story is going to take a number of turns as it progresses but for right now this is a fun Hulk story presenting a good bit of violence without being gratuitous. The Hulk is a hard character to write and has gone through a lot in the past years. Greg Pak seems confident in the story so the rest should just fall into place.

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4.0
Incredible Hulk (1999) #101

Dec 11, 2006

In The End: Really and truly this isn't a truly horrid storyline. "Planet Hulk" had a purpose. It moved the character off planet because frankly he would have tipped the balance of power if he was around for Civil War. I also believe that Greg Pak is probably trying to emulate the storyline where the Hulk went to Jarella's world. It's just doing nothing for me outside of making me look forward to "World War Hulk," so the book can pick up again. I mean when the text piece at the beginning of the issue that breaks the story down is more interesting than the actual story, you know something is wrong.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk: Destruction #2

Sep 14, 2005

Final Thoughts: There are two disappointments I have regarding the Hulk right now; the fact that this story ends in two issues and the fact that Peter David is dropping the Incredible Hulk. This series is a lot of fun and showcases Peter David's ability to get into the heads of his characters. I'm also curious to see if that janitor is someone we know.

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10
Infinite Crisis #1

Oct 16, 2005

In The End: This was an incredible start to an exciting story. So far it has lived up to all of the hype. Geoff Johns has written a solid story where nothing is wasted and both the action and drama run high. Jimenez and Lanning (outside of Lois Lane on the last page) have turned in a wonderful art job that really lives up to the epic feel of the story. Infinite Crisis is here, and I have the feeling it is going to be a wild seven months.

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10
Infinite Crisis #2

Nov 12, 2005

Quick aside: if you are the type of person who because of personal opinion or due to financial constraints will only be picking up one of the covers to this issue I would definitely pick up the George Perez cover over the Jim Lee cover. The Jim Lee cover is great (even if he screwed up the Earth-2 Superman symbol), but as far as getting the best bang for your comic buck, the detail on the Perez cover has the Lee cover beat hands down. As much as I enjoy Lee's artwork, the shattered image of the DC multiverse works a lot nicer than five people posing for a photo-op.

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10
Infinite Crisis #3

Jan 16, 2006

In The End: The series keeps getting better and better. Geoff Johns has given us a fantastic story that keeps upping the ante as far as what will happen next. Phil Jimenez and crew keep delivering solid art that can keep the reader busy for hours staring at all of the little bits of business they throw into the background. This series is the best thing to happen to DC in well over a decade, and I have a good feeling that the ending will be a real kick in the teeth.

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10
Infinite Crisis #4

Jan 23, 2006

In the end, I really liked this issue of Infinite Crisis. The story is moving along nicely and the fight between Superboy Prime and, well, everybody was just freaking awesome. The story continues to take unexpected turns, and I honestly can't say for sure what I think is going to happen next. The George Perez cover for the next issue promises a fight between the two Supermen, which has me pretty psyched. Geoff Johns and crew continue to deliver a fun series, and I can only hope that the next three issues will be just as good.

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8.0
Infinite Crisis #5

Mar 5, 2006

In The End: Despite my misgivings at how the Kal-L versus Kal-El battle went down, this was still a very good issue. The story didnt slow down a bit, and Johns complicated matters even further by bringing in all of the multiple Earths and an armored up Superboy Prime. My favorite moment, though, had to be when Alexander admitted that for whatever reason everything had to come from the Superman of Earth-Two. It was one of those moments where I realized that the writer knew exactly what he was doing. Of course everything came from that Superman. He was the first. All of the other heroes, both in and out of the comics, to one extent or another, take their cue from him. Combine that with the awesome spread of the different versions of Superman (including the Tangent version, which I was very happy to see) and you have one of the best moments in the series so far.

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8.0
Infinite Crisis #7

May 7, 2006

Or it could all tank and everything could change again five years from now. Either way, this was still an amazing series and worthy of being a sequel to the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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10
Infinite Crisis Secret Files and Origins 2006 #1

Mar 24, 2006

In The End: I'm hoping this story is included in the eventual hardcover collection of Infinite Crisis. Considering the way the story is framed it would make a wonderful prologue with the profile pages added at the end as supplemental material. This story mattered and was a touching chronicle that shed some more light on why these characters ended up at the point where they became a threat to the DC Universe. It also gave context to new readers and was a pay off for those that were around during the first Crisis or have become fans of the series since then.

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8.0
Jeremiah Harm #1

Feb 17, 2006

In The End: Harm in Harlem. That's all I need to read to get me to come back. Giffen and Grant have created a truly entertaining series that stands out from the other independent books on the rack. While it may have a late eighties/early nineties feel to it, the series has a great beat, and you can dance to it. If nothing else, I'll stick around for the first story arc and see where things go. With Keith Giffen involved, it will be anything but boring.

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8.0
JLA #117

Sep 1, 2005

Final Thoughts: This is definitely an important book in the current climate of the DCU, and its a good story to boot. I am a little nervous about what is going to happen in the next two issues, but I have long learned to trust in Johns and those he works with.

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8.0
JLA #118

Sep 26, 2005

In The End: This issue went better than I could have hoped for. By the ending of the previous issue, I was a little nervous that the vote would be anti-climactic, but Johns and Heinberg did a fine job. You can't ask for a better art team for this story. All of the heroes and villains look great and the emotional context really comes through.

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8.0
JLA #119

Oct 4, 2005

In The End: More than anything this issue has me psyched for Infinite Crisis. The story itself was fantastic and I think it succeeded in bridging Identity Crisis to Infinite Crisis. Batista and Farmer's art stayed true to the very end, and I think that one of the reasons this story worked so well was their ability to bring emotion and life to the story. Johns and Heinberg also succeeded in ending the latest era of the League, making it sad on several levels. This has to be the best mainstream (as in non-Classified) Justice League story in years.

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8.0
JLA #120

Oct 17, 2005

In The End: An interesting issue to say the least. Harras did a good job keeping the characters in character and moving along the stories and themes that have been running through the DCU. I don't quite know who the villain is yet, but the set up, like the Martian Manhunter/Dawn sub-plot was good enough to make me want to come back for more. The art by Derenick and Green (another veteran of the late '80s/early '90s X-books) was very smooth and the characters looked great.

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8.0
JLA #121

Nov 4, 2005

In The End: I really wish the arcs that have been running through JLA would have been as good as this one. Between "World Without a Justice League" and "Crisis of Conscience," I am really glad to be reading this title again. Harras has shown a great deal of talent with how he uses the characters and his ability to pace a story. It is all starting to come together and hopefully the rest of this arc will continue along in that fashion.

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6.0
JLA #122

Nov 15, 2005

In The End: At some point though, it would be nice for Harras to get to the part where the League takes on the Key. I'm still digging Harras' writing though, as well as Derenick and Green's art, but the pace needs to pick back up. This is an interesting time for the Justice League, and Bob Harras is tapping into some fascinating themes with his story. I hope that this continues and that the ending is every bit as interesting as the first third of the story.

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8.0
JSA (1999) #77

Oct 3, 2005

In The End: A set-up issue, but a good one. Hopefully this will lead to something important in regard to Air Wave as a character. The meeting of the Green Lanterns was played just right, and the guest art team did a wonderful job with the story.

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6.0
JSA (1999) #79

Nov 30, 2005

In The End: I don't dislike this story, but there are parts that make me uncomfortable. Fortunately, the Mordru plot is more than enough to keep my interest and save the storyline. I do wish the Hector/Lyta sub-plot would progress a little faster, but this is only a three issue arc, so I can't complain too much. Kramer and Champagne's art really brings out the life in the characters, and the storytelling is amazing. While I can't say this is my favorite JSA story in recent years, Champagne is doing a great job in maintaining the atmosphere and feel of this series.

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8.0
JSA (1999) #82

Feb 14, 2006

In The End: This issue gives me a good feeling about Levitz's upcoming run on the title. I have to admit that I was a little nervous because sometimes these "homecomings" don't live up to the expectations, but this issue met and exceeded mine. On a personal level, this has to be my favorite of the Infinite Crisis crossovers. It was nice to take a trip down memory lane even if those memories were made nearly two decades after the fact.

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8.0
JSA (1999) #84

Apr 20, 2006

Well I'm sure some of you can, but why would you want to argue the point?

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8.0
JSA (1999) #87

Jul 11, 2006

In The End: I would be upset that this is the last issue of JSA if it wasn't for the fact that a new series is coming out in a few months. As last issues go, this one was very strong. Levitz hit all of the beats to close down shop, and while he told his own story, he also worked the feel that the series has carried for eighty-seven issues. This is the first Justice Society book to go the distance and, as far as the modern audience goes, attract a decent following. There's a lot to be said for that. JSA has come a long way since James Robinson and David Goyer first started it back in 1999. It was a gamble, but over the years it became one of my favorite books. I'm sure the new series will be good, but part of me is going to miss this one.

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8.0
JSA: Classified #3

Oct 21, 2005

In The End: I have no idea what is going to happen. I have my theories, but I also know I could be dead wrong. In any case this has been a very exciting story that really plays into the "can't wait for the next issue" feeling that DC has been fostering for the past year. I also loved the cover to this issue. For those of us who have been following most of the titles, this was a nice little joke that shows that DC is able to poke fun at itself.

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10
JSA: Classified #4

Nov 1, 2005

In The End: I wanted it to happen and it did, which seldom happens with me and the comics I read. This story was enjoyable from beginning to end and not just on a fannish level. Geoff Johns, with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiottis art, gave us an emotional story about a woman trying to find her place in the world. The arc had a great center, so all of the fun little bits, like the cover for issue three, were just icing on the cake. Im almost sad that its over. I want more Power Girl and hopefully Infinite Crisis will continue using the character like she has been portrayed here. Since Johns is writing both series, I have little doubt that this will happen.

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10
JSA: Classified #5

Dec 16, 2005

In The End: I was really impressed with this issue. Jen Van Meter is a wonderful writer, up there with Geoff Johns and Gail Simone. I didn't know what to expect with this story, but so far it looks great. This is a great cast of characters with a lot of potential. Pat Olliffe and Ruy Jose's art was solid and really sold the atmosphere of the story. If this story turns out the way I think it will, this arc has the ability to turn into something special.

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10
JSA: Classified #6

Jan 16, 2006

In The End: This is an excellent story arc. Jan Van Meter has come up with a wonderful plot that is executed with great flair and talent. The characters are written so vividly, and I believe Van Meter's treatment of the Golden-Age characters and their heirs is as impressive as Roy Thomas, James Robinson, David Goyer and Geoff Johns's. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Pat Olliffe, Roy Jose and Drew Geraci's art. The style is smooth, the characters look great and the action was paced out nicely. Most importantly, it meshed perfectly with the story being told. I try not to write the following assertion often, but I really hope more is down with these characters at Van Meter's hand after this arc is over.

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8.0
JSA: Classified #7

Jan 31, 2006

In The End: This story arc was a wonderful set-up for the new Injustice Society. While I have never been the biggest fan of Johnny Sorrow, it was worth it just to put the Icicle, Wizard, Solomon Grundy, Tigress and the rest of the group together. It was a fun ride and had just about everything a good comic book should. The art lived up to the standards set in the previous chapters, and I commend Patrick Olliffe and Drew Geraci on their efforts. Despite the fact that this was only a three part story arc, it felt longer. Jen Van Meter told a tight story that could have been padded out to six issues, but this wasn't the case and the story was better for it.

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6.0
JSA: Classified #14

Aug 1, 2006

In The End: I don't know. Maybe I'm being too hard on the writing. I could be judging the story based on the previous one, which isn't a good thing for a reviewer to do. That is the trouble with reviewing comics. Most of the issues are far from stand alone, so how do you judge the story based only on a single chapter? On a more positive note, I did think that the art was great. I enjoyed Derenick and Farmer's work on "A Game of Chance," and their interpretations of the Justice Society were fantastic. I am going to try to hold off final judgment on this arc until it is finished. I just hope it ends better than the last one.

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6.0
Justice #4

Feb 21, 2006

In The End: I could be wrong about this series, and if the story continues to pick up and get to the freaking point, I may end up enjoying it. I realize that this book needs the bi-monthly status so that Ross can keep a regular schedule but having to wait two months for the next installment is a bit frustrating. The writing was stronger this time around, but it is difficult for me to shake the feeling that this is just an amped up version of a cartoon I watched over twenty years ago. Hopefully the true motives behind what Luthor and crew are doing will be revealed soon, and Brainiac will return because so far he is the only character in the book that I've responded to.

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8.0
Lone Ranger #2

Dec 19, 2006

In The End: I liked that last image. Yeah, it may be a little hokey that the black fabric has holes in it that make it perfect for a mask, but some things you just to have to let go. The Lone Ranger is one of the few characters that I will let a lot of things go with. He's not a favorite per se, but at the same time I am fascinated with him. This series has been a surprise for me and one of the few books I am actively telling people at the shop I frequent that they should read. Brett Matthews (what a perfect name for a writer on a book like this) and Sergio have come together to produce one of the best comics of the year. I can't wait for John to get suited up. In all honesty, I feel like a kid again when I read this book and thankfully, it is so much better than the God awful Legend of the Lone Ranger movie I was so fond of when I was five.

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8.0
Majestic #15

Apr 10, 2006

In The End: A little heavy on the action, but this was a good issue anyway. Abnett and Lanning continue to produce quality work for the series and do the unexpected. While I preferred Georges Jeanty's work from a few issues ago, Neil Googe has a nice, clean style that fits the writing well. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the current arc and how Abnett and Lanning are going to play out Majestic's supposed impending death.

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8.0
Manhunter #24

Jul 25, 2006

In The End: I liked how Andreyko wrapped up this arc. He brought the story to its natural conclusion and appeared to have some fun with Dr. Psycho. The supporting cast got a little screen time too, and I am very interested in the serial killer sub-plot that kicked into high gear last issue. My hope is that sales go up on this book to allow for the series to continue, so I'm really going to push for y'all to start reading this comic if you aren't already. It has a lot going for it: a complex protagonist, a great supporting cast and some of the most off beat stories you'll find in this genre of comics. Give it a try. My hope is that you won't be disappointed. I don't think you will.

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6.0
Moon Knight #4

Sep 19, 2006

In The End: Not the worst story I've ever read, but I wish Huston would pick things up a bit. Still, the dialogue was fun and there was a certain mind screw element to the issue that was kind of fun. I'm certain that once this story arc is finished, and I go back and read it all at once, my opinion of the pace will change. On a month to month basis though, and this is a monthly book, it feels like I'm not getting my money's worth and unlike some other comics, there isn't enough to make me go, "Wow, I can't wait for that next issue." Still, there is something to be said for someone willing to take a chance and make Moon Knight cool, and as soon as this first story is over, I have a feeling I'll be less uptight with my feelings towards the writing.

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6.0
Necromancer #1

Oct 11, 2005

In The End: While the story was kind of weak the art was very solid. Say what you will about Top Cow they have some nice looking books even if the plot of this book seemed like it were pieced together after rifling through Joss Whedon's waste basket. I can't articulate why, exactly, but I will track down the next two issues and hopefully I will be proven wrong and treated to a really solid story that will make me want to collect the book full time. I kind of doubt it, but stranger things have happened.

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8.0
Necromancer #2

Dec 21, 2005

In The End: I have to admit; I liked it. I'm not in love with the concept or characters yet but there is definite improvement. The problem with reviewing any book like this is that the story sometimes looks and reads a lot better when it is taken as a whole. Ortega obviously has a plan, and I'm willing to give the series more of a chance than I had previously planned to. My only worry as far as the next issue is concerned is how fast the story is going to wrap up. Then again the ending could be paced just right, I've been wrong before. I can't really believe I am typing this, but I am definitely going to pick up the next issue to see how it all turns out.

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8.0
New Avengers Annual #1

Apr 23, 2006

In The End: I came into this annual with very few preconceived notions, and I ended up enjoying the heck out it. This is quintessential Marvel storytelling. I still have some reservations, but after this annual I am more likely to read the ongoing series. Bendis and crew delivered not only an epic battle that tied into the Avengers past but a very sweet and emotional wedding. New Avengers Annual #1 is the best introductory issue to the team you could ask for and is well worth your time and money.

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8.0
New Avengers: Illuminati #1

Mar 26, 2006

In The End: Between the writing, the art and the idea, this book is well worth your time and money. It is a fantastic story that raises questions and issues for the reader to think about and ponder. I really wasnt expecting too much from this special, but Bendis really surprised me. Alex Maleevs art complimented the relatively quiet nature of the story, and his layouts added to the tension and drama of the piece. This is a great prologue and does a fantastic job of developing interest in the upcoming event. By the end of this story the question is raised: whose side are you on? No matter your answer, things in the Marvel Universe are about to get a lot more interesting.

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8.0
Nightmare on Elm Street #1

Oct 10, 2006

I mean the man wrote an adaptation of The Hobbit. As far as I'm concerned, he can write anything.

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8.0
OMAC Project #5

Sep 16, 2005

Final Thoughts: Man, talk about a bad day. Between what happened to Sasha and the activation of the other O.M.A.C.s, I am really looking forward to the next issue. I don't know about the rest of you, but for me DC has given me that "can't wait to read the next issue" feeling with the comics that I buy. I have not been this excited about the comics I read on a monthly basis in a very long time.

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8.0
OMAC Project #6

Oct 5, 2005

In The End: While this didn't have the huge, epic ending I was expecting (especially after the events of Day of Vengeance), it still worked. Rucka has always gone against what I thought he was going to, but that makes for a better reading experience. There was a lot of heart in this series and Rucka pulled off the dramatic tension of Checkmate, Max Lord and Brother Eye masterfully. The art in this issue was incredible, especially the double page spread of the heroes fighting the O.M.A.C.s.

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4.0
Outsiders #27

Sep 2, 2005

Final Thoughts: I dont so much want my money back as I want an explanation as to why this is what we, as readers, got from Tomasi. It could have been a great story, but the concept was pretty flawed and the execution did nothing to solve this.

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8.0
Outsiders #30

Nov 30, 2005

In The End: I have no idea what this book is going to be like following the whole "One Year Later" event, but for right now, it is a lot of fun. Winick puts a lot of character into his stories, and the villains are always a heck of a lot of fun. I hope that Katana and Captain Marvel Jr. stay with the series for a spell, and I also hope that Clark and Thibert stick around as the art team because this book looks really good right now.

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8.0
Outsiders #31

Dec 21, 2005

In The End This was a great Infinite Crisis crossover. Judd Winick managed to play in that sandbox but retain his own voice. It was obviously a set-up issue and left all kinds of questions that made me want to come back next month. Matthew Clark, Dietrich Smith and Art Thibert's art was fantastic, and I am still enjoying their version of Captain Marvel, Jr.

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8.0
Outsiders #35

Apr 21, 2006

Also the title of this story is a reference to one of my favorite Who songs ever. That made my day right there.

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8.0
PVP #19

Oct 5, 2005

In The End: My favorite character is Skull the Troll, and I have a feeling I am not alone in this. This is a fun strip with likable characters and a writer who rides the line of satire and ridicule beautifully. I never get the sense that he is making fun of the geek culture, though he is definitely poking fun at it and that's what makes this series work. It's nice to see that we can laugh at ourselves once in a while.

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8.0
Rann-Thanagar War #5

Sep 19, 2005

In The End: The space end of the DCU has been re-established nicely. The cast in this series has been fantastic and Gibbons is playing with them well. The ending of this issue is leading, Im guessing, to the final battle that will lead into this series portion of Infinite Crisis. The whole series, from art to writing, screams epic and its nice to see these characters getting some attention after all of these years.

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8.0
Red Menace #1

Dec 8, 2006

In The End: While the pacing was a bit brisk in this first issue, I was rather happy with it. The creative team has set up an interesting story, and I like the feeling that there is more going on than meets the eye. Sure, Walter Winchell and Joe McCarthy could be considered villains in their own right. I have the feeling though that there is a larger villain lurking in the background. As long as the art stays as good as it was here, and the story stays on track, then everything else should work out just fine.

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10
Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead #2

Sep 23, 2005

In The End: What a great book. I really need to go back and track down the first issue. Fiona Avery crafted a great story that kept me interested and never let me down in terms of tone and character. The art team held up its end of the deal as well. This story works very well on its own, but also made me want to buy the next issue.

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7.0
Rock N Roll #1

Nov 27, 2005

In The End: This was a really fun book that would make an excellent short film. There isnt a whole lot to say about the book because on the surface there isnt a whole lot to it. What makes this comic work is that the story is basic enough to suck you in and then you have some really neat looking art to pour through. If you are looking for a deep, meaningful story, I wouldnt pick this book up. If, however, you want a fun, quick read Id suggest giving this book a chance. Its just good, clean, girl saving, demon-killing fun.

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8.0
Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason #1

Dec 19, 2006

In the end I liked what I read. The art was moody and the coloring by Lee Loughridge was impressive as well. The harsh yellow of the Wesley Dodds scenes were contrasted by the somber blues and muted reds of the Kieran sequences which gave each setting its own vibe. I'm not entirely sold on the concept yet because on the surface this book looks very similar to what Rick Veitch and Tony Lee Edwards did with the Question a few years back, which I didn't really care for. The book has my attention though and based on this first issue, I feel it is something I will continue to follow.

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4.0
Season of the Witch #1

Nov 29, 2005

In The End: This book was just as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm sure there is an audience for this material, but it is clear that I am not it.

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8.0
Squadron Supreme #1

Mar 19, 2006

All apologies to the late Mark Gruenwald for that last comment.

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8.0
Squadron Supreme #7

Nov 28, 2006

In The End: That last page made everything worthwhile. I have always been behind the Batman character (in this case the ever awesome Nighthawk) looking at the guy who could literally tear him apart and say, "I'm going to kick your ass." On a rational level, I know it doesn't make much sense, but it works for me nonetheless. Even if there is another two month gap between issues, I think that the wait will all be worth it if Straczynski and crew deliver on the promise of what that last page made. It could go well or it could go badly; as long as it is good and works within the confines of the narrative, I'll be satisfied.

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8.0
Star Wars: Rebellion #1

Apr 24, 2006

In The End: Underneath a fantastic cover was a truly interesting story. I'm glad my hunch about it paid off. The characters were new but had a familiar feel to them. Janek is an interesting protagonist, and it will be interesting to follow his journey. If you're in the market for a new book to buy and were as revolted by the last Star Wars film as I was then check out this book. It removed the bad taste in my mouth that Episode III (Fan 0) had left.

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6.0
Star Wars: Rebellion #2

Jun 1, 2006

In The End: Despite this, I'm going to stick it out. The Imperial side has been established and the Rebel angle has been established so now comes the time for the story proper to begin. All of the ingredients are in place for a fantastic storyline and between Williams' writing and Badeaux's art, I believe that things are only going to improve from here.

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) #2

Sep 30, 2005

In The End: Despite my slight reservations, this was a really fun issue. I liked Loeb's writing but think he should start giving the art team more civilian moments to draw. The whole Luthor (whose armor looked a lot better this issue) sub-plot is being paced out nicely, and I can't wait to see what he has in mind for Kara. And what the heck does black kryptonite do anyway?

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) #4

Feb 14, 2006

In The End: Well, it looks like the action isn't going to let up in the next issue, which isn't a bad thing. My hope is that, like this issue, the conflict in the next has the same kind of balance to it that this issue had. Kara is really coming into her own as a character and Loeb did a better job a fleshing her out. (Insert joke about Ian and Norm showing flesh here.) I realize that the people who don't like the book or the character probably won't be swayed by this issue, but I think that Loeb, Ian and Norm really got back into the game this time around and brought it back up to the standards of their previous efforts.

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) #6

May 8, 2006

In The End: I must be slipping because I stared and stared at the tattoo Kara got (and not just because she was half-naked, it's ink, it does nothing for me), and I still can't figure out what it says. I'm usually on top of these things, so I feel as if I have somehow let myself down. Oh well, life goes on. I am curious to see how Rucka's departure, and Joe Kelly's arrival is going to affect the story. Kelly is a pretty solid writer, but his Superman writing was always hit and miss for me. Again, only time is going to tell, and I guess I'll have to wait until next issue to find out.

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) #7

Jul 10, 2006

In The End: This series has a serious chance of making it. The first storyline was good but a little on the clunky side. I wasn't sure what to think of Candor at first either, but between the revelation made in this issue and the quality of writing and art I am quite satisfied. This issue had enough mystery to keep me intrigued and gave just enough away to satisfy the part of me that is wondering what the heck is going on. This is one of the few ongoing titles I have decided to keep buying and from the looks of this issue, it was a good decision to make.

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) #8

Aug 1, 2006

In The End: Other than that, I was happy with how this story turned out. The art was solid as well. Ron Adrian, along with Rob Lea and Norm Rapmund, kept the slick style that Ian Churchill and Rapmund established in the previous two issues but managed to make it look just different enough to give the art its own feel. This was an interesting arc, and it gives me hope that Kara can sustain her own series. Hopefully the questions regarding her true purpose will be answered soon, and I am intrigued by what her life is going to be like once she gets to wherever she finally settles down.

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6.0
Supergirl (2005) #10

Nov 13, 2006

Then again I could be the only one who feels this way, but I don't think I am.

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8.0
Superman #223

Nov 14, 2005

In The End: The humor and action were balanced just right with this issue. Verheiden wrote a fantastic issue, and I am very keen on his exploration of the Man of Steel. The art is still great, and I am going to be a little sad when Ed Benes ends his run on the series. If nothing else this issue was worth it for the comment Supergirl made about her costume and the Internet, though the Superman-With-Chimps gag was funny as well, especially since someone has gone to all of the trouble of actually producing such a site.

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8.0
Superman #224

Dec 15, 2005

In The End: A tight little issue that really furthered Superman and his arch enemy Lex Luthor. This had to be one of the best single issues of Superman in a long time and had a great ending that held a lot of promise for the next few months. Derenick and Faucher's art was solid, and I especially liked the last page where Superman, renewed from his experience in the desert, flies off to face his enemy with a clear head. I can't say for sure that Superman's rejuvenation will end with him making the right decisions again, but it certainly adds to the dramatic edge to the character.

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8.0
Superman #225

Jan 12, 2006

In The End: Verheiden turned in another solid issue. Superman is definitely back on track and I enjoyed his battle with the fire-powered members of the Society, mainly because it was interesting to see those characters working together. The art was fantastic. Ed Benes and crew really nailed Superman and his cast and while there were, for my taste, a few unnecessary cheesecake shots (like the bent over form of Kelly at the beginning of the issue) the overall artwork was very nice. It was nice that Verheiden and Benes left the book on such a high note, and I am going to miss them despite the fact that I am looking forward to the next chapter in Superman's life after February's Earth-2 interlude.

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8.0
Superman #226

Feb 17, 2006

In The End: Despite the rather odd last page, this was a great book. It was the entire package with a well thought out story, fantastic art and a neat cover that really stands out from the rest sitting on the rack this month. It is also odd to consider that this issue is the end of an era. This is the last issue of this particular Superman title, which is kind of weird since this is one of the first books I regularly collected starting at issue eight. As a send off, it was great, and if the book is going to end it should end on a high note. Joe Kelly and Jeph Loeb, along several talented artists, sent this book off in fine style and you couldn't ask for a better last issue.

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8.0
Superman #650

Mar 24, 2006

In The End: "Up, Up and Away" is off to a fine start, and I get the feeling that this might be one of the best Superman stories in quite some time. Pete Woods did a fantastic job with the art, and I really dug the Dodsons' cover. As a long time reader, I was truly satisfied with this book and think that if you're one of those people who have been sitting on the fence in regards to buying a Superman comic, this is definitely the one to start with.

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8.0
Superman #651

May 2, 2006

In The End: I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the Flea Circus, but as far as first appearances go, it wasn't bad. The real question is how much Kryptonite does one villain need? I guess it is a good thing that there is so much lead in those tunnels because otherwise when Clark gets his powers back he would probably kick off in a hurry. The story is coming along just fine though it hit me in this issue that as nice as Pete Woods' artwork is, I would really like to see some interior art by the Dodsons, but maybe that's just me.

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10
Superman #654

Jul 16, 2006

It has now been a little over a year since DC put out a Superman book I didnt like. It feels really good to be able to write that.

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6.0
Superman Return: The Official Movie Adaptation #1

Jul 10, 2006

In The End: I have to admit that if this wasn't a Superman related book, I would have skipped it. These adaptations do nothing for me. The book was decent for what it was, but because the creative team wasn't given the room to breathe, it suffered. It felt more like DC put this out to cash in on the film. Like last year's Batman Begins, DC also released a trade paperback containing the adaptation and several Superman stories that had some connection to the movie. If you are waffling about which edition to buy, I suggest the trade. For six extra bucks you get some nice Superman stories and the adaptation, so it's a better value.

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8.0
Superman Returns Prequel #1

Jun 12, 2006

In The End: I'm glad DC decided to put this series out. Superman Returns is probably the biggest comic book film of the past six years (just like Superman: The Movie was back in '78), and this series is just the thing to not only promote the film among comic book readers but also to give newcomers a heads up on what has gone before. As a fan of the Richard Donner film, I much appreciated this issue. While I enjoyed Palmiotti and Gray's writing, it was the artwork that sold me on this comic. I cannot express how impressed I was with Ariel's artwork. Like the writing, it had a look all its own with a sprinkling of the familiar. I know I am going to enjoy the rest of this series, but on a deep and personal level I think this issue will be my favorite.

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8.0
Superman Returns: Lois Lane #1

Jul 3, 2006

In The End: I'm really glad that DC decided to put these Prequel books out. Even though the "Lex Luthor" book wasn't the best it could be, it gave readers an idea of what the world has been like without Superman in it. With Lois the background material was very important considering her relationship with Superman, especially in this iteration. Marc Andreyko is such a fantastic writer, and he was the best choice to handle this character. He has such a great handle on female characters as is evidenced by his work on Manhunter. I must also mention that this issue had the best cover out of the four. Adam Hughes' art was very haunting and sad as Lois sits on the roof of the Daily Planet clutching Superman's cape. All in all, a fantastic book, and I definitely recommend you pick it up even if you don't plan on seeing the film.

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8.0
Superman Secret Files & Origins 2005 #1

Dec 26, 2005

In The End: This was not the best of the previous Superman Secret Files and Origins, but it wasn't a total loss. Devin Grayson and Christine Boylan's stories were nice, but the middle story almost ruined the book. On the plus side this book was a nice primer for the Superman books as they stand now and the information given in the secret files provides a clearer sense of what is going on with the characters involved. Even if you are not a regular Superman fan, this book is worth picking up for the introductory story alone.

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10
Superman/Shazam! First Thunder #2

Oct 17, 2005

In The End: This scene between Luthor and Sivana absolutely made this issue for me. Loved it. Absolutely loved it and thought that Winick played it just right. Joshua Middleton's art continues to leave a lukewarm impression, but at the same time I don't have too much to complain about. I like it when a writer ties the various books they work on together and the introduction of Sabbac, which I should have seen coming, does just that.

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8.0
Superman/Shazam! First Thunder #3

Jan 12, 2006

In the End: Some may look at this issue as a simple fight scene stretched over twenty or so pages, but I believe there was a lot more to it than that. Winick has succeeded in looking into the early part of both character's careers and had some fun while doing it. Joshua Middleton's art still isn't my cup o' tea, but I recognize his skill in storytelling. This issue looked a lot better than the previous two and Middleton may be growing on me. Overall, a great read. If you normally dislike Winick's writing, I would suggest checking this story out. It may surprise you.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2003) #27

Sep 13, 2005

Final Thoughts: My God, this was a great issue of Teen Titans. Unlike the recent Outsiders two-part "interlude," this story has started off strong and will hopefully end strong. Gail continues to show that she can get into the heads of her characters and make you feel for them and Rob's art really stepped up to the plate.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2003) #28

Nov 4, 2005

In The End: A nice little story. Gail wrote a two-parter that had a lot of heart to it. I liked the fact that she used Robin as the hook for her story and wouldn't mind to see her deal with the character in the future. Rob's art was really good. A lot of people bemoaned his involvement with this series, but I thought it worked out fine. Between his improvement with anatomy and the coloring, the book looked good, and while it didn't always match up to the emotional context of the story the art worked just the same.

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10
Teen Titans (2003) #29

Nov 29, 2005

In The End: A really nice issue for Tim Drake fans. The what-if scenario of a fight between Jason and Tim played out beautifully and went pretty much the way it should have. The art was fantastic and meshed with the story. All in all a great character story, and I hope the Superboy Prime/Conner story goes as well.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2003) #31

Jan 12, 2006

In The End: I want more Captain Carrot! The tease from this issue and the last are too much for me to bear. Come on, Geoff! Step up and give us an ongoing Zoo Crew series. Actually I am mostly kidding about that last bit. I did, however, enjoy the Zoo Crew interludes and despite not getting the entire story, we were given enough to follow it. Between those pages and the story itself, this was a very enjoyable comic. The last page promised a major confrontation next issue, and I am really looking forward to it. It's Superboy vs. Superboy. Boo yah!

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8.0
Teen Titans (2003) #32

Mar 3, 2006

In The End: A solid crossover and a great story. While the ending was a bit off (I would have liked to have seen more of Superboy fighting against the speedsters dragging him into the Speed Force) I have very few complaints about how this issue went down.

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10
Teen Titans (2003) #34

Apr 18, 2006

The only question I have for Geoff Johns is this; where is Wonder Dog?

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10
Teen Titans (2003) #35

May 8, 2006

In The End: The Doom Patrol. A really awesome looking Doom Patrol. I've never been a huge fan of the team, but this looks like a great line-up. I'm assuming that is Mal in the blue cloak and as far as introductions go, Geoff Johns nailed this one. So far the story arc is coming along nicely, and I am enjoying the characters Johns has brought into the book. With all of the creative shake-ups that happened during "One Year Later," I am very glad that Johns decided to keep this book.

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8.0
Teen Titans (2003) #37

Jul 11, 2006

In The End: Despite those minor points, I am very pleased at the "One Year Later" Teen Titans. This book has been a favorite of mine since its debut in 2003, and three years later, I still look forward to it. It's also nice to see the Doom Patrol back in a likable form, and I hope something is done with them in the future. Tony Daniel and crew provided the right emotional tone in their artwork, and I continue to enjoy their efforts.

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8.0
The Spirit #1

Dec 17, 2006

In the end, I thought this was a strong opening to this series. Cooke and crew came out swinging and delivered a fast paced story that had grotesque villains, a damsel in a dress and a good bit of humor to balance everything out. This book seems like an odd addition to DCs roster of titles, but it stands out as something different from the rest of what the company is publishing and will hopefully serve as a respite from my normal continuity heavy super-hero fare.

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8.0
The Trials of Shazam! #2

Oct 13, 2006

In The End: The last hurrah of Captain Marvel is over, and the trials have begun, which is a rather showy and almost pretentious way of saying, this series is off to a fine start. The concept that Zeus isn't a god but a station is an interesting one and a great take on the Shazam concept. The end of this installment was funny but also had an edge of horror. So far everything is off to a great start, and if things continue in this direction and people actually buy, read and like Winick's ideas there may be a new Shazam series for the first time since 1999.

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8.0
Transformers Spotlight: Hot Rod #1

Nov 24, 2006

In The End: Despite the few moments where I had Mr. Roboto stuck in my head when Furman revealed that the penal colony was named Styx, I liked this book. The art was tight and the story was an interesting ride. Furman gave us a good look at Hot Rods personality, and he definitely transcended the role he played on the animated series.

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8.0
Transformers: Evolution: Hearts of Steel #2

Aug 31, 2006

In The End: IDW has done a lot with the Transformers license, and if they continue to do stories like this, I will continue picking them up. Chuck Dixon isn't the first guy you would think of to write a series like this, and yet he does what any good writer should do: he finds a way. I'm not the biggest Transformer fan on the planet, but I like the property enough to give concepts like this a shot. Hopefully, there will be more projects such as this to come.

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8.0
Ultimate Power #1

Oct 8, 2006

I guess the only real question here is, where do I place my bet that the Squadron Supreme is being mind controlled?

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6.0
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #1

Jul 25, 2006

In The End: I like the fact that Palmiotti and Gray are taking the chance to use this series as a way of looking at what is going on in the world around us. It adds a lot to this series, but it is also such a fine line to walk, and more often than not we as the audience are told what to think rather than leaving it up to us. I'm all for a writer or writers using their personal beliefs to dictate how they handle the characters because that is their right. At the same time when I see someone like Greg Rucka deal with similar themes and give all sides of the issue (and I mean ALL sides) it makes me look at this type of book and think that it could have been better. It's not bad. I liked most of it and am rather taken with some of the cast, but at the same time I don't know if that is enough to save this book.

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4.0
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3

Oct 24, 2006

In The End: You may wonder why I keep banging my head against the wall and continue to buy this series just as I did with Battle for Bludhaven. Well, there is the slim hope that something good will happen, but honestly I have this thing for Golden Age concepts getting modern makeovers, especially if they are DC owned properties. Maybe with the introduction of Black Condor into the cast, there will be a more cerebral aspect to the book. I'm not holding my breath, though. In all honesty, I think that Condor will come off as flat and clichd as the rest of the characters, which is sad and a waste of some good names. Like a lot of other things that came out of Infinite Crisis (like the new Flash series), I'm wondering what the point was because if this was the reason why the Human Bomb and the rest were killed than those deaths have become truly useless and wasted.

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7.0
V.I.C.E. #1

Dec 20, 2005

In The End: This was a fun read. Coleite has put together an interesting cast and hopefully they will be fleshed out a little more. I like Beck and think that this was one of the better character set ups that I have read in some time. Kirkham, along with Hunter and Banning (which sounds vaguely like a law firm), turned in some great art, and you can really tell this is a Top Cow book. If the creative staff can find a better balance between the atmosphere and character, this could turn out to be a fantastic series. Despite the fact that this isn't my normal thing as far as comic reading is concerned, I'm going to see the story through and follow where Coleite and crew take it.

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6.0
Vigilante #1

Oct 4, 2005

In The End: Anyone want to take bets that the next issue has the Vigilante defending his actions? God I hope so. I don't want to have to wait five issues to get the full story. While the issue felt light, it was well written and the art made it all go down smoothly. Hopefully the action will pick up a bit, but the characters are interesting enough to stick around for a few more issue.

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8.0
Vigilante #2

Nov 22, 2005

In The End: I wish the other mini-series that were supposed to come out as part of the "Super Storm" event could have been this good. I realize it is a totally different concept, but I am really digging this book. Jones is crafting a neat little tale and Ben Oliver's art continues to be strong. I am excited to see where the story is going.

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8.0
Vigilante #3

Dec 16, 2005

In The End: The mystery continues, and I am getting a little anxious, which means I am really involved in the story. As I mentioned, I thought I was going to hate this series, but Bruce Jones has really come through with a great story. The art this issue was different, but still maintained the style from the previous two issues. Dustin Nguyen has proven that his penciling skills are just as good as his inking.

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10
Villains United #4

Sep 1, 2005

How would the heroes of the DCU react if every villain in lock up escaped at once?

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10
Villains United #6

Oct 17, 2005

In The End: I'm really glad that there will be another special for this series because I want more. Gail Simone (along with the fantastic art of Dale Eaglesham and Wade von Grawbadger) delivered a knock out series that had more action, suspense, drama, humor and moments that comic fans would like to see than just about any other book this year. This was definitely the best of the four "Countdown" mini-series.

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10
Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1

May 9, 2006

In The End: This was a great story on its own, but it was also a wonderful set-up for the final issue of Infinite Crisis. Again, it was a bit confusing as to why Alexander would assume the Lex Luthor form again after all that had happened and both Black Adam and J'onn J'onnz seemed a bit peppy for men who had been strapped to a massive, reality altering tower, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. Dale Eaglesham, with Art Thibert and Drew Geraci, had the difficult task of drawing a huge cast of characters, but the final result looked great. I thought that this was the best crossover to come out of Infinite Crisis and am looking forward to what comes next for Catman and crew.

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8.0
What If? (2005): Captain America #1

Dec 13, 2005

In The End: I'm not trying to suggest that this was a bad comic or question the noble intent that Tony Bedard had when he wrote the book. I admire his efforts and agree with the themes he wrote about. I just didn't like the fact that the Civil War was the cause of Captain America's creation. The one thing I will applaud is that Bedard was very daring in making this a totally new character with a new raison d'etre. It would have been easy for him to try and shoehorn Cap's origin to the Civil War era, but he didn't. He created his own concept and it was very well written which is why, despite my problem with the philosophical implications of the idea, I give the result .

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8.0
Wolverine Origins #1

Apr 16, 2006

And by forever, I mean changed until the next generation of comic writers and editors decide they want to undo everything. For right now, though, this is an awesome direction to go in.

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10
Wonder Man #1

Dec 10, 2006

In The End: So you have Wonder Man, Beast and Carol Danvers trying to turn a psycho into a productive member of society. Only good things can come from this cast and premise because whenever you put Hank and Simon in a room together, hilarity often ensues. I was also very pleased that Peter didnt make this story relevant and have Neal want to produce a reality show instead of the documentary he proposed. I think this will allow the book to age well and still work five to ten years from now when hopefully the reality show genre will play itself out. Given the inspiration for this story, I dont think things are going to end well for Simon or Ladykiller (who reminds me of the Crazy Eight character Peter created during his first stint on Incredible Hulk), but with the creative talent involved, I have every faith that it will be a solid and sometimes funny read.

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10
Wonder Woman (1987) #220

Sep 23, 2005

Final Thoughts: As much as this issue worked on its own, it was also part of a larger story that has been the best DC has put out so far this year. The art and writing came together for a truly great read and the book really made you feel for Diana whether or not you agreed with what she did.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (1987) #222

Nov 3, 2005

In The End: A great issue. I enjoyed the fight between Wonder Woman and Cheetah, but it would have been nothing without her inner dialogue. Like in Adventures of Superman, there is a lot going on in this book, but Greg is doing a great job of keeping everything interesting and going along smoothly. I am really interested in seeing how Wonder Woman is going to react to her confinement when she is told that Themyscira is being attacked.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (1987) #223

Dec 8, 2005

In The End: A great start to this storyline. Rucka continues to make Wonder Woman an interesting and viable character who is as complex as she is honorable. Some readers may disagree with this, but at the same time it is great in a dramatic sense. Personally, I would rather read a story where I didn't like the character or agree with his or her views who was well written than a character who I agreed with totally who was poorly written. The art in the battle sequences was fast and well paced but still retained the emotion that made it more than just a fight scene. As much as I am looking forward to see how this story plays itself out, I have a feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better.

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8.0
X-Factor Vol. 3 #7

Jun 1, 2006

In The End: This title continues to be at the top of my reading list. Peter David is doing some of the best writing of his career on this title, and he has definitely made it his own. I was amazed to see Ariel Olivetti's name in the credits as the style was very different from the artist's past work. I liked it a lot, but it was so different. Next issue begins the crossover with Civil War. David usually does good work in crossovers, and if his Incredible Hulk issues that were part of House of M were any indication, it's going to be a fun ride, and I'm looking forward to his take on the themes stemming from Civil War.

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8.0
Zombie Tales: Death Valley #2

Mar 16, 2006

In The End: How can you not like a story where a bunch of trapped kids follow the daughter of a military man and shoot a bunch of zombies? Seriously. This was a really fun book that had some scary (or as scared as you can get while not seeing the zombies actually move) moments interspersed with humor and even some family melodrama to make for a great reading experience. This is one of the few times where Ive read the second issue without reading the first and still had a good time.

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8.0
Zombie Tales: The Dead #1

Mar 30, 2006

In The End: This was a rather mixed bag of stories, but it is well worth the cover price. Even if you are not a fan of zombie stories I suggest checking this one out because there are a variety of styles at work. While I wasn't blown away by every tale there was enough to keep me happy as a reader. So go ahead, give it a try. You might find something you like.

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