Michael Colbert's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 57
7.0Avg. Review Rating

8
Astro City: Character Special: Beauty #1

Feb 18, 2008

Now if we didnt have to wait so long for the next one.

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8
Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #3

Oct 17, 2008

Clevinger understands where all the clichs are and nimbly avoids them with smart sharp dialogue, tight pacing, flawless execution and an easygoing charm you cant fake. Wegeners art is distinctive and fun packed with clever detail but still looking like a super cool Saturday morning cartoon. Atomic Robo has quickly jumped to the top of my favorites list. I cant really recommend this book highly enough. Even though the main character is a robot, this book has a heart.

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8
Atomic Robo: Shadow from Beyond Time #3

Aug 3, 2009

"My shameless self promotion site"

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5
Authority: Prime #5

Mar 3, 2008

The Authority is a difficult act to pull off. None have been able to follow the sheer manic weirdness of Mark Millars run and it really makes sense not to try. Gauge has a good sense of action sequences and playing to that strength is a smart decision on his part, he just needs to bring some of that sense of team dynamic to this oddball group of anarchist superheroes.

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7
Blood Bowl: Killer Contract #1

Jun 19, 2008

This isnt your typical fantasy football. Blood Bowl is good bloody fun. Pulling off the tightrope act of embracing and satirizing sports and violence is tricky, injecting goofball fun is even harder. For sheer maniac weirdness it scores points and bullets. The real test will be if Blood Bowl can carry this craziness off the field and into an expanded world. I really look forward to finding out.

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8
Caliber #2

May 26, 2008

For someone who has a general knowledge of King Arthur (like me) the transition to Old West for Arthur is more than passable but I also get the feeling that hardcore scholars will find this book satisfying. In fact if the concept of reinterpreting their beloved legend doesnt drive em kook-koo to begin with there are all sorts of details they could pick apart and debate over. Im sticking around with Caliber because its off the beaten path but also feels familiar (not in a bad way). Im also staying with it because I like the re-imagining exercise and this idea in particular. Sarkar and Gastonny are executing it really well.

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8
Cthulhu Tales #1

Apr 19, 2008

Cthulhu Tales is a welcome addition to the horror comic field--delivering smart, creepy stories for people who have had their fill of zombie books or who have the Cthulhu 2008, Why Settle for a Lesser Evil bumper sticker on their cars.

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5
Cthulhu Tales #3

Jun 19, 2008

Anthologies are hit and miss by nature. While the ratio is skewed toward the miss in this issue I still think Cthulhu Tales demonstrates potential. The time for Cthulhu to rise in the mainstream world is now! The world teeters on the brink of destruction and paranoia is more marketable now than ever. Once Cthulhu Tales refines the stories, figures out its voice, BOOM! will have unleashed a monster.

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8
Dark Reign: Elektra #1

Mar 24, 2009

It is currently unrevealed wither Elektra's silence is a plot element or just a stylistic roll of the dice. Either way it works with the whole team pulling off the tricky concept. It would be F'n cool if Elektra doesn't say a word for the entire story arc! I guess I'll be around to find out.

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6
Deadpool (2008) #7

Feb 7, 2009

Deadpool is Daniel Way's excuse to keep in touch with his inner 14 year old; over the top cartoon violence, cornball humor, and just silly down to its core. It is also one of the few comics where the humor doesn't feel forced and out of place. I wouldn't say everyone will enjoy it; (some folks take their comics a bit too seriously) but "Deadpool" has laughs, action, and a sense of fun - elements that make for great entertainment.

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8
Deadpool (2008) #11

Jun 12, 2009

There are jokes aplenty, cartoon violence, cornball one-liners (which Deadpool shamelessly acknowledges every time), and some deft comic timing. Here's the rub; on the surface the slapstick screams Three Stooges but the machinery underneath says Marx Brothers (at least Groucho and Harpo). Either way Deadpool is delivering a fun time for your dollar, as long as you can laugh at your heroes.

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7
Deadpool (2008) #16

Oct 13, 2009

In comedy, timing is everything and Deadpool is a pretty funny book. Way has always demonstrated a keen instinct for how action sequences work. That instinct translates well into the cartoonish physical comedy that is the core appeal of Deadpool. But Ways humor goes a few steps beyond mere slapstick. It seems weird to say this but the best, funniest elements of Deadpool are derived from character. Were talking Bugs Bunny depth of character but hey, Bugs is funny. Thats why the recent story arc with Bullseye worked so well. In fact Deadpool considers calling Bullseye just because he had so much fun with him...mayhem being a Deadpool definition of fun. The idea of this unstable nutjob irritating someone as serious as Cyclops is just too good of an idea to pass up. Of course the X-Men are on a collision course with the merc with a mouth and the mayhem should be great fun to watch. Deadpool is the rare thing in comics--not only funny but funny for the right reasons.

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7
Deadpool: Suicide Kings #1

Apr 14, 2009

Yeah, there is a lot of Deadpool around at the moment but thats understandable when the character is so much fun to read. Suicide Kings is giving the audience what they want. That its worth the effort means he hasnt reached a saturation point yet.

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3
Dock Walloper #4

May 12, 2008

Essentially, in this issue nobody acts with an ounce of common sense, a key survival trait in the regular world little less the criminal one. The characters basically feel interchangeable; the only thing that distinguishes John from the others is his big right hand. You care little for any of them for that reason. Also, when the script realizes it has nothing to say, a host of goons appear and we jump into an action sequence. I still like the art somewhat, but it's not enough to salvage the near incoherent mess this book has become. The characters in a crime story have to be cunning and have smarts; Even with their fatal flaws and violent behavior, there has to be something in them that the audience can relate to. The only thing John "The Hand" Smith has possessed in Dock Walloper is blind luck. That kind of luck runs out eventually. I have no plans to be there when it does.

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6
Doctor Who #2

Mar 20, 2008

After such a strong start on issue #1, #2 was a bit of a let down in certain aspects, the disposable plot and all, but the charm apparent in this book and the promise of something more sinister on the horizon keeps a derailment at bay. I dont know if this issue would make any new fans but its strengths and weaknesses are readily apparent to the long time fan and I have faith in the Doctor and Marthas ability keep us coming back.

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4
Doctor Who - Cold Blooded War #1

Aug 28, 2009

As metaphor Cold-Blooded War fails. As a decent story the one-shot falls painfully short also. I'll call it a misstep - even good titles have clunkers every once in awhile. Lord knows the Doctor Who TV shows has had its share of stinkers in its decades-long run. The one-shot's biggest sin (aside from making you think it's one thing then delivers something else) is that it could have been a lot more interesting and lived up to the promise of what great science fiction does hold a mirror up to our current world. Sadly though, there is no reflection on its surface.

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6
Doktor Sleepless #5

Feb 11, 2008

Doktor Sleepless aint for everybody, that much is clear but if youre more interested in the future than people getting knocked through walls you should give it a try.

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8
Drone #1

Sep 19, 2009

All sorts of possibilities pop out in my mind of what could happen from what will happen when the military find out what's going on to what happens when David's (the main hacker) mom wants him to take out the trash. Chitwood obviously understands structure; reading this first issue you can sense the wheels clicking into place. Even though I have a sense of where everything will go I'm excited by seeing it unfold and hope for a few surprises. The subversive tweaks, for example, will be gravy to a tasty military SF dish. Drone, in its first issue, comes across as a well researched, creative and thrilling book. I was excited by the 8 pages from free comic book day now, after reading the first issue, I can't wait for the second issue! I'm going to set myself up with Drone when it hits the stores!

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8
Fallen Angel #27

Jun 19, 2008

There might be some J.K. Woodward art here, Im not sure

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8
Gravel #1

Mar 3, 2008

Gravel isnt a quantum leap in Warren Elliss catalogue but really this a character type that he dives into with relish and seems to get the most fun out of writing. The action/horror hybrid rarely works in any medium. Gravel is the rare exception delivering ass kicking and chills in equal measure. He may be a tight-lipped cantankerous badass but as long as this title keeps delivering creepy fun, Im willing to visit Gravel every month.

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6
Gravel #12

Jul 4, 2009

Everything about this book has delivered in spades and its a matter of faith that everything will make sense by the end of the arc. Those that read Gravel for the brutal violence always get their fill. If you read it for the supernatural elements there is no disappointment either. If you love this book for the sharp plotting, hang in there, it looks to be a mess right now but nothing is what it appears to be.

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6
Helix #1

Jan 22, 2009

Crazy Mary is a horror/action hybrid also, by the way.

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8
Midnighter #16

Feb 8, 2008

Thats what makes Midnighter interesting.

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8
Odd Squad #1

Aug 8, 2008

There were several points in Odd Squad that made me chuckle outright, pretty good for being stuck in a Starbucks with a bunch of Hollywood too-cool types. The dialogue is breezy and funny, the plot is fluff but quick paced and fun, and the art (though Im not particularly into the style) has the right pacing and the jokes are perfectly executed. Odd Squad seems to be a rare bird; something that is perfectly marketable and still has an original sense of fun to it.

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9
Planetary #27

Oct 11, 2009

Mind you, I seriously dig the crazy-ass ideas; just the mention of terms like Quantum Foam and Description-theory engine kicks the gee-wiz module inside my brain into overdrive. But there is a big difference between reading Planetary and a paper on black hole thermodynamics, and I'm not just talking about the math. The book wouldn't work if you didn't care about the characters. When Snow states that he's activating the time machine with intent, the intent to save his friend, is where Planetary draws from those deep set heroic roots. Crazy-ass ideas are in the service of excellent story telling. I won't say what happens when the time machine switch is thrown wither Ambrose is rescued or time collapses all I'll say is that the end of this wonderful series is deeply satisfying. I'm sad to see the book end but just like Elijah Snow, there was no compromise. Now if Ellis could get around to doing more of Fell.

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7
Power Pack: Day One #1

Mar 24, 2008

OK, its probably not for your average comic reader, unless youre a die hard fan of Power Pack (no shame in that). But, as stated above, Marvel isnt aiming for you anyway. What you should do is pick this up for a niece or nephew or child of your own in the 7 to 13 age group. It is a great way to introduce them to the characters you love and open up a new adventure for them.

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8
Red 5 FCBD Edition #1

May 1, 2009

Look, you could get The Alpha Flight Saga or The Battle for the Cowl rogues gallery but they really arent going to give you anything new. Yes, the point of Free Comic Book Day is to get people into comics. Since odds are you are already into comics take the opportunity to get into something new and worthwhile. When you look at that shelf of samples and you can only grab one, try the Red 5. You might get addicted all over again.

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7
Runaways (2005) #30

Jun 24, 2008

The inconsistent release schedule made it difficult to get wrapped up in this particular story. Even with the excellent writing and beautiful art, it always seemed to come in as an afterthought in my readings. The time travel plot suffered the most for the inconsistency because there are nuances that get lost when you haven't read the book in 3 months. I'm not hating though. The best way to experience this story would be to go back now and read it straight through or if you're just coming on board (people will hate me for this, but) get the trade. When you do, the well thought out textures and nuance of Whedon's masterful craftsmanship will become readily apparent.

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9
Secret History of the Authority: Jack Hawksmoor #2

Apr 26, 2008

I came into Secret History of the Authority: Jack Hawksmoor with little or no expectations. What Ive gotten (so far) is a great surprise; a work of art that has wildly exceeded any expectations I could have had.

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6
The Authority (2008) #2

Sep 6, 2008

It is the end of the world, after all, and there is no reason why anyone should be feeling fine. Hardcore horror isn't about laughs either, but the trials and tribulations should have a bit more zing to 'em. Think about it, "The Road Warrior" brought a twisted smile when Humongous said "Just walk away." That's the element missing from this book at the moment. Eidolon saying "tastes like chicken" after he consumes a victims life force just doesn't cut it.

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7
The Authority (2008) #5

Dec 11, 2008

Each issue of The Authority has been an improvement on the last. Now that Abnett and Lanning have dealt with the rules of the new Wildstorm universe they are building on it effectively. They also have a really well developed sense of how to stage the action. A particularly effective scene involves one of the fleeing refugees. Stuck in an air duct he begs to be killed before the berserkers can get hold of him. His demise is made all the more gripping for not showing the gory details. The action is swift, tense and has the internal logic necessary to sell it. As for the jarring changes visited upon the Authority, they have always been too cool for their own good. At best they come off as aloof, at worst as total jerks. Their shattered world has washed away all pretenses. What is left is a desperate group of people barely up to the challenge of surviving in this dreadful world. The only choices are hard ones. Its humanizing and humbling. Considering how lost the t

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6
The Authority (2008) #9

Apr 6, 2009

Ive had my doubts about the new direction of the Wildstorm universe but Abnett and Lanning are doing a bang up job. I almost wish they would let some of their ideas breathe a little but that might be at the expense of the breathless pace. I really enjoy the art. Its moody and atmospheric a just the right amount of dirty. I think of the Wildstorm line-up The Authority is the best of the lot.

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6
The Authority (2008) #14

Sep 5, 2009

It must be said that you dont need to know any of the back story to get whats going on here. You get Gamorra right out of the gate and Lorenzo, rocking a Cpt. Biggles of the Royal Air Corp look, doesnt mess around with pleasantries either. Issue 14 isnt really a jump on point either, its basically the second act to this story arc, but for those following along youll do just fine. In truth, the last few issues of The Authority have gotten better, finding its place in this odd world; but, this one didnt move me. I still enjoy The Authority but I want to have more fun with it.

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8
The Boys #15

Feb 8, 2008

I give The Boys issue #15 four bullets. If there was a head being splattered it would be 4.5.

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8
The Boys #17

Apr 4, 2008

The Boys is one of the best comics out there right now. The humor pushes the boundaries of good taste sometimeswell most times. If you want good taste watch Gandhi on DVD, if you want raunchy fun with a knowing wink and comic creators at their devious best read The Boys.

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7
The Boys #19

Jun 9, 2008

Its no secret that The Boys is Ennis best work to date, and keeps getting better.

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7
The Boys #25

Dec 11, 2008

This book continues to demonstrate a versatility that I didnt think possible at first. When The Boys started out it seemed a goof, Garth Ennis being puckish with superhero archetypes. What it quickly became was a writer (and artist) at the top of his game. The world of superheroes is just a playground for Ennis to experiment with genres that otherwise dont fit. The Boys is quintessential Ennis and thats not to everybodys taste. But The Boys apparently can be many things at onceall of them entertaining.

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8
Thunderbolts (2006) #120

May 20, 2008

Its been a long time coming but the return of the Green Goblin pays heaps of dividends. Warren and company have masterfully stoked this fire into a blazing chaotic inferno. The comic has something for everyone. If you dont dig Warrens way with words (inconceivable to me) Deodato and Beredos visual work should bring you to the party. If, for some reason, you havent been reading this book get it for the glorious return of one of Marvels best villains. Then go back and discover what youve been missing these long months. But by all means necessary, get this book.

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6
Thunderbolts (2006) #130

Mar 31, 2009

It may seem like I'm down on Thunderbolts but not really. I think Andy Diggle has a lot of promise and when he can get back to just the T-Bolts things will snap into a better rhythm. The art team is top notch; rich detail in Dazos pencils (though the business could get away from him). Pimentels inks compliment Dazo well and the colors are fun and fiery giving a cool, comic book sheen to everything. I look forward to more from this team. And if Daniel Way ever steps down from writing Deadpool I hope Diggle will be next in line.

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6
Thunderbolts (2006) #133

Jun 30, 2009

Thunderbolts has been enjoyable for quite some time. Diggle expands on the straight up bad guy fest groundwork laid out by Ellis and Gage. Things are only going to get more intense with the addition of mystery Thunderbolt "Scourge" and the re-emergence of Songbird. He's made a smart move by playing the book like a caper flick. The book is tense and fun. When the characters really start popping this book will hit a great stride.

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6
Thunderbolts (2006): Reason in Madness #1

May 6, 2008

The team of Gage, Ben Oliver, Jose Villarrubia and company is proof that a team of people can get something done and done well (basically undermining my cynical stance on group dynamics, oh well). Gage isn't as dark as Ellis, but he knows how to spin a pretty good yarn. His one shots of The Thunderbolts not only set the stage for his taking over the on-going but they, especially Reason in Madness, also prove he's keyed into what makes this team tick

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9
Titanium Rain #1

Aug 7, 2009

Titanium Rain is an amazing book, hands down. The contradictions make the work all the more exciting--its a future alternate-history story. A dense, literate work layered with metaphor and symbolism that is instantly accessible. Its a thrilling war comic with an artistic soul. Its cyberpunk action with a humanistic streak. Its a Bruckheimer-esque thrill ride with an IQ above 130. Its a high-octane pulse-pounding meditation on the nature of the universe. And finally its the best comic you havent read...yet!

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9
Titanium Rain #2

Oct 5, 2009

I really cant recommend this book highly enough. Titanium Rain packs intelligence, action and exceptional production values into one beautiful package. The only drawback is that it's not in stores yet! The first double issue has been delayed (through no fault of the creators) by two months. This issue will follow a month after and the collected edition shortly after. In the conflict between singles and collected editions Archaia seems to be betting on the medium evolving in the direction of collections. Titanium Rain is worth the effort no matter what format you get it in so find it on Amazon or demand it at your comic store now. You wont regret it.

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6
Ultimate Human #2

Feb 26, 2008

The Hulk is such a force in the Ultimate universe its hard for him not to overpower everything else. Its good to see him in a situation where he can be used effectively on both sides of the coin (hero and villain smasher). Since this is the first time these two heavy hitters have squared off its worth the price of admission, but only if you can stand a new beat sampled from something youve heard before.

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6
Ultimate Human #3

Apr 1, 2008

I complained in the review last issue that weve gotten too much talk and not enough smash, the covers promise one thing and the inside gives something else. There is nothing in this issue to change that but I found this issues gabfest much more entertaining. Warrens Peter Wisdom is surly and mean spirited and you know exactly where the whole thing is headed. Im hoping for the big payoff in the last issue but I can only really suggest this story for hardcore Ellis fans.

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6
Ultimate X-Men #95

Jun 17, 2008

This is the second issue in the "Absolute Power" storyline and getting a new writer it always a good place to start. Like I said: if seeing the Ultimate characters diverge sharply from regular universe drives you up a wall, odds are this isn't for you. But odds are you aren't reading the Ultimate titles anyway. If you're looking for some new wrinkles and want to leave your safety zone, this might be a good time to jump on.

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6
Wolverine: Dangerous Game #1

Jun 3, 2008

Dangerous Game is no great shake, but if you're a hardcore fan, a completist, or getting the issue for the art, you could do worse. If it were just "Tally Ho" my rating for this issue would have been 2 bullets, but "Purity" and the way it addresses higher issues raises the whole project another notch.

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8
X-Factor (2005) #31

May 27, 2008

Its a sad thing to see Arcade story arc end. His particular shtick could be more relevant now than ever. But there is more than enough reason to hang around because Peter & Co. consistently deliver a book that is engaging, entertaining and masterfully crafted.

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7
X-Force (2008) #1

Feb 19, 2008

In conclusion it will be interesting to see where Kyle and Yost take this book, if it will be more surface or depth. Till that time you can enjoy the gorgeous art and the sheer enjoyment of watching bad X-asses doing what they do best.

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6
X-Force (2008) #15

Jun 2, 2009

This is chapter five of "Messiah War" and odds are youre either on-board or not by this point. In every review I've done for X-Force I always point out that its the big budget summer movie of X-titles and I would be remiss if I didnt do so now. Once again, this isnt a bad thing; Kyle and Yost hit all the right notes at all the right times. Just check out the full page shot of Cable with his big guns striding melodramatically into the source light saying, "Give me the girl, Stryfe." It sums up all you need to know about what makes X-Force work. Low Art? Debatable. Visceral and fun. You betcha!

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8
X-Force Special: Ain't No Dog #1

Jun 10, 2008

Jefte Palo & Lee Loughridge's art is amazing, and even if it wasn't paired with a cool as hell story, it would make the comic worth buying. Their brutal pop art might get exhausting over an extended period, but they've doled out the perfect amount this time. I'd love to read more from Charlie Houston, especially handling Wolverine. He has some really cool moments here. "Hunters and Killers" is a nice contrast in mood and tone but still delivers a satisfying "X-Force" experience. Assuming you can handle the level of violence (and if you are an X-Force fan, I'm pretty sure you can), these two stories are worth the effort and money. It's cool to experience X-Force in other hands; as much as I liked "Enemy of the State," "Children of Men" was a much more rewarding experience.

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7
X-Men Origins: Colossus #1

May 13, 2008

What motivates Peter Rasputin to become an X-Man are his family and his desire to make a better world for his baby sister. Chris Yost clearly defines this motivation in a believable and well structured story. He also smartly plays off of our knowledge of Peter's future to make his choices even more poignant. The book has a sense of continuity, a solid command of tone and atmosphere and a gentle melancholy heart. Peter's transition from Russian farm boy to X-Man makes sense. What more could you ask from an origin book?

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8
X-Men: Legacy (2008) #215

Sep 2, 2008

Carey's writing is consistently at a level that most scribes in this medium could only hope for. X-Men: Legacy has been sharp, tightly plotted, well read, and exciting. The bigger themes have had time to build momentum and seem to be reaching an exploding point with the Cyclops/Xavier confrontation. Legacy means "A gift given to someone after death." Xavier has had his death; now he's trying to understand the gift he's left to the X-Men. The new title seems fitting after all.

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8
X-Men: Legacy (2008) #225

Jun 19, 2009

It isnt whimsy that Xavier returns to the Acolytes. This is where Carey started Xaviers new adventures and all of his experiences have brought him back to have a final word and start again...full circle. This issue creates a nice symmetry and is thematically satisfying. The book can now head into a new direction.

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7
Young X-Men #4

Jul 8, 2008

Issue #4 goes long way in firming up this book. It's been "good" up to this point, but now that the plot elements are paying off, the ranking has moved up to "Damn good." Marc Guggenheim knows what he's doing, and he's got an art team that gets better together with each outing. Yes, you're being teased, but what fun is a story where everything is laid out at the beginning? Did I say something is amiss in the X-world? I'm mistaken: everything is right on track.

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7
Young X-Men #5

Aug 19, 2008

For a website with more questions than answers: "Who is Crazy Mary?"

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6
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction #2

Oct 4, 2008

Still, formula is fun if executed right. Once B-A-KM Drake gets after Zombie Aero the fun juice should start flowing again. At the moment though the jury is out on whether ZMD is the kinky / goofball fun of Commando or the tired / by the numbers exercise of Red Heat.

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