Mike McLarty's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Major Spoilers Reviews: 38
6.5Avg. Review Rating

8
27 #1

Dec 7, 2010

How far would you be willing to go to have magic in your life? For $3.50 and a little luck, you can have a taste within the pages of 27 this Wednesday. If your local shop has it in stock, I recommend adding it to your stack. If they're sold out, pre-order the inevitable 2nd or 3rd printing. Or you can try to acquire it on the secondary market for multiples of its original cover price. 27 earns 4 out of 5 stars.

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5
Abattoir #1

Oct 28, 2010

Abattoir earns 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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10
Aquaman (2011) #1

Oct 2, 2011

While Johns is certainly not the first creator to make a good Aquaman book (Peter David, Will Pfeifer), he's certainly the highest profile writer to throw his hat in the ring, endeavoring to make Aquaman an A-List character. This has all the makings of a juggernaut, and for that reason, Aquaman #1 earns a very rare 5 out of 5 stars.

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8
Avengers Academy #9

Feb 22, 2011

Since I am not a regular reader of the various other Avengers books (I tend to shy away from Bendis' $3.99 price points, but I digress) it's impossible for me to legitimately say this is the best Avengers book on the stands. I can tell you that it's currently the only Avengers title I actively pursue. Gage has created a solid niche for himself with Avengers Academy and if you're a reader who's looking for some character depth in your comics reading experience, I suggest you give this a try. Avengers Academy earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

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8
Batgirl (2011) #1

Sep 10, 2011

To summarize, Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl, but healing is a lengthy process. She's been through a lot and we're sure to see her continue to face her demons. I have to imagine that Simone is keeping a confrontation with The Joker in her back pocket. While that is certainly a match-up for the ages, we'll need to give The Mirror some more time to grow on us. In the meanwhile, it's great to see Batgirl still smiling and enjoying herself at times within the story. Just how much she'll have to smile about after the conclusion of this cliffhanger remains to be seen. Batgirl #1 earns 4 out of 5 stars.

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3
Brimstone #5

Oct 15, 2011

I'm still trying to figure out how 2 writers can turn out a book with 350 words and such subpar storytelling. It might be worth mentioning that the same 2 writers are also listed as the book's editors. Like zombie apocalypses, writers editing their own work doesn't generally turn out real well. Some of the artwork is not bad to look at, but besides those few panels, I would recommend you save your $3.25 and the 5-minute reading investment. Brimstone #5 earns 1.5 out of 5 stars.

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5
Charmed #13

Oct 14, 2011

If you consider yourself a serious fan of the Charmed property, then there are some familiar faces ready to share new adventures. The Charmed universe is full of great storytelling potential and I think that Zenescope was smart in obtaining this license. While this issue doesn't personally excite me, I can see some value here, earning Charmed #13 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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6
Charmed #14

Oct 17, 2011

This would not be out of place as a regular episode of the Charmed TV series. It would easy for me to hear the character's voices in my head as portrayed by the original actors for which this comic is based. Charmed #14 earns 3 out of 5 stars.

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9
Crossed: Family Values #7

Feb 7, 2011

Look, this book is messed up. You will see things that you are unlikely to ever forget. Some of the most disgusting and deviant scenarios will cause you to question the merit of such storytelling devices. If you have the fortitude to continue forward, you'll find that the scenes in fact, serve the story. It's an unsavory path, but the journey is sure to evoke your emotions. For my money, this is one of the best mature properties being produced in comics. If you dare, I highly recommend Crossed: Family Values #7, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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4
Daredevil: Reborn #2

Feb 28, 2011

Unfortunately, Daredevil: Reborn is the only place you can find current stories about Matthew Murdock. The Black Panther has taken over the Man Without Fear title, working a well-tread boot into the collapsed corpse of the Daredevil franchise. We're a long way away from the days of when Daredevil was led by top-tier creative talent. When you factor in mediocre art, one-dimensional storytelling and the fact that this is a $3.99 book, I cannot recommend this book. Daredevil: Reborn earns 2 out of 5 Stars.

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7
Darkwing Duck #5

Oct 22, 2010

Brill has more than proven his writing prowess with the first 4 issues of Darkwing Duck. This issue may not have all the powerfully creative elements of this arcs predecessor, but it remains a thoroughly enjoyable read and a jewel in the crown of BOOM! Studios. This issue earns 3.5 stars out of 5.

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9
Deadpool Max #1

Oct 11, 2010

Any comic that has one of our protagonists nearly killed over crumpets gets my vote of confidence. Deadpool Max #1 earns an anything but respectable 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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2
Deadpool Max #2

Nov 21, 2010

As much as I revered issue 1, I loathed issue 2 and that's a shame. There is too much potential being wasted for me to consider continued reading of this book. I wholeheartedly recommend that you pass on this issue and save yourself a nasty reading experience. This 'earns' a paltry 1 out of 5 stars.

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2
Fly #4

Oct 14, 2011

Let's assume this is very early in the career of Raven Gregory and Eric J (wonder if there's a reason he doesn't use his entire last name?) and that they are earnest in their love of comics creation. Perhaps future output will benefit from the practice that these pages provided. In the meanwhile, Fly #4 earns 1 out of 5 stars.

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8
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1

Apr 3, 2011

If you're of the age when Sunday mornings included a man in a green rubber suit trampling miniature sets and wading through ponds, then Godzilla "" Kingdom of Monsters is worth your attention, earning a respectable 4 out of 5 Stars.

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7
Grimm Fairy Tales #64

Oct 16, 2011

Grimm Fairy Tales #64 is coming in at the tail end of a worthy crossover story, The Dream Eater Saga. I'm intrigued enough to keep my eyes open for the eventual collected edition. In the meanwhile, get a taste of what this team has to offer. Grimm Fairy Tales #64 earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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5
Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths and Legends #8

Oct 18, 2011

Unless you have a strong penchant for mermaid stories, there's nothing terribly read-worthy within these pages. Some of the bubbling-under story elements may pay off dividends later in the series, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Grimm Fairy Tales Myths & Legends #8 earns 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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9
Hellraiser #1

Mar 28, 2011

Along with Freddy Kruger and Jason Vorhees, Pinhead is one of the most influential monsters birthed in the last 30 years. Where the sequels have squandered the inherent terror of the Hellraiser franchise, your comics shop is ready to reintroduce you to the revitalized horror contained within these pages. Top quality horror comics are almost as rare as new product offerings from Barker. Combine the excellence of this book along with Barker's undeniable pedigree, and Hellraiser #1 earns 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

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9
Incorruptible #13

Dec 20, 2010

If you're looking for an intelligent examination of heroism and the impact that choices make in our lives, Incorruptible #13 offers you a great reading experience. New readers should have no problem acclimating themselves to Waid's unique take on superheroes. Incorruptible #13 earns 4.5 out of 5 stars, my highest review ranking of the year.

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10
Joe The Barbarian #8

Mar 8, 2011

Morrison and Murphy have created a wonderful book. After 3 readings I know that there's a final 20% of deeper thematic value that will require at least one future browsing to decipher. I'm pretty sure there is a Frank Zappa theme present, but I may just be digging too deep. Joe's Garage is the name of one of Frank Zappa's best-known albums. The term 'Mother of Invention' is used many times throughout the series, which is also the name of Zappa's band. He even has a song that references a barbarian. Add to that Zappa's surrealistic, non-conformist stylings, perhaps Morrison feels a kinship with the underground cult musician. Regardless, I will be purchasing the collected Hardcover when it's released in September of this year. Joe The Barbarian #8 earns 5 out of 5 Stars.

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5
Marijuanaman #1

Apr 20, 2011

If this were an oversized, 48 page $5.99 floppy, I'd encourage the Major Spoilerites to give it a try if you're looking for something outside of the box. However, at the inflated price point, consumers should preview the contents before sparking the bowl, so to speak. Marijuanaman is a fun exercise and if your budget allows for it, you may want to take a hit "" Marijuanaman earns 2.5 out of 5 Stars.

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6
Memoir #1

Jan 23, 2011

MEMOIR #1 (1 of 6)Writer: Ben McCoolIllustrator: Nikki CookLettering: Tom B. LongCover: John CassadayPublisher: Image ComicsPrice: $3.5010 years ago a mysterious event left the townspeople of Lowesville without any memory of who or where they were, or what happened to cause the phenomenon. Journalist Trent MacGowan elects to take on an immersive assignment that takes him to this unusual little town in Middle America. His goal is to get to the bottom of the town's strange history so that hey can uncover the truth about what really happened, if anything, 10 years ago in Lowesville.On The ProwlBen McCool gives us a glimpse into the background of our story by having MacGowan interviewed by a fellow TV newscaster. What ensues is a relatively pedantic information dump, bolstered by an undercurrent of sexual tension between the interviewer and interviewee. While this does inform the reader of MacGowan's predatory sexual appetites, this information doesn't seem to actively serve the story. To

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4
Mysterious Ways #1

Jul 12, 2011

The story and dialogue are bad, so how's the art? Tyler Kirkham has drawn plenty of fine-looking comics. No, this is not one of them. Instead we have a juxtaposition of styles, all drawing from some of the least-attractive stylistic crutches from each artistic inspiration. Tons of cross-hatching seems to draw inspiration from the work of David Finch. Some of the exaggerated body design has a strong Todd McFarlane influence. Much of the perspective and depth of field is off and the main penciling influence that comes to my mind is Stephen Platt. Like I said, this book belongs in the early to mid '90s.Bottom Line: Save Your $3.99

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7
Red Mass for Mars #1

Nov 15, 2010

This is a good book that had all the makings of being great. If you're a fan of space epics, dense storytelling and intricate line work, you could do much worse than buying a copy of Red Mass For Mars. I always enjoy reading Hickman's work and this collected edition earns 3.5 stars out of 5.

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8
Ryder on the Storm #1

Oct 8, 2010

Ryder On The Storm earns an impressive 4 out of 5 stars.

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6
Shazam! #1

Feb 1, 2011

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4
Skullkickers #1

Sep 22, 2010

Some positive elements are present and need to be mentioned. Huang and Stevens share penciling duties and I can honestly say that the artwork remained seamless throughout the book. You also get a boost in your dollar value with the inclusion of back matter. Sketches and behind the scenes thought processes are shared and it's obvious to tell that the creators are very enthusiastic and passionate about this project. Unfortunately, enthusiasm and extra pages didn't combat my overall lack of enthusiasm for the book. It should also be noted that any humor elements completely escaped me.For those who enjoy manga-influenced art and a linear sword and sorcery story made up of very familiar themes, this may resonate more strongly with you. This earns 2 out of 5 stars.

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6
Superboy (2010) #1

Nov 8, 2010

As a first issue, this does very little to whet my appetite for future monthlies. This is a straightforward superhero comic that doesn't seem very compelling. In a marketplace full of superhero books, I'm not sure what readers will find within the pages of Superboy that will make them want to come back for more. Superboy #1 earns 3 out of 5 stars.

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8
Superior #3

Dec 24, 2010

A compelling story and an obvious love of all things super, Superior #3 earns 4 out of 5 stars.

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4
Superman (2011) #1

Oct 2, 2011

The story is interesting and it seems clear that the creators are putting a lot of effort into making these 20 pages a worthwhile reading experience. Unfortunately, Perez's writing chops are nowhere near as strong as his pencils. A good editor could probably spend a good chunk of time trying to mold him into a more competent scripter. But, with so many brilliant writers in the world of comics, I have to wonder why DC Comics would set up a living legend to fail. Superman #1 barely earns 2 out of 5 stars.

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7
Swamp Thing (2011) #1

Sep 11, 2011

If there's anyone who's earned a shot at Swamp Thing, it's Scott Snyder. He's proven himself time and again as a gifted storyteller. I hope that Swamp Thing's reintroduction into the regular DC Universe does not hobble Synder's creative palate. This issue did a reasonable job at bringing Alec Holland back to the land of the living and it appears that his adversary is going to be epic. Swamp Thing #1 earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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6
The Spider #1

Mar 15, 2011

All in all, this is not a bad comic. If you're looking for some pulpy zombie noir and are willing to leave your brain at the door, this is worth thumbing through. The Spider #1 earns 3 out of 5 Stars.

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7
The Theater #1

Oct 16, 2011

The Theater #1 makes an admirable contribution to the ever-expanding world of apocalyptic zombie comics fiction. The writing and artwork is strong, and the real-world movie theater setting evokes feelings of Creepshow, Twilight Zone, and other examples of the genre. The Theater #1 earns a respectable 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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7
Valkyrie #1

Sep 30, 2010

The art provided by Winslade is strikingly beautiful. His work carries flashes of Steve Epting, Butch Guice and Mike Deodato Jr. The title page clearly states that this story takes place between the events of Avengers Disassembled and Secret Invasion. This leaves me with the impression that this is not a very current representation of the character and it makes me question how much further Valkyrie has evolved or for that matter, possibly devolved. Having not read Secret Avengers, I'm not privy to her current portrayal in the Marvel Universe. However, the strength of this issue elicits enough interest to make me want to find out more.Rating: This earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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8
Wolverine (2010) #1000

Feb 13, 2011

In his Twitterfeed, C.B. Cebulski, Marvel Comics Senior Vice President, Creator & Content Development encouraged new writers to review Wolverine #1000, saying that potential scribes should ""check out such anthologies to see what kind of stories publishers are looking for from newcomers." He went on to say""new writers should always remember that short stories are how you will most likely break into Marvel & DC." Finally, he instructed new writers to train themselves by writing 8 and 11 page stories, introducing characters & conflict while telling a clear, concise story with a middle, beginning and end.

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8
Wonder Girl (2011) #1

Jan 15, 2011

Writer: J.T. KrulPencils: Adriana MeloInks: Mariah BenesLetters: Sal OprianoColors: Marcelo MaioloEditor: Rachel GlucksternCover: Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood with Jason WrightPublisher: DC Comics$2.99 Lamenting the fact that her life is completely focused on being a member of the Teen Titans, Cassie makes a conscious decision to step outside the shadow of Titans Tower in order to take a much-needed break. Her journey takes her on a trans-continental journey to the shores of the United Kingdom for an archaeological conference attended by her estranged mother.Girls Just Want To Have FunWithin minutes of her arrival at the conference (three, to be exact), mother is already treading into familiar territory, critical of her daughter's predilection to embrace her inner superhero. By page four, Cassie's had enough of the tension and elects to extract herself from a tedious lecture regarding sifting techniques and flotation principles.Krul has devised a compact character study on Wonder Gir

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7
X-Men: Schism #1

Jul 21, 2011

The creative team puts in a solid performance. The art is pretty to look at and the characterization makes the book a pleasurable reading experience. However, there are some pretty sizeable plot holes (I've mentioned a few above) and our new villain just doesn't project the intended threat level. Finally, the pricing on this book is out of the ballpark of reasonability. Marvel continues to lose my patronage thanks to the schism between their perception of value and mine. X-Men: Schism earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars. If the pricing remains consistent for future installments, I will wait until the collected edition is offered so that I can find out how everything finally pans out.

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6
Xombi #1

Mar 21, 2011

I admire what this book sets out to do, but the final product doesn't do much to compel me to make future purchases. It reads like Morrison-lite and although the art is pretty to look at, the story never really gets its footing. Xombi #1 receives 3 out of 5 stars.

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