Paul Montgomery's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: iFanboy Reviews: 40
8.3Avg. Review Rating

10
Batman (2011) #3

Nov 16, 2011

Batman has been patrolling the night for decades, so long that you'd think the entire concept had been mined to exhaustion long ago. Snyder more than manages to find unexplored avenues in darkest Gotham and contribute new levels of complexity to one of the greatest urban legends to slink out of its shadows.

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10
Batman (2011) #4

Dec 21, 2011

Call it hyperbole if you like, but this is another Batman story–the second in 2011–that we'll be talking about for quite some time.More of this, please. Until the Devil comes to collect. And then I hope there's some stashed in a drawer somewhere.

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10
Batman (2011) #6

Feb 15, 2012

Maybe I have Downton Abbey on the brain–okay, I definitely do–but I heard Dame Maggie Smith's voice in those final pages. I think we've got the makings of Snyder's scariest villain yet. Which is, ya know, saying something.

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10
Batman (2011) #7

Mar 21, 2012

Snyder and Capullo haven't so much changed the face of Gotham. No, they've altered it's brain chemistry. Batman will eek out a kind of victory, but there's very little promise for celebration. This is going to leave a mark.

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10
Batman (2011) #13

Oct 11, 2012

It's evident that this is the start of something special. That the entree has been well worth the wait. It's not just another Joker tale with a clever twist on the clown motif. This goes deeper. A character study. A series of them in fact. A long game. The writing is beautiful and sinister with allusions to past classics and a chilling invocation of Peter Pan and his shadow and his Darlings. That we only see the Joker revealed in the final page teases at the level of suspense and horror to be had throughout the rest of the tale. Brash young Damian is unimpressed at the prospect of the villain's return, but this is the kid at the campfire laughing off the urban legends of escaped mental patients with hooks for hands waiting in the wings. There's already a substantial body count. The Joker has reclaimed his face and gathered up his portents. And he's just started one mother of a knock knock joke.

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10
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #1

Nov 1, 2011

The Apes have evolved. It was a wonderful if uneven franchise to start, but this team has more than restored the luster. Maintaining the perfect balance of camp and retro thrills with a perfectly modern legal suspense plot, it's science fiction at its smartest.

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4.0
Casanova: Avaritia #1

Sep 6, 2011

I've found myself mesmerized by complex metaphysics from the likes of Morrison and Ellis, though those instances always came with the understanding that there was true substance behind all the concepts. Here, it comes off as hollow. Depthless. The art is far muddier and inconsistent than other recent projects to which Ba has contributed, especially lately. There are a few laudable images, including a brief 3D sequence and a Mignola-esque page associated with "spatiotemporal holocausts" but nothing feels as lovingly polished as Daytripper or Umbrella Academy. Minus the lingo and assumed swagger, the Emperor"not unlike Cas throughout much of the issue"has no clothes.

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8.0
Daredevil (2011) #4

Sep 20, 2011

A bit of a breather since last week, but Daredevil #4 sustains the consistent level of quality in one of Marvel's most entertaining ongoings. If you've yet to pick up the first three, this is as good a place as any to start.

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9.0
Daredevil: End of Days #1

Oct 2, 2012

That Marvel's modern survey of Hell's Kitchen never quite tracked with the gentrified real-life neighborhood has amused New Yorkers for years. As an outsider, I'm not sure if Bendis' and Maleev's and Janson's or even Miller's depiction of Midtown West is any more truthful than Waid's and his artist's. I don't know if gentrification is holistic, if the spirit of a place can ever truly be exorcised for good or ill even if every brick is replaced. Is Bendis and Mack's Daredevil more honest than Waid's? It's almost certainly not as simple as that. In a way, maybe each chapter in Matt Murdock's life is equally brimming with deceptions and realizations. Burning down his ruins and rebuilding something new and wondering why it never quite feels like sanctuary.

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8.0
Fatale #1

Jan 4, 2012

While not as inventive as past collaborations, Brubaker and Phillips dish out more of the good stuff and you'll want to get familiar.

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8.0
Heart #1

Nov 1, 2011

Heart #1 might not leave you itching to find an MMA bout on cable if you're not already a fan. It's also too soon to suggest it introduces a colorful new hero with a rich history. But as a clinic on cartooning, and on crafting a journey, I think it has a lot to offer. Butler's is absolutely a voice to watch, and though I don't want her to quit her day job as a reviewer, I definitely want to read more of this kind of thing as an expansion upon it.

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7.0
Huntress #1

Oct 6, 2011

With five issues remaining in the mini, there's also plenty of space to explore the events that led to Helena's outlook, but even if that's left off the table I'm very interested in going along for the ride. The verdict's still out on the anatomical possibility of a certain kick, but otherwise Marcus To offers some wonderful pencils, skipping no beats between action sequences and Roman holiday aesthetics. Perhaps most importantly, scenes involving nighties and smuggled prostitutes never traipse into inappropriate cheesecake territory.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (2011) #1

Oct 25, 2011

Solicit information has insured that the split and conflict between Hulk and Bruce Banner is hardly a secret. The theme of this first arc, "Asunder" gravitates around this rift between man and monster. It's actually the Banner plot that felt most surprising and inspired. And as interesting as Aaron's take on the Hulk is, the status quo he's established for Banner and his Island of Dr. Moreau base of operations is the fuel providing the most momentum. Simple as the concept seems, the Hulk is many things for many readers. For casual fans of the character, this new direction seems like a return to the clear objective and focus of the celebrated Planet Hulk, finally delivering the green Hulk to the status and level of quality enjoyed by Jeff Parker's red Hulk offering. Recommended.

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10
Indestructible Hulk #1

Nov 19, 2012

And there you are. Moses and poop. All the bases.

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9.0
Jim Henson's Tale of Sand #1

Dec 23, 2011

Tale of Sand isn't the farthest-reaching fantasy in Henson's legacy, but it also isn't meant to be. It's a personal expression of an artist's anxiety and drive. It was designed to be an experimental film. But in the decades since its conception, new avenues have opened. New artists like Ramon Perez have sprung up. And this screenplay may just have found more resonance than it ever could with a simple change of venue and new collaborators. Seems fitting. That's what rainbow connections are all about.

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9.0
Jim Henson's The Storyteller #1

Dec 13, 2011

I highly recommend you pick this one up. But don't expect it to find a place on your shelf. This one goes on nightstands. And when it's spent some time there, it travels. Great stories are meant to be shared.

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10
John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1

Sep 13, 2011

This is a big week in an even bigger month of books. I know you have a lot on your plate. But if this looks even remotely like something you might enjoy, I implore you to take the plunge. Let's ring in the 100th birthday of John Carter and Dejah Thoris with much more than a notice from Willard Scott and a Smuckers jar.

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8.0
Journey Into Mystery #646

Nov 20, 2012

Without giving too much away, that's Sif undergoing something of a transformation. It's a shocking direction, one that might spell a departure from all I've said of the character's behavior up to this point. In the end, I suspect it might bolster that characterization. Until then, Sif's going to display a whole new attitude.

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8.0
Jupiter's Legacy #1

Apr 23, 2013

As for Quitely, he's showing impeccable restraint here. It's clean. It's rigid in a way that suggests a ticking clock. The violence in Jupiter's Legacy isn't entirely off panel, but so much of it is merely suggested. That's not necessarily what we've come to expect from Millar or Quitely, and that makes the subtlety all the more engaging.

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5.0
Justice League of America (2013) #1

Feb 21, 2013

There is potential for improvement in so much as there is plenty of room for it. We also know Johns was once capable of spectacular entertainment, and I like to think he still, very much, is.

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10
Locke & Key: Clockworks #4

Feb 2, 2012

This issue is slightly weighted with exposition, but it's all handled so deftly. By issue's end, I felt like I knew much more about this strange tragedy of friends and family. But I was also left with so many tantalizing questions about the future of these wonderfully realized characters. As ever, Gabriel Rodriguez's interiors are absolutely tremendous, each panel resplendent in detail. Perfect compositions. Clues. Easter eggs. And never at the loss of storytelling precision. No book looks so good and read so well with this kind of consistency.

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8.0
Magneto: Not a Hero #1

Nov 8, 2011

Though it's not another origin story, it seems that this book has the same potential for insightful character study as DC's Penguin: Pain & Prejudice. We love great and monstrous villains like The Joker and Thanos, but some of Marvel's most compelling baddies of late are the newly reformed like Magneto and young Loki. In the wake of Schism, the X-Men world isn't quite gray"Jason Aaron's Wolverine and the X-Men proves that, tonally"but let's call it morally complicated. Just look at these rosters. Emma Frost and Magneto are role models and a Brood is comic relief! That makes the conceit of this limited series a very welcome examination of one of Marvel's most tantalizing course changes. And the execution is, oh what the hell, magnetic.

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8.0
Mind the Gap #1

May 1, 2012

It's all about suspicion at this point, but one suspects that Mind the Gap is rich with potential for strange, sophisticated mystery. And who wouldn't mind a little more of that?

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8.0
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1

Nov 28, 2012

But we might've pretended she could by noting the gleam in that sticker that served as her eye. The one on the downturned side facing the shingles, presumably. Again, the weather.

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7.0
Nemo: Heart of Ice #1

Feb 27, 2013

Compelling as Janni is, the men who surround her and pursue her simply don't resonate so much as the former Nemo's unseen ghost. That's fine and may well be the point. But the decision to excise League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the title seems appropriate. There are no Hydes or Invisible Men in this tale. This is a Nemo story. I only wish she had as captivating foils as Mina enjoyed. As expansive a journey too.

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4.0
New Avengers (2010) Annual #1

Sep 6, 2011

This jaded Wonder Man angle is an inspired one, but whatever verve the story may have had is diluted by rough, inarticulate visuals and a script that lacks the crispness of Bendis' best. It's also unclear as to how Simon's ire escalated to this point, though time will tell if the wanton destruction playing out in this storyline is inspired by a third party's possession of the fallen hero or Bendis truly believes Wonder Man could take things this far. Played for satire, the opening sequence might've made for genuinely subversive comedy, an introspective jab at Avengers history and the absurdity of fan criticism. As it is, it feels like misplaced anger and posturing without the necessary irony.

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8.0
Nova (2013) #1

Feb 20, 2013

With a solid foundation on the likable, thoughtfully drawn Alexander family, Nova has the potential for greatness. It's not likely to offer the same inventive space opera elements as Abnett & Lanning wrought while in command of Marvel Cosmic (in fact, Loeb has openly rejected Marvel Cosmic as a pocket unto itself, preferring to extend those characters amnesty into the larger Marvel Universe). The human element is crucial though, and if Loeb and company can maintain those relationships and build upon them with the growing cast, Nova could generate stories as inviting and compelling as what Bendis has cultivated with Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. In a market inundated with darker material, this is welcoming refreshment.

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8.0
Peter Panzerfaust #1

Jan 13, 2012

There's still a brief window to pre-order this one. I recommend checking in on the ground floor, because it's positioning itself as one of the most compelling stories of the new year. Whether you believe in fairies or not.

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8.0
Pigs #1

Sep 13, 2011

Pigs #1 asks a great deal of its audience, extending a hand still dripping red. Our protagonists are bona fide terrorists. But here's the thing. I'm eager to know why they've chosen this path, or how readily. We're looking at a slow burn from absolute zero. It looks to be worth the sizzle.

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8.0
Prophet #21

Jan 19, 2012

This one clobbered me over the head. Weird science fiction with a big W. This one's gonna keep me warm in the absence of Orc Stain, and I'm pretty excited about the roster of artists set to guest on the book. Ignore the number on the cover and get ready to ride out the beginning of the world's end.

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4.0
Savage Wolverine #1

Jan 15, 2013

Even if you're looking for a simple plate of cheesecake, there are simply better options available.

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10
Shooters #1

Apr 13, 2012

We appreciate our soldiers and what they do so that we might rest easily. It's only fair, only just, that we consider what might keep them up at night as a result. Here's hoping not many of us ever have to feel that so intimately, but here's promising we won't forget, won't take for granted, that there are those who have to. Who choose to. Who do.

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7.0
Swamp Thing (2011) #4

Dec 7, 2011

So, we're saying, patience, grasshopper. Talk to your plants. Sing to them. And that bulb's gonna sprout and unfurl and blossom like you won't even believe.

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10
The Manhattan Projects #1

Mar 7, 2012

The Manhattan Projects is off to a tremendous start, one of the big concept author's strongest, most inventive opening chapters. Nothing is certain. Except infinite possibility.

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10
The Massive #1

Jun 13, 2012

The Massive is thrilling science fiction, offering a nuanced and scarily portentous depiction of the future. It also delivers an important conservationist message that's never cloying and only emerges to provide a gripping, thought-provoking setting. It's been a great year for exuberant, cerebral science fiction. Get ready for The Massive to blow the lesser stuff right out of the water.

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9.0
The Private Eye #1

Mar 19, 2013

The Private Eye is off to a dazzling start, and of course, this first chapter ends on a top notch cliffhanger. Unfortunately, I have no idea when that next installment of this passion project will hit. This is an experiment after all. Hopefully it's a fruitful one in the long run. I say that selfishly, but also with some investment in the future of independent comic creation, not just for Vaughan and Martin, but for others. That's part of the plan. For as much as The Private Eye frets over the dangers of shared information, Panel Syndicate is also something of a rain dance, a small but fervent burst of creation to coax more from the heavens.

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9.0
Thunderbolts #163

Sep 8, 2011

Amidst a month of reinvention and bold changes, Thunderbolts #163 does some of the best work in opening new avenues while retaining its now trademark blend of humor, action, and unpredictability.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1

Aug 29, 2011

This is very much a setup issue, with a big inciting incident and call to action. Promising as the mission statement feels now, this chapter on its own does feel a bit slight. Packed as it is with background on the People and a new threat for mutants from the SEAR, it's mostly potential energy building up for issue #2. Hickman offers a compelling new threat and a pretty badass platform from which Clint Barton (I find myself just wanting to use his real name and not his 007 handle) can strike out on his own. Sandoval's art feels reminiscent of Stuart Immonen's mainstream Marvel work of late, and you know that's not a bad thing. The potential's all here for a solid spy romp with real-world maturity.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1

Sep 14, 2011

Peter Parker remains a wonderful character, and though he's passed on in the Ultimate Comics Universe, he went out on a high note. True dignity and a satisfying conclusion to a robust superhero story. If that loss still feels like a burn, I suppose I can understand. I don't agree, but it's true that we all looked to those first 150+ issues of USM for something different. So, if you've chosen to end the journey there, that's perfectly valid. But it's also true that you may well be missing out.

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7.0
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #1

Sep 19, 2011

Pac Medina delivers some clean, expressive pencils keeping in line with what has become the Ultimate Comics house style. It's very much at home with the work Pichelli is doing over in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, and that makes for a perfect level of visual continuity between these relaunched titles.

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