Paul Steven Brown's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: The Comic Addiction Reviews: 56
6.7Avg. Review Rating

7
Adventure Comics Vol. 2 #1

Aug 13, 2009

The Superboy section sports some fantastic art by Francis Manapul. Manapul is no stranger to the Legion since he was the most recent regular penciler on the third Legion's series. The digital colors on top of Manapul's pencils add to the already pastoral setting of Smallville. The second feature is handled by the always reliable Clayton Henry. Henry's work isn't as captivating as Manapul's, but it gets the job done and does it well.

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8
Astonishing Spider-Man And Wolverine #1

May 7, 2010

I can understand the desire by Marvel Comics to produce an easily accessible comic book such as Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine. The "Astonishing" model seems more suited for solo or team-up books rather than team books with tight continuity. This is a fun book and the creative work is top-notch. I just hope that this book will be able to come out when scheduled and not be plagued with delays like its predecessor, Astonishing X-Men.

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5
Astonishing X-Men #29

Apr 22, 2009

The best way I can sum it up my view of this title is that Astonishing X-Men has gone from being the must-read X-Book of the line to being one that is for completists only.

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6
Astonishing X-Men #32

Nov 6, 2009

Review by Paul Steven Brown Writer: Warren EllisPenciler: Phil JimenezInker: Andy LanningColorist: Frank D'ArmataLetterer: Joe Caramagna Associate Editor: Daniel KetchumEditor: Axel AlonsoPublished by Marvel Comics I will hand it to Warren Ellis for at least delivering a high-energy story. Unfortunately, as with the previous arc, I don’t see any reason for this title to stick around. It’s rooted in a pre-Utopia setting, which means nothing of consequence will probably transpire before the book catches up with the current status quo. Also, the plot hinges on the digging up of dead mutants, sounding a little too close to the Necrosha event taking place in X-Force, New Mutants, and X-Men: Legacy. Armor's presence continues to be confusing. It would seem that the only reason for her continued appearance in this title is to give some kind of connection between Joss Whedon's run and the current one. Still, she hasn't been given any true development and comes off as a Shado

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3
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1

May 12, 2010

The art by Kaare Andrews is very exaggerated and cartoony. This would be fine if Andrews hadn’t decided to draw Emma Frost as an inflatable sex doll. The panel of the former White Queen leaning over a seat with her volley ball shaped and sized breast rippling over the head rest is distasteful. There was a moment when I thought that I was reading a Mad Magazine parody of an X-Men story. For a series that is intended to be easily collected in a hardcover and sold to the book store crowd, this art style doesn’t help demolish the stereotype of comic books being horny nerd boy escape fantasy.

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8
Batman and Robin #1

Jun 3, 2009

Though Grant Morrison tends to be hit or miss, every time I’ve seen him team up with Frank Quitely, the points fall into the hit category. The first issue of Batman and Robin was fun and the art is purely fantastic. I’m looking forward to next month and I think that the franchise relaunch is off to a solid start.

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6
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3

May 23, 2009

While readers won’t find the depth or mind-blowing themes associated with Grant Morrison’s recent work on Batman or Neil Gaimen’s Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, Batman: Battle for the Cowl, does what it’s intended to do: move the pieces into place for June’s reboot of the line and kill time until those books are ready. It looks good and Daniel gets the job done as far as the script is concerned. If anything, it has whetted my appetite for what’s to come next month.

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7
Blackest Night #2

Aug 13, 2009

There's really not much to complain about with Blackest Night #2. Like most DC events, the more history the reader knows will increase one's appreciation of the story and the characters involved. Hopefully, the narrative is past the point of dead hero A ambushing living hero B, and Johns will move the good guys from a reactive stance to a more proactive one. It doesn't hurt that Ivan Reis continues to deliver some exciting superhero visuals.

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7
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1

Jul 16, 2009

As far as background material on the various corps, Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps is going to be a must for die hard Green Lantern fans. Luckily, it is being steered by the two men currently plotting the courses of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. This series may eventually prove helpful to the uninitiated as they try to suss out the various players during the Blackest Night event.

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7
Brightest Day #0

Apr 14, 2010

The penciling is performed by Fernando Pasarin. While he clearly doesn’t deliver on the dynamic promise of the David Finch cover, Pasarin has a solid, reliable style not atypical of most DC Comic titles. There’s good, clear storytelling, but no real unique style to set him apart from the pack. The multiple inkers on this issue cause somewhat of a visual inconsistency at times, but not enough to be offensive.

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5
Cable (2008) #13

Apr 5, 2009

At least the issue concludes with the promise of some action next issue. When I hear the names ‘Cable’ and ‘X-Force’ used in the same sentence, images of early ‘90s comic book excess spring from my imagination. I think about weirdly shaped guns, gritted teeth, shaky morals, and shoulder pads. Most of all, I think about action. So far, “Messiah War” doesn’t live up to its pedigree, but Swierczynski, Kyle, and Yost have five more chapters to turn me on.

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6
Cable (2008) #15

Jun 16, 2009

Despite the improvements over the last two chapters, Messiah War has still been a let down. Messiah Complex gave me a feeling that nothing would be same for the X-Universe after it was concluded and it lived up to that promise. Granted this sequel is half as long, but it feels like it’s only a quarter of the excitement and danger of the original. Instead of Empire Strikes Back, we got Attack of the Clones.

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4
Cable (2008) #20

Nov 11, 2009

Unfortunately, putting “Cable and Hope being chased by Bishop” in space is still “Cable and Hope being chased by Bishop”. The pattern is still the same and the only thing to change has been the details. The Brood's presence doesn't really add anymore than the cockroach people did a year ago. Also, Acanti biology seemed a lot less malicious when Storm got swallowed way back during the original Brood saga in Uncanny X-Men.

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8
Captain Britain and MI:13 #12

Apr 8, 2009

13. It’s just frikkin’ good! Read it. You’ll enjoy it. I promise.

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7
Dark Avengers #4

Apr 29, 2009

While the pacing over the last three issues has felt a little too slow (the overly long heart-to-heart between Osborn and the Sentry in the last issue didn’t help things), Dark Avengers has proven to be an entertaining title. New Avengers is still a lot of fun, but unconventional when compared to the original Avengers book and Mighty Avengers still has some work to do to achieve that classic feel. I’m not sure how much life the whole “Dark Reign” theme has in it, but in the mean time, I’ll continue to enjoy it and Dark Avengers if the quality continues to be this consistent.

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3
Dark Wolverine #80

Nov 25, 2009

The following three-issue arc has been a mess. It started off decently enough; Daken's public image wasn't doing any P.R. favors for Norman Osborn's Avengers, so the former Green Goblin concocted an elaborate damage control plan. While Daken's questionable machinations made the first arc fun, this time around there seems to be too much ambiguity. By the conclusion of this issue I was left confused as to any hint of Daken's motives. Also, the badly sequenced final pages complete demolish any chance of understanding of what actually happens upon the story's conclusion, that the entire arc is further diminished. I don't care how many times you tumble through the air, if you can't stick the landing; you're going to get a low score from the judges.

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7
Dark X-Men #1

Nov 13, 2009

I've got a lot of faith in Paul Cornell. He made the impossible happen by making a comic book starring Captain Britain and Pete Wisdom a must read for me every month. He has an even stranger assortment of characters this time around. Dark X-Men is off to a good start and hopefully we'll get to see Cornell catch lightning in a bottle for a second time.

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9
Detective Comics #854

Jun 24, 2009

$3.99 on a monthly basis is a lot to ask of a reader, but I think the current set up in Detective Comics (and in Batman: Streets of Gotham) may be the closest I’ve seen to making it worth it. Visually, the book is amazing and stories are off to a decent start. Next to Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Batman and Robin, this is the Bat-Book to get.

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5
Fantastic Four (1998) #569

Jul 30, 2009

Other elements had me scratching my head. What happened to Franklin? He and Val were nowhere to be found at the conclusion of the last chapter, but the little sister is front and center at the beginning of this issue. Also, did Dooms Master kill Bens Aunt Petunia? There isnt any mention of that horrific scene from last month here. One would think that come up during a family event like a wedding.

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9
Flash (2010) #1

Apr 14, 2010

Manapul has really come into his own unique style with Flash #1. He now has the classic dynamic flair that reminds me of Will Eisner. His figures, faces and shading recall some sort of post-modern H. A. Rey (Curious George), while the backgrounds receded into impressionistic shapes that invoke the looseness of Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace). Add in Brian Buccellato’s watercolor-like palette, and you’ve got a comic book that is as classic as it is modern.

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8
Flash: Rebirth #1

Apr 5, 2009

So do I care about Barry Allen after this one issue? Not yet, but it’s early. Hopefully, we’ll get more of what’s going on inside Barry’s head, allowing us to sympathize with the character more. This was only the first issue and a set up one at that. Still it’s a solid read with fantastic visuals. Johns has hit the right notes to bring me back next month and with Sciver on board, it would be hard to resist the second issue.

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7
Greek Street #1

Jul 3, 2009

Greek Street #1 is a great start to what promises to be a dark and dramatic book. Milligan and Gianfelice get right in your face with the first page and you’ll feel a little sullied by the completion of the issue, but that’s part of the point. It’s not the modern spin that will leave you feeling grimy; it’s that “classic” and “revered” source material that will have its way with you. For a dollar, that’s a hell of a bargain for a wild reading experience.

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8
Green Lantern (2005) #20

Feb 2, 2007

This issue contains another short story that highlights a member of the Sinestro Corps. These folks are a bunch of nasty characters and I’m still chomping at the bit in anticipation of their big showdown with the Green Lantern Corps starting next month. These backup stories also serve to continue the exploration into the nature of Amon Sur, Hal Jordan’s rival for Sector 2814.

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6
Green Lantern Corps #12

Feb 1, 2007

Many plot threads are beginning to come together and events are quickly progressing towards a large conflict. The little yellow specks of light that keep creeping up on Mogo are probably Despotellis, the subject of the first “Tales of the Sinestro Corps” from Green Lantern #18. Kilowog has been acting awfully suspicious after his return from there. This is all leading to the crossover with Green Lantern for the big “Sinestro Corps War” event this summer. Hopefully, this will result in the return of the high adventure and action of the mini-series.

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8
Green Lantern Corps #26

Jul 23, 2008

Green Lantern Corps has been a great ride and a welcomed companion to Green Lantern. It’s just gotten better with Peter Tomasi as the writer. This issue was an exciting conclusion to one of the series’ best arcs. Readers interested in a fun team book with a great cast, exciting art, and cosmic action should give this title a try.

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5
Iron Man: Legacy #1

Apr 13, 2010

I’m sure there will be plenty of people that will not have the same problems that I had with this first issue. The execution and production are fine. I’m just not sure that I need to read another Iron Man title, particularly one that is not set in the current Marvel Universe status quo. I honestly do not think that the market is there for this book and I seriously doubt that it will last more than a year, at least in its current format.

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6
Legion of Super-Heroes (2010) #1

May 20, 2010

The pencils are provided by Yildiray Cinar who has done nothing but improved over his already excellent work on Noble Causes and Teen Titans. With such a large cast to work with, Cinar does a solid job of giving each Legionnaire a distinct look that goes beyond their costuming. The storytelling is easy to follow and inker Wayne Faucher helps keep the page looking crisp and clean.

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5
New Mutants (2009) #1

May 4, 2009

New Mutants is off to an adequate start. Hopefully, the cast dynamics will become more interesting once the rest of the team come into play. While I’m a fan of the old series from the ‘80s, I’m not sold yet on the idea of this newer series yet.

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6
New Mutants (2009) #3

Jul 17, 2009

New Mutants is starting to get there for me. The real trick is to see if Wells and Neves can make this book appealing for reasons more than nostalgia. Once that happens, we'll have a real winner on our hands.

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6
New Mutants (2009) #7

Nov 25, 2009

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6
New Mutants (2009) #13

May 12, 2010

I was happy to finally see what Domino and Vanisher have been getting up to for the past six chapters. With the importance placed by Bastion on the removal of all of the X-Men’s teleporters, it was only a matter of time until Telford would be forced into the picture. Bastion also has his eyes set on the other forms of transport available to the mutants. It’s due to the execution of this portion of the robot’s plan that we finally get to see Namor in action.

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6
Oracle: The Cure #1

Mar 25, 2009

As I pointed out, there doesn’t seem to be any hint of a cure in this issue despite the title of the series. However, with a new Batgirl title in the foreseeable future, one can only hope. Still, Barbara is an interesting character to follow as Oracle, especially when pitted against a very suitable nemesis as she is in this book.

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8
Phonogram: The Singles Club #4

Jul 23, 2009

Still, Phonogram: The Singles Club continues to be the ultimate combination of comic book and music geekery. If your passion for music (especially indie music) is as intense as your love for comic books, then you really have no excuse not to read this title. I would be willing to pay full price just for the main feature. Everything else is a bonus.

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6
Psylocke #1

Nov 4, 2009

This mini is off to a decent start but this is far from feeling like the definitive Psylocke story. The visuals a pretty good and get the job done. Hopefully, we’ll get to know who Psylocke is again and what makes her tick and that this series doesn’t end up being just something to wrap a sexy David Finch cover around.

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8
Rasl #5

Jul 17, 2009

With this issue, Jeff Smith has decided to reduce the page count to 24 in an attempt to keep the book on a bi-monthly schedule. The previous goal was to publish three issues a year with 32 pages each. I'm pleased with this move since the story is beginning to get even more complex and there's less of a chance of me forgetting details between issues when the turnover is quicker. Like Terry Moore's Echo, Jeff Smith is proving with RASL that he's got more exciting ideas as well as the talent to back them up.

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8
Superman: World of New Krypton #3

May 7, 2009

Superman: World of New Krypton is a must read for fans of the Man of Steel. While it places the hero in an environment other than Metropolis or even Earth, the fun is seeing how he adapts to his new situation. As he adapts, so does New Krypton.

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8
Uncanny X-Men #508

Apr 15, 2009

What really matters to me is that the series that I have been consistently reading longer than any other throughout my existence as a comic book reader has finally become the flagship mutant title, again. Matt Fraction has endowed the title with a feeling of importance and fun. I would personally enjoy more of a solidified team line up, but the quality of the series has been really high, so I’m not going to complain too much.

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7
Uncanny X-Men #510

May 18, 2009

Luckily, Matt Fraction continues to write some of the snappiest dialogue Uncanny X-Men has ever seen. Also, the action is fun and exciting and it’s always great to see the X-Men work as a team. The issue ends with a few questions answered, while new ones are asked. It’s a great way to keep the readers coming back month to month.

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9
Uncanny X-Men #513

Jul 3, 2009

Two chapters in and Utopia is off to a great start. I’m confident that we’ll get more from the Dark Avengers when the crossover switches over to their book for the third chapter. Unlike Messiah War, this feels like a crossover event that may very well have a lasting impact on the X-Men for next year or so.

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8
Uncanny X-Men #523

Apr 7, 2010

This issue is astoundingly drawn by the team of Terry and Rachel Dodson. It looks gorgeous. As usual, their characters look iconic and the action is awesomely kinetic. Also, the duo really sells the emotions through their ever excellent facial work.

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9
War of Kings #4

Jun 2, 2009

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have created a truly thrilling and heart-wrenching epic with War of Kings. One can still enjoy this saga without getting bogged down in the various tie-in books. At the same time, there are only a few and as a whole they’ve been very entertaining and deepen the story.

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6
Wolverine Origins #42

Nov 20, 2009

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7
Wolverine: Weapon X #1

Apr 8, 2009

My only real complaint is about the price tag and the supplemental pages. I just want to pay the normal (oh dear, I’ve acclimated) $2.99 for a twenty-two page story. I do not want to pay an extra dollar for five pages of character bio material and a six page preview of Jason Aaron’s Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire that won’t be out until August. This is not a sin on par with rip-off that was Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes, but I’ve grown very tired of paying extra for material I do not want.

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6
Wolverine: Weapon X #7

Nov 20, 2009

Despite my criticisms, I still think that this story is a really compelling idea and use of Wolverine. If I had to read only one comic book starring the hirsute mutant killing machine, it would certainly be Wolverine: Weapon X. Jason Aaron continues to have interesting ideas for the characters and the writer is apt at balancing violence and humor is a disturbingly exciting fashion.

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8
Wonder Woman (2006) #34

Jul 30, 2009

After nine months back as a reader, I’m happy to say that Wonder Woman has really evolved into an exciting and enjoyable superhero comic book. Simone and Lopresti are a dynamite team and the quality of their work is consistently high. I’m definitely into this book for at least remainder of the “Birds of Paradise” arc.

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7
X-Factor #204

Apr 25, 2010

In essence, Peter David continues his new mission statement of getting his team of mutants firmly implanted into the wider Marvel Universe. He’s using a Doctor Strange villain and the Absorbing Man, who has been a rival of both the Hulk and Thor. Lest we forget Titania, a character more suited for fighting She-Hulk than mutants. Interesting choices, made even more so while the book is playing up its ties to Second Coming.

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7
X-Factor Vol. 3 #43

May 11, 2009

After last year’s poor run of issues, Peter David continues to make good on his promise to rejuvenate X-Factor. One of the bigger pluses is that the art is more fitting to the more street level nature of the book, than Larry Stroman’s work. On top of that, there seems to be a focus in character growth and a return to the mystery elements that dominated the book during its first two years. Also, I can’t wait to see what happens next month as a result of that last page.

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7
X-Factor Vol. 3 #45

Jun 24, 2009

Some readers will be annoyed. Some will feel affirmed. Others just won’t care. At the end of the day, this is another solid issue of X-Factor that showcases a great batch of characters and some fun dialogue. Just keep in mind that Peter David is the writer and your expectations are his playground.

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6
X-Force (2008) #15

May 25, 2009

Messiah War has two chapters left to live up to its pedigree. Unfortunately, I don’t that that’s enough time to get the job done. While the story adds more to Cable, it has been distracting from the more interesting plots that were occurring in X-Force. It’s certainly not awful, and this issue is a step in the right direction, but I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed by the whole affair.

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6
X-Force (2008) #17

Jul 24, 2009

With any luck, X-Force will be able to bounce back fairly quickly. To be honest, this issue is a vast improvement over the past three, so a transitional issue like this is understandable after being thrown into a crossover. If Choi and Oback continue to provide the visuals for this book, I'm more than willing to be patient.

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7
X-Force (2008) #27

May 26, 2010

At least we got some action in this week’s installment of Second Coming. Last week saw the Bastion’s master plan swing into full gear with the erection of an impenetrable dome over Utopia and parts of San Francisco. Now we get to see the X-Men and friends fight for their lives with their backs literally up against a wall. There are some major injuries and one mutant in particular will be forever changed by this battle.

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8
X-Men Forever #11

Nov 11, 2009

The rest of the cast make there presence felt during the course of the issue; some more significantly than others. The confrontation between Rogue and Sabretooth is both amusing and enlightening as it displays the tension running through the mansion since Wolverine died and his father moved in. With Cyclops’ departure, the X-Men apparently have a new leader. It will be interesting to see how this person copes with the role. Also, we’re beginning to get a few more clues about this iteration of Gambit.

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7
X-Men Legacy #221

Feb 18, 2009

X-Men: Legacy continues to be a solid addition to the X-Men family of titles. While this is still a book aimed at those with an average to above knowledge the mutant history, it is still an entertaining series.

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7
X-Men Legacy #223

Apr 15, 2009

Still, I don’t think new X-Men readers will respond to this book like I do. There’s a lot going on in the subtext and a healthy history lesson would deepen one’s appreciation of the series. I’m still really enjoying it, but X-Men: Legacy caters more to an old dog like me.

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6
X-Men Legacy #229

Nov 19, 2009

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7
X-Men Legacy #235

Apr 21, 2010

By the conclusion of X-Men: Legacy #235, I could definitely feel that the close of the first month or movement of Second Coming is just around the corner. Both the heroes and the villains endure some casualties, making this the warm up for the rumored “big death” that will occur next month in X-Force #26. Still this issue continues to demonstrate that Mike Carey remains one of the best writers in the X-Office bullpen.

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