Zach Wilkerson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Multiversity Comics Reviews: 169
7.9Avg. Review Rating

7.8
Action Comics (2011) #18

Mar 21, 2013

It's possible that, in Morrison's final Superman story for the foreseeable future, he reaches a little too high. A fifth-dimensional attack through time and space is so abstract and ill-defined, it's difficult to connect to on a personal level. However, Morrison remains true to the core of what makes Superman, and tells what may be the most important and definitive stories involving the character since his own "All Star Superman." Because of the conflicting nature of this issue and arc in general, it's extremely hard to assign a number value. While the issue is technically flawed in a number of ways, the raw care and creativity exhibited is rare in mainstream super hero comics, DC especially. In the current state of Superman books in the New 52, Grant Morrison's Action Comics will be sorely missed.

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8.3
Action Comics (2011) #19

Apr 5, 2013

With stellar art and better than average characterization, “Action Comics” #19 is a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, like a gust of wind it is also short lived. However, it's hard to look this gift horse in the mouth, considering the dearth of quality Superman stories.

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9.3
Action Comics (2011) #29

Mar 7, 2014

Pak and Kuder take Superman and the reader through a wide array of emotions, making for a powerful and well-crafted read.

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8.4
Action Comics (2011) #32

Jun 6, 2014

Multiversity editor Brian Salvatore recently called “Action Comics” the best book currently published by DC, and the latest issue of the series speaks to that praise. Greg Pak exhibits a deft understanding of Superman's core character aspects, presenting a hero that is selfless and noble. The issue makes great use of the extended cast, giving a sense that the New 52 incarnation of Superman has finally begun to settle in. Regardless of whether you're following the “Doomed” crossover, “Action Comics” #32 is an issue worth checking out.

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9.4
Adventure Time #25

Feb 20, 2014

“Adventure Time” #25 is a terrific singular story, with fantastic art and a strong voice. The individual stories can feel somewhat disjointed, and the excessive word balloons often obscure the art. However, everything comes together in the end to form a product that is even better than the sum of its individual parts. “Adventure Time” is always quite “epic” in its absurdity, but rarely does it feel this grand and powerful. “Adventure Time” #25 is a great reminder that not only can comics based on licensed properties be good, they should be good. They can even, on occasion, be better than the source. Congrats to the creative team on this accomplishment, and may their fun never end.

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10
Adventure Time #30

Jul 17, 2014

While it may not be everyone's form of perfection, "Adventure Time" #30 draws incredibly near to the ideal of "comic book."

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8.6
Adventure Time Annual #1

May 31, 2013

With six strong stories, none of which are lacking in creativity, “Adventure Time Annual” #1 is a rousing success. Along with the 30 pages of story, the issue offers a small pinup gallery, with art by some of the featured artist. The issue may feel a little light for the $4.99 price tag, but ask yourself this; what is the worth of a rare, ear to ear smile?

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8.5
All-New Captain America #1

Nov 14, 2014

"All-New Captain America" #1 is a strong proof of concept for a non-Steve Rogers led book. While this certainly isn't the first time another hero has donned the shield in Steve's place, it is a bigger departure than natural successor Bucky Barnes. Wilson remains a slightly odd choice for role, something Remender even seems to acknowledge in a conversation with Ian, who many assumed to be the logical choice for the mantle. However, I would argue that the slightly left-field casting works in the book's favor, creating more interest and intrigue than the issue's standard plot would suggest. These sort of status quo changes are very rarely long-lasting, but here's hoping that Remender and Immonen (or whatever artists that may follow) are able to tell some fun and memorable stories with these characters. They're definitely off to a great start.

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8.8
All-New Marvel NOW Point One #1

Jan 10, 2014

After reading this issue, it's hard not to be excited about at least half of the stories contained within. While the traditional “Point” numbering is irksome and confusing, these one shots are a terrific sampler, allowing readers to test out a number of books at a relatively low price. While Marvel may be on the verge of running out of adjectives to describe its publishing initiatives, the company clearly has plenty of stories and talent up its sleeves.

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8.8
All-New X-Men #2

Nov 30, 2012

"All-New X-Men" #2 won't win readers over with its originality. Meeting your future/past self is a well worn sci-fi trope and Bendis isn't trying to reinvent the wheel. What will grab you are the strong character moments, such as when Jean learns of her future demise or when Cyclops sees just how far he's strayed from Xavier's dream. The implications of these events could lead to any number of possible stories, throwing a major wrench into the slowly evolving status quo set up by Schism. X-Men fans have no reason not to pick up this issue, and there's plenty to hook new readers as well.

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6.8
All-New X-Men #17

Oct 4, 2013

As much as I've enjoyed 'Battle of the Atom' so far, it's finally time to admit that it's not really going anywhere.

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6.3
All-Star Western #19

Apr 26, 2013

As far as April's “WTF” moments go, “All-Star Western's” surprise hook is one of the best, presenting a team up between two eclectic DC heroes. Unfortunately, the abrupt and oddly paced story structure deflates keeps Palmiotti and Gray from striking gold.

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8.5
All-Star Western #34

Aug 28, 2014

With the current direction the DCU seems to be heading, it may be quite some time before we see Jonah Hex again. Thankfully, his farewell can leave fans of the character feeling assured in his future. As far as finales go, "All-Star Western" #34 is about as strong as they come. With fantastic art and an ambiguous yet satisfying end for our protagonist, Palmiotti and Gray bring the series, as well as their 100+ issue run on Jonah Hex to a close. Congratulations to them on a job well done.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1.1

May 9, 2014

Offering a unique point of view and character dynamics, ‘Learning to Crawl' is a rather enjoyable return to Spider-Man's early days. The issue concedes that most of us know the story of Spider-Man, but teases us a tag-line; “But you don't know the whole story…”. Admittedly there's nothing particularly noteworthy or revelatory about the story's first segment, and one has to wonder just what untold secrets could lay in wait. The more cynical fan may feel their ret-con sense tingling, especially with “Original Sin” rocking the Marvel universe. However, Slott has proven his reverence for the character's history time and again. ‘Learning to Crawl' is just the beginning of his latest contribution to that growing story.

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7.8
Aquaman (2011) #18

Mar 29, 2013

A crossover with DC's flagship title may have helped raise the profile of “Aquaman,” but it's good to see the title moving back into its own little corner of the DCU. As far as character revamps go, “Aquaman” has yet to reach the heights of “Green Lantern,” but is faring far better than the pre-'Flashpoint' relaunch of “The Flash.” While it may not carry the same clout as Johns' “Justice League” titles, “Aquaman” does have stronger characterization and plotting. This makes it not only one of Johns' greatest recent works, but one of the few consistently great New 52 books in general.

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8.0
Aquaman (2011) #24

Oct 25, 2013

While the pacing feels off, the story is still a lot of fun, and the art team of Pelletier and Rod Reis is as great as ever. Plus, bearded Aquaman. Bring on the finale!

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7.0
Aquaman And The Others #1

Apr 3, 2014

Overall, “Aquaman and the Others” is an uneven book with a ton of potential. It's great to see DC taking a chance on these characters, and raising Aquaman's profile even higher. Say what you will about the logistics and execution of the New 52, but paving for a book like this is extremely impressive. Now that the characters and conflict have been established, it will be interesting to see if the team can overcome their foibles to create a long-lasting addition to DC's pantheon.

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9.3
Batman '66 #2

Jul 12, 2013

At only $0.99, "Batman '66" offers a surprisingly full package that is, unsurprisingly, a whole lot of fun.

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8.4
Batman (2011) #15

Dec 14, 2012

Considering this is one of the most (if not THE most) acclaimed books at DC and one of the year's biggest stories, it's safe to say this book is worth checking out. While it does suffer from a mid-story exposition dump, it serves its purpose by paving the way for the final showdown between Batman and Joker that everyone clamors for. Plus, the art from Capullo and Jock alone makes this issue worth your $3.99.

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7.5
Batman (2011) #17

Feb 14, 2013

This final chapter of ‘Death of the Family,' while in a way accomplishing what it set out to do, will likely be seen as somewhat of a disappointment to all but the most devoted Snyder fans. However, Snyder does plant seeds for some pretty interesting possibilities later in his run. The next issue will likely bear the brunt of the emotional fall out for ‘Death of the Family,' which may in turn cast this issue in a new light. In the mean time, we're left with a gorgeous book that fails to capitalize on some really great ideas. Here's hoping that the upcoming stories featuring Harper Row and the Riddler fare better.

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8.9
Batman (2011) #25

Nov 13, 2013

As a Batman story, 'Dark City' is shaping up to be one of the most unconventional of Snyder and Capullo's run thus far. It's from the broody melodrama of 'Court of the Owls' or 'Death of the Family.' Packed with action, mystery, and suspense, "Batman" #25 marks the start of, dare I say it, a legitimately fun Batman story. The game is afoot!

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9.6
Batman (2011) #28

Feb 13, 2014

With Snyder and Capullo spending the better part of a year focusing on Gotham's past, it feels incredibly refreshing to be flung into its distant future. It's a much needed stimulant to keep readers going through the final leg of ‘Zero Year. Between this issue and his contribution to “Detective Comics” #27, it's clear Scott Snyder is prepared celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight in a big way. “Batman” #28 is an example of the best the New 52 can offer; an exciting tale that places familiar characters in surprising new circumstances. Let's have more of this.

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9.2
Batman (2011) #29

Mar 13, 2014

Each arc of Snyder and Capullo's “Batman” has brought something new to the table. ‘Court of the Owls' added a frightening new group of villains to the rogues gallery and built on the secret history of Gotham. ‘Death of the Family' took Batman's relationship with the Clown Prince to dramatically disturbing new lows. However, it's arguable that ‘Zero Year,' while primarily a protracted origin revamp, brings more depth and nuance to these characters than either of the previous arcs. The team has long since proved that this period in Batman's history is ripe for potential stories. Now, as we prepare for the post-apocalyptic Gotham witnessed way back in “Batman” #21, it's hard not to be excited about what lies in store.

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8.8
Batman and Robin (2011) #18

Mar 15, 2013

We have a few more weeks to wait before Grant Morrison has the chance to deal with the fallout of Damian's death. However, “Batman and Robin” #18 does a wonderful job of capturing Bruce's grief at the loss of his only son. The death of the Waynes is the tragic driving force behind all Batman does, but the loss pales in comparison to the loss of a child. “Batman and Robin” has at times struggled to remain relevant among the handful of other Batman books, but issues like this go a long way towards proving its worth.

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7.5
Batman Incorporated #6

Jan 4, 2013

It's becoming abundantly clear that a current day Morrison story is best read in its completed form, rather than the episodic nature of monthly comics. As seen in recent issues of “Action Comics,” every single issue he pens acts to build the overall story, no matter how uneventful or irrelevant it may seem on its own. While issue #6 of “Batman Incorporated” is likely a necessary piece of the complete puzzle, it doesn't hold up well as a singular entity. The return of the Heretic (a character who bears striking similarities to Bane in The Dark Knight Rises) teases promising things to come as the stakes continue to raise to unbearable levels. However, with only six issues left, Morrison is going to have to give more than nods and teases for this saga to reach a satisfying conclusion.

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9.0
Batman Incorporated #8

Feb 28, 2013

Much like the recent end of 'Death of the Family,' this is a huge turning point that's hard to judge without knowing where it will lead. However, as a single issue, "Batman Incorporated" #8 is a masterstroke in graphic story telling and a fantastic continuation of Morrison's Batman.

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7.7
Batman Incorporated #13

Aug 1, 2013

Congratulations to Morrison, Burnham, and everyone else involved in crafting a definitive chapter in the fictional life of a character that never dies, a story that never ends. “It probably never will.”

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8.8
Batman/Superman (2013) #4

Oct 17, 2013

While it may sound like the issue is a bit of a mess, by some bizarre synergy, it manages to become something quite beautiful. Amazingly, having never written either character before, Pak manages to perfectly capture the voice of not just two different Batmen/Supermen, but their extended cast of characters as well. Pak packs (I'm so sorry) an incredible amount of emotion into this issue, which needs to be read to be experienced. This is a love story to this family of characters, one so endearing that even the New 52 characters leave a lasting impression on the reader. I sincerely hope Pak gets a chance to follow up on these foundational plot-threads, especially in light of where these characters are in present continuity.

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8.8
Batman/Superman (2013) #8

Feb 28, 2014

“Batman/Superman” #8 is a sigh of relief for those who believed the series best days had already past. It's not a perfect read, it takes many liberties regarding the reader's knowledge of other books, for instance. However, it has certainly set ‘First Contact' off to a solid start.

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7.5
Batman/Superman (2013) #11

May 23, 2014

"Batman/Superman" #11 is an absolute must buy if you're following the "Doomed" storyline, but it also has plenty to offer for any fan of Pak's Superman work.

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8.6
Batman/Superman (2013) Annual #1

Mar 7, 2014

"Batman/Superman Annual" #1 is an immensely fun done in one issue and a rare showcase for the heroes' extended casts.

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9.5
Batman: Black and White #1

Sep 6, 2013

With nary a lackluster story in sight, “Batman Black and White” #1 is a resounding success. With all the flack DC seems to get on what seems to be a daily basis, its great to see a book that is so geared toward fostering creative spirit and goodwill.

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8.9
Beasts Of Burden: Hunters & Gatherers #1

Mar 14, 2014

“Beast of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers” is both a fantastic introduction to the series and an exciting continuation to the ongoing saga. Dorkin and Thompson lay the groundwork for what looks to be a saga of epic proportions. If you've never given “Beasts of Burden” a shot, you owe it to yourself to give the series a shot. Likewise, if you already know that the series is awesome, enjoy this morsel of story and ponder on things to come.

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9.7
Black Science #6

May 2, 2014

The “Black Science” team has pulled out all the stops in issue #6. The team has shown several times just how far they are willing to go with this story, and yet you can't help but be surprised when you turn that final page. Any comic reader worth their salt will take any sort of massive status quo change with a grain of salt, but this team sells the emotion and gravity of the situation like true masters of the trade. Even though it ends on a cliffhanger, the team expands on several of the book's ongoing threads, giving these first six issues a sense of completeness in their own right. At the same time, they open the door to so much possibility, peeling back the layers of the onion, as it were. Like all great “season finales,' “Black Science” #6 leaves you on the edge of your seat, begging for more as the scene fades to white. Well played team, see you again in July.

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8.8
Black Science #7

Jul 31, 2014

"Black Science" #7 is a major game changer for the book, and an incredibly strong start to its second arc. Picking up with a fun Star Wars-esque immediacy, filled with action and danger, the book hits the ground running and never lets up. All the while we're treated to another of sci-fi worlds born in Matteo Scalera's brilliant mind. Admittedly the book's fast paced nature and focus on action packed hijinks doesn't leave much time to catch up with the cast after the last arc and the long break. However, Kadir receives a heavy dose of development and is quickly rising to fill Grant's shoes. Ultimately, the issue is just a blast to read.When the story ends, screeching to anabrupt and disheartening stop, you'll be left begging for the next chapter.

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8.8
Brain Boy #1

Sep 12, 2013

An under the radar revamp of a sixty-year old concept, from a publisher not known for its exceptional superhero comics, “Brain Boy” is a book that could very easily be lost amidst the weekly influx of books. However, even with the the Villain's Month and “Infinity” madness, “Brain Boy” stands tall against the competition, and is very much worth your time and consideration when perusing your local comic store.

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7.5
C.O.W.L. #1

May 29, 2014

“C.O.W.L.” feels unique amongst the large number of books currently published at Image. While it may not have the star power of top tier books like “Saga,” “Southern Bastards,” or “Deadly Class,” it makes up for this with a well developed world and compelling character dynamics. “C.O.W.L.” wears it influences on its sleeve, but isn't beholden to preconceived notions. With a strong vision, engaging characters, and a great high concept, “C.O.W.L.” has all the makings of a great, long-running series.

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8.0
Captain Ultimate #3

Oct 18, 2013

While it's not without flaws, “Captain Ultimate” is shaping up to be a noteworthy addition to the limited number of all-ages super hero comics. Bailey and Esposito hearken back to a simpler time in comic history, before editorial mandate, line-wide continuity, and rabid fan bases. That's not to say that the book lacks depth or vision, as this issue sets up several potential conflicts for the mustachio'd macho man. There's still a ways to go until we find out exactly what shape this series will take, but, for now at least, it's a fun ride to be on.

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9.2
Dead Boy Detectives #1

Jan 2, 2014

The Vertigo line has experienced a renaissance of late, with new and diverse content from a variety of creators. Of course, its always a delight to see the return of old favorites, especially a world as rich as that roamed by the Endless. Litt and Buckingham have proved themselves worthy of playing in this sandbox, crafting a tale that is both fresh and reverent. The new year as only just rung, but believe me when I say “Dead Boy Detectives” is a serious a contender for best new series of 2014.

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6.8
Demon Knights #16

Jan 18, 2013

Venditti has proven himself to be a more than adequate writer and it's very exciting to see him make his New 52 debut. While he clearly has something up his sleeve, his desire to not reveal too much too quickly gives this issue a lack of urgency. If you're a fan of the book already, then have no fear, it is much the same book as it was under Cornell's pen. If you're a fan of Fialkov's "I, Vampire," then definitely give this book a shot, as this arc will likely tie-in heavily to events seen in that series. For everyone else, this issue isn't likely to get you all too excited for DC's fantasy foray.

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2.5
Detective Comics (2011) #19

Apr 4, 2013

“Detective Comics” #19 is packed with content, and while there are a few diamonds in the rough, it's ultimately not worth the hefty price tag. The creative talent is there, but it seems DC intends for “Detective Comics” to act as little more than the gateway to other Batman books. This not only limits the ability of the creators to tell fresh and innovative stories, it also undermines the legacy of one of the oldest books in mainstream comics.

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8.0
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1

Jul 25, 2014

Overall, the issue is a fun one-off story that truly works as a sort of "lost episode." That it shares more qualities of Davies era Who might offset ardent Eleven fans, but the magic of what makes number eleven special is not lost. Add in hints of an intriguing sub-plot about ghostly Time Lord apparitions, and you have a story that most any Doctor Who fan should check out.

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8.8
Earth 2 #16

Oct 4, 2013

While it's certainly sad to see Mr. Robinson leave, the future of “Earth 2″ is just as exciting as it's always been. I eagerly await Tom Taylor's work, as well Robinson's upcoming Marvel and creator owned projects. Congratulations are in order for what has come so far, and best of luck to all!

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8.8
Earth 2 #17

Nov 8, 2013

Tom Taylor does a terrific job. Taylor carries the fantastic momentum of last issue's diabolical cliffhanger, weaving in a few genuine surprises of his own. Taylor also does a fair job of balancing the extremely large cast. Anyone fearful that "Earth 2" would become yet another Batman vehicle, rest assured that the series large scope remains intact.

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8.3
East of West #1

Mar 28, 2013

"East of West" isn't the out of the gate success that fans would hope it to be. Even with an oversized debut issue, Hickman could've used more time to give the book a stronger narrative foundation. Hickman relies a little too on the "Lost method," layering mysteries to build interest. Still, the incredible potential of the world that Hickman and Dragotta are creating is definitely on display. There are literally hundreds of stories waiting to be told about this strange alternate future, many of which are teased and seeded in this very issue. While "East of West" lacks the heart of Hickman's other work, this first issue is an extremely fun and exciting start.

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9.0
East of West #4

Jul 12, 2013

Arguably, the greatest flaw besetting “East of West” to this point has been the lack of a strong central anchor, tying the reader to the series metaphysical concepts. Fortunately, issue #4 provides a much needed grounded, making the wait for next issue all the more unbearable.

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4.5
Fantastic Four (2012) #4

Feb 15, 2013

It's sad to say, but “Fantastic Four” isn't off to nearly as good a start as its sister title. It might be easy to pin the blame on Bagley, but in truth Fraction's writing isn't up to its usual quality either. There's a lot of potential here, and perhaps the way this issue ends is a sign of good things to come.

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8.8
FF (2012) #4

Mar 1, 2013

This issue showcases Fraction's ability to balance the heavy and serious with the light and fun. Strong characterization abounds from every character in this book, and it's a testament to Fraction's ability as a writer to make such a bizarre cast work so well together. The Moloid's dialogue alone sells this issue, but the small moments with Jen and Wyatt, as well as the powerful opening sequence make this an extremely well rounded issue.

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9.0
Figment #1

Jun 12, 2014

“Figment” #1 is a book that could be quickly written off. However, this first issue presents a fantasy/sci-fi world that stacks up against many creator-owned comics of similar ilk. Marvel has demonstrated a strong willingness to set up hot, upcoming talent on their lower tier books, and it's great to see the publisher applying the same mentality here. Whether you have young readers, are young at heart, or just enjoy well developed characters and great sequential art, you'll hardly be disappointed with “Figment.”

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7.5
Five Weapons #3

Apr 25, 2013

As the story progresses, “Five Weapons” is starting to hit a few snags. The repetitive story beats and odd pacing take away some of the magic of previous issues, but a solid cast, and intriguing mystery, and beautiful art still make this one worth picking up.

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8.5
Flash Gordon #1

Apr 11, 2014

“Flash Gordon” #1 is, admittedly, a little light on actual plot, a consequence of its swashbuckling focus. There's definitely a story waiting to be told, with several references to events from the one year gap, including an invasion of earth. It seems probable that Parker and team will continue to flesh out this story through flashbacks. However, even with its minimal set up, the team's bombastic approach and incredibly high production value makes this a book a that nearly anyone can pick up and enjoy, regardless of previous “Flash Gordon” affiliation. It's crazy to think a “Flash Gordon” comic stands out as one of the best new sci-fi comics of the year, but Parker, Shaner, and Bellaire have made it so.

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8.0
Forever Evil #1

Sep 5, 2013

Furthermore, it's hard not to associate “Forever Evil” with other recent stories. The aforementioned “JLA: Earth 2″ quickly comes to mind, as well as Paul Cornell's Luthor-centric “Action Comics” run, or “

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6.8
Forever Evil #5

Feb 6, 2014

So there you have it, an intriguing, impressively drawn issue of the latest DC event that will undoubtedly read better in the collected edition.

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8.7
Forever Evil #7

May 22, 2014

“Forever Evil” #7 marks a strong conclusion for the series, as well as a bit of a turning point for DC. Johns weaves his well documented loved and appreciation of DC's history into the story in a way that circumvents the New 52′s more compressed and artificial history. While the book doesn't quite deliver on all of its promises, “Forever Evil” stands as one of the more successful and enjoyable events in some time, at DC or otherwise.

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8.8
Grayson #1

Jul 11, 2014

With a strong hook and terrific artistic direction, Nightwing's new direction in “Grayson” is certainly off to a strong start. I'm of the opinion that Dick is always at his best when he steps out from under Bruce's shadow, as witnessed in the ‘Bludhaven' era, as well as the stellar “Batman and Robin.” Dick's absence from other Bat-books, particularly “Batman Eternal,” suggests a dedication to distancing the character from the Gotham scene, a decision I applaud wholeheartedly. By further removing Grayson from his familiar haunts, Seeley and King have literally opened a whole world for the character to explore. Like the endless loop of the twisting spiral, the possibilities are apparently endless.

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7.2
Green Arrow (2011) #20

May 3, 2013

While there are definitely a few kinks inherent in a lot of DC books these days, Lemire and Sorrentino do a fantastic job of repositioning “Green Arrow” as one of the best books of the New 52. This four issue arc feels very much like an origin story, the moment when Ollie truly becomes Green Arrow, casting the series' previous sixteen issues as prologue to the main event. Ollie has definitely progressed from the immature playboy seen just a few issues ago, and hopefully Lemire is putting the character on a path towards something more recognizable and desirable.

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7.3
Green Arrow (2011) #23

Aug 9, 2013

Unfortunately, the plot is a bit more juvenile, with story beats like Fyff's unrequited feelings for Naomi and a literal, mystical green arrow that bestows enlightenment and immortality. Still, Lemire's characterization of Ollie is spot on, and Shado looks to be a worthy addition to the cast.

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8.4
Green Arrow (2011) #26

Dec 6, 2013

“Green Arrow” is a book that's easy to lose track of in the fast past shuffle of monthly superhero comics, and not likely one that loudly clamors for your $2.99. However, it remains one of the New 52′s best kept secrets, featuring strong characters, a rich plot, and deeper mythology than one would expect from a book about a guy with a bow and arrow. Fans of action adventure and noir crime thrillers alike owe it to themselves to give this book a look.

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9.0
Green Lantern (2011) #16

Jan 24, 2013

After "Blackest Night" many fans seemed to believe that the best days of "Green Lantern" had passed and jumped ship, waiting for the next guy to come along. However, Geoff Johns is still going strong. With new additions like the Third Army, the First Lantern, and Simon Baz, there seems to be no end in sight. If you're one who loved the early days of John's run but have since fallen off the wagon, you owe it to yourself to come back and see how things are going.

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9.3
Green Lantern (2011) #20

May 23, 2013

The LOST comparisons keep coming. Like that groundbreaking series, Johns' run on “Green Lantern” started strong, taking the (comic book) world by storm. After reaching monumental heights, many fell away from the series, sighting all manner of reasons for the decline in interest for the once critical darling. Both went on to become increasingly indulgent and at times quite cyclical. Just as LOST stayed true to its themes, and provided a beautiful bookend with Jack's opening/closing eye, “Green Lantern” comes full circle with the idea of rebirth. In the end, not every question is answered, and the series will likely polarize fans for years to come. However, the very fact that folks are going to be discussing “Green Lantern” for years to come, really says it all.

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7.8
Green Lantern (2011) #23

Aug 8, 2013

While still experiencing some growing pains, it's safe to say “Green Lantern” is in good hands. Not content to rest on what has come before, Venditti and Tan shake things up, introducing new characters and conflicts while rearranging the pieces already in play. Those who jumped of the title after Johns' departure (or even before) owe it to themselves to give this title a second chance.

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8.5
Green Lantern (2011) #23.3

Sep 20, 2013

If you've been keeping up with our “Villains Month Weekly Round-Ups,” many of this month's DC books fall back on exposition heavy origins to pad out their contents. These issues are almost invariably the least interesting. “Black Hand” is one of the minority that breaks this trend, moving the featured character forward rather than focusing on the past. Another flaw I've noticed with the Villains books is that they rarely advise the reader where to follow this character next. “Black Hand” is one of these offenders, but only technically. It's obvious that Hand will be back to plague the Lanterns, Hal Jordan in particular, sometime after next month's climactic ‘Lights Out' crossover. If this one shot is any indication, whether it's in the main book, or in Soule's own “Red Lanterns,” its going to be worth checking out.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2011) #24

Oct 4, 2013

Relic is a surprising solid addition to the Lantern mythos, and the idea of the emotional spectrum as a finite resource definitely adds an interesting wrinkle.

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8.6
Green Lantern (2011) #31

May 8, 2014

While it doesn't quite stick the landing, “Green Lantern” #31 reaps several long germinating plot threads, while continuing to build on Venditti's long game. While the Green Lantern line's state of constant crossover may be a deterrent to some, ‘Uprising' is off to a simple but highly enjoyable start.

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7.3
Green Lantern (2011) Annual #2

Nov 1, 2013

For all its faults, its hard not feel a sense of excitement after reading this issue. For all that it lacks in refinement and clout, it makes up for in gumption. Venditti has left “Green Lantern” open to a wide array of new story possibilities. Each book spinning out of the crossover bears a distinct new mission statement that is stronger than the one it had coming in, a huge success for any crossover. Venditti has done something I didn't think possible in such a short amount of time; he has successfully distanced himself from Johns' run. Some of the changes don't sit quite well with this reviewer, but you know what they say about breaking a few eggs. Regardless, Venditti and the rest of the Lantern creative teams deserve accolades for their willingness to forego convention in favor of new and interesting stories.

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8.2
Green Lantern Corps (2011) #21

Jun 14, 2013

Now that “Green Lantern Corps” is out of the immense shadow of Johns' “Green Lantern,” it appears to finally have room to grow. In fact, it surpasses the quality of Venditti's “Green Lantern.” Perhaps this is a sign that, for the first time in ages, all Green Lantern titles will stand on equal ground. With a strong cast, engaging conflict, and fantastic art, “Green Lantern Corps” is the current Lantern book to beat.

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7.0
Green Lantern Corps (2011) Annual #1

Jan 31, 2013

If you're a fan of the “Green Lantern” line, there are a lot things to geek out over in this issue. Otherwise, it's a fairly run of the mill reminder that, “hey, sometimes comics can just be big, fun, and bombastic, and that's OK.” Just don't expect much else.

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8.1
Green Lantern: New Guardians #23

Aug 23, 2013

“Green Lantern: New Guardians” #23 has a lot of things going for it; including beautiful art and a compelling conflict. That said, some of the choices made here are hard to swallow, and the feeling that readers will need to follow the story into multiple titles for resolution is somewhat disappointing. Also, the issue throws character development out the window in favor of its grandiose cosmic plot. Still, it's easily the best issue yet in Jordan's fledgling run, and perhaps the series as a whole.

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8.3
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #10

Jan 2, 2014

Overall, “Guardians of the Galaxy” #10 is a fun, brisk detour with only moderate bearing on the book's overarching plot-lines. However, thanks to strong characterization and even stronger artwork, the issue is arguably the best of Bendis' run thus far. Strangely, the issue does a poor job of building up excitement for next month's crossover with “All-New X-Men.” In fact, I'd argue this issue actually diminishes interest in ‘The Trial of Jean Grey.' In many ways, this almost feels like the beginning of an arc, rather than a bridge or a standalone issue. Why derail this story that is just starting to get rather interesting?

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7.8
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #14

Apr 25, 2014

“Guardians of the Galaxy” #14 is a fun, if somewhat uneven, ode to the property's legacy. Each story contained in the issue is strong on its own, but fail to coalesce as a collective unit. However, fans of the both the current and previous runs on the book are sure to find something to enjoy within these pages.

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7.0
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #15

May 30, 2014

It's not the series' best issue, but it services the ongoing story well enough to warrant a look.

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3.0
Halo: Initiation #1

Aug 16, 2013

As the first part of a three issue miniseries, this surprisingly slight debut bodes ill for coming issues. With a no-frills, formulaic approach, “Halo: Initiation” #1 is little more than a quick franchise cash-in, one that doesn't capture the full attention or craft of the creators involved.

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9.5
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #6

Dec 21, 2012

It's not unreasonable to claim this as the best book at Marvel comics, or even the best super hero book period. No other book has such a perfect balance of style and substance, or casts its hero in such a relatable way. Coming so soon after the Avengers film, this book is a prime candidate for new readers who have just been introduced to the character or Marvel comics in general. If you're looking for a good Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza (they're all represented here) gift for a loved one, or even a treat for yourself, look no further than “Hawkeye” #6.

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8.7
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #12

Jul 11, 2013

After the big “WTF” ending of “Hawkeye” #11, this issue feels a bit out of place. However, the prospect of learning more about Clint's childhood is exciting, and Barney is already making for a delightful addition to the book's already fantastic supporting cast. Like Francavilla's previous issue, “Hawkeye” #12 works to fill in cracks, making this world all the more intricate and fulfilling.

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8.9
Hawkeye Vol. 2 #16

Jan 24, 2014

If you would've told me a year ago that "Hawkeye" would take over three months away from Clint Barton to follow Kate Bishop in L.A., I would've been pretty bummed at the prospect. That said, if you had told me back in the summer of 2012 that one of the best super hero books in decades would be a Hawkeye solo title, I would've laughed in your face. Once again, Matt Fraction has managed to surpass expectations, giving us the stories we never knew we wanted.

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7.7
Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool #0

Sep 5, 2014

It's hard to say quite who this sort of series is aimed at. It feels far too continuity driven to appeal to fans of the popular "Deadpool Kills" minis, or other standalone stories of the ilk. It plays heavily into "Hawkguy"-mania, but also lacks the depth and nuance of that series. It most closely bears resemblance to the "Deadpool," but lacks a lot of that series' zaniness. In fact, it sometimes feels as if Duggan struggles with this, straddling the line between serious and kooky, holding the story back from the kind of absurd comic book fun associated with the Merc with a Mouth. However, even with this apparent handicap, it's safe to say that anyone currently interested in either of these characters will find something to enjoy. The crossover is definitely off to a strong start, and if future issues can find that sweet spot between serious and screwy, we could be in for a real treat.

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7.8
Hinterkind #1

Oct 3, 2013

Overall “Hinterkind” #1 is an above average title, in an imprint that is sorely hurting for new content. If Edington and Trifogli had released the book through Image, it would likely get lost in the shuffle of the fantastic content the publisher continues to churn out. The book, while engaging and interesting, lacks a unique voice or hook. Much of the issue feels like an amalgam of various properties, without ever expanding upon them. At Vertigo, however, the book just might be able to find a niche. And, in turn, with the help of other upcoming series like “Coffin Girl” and “Sandman: Overture,” books like “Hinterkind” just might help revitalize the once great imprint.

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8.2
Hunger #1

Jul 30, 2013

Despite the lack of the word "Ultimate" in its title, "Hunger" marks a momentous occasion for the line, the second ever crossover between the Ultimate universe and the main Marvel Universe. What this means for future stories, and the fate of the line in general, remains to be seen, but "Hunger" #1 definitely adds a sense of urgency and perceived "importance" the line has lacked. We've still got three issues left, but the upcoming "Cataclysm" certainly looks a lot more intriguing.

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7.5
I, Vampire #16

Feb 1, 2013

Like most of the books in DC's “Dark” line, “I, Vampire” is telling a refreshingly unique story that is unfortunately very under-appreciated. As the tension continues to rise and the story builds to its eventual climax, now is definitely not the time to jump ship. Art issues aside, this remains one of the New 52′s very best.

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7.5
Inhuman #3

Aug 15, 2014

Most importantly, this issue leaves the series in a more interesting place than when it began. While Madureira's contribution to the series will be missed, I greatly look forward to seeing the world Charles Soule and Ryan Stegman build upon this foundation.

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8.1
Inhumanity #1

Dec 5, 2013

Overall, “Inhumanity” is a terrific bridge point between “Infinity” and the “Inhumanity” banner-event that is currently sweeping through the Marvel universe. It's been hinted at before, but there's a distinct undercurrent of varying influences at work here. The royal subterfuge and division of “A Game of Thrones” is mingled with the marginalized minority of the X-Men, all wrapped in the cosmic high concepts of the event it stems from. Fraction has planted these seeds in extremely fertile soil, and one can only imagine that possible stories that will grow from them.

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8.8
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1

Apr 10, 2014

“Iron Fist: The Living Weapon” has some pretty large shoes to fill after the extremely well received “Immortal Iron Fist.” However, if this first issue is any indication, the series is set to sore to equal heights, albeit by taking a considerably different path. Rand's characterization is a little one-dimensional at this point, and the issue primarily stands on its strong visual story-telling. However, there's a terrific sense of conflict by issue's end, and perhaps Rand's newfound purpose will lead to a more fully formed protagonist that readers can get behind. Even with its faults, Andrews' has definitely created something special for readers to enjoy.

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7.2
Jupiter's Legacy #2

Jun 28, 2013

While it has yet to tread new ground, “Jupiter's Legacy” is a book full of depth and potential. With an engaging cast, an intriguing premise, and breathtaking visuals, it has all the makings of a modern classic, if the all star creative team can successfully execute what they've started. One thing is for sure, based on the grim cliffhanger, this is as far from Superman as it gets.

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9.5
Jupiter's Legacy #3

Sep 26, 2013

Now that the story has begun in earnest, Millar promises a shift into the future, wherein the consequences will be immediately felt. He also teases a glimpse into the past, and suggests some answers the mysterious island in the first issue. What began a seemingly derivative book has quickly developed a strong cast, an engaging mythology, and that oh so elusive hook that has ensured that at least one reader will be coming back for more.

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7.4
Jupiter's Legacy #4

Mar 7, 2014

“Jupiter's Legacy” #4 isn't quite the rip-roaring return that one would hope for after the climatic events of last issue. Commendably, Millar has shifted the focus of the book considerably, but the groove just isn't there yet. However, seeds are certainly sown for some potentially fantastic stories down the line. Besides, the book continues to be worth the asking price for Quitely's art on its own.

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6.5
Justice League #18

Mar 22, 2013

After the immensely fun and gorgeously drawn ‘Throne of Atlantis,' Justice League #18 is bit of a let down. However, Johns plants some interesting seeds for the upcoming “Trinity War,” and the introduction of a few fan favorite characters helps make up for some of this issue's flaws. ‘Off the Grid' isn't off to the best start, but hopefully future issues will rectify that.

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8.3
Justice League #21

Jun 27, 2013

As a definitive origin story, “Justice League” #21 delivers a bombastic story full of winks and nods towards longtime fans. While the issue bites off a bit more than it can chew, Johns ties a fairly neat bow on everything, while also leaving several plot threads for whoever takes over the Big Cheese. More than anything, it's great to see the character playing a prominent role in the DCU once again.

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7.0
Justice League #23

Aug 30, 2013

Factor all of this together, and we come close to a suitable, well-rounded estimation of “Justice League” #23. Some may be quick to critique the issue for it's lack of satisfactory answers, like the purpose “Trinity of Sin” plays in all of this hullabaloo. Ultimately, such critiques are unfair to the nature of serialized story-telling, as they are based on subjective ideas of how a story should play out. Though it bears its fair share of flaws, “Justice League” #23 exhibits a mark of quality that other DC creative teams should strive for.

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8.3
Justice League #27

Jan 23, 2014

“Justice League” #27 doesn't feel anything like a Justice League book. No, this is a call back to the years before the New 52, to books like “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” or “52″ that worked to elevate DC's lesser known properties into A-list heroes. While this particular issue doesn't rise to the heights of those stories, it stands as a refreshing detour in the midst of inter-dimensional battles between gods and goddesses, as well as a promise of things to come.

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9.0
Justice League #31

Jun 27, 2014

That is where “Justice League” #31 excels; by doing many different things and juggling them well, it's hard not to find something to enjoy.

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6.3
Justice League 3000 #1

Dec 13, 2013

It's easy to see Giffen and DeMatteis have got big things in mind for “Justice League 3000.” However, they choose to play their cards close to the chest in this first issue, perhaps too close for its own good. It's hard to peg just what kind of story the duo is trying to tell, or even if the story is one worth telling. One of the greatest complaints leveled against the most recent “Legion” incarnation was how generic it felt, and “Justice League 3000″ is in danger of falling into that same snare.

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4.0
Justice League Dark #24

Oct 25, 2013

At one time, the inclusion of the “Dark” line into the greater DC universe seemed like it could be a good thing, the next logical step even. After the fact, it seems only to have diluted the things that made the line so great. In fact, “diluted” is the perfect word to sum up “Justice League Dark” #24. Lacking in any substantial character or plot, the book fails to make a strong impression under its new creative team. As the flagship title of not only an 18-part crossover, but of the entire “Dark” corner of the New 52, that's a problem that needs to be addressed.

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8.0
Justice League of America (2013) #1

Feb 21, 2013

It's a shame that it has taken so long, but with “Justice League of America” it seems the foundation of the New 52 may finally be settling. Writers like Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathan Hickman have benefitted from writing multiple “Avengers” books over the years, and hopefully Johns will be able to do the same with the “Justice League” franchise. In terms of a single issue and an introduction to a new cast of characters and premise, “Justice League of America” does a great job of engaging the reader. The issue's cliffhanger is typical Johns, but it's also genuinely surprising, and it will be worth the wait for issue #2 to see how it resolves. Let's just hope that the next five issues don't consist of the team members punching each other.

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7.2
Justice League of America (2013) #4

May 30, 2013

Johns has become defined by his ability to nurture underused characters, his knowledge of and love for DC minutiae, and his propensity for disturbingly graphic violence. “Justice League of America” #4 encapsulates all three of these aspects. The main feature's final pages will incite equal parts rage and apathy, and perhaps appropriately so. It's hard, as someone familiar with mainstream comics, to look at an issue like this and be anything be anything but cynical, to expect any kind of lasting change, let alone good change. However, as referenced before, Johns has told wonderful stories out of terrible circumstances. If nothing else, collective comic-dom's interest in “Trinity War” has likely ticked up a few notches.

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8.4
Justice League of America (2013) #6

Jul 18, 2013

Just two chapters in, ‘Trinity War' continues to buck expectations, offering more up more than just standard “Hero vs. Hero” fare. Johns and Lemire are finally rekindling the “lived-in” feel of the pre-New 52 universe, without negating two years worth of world building. In many ways this feels like the New 52′s version of “Identity Crisis,” as small, personal event, with a central mystery and strong hook. Whether or not it follows in those controversial footsteps, it seems like ‘Trinity War' may be the kick in the pants the New 52 has needed.

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6.5
Justice League Of America's Vibe #3

Apr 18, 2013

"Justice League of America's Vibe" is a book with a lot of potential. Though officially a “Justice League” group book, “Vibe” fills the gaping hole in DC's “Young Justice” line, a sub-group plagued by early cancellations. Offering solid art, a promising supporting cast, and a unique view of the inner workings of A.R.G.U.S. and the mysteries of the New 52, this is a book all DC fans should be looking at. However, perhaps due to the Vibe's unenviable reputation, the creative team seems to lack the confidence needed to make this a true must-read. It almost seems as if DC hopes to cover this insecurity by packing the book with high concepts and fan service. In order for this book to thrive, Gates needs to capitalize on the cast by fleshing out Cisco's relationship with his brother and Agent Gunn. As fun as good mystery is, it's hard to care for all the twists and turns without strong characterization to back it up.

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6.8
Justice League Of America's Vibe #9

Nov 15, 2013

With just one issue to go, it seems unlikely that Gates will be able to wrap up the book's various plot threads with any modicum of satisfaction. It's a shame that this book was never able to overcome its name, even with the JLA moniker. The New 52 is hurting for strong teenage characters, and Vibe fits the “Spider-Man” mold quite well. “Vibe” #9 is far from the series best, with unremarkable art and some generally goofy characters among Vibe's new “Justice League,” but it's still a fun installment of one of the New 52′s most underrated series.

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8.7
Justice League United #0

Apr 24, 2014

While “Justice League United” is very much a successor to the short-lived “Justice League of America,” it is just as much a spiritual follow-up to “Justice League International.” That is, the original team, not the ill-fated New 52 incarnation. The book features a similar cast of colorful misfits, a humorous but mature tone, and a focus that steps outside of the confines of the continental U.S. In many ways, it also feels like an answer to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” especially with the current lack of a Legion book. “United's” ability to don so many hats at once and wear them well means this book has a great chance at pleasing a large number of fans.

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8.5
Lost Vegas #1

Mar 6, 2013

McCann and Lee are off to a fantastic start, layering the universe of “Lost Vegas” with tons of mystery and intrigue. Strong pacing, engaging characters, and relatable themes make this an easily accessible book for all. The concept is a little derivative and the plot predictable, but the spectacle of it all makes up for these shortcomings. Although Roland is a cold, selfish character, it's hard not to root for him throughout this fun caper. Just like in real games of chance, the odds rarely fall in your favor. Will Roland overcome the hand that he's been dealt? Where will he stand when the chips have fallen? How many more poker puns does it take to get you excited for this book?

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8.4
Marvel Knights: Hulk #1

Dec 12, 2013

"Marvel Knights: Hulk" #1 feels right at home next to the likes of "Daredevil" and "Hawkeye," books that aren't afraid to do things differently. It's is a not so much a re-imagining of the Hulk, but rather a familiar story viewed from a different angle. Lost, hunted, and doubtful, Keatinge and Kowalski crafter a Banner that is recognizable, without relying on any precursory knowledge of the character. Somewhat paradoxically, comics are becoming more mainstream as well as more artistically focused. Books such as this seem to be the logical treatise. Fun, smart, well written and illustrated, this is a terrific example of how good comics can be.

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8.9
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #2

Jun 5, 2014

“Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man” is shaping up to be a more than worthy continuation of Bendis' decade-plus saga. It's singularity belies its high profile nature, making it a bit of an anomaly in the comic book world, in more ways than one. While the catalyst for ‘Revival' is just as likely to induce groans and and skepticism as it is to engender excitement and nostalgia, Bendis and Marquez manage to hit all the right beats, preventing the development from feeling overly gratuitous or regressive. The continuing adventure of Miles Morales has become a must-read story, and the wait for next month's issue is nigh unbearable.

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8.2
MPH #2

Jun 19, 2014

Mark Millar is known for creating simple high concepts that instantly place their hooks in readers, and “MPH” is yet another check in that column. With likable characters and a unique blend of peppy super hero crime fiction, this team has added another enjoyable world to the growing Millarworld universe. While the book isn't quite as grand or powerful as “Jupiter's Legacy” or “Starlight,” it's race against the clock provides a strong impetus towards picking up the next chapter. There's an almost Breaking Bad-like thrill in only about a week's worth of pills for Roscoe and his friends, and the feds hot on his trail. Will all their dreams come true, or is this tale destined to end in tragedy? That sounds like a story worth following.

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9.0
New Avengers (2013) #3

Feb 8, 2013

We're just a few months in and it's easy to see that this is one of the best books that the Marvel NOW! initiative has to offer. Even if it didn't look like Hickman's "Avengers" books are set to play a major role in Marvel's next event following "Age of Ultron," it would still be a shame to let great story telling like this slip by unnoticed.

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7.2
New Warriors (2014) #1

Feb 21, 2014

“New Warriors” certainly isn't the artistic or literary game changer that some of its fellow “All-New Marvel Now” colleagues have proved to be. However, it's certainly a respectable superhero book, and more than a few rungs above the Distinguished Competition's equivalent offering.

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8.7
Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta #1

Jun 26, 2014

“Outcast” #1 benefits from the larger page count (42 pages of story, for $2.99!), allowing Kirkman and company time to traverse a lot of ground. The issue's pacing feels very much like the pilot of a new television show, one that quickly establishes the lead's background and instantly ropes the viewer into the ongoing conflict. By issue's end Kyle has a clear motive and direction by which to propel the series forward. It will be interesting to see how the book settles into a more traditional page count, as well as how the story will progress in the long term. The book doesn't quite seem quite so tailor made for the sort of status quo shifts that have propelled Kirkman's other series into triple digit issue counts. Regardless, “Outcast” #1 is a very strong showing from all involved, one worth checking out.

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4.8
Phantom Stranger (2012) #6

Mar 8, 2013

Taken as a whole, “Phantom Stranger” remains a disappointment. Although the art is the best its been since the series started, the Stranger's characterization leaves much to be desired. In past DC continuity, the Phantom Stranger was an enigmatic being full of otherworldly knowledge. Here, all mystery is stripped from the character, and he is as fallible as any mere mortal. The attempt at humanizing the Stranger has instead stripped him of all the core aspects that made him interesting.

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6.7
Phantom Stranger (2012) #9

Jun 7, 2013

Thankfully, Dematteis manages to finally pay off several of the book's lingering plot-lines and actually ends the issue on a positive note. With things beginning to wrap up and "Trinity War," on the horizon, one has to wonder if there's much gas left in this tank. It would certainly be a shame to see the book go, especially as it appears to have finally hit its creative stride. To reiterate, this isn't the Phantom Stranger you know, but rather something entirely new. If fans, and DC itself, can embrace that idea, then maybe this struggling book can finally find its legs.

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9.3
Pretty Deadly #1

Oct 21, 2013

I would say this book has the potential to become a "water cooler comic," but that term short changes "Pretty Deadly" considerably. This creative team is playing with heavy concepts, not just thematically but artistically and functionally as well. There's a surprising amount of content densely packed within these 24 pages that will demand several re-reads and any number of high-brow discussions, preferably deep into the night.

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8.6
Prime-8s #1

Nov 21, 2013

“Prime-8′s” may seem a little silly at first, and that's because it is. It wears that goofiness on its sleeve and runs with it, all the while managing to tell a respectable, though well trodden, superhero drama. More than anything, “Prime-8′s” is a fun comic, a call back to an earlier time while remaining perfectly suited for modern audiences of any age. Furthermore, as a full length comic (by modern standards) priced at a measly $0.99, “Prime-8′s” puts nearly every Big-Two book, and even some of its indie contemporaries, to absolute shame. There's literally no reason not to check this book out.

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4.8
Real Heroes #1

Mar 27, 2014

“Real Heroes” is a certainly a book that is trying to do something different with the super hero genre, while also capitalizing on mainstream obsession with the genre. In this first issue, Hitch lays down a compelling high concept, an intriguing (if somewhat shallow) cast, and an absolutely off-the-wall twist. As a proposed four issue mini-series, “Real Heroes” has the potential to tell a unique and timely story. The book benefits from Hitch's artistic contribution, but has a lot of work to do before it finds solid ground with readers.

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3.5
Red Lanterns #22

Aug 2, 2013

With each passing issue it gets harder and harder to justify this book. Other lantern corps seem ripe for a deeper look, with great characters in the Star Sapphire and Sinestro Corps, or intriguing concepts with the Blue and Indigo Lanterns. Soule plants a few interesting seeds that may yet come to bear fruit, but he's got a way to go before “Red Lanterns” becomes viable.

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8.2
Red Lanterns #31

May 30, 2014

Those who had previously written of "Red Lanterns" as a grim relic of "90"s" story-telling should consider taking another look, you might be surprised what you find.

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5.5
Revolutionary War: Alpha #1

Jan 9, 2014

It feels somewhat disappointing for a world so filled with magic and wonder to return devoid of either. "Revolutionary War Alpha" is a case of having all the pieces necessary for a good comic, strong creators, fun characters, and a unique setting, but failing to put them together in a satisfying way. Luckily, with each of the various one-shots being handled by a different creative team, there's still plenty of opportunity for this ship to be righted.

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9.3
Rocket Raccoon #1

Jul 4, 2014

“Rocket Raccoon” is arguably a success on nearly every level. The issue itself is technically strong. The dialogue and tone are extremely fun, the characters are memorable, and the artwork and design are stunning and unique. The book captures the spirit of the Guardians of the Galaxy and presents it in a terrific all-ages format. By focusing the action on Rocket, the book gives younger readers a mascot with which to identify, and gives older fans more of what they want: Rocket and Groot being absolutely awesome. The book is arguably a “Guardians-lite” book, telling enjoyable and relevant stories without the sense of angst and urgency found in “Guardians of the Galaxy” proper. This makes the book a perfect read for the more casual comic fan, or for those less invested in the vast web of Marvel continuity.

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8.6
Saga #12

Apr 11, 2013

While this isn't the best issue of the series to date, "Saga" #12 presents a lot of interesting possibilities for the story's future. It's also a much welcome look at Prince Robot IV, who has been on the back burner in recent issues. While Marko and Alana's story is clearly the center-point of "Saga," Vaughan and Staples have done a fantastic job at making the issues focused on side characters as interesting as, if not more than, the ones featuring the core cast.

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8.9
Saga #18

Jan 30, 2014

“Saga” has been and continues to be a slow burn, with Vaughan slyly concealing his hand. The end of “Saga” #18 brings both uncertainty and hope, but little insight into the future. A number of epilogues tease at where the series will end up, with some more tantalizing than others (I still don't get what those reporters have to do with anything). Still, as the issue wraps as it so often does, with Hazel's narration, beautifully handwritten over the gorgeous art, it's hard not to feel the same sense of excitement and awe that the series in that first groundbreaking issue. There's truly the feeling that imagination is the limit, and that a Rocket Ship Tree can take you anywhere.

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9.3
Saga #19

May 23, 2014

There's a point after every break in "Saga" where I pick up the first issue to a new arc and think, "after not reading this book for a few months, do I still really care?" After just a few seconds with "Saga" #19, that answer was a clear and resounding "YES."

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8.4
Shade, the Changing Girl #3

Dec 12, 2016

With this third issue, "Shade the Changing Girl" finds firm footing, from which it may rise out of the shadow of the flagship "Doom Patrol" to become the preeminent Young Animal title.

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9.0
Shaolin Cowboy #1

Oct 10, 2013

To sum things up: If love great art, irreverent humor, or fun in general, buy this comic. If you don't like any of those things, then I hear there's a new issue of Catwoman coming out soon. Just wait for that.

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7.0
Sinestro #1

Apr 18, 2014

Unfortunately, “Sinestro” #1 isn't quite the solid start that the character needs or deserves. Bunn retreads several plot points from recent years, and even makes reference to that fact within the issue. Hopefully, by getting these threads tied up early, Bunn can begin moving the character forward. There's a great potential for the character reconnect with his estranged daughter, a plot point that has always been fascinating but never fully explored. This book appears to have only a marginal connection to the greater “Green Lantern” line. Outside of the purview of space operatic crossover events, Bunn has the perfect opportunity to explore the character in new ways, and Dale Eaglesham proves to a more than fitting partner for such an endeavor. There's the potential for something good, and perhaps even great, but it's going to take a bit more polish and innovation to get there.

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7.0
Skyman #1

Jan 17, 2014

"Skyman" #1 is a bit of a conundrum. As a character piece, dealing with relevant social issues, it does a spectacular job, although its racism themes are often far too on the nose. However, it's place and purpose in the burgeoning "Project Black Sky" initiative remains unclear, and the issue ends with no indication of where the book will head next. Even the book's best dialogue and characterization aren't quite enough to demand a second issue purchase. "Skyman" #1 is a far stronger start than one might guess from the cover, but not quite the success it needs to be.

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9.2
Southern Bastards #2

May 30, 2014

Fans of “Scalped” already have a barometer by which to gauge Aaron's gritty, tightly woven crime epics. “Southern Bastards” continues to do that legacy justice, thanks to the startlingly well developed lead character and Jason Latour's exceptional artistic contributions. The issue elicits a wide range of emotion, regardless of your affiliation with southern Americana, making the book a compelling read for all. The grandness of scope belies the book's humble trappings, suggesting the makings of another great run.

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7.3
Star-Spangled War Stories: G.I. Zombie #1

Jul 25, 2014

Days after reading the issue, there are a number of moments in "Star Spangled War Stories" that stick with me. However, while the debut of "G.I. Zombie" has these noteworthy, thought-provoking, and occasionally powerful moments, it fails to come together as a worthwhile whole. The in media res approach works to build a sense of mystery, but it ultimately limits any sort of attachment to the characters. Furthermore, the approach is nearly undermined by the reliance on exposition to catch the reader up on the book's status quo. The book's tone is almost surprisingly grim, but in a way more accustomed to Vertigo or indie books than that of the New 52. Gray and Palmiotti set up an intriguing dynamic between Carmen and Jared, giving the characters a unique chemistry and instantly placing them on a sort of level playing field. I look forward to seeing their relationship develop, far more than I yearn for a group of terroristic goons to seek justice. It's not quite wha

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8.2
Starlight #1

Mar 6, 2014

“Starlight” #1 isn't by any stretch a game changer. Like most of Millar's works, the book puts a twist on tried and true comic trope. In this case, it's “Flash Gordon meets ‘Dark Knight Returns.'” However, as this opening issue focuses more on the characters than the plot itself, it feels delightfully fresh. The issue is primarily set up for the inevitable call to the stars, heralding the action packed adventure that will carry the series through five more issues, but it's certainly set-up done well. “Starlight” #1 is a beautiful little title, both in plot and style, and definitely one you should check out.

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8.9
Suicide Squad (2011) #20

May 9, 2013

It's too early to tell just how high this star will rise, but it's obvious things are looking up for "Suicide Squad." Kot clearly has a handle on this team of misfits, coming delightfully close to their brethren of continuity past. Appearances by recent "Justice League" villains Cheetah and Graves, along with the inspired use of a certain Bat-villain, certainly point towards a higher profile for this series in the months to come. Regardless of its place in broader DC continuity, for the first time in the New 52, "Suicide Squad" is going to have folks talking.

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6.8
Suicide Squad (2011) #23

Aug 15, 2013

Whatever the circumstances involving Kot's departure, it certainly seems his heart isn't with the series in his final moments. “Suicide Squad” #23 bears the wounds present in many New 52 books, like the work of some deranged serial killer bent on eliminating exceptional story-telling. Matt Kindt is a more than adequate successor, but one has to wonder if even he can mend the damage.

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4.2
Superboy (2011) #20

May 10, 2013

It's always strange when a writer known for delivering fantastic creator owned and stories falters on a Big Two book. Justin Jordan made a name for himself on “Strange Talent of Luther Strode,” and has done very respectable work on Valiant's relaunched “Shadowman.” As mentioned before the break, Jordan's debut feels neutered of his distinct voice, a manufactured continuation of what has come before under the pens of Lobdell and DeFalco. Whether this is due to editorially mandated story beats, or less devious, the growing pains involved with a new creative team, it's essentially business as usual for the Boy of Steel. Take that as you will, and purchase accordingly.

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4.5
Supergirl (2011) #21

Jun 21, 2013

The last page reveal of a fan-favorite Superman villain works well in the context of the story presented. With the New 52 erasing much of said character's history, it will be very interesting to see what Nelson has in store. Unfortunately, that potential, as well as the good will instilled by last issue, does little to help this droll chapter.

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6.4
Supergirl (2011) #26

Dec 19, 2013

As a Lobo book, “Supergirl” #26 is pretty good. As a Supergirl book, it's more than a little wanting. Even the cliffhanger has more weight towards the latter, with the Scouge o' the Cosmos seemingly meeting his match. Of course, fans know that it'll take more than a measly Kryptonian to keep him down. It's not the most promising start to their run, but many of the necessary pieces are in place for a good “Supergirl” yarn. That is, if Bedard and Cinar can nail down the book's identity a little more neatly.

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6.6
Supergirl (2011) #29

Mar 21, 2014

The issue itself ends on a bit of an odd note, steering the reader towards last month's "Green Lantern/Red Lanterns" flipbook to continue the story. Over the course of the issue, Bedard breaks away from the Red Lantern Supergirl story to develop a number of subplots involving Dr. Veritas, Lobo, and a demonic lizard-like army. It will be interesting to see how Bedard wrangles all of these disparate plot threads. Each one is interesting in its own right, but they fail to form a cohesive story. Overall, "Supergirl" #29 isn't the salvation the series needs at the moment, but it is an unexpected move that may end up paying off for the girl of steel.

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7.7
Superior Spider-Man #1

Jan 10, 2013

A solid start marred only by an unlovable protagonist. Don't make uninformed judgement calls until you've at least given it a shot.

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #23

Dec 6, 2013

The issue never feels bloated or segmented, however, as each plot point flows organically into the next. That synergistic storytelling makes Slott's "Spider-Man" consistently one of the most fun and rewarding books on the stand, and issue #23 continues the trend.

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9.2
Superior Spider-Man #25

Jan 16, 2014

In the words of Norman Osbourne, “Consider it a gauntlet thrown.” The stakes are unbelievably high, Otto's claim to Peter's life and livelihood has never been more precarious, and the drums of war beat increasingly louder. It may sound like dramatic hyperbole, but it's hard not to get excited when, after careful planning much craft, a long gestating, well written story draws near its climax. Bring on ‘Goblin Nation.'

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8.5
Superior Spider-Man #32

Aug 8, 2014

Regardless of how far his actual role in "Spider-Verse" will go, thank goodness there's still one issue of this series to come.

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6.3
Superman (2011) #23

Aug 29, 2013

Indeed, beginning a crossover the week before the much lauded “Villain's month” seems largely counter-intuitive. As none of the issues are set to feature the psionic-based villains, it'll be a full 5 weeks until the story is followed up in “Action Comics” #24. Still, the story marks an interesting change of pace from what Lobdell's run has been up to this point, and offers a genuine trial for Superman to face.

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8.9
Superman (2011) #23.4

Sep 27, 2013

In a month that sadly lacked in spunk and innovation, “Superman #23.4″ stands head and shoulders over most other Villains books. Kuder managed to tell an origin story that wasn't derivative or unnecessary. As with the other Villains books that worked, here's hoping he gets a chance to continue the story in the months to come.

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7.0
Superman (2016) #12

Dec 8, 2016

A fun issue with strong art, but somewhat below par for this creative team.

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8.0
Superman Unchained #1

Jun 13, 2013

Now that Snyder has a hand in both of DC's biggest cookie jars, it's going to be hard not to compare his work here to his critically acclaimed “Batman.” While this debut isn't the grand slam that was “Batman” #1, “Superman Unchained,” pays homage to the character's long history and successfully captures several key ingredients necessary for a good, and potentially great, Superman story, something that has become a rarity of late.

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7.0
Superman/Wonder Woman #9

Jun 13, 2014

“Superman/Wonder Woman” #9 is an enjoyable continuation of “Doomed,” but the story is beginning to drag. This is at least the third issue in a row that has ended with a rogue-ish Superman flying off for parts unknown. While Soule builds on the explosive events of the previous chapter, shifting the status quo ever so slightly, there's just not much forward momentum. This, coupled with the book's divided structure, prevents the issue from being an absolute must read. However, Soule's strong character work and Daniel's terrific art are certainly worth a look.

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6.5
Superman: Doomed #1

May 16, 2014

For all its pitfalls, “Superman: Doomed” #1 remains a step above most Doomsday stories by not placing the whole focus on the monster. Pak, Soule, and Lobdell wisely choose to focus on characters first, and the effect that Doomsday has on them. The fight between Superman and Doomsday is far the endgame, and the point where the story leaves off has interesting implications for the Superman books moving forward. There's enough impetus to follow the story into the Superman books one is already reading, rather than resiliently waiting for this crossover to pass.

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8.7
Supreme: Blue Rose #2

Aug 21, 2014

“Supreme Blue Rose” continues to be an absolutely anomaly. Ellis and Lotay have come along to revive a seemingly lost franchise, so soon after the last maligned attempt, literally out of the blue. The result is such a massive departure, even for a series known for massive departures. Whether the long and winding trail will eventually pay off remains to be seen. However, “Blue Rose” certainly stands as an immensely compelling and gorgeously drafted comic book.

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8.2
Swamp Thing (2011) #15

Dec 7, 2012

Even with the handicap of being an alternate reality story, “Swamp Thing” endures as one of the best series in the New 52 and a true success story for the DC underdog turned Vertigo mainstay and back again. With that said, the rot storyline has grown somewhat stale, having been building since the start of the New 52 a year and a half ago. New readers would do well to wait until ‘Rotworld' wraps up in issue #17 before jumping on the series, but if you've been reading this book from the beginning, take heart. We're nearing the finish line of this disgusting, heart wrenching marathon.

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8.2
Ten Grand #4

Aug 9, 2013

While the pacing and structure leave something to be desired, with much of the issue devoted to fleshing out a side-story that has (seemingly) little to do with the major conflict at hand. However, the level of strong characterization and emotional development at play here is commendable. As always, Ben Templesmith's art is worth the price of admission alone, as it's a continual treat to see him craft new sections of this world month in and out.

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8.0
Ten Grand #5

Nov 7, 2013

Changing artists mid-arc is never optimal, especially in a singular story like “Ten Grand.” Ben Templesmith will certainly be missed. His ethereal, intricate line-based depictions of the spirits and powers of “Ten Grand” were a defining hallmark, and Smith's negative image approach fails to match that uniqueness. Still, Smith proves two be a worthwhile addition to the book, and his collaboration with Straczynski shows a lot of promise. “Ten Grand” remains a strong read, and is more than worth a look by fans 90′s Vertigo-style stories.

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6.6
The Movement #1

May 2, 2013

In a way, “The Movement” reads like one extended preview for a series, rather than a debut issue. While Simone throws out a lot of ideas, only some of them stick, and there's hardly enough space to contain those that do. This and a few other misteps, such as the cliched dirty cops and the Movement's questionable motives, keep “The Movement” from achieving “must read” status out of the gate. However, the intriguing new heroes,the strong first impression of Coral City, and William's dynamic and engaging art, make this a book that stands out among the New 52′s standard brand of doom and gloom. If you're going to do a book about how grim the world is, this is a fine way to start.

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9.1
The Rocketeer / The Spirit: Pulp Friction #1

Jul 25, 2013

Devoid of the usual overbloated spectacle and hyperbole of comic book crossovers, “Pulp Friction” is good, classic fun, with a level of production value that puts the Big Two to shame. Moreso, Without bounds of continuity or years of backstory, this series is accessible to all. With a high caliber creative team, masterful presentation, a dream-come-true concept, and an engaging plot to back it all up, it has all the makings of 2013′s big sleeper hit.

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8.5
The Royals: Masters Of War #1

Feb 14, 2014

“The Royals: Masters of War” #1 isn't perfect. There are a few forced lines of dialogue (Harry's melodramatic monologue in the opening segment) and a few wonky faces (again, Rose is the biggest offender. However, the series carries on the strong lineage of books like “Superman: Red Son” and “The Authority,” giving us a Superman like figure who decides to defend those in his care. Like those books, the consequence of that decision turn out to be quite dire, and it will be extremely interesting to see how they play out.

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9.0
The Sandman Overture #1

Oct 31, 2013

Perhaps second only to “Hellblazer,” “Sandman” is one of the best exemplars of the worth and importance of the Vertigo imprint. With DC apparently looking to put some wind back in those sails, it's only fitting that the series return to lead the way. While each individual reader will likely come away from “Sandman Overture” #1 with a grossly different take, it's safe to say the Gaiman's return to the Dreaming is a momentous success. This could be the definitive “Sandman” story that no one expected. “Crisis of Infinite Dreams,” anyone?

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7.8
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015) #15

Dec 19, 2016

Humorous and smartly crafted, this standalone issue will leave any pet owner in stitches.

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9.0
The United States of Murder Inc. #1

May 15, 2014

At $3.99 for over 40 pages of story plus a robust letters column, “United States of Murder Inc.” represents an incredible value for your precious comic dollars. Plus, by essentially packaging two issues for the price of one, Bendis and Oeming have softened the blow of any (likely inevitable) delays the book may suffer down the line.

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8.6
Translucid #1

Apr 17, 2014

Super hero books are a dime a dozen. “Translucid” #1 succeeds by expanding on a basic and well worn high concept, without feeling derivative. Sanchez, Ebert, and Bayliss have managed to craft a gorgeous debut issue that grabs readers with its strong characters and perplexing mysteries. Like Bayliss' “Batman: The Deal,” “Translucid” promises to offer a unique take on the struggle between good and evil, while redefining just what those roles mean.

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6.0
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1

Jul 4, 2013

The elephant in the room, Pandora's appearance in “Flashpoint” #5, is in no way cleared up or even touched upon. In fact, her role in those events are arguably made even more murky. While this isn't the best forum for speculation, it would seem said event may not haven even occurred yet in New 52 continuity. If so, expect it to come into play in “Trinity War,” resulting in some “

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7.6
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #25

Jun 6, 2013

Reviving the “Disassembled” moniker, made famous by Brian Bendis at the start of his groundbreaking “Avengers” run, is a ballsy move. Obviously, whether or not Fialkov's work on “Ultimates” will be as revolutionary or reinvigorating as Bendis' remains to be seen, but Fialkov has certainly set the stakes incredibly high. With the future of the Ultimate universe very much in flux, and a lack of strong character grounding, it's hard to get terribly invested. At the same time, the sense that anything can happen is a defining tribute of the Ultimate universe, and Fialkov's debut issue goes a long way towards making the “The Ultimates” relevant once more.

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4.0
Ultron #1AU

Apr 12, 2013

It's great to see Victor Mancha get some attention, and it would've been a major oversight to not take advantage of “Age of Ultron” to spotlight the character. Unfortunately, “Ultron” #1AU fails to add much of anything to an event that is pretty shallow to begin with. While this story's importance may come to light later on, at this point it's best left for “Runaways” junkies and event completists.

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6.5
Uncanny Avengers #8AU

May 24, 2013

This is by no means the best issue of "Uncanny Avengers" to date. However, it is a fun diversion from the main series, and one of the best uses of the "Age of Ultron" world yet. Most importantly, the issue shows a softer side to the misguided son of Archangel, something that will surely come into play in Remender's ongoing saga.

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8.8
Uncanny Avengers #9

Jun 20, 2013

The shift from “X-Force” to “Avengers” has brought a large tonal shift to what is essentially one long-running epic, one that allows for organic growth and doors to new opportunities. Although he wasn't involved with “Avengers vs. X-Men” proper, Remender is utilizing the new status quo in the most interesting and meaningful of ways. It just so happens, with the consequences of the past few years' worth of story, that this is a fascinating time to explore the unification of human and mutant. With the additions of the splintered timeline and horsemen threads to an already full pot, “Uncanny Avengers” runs the risk of faltering under its own immense weight. However, like all high stakes gambles, the payoff is potentially huge.

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8.0
Uncanny Avengers #18.NOW

Mar 28, 2014

It's arguable that the Apocalypse Twin/Ragnarok Now stretched a little thin. However, "Uncanny Avengers" comes back to form in a major way with the first issue of 'Avenge the Earth.' The book has a (very) strange new status quo, a new mission, and feels fresh in most every way.

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9.1
Uncanny X-Men (2013) #12

Sep 19, 2013

We're nearing the halfway point of 'Battle of the Atom,' and it's safe to say the crossover, thus far, is a creative success, with "Uncanny X-Men" #12 standing out as one of the strongest chapters yet. I would be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat disappointed with the lack of information regarding the future X-Men, this far into the crossover, but it's hard to complain when the story is still so incredibly good.

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7.8
Vertigo Quarterly: Cyan #1

May 1, 2014

“Vertigo Quarterly: Cyan” is an incredibly impressive debut for the new anthology. While the theme doesn't quite hold, and the production isn't quite as strong as it should be, there's quite a lot to enjoy in these pages. DC doesn't do projects like this very often, and it's refreshing to see such a niche labor of love hit the stands. Come for the names you know and love, stay for the new creators you'll fall in love with. With nine diverse and enjoyable stories, you're sure to find something that strikes your fancy.

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5.0
Wolverine (2014) #1

Feb 7, 2014

You know, other than the fact that next issue has Stegman drawing Superior Spider-Man again. That's hot stuff.

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4.3
Wolverine and the X-Men #27AU

Apr 19, 2013

“Wolverine and the X-Men” #27AU is one of the most intriguing “Age of Ultron” tie-ins thus far. Unfortunately, that bar isn't very high to begin with. Like most of these tie-in issues, the impact on the overall story is minimal at best, and hardly worth your $3.99.

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9.0
Wolverine and the X-Men #29

May 16, 2013

After a few missteps, “Wolverine and the X-Men” is back on track, and perhaps more interesting than it has ever been. Many have noted that the series is at its best when it focuses on the school and its students, something that rings true in light of this issue. The series balances a fun and whimsical tone with deeply moving emotions and ideas. Full of heart and hope, Aaron's writing and Prez and Martin's art exhibit the best of what “Marvel NOW” has to offer. With the upcoming “Hellfire Academy” and the even larger “Battle of the Atom,” the future of the Jean Grey School has never looked brighter.

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8.5
Wolverine and the X-Men #42

Feb 27, 2014

Congratulations are in order for Aaron, Bachalo, Bradshaw, and to all those who've made a lasting mark on the X-Men. The team has left behind a terrific legacy, with a vast well of characters, concepts, and untapped potential to fuel X-Men stories for years to come. Best of luck to the incoming creators, Jason Latour and Mahamud Asrar. I hope you survive the experience!

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8.5
Wonder Woman (2011) #17

Feb 22, 2013

Issue after issue, it's still hard to believe the incredible magic this team is working with "Wonder Woman." This issue was less engaging than the series has been, but it moves that story forward at a satisfying pace. Azzarello's "Wonder Woman" is a slow burn, yet the fuse is growing shorter and shorter. When it reaches it's end, you can expect the explosion to be magnificent.

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7.3
Wonder Woman (2011) #20

May 17, 2013

The lines are finally drawn. On one side we have Apollo and the Olympian gods, on the other the First Born and his cyborg companion Casandra. In the middle, Diana leads her rag tag army, with the safety of her world and a small baby, possessing a dubious destiny, hanging in the balances. Though this individual issue As all the twisting plot threads begin to come together, it looks as if Azzarello is building towards a brilliant climax. If he can match the quality of the brilliant “season finale” of issue #12, then fans have quite the treat to look forward to.

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9.7
Wonder Woman (2011) #23

Aug 22, 2013

It's really easy to jump on the DC hate-wagon and dismiss the New 52, but to do so completely would be to disregard a modern classic in the making. Between the work being done here by Azzarello and Chiang and the upcoming OGN by Grant Morrison and Yannick Paquette, it would seem that the lesser of DC's Trinity is finally receiving a much needed renaissance. If nothing else, “Wonder Woman” proves that character is still relevant, and is just as interesting and engaging as her male counterparts. Kudos' to all involved on this series for another spectacular year.

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8.9
Wonder Woman (2011) #29

Mar 21, 2014

It's quite redundant to point out at this point, but very few books remaining from the original New 52 launch have managed to sustain such a high level of quality. Brian Azzarelo and Cliff Chiang are creating a definitive run, and it's issues like this one that prove it as such.

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9.0
Zero #4

Dec 20, 2013

Like much of Kot's work, “Zero” #4 isn't afraid to push boundaries, or to make you feel something, even if you're not quite sure what it is you feel. It's hard to describe this story as either character or plot driven, but it certainly is driven. I for one can't wait to see what plans Kot has in store for Agent Zero and the menacing Agency.

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9.1
Zero #6

Mar 20, 2014

While “Zero” #5 was arguably a bigger game changer from a plot and thematic standpoint, “Zero” #6 shakes things up on a very emotional level. Of course, the exact emotion that's elicited will vary from reader. Built on the foundation of one enigmatic question, “Where did the horses go?”, the issue is the very definition of abstract. Kot has literally opened a door to infinite possibilities, and it will be fascinating to see just which one he chooses to take us through.

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