Zack Freeman's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Vine Reviews: 287
7.5Avg. Review Rating

5.0
Action Comics #888

Apr 15, 2010

It's both a positive and negative statement about a title when its back-up feature is better than its main feature. While the story about Nightwing, Flamebird, the JSA and Rao was honestly rather dull, the Captain Atom was really well done. I'd really prefer to read a Captain Atom solo title by Robinson and Cafu instead of this.

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9.0
Action Comics #891

Jul 28, 2010

Obviously, this was in development independently of Inception, but if you've got a taste after that blockbuster for stories about cunning minds navigating traps set throughout dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams, then you're going to enjoy the hell out of this. I was really surprised to find that two of DC's longest-running titles would be some of the best comics out this week, but this and Detective are definitely my top recommendations for this week.

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8.0
Adventure Comics Vol. 2 #12

Jun 3, 2010

There seem to have been a lot of Legion stories lately and I'd say this was definitely the best of the ones I've read so far. It's got charm and innocence without feeling like a dated throwback. Now that the focus in this title has shifted to the original Superboy, I hope this team continues to tell stories like this.

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8.0
Age of Heroes #1

May 19, 2010

This serves a similar purpose to this week's Enter the Heroic Age in showing how this new era is affecting different heroes throughout the Marvel Universe. I'll compliment Marvel's editorial for organizing this in such a way that there's no "double-dipping" or redundancy between the two books. Although, I think I'll recommend this more of the two, since all its stories are satisfying told-in-ones rather than being intended as teases for other books.

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6.0
Age of Heroes #2

Jun 16, 2010

The collection of shorts in this issue weren't as appealing as those in the first issue. While I realize that the aim of this mini-series is to get readers interested in the various new titles debuting throughout Heroic Age, the last issue offered more stories that could be enjoyed in themselves (in addition to being previews) while a lot of these just felt like teases and little else.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #628

Apr 22, 2010

You'll get the full package when you pick this up. While the feature story is still some familiar fun, I'd almost recommend this just for the back-up. I say you ought to buy this if you're snooping through the shelves this week.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #637

Jul 14, 2010

Having read "Kraven's Last Hunt" back in the day, I can say that this storyline's proven to be a worthy successor to DeMatteis/Zeck classic. In fact, it actually surpasses it in many ways. This is one of those rare "house-cleaing" stories that's manages to make the task of getting a bunch of characters in line genuinely engaging and even quite thrilling. I recommned this arc.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #643

Sep 15, 2010

This is vintage Spider-Man - - everybody favorite wall-crawler facing almost-comedically insurmountable odds. It might run a little too soap operatic for modern readers, but it's still got plenty of chills (Doc Okc's creepy new redesign) and spills (the double whammy Spidey puts on Sandman and Electroc) to properly ratchet up the ol' thrill-o-meter. I'm always impressed with how the team's able to put a good title out in what has to be an unbelievably-demanding weekly release schedule.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #644

Sep 29, 2010

This has proven to be one of the most frenetic, fast-paced thrillers I've ever seen Spidey involved in. It's like some wonderful love child of Jackie Chan, Buster Keaton and Speed -- meaning you've got serious drama and impressive physical humor to underlay the relentless action. The revelations at the end of this were just intense procession of nailbiters -- I really need to see the next issue of ASM, and now!

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9.0
Amazing Spider-Man #645

Oct 13, 2010

Those who have been having reservations about the art in this arc really out to take a second look, because the gritty line work perfectly suits the intensity of this story. I've never read a Spider-Man story that was as frenetic as this. This feels less like a regular superhero book and more like a hot-blooded, white-knuckled, hard-boiled thriller from the 70s. Since this is bi-weekly, scoop up the previous issues before this arc wraps up.

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8.0
Amazing Spider-Man #646

Oct 27, 2010

I was fortunate enough to get to read this story arc every week it came out and it's delivered on exactly what we hoped Amazing Spider-Man would be when it started coming out bi-monthly. This has been a page-turner with some gasp-inducing cliffhangers and the whole premise of Spidey going through his entire rogue's gallery to protect this baby is so strong, I could even see this standing on its own. This is vintage Spider-Man.

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7.0
Amazing Spider-Man #647

Nov 3, 2010

Even with my qualms about the new developments in Spidey's love life, I still think that the changes made to his supporting cast and the new directions they've been taken into are all quite sensible. Whether it's JJJ becoming Mayor, Aunt May marrying JJJ Sr. or even Harry Osborn going off on his way, it's all a lot more interesting than that status quo I've been used to for years.

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7.0
American Vampire #3

May 19, 2010

I'm a little torn on my recommendation of this title. Definitely pick it up to check out the art, and know that you're going to get some well-oiled storytelling from the writers, but understand that you're not going to be much that will surprise. Again, I wish I could see this same team in a title that just wasn't about vampires.

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8.0
American Vampire #8

Nov 10, 2010

This is another book where I've unfortunately had to enjoy it piecemeal. I didn't get to read what came right before and I probably won't get to read what comes next but, taking this for what it is, you'll be hard-pressed to find too many other comics with execution as tight as this. It's almost like watching an musician at peak performance, as every little gesture is so finely tuned.

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7.0
Astonishing Spider-Man And Wolverine #2

Jul 14, 2010

This is one the few modern comics I've read that felt like it'd fit right in with Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics column, which is both a good and bad thing. It's fun to see these characters in such a wild adventure outside of the restrictions of regular continuity, but it doesn't seem to work cohesively. This felt more like a weird annual or an odd issue of Spider-Man Team-Up instead of what I assume the Astonishing line is trying to do.

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8.0
Astonishing Spider-Man And Wolverine #3

Sep 15, 2010

This continues to be one of the most bizarre takes

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #34

Jun 30, 2010

This is very well-produced book and an accessible title for readers who don't even need to be that familiar with X-Men's history, or even long term-readers who don't want to get embedded in the current crossovers. There were some odd moments of off characterization in the art and script, but those were only select "trouble spots."

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6.0
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1

May 12, 2010

I was initially intrigued to see how the "mutant births" enigma would play out, but my interest dipped by the end. I'm really not that intrigued to see how this plays out, even though this was competently done. And again - - what's up with Emma Frost? She's like a political cartoon. Considering how pricey this, I don't think if it's really worth adding to your pull list.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #3

Sep 22, 2010

I'd honestly just give this high marks for its continuation of the "Mad Jim Jasper's Warp" storyline from the classic Moore/ Davis run on Captain Britain.

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4.0
Astounding Wolf-Man #22

Apr 13, 2010

While Jason Howard is a name I'll definitely be looking out for in the future, I don't have much desire to check this title out after this issue. It just doesn't offer much that I haven't already seen in so many other superhero comics from Marvel and DC.

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7.0
Avengers Academy #1

Jul 14, 2010

Right now, the best thing this book's got going for it is Finesse's unique characterization and the routes that the Academy's potentially super-villainous connections could go. I've enjoyed Gage's writing in the past, so I trust he's got some aces up his sleeve. And it's, of course, still early in the series to judge this book without giving it a fair shake, but I think there's going to have to be some twists, and soon, to make this title stand out from books like Young Allies, Young Avengers and even Runaways.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #4

Sep 22, 2010

To be honest, the "I Am Avengers" promos that preceded this series made it look like it was going to be really cheesy and unnecessary. So I've been pleasantly surprised that this book has had such strong characterizations and a genuinely-interesting premise that doesn't encroach on the theme of any other team title. Actually, this is a great compliment piece to the Thunderbolts half of this crossover, which was rock solid on its own.

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8.0
Avengers Academy #5

Oct 6, 2010

Gage has opted to use these issues partly as character pieces of the individual academy members and, by focusing on fleshing out their personalities, that approach has steadily been winning me over on characters I honestly thought looked kind of lame in the early previews. Actually, now that the full nature of this series has been revealed (they're the Avengers Academy because they're like a private reform school) things have just gotten a lot more interesting.

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9.0
Avengers Academy #6

Nov 3, 2010

Like I keep saying, I thought this was going to be a really cheesy book when I first saw the previews of it, but it's proven to be almost as dark and dramatic a title as Thunderbolts is. The fact that these are all kids adds an even greater sense of urgency to the proceedings, because a lot of them are really in over their heads and you really can't guess how a lot of them will turn out.

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8.0
Avengers Spotlight #1

Jun 3, 2010

There's a fair amount of content in this book, but the value of it's really going to depend on how familiar you are with the Avengers, since it doesn't go especially deep into the behind-the-scenes history. If you're jumping onto the wagon for the new Avengers titles coming out of Heroic Age and want to learn more about what's come before, then I do recommend this.

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8.0
Avengers: Children's Crusade #2

Sep 1, 2010

I want Cheung to draw every book on the shelves. Seriously - - he's that much of talent. While I've got some issues about this leading to character connections that're going to be overly Byzantine, it's still a fun ride and I'll stick around for the simple reason of getting to see more of his art. Marvel should make posters of every page.

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8.0
Azrael #9

Jun 16, 2010

I've been a fan of Nicieza's for years and he really never ceases to impress me. This issue of Azrael really gives you some weighted issues to chew on amidst all the crusades-themed superheroics. Actually, the concepts were so rich that the whole thing really feels strong enough to stand on its merits, without any connection to the Bat family or even the DCU.

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5.0
Batgirl (2009) #10

May 12, 2010

There's really not that much to set this apart from any other superhero book on the shelf and I might be more charitable were it not for how good Red Robin was last week. That issue was done so well, makes this book, another Batman spin-off, look weaker by comparison

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7.0
Batgirl (2009) #11

Jun 9, 2010

This was definitely an improvement over the previous issue, with a good mix of action, suspense and even some horror. It's interesting see how the Batgirl legacy's being handled now in a way that Batman's legacy traditional has, with the various "cowl bearers" working together under new a context. It's a character-defining issue for both Stephanie Brown and Barbara Gordon, although there were some parts of the art that were a little patchy.

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8.0
Batman #704

Nov 17, 2010

I don't know why I was expecting not to like this. Maybe it's just because I've been so enamored with what Morrison's doing in Batman & Robin that I'm skeptical of anybody else's take on these characters. With that in mind, I was really pleased to find a rock solid superhero title here. Daniel's art has an impressive mix of modern flash and classical fundamentals, and his writing's just as sharp.

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8.0
Batman Beyond (2010) #3

Aug 18, 2010

Reading this felt exactly like I was watching an episode of Batman Beyond. It was actually kind of surreal, because this was one of the rare times I've actually heard the character's distinct voices speaking in my head. I've always wondered why Terry McGinnis and his ilk hadn't been brought into the fold of the greater DCU and, considering how well this turned out, I still have to ask why it didn't happen sooner.

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7.0
Batman Confidential #44

May 5, 2010

Between this and Red Robin #12, this is shaping up to be a good week for Batman fans. If you'd like a no-strings-attached, outside-of-continuity Batman yarn that's got all the creepy vibes of an EC title, then check this all, by all means. Hell, I'd even recommend getting this for Mandrake's wonderfully macabre work alone.

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6.0
Batman Confidential #50

Nov 3, 2010

This whole thing jumped around a little too much for my tastes - - both in the main feature and in the back-up's inclusion - - but I'm curious enough about the potential Identity Crisis hold-outs to come back next month. And, since I haven't encountered Bingham's art before, I'll add this is work here's definitely eye-catching. A bit of Neal Adams, a bit of Klaus Janson... and a whole lot of painterly panache.

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7.0
Batman: Odyssey #2

Aug 4, 2010

This feels like another contender for Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics column because the central inspiration behind this seems to be "Batman getting shot." There are portions where Bats is doing the firing with two big pistols, of course, but the central recurring image is really about him getting absolutely lit up by barrage of fire. It's on the covers and it's on a lot of the pages many times. That, plus the carthweeling dialogue really remind me of All-Star Batman in that I suspect Adams might've done a lot with this his tongue firmly in his cheek.

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7.0
Birds Of Prey (2010) #6

Nov 10, 2010

This is an all-too-brief sampling of the series for me, but I did enjoy how the Birds are defined not simply by having an all-girl's line-up or by having bird-themed members, but by the unusual locations and situations they find themselves in. A new arc's staring next issue, so I'm looking forward to get firmer footing to follow these femme fatales and give them a more accurate assessment. I've been loving Secret Six, so I know I'll like this.

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6.0
Black Widow (2010) #1

Apr 14, 2010

Though things get off to something of a start-stop beginning, once this get rolling, this is a tight comic. Considering that the action scenes floundered a little and that Natasha spends a good chunk of this issue sprawled out, I'd almost prefer to see a series just about how she lives her normal life with Bucky.

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9.0
Black Widow (2010) #2

May 12, 2010

This corrected a lot of problems I had with the first issue. I almost wish they'd skipped to this sooner. I know that you don't want to put all your cards on the table right away, but still. If you enjoyed the more dangerous, unpredictable side to Black Widow in the movie, you're going to love this, which captures that while still staying true to the comics' history. And, now, I'm definitely intrigued to see where this "Xavier Files"-style storyline goes. Is this Natasha's return to her wicked ways? Or is she being framed?

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9.0
Black Widow (2010) #5

Aug 25, 2010

I haven't gotten to read the intervening issues, unfortunately, but this has addressed all the problems I had with the more deliberate pacing of first two

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8.0
Black Widow (2010) #6

Sep 22, 2010

With the creative team transition, this isn't as stylish and sleek as it was under Liu and Acuna... but that isn't necessarily a minus. Instead, we've got a more white-knuckle, hard-boiled thriller that's just another shade of the spy genre's spectrum. I'm eager to see what happens in issue #7, because this issue ended on a bang of a cliffhanger.

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8.0
Black Widow (2010) #7

Oct 27, 2010

I know that opinions waxed hot and cold on "Natalie" as she appeared in Iron Man 2, but this has been proving to be a strong series since it's very start. Anybody who's excited about the long-discussed prospect of a Black Widow movie will be quite satisfied by this book, as it not only gives the super-spy her own feature, it also presents a plot uniquely tailored to her oft-duplicitous character.

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8.0
Booster Gold #31

Apr 15, 2010

When people talk about good, old fashion superhero stories, this is the kind of thing I lean to. Jurgens isn't trying to reinvent the wheel here, just give you a good 22 pages of action and emotion with characters you've grown to love over the years.

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5.0
Booster Gold #32

May 12, 2010

As for JLI throwbacks go, I'd recommend checking out Generation Lost instead of this. It was better done. The very beginning and the last half of this sail well, but that 8 page portion in the middle I mentioned was such an eye-roller, it tasks the rest of this issue with trying to make up for its mistakes. I will say, without qualification, that Batista's work is a joy to look at, though. I'm looking forward to more old school fun next issue (with an even more personal look at BG's reaction to Maxwell Lord's return) but so far, I'm wishing Dan Jurgens had stayed on.

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8.0
Brightest Day #14

Nov 17, 2010

Even though I've been reading basically all of the Brightest Day tie-ins, this is actually the first issue I've gotten to read of the series itself. The storytelling's tight enough, of course, that I don't even need a recap to follow what's going on. Having been a huge fan of Tomasi's run on Green Lantern Corps, I've come to appreciate the unique synergy he and Johns have when they're working together like this.

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7.0
Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Commissioner Gordon #1

Oct 20, 2010

Part of the fun of a special like this is the chance to see supporting characters like Gordon finally get the spotlight and have a little more attention lavished on the nuances of their character. While this might have got a little messy at points, I still enjoyed the claustrophobic horror/thriller tension. Also, seeing as how Gordon was wise to Bruce's ruse, it addressed issues I had with the believability of some of these tie-ins.

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7.0
Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batgirl #1

Oct 13, 2010

I could definitely get behind this characterization of Stephanie as a kid trying to define herself and trying to do right by the legacy she's taken up. I like how the thrust of the plot is about her strengthening her self-identity and, at last, not defining herself by the men in the Batman family. While I think I'll always have some issues with how Batgirl logically fits into Batman's word, this was still a well-done one-shot that doesn't require any extra reading.

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7.0
Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Catwoman #1

Oct 20, 2010

As with the previous one-shot with Batgirl, this is actually a pretty strong character study.

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6.0
Captain America (2004) #605

Apr 29, 2010

This is definitely a thrilling conclusion to an intense story. Be ready for some white knuckle tension and some genuinely hard decisions on display. Despite the issues i had with the art (which could be the result of a mismatch with the inker), I still think Ross' art fit the grim tone of the story - - which is why the Nomad back-up, again, felt out of place.

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7.0
Captain America (2004) #610

Sep 29, 2010

I'd be remiss not to mention that the Nomad back-up feature's actually pretty good. It's a low-key story about Cap and Rikki going bowling, but I was actually pretty impressed by how much you could relate to the human emotion McKeever spins on such an outlandish, complicated, reality-bending situation. It reminded me of a good Astro City story. Overall, I do recommend this book - - even though Zemo seem different enough from how he's usually been depicted that he took me out of the experience a little.

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6.0
Captain America: Man Out of Time #1

Nov 3, 2010

After this, I really want to see Waid and Molina do a monthly book about Cap's time serving in World War II. Enough of the main characters have two or three books, often with a lot of overlap, and this would really be a case another title is justified. I'm almost a little leery of what the rest of this mini will hold now that we're out of the war.

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10
Captain America: Patriot #1

Sep 15, 2010

This was the last title I read out of this week's batch and it was a real sucker-punch. I definitely wasn't expecting it to be this good. This is a rich character study that gives more pathos to a third stringer than you ever thought was possible - - yet it still acknowledges and addresses the reasons why he isn't that well known. Do not overlook this on the shelf! It's a hidden gem!

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8.0
Chaos War #2

Oct 20, 2010

The MU's "godly" side has usually disinterested me, so I'm quite pleased by how infinitely engaging I find this quirky intersection of mythologies, both historical and Marvel-based, to be. Between this, Shadowland and Curse of the Mutants, Marvel's offering you manageable crossovers to suit your specific tastes. If you're a fan of the inventive with equal servings of terror and tongue-in-cheek, I recommend enlisting in the Chaos War.

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8.0
Chaos War #3

Nov 3, 2010

Fans of both real world and superheroic mythologies are going to find a lot to like in this series, because I've definitely been having a ball.

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6.0
Chaos War: Thor #1

Nov 10, 2010

I've been enjoying

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7.0
Chew #10

Apr 14, 2010

I've heard a lot of rave reviews regarding this book along with reports of its surprisingly high sales, so there was a lot of hype to live up to. While it wasn't a mind-blowing experience, it was still a fun ride with equal servings of comedy and weird concepts (like the fake vampire empath guy). I read John Layman's Puffed series back in the day, so it's good to see that his brand of humor has endured and is getting recognition. I encourage you to check it out.

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10
Chew #15

Nov 10, 2010

This is book is just pure, unadulterated fun and creativity, and I can't tell you how immensely pleased I am to see an independent series doing so well like this, even when it's so offbeat. And to do so well that it's got such high production values and an expansive fold-out cover! If you haven't already seen what's so good for yourself, then take this bite before getting the full meal of those wonderful collections that have come out. Get to this before you're jealous of everybody beating you to the table.

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7.0
Daredevil (1998) #511

Oct 20, 2010

I've been seriously enjoying Shadowland, even though I'm getting it in a piecemeal fashion. This is the first issue of DD I've read in a long time and, while I would've liked to have seen more of hornhead himself, I can definitely get a sense of this being a well-shaped piece of the crossover's larger puzzle. I do wonder if this particular story might've been better served in one of the one-shot tie-ins, though.

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4.0
Dark Wolverine #85

Apr 22, 2010

This is an example of good writers and a good artist whose talents are dulled by padding. This storyline is supposed to be four issues long, but if the pacing continues like this, I think it's only going to be about an issue and half of plot. It could be enjoyable if the decompression were used to show some breathtaking "money" splashes, but instead we get double spreads of... Wolverine talking at a table. And I'll say again how silly Romulus is.

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5.0
Dark Wolverine #90

Aug 25, 2010

I haven't read any of these Wolverine titles since the beginning of the storyline with Romulus and Skaar, and I find this just as padded as I did then. It's a shame, because both way Way and Liu have been doing great work elsewhere - - even this very week in Black Widow. This really doesn't serve as a defined enough finale for this title and it actually sets Dakan up to be a pretentious ass who really needs a beating (which I don't think was the intention.)

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7.0
Daytripper #6

May 13, 2010

This is a great example of what Vertigo can offer. It's been a while since I've gotten to read any novels that were just straight dramatic fiction, without any genre adjectives, so this was a welcome change of pace. While this wasn't as memorable as other Vertigo stuff like The Exterminators, it's still worth my recommendation to anybody looking for comics with a more literary bent.

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8.0
DC Universe Legacies #2

Jun 16, 2010

I was initially skeptical about what seemed like another retread of DC's history, but I found a very fun reminder here of what makes a shared superhero universe so appealing in the first place. You've got a true line-up of legends and stars at work - - the cream of the crop for comics writing, drawing and storytelling. While I did mark this down for getting a little saccharine at times, I still recommend it for any fan who, as I said, needs a reminder of why we follow these great pantheons in the first place.

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6.0
DC Universe Legacies #4

Aug 18, 2010

It's hard to read this and not feel like it's DC's answer to Marvels and Astro City. The story about the cop definitely has some meat to it, but it's playing second fiddle to too many random one-offs that seem to just be there to clarify continuity. Still, the art is slick and it's definitely a charming trip down memory lane.

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9.0
Deadpool (2008) #23

May 19, 2010

This wasn't as gut busting hilarious as the other DP books have been, but it was still damn funny. Believe it or not, the focus was actually more on the story here and it's great take-offon the Heroic Age. I'll say again how pleased I was to see this issue pulling up some threads from Classic Deadpool (is it classic already? Wow, I feel old.) Also, it's worth noting that Barberi's talents are tremendous. I can see some inklings of influence from Pasqual Ferry in his work, and I really think he should be getting greater attention. He's that good. And I'm really curious to see how this plot with the House and Wild Card (if you'll excuse the pun)... plays out. Place this next to Invincible Iron Man as one of the best books this week.

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9.0
Deadpool (2008) #24

Jun 16, 2010

This might not have the epic pathos that Kelly's run had, but it's still vintage Deadpool fun and one of the most consistently entertaining books I've been reading from Marvel lately. I was looking forward to reading it this week and wasn't disappointed. If you're suffering from Deadpool overload, be sure to still grab this title. And, once again, I'll say it was a real riot to have this whole "superheroics in Vegas" plot turn out to be a big practical joke. It amounted to great combo of super-hero action and black comedy.

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8.0
Deadpool (2008) #26

Aug 18, 2010

Believe it or not, Deadpool is most-often a brand of quality these days. This is actually a pretty well-done "told-in-one" with a good punch line to top if off. It felt like there was some "double-dipping" going on when it came to covering history that's already recently been revisited, but either way, this was still enjoyable as a meeting (the first?) between DP and GR.

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10
Deadpool (2008) #1000

Aug 4, 2010

I still don't totally understand the logic behind giving these specials bogus high-numbering, but I'll be damned if I haven't enjoyed the results. $6.99 is a bit steep, but I can't say that I found any of the stories in this special to be lacking, which is pretty remarkable for an anthology of this size. You definitely are getting your value per page, here.

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5.0
Deadpool Corps #3

Jun 9, 2010

For all the issues I have about this issue, there's something to be said about how it all goes down so easy. It's kind of weird to say that story can about a character named Deadpool is quaint, but that's what this. Not especially good, not especially bad, but seeing these red-and-black goofballs muck around goes by just fine. This isn't one of the best of the four or five DP books out there and I think Gischler had a better handle on the character in other stories, but it's alright.

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8.0
Deadpool Max #1

Oct 6, 2010

I'm honestly shocked that it's taken this long for DP to finally get a mature reader's title. You figure that a foul-mouthed assassin named after the most morbid party game ever conceived would've entered the "adult's only" arena many years ago. While this isn't quite as much of a mind job as Elektra: Assassin, yet, it reminds me of what I liked about Punisher Max - - that is, this is a chance to see these characters as they would be in a closer semblance of reality, not as they have been depicted traditionally.

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7.0
Deadpool Team-Up #889

Sep 22, 2010

Deadpool Team-Up's became a great showcase for good, clean, in-and-out escapism. There's no continuity to worry about, here, nor epic storylines or heavy themes - - as odd as it sounds for a book about Deadpool, this issue was actually very Silver Age. And it's also been a great showcase for new talent, as well, because I hadn't encountered Sanders before on a comic and I'll definitely keep an eye out for his art in the future.

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8.0
Deadpool Team-Up #890

Aug 25, 2010

Once again, this title actually proves that, while there might be an overload of DP books out right now, most of them are actually good. This comic's the perfect venue for new talent to get their feet wet in the MU with told-in-ones that follow enough of a common theme to justify them being part of a continuing title. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but this was definitely one of the better contributions to this series. Just good fun.

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5.0
Deadpool Team-Up #891

Jul 28, 2010

This better than the last issue of Deadpool Team-Up I read, the one with Franken-Castle (which isn't that big of an accomplishment) but it's still kind of messy. I usually like "told-in-ones" for these kind of titles, but I wonder if it was more of a hindrance here, because the story, like DP's limbs, just gets cut-off by the end.

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5.0
Deadpool Team-Up #894

Apr 14, 2010

I have sympathy for Brandon for doing his best to make Frankencastle interesting. Actually, he does better with him than he does with Deadpool himself. This was a passable one-off romp, or team-up, with some funny parts, but on a whole, you shouldn't feel like you've missed out on too much if you choose not to pick this up.

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8.0
Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #10

Apr 21, 2010

We might be experiencing Deadpool overload, right now. If we were to pare down the number of appearances Wade Wilson makes a month, then I'd really want Merc With A Mouth to stay around. This was one of the better comics I've read this week and I recommend it if you're looking for some excellent execution. 4/5

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8.0
Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #11

May 26, 2010

You know, a lot of fans gripe about Deadpool being over-exposed these days, but I have to say that his titles are some of the best I read from Marvel, month in, month out.I recommend picking this up, as well as the main DP title. And, again, keep your eyes on Bong Dazo - - he's going to be big!

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9.0
Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #2

Jun 30, 2010

Combining Deadpool with Charlie Wilson's War has got to be either the dumbest idea or the most brilliant I've seen in a long time. I was pleasantly shocked at how well this worked, and I haven't even gotten to read the first issue. It's equally bizarre how DP's going through some serious over-saturation, right now, but his titles are consistently some of the best I read every week. I'm really a lot of loss for words...

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8.0
Detective Comics #864

Apr 28, 2010

Along with Secret Warriors, this was one of the best comics I've read this week. Hine struck just the right balance between outlandish madness and believable psychosis. That is, Arkham's introspection felt real while still being interesting, and the theatrical flourishes of his insane hallucinations were colorful without being cartoonish. And, once again, kudos on the Question back-up.

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9.0
Detective Comics #867

Jul 28, 2010

As I said with Action, I was really surprised to see that one of DC's oldest titles was also one of its best this week. I really want to read the next issue - - and now - - because this is one of those rare comics that puts me back in touch with how I enjoyed comics as a kid. Kudos to Hine and McDaniel, and the entire crew for making such a fun ride. To all of you

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9.0
Detective Comics #868

Aug 25, 2010

This is just really well done and a lot of fun. As morbid as the plot line is, I actually get the kind of warm escapism here that I've rarely enjoyed since watching the Batman animated series as it kid. If you like your Batman to be consistently maxing out the "thrillometer" then this is the title you need to get. And the art is a pure joy!

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10
Detective Comics #869

Sep 29, 2010

For the past two months, this "Impostor War" storyline has given me the most fun I've had in a Batman story in a long time. As I've said for every part I've reviewed, this arc really gets me back in touch with what it was like to enjoy the Batman animated series as a kid. I don't know if Hine and McDaniel are going to stay on after this arc, or if another creative team will take over... but I'm sorry to hear that this story's concluding next issue. Pick this and the previous parts up - - you'll be surprised over how much fun you'll have.

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10
Detective Comics #870

Oct 27, 2010

I've gotten to read this story arc from the beginning and, because it's been such a thoroughly fun read for the past few months, I'm going to push the rating over the cliff and give it a perfect score. Sadly, this isn't the kind of Batman story that's going to cross over and get recognition from the mainstream press, nor will it probably get some lavish collection, but if you're looking for something that puts you back in touch with what you loved about Batman in the first place - - the full-throttle gothic morality plays with ample doses of the weird, morbid and tragic.

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8.0
Doomwar #3

Apr 21, 2010

This book might be flying under a lot of reader's radars, but I encourage people to pick it up. It pulls off the complex political intrigue of Priest's run on Black Panther while still harnessing it all in a story with a clear through line and some serious philosophical gravitas.

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9.0
Dracula #1

Jun 9, 2010

It might be easy to pass this up, but I really encourage you to pick this up and sink your teeth into it. I can't say how welcome a change of pace it was to read a comic with some really literary weight and heft to it - - something that takes a little more effort and attention to get into. Buy this for Giordano's classic art and for Thomas' wonderfully poetic styling.

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8.0
DV8: Gods and Monsters #2

May 20, 2010

If you like your superheroes to be run a little more mature, but it in an intelligent way, then I recommend this issue to you. It reminded me a bit of Neil Gaiman's Miracle Man run in that it focused on the dramatic potential of superpowers, rather than just fisticuffs. I do recommend picking up this issue, although you should realize that it's definitely a mature readers title.

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8.0
Enter the Heroic Age #1

May 19, 2010

The aim is, of course, to entice you into trying five new books, rather than enjoying this on its own, so understand that going in. You do get a fun grab bag, offering different sub-genres under the superhero umbrella - - crime, action, espionage, and so on. I'd recommend this to anybody who's considering any of these five new books and needs some samples to decide which ones to pick up.

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7.0
Fall of the Hulks: the Savage She-Hulks #3

May 26, 2010

Even though I haven't been reading this mini-series, nor the larger storyline, I still found this issue a lot of fun. You could get this for the amazing cel-shaded style art - - which captures the strength of the She-Hulks while still keeping them feminine - - but you can enjoy a ride that's straddles the line between goofy and dramatic just as well. I recommend it.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #581

Jul 28, 2010

If the tweed sweaters and old school letter shirts on the cover weren't a clue, this title's paying proper respect to the FF's roots while still keeping it up to modern storytelling expectations. Hickman and Edwards are amazing combo and I'm excited to see where they take first family of Marvel, even if this particular storyline might be veering dangerously close to time-travel plots from the past.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #582

Aug 25, 2010

The FF have always interested me the least out all of Marvel's major characters. I usually see them working only as figureheads and guest stars, so Hickman needs a medal for not only making this something I can take seriously, but for also getting some genuinely cool moments in. Seriously, Doom's handling of the "evil" Nathaniel has to be one of the better single scenes I've seen in a while.

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4.0
First Wave #2

May 13, 2010

The best comparison I can make is that this felt like reading a crossover between something like the Transformers and the Green Hornet. Could you plot out a story? Sure. Would it feel right? Probably not. The best way to put it is that this felt like a soup. The ingredients mixed in would taste good on their own, but not together. And I think my complaints about the ink-less art can fit under that descriptor, as well.

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8.0
Flash (2010) #3

Jun 30, 2010

I'm sure Johns has an epic scheme already plotted out for this title and it's intriguing to see the beginnings of what promise to be some major updates and revisions to the Flash mythos. Manupal's art also gives this the feeling of a good episode of a Flash cartoon. That is, something that's representative of all eras of the Flash while still injecting it with some current zest from outside schools of style.

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6.0
Franken-Castle #17

Jun 3, 2010

I really wish this whole Franken-Castle nonsense would end as soon as possible, so we can get back to Punisher as he ought to be. Remender and Boschi have the goods, but I think their talents would shine a lot more in this title if it went back to the War Journal roots and became "distinctly Punisher," once again.

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7.0
G.I. Joe #17

Apr 21, 2010

This read almost exactly like an old episode of the classic cartoon would play. You got a solid story with a beginning, middle and end that almost made expect I'd be getting commercial breaks. While there's a lot that might be missed by a reader who isn't already a fan of the cartoon, there's a lot to like here even if you've never seen an episode. It's also good to see everybody's actual favorite Joe get the spotlight over Duke.

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7.0
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #157

Aug 4, 2010

It's fun to see Hama's classic GI Joe run finally continued with enough adjustments to still keep it relevant to contemporary times. I honestly thought the art ran a little too dark and minimalistic for the tone of the title here, but I'm still intrigued to see where the title goes now with this nightmarish, world-gone-mad scenario of GI Joe and Cobra effectively swapping places.

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3.0
Garrison #1

Apr 29, 2010

This issue didn't hook me and I'm not really curious to see what happens next. I'm sure there's going to be some twist to Garrison's murders - - either he's been set up or he's actually killing serial killers - - but this didn't grab my interest enough to see how it spins out. This really came off like the first 10 minutes of a generic TV show and I want to change channels.

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9.0
God of War #1

May 5, 2010

Generally, tie-in comics like this feel really slapped together, but that is not the case with this at all. Not only does it add something significant to the GOD OF WAR games' greater storyline, but it stands alone as a damn good comic. Seriously, you'll like this even if you've never played one of the games, either. My imagination has definitely been captured by the whole sub-plot of Kratos having to challenge the other Olympians' champions and I'm genuinely eager to see what happens next.

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9.0
God of War #2

May 26, 2010

Even if you've never played the game, I still encourage you to pick this title up. It's one of the best on the shelves, this week. I was actually looking forward to reading it when I picked up. If you are a fan of the games, you'll be pleased to find a comic that's a worthy addition to God of War's greater storyline. This isn't a cash in - - this a kickass book with much more dramatic weight than typical escapist adventures.

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7.0
Gotham City Sirens #12

May 26, 2010

Seeing as how I was around when Batman: The Animated Series first introduced the notion of the "Gotham City Sirens," it was fun to see these three vamps star in their own book. This is solid superhero book (or supervillainess book, to be more accurate) and good to get some Gotham City action even if you aren't interested in the return of Bruce Wayne.

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6.0
Gotham City Sirens #13

Jun 30, 2010

More than anything, I'd say this storyline can be enjoyed as good character piece for the Sirens and this likely-demented Sister Zero. There were good parts and bad parts in the art depending on which half you were looking at, and there were a couple parts the got a little ridiculous. This is a decent read, with equal positives and negatives.

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8.0
Gotham City Sirens #15

Aug 25, 2010

Even though I'm only catching the tail end of this storyline with Posion Ivy and her other-worldly boyfriend, I was still digging it a lot more than the previous arc with Catwoman's nutso nun sister. Between this, Green Lantern Corps and Rebels, Bedard's quickly rising on my list of writers to watch at DC.

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6.0
Green Arrow (2010) #4

Sep 29, 2010

There are some interesting clues here pertaining to the greater mysteries of Brightest Day. I'm especially intrigued by the forms J'onn involuntarily assumes while he's in close proximity to the tree. Still, I've always felt that GA's works best when he's part of a larger ensemble (like in the Justice League) so I'm not sure I was compelled enough by his solo adventures here to look for what's come before or coming after this issue.

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8.0
Green Hornet #11

Dec 14, 2010

I was skeptical as probably everybody was when Green Hornet was announced for a major revival a few years back. I just didn't believe that a regular masked vigilante and his Judo-master sidekick were still fresh enough to speak to contemporary audiences. Every Dynamite book I've read so far - - from the Lone Ranger to John Carter of Mars - - has always pleasantly defied my expectations by finding sharp new ways to make these classic characters relevant again. Green Hornet is no exception and the strong work in this issue, in particular, has got me excited to check out the movie next month (the one that everybody's as dubious about as I was about this series, initially.

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8.0
Green Lantern (2005) #56

Jul 28, 2010

The concepts Johns has added to Green Lantern's mythology continue to be infinitely intriguing. Even though we're however many years past the Sinestro Corps War, there's still much to be mined in the interactions of all the different corps and their respective entities. To that end, I'm intrigued to see where Hector Hammond's new relationship with the Orange Lantern will go.

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9.0
Green Lantern (2005) #58

Oct 13, 2010

I've been keeping my eye on Johns' GL run since it was first announced at conventions, however long ago. Even though we're getting close to the five year mark, now, I feel like he's still hitting his stride. Without contradicting any established continuity, he's truly established a new world that's as a fresh, surprising and exciting as any company launch. If you haven't gotten into GL, do so now, because you'll want to say you were there while DC history was being made.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps #49

Jun 23, 2010

Under Tomasi and Gleason, Green Lantern Corps was my favorite book at DC for years, so Bedard and Syaf have big shoes to fill. While they haven't blown me away just yet, they are just starting off and I'm confident that this book is in good hands. I'm a little leery about this storyline with Cyborg Superman running too familiar, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that'll put a worthwhile twist on him.

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7.0
Green Lantern Corps #50

Jul 28, 2010

As I said in my review of this weeks' Green Lantern, I continue to be intrigued by how the various light corps play out in the greater DCU cosmology following Brightest Day. This isn't quite up to the level I enjoyed during the Tomasi/ Gleason run on this title, but the spotlight on Cyborg Superman was a genuinely-moving character study, even if I think he's sorely due for a revamp.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps #53

Oct 20, 2010

While I was a little cool to the last storyline with Hank Henshaw and the Alpha Lanterns, I think Bedard's shaken the transition pangs out, now, and he's setting up a much more interesting storyline here. I'm eager to see this long-established part of GL's mythos finally get an update to fit into the new cosmology - - though I still wish they'd given the Weaponer a totally new outfit.

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8.0
Green Lantern Corps #54

Nov 17, 2010

After a bit of a rocky start with the Revolt of the Alpha Lanterns, this new creative team is definitely starting to find its own rhythm with this Weaponer arc. Ever since Sinestro started his own corps, I've been wondering when the Qwardian origins of the yellow ring would ever be reconciled with its new, fear-based purpose. Thus, I'm glad to see that question addressed here in a dynamic way that also introduces a fascinating new bad guy with a rather clever gimmick.

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9.0
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1

Aug 11, 2010

If you're like me and you were disappointed that Tomasi was ending his stellar Green Lantern Corps run too soon, you'll be relieved to know that this title's picking up exactly where he left off on. There are a lot books focusing on the recently-expanded Green Lantern cosmology and his take continues to be, heads and tails above, the best execution of all of these concepts.

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9.0
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #3

Oct 13, 2010

Hands down, this was the issue I was looking forward to the most this week. I loved Tomasi's work on GL Corps so much that this was, through very strong intention, the first book I reached for in the stack.

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9.0
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #4

Nov 10, 2010

This is my favorite GL book, right now. Hands down. It does what I hope all space opera would do - - play out incisive morality plays across a galactic tapestry in a way that never skimps on action, attitude or accessibility.

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8.0
Heralds #1

Jun 3, 2010

This might be going under a lot of people's notice, so I'd encourage a lot of you to give this a second look and try it out. There isn't that clear of a throughline regarding what the book is about or where it's going, but it really is one of the better titles I've read this week.

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7.0
Hercules: Twilight of a God #1

Jun 3, 2010

This is one of the rare situations where I've actually had no idea where a Marvel story was coming from. I didn't know until today that Bob Layton had a run on Hercules, nor that it was set in the future, nor that this was a follow-up, nor that it was even supposed to be funny. And it is pretty funny. It just revels in the notion of Hercules being this big buffoon. Even if you're aren't familiar with anything about the series, I recommend picking this up for a good laugh.

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8.0
Hercules: Twilight of a God #2

Jul 8, 2010

It's so strange to say that a comic fills me with early 90s nostalgia, but this fits the bill. It brings me right back to what I first enjoyed about the Marvel Universe as a kid. If you aren't familiar with the classic run this is continuing, you might feel like you missed out, but really "A buffoon taking one space gods" is all you need to know. This isn't anything Earth-shattering - - it just continues to be a lot of fun.

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6.0
Hit-Monkey #1

Jul 8, 2010

There are a lot of ways these series can go. It has the potential to be an edgy bit of surrealism; but it could just easily be a one-note joke that doesn't go beyond what you see in the cover. I'm definitely curious to see what Bullseye's appearance here will mean for the Hit Monkey, although I do find it amusing that he's also showing up in the Shadowland preview in the back. The psycho's keeping busy.

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6.0
House of Mystery #24

Apr 12, 2010

Perhaps this wasn't as satisfying as it would have been if I were reading it after following the whole arc. It's hard to judge based on only its very, very end, but this was still very enjoyable. And the back-up story is almost worth the cover price alone.

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8.0
House of Mystery #25

May 6, 2010

Fun. This was just fun, that's what I'll say over and over again. I was smiling a lot while reading this issue of House of Mystery. There's more than a little ghoulish black humor here, so a note to the squeamish, but reading this it felt like Halloween. Again, I encourage anybody who hasn't been reading this title to pick it up, because this stand-alone issue is a great "jumping on point."

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7.0
Hulk (2008) #23

Jun 23, 2010

Back when Norman Osborn returned for the first of many times, Marvel put out a great one-shot detailing the whole Clone Saga from in his journal. This worked just like that worked, giving the reader a "behind the curtain" view of the past couple years of Hulk storylines from the perspective of its mastermind. Despite some points that ran a little too on-the-nose, this was definitely a great character piece and a good "twisted recap" to bring some perspective on World War Hulks now that it's coming to its conclusion.

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7.0
Hulk (2008) #27

Nov 17, 2010

I really only caught the Red Hulk storyline as its tail end with the blow-outs in the World War Hulks books, so I don't know how long this title has basically been a solo title for the crimson colossus. Even if it isn't new, I still think it's an awesome idea to follow the "Rulk" as he's forced to do the Avenger's suicde mission/dirty work. It's like the Thunderbolts-in-one - - or even a "Thunderbolt" title.

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7.0
I Am An Avenger #1

Sep 1, 2010

Between this and the various Heroic Age anthologies, I figure Marvel's opted to do branch-specific anthology minis as opposed to Marvel Presents or, in this case, an Avengers Unlimited-type book. These aren't too important in the scope of things, but they're handy opportunities to check-in on characters like the Young Avengers and see small moments that might've gotten lost in the shuffle of big events (as was the case with the Iron Fist/Misty Knight story.)

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9.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #610

Jun 16, 2010

The Hulk seemed to be one of those characters whose story possibilities had been utterly exhausted, so I give respect to this creative team that's not only found a fresh angle, but also executed it in a way that's genuinely thrilling. This felt like a blockbuster. I'll say that a hundred times. Do yourself a favor and get this title - - you'll feel like you're on the ride for a spectacle of truly Earth-shattering stakes.

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9.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #611

Aug 11, 2010

Considering that the Jade Giant is a notoriously-hard character to do anything new or interesting with, I feel like Pak and Pelletier should get an award for making a Hulk issue as awesome as this was. The last comic I can remember having this level of spectacle was Bryan Hitch's run on Ultimates. This is probably going to be collected soon, so you'd do well to pick up the World War Hulks trade and subscribe to this book now, since a new storyline's starting next issue.

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8.0
Incredible Hulk (2009) #615

Oct 27, 2010

I couldn't help but think of that classic line from Bride of Frankenstein while reading this. You know, that toast to the "new world of gods and monsters." I've always thought that Hulk was one of the hardest characters to make interesting, especially after the great psychological stuff that Peter David did, but this is truly something new, exciting and nigh-mythical.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #26

May 19, 2010

Anybody who's enjoyed the movies and hoped to see more of that particular vibe reflected in the comics will thoroughly enjoy this. It perfectly captures that mix of real world grounding and flawed human charm, without sacrificing anything from the comics' history. And I'll say again how cool this liquid armor is... it's great to still see concepts in these comics that the movies can't tackle! This is an excellent "jumping on issue" and one of the best books I've read this week, right along with Deadpool.

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9.0
Invincible Iron Man #27

Jun 9, 2010

Out of all the books on my list for this week, Invincible Iron Man was the one I was looking forward to the most. I was impressed with the last issue and the momentum started there hasn't slowed down. I've read Iron Man for years and this is the best I can remember it ever being. This has continued the kind sharpening and focusing I enjoyed in the movies, while still keeping it planted in the comics history.

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10
Invincible Iron Man #28

Jul 14, 2010

Month in, month out, I'm always putting Invincible Iron Man on top of my reading pile. It's so consistently good, I'm running out of superlatives to level on it. Between this and the superb annual froma couple weeks ago, Fraction's run on Iron Man is quickly shaping up to be a definitive era for this title and this character. Go back and get the back-issues that started this storyline,and catch-up to this issue. I gaurantee it'll be worth it.

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8.0
Invincible Iron Man #31

Oct 13, 2010

I didn't comment on the writing in "the good" because I'd be repeating what I've been saying for months. Fraction's fashioned Iron Man into something that can stand alone outside the Marvel universe, and even out of the trappings of superheroes. Given the success of The Social Network, it's certainly timely to see a comic about a tech start-up where Tony's inter-office relationships and business mistakes are just as exciting as any high-altitude duel.

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10
Invincible Iron Man Annual #1

Jun 30, 2010

At $4.99 for 80 pages of superlative story, this is the best value you're likely to get out of any comic from the big two. Buy this now, either off the shelf or online. I can think of no better book to kick-off Marvel's simultaneous delivery model. This had the complexity of a novel. It pulled off the mesmerizing trick of both transcending its background in a long-serialized title while still remaining true to its roots. This is a portrait of charming, petty and capricious evil that deserves marks of distinction on its own merits. It may be too early to say, but I think this will be looked back on in years to come as one of the seminal Iron Man stories. If you need your faith in these characters and this universe restored, then read this book. Now!

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2.0
Invincible Returns #1

Apr 12, 2010

I didn't read Invincible before this and I don't plan to if this is what the title is usually like. This was an oversized issue, but it seemed to have only about 10 pages of story spread out over a whole lot of fattened dialogues.

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9.0
Iron Man Rapture #1

Nov 10, 2010

Years ago, What If...? got a radical revamp

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8.0
Iron Man: Titanium #1

Oct 13, 2010

I'm actually a bit surprised that this wasn't given a #900 because it's an anthology quite similar in spirit to the specials that have come out recently for Wolverine and Deadpool. Once again, the level of quality was surprisingly consistent throughout and there really wasn't any of the sort-of "double-dipping" these anthologies run risk of.

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7.0
Irredeemable #14

Jun 3, 2010

I haven't been read any issues before this one and I had no trouble getting up to speed. This was a good ride that really takes advantage of comics' storytelling strengths with some truly effective moments. I only wish I didn't see as many similarities to established characters and concepts.

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6.0
Irredeemable #15

Jul 8, 2010

This definitely isn't a jumping-on point for new readers, but it's still a very dramatic confrontation between these larger-than-life characters and there is some real weight to the decisions and actions they take. However, I can't help but say that the impact of a lot of that drama and spectacle was diluted by art that often looked like it was done in a hurry, which was doubly disappointing as I liked the art in the previous issue.

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6.0
Joker's Asylum II: Killer Croc #1

Jun 23, 2010

One of the most memorable scenes in Batman: The Animated Series had all of Batman's rogues comparing their elaborate schemes to kill the caped crusader. When it came to Croc, he just says, "I threw a rock at him." So part of Croc's charm, for lack of a better word, is his blunt, simplistic MO. If this issue was intended to capture that, then the part where Croc gets revenge on these dimwitted criminals would be a great punchline to a 22 page set-up.

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8.0
Jonah Hex #56

Jun 9, 2010

This is another case of the back-up feature not being as good as the first story, but I'll still recommend it based on the strengths of that first one. If you're looking for a book that'll give you a break from superheroes while still keeping the high production quality of a big two book, then I recommend this. If you're intrigued by the upcoming Jonah Hex movie and want an easy entry point to the character, then I recommend this. It's even got a free movie poster and unusual bonus feature where this book's creative team interviews the movie's director.

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8.0
Justice League of America (2006) #45

May 20, 2010

Robinson's return to DC has been fantastic. Whenever I see his name on a cover, I know I'll be getting a superhero book that's a cut above the rest. He does a great job of honoring and integrating DC's complex past into his stories, but in a way that moves them forward rather than bogging them down. And what else can I say about Bagley? He's excellent here, as he's always been.

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7.0
Justice League of America (2006) #46

Jun 30, 2010

While this continues to be a classic team book done right, I couldn't help thinking that this wasn't as good as the previous issue. While I like the idea of giving each member of the team their own personal narrative, I think that my diminished enthusiasm in this issue stems from all the captions cluttering eachother. Despite all of that, Bagley's art continues to be simply amazing to follow.

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7.0
Justice League of America (2006) #48

Aug 25, 2010

I'm honestly a little glad that this Starheart storyline's finally wrapped up, because I've been enjoying the talents on this book, but I feel like they've been getting bogged down in an overly-busy continuity fixer. Nowthat all the t's have been crossed and all the i's have been dotted, so to speak, I'm eager to see what Robinson and Bagley have in store for us on this title.

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9.0
Justice League of America (2006) #49

Sep 22, 2010

Robinson has a knack for digging up the most obscure characters from the smallest corners of continuity and finding ways to spin them out to be much more interesting than they ever were to begin with. I've never heard of the Bogeyman before this, so his inclusion here is definitely no exception. As a whole, this book's been a departure from the "big guns" approach that predominated JLA for years, but I've been enjoying the greater emphasis on interpersonal relationships on the team. I'm curious to see what's in store for the likely double-sized 50th issue.

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8.0
Justice League of America (2006) #50

Oct 20, 2010

I'm a sucker for alternate reality stories, so I could honestly just enjoy this on the basis of seeing the CSA and the Tangent universe return (and then also guessing which New Gods the characters at the end corresponded to.) While I enjoyed the last arc with the Starheart, I'm a lot more eager to find out how the JLA is going to handle this army of dopplegangers and decaying alternate worlds.

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8.0
Justice League: Generation Lost #1

May 12, 2010

I think this throwback to the fondly-remember JLI was pulled off a lot better than what the Booster Gold solo title was trying to do in the same vein this week. Maybe that has something to do with Judd Winick co-writing this. This is definitely one of the better issues I've read this week. It's trying into the larger latticework of Brightest Day, but it's strong enough to stand on its own. I'm curious to see what happens now that Max's genie is back in the bottle, so to speak.

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9.0
Justice League: Generation Lost #3

Jun 9, 2010

Out of all the Brightest Day offshoots, this is really the best. If you're already familiar with the classic JLI, you'll get an extra kick out of this, but you don't need to know anything about them to enjoy this. It's light without being overly jokey, serious without being overly dark and it builds upon past continuity without getting bogged down in it. And, like I said, the art is very sleek.

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10
Justice League: Generation Lost #4

Jun 23, 2010

This has been consistently one of the best books I've been reading from DC and great companion piece to Winick's other great book this week, Power Girl. I've been enjoying it so much over the past few weeks that I'm looking forward to picking up a new issue every Wednesday. This puts a real human face on the fall-out of Brightest Day. There's been a lot of attempts at putting the old magic back in a bottle, but this is the one that manages to perfectly captures what was so appealing about Giffen's classic JLI while still updating for modern continuity. I highly recommend you go out and pick this up, now.

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9.0
Justice League: Generation Lost #5

Jul 14, 2010

Buy this book! The first four issues are probably still on the shelves -- hurry up and scoop them up. Along with Invincible Iron Man, this is a title I was eagerly looking forward to reading this week. I only read a few issues of the classic Justice League run that this is reassembling,

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9.0
Justice League: Generation Lost #7

Aug 11, 2010

Every two weeks, I'm looking forward to reading this comic. DC's been experimenting with weekly and bi-weekly content for the past few years and this is definitely one of the best executions of that publishing model. It never feels rushed and, in fact, it feels a lot more polished than other DC titles that are coming out on a less-frequent basis. I'm running out of praise to level on this. Suffice it to say, you'd do well to pick this comic up.

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8.0
Justice League: Generation Lost #10

Sep 22, 2010

Winick, Bennet and the rest of the crew deserve some applause for putting out a book that's this consistently good on what must be an unforgiving bi-weekly schedule.

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6.0
Justice Society of America #40

Jun 30, 2010

I'm not sure where exactly this fits in with the current Starheart-related crossover with Justice League of America. How long before this week's issue of JLA is this one supposed to take place, for one? Placing these two in comparison, I have to say that this issues' unevenness stands out more considering how well JLA balanced things. Still, a good issue.

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8.0
Kane & Lynch #1

Aug 4, 2010

My exposure to Kane & Lynch outside of this is really just limited to playing the game's demo once. The realism was notable, but I recall the gameplay not having enough gimmicks to intrigue me into playing the rest of the game. That aside, I enjoyed this comic for it being refreshingly single minded about this duo's charming barbarism without ever "insulting my intelligence" or anything like that.

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8.0
Kato Origins #3

Aug 11, 2010

I continue to be impressed by how Dynamite's been able to make all of these older pulp characters relevant to modern tastes. Honestly, an entire comic about Kato interested me about as much as an entire comic about Tonto, at first, but the execution in this comic really won me over. All of these books have a classiness to their storytelling that reminds everybody why these characters have endured as long as they have.

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6.0
Knight and Squire #1

Oct 13, 2010

I've liked this modern interpretation of the Knight and Squire since their introduction in Morrison and McGuiness' Ultramarines story line - - so it's fun to see them get their own stories following their appearance in Batman & Robin. That being said, I wonder if this would've been better served as a feature in an 80 page giant, because I really can't picture how it's going to sustain an entire mini.

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5.0
Knight and Squire #2

Nov 10, 2010

Much like the first issue, I really feel like this would've been better served as a short featured in an 80 page giant.

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6.0
Last Stand of New Krypton #2

Apr 8, 2010

The level of talent on display here is on such a level, that even a "middle issue" like this is still an entertaining ride.

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5.0
Legion of Super-Heroes (2010) #1

May 19, 2010

Even though this is a #1 issue, it most certainly isn't a "jumping-on point." While DC's trying to make their line current and accessible with Brightest Day, this just feels bogged down in the past, like a back-issue grabbed from a quarter bin. Still, there are good threads (like the "forbidden viewing" and Yat's betrayal) and Arniv's art is pretty polished. Actually, if you are a longtime LSH fan, this will probably be a real treat.

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8.0
Lone Ranger #22

Jun 16, 2010

To be upfront, I was skeptical about reading a Lone Ranger comic. He's a classic character, but also one firmly rooted in another era, and I wasn't sure how he'd hold up to modern audiences' storytelling needs. I was pleasantly surprised with this issue. It reminded me a lot of Batman: The Animated Series in how it can be appreciated by adult readers while still being acceptable for young readers, and how it updates the Ranger's mythos while never betraying the character's history.

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9.0
Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #1

Aug 18, 2010

This a great companion piece to Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe and definitely something you shouldn't overlook. Given the sticker shock, though, it might be worth it to wait for the trade. I hadn't paid attention to Maberry's name before this but, after looking him up on Comic Vine's trusty databases, I realized he was also behind the awesome Doom War, which shows he's got quite a range. I'm definitely going to be watching for his name in the future.

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6.0
Marvelman Family's Finest #1

Jul 8, 2010

Only hardcore fans with a historian's bent are going to enjoy this. It's a great curiosity for those interested in comics history and it can be fun for somebody already accustomed to Silver Age surrealism, but these aren't the stories that made Marvelman famous. They set a greater context for those already in the know, but if you know nothing about Marvelman before reading this, you're going to be wondering what the big deal is after you've read it.

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6.0
Namor: The First Mutant #2

Sep 29, 2010

It's undeniably fun to see so many disparate elements of the Marvel universe - - Atlantis, Dracula, and the X-Men - - colliding here. Considering how Namor's the first in Marvel's long tradition of anti-heroes, I'm glad that he's got his own book again -- especially one that's reinterpreted him in the X-Men's larger mythos as the "first mutant." I'm eager to see where this book goes, but I'm hoping it'll get more in touch with the wild days of Namor's youth soon.

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9.0
Nemesis #3

Sep 22, 2010

I wasn't much of a fan of Kick-Ass, so I was going into this expecting not to like it and, thus, it means a lot when I say I found this to be a wickedly-entertaining comic. The action's wonderfully intense and the humor's so black that, even as you feel terribly guilty, you can't help but laugh at what your seeing (and yes, I'm talking about the twisted, twisted gag revealing what Nemesis does to Morrow's kids.) This is comics' equivalent to rock music... something loud, fast and inappropriate. Something you can't resist headbanging to, even if your parents won't approve.

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6.0
New Avengers #64

Apr 28, 2010

Bendis most certainly has his signature style of dialogue and it works here. People have said that most crossover tie-ins are largely about character and less about plot, and that's certainly the case with this issue. Read this for a good look at the Hood and how he factors into this whole catastrophe above Oklahoma - - see him as a fleshed- out human being.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) #3

Aug 18, 2010

One thing I've always enjoyed about Bendis' writing is his knack for putting superheroes in real-feeling scenarios you rarely get in titles like this. It can be something of a double-edged sword though, because sometimes you get heroes talking like a bunch of buddies watching TV on the couch when they're supposed to be in the middle of an Earth-threatening crisis,and it honestly gets distracting. But the art's stellar, the plot's surprising and the back-up feature's a stand-out.

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7.0
New Avengers (2010) #5

Oct 13, 2010

While the A feature, with all its Agamatto-associated intrigue, is of the same caliber of quality you've come to expect from Bendis and Immonen, I was really more taken with the Oral History of the Avengers back-up. It might sound boring to see a prose feature comprised entirely of quotations, but I find the whole thing endlessly diverting. It adds a humanism and verisimilitude to Marvel continuity like few, if any, other features have.

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8.0
New Avengers Finale #1

May 12, 2010

The memories of the Avengers Finale are still clear in my mind and this was a great complimenting bookend to that, recaping all the big storylines from New Avengers the way that Finale recounted all of the original Avengers' great adventures. This is a very satisfying conclusion to both Siege and the New Avengers volume. I just wish Hitch had been allowed to use costumes he designed, himself.

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5.0
New Avengers: Luke Cage #1

Apr 7, 2010

: This is solid comic. Nothing more, nothing less. You can probably guess how the other two issues shake down, but it'll be a fun story,none the less. The jokes don't run as funny as Arcudi could be, but it reads well. The best thing to check out is Canete's art, even if it's a little too sketchy, sometimes.

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7.0
New Avengers: Luke Cage #3

Jun 30, 2010

I liked the first issue of this mini, but I missed out on the second one so I might be missing some important details. I enjoyed this issue as a fun departure from typical superhero fare in the Marvel universe, but I can't help thinking that this only skimmed the surface of what they could've done. I wonder if this plot could've been taken farther if it were about a unique creation of Arcudi and Canete's, rather than Luke Cage.

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8.0
New Mutants (2009) #16

Aug 18, 2010

This actually read more like a short from the likes of the Outer Limits or Analog - - an intriguing military SF with a twist that could stand on its own outside the X universe. For some, it may be a bit too long to be away from the stars of this title, but I think it was a great set-up for what promises to be a memorably-ghoulish gang of new villains. I'm eager to see what happens when these new Hellions finally meet the New Mutants.

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8.0
New Mutants (2009) #17

Sep 15, 2010

Wells is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers to look at for at Marvel. Between this and Elektra, he's demonstrated a true range that can deftly switch from smart comedy to brutal action, and back again, with just as much credibility. While I mention my qualms about these jaunts into the underworld getting a little repetitious, I want to stick around just to see his specific take on this kind of story.

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9.0
New Mutants (2009) #18

Oct 20, 2010

Month in, month out, this has been one of my favorite titles from the X-Men line. I was introduced to most of these characters right when X-Force was first hitting its stride, so I've always considered their New Mutants iterations to honestly be a bit boring in comparison. So it's a notable accomplishment that this creative team has not only got me interested in this version, but also got me hooked enough to be looking forward to this title every week it's out.

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8.0
Northlanders #31

Aug 11, 2010

I don't get to review Vertigo titles for this site as often I'd like, so it was definitely a breath of fresh air to read a title like this with a different approach to sequential art than I usually encounter. It's a provocative spin on the common sense of history and I'm hoping I'll get to read more of it as this Metal storyline unfolds. If you enjoyed that CG Beowulf movie or, to dig further back, the 80s flick Flesh + Blood, then you're going to love this.

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8.0
Origins of Marvel Comics #1

May 19, 2010

This is a tricky book to evaluate since it isn't really a story. It's sort of like reviewing one of Marvel's Official Handbooks. If you're new to Marvel or have friends whom you'd like to give a concise primer on Marvel, too, then I highly recommend this book. It executes its educational purpose exceptionally well. But if you're an established reader, this will be covering well-tread territory for you.

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5.0
Outsiders (2007) #29

Apr 28, 2010

This issue's kind of messy, art wise. I get the sense from the cover that this was meant to court fans of Twilight, Vampire Diaries and all the other stories about the creatures of the night, but I really wasn't feeling it. Stake, in particular, came across as rather poorly-realized and I'm not really interested in seeing what Looker's spurned fan does next.

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7.0
Power Girl #11

Apr 21, 2010

If you're only going to listen to one reason to get this book, then get it for Conner's work. I understand that she's going to be moving on to other ventures soon, so enjoy her take on Powergirl and her friends while you have the chance to.

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8.0
Power Girl #13

Jun 23, 2010

This is a good companion piece to Winick's other stellar book this week, GENERATION LOST, showing Power Girl's perspective of Maxwell Lord's act of global deception. As dark as things get (and they do get dark), I'd describe this title as light and appealing in the best way, because that's exactly what it should be. Any readers concerned about Gray, Palmiotti and Conner's departure from this title should breath easy knowing it's in good hands.

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8.0
Power Girl #15

Aug 18, 2010

As I've been enjoying what Winick's doing on Generation Lost so much, I've been waiting for this particular shoe to drop. Power Girl was a member of the JLE, as I recall, so I was wondering when her relationship with Maxwell Lord was ever going to be addressed. She doesn't seem to remember him, so I'm really curious to see how this plotline plays out. Finally, somebody from the other side of the mindwipe bubble is going to deal with this newly-resurrected scumbag.

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8.0
Power Girl #17

Oct 20, 2010

For a character who, at first glance, would seem limited to silly cheescake stories, Power Girl's actually one of the better realized characters in the DC. You can honestly put her in a situation and know she'll react in a way that's uniquely hers, not that of an average "lead." It's that strong three-dimensionality of character that's made this book worth picking up over the months... and it's that quality that continues to make it worthwhile.

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8.0
Power Girl #18

Nov 17, 2010

Winick and Basri had a really tough act to follow when they took this book over from Palmiotti and Conner.

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6.0
R.E.B.E.L.S. #15

Apr 21, 2010

The thing about reviewing comics like this is that DC's editorial has maintained a level of quality that it's hard to really criticize something unless it's lacking significantly. Does this issue of R.E.B.E.L.S. necessarily do anything that makes it stand out from the pack on your shelves? No, but it's a solid read.

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7.0
R.E.B.E.L.S. #17

Jun 16, 2010

If Bedard's bringing this kind of intrigue to his run on Green Lantern Corps, one of my favorite titles, then I know the comic's in good hands. I'd definitely recommend this title to anybody versed in DC's cosmology who'd like to see a more serious take on the concepts with a harder SF spin.

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7.0
Red Hood: The Lost Days #4

Sep 1, 2010

Like I said, I always thought that Jason Todd's return following A Death in the Family was one of those plot twists you always figured would happen eventually, but really hoped would never actually be followed through with. So it's a bit hard to shake that off. That being said, this was still a well-done issue and, I'm sure, much more resonant when read with the full scope of this mini in mind. It's like Batman's own "lost days" seen through a warped, fun house mirror.

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8.0
Red Robin #12

May 5, 2010

The best measure of a book like this is to say you can root for the character, and I can definitely say I was pumping my fist up for Mr. Drake. Even though I'm coming in at the conclusion of this arc, I never felt left out and I'm definitely interested to see what happens next with the host of entanglements Red Robin's been left. I'm curious to see what the new creative team will do, and I'm sure this will be looked back on as a defining character moment in Tim Drake's history.4/5

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9.0
Red Robin #14

Jul 8, 2010

Out of all the "Bat family" books I've been reading, Red Robin has consistently been the best. It's actually one of the best books I've been reading from DC lately. Nicieza hasn't missed a beat transition from Yost's run. I'm really almost sad to see Bruce Wayne coming back, because watching his successors pick up the pieces and try to make their own way has been a lot more interesting than the status quo ever was. I hope they'll continue to keep these characters in these identities for a long time.

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9.0
Red Robin #15

Aug 4, 2010

I've always been of two minds about the Bat family. On the one hand, the concept of Batman having a whole team of associates always seems to run counter to his basis as a brooding loner. This title, however, demonstrates how appealing the notion of Batman's "children" struggling with how to honor his legacy can be. This is a solo title, but it's actually one of the best team books on the shelves and something I'm looking forward to reading every month.

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9.0
Red: Frank #1

Sep 15, 2010

Whew... this is a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I never got to read the original Ellis/ Hammer Red mini-series, but this is a strong book in its own

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7.0
Red: Joe #1

Sep 15, 2010

This wasn't as strong as the other specials I read - - Frank and Victoria - - but it's still a pretty well put together book and a breath of fresh air for anybody who'd like to see genres other than superheroes (in this case, espionage) get the kind of production value usually only reserved for books with capes. I think I might like this better if I read it a second time, because the twist's a solid payoff. Wildstorm should be complimented in general for doing a really good job with all these Red tie-ins, though. These are quality comics, not quick cash-ins.

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9.0
Red: Victoria #1

Sep 15, 2010

I only got to pick up three of the four Red prequel specials that came out this week. Both this and Frank have been much better than I though they were going - - they're two of the best books out this week and easily the best told-in-ones I've read in a while.

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9.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. #3

Aug 4, 2010

Before reading this issue, I honestly didn't know anything about S.H.I.E.L.D. outside of it having some eye-catching, atypical covers and, obviously, some relation to Nick Fury's organization. I was intrigued by how this issue's promo promised to pit Isaac "Inventor of Calculus" Newton against Galactus and I can say that Hickman and Weaver fulfill that promise impressively. I've seen a number of projects in the past trying to weave real history into that of the Marvel universe, and they've been cheesy. Much like Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man this is another example of a comic transcending its confines to tell a story that'd be compelling in any medium and in any context.

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9.0
S.H.I.E.L.D. #4

Oct 6, 2010

Between this and Ultimate Thor (as well his work on Fantastic Four and Secret Warriors) Hickman is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers in the business, let alone at Marvel. The way he's reinterpreting long-established continuity to tell a truly provocative, boundary-pushing story reminds of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison's best work at DC. This book is sublime.

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8.0
Scarlet #2

Sep 1, 2010

I'm glad that Bendis is finally getting back to his roots with a honest-to-goodness crime thriller. It's been far too long since we've seen him do his thing in the likes of Torso and Jinx.

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9.0
Scarlet #3

Nov 3, 2010

I never got into any of Bendis' pre-Powers crime noir stories, but I'm so glad to see him returning to the genre with this book. More than anything, I'm just so pleased to see a genuinely provocative and experimental comic with the kind of presentation and production value that's usually mainstream book's sole purview. I'm a little hesitant about the potentially-volatile "cop killer" message of this book,

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7.0
Secret Avengers #3

Jul 28, 2010

I haven't read the first two issues, so maybe this was addressed somewhere in the first two issues, but I'm not seeing how the Secret Avengers having this adventure on Mars jibes with them being this covert strike-force. I think their guest appearance in Moon Knight's book was a better execution of that notion. Here, they seem like just another team - - basically like the West Coast Avengers.

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7.0
Secret Avengers #6

Oct 27, 2010

We're experiencing the era of the Avengers, now - - a reign as powerful as the X-Men's was in the 90s. While I have some issues with how this differs from all the other titles under the "A" banner, it's still a sharp book, and I suppose my criticism doesn't hold as much ground when I consider how good X-Factor was when it started (even though it was basically "X-Men with other characters" then.)

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9.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #22

Jun 9, 2010

Villains United was the stand-out of the Countdown to Infinite Crisis mini's. While I haven't been able to keep up with Secret Six, I was very pleased to see the quality I saw in that original limited series continuing into this title. I wish I'd read the other issues of this story arc, because this was a dynamite conclusion.

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9.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #23

Jul 8, 2010

Seeing as how this issue's titled "Predators" and there's a certain major motion picture with the same title and a similar premise coming out this weekend, I can't help wondering if this Most Dangerous Game home was done as a nod to the movie. Either way, as a fan of Ostrander's seminal run on Suicide Squad, I was so pleased to see him getting to guest on another supervillain title. This is a killer told-in-one that I recommend to anybody wanting a damn good one-shot.

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9.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #24

Aug 4, 2010

DC used to do this kind of story all the time when they were branding their "Tales from the Multiverse" as Elseworlds. While the wild West became enough of a go-to for characters that it became kind of a cliche, it's been a long enough that it feels fresh here. Actually, there's a saying about tropes being tropes because they're good and this was definitely a reminder of how fun a melding of superheroes and rawhides can be. Secret Six continues to be one of my favorite titles every month.

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9.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #25

Sep 1, 2010

The bad guys just have so much more fun! Seriously, this and Thunderbolts are two of the books I look forward to the most every month. There's a greater variety to the characters, their

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9.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #26

Oct 6, 2010

Month in, month out, Secret Six is consistently one of the best books coming out of DC. It's so well-done that I knew this was going to be a

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8.0
Secret Six Vol. 2 #27

Nov 3, 2010

My enthusiasm for this book isn't diminished at all. It still continues to be one of my favorite books coming out of DC. Perhaps I'm just frustrated to see these characters I'm rooting for get thwarted by jungle people and dinosaurs; and, if that's the case, it's probably actually a compliment that I'm so invested in the drama that I'm upset when the cast runs into difficulties.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #15

Apr 28, 2010

This is how you write a monthly title. Really this one the best comics I've read this weekend. I didn't know all the back story, but I still could get follow the plot and, most importantly, I want to learn the backstory, now. That's a testament to Caselli's exceptional storytelling and Hickman's skillfully-accessible writing.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #16

May 26, 2010

This issue's in the thick of a bigger storyline. I'd still recommend it on it's own, but I'd almost go out to recommend recent trade collections over this, even though I haven't read the previous issues. If the title's been as good as this issue and the previous one have been, then I'm confident that the quality extended throughout the rest of the arc. And definitely keep your eyes peeled for Gugliotta - - he's got a unique style that's definitely going to turn some heads.

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8.0
Secret Warriors #17

Jun 23, 2010

I'm still not entirely sure what the direction of this title is, but I've been enjoying it solidly for three issues straight now. If you want a weightier read that's going to be a welcome departure from your typical superhero title, this will be right up your ally. It successfully bridges the more fantastical side of Marvel WWII-era heroics with a nice Tom Clancy-style realism.

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7.0
Secret Warriors #20

Sep 29, 2010

It may shock people to say I'm missing Norman Osborn. I feel like this title had a more defined purpose during Dark Reign and its immediate aftermath. It's still quite well-written and exceptionally well-drawn, but without a governmental foe for these Secret Warriors to rebel against, it's getting harder to sum up this book succinctly. Now that such a drastic move has been taken, though, I'm eager to see how "Night" will unfold over the coming installments.

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7.0
Secret Warriors #21

Oct 27, 2010

Between Ultimate Thor and SHIELD, Hickman's quickly become one of my favorite writers at Marvel, right now. He's got a talent for taking familiar elements of this world and making them exist in their own fully-developed, utterly-believable "pocket universes." While I've been enjoying this book, and this issue's fight was a knock-out, I am starting to wonder if it's taking a little too long to progress things.

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8.0
Shadowland #3

Oct 6, 2010

It's funny; over the past couple months, I've gotten to read a lot of the Shadowland tie-ins, but none of the actual issues from the main mini-series. Now that I've sampled the whole gamut of this crossover, I have to say that the level of quality throughout is impressively strong. This might seem excessive after the end of seven years worth of rolling crossovers, but it's honestly a strong fray that defines this section of the Marvel U as a community, giving each player a significant, clearly-defined role to play.

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8.0
Shadowland Blood on the Streets #1

Aug 11, 2010

I haven't gotten to actually read the central Shadowland mini-series, but all these tie-in specials and minis have actually been quite good. This is a great complement to the Bullseye one-short and, really, the whole crossover in general, because this story's really about the effect Daredevil's heel turn is having on New York as a community.

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8.0
Shadowland: Bullseye #1

Aug 4, 2010

I haven't been reading any of the Shadowland crossover (nor even anything Daredevil-related in years, for that matter) but I didn't really need to. Layman manages to do a fairly self-contained told-in-one here that gets you up to speed with what's happened in the rest of the storyline without making you feel like you've missed out on anything.

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7.0
Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow #1

Aug 18, 2010

I'd probably be feeling this particular title more if were coming out on its own, away from Shadowland, but I can't help evaluating it in the context of the greater crossover and I'm definitely feeling some fatigue. Wing's roll as leader of this counter Hand (or Hand splinter group,I'm not quite clear on it) could prove to be gripping, but if you're choosing between Shadowland tie-ins this week, I recommend Power Man over this.

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5.0
Shadowland: Ghost Rider #1

Sep 15, 2010

The funny thing about Shadowland is that I've only gotten to read the tie-ins without getting the chance to read a single issue of the main storyline.

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8.0
Shadowland: Power Man #1

Aug 18, 2010

Honestly, the notion of introducing a new Power Man interested me about as much the prospect of somebody introducing a new Razorback, so the fact that Van Lente and Asrar actually make this debut as good as it was is doubly-accomplished. I've really been surprised with the quality of all these Shadowland tie-ins, so far, and this is actually the best of the bunch.

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3.0
Shawdowhawk Vol.2 #1

May 8, 2010

- 1.5/5Honestly, I couldn't shake the feeling after reading this that I'd just read a fake comic that'd been created for another story. If you've ever seen a movie or a TV show about a cartoonist, or one featuring regular characters starting their own comic... whatever sample they show from the comic usually embody bad stereotypes or out-of-date cliches. That's really what this felt like.

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7.0
Siege: Captain America #1

Apr 14, 2010

This is worth picking up for the story. Gage takes what could have been another throwaway crossover tie-in and actually delivers a worthwhile story about Cap and Bucky. I wish I could recommend it more, but the art really didn't fit here.

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8.0
Siege: Spider-Man #1

Apr 21, 2010

This has continued the good track record these Siege tie-in specials have earned. Both the Young Avengers and Captain America issues were better than they even needed to be, and so is this. Even though this is just a "bridge" to get readers from one part of Siege to the next, it's an enjoyable story in itself that delivers on what you'd want out of a superhero comic.

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7.0
Siege: Young Avengers #1

Apr 15, 2010

While Asrar hasn't fully come into a style that's immediately identifiable as his own, he's still done exceptional work here. Just as it was the case for Siege: Captain America, this was a lot better executed than a cross-over tie-in usually needs to be. Despite some forced dialogue, this was satisfying installment in the Young Avengers' continuing soap opera of action and relationships.

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6.0
Skullkickers #1

Sep 22, 2010

Bleeding Cool's been saying that this had been getting a unusual amount of buzz prior to its debut. Supposedly, this issue's already re-selling for $15 on eBay. While this debut issue wasn't really my cup of tea, I'm still glad that a creator-owned indy book like this - - something that isn't a licensed property, that isn't continuing a long-running character, that isn't coming from big names - - is making a splash. I hope it continues to do well, even if I won't necessarily be along for the ride.

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7.0
Soldier Zero #2

Nov 17, 2010

This book is an interesting intersection of talents. It's a classical

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5.0
Spawn #197

May 5, 2010

I think I respect this book more than I enjoy it. Credit must be given to McFarlane for his creator-owned title that's run for nearly 200 issues, straight now, and for that fact that he's always been involved in to, to some degree. However, aside from Portachio's art, this issue really wasn't that exciting. It actually felt kind of ho-hum.

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6.0
Spectacular Spider-Girl #1

May 5, 2010

- 3/5What I've said about this being dated really depends on how you view the proper Spidey books. If you're enjoying them, this going to come off as too silly for you. If you think they're too dark and self-important, if you're a child-at-heart looking for a throwback to the books you read as a kid, then you're going to love this. I still think it's kind of crazy that this title is actually in my hands. Spider-Girl's been canceled several times, and MC2 ended YEARS ago. But I suppose that's a testament to the appeal of this character and I give props to DeFalco for not letting any of the future continuity get bogged down here. This really is a good jumping-on point for new readers.

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7.0
Spectacular Spider-Girl #2

Jun 3, 2010

Despite Mayhem coming off as more than a little corny, this was an improvement over the second issue, hitting the better elements of the nostalgic elements that Spider-Girl's always tried to capture. You surprisingly get one of the better Punisher characterizations outside of MAX here and I'm curious to see what happens when he finally runs into Mayday. It's looking like he won't actually be pulling too many punches.

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7.0
Spider-Girl Vol. 2 #1

Nov 17, 2010

I'll fess up to being a little resistant to this book on account of the attachment I have to Mayday Parker Spider-Girl we've know for the past ten years or so.

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4.0
Spider-Man vs. Vampires #1

Oct 27, 2010

I was excited about this issue since I've always had a soft spot for Blade (right in the middle of my chest) but, I hate to say, this one-shot feels kind-of half-baked.

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8.0
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1

Jul 8, 2010

This issue ends with a good noirish cliffhanger that's definitely got me hooked. I'm curious to see some answers to the mysteries laid out here about the new serum and the (possible) return of X-13. Steve's new role as this maskless "super soldier" is something I've more interested in than his inevitable "return to the cowl" - - I'm looking forward to seeing where Brubbaker takes this new context. I was also glad that Marvel included a reprint of Cap's origin, because it was definitely eye-opening to finally read the simple six-pager that's spawned so many retcons and retellings.

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7.0
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4

Oct 20, 2010

This mini is further proof that things are a lot more interesting with Bucky keeping the Cap mantle and Steve Rogers staying at the head of SHIELD. I'm sure that the status will eventually be re-established (just as the Super-Soldier serum will eventually be duplicated) but, for the time being, this is the most interesting situation the character's been in for years

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6.0
Supergirl (2005) #52

Apr 22, 2010

With middle-act issues like this, it's really best to comment on how the story and characters, and I can say that I was involved in the steps of Braniac 5 and Kara's relationship. Characterization can frequently be lost in crossovers as big and crazy as this, but you can definitely relate to the green guy's anguish over not be able to tell the woman he loves how he loves her. This is worth picking up, even if you haven't been following Last Stand of New Krypton.3/5

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8.0
Supergirl (2005) Annual #2

Oct 27, 2010

The Legionaires are usually my least-favorite characters in the DC Universe, so I'm doubly-pleased that this one-shot was able to turn what I normally dislike about them into a strength. More specifically, I've always found their peaceful future to be a touch boring but this story used that to play on the more fairy tale, almost Picaresque, aspects of their world for a genuinely charming story. Plus, I'm really curious to see where Brainiac's love-fueled plan will lead.

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8.0
Sweet Tooth #11

Jul 8, 2010

This is the last part of an arc and, thus, really the worst place for anybody to try to start reading this title. I still enjoyed it, though, even if I haven't been reading Sweet Tooth from the beginning. I had some qualms about the art (even though I thought the storytelling was superb) but I feel like I would've gotten used to it if I'd entered this from the beginning. Still, the quality level is good enough that I'd recommend either picking up the first trade or maybe starting this title with the next issue, which begins a new story arc.

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7.0
Sweet Tooth #14

Oct 6, 2010

Once again, it's too bad that I sometimes have to experience series like this in such a piecemeal fashion. I feel like I'd get a lot more out of this particular issue if I'd entered this series from the beginning and gotten gradually acclimated to the world of Sweet Tooth. The storytelling, like I said, does an incredible job of bringing you into this story but, considering how filthy and warped it is, it's almost too much for my senses.

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8.0
Taskmaster #1

Sep 1, 2010

This is another case of a Marvel comic (along with Matt Fraction's Iron Man and Jonathan Hickman's SHIELD series) with a premise that's strong enough to allow it to stand proudly on its own, outside the MU - - though it's that much more entertaining for building on this wealth of continuity. I'm stoked to see what criminal cabals Taskey will be trouncing next.

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5.0
Teen Titans (2003) #83

May 26, 2010

I recommend the back-up here, but not so much the feature. If you're a devotee of the characters, you'll probably want to see how their lives and interactions advance here. It's basically just a soap opera in tights, which is good or bad depending on how invested in the Titans you already are.

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6.0
Teen Titans (2003) #84

Jun 30, 2010

Once again, I preferred the second feature over the main feature. Maybe that's because it had a smaller (and more manageable) cast of characters, focusing their interplay on the intriguing situations they've been dropped into by these scheming demons. The main feature with the Titans, like I said, just didn't really grab me and this is the second issue in a row where I've felt like that.

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7.0
Thanos Imperative #1

Jun 3, 2010

As a long time fan of Marvel's cosmic heroes, and Thanos specifically, I get special satisfaction seeing all these character get their due in such an epic fashion. However, seeing as this story already has so many characters already, it'd preferred it focus had been kept on the cosmic characters and not been muddied by the (poorly named) Cancerverse's Revengers. And I really wish this was inked!

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7.0
Thanos Imperative #2

Jul 14, 2010

I've always had a special spot for Marvel's cosmic side, so I'm enjoying the updating and recontextualization Abnett and Lanning are putting these characters through. I'm eager to see how they develop Thanos' new, ironically-heroic mission. However, I have to qualify much of my enjoyment of this issue because of my problems with the production choices. Instead of being able to drink many of the epic vistas, I was thinking about what they could've looked like with ink.

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9.0
Thanos Imperative #3

Aug 11, 2010

Book for book, this has been one of the best weeks for comics in recent memory. It's doubly enjoyable for the fact that these books haven't really been treading the same ground. This book, in particular, is a testament to Marvel's success at retooling and revamping their cosmology into a space opera that can go toe-to-toe with any other brand of galactic adventure.

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8.0
Thanos Imperative #5

Oct 13, 2010

I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for superhero space opera. And this is ten-strong dose of the stuff. I suppose I shouldn't fault the book for being crowded - - it's meant to be a mega-crossover contained in a succinct mini-series. Marvel's space heroes have rarely ever had this kind overarching direction and that's exciting. I just it would be a touch neater.

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8.0
Thanos Imperative #6

Nov 10, 2010

I can understand why all these cosmic books have been presented in attention-grabbing segments like this, but I wonder if a few of my issues might've been remedied by this just being an arc in an ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy title. There are enough character's

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7.0
The Boys #42

May 5, 2010

Once again, my enjoyment of The Boys is tempered by a wish to see what this team could be doing instead. Ennis, Robertson and Avina are tremendous talents, so far above most others, that I'd really like to see them doing something like an arc in Ennis' Battlefields instead of another comic turning superheroes on their head. That being said, this is still worthwhile read if you want a very well-done comic.

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8.0
The Boys #43

Jun 16, 2010

I've had my issues with this title covering familiar ground when it came to satirizing superheroes, but I was too caught up in the characters and the story to mind any of that with this issue. As I said, there's some real drama to Hughie's desperate attempt to save Super Duper and, barring the small issues I mention in "The Bad", this continues to be one of the best executed books on the shelves right now. Between this and the Lone Ranger, it's clear that Dynamite's offering a superior catalog of titles.

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7.0
The Boys #49

Nov 30, 2010

The hook of The Boys is that it never pulls any punches and, unlike some series that seem to gradually ease back on the provocation as they get along, it's maintained a consistent (perhaps even escalating) level of shock for almost 50 straight issues. While this current arc's spin on alternate (recent) history might be too touchy for my tastes, you've got to admire the book for living up to its ballsy promises so consistently.

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4.0
The Brave and the Bold #34

May 26, 2010

Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but I wasn't feeling the retro romp this issue is supposed to be. JMS and Saiz have done much better work, but it seems like they were phoning it in, here. This does feel like a Silver Age comic, but more like the kind that would be goofed on in some snarky column.

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3.0
The Brave and the Bold #35

Jul 14, 2010

I didn't especially like the first half of this two-parter and seeing it in

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6.0
The Heroic Age: Super Heroes #1

Sep 15, 2010

A book like this is really tricky to review. It's somewhere between an

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6.0
The New Mutants Forever #1

Aug 4, 2010

I think the editors on this did a great job on this one, because it feels a lot hipper to the times than X-Men Forever. Even though the issues I had with that title persist in this one, they were definitely less pronounced and I got wrapped a lot more in the story. And Al Rio's art is definitional class.

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7.0
The Spirit Vol. 2 #3

Jun 16, 2010

Seeing as how the Spirit's most famous for the storytelling innovations Will Eisner made through the strip, I really would've liked to have seen more artistic layouts like we get in the back-up feature. I still feel like this character is so intrinsically Eisner's baby that you really need him to make it worthwhile, but this comic is a still good time, mixing modern supheroics with classic noir tropes.

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8.0
Thor (2007) #609

Apr 29, 2010

If you need one reason to pick this up, check out for the Balder's demonstration of godly bullet time. As I said with Secret Avengers, this is an excellent example of how to do a monthly book. You can just drop into this without having read Siege or even previous issues of Thor and still enjoy the story for it was. Odds are, you'll be intrigued to see the backstory lurking underneath. And, while you might not always be certain of exactly who is drawing this, you're always going to find the art jaw-dropping.

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9.0
Thor (2007) #610

May 26, 2010

In spite of my serious problem with this issue's production, this is still one of the best books out this week. Thor's a historically hard book to make relevant to modern readers while still staying true to its classic roots, and Gillen makes it look effortless. This feels like a poem from folklore, not a superhero comic, and I mean that in the best way possible. Braithwaite does some exceptional work - - I just wish I could appreciate his art without always having to wonder where the inks are.

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7.0
Thor (2007) #612

Jul 28, 2010

I've been enjoying Gillen's take on this title up until this point, but things have gotten a little muddy in this issue, both in the art and the story.

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9.0
Thor (2007) #613

Aug 25, 2010

This is seriously one of the best titles that Marvel's putting out, right now. I know a lot of readers are usually leery of Thor for fear of it being stuffy or dated, but this is truly a red-blooded, sleek reinvention of classical mythology that's right up there with the God of War games. Start picking this book up now, so when all the johny-come-latelys buy it after the Thor movie, you can say you knew it was good before anybody else.

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8.0
Thor (2007) #617

Nov 10, 2010

No less than three titles starring Thor have come out this week and, even though they tread on similar ground, they've all found their own, distinct angle. Oddly enough, I suppose I enjoyed this in the same way I can get behind those sporadic contemporary updates of Shakespeare. Thor re-discovering Loki as teen con man makes this mythos feel alive and actually kind of hopefully - - and I'm glad to see more of the Aesir finally getting some sleek re-designs to catch up with Thor's.

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6.0
Thor: First Thunder #1

Sep 15, 2010

The issue's a bit of mixed bag. Blake's definitely a likable character and I know the talents involved are excellent creators... but this issue's a bit muddy. The art needs an inker, like I said, and considering that the back-up feature shows just how closely this sticks to original stories, I really think this could've used some streamlining. The aliens just didn't fit into the mythic narrative. But I am really intrigued to see how the potential identity crisis between Thor and Blake develops.

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7.0
Thor: First Thunder #2

Oct 20, 2010

There have been a number of retellings of Marvel heroes' early days and this is one of the more successful ones because it infuses these simple stories with some provocative psychological depth. I actually wonder if Glass might've been better off taking even more creative license with the original stories, because the dialog soars here while the plotting sometimes seems a little tangled.

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9.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #144

May 26, 2010

This really continues what I enjoyed from the T-Bolt shorts in the Enter the Heroic Age special last week.

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9.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #145

Jun 23, 2010

I've been following Thunderbolts since the very beginning, through all its reinventions and I'm sure this is going to be regarded as one of the signature runs. Parker and Walker are picking this book up and making it their own, while still honoring what's come immediately before in Siege as well as the title. This is one of stand-out comics this week. You really should pick it up. I can't wait to see what happens next and what dark twists these two have in store for us.

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9.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #147

Aug 18, 2010

Now this is what I'm talking about. This is what Thunderbolts should be, and it's one of the best books Marvel's putting out right now. It's also an example to follow when it comes to inter-title crossovers. I didn't have to read the tie-in Avengers Academy issues, my enjoyment of this wasn't diminshed by not having read them, but I'm still intrigued to go check those issues out now - - because the whole notion of the Academy coming to get "scared straight" is really clever.

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9.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #149

Oct 27, 2010

Like I keep saying, I'm a sucker for supervillain books (or quasi-supervillain books) and this is the other half of a great combo with Secret Six.

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9.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #150

Nov 17, 2010

Stepping back a little, it's worth it to compliment the editorial team behind this book as they've given this book a purpose that clearly complements the other Avengers spin-offs. If the the Avengers are the varsity heroes and the Avengers Academy are super-kids who need guidance as they teeter between hero and villain, then this is very clearly the place for borderline lost causes who need a lot effort to be pulled off the edge. And the drama's, of course, riveting for that. Consistently one my favorite books at Marvel.

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8.0
Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2

Aug 25, 2010

Anybody who was disappointed by Jurgens departing the proper Booster Gold title needs to pick this up, because he's picking up right where he left off, as if nothing ever happened. Honestly, even if you don't give a lick about Batman, this is still a good old-fashioned, fun romp through the DCU that takes itself just seriously enough to still enjoy it as a drama.

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8.0
Time Masters: Vanishing Point #3

Sep 29, 2010

I enjoyed this book for the same reasons I enjoyed this week's issue of Detective Comics. Jurgens isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, here, but he's crafted a comic here that delivers that kind of simple escapism that brings me back to what I enjoyed about reading comics in the first place as a boy. This book really ought to be titled Booster Gold, because it's directly continuing everything you enjoyed about Jurgens' run on that book.

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7.0
Titans #27

Sep 22, 2010

I haven't been paying that close attention, so I didn't realize that this was a separate book from Teen Titans until I looked up the cover for this issue. Now, with a comparison apparent, I'll say I prefer this out of the two. The concept of "villains for hire" with ex-Titans and Titans associates having to work with their old foes captures my imagination a bit more than just another team of young heroes.

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4.0
Ultimate Comics Avengers Vol. 2 #4

Jun 23, 2010

I get the sense that this was written with an aim to see what ridiculous things could be gotten away with, rather than truly trying to tell new,

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4.0
Ultimate Comics Avengers Vol. 3 #1

Aug 11, 2010

I really don't get this series (or series of series.) Even post-Ultimatum, I thought the Ultimate line was about streamlining and revamping Marvel's mainstays for new times and new readers, but titles like this just seem like an excuse to haphazardly throw all of that into a blender for a result

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Mystery #1

Jul 28, 2010

It's a little disheartening to read this because I'm getting shades of how the 2099 line ended up in the 90s. This whole line started with a spirit of modernization and accessibility, only to now be buckling under the weight of its own continuity. It's even got clones, now! If you haven't read the crossover mini-series just prior to this, you're going to be helplessly lost. It all sticks out even more because Bendis isn't doing what he's been doing so well in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #10

May 12, 2010

Having been a fan of the first volume of Ultimate Spider-Man, I was concerned that the launch of Ultimate Comics was going to stray too far from the original point of the whole line (that is, updating the MU and making it accessible to new readers). This series is definitely keeping true to that. You can pick this issue up and enjoy without having read a single issue of Spidey before. Actually, I'd recommend this over the "Earth 616" Spidey books at the moment. Spidey works a lot better as a teen in high school, and this is the right team for those kind of stories.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #11

Jun 9, 2010

This is reminding me of the best of the first run of Ultimate Spider-Man. Getting back to the spirit of Spidey while shedding all the restrictions that have only been kept around out of tradition. This is how Spidey should be - - a well-meaning kid who's frequently put in situations where he's trying to figure out what the responsible thing to do is, even if he obviously doesn't have the experience to properly put things in perspective. I hope the new movie's going to be like this.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #13

Aug 11, 2010

I'm really baffled how this title pulls off the point of the Ultimate Comics imprint so wonderfully when all the other titles are missing the point so drastically.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #14

Sep 22, 2010

I end my reviews of every issue of this with the same sentiment -

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10
Ultimate Comics Thor #1

Oct 6, 2010

I'm going to put this over the cliff for the rating because it represents a return to what I enjoyed so much about the Ultimate line. I feel like the line's lost its way a little, but this comic feels like an old blade that's been sharpened in a way you didn't think was possible. I really hope this is a sign of more to come in the Ultimate universe.

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10
Ultimate Comics Thor #2

Nov 10, 2010

As I mentioned in my review of Thor, this is actually one of three comics starring the thunder god this week and I'll say that it's heads-and-tails the best. It's an adaptation and update in the best sense of the terms, using this rich mythology (both cultural and pop-cultural) as a basis for a sharp, forward-looking science fiction thriller. And, without spoiling anything, the twist regarding Baron Zemo is quite stellar.

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8.0
Uncanny X-Men #529

Oct 27, 2010

This is something of an "in-between issue" - - something to get us from point A to point C and set up a lot of threads in the process - - but it's an exceptionally well-done in-between issue. I should comment, as well, that I've enjoyed how Portacio's art is evolved. Perhaps a lot of it has to do with the inker and colorist, but I've never seen his art look this crisp.

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7.0
Valkyrie #1

Sep 29, 2010

I'll confess to never having paid much, if any, attention to Valkyrie prior to this one-shot. I don't really know what gap in continuity this is intended to fill -- unless it's supposed to be a years-in-waiting loose end that's been dangling since the storyline where the Asgardians were all forced to assume civilian identities during the end of Journey Into Mystery.

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7.0
Vengeance of the Moon Knight #7

Apr 7, 2010

A good issue to start a team-up storyline. There's a good balance of pacing, keeping the dialogue concise while still making you feel like you've got enough story for one issue. And Huat's art has a great range to suit each phase.

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9.0
Vengeance of the Moon Knight #10

Jul 8, 2010

I've been a fan of Ryp's work since his days of doing Robocop comics for Avatar Press.

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9.0
War of the Supermen #1

May 5, 2010

Even if you didn't get the superb zero issue that DC put out for Free Comic Book Day last week, you really need to pick this up if you're a superhero fan. Seriously, "the bad" I talk about with things getting complicated is rather moot... because Robinson & Gates have crafted this so well that you don't need to have read a single issue before this (but without sacrificing the pay offs that long-term readers will enjoy). Seriously, pick this book up when you go to your LCS this week.

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7.0
Warlord of Mars #1

Oct 13, 2010

Shamed as I am to admit, I've never actually gotten the chance to read the classic Edgard Rice Burroughs stories that this is adapting. My exposure to the character and his mythos is limited to martian war that started off the second volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I'm sure this wi'll be just as strong as the Lone Ranger and Green Hornets books have been - - I just wished they'd cut to the chase a little sooner.

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8.0
Warriors Three #1

Nov 3, 2010

If you're like me and you're hesitant about reading a comic entirely about Thor's supporting characters, then you'll be just as surprised by how compelling Willingham and Edwards have made this. This is a dashing adventure with laughs,

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5.0
Wildcats #22

Apr 29, 2010

If you've never read a Wildstorm comic before, or even if you haven't read that many, you're going to be utterly lost here. For what it was, I applaud Beechen for finding a scene you could genuinely relate to here, but I still couldn't shake off how this wasn't really a story, but a depiction of events happening between stories.

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6.0
Winter Guard #1

Jun 3, 2010

While it's cool to see Marvel stories that aren't specifically set in New York city, but I would've liked to have seen a little more of a unique gimmick for the Winter Guard to make it stand apart from other tiles on the shelves. Again, I don't want to blow this surprise twist at the end, but it changes the premise that might prove to be more interesting in the remaining two issues.

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6.0
Wolverine (2003) #900

May 13, 2010

I'm still kind of puzzled as to what the reasoning is behind this issue's numbering. It's not a spoof of an anniversary specials like Deadpool's was. This was something that would once be an annual or a X-Men Unlimited issue. Either way, it's a mixed bag, like any anthology. There are some good ones and there are some not-so-good ones. There was notably a bit of redundancy in the plots - - at least three stories out of six or seven about Wolverine picking fights in bars. Be aware, too, that there are a few segments that are reprints of recent stories, so you might be double-dipping.

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7.0
Wolverine (2010) #1

Sep 1, 2010

I'm of two minds about this storyline. On the one hand, it's sizing up to be an interesting companion piece to Wolverine Origins; putting Logan face-to-face with all the ghosts from his past in a very real way. On the other hand, I can't help thinking that Wolverine's going back into Marvel's hell after the X-Men

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7.0
Wolverine Origins #47

Apr 28, 2010

Pun intended - - this part of the "Reckoning" storyline was a lot sharper than the first. Things got a lot more interesting here with the number of players entering the fray and the thematic issues they bring, even if they're squaring off one of the lamest villains in recent memory. Honestly, I'd say skip the latest issue of Dark Wolverine and go straight to this if you want to follow "Reckoning."

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5.0
Wolverine Origins #50

Jul 28, 2010

This is a case where the back-up story plays out better than the feature. I can appreciate the intention to give Logan some kind of closure after 50 issues of dredging up the past, but I think it's presented in such a vague way that it doesn't really seem to be of any significance . Fury almost gets killed and all he does is

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7.0
X-Factor #205

May 19, 2010

I don't think this is an essential tie-in to Second Coming, but it's a solid issue of a X-Factor. I had some issues with the art being kind of drab, but David brings enough zest in the script to balance it out. Seeing all these mutant bumping heads, even if it isn't over the most earth-shattering matters, is still some good fun.

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8.0
X-Factor Forever #4

Jun 16, 2010

You might get lost if you aren't an expert, but this will remind readers of what the X-Men can be at their best. It's especially interesting when put next to the recent developments with Cable and Hope in Messiah Complex, as you see the earliest seeds of those bigger parts of the X-Men mythos here. And I have to say I love the art. To use music terms, it feels like a great remix or a sampling of classic vinyl.

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4.0
X-Men Forever #1

Apr 24, 2010

Claremont is a legend whose contributions to the X-Men cannot be understated. If you've grown up on his work, then you're going to love this. If his more traditional style has never jibed with you, then it isn't going to jibe with you, here. This annual's interesting to pick up if you want to see the X-Men interpreted in a completely different style, even if it goes a little too far off from the established looks, sometimes.

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6.0
X-Men Legacy #239

Aug 25, 2010

Part of the point of doing more than one X-Men book is to specifically focus on different aspects of their mythology. I realize that Legacy is consciously trying not to feel the same as regular X-Men, but I still prefer that title to this. I think it better balanced the heroics and the character interest, while this felt so much like a soap opera, I was waiting for a diamond thief to show up with an eye patch on.

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8.0
X-Men Legacy #240

Sep 29, 2010

I was a little cool on the last issue, but I'm digging this title a lot more now that a better balance has been struck between the soap opera and the high-concept superheroics I'm always looking for in an X-Men book. I haven't encountered the Children of the Vault prior to this, but they already seem like villains worthy of inclusion in this decades-deep rogue's gallery. I especially liked how they had a cold, fanatical agenda that really had nothing to do with mutantkind's agenda, nor humankind's -- a villainy totally alien to X-Men's usual theme.

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9.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #2

Aug 11, 2010

I'm a big fan of the Blade movies (only the first two, let me clarify) so I've always been confused why the comics have so rarely been able to capture the characterization we got there. Thus, Gischler's handling of the vampire hunter is all-the-more pleasing for getting the character right - - especially in comparison to the really "off" portrayal in Ultimate Avengers this week.

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8.0
X-Men Vol. 4 #5

Nov 17, 2010

I have something of a pet peeve for vampires, so it's an accomplishment when a story can not

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6.0
X-Men: Curse of the Mutants: X-Men vs. Vampires #1

Sep 29, 2010

If you aren't getting enough "mutants vs. vampire" action to whet your thirst, this anthology will give you some interesting angles on this current curse storyline. It isn't as strong as other anthologies that've been coming out, but there are some good shorts - - the Rogue and Magneto ones being the stand-outs. An added bonus is a back-up reprinting some early Bill Sienkiewicz art. As a fan of his work, it was really strange to see what his art looked like before he got experimental.

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9.0
X-Men: Second Coming - Revelations: Hellbound #1

May 6, 2010

I don't know what it is, but there was a deluge of great books this week, making up for all the duds I read last week. Yost, in particular, is on a roll between this and Red Robin. Even if you haven't been reading Second Coming (I haven't), I urge you to pick this book up. Sit back and enjoy Yost's amazing dialogue and characterization, and drink up Tolibao's stunning artwork.

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8.0
X-Men: Second Coming - Revelations: Hellbound #2

Jun 9, 2010

This didn't wow me as much as the first issue. Like I said, the positives of having such a great collection of voices is now seeming to become a negative by cramming too many characters into this, and sometimes, those characterizations suffer, like Gambit's. However, this is is still well done, with an appropriately epic, nightmarish, high-stakes scope, and I do recommend it.

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8.0
X-Men: Second Coming - Revelations: Hellbound #3

Jul 14, 2010

I don't really know how this factors into the larger Second Coming Revelations storyline. It doesn't really stand on its own and it kind of makes you wonder what this all added up to. Still, as an extended "middle act" or a "side story" I'd still recommend it, just based on the breadth and depth of the characterizations. There might be more characters in this story than it can handle by the end, but you can still tell every one apart because they've got an unique and identifable voice.

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7.0
Young Allies #1

Jun 9, 2010

This is the well-worn "gathering of young heroes" story, but you can always make a familiar story fun with a good spin - - and McKeever and Baldeon definitely put some spin on it. I'm

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9.0
Zatanna #7

Nov 17, 2010

It's appropriate that this issue has some callbacks to the deaths that befell so many DC mystics during Alan Moore's seminal Swamp Thing run, as this very much has the same kind of witty, imaginative whimsy that Moore loved to lavish on much of his ABC work. You've got a fun central idea, a cute and plucky heroine and beginning-middle-end that gets tied up with a nice bow. What's not to like?

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