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Reviews for the 9/6, 9/13 and 9/20 Comic Book Weeks

by  in Comic News Comment
Reviews for the 9/6, 9/13 and 9/20 Comic Book Weeks

It’s so easy to fall behind on this stuff. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to go the one sentence review route again! I’ll try hard to have some meatier reviews this week, promise!

Enjoy!

9/6

52 #18 – I think I like the idea of Ralph solving the mystery of the Dr. Fate helmet, although everything else in this issue was pretty awful (especially including Booster’s funeral – so lame). Not Recommended.

All-New Atom #3 – Nice artwork and a lot of interesting characters helped this issue out, although the overarching story and the issue’s villain do not interest me much (and I still don’t like the quotes). – Slightly Not Recommended.

American Splendor #1 – Very good issue, with an assortment of good artists combining to illustrate Pekar’s engaging everyday stories. Definitely Recommended.

Battler Britton #3 – Really, the same old, same old – almost as if this was a reprint of the first two issues, only with everyone moving one step down the line, plot progression-wise. Not Recommended.

Creeper #2 – Just an absurd plot with not much in the way of interesting characters or characterizations made this a terrible issue, even with very nice artwork by Justiniano. Not Recommended.

Detective Comics #823 – The story would have to be really, really good to make up for the hideous Joe Benitez artwork, and the story really wasn’t all that good. Definitely Not Recommended.

Exterminators #9 – While Oliver continues to do good work with the characters in the story, this storyline is not so interesting to still have it dragging along nine issues into the comic book. Not Recommended.

Jonah Hex #11 – Stunning work by David Michael Beck and Rob Schwager makes the reader not even recall the previous art team, and the story is filled with enough interesting characters and good action to get the reader involved (including some continuity – GASP!). Recommended.

Justice League Unlimited #25 – This was a pretty good issue featuring Blue Devil, except that I do not think that the emotional center of the story really worked for me, as I don’t really believe anyone would prefer being a demon, even if they could help people as a demon. Slightly Recommended.

Manifest Eternity #4 – I fully support a writer’s decision to do experimental things like jumps in time, however, in the case of Manifest Eternity, the time jumps just did not do the story any good, and while this issue was written well, it does not work in the flow of the overall story (and the art isn’t very good). Not Recommended.

Mystery in Space #1Here‘s my review. Slightly Recommended.

Next #3 – A big enough of an improvement on last issue for me to recommend, as there was some good character work and a story a little more rooted in coherence. – Recommended.

Nightwing #124 – A big plus to this issue was the “The End” part. – You Betcha Not Recommended.

OMAC #3 – I am predisposed to hating stupid OMAC robot things, so Jones needs to give me some really interesting characterizations to stave off my ire, and I’m afraid that, for this issue, he did not. – Not Recommended.

Outsiders #40 – I cannot believe this storyline is actually still going on – maybe I’m just mixing the Brain story from Teen Titans with it – why would BOTH books have Brain stories so soon after One Year Later? – Not Recommended.

Rush City #2 – I should feel SOME interest in the main character right? Not Recommended.

Y The Last Man #49 – This was a good issue, pushing things forward with the comic along with some good characterizations and a decent enough cliffhanger. Slightly Recommended.

Cross Bronx #1 – Very creepy first issue, which is ably aided by some excellent Oeming art, making me want to see what happens next. Recommended.

Emissary #4 – I like the focused nature of the comic, but the characterizations were awful, and the printing defect sure didn’t help things. Not Recommended.

Hunter Killer #7 – The look into the background of the big bad in Hunter Killer was pretty thoughtful of Waid, to the point where I almost can look past the hackneyed nature of much of the comic’s plot in favor of the rather clever basic motivation of the fellow – ALMOST. Very Slightly Not Recommended.

Jack Staff #11 – Paul Grist can do good comics with his eyes closed, but this Jack Staff is as close as he comes to failing to deliver a good book, as the plot of the book meanders a bit, but the characters are so interesting that is still works. Recommended.

Noble Causes #23 – The sex scene in the beginning of the book is not offensive, but it is awfully silly, just as silly as the plot involving Rusty, which sadly takes up most of the book. – Not Recommended.

Savage Dragon #128 – Erik Larsen has created such an in-depth universe that he can pull off a lot of intriguing character interaction, which he does so in this strong issue. Recommended.

Sidekick #3 – The bit with the blowup doll was great, but otherwise, this thin joke isn’t getting any better as time goes on. Not Recommended.

Task Force One #3 – I was not a fan of the first two issues, but this issue’s all-out action was handled pretty darn well, although probably not well enough for me to recommend the comic. Slightly Not Recommended.

Agents of Atlas #2 – A drop-off from the awesome first issue is still enough to give us a fun glimpse at a bunch of interesting characters. Slightly Recommended.

Beyond #3 – I gave Deathlok a fair chance when he had his first series, and I can’t say that fourteen years off has made him any more interesting, so making him the focal point of Beyond is not a great idea in my book, although there is still a lot to like about this issue, particularly the character interactions. Slightly Not Recommended.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #12 – A lot of good jokes, but the action was all together a bit too slight for me to recommend. Slightly Not Recommended.

Marvel 1602 Fantastic Four #1 – Yet another continuation that need never have been done, although David does his able best with the weak material, although it’s not enough. – Not Recommended.

Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #16 – Very nicely done Spider-Man story by Peter David, utilizing a lot of funny jokes, but a lot of character moments, too. – Recommended.

Marvel Team-Up #24 – This is not the first time that Kirkman appears to be writing a story just for the sake of a writing “trick,” and this was as bad as the other times. Not Recommended.

Punisher #37 – Some good artwork combined with some excellent characterizations and dialogue make for a fun issue of The Punisher. Recommended.

Spider-Man Special: Black and Blue and Read All Over #1 – Decent enough story, but in the end, far far too slight of a comic to recommend, especially as its paired with a far superior effort from Lee/Ditko. Not Recommended.

Uncanny X-Men #478 – This storyline is beginning to lag a bit, although this issue hit most of the normal notes adventures in space are supposed to hit. Slightly Not Recommended.

X-Men: Phoenix Warsong #1 – Greg Pak does more with this than most writers I could think of, but ultimately, the story is just too silly (in a bad way), and he’s not aided by his artist at all. Not Recommended.

GI Joe: Scarlett Declassified #1 – This is a tough call. There’s nothing WRONG with this Scarlett one-shot, except that it is just too “by the numbers.” VERY Slightly Not Recommended.

Hero Squared #3 – A funny issue, although there was a lot of room for more humor. Slightly Recommended.

Jughead #176 – I am not a fan of Trula Twyst, so it was great to see her used in an actual villain role, and not just as an advesary for Jughead, and the way she was used makes Jughead look so cool. Recommended.

Local #6 – A very strong look at Meg and her self-destructive tendancies, as Wood really gets into the awkwardness of life so well, with Ryan Kelly depicting it all with excellence. Recommended.

9/13

Escapists #3 – Another strong effort from Vaughan and the amazingly Bond-esque artwork, although, while I enjoyed the look at the creation of the Escapist comic, especially the villainous ending, I think 80,000 copies is just too many copies, even in a fictional universe. Recommended

Star Wars Legacy #3 – I can’t tell you how amazed I was at how much I liked this issue, as the previous two weren’t so great, but this issue, while wearing its derivative nature as almost a badge of honor, hit all the familiar notes, but hit them with such grace and skill that I really enjoyed it. Recommended.

52 #19 – Getting Pat Olliffe to draw the book was a great pick-up, but it is too bad the rest of the issue is not a great pick-up, even though the Skeets reveal (R. Nav mentioned it here awhile ago) was quite cool. – Not Recommended.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #44 – This book is really in the doldrums right now, and the art is some of the weakest I’ve ever seen from Guice, leaving the book not a pretty picture (and were we REALLY supposed to know that the Dweller was Orin?!?). Not Recommended.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #210 – Not a terrible issue, especially in the interactions between the various bad guys, but also not much meat to the story, which has been going on way too long for such a thin plot. Not Recommended.

DMZ #11 – Very strong look at what it was like to be in Manhattan during the move to Manhattan becoming the DMZ. Recommended.

Ex Machina #23 – Good issue, with plenty of nice character bits, some good action scenes, and a strong movement on the overall plot, even with that weird-ass ending. Recommended.

Fables #53 – A very strong back-up isn’t enough to get me to be that interested in an extremely “water treading” issue of the summit between the bad guys, and I really enjoyed the first part – I just expected something to actually HAPPEN in this issue. Mildly Not Recommended.

Firestorm the Nuclear Man #29 – This issue continues in the old fashioned superhero style that Stuart Moore has brought this title, but not enough interesting things happen in this issue for me to recommend it. Not Recommended.

Green Arrow #66 – This was a terrible issue, fitting two panel’s worth of story into a 22 page borefest that didn’t even END in this issue! Very Much Not Recommended.

Green Lantern #13 – I don’t think even the Monitors care as much about Green Lantern minutiae as much as Geoff Johns does, although Ivan Reis’ strong action-oriented art really helps Johns be a little livelier with the story. Not Recommended.

Green Lantern Corps #4 – A very fun story featuring Guy Gardner, as Dave Gibbons (drawing the issue, too!) demonstrates how capable Guy can be even without the ring. Recommended.

JLA Classified #27 – A huge improvement from the previous issue, but since the previous issue was really, really bad, this issue wasn’t good, but it was a clear step in the right direction – and the art was nice! Not Recommended.

Man Called Kev #3 – A funny flashback issue that explains why Kev is being hunted down, although I have to wonder if I like the idea that he’s being hunted down for such a silly reason. Recommended.

Martian Manhunter #2 – A letdown from the first issue, and man, I really don’t care about these other martians, even though the art was nice. Not Recommended.

Pride of Baghdad HC – Good hardcover, with very strong arrwork, although probably not as epic as Vaughan seems to have meant for it to be. Recommended.

Rokkin #3 – A decent enough issue explaining the abilities of Rokkin’s new comrade, and the way he beats Medusa was interesting, but otherwise, this is pretty generic stuff. Slightly Not Recommended.

Casanova #4 – A strong issue, in particular, the bits about the adult Jonny Quest – brilliant idea (and the art is, as usual, awesome). Recommended.

Girls #17 – Slightly less awful than usual, but still pretty darn bad. Not Recommended.

Phonogram #2 – A slight letdown from the strong first issue, the friend character is still a great find – a very well-rounded invention. Slightly Recommended.

Sam Noir: Samurai Detective #1 – The idea and the story is very good, and the art is excellent – from what I could see, which wasn’t much, as it was so muddled up. Slightly Recommended.

Truth, Justin and the American Way #4 – A strong finishing up to the plot on Earth, while the finale looks like it will be a doozy with this fun series. Recommended.

Annihilation #2 – The other mini-series are slowly being worked into this series, and I think it’s been handled well for the most part, although Giffen still needs a scripter – then this would be REALLY good. Slightly Recommended.

Captain America #21 – A disappointing conclusion to the storyline, as not much really gets done in the story, except for the reunion between Crossbones, Sister Sin and Red Skull, which WAS handled well. Slightly Not Recommended.

Claws #2 – It really isn’t that interesting to see superheroes beat up yahoos with normal weapons. Not Recommended.

Incredible Hulk #98 – I was impressed by how well Pak moved the storyline along in the first arc, but here, we see those chickens come home to roost, as the story has been going in molasses for three issues now. Not Recommended.

Ms. Marvel #7 – I like the way that Brian Reed helps us to like Arana by writing her completely different than she was before, and the Arachne/Shroud stuff is well handled. Recommended.

New Excalibur #11 – Not a bad story, but if you’ve read the issues where Iron Man went back in time to King Arthur’s time, you really don’t need to read this one. Slightly Not Recommended.

New X-Men #30 – I enjoyed the Rouleau artwork, and the story almost had me with the foiling of Forge’s interesting plan, but the foiling just didn’t work well enough (too much of “say JUST the wrong thing” stuff) for me. Slightly Not Recommended.

Thunderbolts #106 – After the seventeeth “No, it is I who fooled YOU” bit, it loses its luster. Not Recommended.

Ultimate X-Men #74 – Ridiculous ending to a fairly pedestrian Magician plot to begin with – is this really the same dude who writes the Walking Dead?!? Not Recommended.

Wolverine Origins #6 – This book really has the whole “wandering aimlessly” feel nailed down perfectly. Not Recommended.

Archie #569 – Fairly bland issue, with the exception of a bizarre dream by Archie about what if there was no gasoline in America. Not Recommended.

GI Joe America’s Elite #15 – Another strong action issue by Joe Casey, even if the basic plot is pretty darn silly. Slightly Recommended.

Veronica #174 – Strong issue by Dan Parent (which I like to say, as I’ve been busting on him for awhile), including some good looks into Veronica’s psyche, particularly the marathon bit and her cooking. Recommended.

9/20

Conan #32 – An excellent look into Conan’s past by Kurt Busiek. Recommended.

Conan & The Songs of the Dead #3 – This issue has a lot of action, but it lacked the characterizations to make the action worthwhile. Not Recommened.

Dwight T. Albatross The Goon: Noir #1 – There were enough good stories in this anthology to recommend it, but there were some lackluster ones in it as well. Recommended.

100 Bullets #76 – If you’re going to have a “Everyone sits around and waits for the next move” issue, it has to have a lot more character than this issue. Not Recommended.

52 #20 – I am not interested in the Lobo or Steel plot, even if the Emerald Eye bit was awesome. Not Recommended.

Birds of Prey #98 – The dialogue in this issue is excellent, although the plot is a bit less so, but the Batgirl character is interesting enough to want to see what happens next. Slightly Recommended.

Catwoman #59 – The Film Freak is a good villain, even if his crimes are a bit TOO whacky for this book. Recommended.

Checkmate #6 – An incredibly awesome opening follows with some good Suicide Squad work, leading to me giving DeFilippis and Weir the credit (I am mean like that). Recommended.

Claw the Unconquered #4 – There’s just enough here by Chuck Dixon to keep the reader interested, but not enough for me to recommend it. Not Recommended.

Deadman #2 – I like the use of string theory in this issue, and I think Jones advances the plot through the myriad of timelines enough to still have things move along, although I could have sworn he would have the woman killed earlier, because we’ve established these timelines do not stay the same, so having her die in the cliffhanger is just silly (drama-wise). Slightly Recommended.

Flash the Fastest Man Alive #4 – Terrible issue, with a bad guy who is so far over the top that he can’t even see the top. Not Recommended.

Hellblazer #224 – I really think it is silly to have a fill-in issue in the midst of a bigger arc, but that’s what we had here, so it was quite disorienting to suddenly be back to the original plot, but the plot is a good one. Slightly Recommended.

Krypto the Super Dog #1 – A lot of info needed to be dumped in this issue, and it didn’t make for a particularly good story. Not Recommended.

Robin #154 – A letdown, as both the artwork and the story seemed way too loose, and could have done for a lot more cohesion, and I really do not like the Dodge character at ALL (the plan to get Tim kidnapped was great, though). Not Recommended.

Shadowpact #5 – A fun look at what happens when you’re gone for a year, although just the mention of Johnny Warlock made me cringe. Slightly Recommended.

Skye Runner #4 – This issue read almost like a bad board game, as it basically just lined up all the characters and said, “Fight!” Not Recommended.

Superman #656 – I appreciate the looks at Clark’s past, but the main villain isn’t even slightly interesting to me. Not Recommended.

Testament #10 – There were almost enough really cool scenes towards the end of the comic to make me recommend the book, but ultimately, the other 3/4 of the comic has to count for SOMEthing, doesn’t it? Slightly Not Recommended.

Wetworks #1 – A surprisingly strong issue, seeing as how so few of the characters are interesting in the least, and Portacio’s art is the strongest I’ve seen it be in years. Ever So Slightly Not Recommended.

Negative Burn #4 – The weakest assortment of stories yet, except for Milk and Cheese, who were awesome. Not Recommended.

Occult Crimes Taskforce #2 – There are plenty of nice touches in this issue (as there were in #1), but the end result didn’t hold all that much weight. Slightly Not Recommended.

Sea of Red #12 – Talk about speeding things along, this issue read like the plot was on fast forward. Not Recommended.

Walking Dead #31 – A strong issue, showing the humanity that Girls doesn’t let us see (although the scene in the arena was a little TOO comic book-y). Recommended.

Witchblade #101 – The characters in the comic are just not strong enough to deal with no action issues, and the art was poor, as well. Not Recommended.

Astonishing X-Men #17 – One of the fullest Whedon issues in awhile, along with some great Cassaday artwork. Recommended.

Blade #1 – Some amazing high concept ideas max a fairly routine Blade story here. Slightly Not Recommended.

Civil War #4 – Tony Stark and Reed Richards do worse stuff here than most of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery the first 20 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. Not Recommended.

Civil War: X-Men #3 – A pretty disjointed story (and artwork) that had some really odd moments, like Shatterstar stabbing Micromax. Not Recommended.

Exiles #86 – A letdown issue, as Brother Mutant just isn’t as interesting as the basic concept Bedard is coming up with (a team full of Wolverines is hilarious). Not Recommended.

Ghost Rider #3 – Ghost Rider beats up Doctor Strange – that’s all you need to know. Not Recommended.

Iron Man #12 – A decent ending to one of the most out-of-place-when-it-finishes comic since Titans Hunt ended after Deathstroke’s regular series mentioned how Slade killed Jericho. Not Recommended.

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #16 – A pretty run-of-the-mill Captain Marvel/Thanos story that (hopefully) will appeal to kids, as they sometimes tend to like bland takes on complex stuff. Not Recommended.

Moon Knight #5 – The best use of Taskmaster in years made this issue. Slightly Recommended.

Nextwave #8 – An awfully fun issue, along with some serious character work (mixed with some hilarious jokes, like Elsie’s baby years). Definitely Recommended.

Runaways #20 – Good issue, although Mike Norton (who I like) does not fit in that well here, but the story was good, especially Chase’s plot. – Recommended.

Sensational Spider-Man #30 – I still don’t get how Molten Man is threatened into hurting his sister by a threat to a kid he’s mentoring, and the rest of the story isn’t all that logical either, like Mary Jane beating Swarm with the help of an actor. Not Recommended.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #34 – A very action packed issue, but while I heartily enjoyed seeing some action in the title, I wasn’t intrigued enough by the new characters to recommend the issue. Not Recommended.

Union Jack #1 – The broad scope of the story is a good one, in which Union Jack has to team up with a ragtag group of heroes to stop some bad guys, but almost every single small detail is horrible, whether it be the bit about the rich folks being warned or one of the most insipid Israel/Arab discussion I’ve seen in a comic since the 70s. Not Recommended.

Wolverine #46 – Damage Control as a big bad guy is just a silly plot, although I like the idea of Wolverine trying to affect them by his claws. Not Recommended.

X-Factor #11 – Good, very rich story about the X-Factor team dealing with Strong Guy while we learn more about the Big Bad (and Jamie’s background). Recommended.

X-Men: First Class #1 – Fun, if extremely slight tale of the original X-Men, as told by Iceman. Recommended.

Betty #159 – Some fun Betty stories, in particular the heartwarming tale of Betty’s cold. Slightly Recommended.

GI Joe Special Missions Tokyo – Generic, boring comic book. Not Recommended.

Simpsons Comics #122 – A very nice parody of Archie Comics, using Homer as a teenager to do so (although there was this awful, awful running gag involving people having signs on the side of the road – like, literally, ONE of the signs was funny – out of about 8!). Recommended.

Strangers in Paradise #84 – An excellent issue, which easily draws the reader to thinking, “Why couldn’t it be this good routinely?,” which is sad as the book is coming to a close now. – Definitely Recommended.

Ta da!

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