Reviews for the 8/23 and 8/30 Comic Book Weeks

Fell behind a bit, so rather than even capsule reviews this time, I'm going to try something different. For each book I read the past two weeks - ONE SENTENCE reviews, plus "recommended"/"not recommended," etc.



52 #15 - Some nice suspense with Montoya's plot, but the Black Adam wedding was kinda ridiculous, as the Marvel Family really shouldn't be all happy with Black Adam, because he's a murderous psychopath. Not Recommended.

Batman #656 - A fun issue, where Andy Kubert did his best to meet the expectations of Grant Morrison, although I think at times he did not, but the story was fun enough for it to still be an enjoyable, action-packed issue. Recommended.

Batman and the Mad Monk #1 - Very nice debut issue, with awesome art by Matt Wagner, managing to continue the story from Monster Men while still holding up well on its own, not to mention the nice addition of Catwoman to the story. Recommended.

Birds of Prey #97 - Another enjoyable look at Black Alice, who has grown on me this issue (as has the artist, who I liked a lot better here than in his first few issues), even though I took some issue with Dinah not using the lasso to her advantage, the end bit, though, was chilling and a nice twist, which is always nice. Recommended.

Blue Beetle #6 - Meandering story with little coherence that did not get me all that interested in any of the various one-note characters who populated most of the issue, although I was interested in seeing art from Kevin West again, for the first time in it seems like a decade! Not Recommended.

Claw the Unconquered #3 - A surprisingly strong showing by Chuck Dixon (I mean that it was a surprise that Claw was good, not that Dixon was good) on this title, with an interesting story with a good deal of intriguing action based on some compelling characters that, while dragged down a bit by the odd Andy Smith art, still made for an enjoyable read. Mildly Recommended.

Flash the Fastest Man Alive #3 - VERY nice art from Karl Kerschl, and I will admit to sorta admiring the ballsiness of the writers working in a character from the last (and, to my knowledge, ONLY) project they did for DC, which was FIFTEEN years ago, but that is not enough to make up for an insipid plot strarring insipid characters. Not Recommended.

Hawkgirl #55 - Challenging Flash for insipidness, this Hawkgirl issue had pretty good art by Chaykin, but a very lackluster story, involving some weird voodoo stuff, which is disappointing from Simonson, who I know could easily do better than this. Not Recommended.

Jack of Fables #2 - A fun introduction to some new characters and the current status quo, while explaining Goldilocks' live status, and also making Jack out to be quite a compelling protagonist, in that you just want to root for the guy. Recommended.

JSA Classified #16 - Tom Derenick and Mark Farmer make this book pleasant to LOOK at, but Steve Englehart's story just lacks pretty much anything compelling about it, with awful characterizations, and weak "lessons learned." Not Recommended.

Justice League of America #1 - Check the review out here. Mildly Not Recommended.

Supergirl #9 - A gigantic improvement over previous issues, which mainly just means that it was sorta coherent - not good or anything, although I will admit that I thought Kara's interaction with her "mystery" boyfriend (I use mystery in quotes because it is way too obvious who it is) was pretty decent, if drawn oddly by Churchill, and the issue gives me hope for future issues. Not Recommended.

Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes #21 - Pretty bland issue, with the book feeling like it's treading water, even with the confrontation between Brainiac and his fellow Legionnaires (which got hushed up pretty quickly), although I like the creepy current situation with Brainy and Nura. Not Recommended.

Swamp Thing #29 - Weak final issue to what was a surprisingly weak Swamp Thing series. Not Recommended.

Warlord #7 - This issue really felt like Bruce Jones was just going through the motions with the storyline, as he has dragged this particular back and forth between Travis' current position and his past well past the realm of being interesting. Not Recommended.

Wonder Woman #2 - Very fun issue spotlighting Diana Prince and Nemesis (who I love), while advancing the plot and allowing some good super-heroics mixed with a fairly light story. Recommended.

Darkness/Wolverine - Far too slight to recommend, as the issue consists almost entirely of two silly fights, but Frank Tieri infuses the story with enough interesting personalities that it is a pretty fun book to read, and the art wasn't even all that bad. Not Recommended.

Elephantman #2 - I enjoyed one-half of the issue, with the Howard Stern analogue, but the other half, with the attempt to tell a story using Bible verses, just fell so flat that the issue, as a whole, just didn't hold up that well. A mild Not Recommended.

Fear Agent #7 - The best part of this book, to me, in the beginning, was how down-to-Earth it was, while still remaining Sci-Fi, and that part has really been lost these past few issues, which are filled with so many seemingly non-senscial twists and turns that the book is just not that fun for me (although the artist has admirably filled in for the departing big name artists). Not Recommended.

Last Christmas #3 - Finally, with the third issue of this title, we get a real, full story, which is nice to see, as this issue was filled with a lot of good humor and a lot of sick action sequences, and a nice amount of character interaction. Recommended.

Portent #4 - Disappointing finale to this series really felt extremely rushed, although Bergting's art is amazing as usual. Not Recommended.

Shadowhawk One-Shot - This feels like it was Valentino's entry for the Image HC, and if so, this was not a particularly good entry for an anthology, as this story was fairly bland, although I enjoyed Valentino's art, his story just seemed like cliche after cliche after cliche. Not Recommended.

Spawn #159 - I admire the gutsiness of Hine's storyline, but the plot is just way too absurd for me to have much interest in, and the art isn't much better. Not Recommended.

Astonishing X-Men #16 - I thought this was a good issue, with nice Cassaday art, hilarious Wolverine sequences, and some decent reveals. Recommended.

Daredevil #88 - Aja's art was great, and I really enjoyed this look at Foggy, especially the look of how it fits into the overall storyline. Recommended.

Eternals #3 - Another strong issue, with Neil Gaiman astonishing me with his ability to write an engaging narrative while still addressing both Marvel CURRENT continuity and Marvel PAST continuity, like Sersi's Avengers membership, it is really impressive, so to mix that with his masterful storytelling techniques, and this is one heckuva issue. Recommended.

Exiles #85 - A slight issue, but still a lot of fun to see all the Wolverines interact. A slight, slight recommended.

Heroes for Hire #1 - I didn't find this issue interesting at all, really, and I especially didn't like the way-too-long discussion with the ladies and Iron Man and Spider-Man, but I will admit that Billy Tucci's art was better than I expected. Not Recommended.

New Avengers #23 - This issue was interesting, although I would have preferred if they did not go out of their way to make sure that the Pro-Registration people are as evil as possible, but hey, at least there was art by Copiel! Slightly recommended.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #9 - I thought this was a strong issue, especially the way that Gwen and Mary Jane interacted, and the sheer believablity of a lot of the "twists" in the issue. Recommended.

Ultimate Spider-Man #99 - This issue was filled with SHOCKERS, but while they all were shocking all right, I did not think there was enough of a connection between them all to make the story feel strong. Slightly, Slightly Not Recommended.

Ultimates Annual #2 - This is the sort of story that you could find in any Marvel Universe comic, so it was a bit disappointing to see it in an "Ultimates" book, but it was a decent story in and of itself. Slightly Not Recommend.

Wolverine #45 - This issue seemed to meander for a bit just to get us to the ending that was not all that much of a surprise, and come on, Damage Control as BAD GUYS?! Not Recommended.

Action Philpophers People's Choice - This issue definitely was hurt by the whole "having to do bits on them no matter what," because these were not the most inspired takes on these folks, with the exception of Aquinos, who I think was handled well. Still Recommended, just less than usual.

Archie & Friends #103 - Once again, while I admire the sheer eclectic nature of the mixture of stories in this issue, none of the stories had much heft to them, to the detriment of the issue. Not Recommended.

Supermarket #4 - While there was a number of excellent character bits in this issue, in the end, it seemed to have a bit too much of a case of the "finalitis," the disease afflicting comics needing to wrap a story up, to the detriment of the enjoyment of the individual issue. Not Recommended.


52 #17 - I enjoyed Lobo's appearance in the issue, but the bits with Luthor's super squad were just beyond absurd, so, while I did enjoy Lobo's appearance, I didn't enjoy it THAT much, so I'd have to say...Not Recommended.

Action Comics #842 - Very good issue, as per my review here. Definitely Recommended.

All Star Superman #5 - Great issue, as per my review here. Absolutely Recommended.

American Virgin #6 - Six issues in, but I think we've finally gotten into a rhythm with this title, and I think it works well, because the characters are interesting ones. Recommended.

American Way #7 - A lot of outside writing in this one, as characters seem to be acting a certain way just for the sake of the story resolving itself in one more issue, and I think it hurts the relatability of the characters inside the story, as the ACT like fictional characters, which wasn't the case in earlier, better, issues of this title. Not Recommended.

Boys #2 - Another interesting issue, as Ennis is going all over the place, but having fun in doing so, as we meet other members of the Boys, while still having some interesting discussions with our POV character, Hughie, as Darick Robertson does a nice job on people's characterizations. Recommended.

JLA Classified #26 - Nice artwork from Killian Plunkett and Tom Nguyen, who does make everyone he works with look like Doug Mahnke, but good lord, the story by Howard Chaykin is absolutely dreadful, and it's no wonder this wasn't being used until they decided to drop Kid Amazo at the last second. Highly Not Recommended.

Justice #7 - This was a fun issue of this series, with a nice intermixing of supporting characters and very nice art, although I am not much into the plot of this series. Slightly Recommended.

Loveless #10 - A decent enough treading water issue. Slightly Not Recommended.

Man-Bat #5 - An awful conclusion to an awful mini-series (with nice art) that I am sure will never be used again by any other Bat-writer. Not Recommended.

Solo #12 - Amazing art by Brendan McCarthy that really epitomizes the concept behind Solo, which is to just let talented people go nuts with whatever they want, so McCarthy did not have to worry about plot. Recommended, with the reservation being that there really is NO plot.

Superman/Batman #29 - Weak art by Van Sciver did not do much for Verheiden's uninspired story (although there are hints of some good stuff coming in future issues of this plot). Not Recommended.

Teen Titans #38 - I was pleased by this issue, as Johns had a nice take on Red Star, while dropping major hints to all the past Titans of the past year, with some good art by a new artist, Carlos Ferreira, who had to draw the issue very quickly. Surprisingly Recommended.

Teen Titans Go #34 - This was a fun enough issue, but man, did I hate the ending, as it made the "win" by Mas y Menos just seem sorta pathetic. Slightly Recommended.

Trials of Shazam #1 - See review here. Slightly Not Recommended.

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #2 - Solid issue, with nice art, with Uncle Sam easily convincing them to become good guys, which I liked (if they're good people, it shouldn't be hard to convince them), although I have to wonder - who created Gonzo? Recommended.

Cyberforce #5 - Pretty much a straightforward, slight action issue, with not-so-bad art by Pat Lee, except on the cliffhanger page, where I don't know what he was trying to convey. Not Recommended.Black Panther #19 - Hudlin has now turned Black Panther into a title where you read just to see if Hudlin is going to have anything irritating occur, like Panther being better at building armor than Dr. Doom (!?!?!?), although I like the interaction between Storm and Panther. Slightly Not Recommended, as Doom was made to be basically a buffoon, which seemed way too silly.

Cable/Deadpool #31 - Major filler issue, leading to a silly confrontation between Cable and the bizarrely evil US President, who doesn't care what happens to people in the future, because they can't vote for him - lordy. Not Recommended.

Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #2 - Lots of silly "Well, we have to fight, so let's have ____ get mad at ____ and then ____ misinterpret ____'s comments" stuff, mixed in with character assasination of Grant Morrison's Captain Marvel leads to a bad issue (with some pretty good art). Not Recommended.

Kabuki #7 - Amazing art helps to get past a pretty slight story. Slightly recommended.

Mythos Hulk - Amazing art combines with a strong take on the Hulk to the point where I think anyone reading this comic would say, "Why wasn't THIS the movie?!!?" - Recommended.

She-Hulk #11 - Decent plot advancements and nice art help set-up a (hopefully) good resolution to the Starfox is a rapist storyline. - Recommended.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #33 - I was unimpressed with the introduction of the new characters, and Ferry's art did not look as good as it has been looking as of late. - Not Recommended.

Ultimate X-Men Annual #2 - Well, it's interesting to see character assasination of such a major character, so that, in of itself, is kinda interesting - but for the most part, this Annual seemed silly (with decent Larocca art). - Not Recommended.

X-Factor #10 - A strong issue with a lot of wacky hijinx, but a downer ending that makes sense and helps the story, I think. - Recommended.

X-Men #190 - The same writer as UFF, but this introduction of brand new characters worked a whole lot better, in an engaging, action-packed issue with nice Bachalo artwork. - Recommended.

X-Men Fairy Tales #4 - A fairly bland fairy tale, but with nice artwork. - Slightly not recommended.

Betty & Veronica #75 - This was barely a comic book, it was more like a pin-up book. - Not Recommended.

CSI: Dying in the Gutters #1 - Tons and tons of awkward dialogue from comic celebrities masking a pretty standard crime-show plot, with pretty nice likenesses of the people involved. - Not Recommended.

Ta da!

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