Man Of Steel #4 has some spectacular fight scenes and its title character showing off some half decent tactical skills (good with his vision, not so much his hearing), but with far too little plot to make the cut. This feels like a super-length novel, chopped up, not a story feeding a larger narrative. Swing and a miss. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Despite some fantastic dialogue, Avengers #3 ran like the second act of an animated episode. That's not bad, but it's not enough to justify the price of admission. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 was very close to making it home, starting off kind of ridiculous and needlessly bombastic. It showcases J. Jonah Jameson at his overbearing best, flailing and fidgeting through flashbacks and the modern day. There's a plot twist that's gasp inducing that makes it all worth while, despite the length of the road getting there. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Batman #49 is very creepy and very slow and very weird, with very similar panels used throughout this character driven book and the title character literally useless for the entirety. It's too strange to be truly bad and too tedious to be truly good. RATING: MEH.
Justice League #2 is a big hairy dose of "not much happening," as two cosmic forces are discovered off panel, the trope namer curse whacks John Stewart in the everything and this connective tissue pulls together the story in the issue before with a story we'd hope to get without stopping to tell a story here. RATING: MEH.
Like its previous issues, Fence #7 has too many good pieces to lose on format this way, as it doesn't have enough story to stand on its own and isn't presented in a huge, long form presentation (like a web comic or an OGN) so its starts and stops are all hinkety. One day, treat yourself with the collection because this monthly format does a disservice to its greatness. RATING: MEH.
Champions #21 showcases more of Carol Danvers' poor decision making ability (without the spectacle of a show of power to offset it) as she again leads heroes into conflict where a conversation would have settled everything (where's Squirrel Girl when you really need her?) in a story that started out with nuance and ended exactly as plain and predictable as the criticisms people levy against superhero comics. It could have been worse, true ... but it could have been better. RATING: MEH (BUT ON THE LOW SIDE OF THE SCALE).
Daredevil #604 takes a very weird turn, a bad choice that takes a very different look at the term deus ex machina as Matt Murdock takes the fight to the Hand and ... well, stuff happens, but it's largely inconclusive and, frankly, somewhat ridiculous. After going so well, this is quite a disappointment. RATING. NO. JUST ... NO.
James Bond The Body #6 took place in a bar over drinks and wildly unhealthy breakfast food, mostly through two spies having a conversation. At multiple points, you could have switched which one was speaking and not known the difference. The only moment that could be called action occured through inference, off panel. This issue was a snooze fest. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.
Cable #158 felt, in composition and in plot, like it would have fit ih well as an issue of the original run of X-Force. That's not a compliment. With Cable making some very strange and poor character decisions that rang false, the supporting cast discarding years of character development and a cliched central conceit that falls flatter than Emily's Reasons Why Not, this whole thing should be retired. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.
Battlestar Galactica Vs Battlestar Galactica #6 had an ending that felt rushed, artwork that didn't effectively convey what was happening and a "plan" as nonsensical as the Reboot Cylons. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Four stinky books beats two great ones by a sizeable margin, so, ouch ...
This Thursday night, catch this column's writer examining Wakanda and afrofuturism at Cal State Los Angeles.
The writer of this column writes a weekly web superhero comic -- Project Wildfire: Street Justice -- free every week. Can't beat "free."
The writer of this column isn't just a jerk who spews his opinions -- he writes stuff too. A lot. Like what? You can get Scoundrel (historical fiction set in 1981 east Los Angeles), Irrational Numbers: Addition (a supernatural historical fiction saga with vampires), Project Wildfire: Enter Project Torrent (a collected superhero web comic), The Crown: Ascension and Faraway, five bucks a piece, or spend a few more dollars and get New Money #1 from Canon Comics, the rambunctious tale of four multimillionaires running wild in Los Angeles, a story in Watson and Holmes Volume 2 co-plotted by 2 Guns creator Steven Grant, two books from Stranger Comics -- Waso: Will To Power and the sequel Waso: Gathering Wind (the tale of a young man who had leadership thrust upon him after a tragedy), or Fathom Sourcebook #1, Soulfire Sourcebook #1, Executive Assistant Iris Sourcebook #1 and Aspen Universe Sourcebook, the official guides to those Aspen Comics franchises. Love these reviews? It'd be great if you picked up a copy. Hate these reviews? Find out what this guy thinks is so freakin' great. There's free sample chapters too, and all proceeds to towards the care and maintenance of his kids ... oh, and to buy comic books, of course. There’s also a bunch of great stuff -- fantasy, superhero stuff, magical realism and more -- available from this writer on Amazon. What are you waiting for? Go buy a freakin' book already!
Got a comic you think should be reviewed in The Buy Pile? If we get a PDF of a fairly normal length comic (i.e. "less than 64 pages") by no later than 24 hours before the actual issue arrives in stores (and sorry, we can only review comics people can go to stores and buy), we guarantee to try and review the work, if remembered. Physical comics? Geddouttahere. Too much drama to store with diminishing resources. If you send it in more than two days before comics come out, the possibility of it being forgotten increases exponentially. Oh, you should use the contact form as the CBR email address hasn't been regularly checked since George W. Bush was in office. Sorry!