Comic Book Reviews for the week of 10/28/13

The books in this weeks blog are owned by Marvel, DC, and IDW. The copyrights belong to them. I am a fan with an opinion on comic books. Nothing more.

Before I begin this weeks list of books to review I wanted to address some new books that are coming out. As I was going through the preview books this week, I noticed that Marvel is releasing yet another X-men and Avenger book. DC is releasing Harley Quinn. And even though, I’m going to probably read all 3 books, I also find myself resentful that each Superhero has to be put in an Avenger book, an X-men book or a Batman title. I understand that those are the books that sell but I’m tired of old blood and want new ideas.

It has to be hard to try new things when you have a formula that works. My problem is that there are too many books where characters overlap and not all the stories are that original. For instance, if it’s an X-men book it’s about rescuing teens from parents that want to “cure” their mutant children. If it’s an Avenger story it’s about fighting aliens bent on world domination and if it’s a Batman story it’s most likely about a asylum patient that escapes and causes Gotham trouble. There has been great writing with variations on these themes but I’d like to see less team books and more books that celebrate each character.

I’m also tired of crossover events that lead into other crossover events. Most of the time when that happens, it feels like the companies don’t trust us enough to want to continue reading. It feels like we are getting suckered in. I don’t mind story lines with multiple issues but lately it seems like some of the crossover story lines are so tangential that I feel, as Macklemore so elegantly put it, “swindled and pimped.” But with that in mind, let’s move on to the reviews.

The first book I read this week was X-Men Battle of the Atom #2. This has been a crossover that, all in all, has been very good. There have been some major pacing issues with the book but it’s been enjoyable. I posited the last few weeks that this event could have been finished in 8 issues instead of ten. Last weeks cliffhanger was good. The idea that the future brotherhood was willing to rain down anti mutant weaponry on the original X-men team was a bit stunning. This issue deals with the aftermath of the attack. WARNING: THERE ARE SPOILERS NEXT. ****I like the idea that Xorn wants to not exist and that her existence would not have been necessary if Jean had not been plucked from her time period and remained dead. I also like the fact that the future is pretty dependent on Cyclops and Wolverine’s involvement with the Phoenix Force. It lends nicely as a transition to the trial of Jean Gray. **** What I didn’t like? The explanation that is given for why the original team can’t be sent back. I also wasn’t a big fan of the change in art work half way through the book. It changed and the change was a bit jarring

I think the X-men relationship with S.H.I. E.L.D should turn out to be interesting from now on too. The ending of this book was good but I think there could have been a much more concrete reason about why this event took place. I’m giving this issue a B.

While Battle of the Atom had the problem of being too long, Infinity has the problem of being too big. That being said the Infinity books( part 1-5, so far) have been nothing short of spectacular. The tie ins have not all been grand. In the last book we learned that Thanos has a anti matter bomb that he wants to use on earth to destroy it. In this book we learn more about his plans. This book also deals with the news that Thane( Thanos’ son) is now an inhuman and he has to come to terms with his powers. The book also is a great transition to what I imagine will be a pretty incredible final book.

The artwork in this book is pretty incredible. There is one page in the book where there are only two panels and the detail on that page is pretty intense. The writing is also very top notch. I only have one beef about this event. It is clearly transitioning into a new event called Inhumans. Based on what I’ve seen so far that event is looking even bigger than this one. I’m giving this book an A+.

Avengers Issue 22 Infinity. As much as I love this story arc, this issue didn’t seem to have much of a purpose. Each of the scenes covered conversations that the readers pretty much could have guessed that the heroes were having. I’m also not sure that the soap opera-ish love story was necessary. I am a gigantic fan of the Avengers books but this book didn’t live up to what I come to expect from this series. The colors weren’t as rich. The writing wasn’t as good. It wasn’t that it was a bad book, it wasn’t. It just wasn’t grea.B

Guardians of the Galaxy #008 Infinity is not a typical Guardians of the Galaxy book. By this I mean the coloring of this book is very Andy Warhol. Two shades of red and blue are used throughout the entire book. You’ll either love it or hate it and I wasn’t a very big fan of it. The writing is still top notch but the art work is still distracting enough that it takes away from the book.

The book takes place immediately after Infinity #5 and deals with the alien invasion that has captured the S.W.O.R.D outpost. Abigail Brand plays a big part of the book. There is some funny moments in the book but none as funny as Tony Stark’s comments about the go-go’s last week. This book deserves a B.

Superior Spider-Man #020 is not completely about what the cover implies. The interactions between the Black Cat and The Superior Spider Man are minimal and it’s not about them being lovers. This issue deals with Otto’s life now that Horizon Labs has been destroyed. It also continues to address all the ways that erasing Peter Parker from existence has had a negative effect on the every day life of Otto Octavius.

The book has started to show the unravelling of Otto Octavius as the last few issues have begun to do. The people around him have not figured out his ruse yet, but they’re getting closer.

I have enjoyed this comic immensely. The idea that a villain wants to be a hero better than the hero was sounds like a strange plot but the sheer audacity that Doc Ock brings to the character of Spider-Man has been fun. The humor that Peter Parker had has been missing but it continues to be a fun comic to read. There is nothing wrong with the art in this book at all. I’m giving this book an A.

Superior Spider-Man Team Up Special #1 Arms of the Octopus I’m not going to spend much time on this book because it’s supremely awful. The art is terrible and the writing seems lazy. The premise is that there is a gamma radiation scientist that is discredited when Bruce Banner and Emil Blonsky( The Abomination) turn into monsters making the study of gamma radiation a joke. In order to get access to the X-men( and their school because of the time machine) he creates robots of Doctor Octopus and Abomination( not realizing that Doc Ock is alive as Spider Man and Abomination was killed by the Red Hulk). Because the All New X-men think the villains are from the past( and unaware they are robots) they get Spidey and Bruce Banner involved.

I started this series because it has 3 of of my favorite titles in one book but it’s truly awful. D.

This week marks the week of my favorite guilty pleasure in comic books. Dinosaurs Attack! #4 is the most fun I’ve had reading a comic book in a while. It is the perfect, campy science fiction, B movie, MST3K experience in a comic book you could possibly hope to have. It’s bloody, disgusting, and intentionally so bad it will make you cheer on the dinosaurs. The premise: a scientist on a space station has devised a way of glimpsing into the past. During a press conference to introduce the technology something goes terribly wrong and dinosaurs come through the time stream to the present . The government sends the military against the dinosaurs and for two issues we are treated to mayhem that is awesome. In the last issue the scientist in charge is contacted telepathically by one of the dinosaurs and is given a way to defeat the dinosaurs.

This issue was no let down. The battle scenes are great. The art is perfect for the type of writing. A+

Green Lantern Annual 2 Lights Out Part 5 was the next book that I read. The book picks up with Relic and Kyle Ranier at the wall that surrounds the universe. Relic believes that the reservoir that contains the power behind the rings is behind the wall. There is a problem though. The wall seems inpenitrable( sp?). In the meantime, Hal Jordan has approached Guy Gardner, who is now a Red Lantern, asking the Red’s to attack Relic because their reserves are not just covered by a battery but by a river on Ysmault.

The book continues at this point. This has been a great Story Arc. The art, writing and pacing has been very well done. The consequences of the story line will be interesting. I am looking forward to where the Green Lantern books will go. A.

The next book that I read was Aquaman Annual #1. I have mixed feelings about this book. There is nothing wrong with the dialogue or the art but the villain is a bit of a cookie cutter outline of a generic villain who has the same beef that relic had with the lanterns. I’m giving this book a B. The villain’s cause is a bit too stereotypical for me.

The last book I read this week was Damien Son of Batman #1 of 4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this comic book. The art is breathtaking, the coloring is perfect, even the paper seemed finer. Without giving anything away at all this book deals with whether Damian wants to do things like Batman or do things differently. This book is one of the best of the week. Highly recommended. A+

If you would like to post comments about these books, please do. The only thing that I ask is that the reviews or comments be profanity free. Please tell your friends about this blog as well

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