Comic Book reviews for the week of 12/9/13

1. The first book I read this week was Marvel Knights Hulk one of four . As I’ve mentioned many times before The Incredible/ indestructible hulk has always been one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. Maybe it’s because I can relate with a character who on the outside appears weak but has a rage in him.

This is a very intriguing book and the first of this mini series makes me wish that Joe Keatinge was writing for the current Indestructible Hulk book. We begin seeing a man( who we learn throughout the book is Bruce Banner) face down in water with no recognition of who he is. He is being pursued by a number of men that are unique( that’s all I can say without giving away too much). There is plenty of mayhem and violence and the pacing is just right. The author has teased us with details of a story without giving us too much. I didn’t always like the art( Bruce Banner doesn’t look like I imagined him) but, all in all, this was a great start. A-

2. It’s pretty clear, at least to me, that Amazing Spider Man #700.2 is their attempt at creating a Christmas story. For the most part it works. The scenes with the Sinister Six could have been done without.

I was hoping for a much more dastardly plot for this book. In the last book we saw Peter having difficulty getting warm. I was hoping that some villain was behind it rather than just the weather. And it could still happen. Instead, we get a taste of what Spider man has to do to save both Aunt May and others at the same time.

The story is not bad but it feels too deliberate. Holiday stories always seem like they’re trying to force good cheer. B-

3. The Amazing Spider-Man 700.3 tells the beginning of two stories, one of which I really like. The first story is about what immediately follows a fight between Firebrand and Superior Spider-Man. The result is very cleverly done. I love the scene in the book where Peter figures out what is going on. I am really looking forward to seeing how this story progresses. The second story involves The Black Cat and an art heist.

I have never been a big fan of dividing a book into two stories. Especially when one is invariably better than the other. This is a much better book than it’s predecessor A-

4. The Superior Foes of Spider-man continues the tradition of being one of the strangest books on the market. For more than a couple reasons. One of them being that there are no superior villains in the book, the other that Spider-Man has not made an appearance yet.

This book has danced along the border of stupid and hilarious and has spent time on both sides. I have enjoyed issues and disliked others.

In this issue the sinister six( who is now 5) deals with the consequences of being caught by The Owl who wants a certain painting returned to him. A mask less picture of Victor Von Doom worth $3 million dollars.

As much as I understand the fact that this is a humorous comic, it should try to live up to its title at some point. It’s not that it’s a terrible book, it just seems directionless. Humor is not enough if there is no real story. B-

5. Inhumanity Awakening 001 has good things about it and some pretty annoying things too. As some of the teenage heroes are helping with the aftermath of the Terragenesis bomb, one of the heroes notices that one of the girls who emerged from the cocoon’s created by the Terragenesis mist is not chronicling her life on twitter like she has been since she started transforming. Naturally our hero becomes worried and she convinces her friends to find the girl before she does anything rash. The book does a great job of dealing with the confusion the young girl feels but I also think it was a bit overwhelming with the Social Media imagery. At points I think it actually took away from the story. The art was decent and the writing was too but it was a little heavy handed at times. B

6. A great comic has both amazing art and story. And while the art doesn’t seen as impressive as previous issues, The Mighty Avengers 004 is a really good book. In the previous books, Luke Cage and his Heroes for Hire had been fighting Thanos and his minions. In this issue Thanos is gone but the Inhumans are here. We are also treated to a new bad guy( a media mogul type). There is not a lot of action in this book but there’s enough intrigue to go around. We start learning about the mysterious hero(?) in the knock off Spider-Man suit and we are also treated to some very funny moments with The Falcoln. The writing and the art make for a comic that is quickly becoming one of my favorite books. A

7. The only problem that I have with the story inside Uncanny X-Men 015.INH is that it’s being told in the wrong book. It should be told in X-men instead. The book is another Inhumanity tie in and examines what happens when the women of the X-men are having a girls night out when they learn about the Teregenesis bomb.

This book did a very good job of telling us the scope of the Inhuman infestation and the role it will play on society. It also did a great job furthering the relationships of the characters. From what I’ve read in the past few chapters of the book, this is going to be a big event that has huge ramifications for the Marvel Universe. Good comic. A.

8. Inhumanity A.I 007. This review contains minor spoilers. This book is kind of strange because it claims to be a part if the Inhumanity storyline but it was never a part of the Infinity storyline which was, in a sense, the prologue for this event. It has always seemed to me that this book has been the black sheep of Marvel. It’s almost as if Stan Lee doesn’t have enough faith that Ant Man can headline a title but putting the avengers in the title will justify it.

What makes this issue interesting is an angle of the story I had not thought of. At the end of the Infinity story line Black Bolt detonated his city which fell into the Hudson River. Ant man is sent in to secure the technology to make sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. And don’t worry I’m only giving away the first page or two.

I’m not a huge fan of the art in this book. Never have been. It’s not Thunderbolts bad but it’s pretty lifeless. This issue serves it purpose and it’s good just not wonderful. B.

9. So Thunderbolts 019 finally got an artist that can draw( to some extent). Although the art is better, it’s still not great. The writing in this book, however, has been fun.

I have always thought that this book has the potential to be the most violent in the Marvel Universe. Why they’ve decided to turn it into a comedy series I still don’t understand. Still there is an attempt to make it bad ass. There is a twist at the end I didn’t see coming. B.

10. The cover to Green Lantern Corps #26 is a bit misleading. Not by a lot but enough to slightly disappoint. There are two story lines in this issue. The first is represented on the cover of the book( John Stewart and Hal Jordan being at odds)and the second is with the Khund. Each story line is enjoyable but I still feel cheated because of what the cover of the book lead me to believe the entire book was about.

The art in this book has never
this issue does not disappoint. A.

11. Batman 26For reasons I don’t understand DC comics did not put Zero Year at the top of the comic. When I bought it I
was a bit confused because the last issue left us with one heck of a plot twist. This issue continues with the betrayal of Lucius( which wraps up way too quickly). Doctor Death is back and he is continuing his terrifying work.

This continues to be a great comic. It’s interesting to see how Batman evolves as a character and each issue is much better than each of the other DC title Zero Years combined. A.

12. Superman Wonder Woman 3 was an interesting comic. There’s nothing quite like Batman give Superman relationship advice. This book hardly has Wonder Woman in it. Instead Zod appears and it gives Superman a chance to learn about his people. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in future issues. The writing( by Charles Soule) is very well done and so is the art. A.

13. Cable and Xforce 017/strong> continues to improve from it’s very rocky start as a series. It’s kind of strange that the book went from being a story about being inside Cable’s head( where we didn’t understand what was going on) to inside Forge’s head( where we do understand). In this issue we continue the Adversary( terrible name for a villain) story line. It is interesting and strange. We also continue the Reaver/ Cable, Hope story.

The writing remains good but the art is a bit shaky. Not bad enough to get a B- grade but definitely a B.

14. The Justice League 3000 book was a pretty strong outing for a first book. Many times we don’t have a strong frame of reference for new books but we do here. Except, here you really do need to throw your expectations out the window. This is not the same team( even though it is). It’s just 977 years in the future. So how are the heroes still alive? The author answers that question in a pretty unique way and as time moves on I am sure the authors will reveal more.

I enjoyed this comic. The writing is very solid and the art, while not perfect, is not at all distracting either. It will continue to be interesting to see how the dynamics of the team work out. Great job. A

15. The X-Files season 10 #7 has some great things and not as good as usual things about it. In this chapter the art is dramatically better. But in some ways the fact it’s better might actually detract from the book. Each chapter of the series has been full of art that, while not very detailed, have the book a murky, dark feel. The new art lends a clarity that may actually take away from the mysterious nature of the series.

The pacing in the book seemed too fast. I really wanted to like this comic but I didn’t. The things that were designed to help the book may have taken away from it. B-

16. Justice League of America 10 was a great comic. It’s part of the Forever Evil story line. It focuses primarily on Star Girl and Martian Manhunter working together( as one) to escape the prison that the Justice League has been imprisoned in. In order to do that Martian Manhunter has to convince Stargirl is in a prison of her mind.

The writing in this book is extremely good. The details within the memories that Stargirl has are very vivid and each character is very well realized. The art is also exceptional. A.

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Comic book reviews for the week of 12/3/13

1. Dinosaurs Attack has been a mini series through IDW that I have absolutely loved. It has been( up until now) been the perfect mix of campy ‘B’ science fiction with bit of horror. For anyone who has tried to write bad on purpose and still make it enjoyable, it’s not an easy task. And until this issue it’s done almost flawlessly.

The final issue, Dinosaurs Attack #5 seemed rushed in almost every way. The art was not as good as previous issue. Usually the art had the feel of comic books of yesteryear. The artist didn’t seem like he wanted to put the same amount of detail in this issue. It’s almost like he knew it was the last issue and he phoned it in. The art was still decent it just wasn’t as good.

I also had trouble with the pacing. The scientists figured out the solution in the space of 23 pages. I guess that’s pretty on par with how a B movie would do things but that doesn’t mean that the comic needed to copy the worst of those movies. This was not a great ending to a great series. B-

2. The Superior Spider-man #23 is the continuation of <em The Darkest Days storyline. In the last issue Otto Octavius ( as Spider-Man) faces Flash Thompson’s Symbiote , Venom, and attacks him without having the benefit of Peter Parker’s memories. It turns out that without Peter Parker’s memories there is nothing to remind him that Flash has figured out how to control the Symbiote. As we learn in this issue, without giving anything away, Otto has plans for the Symbiote.

There is plenty going on in this issue. MJ, J.J Jamison, Aunt May and Carlie all have story lines that seem to be spelling doom for Otto without him knowing about them. I liked this issue. The art was good and it’s done a very good job of keeping each of the story lines going in a 23 page format. I do have one or two gripes about the writing( mainly that I’m not sure I believe some of the choices that Otto is making as Peter or as Spidey. If Otto is the megalomaniac he is and he’s as narcissistic as he appears, then I’m not sure he’d be as kind to certain characters). Still, all things considered, this comic deserves a pretty high mark. A-

3. So who was high when they wrote and drew The Avengers Annual #1? Very confusing, with bad art and just not very good. That’s all I have to say about that . D

4. Amazing X-men has brought back a character to the “X” universe that has been missed. Nightcrawler is one of the more well rounded characters that they brought to life. A devoutly religious character that was killed off and enjoying heaven until His father, the demon Azazel invaded heaven and started stealing souls. He is now in hell and thanks to a portal so are a number of other x-men that are pursuing him. This was a very fun issue . The scenes with Wolverine and Iceman are humorous. I really enjoyed this issue a lot. I hope this level of depth of character continues throughout the rest of the series. A+

5. For reasons I’m not entirely sure( but the fact that the amazing spider man 2 trailer was just released ) Marvel decided that they were going to resurrect Peter Parker as Spider-Man. The story is clearly an introduction to a multiple chaptered saga. Winter weather has come to New York and Peter Parker is having trouble with the cold. And that’s all we know . Still, for everything we don’t know it was still an alright book.

The art was decent but everything was difficult to make out because of the snow drawn in. This book deserves a B

6. Every once and a while you pick a comic book that takes your breath away. In this case it is Superior Spider-Man Team Up 007. There is nothing wrong with this issue . It had breathtaking art and a great story. Destruction and Mayhem and it’s really cool to watch Otto Octavius get his butt handed to him. Very much an A +++

7. Secret Avengers is one of the best comic books, in terms of writing, on the market today. Seldom do you end up reading a series that is sophisticated enough that you have to read it twice to make sure you understand it. In this issue a number of A.I.M scientist come to Maria Hill asking for help getting rid of their top scientist. An a pretty amazing twist.

The art in this book is different. There are days where I love it and days where I’m not sure. This was a great issue though. Worth checking out. B+

8. It always pains me when Indestructible Hulk doesn’t live up to my expectations but the Indestructible Hulk Annual # 1 was very disappointing. There’s nothing more boring than listening to two scientists reminisce and that’s what this issue seemed it was about. And it was a bad comic. The art was also pretty bad. I don’t want to give more time to this comic. C-

9. The last Marvel Comic Book I read this week was Inhumanity 001. I have to admit I was a little perturbed that marvel would go from one event directly into another one but I really liked this beginning. Matt Fraction gives us a great explanation of how so many Inhumans got to be on earth. The issue spends a lot of time examining the actions of Black Bolt and how the terra genesis bomb affected it. The art was great and I look forward to reading the rest of this series

A few paragraphs back I stated that Superior Spider-Man team up was breathtaking but I didn’t give the title much space . It is the best comic I’ve read this week