Comic book reviews for the week of 3/24/14

Hi Everybody that is checking out my blog this week.  I am glad you visited.  I would love to get constructive criticism from my readers.  I’d also like to get reviews on comics that you might not find here.  I’d like this site to stay family friendly.  My reviews usually give a very brief synopsis of what we already know about a comic so that readers that aren’t familiar with the books can figure out if they want to pick up the comic.  The review should have enough information to tell where the book is headed without too many spoliers.

I would also like to ask a favor.  I need some help promoting this site.  Could I ask people to post this to their Facebook pages?  I am learning how to write this reviews, and I’m still fresh but I’m learning

1.  I love it when a comic book crossover events beat my expectations of it.  The Trial of Jean Grey part 6 of 6 found in Guardians of the Galaxy 013 ends a mini series that asked a very intriguing question.  If you came from the past and were in the present, could you be held responsible for things you haven’t done yet if the other you that died before you got here killed a lot of people even if you were possessed by an alien force?  It took 5 issues to get through the trial and this issue focuses on Jean’s response.  And with the cliffhanger that the last chapter left us with, you might find the reaction surprising.  Without spoiling the book, we see a whole new Jean Grey too!  There is one very big plot reveal that is very cool and another plot twist at the end that I’m curious to see how it plays itself out

There are very few times that I’ve read a bad book from Brian Michael Bendis and he delivers a good script for the book.  The art is really good in this book.  Although it’s very good, it wavers in a few panels.  I am not an artist, however so I don’t know how difficult it is to draw a book.  A-

2. The Superior Spider-Man 030 seems to be the penultimate issue of the series and there seems to be 4 camps of people: Peter Parker Purists and Doc Ockers.  I happen to be in the second category.  For the past 2 years Marvel readers have been treated to a very unique and fun spin on the character.  It has been fun watching Doc Ock try, sometimes successfully and other times not, to be our favorite web slinger.  It has been especially fun watching Doctor Octopus create an army, invade Kingpin’s neighborhood with giant killer Spider Robots and create as much mayhem as possible all in the name of being superior.  I’m not ready to see him leave yet.  However, there should be some pretty interesting stories coming down the pike for Peter.

This issue did a much better job on focusing in on the main story line that last week’s annual.  The story moved along very well and many of the questions that I had about how things would get resolved were answered in this issue.  And as good as the writing is in this book, I actually think it was the art and coloring that made this book top notch this week.  It is sad seeing things come to an end but this ending is turning out to be very satisfying.  A

3.  It should be that when two Super Villains team up that you would get a great comic.  Superior Spider-Man Team up 011 proves that wrong.  One of the biggest problems with the comic is that I read it after reading SSM 030.  Knowing what I know about the story already it seems to be counter productive to go backwards in a story.  That seems to happen a lot during big events.  The authors find it necessary to examine every single angle to a story and its completely unnecessary.  Nevermind the fact that the story is a bit unlikely and it doesn’t fit very well into Doc Ock’s current story line.  The art is fine but, again, unspectacular.  This book is graded a C.

4.  I suppose if there is anything I’ve learned from Marvel it’s how to over saturate the market with the X-men.  As if there weren’t enough books with Wolverine in it, Amazing X-men 005  adds another book.  But in fairness, this book seems to be a vehicle for bringing Nightcrawler back from the dead.  Which begs another question.  If this book was designed to focus on Nightcrawler, what will happen when he gets his own title?  While the first five issues were fun, they were also a little bit ridiculous.  Demons dressed as pirates fighting mutants on a sea of fire?  While the story was adventure filled it was a bit silly at times

The art and writing in most X-books are top notch.  I’m going to give this book a B

5.   I have been a fan of the Hulk since I was in High School but my geeky fascination with this character has its limits and the truth is I’ve had a very mixed reaction to this incarnation of the hero.   SPOILER ALERT:  This is the last issue of Indestructible Hulk.  Issue 020 is a continuing of a story that technically ended 2 months ago.  One of Bruce Banner’s staff turned into a Inhuman when the Terrigen bomb was detonated.  To counter the effect, Bruce Banner created another bomb, that when detonated would counter the effects of the Terrigen mist.  Before it was detonated, the Avengers interfered and destroyed it.  In the meantime, Bruce Banner’s team mate was kidnapped.  This issue focuses on his rescue.

I was a little put off by this issue because it seems like its the only book that hasn’t caught up with the rest of the Marvel Universe.  I have to give this comic credit though for one heck of a great cliffhanger to start the new series.  for that reason alone I’m giving this issue a B.

6. Uncanny Avengers 018.now is a bad ass comic book.  The comic picks up after the cataclysmic events of the previous book in a new location.  Most of the team is dead and the mutants that are alive look pretty darn cool.  There is very little about this comic book I can talk about without giving away things.  The plot of the story is on the cover.  Avenge the Earth.  And not everyone is interested in returning to earth..

The art is this book is very cool.  Wispy at times but very detailed.  Magneto looked especially cool.  This book has not been easy to follow but the payoff is very cool.  A.

7.  I picked up Silver Surfer 001 purely out of curiosity.  With Dan Slott( The Superior Spider) being the writer on this book, it was hard not to want to read it.  I have never read a Silver Surfer book in my life.  I know that he was a Herald for Galactus who eats worlds for a living, but beyond that, I don’t know anything.  I wasn’t sure that I was going to like this book.  I really don’t like Allred’s art.  It’s kind of hokey.  But the odd thing?  It works here.  I only liked half of this issue.  The part with the hero was fun.  The rest confusing.

This book is clearly a set up for a bigger story.  This is another number #1 comic that is not an origin.  Without too much explanation, if you don’t know anything about Silver Surfer, you won’t have too much to go on.  This was a fun book but maybe not as good as I hoped.  I’m going to grade this book with a B.

8.  I’m all for re-imagining stories(unless it’s Noah…wow that was awful) unless it’s been done before.  If The All New Ghost Rider 001 turns out to be anything like I think it will, this comic will be Fast and Furious, the Marvel Edition.  Ghost Rider is cool because he rides a hog not because he was in Tokyo Drift.  I guess each book deserves a second chance but I’m pretty much sold on the Ghost Rider of The Thunderbolts.

The art is in this book is very strange.  Its stylized to look like Manga but a bit more jagged.  This book might be for some but not for me.  B.

9.  Origin II has been an interesting book that, while good, has paled in comparison to its predecessor.  I really wanted to like this book and for half of the book I did.  The last 5 or 6 pages were a bit distracting.  I guess I’m not sure that I completely believe that Logan would allow himself to go through the torture that he went through.  I admire the character’s self control but I think he would have completely snapped by now.

It’s very difficult to read this story without comparing it to it’s original.  Everything about that story was carefully put together and mixed so well.  The art in this book is caricaturistic( probably a made up word) and at times feels like a distraction.  C+

10.  In the past couple years that I have returned to reading comics, there have been few writers that have captured my interest as much as Scott Snyder.  His Work on Batman Zero Year and The Wake has been nothing short of killer writing.  The Wake #7 is no different.  This book has been the perfect combination of science fiction and horror.  If Snyder is smart, he will have created a movie script for at least two different movies.  There is really not a lot more to say except buy this series!

The book starts off underwater with scientists that are confronted with monsters that are attacking their underwater base and spans a century.  The writing is ambitious and very worth anybody’s time.  This book is so good that I don’t want to spoil it with any other spoilers.  A+

11.  It has been refreshing to see other characters in the DC universe interact with any of the Lantern teams.  Red Lantern 29 continues the Red Daughter story line and Guy Gardner is not too happy to have Supergirl as a new lantern.  But the Red rings pick who they want and Kara is who they want.  This has been a crossover event and the first chapter or two were just alright.  But I have to admit….I’ve enjoyed the last two weeks comics.  The art in this book is kind of plain but that has actually been nice when many comic book artists are doing experimental drawings in order to make the statement that they are much more than just comic book artists.  A

This has been a busy week both for work and for comics.  I have enjoyed reading this week.  I haven’t as much lately so it was nice to have a fun week of reading.  See you all next week

 

 

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Thoughts on Indianapolis Comic Con and some reviews of this weeks comics

It’s been one week removed from the Indianapolis Comic con and I’ve had some time to think about it.  The first thing I learned about Comic Con is how badly out of shape I am.  From the minute I exited my friends van, only a few blocks away, to the half mile I had to walk once inside the Indiana Convention Center just to get where I needed to be, I huffed and puffed and started feeling like the old man I am.

My initial impression once I arrived was how amazingly unorganized it was.  From the minute we arrived we were herded into lines that often times intersected by frustrated and often times seemingly angry staff.  And who could blame them for being frustrated?  There were no line dividers, and for whatever reason that eludes me, the organization that runs the Comic Con figured that only 6,000 people would show up.  And with advertising that was posted a year prior, it seems they should have expected the deluge of nerds ( its ok I consider myself a nerd) that crowded the halls to the tune of over 15,000 visitors. After 45 minutes of winding and weaving through the makeshift line, we were herded into the main room where we were corralled into another line to pick up our tickets from will call. Throughout the day there many opportunities to wait in line.  Yet, despite the egregious lack of planning, I had fun.

The Q and A sessions with Caytie Lotz and Maisie Williams were a lot of fun.  Both of the actresses were extremely personable and each had a great sense of humor.  I was also pleasantly surprised by how much each of the actresses knew the background of their respective characters.  Especially Maisie.  Her attention to the story even included disappointment when George R. R. Martin’s books differed from the HBO series scripts.  I ended up having a ten second photo op with her and I think I should have gotten the autograph in hopes of actually getting to say something other than “hi” and “thank you” to her.

In as much as I had a great time, I spent my initial moments at the event feeling put off by the lack of organization of the event.  My grade for the Comic Con:  B( but a weak one).

But on to the reviews.  It must be difficult to write a Comic Book Annual because there have been very few that have kept my attention for very long.  Superior Spider-Man should be interested in tying up their comic in order to reintroduce Peter Parker, instead this comic book is focused with ferocity on what seems like somewhat minor details of the story.  No offense to Marvel but I don’t care about Ben Ulrich.   My guess is that Marvel has some major blowout planned for the final issues but getting there has been a bit slow moving.  The Superior Spider-man Annual 002 needs work.  It’s art was unimpressive and it seemed to be unfocused and almost as if it was phoned it.  This comic is graded with a C

Thunderbolts 023 is possibly one of the best comics I’ve read in 2014.  Charles Soule has done it again and has written an action packed, yet funny look at the lives of a team of mercenaries that are sent on black ops.  A while back Thunderbolt Ross a.k.a. Red Hulk decided that each member of the team could pick missions they wanted to go on.  The team’s first mission was Punisher’s choice.  This week’s( minor spoiler next):  Deadpool.  It being Deadpool’s week you would think the witty banter would be flying everywhere.  The best line of dialogue belongs to The Leader.

Instead, we get an action packed book.  Kim Jacinto also created some very cool and bad ass art that had me wanting more.  The artwork with Ghost Rider especially was fun to look at.  This was truly an amazing book and the story actually was a bit of a surprise, which was also good.  If this team continues to work on this book, we can only expect amazing things from Thunderbolts.

Avengers World 004 fills the absolutely unnecessary need to publish another Avengers comic book.  Still, the writing in this book was not bad at all.  The story focuses on Star Brand, a character that was originally introduced in 1986 as part of the New Universe brand that Marvel unsuccessfully launched.  Other members of the New Universe included Psi Force and Nightmask, another new member of the Avengers.  SPOILER ALERT: This issue deals with the guilt that Star Brand feels for becoming a Super Powered hero at his school and accidentally killing everyone in the school in the process.  I won’t give anymore details than that but I thought that it was a pretty mature way of looking at responsibility and guilt.  There are some fairly creepy images in this issue and the art is impressive.  We also get a new member to the already 40 member team.  I’m giving this issue a B+

Uncanny X-men 019.now starts the beginning of a new story line.  It is no secret that the story is about the increasingly tense relationship between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-men team.  Cyclops, the team leader, believes that Maria Hill is in charge of sending
the sentinels to take care of the X-men.  Truthfully, we aren’t sure that she isn’t.  At any rate, he’s willing to start a war with S.H.I.E.L.D.

Bendis, the writer of this book, has done a great job with this book.  The characters and situations they get in are compelling.  My only gripe with this book has been the same gripe I’ve had since the book started:  The art is not at the same level the writing is.  I’m giving this book a B.

comic book reviews for 3/10/14

Welcome to this week’s comic book reviews.  This week has been a long one and I’ve only had a chance to read one comic book so far.  I will be reading my comics and giving my thoughts as I’m able but with Indiana Comic Con coming Saturday I may not be able to finish them as quickly.

But the comic I did read this week I enjoyed. All New X-men 024is continuing the Trial of Jean Grey.  This mini crossover has asked a very cool question.  If you came from the past, into the present, and found out that you were going to do some pretty bad things could you be held responsible for those things if you haven’t done them yet.  In addition, what if the things you did were a result of being possessed by an alien force?  Jean Grey has been kidnapped by the Shi’ar and wants her killed because of things she hasn’t done yet.  Is it fair?  In this issue the Guardians of the Galaxy and X-men teams are arriving on the Shi’ar home planet to save Jean.

A lot happens in this issue with a couple of plot twists that are interesting, if not entirely predictable.  I really only have one beef with this story.  I think it’s interesting but I think it could be even more interesting.  We have seen that the original X-Men team has had an effect on the present and future but it seems that the comic hasn’t really done more than scratched the surface of the ramifications of the team being outside of time.  The writing continues to be strong, as well as the art, however, the writing has not brought up any points that have really made me think.  B+

Black Widow #004 continues a very strong comic about a hero/spy that is an avenger and member of S.H.I.E.L.D. who is trying to erase her past by taking covert missions in exchange for removing some of her past misdeeds

This issue was a bit different than its previous issues.  In previous issues Black Widow has completed her missions without help.  In this issue, she has help.   There is also a very bad ass villain in this issue.

The art in this issue looks like watercolor art, which is fine.  However, at the same time it’s hard to really get a hold of movement.

The writing in the book is very close to being the quality of Image’s Velvet.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.  This story arc will be fun to read too.  The bad guy is a beast!  A.

Superior Spider-Man 029 confirms in the letter section at the end of the book that Doc Ock was never intended to be a permanent storyline.  Still Marvel has created a storyline that has definitely been worth sinking my teeth into.  The idea that a villain is trying to be vigilant and a vigilante at the same time has been fun to watch.   There appears to only be 2 more comics left before Amazing Spider man starts up again and it seems that Dan Slott is stacking the deck against our hero/villain that he will have no choice but to bring Peter back.

With the Goblin and Hobgoblin feuding for Supremacy, the mayor convinced Spidey is working for the goblin and his ex being transformed, there is a lot to keep track of here.  The book might be too busy for its own good, but it’s still very good.  I look forward to the next chapter but I will hate seeing this one end. A-

Fantastic Four 002 continues “The End of the Fantastic 4” story line.  First it was Fin Fang Foom, and now this.

There are very few, if any, things that I didn’t like about this comic.  With no insult intended against the previous creative team, but the quality of this book is worlds apart in quality from the last run.  The art is stellar and the writing is pretty cool too.  I am looking forward to reading more!!! A

Why Secret Avengers #1 needs to be a reboot of the series I don’t know.  I’m also not sure I understand why the art has to look like it came out of a book from the 50’s where art was very unoriginal and at times blurry.

The writing in the book is good but it seems to take a turn to the absurd.  There are 3 different stories here.  Hawkeye, Coulson, and Maria Hill.  I like the intrigue of this book but I’m not a big fan of the added humor.  B+

Green Lantern Corps has been one of my favorite DC comics on the market. The writing is almost always great and the art has not disappointed. Until this week. Green Lantern 29 has very good writing but the art is just sort of alright. This issue continues the Durlan storyline and focuses on Bophunga, a Durlan who is a ring bearer, and whether or not he is going to continue to be a Lantern or be a traitor. There are other stories as well and each is enjoyable. The art in this book is not as good as I’d have liked. B.

Batman 29 Zero year was a great comic but then just about anything that Scott Snyder writes is gold. For the last 6 months to a year this comic’s setting has been during a Super storm. Edward Nygma has held the city hostage promising disaster. Everything comes to a head in this issue. The action is great, the flashbacks are descriptive and everything works here. This is an A+ comic

Superman Wonder Woman has been one of those comics that is probably better than it deserves to be. DC spends so much time on Batman and Superman that it’s hard to believe that readers aren’t completely tired of either of them. Superman Wonder Woman 6 survives on the lengths the characters are willing to go to protect earth( it’s actually pretty shocking). Charles Soule, who is everywhere these days, writes another kick butt comic. The Cliffhanger will leave you wanting more. I think the only beef I had with the book was some of the coloring choices in the book. There are frames done in black and I don’t understand why. A-

Comic reviews for 3/3/14 continued

I have never been a big fan of DC Comics. I’m not entirely sure why. There have been some very iconic heroes but I just never been intrigued by them.

People laugh a bit when I tell them that I started reading Green Lantern because of the live action movie. With a script that was pretty awful, the movie was a lot better than it deserved to be, even though it wasn’t stellar to begin with. Green Lantern 29 is the continuation of the problems the lantern corps is having with the Khund and Durlan. Hal’s strategies have not been working and he needs a new one.

This was a great comic. Everything about it was very well done. The story seems to hint on a much more aggressive approach toward getting some normalcy back to the Corps. The writing was impressive and there is a killer twist at the end that I can’t wait to learn more about it. This is an A+ book

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Batman Superman Annual 1 was a strong comic. In past DC history Superman has imprisoned Mongul in the Negative Zone. Now his son wants vengeance. That is the gist of this extended issue. The story is told in 3 parts and each is very well written.

The art has never been my favorite in this book. The artist tends to make featureless faces and as a result the characters don’t show emotion. However, I thought this issue did a much better job with the art. The shading and detail are much more descriptive in nature. Very good job. A.

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It has been difficult for me to find an Image comic book title that doesn’t make me feel a bit greasy for reading it. However, Velvet is one of the best comics on the market. If there was a female James Bond it would be Velvet Templeton. She’s bad ass and being framed for murder. She is trying to figure out who. Velvet #4 adds a wrinkle in the plot. This is a great comic. The language is a little rough and some of the characters are seedy but this is a damn good comic. A+

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Starlight #1 is the story of retired space hero Duke McQueen and his life back on earth after saving the universe. He has grown older now and his life is falling apart. Will things get better for him?

This is a completely character driven book. There is virtually no action in this book but it did an excellent job of creating the characters in the book. I will probably give this book one more shot . The writing is good but the art is not as impressive as I wanted. I was hoping for more of a Flash Gordon feel. Weak B.

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Those are my thoughts on this weeks comics. If you’d like to leave comments, I welcome them

Comic books reviews for the week of 3/3/14

I haven’t really enjoyed comics very much lately. I don’t know why, either. Some of it has to do with the comics haven’t seemed as good lately. The stories have seemed old and rehashed. But more than that, I think the fact that all the time I put into reviewing the books really only seemed to get 1 or two views a week and that kind of stung a bit. I am not comicvine. I don’t have fancy artwork and pictures or a staff and I don’t have time every day to scour the internet for news on comic books. I am a comic book fan and I enjoy them a lot. I also have an opinion about them. I also think my opinions vary a lot from the vine.

One other thing that makes my opinion different is that my viewpoint is pretty limited to what I know now. The other sites are more knowledge about the history of both the DC and Marvel Universe. That being said, I approach each comic as if I’m discovering new characters for the first time regardless of the fact that I have read comics on and off for twenty years.

This week has been interesting for comics. The first comic I read this week was odd in its approach.

When I was in high school and college I didn’t read x-men. There was too much history involved and there was no catching up. I’ve read x-force and x-factor but not x-men. I’ve read enough and seen enough of the cartoon series to know who the characters are(and seen the movies as well). While I know that collectors are pretty adamant that those series are not in line with the Marvel Universe, the series were endorsed by the company and may have changed character history but not the primary powers of each of the mutants.

I started reading Uncanny X-men for it’s collectible potential . Anything with Wolverine in it seems to be popular. That being said, Uncanny X-men has been a mixture of awe and complete frustration. For a very long time the art work was very annoying. Everything was impressionistic and wispy and annoying. After a while the book changed the art and then the art caught up to its writing. Brian Michael Bendis has always provided me with stories that have always been interesting and while this weeks Uncanny X-men 018 was a bit different than I’m used to. SPOILER ALERT: The reason that it’s different is that the book is a recap of both A v X and the entire run of All New X-men. I’ve never seen a comic so eager to promote a completely different comic but it did a good job of it. I’d almost recommend it as a kicking off point except that it’s clear that it’s teasing it’s role in The Trial of Jean Gray. This title and All New X-men have always been very solid. A.

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I’d have given up on She-Hulk as a comic if it wasn’t for Charles Soule. I hate American Manga art! It’s lifeless and child like. But the writing in this book is fun. Right now the book is focusing on Jennifer Walters as a lawyer and trying to start her own law firm. It’s not a brilliant comic but I’m pretty sure that it will never rise to the level of John Byrne’s run of She Hulk in which the art and writing was great. She-Hulk 002 is a continuation of the story with Jennifer Walters quitting her job with too much fury and trying to undo the damage. I love Charles Soule’s writing and it’s strong enough to keep me reading but I really wish they’d drop the artist. B.

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Loki Agent of Asgard 002 is just plain quirky. From the cover of the book where Loki is drawn like a young John Travolta to the speed dating scenario inside( very minor spoiler). Before I go into this comic, I wanted to say that this comic was brilliantly placed in the hands of its readers. Tuesday night, Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D introduced a new villain to the viewers. Lorelei. All we knew from the show is that she has hypnotic power over men. This comic answers everything you’d want to know about the character except how she is related to Lady Sif. This was a fun story and I’m really curious about where it’s headed. The teaser at the end should be fun to watch it play out. A.

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Moon Knight #1 is probably my favorite Marvel title this week. I picked up this comic book purely out of curiosity and although I knew nothing about the character, I was given enough information during the prologue of the comic book to enjoy it. With many of the Marvel first issues they are not truly first issues, but, instead continuations of already ongoing series. This comic felt like an introduction.

The best thing about this comic book was it’s art choice. Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire made some very interesting choices in this book and I can only hope that they continue to make the same choice. Every character in the book has shading and color. Moon Knight is completely devoid of color and truly looks ghostly. This was a great comic!!!! A+

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The last of the Marvel books that I read this week was Magneto 001. Magneto has been a hero and a villain and many times he has straddled the line. He believes that mutants are superior to humans and a war is coming between them. Prior to the beginning of this series Magneto was helping Cyclops recruit new mutants but now he’s up to his old tricks. This was a good comic with decent art but I need more background on why his mind has changed so quickly. B.

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