Sinestro #5

As I have said, even though I’m writing primarily only reviews for Marvel comic books, I would mention books that were also noteworthy.

This week is a DC comic. Sinestro #5 was an amazing book. Not only was the art incredible, the writing was also amazing.

In this issue we learn about what happened to Sinestro after he used Parallax to kill the Guardians. Most of this is done in a conversation but there is some very cool panels with Parallax and Hal Jordan fighting

You should pick up this comic book!!!!
Grade: A+

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Comic book reviews for the week of 8/25/14

I have a lot of comics to read this week and at least 10 to review. I came home with every intention of diving right in and tackling each title head on but I got home to an air conditioning unit that was broken so right now my concentration is waning between how incredibly uncomfortable I am and trying to read these books.

1. Everyone has a trusty “something” in their lives. In my life my comics are my trusty “something”. I can usually rely on All New X-men to bring me a great amount of joy. Issue 31 was again an enjoyable ride, even though it was a little confusing for me.

Brian Michael Bendis did something that I read about a few days ago but wasn’t sure how it’s going to work. He linked the Marvel Ultimates universe with the Marvel Now! Universe. This week’s issue starts with Tony Stark and Doctor Cho( kid cho) are examining a portal between their universe and the universe the All New X-men are in. The sequence was interesting but I’m not entirely sure where it’s headed.

I liked this issue despite the art being uneven at times. It was fun to see the Original X-men team take initiative and try to complete a mission on their own . I like that there is pushback. Let’s just say: without leadership there are unforeseen complications.

This was a fun issue and well worth reading. I know nothing about the Ultimate Universe( but I’m under the impression that it’s geared toward a younger crowd) but I really didn’t need to. We are given just enough information to figure what we need to know. I’m giving this issue a grade of A. It only misses a perfect score because I thought the art wavered from great to okay

2. Wolverine #012 was the last book of the Wolverine series and it features three separate stories. SPOILERS AHEAD: The first of the stories ends the conflict between Sabretooth and Wolverine and leaves us with one very big question: is the death of Wolverine metaphorical or will it come to pass? We do see him retire but beyond that we learn nothing more.

The second story doesn’t has a historian writing about Logan . It takes place in the future where we see a sort of alien invasion taking over the earth. We are only briefly treated to this section of the book but one familiar face that is key in this ongoing series makes an appearance

The final story seems unnecessary and relates the story of a super hero bar for people with and without super powers that work with super heroes named after a Painting by Pablo Picasso. I don’t know why it was there.

The art in this book was decent but the shading seemed off. There were times when the coloring and shading seemed to obscure the art. Other than that, the penciling was fine.

I didn’t love this issue. I thought the writing was too detached and rushed. I’m giving this a grade of B-. It could have been a lot better

3. Savage Hulk has been an unusual book to read because the entire time I’m reading it, I’m wondering why it exists at all. Issue #003 continues a story that is outside the current time line and exists when Xavier was still a part of the x-men team and Marvel Girl was still in the X-men.

The premise of the story so far is that The Hulk and X-men are fighting The Abomination and defeat him. As a way of thanking Bruce for helping him in other personal matters, Charles Xavier tries to separate the hulk from Bruce with disastrous consequences. This story picks up at that point

Both the writing and the art fit the general style of the book and I think they accomplish what they set out to do but I don’t understand why Marvel is telling this story. All in all I’m giving this book a low B.

4. I loved Fantastic Four 009. It has everything that a good comic book should have. Drama, some humor, some violence and great art.

The past nine issues have shown the virtual destruction of The Fantastic Four. Anything that can go wrong for our team has.

What makes this book so good is that it’s not just about Superheroes and their battles with otherworldly beings. It’s about humans with super powers trying to balance their Super hero lives with their every day lives. It becomes even more interesting when their Super lives become what makes their ordinary lives a living hell

The only problem I have with the last few issues is their doesn’t seem to be too much being done with Johnny( Human Torch). We see him without his powers but he seems to be in the background. I’m giving this book an A.

5. Uncanny Avengers 023 is a transitional comic book. Which is a great thing. The last 22 months of this series have been one continuous series. At times it’s been cool but, more often than not, it has dragged on.

After the earth has been avenged and Kang has been stopped then the team needs to recoup. A lot of the team is comforting each other and Rogue is pissed because her powers are back. Scarlet Witch is trying to help.

The art has always been great. I am giving this book a B because there is new direction. My only gripe: I really don’t like the way the artist is drawing Red Skull.

6. Avengers #34 may be one of the only comic book in recent months that I’ve understood almost all of. Captain America has gotten to the end of the( time) line and he’s greeted by some familiar faces which try to convince him that he needs to let the rest of The Avengers prevent the incursions from happening. Captain America, deeming himself a saver of human life, is not comfortable with that solution and a fight ensues. He eventually makes it back to present day where he makes a decision that will affect every team member. That decision will be unveiled in the next issue.

Both the writing and the art are good in this book. The plot line continues to get stale but it’s not so bad that I’m ready to throw in the towel yet. However, it’s getting close to that point with the incursion stories. I have quit reading one avenger book because of it, I don’t want to quit two. Grade:B. Although the story is a bit repetitive the art is pretty nice in this issue

7. This review recaps the story so far:

Original Sin Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm #4 was a pretty excellent comic book. As readers already know Thor and Loki, with the help of the Watcher’s eye, have learned that there is a tenth realm that was sealed off by Odin when a war between the Angels and Asgardians took place. Odin sealed things after his daughter was murdered. Even though both Thor and Loki are told their sister is dead, Thor refuses to believe that is the case and asks his brother to help him create a rift from Asgard to the tenth realm.

When they arrive, the angels are not happy to see the duo and attack them full on. Loki tries to side with the Angels who have imprisoned Thor

In this issue there is at least one pretty big surprise which on review of the information shouldn’t be too surprising. There is also a pretty good twist that manifests itself near the end of the book.

The writing in this book is very cool and keeps the reader wanting more. However, it’s the team of Simone Bianchi and Lee Garbett that stand out in this book. I really enjoyed looking at this book almost as much as I’ve enjoyed reading it. I’m giving this book an A+

8. I am at a bit of a loss reading Original Sin: Guardians of the Galaxy #18 because I never read The Thanos Imperative and this book is an extension of that event. Apparently, Peter Quill and Richard Ryder( Nova Sr.) went to banish Thanos to the Cancerverse and only Quill and Drax returned without Richard Ryder. So what happened to him?

The readers, and Gamora, want answers. The problem: you’re not getting the answer yet. If you’ve read Nova Original Sin you’ll get some idea but this has to have happened before the events in this book.

The art in this book is stellar. Ed McGuinness does a great job with the penciling in this issue. This is a very, very cool issue. I’m giving it a grade of A. The cliffhanger here feels a bit manipulative but other than that, what a cool issue.

9. The review for The Amazing Spider-man Learning to Crawl 1.4 will probably be a fairly short review. Here’s why: the art and the writing in this book don’t match. While this book does it’s best to tell a story of Peter Parker in High School, it also mentions the World Wide Web which doesn’t match the art, that is drawn to look like a story from the 50’s.

Normally I really like Dan Slott’s writing but it seems like this story has been rehashed too many times. Boy meets hero. Hero ignores boy. Boy becomes bad guy. What is missing from this story is the reason it’s being told. I’m not sure I understand. This story just sort of bores me. Maybe the final chapter will be better. B-

10. Thunderbolts 030 had its moments. As we have read in the past 3 issues, The Punisher had an assassination attempt on his life and it looks like Red Hulk is behind it. As a result, Punisher has gone after the team killing a couple members already.

This issue Frank Castle goes after Electra. From the beginning of this fight we know it’s going to be a strange one. The two are romantically linked over their love of killing people.

But as weird as this story is the art was stranger. At times the art looked like the graphics from an 80’s video game crossed with an episode of Johnny Bravo.

I wanted to love this book. When this series started it was pretty bad, but as time has gone by the writing and art has improved dramatically. Still this book seemed to settle somewhere between just ok and good. I’m grading this with a B-

Those are my reviews for the week. Hope you liked them. Cya next week

This weeks reviews

Just wanted to let my readers know….I have a pretty busy week. I’ll be picking up my comic books Wednesday morning but I work all Wednesday afternoon. I have at least 10 titles this week so it’ll be a lengthy list. I hope to have it published by Friday

Marvel Comic Book Reviews for the week of 8/18/14

It’s Wednesday so that means two things, It’s hump day and, more importantly, it’s comic book day. While this week is not as jam packed as last week’s was, it is pretty packed. Let’s get started.

1. My current favorite Marvel comic book came out with a new issue this week. While I still loved it, I gotta say it still wasn’t as good as previous weeks. Mighty Avengers 013 only falters because this issue wasn’t drawn by Greg Land. Mr. Land drew the cover art but not the inside art. Taking the reins this week was Salvador Larroca. While the art is still fantastic, there is something very distinctive and fantastic about Greg Land’s art. I was also not a big fan of the art on the final page of the book.

The really good news: Al Ewing’s writing is pretty amazing as well. The only unusual part of the book is that this is clearly a continuation of the Original Sin: Mighty Avengers story line and the company made no attempt to latch on to it. As we have learned in previous issues, Luke Cage has discovered that his father was a member of the 1972 version of The Mighty Avengers with Blade. While they are a team they faced a group of villains called The Deathwalkers. They are back and have captured Blade and have big plans to use him to destroy the world.

This book is pretty packed with action, and if you like action, then you should love this book. It’s also pretty cool to see the old team working side by side with the new team. Another aspect of this issue that I really enjoyed was the dialogue of the older team catching up with one another after so many years. It was a great way to give us depth to all the players involved. There is also some great dialogue when the older team meets the newer team.

All in all, this was a great issue. And while I was disappointed that Greg Land was not the artist this time around, I did enjoy this comic book a lot. Grade: A.

2. The second book I read this week was a bit of an enigma for me. Wolverine Annual 001 while being a good book, interrupted the timeline of the comic book 1 month to die but simultaneously gave us one way that could kill off Wolverine. Unfortunately, it’s in a very undramatic way( at least as far as Superhero deaths go). What makes it strange, is that it’s kind of appropriate. If Wolverine is fully human then dying in a human way makes sense.

This book is more about Logan’s relationship with Jubilee. The art in this book is both unusual and kind of cool. It feels like it was done with watercolors and, yet it had the detail not associated with that kind of art.

What confused me is that, up to now, Sabretooth has been a huge part of 1 month to die and he is nowhere to be seen. Instead we get a camping trip. The writing is decent but the placement of the story seems out of place. I’m giving this book a B-, but most because it left me confused as to whether or not I enjoyed the story and wondering where the story fits into the 1 month to die story line

3. If you had any doubts about which side, Good or Evil, Magneto is on, Magneto #008 will answer that question completely. There are two stories here. S.H.I.E.L.D. following the bloodbath that Magneto has left behind, and Magneto trying to find who is creating the Mutant Growth Hormone(MGH). What he learns throughout the book is that people are not afraid of him . As a result, he makes a pretty shocking decision.

I have mixed feelings about the art in the book. While I like the shading and atmosphere in each frame of the book, I’m not a huge fan of how the artist draws faces. I don’t think the artist does a very good job of portraying emotion. I need to give this book a grade of B.

4. In my past two years of reading comic books, I’ve only read a couple of issues of Nova. I usually will only pick up his books when they are part of a larger story line. My biggest reason: the Teenage mindset annoys me and this book is written in that mindset. I picked up Nova #20 Original Sin because of the unusual relationship The Watcher had with Nova. Although I might be stretching things a bit, I think their friendship might be the reason that Nova’s secret is both encouraging and deeply personal. Nova’s dad is still alive. But we also learn some pretty awful things along the way about his dad.

To be honest, I liked this issue. I didn’t enjoy it as much of the other sites seemed to but I thought it was written well. In addition, although the appearance of Rocket and Cosmo are blatant advertising for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, their addition is kind of fun.

The writing, however, is not what makes this comic book worthwhile. The pencils, by David Baldeon, are what make this comic book a step above some of the other art I’ve seen this week. Baldeon does a great job rendering each of the characters. This book deserves a B+

5. Hulk vs. Iron Man #4 ended a little too conveniently. Knowing that there is a continuing rift between Bruce Banner and Tony Stark is one of the joys of them being on the same team of heroes. The resolution of the rift takes some of the fun out of their relationship. As you read the comic book, and think back throughout the past 3 issues, you can catch the curve ball the author threw at the reader but its not without a certain amount of looking back. Although I get the ending, I also feel duped when I read it.

The art here is neither terrible or mind blowing. It seems that Tony Stark has a new suit for every situation. I guess when I read this ending I wanted more.

Grade: B-

6. The last book I read this week was Original Sins #5 of 5 While the other Original Sin series is handling the main story line, this book deals with the other characters in the Marvel Universe that have been affected by the Watcher dying. This issue focuses in on Nick Fury, The Young Avengers, and everyone else.

In the last few issues of Original Sin we’ve been learning that Nick Fury had an infinity formula coursing through his veins and it allowed him to age past normal aging. He has dubbed himself as the ‘man on the wall’ and sees himself as Earth’s protector. He is looking for a replacement. On top of all that, it looks like he is responsible for The Watcher’s murder but we aren’t completely sure why. In this issue we learn he has another secret and, in many ways, this secret has more to do with the idea of Original Sin than many of the other sins.

The art in this section is fantastic. It’s highly detailed and a joy to look at.

I have to be honest, I’ve largely ignored the Young Avengers story line. I can’t stand the art. I know it has a lot to do with Watcher dying but, I have a hard time believing, in any way, that these are Super Heroes.

The last two pages, while the art is not great, is very funny. Each panel is a confession by all the other mutants and heroes. This section made me laugh out loud. I loved it. This book deserves high marks despite the middle story. Grade:B

Thank you for reading my Marvel reviews this week. If I find other comics that are worthy of mention, I will add a post about them

Marvel comic book reviews for the week 8/11/14

This week marks the first week where I’m whittling down my responsibilities on my blog to cover mostly just Marvel books. The owner of the Comic shop I go to, (Rembert at Reader Copies in Anderson, IN), asked me why today. The best way for me to answer that question is to simply say that I have only been reading DC for two years. I’ve been reading Marvel, on and off, for thirty years. As a result I find myself much more comfortable writing about these books. I will still mention books that are outstanding but my interest has always been pretty well centered on Marvel. That being said: Let’s get started.

1. The first book I read this week was Original Sin #7 of 8. This Marvel event has been a mixture of great and, at times, very frustrating. As most of you already know, The Watcher has been shot with irradiated bullets and murdered. His eyes were dug out of his head. Because The Watcher is an alien who is trained to only observe humanity, he has seen all sort of secrets. One of the eyes acted as a truth bomb during a battle in New York City and most of the Super Heroes that were present are facing secrets they never knew.

In addition, we have learned that Nick Fury, the old, white guy one ( not the Samuel L Jackson one) has secretly hired the Avengers, and a few of The Guardians of the Galaxy, to discover who killed The Watcher knowing secretly that he’s behind The Watcher’s murder. This issue of the book shows us the confrontation between the Avengers at Nick Fury.

There are a lot of unanswered questions still left at the end of this book. I am having trouble deciphering if that is a good thing. While it’s good that there will be surprises left for the final issue, there might be too many of them. If I were to choose one weakness of the Marvel brand, I’d have to say they don’t always pace things correctly and, as a result, many final issues tend to be over packed with information.

I can say, confidently, that Mike Deodato did a great job with the art. I especially liked the pages where the art bled from one frame into the next with sections of white separating the frames. It did a great job of adding movement to static pictures. If I had one criticism of the book, though, it would be that in some of the frames the art is not distinct enough. In some of the battle scenes it is hard to distinguish who is talking without the dialogue giving us the necessary cues. All in all, this was a great book. The flaws are not plentiful. I’m giving this book a grade of B+

2. Avengers World is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles. However, this week my number one reason for loving this title, is not present, Marco Checchetto. I am used to opening up this book to artwork that is truly breathtaking. Although Marco is not drawing the issue, the artwork is not that bad.

Avengers World #011 only took on one of the three issues S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently trying to solve, A.I.M. Island and A.I.M’s penchant for using future technology. While I thought it was well written, the other dilemmas are more interesting. The writing tried to be trendy and cracked some jokes about Edward Snowden being President in the future. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it all that funny but we all have our opinions on Mr. Snowden. There are some interesting predicaments that S.H.I.E.L.D. has to undo.
The future Avengers in this issue could set up some pretty interesting scenarios when the current Avengers find out they are parents and who their spouses are going to be. I’m going to give this book a grade of B. It was good but it was not as good as the last issue.

3. Amazing Spider-man #005 Original Sin has a shocking ending (pun intended). At the end of the last issue we learned that another person was bit by an irradiated spider and was hidden in a bunker. Peter Parker finds her and now they can’t keep their hands off of each other. I have never studied spiders but I’m taking it that the authors want us to believe that this behavior is consistent with spiders. There is a lot in this issue to suggest that Peter Parker’s new friend could end up being a sort of Black Widow Spider. Of course, only the reader can see this happening.

During this issue we get more of Felisha Hardy and Electro and their continuation of their plan to humiliate Spider-man. And boy, do they!!! The Cliffhanger at the end of this issue is pretty spectacular (again with the puns).

My biggest gripe about this comic book has been that when the transition was made from Otto Octavius as Spider-man back to Peter Parker, the writing lost its edge. This issue the edge is back. The situation that Dan Slott put Peter in is enough to make us wonder how he’s going to get out of it.

I have only one gripe about this issue. There are moments where the art is too dramatic. It is hard to focus on what is going on because the electricity is drawn in so prominently that it takes away from the story. I am giving this book a grade of B. While I liked the writing in this issue, there were times where the art was distracting.

4. Fantastic Four #8 Original Sin was an excellent comic book that managed to skim the Original Sin story while hitting all the other important plot points. Every one of the team’s life is falling apart. Grimm learned that The Human Torch and Mister Fantastic messed up a chance to make him human and now he’s wanted for the murder of Puppet Master. Mister Fantastic and his wife have had their kids taken away and their building away. Their kids are being taken care of by the original Human Torch and they may not be able to see their parents again for a year.

Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of comic books that summarize other comic books but, in honesty, it didn’t bother me here. James Robinson has done a stellar job of capturing the emotions of each of the situations and he has created a team where we genuinely care about them. This run of the team is vastly superior to the previous run.

The art is very cool too. In all. This is an A+ book

5. All New X-men #30 is the first of four “X” titles I bought this week. This review has spoliers. This was a pretty different book than usual for this title. Most of the time when we learn about the characters in the book we learn about it in intense situations. This time we learn about two of the characters away from the team. X-23 and Angel seem to be developing a bond but neither of them seem to understand why. It was interesting to read these scenes because we get to see these mutants as real people instead of the heroes they are forced to be.

The situation between Emma Frost and Jean Gray is also intensifying and the scenes with them both fighting each other psychically is fun to watch because we get to see it through the eyes of the other students. We also learn about Kitty Pryde and Peter Quill.

The art in this book was well done. There are no incredibly spectacular panels but there is also no art that makes you wonder why they chose the artist, either. I’m giving this book a grade of A.

6. Amazing X-men #010 continues the ongoing story of Wolverine’s very action packed visit to Canada to visit his friends in Alpha Flight. Once he arrives he finds that one of his two friends seems to be on a solo mission and has been missing for too long. As a result, Logan is dragged into a situation where he has to search for his friend. As he is doing this he gets attacked by a Wendigo, and even though that is true, Wolverine runs her through with his claws. So now it seems like most of Canada is going to become Wendigos( Giant sized Yetis).

I’m not sure why but I’ve never been a big fan of Wendigos as villains. I think it’s because the folklore of yetis seems as hokey as the folklore of the Loch Ness Monster and Chupacabra. But just because I don’t like something doesn’t make the writing bad. The writing in this book is fine and the art is some of the better art in an X-men book. This story arc is a 5 part story and this issue is part 3. I will continue to read the next two issues because it will be over in 2 months but I wish it was shorter. Grade: B-

7. If you are a Marvel comic book reader, you probably have heard by now that Marvel is planning to kill Wolverine. If you aren’t aware then you will be by the time you read the bottom of the synopsis page of issue 011. But as you also know, very few comic book heroes actually ever stay dead. The only one I can recall is Uncle Ben in Spider Man (and maybe psi force). Marvel is planning an event called, appropriately, The Death of Wolverine. If I were to guess, he’ll stay dead for 6 months to a year and then reappear

As many of you may know, this comic book has been my favorite of the “X” books. It has been a refreshing change to read about a humbled version of the hero. Wolverine has been humbled because he has lost his healing factor. He is mortal. The last 11 issues have read like a spy novel with the tinge of supernatural elements found in most of the other Marvel books.

From what I’ve read, Wolverine has not sold well. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s probably because there are too many X-men books. There is only one more book left in this series. We will see how Sabretooth and Wolverine “throw it down” and how things will end for Wolverine. The art was great and the writing has lived up to the remainder of the series. This book deserves a grade of A.

8. I think I understood Nightcrawler #005 until the villains showed up near the end. As a result, I can’t give this book a higher grade. Overall, I really liked this book. Kurt is a very troubled Mutant. He died and he came back to life. As a result, his life is not the same and he’s trying to figure out where he belongs. His fellow X-men are helping him.

There is a lot to like about this issue. The writer does a great job showing us the mindset of someone who gave up eternity to be with his friends. The art was fun in this issue. Especially the Baseball game where Nightcrawler plays every position with his Bamf’s. I always look forward to each issue in this series. It always has a different perspective than other books.

Where I thought the book could have been better was in the transition between Nightcrawler and the villain’s story. It was too quick of a transition. I’m giving this issue a B.

9. Bruce Banner has been through a lot in his life. So has The Hulk. He’s been Gray. He’s been green. He’s even been a mob boss (see Joe Fixit). In Hulk 005 we get another iteration of the Hulk, a hulk that is smart and seems to have trapped Bruce Banner inside. He no longer wants to be called Hulk, either. He wants to be called Doctor Green.

The writing in this book was interesting. It was fun watching Dr. Banner’s lab assistants get used to his new body. Doctor Green is smart, maybe even smarter than Bruce Banner. He is also trying to cure people that were affected by Gamma radiation

I like this version of Hulk better than the previous run of the book. We get a proper mix of science stuff and raging hulk. My only beef with the book? We still have no answers on who shot Bruce Banner. Everything about this book was pretty good. I didn’t love the “end of the world” plot line but everything else was very well done. B+

Programming note

Starting this week I’m going to start only reviewing my Marvel books. These are the books I feel most attached to and have the most knowledge of.

The only exceptions to the rule will be books that are so good they deserve attention. I’ll most likely continue reviewing Image Comics Velvet and Sidekick.

In addition, if there is a comic book movie that I am interested in, I will review it.

I enjoy writing these reviews but feel woefully inadequate to review them.

Thank you to my followers. All twelve or thirteen of you.

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