Marvel Comic book reviews for the week of May 21st 2017( Part one with spoilers)

Welcome this week to another installment of Marty’s Meanderings, the place where I look at Marvel’s best, and sometimes worst, comics for the week.  This week has turned out to be a very busy week for me and the comics I read.  Let’s get started.

1.  The first comic I read this weelk might also be my favorite for the week.  X-Men Blue #004 has all the markings of a classic story.  Jean Grey and the rest of the X-Men have been sent to Colorado where they are hot on the trail of what appears to be a mutant.  The problem is that Cerebro has been a bit glitchy and can’t seem to correctly identify if it really is a mutant.  When they land they see a dead body with its heart torn out.  The local sherrif believes that the mutant is wolverine.  Could she be right?  You’ll have to read to find out.

This comic has it all.  Intrigue, action, old characters returning and art that seems much more reminiscent of 80’s comic books.  Both the writing( by Cullen Bunn) and the pencilling( by Julian Lopez) are top notch.

It is nice to be able to read a comic that is free of political or social commentary, as so many X-Men books are prone to do.  It is a plot rich book without trying to get a message across.  Grade:A

2.  Jean Grey #002 is a good comic that, at times, was distracting.  In the last issue of the book we were left with Jean having a very disconcerting vision of the Pheonix force saying it was coming.  This issue she tells her fellow teammates and they aren’t exactly open to the idea that Jean saw anything at all.  So, to get advice on what to do, she uses Cerebro to locate the other mutants that the Phoenix force had inhabited to see what she should do.  In the process she sees one of her fellow mutants in trouble and decides to help her.  That is where the book gets a bit complicated.

I didn’t think the transitions in this book were necessarily smooth 9enough.  The action in this book shifts between battle sequences and being inside the character’s  mind6s and there are times when the transitions are distracting.  I also have trouble believing that any of the mutants would casually dismiss jean’s claims that she had a vision of the Phoenix Force after the X-Men suffered such a tragic loss to it.  While I thought the book had its moments(one particular one where Jean acknowledges Marvel’s past events by breaking the 4th wall, sort of, sticks out) but all in all, this book seemed a bit disjointed to me.  Grade: B-

3.  This week’s The Totally Awesome Hulk #019 starts a new crossover series between Weapon X and TTAH called Weapons of Mutant Destruction.  This issue serves as a prologue.  As you may have read in past reviews the Weapon X program has been targeting Wolverine, Sabretooth, Domino, Warpath, and Lady Deathstrike by using cyborgs made of Adamantium.  Both Wolverine and Sabretooth can’t smell them coming and Warpath and Lady Deathstrike have been captured.  Now they’re after Amadeus Cho.  There has been no indication as to why but I think the Weapon X program is trying to harness the powers of each of the characters to create something to destroy mutants.

This event has the potential to be a very intere8sting crossover event.  Weapon X is a darker series with TTAH is much more light hearted and fun for teens.  I have to admit I’m nervous about this event not carrying the weight of its subject matter.  I’m giving this book a grade of B.  Its a promising start.

4.  I am not a huge fan of The Inhumans.  To me it seems that they are versions of mutants with a slightly different origin story.  That being said, Secret Warriors is becoming one of my favorite comic books to read.  

Whether or not it was wise to start a brand new series in the middle of a Marvel event remains to be seen, but this is a high octane book filled with excitement and plenty of action.  The book follows Daisy Johnson a.k.a Quake and her team of Ms. Marvel, Karnak, Quake, Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, and Inferno.  The Secret Warriors are trying to avoid Hydra while rescuing Inhumans that have been captured by them.

The book jumps around a lot between different time frames but it is never confusing.  In this issue we are transported between Philadelphia and New Jersey.  In Philadelphia we see the inhumans being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.( which is now run by a brainwashed Captain America who believes he is the head of Hydra).  In New Jersey we get a fight between the iinhumans and the howling commandos lead by another hydra leader.

There is plenty of action in this book.  It is a lot of fun.  Grade: A.

5.  Steve Rogers Captain America #017 is a continuation of the Secret Empire Storyline.  There is not a lot of action in this book, however, there is quite a bit of tension.  Captain America has invited Sally Floyd, a reporter who had interviewed captain America before but gets irritated by the questions she is asking.  What happens to her?  You’ll have to find out by reading the issue.

This is an issues issue which is fine because it goes along with the story.  The question is posed:  how much power is too much power.  The writing in the book is fine.

The art, on the other hand, is annoying.  That may be because of the shading.  Each face is overdrawn and shaded in a way that each character looks like they are wearing one of those clear masks from the purge.  All in all, I’m giving this a grade of a low B.  While the story is intriguing, the art leaves something to be desired.

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My comic book reviews for the week starting May 14, 2017( some spoilers )

Birthright #24- am not a huge Image fan but mostly because it seems they push the envelope of good taste just because they can.  That being said, there are a few excellent titles that are worth picking up.  One of those comics is Birthright.  Birthright is the story of Mike, a young boy who is playing ball by the woods with his father, when he disappears.  Fast forward only a few years in the comic and he returns but now as a fully grown man.  Come to find out, he was transported to a magical land called terrenos where he becomes a sort of savior to the masses by going to war with an evil sorcerer.  He is given an opportunity to return home to earth and he takes it.  Come to find out he has been inhabited by a nevermind, which in essence is a demon.  The story continues when different family members of mikey’s family become embroiled in the battle for mikey’s soul.

In issue 24 we learn that Mikey has been tricked in to believing that if he kills all the good mages that evil will have no more reason to fight and terrenos can be at peace.  Rya, his pregnant girlfriend from terrenos with wings, tries to stop him from killing them.  The issues is bloody and violent but it’s still as fun to read as the previous issues have been.  Sometimes the art in the book can seem a bit muddled and unspectacular but not enough to detract from the story.  If you like good fantasy stories this book should be right up your alley.  Great story.  Grade: A

2.  Secret Empire #2-  Secret Empire has turned out to be one of those comic events I never expected to like.  Mostly because I haven’t been reading any of the Captain America books.  However, I am intrigued by the story.  As many of you may remember, Maria Hill had used a cosmic cube, kobik, to trick marvel villains into believing they were peaceful.  However, Red Skull stole the cube and with the help of Professor X’s brain, which he had also stolen, used the cube to rewrite Captain America’s history and fooling him into believing he was a sleeper agent for Hydra.  Cap kills Red Skull and takes over hydra and starts a war with The Avengers and the rest of the Marvel Universe with the help of the Chitauri, a race of aliens that are attacking from outer space.  Several heroes in Las Vegas are fighting the Hydra regime while some are trapped under a dark force bubble in new York city.

In issue 2, a video of Rick Jones makes its way to our heroes and he explains that Kobik has been shattered and it’s pieces scattered.  This leads to what, undoubtedly will be the main plot point of the series.  Since the cosmic cube has the ability to re-write history, our heroes have to find all the pieces before Hydra does.  Not only does that need to happen, it needs to happen before another faction of heroes decides to kill Captain America.

There is a lot of info to absorb in this issue and maybe too much.  The tension is growing and the final panel throws a curve ball that leaves it’s readers wondering exactly what is going on.  This issue was still very intriguing but the coloring and art are a little too abstract for me.  All in all, I’d say it’s a good issue but not as good as past issues.  Grade: B+

3.  This week I learned that Marvel will be changing the art in one of its comics.  In X-men Gold #1 the artist made reference to a verse in the Koran that says that Christians and Jews should not be allowed to be leaders.  Marvel’s second printing of that comic is removing those references.  The artist of the book has been fired and the value of the book has skyrocketed to close to $35.00 on Ebay.

Issue #004, on newsstands today, is the first book of the series that doesn’t have some controversial message to it (and it’s about time).  In this issue Gambit is the main character.  He has been asked by Bolivar Trask’s daughter to steal what we learn later is nano technology.  His luck runs out and it causes all sorts of trouble.

We also learn that the captured member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is nothe even a mutant and lastly, Old Man Logansport and Storm visit a morgue to pick up a dead mutant.  Right now all these incidents seem unrelated and I’m sure they will be all tied together but for now there is no cohesion in the stories.

The art in this book is very Saturday morning cartoonish.  Syah, the artist who was fired with good cause, was still a better artist.  I enjoyed the story, and though the art was not as good as previous weeks, I enjoyed reading this comic book.  I’m giving the book an A-.  It wasn’t perfect but it felt less like a commentary on something and more of just an enjoyable book.

4.  For the past two weeks I’ve been reading Star Wars:  the Screaming Citadel and I have been enjoying the artwork immensely.  Last week Checcheto was the artist.  His art focused on landscape and scenery and his artistry in issue 1 was breathtaking in its rendering.

This week the story is continued in Star Wars #031 and this week it is drawn by an artist with the last name of Larocca.  His specialty is faces.  Each frame the characters are drawn to look exactly how they looked in the movies.

The writing in the Star Wars comic book has always been top notch.  This issue is no different.  Each narration and speech bubble does a great job at capturing the cadence and sound of the characters on film.

The story surrounds Luke being approached by Doctor Aphra, an archeologist who has found an artifact she believes contains the consciousness of a Jedi Master.  However, she can’t activate it and the only person who might be able to is a queen who likes to kidnap and collect things she shouldn’t be able to have.  In this issue we learn the queen”s intentions for Luke and the doctor.  We also see Han and Leia gearing up to rescue them.

I found nothing wrong with this comic.  I’m giving this book a grade of A+.  I’m having a ton of fun reading it.

Those are my reviews for the week.  You should also pick up Luke Cage #1.  It’s funny and serious and intriguing all at the same time.  My only gripe:  the type face is too small.

Comic book reviews for the week of 3/9/15 part 2

1.  I wasn’t going to read Howard the Duck.  George Lucas sort of cured me of the character.  But he’s gained a ton of popularity since his cameo in a pretty popular Marvel Movie released last year.  Because of that I thought it might pick it up.  Howard also made a cameo in Orginal Sin where his deep dark secret was that he was super intelligent but was hiding it.

In case you are unaware.  Howard is a duck.  A talking one.  He was brought to earth through the Nexus of all Realities.  He refers to humans as hairless apes.  He’s kind of a lovable jerk.  

First off, it’s important to say the book acknowledges the movie as part of Howard’s history.  It doesn’t acknowledge that it was a terrible movie, just as a part of his history.

The snark level of the book was pretty high.  I loved the Catwoman parody that was mentioned.  The phone number listed on the movie screen ad was pretty funny too.

The She-Hulk scenes in the book are particularly fun.  Since he is a Private Detective his office is down the hall from hers.  It is clear Howard is a thorn in Jennifer’s side.  I love that they left her law practice in tact even though her series was canceled.  

The art got better after the first few pages but, all in all, it’s not my favorite art.  Really detailed and ornate art might steal from the comic sensibilities but I’d have liked more quality on that end.

The author of the book did a great job of placing Howard firmly in the Marvel Universe with all the cameos.  I’m giving this book an A-.  I’d have liked even more snark.



2. If you are looking for an answer to the image on the front Thor #006 you won’t find it.  We still don’t know.  We also still don’t know what was whispered in Odinson’s ear that caused him to lose his powers

A lot happens in this book.  Malekeith has continued his dealing with Mr. Agger, who has become even more of a sadist.

Odinson is using all his resources to find out who the new Thor is but is no closer.  He has a list and he has crossed a few names off the list.  One of the points I thought the book did an excellent job pointing out was that the people on the list were honorable people and Thor should be spending less time focusing on others and more time trying to figure out how to get his hammer back.  

Most of the art is great.  There were some panels in the middle of the book weren’t too good.

All in all, I liked this book.  There was not enough of Thor in this book.  The end gives us a significant new challenge for our new hero and I look forward to reading the next chapter.  Grade: B

 



3. I have read Spider Gwen #002 to be honest I’m not entirely sure I liked it or disliked it.  I have never been a gigantic fan of alternate reality stories because once you see each of the players in their new respective roles, the shock of their differences wears off.

What I do like about this story is that Peter Parker is dead and Gwen is seemingly responsible.  Although it’s a little predictable, it still works.  I also enjoy the irony of who Vulture’s boss is( you gotta read the book to find this out).  Each of the characters has different shoes to fill and they do it well but there is nothing overly shocking that has happened yet.  Peter Porker is good in this issue though

The book is also a bit too teenage girly for me.  I also don’t like Mary Jane as a bitch character.  

The art was not as flashy as the last issue and I appreciate the fact that it’s a little more subdued.

All in all I’m giving this book a B-.  Everything about the book is fine but that’s all it is, just okay 



4. I loved reading Spider-man 2099 #010.  Probably because Peter David wrote it.  For those of you who don’t know who Peter David is, he has written some very iconic issues of The Incredible Hulk.  He’s not done with Bruce Banner yet.

In my last review I stated I’m not a gigantic fan of Alternate reality.  It seems that in those stories the author does everything in his/her power to include every single character that has any association with the hero in our reality and it can be overwhelming.  In this issue there are only two characters that are different.  Maestro( Bruce Banner) has captured Spidey 2099 and puts him in a cell with the Sorceress Supreme( Strange is a woman).  She convinces Miguel to help her break free and explains to him that there is a time machine in Maestro’s trophy room that he hasn’t figured out how to use yet and perhaps if Miguel could fix it he could get back to 2015 and fix the mess he’s in.  There is a great twist in the plot of this book that definitely is worth the read.

In addition, the art in this book is beyond good.  There are only a handful of artists that capture my attention and bring comic books to the level of undoubtedly an art form.  Will Sliney is one of them.  His eye for detail is great.

I can’t pretend to understand everything I’ve read in this book as I’ve not read the entire run but this was a fun book to read.  As long as David and Sliney are paired up, I will continue to read this book.  Grade:  A.



This ends this week’s reviews.  I may review image comic’s sidekick once I read it. 

See you next week

Comic book reviews for the week of 2/2/15 part 2

These last few books will be divided into 3 categories: Marvel, DC and Image. Let’s get started

Marvel Comics

1. Angela Asgard’s Assassin #003 Might be one of the most beautifully rendered books I’ve seen in a while. The artwork in this comic book is nothing short of stunning. Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans should be congratulated on a beautifully done job.

In order to fully understand this comic book you have to have read Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm. But in a very quick synopsis: Angela was banished from her land by her people and when that happened she stole the heir of Asgard

This issue is a continuation of of The Tenth realm and takes place prior to Loki Agent of Asgard #10. Angela and her friend Sera are on the run with the baby they kidnapped. As they are on the run they make a pit stop and pick up some armor.Again the art is great during the scene. There are some cameos in the book too.

I found this issue to be incredibly satisfying. Seeing Odinson act outside the confines of being Thor sheds a light on how his life as changed as a result of losing Mjolinar.

There is not a lot of action in this book. It is most character development but it works. Great comic. Grade:A

DC Comics

1. Green Lantern #39 has a cover that is a bit of a fake out. There is judgment, but it’s not as dire as it looks on the cover.

As some of you may not know, DC Headquarters are moving. As a result, for two months there won’t be new adventures in the current timeline of the books. That may be why a new Green Lantern event has not started up. In addition, it looks like GL Corp and Red Lanterns may be discontinued and Green Lantern might face a overhaul. In addition, an event just ended and that usually means characters need to regroup

That’s what this issue is about. The GL Corp has been saving the universe time after time. The problem: the universe just wants to be left alone and Hal Jordan is being told to go home and not show his face. In addition, there is in fighting in the corp

The Guardians recognize all this too and have summoned Hal to talk to him about the problems facing The GL Corp. how do they repair their image?

If you’re looking for an answer, you won’t find it here.

This was an okay issue. Nowhere near as good as past issues. I think the script to the story tried way too hard to drive home the unpopularity of the corps. It all seemed too deliberate.

It wasn’t a bad issue, just not great. The art was decent but not always stupendous. Grade: a weak B. It felt like the comic was trying too hard.

Image Comics

1. Velvet Secret Lives of Deadman number 9 Before you go and ask why did I write out the word “number” it’s how it was written on the cover. To my continual readers, they know Velvet continues to be one of my favorite books. I love the idea that there’s a strong female spy in the 70’s with all the strength and ferocity of James Bond.

The who story is very complex but the long and short of it is that Velvet Templeton is being framed for the murder of another agent and as she’s trying to clear her name she determines that she was framed because she was married to a man who was deemed a traitor but was falsely accused.

What makes this book so good is its believability. In most thrillers the chase is only a chase. Here it is much more. Velvet spends time actively trying to clear her name. It’s believable and it’s fun. This is not a typically written book. It is worth the money in spades. Grade: A

2. The last book I read this week is beginning to be one of my favorite new series. Birthright #5 continues the story of Mikey, a young boy who is transported to another world where he is groomed to be a savior of the people. Along the way he gets himself possessed by, what looks like a demon called The Nevermind. Nevermind sends Mikey back to earth to kill a series of mages that are holding up a barrier between Terranos and Earth so that his armies can invade. Mikey says he’s doing it to get back to earth to see his family but his family doesn’t know what he’s up to.

About half of the book is flashback so we can see the things Mikey had to go through in Terranos but the other half of the book is his confrontation on earth with one of the wizards.

There is some great dialogue in this book that moves the story along quickly. It also hints at some darker turns to the series and some upcoming confrontations. If you like fantasy stories you should definitely pick up Birthright. I love this book. Grade: A

Those are my reviews for the week. Join me next week for more

Comic book reviews for the week of May 2, 2014

Last week I needed to take some time away from reviewing. I did it for three reasons:

1. My hand was bothering me and since I can only use one of them I decided to give myself a break.

2. Sometimes I’d rather read the books without critiquing them and;

3. I was reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and was pretty engrossed in it and didn’t want anything interrupting the book(. I finished it and enjoyed it a lot)

Summer months with Marvel Comics can either be extremely satisfying or very depressing. It’s when Marvel brings out the summer ‘events’. This year’s big event seems to be Original Sin. What is discouraging about this series is that it has not been amazing or dreadful. It simply has existed. It has moments that have been great but it has not always been consistent. Perhaps the best of the series are the variant covers that are simply amazing

The story seems to be focused on the murder of Uatu, the watcher. Watchers are aliens who are tasked with watching the evolution of a species without getting involved. His murderer has plucked Uatu’s eyes out. As we find out, the eyes hold secrets that can be devastating enough to put heroes out of commission. The book focuses on three teams of heroes, one picked by a mysterious leader that is yet to be identified who are chasing down different leads.

This book focuses primarily on The Orb and leads us to believe that he is the killer even though he insists he has had nothing to do with it.

We also face a pretty shocking twist at the end of this issue. I’m looking forward to how this works itself out.

My biggest issue with this book is their villain choice. The Orb is corny and for an event a bad choice for a main bad guy. The art in the book is stellar and elevates the book. I’m giving this book a grade of B.

2. I’m conflicted with Black Widow 007. I am generally a strong supporter of this comic but this was a let down. I didn’t like Matt Murdock as the voice of conscience for Black Widow. If anything, Black Widow is a much more interesting outside the confines of her Superhero personae.

The art in this book fits the tenor of the book but? With that being said , there are times when I wish it didn’t seem as static as it is.

This is a smart title and I really do enjoy it, I just didn’t like the choices made with the plot. It got in the way of the mission. Grade: B-

3. Moon Knight 004 was one strange book. Usually when a book goes psychedelic I’m not sure what to think of it. However, from the beginning of this series we are warned on every synopsis page that the character is believed to have gone insane so it frees up both the artist and writer to deal with stories that, at the very least, are other worldly. This issue has to do with sleep and dreaming so we are treated to an even stranger world

What I like about this book? The coloring. It has been very cool to see the colors, and sometimes the lack of them, in each book.

I also like that each story has been self contained. Most comics these days feel that it’s necessary to create sagas. Not this book. Each book has handed us another case.

What I’m not sure I like about this comic? Sometimes it feels too ethereal for its own good. I am, however, really enjoying this book. Grade: B

4. Avengers World 007 is one of those books that has the potential to be either good or bad and straddles the line pretty convincingly. In the last issue Shang-Chi left the Avengers team to take on Gorgon who was on a mission to resurrect the dragon that Madripoor is resting on. He succeeded and it launched Madripoor. In this issue Falcon goes looking for him and instead finds a new bunch of heroes from China.

I liked this issue but I’m a little reticent of a new Avengers teams. There is a lot to love about the art in this book. The covers of Avengers world are all amazing and the art inside is also great. I’m giving this book a B.

5. When Marvel announced Amazing X-men I had to ask: Does the world need another another X title? In my mind this question still hasn’t answered itself positively. As each new title comes out with an X attached to it, one question has never been answered. How do these heroes have time in their day to complete all these missions.

In this book Wolverine goes back to Canada to find one of his friends has disappeared and finds out it might have something to do with the Wendigo’s, a band of yeti like creatures.

This is part one of five. It was good but not necessarily spectacular. I’m giving this book a grade of B. It’s the beginning of a story so I’m willing to see where it goes

6. Amazing X-men Annual 001 was an uncomfortable read for me. The religious imagery dealt with satanism and at one point depicted the X-men team as Jesus and his disciples. It may just be me but playing with this imagery is dangerous.

There is a new villain in this book that is definitely evil and summons demons. They are after Storm.

The art for the main story was good. The other art was confusing and I couldn’t tell it’s purpose. I’m giving this book a B-. The last few pages were a waste of space and could have been utilized better.

7. Loki Agent of Asgard 005 asks the question what if you met your future self and found that you really didn’t like you. This issue has Thor, Sigurd and Lorelei in it and is about the sword Loki created.

I enjoyed this comic but it was a bit hard to follow. I do appreciate that the writer of this book understands how Loki is always looking for ways to pull one over on other characters. I’m giving this book a B.

8. Magneto 005 was a great comic book and great way to end my Marvel books this week. As we have learned in past issues Magneto has declared himself a vigilante for mutantkind. He decides to take a break from it and becomes aware he is being followed. Since Magneto is a bit of a loner, he is very reticent to accept the help that the stranger is offering. But he is tempted with information that he can’t refuse.

I liked this book because Magneto doesn’t often admit that he is vulnerable and it’s new to this book that he has an ally

The art is stylized in this book and although I’m not a huge fan of how they draw Eric Lehnserr, I like the stylized art in this book. This is definitely an A+ book

Those are my reviews for the comics I’ve read this week. I hope you enjoyed them and come back next week

Comic book reviews for 5/5/14(Marvel Only)

This is a very big week for comic books for me. As a result, there is a lot of ground to cover. I have a lot of Marvel and DC books, one vertigo book and even one Image book( which is not like me.).

I started with Vertigo’s The Wake 8 of 10. Scott Snyder has written a comic book that is a mixture of thought provoking imagery and prose and a terrifying view of the future. I started reading this series a year ago and was mesmerized by it. A sea station filled with horror and each issue( through issue 5) read like a movie script.

The last 3 issues have taken 200 years in the future where humanity is dealing with the aftermath of the first half of the story. This was a decision I don’t know that I’d have made . There is 200 years of story telling in this comic that is missing and, to be honest, I’d like to read more

The difficulty with this series has been in how often the issues have been released . It has not been consistent and, as a result, I’ve had to go back and look through past issues to get caught up again.

This was a very strange issue with characters I didn’t quite understand and a number of panels I didn’t understand . The story is still intriguing but has started getting a bit ethereal. I didn’t care for this issue. I’m giving this book a B-

2. Black Widow #006 is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover. The cover art is awful. The inside, however, was very cool. Black Widow, with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D., is asked to go after her long time enemy Damon Dram( indestructible man). This issue starts mid mission and has Natasha Romanov in a precarious situation. We already know she’ll get through it but it’s still fun.

There are some twists in the story that I’m hoping don’t end up going where I think they are going.

The art inside the book are more impressive than the cover. The writing has been consistently good and each issue had read like a spy movie. If you haven’t read this comic yet, I’d recommend it. A.

3.

Moon Knight 003 is a supremely cool comic book. There is only one thing you need to know about this comic to make it readable. There are ghosts roaming the streets and Moon knight can punch them.

The real joy of reading this book is the art choices. Seeing the characters as pure white while everything else around it is in color is stunning. The writing is also very cool but I think it could be terrible and it would still be a stunning book to read. I highly recommend picking up this book. Grade: A+

4. The problem with Magneto #003is not in the story telling but in the artwork. Each character in the book has the same problem. They are drawn with blank stares on their faces and child like expressions that betray the emotions they are trying to portray in the book. I don’t, for a second believe that Magneto is angry despite the extremely graphic way he kills people in this issue

The story itself is not bad. Magneto has determined who has created the human/ sentinel hybrids and getting it put to a stop

These sentinels have been creating havoc for the x-men for months now and Magneto wants pay back. If it wasn’t for the art I would have loved this book. Instead I found it distracting. B-

5. Cyclops #001 wasn’t the strongest book but, in fairness, it wasn’t the weakest book either. At the end of the Trial of Jean Grey we learn that Scott Summers wants to spend time with his father who he thought was dead. Instead, he has become a space pirate with a legendary group of pirates called The Starjammers. So Cyclops joins them. This issue serves as an introduction to the relationship between the two and we learn about the reservations that Scott has in the journey

This wasn’t a bad issue it’s just that the writing was a bit schmaltzy. The art is fine , it just feels awkward to eavesdrop in a developing relationship. I’m giving this book a B.

6. Original Sin #001 is a pretty comic book to look at. The art in this book, at times, is stunning. The story is interesting too. There is an explosion on the moon and when a few of the Avengers go to check it out they find Uatu, the watcher, shot with his eyes removed.

In order to understand the concept of Original Sin, you almost need a theologian to explain it. However, the easiest way to think of it is that when Adam and Eve were tempted in the garden of Eden to become like God. In Original Sin #0 we see how The Watchers played God and, how it ultimately lead to them only witnessing civilizations from a distance.

Marvel has a bit of a creepy advertising campaign with this series giving away a super ball with a drawing of an eye on one side.

This book started solid. Giving us the major players in the mystery . I am interested in seeing where this goes and what it means for the Marvel Universe . Grade:A.

6. Loki Agent of Asgard 004 was a deviously fun comic. Watching Loki pull the wool over people’s eyes is very fun. Watching him pull the wool over Asgardians is even more fun. The All-mother is not happy that Loki has not captured Lorelai and now another Asgardian is on earth. The All Mother wants him back on Asgard

This was a fun comic with a few things I didn’t see coming. There is a hilarious use of a playstation and I love the Mephisto angle. I’m giving the book a grade of A.

7. She-Hulk 004 was an interesting book about what Jennifer Walters decided to do after her last client was kidnapped by his father . Before she does this she decides to visit Matt Murdock for advice on how to continue.

My issue with this comic will always be the art. I hate Manga and she hulk is supposed to be strong and sexy . The art completely does away with that . I’m giving this book a B

I guess Marvel decided that since Wolverine had an Origin Story that Amazing Spider man needed a re tooling as well. This book Amazing Spider-man 1.1 was mostly about Peter Parker and how he decides to use his new found powers.

I love the fact that the art is retro too. It looks unsophisticated even though it’s not. I’m giving this book a B+. The story was good but it wasn’t over the top good

Comic Book Reviews for the week of 4/14/14

This weeks comic book list was a big one for me.  It is filled with two series finales and at least one new beginning.  I look forward to reading each book and sharing my thoughts with all of you.

The first book I read this week was the last of one of the most enjoyable series I’ve read in the last 2 years.  The Superior Spider-Man 031 does a great job at wrapping up the series.  As most of my blog readers will already recognize, Doctor Octopus has been masquerading as Spider-Man for the last two years.  If you had not heard this I’d highly recommend reading Amazing Spider Man 700 and continuing from there.  What has made this series so enjoyable has been watching Doc Ock try to be a Superior hero to Peter Parker and sometimes succeeding and other times failing miserably.  As most of you know, Doc Ock sacrificed himself when he realized that he couldn’t beat the Goblin King as Spider Man and only Peter Parker could.  His sacrifice, while noble, created a myriad of problems that Peter Parker will be facing for issues of Amazing Spider-Man to come.

There are things I really liked about this issue.  I liked the devastation that Doc Ock created for Peter and that the author of this book didn’t resolve all the issues in a neat and tidy fashion.  I liked the Norman Osbourne twist in the book too.  There was only one thing in the book that really annoyed me.  Most of the characters in the book that either knew Doc Ock was Spidey or knew Peter were too easily convinced that he was Peter Parker again.  There was a few times where all Spidey had to do was crack a joke and the other characters were ready to take him at his word.  It would never have been this easy.

I also thought that the art in the first half of the book was much better in the first half of the book than in the second.  It just didn’t seem as consistently good. 

I don’t like saying goodbye to characters I like, and to be honest, reading Spidey as a witty teen after reading a more serious character for the last two years took some getting used to.  I’m giving this book a B.  While the writing is good, I thought it could have been just a tad better.

Hulk #001 on the other hand was a superb comic in every stretch of the imagination.  This is the continuation of the final issue of Indestructible Hulk and although it is an extension of the last series, there is enough of Hulk’s past shared in this book to encourage new readers to flock to this book.  It is not much of a surprise that Bruce Banner was shot.  That information is on the cover of the comic book.  Who shot him is a mystery.  There is enough hints as to who it looks like shot him but nothing definitive.  Mark Waid does an excellent job keeping things in this book mysterious.  There are many questions left unanswered here.  He also does an excellent job giving the back stories of each character while furthering along the story.  There is a twist in the book that is HUGE!

The art in this book is also impressive. Mark Bagley does an excellent job drawing this book. I am very pleased with the first book and hope each book continues to be as good. This is an A+ book

Uncanny X-men 020 is another issue in the series that seems to be leading the readers into a very large battle between S.H.I.E.L.D and the X-men. Scott Summers, Cyclops, is convinced that the new Sentinels having something to do with Maria Hill. This book continues the tension in the book between the two characters. We learn a lot about Maria Hill in this book and a few things she would rather we didn’t know.

Brian “Michael” Bendis does a great job of showing us the tenuous thread of sanity that Cyclops is hanging on to. We don’t know if we should feel for Cyclops or hate him. In many cases, this would be annoying but in this book, it helps build the tension. I only hope the payoff is as good as the tension is on the page

The art is getting better issue to issue. I look forward to what is next. B+

Last week I wrote that I thought Nightcrawler #1 was an unnecessary comic book. I stand by that. This week even further solidifies that statement. Amazing X-men 006, while not being a part of the first story arc, does do a good job at wrapping it up. Azazel, Nightcrawler and Mystique are all on earth now and it’s time for an extremely dysfunctional family reunion. Without giving anything else away about the book, I thought this was a decent book. I really only had one gripe about the writing. There is a panel in the book where Nightcrawler refers to the X-men as Amazingly Uncanny. I groaned when I read that. Instead of reading like genuine narration, that box felt like a plug for another book.

I am conflicted by the art in this book. There are times when I think the art was like looking at the art of an up and coming artist trying to break into the comic book business. I know that I am very tough on the art in these books but if either the writing, or the art, is off it can detract from the book’s enjoyability. I don’t know these artists from Adam but I know what I like. I’m sure most of them are nice individuals. I’m giving this book a B. While I enjoyed the book, there were things that kept it from being great.

I have really enjoyed reading the new Wolverine series. Wolverine 004 continues Logan’s search to figure out who he is without his healing factor. He has been approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. and a mysterious gangster named Offer. Although it looks like his decision on who to follow was pretty well made in this issue, his doubts about his usefulness still leaves the reader with enough doubts about where things are headed. That’s one of the things that work so very well. Paul Cornell does a great job writing this book.

The art on this book is top notch. Especially on the character’s faces. I highly recommend this book. A+

When Cable and X-force first came out I hated it. The book had trouble communicating the urgency of the missions that Cable was sending his team on. About half way through the series, the book got much better. But just like Marvel to fix something after it’s been fixed and break it again. X-force #3 is one of the most non-sensical comics I’ve read in a long time. The dialogue is filled with gibberish and and enough blotted out profanity to make the plot almost indecipherable. . Which is a shame because I love the art in this book. It’s very stylistic but very, very cool. It’s still not good enough to ignore the writing. The bottom line: They broke what had been fixed. C-

There have been 21 issues of Thor and not one stand alone story. It shouldn’t annoy me but it does. Books where the story can be moved along seamlessly are much more intriguing. The current issue of Thor God of Thunder(021) is part of a story line that seems to be pretty common. Mankind has destroyed the world by mistreating the environment and now a mystical creature, who is a god, saves the day. If it wasn’t for the underlying message that humans are evil creatures and the environment is more important, I might have enjoyed this book. Art aside this book annoyed me. I like the Galactus angle but wasn’t the biggest fan of the rest of the book. B-

DC Books:

Batman 30 was an excellent book. This past year has been exceptional. Scott Snyder delivered the story of Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming Batman and his first big challenge with the Riddler. This is the final act and I’m not sure if that means the books will go back to the present or there will be more stories from the past. With all the Batman books available, it would seem that one book could stay on his earliest adventures.

The art in this book seems muted. It’s almost as if the coloring in the stories are trying to keep us grounded in the fact that these are stories are taking place in the past. I would like more vibrant colors. Still, this book was excellent. A

Whenever a comic book goes under in the new 52, a new one pops up. This one is a much more welcome addition than the past offerings of The Movement and Teen Trillionaires. Sinestro #1 fills in the gap that has been missing for far too long. Sinestro disappeared from DC when things seemed to be at their lowest. Since that disappearance, there has been no mention of the Yellow Lantern Corps. They’re back!

This book, although being an #1 in a series, is not a true beginning. It is a direct continuation of him leaving and involves him being encouraged to return as the leader of The Yellow Corps through Lyssa Drak. This was a fun comic. The art is creepy at times but fun. The story is also fun. Well done! A.

I am not going to spend too much time on Green Lantern New Guardians 30. The biggest problem with this book is that Kyle Ranier is not at all interesting. And the fact that Carol Farris has chosen him over Hal Jordan makes her less interesting. The action in this book is cool and the art is decent but the character doesn’t do anything for me. I’m giving this book a weak B.

Those are my comic reviews for the week. Come back next week for more