A relatively small week in the grand scheme of things. I picked up 10 books that came out on Wednesday plus Welcome to Hoxford #2 which came out a couple weeks ago. In addition to these, I dropped about 7 titles including X-Factor, The Boys, and Angel. More will be coming as more storylines end though as I make my transition away from regular monthly comics.

Now for some reviews! Don’t forget to call me retarded at the bottom as your opinion is always welcome. K THX.

  • Avengers The Initiative #17 – The Skrulls have invaded Camp Hammond and the Shadow Initiative is on the move to stop them. The Irredeemable Ant-Man comes in to save the day…er…himself and actually helps out for once by avoiding starring at the Skrull Queen’s massive mammaries using tremendous willpower to do so, I might add. Speaking of the Shadow Initiative, we’re given a glimpse of the mysterious Mutant Zero outside of her costume. She seems to be a redhead with impressive powers and when Trauma starts to turn into a dark version of herself as her greatest fear, well it seems like all signs point to a Ms. Jean Grey. If that’s the case, that’s actually pretty awesome, even though it would be her second or third resurrection. I think that if it turns out to be anyone else, it’ll probably be pretty stupid. It makes sense and it would be an interesting story to find out how she ended up as the masked mutant in this covert ops group. While the story itself was pretty interesting for this issue, the dialogue definitely left something to be desired. I think it was the Constrictor’s stupid remark about the Star Wars prequels that really put it over the line. Now you’re just trying too hard.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Captain America #42 – And thus, Ed Brubaker’s Captain America epic comes to a close. The story that began with the death of Steve Rogers ends with this issue. Bucky reveals himself to the public so the media goes crazy with this new Captain America. Meanwhile, the Black Widow and The Falcon bust up the Red Skull’s lair and rescue Agent 13. She had escaped from a weird experiment that Skull and that robot guy (Is he Faustus or is that the one with the beard?) were performing on her. It looked as if they were trying to grow her child (the one that she got started with Rogers) in order for the Red Skull to have a new body to jump into. The procedure was stopped before it could come to fruition and it looks like Sharon is no longer pregnant now though. While I loved the fight scenes, I felt that the ending felt a little too hokey or warm-hearted. It just didn’t fit the book. I could see where it was coming from though. After 18 issues of terror and pulling these characters through Hell and back, they deserve a few panels where they actually have a good time. The entire epic story is really unbelievable though and it’s something I’m going to have to go back and read from the beginning.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Daredevil #111 – The unknown Lady Bullseye arrives on the scene in New York. She has a plan and it involves some of the resident super powered martial artists including Iron Fist and the Black Tarantula. Her whole introduction and the way that her side of the story is told felt like an old gangster or hitman movie. Her thoughts were brief, but to the point. As she makes her way through the city, gathering the information she needs, Matt Murdock bangs his redheaded co-worker. This is a shock to Matt, but we all saw it coming. His wife is in the looney bin with no hope of recovery and here’s this former model who’s working so close with him and obviously cares for him. Bound to happen. Of course, this just adds to the torture that is Murdock’s life. Add to that the fact that Lady Bullseye seems to have framed him for murder and he’s got even more complications.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Fantastic Four #560 – Some explanation! This issue managed to avoid the obligatory gigantic exposition issue, but just barely. We learn that this group of New Defenders led by the son of the Hulk comes from the future where they snagged Galactus (using all the might of about 150 superheroes) and used him to power a time machine. It seems that we really screwed up the planet for future generations and they want to come back and point a finger at us. The time machine is initially used to bring back the remaining heroes, but after some more energy is gathered (in the form of Galactus + Johnny Storm + Dr. Doom), they plan on bringing back all the remaining humans on Future Earth. Sure, that’ll totally work. While that was interesting and actually pretty cool, the real treat came in the leader of this group from the future – none other than Sue Storm, who has been weaving her way into the lives of the Richards family posing as the nanny-for-hire. What the hell? Sue came back from the the future and she hasn’t aged a day? And why is she doing this? And why is the arc called “The Death of the Invisible Woman”? Hmm.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Marvel 1985 #5 – I’m really liking this mini-series because it’s not your typical crossover / little kid / normal person with the heroes. The story just has heart. I can imagine being this kid and feeling like my imagination is running away from me. The whole idea of the story is just fun and I feel like it’s something that just about every young comic book reader has thought of at one point or another. That being said, this issue has our main character looking for help in the Marvel Universe. As you can imagine, no one believes him. I can’t blame them. You wouldn’t believe it if some kid ran up to you and said he’s from a parallel universe and he needs help and the people in the Marvel Universe actually HAVE parallel universes! This is the penultimate issue of the mini-series and I’m looking forward to how it all wraps up.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • New Avengers #45 – I think I stopped caring about Secret Invasion around the 4th or 5th issue of the Avengers that didn’t actually stare the Avengers. We get it, Bendis. The Skrulls have been around for a long time and you’ve been planning this out for awhile. Yes, they were around during House of M, Civil War, The Other, Messiah CompleX, and even that Sins of Future Past thing with the Gwen Stacey Evil Norman Osborn Babies. You don’t have to tell us how they fit into each and every event that’s occurred since they began the invasion. We’ll take your word for it in some cases. Let’s just get on with it! This issue told us what happened to the Skrulls during House of M. Guess what? They were there too! They fought alongside the other people during that saga and then got all excited when there were only a handful of mutants afterwards. Who fucking cares?
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Nova #17 – This issue picked up right where the last one ended and barely has anything to do with it. The Super Skrull was just a means to an end. He made Nova go to Earth and then peaced out, leaving him to do whatever. After he checks up on his parents, Rich goes to check up on his brother working at Project Pegasus (which I’ve never heard of). Apparently its some sort of big science experiment and the Skrulls want in. Nova teams up with security guard Darkhawk (I don’t know why, but I’ve always really like Darkhawk. He’s your basic 90s character, but he’s fun.) to take on the green aliens. There’s some super special weapon that they can use to blast the Skrulls right out of the air, but it’s got no batteries. Nova straps himself in and uses the Nova Force to power it. The world mind wakes up and its…Quasar? Wendall Vaughn. We’ve got some splainin’ to do. This wasn’t a bad issue, but I really don’t like the idea of Nova on Earth. He doesn’t belong there anymore. He’s got to be out in space doing space stuff. This Secret Invasion nonsense is entirely unneeded for his book.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Runaways #2 – Cue up your favorite Linkin Park CD because this series just got emo. The Runaways split up their group of alien assailants and question one of them. Feelings are hurt and Livejournals are updated as the talks continue. Apparently these aliens are after Kristina because of her Dad’s actions (surprise) and they want blood. This whole issue was pretty lackluster. I’ve read all of the Runaways stuff that’s been put out so far and I feel like this issue and the one before it just weren’t up to par with the previous adventures. Not to mention that the art is hideous and too cartoony. I’m a little disappointed that I’m going to be dropping this book so early, but it’s got to go.
    Rating: ★½☆☆☆
  • Thunderbolts #124 – Another unnecessary Secret Invasion continues. This issue saw more insane fights with the Thunderbolts in Washington DC to defend the nation’s capitol from the Skrull invasion. Swordmaster’s newly not-so-dead sister gets stabbed because Bullseye felt like it and Moonstone’s costume gets torn to shreds for some pretty blatant cheesecake. I picked up this series because of Warren Ellis and now that he’s left, the quality has really gone down. They’re trying too hard now to be out there and crazy and it’s just not working. Another book that’s being dropped sooner rather than later.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Ultimate Spider-Man #126 – This entire issue was an out and out brawl. Peter Parker has been infected by the Venom symbiote once again and he tears ass through the Ultimates. I loved Parker’s thoughts as he’s in the middle of this battle. He doesn’t want to fight but the symbiote is forcing his hand. Meanwhile he’s freaking out that he just threw Captain America into a building. It was a pretty fun fight and it lasted something like 75% of the issue. The rest is some back and forth between Parker and Nick Fury that was a little boring, but also kind of funny. It was like a stupid argument that you couldn’t get out of. The end result was a shocker though. Parker’s dad might have inadvertently caused World War III by creating the symbiote in an effort to cure cancer. Wow. Next issue is the last one of this arc that ties in to the Ultimate Spider-Man video game.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Welcome to Hoxford #2 – I had missed this issue during my three week hiatus from comic pick-ups so I just picked it up this week. Holy crap. I made the mistake of reading this right before bed. Don’t do that. You’ll be terrified. We were given a brief glimpse of the Hoxford Penitentiary in the last issue, but the strange ways of the guards were revealed. They’re all fucking werewolves. The sun goes down and they transform into some of the scariest and creepiest creatures I’ve ever seen. Templesmith’s art in this is amazing. I especially liked the panels featuring Ray. We’re shown what I can guess is a little bit of what he sees when he doesn’t take his medication. There are these strange images popping up all around and there’s no doubt that he’s insane. I can’t wait to see what happens next because I seriously didn’t see any of this coming. I had no knowledge of what the series was about before diving in, but I’m hooked now.
    Rating: ★★★★★
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