Posts tagged New Avengers

Comics Corner – Week of 12/4

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My ever-shrinking comic pull list got a little smaller this week. I almost didn’t go to Alternate Realities this week since there were only 5 comics that I wanted to pick up, but with the conclusion to Secret Invasion amongst them I figured I should probably make the trip. So here’s what I think of this week’s books. Feel free to skip to the end to call me retarded.

  • Batman #682 – I thought that the previous issue (which I didn’t really care for) would be the end of this whole Batman R.I.P. thing. Unfortunately, I was incorrect. It seems that there’s this issue and one more that basically consist of Grant Morrison trying to make sense of DC’s embarrassingly fucked up continuity. See, Batman R.I.P., this story that’s supposed to completely change the Batman stories forever and ever, takes place BEFORE the current crapfest, Final Crisis, where Batman (Bruce Wayne) is currently held captive and strapped to some weird machine. So all the thought of Bruce dying or in any way leaving the Batman cape and cowl behind is for naught because we know he’s still running around later on in Final Crisis. This issue jumped around like a crazy person and I still don’t really understand it. I think it’s supposed to be told from Alfred’s point of view and it basically jumps from weird point to weird point in the life of Bruce Wayne / Batman. I was going to pick up this and the next issue to make sure I had the issues that were in the trade. Now? Eh. I’m good with this. I don’t need anymore.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
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Comics Corner – Week of 9/24

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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. (more…)

Comics Corner – Week of 8/20 & 8/27

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Last week I was disappointed to find that my local comic shop hadn’t received ANY of their new comics. They were mistakenly shipped elsewhere! So this week I picked up two weeks worth of comics and holy shit were there a lot. What follows are my retarded thoughts on the issues I picked up.

  • Amazing Spider-Man #568 – The beginning of the highly anticipated “New Ways to Die” story arc! Venom! Norman Osborn! The Thunderbolts! Now we’re moving. I feel like a lot of the “Brand New Day” stuff has been building up to this. There’s a tie-in with Mr. Negative that makes some sense. The inclusion of Eddie Brock was done pretty well too. They did a pretty good job of incorporating aspects of Eddie’s past without just diving into full-blown Venom nonsense. Mark Waid’s back-up story was a nice way to get into Brock’s head too. I’m not a huge fan of John Romita Jr’s art, but this issue looked pretty good.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Anna Mercury #3 – Warren Ellis has some pretty crazy ideas and this one is no different. There’s some sort of secret agent situation and there are something like 5 or 7 parallel Earths floating around. I feel like this book has been a little delayed, but I honestly can’t be sure. I definitely have to re-read the first two issues as I can’t really remember a lot of the details going into this one. It seemed cool enough though. I’m definitely interested enough to keep reading. We were just given a peek into this bizarre world of Anna Mercury with these first few issues. I feel like there’s so much more though.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Captain America #41 – The Red Skull’s house of cards is falling apart. The cautious partnership between the Skull, Faustus and Doctor Zola is coming to a close and the new Captain America, Bucky Barnes has been exposed to the public. Goddamn, this book is good. Ed Brubaker has crafted such an epic story with this book and we’ve still got one more chapter in this story. I love how everything is coming together. Nothing is left out. All of the little bits and pieces of this huge story are coming to a head here. By the end of this issue, it feels official. Bucky is Captain America. If that final page doesn’t seal the deal, I don’t know what else would.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Final Crisis – Legion of 3 Worlds #1 – While I’ve given up on the main Final Crisis book, I’m still a huge fan of Geoff Johns so I’m willing to at least check this book out. Even though the only stuff I know about the Legion has been from Mark Waid’s recent run on the book and Johns’ story in Action Comics, I was still willing to give it a chance. This issue was all setup, but there’s a great one. Fans have been angry and confused for years with the discombobulated history of the Legion. I mean, there’s three of them! Which one is THE Legion? Why are there so many? So many questions and I hope that by the end of this mini-series there might be an answer to at least a few of them. Johns does a great job of writing Superboy Prime. He really captures this arrogant ignorance that the kid seems to have. Prime’s actions in the book fit that mindset perfectly. George Perez’s art is also pretty good and rather fitting for the book. As I said, this is a great setup and I’m going to be picking up the next issue.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #4 – This is quickly becoming one of my favorite books each month. Building on last issue’s battle between Major Victory and Starhawk, some Skrulls are tossed into the mix. I’m starting to get a little tired of all this Secret Invasion stuff. I can almost understand why the Skrulls would be on Knowhere, but things are starting to get a bit stretched out. Speaking of Knowhere, am I the only one that sees the Celestial Head floating at the end of the universe like a sort of Babylon 5? This issue really confirmed that view for me with the council and the different delegates. It also brought up some good points. The Guardians of the Galaxy just sort of showed up there and claimed the joint as their base. Did they even clear it with the people that actually LIVE there? Great issue. Really looking forward to more, even if it deals with Skrulls.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Marvel 1985 #4 – This issue lost me a little bit. His dad is a mutant in the real world? Or something? No idea. Mark Millar does a good job of building suspense in this issue, but the bit in the middle lost me. I still LOVE the idea for this series though. The last page was priceless too. Now let’s get some Marvel heroes in there! We’ve had 4 issues and the only hero we saw was the Hulk running around the woods. Let’s get this battle started already. Our world needs to be saved!
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Transformers All Hail Megatron #2 – I had my doubts about this book with the last issue, but this one was pretty good. Megatron continues his invasion of planet Earth and the Autobots are still nowhere to be seen. This issue is just filled with destruction. The army is trying to do something, anything to defend themselves, but they’re not doing too well against the Decepticons. I hope that by the next issue we get a bit more information. Two issues of one-sided battles have been alright, but I want a bit more in the story department to explain just how Megatron is able to do all this and where the hell Optimus Prime is exactly. The art was actually pretty good too, but like I said, I want some explanation soon.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Uncanny X-Men #501 – This was my book of the week. The X-Men have moved to San Francisco and they’re back in the minority mindset complete with hate crimes. It’s not a terribly new idea either when you think about it. Didn’t Claremont explore all this pseudo-racism stuff years ago? Regardless, it works even better now. When Pixie (whom I know next to nothing about) is viciously attacked (along with a few other unnamed mutants), Cyclops is ready for action. I really dig this new approach to Cyclops. He’s no longer the cautious do-gooder. He realizes the situation that he and the mutants are in and he needs to do anything he can to keep them from being wiped off the face of the Earth. If that means that some people have to die, then he might be ready to cross that line. There are just so many possibilities for the X-Men now that they’re on the West Coast and I’m loving it.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • X-Factor #34 – I didn’t pick up the issue of She-Hulk that contained part 2 of this 3 part story, but I wasn’t too impressed by the previous X-Factor issue to bother. I normally love this series, but this issue was pretty bad. The story felt forced like writer Peter David had to do something that included Skrulls to tie into Secret Invasion. The result is a crappy crossover with She-Hulk with a Skrull bouncing around scenic Detroit impersonating Longshot. Woo. As if the entirely forgettable story wasn’t bad enough, the art is somehow even worse than the last issue. Penciler Larry Stroman should have his fingers broken. The fact that Marvel actually paid someone to do this is just sad. Everyone looks like they have the same big monkey head (and no, I don’t think this is supposed to tie into the ridiculous Marvel Apes story) and the people just look awkward. Ugh. I’ve seen it and I can’t un-see it. Horrible, horrible art. I hate you, Larry Stroman.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • X-Factor Special Layla Miller – Now this is what an issue of X-Factor should look like. Mr. Stroman should take some notes here because the art in this issue is clean and crisp. It’s just great. Picking up from the Endangered Species or Messiah Complex or whatever the last X-Crossover was, we see what’s happened to Layla Miller, the girl that knows stuff, when she was stranded in the future in a mutant concentration camp. In typical Layla Miller fashion, she’s in the right place at the right time and escapes from the camp and later meets up with an aging and part robotic Cyclops. Sure, I had to just go with the fact that Scott Summers would have been something like 110 years old by this point in time, but aside from that, the story was pretty interesting. Layla helps the mutants lead a revolution that would later be called the Summers Rebellion. She’s still stuck in this alternate future, but now she’s at least got some hope that she’ll make it back home.
    Rating: ★★★★½
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  • Amazing Spider-Man #569 – Picking up right where #568 left off, this one shows us a magically healed Eddie Brock with a new lease on life and a Norman Osborn who’s just as big of an asshole as we remember him always being. Seriously, no wonder Harry’s had problems in life. The guy is always trying to do something to impress his father and his Dad basically hates him. But I can see why Norman would be a little disappointed. His only “real” son (I’m forgetting Sins Past) runs a coffee shop. Woo. The origin of Anti-Venom comes up at the end of the issue and it fits perfectly. I can’t wait for the next issue now as this one ended so well.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Avengers The Initiative #16 – More Skrulls! This issue had the plane-crashed 3-D Man meeting up with the Skrull Kill Krew, the guys that got super powers when they ate hamburgers made from cows that were really Skrulls that Reed Richards hypnotized into thinking that they were cows. Wait a minute. How the hell is Earth being invaded by these guys? They can be tricked into thinking they’re f’ing COWS! Anyway, it seems that the Krew is determined to sweep through each team in the Initiative (one per state) and find the Skrull impostor in each one. They hit up New Mexico and meet up with Komodo. Meanwhile, the Irredeemable Ant-Man discovers that Yellow Jacket is really a Skrull and there’s a whole lot more of them on the base. What’s a coward to do! Oh, and War Machine got a secret message from Tony Stark and flew away.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Daredevil #110 – The conclusion of this arc by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka. This was a great almost noir-like tale with corruption and gritty crime. I loved it. This story really helped Matt Murdock get out of the horrible slump he was in. With his wife basically permanently angry/crazy and Murdock blaming himself he was sort of up in the air. He could continue blaming himself for it and end up depressed and taking it out on criminals and probably end up going too far sooner or later or he could try to move on. This issue represents that step forward for the Man Without Fear. He says at the end “Thanks for making me stand up and fight.” That’s true. Daredevil’s back.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Doktor Sleepless #8 – I can pretend to understand what I just read, but that would be a lie. This is the last issue of volume one of this series and holy crap, it’s insane. The Earth is some snack for interdimensional beings? John’s parents tapped into them? Seriously, what’s up with the “other” John that’s sitting in jail? And who was that guy lurking around outside the house? John cuts the last of the ties that were holding him to Heavenside and explains the angels that have been appearing in the town, but what will the mad scientist do now? He’s created chaos and anarchy in the streets, but now what? I’m cautiously interested in finding out. While I have faith in Warren Ellis, this book might be a little too out there for me.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Final Crisis Rogues Revenge #2 – Another sort of Final Crisis tie-in that I’m holding on because of Geoff Johns. The Rogues are seriously vicious. Holy crap. They do not fuck around. I’m just disappointed that there are only 3 issues for this mini-series. While the Rogues are taking out their replacements, Professor Zoom is setting up Inertia to be killed again. I’m still a little annoyed that Johns keeps calling Bart Allen “Kid-Flash.” The guy died as The Flash, not as a kid. He was wearing the Flash mantle when he kicked the bucket so give him the credit he deserves.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Immortal Iron Fist #18 – Perfect example of “Great Idea. Poor Execution.” I loved the previous issues of this series, but I don’t feel that the current author, Dwayne Sweaewatsl;gs8ioagspdski can fill the shoes of Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker. The art was pretty lackluster too. I just wasn’t impressed by this issue or the one before it. It’s best to make a clean break with Iron Fist now. I’m dropping the book. Goodbye, Danny Rand.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Justice Society Of America #18 – Holy crap. This is awesome. Continuing the story with Gog, the giant all-healing God, the JSA is starting to realize the problems with the gifts that he’s given them. While Dr. Midnite’s sight has returned, whatever he used to “see” is now gone so he’s unable to help someone that falls in battle. Now the lines are blurred. Is Gog really doing good? And here’s Magog. Will this Earth fall like the Kingdom Come Superman’s Earth fell? I should probably re-read Kingdom Come now too to get a better grasp of this story, but it is just awesome.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Kick-Ass #4 – While a bit of this issue was a little spoiled by the announcement of Nicolas Cage in the Kick-Ass movie, it was nonetheless enjoyable. Was this sword-wielding little girl inspired by Kick-Ass? Or was she and her father doing this before he donned his super hero suit? Dave’s really gotten himself in deep now if this is the kind of Punisher-esque company he’s going to be keeping as a hero. Fantastic issue all around. I just want more!
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Mighty Avengers #17 – Yes, the Avengers books have been great tie-ins to Secret Invasion, but it’s starting to get a little tired. I think the problem is that Bendis waited so long to push the event through. He waited patiently, twiddling thumbs while Annihilation and Civil War and World War Hulk all happened. Now his story that he had all planned out needed to weave through all this other stuff and that resulted in so much more explaining. This issue takes a look at Skrull Hank Pym and his replacements. Apparently Hank’s personality is too strong for any one Skrull and they’ve had to replace him a few times. Ok. Got it. Let’s move on. I didn’t need a whole issue for this.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • New Avengers #44 – This issue gave us even more backstory for Secret Invasion. This one is actually a little interesting as it gives us an idea of how the Skrulls managed to go undetected by anyone on Earth. It seems that they used Reed Richards’ own mind against him. He’s the only one smart enough to figure out a way for the Skrulls to actually invade so they tricked a Skrull that was brain-washed into thinking he was Mr. Fantastic into figuring it out. It was a little disturbing, but I wonder what would happen if Reed found out. Granted, he’s already pissed by the end of the last issue, but I’d love to see him just lose it if this information came out.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Nova #16 – Another forced Skrull issue. This one deals with the original Super Skrull. He apparently disguised himself as another Skrull and infiltrated a group of Skrulls laying a trap for Richard Rider. Kl’Rt realizes who the trap is for and saves Nova’s life. Then they talk for a bit. Rider finds out there’s an Invasion going on and rushes to Earth instead of doing his job as the last remaining Centurion. What happened the last time you went to Earth, Rider? Oh yeah, your family hated you and you were hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. But that won’t stop you from going back there in an effort to save…who exactly? Anyway, “shocker” ending and pretty eh issue.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Runaways #1 – The third volume of this series begins. First off, I hate this art. It’s too cartoony. I didn’t like Humberto Ramos when he was on X-Men and I certainly don’t like him now. The guy should just stick to kid books and stay away from actual titles that matter. The group returns to LA and finds a new place to live but their new house is crashed by a group of people from Karolina’s homeworld. I thought this issue was OK, but it definitely lacked the fun that the previous incarnations of the book have had. Terry Moore is alright, but he’s no Brian K. Vaughn or Joss Whedon. I’m still willing to give the book a chance because I love the characters, but I’m a little iffy on it’s future.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Secret Invasion Amazing Spider-Man #1 – Enough already. I’ve sampled most of the Secret Invasion tie-ins, but after this one, I’m basically done. It’s a Spider-Man book without Spider-Man. This worked for Captain America, but it definitely doesn’t work here. The new supporting cast in Amazing Spider-Man is good, but only because they’ve got Peter Parker to tie them all together. These characters are not strong enough to carry an entire story without our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and until they reveal who Jackpot really is in the upcoming Annual, she’s not a strong enough hero to do anything either. Skrulls are in New York. I got it. So are Ms. Marvel, the Young Avengers, the Runaways, members of the Initiative, and Nick Fury and the new Howling Commandos. Jackpot can sit this one out. Skip it.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Thunderbolts #123 – The re-hashing of the few pages in Secret Invasion continues here. Norman finishes his little talk with Captain Marvel, just like he did in the main event book. After Marvel flies away, he turns total military and heads to DC to fight Skrulls. I just don’t buy this. I love the idea of the Thunderbolts, but Norman running to the capitol at a moment’s notice to fight invaders seems a bit stretched. And seriously, how is it that everyone in the Marvel Universe knows so much about Skrulls and instantly figures out that they can’t trust anyone because anyone can be a Skrull? Let’s just get this main event over so we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming!
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
  • Ultimate Spider-Man #125 – More fill-in with the Ultimate Spider-Man video game. The story finally makes sense…mostly. Eddie Brock is captured and then freed by the Firefly guy. More fighting occurs and the cover of the book actually fits the issue! This is largely a setup issue, but I’m interested to see where it will go. The art is also great for this story too.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Wolverine #68 – We’re given a bit more information as to what this future holds for America as Logan and Hawkeye head into the Kingpin’s lair to save Hawkeye’s daughter (Also, is it just me or is the girl’s mother black? She’s Spider-Man’s daughter? Who did Peter Parker hook up with if not Mary Jane?) Things don’t go as planned for their escape and Logan looks poised to fight once more even though he’s become a pacifist. Next issue looks set up for more fun. The art in this issue is unbelievable. It’s all just so clean and so well-detailed. I love it.
    Rating: ★★★★☆

Comics Corner – Week of 7/23/08

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Small batch this week, but I read them and here’s what I think.

  • Ambush Bug Year None #1 – My only DC book this week! This was my second exposure to the character of Ambush Bug (the first being in 52 which I loved) and I have to say that I’m not impressed. I’m sure there are Ambush Bug fanboys out there that were so excited to hear about this book, but I just didn’t see the hype. The book tries to poke fun at DC and the events over the past few years, but it’s done in such an unfunny way that it just comes off as hokey and boring. I figured I’d give the book a chance, but I’m definitely not picking up the next issue.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Avengers The Initiative #15 – While I’ve loved this series so far, this issue felt a little lackluster. It focused on Crusader and the fact that he’s actually a Skrull. There was a nice recap from the origin that Robert Kirkman developed, but a bit more was added about his Skrull training. In typical war movie fashion, Crusader meets an old friend on the battle field. I’m more interested in the fate of 3-D Man who can now see Skrulls with his fancy shades. Bring him into the main book!
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Black Summer #7 – The finale of Warren Ellis’ tale of a group of super heroes taking the law (and government) into their own hands. I’ve loved this book from the start and I thought this conclusion was great and really fit the book well. Avatar’s been doing a great job with these issues (and the other Warren Ellis books they’ve been releasing lately). The art was a little off, but I feel like that’s been the case from the beginning with this series. It’s not horrible. It just feel a little sketchy. The story and the dialogue were top notch though.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Daredevil #109 – I’m not a huge fan of the huge 6 issue story arcs, so I’m glad that this one is only 4 issues. Ed Brubaker has been drafting this amazing story in Daredevil since he took over the book from Brian Michael Bendis. This arc has seen him collaborating with Greg Rucka again and it’s just been amazing. Each issue leaves me wanting more and more and this one is no different. I’m just continually shocked by how much seems to be packed into each issue and how quickly the characters seem to develop and grow. I want Matt Murdock to get better. I want him to be happy…but he’s such a miserable person and he makes for such good drama and noir-like stories that I almost don’t want him to find that happiness again. The art was also pretty good and just fitting for a Daredevil story.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Immortal Iron Fist #17 – I’m a little wary about this book now that Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker have left it. The previous issue was their last one and it left the book at such an interesting point that I was a little saddened that they didn’t continue where they left off. It’s been picked up by Dwayne Swierczynski (no idea how to even pronounce that) who is also writing Cable which I wasn’t too impressed by. While the story wasn’t too bad, I didn’t think it was too good either. Maybe I just had really high expectations after the great issues that have preceded it, but I just wasn’t impressed with this one. Throw in the pretty mediocre art and things aren’t looking good. I’ll stick around for one more issue, but Iron Fist is teetering on the edge now.
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
  • Invincible #51 – A great issue to follow the big 50th issue. Invincible is hands down one of my favorite books and I love the direction that it’s taken. Kirkman is fantastic at developing these multi-layered stories and peeling each piece off to give you this tale that’s just plain epic. This issue is just huge in some of the reveals with reappearances by some people we thought dead and gone. I’m definitely not spoiling anything here, but holy crap is this book good. This is my pick of the week.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • New Avengers #43 – Another look back at where these Skrulls are coming from, this time looking at the Captain America who popped out of the ship in the Savage Land. While readers know that it couldn’t possibly be the real deal, but it’s interesting to see how the characters react. They know that there’s a good chance that this is a Skrull, but there’s got to be a part of them that hopes that it really is Cap and he’s returned to set things straight. Things have gotten pretty crazy since the man died and there’s this feeling that if he was back, everything might go back to normal. Unfortunately that’s not the case.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Thunderbolts #122 – The first issue of the regular series after Warren Ellis’ run. Those are some damn big and strange shoes to fill, but fortunately Christos Gage does an OK job. Norman Osborn is creepy, but not as creepy as he once was. The team is thrown head on into Secret Invasion with the appearance of the Skrull Captain Marvel ready to bust things up. The issue ends right when things start getting interesting though. I’m intrigued enough to keep reading. This won’t be dropped from my pull list just yet.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Uncanny X-Men #500 – A landmark issue showing the X-Men moving into their new digs in San Francisco. This issue definitely set up a lot of things to come for the mutants and I’m excited about it. This is another Brubaker / Fraction team-up book, so I know it’s in good hands. I really like the whole idea behind the story with the X-Men setting up a sort of mutant sanctuary for anyone to come and not be persecuted against. Sure it’s going to make San Fran a target by anti-mutant hate groups, but the X-Men are there to protect their own. If Cyclops saying “Hear me, my X-Men” didn’t get you, you probably shouldn’t be reading this book.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • War Heroes #1 – Mark Millar creates another fantastic creator-owned series with this first issue. Super powered soldiers popping pills to fight terrorism. Sounds interesting and frightening at the same time. This issue basically gave us a look at the world that the story will be taking place in. The pieces are being moved in to place for the later issues. Tony Harris’ art is perfect for this tale as well.
    Rating: ★★★★½
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