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Bought/Thought Feb 27th


May 22, 2005
Reaction score
Thor #6 - More focus on the supporting cast.We see Hogun and Volstagg interact with the rest of rural Alabama.Bob Jr. "finds love" when he encounters an Asgardian woman wandering about town.Thor finally awakens the Asgardians all over the world.If you haven't liked the slow pace or aren't a fan of main characters being absent in their own books,then this isn't for you.I feel sorry for the trade waiters because this was far from a closed ending.

Proof #5 - Enter Autumn Rossen,another agent from the Habitat.Like Thor,this was another build up of the supporting cast with the main character absent for most of the issue.Lots of good setup for the upcoming arcs and more monsters and creatures you can shake a stick at!

JSA #13 - Pasarin is so underrated,his fill in work on this title has been solid.Anyways,the team realizes they're after Gog so KC Supes goes to Metropolis to seek out the help of Earth whatever Superman.They have a run in with Hercules and lose Gog as he's teleporting away.The final page reveal didn't have that much effect on me.

Store got shorted on Cap,DD,and Superpowers.
I just got time to read my books, I'll post my thoughts soon(ish). Is it true that Dark Tower was delayed? I called two stores in my area (Coral Gables) and they didn't have any.
Daredevil #105 - Great

The Mr. Fear arc pays off huge, in my opinion. Mr. Fear is officially as A-list as any non-Kinpin/Bullseye DD villain can get. What Bru's done here is write a mainstream superhero book that doesn't even feel like one. I'm not even talking the noir theme here. With Bendis and now Brubaker's work on the title, what we've received is a never-ending ongoing which actually feels like it has stuff happening. The same thing is going on over in Captain America. It's not like reading a single story arc. "Okay, this is the one where Superman fights Bizarro, and next he's going to the future with the LoSH." Which, you know? I like reading Action Comics (which I bought and will read at some point tonight). But it's just, not, the same. I don't mean to pick on Action, or Superman as a character, or DC comics. Marvel books--most of the big 2's books, actually--have that same "problem." Just, you know, knowing that not too much can actually happen to the main characters. I feel like Dread right now, explaining things that everybody already knows, so I'll just get to the point and say that it's nice to read mainstream superhero ongoings and just be able to forget, for a little while, that not very much is actually allowed to be at stake with each tale. Well-written books do that. And though I haven't read Cap yet (my roommate buys a bunch of books that I rarely comment on here because I only thought, not bought), with this issue of DD I finally feel like it's as good as Bru's other book. I don't even count Uncanny because he doesn't even come close to the quality levels of Cap and DD (or, I guess now, the quality level, singular).

Plus Lark is absolutely fantastic, maybe best in the biz right now when you consider that he gets his art done on schedule
also I read Thor #5 last night, finally, and JMS is soooo good. I love how often he just turns off the dialogue faucet and lets Coipel's art tell the story. If only the book came out a teensy bit faster. But yeah. Girl Loki, whatever, it doesn't really irritate me, I never read Thor prior to this, though I really loved that one Amazing Spidey story he was in a few years ago. Anyway, Dr Doom, which Coipel draws like a goddamn Dr Doom drawing beast, was totally intriguing in his tiny, but important, little cameo. It's an especially appealing matchup now that in the last few years Doom started being portrayed as Dr. Magic, the Magic Doctor. MD.

anyway JMS is awesome. Thor plus that Silver Surfer Requiem makes him a top 3 writer right now. I said it
Captain America #35

"The Burden of Dreams" hits its fourth part, the tenth part of the larger "The Death of Captain America" overall, and the second issue with Bucky in the role of Captain America. The story chugs along here, with Lukin/Skull (the Lukin component complaining about how the Skull is changing his plans) having Faustus trigger riots with drugged drinking water, and sending Sin and the Serpent Squad to cause some sort of havoc on Capitol Hill, where they’ve also got a US Senator in their pocket (Manchurian candidate, anyone?). SHIELD has been banned from acting on US soil following last issue’s ending, so Tony’s heroes are working under the radar to get stuff done, with Falcon on the hunt for Sharon, and Natasha covertly aiding Bucky, who’s on the ground in DC. This is another solid issue; really, this book is nothing if not consistent. Bucky as Cap continues to work quite well, and there’s one really good "hero" shot as he dons the costume; I’m waiting for him to really get some publicity and see how everyone reacts to him, which hasn’t really been seen so far, though here he’s running around DC in broad daylight, so it should be coming. Guice subs on pencils, and there’s little noticeable transition; this series has really consistent artists. The issue ends with Sharon confronting the world’s nastiest OB/GYN, since her secret’s out...

Criminal (v2) #1

Damn you, Brubaker; I have more then enough series to buy, thank you very much, but, after resisting for a while, I read Criminal in trades, and now here I am buying the new, longer relaunch. I’m not generally much of a crime reader, but I enjoy a good crime story as much as the next person; reruns of the The Untouchables and Law & Order were standard fare during a childhood spent largely indoors. The new format is a bit more expensive, but with more pages, allowing the single-issue story more breathing room. Anyway, the focus here is on Gnarly (Jake Brown), who has appeared in the background of the last two arcs as the bartender/owner of the Undertow bar, and get’s the spotlight; this whole thing is set in the 1970s, and Brubaker elaborates more on the history of the fictional Bay City that all the stories in this city are set in and around, particularly the local underboss, Sebastian Hyde. As with Brubaker’s work, the story is technically sound, and the internal monologues are exceptionally well-written. He’s a master at using familiar setups and characters, occasionally spinning them in an unexpected direction, but often just making them work properly and showing why they’re so frequently used. Phillips’ art is well-suited to the gritty crime stories.

Fables #70

"The Good Prince" finally ends, and we get a sort of part-epilogue, part-one-shot, part prologue-to-the-next-two-arcs. Fabletown is about to go to war, the Farm Fables are debating whether they want to go to live in Haven (in a fun angle, a lot of them are really used to modern conveniences (like TV and the internet) and aren’t interested in leaving, even if life on the Farm is cooped up), and Blue makes his move on Rose (with unexpected results that Willingham plays to good effect; he’s got a bitter but real-seeming take on relationships). I always have such a hard time writing about this book, but it continues to be quite good. Niko Henrichon guests on art, and it’s pretty good, though after seeing his painted art this takes a bit of getting used to.

House of M: Avengers #5

The miniseries concludes; my verdict is that it’s technically sound writing, with lovely art from Mike Perkins, but it ultimately never justifies its existence to me, given how redundant the proceedings feel. It’s a nice showcase of both creators’ talent, but that could really be best used elsewhere.

Justice Society of America #13

To cope with the frequently delayed shipping schedule, we get a guest artist (Fernando Pasarin) for this issue, and his work matches Eaglesham’s very, very well, so keep him around, DC, and keep things on track. I’ve complained about the turgid pace of this entire "Kingdom Come" arc, and things start to get a bit better here, but there are still way too many characters here (and the demands of any decent KC story would necessitate bringing in Metropolis and regular Superman, which happens here; but he’s not a team-member, resulting in adding even more characters) (illustrated by the cover, which doesn’t even list the entire team). After an intro with Jakeem and the newly created Jennifer Pierce (who’s now staying with the JSA), the bulk of the issue concerns the interaction of the two Supermen on a mission, after Mr. America fills them in on the whole ‘Gog/Magog’ issue. There’s a rather odd guest appearance from DC Hercules here, which made the WW fan in me shudder, given what usually happens whenever Johns goes near Diana’s mythology; anyway, Johns treats Herc like a villain and has everyone act like he was never forgiven for the whole Amazon situation thousands of years ago, but that’s par for the course these days. DC’s got no love for the original superhero. The interaction with the two Supermen is quite good, as KC-Supes is temporarily overwhelmed by the sight of Lois and the Daily Planet crew. A pretty good issue, and there’s some signs of actual plot movement now; keep things rolling, Johns.

Thor #6

Speaking of slow pacing, the already-delayed JMS Thor returns with another slow issue of gods and men interacting. When the first issue came out, I was quite defensive of JMS’ slow start, and the mythic importance he managed to imbue the rebirth of Thor with; it seemed very appropriate. Now, six issues later, we’re still moving at a snail’s pace, and the constant weird font and important pronouncements are becoming a bit stale. The last issue of Incredible Herc felt like it had more in it than the preceding three issues of Thor. That said, there’s a lot to like about this issue, which mostly consists of vignettes of Asgardians interacting with the local yokels; these are cute, well-done little scenes, but the issue as a whole doesn’t feel like it adds up to much. Loki makes some vaguely evil remarks, and Thor does the "revive the gods" bit again, this time combing the Earth for some sign of Sif (and, as he discusses with Blake, Odin; he’s not sure he wants to bring dad back, since he sees him as fundamentally a leader of the old ways). We get a bit of clarification here about how Thor and Blake interact (essentially, they share the same body, and one can appear as a vision to the other while they’re out), but I’m still confused as to what Blake is supposed to be, because he was never a separate person before. I’ll continue on for Djurdjevic’s fill-in arc, at least, because I love his art.

X-Men: Legacy #208

The last of the major post-"Messiah Complex" revamps, and, really, the most radical, drops this week, which sees the former X-Men team book become a sort of solo title featuring Professor X, giving Carey the freedom to explore the whole of X-Men history and their current universe from this perspective. When last we saw Charles, he’d been shot in the head, and Exodus and his crew have made off with his body to try and salvage it, since he’s a significant figure, and mutant solidarity is rather important at this time. Art in the present is by the enjoyable Scot Eaton (who reminds me a lot of the various Cap artists), with John Romita Jr. doing the flashback art; this is some of Romita’s better work I’ve seen lately. The issue establishes the basic situation: Xavier is sort of reliving a lot of old memories, since his mind is basically kaput, and Exodus is trying to save him; to that end, at issue’s close, he brings in: Magneto. I’ll have to see a bit more before I get a sense of what the title will be like on a regular basis, but I like it so far; it’s got Carey’s trademark attention to continuity and dialogue flair, good art, and I’m a big Xavier fan.

Young Avengers Presents #2: Hulkling

My least favourite member of the team gets his spotlight here; I don’t dislike Hulkling or anything like that, but I’ve always found him a bit bland. There’s nothing especially revelatory here to make me bump him up my list of favourites, but it’s a well-done issue. Of the seven members of the team (speaking of which, Speed is MIA yet again, despite a crowd scene with all the non-Cassie members in battle), there were two who really had pressing stories to tell as a result of events that occurred since the series ended: Teddy, who’s dad returned from the dead, and Cassie, who, well, there’s been a lot. Anyway, this issue consists mostly of Teddy talking with Mar-Vell; these scenes are pretty good, and the ending is really affecting (and provides a very interesting teaser for how Mar-Vell’s own series will go). However, the best scene is a brief talk-while-fighting bit where the Young Avengers discuss the matter of Teddy’s dad while battling some cyborg thieves and then make their escape from the cops. Reed does a great job with the team dynamic here; his Hawkeye, especially, is great. Tolibao’s art is decent; really good in some spots, less so in others; he’s a little too heavy on details like veins, among other things. Another nice use of the done-in-one format.
Cable & Deadpool #50 - And so here we are, the end of an era (that just sounded cool), C&D is officially signing off to make way for Cable's solo series, and like Deadpool says in this issue "...if you're gonna go, might as well go out in style!" and brother, does it go out in style.

This issue picks up right after #49, with Venom symbiotized-dinosaurs running loose in Manhattan and the Avengers and Deadpool do their utmost to control the outbreak. Deadpool cracks his usual, but sadly final, wiseass comments as the story progresses, even confronting Spider-Man early on in the issue and even commenting on the recent OMD fiasco (no, really).

Nicieza as always does a bang-up job with the dialogue and Brown's pencils are spot on. The colours don't feel heavy, and the inks are just the right amount.

As you may know, this is the final issue since Marvel, like I said, wants to make way for Cable's solo mini debuting next Month. As for the Merc with a Mouth, he's getting his own series which is being written by Daniel Way (of all people >_<) and will debuting in May, I believe.

Pick up this issue, it really is just that good.
I think I'm dropping DD.I can't see this final issue of MWF completely turning the whole arc around.I know I'm in the minority here,but alot of this arc just felt real forced,especially the moments between Matt and Milla.Eg."I'm never letting go." from #104,that whole scene just reeked of cheese.And I can't really take Fear seriously.
you suck. Now, the prior arc, the one when DD was in Europe? I totally wasn't feeling that and I was really disappointed in Bru. The only thing I would say about this arc is that MAYBE it would have been better if it were only 5 issues long instead of 6. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, but even so, I did say that only with today's ish did it reach the level of Bru's work on Cap.
you suck. Now, the prior arc, the one when DD was in Europe? I totally wasn't feeling that and I was really disappointed in Bru. The only thing I would say about this arc is that MAYBE it would have been better if it were only 5 issues long instead of 6. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, but even so, I did say that only with today's ish did it reach the level of Bru's work on Cap.

Cellblock D,Takes a Ride, and Devil His Due were all good reads.It's just this arc that hit a snag for me.
At this point in the deliberations I would like to reiterate your suckage.
Daredevil #105 - Great

The Mr. Fear arc pays off huge, in my opinion. Mr. Fear is officially as A-list as any non-Kinpin/Bullseye DD villain can get. What Bru's done here is write a mainstream superhero book that doesn't even feel like one. I'm not even talking the noir theme here. With Bendis and now Brubaker's work on the title, what we've received is a never-ending ongoing which actually feels like it has stuff happening. The same thing is going on over in Captain America. It's not like reading a single story arc. "Okay, this is the one where Superman fights Bizarro, and next he's going to the future with the LoSH." Which, you know? I like reading Action Comics (which I bought and will read at some point tonight). But it's just, not, the same. I don't mean to pick on Action, or Superman as a character, or DC comics. Marvel books--most of the big 2's books, actually--have that same "problem." Just, you know, knowing that not too much can actually happen to the main characters. I feel like Dread right now, explaining things that everybody already knows, so I'll just get to the point and say that it's nice to read mainstream superhero ongoings and just be able to forget, for a little while, that not very much is actually allowed to be at stake with each tale. Well-written books do that. And though I haven't read Cap yet (my roommate buys a bunch of books that I rarely comment on here because I only thought, not bought), with this issue of DD I finally feel like it's as good as Bru's other book. I don't even count Uncanny because he doesn't even come close to the quality levels of Cap and DD (or, I guess now, the quality level, singular).

Plus Lark is absolutely fantastic, maybe best in the biz right now when you consider that he gets his art done on schedule

Agreed all around.

Mr. Fear; welcome to the elite A-list of Marvel villains. :applaud

Action Comics #862 - Great

Great cliffhanger. This comic has been fantastic this whole arc. Frank's pencils and the coloring (especially after the drab [but still pretty] Bizarro arc) have turned this book into a...a beautiful rainbow. Gay.

But seriously, it's very colorful. Every page is great. Frank's stuff here is soooo much better than his recent Hulk work. He was MADE for this book. Johns is writing a much better book sans Donner, though I enjoyed those issues too. Really, since OYL, Action has been rock solid. The best book probably, when you factor in Detective's weak fill-ins and a couple off-issues that Dini put out. Of course, I haven't read Checkmate at all, or Green Lantern. Haha. Anyway, my only problem with this ish was that a fullly depowerd Supes didn't take more damage from a multi-powered Earth-Man. Also I wasn't overly fond of Johns' little "Don't tug on Superman's cape" gag that you just KNOW he thought was soooooo clever. But anyway, in conclusion, this book is pretty and awesome. It's pretty awesome.
p.s. I'm better at writing reviews than everyone else.
Solid week over all. I guess I should give points. 5 would be your average (baseline) book, one that keeps the momentum running. 7 is a high score for me. 8-> not only have few flaws but appeal to readers beyond the fan-base.

Batman 674 7
Excellent book, and a great way to end an arc while simultaneously moving into a new one. The "mystery of the three batmen" is largely wrapped up, though the true reasons for Batman's hallucinations are brought into question and then left somewhat obtuse, also, I question the rationale for the Batman's psychotic breaks as plot elements-- it is never clear why it had to be done that way, since Bat-mite seems a little silly (that is Bat-mite right?). All in all the issue had great wrap-up and some great action.

Spider-Man With: Great Power 2 6
This book is a little harder to review than Batman It is a great Peter Parker study, and as a look into the life of a kid with super-powers it's fairly neat, it does a good job of balancing the excitement of having secret powers with the the cold hard facts of life as dweeb. The drama in the Parker household is handled believably, and thankfully doesn't take up too much time. But the book is hard to review-- do we really need another Peter Parker/Spider-man character study? While Brand New Day is changing this, it seemed like most every other issue of JMS Spidey was some sort of character study, and that is where this book suffers. Still, the book is well edited and entertaining.

All Star Batman and Robin 7
Yeah! The first arc feels more or less over and I think Miller did a great job ending it, while reinforcing the themes he's been working into the comic for over 2 years (or so). The dialogue has gotten better, but the people who thought that it was too simplistic (in the sense that Miller's stylistic choices have led him to have characters repeat words and phrases frequently) will probably not be mollified. Also, not a lot, plot wise, happens. Batman and the Green Lantern have a talk, and then Batman and Robin solidify their relationship. It really is based around two scenes. The book is excellent thematically, it really sets Batman apart from the other heroes of the All-Star Universe (establishment vs anti-establishment) and it really does do a great job of explaining who Batman is via the JLA and Robin. To me, that makes the book priceless-- the ending was amazing, and was 100% who Batman was. I doubt I'll convince anyone to buy the book if they were against it. And reading this issue, whatever complaints you had about the series you'll probably still have, though the series has definitely gotten better issue by issue, naturally this issue was the best in the series. Now that it's all said and done, if you read this as a Batman character study with Robin being the lens by which to study Batman, I think you'll find it's awesome. If you want action wrapped around very structured plot, I think you'll be somewhat disappointed.

Thor 6 4
Slow slow slow. Thor 5 was an awesome issue, not only in context of Thor being really slow, but in general, it was everything you'd want your comics to be. Then Thor 6 came along. There were some decent, if overplayed, scenes of Asgardian-Human interaction, but that doesn't save the book from the fact that nothing identifiably important happened. If JMS is smart, he'll really run with a relationship or two, instead of the same (questionably humorous) Asgard-Human relations. Is Thor supposed to be a comedy? Is a page or two of Loki being cryptic going to keep us reading the book? The sad thing about this is that Thor is being lost in his own book. Not only is Thor (himself) experiencing some tension with Dr Blake, but the plot and writing itself is marginalizing him. I'm going to keep reading Thor because some people on this board got me excited for him (this is Corpulent1's fault) but I think the series is way to slow and unfocused right now. JMS decided to bring back the entire mythos from day one, and he set out doing very methodically, if this were a book or TV it would work better, but the constraints of a comic demand that you pick an issue or two per book and do those well. JMS used to know that.

Kick-Ass 7
I'll avoid any needless punning. The book is off to a great start. I don't want to say he's doing what has never been done-- positing the super-hero as a person who is really just lonely and bored-- but even if it were original, it needs a good script to back it up, otherwise someone will just take the idea, do it better, and get all the credit. Well, Mark Millar did a great job with the script and with building a character that you can empathize with yet rightfully distance yourself from and critique. The only thing that's off is the plotting. For example-- the cliff-hanger is silly given the nature of the narrative. It left me feeling a bit cold (in a bad way). But I'm really excited to see how Millar works the angles because this issue moved effortlessly between every scene and everything hit with maximum force. As a coming of age story, I think this book is stronger than the Spider-Man: With Great Power in every way (except for marketability).

X-Men (Legacy) 208 4
I want to like this book and say "It was awesome! Looking inside Xavier's head and going over old X-Men stories is going to be awesome!" But I can't. This issue really did feel like rehearsal. It was like Spider-Man's rehearsal of ancient history, but without the ability to share in Peter-Parker's wonder or even laugh at him for being marginalized, even though he's Spider-Man. The whole comic was a sterile and by the numbers experience. I felt like a doctor... watching a patient on the operating table. I can't say that there's no hope for the series but I'm going to need more energy from this series by next issue.

Captain America 35 6
Can I break rank and say that while this issue was good it wasn't mind-blowing. Part of the problem, strangely enough, is the new Cap. Bucky is great as Cap, if the Death of a Dream arc proved anything, Cap didn't have to be used-- in both plotting the series and within the series, if the espionage element was strong enough. Now, Brubaker has a new Cap and wants to use him. He probably made the best compromise between marketing his character and writing the issue that was possible, but the Cap-riot fight seemed too protracted, especially given that Brubaker is ready to move everyone's plans up a notch. I'm tired of everyone being kept in the dark, and Brubaker pretending that Tony has like 3 heroes at his disposal, but I've always disagreed with that aspect of post Civil War Cap. This issue did most everything right, but I think he should re-evaluate the strengths inherent to the book vs those inherent in his writing and match the two better. His book has a great set up, it doesn't call for fights, and it doesn't call these cliff-hanger style endings because with so many characters and events it's maddening on a month to month basis. It just so happens he can do those well. Instead of forcing those elements, he should focus on smoothing out the movement from one scene to another and create a better tension between scenes. I make it sound too easy, but I just read him do it in Criminal and Daredevel. He's a great writer, but the new Cap is a blessing and curse to him.

Daredevil 105 6
I don't get the last few panels of the ending, but other than that it was a great issue. Everything is wrapped up-- a little too neatly, but everything is wrapped up. The fight works well and the panels speak to each other. The way Daredevil and Fear's panels interact is excellent. There is resolution to the story, but also decent fighting, and the comic wastes very little time in getting to the "good-part." While I'll definitely be getting more Daredevil, it's a shame this book doesn't tease us with a "what comes next?" type panel (the kind where the character does something crazy because it's the last page and they want you to buy the next issue). Perhaps it's because Rucka will be taking over the book soon? In any case, this arc was great, and it really reinforced that Daredevil will just not have a happy life.

Criminal 1 (Series 3) 6
A great one-shot. Each panel is very tense. Every character is realistic, even if the characters border on being stock-characters. It is difficult to review this book though. It is like the past Criminals in every way except it is super condensed. You don't really get a mystery to unravel, and there is no time for any exciting plot changes to come your way, but you get the great dialogue and pacing coupled with a bleak, almost existentialist (it is very Noir based) world. But that's part of the problem-- without the mystery and plot changes, the story struggles to become truly exciting. It was certainly well written and entertaining, but it was forced to move directly towards an almost obvious ending.

Action Comics 862 5
I'm enjoying this arc so far. I think there are a few scenes I would've cut here and there, but this was largely the "fight issue" and some people like that and some people don't. And you can tell Johns knew that because he tried very hard to mask that this issues was one big fight with some neat dialogue and by slowing the pace down. That is good and bad. Good because you can savor the action some and put yourself into the personal aspect of the issue, but bad because it was drawn out the whole issue when maybe we could've moved onto the story more. I'm looking forward to the wrap-up because Johns is doing a great job with this book. Gary Frank is doing a great job on the art but that cover, doesn't that come straight from Countdown or is that me being silly?

JSA 13 4
I am disappointed with this issue. Superman meets Superman, and while I can understand wanting to see KC Supe's reaction to seeing Lois, it was done half-heartedly, instead we get an unexciting, weak meeting between the two Supermen. The JSA expands at a rapid rate, but it is difficult to see why, instead, we are getting hyped for Gog who's main claim to fame, at least for me (though I expect for a lot of other people), is that his name sounds a lot like a half-way villainous Kingdom Come figure. Maybe that's not fair, but we need reason to care more. Also, the, plot distracts you from caring (the expansion of the JSA, KC Supes meeting Supes) so much goes on to direct your attention away from Gog that I can't help but be a little bored. And I was looking for this to be my favorite issue. Maybe next month.
Feb. 2008 ends with what I call a "wallet buster", which is a fairly large week for me. It helps a bit that DYNAMO 5 #11 has been delayed until next week, but only slightly. The only book I missed is FEARLESS #4, because my LCS doesn't order it. I will fetch it in Manhattan later in the week.

As always, spoilers are tossed out shamelessly. I am going to add paragraph breaks and see if people still whine about reading my posts.

Dread's BOUGHT/THOUGHT for 2/27/08:

Amazing that this title has reached the 2 year mark, especially considering how poorly it sells. I mean this is a book from DC that struggles to outsell INVINCIBLE, which isn't too hot; Marvel would have axed it more than a year ago. But, DC hasn't and that is great because as always, it is chock load of enjoyable characters, good lines, and action. The cover is naturally an homage to Ted Kord and COUNTDOWN, and the issue has more than a few refernces to that. Rogers wanted to hammer home the point that Jaimie is the heir to the Blue Beetle legacy for more reason than simply being empowered by the alien scarab.

Bounding off the cliffhanger from issue #23 excellently (no recap, just straight to the point; the Reyes family home was just bombed by the Reach as Jaimie was stripped of his scarab) and things hit the ground running. Albuquerque has naturally made the book his own since Hamner left regular interiors and as always he is a fit for Roger's manic action and lingo. The Reyes family, Carlo, Brenda, and Traci 13 band together to survive the Reach's onslaught while calling in pretty much every regular from the book to aid, from La Dama to Peacemaker & the Posse. Jaimie apparently has retained a lot of the knowledge he learned from the scarab and uses it to escape his cell and enact his big plan to destroy the Reach once and for all. In some ways this reminded me of an episode of BATMAN BEYOND where Terry McGuiness lost his hi-tech Batsuit and had to show he could still be capable without it, but this was MUCH better. It always is great to see the Reyes family band together instead of doing the Marvel Comics Family Schtick of moping and crying whenever something superhuman happens (unless said family are also superheroes). The next issue is the conclusion and I can't wait for it. This title's emerged as one of my favorites over the last few months. A shame it doesn't sell better. I liked Jaimie's Kord-esque costume, complete with yellow goggles. This isn't USM, no sir; Blue Beetle's got balls.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #35: The "death of Cap" story chugs along, although naturally the Red Skull's plot was going on far longer than that, with Rogers' death almost a detail to it. The ability of Brubaker to include current bits as well as present a slow methodical pace to Lukin/Skull is part of what makes the story so thrilling. There's a part of me that does wonder when and if it will all end, but the other part is satisfied with each issue's offerings and enough happens per 22 pages that I rarely feel cheated. Guice does the solo pencils to give Epting a break and does well, with Perkins actually returning to help with inks.

Basically, Red Skull's plan is to destabilize the U.S. as well as line his ducks in a row, from getting Washington to no longer trust SHIELD to passing out fake bottled water to incite protestors into riots, all as distractions for his Serpant Squad thingie. Bucky is sent out as Capt. America to try to calm the riot and he is getting the hang of shield-slinging, even if he had to toss out a sleeping-gas bomb to stem some of the tide. Natasha helps him figure out that Kronas is behind everything and that gets him right in the middle of a fight with Sin, Eel, Cobra, and the rest of the mooks. The issue starts off with a great usage of Falcon's "talks to birds" ability as well as notes how Faustus even has politicians in his pocket. The notion that our enemies are cunning enough to be able to manipulate our media and politicians as easily as a fiddler on a fiddle is one of those "disturbing because it is likely" sort of deals. Guice draws the action incredibly well with some "ouch, that really hurt!" sort of kicks from New Cap. And while that Ross costume is hardly terrific, I am getting used to seeing Epting & Guice draw it.

Bucky is still settling into his role as Cap and while there is at least one "What would Steve Do?" bit every issue thus far, it is what is expected with legacy heroes and Cap especially was one of those shining examples that many heroes can only be in awe of what he seemed to accomplish effortlessly. Even if they may not know that it was not always so effortless for Steve either, and it was that will to work at it, improve, never say die, that sort of thing that helped it along. There are those who naturally dislike that Brubaker's basically made his boyhood hero into Cap but I like Bucky now so that is fine with me. Poor Sharon Carter also wakes up to find Zola the Gyno ready to operate, which has to be nearly as horrifying as being written in NEW AVENGERS. Speaking of Avengers, if Brubaker wanted to write a team with New Cap, Iron Man, Falcon, and Black Widow on it, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. In a way that is what goes on here, with them supporting Buck and all being written well. There isn't much more that can still be said; this is the best run the franchise has had and the parties involved don't want to even consider leaving until maybe 2010. Splendid.

DAMAGE CONTROL #2: McDuffie's return to the minor franchise he started at Marvel continues to be one that is full of laughs and a well needed balloon-pop from some of the heavy handed melodrama of the rest of the line. All this while serving as a capable "WWH AFTERSHOCK" title noting how NYC was rebuilt after Hulk trashed it. Espin provides great art and I only wonder why he isn't on something higher profile. Right from the first page, the tone is kept light and fun, reminding some of an age when some comics were.

Apparently, while Stark, SHIELD, and Ms. Marvel have been willing to let some SHRA violaters slide now that the war is over, the CSA run THUNDERBOLTS are still in war-march mode, ready to start a fight at the rescue & rebuild area because DC has a lot of "volenteers" who aren't registered. The meeting with the T-Bolts is hilarious, especially when Bart makes a deal with Penance, and becomes the third writer within 12 months to write IN AN ISSUE how utterly ******ed and laughable the whole "Emoball" thing is. Bart even calls him, "Captain Emo". What Marvel's editors fail to understand is that NO ONE BUT JENKINS takes this seriously, and they actually succeeded in making Speedball DUMBER than he was before. Before CW, some saw him as silly because he was a bouncy C-Lister with a wonky power. But now, they see him as stupid because he is TRYING to be "deep and meaningful" with 90's era emo-ness and spikes. He is more pretentious and thus more stupid. It seems everyone gets this but Jenkins, Joe Q, and maybe Tom B. Now, ruining an A or B lister in the name of "fixing" them isn't too hard, but taking a well-stomped D-Lister like Speedball and botching it has to be a legendary feat of editorial ******ation, and I am glad McDuffie has a field day with it.

Meanwhile, Monstro, Abby, and Foster mingle over rescues and the latter decides on "Goliath" after the other two keep botching his name. Gene makes good use of all the leftover adamantium from WWH and even gets a talkitive robot head for his collection. But really, reviewing the issue is a lot like explaining a joke. You either get this or not. It's only 3 issues and well worth a try. I'm glad I am aboard for the only Aftershock title I plan to bother with. I came up aces on this one.

KICK-ASS #1: A new ICON launch from Millar and Romita Jr., this is almost exactly what I thought it would be. It was promised it would be a "realistic" take on a superhero. Even the cover tagline seems sarcastic before you even open the book, and it is. I expected this to be violent, vulgar, and bleak, and so far it is. It is as if Millar needed to write something to get the stink of FANTASTIC FOUR esque "light-ness" off his fingers. Why Romita Jr. is along for the ride, who knows. Considering what a pedigree he is, that is like Alan Moore writing porn. Oh, wait, nevermind.

The story starts out in a "real world" type world where superheroes are media creations, y'know, like real life. We first meet Dave Lizewski as he is tied to a chair, having his nuts electrocuted by mobster types. Yeah, I SO didn't see that coming, a hero getting beaten down by Millar. Naturally, Dave is a high school schlub who fails in his social life and has a broken home who comes across the idea to be a superhero. Of course this goes horribly wrong as he stumbles into a fight with three gang-bangers of the sort who go, "How d'ya like THEM apples?" after they stab someone, which is the worst attempt by a white guy to write ghetto slang this year, or even decade. Anyone who is in a street gang who said that would be immediately pummeled to death. Naturally Dave, who is nicknamed "Kick-Ass" by the thugs is immediately run over by a car and left for dead. So, who doesn't feel like hanging themselves yet? Because I sure did.

There's positive. Romita's art is great as always. There's Millar's cynical sense of humor which has it's moments, although I didn't appreciate him using Dave as a mouthpiece to accept some of the crap in movie adapations (he basically defends "Gas-Lactus" from FF2 for instance). Dave's costume looks pretty lame, but that is intentional.

But, god, the last time I read something this bleak, it was FOOLKILLER #1, which I happly abandoned thereafter. The question is whether I will give KICK-ASS more of a shot merely because of the A-List creative team? I mean, that's shallow, but, that's life. Which, in Millar's eyes, is a cesspool of cynical violence where no one has any morals and those that do are always doomed to eternal torture and misery. There's a chance this could be different, but I seriously doubt it. The fact that Millar sees this as uncontested brilliance is the sort of self-congratulation that gets irritating. Please, I could have written **** like this in high school if I had a good artist friend.

The vibe from KICK-ASS? This is Millar & Romita's version of ULTIMATE ADVENTURES, only rated R. And more bleak. Part of me is interested in seeing if Millar really will be as predictable as I fear, but that logic has kept me on a few irritating works. Whether I get issue #2 or not will depend on a whim whatever given week. It is a shame to read this alongside his FF debut.

NEW WARRIORS #9: Man, feels like forever since this book comes out sometimes, right? Paco Medina is back on interiors after the 2 issue Malin run and some of the kids have decided on newer costumes, namely Jubes and Jono, and I actually like 'em. Sophia settles on a costume and is using some leftover tentacles from Doc Ock, which is an interesting twist. Basically, most of the issue is Jono and Jubes arguing about Night-Thrasher's lack of involvement or answers during a battle they had with a group called The Alpha Clan, who they defeated via some pluck and a last minute save by Thrash. It boils down to Juno feeling in Thrash's debt because he saved Jono from suicide, and Jubilee feeling that a leader has to lead, which is basically what she has been doing. She has every right to feel that way and I basically see the New Warriors as being HER team; Thrash just gives them the toys. Wondra's new costume removes the skull cap and has more black than yellow, which I naturally like.

The media notes that the New Warriors are suddenly becoming pop culture among youths and part of me thinks it seems too soon; less than 2 years ago in real time, the New Warriors were literally being hunted in the streets, and now kids are wearing their tag's on their bellies? I guess teenagers have always liked stuff that adults didn't approve up, but it seems sudden. Sykes & Givens naturally talk about cop politics and the ugliness of it all as well as confirming that Stark really is secretly funding the NW's, at least so far. Night-Thrasher also discusses with Kaz his latest tactic in keeping the team hanging along. Frankly I think it is well past due for Thrash to be honest, especially since Jubilee is more than experienced enough to demand better. The book still is building some things up and with the low sales, I fear #12 will be the last. Still, some confrontation is probably upcoming. I still like Grevioux's direction here even if his X-characters aren't what I expected. The market got oversaturated with teen teams and NW's may be paying the sales price. I'll stick with it as long as it lasts, though. It got me to actually kind of like Jubliee, which counts for something.

THOR #6: I am not even sure if the first arc really is finished, because that is how decompressed it is. This title is lucky that it seems to be scoring 100k+ sales due to the strength of the creative team and the franchise, because if it had to rely on momentum, I think it'd have crashed. More happens in plenty of Bottom 50 books than in this Top 10 one. Still, that isn't to say it is bad or unsatisfying, which is what can make it so glaring. This isn't decompression akin to Bendis or Huston, where a character can spend 2-3 issues within one room or conversation. But this isn't THE ORDER either.

The issue is basically a "small moments" issue where we see how the Asgardians, mainly the Warrior's Three, intermingle with the residents of Oklahoma with which they are living with. They have lived on Asgard for so long that the idea of mingling with "mortals" is appealing. The locals are naturally entranced by them and swapping "Norse god stories" with each other at the local diner. The cutest moment is naturally "Bill Jr." and his meeting with a goddess. Thor reveals that he is not only hesitant to revive "evil" Asgardian beings, but also Odin because he fears that Odin will simply return them "to old ways" and not allow them to live a new destiny of their choosing. In the end, Blake convinces him to free all of them at once, a feat that seems to exhaust the god of thunder. I guess that gets the "freeing them" arc over with, if not the "finding them" bit. Loki is still a woman and still plotting, and that is fine. It seems that Blake and Thor can talk to each other, but only one can exist at once, and to locals it seems as if they're talking to oneself. As to how Blake exists, in issue #1 his reason was, "Yeah, I was a creation of Odin to teach you humility, but what power does Odin have to say I don't exist when Odin himself is gone?" So, thus, back from Limbo. THOR's a solid book, but it may remind some of NEW X-MEN before Kyle and Yost, a book that has a lot of potential and needs a kick up the keester somewhat. I suppose it is nice to see Thor and the Asgardians intermingling with midwestern folks, but the pace is still a bit slow at times. The issue succeeds on the strength of the moments and the art, which tells the story in many ways. Coipel is getting a much needed break and while I expect the fill in run to be pretty, I hope it is timely.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #51: I practically forgot this came out and passed it once on the shelf before remembering. As my last Ultimate ongoing I guess that shows how easily I could dump the whole thing at a whim. Right now Carey is getting his ducks in a row by having Thanos show up for his cosmic cube, now that Reed has built it for him. The Tesseract are unable to keep NYC from Thanos after ripping it from Earth and the Four battle his army, with ends with Thing teleported elsewhere and Reed defeated by Thanos. Kirkham shows up drawing Ferry's designs and he seems too stiff to pull them off with as much gusto, and Carey is on the verge of drowing in sci-fi jibberish again. Thanos' line as he left his ship was almost bafflingly bad. After seeing a great go at Thanos from design to writing in ANNIHILATION, this almost pales. It isn't bad and I have faith in Carey but I could easily drop this book and never touch Ultimate again. It is like FIRST CLASS for me, something I read as a diversion to the rest of Marvel. It is fine but this issue wasn't too epic. Reed has a more relatable origin, though, with the abusive father.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS #9: Another fun issue from Parker & Cruz that almost breaks your heart when it's moral is that Wanda Maximoff is a fun character with a lot of potential as heroine, because it only reminds you of what Bendis has done to her over the past 4 years. Really, what a god damned waste. At least Spider-Man has hope of someone undoing things, what hope does Wanda have? Heinberg couldn't write an issue solo of YA if his life depended on it. And no one else wants to dare tell Bendis that Wanda is more than an emotionally insane ****e who has amnesia and sleeps with anything that finds her in the hills of Romania somewhere. But none of that matters in this cute little epic.

Black Widow, in her brief 60's costume that looked like she was shopping in the Black Canary department and then decided to add some Zorro elements, runs across Jean and Wanda as they ice-state. Trying to recruit Wanda for SHIELD, she tricks her into tagging along for an adventure that includes HYDRA. Naturally Jean and the X-Men are not about to let that stand, so they track her and go to the rescue. HYDRA's beaten, a sub is recovered and Wanda decides to stick it out on her own. There is another Coover drawn strip that is 10 times funnier as the Mini Marvels bits in the back. As usual, XM:FC is good simple fun and reminds one of the days when the X-Men were superheroes who didn't disband at the first sign of hardship every week. The only downside is, again, recalling where these characters have ended up in 616. Jean never improved beyond "token female" and resurrections, and Wanda's been utterly wasted.

YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #2: Reed & Tolibao come aboard to tell the issue of Teddy Altman/Hulkling meeting his biological father, Capt. Marvel, now that he has seemingly be resurrected. Reed wanted to do this in CAPTAIN MARVEL but didn't have the room; thankfully he gets 22 pages here to tell the tale, one that the fans demanded. It is a rare bit of fan-pleasing, and it is appreciated.

Tolibao's art is good for the most part, although Wiccan's leggings are still too feminine now. Hulkling is at a loss as to how to properly introduce himself, so he stumbles into Mar-Vell and blurts things out, which doesn't go well. The team fights some cyborgs and discusses things and the issue ends with Hulking & Mar-Vell having a brief heart to heart. Mar-Vell is unsure of how to react to his son and tries to do his best, but his hectic schedule and the fact that he has to eventually go back in time to die means bonding will be limited. Hulkling is saddened that he has basically lost all the adults in his life, and it seems like a cruel tease that his father is reintroduced so briefly.

This issue also is seemingly the last time the two met, noting something omnious about CAPTAIN MARVEL. It was the issue the fans wanted and to that extent it succeeded. It wasn't the best story ever but it was basically about two people trying to relate to an impossible situation. Mar-Vell appreciated that Hulkling CHOSE to become a warrior, rather than being forced into it via Kree culture like he was, which is cool. It left Teddy with more questions than answers, but sometimes in real life, you don't get the closure you seek, and have to move on. I probably liked the Patriot issue more (it seemed odd how defensive he was of Mar-Vell this issue, though), but it was still enjoyable and worth the read if you are a YA fan.
Justice Society of America #13
You know, I get the feeling this "all new, all huge" Justice Society is going to come back and bite someone in the ass. Not us or the creative team, mind you. I mean the characters. In this issue, Jakeem actually made a reference to the Society being too large. And given all the parallels this arc is making with Kingdom Come, and what happened to all the metahumans in that story, I can betcha somebody's gonna die when this is all over. Multiple somebodies.

Otherwise, this was a pretty solid issue. We're getting somewhere on the whole Gog/Magog thing. It comes close to, but doesn't quite reconcile all of my questions with the origin of Magog, his relation to Gog, and why a superhero would choose that kind of name for himself. They've also clearly established just how much stronger KC Superman is from NE Superman. I expected a gap, but not a "broken nose vs. broken fist" gap.

X-Men: First Class #9
I love this book, but it makes me a bit sad. Parker is clearly on a roll, redeeming characters who've been consistently crapped on by Marvel's editorial staff for at least a decade. Jean Grey is Marvel Girl, and not a character dependent on her connection to the Phoenix to be interesting. Scarlet Witch is a hero with good intentions and a firm grasp on reality, not a Brian Michael Bendis f***-job.

Meanwhile, the two mini-comics in the back remain hilarious. Especially Mini-Marvels, where Iron Man talks down to Ka-Zar, big time.

Ka-Zar: "Iron Man!What brings you here to the hidden forgotten untamed tropical exotic jungle paradise of the Savage Land?"
Iron Man: "Ka-Zar! Although I can barely make sense of your primitive jungle-man language, I thought I should at least extend a helping hand."


Ka-Zar: "Iron Man, this modern technology you're so proud of is destroying the planet. Your rocket-fueled jet-boots only contribute to the build-up of green-house gasses, and global warming has become a threat that can no longer be ignored."
Iron Man: "You certainly sound passionate, Ka-Zar. If only I had lived among apes my whole life as you have, I might better understand your simple grunts and mumbling."

X-Men Legacy #208
People have been saying that Carey has been doing an amazing job on X-Men. I wouldn't know, since my aversion to Bachalo's art had me avoiding the entire 'Supernovas' arc. Thank god for Eaton, who was probably one of my favorite artists in Messiah Complex.

The story takes us to an interesting place: Chuck's mind. Or rather, what's left of it. Exodus has repaired the physical damage to his brain, but cannot get to his mind. Even in near-death, Charles' psychic defenses won't let any random jerk into his mind, even to help. To remedy this, Exodus further shatters his mind, in order to repair it from the ground, up. During this, we're treated to a series of unfinished flashbacks from Charles' unfinished memories. Or, and Magneto shows up at the end. Looking forward to see where this goes.

She-Hulk #26
Am I the only one buying this book?

Anyway, I like Jazinda. Really. I hate that she's probably going to get F'd during the Secret Invasion crossover. She's the only friend Jen has, these days, and she's the only one trying to remind her that she used to be a superhero. It also looks like PAD will go into exactly why Jen left her old life behind in the coming issues, so that's good.

Thor #6
I don't know why, but I just assumed the people as Asgard had some wonky, magical way of disposing of their piss & crap. Uh... not so much. Although, in all fairness, throwing your waste over the city walls probably wasn't such a bad idea when Asgard was smack-dab in the middle of a heavenly void-dimension on the other side of the rainbow.

I can only help but wonder what Lokisha (that's what I'm calling her, now) is up to, with her "feminine 5 O'clock shadow" twirling.

I enjoyed the stories told by the townfolk, and their interactions with the gods of Asgard. Especially Bill (born of Bills) and his meaningful stares with Kelda (born of light and sky, sunrises and wind). Overall, it seems the people in town like the Asgardians, save for their sanitation habits. Don's gotta watch that "talking to Thor aloud in his mind in public" thing, though.
Between this weeks batch and last week, I'm up to my ass in books, and I still have a few left, so I'm gonna skip the usual grades and leave some thoughts.

Young Avengers: Hulkling really was fantastic. Reed is doing a great job exploring the idea of Mar-Vell's displacement, and we get an interesting bit about how much longer he'll be in the current MU.

Cap is great as always. Brubaker, don't fall into the trap of Bucky becoming Rodimus Prime and you'll be fine. You're doing just fine right now, just be wary of it. And keep kicking ass.

Speaking of, Transformers fans, this has been a hell of a couple weeks. Spotlight: Arcee is another FANTASTIC re-imagining of a classic character. Arcee has some serious psychological problems. It's interesting how Furman took a very real condition and applied it to the world these characters are from. Also, I love how, between this and Devastation, everything is coming together. Forget Batman, Simon Furman is the prep-time king.
My hope with the JSA is that there is a new team formed of all the kids, a la Infinity Inc. I would most definately pick up a book like that.

Wildcat Jr, Jakeem, Lightning, Cyclone, Citizen Steel and the gang led by Star Spangled Girl would just rock.
My hope with the JSA is that there is a new team formed of all the kids, a la Infinity Inc. I would most definately pick up a book like that.

Wildcat Jr, Jakeem, Lightning, Cyclone, Citizen Steel and the gang led by Star Spangled Girl would just rock.

And probably suck.
That doesn't even make any sense.

If it was written in the spirit of the original Infinity Inc, it would be great.

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