Bought/Thought Thread 11-14-2007 SPOILER ALERT!

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by Doc Destruction, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Doc Destruction Geaux Saints!

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    X-Factor #25 - Messiah Complex cruising along very well here, including a nice moment with the New X-Men. Rictor goes undercover and Maddrox uses his power in a very cool way.

    Titans East #1 - Well,
    for those of you who hated the team, don't sweat it, because they're all DEAD.
    This one caught me off guard, Thunderbolts-style. Awesome set up for the Titans book coming soon. My pick o the week!

    Countdown #24 - STUFF HAPPENS. Pretty grim book, and the Prime haters will hate even more now.

    Booster Gold #4 - The reveal of Supernova! This book clips along at a pretty good pace, and I'm loving the ride. Booster and Rip have to maintain Barry getting hit by the lightning, and barely pull it off.

    Batman and the Outsiders #1 - Sorry this team isn't sticking around, because I like the feel and chemistry. Batgirl should be cool, though.
     
  2. Superman_ Registered

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    All-Star Superman and Superman/Batman were great this week.
     
  3. GNR Registered

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    WWH #5

    -solid ending to the mini overall,there's a real conclusion here compared to CW which left everyone in a big WTF?
    -the final battle was immense as it should be,considering the amount of popcorn action we've had,it was only fitting that they went all out
    -Hulk SMASH Miek answered my prayers
    -I hope JRJR still has hands
    -so Sentry is depowered now?I think I missed what happened there


    Overall,this was a great addition by Pak and JRJR to the "Hulk VS the Marvel Universe" stories of yesteryear.Anyone thinking this is new is kidding themselves,but the way Pak,Pags and JRJR have really ran with this story for the past 2 years has been quite a feat.The last page really had no effect unless you read PH,IMO.That gave me chills.With all the Sonny Boy stories we've had recently,I hope Pak does something new with this.

    Issue #5:10/10

    WWH: 8.5/10
     
  4. samurai black Mighty Dark Avenger

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    All i have to say is that NA 36 made absolutely no freakin continuity sense. I think they should take this title and make it it's own universe.
     
  5. DoomJester A side-kick no longer.

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    Darn it! I just made one of these but I was reviewing my issues before I "created it" so I guess I was a slopoke! I don't know how to delete my threads but if I can will delete mine. Oh well.

    For me 1 is horrible and 10 is "life-changingly good."

    I was going to get Nightwing and X-Factor but I forgot too! I will review them in a few days, also, I haven't had time to read and review The Black Dossier but I will update that later as well. If tried very hard to avoid useless summaries (summaries are not reviews) and spoilers. But if you want anything spoiled just ask I will put it up with spoiler tags for you.

    New Avengers 36 [6]
    Watch out! This book basically summarizes the entire Mighty Avengers Symbiote fight/arc. But the summary was quite interesting. If you get upset over spoilers just skip this issue as it is an in-between arcs issue. It isn't a bad issue over all-- Skrull talk is going to be par for the NA course so get used to it (though it is holding back the score). The NA finally decide to take it to the Hood (for the next arc I guess) and the final splash page made me smile. Good art, good dialogue (just wasted on the Skrull talk), the MA summary was interesting enough, but it is very spoilery. If you are reading NA no reason to skip it, other than MA spoilers.

    Countdown 24 [5]
    Not a bad issue. Mary Marvel gets more than a page so that's worth a few points. No Jimmy Olsen, or Women's Shelter story-lines. If you felt some excitement over Desaad well, that is dropped like a bad habbit here, which is a bit of a let down. The "Evil Superman" goes around killing more people from random Earths that are probably not that important IRL but it's still a brand new story line, and it could be interesting. Art was surprisingly solid. Dialogue was tight enough. If you are interested in Countdown, you may as well pick this one up. If you've really had it up to *here* with Countdown, this won't change your mind.

    Titans East Special [6.5]
    This is a hard book to review. I really enjoyed it but I decided to ere on the side of caution and give it 6.5 rather than a 7. It is not a one shot, it absolutely leads into Titans. This holds it back from a higher score. Also, the book loses a lot of intensity because it deals with characters we just don't know enough to care about, or at least, I didn't. The dialogue was very good, not masterful, but very good. The art was amazing. Churchill was born for one thing and that was drawing womens. (Belive me I am not rating the book on the women, the 6.5 has nothing to do with them). Churchill has a good eye for action and there is a lot of it. It was fun book, but to get your money's worth out of it you're going to need to read Titans, which is a blessing and a curse. Cheesecake doesn't hurt though.

    Batman/Superman 42 [7]
    Batman comes first in my world so I gave him top billing for this story. But there are lots of Batman moments here, he even gets to learn a bit about himself (big pointsfor character development.). If you're a fan of Batman this is an issue for you. On a bad note, I'm puzzled by Desaad's and Darkseid's interactions, it seemed silly, almost comical (when it shouldn't be) so that hurts the book a little. Overall, Torment ended very well. But there is a needless Countdown "tie-in" that hurts the book. Maybe it had to happen but it shouldn't have happened here. Torment was very entertaining, not must read material but I'm happy I read it.

    Spider-Man/Red-Sonja 4 [5]
    A weak, borderline skippable issue. The kind I had expected to be turned in before I started reading. I'm not too bummed out as I had expected the series to suck. (I bought it because I was reading Back in Black and that wasn't very good, I figured I needed something Spidey to read!) Overall the series has been enjoyable, the pacing has been slightly off, but here the pacing was totally off, and I don't understand why the fights went on for so long, [BLACKOUT]I'm pretty sure cops aren't that stupid...[/BLACKOUT] This issue is sorta skippable, but there is one more issue to go, the series has been strong, and I think we are set up for a really interesting ending.

    Avengers: The Initiative 7 [6.5]
    A good issue, but I'm not sure why I should care about what happens here. I said it elsewhere-- these are C-list characters so I don't know why I care. The drama over MVP is back (not a spoiler, I promise) but now it seems really drummed up for no good reason. The MVP issue may become important later but I'd rather see Hank complain about what happen to Tigra than try and talk tough about MVP. Spider-Man is here, at first I thought it was wasted but upon reflection I guess it is alright. The issue was tight enough so if you are a fan there is no reason not to grab it. I don't think this issue will convince anyone new that they need to read the series though.

    Thor 4 [4.5]
    Slow issue. Thor looks and acts cool for a few pages but he may as well have saved the African nation/village from the outset and done something else with his time. (After all, this wasn't some Trauma Center doctor drama, he knew that placed was messed up from the get go.) But Thor does look cool for a bit, so that's a plus. But honestly, nothing has happened so far that has been worth any money. I guess the Tony/Thor fight in issue three was alright but as far as Thor goes, it was pointless as we knew from the outset that he wanted to be by himself. If you've been thinking of picking Thor up, I'd say wait. If you've been buying Thor and you just don't like skipping issues then you've probably already made your decision. No reason to buy this though. I'm calling JMS's bluff.

    All-Star Superman 9 [8]
    Very good book that explores--somewhat-- the value of "Superman's mission." Why hasn't he ended hunger, global-warming, and all of that good stuff? Why hasn't he made Superman Prime's "perfect world?" Well, the issue plays around with that idea a little. A little. The answers come off a little weak, but it was still very interesting to see the question played with for an issue. The main "villains" of the issue are dealt with rather cheaply near the end which kept my socks from being knocked off. But I forgot just how great a character Mr Morrison can make Clark Kent. The dynamic of Clark and Superman is really entertaining. But if you've been reading this series you knew that by now. I normally hate Quitely's art, but it is actually good on All-Star Superman. Do you have to buy this issue? Well, no. Very little fall out from the Bizzaro arc occurs, and this feels like an independent episode, and unfortunately, aside from a somewhat weak ending, it doesn't set up a new arc or issue so I don't have anything to "wait" on. So no, you don't have to buy the issue. But you should.

    World War Hulk 5 [5]
    It ends, so it gets some points there. The fight between Hulk and Sentry was huge, but Pak tries to insert some character elements into the Sentry (to make the Hulk look good and the Earth heroes look more like jerks) that don't agree with. I don't believe that's Sentry, and I don't believe that there is any reason to think that Hulk is anything but a huge jerk-off. The ending to the WWH really bothered me. It didn't feel complete, and after seeing exactly how Hulk goes down, it felt like the fight was a waste of time. Not only that, a few new elements are introduced in the last couple of pages that I wonder what happened. I was left confused. I'm sure this will be a new era for all the characters still left, but I won't be there to see it. If you plan on reading Hulk, you may as well pick this book up. I really don't feel like I needed to read it. I got no real closure, we knew which characters would survive ahead of time. You can safel skip this book if you didn't like the other issues. It didn't get better.

    Batman and the Outsiders 1 [6.5]
    Great art. Also, I really felt as though this was a "realistic" book. Not that the book was going for stark realism-- but I felt that this is the way a team assembled by Batman should act. Batman was written very well and while he doesn't take part in the fighting, he casts an ever-present shadow over the book, which is always a plus for me. I don't kno where this book is going, and it the book didn't reinforce a "must-read" mentality (the plot didn't feel urgent, the characters didn't even act urgent). All in all, I was entertained, and I will be back for more.

    House of M: Avengers 1 [5]
    What's the point of this? Like Avengers the Initiative, this feels like some side-story (partially because it is!) but unlike Avengers the Iniative, the pacing is off-- Luke Cage tells us about himself and he recruits a team in a few panels... okay... The dialogue wasn't bad, and "The History of Luke Cage" wasn't bad, but it didn't push the book forward, especially since House of M already occured, and we are getting our fill of Luke Cage in NA. I was going to put the book back (big week as you can tell) but I saw the Perkins was doing the art. Very solid art. Was it worth the book? Hard to say. The book wasn't bad, but I don't know why you'd read it at this point. I like the art so I'll see if the book will go anywhere.
     
  6. DoomJester A side-kick no longer.

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    It makes good continuity sense. It just jumps forward. [BLACKOUT]What's confusing is that we wait months and months for issues whereas an issue most always takes place within a short, though unknown amount of time. It is best to assume that the Symbiote Fight in Mighty Avengers takes place only for a day or so. Few events in comics take more than a 24 hour period (their time) to occur I'd say. [/BLACKOUT]
     
  7. GNR Registered

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    I heard some people saying it was just an illusion by Strange.

    Having Stark side by side with Thor makes no sense right now.
     
  8. DoomRulz A guy that comes and goes

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    Captain Marvel #1 [8]
    • solid read, good writing and good artwork
    • good background on where Marv's been all this time
    • Tony Stark for once not being a *****e
    I never read Captain Marvel in the past, this is the first time I've even approached the character. I guess the cover grabbed me when I first saw it on the calendar/poster my comic shop was giving out last week.

    Ghost Rider Annual #1 [8]
    • good story
    • left a nice mystery surrounding this new Mister Eleven character
    • artwork was meh. it's certainly not the best Ghost Rider I've ever seen, but it was graphic which is exactly what you want in a GR comic
     
  9. DoomJester A side-kick no longer.

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    I was confused at first but that is probably what it was. That would scare anyone. If Hood doesn't pee in his pants it isn't because he's got balls or he's hardcore, he's just stupid. And please Bendis, don't pretend that the magic of the Hood (the actual clothing) is stronger than Strange's magic. Strange should just be like "no hood you can't go invisible right now." I know Hood will sneak up on Strange and make everyone realize that it is just an illusion and then the NA will fight for three issues. But I'd like to see this work right just once.
     
  10. supermarvelman Registered

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    You dont have to care, you dont even need to pick up the book, and so what if they are a bunch of newbies and c-listers, thats kinda the point of the Initiative as a comicbook. 50 STATE INITIATIVE, 50*7=350 heroes do you really think that they are all gonna be A-listers or b-lister, hell some of them arent even c-list, but for me that is one of if not the main reason i pick up Avengers:Initiative, c-listers, YellowJacket, War Machine, and again C-listers. My point is, atleast Marvel is using c-listers instead leaving them in comic limbo.
     
  11. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    NA #what-the-****-ever
    Sucked. I was going to drop the series this week, but then I stupidly flipped through it at the shop and saw Thor on the last page, so I picked it up. Waste of money. I'm done with Bendis' ******ed one-voice-fits-all dialogue and do-nothing plots. Yu's art is good but rushed, and it's certainly not enough to save this series. To those who enjoy it, more power to you. I'll wait until Bendis goes away in however many years that takes and the real Avengers get back together to do real Avengers ****.

    Batman & the Outsiders #1
    Great start. Dixon really took whatever reservations I had about the new format and chucked them out the window at breakneck speed. Hell, I even found myself liking Grace and loving to hate Thunder (as opposed to just hating her, like I usually do). Katana's bloodthirstiness was odd, but I guess the ******edly-morally-ambiguous Nightwing let her cut loose a lot and kill people lately, so it's really no surprise. Good thing Catwoman's sticking to Bruce's code. I liked the little snarky comeback Katana gave Catwoman about Bruce trusting her, too. Metamorpho and the Martian Manhunter easily steal the show here, though. It's too bad it looks like J'onn will soon be leaving to make room for Geo-Force (and, seriously, ****ing Geo-Force? He's not worth kicking Grace off the team for, let alone J'onn. :o). But, on the plus side: Aquanewb's joining up next issue, if the cover is any indication. Then I think there's only one or two more issues before the permanent team is put in place.

    Julian Lopez's art surprised me. I wasn't sure how good he'd be from the preview pages posted, but he's definitely a solid artist. I like the way he draws Grace and J'onn, and while I could do with a few less Shift-esque flourishes on Metamorpho, they're not bad. Looking forward to his Aquanewb and possibly Batgirl next issue.

    I don't know what Bedard had planned, but I can't say I'm too disappointed I won't find out. Dixon's definitely knocked this first issue out of the park.
     
  12. Marcdachamp Registered

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    Tough week to review because... well, I liked everything I bought. Quite a bit, actually.

    New Avengers- PICK OF THE WEEK! Ok, a TON happens here. We get to see the Symbiotes and the impact they had on the team, a nice Cage/Jess moment, a cover that actually ties into the issue (which is a great moment in itself), some fun art by Yu (Loved Spidey catching Logan), and a cool set up for next issue. The biggest problem? The Mighty Avengers delays are killing this book's timeliness. 9/10

    X-Factor- Messiah Complex had ****ing BETTER live up to its build-up, because the beginning is GOOD. 3 issues in, and I'm really digging all of this. PAD does a great job of keeping up with the threads from the last couple parts, but he also keeps the focus on the book's cast. I'm really excited to see what happens to
    Jamie's dupes and Layla and which alternate realities they stumble upon.
    . Anyone else think this ties into Layla's "because eventually we get married" line from way back when? 9/10

    World War Hulk- Dammit Marvel. Now I gotta pick up more Hulk stuff. Thanks. 8/10

    Avengers: The Initiative- Good issue. Obviously Marvel seems intent on retconning the unmasking fairly soon, and this is one way to start it up, I suppose. Great to have Caelli back, too. 8/10

    Punisher War Journal- After a mediocre issue last month, Fraction comes back strong. His character interaction is fantastic. Spidey is quite funny, the Rhino is written very well, and Frank is great as usual. We also have an awesome scene with Domino, who's a great character when used well. Looking forward to next issue. 8/10

    Spider-Girl- Defalco's doing a great job working in forgotten characters. Mindworm, while sporting a very lame design, is turning out to be an interesting ally for Hobgoblin, and I'm actually excited to see Arana again. I liked what Defalco did with her over in the Spider-Man Family Summer Special, so I'm happy to see she's back. I never cared for her in the current MU, but maybe that's because she's older and hotter in the future. :woot: 8/10
     
  13. GNR Registered

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    It would be cool to have J'onn stay but Dixon said him and Cats are leaving.I'd rather have him kick off Grace and leave J'onn when Ollie and GF come aboard.
     
  14. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    Blurgh, **** Ollie. Connor would've been so much better for the team.

    But yeah, Grace could die miserable and alone for all I care. J'onn is a much more valuable resource to the team. The only good way for him to leave is if he leaves to rejoin the Justice League.

    World War Hulk #5
    Bit of an anti-climax. Okay, a huge mother****ing anti-climax. People predicted pretty much everything that happened here. The only surprise was the fact that Iron Man's beam actually managed to put the Hulk and the Sentry down. Which, really, wasn't a good surprise. It just makes the Hulk look like a ***** after all the crap he went through. Technology's never been able to hold him before, yet now that he's at his absolute strongest, it does the trick in a pinch. Lame.

    John Romita Jr.'s art is in no way to blame for anything boring or crappy about the issue, by the way. It's all Pak's predictable crap.

    But who cares? This event was so delayed and badly handled that most of us have been excited more for what comes next anyway. And what a good haul it looks to be. I'm looking forward to what Pak does with Skaar (whose name sucks a little), I'm really looking forward to The Incredible Herc because, frankly, Hercules deserves more respect, and I'm definitely looking forward to more Warbound. I want to see how Brood deals with everything and Hiroim gets by with missing limbs and no Hulk and Korg deals with Thor's return (I hope--Pak knew enough to reference Thor in Planet Hulk, and it'd be a real waste not to deal with the relationship between Thor and Korg's people now that Thor's back).

    Oh, and given how the Hulk goes down, I'm inclined to agree with everyone who's been saying that Black Bolt is a Skrull now. Hell, I think the Sentry is a Skrull, too. "Power of a million exploding suns" < Tony Stark's satellites? My ass. :o
     
  15. Doc Destruction Geaux Saints!

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    Couldn't have said it better myself, my man. Sad, but true.
     
  16. GNR Registered

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    Yea,I realized a while ago that WWH wasn't going to pull out any real surprising twists,save the whole Son thing,a while ago,so I just enjoyed this entire series as classic popcorn at its best.It's not crap by any means,and it's not heavy on plot,just a good ass kicking for people in tights is all.
     
  17. GNR Registered

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    What is up with people buying books they hate on here?Be strong and drop them like bad habits.
     
  18. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    I do. Lee Weeks is one of my favorite artists and has been for some time, but I stayed strong and resisted buying Captain Marvel #1 because, frankly, Genis-Vell is my Captain Marvel, and if it's not Genis, the only thing I'd read a book about Mar-Vell for is if it concerned his family. I have no interest in seeing Mar-Vell throw moon-eyes at Ms. Marvel while his wife and children are off in space or right there on Earth, unaware that he's alive.
    Eh, the ass-kickings didn't make much sense, though. You've got to go out of your way to justify some of them. Pak's not taking Bendis-sized liberties with people's powers or anything (Luke Cage can't be taken over by a symbiote because of unbreakable skin? That didn't seem to help the Silver Surfer a few years ago. :o), but he's definitely not staying true to past portrayals, either. The whole thing struck me as a bit of a fanwank. Hopefully, now that Pak's got it out of his system, he can go back to telling actual stories as good as Planet Hulk.
     
  19. GNR Registered

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    I know you loved PH,so as much as you hated the issue,that last page had to get something out of you.

    And let's not compare pak to Bendis.Come on dude,there is no way New Avengers has been as good as WWH,no matter how much you hated the ending.
     
  20. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    Yeah, I did love PH. I said I was interested in Skaar back in my review. :oldrazz:
     
  21. DoomJester A side-kick no longer.

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    A reader should care-- I don't know of many writers who have wanted you to not care about a character-- either you should hate the villain or love the hero or feel sympathy for those in love, but you should feel some way about the characters. And no, I don't have to pick up the book, but I don't think you meant to point that out-- maybe you meant to say "if you don't care stop buying it"? Well, if I can't manage to care soon enough I may stop buying it.

    The long and short of it is that Marvel sold this-- they didn't have to. Using a c-lister for the sake of using the c-lister is no service at all. It is only a service if it is good. Avengers Initiative is very episodic and feels very isolated from the rest of the "world." And the characters are c-listers. Are we really supposed to believe that anyone (aside from MVP's parents) would care if it were revealed that he died? It is a potentially interesting story but he needs to stop dragging out a fake drama. Avengers the Initiative was the best during WWH because it tied into the Marvel universe. The plight of the characters gained a relevance that the series really needed. Since they are c-listers I can't help but get the feeling that we'll just get some new ones if anything happens.
     
  22. yenaled 3X2(9YZ)4A

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    Winick killed Lagoon Boy!? He has actually managed to make me hate him more somehow. *******. :cmad:
     
  23. DoomJester A side-kick no longer.

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    I didn't even know who that character was. It kept me from being very attached, but I was definitely intrigued by Titans East. I really wasn't expecting the end. My only real problem with the special was that it wasn't really a special, it was definitely a very long issue 0 (since the story will be continued in Titans). Please, plz, can we get Churchill on Titans?
     
  24. CaptainCanada Shield of the True North

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    Booster Gold #4

    DC’s best new title in a while continues apace. It’s settling into a fairly nice rhythm here, and each issue’s general outline is quite predictable (Booster inadvertently brings the future into being by his unintentional actions), but there’s a lot of stuff within that framework that works marvellously. This issue has, among other things, a Dark Skeets for Skeets to fight, and the reveal of who Supernova is and who he’s working for (although there’s still a Man Behind The Man Behind The Man, apparently). The Flashes guest-star, but they don’t really amount to much, even though this month’s plot is centred around Barry Allen. At heart, this is a light drama with plenty of comedy. I can’t wait to see what Booster does next month when he ventures into The Killing Joke.

    Captain Marvel #1

    In which Brian Reed continues his streak with the Marvels, and does his best to cover up all the many botches of Marvel’s initial return, essentially by more or less writing-off his initial appearance (except to one plot-important individual) and having a re-do of his public debut in this issue. And he comes up with a pretty plausible explanation, and a good way to handle it. Reed sets up all his plot points here, and while he doesn’t go too deeply into Mar-Vell himself yet, he seems to have a good handle on him, and where he wants to go with him. I look forward to seeing Cap interact with Carol next issue. Lee Weeks’ art is very good, although his street-level stuff seems a somewhat odd fit for a cosmic hero like Mar-Vell.

    Fables #67

    In which Willingham lays out how Ambrose intends to survive the Empire’s assault, and also demonstrates his kingly prowess. It’s rather hard to say much about an individual issue of Fables I find, most times, other than that it’s a consistently entertaining read. The book spent about a half-a-dozen issues in low-gear in the 50s and early 60s, but it’s now gone into high gear, and really notable developments occur at an incredible pace (Haven sprung up, what, last issue?). The other Fables are becoming a rather negligible presence in this story right now, but Ambrose (who, as Flycatcher, I never had much interest in) has become a compelling main character.

    Green Arrow and Black Canary #2

    I’m reading this initial arc just to see what happens with Green Arrow, and also with the Shamazons (out of morbid curiosity, I suppose). There’s a major ongoing continuity issue between this issue and this week’s issue of Wonder Woman, which I’ll get into in my WW review. Sufficed to say that Dinah, Mia, and Conner head to the Shamazon Island to rescue Ollie, with the ladies providing a diversion. "Diversion" is about the only explanation I can find for Mia’s behaviour in part of this issue, which includes a hysterical rant whose central point I just can’t grasp. Cliff Chiang’s art is fantastic (he remembers that Connor is Asian, that Mia has an emblem rather than a boob-window, etc.).

    House of M: Avengers #1

    There’s a certain feeling of pointlessness underlying this whole project, and, while "greater relevance" should not objectively be necessary (many of the greatest comics stories are Elseworlds and the like), the fact that the author outright said this project exists solely for Marvel to respond to strong demand for "House of M" trades just accentuates this feeling. I’m buying this for Mike Perkins, primarily, one of my favourite artists, now apparently striking out on his own after a rotating run on Captain America. I hope he ends up on one of the post-MC X-titles. On an art note, I prefer his art when Frank D’Armata is colouring, based on this issue. In terms of story, it’s mainly the origin of HoM Luke Cage, who still proudly wears his silk shirt, and his posse. It’s nicely handled, for what it is.

    Thor #4

    JMS continues the s-l-o-o-w pacing of this opening story, which is admirable on the one hand, since he’s not being rushed by commercial considerations, and is trying to play the return of the Asgardian Gods as something more than a one-issue reset; but it can also be a bit boring. In this issue, Donald/Thor decamp to Africa for a Darfur-analogue, where Donald treats some wounds and Thor trades some rounds with a genocidal militia. It’s sort of an action sequence, albeit one without stakes. And, as you can tell from the cover, Thor finds the Warriors Three, who actually get a few lines here, as well as Heimdall. Thor demonstrates some pretty impressive power here, creating a massive gorge with a single hammer-blow. The message about African intervention is kind of mixed, since the tribal leader says Africans must solve their own problems and Western whites can’t help; but Blake helps earlier, as does Thor, even if he doesn’t solve the situation. Eh.

    Wonder Woman #14

    After a year-and-a-half-long gang-rape by a clutch of DC personnel (including a woman, so it’s at least a gender-equal affair), Gail Simone arrives to take Diana to the ER. All things considered, a pretty decent start from Simone, and definitely better than anyone we’ve had previously for a year-and-a-half (not that that says much). All the weaknesses of this issue pertain to stuff previous writers and editorial did, so I can’t hold that against her, and the strengths are all her own. Diana seems competent and explicitly says she knows who she is and what she’’s about, a big improvement. Nemesis is semi-entertaining (but should still go the way of Trevor Barnes). The hints with Hippolyta sound pretty interesting. And everyone loves a good slugfest with Nazis. The gorillas should definitely stick around, too. I’m onboard. Now, someone really has to explain what’s going on with Themyscira, since there seem to be at least two of them, but everyone acts like each they’re the same.

    World War Hulk #5

    Big anti-climax that I mostly predicted, with the one unknown, the outcome of the Hulk vs. Sentry fight, left largely unexplained (okay, entirely unexplained), and the Illuminati somehow, in a few minutes, devising a more effective anti-Hulk weapon than they’d been able to do in the preceding 24 hours they were granted. The question of who really blew up Sakaar is resolved, but those responsible are the height of unmentioned, with secondary blame being accorded to Miek (who, within the actual WWH miniseries, hasn’t really had any time). I prefer Civil War, for all its flaws.

    X-Factor #25

    Now, onto a good crossover. Messiah Complex hits its third issue, and it’s consistently pretty good to watch. It’s amusing that X-Factor, the third-lowest selling title of the four, will have the best art of the crossover, from the looks of it (and from a fill-in penciller, at that); Eaton’s stuff is excellent. I hope he gets a permanent gig post-MC, because he’s earned it after the last year or so of rotation through various X-assignments. Pursuant to Cyclops’ orders, Madrox and Layla go to see Forge, who is planning to send Jamie’s dupes as reconnaissance to two new alternate futures that have popped up where mutants are detected. Layla throws a wrench into this by going along on what is apparently a one-way trip. Cyclops’ plan, in seems, is to subliminally influence the dupes to commit suicide as soon as they have the relevant information, thus transmitting it to Jamie; X-Men/Factor relations are not being greatly improved at the moment, although Siryn and Wolfsbane seem to work with him quite cheerfully. Rictor infiltrates a chapter of the Purifiers (who are led by a guy who looks rather like Morgan Freeman), who have a lot of high-tech weaponry from a still-as-yet-unknown source. And the New X-Men talk with Cyclops, demanding a piece of the action. The characters are being introduced to the audience quite effectively here (essentially showing up in the issue before they take centre-stage, as X-Factor did last week).
     
  25. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Today was one of those days that I call a "wallet buster", as it nearly hit the $40 mark; most weeks I average about $20-$25 worth of comics. It also was a week where a lot of important books came out, especially on the Marvel side.

    As always, full unprocessed spoilers:

    Dread's Bought/Thought for 11/14/07:

    ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #9:
    Pink covers are VERY flamer. Is this a Superman comic or Nancy Drew? Aside for that, though, this is another typical issue of the series; those who enjoy it will again do so, and those who shrug their shoulders and go, "Wasn't CRISIS supposed to undo cornball stuff like this?" won't. The issue technically is part of an "arc" within the mini as Superman arrives back home after escaping Bizarro-World, only to find that in the 2 months he has been missing, another pair of Kryptonians have replaced him. They are Bar-El and Lilo (no, not Lilo of LILO AND STITCH), two Kryptonian astronauts who naturally were in space when their homeworld exploded and arrived while he was gone.They've decided that they should remake Krypton on Earth, and that Superman has pretty much been wasting his time catering to "human apes". Essentially, the sort of thing Eradicator talked about in the 90's, or the stuff that Zod or a few other "new Kryptonians" from various mediums (even the 90's cartoon) have said. The only major difference is that Bar-El and Lilo aren't evil like a lot of those folks are; they simply view humans as being beneathe them and show about as much concern as humans would for anthills. The pair also proudly wear costumes in urine-yellow and royal purple as if the Modern Age never arrived, bless them. Some funny bits are had at the Daily Bugle as Jimmy tries on "Kryptonian style" and Steve Limbardi (Lombardi?) naturally spreads his maniless around. This is another one-and-done story of the series, as the pair beat the crap out of Superman and declare the planet their's, before a random plot device (a gas cloud of Kryptonite in space) makes it's effects known and slowly begins killing them. Superman offers them kindness and they are touched by his mercy as he sends them into the Phantom Zone to save their lives (and to restore order to a dimension filled with criminals). I enjoyed the story but even with Morrison playing with Golden Age plots in the modern day, the "gas cloud" thing seemed almost ridiculously convient, and all the people who complain about Frank Miller writing Superman like a wuss in DK2 have got NOTHING on Morrison. This is, what, the 4th time someone has beaten Superman to a pulp? I know this is supposed to be an "old style, iconic" Superman who prevails with wisdom, kindness, and intelligence, but it is 2007 and that won't jazz up ANY audience; if it did, SUPERMAN RETURNS would have rivaled SPIDER-MAN 3 at the box office, instead of relying on outside nations and DVD's to pull a profit and making the WB officially declare any solo hero franchise aside for Batman dead. Now I liked SUPERMAN RETURNS but I understand it's many flaws and why the common movie-goer didn't embrace it, and I don't really blame them. I did like how the pair literally broke the moon and then "stapled" it together with extention bridges; it just seemed amusing to see rendered if you didn't take it seriously. Naturally the theme is that it isn't right to impose outside values on someone else, a moral I have heard to death since, mysteriously, 2003. Golly, I wonder why? Still, it is an old style moral and Morrison's take on an overdone storyline for Superman is interesting because his antagonists aren't outright villains, so their point seems more valid, if only for a few panels. Quietly art is what it is; brilliant with landscapes and backgrounds and with people, has the ability to make anyone look ugly in the name of realism (his fans will defend him by pointing to the other extreme, artists who draw people as flawless supermodels. Can't we find an in-between? I believe those artists do exist), but he always fits in well with Morrison and as this is another universe, it doesn't matter. You couldn't picture ALL-STAR SUPERMAN without him, and Quietly take on Kent's design is interesting. Frankly I feel awarding an Eisner to this series was a bit much, but it is good for what it is, a rare comic on the racks that nails down the fundamentals and isn't bleak, and seems to enjoy playing with 50's style sci-fi fantasy in the modern day. A break from covers that scream, "GUESS WHO DIES INSIDE!" and whatnot. Every issue has a clear theme and message, and that is good. Still, I wonder if this series would have more oomph with a more suspenceful pace and some more modern themes, instead of spit shining the old. I like this series, but when I want superheroics done well with a modern twist, I can get that from INVINCIBLE, or DYNAMO 5, or THE ORDER, or several other titles I enjoy more than this. But it's still good Morrison/Quietly work.

    BOOSTER GOLD #4: Well, I'll be! Not even 6 issues in and some mysteries are actually revealed. Normally books wait until issue #6 for this sort of thing, and it is good to see this entertaining series break some conventions. Despite the complicated elements of weaving through time and continuity, Johns & Katz keep the tone light and enjoyable with some great lines, and Jurgens & Rapmund's art fits things perfectly and classically. After running into Barry Allen and Kid-Flash in the time-stream because Booster Gold was drinking & driving, Hunter tracks down their enemy to Central City's past, where his next target is Flash, who is being targetted for non-existance. The baddies are revealed as Rex Hunter, a Rip Hunter rival, and Supernova is none other than Booster Gold's petty crook father, plucked from the time stream and off to do some misguided, selfish hero-dom. Not only do the pair want to alter history to "prevent" threats, they want to eliminate all superheroes so they will get all the glory, playing on Booster's own themes of heroism vs. glory. It isn't evil to want to be appreciated, but one can always go too far. Supernova also has a more evolved version of Skeets, named "Maximillion" (alluding to Maxwell Lord? Who knows). Naturally, attempting to mess with the timestream to alter events one sees as "wrong" always has butterfly effects (Hunter notes that killing Lex Luthor before he become a threat would have caused the death of millions because his clone Superboy never saved them, of course linking Luthor's DNA to Superboy was itself a retcon, but, HUSH, (both a word and a storyline that also had a retcon)). The great part about this book is that it is mired in DC continuity, but it doesn't make it seem as complicated as it is, and usually summarizes the basic information for those not in the know, presuming that new readers jumped onto the #1 issue. This sort of curtesy is sometimes a lost art so it is worth mentioning. Rex is stopped, but his main "backer" is still unrevealed; Supernova is lost in time, and Booster Gold is pressuring Rip to save Ted Kord, but first...he has to save Barbara Gordon from being crippled, and that cliffhanger has me wondering whether issue #5 will actually be a big DC deal. It is NO secret that DC won't allow any other heroine to become Batgirl without eventually ripping her down, yet Barbara has remained the crippled Oracle for a while because, A). Alan Moore wrote it, and undoing something he wrote is seen as a sin, and B). The BIRDS OF PREY franchise relies on Oracle as she is, much as Professor Xavier is always re-crippled. That said, Dan DiDio's attempts to overcome Marvel have caused some of the actions of his line to grow more and more desperate at times, so with the option of returning the cape to Barb next issue presents itself, I'd be lying if I said I didn't believe it could ever happen. If DC won't let anyone else be Batgirl for long, then it seems inevitable, especially as they chase the Silver Age memories along. BOOSTER GOLD is a solid superhero book with a sense of history, good characters, and great art. And each issue can change scenery or villains. What's not to like?

    WORLD WAR HULK #5: Usually I read and review books in alphabetical order to keep things tidy and efficient, but this is the finale of Marvel's big 2007 event, so as the big green elephant in the room, it seems fitting to mention it first. Firstly, the ending offers few real surprises; fans have theorized for months that Miek was behind the tragedy at Sakaar, and he was. Naturally, the Hulk is defeated and the heroes go about having to rebuild stuff. That said, that doesn't make any of it bad or not enjoyable to read. Something doesn't need to be a suprise to be entertaining, and if you properly build on stuff, it makes sense. The fact that Miek had evolved into someone who had become a sadist and could never allow any sort of peace in his life, and the lives of his allies, once becoming free from bondage was obvious at the end of PLANET HULK and this brings it to a conclusion. Still, the issue does have some surprises to it; Hulk actually stops the Illuminati from killing each other, wanting justice, not revenge. The Sentry manages to shine when someone other than Bendis writes him, at least now that his plot convient, dues ex machina psychological syndrome allows him to ONLY try to save the day literally when that last chapter comes and he magically "feels like it". Romita Jr.'s showcase of their godly showdown is too awesome for words and was worth the long wait for this final issue (which may have taken some steam off the buzz, which also isn't bad as CW collapsed under it's own hype). If you thought Hulk vs. Iron Man was bad-ass, you ain't see nothin' yet. And in the end it even looks like Sentry will save the day when he uses his powers to revert them both back to human beings, Renolds and Bruce. Unfortunately, Miek again stokes the fury by spearing Rick Jones and seemingly killing him (explaining why Reed kept saying he was "unavailable" for CAPTAIN MARVEL). I suppose there are some that will be angered by Rick's death, but at least it had some meaning in exposing Miek, and it mattered to the story, and the final act. Hulk gets angry again and seems set to pretty much stomp the Earth to bits (starting with Manhattan), like a child with a temper tantrum, and Tony Stark saves the day with his death-satellites. No, Hulk doesn't die, just is defeated. Marvel wouldn't dare kill him with a movie next year. The fact that this was the best ending of a Marvel event in 3 years goes without saying; HOUSE OF M #7 and CIVIL WAR #7 both seemed like wastes of time in comparison, and less about ending a story than preluding new ones. This felt like a THE END stamp, even if obvious sequals are showcased. The Warbond all live save for Miek, Hulk's son somehow rises from green ooze on Sakaar, and Banner is still alive somewhere, ready to become the Hulk again whenever it is convient. I like that Pak was able to showcase Hulk as many things without going too far in either direction; he had him be monstrous but not so much so that he was killing the innocent or even any of the heroes in the end. All of the characters here, from Hulk to the Illuminati had areas of gray, but the heroes saved the say and the true threat was exposed. It certainly wasn't the first time someone tried manipulating the Hulk's emotions for their own ends, but it was among the most bitter for the Hulk. And it dug out all his old hatred of the other heroes, so that made sense. WWH, naturally, also worked as a popcorn action movie, not unlike TRANSFORMERS, were you sit back and watch things blow up. On that level it also succeeds. The lesson? Anyone is better at writing events than Bendis or Millar, and Marvel has a full roster of writers up to snuff; Pak among them. Who is writing the event for 2008? Bendis. All together now: AARRRAAGGGHHH!!
    In the end, WWH wasn't as big as CW, but in that way it worked out better. It had a clear beginning, middle, and end, it followed up from Hulk's core title naturally, it allowed the heroes to unite again after CW and attempted to wipe some of the Nazi out of Iron Man, and some of the best art of Romita Jr.'s long and legendary career. Ironically, Pak wrote a story that seemed more "direct" and less "naunced" than CW, but he showed that he had more than enough talent for a naunced story, a talent that Millar lacked. WWH may have been the little green brother compared to CW, but it worked as a story much better, and thus is better overall. Pak's also been trying to clear things up after Bendis in ILLUMINATI SPECIAL upped and decided that Hulk ate civilians, and the challenge of overcoming the things Bendis does to the Marvel Universe always need to start somewhere. In the end it may have been another "Hulk fights all the heroes" stories that have been done from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, etc., but it was a very entertaining one. No complaints. Black Bolt got punk'd, but he was a Skrull anyway. And Hulk did go down a little easy, but he has always waxed and waned from being invincible vs. a required defeat. I still enjoyed it. Not the best, but a better ending than the last few events, thank goodness.

    AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #7: Considering how big this issue would be to the Spider-verse, it is amazing it wasn't given the same promotion as, oh, ONE MORE DAY (which has become late, which has to embarass Joe Q that he's so inept that he can't even compensate a shipping date FOR HIS OWN PENCILLING SCHEDULE! If he doesn't know how busy he is and how hard it would be to draw interiors, NO ONE DOES!). But, wonky promotions aren't uncommon in Joe Q Marvel; random FF specials can be solicted as if they were major when they're not, and major issues of other titles are left to their writers to promote. Awesome, guys. Suffice it to say, A LOT more happens than merely reveal the identity of the Scarlet Spiders. The issue picks up after WWH, with no mention of the Gauntlet stuff from last issue (that is being picked up later). The Vulturians have stolen a briefcase from Dr. Baron Von Blitzschlag, and the Scarlet Spiders are forced to expose themselves to the media to recover it, lest information about Gamma Bombs falls into evil hands. Again. This city-chase happens to attract the attention of a very frustrated Peter Parker, who joins the fray. Meanwhile, Justice is furious about the lack of answers regarding MVP's fate, so he literally bursts his way out of some walls with Cloud 9 to track down some answers. They return to MVP's house again, only instead find it completely abandoned; since Justice got MVP to join the Initiative, he feels personally responsible for his fate and wants to see, err, justice done. Can't argue with that. He's really the only one with any authority in the program who gives a spit about the trainees as people and not weapons. Sure, Hank Pym feels bad sometimes, but still follows orders anyway, so it feels hollow (like when Iron Man would lock up his own friends and ally with murderers but whine, "Oh, I didn't want it to be this way!" or when Spider-Man spent half of CW doing the same, etc. The moral is apparently doing rotten things because you are ordered to can be relieved of your responsibility so long as you whine and angst about it). Justice, on the other hand, is ACTIVELY TAKING ACTION. That is what seperates him from the pack and makes him one of my favorite characters here. There's more to being in Avengers class than making the team; even D-Man made the team. It takes standing up for morality even when everyone else, the media and your bosses, say no or give excuses, and Justice is showcasing that here. I just hope he doesn't burn down too many bridges and wind up in the N-Zone. But the biggest event that occurs is the meeting of the Spiders; the trio turn Peter's own words from issue #3 against him to convince him to unite against the Vulturians. Oh, yes, while I am here, I should note this issue employs footnotes skillfully, thus proving that every time Joe Q feels it "takes you out of a story", he is merely showing how terrible his opinion is on some matters. And Slott, as always, masters continuity that isn't merely his own. The Scarlet Spiders literally don every costume Spider-Man ever had in his career and then reveal their existance to the media, claiming that Peter Parker was merely one of "several" Spider-Men and now he has been de-commissioned. Betty Brant brings up ASM #12 when Peter dressed as Spidey to try to save her from Doc Ock, only he was powerless due to a 24 hour virus and was so convincingly defeated that no one believed he was really Spidey. What this issue does is it does what Brubaker recently did in DAREDEVIL; it shifts Peter's identity as Spider-Man from "public knowledge" to "highly suspected", and allows enough cover that Peter, one day, could actually have a CIVILIAN LIFE again (who'd have thunk? Spider-Man having a civilian life!). And one doesn't have to worry about writers following from this too much as Slott will be WRITING ASM soon, and so thus it will eventually be accepted into other books. Of course this still means every hero and villain knows who he is and will call him "Parker", but it is a step in the right direction. Exposing his identity backed Spidey into a narrative corner and pretty much negated what made him distinct once upon a time, but this issue was a step in the right direction, without any spells from Loki or Dr. Strange. Compared to this, the revelation that the Scarlet Spiders are all clones of MVP (each one with one of his three names, Michael, Van, and Patrick (or "Pat"), and that MVP could have been influencing their behavior from the grave (maybe being noble is in his DNA, to go along with his physical prowess) almost seem minor. I know there are some who dislike this book, and it still seems to be losing some 10-20% of it's readers every month without tie-in's, but I find it rivetting, a perfect way to play upon the pandora's box of The Initiative, create some new characters, embellish some older, forgotten ones, and naturally all of it done from a FanBoy Master like Dan Slott. The issue also showcases another one of those 50 state teams, the Action Pack from Kentucky, filled by Vox, Prima Donna, and Frog-Man (and likely others). Slott said in interviews that to avoid any "Armadillo Situations", he will try to fill many of the 50 state teams with new characters so they can stick for a while; plus he also figures no one will want to use Frog-Man anytime soon. Froggy was only on-panel about a page or so, but Slott is always fun with characters like this ("Jeepers!"). Caselli returns on art after his break as if he never left, proving once again that he, too, is a natural for a book like this. Great with character design, fancy costumes, and action. No, it isn't always as "feel good" as Slott's other books like THE THING, but I feel it works because of that, because he doesn't go the MIGHTY AVENGERS route and just assume that as soon as CW ended, all the dark stuff would, too. But even in that darkness, there are heroes to root for, to rise to the occasion. And plenty of characters for creation or exposure here. Still one of my most anticipated titles from Marvel, a list that actually has grown within the past year. Plus, next issue has Eric O'Grady. Thanks for saving him from limbo, Dan...at least for now.
     

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