This week was a very hard week to find an absolute best of the week. There were a slew of really good books, but nothing truly jumped up and screamed I’m better then anyone else.
On a side note Lee’s controversial post has drawn more comments then any post that we have ever put out there, which is interesting as I would hope that our regular posts would generate more commentary from time to time. It seems like you have to stir things up sometimes to get attention. Bottom line Lee did say it was a rant and he tried to ameliorate some of what he said when he answered some of the posts. All in all except for the visceral responses I thought it was a good dialogue and I hope we can find another subject one day to generate as much debate as this one did.
Crime Bible the Five Lessons of Blood #2 (of 5) - This is turning out to be a great little mini-series. The monk of the Stone order is trying to corrupt the Question and each lesson is being taught to her without her even knowing what is happening. I was expecting Tom Mandrake to be the artist all the way through the series and was surprise to see Jesus Saiz as the artist, but it was another well drawn book. Also each issue stands on its own as it adds to an overall story, so we do not have the middle chapter syndrome that is part of some many series.
Archibald Saves Christmas #1 - I loved this book more the second time around as we had the chance to review it early. Dwight L. MacPherson (writer) and Grant Bond (creator and artist) deliver a tale of twisted madness and hilarity. It just gets better every time I read it.
All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #8 - Another good issue, I’m now really enjoying this series and look forward to each issue. I know these guys cannot produce a lot of issues a year, but 4 a year would be a good pace. Frank Miller has a nice voice to Batman in this series and I enjoy how many DCU characters are added into the mix. In 8 issues Frank has had more fun with these characters then five other series combined. Jim Lee’s art has never looked better and some of his layouts are fantastic.
Bad Planet #4 (of 6) - Thomas Jane and Steve Niles as writers are creating such an incredible adventure of warrior aliens, monstrous aliens, a voluptuous scientist and just an out and out great read. All brought to life with lush art by James Daly III and Tim Bradstreet. Terrific series and you get more then your $3 worth every time.
Batman #671 - Really well done and read so fast that I could not believe it. We get the shock that the Sensei is Ras’ father, Ras apparently takes over a Monk’s body and Batman gets the crap beat out of him by the Sensei and survives it. Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel are a great looking team on this book.
Green Lantern Corps #18 – This was a very good issue. Sodam Yat the Daxamite GL , now given the Ion powers versus Superman-Prime. A good super slug fest that also gave us Sodam Yat’s back story. I like that DC has made Superman-Prime such a huge threat level and will be curious to see how he ends up wandering the multi-verse after GL #25.
Sub-Mariner #6 (of 6) - Excellent end to this mini-series. This mini-series was actually important to Sub-Mariner and to the MU. The people of Atlantis have integrated with the surface world and the Sub-Mariner and his army is hiding in Dr. Doom’s country.
Criminal Macabre My Demon Baby #3 (of 4) - Cal breaks into the Satan Worshipers party to steal the devil’s baby and hilarity ensures. Dogs eating people’s faces, decapitations by a Zombie Templar Knight, vampires, brandishing of weapons, bodies hacked in half. But it is not all fun, games and jokes the story line moves along nicely also. Steve Niles just out and out rocks on this book. The dialogue is so funny in the context of the story that it will make you laugh out loud. Nick Stakal provides the art work that works very well for this book.
Crossing Midnight #13 - Another great issue as Toshui is sent to assassinate her brother Kai. She is willing to kill to gain her memories of her past life, which would of course mean realizing she has killed her brother. So both brother and sister search for each other, but for entirely different reasons. A great series.
Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters # 3 (of 8) – This is a very good mini-series. This issue we get some good background material on Doll Man. It was a very text heavy book, but I still believe it read well for the most part. The Red Bee is becoming a fantastic character and I hope to see a lot more of her. I have to give kudos to the writing team for taking a really lame character and making her very cool.
Fear Agent Hatchet Job #1 (of 4) - Nice story and a typical situation for Heath, in that he thinks A is going to happen and instead B, C and D happen and then it gets worse. What was amazing was Jerome Opena’ art and Michelle Madsen’s color. The art jumped off the pages and was breathtaking and at times perfect. Jerome art has a fluid feel to it, details, expressions and a strong sense of realism with a cartoonist’s touch. The colors were a rainbow of palates, each page being enhanced by Michele’s wonderful work.
Death of the New Gods #3 (of 8) – I am enjoying this out and out fantastic adventure of the New Gods. I’m only marginally annoyed by Superman being too big of a part of the whole deal. Still, Starlin is doing a nice job with building the mystery and keeping the story flowing right along.
AmericanVirgin #21 (of 23) – It wasn’t suppose to end it has been cancelled with #23, so I added the (of 23). I hope they can move some of the story lines to some conclusion in two more issues. Another great issue as Adam meets his real father and gets some amusement in the plane ride to meet his Dad from his wife. Also his step sister seems to be pregnant via Immaculate Conception. Seagle (words) and Cloonan (pictures) always do great work on this book.
Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer #5 (of 6) - Beautiful art and the story had a strong penultimate issue as Death Dealer takes out one bad guy. Then its master awakens. The big boss proceeds to rip the Dealer’s horse in half, a gruesome, but really awesome scene. Nat Jones art looks beautiful.
Ultimate Spider-Man #116 - Stuart Immonen continues to blow me away on this book. His layouts are so dynamic as to be unreal and the action sequences are as well done as the quiet scenes. Bendis has created a great super hero team with Kitty and Spider-Man to the point that I want the book to be about both of them. Osborne is great as the menacing villain. This has been a very good arc.
Trials of Shazam #10 (of 12) – This has been a great way to have Freddy take over as Captain Marvel and I would love to see an ongoing series be the result of this exercise. Judd Winick has really done a great job of not only introducing Freddy as the new Captain Marvel, but creating is nemesis at the same time. Two gods left. Nice to see the new and improved Tawky Tawny in this issue.
Teen Titans #53 - So much happened it was almost too much. The future Titans Army, Starro and the Titans of today trying to hold their own. Good issue, but very much a middle chapter.
Proof #2 - Another independent series that just sings out that the creators are having fun and enjoying themselves. Alexander Grecian (writer) and Riley Rossmo (artists) are the co-creators of this book and it is a great concept. This issue Proof is complaining about being assigned to a rookie and Ginger is learning that Bigfoot (Proof) is not the only mythical creature under the protection of the government.
Doc Frankenstein #6 - This book is fun, exciting and different, but in comes out once or twice a year. Any flow to the story is dead and gone by the time you read the next issue.
Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes #36 – A solid wrap up issue by Tony Berdard with the twist being Supergirl goes back in time and we do not find Cosmic Boy. Bedard deserves a regular title at DC as he has worked his a** off writing so many different books to fill the gap until the new “permanent” writer takes over.
Gotham Underground #2 (of 9) – A really well structured Batman story with great use of Dick, Tim and Oracle and Spoiler shows up – who is Spoiler now? Good story by Frank Tiera and art by Jim Califore.
Dan Dare #1 (of 7) - Strong opening chapter that had the feel of an old time space opera, with a little more of a stronger sci-fi bent to it. Garth Ennis wrote a well presented and thought out story. While was basically all set-up, he managed to add enough action to keep it from being a total talking book. Gary Erskine is a strong artist and I always enjoy his work, but it is very static and many panels look like still photographs.
Superman/Batman #43 - A very nice one and done story. Dr. Light attacking an alternative energy project of Waynetech and a classic World’s Finest trick where Batman and Superman exchange places as to who is where and who is who. Strong story by Abnett & Lanning with great pencils by Mike McKone and a sweet little tie-in to JLA.
Jack of Fables #17 - The cover says I all with Jack gluing Humpty Dumpty back together, but in a haphazard manner. Humpty is to show Jack a great treasure which is why Jack expended any effort to save the egg. Fun book and a great spin-off.
Superman Annual #13 - Decent ending, but the story about Superman versus Arion lost its buzz with the long delays between issues. I would like to read the whole Camelot Falls arc in one sitting in the future.
X-Men #205 – The Messiah Complex is growing on me. The new colorist for this issue certainly improved the overall look of the series. A friend believes the colorist on the first four issues of this story has really hurt it and this issue seems to prove him out. I found that I liked this chapter the best and enjoyed that Cable has the baby.
Blue Beetle #21 - Another good issue and it is by a fill in writer and artist. Never heard of the writer Justin Pensiton but he did a good job. The characters were right on target. The story continued showing Jamie learning to be a hero with the help of his parents. It did not read like a fill in and continued this book just being a top series.
JSA Classified #32 - This book has two things going for it, Alan Scott being the main character and a wonderful opening sequence about Alan Scott’s sense of loss over losing a child. From there the story played out well and I never actual saw that Vandal Savage would be the main bad guy. A good job by Junior Thomas (writer). Staz Johnson did a nice job on the book and his ability to show the grief in Alan Scott’s face as he visited his daughter’s grave was excellent.
Faker #5 (of 6) - Carey and Jock have a terrific series about liquid tech, memories, and what it means to be alive. This book has a wild sci-fi, punk rock vibe ride to it. If you have missed out on this book so far, go pick up the trade later.
Countdown to Final Crisis #22 - Decent issue. Now quite up to last issue’s pace, but still a nice issue. Appears Trickster has bitten the dust, Mary Marvel is preserving against Eclipso and Mr. Mister “saves” Jimmy Olsen.
Zombie Simon Garth #1 (of 4) - Nice issue. They should have almost started with this mini-series as the first one was a prelude to Simon Garth being infected with the virus. It is a fun monster book as we are learning that Simon is not affected like the other people are with the Zombie virus.
Daredevil #102 - I see where Brubaker is taking this and it is a good idea. The slow development of the story does make the pay off better usually, but he is telling extremely long stories in DD and the pace is a killer in a monthly comic. Lark and Gaudiano’s artwork make it worth it. I hate the actual comics as many Marvel books have the overload of ads, makes me wonder why I buy the monthlies. Also I hate that whole overlap with the Hood. Making the Hood a major bad guy is so forced as to be ridiculous.
Authority Prime #2 (of 6) - Essentially this is the pointless battle between two super groups that we have seem countless times before, but we are being given such a great rationale for it, that it is working. Christos Gage (writer) has also made sure he knew how to have Stormwatch take out the most powerful Authority members or else no battle could actually happen. Darrick Robertson has turned in another stellar job and I hope DC signs him up to another exclusive.
JLA Classified #47 - Like going back in time. This really read like a silver age adventure of the JLA only better. Mike W. Barr’s writing was well done and Randy Green and Andy Owens delivered a nice art job.
Countdown Lord Havok and the Extremists #2 (of 6) - This series is interesting but it is still all back story of how the Extremists and Monarch end up getting together. We also get the origin of Gorgon which was a really interesting story.
52 Aftermath The Four Horsemen #4 (of 6) - Decent issue. I missed the heavy interaction between Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, but we had to start the fight eventually
Countdown to Adventure #4 (of 8) - Entertaining stories. The Adam Strange, Starfire, Animal Man story is moving slowly. The Forerunner story was actually more interesting as Monarch dumps her in space as he no longer needs her and finds her questioning of his tactics to be annoying. Still these were very much middle chapters of a story and stories that do not seem compelling enough to warrant a mini-series.
X-Men First Class #6 - I think my issue was put together wrong as the pages did not flow at all and it was a garbled mess. Ultimately I could understand the story, but it really was in the wrong order. If in the right order it appears to be a good sentinel adventure with the added twist that the X-Men’s powers are gone.
Batman and the Outsiders #2 – This was rather standard fare. It is apparent this book is being battered by various editorial mandates that has caused it lose track before it stared. The first two issues had J’onn J’onzz and Catwoman quit for no reason. This books needs to get on its feet quickly. This is yet another re-launch of a book the DC has screwed up.
Gen 13 Armageddon - A well written story and a nice one shot for Gen 13 but the whole Armageddon theme seems to have no purpose. Therefore I have placed it low as I was pulled into the idea of the books having some link and each one would add to an overall story and they haven’t.
Sensational Spider-Man #41 - Blechh! The deus ex machine to save Aunt May is the devil and he will take their marriage so he can hear a small part of Peter and MJ’s soul be in agony. This is such drivel and really disrespectful to Aunt May who would herself be in agony if they ruined their lives for her to live another few years. Who besides Quesada thought this was a good idea. See my whole diatribe about this book here.
That puts the end point on another week of comics. Once again no book was given the axe. There is a joke in there somewhere on the fact that I had lust winning this week.
On a happy/sad note – DID YOU WATCH THE RAVEN / PATRIOT GAME? It was great to see the Ravens step up and almost win the game, the sad portion is we lost, but still the Ravens needed to at least show up and play with pride and they did. Great game.