Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Best to Worst of Last Week

All in all this was a good week for comics. It ran the entire gamut, from new #1s, new creative teams, successful projects, flops, you name and this week had it. Last week I added the credits and as I said this post continues to grow and I know it gets long, but I now essentially review every new book that I read. I have added covers for all the books above the first line this week and may also make that a normal feature of this post.

Next Issue Project #1 (Fantastic Comics #24) – Samson by Erik Larsen, Flip Falcon by Joe Casey & Bill Sienkiewicz, Golden Knigth by Tom Yeates and Co-Writer Brain Rutherford, Yank Wilson by Andy Kuhn, Carlton Riggs (text piece) by B.C.Moore, Space Smith by Tom Scioli, Captain Kidd by Jim Rugg and Brain Maruca, Professor Fiend by Boris (Fred) Hembeck, Stardust by Joe Keating and Mike Allred, & Sub Sanders by Ashley Wood. It was genius, it was stupid, it was brilliant, it was inane, it had fantastic artwork and some okay artwork, and it was a fitting tribute to the Golden Age of comics. What an absolute wonderful treat. From Samson to Captain Kidd to Stardust the Super Wizard this use of public domain material was a heartfelt tribute to the comics of yesteryear. Multiple formats, and multiple types of paper, a text article, old time ads I loved it. I hope we see more issues of Fantastic Comics. The idea was that this was the next issue of these heroes, in other words we were picking up Fantastic Comics #24 and seeing what our heroes were doing in this adventure. To make it even better it was the size of a golden age comic. Go out and buy this book – worth the $5.99 and then some.
Walking Dead #46 – Writer Robert Kirkman, Art Charles Adlard, Gray Tones Cliff Rathburn. –This was a great issue. They actually killed Tyreese who has been a major character in this book for a very long time. Not only did they kill him, but they actually delivered on the hype and the cover of this book as it showed Tyreese about to get beheaded by the Governor. No comic book last minute saves, no stupid moves on the part of Rick to give in and open the gates of the jail, just cold hard brutality they we have come to expect from the Governor. Also after he does the act in front of the prison, he tells his people (who were not with him) that Rick’s group shot Tyreese instead of negotiating peacefully, which at least gives you a reason for why his people would fight against other surviving humans. Now we knew that Michonne was not dead and I loved the ending when she shows up and has a gun pointed to the Governor’s head. I hope she pulls the trigger, but she may need him to escape form his people.
Green Arrow / Black Canary #5 – Writer Judd Winick, Art Andre Coelho Colors David Baron – First off I have no clue who this artist is, but he needs to be given many more assignments and a regular book to draw. Beautiful line work, terrific camera shots, conveys a wide range of emotions, did a great job portraying Ollie as different ages for the story. As for the story, Judd Winick rules when it comes to Green Arrow / Black Canary. Every issue is a great read, tells another chapter in the ongoing saga and almost always leaves a cliff hanger that has you begging for the next issue. This issue we learn Connor is not only a vegetable, but his mind has been wiped clean by the toxin that was in the bullet. Ollie sits by Connor’s bedside and tells him (us) the whole tale of his life with and mainly without Connor. It shows Ollie with all his flaws. Ollie and Dinah get married for real this time and do it quietly; Ollie has decided to devote his life to caring for Connor. Dinah is searching for the person who did it, but Ollie only wants to be with Connor from now on. After their wedding they go home to find Connor’s nurses are dead and Connor has been taken, Ollie tells Dinah to gets his bow. An excellent issue in a superior series.
Goon #21 – Story and Art Eric Powell, Colors Dave Stewart – What made this issue of the book were the side stories. On one hand it is about a wizard coming to town to shut down the Zombie priest. As that is going on we get to see Frankie’s dream of him riding his big white horse he loves that is eaten by a bear and see Goon get sidetracked by a giant ugly transvestite on his way to blowing up the burlesque house. One scene with Frankie on the couch as the Zombie Nagel is shearing the back end of a sheep is just too funny for words. Eric is politically incorrect, has outrageous situations, beautiful art and some great one liners, all with a plot sort of meandering through the book. Great fun, great art.
The Sword #5 – Story, Script & Layouts – Joshua Luna, Story, Illustrations & Book Design – Jonathan Luna – This continues to be a favorite series for me, overcoming the fact that I’m not a big fan of the Luna brothers art style. There are technically very good, their layouts and story telling abilities are solid, it is just that there line work leaves all the males in the book looking less masculine and they are weak on drawing hands. Now I started with the negative and I try to avoid that, but after saying all of that it may help convince you to try this series is that I still look forward to this book every month (actually the schedule is going to be every five weeks). This issue Dara is captured by a mysterious organization that fakes her death and then interrogates her about the sword. The interrogator touches the sword and is made young again and loses control. As a fight ensures between other members and him Dara is given a chance to escape. Dara is a great character who has had these fantastic abilities thrust on her and has found out that all she thought she knew about her father is a lie and that her ignorance of the truth is placing her in mortal danger.
Atomic Robo #5 (of 6) – Writer Brian Clevinger, Art Scott Wenger, Colors Rhonda Pattison. Comic books have a new definition and it is Atomic Robo. The actual individual issue this month was very good, fun story, great dialogue, clean art, outrageous adventure, but I’m talking about the entire series. This book makes me smile when I pick it up and when I read it. Fast paced, Indiana Jones type adventures, a Robot with more emotional context then most humans and just flat out enjoyment. One little snippet of dialogue this issue that was great is Robo says “Tell me it’s not cyborgs.” His team member’s reply “Then I’ll have to lie.”, which is funnier in context. There better be a trade of this series, because it needs to be on my bookshelf.
The Foundation #2 (of 5) – Writer John Rozum, Art Chee, Colors Pablo Quiligotti. The first issue was great as it focused on a mission and the agent who performed the mission. This issue is even better as we now get to see what the Foundation is all about and we get to still see how agent Steve Valentine (from issue #1) is doing. The Foundation was founded by Nostradamus and their goal is to stop his prophecies from happening. They recruit people and pay them huge salaries to do the job, whether they believe or not is unimportant. A truly great premise as it mixes the unbelievable (Nostradamus prophecies are true) with the rationale (we will do almost anything for the right dollars). Chee has a nice solid style that is very realistic and his style suits the mood and tone of the book. Rozum in two issues has mapped out all we need to know about the Foundation and opened up an endless possibilities for stories from today, yesterday or even tomorrow. Not only will I look forward to the next issue, I’m already looking forward to the next Foundation mini-series.
Astro City – Character Specials #1 – Beautie – Writer Kurt Busiek, Art Brent Anderson, Colors Alex Sinclair. Almost always a good time when we stop at Astro City. This was a one shot that gave us the background on Beautie, the life sized super powered Barbie doll. It an exploration by Beautie to determine her origins. The idea of an android trying to find its humanity has been explored often in fictional literature, this was a good example of that story. She is alive, but not alive in the human sense and that puts her apart from even the other Honor Guard members. Ultimately she discovers her origin only to have it taken away from her by her creator. This was a touching and emotional story and an excellent read.
BPRD 1946 #2 (of 5) – Story Mike Mignola & Joshua Dysart, Art Paul Azaceta, Colors Nick Filarid. This story is about the early years of the BPRD and deals with the aftermath of WWII. In co-occupied Berlin we have the BPRD and a similar Russian group trying to uncover what arcane mysteries Hitler had been using. We find out Hitler thought about creating an army of vampires, but realized he could not control them, so instead try to artificially create his own. Apparently they are now thawing out and the BPRD is on the trail to stop it. The Russian group is led by what appears to be a little girl with pig tails and a fluffy little dress, but she purports to be an ageless demon who has decided to live as a human. Her actions make you think she must be a demon. Once you get into the Mignola Universe this is the norm and it is done so well that it is always a good to great read. The art by Paul Azaceta is well done and I think maybe even better then his work on Potter’s Field.
Simon Dark #5 – Writer Steve Niles, Art Scott Hampton, Colors Chris Chuckry – Last issue the bad guy ripped off the head of Simon’s cat. Of course as Simon is an apparently collection of parts he thinks it can be fixed. Once he learns his kitty is dead he goes after the bad guy. Detective Kirk has the bad guy and they are fighting each other. Simon comes into the picture and eventually they rip off the bad guy’s arm and he flees. Tom then reveals that he is apparently another Frankenstein monster or at least partially so. The mysterious cult is also up to no good as we end on them as they apparently have killed or drugged one of their members. Steve Niles writes a good book every time out and this story is fascinating. Scott Hampton’s art is simply outstanding and he is apparently producing this level of work on a monthly basis. It is important in my mind to reveal some of the mysterious of what is going on with this type of story or else your audience will leave. It is okay to tease, but give us some details.
Suicide Squad #6 (of 8) – Writer John Ostrander, Pencils Javier Pina, Inks Robin Riggs, Colors Jason Wright – Looks like we may never actually get up to current day DC continuity, but it doesn’t matter as this book has delivered a terrific new Suicide Squad adventure. This issue the Squad starts to move forward on their mission when General Eiling finally gets the bad guys to accede to his demands and the double cross by the some of the squad begins. There are many great character moments and action scenes as the tension continues to mount. Ostrander has this series firing on all cylinders. Javier Pina’s art continues to grow as he draws all the improbable actions scenes well (such as Chemo jumping off a boat) and does justice to the quiet moments.
X-Factor #28 – Writer Peter David, Art Pablo Raimondi, Colors Jeromy Cox. Yeah, we get X-Factor back. After being interrupted for the Messiah Complex story line, we get the book I have enjoyed so much back! In typical Peter David fashion he embraces the changes that have to occur to satisfy that story line, makes it part of his story and then moves forward. Rahne leaves (for the inane X-Force) but can’t say why and the impact it has on many of the group is explored, Theresa is pregnant with Jamie’s baby, but hasn’t told him yet, Jamie uses make-up to cover the “M” tattoo and Jamie is trying to figure out how he can find Layla. Pablo’s art looks great and it just feels right to have this book back away after being shoved into that cross-over.
Gotham Underground #5 (of 9) – writer Frank Tieri, Pencils Jim Califore, Inks Jack Purcell, Colors Brain Reber. This is one of the better mini-series DC has going right now and the only Batman related title that is tying into some of the overall DCU. This issue we see how Tobias Whale decided to move to Gotham, why the Penguin became such as player and the origin of Johnny Stitches. Called “Pieces of the Puzzle” as we were given background on much of what has been going on they also laid out the book so that each panel was the shape of a puzzle piece, a very nice touch. After this is over Frank Tieri and Jim Califore need to be on a regular series. Frank’s writing has been good and Jim Califore is a good to very good super hero artist.
Bat Lash #3 (of 6) – Writers Peter Brandvold & Sergio Aragones, Art John Severin, Colors Steve Bucellato. This has been a very good mini-series. While the story maybe relatively predictable and classified as a typical western, it doesn’t change how well it is done and how enjoyable it is. The story sees Bat almost strung up again and saved at the last minute. He then he goes to visit his girl-friend and make sure she is alright. While he is away the bad guys attack his family’s ranch. Bat sees the fire from off in the distance and is hurrying home as the story ends. John Severin’s work is great to see anytime, but he does westerns as well as anyone else.
Ghost Rider #20 – Writer Jason (Scalped) Aaron, Artist Roland Boschi, Colors Dan Brown. This was another loaner (see Wolverine) so I could check out Jason Aaron on Ghost Rider, I signed up for the series. I have not read Ghost Rider in many years but in one issue I was given an update on who and what he is all about and we started the first storyline. Ghost Rider is Johnny Blaze and is really an Angel of Vengeance. His entire family is dead and he is a loaner with a debt to settle with an Angel who created him. The bad a** loner theme, cool bike and hot nurse with guns is over the top fun. Roland Boschi’s style is at times minimalist and yet can be detailed. He exaggerates facial features and people for effect that usually works well. All in all I was drawn into wanting to see what happens next and I’m rooting for Johnny to confront the Angel who has made his life hell.
Superman #673 – Writer Kurt Busiek, Art Jesus Merino, Color Kanila Tripp – The concluding chapter of the “Insect Queen”. Superman is under the Queen’s thrall as tiny creatures are in his brain (reminds me of a line from star Trek: Wrath of Khan). He sees a Earth were people are just organic machines, minds gone, subsumed for the hive, all their spirit and individuality murdered, the only thing I could think of was they were all living in corporate America, but is was an insect hive. The story is predictable from there as Lana helps Superman to get out from under the Queen’s mind control and he saves the day with a great little tie-in from the first chapter involving a baseball. How Superman cleared the bugs out his brain was totally insane and unbelievable, even within the context of a super-hero comic, but what the heck. Busiek has written a solid Superman and made the stories good adventures and interesting on a character development level also. Jesus Merino delivered a very good art job, making the Insect Queen creepy and sexy all at the same time.
New Avengers #38 (or Alias #45) – Writer Brian Michael Bendis, Artist Michael Gaydos, Colors Jose Villarrubia. This appears to have nothing to do with the “Secret Invasion” as boldly bannered across the top of the cover. It was a talking head book about Jessica deciding to take her baby and register and obtain the protection of the Avengers and Tony Stark. Luke is extremely upset about it and this is all about the two parents fighting over what Jessica did, was it right or wrong? Does being a parent change whether you can stand on principals? It really was an issue of Alias, but it was well written as Bendis “knows” Jessica Jones and has Luke down pretty well. Michael Gaydos art has a realistic style, thinner lines and always looks great. All in all one of the best New Avengers issues in forever. I mean I really liked an issue of New Avengers. I’m sure this was some clue about something or someone being a skrull, but it must have been subtle. The banner was false advertising, but it was a good issue.
JLA Classified #52 – Writer Roger Stern, Pencils John Byrne, Inks Mark Farmer. Colors Allen Passalaqua. Part 3 of the Roger Stern/John Byrne look at the JLA. I’m enjoying this arc a lot. The villain is one from the JLA’s past and only J’onn J’onzz recognized him. He has sent the Flash into overdrive, taken out GL, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman. Essentially it is up to Batman to try and distract him long enough for Superman and Wonder Woman to get free. The JLA rallies and Superman takes him out with a massive blow, and still the son of a gun gets back up for Round 2. Byrne’s work looks great and better then it has look in awhile, which I assume means Mark Farmer is a good fit fro Byrne’s pencils. I hope we get more of these creators working on some story arc down the road.
Captain Marvel #3 (of 5) – Writer Brian Reed, Pencils Lee Weeks, Inks Stefano Gaudiano & Butch Guice, Colors Jason Keith. I’ll never understand Marvel and DC when it comes to labeling their books as related to big events or not. Sometimes they will label a book as part of an “event” and it is not and other books no label and it is involved. Case in point New Avengers is labeled “Secret Invasion the Infiltration” and Captain Marvel has no label. New Avengers is not about Secret Invasion at all and Captain Marvel is all about skrulls. This issue the Church of Hala is investigated by Sheild and is found to have skrull connections. Captain Marvel is trying to search his memories and confronts the now prisoner Cobalt Man and finds he is a skrull. This skrull tells Cap that he is not Captain Marvel. The series was a slow build but it is well written and has terrific art but the long missing Lee Weeks. Lee is one heck of a pencil artist in the class of Gil Kane, with a slightly more dramatic flair. The different inkers were jarring as they each gave the book a totally different look.
Salvation Run #4 (of 7) – Writer Matthew Sturges, Pencils Sean Chen, Inker Walden Wong, Colors John Kalisz. This series is very up and down for me. Last issue I was ready to drop this book, this issue I enjoyed seeing how the villains are splitting off into 3 different groups. I think Vandal Savage has the best idea as he found a safe haven and took lots of women with him. The Gorilla Grood versus Monsieur Mallah (Ape vs. Ape) fight was also pretty cool and amusing. I seriously doubt that the deaths we have seen will hold up, but it would be nice if they did.
Gutwrencher #1 (of 3) – Story Keith Giffen, Steve Niles & Shannon Eric Denton, Writer Shannon Eric Denton, Art Anthony Hightower, Colors Carolos Badilla. Am ancient curse overtakes a disgruntled classmate the day of a 10 Year High School reunion. We meet a group of old classmates and get to know them and see the cursed man killing a few people as he takes over driving the bus to an after party. A lot of set-up, but needed if this is just a three issue story, which I hope it is. Since it is Shadowline I’m worried it could be another series of three issue mini-series. The art was decent and at times very good and occasionally a little off, but overall I enjoyed the look of the book. The story itself was very good as we get to know this group of people who are some of the people on the bus now being driven by our possessed disgruntled classmate. You care enough about that to not want them to die.
Wonder Woman #17 – Writer Gail Simone, Pencils Terry Dodson and Ron Randall, Inks Rachel Dodson and Ron Randall, Colors Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis. The final part of Gail’s initial arc on Wonder Woman. In hindsight I think Gail did as good as she could with what she had to play with. In other words it was too early in this life cycle of Wonder Woman to hit the hard reset button, so she put her stamp on the character in a quiet way. Dodson and Randall did a good job with the art as Wonder Woman and her Mom were every inch the Amazon ideal. I’m looking forward to see where we go from here.
Green Lantern Corps #21 – Writer Sterling Gates, Art Nelson, Colors Guy Major. A two part story examining what becoming an Alpha Lantern is doing to Boddikka. I like this issue and enjoyed seeing a close up examination of the Alpha Lanterns. The Guardians actions do not bode well in creating the Alpha Lanterns, which appear to have more Manhunter in them then human. Sterling does a good job on his second time out of the gate (bad pun intended) as a comic book writer. I’m sure his friend Geoff Johns at least did some editing for him. Nelson’s art was solid and at times was very strong. All in all a good issue.

Wolverine #62 – Writer Jason Aaron, Artist Ron Garney, Colors Jason Keith. I actually did not buy this comic; it was a loaner from my store as I do a panel show for them called Cosmic Comics Conversation. Also this is Jason (Scalped) Aaron’s first Wolverine issue and I think Scalped is a top series, so I was curious to see his take on the character. Let’s start with the positives. Ron Garney’s art was great, his layouts were good and he has a strong realistic style with a gritty edge that fits Wolverine well. Now the bad was the portrayal of Wolverine, but I also read X-Force and that created a secondary problem. Both books start with Cyclops sending out Logan to kill people. In this series Mystique is the target. Why kill her this time is beyond me, but Logan is more then willing. The story itself flashes back to give us some history on their relationship and the story is told well. The portrayal of Logan however is harsher then I have ever remembered him being shown. He threatens a young child and he kills a woman on accident as Mystique fooled his senses and he just doesn’t care at all. I have gotten tired of Wolverine and the kill everybody thing is too much. Jason Aaron can write well, I just don’t like where they arte taking the X-Men and Logan. Major Change - I missed that is was Mystique disguised as Wolverine so this radically changes my opinion on this story and I will continue to follow it with the Aaron/Garney team being on the book. And it moves the book up the list.
Fantastic Four #554 – Writer Mark Millar, Artist Bryan Hitch, Inker Paul Neary, Colors Paul Mounts. This is certainly considered to be “A” list talent for Marvel and their first issue was okay. First off I have to get used to the fact that Bryan Hitch has recast the FF and Reed, Sue and Johnny look nothing like they have before. Next we start out with a scene from Back to The Future which was absolutely ridiculous as Reed tried to take the family back in time for a vacation. It just did not ring true. Next the portrayal of Johnny as a male Paris Hilton is a slap in the face to his long standing characterization in the comic. In the movies this is closer to the Johnny Storm portrayed, but to have him act so hedonistic and stupid is an insult to any long term fan of the comic. The actual set-up for the adventure itself is interesting as Reed’s old flame shows up (we have to assume she is the former wife of Mr. Fantastic but it was not actually revealed in this issue) to take him to the Earth Trust. The Earth Trust is building a world to escape to once we finally screw up our planet. So artwork is a B+ as Hitch is a top notch artist, but recasting is lazy in my mind, characterization is a C-, the actual issue is a C and the new story line has potential to be a good story. Finally one last thing that irked me is Dr. Castle (the head of Earth Trust) says only 400 people know what is going on and then you see what is being built and it make a mockery of that statement. It was pointless to say make that statement and have the picture make it false. Finally I’m sure the rapid Millar fans will love this to pieces and rip to shreds anyone who dares think different.
Brit #4 – Writer Bruce Brown, Pencils, Inks & Colors Cliff Rathburn, Breakdowns Andy Kuhn. It was a very long time between issues of this book and subsequently I lost part of what the heck was going on. This issue was a lot of reveals as to who the Brit we saw was, how this happened, who is behind this nefarious plot. We also meet a truly insane villain “The Hatter” who is destined to be a villain that we should see often in Brit. This issue we still have not found out how Brit escaped and we also see Brit’s sister is now a captive of Deputy Director Slitter (the bad guy in this drama). Bruce Brown has a good rhythm to this book and I feel he has found the voices of all the characters really fast. The artwork suits the books well and I assume Andy Kuhn is doing breakdowns to help Cliff in story telling or just to give him more time to get the book done. Hope next issue comes out a little faster.
76 #2 (of 8) – Feature #1 - Jackie Karma Writer B. Clayton Moore Art Ed Tadem – Now back as Jackie Karma looks up his old partner Marcus King. An old enemy who they thought was dead has resurfaced and Jackie convinces Marcus to get back to street crime fighting. This is a fun story that has a nice “vibe” to it we see two old comrades take up arms ten years later. Not only is Gil Gunn back (their old enemy), but this issue ends with “The Sabaki Boys” confronting our heroes. Looks like just walking the streets as Jackie has stirred up a lot of old enemies. Feature #2 – Cool Writer Seth Peck Artist Tigh Walker. Our point of view character is Cherry, the stripper who ended up fleeing with the money from a drug buy that her boy friend set-up. Her boy-friend is dead and she has $20,000 in cash and is fleeing the bad guys. This issue we see a bunch of people are searching for her and so far no one is finding her. Cool is trying to be cool and almost succeeds. For me it fails because so far there is not a single character that I care about as no one is the good guy. Tigh Walker’s art has a little Jack Davis in him and is well done. I especially enjoyed one panel where a character has their hand on a doorframe or something, but from our perspective he is holding onto the side of the panel.
Nova Annual #1 – Writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Pencils Mahmud Asrar, Klebs & Wellington Alves, Inks Juan Vlasco & Nelson Pereira, Colors Guru eFX. – We get two stories, one is a retelling of Richard Ryder becoming Nova and the second set 40 years in the future as the rebuilt Nova Corps is fighting to reclaim Earth and stop the Phalanx. Both were well done. We find out both stories were the result of the techno virus searching for a weakness in Richard and using his memories and projecting a possible future as a way to find his weakness. I’m not sure we needed this story as it just was just a treading water story to get to the next regular issue of Nova, but it was an entertaining comic and work the price of admission.

30 Days of Night Beyond Barrow #3 (of 3) – Writer Steve Niles, Art Bill Sienkiewicz. The final chapter of a group of tourists who came to see the vampires and found vampire like creatures that have apparently lived in Alaska for a long time. Steve Niles writes solid stories and this one is no exception. A nice wrap up and all but the one adult daughter are killed and John Ikos helps to take about the vampire things. The art is pure Sienkiewicz, which means it is impressionist and at times almost sloppy and at other times pure genius. Bill’s art is truly unique and is so different that it is jarring, but the more you see the more you realize he knows what he is doing.
American Virgin #23 – Writer Steven T. Seagle, Pencils Becky Cloonan, Inks Jim Rugg, Colors Brian Miller. This is the final issue of the series and they KILLED Adam. I can’t f**king believe it, but they killed Adam. Even worse he dies a virgin as Mel spirited him away from his wife before he could consummate to marriage to go after the man who killed his fiancĂ©e. This was a very good series that bordered on being great at times. It explored sexuality in society in many ways. The seeds for many other stories had been laid, so I’m not sure why they killed Adam to end the series, unless they were ticked off that the series got canned and said screw it, let’s really end it. The issue itself was well done as Adam forgives the killer and then is goaded into opening a briefcase and it explodes killing Adam and the man he was after. Becky Cloonan’s art was solid as always.
Circle #3 – Writer Brian Reed, Art – Ian Hosfeld, Colors Len O’Grady – I’m enjoying this book, but this issue was a middle chapter, moving the plot along, but nothing of any real consequence happening. Agent “Y” has Ilona and Ulee as captives as the issue begins and as the issue ends. There were some funny scenes as Wallace Christopher is thrown from the train by Agent “Y” and tries to do what he can to help. We had a terrific action scene as Ilona and Ulee fight some of the bad guys while both are cuffed which shows off artist Hosfeld abilities to choreograph a great fight scene, but ultimately too little happened this issue.
Booster Gold # 0 – Writer Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz, Pencils Dan Jurgens, Finished Art Norm Parmund, Colors by Hi-Fi. This issue was a bit of a let down. This book has been a solid and fun read ever time out and this issue was still good, but essentially was a long preamble to clear the deck for Booster Gold and Ted (Blue Beetle) Kord to start their adventure together. It is funny when a book is always very good, a good issue gets seems almost average. Often many stories need to set the table for the payoff down the road and that was this issue for the “Blue and Gold” arc.
Countdown to Final Crisis #11 – Writer Paul Dini with Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, Keith Giffen Story Consultant, Mike Norton Pencils, Mark McKenna Inks, Pete Pantazis Colors. This issue we see snippets of all the people who showed up on Apokolips. We move each story a half step with limited looks at Piper, Red Robin, Karate Kid (when was he cured?), OMACs and more. This was an extremely forgettable issue. Even a great ending cannot save this from being a failure. 52 was so good I got the four trades so I can read the whole thing over one day. This I will never get the trades. Also Mike Norton’s art looked weak and I could be reading into it, but feels like it was rushed as thought the weekly deadlines have caught up with this series.
X-Force #1 – Writers Craig Kyle and Christ Yost, Artist Clayton Craig. This story starts almost exactly the same as the Wolverine story. Cyclops tells Logan to go out and kill Reverend Risman the leader of the Purifiers. Logan wants to go solo, but Cyclops has enlisted X-23, Wolfsbane and Warpath to make up X-Force. We get to see everyone get bloody and we make sure that everyone knows people are killed. One quote from Warpath to X-23, “He was going to kill you, So I-I killed him.” The art work looks all computer generated and is so dark half the time you can’t tell who is who. In fact the art reminded me of the computer animated movie I saw once where on occasion it looks almost real and other times looks bad. I guess it is good to continue trying it to learn how to perfected it, but not when I’m buying the book. Also Cyclops is acting almost completely out of character and looking to kill people left and right leave a bad taste in my mouth. Cancelled.
Dead of Night Featuring Man Thing #1 (of 4) – Writer Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, Art Kano, Colors Javier Rodriguez. This series created the same exact type of Man-Thing. The first issue did little in my memory to re-imagine this swamp monster, instead it was just a re-make of the original. Man-Thing as an actual character cannot carry a book and it just felt too much like already seen this all before, just slicker paper. At $4 an issue, it made it an even easier drop. Cancelled.

I have to laugh at where some books ended up falling in this list as often a decent book can be knocked way down the list as so many other good books also came out. The reverse is true as a mediocre or bad book can still be five to seven away from the bottom based on the competition that week. It is like I always told my kids when they would say that they hated dealing with someone who was stupid “If it wasn’t for stupid people you wouldn’t be smart”.


  1. On Wolverine 62--reread the issue, you'll be happily surprised, as it wasnt actually Wolverine who threatened the Afghan boy nor killed the woman...

  2. Cover shots for the top books! See, that wasn't too hard. Now I know what to look for if I misssed something.

  3. Thomm -It is harder then you think, this post is so long now it is insane.

    Anonymous (Ron?) - That correction changes my whole view of the book and I'm now willing to at least follow this arc till its conclusion. Thanks for the heads up. I know this are imaginary characters but I'm glad to know that I mis-read that scene.

  4. The purpose of the Nova Annual was simple...to get me to finally buy this book and add it to my list. I was already considering it with Paul Pelliter (SP?) coming on as artist, but this cinched it. Must have been the flashback scenes with the old (better) costume. I really liked the story too.

    Oh and New Exiles was awesome -- Am I the only one reading this title? It didn't even get mentioned in CCC with the rest of the X-books.