Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Best to Worst of Last Week

A lot of good comics this week, but my top book while an excellent book was not a show stopper. But that I mean it didn’t just blow me away with an OMG that was great. I’m also suffering from a little bit of a burn out as I have been overwhelmed with a bunch of side things that are going on and comics have taken a back seat this week.

I know I usually do my little commentary on Monday, but the thought just struck me today is why is the back issue market have as much life as it does. I know that it is not as active and thriving as it once was, but it still seems to do a decent business. I guess since I have moved to hard covers and I send all my new books away I see no real reason to deal with back issues. The only time I bother is when I want to read an old series I missed or already sold and I go out and buy it, if I can get it cheap. My question runs to are there that many people still looking to buy back issues, after all since E-Bay the market is pretty saturated. I’m not talking about true collectibles like stuff from the sixties, but at least since nineties and before that stuff is pretty much everywhere.

Madame Xanadu #3 – Writer Matt Wagner, Pencils Amy Reeder Hadley, Inks Richard Friend, Colors Guy Major I have already fallen in love with this series. The artwork is unbelievable, Amy’s pencils are so clean and the book has a realistic style that is fluid and pretty. I don’t know what us to call her work, but to say the book looks great. Then the story by Wagner is also fantastic. This issue we jump ahead hundreds of years and find our heroine as the seer to the court of Kublai Khan. In order to maintain her long life now that she is human she must drink a brew that apparently has a rather foul taste. She is developing her tarot cards and meets the Phantom Stranger again, but for her this is the second meeting and for the Stranger it is their first meeting. The Stranger explains in a rather obtuse manner that he travels in time and space. The event that their lives intersect around this time is Marco Polo’s trip to the Orient and his meeting with Kublai Khan. It is rare to have a series that is so strong with both art and story, but this is one of them. It is already easily a top ten series in my opinion.

Daredevil #110 – Writers Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka, Art Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano, Colros Matt Hollingsworth. This was a fantastic conclusion to this story. Daredevil escapes from Slaughter, but finds out Dakota was shot. He starts to blame himself and Becky stops him cold and tells him to finish the job. Ultimately Big Ben is exonerated of the murders and Slaughter is told by his new CIA handler (Dakota’s Dad) to drop his illegal activity. At the end Matt seems like he has regained some of his confidence and maybe ready to stop blaming himself for Milla. Rucka and Brubaker told a story in just four issues and this arc may have been the best since Brubaker started as the writer. These guys really are a great writing team, where the sum of the parts is greater then the whole.

Batman Gotham After Midnight #4 (of 12) - Writer Steve Niles, Art Kelly Jones, Colors Michelle Marsden. I think DC has done a disservice by not allowing Elseworld stories, because this is clearly not something that is regular Batman continuity. This issue we have a giant robot controlled by Batman fighting a monstrous Clayface who has grown so large by absorbing people. Batman ultimately defeats Clayface and frees the people, but while he is doing so Midnite kills again. Kelly Jones is at his best and Niles is flat out just telling a fun over the top Batman adventure.

Final Crisis Rogue’s Revenge #2 (of 3) – Writer Geoff Johns, Art Scott Kolins, Colors Dave McCaig. This was a terrific issue. Libra has set up a new group of Rogues who have updated themselves as new versions of Captain Cold, Mirror Master and company. They tell Captain Cold they have his father and they better surrender and turn themselves into Libra. Cold gets a great line for a bad guy he tells them “I’m going to find you. I’m going to kill all of you. And then I’m going to kill my father myself.” The Rogues take down these pretenders in deadly fashion. We also get the plot point of why Libra cares if they are part of his group or not and the reason is the Rogues know the Flash and speedsters are always key to a Crisis. We also see the Zoom’s educating Inertia to use time for his speed and forcing him to become Kid Flash. A nice add-on to Final Crisis and yet you could skip it and so far it would not effect the main story.

Guerillas #1 (of 9) – By Brahm Revel. I always look forward to seeing new projects by different people and this certainly sounded interesting mixing the Viet Nam war with Chimpanzees trained to be soldiers. See my full review here.

Final Crisis Superman Beyond #1 (of 2) – Writer Grant Morrison, Pencils Doug Mahnke, Inks Christain Almay w/Rodney Ramos, Tom Nguyen, Walden Wong and Doug Mahnke, Color David Baron. I really enjoy the 3-D concept, but now that I wear progressive lenses in my glasses 3-D books are a pain for me to read. I need to get prescription red/blue glasses. The actual story itself is rather interesting and also has a lot of Grant Morrison’s high (meant in both meanings) concepts that are not always clear to me. Essentially a Monitor grabs Superman and a few other uber-powerful beings from across the multi-verse on a mission to stop the destruction of everything. The group ends up in Limbo and is greeted by Merryman of the Inferior Five. Morrison knows every damn character in the DCU and manages to use them in some form or fashion. While trying to pick up the book of Infinity (a single book that contains all the stories of creation) Superman and a Captain Marvel see some of the history of the Monitors. The Dark Monitor (Mandrakk) has apparently risen and when Superman goes to talk to the Monitor that he traveled with we see she is a vampire who has taken the life of Overman (another Superman from the multi-verse). The story ends with Ultraman holding the book of Infinity and he sees that Evil wins. It was highly enjoyable and well drawn, but also not 100% straight forward and I’m not following every beat of this story. One thing I know about Morrison’s work is that when read in chapters it gets a little confusing at times as he crams so much into his stories, but usually when read as a whole they are excellent and the story is a lot clearer. Still on one level this is Superman trying to do what he does and that is save the world and save Lois (as the Monitor who recruited him has promised to save Lois who is only alive due to Superman’s powers helping her).

Legion of Super Heroes #45 – Writer Jim Shooter, Pencils Francis Manapul, Inks Livesay, Colors Jo Smith. There are more storylines going on in one issue of Legion than there are in many other books. We have the destroyers who have been sent from another galaxy that is now almost a background story. We have another planet that shows up in our solar system threatening to destroy everything. Brainiac 5 with Light Lass and Star Boy managed to save the solar system. We have a strange kid named M’orissey who has managed to get the Legion diplomatic immunity and pardons for any crimes. Finally we even have little character bits going on as we see Ultra Boy and Saturn Girl having a tryst. Shooter knows how to writer a large group book and make it move with a good pace and still give tons of characters spotlight time, it really is an amazing writing job. Francis Manapul’s art is decent, but I would like a stronger artist on this book and one who can handle a monthly deadline (if they exist anymore).

Hercules #5 (of 5) – Writer Steve Moore, Art Admira Wijaya, Colors Imaginary Friends Studios and Sixth Creation. This was a great ending to what I thought was a great epic that told a tale of the “real” Hercules. Bloody, violent, vicious and cruel by today’s standards, but we always impose our own value sets on people and back in Ancient Greece our ancestors were not as kind and forgiving as we at least pretend to be today. Tydeus did get his wish and managed to make a meal of Coty’s brain, but Hercules and company ultimately left they way they came, war weary and penniless.

Trinity #13 –Writer Kurt Busiek, Pencils Mark Bagley, Inks Art Thibert, Colors Pete Pantazis. Back-up Writer Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza, Artists Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher, Colors Allen Passalaqua. This book is just a wonderfully solid book each and every week. This issue we see Superman take down the CSA’s big three on his own. We see that Enigma is apparently from the CSA Universe and must be that Earth’s Riddler, which could mean he is a good guy or not. The back-up story has Oracle coordinating the efforts to stop the collection of the last item needed to allow the spell to be cast against Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. This book reads so well and the front story and back up story really work well together. While the stories are separate adventures they interweave seamlessly.

Proof #11 – By Alex Grecian & Riley Rossmo, Colors Adam Guzowski. – This series is really one of the best series on the stands. This issue Proof is being attacked by Harpies with guns and a Golem in New York is ripping apart alligators. A story telling technique was used in the first half of the book that I have never liked and that is telling one story line on the top and another on the bottom. It never works for me. Still we find out Proof has a fever and the Harpies are a fever induced dream. Unfortunately the people who have found him think he is the devil and want to kill him. Ginger in New York is trying to find the Golem for a Rabbi who recruited Ginger into the Lodge. A rock solid book that deserves your attention and you should go and buy it.

Fallen Angel #29 – Writer Peter David, Art JK Woodward. This series has picked up so much since Jude lost control of the city. Angel, Mariah and Jude are searching for the City of Life to gain allies against Moloch who has taken control of Bete Noire. This issue they are on the ocean following Jude’s feeling as they have no other way of finding the City of Life. The demon who tried to stop them before attacks again and after a pitched battle Angel manages to kill him this time. Now the three are on a raft in the middle of the ocean trying to find the City of Life. By taking this group out of Bete Noire we are really getting some great character development and David is still pushing to overall plot forward enough to keep the story moving forward. I have always enjoyed Fallen Angel, but right now this series is in an excellent groove.

Northlanders #9 – Writer Brian Woods, Art Dean Ormston. This was a wonderful tale of a young boy who is the youngest and least favorite son of his father. He is somewhere between six and eight years old and is constantly berated by his father, who perhaps blames the boy for his wife’s death as she died in child birth. His father has taken to the Christian religion and is constantly on the younger boy. The boy dreams of his Germanic mother and her gods that were a bolder and tougher lot that this Christian god. But all of this is taking place in England and I’m wondering how the Vikings play into this, when they show up as raiders on the coast toward the end of the issue. The boy in his anger towards his Dad sees them as his saviors and is leading them to the church and his home for the Viking to pillage. Both story and art well very well done and I’m looking forward to next issues conclusion.

Wildcats World’s End #2 – Writer Christos Gage, Art Neil Googe, Colors Carrie Strachan, Back-Up Writer Christos Gage, Art Brandon Badeus, Colros Jonny Rench. This series is moving along very well. We find out this issue that Majestic has set-up up Hawaii as a safe enclave since the apocalypse occurred. He is the ruler because the people ask him to be. He is building an army that he sees is the best of humanity and his race and plans to take over the Earth slowly. He is his version of a benevolent dictator working to make a better world. The Wildcats are poised to try and stop him, but some refugees ask to go to Hawaii as living where they are is too much of a struggle, so a truce is called. The WU has my interest with Wildcats, Authority and Stormwatch PHD. The back-up was okay with Lynch pulling together Team Seven.

Teen Titans #62 – Writer Sean McKeever, Pencils Eddy Barrows, Inks Ruy Jose, Colors Rod Reis. This is the first issue of the Titans in a long time that I enjoyed as much as I did. The cover showing Wonder Dog had me groaning as I was started to read it. Add to that the issue focused on Wendy and Marvin (I believe the Wonder Twins from a DC cartoon of years ago made over to be part of the TT support staff) and I know this issue was going to be hard to take. So when Wonder Dog turns out to be some sort of beast that changes into a giant killing dog thing and Marvin and Wendy get torn up (hopefully dead) I was pretty happy. I have no clue who that armored guy at the end is, but it was his dog. So not only did Marvin and Wendy maybe bite the dust, I’m looking forward to next issue to see who this bad guy is and why he is after the Teen Titans.

Justice Society of America #18 – Story Geoff Johns and Alex Ross, Writer Geoff Johns, Pencils Dale Eaglesham, Inks Mick Gray, Kris Justice & Nathan Massengill, Earth-2 Sequences Jerry Ordway, Colors Hi-Fi. So Lance Corporal David Reid, the great grand-son of President Roosevelt gets turned into Magog. I thought this character had little use being part of the JSA, so his being turned into Magog is a nice touch. Gog is still roaming around Earth fixing everything. The JSA is finding out that the “cures” some have been given are not always a good thing. Power Girl is stranded on another Earth and trying to find her way home. Finally the JSA is starting to fracture a little as the disagreement about Gog continues. I’m enjoying the story and the large cast, but the pace of this book is too slow and it is hurting it.

Anna Mercury #3 (of 5) – Writer Warren Ellis, Art Facundo Percio, Colors Paul Duffield. This was a “balls to the wall” all out action issue as Anna has to pull out all the stops to stop the big cannon on the moon. To do some of the stunts she needs to do she utilizes almost of her energy and has to “boomerang” back to our planet. She successfully makes it back, changes out of her Anna Mercury gear, showers and walks out onto the streets of London looking very much like an ordinary pretty woman. This issue was a quick and easy read and a surprisingly quite ending that revealed more about who Anna really is.

Superman #679 – Writer James Robinson, Pencils Renato Guedes, Inks Wilson Magalhaes, Colors Hi-Fi. This was a total battle issue where Superman gets his clock cleaned by Atlas. Sugergirl tries to come and help but is knocked out by some sort of beam from a satellite or something. We see a mysterious stranger show up and disappear and we see Lana Lang get fired from Lex Corp. Then the end was cool and amusing at the same time as Krypto shows up to tangle with Atlas.

Doktor Sleepless #8 – Writer Warren Ellis, Aret Ivan Rodriquez, Color Greg Waller. Okay this issue we get a lot of information and as always we are not sure 100% if what we are being told is true or not. Doktor Sleepless tells his ex-girl friend Sing what he is doing and why he is doing it. He says he is trying to end the world so that he can screw up the food chain. He has determined that a higher dimensional beast ate his parents and that is what killed them and we are just part of Heaven’s food chain. The police officer who investigated the case said it was double suicide and that the boy (a young Doktor Sleepless) found them and he must have never been able to sleep again. So is Doktor Sleepless just a crazed genius trying to destroy the world or is that what he wants the world to believe. Regardless we did learn that as with many comic characters the death of his parents was a defining moment in shaping the person.

DC Universe Last Will and Testament #1 – Writer Brad Meltzer, Art Adam Kubert, Inks John Dell & Joe Kubert, Colors Alex Sinclair. I thought this was a good story. The story of Geo-Force going after Deathstroke for revenge of what happened to his sister as the end of the world approaches was well done. The artwork was outstanding and boy can you tell when Joe Kubert inked his son’s work. Joe has a very distinctive style and he and Adam made a great team. One of Brad’s strongest and weakest points in comics is his love and reverence for the characters themselves. Often that can work against him, but in the setting of the night before the world ends it played out to perfection. What I could not get over was some of the odd choices and the fact that this did not tie neatly into Final Crisis. First off they never even call it a Final Crisis cross-over, but unless some other world ending event is happening it has to be that. In some ways I feel like a missed a part of Final Crisis that has lead to everyone acting the way they were. Next I have not followed Geo-Force’s every move and adventure (who could as he never has had his own book), but I was unaware of some of what he was talking about with what Deathstroke had supposedly done to him. It was a little strange to learn so much so fast about Geo-Force, but in one issue Brad made Brion a better character then he had ever been before and hopefully this will be picked up on in the future. Finally Deathstroke comes close to be a little over used as the ultimate bad guy inside of the DCU. I sort of take him to be the flip side of Batman and Captain America combined and that makes him a good bad guy to use, but lately Green Arrow and now Geo-Force have beaten him. Bottom line this was a very good read and would have worked even better for me if Final Crisis had been more of a direct lead in to it.

Catwoman #82 – Writer Will Pfeifer, Pencils David Lopez, Inks Alvaro Lopez, Colors Jeromy Cox. A nice wrap up issue. Catwoman leads Batman on a chase. Batman tries to reason with her and get at the bottom of what is bothering her and ultimately with a confrontation with Batman understands what it is. Batman tells her she could have been taken care of and that she and Helena could have been given a safe place to live together. Ultimately Selina choose to give her baby up. Catwoman goes a little nuts, but agrees that she is what she is. The end was beautiful as Selina finally pulls one over on Batman and steals the Batmobile and drives off into the night. A nice end to what has really been an outstanding series. Thanks to Will, David, Alvaro and Jeromy.

Ultimate Spider-Man #125 – Writer Brian Bendis, Pencils Stuart Immonen, Inks Wade von Grawbadger, Colors Justin Ponsor. This issue jumps around a little too much in the time line and I’m not sure what purpose it served to break up the story line that way. Still we find out that Eddie is being held by Trask with the intent of getting the parasite off Eddie so Trask can study and profit from it. The Beetle shows up and sets Venom free after he took a sample or something from it. Venom goes after the Beetle and Spider-Man intervenes and then Venom takes over Spider-Man. I’m not sure what my reaction is to this arc yet, as the ending will determine if it is any good or not. The plus is this is my Spider-Man now since I have dropped Amazing since OMD.

Blue Beetle #30 – Writer Matthew Sturges, Art Rafael Albuouerque, Colors Guy Major. This was another strong issue of Blue Beetle. The new writer Matthew Sturges has really captured the essence of the character very well. Jamie is trying to find the four super powered illegal immigrants to find out who is behind this new drug. As he fights them his suit gives him lethal options which he refuses to lose and eventually he wins the day. The problem is they were dying anyway and now Blue Beetle does not know how to save them. In this one issue he shows heroic morals, yet still does not have all the answers which to me fits a teen-age super hero.

Vix #2 (of 3) – Writer Rantz Hoseley, Art Matthew Humphreys. I was all set to drop this book and almost did not even read it, but now I want to see #3 and I’m a little ticked as the Shadowline brand under Image does three issue try outs and you never get a full story. This issue we see Celeste is struggling with these strange powers she has received. She is trying to work it out with her girl friend Tat. While in school these men attack her classroom and she has to use her powers to save everyone. Unfortunately her teacher was hurt and as he is dying he tells her she is the “chosen one” that is to lead the world to the light. He also tells her that her mother knows about what is going on as she gave Celeste to them. This has some heavy Christian overtones, teen-age angst, mysteries, super powers and high tech bad guys. The artwork is cartoonish and a little uneven in spots, but solid overall. I’ve gone from who cares about this series to I hope to heck that 3 issues is not all we ever see of this story.

Caliber #5 (of 5) Writer Sam Sakar, Art Garrie Gastonny, Colors Imaginary Friends Studio. – I enjoyed this series, but at times I felt a little lost. I’m not sure if that was because I wasn’t reading it close enough or because the cast was a little too big for a five story arc. Still it ended up with Arthur instead of the King is the new Sheriff. I wish I was a little more knowledgeable about the Arthur legend as I think the more I know the better the series would be. The art was well done as always but having Brad Pitt’s face be used for Lancelot was distracting. Photo referencing is fine, but don’t go so realistic, use the reference, but make it your own. If you missed this series, pick up the trade as it will be worth your time.

Brit #8 – Writer Bruce Brwon, Art Nate Bellegarde, Bearkdowns Andy Kuhn, Colors FCO Plascencia. This is a funny series for me. I’m not deeply vested in the book, I’m not really that in love with the characters, the new artist style is a little wonky and yet I’m still with it after 8 issues. This issue Brit is trying to reconcile with his wife (don’t even ask why) and after getting sidetracked with an adventure with his sister (that was somehow reminiscent of the odd space aliens side bar in the Life of Brian) we see his baby boy is apparently not really human. Now I have to find out what the heck is going on here and I’m sucked into yet another issue. This book is slowly winning me over as a fun series with all its odd quirks that just seems to work.

X-Men Legacy #215 – Writer Mike Carey, Pencils Scot Eaton, Inks Andrew Hennessy, Rogue Scenes Pencils and Inks Marco Checchetto, Colors Frank D’Armata, Rogue Colors Jean-Francois Beaulieu. Damn if the X-books are not going to force me to drop every time title being produced. . This issue is supposedly part of X-Men Manifest Destiny, yet the next issue which is part 2 of this story is not listed as Manifest Destiny. I have no clue what Manifest Destiny is and see no reason to find out. It did not seem to impact this issue at all. Then in two issues this book is part of a cross-over with X-Men Original Sin and we have to pick up two issues of Wolverine Origins to get the whole story. On top of that this confrontation between Cyclops and Professor X is just nuts as apparently Scott hates the Professor for all the things he did to them over the years. I guess I missed a book where he admitted he mind controlled them or something. The 45 year history of these characters is weighing them down so badly it is insane. For some reason they can’t move on with new characters, so the history of these characters grow and become so convoluted that it is impossible to follow. Not off this book yet, but getting close to canning this and then Astonishing X-Men also.

Contract #2 (of 3) – A series that is out to have fun and is set in a Fifth Element type future. See my full review here.

Wolverine #68 – Writer Mark Millar, Pencils Steve McNiven, Inks Dexter Vines, Colors Morry Hollowell. Okay I’m trying to approach this series as an Elseworlds type tale but it still just feels wrong. The only reason I’m reading the book now is to see what event made Wolverine decide to never fight back again. For the center of a person to change, the event must have been dramatic and we have not been told that event. This issue Hawkeye goes to save his daughter (Spider-Woman?) from the Kingpin. He saves her and she kills the Kingpin because she wants to take over the territory. The issue ends with Logan revving up the Spider-Mobile engine to go and try and save Hawkeye from his daughter. If it wasn’t for Steve McNiven’s artwork this book would be canceled.

Nova #16 – Writer Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Pencils Wellingotn Alves & Geraldo Burges, Inks Scott Hanna, Colors GurueFx. Another one of my favorite Marvel series is being attacked by Secret Invasion. I really hate this crap especially in a book that has been as good as Nova. Nova has lost the worldmind and is coping with that and gets pulled into the Secret Invasion. Abnett & Lanning are making work as well as possible. This series has been derailed by Annihilation Conquest and now Secret Invasion. The book is only on issue #16, I want Marvel to let it fly on its own

Gravel #4 – Story/Script Warren Ellis, Script Mike Wolfer, Art Oscar Jimenez, Colors Juanmar. They really mixed it up this issue. So far the first three issues was Gravel killing people in the Minor Seven to get chapters of this book. Last issue one member gave him the chapter to save his life. This issue a member (Royston) shows up at Gravel’s door with the intent to kill Gravel and take the chapters of the book. Royston has trained some new acolytes to also be Combat Magicians. After a long battle Gravel kills all of Royston’s henchmen and Royston. This book needs more a twist to it as it is becoming a one note story.

Immortal Iron Fist #18 – Writer Duane Swierczynski, Art Travel Foreman, Russ heath Pages 1-4, Colors Matt Milla. I liked that when Danny was getting his a** kicked by the killer of Iron Fists, he called in Collen, Misty and Luke. That type of stuff just makes sense. Danny after escaping with his life is now trying to determine how Orson Rand succeeded in avoiding his death at the hands of this guy. It is also apparent that Iron Fist’s life and the the dragon Shou-Lan’s life cycles are tied together in some fashion. The new creative team is doing a good job keeping Iron Fist as a decent read.

Reign in Hell #2 (of 8) – Writer Keith GiffenPencils Tom Derenick, Inks Bill Sienkiewicz, Colors Mike Atiyeh. Back-Up Writer Keith Giffen, Art Stephen Jorge Segovia, Colors Dan Brown. This was a decent issue, but due to the structure of an eight part series this issue was a lot of the mystics of the DCU deciding what to do about the war in hell and some people are picking sides. The Dr. Occult back-up has him in hell looking for his counter part Rose.

Secret History of the Authority Jack Hawksmoor #6 (of 6) – Writer Mike Costa, Art Fiona Staples. This was a nice solid six issue mini-series that gave us some back story on Jack and gave us a solid adventure. Jack, the King of Cities, beats the God of Cities from the 70th Century by taking him out of the city. This was a solid wrap up to this mini-series and in fact is one of three mini-series that ended on high notes this week. The only glitch for me is when we flashback to the framing sequence that started issue #1 and I had totally forgotten the story had started in a present day setting with Jack and the rest of the Authority fighting some huge bad guy.

Jack of Fables #25 – Writers Bill Willingham & Matt Sturges, Pencils Russ Braun, Inks Joes Marzan & Steve Leialoha, Colors Daniel Vozzo. This issue we are back in current continuity and we focus on the Page sisters, whose sterling reputations have been hurt by Jack in various ways. The crux of the plot for this issue is the Bookburner is coming to Golden Boughs. If he succeeds in burning all the books the Fables would be destroyed. In a starling twist Jack decides to stay and fight the Bookburner to become a hero. You know this can’t be right.

New Avengers #44 – Writer Brian Bendis, Pencils Billy Tan, Inks Matt Banning, Colors Justin Ponsor. This issue we get the story of who came up with the technology to allow the skrulls to go undetected and it was Reed Richards. Well not Reed Richards, but one of his many clones that the skrulls made until they could find a way to make him give them the formula for the idea. I need to write a separate post soon about what is wrong with Secret Invasion. It had a great premise and a fun idea, but like any comic book logic idea, the more you try to explain it, the less sense it makes. Comics have many fanciful ideas that just work better by leaving it alone and believing that a man can fly. This story made the whole event worse by explaining it.

Mighty Avengers #17 - Writer Brian Bendis, Pencils Khoi Pham, Inks Danny Miki and Andy Lanning, Colors Dean White. So the back story we get this issue is that Henry Pym has to be duplicated more then once, because Henry Pym’s mind continues to influence whoever tries to be made into Pym. That was it, really, nothing else. Oh a 22 page adventure was put around the concept as Dum Dum Dugan (also a skrull) has to kill a Henry Pym who had gone rogue and wanted to call off the invasion, but that was it.

Haunt of Horror Lovercraft #3 (of 3) – Adapted by Rich Corben. This series was appropriately creepy and just flat out great looking. Corben’s art style is all is own and he puts so much amazing detail into his work that it is incredible to behold. Using his ability and matching it with Lovecraft is a natural pairing. I especially enjoyed that that actual stories and poems used as inspiration were part of this package. Corben’s work has been everywhere lately and I’m happy to see his work around again. Now maybe someone will take some of his best older work and do a nice hard cover collection.

Newuniversal Conqueror – Writer Simon Spurrier, Art Eric Nguyen, Colors John Rauch. This was a decent read and an interesting tale of another White Event that occurred in 2689 BC. I guess it gives us the idea that things don’t always go right and the BC Nightmask wanted to be running everything. This history issue was interesting, but was not a direct impact to the modern day series. Also the regular series has had so many problems that I’m losing interest. It was suppose to be a 12 issue series, then it became two six parts series with a long gap between them and now the second half of the series has been slow to come out.

Black Panther #40 – Writer Jason Aaron, Jefte Palo, Colors Lee Loughridge. If this wasn’t over in one more issue I’d drop it already. Let’s talk about the artwork first. While Palo has some good qualities his penchant for drawing impossibly huge tops of these Super Skrulls with ridiculous little squat legs was a distraction. Also his full page panel of Ororo has her with the body of a well built man with a chest; I had to look twice to make sure I knew it was Ororo. The actual fight was insane also as a super skrull was made with all the fighting styles of various heroes (apparently skills are genetic now) and the Panther takes him down by discovering his weakness. Then a group of super powered mash-ups show up and the Panther is beating then with his sword. At the end of the issue the Panther is downed by a taser wielding skrull who had infiltrated the Panther’s troops. What no insulated costume, no Panther hearing to know who was creeping up on him and let’s not even mention the swipe at how western colonization prevented the great African civilization from every rising up (the line is in the previously front page). Oh by the way Egypt is on the African continent and was a great Civilization.

Thunderbolts #123 – Writer Christos Gage, Art Fernando Blanco, Colors Frank Martin. Good thing Andy Diggle is coming on this book or I would drop it right now. This Secret Invasion cross over is just not working in my opinion and was horribly forced in right after Ellis’ run which had really set up a good status quo. With Ellis and Deodato both living this book has taken a terrible hit and the SI stuff is a third strike.

Teen Titans Year One #6 (of 6) – Writer Amy Wolfram, Pencils Karl Kerschl, Inks Serge Lapointe, Colors John Rauch. The best thing about this book was the artwork. While Aqualad certainly had an odd look, the rest of the art team look good and seemed close to age appropriate. The actual story itself was okay, but ultimately meaningless. This will be a decent all age read and be a solid trade with some evergreen potential.

Ambush Bug Year None #2 (of 6) – Plotter & Penciller Keith Giffen, Script Robert Loren Fleming, Inks Al Milgrom, Colors Guy Major. The first issue was pretty funny and this issue almost missed the mark totally. It was almost random and most of the jokes missed the mark for me. Comedy books and Ambush Bug in particular has always been hit or miss and issue #2 was a miss.

I’m trying to reduce my comments down to just a few sentences on each book as I know no one is reading all of these comments. Also I’m trying to do more spotlight reviews and especially on new #1s then may go under the radar.

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