Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quick Comics Reviews - Of the Last Two Weeks

Over the last two weeks a lot of books have come out and occasionally I like to do quick reviews of a bunch of books, so without further ado:

52 #39 & #40 - Grade B - Continues to be a solid series and my first read every week. For me I enjoyed Steel's battle with Lex Luthor to save his niece. It was reminiscent of the classic Thing vs Dr. Doom fight in Fantastic Four #40.

American Virgin #11 - Grade B - Excellent examination of the seamy underside of the hidden culture of sexual practices through the eyes of an innocent. It could all be fiction, but my logical side of the brain says some of this twisted crap probably does go on. Thankfully it is a small segment of our society.

Batman and The Mad Monk #6 (of 6) - Grade A - Excellent mini-series, beautiful Matt Wagner work as writer/artist.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #214 - Grade A - Great way to end a series on a high note. Wonderful Batman/Deadshot story by Christos Gage.

Blue Beetle #11 - Grade B - Good examination of a new hero and watching him grow from "what am I doing" to starting to have some control of his capabilities.

Creeper #6 (0f 6) - Grade C - I wanted to grade it higher, but it was really a total re-boot of a minor character in the DCU, that was okay, but nothing spectacular.

Deathblow #3 - Grade B - The writer is crafting an interesting tale of a Super Soldier who appears to have been put out to pasture. Plus Michael Cray has no real strong knowledge of who he was before as he suffered a breakdown while being held prisoner for years.

Hawkgirl #60 - Grade C - The book is fighting to get better, but I think Elvis has already left the building (i.e. I hear it is being cancelled soon). Hawkman is back, but Kendra wants to break the endless rebirth cycle that keeps Carter and her being reborn after they die.

Ion #10 - Grade B - This is a hot and cold book, but I like the brewing mystery that is being hinted at in this book. It appears the Monitors have a deep interest in certain DC characters and that it is now clearer then ever that the multi-verse exist, albeit in a different form.

Jack of Fables #7 - Grade B- This is a solid and enjoyable series staring a less then stellar character - Jack. A nice spin-off book from Fables.

JLA Classified #33 - Grade B - Solid and enjoyable story by Dan Slott, best arc in this book for awhile.

JSA Classified #22 - Grade D - A quick wrap on what Hawkman has been doing for a year.

Teen Titans #43 - Grade C- The starting point of Titans East (bad guys) vs Titans West (good guys). The whole arc looks like it will be good, but the start was not edge of my seat exciting.

Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters # 7 - Grade B - This has been a really well written series utilizing a lot of obscure characters in a good way.

Action Comics Annual #10 - Grade B - Covered this one before in detail.

Atom #8 - Grade B - By forcing myself to have only 5 choices for a rating it is very hard to determine what book gets what, but Gail Simone's writing of this relatively simple tale gives it the boost to a B level book, plus this is a good series.

Astro City The Dark Age Book Two #2 - Grade B - Always a pleasure to read this book and this chapter is no exception. I love using the two brothers as parallels of how the heroes are getting darker as the brothers are growing up.

Detective Comics #828 - Grade A - Dini finally is building on what he has written and given us a one and done story that feels like a part of a greater whole. Don Kramer is doing a beautiful job on the art.

Helmet of Fate : Sargon the Sorcerer - Grade B - Nice introduction to a new Sargon the Sorcerer. I love how DC keeps the character new by placing a new person in the role. Nice one and done story and beautiful art by Scott Hampton. The Helmet of Fate is just a gimmick to give various magical DC characters some time in the spotlight.

Jonah Hex #16 - Grade A - Already reviewed in detail.

Loveless #15 - Grade B - I like this series, but the obtuse story telling is probably driving too many people away and I think it will be cancelled. I think as a series of graphic novels (or direct to trade) it would have done better. Hopefully they will give the book enough time to tell enough of the story so we can have an end to it.

Midnighter #4 - Grade B. Nice arc so far dealing with trying to control today via yesterday.

Nightwing #129 - Grade B- I'm easy grading on this book because I like the character, but it could easily be a C. I really hope Nightwing gets his chance to be a major player in the DCU.

Other Side #5 (of 5) - Grade C - Nice initial effort for this writer and the story was a good concept. I enjoyed it, but it is nothing that will be long remembered.

Outsiders #45 - Grade C - We are exploring the one year gap and so far it is an okay storyline, but it hasn't gelled to the point of how it impacts where the Outsiders are today.

Scalped #2 - Grade A - This series really rocks. Dashiell Bad Horse is an undercover FBI agent back in his old reservation and is hip deep in trying to remain undercover and act as a mole in the bad guys organization.

Shazam The Monster Society of Evil #1 (of 4) - Grade B - Beautiful artwork and a so-so story. Jeff Smith's version of Captain Marvel is Billy much younger and he serves as a host for Captain Marvel, i.e. they are two separate entities.

Supergirl #14 - Grade C - Barely keeping me interested. This book is meandering around way too long, we need to get a firmer direction.

Welcome to Tranquility #3 - Grade B - Gail is making me like this book in spite of myself. The first issue I was expecting a different book, no I know what we have and it is done well.

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasures #4 (of 12) - Grade C - The art is very nice and the characters are interesting , but I feel like the adaptor is trying to put too much of the book into the comic and different art forms require different approaches. In other words if she wanted to have that much of the book in the comic it probably needed to be 24 issues and it feels rushed.

Annihilation #6 (0f 6) - Grade B - Very good mini-series playing with a lot of Marvel's forgotten space characters.

Daredevil #93 - Grade C - Everything that has happened in this book for a few years has now been reset. Leaves me feeling a little cheated. What's the point of an ongoing series that has story lines that last for years that have no lasting impact on the character.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #38 - Grade C- Mike Carey has too much going on. Plus I'm not sold on the Ultimate FF yet.

X-Men #195 - Grade C - Too many characters that I'm unfamiliar with, but I'm slowly starting to like this book a little more.

Bullet Points #4 (of 5) - Grade B. This has been a fun and fascinating Elseworld's tale, showing the ripple effect of one changed event. Also JMS does not make the mistake of saying how one event affects everyone, only certain elements. Well done.

Dark Tower Gunslinger Born #1 (of 7) - Grade B The Stephen King world is explored in a comic format. I have never read any of the stuff and the book was accessible and the art was strong.

Fantastic Four The End #5 (of 6) - Grade B - Solid art and story by Alan Davis telling a possible last adventure of the Fantastic Four.

Hulk #103 - Grade C Another series suffering from an over long story line. It has been a decent story that has really been dragged out.

New Avengers #27 - Grade C - This was almost a D. Scracthy artwork hurt the book, but the story was actually interesting until the Avengers showed up (with the goofy line-up and no explanation of why these people are now the Avengers). Plus Bendis' dialogue of Dr. Strange was absolutely horrible.

Newuniversal #3 - Grade B - This issue slipped a bit for me and was ot as strong as the last two issues. Plus the chapter breaks are not very strong and it almost feels like it is stopped when we hit 22 pages. Plus LaRocca's art is way too photo referenced and I could tell we started off with James Cromwell and Angelina Jolie squaring off. Still Ellis' writing makes it all worthwhile.

Spider-Man Reign #3 (of 4) - Grade C - This poor man's Dark Knight riff has fallen down with this chapter. Hope the ending picks it back up.

Squadron Supreme Hyperion vs Nighthawk #2 (of 4) - Grade B - See detailed review. This was close to an A.

Ultimate Spider-Man #105 - Grade B Happy that we wrapped up the clone saga and really enjoyed all the character bits in this issue.

Uncanny X-Men #483 - Grade C This story line has been far too long (we are on part 9 of 12) and this is Brubaker's weakest effort.

White Tiger #4 (of 6) - Grade C - An okay introduction to one of Marvel's few 2nd (3rd ?) generational heroes. The first White Tiger, was the sons of the White Tiger and each one of three guys a piece of the White Tiger amulet, then one man had all three pieces and now his niece has the amulet, so 2nd / 3rd is questionable to me.

X-Men Annual #1 - Grade C - An okay story, nothing that could not have been missed.

Wasteland #6 - Grade B. This is a solid series and very enjoyable with what appears to be a rich back story.

Fell #7 - Grade A - Ellis and Templesmith on top of their game. The series is about a down on his luck and very smart homicide detective. Wonderful stuff.

Desperadoes Buffalo Dreams #2 (of 4) - Grade B. The art is not the best but Jeff Marriote has done a series of mini-series about the Desperadoes which have been great and this is a solid contribution to their stories.

Leading Man #5 (of 5) - Grade B - This was a fun series, where the hero Nick is a private eye, who has the cover of being a movie star. Solid art work and a fun script made this book a real winner.

Lone Ranger #4 - Grade B. A nice year one story of the Lone Ranger. It feels a little dragged out, but only by a little. Solid art work that has a strong Joe Kubert influence.

Tag Cursed #1 (of 5) - Grade B - Good continuation of the "Tag" concept. Looking forward to issue #2.

Wormwood Gentlemen Corpse #5 - Grade A. Best guilty pleasure around. This is just bizarre, gruesome, over the top madness, that is a fun and enjoyable read.

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