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    Wednesday Is New Comic Book Day! (Reviews 01-27-10)

    By | January 28th, 2010
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments


    Welcome back, friends of all ages and races and sizes and species! We’ve got a great round-up of comics for you this week, and an exciting book for our BOTW slot. I’d also like to remind you, we’ve got this brand new rating system up:

    0: Uwe Boll will direct the adaptation of this comic
    0.1 – 1: Burn upon touching
    1- 1.9: Abysmal
    2.0 – 2.9: Art. Writing. Editing. All bad.
    3.0 – 3.9: You’d be a masochist to pick this up.
    4.0 – 4.9: “I’ll give it another month…but that was not good.”
    5.0 – 5.9: “Really? The Watcher? In the face? I guess it was fun.”
    6.0 – 6.9: “Hmm. That was decent.”
    7.0 – 7.9: Well made but a few problems
    8.0 – 8.9: Nearly flawless
    9.0 – 9.9: Outstanding
    10: Perfection. Issue of the year contender

    For those wondering, Pass would be anywhere from 0 to 3.9, Browse would be 4 to 6.9, and Buy would be from 7 to 10. So what are you waiting for? Hop on past the jump and enjoy!

    Also, are there any books you’d like to see us review? Let us know in the comments, and one of us will get right on it! We’ll also keep those books in mind for future weeks!

    Book of the Week: Green Lantern #50

    Matt’s Thoughts: I know I’m not the only one who will say this, but if Green Lantern #50 has taught us anything, it’s that Blackest Night should have been an event between the pages of GLC and GL. This issue was just so full of pure unaltered awesome that my awesome meter broke while reading it. The glass splintered off into my eyes and still I couldn’t stop reading it. This book was just full of so much “epic win” that I can’t wait for the continuation of this storyline more than I can’t wait for how BN will eventually end.

    Of course, this brings me to the point I’d like to make, and that is that Blackest Night, as a whole, has been rather odd. It’s had incredible highs and incredible lows at the same time. This has definitely been one of the highest points of the book, and hopefully it’ll play out throughout the end of the story, but what bugs me out is that you really can’t “get” Blackest Night without reading some of the tie-ins with Green Lantern. It’s almost polarizing, and in that I don’t really like how the event is shaping up. Seriously – if you aren’t reading Green Lantern, Blackest Night is pointless, because some of the best moments of the story are explored within these pages. This issue is a prime example of that.

    I’m also a little bummed that GL#50 didn’t have some sort of big extra… well, anything really. Not in comparison to the over-sized epic that was the Sinestro Corps War finale. While it is amazing to see the big call backs to the beginning of the series (and a great Star Wars reference), I must admit I wish there was more in this issue… and considering all that goes down story-wise, I feel I’m being a little greedy in saying that!

    David’s Thoughts: It seems as if every time an issue of Green Lantern or Green Lantern Corps comes out, two things are proven: these titles are awesome and that Blackest Night should have never escaped out of these pages. While Blackest Night has been a bit of an overly formulaic and underwhelming title at its core, the GL titles have been exceptional. Particularly Corps to be honest, but this issue of Green Lantern exemplifies the type of storytelling Sinestro Corps War made us expect from Johns – dynamic, unpredictably storytelling filled with a massive cast of characters and perpetually thrilling moments.

    These moments so far have almost been exclusively written by Peter Tomasi in the Blackest Night saga, but this issue has Johns back in full swing. Whether it’s Scarecrow dominating with his new found powers, Atrocitus almost being overwhelmed by his non-rage towards his new team member Mera, or Sinestro and Carol Ferris trying to get Hal to not go to Parallax, this is an absolutely epic issue.

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    An epic issue rendered in absolutely stunning fashion as well. As I said earlier in an email to our group of writers, Doug Mahnke was off his ass this issue. Mahnke has been someone I’ve followed since DC’s long ago title Major Bummer, and within these pages he proved his worth as a top tier talent that is perhaps impossible to eclipse even by talents such as Ethan Van Sciver or Ivan Reis – he’s that good.

    All in all, another damn good issue of Green Lantern. Considering that I first started reading Green Lantern with another arc based around issue #50 (Emerald Twilight), it’s cool to see it come full circle. Now I’m just excited to see how Johns and Mahnke get us out of it.

    Gil’s Thoughts: Wow. What an issue. So much happened in this one issue that it’s hard to put it all into one write up. I will say though that I’ll dissent with the rest of the team when I say I completely see why there has to be an anchor title in the event. If we hadn’t gotten the Blackest Night proper, there would not nearly have been enough room to explain the Black Lanterns or given enough time to be able to focus on the rest of the DC Universe trying to handle this business (I mean, the majority of this title dealt with Black Lantern Spectre, not Nekron or even The Black Hand). To me, it just makes sense.

    There isn’t much that hasn’t been covered by Matt, David or Brandon, so I won’t go TOO in-depth with how awesome the issue was (or how mediocre it was, if you read Brandon’s) other than how I did enjoy it, and the end especially. What I will go into is a few things that I noticed in the book.

    There were a couple things that really amused me and threw me for a loop respectively. Fir off, we have Larfleeze. Easily one of the most annoying characters this side of Sheldon Cooper (I love him, but he’s not exactly meant to be liked by his colleagues.), he just has these reactions that made me laugh. Just STARING at Orange Lantern Lex Luthor because he doesn’t want to share the Orange Light, and the second actually involves Lex Luthor himself. It crossed my mind that right now Superman has been possessed by Nekron’s forces, and Luthor is one of the few glimmers of light in the universe right now. We’re actually supposed to root for Lex Luthor to put the smack down on Kal-El. How crazy is that?

    Brandon’s Thoughts: While I found the issue to be a fun read and the art was gorgeous I didn’t feel it was anything special. I will say it was nice to see most of the issue centered on the Lantern Corps and not the DC heroes. I maintain this probably would have been an amazingly better story if it were GL centric and not so spread about. Blackest Night was quickly turned into the village bike and everyone and their mom got a ride.

    I mentioned above the art was great. Mahnke has continuously throughout this event turned in some amazing pieces of art. I think it’s one thing that every reader can agree on. Blackest Night just wouldn’t look as good as it does without him.

    As far as the end of the book goes I wasn’t too impressed. The big to do of it all seems pointless to me as I think we can all agree there isn’t much uncertainty to the character involved’s fate. It would have worked as a plot point through a single issue but leaving us with the feeling that there is some danger involved is laughable.

    There were some great moments in this issue. Such as Scarecrow and Luthor enjoying their ring bearing status. The moment between Carol and Hal was also special. All in all I think the issue was enjoyable and worth the money paid for admission. GL 50 has some faults but in the end there are far more comics less enjoyable than this issue than there are more enjoyable. So go forth and purchase.

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    MATT’S REVIEWS

    Kick-Ass #8
    I SO did not believe that this would actually come out when I read the solicit. Seriously. Would you? Why should you? This book has been delayed like crazy. But it really happened. Kick-Ass #8 is sitting in my collection now. I’ve held it and read it. And I loved it.

    I’ve been very anti-Kick-Ass since I read the script for the movie, but this issue reminded me why I love Mark Millar in the first place. He’s a crazy-pants balls to the wall writer, and his stories are absolutely awesome when you go into it with a light-hearted attitude. Fortunately, having not read the 7th issue in who knows how long didn’t effect my enjoyment of this issue because it picks up so quickly that you remember what happened without even reading the recap, and the pay off is pretty fantastic, all the way through the end which is a great call back to the first few pages of Kick-Ass #1. It’s not a happy ending by any means, but it works for the story and it’s actually a pretty realistic one (and a much better ending than the ending of the movie…)

    All in all, Kick-Ass #8, despite all the delays, proved to be a great little success. It was rather short to read through, but it was nice to see Dave man up, to see some excessive violence Mark Millar style, some FANTASTIC artwork on Romita Jr’s part, and a great promise for the future of the series (as this is only the end of book one). Kick-Ass isn’t the be-all, end-all of comics by any means, but it has been a great read, and I’m happy to see it’s first ending being done well, despite delays.

    Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy it (although, in reality, you might wanna wait for trade if you haven’t been keeping up)

    Pilot Season: Demonic
    I’ve always liked the Pilot Season initiative. It’s been a fun way to bring in a new comic to follow, and it’s exciting for us as fans to get to read what we like. It’s one of the many great things about Top Cow. And this year, Robert Kirkman is writing all of the submissions! What a treat for us fans!

    …except, I didn’t really like this one.

    I was a big fan of the first book. I thought that, all Unbreakable jokes aside, it moved really well and was a story that I really wanted to see elaborated on. That’s not the case for Demonic. The basic story is that this guy has to serve a demonic host by feeding it souls, and the demon only wants him to kill his family. Since he refuses, he has to appease it by donning this devilish attire and killing other people. And the big twist? After murdering a bunch of cops, we learn that he himself is a detective and is being assigned to the case of hunting himself!

    I just don’t really go for it. While I really adore the artwork in the book, the story doesn’t give me much to look forward to other than what I can assume will be a pretty good mini by Kirkman. This just doesn’t seem like a concept that can be really elaborated on, which is odd because I had assumed this to be the most exciting of all the books. Demonic looks great and is an entertaining read, but it’s not a book I can really see myself devoting my love and energy to. It’s concept just doesn’t seem to lend itself for the sprawling epic I’m looking for. So I’m fairly let down by the book, which is unfortunate.

    Final Verdict: 6.2 – Browse

    World’s Finest #4
    I’m probably one of the biggest Sterling Gates supporters in the entire world, and I’ve been loving this mini. In fact, I’m not going to lie – I think this would have worked as an on-going of one-shots, especially if Gates himself wrote the entire thing. But since that isn’t the case, and World’s Finest is over now, I should take a look at what we got.

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    What we got is actually a good prelude to what will be Gates (and Robinson’s) run on the upcoming Superman books, which will bring the events that started with Johns’ New Krypton to a close. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, eh? As Superman and Batman (who is drawn AMAZINGLY by the way – and I CAN’T STRESS THAT ENOUGH!) go up against the Toyman’s latest monstrosity, all of the team-ups we’ve seen come to a nice fruition at the end to make a very nice cohesive feel to this mini. Featuring a little bit less of the snarky dialogue we’ve come to expect from Gates and this book, the book is absolutely action packed from top to bottom in a heart pounding race against the clock.

    This may not be the book of the week, but it still is a worthwhile read. Like I said, I’m a big fan of Gates, and I think that the end result of this book is a perfect example of why. He took a concept that I initially wouldn’t have cared about (like Supergirl, even) and ran with it in such a great way that made for a great read. And, at the end of it, it makes me even more excited for Gates to come on to the rest of the Super-books and bring about the War of the Supermen. It’s not essential reading for the upcoming arc, but it still is a clear indication of what we can come to accept, and if anything proves that Gates is great at handling multiple characters within the DC Universe.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – Gates is a writer to watch in the future of DC.

    Final Verdict: 7.9 – Buy (or, like with Kick-Ass, might as well grab the trade soon)

    Justice League: Cry For Justice #6
    Apparently I am the only person enjoying Cry For Justice, both here at Multiversity and across the world wide interwebs. After this issue especially, I’m not entirely sure I understand why.

    Let’s break it down to bits and pieces. First off, I don’t think anyone can really challenge the absolute fantastic nature of the artwork. Mauro Cascioli is absolutely killing it with the artwork, especially with the opening reveal (that the DCU blog The Source kinda sorta ruined) that Shazam was actually Prometheus all along. See? I TOLD you nothing was as simple as it looked! There are several points of the issue as Prometheus battles his way through the satellite that show off the intense artistic capabilities of Cascioli, especially when Prometheus is up against Green Arrow in a lone corrider. I was mesmerized, as much as I am when I read Detective Comics and drool over JH Williams III artwork. And you know what? In the back of the comic, there’s a whole section where the artist and writer talk about how amazing that run on Detective Comics was, so that explains that.

    Secondly, Prometheus! COME ON, people! A villain from Grant Morrison’s run on JLA! (Yes, I’m aware Marv Wolfman created the original, but this is definitely Morrison’s Prometheus more than anything). I absolutely love him and his return. He rips Roy’s freaking arm off and proceeds to mop the floor with every single member of the JLA present. This issue has got to be one of the most epic beatdowns I read this week, and Prometheus’ final villainous act against the JLA is tremendous (and a clear nod as to what is going to come from Green Arrow). I whole heartedly approve of his evil plan.

    Of course, what people critisize the most is James Robinson’s writing. Robinson, who most people adore for Starman and his old JLA/JSA work, has apparently “lost it.” Well, ok, while some of the dialogue might be a bit forced in earlier issues, especially to have “bad ass intros,” this issue was really great. Since the emphasis was on the villain and not the heroes, the cynical and derogatory dialogue used seemed perfect for Prometheus’ romp through the satellite. Yet another point for Robinson in my mind.

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    I wasn’t originally going to buy this book. The art convinced me, and the writing brought me in, especially with the original Prometheus reveal. As time has gone on, I’ve really enjoyed CFJ for everything that is, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends and how Robinson continues his work in the normal JLA book (and beyond). This issue gets two thumbs up from me.

    Final Verdict 9.0 – Buy

    (Yeah. I went that high! What’re you gonna do about it, eh?!)

    DAVID’S REVIEWS

    Batman and Robin #7
    Typically I start with a look at the issue as a whole, go into the writing, then the artist, and then back to the whole. I can’t do that today. I really can’t.

    Cameron Stewart killed it on this issue. The opening action sequence in which Batman and Squire (from the League of Heroes arc) collaborate to rescue Smooth Eddie English is absolutely phenomenal. There really is no other way to put it. Stewart puts on an absolute clinic, showing the way to properly structure and layout an action sequence and realistic timing of a scene.

    Batman and Robin is a title in which the artist really dictates whether or not I enjoy the overall experience, as the first arc illustrated by Frank Quitely (our #1 artist of the past decade) was a stunner and the follow up by Philip Tan was nowhere near as good. When I say this, take it with all of the power this means for Stewart: I enjoyed this issue more artistically than any issue to date. Even more so than the work by Quitely. That’s a hell of a thing.

    The only reason why I would say this issue wasn’t as exceptional as the opening arc was Morrison was a bit more abstract in his storytelling than he has been in the past. Throwing us into the midst of the action really caught me off guard, especially as I didn’t quite remember who Squire was or where Damien was immediately. Not only that, but the relationship between Kate Kane and Dick Grayson at the end of the issue was entirely lost on me. While it was an entertaining issue overall, some sections lost me as a reader and limited my enjoyment overall.

    However, Stewart was an absolute phenom in this issue. Like I can’t wait to go out and pick up more of his books tommorrow good. A good issue, but one that should have been great if only because of the art.

    Final Verdict: 8.2 – Buy

    Detective Comics #861
    I didn’t think it’d be like this. I mean, I loved JH Williams III’s art, but did I love it enough to the point where it made the quality of the title rise exponentially? Perhaps, as this issue of Detective Comics marked the first time I actually enjoyed the second feature that stars The Question more than I did the part that stars Kate Kane.

    While Greg Rucka provided a perfectly strong script and plot, as Kate Kane is quickly thrown into the world of Batman for the first time amidst his search for a kidnapper and her attempts to stop a new serial killer type, the drop off in art really downgraded the title for me. Even with the two worlds of Batman and Kane colliding and Rucka’s might being shown again, the difference between the two artists really harmed the title.

    I know it’s unfair of me as a reviewer to compare this issue to the previous ones, but Williams III’s art is so phenomenal that even the illustrious Jock couldn’t manage to sustain the momentum one iota. I wish he had, but it just wasn’t meant to be. While Jock’s more jagged and edgy style works in parts, it lacks the free flowing nature and the sheer wow factor of Williams III. It’s a good book without him, but a great book with him.

    Such is the nature of the title it seems. Perhaps I was spoiled before, but this is how it left me – liking, not loving the issue.

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    Final Verdict: 7.8 – Buy

    Fantastic Four #575
    While the last two issues of this series were good, they did not match the sheer storytelling power of Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham’s first arc, titled “Solve Everything.” Of course, that should be expected because the last two issues did not feature Eaglesham’s art. As I showed in the last issue, a change in the artistic direction can alter my opinion dramatically.

    Yet we have Hickman and Eaglesham back together again with this issue. What did we find with the return of this pair?

    Another absolute knockout, as Hickman gets back on track with some absolutely classic Fantastic Four concepts and Eaglesham puts the world on notice with some expertly crafted and robustly detailed artwork.

    Really, the same things I said about the series during “Solve Everything” stand for it now. When these two creators work together, we have everything we want in a Fantastic Four series. A classic story featuring all-time FF villains like Mole Man and the High Evolutionary. Intelligent concepts and brisk pacing. An adventurous story with an artist that can handle the ideas. I mean, this features the FF roaming through the underworld of the Earth, examining a secret society of super geniuses, finding the corpse of an alternate world Galactus, and saving the day. What more could you possibly want?

    As long as Hickman and Eaglesham are working on this book, I’m there. They could be writing about the FF fighting the Wizard every month, and I’d be there. I know we’ll get more than that, so you owe it to yourself to pick this up as soon as you can.

    Final Verdict: 9.3 – Buy

    Captain America: Reborn #6
    What to do with a much delayed title whose ending has been mostly spoiled by issues that came out before it but take place after it…how exactly do you rate a book like that? Well, you can look at is a standalone title, something unconnected from everything else and just as part of the overall Cap: Reborn narrative. In that regard, this title was a success in parts while a bit of a failure in others. Let me explain.

    Ed Brubaker manages to wrap up the return of Steve very well, having the issue begin with a battle of wills between Steve Rogers and The Red Skull (like the victor of that was ever in doubt), and then getting into more of a colossal physical showdown between all of the Cap supporters and a now giant sized Red Skull. It provided a very entertaining issue with some wildly successful moments, such as when Hitch illustrated Cap’s return to the public eye or the “Wait…Norman Osborn has Avengers?” moment. All in all, Bru handled this very well like we’ve come to expect, and when he throws in the possible peak to the future it’s an exciting spin and something really to look forward to.

    The biggest problem I had with the scripting and the series overall is I believe this should have been a five issue series. I think if the rest of the series was paced out a bit better, it could have been kept to five issues. Also, the whole fight inside of Steve’s body was cool, but perhaps a bit on the underdrawn side. Did Steve really choke the Skull out of his own body?

    My other beef was the art. While Hitch was spot on for three quarters of the book, the last quarter was either a rush job or someone else performed artistic duties without us knowing at the end. The variable quality makes sense given the delays, but it really killed the ending with the sketchy quality we’re given at the end.

    All in all, I’m glad this is over. It was a solid issue, although a frustrating one in many ways. Now let’s just get back to normal Cap and bring back Steve Epting while we’re at it.

    Final Verdict: 7.5 – Buy

    Guardians of the Galaxy #22
    After Annihilation, I was reading a whole slew of cosmic books. Basically, I couldn’t get enough. Then, around the time of Realm of Kings, they seemed to stop having their sense of urgency and lacked the storytelling weight that I had enjoyed them so much for previously. I’m specifically talking about Nova there, but I haven’t picking up any of the extra Realm of Kings related series. The dropoff was dramatic…for every series besides Guardians of the Galaxy.

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    That series since its inception has been superb, telling one of the best team stories with an ever changing lineup due to death, resurrection, insanity, and everything in between. This issue finds the team showing down with the Universal Church of Truth as they try to get the alien embedded in Moondragon’s body out to become their new messiah. It gives us plenty of opportunity for great action sequences, hilarity, and big changes in the status quo. Plus, throw in a huge twist ending and this is a very important issue. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have a perfect grasp on this team, with everyone from Rocket Raccoon to Peter Quill to Groot rocking the house here.

    This title’s greatest problem to date has been its wavering quality in art, but Brad Walker has been one of the most consistently quality artists they’ve had. While I wasn’t a fan of his work at first, his work in this issue is very good and fits the issue to a tee. Plus, his gift for visual humor is palpable, showing up page in and page out.

    Overall, another fine example of one of the most underrated books in Marvel, and one of the best examples of classic team storytelling. Let’s hope it keeps that going, unlike some of its cosmic brethren.

    Final Verdict: 8.5 – Buy

    Daredevil #504
    This is the Energizer Bunny of comic series. When Kevin Smith left after the beginning of this run, many people thought it’d die out a bit. Who are these Bendis and Mack characters? Then, they put together an all-time run that matched anyone who has ever worked with Daredevil (even Frank Miller). When they left, Ed Brubaker was given a shot and he responded with one of the single greatest DD arcs ever, along with some damn fine work in the rest of his run. It just keeps going and going and going…

    Poor Andy Diggle, having to follow all that.

    Evidently that didn’t matter, as Diggle has been knocking this series out of the park since he took over. His work in setting Matt Murdock up as The Hand’s new leader and the dark path it has taken him down has been superb, with his former supporting cast in shambles and nearly everyone in his life questioning him. DD is a character who is best when the deck is stacked against him, and Diggle is doing a damn fine job at doing such a thing. Even better? DD is now an unrelenting and unflinching anti-hero, really going as far as necessary to do what he thinks is right (as evidenced by the last page of this title).

    In many ways, he’s lost his way and found his way at the same time. Diggle has rode that dynamic to some of the best Daredevil storytelling in recent memory, and it has been a very enjoyable title to date.

    Roberto de la Torre was obviously given the handbook on how to draw DD – gritty alleys, dingy details, and darkness shrouds everything. De la Torre already excelled at these things, so pairing him with this title only made sense. That double hit provides maybe the only negative this title has seen so far: sometimes the visuals are too dark, with the darks masking what exactly is happening on the page.

    Either way, I am loving Diggle and de la Torre’s run so far. It’s one of the first titles I read when it comes out every time, and that’s because it’s on a nearly unparalleled run in quality.

    Final Verdict: 8.5 – Buy

    GIL’S REVIEWS

    New Avengers #61
    You know, there are some DUMB ASS villains in the Marvel Universe. Not necessarily that they’re stupid (though more often than not, they are) but because they’re those characters that were found at the end of a crack pipe. And funnily enough, Bendis likes to use them in this book. Both of the lamest looking characters in Mandrill and Griffin were the baddies in this issue, and while they weren’t nearly as intimidating as The Corruptor and The Living Laser (OK, maybe more than The Living Laser, probably the mortiest of the Morts in the Marvel U), but they were used to near perfection in being actual legitimate threats. I for one was actually worried for a second with regards to The Corruptor’s effects on Bucky Cap, despite initially laughing at the fact The Corruptor was recording the fight on his iPhone (Evil – There’s an app for that.), it really was a tense scene that was only relieved by Steve Rogers’ tactical prowess.

    Continued below

    Speaking of prowess, have you SEEN the art? Holy Wow. Immonen’s colors really help his pencils just explode off the page, and Daniel Acuña work with our Arachnid-themed Avengers was gorgeous. I would honestly say I preferred Immonen’s work, but that’s not fair to Acuña.

    My only problem with this tie-in to Siege is that it doesn’t really tie in to Siege. The entirety of the Siege was supposed to take place in Oklahoma, home of Asgard, right? Then why is this in New York City? It looks like it’s a set up for Siege, not an honest to goodness concurrent story, which is a tad disappointing. But that’s a mere nit-pick, not a true problem with the story. I just hope that when the Avengers “reboot” that the same team dynamic continues.

    Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy

    Superman: Secret Origin #4
    Since this is pretty much running concurrently with Blackest Night, it’s hard for this book to be getting any buzz. It’s kind of sad that it’s more of the red headed step child of the Geoff Johns family. But at the same time, WOW! Green Lantern is getting more press than Superman! How awesome is that?

    This is the part where I write out a very sincere love letter to Gary Frank’s art, but I won’t do it. You all know I love his art, and you all know it’s awesome. From Superman to Jimmy Olsen to Parasite, the art just pops off the page and reminds you of the classic movies, while not being a slave to it. It’s really quite remarkable…again.
    Now that that’s over, let’s move on to the rest of this awesome book. I mentioned before that Parasite looked great. Well, it’s true. What I found interesting was the fact he was Superman’s first adversary. But of course, Parasite comes from Lex Luthor’s machinations, albeit indirectly. You almost feel sorry for Rudy Jones if he weren’t such a gluttonous bastard. Maybe he can be another holder of the Orange Light?

    As if you expected anything less, but Geoff Johns was in fine form this issues as well. From showing the roots of Superman and Jimmy Olsen’s friendship to the roots of the rivalry between Perry White and mean ol’ Lex Luthor, relationships we may have taken for granted in current continuity actually do feel quite new and fresh.
    So should you buy it? Well, I must be a broken record, because I’m giving it another:

    Final Verdict: 8.5 — Buy!

    Secret Warriors #12
    In a continuation of the war against HYDRA, the story is just as fractured. We have the two terrorist organizations in HYDRA and Leviathan battling one another for, and Stonewall and Yo-Yo continue to “find themselves” and meet a surprising puzzle piece in the past of Stonewall himself. Turns out his father just happens to be Crusher Creel, otherwise known as the Absorbing Man. While not exactly shocking, it’s the first time I haven’t been disappointed in a mysterious character being revealed (I could go on about that, but who has the time, and this is about Secret Warriors). And we have Nick Fury manipulating the situation in true Jersey Shore form (yeah, I went there).

    Hickman continues to be constructing a rather complex yarn where you’re not quite sure where it’s going until happened. But it would be nice if it moved a little quicker. The pacing is just a tad on the slow side.
    Caselli’s art continues to impress, being insanely detailed but also frenetic as hell. The inks and coloring make it even deeper and more fun to look at.

    So should you pick this up? Absolutely. It’s one of the best books Marvel is putting out right now, and I’m glad it looks like it’s going to continue post-Siege.

    Final Verdict: 8.2 – Buy

    Thor #606
    Ya know, considering how much the Asgardians have been through, it’s pretty disturbing that they seem to trust Loki so much. He’s been nothing but a thorn in their side (or if you’re Balder, mistletoe. Get it? Haha–oh nevermind.), yet somehow they believe the nonsense he spews and just plain fall victim to it. For my money, the gods are morons. It’s actually really satisfying to see Thor be right in that situation.

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    And it’s just amazing that they went along with him to settle in Latveria. One of the baddest of the bad and they thought it was cool to just head over to a land ruled by such a despot? But even barring that, Doom is a bully and a pussy to boot. Once someone gets the upper hand, he runs off with his tail between his legs. It’s kind of irritating that it happens.

    Gillen had large shoes to fill. After JMS unceremoniously bolted for DC, they needed someone finish the arc up to Siege and while it’s a lofty challenge, he’s doing it well. The only gripe is the art. While it’s really good in some places, the detail is sorely lacking in others. The battles themselves are just…wow. The conversational panels are just plain ugly.

    All in all, it’s a fine closing to an arc that had so many problems going into it. Here’s hoping when Siege ends and Fraction takes over, it keeps up the level of quality that it currently enjoys.

    Final Verdict: 7.8 buy

    BRANDON’S REVIEWS

    Atom and Hawkman #46
    Welcome to Atom this is you life! At least that’s how the issue reads. It’s not a bad thing but the title of the issue IS a bit misleading. While I truly was interested in the issue thanks to Hawkman’s role I quickly found that he wasn’t really a part o this boo. Continuing an old Atom book’s numbering would have been far more accurte.

    There are some hints given here though as to a possible return for a couple winged individuals that had my interest rather piqued. Also, the resolution it seems of some of Atom’s sorrow and feelings of inadequacy appear to have been dealt with. It’ll be interesting to see where the character goes from here.

    Final Verdict: 6.4 It’s a browser

    Amazing Spider-Man #619
    Marcos Martin has got to be the best modern age Spidey artist this side of JR Jr.. His Spidey has such a classic vibe to it that still feels incredibly hip and fresh. It is always a treat when his pencils show up in an issue of this title. The only downside is that he doesn’t grace this title with his work enough.

    The story isn’t bad either. It’s Mysterio playing mind tricks and Spidey working his way through the story to figure out just what is real and isn’t. While this doesn’t sound like an entirely new concept it is very well executed and feels new. The way Mysterio goes about his trickery is new and more modern tech wise which keeps it in line with the rest of the Gauntlet stories.

    It’s an enjoyable read but not a lot earth shaking happens here. For me the main kicker is the art. It’s entirely worth picking up for Martin’s pencil work.

    Final Verdict: 7.8 Buy It

    X-Factor #201
    What a great comic. I mean come on seriously. Is it even fair that PAD turns out such a consistently good title month in and month out? I think it isn’t in the slightest bit fair. It is though more than fair to us who pick this title up. We are given a title, month in and month out, that provides us with sheer unadulterated fun.

    Bing Cansino also turns in some strong pencils this issue. Some spots were a little rough but overall I’d say he fits nicely on this title with Mr.David and the awesomeness that is X-Factor. Cansino’s pencils come through with the way he draws the costumes. While the characters do in fact wear costumes they don’t come across as costumey which is key with a title like X-Factor.

    In this issue we get more of the Thing too, which is such a great addition to this title. The interactions between the team and him over the course of the last couple of books have been nothing less than perfect. This FF and X-Factor team-up has been a truly unexpected perfect pairing. I would love to see this become a semi-annual occurrence.

    Continued below

    Final Verdict: 9.0 – Buy this business!

    The Walking Dead #69
    Usually I pick this book up in trades. It’s a rough title to wait for the trades for. It just always seemed that reading it in trades worked best because the title reads so damn fast. For the last couple months I’ve been picking it up in single issue format and while it is a quick read like I thought it is well worth it to pick this little bugger up monthly.

    This issue sees Rick and the gang on the verge of entering a promised Utopia. The tension of the trip and whether or not this place is everything it’s been made out to be is at a boiling point. This issue sheds some light one way or the other on the subject. I won’t spoil anything here but it’s going to be interesting very soon I have a feeling.

    Kirkman truly is a master of his craft. He provides so much in such a little space and yet when compared to other comics he uses very little dialogue. Kirkman is a wonderful example of a writer showing and not telling the story. I can’t wait to see next issue and what will come of this new utopian community.

    Final Verdict: 9.2 — Buy It!


    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."

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