Hey again, I figured before I started doing reviews for the new comics I picked up earlier today, I should probably take care of the comics I read over the last night(and day)first. Before I get into the single issues, I wanted to hit on the Kick-Ass trade which I finished up at school earlier today. So what did I think of Kick-Ass? It was good. No, scratch that, it was REALLY good. I'd easily give it a 9 - 9 1/2 out of 10. Why not a perfect score? I could see the obligatory betrayal coming from a mile away, and the ending kind of bugged me a bit. If ever a series was asking for a downer ending, it was this series. Yeah, one of the “main” characters bites the bullet, but I couldn't help but feel that more than just one of the fringe heroes should have been killed. I guess Mark Millar had one eye towards a second series when he concluded this mini. The other thing I wanted to say about Kick-Ass is this, man was it violent and profane! JRJR did some sweet artwork, or maybe I should say some sweet gory artwork, and the dialogue was definitely for a more mature audience. But I'm definitely glad I gave it a read. It easily gets a huge recommendation from me.
Okay, now we'll get to the single issues starting with Secret Avengers #5. This issue gave us the story of why Nick Fury was working with the evil Shadow Council. We learn that it isn't actually Nick Fury who turned bad but one of those Nick Fury LMD's. It seems that Nick's evil brother Jake used the uber-powerful Zodiac Key to grant one of the LMD's all of Nick's memories, causing it to believe that it WAS Nick. Nick eventually captured LMD Nick and was going to have it cremated, but John Steele(a member of the Shadow Council)rescued it and the appreciative LMD changed its name to Max Fury and began working with the Council. In the end Max and Steele get together and decide to keep very close watch on the Secret Avengers. I really liked this issue, and I definitely enjoyed the way Max's story was told here. It was interesting, somewhat original and it tied into Nick Fury's past in a totally plausible way. The only complaint I could come up with here is that we hardly saw any of the Secret Avengers. Hopefully next issue rectifies that for me. For a score I'll go with an 8 1/2 out of 10.
Next up we'll go to one of my favorite DC titles, and that would be Birds of Prey. In this instance, Birds of Prey #5. Black Canary and her foe White Canary head off to Bangkok, while Oracle tries to keep the Birds together after the events of the past 4 issues. She decides to help Savant out with his mental issues, prevents Huntress from killing Penguin(DAMN you Barbara!!!)and waits for Hawk and Lady Blackhawk to recuperate. After Lady Blackhawk gets better, Oracle sends her and Huntress to Bangkok to assist Black Canary. In the end we discover that BC has taken up the White Canary moniker and was leading the Bangkok underworld... Huh? This comic surprisingly didn't do it for me. I mean, I do love me my Birds, but this issue was slow and plodding, and the reveal at the end left me confused(and a bit annoyed)as opposed to excited. I have absolutely NO doubt that Gail Simone will pull things together for the next issue, but this issue just didn't do it for me. I'll give this comic a surprisingly low 7 out of 10.
Sticking with DC we'll take a look at Gotham City Sirens #16. Catwoman winds up getting kidnapped so some mystery villain(s) can try to garner the knowledge of Batman's secret identity from her mind. This brings Talia Al Ghul to Gotham to try to work with the Sirens(and Zatanna for some reason)in order to rescue Catwoman and protect Batman's secrets. I thought this was a good way to start a new storyline, and as a BIG fan of the Al Ghul family I was happy to see Talia show up here, and even happier to see her NOT written by Mad Grant Morrison. So while this comic didn't blow me away, it didn't bother me either, which explains why I'm giving it a 7 1/2 out of 10.
And the final DC comic of the night would be none other than Teen Titans #87. First off, I absolutely despise both Raven and Beast Boy, so the fact that this past storyline revolved around them and their relationship really didn't sit well with me. On top of that, the story made no sense... So yeah, this comic definitely won't be making one of my “Best of” lists. The main story had something to do with Raven's son and a lunar eclipse... I think. Basically Raven's son beat down all of the Titans except for Static, who(for some reason)had mega charged powers. So Super-Static managed to beat Raven's son(somehow...)but in the process vomited(which is always a fun thing to see...)and lost his powers. That's right everybody, Static literally upchucked his powers right out of his body... Yeah. Besides that, it would appear that Wonder Girl and Superboy are fully back together again, either that or they're having one of those friends with benefits type relationships, Aquagirl and Bombshell were lost at sea, Miss Martian slipped into a coma and was watched over by Kid Flash(who bizarrely was only wearing some hospital scrubs pants)and Static left with some doctor to go to STAR Labs. Umm, what more could I possibly say? Maybe if you like Raven and/or Beast Boy, love spontaneous vomiting and enjoy reading stories that don't make sense this was a good comic for you, for me though, it gets no higher than a 3 1/2 out of 10.
One more comic to go here, and it was definitely my favorite of the bunch. Written by the stupendous Ed Brubaker, we head back to the Marvel Universe and I finish this post up with Captain America #610. I think I should mention before I get into the meat of this issue, I've been rather letdown by this storyline. I don't understand why Baron Zemo suddenly turned evil, nor why he decided to lash out at Bucky. As if he could read my mind(and who knows, maybe Ed is a telepath and that's why he's such an awesome writer), Ed cleared up all of Zemo's motivations in this comic, and you know what? It all made absolute, complete and perfect sense! Basically Zemo was upset that someone with as much blood on his hands as Bucky was given the Captain America mantle. That point actually fits into Zemo's personality SO well that it actually made me smile. Zemo started his career out emulating his Nazi father, leading the Masters of Evil and being an all around lousy human being. Eventually he has an epiphany and decides that he's going to do good and help the world, whether the world wants to be helped or not. While Zemo was trying to prove that he was a hero, his greatest critic was the original Captain America, Steve Rogers. Steve wouldn't trust Zemo, and was certain that Zemo was plotting some nefarious plot, which Zemo wasn't. It took Zemo diving in front of a blast meant for Steve and becoming disfigured for Steve to GRUDGINGLY admit that maybe Zemo wasn't the villain Steve thought he was. In Zemo's mind, Bucky didn't work at all to erase the sins of his past(the Winter Soldier)and as such didn't deserve the honor of being Captain America. Throughout this comic Zemo tries to prove that Bucky doesn't deserve the Captain America name, taking away Bucky's shield and uniform and forcing Bucky to fight his way through hordes of goons(as well as Zemo's psychological games)in order to prove to Zemo(and maybe even himself)that he deserves the shield. In the end, Zemo seems to have gained some respect for Bucky since he leaves the shield and Cap uniform behind before making good his escape, although Bucky is now forced to live with the fact that Zemo outed his identity as the Winter Soldier back in America. I obviously enjoyed this comic, and even though I can totally understand Zemo's frustrations with Steve refusing to trust him after all of his good deeds, and yet blindly trusting Bucky to take over as Cap, I'm STILL a bit miffed that Zemo seems to have returned to his villainous roots. That's really the only negative thing I have to say about this comic. Besides that, it was all good, and this comic gets the high score of the night with a 9 out of 10.
And there you have it, five more reviews in the books. Some good, some okay and one really bad. Tomorrow I should start posting some reviews for the new comics I picked up today, but before then, I'll leave you all with a page from Captain America #610. Until tomorrow, X out.Okay, I'll admit it, Zemo's line had me cracking up.