I am LITERALLY out of witty banter to start this post... So let's just get to the reviews then, no?
Iron Man 2.0 #1:
Summary: We get started with a seemingly innocent scene from six months ago where a woman is being rushed into the emergency room. Why did I bother mentioning this? You'll see later on. In the present, Blizzard is surprisingly getting the upper-hand on Iron Man. Before IM is frozen solid, War Machine comes over and rescues his long-time friend. The two armor-clad Avengers team up and Blizzard is taken down in a matter of moments. After the battle, Iron Man reveals that they weren't actually fighting Blizzard, but a Blizzard robot that was malfunctioning. The two shoot the breeze for a bit before War Machine heads to his new job, serving as the Iron Man for the US government. Rhodey(that would be War Machine's nickname FYI) meets with his commanding officer, General Babbage(he's been pestering Iron Man in the main IM book recently), who basically tells Rhodey that a) he hates Iron Man, and b) he wants to make Rhodey's life miserable. Babbage sends Rhodey to meet with some intelligence officers to hear about his first mission. The intelligence officers tell Rhodey that a genius named Palmer Addley had been working for the Department of Defense, cranking out ideas, weapons, etc. Eventually Palmer takes his life, and while disappointed by the loss, the DOD moves on. Two months after his death, anything Palmer had invented or upgraded for the US government shuts down and won't work anymore. On top of that, several of Palmer's top secret inventions begin showing up in the hands of terrorists. Having heard the story, and really having ZERO leads, Rhodey begins to look through the personal effects of Palmer and looks at his driver's license where we see that Palmer had checked the “organ donor” box. This issue ends with the woman from the beginning of this comic, now healthy, heading out to her garage to continue constructing a giant robot.
Thoughts: All right! I was expecting nothing from this comic going in. I mean literally nothing. I basically only picked it up on a whim and boy am I happy I did! Nick Spencer told what was pretty much the perfect opening story here. The mystery of how Palmer Addley is able to torment the government from beyond the grave had my attention throughout, the jocular dialogue between Rhodey and Tony was PERFECT, as was the more tense dialogue between Rhodey and Babbage. I mean really, there was very little for me to complain about here. I guess I could bitch about the title of this series being Iron Man 2.0 and not War Machine, but that's understandable since I'm sure Marvel figured they'd get more sales out of the Iron Man name. The ONLY thing that kept this issue from being perfect was the way Palmer offed himself... He shot himself in the head, which doesn't make sense after learning that the government had basically locked him in a room with no contact to the outside world. If he had no way out and no contact with anybody, how did he get his hands on a gun? I guess he could have created it one, but still, that bugged me a bit. Besides that one minor gripe though, everything else here was gold.
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Iron Man and War Machine's dialogue throughout this issue was fantastic.
Summary: We start this one off with Namor fantasizing about the Invisible Woman and Emma Frost. I guess he's really into blonds. After that little dream sequence we learn that Namor is still trapped in Hell. Dr. Doom, an Atlantian warrior with a crush on Namor and Loa decide to go to Hell to rescue Namor... A weirder group of characters you will NEVER find! After some wandering, the trio find Namor, who is being tormented by demons he believed to be thirsty Atlantians. Namor only wants to sit around in self-pity, so Doom knocks him around a bit, bringing the fiery Namor back to the surface. Somewhere along the line the Atlantian warrior ends up getting possessed by a group of dead Atlantian kings, which provokes Namor to want to leave Hell to save the possessed woman.
Thoughts: Ugh... This was a whole lot of bad. This is actually one of the VERY rare comic books where I enjoyed the art WAY more than the story and dialogue. I mean Dr. Doom's dialogue here was simply atrocious. There's no other way to put it. Doom used “I” when speaking of himself as opposed to speaking in the third person as he frequently does, he kept laughing at things and he just seemed way out of character. I mean to me Doom is one of the big three villains in ALL of comics, so when he's written improperly it's pretty jarring. Besides the misadventures of Doom, the story itself just isn't interesting me in the least. The whole, “Character In Hell!” story has just been done in Wolverine, and not only that, it was done a lot better in the Wolverine series. I hate to say it, but if things don't improve in this series I can see I'll be dropping it pretty soon. That is if it doesn't get canceled first.
Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.On the other hand, Doom's dialogue was painful...
Summary: This issue begins with Mr. Sinister(!!!) blasting Gambit into unconsciousness before tearing X-23's throat out. Before Sinister can do anything else though, he transforms back into Miss Sinister(BOOOOO!!!!!!!), who immediately has X-23 brought into a secret room. X-23 wakes up strapped to a chair and Miss Sinister explains that Mr. Sinister was slowly taking control of her body, and as such she needed to move out of her body. Miss Sinister figures that X-23 was the perfect vessel for her, what with her healing factor and all, and as such has hooked X-23 up to a machine that would allow Miss Sinister to move her mind into X-23's body. The process begins and it seems to be going well for Miss Sinister... Until Mr. Sinister himself jumps out of Miss Sinister's mind and takes possession of X-23's body himself! Needless to say, Miss Sinister is infuriated at this turn of events and tries to bash X-23/Sinister's head in with a lead pipe. The shot to the head allows X-23 the opportunity to regain control of her mind momentarily and she manages to throw Sinister out of her head, which destroys the mind transferring machine. At that moment. Gambit(remember him?) sets off the self-destruct sequence in the laboratory and heads to the room holding X-23 and Miss Sinister. One of the cloned girls from last issue, Alice, frees X-23 from her bonds, which leads to Miss Sinister bashing Alice's head in with the pipe... Man, she sure likes swinging that pipe at people! X-23 confronts Miss Sinister and guts her for her actions, but is stopped by Gambit before she can kill the villain. Gambit tells X-23 that Alice wasn't dead yet, and that their first objective should be to save Alice, not take vengeance on Miss Sinister. Miss Sinister renders the point moot by escaping, much to the chagrin of X-23, who helps Gambit take Alice to a nearby hospital. This issue ends with us seeing that one of the other Alice clones had survived the explosion at the lab, was apparently possessed by Mr. Sinister and was looking after the unconscious Miss Sinister.
Thoughts: Well this issue started off on a huge high for me with the return/rebirth of Mr. Sinister, one of my favorite X-baddies. Unfortunately that jubilation was short lived since Sinister was gone soon thereafter. I can't say I liked the whole idea that Mr. Sinister's mind is running around trying to possess everybody, but at least that gives me some hope that Sinister will return someday, which the end of this issue hinted at. Besides the Mr. Sinister stuff, the story itself was solid, with X-23 managing to rid herself of Sinister's influence, wanting to kill Miss Sinister but being halted by Gambit's arrival, all while saving the clone girl. This comic was probably better then the score I'm giving it, but the loss of Sinister so early on definitely hurt my enjoyment of the story the rest of the way.
Score: 8 out of 10.If only Sinister would have stuck around...
Teen Titans #92:
Summary: Red Robin and Robin don't like each other. That gets established early on here as the two Robins, and the rest of the Teen Titans, manage to defeat the army of exploding Calculator robots in Istanbul. The Titans head into the nightclub Calculator was based out of and discover his hidden lab under the dance floor. The Titans move to apprehend Calculator but he sends MORE robots after them. While the Titans are dealing with the robots, Calculator reveals to Wonder Girl that he blamed her for the death of his son Marvin, and that he had tortured and killed Kid Eternity in retribution. Robin manages to hit the computer Calculator was using to control the robots with a batarang, shutting them down and ending their threat. Wonder Girl makes a beeline for Calculator, but is stopped before she did anything she'd regret by Red Robin. Wonder Girl tosses Calculator away from her, at which point Robin impales him(!!). It seems that the Calculator the Titans were battling was actually a robot, which surprises the Calculator robot itself since it legitimately believed itself to be the real Calculator. Wonder Girl destroys the Calculator robot as revenge for Eternity's death and all of the Teen Titans fawn over Red Robin, pissing Robin off in the process. A bit later the Teen Titans drop Robin and Red Robin off in Gotham City, where Robin tells Red Robin he was through with the Titans, since it was obvious they didn't want him on the team, they wanted Red Robin. Red Robin makes a lame attempt at telling Robin that wasn't true, but Robin sees through it and ditches Red Robin, heading back to Batman's side.
Thoughts: So wait, if Robin is out, does that mean Red Robin is back on the team again? As much as I like Tim Drake, I actually prefer Damian as the Teen Titans Robin, since he could use the extra exposure, especially away from the other members of the Bat-family. It seemed like Damian and Ravager had something brewing, but I guess that'll have to move to the back burner for now. With all that said though I'd be fine if Tim did return to the team, even if only on a part-time basis. I mean hell, Superboy has his own series and is a full-time Teen Titan, there's no reason Tim can't do the same. So that's my thoughts on the Robin situation. This comic actually didn't impress me as much as I was hoping it would. The story seemed very paint-by-numbers and rushed, and I was a bit bummed that Nicola Scott wasn't doing the art here. Scott is one of the FEW comic book artists whose work I always enjoy, and I can't help but feel Scott doing the pencils would have boosted this comic a bit for me. I mean it's not like the art was awful or anything, I just would have preferred Scott's work. The other thing that bugged me was some of the things Damian said, especially to Batman at the end of this issue... I get that Bruce is kinder and gentler since his return from the timestream, but what the hell is Damian's excuse?! Seeing him call Batman(Dick Grayson) his friend was a bit disconcerting...
Score: 7 out of 10.JT Krul MUST have been having fun with Red Robin and Superboy's dialogue here... That had to be it...