Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Best of the Rest! 4/30/11

You know what I just realized? That I should be calling these mass review posts, “The Best of the Rest!” I mean seriously, why not? So yeah, I'll be dusting off that old X-Man's Comic Blog original and putting it back in play. So there you go, 5 reviews, one Best of the Rest post!

Uncanny X-Men #535.

Synopsis: A giant spacecraft is entering the Milky Way, making a beeline for Earth. Agent Brand of SWORD decides to call the X-Men for assistance... What, were the Avengers AND FF unavailable?! Lord Summers the First selects The Whore, Good Magneto, Colossus, Shadowcat, Danger and of course, Wolverine to head into space with him. The mutants and Brand manage to get onto the alien ship, and sure enough, it contains citizens from Breakworld seeking the help of their Powerlord, Colossus.

-First, a quick disclaimer... I HATED Joss Whedon's ENTIRE Astonishing X-Men run(sorry Buffy fans) in general, and his Breakworld stuff in particular.

-I wasn't joking in that synopsis... Why would Brand call in the X-Men as opposed to the Avengers or FF who have WAY more experience with space-related crises?

-So we get Danger, Brand, and Breakworld all in the same issue, on the same mission... It's a Whedon reunion!!!It's a Whedon-bonanza!

-Against all odds, I found myself enjoying this comic, when I fully expected to hate it... Either Kieron Gillen is a miracle worker, or I was in a REALLY good mood when I read this comic... I'm gonna go with the second choice.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Wolverine #8.

Synopsis: Wolverine is possessed... Still. While he is trying to fend off the demons in his head with the help of the Whore and a few allies, Storm is trying to prevent Fantomex and Dr. Nemesis from completing the mission they were handed by Lord Summers, to kill Wolverine's possessed body. Eventually Nightcrawler enters Wolvie's mind and brings Jean Grey(!!!) with him. After Jean tosses the Whore and Wolvie's other friends out of his head, she manages to assist Wolvie in purging the demons from his mind, ending the threat of Possessed Wolvie, but leaving Wolvie craving revenge against those who caused him to become possessed to begin with.

-So the question is, were Nightcrawler and Jean real or simply figments of Wolvie's imagination? Was the Elf sent by heaven to assist his longtime friend? We never really find out, which is fine by me.

-Jean's another interesting case... The Whore seemed sure that Jean was simply a manifestation of Wolvie's subconscious, but Jean was able to expel the Whore from Wolvie's head... Would Wolvie himself be powerful enough to toss the Whore, a skilled telepath, out of his mind without help from the real Jean? Hmm...More Jean, less Emma equals a very happy X.

-Well, whether it was or wasn't Jean, seeing my all-time favorite X-female again was fine by me!

-Jean telling Wolvie not to go looking for revenge, and then Wolvie immediately deciding he was going to go looking for revenge was such a Wolverine thing to do...

-Hell, let's post another Jean image before I end this review! :PJean...

Score: 8 out of 10.

Detective Comics #876.

Synopsis: This issue starts off with one hell of a mystery. It seems that somebody has left the corpse of a 43 ft long, 4.2 ton Orca Whale in the lobby of a bank in Gotham. So how did it get there, and more importantly, WHY was it there? That's the question Dick Grayson has to figure out. After some detective work(this is DETECTIVE Comics!), Dick learns that a) the head of the bank is named Sonia Branch, the seemingly reputable daughter of the man who murdered his parents, and b) one of Sonia's assistants was inside the dead whale. Dick tries to talk to Sonia and gets nowhere, but bugs her place and learns that someone was trying to blackmail her. Dick follows the signal to the car dealership of a known gun runner and gets trapped in the dealership's compactor.

-I can say, with a clear conscious and no doubts, that Detective is the best Batman book on the shelves today. Scott Snyder is doing a bang-up job here!

-Something I really like about Snyder's writing is how well he dialogues both Commissioner Gordon and Dick Grayson.

-Are we now officially to the point where it's an unwritten fact that Gordon knows Dick is Batman? I mean Dick really isn't hiding it. I guess Gordon is just going through the motions and pretending that he doesn't know nowadays.Dick might as well just wear the Batman cape while Gordon is around!

-Sonia being Tony Zucco's daughter is a nice touch, and helps makes the case personal to Dick.

-Oh, and for the record, there's NO way Sonia is clean. No way!

-Other than that, I really don't have anything else to say here. This was another really good effort from Snyder and the Detective crew.Dick Grayson: Man of a few words.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Secret Avengers #12.

Synopsis: After a quick escape attempt foiled by Beast, Steve Rogers and the Prince of Orphans, John Steele is hooked back up to one of Beast's machines and Steve manages to get back into John's mind. Eventually Steve helps unlock a buried memory that had been plaguing John for years as we learn the Shadow Council had manipulated John's mind to make him into their agent using... um, an inter dimensional portal? Now free from his brainwashing, John is eager to get back at the Council, and Steve has just the plan...

-Well, I guess even the best comic book writer in the business is due a stinker every now and then. I've repeatedly stated my unwavering love of Ed Brubaker's work, but this issue just did NOTHING for me.

-I don't care about John Steele...Sorry John, I just don't care about you!

-I don't care about the Prince of Orphans...

-And I BARELY care about the Shadow Council...

-It was cool seeing Steve Rogers back when he was still Captain America fighting a giant bug though!That's the strangest Nazi weapon yet!

-I honestly don't know what the ritual the Shadow Council was preforming did, nor do I know why it turned Steele evil. *shrugs*

Score: 4 1/2 out of 10.

Secret Avengers #12.1.

Synopsis: Somebody dressed as the US Agent(or The Captain if you prefer) has stolen a list of government informants who work with bad people(Hydra, AIM, etc) and revealed it for the world to see. With the names of 419 government informants exposed, Steve Rogers realizes that there was no way he'd be able to save every one of them. As such, he deploys the Secret Avengers to save one informant who revealed her information out of altruism, not greed or the promise of reduced jail time. Unfortunately, the Secret Avengers are too late, and the woman is dead. Needless to say, Steve is pissed, and spends the rest of this issue hunting, finding, beating up and then preaching to the faux US Agent.

-This was Nick Spencer's first crack at this title, and I think he did a pretty solid job. I could have done without Steve's preaching at the end, but all in all? I liked this one.

-So Ed Brubaker's last issue of this series was #12, Spencer will become the writer for the Fear Itself tie-ins, and then Warren Ellis takes over... I gotta say, if given a choice, I'd take Spencer over Ellis ANY day.

-Beast continues to be the MVP of this team for me. I mean, I like pretty much all of the characters here, but Beast always stands out to me in this series.

-The Secret Avengers failing to save the informant was a definite surprise. I was expecting Moon Knight to rush in and save the thankful woman... I guess we can't always have a happy ending, which was the point of this one.

-Any time I get the chance to post Steve Rogers laying a beatdown on someone, you KNOW I'm going to take it!Now that's a beating!

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

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