Sunday, January 3, 2010

A couple of quick reviews.

Since it would be implausible to post proper reviews for all of the books I've read over the past two nights, I'm going to instead post two articles, one for my favorite, or in this case co-favorite comics out of the bunch, and then a second article(this one)providing a quick look at the other comics. Hmm, I think I probably could have worded that a little bit better, because reading it back has me confused, and I know what I'm planning! Anyway, here are a couple of shoddy comic reviews, sans pictures... Yes, I goofed and lent out a few of these books before I scanned them, meaning they are devoid of pretty pictures... Whoops!

X-Factor #200: Ah yes, the winner of my coveted best ongoing comic series of the year award. Yes, I love X-Factor, and this issue sure didn't change that. Here's a quick rundown of what went down this issue. Valeria and Franklin Richards hire Jamie and X-Factor Investigations to find their mother, the Invisible Woman. It seems the Invisible Woman has vanished(heh-heh... Sorry), and Valeria suspects some form of foul play, possibly involving her father, Mr. Fantastic. The X-Factor crew stops by the Baxter Building to talk to Reed, who basically gives the team the cold shoulder and seems uninterested in his wife's whereabouts. Oh, and Guido and the Thing get into a fight, because that's what super-heroes do when they meet. The meeting with Reed arouses Jamie's interest, and he promises the kids he'll look into things. Later in the comic, we find out that Sue was transported to Latveria, and that apparently Layla Miller was somehow involved. Besides that, Monet's father is captured by some terrorists, and Val Cooper tells Monet that the terrorists will only release her father if she turns herself over to them. We also get a pretty cool mini story about Siryn, who is still trying to come to terms with the "death" of her and Jamie's son. The Rev. John Madrox, one of Jamie's dupes, co-stars in the mini story. As usual, this issue was great. It had just the right mix of comedy, drama and intrigue. This issue is actually THE perfect jumping on point for anybody who may have been interested in getting into this series... Just saying... Score: 9 out of 10.

Mighty Avengers #31: This issue finishes up the Unspoken storyline. Needless to say, the combined forces of the Mighty Avengers, the Young Avengers and the renegade Avengers from Avengers: The Initiative were able to halt the Unspoken's plans of turning every human on the earth into an Inhuman Alpha Primitive. The combined Avengers forces were able to artificially age the Unspoken to the point where he was no longer a threat. Quicksilver brings the crystals the Unspoken stole back to the Inhumans and proceeds to lie, stating that it was a Skrull impersonating him who stole the Inhumans Terrigen Crystals, not him. The Inhumans seem to buy Quicksilver's lie, however, his daughter Luna is not fooled, and she tells him as much. Now this is how I like my Avengers! Seeing Clint Barton and Hank Pym fighting back to back again made me nostalgic for the old West Coast Avengers comics. The story was well done, the dialogue was good(I love that Quicksilver is running around claiming a Skrull committed all of his misdeeds!), and the artwork was great. What more could I ask for? Score: 8 out of 10.

Mighty Avengers #32: Thanks to Loki, the Absorbing Man gets loose in the headquarters of Project PEGASUS, and begins to run amok. Norman Osborn decides to send his Dark Avengers to the facility to arrest the Absorbing Man, figuring it would be an easy win that would boost the image of his team of Avengers. Loki(disguised as the Scarlet Witch)tells Pym and his Mighty Avengers about the Absorbing Man's break out in order to pit the two bands of Avengers against one another. Osborn holds a press conference with his team outside the PEGASUS building, which is interrupted by the arrival of Pym's crew. Before the two groups of Avengers come to blows, the Absorbing Man bursts out of the roof of the PEGASUS building, announcing that he had absorbed the powers of a Cosmic Cube! Just like the prior issue, this was also a very good issue of Mighty. With how very nontraditional the New and Dark Avengers titles are, this series(as well as The Initiative comic)is a real breath of fresh air. If you want to read some good, old school style Avengers action, then by all means, pick up this book! Score: 8 out of 10.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #7: Batman and Robin take center stage this issue as they try to track down the uber-lame Gotham villain, Humpty Dumpty, who's basically a fat guy who likes to put broken stuff back together... I kid you not! Anyway, Humpty has stolen a bunch of toys right around Christmas time, and Batman and Robin track him down to some derelict building. They discover that Humpty had stolen the toys for some dead children he had discovered floating around in a river outside his building. Apparently Humpty was hoping that the toys would fix the dead kids. While Batman and Robin try to piece together where the dead bodies were coming from, we learn that Victor Zsasz has been kidnapping homeless kids and forcing them to fight to the death in a seedy fight club. Even though I really hate Humpty, I did enjoy reading this issue. Paul Dini(the writer)is really taking Zsasz in a darker direction then usual, and that's really saying something! I mean, Zsasz has always been a sick, twisted SOB, but pitting homeless kids against each other in knife fights is low even by Gotham City standards! I can't wait for the inevitable confrontation between Zsasz and Batman and Robin down the road. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Gotham City Sirens #5: After their headquarters was almost destroyed by the Joker, the Sirens decide to put an end to Joker's antics... Permanently. The women track Joker down to one of his old hideouts and discover that the man they thought was the Joker was actually one of Joker's old sidekicks, a crazed dwarf named Gaggy. It seems that Gaggy resents Harley Quinn for replacing him as Joker's sidekick, and wants to kill her in retribution. This issue ends with the women all trapped in various Joker style deathtraps. I've got to admit that I was hoping it was the real Joker in this issue, and that I was kind of let down when it was revealed that it wasn't. Personally, I prefer the old purple clad Joker to Grant Morrison's recent incarnation... Anyway, the bottom line here is that I liked this comic, but as I said, was a little bit let down by the big reveal. A crazed dwarf? Really?!? Score: 7 out of 10.

Gotham City Sirens #6: Picking up from last issue, the women escape their various deathtraps, and after a lengthy origin story from Gaggy, the women wind up turning the tables on the unstable dwarf. Harley Quinn manages to strap Gaggy to a Joker-ized toy rocket ship, and the angry dwarf is blasted away. This issue concludes with Harley still not sure about how she feels about the Joker, and Gaggy emerging from the waters of a river in Gotham swearing revenge on Harley. You know, I actually enjoyed this issue a lot more than the last issue, mainly because of Gaggy's origin story. The origin story actually gave me a reason to care about this deranged dwarf, which helped me enjoy the story more... Go figure. Score: 8 out of 10.

Well, there we go, a couple of reviews, all neatly packaged in a single blog post. Not bad for a night's work. Doing my reviews like this, as opposed to meticulously going over each book in separate posts, was a real time saver... Unless there's some sort of massive outcry from my blogging buddies, I might just keep doing my reviews like this. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the post, Long Live The Legion!!!

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