Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Uncanny X-Force #2

Overall: This issue begins with Wolverine and Psylocke training in the secret Danger Room. It seems that while Archangel is the co-leader of the team, Wolverine wants Psylocke to train to kill Archangel just in case he falls under Apocalypse's sway again. Upon discovering what was going on, it should go without saying that Archangel felt a bit betrayed by his girlfriend's actions. A bit later on, Wolverine and Archangel talk to clear the air, and are informed by Fantomex that he had located Apocalypse, who was living on the moon. X-Force heads to the blue area of the moon and are met by the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, who absolutely trounce X-Force, ending this issue.

I really enjoyed this issue. It gave us some character development with Psylocke, Wolverine and Archangel, some humor with Fantomex and Deadpool, as well as a great cliffhanger, where Kid Apocalypse was being asked by his tutors how he wanted X-Force executed. If played correctly the mistrust that Wolverine is inadvertently sewing between Archangel and Psylocke could have some fun implications down the road. Besides that, the whole moral dilemma I'm sure X-Force will face when they finally come face-to-face with Kid Apocalypse ALREADY has me looking forward to the conclusion of this storyline.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Yup, that's going to give me nightmares for at least a week...

Fantastic Four #585

Overall: Each member of the Four have their own storyline going on here, so I'm going to tackle each story separately. Upon returning to the Baxter Building, the Human Torch and the Thing(who is still human thanks to the serum he took)look up and spot Galactus standing on the roof. The Torch flies to the roof, while Thing heads inside to watch the kids. On the roof of the Baxter Building, Mr. Fantastic explains to Galactus why there was a dead future version of Galactus buried deep within the Earth. Upon hearing Reed's explanation, Galactus tells the Silver Surfer to locate the beings who were responsible for the death of his future self, which the Surfer does. By this point the Torch has arrived on the scene and is told by Reed to head inside the Baxter Building to protect the kids, since he'd be staying with Galactus for the time being. Johnny reluctantly does as he's told, and Reed, Galactus and the Surfer teleport to Galactus's ship. Once they arrive on the ship, Galactus tells Reed that he feared(!!!)staying on the Earth for too much longer because Reed's son, Franklin, had regained his full powers. Meanwhile, the Invisible Woman is trying to broker a peace deal between the warring parties of Atlantis. Everything seems to go swimmingly(heh heh)at the Atlantis conference, with Sue's presence leading to peaceful relations, until Namor gets up and kills one of the rival kings of Atlantis! Why? Because he's Namor, and he does whatever he wants!

Yep, things are DEFINITELY heating up now! I didn't even mention in the review the fact that Annihilus's forces were preparing an attack on the Baxter Building in order to open the gateway to the Negative Zone. So yeah, this issue was chock full of goodness. So we have Reed in space with Galactus, who is worried about the return of Franklin's powers, Sue, who looks to be stuck smack-dab in the middle of an Atlantian civil war, and Johnny and Ben who are tasked with watching the Baxter Building, which is about to be attacked by the forces of Annihilus. All while Ben has been depowered! So going into the final two issues of this storyline, I could see any of the FF members being killed off. I can't even make a guess at which FFer is going to bite the bullet, because Jonathan Hickman has crafted this story perfectly. It really could be anyone, which will make this story that much more interesting going forward.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Wow, does Steve Epting draw one sweet Galactus or what?

Teen Titans #89

Overall: This issue gets underway with all of the Teen Titans griping about the fact that Batman(Dick Grayson)was putting Robin(Damian Wayne) on the team. Wonder Girl tries to talk Dick out of it, but he refuses to listen, feeling that Damian needs something like the Titans to help with his development. With that Dick leaves, and Damian is officially a member of the Teen Titans. Later on, the team spots a teenager attacking a science show with some heavy duty telekinetic powers, which they head out to stop. Raven manages to calm the boy down, but Damian ends up attacking him, leading to the kid believing the Titans were just trying to trick him, causing the boy to bring the roof down on the team before making good his escape, ending this issue.

You know, this is yet another time where I have to say that I found Damian to be pretty damn amusing. Now normally I can't stand Damian, but once he tried to throw Beast Boy off the team, he won me over... Possibly forever! Damian adds some much needed spice to this team, so I really can't complain about him joining the team. I especially enjoyed his banter with Ravager. You know, if Damian was a little bit older, him and Ravager would make an awesome couple. If only Beast Boy would get replaced by Red Robin, this team would be flat out perfect.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.I hereby elect Damian to lead the Teen Titans, effective immediately. So long Beast Boy!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Detecitve Comics #871

Overall: This is the first issue of Scott Snyder's Detective run. We begin with a bullied child at school suddenly developing the abilities of Killer Croc and attacking his tormentors. Commissioner Gordon heads to the laboratory Wayne Enterprises set up for the Gotham City police department, where he meets with Dick Grayson. Dick runs the mutated child's blood through the computers and discovers that the boy was mutated by the same chemicals that mutated Killer Croc. From there, Dick(as Batman)heads to the boy's house where he finds the boy's butler. The butler claims innocence as to how the boy gained the Killer Croc serum, but before Dick can press the issue, the butler is killed by the boy's mother(who is packing a shotgun), who seems to have gone insane. Dick chases after the woman, but she leaps out a window to her death. Upon examining the woman's body Dick finds one of the Mad Hatter's control devices implanted into her skin. Dick meets back up with Gordon to share notes, and Gordon tells Dick that it seems that a disgraced cop had been selling items that he had stolen from the police evidence room, which would explain the Croc serum and the Mad Hatter device being on the street. Dick confronts the crooked cop, who tells Dick that he was working for somebody called the Dealer. Before Dick can get anything more useful out of the cop though, the cop is killed by some plants, Poison Ivy style, ending this issue.

You know, this wasn't a bad comic at all. We have an interesting story here, as well as a new villain, who seems to be using the gimmicks of Gotham's other villains to further his agenda. I actually really like that idea a lot, because it's something that probably should have happened before. I mean with as many gimmick villains you have running around Gotham, you'd think somebody would try to use all of those various gimmicks to their own ends. There was a second feature in this comic with Commissioner Gordon, but I had NO idea what was going on in that, so I'm just going to pretend that it didn't happen...

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Okay, I wouldn't want a bat in my house either, but I don't think I'd go THAT crazy over it...

Batman #704

Overall: This issue begins with Dick Grayson(Batman) and Robin defeating Reaper, even though Catgirl's interference nearly cost them the battle. Bruce Wayne(Batman) tells Dick to put an end to this Catgirl nonsense(I couldn't agree more!), which Dick is more then happy to do. Dick goes to Catwoman and tells her that Catgirl is going to get hurt, but Catwoman claims ignorance to the whole situation, telling Dick that she hadn't seen Catgirl in quite some time. After Dick leaves, we discover that Catwoman was lying and that she was still working with/training Catgirl. From there the story takes a terrible turn involving some woman named Peacock and the Sensei. I literally have no clue as to what that story was all about, so I'm just going to end this review here.

Maybe Tony Daniel should stick to what he does best, art, because he just can't seem to tell a logical story. I can't stand Catgirl, who is basically an untrained mobster's daughter who has suddenly become a crime fighter, and the main story, with this Peacock woman was just... unexplainable. This Peacock woman wanted to buy properties in Crime Alley for some reason, then she's attacked by assassins, and then this Sensei suddenly attacked her... Huh? Besides that, some guy with a Nazi insignia in his room was killed by a mystery figure, as was some Japanese guy, who was beheaded. Oh, and an assassin went to kill the Japanese guy, but he was already dead, and the assassin was blown up by some dynamite... Yeah. This comic was bad. Really bad.

Score: 2 out of 10.The art? Really good. The story? Um, not so much...

Deadpool #29

Overall: This issue begins with Deadpool standing over a few bound Secret Avengers who were caught in an explosion set off by the AWESOME Dr. Bong last issue. The Secret Avengers are Steve Rogers, Black Widow, Moon Knight and Steve Rogers... Yep, there are two Steve Rogers there. So Deadpool goes about questioning the Steves to see which one was the real deal. After remembering that the real Steve Rogers didn't have a healing factor, while the Dr. Bong created clone does, Deadpool checks the two for wounds, and upon seeing one of the Steves was bleeding, Deadpool blows the fake Steve's brains out. DP decides to cut the heroes loose, and Steve tells DP that he's going to put him in charge of capturing Bong, since DP knows Bong better than the rest of the Secret Avengers. Meanwhile, Dr. Bong and his army of Deadpool clones are loading up a truck with millions of dollars worth of explosives. By this point, DP and the Secret Avengers arrive at Bong's warehouse, and DP infiltrates the army of DP clones, tricking them into believing he was one of them. Deadpool cozies up to Bong, helping him finish the loading and driving away with Bong while the Avengers make sort work of all of the DP clones. Bong almost escapes in the confusion, but Black Widow manages to shoot out one of his tires, causing the truck to go careening off the road and exploding. Using the powers of Awesome, Bong manages to escape the explosion and confronts the Avengers. Or at least that's what Bong tells the heroes. In actuality, Deadpool pushed Bong to safety, since Steve told DP he wanted Bong taken alive. Deadpool then reveals to Bong that he was the real Deadpool, and that he was handing Bong over to the Avengers, as per DP's agreement with the team. Bong goes to use his... exploding bell powers, but DP slices off Bong's hand and then sets off fireworks in celebration, ending this issue.

Yeah, this was probably the funniest comic book I have read all year. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a comic that made me laugh as much as this one did in a good long time. It had what every good Deadpool comic needs, humor, and lots of it! The art was good, the story was good, Dr. Bong brought the awesome and I laughed throughout this comic. In other words, it was perfect. And you know what that means I'm going to score this one!

Score: 10 out of 10.Dr. Bong actually calling his lackeys, "lackeys" AND Steve Rogers sitting on Deadpool's lap? This may just be the page of the year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Let's Talk About: Teams in the DCU.

Hey yo X-Maniacs, it's your beloved blog master X here with a special little bonus post. See, back in the day(you know, like five whole months ago!)I used to do these “Let's Talk About...” posts where I, you guessed it, talked about comic related stuff! Man am I creative or what?! Anywho, school, life and blog-related duties got in the way(as they often do), which led me to forget all about those “Let's Talk About...” posts. That is until DemonHunterCole reminded me about the forgotten “Let's Talk About...” posts, AND gave me a topic for one of the posts! So with the hard part out of the way(actually thinking up a post subject), I promised that I'd get a “Let's Talk About...” up and posted once I have some time. Well guess what, I finally have some time!

Which brings us to today and this post. I don't think there is ANYBODY out there who is pleased by the current incarnation of the Justice League, DC's #1 super-team. I mean, Congorilla is on the team!!! So, what would be my ideal DC teams? And why would I put said characters on said teams? Before we start, a few ground rules. I'm going to try to keep the teams to sensible numbers, so don't expect to see teams in excess of seven characters. Also, no doubles! Sorry, but Superman can't be on EVERY team! As always with these “Let's Talk About...” posts, feel free to voice your opinions in the comments section below.

Let's start off with DC's premier team, the Justice League of America.
Leader: Batman(Bruce Wayne): Um, he's Batman, how could he NOT be on this team?
Superman: See above, and simply replace “Batman” with “Superman”.
Wonder Woman: You've GOT to have DC's Trinity on the JLA.
Flash(Wally West): I like Wally and the humor he brings to a team, so he's in.
Green Lantern(Kyle Rayner): I like the banter between Wally and Kyle, so Kyle gets the nod here.
Green Arrow(Oliver Queen): If nothing else, Ollie brings some headaches to any team he's on.
Gypsy: Why not? Give Kyle a love interest on the team.

Next up is the Justice Society of America.
Leader: Green Lantern(Alan Scott): You NEED Alan if you're doing a JSA team.
Flash(Jay Garrick): See above.
Wildcat(Ted Grant): Once again, see above.
Green Arrow(Connor Hawke): As a legacy hero, he fits the bill here.
Liberty Belle: I like Jesse. I just do. *shrugs*
Mr. Terrific: I like Terrific. If Alan was to become incapacitated, Terrific could fill in as leader.
Dr. Midnite: He's another character who deserves better than he's currently getting.

Birds of Prey.
Leader: Oracle: Duh!
Black Canary: Needless to say, Dinah would be serving as the field leader.
Huntress: Damn skippy Huntress is on the team! If I could, she'd be on half the teams I'm putting together!
Catwoman: Yeah, cats and birds don't get along, but Huntress and Catwoman on the same team? Yes please!
Lady Blackhawk: I don't really like her, but I'll keep her around for transportation purposes.
Batgirl(Cassandra Cain): Come on, she deserves to be SOMEWHERE!
Jade: She's another character I just wanted to put somewhere.

Leader: Geo-Force: After DC Universe: Last Will and Testament, I've got a soft spot for Prince Brion.
Looker: She is SO underutilized it's nearly criminal!
Katana: One of the only good things to come out of Blackest Night was the added depth to Katana's character.
Black Lightning: Yet another criminally underutilized character.
Captain Marvel(Freddy Freeman): Not Billy Batson. I can't stand him. I'm probably the only one, but I'd MUCH rather see Freddy get a push here.
Hawkman: So long as he stays away from Hawkworld, I'm fine with him.
Hawkgirl: Not the current incarnation, the pre-Blackest Night Hawkgirl.

Leader: Nightwing(Dick Grayson): Total no-brainer.
Donna Troy: Once again, a no-brainer.
Arsenal: DEFINITELY the pre-Cry For Justice version!!!
Tempest: He rounds out the original Teen Titans(except for Wally).
Damage: He seems like a really good fit for this team.
Ray: Same as Damage, he just seems to fit here.
Starfire: She can be the team whore! :P

Teen Titans.
Leader: Red Robin: I needs me my Timmy running this team!
Superboy: If Tim is here, you KNOW Superboy would be on the team too!
Kid Flash(Bart Allen): I'd be tempted to go with Bart as Impulse, but I'll stick with the Kid Flash version.
Wonder Girl(Cassandra Sandsmark): Why not? She fits well with the prior three team members I mentioned.
Spoiler(Stephanie Brown): Since I gave Cassandra Cain the Batgirl title back, Steph gets to be Spoiler again.
Ravager(Rose Wilson): She'd be here simply to stir the pot.
Supergirl: I wanted to put her somewhere, and she probably fits best on this team.

Young Justice.
Leader: Robin(Damian Wayne): Yes, the little hellspawn itself. If nothing else, he'll keep this team on their toes.
Static: I wanted to put him somewhere, and with him being relatively new, he fits here well.
Speedy(Mia Dearden): Yet another character with tons of potential being squandered.
Abuse: You know, that kid from the Zsasz story in Streets of Gotham. He seemed to get along well with Damian, so he fits well here.
Osiris: He'd make a good addition as the resident powerhouse.
Aquagirl: Well, I needed at least two girls on the team, so she's it!
Tomcat(Tomas Bronson): Who? Wildcat's son from the JSA.

Secret Six.
Leader: Deathstroke the Terminator: Slade can run my team of tweeners.
Red Hood(Jason Todd): He should be with Slade in the current Titans series!
Deadshot: Watching him interact with Deathstroke would be worth the price of the comic.
Catman: Where Deadshot goes, Catman follows...
Cheshire: She fits REALLY well on a team with both Slade and Catman.
Knockout: I need a powerhouse here, and she fits the bill.

So there you have it, the teams I would put together if I was running DC comics. Right away you'll notice that I left off several DC mainstays(Hal Jordan, SAINT Barry Allen, Beast Boy, Raven, Billy Batson, to name a few), mainly because I either hate those characters, or I'm sick of seeing them. So now that you've seen my lists, how's about you post your own ideal DC teams. I'm sure you guys have your own ideas as to what the ideal DC Universe would look like, so please, feel free to fire me a couple of comments telling me who you'd put on each of your teams. That's going to do it for me, until next time, X out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Best of the Rest! November 27th edition.

Hey all, hopefully you're enjoying some sort of Thanksgiving break. I know I am! Since I am officially on Thanksgiving break, I can devote some more time to posting to this here blog. And as such, here's yet another Best of the Rest! This week's BotR is a bit of a mixed bag, with a few Marvel and DC books, some good and some horrible. So let's get this party started!!!

Help me, I'm drowning!
So during my last BotR post I mentioned how much I was enjoying the Aquaman series I had started reading a week ago. What a difference a week makes! These past couple of issues have been bad. I'd almost go so far as to say REALLY bad! See, when I think Aquaman I think underwater. Makes sense, no? And yet for some reason the storyline I'm currently moving through involves an alien invasion. In an Aquaman comic book. Yuh-huh... The series still has Peter David's at times laugh out loud moments, but I can't wait for this storyline to end!

Okay, with the preliminary blabbing out of the way, we head to the main event, the comic books! First up is Osborn #1. We detail the case of the incarcerated Norman Osborn, who has yet to be formally charged for his meltdown during the Siege of Asgard. A few Senators are debating whether he should be charged in a regular court, or whether he should be handed over to the military. However the Senators are afraid that Osborn will get off on an insanity plea, so they decide to lock him away in some sort of ultra-top secret prison. However, it appears that one of the Senators is a fan/disciple of Osborn, and that the priest who is working at the top secret prison is also an Osborn groupie. Well, after reading this comic I can gladly state that I won't be picking up the rest of this series. I didn't really know what to expect going in, but this wasn't it. It wasn't a terrible story, but it just didn't interest me in the least. I just can't rationalize paying $4 for a comic that didn't hook me. Score: 5 out of 10.

Let's switch gears a bit and head over to DC to check out Batman: Streets of Gotham #17. This issue begins with Harley Quinn wandering around in a daze committing crimes. After she's finished, she returns to her base and is accosted by Catwoman. The two women begin to fight, and Batman shows up and knocks Harley out cold. At first Catwoman believes Batman is Dick Grayson, but Bats reveals that he was actually Bruce Wayne, and the two share a kiss. From there Bruce tells CW that there have been other cases like this, where a person would be bitten by weird little bugs, which would then mind control the person. From there we head to Hush, who was kidnapped by an old mobster last issue who had a score to settle with Bruce Wayne. Before the mobster can kill Hush, he beats up the old mobster's goons and swipes the gun from the mobster, revealing that he isn't Bruce Wayne, and that he wanted to work with the mobster in getting at Bruce. This was a weird one. I don't know what the HELL was going on in that first half of this comic with the bugs and Harley... That was pretty weird. It did lead to a kiss between Selina and Bruce, so that was nice and all, but still, what was up with the bugs?! As for the Hush stuff, it had Hush in it, so naturally I loved it! Score: 8 out of 10.

Let's take a look at Superman #705 since that's what's next on my hit list. So this is written by J. Michael Straczynski and has Superman STILL wandering the country aimlessly. This time Supes is strolling through Mt. Prospect, Illinois. Supes is distressed by the fact that the people seem afraid to see him due to the fight he had with the Hulk Hogan-impostor two issues back. Later on, Supes heads to a hotel with Lois and has a nightmare where one of the women from earlier is scolding him and he's being beaten up by a giant creature. When Supes wakes up, he discovers that all of the wounds from the dream hadn't gone away. From there the story branches out to a boy who was being abused by his father preparing to see Supes walk by his home. The kids father smacks him around and tosses him into the basement, where the kid calls to Superman to help him. Supes hears the kid and rescues him and his mother from the abusive father, taking them to the police and then cutting a promo(right at the “camera”)about always reporting instances of abuse. Wow, that was pretty weird... I hated the beginning of this comic, I mean really, how ungrateful ARE the people in the DCU? How many times has Supes saved their collective bacon? If the man wants to walk through your town, grin and bear it! I thought the story with the abused kid was pretty well done though. Supes walking by the kid's house and then saving him was a nice touch, and the pacing for that scene was nicely done. However, the end kind of made me laugh, which I'm SURE wasn't JMS's intention... Or at least I hope it wasn't... I mean what was up with Supes literally looking RIGHT at the “camera” and doing a public service announcement?! That as just bizarre... Overall though, I did enjoy this one, and as such, I'll give it a: Score: 8 out of 10.

It's time to head back to Marvel as we check out the latest issue of Marvel's favorite Atlantian, Namorita! Oh wait, it's actually Namor #4... Bleh. While Namor is fighting his grandfather(who happens to be a vampire)in a secret temple underneath Vampire City, Namor's forces are being trounced by the vampires above the temple. Loa(one of the younger X-Men)and an Atlantian magician arrive at Vampire City and the magician casts a spell that weakens the vampires. Oh, and for some reason, Loa can breath underwater now. *shrugs* Meanwhile, Namor defeats his grandfather and casts a spell on the old vampire(there's a lot of spellcasting going on here...)which kills most of the vampires in Vampire City. Wanting this storyline over with(and who could blame him)Namor emerges from the temple and tells the surviving vampires that he's making their city a part of Atlantis, and as such he doesn't want any trouble from them. That's pretty much the end of this one. Yeah, I didn't really enjoy this one. I don't care for Loa(Marvel has killed off countless young mutants, and yet SHE survives?!), I could see the outcome of the battle between Namor and his grandfather coming since LAST issue and the resolution of the vampire trouble kind of bothered me... I mean really, Namor tells the vampires to knock it off and then leaves? Um, they're vampires! How do you just leave them alone! They make notoriously bad subjects! Oh well, hopefully things pick up next issue. Score: 3 out of 10.

Wheee, now we hop back to DC with Outsiders #34. Man, it's been awhile since I read the last issue of this series... I have NO idea what's going on! Apparently Achilles has marched into Markovia and razed a village in order to gain the attention of Markovia's king, Geo-Force. Geo-Force and his lackey Eradicator confront Achilles, which leads to Achilles punching Eradicator right out of this comic! Seriously, he never showed up again! Achilles and Geo-Force then fight for the better part of this comic, with Achilles revealing that he was attacking Markovia because he thought Geo-Force was a conquest hungry dictator. Geo-Force refutes that claim, stating that Markovia was always being invaded, not the other way around. Geo-Force then proceeds to drop a building on Achilles. Achilles climbs out from under the building and decides he doesn't want to fight anymore since the building falling on him cleared his head and convinced him that Geo-Force was telling the truth(huh?!). To make up for destroying a village and killing loads of Markovians, Achilles pledges himself and his forces to a very confused Geo-Force. There was also a back story involving Metamorpho and his father-in-law, but since I don't like Metamorpho, I'm going to ignore all of that, as is my prerogative. What's there to really say about this one? The fight between Geo-Force and Achilles was fun, but the ending was a huge cop-out. Achilles quits the battle because... well, I'm not really sure why he quit fighting. Because a house falling on his head brought him to his senses or something... Meh, that didn't really work for me. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

One more and I can wrap this post up and send it to bed. Our final review of the post? Invincible Iron Man #32. Last issue the Hammer girls sent the Detroit Steel drones to attack Tony Stark's grand unveiling of his new repulsor powered car. Tony hops into his Iron Man armor, while Rescue and War Machine also arrive on the scene to come to Tony's aid. The Hammer's up the stakes by sending Detroit Steel himself to attack Tony, while Tony's support staff work to figure out a way to block the satellites that were controlling the Steel drones. Tony eventually realizes that the drones were keyed in on his repulsor technology, so War Machine and Rescue power down their armor, which leads to all of the drones, as well as Steel going after Tony, while Tony's staff works to kill the signal controlling the drones before the overwhelming odds kill their boss. This was the EIGHTH part of this storyline, with the next issue closing the storyline out. I think I started reading this series at around part three of the storyline, so there were a few story elements that I just didn't get. So while I've enjoyed this story for the most part, I'll be happy when it ends, so I can follow the next storyline right from the start. Score: 7 out of 10.

The Random Scan of the Week!Man, you know you're in trouble when your villain knows about your caption boxes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Comic Day! November 24th Edition.

Hey again all, it's Wednesday, which means that it is once again time for the only regular blog post on this site, New Comic Day! As always before we move forward, let's take a look back first. Last week I promised to bring the awesome with 11 new reviews and I managed... 16 reviews! So congrats to me for coming through on my promise! That doesn't happen often...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving around these parts, so I don't expect to have a whole lot of new content up until say Friday or so, what with family, football and turkey-eating obligations. I am in the middle of another Best of the Rest post, so hopefully I'll have that up by Saturday at the absolute latest. It's about halfway done, but once again, I don't foresee myself doing a lot of blog work for the next two days at least. Maybe a random scan or two, but other then that, nada.

So that's what's new with me, but nobody wants to hear that, you guys want to know what comics I came away from the comic book store with! So without further ado, let's get to that. Earlier today I picked up, Detective Comics #871, Black Widow #8, Deadpool #29, Fantastic Four #585, Invincible Iron Man #32, Justice League Gen Lost #14, Namor #4, Outsiders #34, Shadowland: Power Man #4, Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #4, Teen Titans #89 & Uncanny X-Force #2. That means I brought 12 comics, meaning by this time next week I will have posted 12 new reviews! So I have said it, so it shall be done! Probably... Anyway, the pick of the litter this week will have to be... um, let's go with Uncanny X-Force #2. I'm also interested in checking out Teen Titans #89 and Detective Comics #871, but I'm still a bit dubious about those two series. The runt of this week's litter? I'm gonna go with Outsiders #34. I'm just not all that keen on opening up that comic and giving it a read. I'm not dreading it or anything, I just don't care about it one way or the other. So there you have it. Happy Thanksgiving and all that jazz. Until next time, X out.

Brightest Day #14, The Final Rant?

Overall: Hide the women and children, it's time for yet another Brightest Day review!!! Deadman(or if you prefer, Aliveman)rushes through Gotham to find Batman since he's decided(for reasons unknown)that Batman MUST be who the White Lantern Ring has been searching for. So Deadman interrupts a robbery and forces the ring to join with Bats. When this happens Deadman gets shot by some thug. Bet you wish you kept the White Ring now, don't ya smart guy? From there Deadman begins to relive moments from his past and decides he doesn't want to be dead anymore, even though he's been bitching about being alive since this godforsaken series began. Make up your frigging mind, man! Once Deadman decides he wants to live again, the ring returns to him and scolds him for trying to pass his White Lantern duties off to Batman. You know, if I had that annoying-ass ring on my finger I think I'd rather stay dead... Batman doesn't bother to stick around to discover what the flaming hell had just happened(probably because he realized this comic sucked too), but does seem to remember who Max Lord was after his contact with the White ring. Oh, and Deadman and Dove begin swapping spit for some reason.

Well, that's it for me folks! I am finished! I just can't take it anymore! My well of forgiveness in regards to this series has FINALLY run dry. Yes, you read that correctly, my well of forgiveness is dry!!! This is the LAST Brightest Day review I will EVER post! Yep, the last......... Oh who am I kidding? We ALL know that isn't true. Yes, I dread reading this series. I hate ALL of the stories running through it. ALL of them! Whenever I buy a new issue I die just a little bit more on the inside. BUT, I have a BLAST ripping it! I mean, it's almost cathartic for me. So while I'm actually reading this junk, I'm a very angry individual, but tearing it to pieces on this blog actually makes it all worthwhile! So I'm done trying to look at this series objectively. I'm just going to read the rest of the series, curse myself for wasting my time/money, and then write the most sarcastic and scathing review I possibly can. So there you go. You've been duly warned. From this point forward, it's open season on Brightest Day, and I am coming after it in a goddamn tank, baby!

Score: 0 out of 10.If a magical ring appeared on my finger and made me dress like that I'd scream too!

Superman/Batman #78

Overall: This comic is all about a pair of comic fanboys fighting over who would win a fair fight between Batman and Superman. The rules are no Kryptonite and no killing. From there each fan argues over why their chosen hero would emerge victorious. And they argue their points for the ENTIRE ISSUE! In the end, they come to the conclusion that neither hero would win, and that they'd probably wind up destroying each other. At the end of the tale we learn that Superman and Batman were eavesdropping on the conversation(because Superman is weird or something)and that's about it. There was also a back-up story featuring Huntress and Power Girl that involved an alien child that ended up stranded on Earth. The child is confused and causing destruction, which leads to Huntress wanting to put the kid down hard(because she's AWESOME!), while PG feels a kinship to the stranded alien. In the end the women agree to set aside whatever differences they had to help the kid out.

Hmm, instead of reading this issue I could have just did a post about which hero would win in a fight and let you guys have at it... I mean, the story wasn't bad or anything, it all just seemed like a waste of time. You know, like the very definition of the words “pointless filler”. There's not really anything else I can add here... This was an okay, but altogether pointless comic.

Score: 6 out of 10.Um, if Superman got the first shot in on Bats, shouldn't that end the fight right there?!

Thunderbolts #150

Overall: We begin this anniversary issue with Luke Cage telling Songbird and Mach-5 that he was done leading the T-Bolts. Luke explains that he can't stand the T-Bolts and the way they are always conniving, scheming and trying to manipulate their situations. As far as Luke is concerned, once Steve Rogers and the A-list Avengers arrive later, he'll be giving his walking papers. The Ghost is able to read Cage's lips through the viewing window and begins to realize that if Luke goes, the T-Bolts will almost definitely fold. After his outburst, Luke enters the room and tosses Moonstone off the team since she didn't help Fixer and Songbird during their last mission. From there Luke takes the rest of the T-Bolts(Juggernaut, Ghost and Crossfire)outside to meet the Avengers(Thor, Steve Rogers and Iron Man). Steve wants to see the T-Bolts in action, so Luke has scheduled a routine assault on one of MODOK's European bases, figuring the mission shouldn't be all that difficult. While Luke and the Avengers are speaking, Ghost informs his fellow T-Bolts of Luke's intention to leave, and that when Luke goes, the T-Bolts will be stuck back in their cells 24/7 again. Ghost has a plan to escape that involves Man-Thing's teleportation and Thor's hammer, and the T-Bolts agree to attempt the escape. So once Man-Thing tries to open a portal to Europe, Ghost zaps Thor's hammer creating a massive feedback loop that scatters the T-Bolts away from the Avengers. Unfortunately for all parties, they seem to have crossed into another dimension. The Avengers realize they've been hoodwinked and begin to look around, finding a large body of water as well as a giant talking frog who calls himself Mr. Frog. Iron Man looks into the water and notices that his reflection is of him as a young boy, while Steve sees himself as Captain America. Frog tells them that they can leave this place if Man-Thing walks them through a nearby waterfall, but Man-Thing doesn't seem to keen on leaving, plus the Avengers have to deal with the three escaped villains as well. Heading over to the villains, they are all bickering about the fact that Ghost sent them to what appears to be an uninhabited alternate dimension, and while they are arguing, the Avengers attack. Luke Cage and Thor attack Juggernaut, Iron Man takes on Ghost and Steve Rogers goes after his long-time foe, Crossbones. Steve confronts Crossbones and attacks, but is taken by surprise by Crossbones new fire-blasting powers. Crossbones powers, coupled with the element of surprise allows Crossbones to gain the upper-hand on Steve, and he begins to strangle the life out of the hero. However, the battle has strayed close to that reflecting pond, and Crossbones doesn't see his own reflection, but the reflection of the Red Skull looking back at him, which throws him for a loop. With Crossbones momentarily distracted, Steve manages to put him down. Iron Man has a slightly easier go of things with Ghost, as he reveals to Ghost that he is no longer a corporate raider, and is simply the owner/operator of the small Stark Reliant business. Upon learning this information, Ghost halts his attack since Iron Man is no longer his enemy. Finally Thor and Cage have quite a time trying to bring down the Juggernaut, and Juggernaut actually manages to toss Thor away and batter Luke a bit, before he also sees his reflection and is disturbed by the fact that it keeps changing, from Cyttorak, to Cain Marko, to the Juggernaut. This revelation, coupled with Ghost surrender causes Juggernaut to quit the battle as well, as he realizes that he needs to figure out who he really is. With that, the heroes(and T-Bolts)return to Man-Thing and the waterfall, and after some coaxing get him to bring them back to their Earth. After sending the T-Bolts back to their cells, Luke tells Steve that he feels the T-Bolts have been a failure, but Steve counters, saying Luke has done a great job with what he was handed, and has saved countless lives with his leadership of the program. In the end, Steve's flowery words seem to change Luke's mind and he seem content to continue doing his best to redeem this version of the T-Bolts.

This was a really good issue. Once the team headed to the world with the giant talking frog, I was like, “Well, this is all about to go downhill rapidly...” but much to my surprise, the story stayed strong through out, we got some good character development moments, and some pretty awesome battle scenes. Every character acted as I'd have expected them, and the little touch with the reflecting pool was nice. Sure, what some of the characters saw was kind of weird(why does Stark see himself as a little boy?)but some of them, such as Crossbones seeing himself as a pale imitation of the Red Skull, or Steve still seeing himself as Captain America was right on the money. Oh, and on top of this story, we also got a reprint of the first Thunderbolts comic, which was as amazing as it as the first time I read it. I still can't get over how awesome the reveal at the end of that comic was. So this was one of those rare cases where the $5 cover price was well deserved.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.I've got to admit, I never expected to read a comic in which Crossbones' head made like Ghost Rider and he nearly fried Steve Rogers...

Avengers #7

Overall: This issue kicks off with the Hood making his way to the spot where the Inhuman's home of Attilan used to stand. He scans the area and picks up some major energy radiating from the area and after some searching comes across the Reality Gem, which had been given to Black Bolt for safe keeping. From there we head to Iron Man and Thor, who are trying to talk sense to Wonder Man. Wonder Man is still angry that the Avengers have gotten back together and tells the heroes that re-assembling the Avengers is a horrible mistake, and will lead to countless more deaths. Thor and IM try to impress upon WM that the Avengers help more than they hurt, but WM throws the names of several dead Avengers in their faces before cutting out. Back with the Hood, he breaks into the Baxter Building using the Reality Gem and tells Reed Richards to stay asleep. From there he sneaks around until he locates the Power Gem and teleports away. Still new to the way the Infinity Gems work, Hood accidentally teleports right in front of the Red Hulk. Although this wasn't what the Hood expected, he figures this is as good a test as any for his newly acquired Infinity Gems. We head to Avengers Tower where Protector is introducing his girlfriend to his teammates before the Red Hulk goes flying through their wall, laying there in a pool of gamma irradiated blood.

Hmm, this was an interesting comic. There was some good, some bad and some ugly. Let's start with the good. I LOVED the story. The idea of a villain getting his(her)hands on the Infinity Gems, that the arrogant Illuminati decided to split among themselves, is really a great idea and should lead to some great story potential. Now the bad... Why is it the Hood is the villain who got his hands on the Infinity Gems?! Brian Bendis has done a lot of good work since Siege, but I don't want to see the Hood anymore! He reminds me of the bad old days when reading Avengers comics would make me want to tear out my eyes and start spontaneous fires. Please, give him a rest! Besides that, how the hell are the Inhumans careless enough to leave the REALITY GEM behind?!? It's one of the most powerful artifacts in the Marvel Universe and they just LEAVE it?!? As for the ugly, the dialogue during the scene where Noh-Varr introduces his girlfriend to the Avengers was at times cringe worthy. Once Wolverine said, “Oops.” my brain literally began melting... Now, taking all of those things into consideration, I have to say that the good more than outweighed the bad. This was yet another good issue of this series, and although I don't agree with the choice of villain, the story itself should be good going forward, the subplot with Wonder Man is looking interesting and for the most part I really like this band of Avengers.

Score: 8 out of 10.Um, Sarah Palin?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

X-Factor #211

Overall: This issue takes us away from the Rictor/Wolfsbane storyline and brings us back to Las Vegas, where the rest of X-Factor are battling against the minions of Hela. Madrox feels responsible for allowing Hela to capture Pip the Troll, and as such has been trying to get her attention. Unfortunately for Madrox, his plan falls apart when Longshot and Shatterstar decide to attack Hela's minions, leading to Hela getting mad and sending more(A LOT more)dead vikings after the team. Before X-Factor is massacred by the dead vikings, Thor flies over, halting Hela's corpse corps in their tracks. Madrox explains his plight to Thor and asks for the Thunder God's help, with Thor responding that he'd think about it, ending this issue.

Meh. I'm enjoying the Rictor/Wolfsbane story WAY more than this one, so I was a bit saddened to see that the Vegas/Pip/Hela story dominated this issue. The action was pretty good, the art was fine and there were a few funny scenes(as you'd expect from a Peter David written comic), but I just don't care about Pip nor Hela. I could expand upon that and say I just don't care about Asgardians period! Here's hoping the next issue ends the Vegas portion of the story, or better yet focuses back on the Rictor/Wolfsbane stuff.

Score: 6 out of 10.Now THAT is a lot of dead vikings!

Batman Incorporated #1

Overall: And so we kick off the official beginning of Grant Morrison's latest big Batman story... We begin in Japan with a villain by the name of Lord Death Man(really?)killing a super-hero by the name of Mr. Unknown. An associate of Unknown happens across the scene and manages to escape Lord Death Man and his henchmen. From there the scene shifts to Batman and Catwoman, who are in the process of stealing a weapon from the pathetic Dr. Sivana. Bats and CW manage to acquire what they were after with little trouble and head out to Japan since Bats wants to offer Mr. Unknown a spot in his Batman Inc. organization. Bats and CW sneak into Unknown's base figuring that would impress him, but there's no impressing a dead man as Bats learns when he comes across Unknown's corpse. Bats and CW investigate the scene and are jumped by some of Lord Death Man's goons. The heroes make quick work of the goons and Bats scares one goon into giving up the location of Lord Death Man. It turns out that Lord Death Man has gone and captured the girlfriend of Mr. Unknown's associate from earlier and placed her in some sort of death trap. Lord Death Man decides to taunt Unknown's associate and gets shot in the face and knocked out a window for his troubles. Unknown's associate rushes into the room, but that sets off the death trap, and his girlfriend falls into a pool of water. By this point Bats and CW have arrived on the scene and while Bats helps Unknown's associate take on Lord Death Man's remaining goons, CW jumps into the water after the woman, discovering that a massive octopus was also in the water, and that it was preparing to crush the life out of the woman and CW.

Hey, you know what, I really enjoyed this issue! And that's not X the new disciple of Grant Morrison saying that, that's X the comic fan saying it. This comic surprised me with the rather sensible story, as well as the lack of confusion most of Morrison's work tends to contain. I really hope that this issue signifies that we'll be seeing CW making some regular appearances in this series, because out of Bruce's MANY girlfriends, she's definitely my favorite. So while the overwhelming majority of this comic was good, there were a few little quibbles I had... Such as this, why can't Morrison seem to come up with a good super-villain's name? Lord Death Man?! That's nearly as bad as the Pink Flamingo or El Sombrero... But hell, if the only thing I can complain about is the name of the characters in this comic, then in my eyes, that's a good thing!

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.You know, you really do have to respect the henchmen in the DCU, because they always play out the gimmick they're given.

Zatanna #7

Overall: This issue revolves around Zatanna heading to Los Angeles to check out the opening of what will be the Magic Museum. So Zatanna checks out some of the magical stuff in storage(such as a pair of her father's sunglasses)before heading back to her hotel room. It turns out Sargon the Sorcerer's turban held some of Sargon's magical abilities, and the turban combines with several other magical artifacts of clothing(Dr. Fate's boots, Zatara's sunglasses, etc), and the mass of clothing go on a crime stopping rampage. The clothes, led by Sargon's turban, want to stamp out crime Spectre style(in other words, permanently), which puts the collage of clothes at odds with Zatanna. It turns out the the mystical clothing is quite powerful, and give Zatanna more trouble than she expected. However, she notices her father's sunglasses among the angry clothing, and manages to make mental contact with her father's essence, convincing the glasses that Sargon's turban was going too far. Zatara's glasses disrupts Sargon's control over the other items of clothing, ending the threat. This issue ends with Zatanna taking the glasses in order to feel closer to her dead father.

Okay, I know what you're probably thinking... “X, was this comic really about Zatanna fighting possessed clothing?” Yes, it was. But, and trust me, this surprises me even as I type it, I really enjoyed this issue! Yes it had Zatanna fighting old clothes, but it was a fun, old school-esque super-hero romp. Was it kind of dumb, yeah, it was. But was it an incredibly fun read? Most definitely!

Score: 9 out of 10.Yes, Zatanna fought possessed clothing here. *shrugs*

Supergirl #58

Overall: This issue kicks off with Cat Grant and Supergirl going to visit that waste of comic book life, the Toyman. Yes, the TERRIBLE Toyman. Anywho, children have been disappearing off the streets of Metropolis, and every time a kid vanished, a doll has been sent to Cat. Cat believes the Toyman has been sending her the strange little dolls to mess with her, and as such wants to confront him. Toyman denies sending the toys to Cat, and even after being roughed up by SG still claims innocence. Upon inspecting the toys however, Toyman notices that they seem based on some of his early work. Before he can inspect them any further, one of the toys springs to life at the sound of the Toyman's voice and stabs him with a pair of scissors Chucky-style... God did that movie scare the hell out of me as a kid... The toy then goes to attack Cat, but is stopped and melted by Supergirl. Later on, Cat and SG argue about some of the less than flattering stuff Cat had been writing about SG, which leads to SG abandoning Cat. With SG gone, Cat visits her son's grave, before heading home, where she is assaulted by Anton Schott, the Dollmaker. This issue concludes with Lois Lane going to STAR Labs to visit her insane sister, Superwoman.

I hate Toyman, but I do loves me some Supergirl. So yeah, this issue left me a bit conflicted... I was glad that Toyman was stabbed(if only the stabbing had been fatal...), but the Dollmaker? I'm not sure that's a whole lot better than the Toyman... BUT, Sterling Gates has done... well, a sterling job on this series, so I'm willing to give this story a chance, Toyman and all.

Score: 8 out of 10.It's nice to see Cat as something more than the bitch she's been written as lately.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Batman: The Return #1. Plus, why Grant Morrison is so much better than GEOFF Johns.

Overall: This comic looks to be setting the stage for the future of the Grant Morrison led Bat-books. Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know Bruce Wayne has come back from the past and has reclaimed the Batman mantle. As Bruce Wayne he has come out and publicly stated that Wayne Enterprises is backing Batman, and that Batman's operation was going to go global. As such, Bruce takes Damian(Robin)to Yemen so they can go after some crazed villain who has been kidnapping and torturing folks. The villain is a part of something called the Leviathan, and is basically bad news. Bruce and Damian run into some sort of twisted genetic experiment, and during the battle, Damian disobeys Bruce's orders and begins to poke his nose around the base. Damian runs into some bigwig in the Leviathan organization, but the villain escapes, and Bruce is quite upset at Damian's lack of obedience on the field. Back home, Bruce tells Dick Grayson that he wants him to remain as Batman, and that he was leaving Gotham(and Damian)in Dick's hands, while Bruce himself takes a closer look at the Leviathan. And that's basically what this comic was all about.

You know, I want to say something first. I make no bones about the fact that I can barely understand what the hell is going on in most of Grant Morrison's Bat-books. I mean he writes some crazy stuff. I'm STILL puzzling over the events of Return of Bruce Wayne #6... BUT, I want to give him a HUGE amount of credit for actually doing new stuff, using new characters and moving forward. I've been bitching about DC for a while now(pretty much since SAINT Barry Allen returned), and with good reason, since DC, thanks in LARGE part to GEOFF “1959” Johns and his refusal to move out of DC's Silver Age. I mean seriously, look at the comics GEOFF writes(Green Lantern, Flash, Brightest Day)and look at the characters in those books(Hal Jordan, SAINT Barry Allen, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter), and tell me DC hasn't tumbled into some sort of terrible timewarp! Before you know it, SAINT Barry will probably be dealing with that villainous Soviet, Joseph Stalin, while Hal will be battling the menace of Sputnik. Yeah, DC has gotten THAT bad. So yeah, I may complain that I can't understand most of what Grant writes, but at least he is trying new ideas. Batman Incorporated? I'm not sold on it, but at least it's a bold NEW move. Dick Grayson as a second Batman, Damian Wayne(a character who didn't even exist 8 years ago)as Robin, Tim Drake as Red Robin, these are all NEW ideas and NEW concepts. Do I always like what Grant does? Hell no, but I respect the hell out of him for trying NEW stuff. So you want to know what? Let GEOFF live in the past and play with his childhood favorites. Let him drag his corner of the DC Universe back into the Stone Age. Let him tell the SAME boring stories about the SAME boring characters ad nauseum. At least Grant Morrison is trying new stuff. And for that reason alone, from this moment forward, I will not score ANYTHING Grant Morrison does for DC lower than a 6. No matter how confusing/bizarre/insane his work is, at least he's trying NEW ideas. That's more than GEOFF is doing... Huh, that rant came out of left field... Um, yeah, as for this comic, it wasn't really worth the $5 cover price, but it might be worth grabbing if you want to see where Morrison plans on taking DC's Dark Knight.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Look, Damian is disobeying orders again. Big surprise...

X-Men #5

Overall: We get things started here with Cyclops preparing the gathered mutants on Crazy Mutie Island(also known as Utopia)for the impending vampire invasion. The leader of the vampires, Xarus, has massed his forces and is sending hundreds of vampires to Utopia to kill Cyclops(yay!)and turn as many mutants into vampires as possible. And leading Xarus' forces? None other than Wolverine, who had been turned into a vampire. With Vampire Wolvie at the helm, the vampires begin to push their way onto Utopia, however, Cyclops takes out a little gizmo, pushes a button and stops Vampire Wolvie dead in his tracks. It appears that before Cyclops sent Wolverine out to locate Jubilee, he injected Wolvie with some nanites. These nanites turned off Wolverine's healing factor, allowing him to be captured and turned by the vampires. At the push of a button, Cyclops reactivates Wolverine's healing factor and Wolvie's healing factor manages to fight off the vampiric influence, changing Vampire Wolvie back into plain old Wolvie. Wolvie is pretty pissed that Cyclops did all this to him without informing him, but is even angrier at the vampires, and as such Wolvie leads a renewed push against the vampires, driving them from Utopia. Back at vampire central, Xarus is shocked and horrified about the losses his forces suffered, but is even more horrified when his thought to be dead father, Dracula, strolls into his control room and informs Xarus that he was in some deep trouble.

See, here's the problem. I hate Cyclops passionately. I don't like his whole bizarre shy mutant turned crazed dictator shtick, and as such, I wanted the vampires to win and wipe out the mutants. Yes, I KNOW that could never happen, but still... So Cyclops curing Wolverine and turning the vampire horde back disappointed me. The story was good, and I was into this comic from beginning to end, I was just disappointed that “my” side didn't win. Hopefully Wolverine stabs Cyclops next issue for the way Cyclops played him for a fool. I doubt it'll happen, but that's still what I'm hoping to see!

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Vampire Wolverine's line about Jean was SO true...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Red Robin #17

Overall: This isn't going to be an easy comic to review since so much happened in it, but complaining about things won't get this review taken care of. So let's get to it! We kick things off with Red Robin(Tim Drake)heading to Hong Kong to touch base with his contact there, the former Batgirl, Cassandra Cain(?!). Tim asks Cassandra if she was able to discover the truth about Lynx and her claim that she was an undercover member of the Hong Kong police department sent to infiltrate a Chinese gang in Gotham, but Cassandra wasn't able to dig up much useful information. After some pleasantries, Tim heads back to Gotham and meets up with his old friend Ives(!). The two talk about school and such before Tim heads to the hospital where he speaks with the former Anarky, Lonnie Machin. Lonnie is still paralyzed thanks to the actions of the current Anarky, but Tim asks Lonnie to become his own personal hacker, which Lonnie accepts. Lonnie discovers that the Hong Kong PD did indeed have three undercover officers who could possibly fit Lynx's profile, however, the files were inconclusive as to the whereabouts of these officers. With Lynx about to be sent to the INS by the Gotham Police Department, Tim decides to rescue her from custody, just in case she was indeed an undercover cop. As thanks for rescuing her, Lynx plants a big ol' kiss on Tim, who enjoys the moment before he realizes that he's Tim Drake, and as such pushes her away. Lynx takes off, and Tim is met on the rooftop by the recently returned Bruce Wayne(Batman, duh!). The two talk about their plans and what had gone on in Bruce's absence before sharing an embrace, with this issue ending the way it should have, with Bruce and Tim swinging off the rooftop together.

Yeah, the sappy, sentimental part of me really liked this issue. A lot. I mean as a huge fan of Tim Drake(I DID read his ENTIRE series a few months back), I really enjoyed seeing Tim interact with Cassandra and Ives, two characters who played a big role at one time or another in the old Robin series. And the embrace with Bruce? I won't lie, it brought a big, dopey smile on my face. In a weird way, a lot happened here, although nothing REALLY happened... Confusing, no? I mean Tim did a lot of stuff, but with the exception of springing Lynx, none of the stuff that happened in this issue means all that much going forward. It was nice seeing Tim interact with Ives, Cassandra, Lonnie and Bruce, but storywise, nothing important really went down here. So this issue was more or less written for us Tim Drake fans. And as a fan of Tim Drake, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this issue.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.:-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Best of the Rest! DC Edition...

Welcome to another installment of the X-Files... Wait, scratch that, let's try that again... Welcome to another installment of the Best of the Rest! Yeah, that's better. Sometimes the classics work the best. Unless you work for DC, and then the classics are the ONLY thing that matter! And on that inauspicious note, let me inform you all that this is going to be an all DC BotR post, so expect lots of sarcasm, angry barbs thrown towards GEOFF “SILVER AGE!!!” Johns, and almost certainly low scores. Before going through that little bit of mental anguish, first some good news!

Fishing for compliments!
So during my first(and only...)X-Files post, I mentioned that I was going to begin reading the Aquaman series from the 1990's. As of the time of this writing, I've read the first 5 issues(as well as issue #0)of the series, and so far, so VERY good! Before I go any further, allow me to state in no uncertain terms that I've NEVER been a fan of Aquaman. To me he's always been, “That guy who talks to fish and gets beat up a lot”. But being a huge fan of Peter David, I figured I'd give this series a shot, and I'm glad that I did! As is a trademark of a PAD written comic, the focus isn't only on Aquaman, but is also on the strong supporting cast that includes Aqualad/Tempest(who's been stealing the show imo)and Dolphin. So far Aquaman has lost his hand, battled a supremely arrogant 90's Superboy, complete with those awful goggles SB used to wear, and fought Lobo(!). If I had to score these first couple of issues, I'd easily give them roughly a 9 or so. They're that good! So now you know what I'll be reading later on tonight!

Okay, the preliminaries are out of the way, let's get to the reviews. First off is Secret Six #27... This issue has the two different groups of Secret Six members, Spymaster's team, which is led by Bane, and Amanda Waller's team led by Scandal Savage. Spymaster has sent her Six to conquer some alien world(I think...), while Waller has sent hers to stop the other Six. Naturally this leads to a fight, and Scandal slashes Bane's throat by accident. With her father figure bleeding out, Scandal asks everybody to stop fighting(which they do)and some native healer walks over and heals Bane. Scandal then takes her Six and quits the battle. With the other Six out of the way, Bane takes his group to invade the castle of the king of this world, but little does he know Scandal's Six has made an alliance with the king... And that's about as well as I can do with this comic... It was absolutely horrendous! I can't believe that Gail Simone wrote this travesty, because I KNOW she's a way better writer than this! What didn't I like here you ask? How about everything with the exception of the art? The story made no sense, the characters almost universally annoyed me(I am SO sick and tired of Ragdoll by this point it's not even funny!)and I don't know anything about this world these different groups of Six's are invading/helping/hanging out in. Hell, I'm still foggy as to why Bane and Scandal split up the original Secret Six to begin with! Add all of that to the fact that the absolutely worthless Black Alice is in this series and yeah, there was nothing good going on here. I hate to say it, but I'm getting the feeling that I'll dropping this series by year's end. Score: 1 out of 10.

Well, we can only go up from that last review, right? Next I'll take a look at JSA All-Stars #12. This issue is a Cyclone-centric issue, which sucks for me since I can't stand Cyclone. It seems that Cyclone's powers are gone now, so she has left the All-Stars and gone to Harvard to attend some classes. Why Harvard? I don't know, I guess because she's really smart all of a sudden. So Cyclone attends classes, and also does some experiments on her blood in an attempt to figure out why her powers were gone. Naturally, she doesn't shut down the computer when she leaves the lab, because she's actually an idiot apparently, which leads to some fellow student taking a peek at her work. Cyclone heads back to her dorm room where she bumps into... *sigh* her doppleganger. This other Cyclone still has powers, but can't remember the past six weeks. The Cyclones decide to take a walk around town(sure, why not...), where they run into the student from earlier, who seems to have developed out of control Cyclone-esque powers. While the Cyclones are deciding how to handle this problem, a third Cyclone shows up, asking what she could do to help. Yeah, so I hate Cyclone, and this issue gives us THREE Cyclones! Sheesh. Couldn't we have spotlighted ANYBODY else on this team?! Hell, why not Tomcat, Citizen Steel, Chimera, Power Girl, Stargirl or ANYBODY else!? Ugh. The best thing about this story was the fact that it ends next issue, so I only have to suffer through one more Cyclone-centric issue... I hope! Score: 6 out of 10.

Hey, it's time to take an unwanted trip back to the early 1960's as I review GEOFF “SILVER AGE!!!” Johns' Green Lantern #58. This issue starts off with Sinestro and Atrocitus searching for the avatar of rage unsuccessfully. Carol Ferris informs Hal Jordan that she intends on staying on Zamaron and taking over as Queen of the Star Sapphires, which bugs Hal since he was still trying to get in her pants. Meanwhile, the avatar of hope possesses some girl who was kidnapped by a pervert and runs around saying “All will be well”. Larfleeze tries to kill the guy from last issue that was possessed by the Predator, but is stopped by the recently arrived Hal Jordan. Hal and Larfleeze fight, but are halted when they get word from Saint Walker that the avatar of hope had chosen a host. Larfleeze and Hal head to the hope possessed girl and meet her and Saint Walker, and this issue ends with SAINT Barry Allen running over to ask Hal what was up with his recent choice in running buddies. Listen, I could care less about any comic that has the name GEOFF Johns on the cover. In my god honest opinion he has completely destroyed everything the DCU has built up over the past two decades or so. As such, reading a comic he wrote tends to turn my stomach, which naturally leads to low scores. So if you liked this issue, kudos to you. If you're a fan of GEOFF, good for you. Me? I hate everything GEOFF writes. Everything. If I wanted to read about Hal Jordan and SAINT Barry Allen, I'd pick up a few DC Chronicles trades and read about them back when they were still exciting and new. Now, whenever I see Hal or SAINT Barry, all I can think about is how screwed over Kyle Rayner and Wally West are, and I lose all ability to write an impartial review. But see, that's the best thing about this being my blog, and not having to answer to anybody, I can write whatever I want! As such, I'm only going to give this comic a score of: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Moving on, we reach Green Arrow #5. This issue begins with Green Arrow rescuing that Mary woman from the assassin, Nix. While Ollie manages to rescue Mary, he isn't able to stop Nix from gutting an innocent civilian in order to make her getaway. Ollie takes the man to the enchanted Starwood forest and dunks him into its magical waters, but instead of the man getting healed, he turns into a Black Lantern thanks to that Black Lantern Firestorm from the Brightest Day comics. Not only that, but tons of Black Lanterns suddenly pop up in the enchanted forest(including Ollie's father somehow)and attack Ollie and his buddy Galahad. Ollie runs to the magic tree with the White Lantern symbol on it and uses the tree's power to defeat the Black Lanterns. With the Black Lanterns defeated(AGAIN!!!), Ollie decides to take the fight to the woman who stole Queen Industries out from under him. Meh. I'm tired of the whole White Lantern thing, I don't care about this idiotic enchanted forest(an enchanted forest? Really? What is this, a fairy tale?!), and I was tired of the Black Lanterns SIX months ago! Besides all that, how the hell did Ollie's father pop up in the enchanted forest?! Was he buried there or something? Weird... Whatever happened to Oliver Queen, street vigilante who would walk the streets of Star City(and Seattle before that)helping citizens in need? No, now we get Green Arrow and his adventures in the Magic Forest. Next. Score: 6 out of 10.

Finally, let's take a look at Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #4. Guy Gardner, Arisia, Kilowog and that Red Lantern head to Daxam to see if they can discover whether or not Sodam Yat was alive or not. After some digging, the group learns that Sodam WAS on Daxam, but that he took a bunch of Daxamites who were worshiping him off-world in order to get them away from the widespread hatred of all things extraterrestrial on Daxam. So where is Sodam? He and his followers have landed on a new world, where Sodam has decided to forsake the Green Lantern way in order to take the Guardians to task for the fact that they were making all sorts of rules, but never bothering to see how those rules were affecting other races. Meanwhile, Guy and company finally arrive in the Unknown Sectors and are attacked by a bunch of mind controlled rookie Green Lanterns at the behest of the ultra-powerful telepath who leads the planet of Kralok. You know, this issue wasn't all that bad. I'm not sure where the Sodam Yat stuff is headed, but I AM glad that he's back to life. I still like the odd couple team of Guy, Arisia, Kilowog and that Red Lantern, and the telepathic villain in the Unknown Sector sure looks like quite the formidable threat. Add Sodam and what looks to be an eventual attack by him on the Guardians, and this series' future looks pretty bright. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

"Girl of my wet dreams!"?!?!? REALLY?!?!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Comic Day! November 17th Edition.

Howdy all, it's Wednesday, which means it's time for another installment of New Comic Day! Yes, New Comic Day, the post where I tell all of you which comics I picked up today, as well as which ones I'm most, and least, looking forward to reading. As always, before taking care of this week, I first need to take a look back at last week's NCD post. Last week I promised 11 new reviews before this week's NCD post, and I managed a lofty 16 reviews, so yet again I managed to beat last week's prediction, so yay me!

Now, before I get to what books I picked up this week, there's some business I want to take care of first... Earlier this week I posted my first X-Files post. After thinking about it for a few days I decided I don't the X-Files name... Yep, that's me, quite fickle. So I'll either go with X's Xtras(as suggested by Kello), or I'll just go back to calling those posts the Best of the Rest. So if you see a Best of the Rest post again, you'll know why.

So that takes care of the housekeeping aspect of this post. Now let's get to the main event, today's new comics! I picked up, Thunderbolts #150, X-Men #5, Zatanna #7, X-23 #3, Osborn #1, Batman Incorporated #1, Batman: The Return #1, Avengers #7, Brightest Day #14, Supergirl #58 & Superman/Batman #78. This week's pick of the litter? Um... Hmm... I'm not really eager to read any of these books actually! I guess if my arm was twisted and I was forced to choose one book, I'd probably go with X-Men #5, since, against my better judgment, I'm actually enjoying the whole, “X-Men vs Vampires” storyline. As for the runt of the litter, well THAT'S easy! Brightest Day #14, hands down! I am NOT looking forward to cracking THAT comic open! To be honest with you, if I score Brightest Day #14 higher than a 4 I'll be absolutely shocked! 11 new comics means you can expect me to bust out 11 new reviews by the time next week's NCD post rolls around. That's about all I've got for tonight, thanks for reading, feel free to leave comments, and X out.

Superman #704

Overall: This comic is an interlude of sorts to the whole, “I'm Superman and I'm going to walk across America!” storyline. Instead of focusing on the Man of Steel, this issue takes a look at Superman's better half, Lois Lane. Like dozens of other reporters, Lois is following Supes as he makes his way across the country, with his latest stop bringing her back to the town she attended college in, Rushmark, Indiana. While taking a walk around town, Lois runs into one of her old boyfriends. The two reminisce, and the man invites Lois back to his home later on so she can meet his wife and children. After bumping into some college students who basically only knew her as the woman who always interviewed Superman, Lois decides to take the man up on his offer. So Lois heads to the man's house, meets the wife and kids and enjoys a nice home cooked meal. The main thing the dinner does though is show Lois all of the things she COULD have had, had she not fallen for Supes. So while the dinner wasn't perfect, it did get Lois wondering if she had taken the right path in life. While walking to her hotel pondering her situation, Lois is swept off the ground by Supes, who tells her he missed her. Still feeling kind of melancholy, Lois asks Supes if he really needed her in his life, and Supes reassures Lois that she is the one thing that keeps him the most connected to Earth. After getting the reassurance that she was looking for, Lois's mood brightens, and this issue comes to a close.

Now THIS was more like it! Instead of watching Superman wander around aimlessly, we took a great look into the mind of Lois Lane. Lois is one of the better supporting characters out there, so it was nice to see her get a chance to shine here. The whole, “Road not taken” story with Lois was marvelously done, and made so much sense. Lois had returned to her college town, met up with her old college flame, saw the life that could have been hers, got depressed and was cheered up by her super-husband. Great stuff! So kudos to G. Willow Wilson for giving me a much needed(and appreciated) break from JMS's thus far boring Superman run.

Score: 9 out of 10.Wow, Supes has all the best romantic moves...

Titans #28

Overall: This issue kicks off with with Ray “SILVER AGE” Palmer deciding to try to find out what happened to that other Atom, Ryan Choi. You know, the same Ryan Choi who had the misfortune of not being created back in the 1940's through the 1960's, and therefore was unnecessary in GEOFF Johns' DC Universe, and as such was killed off in a meaningless little one-shot. Hmm, let me hop back off of that soapbox... Anyway, Ray promises Ryan's girlfriend that he'd do what he could to find Ryan. Meanwhile, Deathstroke's Titans have been hired to break some girl out of Arkham Asylum for some reason. A corrupt guard lets the villains in(since Deathstroke promised the man money once he had what he came for), and Deathstroke tells Osiris to remain behind to cover the team's escape route. Once Deathstroke and company are walking through the halls of Arkham, Osiris decides to kill the guard since every death he creates supposedly brings his sister one step closer to returning to life. Unfortunately, killing the guard opens up the doors in the Asylum, and the Titans find themselves surrounded by some of Arkham's resident crazies. Realizing what he had done, Osiris rushes off to help his teammates and runs into Killer Croc, who he mistakes for his old enemy, Sobek(HA!). While Osiris is battering Croc, Deathstroke tells the Titans to hold the line, while he completes the mission. Deathstroke runs off and bumps into the Mad Hatter(who he seems to have some sort of secret alliance with)before he finds the girl he was looking for. Before he is able to collect the girl however, Batman drops through the window, telling Deathstroke that the only way he was taking the girl was if Deathstroke went through him. Needless to say, there's your cliffhanger ending.

I don't really know what to say about this comic. I should have hated it. Actually, I should have hated it passionately given it had the Mad Hatter and Arsenal acting like a hopped up junkie. But in all honesty, I kind of liked this issue. To be honest, the Arsenal thing just kind of ran right off my back when I read it. Sadly, I just don't care anymore. DC took a character who'd I'd have easily placed in my top 10 favorites list up until 6 month ago and totally destroyed him. As much as it pains me to say it, I wish Roy would just die, because his character is THAT ruined. So when I read this comic I pretty much just ignore the Arsenal stuff. So ignoring that(and ignoring the Mad Hatter, since I hate that damn midget), this story wasn't that bad. All of the Titans had little moments of character development, and the cliffhanger leaves me intrigued to see what'll happen next. So yeah, no major complaints here.

Score: 7 out of 10.Roy Harper is a worthless, loser junkie. WE GET IT ALREADY, DC!!!

Booster Gold #38

Overall: This issue begins with Booster simply stealing the Almost Book of Destiny and giving it back to the Blue Beetle of the past, thus ending a storyline that has lasted several issues in a SINGLE page... Hmmm... From there, Booster returns to Rip Hunter's headquarters and discovers that Rani(the little girl Booster took in for some reason)had stolen a Time Sphere and headed to WWII ravaged Italy. Upon hearing this, Booster follows her to 1943 and begins to track her down. While there however, he runs into General Glory, who seems to be a brain-addled version of Captain America. Booster keeps trying to ditch Glory, and eventually succeeds when Glory charges headlong into a den of Nazis. After locking onto Rani's location, Booster jumps forward 48 hours, walks over to her jail cell, goes back in time 48 hours and breaks her out. We learn that Rani had headed into the past to find Maxwell Lord's mother in order to tell her that her not-yet-born son was a bad boy... Yeah... Booster takes Rani back to Rip's lab and after some more really unfunny misadventures involving Booster, Glory, a crazy Nazi scientist and Rani's lost Time Sphere, this issue mercifully ends.

In a word, I hated this issue. The story was boring, General Glory was just insulting to read about, Rani's motivations for going into the past sucked, and the very fact that Rip was careless enough to allow a little girl to steal one of his Time Sphere's was just mind-boggling! Add to all of that the fact that in ONE page Booster was able to finish off several issues worth of storyline with the Book of Destiny and the Blue Beetle, and this was definitely an issue to forget. Even more than that though is the fact that so far the Giffen/DeMatteis run on this series has been abysmal. Maybe these guys could tell a good, funny story like 25 years ago, but whatever they might have had going for them back in the day seems to be LONG gone now. I'm going to give this series ONE more issue. If it doesn't drastically pick up, then I'll be cutting out until some new writer(s) take over.

Score: 4 out of 10.Does anybody really think General Glory is a good idea?

Monday, November 15, 2010

X-Files Week #1

Hey X-Maniacs, welcome to the first installment of the X-Files! What is the X-Files? Well, it's basically just me reviewing a bunch of comics in the same post with some random commentary tossed in for good measure, ending with a random comic scan. In other words, it's pretty much the exact same as my Best of the Rest post, but with a snazzier name. Ideally I'll try to get one of these X-Files posts up once a week, say every Sunday, but we all know this isn't an ideal world, so I'll play it by ear. If I have time(and find myself bored enough!)I'll do one of these posts. If not, well then obviously I won't! So that's the long and the short of it. Without further ado, let's get started.

Something smells fishy...
So as I mentioned last week, I finished reading the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern years(or as GEOFF Johns calls them, “The Years That Don't Matter”). That means I can finally begin reading one of the MANY other piles of comic book back issues I have lying around my bedroom. After some thought, I'm going to start reading the Aquaman series from the 1990's. I don't know much about this run other than the fact that Aquaman's hand falls off and Peter David is the writer early on. That second fact is pretty much the reason I brought that series, as I am(and always have been)an unabashed fan of PAD. As I make my trek through those Aquaman books, I'll try to mention on the blog how the series is progressing and what I like/dislike about it.

JMS, we hardly knew ye...
Earlier this week, my good friend(and known super-genius)JT informed me that J. Michael Straczynski was leaving the Wonder Woman and Superman books after only 4 months or so of being the regular writer. It seems the Superman: Earth One(written by JMS)sales were so impressive, DC wants to try to capitalize on things, and as such have shunted JMS away from the monthly books in favor of him creating the second volume of Supes: Earth One. In other words, JMS isn't able to write Supes: Earth One #2, Superman and Wonder Woman at the same time, so he's going to take the job that'll net DC(and himself)the most money/acclaim. To that I say; fair enough. I picked up the Superman: Earth One hardcover and I'll admit, I did like it. I didn't love it, but for the most part, it was a good read. It took the Superman mythos and gave them a bit of a twist. I personally didn't care for the twist, but to each his own. While I liked JMS's Superman: Earth One, I haven't liked his take on the main Superman book. Superman fighting crazed world conquering aliens? Good. Supes matching wits with the diabolical Lex Luthor? Very good. Superman aimlessly wandering across the United States? Um, not so good. I guess JMS has some kind of end plan for the whole, “I'm Superman and I'm going to walk across the country for some reason!” story, but I just found the whole thing to be boring and uninteresting. JMS's WW run left me with more conflicted feelings though. On one hand, I hate the fact that he felt the need to reboot Diana. I mean it's Wonder Woman for crying out loud! One of DC's vanguards. You don't need to reboot her in such a drastic fashion. Once you get over the initial shock of the WW reboot though, there's a pretty interesting story going on in the WW series. So JMS off of Superman is a plus in my eyes, while him leaving WW is more of a mixed package. With JMS leaving these titles, some other writers will finish his stories using his notes/plots, which unfortunately means we'll probably have a good 8 more issues of Superman walking across America, but at least when JMS's Superman plot is done, another writer can move in and give us what we want in a Superman comic... Superman acting Super!

Whew, okay, that takes care of the news portion of this post, let's get to the reviews! Well speak of the devil! I'm going to start things of with JMS's Wonder Woman #604! This issue gives us the confrontation between Wonder Woman and the guy who killed her mother and stole the magic lasso... um, Evil Army Guy? I don't think he was ever called anything other than colonel, so I'll stick with Evil Army Guy, or EAG for short. EAG gives his origin story, since that's what bad guys do when you first meet them, explaining that he was an evil army guy, his evil antics caught up to him, he was nearly killed, but was saved by a goddess, who told him to kill all of the Amazons. So with that pesky origin out of the way, EAG and WW fight. And fight. And fight some more. Eventually they both fall into some magic flames, where Wonder Woman's dead mother was apparently hanging out... Well that's kind of weird. WW's dead mother tells WW to leave EAG to her, and she proceeds to kill EAG as revenge for EAG killing her a few issues back. WW's dead mother knocks WW out of the flames and WW passes out for a while. When she wakes up, all that remains is the magic lasso, which she takes, as she decides to hunt for whatever was behind EAG and his slaughtering of the Amazons. Well, I was enjoying this issue right up until WW's dead mother showed up. EAG's origin was okay, and added some further intrigue into why the Amazons were being hunted, and the battle between WW and EAG was nicely done. But WW's dead mother suddenly popping out of those magic flames? Nope, that didn't work for me! She was dead... Why was she in those flames? And a better question, how did she, a dead woman, manage to kill EAG?! Weird... Score: 6 out of 10.

Next we go to the Marvel Universe and check out Captain America: Forever Allies #4, which is the final issue of this mini-series. Basically, Bucky Cap has been chasing down one of his old enemies from WWII, Lady Locus. Locus(who has demonstrated telepathic and telekinetic skills)has been traveling the Earth in search of a gem that would amplify her telepathic abilities to the nth degree, allowing her to take over the Earth, or steal candy from babies or kick puppies, or some similar nefarious plot device. Locus manages to track the gem down to a temple in the Andes, but is followed by Bucky. Locus spots Bucky arriving and enslaves him mentally, forcing Bucky to traverse through the temple, defeating its traps and collecting the gem for her... Or so she thinks. It turns out that after his Winter Soldier days, Bucky went to SHIELD and had them rig his mind so that it could no longer be controlled by outside sources. Bucky smashes the gem before Locus can get her hands on it, fits her with a psi-damper and turns her over to Black Widow and the Falcon, who were en route in case Bucky actually did fall under Locus's mental domination. With Locus caught, Bucky can put that piece of WWII behind him, ending this mini-series. This issue was good, but not great. I found myself enjoying the flashback portions of this comic, back when Bucky was the leader of the Young Allies during WWII a bit more than the main story. Lady Locus was a good threat, but once Black Widow began trying to explain the history of the power gem Locus was after(it had something to do with the Deviants and Eternals), I was taken out of the story. I've just never had any interest in the Deviants/Eternals, and bringing them into this story just sapped me of my interest. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Sticking with Marvel, here's Namor: The First Mutant #3. Namor has had enough of those infernal aqua-vampires and meets up with an Atlantian sorcerer, who gives Namor a spell that would kill off most of the aqua-vamps. Unfortunately for Namor he has to preform the spell in the middle of the aqua-vamps hidden city. Oh yeah, plus the spell only works if an Atlantian king drains all of their blood upon the conclusion of the spell, meaning that in order to rid the aqua-vamp menace from his people, Namor has to sacrifice his own life. Namor is fine with the whole noble sacrifice thing, and takes some Atlantian soldiers and invades the aqua-vampire city. While his soldiers engage the aqua-vamps, Namor and a young soldier head beneath the aqua-vamp's city to begin the ritual. As the ritual nears its end, Namor informs the soldier that she'll have to complete the spell, since Namor has to kill himself to finish the ritual. The soldier doesn't want to do it, but Namor tries to tell her that his life would be worth ending the menace of the aqua-vamps. Before the soldier can complete the spell, Namor's grandfather, who happens to be a very big, very angry aqua-vampire strolls over for what I'm guessing won't be a very pleasant family reunion. I found the first half of this comic to be kind of boring. It was basically Namor getting his forces together while speaking cryptically with the royal sorcerer. Once Namor's forces arrived at the hidden aqua-vamp city though, things definitely picked up, with the cliffhanger leaving me very interested in getting my hands on the next issue. Score: 7 out of 10.

Next up is I Am An Avenger #3(of 5). Yes, there is a mini-series called I Am An Avenger. Anyway, this mini contains two mini-stories as well as a two page Stingray and a one page Hulk tale. I'm going to skip those last two stories, so to the 2 Stingray fans out there, I apologize in advance. The first story deals with Nova helping Spider-Man deal with some aliens who had broken into a New York City bank to steal an alien artifact that some billionaire collector had mistaken for an ancient vase. This story was written by the team of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, and had Spidey and Nova in it, so it should go without saying that I really enjoyed it. The other story dealt with Justice and Firestar fighting their younger selves, who were sent into the present by Loki for some reason or another. The younger Justice and Firestar figure that the current Justice and Firestar were evil dopplegangers created by Loki, but by the end of this story, the Justices and Firestars have figured out what Loki had done and have resolved to deal with Loki together. I actually liked this comic more than I thought I would have. I'm a sucker for Nova, and I've always loved his dynamic with Spidey, and the Firestar/Justice story is also beginning to grow on me. The one page Hulk story was kind of funny, while the Stingray story didn't do a thing for me, mainly because Stingray was in it... But all in all, this was some pretty good stuff. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

One more comic before I end this post. We'll finish things up with a look at Avengers: Prime #4(of 5). Things start off with Hela attacking the Enchantress, since the Enchantress betrayed Hela last issue and assisted Thor. Hela handily defeats Enchantress and heads over to Thor's hammer, which was left behind when Enchantress teleported Thor to safety. Hela tries to lift the hammer thinking that Thor might have been dead, but is angered to learn that she couldn't pick up Mjolnir. To rectify this, Hela summons Thor's grandfather and tells him that Thor was dead, and that if he lifts the hammer for her, she'd return him to life. Thor's grandfather tries to lift the hammer, but can't, which leads him to believe that Thor was still alive and that Hela was lying to him. Thor's grandfather goes to attack Hela, but she banishes him back to the underworld. Meanwhile, Thor, Iron Man and Steve Rogers are trying to figure out where they are. At first Thor feels that they have all died and were in the afterlife, but later on he begins to believe that the fall of Asgard during Siege has screwed up the nine realms, and that is what was going on. Regardless of what was going on, Thor begins to rally several different creatures to his side, since he knows that all roads lead to Hela, and that last time they battled, she defeated him with ease. Back with Hela, she is attacked once more by the Enchantress, but Hela puts her down again, this time with the mystical Twilight Sword. Meh. My Norse mythology/knowledge of Thor is kind of rusty, so I'm not really sure what the importance of Hela holding the Twilight Sword is. This issue was okay, although I did find myself enjoying it a bit less than I enjoyed the first few issues. The story kind of dragged here, with the heroes not really doing much, and some of the dialogue irked me, especially Tony Stark, who couldn't seem to stop talking... Overall though, this wasn't that bad of a comic, but it was definitely a step down from the great last issue. Score: 6 out of 10.

Until next week, here's Arsenal, back when he still had a daughter, had kicked his drug habit and two arms!