Monday, February 28, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/28/11

I am LITERALLY out of witty banter to start this post... So let's just get to the reviews then, no?

Iron Man 2.0 #1:

Summary: We get started with a seemingly innocent scene from six months ago where a woman is being rushed into the emergency room. Why did I bother mentioning this? You'll see later on. In the present, Blizzard is surprisingly getting the upper-hand on Iron Man. Before IM is frozen solid, War Machine comes over and rescues his long-time friend. The two armor-clad Avengers team up and Blizzard is taken down in a matter of moments. After the battle, Iron Man reveals that they weren't actually fighting Blizzard, but a Blizzard robot that was malfunctioning. The two shoot the breeze for a bit before War Machine heads to his new job, serving as the Iron Man for the US government. Rhodey(that would be War Machine's nickname FYI) meets with his commanding officer, General Babbage(he's been pestering Iron Man in the main IM book recently), who basically tells Rhodey that a) he hates Iron Man, and b) he wants to make Rhodey's life miserable. Babbage sends Rhodey to meet with some intelligence officers to hear about his first mission. The intelligence officers tell Rhodey that a genius named Palmer Addley had been working for the Department of Defense, cranking out ideas, weapons, etc. Eventually Palmer takes his life, and while disappointed by the loss, the DOD moves on. Two months after his death, anything Palmer had invented or upgraded for the US government shuts down and won't work anymore. On top of that, several of Palmer's top secret inventions begin showing up in the hands of terrorists. Having heard the story, and really having ZERO leads, Rhodey begins to look through the personal effects of Palmer and looks at his driver's license where we see that Palmer had checked the “organ donor” box. This issue ends with the woman from the beginning of this comic, now healthy, heading out to her garage to continue constructing a giant robot.

Thoughts: All right! I was expecting nothing from this comic going in. I mean literally nothing. I basically only picked it up on a whim and boy am I happy I did! Nick Spencer told what was pretty much the perfect opening story here. The mystery of how Palmer Addley is able to torment the government from beyond the grave had my attention throughout, the jocular dialogue between Rhodey and Tony was PERFECT, as was the more tense dialogue between Rhodey and Babbage. I mean really, there was very little for me to complain about here. I guess I could bitch about the title of this series being Iron Man 2.0 and not War Machine, but that's understandable since I'm sure Marvel figured they'd get more sales out of the Iron Man name. The ONLY thing that kept this issue from being perfect was the way Palmer offed himself... He shot himself in the head, which doesn't make sense after learning that the government had basically locked him in a room with no contact to the outside world. If he had no way out and no contact with anybody, how did he get his hands on a gun? I guess he could have created it one, but still, that bugged me a bit. Besides that one minor gripe though, everything else here was gold.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Iron Man and War Machine's dialogue throughout this issue was fantastic.

Namor #6:

Summary: We start this one off with Namor fantasizing about the Invisible Woman and Emma Frost. I guess he's really into blonds. After that little dream sequence we learn that Namor is still trapped in Hell. Dr. Doom, an Atlantian warrior with a crush on Namor and Loa decide to go to Hell to rescue Namor... A weirder group of characters you will NEVER find! After some wandering, the trio find Namor, who is being tormented by demons he believed to be thirsty Atlantians. Namor only wants to sit around in self-pity, so Doom knocks him around a bit, bringing the fiery Namor back to the surface. Somewhere along the line the Atlantian warrior ends up getting possessed by a group of dead Atlantian kings, which provokes Namor to want to leave Hell to save the possessed woman.

Thoughts: Ugh... This was a whole lot of bad. This is actually one of the VERY rare comic books where I enjoyed the art WAY more than the story and dialogue. I mean Dr. Doom's dialogue here was simply atrocious. There's no other way to put it. Doom used “I” when speaking of himself as opposed to speaking in the third person as he frequently does, he kept laughing at things and he just seemed way out of character. I mean to me Doom is one of the big three villains in ALL of comics, so when he's written improperly it's pretty jarring. Besides the misadventures of Doom, the story itself just isn't interesting me in the least. The whole, “Character In Hell!” story has just been done in Wolverine, and not only that, it was done a lot better in the Wolverine series. I hate to say it, but if things don't improve in this series I can see I'll be dropping it pretty soon. That is if it doesn't get canceled first.

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.On the other hand, Doom's dialogue was painful...

X-23 #6:

Summary: This issue begins with Mr. Sinister(!!!) blasting Gambit into unconsciousness before tearing X-23's throat out. Before Sinister can do anything else though, he transforms back into Miss Sinister(BOOOOO!!!!!!!), who immediately has X-23 brought into a secret room. X-23 wakes up strapped to a chair and Miss Sinister explains that Mr. Sinister was slowly taking control of her body, and as such she needed to move out of her body. Miss Sinister figures that X-23 was the perfect vessel for her, what with her healing factor and all, and as such has hooked X-23 up to a machine that would allow Miss Sinister to move her mind into X-23's body. The process begins and it seems to be going well for Miss Sinister... Until Mr. Sinister himself jumps out of Miss Sinister's mind and takes possession of X-23's body himself! Needless to say, Miss Sinister is infuriated at this turn of events and tries to bash X-23/Sinister's head in with a lead pipe. The shot to the head allows X-23 the opportunity to regain control of her mind momentarily and she manages to throw Sinister out of her head, which destroys the mind transferring machine. At that moment. Gambit(remember him?) sets off the self-destruct sequence in the laboratory and heads to the room holding X-23 and Miss Sinister. One of the cloned girls from last issue, Alice, frees X-23 from her bonds, which leads to Miss Sinister bashing Alice's head in with the pipe... Man, she sure likes swinging that pipe at people! X-23 confronts Miss Sinister and guts her for her actions, but is stopped by Gambit before she can kill the villain. Gambit tells X-23 that Alice wasn't dead yet, and that their first objective should be to save Alice, not take vengeance on Miss Sinister. Miss Sinister renders the point moot by escaping, much to the chagrin of X-23, who helps Gambit take Alice to a nearby hospital. This issue ends with us seeing that one of the other Alice clones had survived the explosion at the lab, was apparently possessed by Mr. Sinister and was looking after the unconscious Miss Sinister.

Thoughts: Well this issue started off on a huge high for me with the return/rebirth of Mr. Sinister, one of my favorite X-baddies. Unfortunately that jubilation was short lived since Sinister was gone soon thereafter. I can't say I liked the whole idea that Mr. Sinister's mind is running around trying to possess everybody, but at least that gives me some hope that Sinister will return someday, which the end of this issue hinted at. Besides the Mr. Sinister stuff, the story itself was solid, with X-23 managing to rid herself of Sinister's influence, wanting to kill Miss Sinister but being halted by Gambit's arrival, all while saving the clone girl. This comic was probably better then the score I'm giving it, but the loss of Sinister so early on definitely hurt my enjoyment of the story the rest of the way.

Score: 8 out of 10.If only Sinister would have stuck around...

Teen Titans #92:

Summary: Red Robin and Robin don't like each other. That gets established early on here as the two Robins, and the rest of the Teen Titans, manage to defeat the army of exploding Calculator robots in Istanbul. The Titans head into the nightclub Calculator was based out of and discover his hidden lab under the dance floor. The Titans move to apprehend Calculator but he sends MORE robots after them. While the Titans are dealing with the robots, Calculator reveals to Wonder Girl that he blamed her for the death of his son Marvin, and that he had tortured and killed Kid Eternity in retribution. Robin manages to hit the computer Calculator was using to control the robots with a batarang, shutting them down and ending their threat. Wonder Girl makes a beeline for Calculator, but is stopped before she did anything she'd regret by Red Robin. Wonder Girl tosses Calculator away from her, at which point Robin impales him(!!). It seems that the Calculator the Titans were battling was actually a robot, which surprises the Calculator robot itself since it legitimately believed itself to be the real Calculator. Wonder Girl destroys the Calculator robot as revenge for Eternity's death and all of the Teen Titans fawn over Red Robin, pissing Robin off in the process. A bit later the Teen Titans drop Robin and Red Robin off in Gotham City, where Robin tells Red Robin he was through with the Titans, since it was obvious they didn't want him on the team, they wanted Red Robin. Red Robin makes a lame attempt at telling Robin that wasn't true, but Robin sees through it and ditches Red Robin, heading back to Batman's side.

Thoughts: So wait, if Robin is out, does that mean Red Robin is back on the team again? As much as I like Tim Drake, I actually prefer Damian as the Teen Titans Robin, since he could use the extra exposure, especially away from the other members of the Bat-family. It seemed like Damian and Ravager had something brewing, but I guess that'll have to move to the back burner for now. With all that said though I'd be fine if Tim did return to the team, even if only on a part-time basis. I mean hell, Superboy has his own series and is a full-time Teen Titan, there's no reason Tim can't do the same. So that's my thoughts on the Robin situation. This comic actually didn't impress me as much as I was hoping it would. The story seemed very paint-by-numbers and rushed, and I was a bit bummed that Nicola Scott wasn't doing the art here. Scott is one of the FEW comic book artists whose work I always enjoy, and I can't help but feel Scott doing the pencils would have boosted this comic a bit for me. I mean it's not like the art was awful or anything, I just would have preferred Scott's work. The other thing that bugged me was some of the things Damian said, especially to Batman at the end of this issue... I get that Bruce is kinder and gentler since his return from the timestream, but what the hell is Damian's excuse?! Seeing him call Batman(Dick Grayson) his friend was a bit disconcerting...

Score: 7 out of 10.JT Krul MUST have been having fun with Red Robin and Superboy's dialogue here... That had to be it...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brightest Day #20 and Green Lantern #62.

Well, I've put it off for over a week now. I think it's high time I finally got this over with. Yes X-Maniacs, it's time for... *shudder* my Brightest Day review... As most of you know, I hate everything about Brightest Day. Everything! But although I hate Brightest Day, I do enjoy doing reviews for it... It's always fun to tear something you can't stand to pieces and my Brightest Day reviews have become cathartic to me. Go figure. Besides the Brightest Day review, I'm also going to review the most recent issue of Green Lantern, or as it's better known as; Chairman Johns' love letter to... well himself. Since I now passionately hate everything written by our beloved Chairman, I'll be scoring BOTH of these comics using Brightest Day Rules. For the uninitiated, When I score something using Brightest Day Rules I figure whatever I'll be reading will be the WORST thing I have EVER read, and as such start the comic out at a 0. If things I enjoy happen(say Saint Barry Allen getting beheaded), I add points to the score. If bad/dumb/nonsensical things happen(like Aquaman crying over his lopped off hand), I deduct points. Makes sense to me! One more thing, if you're a DC fanboy, a fan of Chairman Johns or Geoff Johns himself, you should stop reading now. Seriously, you won't like this review! Then again, if you ARE Chairman Johns keep reading... Okay, enough with the intro, let's commence the mental torture!!!

Brightest Day #20(of ∞):

Summary: It's an all-Aquaman BONANZA!!! Aqualad prevents Black Manta from killing Sad Aquaman, so Manta decides to kill Aqualad for his transgression. Unfortunately for Manta(but fortunately for DC's animation department), Mera and Aquagirl... um, 3? 4? 8? Oh I don't know... Let's just say the current Aquagirl arrive on the scene to deal with Manta and his EVIL Atlantian allies. Aqualad cauterizes Sad Aquaman's boo-boo and Sad Aquaman takes the battle to the EVIL Atlantians. Mera realizes that since there were only 4 good guys and 100 bad guys they PROBABLY wouldn't be able to win the battle(now that's good, logical thinking!), so she creates a giant wave to drag the EVIL Atlantians back into the ocean. The Aqua-family follows suit and somehow Aqualad opens a portal back to the Bermuda Triangle and sends the EVIL Atlantians, as well as that cad Black Manta back to their prison. The Aquas are happy at this sudden, and completely out of the blue turn of events and celebrate. Or at least they do until Aliveman shows up and That Damned White Ring kills Sad Aquaman. Kills him good!

Thoughts: Okay, what do we have here... First off, +3 for DC actually dedicating the ENTIRE issue to one story! I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather read one linear story as opposed to 31 different stories in the same comic. +2 for Manta trying to kill Aqualad, because that's what a good arch-enemy SHOULD do! -1 for the all too obvious eventual Aqualad/Aquagirl relationship... If you wanted a Aqualad/Aquagirl relationship, DC, then you shouldn't have killed off the Garth and Tula!!! -1 for Black Manta claiming he “gutted” Aquababy... That's not even CLOSE to the truth! -2 for Sad Aquaman crying AGAIN! What the hell is up with him?!? +3 for Sad Aquaman sending a horde of dead sea life after the EVIL Atlantians, because let's face it, NOBODY wants to be eaten by a dead shark. +1 for Sad Aquaman kissing Mera, because that's another pic for my other blog! And -1 for Sad Aquaman not getting a chance to cry at the end of when That Damned White Ring killed him... I mean crying is his gimmick now! How does he die and not get to unleash a torrent of waterworks?! So after some addition and subtraction we get a final score of...

Score: 4 out of 10. Hey, that's a HUGE improvement over last issue's -356! Good job!Look! He's crying again!!!

Green Lantern #62: It's written by our Lord and Savior, Chairman Johns, so it MUST be good!!!

Summary: Krona attacks Hal Jordan The Great or as he's better known as, “He Who Has Never Done Anything Wrong Because He Was Possessed, Dammit!!!” to start this train wreck out. During Hal The Great and Krona's battle we get some snippets of who Krona is and what his major malfunction is. Eventually Krona gets the better of Hal The Great, but not before Hal The Great gets a good shot in on Krona because he's, you know, Great. The other members of the Lite-Brite Brigade(ROLL CALL!!! Saint Walker! Larfleeze! Indigo-1! Atrocitus!) attack Krona but get their asses handed to them, which makes sense since Krona controls the entities that power the members of the Lite-Brite Brigade... Gee, maybe they should have realized that... Anyway, Krona manages to steal the Rage entity away from Atrocitus, which gives him the full collection of Lite-Brite entities. Krona blasts the Lite-Briters into unconsciousness and leaves, at which time we get a glimpse into the future(um, why?) where it appears one of the Green Lanterns of the Earth sector dies... Grr... Anyway, Hal wakes up, blows off Saint Barry, Batman and Superman and decides to leave Earth with his Lite-Brite Brigade buddies to hunt down Krona and... um, let's say give Krona a severe scolding when they find him.

Thoughts: God help me I HATE this series! I mean hate it with every fiber of my being! If I were to run out of toilet paper THIS would be the first thing I bring into the bathroom with me! Thankfully I only have one or two more issues of this garbage left on my subscription before I can turn my back on this series forever. Forever!!! Well, let's get the scoring done so I can burn this comic book... Right off the bat a -1 because Hal Jordan was in this comic. Continuing along those lines we'll give a -25 because of Saint Barry was here. I will give a +5 for Hal telling Saint Barry not to run because it was so funny... I mean Hal, I don't know if you realize this, but running(and screwing over Wally West) is all Saint Barry can do! -2 for Hal actually injuring Krona because it made NO SENSE! How the hell can you harm a Guardian of the Universe with a GL ring?! Not only that, but how can you harm Krona with willpower when he controls the Ion entity?!? Dumb. -5 for Larfleeze appearing, but a +2 for Hector Hammond tearing into the minds of Hal and the Lite-Brite Brigade, just because it caused Hal pain. +10 for Krona knocking all of the useless members of the Lite-Brite Brigade out. -10 for Larfleeze talking, but +20 for Batman calling Hal out for being an asshole. And finally, -50 for Hal stating the he was possessed by Parallax... No Chairman Johns, Hal WASN'T possessed by Parallax. He went insane and became a villain NAMED Parallax. Retcon it all you want, I'll NEVER accept it. Jesus, what an ass Geoff Johns must be to crap all over the work of other writers just to push his(and Dan Didio's) personal favorite characters at the expense of everything that had been done. I hope like HELL that 20 years from now some writer just retcons EVERYTHING Johns has done these past 10 years because that would be SO fitting. Let's get the math work done so I can end this post and read a comic that is actually good...

Score: -56 out of 10. The second lowest score I've ever given a comic book. And you know what? It sure as hell deserved it.I had to pick some page from this comic, I might as well pick this one.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/26/11

Howdy, it's a tired and snow-weary X again(who else would it be?), ready to bring the awesome with a new Quick Hits review. As I type this up I just came in from shoveling snow all day(I typed this up on Friday and proofed it today), so if it makes less sense than usual, blame my worn out body and mind. Okay, with the excuses out of the way, let it be known that 3 Marvels and 1 DC make up this post, so without any further adieu, let's get to it!

X-Men #8:

Summary: Picking up from last issue, Spidey convinces the WORST ASSORTMENT OF X-MEN EVER to stop hunting the giant lizards in the NYC sewer system since Spidey believed they had been unwittingly turned into lizard-like creatures by the insane Lizard... Hmm, you know, calling Emma Frost, Wolvie, Storm and Gambit the WORST grouping of X-Men ever probably isn't very fair of me... I'd say the worst possible grouping of X-Men would look something like this: Emma Frost, Shadowcat, Maggot, and Colossus. Anyway the X-Men and Spidey head to a hotel room and share notes, learning that the lizard creatures had been kidnapping a bunch of nerdy teenagers. They manage to discover that all of the kids who had been abducted by the lizard creatures visited the same website(X-Man Comic Blog)and that soon thereafter were abducted. Now with a lead, the heroes begin to dig deeper into this mystery website. We end this issue learning that it wasn't Lizard himself who was transforming the children, but somebody who had captured Lizard and was using the children as experiments.

Thoughts: Okay. The only way this story can possibly be saved at this point is if the mystery villain is Dark Beast. I half suspect that it is him from the tiny glimpse of the villain we saw, but not really enough to say with any degree of definitiveness. Unfortunately, the story itself is doing absolutely nothing for me. With the exception of Wolvie(and I guess Storm), I could care less about the X-characters in this issue, Spidey really hasn't lent much to the story, and the kids who were captured, especially the one we met this issue REALLY didn't come across as very sympathetic. Hell, I was GLAD when the kid in this issue was abducted! By this point in this series I'm really hoping Victor Gishler revisits the vampire stuff again... SOON!

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Please be Dark Beast... Please be Dark Beast... Please be Dark Beast...

Detective Comics #874:

Summary: We kick things off with Commissioner Gordon meeting up with his son(I honestly didn't know he had a son!) at a coffee shop. James Jr. talks with Gordon for a while, apologizing for his past misbehavior and swearing that while he did a lot of bad things, he never killed anybody, as Babs and Dick had always suspected. James Jr. reveals that he had been diagnosed as a psychopath, and was taking experimental medicine to help him. Gordon doesn't know what to think and James Jr. leaves, telling his father that hopefully Gordon could find it in his heart to forgive him. From there we head to Batman(Dick Grayson) and Red Robin staking out a ship. It seems that the guys on the ship had stolen a rare bird from an aviary in Gotham(an aviary that James Jr. had coincidentally visited recently as well...), and the two former Robins climb board and attack. Unfortunately for Dick, he is still reeling from the drugging he suffered at the hands of the Dealer and is WAY off his game, getting knocked into the drink and swearing that a giant whale was in there with him wanting to eat him. Red Robin manages to take care of all the goons and pulls Dick out of the water, asking what happened. Dick almost admits that he was seeing things, but ultimately withholds that information. From there the two heroes had into the ship's underbelly and find dozens of stolen exotic animals, while this issue ends with Gordon staring at a bunch of unsolved case files involving murdered children.

Thoughts: I actually loved this comic. Oddly enough though, it's hard to verbalize why... I mean there was nothing special about this comic, but it really satisfied me while I was reading it. The scene with Gordon and his son was really well done, with James Jr. coming across as both remorseful and creepy at the same time, a REAL hard thing to pull off. Besides that we had Dick pushing himself too hard and almost paying the price for it. It was great to see Red Robin in this issue, and I was happy to see Tim save Dick, as opposed to the other way around(how things usually go). So far I may have to say that Scott Snyder's run on Detective is the best of the five main Bat-books right now(Batman Inc, Dark Knight, Batman and Robin and Batman).

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Dick Grayson and Tim Drake teaming up? Yes please.

Deadpool #33:

Summary: Our favorite red clad mercenary finds himself stuck out in space after his space car ran out of gas. Pool sends out a distress call and is picked up by a tow truck. The tow truck owner was expecting to find the space car's former owner inside, Macho Gomez, but Pool smugly gloats about having killed Macho last issue. Macho's wife comes after Pool, and the two wind up falling in love and getting married... Huh. Since Macho's wife was a part owner of the tow truck/repo company, Pool is given a job, and goes about botching everything he's asked to do. Finally the company's owner and the tow truck driver(who held a flame for Pool's new wife) decide to send Pool on a suicide mission, telling him he had to go out, hunt down and kill the inane living moon, Id. The idea of killing a planet(Pool refuses to call it a moon) excites Pool and he prepares to embark, not realizing he had no chance of succeeding.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this one. It wasn't spectacular, and the story was kind of dumb, but dumb works REALLY well in a DP comic, so in this case, dumb is good! From Pool marrying Macho's wife, to the company's owner plotting against him, to Pool's excitement over what was an obvious suicide mission, this comic was a fun read, and that's all I really ask for from a Deadpool comic.

Score: 8 out of 10.Disturbing...

Invincible Iron Man #501:

Summary: We begin with a flashback of a younger Tony Stark meeting Dr. Otto Octavius(the future Dr. Octopus) at a science expo. Tony is a self-absorbed little twerp, while Otto is always trying to gain the attention and respect of anybody who could help him continue his research. Needless to say they didn't get along, and as a matter of fact, a drunken Tony ends up taking a run at Otto... HA! In the present, we get a glimpse into Tony's day, as he meets with one of his workers about the designs for the New Asgard, does a TV interview about his new company and repulsor powered car, and attends a fashion show, mainly to ogle the models. At the end of the day, Tony is relaxing in his hotel room, watching his interview from earlier when a missile crashes into his room, destroying it. Luckily for Tony, he saw what was happening and had grown his Iron Man suit on and confronted the machine that fired the missile. Stark is surprised(and annoyed) to see Dr. Octopus's face on the video screen of the machine. Tony threatens Octopus until Octopus reveals that he had gotten his hands on a thermonuclear bomb, and was planning on setting it off in Manhattan unless Tony met with him on Octopus's space station. Not wanting to push the maniac's buttons, Tony flies to the station and meets Octopus face to face. Octopus explains that he was dying from a combination of brain and nerve damage. Knowing that Stark once managed to revive himself from a vegetative state, Octopus basically wants Tony to fix him, or admit that the great Tony Stark couldn't fix Octopus's problems. Tony is struck silent for a moment before telling Octopus that he couldn't fix him. Octopus wants Tony to try, since if Tony succeeds, Octopus has a new lease on life, while Tony failing would prove to Octopus, and the egotistical Tony that he wasn't as great as he always made himself out to be. Tony still doesn't want to help, so Octopus explains that besides the bomb he hid in New York, he had also kidnapped one of the scientists at Tony's company, and that Sandman and Electro were under orders to kill the scientist if they didn't hear from Octopus every five minutes. Octopus gloats a bit about how Tony was doomed to fail, since there was no conceivable way to help Octopus, while Tony calls Octopus pathetic, and the type of villain who was so insignificant that he never even bothered to worry about him. In the end, Tony looks at several brain scans of Octopus and decides that he'll at least attempt to save Octopus's life.

Thoughts: Trust me, this comic was way better then this review might have made it seem. This was my last review of the day, and as I stated in the open, I'm not exactly firing on all cylinders. With that said, I LOVED this comic! It was basically just two characters talking in the past and present, but Matt Fraction did it so well I was engrossed by each page. From Octopus wanting to see Tony fail at saving him, just to see the arrogant Tony humbled, to Tony's awesome digs about how little he thought of Octopus the scientist as well as Octopus the villain, this comic was a blast to read. Fraction has a few different ways he can go with this story too, which makes the rest of the storyline intriguing. Tony can succeed in spite of all of Octopus's taunts, thus saving the life of a notorious villain, or he can fail, something he doesn't do too well with. It's a comic like this that makes me glad I started reading Iron Man again.

Score: 9 out of 10.Tony Stark coming out and saying that he wasn't sorry Dr. Octopus was dying was awesome!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/25/11

Hello from a very snowy upstate New York, X-Maniacs! My school closed down for the day so I figured I might as well get this Quick Hits post taken care of before heading out to do some more shoveling. This time I've shaken things up a bit and tossed two DC and two Marvel books together, as opposed to a fully Marvel or fully DC post. Before I even read these four books I was expecting the two Marvel books to be WAY better than the DC ones, mainly because I've been enjoying the Marvel comics I've been reading way more than the DC ones lately. But believe it or not, it was one of the DC books that pulled down the high score for the post! Could this be the beginning of a DC resurgence?! No, I seriously doubt it, but I can wish, can't I?

Booster Gold #41:

Summary: We get started with Booster and Michelle arguing with Rip Hunter about Rip's decision to send Booster back to the 25th century to stand trial for stealing from that museum he used to work for. Before anything can be decided, Rip's laboratory hideout is attacked by Dr. Nishtikeit, a Nazi Booster ran afoul of during WWII. It seems Nishtikeit was sent hurtling through time thanks to Booster and has been plotting his revenge for years. Nishtikeit(damn is that name a pain to type!)and his Nazis manage to bypass a very surprised Rip's defenses and bang Rip up pretty good. Booster attacks Nishtikeit and with some help from Michelle(back in her Goldstar attire), Booster manages to push the Nazi attack back and send Nishtikeit on his way. After the battle, Michelle figures that since Booster had saved Rip's skin again, he'd drop the whole, “Go and turn yourself in, Booster” thing, but alas, Rip is still adamant that the right thing to do was for Booster to make amends for his original crime. After some thought Booster realizes that turning himself in was the right move, and Rip tells him that he'll probably only get a slap on the wrist, considering all the good he did with the stuff he stole. A quick 25th century trial later and Booster is sentenced to 5 years in prison for his theft. This issue ends with Booster sitting in his cell and being introduced to his new cell mate.

Thoughts: I had absolutely no problem with this comic. I enjoyed the battle between Booster and Nishtikeit, I liked seeing Michelle don her Goldstar gear once again, and I thought Booster agreeing to turn himself in was the right move. I mean he DID steal all of his crime-fighting stuff! Shouldn't he have to face up to what he had done? I still don't get why that little girl, Rani, is in this series, and her parts didn't add anything to the story for me, but besides that little gripe(and having to type out “Nishtikeit” over and over again!) I have nothing really bad to say about this one.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.D'oh!

Wolverine #6:

Summary: We kick this issue off a few weeks back with Lord Summers the First going over a computer scenario of how to kill Wolverine if it became necessary to do so. Basically the plan would be for Magneto to tear the adamantium from Wolvie's skeleton, Namor to pull Wolvie's head off and then Lord Summers the First would finish the job by blasting Wolvie's body into ashes. Back to the present, Lord Summers the First, Emma Frost, Magneto and Namor(hmm, why ever would that group of characters be there?) confront the recently returned from Hell Wolverine on the steps of a church. It seems that Daimon Hellstrom was able to get Wolvie's soul back into its rightful body, but he isn't able to expel the evil spirits that had taken possession of Wolvie... Um Hellstrom, isn't that kind of your whole shtick?! Anyway, Hellstrom tells Lord Summers the First that Wolvie has to fight off the evil spirits himself, and after taking a quick peek in Wolvie's mind, Emma realizes that Wolvie was losing the mental battle against the spirits... Badly. From there Wolvie becomes Possessed Wolvie again(YES!) and runs about attacking Hellstrom and his Ghost Riders. Realizing that he couldn't allow Wolvie to run amok in the streets of San Fransisco, Lord Summers the First gives the order to Magneto and Namor to take Wolvie down... Permanently.

Thoughts: Well there was some good and some bad here... The bad would be the fact that Lord Summers the First was in this issue. Man do I hate that guy now! I also didn't like the fact that Hellstrom couldn't exercise the spirits from Wolvie's body, especially considering that's kind of his thing... That would be like if you asked Storm to make it rain and she was like, “Well right now I just can't do that.” Hellstrom SHOULD have been able to send the spirits back to Hell from whence they came. At least that's the way I saw it. Oh, and I was also REALLY annoyed that everybody kept calling Wolvie “The most dangerous mutant alive.”... Really?! In a world where you have Magneto, who can control the magnetic poles of the entire planet, Franklin Richards, whose abilities even alarm Galactus, and Nate Grey, who can read, manipulate, and control minds(as well as numerous other powers), WOLVERINE is “the most dangerous mutant alive”?! Sorry, I don't think so. But in all honesty, those are just little gripes. The majority of this comic wasn't that bad. You had Wolvie trying, and failing, to expel the spirits from his head, the return of Possessed Wolvie, and Possessed Wolvie running wild. All in all, this was a good, but not great comic.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Finish Him!!!

Justice League of America #54:

Summary: Most of the beginning part of this comic is an explanation as to who Eclipso and Bruce Gordon are, and what their relationship is. The short form is that Bruce is the guy the Eclipso entity possessed. After the whole magic craziness with the Starheart a few issues back, it seems that Eclipso has managed to possess Bruce, even though there hadn't been an eclipse. Now in control, Eclipso decides he is going to collect characters with a connection to the shadow realms, starting with the always awesome Shade. With the Shade under his thrall, Eclipso heads around the globe and does exactly as he said he would, possessing several shadow-based characters. After collecting a veritable army, Eclipso heads to the moon to collect the last piece of his puzzle, JLA member Jade.

Thoughts: Hey, I REALLY enjoyed this story! First things first, Congorilla didn't show up, which is always a good way to get me to like a JLA comic. Besides the lack of Congorilla, the story made sense and unlike the last storyline, actually gave some background info on the villain of the piece, Eclipso. I mean that last storyline just kept adding obscure villains I'd barely(or never!) heard of and expecting me to know what their connection to each other was, as well as their connection to the JLA. This issue plainly spelled out WHO Eclipso was and WHAT he was doing. It's always good to know what is motivating the villain of a story. Eclipso wants to collect characters with shadow powers. Now he doesn't come out and say why, but that's fine, because that can be revealed as the story moves forward. I mean to me it makes sense that he'd want to make those characters use their combined powers to put the Earth into a state of perpetual night, but maybe he has something else up his sleeves. The Jade thing was a bit of a surprise, since it seemed that Eclipso would have wanted Jade's brother Obsidian, who DOES have a connection to the shadow realms. Eclipso helpfully explains why he was going after Jade, stating he wanted a character who was touched by both darkness and the White Lantern's powers. Where the HELL has the James Robinson who wrote this comic been hiding, because for the first time since he started writing this series I'm looking forward to the next issue. Oh, and the Shade was in this comic, and being a HUGE fan of the Shade, that made me pretty happy.

Score: 8 out of 10.Adding the Shade to any comic automatically makes it better!

Fantastic Four #588: The Final Issue!

Summary: This issue begins with the Avengers arriving at the Baxter Building seconds too late to save the Human Torch from the Annihilus's Negative Zone army. Sue arrives soon thereafter and goes into a deep depression, pulling away from everybody, including her husband. Filled with rage over what Annihilus had done, Reed walks into a top secret room in the Baxter Building and retrieves the Ultimate Nullifier(!!!) and opens the Negative Zone portal, apparently so he could wipe out the Negative Zone altogether(!). Standing right near the entryway to the portal is a small creature resembling Annihilus himself. Reed shows the creature the Nullifier and seems ready to do the deed until the creature reaches behind it and shows Reed a tattered piece of the Torch's FF costume. Now conflicted, Reed decides to simply close the portal and walks away. From there the FF have a wake for the Torch, and several super-heroes show up to mourn. Meanwhile, Kristoff Vernard(the kid who believed himself to be Dr. Doom a few years back)is being coroneted as the new ruler of Latveria while Dr. Doom himself watches quietly from the shadows. A few days later the FF buries Johnny's(empty?) coffin and Doom himself arrives at the funeral, but at a distance, to pay his respects. Spidey takes Franklin out and tries to help him cope with losing his uncle, something that Spidey himself knows all about. With Johnny buried and gone, Valeria and those genius kids living at the Baxter Building begin to brainstorm as to who should take Johnny's spot on the FF, when suddenly Valeria changes her mind and decides that the only thing the kids would be looking into was killing Annihilus, once and for all. Thing takes out his frustrations on Hulk and Thor, while Reed decides to reform the council of otherworldly Reed Richards'. We end things with Reed's father(looking WAY younger than I remember him looking)arriving at Reed's lab.

Thoughts: Hmm......... I SHOULD have liked this issue. A lot. But unfortunately this was one of those rare comics where there was no dialogue. The main story consisted of 6 spoken words. That's it. 6. The Spidey/Franklin story was a normal(and good) comic story, WITH dialogue, but that was basically a back-up story type of tale. I totally get what Jonathan Hickman was going for with a “silent” comic. The silence was supposed to make everything seem more powerful. I've read other “silent” comics before, and I've never liked them... I need dialogue in the comics I read. For me there are three important factors needed in every great comic book; a great story, great dialogue and great art, in that order. Yes, to me, good dialogue is more important to a comic than the art is! So removing the dialogue REALLY, REALLY hurt my enjoyment of this one. Sure, some scenes did actually come across well without words, the scene where Reed tries to comfort the despondent Sue, and when Reed decides to Nullify the Negative Zone immediately come to mind, but those scenes were the exceptions. I would have liked to have seen what Bruce Banner and Donald Blake had to say to the Thing, what the heroes at the funeral had to say, or what the reaction was from the kids when Valeria decided that Annihilus had to die. But alas, I'll never know. Oh well. This was a good comic, but I can't help but think that it could have been a great comic.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.This scene was both awesome AND creepy! The total package!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/24/11

You know, I can feel a major rant coming on soon... I mean I just posted 9 Marvel reviews in a row, and to be perfectly honest with all of you, I enjoyed nearly every single one of them. I even gave two of those 9 books perfect scores. Now today I head back to DC, and unfortunately all three of the comics I read wound up getting very lackluster scores from me. It's so damn sad how much DC has fallen in my eyes. I mean last year at this time I was really down on Marvel, while the DC books are what I looked forward to reading every month. Now DC has been decimated by that damned Chairman Johns, one of their best books is being canceled, and I have very little interest in anything happening in the DCU with the exception of the Bat-books. So I'm now going to ask all of you DC fans a favor. Which books are your favorites? Hopefully you'll give me some DC book that I'm not already reading to show me that all of DC hasn't gone to hell yet. Or better yet, give me a few comics from third party publishers for me to sink my teeth into. With me dropping more and more DC titles weekly, I'd appreciate a few suggestions. Thanks, and here are the reviews.

Supergirl #61:

Summary: First off, right off the bat this comic confused me as it had James Peaty down as the writer even though I was positive Nick Spencer had taken over the writing duties here just last issue... Weird. Ah, after a quick check I see that Spencer only co-scripted Supergirl #60... Yeah, there is NO way anybody can convince me DC isn't run by a bunch of monkeys in front of typewriters... This issue begins with Supergirl defeating Parasite, Silver Banshee, Kryptonite Man and Metallo, who promptly teleport away after being defeated. It seems that there is a new phone app that has people taking pictures with their phones of heroes they see, which leads to the man who created the app sending villains to the location of those heroes. Lois Lane gives SG her phone so she could keep an eye on this app, and soon after getting the phone SG sees that Robin was being attacked by Clayface and Mr. Freeze in Gotham. She flies over to help, and the two heroes make short work of the villains, much to the rage of the man behind the phone app. The mystery man decides to send Gorilla Grodd and Eclipso to Texas to attack Fake Beetle, which causes SG to prepare to fly out to help him. However, before she can go, Clayface and Mr. Freeze give off sparks and transform into strange robots that were only imitating Clayface and Freeze, leaving SG to wonder just what the hell was going on here.

Thoughts: Meh. So far, two issues in, this storyline just isn't doing anything for me. The mystery villain behind everything is just a bit TOO mysterious for my tastes, he's already exhibited several super-powers, including telepathy and the ability to create and interface with computers and robots. Plus he really hasn't given much of a reason for his actions other then the simplistic, “I hate super-heroes” stuff. The Damian appearance seemed totally random, although I'm not going to complain about anytime Damian shows up in a comic seeing as that I'm a fan of his now. However, Fake Beetle showing up next issue already brings the score for that comic down at least one full point, and it hasn't even been released yet! I think this story has some potential, but the villain of the piece really needs to be established a lot more.

Score: 6 out of 10.The evil alien trick works every single time!

Wonder Woman #607:

Summary: We kick things off with Wonder Woman grinding some skeletons into dust, because she's angry or something. From there WW and two Amazons head into the sewers to see if they could find a boy who was kidnapped by a minotaur. While that's going on, Cheetah, Giganta and Artemis attack WW's Amazon apartment hideout and kill every Amazon there, with the exception of the talking cat... Dammit! I SO wanted to see that cat get killed. Anyway, WW and the Amazons come across the kid and the minotaur, and learn that the Morrigan had told the minotaur to kill the kid to anger WW so she would become more like the Morrigan. The minotaur explains that it couldn't go through with killing a child, and then commits suicide. And that's pretty much all I have to say.

Thoughts: This comic makes my brain actually hurt. Why can't we just wrap this storyline up and get classic Wonder Woman back? I don't know about anybody else, but I'm tired of the whole Wonder Woman: The Teenage Amazon story. This issue didn't do anything for me, and I found my mind wandering throughout most of it. I'm really ready to move on now...

Score: 4 1/2 out of 10."Amazons Assemble!" Really? Please let this comic stop torturing me...

Superman/Batman #81:

Summary: We get things started with the Shadowpact heading to Metropolis and discovering a horde of demons attacking a single man in armor. The Shadowpact members jump in to assist the man, but it's for naught, and the man ends up being skewered by the demons. With the man in armor dead, the demons head back into the portal they had arrived from. Blue Devil walks over to the dead man and is shocked to see that the man in the armor was Superman. From there we head elsewhere and find a strangely garbed Batman complaining to some woman about armored Superman making a big mistake by heading through the portal. Back in Metropolis, the Phantom Stranger brings the real Superman to see dead, armored Superman. While Supes is trying to figure out what it all meant, the strangely garbed Batman and his gal pal emerge from a portal and kidnap Supes. Having lost Superman, the Shadowpact send... seriously?! *sigh* Detective Chimp to Gotham City to find the real Batman. We end this one with Superman waking up and being told by the strangely garbed Batman that he was from Superman's future and that the future was a demon infested hellhole.

Thoughts: Eh. I didn't really care about this comic one way or the other. I mean it wasn't horrible, but it also didn't thrill me. It just sort of was. I'm willing to give the story some leeway, especially considering this was only the first part, but here's hoping things pick up come next issue.

Score: 6 out of 10.Ah DC... Where would you be without your talking monkeys?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Comic Day! February 23rd edition!

Once again it's Wednesday, meaning it's time for a brand new edition of the craze that's sweeping the Interwebs, New Comic Day! I came away with a pretty good haul this week, but as always, before we can look forward, I'll first be looking back. Yep, it's time to look back at that far off and scary land called “Last Week”. Last week I chose Brightest Day #20 as my Runt of the Litter, and I have yet to read it... I mean it's like the LAST thing I have left to read from last week, and I just can't get up the courage to give it a read. I'm sure it'll be horrible, but hopefully I'll have read it and will have put a review for it up by Thursday or Friday. Last week's Pick of the Litter was Amazing Spider-Man #654.1, and it was quite good, although it wasn't the best comic I read last week. That honor went to Captain America: Man Out of Time #4 and Hawkeye: Blind Spot #1, which both received perfect scores. In other words, last week was a pretty good comic reviewing week for me.

But that's enough about last week. Let's get to this week, and we'll start with the comics I'll be expecting to arrive in the mail this week... Action Comics #898, Gotham City Sirens #20, Green Arrow #9, Justice Society of America #48, Captain America #615, Secret Avengers #10 and Uncanny X-Men #533. Okay, with that out of the way, here are the books I just picked up at the comic book shop earlier today. X-Men #8, X-23 #6, Teen Titans #92, Namor #7, Justice League: Generation Lost #20, Invincible Iron Man #510, Deadpool #33, Detective Comics #874, Avengers #10, Amazing Spider-Man #655, Iron Man 2.0 #1 and Fantastic Four #588. So 12 books from the comic shop as well as 7 subscription books gives me a solid 19 books this week. This week's Pick of the Litter is actually REALLY easy. It really can't be anything other than Fantastic Four #588. I mean there are other books here that I'm looking forward to reading(Teen Titans #92, X-23 #6, Amazing Spider-Man #655), but none as much as this last issue of the Fantastic Four. As for this Week's Runt... I... I'm really not sure. I mean I'm expecting something good out of every comic here. I guess the one book I'm least looking forward to reading would be Detective Comics #874, but it's not like I'm dreading it. No, Detective #874 is my Runt in name only. This should be a good week of comic book reading for me. So that's it, I'll add a (not so)Random Scan of the Week and end this post. Until next time, X out.

The Random Scan of the Week!This picture PERFECTLY sums up EXACTLY what my problem with Cyclops is!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/22/11

Rejoice True Believers, it's yet ANOTHER all-Marvel edition of Quick Hits! I'll get back to DC tomorrow, but today is a Marvel-ous day. See what I did there? Pretty clever, no? Meh. Anyway, we have three comics to get through so hows about I shut my yap and get started?

Generation Hope #4:

Summary: Having captured Kenji(the EVIL Japanese “light”)the X-Men load him onto their plane and fly back to Utopia with Hope and the other 4 “lights”... God, I REALLY hate that term, “lights”... I don't know why, but it really irks me. Maybe it's just me. Anywho, the X-Men touch down on Crazy Mutie Island and tell the “lights” that they'll be given rooms after they get checked out by Dr. Nemesis. The animal-like “light”, Teon(I think that's his name...) decides to attack Wolverine to see who the alpha... um, alpha animal themed mutant is and gets put in his place by Wolvie. While the other “lights” are getting their various check-ups, Emma Frost and Lord Summers talk to Kenji who explains that he never meant to hurt anybody, he wasn't in control of his body, etc. Emma doesn't think he's lying, so Lord Summers agrees to let him stay on Crazy Mutie Island. Nemesis tells the “lights' about their powers, and they are given rooms. They meet up with the now contrite Kenji and he apologizes to them all profusely for his earlier actions before heading to his room to act all crazy.

Thoughts: I basically still have the same problem with this comic that I've been having with this series thus far... None of the “lights” stand out. Besides Hope, I only know them by vague descriptions... We have Animal Boy, Blue Girl, Self-Loathing Girl, and Horny Boy... Those are REALLY sucky codenames... Well except for “Horny Boy”. That has potential. The other ones though? Pure suck. The only new mutant who stands out is Kenji, and that's only because he's crazy. The last page teaser image showed that the kids appear to be getting costumes next issue, which means codenames should follow(I hope!). Once they have codenames I'd figure they'd become more distinctive and I'd be able to tell them apart better... Or at least that's what I'm hoping for.

Score: 7 out of 10.Oh, you KNOW he's up to no good!

Wolverine and Jubilee #2(of 4):

Summary: Jubilee wakes up in a strange room and finds a glass of blood which she takes a sip of before wondering where she was. Wolverine enters the room and tells Jubes he had taken her to Siberia, since there wasn't many hours of sunlight, and even when there was sun, it was usually overcast. Wolvie decides to do the whole “tough love” thing to snap Jubes out of her vampire funk, but Jubes is on to Wolvie's games and isn't buying. After Wolvie's failed tough love experiment, the two head back to their hotel where the hotel owner tells them some sort of sob story about zombies having invaded a mine in the town. The duo head to the mine and Jubes basically singlehandedly defeats all of the zombies while Wolvie watched. With the zombie trouble taken care of, Wolvie and Jubes head back to their hotel room, and this issue ends with Wolvie waking up to find the mysterious vampire woman from last issue standing over the fallen Jubilee.

Thoughts: See, now THIS was what I wanted out of the last issue of this mini-series! Just Wolverine and Jubilee. Not the rest of the crazy, and QUITE annoying X-crew. I liked Wolvie's attempts at forcing Jubes to deal with what she had become in his own unique Wolverine style, and I was even happier when Jubes caught on to what Wolvie was playing at and wouldn't feed into his games. I mean there really wasn't MUCH story advancement, but that was fine, as the dialogue was really well done and captured Wolvie and Jubes relationship really well.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I'd bet Wolvie didn't see THAT coming!

Amazing Spider-Man #654.1:

Summary: Although this comic was called “Amazing Spider-Man”, it very easily could have been called Amazing Venom, since the new Flash Thompson Venom took center stage here. We see Flash on his first mission with the Venom symbiote, trying to mess up Flag Smasher's Ultimatum plans. Flash infiltrates a meeting between several of the world's major economic players and spots an Ultimatum agent, placing a bug on her person. Later on, Flash discovers that Ultimatum had captured one of the people at the meeting, and using the bug he placed on the Ultimatum agent he is able to track the terrorist group down. Flash finds the captured man and tries to get him out of there, but is accosted by Flag Smasher and his goons. The goons throw some grenades at Flash, blowing his legs off, which puts him into an old school, “I'll eat your brains!” type Venom rampage. Flash decimates the goons, and bites off Flag Smasher's hand before regaining control and getting the captive out of there. Upon meeting with his commanding officers, Flash explains that the mission went well, and although disturbed by what he had seen, the captive doesn't let on that Flash lost control. Although they can't prove anything, Flash's commanders suspect something fishy happened on that mission, and are concerned when they take the symbiote off of Flash but are only able to get 99% of the symbiote out of Flash...

Thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this issue, and as such am REALLY looking forward to the upcoming Venom series. Several important things happened here, namely Flash losing control of his temper and the symbiote taking control of his actions, as well as the fact that 1% of the symbiote remained in Flash's system, meaning permanent bonding with the symbiote is a possibility. Oh, and on a personal note, it was nice to be able to type the word, “Flash” in a comic book review again, even though this wasn't the Flash I necessarily want to be reading about...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Yummy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/21/11

Since I just did two DC Quick Hits in a row, I think it's high time for me to head back to the House of Ideas and do a Marvel post. So that's what I'll be doing. A few good books, a few okay ones, and one perfect score(wow, Marvel is REALLY impressing me lately!) should make this a must read post!

Avengers Academy #9:

Summary: We pick up here with Tigra reiterating that Veil, Striker and Hazmat were being tossed out of the Academy for their assault on the Hood. The kids go to pack, and Pym decides to call a meeting with the rest of the faculty to discuss the expulsions. Finesse heads to Quicksilver and explains that she wanted to meet the Taskmaster, since they shared the same powers and she suspected that he was her father. Quicksilver agrees to take Finesse to the Taskmaster's last known base, if only to avoid what he figured would be a terribly boring and sanctimonious meeting with the other Academy advisors. Finesse and Quicksilver arrive at the base and beat up on some cannon fodder, but don't find Taskmaster there. Finesse asks to remain behind to see if she could find something that would tell her where Taskmaster had gone, so Quicksilver takes off. Once Quicksilver is out of sight, Taskmaster jumps down and attacks Finesse. The two talk and fight for a while, until Taskmaster has had enough and tells Finesse that the fight was over. Taskmaster tells Finesse that he had no idea if he was her father or not, that he wouldn't give her any hair or DNA samples, and that the only reason he wanted to fight her was to see if there was anything he could pick up from her fighting style to remember her by, since his brain could pretty much only remember movements and not conversations. Since Finesse was just like him, she only fought by melding several different fighting styles together, meaning that most likely Taskmaster would end up forgetting about her in short order. Before he leaves, Taskmaster tells Finesse that her best bet was to stay with the Avengers, live off of Tony Stark's fortune and learn as many Avengers secrets as she could. Taskmaster tells her that every day she'll get better and better and that that was all life was about for people like them, before leaving Finesse behind. Back at the Academy, the rest of the faculty members overrule Tigra and bring the expelled students back, since it seemed more risky to leave potentially dangerous teenagers out in the world with no supervision. In the end, Tigra comes to accept their decision(after talking to Quicksilver of all people!) and she heads back to her room where she watches the tape of the students brutalizing the Hood over and over again.

Thoughts: Christos Gage is really putting together one hell of a good series here! As always I enjoyed any scene that Quicksilver was in, being a huge, and unabashed fan of Pietro. I also REALLY enjoyed the scene with Taskmaster and Finesse. Gage did a great job of making Taskmaster into a more sympathetic figure, which really took me by surprise. I've always liked Taskmaster, and the way he was portrayed here went a long way in further strengthening his character. As for the expulsion stuff, it ended the way I expected it to. I mean we all knew we weren't going to lose three main characters this early in the series, so all of that stuff was kind of anticlimactic. But everything else here was REALLY good, and definitely worth checking out, whether you're a fan of the Avengers or not.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Fatherly advice from Taskmaster?? Weird...

Silver Surfer #1(of 5):

Summary: With Galactus recuperating from the Thanos Imperative mini-series, the Silver Surfer finds himself with some free time on his hands. He ends up drifting back to Earth, where he happens across two people being shot by drug smugglers. The Surfer blasts the smugglers and heads to the woman who was shot by the smugglers and tries to heal her with the Power Cosmic. While he is doing this, the smugglers hire the Cybermancer to try to try to talk to the Surfer for some reason. Anyway, the Surfer manages to heal the woman, and happens to touch Cybermancer, who feels the Power Cosmic and is overcome with emotion, something the Surfer can no longer feel. Before the Surfer can leave, he is suddenly attacked by several machines, before being ambushed by the High Evolutionary, who apologizes to the Surfer for what he was doing. The Surfer summons his surfboard to him and tries to make some distance between himself and the High Evolutionary, but his board drops him and he crashes to the ground. The High Evolutionary teleports away and the Surfer finds himself surrounded by the drug smugglers from earlier. He warns the smugglers to get back, but they open fire instead, and the Surfer is shocked to not only feel the bullets, but to see his silver coating slide off of his body.

Thoughts: Hmm... I've always been a fan of the Surfer, so seeing him in a solo adventure once again was a treat. There were parts of this story that made me very happy(I LOVED seeing the High Evolutionary show up!) but there were also things that happened here that I could have done without. A simple Surfer vs the High Evolutionary story where the High Evolutionary steals the Surfer's powers for some mysterious and possibly nefarious purpose, leading to the Surfer being tasked with hunting down the High Evolutionary and regaining his powers would have been fine. I don't get why this Cybermancer woman is being included in this story at all... The only thing I can think is that she'll become some sort of romantic interest to the Surfer(they did feel a “spark”) who assists him against the smugglers and the High Evolutionary. I'm REALLY not interested in reading a romantic tale here... That's not why I read Silver Surfer books. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I doubt Greg Pak would have gone through all of the trouble introducing the Cybermancer if he didn't have lofty plans for her.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Would you believe that I didn't realize that the High Evolutionary was even in this comic until this scene, even though he was right on the cover?!

Captain America: Man out of Time #4(of 5):

Summary: Captain America(Steve Rogers) is still trying to come to terms with being brought out of suspended animation some 60 years displaced from his proper time period. Cap goes about helping the Avengers and trying to assimilate to modern society the best he can, but during his free time he spends his days trying to find somebody from his past to reconnect with. After a lot of searching, Cap discovers that his old commanding officer during the war was still alive, so Cap heads to the nursing home to visit. Cap explains his story to the general, and eventually manages to convince the older man that he really was who he claimed to be. Cap spends most of his free time with the general being filled in on what he missed the last 60 years, getting a counterbalance to Tony Stark's much more rosy picture of America. Cap's conversations with the general tend to be way more about what was wrong with America than what was right, leaving Cap with an increasingly pessimistic outlook of the country he sacrificed so much for. Eventually the general dies, and Cap heads to his room one final time to pick up some mementos the general wanted him to have. Cap speaks to the general's private caretaker and the two discuss things, with the caretaker(an immigrant) eventually telling a confused Cap that there was no other country she'd rather be living in. Cap heads to Avengers Mansion and is told to suit up since the Avengers were heading to Washington to confront some mysterious craft that had landed there. The craft belongs to Kang, and he explains to the Avengers that he intended on conquering the Earth of this time period, the same as he had done in the distant future from whence he came. Tiring of the battle with the Avengers, Kang blasts all of them except for Cap to prison cells. Cap attacks Kang and Kang realizes that much like himself, Cap was also from another time. Cap keeps fighting back against Kang, so Kang sends Cap back to 1945, which is where Cap wanted to go all along.

Thoughts: Wooo, Mark Waid sure can tell a great story, can't he?! I loved every single page of this comic book. Every page. Waid did such a fantastic job of writing how out of place Cap felt in a world that had moved on 60 years with out him. And the character of the general really did a great job of telling Cap all about the America that Iron Man had neglected last issue. Sure America was all about the great accomplishments that Iron Man had told Cap about last issue, but there were also the warts that the general brought to light. As this comic went on you could see how the general's words were influencing Cap's own views and opinions on everything that he was experiencing. That's what was so great Cap's conversation with the caretaker. After Cap had been told how terrible America had become, she still wouldn't want to be back in her home country, leaving Cap confused to which America was reality, the general's or Iron Man's. The cliffhanger at the end was also the perfect place to end this comic, with Cap finally getting back “home” but knowing that remaining where he most wanted to be would mean possibly dooming his Avengers teammates to imprisonment or death at the hands of Kang. Yes, much like Man Out of Time #3, this was a perfect comic.

Score: 10 out of 10.Wait, Kang can tell all of that by SMELLING Cap?!

Uncanny X-Force #5:

Summary: This is NOT an easy comic to recap... Basically the World, which is where Fantomex was created, has been infiltrated by some unknown force and had been evolved some one million years. Fantomex wants to learn the identity of this mystery foe, and ends up heading home to his “mother” to tell her about his recent adventures. Several heroes who look like Deathlok show up, kill Fantomex's mother and try to do the same to him. Fantomex barely manages to escape, mainly thanks to EVA and this issue ends with Fantomex and EVA crashing right in front of Deathlok himself. Okay, that was the main storyline running through this comic, let's get to the good stuff. There was also a scene with the rest of X-Force, who were responding to a meeting called by Deadpool. It seems Deadpool is really upset about Fantomex killing Kid Apocalypse on the moon last issue. Wolvie basically tells DP that was what happened on X-Force, and that if he didn't like it he shouldn't have signed up. Deadpool winds up storming away leaving Wolvie behind to call Pool a bloodsucking mercenary who only cared about the money. Archangel tells Wolvie that Pool never cashed a single check, meaning he was on X-Force because he thought the team was really trying to do good. Psylocke tries to comfort Wolvie, who she sensed was also having trouble coming to terms with what happened on the moon, but Wolvie pushes her away, stating that Fantomex did what had to be done.

Thoughts: I really didn't like the Fantomex portions of this story at all, but I have a reason for that. I haven't read Fantomex's origin in YEARS(probably not since he was first introduced by Grant Morrison all those years ago) so my knowledge of the World wasn't where it needed to be. On top of that, I still haven't read those Wolverine: Weapon X issues with Deathlok, meaning I have NO idea what Deathlok's connection to Wolverine/the Weapon X program is... Now I do have those Weapon X back issues laying around, I just haven't read them yet... I guess I probably should though. So yeah, the Fantomex stuff didn't do much for me. I did enjoy the X-Force meeting though. It went a long way in showing how leading the team was affecting Wolvie, as well as showing a kinder side of Deadpool... I know, how weird is that?! Deadpool(like myself) seemed to be really bothered by Fantomex killing Kid Apocalypse, and tells the team as much, which leads to Wolverine getting very defensive about the way things went down. Everybody else on the team can see that the stress of leading X-Force(along with the 700 other things Wolvie does in a month) was getting to Wolvie, with the exception of Wolvie it seems. So that one little scene went a long way in developing the characters of Wolverine, Deadpool and even Fantomex, even though he wasn't there. So in closing, I really liked the X-Force meeting(which was like 4 pages), while I wasn't that pleased with everything else.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Fantomex sure did a lot of talking this issue...

Thunderbolts #153:

Summary: We begin with Hyperion stealing the wristband from the drowning Songbird that allowed the non-criminal members of the Thunderbolts to shock the criminal members of the team into complying with their orders. Juggernaut climbs out from the rubble he was buried under last issue and spots Hyperion trying to figure out how to get the wristband to work. Juggernaut asks Hyperion where the rest of the team was and Hyperion calmly explains that they were either missing, eaten or drowning. Juggernaut hops into the water and pulls Moonstone and Songbird out, spotting Ghost who was examining one of the monsters the team had encountered upon reemerging from the water. Since Juggernaut couldn't preform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the two women because of his size and strength, he leaves them with Ghost while he heads off to set Hyperion straight. Meanwhile, Mach-V and Luke Cage manage to climb out of the mouth of one of those pesky sea monsters from last issue and try to figure out just how the mission went so bad. Juggernaut catches up to Hyperion and tries to smack some sense into him, but is jolted by the wristband Hyperion stole and is pummeled by Hyperion. Juggernaut tries to hold his own, but the combined might of Hyperion, plus the wristband is too much and Hyperion moves in for the kill, being stopped by the timely arrival of Moonstone and Ghost. Hyperion prepares to laugh off the duo, but realizes too late that he had dropped the wristband during the fight with Juggernaut, and that Ghost had retrieved it. Ghost activates it, shocking Hyperion, and Moonstone, Juggernaut and Ghost beat Hyperion into a quivering mass of Jello. After having their fun, Ghost contacts Luke and tells him that the monsters were being controlled by nanites, and that Songbird could counter the frequency with her own sonic powers. This issue ends with Man-Thing walking over to the defeated Hyperion and burning him for destroying Man-Thing last issue.

Thoughts: This was one of those perfectly acceptable comic books I tend to talk about every now and then. Nothing earth-shattering happened, I probably won't remember it a month from now, but it was a fine way to kill a couple of minutes. The battle between Juggernaut and Hyperion, which dominated this issue was a fun little romp, and went on to show that the criminal members of the T-Bolts are beginning to act more as a team and less as individuals. After reading this issue I can honestly say that there isn't a character on this team that I don't like. And THAT is very rare for me, as there always seems to be a character on every team book I read that I completely detest. So kudos to Jeff Parker for turning me into a fan of Ghost, Man-Thing and Luke Cage, who is written WAY better here than he was(is) in New Avengers. Sorry Bendis, but I HATE the way you write Luke!

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Sometimes a little mindless violence is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hawkeye: Blind Spot #1, possibly the best comic book EVER!!!

Okay, so here's the story. Before I read this comic, I was planning on putting it into one of my Quick Hits posts. However, it was so incredibly, staggeringly, amazingly, mind-blowingly good that I decided to give it its own post. So there's the back story, here's the comic.

Hawkeye: Blind Spot #1(of 4) Writer: Jim McCann. Artist: Paco Diaz.

Review: We kick things off with The World's Greatest Marksman, Hawkeye, along with a few fellow Avengers, preparing to take on a group of villains. After some verbal jousting Hawkeye fires the first shot and misses the villains. Badly. Regardless of that miss, the Avengers put the villains down, and head back to Avengers Tower. Tony Stark approaches Clint and tells him that he's been reviewing the past few battles Hawkeye has been a part of and noticed that Clint's accuracy has been steadily declining. Tony brings Clint into a medical room where Clint is surprised to discover Dr. Donald Blake and Steve Rogers. Tony explains that he took a scan of Clint's head earlier and discovered some swelling in his brain(as a result of a blow to the head Clint took during the Widowmaker mini-series). Clint then learns that not only is there nothing that can be done to relieve the swelling, but that it was diminishing his depth perception, and would eventually lead to total blindness. Tony tells Clint that he can rig up a few devices that would help with Clint's vision for the short term, while they try to figure out a way to halt the blindness before it has progressed to the point of no return. Clint refuses Tony's devices and asks to be left alone, still shocked by the news. His teammates leave the room and Clint puts his fist into some brain scans before flashing back to a scene from his childhood, straight through to his initial meeting with the Swordsman. After some thought, Clint heads out to see Tony and to take him up on his offer of assistance. Tony gives Clint a new cowl that would give him near radar-like vision, as well as a pair of sunglasses that would function similarly to the new cowl. Clint thanks Tony for the “toys” and flashes back to just after his legs had been broken thanks to the Swordsman. From there we relive Clint's first meeting with Trickshot, the archer who would train Clint to become Hawkeye. We go over Trickshot's betrayal of Clint, and his initial meeting with Iron Man, who inspires Clint to become a costumed hero in the first place. The flashbacks end with Clint breaking away from the(at the time) villainous Black Widow and thinking about joining the Avengers. Back in the present, Clint receives a mysterious phone call and is taunted by some unknown voice, while Trickshot's unconscious body is tossed into the lobby of Avengers Tower. Clint rushes to his onetime mentor's side and hands him over to Dr. Blake. After a some tests, Blake reveals that Trickshot had been seemingly tortured for an extended amount of time(probably at least a year), and that his cancer had returned. In other words, Trickshot wasn't long to the world. Blake leaves Clint alone with Trickshot to say his farewells and Trickshot awakens momentarily to tell Clint that he had been forced to train somebody. Trickshot explains that this archer hated Clint passionately and that he was nearly as skilled as Clint himself. Trickshot apologizes for all he did wrong to Clint and dies. From there we head to an abandoned section of Coney Island where an archer dressed all in red walks into a room to meet with Baron Zemo(!!!). Zemo asks if the archer had delivered the message to Hawkeye and the archer responds that Trickshot had been dropped off. The archer talks about how he's waited for years to get his revenge on Clint, and Zemo tells him to be patient, since it was nearly time to bring Hawkeye to his knees.

Thoughts: This was without a shadow of a doubt the BEST single comic book issue I've read in a LONG time. Possibly years. I actually read it TWICE it was so good! And then I wrote this review and used the comic as reference so I could go through it a third time! It was that good. As I'm sure several of you know, I am one of the biggest Hawkeye fans around. I have the entire West Coast Avengers run, every issue of Avengers Spotlight, all of the various Hawkeye series that have been released over the years, his Thunderbolts appearances, etc. In other words, when it comes to comic book characters, Hawkeye is in my personal top 5. That's why this comic was such a treat. You can tell Jim McCann did his research. He KNOWS this character. Hawkeye speaks as I'd expect him to speak. He acts the way I'd expect him to act. He wrote the perfect Hawkeye here. Not only were the words perfectly done, the art followed suit, with every detail from the flashbacks recreated in exact detail, right down to Clint's jacket from when he unwittingly served as Trickshot accomplice to a robbery. So kudos also need to go to Paco Diaz for the great visuals. So the dialogue was perfect, and the art was great, but what about the story? The story was as good, if not better! The internal threat Clint is facing is probably the most dire one an archer can face, the loss of his eyesight. I'd reckon it would be mighty hard to be a blind archer! Besides that, there's also the external threat Clint has to deal with, the archer who Zemo forced Trickshot into training. And to up the ante, this archer, along with Zemo withheld the medications that Trickshot needed to prolong his life, adding a personal layer to this story. And then there's Zemo... Putting Baron Zemo in the role of the mastermind behind this archer was sheer GENIUS! Clint and Zemo have some legitimate hatred from back when Clint led the Thunderbolts, a team Zemo always considered to be his. With Zemo having recently turned back to a life of crime, it makes PERFECT sense for him to go after Clint, especially now that Zemo has noticed Clint isn't at the top of his game. Finally, there's the mysterious archer. His identity is unknown to Clint and the Avengers(his voice was scanned after he called Clint and the Avengers computers came up empty), but he seems to know Clint, and on top of that seems to have waited some time to get revenge on Clint... My guess is that this archer is the son of Clint's dead brother Barney, but who can say? Whew... I can't think of anything else to say here... In all honesty, nothing I say can do this comic justice. It needs to be read. I mean hell, it's only $2.99, which is a dollar cheaper than most of Marvel's mini-series, and it's worth every penny. If Marvel jacked the price up to $10 for the second issue I'd HAPPILY pay that price. I could seriously go on and on about this comic, but I'll end this review here. This was the first issue of this mini-series. It's only four issues. The price is a VERY reasonable $2.99. Buy this comic! If you've ever been a fan of the Avengers you owe it to yourself to read this! Even if you don't know squat about Hawkeye besides the fact that he's an archer, you should STILL buy this comic! Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Score: 11 out of 10. Yes, that's right, an 11. If I can give one comic a -356 for a score, why can't I give this one an 11? It truly was beyond perfect.Awesomeness, thy name is Hawkeye!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Quick Hits: 2/19/11

Hey all, it's yet another installment of Quick Hits, this time a jam-packed, all-DC edition. We have 5 reviews to get through, and one of them is my undisputed FAVORITE DC comic. There are very few comics that bring a smile to my face the moment I see them, but REBELS is one of those comic books. And luckily for me, I get to do my monthly REBELS review now! I figure my best move would be to start off with REBELS, which should put me in a good mood before I move on to the other comics I've decided to read today. The only problem with that strategy is that after that first review, the only direction left to go is down...


Summary: Starro's two lieutenants continue their sneak attack from last issue with Smite taking out Vril Dox's most powerful LEGION member(not named Lobo), Tribulus, while Storm-Daughter captures Dox. LEGION tries to respond, but by the time Capt. Comet and Starfire respond, Dox and his two assailants are gone, and Tribulus is laid out in the street in a pool of blood. The rest of LEGION gather around Tribulus and Adam Strange decides that their best move was to immediately take the battle to Starro and rescue Dox. Lobo doesn't care to take orders from Strange and leaves on his own, wanting to find Storm-Daughter, who he mistook for a fellow Czarnians. Strange is initially infuriated by Lobo's actions, but Wildstar reminds Strange that she can also track individuals across the universe and offers to follow Lobo. Strange orders a Rannian officer to scour the city to make sure Starro didn't leave any of his starfish behind, and tasks Lyrl Dox(who demands to be referred to as Brainiac 3)with fixing Tribulus up before taking flight. Dox is presented to Starro himself by Smite and Storm-Daughter, and immediately deducts that Starro had conquered the Psion's homeworld. Starro threatens to put one of his mind-sapping starfish on Dox's face, but Dox buys time by telling Starro that the full wraith of LEGION would come down on him and he'd be summarily defeated. Starro decides to show Dox why he wasn't concerned, revealing that the Psion's had been cloning Czarnians before he conquered them, meaning he'd have an army of Lobos under his command. Dox is initially horrified at the prospect of Starro leading an army of Lobo clones, before he deduces that if Starro could control the Lobo clones he'd have already set them loose. With that last insult, Starro affixes a starfish on Dox's face(!), rendering him a mindless slave to Starro. From there we discover that Starro did indeed leave several starfish on Rann, and that they had already begun taking over many Rannian soldiers. This issue ends with Lobo arriving on the Psion homeworld and calling out Storm-Daughter. Storm-Daughter douses herself with some Czarnian pheromones and heads out to seduce Lobo again, but is surprised to see Lobo wearing a nose clip, thus negating the pheromones. Storm-Daughter moves to sap Lobo of his power, and Lobo responds by driving his hook through her skull!

Thoughts: And this issue once again affirmed what I've been saying. REBELS is the BEST comic coming out of DC. Batgirl is right up there, but if forced to choose between the two books, REBELS wins out every time. Where do I even begin? Starro trying(and thus far failing)to control the Lobo clones with his starfish, the massive battle in the opening pages, Starro beginning a quiet invasion of Rann with Adam Strange off-world to rescue Dox, Lyrl demanding to be called Brainiac 3(which got a rather hardy laugh out of me!), Dox getting his mind taken away(!!), and of course Lobo taking out one of Starro's top lieutenants with one mighty blow. Next issue should be INSANE, especially when Lobo realizes that the Psions had been cloning him, thus creating Czarnians. You KNOW how Lobo is going to react when he sees the clones... He doesn't proudly call himself the last Czarnian for nothing! Besides that, we have Vril Dox, possibly the smartest character in ALL of the DCU(yep, even smarter than Lex Luthor)having his mind stripped away by Starro. With Dox's mind shut down, there's nobody left to control Tribulus(who was under Dox's constant mental control). That fact could lead to two possibilities... One, Tribulus wakes up and goes on one hell of a rampage, tearing through Rann, or two, Lyrl... I mean Brainiac 3, finds a way to take control of Tribulus like his father had done and uses Tribulus to escape from his father's watchful eye. Whew! I could keep going, but I still have other comics to cover, so let me end this REBELS review now!

Score: 9 out of 10.Wow, I sure as hell didn't see that one coming!

Batman and Robin #20:

Summary: We kick things off with Bruce, Dick, Tim, Damian and Alfred sitting down at Wayne Manor to watch the Mark of Zorro... Um, okay... I guess... From there Dick heads to some opera performance and is nearly hit by a man with some weird wings affixed to his back plummeting to his death. Dick(as Batman)and Damian(as Robin, naturally)head to the morgue with Commissioner Gordon to look at the body. Damian gets roughed up by Gordon(what in the BLUE HELL is going on here?!?), before Dick and Damian see that the dead man had burned off his fingerprints as well as his footprints. Since the man's face was pretty battered from falling eighty stories, Dick takes some pictures of his head with the hope being that the computers at the Batcave could digitally reconstruct his face, thus identifying the dead man. From there Dick and Damian head to the spot where the man jumped(fell?) from and find a suicide note. Damian figures that would close the case, but Dick says it's never that easy and on cue, Man-Bat suddenly attacks the duo, ranting about saving his children from the light. Dick and Damian manage to put the crazed Man-Bat down and out, and hundreds of... oh hell... glowing white bats fall from the sky laying all around the Dynamic Duo and the fallen Man-Bat.

Thoughts: Okay, if those glowing bats are what I think they are then I'm going to be PISSED! And I mean pissed in all caps! When it's in all caps you KNOW I'm serious! I DO NOT want my Bat-books crossing over with the utter garbage that is Brightest Day. Please let those glowing white bats be ANYTHING other than what they seem to be. But of course Peter Tomasi is writing this(as well as co-writing the abomination that is Brightest Day), meaning that my fears are probably true. Damn it... Anyway, before the white bat nonsense, this comic was moving along rather well. Sure, the opening scene made ZERO sense(what the HELL was that supposed to show us? That Bruce is warm and fuzzy now? We know!), but I was enjoying the mystery of that guy's death. I'd have scored this comic way higher, but that potential Brightest Day link really drove down my enjoyment of this one.

Score: 6 out of 10.Damian may have been trained by the League of Assassins, Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, but how could he hope to defeat the terrible skill of Commissioner Gordon?!

Gotham City Sirens #19:

Summary: After learning of the way Talia manipulated her last issue, Zatanna decides to take Talia down. The two do some quick sparring before Talia decides it's time to leave and fires two missiles at the Siren's headquarters, where Catwoman had been captured and tied up. Zatanna manages to save Catwoman with a force field, but that distraction gives Talia the chance to escape. Later on, Catwoman is prowling the night and Zatanna heads over to offer an apology. Catwoman doesn't even want to hear it, but Zatanna explains that she'll go away the moment Catwoman at least listens to her. Zatanna explains that while she was in Catwoman's head she saw Catwoman's anger and resentment at the way Bruce would often treat her, and offers to have Catwoman forget all about her romantic feelings for Bruce. Catwoman nearly says yes but in the end declines and heads to the Siren's new headquarters, an abandoned arboretum. Catwoman is naturally bummed and Harley Quinn offers to listen to her problems. Catwoman tells Harley about all of the times Batman would be with her, and yet be a million miles away mentally. These words cause Harley to realize that Joker was the same distant way with her, and she storms away. Catwoman and Poison Ivy track Harley to an abandoned amusement park and tell her to calm down before she does something rash. Instead of calming down, Harley tosses some Joker-bombs at her two Siren teammates and declares that she was going off to kill Joker for all of the crap he put her through.

Thoughts: Hey, I really enjoyed this comic! The battle between Talia and Zatanna was over WAY too quickly, especially since last issue built to it, and Harley's decision to kill Joker was kind of out of the blue, but everything else here really worked for me. I guess I can understand Harley's impetuous actions, since that's kind of her nature, but you'd think this would be the start of a new storyline as opposed to the continuation of a storyline that seemed to have concluded this issue(the Zatanna/Talia/Catwoman)stuff. Besides those little quibbles, everything else here was good. Oh, and Talia came right out and said that Bruce was Damian's father, so there! :P

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.And this was basically all Talia did in this one...

Batman #707:

Summary: I'm going to cover this comic in broad strokes... VERY broad strokes! After saving a few people(including himself) from a Sensei created deathtrap, Batman(Dick Grayson) manages to hunt down the Sensei, with some help from I-Ching and Luki Lo. Unfortunately for Bats, Sensei has manages to find and put on the Mask of the Beholder and is throwing around god-like powers. Luckily for Bats, Luki Lo is the chosen one(or something like that, just go with it...)and can call the Mask to himself telekinetically. This angers the Sensei, who moves in to kill Luki Lo, but accidentally splits the Mask in two with his sword, ending its threat. Bats moves to apprehend Sensei, but he gets away. From there Peacock(Luki Lo's sister)gives Bats half of the Mask and keeps the other half herself, hoping that would keep the Mask from putting itself together. We end this one with the Riddler giving a woman holding Two-Face's coin(who is hidden in the shadows) some information on the Jade Compass Society, in return for some gold and the promise of information on the Riddler's past.

Thoughts: Gah! Well I WILL say this much, this issue was better than the last issue, which I couldn't even will myself into finishing. That's pretty much the only compliment I can give this comic though... There was just SO many little things going on that I either didn't remember from the last few issues, or never bothered to figure out. If I never read the names I-Ching, Sensei, Peacock and Luki Lo again, it'll be too soon...

Score: 3 out of 10.Good GOD did Riddler get ugly!

Green Lantern Corps #57:

Summary: We start things off with Firestorm coming across the battle on Qward, thus reminding me of Brightest Day and automatically putting me in a bad mood... The Thunderers, under the leadership of John Stewart try to take Sinestro down with a heavy artillery assault, but they fail miserably because none of them are named Hal Jordan, and we ALL know only Hal “I Never Went Crazy!” Jordan can come close to defeating Sinestro The Great... See, I TOLD you thinking about Brightest Day would put me in a bad mood! The Weaponer and his White Lantern powered weapon also falls to the HORRIBLE might of Sinestro The Great. Sinestro The Great calls his Sinestro Corps over to mop up the Thunderers(why? he was doing a pretty good job of that himself!), which leads to the Green Lantern Honor Guard siding with the Thunderers and trying to fend off the Sinestro Corps... Oh, and the GLC members can't use their rings against the Sinestro Corps members(and vice-verca) because of their truce, so the GLC members use guns instead.... Which DOESN'T break the truce somehow... *sigh* Firestorm finally arrives and asks Kyle Rayner(or as Chairman Johns calls him, That Bastard) why the GLC members weren't using their rings, and Kyle tells him about the truce. Since Firestorm isn't a member of the GLC, he happily tears into the Sinestro Corps members WITH his powers. Sinestro The Great finally tires of decimating everything in his path and offers to leave Qward and stop beating up the Weaponer if the Weaponer agreed to join the Sinestro Corps. Realizing that he wasn't Hal “I Never Went Crazy!” Jordan and as such could never hope to defeat Sinestro The Great, the Weaponer joins the Sinestro Corps, going from a decent new villain to yet another faceless lackey. From there Sinestro and his Corps leave and the GLC Honor Guard decide to head to Earth to deal with Krona.

Thoughts: If I could sum this issue up in a single word it would be “disappointing”. I just don't see the upswing for making the Weaponer a member of the Sinestro Corps. It just doesn't make sense to me. Now he's simply another random face in the crowd as opposed to the threat he had been built into. Firestorm basically added NOTHING to this issue, as he wandered over, blasted a few random Sinestro Corps members and then left to find Deathstorm, making this the second most useless guest appearance I've read this month(only behind Catman's unnecessary appearance in Red Robin). As for Sinestro, what more needs to be said? He defeated an entire planet, beat a man who humbled the Green Lantern Honor Guard, including a Guardian of the Universe, and strutted away, no worse for wear... I think when I want my fill of DC's space faring stories I'll stick with the FAR superior(and written by the same writer, Tony Bedard)REBELS.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Pfft, an army against Sinestro? I'll take Sinestro's chances!