Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/31/11

Four more reviews tonight, two from last week, two from this week. Let's get to it!

Supergirl #62:

Summary: Supergirl has managed to discover that a) the fake villains that had been hounding her and the other DC heroes were being powered by Kryptonian sunstones, and b) whoever was behind the fake villains was holed up at Harvard University. SG decides to go the stealth route to deal with this problem and asks the Fake Beetle, Robin and Miss Martin to help her. Miss Martian sneaks onto the Harvard campus and is immediately taken out by the guy behind the fake villains, who I don't think has been named yet... He's some sort of a telepath though. After losing Martian's signal, SG, Robin and Fake Beetle realize the time for subterfuge was over and crash into the mystery villain's base, being met by an angry mind-controlled Miss Martian and several androids. The androids attack Robin and Fake Beetle, while SG manages to put down Martian. After she defeats Martian though, she is attacked and dropped by the mystery villain's telepathy. By this point Robin has managed to figure out how to teleport the androids and their master away and does so, saving SG, but losing the villains in the process. However, SG somehow gets caught up in the teleportation beam and is sent unconscious to parts unknown.

Thoughts: Meh. That was basically the only thing that went through my head upon finishing this comic. I literally thought, “Meh.” I think this story has potential, but with this being the third part, we should probably know more about the main villain besides the fact that he's a telepath, and may or may not be from Project Cadmus. I mean hell, a name would be nice! What more is there to say?

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Good night, Miss Martian. Thanks for showing up.

Silver Surfer #2(of 4):

Summary: The Silver Surfer is no longer silver(or a surfer anymore I guess), but is regular Norrin Radd, since the High Evolutionary had managed to steal his Power Cosmic. Suzi Endo(I know her from Iron Man 2.0!), who was working with the army of whatever Spanish country captured Radd after his depowering, decides to break Radd free, since he couldn't deal with being trapped in a confined space. The two manage to sneak out of the army base and drive away in search of the High Evolutionary. They finally find him, but by this point the Evolutionary has managed to use the Power Cosmic to bring Galactus's world ship to the Earth, where he was using it to create strange new forms of plant life.

Thoughts: Well, this was definitely not what I was expecting when I decided to buy this mini-series... I was expecting to see Silver Surfer in all his cosmic, space-spanning glory. Instead I'm reading about Norrin Radd talking about how awesome water tastes... I mean all of the pieces are here, I like the Surfer a lot, and the High Evolutionary is a fantastic, under appreciated character, so this mini-series SHOULD be getting scores of at least 7 or higher. Instead it's getting scores like this:

Score: 5 out of 10.If you ever wanted to read about the Silver Surfer drinking water, then THIS is the comic book for you!!!

Captain America and the Secret Avengers #1:

Summary: Black Widow receives a letter from a girl named Tatiana, who she saved a while back, threatening some art center in NYC. Steve Rogers sends Widow and Sharon Carter to investigate, and the two wind up getting locked in a room with a mess of criminals, pirates and terrorists from all over the world. It seems the party was dedicated to these lowlifes by a woman named Lady Alicia who ran a school training girls to be remorseless killers. It turns out Tatiana used to attend this school and was caught by Alicia's cronies and forced to lure Widow to the party so she could be killed in front of the other criminals. Before Lady Alicia has Tatiana kill Widow, she has all of the criminals raise their glasses to a toast to the death of the Black Widow. After the criminals gulp down their champagne, Lady Alicia reveals she poisoned them all, and wanted them to wire money into her bank account for an antidote. From there she tells Tatiana to kill Widow, but instead Tatiana shoots and kills Lady Alicia(with an assist from Sharon). With Lady Alicia out of the way, Sharon and Widow hand out the antidote to the scumbags, and take Tatiana back to her adopted family, which ends this one.

Thoughts: This story never got off the ground for me. I just couldn't get into the storyline here. I can't see how Widow and Sharon, being backed by Steve Rogers, could get themselves trapped in a room full of international crooks, surrounded by girl assassins... I thought Widow and Sharon were better than that. I don't get what Lady Alicia poisoning the party guests added to things, because, quite frankly, I could have cared less if those scumbags lived or died. And then in the end, Sharon and Widow drive Tatiana back to the home of her adopted family, let her out of the car, and then open the trunk of the car to reveal a puppy... I mean what the hell is that?!? Who puts a puppy in the trunk of a car?! Yeah, so far out of all the Cap one-shots I've read, this one has been the worst.

Score: 4 out of 10.Those are some strong kicks...

Cyclops #1:

Summary: This issue is a flashback to back when Cyclops was still bearable, and not the dictatorial prick he's become today. Scott enters the coffee chop near X-Mansion and is bummed out that all of the original X-Men(including his ladylove, Jean Grey) see him as stiff and like an older brother. While he's telling the waitress this, Batroc and Circus of Crime go driving through the shop for some reason. Scott pursues them, and ends up getting smacked in the face by Batroc's walkie-talkie. While on the ground, Scott blasts one of Batroc's tires, which leads to Batroc and his band of losers jumping Scott and leaving him laying. Batroc drives his stricken car a few blocks to a repair shop(in full costume mind you), which gives Scott the chance to catch up to the goons. Scott steals a bike and follows Batroc and his band of losers as they smash through a pet store, see a show and then head to a diner to have dinner, all while in full costume! After eavesdropping, Scott learns that the crooks were planning on stealing some equipment, and he follows them to a Hydra base, arriving just after they've escaped. Scott asks one of the Hydra agents what Batroc and company were after, and the Hydra agent helpfully tells Scott that Batroc stole some antiquated technology that Hydra was planning on scrapping anyway. The Hydra agent gives Scott a device to track the tech before passing out. Scott follows the signal to a quaint little home, and walks into the garage where he finds an old bomb shelter. Upon arriving at the bottom, Scott spies Batroc and his henchmen handing all of the old junk over to Baron Zemo(the one from WWII). This time around, Scott makes quick work of Batroc and his cronies, but is unable to defeat Zemo. Scott threatens to destroy Zemo's junk, which frightens Zemo long enough for Scott to blast him, thus ending his threat and this issue.

Thoughts: This was a decent, funny little story. It was written like an old school Silver Age Marvel book, and the artwork matched the style of storytelling. There was literally nothing wrong with this story, I got a few chuckles out of it, but that was it. Will I remember it in a few hours time? No, probably not, but it was a fun way to spend a few minutes.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Well this makes it official. Batroc is awesome!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Comic Day! March 30th Edition.

It's time for that weekly comic book event that we all wait for, it's time for New Comic Day! Last week I picked up A LOT of books from the comic books shop. A good 22 or so. This week was a lighter week, but still pretty good. BUT, before I get into this week, it's time to look back at the week that was and see if my predictions for last week's books came to fruition. Last week's Pick of the Litter was Captain America: Man Out of Time #5, and it was as good as I hoped, garnering a 9 1/2 from me. Hey, you can't ask for much more than that! On the other side of the coin, last week's Runt of the Litter was Batman Incorporated #4... Now while it was MILES better than issue #3, I only gave it a 5 out of 10, so yeah, it did deserve it's place as last week's Runt.

So this is where I usually start talking about what comics I picked up this week... But first, I want to look a little bit further down the road... I picked up the new Marvel Previews guide, which is for June of this year. Between classes at school I was flipping through it and I realized that I'm going to be buying A LOT of Marvel comics in the upcoming months... I mean the stuff going on over at Marvel looks really good... Now the problem about that is as follows. I'm not made entirely of money, which means if I'm going to be collecting an extra 10-15 Marvel books a month, that money is going to have to come from somewhere else. With that in mind, I am seriously thinking about dropping all but maybe 5 DC books come the summertime. I mean let's face it, DC has taken an epic nosedive since the end of Blackest Night, and the characters that people like Chairman Johns and his bitch Dan Didio want to spotlight are NOT the characters I care to read about. Now this is all subject to change, since maybe Marvel will get on my nerves as well and DC pulls itself out of the gutter, but as of now, I'm seriously considering dropping almost all of my DC books. I hope Chairman Johns and Didio are happy.

Now we can get to business. First off, here are the comics I should be getting in the mail sometime during the next two weeks. Action Comics #899, Gotham City Sirens #21, Green Arrow #10, Justice Society of America #49, Wonder Woman #609, Black Panther #516, Captain America #610, Secret Avengers #11 and Wolverine #7. A healthy 9 books there, although I'm only really looking forward to about half of them. And now, let's go over what I snagged at the comic shop today. First, I picked up two trades, Fantastic Four Vol. 3 and Iron Man: The End. Here are the singles I grabbed... Zatanna #11, X-23 #8, Ultimate X #4(!?!?!?), Teen Titans #93, Kick-Ass 2 #2(!!!), Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8, Detective Comics #875, Avengers #11, Amazing Spider-Man: You're Hired #1, Amazing Spider-Man #657, Captain America and the Secret Avengers #1, and Cyclops #1. That gives me 12 books this week, which is about on par for a normal week for me. Before I go and name the Pick and Runt of the Litter, if I was to go on my DC dropping spree now, out of this week's books I'd probably wind up dropping Green Arrow, Justice Society of America, Wonder Woman, Emerald Warriors, and possibly Teen Titans and Gotham City Sirens. Right there that would be about $18 to spend on far superior Marvel comics. Anyway, enough DC bashing in one post. This week's Pick of the Litter will have to be... um, let's go with Ultimate X #4. I easily could have chosen Kick Ass 2 or Amazing Spider-Man, but I REALLY enjoyed the first three Ultimate X comics, and with the way that series is released, I probably won't see issue #5 until sometime in the fall. As for this week's Runt, I'm going to pick Emerald Warriors #8, only because Our Lord and Savior Hal Jordan is in it. And there you have it, another week in the books, all that's left to do is say, “X out!” and post the Random Scan of the Week. So yeah, X out!

The Random Scan of the Week!Why is Dr. Strange's creepy ghost pink?

Quick Hits: 3/30/11

Four more reviews up for tonight, as I've managed to read nearly ALL of the comics in my new comic pile! Of course I'll be picking up a whole mess of new comics tomorrow, so my new comic pile will be replenished, but it was nice to almost see my nightstand again... Besides that, I just got the Avengers: The Korvac Saga hardcover from Amazon earlier today, and plan on beginning it later on tonight. That's all from me, let's get to those reviews.

X-Men #9:

Summary: The Whore, Wolverine, Storm, Gambit and Spidey are still searching the sewers of New York hoping to locate the Lizard, who they believe is transforming disgruntled teenage outcasts into lizard creatures like himself. However, we learn early on in this one that Lizard had been captured and his work was being corrupted by Dark Beast(I was right!!!). Being a mad scientist, Dark Beast was intrigued by Dr. Connors work, and as such wanted to perfect it even more. While the X-Men(and Spidey) are making their way through the sewers, Dark Beast is sending lizard teenagers out to stop them. Eventually the X-Men and Spidey make their way into Dark Beast's inner sanctum, where he pushes his lizard button and transforms all of the heroes, except for The Whore(who was safe in her diamond form) into bloodthirsty lizard creatures.

Thoughts: Dark Beast was in this comic, so it was automatically a good read in my book! Whenever one of the Age of Apocalypse characters shows up in a comic, I am one happy camper, especially since Dark Beast, besides Nate Grey of course, is my favorite AOA refuge. Besides my Dark Beast lust, the story here was actually quite good. It makes perfect sense that a mind as depraved as Dark Beast's would be enamored by Curt Connors work, and would want to perfect it. Dark Beast using a bunch of kids who were outcasted by society also made perfect sense, since they would be the most likely types of kids who would run away from home, thus raising no alarms in most people's heads. I also liked the ending, with Dark Beast turning the X-Men(and Spidey) into Lizard creatures. The only bad thing about that is that it means The Whore is going to wind up saving the day, and that is going to piss me of royally... But until that happens, this comic was all good.

Score: 8 out of 10.Awesomeness, thy name is Dark Beast!

Wolverine and Jubilee #3(of 4):

Summary: We begin this issue with Wolverine trying to catch the vampire woman who had Jubilee under her spell. Unfortunately for Wolvie, the vampire is too fast for him, and can easily avoid his attack. Eventually the vampire does something to Jubilee that makes Jubilee suddenly vanish. The vampire tells Wolvie that if he ever wanted to see Jubes again he'd assist her on some sort of errand. With no real choice, Wolvie agrees to go. Wolvie heads to Chernobyl, while Jubes awakens in some strange empty world. Rockslide's hands also begin to glow, which he believes is from when he crushed some sort of mystical amulet a few issues back. To figure out what was up, Rockslide heads to the place where he found the amulet and is attacked by a dragon. Back with Wolvie, he heads under Chernobyl and discovers a strange, handless man, who tells Wolvie that he won't part with whatever the vampire woman wanted. Rapidly tiring of the weird man, Wolvie kills him and tears open the box the man was trying to protect, finding a mess of magical amulets, one of which seemed to be holding Jubilee.

Thoughts: First things first, the Rockslide scene's were ABSOLUTELY pointless. I don't get why Rockslide is still alive while so many better young mutants are dead(Wallflower, Icarus, Wolf Cub, Tag, etc.)... No, we get Rockslide, Armor and Dust... Anyway, the story here was okay, as it has slowly gotten better as this mini-series has moved forward. Sure, it's nothing great, but it is an okay way to spend a few minutes.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Usage #265 for Wolverine's claws, opening stubborn packages.

Uncanny X-Force #6:

Summary: Fantomex is dealing with those blasted Deathlok cyborgs who have killed his mother and managed to steal the World. While that is going on, the members of X-Force are actually undecided as to whether they should bother helping Fantomex or not, since some members(Psylocke and Deadpool) are still miffed about Fantomex murdering Kid Apocalypse. Fantomex gets an assist from the main Deathlok(you know, the one from the 90's), and manages to get the World away from Captain America-Deathlok. By this point X-Force finally does arrive on the scene and help Fantomex and Deathlok get away, as well as capturing Captain America-Deathlok. The team forces Cap-Deathlok to interface with EVA and we learn that these Deathlok's are from a future where most of the super-heroes had been turned into Deathloks, which ushers in a utopia for mankind. However, the Deathlok's are sent back in time because Apocalypse has begun to bring their Utopian society crashing down. Archangel can't understand why the Deathloks were trying to kill Fantomex, since he was the one who killed Kid Apocalypse. Before the team can get any more answers from Cap-Deathlok, he kills himself after realizing all the evil he had done. Realizing that they had to halt the Father, who was controlling the Deathloks, Fantomex decides that the team had to enter the World to find and kill the Father.

Thoughts: I was finally getting into this story towards the end. The last issue left me a bit confused(okay, A LOT confused!), but Cap-Deathlok did a great job of filling in a lot of the blanks for me this issue. I did find it interesting that the Deathloks seemed interested in preventing Apocalypse from messing up their future society and have decided to go after Fantomex... Could that mean that the big A was somehow able to hop from Kid Apocalypse to Fantomex before the fateful shot was fired? I also liked that some members of X-Force(notably Psylocke) were still holding a grudge against Fantomex for his murdering of Kid Apocalypse. That's the type of wound that's not going to heal anytime soon, so I'm glad that Rick Remender keeps referencing back to that moment. I'm still not enjoying this story as much as the prior one, but we're definitely getting better.

Score: 7 out of 10.Well there's a conversation stopper for you!

Superman/Batman #82:

Summary: With some help from Dr. Occult and *sigh* Detective Chimp, Batman breaks into some wannabe magical villains base in an effort to figure out who they were working for. The punks don't know much, only that their mysterious benefactors were trying to preform the Final Spell on the Witch's Highway. Bats takes this info back to Occult and Chimp, which leads to Occult realizing that they were going to need the assistance of a witch. Meanwhile, Superman learns that he was pulled into the future by an older Batman. Old Bats tells Supes that the magicians DID manage to preform the Final Spell, which sacrificed the sun to some dark gods. All of the good sorcerers on Earth then banded together and recreated the sun, but it was a magical sun, and the Earth was now overrun with demons. Needless to say, Supes wants to know why Old Bats simply didn't go back in time to warn the Justice League or somebody as to what the evil magicians were planning on doing. Before he can get an answer though, they are attacked by the Creeper and an army of Solomon Grundys. After a bit of a battle, Old Bats tells Supes that since he was under a magic sun he had different powers, and Supes manages to banish the villains away. Back in the present, Bats, Chimp and Occult manage to track down a witch, more specifically, Klarion Bum... Bum... Bum... The Witch Boy!

Thoughts: This story is starting to grow on me... I guess that's no surprise, seeing as that I AM a sucker for futuristic, dystopian society stories... There's still lots that needs to be explained(why Old Bats needed Supes, what the Witch's Highway was, why Old Bats didn't warn anybody in the present as to what was going to happen, etc), but so far I'm enjoying this one. Plus, and I'm a bit embarrasses to admit this, I am a bit of a fan of Klarion as well...

Score: 7 out of 10.Bum... Bum... Bum...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/29/11

Four more comic reviews on tap for tonight, as well as a rare perfect score! Let's get to 'em!

Captain America Comics #1:

Summary: This comic was a full reprint(with new coloring!) of the very first Captain America comic book from WAAAAAY back in Nineteen Hundred and Forty-One. You get four Captain America mini-stories(as well as one non-illustrated story), a Hurricane story and a Tuk the Caveboy tale.

Thoughts: First things first, it must have been AWESOME to be a comic fan back in the 40's, because they REALLY put a whole MESS of content in these old books! I mean this comic was chock full of goodness! This comic was, in a word, perfect. I mean it literally took me a good 20 minutes to read it from cover to cover, as opposed to the 5 minutes of so it takes me to read a modern comic. Besides that, we get the first appearance of Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, the Red Skull(kind of...) and yes, Tuk the Caveboy!!! I'd only ever read the Red Skull story out of this comic, so almost all of this was new to me. Granted, I've KNOWN Captain America's origin since I was like 10, but I think this was the first time I actually read it. So that was really cool. Joe Simon could write some fantastic comic stories, the dialogue was magnificently done, and Jack Kirby IS The King, so you KNOW I was loving the artwork here. I mean, this WAS perfection. If you're a comic book fan, you should read this reprint. If you're a Marvel fan, you owe it to yourself to read this reprint. And if you're a Captain America fan, you HAVE to read this reprint!

Score: 10 out of 10. This was one of the easiest perfect scores I've ever given.Here it is, the FIRST Captain America/Red Skull meeting!

Venom #1:

Summary: Venom(Flash Thompson) gets deployed to some Eastern European country to capture a mad scientist who had managed to weaponize Vibranium. Unfortunately for Venom, Jack O' Lantern is also there for the scientist, since Jack O' Lantern's mysterious benefactor wanted to get his hands on the scientist as well. Venom runs around acting heroically(at the expense of the mission at times), while Jack runs amok, killing people indiscriminately. Eventually Jack reaches the scientist, and is ready to leave town with him, but is halted by the timely arrival of Venom. The two battle, and Jack manages to hurt Flash, which allows the Venom symbiote to gain some control. Before Venom could go into full, “We're going to eat your brains!!!” mode, Flash manages to regain control, and shove a grenade into Jack O' Lantern's mask, blowing up the lower part of his jaw(OUCH!). Something as inconsequential as a detached jaw can't stop Jack, as he grabs the scientist and tries to get away on his flying broomstick, but Venom manages to snag the scientist's head with some webbing and pulls back, breaking the scientist's neck, leaving Jack with a useless corpse. With that Venom heads home, where he is scolded by his superior officer for failing the mission(since the US wanted the scientist alive), as well as almost losing control on the field. Bummed out, Flash heads to the apartment of his girlfriend Betty Brant, who is pissed with him since he was six hours late for their date. With that, Flash leaves her place and that's basically it.

Thoughts: Well, that was a rather inauspicious start... I didn't like the main story with the scientist since, for whatever reason, it just never clicked for me. I did really like Jack O' Lantern though... He was the one real bright spot in this comic, although him not only surviving, but trying to get away after having his FACE blown up was a bit over the top... I mean how the hell does he remain alive, let alone conscious after THAT?! As for Venom, I still like the concept of Flash Thompson's as our new Venom, although everything that happened here basically happened in the recent Amazing Spider-Man point-one issue. Not the best start, but I'll definitely give this series at least two full storylines before I make a final judgment.

Score: 5 out of 10.Say what you will, but Jack O' Lantern is one dedicated villain!

X-23 #7:

Summary: X-23 and Gambit are on their way to Madripoor to look for Malcolm Colcord, but first stop off to help an old friend of Gambit's in Singapore. It seems Gambit's friend is a police officer in Singapore and one of his undercover agents went missing. The cop suspects pirates captured the agent, which is where Gambit and X-23 step in. The two track the pirates back to their base where they find the pirate boss torturing the agent. X-23 leaps into the fray(against Gambit's advice) and takes on the head pirate, while Gambit is stuck battling the rest of the pirates. The pirate boss stabs X-23 with his sword as X-23 stabs him, and the two go tumbling into the waters, where the pirate boss dies, and X-23 is attacked by sharks. Gambit also falls into the water after getting conked on the head by the pirates, and is saved from the sharks by X-23. Upon resurfacing, the duo realize that the agent had bled out and was dead. With that, Gambit's cop friend lends them a boat and they continue their journey to Madripoor.

Thoughts: In a word, this comic was very “meh”. It was the very definition of a space-holder issue. We just ended the Sinister storyline, and we're about to start the Daken/X-23 x-over, so this comic really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. If you like Gambit, pirates and sharks, then this was the comic for you! If not, well then you can safely skip this one.

Score: 5 out of 10.Gambit: Damsel in Distress.

Zatanna #10:

Summary: Zatanna takes Oscar Hampel to her magical mansion to see if there was any way she could undo the spell her father put on Oscar which transformed him into a puppet. Before she goes through with any attempt at reversing the spell though, Zatanna wants to know if Oscar was truly unfairly punished by her old man, so she forces the puppet to touch a crystal which compels him to tell the truth. It turns out Oscar was a terrible person, killing several innocents, as well as nearly killing Zatanna as a child before her father stepped in and turned him into a puppet. Zatanna is incensed by Oscar's duplicity, and tells him she'd never reverse the spell now. Upon hearing that, Oscar freaks out and throws the crystal at Zatanna's head, dazing her. Oscar runs around the room and grabs a few magical artifacts and begins wishing that he wasn't a puppet anymore. Before Zatanna can stop him, everything fades to black, and when Zatanna comes to, it appears Oscar has been returned to his human self, while Zatanna has been transformed into a puppet.

Thoughts: Man, puppets freak me out... Seriously... Besides that though, this was a very solid comic. It wasn't great, it didn't suck, it was, as they say, a perfectly acceptable comic book. The reveal that Oscar was always a scumbag really didn't surprise me, because I doubt Zatanna's father would have turned him into a puppet unless he was sure Oscar deserved it. The ending was a bit confusing, as I didn't get how Zatanna and Oscar traded places, or how(or why!) Oscar managed to become a famous puppeteer again. I guess the answer would be, “It's magic! It doesn't need to make sense, stupid!”

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Damned, creepy puppet...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/28/11

All right, we have an all-Marvel Quick Hits to get through tonight. With how lackluster just about EVERYTHING coming out of DC has been these past several months, I'm definitely glad to get a few Marvel books in a row, which I know should at least be mediocre. But I'm expecting better than mediocre out of this batch of comics. We have Daken, THREE Captain America comics and this year's Uncanny X-Men annual. Basically this SHOULD be good... Let's find out though...

Daken: Dark Wolverine #7:

Summary: We get started by learning that Malcolm Colcord(of the Weapon X Program) has set up in Madripoor. Who else is in Madripoor? Why that would be Daken, who has managed to force Tiger Tyger into serving as the lieutenant in his burgeoning crime empire. Tyger isn't pleased with having to serve Daken, but she realizes that the only shot she'll ever have at throwing Daken out of Madripoor is to stay close to him. Daken realizes that's the only reason Tyger is sticking with him as well, but since he does need a public face for his criminal empire, he knows he's stuck with her... For now. With Tyger under his thumb, Daken manages to take control of the Madripoor police force by kidnapping the daughter of its commissioner, while taking over the few remaining gang leaders. In other words, Daken's well orchestrated conquest of Madripoor is complete. This issue ends with us learning that Daken was working WITH Colcord(Wha?!) as X-23 and Gambit arrive in Madripoor for some reason.

Thoughts: Um, what? When the hell did Daken hook up with Colcord? And for what reason? Weird... I can appreciate what Daken accomplished over the course of this storyline(consolidating all of the crime in Madripoor), but I still can't say I care much about Madripoor... Anyway, the end events of this issue are setting up the upcoming Daken/X-23 crossover, which should be interesting, to say the least.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.I don't! Or at least not yet...

Captain America: Man Out of Time #5(of 5):

Summary: Having been sent back to his proper time period by Kang, Captain America(Steve Rogers) decides to try to settle back down in the mid-1940's, but soon realizes that the “good old days” weren't exactly as idyllic as he remembered. After seeing just how ugly the 40's were(for everybody who wasn't a middle class white male), Cap decides he has to get back to the present to save his Avengers teammates from Kang. To this end, Cap places his Avengers card in a picture that he knows he'll find in the future, writes a note and sets off the emergency alert. Back in the present, Rick Jones hears the alert coming from Cap's room in Avengers mansion, finds the picture and discovers the card and the letter telling Rick to have Reed Richards pick him up. Reed does just that, and Cap returns to the present, breaks his teammates out of captivity and helps them topple Kang. The Avengers are appreciative, and Cap finally realizes that his place is with them, not in the 1940's.

Thoughts: This was one fantastic mini-series. Mark Waid did a wonderful job of capturing the inner turmoil of somebody like Steve Rogers, who was trying to decide where he belonged. Over the course of this mini, Cap went from being impressed by the future/present, being disgusted by it, longing to get back to his proper time period/the past, getting back to the past and then realizing that things weren't as great as he remembered back in the day. The only gripe I had with this issue is that the Kang battle was basically a foregone conclusion, and was pretty much treated as such. We all KNEW that Kang was going to lose, and this story never bothered to give us the illusion that MAYBE Kang would pull it off. So yeah, the battle was inconsequential, but the psychological stuff with Cap was top notch.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Poor, poor Kang... Will he ever learn?

Captain America #615.1:

Summary: With Bucky no longer serving as Captain America(there's a reason to read this series!), and Steve Rogers being the commander of SHIELD(and the Avengers), there isn't a Captain America anymore. To rectify that, a former US soldier meets up with Dr. Malus and the Power Broker, and is given enhanced strength and speed so he could become the new Captain America. Fake Cap manages to publicly halt a crime, and gives an interview stating that America needs a Captain America, and he was going to take up the mantle. Needless to say, this angers Steve, who doesn't want to see another untrained person die while wearing his former uniform. Steve begins to track Fake Cap and discovers some AIM goons kidnapping Fake Cap and loading him onto a airplane. Steve sneaks onto the ship and learns that the AIM agents were trying to turn Fake Cap into a new MODOK. Steve manages to halt the process and brings down the AIM ship. SHIELD swings by to mop up the mess, and Steve tells Fake Cap that his short career as Captain America was finished. Fake Cap tells Steve that he'll stop, but that America needed a Captain America to look up to, and that somebody had to take up the mantle... From there we head to one of Nick Fury's hideouts where we find Sharon Carter waiting for him. Sharon reveals that she knew Nick was posing as the Power Broker(!), and that she knew that Nick tipped off the AIM agents to kidnap Fake Cap. Needless to say, Sharon wants to know why Nick did these things, at which point Nick tells Sharon that he was trying to manipulate Steve into taking up the Captain America mantle again. Sharon asks Nick what makes him think that she wouldn't tell Steve what Nick was up to, and Nick plainly states that Sharon wants Steve back as Captain America as much as he does. This issue ends with Steve standing in Avengers Tower staring at the shield of Captain America, pondering the future.

Thoughts: You know, this was a strange comic. The main story, with the Fake Cap was alright, but not great. However, the last few pages, especially the reveal that Nick Fury was trying to manipulate events, and Steve's actions in the Tower, pushed this comic from an okay issue to a really good/great issue. I've always been a sucker for Nick Fury's cloak and dagger dealings, so yeah, this issue definitely pleased me. Then again, whenever you have Ed Brubaker writing a Captain America comic, what's not to like?

Score: 9 out of 10.Damn that Nick Fury and his mind games!

Captain America and Batroc the Leaper #1:

Summary: Some mercenaries have hired Batroc to keep Captain America(in this case, Bucky) off their backs while they steal something. While meeting with the mercs, one of them taunts Batroc for having never beat Cap, to which Batroc tells the merc that nobody has ever beaten Cap, because if they did, there'd be no Cap(good point there...). Anyway, the mercs commit their crime, and Cap attempts to stop them, at which point Batroc... um, leaps into the fray. Batroc fights with Cap, and actually manages to trick Cap into a trap, which would have allowed Batroc the opportunity to escape. However, Batroc can't pass up the opportunity and instead of escaping, goes back after Cap, moving in for the kill. By this point Cap is back up, and slaps Batroc around, causing Batroc to go back into retreat mode. Batroc endangers some bystanders, which draws Cap's attention, allowing Batroc to make good his escape. Back in his hotel, Batroc learns that the mercs ended up being captured by Cap(which doesn't surprise him), while he revels in the fact that he escaped Cap, which he considers a draw.

Thoughts: I actually REALLY enjoyed this comic... I mean, I expected nothing going into it(it was about Batroc!!!), but Kieron Gillen turned this into a fun little romp. Batroc has always had a bit of a respectability streak, and Gillen really showcased that here. Yes, Batroc is a scuzzy mercenary, but he's a respectable scuzzy mercenary, which is what this one-shot hammered home. On top of that, there was also a reprint of a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Tales of Suspense issue featuring an early Cap/Batroc battle. As a fan of Captain America, what more could I ask for?

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.That middle panel REALLY needed a comical sound effect.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3(2011):

Summary: Tired of being invaded by the denizens of Limbo, Lord Summers the First tells Madison Jeffries and Dr. Nemesis to build a gateway to Limbo. Somehow Jeffries miscalculates and the gateway explodes, sucking Nemesis, Lord Summers, Hope “Worship Me” Summers and Namor into the portal before it closes. Lord Summers immediately realizes that the four mutants weren't in Limbo, so he decides to split into two teams to try to figure out where they were/how to get out, with himself and Hope one one team and Namor and Nemesis on the other. Namor rapidly grows tired of Nemesis and ditches him, while Lord Summers and Hope get attacked and knocked out by strange aliens. Back on Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia), Emma Frost decides to head to New York to ask for assistance in finding the missing muties. This issue ends with Lord Summers and Hope waking up before Blastarr, who wants to know how the two mutants made it into the Negative Zone so he could use it to get out.

Thoughts: Hey, you know what? I really enjoyed this comic! Sure it had Lord Summers, his whore and Messiah Hope in it, but the story was really strong, strong enough to help me forget all about my blinding hatred of all things mutant. So kudos to writer James Asmus for that. The second part of this story takes place in the Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier Annual #1, which is sort of weird since there isn't a Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier ongoing series... I mean why would a mini-series that ended months ago need an annual? Marvel's odd title choices aside, this was a really good comic, that should only get better with the inclusion of Steve Rogers... Who knew?!

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.You see, this is what we need more of, Cyclops laying bloodied on the ground.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/26/11

Justice League of America #55:

Summary: This comic was actually telling two stories, the regular storyline that had been going on with Eclipso, and the Reign of Doomsday stuff. First let's cover the Eclipso portions. Eclipso and his army of possessed shadow characters attack the Emerald City on the Moon in an effort to possess Jade. The JLA's forces are split(we'll get to that later with the Doomsday stuff), which basically leaves Donna Troy and Jade alone against Eclipso's forces, since Jesse Quick was forced to rush the paralyzed Alan Scott to safety. Eclipso's forces are too much, and in the end he manages to possess Jade, just as he planned. The other half of this story starts in the remains of New Krypton. Supergirl had asked Batman(Dick Grayson) to remove the shattered planet from the Earth's orbit so she could try to forget about her loss, when Green Lantern Boodikka arrives to survey the damage for the Guardians. Doomsday chooses this moment to attack, tearing into Boodikka and destroying Batman's spaceship. Luckily for Bats, he's still safe in his spacesuit, but is pretty much helpless. Supergirl moves in to attack Doomsday, but Doomsday seems WAY more interested in Boodikka than SG. Bats figures Doomsday was going to kill Boodikka and then SG, so he tells Starman to get to the location to spirit the two women away. Instead, like an idiot, Starman decides to attack Doomsday, which does little more than slightly distract Doomsday. Doomsday knocks Starman away, and Bats takes that opportunity to teleport SG and Boodikka to the JLA Watchtower. Doomsday quickly follows, and this issue concludes with Cyborg Superman rising from Boodikka, which is apparently where he chose to hide after his most recent defeat.

Thoughts: Hey, this was yet another good issue of this series! I mean two months ago I was primed and ready to cut my ties with this series and drop it, but last issue helped change my mind, and this issue proved that I made the right choice. The Doomsday stuff was very well done, and it leads in to the Superman/Batman annual where Doomsday will be facing Cyborg Supes. The Eclipso stuff was also very good, even though the Doomsday story took center stage. Since I enjoyed both stories, there's really not much to complain about... Well except for the fact that Saint Walker showed up in this issue for absolutely NO reason... Let's PLEASE keep Chairman Johns' garbage in Chairman Johns' comics.

Score: 8 out of 10.Yeah, my money's on Doomsday in a battle between the Big D and Starman.

FF #1:

Summary: We get started with Reed listening to a video recording from the now deceased Human Torch. In the video, Johnny tells Reed to keep fighting the good fight, and to have Spidey replace him on the team. Spidey arrives at the Baxter Building and is greeted by Sue, who takes him around, showing him the sights. Spidey meets some of the freaky kids Reed has there, and bumps into the Thing, who completely blows Spidey off. Sue presents Spidey with his FF uniform, and the foursome are immediately called to go to the PAVLOV facility, which was under attack by AIM agents. The FF arrive on the scene and attack the AIM agents, but AIM has managed to free the Wizard from captivity, teleporting away with him while he spewed threats at Reed... Oh, and as a total aside that has NOTHING to do with the story, I had to laugh at the fact that the Wizard was nude in his prison cell when the AIM agents broke him out, and all they gave him was that dumb-ass helmet he wears, which Wizard went and put on his head! You'd think he'd have placed the helmet in a more... strategic area, but no, he stood there with his helmet on his head, wearing nothing else while he yelled at Reed... Back to the story, Reed heads back to the Baxter Building and is met by his daughter Valeria and his father, Nathaniel. Valeria tells Reed that she made a deal with Dr. Doom which infuriates Reed, but Reed's father, being the resident time traveler, tells Reed that Valeria did exactly what she was supposed to do. This issue ends with Reed, Valeria and Nathaniel meeting up with Doom in the bowels of the Baxter Building to welcome him into the Future Foundation.

Thoughts: This was NOT what I was expecting here... I mean, I don't really know what I was expecting, but this most certainly wasn't it. Everything in this comic seemed slightly off... Spidey joining the team was done with absolutely NO fanfare, Thing's mood swings were just all over the place(one minute he's moping in his room, the next he's eating dinner with everybody else), the stuff with Wizard made me laugh, and Doom joining the FF? Um yeah, like that doesn't have dumb idea written ALL over it! I honestly expected this issue to take the FF in a drastically new direction, and all it did was change their costumes. I can honestly say this issue left me pretty disappointed.

Score: 6 out of 10.It's mopin' time!!!

Deadpool #34:

Summary: Deadpool is still on a mission to kill the rogue moon, Id. You see, Ol' Pool was hired by some aliens to kill Id since Id snorted their homeworld... Hey, what do you want, it's a Deadpool comic! The angry aliens want to sacrifice a small farming world to distract Id, but Pool nixes that idea. Instead, Pool rescues the aliens on the farming world, taunts Id, and leads Id on a chase through the galaxy while promising the wary aliens that he had a great plan. This issue ends with Pool landing on a third alien planet to begin enacting his undoubtedly ingenious plan.

Thoughts: Yes, I know that was a very brief summary, but I have like a bazillion other comic books to get through this weekend, so a few are going to get the short end of the stick, this comic being one of them. I actually liked this comic a lot, it had that trademark Deadpool humor that all of us Poolaholics love. The only problem I had with it was Deadpool's “plan”... I haven't the foggiest notion WHAT DP was up to for most of this issue, but then again, it was Deadpool coming up with the plan, so maybe it was for the best that I had no clue what he was planning. Anyway, good, fun stuff here, so no real complaints!

Score: 8 out of 10.It's always a good idea to go with the plan from your brain.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/25/11

Batman: The Dark Knight #2:

Summary: Still searching for missing socialite Dawn Golden, Batman's(Bruce Wayne this time around) search brings him to the Penguin's headquarters, where he finds an amulet that belonged to Dawn. Penguin sics his goons on Bats, but we all know how well that's going to work out. Needless to say, Bats easily dispatches of the goons and chases after Penguin, who decides to run away... Um yeah, I don't see Penguin winning THAT race... While that epic race is going on, Killer Croc breaks out of police custody and begins to make his way to the Penguin's base. Bats catches up to Penguin and demands to know what he did with Dawn, while Penguin claims he knows nothing. Not believing the fowl villain(heh heh), Bats breaks Penguin's arm and leg(!!), while Alfred listens in shock from the Batcave. By this point Croc arrives on the scene and knocks the feral Batman unconscious before he can do any more damage to Penguin. The two villains take Bats to a warehouse, tie him to a chair and wire him to some explosives, because villains can't resist a good deathtrap... Eventually Bats wakes up and sees a TV sitting in front of him, with Penguin on it(from the hospital). Penguin taunts Bats a bit before he switches the video feed to Dawn, who is being tortured elsewhere. Bats becomes infuriated and Penguin tells him that the explosives were wired to Batman's heart rate, meaning if he became too upset, he'd explode. Besides that, some girl steals the Batmobile, Ragman eats a hobo and it appears the reason Bats flipped out on Penguin was because he was under the influence of Dawn's amulet. Oh, and Etrigan was there too.

Thoughts: Man did a lot happen in this issue... First off, I was hard pressed to remember what the hell happened in the last issue since it came out MONTHS ago! Once I started reading though, I found myself enjoying the story, even though it did contain my second most hated villain of all time, Penguin. So Penguin did have Dawn all along, even though we have no idea why. We also don't know why Dawn's amulet drove Bats loco, although I'm guessing that's why Jason Blood summoned Etrigan... Either that or because Ragman was on a hobo-eating rampage... To be honest, after reading this comic, if I was forced to read only one Batman book a month, this would EASILY be the one I choose. It wasn't perfect, but it was quite engaging, something all of the other Batman books currently are not.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.If Bats would have broken Penguin's neck, I would have given this comic a perfect score!

Batman Incorporated #4:

Summary: A lot of this issue dealt in flashbacks to the early crimefighting days of Batman(Bruce Wayne). Basically, Kathy Kane was a bored woman with a lot of time and money on her hands, and she decided to become the first Batwoman. She eventually hooks up with Batman, which annoys Robin(Dick Grayson) to no end. The two get quite serious before Kathy breaks it off and leaves a heartbroken Bruce behind. We learn that Kathy was apparently the daughter of “an unrepentant Nazi master criminal”(according to Grant Morrison at least), and that her evil Nazi father wanted her to marry Bruce, and then reveal that she was the daughter of “an unrepentant Nazi master criminal”. Kathy didn't want Bruce to learn this bizarre fact, which is why she breaks it off with him. Back in the present, Batman and Gaucho are being forced to fight to the death or else El Sombrero(that's right, the dreaded Hat!!!) drowns a few orphans. Bats and Gaucho do indeed fight, until Bats is able to bypass Sombrero's machinery and shut down his deathtrap. Gaucho's assistant Scorpiana ditches Sombrero, leaving him to the tender mercies of Bats and Gaucho. The current version of Batwoman is also in this issue, battling a woman who was pretending to be Kathy Kane. Oh, and for some reason there's a guy with smoke for a cape hanging out around penguins...

Thoughts: Grant Morrison literally makes my head hurt sometimes... What the HELL was the deal with the guy with the smoky cape?!? It just made no sense!!! Anyway, I actually enjoyed the flashback stuff(probably because most of it didn't come from the mind of Crazy Grant), while the stuff set in the present was as insane and incomprehensible as you'd expect a comic written by Morrison to be...

Score: 5 out of 10.Too bad this entire issue didn't just stick with flashbacks...

Namor #8:

Summary: Namor, Dr. Doom, Loa and some Atlantian woman are trying to find a way out of Hell. Doom discovers the way out, and tells Namor that if he survives the coming battle, Namor would owe Doom. With that Doom leaves and a mess of dead Atlantian kings and misfits attack Namor and the two women. Namor tells Loa to watch the Atlantian woman(who was messed up last issue by some angry Atlantian kings), while he deals with the demons. The demons beat the hell out of Namor, while the Atlantian woman has a conversation with some Atlantian kings who weren't that angry with Namor... Man, how many Atlantian kings inhabit Hell?! The good(ish) Atlantian kings restore the Atlantian woman's mind, which leads to her blasting the evil Atlantian demons with magic, buying Namor the time to get the three of them out of Hell. Now free from Hell, Namor yells at Cyclops and then sleeps with the Atlantian woman... In a bed of leaves... Under the sea......... And yeah, that's about it...

Thoughts: Umm... How am I even supposed to respond to that?! All I'm going to say is that I'll be dropping this series right after the Namor annual. By this point I don't think there's ANYTHING that can change that. This series is simply a car wreck.

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.I don't blame Doom for walking out of this comic...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/24/11

I said I'd have to get a move on with these reviews, especially in light of earlier today's rather... enthusiastic trip to the comic book shop. I mean those 20 something comics I picked up aren't gonna review themselves, so here are the last couple of comics that I needed to review from last week. Next on the agenda, THIS week's books!

Iron Man 2.0 #2:

Summary: The mystery of Palmer Addley continues here with the(thought to be) dead Palmer possessing a US soldier and making him don a suicide bomber's vest to kill several other US soldiers in Iraq. War Machine(who has been tasked with solving the riddle of how Palmer is striking from beyond the grave) heads to Suzi Endo, a world class computer expert(and possible ex of Rhodey's). Suzi manages to track the signal that set off the bomber's vest to a location in Russia, which is where Rhodey flies to. Rhodey finds an abandoned warehouse and upon further inspection discovers a whole mess of dead Russian soldiers pinned to a wall. Rhodey catches a glimpse of somebody out of the corner of his eye and pursues them, but winds up getting hit with a monster virus, which completely shuts down his armor. While laying face down, somebody walks up to the helpless War Machine and tells him to go back to the States and tell his bosses that Palmer Addley is dead. Suzi, who was keeping an eye on Rhodey after he left, manages to reboot Rhodey's hydraulic system, which gets him up off the ground, before telling him to get out of the warehouse as soon as he could. Rhodey tries to drag himself out the door, but is caught in a huge explosion before he could get clear. This issue ends with War Machine laying wrecked in a massive crater.

Thoughts: First things first, I do enjoy a good mystery. And this story is giving us a good mystery. I'm as lost as Rhodey when it comes to Palmer Addley, and how he's doing what he's doing. So yes, the story here is very good. BUT(you had to see that coming!), I don't know who many of the characters are in this series... I have NO clue who Suzi Endo is, and what her relationship to Rhodey is. I'm guessing they were an item once, but I'm not sure. That's more on me than Nick Spencer though, because I really never followed Iron Man(or War Machine) until very recently. The bottom line though is that I'm enjoying this comic, and look forward to learning more about the mystery of Palmer Addley.

Score: 8 out of 10.I hope the speech is at least interesting...


Summary: Last issue ended with Lobo killing one of Starro's lieutenants, Storm-Daughter. While Starro is more concerned with hiding the Lobo clones he had under the Psion homeworld, his other lieutenant, Smite, wants Lobo to pay for the murder. Starro decides to take the starfish off of Dox's face to find out how to beat Lobo, but Dox simply taunts Starro because he's AWESOME. Starro gets tired of hearing Dox, so he sticks th starfish back on Dox's face(HA!). Back on the planet Rann, Starro's forces are slowly beginning to overrun the planet, with Starro's mind controlling starfish attaching themselves to Adam Strange's daughter, as well as his father-in-law. Smite decides to program all of the Lobo clones the Psion's had created with the memory of how Lobo destroyed their homeworld of Czarnia, figuring the best way to beat Lobo was with an army of Lobos. Starro nixes this idea, since he didn't want to risk losing control of the Lobo clones. Smite gets sick of Starro and decides to face Lobo himself, so he could avenge Storm-Daughter's death. With Smite occupying Lobo, Starro tells all of his mind controlled Psion's to move the Lobo clones to a safer place, while he takes the mind controlled Dox to Rann to finish conquering that world. Back on Rann, Dox's son, Brainiac 3(Lyrl Dox) learns that most of Rann has been conquered by Starro's forces, meaning it was up to him to revive the near dead Tribulus to mount some kind of offensive against Starro before it was too late.

Thoughts: *sigh* I honestly can't believe this series is going to be canceled in a few short months... I say this as somebody who reads a LOT of comic books monthly(if you don't believe me, just check out any of my New Comic Day posts!), both DC and Marvel, so I'm not saying this lightly, REBELS is THE best comic coming out of DC, and probably one of the top 5 comics I read every month. As always, Tony Bedard's story was fantastic and the art was great as usual. I don't know what more to say. I'd implore people to read this comic book, but by this point it's too little too late. Before I go on a wicked rant against my fellow comic fans, and the DC hierarchy, I think it would be best to just end this review right now...

Score: 9 out of 10.That top panel made me literally laugh out loud!

Red Robin #21:

Summary: Okay, let me just say right now that there is NO earthly way I can even begin to review this comic book. It was THAT bad... All I'm going to say is that Red Robin seems to FINALLY have managed to shut down the Unternet by dooming the Madmen to live out their lives as lunatics... Oh, and in the end it appears that Anarky(Lonnie Machin) somehow manages to keep a sliver of the Unternet alive...

Thoughts: All I have to say about this comic book is this: THANK GOD this storyline is FINALLY over!!!!! This Unternet business was just a massive headache where I understood every third page. Now hopefully Fabian Nicieza can get off this Unternet kick he's apparently on so we can get some good Red Robin stories, like we used to before the Unternet junk came to the forefront.

Score: 1 1/2 out of 10.Something happened here. The end.

Birds of Prey #10:

Summary: After Calculator “killed” Oracle last issue by blowing up her helicopter, he decides to kill Huntress, Dove(good!) and Lady Blackhawk. Before he can get the job done though, Black Canary arrives on the scene, apparently not selling the mental abuse Mortis delivered to her last issue. This gives Huntress, Dove and Blackhawk the chance to break out of their bonds, while Hawk also shows up to lend a hand. Calculator tries to get away, but is caught by Huntress, who lets him go, but not before telling him that by killing Oracle he'd be facing the full wrath of the entire super-hero community. After all the Calculator stuff is taken care of, we head to the Batcave, where we learn Oracle is still alive(duh). She tells Batman(Bruce Wayne), Batman(Dick Grayson), Red Robin, Batgirl, and that worthless pain in the ass Misfit that she was still alive, but that she would only be working with them from this point forward, since too many bad guys had learned of her existence. And that's pretty much that.

Thoughts: Eh. It's not like this comic was bad or anything, it just didn't do anything to impress me. I like that Oracle faked her death, since that does take her off the radar of the villains, thus making the villains a bit more sloppy, but the rest of this issue was meh. I still hate that Hawk and Dove are on this team, it was never really explained how Black Canary managed to escape Mortis's mental torture, and Huntress letting Calculator go bothered me(even though I get why she did it). Plus I had to see Misfit, which always puts me in a bad mood. So yeah, this wasn't a bad comic, but it definitely wasn't something I'd want to spend a whole mess of time talking/thinking about.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Now THAT is a big gun!

X-Factor #217:

Summary: Rictor, Madrox, Shatterstar and Longshot head to the graveyard where Jameson's general friend was killed a few issues back to see if Longshot could use his powers to “see” who shot the general. Meanwhile, Monet and Strong Guy come across some people protesting mutants and Muslims and begin to debate them. Mayor Jameson soon arrives on the scene and ALSO begins to debate... Ugh. Longshot manages to see who shot the general, and Rictor uses a facial recognition program to create a picture of the woman. Madrox sends the woman's picture to the other members of X-Factor, and Monet and Strong Guy spot the woman in the crowd of protesters heading towards Jameson. Strong Guy gets in front of her, and she shoots him through the chest with her finger(which fires some sort of energy bullets). With the crowd now panicked, a secondary sniper from above sets her sights on Jameson.

Thoughts: I didn't like this issue AT ALL! It was WAAAAY too preachy for my tastes. I like my politics on my TV(so I don't have to watch it!) and my entertainment in my comic books. Sure, some comics can get across a political message in a clever, non-browbeating sort of way, but this comic just irked me. And I say that as somebody who AGREES with the message Peter David was delivering through Monet and Mayor Jameson! Even still, I didn't think the protest scenes had any place in this comic, and it REALLY hurt my enjoyment of this usually good series.

Score: 2 1/2 out of 10.Please, let's not get into the Longshot/Shatterstar relationship again...

Batman #708:

Summary: Batman(Dick Grayson) is still suffering the aftereffects of being stabbed by Azrael and his magical sword. Don't ask me when that happened, because I have no clue. After a restless night sleep in which Dick was plagued by dreams of a circus performer from Haley's Circus being beaten to death(which he has NO memory of), Dick heads out after hearing about some lunatic running rampant in Gotham. Dick arrives on the scene and sights a floating man throwing fire and swords at all of the “sinners” he sees around him. Red Robin and Catwoman arrive on the scene to help, but the madman is too much for them, as he batters them with his myriad of powers. Azrael arrives on the scene and tells the madman to stop, revealing that the guy was named the Crusader. Azrael tells the Bat-members not to worry about Crusader, since he always listened to Azrael, but Dick wants Crusader taken to prison for all the damage/death he caused. Azrael says no, and vanishes with Crusader in a puff of smoke and fire. From there we head just outside of Gotham where we learn Ra's Al Ghul was enhancing the powers of some guy named Fireball so he'd be able to destroy all of Gotham. It appears that Azrael, Crusader and Fireball are working for Al Ghul, and are testing the heroes of Gotham. If the heroes fail the test, then Al Ghul intends on destroying the entire city.

Thoughts: This is actually the beginning of a crossover with at least Red Robin, and possibly Gotham City Sirens(even though that's just a guess on my part). I have to admit, I've never cared for this new Azrael, plus I don't know who Crusader and Fireball are... I have no idea when Dick was stabbed by Azrael, or what the deal with Dick's weird dreams were. So there were a lot of things I just couldn't enjoy here, because I had no clue what was going on! I did like seeing Ra's towards the end of this issue, because he is one of my favorite Bat-villains. But besides that, there were just too many times I sat back and had no idea what I was reading.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.What's a Batman review without the obligatory shirtless Dick Grayson pic?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Comic Day! March 23rd Edition.

Well, it turns out that I went to the comic book store after all today. Thus far the snowstorm hasn't been that bad(definitely not in the Winter Storm Warning category), and my school was open, so I figured, “What the hey, since I have to go to school anyway, I might as well go to the comic book shop too!” Of course when I got to school I found out that my first class was canceled, which made it really easy for me to decide to head back home, with a nice big bag of comic books in my hands! So that's what's been going on with yours truly. But that's not what this post is about. This post is a celebration to my unbridled comic books spending, so let's get to that! As always, before I get to this week's books, we'll first take a look back at what went on last week. For the first time ever, I had TWO Pick of the Litter books last week, Avengers: The Children's Crusade: Young Avengers #1 and the Fear Itself Prologue. To say those books didn't disappoint would be a MASSIVE understatement! Young Avengers received a perfect 10 out of 10 from me, while Fear Itself wasn't very far behind, with a near perfect 9 1/2 out of 10. You really can't ask for much more than that! Last week's Runt of the Litter was Brightest Day #22, and I sure as HELL haven't read that garbage yet, and to be honest, I have no intention of reading it anytime soon.

Well, that wraps up last week, let's get to this week, first with the subscription comics I'm expecting to arrive sometime this week or next: Batman: Streets of Gotham #21(the last issue I believe), Green Lantern Corps #58 and Uncanny X-Men #534. Only three, but trust me, I MORE than made up for that earlier today... Here are the books I snagged at the comic shop: Hellblazer #277, Batman: Dark Knight #2, Batman Incorporated #4, X-Men #9, Wolverine and Jubilee #3, Uncanny X-Force #6, Superman/Batman #82, Supergirl #62, Silver Surfer #2, Namor #8, Justice League: Generation Lost #22, Justice League of America #55, FF #1, Fables #103, Deadpool #34, Daredevil Reborn #3, Daken: Dark Wolverine #7, Captain America: Man Out of Time #5, Captain America Comics #1, Captain America #615.1, Invincible #78 and finally, Captain America and Batroc the Leaper #1... So that means I picked up 22(!) comics today... That's a bit excessive even by MY standards! Add on the three subscription books, and this week gave me 25 new comics. Which is what I would call an exceptionally good week! To be honest, even with 22 comics to choose from, this week's Pick of the Litter was kind of easy... I'll bestow that honor on Captain America: Man Out of Time #5. Mark Waid has done an AWESOME job with that mini-series, garnering multiple perfect scores from me. Daken #7 was a VERY close second, but Man Out of Time has to be this week's pick. As for my Runt of the Litter, I'm going to continue my recent trend of choosing DC books and go with Batman Incorporated #4. Here's hoping Grant Morrison remembers how to write a coherent comic book for that issue, because issue #3 made NO sense whatsoever! And I think that's going to do it for me this week. I have no idea how I'm going to manage doing 22 reviews this week, but I'll sure give it my best shot. With that, I leave you with The Random Scan of the Week. X out.

The Random Scan of the Week!It's a frigging robot! Nobody can be THAT horny, can they?!?

Quick Hits: 3/23/11

Hey all, tis your loyal servant X with a few more comic reviews, as well as a heads up. Once again, my county is under a Winter Storm Warning(from tonight until Thursday morning), which means two things... The first is that I am now officially sick and tired of the winter. Enough with the snow already!!! The second is that if the weather is as sucky as it's supposed to be tomorrow, I won't be able to make it to the comic store, and as such there won't be a New Comic Day post. Even I'm not crazy enough to go driving to the comic shop dodging snowflakes and idiots. If I'm not able to make it to the comic shop tomorrow, I intend on posting a few more reviews, but we'll see what happens. Anyway, that's what's going on with me, let's get to today's reviews!

Thunderbolts #155:

Summary: After having been informed last issue that he needs to add a magical member to the Thunderbolts, Luke Cage meets with Dr. Strange and Daimon Hellstrom, who decide that Hellstrom's sister Satana(!!!!!) should be made into a Thunderbolt. Luke and Strange take Man-Thing to Satana's hidden base and manage to fight through her minions and magic spells, finally getting to her and collaring her. Having been defeated, Satana decides to quietly go along with Luke and Strange, especially after seeing Man-Thing(weird...). Besides that, Fixer, Songbird and US Agent begin training the Thunderbolts beta team.

Thoughts: First things first, I am a HUGE fan of Daimon Hellstrom, and as a result, I'm quite fond of Satana. So adding her to this series only serves to make this series even stronger(for me at least). So that's the good. The bad is... well, everything else here... For whatever reason, I just wasn't able to get into this comic. The scenes at the T-Bolts base didn't do anything for me, and Luke and Strange's search for Satana also didn't impress me. I honestly don't know what it was, but this comic just sort of fell flat for me, which is unusual for an issue of this series. Oh well, hopefully next issue we go back to the way things were the past couple of months, that being good.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.It's Satana!!! I think...

Generation Hope #5:

Summary: We get started with Magneto taking Professor X to meet Hope for the first time. Hope act like a jerk to Xavier before going on her way, much to Magneto's amusement. From there, Hope goes to train her... I don't know WHAT to call them, Generation Hopers? You know, the mutants she found and saved. From there she walks out of Emma Frost's class on Ethics(seriously?!? What's next, Wolverine teaching a class on passive resistance?!?), followed by her Gen Hopers. Hope gets a letter from Beast telling her to be careful for as long as she was on Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia), since it wasn't the utopia some people were making it out to be. Beast's letter even goes so far as to tell Hope her best bet was to leave the island altogether. Hope tries to talk to Wolverine, but he blows her off, so she heads to talk to the resident dictator of Crazy Mutie Island, Lord Summers. She basically tells Lord Summers that the Gen Hopers were going to be sticking with her, and that she didn't want Lord Summers or his Gestapo agents keeping an eye on her or her friends. Realizing he couldn't risk driving Hope from Crazy Mutie Island, Lord Summers agrees to Hope's terms, ending this one.

Thoughts: This is a hard series to get into... You see, I hate Hope. I really do. I don't like her whole, “I'm the mutant messiah” thing, and her attitude sucks. On top of that, I'm STILL waiting for the other kids in this book to develop personalities. I mean the boys are starting to stand out a bit(although not in a good way...), but the other two girls in this book are just completely forgettable. On top of that, I still don't know anyone's names(besides Hope of course). So yeah, there's a lot I don't like here. However, the story in this issue was pretty good. Go figure! I enjoyed the interaction between Prof. X and Magneto, I loved Beast sending Hope a letter imploring her to leave Crazy Mutie Island, and as much as I hate Hope, I hate Emma Frost more, so I enjoyed Hope making a fool of Emma. I'm still waiting on some codenames and some further character development for the kids in this book(a team name wouldn't hurt either...), but I can definitely call this issue a Perfectly Acceptable Comic.

Score: 7 out of 10.I love that Beast is STILL putting the screws to Lord Summers!

Avengers Academy #11:

Summary: We're not fooling around here, as we kick right off with Veil using Dr. Pym's computers to pull the Wasp's body out of... wherever it went after Secret Invasion. Pym rushes into his lab to see what was going on, and is surprised(and probably a bit disappointed) to see a woman who wasn't the Wasp standing there(YAY!!!). Quicksilver rushes in and the two Avengers try to figure out where they know this mystery woman from, when Korvac(!) arrives on the scene, demanding the Avengers get away from his wife. From there we learn that Pym was mistaken and that the discorporated energy he thought was Wasp was actually Carina Walters, wife of Korvac and daughter of the Collector. Korvac tries to reconcile with Carina, but she doesn't want to hear it, telling Korvac she sent her molecules throughout the universe just to get away from him. Korvac still refuses to listen, figuring Carina was just confused, but she reiterates that she wants nothing to do with him. By this point the rest of the Academy students and advisors are on the scene and they tell Korvac to get lost, to which he responds by trying to kill everybody there. Justice manages to deflect the blast with his telekinesis, and the full roster of the Avengers and New Avengers arrive on the scene to deal with Korvac. Jocasta takes Carina and the students to a safe room, which makes Carina laugh since she knows there's no place safe from the near omnipotent Korvac. In time, Korvac manages to down the full roster of the Avengers(including Thor himself!), although he is slightly weakened by Speedball of all people. Having witnessed the battle mentally, Carina tells the surprised students they have the best shot at beating Korvac, provided they allowed her to pull their older selves out of the timeline so they'd have their full range of powers. The kids agree, and this issue ends with the grown-up students charging off to deal with the menace of Korvac.

Thoughts: Now THIS was what I'd call an Avengers comic book! It had everything I grew up loving about the Avengers. An INSANELY powerful super-villain, a kick-ass battle, and a crazy swerve at the end. Seeing the Avengers go up against Korvac, and watching him take them ALL down, even Thor, was all kinds of awesome. I was a bit annoyed that according to Carina the only people who could hope to stop Korvac was the Academy students(um hello, he beat THOR!!!), but this IS the Avengers Academy comic, so I guess it would make sense that they'd be the ones to get to face(and inevitably defeat) Korvac next issue. What more need I say? This series is everything the Teen Titans and Generation Hope SHOULD be.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Oh man, you KNOW it's on now!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/22/11

Hey there X-Maniacs, another day, another three Marvel reviews. We have one good comic in this post, and two... well, not so good comics. But thems the breaks sometimes. It can't be all flowers and sunshine everyday. I received 5 subscription books in the mail today, so I really have to get a move on with these reviews... Okay, preamble over, let's get to the reviews.

Invincible Iron Man #502:

Summary: We kick off with Tony Stark still trying to figure out a way to save Dr. Octopus from death. You see, Octopus tasked Tony with helping to save his life or Octopus would set of a thermo-nuclear bomb in New York. Basically Octopus felt his case was hopeless and wanted to see Tony admit defeat before he died. While that scene is playing out, Pepper Potts is confronted by Electro and Sandman at the home of one of Tony's employees. Pepper nearly takes the two Secret Sixers out, but is halted when Electro threatens to electrocute the employee. Another Stark employee happens across the scene and tries to help, but only manages to get Electro angry enough to send a pulse of electricity tearing through the building. Back with Tony, after some thought he figures the best way to help Octopus was for him to head to real doctors like Mr. Fantastic, Hank Pym or Dr. Strange. This pisses Octopus off since he told Tony to figure out a way to help him, and he wanted Tony to admit that he couldn't accomplish that feat. Eventually Tony DOES admit that he can't help, which doesn't bring Octopus the pleasure he hoped it would. The two fight for a bit and Octopus tosses Tony into the bombs, setting off the timer and ending this issue.

Thoughts: This was a very good little comic. I've never been much of a Dr. Octopus fan(he's a short, fat guy with a bad haircut! What's to like?), but Matt Fraction has actually made Octopus interesting here. Basically all Octopus wants is to humble the ultra-arrogant Tony Stark before he dies due to some perceived slight from Tony years ago. Tony DOES come up with a logical solution(go see a REAL doctor), but Octopus refuses to take that advice since he wants to see Tony admit that he can't do something. So it looks like Octopus wants to see Tony humbled more than he wants to live... That would make more sense if it were Spider-Man in Tony's place, but it still makes for a good read. I guess that's probably my one real complaint with this storyline. It would make SO much more sense if this was playing out in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man instead of Iron Man...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.No, he can't stop talking...

Captain America and Crossbones #1:

Summary: We start this one with Crossbones being visited by some mysterious government official in his prison cell. The official wants Crossbones to use his “unique abilities”(or in layman's terms, his killing skills) on some secret mission. Not really having anything to lose, Crossbones decides what the hell and goes with the official. Crossbones gets loaded onto an airplane and dropped onto an island somewhere in Eastern Europe, where he finds his equipment(lots of guns) and the dossier for his mission, which tells him he is to locate and extract a boy. After some wandering, Crossbones discovers a mess of half-eaten corpses all over the town, and discovers that the few remaining villagers were holed up at an abandoned nuclear power plant. Crossbones convinces the villagers that he was an Avenger sent to help, and learns that the town was under siege by werewolf creatures. He also learns that anybody bitten or scratched by the werewolves suffer a horrible death or becomes a werewolf creatures themselves, with the notable exception of the boy, who has proven immune to the werewolves scratches. Crossbones winds up betraying the villagers in the plant, and leaves them to be attacked by the werewolves, taking the boy outside during the confusion and getting picked up by a helicopter containing the official from earlier. We learn that it was the government official who introduced the werewolf plague to the town, to see what the success rate was. Needless to say, the official wanted to study the boy upon learning he was immune to the werewolves. Realizing that the official and his scientists would basically be dissecting the boy to learn why he was immune, and seeing some of himself in the boy, Crossbones throws the boy out of the helicopter to his death, figuring the boy deserved a quick death as opposed to a slow, agonizing one. And that basically ends this issue.

Thoughts: This comic book was interesting... On one hand, I enjoyed the Resident Evil-esque story, while on the other hand, I HATE when Crossbones is shown in a sympathetic/heroic light. That's why I was so annoyed that he was a member of the Thunderbolts. Usually a place on the T-Bolts is reserved for villains who have a chance of reforming, and Crossbones has none. He's an unrepentant Neo-Nazi who idolizes the Red Skull. Throughout this issue we were shown a few flashbacks from Crossbones life, which almost showed him in a sympathetic light, especially the flashback from when he was a boy. The fact that he killed the boy towards the end of this issue instead of handing him over to the government official, could also be looked at as the right thing to have done(in a warped sort of way). Like I said, the story WAS enjoyable, but Crossbones is kind of like the Red Skull to me. There's no way I'll ever see Crossbones in a sympathetic light, and when I read a comic like this, I do get a bit annoyed.

Score: 6 out of 10.Crossbones: Nazi and savior of abused children the world over...

Uncanny X-Force #5.1:

Summary: X-Force heads to Australia after being warned by Gateway that Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers were plotting against the mutants on Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia). This leads to a big battle between X-Force and the Reavers(with the main event being Wolverine vs Lady Deathstroke). X-Force manages to take out most of the Reavers with the exception of two, who manage to teleport to Crazy Mutie Island. Psylocke follows, and is very careful to avoid being seen by anybody since nobody on Crazy Mutie Island was supposed to know about the existence of X-Force. Lord Summers learns that the two Reavers had snuck onto the island and takes Magneto to hunt them down. As for the Reavers, they're trying to find the generators powering Crazy Mutie Island to detonate near them, hoping to sink the island. Psylocke manages to hunt down the two Reavers and kill them before they're able to blow themselves up, all while staying hidden from Lord Summers. Back in Australia, Wolvie gets the upper hand on Deathstrike, which leads to her switching her mind out of her body, but not before promising Wolvie that he hadn't seen the last of her.

Thoughts: Ugh. I did not like this comic at all. First off, I've never been a fan of Deathstrike or the Reavers, so that immediately put me off of this comic. Add Gateway(another character I'm not a fan of) and Psylocke running around slaughtering people, and yeah, that's a recipe for a bad comic in my eyes. Will some people enjoy this one? Sure, fans of the Reavers, Deathstrike and Psylocke will enjoy this comic. But me? I'll pass.

Score: 4 out of 10.There they go again...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quick Hits: 3/20/11

Having suffered enough after reading those 14 mainly crappy comics from last week, I've decided to reward myself by reading the three comic books I'm most looking forward to from this week, Amazing Spider-Man, the Fear Itself Prologue, and Children's Crusade: Young Avengers. Yes, after suffering through Krypto defeating Kid Flash in a race, and Deathstroke's eye inexplicably being pulled out, I think I deserve a break. So thank you Marvel, for helping me remember why I collect comic books with these three awesome issues.

Amazing Spider-Man #656:

Summary: Picking up from last issue, Massacre has kidnapped a mess of hostages and has shot one and blown 7 of them up as a warning to the police to stay away so he could steal some money from a bank. Spidey(still without his spider-sense) arrives on the scene to help, and manages to get a spider-tracer attached to Massacre before getting shot in the gut. Spidey tells the cops to let Massacre get away, since he figured he'd be able to track Massacre with the tracer. Unfortunately, Spidey's spider-tracers use his spider-sense to tell him where the bad guy has gone, and with no spider-sense, the tracer is useless... D'oh! Mayor Jameson gets wind of Massacre's massacre(what?) and holds a press conference stating the usual lines(we'll catch the bad guy, we're strong people, etc). After the press conference, Jameson meets up with a young child whose mother was one of the people Massacre killed, and still reeling from the death of his own wife, Jameson promises the boy that Massacre WOULD die for his crimes. From there Spidey rigs up a new armored Spidey suit to compensate for the lack of a spider-sense just as Massacre takes a few hostages at the stock brokerage he worked for before he went crazy and became a costumed super-baddie. It appears Massacre has discovered the spider-tracer and wants Spidey to show up so he could kill him. Spidey(in his shiny new costume) arrives on the scene and immediately covers Massacre's hostages with webbing that blocks radio signals, thus preventing Massacre from blowing them up. By this point Mayor Jameson has arrived on the scene and has ordered the police snipers to kill Massacre once they had a clear shot. Massacre tries to shoot the hostages, but Spidey leaps in the way and deflects the bullets. Now officially pissed, Massacre pulls out another remote control and threatens to blow up some hostages that he hid away from the scene of the battle. Spidey webs the remote to Massacre's hand, which blocks the radio signal and leaves Massacre with only one useful hand, at which point Spidey pummels the villain into near submission. Massacre manages to stagger towards an open window, right in the line of the police snipers, who fix their sights on him and fire, as per Jameson's orders. Spidey jumps in the way and deflects all of the bullets, which saves Massacre, since Spidey refused to see ANYBODY die while he was on the scene ever again. The paramedics take Massacre away and Jameson confronts Spidey over saving Massacre. Spidey tries to use the old, “If we kill him we're as bad as him” speech on Jameson, which simply serves to infuriate Jameson further. With that, Spidey swings away and this issue ends.

Thoughts: This was yet another really good issue of Amazing. I mean since I started collecting this series again, I don't think I've scored any issue under an 8, which is REALLY impressive. I like Massacre as a villain, and was glad he didn't simply get blown away at the end, since I think he has some real potential. I also really liked the way Dan Slott emphasized how important Spidey's spider-sense was, and how difficult it was for Spidey to function without it. Sure, there were a few things here that bothered me, like Spidey dodging all but one of Massacre's bullets WITHOUT any help from his spider-sense, and Spidey's co-workers(sorry, they just don't have the same charm as the Daily Bugle staff), but all in all, this was a highly enjoyable comic, as usual.

Score: 9 out of 10.And with that, Spidey gets the big ol' FAIL award!

Avengers: The Children's Crusade: Young Avengers #1:

Summary: We kick things off with Iron Lad exiting the timestream to confront his future(and EVIL) self, Kang the Conqueror. Iron Lad prepares to defeat his future self when grown up versions of the Young Avengers(notably minus Wiccan) arrive on the scene and tell Iron Lad to leave Kang along since he's one of the Avengers now, same as them. Iron Lad is totally floored by that revelation and tries to remind his former teammates that the reason they first banded together was to defeat Kang, NOT team with him! From there we get a flashback from before the Young Avengers first went public and only included Iron Lad, Wiccan, Hulkling and Patriot on their roster. The flashback is AWESOME, and involves the kids trying(and failing) to defeat Electro right before Electro breaks out all those super-villains from the Raft, which accidentally leads to the reformation of the Avengers. Back to the present(future?) where Kang and the grown-up Young Avengers explain that the reformation of the Avengers was actually a really bad thing as the Avengers had become more willing to permanently eliminate anybody they believed was a threat, including Wiccan. Kang tells Iron Lad that after Wiccan and the Young Avengers tried to rescue the Scarlet Witch from Latveria, the Avengers came down and killed both Wiccan and the Scarlet Witch. Iron Lad can't believe that fact and rushes back into the timestream to prevent these grim sounding events. Once Iron Lad is gone, grown-up Wiccan emerges from the shadows and asks Kang if it was really necessary to lie to Iron Lad. Kang says probably not, but that the lie would send Iron Lad to Latveria, where Iron Lad would start the chain of events that would turn him into Kang and destroy the Avengers... Forever!!!

Thoughts: Um, it was Allan Heinberg writing the Young Avengers, drawn by Alan Davis... How do you THINK I felt about it?!? I LOVED it! EVERY page of it! First off, the art gave the comic a younger X-Men-ish feel, which actually fits this series very well. But then Davis is one of the FEW artists whose work I can pick out of a line-up, so it was cool to see him lend his distinctive style to my favorite band of teenage heroes. And yes, the Young Avengers ARE my favorite group of teenage heroes, probably ever, so needless to say(and unsurprisingly), I loved this issue. Nobody writes the YA's like Heinberg, which he proved again here. What more can I say? This issue was a weird little fill-in issue in the middle of the Children's Crusade mini-series, but I loved it, and it has me anticipating the next issue of Children's Crusade more than ever!

Score: 10 out of 10.Good art, a good story AND funny as hell? What more could I ask for?

Fear Itself Prologue: Book of the Skull #1:

Summary: This issue gets underway with Baron Zemo assisting Sin in breaking into one of her father's(that would be Herr Red Skull)secret bases. Why is Zemo there, you ask? He owed Sin for the information she gave him about Captain America(Bucky Barnes) a while back. They head to Egypt and infiltrate the base, getting past several of the Skull's deathtraps and discovering a book. Sin starts to read the book, which takes us back in time to WWII. During the war, Skull had some Hydra magicians preform a ritual sacrifice of some Atlantians to gain the favor of some dark god. The dark god sent something to Antarctica, which is where Skull and his Nazi goons decide to go. They are followed by Captain America(Steve Rogers), Bucky and Namor, who is VERY angry about the sacrifice of his fellow Atlantians. The Nazis arrive first and discover a golden hammer(which nobody is able to lift) and a giant blue creature. By this time the heroes arrive, and Skull tells his magicians to hide the hammer, while he hops in an airplane to escape. The heroes fight and defeat the giant, figuring that the giant was what Skull had summoned, never knowing about the golden hammer. After reading all of that, Sin decides that she has to find the hammer, so she could do what her father never could, find a way to use it. Zemo and Sin manage to escape the base before it blows up, and Sin shoots at Zemo, damaging his teleporting device, since she didn't want him sharing in the secrets they learned. From there Sin teleports onto Zemo's plane, leaving an angry Zemo lost in a desert in Egypt, swearing revenge.

Thoughts: First things first, I could read Cap's WWII adventures FOREVER when written by Ed Brubaker. So needless to say, I LOVED the flashback sequence. This issue gave us our first real glimpse into what Fear Itself is going to be about, and it has me quite intrigued. I'm going to guess that Sin discovers the location of this mystery hammer and manages to lift it, giving her the powers of a god. And quite frankly, there are few things worse than somebody as insane as Sin gaining the powers of a god... I've been loving the work Brubaker has been doing with Sin, so I'm looking forward to seeing where Matt Fraction decides to take her, especially if she really DOES become a universe-level threat. Needless to say, I am PSYCHED for April 6th , which is when the first issue of Fear Itself arrives. I can GUARANTEE that it'll be WAY better than any event comic that comes out of DC in 2011. Hands down, no doubt.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.The beginning...