Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Best of the Rest! 4/30/11

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

Uncanny X-Men #535.

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 7 out of 10.

Wolverine #8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 8 out of 10.

Detective Comics #876.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Secret Avengers #12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 4 1/2 out of 10.

Secret Avengers #12.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Friday, April 29, 2011

X-23 #9 & Deadpool #36

Two more reviews out of me today, and then we'll see what the weekend holds. I have a few trade reviews I could post, but I also have a ton of new stuff to try to get through, so we'll see how busy I wind up being tomorrow. If I'm really busy, then I'll post a trade review. If tomorrow tends to be on the quiet side, then it'll be reviews for the new books. There you go!

Deadpool #36:

Summary: So Deadpool has become bored in space and has decided to return to Earth, figuring the people of Earth loved him due to his lofty amount of followers on Twitter. However, Deadpool's brain warns him that just because people are following you on Twitter doesn't mean a)that they love you, and b) that you're important. Pool decides to test that theory by heading to some of his old friends to see what they think about him. He starts with Hydra Bob, and all is right in my world again because Hydra Bob is here. Pool accidentally destroys Hydra Bob's giant popcorn kernel upon arriving, and asks Bob if he loved him.... While holding a knife to Bob... HA! Bob admits that he's mainly afraid of Pool, while telling Pool that his other friends hate him. Pool is shocked by this, and Bob reveals that Macho Gomez(the bounty hunter Pool thought he killed before going into space) had assembled a group of Deadpool's “friends” who wanted him dead. Who are these friends? Weasel, Big Bertha(HA!), Blind Al(YES!!!), and Sluggo(?!). While talking to Pool, Hydra Bob texts Macho and the We Hate Deadpool Club, telling them that Pool was with him, even though he didn't actually join the team. The We Hate Deadpool Club arrives on the scene and attack Pool, with Pool managing to avoid any read damage by picking his “friends” off one by one, or in the case of Blind Al, misdirecting her. Eventually Weasel accidentally blows Sluggo up(um, that's a BIG accident!), but that act allows the rest of the Club to surround Pool. Pool drops his weapon and asks his so called friends if this is what they really wanted. They respond by riddling Deadpool with bullets. Pool makes a quick side trip to Death's domain, and she explains to him that it wasn't what his friends wanted, but what Pool wanted, to be killed by his friends. Death then sends Pool back to the land of the living, where he wakes up surrounded by his blood and Hydra Bob. Bob tells Pool that his “friends” had left, figuring Pool was as dead as he was going to get. Pool realizes that Death was right, that he was crazy, that he wanted his friends to kill him since the sweet taste of oblivion was what he's always craved, and that by killing him they'd show they cared about him. With this revelation, Pool casually shoots Hydra Bob in the knee for betraying him to the Club, before leaving to find a friend who would help him end it all.

Thoughts: Woooo, I LOVED this issue! First of all, Blind Al was here, which automatically makes this comic at least a 7! Secondly, Daniel Way did a fantastic job of tying in so many little pieces of Pool's past here. From Weasel and Hydra Bob, to Blind Al and Sluggo(!), right down to Pool craving Death's embrace. I mean there was a Deadpool annual back in the last Deadpool series where we got a great insight into Deadpool's special relationship with Lady Death. I honestly had no complaints about this comic whatsoever. The story was good, plus there were several moments where I chuckled, or even laughed out loud as I read it, a must for any Deadpool comic. Great stuff here, with the future looking really, really good!

Score: 9 out of 10.BLIND AL!!!

X-23 #9:

Summary: We kick things off with Malcolm Colcord taunting the recently captured(as of Daken: Dark Wolverine #8) X-23. From there he has a meeting with Daken, and we discover that neither one of them trust each other very much. Colcord shows Daken a file basically detailing X-23's life growing up in the Facility, while revealing to Daken that he had made a copy of the trigger scent that turns X-23 feral. Daken asks Colcord if he was planning on restarting the Weapon X Program, which is apparently counter to whatever deal Daken and Colcord had made, and Colcord answers no, since a yes answer probably would have led to Daken decapitating him. From there, Daken heads to the lab X-23 was in and taunts her, while subtly cutting at one of her bonds, ever so slightly. Daken leaves the room and the mad scientists begin slicing at her back with a chainsaw... Yes a chainsaw, the tool of choice for mad scientists everywhere. Unfortunately for the mad scientists, X-23 gets free of her loosened bonds and does some slicing of her own, and she's way better at it than those scientists are... Daken chooses this moment to reenter the room with a some files, which leads to X-23 punching him a few times. Daken drops the files, and X-23 realizes that they contained information on her formative years from the Facility. Totally confused by Daken's actions, X-23 asks him why he was assisting Colcord in restarting the Weapon X Program. Daken denies that he was, claiming he had no idea that Colcord was restarting the Program, and that once he figured out Colcord's plans, he decided to betray him. Daken explains that he allowed Colcord to capture X-23 to see where Colcord was going to take her, so he could take down Colcord's plans... So is he lying or not is the question... The two walk along the hallways of the Colcord's warehouse, scaring random scientists as they went until they entered a hallway lined with closed doors. The two get sealed in the hallway and all of the doors open, with deformed experiments rushing out to attack.

Thoughts: Ahhh Daken... You are one confusing, conniving bastard! So we know that he expressly told Colcord NOT to restart the Weapon X Program. We really don't know what his agreement with Colcord was(I still say he wanted Colcord to repeat the adamantium bonding process on him), and in this issue he betrays Colcord, after having fake betrayed Colcord in Daken #8, and then betraying X-23... And then people wonder why I love this character so much! Now, I can't imagine that Daken was unaware that Colcord was trying to restart the Weapon X Program, which means he wanted the Program restarted... But to what end? My guess is that he'll use X-23 to eliminate Colcord for him in Daken #9, and then take control of the Program himself... But with Daken, you NEVER know! I have to admit, I really enjoyed this comic, mainly thanks to how well Marjorie Liu writes Daken. Daken #9 marks the end of Liu and Daniel Way's run on the Daken character, so I have some serious mixed feelings about that issue... I'm sure it'll be a blast, but it's definitely going to be bittersweet...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Daken's line at the bottom of this page made me crack up... God do I love Daken!

Teen Titans #94 & Superman/Batman #83

I'm just about to run out the door for round two of my classes today, but I wanted to post these reviews just to get them out of the way. Two more DC books and I'm finally done with last week's books, meaning I can get to this week's stuff. Instead of talking about it, let's get to it!

Teen Titans #94:

Summary: So apparently some ancient Hindu legend has kidnapped Wonder Girl, her mother and the parents of Solstice. The Hindu legends beat up WG while Red Robin figures out a way to get to... Um, Hindu legend world. The Teen Titans arrive in Hindu legend world and can't find WG, but do find her lasso. They decide to go searching in a group instead of splitting up, and end up being attacked by a mess of weird creatures. Raven goes crazy because she can't stand being around Solstice(I agree!), and blasts everybody in the area, Titans and weird creatures alike. When the Titans get up, Red Robin is gone, and one of the weird creatures has shape-shifted into Ravager while the other creatures kidnap the real Ravager. With Red Robin gone, Beast Boy takes over the leadership role(I'd personally rather listen to a tree than him...) and sends Kid Flash out to scout the area. This one ends with Red Robin and Ravager being taken before some evil blue Hindu guy in a throne chair.

Thoughts: Zzzzzzz... Wait, I'm awake... Um, what's going on... Oh yeah, Teen Titans. This issue was pretty bad. On the plus side, Nicola Scott did the artwork, so even though the story blows, the art is good. But yeah, the story does indeed blow. I literally have NO clue as to what's going on, except that JT Krul is desperate to try to get Solstice over as a Hindu/Indian hero. That's all fine, good and dandy, but the whole weird Hindu world story? It's really boring, and the explanation was just confusing. I don't see why he couldn't just add Solstice to the team in a simpler way, and THEN get into her religion/heritage, but whatever I guess. This story just isn't doing it for me, and sadly, that's causing me to resent Solstice...

Score: 4 1/2 out of 10.What is it, Barty? Is Wonder Girl in trouble, boy?

Superman/Batman #83:

Summary: Superman is trapped in a magic-ruled, apocalyptic, future world, where he is trying to help future Batman prevent this future from existing. Supes meets up with a few JLA members(including Klarion... Bum.. Bum... Bum... The Warlock), and they tell him their plan... Bats and the future JLA want to stop the evil sorcerers in control of the world from sending an evil demon back in time to stop younger Batman and Klarion... Bum... Bum... Bum... The Witch Boy from halting the evil magician's original plan for world domination. In the present, Bats, Klarion... Bum... Bum... Bum... The Witch Boy, and the Shadowpact attack the evil sorcerers, but as the heroes are beginning to triumph, a portal from the future begins to open, which will send the demon that turns the battle and lead to the evil sorcerers winning. In the future, Supes decides to help future Bats and the JLA stop the evil sorcerers from completing the spell that would completely send that demon back to the past, knowing that doing so would right the timeline, and eliminate the horrible future.

Thoughts: You know, I actually liked this issue, and this storyline is really winning me over... Go figure! As I've stated repeatedly, I'm a sucker for alternate future/alternate reality stories, and this one is slowly pulling me in. Yes, there's a talking monkey here(Detective Chimp), but besides that, I'm enjoying this. I like the duel story with Supes trying to fix the future while Bats tries to hold down the fort in the past/present, I really liked just about everything here. I wasn't that fond of this story when it started, but what can I say, it grew on me!

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Bum... Bum... Bum...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Few Thoughts on... Some random comics!

Okay, here's the deal guys and gals... I still have a few comics from last week to get through, and I just picked up about 15 comics or so(plus a trade) from the comic book shop yesterday, meaning that once again, I am falling behind in my comic reading. Add the impending end of the school year, and yeah, I'm pretty busy. So in order to try to blitz through a few of last week's books, I'm going to try something new here... I'll be doing this post like a 10 Thoughts post, just with WAY less than 10 Thoughts per comic. Let's give it a shot and see how it goes!

Generation Hope #6.

Synopsis: The Gen Hope kids head to Germany after a new mutant pops up on Cerebro(or is it still Cerebra?). Upon getting there, everybody in the hospital is either unconscious or acting crazy, and we discover that the new mutant registered was still in its mother's womb.

-So now instead of Rogue serving as Hope's liaison, Lord Summers the First has decreed that Shadowcat would be the new liaison between himself and Hope... God, that's like trading an old shoe for sack of dead rats...

-This comic is SO much worse than any other teen-oriented series I'm currently reading from the big two right now(Teen Titans, Avengers Academy, Children's Crusade) it's not even funny...

-I can't believe that we're FIVE issues into this series now and the kids STILL don't have codenames! They finally have costumes, but if you want people to be able to talk about these kids and know who they are, you NEED codenames!It's Hope! And random mutants #1-5...

-Sticking with that train of thought, I'm not sure if I've ever read something from Kieron Gillen that I've truly enjoyed...

-So basically I'll probably give this series until the Summer, and if it doesn't pick up substantially, I'll be dropping it.

Score: 5 out of 10.

X-Factor #218.

Synopsis: Guido's been shot, and the three female assassins who shot him have targeted Mayor Jameson next. Luckily for Jameson, he's being protected by the rest of X-Factor and the Black Cat. The assassins flee, but are being tracked by Black Cat, while X-Factor gets Guido to the hospital where he is pronounced dead, and then recovers(?!).

-I love me some Black Cat, so it was great seeing her in this issue. Yeah, I know she's not a mutie, but it sure would be awesome if she joined the team full-time.Black Cat showing up is a BIG plus!

-I can't say I know what's going on with those three metal female assassins, or why they targeted Jameson, but I trust Peter David's writing, so I'm sure this will all work out for the best... Probably...

-I have NO idea what was up with Guido dying, and then suddenly being healed... No idea whatsoever!

-This was definitely not one of my favorite issues of this series(nor is it one of my favorite storylines), but Peter David's writing(and the inclusion of Black Cat) at least make this one readable.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Supergirl #63.

Synopsis: Supergirl has been trapped at Harvard University by some crazed nerd. While SG is trying to figure a way out, Fake Beetle, Robin and Miss Martian are being mentally probed by the nerd. Eventually SG gets free and confronts the nerd, who reveals himself to be... Dubbilex?!

-The fact that Dubbilex could break through th mental defenses of both the Fake Beetle and Miss Martian, but NOT Damian made my day...

-...Until he DID break through Damian's mental defenses...Come on, Damian is stronger mentally than that!

-The stuff with SG figuring out how to break free from Dubbilex's robots did nothing for me.

-To be honest, pretty much everything about this storyline isn't doing anything for me!

-And speaking of Dubbilex, who thought THAT was a good, exciting reveal?! I mean I read the entire Superboy series from the 90's, so I know the character pretty well, but most other people? Maybe they should have foreshadowed that reveal a bit better...Um yeah, I doubt many people cared about this reveal...

-Much like Gen Hope, I can see myself dropping this title pretty soon...

Score: 4 out of 10.

Justice League of America #56.

Synopsis: Eclipso has taken over several shadow-based characters and has attacked Alan Scott's Emerald City, managing to put Alan's daughter, Jade, under his thrall. Some members of the JLA(and Saint Walker) try to take the battle to Eclipso, but his forces overwhelm them and they are captured by Eclipso's ally, Obsidian.

-Hey look, Obsidian is a bad guy again! Wow, what a SHOCK!!! In case you can't tell, I'm being VERY sarcastic...

-Man, I really hated a lot of the characters that were in this issue on the JLA... Saint Walker(one of Chairman Johns' idiotic creations)and Congorilla(a damned talking monkey) in particular.And there's the damned talking monkey...

-So this issue gives us a battle between Zauriel(or “Zaurel” as the comic spells the name... Idiots...) and Eclipso. Now Zauriel is an angel. A real angel, complete with holy powers. And yet he winds up defeated by Eclipso with relative ease. On the other hand, Saint Walker is more than able to hold his own against Eclipso... Thus proving that it's way past time for somebody to get James Robinson away from this series, because he obviously has NO idea what he's doing anymore...Eclipso takes Zauriel?! Really?!?

-You know, speaking of Robinson, I LOVED his Starman work, but other then that, I really can't say any of his other work has wowed me. He just can't seem to write mainstream characters at all...

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Action Comics #899.

Synopsis: Lex Luthor assembles the rest of those black globes in space and learns that Brainiac had manipulated him into assembling the globes for him... But wait! Lex reveals that he knew what Brainiac was doing and defeats Brainiac in single combat. He then uses the globes to summon a god-like creature from the Phantom Zone, defeats it and bonds with it, turning into Lex Luthor: God.

-Why does everything have to be so complicated?! I mean, was I just really tired when I read this last night or something? We have Brainiac telling Lex he manipulated him, to which Lex reveals that he was aware of Brainiac's influence. Then they fight. Then Lex somehow defeats somebody who Supes himself had difficulty beating. Then Mr. Mind shows up and begins to try to explain what the deal with the black globes were. Then some god shows up. Then Lex fights the god. Then Lex BECOMES the god... Sheesh...

-I have no clue why Mr. Mind was here. Much like talking monkeys, I also hate talking bugs...Great, a talking bug...

-I'll admit, Lex snapping Brainiac's neck? Super cool... Although it probably shouldn't have been possible...Should it have happened? No. Was it cool? Hell yeah!

-Lex Luthor: God, actually has some real potential. You KNOW Supes is gonna be in for it now!

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Brightest Day #24! The FINAL Rant!

Well, this is it... The end has finally arrived. With this issue, Brightest Day has finally come to an end, having thoroughly destroyed all of my faith in DC Comics. This has undoubtedly been the worst year DC has ever been through creatively since I've been reading their books, hands down. And you know what the really sad thing is? That it's going to continue... Here's hoping the Green Lantern movie bombs at the theaters and DC finally smartens up and hands somebody besides Chairman Johns the keys to the kingdom. But sadly, I know that's not going to happen... No, Chairman Johns will continue telling stories that amuse him and his boy, Dan Didio, while burying everything that's happened in the DCU between 1985 and 2004. *sigh* Well on that cheerful note, let's get this roving show of HORROR moving! As always, I'll be scoring this comic using Brightest Day Rules, which basically means that I'm expecting this to be the WORST comic I've ever read. As good events/things I like happen, I add points. As dumb events/things I don't like happen, I deduct points... Expect to see A LOT of points deducted...

Brightest Day #24(of 24!!!!! It's finally over!):

Summary: Good thing DC is still holding the line at $2.99, right! Oh wait... Never mind... God, I really don't want to do this... Well, much like pulling off a band-aid, let's do it nice and fast! That Damned White Lantern tells us the story of Swamp Thing(or at least the Chairman Johns version of the story), and explains that Swamp Thing ISN'T Alec Hollard, it just THOUGHT it was... Oh, well then everything makes sense now! Or not... Now Swamp Thing thinks it's Nekron, because it has a REAL bad personality disorder or something. That Damned White Lantern wants to make Swamp Thing and Alec Hollard one and the same(But that was retconned ages ago...) and purge Nekron's influence from Swamp Thing. However, poor old Alec is dead, and in order for him to come back to life, somebody else has to die... Wait, wait, wait... That Damned White Lantern brought back like twelve people at the end of Blackest Night. NOW it can't even bring back ONE?! To that end, it tells Not Old, Not Bald, Not Fat Captain Boomerang to FINALLY throw his boomerang at Dove just as EVIL Swamp Thing invades Starwood Forest. Comically, Not Old, Not Bald, Not Fat Captain Boomerang doesn't want to! HA!!! All he he's had to do is throw that goddamn boomerang and he STILL doesn't want to! This is just insanely bad! After some cajoling from That Damned White Lantern, Not Old, Not Bald, Not Fat Captain Boomerang finally does throw the boomerang at Dove, which is enough to get him his life back... Yeah, THAT was sure worth it. Hawk can't catch the boomerang(SERIOUSLY?! He's had a frigging year to learn how to catch a boomerang!!!) but luckily for Dove, Deadman kind of wanders into the path of the boomerang and dies... Again. Well sure, why not. With Deadman dead again, That Damned White Lantern is able to return Alec to life. For some reason, the trees all wrap around him and he becomes Swamp Thing... Wait, according to this, he was NEVER Swamp Thing before, so why would the trees immediately cling to him as if he was? Anyway, Swamp Thing grows enormous and then, like a scene out of a bad Godzilla movie, Swamp Thing and EVIL Swamp Thing duke it out giant style... I can't believe what I'm reading... Chairman Johns MUST be completely insane by this point... The Swamp Things battle, but Swamp Thing is able to use the powers of the elements to blast EVIL Swamp Thing, weakening it. Swamp Thing then stabs EVIL Swamp Thing, which kills it... Really? That's all it took?!? Back on the ground, Dove is mourning Deadman's death(she shouldn't have been surprised, his name IS Deadman!), while That Damned White Lantern, just to be a jerk I guess, turns Deadman back into a spirit again, thus rendering EVERYTHING that's happened to him this past year completely and utterly pointless. With EVIL Swamp Thing dead, Swamp Thing releases the four elements from... um, inside of him, bringing Aquaman, Firestorm(s), the Martian Manhunter(or Earth Manhunter if you prefer) and Hawkman back to life... But wait! Where's Hawkgirl?! Well, according to Swamp Thing, she's not there, but is a part of the air now... That's almost dumb beyond belief. So she basically DOES what she was supposed to, helps defeat EVIL Swamp Thing and gets the royal shaft?! Yup. And to make matters even worse, That Damned White Lantern tells us that everybody did what they were supposed to do, and as such had earned their second chance at life... Except for Hawk, who didn't catch that boomerang. Instead of, you know, KILLING Hawk since he didn't earn his life, That Damned White Lantern says good-bye to everybody and teleports away... So wait. Hawkgirl DID accomplish her mission and was rewarded by becoming the air(basically dying), while Hawk didn't do squat and is punished by That Damned White Lantern mildly scolding him?!?!?!? With all of that stupidity done with, we move to the epilogue portion of things. Aquaman and Mera have Atlantian problems(surprise, surprise...), the Martian/Earth Manhunter is a swell guy, Hawkman is pissed(and really, why shouldn't he be?!), the Firestorms believe they're going to detonate, and Swamp Thing is attacking and killing business men who polluted the waters... Take THAT big oil! This issue ends with John Constantine looking over the scene of carnage Swamp Thing left behind and succinctly summing up this entire series in one word, “bollocks”

Thoughts: Okay, first things first, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let that be the ONLY time Chairman Johns writes John Constantine. Because I don't think my mind could stand it if Chairman Johns went and destroyed Constantine like he does everything else he touches. Let's get started with a -1 for wasting space with a Swamp Thing origin. That's what Wikipedia is for! -2 for the stupid Captain Universe rip-off with the elementals attacking EVIL Swamp Thing. And a -1 just because there IS an EVIL Swamp Thing! -10 for Captain Boomerang not wanting to throw that boomerang at Dove... I mean the whole POINT of him is that he throws boomerangs!!! +2 for Hawk screwing up and not catching the boomerang, just because it made me laugh. -100 for That Damned White Lantern suddenly being unable to bring Alec Holland back to life without somebody else dying... I mean what the HELL is THAT?! How does that make ANY sense?! Was 12 as many people as it could bring back to life or something?! I mean that just makes NO sense whatsoever! On top of that, I'm going to give another -200 because if Hawk WOULD have caught the boomerang, That Damned White Lantern's plans would have been foiled, since nobody would have died... Seriously, think about that for a second... Somebody had to die to bring Alec back to life, right? Now all Not Old, Not Bald, Not Fat Captain Boomerang had to do was throw the boomerang at Dove, he didn't have to kill her to accomplish his goal. Hawk was supposed to catch the boomerang, which would have saved Dove, thus NOBODY would have died, meaning That Damned White Lantern wouldn't have been able to bring Alec back, meaning EVIL Swamp Thing would have won... You know what, ANOTHER -100 for that huge plot hole. -25 for the Godzilla-esque battle between the two Swamp Things, and a -5 for how easily Swamp Thing killed EVIL Swamp Thing... Can you say anti-climatic? While we're riding the minus train, a -25 for Hawkgirl dying/disappearing/turning to air/whatever happened to her, and another -25 for Hawk not getting punished in the least for not accomplishing his mission! I mean really?! However, a +30 for That Damned White Lantern disappearing, hopefully never to be seen, nor spoken of again. You don't know how much that smart-ass Lantern pissed me off at times... As for the epilogues, a 0 for the Aquaman one, because I could care less, a -2 for the Earth Manhunter one because it was so damn sappy, a +7 for the Hawkman one, because he was really screwed over here, and a +1 for the Firestorm(s) one. As for Swamp Thing, a -3 for his part. So he's a crazed environmentalist murderer now? Um, way to go and protect life, White Lantern... I guess... However, I'm gonna end the scoring of this Brightest Failure(HA!) on a positive note, and go with a +40 for the Constantine appearance at the end. Now if DC screws up Constantine's character, goes and makes him into a kinder/gentler Constantine or something like that, then that +40 becomes a -1,000,000... So there we have it. The end of one of the worst series ever put out by either of the big two. As a matter of fact, I'd easily put Brightest Day right up there with Secret Invasion, which currently holds the top spot as the worst event comic I've ever read. So congratulations DC, you've officially hit rock bottom. On the plus side, the only direction to go now is up. As for me? All I have left to do is tally up the score and I can finally close the book on this train wreck. Too bad DC can't do the same...

Score: -419 out of 10. All right! My lowest score ever! Take a bow, Chairman Johns!I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Comic Day! April 27th Edition.

Hey all, it's Wednesday, meaning it's time for yet ANOTHER New Comic Day post! I think by now you guys all know the drill, so instead of a rambling intro, let's get right to last week's Pick and Runt of the Litter. Last week I chose Invincible #79 as my top Pick, and it didn't disappoint, garnering a healthy 8 1/2 out of 10 for a score. As for last week's Runt... Well, I haven't read it yet... It was Supergirl #63, and I SHALL get that comic read and reviewed within the next 36 hours! Mark it down!

So that was last week, but what about this week? Well, first things first, here are the subscription comics I'm expecting to eventually get my hands on... Action Comics #900, Green Arrow #11, Captain America #617 & Uncanny X-Men #536. As for what I picked up today, here's that list: Batman Incorporated #5, Brightest Day #24, Generation Lost #24, Detective Comics #876, Wonder Woman #610, Amazing Spider-Man #659, Avengers #12.1, Deadpool #36, FF #2, Secret Avengers #12, Secret Avengers #12.1, Venom #2, X-23 #9, Mighty Thor #1 & X-Men #10. My copy of Namor #9 is going to be there next week, and I totally blanked on getting Morning Glories #9... I know I put it on my pull list, but it wasn't there, and I completely forgot about it, so I'll have to check back in and see what the deal was there. So a few good comics, a few bad ones, and one HORRIBLE one. I have to say, there's really no clearcut Pick of the Litter for me this week... If a gun were put to my head and I was forced to pick, I'd go with X-23 #9. Spidey is usually good, but after last issue, I'm not exactly willing to throw my weight behind it. As for this week's Runt, I think we ALL know what THAT is! Brightest Day #24, which I am anticipating will be the WORST comic I read all year! You know, there's a little piece of me that's almost looking forward to reading that comic! Must be the masochist in me... Anyway, that's what I picked up and will be reviewing, drop me any comments on what you're looking the most forward to, what you picked up/plan on picking up, etc. As for me, I'll post THE Random Scan of the Week, and leave with a hearty X out!

The Random Scan of the Week!Hey, check it out, I'm not the only one who hates clowns!

Thunderbolts #156 & Invincible Iron Man #503

Two more Marvel reviews, including the(supposed) Iron Man/Fear Itself tie-in. All I'm gonna say is that that issue of IM was about as loosely tied in to Fear Itself as humanly possible...

Invincible Iron Man #503(Fear Itself tie-in):

Summary: Last issue Dr. Octopus activated the nuclear bomb he had acquired with the intention of destroying Manhattan. Tony Stark tries to defuse the bomb, but is continuously harassed/attacked by Octopus. Tony manages to break away from Octopus and starts working on the bomb again, when it suddenly loses two minutes, going from 4 minutes to detonation to 2 minutes in the span of a single second. Realizing he had no chance to defuse the bomb now, Tony decides to plead with Octopus to shut down the bomb. Octopus forces Tony to literally beg on his hands and knees, while demanding Tony only refers to him as “Master”. With no recourse, Tony does as he's told, but Octopus, being an absolute jerk, doesn't feel Tony is being sincere, so he drops the countdown to 30 seconds. Now totally panicked, Tony begs in earnest, kissing one of his tentacles and telling Octopus that he was smarter then Tony in every way. Having gotten what he wanted, Octopus shuts down the counter and disarms the bomb. Octopus reveals that the bomb was never wired to explode, and that he never actually called it a “bomb” just a device. Tony calls Octopus on that, since Octopus had repeatedly called the device a bomb, and Octopus just shrugs and says that he lied to get what he wanted, before leaving... HA! From there, Pepper Potts saves two of Tony's scientists from Sandman and Electro(although they get away) and a few of the events from Fear Itself #1 are replayed here.

Thoughts: Eh. I really enjoyed the first few parts of this storyline, but this one left me a bit apathetic. I liked what Octopus did to Tony, as it was a real jerk move, but Tony seemed to give in just a bit too easy to Octopus for my taste. The stuff with Pepper and Octopus's goons didn't thrill me, and the Fear Itself stuff wasn't anything new, simply a repeat of those items falling from the sky. So while the stuff with Tony and Octopus was good, the rest of this comic was kind of flat for me.

Score: 6 out of 10.Huh, maybe I should have put this on the kissing blog...

Thunderbolts #156:

Summary: Luke Cage and the Thunderbolts find out that Warden Walker(the former US Agent) had been instructed by the government(?) to begin assembling a Thunderbolts Beta team to be headed by Songbird. Cage doesn't like this, but before he can really raise any hell over it, he's called away on a mission to a magical castle in Germany. Now that Satana was a member of the T-Bolts, the government wanted Cage and the T-Bolts to deal with some mystical troubles, thus explaining the mission and its timing. Luke and th T-Bolts head off to Germany and enter the magical castle, only to be assaulted by several powerful WWI era poltergeists. The T-Bolts find themselves being decimated by the spirits, and Luke asks Satana to do something to help, to which she responds with a quiet laugh. Back at the T-Bolts prison, Songbird, Mack V, Fixer and Walker are interviewing potential Beta T-Bolt recruits, which goes well until Songbird gives Dr. Zabo his formula, turning him into Mr. Hyde. The hope was that Hyde would serve as the muscle for the Beta Bolts, but it seems he'd rather tear Songbird in half!

Thoughts: I had absolutely NO problems with this issue. The duel storylines were good, the two cliffhangers have me looking forward to the next issue, as do the two possible betrayals that are staring Cage and Songbird in the face. Will Satana turn on Cage and the T-Bolts on her very FIRST mission(I hope not!), will Hyde try to kill Songbird and lose his shot at becoming a Beta Bolt(I don't care much about Hyde one way or the other...)? Good stories and strong cliffhangers are a good way to have me eagerly anticipating the next issue!

Score: 8 out of 10.A little bit of Satana makes my life a happier place.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Silver Surfer #3 & Iron Man 2.0 #4

To make up for those two long DC reviews from yesterday, here are two much quicker Marvel reviews. See, it's all about balance!

Silver Surfer #3(of 5):

Summary: In Mexico, the High Evolutionary is terraforming a barren desert into a lush forest using the Power Cosmic he swiped from the Silver Surfer and Galactus's stolen spacecraft. You know, it takes STONES to steal Galactus's spaceship! Just sayin'... The Evolutionary also uses his newfound abilities to provide water for an elderly man who was dying of thirst. The powerless Silver Surfer and his gal pal, Suzi Endo, manage to sneak aboard Galactus's ship after distracting the Evolutionary. As for the elderly guy, he turns silvery(like the Surfer used to be) and flies away... Well okay then... Suzi tries to interact with Galactus's technology and is knocked loopy as a result. Before Surfer can figure out what to do, the Evolutionary arrives on the scene, showing the Surfer what he had done to the elderly guy. The High Evolutionary explains that he had cured the old guy of all disease and taken away his emotions, leaving him “perfect”. The Evolutionary continues, stating that he wanted to travel the universe, making entire worlds “perfect”, but that he first needed a herald who would find these worlds that were yearning for perfection. The Surfer turns down the offer flat, not wanting to part with his rediscovered emotions, so the Evolutionary takes Suzi and turns her into his Seeker, ending this one.

Thoughts: Not bad. Not great, but not bad. This was one of those comics where I thoroughly enjoyed certain scenes(anytime the Evolutionary was around), while I hated others(pretty much all of the stuff with the Surfer and Suzi)... If nothing else, this issue reaffirmed the fact that I'm a sucker for ultra-intelligent villains who think their actions are, in some way, helping the world/universe(Magneto, Dr. Doom, Lex Luthor, the High Evolutionary, etc). Too bad this wasn't simply a High Evolutionary mini-series!

Score: 6 out of 10.High Evolutionary to Earth: "Drop Dead!"

Iron Man 2.0 #4:

Summary: This is going to be the easiest review I've ever done! War Machine(thanks to Tony Stark's money) manages to get one of his aids into a government facility to read the real origin of Palmer Addley. We start at the beginning, and learn that Palmer was always a really smart kid, but that he came from a slightly dysfunctional household. As a teenager, Palmer fell into an anarchic way of thinking, and began to rail against the government. Eventually Palmer's anger turned violent, and he shot up his former workplace, which is all War Machine's aid can bear to read before she gets up and leaves.

Thoughts: Well that was quick! This series is moving along at an interesting clip. In a weird sort of way, the Palmer Addley stuff took a backseat to the War Machine stuff the first three issues. Sure, the storyline is called, “Palmer Addley is dead” but the first three issues seemed to be setting up War Machine's new duds more than anything else. This issue did a complete 180, with Rhodey not showing up once! This comic was ALLLLL about Palmer! While I did enjoy the insight we got here, I can't say this issue blew me away or anything. It was, as they say, a perfectly acceptable comic, nothing more, nothing less.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Palmer Addley is dead... AND an anarchist!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Birds of Prey #11 & Batman #709

Two DC reviews here, both rather long-winded... Apparently, the less sleep I get, the more chatty I get. Now this is good for those times when I have to stay up late to finish a paper for school, but not so good for typing up reviews. Don't believe me? Read on!

Birds of Prey #11:

Summary: So 4 criminals have stolen a mess of Ancient Egyptian antiques and taken an asthmatic woman hostage in Gotham. Huntress decides to get involved in the investigation and manages to catch up to one of the crooks, who was trying to escape from Huntress on a motorcycle. Huntress shoots the guy in the foot with a crossbow bolt, but he manages to make his way up to a rooftop, where he is stopped by Catman. Catman scares the guy into giving up the location of one of the other three crooks, and Catman offers his assistance to Huntress(after stealing a quick kiss and catching a right hand for his troubles). Irregardless of Catman's kiss, Huntress decides to work with him and the two track Crook #2 to his pregnant girlfriend's house. The pregnant woman takes a run at Catman(?!?) and gets punched in the nose for her troubles, much to the rage of Huntress. Crook #2 grabs his gun and shoots at Huntress and Catman, missing Huntress but clipping Catman. Huntress manages to slam Crook #2 into the wall, where he squeals the location of Crook #3, who had the asthmatic woman and the antiques. After Huntress patches Catman up, he manages to track Crook #3's truck to a warehouse, a feat that surprises Huntress. The two bust in and discover Crook #3 standing next to the tied up hostage holding a katana(?!). Huntress tells Catman to take care of the woman while she takes Crook #3 down, which Catman reluctantly does. Huntress makes quick work of Crook #3 and puts her crossbow to the back of Catman's head, telling him the jig was up... Wha-huh?! Huntress explains that Catman was Crook #4(!), having figured out that fact by putting several little clues together throughout this comic. Realizing that he'd been caught, Catman pretty much tells Huntress she was correct, but in a non-incriminating way, since he knew Huntress couldn't nab him on the little clues she put together. Enraged that Catman(a potential romantic interest) had played her like that, Huntress slaps him(again) and tells him to get lost. Catman tries to plead with Huntress, telling her that since he “lost” his son he'd been on a downward spiral, and needed help. Huntress ALMOST gives in to Catman, but pushes down her instincts and tells him that she didn't want to see him again before leaving with the kidnapped woman(who I guess watched all this play out!). When Huntress is out of earshot, Deadshot steps out of the shadows and Catman reveals that he had set all of this up to dissuade Huntress from wanting to strike up a relationship with him because he's a bad guy.

Thoughts: You know, I was as confused as hell for some of this comic, but once I figured out what Catman was doing with his triple-cross, I realized that I REALLY enjoyed this issue! A lot! Like more than any issue of BoP since it's relaunch! So what did I like? Well, the fact that this issue spotlighted Huntress sure did help, plus there was NO Hawk or Dove in this comic... I think THAT'S what bugs me the most about this series, the fact that those two are a part of things. For me, they just haven't fit in yet. In my opinion, all you really need in this series are Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress. Jettison the dead weight, Gail Simone!

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Catman sure did get slapped a lot this issue!

Batman #709:

Summary: With Red Robin and Catwoman having failed their tests, Batman(Dick Grayson) heads to a rooftop in Devil's Square to meet up with Azrael, Crusader and Fireball. Basically Bats has to prove that he's righteous(or something along those lines), lest Azrael has Fireball obliterate Gotham City. With no real choice, Bats agrees to take this “test” and Azrael calls forth some guy who used to be an acrobat called the Prodigy back when Bats was a young kid. It seems the Prodigy was viciously beaten by some punks in Wisconsin after he made a move for one of the punk's girlfriends. The beating left him unable to do his acrobatics anymore, and pretty much paved the way for The Flying Graysons to take over the mantle of most impressive circus act in Haley's Circus. So what exactly does this have to do with Bats, you ask? It turns out that Dick had overheard the punks planning their attack on Prodigy but did nothing to stop them. That inaction is what drives Bats(according to Azrael), and is what damns him and all of Gotham... Sheesh, isn't that just a bit harsh?! He was only a kid! Bats tries to reason with Azrael, stating that all of Gotham didn't deserve to burn for the sins of a few, but Azrael is insistent that EVERYBODY in Gotham is a sinner. Bats asks if that included Azrael's sister-in-law and her kids, and reveals that they were on their way to the building they were debating atop of. Azrael has Crusader bring the woman and her kids to the roof to see why she hadn't left town yet, and she reveals that she was called by Red Robin to come by to try to talk some sense into Azrael. She also expresses disgust at Azrael's plans to destroy Gotham and refuses to see the “logic” in his actions. Somehow this all leads to Bats convincing Azrael to stab himself with his two swords to see if he was truly without sin, and thus deserved to judge everybody else. The swords show Azrael that he had been manipulated by Ra's Al Ghul, who wanted Azrael to destroy Gotham, since that act would lead to a global war, one that would annihilate most of the world, allowing Ra's to swoop in and take control of everything. Azrael is horrified that it wasn't God, but Ra's who set him on this path, and before he can figure out what to do, Fireball begins to slowly detonate. Bats tells Crusader to cover Fireball with a telekinetic forcefield, which is able to contain Fireball's blast, saving Gotham, but killing Fireball. In the end, Azrael and Crusader leave, angry about the way they were manipulated by Ra's, while the Prodigy(remember him?) tells Bats that he knew that Dick had watched the beating he received, and that he didn't hold it against Dick since he was only a kid and kids make mistakes. As for Ra's, he calmly states that while this particular plan failed, he'd keep trying, since he simply needed Bats and his allies to slip up one time for him to win.

Thoughts: Okay, that review was WAY longer than I intended, so I'll make this part quick. Two things. The first is that I didn't like the Prodigy stuff here at all. I didn't like the light it put Dick in, as it made him look guilty(-ish) for something he really played no part in. I mean he WAS only a little kid! The other thing I wanted to mention was that I LOVED Ra's parts here. We never really knew what Ra's was up to this entire crossover until the last few pages of this issue, but Ra's logic, and parting words all made perfect sense(in a crazy, super-villain sort of way).

Score: 7 out of 10.Crazy people are crazy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

10 Thoughts on... Invincible Presents: Atom Eve and Rex Splode Vol. 1

Hey, it's a 10 Thoughts post! Yeah, that's as much of an intro as I have...

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve and Rex Splode Volume One. Collecting Invincible Presents: Atom Eve #1-2 & Invincible Presents: Atom Eve and Rex Splode #1-3... Phew!

Synopsis: Basically this trade fills us in on what Rex and Eve were up to before the events of Invincible #1. There, how's THAT for a synopsis!

-Eve was a government experiment... I knew that already, I think... No, that HAD to have come up in an issue of Invincible... Right?

-Eve's “siblings” are pretty freaky looking.Boy, Atom Eve sure got the looks in her family!

-Her father is pretty weird looking too... I mean who lurks the streets wearing a lab coat?That's one sweet lab coat!

-Man, Eve has WAAAAY more reason to hate the government than Invincible does! Bastards...

-I love that Rex's family basically sold him for a steak!

-Man, I forgot how awesome Rex was... He was an epic little teenage ninja!

-So Rex first met Eve while she was fighting her arch-nemesis, Killcannon! I also love that Eve has like the WORST arch-enemy ever! Killcannon... Yikes...

-Okay, I'm going to just come right out and say it... I LOVED Rex's first super-hero costume!That's right, I LIKED that costume!

-His second costume, Pyro-Lite? Not so much...The Man.

-After reading these issues, I have to say, it sucks that Rex died. He was probably my... 5th or 6th favorite Invincible character... You know you're reading a great series when you even HAVE a list of favorite characters, especially when the list goes beyond like 3!

Score: 9 out of 10. Super solid trade, that gives insight into two of the supporting characters in the Invincible books. If you don't read Invincible, you probably wouldn't care for this trade, but if you do read Invincible, it's definitely worth a look.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Invincible #79 & Super Dinosaur #1

Well, here it is, my FIRST all Image review post. You can all thank DC for sucking so hard lately for my recent foray into the worlds outside Marvel and DC. I've managed to read every issue of Invincible(except for that damned issue #72!!!), so I am psyched to start reviewing Invincible on a regular basis. As for Super Dinosaur, it's written by Invincible scribe, Robert Kirkman, and the owner of the comic shop I frequent convinced me to give it a shot, so if I wind up liking it(say a score of 6 1/2 or higher), it'll probably be making it's way on to the old pull list. Okay, intro over, reviews begin!

Invincible #79:

Summary: We begin with Invincible(Mark Grayson) heading to his tailor to get his costumed tweaked... Again. However, instead of something new, he goes back to the original Invincible costume, complete with dumb kneepads... Personally I loved the black and blue costume. From there Mark heads to the home of his plumper than usual girlfriend, Atom Eve, who is pretty self-conscious about her weight. Mark keeps trying to reassure her, but to no avail. While with Eve, Mark gets a few calls to deal with super-villains, and we get several sweet, sweet panels of Ryan Ottley artwork as Mark takes care of business. Mark heads home and finds his mother talking to Eve, which kind of freaks him out. It seems that while Mark was out in space, Eve and Debbie bonded. After some uncomfortable moments for Mark, he leaves with Eve to visit the Immortal and his wife, Dupli-Kate. Mark and Eve enter the house and Eve is immediately uncomfortable when she sees Immortal and Kate's twins. The two couples have dinner(during which Immortal regales his guests with tales from back when he was Abe Lincoln... I love this comic!), and after dinner Kate takes the twins in for a bath. Eve goes with her, but freaks out when Kate asks her to hold one of the babies, running outside in tears. Mark follows and asks what happened, and Eve finally drops the bombshell... While Mark was in space she aborted the child she was pregnant with, since she didn't know what else to do. This issue then ends with the two sharing a tearful embrace.

Thoughts: Well. The beginning parts of this story were kind of slow, but after the breakneck action that took place during the Viltrumite War, that's really no shocker. Hell, I wouldn't be that surprised if Robert Kirkman deliberately pulled back on the action a bit as a breather after the past several issues. But honestly, the first 15 pages or so weren't important. It was Eve's reveal that I've been waiting to hear since... Oh, issue #70 or so. What did I think about the reveal that Eve aborted her and Mark's child? I think it was genius! Seriously, that may just have been the BEST move Kirkman could have made here! It leaves SO many doors open for the future... If Eve actually DID have the abortion(and who knows, maybe she was lying for some reason), the fetus could have been collected by either Cecil Stedman or some villain(Angstrom Levy, anybody?). That way the child could show up later on as either an ally or(more likely) an enemy of the parents who didn't want him/her. Then there's the possibility that Eve was lying to Mark for some reason. When Mark walked in on Eve and Debbie, it sounded like they were talking about babies, and Eve wasn't crying, she was laughing at a joke... Could Eve have given the child up for adoption? Is she hiding it from Mark for some reason? Then there's Eve's weight gain. If she had aborted the child before the third month(which is most likely), she would have had over seven months to have gotten back into... um, super-hero shape. The fact that Eve is so self-conscious about her weight would lead me to believe that she didn't want to have those extra pounds on her, and as such would have lost them. Now if she HAD the baby, that would mean she was just one month removed from delivering the child, which WOULD explain the extra weight. Then again, what do I know? I'm a guy. Anyway, as I said, the abortion angle was probably the BEST possible move Kirkman could have made, since, as I stated, it leaves the most doors open. All in all, this was yet another great issue from this series, which is quite honestly, no surprise.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Ooo, pretty...

Super Dinosaur #1:

Summary: We begin with the obligatory introductions... Right off the bat we meet the main protagonists of this series, Super Dinosaur(who is a talking dinosaur! I know, who'd have thunk it?!) and Derek Dynamo, his preteen best friend. Derek and SD spend most of their time battling against Max Maximo, who has an army of evil talking dinosaurs working on his evil behalf. In case you can't tell, Max is EVIL! After a quick skirmish with a pair of Max's evil dinosaurs(who were trying to steal the ultra rare and ultra powerful mineral, Dynore), Derek and SD head home, where SD's harness needs some repairs. There we meet Derek's father, Dr. Dexter Dynamo, who is(was?) a genius, but has been having memory lapses lately. However, Derek usually manages to fix/finish anything his father was working on since Derek didn't want anybody to know(including his father) that his father was slipping up lately, since their entire organization could be shut down. The government sends a husband and wife team of scientists(as well as their two daughters) to live at Dexter's base, the Dynamo Dome, in order to assist with any repairs SD's harness might need. Derek doesn't like this since the outsiders could see that his father wasn't doing that well, which could get them shut down. Anyway, the scientists meet Derek, Dexter and SD and before long, some alarms go off meaning some dino-related crisis was going on. Derek has to leave without SD since his harness was still being repaired by the two scientists and Dexter. Derek meets the mysterious Tricerachops, who used to work with Max before they had a falling out. Derek attacks Tricerachops, all while waiting(and hoping) that SD's harness would be fixed up so he'd have some back-up. Back at the Dynamo Dome, the scientists manage to fix the harness, but without any help from Dexter, who seemed kind of confused the whole time. SD gets into the harness and joins the battle against Tricerachops, which causes Tricerachops to retreat from the battle and escape in a giant spacecraft. Upon arriving home, one of the scientists confront Derek about Dexter's confusion concerning SD's harness. Derek admits that he had been doing many of his father's duties, unbeknownst to his father, since he didn't want the government to shut down SD's operation. The scientist promises to keep Derek's secret, but Dexter managed to overhear the whole conversation, and while he is overjoyed by how intelligent his son is, he's a bit depressed over his own shortcomings.

Thoughts: This is like the PERFECT comic for a younger kid. You know, like a 5-11 year old. It's kind of a great starting point for a kid just getting into comics... Unfortunately, I'm not quite in that age range anymore. I mean there wasn't anything wrong with this comic, it just didn't do anything for me. It was a quick and simple read, with easy to identify characters, each with easy names to remember. Will I be picking up issue #2? That's a good question... Here's the thing, I actually didn't like Derek. He was a real know-it-all sort of kid, you know the type, the kid who would always correct the teacher, or try to force his knowledge on people. In other words, the kind of kid you'd want to smack around! So yeah, I'm very undecided on whether or not I'll be picking up issue #2... I guess we'll find out next month.

Score: 6 out of 10.That dinosaur isn't wearing any pants!!!

Avengers #12 & Avengers Academy #12

Two more reviews on tap, both from Marvel, both titles from the Avengers family of books. One good, one not so good...

Avengers Academy #12:

Summary: Having been given their adult bodies by Korvac's wife, Carina, the Academy cadets rush into battle with the uber-powerful Korvac, who had just finished defeating the combined forces of the Avengers. The cadets actually manage to get Korvac on the ropes, mainly because he was hesitant to kill them since he was under the impression that killing one of them could damage the timestream. However, Korvac realizes that once he conquers the universe, he can simply fix any damage he'd done, and kills Striker. Carina replaces dead future Striker with his regular, younger self, which leads to Striker freaking out(and rightfully so!) and running away from the battle(HA!). Back with Korvac, he's in the process of melting Mettle, but is stopped by Veil, who places her intangible body in Korvac's, momentarily taking control of him and halting his rampage. With Korvac finally stunned, Hazmat uses anti-matter on Korvac, which discorporates him, ending his threat. With Korvac gone(for now...) Carina sends all of the kids back to their own bodies, except for Reptil, who she can't seem to fix. A few hours later, Dr. Pym figures out that Reptil didn't want to return to his younger, weaker body, and his magic was preventing Carina from putting him back in his proper body. With nothing more to do, Carina leaves, but not before Pym gives her an Avengers communication card, just in case Korvac pestered her or the Avengers. From there Pym runs some tests on Veil and learns that the dissolution of her body's molecules had slowed down substantially. Pym is baffled, but Veil tells him that while she was in possession of Korvac's body, she used his god-like powers to fix her body as best she could in the limited time she had with Korvac's powers. Striker is still freaked out over his near death experience, and is contemplating abandoning the Academy altogether. We end this one with Mettle and Hazmat bonding over the fact that their adult counterparts were still trapped in the bodies they currently inhabited, meaning they had no real hope of having their conditions cured.

Thoughts: This comic is definitely one of my monthly favorites. I was expecting that I'd enjoy this issue way more than I did, but alas, I didn't... But I think I know why... I JUST finished reading The Korvac Saga a few nights ago which was AWESOME. Unfortunately, after the original Korvac Saga, other writers decided to use Korvac, and changed his motivation/actions, kind of dramatically. Korvac went from a guy who seemed like he sincerely wanted to “fix” the universe to another would be world conqueror, just on a universal scale. The way Hazmat defeated Korvac was the way he was defeated in one of his later appearances, which is why I was kind of bugged by it... I wanted classic Korvac, not newer, run of the mill super-villain Korvac... All in all, this was a really good story, that sets up several future storylines, but the cheap way Korvac lost hurt my enjoyment of this one quite a bit.

Score: 8 out of 10.D'oh!

Avengers #12:

Summary: The Hood and Thanos talk and talk and talk in the astral plane for several pages in dialogue mainly consisting of this, Thanos: Give me the Infinity Gems, you can't handle them. Hood: I don't trust you. Thanos: Give me the Infinity Gems, you can trust me. Hood: I don't trust you. Thanos: I'm trustworthy. Hood: Hey, you're not Thanos!... No, it turns out Thanos wasn't actually Thanos, but was Dr. Strange pretending to be Thanos... Thank god, because “Thanos” was acting WAY out of character. Strange has managed to distract Hood long enough for the rest of the Avengers to arrive, and the Red Hulk, who had the Red Gem of Power, smashes Hood in the face, causing him to drop two of his three gems. However, Hood manages to keep hold of the Reality Gem, and threatens to wish Red Hulk from existence lest he hands over the Red Gem... Um, why not just wish Red Hulk out of existence first and THEN take the gem? Anyway, during the Red Hulk and Hood's battle, Red Hulk handed his gem off to Iron Man(because god knows, we can ALL trust Tony Stark), who has managed to collect the other 5 gems during Hood's altercation with Red Hulk. Hood taunts that he still controls reality, until Stark used the other 5 gems to swipe the Reality Gem from Hood, leaving him powerless, while making Iron Man omnipotent. Since this IS a Bendis comic, Iron Man figures everybody reading this comic book is a blithering idiot, so Iron Man plainly spells out exactly what he could do with the power of a god... Gee, thanks for explaining that... Instead, Stark uses the gems to lock Hood back in prison and wishes the Infinity Gauntlet out of existence, ending its threat... Or does he?! This issue ends with Tony revealing to the rest of that goddamn Illuminati that he hadn't destroyed the Gauntlet, fearing that doing so would throw the universe out of balance. The Illuminati take their gems back to hide them again(because that worked out SO well for them before), with Iron Man giving Steve Rogers the gem that previously belonged to Black Bolt.

Thoughts: UGH!!! What the hell happened here?! We went from good Bendis last issue, with a story that lacked most of his annoying dialogue, and was simply narrated by the Watcher, to bad Bendis, who just couldn't shut up! This issue was just a mess. We went back to Bendis's hyper-dialogue, with people just talking simply to talk. Iron Man says something, and Luke Cage has to randomly chime in with something to say. The Hood basically has to use three panels and tons of words to simply ask, “What are you going to do now that you have the gems, Iron Man?” Plus there's my personal favorite Bendisism, characters repeating themselves to the point of madness! On top of all that, I HATED the end! Steve Rogers was rightfully pissed a few issues back when he learned that the Illuminati(another Bendis idea that I deplore) had secretly divvied up the Infinity Gems amongst themselves. This issue ends with Steve getting an Infinity Gem of his own, and suddenly being fine with the fact that the Illuminati was hording the gems... So Steve Rogers, paragon of virtue that he is, can be bribed THAT easily? I call bullshit! It's like I said before, I've never known a writer who could go from one extreme and write a great comic to the other extreme, writing a terrible comic over the course of a single month... Hopefully that means next issue will be a great issue... Hopefully.

Score: 3 1/2 out of 10.Yeah, like THAT'S a good sign!

Gothem City Sirens #22 & Zatanna #12

Two female centric DC comics here, including the third part of the Judgment on Gotham storyline that doesn't matter to DC because Chairman Johns isn't attached to it... Man, for somebody I've never met, I really can't stand that guy...

Gotham City Sirens #22:

Summary: This is another part of the Judgment on Gotham storyline, although the cover of this issue doesn't bother telling us that much... Way to let people know this issue was part of that storyline, DC! Anyway, Azrael and Crusader are ready to test Catwoman to see if she is pure enough to pass their test and thus save Gotham City from destruction. Catwoman's crazy sister heads to Azrael and Crusader and tells them that she was sent by God to be Catwoman's test. Since Azrael and Crusader are also obviously insane, they happily accept Catwoman's crazy sister into their midst. Why not? The more crazies the better! CW finally catches up to Azrael and Crusader and is beaten by them and stabbed by Azrael's wacky sin sword. Upon waking up, Catwoman sees her sister, who tells CW that to save Gotham she would have to kill her. CW scoffs at the thought of killing her own sister, but her sister tells CW that she was sent by God for this very reason, and that killing her would free CW from the demon CW's sister was positive CW was possessed by. CW realizes that by killing her sister she would pass Azrael's insane test, but in the end, just can't off her own sister. With that, CW's sister leaves, as do Azrael and Crusader. This issue ends with Ra's confident that Dick Grayson(Batman) would fail his test as well, thus sealing the fate of Gotham City.

Thoughts: No complaints here. This was a good, solid comic, that continued the Judgment on Gotham storyline. I love that Peter Calloway managed to insert CW's sister into this storyline, because she was a perfect fit here. While I had no complaints about this issue in particular, I'm still a bit baffled by the Judgment storyline itself... Mainly why are these two goofs able to beat Gotham's various heroes with relative ease, and what the hell is Ra's playing at? Eh, I either forgot, or it'll be revealed in the next part of this storyline.

Score: 8 out of 10.Jeez, Azrael sure is stab happy...

Zatanna #12:

Summary: Some mook named Backslash has captured a fairy and has a magical sword that can rewind time when he swings it. Zatanna gets wind of Backslash after he kills some merpeople, and confronts him, but is stymied by Backslash, since with every swing of his sword, her backwards spoken words come out as normal speech... That's actually pretty ingenious... Anyway, since she wasn't able to use any spells on Backslash, Z charges him and tries to defeat him in hand to hand combat, but every time Z tries to hit Backslash, he simply rewinds time, causing her to miss him. Realizing she was out gunned, Z decides to retreat, but Backslash simply makes her return to him and knocks her out. Z wakes up tied to a statue where Backslash is rapping at her... Wait, what?! Z disses Backslash's sweet rhymes, which infuriates him. The captured fairy manages to tell Z that the only way to defeat Backslash was by using palindromes, you know, those words that are the same both forwards and backwards. Before Backslash knows what hit him, Z is saying palindromes like there is no tomorrow, eventually finding the correct combination of words to free her and defeat Backslash. With Backslash done for, Z takes the sword, calls the cops and frees the fairy, ending this one.

Thoughts: This was a fun, fast little read. The story was fine, and I had only one problem with it... Backslash... God was he annoying! He had the most annoying accent imaginable! Ugh. Besides that though, no complaints here.

Score: 7 out of 10.Trust me, this all DOES make sense!