Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #334 (July 1996)

We'll finish off the comic week with a final Retro-Review, this time a review for Uncanny X-Men #334. I can't say the cover of this one is ringing any bells for me, so let's crack it open and see what's inside!

Uncanny X-Men #334:

Summary: Lots of stuff going on here as this was the issue RIGHT before Onslaught was revealed, so needless to say, all of the pieces were being moved around the chessboard. We start with Juggernaut sneaking onto the grounds of X-Mansion in order to see Cyclops and Jean Grey, who were living in the Mansion's lake house at the time. Juggy ducks underwater, but spots a security camera, which he destroys before it can get a good look at him. Meanwhile, Archangel and Psylocke(who were living in Colorado at the time) are disturbed that they couldn't contact X-Mansion and decide to fly out to make sure everything was on the up and up. From there we head to Cannonball and Professor Xavier. Cannonball tells the Prof that he felt like he wasn't pulling his weight with the X-Men and was considering heading back to X-Force. Instead of reassuring Sam, the Prof tears into him, telling him to go whine elsewhere, and that if he didn't think he was X-Men material then he should get lost... Damn! Jean Grey, who had been confronted by Onslaught just prior to this issue, tells Cyclops that very fact. Cyclops recommends Jean see the Prof about Onslaught, but Jean is reluctant to do so... Gambit and Bishop see that one of the cameras under the water had been wrecked, and head off to see if there was any trouble, and are taken by surprise by Juggy, who defeats the two with ease. From there, the Prof continues to act out of character, and berates Cyclops upon bumping into him before vanishing, much to Cyclops's surprise... I have to say, crazy Prof. X was awesome... Juggy heads to the lake house, finds Jean, and asks her for help, since Juggy felt he knew who Onslaught was, but couldn't remember due to mental tampering. Jean doesn't trust Juggy, so he removes his helmet as a way to prove he wasn't there looking for trouble. Jean decides to take Juggy to a psi-shielded room under the school grounds where she could read his mind without anybody interfering, while Cyclops discovers that Prof. X was in his study, and had been for the past 48 hours, leaving him puzzled by the meeting he had just had.

Thoughts: This comic was a fantastic lead-in to the Onslaught event! Besides all of the stuff I listed above? We also had Dark Beast masquerading as regular Beast among the X-Men, and Graydon Creed and Bastion meeting. Seriously, this was a PACKED comic book! Naturally the increasingly insane Professor X stole the show here, as he should have, considering what was coming. The two main X-books around this time period(Uncanny X-Men and X-Men) were slowly setting up the Onslaught-as-Xavier reveal, but this may have been the first issue it became clear that Onslaught was indeed the Prof. Now, I don't know what it was like to read these books when they first came out, since the first time I read these X-books was probably around 8 years ago, and as such I knew who Onslaught was, but I'd think that after reading this issue the Onslaught/Prof link would have been pretty much confirmed. Make no mistake, this was a set-up issue. But as far as set-up issues go, this was one of the better ones I've ever read, and clearly laid the groundwork for what was about to happen to the X-Men, and why.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
uncanny x-men #334
I love crazy, snarky Professor X!

Flash #102 (June 1995)

Hey there X-Maniacs! With my new comic pile dry until tomorrow, I have no new material to post... So you know what that means... It's time for a pair of Retro-Reviews!!! As usual, I'll do a DC book, followed by a Marvel comic. First up we'll hit DC and take a look at an issue of Flash from the mid-90's.

Flash #102:

Summary: This issue takes place after the big Flash storyline that ended in Flash #100(I'm totally blanking on the name... Terminal Velocity perhaps?), meaning Wally has his Flash powers amped up and is having some marital trouble. We open with Linda asking Wally to stick around for a few minutes to assist her with a case she was researching. Wally agrees, but upon hearing that some alien was wreaking havoc in Keystone, he takes off,leaving Linda behind. While Wally is gone, Linda gets a call and leaves herself. As for Wally, he discovers Mongul running amok and immediately attacks, since Mongul's appearance gives Wally the opportunity to forget about the troubles in his personal life. The two battle, with Wally using his speed to confound and enrage Mongul, at least until Mongul manages to collapse the street under both himself and Wally. Upon landing, Wally discovers a spacecraft(?!) in the sewers, and Mongul explains that was his true reasons for being in Keystone, to get the ship and leave the Earth. Knowing he couldn't let Mongul go free to devastate other planets. Wally attacks Mongul anew, and eventually manages to defeat him by using his speed to send some debris back at Mongul at hyper-speed, before speeding up the molecules in the alien ship, making the metal malleable enough to trap Mongul. With Mongul's threat finished, Wally heads home and is dismayed to find Linda gone... He's more dismayed to discover a picture on Linda's desk showing her and another man in a rather cozy situation.

Thoughts: This issue was heavy on the action, with just a little bit of story advancement taking place. While I enjoyed the battle for the most part, I was a bit... surprised, I guess, by how easily Wally took Mongul down. Wally himself stated that Mongul had recently menaced Superman AND Green Lantern, and took THEM to the limit! In this comic though, Wally basically gets hit once, and then defeats Mongul handily. I mean I'm as big a fan of Wally as you'll find, and I get that Mark Waid was trying to establish that Wally had kicked his powers up to the next level, but I kind of felt that Waid should have used a lower-level baddie to establish Wally's newfound toughness... Not a guy who regularly gave Superman fits! Other than that, this was a good, action-packed comic book that was easy to pick up, read and then put down again.

Score: 7 out of 10.
flash #102
Come on Mongul, like one punch turned Wally into DUST?! What an idiot...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flash #5

Last review of the night is a look at the early years of Wally West as the Flash. Barry Who?

Flash #5:

Summary: We open with the doctor from last issue telling her husband that she wanted a divorce. The husband(Jerry) figures she was dumping him because of Flash, so he beats her for trying to leave him, before storming to his lab where he bombards himself with strange rays and takes some steroids. The doctor(Tina) calls Wally and tells him what had happened to her and the two meet up at a restaurant where Wally implores her to report her husband to the cops(she doesn't want to). From there, Wally takes her back to his mansion to make sure she's safe... And, you know, because she's an interesting, attractive older woman and Wally has the hots for her. Meanwhile, between the rays and the steroids he was injecting himself with, Jerry has gained super-speed as well as enhanced strength. With that, he dons a costume(naturally) and sets out to beat the hell out of Wally(of course). Back at Wally's mansion, Tina shoots down all of Wally's initial moves(citing their age difference), but during the night she heads to his bedroom to stay with him. Before anything spicy can happen, Jerry smashes through the bedroom wall, which leads to a fight with an angry Wally. Jerry manages to get the advantage over Wally by shooting mustard gas in his face(?!), before grabbing Tina and rushing away from Wally. By the time Wally's vision has cleared, he looks out the window just in time to see Jerry and Tina crash into a fuel depot, leading to an explosion.

Thoughts: What can I say? I'm enjoying this series. Yes, the ending was insanely over the top, what with the fuel depot exploding(!), but I'm still enjoying watching Wally act relatively irresponsible for a superhero. Yeah, sure, Tina is obviously in a horrible relationship with an insane husband and all, but (almost) sleeping with a woman who WAS still married(although separated), isn't the sort of thing you'd expect to see Saint Barry Allen, Clark Kent or Steve Rogers do... But it WAS the sort of thing you'd expect a suddenly rich, super-powered 19 year old guy to do. That's probably what I've been enjoying the most about this series thus far. Yeah, Wally is the super-heroic Flash, but he's also a 19 year old guy, one who is trying to make it in the real world, as well as live up to the lofty expectations placed on him due to the Flash name. It's too bad Geoff Johns and the DC braintrust decided to take a piss all over this series, because there was some great character development done here by Mike Baron.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
flash #5
That Wally West sure is romantic!

Green Lantern: New Guardians #5(Brightest Day Rules)

Now THIS should be fun! Seeing as that I absolutely detest Larfleeze, and would have dropped this series had my sister not asked me to keep picking it up since she was enjoying it, I'll be using Brightest Day Rules when scoring this one! What are Brightest Day Rules? Check out my prior, "What are Brightest Day Rules?" post to find out... Makes sense, no? With the explanations out of the way, let the bloodbath begin!!!

Green Lantern: New Guardians #5:

Summary: The New Guardians reach the solar system that appeared out of the blue and split up to search it. Somehow Kyle gets stuck with that annoying-ass orange construct thing... Anyway, each world is a replica of another world(Tamaran, Okaara, etc) and they are all watched over by somebody named Invictus. It turns out Invictus is some old foe of Larfleeze(of course... because the DCU revolves around Larfleeze...), and upon seeing that damned orange construct, Invictus is summoned to deal with the New Guardians.

Thoughts: That could have been WAY worse! First things first, the number one rule concerning this series is that anytime Larfleeze appears on a page that's an automatic -10. Since Larfleeze only appeared on one page, that's a -10 right off the bat. -2 for Kyle(the only character in this series worth anything) getting stuck with that childish Glomulus thing. But I'll give a +4 for Arkillo yelling at Saint Walker, who I hate. Yes, I hate A LOT of characters in this comic... Another -3 for Glomulus sticking his(her? it's?) tongue out at Kyle... Seriously, is this comic being written for the 4-6 year old age group? I'll give a +2 for Atrocitus shoving Bleez's head into the ocean of blood because, you guessed it, I hate Bleez and want her to drown! -1 for every time Saint Walker said, “All will be well”. As well as a -2 for every time that annoying Indigo Lantern spoke in Jackass-ese. “Nok” my ass... If I was feeling in a worse mood I'd toss another negative score in for the Larfleeze statue, but I'm a nice guy, so I won't. I'll give a +2 for Invictus hating Larfleeze, thus showing he has good taste. But I'm going to have to give a -4 for this story revolving around Larfleeze in the first place! Now do you see how totally arbitrary these numbers are? With that taken care of, it's time for me to do some fancy mathematics and come up with a final score of......

Score: -14 out of 10. Oddly enough, a -14 ISN'T that bad... Trust me, it could have been WAAAAAY worse!
green lantern new guardians #5
I wish somebody would rip Saint Walker's tongue out...

What are Brightest Day Rules?

Okay X-Maniacs, it's story time! Once upon a time, DC published a series called Brightest Day. That series was so incredibly awful that I was basically scoring each issue around a 0. Yep, it was THAT bad! Being a glutton for punishment, I soldiered on and kept reading each horrible issue. Needing a way to amuse myself(and hold on to my sanity...), I started scoring the series using what became known as Brightest Day Rules... What are Brightest Day Rules you ask? Whenever something I hate happens in a comic book, I give that scene negative numbers... For example, the White Lantern ring telling Deadman to eat a cheeseburger would most definitely garner that scene a score of around a -10 because it was so asinine. Good things(and there were SO few...) would get a positive score... So a scene where Saint Barry Allen had been decapitated(although that sadly only took place in the Martian Manhunter's head...) would get a score of around a +50 or so. At the end of the post I add up all of the various numbers and presto, we have ourselves a score... Usually in the negative numbers. I believe one issue of Brightest Day actually scored around a -450, so yeah, the scores could get QUITE negative! So why am I telling you guys about Brightest Day Rules? Because they're about to make a comeback. There are a few comics that I read monthly that are just unbearable to me, but for whatever reason I'm still picking them up. Since I KNOW I'm going to hate them, why not use an arbitrary(and totally biased) scoring system to rate these comics?! I mean hell, if I'm gonna read 'em, I might as well rant about 'em. So there you have it. Now if you see a post with the words “Brightest Day Rules” somewhere within it, you'll know what to expect...

JT's Take: Justice League #5

Hey everyone, JT here, formerly of Jason Todd's Comic Spot, and currently the new co-writer here at X-Man's Comic Blog. I'm not gonna bore you guys with a long intro, I'm just gonna say how cool it is to be writing at my buddy's blog and I hope any of you who aren't familiar with my reviews or style enjoy my write-ups. I'll try to review books I know Ol' X isn't reviewing as not to clash but I may review the same books time to time and see where X and I agree or disagree. (Probably the latter.) So let's get down to business with my first review here. Oh and for those not familiar with my posts, the dialogue at the end of each review is my pick for line of the issue.

Justice League #5

Summary: For those not in the know, the last four issues of Justice League have centered around Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Faux, I mean Flash, and Green Lantern and the newly turned Cyborg...er.. Cyborg, all joining together just in time to face the invading threat known as Darkseid. In this issue we basically saw the team attack and fail miserably with Darkseid using his Omega Beams to take out Superman, but The Flash escaped them by phasing through a Parademon and letting that take the blast. After seeing Superman get taken away by the Parademons, Batman has a talk with Green Lantern where he tells Lantern to think and stop attacking so headstrong without having a plan, and says the two of them are alike. Hal doesn't agree with him so Bruce unmasks and says he's Bruce Wayne and gives his whole backstory for some odd reason before literally putting his arms up so the Parademons come grab him and take him away so he can save Superman. Green Lantern takes his advice and tries to rally Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg as they head off to take on Darkseid once again, meanwhile Bruce crosses through the Boom Tube to Apokalips as this issue comes to a close.

Thoughts: First things first, It was cool seeing Hal stand up to Darkseid over and over. It was cooler seeing him get his ass handed to him, I mean between this and Green Lantern, Hal's life has gotta suck because he's getting beat down physically, verbally or mentally all the time, and since he comes off as such an ass you can't help but to enjoy it. As for this issue, I liked some stuff like Flash dodging the Omega beam and Jim Lee's art is always great, but that's where it stops for me. I mean what the hell, there's two things Batman never does and that's kill, and reveal his identity to people he barely knows/trusts. Everyone knows that, but for some reason Geoff Johns seems to not. I mean think about it, he's banging Catwoman with his mask on. His former Boy Wonder, Red Robin, still hasn't told any of the Teen Titans who he is, yet meanwhile Bruce is not only taking off his cowl, but saying his damn name (how did Hal NOT know who Bruce Wayne is?!) as well as running around in the middle of the damn city with no cowl but still wearing the bat-suit! I know the planet is under attack by Darkseid but does that mean you just say to hell with the whole Secret Identity thing?! That irked me a lot, and rightfully so because it was SO out of character for Bruce. That aside this comic wasn't that enjoyable, the team just doesn't seem like a team, it seems like a book revolving around Flash, GL and Batman with three lines a piece for Cyborg, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I'm trying to give this series a chance but considering Batman's recklessness in this issue I just ended up more annoyed than anything.

Score: 3.5 out of 10.
 Batman: My name is Bruce Wayne.
Hal Jordan: Who the hell is Bruce Wayne?
(That's like me not knowing who Donald Trump is... he's a basketball player right?)

Let's Welcome...

Hey there X-Maniacs, I have an extra special announcement to make tonight. One that will change this blog FOREVER!!! Yep, “FOREVER” in all caps, which proves just how big this announcement is! What is the announcement? I'll be adding a collaborator to this blog! And not just ANY collaborator, but probably the second(yes second...) greatest blogger in the history of the Internet! Who is this near legendary figure you ask? Ol' X is delighted to welcome the one and only Jason Todd of Jason Todd's Comic Spot to the blog. Yes, I have managed to convince(trick) my great friend JT to come and post stuff here at the blog, forsaking his own blog in the process... Yep, I am THAT convincing(and/or devious!)!

So, who is JT exactly? JT has gone from being a regular commenter here at the blog since September of 2009, to being a legitimate and valued friend who I speak to on a regular basis. JT is a fellow comic book aficionado, one who is especially knowledgeable on all things Jason Todd... As you probably guessed... Not only that, but he also reads a plethora of books from DC, Marvel, Zenescope, Image and probably other stuff that I didn't care to ask him about. As for what JT will be doing? Pretty much anything he wants. I'll still be doing a post(or three...) everyday, as usual, but now JT will chip in with some reviews, or links, or news stories, or whatever else strikes his fancy. So for example, for much ballyhooed comic books(like the upcoming Winter Soldier #1 let's say), you'll get TWO reviews for the book, meaning anything I miss, JT should pick up on, as well as giving you guys two different takes on things. Plus, he'll be able to throw reviews out there for books that I don't read, adding some extra content around here. Now, being completely serious for a moment, a huge thank you to JT for taking me up on my offer and deciding to add his immense talents to the blog... Oh, and JT? You'd better not suck! :P And that's all for now. I'll have two reviews up tomorrow, and I'm sure JT will post something soon, be it a review or just a random post... Probably... I don't know. As for me, until later, X out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Justice League Dark #5

Here's a series that's hanging on to my pull list by a thread. I've already given up on the first storyarc(no matter what happens in this issue I doubt it'll save this storyarc), but I'm planning on sticking around for at least another storyarc, since I still see SO much promise here...

Justice League Dark #5:

Summary: Having been dropped off near the Enchantress last issue, June Moone is rescued by John Constantine(where'd he come from?!). Constantine realizes that the only way to halt the Enchantress's worldwide attack was to reunite June and the Enchantress, even if June doesn't want to. With that, Constantine begins reciting the spell(actually that annoying rhyme from the past few issues) that would forcibly reunite the two. Deadman shows up and demands that Constantine leave the terrorized June alone, but Constantine refuses. Deadman tries to possess Constantine but can't because Constantine is too “filthy”(HA!), and Constantine finishes the spell, reuniting June and the Enchantress. Now combined into one being, Enchantress/June seems to have no recollection of what happened. With the threat over, Madame Xanadu has all of the characters involved in the storyline stop by her house and asks them to stay together for the good of the future. Constantine refuses to work with Xanadu, and storms off, as do the rest of the characters, leaving Xanadu alone amongst her cards.

Thoughts: Meh. This issue, much like the rest of this storyline, did nothing for me. If I had to say something positive, I'd say that it's nice to see that Peter Milligan finally featured Constantine prominently in this issue, since that was one of my main gripes about the prior few issues. But the Enchantress/June Moone storyline? I have no idea what happened, and to be honest, I could care less. The only thing that matters to me is that it's over, and hopefully things will get better moving forward.

Score: 5 out of 10.
justice league dark #5
Next issue: John Constantine recites Humpty Dumpty!

Voodoo #5

So this is the first issue of this series without Ron Marz... I have to say, DC dropping Marz from this book greatly disappointed me because I thought he was slowly finding his groove here. But that's the way things seem to work in the new DCU... Writers change books seemingly every other issue. Oh well, let's see how Josh Williamson does. And let's see how long HE lasts on this book...

Voodoo #5:

Summary: Voodoo returns to the ship that brought her to Earth to send out the information about Earth's superhumans(she acquired that info last issue, fyi). Upon entering the ship she finds somebody waiting for her and we learn that Voodoo is a hybrid Daemonite, and that the guy in the ship was a full-blood Daemonite, who apparently hated hybrids... Um, huh... Anyway, the Daemonite goes to kill Voodoo, but she manages to use her... um, hybrid powers to kill the attacker. With that, she prepares to send out the information, but first takes a peek into the file to see what the government knew about her. In the file she learns that she was apparently a clone, and the real Voodoo was in government custody.

Thoughts: The hell?! This issue was......... something... I can't say I like the reveal that Voodoo was a hybrid Daemonite, mainly because we STILL don't know the full story behind the Daemonites yet(it's still unfolding in the pages of Grifter). And the ending? Terrible... It seemed like a really poor swerve simply done for the sake of swerving the readers. “Guess what? Voodoo is actually a CLONE!!!” Dun-dun-dun!!! The ending here just reeked of a forced move to try to raise interest at the expense of the story. And after reading what John Rozum had to say about his experiences writing Static Shock and how DC wanted to keep throwing out crazy ideas out at the expense of the story, I have a bad feeling that this series is going to become VERY light on the story and VERY heavy on the unexpected(and nonsensical) swerves...

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
voodoo #5
So now Voodoo is a hybrid Daemonite or something... Riiiiiight...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mighty Thor #10

And the final review for this Saturday night? Mighty Thor #10. Or Mighty Tanarus #10. Whatever, let's just get to it.

Mighty Thor #10:

Summary: The All-Mother asks Heimdall to peer into the future to see what was in store for Asgardia, and Heimdall warns the All-Mother that he could sense assassins coming for the All-Mother, but that he can't see exactly who the culprits were. From there, Heimdall confronts Tanarus, since Tanarus was a blindspot for Heimdall. Tanarus doesn't like Heimdall asking him questions, and as such attacks. Tanarus puts Heimdall out of action and heads off to stand with the All-Mother while she brought together representatives from all of the nine worlds. With the All-Mother distracted by her Congress of Worlds the plan is for Tanarus to kill the All-Mother, which would allow the trolls to invade Asgardia. Meanwhile, Loki and the Silver Surfer try in vain to lift Thor's hammer. Loki pleads for Thor to hear him, which causes the hammer to fly skyward. The Surfer chases after it and watches in shock as it pierces the universe on it's trip to Thor. Upon regaining his hammer, Thor remembers who he was, and decides to fight against the god-eating Demogorge in order to return home.

Thoughts: Meh. For whatever reason, I just never got into this comic. It's probably due to the fact that we ALL know that Thor will defeat the Demogorge and confront, and defeat, Tanarus/Ulik. Sure, there's some suspense in whether or not Thor returns in time to save the All-Mother from Tanarus's betrayal, but I'm not really invested enough in the All-Mother to really care if the trolls kill her or not. Maybe if she was more established I'd care more, but as it is, I'm just waiting for Thor to come back and beat up Tanarus, and really nothing more.

Score: 5 out of 10.
mighty thor #10
Yes, I laughed at the Loki/stick line... Sue me.

Daken: Dark Wolverine #20

Hey look, it's Daken! This is one of the last issues of this series, as we limp towards the finish line. I make no bones about the fact that I love the Daken character, but hate the direction this series has gone in since Dan Way left. Here's hoping Rob Williams was saving some of his best Daken work for last...

Daken: Dark Wolverine #20:

Summary: Daken finally figures out who the crimelord of Los Angeles was, Count Nefaria(!). Unfortunately, he is unable to shoot Nefaria with his sniper gun due to Nefaria being too protected. As such, Daken leaves to find FBI Agent Kiel, who he thinks he's in love with... Yeah. Kiel is still acting rather crazy due to her experiences with Roston(who I thought WAS the kingpin of LA, but whatever). The two make out before Kiel complains about Daken being evil and a cop-killer and all. Daken tells her that's because he's a psychopath, just like she is, only she hasn't come to terms with it yet. As such, Daken takes her to a home where he had tied up three amoral people and told Kiel to... I don't know, give in to her inner psychopath and kill them. Kiel balks and goes to shoot Daken instead, so he lops off her hand. Daken ties off the wound because he's still smitten with Kiel and goes off to kill Nefaria. This issue ends with Nefaria shrugging off Daken's bullets, leading to Daken facing Nefaria personally.

Thoughts: All I'll say is this... Here's hoping this was the last time we see FBI Agent Kiel. Period, the end. Other than that, I really don't have much else to add. This was another issue of this title that just didn't live up to the lofty standards Dan Way and Marjorie Liu set for this series when it began.

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
daken dark wolverine #20
Here's hoping she's ambidextrous...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Avengers: Solo #4

Okay, this should be interesting. On one hand, I love Hawkeye. On the other hand, this mini-series, the Hawkeye story in particular, has been VERY lackluster. Here's hoping things pick up as we get closer to the conclusion of this one.

Avengers: Solo #4(of 5):

Summary: Ugh. This comic was so bad I don't even know how to go about reviewing it! Here's my best shot... Hawkeye rescues Trace and the doctor who experimented on Trace from some bad guys. The doctor claims he was forced to experiment on Trace and the other women, but nobody really trusts the doctor. The doctor does give Trace and Hawkeye the location of the bad guys, so Hawkeye, Trace, and another random character(I haven't the foggiest who they are) head to the location. Hawkeye plans on sneaking in, but is confronted by Iron Man who demands to know what Hawkeye was up to. The back-up story(which was WAAAAAY better) sees Striker and Finesse(my two favorite Avengers Academy cadets) battling against Alkhema. The two Avengers-in-training manage to remove one of Alkhema's arms, but unfortunately, the angry robot continues it's attack.

Thoughts: You know, I wish they'd just drop the Hawkeye feature and give the next issue fully over to the Avengers Academy back-up story... And I say that as just about the biggest Hawkeye fan you'll ever find! The Hawkeye story was nearly incomprehensible. Plain and simple. The Avengers Academy back-up was good, but since it was only 5 pages(actually four because one page was a splash), it really couldn't save this comic for me. Ah well. Hopefully the next issue will magically make sense or something. I don't know...

Score: 3 out of 10.
avengers solo #4
See, I hated the main story so much I posted a page from the back-up story!

X-Men Legacy #261

Next comic up for reviewing? That would be X-Men Legacy #261. This is only the second issue of Legacy that I've read in the past 3 years or so, and that's thanks to Christos Gage taking over the series. Let's see what Gage has in store for us here.

X-Men Legacy #261:

Summary: Blindfold(one of the X-Kids) gets a prognosticative(how's THAT for a ten dollar word!) vision and warns Wolverine and the rest of the faculty that destruction was coming to the school. Wolvie sends the kids to the school's safe room(which actually shunts the kids to a neutral dimension) and spots the trouble outside... Exodus(!!!). Wolvie and the faculty head outside to see what Exodus wanted, and he demands that they head back to Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia) since splitting the world's remaining mutants was harmful(or something). Wolvie says nuts to that, so Exodus attacks. Realizing that the best they could hope for was a stalemate, Rogue tells Exodus to look into her mind to see why her and the rest of the non-crazy X-Men left Crazy Mutie Island. Wolvie also agrees to be probed(ugh) so Exodus looks into their minds and apologizes, since he now realizes that Rogue and Wolvie left Crazy Mutie Island because that's what they believed was best for mutantkind. Exodus tells the X-Men that now that he knew who the REAL problem to mutantkind was, he'd eliminate them. With that, Exodus leaves, and Wolvie and Rogue realize that Exodus intended on killing Lord Summers(GOOD!!). Being the good guys, the faculty rush after Exodus to stop him.

Thoughts: This was a very good, very solid comic book. As a huge fan of Exodus, I was happy to see him pop up here, as crazy as ever. And yes, I loved the twist at the end with the X-Men realizing that they accidentally sent Exodus off to murder Lord Summers. So yeah, this was a good comic. It wasn't great or anything, but it was a fine way to pass a few minutes.

Score: 7 out of 10.
x-men legacy #261
Yep, I am indeed a fan of Exodus!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Captain America and Bucky #626

Next review, (and the last review for the night) is Captain America and Bucky. I've read that the title of this series will be changing to Captain America and *fill in the blank* in a few months, but until then, it's still Cap and Bucky.

Captain America and Bucky #626:

Summary: After getting the remains of Adam II, Captain America is forced to leave the original Human Torch and William Naslund III behind so he could deal with the robotic Bucky clone from last issue. Robo-Bucky has gone on a shooting spree, and needless to say, Cap is enraged to see somebody using that uniform in that manner. Robo-Bucky makes a break for it upon seeing Cap, while Naslund III and Torch dissect Adam II's remains, discovering a strange orb at the base of Adam II's skull. The orb forces Torch to uncontrollably burst into flames, while Naslund III seems transfixed by it. Meanwhile, Fred Davis(the second Bucky) has been researching William Naslund III and has found nothing but dead ends and classified files. Worried that something smelt wrong, Davis phones Torch to warn him, but is being stalked by a crazy nurse with a needle. Cap tracks down Robo-Bucky at a factory, and is confronted with a mess of Captain America robots, and (unsurprisingly) Naslund III turns out to be an android himself, and is reprogrammed by the orb into becoming Adam III.

Thoughts: Eh. This storyline has been really paint-by-numbers for me thus far. The Naslund reveal was no shock because it was pretty much established last issue that he had no real past, which, coupled by Davis's suspicion, made it pretty clear he was more than meets the eye. I will say this, I wouldn't mind Adam III sticking around past this storyline, because he has some potential. Will he though? That's something I am unsure about...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
captain america and bucky #626
Get with the program, Cap! It's obviously Robo-Bucky!

Teen Titans #5

Huh, check it out, I'm already reading a DC comic this week! Usually the DC books I pick up reside at or around the bottom of my new comic pile, so it's nice to see that I'm actually somewhat interested in giving one a read. The past few issues of this series? I have to admit, I've enjoyed them. Greatly. This is on the very short list of DC books that I read that I enjoy, so here's hoping that trend continues.

Teen Titans #5:

Summary: With Superboy prepared to take Wonder Girl back to his masters at NOWHERE(yep, that would be ANOTHER evil government agency...), the other Teen Titans(roll call! Red Robin, Kid Flash, Solstice & Bunker) step in to stop him. The Titans fight like the black ninjas in those old martial arts movies, attacking SB one at a time, and as such, are dismissed with relative ease. Eventually the only Titans left standing is Solstice, and she tells SB that the forces at NOWHERE aren't interested in protecting the world from teenage meta-humans, but want to... I don't know, do something EVIL with the captured kids instead. SB knocks Solstice out, but her words haunt him so he dumps the NOWHERE truck that was monitoring him into a river and heads off in search of Templar and some answers. As for the Titans, they are all left laying.

Thoughts: Sheesh, the Titans sure looked like crap in this issue, didn't they!? Superboy defeating the team CAN be overlooked however, mainly because they AREN'T a team yet. They haven't had a chance to train together, and as such were overwhelmed by their stronger opponent. That makes sense. My problem with this comic comes more from the fact that it spent the entire issue telling us that the Titans needed more training... It was kind of boring. This entire issue consisted of a random Titan attacking and getting a slight advantage on SB, and then SB defeating them, before the next random Titan attacked, meeting with the same results, until the entire team had lost. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't know if we needed to spend this entire issue on that.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
teen titans #5

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Deadpool #49.1

Last review for the night is Deadpool #49.1... Another Point One issue?! Anyway, this promises to be a musical, and if it's true to form, this will either be laugh out loud hilarious, or absolutely terrible... Let's see which way we go.

Deadpool #49.1:

Summary: Deadpool recaps the entire Danial Way run on this series... In song. Seriously. Some of the parts are done to a frigging Britney Spears song! Weird... Seeing as this was a TOTAL recap comic book, there's not really much of a review for me to do here.

Thoughts: See, THIS is what I thought these Point One issues were supposed to do! Fill you in on what's been going on in a series if you happened to be a new reader. And this issue did a good job of that... Well, I personally could have done without the musical aspect of it, but I'm sure some people probably enjoyed this one way more than I did. Plus there was a Dr. Bong and Daken cameo, so that helped bump up my enjoyment of this one. As it was, there were a few parts here that got a chuckle out of, but for somebody like me, who knew all of the storylines Pool sang about, this comic was kind of unnecessary for me to read.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
deadpool #49.1
Sweet, it's Dr. Bong!!

Secret Avengers #21.1

First review of the week? As promised, Secret Avengers #21.1. This issue gives us the beginning of the Rick Remender era(hear that fans of Venom and Uncanny X-Force?? That means you should give this a shot!), and as important, for me at least, the start of Hawkeye(my favorite Avenger) as this team's leader. I am expecting SO much from this comic...

Secret Avengers #21.1:

Summary: Captain America takes Hawkeye on a covert mission to a rogue nation called Bagalia to protect an American senator from an assassination attempt. In case you're curious, Bagalia is one of those countries where anything goes if you are rich enough... Cap and Hawkeye do the stealth thing and Hawkeye pinpoints the senator's location in a private room, and does as Hawkeye always does when tasked with using stealth, kicks the door in and tells the senator they were there to protect him... Ah Hawkeye... But wait! It turns out the senator was actually a life model decoy(LMD) and attacks the two heroes, leading to a hasty retreat before the LMD explodes. The two heroes manage to make it to the ground, and in true Cap fashion, he tears into Hawkeye for not being cautious enough, and for walking the two of them into an obvious trap. With that, Cap tells Hawkeye he wasn't ready to lead the Secret Avengers, which(rightly!) pisses Hawkeye off. The two argue, and Cap throws Hawkeye's family into his face, telling him that much like his dead father, Hawkeye was weak... DAY-UM!! Needless to say, Hawkeye gets uber-pissed and leaves Cap behind. Cap stands there pondering the fact that maybe he went too far in trying to see if Hawkeye could control his temper and not take a swing at Cap for his nasty words. While Cap is pondering, he is attacked by Vengeance(!!), Whiplash, and Princess Python, and is summarily captured. While on the train out of the country, Hawkeye hears that an American assassin had been captured(obviously Cap) and broods. The trio of villains take Cap to Max Fury, who taunts Cap for a bit and tells him that he'll show the world that Captain America himself had invaded a sovereign nation to assassinate a senator. Which while not true, would definitely be picked up as true in certain parts of the world. Before Max can set up a camera filming Cap's inglorious defeat, Hawkeye arrives, having used his stealth device to sneak right into Max's inner lair and takes out Max's three goons. Instead of killing Max(because Avengers DON'T kill! I'm looking at YOU, Wolverine!), Hawkeye grabs Cap and uses a rocket arrow to escape Max's lair, which was now compromised. This issue ends with Hawkeye telling Cap that he didn't need Cap's approval to become a leader for the Avengers, as you have to find that approval in yourself, thus solidifying Cap's decision to name Hawkeye the leader of the Secret Avengers.

Thoughts: What can I say? I loved this comic. Rick Remender PERFECTLY depicted the relationship between Cap and Hawkeye here. There is massive respect between the two, but at the end of the day, they go about their business in completely opposite ways. Cap is the consummate professional who is seemingly always right(as Hawkeye points out here), while Hawkeye is the brash, in-your-face type of guy who'd rather smash down the door and rush in flinging arrows. This comic was ALMOST perfect... The ONLY thing that bugged me(and it only bugged me a little bit because I understood why Cap did it) was Cap harping on Hawkeye's dead parents and calling Hawkeye weak in an effort to get him to lose his temper. That was kind of a low blow. Although, as stated, I did understand Cap's strategy behind his harsh words. That and the fact that Hawkeye, who has led the West Coast Avengers, the Avengers and the Thunderbolts, had to be “tested” by Cap I found a bit vexing, but other than that, this was the best comic book I've read thus far in 2012. I'd say the Rick Remender Secret Avengers era is off to a HUGE success!

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.
secret Avengers #21.1
Even on the first page of this issue Hawkeye's dialogue got a chuckle out of me!

New Comic Day! January 25th edition

Hey there X-Maniacs, it's Wednesday, which means it's time for another New Comic Day! Before I get into what I picked up as well as the Pick and Runt of the week, a quick question... Most of the past week saw me do quicker type reviews than I usually do, which worked out quite nicely for me, since I had a few busy days/nights and couldn't really spend all that much time typing up big, long reviews. So here's the question... Does anybody really have any major gripes about me cutting back on the length of the reviews I do? I mean for some books I WANT to type out a huge, long-winded posts because I really enjoyed the comic, but some books either don't really inspire me enough to spend a good 15-20 minutes typing about them, or don't really need super long write-ups. Besides being easier for me to type, I kind of figure the Quick Look reviews are easier to read. But I'm open for suggestions, and if a mess of people ask me to go back to the other type of reviews, then I will. If not, I'll probably alternate between my regular reviews and the Quick Look reviews.

Now that I've taken care of that, let's take a gander into my bag from the comic shop and see what I brought home with me. Justice League Dark #5, Teen Titans #5, Voodoo #5, Avengers Solo #4, Captain America and Bucky #626, Daken: Dark Wolverine #20, Deadpool #49.1, Mighty Thor #10, Secret Avengers #21.1, X-Men Legacy #261... Hey, look at that, a very reasonable 10 books this week! Well, kind of... I also picked up Green Lantern: New Guardians #5, but I mainly picked it up because my sister is enjoying it... I absolutely hate it passionately, and as such, am not sure if I'm going to bother reading it. If I DO read it, I shall be scoring it using Brightest Day Rules, which will at least amuse me. As for this week's Pick of the Litter, I'm going to go with Secret Avengers #21.1, if only because I am extremely curious to see what Rick Remender does with this book. This week's Runt of the Litter is... Um, I want to say New Guardians #5, but since I may not even read that book, I can't really choose it. Instead, I'll go with the thus far terrible Justice League Dark book. If Zatanna and Constantine weren't in this series? I'd have dropped it LOOOONG ago. With 10+ books this week, I should have 2 reviews up each night between now and next Tuesday. As for tonight, expect reviews for Secret Avengers and Deadpool #49.1. And that's it. Remember to check the scan blog as I'll have this week's Random Scan posted there pretty soon. Until later, X out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Quick Look At... Avengers #21

And the final comic to be reviewed this week? None other than Avengers #21! Let's get to it!

Avengers #21:

What Happened: Norman “I'm NOT the Green Goblin!” Osborn's multi-pronged attack on the Avengers seems to meet with success this issue as Osborn's HAMMER forces take out Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, Storm, Red Hulk, Protector and Iron Man(who's systems were apparently hacked by Osborn's forces). This issue concludes with Osborn's forces preparing to finish off Vision, Quake and Captain America.

Thoughts: You know what? I really enjoyed this one! Sure, I COULD have gone more into detail about what happened, but what's the point? My write-up was basically what happened. Osborn's various forces downed the Avengers. Plain and simple. Sure, there were a few things that bugged me, such as Iron Man's armor getting corrupted AGAIN, but overall, I have no major complaints here. Hell, even Protector(Marvel Boy) got to look relatively good against Iron Man before he was finally defeated. Sure, this comic was entirely skippable, since nothing really changed from the prior issue in THIS issue, but hell, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth! After months of terrible Avengers comics, this was almost like a breath of fresh air!

Score: 7 out of 10.
avengers #21
Best page of Bendis dialogue EVER!!!

A Quick Look At... Supergirl #5

Next up, the final DC review of the week, Supergirl. This series has been SHOCKINGLY good, far better than I'd have EVER expected it to be... Hopefully I didn't just jinx things here...

Supergirl #5:

What Happened: Using her Sunstone as a guide, Supergirl flies through the galaxy, coming across a wormhole. SG goes through and ends up at the floating Kryptonian city of Argo. After a quick look around, SG discovers the city completely abandoned, but does manage to find a working control matrix, which she uses to fire up her Sunstone. The Sunstone has a message from SG's father who confirms that Krypton had indeed blown up, and that he was trying to figure out a way to launch Argo off of Krypton before it exploded. While he is talking, he is suddenly blasted from behind and the message abruptly stops, much to SG's horror. SG freaks out and goes on a rampage until she bumps into somebody called Reign. Reign claims to be a Kryptonian weapon called a Worldkiller, and asks SG to help her discover the truth behind Krypton's destruction. SG is still throwing a temper tantrum, so Reign gets pissed off and beats SG unconscious, leaving her behind while Argo slowly drifted closer and closer to the sun it had been circling.

Thoughts: As usual, this was another strong issue of this series. Not only was the story/art/dialogue strong, we were also introduced to ANOTHER interesting villain here. That's something the writing team of Michael Green and Mike Johnson have done a great job with in this book... Setting up future enemies for SG to face off against. So many other rebooted DC titles just seem so listless, while it's obvious that Green and Johnson know what they want to do here, and are putting several longterm plans into motion. Besides Batman, this is probably the most complete DC comic, post-reboot, that I read.

Score: 7 out of 10.
supergirl #5
Dammit, Krypton's done blowed up again!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Quick Look At... Thunderbolts #169

It looks like we're back to the evil Thunderbolts here based on the cover.

Thunderbolts #169:

What Happened: FYI, the evil T-Bolts are now trapped in 537 Britain... Troll leaves the evil T-Bolt tower to hunt for some food, but runs afoul the Black Knight. The Knight and Troll battle(since Knight thought Troll was a real troll), at least until Knight realizes he was fighting a female and ceases battling. Boomerang, who was sent out to retrieve Troll before she got into trouble(too late!), knocks Knight out with a boomerang, steals the Ebony Blade from Knight and leaves with Troll. Naturally, this leads to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table approaching T-Bolts tower demanding satisfaction. The T-Bolts, dress in period costumes, try to convince Arthur that they had been shanghaied there due to an evil sorcerer and meant Arthur and his knights no harm. Arthur wants the Ebony Blade returned, Boomerang doesn't want to return it, and after some hostile words are exchanged, the two sides battle. Eventually Satana decides to cast a sleeping spell on the knights to end the battle, but has the spell reversed by Merlin. When the T-Bolts awaken, they find themselves locked in Merlin's personal dungeon along with several other fanciful creatures.

Thoughts: I really don't have much more to add to this post... This comic was perfectly acceptable. Sure, I didn't like the idea of Merlin besting Satana with magic, but it was explained in a way that made it palatable for me. Other than that though, I have nothing really good nor bad to say, so let's move on.

Score: 7 out of 10.
thunderbolts #169
Sure, steal the Ebony Blade... Nothing bad can come of that I'm sure!

A Quick Look At... Invincible Iron Man #512

Um, what's next... Ah, Iron Man. Or Invincible Iron Man. Whatever. Let's get to it!

Invincible Iron Man #512:

What Happened: After his defeat at the hands of Living Laser last issue, Iron Man gets brought to the hospital, but forcefully refuses treatment since he didn't want the emergency room staff to screw with his damaged repulsor unit. Meanwhile, the Mandarin pushes Ezekiel Stane around, demanding Stane readies the Dreadnoughts for an attack on China. Stane is pissed. Back with Tony, he hangs out with Anthem in a coffee shop until a cop shows up to arrest(?) Tony for his actions in Times Square and the emergency room the prior night. Tony flies the coop. From there, Blizzard and Living Laser complain about the way Mandarin had been treating them, and contemplate attacking him. Damn lackeys... Next, General Babbage complains that as a drunk, Tony shouldn't have possession of the Iron Man armor. Finally, the Dreadnoughts attack China.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this issue. We had a lot of characters show up, and a lot of pieces move around the chess board. I'm still not sure what Mandarin's endgame is(how does attacking China ruin Tony Stark?), but I did like seeing that Mandarin's lackeys were plotting against him. It's little stuff like that that really helps enhance a comic book's story for me.

Score: 8 out of 10.
invincible iron man #512
I have to admit, Matt Fraction has been doing a great job writing the Mandarin.

A Quick Look At... Fear Itself: The Fearless #7

This issue should give us a huge Wolverine vs Crossbones battle... Needless to say, I expect blood... And LOTS of it!

Fear Itself: The Fearless #7(of 12):

What Happened: While the Avengers and Dr. Strange try to deal with Sin and the demons attacking Project PEGASUS(and wonder where Daimon Hellstrom went), Wolverine and Crossbones have themselves a throwdown for the Serpent hammer the Project had acquired. Crossbones ends up getting stabbed in the gut, but manages to put Wolvie down with a few point-blank shots to the chest... At least until Wolvie hops up and stabs Crossbones through the chest(!!). There's your Avenger right there folks... Anyway, Valkyrie arrives on the scene and assists Strange in shutting down the portal that was freeing the demons at the Project, while Hellstrom is busy betraying the Avengers and blasting Wolvie in the back(!?!?!). Hellstrom heals Crossbones and heads to Sin with the hammer. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Sin agrees to take Hellstrom with her and she teleports away with her DOA crew, Crossbones, Hellstrom and the Serpent hammer.

Thoughts: What the HELL was THAT?! As a fan of Daimon, it should go without saying that his decision here annoyed me... A LOT!! But, I'm willing to see how things play out before I blow a gasket or anything like that. While Daimon's actions were vexing, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the fight between Wolvie and Crossbones. I was initially afraid that Crossbones was going to win(seriously, he's not in Wolvie's class fighting-wise), but in the end, the right outcome occurred. And yes, it was a VERY bloody battle, as it should be. With Daimon's apparent defection, I'm quite interested in getting my hands on the next issue.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
fear itself the fearless #7

A Quick Look At... Batman #5

Next up, probably the gem of the DC reboot for me, Scott Snyder's Batman.

Batman #5:

What Happened: Basically this issue deals with Batman slowly going insane due to being trapped in the Owl's maze. Plus his water supply is probably being drugged, thus adding ti Batman's ever-growing madness... But yeah, this entire issue deals with Bats simply wandering around the maze, trying to avoid the light and winding up back where he started... Repeatedly!

Thoughts: Yes, I know that wasn't much of a review(thus why it's a “Quick Look At...” review!), but seriously, that's the entirety of this issue! Bats haplessly roaming around that maze and slowly going crazy. Scott Snyder actually added a nice little touch to show us just how crazy Bats was going by having the comic pages go sideways and upside-down at certain points in the story(which led to a very confused me turning the pages the wrong way every now and then...). Greg Capullo's art and Snyder's story REALLY hammered home how disorienting the Owl maze was, and made this an interesting, and quite good read.

Score: 8 out of 10.
batman #5
Don't you just HATE it when that happens?!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Quick Look At... Hellblazer #287

Before I get to the next review, I just wanted to let it be known that this will be the only post I do tonight on account of me celebrating the Giants heading to the Super Bowl! What an awesome game tonight... Anyway, I won't be able to comment on anything today, but I do plan on posting a whopping four reviews tomorrow and two more on Tuesday to FINALLY get myself caught up. Oh, and it should go without saying that come February 5th? Super Bowl Sunday? I most definitely won't be online! With all of that out of the way, it's time to head to Vertigo and see what John Constantine is up to this month... If nothing else it should be insane... And have a lot of profanity!

Hellblazer #287:

What Happened: Having been blackmailed by his scummy niece, Gemma, Constantine heads to Hell in order to talk to his sister(Gemma's mother) to find out... something. I'm not sure, but bottom line, Constantine has to go to Hell in order to stop Gemma from sleeping with his father-in-law by chatting with his sis. While in Hell, Constantine bumps into a duplicitous demon and ends up being transported to a room holding all of the people whose lives he'd ruined. When he turns around, he's confronted by... The devil? Maybe? Another demon? I'm not really sure...

Thoughts: Besides my confusion over WHY Constantine is in Hell, and who that demon on the last page was, this was a good read. I know in the pre-reboot DCU, Blaze was inexplicably made into the devil over the FAR superior Neron, but post-reboot, and especially in the Vertigo books, I have NO idea what “their” devil looks like. So this could have been the devil, or some powerful demon Constantine pissed off during his last foray into Hell. Regardless, I'm definitely looking forward to the next issue.

Score: 7 out of 10.
hellblazer #287
Ah Constantine...

A Quick Look At... Amazing Spider-Man #678

And for the second consecutive week, it's time for another issue of Amazing Spider-Man... If you are trying to get me to drop this series, Marvel, you are doing a splendid job!

Amazing Spider-Man #678:

What Happened: A fellow scientist at Horizon Labs shows Peter Parker a doorway that leads into tomorrow... Yes, a doorway to the future. The scientist proves this by bringing Peter a newspaper from the next day. Curious, Peter steps through and the room is replaced by a catastrophic scene of a decimated New York. Peter quickly realizes that by stepping into the future-room, he had messed up reality and the bad future was now set to occur. Peter switches to Spidey and with the scientist telling him what Spider-Man was supposed to do from the newspaper from the (good) future, Spidey goes about tackling every crime he was reported as stopping. Unfortunately, time is almost up and the future room was still showing the bad future, meaning there was something Spidey still had to do.

Thoughts: This was a pretty good comic. I know it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea, what with the alternate dimensions, and time play, but I've always enjoyed stories like that, so I liked this. I didn't get exactly why Spidey going into the future room screwed everything up, but it's not like that's too big of a deal.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
amazing spider-man #678
See, that's why you don't get changed up an alley!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Quick Look At... Daredevil #8

Next up as I try to blitz through this week's comics? Daredevil. This is the second and final part of the storyline that began in last week's Amazing Spider-Man.

Daredevil #8:

What Happened: Spidey, DD and Black Cat head to the home of the scientist who created the missing holographic device that was stolen and discover him hiding in a safe room. DD smells poison on the scientist, who quickly admits that he had been involved with the frame up of Black Cat with regards to the “stolen” device. While Spidey takes the scientist to the hospital, DD and BC track down the device and while DD is returning it to it's case, BC gets an offer to work for the Black Spectre organization in stealing the Omegadrive from Matt Murdock(Daredevil!). We don't learn what BC says, but after the mission, she ends up back at DD's apartment for some sexual situations. However, they are interrupted by a phone call from Foggy Nelson telling DD that his father's body had vanished from it's grave.

Thoughts: Meh. This was an okay story, as usual. I mean I really haven't read a TERRIBLE DD story yet, but I also haven't read a great one either... I'm not exactly sure where all of the love for this series is coming from. Oh well, maybe things will pick up for me next issue.

Score: 6 out of 10.
daredevil #8
Poor Spidey...

A Quick Look At... Uncanny X-Force #20

And now, Uncanny X-Force. I am SO not looking forward to this story... For the record, I hate the Captain Britain Corps and the entire idea of Otherworld. I just wanted that on the table.

Uncanny X-Force #20:

What Happened: Otherworld is under attack and yet Capt. Britain managed to find the time to kidnap his sister Psylocke and Fantomex. He wants Psylocke to join with him and their usually insane brother Jamie, while he also wanted Fantomex tried for shooting Kid Apocalypse in the head all those issues ago. Upon learning that Psylocke and Fantomex were captured, X-Force heads to Otherworld thanks to Gateway and finds themselves in the middle of a warzone as the Capt. Britain Corps tried to fight off invaders. As for Fantomex, he is found guilty and is sentenced to death.

Thoughts: This was as terrible as I expected it to be. No, I take that back... It was even worse than I feared. How the HELL does Captain Britain have the right to abduct Fantomex and try him for the death of Kid Apocalypse? Yeah, I get that his sister was involved, but so what? Does he abduct ALL child murderers from throughout the multiverse and try them for their crimes? The very idea of this storyline is idiotic, as is the concept of the Captain Britain Corps... But then again I've always hated Capt. Britain, so there's that too...

Score: 2 out of 10.
uncanny x-force #20
And here I thought AOA Nightcrawler was going to fit right in here...

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Quick Look At... Nightwing #5

Here's another rebooted DC series that SHOULD be way better than it is. I mean it's Nightwing... This should be a slam dunk to write! And yet we get Dick Grayson traveling cross-country with a circus...

Nightwing #5:

What Happened: A voodoo priestess summons a demon to force a clown that she loved to marry her... Yes, really... Trust me, I couldn't make something that stupid up to save my life! The demon abducts the clown, but Nightwing spots what was happening and follows the rampaging demon back to the graveyard the priestess was operating out of. Nightwing manages to trick the demon into going back to Hell(or wherever it came from) and cuffs the priestess, thus saving the clown. Meanwhile, Raya is in cahoots with Saiko.

Thoughts: Gah! What the hell was this all about?!? A clown and a voodoo priestess? Plus a rampaging demon?!? I just don't understand... Would it be THAT difficult to take Dick Grayson, put him in Gotham City(or New York, Philadelphia or any other major city) and have him deal with street-level threats?! Why the hell is Nightwing fighting demons?!? Ugh... This series has been such a disappointment...

Score: 5 out of 10.
nightwing #5
Yeah sure, Nightwing versus a demon... Why not.

A Quick Look At... Red Hood and the Outlaws #5

Here's a series that's been surprisingly bad considering the character in it... Let's see if things pick up here.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5:

What Happened: Arsenal arrives on the scene to assist Starfire against Crux, and the two of them manage to take the mutated freak down. Meanwhile, Red Hood kills the member of the Untitled he'd been battling for the past issue or so, but doing so causes the Untitled to revert back to human form(why?). Naturally the townspeople see the aftermath of the battle and chase after Hood with pitchforks and rifles... Yes, really. Hood rendezvous with Starfire and Arsenal with a mess of angry yokels hot on his heels.

Thoughts: Yep, we hit rock bottom here. This was definitely the worst issue of this series thus far. Five issues in and we still don't know what the deal is between the Untitled and the All-Caste, or who broke the truce between the two groups. Hell, the bad guys here, the Untitled, don't even seem to know who broke the truce! This comic is a confusing mess, plain and simple. Really, since you have two street-level heroes, why are we dealing with monsters, magic swords and immortal old women? On the plus side, as usual, the artwork was very good.

Score: 3 out of 10.
red hood and the outlaws #5
Don't ask me. I have NO clue what's happening here!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Old X is going to be kind of MIA for the next few days... In other words, I probably won't be able to respond to comments in my regular expedient fashion... On top of that, I'm going to forgo my regular reviews for some super-brisk reviews. You'll know I'm busting out one of my quickie reviews by the titles of the posts. So, I will continue to get “reviews”(and I use that in the loosest definition possible) up, but other than that, at least until Sunday, my appearances around here may be sparse. But hey, as I always say, half-assed reviews are better than no reviews at all! X out.

Venom #12

I'm still running a bit behind with my reviews so far this week, so tonight is another two review night. Hopefully by Friday night I'll have had enough time to do three reviews. But we shall see. First up tonight is one of the better series I read monthly, Venom! By the way, this is Venom's 24 anniversary... I have NO idea why that's important, but Marvel thought it was and put it right on the front cover. I mean I get celebrating a 10th, 20th, 25th, and so on anniversaries, but 24th??? That's an odd number to celebrate... Anyway, I WILL have another review up later tonight, I'm just not sure when...

Venom #12:

Summary: Venom(Flash Thompson) manages to sneak into the casino holding whatever it was that the Crime-Master wanted, but ends up losing control, which puts the symbiote in the driver's seat. The symbiote controlled Venom rampages through the casino and discovers what Crime-Master had sent him to retrieve, the Toxin symbiote. Venom doesn't want another symbiote around and proceeds to try to kill it, which leads to Jack O' Lantern jumping in to rescue the Toxin symbiote. Jack makes a dash for it but ends up getting caught by Venom. Venom is prepared to kill Jack, at least until Jack warns Flash that if he didn't regain control Crime-Master was going to murder Flash's mother and girlfriend(Betty Brant). That allows Flash to rein the symbiote in, at which point Jack takes Toxin and leaves. As for Flash, he calls Betty and callously breaks up with her before buying himself some whiskey and downing the entire bottle. This issue ends with the Red Hulk, as per the orders of Captain America, getting closer and closer to Las Vegas and Venom.

Thoughts: As usual, this was another good, strong issue of this series. The Toxin reveal was unexpected and a nice touch(it makes sense that Crime-Master would want to get his hands on something like that), and this issue flew by. It didn't have that extra little something to make this issue truly memorable, but what can ya do?

Score: 8 out of 10.If you say so, big guy!

New Mutants #36

Last review of the night is going to be New Mutants #36... My favorite character is in this series, and I love the writers and all, but I have to say, here's hoping this is the last issue of the current storyline...

New Mutants #36:

Summary: This is gonna be a quickie on account of me, you know, not liking this storyline... Cypher wakes up on Diskhord's bus and fills the New Mutants in on where Diskhord had gone(Chicago), what the creature in the box was(a sentient ship full of chaos magic), what the thing in the box was trying to do(create enough chaos to locate the rest of it's... um, ship/self/people/something), and how it was planning on doing it(with a massive, city-destroying earthquake). The New Mutants teleport to Chi-town thanks to Blink, and while Magma attempts to prevent the disastrous earthquake, the rest of the New Mutants either protect Magma or attack the chaos-ship possessed Diskhord members. After a bit of a battle, Blink and Warlock take the box containing the chaos-ship-thing into space and throw it really far away. With the chaos-ship-thing gone, it's chaos effect ceases and Chicago is saved! Huzzah! This issue ends with Moonstar calling Lord Summers to tell him that she had offered Blink a place on Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia), but that Blink had instead decided to go to Wolverine's school. Lord Summers is fine with the way things worked out since a) it was Blink's choice, and b) she was safe now.

Thoughts: Meh. This was a solid(-ish) issue that concluded a storyline I wasn't very keen on to begin with. There really isn't too much more for me to say about this one... The next storyline looks really good though, as it appears that Mephisto is going to collect on the date Magma owed him for his assistance during the Fear Itself event. THAT should be good.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Did I over-score this comic? Probably, but hey, Nate was in it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Morning Glories #15

I'm finally here with the first comic review of the week... Yes, it's a few hours later than usual, but better late than never, right? It's only going to be two reviews tonight, with the first being this week's Pick of the Litter... What comic is that? Well, since you've probably seen the title of this post, I'm sure you already know...

Morning Glories #15:

What Happened: Half of this issue takes place in the present(during the bizarre Woodrun event) while the other half looks back at Zoe's pre-Morning Glories years... Let's hit the flashback first. A few issues ago(I think it was a few issues back...) we learned that Zoe had killed her English teacher after she thought the teacher was raping a cheerleader friend of hers. In actuality, the cheerleader was willingly screwing the teacher. Regardless, with the teacher dead, Zoe and the cheerleader tossed the teacher's body into a boiler at the school, getting rid of the evidence. Unfortunately for Zoe, her cheerleader friend's conscience wouldn't allow her to live with herself, and she wanted to come clean about what really happened. Zoe prevents this by(seemingly) tossing her friend over a bridge to her death, making the whole scene look like a suicide. Back to the present... Jun is taken away from Hunter and Zoe's group due to some of the wacky rules of Woodrun. The girl who comes to tell Jun to head back to the school has a huge crush on Hunter, which he is naturally oblivious to, at least at first. The girl leaves with Jun but has made a date with Hunter at some vague point in the future. With Jun gone, it's just Hunter and Zoe, and the two discover an abandoned building out in the woods. The two enter and since this IS Morning Glories Academy, it turns out to be a deathtrap. Surprisingly Zoe saves Hunter from being fricasseed, AND finds a flag(which is what you were supposed to find during Woodrun), as well a some sleeping bags, and oh yeah, a butcher knife... When Hunter comes to Zoe shows him the sleeping bags but keeps the knife to herself... From there the two set up camp for the night and Zoe tells Hunter that he should forget about trying to date Casey since it was painfully obvious Casey was WAY out of Hunter's league. After a surprisingly cordial conversation between the two, the go to sleep... Or do they?! In the next camp over, the girl who was flirting with Hunter earlier goes out to get some firewood for her group, at which time Zoe, knife in hand, quietly gets out of her sleeping bag and walks along, stalking the other girl. Hunter wakes up as well, and not seeing Zoe decides to look around. After some searching Hunter is shocked and horrified to see Zoe stabbing the other girl through the back(!!!) with the butcher knife!

The Good: The flashback scenes and the conversation between Zoe and Hunter were really enjoyable. The cliffhanger was GREAT! After this issue Zoe may just have replaced Ike as my favorite character here... Who knew she was THAT insane! Basically any scene Zoe was in ruled.

The Bad: Usually we get a date for when the next issue of this series comes out(and usually it's WAAAY off)... After this issue they didn't even bother to give us a date, which means who knows HOW long it'll be before we see issue #16 drop... The rules of Woodrun are still so damn vague... What the hell is a skull flag?! Jun being forced away from Hunter and Zoe seemed a bit too convenient for my tastes.

The Verdict: Another depressingly strong issue of this series... Why “depressingly”? Because we have NO idea when the next issue comes out! The fact that we don't have a date to go by(even if it was way off) makes me think that Image has no idea when the next issue will come out either... Which sucks, because after the ending to this one, I can't wait to see what happens next, and with the way this story has been jumping back and forth, we probably won't get back to Hunter and Zoe for a good two issues!

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Oh Zoe... You so crazy!

New Comic Day! January 18th edition

Hey there X-Maniacs, it's your humble host X, once again welcoming you to the start of a new week with New Comic Day! Huzzah!! Last week saw me pick up 19 comics, which is juuuuust a tad too many. Ideally that number will drop by 5-7 this week. Now the question is, did it?? And what exactly DID I pick up? Wonder no longer, true believer, here's what I picked up a little bit earlier today! Batman #5, Hellblazer #287, Nightwing #5, Red Hood and the Outlaws #5, Supergirl #5, Morning Glories #15, Amazing Spider-Man #678, Avengers #21, Daredevil #8, Fear Itself: The Fearless #7, Invincible Iron Man #512, New Mutants #36, Thunderbolts #169, Uncanny X-Force #20, Venom #12 15 books this week, which isn't a bad number, but seriously, did we need ANOTHER issue of Amazing Spider-Man out THIS SOON?! #677 dropped LAST WEEK! On top of that, I swear, in the past 5 weeks we've gotten FOUR issues of X-Force! Marvel REALLY has to stop with this double(quadruple?!) shipping or I'll have no choice but to drop even MORE Marvel books. And as much as I'm loathe to say it, Spidey would probably be right around the top of that list. I love the job Dan Slott has done on that series, but something has got to give...

But enough doom and gloom, let's now shift gears and see which comic will be getting named my Pick of the Litter... Hmm... Let's go with... What the hell, let's go with Morning Glories! It was either that, Venom or New Mutants, but Morning Glories has been so surprisingly good it gets the nod. On the other side of the equation, this week's Runt of the Litter is easily Avengers #21. I've had enough of Norman Osborn. Please Bendis, it's time to move on. I get that Bendis loves the character and all, but the Avengers have been battling against Osborn since the end of Secret Invasion, over TWO years ago! I like Norman as a Spidey villain, but NOT as THE top villain in the Marvel U. It really is time to move on. Speaking of moving on(nice segue!), it's time for me to wrap this post up. With 15 books this week, I'll have 6 nights of 2 reviews and 1 night with three reviews... I'm not sure which night will get the extra review, but we shall see. And that'll do it. I'll be back later on tonight with a few reviews(probably 2, but possibly 3), so until then, X out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

X's Official Pull List Post! Take Two!

Since I have some extra time on my hands and felt like doing a second post tonight, I figured I'd fill you guys in on what good ol' X's pull list looks like. You see, back in September when the DC reboot occurred I did a post where I listed every single ongoing series I was picking up at the time. It was a way to let people know what to expect to see here on the blog. However, in the four months since I posted that list, my pull list has REALLY changed up... So for kicks let's go ALLLLL the way back to September of 2011(I know, that was ages ago!!) and see what's still on my list, what's not, and why. As always, feel free to let me know what you guys are getting/enjoying/what you think I should add to my own pull list. First things first, let's see what stayed the same...

Amazing Spider-Man
Avengers Academy
Daken: Dark Wolverine(although this one's getting canceled soon)
Invincible Iron Man
Journey Into Mystery
Mighty Thor
New Mutants
Secret Avengers
Uncanny X-Force
Ultimate X-Men
Captain America
Captain America and Bucky

Batman and Robin
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Green Lantern: New Guardians
I, Vampire
Justice League Dark
Teen Titans

Morning Glories


Next, let's see which comic books I dropped in the past few months, and why...

Iron Man 2.0- Canceled.
Uncanny X-Men- I just couldn't bear reading about Lord Summers and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants anymore!
X-23- This series just didn't do it for me, and I guess I wasn't alone as it's since been canceled.
X-Men- I like Victor Gischler and all, but $4 was just too much for this series.
Heroes for Hire- Canceled.
Ultimates- Just too confusing for me... Plus the $4 price tag didn't help.
Ultimate Spider-Man- I wasn't paying $4 to read ANOTHER Bendis series!
Generation Hope- After one issue I remembered how much I hated Our Lord and Savior Hope and as such re-dropped this series...
Incredible Hulk- This was another one that was dropped due to it's $4 price.

Detective Comics- Tony Daniel can't write a coherent comic book, in MY opinion, to save his life. That's why I dropped a series I never expected to drop.
Batman: The Dark Knight- Yeah, once I saw One-Face I knew this one was headed towards the scrapheap!
Catwoman- I was never able to get into this series.
Static Shock- This comic did a horrible job introducing Static Shock to a new comic book audience... It's no surprise it's being canceled.
Legion of Superheroes- This series wasn't even rebooted! That's why I dropped it! It just continued on like Flashpoint never happened!!
Legion Lost- I actually enjoyed this series, but it didn't seem like the type of series that was going to have a long shelf-life
Deathstroke- Two words: Rob Liefeld.
Suicide Squad- I was never able to form a connection to any of the characters in this one. Solid story, boring characters.
Superman- The first issue was just terrible... Plus I don't like Bad-Ass Superman.
Action Comics- See above, but add “and confusing” after the word terrible.
Wonder Woman- I hardly knew who most of the characters were....
Fables(Vertigo)- I was only picking this up for my sister. She said to drop it, it got dropped.

So there are the books I dropped and why, now let's take a gander at the comic books I've added...

Wolverine and the X-Men
Winter Soldier
X-Men Legacy
Avengers Assemble

American Vampire(Vertigo)
... And that's it... Ouch...

Thief of Thieves
Hell Yeah

And now for the fun part, adding everything up! Back in September I was picking up 55 ongoing series. Now? That number is down to 47. Back in September I was picking up 26 Marvel books, 26 DC books, 2 Image books and one Boom! book. Now? I'm picking up 24 Marvel books, 15 DC books(OUCH!), 7 Image books and one Boom! book. So obviously the big winner in the battle for my money is Image, while DC is the HUGE loser. Damn, I can't believe I dropped 11 DC comic books! I am legitimately surprised by that. But then again, the reboot made it REALLY easy for somebody like me, who has been collecting DC books for about 4 years or so, to drop that many titles. Sure, it may have been a good jumping on point for new fans, but it was a great jumping off point for older fans! As for Marvel, I stayed basically the same, although I'd probably have more Marvel books on my pull list if they weren't double shipping and pricing so many of their titles at $4.

Now, let's look into the crystal ball and predict what my pull list will look like 6 months from now... I'm not expecting any more changes to my DC list. The titles I'm currently reading are probably safe, and I don't expect to add any DC books going forward. Marvel is funny, because I'll probably start picking up more of their books during the summer due to the Avengers vs X-Men event. The question is whether or not I'll KEEP picking up those extra books AFTER the AvX event is through... With Marvel's annoying sales tactics(the double shipping in particular), I don't see myself adding all that many more Marvel books. If anything, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Marvel number fall just a tad due to cancellations or high prices. And that brings us to Image and the other third party publishers... I can seriously see myself picking up even more books from that group. For the most part the price is right(almost all of the third party publishers price their books at a reasonable $3), which should lead to me trying out more titles. I'd much rather try out a $3 comic and hate it than try out a $4 comic and hate it... Which is something Marvel doesn't seem to get... Well, this was a fun little waste of time! As I stated before, feel free to drop me a comment or e-mail(at xman75@gmail.com) telling me which books you pick up and why. That'll do it for tonight, until tomorrow, and New Comic Day, X out!

Secret Avengers #21

And we've finally reached the bottom of my new comic pile! Huzzah... I guess... As always, the week's Runt of the Litter resides at the bottom of the pile, so maybe I shouldn't be all that excited... Eh, then again, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised! More likely, I won't... Anyway, here comes Warren Ellis's finally issue of Secret Avengers.

Secret Avengers #21:

What Happened: The Secret Avengers use a giant hologram device on the Houston branch office of ONE(Office of National Emergency), making it look like the building was on fire. With most of the people having evacuated, the Secret Avengers enter the executive area and discover a few ONE agents who hadn't yet left. It seems one of them is a double agent for the Shadow Council. The Secret Avengers flush out the double agent, but not before the Shadow Council member frees some sort of giant, matter absorbing monster from the building's basement. The Secret Avengers eventually manage to kill the creature by collapsing the entire building onto it... Overkill much? With that, the Shadow Council double agent pulls out a concealed handgun and shoots herself in the head, ending this one.

Thoughts: Okay, first things first, shouldn't one of the Avengers have frisked the Shadow Council member to make sure she had no concealed weapons on her person?! I mean how dumb are they? What if she would have pulled the gun and shot one of the Avengers? That all just seemed uncharacteristically sloppy of the Avengers here. Besides that, I really have nothing good to say about this issue, or Warren Ellis's run on this series as a whole for that matter. For me, he just never clicked here and I'm glad to see Rick Remender taking over as the writer with the next issue. Maybe HE can be the guy to drag this series up towards respectability.

Score: 4 out of 10.Look, a giant monster!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Battle Scars #3

We'll head back to Marvel for the last comic reviewed tonight... Um, after 18 reviews over the course of the past 6 days, this is about as much of an introductory paragraph as I can muster!

Battle Scars #3(of 6):

What Happened: Johnson and his friend Cheese manage to get a bead on one of Taskmaster's safehouses and Johnson decides to try to find Taskmaster since Taskmaster seemed to have some idea as to why there was a price on Johnson's head. Johnson and Cheese take separate safehouses and Johnson spots movement in the safehouse he was watching. Johnson enters and discovers Deadpool there(!). Pool tells Johnson that he'd been hired to kill him because Johnson had murdered his mother, which was blatantly untrue. Johnson tells Deadpool as much, and since Johnson wasn't even in the country at the time of the murder, Pool tends to believe him. Before Pool can leave with Johnson to get some answers, Pool is impaled from behind by Taskmaster, who renews his attack on Johnson. Johnson manages to lure Taskmaster into a trap on the roof and actually gets the upper-hand on Taskmaster thanks to this chicanery. Johnson demands answers from Taskmaster, and Taskmaster cryptically tells Johnson to ask his father for answers, which annoys Johnson since he thought his dad was dead. Taskmaster tells Johnson that he doubted Johnson's dad COULD die, and that he was hired by an enemy of Johnson's dad to get Johnson. Taskmaster recommends that Johnson should run away from this whole messed up situation before he ends up any deeper in it, but before Johnson can do anything, the Serpent Society(or are they the Serpent Squad now?) show up on the scene to collect the price on Johnson's head.

Thoughts: This was a pretty good, fast, read. We are getting tantalizing tidbits of information regarding Johnson, which is fine since we're at about the halfway point of this mini. I'd expect a few more pieces of the puzzle to drop next issue, with the majority of the mystery of Johnson's life being revealed by issue #5. From what we learn from Taskmaster, Johnson's father, who Johnson had always thought was dead, has an enemy, who has apparently put the massive price on Johnson's head. Who is Johnson's dad? Or for that matter, who's Johnson's father's old enemy? We don't know yet, but my interest is definitely piqued. Here's hoping the eventual payoff is worth the ride.

Score: 7 out of 10.Good to know!

Superboy #5

We'll stick with DC and take a look at the post-reboot version of Superboy. Let's see how many evil things he does here.

Superboy #5:

What Happened: Templar reveals to the doctor currently in charge of the Superboy project that he has some weird powers, and that he expects some results from the SB project... Oookay then... As for SB, he acts nasty to Rose Wilson before sneaking out of his room undetected to break Red free from the truck Project NOWHERE was transporting her around in. After freeing Red, SB hands her over to a mystery character who he seems to trust. SB manages to return to his room before Templar and some guards come barging in, which annoys Templar, since he was hoping this would be the reason he needed to finally ask his supervisors(wait, I thought Templar WAS the boss?!) to terminate SB. With that, SB smugly returns to sleep and some other random weird stuff happens.

Thoughts: Ugh. I really don't like this series. And apparently I'm not alone, as I just checked the sales numbers and since the first issue, SB has lost approximately 14,000 readers between issues #1 and #4. I just don't get what Scott Lobdell is going for here... Is he trying to make SB into the moody loner? The arrogant anti-hero? The unlikable scumbag? All of the above? None of the above? I just don't get it. Besides that, the story just totally lost me here(I seriously thought Templar was the guy in charge of NOWHERE!). Yeah, I was a huge fan of the pre-reboot Superboy, which is why I decided to give this series a chance, but I don't know how much longer I can keep reading this... I keep hoping we get the slightest glimmer of the pre-reboot Superboy here, but thus far, we've had nothing but the current, completely unlikable SB. I don't want to become on of those 14,000 people who dropped this title, but my patience is really wearing thin...

Score: 3 out of 10.Yes, Superboy is still vaguely evil.

Batman and Robin #5

Wow, we are FINALLY getting towards the end of my seemingly bottomless new comic book pile! First up tonight is the latest issue of Batman and Robin... I don't really care about this series one way or the other, so I really don't have anything else to say here...

Batman and Robin #5:

What Happened: Damian Wayne(that would be Robin) has left Batman and apparently joined up with Nobody. Damian is tired of playing by Batman's rules, and is even more tired of being treated as a simple underling when he feels as Batman's son, he should have been more, thus the sudden change in allegiance. Nobody is pleased by this, and takes Damian under his wing, telling Damian that they were going to put an end to a human trafficking ring... Permanently. Meanwhile, Batman is scouring the streets trying to find any trace of Damian, while recalling his own first meeting with Nobody years ago. This issue concludes with Damian and Nobody fighting their way to the head of the human trafficking ring with Nobody handing Damian a gun and telling him to shoot the trafficker in the head.

Thoughts: Even though the Nobody origin tale took up WAY too much of this comic for my tastes(I can't help but feel it could have been condensed some), the parts set in the present between Damian, Bats and Nobody were VERY well done. I liked the interaction between Nobody and Damian, and it was nice to see that Bruce felt that he had been wrong with the way he had been treating Damian... Damian isn't just another Robin for Bruce, he SHOULD be more than that. The cliffhanger was good as well. I don't expect Damian to pull the trigger and kill the trafficker, but it IS a possibility as Damian has killed villains before, just not since becoming Robin. That's the sure sign of a good cliffhanger, when things could legitimately go either way. So yeah, after a few so-so issues, this one was a major improvement. I still think if DC wanted to do an angsty Damian storyline, they should have added 3 or 4 years to his age with the reboot, but what can ya do?

Score: 8 out of 10.Shoot, shoot, shoot!!!