5 Stars: WARNING: Close to perfection.
4 Stars: Few Problems, mostly excellent.
3 Stars: MEH plus.
2 Stars: MEH.
1 Star: MEH minus.
The Amazing Spider-Man #552-553 (***1/2):
I think I liked these issues more than most, but that’s still not saying much. So, things I like so far: for the most part, the dialogue in this arc is spot on and snappy. Funny pop references, etc… also, the new characters, especially D.B., and the two cop characters we have been seeing since the start of Brand New Day, are great additions. Most of the new villains have also been cool… and then Bob Gale, a writer I normally like, gives us Freak. This version reminds of that Bodyworlds guy. Interesting enough, but the creators don’t stop there. In part two, Freak transforms into this. What… the… fuck? How does one look at that and not think “LAME”? Moving on… am I the only one getting tired of all this “old Parker luck” bullshit? I understand it was this thing they used to pay attention to in the 60’s and 70’s, but c’mon, this is just getting ridiculous now. “Oh no, I tore my pants!”, “OH MY GOD, I ran out web fluid!”, “The battery on my camera is low!”… enough already. Okay, this, this is cool. This is not. And then this is just stupid.
The Boys #16 (****1/2):
Yay, Hughie is falling in love! The romance that’s developing between Hughie and Annie is a welcome addition to this already phenomenal piece of work. It balances the extreme violence of the main plots well, and reminds us that at the core, Hughie is still just your average sweetheart. I’m completely “meh” about the Female subplot and her need to just go around killing bad men. Ennis should have just stuck to the Hughie/Annie stuff this issue. The ending was perfect by the way. Poor Hughie, maybe next time!
The Mighty Avengers #10 (***1/2):
Okay, I changed my mind. This time travel shit is cool! Only thing was, it didn’t last long enough. We were in the past for about 4 pages and then “POOF”, we’re back. Whoa, Dr. Doom nuking his own castle just to kill the Avengers… SEEMS SKRULLY TO ME! Hopefully, it’s just bad writing. Hate it if Doom turned out to be a Skrull in Secret Invasion, I like the fact that he clawed his way out of Hell. Also, not to be nitpicky, but sorry Bendis, this story HAS in fact been done before. Anyone else remember Deadpool #11 from almost 10 years ago?
Thunderbolts #119 (*****):
Oh Ellis, why are you always late… but worth the wait? This was a fun, no holds barred kind of slaughterfest. I think half the agents in the Thunderbolts Mountain were either eviscerated, cut in half or blown away. Swordsman’s dialogue here is funny as hell, in fact all the dialogue just sings off the page. Ellis really has his hooks into these characters, which is always surprising to me. He comes off as the kind of writer who loves to destroy wanky continuity garbage, and yet the vast amount of continuity research he does in fact do, totally comes across on the page. Like the “gamma-changed” dialogue. He firmly grounds his stories in Marvel lore, and then reflects on it ingeniously by tossing in his own wanky dreck. I’d use that word less, but I’m not sure how else to properly describe it. More random plot comments: Not knowing whether or not the T-Bolts are being mind-controlled or if they’ve just finally going insane? AWES. Venom and Swordsman about to kill each other? WOOO! OMG, is Osborn about to get all Gobliny? And you only have to wait two months to find out.
• Annihilation Conquest #5 (****): Another solid issue in this cosmic sequel to last year’s Annihilation. We finally get an explanation regarding Ultron’s conquest of the Phalanx, albeit completely unnecessary at this point. What was completely necessary… GROOT! I’ll probably do a full review of the final issue next month.
• Cable #1 (***1/2): What’s surprising here is that we don’t get a lot of unnecessary exposition from the writer. This first issue is as bare bones as first issues get. I liked it, and it looks like my enjoyment will only increase over time.
• Green Arrow and Black Canary #6 (**): I just don’t care anymore. The dialogue between the couple is very sharp and likable, but the plot is riddick. They’ve built it up so much, especially for such a B-Lister like GA, and now we get ALIENS!? Ugh-sauce.
• Nova #11 (***): Adequate. Moves the story forward. I just don’t care about Technarch Warlock. My apathy is palpable, it may suffocate me.
• Supergirl #27 (*): Still dropping this confusing mess. Blah.
• The Walking Dead #47 (****): All of a sudden this book is a must read again. Kirkman, as always, excels at the action scenes (still hate his dialogue) and this issue is full of them. Oh, and more dudes die… YAUS!