Bruce Castle Presents: American Icons

4 stars = Stop reading review and go buy now!!!!
3 and a half stars = Great issue and make room on your trade shelf someday soon
3 stars = Recommended and maybe even trade worthy
2 and a half stars = Recommended
2 stars= Not the best, not the worst, not recommended
1 and a half star = Terrible issue and vocalize your disgust at your next social event
1 star = Awful awful awful and you may want to consider dropping this title
0 stars = Next con you attend where the writer and/or artist are present you should throw this issue in their face

Action Comics #867– This is part two of the Brainiac arc from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Frank is still knocking the artistic ball out of the park. We’re still getting that old school sci-fi feel to the book and he even gets to draw Supergirl this time. The emotion his characters convey is astounding! It still seems like a simple story to me, but it’s simple and sweet. Perhaps I’ve been reading too many books that feel like you’re standing at ground zero in some major disaster. I’m looking at you Final Crisis. It’s nice to get a simpler tale filled with seemingly real characters that emote and communicate while still having the time to unfold a story. We get a bit less humor in this issue and more action. It’s a fair trade, but I do admit I certainly do enjoy some humor in my comics. There are a few pages without dialogue, but the issue ends on a cliffhanger. The story is being told a bit slowly, and at first I contemplated whether the content was worth the price of admission. But after reviewing it I found more than enough moments that informed me, more than enough stunning panels, and more than enough enjoyment. I definitely enjoyed this book.

3 and a half stars

Captain America White #0

I’d like to first if I may, comment on this issue’s content and price. It’s a bit odd to see an issue 0 priced at 3 bucks. In fact, this book was originally supposed to be priced at 4 bucks with more packed in there. I currently hold in my hands an issue that contains 17 pages of story and 15 pages of an interview with Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale and some original sketches of the book’s covers for all 6 issues. We get about 5 or so pages less than a usual 3 buck comic and actually one page more than we get in the one dollar Conan issue 0. But we also get 15 pages of “extras”. So just to inform you guys, if you’re looking for story in here you may be a bit disappointed. If you like reading interviews and looking at sketches, then you’ll be all good. As far as the actual story in here, it was pretty standard stuff. It was a decent origin setup and actually covered a lot of time at least in what little pages there were. I thought that most of the series was going to be about this stuff. So it gives me hope that maybe we’ll get quite a lot of good stuff in a full-size issue. The very last page of this comic was a bit disappointing. It seems issue 1 isn’t coming out until winter. So why the heck are we getting this like 4 months or so ahead? That was a bit weird to me. Tim Sale’s art looked pretty good. It’s still his usual unique style, but it looks aged and fits well with this 40s yarn. Jeph Loeb’s writing isn’t as bad as people may expect either. It was a more than adequate book and I actually did enjoy the interview stuff. Still, it seems a bit too pricey.

2 stars

Invincible Iron Man #3– I think I’m really warming up to this now. The first issue was a bit shaky and the second issue was really good, but I think I’m really starting to love this stuff. The story is a bit weak. We’ve seen the AIM splinter groups quite a lot and the villains aren’t all that menacing, but there is still a lot to love. It really feels like a true Iron Man book. The dialogue is snappy and the characters are all handled with care. We may not agree with their actions or beliefs, but we understand them. I think Fraction is doing a great job grasping the tone of the highly successful Favreau movie, while still telling his own story in his own style. This is the perfect book for those who either love Iron Man or found yourself enjoying the movie and feel like stumbling into your local comic shop ready for some stories about the Golden Avenger.

3 and a half stars

Iron Man Legacy of Doom #4

And so ends the tale that was old-school, zany, well-written, well-drawn, and above all else fun! I loved the first two Doomquest arcs. They are probably two of the best Iron Man stories in my opinion. I feel that Iron Man and Dr. Doom are two of the best Marvel characters and it was fantastic to see them together involved in a great story. I was hoping that this story would live up to its predecessors and would be able to stand proudly adjacent to that Doomquest hardcover on my shelf. I think that mission was accomplished. The only complaint I have about this book was the somewhat goofy villain, but then I remembered that this is an old-school tale and we tend to forget there was a lot of zany villains in our superheroes’ past. He still serves as a device to get the two armor glad individuals to stand together and fight side by side against overwhelming odds. These two iconic characters are treated with the best of care and their most admirable qualities truly shine. We are reminded of Doom’s moral code and how at times he isn’t that bad of a guy. And it’s always awesome to see a bad ass fighting on the side of the angels. We also see Tony, a character who is at times morally compromised especially as of late, demonstrate an act of true nobility despite being doubted. I’m a big fan of Iron Man and it’s nice to see him act like a hero again.

4 stars

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