Top 5 Best Comics of April 2010

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I read 25 comics this month, and these were the best.

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Top 5 Best Comics of February 2010

With March half over, I think now’s a good time for this list, yes? I read 17 comics in February, and these were the best.

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Bruce Castle Presents: Bendis vs. Loeb – Spoilers!

Large Cover of New Avengers #48

New Avengers #48 (***1/2)

Ok, so if you’ve read my other reviews you’ll know that I didn’t like Secret Invasion. I disliked the New Avengers issues during that time and I liked that recent Dark Reign one-shot even less. But this issue was good. First off, Billy Tan has drastically improved, He’s soared above mediocrity and he assures you that he’s worthy of being featured in Marvel’s flagship title. The objective of this issue should have been to establish the new team, wrap up all the SI nonsense, present an intriguing future for our heroes and possibly a twist or two. Bendis accomplishes all of that, mostly. Yes there’s another damn Skrull (Can that be the last time I type that word please?) and I’m still not sure about my enthusiasm towards this book, but this issue was satisfying enough. Bendis uses “Talky Room” again (Description of that here) and he introduces his new team in a fun way. The new lineup is the five dudes on the cover (Big surprise) plus her, her, her and her. Jaw-dropping? No, it’s pretty much who’d you expect. And the big twist in this issue? Luke Cage sells out to you-know-who. So, it was a good issue, but will I stick around post-4 bucks? I don’t know.

Ultimate Spider-Man #129

Ultimate Spider-Man #129 (****)

This issue was great. It was an Ultimatum tie-in that was better than the main mini this week. But what did this have to do with Ultimatum? Business seems normal. There’s a bit of a big event in here though. It concludes with the cops with May wanting to talk about her relation to Spider-Man. That’s cool, but Ultimatum related? I don’t think so. Then again, Bendis did say that Spider-Man may not be Peter Parker after Ultimatum. Jessica Drew returns! The clone one not the Skrull (Damn it! Again!) one. Bendis loves him some Jessica Drew. Human Torch makes an appearance as well. The highlight of this issue of course is Bendis’ marvelous teenage dialogue. Well done again sir!

Ultimatum #2 (of 5)

Ultimatum #2 (***1/2)

Say what you want about this book, but at least it delivers the goods. Well, it does in the death and WTF departments. The biggest problem here is the lack of emotional attachment. If you aren’t invested in these characters, you probably won’t care much. And if you do care, you may feel Loeb shows disrespect towards the beloved characters. The deaths in this issue? The Blob eats the wasp! Again, WTF! The last time I saw Blob (Other than possibly Ultimates 3. That series is a blur) was in Ultimate Spider-Man when it was revealed that he was Liz’s father. He was a sympathetic character, and now he’s chowing down on the Wasp and says “tastes like chicken”. Ok, that one I can’t explain, but I think I can with the next one. Magneto snaps Professor X’s neck! So that’s a WTF, but that makes sense in the Ultimate U. Magneto is much more evil there. He’s furious about the death of his children, but he’s also a vicious bastard. And remember, Prof did screw with Magneto’s mind earlier. So I kind of like this outcome. Both of them are willing to go to extreme lengths to fight each other. Oh there was one more death in this issue, but even I didn’t care much because it was Valkyrie. But we did get to see Ultimate Hela who’s an S&M nightmare (Must all the Ultimate Loeb characters be so “modern”). Thor went to Valhalla and Cap was there too?! Oh noes! Is Cap dead?! Oh and it was a bit annoying to see events I already know the outcome to because of those recent Fantastic Four issues. Why must Finch be so slow? Oh well, he did another great job here. But have the boobs on his women always been this BIG?

Ultimatum #2 of 5 Preview Preview Page 7

See? Was Finch always that…Cho? Anyway, Ultimatum continues to be a violent shocking cleansing of the Ultimate U. I just wish there was more substance to accompany all that flash.

Large Cover of Hulk #9

Hulk #9 (****)

And speaking of Frank Cho, it’s his last issue of Hulk, for now. Reviewing this book is silly. Almost as silly as the book itself. You either love it or you hate it. And if you haven’t read it or even to those who hate it, this is basically a modern Stan Lee book. The comedy, the zany ideas, even the great art. It’s satirical people! Multiple Wendigos! Wendihulk! Sentry and Moon Knight talk about going to the same shrink! It’s a lot of big pretty dumb fun. Next issue? It’s Defenders vs. Offenders! Nuff said!

Large Cover of Hulk #10 (50/50 Variant)

Bruce Castle Presents: Hulk Gives Spider-Man an Ultimatum!

Hulk #8

Hulk #8 (****)

I have so much fun reading this comic. Art Adams and Frank Cho kill this book. And Loeb’s writing is exactly what it’s supposed to be, enjoyable. I still think this is his way of poking fun at what he dislikes about comics. So the Red Hulk is called Rulk right? And so many haters including a friend of mind say “So is green Hulk Grulk?” Check out the recap of this issue, “Mr. Fixit (Fulk? Grulk?)”. C’mon guys the silliness is intentional.

Ms. Marvel punches Fixit and takes out the power!

Pretty Lady, Sheet Face, and S-Man fight green Hulk!

But what about the Wendigos?

“The Lady Liberators. For when you absolutely, positively have to liberate the @#$% outta something.”

Abe on Mount Rushmore is collateral damage!

Tigra, Spider-Woman, Storm, Black Widow, Invisible Woman, and Hellcat join the party! Cho draws more pretty women! Oh yeah!

Ultimate Spider-Man #128

Ultimate Spider-Man #128 (****)

Ok, this was pretty cool. I still think this arc was a little weak, but it ended nicely. So this issue begins the way the first one in the arc did. Cool. Aunt May has a giant Dirty Harry gun?! Really? Aunt May also has heart problems. Do I smell an Ultimate One More Day? We get more video game nonsense. Which is what this arc was really about I guess. That’s a big part of what’s crappy about this arc. So I guess Gwen Stacy is “alive” again? And this issue ends the same as the first one in the arc, but with a big twist. Will this be in Ultimatum or just the Spider-Man tie-ins?

Ultimate X-Men #98

Ultimate X-Men #98 (****)

An Ultimatum tie-in! And a bunch of stuff happens! In one issue, William Stryker is introduced, reluctant about fighting mutants, and by the end he kills one. Am I the only one who’s disappointed when Ultimate characters are the exact same as their 616 counterparts? I guess Kurt and Allison did “die”? So Rogue is kind of evil now? Don’t do drugs kids. The identity of Ultimate Vindicator is revealed! Ultimate Juggernaut is alive and it’s no big deal? Wasn’t he last seen as dead in that annual or am I forgetting something? Sabretooth and Juggie are not in the best strip club in the world. Those girls aren’t even topless! Oh but it does give an excuse to see Rogue half naked. Vindicator is already the Guardian? I told you a lot happened in this issue. Oh and again, Mark Brooks draws really pretty pictures.

Bruce Castle Presents: Hulk vs. Thor!

Hulk #7 (Cover B - Frank Cho Variant)

Hulk #7 (****1/2)

We get two stories!

What Happens in Vegas: Art Adams! Multiple Wendigo! Joe Fixit! Moon Knight! Ms. Marvel (hubba-hubba)! Sentry!

Hell Hath No Fury…: Frank Cho! She-Hulk! Valkyrie! Thundra! Maria Hill! Rulk!

Jeph Loeb still continues to write for his artists. What can Art Adams draw well? Monsters! So we get multiple Wendigo and Joe Fixit (Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and Sentry are a bonus)! What can Frank Cho draw well? Women! Particularly strong muscular women with tree trunk thighs and that’s exactly what we get. Oh, and of course there is a changing scene as well. So, this book looks amazing! It’s also funny and entertaining. That makes me happy.

Thor Truth Of History #1

Thor: The Truth of History (***)

There’s no school like the old school. This is written and drawn by Alan Davis. Davis has a very Silver Age style of both drawing and writing. If you’re looking for some classic Thor that’s new, this is it. Davis provides superb art and the story is fun enough. Oh, the Warriors Three are in here too. Something that did infuriate me is that in the description of this issue, Marvel promises that this will change things forever or some damn thing. Unless I missed something, I’m going to call BS on that. And that’s the main problem with this book, who cares? It doesn’t really matter and I’ll probably never read it again. It’s good, but at 4 bucks in this economy, you can probably pass.