#1 With A Bullet: Mark Waid’s Daredevil

daredevil cover

Writing a great first issue is hard.  With “#1 With A Bullet”, I wanted to examine some debut issues that worked – or didn’t – in an attempt to figure out just what makes a great first issue… and what common mistakes creators occasionally make.  Today, I look at Mark Waid’s fantastic Daredevil #1 and the art of revitalizing a character who has been stuck in something of a rut.   Continue reading

This Week in Comics: 7/18/12

This week in comics, Saga and Justice League are sold out at my shop so I don’t get to read them, Carol Danvers returns to the spotlight in Captain Marvel #1, and Mark Waid completely rocks.

Decent book. Terrible cover.

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This Week In Comics: 4/25/2012

This week in comics, the “Rise of the Vampires” crossover concludes, “The Omega Effect” crossover concludes, and probably some other event somewhere concludes.

If there's one thing DC knows, it's this: People like bats and sparkling vampires. Two birds? Meet one stone.

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Review: Daredevil #1

I think that what Bendis and Brubaker did with Daredevil was nothing short of brilliant.  Like Frank Miller once did, they revitalized and repopularized a character badly in need of both, making him relevant to a new era.  But the question remained: where do you go from there?  When he had lost so much, when he had lost everything that made him a hero… where does Matt Murdock go next?  How can you ever go darker?  Mark Waid and his sizable art team have an answer with Daredevil #1, and it’s a surprising – and extremely well-handled – one.

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Top 5 Best Comics of August 2009!

And the Summer’s over! Really? That…went fast. I had fun, though. Hope you all did, too. Back to school, kiddies! I read 20 comics in August, and these were the best.


5. Invincible Iron Man #16

Matt Fraction’s writing is absolutely top-notch. Yes, this story will read better as a whole, but our connection to Tony, Pepper, and Maria is so strong, it hardly matters. The only thing that brings this issue, and the entire series, down, is Salvador Larroca’s Greg Land-esque art.

My Review

4. Ultimate Comics: Avengers #1

Speaking of Summer, you like those blockbusters that accompany the season, right? Well then, this is the comic for you! Just some awesome-kickass, supercool fun! Mark Millar gives it to ya, and Carlos Pacheco makes it look pretty. This opening salvo features a bombastic helicopter fight and a terrifying new villain.

My Review


3. Secret Six #12

Like my previous selection, this too is filled with action and good times, only with more twisted villainy. But this comic also has character and soul, and that counts for a lot. This is Jeannette’s issue to shine, and I think she blinded me. Carlos Pacheco’s beautiful interiors certainly contribute to UCA’s placement, but you know what? I’d put Nicola Scott up against Carlos Pacheco any day. Yeah, you read that right.

DC Lebeau’s Review


2. Batman and Robin #3

Holy hell, Batman! This series just gets better and better! The first and second issue topped my list in their respective months, and it’s only by some Marvel miracle that this one didn’t. Since I don’t have a proper review of this issue, I want to go over a few things:

Professor Pyg’s “sexy disco hot.” Who else had this song in their head?

Any guesses on who was watching Alfred? Could it be the same person who spied on Bruce & Jezebel all those issues ago?

Awhile ago, DC said, “Scarlet isn’t who you think she is.” That was a damn lie, and I’m pretty sure Red Hood is who you think he is too.

Seventh Soldier’s Review


1. Daredevil #500

A phenomenal conclusion to what turned out to be a great run. Brubaker did DD proud, and definitely cast away Bendis’ shadow. On top of that, you get a great short story and a reprint of possibly the best Daredevil comic ever! Yeah, I’m pretty sure that this isn’t just the best comic in August, it’s the best Marvel comic of the year.

My Review

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Daredevil #500


Brubaker’s run concludes, and delivers on the promise to shake things up. Bendis’ run ended with Murdock in jail, and while I won’t directly spoil the new status quo, I’m pretty sure you can guess from this upcoming Daredevil cover that Marvel released before this issue. It’s a satisfying change, and while it may not be the most original, it has the potential to provide some great stories from new Daredevil scribe, Andy Diggle. Speaking of Diggle, one of this issue’s special features is a preview of Diggle’s first DD issue, The List, the upcoming Dark Reign special. It’s underwhelming, but mostly because of Billy Tan, and going from Michael Lark to Billy Tan just exacerbates the problem.

Michael Lark produces some stunning work, as he always does. Whether it’s the opening, tender shots of Matt and his tortured wife, Milla, or the electrifying showdown between Daredevil, Lady Bullseye, and the Kingpin, Lark hits all the right notes. Matt Hollingsworth, the colorist, also does a fantastic job, and it should be noted that Andy Diggle isn’t the only one with big shoes to fill. I hope Roberto De La Torre will step up to the challenge, and from what I’ve seen, it looks like he will.

The first special feature of this anniversary issue is the aforementioned List preview. After that, former Daredevil scribe, Ann Nocenti, provides the story, 3 Jacks. Nocenti was known for her controversially preachy storytelling, but she’s a better writer now, and the subtext is subtler. Nocenti is also smart enough to give her collaborator, the brilliant David Aja, a bone-crunching fight scene to render. I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed with a back-story. I’ve longed for more Aja output for awhile, but now, I want more Nocenti too.

After that, we get a wonderful pinup gallery rendered by a variety of artists from Brian Michael Bendis to Patrick Zircher. The standout is the one you see above you, from the Brazilian artist, Rafael Grampá. He’s pretty new to America, but he’s already won an Eisner, and after seeing that Daredevil, I think he’s going to go far. Check out his Batman and Robin!

Rounding out the extras is a reprint of one of, if not the best, single issue from Frank Miller’s run, Daredevil #191. Remember when Matt plays Russian roulette with a paralyzed Bullseye? Yeah, that one.

You put that all together and you get one of the best comics from Marvel all year! Brubaker concludes everything, and leaves his mark on Daredevil, giving him a bright future ripe with possibilities.

Grade: A

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Daredevil #119

The Writing: Brubaker is placing all the necessary pieces for the endgame. He does so with ease. The issue flows nicely and it left me wanting more. Yes, just as Brubaker finally hit his stride on DD, he’s out the door.

The Drawing: This book looks beautiful. Well, as beautiful as the dirty, murky city of Daredevil’s New York can. Lark & Gaudiano do their job well, as always, but, to me, Matt Hollingsworth’s colors almost steal the show. I’ll be sad to see this team go as well.

Final Word: Just a completely solid comic, in every way. It looks like Brubaker is setting Daredevil up for more tragedy. Poor, poor Matt. Why do writers love the taste of your tears?

Grade: A-

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Daredevil #118

Daredevil #118 (Variant Cover Edtion)


I’ve complained about Brubaker’s run. It wasn’t bad, but after Bendis wrote some of the best Daredevil stories ever, Brubaker just didn’t impress. However, ever since he wrote that arc with Greg Rucka, Brubaker has finally hit his stride. What? Now he’s going to leave the book? Well, that sucks, but what doesn’t suck is this arc. We’re on part three of Return of the King. The first two installments were my favorite books of the week. Thanks to Neil Gaiman (Close-up of Daredevil in the rain as he shakes his fist at the heavens yelling: “Damn you, Gaiman!”), that’s not the case this week, but DD would probably be my second pick of the week.

The same praise for improvement should also go to Michael Lark. Don’t get me wrong. I like the man’s art, but now, with David Aja around (Doing nothing, apparently), Lark can’t really compare. Aja captures the same look, rendering things better. This issue, however, I was quite happy with the look. The characters, the expressions, and the setting were handled beautifully. New York is a prominent character, as she should be.

Kingpin puts a villain on the board. Matt might actually end up with Dakota. Foggy has some harsh words.

Review: Daredevil #115

Daredevil #115


As I’ve said, Lady Bullseye has been one of Brubaker’s most entertaining Daredevil stories yet. Part 5 was indeed a satisfying conclusion. It’s not quite as epic as I had hoped a few issues ago, but Brubkaer still managed to set this story apart from the usual “Let’s destroy this hero” villainous plot. The characters actually address how often that’s been done.

The action scenes don’t look as good as they should, but I think my imagination filled out the gaps nicely. I’ve watched plenty of Shaw Brothers Kung Fu Movies. Michael Lark has done a decent job. However, it’d be nice to have a little artistic diversity in Daredevil. Ever since Alex Maleev did his thing, artists have tried to mimic his work on this title. It’d be nice to see someone like Ed McGuinness. Ok, he’ll never be on this book, but you know what I mean. Someone who can break away from the scratchy and gritty look we have now.

Lady Bullseye, The Hand, White Tiger, Black Tarantula, Iron Fist, old Zatoichi guy, and Daredevil caught in the middle. A good dust up, wouldn’t you say? If nothing else, Lady Bullseye has been a hell of a good time.

Bruce Castle Presents: Batman vs. Daredevil!

Large Cover of Batman #683

Batman #683 (****)

Morrison’s retelling continues. We get to see the shirtless Neal Adams Batman again. The world gets darker for Bruce. The issue ends promising the Dark Knight’s last adventure in Final Crisis #6, but as Morrison has proved over the last few years, Batman can’t die. Even in this issue, Batman continues to beat everyone. It doesn’t matter that Dark Space Gods are trying to screw with his brain, he’s Batman. He’ll always win. He can even make his enemies turn against each other. One of the many gems in this issue is an alternate reality where Bruce never dressed up like a bat. Do you remember that great episode of the 90’s cartoon? It’s kind of like that. Bruce is a bit of a pansy. He even gets conned. Oh, and something bad happens to Dick. Heck, the Joker doesn’t even exist. It’s kind of the Batman version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. This is a fitting end to at least the first chapter of Morrison’s Batman epic.

Large Cover of Daredevil #114 (Villain Variant)

Daredevil #114 (****1/2)

We’re half way there. I still don’t know how this will end. What I do know is that this is Brubaker’s best Daredevil arc. Matt continues to get dragged through the muck. There is no happiness. There is no hope. Every glimmer of happiness gets ripped away from him. He even thinks about living in a cave in this issue. Get away from the people he cares about and just be Daredevil full time. Will he lose Milla soon? Will he lose Dakota? And I haven’t even talked about his villain problems yet. Along with the main players, an additional cast of interesting characters are present. Heck, we even get a new villain. I’m still not sure how I feel about Lady Bullseye yet. All she’s had to be so far is threatening. At least she’s achieved that. So if you’ve thought about getting back into Daredevil’s whacky adventures, now is the time.

Bruce Castle Presents: Brubaker Books Come Together – Spoilers!

Captain America #44

Captain America #44 (***)

Wow, this was the worst issue in a long time. Sure there are some cool things and it’s not bad, but there are a few things that bugged me. So this series’ (And Captain America’s) theme of the past continues. Remember that kid Bucky saved last issue? Well, in the 60’s as the Winter Soldier, Bucky tries to kill this guy. That’s fine. Back in the present now and business is usual. Bucky beats up guys for info, that’s also fine. We see another “mysterious figure” talking to Batroc. Really Brubaker, more mystery? Next comes the best part of the issue and it also gives Luke Ross a chance to show off. Bucky chases Batroc on a motorcycle and they have an awesome fight. That’s fantastic, but then a “mysterious figure” shows up. Back in the past, Bucky confronts that dude and someone arrives to defend him. Who you ask? Fucking Death-Stalker!? Really? Brubaker just brought back Mr. Fear in DD and now this? Why does Brubaker love old shitty Daredevil villains? I love DD, but his villains suck!

Daredevil #113

Daredevil #113 (****)

Brubaker finally hits his stride! Most of his DD run has been mediocre, but this arc and the last have been pretty great. How can you not love this stuff? Daredevil! Dakota North! Iron Fist! The Black Tarantula! The Hand! Lady Bullseye! And now in this issue, Zatoichi arrives! Ok, he’s not really Zatoichi, but he is a blind swordsman. What’s that? Another blind character? I really do hope Daredevil is printed in Braille. If you haven’t been reading this arc, it’s about the Hand taking away everything Daredevil cares about. That villain gag never gets boring does it? Lady Bullseye is still cool and she even fights DD in this issue. That’s pretty sweet right? Oh, and what’s the OMG ending? Lady Bullseye kills the White Tiger. Yeah, I wish it was somebody more important too, but at least it’s something.

Bruce Castle Presents: Brubaker’s Secret Secret Invasion Tie-Ins!

Captain America #43 (****)

Jeez, Brubaker is already referencing that fight in Secret Invasion #7? It just came out this week and that battle isn’t even over yet! It’s always a bit hard to review this book because how many times can I say it’s a solid series? It’s boring! So I’ll just talk about some random observations. We have a new penciler this time, Luke Ross. His work is okay, but thankfully the colorist, Frank D’Armata, is still on the book, so all the art on this book still looks the same. There’s an interesting scene in here when Black Widow is nude. Her bed sheet does weird things to cover her butt the entire time. It almost looks like Luke Ross drew Natalia’s ass and then Marvel covered it up. Seriously Marvel?! This is a teen book and you can’t show a bare butt?! That’s BS and to hell with Janet Jackson for making America even more sensitive to nudity. Am I forgetting something? Oh yeah, Batroc, Captain America’s greatest villain shows up! Screw that Nazi Skull! Bring on the cheese-eating surrender monkey!

Daredevil #112 (****1/2)

The whole Elektra Skrull situation is in this issue. Does that explain my title? Can we move on? Good. Man, I think Rucka slapped some sense into Brubaker. Two issues in and this is already Brubaker’s best solo arc. There are so many loveable characters written well here. Daredevil (obviously), Dakota North (so awesome), Black Tarantula (remember how awesome that Blood of the Tarantula one-shot was?), and Iron Fist (um, yay)! You even have ninjas too! Oh, and Lady Bullseye is so much better than it sounds. She may even be respectable soon. If you bailed on DD, now is definitely the time to get back on the trolley!

Foilball’s Review Roundup #56 – Previously Reviewed by read/RANTERS!

Action Comics #869 (*****): Another solid chapter in the reinvention of Brainiac arc.

Bruce Castle (*****)
DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

All-Star Superman #12 (*****): So much needs to be said about this book, and I plan to, just as soon as I get my copies of the rest of the series back from Mandy. Expect a Series Review of this masterpiece by the end of the month.

Seventh Soldier (A+)
Bruce Castle (*****)

The Amazing Spider-Man #572 (****): On par with the rest of the arc, but not even close to the ultimate Bullseye vs Spider-Man fight that Slott promised us. Too much hype, dude.

Bruce Castle (****1/2)

Birds of Prey #122 (**): I didn’t read it so much as look at the pretty pictures… and vomit.

DC Lebeau (Hated it!)

Captain Britain and MI:13 #5 (****): Blade, you son of a bitch!

Seventh Soldier (B+)

Daredevil #111 (****): I like her. And I definitely liked this. Matt Murdock. What a bastard.

Bruce Castle (****)
DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

Fables #76 (***): Holy Lord, how much did I hate reading this issue of Fables? Sure, I know Willingham is a hardcore Republican, but some of the dialogue in this issue almost made my head explode. Really, Snow White? Is that how you justify all this death? And this cliché anti-tech speech? LAME. Also, no one talks like this on their cell phone. Can we stop writing crap like this? Please? Question: what does it say about me that I agree with Geppetto?

Desiato (***)

Hulk #6 (****1/2): AWESOME!!!

Bruce Castle (*****)

The Punisher #62 (***): Even without comparing this to Ennis’ take on the character, I would still hate it. And it’s not that I hate all other versions of the Punisher, because I think Fraction’s version is great (until the plot started to suck ass).

Bruce Castle (****)

Robin #178 (***1/2): Okay. Fine. Meh. BLAH. It wasn’t bad, how about that?

DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

Superman #680 (***): OH. MY, GOD. Could Superman be a bigger @$$hole? I do not like this book, but it’s not awful. Not yet.

DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

Ultimate Fantastic Four/Ultimate X-Men Annual #1 (**): Way worse than the last issue. UGH.

Bruce Castle (****)

Ultimate Spider-Man #126 (****): I liked it. Plus, it made me nostalgic for a time when Nick Fury ran S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Ultimates were badass.

Bruce Castle (***)

Uncanny X-Men #502 (**): STAB MY EYES!!!

Bruce Castle (**)

The Walking Dead #52 (***1/2): Okay, with a side of losing interest fast.

Bruce Castle (****)

War Heroes #2 (**): I thought about scanning the penis page… but that would be crude. Get it?

Bruce Castle (***1/2)

Bruce Castle Presents: Brubaker Likes Women

Daredevil #111 (****)

I surprisingly enjoyed this issue. I still think Brubaker’s run is overrated, but there’s a lot to love here. How cool is Dakota North? She’s prominently featured within these pages and it seems she’ll be in DD’s life for awhile. Looking through the issue, the thing I enjoyed most were the supporting characters. Iron Fist is in here and Bullseye is too. It’s just a flashback, but I miss Bullseye in Daredevil comics. I don’t think this new Lady Bullseye will be a good substitute, but she’s not as dreadful as she could be. This issue was very enjoyable and I hope Brubaker will keep it up. It seems like this will be an intriguing arc. Plus Dakota North is in here. Did I mention my Dakota North love?

Captain America #42 (****1/2)

Billy’s on the money with this one. In fact, I think he stole my thoughts, knocked me out, and then wrote his review first. I didn’t even realize this was the end of the arc until all the crazy stuff started happening. But really, Brubaker should have revealed a little more. It’s been 42 issues and we’re still in the dark. The sad part is I don’t think anything will be revealed anytime soon. At least Batroc will be in the next few issues. Any true Captain America fan knows that Batroc is Captain America’s true archenemy. I don’t care that Red Skull is a Nazi! I should read this series in trade, but sadly I’m too invested after 42 issues. Oh, something that will distinguish my review from Billy’s? I don’t like Bucky. Screw Bucky! Everyone else is cool, but to hell with him. The reason why this is in the “badass women” category is because of Sharon Carter and actually Sin too. Also, how cool are the villains in this book? You actually want them to win! Anyway, this was an awesome issue and if you’re not reading this series, pick it up in trade. If you are reading this series, stay strong.

Bruce Castle Presents: Iron Man VS Daredevil!

Ultimate Iron Man 2 #5 (***)

The last issue came out five months ago. How stupid is that? It missed out on all the Iron Man movie hype. I certainly had to read the recap and I still couldn’t really remember much about the previous issues. Kick-Ass also came out this week. It had been quite awhile since that last issue and yet I remembered almost everything about it. That pretty much lets you know about the quality of this mini. There isn’t much of a resolution to this story. This makes 10 issues now of Card’s Ultimate Iron Man and yet the Iron Man at the end of this story still isn’t the Iron Man in Ultimates. So, are there still going to be more of these? But this isn’t a bad issue or even a bad mini-series. It’s even possible that if you read the whole thing back to back, without the 5 month gap, this could be pretty good. This is still well-written. Just about all the characters are intriguing. Ferry’s art gets the job done and it surpasses mediocre. So if you’ve been thinking about picking this up in trade, it certainly isn’t bad and it’s even a bit entertaining, just be prepared for the lack of resolution. Who knows? After Card writes five more of these it may actually link to the current Ultimate Iron Man.

Daredevil #110 (****1/2)

This is the conclusion of Brubaker’s best arc on Daredevil. I suppose this arc isn’t so impressive on the surface, but it was executed flawlessly. This has been a compelling mystery with the ongoing Daredevil theme of redemption. Daredevil’s self centered masochistic nature is examined and he is told by the people he cares about to snap out of it. The supporting characters play a strong role here without overshadowing Matt. Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano handle the art chores wonderfully. They’re always up to the task, whether that be a gritty action sequence or a complex dual narrative. Both of those appear in this issue I might add. What was in some ways the strongest part of this story was Daredevil overcoming some of his flaws, restoring a sense of positivity that isn’t often seen within the pages of Daredevil. That was quite refreshing. If Rucka is indeed responsible for this shift in tone as I suspect he is, I will be truly sad to find his writing absent next issue.

Bruce Castle Presents: With Liberty and Justice For All!

Liberty Comics (*****): Don’t those covers rule? Especially the Mignola one, I laughed out loud when I saw that! There’s even a bit of Frank Miller art on the back that is pretty creepy in typical FM fashion. I feel a bit silly reviewing this, but I guess I’m more like talking about it. This is charity book which I often love because they often have awesome people on it. Inside the book you get a story from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson (Yay The Boys rule!), Darwyn Cook, Mark Millar and John Paul Leon, Arthur Adams (Oh yeah Monkeyman & O’Brian), Rick Veitch, Richard Starkings and Moritat, J. Bone, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Criminal baby!), Scott Dunbier and Shawn McManus, and Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones! That is a lot of awesome creators and there are cool characters featured as well. Now, there aren’t really any stories here. Don’t feel that you need to pick this up to get everything about The Boys. These are all a bunch of short stories about censorship and quite a few of them are a lot of fun and made me laugh out loud. I especially enjoyed The Boys one and the Monkeyman & O’Brian one, damn Arthur Adams rules! So the book is pretty awesome and it supports a good cause. What’s better than donating your money while getting an awesome comic?

Daredevil #109 (****): It’s nice to finally see Daredevil as a good book again. Don’t get me wrong, I still consider Brubaker a great writer but I think he may be a bit lazy or something. It seems that when he puts his time into a book (Captain America rules!), he writes extremely well. The rest of his books however, seem to usually be mediocre or worse. Unless he’s working on the book with another writer of course, like with Greg Rucka on this issue, or Fraction on Uncanny X-men and Iron Fist, or even the first Daredevil arc he did which was mostly Bendis. This was a solid issue with some nice character moments, some bad-ass Daredevil moments, and a hell of a last page reveal. It’s still nowhere near as good as people seem to think Brubaker’s run has been, but it’s a hell of an improvement. I hope Brubaker will step down on this book soon and maybe Rucka could take over.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #34 – THE GOODERS!

And now, The Gooders. These books were the cream of the crop, or as close to it as this bunch got.

1985 #2 (****): I’m really liking where this is headed. See, you can’t call me a Millar hater! Some of his stuff is utter garbage, and some of it, when he puts the research and thought in, turns out quite fantastic. Here’s hoping I’m right about this one.

Conan the Cimmerian #0 (****): Bruce Castle’s review of this was spot on. It was a very, very, VERY good sword and sandal read. Unfortunately, I think I’m done with Conan for now… or, I may pick up the first issue when it ships! I just don’t know!

Daredevil #108 (****): It just keeps getting better! Dear Greg Rucka, please never leave. No more brooding! No more Mila! No more Emo!

Fantastic Four #558 (****1/2): This was really good. Really, really good. I can see clearly now what Millar is doing and I love it. The interweaving of the subplots over multiple 4-part story arcs is finally starting to pay off. I haven’t been this excited about reading Fantastic Four since JMS first took over the book. I know I was harsh on the first couple of these, but now that the engine is revving up toward max RPMs, I couldn’t be happier. I just hope he doesn’t blow his load too soon. But, I still think the Galactus suit was a lame idea. OH! Almost forgot, little Val is a genius!

Ghost Rider # 24 (****): Love the new artist. Love the new direction. If this is what we can expect from the rest of Aaron’s Ghost Rider run, I think I can finally put myself safely in the “on board” column. It was touch and go there for a while with a couple of stinkers mixed in with the gooders, but this issue has restored my faith… for now! Ha-Hah, you just never know! Next month I could be bashing it again! Help, I’m in an abusive relationship and I can’t get out!*

Iron Fist #16 (*****): Terrific series finale, bravo to all involved, especially Matt Fraction. I can’t wait for the “Heroes For Hire” relaunch this fall… wait, what? Not cancelled? New creative team? Get OUT of here!

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #30 (****): Still not the Knaufs, but adequate. Actually, more than adequate. This Moore guys is doing a bang-up fill-in! Overkill Mind! Star Squad! Paladin messing up Iron Man’s fascist face! YES! YES! YES!

The Punisher #58 (*****): Every month I get a little sad. New Punisher issue only serves to remind me of its imminent cancellation. Well, pretty much, right? I like the new guy, his Foolkiller was good, but no one’s ever going to top Garth Ennis. Oh, I should say something about this issue. It was really good, as usual. They always are. Sad face.

Thunderbolts #121 (*****): OH GOOD GOD! This was epic. And now it’s over. Forever. I don’t care that this book shipped once a quarter, it was totally worth it. But, I don’t think Ellis is leaving because of lateness, I think he’s just done. Is that true? Does anybody know? I’m seriously asking a serious question here…

X-Factor #32 (****1/2): In this issue, Madrox tells Cooper to get stuffed and finally takes responsibility as the father of Theressa’s baby… and just like that, *POOF*, X-Factor is a 4-5 Star book again. Why? Because we’re back to focusing on the drama, baby, and not the action. Yay! Thank you, Peter David. I don’t know what happened to you or why you had to phone the past 6 months in, but I’m glad you’re back. Now, if only I could say the same thing about She-Hulk. UGH!

Young Avengers Presents: Hawkeye #6 (****): This was easily the best of the series. Fraction is just on fire this month (although his Punisher still sucks ass). I loved how much of a dick Clint is when he makes Kate cry. Ha-Ha! But then, it was just Clint teaching her a lesson all along! Oh snap! Shit, I wish Clint had his own team book or something. He works well as mentor/father figure… FUCK, why isn’t he leading the New Avengers? He’s got the attitude, the skill and the experience. Maybe that’s one of the changes Bendis has lined up for after Secret Invasion? I hope so. I’ve always loved me some Hawkeye. Oh, and when the hell is Young Avengers Volume 2 coming out? These characters are way cooler than the Titans and those shitters have two books, both equally shitty!

Hmm, got surly there at the end. Ah, well. Tomorrow, Planetary Series Review (honest) and on Wednesday, maybe a Spoiler Re view… if something cool comes out.


*That one was for VsRealms.

Bruce Castle Likes It Quick

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

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Mighty Avengers #15

Mighty Avengers #15– Sigh. Another Secret Invasion filler issue. I’m getting tired of these. They’re not bad, but I’m just kind of getting sick of Secret Invasion. I’m not even reading that many of the tie-ins. I guess because there are so many events going on right now and this is the one getting my anger. Also, is Bendis getting sloppy or do I just know him too well now. This issue was very predictable. Also, this issue supports the theory that the skrull queen was just screwing with Tony’s head in Secret Invasion #3. Who knows, but it looks like Tony isn’t a skrull, big surprise. Anyway, the issue was decent and I dug the art, I’m just bitter about a few things. 2 and a half stars

New Avengers #42– Why are these being released in the same week each month? That’s probably another thing that’s making this stuff taste sour. More filler in this issue. It answered questions I was more interested in though. Also, there is a great moment where a skrull says “and that #$%^ Tony Stark”. That tells me two things. One is that it supports again that Tony isn’t a skrull. Two, the skrulls have such disdain for Tony, so you heard it from Bendis folks, if you hate Iron Man, you must be a skrull. 3 stars

Captain America #39– This is more of the same thing. Not much is revealed here, but Brubaker is still handling the characters incredibly. The political parallels are slammed in your face though. I liked them better when they were more subtle. Still, pretty good issue. 3 and a half stars

Daredevil #108– Sigh. Non-Captain America Brubaker stuff. I haven’t read Criminal, but it seems like every title Brubaker writes other than Captain America is just slightly above mediocre if that. This is supposed to be an A-list writer and that is not what I’m getting. The writing is ok in this issue and Rucka does seem to be helping, but I still don’t really care about it that much. 2 and a half stars

Green Lantern #32– This is my favorite issue out of these five. Geoff Johns is still writing the hell out of this book and Reis’ art is top notch. There is action, humor, and romance. Plus, there are several awesome moments in here that make up for the feeling of misplacement that some people have. This is a great comic! 4 stars

Bruce Castle Quickies!!!

4 stars = Stop reading review and go buy now!!!!
3 and a half stars = Great issue and make room on your trade shelf some day 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

Batman #677 – Still not as good as I know Grant Morrison has in him. Maybe my standards are too high. It is a 20 issue event after all. I’m hoping that even without Batman dying I guess, the book will end living up to its title and expectations. There were a few good moments, the art looks good (sorry Billy) and the end seems really intriguing. 2 and a half stars

Daredevil #107 – I haven’t been enjoying Brubaker’s run as much as I guess everyone has, especially following Bendis’ run which included some of the best Daredevil issues I have ever read. This is coming from someone who owns around 300 Daredevil comics for your information. This issue was ok. It didn’t have as much action as I would have liked, though seeing Luke Cage was cool. It wasn’t packed with that much story either. Seems like another lacking issue from Brubaker again. Why are you so good on Captain America and not on DD? 2 stars

Final Crisis #1 – I was going to write a full review on this issue, but I think enough has been said. I personally loved this issue. Loved the art, loved the writing, there was some comedy, it seemed to give you your money’s worth in regards to the amount of information you got. With the normal hindering factors of a first issue and an event issue I have to give the issue 4 stars.

King-Size Hulk #1– This title has gotten a lot of crap. The general consensus seems to be that the art is great and the writing is awful. I for one have found the writing, though it isn’t very good, to be fun. Just think of Hulk as a blockbuster movie. The issue featured 3 short stories with art by Arthur Adams, Frank Cho, and Herb Trimpe. The issue also contains reprints of Incredible Hulk #180 and #181 the first appearances of Wolverine and a good Wendigo story. The last reprint is of Avengers #83 which has nothing to do with Hulk but is still an enjoyable issue. Considering I enjoyed the 3 short stories and I had never read any of the reprinted issues, I liked this issue. However it does cost 5 dollars and the bulk of the material are reprints. So I have to give the issue 2 stars.

Immortal Iron Fist issue #15 – Another story of the Iron Fist. I really enjoyed this issue. Matt Fraction’s writing really shines here in his ability to introduce a book of completely new characters and make a fun fantastic roller coaster ride without getting lessened by too many details or explanations. 3 and a half stars

Ultimate Spider-Man #122 -For those who think that Bendis needs a complete arc to tell a story you should really check out the last few Ultimate Spider-Man issues. This is another done in one story that features Spidey’s joke villain Shocker. This is another solid issue from the Bendis/Immonen team. There is nothing spectacular here but it is still an enjoyable read. 3 stars.

All Star Superman #11-This issue is so damn good! It’s amazing to think that Batman #677 and this issue were written by the same person. This series is always worth the wait and I am sad to see it ending next issue. Please do yourself a favor folks and read this book! 4 stars

Uncanny X-Men #498 – This and Daredevil both prove that for whatever reason Brubaker is writing the hell out of Captain America but not his other titles. This issue isn’t bad, but it isn’t that good either. The hippy story line seems rather poor but at least we get the cool story in Russia. I won’t spoil the end but it at least seems the next issue will be cool and then hopefully when Fraction gets on this book it will be as good as Immortal Iron fist has been. It should be 2 stars but I’ll make it 2 and a half stars for a promising conclusion and that pretty Mike Choi art.