Foilball’s Review Roundup #59 – Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, The Tie-Ins!

Deadpool #3 (***1/2)

Not as good as 2, and way worse than 1. I hope this series has somewhere to go once the Invasion ends. Or maybe I don’t. Can I really afford another monthly?

Guardians of the Galaxy #6 (***1/2)

Wacky misunderstandings in space! Heh, but seriously, how the hell is Peter gonna convince all his buddies to come back and play nice? He basically brainwashed them! It would be pretty sweet if they all formed their own group and told Starlord to piss off.

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #34 (**)

BORING. Is this what we should expect from the forthcoming War Machine ongoing? Perhaps I should adjust my pre-order?

Mighty Avengers #19 (*)

Complete waste as it failed at making me care about Marvel Boy. UGH. You can’t just go through the motions, Bendis, you actually have to write clever character stuff!

Secret Invasion: Frontline #4 (****)

Still the best tie-in. Do you get the feeling that maybe Ben Urich is gonna bite it at the end of this mini? I hope so. I like him, but he bugs me. Actually, Sally Floyd bugs me more. Kill her, Marvel!

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3 (****)

This issue makes me very excited about the direction Marvel is taking the Inhumans. The War of Kings story is going to be epic, people!

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds (***)

I started to read this, and then I got bored. Heh, maybe I’ll finish later…

Final Crisis: Revelations #3 (***)

I don’t really know how to feel about this comic. It’s well written, but I’m not sure if I like it. Is that weird?

Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #3 (*****)

THIS WAS AWESOME! Those Rogues are some cold-blooded bastards, right! It’s interesting that Captain Cold thinks murdering Inertia makes up for murdering Bart Allen/Flash/Kid Flash/Impulse. I don’t think that’s how it works, dude. And, oh man, having the Rogues cringe at the possibility of the return of Barry Allen as the Flash really gets the mind buzzing for next year’s big flash event. As far as this being a tie-in to FC and not just a cash grab? FAIL. Sure, this mini explains why the Rogues opted out of Libra’s Society, but did anyone really care? That subplot was completely irrelevant to the main plot, that being the murder of Inertia. I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book just as much without all the FC hoopla.

Bruce Castle Presents: 15 Comic Reviews! I Have No Time!

Ugh! I feel like Billy! I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this but sadly it has. I’ve been really busy saving civilization lately. Hopefully the aliens and super ninjas will stay away long enough for me to write some proper reviews soon. I have to at least write long reviews for Final Crisis and Secret Invasion. Anyway, enjoy my negligence!

Mighty Avengers #19 (***1/2) That’s two good MA issues in a row Bendis! You have one more left to go. Make it count!

Conan #4 (****) Always a solid read and hey the Corben stuff is making sense now. This book looks pretty as well.

Grant Morrison Doctor Who #1 (****) I’m not a Who fan, but this is still usual Morrison excellence. It’s very entertaining forgettable fun!

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (****) A bit worse than last issue but this is still epic stuff. Plus, Perez’s art has never looked so good!

Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #3 (****1/2) What a fun series! I’m so in the mood for that new Flash comic. Go villain books!

Green Lantern #35 (****) Yeah it was too long but that won’t matter much in trade. How many origin stories have been better? Oh, and how awesome is Reis?

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3 (***1/2) More forgettable fun! Pretty art too!

Justice Society Of America #19 (****1/2) One of the most consistently great books out there right now. I like all the Eaglesham art but I don’t like waiting!

Punisher #63 (***1/2) That forgettable entertainment that looks pretty theme continues!

Secret Six #2 (****1/2) Fun! Fun! Fun! But not as great as last issue. Catman vs. Batman!

Amazing Spider-Man #573 (*****) Go JRJR go! Hooray for awesome comics! Stephen Colbert fans must pick this up!

Ultimate Origins #5 (***) Meh. I’ve forgotten it already. Weak last page!

Uncanny X-Men #503 (***) Write better Fracker! You slightly improved here, how about an extreme improvement next time?!

Astonishing X-Men #27 (****1/2) To hell with the haters! This book is awesome! I laugh so much!

Young Liars #8 (****1/2) Very interesting issue! Not as fun, but still fantastic! This is the best book you have never heard of!

Again, I’m so sorry about this crap. Hopefully I can remedy this problem and have awesome new reviews soon. Please comment if you want me to further explain my zany opinions. Sadly, I can’t show all the covers but I will give you this one!

Marvel Reveals Amazing Spider-Man's Colbert Cover

Review: Final Crisis tie-ins: Rogues’ Revenge & Legion of 3 Worlds

Every few months, I decide to give Geoff Johns a shot. I hear glowing reviews of everything he writes, and think, maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read his last book. Maybe Infinite Crisis was only bad because of editorial mandates? Maybe I thought his Teen Titans was trite, angst-ridden garbage because I had just outgrown the whiny teen angst sub-genre of superheroics? Maybe Green Lantern: Rebirth was just a particularly weak moment of his. After all, 52 was a work of extreme quality, and while Booster Gold’s “Blue and Gold” arc was pretty bad, the opening arc of the book was a lot of fun.

Final Crisis offered another opportunity to give Johns a shot, as he was working on three tie-ins: Legion of Three Worlds, Rogues’ Revenge, and Rage of the Red Lanterns. Based on the strength of the opening issues of Final Crisis and the fact that I was reaching another point where I thought he deserved a shot, I decided to get Rogues’ Revenge and take it from there, but the first issue of RR was strong enough to warrant trying out L3W.

Today, Rogues’ Revenge ended with the weakest issue of the three-issue mini. Part of this weakness comes from the circular nature of comics – in the opening issue, we were given the premise that the Rogues wanted to retire, but needed revenge, wanted a clean slate before they did so. It was a strong premise well-executed, but the end of the mini leaves me undeniably cynical.

I have never understood the appeal of Kollins’ art, and this issue did nothing to change my mind. Some panels were quite strong, but I think that his action panels were sloppy and static. As always, Johns’ nails the Rogues’ interactions, and it’s those panels that are strongest. The opening scenes with the Weather Wizard were powerful – a great deal of the emotional core of the series was. And the series as a whole was an interesting tie-in, used to strip Libra of the weapons he had planned to use against the Flashes. Like a decent tie-in, it contributes to the main story without taking anything away from it. Still, there’s no way I can read the end of the book without feeling just a little bit sour at the state of the industry as a whole.

Meanwhile, Legion of Three Worlds is an example of everything I dislike about Johns, a massive continuity-wank to his old-school fetishes, ignoring or insulting the modern equivalents. With Perez on pencils, the book feels even more old-school, and not necessarily in a good way. The action is static, and too much of the emotional punch of the book depends on coming into a series with a deep connection to the Legionnaires he’s using. Some writers can make me care quite a bit about the life and death of a character I’ve never met before in a single issue. Some can do it in a few pages. Johns isn’t one of those writers.  Empty action and emotionless exchanges make a subpar book and the first Final Crisis tie-in I would call a true failure.

RR #3 Grade: B-

FC RR Grade: B+

L3W #2 Grade: C-

Bruce Castle Presents: Crisis Tie-Ins Just Got More Final

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3-D #1 (*****)

I’ve been avoiding this review. I’ve only read it twice and that’s not nearly enough to properly comprehend everything contained in this issue. I would have liked to have written up a long in-depth analysis review, but instead I’ll just write a few kind words. Hopefully, either my words or somebody else’s will convince you to pick this up. Yes, this story is very complex and it does demand quite a bit from the reader. However, I still feel that it can be enjoyed on a primitive level and can actually be fun at times. With most Grant Morrison stories, all of the attention, good or bad, is directed towards Morrison. His artists don’t always receive the accolades that they deserve. Doug Mahnke drew this book wonderfully. His work alone is worth the price of admission. This book is truly sublime.

SPECIAL FEATURE!!!!

For those who can’t understand German, I’ll provide the translations for free! Well, what I will ask is that if you didn’t read this issue, please go pick it up! Then you can get your translations here too! Oh and when I list page numbers, I don’t count advertisements!

Page #9- “We will have to accept losses! This machine will immediately explode!”

Page #17- (This is obvious but..) “Great Krypton!”

Page #18- “All these universes in different frequencies vibrate”

Page #20- “What is it? I can not remember why I do; all the technology is for the dog.”

Oh and Overman is German for Superman.

As an added bonus, here is the Nazi Supergirl translation in Final Crisis #3:

Page #4- “I…I…I am…Supergirl…No. Is the…the sky bleeding? The (There are typos here and I think this is one of them. It says h^lle in the issue, the closest I can get is..) hall…is…is here

So there you go. I’m sure the translations aren’t perfect, but you can get the general idea. Plus, the text wasn’t perfect either. I hope that helps!

DC Universe Last Will And Testament #1 (Cover A)

DC Universe: Last Will and Testament (****)

Yep, this is about Geo-Force. Does anyone really care about Geo-Force? Not that I’m aware of, but it does have Deathstroke and he’s cool. This is written by Brad Meltzer. If you like his stuff, then you’ll probably like this. If you don’t like his stuff, then you can probably pass. However, before you do, there are a few things to consider. I’m not a big fan of Meltzer, but I did like most of Identity Crisis.  This was marketed as a FC tie-in (even though it doesn’t have the tag). It was supposed to be the night before the end of Final Crisis #3. It isn’t. In fact, you could read this without reading FC and still enjoy it which is cool. The only way this relates to FC is that this is a kind of sequel to Identity Crisis (and FC is kind of a sequel to Identity Crisis), and we see DC characters dreading something bad about to happen. The story is basically Geo-Force wanting revenge wrapped in lots of little character moments. I’m happy to report that the aforementioned character moments are beautifully rendered by the legendary Joe Kubert. I especially love his homage to the cover of Batman #1. The Geo-Force story is drawn by Adam Kubert. It’s nice to see a father-son duo handling the art chores. In addition to all of this, we get a big fight between Geo-Force and Deathstroke. This is really what impressed me the most because it was my kind of fight. It’s just a knock-down-drag-out fight with lots of blood. This was a very dark outing, but it ended on a surprisingly happy note. I feel this comic is good enough for even the people that dislike Meltzer to enjoy it.

Final Crisis Rogues Revenge #2 (of 3) (Cover A)

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 (*****)

I liked the last issue, but things have improved tremendously since last time. Everything in here really hit the mark. Is there more Final Crisis stuff in here? Yes. Can you still enjoy this without reading Final Crisis? Yes. Do these C-List (in the wrong hands) villains seem totally badass? Yes. Are there pleasing twists and turns? Yes. Is this well-written? Yes. Does this contain pretty art? Yes. As you can tell, I was really impressed. If you’re looking for a read filled with quality action or an awesome villain book you really need to pick this up!

Bruce Castle Presents: Secret Invasion Tie-Ins vs. Final Crisis Tie-Ins!

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

Mighty Avengers #16– Sigh. And so we get another SI filler issue. Again, I’m still finding these quite tedious. Oh, and something that heightens that feeling is these damn homage covers. They started doing these with the Marvel Zombie covers and then continued with SI. They were cool for the Marvel Zombie mini-series and that’s it! Once we got to the 20th printing of that hardcover and then now with the Skrulls, these covers are just plain crappy now! Oh well, I doubt this will change by the end of the event so yay I have four more months of this to look forward to! But I digress. This issue is about what happened to Elektra. Despite my earlier ranting, there was a lot to enjoy about this issue and I’m sure a lot of you will love it. This is coming from a DD fan so liking an Elektra story means something. However, this is a picture heavy book from the usually wordy Bendis. Unfortunately, when you have a story that depends so much on the art, if the art is bad the issue will probably be bad as well which is what we get here. Sadly, I found Khoi Pham’s art horrendous. His Elektra looks like an old woman! From the story alone this issue is pretty good, but because there are so many wordless pages, the shoddy art detracts from the story.

2 stars

X-Factor #33– Does anyone still remember when this was a top tier book? The characters were great, the stories were great. The art was unconventional but fit the story perfectly. Why has this book declined so much after Messiah Complex? I’m almost to the point of dropping this book, but then I remember the characters I fell in love with and I’m still interested in their story. So please Peter David, write better! This issue is a SI tie-in, but there isn’t much about Skrulls in here. We get to see a Skrull reveal which was a bit predictable but still cool, but that’s it. The rest of the book is just like a normal X-Factor book. Also, the Skrull in this issue doesn’t say much, but what it does say is very odd. For someone that writes dialogue so well, I don’t know why we get such weird lines from David. There are still some great moments in here, but that is overshadowed by the horrible art and a bit of bad writing. Oh, and this story is being continued in She-Hulk which is a book I don’t read. And sadly, I don’t care about this story enough to follow it into a new book.

1 and a half stars

Final Crisis Requiem #1 (Cover A)

Final Crisis Requiem-First off, I want to apologize for something. I recently said that I flipped through this issue and thought the art didn’t look very good. Well, after reading it, I feel that the art is pretty fantastic. However, I still feel that Mahnke got his reference pages mixed up and is drawing Impossible Man instead of Martian Manhunter, but the art was great. Sadly, that’s about the best thing I can say about this issue. I personally was appalled when I read it. It tries to ruin almost everything Grant Morrison was trying to say in Final Crisis. This is a retelling of what happened in that book and it pissed me off. This should have made me sentimental and left me remembering J’onn J’onzz fondly. Instead I left this issue blinded with rage. At first, I was going to recommend this issue if you treat it as a MM book instead of a FC book, but I don’t even think it works then. It doesn’t seem written well at all. I had an instinct to stay away from this book, but I heard so many positive things about it that I gave it a shot. I was sorely disappointed.

1 star

Final Crisis Rogues’ Revenge #1– Leave it to Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins to produce a decent tie-in. The team that told some of the best Flash stories reunite to bring us a new Rogues tale. The art is fantastic! I didn’t expect this to be so gritty but it is. The Rogues aren’t written as comic blunderers. They are written as tired old men that are still bad ass in their own way. They are villains with an unusual moral code and they are written extremely well. Unlike the aforementioned FC tie-in, this doesn’t screw with the main FC story. It is referenced and it seems a bit is spoiled. Perhaps issue 3 should have been out by now. It doesn’t seem like much of a tie-in yet, but it is still a great story on its own. There is plenty of set-up in this issue, but there is still a lot of action and cool moments with a cliffhanger that will leave you hungry for more!

3 and a half stars

P.S. For those keeping track, Final Crisis wins!