DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 19

Between work, delayed comic deliveries, an understandably demanding five-week-old daughter and my almost three-year-old son thinking my tablet PC (on which I read the comics I don’t collect in hard copy) is exclusively his for the purpose of playing Angry Birds – my New 52 One Sentence Reviews are becoming increasingly late.

I apologise, but am stubbornly committed to continuing my series and I know that, because of the leaderboard, dropping the ball just once means the whole thing is over red rover.

So, better late than never (like Justice League #5, I guess) … here are last week’s reviews.

Each comic is scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leaderboard to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain.

I have also reviewed the mini-series issues but they aren’t included in the leaderboard.

Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).

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4 DC reviews in 5 or less sentences each.

Sorry on the lack of full reviews, and lack of images even in this post.  I just want to get in a few reviews here, but don’t have the energy with the holiday hustle to do a full review for each comic.  So instead I’ll be doing short paragraph reviews for the following issue 4s: Batman, Birds of Prey, Green Lantern Corps, and Nightwing.

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DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 7

Once again, I provide one sentence reviews of each ongoing title released this week.  They are scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leader board (averaging the scores of each title) to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain.

While I’ve been reviewing other limited series, I have chosen to not review Batman Odyssey Vol. 2 #1, as I didn’t read Vol. 1 and from what I’ve read on the internet, I wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of it.

There could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).

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Foilball’s Review Roundup #60 – 5 Books I’ve Enjoyed Since The Move And Some Other Stuff…

Secret Six #2 (*****)


Who doesn’t love this book? Kudos to Simone for seeing something cool in a character (Bane) that most of us wrote off years ago.

Detective Comics #849 (****1/2)


Morrison’s Batman, while epic and enjoyable is a complete mess compare to Dini’s run on this book. Seriously, if you’re looking for great, straight up Batman stories, this is for you. And! This Hush arc is the best yet. I don’t think any write has ever really justified Batman’s rage as well as Dini has. Fucking brilliant!

Wonder Woman #25 (****)


Gail Simone writes the best Wonder Woman ever, which makes me really sad, because as cool as it is to have an awesome WW for a change, I hate that it just proves that men can’t write her. It’s as sexist as saying that only men can write Superman, which, I’m not sure can be proved either way since men are the only ones who ever GET to write Superman. Sigh.

Green Lantern Corps #29 (****)


I think my enjoyment of this book is based solely on whether or not Gleason is doing the art. Well, he did the art for this issue and I loved it.

Eternals #5 (****)


It’s getting good, guys! I love how the old dude was indifferent to the kid and then he got to know him and some atrophied sense of parenting manifested and he got all invested in the kid and then the kid goes bad and he’s all sad but because he acted like such a jerk at the start his daughter doesn’t believe him when he tells her how sorry he is… AWESOME!

(Run-ons can be fun!)

Some Other Stuff:
• No Hero #1 (***): More of the same? Is Ellis repeating himself?
• Green Lantern #35 (***): This was not a satisfactory ending. At all.
• The Invincible Iron Man #6 (***): Fine, the fight was cool but the end didn’t punch me in the gut. Punch me in the gut, FRACTION!!!
• Fables #77 (***1/2): I liked this, it’s a fine start to the post-war era of Fables. I especially liked the letter in the middle of the book from Bill Willingham. That was definitely what the doctor ordered. I was thinking about dropping the book, but Bill has convinced me to stick around. Good show.
• Robin #177 (***1/2): I mean, this would be cooler if we RIP was over already, as it stands, I just can’t get into it. I need context, damn it.

Two Weeks of Reviews

Final Crisis: Revelations #3


Outside of Superman Beyond, Revelations is easily the strongest of the Final Crisis minis, and this issue keeps it coming hard.  We further see the damage done by the release of the Anti-Life Equation as Gotham is under siege by the Dark Faith – and among the mindless ranks of Anti-Life laying siege to the city is Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Jim Gordon.

Things are bad in Gotham, and they get worse as we learn that the Radiant and the Spectre seem powerless in the face of Anti-Life…and as Cain comes calling.  The description sounds epic, but in fact, this is a deeply personal series.  Originally intended to be a ‘street level’ view of the Crisis, it quickly grew up and realized that, in the best books, there is no ‘street level’ and ‘cosmic’, there’s just a battle for the hearts and souls of mankind.

This book demonstrates that point excellently.  While there is the massive threat of Cain and his faith, perhaps the bigger problem is that of the three heroes, only The Question seems to have any answers, and their biggest gun, The Spectre, is paralyzed by rage and hate.  It’s a deeply personal book, a great reward to old fans of the characters, and an energetic and entertaining tie-in to Final Crisis.

Grade: A-

Secret Six #2

The first issue of Secret Six was an undeniable success.  This issue follows it up well, but isn’t quite as strong.  The Six are well under way in their mission, breaking into Alcatraz to free Tarantula, as Catman and Batman have a long-overdue confrontation…and enigmatic crime boss Junior lays an insane bounty on the heads of the Six.

The action was quite well done in this issue as Nicola Scott proves to be an undeniably effective artist on the title, but every panel of action is another panel we aren’t getting the Six’s twisted sense of humor.  Still, the action and the character pieces are well-balanced, and two issues in, the series remains strong.  Here’s to hoping the Six stick around.

Grade: B+

Wonder Woman #25

If you told me to choose a single word to define Gail’s run on Wonder Woman thus far, it would be ‘confused’.  Then I would hit you, because defining a year’s worth of comics in multiple arcs in a word is an absurd proposition, and you’re an idiot for asking me to do so.

That said, if nothing else, this issue fits that single word.  The Queen of Fables makes for a compelling villain and Gail obviously enjoys writing her, but I can’t help but feel that this arc would’ve greatly benefited from an extra issue, largely because, while the character moments are spot-on, the action is cluttered and hurried.

Still, any comic with lines like…

“Oh, go cook me a couple of orphans in a pie, you empty suitcase.”


“Please feel free to direct all your attorneys to my associates.

            “Where we will promptly consume them.”

“Where they will promptly consume them, precisely.”

can’t be all bad, can it?  Once again, the issue is filled with rock solid character moments held back by a slightly cluttered plotting and art.

Next issue, as a public service announcement, marks the beginning of the Rise of the Olympian storyline, kicking off Wonder Woman’s ‘event’ if I recall correctly.

(edit: it reads MUCH better the second time, in my opinion – Chang’s art, while gorgeous on many pages, detracted from some of the action scenes for me, but once beyond that, the book is definitely B+ worthy)

Grade: B

Green Lantern Corps #29

This issue kicks off the War of Light for the Green Lantern Corps title as we begin to meet the Zamorans – and as they go off recruiting.  Given that it kicks off the build-up to next years Big Event, it’s a little surprising as to just how little happens in the issue.

We see some fall-out from the attacks of the Quintet, but given that the Quintet was built up and taken down in two issues, it feels a little hollow.  Meanwhile, the scene with Mongul was tacky and the recruitment of Miri to the Zamorans wasn’t particularly well-handled, either.  Again and again, I can’t help but feel that they’re trying to do too much too quickly.  This title needs some room to breathe, and it isn’t getting it.

Perfectly average.  It doesn’t do a lot right, but it doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, either.

Grade: C

Vixen: Return of the Lion



Vixen: Return of the Lion is written by G. Willow Wilson, the scribe behind the current Air and the recent Cairo gets a mainstream gig here working on Vixen, one of the current line-up of the JLA.  In it, Vixen comes face-to-face with Intergang’s operations as she learns that they may have had a hand in the death of her family, all those years ago.

Very little happens in this issue – Vixen goes home, finds them terrorized by a gang, fights.  It’s a simple, but solid opener, and it’s helped along by the fact that the art, by Cafu, is absolutely fantastic.  The action shots, the character design, everything is extraordinarily well-handled. The story may be simple, but the art is fantastic.

Grade: B

The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Death Queen of California


This has already been reviewed fairly competently by others, but I had to throw my hat in the ring for a moment.  The art is fantastic – while the action scenes aren’t quite Aja good (what action scenes are?), it’s still stylistically excellent – and the story, while at least a smidge misogynistic, is faithful to noir conventions while remaining a bizarre occult martial arts masterpiece.  If you haven’t been reading any of the Immortal Iron Fist books, you’re doing it wrong.

And would it be inappropriate to ask why we haven’t had an Orson Randall card in VS yet?  

Grade: A

Foilball’s Review Roundup #54 – The Final Bits… of AWESOME!

Billy Batson and The Magic of Shazam! #2 (****1/2)

This is one of my favorite new books and I don’t care that I’m just about 20 years past the target demographic. This comic rocks. It’s better than 90% of the “adult” super heroes comics being published today and here’s why: 1) It’s super fun. 2) The art is Amazo-ing. I love the whole “unfinished sketch/storyboard/panels within panels thing Mike Kunkel has going on. It’s brilliant! 3) It’s fricking cheap! $2.25! Who cares if the paper isn’t glossy!?! It’s $2.25! 4) OH! And every issue has a section in the back that’s in code and you have to use “The Monster Society Code” to break it! FUN!!! 5) And for those interested in continuity, this book is a direct sequel to last year’s Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil mini series by Jeff Smith. I loved that book, but I have to admit, Mike Kunkel’s Shazam is miles better. No lie. Apparently, Kunkel used to do a little book called Hero Bear that I’d heard of but never read and consequently missed the boat on. Totally feel like an idiot. So, if you like fun and great art, give this book a try. If you don’t like it, then you, sir, have no taste.

Fables #75 (****)

Ah, this really hit the spot. Finally. This is the type of Fables war story I’ve been waiting for. Huge epic battles combined with intimate character moments. It took him 75 issues, but Willingham finally forced me to care about Prince Charming! And the art was also superb. Mark Buckingham grinds out another fabulous issue. What an underrated talent that guy is, right? This isn’t the final issue of the series, but it could easily have been so. My only complaint is that I kind of wish Boy Blue and Bigby had died. Boy Blue’s charm has been running thin as of late and I’m sick and tired of the “all-powerful” Bigby wolf. Like, the guy isn’t God, or Jesus, or Moses even. Get over yourself, you hairy monster.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 (****)

Sometimes, and I may get blasted for this, but sometimes I can’t take George Perez pencils. They just… bother me. His layouts are busy and a lot of his faces start repeating. BLAH. What I’m trying to say is that this time I enjoyed his art. It was still uber-busy, of course, but somehow Geoff Johns expert dialoguing mitigated the groan factor. As far as this being a Final Crisis tie-in, I don’t know. How does this story fit exactly? Isn’t Superman zooming through the Multiverse at this point in the FC plot? And what does the Legion have to do with anything? This mini, unlike Revelations, feels like it could’ve been just as well served without the FC banner. Could I be missing the obvious link to FC? Maybe. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Green Lantern Corps #28 (***1/2)

I really want to love this issue, and this arc in general, but the art is just SOOOOO pedestrian. Boring. It feels like fill-in art on some crappy mid-90’s Marvel book. I really like this Sixth Sense character though. I bet Johns and Tomasi are gonna get a ton of mileage out of him once “Blackest Night” starts.

Spawn #182 (****)

Again, WHY? Why are they changing directions? YET! AGAIN! When the story has been so good lately! ARRGH! Admittedly, this issue was a bit of a dip in quality, mostly due to the extraneous amounts of exposition… but… it was still better than 90% of the first 100 issues. At what point do I finally cut my losses and break up with Spawn? Is it time? Yes, I think it is.

Seventh Soldier Reviews…

Wonder Woman #24

Gail’s Wonder Woman run has been solid all-around – but after the excellent opening arc, the Circle, it lost a lot of momentum, as it was followed by two decent arcs that lacked the emotion or even excitement of the first.  This is the fourth arc of Simone’s run, a small two-issue arc titled ‘Celebrity’.  After Wonder Woman’s very public battle with The Devil, she’s experienced a surge of popularity, and so Hollywood comes calling.

The issue has its strengths – Gail has clearly found the voice of her cast.  The opening scene, between Nemesis and Hippolyta, is absolutely great, and it’s followed by more excellent character work with Diana, the Hollywood execs, and two super-intelligent gorillas.

Of course, the appearance of a villain with a grudge – in this case, the Simone-created Queen of Fables – throws a wrench into the works.  A solid issue, and I have high hopes for the remainder of the arc.

Grade: B+

Green Lantern Corps #28

Green Lantern Corps is a book I’ve only recently begun to pick up in single issues, and I consider it to be a pretty solid book.  Not spectacular, but not pretty good.  That said, I feel that this arc could have benefitted from an extra issue – and an improved threat.  I just don’t feel that five Sinestro Corps members is huge threat for the entire Corps, and I was kind of curious about the fact that it’s mentioned that there is no recording anywhere of that particular race of beings existing.

There are some cool aspects, and the last page of this issue definitely kicks GLC into pre-Blackest Night mode.  It’s a fun issue, but it’s nothing special – the arc as a whole is rather skippable.

Grade: B-

Patsy Walker: Hellcat #3

Patsy Walker: Hellcat opened strong with one of the funnest first issues in recent memory, but the second issue bordered on incomprehensible.  This issue is more in the vein of the first – fun, slightly spastic, cute, and hilarious.  This is the first comic I can remember laughing out loud during in quite some time, and I was laughing out loud more than once.  Part of that is thanks to artist David Lafuente and colorist John Rauch, who do an excellent job throughout at numerous visual gags, and with Patsy’s facial expressions.  Meanwhile, writer Kathryn Immonen goes nuts in this issue, and it leads to good times.

We move on in the story, as we have every issue of the mini thus far.  I’m still not sure WHY the story is happening, but it’s definitely a breath of fresh air, and one that gives Patsy a pretty unique voice in comics.

Grade: A-

Doktor Sleepless #8

Doktor Sleepless opened really strong, but quickly slowed to a snail’s pace.  While there were still interesting ideas in each issue, thanks largely to the back matter, not much was happening.  That said, read on – Doktor Sleepless has come back with a vengeance.  It’s funny, it’s a little scary, it’s insane.  It’s everything that we love Warren Ellis for.  I have a strong feeling that the series will read notably better in trade, but regardless, this was definitely a strong issue, and an excellent way for Ellis to end his first arc.

Grade: B+

Desiato Brings the DC Love

Green Lantern Corps #27 (****)

I continue to love this book, and I continue to love how absolutely sick and twisted the Sinestro Corps are in their torturing of the Green Lanterns. The raining eyeballs scene was just chilling and creepy and disgusting and vile and evil in the “we’re going to get you by going through your family” approach from Evil Bastards 101. But I really like the little character moments and asides, which in this issue takes the form of Guy and Kyle opening up an American style restaurant on Oa. And an issue like this really nails down why I prefer GLC to the solo book. The Corps is so much more than Hal Jordan. And I know he’s not the only character in the book, but he gets 99.9% of the face time. I like the rest of the Corps just as much as Hal, and I’m glad I have my team book to rely on.

Ambush Bug: Year None #2 (***1/2)

This book is basically a run of complete non sequitur that may or may not kinda sorta have a plot maybe. Giffen is not holding anything back in the plotting, as the book just skips from scene to scene without the need of internal continuity or transitions (there’s a pretty long manga style interlude in the middle of the book that is completely unexplained) in order to set up the situations the Bug is going to lampoon. And then the metrosexual Galactus shows up (“I’ve brought SWAAAATCHEEEEEEZZZZ!”) and I think my brain kinda…broke. But not in a bad way. I really wonder exactly how and where these ideas came from and what it took for Giffen to rip these ideas out of the ether and put them into the plot. This book is SO strange and SO bizarre and random and all over the place that it just sorts of bulldozes you with the weirdness to the point that you just let it take you in and go with the flow. It’s worth a read just to experience it, but I know this’ll turn people off.

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

I’m such a sucker for Brad Meltzer. And I don’t even give a damn about Geo Force. I kinda knew who he was from the perspective of his being a member of the Outsiders, and I think I knew he had some connection to Markovia. But one book made me care. And made me understand just who this guy was, what his motivations were and where he was coming from. It’s the exact same thing I dug about Identity Crisis. And we’ve got the same narrative style running through the book that makes everything breathe and move in a fluid fashion. And yeah, Meltzer’s got a thing for Deathstroke, but he writes him well. And that goes a long way to make me accept it. I love the narrative, I love the dialogue, I love that combined sense of danger and inevitable dread that frames the Geo Force story. It’s out there on its own little island with the sole purpose of telling a good story in 48 pages and getting the hell out of Dodge. And I think it succeeds marvelously at that goal. I’m also going to state for the record that I don’t care that it doesn’t sync up with Final Crisis continuity for one simple reason: IT’S NOT A FINAL CRISIS TIE IN BOOK. It’s not the Final Crisis cover style. It doesn’t mention Final Crisis anywhere. It wasn’t solicited as a Final Crisis book. All we get is some vague references to a grand battle that everyone assumes is from Final Crisis, but it’s never stated that way. There’s no mention of New Gods or Anti Life or any of that stuff. It’s a separate book from Final Crisis and should be treated as such. And it’s another winner. I really need to finish getting his JLA issues so I can sit down and read them.

Desiato’s Top Ten Monthlies!

From the perspective of purely focusing on ongoing titles, this list was surprisingly more difficult than I thought it would be. I read a lot of minis. So books like Atomic Robo or Comic Book Comics or the Inhumans stuff are not going to be on this list. I’ve done my best, and here’s what I came up with.

10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8

It’s enjoyable. It’s not necessarily deep in the way I think of other comics I enjoy, but a lot of that comes from it being adaptation material, and for whatever reason I have a lot of trouble thinking of these books as comics as such so much as they are simply vehicles to continue a story from a different medium. It doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of the series (to my knowledge), but it basically creates a bit of a mental block that stops it from transcending a certain sense of mediocrity of vision.

9. Captain Britain and MI:13

It’s at number nine because we’ve only got four issues and it’s been a Secret Invasion book first and foremost, so we’re going to have to see what this series is capable of when it’s put out on its own and not piggybacking off a big event. I love it so far, and I haven’t had a single complaint, and I’m hoping the quality continues when the book strikes out on its own.

8. Avengers: The Initiative

This would be The Order. Hell, this should be The Order. They should have let Fraction keep going and then he would have been forced to drop Punisher to make room for Invincible Iron Man and everything would have been groovy. Avengers: Initiative isn’t as good or interesting or risky as The Order was, but it’s still an excellent book, and it’s the only place you can really get that sense of the post Civil War status quo (and I LOVE the post Civil War status quo). It’s still good stuff and it’s still got some interesting new characters, and it’s an important piece of the Marvel Universe.

7. Terry Moore’s Echo

I’ve never read Strangers in Paradise, so I started reading Echo more off the name recognition of Terry Moore than actually knowing or liking his work. Good decision for me. It’s a very good book, and we’ve got a ton of different angles from which to approach it. It’s a government conspiracy book. It’s a science fiction book. It’s a relationship book. It’s a fugitive chase scene book. It’s all of these things rolled into one. And it’s very good.

6. Green Lantern Corps

Since I started reading the GL books, I’ve enjoyed Green Lantern Corps demonstrably more than its single minded ongoing brother. I love the Green Lantern Corps as a concept, which is part of the reason why the solo title can wear a little thin on me from time to time. I’m not really interested in the one man so much as the sea of thousands.

5. The Immortal Iron Fist

I’ve only gotten one issue of the post Brubaker Fraction run, and it’s still good, so the title is still up here on the list of things I look forward to every month. It’s got a solid cast of characters and a good foundation of the Iron Fist mythology to use, and the writers have done an excellent job of making Danny Rand someone to care about. It’s good chop socky fun, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

4. New Avengers

Marvel’s flagship. With Bendis all in the mix of the big events since Secret War, everything of importance has a tendency to be seen through the lens of the New Avengers. That’s obviously quite the case now with Secret Invasion, but this has been an excellent book for pretty much the entirety of its run.

3. Thor

Straczynski’s book is huge and sprawling and yet focused and insular at the same time. I just reviewed issue ten, and I put most of my thoughts for the series as a whole into that review, so you can just go read that to see just why I love this book as much as I do.

2. The Incredible Hercules

So this is certainly the little book that could. Remember the cynicism and incredulity that came with the announcement that Hercules was replacing Hulk in this title? The assumptions that Hercules can’t sustain an ongoing and it would be cancelled in three months or revert back to a Hulk book faster than the blink of an eye. But it persists. And the reason it persists (other than getting the sales bump from tying into Secret Invasion and launching in the aftermath of World War Hulk) is that it’s REALLY DAMNED GOOD. This is the type of book that could legitimately hold on to the readers it gains from the event bumps because it’s so charming and well written and FUNNY and light and breezy goodness. Hercules and Amadeus Cho working your standard odd couple angle may not sound like the stuff of kings, but it is.

1. Nova/Guardians of the Galaxy

Is it a cheat? Probably. Don’t care. You know the implicit trust everyone has in Geoff Johns and all of his books? That’s how I feel about Abnett and Lanning. These guys have been working with Marvel cosmic since its grand rebirth during Annihilation (they wrote the Nova lead in mini) and through the Nova ongoing, Conquest and Guardians of the Galaxy, they have steered the ship of the new look Marvel cosmic. And it’s awesome. And they’re obviously doing well enough that they’ve been rewarded with exclusive contracts and the next World War Hulk sized event with War of Kings. My favorite writers taking on Black Bolt and the Inhumans? And possibly finding a way to make Vulcan interesting? Awesome. But let’s leave that on the side for now. Since I started collecting monthlies, I have not gotten more enjoyment out of any single series than Nova. And Guardians of the Galaxy is certainly no slouch either. So I’m combining number one to basically cover the DnAverse.

Trade Review: Green Lantern Corps: Recharge TPB

So, as you know, I recently bought Green Lantern: Rebirth.  While I was there, I also picked up Green Lantern Corps: Recharge.  I had heard literally nothing about this book, while I had heard heaps of praise for GL: Rebirth, so after my experience with Rebirth, I was deeply regretting the purchase of both of them.  Maybe the Lanterns just aren’t for me?  Is it really nothing more than a circle-jerk to Hal Jordan?

Thankfully, Recharge sets a completely different tone as it focusses on a number of new and veteran Lanterns.  There are a number of interesting ideas in the book – as someone who was unfamiliar with the Green Lantern mythos previously, I still vastly enjoyed reading about Vega, the Spider-Guild, and the attitude towards Lanterns on Korugar.  The threat – black holes popping up suddenly in a variety of sectors of space, was actually a pretty fun as a sci-fi space opera gimmick, and the ultimate explanation made for a decent climax.

Not all is great, though.  The ‘final battle’ of the book was every bit as half-assed as that of Rebirth, with a fight that has more to do with can-do spirit than any sort of sense.  Perhaps it’s just me, but I always find that, if the answer in a final battle is to just keep pouring energy into something, it rarely comes across as exciting to the reader, and this is no exception.

While Recharge lacked the ‘world-building’ exercises of Rebirth, it does an excellent job of introducing a number of new Lanterns – most notably, Soranik Natu, a Lantern from Sinestro’s home planet of Korugar; and the partnership of Isamot Kol and Vath Sarn, two rookie Lanterns from opposite sides of the Rann/Thanagar conflicts.  The book is a far better book for character-building, and the fact that Gibbons and Johns don’t seem to be sucking up to anybody makes it by far the superior read over it’s companion piece.

I Refuse to Come Up with a Quirky Title for These Mini Reviews

Eternals #1 (***1/2)

It should probably be noted that this is a two star book for anyone that either didn’t read or didn’t like Neil Gaiman and JRJR’s Eternals mini from two years back. For all intents and purposes, this is Eternals #8. It starts off right where Gaiman ended, and the exposition to bring you back up to speed is a little clunky. That didn’t so much bother me, because I had read the Eternals hardcover about five minutes prior to picking this issue up to read. We follow the same story set up before, with the two factions of Eternals racing to wake up as many of the sleeping eternals as possible to prepare for the coming battle with “the horde.” As someone who really enjoyed the Gaiman series, I was glad to see that this picked it right up. Not exactly sure on the timeline, considering the way some of the eternals are tied up with Incredible Hercules from issues 116 on, but it’s not so hazy as to be bothersome. The issue that comes up is the fact that it’s written in a somewhat pedestrian way. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing about it that sticks out. The Knaufs know where they need to go and they hit all the story beats necessary, but there’s nothing there that transcends the way Gaiman’s book did. It’s good for what it is, but it could (and should) be greater. Oh, and the art’s pretty cool (If you folks didn’t notice, I’m a bit of a writer guy)

Green Lantern Corps #25 (*****)

Awesome. I like that no matter what I feel about DC, I’ve got Green Lantern Corps (and once the Secret Origins arc ends, Green Lantern). I enjoy the internal logic of this book. It makes sense that Mongul would be a yellow lantern. And furthermore, it also makes sense that Mongul would realize that he could hijack the Black Mercy to further his own nefarious deeds. But what I didn’t expect was getting a larger background on the Black Mercy itself, given through telepathy by “Mother Mercy.” And it’s cool. It’s a different way to think of the Black Mercy as a plant that is determined to bring peace to the weak and diseased. It’s an interesting angle to take. I know a lot of people rightfully think of the main Green Lantern book as the, well, main Green Lantern book, but I think I prefer the cast of GLC. Sodam Yat has a lot of potential, and you’ve got the added flavor of the old stand bys that get more exposure than Hal’s book. This is great. Ringquest has been an awesome arc, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? (****)

I am amazed by the quality of these Secret Invasion tie-ins. We’ve got five mini stories, only one of which seems pretty underwhelming, which may or may not be because I have not read the Agents of Atlas mini series. The Captain Marvel story forges a bridge between the Captain Marvel miniseries and Secret Invasion/Thunderbolts. Agent Brand lets us in on what’s been going on with SWORD since their ship blew up. Wonder Man and Beast continue to delve into the story potential of the Savage Land. Marvel Boy tries to form an alliance with the rest of the inhabitants of The Cube. And the Agents of Atlas…um…do stuff. So obviously, the Agents of Atlas story is completely out of left field. They haven’t been connected to anything involving the Skrulls thus far, and it all seems tacked on. The other stories are quite enjoyable, giving us a little taste of some of the other things that aren’t going on in the main Secret Invasion book. It’s good background, and while I know there are a lot of complaints about important story points taking place outside of the main 8 issue mini, but this is a crossover, and this is the nature of crossovers. I think if they had cut the Agents of Atlas story and maybe knocked this down to a $3 book, it may have been a four and a half star book, but it was worth my money either way.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #2 (****1/2)


And the awesomeness of Secret Invasion titles continues. I dig the hell out of the themes we get to see played out in this book. The inclusion of Avalon as a focal point through this fight to protect the power of the world’s magic from the invading Skrull armies opens up the door to allow Paul Cornell to flex some fascinating story muscles. This is not simply the story of some aliens invading a planet. Sure, that’s what they’re doing at the basest level, but it morphs into a story about the fight between technology and mysticism. Which can bring in all sorts of other questions of religion and spirituality and all kinds of other things. We get a taste of that here, and I love the sense of wonder that Leonard Kirk puts into the scenes that take place in Avalon. In other locations, the Black Knight consistently entertains, and I have NO CLUE what is going on with the woman from the first issue and her somewhat gruesome power. But by far the best part of this book is the moment at the beginning when going over the death of Captain Britain. That is a fantastic moment right there, and Kirk absolutely nails the facial expressions. This is wonderful comic work.