Review – Iron Man: Believe

Iron Man: Believe is a breezy, confident relaunch for the Armored Avenger, and while it lacks the depth of some of Kieron Gillen’s best work, its casual inventiveness should charm and thrill a lot of readers.


In a lot of ways, Iron Man was kind of a B-lister even 10 years ago. Sure, he was on the Avengers regularly, but at that point, basically everyone was on the Avengers. Until the mid-2000s, the only major storyline he really had outside of the Avengers franchise was Demon in a Bottle, a melodramatic but largely excellent story that defined the character for years to come. The dual success of his movie – particularly Robert Downey Jr.’s incredibly charismatic performance as Tony – and Civil War, a story that put him at odds with Captain America and gave him a lot of intensely emotional material, has made him one of Marvel’s most marketable heroes.

His status as an A-list hero is fitting given the vast changes to the role technology places in our everyday lives, and Matt Fraction’s largely excellent run from 2008-2012 helped cement his status as a modern pop icon. British writer Kieron Gillen, fresh off of reinventing Loki and pushing the X-Men into war with the Avengers, was an interesting choice to relaunch the character for the Marvel Now initiative, and Iron Man: Believe is the first volume of Tony’s relaunched adventures. So, how does Gillen fare?

Written by Gillen and penciled by Greg Land, Iron Man: Believe is probably one of the least dramatic re-launches of the Marvel Now initiative – but just because Tony is still fundamentally the same man dealing with essentially the same conflicts, don’t mistake this for business as usual. Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man is an unusually thoughtful adventure, and it continues the hero’s run of strong, character-focused stories that push Tony forward without trying to break the formula of who he is and why he works.

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Review: Free Comic Book Day 2010


Well, I could pretty much copy my intro from last year’s FCBD coverage. I did pretty much the same thing. I didn’t go to the comic book store, instead spending my time with boxing, beer, and babes. I got my free comics early, so I can still review these things.

Continue reading

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: Invincible Iron Man #16


Writing: “World’s Most Wanted” Part 9. This issue is all about that Tony/Pepper/Whitney confrontation that started last issue. The Black Widow and Maria Hill get a bit of screen-time too, with Maria dealing with the trauma inflicted in an earlier issue and Natasha trying to figure out what’s going on. Now, since this is Part 9, you may get the feeling that this story is dragging on. I can assure you, it’s not. What Fraction has done with this arc, and it’ll be more apparent in its conclusion, is present three completely defined characters. We’re deeply invested in the future of Tony, Maria, and Pepper. Because of that, this issue has quite an emotional punch.

Art: Salvador Larroca is a lot like Greg Land, isn’t he? They both have a cold, computerized look. They both have a few celebrity faces in their character-designs. And they both render some stiff-but-pretty images. At least Larroca’s figures tend to be more anatomically correct. So, if you’re a fan of Greg Land, you’ll love Salvador Larroca. If you’re not, I don’t think Larroca’s art will ruin the book for you.

Final Word: I was amazed at how emotionally attached I was to this issue. There’s humor here, and quite a bit of tragedy. Fraction also managed to showcase another one of Iron Man’s classic villains. We might be a bit too deep in the story now, but you should definitely check out “World’s Most Wanted” in trade. It’s a story worth reading.

Grade: B+

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Invincible Iron Man #15

Writing: This is part 8 of “World’s Most Wanted,” and it continues to chug along nicely. Though that “part 8” can be daunting to new readers, this comic is still completely accessible. If you don’t know, Norman Osborn desires the juicy contents of Tony’s brain. No, he’s not Hannibal Lecter; it’s just that Tony’s brain holds sensitive information that could lead to the destruction of all his superhero pals. Tony’s solution? He’s slowly deleting his brain. Since we’re past the halfway mark, Tony is really struggling now, tugging at the heartstrings of everyone, including the fan that chanted for Iron Man’s death during Marvel’s Civil War.

Art: Larroca’s strongsuit is drawing all of the machinery that one usually sees in an Iron Man comic, but this issue doesn’t really have a single bit of that. Fraction continues to focus on the characters, and on this “Flowers for Algernon” reminiscent tearjerker, that means plenty of tender moments, that, frankly, Larroca just can’t handle. However, to my surprise, Larroca’s art didn’t bother me that much here. A backhanded compliment, for sure, but my point is, I hope Larroca can keep up the good work.

Final Word: Fraction continues to highlight the women of Iron Man’s life, while poor Tony is portrayed sympathetically. Could someone like Maria Hill or Pepper Potts ever take the place of Tony Stark? I don’t think Marvel or the fans would allow it, but Fraction is proving that both women are strong, heroic characters, worthy of putting on the suit. Fraction is telling a fantastic story here that’s completely accessible to fans, old and new.

Grade: B

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Invincible Iron Man #14

And we’re past the “World’s Most Wanted” halfway mark. That’s right. This arc is going to be twelve issues long. I can still remember it all, though, and that’s always a good thing. Fraction’s opening issues were used to tell a self-contained jumping-on point for new readers, riding high from the movie’s fumes. Since then, Fraction’s Iron Man has been knee-deep in Dark Reign, with a few continuity references as well. Thankfully, thanks to the talent of Matt Fraction, I don’t think new readers will be lost, and it’s one of the few Dark Reign tie-ins that is above-average.

In this arc alone, Fraction has turned Invincible Iron Man into an ensemble book, taking Maria Hill and Pepper Potts along for the ride. I’ve never really cared too much about those women before, but you can bet I do now. Pepper has become a superhero, and a true one at that, since the only thing she does is help people. Her armor doesn’t even have weapons. And Maria is practically a female James Bond.

So, each issue, we see the slow progression of the three characters’ journeys. Tony meets up with an old Russian pal, Maria finds one of the few friends she has left, and Pepper? Well, Pepper always does the right thing, even if it is a bit naive. The pacing runs along nicely, and we never feel too overcome with exposition. As for Larroca’s art, I’ve complained about it enough. I will say, though, that the one part of this book’s look that bothered me had nothing to do with Larroca. The lettering in this issue is bad. All of the captions, for all three characters, are too uniformed, and when you throw in a narrator as well? It’s just a complete mess.

Thanks to three main characters, we’re chugging along a bit slowly, but almost every issue features new players, laughs, and plenty of fun. This issue is no different. The last page is a nice cliffhanger, even though it does feel a bit forced.

Grade: B

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Invincible Iron Man #13

Invincible Iron Man #13


I love Matt Fraction’s writing. I don’t love Salvador Larroca’s art. I just don’t like his style. Don’t get me wrong, he renders machines wonderfully. If this series was about the suits, Larroca would be fine, but Fraction is writing about the characters. This story is about Tony, Pepper, and Maria. Each of those characters has their own distinct voice, and it’s a lot of fun to read about their adventures. But just to be clear, no matter how good Fraction’s writing is, Larroca’s art hinders this book.

On the bright side, I still love this arc. We’re only about halfway through, which makes this one of the longest Iron Man stories, but it will probably be one of the best. Besides handling the characters brilliantly, Fraction’s also throwing every villain he can at poor Tony. No matter how great or obscure, just about everyone who’s tackled the “Golden Avenger” is making an appearance. Some of the more obscure villains are getting modern updates, like the Controller. It’s always nice to see lame villains cause fear.

Invincible Iron Man is one of the few books right now that’s using the new “Dark Reign” status quo effectively. The fact that Fraction is able to pull off a great Iron Man story while servicing Marvel’s current event is impressive. Don’t let the Larroca art repel you, stay for the great characters.

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Invincible Iron Man #10

Invincible Iron Man #10 (Variant Cover Edition)


Invincible Iron Man is Fraction’s answer to Brubaker’s Captain America. I finally realized that while gleefully turning the pages of this comic. Both writers reinvigorated old characters. Captain America’s personality hasn’t changed much in sixty years and was deemed boring by some. Iron Man was actually called a villain by more than a few fans after Civil War. But now, both titular characters have gained some respect.

What’s refreshing is that these issues are so great without the need for gimmicks or other flashy crap of that sort. Sure, some people disliked Steve’s demise, but at least it was done right. The new Cap was established well and is even more interesting than Rogers to some. Just like with Invincible Iron Man, this series has been hijacked by Dark Reign, but the story seems like a natural fit for the series. Every month I expect great quality from both books, I am rarely disappointed.

Top Ten Movies of 2008

“But it isn’t related to comics?” I know that. It does have two comic book movies on it though, does that count? I love comics, but I also love movies. I saw quite a few of them this year and to be honest, it’s fun to voice my top ten on here. It doesn’t fit well on this site, but we do have a movie review section and a top ten fill in the blank section. So without further blabbing, I give you my top ten!

10. Iron Man

Finally, we get a superhero movie where the action and special effects are one of the worst things about it. In fact, that last action scene was one of Iron Man’s biggest flaws. Jon Favreau is not an action director. However, the big fight was better than most in the superhero genre because we were actually invested in these characters. Terrific acting, witty, and thoroughly entertaining, Iron Man is the perfect comic book flick. Oh, and Robert Downey Jr. is the man.

9. Milk

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected public office in California. That sounds like the typical “socially aware” Hollywood film, right? But this is a great movie. Yes, Penn is magnificent as always. He creates a full portrait of Milk, flaws and all. It’s to be expected that Harvey is portrayed as a trailblazing hero, but we also get lines like “I have had four relationships in my life. And three of them tried to commit suicide, and it’s my fault…” Strong support from Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hersh and Gus Van Sant’s direction help make this an excellent film. And yes, this movie is powerful and important. Same-sex marriage is legal in only two states. That’s ridiculous, but this movie doesn’t try to convert you. It only tries to make you aware.

8. Doubt

“Sure the acting is great, but it’s not a good story.” That’s the usual complaint I hear about this movie. It’s hard to put this film’s “story” into words. As Father Flynn’s opening sermon informs us, it’s about doubt. When we view sessions of conversation, we don’t believe we’ve actually seen a story, but we have. Doubt is based on a play and perhaps it should’ve stayed on Broadway, but how else could we have seen the talent of Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis? There’s a reason every single one of them (Including Davis who only had a fifteen-minute scene at most) has been nominated for an Academy Award. What’s most important is that in every single scene, this movie gets us thinking. That is a rare thing.

7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

It’s too bad this movie isn’t on many top ten lists, but I understand it. Putting this above films like Milk and Doubt seems weird, but it is appropriate. This is the funniest movie of the year. There’s not much more to be said about it. Comedy is the hardest thing to explain because it’s all about personal taste. All I can say is that this movie makes me really happy. Mila Kunis is adorable. Russell Brand is hilarious. Oh and who doesn’t love a Dracula musical with puppets?

6. In Bruges

A lot of people missed In Bruges because it was released around January. Nothing good ever comes out in January. This however, was awesome! Who knew Colin Farrell could act and be funny?! Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as always and an old favorite character actor of mine, Brendan Gleeson, proves to everyone else how great he is. In Bruges is the best hit man buddy picture since Pulp Fiction. It’s funny and it also features a borderline racist midget in a school uniform. This is a great flick!

5. Revolutionary Road

This is the horribly sad conclusion to Jack and Rose’s story. The traditional romantic couple trapped in a suburban nightmare. Revolutionary Road is a more modern take on the “Born in the wrong time” tragedy. Frank and April are caged within their 50’s Pleasantville surroundings aching to be free of each other. The white male is king and women are bound to the kitchen. Revolutionary Road captures these elements in painfully tragic detail. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have grown so much since Titanic and it’s perfect that this was the next project they did together. Sam Mendes has crafted a brilliant movie that is hard to watch, but is also important and unforgettable.

4. Wall-E

Honestly, there are times when I think this is the best film of 2008. Wall-E is the best sci-fi movie in years. It may also be the best romantic film in years. Did I mention these are robots in love? Did I mention that this is a kid’s movie with very little dialogue within the first thirty minutes? This film tries to make us aware of our increasingly corporate, corpulent, sedentary, and wasteful society. Wall-E even makes me love an old throwaway musical like Hello Dolly. How the heck did this movie achieve all of this? Because Wall-E is endearing, it’s one of the riskiest and most lovable films of the decade. Wall-E is very special.

3. The Dark Knight

You’ve heard and know everything that’s positive about this film. There is no reason for me to repeat it. I will however, mention the fundamental flaw in Nolan’s Batman. Batman is the least interesting character in the movie! There’s a reason why Bale never gets any attention for this role. Oh sure, we know he’s there, but that’s all he is, there. It’s tragic because Bale is one of the hardest working actors today. He puts everything into a role. If Bale comes back, I hope whoever’s behind the camera uses his full potential. As for Heath, I really will miss that man.

2. Frost/Nixon

Maybe it’s my love of politics, but I found this to be an incredibly gripping film. This isn’t a biopic. It’s not some sappy nonsense about Nixon’s presidency. It’s about two men involved in a verbal duel. What I said about Christian Bale goes double for Michael Sheen. Sheen was actually given a great role and he absolutely nailed it and still, he was denied recognition, shadowed by his counterpart much like Frost himself was. But Langella was as good as you’ve heard. Howard’s best captures an important historical moment that will leave your mind buzzing. Frost/Nixon deserves the little bald guy this year because sadly, my number one, much like the character it’s about, is left outside the spotlight.

1. The Wrestler

I could go on and on, but I’ll try to keep it short. This is the best performance of Rourke’s life and the year. It’s partly personal for him, which adds to the wonder. This movie isn’t depressing.  It’s about performers in their winter years. It’s about mistakes and how it’s never too late to make things better. It’s about pursuing your calling at the expense of your health and loved ones. It glorifies wrestling in its realism. Sure it’s fixed, but that fall wasn’t. It’s about Randy “The Ram”. No, he doesn’t go the distance crying “Adrian!” But we do love “The Ram” through all his mistakes and flaws. And whether Rourke wins the Oscar or not, I’ll be cheering for him.

So there it is. Agree? Disagree? Please let me know. I’m not sure if I can say whether 2008 was a great year for movies or not. I do know that I liked most of the ones I saw. I hope that can continue in 2009. Anyway, thanks for reading even though it wasn’t about comics. Who knows, I may have a top ten comics list in me somewhere.

-Bruce Castle

Review: Invincible Iron Man #9

Invincible Iron Man #9


Fraction continues to write the hell out of this book. It’s freaking fantastic! He’s bringing the Golden Avenger back in a big way. If you liked the movie, if you thought he was a dick during Civil War, or even if you love good comics, you should read this book. But I think you already knew all that. I want to talk about what you might not know in this issue.

Like all Dark Reign books, Norman Osborn, the new Skrull (In the sense that I will have to type his name an annoyingly large amount of times in the coming months), is the villain here. What’s funny is that this issue makes Dark Reign look far more interesting than Bendis’ comics have. Osborn is so terrifying. We are left chilled to the bone because someone that insane has so much power. Fraction achieves this in one damn page. Part of that credit goes to Larroca, but I’ll talk about him later.

This comic is special. I love the fact that the H.A.M.M.E.R. uniforms are green and purple. I love how Tony tricks Maria. I love the way Norman fights Tony. I love that the only combat we get in an Iron Man book is from Maria Hill. I love that for some reason we get a free five-page preview of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (It has beautiful Skottie Young art). I love this series.

Ok, about Larroca’s art. I’ve consistently complained about his work in this book. However, I’ve finally warmed up to him. I recently read an interview from Matt Fraction about what he thought of the photo-reference technique. He doesn’t like it any more than I do. It’s refreshing to hear a writer actually criticize his artist, right? Anyway, I always knew that I dug Larroca’s sci-fi look. His futuristic buildings, his armors and his gadgets all look fantastic. But Fraction demands more in his Iron Man. I still don’t like Larroca’s faces, but just about everything else he does is fine. I finally realized that this issue. He makes Tony’s whacky brain gizmo look cool. His fight scene was dynamic and engaging. So Mr. Larroca, I’m cool with you now. Although, did you make a continuity error in this issue? Maria clearly does not have handcuffs on the bottom-right panel of page 15. However, she does have them on page 21. What’s up?

Fraction handles these characters perfectly. He provides a selfless and heroic, albeit flawed, Tony Stark. Fraction has proved he is a master of mainstream comics with little action. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Bruce Castle Presents: Matt Fraction Books Unite!

Large Cover of Uncanny X-Men #505 (Villain Variant)

Uncanny X-Men #505 (***)

Do we really want this man writing the X-Men?

I think it’s official, Brubaker has left the building. Did Fracker break up? I don’t know, but that picture is awesome. And Tony was right. Anyway, I feel sorry for this book. It’s become Marvel’s answer to JLA. One of the terrible things about the current JLA is that the book has to keep servicing other books. It spends too much time talking about events that it can’t tell its own stories. That’s exactly what Uncanny X-Men is. This issue spends so much time talking about X-Force, and M-Day, and Astonishing X-Men and now Dark Reign. Fraction only gets a few pages to tell the stories he wants to tell, but it has little impact. It barely makes sense! The Dodson’s continue to impress and the fact that this book isn’t terrible demonstrates Fraction’s ability as a writer. Please Marvel, give the man some freedom!

Large Cover of The Invincible Iron Man #8 (Villain Variant)

Invincible Iron Man #8 (****1/2)

Everything about this book is perfect. Except the art of course, Larroca can’t draw people. I know I know it’s Iron Man, but this book is about the characters. It’s not about the iron. Although the few panels involving technology do look sweet. It’s still amazing how Fraction manages to write this cast so well. Tony, Maria and Pepper are so lovable even though they’re definitely human and flawed. You know what else is in this issue? Comedy! I’ve said a thousand times but I’ll say it again, if you liked the movie you’ll enjoy this. Last thing, Osborn is the new Skrull. It’s only been two weeks and already I realize how much I’ll type the name Osborn in the coming months.


Thor: God-Sized #1 (****)

The writing is great. The art is great. There are four art teams working on this thing and yet they’re all pretty cool. I enjoyed the part three artist the most. It was very old-school, cartoony, and fun. So this is a quality issue, but I’m sure a lot of you will ask, “What’s the point?” It’s a tribute. Along with the 38 new pages, you’ll also receive a reprint of the classic Thor #362. Walt Simonson had one of the best runs on Thor ever. It easily rivals the Lee/Kirby era. But you know what? You can’t even get a trade that contains Thor #362. They were reprinted in trades but they’re sold out now. That’s why this issue is important. If you haven’t read Walt’s run, it’ll let you know what you’re missing. If you have read his run, you’ll quickly be reminded how great it was. The reason why I loved part three so much was because you got to see all the classic Simonson costumes, Balder in his armor, Thor with his beard, and so on. Of course this issue isn’t all about Simonson, it’s also about Skurge. He was a tragic and important part of the Thor mythos. I highly recommend this issue.

Bruce Castle Presents: Marvel’s Multiverse!

Ultimatum #1 (of 5)

Ultimatum #1 (***1/2)

Jeph Loeb’s name is synonymous with good art. David Finch handles the art chores here and it’s nice to see him on interiors again. It’s even sweeter to see Finch return to the Ultimate U. But the art isn’t ever the problem in a Loeb comic is it? Well, maybe in that Liefield one. What? Liefield sucks. Anyway, I actually enjoyed this. It’s the set-up issue and that requires a big bang and it has to leave me wanting more. Ultimatum #1 accomplishes both of those. The characters are handled well, better than you might expect, and there are even a few deaths, maybe? It’s that maybe that bugs me a little. See, when I first read this issue I enjoyed it quite a bit, but after flipping through to write this review I had a few questions. That’s not a bad thing since this is the first issue, but one of these days I want to read a Loeb comic where everything is just spelled out. Oh well, at least this isn’t a murder mystery.

Invincible Iron Man #7

Invincible Iron Man #7 (****1/2)

Ah, the fun before the storm. Matt Fraction mentioned something about the next arc being a “Born Again” story. So naturally, this is the entertaining breather between arcs. But Fraction makes it more than that and proves once again why this book is so awesome. Spidey and Iron Man team up again! But this is a post-Civil War team up, are you interested yet? How about the fact that this issue references an old New Avengers story? With humorous results of course. You might also be pleased because Fraction doesn’t treat Tony like some kind of God like other titles do to their heroes. Iron Man is a flawed character. Anyway, the point is, though this appears to be an overdone concept, this issue is unique. Fraction continues to write the hell out of this book. 

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Laughing Corpse #2 (of 5)

Anita Blake: The Laughing Corpse #2 (****)

It’s a little hard reviewing an adaptation of a book, especially since I haven’t read the book. I can say that if you have ever thought about reading Hamilton’s series, but either you don’t want to deal with all those words or you want to look at pretty pictures, you should give this book a shot. It’s an interesting take on the whole monster world (Vampires, zombies, ghouls, etc.) and it seems to be one of the more “girly” books that I read. Anita Blake is a badass chick that is actually a really interesting character. I’m not a Buffy fan so it’s possible that some of this stuff might feel familiar. On the other hand, if you like Buffy, it’s very possible that you’ll enjoy this. Lastly, I’ve always been a fan of Ron Lim’s art and he provides some fantastic visuals.

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: Screw Technology!

Invincible Iron Man #6

Invincible Iron Man #6 (****1/2)

After only the first arc, Fraction has proved himself to be a fantastic Iron Man writer. He has a great feel for the character. He shows just the right amount of love without detracting from a major part of Tony’s character, he is flawed. I’ve complained about Larroca’s art several times, but he does a fine job here. Just like last issue, there is a lot of fighting going on and so Larroca’s weaknesses are not as easily seen. This was a strong opening arc, so strong in fact that Fraction has already helped out with the Iron Man 2 film. If you’ve ever thought about reading Iron Man, now is the time. It looks like we’re in for a few fun issues and then Fraction supposedly has a big “Born Again” arc for us. I can’t wait.

Action Comics #870

Action Comics #870 (*****)

I think we all knew how this was going to end. The covers gave it away, the little moments with Ma and Pa gave it away and even the media gave it away, but that doesn’t detract from the arc’s power. This Brainiac story has been fantastic and this was a hell of an issue. You will experience such a wide range of emotions within these pages. I believe I’ve praised his work in every review but I’ll do it again, Gary Frank’s art is amazing. He hits all the right notes whether the scene calls for humor, fear, or sadness. Johns’ writing is fantastic as well, but he seems to get more love than Frank. I think one of my favorite things about this issue is what causes the death. Brainiac’s motivations are so human and primitive. Gary Frank won’t be on this new Krypton arc but I hope he comes back. With this and All-Star Superman, 2008 is a great year for Superman.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #55 – A Secret Invasion in September

The New Avengers # 45 (****): The art plus explanations (can’t really say answers as I do not believe anyone was even asking these questions) makes this a solid read. Yes, “wasting” a page on the Queen vomiting in the toilet may have turned off some people, but I loved it. Vulnerability is always cool. I mean, this panel did wonders for Tony Stark.

The Mighty Avengers #18 (***): More Secret Warriors!!! I feel like I’ve read this story already, yeah? And the whole V for Vendetta/Alias/Every spy fiction fake torture sequence EV-VAR! thing was more than a lot a bit unnecessary in my not so humble opinion. Unlike the clone Reed Richards torture scene, I don’t think the scene in this book fooled anybody. Truth.

Avengers: The Initiative #17 (**): WOO! Wait, what am I so excited about? This was awful. The Queen doing her best “twirling moustache” routine at the end had me gagging on my own tongue, and then there’s that tossed in Star Wars reference… to one of the BAD ones? BLAH.

Black Panther #41 (*****): EPIC. And final. I’m glad we ended our relationship on a high note, T’challa. I would’ve been truly sad if your last arc had been balls. Although, I do wish the payoff for this arc had been that Storm was a Skrull the whole time. That may have saved the book for me.

Deadpool #2 (****1/2): Even better than the first issue, even with the predictable ending. BOOYA! Good Deadpool writing is back, baby!

Guardians of the Galaxy #5 (****1/2): GARSH! When did this comic get so good? Out of all the anti-Skrull plans, I think I like Drax’s the best: ‘Kill ‘em all.’ Perfection. OH, NOES! Cosmo… a Skrull agent? Say it ain’t so, dawg!

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33 (***): ‘War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? ALL IN, DUDERS! I even like the Transformers ending. DING. This first story was mediocre, but I’m looking forward to this new direction.

Ms. Marvel #31 (****1/2): Technically no longer tying in with Secret Invasion, instead dealing with the post-SI aftermath, the “Dark Reign”, whatever that is. Man, where has Reed been hiding this story? It was so good! Character building moments! Good times! No fight scenes! So, questions: Why does Carol want to kill Norman Osborn? Could he be responsible for this “Dark Reign”? Is it related to what’s happening over in Thunderbolts right now?

Nova # 17 (*): UGH, this was the opposite of awesome. DnA are really letting me down on this title. To be frank, it sucks. It’s boring. I’m bored. Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. is boring. Quasar is boring. Dick Ryder’s family life is boring. Darkhawk is boring. BORED FOREVER!!! The most interesting stuff in this issue deals with the Super Skrull fake betrayal, but that’s over by the first couple of pages and then the book quickly reverts back to its natural state: boringtowne.

She-Hulk #33 (****): What a difference the art makes. Same writer. Same shitty story. But somehow the fabulous art makes everything more interesting.

Secret Invasion: Inhumans #2 (****1/2): finally got my hands on this and I was not disappointed. Tom Raney rules.

Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (***): Better than the first issue? I don’t know. It was still UGH-inducing.

Secret Invasion: Thor #2 (**): UGH. This book is FAIL. Why even make this a mini? There were absolutely ZERO interesting plot turns before Thor shows up at the end. Just skip the two filler issues and make this a one-shot where Thor beats the shit out of a legion of Skrulls. DING.

Skrulls vs. Power Pack #3 (-): This books makes me cry.

Thunderbolts #124 (*****): …and THIS book makes me giggle like your little sister on weed. WHEEE!!!!