Review: Demon Knights #4


Demon Knights #4, cover by Choi

Paul Cornell’s Demon Knights has all the elements of a comic book I’ll love.  It uses a whole host of new and lesser-known characters from some of the most fascinating parts of DC’s vast toybox.  It tells stories we haven’t seen in settings we rarely visit.  It has Shining Knight in it.  And yet, I’ve felt like I was being held at arm’s length, like Cornell wanted me to enjoy the book but not get too close.  After a very solid first issue, he followed it with two slow-moving issues that seemed to be rearranging pieces on the board, rather than telling a story.  Demon Knights #4 is a slight improvement over the last two, but it seems to me that Paul Cornell isn’t just writing for the trade; he’s writing, to steal a phrase from fellow contributor brucecastle, for the omnibus.  And when done well, as he does here, that can be very enjoyable indeed.

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Top Ten September 2009 Marvel Covers

10. Illustrated by Steve Epting

Ah! A man on fire is running at me!

9. Illustrated by Yanick Paquette

“My teeth are whiter!”

“No, my teeth are whiter!”

8. Illustrated by Stuart Immonen
What a striking cover! Is Luke Cage dying?

7. Illustrated by Mike Choi

This cover will stand out on the shelves. Why is X-23 in pieces?

6. Illustrated by Rafael Alberquerque

Mrs. Robinson, are you showing me your blue snatch?

5. Illustrated by Alan Davis

What is Reed Richards doing with the Infinity Gauntlet? And while Galactus is asleep? Eww…

4. Illustrated by Dave Johnson

Unique, striking, and well-drawn.

3. Illustrated by David Lafuente

So, this one time I got high while watching Spider-Man…

2. Illustrated by Skottie Young

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Skottie Young is a comedy genius.

1. Illustrated by Chris Bachalo

Poor Venom. It’s unique, funny, and wonderfully rendered. It reminds me of the end of “Grindhouse: Death Proof.” This is the end of the series. Will it end with Venom getting his ass thoroughly kicked? I kind of want to know. What a brilliant cover.

I ranked the DC covers last month. So, this was a nice change of pace. Who knows? I might even do the DC covers this month too.

That was my list. What’s yours?

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Dark Avengers #2

Dark Avengers #2 (Choi Variant Cover Edition)


Because I review comics, every now and then I check out what others have to say about the books I read, especially if they have the ability to peruse them before I do. A sterling derivation for this is Line of Fire Reviews. A reviewer there I greatly admire, Paul Brian McCoy, has pointed out some devastating errors in this comic and I have to say, he’s right. You can find his review here. Because Mr. McCoy already did a great job criticizing this comic, using tools like research and logic (Tools I’m not fond of utilizing), I’ll take a moment to present an abridged version of my review. It stinks.

This comic is written for a 12-year-old, which is fine, as long as it has a Marvel Adventures tag somewhere on the cover. This, however, does not. In fact, it’s trying to be the edgy, macabre, and wickedly humorous  romp that Ellis’ Thunderbolts was. I’m faced with a conundrum. I adore Deodato’s art and fancy half of the Dark Avengers’ roster. Conversely, this comic contains repetitive nonsense like  “Gagagoo! Gadapoo!”, time paradoxes, and the De-evolution of Morgana Le Fay, she’s an enraged scorned crazy-girl! Women, can’t live with ’em, eh Bendis? So, do I continue reading this book with my brain turned off, or do I face the sad truth that Ellis’ Thunderbolts are long gone? I think it’s time to leave the party before the drunk shoots somebody.

Bruce Castle Quickies 5

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


Immortal Iron Fist #16– This is the last Fraction/Brubaker issue, or Fraction issue I guess, Brubaker left a few issues ago. Anyway, this has been a great run. It turned a character that a lot of people didn’t care about into something they could love. This issue doesn’t really break the trend. You get some nice moments in Danny’s life including training kids, his business life, and you even get some Misty Knight moments too. What threw me, was the ominous downer ending. I was kind of expecting more of a finale instead of a set-up for the next Iron Fist run. Oh well, Fraction was being nice to Duane Swierczynski I guess. Anyway, I’m going to miss Fraction on this book. 3 stars


Ultimate Spider-Man #123– Well, this is the first issue of the new venom arc. It definitely has that first issue feel.  Remember that Ultimate Spider-Man video game that was supposed to actually have continuity in the Ultimate universe but then never did? Well, they finally kind of tie that in. There’s nothing spectacular here, mostly just setup. The last page did make me laugh though. 3 stars


Thor Reign of Blood #1– I don’t think a lot of people like these one-shots at much as I do, but I love them! I so wish that Fraction was writing the regular Thor series. It seems like Fraction wants to. Oh well, maybe someday. At least I still have another one-shot and the Secret Invasion tie-in to look forward too. 4 stars


Young Avengers Presents Hawkeye #6– Who else but me could squeeze three Fraction comics into one review? Yes, I haven’t read the rest of this series and bought this issue only because Fraction was on it. And Alan Davis, he is a great artist and he shines here as well. As mentioned earlier, I haven’t read every Young Avengers story, but this was really good. Like, really, really good, it almost makes me want to read the whole series….Nah. 3 and a half stars


Uncanny X-Men #499– Sorry guys, this isn’t the right cover. This was last issues’ cover. Don’t blame me though, blame Marvel, this is the only pic I could find and I don’t have a scanner. I’m still loving Mike Choi’s art in this arc and I can’t wait till he gets on board X-Force. This issue was ok. The San Francisco thing still seems like it could have been explained in one issue. The Russian story is a lot better but it seems a bit pointless. It seems that Brubaker had one thing he needed to say in this arc, the rest is mostly filler. It took him five issues to say what he wanted to say! They said the same damn thing in the free comic book day issue and that was free! What the hell?! That said this certainly wasn’t terrible. It’s hard to recommend it though. I hope this title gets a lot better with issue 500. Brubaker/Fraction go! 2 stars