Quick Hits: Reviews of Action Comics #5, Stormwatch #5 and more…

Action Comics #5

on January 07, 2012

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Action Comics #5: I’ve been pretty harsh on Grant Morrison’s Action Comics (except for last issue, which I really enjoyed) but this installment disappointed me in a different way than the first three issues. I honestly found this book, most of which is devoted to baby Kal-El’s trip from a doomed Krypton to Earth, to be fairly pedestrian. — more

Tagged: action comics, stormwatch, swamp thing, sweet tooth
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Animal Man #5

Animal Man #5

on January 04, 2012

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When we were all making our snap judgments on what New 52 books to buy last June, I’m willing to bet that few if any readers accurately guessed what they’d be in for with Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman‘s Animal Man. Though I predicted a quality read based off of Lemire’s previous Top Shelf publications, nothing about those books or this character would have led me to guess that Animal Man would become one of the premiere horror titles in DC’s lineup, if not its very best. Yet here we are five issues in and Animal Man still finds ways to shock me visually that no other mainstream comic pulls off. Though there are plenty of good books to come out of the New 52, I’m not sure any swing for the rafters as consistently as this one, and it makes reading this title a very rewarding experience. — more

Tagged: animal man, Jeff Lemire, travel foreman
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All-Star Western #4

All-Star Western #4

on December 29, 2011

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For me, All-Star Western may have been the biggest surprise to come out of the New 52. I always expected it to be good, but I never imagined I’d like it as much as I do. At the end of the year, I think it sits only behind Batwoman as my favorite monthly comic, and that’s really saying something. There’s no other book like this from DC, and what a wonderful thing that is. Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat are giving us something really special here. — more

Tagged: all-star western, jimmy palmiotti, justin gray, moritat, phil winslade
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Justice League #4

Justice League #4

on December 21, 2011

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In his review of Justice League #3 last month, Tom Tomorrow called the book a “big dumb Michael Bay action movie.” I don’t disagree with his assessment, necessarily (I might substitute a nicer word for “dumb,” like… unreflective?), but I do disagree that that’s a bad thing. After all, those blockbuster popcorn movies serve a purpose, which is to entertain as many people as possible. Yes, that means a lot of the time applying the slightest critical eye will unravel their seams in an instant, but there are few things quite like a full-blown action movie that’s also pretty good. Consider Terminator 2, for instance, or Die Hard. That’s the bar Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League can and probably should reach for — a loud, colorful story full of explosions and fights that manages to provide a compelling, un-idiotic plot and characters you at least enjoy spending time with. — more

Tagged: geoff johns, jim lee, justice league
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Quick Hits: Reviews of Batwoman #4, Deathstroke #4 and Green Lantern #4

Batwoman #4

on December 18, 2011

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Batwoman #4: It seems almost unbelievable, but I think Batwoman #4 is the best-looking issue of this series yet. — more

Tagged: batwoman, deathstroke, green lantern
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Demon Knights #4

Demon Knights #4

on December 14, 2011

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“It occurred to me, around the time the beasts came for me again, to watch the storms, to try to read the signs they brought from the wider universe.” So the mystical Merlin tells our hero Shining Knight in a magical vision brought about in the heat of battle. If his particular choice of words strikes you as worth noting, it should. Though the cover of Demon Knights #4 purports to give us the origin of Shining Knight (and it does!), this issue also seems to read as a prologue to writer Paul Cornell’s other series in the New 52, the black-ops superhero book Stormwatch. Even the very title of this issue recalls that other book; “Merlin Watches the Storm.” — more

Tagged: demon knights, diogenes neves, michael choi, paul cornell
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Transformers #31

Transformers #31

on December 08, 2011

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Please pardon me while I get a little political and a little sentimental. — more

Tagged: casey coller, mike costa, transformers
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Action Comics #4

Action Comics #4

on December 08, 2011

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I’ve been pretty harsh on the first three issues of DC’s Action Comics, some would say unduly so, but all y’all can relax, because we’ve come to an issue I actually quite enjoyed. Here, Superman has to fight off an attack from a mostly-unseen collector alien (who I think we can safely assume to be Braniac, but perhaps with a twist) set on adding the Earth to his museum. That gives us a fast-paced issue that ends up feeling really retro in a good way. It’s the kind of thing I was hoping to see from Grant Morrison’s Action Comics, and as a result this is the first issue of the series I can really recommend to anybody unequivocally. — more

Tagged: action comics, brad walker, grant morrison, rags morales, sholly fisch
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Swamp Thing #4

Swamp Thing #4

on December 07, 2011

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For the last few months, DC Comics’ Swamp Thing has been one of the most interesting-looking books on comic stands. That trend continues with issue four of the series, which impressively weathers a change in the regular art team and still manages to live up to the usual high standards set by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn every month. — more

Tagged: marco rudy, scott snyder, swamp thing
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Retro Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #1

Wolverine and the X-Men #1

on December 01, 2011

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Yesterday being a rare “fifth Wednesday,” my pull-list this week was looking mighty light, so I decided to pick up a book that many of my friends with good tastes had been raving about: Wolverine and the X-Men #1. I admit I was already curious about this title. Despite its all-too-convenient timing (announced merely days after DC’s), a reboot is precisely what the impenetrable X-Men franchise needs, probably more than any other in comics. I personally was all ready to dive back into Marvel’s mutant books after this year’s excellent X-Men: First Class, but none of the monthlies rolled out any kind of welcome mat for me back in June. Is Wolverine and the X-Men what I’ve been waiting for, then? — more

Tagged: chris bachalo, jason aaron, wolverine and the x-men
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