Quick Hits: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5 and more…

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5: Every Morrison Batman story since 2006 now rushes to its conclusion, with Return of Bruce Wayne as the focal point. Here, Bruce Wayne (again without his memory) finds himself in the role of a Gotham City sleuth some 30 years ago, and he’s hot on the murder case of one Martha Wayne. This issue never stops piling on twists and turns, and I had to laugh when Bruce’s narration mentions “It was hard to avoid the obvious conclusion,” because to me no conclusion is quite so obvious. Still, the mystery presented here is incredibly engrossing and artist Ryan Sook really delivers on this issue. The end of the Great Morrison Bat-Saga is just over the horizon, and so far the only negative thing I have to say about it is that I’ll miss not having another chapter or two every month to keep me occupied. Grade: A
Review by Rebel Rikki

The Amazing Spider-Man #645: Things get interesting this month as a very angry Peter Parker turns his rage on the legions of villains who’ve been gathered together by Doctor Octopus to hunt down the newborn child of the Green Goblin, Norman Osborne, and Menace, Lily Hollister. One of the most interesting things I found about this issue was how well writer Mark Waid conveyed Spider-Man’s rage—here’s a clue, there’s no wisecracking—but there was something that really bothered me as well. Spider-Man cuts through his foes without too much trouble, many of whom were part of the so-called “Gauntlet” event that was so supposed to totally overwelhm Peter Parker and leave his susceptible to Kraven and his kin. Yet here he doesn’t seem to have too much problem. The blame here really has to fall on the editorial team I would think. Nonetheless, more great art on what has been a pretty fun arc. B-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Green Lantern #58: In my opinion, the most interesting thing DC could’ve done with Green Lantern was to make it a team book, and that’s precisely what they’ve done. Two things keep me reading this series every month: the fact that Hal, Carol, Saint Walker, Larfleeze, Sinestro and Atrocitus star in every issue, and Doug Mahnke’s art. This particular issue continues the hunt for the corps’ various Entities (capital E!) with a special focus given to the Blue; it also has some fantastic smaller moments from Larfleeze and the Atrocitus-Sinestro pairing. However, overall it feels kind of aimless, as though it’s decided to advance three or four stories a little bit at the expense of having one unifying thread that really drives the issue. Grade: B
Review by Rebel Rikki

The Invincible Iron Man #31: Yet another chapter in this seemingly neverending storyline. Really, this arc has been the only blight on Matt Fraction’s Iron Man run so far. More moving the chess pieces into play as Tony Stark struggles to both fend off Hammer Industries and Detroit Steel while getting his new repulsor-powered car out on the market. It recently hit me that the whole thing with the car is very reminiscent of what was done in WildCats 3.0—and done much better in that series as well. The last few pages lead me to thinking that this tale may be wrapping up soon, but who knows… C
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Justice League: Generation Lost #11: Every other week, writer Judd Winick gets to prove that he truly understands the team dynamic that flows through Justice League: Generation Lost. It’s nice to be able to pick up a Justice League book and just enjoy the way the characters interact. Beyond that, this issue—primarily concerned with the Metal Men, twisted by Maxwell Lord into defenders of his fortress—brings about a couple interesting plot developments, especially for Ice, and penciller Ryan Lopresti does a fine job of capturing this book’s balance between lighthearted humor and high-stakes action. I do wish the cover wasn’t so spoiler-riffic… Grade: B+
Review by Rebel Rikki

Knight & Squire #1: Ever since hearing about this series via Comic Con coverage, I’ve been pretty pumped for Knight & Squire. I don’t really know what to make of the debut issue, though. Writer Paul Cornell brings his usual wit to these loveable English characters (and fortunately he doesn’t check his British jargon at the door!), but I kind of get the feeling that nothing happens here. The issue spends a lot of time introducing us to the bar where the title characters hang out, and then someone starts a bar fight, and that’s about it. Jimmy Broxton does a fine job on pencils, but I wouldn’t call it anything to write home about. There’s a lot of world-building focused on our new heroes but not much else, although “Jarvis Poker, the British Joker” has got to win some kind of award for best new character based on his name alone. Grade: C
Review by Rebel Rikki

The New Avengers #5: This issue was a whole fat lot of fun. When I took a look at the cover—a magically enhanced and superpowered, and very angry Wolverine—I surly thought this was just a tease and wouldn’t actually reflect anything that happens in the story… but nope! The last few pages lead up to just what’s shown on the cover. And how Brian Michael Bendis gets us to that point is a total blast. And as always, Stuart Immomen runs a clinic on how to draw a superhero team comic series. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Transformers Ongoing #12: The “International Incident” storyline that I’ve praised before concludes in this issue with a battle between Optimus Prime and the Predacons on the Chinese border. Guido Guidi’s art, as usual, is top notch, but I think writer Mike Costa’s plotting runs a little astray here; this issue sets up its major conflict and then resolves it over the course of about four pages, which really takes away the gravity a threat of nuclear warfare needs. However, though the finale is perhaps not as strong as the previous chapters, this is still a direction I’m very pleased the Transformers comics are heading in. Grade: B+
Review by Rebel Rikki

Untold Tales of Blackest Night one-shot: Though some of the stories contained in this anthology-styled one-shot are pretty cool, one might wonder at the timing of this release, since no Blackest Night comic has been released for about six months. Despite this, this book is not without its merit—after an opening skit we get a few Blackest Night “deleted scenes” which are a nice treat, and then an Animal Man story that, although a little hard to make sense of, might actually hold some consequence for the character (one of my favorites). The rest is not especially interesting, as it fills in gaps in Blackest Night that readers could have filled in themselves, but for big fans of that series I still think this book is worth a read… at least parts of it are. Grade: B-
Review by Rebel Rikki

X-Men #4: Vampires, more vampires… Dracula has gone awol—nice plan Scott—and, hey look, Wolverine is now a vampire too. I’m pretty sure I read that same scenario in an old issue of What If… and I don’t recall being too thrilled with it back then either. Time will tell whether this newest X-Men series will live up to its brethren, but one thing is for certain; this series has nowhere to go but up. C
Review by Spaceman Spiff

tags: avengers, batman, blackest night, bruce wayne, grant morrison, green lantern, iron man, justice league, knight & squire, spider-man, transformers, x-men

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