Quick Hits: Reviews of Batwoman #0 and more…

Batwoman #0

Batwoman #0: One of my favorite comics from last year was Greg Rucka & JH Williams III’s Detective run featuring Batwoman. I was forlorn when I heard Rucka was leaving DC for good and his brilliant work with the character was on hiatus. Fortunately, artist extraordinaire Williams has picked up the slack and taken over both writing and art duties on Batwoman, with assists from W. Haden Blackman (Star Wars: Force Unleashed) and Amy Reeder (Madame Xanadu). Together these three craft an amazing introductory issue told from the point of view of Bruce Wayne as he tries to figure out just what’s up with Gotham’s new caped crusader. The writing is spot-on perfect and it gives us a really cool look inside Batman’s head. As for the visuals, Williams is possibly the best artist working in the industry right now, superhero or not. Look at the way he composes his panels–I can’t think of anyone else who even comes close to that kind of skill. I’m tempted to give this book an A+ but I know this series is going to climb even higher.  A
Review by Rebel Rikki

Action Comics #895: Though not quite as exciting as last month’s visit with Death, Paul Cornell’s run on Action Comics continues in fine form here as Lex Luthor confronts the immortal Vandal Savage, who’s constructed several traps for Lex thanks to an ancient prophecy regarding his hunt for the Black Lantern energy. I love the “Lex tours the DCU” aspect Action‘s taken on, and Cornell has really done his homework when it comes to these characters’ histories. Still, I feel that more could’ve happened in this issue; Cornell’s Action stories have mostly been confined to one issue before, and it feels like a bit of a stretch to make this one a two-parter.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

The Amazing Spider-Man #649: First day jitters for Peter Parker as he starts his new scientific think-tank job, and Aunt May makes sure no obstacle will stand in their way as she looks to make sure Pete arrives for his new job on time for once. We get a little bait-and-switch here regarding the identity of the new Hobgoblin that should make things interesting for more than one Daily Bugle staffer. Oh! Did I mention the Daily Bugle is back? After last issue the Front Line has been bequeathed the Daily Bugle’s masthead by Jonah Jameson and here we see their efforts to revive that paper. “Big Time” is off to a very solid start, even if I’m not always on-board with Ramos’ pencils. B+
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Batman & Robin #17: I was all set to drop this book when Morrison finished, but when I saw Paul Cornell’s name on the cover I couldn’t do it. Turns out that was a good choice. Cornell does a great job of blending the action, mystery and humor that characterized Morrison’s run on this title as he introduces us to a villain who takes one thing from all of her victims. The downside: pencils come courtesy of perennial fill-in artist Scott McDaniel. I can only assume he’s a speedy worker because his artwork has never been good, although this is the least offensive I’ve ever found his pencils.  B+
Review by Rebel Rikki

Batman Beyond #6: The Batman Beyond miniseries wraps up here as Terry, Dick and the new Catwoman throw down with the brand new Hush. Adam Beechen’s script continues to do a pretty solid job of capturing the feel of the old Batman Beyond cartoon, and I’m thoroughly intrigued by his new Catwoman and her fantastic superpower. Less intriguing is penciller Ryan Benjamin, whose work seems to have gotten worse for this issue. This is a truly ugly comic book, and I really wish DC had found someone else to pull art duty when the ongoing series launches in January.  C
Review by Rebel Rikki

Captain America #612: The issues of Captain America since Steve Rogers returned have always been in recent continuity, but they always seemed somewhat divorced from Ed Brubaker’s previous, over-arching run on the series; this recent issue and arc, though, drops Bucky right back into several of those earlier plot-points as he is facing trial for his role as the Winter Soldier, the most recent Master Man has resurfaced in America and, with this issue, the Red Skull is back on the board. Well, A Red Skull. Strong art from Butch Guice in this storyline has made this arc much more enjoyable than I expected, the thought of another superhero on trial plot made me queasy, but this recent run has not left me wanting. B+
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Justice League: Generation Lost #14: This series loves jumping around in time, especially with poor Captain Atom. For this issue, though, I don’t think that’s totally a detriment. After Magog’s grisly death at the end of last issue, Atom’s sent over a century in the future to a dystopic world brought about by Maxwell Lord’s scheming. This is one of those comics that introduces us to a whole new team of future Justice Leaguers, and it’s always fun to see those, especially since it incorporates Damian Wayne as Batman. Still, even though this issue does advance Generation Lost‘s present-time plot, I feel a little more forward momentum would do this book good.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Secret Avengers #7: In Secret Avengers #7 Shang-Chi’s father sends a squad of ninjas to capture his boy, but they’ll have to fight their way through Steve Rogers and Black Widow first. This book has an excellent concept and an amazing cast but it doesn’t really utilize either to the fullest extent. Though this issue contains an amazing fight scene which really showcases the new Ant-Man character, I really feel like more could be happening in this issue and with this book in general. The promise of a James Bond-style Avengers team is ridiculously cool, but so far each story arc has only hinted at that and spent most of its time with mysticism or karate. And, frankly, there’s not enough Beast.  B-
Review by Rebel Rikki

Secret Warriors #22: You do not pull the wool over Nick Fury’s eyes. This is apparantly the moral of this issue as his team makes a last minute escape from H.Y.D.R.A’s base, with Phobos left behind after his death by Gorgon last issue and Eden still injured and out of the game we lose one more member of the Secret Warriors. Though, in light of recent revelations, I don’t think any of the readers will grieve too much for that character’s passing. This series is looking to begin its final decent and from this issue it is going to be a doozy as both sides face some major obstacles. This latest chapter also brings us a nice denouement for Phobos and another recently deceased hero. A-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Uncanny X-Force #2: This series is really off to a solid start based on its first two issues. After making a narrow escape last issue Warren and Logan’s team spends half of this issue training in the Danger Room—mainly contingincies involving Archangel—to take on the reborn Apocalypse, while the second half of the issue finds the team facing off against the new Horsemen on the moon once they’ve tracked down his base. A lot of action in this issue that is deftly balanced by some real good character moments, and Rick Remender definitely has a good handle on Deadpool; he’s able to justify his presence on the team while having him provide good comic moments that aren’t over the top or out of place. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Uncanny X-Men #530: Enough has been written about Greg Land’s art by now where it’s not even worth noting, here we get an interesting premise from writer Matt Fraction as the Sublime corporation has infected Utopia with a mutant targeting flu virus while they move ahead with their plans to replace the X-Men with their own handpicked quintet with artificial—courtesy of a new drug they’ve develped—mutant powers mirroring the original X-Men. Like I said, an interesting premise, but didn’t we just see something very similar in the recent “Dark X-Men” storyline? Angel, Pixie, Dazzler, Northstar and Storm are left unaffected by the virus on mainland San Francisco and counted on to defend the city when the new mutant team shows up. I smell a showdown coming… B-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

tags: action comics, batman, batman & robin, batman beyond, batwoman, captain america, justice league, lex luthor, secret warriors, seret, spider-man, uncanny x-force, x-men

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