Quick Hits: Reviews of Fables #102 and more…

Fables #102

Fables #102: I’ve often wondered if superhero mythology would have a place in writer Bill Willingham’s Fables universe—I mean, afterall, they found a place in the Sandman, and vice-versa—and, if so, what their role would be? With the latest issue of Fables we get an answer to those questions, and I’m delighted to say the answer appears to be, by far, more delightful than anything I could’ve imagined. From its start, this has been a series that has shown no qualms about shaking up the status-quo and this new story arc is no different as our favorite group of fable characters regroup in Fly-Catcher’s kingdom of Haven and decide that the best way to face off against their latest adversary, Mister Dark, is by confronting him with a superhero group… one made up out of fables. Mark Buckingham’s art is as always perfect, and this first issue—of a five-issue arc—is a wonderful start to what appears to be another great storyline. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Amazing Spider-Man #654.1: Another .1 issue from Marvel, whose purpose is to allow new readers a fresh jumping-on point to some of Marvel’s most popular lines. The concept of these .1 issues is a great idea if you ask me, here, however, it appears that they’ve missed the boat with Spider-Man and instead chose to focus on Flash Thompson and his new-found role as a government-controlled superpowered—by the Venom symbiote—soldier, and this of course leads into a brand new Venom series. The premise of Flash as Venom is an interesting one, but at the end of the day, it says Spider-Man on the cover, and that’s who I want to read about. Also, how does introducing new readers to Venom help them jump on to Dan Slott’s wonderful run on Amazing Spider-Man? C
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Brightest Day #20: After a couple very on-point issues full of momentum, Brightest Day #20 takes another breather to spend some time with the Aquaman plot that’s popped up now and again throughout the book. To its credit, though, it seems like this issue will begin a trend of wrapping up the B-stories of various characters and bring them all together to face the consequences of the far-more-interesting A-story, the White Entity resurrecting (and subsequently killing) its champions. The few panels we get of that here are very good, and while I can’t say I’m exactly looking forward to next issue’s return to Martian Manhunter, I definitely want to see how issues #25 and #26 (the final two) of this maxi-series conclude.  C+
Review by Rebel Rikki

Darkwing Duck #9: Last month wrapped up the amazing “Crisis on Infinite Darkwings,” and so we now begin a new story arc, featuring the dreaded DUCKTHULHU (really). While I don’t know yet if I’m on board with bringing Lovecraftian mythology into Darkwing Duck (this issue introduces it kind of matter-of-factly, but I find it fairly jarring, even given Darkwing’s crazy world), basically this issue had all the charm I’ve come to expect from the series. For one, it opens with a three-page Madmen parody that is just spectacular. It also features great art by James Silvani, who packs so many jokes into the background of these issues that just looking at this book becomes solid entertainment.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

S.H.I.E.L.D. #6: Boy, I don’t know what to make of this story. S.H.I.E.L.D. is certainly a series that demands my rereading it. It’s got a lot of wonderful and crazy ideas in play, but I can’t help but wonder if this, the final issue of its initial run, delivers on all those ideas. The bulk of this issue concerns a war between two factions of humanity: those who believe men are as they should be, and those who believe men can be so much more (led by Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci, respectively). It’s a fascinating philosophical divide to see played out on a literal battlefield, but I must confess to being confused at how all the material with Tony Stark and Reed Richard’s fathers fits in. I don’t know. A series that makes you think is surely better than one that does not, but as an individual installment S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 does not necessarily satisfy.  B-
Review by Rebel Rikki

Transformers Infestation #2: A pretty major turnaround from the first (excellent) issue, Transformers Infestation #2 succumbs to a lot of the problems I assumed this series would have in the first place. In our final look at how the Transformers ward off a zombie plague on Earth, we’re given an issue heavy on backstory and light on current story development, so that by the time the main conflict of this issue (the zombies’ threat to Cybertron) becomes apparent, it kind of flies under the radar. For a much more talky installment than the action-packed #1, artist Nick Roche’s strange, overstylized geometry disappoints. The one really cool thing here is the progression (and possible termination) of Autobot Kup’s overarching story in the IDW universe, from the Roche-penned Spotlight: Kup through All Hail Megatron.  It at least provides some long-term relevance to this crossover two-parter. C
Review by Rebel Rikki

Wolverine #6: After last week’s Wolverine #5.1 issue we jump back into where we left off at the end of issue 5, with Logan’s soul having escaped from hell and returned to his body… only to find the demons who had taken possession of his mortal coil haven’t exactly given up their squatters’ rights. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed Jason Aaron’s run with Wolverine, and after the first arc of this series he appears to have approached this new storyline from a pretty interesting perspective. Lately, in the X-Men, Cyclops has been portrayed as a master tactician, so how would he handle an out-of-control Logan—since it seems to happen so often, quite frankly—and here Aaron gives us a glimpse into some of those contingency plans. Also, I really enjoyed Daniel Acuña’s art on this issue, and found his art to be a much better fit for this series than what we saw on this title’s first arc. A-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

tags: brightest day, darkwing duck, fables, s.h.i.e.l.d., spider-man, transformers, venom, wolverine

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