Quick Hits: Reviews of Uncanny X-Force #8, Darkwing Duck #11 and more…

X-Force #8

Uncanny X-Force #8: Reading Uncanny X-Force has made me feel like it’s 1990 again, and I mean that in a good way. Rick Remender has done an amazing job with this title, from his characterization of the team to his being able to tie his stories into decades of X-Men continuity—from Apocalypse to the Shadow King, the Reavers and even Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men. This is the most excited I’ve been to read an x-book—perhaps with the exception of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men or Peter David’s X-Factor, but those two are in a class of their own—in quite a long time. It’s strange to get another one-and-done issue right on the heels of the of the 5.1 issue, but I’m not complaining… whereas #5.1 dug up the threat of the Reavers this issue sees the Psylocke and the team taking on the Shadow King, who has taken over a nuclear facility with the aims of shooting missles at Utopia. It was great to see Remender dig up various bits of the X-Men past, from Psylocke’s “Lady Mandarin” costume to the reappearance of the Shadow King, a prominent adversary of Chris Claremont era. Artist Billy Tan is no slouch either, Marvel has done a great job of putting artists on this series that give the book a strong and consistent feel, and a big part of that credit should also probably go to colorist Dean White. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Avengers #12: The Avengers line is really running strong right now, this title has been fantastic from the start, and New Avengers and writer Ed Brubaker’s Secret Avengers have yet to let me down either in the last year. In this issue Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. wrap up the Infinity Gem storyline of the last few issues that saw the “Illuminati” group of Tony Stark, Dr. Strange, Professor X, Namor and Reed Richards revealed to the rest of the Avengers and to the utter dismay of former Captain America, Steve Rogers. To say the rest of the Avengers did not take kindly to the existence of this group well would be an understatement. The Hood, Parker Robbins, in his quest to unite all of the gems, came face-to-face with Thanos at the end of the last issue, and we jump right back into the action here with #12, and to say things are not what they appear would be an understatement. Bendis does a great job of building up expectations and then toying with the reader in what wraps up a very enjoyable arc. Oh, and there’s a new member on the team as well. B+
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Darkwing Duck #11: F.O.W.L.’s quest to revive the monstrous Duckthulu reaches its penultimate chapter here, as Darkwing Duck and his one-time enemy Steelbeak infiltrate the villains’ inner sanctum and Gosalyn and Honker (in the guise of Quivering Quack and the Arrow Kid) encounter some resistance of their own. When this arc started I was unsure about its blending of spy stories with Lovecraftian horror, but as the story’s progressed it’s come together nicely. By using two genres that operate on an element of mystery and intrigue, writer Ian Brill finds a lot of cool ways to build suspense in this arc. As usual, artist James Silvani turns in a book that’s incredibly fun to look at; Darkwing Duck‘s comedy wouldn’t work half as well without his pencils powering it.  B+
Review by Rebel Rikki

Fables #104: Even in an issue where not much seems to happen—and what you think has happened maybe hasn’t—Fables is still one of the most enjoyable books out there. And any issue that has artist Michael Buckingham playing homage to the great Jack Kirby and the Marvel comics of the 60′s is bound to be fun. Our group of Fables exiles are still working on their strategy to confront Mr. Dark while he tightens his grip on New York City and their former Fabletown community and makes something of a love-connection. Yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds. There’s a great cliffhanger at the end of this issue that makes me wonder which of the dangling plot threads will get wrapped up sooner… and to be honest, I’m not sure if I can decide which one I’d like to read first! B+
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Transformers: Heart of Darkness #2: Galvatron continues to search for his reason for living in this second part of a four-part mini, and in case you’re wondering, that’s not really metaphorical: Galvatron ought not to function, and he intends to travel into another dimension known as the Dead Universe to learn why he’s still ticking. Writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning deliver some serious sci-fi action with a soul-searching twist. Again, I really have to compliment series artist Andrew Farinas. Apparently fan reaction to his work on this series hasn’t been 100% positive, but after looking at this book I think that’s crazy. His grand style reminds us how fun it can be to watch giant robots smash the hell out of each other. Additionally, all creators involved deserve a special commendation for the two-page spread in the middle of this book, which shows Galvatron glimpsing versions of himself from other realities, from the obvious (Megatron) to the obscure fan nods (is that Beast Wars Megatron I spy?) to the “wow this is awesome” (G1 Galvatron toy in his box, Leonard Nimoy). This is a fantastic issue of what’s so far been a solid series. A
Review by Rebel Rikki

Wolverine #8: I kinda felt the “Logan Goes to Hell” storyline, while kinda fun, dragged on for a little too long, but here we get the “Wolverine Vs. the X-Men” story wrapped up in three issues, and it’s a blast all the way through. Jason Aaron has a great feel for Logan as a character and manages to hit on some familiar notes without making it feel rehashed or cliche. Wolverine is being battled on two fronts… in his mind he’s fighting off his demonic possesors with the psychic help of Emma Frost, Jubilee, Rogue, Storm, Kitty and Malita, while in the real world his possesed form is taking on Dr. Nemesis and Fantomex—which, by the way, is a great team-up—oh, and along the way we see a few familiar faces pop up to pitch in a hand. Daniel Acuna did a great job with this arc and the way Jason Aaron builds up to the next issue makes me feel like we’re in for a lot of bloody fun in the months to come. A-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

tags: avengers, darkwing duck, fables, transformers, uncanny x-force, wolverine, x-force

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