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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Quick Hits: Reviews of Unwritten #31.5, All-Star Western #3 and more…

Unwritten #31.5

on November 26, 2011

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Unwritten #31.5: Every day it seems I get more and more interested in memetics and the power of narrative. Why do some stories persist across time and cultures, inspiring people around the world? Why do others fail to gain a foothold, losing themselves before they can affect their power in the world? Mike Carey and Peter Gross, creators of Unwritten, here pose an interesting answer to that question: because of a shadowy cabal who literally unwrite the stories they find objectionable and foster those that further their plans. — more

Tagged: all-star western, green lantern new guardians, justice league dark, unwritten
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Secret Avengers #19

Secret Avengers #19

on November 25, 2011

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Since the series’ first issue, I’ve thought that Marvel could get the most traction out of Secret Avengers if it treated the book as a mash-up between James Bond-style espionage and straight superheroics. And while I’d never claim that current series writer Warren Ellis has been reading my reviews (or my mind), I feel like he enjoys the same thing about the idea behind this series as I do, because never has there been more of a James Bond vibe to Secret Avengers than in this issue. — more

Tagged: michael lark, secret avengers, warren ellis
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Quick Hits: Reviews of Justice League #3, Batman #3 and Wonder Woman #3

Justice League #3

on November 16, 2011

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Justice League #3: Our heroes begin to unite their talents and form their iconic team as the armies of Darkseid strike against Earth and start abducting human beings for their own twisted ends. It’s a cool plot for the first arc of a flagship comic series, but unfortunately Justice League #3 is the weakest issue of this title yet. — more

Tagged: batman, justice league, wonder woman
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Comic Book Comics #6

Comic Book Comics #6

on November 16, 2011

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Once a year I return to my alma mater to guest-lecture for a library science class on comic books. Each time, the students in that class read three random graphic novels plus Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, a seminal text that explores the roots of the sequential art medium. This year, the professor of that course told me that she was considering assigning Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey‘s Comic Book Comics instead of the McCloud book, but that she wanted to wait until the series finished and a collected edition was available. Now that we’ve got the final issue of Comic Book Comics in our hands, maybe that class will have a new text to study come 2012. — more

Tagged: comic book comics, fred van lente, ryan dunlavey
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The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime

Crime

on November 13, 2011

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When it comes to comic book genres defined by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, crime fiction probably doesn’t immediately leap to mind. Yet the truth is that these two visionaries, who are fully or partially responsible for a number of the comic mediums’ top characters at both major publishers, found success in basically everything they touched, from superhero stories to horror to romance. The Simon & Kirby Library: Crime collects 34 pulpy tales originally published between 1947-1955, a time when superhero books had trouble finding an audience and comics readers sought out something a little different. The stories contained herein should prove invaluable to comics historians, and a lot of what made them so attention-getting over half a century ago still holds interest today. — more

Tagged: crime, jack kirby, joe simon
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Quick Hits: Reviews of Deathstroke #3, Batwoman #3 and more…

Deathstroke #3

on November 12, 2011

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Deathstroke #3: The thing that’s most interesting to me about Deathstroke is how smart this book is. You wouldn’t really expect that from a comic about a costumed contract killer that takes delight in finding new ways to dismember, but writer Kyle Higgins gives us a little something to ponder in every issue of his title. — more

Tagged: batwoman, deathstroke, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., green lantern, red lanterns, resurrection man, stormwatch, unwritten
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Demon Knights #3

Demon Knights #3

on November 12, 2011

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I finally figured out why Demon Knights isn’t working for me, and it’s not just because of the book’s baffling presentation of Vandal Savage, although that’s certainly part of it. Reading this issue, in which our seven misfit heroes defend a provincial Goth town from an invading army, it strikes me that Demon Knights is a comic that’s tonally at odds with both the rest of the DC Universe and with itself. In relation to the rest of the New 52, it lives in its own world on a little island apart from every other title, and further, that world’s pretty ill-defined. — more

Tagged: demon knights, diogenes neves, paul cornell
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Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes #2

Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes #2

on November 09, 2011

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If you’ve been following my reviews of DC’s medieval adventure comic Demon Knights, you’ll know that I’ve been a little disappointed in its portrayal of Vandal Savage. A character that’s typically (and excellently) been portrayed as a nigh-immortal, merciless conqueror has basically become Gimli from Lord of the Rings, a carousing, lighthearted oaf who’s seemingly going to play nice with the rest of the guys on his team. That’s fine, I suppose, but it’s not the Vandal Savage I want to see. A month ago, I would not have guessed that I may be getting what I want in a comic co-published by IDW. — more

Tagged: chris roberson, jeffrey moy, legion of superheroes, star trek
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Darkwing Duck #18/Ducktales #6

DarkwingDucktales

on November 09, 2011

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Although both of kaboom’s remaining licensed Disney comics released their last issues today, I come to praise Darkwing Duck, not bury it. — more

Tagged: darkwing duck, ducktales, ian brill, james silvani
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