Quick Hits: Reviews of Wolverine #5 and more…

Wolverine #5

Wolverine #5: There it is on the cover, “conclusion,” but I’m not sure anything got wrapped up here. Sure Logan has made his way out of hell—and I gotta admit, I did enjoy the suprise of who has now siezed the reins down there—but we’ve learned very little about the mysterious Red Right Hand and why they’re after Wolverine. No doubt the next arc will drive right into these issues. This first arc was decent enough, though I would’ve enjoyed a more unique view of hell, rather than the same cliches of brimstone and torture we always see. There were a few suprises but nothing that I felt warranted a brand new series and the cancellation of Wolverine: Weapon X. Renato Guedes is a talented artist—I enjoyed his work on Superman a few years ago—but I’m not sure he’s the strongest fit for Wolverine, and for such a dark storyline. I feel like his art is too clean for the tone that writer Jason Aaron is trying to set. Here’s hoping plenty of revelations will be coming soon. B-
Review by Spaceman Spiff

The Amazing Spider-Man #652: About the worst thing I can say about this issue is that they’ve taken artist Stefano Casseli off of Secret Warriors and put him on this series. Bad news for Nick Fury and company, but good news for those of us reading this issue. We start off with a night on the town with Peter, family and friends as they watch Pete’s new girlfriend compete in roller derby. The main focus of the issue then shifts to J. Jonah Jameson, his father and son as the Spider Slayer, a revitalized Scorpion and a gang of killer insects attempt revenge on Jonah at his son’s rocket launch into space. There are some real good character moments in this issue between Pete, Carlie and Mary Jane, as well as between Jonah and Spidey as the mayor of NYC has to swallow his pride to ask Spider-Man to save his son. An action packed story with some good humore and a decent enough backup story give this issue an A.
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Brightest Day #18: DC gives us the best issue of this bi-weekly event series we’ve seen in months. The Hawks’ battle against Shayera’s twisted mother comes to a head, while Boston Brand learns a little more about what the White Entity’s intentions are. This installment of Brightest Day handles pacing much better than its predecessors — having its opening two pages catch us up to many of the series’ ongoing plotlines was incredibly helpful in maintaining a feeling of continuity. I can’t really say the same about the seeming conclusion of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl story. That whole plot still feels like a side-trip that didn’t necessarily need to be taken. Still, the action sequence which wraps it all up is pretty cool. I also really like the ending, which seems to reveal that the White Entity is kind of a jerk. I think that idea has a lot of mileage in it, and it makes me hopeful that the series will start to pick up some steam heading into its final quarter.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Superman/Batman #80: Chris Roberson and Jesus Merino’s two-issue arc of Superman/Batman concludes here as silver age versions of Superman, Batman and Robin take on Epoch, a time-travelling villain hell-bent on conquering the world. While I really enjoyed the first part of this tale, something about the second half falls flat for me. I trace that to Roberson, who slathers on a lot of dialog in the “present tense” sequences of this book. It seems he wants to convince us that our heroes’ fight with Epoch could’ve come straight out of a late 1960s comic, but Merino’s art already succeeds at doing that. Roberson’s style leads to overly-expository fight scenes, which I find pointless; these books should show, not tell, especially when it comes to action. The time-travel sequences, though, are great; I loved Epoch’s two-page trip through the centuries, in which he encounters a variety of Batman and Superman’s descendents. The 853rd century stuff, which got me to pick up this arc in the first place, is similarly spot-on. Unfortunately, most of this issue takes place in the recent past, as its script was only too eager to remind us.  C+
Review by Rebel Rikki

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