Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Wolverine: Origins #23

No, this isn’t the correct cover at all, my usual method of getting the cover art is not working this time.

 

Lead-up to the Story

Well, not too much really. Part one started with Deadpool trying to kill Wolverine, probably because he was hired to. I think that’s it; the last two issues have been pure fighting pretty much, it seems like this is probably premeditated because Deadpool, at times, seems to have a plan. He did drop a piano on Wolverine though, and called him a Canucklehead; that should be all the leadup you need, right? This is Deadpool, it’s not supposed to make sense!

 

Plot Synopsis

Wolverine: Origins is written by Daniel Way. Very similar to the lead-up information I gave, this comic is about a fight between Deadpool and Wolverine, complete with Deadpool’s inner monologue, which seems to contain two voices. This multiple personality deal is unexplained, but humerous none the less. The fight itself was eagerly anticipated, because the only other time they met, as far as I know was in the Cable & Deadpool issue entitled “Wolverine & Deadpool,” in which the fight lasted all of…. one panel. Wade Wilson got decapitated, and well, that was it. In this issue, Wilson struggles to fend off the formidable Wolverine, while simultaneously dealing with the very minor problem of having his fingers removed. There is an odd scene in which we see someone walking into a room with a captain America costume lying on the bed, and then Wolverine gets hit with an explosion, something that he seems to deal with a lot. This brings up two problems for this reader. The first of which is that Wolverine’s healing factor seems to have skyrocketed in effectiveness recently, possibly due to the way it was portrayed in the movies. Secondly, it was a freaking explosion! That should do more than the slight cosmetic damage we’re shown, I know his healing factor has been put into overdrive for no known reason recently, but there should be more damage than that! The comic ends with both of them inflicting mortal wounds upon each other, and ending in a somewhat homoerotic pose, ‘dying’ in each other’s arms.

 

Art Critique

The artist for Wolverine: Origins is Steve Dillon, an accomplished artist who is well known for his work on Preacher and Hellblazer. Unfortunately, he just can’t seem to get Wolverine’s face right. It is apparent from the first few pages that there is something distinctly wrong about him. Most of the problem is in the eyes I think, or at least that’s where the problem starts. Wolverine is a damaged goods; he’s insane, he’s also calculating and methodical (they even address that in this issue), but he just doesn’t look it. He just either ends up looking happy, surprised, or constipated. This is all very unfortunate, and I am putting down Steve Dillon a lot, but be sure to understand, I do not dislike his art, everything else is very good, he just doesn’t seem to have gotten Wolverine’s face correct enough for me.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

If you have ever wanted to see the showdown between Wolverine and Deadpool, this, and the two issues before it, are worth purchasing, but otherwise, I would say “not really.” Nothing in this run of Origins really strikes me as fantastic, however, the under-par artwork is saved by Daniel Way’s incredibly good grasp on how Deadpool should be written, it’s funny, there’s a joke in the middle of a fight (which I stole and retold yesterday), and Deadpool is flinging around half-formed insults like it’s his…. Well, it kind of is his job, isn’t it?

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Review: The New Avengers Annual, 2008

Lead-up to the Story

            If you have not been reading The New Avengers recently, you probably should.  I feel like I end up saying that a lot.  But the coming Scrull secret invasion story starting in April started in New Avengers.  Basically, the Scrulls are invading, not just the United States, but the whole world.  Several characters have already been revealed as scrulls, for a full listing, visit my friends over at Panels of Awesome for a full list.  Make sure to check out the Awesome Arena while you’re there!

 

Plot Synopsis

            Having just returned victorious, the New Avengers are jumped by the Hood and his new gang, who manage to break though Dr. Strange’s protection on his house.  A fight ensues, and true to his usual caliber, Brian Michael Bendis delivers an amazing fight scene, complete with witty dialogue that is true to each individual character.  I have talked about this before, in one of my Rapid Fire Review sessions.  Most writers can do one style, for example they can write Spider-man’s witty one-liners, or Luke Cage’s angry dialogue, but very few writers have the ability to make these different characters individual styles play of each other well.  Bendis really is one of the best writers that Marvel has at its disposal, and this makes New Avengers a great read.  Back to the storyline however, Dr. Strange was injured after his last confrontation with the Hood, and this time, it gets no better, Dr. Strange is shot, and must use dark and dangerous powers to finish off the intruders.  But SHIELD is watching, but in a strange, but not overly unexpected twist, Ms. Marvel lets them escape, even though it looks like her team could mutiny at any minute.  The book ends on that cliffhanger, as well as Jessica looking for sanctuary in Stark tower, with her baby, who we know is a scrull.

 

Art Critique

            Carlo Pagulayan is the penciler and Jeff Huet is the inker.  The art is busy, very busy, but not to the point that it is detracting from the story too much.  There is a lot going on in almost every panel, and it never seems to be overpowering.  To be honest though, and that’s something I strive for in these reviews, the sheer number of characters that are involved in the story is daunting; I encourage everyone that owns this comic book to open the front cover, and look at the number of characters listed there, all 36 of them.  Each fight panel has so much going on, it actually reminds me of a Where’s Waldo picture, there’s a lot going on, and you could just look for the main point of the action, but if you actually take the time to really look at what’s going on, you can see so much more.  This leads, in my opinion, to a greater appreciation of not only the art, but amount of effort and thought that the artists put into every comic. 

 

Is it Worth Buying?

            Usually for annuals, I would say no, but I highly recommend it, because annuals are usually pretty sweet.  This one however, ties in closely with the story, and looks like it will be important to fully understanding the secret invasion summer crossover.  So I would say yes it is worth buying on both accounts; important for understanding the overall Marvel storyline, and also for its own sheer enjoyment.

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Review: Daredevil #105

Lead-up to the Story

This has been an eventful story in Daredevil, Hood and Mr. Fear have been at each other’s throats during a turf war. The hood has allied almost every B and C list villain, and the Fear has concocted a new drug that makes his thugs unstoppable, and unwaveringly loyal. To make matters worse, Fear got his hands on Milla, and drugged her. Milla then went crazy and pushed an innocent bystander into an oncoming train, killing her. She was then convicted and committed to a psych ward, as Matt Murdock struggles to keep Milla out of jail, and stop her from admitting to what she did (she’s still crazy), Daredevil has to focus on protecting Hell’s Kitchen.

 

Plot Synopsis

Ed Brubaker provides us with the final part of the six part story line, and with such a lot of buildup, he has to deliver or Daredevil will have just been a total flop. Daredevil, before this story arc, and even in the beginning of this one, was horrifically poor, as I referenced in a previous post of mine, when I claimed I was going to drop DD from my pull list, but gave it one last shot, and he delivered. In short, if this issue bombs, you can be sure that this series is going is lose some readership. Thankfully, it seems we can always count on Ed Brubaker to deliver the comic goods.

We discover, fairly early on in this issue than the turf war was really just a ploy by Mr. Fear to mess with Murdock, to try and push him over the edge, to mess with his wife, and to wreak havoc in Hell’s Kitchen, which Daredevil considers his personal responsibility. It seems to be working. As the previous five issues of this story arc consisted mostly of text, it was a breath of fresh air to have some serious action. Murdock squares off with Mr. Fear, who has seemingly drugged himself to make himself fearless. Despite this attempt at giving himself at an advantage, Daredevil still emerges victorious, and demands he cure Milla. But, much to his dismay, there is no cure, Milla is permanently doomed, good news for those who were not fans of Milla. Could Quesada be on a quest to kill off every romantic figure in the hero’s lives? Does he want all characters to be miserable like Peter Parker before MJ fell in love with him? We’ll have to wait and see, but the similarities are there.

 

Art Critique

Michael Lark, Paul Azaceta, and Stefano Gaudiano do a good job with the art. One might think that having three different colorist, and then an inker, Matt Hollingsworth, on top of that would lead to a very mismatched art style, but it doesn’t. It is done in a fairly bland, and simplistic style that fits the Daredevil franchise very well. Of course it is art, but I’m going to call it a very artistic style, using a very limited colour palate, and because of the limited palate, a strong and confident use of shading. All of these features give this comic a very powerful visage. The other day, when I did my review of The Incredible Hercules, I noted how almost every panel seemed to be filled with motion. Well, here the art style is almost the exact opposite, and was part of my decision to review this one; in Daredevil each panel seems to be entirely static, that is to say, frozen in time. Not just frozen in time, but frozen in high speed action. The fact that this issue is more action orientated really gives the artists the chance they have needed to be able to show off their abilities. Almost every panel is filled with a sense of urgency, and combining this with the more Spartan art style gives the impression that the action had paused for only a second, and the artist had to draw it that instant. It is done very well.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

If you have not been following Daredevil, I would say no, but start up with the next issue, and the new story arc. If you had been thinking about possibly dropping Daredevil from your pull list, I would very strongly urge you to read this issue and reconsider, because it really looks like things will be picking up in Hell’s Kitchen in the coming months.

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Rapid Fire Reviews: Gamma Corps, New Avengers, Incredible Herc, and Avengers: The Initiative

World War Hulk – Gamma Corps #4 of 4

The gamma corps is a group of five individuals who believe their lives to have been decimated by the Hulk. They have had their bodies augmented by hulk DNA. The members are Grey, who is essentially a grey, smaller and less berserk version of the hulk, Mess, who has had parts of her skin grafted with skin samples grown from gamma DNA, Mister Gideon, a former pastor who has some titanium hands, Griffin, who’s just crazy, and he flies, and Prodigy, who was a child born autistic, but then was taken into the gamma corps program and is now a super genius with limited telepathic powers. The issues of this mini have been rather entertaining, without standing out as being amazing; this final one however, is pretty good. Nothing amazing in and of itself, however, it shows a character change in the Hulk that we’ve been seeing over the past few months in World War Hulk. While the Hulk always had depth in his character, much of this came from the dichotomy between Bruce Banner and the Hulk, not from the Hulk himself. Now we see the Hulk are more than just a smashing machine, but he’s calm, and calculating, this has been represented well from the artists as well, not only Carlos Ferreira who has done Gamma Corps, but from everyone else who has been drawing in the WWH series. There is a brain behind this new Hulk, and it shows in how he disarms the Gamma Corps with little more than words, even manipulating the leader, Grey, through a deeper understanding of his own psyche. Overall, the series has been worth it, and is worth buying, if you have been following World War Hulk at all.

The New Avengers #37

New Avengers is a series that has been causing quite a stir recently. As the issue that looks to be leading up to the coming Skrull War, it’s polarizing much of the comic book community. I have heard many people say on various forums, that they intend on dropping this series, especially after #37. However, I’ve been enjoying it, it has been going at a good pace, it has some of my favourite characters, and the interaction between Spider-man and Iron Fist during the fights is downright hilarious. The unmasking of the Hood in this issue was interesting, to say the least, but regardless we need to see how it’ll play itself out, perhaps it could even branch into Dr. Strange getting his own title again, I know many people who would be happy about that. As many of you know, I love reading and watching the fights in comic books, and this issue is almost entirely one giant fight, using Dr. Strange’s powers to make it seem as if the new crime syndicate lead by the Hood was entirely surrounded. Speaking of the Hood, he is turning into a fantastic villain; he’s cunning, ruthless, determined, and charismatic. Frankly, I thought this issue was pretty outstanding, and Brian Michael Bendis is doing an exceptional job, one thing I would really like to see though, would be a crossover between Daredevil and New Avengers, because both of their stories are currently revolving around the Hood, yeah, I know I said I was dropping DD, but I’m a sucker for Murdock, and DD is one of my favourite characters, so we’ll see if I actually stick to my guns on this one. The host of characters that Bendis is employing on the villains side is very interesting, and the cast of New Avengers is just astounding, Cage, Strange, Wolverine, Spider-man, Iron Fist, Ronin, all in the same issue, it’s like a Marvel close combat dream team.

The Incredible Hulk #112 – The Incredible Herc

In the aftermath (read aftersmash) of World War Hulk, we find boy genius Amadeus Cho teaming up with Greek demi-god Heracles. Such a combination of brains and brawn is pretty formidable. The issue opens shortly after where #111 left off, with SHIELD attempting to arrest the renegades. The plot and story is pretty good, and bringing in Ares is neat, up until the last page which is kinda cliché. But all in all it goes over well, even if you are of the opinion that no Hulk in a Hulk issue is a waste of time, and I can understand that opinion, but look at how Captain America has been going, we haven’t had a Cap in that issue in almost 10 months, and it is one of the ones I look forward to over any other. There are quite a few reasons I enjoy this beyond the story and art, both of which are very good, it references Greek mythology pretty accurately, and it has Amadeus Cho in it, and that means there’s lots of math going on. Personally, I think math looks pretty when it’s drawn out like this, and the way Amadeus uses it to do all kinds of crazy stuff is just fascinating. I also spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out how the equations have been derived, as they are generally derivations of basic formulae. The cover art, while not usually something I mention, is pretty interesting, in that the artists pay homage to other artists and comic covers by basing their art on theirs. You could call this lazy, but I think it’s interesting. Greg Pak and Fred van Lente have done an outstanding job writing this issue, and it looks set to do nothing but improve. I would highly recommend this issue, and indeed the series to anyone with even a passing interest.

Avengers: The Initiative #7

This issue is a pretty big one as well, we find out loads of things, such as who’s in the scarlet spiders, what happened to MVP, and what the hell is Dr. Baron von Blitzschlag up to? This issue even brings up more questions about One More Day, because Peter Parker essentially has his name cleared as Spider-man in this issue, however, it should be conceded that OMD was more about Aunt May than anything else. In this issue, the Scarlet Spiders are sent after a stolen briefcase that contains plans for a weapon of mass destruction, and during the chase, Peter Parker gets wicked ticked that people are masquerading around as him, in the costume Tony Stark promised was “unique.” Fairly early on in the issue, we do see that Scarlet Spiders do not seem to be mechanical, as I had previously thought them to be, but are indeed manned by people, and you discover who at the end of the issue, but it’s a huge revelation for anyone reading the series, and you should be. There’s some humor, such as when J.J. Jameson says “God, I hate clones,” I think we all hated the clone saga. And Warmachine is about to flip out with people trying to run his initiative base. All in all, this issue of Avengers: The Initiative is packed with stuff, but somehow, the author Dan Slott keeps everything going at a good pace, and at no point does it seem scatterbrained, and it’s a credit to his skill. The art, as written by Stefano Caseli is exactly what I would call ‘comic book art’ and feels exactly how it should. If you have been reading this series, there is no reason to stop now, and if you haven’t, I’d say it’s probably a good idea to start.

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Review: Thor #5

            Big issue of the week for me is Thor.  As many of you know (or could guess from the banner at the top of the page, or my avatar), I am a big Thor fan.  Thor #5 was released this week, and I actually had a request to post my thoughts about it.  So for the first time I can say “by request” I have reviewed Thor #5.  No big spoilers here even though I do go through the plot in depth, but be warned, in order to really review this comic, I gotta give away the ending.  If you have doubts, as always, feel free to skip to the Is it Worth Buying section.

 

Lead up to story

            It is official, Thor is back.  I’m going to give you some background info on what has happened in the previous three issues, but if you haven’t read them, stop whatever you are doing and go read them by whatever means necessary, I’m serious, they’re that good, especially issue #3.  Essentially, Thor has returned, and he is seeking out his fellow Asgardians that are trapped in mortal bodies.

 

Plot Synopsis and Evaluation

           Thor is written by Joseph Michael Straczynski, and this issue opens with a man putting in a mailbox in front of the floating Asgard, and he makes it look way easier than it really is, anyone who’s had to install a mailbox themselves will know what I’m talking about.  Inside the mailbox, he puts a letter to the local town meeting, promising cakes and ice cream, entirely nonessential, but very humorous.  Moving on to the main plot; so far, Thor has found few of his fellow deities, and Heimdall informs him that the trapped Asgardians are disappearing, and these disappearances are related to a growing darkness to the west.  Fearing that his lady Sif may be among those disappearing, for Heimdall has not yet found her, Thor flies off to investigate. 
Upon arrival, Thor finds someplace underground that is ambiguously undescribed and must be assumed to be some sort of jail (that’s what it looks like at least).  Before Thor can even get down to freeing the prisoners, one of whom has the potential to be Sif, the destroyer appears, and does battle with the mighty Thor.  Thor is victorious (are we really surprised?), and the destroyer was manned by, of all people, Balder, the one who triggered Ragnarok and ended Asgard.  Returning to the jail-thing, Thor finds that the beautiful woman that waits there is not Sif, but Loki!  Loki is now female, but Thor offers him/her solace, and a second chance, he/she vows to repent, and we, the reader, do not believe him/her at all.  The issue ends with Loki making deals with Dr. Doom.
            On the whole, I am a little disappointed in this issue, but then again, one can not appreciate Thor’s greatness without some mediocre issues.  It isn’t bad by any means, but I did not find myself in love with the issue.  My main problem with this issue is that not much happens, and frankly, as I will elaborate on in the art section, the fight scene was boring.  I am not so sure how I feel about Loki being female either, I have enough faith is Starcynski that I will wait it out and see how it goes.  I will say though that at least they are bringing in the villains.  I do very much appreciate the mini subplot about the town meeting, with the Asgardian gods showing up looking for cake.

 

Art Critique

            Thor is drawn by Oliver Coipel, and I am generally pleased with his work.  He draws Thor to be an outrageously huge.  I’m ok with this, he’s an Asgardian god, and he can be as big as he wants to be.  Coipel has also given Thor a much blockier face than we were used to, but this also seems to suit him.  Overall, I would say that I am very impressed not only by the overall quality of the art that Oliver is putting out, but also by his representations of the characters.  He really seems to be able to capture their essence, and picture them just as I would imagine them, especially Thor.  Broad shoulders, freaking huge arms, and a huge cape, topped off with shining armor.  The only critique I would have is that he seems to be puzzled with how to draw faces, but even this is some of the time.  I think it may be the eyes that throw him off, as Thor is often depicted as having his eyes shadowed by his helmet.  In theory, I’m ok with this, but in one panel Thor is drawn with one eye shown, and one eye shadowed, and it gives a very odd look to the panel, and draws away from the flow of the comic, as I was distracted by the eye (singular), it made be exceptionally uncomfortable.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

            I would say yes, Thor #5 is worth buying especially if you own the first four, and given that you should own those, logically, it follows that you should buy this one too.  Yes, by Thor standards this was mediocre, but by current standards, it’s still a great comic.  Also, it is important to note that this comic is to set up for the coming series, the story could not have continued much longer with Thor wandering the world seeking out his fellow Asgardians, bringing in the villains is a very good way of bringing some additional plot into the story.  Also, why does Microsoft Word not have Asgard or Ragnarok in the dictionary?  Closest thing it’s giving me to Ragnarok is Kangaroo, and that can’t be right…  

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Review: Sub-Mariner: The Initiative

Prologue: my apologies for the recent radio silence from Your Comic Relief, I have been wrapped up in things relating to Christmas and New Years, I should be able to update frequently between now and New Years, and daily updates will officially resume on the 2nd of January. Just giving myself some room to breath if necessary during this hectic time of year. Now, on with the review!

 

Lead-up to the Story

This storyline takes place after Civil War has ended, and is a continuation of Wolverine’s Civil War tie in. His tie in was focused around finding Nitro, and the discovery of Atlantian sleeper cells in the United States, which were eventually recalled. Essentially, Namor had placed a number of these cells around the country to monitor the populace and government, and to act if necessary. The other important outcome of the story arc is that Nitro, the one responsible for the attacks in Stamford, Connecticut, is the custody of Atlantis.

 

Plot Synopsis and Evaluation

The story itself is a six part mini, written by Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson. They have done an incredible job with this series, the characters are likeable, the story moves at a good pace without becoming too sporadic, and the ending is great. The full story is far too long and expansive to examine in the scope of this post, there are some main points. After Civil War, Namor was pressured to recall all of the sleeper cells back from the United States, and he did so. Suddenly however, attacks are being preformed by Atlantians on American soil, and SHIELD is brought in to investigate. Naturally, SHIELD believes that Namor had not recalled all of his sleeper cells. Sub-Mariner: The Initiative is the story of Namor’s quest to clear Atlantis’s name, and alone the way he has confrontations with Atlantians (isn’t there always political unrest in Atlantis?), Wolverine and Venom, among a few others. The story hooked me almost instantly, and while it dragged its feet a little during issues 4 and 5, issue #6 has the potential to chance the Marvel universe.

 

Art Critique

The pencils are done by Phil Briones, and while some of the characters are not drawn the way we may be used to them – Tony Stark looks somewhat Asian – everything looks commendable. While it does look commendable, nothing really looks exemplary. Like I said, everyone tends to look slightly more Asian than you would expect, this makes Namor resemble some poor bastard child of Spock and The Mandarin. While I was reading through the series however, I was actually too wrapped up in the story to notice it. Two possible conclusions can be drawn from this; the story is so amazing that anyone could have drawn it and I’d have been ok with it, or, that the art really isn’t poor enough to make an impact on my appreciation of the comic. Both are true, although perhaps I’m just oblivious, but I like to think that’s untrue. Perhaps I am being harsh; the art may feel a little rushed at times, and the characters may not be drawn the way we have come to expect them, but the art is not bad by any means. It’s just different.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

Absolutely. As poorly as many believe Marvel has handled many situations, and I agree with several of these accusations, I have been in love with this series, and I feel it exemplifies everything Marvel is capable of. Also, the end of issue #6 has, as I have said, the potential to chance the Marvel universe just as much as Civil War did, see the following spoilers section for more details.

 

SPOILERS:

At the end of Sub-Mariner: The Initiative, all of Atlantis evacuates using the previously thought mythological secret tunnels, and essentially diffuse into millions of sleeper cells throughout the world. Namor takes the Atlantian army to “[his] only ally in recent days,” in Latveria, Dr. Doom. Also, Namor has a son.

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Rapid Fire Reviews: Moon Knight, Silver Surfer, Ultimate Iron Man, and Superman/Batman

Moon Knight 2007 Annual

            Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight, is back in this annual… sort of.  He doesn’t appear until page 16 (not counting advertisements), and even then, he disappears for a while, returning on page 25.  The Moon Knight annual is written by Duane Swierczynski (who will be writing Cable!), and illustrated by Jefte Palo (making his debut), and edited by Axel Alonso.  These men are the ones to blame for this, if you didn’t like it.  That’s a tad harsh; the story is good, I just would have preferred to see more Moon Knight in it.  The story is more about a sexual predator and how he preyed upon women, and was eventually found by Moon Knight, told from the perspective of an unlucky woman.  I have to say though, it is refreshing to see that Marc Spector is back to his usual line of work, his previous story arc was confusing and not really to my liking.  The art is good, not the super detailed art you may find elsewhere, but in a style very appropriate for a Moon Knight comic.  In short, if you are a fan of Moon Knight, or looking for a good place to have a look at him, I’d say go ahead and spend your four hard earned dollars, but if you’re apprehensive, you shouldn’t feel bad about skipping out on this issue.

Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #2

            In thy name is highly anticipated among Silver Surfer fans.  Written by Simon Spurrier, and Illustrated by Tan Eng Huat, issue #1 was well received, but issue #2 however, I feel will not be so much.  I’ll be honest, I found it confusing.  I could be the story, and it could be the art, I think it to be a combination of the two, however, I feel that it is more a function of the art.  The story picks up where the last left off, Norrin Radd is fighting a giant monster/demon on a distant planet.  After his victory, the previously utopian queen begins to show her true colours, and the façade of utopian society begins to crumble.  The story progresses, and he discovers that he lower society perceive him to be their savior who will lead them in battle against the ruling society.  This comic, while confusing does present very serious moral issues and metaphors, as is typical for Silver Surfer comics, and this one does not disappoint.  In terms of morality, this story looks like it will become exceptional, but it is still hard to follow.  I do not believe that in graphic novels, I should have to constantly refer back to previous issues to determine who is who, and what they are doing (exception being Astonishing X-Men, because that is released so infrequently).  If you don’t mind having to take breaks to figure out who the characters are, or if you have an overwhelming interest in the Silver Surfer, absolutely go out and purchase this without hesitation.  If, however, that doesn’t sound like you, go ahead and pass on this series.

Ultimate Iron Man II – #1

            It’s finally here: the continuation of Ultimate Iron Man.  Written by bestselling author Orson Scott Card, and art by Pasqual Ferry, with colours by Dean White.  I got into Ultimate Iron Man as a bit of a fluke really, I was ordering things off eBay in a bit of a frenzy, and I saw a cheap hardcover available, it turned out to be Ultimate Iron Man by mistake.  As luck would have it though, I loved it but alas, it was too short, why not continue it I asked?  Well, Marvel has delivered.  I want to say it’s amazing, and it almost is.  It’s good, but it’s nothing revolutionary, I was hoping, for a new series, it would have an all new plot; however it is a continuation of the plot from the first Ultimate Iron Man.  This being said, if you haven’t read the original, you’re going to need to.  While not much is happening in the first part of the issue (it’s all set up for the next one), the action is pretty interesting, and the last 2-3 pages really make you think about what is going on in the world today.  If you have not read the first volume of Ultimate Iron Man, go out and do so, but also, you will not be able to understand what’s happening in volume two.  If you’re willing to go out and buy the trade for the original Ultimate Iron Man, I highly recommend this new series.

Superman/Batman #43

            This month’s Superman/Batman is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and penciled by Mike McKone.  The issue opens with a bang; the Teen Titans are seemingly attacking the orbiter.  The orbiter is hoping to harness dark matter as a source of energy, and to help analyze massive amounts of incoming data, they’re using a Kryptonian processor.  Not only are the Teen Titans attacking, but as luck would have it, the Kryptonian processor seems to have gone absolutely haywire.  Soon the reader is made aware of two key facts: the processor and the Teen Titans are connected, and it’s not the real Titans.  It all seems to be a diversion for Dr. Light to infiltrate the fortress of solitude using the processor to transmit him self in photonic form.  Luckily though, Batman is guarding the fortress.  While this is all good and interesting, and the comic ends with a nice cliffhanger, nothing really happens from page to page, it’s more of the same each time.  Mike McKone has done a great job with the art however, entirely the style of art I expect from a comic book.  To expand on that idea, it is nice to have some really fine and detailed art, such as found in Marvels, or Silver Surfer: Requiem, but sometimes it’s nice to have art that feels like it really belongs in a comic book.  McKone delivers on this front.  I’d recommend this book, as hopefully the cliffhanger will have something to do with Countdown, and because it was nice to look at.  If you’re apprehensive, I’d wait to see if the story will end up effecting the DC universe as a whole, and if it does, Superman/Batman #43 isn’t entirely likely to sell out.

            As I am posting this, Santa is over Portugal according to the Norad Tracker.

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