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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Comic Reviews: Week of December 16th

Marvel:

1. Amazing Spider-Man #615:

Simply put: one of the best written Spidey comics to date. Superb. Javier Roderiguez continues “The Gauntlet” by next having Spider-Man battle Sandman, and while not a single punch is thrown in this issue, Roderiguez had written a stellar story that involves Spidey using his detective skills. The subplot involving J. Jonah Jameson (building off of last issue’s amazing ending) is, alone, intriguing enough to keep a reader interested. Buy this. While a comic that’s published tri-monthly may lose something in the switch between writers, this does not occur with Amazing Spider-Man 615. Terrific issue.

2. Dark Avengers #12: I’ve said before that I love the way Bendis writes The Sentry. He excels at it in this issue. The story is phenomenal, and a character I’ve never heard of, Molecule Man, is presented as possibly the most powerful villain in the Marvel U -- until The Sentry shows us his true power. Again, buy this. An incredible issue that sets up Marvel’s next big event, “Siege”.

3. Captain America Reborn #5: I’m looking forward to this series finishing because I think the conflict of two Captain Americas is much more interesting than the concept of bringing Captain America back. It’s a fight we all knew was coming, and now we have it -- except it feels too trite, too forced, and too clichéd. Wait for Brubaker to finish this “event” before returning to the regular Captain America series.

4. Ultimate Armor Wars #3: I love Warren Ellis’ writing. Here, however, it’s forgettable. I’m reading this series because I’m interested in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. While I like it, I’m not pushing anyone towards it because I feel nothing will be gained or lost by sticking with it.

5. Spider-Man -- Clone Saga #4: The original Clone Saga was what got me in to comics. I know -- a pretty crappy entrance. But, I was intrigued by the back story, and how the writers had used a pretty insignificant part of Spider-Man’s background to build a new character and a new life for him. It was Marvel’s first attempt at a Spider-Man reboot. While it didn’t take (for a myriad of reasons), it was, I feel, partially responsible for the Ultimate Universe. Plus, I still have a thing for clones. So, I’m reading this series because I’m curious to see what Tom DeFalco and Howard Mackie are going to do. Otherwise, don’t waste time on this. Read the summaries online and save yourself the money.

IDW:

1. Locke and Key Crown of Shadows #2:

Joe Hill has become a surprisingly adept comic book writer. I read his novel, Heart Shaped Box, and felt that it was a typical first novel -- neither bad nor good. I hope, however, he sticks with comic book writing because he can craft a hell of a story. If you haven’t been following Locke and Key, I recommend picking up the trades. Gabriel Rodriguez captures Hill’s timing perfectly, and both men have been able to create a lucid world filled with fantastical elements. Read this. Well, read the older issues, then read this. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

2. Ghostbusters Displaced Aggression #4: I can’t tell if there’s a cult love for Ghostbusters, a true love of the material, or if it’s just the “in” 80’s thing. I love that IDW published a Ghostbusters mini-series; I wish they would make it a regular thing. It would be fun to read about the Ghostbusters in their prime, showing them doing what they do best -- capturing ghosts. It’s the formula that worries me. Heroes meet villain; villain destroys heroes; heroes regroup; heroes defeat villain by combining forces. I would prefer a few stand alone issues rather than complicated arcs that involve Gozer over and over. The movies have spectacular montages that could be explored in more depth. What IDW really needs is Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis to pen a Ghostbusters tale. The people who are trying to imitate the material are not succeeding.

DC Comics:

1. Green Lantern Corps #43:

I’ll give you two reasons to buy this issue. 1. Guy Gardner becomes a red lantern, pulls off the arm of a yellow lantern and stuffs it down his throat. 2. Mogo returns (Mogo is a planet sized green lantern). I professed my love for Peter J. Tomasi last week. I picked up GLC this week because he penned it, and I’m not disappointed. Plus, DC has been able to put some pretty stellar artists on their Green Lantern comics. It’s a good mix that makes the series so incredible. Keep up with “Blackest Night”. It’s DC’s shining moment.

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