Thursday, December 11, 2008

Comic Book Reviews for the Week of Nov. 26, 2008 (Regular Series)

Blue Beetle #33

“Two words: armored codpiece.”

Well, the issue fooled me just as well as it did everyone else. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see the villain gloat and reveal his plans AFTER he’s already accomplished them. Of course, it then allows him to kill the star of the book, so there’s that. I wonder if the scarab can bring its host back from the dead? I guess we’ll find out next issue.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #19

“I hope you die first. With the most wounds.”

Will we ever find out why Willow dragged Buffy to the future? Was it really an elaborate suicide plan, or just a gimmick to get Buffy and Fray together? I thoroughly enjoyed the back-home plot more than Buffy’s. I say give us more of the support and less of the main event.

Captain America #44

If we’re supposed to know who the mystery villain who is sort of revealed at the end is, I’m drawing a blank. I didn’t think there was that much meat to this issue. Cap is intentionally led to Batroc’s next heist, where he gets a beating from said mystery villain. We also get a view at a scene from Bucky’s Winter Soldier days. But the story doesn’t really progress because we don’t learn anything. And I still can’t take Batroc seriously.

Daredevil #113

I like it when writers have to get creative with new villains in order to get around our hero’s powers. Lady Bullseye with her faint scent and calm heartbeat is a nice touch. I don’t see her as a big threat, but I think she’ll make things interesting. I’m also liking Master Izo, but he’s coming off like Stick 2.0, or I guess that would be Stick: The Prequel…or even the Hard Master from G.I. Joe. The last scene of the book caught me fully off-guard. I wasn’t all that familiar with the character, only reading her appearances in DD and not her mini, but it was still pretty shocking.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7

I wasn’t a fan of the original series, but I really like this group. And I’m oddly curious as to what Vance is doing here. We learned why Starhawk is here. Are the two connected? I’m not too interested in Adam’s search for the truth about the search, but Drax’s search for Cammi has my interest. I really enjoyed his mini-series, and I can’t remember what happened to her during Annihilation. Speaking of Annihilation, I seem to remember Blastaar on the side of the angels during that tiny skirmish, which didn’t ring true to me then, but it looks like he’s not all that of a nice guy anymore.

Hulk #8

I still have a problem with Bruce doing a quick switch between the Hulks. I realize that they’re representations of different aspects of his personality, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been able to do this before. And since when have there been so many Wendigos? ALL of those people are cannibals? That’s a lot of the long pig. As for the second part of the story, I just don’t like the Red Hulk (and I refuse to call him his other name). And after enraging him even more, some additional big-name female superheroes show up. Tigra? Really? What can she do against the Hulk?

The Incredible Hercules #123

I’m loving the fact that Pak is not sacrificing Hercules’ mythological backround in exchange for more human stories. He’s a demigod, so embrace it rather than shy away from it. That’s what Pak has done, and unless he’s just THAT creative, it looks like he’s done his homework. I felt sorry for Delphine and Amadeus; they make a cute couple. And I hope the goings on with the Olympus Group will be an ongoing subplot rather than the next storyline. They look like they should be very menacing.

New Warriors #18

Well, the Iron Man/Night Thrasher switcheroo was a bit of a surprise, as was who was in the Iron Man armor. So the question now is how all this happened.

Nova #19

Continuity cop! Continuity cop! Rich’s brother was kidnapped by a foe of the original New Warriors and had his finger cut off. When he’s talking with Darkhawk in this issue, he clearly has all of his fingers. Boom! Head shot! One thing I hope doesn’t happen is that this becomes Marvel’s equivalent of the Green Lantern Corps. I know the power set is different, but the concept is similar. Well, I guess it’s not all that original of a concept to begin with, but that is the first thing I thought of at the beginning of the issue. I hope we’ll continue to see Darkhawk, and having two Nova centurions in the Rider family should be interesting.

Skaar: Son of Hulk #5

I thought this was a mini, but it looks like it’s an ongoing series. That’s fine with me. Planet Hulk was some of the best Hulk stories I’ve ever read. I think it’s great that Greg Pak can do a series like this and also do The Incredible Hercules, which is light and humorous and totally different. I’m wondering if this will eventually lead to Skaar taking a trip to Earth to find and confront the Hulk. Eh, he doesn’t seem that proactive. He actually seems like a smarter version of the early Hulk, who just wanted to be left alone. If he gets the Old Power, though, he will be virtually unstoppable.

Superman #682

I’m really enjoying this New Krypton storyline. What the Kryptonians did in this issue made perfect sense, and the ones who killed the cops looked like they wore the garb of the more militant Kryptonians, so I’d guess they might have even enjoyed it. I have no idea who Atlas is, so I should probably do some research on him. Here’s a thought: with 100,000 Supermen and women on the planet, I would think that at least some of them would try and be heroes of other cities, eventually coming into conflict with heroes that might have already staked their claim there.

Teen Titans #65

Mmm, decent ending to a just okay story. Wonder Girl actually looks like a Wonder Girl now, and she’s no longer beholden to Ares or Zeus, so that’s good. I’ll be looking forward to next month’s recruitment drive, though. I’m just not getting the team vibe from this group. I guess that’s natural, though, since Robin and Wonder Girl are the only ones left from the beginning.

Trinity #26

Ah, now here’s a great catch for the continuity cops, but it’s a tip of the hat, not a wag of the finger. Busiek has apparently done his Opal City homework because he uses Charity’s last name, O’Dare. Charity and Mason O’Dare fell in love during James Robinson’s Starman series, and I remember him being shot by Spider right before the series ended, but I’m guessing he didn’t die (I’m rereading the series through the Omnibus, but there’s only one out so it will take me a while to get to the end). Good for you, Mr. Busiek. I thought having the two stories end at the same spot was a nice touch. I’m not sick of Tarot anymore, so that’s a plus, but I still want to see more of Opal’s residents. And Konvict seems like a decent fellow. I see Morgaine and Enigma’s plans failing because of him.

Ultimate Spider-Man #128

This is hands down my favorite book each month. And I think it helps that Bendis has been penning the thing since issue #1. But one thing I really like about it is that it seems a bit more real. I would think it would be difficult for Peter to keep his double identity a secret, especially from those closest to him. And I like the fact that, at least by the government, he’s not a wanted fugitive. The Ultimates know who he is and greatly respect him because of all he’s done. Tony stepping up for him in this issue against Carol Danvers was a good moment. I’m only slightly on the fence regarding Gwen, but I’m leading more toward the good side, if only because it’s known that she’s a clone, or genetic duplicate, or whatever. I like the full disclosure aspect. Next month we get Spidey’s part in Ultimatum. I hope having this big crossover doesn’t ruin the flow of the book.

Ultimate X-Men #98

Well, I guess a bit of this issue was predictable in the wake of the Ultimatum Wave. There were bound to be retaliations against the X-Men by frightened humans, but I never expected it to come in the form of humans with Sentinel armor on. Were there human-sized Sentinels? I can’t remember. I’m wondering if Dazzler and Nightcrawler are actually dead, Kurt in particular. He can teleport, after all. Rogue hooking up with Alpha Flight was unexpected, and I wonder what will happen to Syndicate now that he’s missing a head?

Walking Dead #55

We’ve taken one step forward, yet fell two back. We’re sticking with Rick being crazy, and Army-guy is a paranoid dick. And the suicide didn’t sit well with me. Not because there WAS a suicide, just because I don’t think we got into the character’s mindset enough to know if that’s something she’d actually do. And it seems like Kirkman kills people just to kill them. We get the shock, but no follow through.

X-Force #9

Another good issue, and I hope Domino ends up staying around. I think she would fit in well with the team, and maybe even lighten the atmosphere a bit. I like that the characters have a bit of an objection to what they’re doing, even if they know what they’re doing is “necessary.” It’s also nice to see links to the past while still moving forward: Sinister’s clones, Hodge’s smiley robots, etc. Plus, we’re going to get a bit of a crossover with Ghost Rider. Nice stuff all around.

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