Comic Reviews 2/9/10 (Super secret special guest, too!)

Posted on February 9, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

It’s that time of the week again!  Man, I love review day.  As you know, I purchase my comics from Comics and Paperbacks Plus, in Palmyra. You can find them on Facebook here or here, or you can stop in if you find yourself in Central Pennsylvania. You can also follow me on Twitter, just to see what I think of my books as I read them! Here’s what I got:

Hellblazer #263
Dark Avengers #13
X-Factor #201
Amazing Spider-Man #618-619
Blackest Night: The Flash #2
Spider-Man: Clone Saga #5
Spider-Man: Eyes Without a Face #2
New Avengers #61
Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #1
Green Lantern #50
Justice Society #35
Dark Reign: Hawkeye #5
Hulk #19
Incredible Hulk #606
Captain America #602
The Atom and Hawkman #46
Captain America Reborn #6
Thor #606
Batman and Robin #7
Secret Warriors #12
Kick-Ass #8
Blackest Night: JSA #2

There’s a magical land of criticism and praise, just beyond the jump!

Kick-Ass #2

Marvel/Icon, $2.99

Mark Millar, John Romita Jr.

Let me start by addressing the cover.  First, the action very accurately describes what takes place inside.  Lots of blood, and pain dealt by a little girl and a teenage boy.  Second, I love the play on the classic cover with the “When Titans Pimp-Slap” tagline.  What I found interesting about Kick-Ass is that there was a buzz surrounding it, so much so that the movie was made before the comic even finished.  Unlike so many other things that the internet buzzes about, though, Kick-Ass, as a series, delivered an interesting premise, and did it surprising well.  Some other comics take something like this, start to run with it, fall flat, and have Spider-Man, Wolverine, Batman, or Superman swoop in to give it a graceful(or not, depending on how you look at it) ending.  Kick-Ass stands completely on it’s own.  Millar has said that he’s planning on more stories in this universe, and I’m looking forward to that.

It’s been said before that I’m not a big fan of John Romita Jr.’s art style, but I find I quite enjoy it here.  It fits rather than detracts from the story in my opinion, and while some pages may look like the colorist took the short route and covered the entire page in red and erased the parts that weren’t blood, in some way I think that adds to my enjoyment here.  All of this combined adds up to get Kick-Ass a coveted Odin’s Beard!

Odin’s Beard 5/5

The Atom and Hawkman #46

DC Comics, $2.99

Geoff Johns, Ryan Sook

Ahh, another Blackest Night tie-in.  Just thinking about how much my pull list is going to shrink when this event is over makes me a little sad.  This is one of the dead titles that DC resurrected during the month-long hiatus they took from the core Blackest Night title.  I’ll talk more about the other dead titles later, but this one, as it focuses on Ray Palmer, and is written by Geoff Johns is pretty fantastic.  The journey Johns takes us on is a pretty cool one.  It shows a lot about what Ray Palmer has gone through as a character over the last couple of years, and it also shows why he’s probably the perfect core DC character to take on the deputy Indigo Lantern role.  Unlike some of the other dead titles, this one also has a direct impact on the outcome of the core Blackest Night title.

As for the art, there’s nothing to complain about, and in fact some of the sections are really good, but altogether it’s not anything to write home about.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Face #2

Marvel Comics, $3.99

David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, Carmine Di Giandomenico

This story is just Hulk-caliber bad.  I had to check the cover several times while reading it to make sure that it wasn’t written by Claremont or Loeb.  What sucked me into it initially was that I love seeing my favorite characters juxtaposed to different timelines, like 1602, or the Victorian Avengers/Fantastic Four action figures that you can find online.  This title tries a little to hard to live up to the Noir name, and just kind of ends up putting Spider-Man in a black costume with a trenchcoat, a fedora and a gun, trying so hard to hit the Noir target that it sails completely past it and loops back to the comically bad.  Really, the only thing this comic has going for it is vaguely interesting character designs, and the first miniseries did that better.

The art is a little off-putting too.  Everyone’s face looks a little too weird to be a person’s, and the color palette relies far too much on shadow, to an extent that it’s shocking, even with the word Noir in the title.  Save your money, folks.

Superman’s Beard 1/5

Justice Society of America #35

DC Comics, $2.99

Bill Willingham, Travis Moore, Dan Green

This is the second issue since the Justice Society’s roster was split in half, presumably to boost sales of two titles.  My comic guy says that an increasing number of people are dropping it, though, which is unfortunate, because this book is really fun.  These last two issues have been the first time I’ve seen Mordru used in a comic in a while, but to be fair, Mordru isn’t really high on the list of things I look for in a comic. I think the main reason I enjoy it is because Magog is on the other team, but-

What?  He’s here?  Damnit, I knew I should have checked those bushes!  The premise in this issue is very nice, as it bounces between each of the members of the Justice Society until they’re inevitably able to come together to defeat the baddie.

The art, at this point, is something I’ve come to really enjoy.  It’s familiar, comforting even.  Hopefully the Justice Society continues this way for a little while before they combine the two rosters to unmanageable size again.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

Dark Avengers #13

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato, Rain Beredo

A few years ago, I remember seeing the Sentry in the pages of New Avengers, and like many fans, I ended up buying the Sentry trade to get caught up on who this guy that Matt Murdock was going to talk to was, and why he was the one person on the Raft that put himself there voluntarily.  After reading the trade, I thought the Sentry was cool, even if his origin was a little iffy and his powers were slightly undefined.  After all, what does the power of a million exploding suns actually translate into?  Apparently a penchant for ripping people in half, whether they deserve it or not.  This issue explains, quite nicely, exactly why Norman Osbourne has a golden-haired lapdog in the pages of Siege, though, and I like the explanation.  It’s also nice to hear Lindy’s side of things, and to know that Robert is still inside, fighting back and trying to be a good guy.

The only thing I have to say about the art is that at times everyone seems too heavily muscled, but I can look past that.  As it is, I’m most excited to see Dark, New, and Mighty Avengers end so that we can get back to Avengers, and I’m even a little excited for Secret Avengers.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Batman and Robin #7

DC Comics, $2.99

Grant Morrison, Cameron Stewart

The first thing I’m going to say is that it’s nice to see that Morrison is actually dealing with Robin being shot a bunch of times the last issue.  That said, this issue is a bit sloppy once Batwoman enters the fray.  There’s about 2 pages where the things that are supposed to be said by Batwoman are coming out of Batman’s speech bubbles and vice versa.  It’s a little disorienting, but since I’ve read other Grant Morrison books before, I’m kind of prepared for the disorienting.  Yes, I’m talking mostly about Final Crisis, although Seven Soldiers deserves a nod there too. Dick’s scheme to bring Bruce back is a good idea, but nothing we haven’t seen in Batman comics before.  Actually, I’m surprised that it took someone this long to try it.  It was my first thought at the end of Final Crisis.

Stewart’s art is fantastic.  His Batman is very distinctive, and I love the way Knight and Squire look.  All the components, in spite of the mistake, add up to an enjoyable book, with a preview of the next book on the last page that assures that I will be buying it next month.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Keep your eyes here for the next lineup of reviews, folks!  I have a feeling that it will be sooner, rather than later, and I may have a trick or two up my sleeve.  But for now, I have an underwater city to visit!

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