Single Combat 6/29

Posted on June 29, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

By Erik Lewis, Lead Blogger

Without much in the way of an introduction, you know what I do here, let’s get on with it!  As always, I pick up my comics at Comics and Paperbacks Plus in Palmyra, PA.  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:

Secret Warriors #17
Thunderbolts #145
Fantastic Four #580
Killer Croc #1
Hulk #23
X-Factor #206
The Rise of Arsenal #4
Green Arrow #1
Zatanna #2
Amazing Spider-Man #635
Heralds #4
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3
Avengers #2

Check out what I thought after the jump:

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3

DC Comics, $3.99

Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette, Michel Lacombe

It’s the third chapter of Bruce Wayne’s return to the role of Batman, and that’s enough to establish a pattern.  I’m loving this story more and more with each passing issue.  For those who don’t remember, the first issue featured Caveman Batman, the second had Witch Hunter Batman, and this one features Pirate Batman, along with Blackbeard, the notorious pirate.  It seems Bruce is starting to get a grasp on what’s happening, and I can only imagine what’s going to happen when he fully realizes what’s going on.  The art in this issue is fantastic, and very well suited to showcasing what’s going on.  There’s an attention to detail that’s really essential to the story and seeing what Bruce figures out as they get farther into the cave.  I think the thing I liked most about this issue, though, was the type of story being told.  Batman really lends himself very well to the swashbuckling sort of adventure more than I would have thought, especially in a pirate story.  What’s also interesting, though, is while Bruce is starting to figure things out on his side, Morrison sees fit to give us facts like dates, and starts to tie things together, like the bat clan people, and the diary, and even gives us snippets of what’s going on in the present.  The major downfall of the book, as I’ve said about Morrison before, is the lack of exposition.  A lot of the confusion surrounding this title could be alleviated with either more context clues, a line or two of exposition, or both.  It wouldn’t really be that difficult.  As I’ve already started getting the single issues I’m going to finish up the story that way, but I’m starting to think that this particular story, and maybe Grant Morrison stories in general, could possibly benefit being read in a collected format, so that’s what I’m going to suggest you do, if you can wait that long.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Fantastic Four #580

Marvel Comics, $2.99

Jonathan Hickman, Neil Edwards, Andrew Currie, Paul Mounts

Jonathan Hickman is really working with something here in Fantastic Four, which I like.  I really like how, instead of focusing on the family as a unit and putting them into crazy situations and leading them on adventures like what’s been done with Marvel’s First Family so many times before, Hickman will take parts of each issue and focus on individuals or small groups.  This particular issue has it’s main focus on Johnny and Franklin, who are going to a toy store that’s run by nefarious super villain Arcade, who has supposedly cleaned up his act.  Also in the issue is the Impossible Man, who I haven’t heard from in forever.  A secondary focus is Reed and his cadre of young geniuses deciding what project to work on.  What they come up with is a little shocking, only in that I’m surprised it’s taken this long for someone to come up with it, and I can’t wait to see how it’ll change things in the book.  Hickman manages to cram an awful lot of events into this book, and while I don’t fully understand the interlude part, the rest of the book is just a joy to read, so because of that I highly recommend this book.

Odin’s Beard 5/5

Green Arrow #1

DC Comics, $3.99

J.T. Krul, Diogenes Neves, Vicente Cifuentes

Coming straight out of Blackest Night(and tied to Brightest Day) and the Justice League: Rise and Fall mini-event, we have the start of Oliver Queen’s 5th volume.  There are some interesting things going on here, namely the link that the forest that sprung up in the middle of Star City has to the White lantern energy, and also the new head of Queen Industries and what she has in store for Star City and Ollie himself.  I think the Robin Hood connection could be called heavy-handed if they were trying to disguise it as a metaphor and not just accepting the fact that that’s what they’re turning him in to, even going so far as to tease Ollie’s Merry Men as part of the 2nd issue.  What really surprises me about this is the fact that even though Ollie started out as the darker part of the Rise and Fall special, it seems like DC has big plans to make him come out on top of the whole exchange.  I’ll be interested to see where they take the character in the next couple of issues, but this book is still on the brink of being removed from my pull list.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Hulk #23

Marvel Comics, $4.99

Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Sal Buscema, Ian Churchill, Mike Deodato, Dale Keown, John Romita Jr., Tim Sale, Herb Trimpe, Leinil Yu

And finally, after about 20 issues of Hulk comics(most of which were terrible), Jeph Loeb finally reveals just about everything that’s been behind the scenes for the Red Hulk character.  It’s no real shock that he’s revealed to be General Ross, but it is a significant shock to see everything the characters been through in the recent storylines, and even to see how far back they’ve fleshed him out and how they’ve taken care of…really everything.  That’s not to say that I’m going to excuse the problems that I’ve had with the book up until now, but I can certainly understand more of what went on.  At any rate, I’ve decided to review this book not to say mean things about the story, but instead to praise the art specifically.  It’s really nice to see all of those artists put to good use, each illustrating an era of the Hulk that they’re good with, and it facilitates the story as it goes along.  If looked at for nothing but the art, this book is truly a good book, although maybe not really worth the $4.99 cost.

Ollie’s Beard 3/5

Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #4

DC Comics, $3.99

J.T. Krul, Geraldo Borges, Kevin Sharpe, Fabio Jansen, Marlo Alquiza, Scott Hanna

The end of the other part of the Rise and Fall series.  Roy seems to have gotten the short end of the stick, which, considering how Ollie’s part of this story started, is saying something.  The character has been through a lot at this point, so it’s kind of understandable how he reacts, but it’s still a shame to see it go the way it goes.  The ending almost negates the good that Ollie did throughout the course of his part of the story, which is a shame, but it would have been a much different story and a much different character had it gone any other way.  While I’m interested to see where DC and Krul take Roy from here, although I can safely say I’m not going to actively seek out stories featuring Roy.  Die hard Arsenal/Red Arrow fans should probably read this series, everyone else can skip it.

Batroc’s Beard 2/5

Amazing Spider-Man #635

Marvel Comics, $3.99

Joe Kelly, Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudino, Matt Hollingsworth

Part 2 of the Grim Hunt.  This is easily the most fun I’ve had reading a comic in months, which is something I’ve been saying about Spider-Man titles a lot recently.  It’s important, since it comes out several times a month, that Spider-Man be good enough to justify the cost I spend on it every month, and the Grim Hunt is certainly worth every penny of it’s cover price.  Lots of big things going down in this one, great fight scenes, great character interaction, and even a surprise ending.  I’m a little disappointed the Venom and Anit-Venom aren’t in it, but there’s still a few parts to the Grim Hunt yet, so there could be time.  If you have even a passing interest in Spider-Man, do yourself a favor and buy this story.  It can only get better, and the backup pieces are intriguing enough on their own to warrant a buy as well.

Odin’s Beard 5/5

And that’s all I got for this week!  Be sure to check back later in the week for more, and we’ll be here next week to review single issues again!

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3 Responses to “Single Combat 6/29”

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I like the new title for this feature. Good work.

I thought it was fitting with the rest of the titles, kinda.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erik Lewis, Erik Lewis. Erik Lewis said: Reviewing Amazing Spider-Man, Hulk, Green Arrow, and more in this week's Single Combat 6/29: […]

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