Bryan’s Comic Book Reviews Super Sized! – Weeks 3 and 4

Welcome back to my weekly (er, I tried) comic book review column. To make up for the missed week I am cramming a boat load of reviews into one column. So stand back and get ready for a SUPER-SIZED! edition of this column…with a very unexpected BOOK OF THE WEEK

On to the reviews:

DC Comics

  • Adventure Comics #7 (Blackest Night Tie-In) – By Tony Bedard and Travis Moore – A really well done issue that has Superboy being a Black Lantern and attacking Wonder Girl and Krypto. The art is mediocre but the story is well done in the sense that we get into the head of Superboy as he’s trying to fight the control of the Black Lantern ring. It gets a 3.5
  • Batman and Robin #9 – By Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewert -This is the conclusion to the return of “Bruce Wayne”. Dick Grayson has brought back to life what he thought was Bruce Wayne in the Lazarus Pit but it turns out not to be the case. A pretty decent end to an OK arc. Coming up next is of course the build to the real return of Bruce Wayne. 3.0
  • Green Lantern #51 (Blackest Night Tie-In) – By Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke – Another home run by Johns. This is the second part of the return of Parallax. This has fantastic art and a great tie-in to Blackest Night. Highly recommended. 4.5
  • Blackest Night #7 (0f 8 ) – By Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis – This is the second to last issue of the giant crossover. I was a little let down as I was expecting more from it. The art was stellar by Reis though. I think at this point I’m looking forward to what is coming after Blackest Night more than the actual ending. That’s probably not a great sign. 3.5
  • Blackest Night: Flash #3 (of 3) – By Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins – A great conclusion to the lead-in to the new Flash ongoing by Geoff debuting in April. The best part of this series was when it spotlighted on the Rogue’s Gallery of Flash. Some great stuff  set up for the new series. 4.0
  • Blackest Night: JSA #3 (of 3) – By Tony Bedard/James Robinson and Eddy Barrows – A horrible rush job by the writer and artist. We have a second writer taking over and the art is done by three different people. The story wasn’t that great to begin with aside from the fact that the creative team couldn’t even finish a three issue mini-series. Terrible from top to bottom. Avoid even if you’re a Blackest Night completest. 1.0
  • Green Arrow #30 (Blackest Night Tie-In) – By J.T. Krul and Diogenes Neves – Probably my favorite Blackest Night tie-in yet. This is what I want out of a Green Arrow book. The story is similar to Adventure Comics #7 where Green Arrow is taken over by a Black Lantern ring and tries to take out Black Canary, Red Arrow, and Speedy. The whole time we are in Oliver’s head as he tries to fight off the control and see various retellings of different parts of his life. Highly recommended. 4.5  BOOK OF THE WEEK
  • Supergirl #50 – By Sterling Gates/Helen Slater and Jamal Igle – This is the 50th issue anniversary celebration of Supergirl which features the conclusion to the Lana Lang mystery and a story written by Helen Slater (actress who portrayed Supergirl in the 1984 movie). The main story is Supergirl realizing that Lana Lang isn’t actually dead, but has become the Insect Queen. It’s a decently told story but not exactly worthy of a 50th issue. The short story by Helen Slater is better and shows the effect Supergirl has on society. So all in all a mixed bag. 3.0
  • Gotham City Sirens #9 – By Paul Dini and Gulliem March – This series is a spotlight for Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy written by Paul Dini, one of the main writers from Batman: The Animated Series. This issue was a delight. It centers around Harley, Catwoman and Ivy going to the recently reformed Riddler (who’s now a P.I.) looking for his help. A great Riddler spotlight with him using his puzzle obsession and trying to solve this mystery. 4.0

Marvel Comics:

  • Dark Avengers #14 (Siege Tie-In) – By Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr. – The second part of the revamping of the Sentry’s origin told masterfully by Bendis. The art was once again great by Deodato. Not much I can say without some major spoilers but if you’re a fan of Sentry I would implore you to pick it up. 4.0
  • New Avengers #52 (Siege Tie-In) – By Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen – A side story with Spider-Man and Spider-Woman fighting the Hood’s goons during Siege. Once again, Bendis writes some amazing and quirky dialogue. There are some great one liners by Spidey. I recommend it. 3.5
  • Ms. Marvel #50 – By Brian Reed and Sana Takeda – This is the final issue. This book has never been a hot seller but the fact that it made it to issue 50 on a B/C Level character is a testament to the work of Brian Reed. Sadly, this final issue didn’t feel very final and was a really mediocre story where Ms. Marvel fights Mystique. There’s a nice little ending talk with Marvel and Spidey but other than that, ‘meh’. 1.5
  • Fantastic Four #576 – By Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham – Once again this book is redefining the Fantastic Four. No more mere Super-Heroes, they are being rebranded (thankfully) as explorers of the unknown. This issue shows them investigating Atlantis, and no, not that Atlantis where Namor hails from. Highly recommended. 4.0
  • Amazing Spider-Man #621 – By Dan Slott and Michael Lark – This is a cool little one shot issue where Spider-Man and Black Cat flirt and…um, do other things 😉 (Peter thanks you One More Day) and run across Mr. Negative and his henchmen. Some great moody and noir-ish art by Michael Lark. The flirty interaction between Cat and Spidey was highly entertaining. 4.0
  • Amazing Spider-Man #622 – By Fred Van Lante and Greg Weisman with art by Joe Quinones and Luke Ross – This is a double-sized issue. The first story by Van Lante deals with Spidey fighting Morbius The Living Vampire that is pretty ‘meh’. The second story by Greg Weisman (Head writer of the great Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon) is a moving story dealing with Flash Thompson and the loss of his legs and the stages of grief he is going through. Highly, highly recommended. That story alone bumps it to a 4.5

Misc:

  • G.I. Joe Cobra II #2 (of 4)– by Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso – I know what you’re thinking. G.I. Joe. 80’s property. You’d be wrong. This is part of IDW’s new revamp of the property. This is by far the best out of the titles. This is a dark noir type story where GIJOE member Chuckles has gone under cover to infiltrate this new unknown group called Cobra.  This is the sequel to that mini-series, which I highly recommend you pick up. It was probably one of the best mini-series of 2009. This continues Chuckles’ story and there are many twists and turns. They also introduce Tomax and Xamot, the Crimson Guard Commander Twins. Just a great story of twists and turns and takes this kid property into totally mature and adult areas. 4.5
  • Transformers (Ongoing) #4 – By Mike Costa and Don Figueroa – This is the new relaunch of the Transformers Generation 1 property by IDW. It’s a story more about the aftermath of the Autobot/Decepticon battle on Earth. Humanity is trying to rebuild and Optimus Prime has surrendered to the US Government while Hot Rod has taken over leadership of the Autobots. With the death of Megatron, the Decepticons are in dissaray and this issue spotlights the return of Thundercracker and is through his point of view. This is highly HIGHLY recommended for any Transformer fans as it’s the best the TFs have been since Simon Furman wrote them. 4.0

That’s it for this week. I’ll hopefully be back next week with more reviews. Again, any suggestions on books to review or any feedback whatsoever is welcome and appreciated.





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