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Cleaning the Plate for 8/18/10 - Spoilers

Written by Brian Burchette on Monday, August 23 2010 and posted in Reviews
streetsofgotham15-a.jpgA week that makes me happy to be a comic book fanboy. {nomultithumb}

Brightest Day #8brightestday8.jpg
Now here's an issue that rocked in so many ways it wasn't funny. Johns and Tomasi pull off a great piece of origin which pulls Hawkworld, Earth and Thanagar together in a near perfect way. Top it off with the revelation of who the Queen really is and you've got a perfect issue that sits well on its own - not needing to progress the main story much at all as these two writers easily bring you so deep into the Hawk's dilemma that nothing else really seems to matter. In fact the secondary story of Martian Manhunter (the one I was more interested in at the beginning) seems to almost be an inconvenience here. I can't remember the last time Hawkman & Hawkgirl have had such a fascinating story that uses their past in a familiar way but with a great new direction. This is easily my favorite issue of this series so far. My Score: A-

Justice Society of America #42jsa42.jpg
The penultimate issue is actually also the best so far of a story that hasn't really tripped my trigger at all. Part of this is probably I can't get my head around this team of Leaguers. That being said, I do love the fact that Alan Scott and his family have a solid storyline that is front and center. It's also nice to see Dr. Fate (long languishing in comic book limbo) get a moment to shine. Sure he's a novice at this point but by now he should have some knowledge under his belt and Robinson shows it here. Bagley's art is very old style here which makes the feel of this book VERY Silver Age (and that's not a bad thing for this reviewer). I liked this chapter and am actually looking forward to the last one as well. My Score: B

Uncanny X-Men #527uncannyxmen527.jpg
What the hell is going on with Matt Fraction lately? He's taking decompression to a whole new level - so much so that even Brian Bendis is sitting there in disgust. I know we've just come off a pretty major storyline, I get that, but there seemed to be no real purpose here. The scenes between Namor and Emma were fine, the continuation of Hope was kind of interesting, but nothing in this issue was crying out that I needed to buy the next one. A comic doesn't have to be a constant roller coaster ride with cliff-hanger after cliff-hanger, but there should be some kind of grab in every issue that makes you want to come back. I just didn't feel it here. My Score: C-

Batman Beyond #3batmanbeyond3.jpg
Adam Beechen is a hit or miss writer for me, mostly a miss, but this series so far has been a surprising hit. Terry continues to unravel the mystery of this new Hush while also battling a brand new Catwoman - not to mention his constant fighting with his mentor the cranky Bruce Wayne. The dialogue isn't really anything to write home about and the art is average, nothing great, but the mystery of Hush is compelling enough to make me want to keep reading this. Maybe hit is too strong of a word, but so far this story is interesting. My Score: B-

Hulk #24hulk24.jpg
And so it ends, not with a whimper but with a bang - a pretty big one actually.  The final battle between Bruce and General Ross (okay, not the final one but you know what I mean) was actually quite good for a story arc that seemed to be lacking in so many different ways - mostly direction to be honest. I don't know exactly how Loeb pulled the rabbit out of this particular hat, but he made the final chapter fun. The battle between the two Hulks was short but sweet with an ending I really didn't see coming at all. Is Bruce going to join the Avengers again? Or perhaps Red Hulk will be joining. I could see it going either way, though I would love to see Hulk on any one of the Avenger teams. He's one of the original and if anyone deserves it... he does. Even She-Hulk gets her moment to shine, but unfortunately this still ends with way too many Hulks floating around the Marvel Universe. I'd give this entire arc a D but this final chapter gets a higher score. My Score: C+

Batman: Streets of Gotham #15streetsofgotham15.jpg
I am enjoying the HELL out of this story. Nary a mention of Batman or any other caped or cowled hero in this great character study of Harvey Dent - also known as the great Two-Face! Ivan Brandon is telling such an amazing tale here that I'm swept up in the entire thing. Harvey has really lost it this time, so much that even his own men felt obliged to put him down like the rabid dog he's become. I actually couldn't believe the direction the story went and panicked as Harvey sank to the bottom of the bay. We all know that there was no way he was going to be dead, but this is how good the story is - it brings you in all the way and doesn't let go. This is my personal favorite book of the week. THIS book makes me want to come back next month in a big way. Bravo to the creative team for telling one helluva fine story. My Score: A

Thunderbolts #147thunderbolts147.jpg
Another series that has surprised me lately how much I'm enjoying it. I dropped it when Ellis took over but thought I'd give it another look when Parker showed up and the line-up altered once again. Don't get me wrong, this book still feels a bit like a shell of what it once was back in the day, but the addition of Crossbones and Juggernaut has piqued my curiosity. The fact that Fixer, Mach V and Moonstone are still around is an added bonus. A great appearance by Purple Man as well as a guest appearance by Avengers Academy helps make this a good read. Not a great read... but a good read. My Score: B-

Power Girl #15powergirl15.jpg
Judd Winick gives Power Girl the beating of her life and what a fine time it is. It's the type of battle that you rarely see done well in comics anymore, but Judd proves that it can still be done and done right. I was a little worried when the last team left the book, and by no means is this anything as fun as the last one, but it is just as good in its own way. Judd treats Power Girl with a respect that she deserves, giving her plight of balancing a secret identity, the villain of the week, and her duties as team leader for the JSA real substance. I miss the last team a lot, but I'm relieved to see that the book hasn't missed a beat after the changing of the guards. My Score: B


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