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Starlord: Top to Bottom for 8/3/11

secretsix36aSecond week the seven books were chosen by my youngest son Jared. Though I wished he would have picked Flashpoint #4 I am very happy he chose my number one spot. It was my favorite book of the week.


1. Secret Six #36secretsix36
How do you say goodbye to a series that obviously meant so much to you as a writer? Gail Simone did it by staying true to each character and giving them the most fitting ending anyone fan could have hoped for. This series ended with nearly all the heroes in the DC Universe finally cornering our anti-heroes/villains in a beautifully drawn and extremely well written battle that sings back to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I am going to miss this book. Really going to miss it. There has never been a better written book in the last five years that this one couldn't compete with in maintaining its original premise and allowing the characters to tell the story. This entire run was obviously a labor of love and may just end up being Ms. Simone's legacy series. She set a standard for this book that the creators of a second volume someday will have a hard time living up to. My Score Final Issue: A+; Entire Series: A

2. Avengers Academy #17avengersacademy17
This story is unfortunately bogged down with the problem that most Marvel titles are having at this point – Fear Itself. A summer event that never needed to be has bled into some of the best titles Marvel has to offer. Gage, however has taken what could potentially be a bad situation and used it to his advantage. By putting the students into the field during war time we get to see how these characters deal with having to grow up so quickly. In war people die, something that can be glossed over by comics, but this issue not only addresses head on, but because this team is full of possible future villains, Mr. Gage is also able to show us which of the students seem to deal with it better than others. Is this a good thing or bad – only time will tell. What is very good is that this book has leapt over the "summer event" hurdle while staying completely on track with its underlining story arcs. Like Secret Six for DC, this is Marvel's "little book that could." My Score: A-

3. Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1fp-batman3
Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso know Batman! This is probably the best mini out of DC's summer event and another book that ends with near perfection. The only real problem here is that these minis on an event like this are really unimportant and many times leave me with the question: "What's the point?" Still, with that being said, this Elseworld tale is one of the best I've read in years. Killing Bruce while his parents survived that robbery so many years ago is a great take, and the final reveal of the Joker is perfect. Tragedy sometimes begets tragedy; a point that is beautifully illustrated by Eduardo Risso. Even without the well-orchestrated words of Mr. Azzarello this story could rely on the panels alone to tell us everything we need to know. This was a rather haunting tale and one I'm very glad I spent the money on. My Score: A-

4. Hulk #38hulk38
Both Hulk books are pretty solid right now, with this one having an edge this month because of one character: M.O.D.O.K. What it suffers from, like all the others, is the need to be tied into the summer event. Though not as well done as Avengers Academy, Jeff Parker is able to use the recent alteration of Thunderbolt Ross and one of his creators, the aforementioned floating bobble head, to show a rather unique take on the villain's obsession towards his "baby". I hope that this continues since Red Hulk needs his own arch enemy and just like Ultron and the Vision before them, these two have the makings of being perfect foils for each other. My Score: B+

5. Moon Knight #4moonknight3
My first review of a Bendis book since I've been back and not a bad one to start with I suppose. If you are a fan of Moon and Bendis you are in for a great treat. If you're a fan of the Knight but not Bendis... not so much. If you're not a fan of either, than why the hell would you even consider buying it? Sheesh! As usual, Brian Michael Bendis plants his tongue firmly in his cheek before typing a single word. By using all his wittiest Avengers to represent shards of his shattered mind (but let's face it, every Avenger is witty under Bendis' writing). His teaming up with Echo just makes any fanboy scream in delight, since this is Echo we are talking about. Do I sound sarcastic; I don't mean to be, my tongue is just planted firmly in my cheek. Truth be told, I keep coming back for more of this series so I guess there is something about it I like – just don't know what yet. My Score: B-

6. The Punisher #1punisher1
Frank isn't a character I necessarily need to read about nor want to, but with Greg Rucka at the helm I couldn't not take a look. The only Punisher run I ever really enjoyed was Garth Ennis'. It does appear that Greg is going back to basics which is a good thing after the whole Frankenpunisher arc that, although was fun, did stray quite a bit from the origin of this character. Everything is here in this first issue to get you on the ground floor of his run, with art work that maintains well for this genre. Unfortunately at no time did I find anything new that would make me keep buying the book. If I was a fan of Punisher, than I would no doubt hang in there for the entire run. My Score: C

7. Superboy #10superboy10
While some books from DC seem to be going out on a high note, others seem determined to go out with a whimper. What might have been a good book if given the chance, finished with the lamest and quickest wrap up I've seen in a comic in years. Arion's appearance had no real purpose and even one of my all-time favorites like Phantom Stranger couldn't pull this out of the most boring of the week pile. It's really too bad. My Score: D+

Until next week, don't do anything I wouldn't do!
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