X-Men: Schisms #3
The number one spot easily goes to the coolest event of the summer, thus far. There's a combination of reasons why this story is much better than Fear Itself, but if you check out this issue you'll discover it yourself in the taught story, well done writing and the pretty pictures. The character of Cyclops is one that has seen many ups and downs, but when put into the hands of Grant Morrison he became stronger, more determined and focused. Now it appears that Scott Summers is once again evolving, but whom exactly is he developing into now? The progression of this character in the last few years has made Scott's polarizing decision in this issue stay true to the man. After all these years it seems that Cyclops and Wolverine are almost becoming more like each other. This was the best issue of the mini-series so far and well worth taking a look at. While much of the Marvel Universe seems to be a bit stale and predictable at the moment, the X-Universe seems to be rising to the occasion; and this book it well up to the challenge. My Score: A-
Avengers Academy #18
When I said "much of the Marvel Universe seems to be a bit stale", I was not referring to this book. In a day and age where so many heroes have been established for so long, it can be difficult to make new characters seem fresh and interesting. Gage has not had that problem at all with Norman Osborne's special little kids. He has slowly and masterfully made every student of the Academy well rounded and worth investing in. Because of that, issue #18 is an old fashioned nail biting battle between young warriors and Gods. They are way over-matched but refuse to give up. There is very little wrong with this issue, and when it comes to Fear Itself tie-ins, this is the book that has kept up with the challenge and kept true to its original premise. My Score: A-
Invincible Iron Man #507
What an odd duck Matt Fraction has become for me. Still loving this book and what he is doing with it (especially Pepper) but still on the fence with his X-Men work and not thrilled with Fear Itself at all. With this being Matt's signature book for Marvel I'm surprised that this isn't kicking a little harder than it is. Though Pepper as Rescue is getting some great time front and center, I don't see the emotional element during Pepper's first big crisis that would add so much to this story. I get that during these "events" many books have to tread a little water while they are waiting for the finale but a piece of this story is missing and it feels like it's really needed here. Tony's story, on the other hand, is smaller in this issue but very important. After more years than I can remember, Tony has sacrificed his sobriety for a chance to work with some dwarves creating magical/technical weapons to destroy The Serpent. Personally I think the sacrifice was out of left field but I do like where it's been going since that. This is still one of my favorite Marvel books at the moment, but Matt's many projects are starting to wear on this book, I think. My Score: B-
And then I yawned. Really I have tried to get into these little face panel's but I feel like I'm reading the script with some phoning it in, face shots. And I've got so many issues with this particular artist that it makes the story even more painful. I loved Steve and his "Angels" however, and this does prove that Marvel needs more Victoria Hand in it. Bendis does a terrific job with that character; he should, however, stay away from Steve Rogers. The only thing he's really accomplishing by writing Steve's dialogue is making Brubaker look even more gifted than he already is. The story itself was barely above average and I for one am getting a little tired of all the Captain America-centric stories. My Score: C+
FlashPoint: The Outsider #3
Love the art in this book. Javi Fernandez draws a mean Martian Manhunter. James Robinson is one of my favorite writers but this mini did nothing for me. The final issue has pretty much set up that this character will be around when the reset happens which is fine. Perhaps like many books, I just don't personally "get it". For that reason alone I'm giving it an average grade, but I don't see myself following this character come September. My Score: C
FlashPoint: Wonder Woman and The Furies #3
Wonder Woman versus Aquaman is basically the story here and most of Flashpoint, and there are parts of this alternate world that I have to admit that I like a lot, but when the final issue of a mini (a mini that is pretty important in the grand scheme of things) is nothing more than a repeat of the same moment in another mini-series; you've pretty much hit rock bottom. There were a few additions I suppose but nothing that really had to be said. I love Abnett & Lanning and I know that they are following "orders" (and believe me, their dialogue is still spot on) but this has been nothing short of a waste of time. And still I kind of liked it. My Score: C
Not since the dark days of Nightwing has there been a comic book from DC that has hurt my brain so badly. It's like having the worst acid trip of your life and being stupid enough to go back for more. You cry, you weep, and you have to be tied down so you don't claw your own eyes out, but the following month you take the same damn pill again. In the end of this series we find out that Slade called his team The Titans to basically piss off the kids that have turned him on, turned him down, and occasionally turned him off. I have no clue what the hell is going on with Roy now and to top it off, Jericho has come back again. This book has been so bad I yearn for the days when Devin Grayson was writing a Titan book. My Score: F
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