Keep a lookout, the contest is coming in two weeks! Extra money just in time for the holidays and all you have to do is guess in what order I will rate the seven comics that are chosen for me.
1. Avengers Academy #21
This book gives me chills, it's so damn good. With the gang moving into the old West Coast Avengers compound you would think it couldn't get any better, but this self-touting 1st issue of a new era makes sure that the readers get the message - Avengers Academy is about to graduate into the big leagues. Special appearances by several full time Avengers was a nice touch. With the murder at the compound and the last page revelation, Gage and crew continue to keep this book fresh, entertaining and at the top of my stack every month. My Score: A
2. Justice League International #3
This baby is finally finding its rhythm as the team splits up to investigate the large iron giants spread around the world. Dan Jurgens has found his voice and the characters are shaping up nicely because of it. I'm especially enjoying the friendship that seems to be growing between Booster and Batman as well as the rather charming relationship that is budding between Fire and Rocket Red. Aaron Lopresti's art is wonderful as well, making this my favorite book from DC this week. My Score: A-
3. Villains for Hire #0.1
It's like we never said goodbye. Abnett and Lanning return with a new version of Heroes for Hire; a book that was a resounding success. Though not officially the "first" issue, the guys set up the premise beautifully while reminding readers that Misty and her crew are still diligently to keep the streets a safer place. This is a solid book with solid art and a team that at the moment can't be beat. I'm really looking forward to getting me some Kilgrave on monthly bases. My Score: A-
4. Shame Itself #1
I miss books like these. We need more of them and Marvel was always the better of the two when it came to lampoon books. A brilliant take off on Fear Itself opens the book with one of the best moments I've ever seen the Mole Man have. Other shorts consist of Reed, Ben and Victor Von Doom going to their college reunion, a one page Acts of Vengeance take-off and a really funny "Ask Marvel" segment that allows some of Marvel's heroes to answer questions about relationships. With guest artists galore this book is more than worth the money. Wish they made more books like this. My Score: B+
5. Amazing Spider-Man #673
The prologue to Spider-Island starts here... and ends here as well, actually. A very nice and logical end to a very uneven story with an extremely satisfying conclusion; letting Slott wrap up the dense number of characters from this and previous events. The wrap up with the rather boring girlfriend, Carley, is a nice twist that I hope Dan uses to his advantage. Perhaps there is still hope that Dan Slott will be the man to correct that horrific moment with a certain devil with a red dress on. My Score: B
6. Fear Itself #7.1
Everything about this story should have worked better than it did for me. I suppose the fact that we now live in a comic book age where every hero seems to laugh at the concept of death. Bucky's resurrection makes sense in the venue that it is presented but at the same time there is nothing overly good about this book either. Brubaker knows Cap and Bucky but he can't help this horribly predictable plot. My Score: C+
7. Green Arrow #3
The only thing that stops me from giving this book a complete and total failing grade is Dan Jurgens. His art on this book is so well done that it is a shame it is being wasted on a book that seems to have no other life in it. Ollie has become a homogenized combination of DC Green Arrow and Smallville Green Arrow. Krul, unfortunately, has given us a rather dull story. My Score: C-
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