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Starlord: Top to Bottom for 11/16/11

Written by Brian Burchette on Monday, November 21 2011 and posted in Reviews
ST2BHAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my Outhouse friends and lurker friends out there.

We start the holiday season on Thanksgiving Eve night when I will officially announce the first Pick the List contest!


Winner will receive a $25 Visa Gift Card!!! Just in time for some Holiday Shopping. Rules and the list to come, but hey, let's talk comics this week.

Seven were picked randomly, I read them, rated them and then listed them from my favorite straight down to the bottom.

Again everyone, have a great Thanksgiving and play safe!

1. Wonder Woman #3wonderwoman3
A lot of people tend to make fun of the Wonder Woman series, but if you look back on the history of this title there have been quite a few writers and artists that have given Diana some grand and glorious adventures – George Perez and Greg Rucka to name a couple. With the third issue of this volume, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are more than rising to the aforementioned creators. Tweaking Diana's origin quite a bit with this third chapter, Brian puts our Amazon Princess squarely in the middle of the Gods with the discovery that she really wasn't made of clay at all but the product of a long ago affair between Zeus and Queen Hippolyta. The now blond queen and the Amazon's hid the truth from everyone in fear of Hera's retaliation. This is enough to cause Diana to renounce her heritage and claim her to be only Wonder Woman. As updated origins go, this one has been by and far above the rest. Cliff Chiang's magnificent pencils give both a fresh look to Wonder Woman's world with a nice nod to the Amazon Princess we've seen in the animation world. Thanks to this team I've renewed my love for that bullet and bracelet heroine of old. My Score: A-

2. Nightwing #3nightwing3
Hello Dick! I've missed you. Sure I was ecstatic when you became Batman since you deserve that cowl, but let's face it... you're your own man and have long stepped out of the shadow of the bat. I've seen you through some wonderful times thanks to the likes of writers like Chuck Dixon, and have held faith for you when the likes of Devin Grayson dragged you so far down I thought you would drown. You are the best that all DC heroes have to offer. Kyle Higgins gets you, oh yes he does. He's moving you forward while taking you through your past. Kyle gets that you are the undoubtedly the perfect specimen to come out of the DC Universe, having been raised by both Batman and Superman. I'm so glad you are back and in top form. You have been and always shall be, my perfect Dick. My Score: A-

3. The Punisher #5punisher5
If somebody told me that I would somebody enjoy a Punisher series I'd have laughed them right out of the back room. Even when written at his best I've always felt that Frank Castle is a rather limited character, with even less notes to play than Superman himself. Greg Rucka is determined to prove my opinion wrong and I'm happy to say he's doing a fine job with it as well. The dark and murky world is also well illustrated by artist Marco Checchetto. The almost perfect combination of both writer and artist is making this volume of Punisher one not to be missed. The exchange between the boy and Frank is dead on and the final words the boy utters to our anti-hero lets us know that Rucka has no qualms admitting just how wrong Castle's world is, while still making us want to achieve his every goal. I'm very happy with this title and for the first time in my life I am actually looking forward to a Punisher book each month. My Score: B+

4. Thunderbolts #165thunderbolts165
There are very few books around anymore that really seem to stand the test of time but Thunderbolts is that rare exception. Through several writers this book has maintained the integrity of its original premise and even though there were a few writers that I did not care for, the book never really lost its way. Jeff Parker, though, has put the book right back at the top of its game. The time traveling adventure from the "escaped 'Bolts" that includes a team up with the original Invaders has got to be some of the most entertaining story-telling I've had the pleasure to read in a few years. Suddenly unencumbered by the weight of Fear Itself cross-over crap, this story has taken flight and soared above the rest. My Score: B+

5. Captain America #4captainamerica4
So how long exactly has Brubaker been writing the adventures of Steve Rogers and his friends – because this guy can't be stopped! I rarely find any fault with any of his Cap stories, the most critical being that a story is just really good. Like all the others, this one has Steven and comrades fighting HYDRA, Baron Zemo, and Nazi Scientists with the feeling that this is the first time it's been done. Is this some of his absolute best? Nope. Is this really good? Oh yes. My Score: B

6. Generation Hope #13generationhope13
I want to like this book, I really do. A year into it, however, and I have found that I still don't care about any of these new mutants, nor Hope for that matter. Now this really has nothing to do with my disappointment that Hope isn't really a resurrected Jean Grey, but more to the idea that a character which took over two years to really introduce in the pages of Cable has been given a weak title like this is rather disappointing. I think Hope has some huge potential but the book itself is clunky at best with no obvious direction to which it is going. Of all the X-Titles out there, this is one of the very weakest... nice art though. My Score: D+

7. Birds of Prey #3birdsofprey3
Next to Secret Six this has to be one of the most horrific casualties of the "New 52". I don't like the line-up, I don't like the art, and I don't like the story. It's bland, boring and a complete waste for such a legendary character as Black Canary. The only thing that salvages this from being a total disaster is the reinvention of Katana. Personally what I would love to see is this book and the Red Hood books to be eliminated and start fresh with "Black Canary and the New Outsiders." My Score: D-


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