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Cleaning the Plate for 10/21/09

Great batch of comics this week.
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Invincible Iron Man #19 ironman19.jpg

Now this is how you right a story! Take a character who, less than two years ago, was the most hated man in the Marvel Universe and in twelve issues make him the underdog that you desperately want to see win, and you can’t help but have one of this years most riveting stories. The conclusion to this arc was never in doubt, but thanks to the skilled writing of Matt Fraction, the ending was no less tragic in its irony. “I win.” Says Tony Stark before he becomes a living vegetable. The ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate redemption for this ever evolving character. Add just a touch of playful dialogue between Pepper Potts and Maria Hill to lighten the tone when needed, makes this book the best that Marvel has to offer. The creative team has taken everything that Brian Bendis has set up and knocked this story so far out of the ballpark that it may end up landing on the moon. My Score: A

Justice League of America #38jla38.jpg

The new team has stepped up to the plate. James Robinson, Mark Bagley and Rob Hunter are leading the premier DC team into its next incarnation. Lately I haven’t been overly impressed with what Robinson has been doing at DC, but with the sound of the starting gun on this title; I’m intrigued – cautiously. This book opens after the events of Cry for Justice, which sadly isn’t over yet. That’s a strike in my opinion. Perhaps James wanted to peek our curiosity with the damage is that has been inflicted on Dr. Light, Plastic Man, and Vixen, but to me it came off as frustrating. The sudden appearance of Despero (one of my personal favorites) seemed a bit random; the explanation not really making a whole lot of sense to me, but the fact that he brought along Gypsy was worth it. Another hit was the return of Zatanna and finally James does what every other writer seems to forget: Zee is pretty damn powerful. With one spell she sends Despero away. I’ve always felt like most writers have to dumb down her powers because let’s face it, couldn’t the resident magician do that with just about every villain they ever faced. In the plus column as well is the fact that Robinson is finally putting this book into the middle of Blackest Night (and as I am a continuity hound, I’m very happy about that). On the minus side, this first issue felt a tad rushed, and as I stated before, random in a lot of parts. Big plus, here come the original Dr. Light! I’m really hoping his run on this title moves at a quicker pace than what he’s doing over in the Superman wing of DC, though. All in all, not a bad start, but I’m not quite sold yet, either. My Score: B-

The Last Resort #3lastresort3.jpg

Issue three is where Palmiotti and Gray really kick it into high gear. With all the characters pretty much in place, they can now get down to the fun of the last resort – zombie eating! As I stated when I reviewed issue one, there really isn’t a lot here that’s new. We’ve seen the biological oops that create these things before. We’ve seen a group of strangers who are brought together on an island of death, before. There really is nothing original here, but the dark humor that is added, makes this one of the more enjoyable zombie books out there at the moment. My only complaint is that I’m not a fan of the art on this book. Some of the characters tend to look the same at times. Still, this is worth reading. My Score: B-


Dark Reign: The List: The Incredible Hulk #1
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First I want to say that this was much more enjoyable to me than this week’s regular issue. Mostly because Wolverine and his bastard child was in the regular one, but I digress. I’ve really enjoyed how Pak has been portraying Bruce Banner since he is no longer the Hulk. He’s become aggressive, manipulative, and proactive. It’s a nice change of pace. Once again we have Norman Osborne working on his “to do list”. This time he’s out to rid himself of Hulk’s new found son as well as eliminate the growing threat of Dr. Banner himself. He sends Dark Ms. Marvel to do the job. There’s a nice twist here as what you expect Norman to want: “The death of Banner” turns out to be the complete opposite. He wants Bruce back as The Hulk, and may just succeed in doing it. As much as I enjoyed this story, I can’t recommend it for one reason: its way too short! Then to add insult we get a reprint of a Spider-Man/Green Goblin story that also involved the Hulk from thirty years ago. I understand the reasoning behind it as Norman mentions off handedly the first time he ever ran into Hulk, but this is a reprint that I’ve seen several times already. If there isn’t enough story to fill the four bucks you’re forcing us to pay, Marvel, then don’t print it! On the flip side of that: Ditko still rocks! My Score: C


Batman: Streets of Gotham #5
streetsofgotham5.jpg

Christ Yost gives us a battle royal between Huntress and Man-Bat in this issue. What makes it special, though, is the way he brings in the story of Father Mark and his long journey into his own personal Hell as he starts off thinking he can make a change in Gotham, to the end when he’s gone over the rails like so many others in that horrid city. The two tales come together at the end, leaving us wondering exactly what will happen next. It’s a nice story. Solid art. Nothing jumped out at me, but nothing turned me off either. The back up feature starring Manhunter, though, is the draw for me this issue. Kate’s friend Dylan is shown back in Gotham and once again working for the other side of the law... or is he? There’s also a wonderful tease of the soon to be confrontation between Kate Spencer and Harvey Dent that I can’t wait to read. Total in a great back up with a solid issue and Streets of Gotham continues to be one of the best Bat-titles out right now. My Score: B


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