I am really looking forward to this run. The promo’s looked good and Mark Waid is legendary in my book. So I was going into this with a lot of enthusiasm. So I was more than a little disappointed in the beginning of this arc. As intrigued as I am about the return of these classic villains, it felt flat. Not every story has to begin with some kind of huge flashy beginning, but it does need to keep our attention and want us to wait on pins and needles until we get the next issue. This wasn’t it. I’ve still got high hopes that this is going to get better. I mean come on, it’s Waid! But the first chapter of a story that is titles “The Gauntlet” felt like anything but the beginning of an epic Spidey story. My Score: C
Yes, I drink the Kool-Aid that is Geoff Johns, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Still, unlike some fans that drink from other fountains of other writers, I will admit when mine jumps the fence. This is not, however, one of those times! Barry’s return really kicks into high gear and Johns shows us just how vulnerable Flash II is at this point. The return of Thawne is probably one of my favorite returns of all time and the entire Flash family taking part in Barry’s triumphant return is icing on the cake. I’m still curious on how many characters we’re still going to have floating around with the name Flash, but knowing Geoff, he’s got a plan. A special mention to Mr. Van Sciver who is at the top of his game with this series. The new costume designs are amazing (especially Wally’s) and I’ve never seen Liberty Bell look so good. This is one of those rare series that I know I will pick up in trade as well. Just like Mark Waid, Geoff Johns really gets this hero, his world, his family, and his history. My Score: A-
Even before I interviewed Mr. Carey, I had already fallen in love with his “road to redemption” arc of Charles Xavier. I felt it was some of the best written X-Men stories in many years. This issue continues the next arc that really focuses mostly on the return of Emplate and that southern belle – Rogue. I’m a bit less impressed with this story, so far. Perhaps it’s because I am not a fan of the major villain in this story. Or it might be that although the writing is still strong, the stakes don’t seem high enough for our band of mutants. It would also be nice that when you single out one character to put on the cover, you might want to give said character more than a page and a half of appearance time. Yeah, I’m just a bit let down so far, but not enough to give it up by any stretch of the imagination. My Score: B-
I love the concept and story of Blackest Night, I do; however, I’m getting a bit tired of the same basic plot being used in every story now. In this issue we see the continuing return of “Zombie Terra” as she turns to her brother, Geo-Force for help. The secondary story focuses on Katana as her dead family stops by to say hello before ripping out her heart. The reason I like Blackest Night is the same reasons that I’m actually complaining about this; there’s an emotional connection to the dead and the living that makes the story a bit more complex and exciting. To his credit, Tomasi is right on the money with Geo-Force and his undead sister. The conflict in him is palpable; unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Katana’s story. It didn’t hold my attention at all. Still a fan of the event, but for some reason I think the Outsiders could be utilized in a better and much more unique way than this. My Score: B-
Remember that comment I made a few paragraphs back about Geoff Johns? Well, here’s where I have to swallow my pride and admit that what could have been a great twist with Superman Prime has now become a bit of a tangled mess for me. I’m all for breaking down the fourth wall, and making Prime a whiny little fan boy was perfect, but bringing him into the middle of the Blackest Night event has the possibility of really taking the “realism” from this entire arc. It doesn’t seem to make much sense that Prime reads the final pages and then goes head long into doing exactly what the book says he’s going to do. My head hurts just trying to figure this out. Really Geoff, I love your work dude, but I really think this was a bad move. My Score: D+
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