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Cleaning the Plate for 12/23/09

The super zombies keep on marching for better or worse, and one last nod to my favorite Marvel book of 2009.

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Arkham Reborn #3arkhamreborn3.jpg

In the final chapter of this mini series, Batman finally comes to the rescue of those trapped inside the once again taken over by the lunatics – Arkham Asylum. The son of the original Dr. Arkham is sent through the wringer as he discovers that his now deceased father is still up to his old tricks, even in death. Actually, the poor guy is being manipulated by staff as well, making us wonder what the guy is doing behind the desk of this place. What is spot on about this story is the portrayal of Dick as Batman. We finally get to see him do some detective work, as I’m sure Bruce had taught him so many years ago. In fact my favorite scene is when Batman tears through Arkham and takes down Clayface with one small vile, claiming it was something he created just to stop the villain. Now that is utilizing more than just the fighting skills his mentor taught him. Also there’s an interesting twist at the end with the creation of a brand new villain that I hope we see more development of. This has been a great read and I tip my hat off to writer and artist for such a wonderful story. My Score: B


thor605.jpg Thor #605

This book is not missing any beats with the departure of JMS, that’s for sure. In fact, I’ll say it’s gotten better if only because it’s actually coming out on time now. As much as I’ve really disliked Dr. Doom in the last ten years or so, I have to admit that there are certain occasions where he reminds me of the Doom I enjoyed in my youth. This book is at the top of Doom’s comeback as the evil dictator that he should be. Some real standout moments in the art department as well; most notable is the panel where Doom holds the dead body of the goddess Kelda over his head in front of Baldur and his men before tossing her like a rag doll over the castle wall. Another stunning panel shows Thor smashing his hammer into Doc Doom who deflects the blow. Both art and coloring are stunning here as well as the rest of the book. If this is any indication of where 2010 is going with Thor; I’m not dropping this title anytime soon. My Score: A-


Teen Titans #78teentitans78.jpg

I can probably describe this book to you in one word: Ugghhh! In all my years of reading this title I never thought I’d say this: “Would someone just put this series down and end the continual pain!” I really don’t even know who to blame anymore when it comes to the character of Jericho. One minute he’s good, the next he’s bad. Never a gradual change, either; it changes from one month to the next! Not that there wasn’t some good moments here, but even the emotional grab that we are supposed to get from seeing those that the Wilson family loved the most coming back to torture them... fell flat. Just like its sister book “Titans”, this series seems to be drifting aimlessly down a river that has no end in sight. Here’s hoping that when Blackest Night is over somebody can get jump start this book. Here’s a tip: lay off the Wilson family for a while! None of them are even Titans anymore! My Score: D-


captainamerica-shield.jpg Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?

Is it just me or does the title remind anyone else of that catch phrase: “If it don’t fit, you must acquit!” That being said, this was a return to form for Mr. Brubaker. Though the Captain America Reborn mini-series was okay; having parts that were good, but most of it kind of stagnant, the story to whom the role of Captain America is going to be shows us once again why Ed Brubaker’s run on this series is so damn good. He really does get these characters. I’m going to put down the mediocre story that preceded this as possible burn out; crossing my fingers that this issue is a signal that the creative team is recharged and ready to forge ahead. My Score: B+


Guardians of the Galaxy #21guardians21.jpg

A title that has yet to have a bad issue. Abnett and Lanning can even make alien space tentacles look new and fresh. With the focus being on Moondragon, this time around, we are shown a new and less arrogant side of the daughter of Drax as she saves the life of one of the Guardians’ most annoying antagonist. What I love most about this title is how easily they are able to add humor into there most tense moments without it being a distraction. I’m also finding the political and theological side of this universe to be just as fascinating. If I had to pick the absolute number one title Marvel put out this year – this is it. My Score: A


bn-jsa1.jpgBlackest Night JSA #1


I’m going to beat this opinion into the ground by starting with it, but to me it is the backbone of what this event is really about. Loss, and the idea that no matter how much time goes by, the loss of loved ones always affect us. There is no better team to use this concept with than the JSA. Having been around for over fifty years now, this team has probably seen more loss than even the X-Men. Okay, if you don’t count the million in Genosha and the other few million with the words “no more mutants”. The return of the original Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman and Sandman give James Robinson the chance to do what he does best: delve into the rich history of this ever lasting team. He’s also able to adept the very best parts of the horror genre and sprinkle it through out this opening issue, leaving us with a cliffhanger that rivals Night of the Living Dead. Many of these tie-ins have been hit or miss, but if this one continues as strong as its opening act, it’s going to be a hit. My Score: B+
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