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Cleaning the Plate for 1/27/10

Marvel Comics First Family seems to be on the rise while DC's flagship book still seems lost at sea.

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Justice League: Cry for Justice #6jla-justice6.jpg

Marvel has the Avengers and DC has The Justice League. Both my favorite franchises of each company, which makes it even more frustrating when the respective books just aren’t working – like this one. I have the utmost respect for James Robinson (and I can’t blame him alone), but this mini-series has been a huge disappointment, and as it draws to its conclusion, I don’t see it getting any better. Prometheus takes out all of our heroes except Troia who ends up being the one to take him down. However, we discover that he has set up bombs in major cities that will not destroy them, but will send them to other dimensions to be lost forever. No... really. It’s like Silver Age meets Bronze Age. Fierce gritty battles that ends with a bizarre device that comes right out of left field. And of course, Star City is the first to go, thus helping along 2010’s year of The Green Arrow. This book is no longer limping to the finish line, its crawling as it gasps for breath. I will have to say, though, that I’d pay good money for an inked and colored print of Scott Clark’s work on any one of these heroes he’s been drawing. Some of the prettiest art I’ve seen in ages. For that reason alone I’m not giving this book an F. Instead My Score: D+


xbabies4.jpgX-Babies #4

The finale of this four issue mini-series finds the original X-Babies in an all out battle against the new X-Babies. They have help, though, as all the other creations from Mojo join them in the final battle. In the end, they defeat the X-X-Babies and gain control of Mojo World. It doesn’t take long for the Babies to become bored and they soon discover a new world to investigate. With Spiral’s help they are off on a new adventure. This was a cute story, but the whole series felt a bit uneven. At times very funny, like when X-X-Baby Kitty phases through X-Baby Kitty and shouts, “I’m not touching you” but other times the jokes seem to fall flat. The X-Babies have always been fun to read, but I can’t really suggest this particular mini-series. Final Issue: B   Entire Series: C-


New Avengers #61newavengers61.jpg

With the Asgardian Norn Stones now in the possession of The Hood, thanks to a deal between Norman and Loki, the syndicate of villains is souped-up and ready to take on The New Avengers. While both Steve and Bucky battle The Living Laser and The Corrupter, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman are confronted with an even more powerful Griffin and Mandrill. In this issue there is a lot of witty banter (mostly Spidey so it works) and a lot of cool battle scenes. It’s nice to see a little action going on in this book again, but the cliff-hanger is pretty standard and there really isn’t anything that knocked my socks off in this issue. My Score: B-


billybatson-shazam12.jpgBilly Batson and the Magic of Shazam #12

The revelation is out and the reason young Billy has been such a jerk these past couple of weeks is because he’s been controlled (kind of) by Mr. Mind. Yes, that pesky little worm is back and dangerous as ever. Captain Marvel fights the evil embodiment of himself with the help of both Mary Marvel and Tawny who seems to be stuck in mid-transformation between man and tiger. I love this book. Between this one and Tiny Titans, Baltazar and Franco give me two books that make me feel like a kid again when I’m done. And in this day and age, that isn’t very easy to do. My Score: B


Fantastic Four #575fantasticfour575.jpg

Huge explosion and the Baxter Building is invaded by a giant subterranean monster that carries The Mole Man on his back. With a flourish he requests the help of his oldest enemies and with that, the adventure is on. An ancient city once used by the High Evolutionary is the focal point of the drama and by the time the story is over, the Fantastic Four (Reed of course) has raised the city to the surface. Thus beginning the new story arc that will involve four cities. When Hickman joined the ranks of some legendary writers on this title, I was less than thrilled with the first couple of issues. However, last issue and this one have me realizing I may have made a mistake. Not only does Hickman capture the heart of the first family of heroes, but Eaglesham supports him with some of the best work in his career so far. I haven’t been this happy with this book since the days of John Byrne. My Score: B+


jla41.jpgJustice League of America #41

This issue of Justice League suffers from the “Reborn Syndrome” but even worse. What is the Reborn Syndrome you ask? Its Brubaker’s Captain America story that was ruined before it was even finished due to the fact that everyone was already using Steve in other books. James Robinson’s introduction to the all new Justice League is marred by the same problem. Not only does this story start right after the abysmal Justice League “Cry for Justice” but it also takes place after Blackest Night, thus revealing the outcome of at least two or three major players. The story itself of Donna Troy trying to find herself (AGAIN!) and being recruited by Diana to become a member of the JLA is okay. Her interaction with Dick in the Bat costume was actually my favorite scene and well written. Mark Bagley is one of my favorite artists to date and I love seeing him on DC’s flagship title. But why or why do we have to put up with Bruce’s bastard kid in this book too. Robin was NEVER a member of the Justice League and I don’t want this incarnation to be the first one. Visually this is already a beautiful book. Story has potential, but because of the Reborn Syndrome, the timing felt off. My Score: C

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