Starlord: So here we are after a bit of a break. I want to thank DeadFett for his patience while I was recuperating. We’ve got three new books to review this week, all Marvel and all very popular at the moment. So let’s get started shall we.
Our first book is New Ultimates #1. This book begins a few months after the terrorist attack on New York City by evil mutant, Magneto. A quiet conversation between Iron Man and Hawkeye is interrupted by the mysterious Defenders. The battle ensues and help for our two heroes come in the form of Captain America, Valkyrie, and Zarda. The Defenders get away with Thor’s hammer, leaving Valkyrie realizing their chance to find Thor is nil. In the meantime Thor resides in Valhalla with Hela, who will allow him to leave if she gives him one thing... a child! Tony confronts Carol Danvers and is informed that one of the Defenders is actually working for S.H.I.E.L.D. A huge fight between them ensues, only to be followed by a rather steamy bedroom scene as the two decide not to hit each other, but the sheets instead. The final scene reveals Black Panther, Shanna and Ka-Zar strolling through Central Park when Loki and a hoard of evil creatures suddenly appear.
I never read any of the Ultimate books so this was my first introduction of the book. There was a lot here that I actually enjoyed. I’m a bit conflicted with Loeb using his deceased son as part of the story (in a not so subtle way), but perhaps it’s a way of dealing and keeping his memory alive, of which I could understand. I really like Cho’s art here, especially all the Asgardian stuff. Well drawn and beautiful coloring. I actually enjoyed this. I’m giving it a solid thumbs up. I may even check out the second issue just to see where it goes. What did you think DeadFett?
DeadFett: I have to admit, I had mixed feelings about buying this book. I love Ultimates vols. One and Two but Loeb writing it crushed my expectations. Loeb is very hit or miss for me. Mostly a miss since his return to Marvel especially after Ultimates vol. Three and Ultimatum. The real reason I bought this is Frank Cho. The man is an amazing artist. I would wager that he’s mostly known for his voluptuous women, but everything else looks just as good. I especially loved the creatures shown in Valhalla.
I am happy to say that Loeb's writing here did not suck. I didn't mind him including his son Sam as part of the story. If doing that helps his grieving process then so be it. The set up here was good enough to keep me onboard for issue two. I just hope this series doesn't deteriorate like some of Loeb's other recent Marvel work has done. I give this issue a thumbs up.
Staying in the Ultimate universe, our next book is Ultimate Avengers #5. The issue opens with various flashback scenes of crimes the Red Skull has done over the years, including the assassination of JFK. From there the scene shifts to Alaska where the Avengers have tracked down the Red Skull. The Skull has acquired the Cosmic Cube handles a battle with the Avengers with relative ease. Next we're shown that Captain America is currently being held prisoner by S.H.I.E.L.D. at their French headquarters. Cap escapes and the French become the butt of another joke from Millar. The issue ends with Cap in a stolen jet going to find his son, the Red Skull.
I enjoyed the issue. The opening scene of the Red Skull with a gun to a baby's head. It's a bit over the top but that's the kind of stuff I expect from Millar. His writing here isn't as good or as strong as it was on Ultimates though. As for the art, Pacheco delivers. I've always enjoyed his work and this issue is no exception. I give the issue a thumbs up? What did you think my friend?
Starlord: I didn’t enjoy this as much as New Ultimates, but I’m not sure why. I did like the idea that Red Skull has been involved with so much American History, that was a cool idea, but the whole baby scene was way too much for me. I bought the first two issues of this and then quit, now picking up this issue I’m kind of glad that I did. I didn’t find anything in this issue that wants me to come back. Actually I found it kind of boring. I’ve got to give this a very solid thumbs down. It really wasn’t for me.
Now we finish with out reviews with Iron Man #24. Matt Fraction wraps up his disassembling of Tony Stark by having him come back from the land of the coma in time to stop The Ghost and save Pepper, Maria, and Dr. Strange. Here’s the twist, he hadn’t upgraded his information after the whole Civil War fiasco. So now Tony’s memory doesn’t have the last few years and everything that went with it!
This is one of those moments that fanboys are either going to love or hate. I had to actually sit and think about it, weighing the good and bad to this story idea before I could decide. I decided that I liked it... a lot. Although I’m not sure how realistic it would be that Tony would suddenly forget to update his “memories” since he’s such a fastidious person, but when Matt Fraction said he was disassembling Tony Stark, he meant it. It’s an old plot twist that fits perfectly in the grand scheme of things and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. I’m giving this a strong thumbs up. Did you enjoy it?
DeadFett: You know what, I did enjoy it. I don't even mind that Tony doesn't remember Civil War. Sure it's an easy and lazy way to avoid Steve and Tony rehashing their Civil War argument, but it's not as bad as "it's magic." I'm glad we're done with Disassembled despite enjoying it. I'm ready for Tony to be back in the armor and kicking ass again. This title continues to be a favorite of mine. Can't wait for the next issue. Big thumbs up from me.
Starlord: Thanks for another fun week my friend. Folks, don’t forget to check out more reviews right below from yours truly and we’ll see you all here next week when we review three more titles. It feels great to be back!
Justice League: Cry for Justice #7
So we come to the end of the road for this Justice League” event. I for one am glad it’s over. In this issue Green Arrow loses most of his city and his granddaughter. Yep, you heard me, his granddaughter. Brilliant move DC! I’m not sure who to blame for this train wreck. I enjoy Robinson a lot so I’m amazed at just how horrendous of a train wreck this was. I bet if I went back and reread the first couple of issues and compare them to the last couple, there would be a huge difference in tone and style. Other than what turned out to be a showcase for the Arrow Family, I’m not sure what this mini series was meant to do. Even some of the fantastic art that was in this book could not save it. DC, you have totally dropped the ball on this. The death of Lian alone makes this the worst grade ever. My Score: F
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #33
And the evil Twilight is... Angel! What do you mean you already knew that? This issue would have been more enjoyable for me if it hadn’t already been leaked, I guess. Brad Meltzer does a competent job with dialogue, actually making Willow the quirky, funny character that she should be. I’ve never been a huge fan of Georges Jeanty’s art work, however, and I just don’t believe it works for this particular book. The second part of this story gives only one real answer, which I already spoiled, but doesn’t really answer the big question of why. I’m hoping the explanation is coming in the next issue. My Score: C+
Green Hornet #1
Woo Hoo! That was my first reaction when I heard all those months ago that Dynamite Comics was bringing back the legendary Green Hornet and his faithful sidekick, Kato. Yes, I’m old enough to remember the old series, but not the radio show. I’m not that old! Kevin Smith brings us an updated version of this classic which will focus on the son of the original Hornet. The opening scene is a great love letter to the classic characters, reminding us what was to great about both the Hornet and Kato, before leaping into the present where we are introduced to the grown son. He’s the typical rich party boy with little responsibility, but something tells me that is going to change soon. I’ve got high hopes for this series and the first issue has given me a lot of reasons to come back for a second look. Both art and coloring compliment this story perfectly, giving it a great old fashioned comic feel. My Score: B
Detective Comics #862
There are three stories in one book in this issue as Greg Rucka brings a brand new storyline to the first feature. Batwoman is searching for a homicidal maniac that Batman may have dealt with before. Both past case and present are explored as we see a sick individual who for some reason is chopping off certain body parts of his female victims. Add in a nice little twist with Bette Kane and we’ve got another strong story in the making. If there is one drawback to that with a different artist than J.H. Williams, it just doesn’t seem to pop like it has been doing. The second feature is even better with the team up of the new Question and Huntress as they continue with their investigation that takes them to Oolong Island. I really love how well these two work together and I’m crossing my fingers that both end up in the new Birds of Prey series. My Score: B