Superman: War of the Supermen #1
There's always hope!" It's practically become Superman's battle cry and as this event opens he proclaims it to General Zod and the Kryptonian Army that are about to invade Earth. It's a simple moment made great by Jamal Igle's powerful art. The major moment in this first issue, though, comes two thirds through the book when (thanks to Lex Luthor) New Krypton is completely destroyed. Now personally I'm not surprised since I never saw another Krypton hanging around forever, but the way it is done, who it is done by, and the obvious reaction from the surviving Kryptonians really does set this up to possibly be an extremely intense war. My only fear is that of Supergirl. This is a character that went from a whiny child to a young heroine in her own right. With the death of yet another member of her family as well as her planet in general it appears that she may be back sliding. I really hope not. The good part of that is Sterling Gates understands Supergirl better than anyone else at DC. This really was a strong opening with just a few tiny glitches here and there. I'm looking forward to the next issue. My Score: B
Batman and Robin #12
Okay, first of all here's a message to the people of DC. For three months you've been putting "The Return of Bruce Wayne Begins Here". So exactly what issue did it really start in, or had it really started at all? Now that I'm over that little irritation I will begin my opinion on another round of Grant Morrison's ode to Batman by way of Twin Peaks. I liked this issue... a little more than the others that have come before it. Not totally out there as Grant likes to do (he must be sobering up for some reason) and the use of Slade Wilson was probably my favorite story that Grant has done in this entire run. It's always been personal between Wilson and Grayson and Grant touches on this perfectly without hitting us over the head with it. Then he turns around and gives us another compelling and emotional moment between Damien (damn that little twerp for growing on me) and Talia (the mother of the year when it comes to dysfunctional) which is where I had my only series problem. The conversation between the two was well done, beautifully written (yeah, I said it) but then he had to bring in the clone! That was a total eye roller. Grant wraps up this issue with the revelation of who Mr. Sexton really is. It ain't Bruce... it appears to be The Joker! Say what?!?! I always read the books I review twice and every time I review this particular book the second time around is like trying to swallow something I didn't like the taste of the first time. Not this month. I'm still not a fan of Mr. Morrison, but I'm also man enough to admit when he writes something I really liked... and I REALLY liked this issue. My Score: A-
The Amazing Spider-Man #630
And the mediocrity rolls on. Peter Parker is a bigger loser then he ever was back in the day - and for some reason a huge man whore which he NEVER was back in the day. With the return of all the classic villains lately (some hits and some misses), the opening salvo for the Lizard's return wasn't too bad. Also for a book that comes out three times a month why are all these sub-plots dragging on even longer than a typical monthly comic. Negative Man and Aunt May need to have something happen soon because I really am caring less and less about it. Same goes with Kraven's family and Madame Web. Really this book couldn't get much worse for me. At least the art here is serviceable and steps above recent artists. But after almost two years of this book at three times a month it feels like it's moved slower than an afternoon soap opera. My Score: C-
Second Coming Revelations: Hellbound #1
Okay, stop me if you've heard this one. Illyana makes it back to Earth from Limbo only to be sucked back into her home away from home again and a team of X-Men have to go rescue her. If you're really new to the X-Universe, you may not have ever heard this storyline. If you've been reading any X-book for at least the past five years, you've read this same plot at least twice. If you are an old, old, old reader of these titles, you've read this story at least ten times in one form or another. So here we go again. Except... this first issue was actually fun. The team that Cyclops chooses to head to Limbo is an interesting group which include the poorly used Northstar, Cannonball, Pixie (who has some major issues about Magik and heading to Limbo), Gambit, Trance, and also a rarely used Dazzler. It also works because Mr. Yost is not afraid to show these mutants with flaws and all. This could be the first Magik Rescue story that I've enjoyed in years... if it continues the way it is going. I'm also going to give it extra points because there is NO Wolverine ANYWHERE! My Score: B
Red Robin #12
Dick Grayson may be The Batman's replacement, but it's pretty apparent by the end of this arc that Tim Drake is the new Detective. Not only that, but Chris Yost brilliantly writes the great Ra's al Ghul as the world class villain he deserves and is still able to pull of his one mistake without weakening him at all. Where his arch-nemesis, Batman, was a true loner, Red Robin has friends, and will willingly ask them for help if need be. This is a story that flowed from beginning to end with not only a logical wrap up but a rather poignant one as well. This book has grown organically into one of the best that DC has to offer. I'm really glad I stuck with this and hope that it continues rolling right along. My Score: B+
JSA All-Stars #6
Matthew Sturges' first arc concludes as the All-Stars face down not only Johnny Sorrow but the King of Tears as well. The final battle feels like its Matt's way of showing this team finally coming together as a combat force; unfortunately it seems to fall a bit flat. I wasn't a big fan of Johnny Sorrows storyline at all, possibly because he's one of my favorite old time villains. King of Tears seemed a bit too easy to eliminate this time since I've seen other stories where it's taken big guns like Dr. Fate and The Spectre to put this huge thing down. What I do enjoy about this title is the dialogue which Matt nails pretty well. A really huge thank you for not bringing Magog back into the book though; Magog is the Marvel equivalent of Sentry - who cares. But a huge thumbs up for the second feature with Hourman and Liberty Belle. This story is a lot of fun and though I know they could never carry their own book, I love the fact that they are fast becoming the Hart to Hart of the DC Universe. The second feature knocks this book up one full grade for me. My Score: C+
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