And so it ends, the event that was seven years in the making (give or take), and it goes out with a bang, a whimper (actually my favorite part) and another bang - the big one. The finale to this event was as enjoyable as the rest of it for me. Each of the big three get there moment to shine; though Thor gets the biggest moment. In fact as a fan that has despised the character of Bob/Sentry from the beginning I couldn't be happier - but since this is comics I'm sure it won't last long. There was only one death in this event which I thought was great as well. I'm tired of these specials that have to slaughter several characters to make it an awesome event. Let's face it though, is Loki really dead? And what exactly was his plan to begin with. Norman I got, Doom was in it for what Doom could get out of it, but whatever Loki's real plan was, I'm just not sure. Still, this was not my favorite of the Marvel big events, that still goes to Secret Invasion, but this is second best and the entire Dark Reign run that came between the two events has to be some of the best Marvel has been in years. Bravo to Bendis and everyone else involved. It really was well done. My Score: B+ The Dark Reign Years: A
The New Avengers Finale #1
Well first of all, what a stupid title. Why wasn't this just put down as the last issue of the series and be done with it. It sort of reminds me of the title of Phil Collins' final tour which was called: "The first of my final farewell tours." Does this mean the New Avengers will be saying goodbye longer than Cher did? That being said, I really enjoyed this issue of wrap up as well. My only complaint would be that Count Nefaria came off a bit weaker than I would have liked to have seen. Still after the Civil War and the Registration Act, the death of Cap and Osborne's dark reign, the last speech and last several pages of this book was a perfect epilogue to everything. Yep, I think Bendis did an excellent job here. Still not a fan of his dialogue at times, but I gotta give the guy the credit where it's due.
My Score: A
Dark Avengers #16
This was the book that made Dark Reign a hit for me as well as the biggest surprise for me personally. Another well written epilogue to wrap everything up and say goodbye to the weirdest sensation Marvel has put out in the last two decades. D.C. has Secret Six and Marvel had this team; a complex dichotomy of a legendary name used by some of the worst villains in Marvel history. I'm genuinely going to miss this book, something I never thought I'd say about any Bendis book other than Ultimate Spider-Man. This was the cream of the crop of Bendis books and one that he obviously loved dearly since it seemed that he put everything he had into each issue. Even his goodbye letter at the end was well written. The best part of this issue was the scenes between Steve Rogers and Victoria Hand. The most disappointing part of the story would probably be the short amount of battle between the Black Avengers and Light Avengers. This could have easily been a double sized issue and deserved to be. My Score: B+
Entire Series: A-
The Sentry: Fallen Sun #1
Originally I was going to be a real smart-ass and go page by page to explain how I felt - having each comment be exactly the same: who cares. I really did get that feeling with each panel. I still hold that this has to be the absolute worst of the decade. I know many fans did enjoy him but I could never get past the fact that this character felt like he was shoved down our throat at every turn. Poorly executed from beginning to end, I had absolutely no sympathy for this guy. I think Marvel really screwed the pooch here and could have used a character that fans have known and cared for years to achieve the effect that it just couldn't pull off with this guy. He's dead (maybe) and all I can say is - who cares. My Score: F
New Mutants #13: Second Coming just keeps shining as the next chapter not only brings Hope fully into the world of the mutants in Utopia but the second part of Bastian's plan begins. Cyclops and family are trapped on their island when Pierce blows up every one of the Blackbirds while Bastian's men eliminate their final teleporter - The Vanisher. Best moment in this book though was Cyclops taking out Pierce. Now that was some major coolness. I'm even getting into X-Club and personally I love Namor's uniform. It's building nicely and so far I don't have that feeling that it's going to long... so far. I feel sorry for Jean... I mean Hope... nah, I mean Jean. My Score: B
Birds of Prey #1
Welcome back ladies, I've missed you! It's like this book never left. It picks up with a once again strong Black Canary and Zinda saving the life of a kidnapped child when they get the call from Oracle for help - there is no hesitation. Huntress soon follows and because of the situation they are facing, Barbara Gordon also brings in the newly resurrected Hawk and his partner Dove. It seems that somebody knows all their secrets, and by all I mean everyone in the super-hero community. When Canary faces their foe as they desperately try to save the life of the Penguin, Dinah fears that they are facing either Lady Shiva or Cassandra Cain. The revelation of the last page is a total shocker. After this first issue there isn't enough shouting and praising I can do to welcome back this team of ladies and one gentleman. It's obvious that Gail and Benes are happy to be back on this book by the love that they show in this first issue. My one complaint, the reunion actually was a bit corny. If the three of you that read these reviews never read the first volume of this series; start now and pick this one up! I promise you won't be disappointed. My Score: A-
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
I have one word to describe the first issue of this book: meh. The whole thing seems a tad silly to me to begin with and the ending had that Grant Morrison signature of: I'm going to make this weird and stupid because I don't really care about any of this, that I've come to despise. Five more issues of this crap before we get Bruce back... then maybe Grant will leave my favorite DC character alone and go back to Seaguy where he's actually good. My Score: E
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