Brightest Day #3
The opening scene continues right where the book left off last issue, with the not so dead Deadman and the white ring battling the Anti-Monitor. Does he win... no... and yes. He wins what he needs to realize. Firestorm both new and old are still antagonists and Aquaman nearly gets his head eaten by a dead monster fish and the mystery surrounding Martian Manhunter deepens. The final pages focuses on Hawkman and Hawkgirl as they continue their search for Hath-Set where they discover that he has retrieved all the bones from their past lives. Like any story that is weekly or bi-weekly, there are ups and down, and this was pretty much a linear move. I have nothing negative to say about this issue, but there weren't really any positives I can give either. For a series that has just started though, I hope an issue like this doesn't become a common occurrence or it could turn into a rather dull story. Come on Geoff, give us your A game! My Score: C+
The Thanos Imperative #1
What can I say about Abnett and Lanning that I haven't said over and over? Once again they are cranking out an event that could knock it out of the park. In the first issue alone we are seeing a desperate battle in space that is lead by Medusa and the Kree Empire - a losing battle at that. Thanos joins the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle the Revengers that have come through the Cancerverse. The Machinations of Lord Mar-Vell continue to be revealed while The Guardians split into two teams as they start an offense against the creatures that are coming through the fault. Oh, and Silver Surfer has taken note of the entire situation. What these two have built for the Cosmic Marvel Universe is such a multi-layered story that continues to flow with a beautiful fluidity that I haven't seen in any company for quite a long time. Each of these events raise the stakes a little more; with the Thanos Imperative seemingly bringing the stakes right to the roof of the House of Ideas. There wasn't a misstep on any page of this book. My Score: A
Joker's Asylum II: The Riddler #1
I didn't read any of the Joker's Asylum the first time around so this is a new concept for me. I didn't really pay attention how well the first series was received but the first issue of the second series was slightly above average at best. It was an okay story, but not one of Riddler's best. I actually found Joker's narration of the story to be a bit distracting. There's also the fact that I'm horrible with riddles to begin with so I don't spend much time trying to figure them out. The art was decent, nothing that jumped out at me; the coloring on this book was very good, though. I probably won't continue reading this mini-series at this point. It just didn't sell me. Still, if anyone who read this would like to message me on what the answer to the big riddle in this story was, I would much appreciate it. Joker may have given us the answer but I really don't feel like sitting around trying to solve it. My Score: C+
Superman/Batman Annual #4
Never was a big fan of Batman Beyond so there wasn't much I was looking forward to from this book. Boy was I surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this book. It's been too long since Paul Levitz has sat behind a keyboard but between his LoSH and this one shot story, he's showing everybody that not only is this legend back, but he's still in top form. Set in the future (and possibly different universe since many of you know more about this world than I do), it seems that many crooks are heading out of Metropolis and into Gotham City as fear of "The Ghost" continues to grow. Bruce sends Terry to the Superman's city to check things out. Supes hasn't been seen in ages so Bruce wants to know what's going on. Terry goes undercover to investigate and soon runs into the "Ghost" who somehow evaporates the crooks as they are in the middle of doing a job. The hidden villain then sends his men into Superman's Fortress of Solitude for one final theft, which they achieve with very little problems. When the young Batman is finally escorted into the mysterious villains lair we discover that it has been Mayor Lex Luthor this whole time. He also has figured out that Terry is Batman, but Superman gets inside his force field and the two of them are able to defeat him - Kal-El sending him into the Phantom Zone. In the end, Superman leaves for space and Batman returns home. It's a fun, taught story that wraps up the Superman story rather nicely. I didn't find the villain or the "Ghost" to be any big surprise but it didn't seem to matter. This was a story about closure for the Man of Steel and it was done with the usual panache that Mr. Levitz gives us. My Score: B+
Hawkeye & Mockingbird #1
Clint and Bobbi, back together, creating their own branch of deep undercover espionage. I don't think Marvel has enough of those kinds of teams in their world at this point. Joking aside though, the opening salvo to this series was a little above mediocre. All the ducks were placed in a row; characters placed nicely and introduced, old villains return and a new one is revealed. I liked this issue; don't get me wrong, I think there are some good strong possibilities here. Nothing, however, really jumped out at me that caused me to think wow or, conversely, to make me go yuck. The best part of this first issue for me was the brief history lesson of Hawkeye and Mockingbird. In fact if you pick this up I would recommend reading the back up first so that you can familiarize or even re-familiarize yourself with these characters. It's a rich history and I hope this series does right by it. My Score: B-
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