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Super Cleaning the Plates for 7/8/10 - Spoilers

xforce28-a.jpgIn this installment Starlord does exactly what he said he would do. He reviews every book he has read, in order, right after he reads them.

Starlord will never do this again... maybe. {nomultithumb}




X-Force #13xforce28.jpg
Let's start by saying that another one bites the dust... until they return. I mean this is the X-Men we're talking about - not like anyone stays dead forever. Heck, in the 21st Century they barely stop breathing for a day. Yet this was the power house issue that I was waiting for. The only thing that they've left for the ending is that big reveal I've been waiting for. Yes folks, I think it's pretty obvious now that Hope is really Jean Grey. Sorry GHERU, but we both see the writing on the wall. Excellent battle here and once again Scott comes out looking like the leader he was always supposed to be written as. This was so enjoyable that I even whooped for joy when Wolverine had his moment near the end. I can't wait for the finale of what I do consider to be one of the best X-Crossover's in decades! My Score: A-


Brightest Day #5brightestday5.jpg
Hawkworld revealed! That's what it says on the cover. I was totally excited for that, thinking we were going to get some kind of cool new variation on the Silver Age Thanagar... bummer. Still, this was a pretty good issue. Johns is keeping the mystery going while still progressing many of the storylines forward. The Aquaman story is fast becoming one of my favorites, with Mera's revelation being a nice little twist; but I was disappointed that there was no Martian Manhunter this month - though it looks like that will be rectified in two weeks. At this point, though it's the art that keeps me entranced even more than the stories. I'm still enjoying this series and if it stays at this level I will defiantly pick this up in trade as well, but JL: Generations Lost is still the best of the bi-weekly books to date. My Score: B-


Secret Six #23secretsix23.jpg
John Ostrander takes another spin at the writing helm of DC's best title, but this time it falls just slightly short of the perfection that this series is used to. However, falling a little short in this title is still a home run, just not a grand slam. The characters are there, and other than a few bumps, each is well portrayed; it's the story itself that lacks a bit of creativity. A group of rich men get together to hunt and kill human prey has been done to death and I don't think having these guys go by the names of past presidents makes it any different. That being said, there were some moments of sheer hysterical genius here, including Bane ripping off one man's arm and beating him with it and probably my favorite moment of a comic this week which was Ragdoll singing "What Can You Do With a Bendy Sailor." Mr. Ostrander has never been anything less that great; just wish he hadn't went with something so clichéd. My Score: B


Hawkeye & Mockingbird #2hawkeye-mockingbird2.jpg
I really didn't have very high hopes for this series and though I'm only two issues into it, I've got to admit that both have been really fun reads. Jim McCann has gone a very smart route in the first couple issues by reintroducing the characters and their biggest failures as well as assembling a brand new set of secondary characters that have the potential to be very interesting and fun. This book isn't afraid to embrace its history but always seems to be aware that not every reader may have the knowledge that some of us old timers do. In fact, there were things about Clint and Bobbi's past that I wasn't aware of until now. My only gripe is that by the time Mockingbird was on the phone with her mother, I knew exactly what was coming. That being sad, it didn't stop me from enjoying this at all. This series is the type I really enjoy reading the most. It doesn't try to make itself too clever and though the action is there it is perfectly balanced with character moments. The hype of Hawkeye & Mockingbird might actually live up the book: this very well could be Marvel's very own "Mr. & Mrs. Smith". My Score: B+


Brightest Day: The Atom Special #1atomspecial1.jpg
Big fan of Ray Palmer - not a big fan of this story. Probably because most of this is the telling of Ray's origin with a few twists. It's set up a nice story for Action Comics, but other than the art (which I loved - Asrar is fast becoming my new favorite artist), there wasn't enough here to pull this off. It's too bad, but it also gives me high hopes for the story that will come from this. Yes, this is a short review, but it's The Atom. He's a short hero. My Score: C


X-Women #1xwomen1.jpg
Oh Milo Manara, you naughty, naughty boy. What you have drawn will be the wet dreams of young men for years to come. Talk about a combination made in heaven - or erotic purgatory perhaps. This really is an A-Typical Claremont story with nothing new or exceptional about it; however, the art on this book takes the story into a level of storytelling that is actually unbelievable. Now this is coming from a well known gay man, but there is so much tits and ass displayed in this book that even I couldn't help but be impressed. At one point Kitty actually catches Storm as she is falling over a waterfall with a perfect looking sixty-nine. The eroticism of art here elevates this tale to a whole different plane of reality. I'm applauding the art in this book as well as the writing by Chris Claremont; whether this is intentional or not, I'm not sure, but the end product here is as close to soft porn meets good comic writing as you can get. My Score: A-


Red Hood: The Lost Days #2redhoodlostdays2.jpg
First part better than the second, but I'm still intrigued enough to want to keep reading this. I'm starting to think Winnick actually gets the Batman Universe more than Grant Morrison ever could. Judd obviously is working hard to fill in the holes made during the third Crisis - not an easy feat since Jason Todd's resurrection is based off one of the lamest concepts ever written. I also say that with the understanding that I didn't mind it at all. The problem may be that he is working a bit too hard to make this work. Some moments seemed strained when it comes to Talia's moments, but he's got a great handle on the pathos that Jason had to be feeling at the time of his bizarre return. All in all, I'm enjoying this the story so far and my hopes is that by the end of it we get to see Jason back as the anti-hero that Damien Wayne is poorly being written to become. My Score: B-


Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1avengers-cc1.jpg
Man did I not want to like this at all, mostly for personal reasons. I'm still disgusted at the way Marvel took such a great concept and kept it in holding for so long because of one man; when there were other writers who could have done just as good a job. After reading this first issue, though, I can't deny that it felt right. It was like being back home again. Each character was picture perfect and Heinberg proves that the characters he created are still his. Are the twins really the embodiment of Scarlet Witch and Vision's children? Quite possibly. The appearance of Marvel's greatest villain of all time, Magneto, at the end of this, gave it a great cliff-hanger and picture perfect start to this story. So as much as I was unhappy with the "special" treatment that Heinberg was given I've still got to rate this honestly, and honestly My Score is an: A-


Fantastic Four Annual #32ffannual32.jpg
Hands down this is the most enjoyable Fantastic Four story I've read in at least two years. Johnny becomes a father thanks to the machinations of the all new Psycho-Woman. There's a lot of traveling into bodies here which always brings back fond memories of H.G. Wells to me. Hitch's art is superb as always and I'm really hoping he stays on this book a lot longer than Hickman does. Personally I'd love to see Joe Ahearne take over right now on this book. It's not that I haven't enjoyed Hickman on some level, but Joe gave me something I haven't seen in the FF book in a long time - fun. That being said, the ending to this annual absolutely sucked. I'm not against a cheap cop out once in a while, but time traveling back was lame to the extreme. There's no way Reed would have done it. We are talking about a human life here, and to snuff it out by stopping it from existence just didn't sound like Reed at all. And even if Reed did think it was right, there is really no way Sue, Johnny or Ben would have allowed it. I also thought it would finally advance Johnny's character that has been extremely stale for many years now. Great story, HORRIBLE ending, and fantastic Hitch art makes this worth buying, but it's really shaky. My Score: C+


Batman Odyssey #1batmanodyssey1.jpg
This is my toughest book to review so far for several reasons. The biggest one is that Neal Adams is a writer/artist that I grew up with and was on Batman back in the day when I really started getting into comic books; couple that with the fact that I'm so disgusted with what Morrison is doing now a days in the Bat-titles that I desperately wanted to love every minute of this. Unfortunately I didn't. Not a bad book at all, but disjointed and at times kind of dull. The art is perfect though and it jumps one full grade for that alone. Characterization is dead on for the time period that this story takes place, and I'm sure being the completes that I am, I will buy the whole thing - and it deserves to be bought for the beautiful pencils and inks alone, but I can already tell that this story isn't going to be the shining redemption that Batman so desperately needs right now. My Score: B-


Young Allies #2youngallies2.jpg
Second issues can be pretty tough. The first one is more set up and hooks the reader in with the beginnings of the first arc. The second issue has to keep that momentum going. I really like Sean McKeever and have enjoyed much of his work. Unfortunately I'm not that thrilled with this book so far. The reason is simple; I really don't care about any of these characters at all. I've never been a fan of Firestar who is really the only hero with any history. Nomad is a character that I could care less about and don't bother reading in the back up pages of Captain America. The Bastards of Evil, however, seem much more interesting to me. Sean is quite adept at making young bad guys interesting. I might stick this out for another few issues just to see how these Bastards turn out, but as for the heroes of the piece... meh. My Score: C-


Red Robin #14redrobin14.jpg
Just like Hawkeye and Mockingbird, this is one of those books that are always entertaining and pretty to look at. For all the hoopla that Morrison, Johns, and Bendis get, there are so many out there right now that get forgotten. Fabian Nicieza is one of them. He's yet to produce a single issue of Tim Drake Wayne's story that isn't entertaining. This is no exception and I love how he keeps drawing more similarities between Tim and Bruce. Not only that, but he makes me interested in Damien as well. I'd really love to see Jason Todd brought back in this book as well. The four Robins are a great dynamic that has endless possibilities of exploration. Probably my favorite moment had to be when Dick notices that he's not on Tim's list of heroes to watch. "You never would be", is Tim's response. That brotherly love is perfect without being mushy. Top if off with the Cousin Oliver bit and this very well could be the most enjoyable comic I bought this week. My Score: B+


Amazing Spider-Man #636amazingspiderman636.jpg
As much as I've belly ached about this series since that stupid moment a few years back, I'll have to admit that Grim Hunt has been the most entertaining story arc this series has seen in years. Bringing together pieces from not only Last Hunt but a few other of Spider-Man's more controversial moments; Joe Kelly has weaved an intricate tale that if when the last chapter is played, could rival that of Last Hunt itself. Only small complaint I have is that the switching of artists in the middle of the book felt a bit jarring, but not noticeable enough to inhibit me from really enjoying this chapter. It also looks as though Joe is kindly setting up Joe Q's run as well with an interesting interlude between Mary Jane and Harry. This is a good solid story with a rebirth that I can live with. Kraven has always been one of my favorites anyway, so having him back is not a problem for me. Good job guys, you've got me enjoying Spider-Man again. My Score: B+


Rawhide Kid #2 of 4rawhidekid2.jpg
LOVED IT! FABULOUS!!! What can I say? Yeah it has some very stereotypical moments, but this is just so damn funny I can't help but over look them. This makes me not only want a Rawhide series, but if there is a God up there, please give us a Rawhide Kid/Jonah Hex cross-over. I know it's near impossible but I can't help but wish for it. As much as Rawhide was funny, the brief scene between the Earp boys was hilarious. Being a big fan of the legend of Wyatt Earp and his brothers, I couldn't help but laugh out loud as several comments that were made during their exchange. This is a terrific series and I'm looking forward to the next issue. My Score: A


JSA: All-Stars #8jsaallstars8.jpg
Another fun comic that tends to deliver every month. Sturges is becoming very adept at not only presenting good solid arcs of action and adventure, but small little character moments as well. I'm intrigued by the hints of King's past and his budding relationship with the (is she or isn't she dead) Cyclone. If she is dead, skip that part about budding romance, it's obviously been nipped. The back up story though is even more entertaining with Hourman and Liberty Belle. They are looking like Marvel's version of Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Which in my opinion just screams for another cross-over that would never happen. If you just want good old fashioned comic book storytelling, this book is for you. My Score: A-


X-Men #1xmen1.jpg
The seeds of the vampire story were sewn last week, and this week Marvel gets its first casualty, the depowered mutant, Jubilee. What is the plan of Dracula's son? How are the X-Men involved? Is Storm going to be crushed when she finds out Dracula is dead or just hang out until he comes back to life? These question and more may be (but probably won't be) answered in the next installment. Paco Medina does a great job here with the art as well. Not much else I can say about this issue as it was nice, interesting, didn't grab me but didn't NOT grab me either. I'll hang out for this one. It's about bloody time somebody did something with vampires that wasn't all silly and angsty. Yeah, I said angsty, and thanks Joss Whedon for letting me. My Score: B

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