X-Men: Second Coming #2
And the X-Men event of the summer comes to an end. Even more importantly we still have no idea exactly what (OR WHO) Hope is. However I will concede right here that the chances that she is the reincarnation of Jean Grey are awfully slim, but does she hold the Phoenix Force within her? That's a good possibility, one that had all the clues pointing towards it the day shards of the Force left the Cuckoo's. The wrap up to this was pretty solid, with each writer taking a chapter of their own to say goodnight. Interesting enough, I found that the change between writers was nearly flawless, with the only obvious change being the final chapters between Kyle & Yost and Fraction. Though I'm not a huge fan of Fraction's X-Men, it isn't the worst I've ever read and those last few panels were excellent. I mean even if it isn't Jean Grey, I loves me some Phoenix too! Same goes with the art; the only one being horribly different than the other three is of course Greg Land. A huge round of applause to everyone involved in this cross-over; it was probably the strongest story I've seen come out of these books in a long time and a great bookend to The Messiah Complex. My Score: B / Complete Story: B+
X-Force: Sex + Violence #1
Let's stay in the X-Universe for a bit longer and check out the final chapter of the old X-Force by Kyle & Yost with art by Dell'Otto. I'm going to start with the art here because my initial reaction was one of ewww; by the time the first chapter of this story was over, though, I was sold on it. It really does fit the dark nature of this story. My biggest issues here are the villains of the piece. This is where it gets a bit on the boring side for me. The Assassins Guild... The Hand... meh. That tends to have a "been there, done that" feel to it, especially when it comes to Wolverine's involvement. What was really good was the interaction between Domino and Wolvie. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife. It's well done, and this could be a Wolverine story that I end up liking quite a bit. My Score: B
Continuing where Straczynski left off in last issue's big 700 spectacular, Superman continues his Forest Gump walk across America to save it one person at a time. Sure I'm saying this totally tongue in cheek but I'm going to admit that the first issue of the new run was actually pretty interesting. J. Michael is obviously going to play to his strength here, which are character pieces. After all the New Krypton storylines that have permeated the Superman titles in the last few years, this might just be exactly what Kal-El needs next. Eddy Barrow's art is a unique blend of old style comics with the edge of the newer generation. Probably my favorite cover of the week, by the way. A very strong beginning here with some great potential but it also seems to have the chance to implode in on itself. I trust him that this will not be a one note story, but for the life of me I can't see how it could be anything but... at this point. I'm psyched about this story though, and trust Straczynski to deliver what he does best - a soulful story with a beating heart of gold at its center. My Score: B
Amazing Spider-Man #637
You know how in the last few years I've done practically nothing but complain about the storytelling in this book? How the art has sucked balls in most of the arcs and the stories seemed utterly pedestrian, mundane and for the most part just a rehash of stories that were done thirty years ago? I don't take any of that back. I will, however, admit that Mr. Kelly and crew have given me one of my favorite Spider-Man stories in... well... forever! This is one of those times when bringing a villain back from the dead is as believable as it can get in a fantasy genre where most writers barely give any explanation for resurrection. It's obvious that the story of Kraven and his family is not over yet, and I for one can't wait for the next round. I'm giving this the highest score in the last three years and I'm ecstatic that I can. But I will end say this: The story could have been done with Peter and Mary Jane married and it would have been just as good; if not better. My Score: A-
This story seemed to be a bit uneven in spots but it ended on a rather high note. With Babs once again leading the Birds of Prey, it makes sense that someone needs to fill the void In Stephanie's life - and Wendy is the perfect person to do it. Bryan Miller makes The Calculator a formidable foe for not only Oracle but Batgirl as well. This wasn't the best story in its first year; really not a great one to finish the first year with, but it was strong enough to keep my interest. I see Clayface is up next, which seems to be a pretty standard villain, and that makes me nervous. What I'd really like to see is the return of Cassie in these pages. Now that would be a perfect nemesis of some sort for the all new Batgirl. All in all, though, this has been a very enjoyable book so far and I have no reason to stop reading it at this point. My Score: B-
I liked this, alright. YES, I liked this a lot. Well... the art actually... the story was okay. With the return of Bruce Wayne only months away, this does reek of filler, but its okay filler. I've read worse. Like that writer from Batman and Robin (he who I shall not name). That guy could learn a helluva lot on how to write a Batman story that doesn't suck balls and can rise to actual mediocrity. The art though... great... really some nice splash pages here. Adequate job everyone. My Score: C
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