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Cleaning the Plates for 7/28/10 - Spoilers

Written by Brian Burchette on Monday, August 02 2010 and posted in Reviews
thor612-a.jpgFrom A to E, Starlord is back for another week, with a bit of a surprise in his first review! {nomultithumb}

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4returnofbrucewayne4.jpg
By now the four of you that read this on a semi-regular basis have to wondering why I'm still reading this. There's two reasons, as I've always stated, I am a completist so that is part of it; the other part is that for better or worse I'm loyal to all things DC and especially Batman. That being said, here's my take on the next chapter - I really enjoyed it. I still don't like the way this is playing out, but this issue individually is probably the most enjoyable that I've read. Perhaps Bruce works for me as a cowboy vigilante, but most importantly I loved the fact that when it came down to Batman vs. Jonah Hex - the winner was Jonah by a narrow margin. The art was great, the story slightly more cohesive then the first three issues. Can't wait for this to be over, but I didn't dislike this at all. My Score: B-

Green Lantern Corps #50glc50.jpg
Every time Cyborg Superman shows up, I get excited because nine times out of ten I know I'm going to enjoy the story. No exception here as we celebrate the 50th issue of this outstanding series with the continuing mystery of who or what has happened to the Alpha Lanterns. This is a busy issue chock full of both character and action moments; making this my pick of the week for most enjoyable book. The revelation that Henshaw was passed by during Blackest Night because he doesn't have a heart is just another reason to actually feel sorry for one of the greatest "misunderstood" villains in comic history. Ganthat is really coming into his own as the story continues and though it is weird to see him flying around as an actual Green Lantern, I like him down in the trenches. Of all the Guardians he is the most developed in character and his transformation makes the most sense. But really, did anyone NOT see that the Alpha Lanterns were eventually going to either become corrupted or too big for their britches? I remember thinking it the moment they were created. That notion still irritates me since it just feels like a repeat of The Manhunters, but I can't mark down this amazing issue for that. This book constantly entertains and the 50 milestone is everything I've come to expect and want from this title. My Score: B+

X-Men Legacy #238xmenlegacy238.jpg
It's got to be difficult to start a new chapter in a book when the whole X-Line is coming off such a successful crossover event. It's almost like starting over from scratch; so I would think as a writer you need to grab the reader's attention from the start - never letting go until that final panel. I wish I could say that Mr. Carey pulled it off here, but unfortunately it falls just a tad short of the powerful issues that have come before it. With Xavier's story now done and the summer event finally over, Mike Carey and crew are shifting gears and obviously focusing on both Rogue and Magneto. That alone should have drawn me in, but Carey weaves their characters into a story with some of the newer mutants that at this point I really don't care much about. I very much enjoyed Clay Mann's art, so much that I went through the book a second time just to look at the artwork itself, but other than the scene between Rogue and Cyclops and the final splash page with yet another attack by Sentinels - I found this issue a bit on the dull side. And that makes me sad, because I love this book and I REALLY love Mike Carey. Still, not every issue can be a home run; this one though feels more like he's bunting. My Score: C

Secret Avengers #3secretavengers3.jpg
Three issues in and I'm still loving the line up. The story however is just not grabbing me. It should since it has the return of the Serpent Crown - a Marvel staple that has never been boring, but like the last book I reviewed, this just doesn't seem to be clicking yet. The few scenes with Ant Man were actually my favorite since he has discovered the secret lair to the Shadow Counsel. These guys I'm interested in, but then this is what I feel that the book should be about. If this is a covert Avengers team, they should be investigating covert evil organizations. I'm assuming this is the direction Brubaker is going but taking them to Mars on a mission that is turning a bit more cosmic seems like going the long way around. Also, since I'm really just nitpicking here (I mean it's not like I didn't enjoy it, I did to an extent) I think Nova is horribly misplaced on this particular Avengers line-up. I'd rather see him in the Avengers title and bring in somebody more fitting for this team - like Hawkeye. Writing is terrific, art is perfect for the concept of what this book should be about - now if we can just get the story going in the direction it seemed to promise us in the beginning. My Score: B-

Teen Titans #85teentitans85.jpg
Here's a book that I'm so bored with I can't even think of anything to say negative or positive about it. I know there's a change coming soon, for which I'm crossing my fingers, will be a good thing. Right now Teen Titans is the reason the word "meh" was created. Personally I think the book would benefit a lot if they would just get rid of Gar and Raven. They are no longer Teen Titans and the longer they are stuck in this purgatory the more their characters seem to be digressing instead of progressing. In fact I would go so far to say that I haven't heard Beast Boy sound so horribly "one note" in my entire life. I don't think he was this bad with Terra, for Pete's sake! Though I hate to see Miss Martian and Static Shock leave, if it means the title may actually turn around, I'm not going to complain. Oh, and what was this story about, you ask? I read it twice and honestly I don't want to explain it because it just doesn't matter... it was that boring. My Score: E

Thor #612thor612.jpg
Now this book, on the other hand, continues to rapidly climb the ranks of books that I look forward to every month. Thor and company, fresh off the destruction of Asgard, and thrown right in the middle of Hell and the machinations of both the Disir and Mephisto - all thanks to the still deceased at the moment Loki. What trips my trigger about this particular story is that Mephisto is not a character you would normally associate with this title, making it an even more interesting concept. Kieron Gillen is perfect in both character and storytelling here and in my opinion has what could be one of the best buddy team ups in recent Marvel history with Thor and Tyr. I can't remember the last time I've enjoyed a Thor book so much and I'm hoping it continues for a very long time to come. My Score: A-

Batman: The Widening Gyre #6 of 6batman-windinggyre6.jpg
What the hell! I was enjoying every issue of this series up until this one. There were moments here that I liked but Kevin Smith seemed to go a little backwards, pulling out his quirky bag of smut lines to enhance a story that really didn't need them. Don't get me wrong, I loved the bit from his last series where Joker is willing to take it in the ass after Onomatopoeia broke him out of prison, but he seemed to have avoided that sort of pubescent writing for the first five chapters of this story; so bringing it out at the end was a bit jarring. Not a huge fan of the art either, and Bruce actually bringing a new ally back to the Batcave and reveal his true identity seemed really hokey. I REALLY loved the twist at the end, though. It's unfortunate that this was only volume one since it felt like it took forever to finish and who knows when volume two is going to start. This was a rather weak ending to a story that I was enjoying up until now. My Score: C- / Entire Series: B-

Green Lantern #56greenlantern56.jpg
Say what you want but Geoff Johns really gets the whole Green Lantern mythos. The return of Hector Hammond is just another reason why I've become such a huge fan of the Emerald Warrior. Not only does he give credence to the wonderfully layered history of Hal and Company, but he's been able to add on to it with such cool new characters like Larfleeze and Saint Walker (though that scene between Walker and The Question is one I'm still trying to figure out why it was in this issue). The ending to this chapter, though, has just enough tension, creepiness, and black humor in it to make me once again sing the praises of Mr. Johns. Releasing the entities that are in the Rainbow Lanterns is a nice progression to the creation of this chapter in the Green Lantern mythos. It's a strong story, well written and Doug Mahnke is more than up to the challenge of making this even better with his clean lines and vivid details. My Score: A-


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