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Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 12/22/10

This week's comics reviewed today.

Christmas has come early. As we wind things down for the end of the year in the Comic Vine office, we were hit with so many great comics this week. It reminds me of the week during Thanksgiving. Perhaps the new plan is to put out a ton of awesome books right before a holiday so you have something to do in between family events. I personally wanted to review everything but as the time started ticking by, I had to go with reading all the comics first and hopefully review them later. Here's a wrap up of what we've reviewed so far. 

   
   
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Green Lantern Larfleeze Christmas Special 

Holiday-themed comics often provide little long-term value but this one by Geoff Johns and Brett Booth stands out from the rest. Larfleeze is the perfect character to try to learn the true meaning of Christmas and you might be surprised by what there is to discover. This book won't change the course of the Green Lantern titles but never the less, a fun book told in a great way.     

Read Tony's full review here
 
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Deadpool #30 

Yes, it's annoying that Deadpool has four on-going books, (Soon to be three) and a bundle of mini-series, but this is the one you're going to want to read. It's a great mixture of good storytelling and humor. It's also a great point to jump on the series, since it's the start of a new story, and you don't really have to know anything about Curse of the Mutants or what's been happening in the Deadpool series to enjoy it. 

Read Mat's full review here
 
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 Batman Streets of Gotham #18  

While I like Bedbud's induction in this rogue's gallery, I'm honestly a little disappointed that Hush is showing up again. I never thought he had that strong of a gimmick to begin with, even in the first story arc with Loeb and Lee. And, while the compositing work in the back-up feature's art wasn't always smooth, I still enjoyed this episode of Ragman's adventures, especially as a counter-point to the much more involved (and well-financed) M.O. Batman uses in the main feature.     

Read Zack's full review here
 
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Green Lantern Corps #55 

This has been, so far, one of the more enjoyable stories to come out of the Green Lantern universe in the past couple of years. For me, it ranks right up there with the Rage of the Red Lanterns and the Prelude to Blackest Night (which I feel was a bit stronger than the actual event). I had my doubts when the creative team changed for this book, but so far, it hasn't let me down one bit. You may not be able to pick up the single issues, so if you can't find them, buy this one in trade.  

Read Mat's full review here.  
 
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Usagi Yojimbo #134 

Usagi is a rabbit ronin. We're talking a rabbit with swords. That's all you really need to know. Stan Sakai has continuously delivered entertaining Usagi stories for over a decade. The stories might not be instant classics but they're a great way to escape from the typical superhero action comics that always end the same way. With each issue usually a self-contained story, anyone can easily jump in and enjoy the rabbit fighting action.  

Read Tony's full review here
 
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X-Men #6 

For a long time, I didn't get why so many fans kept saying "Cyclops is an uptight jerk" - - I just saw him as a straightforward leader. Gischler grabs that characterization head-on and, while it may seem odd to be pleased when a character's more unlikable, it does make the team dynamic far more interesting. Cykes is very much the kind of rigid authority figure you encounter in real life and his decisions regarding Blade and Dracula here are as frustrating as you'd hope good drama could be.     

Read Zack's full review here
 
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Justice League: Generation Lost #16 

In a lot of ways, this has been the stealth bomber to Brightest Day's flashy fighter jet - - a seriously strong title that's  delivered solid entertainment every couple weeks, even while it's flying under most people's radars. Winick's carved his own corner of the DCU with this book as the linchpin, and it's been exciting to see how the separate tracks of Booster Gold, Powergirl and even Batman's books have been intersecting with it.     

Read Zack's full review here
 
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Secret Avengers #8  

My problems are minor, and this book continues to be strong. It's a great covert-ops type of book, and it works so well with Steve Rogers leading the team. I can actually say, without a doubt, that after he came back from the dead, Steve doing this is better than Steve in the Cap suit. Although it's part two to this storyline, you shouldn't have any problem picking this up and enjoying it.         

Read Mat's full review here
 
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Chew #16 

As I said last month, I've been doubly-pleased to see Guillory and Laymangetting some room to get a little more experimental with the storytelling as this series goes along. Particularly, the Miller-esque sequence of splashes showing the gradual dilapidation of Mother Pluckers and then the split-screen of Tony's sister chattering while his investigation goes on -- they so arresting as to make this feel alive. You really feel like the title isn't bound by the same restrictions you typically see in a title with this kind of high level of production value, and I'm eager to see what unpredictable new directions Flambe will go in.  

Read Zack's full review here.    
 
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Cyclops #1 

Why not try something different? Matz and Jacamon have been killing it with their last series, The Killer. It's not everyday you can read a comic without decades of continuity to try to catch up on. We get an intriguing story set in a future that could become a reality someday. The writing, art and colors are sweet and you'll want to know what fate is in store for the lead character.     

Read Tony's full review here
 
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The Invincible Iron Man #33 

I was going to give this a 4.5 until the back-up story absolutely compelled me to kick the rating up over the cliff. Fraction really understands how to exploit every aspect of a comic to deliver the most entertainment possible and this silent story's use of smart phone tickers and updates was an absolutely brilliant conceit. Much has already been established about Stark's odd blend of work addiction and his scatter-brained life style, but I don't think I've ever seen it represented as directly as this.     

Read Zack's full review here.