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Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 4/27/11

This week's books reviewed today.

Who's interested in reading really good comics? All you have to do is visit your local comic shop this week. There are so many books that came out. What's good and also bad at the same time is we have multiple books on the same characters. We have a few Avengers books, some Batman, Future Foundation as well as the first issue in the new Thor series and the final issue of Brightest Day. 

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Despite the number of reviews we managed to write today, there's still so many other books that need to be read. Let us know what you thought of the issues we reviewed and tell us about the other great issues as well. == TEASER == 

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The Mighty Thor #1

It's no surprise that we have a new Thor series. Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel deliver a comic that is, for the most part, new reader friendly. Despite Fraction penning the current Fear Itself major event, this title will not have a direct connection to it. In other words, you don't have to read both in order to understand what is going on (but clearly you should be). Fraction introduces some great ideas that I hadn't thought about before: Galactus visiting Asgard and what religious folk think of Asgardian Gods. Besides that we get some crazy Asgardian action (and even some hints of Asgardian bedroom action, if that's your interest). Let's not forget about L'il Loki. He does something here you'll want to see. If you've been waiting for the right time to start reading Thor, now is the time.

   To read Tony's full review, click here.


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Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #9

Part 6 of the War of the Green Lanterns delivers. While the issue isn't action packed, it has enough crazy Guardian secrets to keep you glued to the edge of your seat from start to finish. The 2814 Lanterns work so well together on the page thanks to the amazing writing of Peter Tomasi, and the art pops of the page thanks to the team of Fernando Pasarin, Cam Smith, and Gabe Eltaeb. I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again... You really should be reading this story line. It is phenomenal!

To read Mat's full review, click here.   



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The Amazing Spider-Man #659

This issue is great because it's roughly 65% Spidey and 20% Future Foundation: the inclusion of Spidey villains and a healthy amount of quip-age saves this from turning into an extension of a team book. The remaining 15% is devoted to side stories and backup features which help to disperse the action. I have no problemw ith this, especially since this storyline is supposedly 2 issues long; it means we won't have to worry about the writers not getting to the damn point.

 To read Matty D's full review, click here.


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Brightest Day #24 

A brilliant way to re-introduce and redefine a classic DC Vertigo character and find a way for him to fit into the mainstream universe, Brightest Day will pave the way for characters like Swamp Thing, AquamanHawkmanMartian Manhunter, and Firestorm to maybe see a bit of a renaissance within the DCU and helps to reset the universe back to simpler and maybe better times. Unfortunately, this all came at the cost of several other characters that I personally preferred over some that were brought back and felt that this final issue felt like it was trying to hammer home themes of personal growth and overcoming loss way too much for my liking.

Overall, this issue is something you need to pick up, whether you like what happens in it or not, as it will reshape many characters in the DCU from here on out and serves as a perfect place to get back into the DCU if you haven’t been following it for a while as many characters have had the chance to have their reset button pressed for new fans to become acclimated to them.  

To read Ray's full review, click here.


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FF #2

Back in Fantastic Four #583, I wondered what Valeria's encounter with Doom would bring. Is there any way he could work side-by-side with the FF? Hickman shows us how this series is not the Fantastic Four. Even though there isn't a lot of superhero/comic book action, this issue is crammed with content. We get to see the further characterization of everyone and Hickman manages to capture the essence of all involved. Doom is here for a reason and we get to see it. The same goes with Spider-Man. Some have voiced concerns of his addition being more of a stunt but the way he's portrayed here gives him a different kind of depth we don't usually get to see in his own title. Simply put, Hickman and Epting deliver a fantastic comic and you'll find yourself looking at the pages again after reading just to enjoy the experience all over again.

  To read Tony's full review, click here.   

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Action Comics #900

Anniversary issues can fall flat, and most of the time, they do; however, this is by far the best anniversary/milestone issue I have ever read. While I may have not enjoyed the Doomsday tie-in, this issue not only had a great conclusion to the Black Ring story line, which is one of my favorite Action Comics arcs, but the back up stories were just as good. Yes, the book costs $5.99, but it is worth every penny. So don't buy this because it's a milestone issue, buy it because it's an amazing "96 page spectacular." That tag couldn't be any more right. I highly recommend this issue!

  To read Mat's full review, click here.   

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Danger Girl and the Army of Darkness #1

I had some doubts when I first heard of this crossover. It seems crazy. But it just might work. Andy Hartnell ensures that the Danger Girl portion will be properly written. He's also written some Army of Darkness so that should work as well. The story set up makes sense and this issue sets up the story nicely. Chris Bolson draws the girls nicely as well as the big action scenes and explosions. The main problem with this issue is Ash doesn't really appear. He is mentioned in a way but for a crossover, you expect to see the star of the other franchise to appear. Being that it is the first issue, it's understandable that the overall story needs to be set up. Also because this is a six issue series rather than a four issue, I have a little more confidence that there is enough to the idea of the story to validate those six issues rather than something quick and gimmicky. 

  To read Tony's full review, click here

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Secret Avengers #12

A really solid issue that's a lot of fun, has great artwork, and leads into a new story arc that has a 99.9% chance of being incredibly awesome. Brubaker's writing really stands out in this issue, but it never overshadows the art work. For me, this is where Steve Rogers needs to be, the leader of a secret ops team. I've been enjoying the John Steele character, and I'd love to see him join this team eventually. Overall, I highly recommend this issue and this book.

To read Mat's full review, click here.


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Justice Society of America #50

Despite what I've said above, this issue had its strong points; however, I find it a bit troubling that the problems I've noted (especially about the inflating team roster) have been around since issue one of the new volume. Here we are, 50 issues later, and they're still prevalent. What's it going to take for someone to find a groove with this team?

  To read Matty D's full review, click here.   

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Detective Comics #876

Detective Comics continues to have a feel that separates it from the many other Bat-titles. Scott Snyder is making Dick Batman in his own right. This isn't just a regular Batman story where the costume sequences feel like it could still be Bruce underneath. We also get some character development seeing Dick out of costume along with a (sort of) blast from his past which is bound to cause problems. The new arc brings up a new mystery. Anyone that can drop off a dead killer whale in the city and have no witnesses has to be a brilliant mastermind. New villains help keep Dick's identity as Batman separate from Bruce's. Jock's art creates an almost eerie mood and the expressions on the characters' faces speak volumes. Detective continues to be my favorite Bat-comic and is great as a stand alone Bat-series.

  To read Tony's full review, click here

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Captain America #617

I understand that the Captain America film is coming out in July, and because of this, the book may be forcing in a bit more of Steve Rogers into each issue so more people will want to read Captain America books. However, this book suffers because of the Black Widow and Steve Rogers back up stories. This was a 4.5 story, until these two back ups came in. I hope that this book stays the way it has been for the past few years, with Bucky as Cap. He's finally found his role in the mantle and it works very well. I just hope the editors at Marvel don't try to mix things up again just because the movie is being released.

To read Mat's full review, click here.   


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Batman Incorporated #5

Batman, Inc. is something you have to keep following because it is surely building up to something beyond huge for the Dark Knight. Although I prefer to see Batman work alone most times or just within the Bat Family, this comic does a good job of making sure that Batman doesn’t lose sight of his goal and see this devolve into a less campy Brave and the Bold series of team-ups every issue.

A little difficult to follow at times, the elaborate plot and great action are more than enough to keep your attention for the long haul as we’ll hopefully start to see just what Batman, Inc. can really evolve into in the coming issues.

To read Ray's full review, click here.


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The Walking Dead #84

No Way Out concludes and things will never be the same for some of the characters. I have no idea how Robert Kirkman has continued to come up with each crazy scenario and all the twists and turns in zombie survival for eighty-four issues now. The story arcs tend to end with a shocking moment but it feels like that big moment happened last issue. As usual, once you think you know where the story is going or how it will end, Kirkman veers off and we see more of the unexpected. Charlie Adlard has the task of conveying the sheer desperation of being outnumbered by the undead and delivers a great final battle scene. While we do have a good ending to the arc, it felt it didn't have as huge of an impact as past endings. That could be good as it mixes things up and keeps readers on their toes. I really have no idea what the next catastr ophe could be and that's a good thing as it will keep me hooked for more.

To read Tony's full review, click here.   

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Justice League: Generation Lost #24

Next time Keith Giffen wants to start a book, he should be contracted to finish it; handing it off to Judd Winick (who has ruined much better series' than this) seems like a cop-out, especially when the characters are heavily associated with him. I have a strong hunch that this series would never have gotten printed without Giffen's involvement: it never should have finished without it, either.

  To read Matty D's full review, click here.   

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X-Men #10

Although the banter was well written, there was far too much of it and made this comic feel like it was dragging two pages in. To sort through all that filler and end on such an anti-climatic resolution on top of it just left me shaking my head.

Spider-Man was nothing but useless aside from acting as foil to Emma and this entire story arc felt like a cheap way of bringing Dark Beast into everyone’s mind before he makes his impact on the Age of Apocalypse storyline with X-Force coming in June. Even if you’ve been reading this arc, I’m tempted to tell you to steer clear and hope for better things next month. 

To read Ray's full review, click here.

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American Vampire #14


Vampires might be played out elsewhere but Scott Snyder tells a great tale of a new breed of them. Because of their immortality, we are now set in 1944 and have journeyed to a remote Japanese island. This arc makes the book feel like a new series even though we still have the familiar characters of Skinner Sweet, Pearl and Henry. There is a big battle brewing, bigger than the war that is taking place at this time and Rafale Albuquerque's art beautifully captures the setting and, at the same time, creates an eerie vibe that fits perfectly. People need to be reading this book. I almost envy those that haven't been and have the chance to read all fourteen issues in one sitting. And things are about to get even crazier in the next issue.  


To read Tony's full review, click here.   

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Echoes #5

One really great thing about this series is that Fialkov definitely leaves the ending open for a sequel to this first volume- and it is definitely something I would love to see him do. Don't pick up this final issue without reading the last four- and if you like a great thriller, don't pass this up. You'll miss out. 

 To read Sara's full review, click here.  

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Planet of the Apes #1

As a fan that takes Planet of the Apes seriously, I was pleased with the comic. It has enough seeds to arouse my curiosity and the art is fitting for capturing the essence of the franchise while also taking it to a new level. For me there was no question if I would check out the first issue. I'd like to know what the casual comic reader or non-Planet of the Apes fan will think. It is set up nicely for those new to the franchise and so far, enough of a feel to the original idea.

 To read Tony's full review, click here.   

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Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood

If given the opportunity, this "one-shot" would have made an interesting mini series. In fact, I think it's a shame that the story wasn't flushed out further considering the amount of time Gischler spent on Raizo's character development. As a result, the end of the issue lacked the kind of pacing that is seen in the beginning of the story. Some of it, particularly towards the end, even feels a bit sloppy. Aside from that, and the erratic change in narrator (from Dracula's perspective to Raizo's) the story is very good. 

 To read Sara's full review, click here.   

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Wonder Woman #610 

I think the arc achieved what Straczynski had initially set out to do in that it gave Diana a new identity. Whether this really will be a "second life" or not will remain to be seen, but one thing is for sure- I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Phil Hester has in store for one of the greatest female characters in comics.  
To read Sara's full review, click here