Finally, another new review.

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3.2 stars

Average score of 268 user reviews

The Meaning of Man 0

And finally the great journey is over, a journey that consisted mostly of sidetracks and flashbacks and social commentary and religious antagonism. But first ... another mostly ancillary flashback whose main purpose was to give us more reasons to feel sorry for Amy. Following this, Jesse Custer diddles around (like he has been doing most of this series) learning basically what we knew about Cassidy all along: he's selfish, reckless, and people get hurt by him even when he doesn't mean it. Meanwh...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Back on Track ... 6 Months Later 0

Saying this is better than book four is somewhat akin to saying "throwing up at home is better than throwing up at work": this is better than book four. Instead of dealing with his expectations, assumptions, and observations from the end of book four, Jesse Custer decides to run away and hide and blame other people for his problems. But remember, it's all still God's fault. I suppose there is some good news in his abnegation of responsibilities (especially to Tulip), in that he reunites with som...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Recycled Ideas and Meaningless Melodrama 0

And the downward slide into boringness continues. Continuing what now seems to be a trend of wholly extraneous backstories, we have not one, not two, but three "back when they were young" extended flashback storylines. At least they are long enough to distract us temporarily from the reality of the humdrum nature of the main series. Basically, we have a similar set-up to the last issue: Custer and Co. have to be out in the middle of nowhere under the influence of intoxicating, mind-bending hallu...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Before there was Twilight there was ... Vampire 90210 0

We seem to be heading for a bit of a slump. After a pair of lengthy, unnecessary backstories, most of which we have already figured out from having read the other issues, the story devolves into what I can only guess is Aaron Spelling Territory. Basically, Preacher turns into Vampire 90210. Instead of giving us actual stories and mythos and engagement with interesting characters, we have to deal with our heroes turning into doofuses again (doofi?). It's just like that Jan and Dean song, "Two Guy...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Oh, look, a story! 0

Hey, back on track - there's some story here, which is nice. The opening tale is a rather ludicrous compilation of new supporting characters who collide with our main trio at a Jay Gatsby party directed by Roman Polanski (or Caligula). This volume introduces us to The Grail, a ragtag collection of Templar-like acolytes devoted to protecting the ancestor of Jesus (since apparently he did survive the cross, married Mary Magdalene, had kids, and then got run over by an oxcart). By this point in the...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Expected Emotional Moment Arriving in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... 0

Despite the extraneous nonsense, concerning which Mr. Vaughan is among the more generous in the industry today, this entry moved the story (such as it is) along nicely. One gets the impression Mr. Vaughan's main purpose with this entry was to set us up for some obvious emotional explosions, which arrive punctually and obviously on time. I suspect no one fell for the overt attempts at misdirection ... but, then again, that was likely Mr. Vaughan's point: he knew we knew, and we knew he knew we kn...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Homeward Bound 0

Our heroes have split up for diverse reasons, and we benefit greatly from the different directions their personalities and the story travels. Becky has to start to make her own decisions, while also learning about herself, her family, and her fate. Drake is here, too, giving us an engaging experience with a different kind of villain - somewhat reminiscent to me of the Saint of Killers from Preacher, but Bunn and Co. have their own spin, as always, on what would otherwise be blase tropes in less ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

More of the Right Stuff 0

Crossroads is a much simpler story than vol. 1 (it's hard to top having your heroes achieve 5/6 of their goal in the opening storyline), but it gives us something more important than spectacle: depth. Having exchanged allies at the end of the first story, Gord Cantrell assumes an equal place alongside Becky and Drake (while Billjohn has little to say). More important than just giving us another main hero, Gord takes up the arcane loremaster role, giving us some glimpses far more is going on than...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This Is Your Huckleberry 0

Despite the somewhat stilted narrative style for much of this initial volume, The Sixth Gun is basically "my kind of horror" - and since "my kind of horror" consists mainly of Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, that's saying something. I appreciate the stilted narration (if indeed such be the case) is primarily due to the necessity of introducing the characters, the setting, the mythos, and everything else requisite to the commencement of a new series, and thus we can forgive it for needing a...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

1 part Ideas, 6 parts Violence and Language 0

I'm pretty sure I get it, so before you teach me a verbal lesson, let's just acknowledge up front I'm pretty sure I get what Mr. Ennis was about. Considering I'm in the opposite camp of his intended audience, one may initially suspect my disapprobation comes from a misguided (one may say "naive") experience of Life. It is fair to admit my experience of life has been almost wholly different from this: not that "normal" life consists of vampires, serial killers, inbreeding, and angel-demon babies....

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Romeo and Juliet in Space 0

I'll say one thing for Mr. Vaughan: he can come up with some pretty engaging ideas. His execution of them, though, leaves for me much to be desired - though, perhaps more accurately, "much less" to be desired. As in, much less gratuitous language and sexual content (oh, and, sure, violence, too). I would be quite willing to give this four or even five stars without all of that extraneous detritus, but I am well aware of the mentality that says "it's just real life." I disagree with that mentalit...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Sigh...bore. (Get it? Get it?) 0

Well, that wasn't much good. After a decent effort from Mr. Lobdell in volume three, trying to give some sense of direction and stability to a title that seems to exist simply because DC wants it to exist, the "story" of this volume is a jumbled mess of obvious occurrences, painfully trite dialogue, and not much else (which is perhaps the good thing about this). I suppose one good thing about this is Mr. Lobdell tends to portray Superman as a bit older, slightly more mature/intelligent than he h...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Game Over, indeed. Please. 0

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but this series would have been more successful if it ended at the conclusion of the first collection. This series continue to make no sense, riding solely on the distinct artwork (though that goes away for a brief time to be replaced by noticeably inferior artwork, no offense to the artists and their families and friends). Exacerbating the confusion, despite the claims last collection "this" Batman and Superman lost their memories of the alternate universe tha...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Little of This, a Little of That 0

Some moments are pretty good, especially in contrast to most of the other New 52 palaver, but on the whole that isn't saying much. This collection has potential, especially with so much Lana Lang involved, but knowing the vagaries of New 52 "decision making," it's likely going to get revamped in a couple of issues when the next new writer comes along (or the next new reboot of all the series happens). It's a goofy story, with dinosaurs and Typical Lost Civilization People (who have been hanging ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Arkham: Unrelated 0

It's been a little while since I've played Arkham City, I admit, but I'm pretty sure this story has nothing to do with the game except for like one poster on some side street that mentions the Bookbinder. That's it. How is this a prequel to the game? Worse yet, the story doesn't even end! It just stops! Batman magically figures out who the Bookbinder is after virtually no detective work, stumbles blindly into a magically old series of aqueducts that just so happened to be secretly hiding right u...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The usual. Unfortunately. 0

Out from the glow of Grant Morrison's arc comes what's next: a totally new direction, which is obviously the way to go. Unfortunately, the direction chosen was Confusion. Sure, Morrison's timeline is confusing and it doesn't mesh with the other New 52 titles and time and whatnot, but Diggle and Crew don't really do much to help out with when we are, despite a few banners of "one year ago" or "one year later." But what is our frame of reference? One year from when? We don't know. Ignoring all tha...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

If the choice is buying this or a flashlight, make sure you have the right batteries, too. 0

Yup. That went as fast to Nowhere Meaningful as we all imagined it would. The soul-crushing Man-Bat saga gets yet another painfully incompetent entry; hopefully this will be the last. Apparently taking vampire bat serum turns you into a mutant Vampire Queen ... but you can also be defeated by one ounce of fixing juice and two seconds of white noise. Oh, and Batman lies, which is not exactly what you want in a hero, even if he is "dark." Mr. Layman seems a big fan of the Magic Fix-It Button, sinc...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Pointless World 1

As Tom or Crow might say, "there was a writer?" I don't mean any personal effrontery to Mr. Pak; I'm sure as a human being he is swell. However, this was some fairy-tale art supported by no story whatsoever. I imagine the New 52 Wave 2 (or 3) Meeting was held in a room with a nitrous oxide leak. "Should we make a new series that makes no sense, even while it attempts to tie in minuscule details from diverse series we've already rebooted?" "Yes," apparently was the response.This just forced emot...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Dull 0

This really isn't what you could call "good." Mr. Layman (whose credentials are immediate grounds for trepidancy) does at least wrap up the earlier storyline before branching out on his own, but his wrap-up to the lengthyish "Emperor Penguin" story is basically "Batman fought him and lost then fought him and won." Obviously that was going to happen, since that's the typical formula, but Layman doesn't exactly make it engaging. There is a potential for cleverness, sure, with Penguin helping Batma...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The End (or, What Should Have Been "The End") 0

Despite the frustration one undoubtedly has from the resolution-less Rise of the Third Army storyline, and the sheer insufficiency of the First Lantern as a palpable presence as a universe-threatening villain, the overall effect of this collection is one of enjoyment, tempered as it may be if you have read a number of these issues in the individual series collections. The First Lantern is as unmotivated a villain as you'll ever read. Apparently his big skill is showing potential variations of l...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Handle with care lest the dullness rub off on you 0

I don't have much experience with the earlier versions of Shazam, but I don't imagine his story was quite so tedious as this. Billy Batson's story is so mind-numbing, we can't help but agree with him when he says he never wants to go back to being a kid again. I can't imagine how painful it must have been to read this in small doses as supporting stories to JLA issues. Like many New 52 revisions, clever ideas are squandered in mediocre writing, painfully obvious plotting, super-duper eye-rolling...

3 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Unheated Leftovers 0

Tonight on Mystery Science Theater 3000.... Now, I'm no DCU expert, but this strikes me as just plain goofy. Not the good kind of goofy like Adam West's Batman or the New 52 Green Lantern New Guardians, unfortunately, just the head scratching, mind perplexing goofiness of things that are allowed to come into existence despite several people (many of whom likely have some formal education) standing in between the Mysterious Creative Processes and Published Work Land. In one sense, we should find ...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Zok! Splatt! Kapow! 0

I was set to give this 4 stars, but the Red Hood/Joker storyline and a few panels and lines spoiled that for me. The Red Hood story does not evoke the Adam West Batman feel very well (okay, at all), since it is too heavily influenced by Post-Crisis Batman villains and stories. Some of the dialogue is too much of a knowing wink to the audience, and the "eggspletive deleted" comment from the Egg Man story was out of line. There is a couple of fairly racy panels, artwork-wise, too, which likewise f...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Dog and His Boy 0

As far as slam-bang finishes go, they don't get much more slammier or bangier. Once again Grant Morrison wags his finger at Morrison Doubters (such as yours truly) and pulls together most of the disparate threads and notions he has sprinkled throughout the series into a fairly satisfying conclusion. Most, I say, but not all, but that's probably not his purpose, anyway. It's possible to still enjoy Lost even if doesn't explicitly answer all your questions (it probably answered more than you thoug...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Meanwhile, in Grant Morrison's New 52... 0

Had I rated this before reading volume 3, I would have gone with 2 stars. I know I'm one of those Morrison doubters (though I probably shouldn't be, in part because I haven't read a lot of his work), and I was really doubting where he was going with this, since he has so many diverse strands going on, but volume 3 makes volume 2 more palatable. It's definitely the low point of the three volumes of Morrison's work on this title, but I urge anyone reading this who feels like giving up before volum...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Far away from anything interesting or meaningful... 0

What happened here? Did we run out of story ideas that quickly? Most of this is Inception starring Martian Manhunter and Stargirl. What could quite easily be told in 2 issues is protracted into about 5 for no explicable reason, other than the basic premise, perhaps, of "let's give Stargirl some screen time." It's difficult to believe she is a stronger character than those who got easily trapped in their own mental prisons, though, again, maybe that was the point: proving she is a worthwhile char...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Mr. Johns, you've done it again. 0

So much potential wasted. Instead of following through and developing these ideas to a full, rich, satisfying conclusion, we get this, a storyline whose sole purpose was only to set up the Next Big Thing. Disgraceful. I know we've discussed this before, and it's not the first time the New 52 has done this (notably we have the Third Army setup for the First Lantern over in the Green Lantern slice of the universe), but this is a very annoying example of this practice, more so by the very intriguin...

1 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Better Than Average (Such High Praise, I Know) 0

I was hoping this collection would fill in some of the gaps from the Superman issues ... but it turns out no gaps existed. The only things added to the story from the Supergirl and Superboy issues are sideplots, irritating character moments (mainly because everyone spends these issues mad at everyone else), and semi-philosophical excursions into, well, lots of stuff that doesn't mean much in the long run. You will likely forget it all moments after you put the volume down. It's just irritating m...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Love Is All You Need 0

Despite the terrible mismanagement of the goal of this journey, Kyle Rayner enjoyably embarks on the typical epic hero quest to master the resources under his control. Not since Lion-O conquered all around him have we seen a hero as well-rounded and thoroughly justified in ruling as Kyle Rayner. Until they throw it all away in, as we said, a terribly mismanaged climax to the Rise of the Third Army storyline, scraping Kyle as the savior of the spectrum and secret weapon against the Third Army in ...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Lester Del Ray Presents... 0

The sheer goofiness of the series continues, though it is not quite as carefree as the first volume, perhaps because it now has something to live up to. The Invictus storyline draws to its inevitable conclusion, replete with more stereotypical sci-fi tropes ... but that really is part of the fun of this series. It feels like an homage to 10-cent sci-fi novels, complete with scantily-clad maidens, though this time they are rescuing the scantily-clad males more often than not. Worlds are shattered...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Good "Despite" not "Because" 0

Oh, that's how it goes. That makes a bit more sense, now. To be fair, this is a fairly enjoyable read, despite the universe-destroying, supporting-character eliminating events, and as far as cost-value goes, this collection is certainly one of the best so far. You get a lot of content for an MSRP of $30, at least 2x as much as you get from most New 52 TPBs. The whole gang is here (well, not all the supporting characters from the early GLC issues, of course), and it's enjoyable to see all the int...

1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Rebreak 0

By "rebuild" we mean not "here is some time to rebuild" but "you will definitely need to rebuild after all the destruction we are bringing your way now." One would think after two universe-destroying storylines, the Corps would get a chance to take a breath, regroup, figure what to do now that their leaders are all gone, that sort of thing. But no. Instead, everyone is grumpy and the entire universe for no explicable reason is antagonistic to the Corps. John Stewart takes over, since apparently ...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Confusing Bits and Pieces to Diverse Stories 0

The danger of multi-mega-storylines shines through in this collection, as we are treated to bits and pieces of two storylines yielding us no sensible coherency as presented. The typical "Guy Gardner is annoying" motif bookends this work, as we initially deal with Gardner's reaction to being drummed out of the corps (spoiler: he isn't pleased by that) and conclude with his inability to live a "normal" life on earth when all is said and done (though most of it is said and done in issues not collec...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Bust some caps! Give that Lantern a gold star! 0

I give this 3 stars for sheer goofiness. Just when you think the entire New 52 universe takes itself far too seriously while wandering aimlessly in the middle of nowhere, along come the "New Guardians," who aren't "new," since they've all been Guardians for some time. This is basically the New 52's Big Hit, by which I mean not a description of its popularity or quality but tantamount to the classic Mark Whalberg/Lou Diamond Phillips movie. As serious as that movie takes itself is how we are prob...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

What Could Have Been 0

It wasn't my plan to be disappointed by this, and I suppose it is decent enough. I would probably have liked it more had I read it closer to when it originally came out, almost 12 years ago. It's possible the New 52 readings I've done lately have soured me on DC unfairly in this case. Even so, this story could have been much greater with a few different artistic choices. The premise is very solid and intriguing: what if Superman landed in Russia instead of the USA. Unfortunately, Mr. Millar ends...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Alpha Bore 0

This isn't very good, but "1 star" ratings to me should be reserved for books that are just awful (since it won't let us give 0 stars as a real rating), so it squeaks out 1 star. As with much of the first collection, this second trade is rife with meaningless combat scenes and splashes and explosions and two-dimensional attempts at necessary three-dimensional effects. Perhaps the unfortunate hardcover binding is partially at fault, but the big "action" scenes are jumbled messes, giving us no rea...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Potential, Interrupted 0

For those of you playing along at home, the part of potty-mouth jerk "superhero" is played by Guy Gardner. I guess some things don't change. This could have been a fairly intriguing story, but the incessant commitment to make Guy Gardner an annoying jabbermouth and the sheer absence of anything remotely resembling justice at the conclusion of the story makes for a frustrating read. Fortunately, Tomasi's, well, we'll call it "writing" for giggles, helps make the collection a rapid read. Because o...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Enthusiasm Unhinged 0

ZLONK! WAP! OOF! are basically what this feels like. It's not great, but I suppose it could be a lot worse. Most of these stories don't go anywhere meaningful. The Black Mask story is uncertain if it wants to be an origin story, a pre-game lead-up story, or a clever, creative story and fails on all counts. Likewise, the Talia story tells us things we already knew and gives us little reason to care for Talia, especially. Would Batman save Joker's life from the other inhabitants of Arkham City? Ma...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Mr. Straczynski, What Happened? 0

This is certainly the best of the bunch, as I was hoping, considering the great JMS is behind the story, but the preposterous abundance of nudity and coarse language was rather disappointing. JMS has proven numerous times he can tell great stories without resorting to visceral appeals. I may be in the minority here, but such is life. Putting that stuff aside, the stories were pretty good, certainly the best of the bunch, even though Nite Owl's story was almost more Rorschach's story. One of the ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Almost, but ... nah. 0

That could have been better. Since no one apparently has any staying power for any New 52 Batman series, here we have another new author bringing a "fresh" take on the new versions of these characters, a freshness that resembles last week's pizza. The Poison Ivy and Clayface story was quite good, don't get me wrong. Layman concocts a rather enjoyable tale with some interesting takes on the characters. If that sort of freshness had been applied to the rest of the volume, I would have gladly given...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.