Blackest Night#4 REVIEW (More people die in Blackest Night??? noooooo…)

31 10 2009


Blackest Night#4

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ivan Reis w/ inks by Oclair Albert and Joe Prado

Price: $3.99

Publisher: DC Comics

Were only half way through this mini-series and I’m already asking myself, “How can this get any worse?”. knowing full well that it will get worse. I. Love. This. Mini-series. Geoff Johns really knows how to torture not only the characters in his stories, but his fans as well. This story is way deeper than the average zombie story. The Black Lanterns use their words more than their fists and are verbally beating the crap out of the heroes (and villains). What I specifically loved about this issue was how The Flash, Mera, and The Atom were working their butts off to save everyone. They were doing what not many heroes are doing in comic books nowadays. They were acting like true superheroes and I’m glad there is still someone who still understands what a hero is. Thank you Geoff Johns! You have restored some faith in me that I have lost.

Another thing I appreciate about this book is how fast paced it is. There is almost no slowing down for this story. We’re only halfway through and the power levels for the Black Lanterns has already reached 100%. It can only go downhill from here… As awesome as this story is right now it is also an extremely tough read for me. A lot of my favorite DC heroes are dead and are now black lanterns (i.e. Ronnie Raymond, Sue Dibny, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, etc.) so seeing them as zombies is kind of hurting right now and only increases my wanting for them to return to the living. The toughest part of this issue was seeing the black lantern version of Jean Loring ripping Damage’s heart out… right in front of her husband, Atom and oh man is Flash screwed right now…

It would be remiss of me not to mention Ivan Reis’ artwork. For what he does he does very well. All of the gore scenes are illustrated very well and add to the shock of it. I literally stared at the page of Damage’s death for about 10 seconds in shock and awe. Overall the art is very nicely done and blends in nicely with Johns’ style of writing for this story.  So, yeah I really am having a blast reading this story and its always top on my buy-list when it comes out. The wait for the next issue is painful I tell ya!!! So hopefully the story doesn’t lose its awesomeness.

Happy Halloween everyone! 

Rating: B+


Uncanny X-Men#516 REVIEW (Magneto Returns!!! Yeah?… so what?)

16 10 2009

Uncanny X-Men#516

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: the second coming of Jack Kirby Greg Land w/ inks by Jay Leisten

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

So here we have the first part of the new storyline called Nation X. Here is the main problem I have with this story:

1). It’s seven parts. Why? Why does Marvel seriously decompress some of their stories? Oh yeah… its because they want your money.

Here are the problems I had with this issue:

1). Little to nothing happens in this issue. You could’ve written what happened in this issue in about 6-7 pages.

2). Greg Land does the art.

3). It didn’t excite me enough to continue with this story.

I understand that Matt Fraction is setting up the story, which he usually does in most of his stories and then he gets things going nice and smooth. But he has always intrigued my interest in what’s going to happen next. Here… not so much. So Magneto comes to the X-Men on Utopia (an island where mutants are being kept safe. Formally Asteroid M, the headquarters of Magneto and his Brotherhood). Cyclops and Professor X argue about what they should do to Magneto for about 3-4 pages. Yawn. Then they decide to hear Mags out and Mags then tells everyone about how he got his powers back and how he was refreshed after the events of House of M which was kind of interesting. Then a big plane calls in to Utopia saying its going to crash so instead of trying to save the falling plane Cyclops tells Nightcrawler to see what’s in it. Nightcrawler then teleports out of the plane after seeing something that apparently frightens him and shouts at Cyclops to shoot the plane down. Then Cyclops orders the X-Men to take their battle stations and then its to be continued…

This issue was a whole lot of meh for me. The art was bad, although it was actually more tolerable than I expected. The story was mediocre and didn’t have a good enough hook. I usually love Fraction’s stories so I gave this a try a didn’t care for it too much. I may stick around for a couple more issues because knowing Fraction’s type of storytelling he will get things moving nicely soon and things will get interesting. It wasn’t really worth $3. I expected more from you Matt Fraction. Maybe its because I expected a lot that caused me to not care for this issue much… maybe.

Rating: C

Alrighty guys and gals I gotta get back to reading Deadpool#900 (I’m only halfway through it and yes I will do a review of it when I’m finished) and kicking butts and taking names on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2! Stick around for a review of Batman#691, Green Lantern Corps#41, + Deadpool#900!!! (hopefully)

Amazing Spider-Man#608 REVIEW (Am I going to stay with this series or not?)

9 10 2009

Amazing Spider-Man#608

Written by: Marc Guggenheim

Art by: Marco Checchetto, Luke Ross, and Rick Magyar

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(Sweet) Cover by: Adi Granov

So in this issue we have- woah woah woah! Hold the phone! This issue doesn’t focus at all on Peter Parker’s love life!?! Am I reading the same book??? Special thank you to Marc Guggenheim: Thanx for not focusing on PP’s love life. It was getting really old. Like that one and a half year old cracker that I ate a couple weeks ago. If anyone knows Marc show this to him. Thanks. Anyway, after the last issue and disliking it because of the first three pages I decided I was going to let this issue be the deciding issue on whether or not I would keep reading this series for a while. I’ll tell you my answer at the end of the post… even though you’ll probably figure out my answer halfway through…

I was really worried when I heard Marc Guggenheim was going to be writing this because I’ve liked some of his ASM stuff and I’ve disliked some of his ASM stuff. I was even more worried when I found out that the story was going to be focused on one of the most hated comic book stories ever. The Clone Saga from the 90s. But… Guggenheim pulls it off… just barely. The issue is entertaining most of the time and boring some of the time. I didn’t care for the Ben Reilly and Doctor Ryder talk scenes. It nearly put me to sleep. I really thought it was cool when Nora asks PP if he knows who the guy, who is calling him Ben Reilly, is. Then PP explains the truth basically revealing that his is everyone’s favorite web-head. I was like, “WHAT THE F???” But then it reveals that was a scenario going through PP’s mind and it never actually happened. This should come as a surprise to no one who read the Amazing Spider-Man sketchbook, that came out a couple weeks ago, that Kaine is back. Overall the story is good, but nothing perfect.

The art is really good. Checchetto gives PP a funky hair-style that is… kinda weird. I had high expectations for the art team and as I guessed Checchetto and Luke Ross didn’t disappoint. So my answer to am I still going to stay with this series is… (un-needed drumroll)… yes. But just barely. I hope that this series gets better. I have a feeling it will. I mean c’mon! Mark Waid is writing The Gauntlet storyline!!! How can it be bad??? We’ll see…

Rating: B-

Green Lantern#46 REVIEW (Sinestro vs. Mongul!!! Aw yeah!)

1 10 2009

Green Lantern#46

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Doug Mahnke w/ inks by Christian Alamy, Tom Nguyen, and Mahnke himself

Price: $2.99

Publisher: DC Comics

The DCU event Blackest Night continues in GL#46. I wasn’t planning on buying this issue, but when I heard that Sinestro and Mongul would battle it out in this issue it was immeadiately on my list to buy. If you haven’t been reading Blackest Night recently or at all you’re kinda screwed because you will be almost completely lost. This issue picks up right were Blackest Night#3 ended. Green Lantern is teleported to Zamaron (which makes sense because it is his book) by Indigo-1, whom he met last issue. The next few pages of the book consists of Green Lantern, Sinestro, and Star Sapphire battling some Black Lanterns. The dynamic between these three characters is pretty cool to read. If you thought enough people had been risen and that the raising of the dead was over, boy are you wrong. Then the Guardian of the Black Lanterns (who I’m assuming is Scar) smiles a creepy smile similar to a smile that a rapist or a stalker might have.

Then Indigo-1 teleports GL, Sinestro, and Star Sapphire to Mongul. Finally! I was getting irritated that Hal (Green Lantern for those who don’t know. Why wouldn’t you know???) and Star Sapphire were helping Sinestro because this battle, Sinestro vs. Mongul has been brewing for a while, but then Sinestro tells them to back off, so I felt relieved. Unfortunately the battle isn’t very long but it’s still pretty cool to see. Sinestro is nearly killed by Mongul, but he then turns the tables and kicks some alien butt. We get to see an awesome splash page of Sinestro creating spear-like things and uses them to stab Mongul. After that I was yelling at Sinestro (not literally) to kill Sinestro, but Sinestro doesn’t and says he will kill Mongul after the whole dead-raising thing was over. Painfully I knew he was right. Although I think Mongul will probably escape and not be killed. Much to my dismay.

Now I shall shift gears to the art. Mahnke has yet again proved that he is one of the comic book best artists out there. His art is stunning all the time. His coolest stuff is the grim, dark scenes or big battles and gruesomeness (don’t believe me? Check out Green Lantern#43). As you can see this is a very interacting book for the reader (or at least it was for me). So as long as Johns and Mahnke remain on this book I will still be buying it.

Rating: B+

Think its gonna be a positive week? Do ya? Heh. Well I’m gonna shift gears from Green Lantern to Spider-Man!!!

Amazing Spider-Man#606 REVIEW

24 09 2009

I’m gonna do this review before I completly forget. So here we go:

Amazing Spider-Man#606

Writer: Joe Kelly

Artist: Mike McKone w/ inks by Andy Lanning

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

*EDIT*: I just spilled some diet coke on my copy of this issue. It’s not too much damage but still… 😦

Finally we have a decent issue of ASM since #601. I thought Van Lente’s run was ok. I think it was because I expected a lot from him. Just a quick thought here: #605 was totally pointless. Ok that was my one sentence review of ASM#605. I hope you enjoyed it.

Ok so moving on… by the way that is a really nice cover (see above) by J. Scott Campbell. Anyway I really enjoyed the American Son story arc (which was also written by Joe Kelly for those who don’t know) so I expected great things from his return (kinda) on the book. Did he disappoint? Nope. He gave me exactly what I expected. Now I’ve read some of his stuff outside ASM (i.e. Deadpool, JSA) and the guy is pretty funny. He has a near perfect comidic timing. There were a lot of jokes thrown around and I know I’ve critisized Guggenheim for doing that, but Kelly’s jokes work and don’t fall flat on their face like Guggenheim’s jokes do most of the time. Kelly also understands the character of Spider-Man as well and he takes that and meshes it with the joking side of Spidey and its a pretty nice balance. He also handles the character of Black Cat really well too. He portrays her as she has always been: An outrageous flirt. Although its kinda weird how she suddenly has the hots for Spidey again after rejecting him waaaaaaaaaay back in the 80s, so I’m kind of wondering why that is. Maybe it was explained and I’m just forgeting.

I can’t give this book all its praise without bringing up Mike McKone. His art has been shining in every issue of ASM he’s drawn. He draws a pretty darn good-looking Black Cat (hey I’m a guy. I can’t help it!) His Spider-Man drawings are top notch and he is definetly one of the best Spidey artists out there right now. Andy Lanning’s inks also helped me enjoy the artwork as well.

I have been loving ASM (for the most part). I just wish that the only writers on the book right now were: Dan Slott, Mark Waid, and Joe Kelly. All three of them have been rocking this book. Marc Guggenheim and Fred Van Lente are ok in my opinion. Bob Gale and Zeb Wells? Don’t even get me started on them. Especially on Bob Gale. I’m going to talk about the last page so *SPOILER ALERT!!!* So Spidey and Black Cat start kissing on a rooftop and this one guy in a nearby house decides to film it and broadcast it live. And guess who sees the live footage? Mary Jane Watson (who somehow remembers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man). Peter Parker my man… you are S-C-R-E-W-E-D. When I saw that last page I thought: Holy $%#&^!!! I can hardly wait for the next issue!!!!

Rating: B+

Up next- Reviews of: Detective Comics#857, Fantastic Four#571, and Invincible#66! Followed by some other random posts. DC#857 and FF#571 sold out at my comic book store so it may be a little while till I get them, but I will definetly review them soon. So stay tuned! Same bat-blog, same bat-awesomeness!

Green Lantern Corps#40 REVIEW

14 09 2009

Before I forget I’d like to throw this out: I was going to get Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers: Exodus and Dark Reign: The List- Avengers, but my store sold out of copies by the time I got to my comic book store so I have to wait till Wednesday to get them and review them if I have the time. But I did manage to get a copy of this book:

Green Lantern Corps#40

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Artist: Patrick Gleason w/ inks by Rebecca Buchman, Tom Nguyen, and Prentis Rollins

Price: $2.99

Publisher: DC Comics

This is the best new comic book I read all week (technically last week since its a Sunday right now…). In fact in my opinion its DC’s best superhero team book. What Peter J. Tomasi does in this book is special. He doesn’t just rely on one particular character on the team to carry out the whole book, which is kind of what Bendis will do in New Avengers which is fine in my opinion but I think its cooler to have all the team members carry the book. Tomasi writes each member of the Green Lantern Corps equally and what I mean by that is that he gives each character a moment to shine at some point in the story and we get a good perspective of what’s going on with the character. I have only read about 6 or 7 issues of Green Lantern Corps anf Tomasi has already gotten me attached to many members of the Green Lantern Corps. The scene were Guy Gardner is fighting Bzzd and and the random Black Lantern that appears was so cool. After that scene I kept thinking, “Please don’t die, Gardner. Please don’t die Gardner.” Unfortunately after that there are no more scenes with him in it, which was both a relief and a disappointment. I want to see more of Guy Gardner!

In my opinion the coolest scene(s) were the ones with Kyle Rayner and Jenny Lynn, who is now a Black Lantern. This scene was cool because it shows one of the many examples of how not only emotionally conficting the whole event of Blackest Night is, but how during the scenes you could feel Rayner’s pain. Rayner eventually realizes that this is not the girl he once loved and hurts her, so the zombie-fied Jenny turns all ugly and attacks Rayner in return. I’m interested to see what comes next. But in just one issue Tomasi has gotten me interested in what happens next and furthers my emotional investment in two characters and my wanting of them to survive. If either Guy or Rayner die (or both of them) I know I’m gonna be broken and a mess because I really am liking the way Tomasi writes the characters.

I can’t end this review without praising Patrick Gleason’s mind-blowing art. I thought Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke could draw some scary Black Lanterns, but after reading this issue I am now scared to death of his Black Lantern drawings. Man that Black Lantern with the tongues for eyes and an eye for a mouth still scares the hell out of me. I check under my bed for it before I go to sleep… not really. Anyway Gleason has been doing the best work he’s ever done on the recent issues of Green Lantern Corps. Although having three inkers on the art really makes it look kind of inconsistant though, but otherwise Gleason’s art shines immensly.

This is the second best superhero team comic book in my opinion (Agents of Atlas is first on that list). Needless to say Green Lantern Corps is an awesome book and its the best Blackest Night tie-in so far. So if Peter J. Tomasi or Patrick Gleason ever read this review: KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!

Rating: B+

Tomorrow (if I have time) I will do a review Hulk Red and Battle for the Cowl because I found them in some bargain bins and I thought, “I might as well suffer with all the other poor souls who read these issues…”, Character of the Week, and some other… random shtuff. So stay tuned!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man#2 REVIEW

14 09 2009

I know this has been out for a couple of weeks, but I still wanted to review it, so here we go:

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man#2

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: David LaFuente

Price: $3.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Alright here we go, this is the second issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. I know I didn’t get a chance to review the first issue, but in short: I liked it… a lot. Ok, its the second issue and I was expecting a lot out of this. But, just like the second issue of Ultimate Comics Avengers it let me down. It was still a nice issue, but it just wasn’t as good as I expected. First of all David LaFuente’s art is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for this book. At first when I heard he was taking over the art chores for this book I wasn’t really excited because I didn’t really care for it in Ultimate Spider-Man Annual#3, but after seeing this issue and last issue’s art and after reading an interview with David online I thought, “He’s perfect for this book.” In the interview I read on the internet (man I really get off topic fast in my reviews… lol:) it seemed that David was really confident about doing this, plus his attitude about it was just astounding and it gave me confidence in him to do a great job with the book and he does a very fine job with this book. What’s so nice about his style of art is that he draws Peter, MJ, Gwen, Kitty Pryde and the whole gang like they’re supposed to be drawn: Like teenagers. As much as I LOVED Mark Bagley’s run on USM he didn’t really draw the gang like teenagers. LaFuente has also shown us that he can draw some pretty cute looking girls (his Kittly Pryde drawings are my favorite… just saying).

The problem I have with this book is the writing. Brain Michael Bendis has shown me hundreds of times that he is capable of being an excellent writer. He’s also shown me that he can be a bad writer sometimes. With this issue I feel his writing is in between good and bad, so in other words I felt that the writing was ok. Um… I HATE the fact that Peter is dating Gwen right now. I am a huge fan of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson relationship, so that was a big dislike/irritation for me in this issue. Also why did he break up with MJ? Why? Did I miss something? I shouldn’t have because I’m a Ultimate Marvel zombie. Is it every going to be explained? My guess: probably not, but we’ll see. I just can’t stand the fact that Peter and Gwen are dating. Normally I’d be ok with that but when you just randomly put them together for no explained reason (as far as I know) I won’t be ok with it. I do love Gwen Stacy. I love the character (especially when Frank Cho draws her 🙂  But her relationship with Peter right now is just not sitting well with me, but we’ll see if that changes.

Also this issue introduces a new villain (well technically two, but…) called The Bombshells who are a mother and her daughter who have the power to, uh, well blast things as long as they’re close by each other. Oh also the daughter swears a lot, like someone from Powers except the swearing is censored. Hmmm Bendis making women characters villains and making them look bad… where oh where have we seen that before??? I wonder… I don’t know this whole issue was kind of a bummer since the first issue was so good. Plus the Kingpin is dead. Death in the Ultimate U… what a totally original idea! I’m sorry for those who love Bendis right now if you are feeling offended. Hey, I love Bendis’ writing too, but recently he’s been kinda letting me down. I love Ultimate Spider-Man and Powers (I want to read Jinx so bad). In fact Ultimate Spider-Man is what brought me back into reading and collecting comic books, so that’s why I’m having a big deal/rant right now about this issue. Hey, I gotta keep my reviews interesting y’know, I can’t be positive everytime!

It saddens me to see that the comic book that got me back into the comic book genre is being done at a level that isn’t at all near what Bendis is capable of writing. I pray and hope that it gets better from here on out. *sigh*…. The Ultimate Universe was for a long time my favorite comic books and… I don’t think I can say that as much anymore:(

If this rant on Bendis makes it on the Bendis Boards someone please tell me! That’d be kinda cool. Oh well… again this is in the same situation I’m having with Ultimate Comics Avengers, which is that the quality is starting to dip fast. I probably will stick around for the next issue but if things continue to be at the quality that they are now I won’t be around for the Ultimate U much longer. Huh, now this is my longest review/post. I’m interested to see how long my next post will be!

Rating: C+