Thursday, July 19, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Chad Nevett's Comic Book Mini-Reviews and Star Ratings for the Week of July 18, 2012

Daredevil #15: Goddamn, that's some of the old Daredevil stuff, isn't it? Inventive, smart, clever -- Waid's writing is on point and gives Samnee a lot of chances to show off. The best issue of this series in a while. [****1/4]

Journey into Mystery #641: Wow. I've been running cold on this book for a while and this was, like Daredevil, a reminder of why I liked this title so much. The stuff with Leah was heartwrenching and the end of the issue was a kick in the gut. Bring on the Thor crossover! [****]

Untold Tales of the Punisher MAX #2: This was a surprise. Another story that gets the point of the Punisher, keeping mostly as a force of nature that cannot be killed (despite us seeing his death). Latour's voice is a strong and distinct -- this kind of reminds me of Ennis a bit, but not as 'cute' as Ennis can get. Willumsen's art is the perfect match for the writing. Cartoony, messy, broad, and just in your face. Great stuff. [****1/4]

The Unwritten #39: I love the art on the flashback bit in this issue. We also get a more backstory on Bruckner. I like how we still haven't seen Tom this arc yet. Still unsure if this book has the direction it needs -- if the story is there. But, this issue is the best of the arc so far. [***1/2]

Wonder Woman #11: Apollo and Artemis as badass villains who tear through our heroes is a nice move. There's a genuine sense that these two cannot be defeated by Diana, Hermes, and Lennox. Lennox in particular gets the shit kicked out of him. After 10 issues of them... well, not breezing through things, but seeming to have a plan and not looking terribly overmatched, this is a nice curveball. [***3/4]

X-Men #31-32: The first issue of Wood's run on this title had a similar vibe to when Warren Ellis wrote Astonishing X-Men and that doesn't entirely go away. The 'proto-mutants' is a good idea and makes sense -- better, Wood develops it well. Where he differs from Ellis is how much he focuses on the characters. A lot of space is given to Storm having to deal with the members of her team questioning her approach to the situation and it works quite well. I'm digging the art as well. I may have to stick this on my pull list. [***1/2]

Counter X: X-Force -- Rage War: I can't remember if I completely read these issues. I know I read all of the "Counter X" X-Man and Generation X stuff up right until the end, but I liked both of those more than X-Force. X-Force just didn't land for me like the other two had and it shows in this second collection, delivering the final six issues by Ian Edgington and Jorge Lucas (along with the 'Rough Cut' of the first "Counter X" issue of the series). Warren Ellis doesn't even get a 'plot' credit anymore and the titular "Rage War" story is a mess. Filled with twists and convoluted science -- say what you will about Ellis, but that is a man who works his ass off to make complicated things simple and easy to read. Edgington doesn't do that here. The only time that things seem like they're on track is in the two-part finale where X-Force begins taking down every target Pete Wisdom put the team together to take down. Fuck 'innocent' people, fuck 'murder is bad,' just a team of 'terrorists' bringing down every scummy and horrible thing they can. That is interesting. Lucas's art is hit or miss. He shifts between a detailed style and one that's akin to Ladronn at his most 'Kirbyesque.' Some panels are gorgeous, others are ugly and sloppy. Glad to have this, though. All Marvel needs to do is collect the final five issues of X-Man and Generation X now... [**3/4]