Thursday, October 18, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Chad Nevett's Comic Book Mini-Reviews and Star Ratings for the Weeks of October 10 & 17, 2012

So: I'm married now. We left town last Wednesday night and I didn't feel like bringing my comics with me. I'd read them all while Michelle was teaching a gym class as usual, but didn't have time to write about any of them (hell, I didn't even get to open Building Stories until yesterday!). That means you get a double-sized dose of my EXCLUSIVE! mini-reviews and star ratings this week. Aren't you lucky? Yes, you are. And a new Riding the Gravy Train will go up later today or tomorrow or this weekend, taking into account two weeks' worth of Avengers vs. X-Men fallout goodness.

Avengers #31: Is that Hope? Or someone else entirely? I DON'T KNOW! Comics are fun! A slight breather issue, which suits me fine. I'm glad that Bendis is trying to do something with the Wonder Man stuff. [***1/2]

Avengers Assemble #8: "Thanos loses because the US military can't make shit that works right." I didn't particularly enjoy Thanos being shunted back into basic bad guy mode, but, whatever, it was a clone. Thus ends the weakest part of the Bendis/Avengers era. I can say that with confidence. As much as I found the Secret Invasion tie-ins tedious, they were better crafted on almost every level. Avengers Assemble #1-8 were the worst Avengers comics released with Bendis's name attached to them. [Fucking horrible shit]

Captain America #18: Thus ends the worst Captain America story released with Ed Brubaker's name attached... I guess it really is time for people to move on, eh? [**]

Daredevil #19: Who doesn't love a cover that shows the end of the comic? ME! ME! ME! Another solid, good issue. [***1/2]

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #13: And this title joins the "Rotworld" fray in time to end in a few months. This comic made very little of an impression upon me. The ending was good. I like the idea that Frankenstein is sort of outside the three 'realms' (or whatever you'd call them). [**3/4]

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3: From a writing perspective, this issue didn't do a lot for me. Lots of exposition, just throwing details at us -- details that mostly don't matter. But, hey, James Stokoe drawing a bunch of monsters...! Can't go wrong there, can we? [***1/2]

Hawkeye #3: An amusing issue centred around the trick arrows and the word 'bro.' I dug it. [***3/4, bro]

Marvel NOW! Point One: The second one of these big Point One anthologies that Marvel has done and the central story tying things together is a bit better than the previous (with weaker art) and the teases are a bit better. Then again, they teased a lot of comics I'm already interested in like FF and Young Avengers. On the fence a bit about Guardians of the Galaxy and Cable and X-Force. I solidly don't give a fuck about Nova or Secret Avengers. A mixed bag where I enjoyed some bits quite a lot and skimmed through others. [If I waited a month, I probably could have gotten this for free from my shop... but I like them, so I'll give them my money]

The Massive #5: A really good self-contained issue that jumped away from the Kapital for the most part. An early bit of muscle flexing by Wood? I hope so. [****]

The Mighty Thor #21: A weaker finish than I was hoping for. I guess there just comes a point where the constant swerves and tricks and doublecrosses just become noise. This story was filled with them, so they lose a step by this point. Also, it felt like a lot of build-up for a lot of nothing in many ways. Surtur was a bit of a strawman villain here, wasn't he? Alan Davis kills it on art -- and, from an intellectual standpoint, I liked a lot of the ideas here, they just didn't carry the emotional weight you want from a big finale like this. [***1/2]

Punk Rock Jesus #4: There's still more than enough of a religion-hating young angry man inside of me to absolutely adore the end of this comic. I really enjoy this comic now, but my 17-year old self would have loved it. This would have been his favourite comic series of the year -- maybe ever. [****]

Secret Avengers #32: Decent end to this whole Abyss Crown story and I liked Black Widow calling Ant-Man out for being a LMD and no one believing her. [***1/2]

Ultimate Iron Man #1: I didn't even know what the point of this comic was until the end and, by then, the mediocre dialogue and ugly art made me not give a fuck. [Not buying issue 2]

Ultimate X-Men #17: You can see a bit of DMZ in Nick Fury's speech to Kitty at the end. This is humming right along, executed well, and one of the more interesting comics I'm reading right now.

Untold Tales of the Punisher MAX #5: At what point in the future does the father/son stuff take place if the father, as a teen, had a dad that had a giant DVD collection? Apollo 13 seems to have first come out on DVD in 1999 -- and, since the dad took it everywhere, you have to assume that his death happened at least a year or two after it was released, meaning that the flashback story took place in the 2000-2002 range. Meaning, that the framing story, if in the presents, would be 10-12 years later. Given that the son in the framing story looks to be in the 10-12 age range (maybe younger, but the art provides no solid clues), it clearly can't be the present, because the father didn't look like he was getting any girls pregnant while stalking the Punisher. Just the things you think about when reading a tired, cliched, mundane, tedious comic book... [*3/4]

Wonder Woman #13: A transition issue, sort of. Suits me fine. I'm enjoying the ride. [***1/2]

X-Men #37: The end of Brian Wood's tenure on the title and it's a good conclusion. His whole run told a nice story with a clever concept that mostly lent itself to exploring the differing views of mutantkind by members of the team -- and, in the process, bringing about conflict. The Storm/Colossus fight was so charged, because of the slow build to it. The way it was teased and the stakes slowly raised. [***3/4]

The Zaucer of Zilk #1: Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... [****1/4]