10/14/09 Reviews

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Reviews already?! Well, the end of the week was not busy at all for me, so I got some reading done. And I’m going to be gone all weekend, so here we go. Reviewed this week:

Fables #89
Uncanny X-Men #516
Marvels Project #3 (of 8 )
Batgirl #3
Green Lantern Corps #41
Red Robin #5
Batman #691
Blackest Night: Batman #3 (of 3)
Incredible Hercules #136

Dave’s “Best of the Week” Spotlight

Fables #89
Fables #89

 FABLES #89

Written by Bill Willingham

Art by Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha; Cover by Joao Ruas

RATING: 5/5

Wow, Dave loved an issue of Fables? What a shock! OK, so for loyal reader(s), this might be less of a surprise than hearing one of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriends has died. But nevertheless, it’s always worth repeating: this book is amazing. To have maintained such a high level for so long really is impressive, and there’s no end in sight. Part 3 of “Witches” was the same high quality I’ve come to expect from Willingham and crew. What’s especially impressive is how Willingham has used so many characters at just the right time, giving each his or her time to shine while adding to the rich tapestry of the series. This arc, it’s finally Bufkin’s turn, and he might have been the least likely character to ever really shine in the spotlight. Yet here we are, and I love it.

 

The Rest: Quick Hits

Uncanny X-Men #516
Uncanny X-Men #516

UNCANNY X-MEN #516

Written by Matt Fraction

Art and cover by Greg Land

RATING: 4.5/5

“Nation X” begins as Magneto returns. The biggest X-villain is back, but perhaps not as you would expect. Land’s art gets tiresome sometimes, but Fraction’s story is dead on. Cyclops has truly arrived as a character and leader under Fraction’s writing, and the tension with Xavier really sells some of the moments in this issue. Some nice drama near the end; really looking forward to more of this story.

 

Red Robin #5
Red Robin #5

 RED ROBIN #5

Written by Chris Yost

Art by Ramon Bachs; Cover by Francis Manapul

RATING: 4.5/5

This series is quickly growing into a favorite. Yost has turned all of Tim Drake Wayne’s pent-up emotion into a captivating blend of angst and determination. “Council of Spiders” begins without a ton of action, yet my attention never once wavered. Bachs’ art is mostly so-so, and sometimes not even that. But the writing more than makes up for it. Good book with a lot of potential.

 

Incredible Hercules #136
Incredible Hercules #136

 INCREDIBLE HERCULES #136

Written by Greg Park and Fred Van Lente

Art by Reilly Brown; Cover by Rafael Alberquerque

RATING: 4.5/5

If it seems like I’m being generous with my ratings, just know that the books earned it. This one was an impulse buy that I bought instead of Deadpool #900. I think I made the right choice. Deadpool lives largely off its comedy, but this issue was funny in its own right. The premise? Hercules is pretending to be Thor because of some woman (back story I didn’t entirely follow), and that woman is pushing him to lead an army in invading Asgard to reclaim his (Thor’s) birthright; Herc is going along with the idea while looking for an exit strategy. So Thor comes out, pretending to be Hercules, and challenges Herc to single combat. That way, no invasion and no bloodshed, which both heroes want (oh, and did I mention Zeus has amnesia and is trapped in the body of a little boy?). All Hercules (as Thor) has to do is allow Thor (as Hercules) to beat him. Um, you can probably see where this is going. The results are fairly hysterical. This is a good, fun comic book that’s easy to follow. I’d never tried it, and as good as this was, I doubt I’ll stick with it, just because I’m buying a lot as is. But regardless, this is fun in its own right, and you should really buy this issue.

 

Batman #691
Batman #691

 BATMAN #691

Written by Judd Winick

Art by Mark Bagley and Rob Hunter ; Cover by Tony Daniel

RATING: 4/5

Winick ends his short run on the title, but before he does, he puts Dick Grayson on solid footing as the new Batman. Dick faces off against Two-Face, who is quite sure he is an imposter and not really Batman. Although Dick has worn the cowl for a few months now, it felt almost like he was born again as the full measure of Batman in this issue — appropriately, in the cave.

 

Batgirl #3
Batgirl #3

 BATGIRL #3

Written by Bryan Q. Miller

Art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott; Cover by Phil Noto

RATING: 3.5/5

The first arc for the new Batgirl concludes. Like Winick, Miller tries to firmly establish his heroine in her new role. And it works pretty well, although I must say that it seems a bit heavy handed at times. But there were some very enjoyable moments, and I liked it overall. Solid pencils by Garbett. Still, I think this series is probably pretty missable. Looks like it’s the kind of title you enjoy if you get it, but if you don’t, you’re not missing out on too much.

 

Blackest Night #3 (of 3)

Blackest Night #3 (of 3)

BLACKEST NIGHT #3 (OF 3)

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Ardian Syaf and John Dell; Cover by Andy Kubert

RATING: 3/5

I am now and always will be a sucker for Deadman. Fun character who really helped out this mini. Tim and Dick are finally confrotned with the Black Lantern corpses of their parents, and I thought Tomasi really overdid the reaction, or else this would be rated a little better. But the conclusion was pretty creative, so overall, I liked it.

 

Marvels Project #3

Marvels Project #3

MARVELS PROJECT #3 (of 8 )

Written by Ed Brubaker

Art by Steve Epting; Covers by Steve Epting and Steve McNiven

RATING: 3.5/5

I’m becoming slightly less sold on this mini, though this issue was still good. The concept is good, maybe even great, but it moves along rather slowly. I hope Brubaker hasn’t gotten Bendis-itis, feeling the need to move his stories at a snail’s pace with entire issue where nothing happens. This certainly wasn’t Bendis bad, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Brubaker pick it up slightly. I think he could move it a little faster without losing the awe of the era he’s trying to instill. Epting’s art, as usual, was great.

 

Green Lantern Corps #41

Green Lantern Corps #41

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #41

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Art and cover by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman

RATING: 2/5

Naturally, since I spent the past two weeks talking about how good this series has gotten, this issue had to be disappointing. I still wouldn’t say it was bad, but it felt like Tomasi actually tried to do too much. There was a lot going on, and without time/space to develop more complex emotional reactions, it was mostly just characters yelling angrily as they encountered the Black Lanterns inhabiting the bodies of their former loved ones. Seriously, a lot of angry yelling. But there were still some good parts, including one potentially huge development, so I remain firmly on board this title.

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3 Responses to “10/14/09 Reviews”

  1. Gokitalo Says:

    That Fables cover is just gorgeous. It looks like something out of Dave McKean’s notebook (did McKean draw it?) What a nice week for covers in general: Marvels Project, Green Lantern Corps and Batgirl look especially slick.

    Too bad about Marvels Project: I had a feeling it was going to be a slow-burn when I read the first few pages of issue 1. Maybe it’ll read better in– dare I say it– TRADE?

    I’m glad to hear Winick’s first Dick Grayson Batman story finished on a high note. And even more glad to hear that you liked Incredible Hercules! I don’t pick it up regularly, but that title can be hilarious. The sound effects are always fantastic!

  2. davidry214 Says:

    The Fables cover is by Joao Ruas, who has taken over the covers for the book. A worthy successor to the great James Jean, who did all the covers for the book before recently retiring.

    For once, I think you’re right about trade waiting, as I think Marvels Project probably would read better in that format. But despite mild disappointment, I still have faith it’ll turn out well. Right now, I can’t help but compare it to Marvels, where Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross did a slightly similar concept about 10 years ago in one of the best Marvel minis ever.

    I don’t regularly read Incredible Hercules either, and like I said in my review, I might still not just because I don’t want to add too many books. But maybe we both should; this issue was incredibly entertaining. You should pick at elast this one up, Goki.

  3. 12/3/09 Reviews « Eat More Comics Says:

    […] is only the second issue I’ve ever read of this book, but if you take a quick look here, you can see my fairly glowing review of #136 (HercuThor vs. ThorCules). After this issue, part 1 […]

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