12/9 and 12/16/2009 Reviews

by

Double dose of reviews this week! See, there was an upside to me getting last week’s comics late.

Reviewed these weeks:

12/9

Booster Gold #27

Dark X-Men #2 (of 5)

Red Robin #7

12/16

Batman #694

Captain America: Reborn #5 (of 6)

Dark Avengers #12

Fables #91

Green Lantern Corps. #43

X-Factor #200

December 9

Red Robin #7

Written by Christopher Yost; pencilled by Marcus To.

RATING: 5/5

OK, seriously people: you need to buy this book. Something about it is just captivating. Yost builds tension and drama exceptionally well, both within each issue and within the overarching plot of the book. His characters are immediately likable, even the ones who are fairly evil. The first five issues had fairly mediocre art, but with the debut of Marcus To in issue #6, the pencils have definitely gone to another level. This might be one of my Top-5 books now.

Booster Gold #27

Written by Dan Jurgens; pencilled by Jurgens and Mike Norton.

RATING: 4/5

Part 2, and the conclusion, of Booster Gold vs. the Black Lantern Blue Beetle. This issue was pretty much exactly what you would have expected, but Jurgens made it work quite well. He also tried to help give a little more street cred to the new Blue Beetle, but for me, Ted will always be the one and only true BB. For regular readers of the title (I was just on for the Blackest Night tie-in), there were also a couple nuggets that you’ll appreciate more than I.

Dark X-Men #2 (of 5)

Written by Paul Cornell; pencilled by Leonard Kirk.

RATING: 3/5

Turns out last issue’s ending was more of a tease than the new beginning it appeared to be. Looks like we’ll have to read the rest of this miniseries to find out what the future holds for the character who came back at the end of last issue. Cornell’s writing seems a little hit-or-miss; he writes a couple characters well, but Omega is fairly boring, and Dark Beast doesn’t seem evil enough. And Leonard Kirk’s art has gone way, way downhill since his JSA days. But despite these criticisms, there’s still a decent amount to like. I’ll stick around just to see what happens to that one particular character.

December 16, 2009

X-Factor #200

Written by Peter David; pencilled by Bing Cansino with Marco Santucci; back-up story pencilled by Karl Moline.

RATING: 5/5

X-Factor is back, and as awesome as ever. The main story, “The Invisible Woman Has Vanished,” is funny, entertaining, and intriguing. The ending was a little unexpected, and shows that Peter David is going to keep the punches rolling in the wake of the landmark issue #50. His characters have a great depth, which he showed again with the back-up story, “Matters of Faith.” Also, I don’t if this issue’s art team is staying onboard, but I liked them a lot better than regular (previous?) penciller Valentine De Landro.

Fables # 91

Written by Bill Willingham; pencilled by Mark Buckingham.

RATING: 4.5/5

Remember this day, so you can one day tell your grandchildren about it: Fables wasn’t my most highly rated book this week! I’m not sure that’s ever happened, so this is one for the books. Of course, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still awesome. The final showdown between Buffkin the flying monkey and Baba Yaga the evil witch was even more amazing than I could have hoped for; I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or cheer. The Ozma/Gepetto conclusion wasn’t quite as good — a little slow, BUT, a great ending with massive potential.

Green Lantern Corps. #43

Written by Peter J. Tomasi; pencilled by Patrick Gleason.

RATING: 4.5/5

Two straight great issues from Tomasi, who is using Blackest Night as an opportunity to show how strong this book can be. I really can’t say anything else without spoilers, but it’s damn good. Gleason’s art is pretty up and down — mostly nothing special, but some nice panels here and there.

Batman #694

Written and pencilled by Tony Daniel.

RATING: 3/5

I think Daniel’s actually trying to do too much here. He’s good with villains, so he’s using several. The result is that he has to develop several different plotlines/subplots at once, so none of them seem to go quite far enough. Plus, he used a little boy to try to get an emotional reaction, but didn’t really earn such reaction. Daniel’s art is still great, but he needs to show me more over the next two issues for me to stick around.

Captain America: Reborn #5 (of 6)

Written by Ed Brubaker; pencilled by Brian Hitch.

RATING: 1.5/5

If you read Goki and my recommendations for this week, you might remember me saying that this was the conclusion to the miniseries: #5 (of 5). For that matter, if you looked at the solit on marvel.com, a seemingly reputable source, you would see this issue described as the “finale.” Hell, if you bought any previous issue, you saw in the numbering on the cover that it was #_ of 5. BUT WAIT. It’s NOT the finale. Turns out the mini has had a last-minute extension to six issues. Marvel’s solit for #6 in January says this is the “story so big we needed an extra issue to tell it!” The only problem is that this has been an overly long and dull miniseries already, and I don’t know if I can pretend to care for another issue.

Dark Avengers #12

Written by Brian Michael Bendis; pencilled by Mike Deodato.

RATING: 0.5/5

OK, I admit that this is the most biased rating I have ever given. It wasn’t necessarily bad if you have a different point of view, but something happened that just pissed me off. That’s all I’ll say here.

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3 Responses to “12/9 and 12/16/2009 Reviews”

  1. Gokitalo Says:

    Wowness, highest praise you’ve given to Red Robin yet. Is issue #7 a good jumping-on point? Or at least, will I get everything that’s going on if I haven’t read the previous issues?

    Glad to hear Booster Gold kept up the greatness. I love Ted too, but I read the first few issues of Jaime’s series not long ago and think he’s a pretty solid successor.

    I knew X-Factor #200 would be great. 🙂 And the high praise for GLC convinces me more and more to buy the trade when it eventually comes out.

    And finally, with Dark Avengers… again I go with the wowness. Quite a turnaround from last issue’s review; even I wasn’t expecting a 0.5! The solits said someone bit the dust this issue. Is that the reason for the low review?

  2. davidry214 Says:

    #5 was the easier jumping-on point, and you’d probably still be OK if you jumped on Red Robin at #6. When I get home next week, I’ll browse through those issues and let you know for sure whether you’d be lost.

    Yeah, I certainly have nothing against Jaime, and if Ted has a real resurrection someday, I hope Jaime gets to stick around. But I’ve read enough of Giffen/Dematteis’ JL work that I have a pretty soft spot for Ted.

  3. Gokitalo Says:

    Just read X-Factor #200 and it was very awesome indeed. Feels like a fresh, new direction for the team. And the artwork was fantastic! I liked Valentine De Landro’s art a lot, though, as well as previous regular artist Ryan Sook’s.

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