Shadowland: Bullseye #1 – Wow, just wow. So here we have a story about a funeral for Bullseye held at the behest of a bunch of thugs. Of course, they want Mr. Crossover himself, Ben Urich to cover it under much duress. Any time you see an issue with Ben Urich, you’re about guaranteed it’s a tie-in to some major crossover to help make more money off it. However, sometimes those tie-ins aren’t too bad. This is one of those pointless issues in comic books that makes you say “why”. It isn’t like you would miss anything if you skipped this issue entirely! Not much makes any sense and the story is limp. I hope John Layman doesn’t a habit of this type of writing. It rather feels, though, like they dropped the assignment on him and he had to fill the pages with something. If you’re a writer, that’s not always a good thing. Sean Chen did an admirable job as the artist, but most people will look past his art because the story is poop. This issue would only be good for kindling, but it’s too expensive to be kindling, so you’re kind of stuck with it. Buyer beware of massive suckage!
Superman #702 – J. Michael Strazynski brings us to his second full issue of Superman and it continues just as the last one left off. Superman is wandering across America, this time Detroit is the place and Superman ends up encountering some aliens living there in secret. So Superman works out a deal with them that seems to occur way to suddenly and they basically build something over night. So besides that stretch of imagination, this is still better than anything Superman put out last year. It is a good enough story that continues to focus on the human side of Superman and that’s still a good thing to me. But where is all of this going? It would be un-JMS like to not have some grand plan. I’m hoping to see where this goes. The artwork is nothing that special, by Eddy Barrows, but I think the inker may have just gone overzealous in spots. So hard to tell without seeing the originals. So a pretty enjoyable issue here, despite gaps in logic, but not a must buy.
R.E.B.E.L.S. #19 – Ah, a tale of 3 Brainiacs. The first three in fact. Despite it all, Vril Dox (aka Brainiac 2) maintains himself as the cold, calculating and charismatic bastard of the bunch. The original Brainiac (or as I call him, Papa Brain) is set free during an attack on their home world of Colu by Lyrl Dox (Brainiac 3), who just happens to hate his father Vril. Lyrl has recently given a pulsar sentience and that thing is pissed and pretty flipping destructive. Chaos ensures and Vril has to find a way out of this mess. Tony Bedard continues to write one of the best and most consistent comics out there. The artwork of Claude St. Aubin is very strong here and fits the style we come to expect here. Yet another excellent read. Bedard continues to make this a must buy!
Red Robin #15 - So far, the 2nd year of Red Robin is off to a very fun and exciting start, with the credit going to Fabian Nicieza. The storyline has a pretty traditional comic feel with plenty of twists, reveals and characterization. The interaction between Tim Drake and Damian is great stuff and fun to read. The story revolves around two crooked cops who hire an assassin to go after Tim Drake because they know he has dirt on them. We see Tim continue his dark journey that has him acting more and more like Bruce Wayne, which has to be of great concern somewhere down the road. It is an interesting evolution of a character and I’m sure there is plenty more good stuff to come. If you like a good Batman type of story that seems like it is going somewhere and is always interesting, this is a good bet. The artwork by Marcus To is good stuff and the colors are vibrant. It feels like a comic should. Check it out!
Secret Six #24 – We join up with our Secret Six in the old west. Wait a minute, come again? Ok, so the cast and crew of the Secret Six is in the wild west and boy are there problems. A crazed outlaw is coming to town to take it over. Always good news for our anti-heroes. The story by Gail Simone is pretty gruesome and vulgar and not for the feint of heart. The artwork by J. Califiore is solid as well and captures some pretty intimate details well. The issue really throws a wrench in the work and boy, am I confused. Not sure if this is a veritable joyride, but it might have appeal to some. Me? I’m mostly “meh” from the whole ordeal. Buy if you think a spaghetti western Secret six appeals to you, if not, probably not worth forking out the bucks for.
Fantastic Four #581 – A delightfully warped Fantastic Four story. Recently I haven’t been too impressed with Fantastic Four and the past few years have had no sense of purpose. It just seemed like a comic book lost in limbo. I think Jonathan Hickman may have this ship turning in the right direction. However, at times I feel we’re getting wrapped up in all of these alternative timelines and that gets real confusing real quick. This story seems to be making a logical way to tie some of those together and create what seems to be an interesting story so far. It involves Reed Richards’ dad and an incident that draws them all together. There is an fairly interesting secret about what’s going on with all of this and why Reed’s dad visits him before he has any powers. In fact, in this reality, Reed’s power and Ben Grimm’s seem contrived by inventions. And what a wonderful play on this characters that we now know and love. We see a way to make them interesting in an alternative timeline and some sense of bittersweet irony in the way Ben Grimm approaches the invention they made for him. It all works well together. Neil Edwards’ pencil are alright, there are some rough spots, but hey, that’s the Fantastic Four in a nutshell. This one is worth checking out.
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