Uncanny X-Men #526 – Written by Matt Fraction and Pencilled by Whilce Portacio. So the main plot is that 5 new mutants showed up and their powers haven’t manifested yet, so it’s time to find them before the bad guys get in the way. But, why is it that the back-up story involving Magneto and his “grandsons” is the more interesting story in this issue. Matt Fraction gives a valiant effort, but he doesn’t seem to have the whole dynamics of the group down yet. Plus I think Whilce Portacio phoned it in on him. Whilce seems to be just drawing to draw and must have needed some extra bucks, because I just don’t feel him being at his best. When Hope finds out her parents died she and was talking about it at first, the facially expression couldn’t have matched what she was feeling. The artwork just felt a little soulless and maybe that how Whilce feels drawing the X-Men, but he isn’t doing his writer any favors. I’m interested in finding out what Hope can do and how the next breed of X-Men will turn out. But the sub-plots in this one are weak and contrived, except for the Kitty Pryde part. I don’t feel they’re following up on the fall-out from Second Coming very well. We should be feeling heavier repercussions than any mutant series is really dealing with and that’s too bad, because I thought Second Coming was a good X-Men crossover. This stuff is ok, but nothing spectacular.
Daredevil #509 – Written by Andy Diggle and Penciled by Roberto De La Torre. Ever get a case of déjà vu? That’s what this felt like. Andy Diggle has had some hits and misses in this Shadowland event, but I felt like I knew about the same at the end of this issue as I did at the beginning. There are a few new bits of information, but nothing too interesting that skipping it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. The artwork is good, but not in a classic comic book approach. Everything is very washed out and dark and forboding, which I guess suits it well enough. The way this one is going, next issue they’ll cover it again anyway. So if you read last issue, just read Shadowland #2 and skip this one.
Brightest Day #8 – Written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi and Pencilled by Ardian Syaf, Ivan Reis, and Patrick Gleason. I thought LOST was over, but this comic book keeps me about as frustrated as when I was watching LOST. This issue is largely Martian Manhunter and Hawkworld centric, and boy is it bad. In fact, they pretty much rip off an entire scene from LOST, but oh well. A boring issue with nothing really important seeming to happen. Any surprises fall flat on their collective faces. Just a walking crap fest. The artwork is uninspired except for the nicely pencilled first few pages. I can’t figure out what the hell their doing with this storyline, if maybe they’re trying to do a reinvent of “52”, but it’s a poor attempt at that. If you avoid buying one issue out of my list, avoid buying this turd.
Green Lantern Corps #51 – Written by Tony Bedard and Pencilled by Ardian Syaf. The story improved from last issue and the artwork is decent, supported well by the brilliant colors in this issue. So our fair Lanterns are still trying to survive the nefarious Cyborg-Superman who has taken over the Alpha Lanterns. Cyborg-Supe has Ganthet and Stel pretty much held hostage and there are some interesting moments involving that in this issue. Bedard does a good job at making sure that despite the human side we sometimes see from Hank Henshaw (aka Cyborg-Superman), he’s still a right evil bastard that deserves contempt. We also have a surprise return of a Lantern which is completely ruined by the front cover, but Hannu returns and that is also interesting considering how he’s feeling about the Corps right now. Nothing really wrong with this issue, it just kind of flies by though and you don’t feel like you got a whole lot of story out of it. Just an average, decent sort of issue, no need to rush yourself out to buy it or anything.
Avengers Academy #3 – Written by Christos Gage and Pencilled by Mike McKone. Well, McKone’s artwork is much better this issue, if still a tad inconsistent at times, but it is getting there. In this issue our cadets get a scared-straight trip to the Raft. Also we get to know Hazmat much better and see her origin as well. Valkyrie’s guest teaching are humorous to say the least. I kind of wish we would see more out of Speedball, and I’m sure we will, as he continues to cope with the past in his own way. To me, that’s really interesting stuff. There’s a lot of characters to juggle here and some of them are bound to get overlooked in some issues. The story is solid and fun and we get a crossover with the Thunderbolts that continues there. The characters continue to grow and are very interesting. There are a few hokey moments with the Thunderbolts, but nothing too bad. So this issue is a definite must, especially if you’ve been following to this point.
Zatanna #4 – Written by Paul Dini and Pencilled by Chard Hardin. Well Viva Las Vegas! Zatanna is set to open up a new show in Vegas and has to contend with the Royal Flush Gang (who are constantly changing anymore, but I still like them) and then prepare for her big night. Things just don’t turn out as planned. Need I say more? Paul Dini continues to keep Zatanna surprisingly fresh, funny, and bold. This issue is no different. A lot of sub-plot being worked in and it will be interesting to see where this new story arc will go. Suffice it to say, this is going to be one fun ride. I still can’t believe how boring Zatanna used to be, but she’s gone a complete 360 under the right team. Chad Hardin does a very good job of visuals and those visuals help complete the story. The subtle things some artists would miss, he really doesn’t. He uses the medium to help the writer in the telling of the story, and I love that. Pick this book up and pick it up NOW!
Thunderbolts #147 – Written by Jeff Parker and Pencilled by Kev Walker. We pick up, not only, from last issue, but also from Avenger’s Academy #3 (and #4 which isn’t released yet). There’s a power outage we saw on the Raft and the questions as to why it happened. We also see the Thunderbolts dealing with the actual power outage, which leads to many interesting moments. Moonstone does pretty much exactly what is always expected of her. Juggernaut showcased some interesting things as well. I’m curious to see where they go with the terrigen mutation incident and if there’s anything more to it that we’ll see in future issues. Next issue we get another detour into Shadowland, but hopefully it’ll be pain free for us readers. Parker really does another great job of scripting what could have been a very boring story and making it interesting. I have a feeling he has some surprises waiting for us, just wish I could tell what. The artwork has a grim stylization to it that fits the stories being told. A fun read, but I’m borderline about calling it a buy.