Well, there are a few titles from last week that I didn’t fit in, I’ll try to squeeze them in next week. For the most part, all the major titles from last week were read and reviewed. Hope you find today’s batch useful as well!
Uncanny X-Men #528 – Written by Matt Fraction and Penciled by Whilce Portacio. We start off visiting Nigeria where we have another new mutant who popped up. This one apparently controls fire and ice, some I’m going to call her Icy Hot Analgesic Girl. Good name, eh? Anyway, Storm and Hope come in to save her after some local people are trying to kill her for what she accidentally did to the town. We also take a look at what’s going on with Emma Frost hiding Sebastian Shaw in Utopia, Namor deals with his realm, and Kitty Pryde is still in ghost form looking to communicate with Colossus. The issue isn’t badly written at all, but there’s just something missing. It still doesn’t have a grand X-Men feel to it. We kind of wander from one story to the next without one being our real focal point. Then there was a weird scene with Nekra and Frenzy that I still can’t figure out why it is even in the book. And the art… well, it’s better this issue, but part of me wonders if the inker didn’t help bail Whilce out on this one. I still see a lot of shortcuts here. Pages 6 and 8 have just a ton of white space for no apparent reason. Readers aren’t paying for blank real estate here Portacio. But it is better, but still not good by any stretch. He also uses extreme close-ups of the eyes so that he has to draw less. Really, just stop having him draw, he isn’t worth paying anymore because it’s clear he doesn’t care about what he’s doing for Marvel. This issue is ok, mainly because I like the stuff with Hope and the Emma Frost stuff has some promise, but there’s nothing to rave about here.
Fantastic Four #583 – Written by Jonathan Hickman and Art by Steve Epting. We play witness to a fight breaking out in the former city of the High Evolutionary. At the same time, Valeria Richards decides to embark on some mischievousness of her own and breaks into her Dad’s workspace where he’s been going back and forth meeting with the many Reed Richards of alternate universes. Of course, Reed left himself a recording and answer system that tells her all about what’s going on. What she sees on the other side frightens her to ask for help from none other than Victor Von Doom himself. For the life of me, I don’t know why the whole thing with the High Evolutionary’s City was even in here, it didn’t make sense. Hickman then leads us on a story with the League of Mister Fantastics (or the council or whatever you want to call it) that didn’t seem to make much sense. The issue seemed strangely put together and it didn’t really fit a normal storytelling flow. Sure we got a big reveal on the last two pages, but everything else before didn’t really have any rising drama to it. I was just kind of bored and confused by the whole situation. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. The artwork by Epting is pretty good and he does capture some amazing facials, so that’s top quality stuff. However, the story is just lacking and I think you could very well skip this issue and pick up next issue instead and probably come out ahead. So our “Countdown to Casualty” is a bit of a miss this week, but I’m holding out hope that next issue is better.
Green Lantern Corps #52 – Written by Tony Bedard and Penciled by Ardian Syaf. We learn the fate of Boodikka in this issue and the Lanterns take it to Cyborg Superman and his Alpha Lanterns. A titanic battle ensues in which the inhabitants of the planet Grenda rise-up for a cause. That’s really about as much of a synopsis as one needs. The pace of this issue is fast as we can see they’re trying to move the story along and give us a pretty good battle to boot. I liked how Boodikka got the final laugh in this one. It was a great scene to see! Truly a fitting conclusion to this for now. The issue works well with the parts it has set-up and makes you feel satisfied with the conclusion. Unfortunately the issues leading up to this weren’t anything special. This one feels like a decent bit of story and some pretty good artwork mixed together. It helps that I’m a huge Green Lantern fan, but to most people, this issue was nothing to write home about. I really like Cyborg Superman, but at the end of the day, this didn’t feel like it moved any particular plot along much. The only good thing is figuring out what happened with the Alpha Lanterns. That being said, a decent issue with some good artwork, but nothing you would feel sorry about not buying a few months down the road.
Justice League: Generation Lost #10 – Written by Judd Winick and Penciled by Joe Bennett. We are shown events from the Kingdom Come series from several years ago in a smaller form. At least, this is the vision that Maxwell Lord has, so the White Ring or Entity wants him to stop this from ever occurring in our reality. However, at the end of last episode Magog had been brought on to help Max, so we’re left to wonder and perhaps assume what is going on here. We also find out that Skeets was able to find out about 4 dormant Checkmate cells came back online upon Lord’s return. In fact, Skeets downloaded pretty much everything he could. Fire & Ice have a heart warming-ish moment as well. There is a very interesting scene where Batman starts realizing something is up with Max Lord and Power Girl is also starting to believe there’s a conspiracy. Just as quickly as they put it all together, their memory of it all vanishes again. The end of the issue reveals one of my favorite groups of all time. I don’t want to spoil everything, but wow. Ok, I just wrote a lot about this issue, but damn was it a great read! Is Lord using Magog and planning to destroy him with the help of the Justice League? Is Max trying to work against the White Lantern’s entity? Will the other heroes ever remember Maxwell Lord? So many questions and a great story every issue. Judd Winick has hit his stride and made this a hit. My only complaint is that the art was pretty bland. Joe Bennett just didn’t do it for me. He’s ok, but I never felt pulled in by it and there’s a scene with Max Lord saying “Ooh-rah,” that’s just plain bad. But the writing is there and fantastic, the art varies from issue to issue because of the changing artists, but that doesn’t affect my end opinion. You need to be buying this series, because it is flat out DC comics at it’s best!
The Avengers #5 – Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Penciled by John Romita Jr. The Avengers left in our time are trying to figure out what exactly to do in all of the chaos. It isn’t an easy task either, because of all the innocents involved from the past and future who are being sucked into our timeline. Also, Thor tries to take Galactus down a few sizes, which is always a difficult task. In the future Tony Stark learns the future version of himself attacked him. Kang wants to keep putting groups together to defeat Ultron, but in the end, he’s unraveling time by doing it. There are just some weird leaps in logic in this issue, but some might say that’s Bendis’ style. When they get teleported back in time how do they take the place of themselves? Would they be there alongside themselves? Although, when you put it in terms of the “Groundhog Day” reference, it does make a tad bit of sense, just not much. The story feels like it should take a few more steps forward than it did, but still not bad. I just didn’t care for the explanations going on by Future Stark. Not some of Bendis’ better writing, but I did think the issue was still entertaining. Romita is Romita, I don’t need to say much else. Despite being entertaining, it isn’t enough to make me recommend it to you unless you’ve been following this storyline, if so, you might as well.
Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow #2 – Written by Jason Henderson and Art by Ivan Rodriguez. Former Bounty Hunter Colleen Wing takes her place as leader of the Nail. The Nail is a sect of female assassins for the hand. We get a first hand taste of them right away in this issue as they rescue a truck full of girls headed towards being enslaved. Colleen considers herself a Samurai, because unlike ninja, samurai adhere to codes and principles. Colleen talks to Murdock and mentions once again that her mother used to lead the Nail. Colleen intends to lead the Nail into an attack on a Massage Parlor that uses these enslaved women. However, when the person behind the trafficking scheme is somebody her friend Tig is working for, things go south. An interesting tale of trying to play a middle line when there’s not much of one to play. She walks the thin line while the other female characters don’t subscribe to it. Most of them are downright nasty, especially Black Lotus who doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with Colleen’s style. It’s not excellently written or anything, but there is a fun kind of appeal to this. The artwork isn’t great, kind of stiff in spots, the colors make this thing tolerable, but I have a feeling if everything wasn’t blended and gradiented out, it would look worse. If you like “Kill Bill” type movies, this might be an enjoyable read, otherwise it has limited appeal.
Legion of Super-Heroes #5 – Written by Paul Levitz and Penciled by Yildiray Cinar & Francis Portela. A transport that was supposed to take Titan refugees to their new home, instead crashes on their camp. While the Legion is dealing with that, Earth Force shows up to perhaps vanquish what’s left of the refugees. Meanwhile on Naltor, we see the search for the new wearer of the Green Lantern ring continue. Earth-Man bails out his fellow leaguers as well and Brainiac disobeys an order. Just a lot of interesting things going on with the main story being the Earth Force vs. Xeno’s story and Earth-Man’s part in it all. Once again, a lot of characters to juggle, but Levitz handles with extremely well. The only disappointing part was no Saturn Girl follow-up yet. But with so much going on, it’s hard to get back to some things. It makes me wish the issues were longer so we could find out more and slow the pace a tad. On the plus side, we have Timber Wolf quite a bit in this issue and he’s been all but unseen in these first four issues. Hopefully we see more of him going forward. The Durlan sub-plot is also getting interesting and I want to know where that is going. The art is pretty superb in this issue as well, so I found no problems with it. The only issue I have anymore is that too many characters, not enough time for them all, which is almost a shame really. Lots of interesting characters and pretty superb writing his made Legion a can’t miss monthly epic.