Avengers Academy #21 – Written by Christos Gage, Penciled by Sean Chen and Inked by Scott Hanna. This issue focuses on the group dealing with Veil leaving the team. Also, Hawkeye, Luke Cage and Captain America make a visit to the training compound. I’m really glad they’re using the old West Coast Avengers facility. I absolutely loved the West Coast Avengers, I thought it was a great series. So add that into a series I already highly enjoy is just another bonus. Christos Gage is easily one of my favorite writers, he gets a lot out of his stories and keeps them entertaining. Sean Chen is his usual self, nothing too spectacular, but it works pretty well. I really like some foreshadowing in here, Hazmat and Mettle’s situation is always interesting, and Striker just being a total douche is great. They add on two new team members and I’m glad Lightspeed is one of them. She hasn’t done anything since “Loners” and she’s a really good character. I’m not familiar at all with White Tiger, but we’ll see. I thought there was a great moment in this comic where Reptil says he doesn’t see why he should be a “Hispanic super hero who’s a HISPANIC super hero”, he just wants to be known for a super hero. I think that has a lot of depth in that statement right there and can be one of those debate type things. Should a Hispanic politician be known as a Hispanic politician or just a politician? Yeah, I’m not going to go into all that, but it was interesting.
Batwing #3 – Written by Judd Winick and Art by Ben Oliver. Batwing attempts to save an old African hero Thunder Fall from the warpath of Massacre. Batwing is badly injured and has to use guile to try and survive this one. Very interesting how they had him use his brains here and come up with ways to survive. A very good fight, a lot of fights in comics are just throwing punches and have little common sense involved. This one did a great job of giving us a bit of thought process and giving the feel of desperation for the main character. Plus a few surprises in here as well, including some good backstory that I felt was interesting as well. I will say that Winick is making me like Batwing, a character I couldn’t have cared less about at the beginning. Ben Oliver does the usual artwork, which is largely devoid of background if possible. However, the overall effects of the artwork is beautiful. I’m just no sure if it’s because of Ben Oliver or the excellent coloring involved. I would just have to see the original pencils I guess. However, a very good comic this month and hopefully continues to pick up steam.
Villians for Hire #0.1 – Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with Art by Renato Arlem. Well, this is an introduction issue that doesn’t feel like that until the last few pages. You get a bit of a set-up with Misty Knight calling all her heroes on a mission and then it ends up showing you who some of the Villians for Hire will be right at the end. I guess they stole some artificat and the best part is Lady Stilt-Man or Stilt-Woman or something. Not a whole heck of a lot here. Heroes for Hire can be good but is sometimes hit or miss. This felt like a miss to me. Plus Renato’s artwork wasn’t all that great. His Paladin was truly awful, it didn’t really look anything like Paladin. I just wasn’t impressed with anything in this one. Just feel like this is a Point One issue truly worth skipping completely because you won’t miss ANYTHING!
Detective Comics #3 – Written and Penciled by Tony Salavador Daniel and Inked by Sandu Florea. The Dollmaker has Commisioner Gordon and Batman has to try and save him. Classic mystery style Batman story here. He has to attempt to find Gordon before it’s too late and find clues as to who the Dollmaker is. I will say that this Dollmaker definitely has some of the more interesting minions I’ve seen in awhile. I hope they continue to use him in the future. The end is a bit hokey, but nothing bad. Daniel does a wonderful job with the art in this one as well. At times it’s a tad hard to figure out a few things, but not a whole lot. I think he’s improved as he’s gone along and is now in a groove. This has improved each issue and is a pleasant surprise. A lot of people don’t care for Tony’s work, but I think it is just fine. The elements of good storytelling are all here and there’s the ever climatic finish. While it isn’t amazing stuff, it’s pretty decent for what it is. Might be worth checking out.
Red Lanterns #3 – Written by Peter Milligan, Penciled by Ed Benes and Inked by Rob Hunter. So Atrocitus gives Bleez more intelligence in this issue and we get a ton of background story on Bleez. It was nice to get some background on Bleez and see what she’s all about, I like that part. There were times, however, that things didn’t quite fit together. At one point, Atrocitus says that they have no time to be sentimental as Red Lanterns. If that’s so, what the hell were the first 2 issues? Apparently he doesn’t practice what he preaches. Not only that, but the writer points out his own hypocrisy, so is that what his character is or is it just poor writing of a character. The next thing, I hate how Benes draws Atrocitus and Bleez, so this was another subpar issue. I really wish they had a better artist on this and it might bring it up a notch or two, but yuck. The story was ok, but I’m not sure we have a complete handle on Atrocitus or what the heck he wants to accomplish. What the hell is the goal of all we’re seeing? Seems so far we’ve just been getting background stories. When’s the real story going to begin?
The Amazing Spider-Man #673 – Written by Dan Slott with Art by Stefano Caselli. Well, Spider-Island is over and this issue does a great job of wrapping things up and tying up those loose ends. It’s an Epilogue and it does what it should here. I like Spidey’s interaction with MJ in this issue and there’s a few sad parts. It is interesting to see where they go with Kaine from here as well. And Eddie Brock, no longer Anti-Venom, what’s up with that? I’m putting my money on him eventually becoming Venom again. Once again, Dan Slott shows his love for Spider-Man and has been hitting on all cylinders. I’m telling you folks, this is the best run on Spider-Man in YEARS! I love the story that is told here. Epilogues can be boring, but Slott uses this as a set-up to future stories as well. I that Stefano did excellent artwork on this issue, which adds to the overall feel. Ramos has been doing a decent job, but this is much better artwork. I would like to see him work on Spider-Man more often. Or anything for that matter, because he’s just darned good! One of the best epilogues I’ve ever read, which is rare for a major Marvel crossover. Most of the epilogues are slow moving, this one had a lot of good stuff.
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