Finally I’m getting out some reviews for you all. Sorry these took so long, I have no excuse other then my own laziness. I got 3 comics today that I’ll review real soon. I’ll post a review of Siege #2 tomorrow and hopefully Wolverine: Weapon X #10 the next day. Hopefully being the key word here.
Another note before the reviews. I’m changing my review system. I’ve always used an out of 5 type system and while I’ve usually fond it effective I think an out of 10 system is definitely more precise. Since I’ve been using one for the Revolution now I think it’s time I use it for my reviews here as well. So from now on everything will have an Out of 10 rating.
Now onto the comics!
Written: Glen Brunswick
Art: Dan McDaid
Story Rating: 9 out of 10
Art Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
Jersey Gods #10 was an excellent read and once again reminded me that Jersey Gods is easily one of the best comics out there each month. With strong pacing, great action and incredible character work Jersey Gods is easily a comic everyone should be reading and this issue reminded me of that.
succeeds on a lot of levels with Jersey Gods, but I think his highest success is the pacing of this arc. The Abandoned has done great for pacing a strong storyline and building up to an exciting conclusion. Something that not all writers can do really and Brunswick really blew me away with the pacing of this arc. Brunswick
Of course as always the characters continue to be both fun and interesting to read every time.
never fails to make compelling and exciting characters and once again he utilized them very well here. I especially liked Helius in this issue. Brunswick gave us funny Helius as well as Helius suffering his first ever loss and it was handled very well. Brunswick
As always the Barock and Zoe relationship develops nicely. In this issue they are hardly together until the very end but
still makes their relationship a pivotal part of the story and important as well as interesting. I love the way these 2 interact because it always feels general and real and it’s always interesting to read. Brunswick
One thing I wasn’t expecting was the possible Rushmore/Lurella relationship. Rushmore is a great character and he does have a connection to Lurella since they are from the same city but I didn’t expect her to care for him. This is an interesting new dynamic and I really hope that we see more of it when Rushmore pulls through.
My best example is how in this issue we got a fight scene, a death and a hilarious moment as Helius seduces Maya. It’s all there, a full package in one comic and that’s more then most readers could hope for but Brusnwick did it and it was great. All 3 emotional points where hit excellently but never did it feel like one messed with the other and it worked amazingly well.
The fact that
can transition from Helius singing a Justin Timberlake song, to an intense fight, to a dramatic death is masterful writing and it’s sadly something we don’t see enough of today in comics. This is a really personal story and the reader really feels emotional investment here. It’s powerful writing and the sign of a really good writer when he affects the reader like that on so many levels. Brunswick
Any writer can just randomly kill off a character for shock value and then try to make the readers feel bad about it. It’s easy really and it happens all the time but to just hit that one note is so boring and overplayed. Rarely is a death given any real emotion behind it. A character just gets their heart ripped out and we’re done with it. Readers can’t give a damn of Iron Man’s girlfriend gets shot if she’s dead and we move on like nothing ever happened.
Helius’ reaction adds a new layer of pain to it as well. It’s one thing to kill off a character then expect the audience to simply feel the emotional ramifications, but when we see the characters affected by it then that’s the real accomplishment. Helius’ final words about the son he never knew where touching and heart breaking.
Action is another important aspect to this issue and the action was great. I especially loved McDaid’s layouts as he really went outside the box and it paid off. I love unique panel lay outs and it was great here as he really gave us a fun look on the action while it retained its intenseness.
The ending was both a great ending for the story arc and a hook ending to excite me for next issue.
has been building to Barock’s relationship with Zoe getting to the next level and him doing something major like this. It’s really exciting to see how she’ll react next time and Brunswick has set up a perfect hook ending, exciting me for more but still leaving me satisfied with what I read. Brunswick
Art Comments: Much as I loved the story I also loved the art for this issue. McDaid has grown so much over the past 10 issues of Jersey Gods and his art at this point is purely excellent and great stuff. It’s some of the best art I’ve seen from him and he handled everything so amazingly well, the comedy, the action, the emotion is all there and it all looks gorgeous with McDaid’s unique style.
Final Comments: If you’re not reading Jersey Gods you owe it to yourself to check this series out. It’s got everything, amazing pacing, great characters, fun comedy, great action and real emotion as well as great art. This is easily one of the best comics out there and this was another amazing issue.
and McDaid did an amazing job here as they have been doing with this series. Brunswick
Writer: Mike Benson
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Story Rating: 5 out of 10
Art Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
Opening Comments: DC really pissed me off with this sudden Dini swap for Mike Benson for yet ANOTHER 2 month filler. Just as Dini comes back he’s gone like that. It’s total bullshit and I don’t care if it’s DC or Dini’s fault, it’s no excuse and if you’re going to have your own goddamn ongoing series, write your series!
Now to be perfectly honest this issue was still a solid and enjoyable read. Benson gives us a clever interesting mystery and he puts in some great moments here and there. But for one this felt like such a bland fill in, like this could have been any random issue of Batman. It didn’t feel like it fit the Streets of Gotham series at all. At least with Chris Yost’s fill in it focused on other parts of
Gotham and was more interesting.
Story Comments: Benson gives us a by the numbers Batman mystery. Nothing new or interesting about it. Someone is killing people in
Gotham and Batman’s got to solve the mystery. We’ve seen it all before and we’ve seen it done better as well. Even if it was solid read it wasn’t one worthy of this series.
But to point out the good, my favorite moment was between Batman and his first suspect. A nice change of the cliché “I’m a suspect so I’m a total jerk” moment we often get. For once one of these random suspects acted like a real human being rather then being a stock jackass. Benson really impressed me with that and I really wish we’d see this more often from writers today.
It was interesting seeing Benson tackle the idea of the dirty side of nightlife in
Gotham. So often sex is like a joke in comics. No one can handle sex seriously, it’s always casual or funny and never do you see the darker nastier side to sex and seeing Benson address that here was interesting.
It was also nice to see him being straight forward about it. Yeah there’s some crazy shit out there. People who’d want to sleep with a woman if she looks like the Joker (Or Batgirl…just saying…) and it was nice to see that acknowledged. It’s not pretty but it was just nice seeing it for once.
As far as mysteries are concerned this one is at least decent and I did like seeing it develop. Benson may have given us a basic mystery but it’s still an interesting one and he handles the trail of clues very nicely and it all evolves well.
Picking the biggest flaw of this issue of Streets of Gotham was real easy. It can be summed up in 2 words.
Where the hell was he? This is his 2nd break from the series. Now while he was on Detective Comics he took a break I recall but that was different, that was an established series. This is his very own ongoing series. DC gave him his own comic book, all for him, and he still can’t write it. That’s bullshit.
This series has been sold as a Paul Dini comic. That’s one of the big hooks, that Paul Dini is writing his own Batman ongoing series. A place for all his fans like me to read his great stories. What’s the point of me reading this series if the guy I’m reading it for isn’t writing it often?
What’s even worse is this is exactly after a one month return. One goddamn month. At least last time he got out 4 issues rather then just 1. This is just lazy at this point. Like he’s not even trying anymore. He just writes this series when he feels like it I guess and that is wrong to the fans.
I’m a huge Paul Dini fan, I love his work. His run on Detective Comics was legendary to me, his work for Batman: the Animated Series is undefeated as far as cartoons are concerned, the Graphic Novel Mad Love is one of my top Batman books. So when I buy Streets of Gotham, I wanted my damn Paul Dini or I won’t be reading the series.
You don’t get your own ongoing series to simply not write it. That’s like getting a house and only living in it a couple of days a week. It’s stupid and frustrating. Now beyond how pissed I am at no Paul Dini for another 2 months there was more to this issue then just no Paul Dini.
Has Mike Benson read any Batman lately? Does he know Dick Grayson is under the cowl at all? Or that Dick is a nice guy? Or that he doesn’t act exactly like Bruce? I guess not since this issue read like a basic issue of Batman with Bruce under the cowl. There was absolutely nothing that could tell me this was Dick Grayson and not Bruce Wayne.
This issue is just so basic and by the numbers mostly. It’s a very basic mystery and while it is at least well done it’s just so bland compared to the more exciting and interesting Batman stories we’ve gotten before. While a murder mystery is always a good time for a Batman story it’s been done to death and there has to be something more then just a guy killing people in
Gotham to justify it being a Batman story nowadays.
We’ve been here before folks and we’ve been here with better writing and a more interesting plot set up. I know Batman is a detective before an avenger but that doesn’t mean we can just throw any bland boring mystery story at him and it will stick and make for an exciting read. There has to be more substance to it then that.
On top of all that Benson makes a rather mediocre killer. He’s just some random criminal killer. That’s awesome. Maybe next we can have a killer of only cops, or hell if you want to be really clever just a random serial killer. That’s unique and exciting after all.
Why the hell did this have to be 2 parts again? Nothing about this feels important or interesting enough to warrant a 2 part storyline. This could have easily been a done in one storyline and it would have been much better for it.
Also DC, I propose a deal. Next time Dini says he can’t make it for this month’s issue of Streets of Gotham, just delay it a month. Yeah! I would much rather go 1 month with no Streets of Gotham then 2 months with Streets of Gotham not written by Dini and as bland filler.
As I said, Dick is being a total dick and it’s not like him. While some may defend that it’s him playing the role of Batman, we’ve seen him be much nicer to the police then this. The whole hook of this new Dynamic Duo is that we’ve got a nice upbeat and happy Batman and a Dark and cynical Robin. Even though Dick is playing Batman he still has the Nightwing personality deep down.
This issue just reeked of filler and nothing important happening. It’s just bland shit 101 as far as Batman is concerned. Benson plays everything by the numbers for your typical generic Batman story and it’s frustrating as all hell to see from what has been an excellent series so far.
Art Comments: I did like that DC kept Nguyen on the art to keep at least one thing consistent. Even if the stories are by different writers with the same artist still on board it helps keep the series with an at least somewhat familiar feel. But even this was far from Nguyen’s best work.
I know it’s not much else, but that is a damn fine cover by Nguyen. Easily his best cover yet for this series and that’s saying a lot because he’s a great cover artist. I love how the colors contrast and I especially loved his homage to The Dark Knight Returns, such an excellent cover.
While I liked Nguyen’s art I can tell it was very rushed. There’s a heavier use of shadows and it’s the sign of an artist forced to rush and gloss over more detail. This whole issue just looked way too dark and gloomy, the colors really where way too toned down and it got annoying.
Final Comments: If you’ve been wanting to read Streets of Gotham, I think you may want to consider collection waiting or something. That or whenever Dini decides to write the comic again. This issue was just bland and mediocre in every sense of the word. Nothing like the Streets of Gotham I’ve been enjoying and nothing worth your time and money.
Mighty Avengers #33
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Koi Pham
Story Rating: 8 out of 10
Art Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Opening Comments: Mighty Avengers is really hitting it’s stride here as Slott really is letting loose and giving us a really fun story arc with great character work and epic action the likes of which the Avengers haven’t seen in too long. While I’m not one to criticize what Bendis has done over at New Avengers, this is easily the first book in a long time that felt like a real Avengers book.
Story Comments: Slott really excels with giving us a fun read here and really impressing me with the action. When it comes to a team book you want that perfect blend of utilizing all the teammates along with giving us solid action and giving us a fun read and Slott is really impressing me with how he handles Mighty Avengers. This feels like the comic he was born to write.
Seeing the contrasts of
as leader of the Dark Avengers and Wasp as leader of the Mighty Avengers is really clever. Seeing how Norman is over confident and refuses to let his ego be damaged is hilarious. Norman is definitely an ego-maniac at times and Slott really gets the character well and exploits his ego well. Norman
Seeing Wasp really step up as leader is great. Slott has done a lot for the character of Hank Pym in his year of writing Mighty Avengers and he’s really revitalized the character to a major part of the Marvel Universe and the way he takes on
and asses the situation really fits the character well. Norman
The way they interact is just so fascinating. Wasp is clearly the smarter man. He’s the experienced hero who has actually saved the world time and time again and you can just tell he’s ahead of
on everything. It was really cool seeing them argue and Slott really made them play off each other well. If I didn’t know both titles where ending in a couple of months I’d hope for another Mighty/Dark team up in the future. Norman
One thing where Slott really does well is how he handles both teams. While not necessarily perfect with continuity (last I checked Bullseye hates Daken) it was just great seeing these 2 teams interact. Especially seeing the Mighty Avengers and how the Dark Avengers reacted to them each time.
Slott really handles a team book well here. So many times a team book will only focus on 2 or 3 of a member team and it’s so annoying. While I understand it’s tricky to handle so many characters for a writer, I can totally understand, the whole point of a team book is to focus on a large group of characters. That means usually spotlighting the whole team.
This is where Slott really impresses me as he’s really good at handling the full roster. Making sure every character gets a moment and shows up and is important to the story and has their moment and you care about them. Even characters I don’t like such as US Agent and Quicksilver are spotlighted nicely and it really is nice to see Slott put forth that extra effort to make this fee like a team book and focus on all his heroes.
Of course I did love seeing all the specific moments with the reality punching that was going on. I can tell Slott had tons of fun writing this issue with all the crazy things he did like splitting the Sentry and the Void and making the Symbiote go after people. It was really crazy and really cool at the same time.
I was surprised to see him acknowledge prior continuity with the Vision being Iron Lad’s old Armor along with Vision’s old memories imprinted into it. I never expected a mention of it and seeing Slott spotlight that and use it for his story was great. I especially loved seeing how torn Stature was over what was going on.
I did like seeing Wasp give control of the team over to Herc. Ever since Incredible Herc the character has been taken from his mediocre status as one of the blandest Marvel heroes and has been turned into an excellent character and his inclusion in Mighty Avengers has been great so seeing him step up here and keep the fight up was awesome.
I love how Slott is so good at setting up future storylines. Mighty Avengers has been a building epic story rather then just story arc to story arc and that really shined here with his continuing building plots such as building up the epic return of Ultron in a couple of months.
It was great seeing Slott utilize
’s dual personality problem. So far I think this is the first time it’s been utilized outside of Dark Avengers and seeing Norman battle with his inner Goblin was really cool and it shows just how mentally weakened he’s become over the past year. Norman
This issue was a solid and enjoyable read and while not perfect it was one of Slott’s best issues yet of the title. Slott is really hitting a new high with this story and really showing off what a great Avengers writer he is and he is telling easily the best arc yet of his run so far.
Sadly not everything was great with this issue. While it was a fun read I didn’t like everything about it. For one as I mentioned there was some continuity problems with Bullseye and Daken not liking each other. They hate it each other, it’s been shown often in Dark Wolverine so seeing them chat on the field like this just felt odd.
I hated the ending and how
just gets a magic sword and makes it all go away. I know it fits into Loki furthering his own agenda to make Norman look good and for that it is clever but at the same time it just feels so lazy. This was a really epic battle and to end it with just one stab like that just felt so lack luster and boring. Norman
Slott is a very creative writer and he knows how to make an epic final battle. Looking back at Avengers: The Initiative, he did an amazing job with the final battle against KIA during the KIA arc. It was an epic final confrontation that had a really intense fight and it was great so I know he can do better then this.
I wasn’t too sure of what to think about the final page with Wasp finally finding out it was Loki. While it was clever and the series has been building to this moment I just don’t know what to do now. Is Wasp going after Loki? What’s going to happen next? It’s far too up in the air at this point.
Art Comments: Pham’s art was definitely his best yet. I’m not sure if it’s the inker or colorist but something about his art this month was really top notch and definitely his best yet for the series. While Pham has had a lot of issues in the past with muddy artwork here it seems he’s giving 110% and it looks great. He really captures the action well and he gives us a really epic scope of the battle and he handles it all amazingly well.
While for the most part Pham’s art was great he still had some issues. Something about the way he draws a wide open mouth that looks so odd. I’m not sure but it always looks really weird to me and this issue still had that along with some other odd little moments here and there.
Final Comments: This was a solid fun issue with an enjoyable resolution to the current plot as well as leading into the next issue well. Slott is doing a good job with this series and for anyone looking for a fun Avengers title this is definitely the book for you.
So I’m going to wrap things up with a quick review of Witchblade #134, which would get a longer review if it actually did much but it’s a short issue so it gets a short review.
Written: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic
Story Rating: 7 out of 10
Art Rating: 8 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Opening Comments: As I said prior, this is a very short issue. It really just serves to familiarize us with the characters and set up the fight to happen next issue. Nothing more and nothing les, still it makes for an enjoyable read.
Story Comments: Most of this issue is just set up, which one should expect really when you’ve got a 3 part arc. All the meat will happen next month and for now we get a taster of what it’s going to be like, so I can’t say I’m sad to see how thin this issue was on actual plot developments.
We get a nice introduction to Cyber Data for anyone not familiar with Top Cow history like myself. Marz told it in a way that felt like a real discussion even if it was just covering up back story it was still nice at how he presented it.
This issue read a little too fast for me and even as set up I know Marz could have added a little more to it I think and if he head it would have no doubt gotten a higher rating. But he sticks to the basics of set up.
I did like the little personal moments Sara had with Dani’s mother and Gleason but other then that there wasn’t much to say on this issue. It was a solid read but not much else really. The characters where all handled well and it did a strong job of setting up the story arc.
I feel bad that I don’t have much to say but that’s just my honest opinion. It was a short issue, it was a solid fun read and I can’t really find anything else to say.
Art Comments: No surprise that Sejic continues to impress me. I really like his version of Aphrodite and I loved the final page and how he captured Sara and Aphrodite’s shocked looks so well. This issue looked great.
Final Comments: A solid start to an arc that I hope will impress. Sadly there wasn’t’ too much here though even though it still made a good read. Definitely left me wanting more in the bad way, as I felt there was a bit more that could have been added to it. Still worth a read.