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Offline Sam Wilson

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sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 2/20/08
« on: February 21, 2008, 03:23:05 pm »
Wktf’s Reviews

This was a really great week for comics.  Nothing truly spectacular, other than my first review, but just a handful of really good comics. 

Zorro #1
Dynamite Comics
Written by: Matt Wagner
Drawn by: Francesco Francavilla
Colors by: Adriano Lucas

Okay, I’ll admit before I start that I’m a huge Zorro fan.  I’ve got the Tyrone Power “Mark of Zorro” movie poster framed and on my office wall, the Electric Tikki Zorro statue at home and seen, I think, all the Zorro movies going back to the first silent film.  I won’t go into the character’s history here as you can read some of that in the first of my two Zorro trade reviews, below (yes, two Zorro trade reviews this week!).  That is, other than to say he is our country’s very first masked superhero, dating back to 1919 and, as most know, part of the inspiration for the Batman character (see trade reviews, again).  Anyone who’s been reading my reviews knows how much I love Dynamite Comic’s treatment of that other great masked hero, The Lone Ranger.  So you can only imagine how pumped I was to hear that superstar comic book creator Matt Wagner had been given creative control over Dynamite’s take on this exciting property.  And my excitement was well founded because, if this issue is any indication, this will be one helluva ride for us readers!

It took several issues of The Lone Ranger comic to finally get Dan Reid into the famous mask.  I don’t think we’ll have to wait that long with Zorro, but this first issue is both an introduction and a bit of a tease.  This issue actually runs two stories concurrently.  One is the introduction of a new terror, a “devil,” which stays in the shadows, dresses in black and strikes ruthlessly against the Spanish army that has military and governmental control over California of the early 1800s.  And, of course, these Spaniards are a brutal bunch indeed, led by an equally brutal Sergeant Gonzales, who spread terror and inflict brutal punishment to get their way and enforce their rule.  The other story is that of the young Diego de la Vega, son of the Spanish Alejandro (a wealthy Spaniard) and Toypurnia, a Native American warrior woman who hates and warred against the Spaniards but, strangely, found herself in love with Alejandro.  Diego’s good friend is Bernardo, who actually is the story’s narrator, and together they explore the cave under Alejandro’s mansion and undergo a Native American ritual toward manhood.  But they also are witness to the horrible cruelty the Spaniards inflict on the people of Los Angeles, cruelty that drives Diego to tears and against whose own sense of honor and integrity is an affront.

Wagner, Fancavilla and Lucas to a spectacular job creating a wonderfully rich story with beautiful art.  There’s a fantastic depth to the graphics here for which Lucas’ wonderful colors deserve special credit.  The young de la Vega’s daring ways, bravery and anger over the wrongs committed by the Spaniards is as palpable as the soldier’s fear of the black garbed “…demon that faced us this night!  A devil from hell, I tell you!” that attacked him and his men, leaving a familiar brand on the lone soldiers hand.  Zorro’s brief scene is dramatic and action packed, hidden in the shadows as it is,  And Zorro’s Native American tie (I think this is a new element to Zorro, though I may be wrong) adds an interesting mystical wrinkle to his name, The Fox.  Big thumbs up for this book.  It’s my pick of the week.

The Incredible Hercules #114
Marvel Comics
Written by: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Drawn by: Khoi Pham

World War Hulk may be over but The Mighty Avengers are chasing down The Incredible Hercules and his juvenile mastermind partner, Amadeus Cho, for being two of The Hulk’s illegal and unrepentant Renegades. Last issue, Ares and Wonder Man went after these two, Wonder Man a bit reluctantly but Ares not so much.  Of course, Ares is pursuing his own nasty agenda against his hated ancient rival.  He may be a Mighty Avenger but he’s still the first class jerk and borderline bad guy he’s always been.  So much so, in a moment of comic jerkitude last issue he fired upon Hercules in order to save Wonder Man from a threat neither Hercules nor Wonder Man perceived was real.  The result?   Ares drove Herc into a mindless berserker rage by shooting him full of Hydra (the mythical creature, not the evil spy organization) blood.  Hercules went totally insane, pummeling Wonder Man into the ground and launching Ares into orbit with one punch!

So now, with this issue, the raging mad and totally berserk Hercules has been led by Amadeus to a SHIELD refueling depot where the hallucinating Olympian, as the intro page suggests, is “beating the holy-living snot out of anyone he can find…”  Cho has a serious mad-on for SHIELD so Hercules’ believing he’s fighting an ancient foe from 1263 B.C. Troy, when he’s really destroying a SHIELD station, works just great for Amadeus.  In fact, it appears that the unwitting Hercules has become the critical piece of Cho's plan to utterly destroy SHIELD.  And it may be too late by the time Hercules realizes he’s got a whole new problem on his hands.

But wait a minute, isn’t Hercules insane?  Enter The Black Widow!  Natasha plays probably the most pivotal role in this issue, both in terms of how she deals with Hercules (there’s actually some very poignant moments here, disguised as comic buffoonery, between Hercules and Natasha) and in creating an unfortunate situation that may be the “dumb chance” about which Hercules’ sister warned him that “nudges [Amadeus] in one direction of the other…his genius can be used for unlimited good…or unspeakable evil.”  Unfortunately, despite Natasha’s best intentions, Ares clearly isn’t done with Hercules and next issue promises more Ares/Herc madness.  I think Pak is having even more fun with Incredible Hercules than he did with Incredible Hulk and Pham is doing just a knock out job on the art.  This is one of the most fun titles out there and I highly encourage everyone to pick up this title!

Ultimate Human #2
Marvel Comics
Written by: Warren Ellis
Drawn by: Carry Nord

Warren Ellis has to be one of the greatest comic book writers of all time.  His dialogue is snappy and fun, his plots can be intricate without being too convoluted, he knows science fiction and can turn technical mumbo jumbo into language that just plants a smile on your face.  Reading this mini series you get the feeling that Ellis, who’s certainly done enough at this point to earn him the accolades he deserves, has simply been waiting his whole career to write this book.  It’s just that much fun to read.  And Cary Nord, an artist who’s been tearing it up on Dark Horse’s Conan The Barbarian and had done some pretty terrific work on Daredevil about a decade ago, is versatile enough both to create comedy out of stark (pun intended) terror and to deliver some rip-roaring action.

Okay, now that you’ve read my assessment you may be wondering what the hell’s happening in this book.  Last issue Bruce Banner came to Stark, pleading with him to cure him of being The Hulk.  He levied some guilt on Stark that would make my Jewish mother sit up and take notes, and the semi-drunk Stark threw himself into this code cracking effort.  However, to understand what makes Banner’s cells turn into Hulk cells, he had to induce enough stress on Banner to trigger the transformation.  Of course, The Hulk was sealed in a compartment too strong and secure for him to escape. Riiiiiiight.  You know the deal and, as this issue begins, so does Tony based on the absolutely priceless look on his face!  Hulk smash!  Tony run like hell!  And where does he go?  Why, to put on Iron Man armor of course.  The problem is Tony Stark has jumped into a suit of armor that happens to have no weapons systems.

The battle rages but lurking, waiting to make his move, is the Ultimate Universe’s Leader who’s been keeping tabs on both Banner and Stark.  The Leader is a super genius but hideously deformed and seriously jealous of the lesser, in his estimation, Banner and Stark.  So jealous, in fact, that they have to die.  Both of them.  I was sold last issue but I’m truly sold now.  Ellis and Nord are exactly what Marvel describes them to be in its promotional copy: a dream team.  Great, great book.

Dawg’s Reviews

I love comic review day. I sit here with a cup o’ Joe and I write random thoughts and impressions of what I read the night before. The books I read last night were pretty damn good too. I have to say though that the book that surprised me the most this week was Iron Man…  pretty dope I must say.

Iron Man #26
Marvel Comics
Written by: Daniel and Charles Knauf
Drawn by: Roberto Del La Torre

As I mentioned above, I think this book was the cat’s meow and thereby making it my pick of the week.

Tony Stark seems to be showing up a lot of places this week and it seems that it is time for Marvel to really start pushing his character around the Marvel Universe in lieu of the anticipated movie coming to theaters this May. I will say that I find this a necessary yet extremely annoying marketing ploy by Marvel. Considering his core book and MAYBE Mighty Avengers are the only places that he is really written well, I don’t think him getting his ass handed to him elsewhere will help his cred any more.

That having been said… this is the place to read about Tony Stark and Iron Man. I think this is one of the best issues I have read since I caved in and starting picking it up during Civil War.

Tony has certainly had a rough time of it in his own book lately. That pesky Mandarin has been back and manipulating things behind the scenes for a while now. So much so, that even Tony’s closest confidants believe he is losing his mind and have him on lock down at SHIELD. He has had his extremis powers inhibited by SHIELD and he cannot access them until he is “stable” mentally.

But this is Tony Stark gang… No Extremis to rely on while he desperately needs to get to the Mandarin and stop his plot to unleash his own biological weaponized version of Extremis on the world. So what does Tony do? Breaks out of his “padded cell” at SHIELD, grabs the classic armor of the 70’s and 80’s and hunts down the Mandarin for some ass whuppin’.

The knock down, drag out battle between Mandarin and Tony of course only goes so well for Stark, having an old set of armor, and Mandarin launches his bio weapon and gets out of dodge.

Stark is the man and as usual plans for just that, but it takes a little love from Dum Dum Dugan to convince Sub-Director Maria Hill that Stark isn’t bonkers and to put Starks counter measures in motion.

Out and out a great issue. The art seemed tighter and to fit much better with the mod and tone of the story than it normally does, and the story itself was extremely cool…

If enough time has passed and you can forgive Tony for how he was handles during Civil War… Or you just want to read some good Iron Man stories; this is the book you should be checking out.

Batman and the Outsiders #4
DC Comics
Written by: Chuck Dixon
Drawn by: Julian Lopez

Batman has his fingers in a lot of pies…  The Outsiders are one such pie that does some of his covert and heavy lifting. They are one of those teams that rely on covert tactics as well as focused Intel being delivered by Batman to get the job done.

Only four issues in and the roster has changed a couple of times already and the newest two members is where most of the fun takes place this issue.  The Outsiders welcome aboard Ollie. The Green Freakin’ Arrow as their newest, but this causes a very interesting dynamic. Ollie is not too keen on anyone that comes from the league of assassins… Batgirl of course has been affiliated with the league and the calamity ensues…. Right in the middle of a mission no less.

One of the things that is best about Ollie though, is that he can have a mean on for someone, but all it takes is one act and he is able to admit he’s wrong and start reconstructing bridges that he’s burnt to the ground. Time will tell if he’s wrong when it comes to Cassie, but after they beat the snot out of each other, he’s at least willing to play along with Batman’s wishes for now.

What are the other members of the team up to? Well they are jumping through hoops for Batman of course!!!

I am not quite sure where I am at on this book yet. I love the writing of Chuck Dixon. He’s one of the very best Batman (and family) writers and every time I read an issue of this series, I enjoy it very much. But with only 4 issues and not very much knowledge of DC characters backing me up, I feel a bit disconnected. I am chalking that up to being my fault however. I need some time to get to know these guys and that is not this books problem. Like I said I really enjoy the thought of super heroes going out and cleaning up after the mistake that was Brother Eye, and other stealth missions with Batman leading the way from a control room.

I intend to stay with this book, as it seems different and fun for me. With only 4 issues out and not too much hype, I think it is going a bit unsung and it’s worth you snagging to see for yourself how good it really can be.

Mighty Avengers #9
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Drawn by: Mark Bagley

The Avengers have found out that that Doctor Doom was indirectly responsible for unleashing the venom virus on New York. Doom has been strutting his stuff in a different time period is unaware of these events. The Avengers decided to take the fight to Latveria and Doom for an attack on American soil that he didn’t even realize happened.


So what really happens this issue? EH not a lot… we were treated to 3 double splash pages with absolutely no dialogue (or thought bubbles) and all out action.

We were treated to Iron Man’s highly unreadable armor dialogue as well as Doom’s armor parroting Iron Man’s.  Someone should tell the colorist on the book that yellow fading to white and light green type is NOT easy to read.

Overall I would say meh… it seems like we are taking the fight to Doom which is cool… we haven’t seen much of him in awhile. Other than that though the issue just left me thinking that if we were going to be given so many characters fighting on screen in 6 million splash pages wroth of book, I would have rather seen it from Ivan Reis in light of what he did over in Green Lantern during the Sinestro War, or John Byrne or Perez. This is no knock on Bags art… but they just didn’t seem to flow with the book as well is all.

It seems I really like this book one month and the next I am not sold on it. How weird that I absolutely love its sister book New Avengers on a continual basis, and this one, which FEELS more like an Avengers roster, is just okay…

I shouldn’t be so hard on this though as it was enjoyable and only the first issue in the arc. I really enjoyed the pages that had Victor back in time and interacting with his “Playmate”… (No stranger to the Marvel U if in name only)

I think we are passing time a little before Secret Invasion and the new art team…  Perhaps not true… but to me that’s how it feels.  I am not really sold on Ares character yet. I love Carol being on the team but it seems like Tony is still the leader, even though it’s supposed to be Carol’s show.

Regardless of all of these rather cranky nits… It still is a well done book and I think will get better and better as it recovers from the delays due to Cho, and the now fill-ins by Bagley as he is leaving for greener pastures at DC.  I just think this book needs a little momentum and I think once Secret Invasion hits, we’ll have just that.

Hang in there Mighty Avengers fans… I believe there is light ahead in this tunnel, even though we miss a Thor and Cap…

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 2/20/08
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 03:24:08 pm »
Sam Wilson’s Reviews

Hulk #2
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Drawn by: Ed McGuinness

In case you haven’t picked up the Hulk recently, let me catch you up.  Nick Fury and the Illuminati (Marvel’s big wigs and big brains) decided to launch the Hulk into space because they realized they couldn’t control him; he was to be set on a planed devoid of sentient beings but lush with plant life.  Of course that didn’t happen and he ended up on a planed where he was kept as a slave and forced to fight in endless gladiator battles.  The evil emperor who enslaved the hulk failed to realize the Hulk is the strongest one there is and the Hulk eventually became emperor by his own hand (him and his loyal band of gladiators known as his warbound).  He took a wife and was actually a pretty fair leader, until the ship he came in on went nuclear and destroyed his new home, and his wife.  So Hulk was mad and he made his way back to the Earth with his warbound companions and kicked every single one of the Illuminati’s asses in grand fashion (and took over the city of New York).  He then forces them to fight gladiator style until he found out it was one of his own warbound who destroyed the ship and his new life.  Shortly thereafter the Hulk fell in battle with the Sentry and reverted back to Bruce Banner.  So where is he now?  No one really knows…

The new Hulk series opened with the death of the Abomination. Someone shot him with a bigger version of the revolver James Caan used in “Alien Nation”.  Yes, someone shot him.  Doc Sampson, and a very hot as-drawn-by Ed McGuinness She-Hulk, General Ross and Iron Man are all on the case to figure out what happened.  Is it the Hulk?  No.  Well, maybe. At the end of issue one we are lead to believe the Hulk might be Rick Jones.  In issue two we found out the Hulk is red as he catches up to Stark and crew on Stark’s new helicarrier and proceed to smash the crap out of it.  Yeah.  All this and we find out Rick Jones isn’t the new Hulk, he’s, well, I’m not going to say but let’s just say he is blue…

Okay.  Let me be positive.  Love Ed McGuinness’s art, I love the way he draws She-Hulk (and ole Jade Jaws), he’s great.  Loeb?  Meh.  In issue two Tony was being uncharacteristically neurotic and whiny.  Rick Jones as whatever he is claiming to be?  Sorry, Fairy, umm, lame (to pick a diplomatic adjective).  What can I say though, I gotta see it play out, but if you aren’t a fan, I’d wait for the trade.  Word.

Justice League of America #17
DC Comics
Written by: Dwayne McDuffie and Alan Burnett
Drawn by: Ed Benes, Jon Boy Meyer and Sandra Hope

The relaunch of DC’s #1 team book “JLA” is well into its second year, and I gotta say, there is a whole lot of goodness going on. First, the roster is now set; you got Black Canary (my comic book girlfriend) in charge followed up by the big three and Red Tornado, Red Arrow (formerly Arsenal, formerly Speedy), Vixen, Hawkgirl and Green Lantern (John Stewart as of issue #13). You got Dwayne McDuffie doing the scripting, yes, the same cat behind Milestone comics and the best superhero cartoon ever made, JLA and JLU. I mean, seriously, what better guy to write the book than someone who has already intimately involved with the characters and has brought them to prosperity and critical acclaim in a genre that usually doesn’t get much critical respect. Word, and let’s not forget about Ed Benes. Truly, no one appreciates a good T and A shot more than our boy Ed; once considered a Jim Lee knock off he’s come into his own style and our girls have never looked hotter (and he draws everything else pretty good too). So what is the team up two right now?

Last issue a crapload of super-villians surrendered themselves to the JLA, hands on their heads begging for asylum (JLA headquarters is apparently a diplomatic no-mans-land).  Amanda Waller is apparently on a tear and is sending her Suicide Squad out to capture villians and teleport them to an otherworldly klink where they are subjected to who-knows-what.  DCU’s supervillians ain’t havin’ that so they decide to take their chances with the League, figuring they can always escape.  Yeah.  Anyway the League and the Squad mix it up a little while Batman shows us exactly why he is the man while he makes the other two of the big three look kinda like tools.  Also, a nifty back up story featuring Hourman and as always, a to-be-continued with the promise of an even bigger squad vs. league battle next issue.  Word.

Yeah, buy this book.  Ed Benes, Black Canary, and a bunch of other characters too.  You can’t get any better. My pick of the week…

The Mighty Trade Reviews

In celebration of Dynamite Comics’ releasing their new Zorro comic, we present to you not just one but two Zorro trade book reviews! 

Wktf’s Trade Reviews

The Complete Classic Adventures of Zorro by Alex Toth
Image Comics
Written by: Various & Unknown
Drawn by: Alex Toth

With this 245 page volume we get to experience two legends for the price of one: Zorro the Fox and the late Alex Toth, the latter of whom gets exclusive creative billing for this body of work.

Before Will Eisner, Jack Kirby and Frank Frazetta moved into the public’s consciousness (or back into it in Eisner’s and Kirby’s cases) the great comic book and fantasy illustrators of the 1950s were Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert and Alex Toth. Toth, though, didn’t do mainstream superhero strips like Green Lantern, The Atom, Flash and Hawkman (though his Batman graces the cover of “Batman: Black & White” vol. 1). Toth found himself at Dell Comics in 1956 after getting out of the Army, only later to join Hanna-Barbera studios in 1968 where he helped create and design Super Friends, Johnny Quest and Space Ghost. It was at Dell Comics that he drew a character created in 1919 for a serialized story by Johnston McCulley called “The Curse of Capistrano,” later released as a novel called “The Mark of Zorro.” Zorro went on to appear in over a dozen films and TV shows, including the 1940 classic “The Mark of Zorro” staring Tyrone Power (the framed poster for which hangs proudly on my office wall) and in Guy Williams’ portrayal of Zorro for Disney’s 1957 TV show. It is on this TV show’s Zorro that Toth’s comic book work is based.

This collection reproduces Toth’s entire run in black and white and, while it feels a bit tame by today’s standards, it remains a really fun read. Diego De La Vega has returned from Spain to his father’s home in Los Angeles. At this time California is a province of the king of Spain.  Los Angeles is under the tyrannical militant rule of Captain Monastario who is aided by the oafish Sergeant Garcia. Diego’s father, Don Alejandro, is a wealthy landowner and his family is highly respected in Los Angeles. Still, Alejandro is outraged both by the injustices perpetrated by Captain Monastario and by his son’s apparent indifference to Los Angeles’ troubles. The truth, however, is that Diego De La Vega is an accomplished swordsman who chooses to right Monastario’s wrongs with his sword, whip and fists, disguised in the black mask, cape and hat of Zorro the Fox! Bernardo, Diega’s mute servant, pretends also to be deaf so he can serve as Zorro’s personal spy. Nearly a third of this book is about Zorro’s exploits to bring down the evil Captain, and the rest is a collection of other Zorro stories where he battles to help the weak and oppressed.

With the hindsight of history the not-too-discerning reader catches quite a lot from this volume. For one, De La Vega, as drawn by Toth, is an absolute dead ringer for Tony Stark. Also, the parallels to The Batman are so clear as to make Frank Miller’s choice to have the Waynes’ exiting “The Mark of Zorro” when Bruce’s parents are killed in “The Dark Knight Returns” seem both obvious and inspired. How does Batman relate to Zorro?  Not only is De La Vega a seemingly foppish wealthy playboy, he lives in a mansion under which lies a cave where he keeps his steed, Tornado. What is more, he dresses completely in black with a mask and swirling cape. Finally, he is aided by his servant, Bernardo in his struggle for justice.

Toth’s work is moody and rich.  His action scenes, complete with dramatic sword fights, daring leaps, rearing horse and flowing black cape, are a blast to read. Plus, his women are gorgeous. If you are a fan of cape swirling, mask wearing, sword flashing, swashbuckling adventure then you most definitely should pick this volume up.

Zorro:  The Dailies, The First Year
Image Comics
Written by: Don McGregor
Drawn by: Thomas Yeates & Tod Smith

This landscape-shaped 230 page black and white tome, first published by Image Comics in 2001, compiles the first year of the classic Zorro daily newspaper strip running from April 12, 1999 to April 9, 2000.  To my knowledge, no follow up book has been published of the strip beyond its first year when Tom Palmer and then Rick Magyar took over the art chores from Yeates and Smith.  As much as possible, considering that most newspaper strips are continuous, ongoing storylines, this collection comprises two large-scale story arcs and presents them to the reader in their entirety.  In fact, specifically for this volume, the creators even threw in some additional story elements and never before seen panels to enhance and embellish the characters and stories.

Teaming up to launch this daily strip were writer Don McGregor and artist Tom Yeates.  By August, 1999 Tod Smith took over the layout penciling while Yeates continued to handle the inking.  Many of us know Don McGreggor from his more than 30 years writing comic books, starting in the 1970s with Warren Magazines and then writing Black Panther stories for Marvel in the “Jungle Action” title and Morbius, the Living Vampire.  In the 1990s, though, he teamed up with artist Tom Yeates on the Zorro comic book series for Topps.  Clearly, this is a writer and artist team who truly love this character, as evidenced by their returning to Zorro with these dailies and producing the absolutely thrilling and beautiful work on display in this book.  This Zorro is a dark and exciting avenger who fights with righteous anger in a moody and mysterious land.  Sure, the setting is California but Yeates’ black and white art is complete with mist and shadows, not to mention the looming hulk of a mastodon skeleton floating in the La Brea tar pits!  This foreboding relic of a far distant past not only helps set a mood of eerie mystery but actually is an important plot element in the strip’s first story arc.

This Zorro fights boldly with his fists and his sword, leaping dramatically from horseback onto and off of stage coaches, at times facing off against multiple swordsmen at once.  His shadowy mask and swirling cape enhance his heroic nature, acrobatics and appearance.  One thing about this work that’s truly impressive is how the creators do not let the constraints of the daily strip medium lessen the action needed to engage the reader.  I’ve noticed that when other action heroes make it to newspaper strips, Stan Lee’s Spider-Man being a great example, the format seems to lend itself more to dialogue than action.  Not so here.  McGregor, Yeates and Smith seemed to have cracked the code to keep the action and thrills coming despite the more limited two or three panel format.  These stories are loaded with tension, mystery and lots of swashbuckling and seriously dangerous action.  I really enjoyed reading this collection and recommend it whole heartedly to any fans of newspaper strips, westerns and, of course, Zorro The Fox!

Offline masigl4179

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 2/20/08
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 07:51:07 pm »
13 picks for this week.

13. World War Hulk:Aftersmash Warbound#3- I didn't like this issue...hell I don't even know what this issue was about.

12. Countdown to Final Crisis#10-Ok, I think this series is starting to get back on track. I like the fact that Mary Mary finally redempted herself and her power. I also like that Holly and Harley got powers and that everyone jumped on Granny Goodness who was murdered by whoever it is that is killing the New Gods.

11. The Order#8--I like the story about the team members who basically co mingled bodily fluids in order to survive out there in the wilderness. I'm not really feeling the 2nd half of the issue about Muhulland Black.

10. The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death- Interesting. It will be interesting to sit down and read all these Iron Fist stories in one setting. Orson Rand led a pretty interesting life running all around the globe.

9. Angel: After the Fall#4- You know why I like this issue? Because it feels in some of the gaps after the Series Finale. Namely that when LA went to Hell Angel became Human and is using magic to enhance his abilities. Also, somewhere along the line Gunn was turned as well. Oh and we get to see Lorne and the Grusalagg.

8. The Ultimates 3#3- This is popcorn fluff but I enjoyed it. I love the connection between Ultimate Wolverine, Ultimate Scarlet Witch, Ultimate Quicksilver, and Ultimate Magneto. Yeah, its' kinky and silly but I enjoyed reading it.

7. Batman and the Outsiders#4- I love the cover wth Batgirl and Green Arrow who actually know each other from back in the day on Justice League Elite, so it was interesting to see how much they don't seem to get along now.

6. Justice League America#18- I like how this team holds it down. I don't really care about the Salvation Run storyline but I like how powerful this team is . Also I like Dwayne McDuffie's back up story about the Red Tornado.

5. Hulk#2-Once again this is comic book popcorn by Jeph Loeb but damned if I don't enjoy the silly violence.Also, who the hell is the Red Hulk because apparently it ain't Rick Jones.

4. Iron Man#26- I like the old school feel of this issue especially with Iron Man and the Mandarin battling it out. I've been pleasantly pleased with this title.

3. Checkmate#23- This was dope issue that was sequel to a good Checkmate issue from back in the day. Basically Pawn 502 pops up asking for an extraction and Checkmate sends Superman to get him. Good stuff.

2. Ultimate Human#2- There wasn't too much action, but plenty of Warren Ellis pseudospeak that I love about the nature of Bruce Banner's super soldier formula.

1. The Mighty Avengers#9- Damn Bendis takes my top spot once again with a big action story that involves Dr. Doom. Man this really had an old school feel to it but the time travel aspects of the story don't hurt either.  This issue was hot!