Author Topic: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 6/24/09  (Read 3227 times)

Offline Sam Wilson

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Wktf’s Reviews

Gotham Sirens #1
DC Comics
Written by: Paul Dini
Drawn by: Guillem March
Cover by: Guillem March
Variant cover by: JG Jones

A new Batman series by Paul Dini is cause enough for any Batman fan to pick this first issue up.  The fact that he’s teaming Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, a bad-girl team he made legendary in Batman: The Animated Series, and also is adding Catwoman to the mix makes this a complete no-brainer.  The pre-Batman RIP “Heart of Hush” storyline that ran through Dini’s Detective Comics run showed us poor Selina in the most unlikely scenario of living without her heart, removed by Thomas Elliot, with only machines to sustain her life while Batman hunted down Hush and the missing heart.  Of course, Selina was made whole again and a spell from Zatanna healed her physical wound.  But following this and a thrashing by the Jason Todd faux-Batman during Battle for the Cowl, and Selina’s not exactly mentally hail and hearty.  When she nearly gets her head handed to her by lame new villain Boneblaster, Poison Ivy lends a hand.  Despite Catwoman’s mistreatment by Poison Ivy during the first Hush story, she’s grateful so much to the point that she suggests Ivy, her pal Harley and Selina form a partnership to insure each other’s interests.

And so a DC dream villainess team is born, penned by the best writer to deliver such a series and drawn by the very capable Guillem March who, from his work on Joker’s Asylum: Poison Ivy and Gotham Gazette, has already shown how well his agile line work and moody pseudo-sexy art works for the Bat-verse.  Of course, it’s really Ivy and Harley who have the bond of trust between them.  Selena, despite her considerable and well deserved street cred, is the outsider in this relationship.  Dini plays this little fact beautifully as we learn that if there’s to be honor among thieves there’s to be some trust that also must be shared, regardless of the means of coercion.  For a new series launch, this is about as strong as it gets.  Of course, having a trio of lead characters like this should make it easier.  But, despite how fun the premise of this book is, we shouldn’t underestimate Dini’s ability, or how difficult it actually may be, to deliver the goods.  Thus far, he’s delivering in spades and I’m on for at least the next issue.

Oh, and for more on Dini’s Bat-verse please be sure to check out my trade review this week for some of the best Batman stories you’ll ever read.

New Avengers #54
Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Drawn by: Billy Tan
Cover by: Billy Tan
Variant cover by: Chris Bachalo

As we saw last issue, it looks like a new Sorcerer Supreme to replace Dr. Strange has been chosen.  This was a most unlikely but highly interesting choice.  How it happened in the ten minutes before last issue’s closing shot is revealed in this issue.  For those who may not know it, The Ancient One, Dr. Strange’s deceased master and mentor, lives within The Eye of Agamotto and, among all in the Marvel Universe who’ve dedicated their lives to the study of sorcery, has found the one soul most deserving of Strange’s forsaken mantle.  And, not a moment too soon as The Son of Satan and Dr. Strange battle the combined Hood/Dormammu who so desperately seeks the Eye.

It takes the combined forces of Strange, Hellstrom and the new, very cool Sorcerer Supreme to put Dormammu on ice.  But the battle, ultimately involving the New Avengers in some very unlikely bashing of the demonic Hood, feels entirely secondary to the two other stories cycling through this issue.  The first’s being this seemingly important inflection point in Marvel’s world of magic, and the second’s being Clint Barton’s ongoing personal war with Norman Osborn.  Like Spider-Man in his recent story arc, Clint’s decided to get at Osborn in any way possible and, with his current media strategy not really working, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I’ve never really been a fan of Tan’s art.  It’s always felt a bit sketchy to me and his line work to thin, not really strong enough.  But more and more with this title Tan’s art’s beginning to grow on me.  He really does a helluva job with the Hood Demon and the Dread One as well.  With his usual snappy and humorous dialogue, Bendis continues to be one of the strongest character and dialog writers out there.  Forever this has seemed like the Little Avengers Book That Could and more than ever, lately, it’s really been feeling like the core Avengers book and not to be missed.

Daredevil #119
Marvel Comics
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Drawn by: Michael Lark
Cover by: Marko Djurdjevic

This issue is the penultimate chapter of the RETURN OF THE KING arc, with The Kingpin's return to New York and his alliance with Daredevil against Lady Bullsey and The Hand.  We’ve gotten hints for several issues, primarily from the blind, alcoholic and potentially immortal sensie Master Izo that all is not as it seems both with Lady Bullseye and The Kingpin.  Despite his trying to coach Matt through the miasma that’s Daredevil’s mind right now, Matt’s enough of a mental mess to actually ally himself with his greatest enemy to strike back at the force he believes instigated the near-end of his marriage.  But, naturally, The Kingpin who himself seems to be having some psychological issues (talk to your dead wife much?) has revealed in this issue his true intentions for Murdock and  New York.

When Bendis left this book to Brubaker he left DD in a real mess.  In fact, he left him in jail.  Next issue’s #500 promises that Bru will do the same for DD’s incoming team as all forces in this story seem to converge at the end of this issue for a confrontation that surely will set the new status quo for Daredevil’s world going forward and make for quite the bloody anniversary issue next month.  I, for one, will be sorry to see Bru and Lark go.  They made a fantastic team on Gotham Central and have done so again with Daredevil.  This issue did feel a little slower than the previous ones in this arc, but I imagine that’s because the creative team used it to put there pieces into place for next issue.  Daredevil #500 should be a hell of a showdown if this issue’s any indications.

Thor #602
Marvel Comics
Written by: J. Michael Straczynski
Drawn by: Marko Djurdjevic
Cover by: Marko Djurdjevic

One of the very best comics put out by any company continues to rock on.  Last issue Loki warned Don Blake that Sif was still alive, though hidden in a mortal shell.  Which shell has been known to us for months but still is a mystery to Thor. Why would Loki send Thor in search of Sif, other than to shed her body which he’s been wearing since his return?  What possibly could be his motivation?  Well, as Sif’s whereabouts are revealed to Doctor Jane Foster and she, in turn, contacts Don, we learn with this issue why Loki seems to want to help his hated brother.  Thor #600 saw not only Thor’s being cast from Asgard for killing Bor, the resurrected father of Odin and all of Asgard.  It also saw Mjolnir nearly shattered in this battle.  Mjolnir’s injured state has caused Thor great emotional and physical strife and his fear that it’s instability may kill Sif in his attempt to resurrect her, he seeks the aid of Doctor Strange (who, unlike in New Avengers, still is in possession of the cloak of levitation and the Eye of Agamotto) to repair his beloved weapon. 

Strange cannot conjure his usual mystic sources for this cause as the Odinpower that birthed the universe’s greatest weapon is a force far more primal and linked to the universe’s life force, itself.  And, of course, there’s a cost to invoking the power needed partly which must be drawn from the very Odinforce that Thor now possesses.  A cost that seems to be the driving force motivating Loki.  The race to save Sif’s life and repair Mjolnir, the means toward that end, runs parallel to Loki’s dialogue with Dr. Doom and the mortal Bill’s issues involving his love for the stunning wind and storm goddess Kelda and the jealously that seems to elicit from the other Asgardian alpha males.  What’s more, in seeking to save Sif, Thor may well have driven a wedge between Blake and Dr. Foster’s renewed friendship…not so much out of jealously as out of the additional cost in human life this effort causes. 

As much as I’m enjoying Djurdjevic’s art I find myself missing Olivier Coipel on this book.  Djurdjevic tends to render far darker, more shadowy and less distinct images compared to Coipel’s far crisper and more powerful figures.  Still, the art here is as beautiful as ever and JMS just keeps the plot twisting as much as Thor’s stomach must be right now.  Heimdall’s warning to Baldar at the end of this issue really sets the ominous tone of what must follow soon.  Easily, this book is my pick of the week.

Sam Wilson’s Reviews

Thunderbolts #133
Marvel Comics
Written by: Andy Diggle
Drawn by: Miguel Sepulveda
Cover by: Francesco Mattina

The Thunderbolts, once upon a time Marvel’s worst kept secret, are the Marvel U’s premiere team of anti-heroes. Literally, considering they were all villains at one point. Throughout the years they’ve changed their roster with Moonstone and Songbird always managing to hang on (except for the John Arcudi run when Thunderbolts became an underground fight club, yeah, I know…), and most recently Norman Osborne took over as chairperson. In case you have been under a rock, Norman Osborne used this as a stepping-stone to pretty much take over the Marvel Universe (Dark Reign for those who have been preoccupied elsewhere). So the Thunderbolts have changed it up once again, still villains, still ruthless and bad-assed, probably even more so now with Andy Diggle helming things. For those of you who don’t know his work, Andy Diggle is right up there with the biggest bad-asses in comic books (Jason Aaron, Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis would be on that list). He got his start on 2000 AD, giving that book balls once again, and I personally was introduced to him on DC/Vertigo’s retake on “The Losers” (one of the most underrated comics of the last 10 years). He transformed Ollie Queen from bi**-ass to bad-ass in “Green Arrow: Year One”. So how is he doing with Marvel’s #1 team of bad guys?

Andy Diggle started his run on the T-bolts a little while back by shaking up the membership once again (in case you missed it, the old T-bolts are now the Dark Avengers, but whatever). The new team is led by Yelena Belova (the blonde Black Widow, apparently getting burnt to a crisp in the Savage Land in the “New Avengers” didn’t keep her down), creepy Ant-man, Ghost, Headsman and Paladin (except for Paladin I don’t know who any of those guys are nor do I care).  About the new team I’ll just say this, Bullseye and Venom were on the old one, how evil and psychotic do you think the new team is?  Thus far they’ve tussled with Deadpool (it was a draw, sort of) and found a new recruit in the assassin named Mr. X (by the way of Mandipoor).  Being a psychotic killer, he fits right in with Yelena and the gang.  This of course brings us to our current issue. Our story opens with Yelena and Ghost having a dialogue, each trying to get a read on each other. Ghost apparently has the better read on Yelena, which may or may not be so good (in typical Andy Diggle fashion, Yelena has a secret, an awesome, super-bad a** secret).  Osborne recruits a new guy whom he dubs the new “Scrouge” (a hockey mask wearing, gun-totting unpleasant sort of guy who is probably a killer) and Songbird pops back up on the radar.  I have a feeling things are going to be going real, real bad for her shortly, and so it goes…

Andy Diggle, as I’ve stated before, is one of the most underrated guys in comics. Solid story, good dialogue, and enough bad-ass to last you until next month. Him on the Thunderbolts; putting Yelena Belova in charge? Genius. Word…

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-men Utopia chapter one
Marvel Comics
Written by: Matt Fraction
Drawn by: Mark Silvestri

For those of you who have been sleeping, Norman Osborne is the new Tony Stark. To explain that a little more, after the superhero Civil War (sorry, that’s all the further back I’m going) Tony Stark became in charge of SHIELD and the entire defense of the United States (more or less). Secret Invasion made him out to be a villain (Skrulls dammit, it was all Tony’s fault) and Norman Osborne saw this opportunity to put himself in charge. He dismantled SHIELD and created HAMMER (yes, subtle, I know) and fired all the Avengers (they went underground anyway) and replaced them with the Thunderbolts (and Daken, Wolverine’s bitchy, half-Japanese son who I think sucks a** and is a little femmy).  Anyway, the Avengers are Ms. Marvel (Moonstone), Iron Patriot (Norman Osborne), Daken (sucky Dark Wolverine), Spider-Man (Venom, not Eddie Brock, whoever that guy was who used to be the Scorpion, Max Garrigan I think), Sentry (why can’t he just go away?), Marvel Boy (a Grant Morrison creation), Hawkeye (Bullseye, totally awesome) and Ares (Thor on steroids and cocaine).  Okay, so I liked the Dark Avengers better as the Thunderbolts, and Sentry, well, is retarded and Ares and Marvel Boy just seem random and total filler, but honestly Dark Avengers is really cool (thus far).  I like the evil Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye/Bullseye is, well, genius.  Anyway, as shown at the end of Secret Invasion there is a sort of “Dark Illuminati” too, and Emma Frost (gasp) aka the White Queen was sitting at the table with Norman and crew.  Yeah, this probably doesn’t bode well for the X-men, who were all thinking Emma Frost wasn’t a skanky beyotch anymore, but either way they are off in San Francisco staying out of all the Dark Reign business.  Until now…

Utopia opens with Simon Trask (of the Sentinel Trasks) leading his version of the million man (in this case human) march on San Francisco, the new home to mutants nation (and maybe even world) wide.  Trask wants mutant births to be controlled, and wants the government to take control of their reproductive rights. Yeah, loosing their basic civil rights isn’t so appealing to mutants so there was a confrontation.  Initially led by Hank McCoy and a few of the younger X-men, things started out peaceful enough but soon erupted.  The mayor of San Francisco demanded that Scott Summer take responsibility for mutant kind, he tried, and ultimately failed to quell the hate pushed by Trask and his “Humanity Now!” a**holes and soon the entire city erupted in a full scale riot.  This of course brings in Norman Osborne and the Dark Avengers, whom he uses to restore martial law to San Fran (ignoring the wishes of the mayor and not really carrying that his Dark Avengers are evil psychotics).  Of course while restoring order to the city the Dark Avengers just make things worse, but true to form they come down like a hammer (sorry) and arrest some X-men and make Osborne look like a hero. Keeping with his PR genius of selling himself as the new messiah, Osborne uses this riot (which it seems like he engineered, or at least took complete advantage of) to make light his team of mutants. It seems like he has the blessing of Professor X (really? Well, maybe not), and Emma Frost as the newly ordained Black Queen (it was inevitable).  As far as the rest of his X-men? Revealed probably in the next issue of Uncanny X-men (Utopia part two), and as of right now things for the X-men we no and love, well, to say the least they are in a worse spot than the New Avengers…

Utopia is fantastic. Many of Marvel’s crossovers have been mediocre at best lately, even major event books like Secret Invasion were just okay, not “amazing” or “awesome”.  Utopia is both of those things. The first X-men/Avengers crossover in awhile, with classic X-men artist Marc Silvestri pulling it down (I grew up on his X-men, always had a soft spot for him) on the art.  Matt Fraction unfolds a methodical, well plotted story that made me feel a range of emotions from anger to anxiety, and that’s a good thing.  Utopia is an excellent book and is easily my pick of the week.

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 6/24/09
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 03:27:56 pm »

Dawg’s Reviews

Uncanny X-Men #512
Marvel Comics
Written by: Matt Fraction
Drawn by: Yanick Paquette

This is the best issue of Uncanny X-Men in a while.  I know it seems like I say this every new issue, but this time I really mean it. Why do I mean it this time over a month ago?

Fraction has it on track in the story department. It’s been very good with Fraction involved and if you don’t believe me, look no further than the Utopia review from my esteemed partner in crime this week.

What has been slightly lacking however was visual storytelling.  Greg Land can draw very pretty still life pictures and it works better at times than it does others, and Dodson is awesome in his own right, but the tone of his art is different than what you would normally see in a flagship X book.

So when I say this is the best issue of the Uncanny book in awhile, it isn’t because it’s been terrible, it’s because of Yanick Paquette.

Yanick tears it up in what could have been a bit of a “slower” story.  The science team led by the Beast, uses the same technology that sent X-Force in to the future, to travel into the past to investigate the first of their mutant species being born. The first mutant of course being fellow science team current member Dr. Nemesis.

The team is taken back to 1906 to San Francisco to raid from their past to find keys to their future. They meet Dr. Nemesis’ Mother and Father, they run across the earliest incarnation of a sentinel, as well as the Hellfire Club in its infancy.

If I had to summarize this issue, it would be by saying “A very fun romp”.

I don’t know if there will be any lasting repercussions from their trip to the past, but the team did get what they were looking for: blood smaples from Nemesis parents, so that they can hopefully unlock the door to saving their species.  You throw that in with pounding on the Hellfire goons and a little “steam punk” sentinel, and I’m in.

Weapon X: Woverine #3
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jason Aaron (the man is straight up bad ass on Wolvie)
Drawn by: Ron Garney  (Can’t get enough of his story telling)

What does Wolverine do best anyway? Well when Jason Aaron writes him, Wolverine does best at kicking ass. Not even the way you would think either. IT’s not all claws and snarl.

Wolverine was once a brilliant deep cover black ops soldier who was more than capable of using underhanded and sneaky tactics to get the mission accomplished.

We have not really seen this side of Wolverine for years. It’s been all beserker fury, animal vs. man, whoa is me sh*t. In truth it is why I had a mass exodus on other Wolverine books.  My favorite character this side of Spidey has become such a sham of his former self. Wolvie is cunning, dangerous, and his mind is always running scenarios. The healing, claws, and animal rage are jus the bonus to this cranky Canadian mutant.

Jason Aaron must be a fan and remember Wolverine like I do. That’s all I can say because he must love this character. It shows in his writing.

Someone has gotten a hold of some of Weapon X’s secrets. This someone is a senator looking to get a sickening amount of funding for a government defense contract. There has been slayings in Colombia by supped-up soldiers sporting healing factors, claws, and more brutality than you could imagine.

Cranky and pissed off about it, Wolverine jaunts down there to put an end to the past mistakes of the Weapon X program.  The strike squad of super soldiers start (alliteration anyone?) with 12 and are hunting Wolverine in the jungle. In fact you never really see Wolvie all that much in the issue, you just see these bad ass soldiers getting wiped out in the jungle one by one. Some of the demises these cats are met with are just pure genius on Wolvies part.  Not claws mind you, traps laid all over the jungle. It doesn’t take you long to realize that the hunted is the hunter in this one.

In yet another brilliant move, Wolvie takes one hostage and finally discovers who is behind the whole operation. It turns out it is someone Wolverine has dealt with from around the time Civil War was going on.

Dark Reign: Elektra #4 (of 5)
Marvel Comics
Written by: Zeb Wells
Drawn by: Clay Mann

So far, damn near everyone in the Marvel Universe that is a killer is out to get Elektra and that is the least of her worries. Norman Osborn is after her and that is worse than anything she could imagine. She is severely wounded and on the run. Last issue she paid a visit to the Night Nurse, but of course was tracked down before she could be healed completely. That’s not a big deal right? She is Elektra after all and she could take most anyone in the Marvel Universe on, even at 50%.

I said almost didn’t I?  I think it’s page 2 when she comes into contact with an enemy that haunts her as the man who killed her: Bullseye.

So there it is folks… Elektra vs. Bullseye in a battle that would blow your mind in its presentation. Cinematic, clever, brutal, you name it. These two hate each other and Bullseye’s taunts are a great contrast to the fear you know Elektra has deep inside over facing the only foe who has truly bested her.

Clay Mann really brings the whole fight together as his camera movement and storytelling really take this fight scene to a new level.  There’s not much in the way of the story advancing here or learning why the skrulls took her captive first, or why she was so important, but I don’t see how there could be. There just would not be enough room for this incredible fight, if Wells had spent too much time with Norman piecing together everything about the price on Elektra’s head. We get snippets mind you, but it is my guess it will all come together in the final issue.

Without giving anything else away, I will stop and say that this is my pick of the week.

Wktf’s Trade Review

Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories HC
DC Comics
Written by: Paul Dini, with Bruce Timm
Drawn by: Bruce Timm, with Rich Burchett, John Byrne, Dan DeCarlo, Klaus Janson, Glenn Murakami, Mike Parobeck and Matt Wagner
Cover by: Bruce Timm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or never owned a TV set, there’s really nothing to be said about the creative team of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm that hasn’t been said already.  Rarely have two so perfectly matched writers and artists come together in the history of comics or cartoons.  I mean, certainly, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby come to mind.  Chris Claremont and John Byrne often get similar nods.  But these guys took what Frank Miller started with Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, Tim Burton then picked up with his Batman and Batman Returns films, and gave us, with Batman: The Animated Series, the world of Batman that set our pulses beating a little faster, teeth grinding a little harder, and (non-maniacal clown-like) smiles coming to our faces a little quicker.  These two GET Batman, Gotham, and all the miserable characters and personalities that inhabit this strange, dark world.

Since I already own the TPB version of Mad Love and Dangerous Dames & Demons I almost didn’t pick this up.  But sauntering through Midtown Comics in NYC I saw it displayed prominently and really couldn’t stop myself from buying it.  I read this beauty from cover-to-cover in my hotel room and felt like I’d just finished the most perfect piece of pie with ice cream I’d ever had.  Mad Love, of course, is Dini and Timm’s first ever comic book collaboration and is appropriately subtitled, “Psychotic, Mass-Murdering Clowns and the Women Who Love Them.”  This tremendous tale, winner of the 1994 Harvey Award for Best Single Story, tells the tale of Harley’s origin and desperate love for her puddin’, and how she could do everything right and yet get it so completely wrong where The Joker’s concerned.  Of course, Batman is as much known for the sharpness of his mind as for his brawn and weapons, and we’re given a Dark Knight who’s able to take an absolutely hopeless and lethal predicament and pull himself out with only the slightest of manipulations.  Timm’s art goes from terrifying, to serious, to goofy and then back again as he shows the depths of character development and portrayal that can be accomplished with only minimal line work.  And Dini’s psycho-drama is, as Frank Miller has stated, “…the best Batman story of the decade.”

Of course, jammed with over 200 pages of story, not to mention commentaries by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, as well as additional cutting-room floor art and a cover gallery, this book offers up lots more fun once Mad Love’s been finished.  Many of Batman’s rogues gallery make an appearance, including Clay face, Scarecrow, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Rocket, Catwoman, the Ventriloquist and Mr. Scar Face.  Plus, we get treated to Batman’s supporting cast, including Commissioner Gordon, Montoya, Bullock, Batgirl  and even Jason Blood/Etrigan in a nice little tribute to Jack “King” Kirby.  Every story’s a gem as Dini and Timm take us into and out of the swirling, mind-numbing intensely character driven, often times funny but too frequently scary psychotic world of Gotham City.  Packaging up material that appeared previously in The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, The Batman Adventures Annual 1-2, the Batman Adventures: Holiday Special 1, Adventures in the DC Universe 3, Batman Black and White 1, the Batman Adventures: Dangerous Dames & Demons, Batgirl Adventures 1, Batman Gotham Adventures 10, and Batman Adventures 3, this beautiful HC is a keeper, well worth the cover price of $19.99.

Offline masigl4179

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Re: sam wilson and crew comics and tpb reviews for you, 6/24/09
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 01:01:37 pm »
26. Justice Society of Amercia#28- I should have followed my first instinct and not bought this issue. It was ok but I just don’t think Jerry Ordway provides the same quality of work that Geoff Johns did. Still on the bright side we get to see the Black Spectre in action.
25. Ms. Marvel#40- Um…apparently I missed an issue some where because I have no idea what the heck is going on but these book has not 1, not 2 but 3 guest stars with Deadpool, Spiderman and Wolverine. Of course the Dark Avengers are in the house as well.
24. Uncanny X-men#512- This was an interesting time travel story but I’m just more interested in getting to the Dark X-men story arc.
23. Avengers/Invaders#12- Wow this maxi-series had a lasting impact on the Marvel Universe because in the end young Bucky Barnes uses the cosmic cube to wish Toro back to life in the present day Marvel Universe.
22. Fringe#6- This was a decent issue because it finally tied into the television because you because learn that Walter has been telling all the stories that we have been seeing in the past 5 issues to someone who has been torturing him on behalf of the FBI. This guy disappears when Olivia finally shows up to check Walter out of the insane asylum.
21. X-Force#16- I enjoyed the Messiah War, but what’s going to be the fall out? I don’t think I’m going to read Cable anymore so I guess I will just have to check out the next issue of X-force.
20. X-Factor#45- So by now everyone knows that Peter David is the king of Shock endings on this title and this issue is no exception because on the last page Rictor and Shatterstar end up kissing and just like Guido said …I really didn’t see that coming.
19. The Hood#2- I always liked the Hood because he was always the anti-Spiderman but he dealt with a lot of the same issues like taking care of his family. The Hood is not a nice guy like Peter Parker but you still feel for the guy even though you see he is slowly losing his grasp on his status of Kingdom of Supervillians.
18. Daredevil#119- This was a fill and simmer issue…not to much action but I can tell that something big is about to go down…oh wait Daredevil#500 is next
17. Elektra#4- You know why this issue was hot…because Dark Avengers Hawkeye aka Bullseye was in it and as bad as Elektra is…she is still afraid of the man that killed her before. Hands down this is one of the best fights I’ve seen in the Marvel Universe for a long time. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
16. Captain America#600—Honestly, I was overwhelmed by how much material was available in this 600th issue, but that’s a good thing for a $4.99 cover price.
15. Superman#689- You know what I haven’t been that impressed by James Robinson in the DC Universe and yes I know he wrote the seminal Starman but I dig his take on this Superman title and it just hit me is that what he is doing is painting his own canvass with the character of Mon-el. I am digging Mon-el’s world adventures.
14. Teen Titans#72- I was not going to buy this and I have a love hate relationship with this title but despite the $3.99 price tag I bought it for a couple of reasons. One, the cover was tight, two there is new writer that I wanted to give a chance, and I enjoyed the back up feature starring Ravager.
13. Avengers: The Initiative#25- Hell, this was definitely a game changing issue as the Norman Osborn, Taskmaster, and The Hood take over the Initiative. Also, I like how the sub plot about Tigra being pregnant by the Skrull Hank Pym and on the outs with the Initiative especially because of how the Hood attacked her in the pages of New Avengers.
12. Green Lantern#42- I think this story is just hype to the Blackest Night event but I did like how Hal Jordan’s blue lantern ring blew Agent Orange off of him especially when his sincerity was registered. Also, man the Guardians did the Blue Lanterns dirty by leading Agent Orange to them
11. Nova#26- Man, Richard Ryder is back doing what he does best rescuing people as the Nova Prime. Good issue. I’m waiting on next issue for the heavyweight fight with Strontian cousin of Gladiator leader of the Imperial Guard. I only hope Robert Rider doesn’t get killed in the process.
10. Justice League of America#34- Dwayne McDuffie’s run on this title has been plagued with problems from DC editorial and he got fired for complaining about it. Still on his last issue he delivers an excellent conclusion to his story that ultimately ended up being about how the Milestone Universe become connected to the DC universe. Great Job Dwayne McDuffie!
9. Astonishing X-men#30- I’ll be honest this title has lost a lot of his momentum due to lateness but I don’t want people to sleep on this title, especially this issue because it’s a game changer because Forge essentially goes bad and the team has to take him down.
8. Thunderbolts#133- The direction of this title has change a lot in the wake of Dark Reign and  new writer Andy Diggle  taking the reigns but this issue we get to see original Thunderbolt Songbird make a return and find out who the 2nd Black Widow really works for. Guess what he’ the title of my next pick down the list.
7. Secret Warriors Nick Fury: Agent of Nothing#5- Oh yeah Nick Fury and his commandoes bring the heat to  both H.A.M.M.E.R. and Hydra this issue but Hydra ain’t nothing to play with…and Fury still has his Secret Warriors up his sleeve.
6. Utopia#1- This is what I have been waiting for all summer and it was a good set up. I’m still excited but I think it’s going to move a lot slower than I thought it would. This issue Norman Osborn takes over San Francisco  with martial law on the hunt for Scott Summers.
5. Immortal Iron Fist#27- Aw the final issue of the Immortal Iron Fist. It was a pleasure to read this title. This issue we also get a peak at the new series the Immortal Warriors and we get to find out that Misty Knight and Danny Rand are expecting. That’s how you end a series on a high note.
4. Dark Wolverine#75- I have to admit although I wasn’t that fond of the art I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this issue. Also, I had no idea Daken had a secondary mutation power to control people with pheromones. Last but not least I like that Daken and Bullseye have beef with one another.
3. Dark Avengers#6- Wow, I thought Namor was going to kill Norman Osborn this issue when Osborn yelled at him…Seriously, I was like this dude about to get his ass whupped worse than Tony Stark did back in the illuminati one shot. Also, Osborn released the Sentry’s inner void to go kill those entire rogue Atlanteans. Yeah Norman is about to go crazy very soon.
2. New Avengers#54- I love Dr. Voodoo as the new Sorcerer Supreme! Also, I respect the realization that Clint Barton had when he realized that they are going to have to kill Norman Osborn to get him out of power.
1. Amazing Spiderman#598- When the hell did Norman Osborn got so popular because this guy is in 4 of my top 5 books. However, this issue takes the cake because Harry finds out that his ex girlfriend Lily who thanks to Norman is also the super villainess Menace is also pregnant by Norman. Hell naw!