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[Review] Comics Released 02/22/12 (and 02/15/12)

Sorry for the delay for last week’s review ladies and gents. There was a situation in the Twinfinite offices last week where tables were flipped over and thrown through windows and used to set fires throughout the office. Anyways, now that the window is boarded up and the fire at reception is slightly less bonfire-ish, here’s the list of releases and review for this week and review for my top comics of last week.


List of releases for 2/22:

DC Comics:

All-Star Western #6
American Vampire #24
Aquaman #6
Batman The Dark Knight #6
Blackhawks #6
Flash #6
Fury Of Firestorm The Nuclear Men #6
Green Lantern New Guardians #6
I Vampire #6
Justice League Dark #6
Ray #3 (Of 4)
Savage Hawkman #6
Superman #6
Teen Titans #6
Voodoo #6

Marvel Comics

Avengers Academy #26
Avengers Solo #5
Captain America And Bucky #627
Deadpool #51
Deadpool MAX 2 #5
Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz #5 (Of 8 )
Fantastic Four #603
Magneto Not A Hero #4 (Of 4)
Mighty Thor #11
New Mutants #38
Secret Avengers #23
Spider-Man #23 (Marvel Adventures)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7
Uncanny X-Force #22
Venom #13.3
Wolverine And The X-Men #6
X-Men #25
X-Men Legacy #262

Fantastic Four #604

Recently, the Fantastic Four story arc has been building up to a giant throwdown. The past year has seen the “death” of Johnny Storm, the end of the Fantastic Four, the beginning of the Future Foundation, Spider-Man and Doctor Doom joining the team, and Reed Richards coming up with a plan to “fix everything”. This issue starts with two huge armadas locked in battle above the Earth. It quickly escalates into a battle between Galactus, the world eater and the Celestials, a group of “space gods” whose genetic manipulation led to the rise of mutants. Without giving away any of the plot, there are explosions, a giant god killer gun, lasers, and more explosions.

The art, especially at the beginning,k does a great job of conveying the scope of the battles. The panel that most stuck out to me is the standoff between Galactus and the Celestials. The warship that the Fantastic Four are on is shown to be the size of one foot of a Celestial. When the battle starts, shit blows up. A lot. I’m not the biggest fan of the FF but this story arc has made me start to believe the comic’s tagline, “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!”

 

The Mighty Thor #11

At the end of the recent Marvel crossover event, Fear Itself, Thor sacrificed himself to kill the long-forgotten Asgardian god of fear. Obviously, with a successful movie this past summer and the Avengers film scheduled to be released this summer, Marvel isn’t going to kill off one of its franchise characters. While I usually hate when they kill a character only to bring him back after a small amount of time, this was executed to perfection. Thor was shown to never have actually died but he has been trying to fight his way out of limbo where dead gods go to be devoured by the Demogorge, who gains power from eating dead and forgotten gods. Thor has been forgotten on Earth because a spell by one of Thor’s oldest enemies Karnilla, Queen of the Norns. In Thor’s place, she presented a camouflaged Ulik the Troll, another old villain, as a replacement God of Thunder. His mission has been to deceive the Asgardian population into accepting him, then assassinating the All-Mother, a replacement for Odin who banished himself at the end of Fear Itself.

I’m a huge fan of Pasqual Ferry and Pepe Larraz’s art the past couple of issues. There’s a grainy quality to their backgrounds that puts the characters that are at the front in sharper focus. This works especially well in this book because of the numbers of characters who have been populating the panels in this story arc, which has to deal with the rebuilding of Asgard after it was destroyed. This focus allows the artists to put more detail in the expressions.

 

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7

Peter Parker is dead. Spider-Man is not. This is the story in the Ultimate Marvel universe, which is a modernized retelling of the Marvel 616 universe. Miles Morales, a young genius who is of African American and Hispanic heritage, is the new wallcrawler. The creative team have done an amazing job giving nods towards the original Spider-Man and at the same time forging their own character. There was some blowback when the character was revealed, but as the comics rolled out, reception has been positive.

This is one of the few new books that has fully made it on to my must buy list every week. It’s refreshing to see a brand new character of importance instead of constant rehashing of the same old stories and heroes. The first three or four issues were a little slow, being an origin story, but the past few issues have really picked up the pace by throwing an untrained, untested kid against established villians such as Electro and Omega Red. I think everyone should give this book a chance and read an issue or two. If nothing else you can tell future generations you read the first issue of the Miles Morales Spider-Man.

Here are my top comic reviews for last week (02/15/12):

Batman #6

Batman has been kidnapped, drugged, beaten, stabbed, and thrown through multiple walls. That’s just the first few pages. Batman has been hunting the Court of Owls, an underground society that has secretly run Gotham for generations. Their assassin, Talon, was sent to hunt down Batman and bring him back to the Court deep beneath the city. After two issues of being led around by the nose and being thrown around, Batman finally has enough and decides to fight back.

The full page panel on page twelve shows this fully enraged Batman. The art in the rest of the issue does not disappoint. Batman is drugged and because of this things are constantly in a state of flux. A little girl in an owl mask turns into a freaky bird-like creature. Batman himself turns into a giant snarling half-bat. Gorgeous visuals and an amazing story make for a great issue.

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #1

I consider myself a fan of the Star Wars franchise, especially the Knights of the Old Republic games. (Stop screwing around and give us KotOR 3 dammit!!) That being said, I’m definitely suffering from Star Wars fatigue. I didn’t think this new series would be that interesting at first glance. All new characters set thousands of years before even the first KotOR, which is supposed to be years before Episode 1. After reading through the first issue, I’m thinking I have a little bit more patience for the franchise.

It throws you into an already established universe with a little introduction, but it does give you names and events that will go over your head at first. The interesting part of this comic is that it shows you the Sith and Jedi that come later on are mistaken in their ideologies. The first Jedi tried to achieve balance in the Force by constantly striving to stay on the middle path. If a Jedi was seen to stray too much towards either the dark or the light side, they were sent to one of two moons that were either bathed in constant light or blanketed by perpetual shadow. While the story isn’t the most compelling, the book has excellent potential.

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