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[Review] Comics released 03/07/12 (and 02/29/12)

Howdy y’all! Included in the list of releases and reviews for my favorites this week, are the the reviews for my favorites from last week, which was highlighted by a completely unnecessary two day snowstorm and made better by the fact that it was a light release week for me. As a treat for you patience, this week we have a contribution from our own Josh Whitehurst! Read on past the jump for our picks of the last two weeks.


List of releases for 2/29:

DC COMICS
Batman Beyond Unlimited #1
Batman Odyssey Volume 2 #5
DC Universe Online Legends #24
Gears Of War #22
Justice League #6
Legion Secret Origin #5
Looney Tunes #205
Scalped #56
Shade #5
Spaceman #4
Tiny Titans #49

MARVEL COMICS
Amazing Spider-Man #680
Astonishing X-Men #47
Avengers #23
FF #15
Moon Knight #10
New Avengers #22
Six Guns #5
Twelve #10 (Of 12)
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #7
Ultimate Comics X-Men #8
Venom #13.4

Picks for 2/29:

Avengers #23

Norman Osborn is back. After being made the head of the world police force HAMMER during the Dark Reign, he had a mental breakdown and was locked away at the end of the Siege story arc. He escapes and reforms HAMMER and brings in Hydra, The Hand and A.I.M. to help him destroy the Avengers. He even dresses villains up as heroes and makes his own Dark Avengers. Within the past few issues, Osborn has been targeting all 3 branches of Avengers teams and systematically taking them out. This issues shows HAMMER experimenting on the captured heroes in order to learn about their powers to create loyal HAMMER soldiers. As can be expected the heroes break free and shit blows up.

Visually there are two panels that burned themselves into my brain. The first is when Iron Man and the newest Avengers recruit, Storm breaks free and confront the scientist that was experimenting on them. The power is out and everything is colored in black or red except the lights on Tony’s armor and the lightening in Storm’s eyes. If I saw that in the dark, I’m pretty sure I would crap my pants.The last panel made this whole issue for me. It shows Osborn surrounded by Hand ninjas and holding a defeated Vision up by his cape. I feel like this is building towards another massive Avengers crossover event and I cant wait.

Excuse me while I change my pants.

FF #15

Franklin and Valeria Richards and Marvel C-Listers, The Power Pack

In my last review roundup, I wrote about Fantastic Four #604 and the poop-ton of explosions in it. This issues deals with the same events but from the point of view of the FF (Future Foundation) kids and Mr. Fantastic’s father Nathaniel. It’s shown that everything that happened in Fantastic Four #604 was planned out by the kids and Nathaniel so that the maximum amount of people would survive. Franklin’s reality altering powers were taken away from him in previous story arcs, but this issue reveals a hidden person tutoring him in the use of his powers. The hidden person is revealed at the end of the issue and I don’t want to give it away but if you read the last Fantastic Four issue, you should know who it is. I’m expecting a resolution of this story arc within the next issue or two and I want to see how the writers hadle it, especially with all the twists and secret plans that need to be revealed.

Justice League #6

90% of what's on the cover doesn't happen...

This issue isn’t as strong as previous JL issues but it shows a lot of potential for future arcs. The battle with Darkseid is intense and full of stab wounds, green light constructs, laser beams, and explosions. Unfortunately, it’s wrapped up quickly once Superman is freed from captivity. After the League defeats Darkseid, the issue ends pretty neatly with the League being congratulated in Washington and being called off to save the day somewhere else.

Surprisingly, the panel that has the most excitement in it has the least amount of color. Right after sending Darkseid back to his planet, Apokolips, a huge explosion detonates and all you see is the small silloutes of the Justice Laegue on a full page white panel. All I can remember thinking is that this page would make an awesome poster. While it doesn’t make sense for Batman to be able to survive what can only be compared to a nuclear blast, you suspend you disbelief long enough to enjoy it.

 

List of releases for 3/7:

DC COMICS
Action Comics #7
Animal Man #7
Batwing #7
DC Universe Online Legends #25
Detective Comics #7
Fairest #1
Green Arrow #7
Hawk And Dove #7
Huntress #6
I Zombie #23
Justice League International #7
Men Of War #7
Night Force #1
O.M.A.C. #7
Red Lanterns #7
Static Shock #7
Stormwatch #7
Supernatural #6
Swamp Thing #7

MARVEL COMICS
Age Of Apocalypse #1
Amazing Spider-Man #681
Avengers Academy #27
Avengers The Children’s Crusade #9
Avengers X-Sanction #3
Defenders #4
Fear Itself The Fearless #10
Hulk #49
Thor The Deviants Saga #5
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #8
Uncanny X-Men #8
Venom #14
Villains For Hire #4
Winter Soldier #3
Wolverine #302
Wolverine And The X-Men Alpha And Omega #3
X-Club #4
X-Men #26

 

Hulk #49

Every Marvel fan should know by now that there are two Hulks. The Hulk in this book is now the Red Hulk aka General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, the man who for a long time was the Hulk’s greatest enemy. Rulk, as he is known in the Marvel fandom, has been working with Captain America and SHIELD to atone for originally working with MODOK and the Leader. In the Deviants Saga limited series that just finished, the Eternals were shown to have returned to Earth after a years long absence. Startlingly, what is on the cover is pretty much what happens in this issue. Rulk and Ikaris of the Eternals duke it out because of some misunderstanding and eventually both go their separate ways. The interesting part is that Zuras, the leader of the Eternals says that a decision has to be made “…for the good of all.” I’m assuming their presence in this book is just the first in numerous guest spots for them.

Swamp Thing #7

Ever since the DC reboot, Swamp Thing has consistently been one of their best books out. The story of the resurrection of Alec Holland and battle between the Green and the Rot has been riveting. For the past few issues, Alec has been fighting the Green and refusing to become their champion, the Swamp Thing, again. Finally, in this issue, he decides to become the Swamp Thing again. Not to battle to Rot and not because the Parliament of Trees, former champions of the Green are dying, but because his ex-wife Abigail has been taken by the Rot to become their champion and he wants to save her.

The art, by Yanick Paquette, is just as good as the story. He does a phenominal job of making the book look like a dream when it has to do with the Green and like a nighmare whenever the Rot is talked about. As can be expected by its name, the Rot has some pretty gross looking minions. No matter how disgusting they look, I can’t look away. That’s huge for me because as the office wuss I can’t watch anything even remotely freaky. I’m going to continue to expect great things from this book.

Uncanny X-Men #8

 

 With the Dark Angel Saga over, the X-men now have to deal with the consequences. In fact, the entire book seems to deal with repercussions from most of the decisions the X-Men have made going back to Fear Itself and even further back. The main plot deals with the bulk of the X-Men trying to protect a destroyed Montana town now called Tabula Rasa, where Archangel forced the flora and fauna to undergo millenium of evolution in a single day. Another plot thread is Colossus trying to control the power of Cytorrak which he accepted in order to help fight a possessed Juggernaut. The most enjoyable thread has Namor and Hope trying to make peace with the underwater inhabitants of Tabula Rasa. Let’s just say the queen of the giant tapeworms has some freaky conditions. Bow chica wow-wow. All of the X-men books are building towards AvX and I’m waiting eagerly.

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for, Josh Whitehurst’s review of Hack/Slash #13!

Regular readers of the violent and somewhat disturbing comic series Hack/Slash might start to notice just how much has changed ever since the series has progressed. Gone is the underlying tone of horror of earlier installments and in is the wacky, humor-filled blood-fest that is Hack/Slash #13. Can these drastic changes attract new readers as well as provide a fresh twist to keep faithful followers?

Hack/Slash #13 picks up right after the previous issue and literally has it all: a disease with a completely metal name, Nazi scientists, mutated dinosaurs and other beasts, and sex. Followers of the comic will be happy to see the return of Gorillaconda, a monster as ridiculous as it’s name implies. Also included are telepathically-communicating raptors which are there solely for comic relief.

Slasher Samhain undergoes an operation to get the concentrated evil extracted from his body, keeping him immortality but leaving him vulnerable and without the ability to heal Wolverine-fast. You find out early on that that the same procedure used to extract said evil is trying to be stopped in its tracks by the Black Lamp Society, a cult that is trying to prevent a cure from occurring, all while killing the doctor mid-research. Almost too conveniently, there was another doctor to take his place.

Blood and gore is not the focal point of this issue, being replaced by feelings. Lines of heart-felt dialogue reminiscent of Kevin Smith’s early work is aplenty. It seems like everybody decides to say whatever he or she is thinking whenever they feel like it, making for some mildly-entertaining situations by the end of the book.

Hack/Slash #13 is as close as one can get to a campfire story in a comic. It seamlessly integrates sex, action, humor, and everything in between while keeping the integrity of the story, all while doing so in 22 pages. Although it isn’t what it used to be, that is in no way a bad thing. Yes it’s silly, but given the overall change to the series, it’s very well-received. Hack/Slash #13 is definitely worth the read.

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