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Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 1/19/11

This week's comics reviewed today.

Monday was a holiday for us but luckily it didn't affect the release of this week's comics. There were some big releases like Invincible Iron Man #500, the next arc in Spider-Man's Big Time and even the final issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight. DC continues their character/logo covers and it's always interesting to see what they do for characters that don't really have a logo. 
 
But enough of this commentary. Let's check out the reviews for some of the books we reviewed today. 

== TEASER == 

Invincible Iron Man #500 

This was a hell of an anniversary special. While it wasn't necessarily the kind of nostalgia trip you'd expect out of a 500th issue, it was a brilliantly-told exploration of the positive and negative edges of Stark's legacy as Iron Man. I continue to be astounded by how deft a storyteller Fraction is, and this is right up there with the Mandarin-focused origin Annual from last year.     

Read Zack's full review here
 

Brightest Day #18 

Between this and Generation Lost, DC has been absolutely knocking it out of the park with these bi-weekly books. They've seemed to have learned some valuable lessons from 52 and Countdown to fine tune a process that cranks out quality material without any of the hindrances you'd expect of such a rigorous release schedule.  

Read Zack's full review here.  
 

Amazing Spider-Man #652 

Despite my disdain for Alistair Smythe and Spider-Slayers, this issue was pure fun. Dan Slott is taking Spider-Man to new places and throws in his humorous touch without interrupting the flow of the story. Stefano Caselli's art makes the characters feel a little more alive with their facial expressions but there were some panels a little light in background detail. Spider-Man might still be in BIG TIME but it looks like his good luck might be about to run out. A back up story by Fred Van Lente and Reilly Brown is an added bonus.     

Read Tony's full review here
 
 

Thor #619

There's something appealingly existential about this latest arc of the Thor, with the Aesir each wrestling with the new context they've found themselves. It's as if this series is built around the question of what happens after Ragnarok, or what these larger-than-life beings do when they know their time is waning by the second. There've been plenty of interpretations and reinterpretation of the Norse mtyhos, yet this still feels fresh.     

Read Zack's full review here
 

Justice League of America #53 

I may not be crazy about every single member of this Justice League but I really dig the fact that these characters have been allowed to step up into the big leagues. If there's been any question whether or not they have what it takes, fighting the Crime Syndicate and Omega Man should settle that matter. I'm not crazy about the Syndicate but what I really enjoyed in this arc was seeing the little seeds planted in the development of characters like Donna Troy, Dick Grayson and Supergirl. Now that this trial by fire has been complete, I cannot wait to see the team take on Eclipso next month.    

Read Tony's full review here.  
 

Mass Effect Evolution #1 

Launching almost immediately into a war in its first few pages, this action packed comic does it's duty and leaves the reader wanting more. The catch? You really have to be previously invested in the game story (Mass Effect 1 and 2) in order to appreciate this story and it's characters. For Mass Effect fans, this is a win. For everyone else, you may want to pick up a more reader friendly title this week.      

Read Sara's full review here
 

Superior #4 

It feels like Mark Millar is having a fun time with this issue. By creating his own character and world, he is able to take the story in any direction he wants. While not as over the top as Nemesis or Kick-Ass, you still get that sense that anything goes. What started out as a story about an unfortunate little kid getting his wish granted is starting to take a dark turn.     

Read Tony's full review here
 

Deadpool Max #4 

Like I've said, a character called Deadpool is one who absolutely deserves a Max title and it's a fun novelty to see the merc with a mouth in a comic that feels like one you'd see next to Lil' Anny Fanny in Playboy. I'm still a little confused by the tone, though, because the inclusion of Cable makes this feel a lot more like a parody than simply an adults-only tale of DP in an tropical milieu.     

Read Zack's full review here
 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #40 

It may be the end of Season Eight but it's not the end of the Buffy-verse. Whedon has stated that he already has plans for Season 9. It's going to be a different world. This story arc has cleaned up a lot of the elements and characters that have been around throughout the forty issues. Some of the deaths and changes feel a little sensational but because Whedon himself wrote it, we shouldn't doubt that he has a plan set. The way the issue ends does feel like it's the end of a television show season. How long until Season 9 begins?  

Read Tony's full review here.  
 

X-Men Legacy #244 

Maybe I'm just too anxious to get to get into Age of X that I can't put up with any further delay. Still, I am incredibly curious to see how this latest bout of alternate reality action is going to play out and this felt like a long, vague preamble to the story everybody wanted to see. Maybe all this business with the spider-squid and Gambit's death self is going to be especially significant when the crossover's done, but I'm not seeing it now.     

Read Zack's full review here
 

Cyclops: The Recruit #2 

The idea of war being handled by business corporations is a scary thought. It might seem absurd but it's something that could happen in the future. We're given a new world where the outcome of war is guided by television ratings. As we follow the story of the lead character, the question is will he retain his ethics or will he become corrupted by the men trying to make money off the war? The story feels a little too fast paced at times but the nice visuals adds life to the futuristic world we're looking in on. This story is becoming a nice escape from the common superhero comic.  

Read Tony's full review here.  
 

Memoir #1 

The premise of this alone was a great hook, and I'm eager to learn all the ramifications of this town's troubling case of collective amnesia. We might already see the source and cause with the underground reveal in the middle (and I'm already sensing some socio-political commentary that might ensue) but I still feel like this suffers a little from being bound to the constraints of the usual fast-paced actioner.     

Read Zack's full review here.  
 

Scarlet #4 

I'm continuing to enjoy how hard Bendis is pushing buttons when he's free of the constraints of established continuity and a superheroic setting. I'd recommend this simply on the merits of there being nothing else like on it the shelves. The fact that it's a highly, and consistently, engaging story just makes it all the more compelling, even in spite of my occasional issues with the reliance of photo references in the art.     

Read Zack's full review here.
 
 

Wolverine and Jubilee #1

Jubilee is changing, and her vampire thirst is being written incredibly well. This is a stellar first issue and I definitely recommend it. I think that Jubilee fans will be pleased.  

Read Sara's full review here
 

Update 

More reviews added. 
 

Supergirl #60 

We had a stellar creative team on the book and trying to follow in their footsteps can be hard for any new creative team. This issue serves a great jumping on point for new readers and there is a good use of tying other events in the DC Universe into the story without making things complicated. We have a new villain but he isn't too impressive at this point. He comes out of nowhere and seems to have risen way too fast. The evil scheme that is hatched here could cause big problems for heroes, not just Supergirl, in the future.     

Read Tony's full review here.  
 

Wolverine #5 

Will Wolverine be able to escape from Hell? If you've read the solicits (or other X-titles featuring Wolverine) you already have an idea. The confrontation between Wolverine and his father is interesting and says something about who Wolverine is today. You'll be on the edge of your seat to see if people like Wolvie's dad, Puck, Sabretooth, Mariko and anyone else try to escape from Hell with Wolverine. We find out more about how he actually got sent to Hell in the first place. This entire arc was a bit of a bumpy ride for me but the ending opens the door for the next chapter.

Read Tony's full review here.
13 Comments
Posted by NightFang

Cool, week of comics!

Posted by Grimoire

Have to check out that JLA since I want to know how the arc ended. lol
 
Wolverine and Jubilee getting a recommendation.....rapture next week right? lol j/k

Posted by ImperiousRix

Hrrrm, I've missed the last few two issues of Spider-Man and so just gonna drop that title for a time, but this recommendation cannot be overlooked.  
With funds so low, it's decision time.

Posted by Theodore

woooooooooooooooooooooooo want to get x-men legacy

Posted by jakob187

I was really hoping for a review of The Infinite Vacation by Nick Spencer in this batch.  Curious to see if Tony picked it up or not.  Loved the colors in that book, and the story is quite intriguing.

Posted by longbowhunter

Any X-Factor fans out there? Issue #214 was a great done in one Darwin tale.
Posted by G-Man
@jakob187: My shop didn't have any. I'm gonna check at my other shop (yes, I go to two comic shops) tomorrow.
Posted by zombietag

is it just me or are there less unscripted/video reviews now? i liked those a lot...

Posted by ndholite

ok.. I think i want to read deadpool...

Posted by evilhomer
@longbowhunter said:
" Any X-Factor fans out there? Issue #214 was a great done in one Darwin tale. "
I love PADs X-Factor but im a bit behind in my comic reading so havent gotten to it yet :(
Posted by andrea_mendoza1997

:D amazing  

Posted by Blackestnight

i didn't even know wolverine went to hell

Posted by OrionStarlancer

Please do more of these.  This is very helpful.  Thanks!