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Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 12/29/10

This week's comics reviewed today.

It's the last week of the year so you would expect there wouldn't be much to look forward to in terms of new releases. Lucky for us, that wasn't the case. This week's comics proved to be a great way to end the year. Lots of rock-solid releases that you'll want to curl up with as many of us deal with harsh weather conditions.  
Because of the time of year, this week, you'll only be reading reviews from Zack and myself. I think we came up with a good selection of comics to give you an idea of what you should or shouldn't pick up this week. 

== TEASER == 

Deadpool Corps #9 

The previous issue I read of this was enjoyable, almost consciously in the face of the problems I had with the book. However, it was really hard to get into any kind of pathos offered by DP's love triangle or the in-fighting with his Corps when the drawbacks in the presentation are as distracting as they are. This definitely is the weakest out of the four Deadpool books running right now.     

Read Zack's full review here

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 

Despite introducing an important person from Bruce Wayne's past, it's done in a way that doesn't feel like it's trying to exploit the early history of Batman's life. David Finch manages to take on writing and pencil duties seamlessly. Scott William's ink and Alex Sinclair's colors push the comic over the edge and help deliver a really good looking comic book. Bruce Wayne may have proven himself worthy of returning to the Bat-cowl but his mission here won't be an easy one. It may not be the biggestcase for Batman but it could be interesting to see how this unfolds. This first issue gives promise to the series which could be good or bad news since it means you'll want to be sure to add it to your pull list. The lack of a firm tie in to the other current Batman comics means you could easily jump into this and not worry about what is occurring in the other ones. We'll have to see if this continues to be the case.     

Read Tony's full review here

The Avengers #8  

Even though the seven year stretch of mega crossovers has run its course, we're still seeing the loose threads of World War Hulk, Siege and Civil War tying together here in a way that's really intriguing. All too often, characters seem to go through some convenient amnesia after a big dramatic storyline, so I'm pleased to see that Cap's still rightfully-suspicious of Iron Man, even in the Heroic Age.     

Read Zack's full review here

Carnage #2 

 The bi-monthly schedule is really hurting this miniseries. I was pleasantly surprised over the first issue but having to wait that extra month allowed some of that excitement to go away. This series is meant to give up the rebirth of Carnage...and we're almost there. Being honest, we all want to see Carnage go up against Spider-Man and Iron Man. I understand that this being a five issue miniseries, we can't have that final battle at the beginning. I do hope we'll see and find out more about this new Carnage in the next issue. Hopefully it will get me as excited as I was after reading the first issue. 

Read Tony's full review here

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4 

This continues to be one of the oddest superhero books I've read. The time travel itself isn't that outlandish - - what's strange is that these circumstances are so atypical for Spidey and Wolvie to be in, yet they're acting completely in character. This isn't what I was expecting out of this Astonishing title, at all, and there's something truly, admirably ballsy about that kind of unpredictability.     

Read Zack's full review here

Detective Comics #872 

This is what Batman comics should be like. The combination of the writing and art sets a dark tone and you can really feel some of the tension Dick must be going through. An old guy selling weapons from Batman's villains might seem small but the story is proving to be a challenging case for Batman. It's great to see Dick finally getting settled in his role as Batman as well. He has his personal issues to deal with but you can see he's using all his available resources to get to the bottom of this case. With the way this issue ends, Dick's career could be coming to an end. And let's not forget the really cool back up story with James Gordon. Detective Comics is making its way to becoming my favorite Batman title.     

Read Tony's full review here

Chaos War: X-Men #1 

Though I'm a little puzzled as to why this wasn't sub-titled as Dead X-Men to parallel the Dead Avengers tie-in, this is actually one of the better tie-ins to Chaos War.  I missed a lot of the retcons and revelations that came out of Deadly Genesis, but this is sizing up to a be a fitting showcase for the X-Men's first and arguably most tragic casualty.     

Read Zack's full review here

Echoes #1 

It's no secret that I dig the bright and colorful superhero comics but I love being able to mix things up with comics from other genres. Top Cow puts out great books but this has a different feel compared to them. This is the first in their Minotaur Press line and has me interested in what will see in the future. Fialkov's writing and Ekedal's grayscale art should not be overlooked. Anyone looking for something different needs to check this out. You don't have to worry about decades of continuity. The story sets up the characters and grabs your sense of curiosity. A great comic for the last week of 2010.      

Read Tony's full review here

The Flash #8 

What a fantastic origin retcon! I've always though that Prof. Zoom was one of the lamest arch foes in the DCU, but Johns once again finds a way to tie continuity together in a way that reinvigorates and re-purposes an old character without contradicting anything that's come before. This is an excellent stand-alone villain portrait that'd be right up there with the Mandarin-focused Iron Man Annual from the summer if it weren't for the missing ingredient in the art.     

Read Zack's full review here

X-23 #4 

Marjorie Liu is doing a remarkable job in writing X-23 as a character you'll feel sorry for. Usually written as a cold killing machine, Laura's been given more character throughout this series. She may be cold on the surface but we're seeing that there is something locked away inside. With the possible coming revelations dealing with her past, things could be about to change big time for X-23. Will Conrad and Marco Checchetto's art make me happy each time I read an issue. Because I've always had a fondness for X-23, it's great to have such talent working on her series. It's exactly what she deserves.      

Read Tony's full review here

Secret Warriors #23 

After a lot of issues whose plotting and callbacks got a little too labyrinthine for their own good, I was relieved by how clear of a through line this issue had. Sebastian goes through a training montage that should be familiar to anybody who's seen a Rocky movie, but the juxtaposition of that with Hickman's distinctly-cerebral style makes for a memorable experience.     

Read Zack's full review here

Green Lantern #61 

Atrocitus is evolving. He's not just an evil being full of rage. He's on the trail of the sentient embodiment of rage and you'll wonder who you should be rooting for. Throw in a little skirmish between Spectre, the Butcher and Atrocitus and you'll want to catch a ringside seat. Just don't expect to see any sign of Hal Jordan despite his appearance on the cover.     

Read Tony's full review here

Captain America #613 

I haven't heard or seen a lot of talk about this story arc. This is a big deal and people shouldn't overlook it. With Red Skull out of the picture (at least for now), Sin is stepping up to become a crazy and deadly villain. It makes sense that Steve has passed the torch to Bucky and now Sin has taken it from her father. Brubaker continues to craft the tale of Bucky Barnes. Regardless of all the time he's spent bringing Bucky back and establishing him as Captain America, I don't feel he's completely safe. That's part of what makes this a good story arc. The art and color adds to the story and I have no idea how it's going to end.      

Read Tony's full review here

The Heroic Age: X-Men 

Objectively, I'd recommend checking out some database online (like those at Comic Vine!) to learn about the X-Men instead of using this. However, for what is is, it's a well put-together guide that keeps the profiles concise and precise enough to tell you what you need to know about these characters without burying you in overlong histories and meaningless stats.     

Read Zack's full review here

Hellboy: The Sleeping and the Dead #1 

Hellboy stories are always fun. Despite being a tale from the past, you still get a sense of something big about to occur. The explanation of the state of vampires and what could be just around the corner is the perfect set up in keeping you on the edge of your seat. Hellboy comes in, gun blazing...just as you'd want him. Hampton's art and Stewart's colors gives Mignola's story a brilliant presentation. With a story easily accessible to readers, this is a Hellboy story anyone can enjoy.       

Read Tony's full review here


I added some more reviews. 

Action Comics 896 

Paul Cornell's Lex Luthor story feels like it's lost a little steam. Next issue will have an appearance by the Joker. Whether his popping up here will pick up the pace of the story or serve as a cheap guest appearance remains to be seen. This arc started out with a very ambitious feel but regrettably I know find myself looking forward to the end. Hopefully the next issue will bring back the excitement I had when Lex first began his quest.      

Read Tony's full review here

Widowmaker #3 

Widowmaker almost makes me wish Hawkeye, Black Widow and Mockingbird will stay away from the other Avengers titles. This series has a great feel to it and really stands out from other titles. With a big mystery and a slight secret revealed about the new Ronin, you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting for issue #3 to come out.     

Read Tony's full review here.
Posted by Mercy_

I'm so picking up Batman based off of the review. Plus I adore Finch's artwork. 

Posted by spider-man 2996

Good review's
Posted by NightFang
@spider-man 2996 said:
" Good review's "
Edited by Joe Venom

lol none of the books from my pull list is up here, however I do want to check that Avengers issue out any book about the Infinity Gems you can count me in!

Edited by longbowhunter

Great reviews guys! I think I'm headed back to the shop for Echoes and Detective. Some other great books not mentioned above are Incognito: Bad Influences #2 and Nemesis #4. Action Comics, Teen Titans, Green Arrow and Widowmaker all get honorable mentions.

Posted by ComiCCloseup
@The Dark Huntress:
Once I saw the art I was sold
Posted by Baron_Emo

I always dig the little action figure in the shot. ^_^

Posted by sora_thekey

No Mat this week? 
Oh well, I'm glad to hear that David Finch's Batman had a solid start... 
I'm also glad Widowmaker and Carnage are turning out good too. 
Thanks for this!

Posted by Nuec_Sol

I had Echoes #1 in Top Cow's preveiw TPB since Long Beach comic con and it really is great. I had a few other people read it and they loved it and I even got a non comic reader hooked. 

Posted by xerox_kitty
@sora_thekey said:
"I'm glad to hear that David Finch's Batman had a solid start... I'm also glad Widowmaker and Carnage are turning out good too.  Thanks for this! "

Yeah, that's what struck me too.  Good to know these popular characters are in good hands :)