By johnkmccubbin91 21 Comments
Hits and Misses is finally back and for the first time this year. I tried to get this article out once a week, but it was already into the following weeks releases by the time I got the time, so I never have managed to do any since November last year, but I'm back, and hopefully I'll manage to do it weekly. This Hits and Misses is for the comics I read released on the 27/3/13.
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
The first hit for the week goes to Batman, Incorporated #9 the last of the Requiem issues, following the death of Damian Wayne that happened in Batman, Incorporated #8. This issue sees the Batman and Nightwing (Dick Grayson) battling The Heretic, as well as Batman burying his son. This was a very emotional issue, and probably the most emotional Requiem issue bar Batman and Robin #18. All the Requiem issues have acknowledged the death of Damian, but most haven't really used it much, and I've been upset about that, but gladly this issue shows the aftermath in a big way. Although it had already been spoiled in the media, I still saw the death of Damian shocking, and to be honest I'm upset to see the little guy dead. Although the silent issue of Batman and Robin showed the most emotion, this also had it's fair share, showing the anger that's inside of Batman, and you can't blame him for having that. I also felt that this issue was the best follow-up to the death of Damian, and naturally so considering it was the previous issue of this series were Damian died. The fight was brilliant, but it was the emotion in the funeral sequence that really made this issue special, as it was very emotional, and shows Batman, Nightwing, Red Robin (Tim Drake), and Alfred's sorrow brilliantly. It was also nice to see the aftermath of Knight's death, and although the actions of Squire weren't a surprise, it was interesting. Overall Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, and Jason Masters did a brilliant job on this series, and I'll be upset when Morrison leaves.
See my full review on this issue here.
Also see my thoughts on the future of the Batman Inc. series here.
Next up is Justice League Dark #18, the final issue in the Death of Magic storyline. This issue sees Tim Hunter lead his army of magical creatures against the science enforcers in the battle between magic and science. Now I know that a lot of people may disagree with me on this being a hit, as the story in general has been nothing compared to the Books of Magic storyline, but I felt that this issue was epic, and all the build up from the previous issues paid off. I've only started getting this series recently, and got a lot of back issues, and have been loving it. This was a very exciting, and entertaining issue, and I loved how it managed to show some amazing action, whist also showing the emotions perfectly. It was however a shame that the Justice League Dark didn't feature too much in this issue, but it was really Tim's fight, and needed the time to focus on him. It was also interesting that despite being full of action that it could have a few surprises, even if they're small ones. I still however feel that the story as a whole could have been better, but it didn't half finish brilliantly. I do however see the next story that'll involve Swamp Thing and the Flash (Barry Allen), as being a big fan of the Swamp Thing series, I'd love to see him join the Justice League Dark. I'm also interested in how the series will develop as a whole after the conclusion of this issue. Overall Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, and Mikel Janin's been doing a phenomenal job on this series, and this issue was fantastic, and full of action, and although it may not be to everyone's liking, I personally loved it.
See my full review on this issue here.
The final spot on the hits section wasn't easy to decide, but I eventually decided that Guardians of the Galaxy #1 should get it. This issue sees Star-Lord (Peter Quill) drinking in a bar when visited by his dad J'son of Spartax. The Guardians of the Galaxy also team up with Iron Man to face the Badoon. Although not as good as Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1, this was still a very good issue, and a brilliant introduction to the team, especially to newer reader like me. The creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven is fantastic, and they really seem to be the right fit for this series, and have so far done fantastic work. I also liked how you don't need to have read the point one issue to enjoy this one, and although I'd still recommend the point one issue, Bendis does a brilliant job of easing the reader into the main series. The fight sequence between the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Iron Man, against the Badoon was brilliant, and although it didn't last long it showed the characteristics of the team members, and I'm already really starting to like Rocket Raccoon as a character. I'm also interested to see how big Iron Man's appearance will be in this series, and what he'll bring to the team (besides the obvious upgrades). Overall this was a brilliant first issue to this new series, and the perfect time to become a Guardians of the Galaxy fan, as if like me you're wanting to see more of them prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy film, then this is for you.
See my full review on this issue here.
As I said it was really hard choosing the final spot for the hits column, so the candidates that missed out get out in the honorary mentions. The first honorary mention goes to Uncanny Avengers #5, as Rick Remender did a brilliant job of introducing Wasp, Wonder Man, and and Sunfire to the team as well as setting up the next story, and guest artist Olivier Coipel did a phenomenal job on the art. The other honourable mention goes to Aquaman #18, and Geoff Johns, and Paul Pelletier have done a brilliant job of starting the next story arc, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Aquaman copes as King of Atlantis, especially with what's coming up.
Update: An extra honourable mention has been added as I never recieved The Green Hornet #1 until a couple of day ago (after this article was posted), so I'm adding it to the honourable list as Mark Waid, and Daniel Indro did a fabulous job on this opening issue, and it deserves a mention (all be it a bit late).
See my full review on The Green Hornet #1 here.
First up in the misses column is Red Lanterns #18, continuing the Wrath of the First Lantern story arc. This issue sees The First Lantern show Atrocitus a life were his planet and family aren't destroyed by The Manhunters. I've only been getting Red Lanterns, as well as Green Lantern Corps, and Green Lantern: New Guardians during this crossover, and the previous Rise of the Third Army crossover, and if I had to pick what series was the worse it would be this. There have been a couple of good issues but in general it's been boring, and doesn't actually really help the crossover much (at least so far). I also don't understand why it says part eight, as they don't directly link into the other series, being it's own side story. I have found some of these parallel lives that the First Lantern has been showing the characters, and although it was slightly interesting, most of the issue was boring. I've never really read anything from Peter Milligan prior to this, and if this is an indicator of what type of writer he is I don't think I'll be rushing to read anything else he's worked on (besides maybe his Hellblazer run as I've heard good things about that). The only real saving grace for this issue is Miguel Angel Sepulveda's art, as it's truly wonderful, and really suits the characters, especially Atrocitus. Overall out of the six issues I've read from this series, only two have been good, and I honestly can't wait till the end of the crossover to drop the series.
Next up is Superman #18. This issue sees the United States Senate demanding access to Superman Fortress of Solitude. This hasn't been a good week for Scott Lobdell with this poor issue of Superman, and a poor issue of Teen Titans, with Teen Titans #18 barely missing a spot on this list. I've actually been loving Lobdell's run on Superman so far, and although the end of H'el on Earth was quite as good as the rest of the story, it did show that Superman could be a brilliant series once more. This issue however has taken a step back, and it feels almost as bad as the series was prior to Lobdell joining it. I found the political style part of the issue boring, and the part with Clark Kent also felt slightly dull. Also Orion makes an appearance in this issue and does nothing, and although I know that Orion's going to play a big part in the series soon, I'd have preferred his appearance left till he actually does something useful, as it felt unnecessary, and an excuse to fill pages. The art however wasn't bad, and although I missed Kenneth Rocafort's art, as well as the fact I'm not fond of multiple artists on one issue, Aaron Kuder, Tyler Kirkham, and Robson Rocha did a decent job in filling in for Rocafort, and with the issue being split into separate stories it didn't really matter that multiple artists worked on it. Overall this was a disappointing issue, and I hope the series returns to the level of quality it's shown, and doesn't become as inconsistent as Lobdell's Teen Titans series.
Final miss of the week goes to Fantastic Four #5au. This issue sees Valeria and Franklin Richards receiving messages from their family, the Fantastic Four. The issue also shows how the Fantastic Four are attacked by Ultron's. It was a hard decision for what should be the last spot on the misses column, as I wasn't a huge fan on this issue, and both Teen Titans #18, and Young Avengers #3 weren't far of from making the list. The reason that I felt that Fantastic Four should have gotten the place was that although Teen Titans, and Young Avengers were just as poor, at least they progressed their respective stories, whereas although this was a fun prelude to Age of Ultron it was a bit unnecessary. I have however been loving what Matt Fraction's been doing with the series, and although this particular issue wasn't to my liking, it was fun, and continued the style that he's shown in the main series. I can however at the same time see why this may appeal to some people, as it shows what happened to the Fantastic Four in an emotional way, but I would have preferred less time of Franklin, and Val, and more time on the Fantastic Four's journey. In saying that besides the end of the Fantstic Four's sequence in this issue it was very slow, and not much really happened. The art from Andre Araujo also really suited this story, and althogh I prefer Mark Bagley's art on the main series, Araujo's was brilliant on this issue. Overall this felt like what it was a filler/tie-in issue, and it's easily missable, as it gives no progress to either the Fantastic Four series, or Age of Ultron.
That's it for this weeks Hits and Misses. Tell me what you think of it, and what your opinions of this weeks comics in the comments section.