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   Dejah Thoris And The White Apes Of Mars #1 Regular Brandon Peterson Cover,5/20/2012 3:03:19 PM
The cover art is the only artwork worth viewing from this comic. The rest of the book tries in vain to out titillate the cover by going the barely-there pasties route but the art just isn't up at the same level. An overuse of crosshatch in spots just served to ruin visuals that would've been better without it. The storyline itself is by far the worst this book has to offer - because it's barely there. Oh and then the apes appear to tear the men folk to pieces as Dejah and her gal pals cower in fear. I usually give comics a chance and picked up issues 1 and 2 of this title. I was hoping things would improve in the second issue but no. You can definitely save your money on this one.
   Dejah Thoris And The White Apes Of Mars #2 Regular Brandon Peterson Cover,5/20/2012 3:22:06 PM
Issue 2 picks up where the first left off. Another eye candy cover? Check. Less than impressive artwork/story? Check. It would be easy enough to stop the review there but since I've come this far... The story fails to gain any traction here as the apes close in. Dejah and her female companions run for their lives! The apes eliminate two of the women early and take down a third. Then, what could've been a girl power thru adversity moment is dashed as two of the remaining women decide to commit suicide. This of course leaves us with? That's right, Dejah! Can't go killing off the title character but then she's still very much in danger. As the first issue, this one ends with a promise that things will only get worse! From an entertainment standpoint, it's already bad enough.
   Mind The Gap #1 1st Ptg Cvr A,5/28/2012 7:16:31 PM
A lot of times the cover art is fantastic but what's inside the book is sorely lacking. That's not the case here, the artwork is as equally impressive as the cover and I ordered the book based on the cover and that it was something new. Sometimes you take chances and you get rewarded. The story really plays out like a good TV drama, it's both dialogue driven and artistically rich. It's the type of visual storytelling not so often seen and it's done quite well. If the second issue picks up the fake deer and runs just as well... this series will be one to watch.
   Earth 2 #1 1st Ptg Regular Ivan Reis Cover,5/29/2012 3:58:38 PM
Two reviews have already pegged this book as "amazing" and having "laughter" and that's just barely scraping the glowing adjectives bucket! As you've probably guessed, my take on the debut issue of Earth 2 is not going to be nearly so praiseworthy. That's not to say it's a bad book by any means but at best it's just good. If you've been reading the new 52 Justice League, the parademons spewing out of boom tubes from Apokolips probably looks familiar. In place of Darkseid we're treated to Steppenwolf. A villain whose intent is uncertain and who only shows up, by way of boom tube drive-by, to land a fatal blow! Because... well, someone has to land a fatal blow and the many minions are rather inept at it. In case you missed the book's description, an unseen narrator reveals that this "would be their last adventure," on page 3. There's one true twist here (which leads off to World's Finest #1-yeh another book to buy) and then some half turns but no laughter and nothing to be called amazing, epic, or superb. For a last adventure, this felt decidedly hollow as the cover's trio appears to be little more than a footnote for what lies ahead.
   Spider #1 Regular Ron Lesser Cover,5/29/2012 6:20:36 PM
Hats, ties, a web print mask and cape, a shot glass with hard liquor, cigarettes and justice meted out by gunshot! There's a whole film noir vibe to this comic that by itself would work just fine without the web printed cape and mask. There's a couple more spider elements to The Spider but none of them are explained in this first outing. The artwork is good in keeping with the overall feel this book seems to be aiming at but the faces are a bit too realistic to the point of distraction. I've done double takes on the faces because of how they look, it's as though real people were used in concert with computer generated graphics. I've seen similar elsewhere and didn't care for it and I'm not fully sold on it here. As for the story, the gun wielding, do as I see fit ex-military hero has a little Punisher feel to it. The girl he pushed away for her own good bit is here too. In essence, all things you've probably seen somewhere before... maybe many times before. A villain shows up at the end of the story by phoning into a crime scene, the caller ID shows as unknown. Here I was hoping it would be one of those calls traced back to the same location behind some closet door.
   Trio #1 Regular John Byrne Cover,5/30/2012 8:56:16 AM
For a book created, written and drawn by John Byrne, I was expecting more. The Trio refer to eachother by numbers- One, Two and Three. We meet them as they try to thwart a robbery that leaves One gravely injured. Meanwhile, 3,000 miles away mermaid creatures drag men off a ship to their watery graves! There's just a little more to the book than that but that's the gist of it. Byrne's artwork has an old school feel by way of its simplicity. Much of it works well but some of it not so much. I would've liked to see this comic in black and white as the color seems to get in the way at times. In particular, the computer generated texture given to Three drowns out the inking at times. Sadly, this book isn't worth the cover price when there's far superior books out there which sell for much less.
   Fury MAX Vol 2 #1,5/30/2012 11:45:56 AM
A dark room, Fury sits in his bathrobe and slippers, cigar between his fingers a drink in the same hand. In his right hand, he speaks his life into a microphone connected to a tape recorder that uses those old tape reels. The story spins off to 1954 Indochina, where Fury's been sent to help the French keep things in check. It's a slow burn of a story and the only action comes from a rather one-sided bar fight that Fury's not even in. The artwork lacks any serious detail with many things done in almost sketch fashion. In service to moving the story it's good but nothing great. For a title debut under Marvel's MAX imprint, I expected a little more than a few curse words which earned its explicit tag. This book left a flat footed impression but then the final page hints that book two will see Fury come out swinging! Yeh, that's just the thing THIS issue should have done.
   Higher Earth #1 1st Ptg Regular Cover B Phil Noto,5/31/2012 8:40:14 AM
He fell from the sky to a not so soft landing in a world mired in junk. After swatting some local scavengers away from his gear, he sets off with his raven to find... her. She is Heidi, a young woman who travels inside a mechanical grizzly bear in this less than hospitable world. Such is the beginning of Higher Earth, a comic with great visuals, action and just enough dialogue to get you from point A to point B without telling all its secrets. Best yet, all this is delivered for $1! How do you get such quality art into books that sell for so little? Or perhaps the better question, why do comics with so little to offer-- cost so much more? If you're looking for something new to get into, Higher Earth is well worth a look.
   Hero Comics 2012,6/1/2012 12:09:56 PM
The description mentions a new Rex Mantooth Kung-Fu Gorilla story but that's not actually in this book. There are short stories featuring: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman, Four Fine Days During The Zombie/Robot War by Chris Ryal & Ashley Wood, The Red Star: Another Al'Istaan by Christian Gossett & Brennan Wagner, and Elephantmen: Ebony Dreams by Dave Sim & Richard Starkings. There's also the personal Hero In Action stories: Angels! by Tom Ziuko & Gerry Acerno, Bottle of Wine by Russ Heath & Darwyn Cooke, Even A Hero Needs A Hero by Alan Kupperberg/Tom Ziuko & Jack Morelli and One More Time by Robert Washington & Chris Ivy - all creators helped by the Hero Initiative. As an added plus, there's also the Fairytale Fantasies Gallery by J. Scott Campbell featuring two sketches and their fully finished versions, one of which graces the cover. The stories are cute, the accounts of those helped by Hero Initiative are touching but the best part is knowing that your purchase of this book or other Hero Initiative items is a way to give something back to those comic creators who find thenselves in need.
   Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #72 Incentive Variant Cover,6/2/2012 10:25:31 AM
TSA robots run amok with only buxom (sometimes nude) beauties to stop them! If only the story was half as interesting as that sounds. Balent's got talent which is undeniable but the story here (or at least this portion of it) is easily forgettable.
   Americas Got Powers #1 Cover A 1st Ptg Regular Bryan Hitch Cover ,6/2/2012 12:13:29 PM
A giant crystal falls from the sky and crash lands in San Francisco. It's glow causes all pregnant women within a 5 mile radius to give birth. All of those newborns survive the event and end up with powers. Of course, a reality show springs up to exploit those with powers and it's called... America's Got Powers! Perhaps only a sly wink, and nod to TVs - America's Got Talent, this story starts out flat with it's mimic facebook-like first page and never lifts off the ground. Hitch's visuals are fine but even they can't surmount the lackluster story given in this book 1 of 6.
   Charismagic #0 Cover A 1st Ptg Khary Randolph,6/4/2012 11:10:24 AM
Sudana (shown on the cover) is a druid, who brings a warning that an evil once banished is coming back. That evil is known as Samsun and there may only be one chance to stop him. Enter Hank the Magnificent a Vegas magician set to kick off his show as the issue ends. There's great artwork here, in some ways it has a cartoon animated feel to it. The richness of simple straight lines, angles and use of perspective easily rivals the likes of Batman the animated series only with a bit more sophistication and a certain grit. A great bit on the villain is detailed in this issue and it's a nice start to draw readers into the series.
   Charismagic #1 Cover A 1st Ptg Khary Randolph,6/4/2012 11:27:28 AM
This issue picks up where the issue 0 left, Hank is running his magic act in Vegas when someone in the audience throws him off. We next join Sudana at some out of the way gas station where a couple men decide she needs a lesson. Her eyes glow green and the men scatter. The next morning Hank shows up at the trailer of Hector, the man from the audience a friend. Hector also knows something about Samsun, he advises Hank of this impending threat. More great art as the villain breaks free from banishment and Hank finds himself oddly all alone.
   New Avengers Vol 2 #24 2nd Ptg Mike Deodato Jr Variant Cover (Avengers vs X-Men Tie-In),6/4/2012 12:52:05 PM
A different view to the start of Avenger vs. X-Men, we see the confrontation between Captain America and Cyclops as witnessed aboard the SHIELD Helicarrier. The rest of the book focuses squarely before that on Luke Cage and Jessica Jones who'd run off with her baby after threats from Norman Osborn. She returns to Avengers mansion to tell Cage that she can't have the baby always in danger. She sees no choice but to leave the Avengers but what will Luke choose to do? A nice human element, great art and Spider-Man/Wolverine take jabs at eachother. If you're already well into AvX, this is a worthwhile sidestep to read.
   New Avengers Vol 2 #25 1st Ptg (Avengers vs X-Men Tie-In),6/4/2012 2:34:40 PM
"If the Earth falls, we cease to be," those fateful words end in present tense -- the book however, is a journey past. Starting some hundreds of years ago, Master Yu'Ti dreams of the bird of fire and the girl with hair crimson. There is a fight coming between the Phoenix force and the Dragon and a new iron fist must be made ready! Good art and a tie-in to AvX that may play a pivotal role.
   New Avengers Vol 2 #26 (Avengers vs X-Men Tie-In),6/4/2012 3:08:44 PM
An unlikely aid to see Master Yu Ti's prophecy happens to be none other than -- Leonardo Da Vinci! As it turns out, this and the preceding issues have been accounts not of the currently approaching Phoenix force but of when it came before. The girl with hair crimson is training to be the iron first and perhaps the one to control the Phoenix force. A bit of that force breaks loose in her anger at her trainer, Da Vinci calls it a tremor- a warning of things to come. Master Yu Ti soon knows it's time for Fongji to meet the Dragon Shao Lao in battle. If she succeeds she'll be granted the power of dragon fire which is good as the Phoenix force is coming. My only real gripe with this issue is that it clearly shows the present Iron Fist and Fongji (that girl with hair crimson) on the cover but Iron Fist is never in this issue. The previous issue lacked him as well but featured him on the cover. Given that issue 25 did that with a phoenix on his chest ... I took more as a symbol of things prophesied. Maybe this cover is going that route too but it just seems a bit more of misleading than not.
   Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #1 1st Ptg Regular Cover B,6/5/2012 12:05:46 PM
I was hoping for more of a story and artwork at least equal to that on the cover. I came away disappointed, unlike the cover the story does not mix and mingle the TNG crew with The Doctor and company. The book's artwork also fails to live up to the cover as it is all in a painted format. Don't get me wrong, I've can appreciate painted work in comics but this was far from an Alex Ross level of painting. Some good likenesses overall but much of it lacked clarity. So without the mix of TNG to The Doctor what did happen? Borg and Cybermen attack a planet as some prime minister is ushered off with no name members of Starfleet. The Doctor shows up in ancient Egypt to effortlessly trap an escaped alien criminal who would've "torched half the planet". Then it's off to some 1940s San Francisco bar where we and the Doctor first see Riker and Data and we're left with a to be continued. If that sounded by any means good, then I've clearly oversold it. As a fan of both sci-fi shows I was so hoping this would be good.
   Kirby Genesis #0 Regular Alex Ross Cover,6/6/2012 10:16:50 AM
So the description really details the story but it fails to mention that this book is simply AWESOME! The art of Alex Ross, combined with that of Jack Herbert, the coloring of Vinicius Andrade, the lettering of Simon Bowland, and the writing of Kurt Busiek all mesh together so well it's hard to envision them as anything but this. They breathed new life into classic concepts by Jack Kirby and it's great to see Kirby's work next to the updated versions. The story is well paced and ends right where you really want it to keep going. If you're at all a fan of Kirby or Ross -- this is definitely worth picking up.
   Ravagers #1 Regular Ian Churchill Cover (The Culling Tie-In),6/11/2012 7:44:57 AM
Part of DC comics New 52, The Ravagers burst out of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. A band of imprisoned individuals set free from torturous experiments by one Dr. Fairchild. They face the peril of a frozen tundra and unrelenting enemies. Great artwork and a story that's at best a soft start with a bit too much repeating of some characters names. Will be interesting to see where this particular rabbit hole goes.
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #1 1st Ptg Regular Ivan Reis Cover,6/11/2012 1:31:16 PM
In brightest day... In blackest night, is how we find Sinestro shackled before the Guardians in the New 52 Green Lantern. After reciting the oath, Sinestro tells the Guardians to take their ring back - he has no intent to follow them. However, the Guardians see the ring which chose him as a sign of redemption. They set him free with but one expectation "protect your sector". As Sinestro flies off with his lantern... Well, I won't spoil the whole book but it's a great read from cover to cover. I've never been a big fan of Green Lantern but I like Sinestro and this issue does not disappoint. Possibly one of the best of the DC reboots, if you haven't been reading - you should!
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #2 Regular Doug Mahnke Cover,6/11/2012 1:32:38 PM
With his shiny emerald bling in tow and having already witnessed his yellow lanterns running amok on his homeworld, Sinestro seeks an unlikely ally... Hal (no ring) Jordan! Of course, the way Sinestro invites Jordan to be part of his intergalactic buddy cop team is by insult. He then gives Hal a ring which Jordan immediately puts to use by trying to attack him. It's an effort in futility as Sinestro created the ring and controls just how much power it has. He lays it out plainly "you are MY servant". Then he promptly embarrasses Jordan before revealing why he's come - for help against his own yellow corps! Another fun read from end to end, well paced and well drawn - a definite read.
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #3 Regular Doug Mahnke Cover,6/11/2012 1:33:38 PM
Jordan agrees to help Sinestro save Korugar from his own yellow corps. Meanwhile, the Guardians decide to put an end to the Green Lanterns! Sinestro and Jordan reach Korugar poised to strike at sunset... Until Sinestro sees Arsona threatened and moves in early. It's up to Jordan to deactivate the central battery and thus the yellow corps but will it really be that easy? Another solid entry in this ongoing title with an ending you won't believe!
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #4 Regular Doug Mahnke Cover,6/11/2012 1:34:41 PM
Jordan has failed, Sinestro has been captured and is being tormented by Professor Insidd. Unable to destroy Sinestro's ring, they toss him into a chamber full of Korugar citizens. They trust he'll have to waste the ring's power just to keep himself alive among the very people his corps enslaved! In other words, it's a bad day to be Sinestro. It almost feels like this book ended too quickly or I'm just reading incredibly fast because the story's just too good to put down.
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #5 Regular Doug Mahnke Cover,6/11/2012 1:36:26 PM
"Remember. No Fear." Sinestro leads the Korugarians into battle against his yellow corps. With combat underway, he and Jordan shutdown the central battery putting an end to the yellow corps on Korugar. Sinestro boxes up his defeated yellow band, and giant fear lantern and heads to Oa. He also dismisses Jordan back to Earth with no way to charge the ring. The Guardians observe it all and plot to free the first lantern to lead the third army... To end the Green Lantern Corps! And the plot thickens in another fine entry with some nice human touches.
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #6 Regular Doug Mahnke Cover,6/11/2012 1:37:54 PM
Guest artist Mike Choi, an apt artist to be sure but after 5 issues of pure art excellence as delivered by Doug Mahnke...this was a sidestep that was hardly up to par. Sinestro doesn't look right nor does Jordan and I HATE when they artist swap on books that are going so seamlessly well! Not much of note in this issue other than Sinestro gets wind of the Guardians plans and realizes he'll need mud planet Jordan... once again.
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #7 Variant Ian Churchill Cover,6/11/2012 1:39:16 PM
Doug Mahnke returns! Order has been returned to my optical sector. Sinestro politely enlists the aid of Hal the only way he knows how...by putting a construct gun to Carol Ferris' head! Jordan decks him and puts him in a headlock before Sinestro tosses him off like unwanted garbage. He tells Jordan of the Guardians plan to put all Green Lanterns out. Then the Indigo Tribe pops up to grab Sinestro and runs Jordan over with a construct jet! Carol goes for her ring but by the time she's suited up all are gone. Meanwhile, the Guardians realize that Lyssa Drak no longer has the book of black which they need to find the first lantern. They also realize who does have it...as all roads lead to Sinestro!
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #8 Variant Dale Keown Cover,6/11/2012 3:55:16 PM
The Indigo Tribe plans to purge Sinestro of his green energy and then fill his scabbed up little heart with the warm fuzzy known as compassion! Sinestro thinks differently and lays a beatdown on one Indigoer but he's woefully outnumbered. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan chats up Black Hand and learns that Indigos can channel thru all the lantern emoticons... including Will. Which Black foolishly displays just long enough for Jordan to grab him and charge up his ring to go all Lantern and escape Indigo confinement. Only problem is the ring's newfound energy is simulated and unstable. Hal tries to locate Sinestro but instead finds a giant statue of the Indigo Tribe's creator... Abin Sur!
   Green Lantern Vol 5 #9 Regular Doug Mahnke Cover,6/11/2012 4:18:07 PM
In the clutches of the Indigo Tribe, Sinestro mind has been compassionately reforged. So much so that he even apologizes for all his wrongs against Hal Jordan. The Indigo would have Jordan leave but he refuses to go without Sinestro. He sets out to find the Indigo Tribe's central lantern. Meanwhile, the Guardians interrogate Starstorm about the book of the black but he has no information to give them -- his uselessness proves not to be his own reward. Jordan locates the central lantern under the care of Natromo who gives him the details behind why it was created and just who the members of the Indigo Tribe really are and Abin Sur's involvement. When Jordan tells Natromo of Abin's fate the elder Indigo believes all hope is lost against the Guardians coming onslaught! Another finely crafted piece of the overall tale that leaves you wanting for the next installment!
   Invincible Iron Man #516,6/12/2012 10:20:53 AM
This isn't the movie Iron Man we've all come to know so well in recent years. True to form, Tony Stark got himself drunk as his enemies converged to make his life hell. We get all that (and more) just from page one of the book! Gotta love recap pages, to a point. So, as a Part 1 - Long Way Down poses more head scratching moments than it gives answers to. We're essentially treated to a man so frustrated by a governor ring that can flip off his Iron Man suit (compliments of the govt and Hammer)... that he gives up on even being, Iron Man. Some strange subplot of a spy is revealed and EZ Stane's Mandarin machine tests so well, he catches a beating from Mandarin! For the kickstart of a new story arc - I expect a bit more rounding out of the edges. This issue is a bit reliant on your having read more than a few issues that preceded it. It's where the page one pre-capper just isn't a sufficient starting point. The art is done well but the story could be better.
   Invincible Iron Man #517,6/12/2012 10:45:33 AM
So we're treated to a bit of EZ Stane history and given some insight as to why he has such the man crush on Stark. We also are given a glimpse into the life of young Stark and what gilded him into what he is today. If you've read comics for any length of time --you have seen this sort of thing elsewhere, many times. Meanwhile, EZ is trying to get Mandarin's love bomb out of his chest while Stark is venting the Iron Man goodness from his own. Spymaster shows up at Stark Resilient heady for some takeout action as Doug Johnson calling himself Detroit Steel (over and over) moves in to attack a woman in her bed at night. Or it's just some kinky roleplay. There's a couple images of Stark (as drawn by Salvador Larroca) that remind me of actor Josh Holloway (LOST, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) perhaps just coincidence. Lastly, Rhodey shows up to counter Firepower in a most TRON inspired IM suit. Suffice to say, things have picked up a bit in part two.
   Invincible Iron Man #518,6/12/2012 11:05:31 AM
Seriously, look at that cover! If that doesn't scream Iron TRON, I don't know what does. All that's needed now is a lightcycle and hey Disney owns both properties - it could happen! So apparently, Stark and Rhodes have a plan - not that this has been made evident via visual storytelling mind you but rather that page one pre-capper page. The plan is to strike back at his enemies EZ Stane, Mandarin and Justine Hammer by luring them into a false sense of complacency... hey he's Iron Man - no more! We kick off part three thusly with Stark facing the media and fessing up to his alcohol issues as Rhodey does the rodeo with Firepower in international waters by Somalia. We see the aftermath of the Detroit Steel attack interspersed with flashback elements of the attack and learn the victim Sasha Hammer has certain powers all her own. In the meantime, Spymaster is having a rough go of things at Stark Resilient and Iron TRON's folly ends in some deep sea compression. Mandy (Mandarin) becomes aware that Stark has de-ironized and prepares to send a couple of suited up goons to kill him but EZ Stane drops in to let him know that might not be the best of ideas.
   X-Treme X-Men Vol 2 #1 Cover A 1st Ptg Regular Julian Totino Tedesco Cover,7/29/2012 11:51:29 AM
Saving a dying planet's people by teleporting them to a whole new planet with hundreds of severed Charles Xavier heads? What could go wrong with that? Those are questions which this issue starts to answer which lays out the road ahead. I'm not a fan of the artwork (which can make or break a comic) but it's not the worst I've seen. I'm also none too big on split reality/multiverses because they almost always come off as more the convenient crutch than needed plot element. Looks to be a fair bit of all of that in this series and who knows? Maybe it can only bedazzle its way up from here.
   Executive Assistant Assassins #1 Cover B Edu Francisco,7/30/2012 8:17:16 AM
If you were a fan of the original Executive Assistants comics you may want to go back and reread them instead of this new take. The artwork, story and pacing are all off the mark compared to the first series. While drawing on the basic premise of its predecessors, Assassins is a rather flatfooted affair. It plays more like a side story continuation that's heavily reliant on your having read the original series to get a full grasp of what's going on and why. That's a rather big crutch for what is supposed to be a new ongoing title.
   Earth 2 #2 1st Ptg Regular Ivan Reis Cover,7/30/2012 8:49:38 AM
And now for a real review... This is the issue that made a buzz on the airwaves (because there's nothing more newsworthy) for a Green Lantern being outed by DC as gay. The issue doesn't start there and Green Lantern is never even seen! As Midtown notes in its description, the issue kicks off with Mister Terrific (yeh, didn't ring a bell for me either) who pops up out of a wormhole? A convenient box tells us what we're reading follows issue 8 of Mister man's own comic-thanks DC but I'm not buying it. Mr. T is greeted (equally out of nowhere) by Terry Sloan, who's not there for bromance. Enter Jay Garrick and a very chatty about-to-die Mercury! Said god tells Jay that big evil's a comin and that he is the hero the world needs. One Mercurial zap later and the Flash is born! Born to run and to eventually chase rats! In the meantime, Alan Scott lands in Hong Kong and meets up with his boytoy Sam-page later they're liplocked and there you go. The pair take a ride on a bullet train to some cozy hideaway and just as Alan pulls a ring (no not THAT ring) all hell breaks loose! The art is solid and the story is better than the first issue but I'm really not overwhelmed by it. Consider my 3 rating here a strong good-we'll see if they continue to build things up.
   Avengers vs X-Men #5 Cover A 1st Ptg Regular Jim Cheung Cover,7/30/2012 12:31:41 PM
The Phoenix force has arrived on the Moon which is good because that is where Hope is! Only Hope is not alone as the Avengers and X-Men are on hand to continue their fisticuffs in the face of doom-gotta love priorities. Speaking of priorities, when did the Moon get breathable oxygen? As the erstwhile combatants...combat, Tony "Superior Tech" Stark launches himself at the Phoenix force to save the day but he may have just made things five times worse! Solid art, a story that keeps hitting its marks and Wolverine as an oven-stuffer-roaster AGAIN! -what more could you want, bub?
   Batman Vol 2 Annual #1 (Night Of The Owls Tie-In),8/5/2012 4:58:50 AM
The new 52 story of Mr. Freeze's torment is a surprisingly quick read for an annual. With just the barest of nods to the night of the owls storyline, Freeze sets out to recover Nora and set his icy vengeance on the man who took her... Bruce Wayne. In yet more revisionist history, DC has effectively dumbed down how Freeze came to be. The artwork is solid but the story felt half-baked which is sad because with just a bit more effort the tone could have resonated with more depth and meaning.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #1 Cover A 1st Ptg,8/5/2012 5:04:04 AM
Wayne drops in on a fundraiser to be confronted by Leonardo DiCaprio! Ok, maybe not but check the last panel on page 8, where Lt. Forbes appears. Forbes is on Wayne's trail for funding a certain vigilante. Their little squabble gets squashed by Jaina Hudson-who then just happens to flirt with Wayne. Love interest? Too soon to tell. Soon, Wayne dons the cowl as hell breaks loose in Arkham. The inmates look like they're all hopped up on steroids, freakishly so. The Bat arrives to rescue the hapless Gotham PD and find Two-Face. The artwork is sound and the story lays out some tendrils to follow, hopefully things scale up from here.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #2,8/5/2012 5:05:59 AM
This issue starts out kicking and keeps a steady pace to the finish. Someone has been passing out drugs in Gotham and the race to find out who and why is on...like Donkey Kong! There are a couple standout sequences with Barman/Gordon and Batman/Alfred that work so well. Batman catches a lead on Joker who has hijacked a train. He makes it to the locomotive to find white rabbit girl who zips away while teasing him to follow. He follows her to find a hulking Joker! Can't wait to get a load of issue 3.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #3,8/5/2012 5:07:53 AM
This issue comes out swinging much like issue 2, with Batman catching a beatdown. However, his foe is not the Joker but Clayface! Nearly down for the count, Batman is almost drugged by white rabbit girl as Flash arrives. Further analysis of the drug compound reveals a rare ingredient of the Poison Ivy variety. Another sharply paced, well drawn page turner that leaves you wanting more.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #4 Cover A 1st Ptg,8/5/2012 5:09:09 AM
There is a greater sense of the overall depth of what it means to be in the life of the Batman, of the tolls paid. The caped crusader heads off to find Ivy based on a clue she left behind. Deathstroke pops in for a visit first, also under the influence of the mystery drug. Batman escapes just barely and comes to a realization of just who will get hurt as he finds Scarecrow! There's a real synergy between the story and the artwork that just flows. This series is hitting its stride!
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #5 Cover A 1st Ptg Regular David Finch Cover,8/5/2012 5:10:38 AM
How fitting that Scarecrow, fearmonger supreme, is pushing a drug that removes fear! He injects his drug into the Bat just as Superman arrives. Batman turns on his JL buddy and fisticuffs result! This issue clips by so fast it will make your head spin. Not much story advancement but action packed visuals from start to finish.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #6 Cover A 1st Ptg Regular David Finch Cover,8/5/2012 5:13:25 AM
Having knocked Batman for a loop last issue, Superman effectively rendered the drug inert. Bats sends Superman to help Flash after he was previously infected at Ivy's lab. As Superman leaves the white rabbit pops up for a game of chase. She hops off to Scarecrow but Batman drops him easy. Then Bane shows up to reminisce over the past no matter how bad it hurts! Just when you think you have a bead on this story, it tosses some new wrinkle. Another solid addition in this series.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #7 Cover A Regular David Finch Cover,8/5/2012 5:27:19 AM
As a recurrent theme in more than a few issues, we find Batman in the throes of yet another beating. This time served up proper by Bane, Batman deftly escapes to find Poison Ivy. She was held captive by Bane and ties the white rabbit girl in as Bane's accomplice. Ivy wants to lay the smackdown on Bane but Batman just wants her safe. Batman proceeds to work a distraction by taking more Bane punches to the face! In the meantime, Superman gets Flash to keep moving until he breaks the toxin and then Flash is off to help Batman but will he be too late? Hostess with the mostess, Jaina Hudson closes out this issue with a surprising twist. Another great effort by a rock solid team and well worth the read.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #8 Cover A Regular David Finch Cover,8/5/2012 11:03:59 AM
People are inexplicably killing themselves in Gotham and Batman sets out to find why. Commissioner Gordon gets a date with a shrink, compliments of Lt. Forbes while Batman meets up with Tweedles Dee and Dum. The twins take a few errant swipes at Bats before making an explosive escape. However, Batman has a signal and tracks it to them and Mad Hatter! This story references elements of the prior 7 issues and the choice of baddies falls in line with the Wonderland theme but (despite still solid art) it just felt lacking. On the book's last page DC pays tribute to the late Roger Bonas, Manager of Archiving and Services. Typically, such events have gotten a dedication or in memory that is just a line but in both words and pictures Mr. Bonas is wonderfully honored.
   Extinction Seed #0 Limited Extended Cover,8/30/2012 10:28:02 AM
For an opening issue, only 12 of this book's twenty pages are devoted to story. The remaining pages are character artwork and ads for other GG Studio titles. As for that story, much of it is laid out in mini print paragraphs inside the front cover. This isn't the first comic publisher to dole out plot points as a set of paragraphs preceding the story. However, other comics do so because they have tens of dozens of issues in the series to that point. This is issue zero and it should have been brought to life thru visual storytelling! The artwork is fine but there is no natural flow from one set of characters to the next. Combine this with only 12 pages and it's easy to see the lack of proper context to bring it all together.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #9 Cover A Regular David Finch Cover (Night Of The Owls Tie-In),8/5/2012 11:06:58 AM
Judd Winick takes up writing duties for this issue as we get a look at Carver the talon of the owls. It's a solid story with great art and a full circle feel to it. I like Winick who has come a long way since his MTV The Real World stint and newspaper published comic strip. At the same time, I'm not terribly compelled to follow the multi issue/cross series Night of the Owls storyline.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #10 Cover A Regular David Finch Cover,9/3/2012 11:30:24 AM
"We're just getting started" is how this issue ends. They are Scarecrow's words and he leads off the issue by torturing a little girl. No rhyme or reason given but we are told that he's targeted other children. There's no better boogeyman in Batman lore for this but I doubt they put much behind it. The book also touches on how Bruce devotes himself to his work above those closest to him. This is a recurring theme for the series and serves toward fleshing out the character. Can he truly save Gotham from all that ails it only to find he's lost so much more? Another fine entry that ends with you wanting more.
   Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #687 Cover A Regular Stefano Caselli Cover,9/3/2012 11:47:01 AM
It's do or die time with Doc Ock in control of the Avengers and a death ray poised to make Earth extra crispy! Of course, a wisecracking Spider-Man shows up but can he save the day and hold to his promise... that no one dies? Another well written and drawn entry to a fun series, the battle armor Spidey suit is cool too!
   Ursa Minor #1 Ian Snyder Cover,9/3/2012 11:40:33 AM
Inauguration Day 2013 is met with a werewolf attack that disembowels and beheads three (presumably new prez and a couple Secret Service) as it spirals the country and soon the world into a hunt for werewolves. A band of vampires shows up to help and in ridding the werewolf threat they expose many other magical species. If it sounds preposterous it is and I usually prefer my lycan/vampire mashups with a side of Beckinsale. A well drawn effort with a menagerie of characters, it's hard to tell where this title may go.
   Avengers vs X-Men #10 Cover A Regular Jim Cheung Cover,9/3/2012 12:01:16 PM
Phoenix force fed Cyclops finds the mystical city of K'un Lun. He has come for Hope and won't take no for an answer. He flicks Iron Fist away, drops Iron Man and lays down some optic blast clobberin' time on Thing, Thor and Hawkeye faster than you can say Fin Fang Foom! Meanwhile, Emma gets frosty with Magneto in Utopia and he reaches out (my mind to your mind style) in hopes Prof X can hear him. This issue sees Hope finally come from behind all who would protect her and take a firm stand against Cyclops. Even the Watcher makes an appearance, you know... cause he likes to watch. This series has had a up and down vibe to it which I think is more to the need to string it out over many issues. More could've been done here just as I wrote of the last issue but it's a step in the right direction.
   Avengers vs X-Men #9 Cover A Regular Jim Cheung Cover,9/3/2012 11:51:00 AM
Also known as the hey-let's-beat-the-crap-out of Spider-Man edition, this installment of Avengers vs X-Men finds Earth's mightiest still in a bad way. The notion of absolute power corrupting absolutely comes into play as the Phoenix force starts to bend its hosts minds toward dark intentions. Can battered Avengers hope to survive the onslaught? Can old webhead turn the tide? It's a good issue but I feel more could have been done with it especially in terms of giving its climax more of an impact.
   Michael Avon Oemings The Victories #1,9/3/2012 11:37:48 AM
Midtown's listed description of this comic makes it sound far more interesting than the sad truth of what it is. Filled with substandard artwork and littered with profanity for spice I guess, this issue is a waste of comic book space! Any other review that I've hit with 1 star rating is easily better than the utter crap on display here. As if to show how markedly bad this comic is, there's a 3 page preview of Ex Sanguine at the end of it which is better than anything else this book has to offer.
   Idolized #1 Cover A Arthur Adams,9/3/2012 11:44:54 AM
After the veritable crap storm that was America's Got Powers, I was a little leery to go toward another comic in the same vein. However, Idolized was well worth taking a look at. Caught in an explosion her inexperience couldn't protect them from, young Leslie watched as her parents and little sister burned to death. This tragic event was the byproduct of a pitched battle between heroes and villains. A battle that created an orphan, great sadness, guilt and a hunger... for revenge. Enter Superhero Idol a tv show where super powered contestants vie for a chance to join a superhero team. A chance for a young girl all grown up to find hehheh redemption. Very solid artwork paired with a story that flowed equally well.
   Batman The Dark Knight Vol 2 #0 Cover A Regular David Finch Cover,10/6/2012 10:21:17 AM
His father had often told him there's a reason for everything, this sets the stage for an origin story that feels largely pointless. Taking place just beyond the death of the parents Wayne, Bruce is in search of that reason. From boyhood to manhood the question of why his parents were killed hounds him. There has to be some point and others give him ideas that it was a planned hit but will the truth be just... pointless? The artwork is good for what it is but the story lacked depth. It's an enhancement of the origin already well known and a meager one at that.
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