James Hatton's Reviews

Hey all – guess what – it’s a new week here at the Nexus… and new week means a new schedule for me! HA! So for now, I’ve taken Coren’s spot, and I don’t know who is doing Tuesdays. The fact is you still get me… you still get me sooo goood….

One other thing of note – Last week I got a few messages from people about my pixelated comic covers. This week, in comparison, you will notice they are the right size and resolution, but they load a bit slower. Next week, I promise, the images will be spot on as Nexus’ own Tim Stevens is going to be providing us all with the covers we so need to make these reviews so damned pretty.

So enjoy my reviews – and we’ll see you all again next week…


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #530
Writer: J M Straczynski
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colors: John Starr

I’m confused. I guess I shouldn’t be, but I am just a bit. This issue was good, especially as a lead-in for Civil War. For some reason I thought that Iron Man was going to be FOR superheroes to remove their masks. I just don’t remember why….

Maybe it changes as time rolls on, we’ll see. This book though is much more of a story about how Spidey is right now, Stark’s lackey. It’s just as much an Iron Man story, as it is a Spidey story – and I guess that’s ok. It’s nothing fantastic, and is just all discussion about the basics of the upcoming Civil War, and the superhero registration act.

What drops this book down a notch is the visuals. For some reason Kirkham/Leisten make Peter look like he is 18 again… it’s odd. So, we get the final bits on Spidey’s new supersuit (specifically the fairly useless three new arms) and the beginning of what is going to be an unnecessary fight so we get some conflict and a chance to see the new suit in action again.

RATING: C


DAREDEVIL #83
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano
Colorist: Frank D’Armata

Let’s get it out of the way right here first. Foggy died. Did you know that? Well highlight it if you didn’t and don’t mind a spoiler.

So now that Foggy is dead, Matt is in trouble. With no lawyer and no best friend he is completely up shit’s creek without a paddle.

Back in jail though, he now has to deal with the people he’s jailed (such as the Owl), and the factions that exist all want the pull of having who is probably, but no one is going to ever admit it, Daredevil.

Brubaker and Lark are picking up right where Bendis and Maleev left off, and it’s fantastic. The conversational differences between the two writers exist, and the artistic approach of Lark & Maleev is there, but it is so subtle hat unless you really are paying attention you might not notice either. Needless to say, this book is going to remain just as good as it has ever been, and it’s been one of my favorites. Oh and remember Foggy is dead. That’s right, Foggy.

RATING: A


DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON #3 (of 6)
Soul Brothers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Monk: Khari Evans
Five Fingers Of Steel: Jimmy Palmiotti
God of Killers: Christina Strain

Do you like random kung-fu action?
Do you enjoy interweaving plots dealing with C-Rated heroes and villains?
Do you think Colleen Wing likes me?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you probably should be enjoying Daughters… From issue one we’ve been slowly building unrelentingly towards a big crescendo. No pause. No spread out storytelling. Each issue is action-oriented, plot-forward fun, and pretty damn sexy.

I also am a big fan of the art, translating big action sequences well, and where it is a bit gratuitous… I just don’t care. I really really really really don’t.

RATING: A


EXILES #78
Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Jim Calafiore
Inker: Mark McKenna
Colors: Tom Chu

Exiles has been going world to world – specifically to places we have seen in the past few decades of Marvel. Our current world is the original home of Supreme Power. The Exiles are on trial for causing all this interstellar, transdimensional mischief.

Proteus, the current Exiles villain (who, in a showing of good storytelling, doesn’t appear once) has gotten the Supremes to band against the Exiles, and now they very well might have to serve time in a Powers Restricted jail for all eternity. That would be, what some call, a bad idea. So Sasquatch is trying to figure how to get them out of it, using the knowledge of what the Squadron did in the past against them.

All in all a good ish, given we’ve had quite a few worlds where it was ‘find Proteus – attack Proteus – lose – leave’, plus we gain a new member since it seems the Squadron’s M.O. is to make themselves the lawmaker of any group of people. It’s actually a decent point about the Squadron themselves. I’m going to miss Bedard…

RATING: B


THE NEW AVENGERS #17
Writer: Brian Bendis
Penciler: Mike Deodata, Jr.
Inker: Joe Pimentel

At the beginning of Decimation, one of the concerns about almost all of mutanity losing their powers was the concern of what happened to all that energy. We’re talking mutants who had powers like ‘blowing things up’ and ‘shooting thingies from their arms’ with near unlimited usage. That’s a lot of power that cannot be created nor destroyed.

Well it all went into some dude named Michael… and now Michael has some issues he has to deal with. He’s already destroyed Alpha Flight, and he’s heading to the States.

This all builds to Iron Man just getting to the point of reasoning with him, when Ms. Marvel makes a big problem for herself in trying to save the world. I’m not going to explain it, but let’s just say that losing her powers to Rogue oh so many years ago is nothing compared to what she’s going to have to deal with for the next few years (or issues… depending). Artistically speaking, Deodato looks good, but the inking from Pimentel have made this issue just seem a touch too dark.

A slow build on the story and mid-line art brought the grade down, even though it’s not really Bendis’ fault.

RATING: C


NEXTWAVE #3
Writer: Warren Ellis
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Granbadger
Colors: Dave McCaig

There are good cops and there are bad cops. At the beginning of this issue we are given what we can only assume is a good, fine cop who is leaving the beat this week. He only has a few more walks of the town left – so what does he do? Steals a wallet, beats up some hookers, and is about to try and trade a cat for drugs! This is most easily the best cop ever…. ok, maybe not.

Nextwave: Agents of HATE – is, as me and fellow Nexusite Tim Stevens discussed earlier this week, the greatest thing Warren Ellis has done in years. Global Frequency did little for me, and his run on Ult. Fantastic Four was tepid at best. Now he’s been given a couple of superheroes, some strange strange villains, and cart blanche to go nuts.

It’s not even the story of the book that’s even that good. It’s pretty standard thrash about and explosion kind of thing. The dialogue is crisp, the sight gags are hysterical (see Dirk Anger’s suicide gun), and the art makes you feel as if you are in the middle of an Adult Swim cartoon.

(note: Thank you to reader ‘Tim’ who pointed out a glaring flaw in me trying to remember things Warren Ellis wrote. A horrible pointing nyah nyah to my editor who didn’t catch it)

My Book Of The Week RATING: A


SHE-HULK #6
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Will Conrad
Colors: Avalon’s Dave Kemp

What can I say, this book is a guilty pleasure. It’s kind of silly, albeit it is going to be getting a bit more involved come Civil War, but Slott has this great way of keeping the original fourth wall breaking She-Hulk, but without resorting to cheap gags.

So this storyline takes former Avenger, Eros AKA Starfox, and brings him up on sexual assault charges. Let’s assess this for a moment. You have a character who can change the emotional motivations of people, having trysts with nubile young women. Right there is a spin on what could be considered a decent B-Rated hero, making him interesting. Is it his fault he’s using his powers to get women? You make the call.

Love blooms in everything, and where I do love the book, this one seemed a touch jumbled, but I have a feeling that relates to a lot of getting things prepared for whatever the book is going to bring to Civil War.

Oh, and does anyone think Greg Horn used a Baldwin for his cover design of Eros?

RATING: B


ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #28
Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Greg Land
Inks: Matt Ryan
Colors: Justin Ponsor

Yeah – Greg Land makes it pretty…. the rest of it seems kinda forced and boring.

It’s just boring, generic, and obvious. Where are the Ultimate Zombies? BRING ME ULTIMATE ZOMBIES!

RATING: D


SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE #4
Writer: Sean McKeever
Art: Takeshi Miyaawa
Colors: Christina Strain

Easily one of the most adorable books being published by the big two. I have so little to say about it though. You read it and you just sit with a stupid sappy-eyed grin throughout the entire thing. McKeever has made a name for himself in understanding the inner workings of the emotional teenager, and for as much as I truly adore Ultimate Spider-Man, the ongoing back and forth between Mary Jane and Peter (and Spidey) in this book is fantastic.

If you like this kind of book – then you are reading it. If you don’t, then you’re not. I am not going to sway you either way.

RATING: A


X-FACTOR #5
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Dennis Calero
Color Art: Jose Villarrubia

Peter David’s been on a run of doing solo stories that don’t really flow into the context of the book. His stories on Friendly Neighborhood have been fairly generic, albeit well written. Now he takes X-Factor, and between lengthy arcs he gives us the viewpoint of a random mutant who has been removed from the powered populace and he wants his life back.

In what is a very neat telling of another side of the ‘Decimation’ story, the book is fun. A nice single issue to let us breath a bit before next month’s Layla Miller based arc.

X-Factor does have the benefit over Friendly Neighborhood in that the understanding of the purpose of the book has been established fairly early on. So a story about a freak in a movie theater, and Siryn in a ballgag all issue seems A-okay with me. Please don’t try and figure out what I mean by that.

RATING: B


X-Men #184
Writer: Peter Milligan
Pencils, Inks, Watches: Salvador LaRocca
Colors: Jason Keith

Milligan has been so hit or miss with me, I grab the issues and open them with a sense of foreboding. Not because it’s going to supremely suck, but because it’s going to feel disconnected. The characters don’t feel as real. They feel like cardboard generic cutouts, except for a few choice favorites of Milligan’s who end up unintelligible. (Lorna for example, who I dislike anyway, but now she’s rendered near unreadable)

So was I surprised when I read through this book and actually only disliked one bit. That bit being the fact that Ozymandius makes no sense as a counter villain to Apocalypse. Ozymandius was molded from Apocalypse’s hands, and even though En Sabah Nur has gone a touch soft on the old rock-head, I don’t really believe that he would be such a snivelling bastard! What purpose does it serve for him to leave Apocalypse? He’s got nothing going for him at all! He’s a rock with a voice… whatever.

Otherwise, Gambit as Death, Sunfire as Famine (even though he was supposed to be dead like five years ago) is fine with me. Gambit’s new role could easily be one of the neatest changes for the character in years!

The book isn’t great, but it easily isn’t Peter ‘I brought in Doop for no apparent reason’ Milligan’s worst.

RATING: C

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