Thor #603 (JMS, Djurdjevic/Marvel Comics/$3.99): This book may have officially jumped the shark. I will start with the art. Sloppy, boring and completely uninspired. I think this book is going to miss Coipel in a big way. And although I think Djurdjevic is a very good artist, this issue was not very good at all. His previous issues and contributions were vastly superior. Maybe it was the inks. But something seemed off about the art. Rushed maybe? Either way..it is vastly inferior to previous issues. The story felt like filler, and as much as I would like JMS to ignore everything going on in the Marvel U and continue to tell his stories unfettered. As up until now it has been a flawless and wonderful vision. But this issue felt wrong in every way. Doom and Loki reduced to dissecting Asgardians for the secret to immortality? Oh how the might have fallen. Something is wrong with that considering the power and magics at Loki’s disposal and Doom’s vast knowledge. I am going to ignore that Marvel seems to ignoring anything Millar has done with their characters over the last year…but this doesn’t sit right with me. And then the business with William..a farm boy actually taking out one Asgardian before being murdered after discovering Doom and Loki playing Dr. Mengele in a secluded forest cabin in the outskirts of Latveria? I don’t think there was any thing to like about this issue. All the wonder seems to be blown out of this title. It needs Coipel and Morales badly.
4 out of 10
Justice Society of America #31 (Willmingham,Sturges,Merino/DC Comics/$2.99): When I saw this in my file I could have sworn I had told my LCS to drop this from my pull list. But it was a light week so I decided to pick it up in the hopes it had improved vastly over the last two issues. It has not. It has lost every thing besides a large cast that made it the JSA. The characters and dialogue are hollow. There are too many words telegraphing every thing in the book, and because of the dragging nature of the mystery and events devoid of any emotional resonance. Mt. Terrific is dead! Who cares. I don’t. And I like the character. I also don’t care about any of the infighting between generations or the story at all. Three pages of Magog monologing is too much to ask of any fan. It lacks punch. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is the villains. A cadre of formally impressive threatening villains reduced to cartoonish buffoonery. The art and graphics are about the same. Merino is definitely a talented artist. But he tasked with putting way too much on every page. Panel on top of panels cutting off word balloons…it’s patently claustrophobic. And even the anatomy and facial expressions are just off enough to add another layer of distraction. Unfortunately this book lacks the soul of previous incarnations or creative teams. I really expected more.
3 out of 10
Wonder Woman #36 (Simone,Lopresti,Ryan/DC Comics/$2.99): Another book I had written off and was still in my pull file at the LCS and decided to keep because it was a slow comic week. And I am kind of happy I did. This is the strongest issue so far in Simone’s run, and definitely the most enjoyable. I like the personal interactions especially with Giganta. And the developments as Diana and Giganta descend on the Olympians. I still have a problem with Wonder Woman’s patronage to foreign gods, but I will roll with it and I am getting tired of her manhandling Achilles. If he isn’t a worthy foe, they should really replace him with Herakles. I was also wondering why have the characters speak in Greek only to have them repeat their dialogue in English? The art was strong. Lopresti does really clean, well rendered straight forward storytelling. The book looks great and the colors really compliment the art very very well. My only suggestion is that they get rid of the stupid pistons (why does she have pistons in her boots? That’s just stupid) in Giganta’s boots and the pointless kneepads. It will clean up the design. All in all a solid improvement over what came before, and certainly more of the Simone I like.
7 out of 10
Green lantern #46 (Johns, Mahnke, Alamy/DC Comics/$2.99): Hal and the Indigos hasten Sinestro to Korugar to reclaim his Corps from Mongul. This is pretty much what many fans of GLC and Green Lantern (and Sinestro) have been waiting for for some time. And it’s a visceral and intense confrontation ending the only way it could. Sinestro reclaiming his Corps, freeing Korugar from the clutches of the hulking despot and dropping the yellow power battery on his a$$. Johns gives us some nice dialogue, and character moments. And even add some great elements to the onging story. The patron saints of the Star Sapphires are taken over by Black Rings and the Violet Predator is loosed on the universe, John Stewart faces off against his greatest failure brought back to life and in the end Abin and Arin show up. Who the hell is Arin? Hal asked that same question. Great art be Mahnke, definitely the consistently best in the business right now. He takes the bone-cracking, world-breaking conflict and illustrates every portion of it unparralled. Every emotion and pose crackling with power. It’s beautiful. That being said I was a little disappointed by the final show down with Mongul. It lasted only a few pages. In my head I figured it was going to be an issue long conflict. But still although it did diminish my over all enjoyment somewhat, it was another stellar issue in the Blackest Night event.
8 out of 10
Amazing Spider-Man (Kelly, McKone, Melo,/Marvel Comics/$2.99): Kelly is really a good Spider-man writer. I love his sense of humor and really love how he presents the relationship with Black Cat. The entire dialogue throughout the issue is great. I also like the developing story. And it’s always great to see Diablo. I can not wait to see how the Kraven family storyline plays out. I think this is generally the best Spider-man has been in years, at least consistently. I pretty much enjoy every arc. It is very rare that dislike a story or issue. I also like the rebuilding of the Spider-verse. It’s nice to have a great and varied cast of characters and plots floating in and out of the book. I love it. The art by McKone as always is amazing. He is a great Spider-man artist. I love the in the moment poses, they are really cool. Great use of the camera and dynamic fun action. I would have given this book an 8.5 if not for the break in the art for some fill in pages. They are vastly inferior to the McKone pages and at least one of them is raw pencils. And by raw I do not mean good. It is a jarring stylistic change and one I do not think many people who are keen on the art side of comic books enjoyed. I would have waited a week to get McKone pages. The scene of the building falling is rather unspectacular and amateurish.
7 out of 10