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Archive

Birds of Prey #80
Birds of Prey #80
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Gail Simone , Art by Ed Benes
Publisher: DC Comics

Synopsis: Dinah and Huntress protect Thorn from crooked cops in the hospital, and end up bagging the leader of the 100. Huntress quits the team when she realizes that Barbara has been manipulating her.

Good Stuff: This is nicely done. We get a good sense of just who Rose is, as well as some good action. Also, the scene with Huntress coming to the realization that Barbara has been manipulating her to some extent is also quite good, and the sort of thing you don’t see so often in superhero comics. I think it was also interesting to see Zinda’s reaction as well.

This is Ed Benes’s last issue on this title, and though I’ve raked him over the coals in the past for what I consider to be excessive cheesecake, he has done a good job with action for the most part, and for this issue I didn’t see any outrageously exploitative poses.

Not so Good Stuff: I wish there’d been a way to give more background on Quincy, as we simply don’t have a lot of information.

I give this book 8/10.


Black Panther #2
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Reginald Hudlin , Art by John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Synopsis: We see a ritual wherein anyone can challenge the leader of the Wakandas in combat for the crown, and we see T’Challa win that battle by beating his uncle. We also see that the US is very uncomfortable with the very idea of Wakanda, and is sending over special “agents” to keep watch over them.

Good Stuff: I thought the idea of open combat for leadership was interesting, and it might be interesting to see how things play out with the rest of T’Challa’s family.

Not so Good Stuff: Apparently Hudlin has been given carte blanche to rewrite and discard any part of the Panther’s history he so chooses, which I personally think is a mistake. In fact, if he wanted to create a new character, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t. His name—along with John Romita Jr’s--is likely enough to sell enough comics to at least entice people into a look-see.

Anyway, the changes really don’t work for me. I’m a little tired of “evil government” scenarios, even when they make a certain amount of sense (for that matter of fact, how does Ross know so much about the Wakandas when they’ve apparently been ignored for almost the entirety of the country’s existence?). I guess I’d just like to see things move a little faster.

I give this book 4/10.

Black Panther #2

Captain America #4
Captain America #4
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Ed Brubaker , Art by Steve Epting, Michael Lark
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Synopsis: We see the Russian general planning to make a move on Roxxon. Captain America is informed by Nick Fury that someone has desecrated the graves of the Spirit of ’76 and the Patriot, both men who had worn the uniform of Captain America at one time. As he leaves the cemetery, he begins having false memories of his time in World War II, then gets jumped by Crossbones, who decides not to kill him because his head isn’t in the game.

Meanwhile, Fury sends Agent Carter after Jack Monroe, given that they found the gun that was used to kill the Red Skull and it had Monroe’s prints on it. She finds the body, but is surprised and knocked out before being able to call for help.

Good Stuff: Things get more and more interesting here. The idea of the Russians taking over Roxxon is very interesting, as is the obvious plot against Cap. I’m really curious as to how they are coming about their information, and how the enemy manages to continue to stay one step ahead of Cap and S.H.I.E.L.D.

Not so Good Stuff: Right now, this is tremendously interesting. It will be interesting to see what happens next. No issues or problems.

I give this book 9/10.


Incredible Hulk #79
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Peter David , Art by Lee Weeks, Tom Palmer
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Synopsis: The Hulk battles Fin Fang Foom, and we find out more about the island.

Good Stuff: This is good fun. The battle between Fin Fang Foom and the Hulk was very enjoyable, and the idea behind the island—if that is really what’s going on—is also fun.

Not so Good Stuff: The flashback sequences aren’t working for me—yet. That may change when we find out the purpose for them.

I give this book 8/10.

Incredible Hulk #79

Invincible #21
Invincible #21
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Robert Kirkman , Art by Ryan Ottley
Publisher: Image Comics

Synopsis: Robot visits some of his teammates in the infirmary, then requests that Monster Girl be given a leave of absence because the use of her powers is de-aging her even more. Meanwhile, the Mauler twins come closer to uniting the various dimensions for Angstrom Levy, and Mark is sent to Midnight City to bring in a vigilante so that the city can be reclaimed.

Good Stuff: As usual, Invincible is just fun. The fight between him and Darkwing was nice, as it more accurately predicted just how a fight between Superman and Batman would likely go. Mark’s confidence is fun and quite infectious.

Not so Good Stuff: I do wonder sometimes if there are too many subplots going on in this title, as it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

I give this book 8/10.


JLA #112
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Kurt Busiek , Art by Ron Garney, Dan Green
Publisher: DC Comics

Synopsis: The JLA splits into three teams to battle the various threats—one team into outer space to fight the Void Hound, one on Earth to battle the Crime Syndicate, and one to the Crime Syndicate’s world to attempt to find a way to defeat the Syndicate. Meanwhile, on the Void Hound, a coup may be taking place.

Good Stuff: Lots of action this time around, and it’s nice to finally see something happening. I enjoyed seeing most of the leaguers together as well, and things are finally moving along to some sort of resolution.

Not so Good Stuff: One has to wonder where the rest of Earth’s heroes—the JSA, Outsiders, Doom Patrol, Titans, etc.—are at this point. One would think that all of them would be involved in something this large.

I give this book 7/10.

JLA #112

Love and Rockets #13
Love and Rockets #13
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez , Art by Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez
Publisher: Fantagraphics

Synopsis: As usual, there are several stories here.

In The Sea Hog, Mark Hernandez has a dream of finding the legendary Sea Hog, an idea he shares with his wife and several ex-wives. There are several shorts called Angel of Tarzana, showing Maggie in a number of athletic endeavors. Day by Day with Hopey shows Hopey’s last day at her job before becoming a teaching assistant. Did Ya Get Got? shows another aspect of Vivian and Ray’s relationship, as the two of them go shopping, and she gets angry at him. Julio’s Day talks about snow in Korea. Cream City gives us another chapter in the lives of Ray and Vivian, as she shows up at his apartment unannounced, gets angry at his insistence that she and Maggie had a relationship, then spends the night sitting up in one of his chairs.

Good Stuff: As usual, Love and Rockets is a mixed bag, and this is Jaime’s issue to shine. Each one of his stories—even the Angel in Tarzana ones—shines very nicely. Some really nice character interactions, particularly Guy Goforth's reactions to losing Hopey.

Not so Good Stuff: Surprisingly, however, none of Gilbert’s contributions are as solid. His primary piece, The Sea Hog, just seems disjointed. The magic that he usually displays just isn’t there. Also, Julio’s Day is becoming a little tiresome, possibly because of the seeming lack of coherence.

I give this book 7/10.


Plastic Man #15
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Kyle Baker , Art by Kyle Baker
Publisher: DC Comics

Synopsis: We see the origin of an awesome new super villain!!!!!

Good Stuff: I don’t see a whole lot of future for this comic book now that it’s gone bi-monthly—which is an utter and total shame. This issue is tremendously funny, not just because of Baker’s pencils, but also because of the hilariously hyperbolic exposition, making it an almost perfect parody of 1960’s Marvel Comics. Ray El Ray isn’t anything new in a villain, but the way he’s handled makes him one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time. Great stuff.

Not so Good Stuff: The only bad thing about Plastic Man is it’s lack of commercial success.

I give this book 10/10.

Plastic Man #15

Ultimate X-Men #57
Ultimate X-Men #57
Reviewed by Randy Jackson
Written by Brian K. Vaughan , Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Synopsis: Nightcrawler, Dazzler, Colossus, and Longshot go to rescue Warren, while Cyclops, Kitty, Jean and Iceman learn the true nature of both Spiral and Longshot

Good Stuff: Hmm. Well, this was pretty interesting. It’s a flip on the mainstream Marvel universe with the personalities of Spiral and Longshot, and the end scene with Warren and Alison should make for an interesting subplot down the line—as well as that with Kurt and Peter.

Not so Good Stuff: No real complaints. It wasn’t the greatest story ever, but it was decent.

I give this book 8/10.



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