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Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5
l

and FINALLY…the Hulk.

Just in time for a certain new movie due out, This scene can appear on my shelf:

3.75"-scale Hulk vs. Wolverine
3.75″-scale Hulk vs. Wolverine

Detective Comics #853 [Review]

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? part 2 of 2

Writer: Neil Gaiman
Penciller: Andy Kubert
Inker: Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Janelle Siegel
Editor: Mike Marts
Covers: Andy Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics

There’s something to this story that makes it fit in quite well with the stuff that we’ve had from longtime writer Grant Morrison. The abstracts and symbolism, the nods to other eras of continuity and obscurities of the Bat-verse…these are all pretty much at home in my limited understanding of Morrison’s works. At the same time, where this sort of story wouldn’t work for me coming from Morrison, there’s something about the “history” that I have in reading Gaiman’s books and enjoying, understanding, and simply “getting” them that makes this story work very well.

The story is pretty simple, with not very much action here. A large chunk of story is Bruce talking to an image of his mother, sorting out where he is and what he is seeing. As the issue progresses (everything in the previous chapter having set up the foundation for what we get here, now) we begin to see a bit of a cyclical element to the story–one that actually reminds me just a little bit of Ragnarok, the final Thor story a few years ago from Marvel.

The art, though it doesn’t really jump out at me all that much this issue, is still extemely strong, capturing a classic feel without making me feel like this is actually a comic from decades past. Visually, there’s not much of anything I can think of that’d make it much better.

Gaiman references an old children’s book to great effect in this issue. It’s a reference that is fairly key to the whole thing, bringing a lot of stuff to a fitting close…and a reference that to me, makes this that much more a great story.

Though this doesn’t really serve as a hard bookend, closing the door on a version of the character, it still provides a nice breaking point, a send-off of sorts to characters well-known and loved in the Batman continuity. The story that began last year in RIP, continued through Final Crisis and Last Rites actually continues in the mini-event Battle for the Cowl and into some relaunch-type material in a couple months…perhaps the marketing or something else makes this feel like more of a side-story…a “What would happen if we DID decide to end things now?” kinda thing.

On my first read-through of this issue, I was not sold on the ending. Upon further reflection and asking a friend about the book I thought was being referenced, I realized the brilliance of this story. Whether you’ve been a longtime Batman reader or not, you should have no real trouble following this 2-part story. In fact, you might actually enjoy it all the more being aware only of characters’ existence and not being steeped in the history.

Whatever the case, if you can find the story now as single issues, it’s only two issues and so quite worth snagging that way…if you’re unable to get the story as singles, I very highly recommend picking up the collected volume when it comes out this summer.

Story: 9.5/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 9.5/10

Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #2 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 2/5

Tales of the TMNT #57 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

R.E.B.E.L.S. #3 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Green Lantern Corps #35 [Review]

Emerald Eclipse part three

Story & Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Rebecca Buchman
Colorist: Randy Mayor
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Cover: Nei Ruffino
Publisher: DC Comics

A Red Lantern causes havok on Oa by busting out the prisoners held there. Meanwhile, Sodom Yat arrives at his homeworld to serve his office, but not for any sentimental value in helping the people there. At the same time, Soranik finds herself confronted by someone she’d rather not have to face.

I continue to dislike the art on this series. As I’ve said before, it feels largely cartooney and exaggerated in such a way that doesn’t really lend itself to immersion in the story. That’s not to say it’s bad in and of itself, just that it doesn’t appeal to me as a reader here, with this particular title.

The story on the other hand is very good, and really continues to ramp things up as we head down this final pathway toward Blackest Night. Players are being brought back onto the board and shifted into position for the next round, and one can feel the tension to things building all around. The portrayal of the various focal characters works really well, and lends affirmation to the time that’s been spent building things since the Sinestro Corps War.

If you’re fine with the art, you’ve got quite the package here. If you’re not thrilled with the art…you’ve got an issue that plays things up on the story side, and is more than worth “putting up with” the art.

Recommended.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 6.5/10

Action Comics #876 [Review]

The Sleepers Part 2

Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencillers: Eddy Barrows & Sidney Teles
Inkers: Ruy Jose & Julio Ferreira
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue is largely one big fight scene as Ursa deals a lot of damage to the new Flamebird, while also showing no hesitation at dealing harm to Nightwing as well. We also get a little bit of Lois tring to get into contact with her sister about their dad while this is going on.

The art for this issue is pretty good–while it’s not my favorite, it certainly serves the story quite well, and fits on the whole.

The writing isn’t bad, but doesn’t really blow me away. Rucka’s no stranger to the Superman universe-and the supporting cast–but I’m not giving an automatic pass for history. There’s still a huge amount of potential to the overall story–especially the meta-arc touching into all of the Superman books.

As a whole, this issue’s not much to recommend in and of itself. But if you’re following the title, writer, artist, or just the overall Superman-universe story right now, this is a worthwhile pickup.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Star Trek toys at WalMart

Well-stocked pegs of Star Trek Galaxy Collection toys at the local WalMart.

Well-stocked pegs of Star Trek Galaxy Collection toys at the local WalMart.

Since I was driving by, I decided to stop by the local Walmart tonight on the offchance that they might have re-stocked some of their toys, as the DC Infinite Heroes & Marvel Universe/Fury Files/S.H.I.E.L.D. pegs have been woefully empty the last few Sundays that I’ve been to the store (perhaps they stock mid-week and all the good stuff’s gone after the weekend shoppers get through?)

Well, the DC and Marvel toys were–as usual–quite the endangered species in this particular toy aisle.

On the other hand, the Star Trek toys–particularly the Galaxy Collection line–were VERY well stocked. Multiples of each figure in the line, and priced fifty-cents below the Toys ‘R’ Us asking cost (and fifty cents below the asking cost of the DC Infinite Heroes singles, and a whopping $1.97 below the asking cost of the Marvel 3.75″ lines).

Shame the DC Infinite Heroes line has never been this well-stocked ANYwhere that *I* have been…

Booking Through Thursday: Windfall

Booking Through Thursday

Yesterday, April 15th, was Tax Day here in the U.S., which means lots of lucky people will get refunds of over-paid taxes.

Whether you’re one of them or not, what would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?

(And, this is a reading meme, so by rights the answer should be book-related, but hey, feel free to go wild and splurge on anything you like.)

Probably the main thing I plan to “splurge” on will be the Starman Omnibus vol. 2.  I never read the series when it was serialized, but have gained a great deal of appreciation for it over the past few months. I’d acquired the first volume some months ago, and mostly enjoyed what I read–and while this doesn’t begin to have the same level of “respect” attached to it that Watchmen does, I’ve decided I want to try to get the whole Starman series in this Omnibus format, provided all the volumes are actually put out.

On the non-book/comics front…most of my “windfall” is going to hopefully be that bit of “cushion” in the bank account so I have the equivilent of most-of-a-paycheck in addition to the “current.”

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