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The Red Circle: The Hangman #1 (one-shot) [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Captain America: Reborn #2 [Review]

By: Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Covers: Hitch, Guice and Mounts; John Cassaday and Laura Martin, Tim Sale and Dave Stewart
Assoc. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer and Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Well, I’m glad I picked the cover I did for the first issue…it seems that that was indeed the “standard” cover, meaning if I follow through with this entire series, I won’t be left feeling like one of my covers is out-of-place with the others.

I continue to be baffled as to why this couldn’t just be issue #602 of Captain America (or better yet, #53 or whatever without the renumbering). After all, while we have a different artist in Hitch on the visuals, the story is still Brubaker’s, and honestly looks and feels like any other issue of Captain America. If it’s about the chance at a #1 in the face of combining all previous runs to make the fat ol’ #600…then surely part of the trade dress for this story could have displayed a “part #1” or “part #2” while having the actual issue number in small print.

As said…this story is very much a Brubaker issue of Captain America. Amidst some Lost-styled time-hop scenes of Stever Rogers reliving scenes of his earliest days as Captain America (and his transformation from scrawny kid TO Captain America) we learn a little bit about the time-flashing that likely foreshadows something significant for later in the story. We also see the present as the current Captain America–formerly Bucky–and the Black Widow face Norman Osborne’s “evil” (or is that “dark?”) Avengers and see that Norman’s now got a stake in things as he issues an ultimatum to act as the issue’s cliffhanger.

It seems almost a given to me that Brubaker’s writing is high quality and in top form here–whatever “event” this is billed as, and whatever elements may or may not have been “forced,” he makes the story work in and of itself in its own sandbox that we’ve seen since his run started…while incorporating obvious and relevant elements from the larger Marvel Universe as a whole.

Hitch and Guice provide excellent visuals that capture the tone of the story very well. Though the art may not match up 100% with what the bulk of the Cap series has had, it certainly fits very well with it…having its own style without being a departure from what longer-time readers are likely familiar with. In itself, no complaints from me on the art.

Taken as a whole, this issue was pretty good. I was actually intending NOT to buy this issue due to the price tag and figuring on waiting for the collected edition if anything–but with Marvel’s pricing of late, it’s probably cheaper this way, and I have the feeling this pulled-out-into-itself mini-series will greatly inform whether or not I return to the monthly Cap book this fall.

If Cap’s your thing, this is well recommended. Otherwise…you would probably be more satisfied waiting for a complete arc to read.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7/10

Superman: World of New Krypton #6 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #2 [Review]

Reef Rescue Part 2

Written by: Marie Croall
Art: Erica Leigh Currey
Colors: Erica Leigh Currey
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Paul Morrissey
Covers: Amy Mebberson, Erica Leigh Currey
Publisher: Boom! Studios

This second issue of a 4-issue mini leaves plenty to be desired. At the same time, it’s a charming, mostly fun read. While I come to this as an adult reader, for the target audience–kids/fans of Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, this seems a great revisit to the characters.

The story itself seems simplistic enough: the reef Nemo and Marlin & co. live in is dying. It’s up to them to find out why, and save their home. (See? Reef Rescue. Save the reef. Makes sense.)

This issue reintroduces the supporting cast of fish from the Australian dentist’s fishtank, as well as reveals the source of the reef’s ailment. Amidst the action we get plenty of in-character lines and references that–particularly when one pictures the movie–work quite well.

Visually, the characters are very recognizeable from their movie version (though for some reason, Marlin’s fins just seem HUGE to me in this issue).

Ultimately, this seems a good series for younger readers in particular, though adult fans ought to enjoy it quite well, also. THe price tag is a bit much, but still relatively cheap compared to many other comics these days.

I suspect this’ll be available as a collected volume before long, and so you may want to wait for that version. Still…there’s something to having a low-key book like this to snag each month for 1/3 of the year.

Recommended.

Story: 6.5/10
Art: 6.5/10
Whole: 7/10

Tales of the TMNT #60 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

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