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Deadpool Team-Up #896 [Review]

Writer: Stuart Moore
Art: Shawn Crystal
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Cover: Humberto Ramos
Production: Taylor Esposito
Asst. Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by: Marvel Comics

This issue gets much more to the silly side of things, though it’s a rather dark silly. The issue opens with a trucker picking up Deadpool’s antics on the CB…and and before long, a raccoon is squished along the road, prompting a rather militaristic response from some of the squished raccoon’s buddies. A flashback shows us how Deadpool came to be driving a truck with this U.S. Ace, and see the two deal with an important delivery while being attacked by angry, gun-toting raccoons.

I’m not familiar with Crystal‘s art offhand, but the visuals do work pretty well for this issue. Nothing spectacular, unfortunately–but there’s nothing that seemed wrong or particularly “off.” This is solid work, that gets the story across with the visuals presented, and doesn’t hold back–we get some on-panel raccoon-squishage, for example.

The story isn’t bad, though it definitely fits the one-off format of this title, presenting an entire “adventure” of the title character from start to finish in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I have to buy the next issue to get “the rest of the story.” (Similarly, one doesn’t need to have read any previous issues to enjoy this). I have no prior recollection of this U.S. Ace character, so had no expectation there coming in. I’d heard of Rocket Raccoon, but haven’t read anything with him in it thus far–but knowing the character exists kept the shock out of my thoughts seeing the raccoons in this issue organize and go after Deadpool and Ace.

For some, the high point of this issue may be the raccoons. For me, it was probably Deadpool’s goofiness messing with the CB…I definitely got that “This is so cool…I’ve always wanted to do this/say that!” vibe off the character.

If you’re looking for quick, fun Deadpool stories, this seems to be the series for that. Deadpool seems to be Deadpool involved in the main Marvel Universe stuff–the events and whatnot; Merc With a Mouth is weaving its own longform continuity in multi-issue arcs; this series gives us one-offs each month with different guest stars and creative teams. Don’t like a writer or artist, or the character team-up one month? Skip it. Next issue’ll probably have a different creative team, and Deadpool paired with some other character (probably obscure) from Marvel‘s vast character library.

Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

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Red Robin #9 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3 [Review]

Wonder Woman: Blackest Night
Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils: Nicola Scott
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colors: Nei Ruffino
Cover: Greg Horn
Letters: Travis Lanham
Assoc. Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Published by: DC Comics

Wonder Woman marvels over the Love-Ring, witnesses the spreading destruction from the Black Lanterns and chats briefly with Carol Ferris about their differences as Star Sapphires, fights Mera, and when she tries to use her ring to help Mera, makes some sort of realization that hits close to the heart. The issue’s ending seems almost tacked-on, and directs us into the main Blackest Night series.

Story-wise, this continues to be more of a disappointment than not. Somehow, it’s feeling more like a “filler” story than anything else, with not much really happening. I don’t feel I have any new understanding of Wonder Woman/Diana coming out of this issue, and just as with the previous issue, this seems to take place in a very limited span of time–between Nekron commanding all those who’ve been resurrected withOUT rings to “Die” and the “reinforcement” rings seeking out “backup.” While there’s probably stuff here that’s much more compelling to longtime fans of Mera and Diana, any such content seems to have gone over my head reading by myself.

The art of this issue is good, on the whole…not much for complaint. The art certainly carries its weight providing the imagery of the story, showing Diana’s wonder at the ring, the two Star Sapphires soaring over the city, the Diana/Mera fight, and so on. My primary complaints are the Star Sapphire costumes, which seem overly “exposing”–but then, I suppose “lust” could be a form of “love”–and the double-page spread preceding Diana’s final conversing with Mera left me wondering what the significance was…but I’m not sure how much of that is the art not getting something across, or the story not getting it across (at the same time, just as likely to be me as a reader not “getting” something).

On the whole, not much about this to recommend except to those wanting light expansion on Wonder Woman’s being a short-term Star Sapphire. If you’re just following the Blackest Night series itself, this issue/mini really doesn’t seem to add anything to the main story.

Story: 4/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 5/10

The Question #37 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 2/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Superman: World of New Krypton #12 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

Siege #2 [Review]

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Coipel, Morales & Martin
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics

This issue is largely a lengthy fight-scene. Ares vs. Balder. Ares vs. The Sentry. Dark Avengers vs. Thor. And while these battles are going on, Steve Rogers rallies the Avengers, with Nick Fury providing transportation. And the issue ends on a ridiculously annoying note.

While I like the visuals overall, something about the Sentry comes across like some totally ticked-off child, if not some sort of demon-possessed child. The other characters all look pretty good–and are quite recognizable. The only part where I really had any trouble following the action in the visuals was the most gruesome image of the issue–you’ll know it when you see it. Though the gore makes it clear the character has been killed, it seems to come out of nowhere. If the final page of actual comic store didn’t have “To Be Continued” I’d be asking why a page was left out–what seems to be done for cinematic/dramatic effect feels extremely anticlimactic, and does nothing to make me want to get the next issue. The sequence–in my eyes–should have been played out.

The story itself seems very simplistic…we see things going awry and Norman losing control of the situation as he’s closer to being exposed publicly. Characters fight, someone dies, etc. The fight sequences make the issue read far too quickly–there’s too much quick action and too little dialogue. I’d almost prefer to see a tie-in mini to flesh out the action, and let the main series involve more dialogue and interaction as the event goes down.

In and of itself, there’s not much of anything here to recommend this issue. Marvel only makes it worthwhile as it’s part of the story that ends the Dark Reign, and we’re almost–almost–to the point where Osborne’s gonna start to get some of what’s coming to him. This is an “event book,” and the “core mini” at that–this seems the bare minimum one should get if specifically following Siege. While there’s loads of other stuff surely going on, this has been doing a decent job–for what I’ve read–of having the main stuff unfolding here rather than in the tie-in/crossover issues.

Not wonderful, but there’s plenty worse out there to be read…plenty that doesn’t at least have as its end result a brighter tone to come for the Marvel Universe.

The text piece at the end held no interest to me–it may have some stuff for context, but I couldn’t even get through it.

Story: 3.5/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 5/10

Siege: Embedded #2 [Review]

Writer: Brian Reed
Artist: Chris Samnee
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer & Production: VC’s Rus Wooton
Cover: Adi Granov
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics

I think I read the first couple issues of Civil War: Frontline, and while I snagged an issue or two from a quarter bin somewhere, I don’t believe I’ve read any of the World War Hulk: Frontline. I also hate the $3.99 price point, but after growing so weary of even just the phrase “Dark Reign” and seeing that on comics on the shelves. That Marvel would actually do a 4-issue event in Siege seemed astonishing to me, and I’d decided to compromise my principles and buy the core issues despite the $3.99 tag–at least it was an ‘event book’ and not just another standard, monthly issue of an ongoing title. With the Origins of Siege freebie the week prior, and a small week of new issues, I decided to give Siege a bit more of a shot than I would otherwise, and not only bought SiegeEmbedded #1, but also picked up #1…and while I was at it, snagged the cabal one-shot from December.

With the second issue of both Siege and Siege: Embedded out this week, I again went ahead and snagged both.

This issue continues the journey of Ben Urich, his travel buddy Will, and Volstagg, in the wake of the “inciting incident” that allowed Norman Osborne the excuse to invade Asgard. Urich is interviewing people during the journey while stopped at gas stations, while his buddy tries to keep Volstagg from being noticed. When the group hits a traffic jam, things get bad pretty quick as Osborne’s people lock onto Volstagg’s Asgardian properties. While he fights the would-be captors, Urich and Will wind up in less than ideal conditions, where they must rely on one another without their Asgardian friend.

The issue’s art seems rather simplistic in a way…not really in a grim and gritty way, but just some stylistic thing. It’s not bad–but it’s nothing wonderful, either.

The story itself seems to have virtually nothing to do with Siege itself, other than Volstagg’s presence/situation. Siege sets the “environment,” but other than that, this doesn’t seem to add anything to the main title’s story. This is just its own story set within the event. I’m somewhat enjoying this story as–while it involves super-beings–the main character(s) are not themselves super-heroes/villains. They’re just people who live in a world populated by super-beings.

As said–this really adds nothing yet to Siege itself. But if you’re looking for a larger experience than just the main Siege book, this is worth getting, as it is also a 4-issue mini-series, and there’s the chance it’s not going to get you hooked on another ongoing title that just ties in to Siege.

Ultimately, a solid issue, but kinda take-it-or-leave-it. I’ll be interested to see how the series is collected–it’d be great to see this collected WITH Siege itself, though I’d be shocked to see that actually happen.

Story: 7/10
Art: 4.5/10
Overall: 6/10

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