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The End of My Run With the New 52: Swamp Thing and Animal Man #7s

Animal Man and Swamp Thing were my final DC holdouts. From around 30 of the New 52 #1s in September 2011, these were/are my March 2012 DC pulls. And it’s with these that I’ve pretty much made the decision that on the whole, the New 52 is not for me.

In Animal Man, we’ve seen the reintroduction of Buddy and his family. We’ve been introduced to the idea of his daughter as the new champion of The Red, and that they’re all going to be facing The Rot. After an adventure in The Red where things have been set up, this issue finds the Baker family on the run, just trying to survive and figure out what comes next. Of course, any proactivity as to “what comes next” is out the window when they find a less than pleasing sight outside their RV.

In Swamp Thing, we’ve had the reintroduction of Alec Holland and Abigail Arcane, the reintroduction of The Green and the idea of them having to face The Rot. Seven issues in, and we seem to finally find Alec Holland once again being placed into his most well known form–as the Swamp Thing. And by issue’s end, something new has been set in motion, as this title finds itself on a collision course with events being set up simultaneously in Animal Man.

Where Swamp Thing was one of my original “picks” of the New 52, it was positive buzz over Animal Man and the realization of it tying in to Swamp Thing that helped draw me into that book. Yet, seven issues in with both titles…I find myself simply uninterested. The issues feel fairly short. I’m not a huge fan of the art on either title–the art on Animal Man is rather disturbing–in a way that fits this version of the title, but it’s not to my tastes; while on Swamp Thing it’s pretty to look at but still has something “off” about it. I don’t really want “surreal” in the visuals, and neither book seems to just flow visually, distinctively.

And at this point, I’d just as soon wait a few months and snag the issues from bargain bins, or perhaps sometime next year or in a couple years double back for the collected volumes–if there are any, at DC’s glacial collecting pace.

These aren’t bad titles–there’s loads of potential, and I still have an interest in where things are going. Just not enough interest…not for going month by month when I have to basically force myself to read the single issues.

Fitting, I suppose, that what look to be my final “regular” DC purchases for the foreseeable future were two of the first books to sport DC‘s new Get Glue-ish “hey, everyone’s all about these ‘stickers’ things!” logo.

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The Rest of the Stack: Week of November 2, 2011

allofthestack

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.

ANIMAL MAN #3

animalman003I liked the first issue quite a bit. I liked the sound of it even more, which is why I picked it up at all, though I did so a week or two late after hearing reviews. By now, though, with this issue…I’m just finding myself not enjoying this. The story’s good, yeah…but the art just bothers me. I know this is a horror book, it’s basically a Vertigo book under the DC banner…but the imagery just really bothers me, beyond simply being creepy. And so really, I’m getting the increasing feeling that this is not a book for me, or at least not in singles with monthly doses. I’m more a fan of Animal Man the super-hero…and this seems to be specifically moving away from that, saying that the super-hero stuff was a phase, to be there for a time in preparation for what comes now. So it’s a case of…this is not bad, in and of itself…but I’m realizing that it’s not for me. I may stick around for a couple more issues, finish out this story…but time will have to tell, on that. (6/10)

INVINCIBLE #84

invincible084I’m not terribly thrilled with this title in general. There’s something that just doesn’t exactly work for me, and I don’t find myself all that engaged with the characters. Perhaps it’s going from feeling like I only have to read this title to realizing there’s more going on–Guarding the Globe, and at least one other tie-in mini-series, and all those backups I couldn’t get into that I skipped (or read but don’t remember the content). AND YET…and yet, this title is doing something smart. I’m finding that I like this new method the character is trying: instead of just punching things, he’s trying to talk things out, figure out underlying motivations, and generally do more than just maintain some status quo. In this issue, he sees that despite putting the villain behind bars, the same exact result the villain was going for is being carried out…so maybe the villain isn’t as much in the wrong as thought. Which gives Invincible something to think about…and though the results are looking sort of familiar, the motivation seems a bit more genuine–and permanent–than just some one-off story arc for where I’ve seen this thing done before. And since the title’s still at $2.99 and I’ve dropped so many others recently…I’m gonna stick around awhile. Maybe get the Invincible Compendium and a couple trades to fill the gap, and get caught up. Might even be able to engage more. (7.5/10)

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #3

justiceleagueinternational003I’m sure I’m coming off as some sort of curmudgeon this week with the whopping 4 new comics from my pull list. I’m not exactly excited about stuff, and finding it far too easy of late to drop stuff. Reading this issue…I realized that I really don’t much CARE about these characters. Booster–the character and reason I’ve been getting this title to begin with–doesn’t have room to really be developed and shine, he’s just another character in the bunch. I can get more Guy Gardner over in GL Corps; and I’m getting Batman in his own title. But just as I’m ready to simply write this title off, yet another to wait and potentially consider via collected volumes, there’s a seemingly “key” moment. Something about August General in Iron that I did not know, and which adds something else to the character, something deeper that I’m a bit curious about. It reminds me of what I’ve read about X-Men, and the way the Wolverine character was developed out of an art mistake. And it’s stuff like that, that I miss about comics. So, maybe I’ll at least stick around for the rest of this arc…but after going from no DC to 13/14 DCs with the New 52 relaunch…my patience for 20-page issues isn’t there, and I have a feeling I’m not yet done dropping titles. (7/10)

SWAMP THING #3

swampthing003I kinda see this title going hand in hand with Animal Man in a loose sense. Swamp Thing deals with “the Green” while Animal Man deals with “the Red.” We also learn in this issue of “the Rot,” which means there’s more to be explored and developed. Of course, this title’s visuals are less disturbing than Animal Man, and I do have a bit more “history” and reading experience with Swamp Thing…so this is a bit more interesting. Abby Arcane finds Alec Holland, and brings him up to speed on stuff. She needs his help to save a boy who could end the world…and as the issue progresses, we learn how. And also–who this boy is, which ties to long-time continuity (if you know your Swamp Thing history) but is simply the current threat if you don’t. Of course, the cover blurbs do not seem to fit this as a relaunch–there has not yet been time to even delve into the character’s past…so “Once his greatest love…now his deadliest enemy?” suggests a lot more history than 3 issues. I’m interested, though…and of the 3 DCs I picked up this week, I’d say this one’s the safest from being dropped. (8/10)

The Rest of the Stack: Week of October 5, 2011

allofthestack

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.

ACTION COMICS #2

actioncomics002Superman’s been smashed by a train, and captured by the government. While his captors question him, Supes is working up enough focus to break free–and woe to those who stand in his way. Meanwhile, his indestructible cape is also put to the test, while Lois Lane gains entry thanks to her father. And it seems Luthor’s out of his depths. Oh, and the actual CONTENT of this issue, the story itself, the thing that I buy any given issue for? 20 freaking pages. For $3.99. Meanwhile, there are 8 pages of generic extras–sketches and internet stuff printed for the sake of pages thrown in to make the issue feel that much thicker, and then the USUAL back-of-the-issue preview for something I’m not even going to buy, and which is not going to change my mind, because either I’m NOT BUYING WHAT IS BEING PREVIEWED…or I’m NOT GOING TO READ it because I am planning to buy it, and don’t want to read a QUARTER to THIRD of its contents before I pay too much for cover price. So on principle alone–$3.99 for 20 pages–this thing is a huge disappointment, and I discourage anyone who hasn’t already from buying the single issue, as such. Collected volume? Sure. I think this’ll be a strong story in the end. But I for one refuse to support this sort of crap for a $4 issue when bought alongside several $3 issues with the EXACT SAME LENGTH STORY. (2/10)

ANIMAL MAN #2

animalman002Lots of death, decay, and gore in this issue. Disturbingly so, really. Buddy finds himself drastically affected by “The Red,” and his daughter seems more powerful than her father, leading him to follow the call of the Red. The cover alone is quite disturbing, and the interior visuals are, too. Even some of the tamer stuff is rather creepy–the skeleton of a cat squatting for milk especially rattled me. And yet…for essentially a horror book, something that typically would’ve been Vertigo…it’s fitting. The story doesn’t have nearly the blown-away effect on me the first issue did. But still, something to this–I’m curious where it’s all leading. And hey…it’s Vertigo, yet not. A worthy second issue, and there’s nothing to this one that prompts me to drop it or otherwise not come back for the next issue. (6/10)

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #2

justiceleagueinternational002I wish I was overtly enthusiastic about this issue. There’s something just sort of mediocre about it. It’s nothing spectacular. The story’s not terribly engaging, and doesn’t send me running for back issues and chomping at the bit for the next issue. But the story’s solid enough. The art’s not bad–I do like it, really. And together, they make for a quality book. And while there isn’t much that really jumps out or stands out…I liked it. We have the team, already assembled from the first issue, we see them in action, we see them in down-time, we get interaction and we get a built-up threat that justifies the group staying together. And on the whole, this feels like a second issue–we’ve been introduced to the characters, but here we learn a bit more. Unfortunately, there are a lot of characters, so there’s little focus on any specific character. Much of my not being bothered too much by that is my history with these characters’ prior incarnations, so I’m “projecting” what I know of those onto these. Still sticking around for the next issue, and seeing where this goes…if only for Booster Gold. (6/10)

Continue reading

DC’s The New 52 – Buy/Borrow/Pass

batman001I’ve been listening to Comic Geek Speak’s coverage of the New 52 this month, and I rather like their ratings–rather than giving some hard number out of a total number, they rate the issues with whether they’d recommend one buy the comic, borrow the comic, or “pants” (pass) on it.

superman001As this week begins the second month, I’ve had a chance to try the titles I wanted to (actually wound up 16-17 beyond the 12-13 I’d originally intended). Ultimately, there’s no way I can afford to buy 29 titles from DC every single month…so while there ARE some titles I’d otherwise be “willing” to give a longer chance, I’ve made my decisions based on the first issues and varying factors involved with those.

BUY

  • Action Comics – It’s got history behind it. And it’s Superman. I’ll let it go on “habit.”
  • Animal Man – a great read, and really interested in where it goes.
  • Batman – Included Dick, Tim, Damian, and Bruce as well as Batman..basically was what these #1s should be.
  • Batman and Robin – Can’t quite see resisting a second issue. Giving Superman 2 books, I’ll allow 2 Batman books as well.
  • Demon Knights – Didn’t much care for this, but then heard CGS’ analogy that it’s D&D with the DCU. THAT I’m all for.
  • Fury of Firestorm – Lotta potential here, and with Ronnie AND Jason.
  • Green Lantern – Just ‘cuz. It’s GL, and if I’m gonna follow stuff in the GL-side of things, this is the title I’ll go with.
  • Justice League – Got my quibbles with it, but I’ll give it another issue before I completely give it up for decompressed.
  • Justice League International – Has Booster Gold, it got the team together in the #1 issue, and it’s got potential.
  • Resurrection Man – Abnett and Lanning, a fairly original (compared to what I’m used to) concept, I’m interested in where it goes.
  • Superman – In context of the New 52, my favorite of the #1s…I was excited enough to give it the full review treatment. ‘Nuff said.
  • Swamp Thing – After reading #1, I’ve now read the first volume of Alan Moore’s stuff. I soooo want to like this after all these years.
  • Teen Titans – Loving the Tim Drake stuff, the costume, etc. With Tim as the lead…I’m all for seeing where this goes.

BORROW

  • Batgirl – A morbid curiosity about Babs’ “miracle” and how her history post-Killing Joke is handled.
  • Blue Beetle – Might be persuaded to bump it to a buy, but for now just thinking I may go for the collected volumes.
  • Detective Comics – Already going with 2 Bat-titles, and not interested enough in the villain and other “WTF” stuff to it.
  • Green Lantern Corps – Used to be a “given” as a companion book to GL, but I’m hesitant to fully re-invest in single issues on the GL stuff.
  • Green Lantern New Guardians – I’d love to read a Kyle book, but not interested enough anymore in the rainbow corps stuff monthly.
  • Nightwing – Has potential, but I’ll likely grab the collected volumes; and already got 2 Bat-books for present.
  • Red Lanterns – Can’t quite see this lasting longterm, so I’ll get it in collected format if anything.
  • Static Shock – A fun book, but just can’t quite see bumping any of my Buys for this. I’ll be interested to see/hear where it goes, though.

PASS

  • Batman: The Dark Knight – Already have other Bat-books to go with, and just not a title I feel like following. It’ll have to get through the Borrows before it’d make it back to a Buy.
  • Captain Atom – Did not care for it, and don’t really have any active interest even in where it goes.
  • Deathstroke – Pretty much same as Captain Atom, though it’s got a much better shot of making it to a Borrow.
  • Flash – Most likely to make it up to a Borrow, but seems I’m most likely to be able to “get” what I care for via wikipedia or such.
  • Grifter – zero interest after #1 in where this goes.
  • Justice League Dark – Actively turned off by the opening issue and its lack of Constantine, among other things.
  • Stormwatch – Might be well written, but just did not interest me. If it becomes as major as rumours say, I can always play catch-up or get the beats via wikipedia.
  • Superboy – No pretense at being the character I care about in any shape or form, and I hear I’ll get a dose of him in Teen Titans, anyway, so no need to follow the solo book.

From the back of the bandwagon: My DC New 52 thoughts, Week #2

Batman and Robin #1

batmanandrobin001This was not on my original plan to pick up. But there was something to the cover, and the logo, and even the concept in general that I decided I actually WAS interested in at least checking out. I was too late to snag this at my usual comic shop, but went to another across town (where I wound up buying 5 more #1s that I’d not intended to get). I think what ultimately got me about this issue was that the concept is sound, and I’ve tended to like Tomasi‘s writing…I just haven’t cared for Gleason’s art, and grudgingly put up with the art when this team was on Green Lantern Corps. But given the dynamic between Batman and Robin–I rather enjoyed it with Dick and Damian, and was intrigued at seeing Bruce and Damian interacting. The villain of this issue triggered a huge sense of deja vu for me–I’d swear I’ve seen this villain before, but I cann’t place him as to where. An early issue of the Batman Reborn saga, perhaps? And despite my general dislike of Gleason‘s visual style, I think that was particularly on the Green Lanterns, with the human faces. His Batman is much more to my liking, though still not 100% thrilled with Robin’s look. Still…I hate to say it, but I think I’ll be back for Batman and Robin #2. (7/10)

Green Lantern #1

greenlantern001This was yet another title that I was not planning to pick up. A couple months into Brightest Day I decided to drop the singles and just keep up with GL through the collected volumes. So I was going to hold to that with this relaunch. Instead, I was totally hooked at the concept of Sinestro as a GL again. And with this supposedly a jumping on point (even if the GL books aren’t actually rebooting story-wise), I decided to jump in. And I have to admit–I’m hooked. Sinestro as an unwilling GL, forced to deal with the fact of being a GL even though there’s an enemy corps with his name makes for a lot of potential. Seeing him deal with some of the Sinestro Corps and the reflection of what he himself once did to his homeworld leaves a lot of room for exploration. Hal being stuck home and ringless doesn’t feel like anything new…and by the end of this issue, looks to be potentially a limited engagement sort of situation. Though I’ve generally really enjoyed Mahnke‘s art, especially on the Blackest Night stuff–it didn’t seem nearly as stand-out here. Of course, this wasn’t nearly as action-packed as the early issues of Blackest Night, and perhaps in my time “off” I’ve built up expectations that are a bit too high. Yet, the art’s not bad at all in my eyes. I don’t know that I’ll stick around for the entire arc, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to pick up GL #2 to see where things head from here. (8/10)

Resurrection Man #1

resurrectionman001I vaguely remembered this title from the 1990s, back when the New 52 were announced. A few weeks earlier, I’d wound up snagging a copy of the original Resurrection Man #1 (with the little circle “hologram” on the cover) from a bargain bin, so decided I would be interested in checking this new series out. Given the character’s been in limbo for a lot of years, I was curious at what would bring the character back to being an active part of the new DCU. Add to it that this is Abnett and Lanning, and I was basically sold on it, sight unseen. Now, something to Dagnino‘s art really gave me a sense of ’90s deja vu in the early pages of this issue–perhaps because (again) this is such an unfamiliar character I’m not used to seeing as part of a mainstream DCU. As such, the visuals fit the book quite well. The story’s a bit more unfamiliar, and I really have no clue who anyone is. But seeing the main character die and come back with some new “ability” each time he “resurrects” has something to it that keeps things interesting. I’ll be back for #2. (8/10)

Superboy #1

superboy001I’m not sure what I expected of this title, exactly…but what I got wasn’t it. I can’t tell if this is supposed to be the same Superboy (essentially, despite the reboot/relaunch) that I’ve known. But this seems like a whole new character, almost a new “origin.” Given that the New 52 seem to have varying degrees of newness about them, I’m a little put off here. Among other things, this feels a LOT like the introduction of the new Guardian (during the 7 Soldiers stuff?) where the “original” had been killed and this is a new character cloned from that one. Particularly with the “loss” of Jonathan AND Martha Kent, this comes off as a much different and less personable character to me. The art’s not bad, and the story isn’t bad in itself–just that it quickly comes off as something I’m not all that interested in. Maybe another perspective or some clarification would pick that up for me…but for the moment, I’m just not all that engaged or interested (all the more having read “Superboy Goes Bad and Beats Up the Teen Titans” back in 2005 heading toward Infinite Crisis. I can’t speak to new readers 100% new to the concept, but as a “clone” of Superman, this is NOT “the adventures of Superman when he was a Boy” but it does not feel, either, like the likely adventures of Connor…and I really have no interest right now in a brand-new Superboy. (6/10)

Demon Knights #1

demonknights001Maybe I just don’t pick up on certain subtleties…especially when it’s a subtlety buried in the midst of one issue when I’m actually reading a bunch back to back. But this one just doesn’t stand out to me the way it seems to be to others, and I don’t see the tie to Stormwatch here. Of course, I didn’t much enjoy Stormwatch, so…yeah. It was the cover that “sold” me on this–when I had to go to a second comic shop to get Batman and Robin, I told myself that if they had this in stock, I’d give it a try. The art wasn’t bad, and definitely fit the tone of the story. The story itself was semi forgettable, but not bad. There’s an air of “fantasy” with the supernatural here, and this is definitely a side of the DCU I’m less familiar with, as it really gets away from the “superheroics.” I also found Etrigan to be more interesting NOT being a “rhyming” demon. But I do think that overall, this title’s one that while not entirely uninteresting, I’m just not hooked enough to arbitrarily come back for a second issue. (6.5/10)

Deathstroke #1

deathstroke001My first exposure to Deathstroke was his appearance in an issue of Superman back in 1992, shortly before Superman’s death. At the time he was just another colorful character, and it was a bit of time before I even realized he was a “villain,” given that he had his own ongoing series. Mostly lost track of him until Identity Crisis, and since then I’ve had mixed feelings on the character. This was one that I picked up having decided to grab a few extras to take advantage of a promotion (buy 5, get 1 free). The cover’s not terribly impressive, nor is the logo. The story wasn’t all that thrilling (though humans modified with “Clayface DNA” does seem ‘new’). The “twist” at the end drastically affected what I thought was shaping to be an interesting sort of supporting cast for the title, and in its own way does a disservice to holding my interest. The art’s not bad (though doesn’t blow me away), and something about Deathstroke’s current design seems somewhat “off” from what I’d “prefer” for the character. All in all, not a bad issue–this seemed to somewhat stand alone as a “pilot” and while I don’t necessarily want my time back, unless someone else does a job in “selling” me on it, I don’t see picking up #2. (6/10)

Red Lanterns #1

redlanterns001I have to admit–when this title was announced, I was quite excited. A Lantern Corps other than Green getting its own book! Of course, it’s been well over a year since I stepped off the monthly following of all the Brightest Day stuff, so my interest has cooled a bit. Until the New 52 was announced, I’d figured this title had been scrapped. But I opted to give this first issue a try, as I’ve found myself particularly drawn back to the Batman and Green Lantern sides of the DCU. There’s some potential here, but this feels like something better suited for an official mini-series than ongoing. The story here seems to be coming out of the War of the Lanterns–which I’ve not yet read–but I can follow along well enough. The art’s good, too–I’ve generally enjoyed Benes‘ work. All in all, I think I’m going to probably pass on later issues. I see this being a limited story that’ll make a decent collected volume, and that’ll be the preferred way to read it, for me. (7/10)

Grifter #1

grifter001I’m not sure why I picked this up instead of Legion Lost #1. Perhaps because I’m avoiding the Legion of Super-Heroes, as they’ve never really been my “thing” on the whole. I really don’t feel like I know anything new of this Grifter character than I knew before the issue, and can’t totally separate him from being one of “those Wildstorm characters,” especially with the multiple Wildstorm relaunches and events and such I’ve read through the years, a couple of which I’ve tried to get into. The art’s not bad, but the story doesn’t grab me at all. I can’t tell if the character’s crazy, or who the “voice” is really supposed to be; nor how much this may be dredging up characters or concepts from early Wildstorm stuff (Daemonites, perhaps?). I have enough knowledge to feel unfulfilled here, though I wonder if there’s enough in the story to hook those unfamiliar with any of this. Maybe things’ll improve, but this was one issue too much for me, at present. (4/10)

Animal Man #1

animalman001I passed on this one for the first week. But heard plenty of praise for it and so decided to check it out for myself. Wound up being fairly impressed–I’ve never read Morrison’s run on the old Animal Man series, nor did I read the recent mini-series; but I kinda enjoyed what I saw of the character in 52. The story and art for this issue weren’t bad; I was interested to see Buddy’s family interactions, and it was neat seeing some of the ways he can use the animal powers in every-day life–both instinctively as well as to serve his own purpose (such as getting to sleep). The ending of the issue was thoroughly creepy, but served to hook me–I am highly interested in the next issue and where this is going…there’s something to the involvement with animals that gets to me. Offhand, I think this was one of my favorite of the New 52 so far, in the overall experience and stuff sticking with me. (8/10)

The NEW DC Universe

With the relaunch of DC’s superhero line in September, things start off with 52 #1 issues. Justice League August 31st, and the other 51 in September. The titles for this initial launch have been reported as follows:

  • ACTION COMICS
  • ALL-STAR WESTERN
  • ANIMAL MAN
  • AQUAMAN
  • BATGIRL
  • BATMAN
  • BATMAN & ROBIN
  • BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
  • BATWING
  • BATWOMAN
  • BIRDS OF PREY
  • BLACKHAWKS
  • BLUE BEETLE
  • CAPTAIN ATOM
  • CATWOMAN
  • DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
  • DEATHSTROKE
  • DEMON KNIGHTS
  • DETECTIVE COMICS
  • FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE
  • GREEN ARROW
  • GREEN LANTERN
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS
  • GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS
  • GRIFTER
  • HAWK & DOVE

Continue reading

52 Week #20 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good
Story Title: Week #20: God is Fragged

Supernova in the Batcave, Steel grows into his new powers, and the heroes in space come under attack…

52week20Writer: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Art Breakdowns: Keith Giffen
Pencils: Chris Batista
Inks: Ruy Jose
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Lettering: Travis Lanham
Assistant Editors: Harvey Richards & Jeanine Schaefer
Edited by: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: J.G. Jones & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue gives us some fairly continuous action, opened with a moment of quiet as Supernova infiltrates the Batcave. Steel begins to grow into his new powers/strength, saving a number of lives from a burning building. The rest of the issue pretty much focuses on the hereos-in-space: Starfire, Adam Strange, and Animal Man…and of course, their new best buddy, Lobo. These folks come under attack by a bunch of (other) aliens, and wind up bringing more trouble down on their own heads due to the means by which they end the battle.

All in all, not a bad issue at all. I found it to be a good read–though I feel like we’ve not gotten to see nearly enough of the "new" Steel, so it almost feels like he was just tossed in to remind us he exists (though more likely, he’s there for us to see that he’s growing into his new powers, and learning to make use of ’em and in general, keep on truckin’ as a hero).

The battle in space works–I’m not totally into it, but hey, action-in-space and all that. Seeing what happened to Lobo was rather gruesome, though actually made sense, having read his origin a few issues ago–I wasn’t lost or dumbfounded at his state after the battle.
The art continues to work well, serving the story quite well. I really don’t have any complaints with this.

On the whole–this issue and the series in general–I continue to be satisfied with the product as a whole. It’s one of the better ‘values’ in comics these days, per individual issue, and just has a grand FEEL as a true serial (as opposed to other books that don’t often make the every-30ish-days frequency). I think this series challenges my recent expectations of comics–even with certain stories meandering in and out, I feel that I "get" more out of it than the same number of issues of most anything else.

All that said–chances are, if you’re not on-board yet, you probably aren’t gonna change your mind based on a few remarks from me. And if you’re STILL on-board…you’re probably similarly-minded on the series.

I’m enjoying it–it’s worthwhile and keeps me going to the comic shops each week. Nothing blows me away, but this is simply a solid, reliable series that builds on itself week after week.

Ratings:

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

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