You made it back! Welcome to the second installment of Lightning Reviews, where I take all the new comics I read this week and bang out short reviews of each one! I got a lot of love last week and I’m hoping it only goes up from here! Remember, items in the Pull List are my personal collection and the Cut List contains comics I didn’t write full reviews for that I had a reviewers copy of. Also, in the essence of trying new things, this week I will begin every review with a rating system of “PULL” (positive review) or “PASS” (negative review). Enjoy!
Deadpool #10: PULL! I love Deadpool. Some writers and artists miss the mark, but not these guys. Gerry Duggan has a great grasp of his psyche and does the Merc justice. I thought this book would wrap up the Sabretooth storyline but looks like Deadpool has more in store for Creed. Some fun moments in the art of this installment, including a great representation of flipping the bird and an ad for Terrigen mist. I cannot stand these Allred covers featuring Sabretooth’s stupid giant head, so I get the variants whenever possible. This week I got the Civil War variant and love it. A very enjoyable title that I’m glad dropped the Mercs for Money. They deserve their own title and shouldn’t be invading a great solo book like Deadpool.
Extraordinary X-Men #9: PASS! So everyone knows, I am a huge X-Men fan and have great loyalty to the team. That being said, I am disappointed and ashamed in the direction Marvel has taken mutantkind in recent titles. Let’s break down the five X-titles: Uncanny- essentially X-Force with villains-turned-heroes; All New- recycling the original team with a twist (X-Factor); ’92- recycling the animated TV show; Worst X-Man Ever- limited spotlight of a lame mutant; and finally Extraordinary- recycled Uncanny team with a splash of students. Basically, nothing original or interesting enough to give a damn about. For shame, Marvel. In this issue, it’s all about Colossus’ young team and has nothing to do with anything relevant to the main story. We barely see the real X-Men and still haven’t seen Apocalypse despite being two issues into “Apocalypse Wars”. I hate the writing and the art. Honestly, the ONLY reason I still pick this up is because I am so obsessed with Nightcrawler, who is all but ignored in this book. I may have to drop the X-Men altogether as their presence in comics right now is a slap in the face to fans everywhere. After such a great time last year with Amazing X-Men and the Nightcrawler solo series, I’m just done with this nonsense…
The Haunted Mansion #2: PASS! So, with the exception of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I’ve read every Disney Kingdoms titles and I was really excited for this one since I love ride at Disneyworld. Unfortunately, the comic is just average. There are some fun ghostly moments with references to the source, but its original content lacks intrigue. I like pirate ghosts as much as the next guy, but this is neither the time or the place to introduce one. The main character is a kid trying to help his grandpa’s ghost, which is endearing enough, but the ghosts aren’t all that scary or fun. I’m not really dogging the art either, but the large scenes with spirited ensembles are pretty cool. I hope the series gains momentum soon, or else any interest I have will Rest in Peace.
Totally Awesome Hulk #5: PULL! So, while I love the concept of Amadeus Cho as the Hulk, I do miss Banner. For this reason, I’m glad Greg Pak ties in that history without bogging down such great character building stuff for the cast of this book. I also was getting tired of a conscientious Hulk and this issue addresses that too! It’s as though the creators read my mind! This was honestly going to be my last issue for these reasons, but now I’m more interested than I was in the beginning. As an added bonus, Alan Davis is doing the art for a couple upcoming issues and this is exciting for me! I’m a huge fan of his work on Excalibur (as addressed later in the article) as well as the story he did for Savage Hulk. Granted I do like Frank Cho and Mike Choi as much as the next guy. I may stop after Davis’ issues, but that depends on the story Pak weaves.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #4: PULL! The two title heroes happen to both be in my top five, so naturally this is a hit for me. This issue consists of Deadpool trying to nudge his relationship with Spider-Man into the friendzone (I’m preeeetty sure I’m not using that right) by inviting him for a double date at his club with a mystery woman. Spidey uses an image inducer to protect his reputation and let’s just say the night gets so crazy that not even advanced technology could save his bacon. I love McGuinness’ artwork and Joe Kelly is such a talented writer. The humor is tongue-in-cheek and none of the real action even involves our main characters. The really selling point of this book is the unknown conflict of interest for Deadpool, having been hired to kill Peter Parker since issue one. It’s a cool concept that keeps getting more and more dramatic every month, and I feel tension is coming to a head very soon. And I can’t wait.
BPRD Hell on Earth #140: PULL! This was thoroughly enjoyable. This issue starts a new arc focusing on Ashley Strode’s mission to eradicate demons from the earth, which was good for me because this is my first taste of the Mignolaverse (Hellboy, BPRD, etc). However, due to a guest creative team on this one while Cameron Stewart is preoccupied, I don’t have a grasp on how this differs from the main stylings. The team on this one is Chris Roberson (of iZombie fame) and Mike Norton (Revival, Battlepug). I’ve read every page of Battlepug so Norton’s art is familiar to me and I approve. The story is of a much smaller scale than what BPRD normally handles (I assume) so I’m not so intimidated by the enormity of Hell on Earth. It’s not my usual fare, but still hits the spot.
UFOlogy TPB: PASS! I read the whole six issue miniseries and I felt like it dragged on and on. It’s an alien story lacking the space element. Instead, it follows two classmates whose lives are enveloped by extraterrestrial happenings. Sounds fun in theory, but didn’t have enough heart; I just didn’t care about the characters. Disappointing, considering James Tynion IV, the writer of the Batman TMNT crossover, scripted it and I love that series. Also, great potential for art falls flat. There were some cool parts, no lie, but it couldn’t overcome the faults. Personally, I’d skip it, but to each his own…
James Bond #6: PULL! I have a confession to make, I’ve never seen a James Bond movie. If they are anything like this comic though, I may need to educate myself. Warren Ellis and Jason Masters do a great job making 007 look like a badass. The first page made me think this was going to be a slow, wordy issue, but those concerns were suppressed quickly. From the several silent pages of him being a stealthy spy to the gratuitous violence and murder, I definitely see the appeal. Now all it needs is Pussy Galore, ha ha. Other than the first few panels setting the stage, the comic is not big on dialogue and plot bubbles. Ellis could’ve done that, but I’m glad he had the good sense not to. It’s a fun book for mature readers and I recommend it.
The Sixth Gun #48: PASS! I’ve been told great things about this title and if the rumors are true, this must be an off issue. Granted I’m about four years late jumping on the bandwagon, this issue offers a little history into the six pistols around which the story revolves. Our protagonists find themselves in the underworld in search of Boot Hill, but they aren’t alone. This book combines classic western story elements with the supernatural. The art is well executed, but didn’t stand out. I personally enjoyed the scenes involving a ferry the travels via a river of blood. I like Cullen Bunn’s work so this hits par for me. The issue was not bad, but I suppose having more context may have impacted my opinion.
Excalibur #125: PULL! So, I said I won’t review back issues, but I’m breaking my own rule for this special occasion. After what seems like forever, I’ve finished the entire series of Excalibur this week with issue #125. What an amazing end to a series I feel suffers in the last couple years. This oversized issue celebrates the wedding of founding members Captain Britain & Meggan, and it revisits ten years of characters and experiences. All aspects of a wedding and reception are addressed, which includes the garter toss and a heartfelt toast by Nightcrawler. By far the best wedding issue I’ve ever read and one of the best series finales I’ve experienced. The end is bittersweet, but I’m glad to have finished on such a high note.
So that’s it for this weeks haul! What did you think of the rating system? Should I switch to a Star-based scoring scale or is a binary yes/no rating sufficient? Let me know via the comment section below or through Twitter (@BamfingBob). My full reviews from the week are linked below and as always, stay tuned for all your comic news, previews, and reviews with Comic Crusaders! Until next week, BAMF on!