Monday, September 20, 2010

New Comic Cavalcade: Thor, Avengers and More

Hey kids, welcome back to another edition of New Comic Cavalcade. It's been quite a while since I reviewed new issues, so as you can imagine, I now have a metric ton of comics to read. So this time around we're going to go back to the ultra short, two-sentence reviews for all the new comics. Ready? Okay, here we go:

Astro City Special: Silver Agent #2
A surprisingly satisfying ending to the story we've been waiting for for more than a decade. If it is an ending -- I'm not what those final panels mean, exactly, but they sure were interesting. My Grade: A-.

Thor #613 and 614
I was very skeptical of this storyline when it started, but it ended up being a lot better than it had any right to be. I still don't have any idea why this Kelda characters exists, though, despite the writer's attempts to justify her. My Grade: A-.

Thor: For Asgard #1 and 2
At this point Thor is basically appearing in five series at once; this six-issue story may seem limited, but since another limited series or one shot will replace it when it ends, they might as just make a second ongoing called "Tales of Asgard" or "Journey Into Mystery." It's kind of annoying, but this story -- though I can't figure out if it's even in continuity or an imaginary tale -- has some great art, so I'll probably stick with it. My Grades: B+.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird #4
I appreciate the return of the once-heroic Phantom Rider at the end of this issue and I hope the storyline ends with the character finally being redeemed after 20 years in the dead rapist doghouse. But I still find the return of Mockingbird to be both contrived and unnecessary, as is the presence of whoever this new Dominic Fortune is. My Grade: B-.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #2
Yet again, Alan Heinberg's version of the Young Avengers turns out to be, inexplicably, the best Avengers series Marvel is putting out. I'm actually enjoying the search for Scarlet Witch despite the fact that I hate the character -- and enjoying this series despite things like the totally unnecessary Wolverine cover. My Grade: A.

Avengers #4
Could be worse; the art is good and Bendis is doing a great job of writing the future Avengers kids as a bunch of complete shits, so if they die at the end of this story I'll enjoy that at least. But let's get one thing straight right now: Kang isn't afraid of Hulk in any part, future or alternate reality. Period. My Grade: B-.

Secret Avengers #4
The first arc ends solidly, but overall this story was a little bit of a letdown, particularly Brubaker's somewhat weird version of Valkyrie and the apparently pointless inclusion of Nova. I am very intrigued by the Nick Fury stuff, though, and Brubaker has earned my trust, so I'll be sticking with it. My Grade: B-.

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #3
Not sure what the point of this series is, really, but for me it's Brubaker's weakest Captain America work ever. The Cap-reverts-to-a-weakling plot didn't help, as it pointed out how much Eaglesham's artwork looks like Al Milgrom's from the dreadful Gruenwald storyline with the same plot, which, by the way, is not a compliment. My Grade: C-.

Captain America #609
Now this is more like it, as Brubaker is still hitting on all cylinders with his return of evil Zemo storyline. I even am kinda/sorta enjoying the Nomad backup. My Grade: A.

Jonah Hex #59
Another solid story, but one of the very few in the series that seems to suffer from being a single issue story instead of an extended or multi-part arc. The big setup introducing the Grey Ghost is interesting but doesn't have any room to develop before it's forced to suddenly end amidst a different, random plot. My Grade: B.

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