The Hood #1

June 3, 2009

Boy in the Hood

Boy in the Hood

Dark Reign; The Hood #1

Jeff Parker
Kyle Hotz

Another in the group of Dark Reign minis that answers the question “What is up with THAT guy?”. I think the Hood is a cool character, so I appreciate the opportunity to read about him.
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Wolverine #72

June 2, 2009
you want some a THIS?

you want some a THIS?

Wolverine #72

Mark Millar
Steve McNiven

Some kind of delay, or publishing schedule over-lap or something like that, has caused this to be the last chapter of this story which will appear in the regular Wolverine title. I think they are shuffling it off to a double sized special edition in order to get this book back in line with main continuity. This issue sees Old Man Logan coming to the end of his long, messed up journey. And, of course, things are still getting worse and worse.
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Secret Warriors #4

May 15, 2009

Secret Warriors 4

Secret Warriors 4

Secret Warriors #4

Jonathan Hickman
Brian Bendis
Stefano Caselli

Ever since Nick Fury vanished at the end of Secret War a few years back, the question would occasionally pop up “where is Fury in all of this?”. Something big would happen with SHIELD or Hydra or whatever and you would wonder what Nick was doing. With the Secret Invasion come and gone, Nick (like everyone else) is adapting to the new status quo. In this New World Order, Fury trusts even fewer people than he did before. That short list now includes his hand selected, unattached, agents and, as we see in this issue, the remnants of SHIELD which would not be absorbed into HAMMER.
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New Avengers: The Reunion #3

May 13, 2009

New Avengers: The Reunion #3

Jim McCann
David Lopez

The newly returned Mockingbird continues her reintroduction to the Marvel Universe and her estranged husband Clint (Hawkeye/Ronin) Barton by leading us all on an international spy-chase to uproot the latest AIM game.
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Skaar #10

May 7, 2009
Daddy issues

Daddy issues

Skaar #10

Greg Pak

Ron Lim

Skaar symbolically drops the “son of The Hulk” tag from the logo in the same issue that he finally steps out from his dad’s shadow and becomes his own man.Whether or not the title can stand out on its own will remain to be seen.
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Avengers Free Comic Book Day

May 6, 2009
Some assembly required

Some assembly required

The Avengers Free Comic Book Day

Brian Bendis
Jim Cheung

This past Saturday , coinciding with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was Free Comic Book Day 2009. One of Marvel’s offerings was Avengers. This year it is a completely original comic, without any of the usual re-printed or re-purposed materials we have seen in previous years. The comic is simply titled “The Avengers” without specifying which adjective-designated team will actually star in the story.
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Daredevil #118

April 28, 2009

BEATDOWN!

BEATDOWN!

Daredevil #118

Ed Brubaker
Michael Lark

“There goes the whiniest super hero I ever met.”
Master Izo, DD 118

The thing about people who whine a lot, is the whining is usually part of a denial mechanism. They spin their wheels over how miserable their situation is because they are unwilling or unable to step back and see the big picture, or who is behind all of this supposed suffering. Daredevil has always been unable to see, but he has never been so unwilling as he is in Ed Brubaker’s epic run on the series. As many times as it is shoved in his face, he simply refuses to see that he is the cause of his own tragedy.

What worked:
For starters, the cover. That’s the good guy in this book? It is compelling enough as a stand alone image, but when you bring with it some knowledge of the kind of trouble that DD usually finds himself in, and the way that he tends to lash out when pushed and deal with consequences later. You know without reading a word that something really bad is going to happen.
Inside the issue, we find all of the voices of reason in Matt’s life telling him to put the breaks on. None of them have the full picture of the disaster that he is brewing, but they all know their friend well enough to know when he is messing up. And, of course, Matt would prefer to wallow in denial, self-pity, and mis-guided rage.
This little down-ward spiral of his plays out wonderfully. We are inside his head enough so that we can see why he thinks these things will be good ideas, but we are outside enough to see why everyone is so frustrated with him.
The unfolding “Return of the King” story is fantastic. The Kingpin has been toppled and returned several times. This could be the best of them. You can see the cunning brutality that made him the man he was, and may yet be again.

What did not work:
This issue sees the return of another classic DD villain, he just seems a bit out of place in this brutal new world. When The Kingpin is an evil wrecking-ball of a pawn being used as a weapon against both sides…it just raises the stakes quite a bit. I trust Brubaker, so I will wait and see. But as of the end of this issue I am thinking “If these people are playing around with the likes of DD and The Kingpin…what the heck is THAT GUY gonna do?” I just don’t know what he could possibly bring to the table.
On, the other hand, look at the position that that has put me in as a reader. Here I am underestimating a wild-card antagonist. Could be that is exactly the position I, and the other characters, SHOULD be in.
There are a few pages, most notably the confrontation between Matt and Foggy, where the art style does not work as well as it usually does. I do not know exactly the working relationship between Michael Lark and the new artists which are listed with him, nor do I know who did what on which pages. But, bringing in a bigger art team usually means a struggle to meet a deadline or maintain a schedule. The transitions are fairly seamless, but this particularly emotional scene is stricken a bit flat when seen side-by-side with the work of Lark, who has been with these characters for this entire run.