Comic Reviews for 04/18/12

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I’m beginning to drop more titles from DC Comics. Last week, I decided to drop Action Comics, Stormwatch, and Deathstroke, even though I said this past month I’d be staying on them all for at least another issue. However, circumstances have made it easier to drop them now instead of waiting. For last week’s comics, Night of the Owls began in two of the Batman books, I checked out The Shadow, and I decided to drop another DC Comics title.

Avengers #25 (Marvel) – This was a story concluding the loose ends left over following the return of Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers, and I thought it wrapped up everything nicely. But why was AvX slapped onto the cover and included in a two-page spread at the beginning? The story had little to do with the crossover in the Marvel Universe, but, like the last issue of New Avengers I talked about here, I’ve observed this to be the case with Brian Michael Bendis’s stories during crossovers. At least I get a good story, but I feel anyone picking this up for its tie-in relevance may be a bit cheated.

Avengers vs X-Men #2 (Marvel) – This issue had an interesting take on how to show all the fighting and give narration with it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I won’t like it too much more if they only do it in this title and don’t include more story soon.

Batman #8 (DC) – The Night of the Owls begins! I loved the Talons’ taunts inside Wayne Manor this issue. I thought the Court of Owls knew who Batman was, because if they did, they’d let their skilled assassins charge into the most difficult fight they’ll ever know with every bit of information the Court knew, right? Anyway, a descent start, but I continue to believe diehard fans are blowing the “epicness” of this story out of proportion.

Batman Arkham Unhinged #27 (DC) – The origin of Deadshot, one of the coolest villains in the DC universe. I’ve never heard or read his origin before, but this is a dark and interesting one for one of my favorite characters. Now to see how well operation “Kill Joker” works next time.

Birds of Prey #8 (DC) – It seems most heroes in the new 52 DC Universe have dark and momentarily villainous pasts, and we see what Black Canary’s is in this month’s issue. I don’t know much about her since this is the first series I’m reading where she’s a main character, but I never got the dark-and-evil-past vibe from her in the old universe. Anyway, a mystery begins, but it seems Night of the Owls will interrupt that story for a month next issue.

Catwoman #8 (DC) – Judd Winick continues to do a killer job on this title. Night of the Owls looks like it will interrupt Winick’s story next month, but as long as the story continues to be outstanding, who am I to disagree with the editorial decisions at DC Comics, right? 🙂

Fables #116 (DC/Vertigo) – The cover of Darien and the tiger in a fighting pose made me think we’d get some action this issue, but we slowly see what troubles have come to Therese when she simply asks for something to eat. I have no idea where this story is going or how grim it will be for the cubs, but I’ll have to wait and see. As for the backup story, it looks like someone may have escaped his execution. Long live the resistance!

Invincible Iron Man #515 (Marvel) – Everything continues to look grim for Tony Stark and his allies. The issue ends with Tony apparently working on a plan now that Mandarin and Stane appear victorious, and the status quo may have been upset enough for Tony to change his tactics next issue, which looks even more grim with the skull and crossbones tease at the end (the skull being Iron Man’s mask, of course).

Justice League #8 (DC) – I’m only mentioning this here because I’m dropping it. Heroes are trying to be funny, we’re only getting brief panels of whole storylines instead of any actual story, and the Billy Batson character in the backup continues to frustrate me because of how mean and uncaring he is, something I’ve never seen in the character before. I’m sure the title will pick up and get better with time since Geoff Johns is writing it, but until then, I’m finished.

Nightwing #8 (DC) – Although this issue has the heading of “prelude” to the Night of the Owls crossover, it’s actually the first issue taking place during the event following Batman #8. I enjoyed the action, although the event reminds me a lot of The Dark Knight when the Joker attacks the commissioner, judge, and Harvey Dent, but maybe this one will have a happier ending. I must also mention that if the Talons are regenerative and already deemed dead so Batman and his allies can mercilessly kill them as Nightwing tried in this issue, I’ll have to disagree with listing this under the “Batman doesn’t kill” column. Good job, team, though. I’m a bit excited for more 🙂

Punisher #8 (Marvel) – The Omega Effect storyline continues from last week’s Avenging Spider-man. Spider-man’s dialogue with the Punisher is hilarious, and I love how Punisher may have made a joke in response to Spider-man’s earlier comment, but we’ll never know for sure since stuff went down next. Things don’t look good for Daredevil at the end of this issue, so I’m left in suspense until I check out Daredevil this Wednesday.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #8 (DC) – I didn’t believe anyone but Judd Winick could write a good Jason Todd that makes me not think “This is why fans voted for him to die in the late 80s”, but Scott Lobdell and team have been doing a good job here. My favorite moment was the end with Jason and Tim Drake meeting, and I hope to see them conversing more with each other eventually, even though Jason is considered outside the Bat family because of his murderous methods.

The Shadow #1 (Dynamite) – A good start to Dynamite’s new series written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Aaron Campbell, both of whom I’ve heard good things about. The story’s darker and more violent than I usually read, but I’ll see how this first story arc plays out before deciding to stay on or not, but it’s off to a good start.

Super Dinosaur #10 (Image) – Uh, it looks like our heroes underestimated their latest captive, and who knows how Dynamo rediscovering his wife will play out, although it appears he’s beginning to remember more. This will be bad for the bad guys since instead of fighting the genius son, they’ll be dealing with them both.

Superman Beyond #1 (DC) – A new series by J.T. Krul and Howard Porter looking at the man of steel in the world of tomorrow in the Batman Beyond universe. A sad start to the history of Superman and Clark Kent, but the set up for this first story arc already looks to be promising some explosive battles between Superman and Metropolis’s current heroes.

Uncanny X-Force #24 (Marvel) – A one-shot storyline wrapping up what Age of Apocalypse Ice Man is up to in the Marvel Universe proper (I think it’s referred to as Earth 616 or something). A dark ending for the team, but how can you not love Deadpool’s approach to dealing with the evil Ice Man? Classic Deadpool.

Wonder Woman #8 (DC) – The Underworld is a pretty sick place when Hades knows your coming and he feels cheated by a past deal. Wonder Woman seems to be successful in achieving her goal, but Hades has other plans next month. The phrase “Shot Through the Heart” comes to mind here 🙂

Young Justice #15 (DC) – Concluding the underwater adventures of Aqualad, Miss Martian, and Superboy, this issue did a better job ending a good story than the series’ last one. Now to see what the other team members have been up to during this time.

Comics I also picked up include Blue Beetle #8, Green Lantern Corps #8, Legion of Super-heroes #8, and Supergirl #8.

More coming next week!

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