Review Round-Up Pt.1: Avengers fizzles, Damian rules

Posted: January 31, 2013 in DC, Marvel, Reviews
Tags: , ,

Just like last week, I’m putting up a few review today along with short teasers for my next batch that will go live this weekend. I had a pretty good week in comics this week but a few books on my pull were disappointing. How long do you guys keep a book that isn’t up to par? Do you drop it immediately or hold on to it? It’s a tough decision for me. Help me make it. Avengers has had back to back duds; drop it or keep waiting for the magic to hit? Flash has been light on story for several months now but the art is still beautiful; hold onto it or let it go?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

The cover to Avengers 4 is much more exciting than the interior. Property of Marvel Comics.

Avengers 4
Things have slowed down considerably from the breakneck pacing of the first three issues but just like last issue, this tale feels a bit bland. It’s not bad, it’s just a little too familiar and little too bland. It’s hard to pin down exactly why except to say that it’s kind of boring. I don’t want to read comics that are nothing but punches and explosion but I do want to see a little more effort on the heroes part to succeed. Thor is far more concerned with his manly vodka, and Hyperion with his distaste in alcohol than the potential genocide in the Savage Land, or A.I.M. and the fact that they totally killed that poor intern. The problem is that A.I.M stands no chance at all against this new Avengers squad. The team is simply too powerful and it takes away from the suspense and demands a new threat that is worthy of the group. So far that doesn’t seem to be happening.

This issue, we get to know Hyperion a little. He’s an interesting take on a Superman style hero whose origin is very strongly tied into the ongoing plot of Hickman’s Avengers.  Speaking of which, the plot finally moves forward in a meaningful way this issue as the Avengers explore the ground zero sites of the Garden’s attacks. A.I.M gets in on the action too, both in the main plot and in Hyperion’s origin, which is interesting but glossed over a bit.  Adam Kubert isn’t on the top of his game in this issue either, with weird faces and a lack of detail really hurting the story. On paper, this book should be a 10 but right now its barely better than a 5. I hope issue 5 kicks it up a bit.

Batman Inc 7
It’s all about the Robins as Batman goes missing.  Talia is proving to be a ruthless and powerful villain that everyone has underestimated and I really hope that becomes a lasting change as a result of this arc. R’as had his chance to shine, let his daughter take over the reigns now with Leviathan. There are plenty of emotional moments and shocking twists to be had and it makes for a fast paced and thrilling issue. I loved the exchange between Alfred and Damian in the cave. Damian has really become the heart of the Bat-Family lately and that’s on full display here. On a sadder note, the passing of my favorite Batman Inc hero is quick and painful.
We are nearing the end of Grant Morrison’s Bat-Epic and I’m still enjoying it a great deal.  Chris Burnham has seen better days though, issue 7 is far from his best work, with Damian suffering the most from the uneven art. It feels rushed and I gotta say, this is one book I don’t mind getting delayed if it means a higher quality. It doesn’t really seem to fit into continuity very well anyway and we know it has to be ending soon with Morrison’s fast approaching departure from mainstream comics.

Don’t let the mediocre cover fool you, this is a great comic! Property of DC Comics.

Batman and Robin Annual 1
Light hearted and heartwarming all at once. This is fun comics at their best, with just enough heart and charm to make it worth the $4.99 price tag. This was easily my favorite book of the week. Damian makes a remarkable gesture his dad bit true to his personality also take the opportunity to make himself happy. The whole cast gets a chance to shine here, with Alfred delivering some truly laugh out loud lines and some funny gags about Damian’s age and height. Ardian Syaf returns to the bat-books with this issue and delivers some great stuff. I’ve missed him since he left Batgirl. The letterer deserves some credit here too as Damian’s bat-voice is subtlety hilarious largely thanks to the unconventional lettering. This is a completely stand alone tale that you can hand off to anyone interested in comics/Batman and they could get into it. All they need to know is that Batman has a kid and he is Robin. Fun comics like this one get overlooked in favor of big events and grim storylines like Death of the Family, but for those big moments to matter there has to be little moments like this to give it weight. This issue made me care about these characters more than I did before I read it and now their fate in their main series means more to me. That’s good storytelling and its something that the big two lose sight of all too often.

Aquaman 16
Throne of Atlantis continues here and takes some time to mend the relationship between Aquaman and the League. We get some more great stuff with Cyborg too and a few scenes with the reserve league called in at the end of Justice League 15. It’s a solid, entertaining book.

Justice League Dark 16
Full of new ideas and concepts. Honest Constantine is funny stuff. The stuff with Tim Hunter and Zatanna is a little exposition heavy but the fight with the anti-magic cop keeps things fun.

Flash 16
Flash is still a beautiful book and 16 finally moves the story forward in a big way. But im still ready for this monkey business to be done with.

Injustice:Gods Among Us 1-3

I think I will have a seperate post to discuss this one later. I’m not overly fond of super-dark stories in superhero comics but there are some interesting ideas here and the game looks super fun.

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Comments
  1. raheadley says:

    Well, for me it is hard to drop a book. Especially if it is a series I overall enjoy, such as the Avengers. I’ve gone through a bunch of bad stories in the past for the Avengers or other titles but the collector in me can’t let go sometimes.

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