4 out of 5 Stars
Because, Loki is the man dammit. Since his rebirth as a teen, and gaining both Thor’s and his fellow Gods respect, Loki has been a cool character. Trying to do his best to serve Asgard, despite his inherently mischievous nature, Loki’s run in Journey into Mystery, and all of his appearances since have been a breath of fresh air. Gone is the sniveling, overly theatrical, creepy uncle looking Loki; replaced by a young, intelligent, irascible con artist who is fun and dashing (or as Hawkeye says this issue ” One Direction-y”).
After his tale in the All New Marvel Now Point One #1, Loki is now an Agent of Asgard, serving the All-Mother ( Gaea, Freyja and Idunn, ruling Asgard after Odin’s Exile ). Armed with Seven League Boots, A Dark Elf Shadow Cloak fashioned into a hip trench-coat, and Gram, the Ancient Sword of truth, Loki is sent on his first mission: Break into Avenger’s Tower, and retrieve something evil hiding there (where, I won’t tell you!). After sowing chaos among the Avengers, easily done by manipulating Thor into fighting Iron Man and tricking Hawkeye into causing Banner to Hulk out, Loki heads to the Avenger’s main computer for a little side mission of his own.
Ewing writes a great Loki, from the opening rap-in-the-shower, to the final reveal of what “evil”was hiding in Avengers Tower, he hits the mark. He practically sums up Loki in one line of inner dialogue: “ah Misdirection, what sweet chaos you bring. I was a fan of Lee Garbett’s work over at Valiant, and he has the right mix of action and comedy in his style to really make this title work. Just good, clean mischief all around.
5 out of 5 Stars
Because I can’t wait to see how this bad boy ends! Matt Kindt has written one of my favorite all time Spider-man stories, one that I’m sure is gonna go down in the books. When someone asks me for a Spidey recommendation, one you can just read and not worry about current continuity, this will be the trade I firmly place in their hands. A legion of villains has been chasing Spidey around the world, from Arcades’s Haunted house, to a 747 jet, to a deep sea submarine, onto a deserted island, then the mediterraean and finally back to Parker’s home city of New York. This mini series has had almost every Spider-villain you can think of , the story is called 99 Problems for a reason…99 villains to defeat, or countless innocents die. After having his skull grazed by a sniper shot after washing up on the island of Malta, Spidey, through a mixture of process of elimination and taking in the financial scope of this gauntlet, figures out who is the villain behind his latest 99 problems. Now he has to battle through, we’ll just call them some of Spidey’s lesser known villains, to get to his target. I can’t recommend this book enough, Kindt’s version of Peter Parker’s inner voice is spot on, and the slight twist at the end, regarding the reasoning behind the gauntlet was the needed surprise the story needed to keep it from becoming just a punch up. Marco Rudy has done wonders on this book, his style somehow capturing both elements of Eduardo Risso and J.H.Williams III, was the perfect choice for this psychedelic action thriller. I hope to see this creative team paired together on a project in the future.
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because, if your like me, you’re dying to find out who that guy with the bag over his head is ! Well too bad! Looks like were gonna keep on waiting for that reveal (it better be worth it Johnsy-boy!). Instead Johns and Finch keep on making the D.C.U. a cooler place. Apparently, inter-dimensional invasions by evil super-beings makes for strange bedfellows. Luthor’s ad hoc Injustice League comprised of The Black Manta, Black Adam, Captain Cold,and Bizarro are caught by the Crime Syndicate’s Hunter Squad consisting of Deathstroke, Blockbuster, Shadow Thief and Giganta raiding a Wayne Enterprises Storage Center. With Deathstroke’s crew looking to take some heads, Luthor and friends are lucky Batman and Catwoman happened to be there as well.
Faced with a tough choice, Batman aids Luthor’s gang and we see the future of the Justice League in its nascent stages. Meanwhile, Sinestro makes quick work of one the Crime Syndicate’s main members, and chances are we won’t see him again (maybe his replacement???). Then Sinestro and Batman have…. a moment, after Sinestro reveals that Batman’s activation of the Yellow Ring last issue drew him to the battle. Lex, in his manipulative best, convinces both Deathstroke and Sinestro to join him, and a reluctant Batman signs up along with Catwoman to take down the Crime Syndicate. You’ll be surprised who this team choose as a leader, all I’ll say is… Batman isn’t happy about it!
And what appears in the skies over Maine that scares all the remaining Crime Syndicate villains into inaction? The very being that destroyed their world, has now come to our world…. will the world survive without a Justice League?
4 out of 5 Stars
Why?: (Spoiler Alert??)
Two Comics for the price of one! That alone is a good reason. If you haven’t been reading the Green Lantern books, Hal Jordan is in charge of the Corp now, and has sent Guy Gardner under cover into the rage-wielding Red Lanterns, only to have Gardner get trapped in the Red Corps, and after going native, Guy deposes Atrocitus and gains leadership (although very tenuous) of the Red Lanterns. Meanwhile, over in Supergirl, Kara-El has arrived on earth, and has had trouble adjusting from the beginning. Only speaking Kryptonian, landing way later than her famous cousin (She was expecting a baby, not a full grown man), she has no connections or understanding of anything human and finds Earth a strange and unfriendly place, so much so she went off into space just to get away. All the above leads to one angry young lady.
READ GREEN LANTERN SIDE FIRST!
Both Venditti and Soule do an amazing job of continuing both of their ongoing story arcs and dovetailing into this Red Daughter two parter nicely. As Hal does his best to rebuild the Corps after the Light’s Out Crossover’s still spreading wake of destruction, a new threat lands on the new Green Lantern home planet (and fellow member), Mogo. A supremely powerful Red Lantern was captured on the far side of the universe. Barely able to contain her, Hal scans her only to find she’s Kryptonian, a dangerous combination with a Red Ring! The Blue Light of Hope is the only thing that can safely separate a Red Ring from its bearer. Too bad the Blue Lantern Corps was destroyed by Relic, and its sole survivor, St.Walker cannot summon the hope within himself to activate his ring. Hal has only one choice… find Gardner and his Red Lanterns and see if they can help. Now you just flip the book over and BLAM! See where the story continues….
With a little back story leading up to Guy’s meet up with Hal, Soule finishes up his arc from the previous issues, showing the reason why Guy is in such a bad mood when they meet. Hal and Guy can barely keep their respective Lanterns, let alone themselves from each others throats, as the two corps try to figure where Supergirl got a ring and how to get it off her. Supergirl breaks free after the mention of her cousin (nothing gets her madder than being compared to that do gooder, perfect know it all Superman), and it takes a combined eight Red and Green Lanterns to subdue her and bring her to the Ysmault’s Lake of Blood, where her rage will be cooled, and her memories restored.
Now a full Red Lantern, how will Hal and Guy deal with the revelation of her relationship to Superman? Better yet what’s Superman’s reaction going to be when he finds out his younger cousin is now a Rage powered Red Lantern?
Vitti and Tan shine as the complimentary artists on this issue, giving their all for a flashy exciting story that’s a good jumping on point for new or lapsed readers
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because I dove in the Gold-Key-Character-Less Valiant relaunch and loved it, faithfully collecting all their titles and enjoying them. So I figured I’d give the Gold-Keys a shot now that they are out of Shooter’s hands and into Dynamite’s very capable ones. Part of me wants them to fail just out of loyalty to my Valiant books, but they do have some damn good creative teams lined up (including Pak, who is writing this issue as well as Valiant’s own Eternal Warrior). This was definitely a good first issue. Meeting a teenage Turok, shunned and called Witch-Boy by his fellow tribesman, we learn bits of his past. The mysterious events around his parents death, the debt he has to pay off to his people because of it, and his standing within the tribe are shown, and used as motivators to progress the story further, leading up to the actual Dinosaur Hunting (well it’s actually the Dinosaurs doing the hunting). And an even more dangerous predator lands on the shores of Turok’s homeland… White People! With swords, armor and a taste for gold. Pak and Colak deliver an awesome first issue, definitely leaves you wanting that issue 2 to be out quick.
THIS week’ssurpise pick
Why?: Well normally, I save this spot for a surprise from last week’s haul, a cool book or idea that I didn’t see until after I wrote that week’s TLW. When I saw this beaut on the stands I jumped for joy…
You see, due to the unbelievable plodding pace of the current Guardians, and it’s sever lack of characterization and story building, I have given up on Bendis’s disappointing run (although all the art was spectacular), and for the first time since 1990, I am not collecting on ongoing Guardians title.
But this here, this is where the good stuff is. For all those fans first introduced to the Guardians by the movie announcement, and started reading the current run, only to find themselves as disillusioned, bored or slightly nauseous as I was, despite Gaiman’s “consulting” and Angela’s stunning Marvel Universe debut (sarcasm free of charge), have no fear, the real deal GOTG is here!
Taking place during the Annihilation Conquest, when Ultron and his Phalanx army conquered part of the galaxy, a disgraced Peter Quill better known as Star-Lord, is given a choice by the remnants of the Kree military, either execution for treason, or lead a team of other expendable prisoners on a mission deep into Phalanx territory to stop them from gaining a deeper hold on the Galaxy.
Witness the humble origins of the GOTG of the 21st Century as Star-Lord, Groot and Rocket Raccoon team up for the first time, along side Bug, Mantis, Deathcry and Captain Universe, in this thrilling Space adventure thats 1 part Battle Star Galactica and 1 part Dirty Dozen. Check this out, it’s well worth the price tag, and StarLord at his best, Rocket Racoon at his snarkiest and the proper use of “I AM GROOT!” Read it and pray the execs over at Marvel Studios have as well, and the movie will be more along the line of this story arc.