Friday, November 16, 2007

UPDATED! Grading the Comics November 14

Hey folks-
last month I graded my week's haul of comics. Kind of surprised to learn that this was a popular page to visit on my blog!

So let's do it again, for this past Wednesday's books.

ALL STAR SUPERMAN #9 - Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely did a spectacular job on this issue, one of my favorites of the series so far. Perfectly captures the superiority complex Kryptonians have shown in the past, contrasted with Superman's more understanding and compassionate attitude. A+

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #7 - so THAT'S who the Scarlet Spiders are! No wonder. It clears up one mystery, but suggests much yet to be learned. And Spider-Man really is terrific in this appearance... heck, I'd read Dan Slott on just about anything (and have). A

BOOSTER GOLD #4 - One of my favorite DCU books these days, this one gets moving to clear up a mystery established in issue #1, as well as setting up a bigger, darker nemesis than Booster or Rip suspected. Great use of continuity (a Geoff Johns trademark), and nice use of Flash and Kid Flash too! A

COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #24 - okay, finally something happening. Superman-in-Black's identity is revealed (and it's not Kryptonian Johnny Cash), a world is murdered (whoa), Mary Marvel has no meeting of the minds with Darkseid, and the Challengers keep trudging along after Ray Palmer. (And why is the Silver Age Atom so dang important anyway?) B

GEN 13 #14 - the kids hit New York, find a crummy hotel to crash in and go their separate ways. Looks like a set-up to the "break-up" interludes lots of teams go through, except there's a definite agenda behind this (see that last panel and you'll know what I mean). New enemies lurking, new dangers ahead... cool! B+

SALVATION RUN #1 - the Rogues on their own, fending off alien horrors as they try to find safety, only to run into a bigger and somewhat nastier group of "newbies"... well, I like Bill Willingham's work and am ready to give it a shot but I hope something more goes on in the second issue. B-

SUICIDE SQUAD RAISE THE FLAG #3 - Okay, so we see some of Rick's background with Rustam and a final showdown in Skartaris, plus the timely sage advice of Jennifer Morgan. (Probably a lot of non-Warlord readers say "huh?" about now, but it's all right-- she's a sorceress, that's about all you need to know.) Not sure that recruiting the Shaggy Man for the new Squad is going to turn out well for Waller, either. Hm. B

TEEN TITANS EAST SPECIAL #1 - whoa. Cyborg cannot catch a break, can he? Just sorry that [spoiler/invisotext on] everybody was just learning to work as a group before they were all slaughtered. I mean, I didn't really know the new Hawk and Dove but... geez! Eyes torn out, Power Boy burnt to a crisp and then impaled on a branch. This was some truly graphic $#!t, my friends.[spoiler off] So what comes next, as if we didn't know? B+

THOR #4 - A little preachy but interesting. Makes sense that the second "hit" on the Asgardian world tour round-up would be [spoiler]the Warriors Three[/spoiler], but what ya gonna do? Great art, pretty good story. C+

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #48 - Mike Carey, you are one sick puppy. Wasn't quite expecting the Negative Zone connection here, but it makes sense (since Kragoff was originally a space traveler, makes sense he'd follow in the FF's footsteps here as well). But Rutskaya is one nasty piece of work... and the new Red Ghost (?) sure is fugly! A

WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY #12 - last issue!! ARGH! Okay, was hoping it'd stick around but... nice resolution to the Coyote Kid storyline, as well as the rampaging zombie hordes and the Host story. Just sorry to see it go. A

WONDER WOMAN #14 - got it, haven't read it yet. Stay tuned. (Update: Still haven't read it. Could it be I'm afraid it won't live up to my high expectations?)

WORLD WAR HULK #5 - Good and bad, honestly. Huge, explosive end to the World War Hulk story, except that it sort of runs out of steam toward the end (like our two major combatants). Nice message, except-- what happened? And who is the Red Hulk supposed to be, if not Bruce Banner further mutated by Tony Stark's energy barrage? I dunno, but... B- (which ain't great considering the series had been A+ up to now) . And... son of Hulk? Really?

X-FACTOR #25 - interesting story, as Jamie sends two dupes on a one-way mission--with Layla tagging along! Forge has a nice guest appearance too. Good work, interested in seeing how these potential futures tie into Messiah CompleX. B+

SCOTT PILGRIM VOL 4 SCOTT PILGRIM GETS IT TOGETHER TP - FINALLY! Do you know how much my wife's been looking forward to this book? She got out of bed at 3 FRICKIN' A.M. to read it! She said it's spectacular. A for content, F for making us wait so long.

The grades skewed way high this time around. Maybe I'm guilty of grade inflation. But... if you have an opinion, chime in!

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