The Dark Knight Rises comes out in two days, yet this week is rather sparse on Batman books. We get Batwoman #11 and a Batman Beyond book and really who counts Justice League as a Batman book? Hm…weird. Luckily we’re not short on tantalizing comic books like Avengers vs. X-Men #8, Skullkickers and Night of 1,000 Wolves to name a few. Let’s check em out!


Daredevil #15


Daredevil is trapped in Latveria and at the same time he’s trapped in his own head because they’ve taken away his senses. Can Matt save himself without his powers? The book starts out great with 9 panel spread depicting Matt’s point of view. Darkness. It plays around with the theme of fear, but also gives Matt and the reader hope.


Just breathe.

Writer Mark Waid is doing something I’ve never seen with Daredevil. Sure he’s lost his powers before, but to have them heightened in a new way is intriguing. Essentially Waid is playing around with what makes Matt Murdock super on a biological scale.


With his powers gone Daredevil must use his strongest sense. Intelligence!

Leave it to Mark Waid to come up with an inventive new story that deals with character and their psychosis. Chris Samnee backs him up wonderfully in the rain soaked imagery.


Iron Man in a Daredevil book. Say wah?

This is a good issue that any reader could jump in and enjoy. Unfortunately it’s a little light and you’ll breeze through in a matter of minutes.

Budget: $10.00-$0.00 = $10.00


Saga #5 (Image)


Another issue of Saga, another great read. This time we get some real action, a monitor headed person on the toilet and some sweet baby laughter. Booyah!


Don’t make daddy angry.

Writer Brian K. Vaughan is taking his time with this story, but I don’t hear anyone complaining. It’s a strange comparison, but I liken it to the current run of Ultimate Spider-Man. If you take your time to build up to moments they become even stronger. The same can be said for the action in this issue. You know they are warriors, but it wasn’t until this issue that we see Marko use hand to hand combat and Alana fly a military jet. They aren’t just any other couple.


Dig the backdrop and reflective floor.

The Will is trying to do the right thing and some new developments with his freeing of a sexworker is developed. Last issue I was a tad confused as to why he was on Sextillion, but now it’s a little more clear.


Flying horses huh.

So far the real draw to keep reading has been this complicated and intricate world Vaughn has built. Why on earth are people using pegasus when they have space crafts? How does the villain exist when he’s got a monitor for a head? What holds it all together is the dialogue. It’s crisp, realistic and enjoyable. Without it this book would be a mess of confusion, but instead it reads like any other drama.


Interesting thought he has there.

What we have here is a book that can’t be matched by anything on the shelves. It’s original straight up and down.

Budget: $10.00 – $2.99 = $7.01


Danger Girl/G.I. Joe #1(IDW)


If you’re looking for cheesecake you’ve come to the wrong place. Unless of course your cheesecake is in the form of jets that go “shaaaaakoooooom!”


It’s a sad day when your death knell is, “Cobra!”

The issue is cliched to all hell. We get the exciting action opening, the recap of the mission complete with holograms and even a snake jumping out at our heroine only to be snatched up by the hunky hero. Ugh. It’s sad but without cheesecake what’s the point?


My hero.

Well you do get a bit of cheesecake…but it’s certainly not enough:


I wonder how you pronounce that symbol? Plenty of hissing and a love for Voldemort from Harry Potter I assume.

Plot twist!

Budget: $7.01-$0.00 = $7.01

Ten comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. Movie Loki may whine them to death in quick succession.

The Activity #7 is a Spec Ops fan dream come true. There’s plenty of Navy Seal action. There is a bit of an unbalance between the protagonists of the story and said action though. Although the mission, along with the cliffhanger are interesting enough to take a peek. This book still hasn’t matched the amazing first issue. Sigh.

What a bitch Wonder Woman is. Justice League #11 is actually a nice little adventure, although it’s padded with needless fighting between Wonder Woman and the rest of the team. Wonder Woman goes nutty and starts punching the JL in the head. She’s also to blame for the whole mess. The jerk. Last I checked Green Lantern was human. So why can he take a punch from Wonder Woman and fly 100 yards straight into a car? He’d most definitely have a crushed skull. It’s too bad he doesn’t.

And then she’s not a bitch over in Wonder Woman #11. It’s funny how a female character can be written as if she’s walking tits with a temper in one comic and then have an actual personality in the next. This is a decent jumping on point for new readers as the second storyline kicks in, although there’s a ton of backstory needed to get what the heck is happening. Brian Azzerello’s master plan with Wonder Woman is starting to take shape as well. This new cast of Greek God characters is starting to make a little more sense.

The Black Panther faces his Egyptian power givers in Fantastic Four #608. This issue feels more like an excuse to connect Black Panther with other characters…and thus make him more pertinent. It would probably work better in one of those character summary books. This is proof Panther needs his own book. Why it’s in Fantastic Four is an insult to the character.

Shit just got real in X-0 Manowar #3 with a ton of action and a plot twist I did not see coming. If you like your comics filled with action and screaming pick this book up. Personally I think it fits better in a 6 issue trade paperback so skip it if you’re a single issue reader.

Uncanny X-Men #16 is a whole lot of fun. We’ve seen it coming, but to see Sinister use his X-Men clones against the X-Men is hilarious and fun. When it’s shouted, “cannonballs!” and literally Cannonball clones fly out you’ll snicker. It’s a tad boring to see Namor as the weak link once again as he is in Avengers vs. X-Men #8 and that takes this down a notch. It’s also confusing as to where it fits in the main event. Most likey before #8…so maybe Scott should have noticed the anger issues and prevented Namor’s actions inAvengers vs. X-Men #8? Dummy.

Wolverine #309. No that’s not a typo, issue #310 came out a week before #309, probably because this issue brings back ANOTHER enemy Wolverine saw die. This time Meltdown. The issue continues the boring grumblings of Logan and his sad ways when drinking. Elixir is brought it, but kind of just stands there and lets Wolverine blather. The art is amazing though and is worth a look.

Yet another book that started strong but ends in the most boring way possible. Batwoman #11 should have ended 4 issues ago. This book has had some creator issues which explains the lack of good storytelling. Well…at least the cover is pretty.

Welp, things are making a bit more sense in Infernal Man-Thing #2 although singing doesn’t translate well in a comic book. You sit there trying to make it work more than it tickles your fancy. This is a nice issue though with some interesting psychoanalysis going on. Not for everyone though.

I’m not sure a single issue of this book can suck and Adventure Time #6 does not disappoint. The backup stories always help too, especially when the plot of a single issue can run a bit thin. This issue takes on time travel and is enjoyable. Just not enough bang for the bucks considering the competition this week.


It looks like Loki is making those little farting noises with his hands… but rest assured, he’s really wringing them in disgust.


Avengers vs. X-Men #8 (Marvel Comics)



Enter the rage of Namor! It’s funny to think Namor can get so unhinged, especially with all the god powers, but it’s a smart move by the Avengers to exploit his temper. This issue is pretty damn exciting, with a lot of great one liners and action. Think of this as a summer action flick and you’ll do fine.


Ouch.

Adam Kubert is on pencils here and he brings the full force of drama whenever he can.


Who’s your daddy?

Since this is an issue of mostly fighting Bendis doesn’t get on my nerves as much as he usually does these days. Don’t get me wrong, he had an amazing run on Daredevil back in the day, but lately it’s all pointless chatter. I can’t help but think Kubert is helping him though, as the pacing of this issue is superb.


Snap Red Hulks arm get a prize!

And then shit just gets crazy when Scarlet Witch shows up.

In fact, the pacing of the issue works wonders on a book like this. With action one minute and exposition the next an action book of this caliber could become boring or confusing; which makes me have to tip my hat to Kubert even more – as the man can draw a mean page.


”Put you down.” It sure would suck to be Thor’s dog.

Unfortunately on a ten dollar budget there’s meatier reads, but with a bit more money it’s not a bad purchase. Pick this up if you have the extra change.

Budget: $7.01- $0.00 = $7.01


Night of 1,000 Wolves #3 (IDW)



The third and final issue is here and boy does it deliver the gruesome.


Suicide by werewolf. Nice!

The men fight back but the reason for the attack is made apparent. I won’t ruin it, but it’s a rather simple piece of backstory that wasn’t told to us. Sure it’s a tad out of left field, but it adds to the lore of the werewolf.


That is one loud thunk.

Somebody give Dave Watcher his own book. His art is dirty and raw and would suit any horror book, but imagine these pencils on a superhero comic.


Brutal…and awesome.

Eventually a sacrifice is made and it’s a gross one. Check this book out if the pictures above tantalize or wait for the eventual trade paperback and save some coins. It’s not to be missed, but you can skip the single issue format. I won’t tell.

Budget: $7.01-$0.00 = $7.01


The Invincible Iron Man #521 (Marvel Comics)



The scope of this issue and the balancing act between all the players is masterfully done. In most cases when it comes to this series, writer Matt Fraction commits pacing nightmares that force the reader to not get full fledged enjoyment unless they read 2 or 3 issues back to back. This issue though brings on a perfect blend of action and story.


Zingah!

Much like his origin, Tony Stark is a prisoner, his captor is Mandarin. Mandarin wants nanobots produced in his labs and he wants them now. The other prisoners are brain controlled humans who can barely speak a word. Tony better make those bots or pay a price.


Ouch.

At the same time Tony’s business competitors are creating new technology and moving and shaking to destroy everything he believes in. On top of that his once rival Ezekiel Stane is now nearly brain dead. Tony needs to rebuild his mind to have any chance to get out. Talk about playing with fire.

Fraction has packed quite a bit into this issue, probably because his run is ending with Marvel NOW! in October. That’s a win for everyone.

Budget: $7.01-$3.99 = $3.02


Skullkickers #16 (Image)



Got to love those boots

After the sweet side story in last issue we’re back on the pirate ship. A giant squid monster is attacking everyone and shit is about to get real.


Cool factoid.

Once again the hilarious “sounds” that describe the sound rather than make it are in full force here. The action is a bit mindless but there’s some amazingly inventive things afoot. For instance, as the boat starts to tip, so do the panels as seen here:


Which gets steeper still:


It’s an enjoyable ride, although there’s too much action and not enough story for new readers. As far as single issues go, if this isn’t on your pull list it’s a peruse at your own discretion type of read.

Budget: $3.02 – $0.00 = $3.02


Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)



Ms. Marvel has a new look and spends the majority of this issue wrestling with taking on the name Captain Marvel. Neither of those things will matter though once you crack this open, because the art is downright gorgeous.


”Tooilet paper.” Nice zinger.

Artist Dexter Soy is relatively new, I believe this is his second book, but god almighty can he draw. My one gripe is the coloring of skin. There are some panels were Captain America looks like a zombie. That aside the pacing between panels is top notch and every page is a beaut.


Captain Marvel the new executioner of chauvinists!

The dialogue is also top notch with plenty of one liners to go around.


Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, wife of Matt Fraction, is in charge of writing duties and I have to say it’s quite lovely. You can always tell a book is plotted well when the ebb and flow makes it enjoyable to turn the page. In some instances you’re turning the page to something you didn’t expect. In a bad way. She’s crafted a great story here cutting from action, to backstory, to the internal conflict of the character nicely.


Love the Michelle line

There’s also an interesting use of cursive for internal monologue which is reminiscent of what Brian K. Vaughan is doing in Saga.


Those stars are oober pretty.

This is probably going to be a sleeper hit of the week for most people. There really aren’t any expectations for this book. Nobody was asking for it. But when the art and writing meld so well together people will take notice.


Maybe you don’t need the mask AND the headgear Spidey. Just sayin.

Do yourself a favor and check this book out. It isn’t everyday we get such well written female characters in comics.

Budget: $3.02 – $2.99 = $.03

Talk about a solid week. If you don’t like big action you have some introspective storytelling, if you want to just cut loose you have some big action. A nice week to remind us there’s always some surprises come Wednesday. Now for Dark Knight Rises!

And Batman fans, be sure to buy The Dark Knight Rises collector cards! from Fandango.