Every comic you've read in 2009


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Green Lantern #41: More set-up for next month, it seems like. Fatality appears to John Stewart, Sinestro's planning something, and Hal's trying to get a hold on the rings as he finds out the background of the Orange Ring. Lots of set-up, not as satisfying as other months.

Also has a Last Days of Animal Man backup. Intriguing. Doesn't particularly make me want to go out and buy it, though.

Comic Books: 49

TPBs: 19

Graphic Novels: 2

Motion Comic: 1

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Y: the Last Man vol 3 (One Small Step) and vol. 4 (Safeword)

I'm absolutely loving this series, it's consistently funny, intriguing, exciting, and moves at a breakneck pace. Vol. 3 continues to deal with the larger picture, with this time Alter being the main antagonist of the book. It continuously feels huge in terms of political ramifications dealing with large scale subjects, this volume around the main topic is economical in a sense, world supply of males and survival of countries. While human survivals has always been at the forefront of the book, this volume finally reveals comptetive survival of countries. As the series goes on, Brian K Vaughn is giving a better balance developing both the plot and characters. The first half of vol. 4 (Safeword) is a big step to that, as we really see the inner depths of the Yorick and it deals with some very touchy subject matter, such as sex and suicide. It's easily my favorite arc of the series this far. While the second half of vol. 4 didn't really do anything new in terms of plot devices (militia groups, kidnappings, shootouts, new temptation for Yorick, etc..) it still had a great spotlight on Dr. Mann as she becomes more and more anxious due to the secret she's been hiding and a great ending in terms of how it will effect Yorick in the future. 9.5

Total:

Comic books: 9

Trade paperbacks: 32

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volumes 1, 2, and 3; The Authority by Ellis/Hitch/Millar/Quietly Volumes 1 (Relentless) and 2 (Under New Management) and 3 (Transfer of Power); Batman: Year One; Batman: The Long Halloween; Planetary vol 1 (All Over the World and Other Stories), vol. 2 (The Fourth Man), and vol. 3 (Leaving the 20th Century), Planetary Crossing Worlds (The Crossover specials); Planetary 19-26; Batman: The Man Who Laughs; Frank Miller's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear; RONIN; JOKER; Deadpool #1; Punisher Max vol. 1-4; Penance: Relentless; Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis vol 1-2; Thunderbolts: Secret Invasion, Astonishing X-men Hardcovers volume 1 and 2, Daredevil: Born Again, Y: The Last Man vol. 1-4, The incredible Hulk: Tempest Fugit

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Green Lantern #41: More set-up for next month, it seems like. Fatality appears to John Stewart, Sinestro's planning something, and Hal's trying to get a hold on the rings as he finds out the background of the Orange Ring. Lots of set-up, not as satisfying as other months.

Also has a Last Days of Animal Man backup. Intriguing. Doesn't particularly make me want to go out and buy it, though.

Yeah, I enjoyed it though.

The animal man thing, I'm just going to wait for the trade if I even get it.

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Sorry this is so long, I've been lazy...

Blackest Night #0 - The free comic book day edition. Basically a short conversation between Barry Allen and Hal Jordan over the unmarked grave of Bruce Wayne, remembering and reminiscing about their own shared experiences with death and beyond, which I have to admit might change one's perspective on the grieving process. It occurred to me that perhaps Flash and the Lantern were speaking for their readers in this issue, in that they weren't all that shaken up by the heroic death of their dear friend because they knew it was inevitable he'd be making a return from the grave. So really, they weren't saying goodbye so much as they were wishing him well on his journey. As a long-standing Marvel diehard, I found a few things to dislike about the traditional DC archetypes prevalent in this issue, but unless I'm being overly nitpicky I have to admit I enjoyed the food for thought. The price was certainly right, although Ivan Reis's artwork wasn't doing anything for me.

7/10

Daredevil Noir #2 - Maybe it's because I knew what I was walking into this time, but this issue just didn't seem to burn with the same kind of intensity as the debut. Last month set the scenery and jumped right into the machinations without even taking a breath, but this episode is much more lackadaisical and run of the mill. Even the big reveal of Elektra's identity at the end of the issue was kind of a yawner. As eye candy goes, though, Noir is still second to none. Coker's artwork is just as breathtaking in the Kingpin's private study as it is on the rain-soaked streets of Hell's Kitchen. Bullseye next month - could go either way.

6/10

Ex Machina #42 - Brian K. Vaughan is keeping a dozen plates spinning on his fingertips within this series, and I haven't the foggiest idea where it's headed. After lounging around for what seemed like an eternity, the whole of this story's cast has finally clicked for me. The only part I'm not really sold on is the debuting arch-nemesis, and that goes beyond my shallower concerns that Bioshock's Big Daddies have already laid claim to his wardrobe. If the big, conclusive battle of this series does wind up being animal vs. android, it's going to take a lot of convincing before I'm ready to look at it as a fair fight. Here's hoping this month's killer rat attack wasn't all the proof we're going to get on that front. This is pretty good stuff, with a wonderfully consistent artist in Tony Harris.

7/10

Terror Inc.: Apocalypse Soon #1 - Man, what happened to this series since the last time I saw it? The first mini was a great balancing act of horror, science fiction, fantasy and gallows humor, and that's a pretty good summary of what's missing here. With a lead character who's lived through the rise and fall of a dozen different empires, there's the potential for a lot of kickass storytelling built right in, but the brief glimpses we're granted this month were terribly shallow and generally useless. As a frothing fanboy of David Lapham's, this really isn't an easy thing for me to say... but he's totally missed the mark here. The jolting change in artists only makes things worse. What a disappointment.

2/10

Ultimate Spider-Man #132 - I could overlook Bendis's treatment of Ultimate Hulk in last month's issue because it was surrounded by so much awesomeness. But with a lame central storyline focusing on the effects of a flood on Dr. Strange's headquarters, the same can't really be said this time around. What I've loved so much about the ultimate iteration of the Hulk is how he's been handled as a ferocious, unpredictable, violent ball of fury - Millar and Ellis nailed it down in The Ultimates and Ultimate Human, respectively. But in USM he's something else entirely. He's weak-willed, he's generic, he's comic relief. In small doses, I could probably deal with that. As a recurring character with as much page time as the lead, that's not so easy. Yet such strangely inconsistent characterization isn't even exclusive to the Hulk in this issue: Mary Jane acts completely out of character, Kitty Pryde loses her cool under pressure, and now Kong is one of Peter's closest friends? I'm speechless. Here's hoping this was just an off month.

3/10

The Walking Dead #61 - Holy crap! Every time I try to stand up and gain my bearings with this series, Kirkman yet again pulls the rug out from under my feet. The man is absolutely ruthless. Like many of the others that came before, this issue is overflowing with moral quandries, harsh realities and terrifying moments of foreshadowing. I can't believe what went down this month, and from any indications that's just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, on the artistic front, Charlie Adlard was tasked with some seriously difficult emotional moments and performed heroically. Without exception, he nailed every last expression. Walking Dead is quickly lumbering to the top of my monthly checklist. Another fan-fuckin-tastic issue.

10/10

The Ultimates: Volume 1 - An old favorite that I threw into my backpack before climbing on a plane. I wanted to open it up again just to be sure it was actually as good as I remembered it being the first time. Guess what? It was even better. This is an examination of precisely how a team of government-endorsed, frighteningly powerful superhumans would more than likely carry themselves under the harsh spotlight of the real world. That they're also mind-bogglingly deep, complex, often bone-chillingly human characters just makes for an extra treat. And this is just the getting-to-know-you chapter. It doesn't really start to hit the fan for a few more issues! An all-time classic that I never should've even thought to question, both from a writing perspective and an artistic one. My only qualm is that everything else I was reading at the time paled in comparison and was probably knocked down a few unjust pegs as a direct result. Read this now, even if you've already read it a dozen times before. Love it.

10/10

Also, two contributions to IIWY? this week: Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #1 and Killapalooza #1

Comics: 90, TPB: 6, Graphic Novel: 1

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The Avengers: Free Comic Book Day Special - Twice as much fun as any issue of New Avengers has been since the start of the Skrull invasion. Rather than continuing to pussyfoot around the impending confrontation between New Avengers and Dark Avengers that's looking less likely with each passing day, here Bendis throws both teams into a common predicament and forces them to work together. Not without its corny moments (yet another "fastball special"), nor its head-scratchers (why did daddy Wolverine retract his claws before throwing a punch at Daken?) but as self-contained storylines go, this was above and beyond anything I could've expected. It had to make a few sacrifices to fit the page count but still came through as an enticing, coherent story that provided some valuable depth to select members of both teams. Jim Cheung should be the full-time artist for New Avengers; his work here isn't the greatest to ever grace the page, but it's worlds better than anything I've ever seen from Billy Tan. Much better than I was expecting.

8/10

New Avengers #53 - This just keeps getting worse and worse. The cavalcade of nobodies continues this month, as the crew lands in New Orleans just in time to throw down with a few demonic also-rans. If it weren't for a few great one-liners from Spider-Man, this would've been a complete waste of my time. I don't care about Brother Voodoo, I don't care about Daimon Hellstrom, I don't care about Doctor Strange and I'm really falling out of love with the Cowl since he's taken on this extra demonic personality. In stark contrast to the Avengers FCBD Special, this might just be the slowest moving, least interesting direction The Avengers has ever taken, and Tan's artwork is about as bad as it gets. One more month like this and I'm outta here.

1/10

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #6 - Wow, did this mini-series taper off. Damon Lindelof's writing is extremely inventive in concept, but in execution it's beginning to struggle. This month, for example, Logan gets through the airport without setting off the metal detectors by dropping a grenade into an unsuspecting traveler's briefcase. As security takes the man to the ground, Wolverine slips by unnoticed and quips "Once they figure out the grenade's made outta soap, they'll let him go." So why did it set off their alarms then? Such quandries and incredible coincidences plague this issue, holding it back from becoming the big, conclusive answer everyone expected (and certainly intended) it to be. What's more, Lindelof refuses to stop reminding us of the one memorable moment of the entire mini, the unforgettable shot of the Hulk tearing Logan in half at the waist. I don't think an issue of this series went by without a flashback or offhand remark about that moment, and by now it's just getting in the way. "Hey, I tore you in half, remember?" "Why yes, I certainly do remember that time, when you tore me in half." We remember too! Get on with it! This wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it just was. After the shocking, full-speed first issue, UWvH has just coasted on fumes the rest of the way to the finish line.

5/10

Wolverine #72 - After missing a few chapters, I very nearly let this storyline slip away. I'm glad I didn't. Millar's warped, twisted rendition of a victorious Red Skull is gorgeous: one part Cobra Commander, two parts Skeletor, fifty percent Megatron. He's drunk with power, reckless, entirely unpredictable and utterly fascinating. This isn't the best writing of Mark Millar's career - in fact, it's surprisingly sloppy and one-dimensional - but this particular chapter was so much fun that I'm willing to overlook it for now. The big payoff that each issue has been building towards finally arrives this month, but after all that came before it just comes off as anticlimactic, ending the chapter on a flat note. McNiven's artwork is showing a bit of wear and tear, clearly rushing in a few instances just to finish the damned thing off, but he still brings the goods. A profanely beautiful issue that succeeds almost entirely on the back of its villain. Pity it couldn't have ended right here.

7/10

Comics: 94, TPB: 6, Graphic Novel: 1

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Y the Last Man vol. 5: Ring of Truth,

There's no doubt this is one of the best series I've ever read. Vol. 5 had some excellent issues, the first three issues in this volume were come up as some of my personal favorites as they Vaughn takes a hard look at the institution of religion in a post-male world, it's also got great development on Yorick as he takes center stage with none of the usual supporting characters. Hero's journey is also an excellent issue, as we finally get some back-story of Yorick's sister, and fills in the gaps on her story. It's a really enlightening issue and works as a series of vignettes, it fulfills it's purpose showing us Hero's whole journey from a young rebellious teenager to a broken puppet to an older sister with reknewed purpose. The second arc is not one of my favorites, while it's got the huge plot developments exposing many of the secrets, it's doesn't have the usual thematic relevance that's usually present. Not a bad arc, it's moves the plot well and it has a hilarious punch-line to the explanation of Yorick as the last man, it feels like the epic end of one journey and the start of another, but thematically I felt it was missing something. Still, I love this book. 9/10

Y the Last Man vol. 6: Girl on Girl

This was a rather entertaining arc, I liked it, it keeps things going, has a fun little arc involving pirates, and also poses some really big questions to the readers about drugs as an escape from reality, and drugs as a method to start trade. Vaughn returns to the international scale as we are reintroduced to the global outlook, the global economy, and each country's defensive nature. The writing and art is consistently entertaining in this series and this volume is no different. 9/10

Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross

First off, the art is amazing. The big spreads present the wondrous nature of the Marvels, and the quiet scenes are lifelike and full of emotion. The writing is excellent, and for someone who isn't too familiar with the classic stories of the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Captain America, I was rarely lost (the only time I was really lost was on the FF fight with Galactus in Issue 3, I along with the main character and still incredibly confused on how they (and Surfer) stopped Galactus). The main character is likable, although I found him to be a bit of a pawn at points, though, it still goes in line with how mob mentality, group influence occurs. This is honestly the best introduction to the Marvel Universe I can think of for anybody interested in comics. The first two issues are much better than the latter two...but they're all great. Really glad I picked this up from TFAW in their spring sale.

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Batman- The Scottish Connection complete 'meh' on the story by Alan Grant, but I enjoyed looking at Frank Quietly's art with Batman and Robin in mind.

I wouldn't go as far as "completely meh". At least Wayne is given a reason to be in Scotland beyond chasing a villain like every other cross-country adventure in comics.The story was light and fun and yes, had brilliant art.

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Claremont/Miller's 80's Wolverine Mini: I picked it up at the airport, as I lost my copy of "The Inferno". I actually really, really like it. Wolverine was written like a Clint Eastwood character, and that really worked for me. Miller's art ran a nice combination of the contemporary Marvel house style, and Miller's love affair with black and shadow. Really well done and the final pages are right on par with "I did it 35 minutes ago."

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Batman and Robin #1: ...Ehhh. It was okay, I guess. Bats and Robin sniping at each other is going to get real old real quick, though Damian being a little prick is a given. Flying Batmobile looks really space agey, almost out of the fifties. And Pyg is creepy, Mr. Toad having a wild ride seems like a fairly obvious literary allusion.

Worth a look through, but I'm probably not buying more of this.

Secret Six #10: Simone is putting out consistently what may be the best book in the DCU currently. Good stuff with Scandal Savage bonding with Bane over getting him to quit the venom, and the slavers arc is starting (Artemis as a slave is going to be very interesting, I don't know who "Mina" was supposed to be). Great plot, good art, good team interaction (Jeanette and Blake, Scandal and Bane, especially), some solid action moments and have I mentioned how much I love Simone?

Interesting back up for Justice Leage: A Cry For Justice. It looks like Hal's pushing for VENGEANCE, especially for J'onn's and Bruce's death. Looks worth a look.

Comic Books: 51

TPBs: 19

Graphic Novels: 2

Motion Comic: 1

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I really don't know what it is about Secret Six. I was really enjoying it during its original run as Villains United and picked up every issue up until around 8 but I just don't think its anywhere near as engaging as it used to be. I'm a Bane fan and I've still lost my enthusiasm. Catman and Ragdoll are still great characters but the last couple of arcs didn't do anything for me. I'm not sure the team has been much fun since the Mad Hatter was forcefully ejected. The only thing that showed promise was Catman/Huntress but that doesn't look like its going anywhere.

I'm a huge Simone fan, I've read her entire runs on Deadpool, Agent X and Birds of Prey, its just that S6 has lost me which is a shame since I gave it far more time to regain my attentions than I would most books.

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*shrugs* To each their own. I only started following it after #9 came out, and ordered 2 to 6 and picked up #8, and that was on recommendation of IIWY.

The two issues before this one have been one shots, and while 8 wasn't the best filler in the world (and that was because they changed artists and it was godawful), it was pretty decent, and I felt like #9 was a nice tie-in to Battle for the Cowl without getting the characters embroiled in it (though I still think Bane had more of a go for the title than either Catman or Ragdoll).

Maybe check it out this month? I don't know, they're starting a big new arc and such.

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Batman & Robin #1

For the first time in a long, long time, I've been pleased with a Batman comic. Though I really didn't care about the frog henchman, this had great action with an exciting tease regarding the main villain. Damian is a little bastard that I'm going to love hating; Morrison really has his characterization down, and I'm quite excited to see him grow. Along those same lines, I like what he's doing with Dick. And though I wish there were more scenes with Dick and Alfred, it gives me something to look forward to. Frank Quitely has a good grasp on the overall design of the city, though it seems more like a darker version of his Metropolis. (Maybe I'm just not used to a bright Gotham City.) The technology and characters, however, he's nailed. He's made sure that this Dynamic Duo can't be confused for the old one(s); it's very clear that Bruce and Tim aren't wearing the costumes.

Really, I only have two gripes:

01. At certain points the art is sketchy, which isn't something I'm used to with Quitely. It isn't bad and I'll get used to it, but it was a bit of a shock to see.

02. Morrison's dialog always has a slight European slant to it. When it comes to Damian and Alfred I don't mind, but certain phrases just didn't seem right when uttered by Dick.

Despite that, what an awesome issue!

Out of 10: 9

Total

Comic books: 9

Trade paperbacks: 38

Graphic novels: 1

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Dark Avengers #5 - I love the amount of freedom Bendis has at Marvel right now, so if he suddenly decides that he'd like to spend an entire issue on Norman Osborn's live interview with Katie Couric, by god, we're getting an entire issue of talking heads. And that's just what this month was, with a few very brief glances around at the rest of the squad. Compared to the last few months, when the Goblin all but threw the entire team onto his back and carried it to the finish line, this wasn't a great issue. Norman had plenty of time in the spotlight, which is always a good thing, but didn't reveal as much this time. Instead of a new respect for the character and another introspective peek into his psyche, I just saw him as a conniving snake, which is nothing new. He did a decent enough job of deflecting Hawkeye's public criticisms (I loved his calling out the fact that Clint himself was a reformed felon) but not good enough that I could see anyone buying into him as America's new white knight. Plus, several members of his supporting cast are beginning to have something of an identity crisis, blurring the line between their true identities and those of the heroes they're impersonating. Do I really want to see Venom cracking jokes, no matter how perfectly timed they might be? No, not particularly. That's kind of missing the point, isn't it? Dark Avengers is still going strong, but its pace has slowed and I'm noting a few cracks in the veneer.

7/10

Ultimate Spider-Man #133 - What, seriously? They're ending this series? How did I miss that news? I suppose if USM had to go out, this would be the way to do it. The complete lack of dialog could've made this a very quick, disappointing read, but between Bendis's thrilling plot and Immonen's fantastic visual storytelling, it never felt short on substance. In fact, the silence played into the story brilliantly. When the issue opened, moments after an enormous explosion rocked the concrete underneath Spider-Man and the Hulk's feet, it produced a shell-shocked, white noise sort of sensation. I felt like my ears were ringing and everything went into slow motion, surrounded by a faint white haze. As the issue progressed, that effect transformed to embody more of a stunned, speechless disbelief as it became clearer and clearer Kitty and Spider-Woman weren't going to find Peter's body. No words could have delivered a stronger impact. A nice rebound from last month that left me upset about the impending relaunch. Why screw around with something that can still work this well?

8/10

The Ultimates: Book 2 - This was Secret Invasion, done properly, five years before Elektra was revealed to be a Skrull. Quite a bit more action-oriented than the first story arc, and as a result not quite as smart, I'd still call it a top-notch experience. Millar takes a few more chances with the cast and their abilities in this arc, which distances their world a bit from the vivid reality represented in the first storyline. He also adds a few pieces to the supporting cast in Hawkeye, the Black Widow, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Fortunately, the new faces only serve to compliment what was already a fantastic group of distinct personalities, filling roles that were left vacant during the earlier adventure. I didn't remember there being quite so many punchlines in this collection, which took a bit away from the mystique that had been previously established, but at least it's actually funny when it tries to be. Good stuff, good stuff.

9/10

Comics: 96, TPB: 7, Graphic Novel: 1

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Y the last man volume 7 (Paper Dolls) and 8 (Kimono Dragons): This book is sooo good that when it even falters just a little it feels like the end of the world. There are some tremendous one-shots across both these volumes that flesh out character histories and supporting characters' activities. These have been excellent in previous volumes and they do not falter here as they show the flaws, personalities, and life struggles of all the characters, making them less as characters and closer to real people. The bigger arcs still push the story along, Paper Dolls is an excellent arc dealing with media rumors and consequences. Kimono Dragons is more or less a rescue mission, it feels heavy on plot and less heavy on theme, although the goings on in the new gangs provides interesting insight on how leadership is incited, and followers are gathered. A more meh arc that is glittered with fun character things (Agent 355 really steals it here). 9/10

Also because I didn't have Y the Last man volume 8 yet when I finished volume 7, I read some other books.

Daredevil: Yellow, Daredevil: Redemption

Both books focus more on Matt Murdock than Daredevil. Yellow is a love-letter to Murdock's girlfriend that chronicles his father's death, his early years as Daredevil, and one of his most important relationships. I'm not sure how I feel about Yellow, sometimes I love it, there's a lot of good quotes in here especially "The measure of a man isn't how he gets knocked down to the mat, but how he gets back up" and it's a great look at Karen that I never really had before but it also retcons some of Miller's work, making Murdock a bit older when his father died, and it seems to falter in the later issues as it doesn't really know where to go. Reading this again, it's awesome to see some of the things hinted at in terms of Bendis run and how Murdock deals with grief, having such a hard time with Karens death.

Redemption looks at a different side of Murdock, it focuses more on the lawyer side, and honestly, I didn't know anything going in, there's absolutely no buzz on this book, but it's one of the best DD books I've ever read. It's one of the well-paced, thematically relevant, and morally questioning books and stacks up to Daredevil's best books. It's a dark analysis of religious fanaticism, small-town politics, and prejudice. I say buy it right now. Really. It doesn't just work as a Daredevil book, but it works as a book. 10/10

Total:

Comic books: 9

Trade paperbacks: 37

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volumes 1, 2, and 3; The Authority by Ellis/Hitch/Millar/Quietly Volumes 1 (Relentless) and 2 (Under New Management) and 3 (Transfer of Power); Batman: Year One; Batman: The Long Halloween; Planetary vol 1 (All Over the World and Other Stories), vol. 2 (The Fourth Man), and vol. 3 (Leaving the 20th Century), Planetary Crossing Worlds (The Crossover specials); Planetary 19-26; Batman: The Man Who Laughs; Frank Miller's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear; RONIN; JOKER; Deadpool #1; Punisher Max vol. 1-4; Penance: Relentless; Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis vol 1-2; Thunderbolts: Secret Invasion, Astonishing X-men Hardcovers volume 1 and 2, Daredevil: Born Again, Y: The Last Man vol. 1-8, The incredible Hulk: Tempest Fugit, Marvels, Daredevil: Redemption, Daredevil: Yellow.

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Trying to catch up on everything I've forgotten to write about:

Green Lantern #41: didn't particularly blow me away. 7/10

Battle for the Cowl #3:Yep, dig it. 8/10

Battle for the Cowl Gotham Gazette Batman Lives (or whatever): After the first issue of it, I should have skipped it. Ugh. 3/10

Batman #687: Great addnedum to BFTC but could have easily been a fourth issue. That way we would have had the glorious pencils of Tony Daniel over the terror that it Ed Benes. Not a fan. But this shows the conflict between Dick and the cowl. Three panels with Alfred made me cry. It would be a 9 if not for the art. 8/10

Green Lantern Corps #37: Bad. Ass. Open Letter to Peter Tomasi: I want to have your babies. never leave GL Corps. That is all. 9/10.

Monsters on the Prowl #20: Thursday's King and I.

Total

Comic books: 154

Trade paperbacks: 7

Graphic novels: 1

Jan 01-Apr 21=105 comics, 4 TPBs...Joker's Asylum: Two-Face, Joker's Asylum: Poison Ivy, Joker's Asylum: Scarecrow, Joker's Asylum: Penguin, Joker's Asylum: Joker, Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1, Vigilante #1, Fantastic Four #558-564, Harbinger: The Beginning, Simon Dark #10-17, Captain Britain and MI-13 #8-10, The Darkness #8-10, The Darkness: Lodbrok's Hand Oneshot, The Darkness #75, Battle for the Cowl: Underground, Battle for the Cowl: Arkham Asylum, Green Lantern #40, New Avengers #47, Mighty Avengers #20, Iron Man: The End, The End League #4-6, Kick-Ass #5, JSA: All-Stars, Battle for the Cowl: Network, Battle for the Cowl #3, Age of Desire, Poe #1, Jack Kirby's The Demon, Green Lantern #41, Battle for the Cowl #3, Battle for the Cowl Gotham Gazette Batman Lives, Batman #687, Green Lantern Corps #37, Monsters on the Prowl #20

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Just recently finished the last trade of Y: The Last Man.

All I can say is that it's simply Phenomenal. I really liked it, sure there was a bit of a lull during volumes 8 and 9, but volume 10 is really a fantastic wrap up to the entire series. It really shows that while it was important to find out what caused the gendercide, it wasn't the story. It may have been the hook way back in volume 1, but it's not the story now. It's not the point now and looking back I don't think that ever was the point. There was a lot of emphasis on it throughout the series, but volume 10 kind of shows that no explanation really could do the series justice, only a connection to the characters can. He's 100% got me there. Also the last issue was perfect, and the last page of the last issue was fabulous. This has instantly shot up as one of my favorite series of all time. 10/10

Total:

Comic books: 9

Trade paperbacks: 39

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volumes 1, 2, and 3; The Authority by Ellis/Hitch/Millar/Quietly Volumes 1 (Relentless) and 2 (Under New Management) and 3 (Transfer of Power); Batman: Year One; Batman: The Long Halloween; Planetary vol 1 (All Over the World and Other Stories), vol. 2 (The Fourth Man), and vol. 3 (Leaving the 20th Century), Planetary Crossing Worlds (The Crossover specials); Planetary 19-26; Batman: The Man Who Laughs; Frank Miller's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear; RONIN; JOKER; Deadpool #1; Punisher Max vol. 1-4; Penance: Relentless; Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis vol 1-2; Thunderbolts: Secret Invasion, Astonishing X-men Hardcovers volume 1 and 2, Daredevil: Born Again, Y: The Last Man vol. 1-10, The incredible Hulk: Tempest Fugit, Marvels, Daredevil: Redemption, Daredevil: Yellow.

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So I'm working through some of the books I bought in my second order at TFAW's spring sale, so all of these I got 80% off.

Hulk: Dogs of War. Actually bought this book for a friend who loves Hulk, but I figured I'd read it before passing it on to him. It's really really long winded and I felt like it doesn't need to be. Paul Jenkins writes this and I liked his writing in Inhumans, and while it was wordy it never felt overly wordy. This did, it felt overly wordy, long winded and at times boring. Any good coming out of the ideas in this book (the struggle inside Banner's mind with thousands and thousands of Hulk, the mysterious villain with crazy connections) was bogged down by longwinded dialogue. Ultimately by the end I didn't care too much, I liked some things (the female heroine of the piece, the psychology aspects, the death of Bruce's body, and the analogus villain character) but I cared less and less because it was such a struggle to get through. Jenkins felt the need to get very technical at times, and lose me. Similar to why I didn't like Ellis' run on Authority as much as most. 5/10

Spider-man: India. It only cost me a dollar okay and honestly I wouldn't have bought it otherwise. Which is sad, because it's actually pretty good and at times excellent. The writing has some struggles, but the art is beautiful. It looks like a lot of effort was put into this book. The book effectively took the Spider-man hero and transported him across cultures and it works. The changes made absolutely work. The villains are more mystical, more mythical, the struggles of the Pavtir are not only social but class struggles, and ultimately the battles are the same as they ever were but still seemed fresh due to a new location and a new myth. Spider-man is a character who transcends culture, and they showed that here taking essentially the same characters, the same struggles, and tweaking it. It's not anything new, it's essentially the same hat as always, but it's a system that works, and the changes make it fresh and fun again. 8/10

Hard-boiled. I read this last night and I'm not sure if it's one of the stupidest things I've ever read or if it was one of the coolest. The art is definitely insane and crazy, the writing is good, but the story overall is just... I don't know. It's crazy. It's probably worth the read at least to look at the pictures. 8/10

While my first order (which included Marvels, X-factor visionaries 3-4, Daredevil Yellow, Daredevil Redemption, Hulk: Tempest Fugit and Mutant Genesis) was pretty awesome, the second order (which included the 3 books above along with RIPD, District X vol. 1, Daredevil Loves Labors Lost and Dark Phoenix Saga) seems much lower on the awesome scale.

Next up is Daredevil Loves Labors Lost and RIPD.

Total:

Comic books: 9

Trade paperbacks: 42

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volumes 1, 2, and 3; The Authority by Ellis/Hitch/Millar/Quietly Volumes 1 (Relentless) and 2 (Under New Management) and 3 (Transfer of Power); Batman: Year One; Batman: The Long Halloween; Planetary vol 1 (All Over the World and Other Stories), vol. 2 (The Fourth Man), and vol. 3 (Leaving the 20th Century), Planetary Crossing Worlds (The Crossover specials); Planetary 19-26; Batman: The Man Who Laughs; Frank Miller's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear; RONIN; JOKER; Deadpool #1; Punisher Max vol. 1-4; Penance: Relentless; Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis vol 1-2; Thunderbolts: Secret Invasion, Astonishing X-men Hardcovers volume 1 and 2, Daredevil: Born Again, Y: The Last Man vol. 1-10, The incredible Hulk: Tempest Fugit, Marvels, Daredevil: Redemption, Daredevil: Yellow, Hard-boiled, Hulk: Dogs of War, Spider-man: India

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R.I.P.D. - I picked this up because I heard it was being turned into a movie. The Rest in peace department, basic idea is Men in Black with demons and the afterlife, actually it takes the basic idea of MIB, the major plot points (rookie trained by a soon-to-be retired vet), and the tone (goofy fun with some serious elements) but it's not executed nearly as well. The first issue is done pretty well at we are introduced to the premise through the rookie's eyes, but everything else moves too quickly for it's own good not really taking the time to build the world around them and have the emotional momments resonate with the audience, juggles too many plots, and coming to a head too easily. It's all done before it ever really gets time to get off the ground. The art fits, surprisingly, with it's cartoony look that shows the book isn't serious and is fun. It's a quick-style read, but it's not great, and only worth a quick look. 6/10

Daredevil: Love Labors Lost - I LOVE DAREDEVIL. Just Need to get that out of the way. This collects some of the issues between Frank Miller's character defining first run and is right before his perennial Born Again run. Just because of that, the stories in this book get overshadowed. They are not even close to as good but there are some excellent stories, and some minor bumps along the way. These stories really show Murdock dealing with the downfall and eventual loss of another girlfriend (this time Heather Glenn). It mixes the mature content and themes (grieving, suicide, revenge) with old-school dialogue and really lame villains. There's good and bad with in this book, the major subplot arc that traveling through most of the book (Murdock dealing with Heather Glenn) is quite exceptional. The stand-alone, villain of the month plots, are quite lame...overall. The book rests on the Murdock character and his excellent supporting cast. While they're no the best stories around, and the momment ends up being a footnote in DD history, it helps bridge the gap nicely between Miller's two runs and provides some strong entertainment along the way. 7.5/10

Pride of Baghdad - I read this through in one sitting. It's quite amazing and takes a somewhat childish concept (talking animals) with archetype, stereotypical characters and breathes life into it through humanistic motivations, thought, and mature themes. It's a spectacle to see and a rather simple story of a pride of lions. Whatever metaphors that are there never get too heavy handed (except for the turtle one) and it's not speech tastic espewing Vaughn's views on social issues and politics, it's very much a character drama, with the character's discussing and presenting their own arguments and none of them really ever coming on top in that realm. It's a really good book. 8.5/10

Total:

Comic books: 9

Trade paperbacks: 44

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Volumes 1, 2, and 3; The Authority by Ellis/Hitch/Millar/Quietly Volumes 1 (Relentless) and 2 (Under New Management) and 3 (Transfer of Power); Batman: Year One; Batman: The Long Halloween; Planetary vol 1 (All Over the World and Other Stories), vol. 2 (The Fourth Man), and vol. 3 (Leaving the 20th Century), Planetary Crossing Worlds (The Crossover specials); Planetary 19-26; Batman: The Man Who Laughs; Frank Miller's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear; RONIN; JOKER; Deadpool #1; Punisher Max vol. 1-4; Penance: Relentless; Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis vol 1-2; Thunderbolts: Secret Invasion, Astonishing X-men Hardcovers volume 1 and 2, Daredevil: Born Again, Y: The Last Man vol. 1-10, The incredible Hulk: Tempest Fugit, Marvels, Daredevil: Redemption, Daredevil: Yellow, Hard-boiled, Hulk: Dogs of War, Spider-man: India, R.I.P.D., Daredevil: Love Labors Lost,

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