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House of X #3
Written by Johnathan Hickman 
Penciled/inked by Pepe Larraz

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Great issue. Just like the previous week in Powers, things are starting to heat up. Still some non panel world building/exposition to be found, but it doesn't distract from the main story. The mission undertaken by Cyclops and his team to stop Nimrod from ever becoming essentially Nimrod carries a good amount of tension, and excitement. Also there is a scene back on Earth with Sabertooth in a courtroom that was interesting. I keep trying to see things from the mutant's perspective, and how they see the world. Xavier's crusade is taking the X-Men as a whole in a little bit of a darker turn against humanity than previous iterations. Like classic Magneto. There is still a much larger picture here that Hickman is painting with the multiple time realities, but I find the events in the X10 time era the most compelling. 

Larraz continues to turn in great work. I really liked his pencils here, and the backgrounds he was tasked to come up with due to the space setting were pretty remarkable. There is one panel with the X-Men's ship docking in space with the sun gleaming off of it, and it was beautiful. And this was also his best cover to date. 

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Superman #14
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by Ivan Reis

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This book has really been treading down for me for a while. Just seems like the entire saga that Bendis set up with Superman's father, Krypton's secrets that led to it's demise, and Rogol Zaar just hasn't been that interesting for me. At least Rogol Zaar has finally been subdued with the help of Supergirl, Super son Jon, and Zod. Then of course there is a big reveal for Rogol Zaar himself, but it's essentially brushed over in 2 seconds as we get to the big reveal of Legion of Superheroes, who are finally back. I'm excited for that book moving forward, but they really kind of just show up randomly on the backs of a story that isn't that great. There is a multiple civilization planetary war that is halted, and it just feels like it's an excuse for us to get the Legion back. I dunno, just not feeling it. The art of Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Alex Sinclair continues to be some of the best in the business though. I feel like that alone is worth the ticket price. I'm sure for others that won't be quite enough.

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Absolute Carnage #2
Written by Donny Cates
Penciled by Ryan Stegman 

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Nice solid issue. It doesn't reach the highs of the first issue, but that was going to be an almost impossible task with how great it was in addition to it's extended length. Here, there is still the same amount of dread displayed by Carnage, and now Norman Osborne who is willfully relishing his new found dark glory. Venom, and Spiderman literally have their backs against the wall, and have to escape to formulate a new found strategy against a seemingly insurmountable foe. Brute force just won't work here. We also get a couple of guest stars that are in just as much peril as Venom and Spiderman are. The ending here cemented that no one is safe. 

Cates and Stegman are putting on quite a show. Might be a good idea to grab a seat if you haven't already.

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Justice League Dark #14
Written by James Tynion IV
Penciled by Alvaro Martínez Bueno

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I hope James Tynion isn't losing his magic touch. Probably not, but since the Lords of Order arc concluded in issue 12, the team has been treading a little bit I feel. Of course, the annual also came out recently, which was additional story content that doesn't really get things rolling to the next hill. That's okay, since I'm still interested in the set up that is happening with Circe making her move after her little encounter with Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman has at least caught on to her pulling the strings. Also, an appearance by the Upside Down Man. Glad he hasn't gone away completely. Something also happened to Kirk this issue, so that might be a problem. Okay read, just want some more sizzle for next session. Still like Alvaro Martinez Bueno on pencils.

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Doctor Strange #18
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Jesus Saiz

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Really sucks that this series is getting the boot, but hopefully the Doctor will be back sooner rather than later. This issue here is essentially a one shot, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is the rest of what is going to happen the last two issues after this. At any rate, Waid brought a decent short story to the table. More light heart, instead of dark, but that's fine. There is a rumor that Strange may just be on hiatus from his own title, since his role will be expanded on another title, but I'm not holding my breath. Even at 20 issues, this overall has been a quality run by Waid. I think Barry Kitson was the best artist from what I read, but Jesus Saiz has been okay mostly.

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Batman/Superman #1
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by David Marquez

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This was probably my favorite read this week. It was either that or House of X #3. For an initial issue, Williamson really blew the doors off. He gets the Superman/Batman dynamic right away. The back and forth slick banter, it works really well. The narrative even from the onset is a ticking time clock mystery against the Batman Who Laughs. I haven't read much of The Batman Who Laughs, but he is a really intelligent menace from what I do remember in Dark Knights: Metal I think it was. I really should pick up his solo title. Anyway, this title isn't slowed by a lot of exposition or anything like that. We are told what we need to know, and it isn't complex while still being intriguing. I really like the idea of a Superman/Batman title, but it hasn't always clicked from what I've looked into. This has the chance to be something really special.

David Marquez on pencils/inks was something I was unsure about, but after the first issue here I'm all on board. The way he renders light and shadow in some of the panels has a perfect synergy with the vision that Williamson has as the writer. I'm really excited that this might be another top notch due for many issues to come.

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11 hours ago, PapaShogun said:

Superman #14
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by Ivan Reis

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This book has really been treading down for me for a while. Just seems like the entire saga that Bendis set up with Superman's father, Krypton's secrets that led to it's demise, and Rogol Zaar just hasn't been that interesting for me.  I feel like that alone is worth the ticket price. I'm sure for others that won't be quite enough.

I’ve been the same way. I only copped this issue to see how this arc ended.  I’m not I even read the last 2.  Action Comics is so much better imo. A friend of mine loves Legion and is so excited at their return but I never got into them at all.  So it didn't do much for me. 

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Absolute Carnage Lethal Protectors #1
Written by Frank Tieri
Penciled/inked by Flaviano Armentaro

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I decided to check this out. Not really a fan of tie-ins, but I was sold on the cover. That's unfortunate though, because none of the heroes on the actual cover appear in this issue at all. The story inside wasn't bad, as it's essentially about a follow up on Misty Knight going to Colorado to find out what happened to John Jameson, a character involved in the first issue of Absolute Carnage. She ends up getting captured, and has to mount an escape after baring witness to Carnage's nasty schemes starting to commence. I guess the higher ups didn't think a cover of Misty Knight would sell the book. Even with the bait and switch, I felt it was an okay story, for a tie-in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Savage Avengers #5
Written by Gerry Duggan
Penciled/inked by Mike Deodato

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Pretty decent session. It took 5 issues, but the entire team that was on the first cover is finally together, and they essentially go nutty with the *** kicking in this one. It wasn't just mindless action though. I thought Duggan did a great job pacing the slashing with concluding the arc. The funny thing is though that as soon as the team gets assembled, they go their own separate ways. I'm anxious to see where it goes though. Especially with two characters going buddy-buddy at the end. Also, Deodato's art continues to be solid, although there are some panels every issue it seems that I don't get what is going on. Even with a knock like that, he's still one of the better artists around. Since he's leaving Marvel, I wonder how many issues he has left.

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DCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE #1
Written by Tom Taylor
Penciled/inked by Darick Robertson/Laura Braga

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Someone else put it best when the said that this tie-in had no right to be as good as it was, and I agree. I saw that it was a tie-in written by Taylor himself from the main mini series, so I decided to check it out. Plus Big Barda is bae. Anyway, I really liked the focus on essentially the bench warmers of the crisis that has been going on. It was a pretty well crafted story that had me excited to see what Mr. Terrific, Big Barda, Mister Miracle, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and John Constantine could do to try survive. There is actually a plan though that has a glimmer of hope that can potentially fix the situation. Sadly (and I guess since this was tie-in it was obvious) things don't work out so well for the heroes, and well...it's an epic last stand I'll just say that. Great one shot though. Arguably my best read the past week. Wasn't too keen on the artists, especially with two pencilers, but the story made it an almost afterthought. 

Edited by PapaShogun
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LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: MILLENNIUM #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled/inked by Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, André Lima Araújo, Scott Williams

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Oy, this was just boring. A complete miss in my eyes. I really didn't find the introduction of the new character very interesting at all, and even after I got the idea of what was happening in the issue, I still didn't find myself caring too much about her plight. It really came off as a crazy person essentially hoping around through various eras and speaking almost incoherently. That's another thing, the dialogue presented by Bendis here is sooooo clunky for me. Rose/Thorn just has several strange interactions with various people that really don't sound like an actual conversation. She speaks in almost riddles, and I just thought the exchanges were really bizarre. This makes what Bendis is doing on Superman like Citizen Kane, and that book has largely been average I feel. Oh well. I was guessing that this was going to get me excited for the Legion of Superheroes return from the jump, but nope. There are pages done in here by various artists, which...ehhh...not a fan of multiple artists on a book. The pages by Lee/Williams were good as usual. Everything else...not so great.

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SUPERMAN: UP IN THE SKY #3
Written by Tom King
Penciled/inked by Adam Kubert/Sandra Hope

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Another solid issue. Tom King and Adam Kubert are money with these short adventures that are supposed to encompass a much larger narrative. In the first tale I wasn't sure I was going to understand where Tom was going with it, but it eventually clicked. The situation Superman was in was something everyone can easily relate to. Funny. The second one with Sgt. Rock was also good. Really liked the voice that King gave him as well. Tom King is pretty much top dog at DC right now with his work on Batman, Mister Miracle, and I guess this. Adam Kubert is a master, and I never get tired of him. 

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BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #1
Written by Neal Adams
Art by Neal Adams

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Damn. I wanted to like this book. I was really excited for a couple of months when I heard it was coming out. Neal Adams is arguably my favorite comic artist ever, but when it comes to his writing...not a fan. I gave up on Batman Odyssey pretty quickly. It was just too strange. While this doesn't seem as wacky, Neal's depiction of Batman is really old school, and the dialogue is really dated. I don't mind that, but I guess with Batman being depicted as he has the last 35 years or so...this just isn't cutting it. Also, Neal just seemed to barely establish any backgrounds. Which isn't unusual for him, but compared to his older stuff he at least had more invested in the panels. Here, the building are really just sketched out essentially. I know he's doing this comic all on his own, and DC just seems to let him down whatever since he's a legend, but it's still a little jarring. Neal Adam's Batman is of course in his 1970's garb, and the other two popular characters Adams is known for doing are here: Deadman and Ra's Al Ghul. Probably too much to expect Adams to start drawing Batman in his more modern day getup, but that's fine. The actual story so far isn't a bad idea. Ra's essentially offering overrun Gotham his own special fighting force, and Batman not being on board with it. It's just the execution to me was a little disappointing. It's Neal Adams though, and I'll keep reading, as long as it's not what Odyssey was.

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SPACE BANDITS #3
Written by Mark Millar
Penciled/inked by Matteo Scalera

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Pretty dope third issue. I'm continuously surprised by some of the ideas that Millar is coming up with in his buddy bandit revenge story set in the sex themed bright colored future. Some of the stuff that is depicted though is pretty raunchy, but I guess that's Millar. The art fits perfectly too. I wish the quality of the covers was as good as what is in the book, with different colorists I guess that wasn't a reality. But yes, good read. Definitely rooting for the girls to get their payback.

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