For this rant-reviews let's look at six, count'em six, comics because so much stuff seems to be coming out and piling up.
Detective Comics #879
Well, we won't be hitting issue #900 anytime soon I guess (the re-launch is coming soon), but that's besides the point as this issue builds upon how we discovered last time that James Gordon is in fact a crazy psycho-killer, and not just a super-creepy guy who doesn't commit crimes. I'm a little disappointed, as the series seemed to be building things up in a way that he might actually turn out to not be dangerous, but took route of, "of course he's a murderer, this is cape comics!" I sound harsh, but this is actually a really well put together comic with Scott Snyder writing and Francesco Francvilla on art as its all expertly crafted with inter-cut scenes of the Joker and such and an overall sense of darkness and foreboding filling up the whole issue. Plus the evil plan James has hatched is pretty wickedly evil, so points for having something that creative.
4 out of 5 stars.
Iron Man 2.0 #6
Tying this series in to Fear Itself has been an utter waste of my time and writer Nick Spencer's time. I want to read about the dead guy who isn't really dead (sorta) from the first four issues. Nope, we've got to do a mandatory tie-in with a really underwhelming event bringing in characters that have nothing to do with ol' War Machine. Who would make little sense to work with him, you may ask? How about folk like the Immortal Weapons and Iron Fist? Plus, for some reason a gateway from the eighth city/one of the many versions of Hell in the Marvel Universe has opened up in China so we see everyone fighting demons too. A comic with martial-arts and demons should be more fun, but nope, we're stuck watching everyone fight off hammer-powered villains and otherwise be stuck in a series that was strong but thanks to Fear Itself has been suddenly been smacked upside the head with magical dose of low-quality.
2 out of 5 stars.
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #4
We finally start to get some introspection from Butcher about how he's just one big walking cartoon, and then the rest of the comic is essentially a big fight scene. That's about it, but at least it looks good. The backmatter with Joe Casey writing about whatever pops in his head continues to be highly entertaining and has picked up the slack that the main comic seems to be developing in this mid-series lull. A Joe Casey comic going through a lull is still more entertaining than some regular comics firing on all cylinders however.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Ah, my prediction about reality warping around our protagonist as things begin to fall apart turns out to be correct and some interesting things occur this issue that help add some more pizzazz after the relatively quiet interlude last time. Jeff Smith is a great artist and this story continues to be quite intriguing.
4 out of 5 stars.
Alpha Flight #2
Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak write a super-hero team comic that actually is fun and not all busy having little reality-show like moments where heroes talk as if they were in a confessional box with a camera *cough* Avengers and now New Avengers *cough*. This is loosely linked to Fear Itself but thankfully is using that more as a jumping off point for a story about how the newly elected Canadian Government is using the events of Fear Itself to brainwash the heroes and change Canada into a type of dictatorship. Huh, who would have thought all those crazy Tea Party people who think the USA is going down that route just needed to look a little bit more to the North? This is an enjoyable read however, and definitely a mini-series worth picking up and hopefully if it does well enough we'll get an ongoing.
4 out of 5 stars.
Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6
The Scarlet Witch finally remembers who she is, and--spoiler--gives Rictor of X-Factor his mutant powers back. I wonder if Peter David approved of this or if it throws a wrench in all of his plans for the comic. Whatever the case, that move peeves me a bit as I was liking Rictor as just a normal human, but whatever. The comic itself looks nice, but with this exercise in bringing back dead characters and giving people back powers it is starting to feel like little more than an excuse to do in-story retcons. It's above average, and as I said, the art is quite good, but otherwise this book seems to be less and less about the Young Avengers who were initially the stars and more and more about just changing everything Marvel wants to undo that involved the Scarlet Witch.
3 out of 5 stars.