I of course read a variety of comics, but I thought I would kick-off this morning with some reviews of Marvel comics (as I suppose that is a chunk of what I read) and follow-up in the afternoon with a smattering of other stuff.
Avengers Arena #9
From the start a lot of people were against this book. From the whole thing with it being fan-favorite teen-characters forced to kill each other making those aforementioned fans angry, to the idea that Marvel is no way in hell actually going to let these characters stay dead. Still, this has actually been a pretty good series, and even if it turns out none of these characters are actually killed (or come back to life really soon) this comic has at least done one thing I thought impossible--namely, made the villain, "Arcade" a bit less of a laughingstock (which was cleverly acknowledged and discussed in issue 7), so that's impressive. All of that said, this issue left a little to be desired with more instances of us getting a character's back-story than actually seeing all the conflict in the present. This wasn't bad by any means, however.
3 out of 5 stars.
Uncanny X-Force #4
We are on the fourth issue and I still have little-to-no clue what is going on. Apparently this comic is going to work on hand-waving away why Bishop was trying to kill Cable's adopted daughter, Hope, by throwing in mind-control or something. I find this annoying because pretty much none of the Marvel comics pointed out that Bishop was basically right about Hope as the Phoneix-force-infused X-Men almost destroyed the world and then she came close too during AVX before instead reigniting the mutant race. Doing this whole, "Oh, Bishop was just being made to act weird," story-line sort of ruins all that. Besides that matter though, we have a team that doesn't seem to gel together that well besides the rapport between Storm and Psylocke, and Fantomex is fun but as we don't fill the whole comic with him/her (there are 3 versions now, it's complicated) that can only go so far. At least the art is pretty to look at, but I'm basically underwhelmed by this comic.
2 out of 5 stars.
The Fearless Defenders #4
I like Cullen Bunn as a person, I do. I really enjoyed interviewing him, and I'm a fan of his work on those "Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe/Deadpool Killustrated" mini-series along with his writing on "Venom". All of that said, I'm still just not really digging this series. New character Annabelle Riggs is fun, as she provides a viewpoint like that of what a normal person would feel surrounded by all these heroes, but I just don't really care about all this Doom Maiden stuff no matter how big a threat it is made out to be (and it doesn't help that the villain, Caroline Le Fay, talks like a big baddie but seems to keep screwing up and acting like it doesn't matter)--and the whole "everything you know about this character is wrong!" twist for Valkyrie is another played out technique comics seem overly prone to using. I'll give this another issue or two to come around but right now...eh.
2 out of 5 stars.
How many times did I have to tell you people this was one of the best comics out there? I said as much from the earliest days of my blog, all the way to today. I guess I didn't say it enough though for it to matter though because now the series is ending (ostensibly on writer Peter David's terms, and I hope that is true). This issue marks the end of the "Hell on Earth War" story-line and now we'll be going into the book's last arc, appropriately titled, "The End." All of that said, this has been one of the best series ever and this issue helps continue to illustrate that point with a twist ending I would have never seen coming, accompanied by the usual strong plotting and witty dialogue David seems to write with ease. The series will be ending soon but I'll always remember it fondly...and hold out hope that maybe David is ending this series just so he can do something else really cool with all the characters. This is just an awesome issue of a spectacular comic, why do good things have to end?
5 out of 5 stars.
There you have it, come on back in the afternoon for more comic-y goodness.