Thursday, January 14, 2010

Time For The Revolution To Start

In what is both a happy and sad announcement this will be the last post that I will be posting here on my blog Comic Book Legacy and begin writing for the new website As you all know last summer I joined Rokk's Comic Book Revolution last summer and have been posting reviews. For a while I have been pulling double duty writing both here on my blog and over the Revolution. It has been a lot of fun writing for both as I have been able to write reviews in two different styles. But yesterday I got a very cool e-mail from Rokk informing me and the rest of the members of the Revolution that the website he and Shawn have been working on for a while now is finally up and ruining. Both Rokk and Shawn have been working very hard on the website and now the website is ready for everyone to visit. It has been a lot of fun writing reviews here on my own blog and I want to personally thank everyone that has been reading my reviews and commentary. I have had a great time here and I am certain it will be just as fun writing at the new website.

I will be leaving this blog still open so that it will be working as an archive to all the post I have written up the past two years and you will still be able to view all my old post I have written. Again, thank you to all my followers.

Now hop over to to get new reviews, commentary, and interviews from me and the rest of the Revolution members. Thank you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Legen...wait-for-it....dary Comic Book Highlights of the Week for 1/6/10

Cover of the Week: Blackest Night #2 Variant Cover
Not the strongest week in terms of covers but this cover for Blackest Night: Wonder Woman does stand out. I just like the dual nature of Dianne and her Black Lantern version self.

Red Robin #8 Highlights
This is the opening for Tim to hand the Council of Spiders a can of whoop ass.

After destroying Ra's hideout and defeating the Council of Spiders Tim gets a kiss from Tam as a reward.

Since Tim destroyed his hideout Ra's has decided to destroy Wayne Industries. An eye for an eye.

Siege #1 Highlights
Time to rally the troops or in this case warriors against Asgard and who better than the God of War.

I am guessing the President (Obama) does not like the idea of an attack on Asgard.

Well that is a heck of a phase 1 to start the war with Asgard.

And in only three pages Thor is taken down. Down goes Thor. Down goes Thor.

I am guessing Steve is not happy with what Norman just did.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6 Highlights
Meet Peter's cousin Johnny Parker and Bobby Parker. Though with his new haircut Iceman looks more like Bobby Hill from King of the Hill.

Ah, the old spider-sense never fails.

See told ya. Never doubt the spider-sense.

Kitty is Shroud. Called it. Now let see how long she can keep this a secret from her friends.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 1/6/10

Siege #1

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Laura Martin

Story – Siege on Asgard

Brian Bendis last two events, House of M and Secret Invasion, have been very underwhelming. Also Bendis work in the core Marvel Universe over the past couple of years have been average, but his Ultimate Spider-Man even in the relaunch has been spectacular. The biggest reason for Bendis producing average work in the core Marvel Universe is because he has been focusing his attention on writing the Avengers books even though his strength is solo books and not team books with a large set of main characters. Because of all of this I have largely stayed away from all of the Dark Reign titles with the only title that I have read that deal with Dark Reign has been Invincible Iron Man along with one story arc in Amazing Spider-Man ("American Son") and Diggle current use of Dark Reign backdrop on Daredevil. So coming into Siege I have very low expectations for this event since, unlike Blackest Night, I have not be immersed with all the build up to the Siege.

And after reading Siege #1 I am going to give Bendis credit for making this as new reader friendly as possible as a reader can come in knowing the basics of this event being Norman and Loki teaming up to get Asgard off Earth and understand what is going on. Even though Bendis and Marvel have said that this event has been seven years in the making you don't get that from this issue which can be seen as both the strength and weakness of this issue.

And I am going to give Bendis credit for writing a very good version of Norman Osborn and Loki. I liked how Bendis wrote both characters in Siege: The Cabal and he continued that here. From the get go we know who the villains of this story are, their motivation, and their endgame all in the first issue. For a event that is only four issues long I am glad Bendis is not wasting time presenting all of these ideas as he has been known to do with most of his titles in the slow burn approach he usually takes. The way he used Norman and Loki was a big factor in this issue being much more faster pace issue as the villains were the focus of this issue and not the heroes.

The problem I did have with how Bendis used Norman and Loki was the narration of the incident at Soldier Field. It was just such a forced event, and I do not mean Norman and Loki orchestrating the incident to happen. I should dislike it for being a blatant copy of how Mark Millar started Civil War but what I hated about this opening scene was Norman and Loki narrating the incident.

Unlike Millar opened Civil War this opening scene in Siege does not feel like it is happening in real time and Bendis does not give any dialogue about Volstagg and him being the sacrificial lamb. Also we do not see any of the people who are killed in this incident so we are just told that many people died instead of seeing it. A big reason that the opening scene in Civil War had such a resonance with me was because we actually saw all the people especially the children that where killed because of Nitro blowing up. And Bendis does not provide such a scene as Norman and Loki prove to be more of a distraction from what happened in Chicago than helping the scene.

Now going beyond the opening scene, like I previously mentioned, I did like how Bendis wrote Norman. Outside of showing his motivation and endgame to make sure he stays in power we also
saw that there are plenty of weaknesses in Norman's plans. Bendis quickly showed that what Norman is doing is not something that is for the better of the country but for himself and for him to keep his power. As we saw the President (Obama?) has no tolerance for Norman. With the meeting the President had with Steve in Who Will Wield the Shield? I am going to guess that somehow the President will help out Steve, secretly, to take down Norman as the President does not like that Norman is doing without his approval.

Also I did like that Bendis had Ares play a semi-big role in this issue. I have always liked Marvel's version of Ares since the Ares: God of War mini-series from a few years ago. And Bendis used the character very well in this issue by having him lead Norman's Avengers and the Initiative into battle against all of Asgard. Norman doesn't have a better man or woman to lead his troops against god-like characters than Ares and I really liked his speech to all of the troops and how he called them Warriors was great.

Now I think the biggest weakness of this issue is the Siege on Asgard, specifically how quickly Norman and the crew he gathered took down Thor. After spending so much time on setting the battle against Thor up in not only this issue but also in Siege: The Cabal Bendis just completely rushed things at the end. While it was cool to see Thor just swat away Sentry like he was nothing it is hard to believe that Norman and a bunch of D-list characters, none of the Dark Avengers where in the scene of the battle Thor, could take Thor out so quickly.

Bendis actually took away all of the build-up away and made the first two-thirds of the issue feel like his typical Bendis-speak as Thor should not have been taken down so quickly. And Steve appearance at the end felt so forced. I know that this even is supposed to revolve around the big comeback of Marvel's Trinity in Tony, Steve, and Thor but that is no excuse for making one of
the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe look like he was nothing. It is almost similar to the way Bendis has been using Sentry in the Avengers books and how DC typically uses Superman in their events by taking out the heaviest hitter the heroes got very quickly in order to convey the threat the villain poses. It is just a weak way to move the story forward that someone of Bendis's talents should not be using in his big event that he has preach has been building for 7 years since Avengers: Dissassembled. It is just weak writing. I would have preferred seeing the battle extended instead of getting the "bonus" content of Norman's secret meeting with the Dark Avengers which I did not care for what so ever.

Also I really dislike how Bendis seemingly does not care about what other writers in Marvel have been doing with various characters and just using characters as it benefits his stories. I hated how we saw Steve in his Captain America costume even though Brubaker clearly showed that Steve passed down the mantle of Captain America and the shield to Bucky to wear in Who Will Wield the Shiled. Also he spoiled what is going to happen in Fraction's "Stark Disassembled." And with this issue I have actually decided to drop Invincible Iron Man not only because of it being spoiled but because of how slow and boring that story is, as was the previous "World's Most Wanted," that I already know that Tony will be waking up in Siege and not at the end of "Stark Disassembled."

Now as for the art, I am going to say I am a bit disappointed in Oliver Coipel's artwork in this issue. The first half of this issue looked like he was rushing through his pages and did not have the same epic look as his work on Thor did. I will say that his artwork did get much better in the latter half of the issue. I did like the subtle things that Coipel added to the issue to show Norman is not completely in control like the small bits of sweat on his face and his expressions. It was subtle but a very good addition to the early part of the issue. My favorite part though was his
artwork at the end in the battle at Asgard as the fight look, even though it was a brief action scene.

Issue Rating
Story: 5.3/10 – Though Bendis makes this issue new reader friendly and did some nice work with Norman and Loki the flaws in this issue where many compared to the little strengths this issue had. Also his Bendis speak got in the way of this issue that made the last half of this very rushed.
Art: 7.2/10 – The art at the beginning of the issue looked very rushed and not up to the standard of Coipel's artwork that he set in Thor though the art did get better as the issue went on.
Overall: 6.25/10 – Siege #1 is the example of how not to start an event that is said to be 7 years in the making. The issue was just too rushed. Though the issue had its good parts the flaws of this issue outweighed the strengths the issue had. Still Bendis did an good enough job that because this is only a four part event and now only three issues to go I will stick around to pick up the last three issue of Siege.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Lafuente
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Story – The New World According to Peter Parker: Part 6

Will you look at that two Bendis issues in one week that I pick up. I don't remember the last time that happened.

Anyways, this issue ends this first arc of the relaunch of Ultimate Spider-Man and Bendis did a fantastic job yet again on this issue as he has done in every issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and most of his run on Ultimate Spider-Man. And this issue was just some great characterization by Bendis as he has Aunt May's house basically become the home base of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake officially moving in and getting secret identities. Aunt May has really become the MVP of the Ultimate Universe and I love how Bendis continues to show that Ultimate Aunt May is a much stronger version of the typical frail 616-version of the character.

I love how Bendis has returned to building Peter's supporting cast as the best aspect of a Spider-Man book has always been the great supporting cast the character has. The only thing that has really been missing has been Jonah and the cast at the Daily Bugle which I am not bother that we have yet to see in this relaunch though I would like to see them return soon.

In any case Bendis does a great job making the additions of Johnny and Bobby feel natural and not just forced into the title. The interactions between them and Peter was awesome especially when revealing Johnny and Bobby's new secret identities of being Peter's "cousins." There is a lot of stories that can be explored with these two now added to the supporting cast especially with both characters having to go to a public school which Bendis previously explored, albeit shortly, in the "Superstars" arc in USM. It is actually new ground for both superhero characters and like the addition of Kitty to Peter's school it will be fun to see where Bendis goes with this idea

The addition of these two characters allows Bendis to show the differences between Peter and the other heroes in the Ultimate Universe. Unlike Peter Johnny and Bobby were in places where they could freely use their powers, Baxter Building and Professor X's mansion. For Peter he has had to hide his Spider-Man identity from the rest of the school, save for MJ, Gwen, and Kitty. Bendis showed this difference in upbringing for the young heroes with Mysterio's Spider-Slayer attacking the school with Peter having to tell Johnny and Bobby not to jump in and use their powers in front of the school as they would reveal their identities. This is an interesting situation for Peter to be in as for once Peter will have to take on a leadership type role and show Johnny and Bobby how they have to act in their new surroundings.

And to make things better not only does Bendis do an excellent job with quality character work but he also perfectly mixes in some action to serve as a perfect balance between strong character work and fun action sequences. And I am going to admit that I have always been a fan of the Spider-Slayers and I like that Mysterio has used them to find out who Spider-Man is by using Spider-Man's DNA and implanted them into the Spider-Slayers to find Spider-Man. The action and destruction the action caused the school was fun.

Also, we finally found out who the Shroud is as we see that it is actually Kitty, which I completely guessed it was going to be. The only thing that I question is how Kitty got super strength because when she saved MJ from some muggers a few issues ago she clearly crushed the car the muggers where in when she jumped down on it. In any case it will be interesting to see how long Kitty will be able to keep this a secret from Peter and their friends.

Again David Lafuente's manga influenced artwork continues to be a standout of this series. His artwork gives this title a very distinct look that allows the stories that Bendis is telling to feel fresh and new. Lafuente does a great job with both the talking heads and action scenes in this series as well as having a great chemistry with the writing of this issue. The transitions between not only scenes but panels is great as there is a natural flow to the look of the issue.

Issue Rating
Story: 9/10 – Bendis continues to turn in one great issue of UCSM after another that continued his great writing in USM. This opening arc did a great job in building up Peter's supporting cast for this new relaunched title.
Art: 9.6/10 – Lafuente's artwork continues to be just awesome. Lafuente makes this issue one of the better and dynamic looking comic books on the stands.
Overall: 9.3/10 – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6 was another spectacular issue. Both the writing and artwork continue to be top notch on this series. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is one of the best comics on the stands right now. I look forward to seeing what happens in this series next month as Takeshi Miyazawa comes in to fill in on the art duties.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Legen....wait-for-it.....dary Comic Book Highlights of the Week for 12/30/09

Cover of the Week: Blackest Night #6 (Variant Cover)
This is the 1:100 variant cover for Blackest Night and this cover actually makes Nekron look like he is a threat to bad he only appeared in all of one panel in the issue. And what big bad guy of an event only appears in one panel in the latter issues of the event?

Blackest Night #6 Highlights
Even though the story in Blackest Night is very weak Johns knows how to write most of the characters. And I loved this one between Hal and Sinestro.

This looked very impressive with Flash being able to outrun the Black Lantern rings chasing him and Hal.

Didn't we get this in Green Lantern #49? One thing of note that I did not notice when I read the issue is that this page may have spoiled the story going on in Tomasi's Green Lantern Corps as Kirk from The Weekly Crisis pointed out.

Never thought we see Mera vs. Wonder Woman. Even though we did not see their fight in this issue I expect that this fight will be expanded on in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2. Too bad I am not going to pick that issue up.

Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps Ganthet.

Must resist making Power Ranger joke.....Must resist........Must resist........okay I am good but I think this video sums up what happened in the last eleven or so pages of this issue.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blackest Night #6 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Oclair Albert and Joe Prado
Colorist: Alex Sinclair

Story – The New Guardians

Yeah I know I said earlier that I was not going to be able to get Blackest Night #6 but somehow found myself going to the comic shop after having a very busy morning. In any case I got this 6th issue of DC's big event and like the other five issues of this event Geoff Johns seriously disappoints with another issue. This issue more so than the last five issues relied heavily on Ivan Reis's artwork to deliver the "WOW" moments.

I am going to be honest in saying that the last part of the issue where each one of the leaders of the 7 different Lantern Corps choose seven different heroes of Earth was entertaining more so for the fact it was something I was hoping would happen in Blackest Night than what it means to the story. Johns did a very good job giving the reader a reason why each character was chosen to be a member of their respective Lantern Corps. The only weird one I found was Wonder Woman as I have never seen her as the DC character who symbolizes love but that is more because I have never being a fan of the character and have never actually read her ongoing series.

The one thing I will praise Johns for is his characterization of the various characters he is handling. Each of the leaders of the Lantern Corps was all great. I especially liked how they acted when Ganthet revealed that all of the Lantern rings have the power to clone a ring and give the power of a Lantern to one person. Also I did like the scene with Barry going into the future by two seconds in order for the Black Lantern rings that were chasing him and Hal to stop.

The problem with what Johns wrote, however, is that there is absolutely no plot progression in the first half of the issue. The first half of the issue was just one giant recap of what the reader already knew and all the scenes we got where just recycled scenes from previous issues. And with us being in the latter part of this event and only three issues left in this event I should not feel like I read most of these scenes before. It is just unacceptable for Johns to continue to do this after we already got five issues of the same thing, not counting the Green Lantern tie-in issues.

Also because the first half of the issue felt like a recap what happened in the last issue with the resurrected heroes who were turned into Black Lanterns had absolutely no consequence in this issue. The roles Johns gives the various heroes turned Black Lanterns in this issue could have been taken by any of the Black Lanterns, even the ones without a connection to the heroes on the scene. We never see the Johns play up the emotions that Hal, Barry, Wonder Girl, the Titans, and the JLA that are on the scene actually react to what is happening. The heroes that where turned into Black Lanterns is yet another example of Johns employing flashy cliffhangers and spread pages that don't add anything to following issues as he instead continues to waste page space on scenes we have seen in other Blackest Night issue and in Green Lantern.

Also though I liked the explanations that Johns gave for deputizing the various DC characters as temporary Lanterns I did think that was a waste of pages as well. I probably would not have felt that way if the first half of the issue did not feel like a bunch of recap BS. But after Johns dedicated half the issue of recapping what the reader already knew to waste another 7 pages on just choosing the characters felt like Johns was again wasting time.

Another good example of Johns providing us nothing but filler was the scenes with Atom and Mera in the Black Lantern ring fighting Jean and John Stewart heading to Earth. Those two scenes were just recycled material of what happened in Green Lantern #49, which came out last week. And though I can understand why the scene with John heading to Earth may have been needed the scene with Atom and Mera did not anything to move the story forward and was just felt like Johns was trying to fill the page count.

And honestly the only plot progression we actually got in this issue was Ganthet introducing the fact the leaders of the Lantern rings can clone their rings, which was about two pages, and the last page which gave us a two page splash page of the seven new Lanterns. That is a total of four pages of development if you count the splash page as two pages. That is unacceptable at this point in the event. And the reason that the last page got me excited for the next issue was more to do with Reis's artwork than Johns writing.

The other problem with this issue is the other problem I have had with Blackest Night so far aside from the poor plotting. And that is that there is no sense of the epic scope of this event. Even though I was not a big fan of Grant Morrison's Final Crisis the one thing I thought he did very well with the event was portray how big and devastating what Darkseid was doing had huge ramifications for the entire DC Universe and the Multiverse. For all of its faults at least in Final Crisis I understood why it was such a big event as it had huge ramifications for the DC Universe if the heroes were unable to stop Darkseid.

That is what Johns fails to do here as Blackest Night feels more like an event that only affects the Earth and not the entire DC Universe. Even with the involvement of the other leaders of the various Lantern Corps it feels like they are just there to save the Earth and not the entire universe. If anything Blackest Night feels like a Justice League story and not one deserving of a company-wide event. And what hurts Blackest Night the most is that even though this is supposed to be the main book Johns and Peter Tomasi have done a much better job making this event epic in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps than this main book.

Which makes for another case why this event should have stuck to being in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps and not its own mini-series event. But in the end Blackest Night has just turned into what Secret Invasion turned into over at Marvel last year with the main story being told in what are supposed to be side books while the main mini-series is nothing but popcorn for the brain.

And that brings me to my final point, what the hell happened to Nekron and Black Hand. They did not even appear in this issue. For the two characters that are supposed to be the end bosses of this event they have done very little to make them a true threat. Johns has done nothing with the characters to make them come across as deserving villains for our heroes to band together to fight them. Nekron himself continues to come of as nothing better than a B-List villain at best.

As has been the case with Blackest Night so far the one part that does not disappoint is Ivan Reis gorgeous pencils. Along with his inkers Oclair Albert and Joe Prado and colorist Alex Sinclair they turn in some stunning artwork. For all my complaints about the story what helps Johns snail-like paced story out is Reis's artwork. Without Reis this event would have been even worse.

Reis is near perfect with all of the artwork and with all of the spread pages and action Johns gives him to draw Reis is able to make Blackest Night at least look like a big event. From Barry running two seconds into the future to the choosing of the various DC characters to become Lantern Corps members to the final spread page the issue looks absolutely fantastic.

The only complaint I had against the art of this issue is the uncreative look of Lex Luthor's Orange Lantern costume. It just looked like Sinclair colored Lex's kryptonite suite orange. But that is just a very minor complaint as Reis artwork looked incredible throughout the issue.

Issue Rating
Story: 5.2/10 – Again Johns provides very little in terms of plot progression even though now he only has two issues left in this event. Though I still will give Johns credit for some quality characterization even though it did not equate to making the story any better than the previous installments of this series.
Art: 9.6/10 – Outside of one character design Reis's artwork was incredible yet again. Reis and his inking and colorist crew are really the one's carrying this event. The artwork is just awesome.
Overall: 7.8/10 – Blackest Night #6 was another disappointing issue by Geoff Johns as he continues to stretch out the story to fit the eight issues of this series. The snail like pace that this event has been moving at is just unacceptable. Those who are waiting for the trade paperback of this event made the right choice as this event might read much better in one complete sitting than in single issues. Though because of all this recapping that Johns continues to makes me wonder about how it will read as a trade/hardcover.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 12/23/09

Amazing Spider-Man #616

Creative Team
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Javier Pulido
Colorist: Javier Rodriguez

Story – Keemia's Castle

Sometimes saving the day does not always mean that the hero and those he or she saved get a happy ending. That is what Fred Van Lente and Javier Pulido reminded us with Amazing Spider-Man #616 that ended this short Sandman arc. It is a refreshing change of pace when a comic can give us this type of ending instead of a cliffhanger type ending that leads into another arc that has become common place during this modern era of comics.

What makes the ending that we get at the end of this issue is that it plays up the old Peter Parker luck. Even when Peter does something good it somehow turns out bad for Peter and making him look bad as himself or as Spider-Man. And I liked what Carlie told Peter after he saved her job in saying that making the tough choices is what makes a person a hero which is a great way for Van Lente to sum up why Spider-Man is amongst the greatest of heroes.

Fred Van Lente did a great job in creating a very fun, classic feeling two-part Sandman story. Sandman, like other classic villains from Spider-Man Rogue Gallery, has been underutilized over the past few years. It is a shame to since Spider-Man has one of the better Rogues Gallery in
comics which is why this Gauntlet overarching story arc running through Amazing Spider-Man has been fun to read so far. Van Lente prove that you can take a villain like Sandman and give him a story that as a reader I will remember and still enjoy when I read it again in the future.

Also, Javier Pulido and Javier Rodriguez deserve a lot of credit for this two-part story as well as they combined to deliver some great artwork. I really enjoyed all of the art for the Spider-Man vs. Sandman. The fight was a lot of fun as Pulido and Rodriguez combine to deliver a great looking comic and the art in these two issues is amongst my favorite artwork we have gotten on this title up there with Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr. and Jr., and Marcos Martin.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.5/10 – Fred Van Lente knocks another issue out of the park as he is proving to be one of the better writers on the Spidey Brain Trust.
Art: 8.8/10 – Pulido and Rodriguez combined to deliver a great looking Spider-Man book.
Overall: 9.15/10 – Amazing Spider-Man #616 was another great read in what has become one of the most consistently well written comics on the market. It is great that I am able to say this about Amazing Spider-Man again. I have said it before but I am going to say it again, if you haven't been picking up Amazing Spider-Man because of all the OMD/BND stuff than you need to come back to this title because it has gone back to being a great title.

Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Butch Guice and Luke Ross
Colorist: Dean White

Story – Who Will Wield the Shield?

Before I say anything about this issue let me get this out of the way. Marvel seriously mishandled the return of Steve Rogers. Sure it was obvious that Steve would return in Captain America: Reborn, it is in the freaking title, but that is no excuse for how Marvel spoiled the hell out of the ending of Brubaker's story before it was even done. And if my memory is correct Reborn has only missed one month since the start and Marvel even added an extra issue to the series meaning the story would end in January. Something like this is known by a publisher for a while which should allow them to tell their writers like Fraction and Bendis, both of who spoiled Reborn's ending in Invincible Iron Man and Dark Avengers Annual, to tell them to calm down Steve's return story is still not officially over. Just some common professionalism for both the writer, Brubaker, writing Steve's return as well as the readers reading the story is all a fan asks for especially when comics are coming out on time with little to no delays. Just a poor management job by Marvel's editorial team.

Alright, now that mini-rant is done. As for this issue even though the recap page spoiled how the Reborn ends by giving us most of the details of how issue #6 will turn out Brubaker, Guice, and Ross turned in a very good issue with an unexpected twist at the end. Like many I expected Steve to take back the Captain America mantle even though I have like Bucky being Captain America much more than when Steve was in the role. I was glad that didn't happen as Brubaker gave us a valid reason for why Steve is not ready to take back the role upon his return to the
Marvel Universe.

Bucky in many respects is in the same position that Dick Grayson is currently in over on all the
Batman titles as he has taken over the role of his mentor. The big question in comics when it comes to sidekick characters has always been when are we going to see them take over for their mentors. But because of how comics work when a sidekick is allowed to grow he usually takes another separate role instead of taking his mentor's role, like Bucky becoming Winter Soldier and Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing.

Because of that the work Brubaker has done to make Bucky a fully realized character as Winter Soldier and when Bucky took over the role of Captain America is so great. Brubaker has shown that there is a way to allow a former sidekick to actually take over the role of his mentor and make it be an accepted change of the guard to many fans. And that is what Brubaker does a great job in reinforcing Bucky has been doing a great job as Captain America in this issue.

I like that the way Brubaker chose to reinforce this is by having Steve in his Captain America costume watch Bucky, in his Captain America costume, fighting Hyde and his crew. Even though Steve was still trying to recover from the events he just went through you could tell through his inner monologue that he was proud of Bucky, like a father is of a son when the son grows up. Even though Steve did feel weird watching someone else as Captain America he knew that for now it is for the best that Bucky continues being Captain America as it is has become an important part of who Bucky is now.

And I am curious to the image of the future that Steve did see at the end of Captain America: Reborn #6, which has yet to come out. It is clear that it played a part in why Steve didn't want to
resume being Captain America and with his meeting with President Obama I do wonder what kind of role Steve will play in Siege. From the covers to Siege and all the related material to the event I kind of figured Steve would be leading all of the heroes as Captain America in their fight against Norman Osborn but now I am not sure.

Issue Rating
Story: 8/10 – Brubaker provide a great story that showed why Bucky is still going to be Captain America while Steve takes on a different role.
Art: 9/10 – Butch Guice and Luke Ross combined to deliver some excellent artwork that is very similar to their and Eptings work on Captain America. Though I am enjoying Bryan Hitch's work on Reborn the artwork by Guice and Ross is more of the look I expect now from a Captain America book.
Overall: 8.5/10 – Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? was a great read that would have been better if Captain America: Reborn was over before this one-shot came out. But you can chalk it up as another one of Marvel's editorial screw ups in how they have handled Steve's return to the Marvel Universe. Still a must read if you are a Captain America fan and have been reading Reborn.

Green Lantern #49

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ed Benes, Marcos Marz, and Jerry Oroway
Inkers: Ed Benes and Luciana Del Negro
Colorist: Hi-Fi

Story – Sempte Fi; The Birth of Nekron

Aside from a few brief appearances in Green Lantern here and there John Stewart has become the most underutilized member of the Green Lantern Corps post-Sinestro Corps War but finally Geoff Johns gives John some much deserved screen time. This whole issue was a look at what John is up to during Blackest Night as we see him fighting a planet filled with Black Lanterns.

After being neglected for so long Geoff Johns did a very good job writing John Stewarts character and reminding readers why he is a Green Lantern. Even though John was against all the odds facing down a planet filled with Black Lanterns that have even given all of Earth's heroes and the Lantern Corps trouble he stood up and fought back with a vengeance.

And I really dug the flashback to John's time in the war was a good way to inform readers unfamiliar with John's history and show give some background why he creates military constructs with his ring. The final few pages with John creating his own military with his ring and then leaving the planet he is on only to see he is right by Earth was great. This actually has me looking forward to Blackest Night in hopes that Geoff Johns is able to pick up on this plot thread in an effective way.

Ed Benes provided some solid artwork. He did a very good job with showing how powerful John's will is and I especially like the moment when Jon made his own military corps. And the artwork Marcos Martz provided for the flashback scenes were equally impressive even if there was a noticeable difference in art styles.

The only problem I had was with the back-up feature that was a month to late. The art by Jerry
Oroway was good the back-up didn't do much other than give us a look at something that happened before. Though I am interested to see what role Deadman will play in Blackest Night #6 with his appearance at the end of the back-up.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.6/10 – It was good to see John Stewart's character gets some attention as he showed why he is a Green Lantern.
Art: 8.1/10 – Even though we have three artists working on this single issue Benes, Martz, and Oroway combined to provide a great looking comic as there were three different stories being told in this issue.
Overall: 7.85/10 – Green Lantern #49 was a nice spotlight issue on John Stewart. And again this Green Lantern issue was a good lead into Blackest Night as there seems to be big things that will be happening in that issue. Now I just hope Geoff Johns can follow up this development and actually deliver with Blackest Night #6.

Wolverine: Weapon X #8

Creative Team
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Inker: Michel Lacombe
Colorist: Nathan Fairbarin

Story – Insane in the Brain

It is a shame that I have not been able to review Weapon X often because Jason Aaron has been doing a spectacular job with this Wolverine series. Aaron has reminded me why as a kid Wolverine was one of my favorite superheroes. What is great about Weapon X is that Aaron is going back to making Wolverine a great character by not being brought down by the whole Wolverine remembers his past that the character has been stuck on since House of M.

And this "Insane in the Brain" arc is something new for the character as I never expected Wolverine to end up in the type of setting Aaron puts him in. It is a great idea placing him in an insane asylum. Aaron is doing a lot of quality character work as he is exploring the characters psyche in these past three issues.

And he has really created some interesting characters in this setting that are as awesome as they are creepy. Aaron shows he has the creative mind to create some new characters in a story and instantly make them a threat. It is always good to see a writer take time to create new villains with depth and that challenges the title's hero in a new way instead of the usual villain that gives the hero something else to fight (cough*Rulk*cough).

Yanick Paquette provided some excellent artwork in this issue as he has throughout this arc. This is some of Paquette best artwork. He does a great job putting a lot of detail into the issue and with this arc being mostly talking heads and very little action he has done a great job with all of the characters facial expressions. He does an especially great job with the doctor's lab in making it just a creepy mad science lab.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.6/10 – Aaron continues to prove that he was born to write Wolverine and that he is still able to find new stories to tell with the character.
Art: 9/10 – Paquette again provided some spectacular artwork especially for a story that has been mostly talking heads.
Overall: 9.3/10 – Wolverine: Weapon X #8 was another great read. Weapon X is one of the better comics on the market and if you are interested in reading stories about Wolverine than pick this title because it has been great. Aaron is telling some of the best Wolverine stories that I have read in a long time.