GRADING THE LATEST COMICS

ACTION COMICS #12.   This is simply not Grant Morrison’s best work.  It’s not awful, but the character of Superman/Clark Kent doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Plus, spoiler alert, he killed Clark Kent only to bring him back (in an extremely contrived manner) the next issue.  Maybe it’s because Morrison is hurrying out the door to exit DC Comics for good, but this story feels both too slow and rushed at the same time.  There’s enough interesting elements to keep me coming back, but not enough for me to wish it would continue.  B.

BEFORE WATCHMEN.  All these books suck.  Truly.  Don’t waste your money.

DAREDEVIL #16.  Just buy it.  It’s the best monthly on the market right now.  A++.

DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1.  I am happy to say that this book exceeded all expectations, wildly, madly.  It starts a little slow, with DP killing off the Fantastic 4, but then quickly develops into a full blown drama with an actual story.  I expected this to be a frame-by-frame mass murder mashup, which would get tedious quickly, but Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic do a great job with suspense, plot, and actual characterizations.  Terrific and fun…And smart!  A-.

THE FIRST X-MEN #1.  Neal Adams back drawing the mutants!  Too bad the story made no sense.  F.

HAWKEYE #1.  I like Matt Fraction.  I love David Aja.  But this one just ain’t working for me.  For one thing, this is Hawkeye, not Bullseye.  What’s all this nonsense with him using quarters and playing cards as weapons?  Is this Dark Hawkeye?  For another: How does a guy who faces off against Thanos get beaten bloody by some cheap Russian slumlords?  And why is he in a “regular” hospital—are the Avengers really on an HMO?  This book pays no mind whatsoever to Clint Barton’s power set or the fact that he is an Avenger.  I’m all for a “what Hawkeye does in his time off” book, but let’s keep it in context, shall we?  B-, with the potential to grow.

IDOLIZED #1.  An Aspen Comics book about American Idol for supers.  It’s about what you’d expect, but it’s done well.  It’s as good as most of the DC titles on the market these days.  If you think that’s damning with faint praise, I apologize.  B.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #1.  At last, a new Marvel monthly that succeeded completely and without reservation.  A fantastic story about the “origin” of this new character (i.e., why Carol Danvers has changed her name again) that gives insight into the character and (finally) makes her mind as interesting as her exposed butt cheeks and wonderful bosoms.  A.

SWAMP THING #11/ANIMAL MAN #11.  These two books rot.  Really.  They’re ponderous and interminable.  This is sad, because both titles started out very strong and have great writers and artists.  Animal Man is slightly better because it has a larger cast of characters, so you don’t get as bogged down in all the tortured-hero schtick.  Swamp Thing: C/Animal Man: C+.

THINK TANK #1.  A Top Cow book about … I’m not sure what.  There’s a really smart kid who is somehow in some kind of school for gifted killers.  But the characters seem little more than cyphers.  B-.

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