Reviews August 3rd, 2005

Welcome to the reviews. Click on the cover images for larger versions of the pictures. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by posting in the forums.

Here is the key for what you are seeing:

= Not worth the paper it's printed on
= It is an OK book, not the greatest
= It is a decent book- Worth picking up
= Better than most books out there- Worth a second read
= This is what all books should aspire to be

Adventures of Superman #642
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art and cover by Karl Kerschl

The real culprit behind Superman's troubles is revealed and it ties into the coming crisis (suprise). It seems that this latest attack on Superman has been years in the making and serves as not just an attack against him, but to shake the foundations of the trust within the JLA and the destruction of one of Superman's allies who could very well hold all the answers to what has been happening lately with the OMACs, the leader of Checkmate and the creator of Brother 1. This issue ties into this months Wonder Woman, where the answers and repercussions begin to become clear.

Batgirl #66
Writer: Andersen Gabrych
Art: Andy Kuhn; Cover by Amanda Conner

Batgirl goes on the road in search of her mom, but before she goes she meets a boy. Yes Cassandra actually warms up to a boy and after a short time together, she leaves on her quest. When she stops for food along the way she runs into a new adversary who just won't take no for an answer. So if the verbal cues won't work, Cassandra knows other ways to get her point across. A decent enough issue until the really lame introduction of an OMAC. Luckily they didn't advertize this as a tie-in since it was probably one of the worst ones yet, it just serves to point out that the OMACs are watching everyone.

Billy the Kids Old Time Oddities #4
Writer: Eric Powell
Art: Kyle Hotz and Eric Powell (cover)

The final showdown pitts Dr. Frankenstein up against the sideshow folks and Billy in the box. The tide turns in the favor of our little gang of misfits as they go up against the hordes that are Frankenstein's creatioins. The artwork in this series emulates that of Kelly Jones, who does creepy really well. Holtz does an admirable job with the creep factor and Powell has a knack for the odd that's for sure.

Birds of Prey #84
Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson; Adriana Melo and Kevin Conrad (cover)

Taking a step back from the past few issues, this issue focuses on the trouble that Barbara (Oracle) is going through with her infection from the Braniac virus. Oracle comes to terms with they way she has been hiding things from her partners and makes a revalation and decision that could cost her her life. This is one of DC's most consistanly good books.

Conan #18
Writer: Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza
Art: Bruce Timm, John Severin and Cary Nord (cover)
Colorist: Dave Stewart

Legendary artist John Severin lends his talents to the tale behind Conan's helmet. While Bruce Timm illustrates the story behind Conan's favorite joke. You can't lose with this combination.

Daredevil #75
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Alex Maleev

While at times it may seem that I'm hard on Bendis and his pacing, this is a perfect example of what he does so well. The concluding chapter of this arc features the face off between Jester and Daredevil and some rather disturbing images by Maleev. Bravo.

Day of Vengeance # 4
Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: Justiniano, Walden Wong and Walter Simonson (cover)

While Enchantress channels the magic of the DC universe into Captain Marvel so he can fight against the Spectre, Blue Devil does a little beating on Eclipso, while monkey dude and chick dressed in black search for the girl they think will turn the tide. Ok I may not know all their names, but now it seems things are starting to come together in this series. Defeat of the bad guys is almost at hand when Enchantress turns for the worse.

Detective Comics #808
Writer: David Lapham and Andersen Gabrych
Art: Ramon Bachs, Nathan Massengill, Tommy Castillo, Rodney Ramos and David Lapham

While Batman is trying to get in the good graces of the head of the constuction site, much to his disdain (after monkey dude in the last review, I had to go for a big word here), Robin is charged with keeping on eye on Scarface. When it proves to be a little much for Robin, he calls in the help of an old friend.

Ex Machina #13
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Tony Harris & Tom Feister

What could be worse than fighting villians, thwarting evil plots, or dealing with an entity that bears a striking resemblance to the Great Machine? Two words...Jury Duty. Not even Mayor Hundered can escape it although by the end of this issue he will definately wish he did.

Goon #13
By: Eric Powell

So what do you do when you catch the local enforcer? Heck, you throw them in jail with a warden that has it out for the Goon. What do the other inmates with a score to settle do to the Goon? They try their best. Plus the Goon "recruits" a new gang that makes Frankie look...well tall.

Hellboy: The Island #2
By: Mike Mignola

So that's where the hand comes from. Cool.



JSA Classified #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Adam Hughes (cover)

How do you find out about someones past when they don't want to find out about it themselves? That's what the first arc in this series will tell us about the convoluted past of Power Girl. Plus plenty of cheese cake by Conner & co.

Robin # 140
Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Robin is being recruited by, what seems like, a military organization for which very little is known about them. Covert and secrative, the members and theie motivations are hidden and suspect. Will the prospect of sanctioned backing be enough to lure Robin away from Batman's side, especailly in light of the events of the War Games?

Teen Titans #26
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Tony Daniel and Marlo Alquiza

After the past few issues and the seeming betrayal of Superbot against the Titans, this issue is a nice look into what is going on in Conner's head. Not feeling like he belongs anywhere anymore, because of his questioned origin, he struggles to come to terms with who he is and what his role may be. Next issue Gail Simone comes onboard to write while the artistic stylings of some guy named Liefield appear to give Johns & co. a break.

Ultimate Spider-Man #80
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mark Bagley and Scott Hanna

Another standard and good issue from this team. The introduction of the ultimate version of Moon Knight is a plus. 80 issues strong and if I remember right only one or two dud issues, good work guys.

Look for our Wizard World Chicago Coverage, a team of us will be there throughout the weekend, hopefully liing up a few interviews and bringing you some news from the show. Heck we may even do something crazy like get it posted in a timely fashion.
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