Comic – Lazarus, book1: Family: B

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Post-apocalyptic stories seem to dominate comics outside of Marvel and DC lately. They each try their own take, this time being less fantasy/sci-fi and more mafia-esque political drama (though still with immortal supersoldiers to provide the sci-fi element). Perhaps Lazarus would’ve been fine without my weariness toward the subject. While it provided plenty of attempts at tension, I never felt the suspense it seemed to searched for, nor was I wowed by the occasional martial arts or gunfights. Everything was competently crafted, but not outstandingly so.

Comic – All-New X-Men vol1: Yesterday’s X-Men: A-

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The premise, (that Beast brought the original X-Men to the present so that adult Cyclops can feel bad about his current situation) certainly seems to be a thinly-veiled commentary on the sad state of the modern X-Men timeline. Bendis handles the original X-Teens reacting to their future selves quite well and their interactions feel genuine, especially the Beasts. I did find it odd that Angel was basically ignored, but perhaps that’s a seed for future events. As someone who hasn’t read any current X-Men in quite some time, it was easy to jump into, despite all their convoluted recent history. I always enjoy Immonen’s art and he continued to deliver.

Comic – Green Arrow vol4: The Kill Machine: A

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After the lack-luster first volume, I had given up on Green Arrow, especially with how many good New 52 comics were flying around. But I was assured that after this latest team change, including Jeff Lemire, it has improved substantially. And it certainly delivered on that assurance. It rebooted his lame sidekicks, included some proper villains, and restyled Green Arrow with a more mysterious, driven nature, and not just as a lesser batman. The excellent art also greatly aided the comic’s return to my good graces.

Comic – Thor God of Thunder vol2: Godbomb: A

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While it stuck to the mythology, this volume used fewer wondrous ideas but was instead more and more operatic, which absolutely worked. The three Thors working together was a joy to read, full of great quips about beards and ale, and an intriguing look at the maiden, mother, and crone concept. The visuals continued in the same vein as the first volume, gorgeous but with a gritty realism.

Comic – Thor God of Thunder vol1: The God Butcher: A

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I love Thor tales without much interaction with the rest of the Marvel universe. Normally that means stories set during Old Norse viking times. But this series found a way of taking mythology and thrusting it into a universe-wide space opera. It uses a simple folklore-like structure, but what truly drew me in was its exploration of a sort of pantheon of pantheons, wonderfully demonstrating how sci-fi and mythology can coexist. It weaves its three different timelines back and forth for maximum intrigue and suspense.

Comic – Earth 2 vol2: The Tower of Fate: B

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The dialog in this book is painful. There was definitely some throbbing in my temple as I read it. It’s like middle school fanfiction you’d find on some internet forum. But the story works just fine, and there are some great moments when no one is talking. Also, Doctor Fate was one of my favorites from back when JSA was still a thing, so I was looking forward to his return, which didn’t disappoint.

Comic – Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard vol1: B+

Mouse-Guard-LofG vol1B+

I’m normally against short story collections by an assortment of creators, but Mouse Guard managed to frame them well. I enjoyed about two-thirds of the tales, but my favorites were those that most closely related to the style and plotting of main series, which kind of defeats the point I suppose. I enjoyed BPRD’s Guy Davis and his story about bats, and decidedly did not enjoy a wildly divergent cartoonish tale. Most fans will find something to like, but not a significant addition to the series.

Comic – Star Wars: Infinities – Return of the Jedi: B+

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B+
Like the other two Infinities volumes, it’s a short comic telling a lot of story, so things feel forced and there isn’t much room for action. It’s probably the weakest of the series, with the changes not really leading to much of a difference. The odd thing is, each volume would work great as exposition, with a potentially great story taking place after each ends.

Comic – Avengers: Endless Wartime: A-

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Warren Ellis often has a formula. And it often works. This time we have Norse dragon-god babies turned into Nazi living weapons. Though it’s clearly influenced by their movie personae, most of the Avengers gets some good micro-arcs, especially Bruce Banner. He gets the right voices for Wolverine, Hawkeye and Iron Man too. The story could be more exciting, but it’s a like a really good filler episode for a non-existant Marvel cinematic universe Avengers TV series.

Comic – B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth vol 7: A Cold Day in Hell: A-

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Two huge revelations triggered crazy events at the end of volume 6. Then this volume practically ignored them, initially returning to the small scope and focus on the grunts of the BPRD. It’s a more character driven approach and well done, but I just wanted more of the epicness the series is capable of. The final arc returns to the wild and imaginative storytelling that makes this my favorite series, but it’s yet another story thread while I’m still aching for more on the events already happening.