StuckInPanels Weekly Comic Reviews
10 issues this week, see how they all stack up this week
StuckInPanels Comic Reviews
Greetings friends and fellow comic readers, we are back to regularly scheduled reviews. This week is a nice sized batch of 10 issues, 6 Marvel, 3 DC, and 1 Image. We got a lot of ground to cover so let’s get this started.
Comics of the Week
-Justice League #9
-Wonder Woman #9
-Amazing Spider-man One Shot
-Avengers Vs X-men #4
-AvsX VS #2
-Secret Service #2
WORTHY OF THE WEEK
Avengers #26- Written by Brian Michael Bendis/Artwork by Walter Simonson
Story: Captain America sends a group up to capture the Phoenix once and for all. Noh goes says goodbye to his earthling girlfriend. While attacking the Phoenix during the events of Secret Avengers 26-28, Noh discovers that Thor’s hammer can contain the Phoenix force energy, the plan succeeds but Noh betrays his friends and allies due to his oath to the Kree Supreme Intelligence.
-Story: This story seems to slightly misplace with it following the events of the team of the Secret Avengers, however it is taking place in the overall story arc of the Avengers VS X-men so I give it some credit. The story has a great focus on Noh, who has always been in the background and hasn’t been that relevant since Dark Avengers. This issue and most likely the next couple issues will be his defining moments. The small battle moment with the Phoenix was nicely done, showing just how truly powerful the force is, Thor merely clipped its wings. Overall it was a well told and paced story
-Writing: Bendis does a good job giving Noh a lot more personality and character development.
-Artwork: Simonson continues to be an amazing powerhouse with the art duties. The way he gives characters emotion and reactions are nicely done. The battle of Thor and the Phoenix was nicely scoped
-Character Dynamic: Noh gets the majority of page time, him saying goodbye to his girlfriend, talking to Ms. Marvel, Planning how to use Thor’s Hammer as a means to defeat the Phoenix, and his eventual betrayal. From start to finish you see a great character, conflicted by his adoptive home and his birth rights, it’s fascinating to see that unravel.
Highlight of the issue: Thor battling the Phoenix
Avengers VS X-men #4: Written by Jonathan Hickman/Artwork by JRJR
Story: Wolverine is rescued by Hope; she wants to get away from Earth to prepare for the Phoenix forces arrival. The two sides continue to do battle in the various locations around the world. Captain America has the Avengers pull back and to collect their bearings. Wolverine and Hope land on the moon in a small section that is breathable thanks to Skrulls. Hope is betrayed by Wolverine, with the Avengers waiting for them, who are soon followed by the X-men. The coming battle is halted as Thor lands and points that the Phoenix as arrived.
-Story: We are a third of the way through the epic battle and Hickman’s issue is one of the best so far. The story tells a lot in this issue, thanks to Emma Frost giving us exposition about each area that teams are battling in. The twist with Wolverine is still siding with the Avengers once again was a nice ploy, especially after the fight with Captain America, unless that was a great ploy to trick the enemy. Overall this series hasn’t let up and continues to showcase the powerhouses behind it.
-Writing: Hickman is going full force and becoming a true powerhouse in the House of Ideas. The story is well paced and has a great focus on science fiction aspects, something that Hickman is a true talent with.
-Artwork: JR JR gets a pass, I enjoy his artwork
-Character Dynamic: Wolverine gets some get dialogue with Hope, showing he knows a lot compared to her.
-Highlight of the issue: Wolverine wearing a polar bear to keep warm
Catwoman #9: Written by Judd Winick/Artwork by Guillem March
Mirrors come in all sizes
Story: Taking place during the Night of the Owls event, Catwoman and Spark watch the Penguin being targeted by one of the Talons, which remembers a dagger that the Penguin has in his possession. Catwoman intervenes and battles the Talon, holding her own pretty well. She offers him the other daggers but Penguin ends up killing the Talon with a well-placed shot to the head.
-Story: Since this is and Batman are the only two stories that I’m reading of with this comic cross over event I do have to judge it fairly. This is a fun issue that continues to deliver style and sex appeal. We do get a tiny backstory of this Talon, who was alive WAY back in 1665 and that he was too “emotional” of a Talon, so they bring him back for a chance at redemption. Catwoman and Spark are slowly developing their “romance” however at the end of the issue its clear that Catwoman still loves the Bat.
-Writing: Winick tones it down a bit with Catwoman being all sexy and seducing, she takes a backseat to the overall larger event that is taking place on this night. The Penguin gets some great lines of dialogue. This Talon we are introduced to is sympathetic, that he was a man who wanted to do good but got caught up in the power of it all.
-Artwork: March returns to art duty and it is glorious of a return. The way he draws Catwoman just oozes sex appeal. The action beats are well done. He even draws the Penguin in an interestingly disgusting way.
-Character Dynamic: not much character evolution per say, the stuff the Penguin say are pretty hilarious.
-Highlight of the Issue: Catwoman leaping off after turning on the Bat Signal
Saga #3: Written by Brian K. Vaughn/Artwork by Fiona Staples
Story: Marko lays there on the edge of death while Alana is surrounded by ghosts. Marko knows a healing spell but needs snow to use it. Alana and one of the ghosts travel together to find snow by a nearby mountain, Alana carries Marko while the ghost talks to her. The evil spider girl needs a partner to help her capture that two rogues, she enlists the help of a man and his alien cat. Also the robot with the TV screen for a head interrogates a rhino looking alien.
-Story: This story continues to get stranger and weirder with each passing issue, but in a good way. The story has a well taught pace to it, giving us time with each character that plays a part in some form or another. The best moments are with Alana, she shines in this issue.
-Writing: Vaughn does a fantastic job blending all kinds of genres with this series. Its science fiction, action, adventure, horror, fantasy, and drama, all seamlessly blended into a perfect comic.
-Artwork: Staples art is fantastic, the way she draws and designs the characters are top notch. The ghosts all have great designs to them, their forms defined by how they died.
-Character Dynamic: As I mentioned above, Alana shines brightly in this issue, she does so much while traveling with her new friend, even making decisions she hopes not to regret later.
-Highlight of the issue: The last pages reveal
Wonder Woman #9: Written by Brian Azzarello/Arwork by Tony Akins
The Dearly Beloved
Story: Zola and her friends talk about how to rescue Diana who is trapped in Hades. They team up with Aphrodite to save Diana. Meanwhile in Hades, Diana is preparing for her marriage to Hades himself. She meets Hades first wife, who tried to kill herself. Diana and Hades talk while riding up to the altar, where she has two options, live or die by her golden lasso, turned into a noose.
-Story: I’m really surprised by how this series has turned out. The story reminds me of a small arc in the Paul Dini run of Zatanna, when she too was forced to get married, however that was under a magical hypnosis. Here in this issue, it works far better. Diana is not under a hypnotic control, she has been struck by a bullet of Eros, a god of Love, she is not being forced to fall in love with Hades or under a powerful spell, she truly believes that she loves him; she cannot stop herself from going through with this wedding.
-Writing: Azzarello continues to do a great job with the writing. He has evolved the series into something unique and unlike any other Wonder Woman story ever seen.
-Artwork: Akins does a well done job with the art. The look of Diana’s wedding outfit from hell is a nice touch and has a fantastically horrifying look to it.
-Character Dynamic: The dynamic between Diana and Hades is nicely done, he is testing her and showing that he may or may not kill her at any moment.
-Highlight of the issue: Wedding Chapel made of souls.
Amazing Spider-man: Ends of the Earth One shot: Written by Rob Williams and Brian Clevinger
Story: Two stories in one issue about the various heroes that Spider-man rallied to help him fight Doc Ock.
-Story: A pretty A-Okay one-shot. The two stories were nicely paced and the action beats were great.
-Writing: The two writers focus on characters outside of the Spider-man mythos but they do manage to create fun action filled stories
-Artwork: The art is not Ramos but has his style.
-Character Dynamic: Not much here, these are established characters that don’t interact with each other
-Highlight of the issue: Union Jack battle
AvX VS #2: Part 1: Written and Artwork by Steve Mcniven & Part 2: Written by Kieron Gillen/Artwork by Salvador Larroca
Story: First battle is Captain America against Gambit. Second Battle is Spider-man against Colossus
-Story: Another fun action filled issue, from start to finish the fighting was well done and totally unique from one another. The Spider-man fight felt so one sided but it ends oddly.
-Writing: McNiven does a fantastic job with the writing duties; he makes both Gambit and Cap into great fighting rivals. Gillen does an amazing job with writing Spider-man, he keeps the humor intact.
-Artwork: McNiven and Larroca are top notch artists, both have great styles and pull out their best with these two stories
-Character Dynamic: Two Avengers fighting two X-men….GO!!!!!
-Highlight of the issue: Colossus fighting Spider-man
Justice League #9: Written by Geoff Johns/Artwork by Jim Lee
The Villains Journey
Story: The team heads into Arkham Asylum to find a prisoner known as the Key
-Story: The second story arc begins and it’s kind of a slow start to me.
-Writing: Johns does a commendable job with the writing duties, he still can’t “get” Wonder Woman
-Artwork: Jim Lee is still awesome with the artwork.
-Character Dynamic: Trevor goes through a drastic change. Flash and Green Lantern were great together
-Highlight of the issue: Flashing trying to be a “bad cop”
Secret Service #2: Written by Mark Millar/Artwork by Dave Gibbons
Story: Jack informs Gary that he is a super spy and wants Gary to become one as well. Meanwhile in Hawaii a group wedding turns chaotic as all the brides and grooms kill one another.
-Story: A well solid second issue. It feels like a Bond movie turned up to 11
-Writing: Mark Millar continues to work his magic
-Artwork: Dave Gibbons continues to do impressive artwork
-Character Dynamic: John and Gary get a lot of character development; we learn a bit more about them and where they came from
-Highlight of the issue: The Wedding day MASSACRE
WEAKEST OF THE WEEK
Thunderbolts #174: Written by Jeff Parker/Artwork by Delcan Shavley
Like Lightning part 3
Story: Time and Reality begins to fix itself, while Fixer decides to help fix it all by living as the Fixer of the past, causing an eternal loop
-Story: Well thought out concept to tie the events altogether of the old and new thunderbolts but falls short of true brilliance.
-Writing: Parker does a commendable job with the writing, bringing everything full circle.
-Artwork: Shavley does great character designs.
-Character Dynamic: Fixer becomes a true hero
-Highlight of the issue: The ending
Well that’s all for this week friends. Next week is smaller but we have the return of the Big G to look forward to. Catch you all later
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