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Batman: Dark Victory Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale

Dark Victory is the rarely heard of sequel to Loeb and Sale’s blockbuster Batman The Long Halloween. Despite never having the spot light as much as it’s predecessor, Dark Victory expands on the characters and world built in Long Halloween. A darker, grittier story than even Long Halloween, Dark Victory takes Batman into year two. Still new to the game he has more experience, more tools, and a little more trust from Gotham and the GCPD. At the core of the story is a serial killer called the Hangman who is killing police officers on holidays, in a similar fashion to the Holiday Killer.

More mystery, a darker, more lonely tale, we see even more the cost that being Batman has on Bruce Wayne. We see more Jim Gordon and what makes him work, and we even get Jeoh Loeb’s Robin. All of it shown through Tim Sale’s incredible art.

If you’re a Batman fan, especially if you are a fan of Long Halloween, Dark Victory is a must read.

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Amazing Spider-Man #665 Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman

Worried that the Spidey brain trust might try to kill time until spider island kicks off next issue I was not expiring anything worthwhile out of this issue. But I was surprised, and reminded of how good a writer Dan Slott has become since taking the lead on ASM, an how easy it is to tell a short, simple, satisfying Spider-Man story. This issue is a fantastic self contained little story about Peter, and the delicate balance between his life as Spider-Man, and his friends. It’s nothing new but seeing one of Parker’s old friends so close to death is still somewhat powerful. The great thing about this supporting cast is that many of them have been around longer, and are more developed than a lot of headlining heroes. Over all it’s a solid issue and a nice way to end the wait for next month’s big event.

4/5

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Avengers #15 Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo

I’m a huge fan of Bendis and over the last few months I’ve just had no idea what the hell he’s been doing. Seeing Spider Woman and Noh Var het to kick ass against Bachalo’s awesomely drawn Hulk was fantastic. But this whole talking heads interview framing thing Bendis has been doing since Fear Itself started us just crap. It ruins the flow, and distorts the whole story. It’s a waste of time. And this blooming romance between Clint and Jessica, might be a bit easier to stomach if in New Avengers Clint wasn’t tearing the world apart trying to save Mockingbird’s life. You know, his ex wife, that he is still in love with. Half of this issue is really cool, half of it feels like a waste. Figure your shit out Bendis, you’re one of the greats.

3/5

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Daredevil #1 Mark Waid, Pablo Rivera

The first issue of this highly anticipated title (at least by me) is finally here. Daredevil is a tough character to handle. Of all the steer level loner heroes in the Marvel U, Daredevil is the one who takes those qualities to the farthest extreme. Waid brings Matt Murdock back to his normal status quo, fighting crime on the streets and in the courthouse. Unfortunately this first issue doesn’t quite pack the punch you might expect. It’s a decent issue, but lacks the impact you’d expect from such a dynamic character and a powerful creative team. While I’m a bit let down I’m still looking forward to what comes next.

3/5

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Batman: Gates of Gotham #3 Scott Snyder Kyle Higgins Trevor McCarthy

Gates of Gotham continues to impress, and continues to be one of the best new Batman stories I’ve read in a while. This fast paced mystery/thriller captures all the right emotions a good Bat take should, all without Bruce Wayne. Having Dick, Tim, Damian, and Cassandra all work together is very nice to read, and learning about the history of Gotham and just how deep the ties to re founding families run is very interesting. There are two issues left and I can’t wait to read them. And then buy the trade and read it agin.

4/5

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Yeah, this was almost a thing. Jack Black as Green Lantern in a full blown comedy that was allegedly inspired by Emerald Knights. Check out the full hilariously bad thing here.

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review by Ryanscribbles

Dir.: Martin Campbell

Starring: Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan/Green Lantern), Blake Lively (Carol Ferris), Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond), Mark Strong (Sinestro)

Marvel has been killing the movie aspect of comics for a while now. It’s rare to see a Marvel comic book movie be a disappointment (looking at you Fantastic Four) so it makes sense for other publishers to branch out as well. And while DC has always done a good job with animation, they’re very hit and miss with the silver screen. So is this newest foray into film a hit? Or a miss?

Unfortunately, it’s the latter. The pure fanboy in me got chills when I heard the oath but every new trailer that surfaced made me grow more and more wary of the movie, to the point where I declined the midnight viewing and settled for a day-after release matinee. Thank goodness I saved that extra four dollars.

It’s hard to pinpoint, exactly, what is wrong with the movie. None of the acting falls flat, Reynolds does his standard good-looking silly man routine, while Sarsgaard and Strong shine as the villain and soon-to-be villain, respectively. Even Blake Lively is enjoyable as the love interest, Carol Ferris, and Tim Robbins get’s a criminal short cut amount of screen time as Hector Hammond’s father, Robert. So I don’t place the blame of this low review on the actors. I place it, entirely, on the director and screenwriters.

The simple fact is that there is far too much exposition, very little actual action, and they cram too much into too little a time slot. If the movie had been expanded by an hour, it would have been leagues better, but still probably would have ended up in the mediocre range as far as my opinions on it sways. So much happens in such a small amount of time. Hal goes to Oa to “train” but we see about ten minutes of him working with Kilowog (voiced, very well, by Michael Clarke Duncan) and getting deep with Tomar-Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) and then he’s back to Earth. He makes the trip to Oa once more, seeing Sinestro for only the second time, and then BOOM. Back to Earth to become an incredible badass Green Lantern who can defeat Parallax, even though thirty minutes ago, he was getting his ass handed to him by Kilowog and Sinestro.

Also, I feel like we have a “3 Villain” situation here. Now the 3 Villain situation has never done well. Let’s take a quick glance back. Batman and Robin, three villains. Spider-Man 3, three villains. Even Daredevil, to an extent, was in the 3 villain category. Here we have Hammond, Parallax, and Sinestro. Now Sinestro is still good through the whole movie but he definitely stands as a roadblock for Hal, and his future is hinted at heavily, so we’re counting it. So we have three villains crammed into an hour and a half of screen time while we also have to tell the entire backstory of GL and the Corps. TOO MUCH. Throw in a contrived love story and a horrible connect-the-dots villain story line and you’re just bored. I honestly just wanted to see Hal use his ring more but we only really get to see him use it four or five times. 

The easiest way to describe the movie is stale. It tries so hard to do so much that it ends up failing in almost every aspect. Also, while the Corps. looked excellent, Ryan Reynolds in that abysmal CG costume makes me dislike the film even more.

Marvel and DC have both had their shot at a “space” super-hero movie, and this flick is no Thor.

2/5

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X-Men books are tough for me. I love the characters, love a lot of the story ideas, and love what this universe in a universe brings to the table. However the X-Men are plagued with continuity issues, an over abundance of titles, massive events that span too many series. I’ve tried many times to keep up with X-Men. After quitting on the last X-Force series I was hesitant to jump on with this new one. Two things brought me back in: Psylock, and Age of Apocalypse.

This arc has an interesting concept, send the X-Force into the age o apocalypse to try and obtain an item to save Angle. It’s not off to the best start.

While the writing is fine for the most part, it’s not perfect. There are a couple moments in this issue where it felt like I was missing pages with how disjointed and unfocused it seemed to be. Not only that but the story is plagued with cliche and predictability. While there are a couple decent moments the twists turns and en page reveal are all easy to see from a mile away.

It’s not a terrible issue (I do like the art) and I will stick with this arc at least for another issue, but fantastic X-Men story this is not.

2/5

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Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1 Writer: Tony Bedard Artist: Adrian Syaf

The world of Flashpoint continues to impress me. We find a darker, more brutal, harsher Dc U than we know, and I love it. Heroes are ultimately useless in what has become the greatest war between two brutal super powered nations.

Flashpoint’s Aquaman epitomizes this possibly better than any other character I’ve seen yet. He’s brutal, deceiving, regal, and bad ass. For once DC has done a good job pacing their event, and using tie ins well, to fill in the gaps in the story. Here we start to see why the Amazons and Atlantians are at war. Tony Bedard has laud out a very nice, simple, and fast paced narrative that has a couple great moments as is complimented by some fantastic art.

If you’re into Flashpoint, get this.

A very strong 3/5

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Avengers #14 writer: Brian Bendis Artist: John Romita Jr

Ok so the Avengers books have been, as I’ve said many times, really lame since Fear Itself started. This issue gets better, but only marginally.

This focal point of this issue is supposed to be Red Hulk fighting the serpent infested Ben Grimm. Red Hulk’s status as a worthy Avenger has been called into question before and this is the topic of discussion in these strange talking head moment this series suddenly consists of. I can only assume each Avenger is conducting some sort of interview, and like I’ve said it’s not a terrible idea. Having all the major players in the Avengers line retell their experience during the Fear war has potential for greatness. But Bendis just drive it into the ground without giving us any real substance. Instead of letting us see this big huge fight that has some serious repercussions, it’s told through the eyes of all the people who were not involved.

Bendis likes the Red Hulk, I can tell. And since he started writing him I’ve grown fond if the character myself. But with the terrible format of this issue he robs Red Hulk of his one moment of glory and we’re left with a short issue that ends abruptly and is completely unfulfilling.

Read this issue if you want to kind of get to see something that may have a huge effect later on. Or don’t. The way this book has gone lately, it probably doesn’t matter.

A very disappointing 2/5

-Vlaz