The Comics Corner - Week of 11/25/09

Ryan Porter is back with his unique take on Amazing Spider-Man #613, Blackest Night #5, Fantastic Four #573, Green Lantern #48, The Invincible Iron Man #20, Justice League of America #39, New Avengers #59, Star Trek: Nero #4, and Ultimate Avengers #4! Come inside and see what made the top of the stack!

Blackest Night #5
5 Stars (out of 5)
Wow. Wow was the first thing I said after reading this issue. Holy $#!+ is what I kept saying over and over again while reading this issue. Pardon my review as my brain may have temporarily blown a fuse. Right from the start this issue is full of Holy $#!+ moments accompanied by beautiful spread pages. From the Lanterns each reciting their Corps' oaths to the amazing ending, I really like seeing that things are still getting worse rather than better. Events like this tend to drag and get people like me upset that more isnít happening, and with this issue itís like thereís too much going on. The issue reads incredibly fast and is one huge moment after another; And it's one surprise after another. What I thought would be on of the turning points in the series only lasted a few pages and ended as quickly as it began. Iíd like to tell you more, but Iíd be ruining the surprise and I do try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. You really just have to read it! One of my favorite moments despite all the insanity was a small joke made on the similarity of the combined Corps to a certain Saturday morning cartoon involving the combination of powers. One of several smaller moments that are contrasted nicely against the larger chaos with-in the issue. As clichť as this will sound, Blackest Night really does keep getting better and better and I canít wait to see how it all plays out.

Comic Reviews are sponsored by Killen's! Click on any cover to go to the store and buy that issue!

Amazing Spider-Man #613
4 Stars
Iím so glad my friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back! He had a bit of a rough patch with that clone saga story line, but Iím glad to say heís back and heís bringing his classic villains with him. Electro, one of Spideyís first villains, has always been a bit of a joke with simplistic powers and a goofy mask. But in his return Electro has become much more of a threat and much more of a bad ass. If Electro ever finds his way to the big screen I can only hope they get their cues from what Mark Waid has done with him. Threatening a millionaire in the bathtub? Awesome. Iím still not enjoying the art; I feel this story needs a more dynamic look. Aside from that, Amazing Spider-Man continues to be one of Marvelís best books and Iím excited that the Gauntlet is now in full swing.
Fantastic Four #573
4 Stars
In just four issues Jonathan Hickman has turned Fantastic Four into a must read book. Hopefully there are no rules regarding the use of the word Fantastic to describe this book because thatís exactly what it is. Building on everything the Fantastic Four has in their remarkable history is no easy task but Hickman has already shown himself to be a writer with big ideas, ideas big enough for the Fantastic Four. In my opinion thatís what this title has been missing. Surprisingly, this issue is a one-and-done story, but Hickman does put an awful lot into it. He continues stories from the last creative team and at the same time is planting story lines that he will no doubt continue to use. My only real gripe about this issue is the art. Neil Edwardsí pencils look too similar to those of Bryan Hitch, only not as good, and his Valeria just looks weird. If Edwards is going to be on this title for any length of time I hope he learns how to draw little girls because Hickmanís big plans will most certainly include Valeria.
Green Lantern #48
4 Stars
Green Lantern has been serving as a wonderful side by side story with the event sin Blackest Night. While most of this issue was filler to the larger story I really like that both series can read as their own, at least so far. In this issue writer Geoff Johns finally, and I do mean finally gathers one of each of the Lantern Corps to fight together against the Black Lanterns. After this issue the two series, Green Lantern and Blackest Night, will become more integrated but Johns is still creating stories that will no doubt carry on long after Blackest Nights conclusion. And if youíre a fan of the Spectrum and Lantern Corps as I am, itís a comfort to know that these Corps will continue to be a part of the DCU after this event creating a whole new era for Green Lantern.
The Invincible Iron Man #20
3 Stars
Pretend youíre Matt Fraction. How can you continue the impressive run youíve established with Iron Man? ĎWorldís Most Wantedí was a massive and thrilling story arc pushing Tony and his supporting cast to their limits. Each issue became more exciting, building up to Tonyís goal of erasing his mind and the inevitable showdown with Norman Osborn. And in issue 20 we are given the first issue of a new arc and the first step on what will become Tonyís road to redemption. But this issue is a bit of a let down. I have no problem slowing the story, and I understand that itís necessary. Itís a solid issue with a lot of good information however, given Fractionís run with this title I canít keep from thinking ahead and hoping we get there soon.
Justice League of America #39
2 Stars
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Itís a lesson that both myself, and the Justice League learned this week. Iíve been obsessively collecting Lantern Corps rings over the past few weeks as if was Larfleeze himself. Sometimes I win with titles like Booster Gold, and sometimes I loose like with this issue. While I donít know who carries the blame, this book shouldíve come out a month or two ago. We know how the Black Lanterns work at this point and this whole issue felt like an uninspired retread. Most of the crossovers have been new reader friendly, this one was not. Why was Plastic Man melting? Iím sure the answer lies in the pages of issue 38, but I didnít read issue 38. I donít think Iím asking for too much here. These members of the JLA get their heads handed to them in much the same way I did for buying this issue. Two stars, one for Bagleyís art and the other because my Red Lantern ring is awesome.
New Avengers #59
5 Stars
This is what reading comics is all about. This issue was just so much fun to read. As Dark Reign continues to build the best seat in the house, at least at the moment, is in the pages of New Avengers. And there are a lot of Avengers in this issue. New Avengers, Dark Avengers, reserve Avengers, the Initiative, you name it theyíre all here and theyíre all throwing down. In addition to the storyline, this book has really picked up with the help of Stuart Immonen. Iíve always been a fan of his work but it seems lately that heís gotten even better. With The Siege right around the corner, and the combined talents of Mr. Bendis and previously mention Mr. Immonen, this book is the place to be in the Marvel Universe right now.
Star Trek: Nero #4
5 Stars
Serving as a parallel to the new movie, Star Trek: Nero has been a terrific companion piece filling in many of the gaps with Nero and his crew. This series shows that if you only saw the movie youíre only getting half the story. Throughout the course of this series, Nero has become one of the great Star Trek villains. But with such little screen time he has instead became the Darth Maul of the Star Trek Universe. Luckily, unlike Darth Maul, Nero is given more depth of character and more opportunities to demonstrate himself as a true villain than he was on screen. For any fans of the new movie, this issue, as well as the entire mini-series, are a must read.
Ultimate Avengers #4
4 Stars
Ultimate Avengers, the comic book that reads like a summer blockbuster. Wrapping up a stellar week of comic books Ultimate Avengers was a blast. Mark Millarís Ultimate version of Captain America is everything he should be: smart, damn near unbeatable and the center of the book. The focus should be on Cap, you just donít expect him to be fighting the rest of the Nick Furyís new Ultimates team. They claimed that nothing would be the same after Ultimatum and so far there are sticking to that. Furyís new team is different and exciting but still feels like part of the Ultimate universe. Great art, great action and exciting characters, everything that wasnít in this yearís action movies is in Ultimate Avengers.
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