The Comics Corner - Week of 12/17/09

Ryan Porter is back with his unique take on Amazing Spider-Man #615, Batman #694, Captain America: Reborn #5, Dark Avengers #12, Green Lantern Corps #43, and Ultimate Armor Wars #3! Come inside and see what made the top of the stack!

Green Lantern Corps #43

5 Stars (Out of 5)

RAGE! Iím not even sure where to begin with just how awesome this issue was. This is one of those times where my desire to keep my reviews spoiler free is really frustrating. But I can tell you, as itís depicted on the cover, is that Guy Gardner becomes a Red Lantern. A completely insane Red Lantern. Atrocitus himself would shocked by Guy in this issue. I wouldíve liked to have seen the events of the last issue play out a bit longer, but the way it fits into this issue I quickly dismissed my only minor complaint. The whole issue flows so perfectly and not a single page or panel is wasted. Guyís transformation is totally natural and the reaction, or lack of reaction, by the Green Lantern Corps says it all. Theyíre not surprised; this is Guy Gardner weíre talking about. Seeing the different Lantern Corps work together and play off one another was done very well. Outside of the leaders of each Corps finally coming together in Blackest Night, itís a dynamic that is almost exclusive to this series. Outnumbered while trying to deal with Guy the Green Lantern Corps get some big help at the end of the issue. And I do mean big. Johns gets a lot of praise and deservedly so, but Peter Tomasi is doing amazing things in this series and deserves a lot of credit himself. I look forward to seeing more of Guy Gardner as a Red Lantern, but I canít help thinking that it wonít last, which would be a shame.

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

Amazing Spider-Man #615

4 Stars

Why are they doing this to me? Okay, thatís a little too self-indulgent. Why are they doing this to Spider-Man? The second wave of the Gauntlet begins and here we are again with artwork that is completely wrong for Spider-Man. I donít know if theyíre trying to bring a more classic look to go with the classic villains but this is just awful. However story-wise, the Gauntlet continues to deliver. The story builds naturally throughout the issue and is filled with great moments featuring Jameson and other former Daily Bugle employees dealing with the loss of the Bugle building. The story gets a little jumpy once or twice but quickly recovers. Spider-Man soon finds himself going toe-to-toe with the Sandman, who like Electro has been revamped and turned into a more serious and legitimate threat to Spider-Man. This issue is another solid entry in the Gauntlet which has all the makings of a classic Spider-Man story.

Batman #694

4 Stars

My expectations heading into this issue were that the huge cast would be trimmed down and things would begin to move forward. Instead the cast has gotten bigger and there was little, if any, real development. But in an issue that shouldíve frustrated me to no end, I actually really enjoyed. While the story may not be clicking something else clearly is and I canít really put my finger on it. Tony Daniel has been improving in both writing and in his artwork and as a result the pacing of this issue was terrific. There was a much more natural flow to the story this time around and Daniel is clearly getting better in this regard. Even with so many things going on everything has its place and fits together nicely. So instead of waiting for things to happen I find myself enjoying the constant pressures being applied to Batman from just about every low-life Gotham City has to offer. This is great, just so long as all the build up actually delivers once the time comes.

Captain America: Reborn #5

4 Stars

Despite the fact that the end to this series has already been spoiled three times over, I really liked this issue. It was a small matter of switching my focus away from the conclusion and focusing on the journey of Steve Rodgerís return. There is still a solid, well thought out story being told and if you think that knowing the end will somehow ruin the rest of the issues, you couldnít be more wrong. This issue still held a few surprises and I find myself eagerly anticipating the final chapter. In regards to the lateness, I really donít know why this book was so late; this is far from Brian Hitchís best work. However not Hitchís best is still better than most and itís a great looking issue and I particularly enjoyed the pages from inside Steve Rodgerís mind. No one could expect Marvel to hold up their whole line of comics just to wait this series out. Itís just a shame this series wonít get to play out like it should, but its still a terrific issue in a terrific series.

Dark Avengers #12

4 Stars

To put it mildly, I hated the last issue of this series. So while low expectations may have had something to do with it, this issue blew me away. Norman Osbornís fragile mind continues to unravel and the secret, if you want to call it that, of the Sentry is revealed. And the Sentry is finally interesting, sort of. Heís been an awful and annoying character but now heís a real wild card heading into the Siege event. Meanwhile, Norman is starting to loose his team and even his closest ally, Victoria Hand, as a result of his behavior and instability. The opening page, which is an awesome take on one of the best Spider-Man covers ever, was a blast. So many things said in that one page, it was brilliant. The end of the issue was exciting, if perhaps a little confusing. I think this issue might take place before the recent Avengers Annuals. If that is the case than it does answer a lot of questions. Either way this issue is a terrific lead-in to Siege.

Ultimate Armor Wars #3

3 Stars

Three issues into this mini-series and Iím still having a hard figuring out just what is going on. Not the story, the story is pretty straight forward. Too straight forward actually, especially for a writer like Warren Ellis. But at the moment Iím having a hard time trying to figure out what the point of this series is. Ellis is still the best when it comes to writing Tony Stark, especially the Ultimate version. Ellisí Stark is smart, *censored*y and always drinking. However this issue does reveal his feelings toward killing, which seemed a bit out of character. Iím a big fan of anything in the Ultimate Universe and nobody writes Iron Man like Ellis so while I am enjoying it, thereís just not that much there.

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