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Bullet Reviews #14: Spider-Man, Wolverine and Kirby!

It’s a new week and that means NEW COMICS! So, we’ve been doing this long enough that you guys and gals out there should know how this works. For those who are just joining us, each week we grab a few comics and run a quick review of them. We call these Bullet Reviews and you can only read them right here, on ComicBooked.Com!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #662 (Marvel)Amazing Spider-Man
The down side of having a major storyline in a comic is the issues leading up to it tend to feel like filler issues. This, along with the previous issue, feel like fillers. Spider-Man ends up teaching in Avengers Academy. After failing in the classroom, he decides to take them on a field trip and ends up in a fight with Psycho Man. Psycho Man does his thing, brings out the hate, anger, fear and doubt of the kids and turns them against Spider-Man. Not really a bad thing, though, as this was an entertaining story but it does feel like filler. This might also be because I don’t read Avengers Academy so these characters are largely unknown to me. This issue gives us two back ups. The first one is the 3rd part of Infested: Great Responsibility. Walter Coleman, husband and father, gains the ability of spider-like speed. He saves his family from their burning home but isn’t able to save his neighbors…he feels he’s only responsible for his family.  The second back up is about a former villain called Magnetic Man who gets a second chance at life. Touching but not really important, though it makes for interesting foreshadowing. But it’s all secondary…I simply cannot wait for Spider-Island by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos! –Skott Jimenez

Captain AmericaCAPTAIN AMERICA #618 (Marvel)
Another chapter of Brubaker’s epic run of Captain America is coming to an end it seems. Gulag is a great story in the Cap lore. Sure Captain America isn’t in it. And Steve Rogers is just on the phone, but it still fits in to the story. When you think of what Captain America is, it is becoming more obvious that the spirit of the character is more important than the man who wields the shield. The art could be a little better but not everyone can draw like Epting. My only complaint is the backup story. I don’t need to pay an extra dollar for a story that doesn’t seem to matter. If it was really important wouldn’t they put it in the main story? -Andy Kirby


DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE #9.1 (Marvel)Dark Wolverine
A new creative team jumps aboard as Rob Williams and Matteo Buffagni bring Daken into the Big Time! Yet, this book features Garney at the helm of the pencils. And he does QUITE well too!! This book restored my faith in the character. In this issue Daken completes his task of taking over Madripoor, yet he is a little sad to find out that his dad already did that. So now he’s going to have to strike out on his own to make a name for himself. What I find is really interesting in this book is that he went out of his way to tell Wolverine that he was doing something different. It tells me that he actually does care about what his father thinks of him even if he wants his dad to know that he doesn’t care. I can’t wait to see where this new team takes this potential-filled character in the upcoming months (and hopefully, years). But…the art has to be good! –Andy Kirby

Fantastic FourFF #4 (Marvel)
As Val and Doom’s cabal of super villains race to come up with a way to beat their arch-nemesis times three, panic descends on the underwater city. Mole Man shows up with one of the three evil Reed’s and take it to Spidey, Sue, and Alex. I really like this idea. At first it was difficult to wade through the tale that Hickman was weaving, but now that it is coming together, I’m thoroughly engrossed. I enjoy the fact that the villains don’t care much for each other, but also that they were so willing to come together to begin with. This book was a fun read that makes you think it matters. So often we get stories that are fun but don’t matter or vice versa. I’m becoming more and more impressed with Hickman’s writing and hope to see him on some other mainstream titles. -Andy Kirby
*Check out our preview of FF#5!*

KIRBY’ GENESIS #0 (Dynamite)Jack Kirby
Released this week for $1. This 12 page story is the intro for the new comic series based on many of Jack Kirby’s characters from Silver Star, Captain Victory, and others; along with characters he created but never used for New Gods. I get really nervous and protective when people start using “The King’s” name and characters to sell books. Thankfully this series is done with the Roslyn Kirby Family Trust’s permission and carefully references Jack’s original work. Kurt Busiek’s writing seems to have an appropriate and respectful tone. This intro teases us with the Pioneer 10 Space-Probe traveling to distant points in space and attracting the attention of a few life-forms from Kirby’s work. “Who will come a-knocking – the trader or the tiger?” Jack wrote when Pioneer 10 was launched. In this series we will find out. The characters and concept here are clearly Kirby, but the art takes its own path. Maybe this is a good thing. How do you imitate the master without it looking like a cheap copy? Best not to play that game, if at all possible. The trippy cosmic elements are still present. The art is nice, but has a style of its own that separates itself from Kirby’s iconic style. The modern coloring techniques used here have much to do with this separation. The second half of this issue showcases Kirby’s original work and explains the process used to get Kirby Genesis together, and is more than worth the special $1 cover price. I will be picking up future issues and keeping my eye on this series for sure. -Robb Orr

New MutantsNEW MUTANTS #25 (Marvel)
Age of X sucked. No, I haven’t forgotten which comic I’m supposed to be reviewing, but there is no way I could properly address the first issue of Abnett and Lanning’s (or DnA, as they’re known) run without somehow mentioning the incredibly underwhelming crossover that swallowed the book for three months. Because of the nature of Age of X, New Mutants #25 is mostly following up on plot points that have been left sitting for the past few months. “Where do we go from here?” That, more than anything else, is the question that drives this issue. Following a mission to locate a Nomad fragment and a series of character beats, that question is answered when Cyclops tells Dani Moonstar that he’s placing her in charge of the team with a direction to take care of the X-Men’s unfinished business (along the lines of the Nomad they dealt with at the start of the issue). Zeb Wells left some pretty big shoes to fill on this title, but based on the way they handled the characters in their first issue, I’d say Abnett and Lanning are well on their way to filling them. –Nick C

SECRET AVENGES #13 (Marvel)Secret Avengers
Nick Spencer takes the reins on this team book that Brubaker didn’t (or couldn’t) hold on to. But why didn’t Brubaker hold onto this? I have a theory. As I read 13 previous issues of this title, I saw Steve Rogers leading the team in a new role. A world Top-Cop. The team members were good, but the nature of the team couldn’t form any cohesion. The secrecy and what the team is all about makes it difficult for the roster to stay the same. Much like Heroes for Hire the characters change…but unlike Abnett and Lanning, the Secret Avengers didn’t have one main focus. And with a power set that they wield, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to come up with organic stories following one right after another like Brubaker does in Captain America. In short, this issue didn’t seem right. It seemed like an issue of X-Men. It seemed like an issue of Civil War. It didn’t seem like Fear Itself, it didn’t seem Secret, and it didn’t even seem like an Avengers team. I sincerely hope that Spencer knocks the next one out of the park, or this series is not going to last longer than Avengers Academy. -Andy Kirby

Walking DeadTHE WALKING DEAD #85/WITCH DOCTOR #0 (Image)
It’s always difficult to review this book because it’s almost an unspoken law that you do not spoil what happens. Normally I do a full review for it but this issue is something of a ‘breather’ issue. The zombie attack has been stopped, the dead buried, the undead burned and the injured looked after. Rick makes some big decisions that effect everyone and that’s all I’m saying about it. On the flip side (yes, TWO comics for $2.99!!) is the zero issue for the new Image series Witch Doctor. Fringe meets Doctor Strange is the closest I can come to describing this. Monsters are sort of a virus infecting earth, and humanity is basically the immune system. Some people are more capable of handling these threats than others and Witch Doctor is one of them. Not a bad read and a great way to get this series in the hands of readers, offering it for free basically, and I think I may at least grab the trades for it. -Skott Jimenez

WOLVERINE #9 (Marvel)Wolverine
I’ve got to be honest about this one. I didn’t really understand what was going on. Somewhere along the line I missed that Mystique is the one that sent Wolverine to Hell and next that he found out about that. Then there is a guy I don’t remember seeing last issue: Lord Deathstrike. Then there is a fight scene where everyone was in the same place even though they were in San Francisco and Argentina a second ago. Then Mystique is dead and being put up for auction and bought by whom I can only assume is the Hand. It was a fast read, but it made me a little nervous about X-Men: Schism. I understand that Aaron is setting up for something else while tying this into a run three years ago (which is weird), but there were a lot of logical gaps it seemed. -Andy Kirby

X-Men legacyX-MEN LEGACY #249 (Marvel)
I’m beginning to think that this entire series is about how the past catches up to you. Isn’t that what a Legacy can do? First we see Xavier dealing with the legacy he created, then we see Rogue’s story culminating into a holding place for all the lost mutants’ thoughts and souls. She is their legacy. And now we are turning to a story about your past deciding your character. Magneto is a product of his upbringing and Rogue is a product of the choices that she makes, regardless of the knowledge she has, which leads them in quite the intimate scene. But overall Mike Carey has taken this book to a level that I’m not sure I completely understand. There is no question that Carey is a deep and excellent writer, but that only begs the next question: where is this all going? How will he bring it together? What story is he telling? Although not as obvious as Hickman, I still believe Carey is leading us somewhere that will force us to examine ourselves and our own Legacy. -Andy Kirby

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Comments (2)

Wow! Lots of books this week. Nice.

Skott of Fables

This may be the biggest Bullet Review column we've ever had…

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