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Bullet Reviews #8: The Amazing Journey of PunisherMAX

Right, not really the title of A comic. We decided to have some fun with the title of this week’s Bullet Reviews (which, by the way are EXCLUSIVE to Comic Booked and presented for our great fans and readers!) So let’s get this batch out!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #658 (Marvel)Amazing Spider-Man
Our very own Nick C has a full review of this one but what I wanted to talk about was the back-up story here. While the main story focused on Spider-Man’s first run with the, Future Foundation, complete with the Anti-Venom crack which I KNEW was coming, the back-up features a meeting between the Amazing Web Slinger and Marvel’s resident Spirit Of Vengeance, The Ghost Rider. It’s no secret that Ghost Rider was my all time favorite character. I say WAS because ever since the Hammer Lane (Lame) story and the movie, the character has suffered greatly from destroying the back story and mixing up the looks and powers to tossing in a flock of Riders for no apparent reason. This year Marvel is giving the Rider his own series again and I figured this back-up would be a good way to feel this character out again. Well, it didn’t. It shows everything I haven’t liked about the character for years. They still have the look wrong and it’s Blaze again. Also, while he’s in his Rider form he talks like Blaze which both goes back to and ignores the original Ghost Rider series with Blaze. They art was good but the story of Ghost Rider is so screwed up it’s impossible to get a grasp on what he even is anymore. My hope is the upcoming series, which sadly is part of Fear Itself (more on why I say that when you read Journey Into Mystery‘s Bullet), is that Marvel will FINALLY clean his story up and make him interesting again. I would LOVE to read Ghost Rider again! –Skott Of Fables

The Thor series returns to its original title while also keeping its original numbering! Also, it jumps right into Fear Itself. To me, it’s always a mistake to begin a series during an event. You have a new creative team that has to try to find the books identity while participating in the event which eclipses said titles identity. On the plus, I think this series will do very well, the first issue focuses on Loki, now a boy, and his drive to be something more than just the God of Mischief. He’s the main focus on this and it’s nice to add more layers to his character. It’s a breath of fresh air having these characters and their motives make sense again. This issue ends where Fear Itself #1 ends, with Odin telling the Asgardians that it’s time to leave. Journey Into Mystery will be a great series and I look forward to reading it well past Fear Itself. -Skott Of Fables



NEW AVENGERS #11 (Marvel)
New Avengers
Where is Bendis going? This issue brings up more questions than answers. It’s not that I’m growing tired of the story, but rather that we haven’t seen the two separate stories meet yet, even after three issues. What I do consistently like about the storytelling is the natural progression of the arc. Aside from the giant whale coming out of nowhere, the characters all react how they should to each piece of information. Many comic books seem to miss this or leave it out. Many probably assume that the reader can fill in the gaps. This book takes you in between panels and shows you those panels. Luke Cage would totally clock someone who was getting on his nerves. The H.A.M.M.E.R. agents definitely wouldn’t go away quietly. Spider-Man would constantly be second guessing Ms. Hand. It’s the little things like that that make it so I can’t wait till the next issue. -Andy Kirby

PunisherMAXPUNISHERMAX #12 (Marvel/MAX)
Jason Aaron gives us an insight into the life of Frank Castle and how greatly affected he was by the Vietnam War. It blows my mind to actually see how Aaron handles this character. It makes the 616 Punisher look like a child. The reader is taken on a ride in the first 12 issues of the effects of the Punisher on crime, how criminals deal with him, then to how he started. I don’t know how much longer this series could last, only because of how good it is. Even though there is an excessive amount of blood and violence, the story really centers around Frank coming to terms with his life and facing what truly made him “this way” (even though, I have a feeling we don’t even know what “this way” really is). -Andy Kirby


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