Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pull List Review: Zeroes and Heroes

Sorry I'm late! I was hoping to be farther along in Dishonored for tomorrow's post and forgot about Monday's! As it stands, you're getting the rest of my Pull List Review, in which I tell you how I dropped some issues and will be picking at least one up to replace it...

Red Hood and the Outlaws #0
This issue is the back story of Jason Todd. It's not particularly different from the previous DC Universe -- Jason lost his scummy parents early on, became a thief, and was eventually recruited by Batman, only to die at the hands of the Joker. A trip to the Lazarus Pit revived him, and now we have the Red Hood.

The interesting part in this issue came in a mini chapter at the end of the issue, where it is revealed that Joker had a hand in every individual part of Jason's life that led up to his parents dying and him meeting Batman and becoming Robin (and dying). I believe that's a new spin, though not particularly interesting (to me).

Unfortunately, this issue was all Jason all the time. I read this book for Jason, Arsenal, and Starfire. So this gets a 6/10. Art was fine, story ok, but I'm already tired of DC rehashing old tales.
Teen Titans #0
Similar to the above, this issue was all about an ex-Batman sidekick! It focused on Tim Drake and his obsession with Batman, which eventually leads to him working with the caped crusader. It was mildly interesting due to my lack of familiarity with the character, but that's about it.

My problem with the issue is the way they "solve" the time gap where Tim should have been Robin -- he never becomes Robin! He takes on the moniker of "Red Robin" upon inception, weakening the character development and leaving me to wonder if he immediately left Batman to form the Titans, or if Bats really partnered with a Red Robin for a bit...

6/10, and I'm really not liking #0s. And I haven't been enjoying Teen Titans for a bit now. It is officially being dropped as of this issue, though I'll keep an eye on the series to see if it perks up.
Batman #0
This is an early adventure of Bruce Wayne (pre-cowl) attempting to apprehend the Red Hood (Joker's first moniker, not Jason Todd) and his gang. It shows Bruce being excessively sloppy and doesn't do much as a background issue.

Funnily enough, it is also "to be continued" in such a way that there should be a direct sequel. Which I guess would make... issue 1/2? Didn't Thunderbolts pull something like this?

4/10. Extremely uninteresting and I've dropped the book. I know Joker's coming back in a big way... But I just don't care. I think I might stick to picking up arcs that interest me as they come out, the in-between issues really detract from Batman for me.
The Ravagers #0
This backstory is mostly about Beast Boy, with a bit of Terra and the rest of the gang thrown in. I'm already sick of how slow this book has been moving, I'm not even going to bother going into detail for this -- it takes place while the cast is still being tortured/altered in The Colony, and that's enough of that.

6/10 for art and some general interest, but I'm dropping the book. I'll wait until a) each character gets an individual style (I'm sick of Tron suits on everyone) and b) picks up with some decent stories (not this poorly plotted escape plan).

I like the concept, though, so I WILL keep an eye on it. There's just no reason to read it one issue at a time, it's painful.
Avengers vs X-Men #11
This issue is the big showdown between the Avengers and the remaining Phoenix Two (Scott and Emma). It's interesting on the action scale, though it suffers from the comic book scale of powers -- earlier issues have the Avengers struggling against 1 character with 1/5th of the power Scott and Emma now have split solely between them, and they manage to go almost toe to toe with the duo, thanks to a little help from Xavier (and the rest of the mutants who've turned on Scott and Emma). So much so, in fact, that Scott takes out Emma so he can have all the power to himself... becoming DARK PHOENIX! Oh no! I couldn't have possibly seen that one coming!

... :/ Oh well. Also, the "heavy hitters" Hope and Scarlet Witch do literally nothing the entire fight. Because that makes sense.

7/10 for action and art, loses points for plausibility (which may seem inane in a comic book review, but bite me).
Avengers vs X-Men #12

Scott's first action is to kill Professor X. That's right, Charles is dead (again). Then he pounds on the Avengers until Hope and Wanda finally step in and... well, pretty simply take him out. This issue (and end of the arc) reminds me of a Dragon Ball Z episode.

The Phoenix Force possesses Hope, which it should probably have done from the first place. Hope feels that she can control it but, with a little nudge from Wanda, decides that there should be "No More Phoenix." The Nerd has decided that there should be "No More No More."

The most interesting result of this action? The Phoenix Force explodes into a bunch of little fireballs that reignite the X-Gene across the globe, meaning mutants are no longer the endangered species they've been since House of M.

I, personally, kind of liked it being a more exclusive club, but I'll accept it if it leads to interesting storylines.

Scott is seen imprisoned for his misdeeds, while the other ex-Phoenix members are in hiding. Scott's just a bit smug, and I like it.

Issue gets an 8/10, series gets a 7/10. I dislike comic book reset buttons, but at least this one took awhile... right? This is the end of this event, and I'll not be picking any of the related follow ups, so I guess this is dropped, to some extent.
Age of Apocalypse #7

The gang is looking for away to take away Wolvie's Celestial given powers. They hope to find the answers in the late Reed Richard's notebooks, which AoA's Emma Frost tells them Victor Von Doom has.

Woot! Some Doctor Doom action! The team travels to Latveria, find it a human reservation of sorts, and split up! One group is captured by Emma (that sneaky witch! Apparently the lobotomy to remove her powers was a ruse!), while Prophet and the others meet up with Doom. Oh, and a subplot with Graydon hanging out with his pops (Sabertooth) starts (and starts to go poorly).

Meh. I don't mind a change of scope and pace, so we'll see how it goes. 6/10, because I still don't care for the art.
Age of Apocalypse #8

BAM! Prophet and crew are betrayed by Doom and handed over to Emma as part of Doom's plan to win favor with the mutants. Nightcrawler-wanna-be shows up, appraised the goods, then goes to tell his masters. Doom pushed a button and basically resets Emma, freeing the captives and giving them an ultimatum -- help HIM gain the power of the Celestials, or deal with Weapon Omega on their own. Prophet doesn't want Doom to be the ultimate power and bails. Deadeye disagrees and decides to stay with Doom...

Long enough for the group to leave and her to hook up with him, where she promptly removes his head and brings it to Prophet. Because they can plumb his disembodied cranium for info, there's an app for that.

Oh, and Graydon and Sabertooth didn't get along at all. Which is pretty much all that can be said for that.

Well, the issue had some interesting twists (and some not so much), but it did see a Doom killed, and that's pretty rare. I'll give it a 7/10 and will stick it out for another issue before cutting it. I really do have a soft spot for Post Apocalyptic setting, obviously.

In other news, I also read Uncanny X-Force #1 and really enjoyed it. I'll be hunting down the series and giving it its own review in the future. And it is part of the reason I'm trying to stick it with the current AoA, being that is spawned from events that happened in Uncanny X-Force.

As I mentioned in my post about reboots, I also picked up some other Batman #0s. The only one that was mildly interesting to me was Batman and Robin, though I still have issues with the timeline, so I'm not adding anything new to my pull list from DC.

Currently, I'm only adding All New X-Men, though I am looking at some other Marvel Now! titles. I need something to bolster the hits taken this month...

Tune in tomorrow (night) for my follow up to my Dishonored review (... even though I haven't finished the game) and my quest for an old RPG...

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