So here are my reviews that I call Bullet Points. These reviews will mention the highs and lows, favourite moments, and contain general discussion about each issue. The final part will review Marvel’s New Avengers #33 as well as the Independent comic reviews for Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #4 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #15. Also I should mention that there be SPOILERS in these reviews. You are warned!
The villain stands revealed, the pieces are in place, and one epic battle looms on the horizon. With Doctor Strange ready to match his magical prowess against Daniel Drumm, will it be a magical read or a story best forgotten? Read on:
Cover: The cover is very deceptive as the event depicted on it, Jessica dying on the ground as Luke screams out, doesn’t happen and doesn’t even have any chance of happening in the issue. I hate covers like these that are an absolute bait-and-switch. They were never in any danger even.
– Michael Avon Oeming’s art is fantastic. It’s too bad that he’s only on for one issue. The art is nice and moody which is very appropriate considering the story taking place.
– Doctor Strange says Daniel Drumm doesn’t see it that his brother died saving the world instead he blames the Avengers as the cause for his death. As Strange states this we get an extreme close-up on his eye in a very intense scene.
– Mockingbird goes out to negotiate and is met by Maria Hill. Two Maria Hills? Just then, Doctor Strange’s Maria is shot in the head! It turns out that she was really a Life Model Decoy (LMD). The real Maria believes him now and informs him that Captain America and his Avengers are on the way. Strange tells her that is the absolute worse thing that could happen. Uh oh!
– A brilliant fight scene occurs as Daniel Drumm bounces from Avenger to Avenger assaulting the other heroes. Nice back and forth as we don’t know which hero he’ll take over next.
– Strange pops up at the end to challenge Daniel to a battle to the death. Cliffhanger!
– The only real negative is the cover itself which is very deceptive.
Maria Hill: Doc, I really want to believe you’re not entirely cuckoo for lucky charms.
Maria Hill: Doctor, here is what is going to happen. Without magic hand waving or any kind of struggle, you are going to come with us.
Doctor Strange: I can’t come to you for help because you cannot help me. He is everywhere. He can be anywhere and anyone he wants.
Doctor Strange: You want to ruin me? You want to take away everything I have? Well then do it, coward. Come at me right here. I challenge you, Daniel. In front of the Avengers. In front of the world. Sorcerer to sorcerer, I challenge you! To the death!
Bendis’ final storyline on New Avengers is blowing away his final arc on Avengers. While the constant artist shifts may bug people especially when it is collected in trade paperback, I find it as a nice trip down memory lane as Bendis’ usual suspects help him end his legendary run. Oeming certainly delivered in the art department and Bendis is crafting a fine story that looks to put the proverbial toys back in the box while also tying up all the loose ends that have accumulated over the years. One issue remains before Marvel NOW and I eagerly await the conclusion.
The penultimate issue of Atomic Robo’s latest adventure is here and it looks to bring the same brilliance that you usually get from an issue written by Brian Clevinger and drawn by Scott Wegener. Will this issue be a devilish good-time or will it fail to hit its landing? Here we go:
Cover: The red background is a nice tie-in to the Japanese flag. Atomic Robo is nowhere to be found instead focusing on his rival in the issue with his ship beside him ready to go on the attack.
– Atomic Robo is being taken out to the enemies’ island stronghold. He asks “I always wondered. What makes a fella turn to a life of stoic gua-” to the guard before he zaps Robo offline. He didn’t even let him finish the joke. These guys are truly evil.
– An evil doctor is threating to cut Robo’s head straight down the middle if the She-Devils don’t surrender. Of course he doesn’t say this in English (being Japanese) and the She-Devils’ Captain asks “What’s he saying?” Hazel, in disguise, shoots the doctor from behind and states “Who cares?”
– Robo is shocked back to life and finishes his previous line “rding?” He then wonders how did the She-Devils get here and we get an excellent montage of scenes with lovely captions of “First”, “And then”, “And this”, “And one of those”, and “And so”. Love it!
– Robo convinces the She-Devils that they need to stop Chokaiten. The Captain doesn’t want to help saying that they couldn’t stop them before as they sunk their island home and America has got a whole Navy to take care of the threat. Hazel says their Navy couldn’t hope to stop them. The Captain says that’s her point and what do the She-Devils even have to combat them. A She-Devil exclaims we have their guns. A pause takes place and then the Captain finally relents.
– Robo sees that the She-Devils need reinforcements. He proclaims “This is stupid, this is stupid!” as he jumps out of the aircraft with a huge rocket strapped to his back (off to save the day), a huge gun in hand! Awesome! Final battle here we come.
Admiral Shimada: When we strike there will be nothing left of the American nation but smoke. Let them build a hundred more atomic weapons. What does it matter? There will be no one left to use them.
Guard #1: Why are we stuck dragging him?
Guard #2: The price we pay for guard duty.
Guard #1: I thought guard duty was the price for guard duty.
Guard #2: Usually. But this is a secret island base no one knows about in the middle of nowhere. What’s there to guard against?
Doctor #1: I say we start by removing the head.
Doctor #2: On what basis?
Doctor #1: On the basis that we don’t know how long he’ll stay deactivated and I’d rather not find out.
If you’re doing a review of Atomic Robo and don’t say the word awesome at least once you aren’t doing your job right. I’m a huge fan of the character dating back to when his very first issue came out and I’ll be a fan forever. While the current Volume isn’t the best ever, it’s still better than what some other comic series are putting out. If you’ve never read an Atomic Robo comic before…what’s wrong with you? Seriously! Try one out, you won’t be disappointed. If you like action, humour, and a classic Silver Age feel, this is the book for you.
Billy the Vampire Slayer once again supplants Buffy in her own book for the concluding introductory chapter of this new character. Will it make us wish Buffy would stay away a little longer or will it make us wish the Hellmouth would come and swallow Billy up whole? Find out:
Cover: Nice design work on the cover with a black border framing the piece but the Zompire manages to break the border to add some interest. Behind him is a chart of the world showing the different regions and their levels of Zompire infection. It reminds me of a page from an old textbook. I also like how the bottom half of the Zompire blends into the chart almost giving a projector like feel to it.
– I love the part where Billy is training with the speed bag. It clocks him in the face, “I’m fine! Nobody panic.” At the end he states that he is ready for the next training exercise haven impaled the speed bag with a knife. Devon tells him that he has to come up with a new way of dealing with these exercises because he’s running out of speed bags and Billy retorts he’s running out of knives as well so they’re both making sacrifices. Great scene.
– Devon tells Billy he likes him and it’s met with laughter from Billy who then keels over on the ground uncontrollably. Devon says he didn’t expect that kind of reaction and that it’s a little disconcerting. Billy can’t believe the coolest guy in school likes him and that he’s also the one to train him to go into dangerous situations. Kind of ironic.
– I really thought Devon was going to get killed but they surprised me on that one.
– It’s unbelievable that Billy, with no Slayer powers or professional training, can take out these uber- powerful Zompires.
– It felt like filler and didn’t need to be two parts. Really breaks up the momentum of the series. Maybe it was better off as a separate one-shot instead of being part of the main series?
– Why would Buffy even take him on as an apprentice? Makes no sense.
Devon: But I don’t want us taking unnecessary risks. Got it?
Billy: Yes. Got it. Quick look, run like bunnies, don’t get eaten. Sold. All this stealthy surveying…kinda feels like we’re being all junior detective-y, right?
Devon: What, like the Hardy Boys?
Billy: Hello, ma’am. Now I don’t want you to take this personally, but I’m going to have to plunge a stake into your chest. It might hurt
Buffy: No matter how you choose to fight back…sometimes, even with all the choices before you, it might feel as if you have no choice at all. As though there is only one path. But even when your options are limited…it doesn’t make your choice to act any less brave.
Devon: Couldn’t help noticing you were talking to yourself. Is that a nervous-talking-in-the-face-of-danger thing, or have you just finally lost your mind?
I absolutely hated the first part of this “Billy the Vampire Slayer” arc but the concluding chapter at least improved in quality. That doesn’t mean I’m suddenly a fan of his (far from it) but at least the dialogue was a little snappier and the action was improved. Still this was a story best left out of the main series and one that messed with the flow of what was already a fairly uneven Season 9 in the Buffyverse. Thankfully, Buffy and gang return with the next issue. Unfortunately, it looks like Billy is joining them for the ride. God help me…
And that is Part 3 complete as well as all the reviews for 11/14/12. Agree/Disagree with my reviews? Comment below!