Posted March 6, 2011 by Earl Maghirang in Columns

BURST FIRE Reviews: March 2, 2011

Trying out a new format since my new stint as a writer keeps me from actually writing any good comic book stuff and ties me down to the corporate empire’s whims.

Please do comment if you like this particular style (I am really digging this whole three paragraph review. Lets me cover more ground in record time) plus I get to answer Norby’s question of what my picks of the week would be.

Marvel Comics

Avengers Academy # 10

Avengers Academy 10
One of the biggest things I’ve been waiting for since the start of this book has finally arrived. Speedball finally touches on the subject of Stamford Connecticut, home of Camp Hammond and the WWE (Yes Vince K. McMahon’s office was there) and where hundreds of innocent kids died after a botched attempt to take down escaped criminals included Nitro took place during Marvel’s Civil War.

The two main plot points for this particular issue happens to be Hazmat and Veil some of the more underused characters in this great book. We get to see a brief look into Robbie’s time as Penance (which I totally loved, even ordered the Ellis era Thunderbolts minimate box set just to get Penance just for kicks) plus a couple panels of action where Speedball really brings the pain.

The book also brings new elements and is right on the money when it comes to dialogues between the younger Avengers recruits and some of the older vets in the team. Haven’t said this yet but I am one of the bigger fans of Hank Pym returning to his Giant Man costume. The Wasp really did suck.

Iron Man / Thor # 4

Fans of DnA also known as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning should rejoice since the two brilliant cosmic level writers have effectively written a great and tight story featuring the Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth err I mean Iron Man and Thor with the help of the amazing Scot Eaton.

After the last issues whammy featuring Fantastic Four villain Diablo wearing the Asgardian Destroyer Armor, we were expecting some massive fights. Well yes, we do have fights and we do have some character development for Mr. Diablo as he recounts his tales of helping out El Cid win a certain campaign and getting what he wants.

We also witness just how powerful science and magic really is when it works together as evidence by both Thor and Iron Man’s last minute take down of Diablo to foil his evil plan.

And yes, the dragon is still in this book.

Overall, it’s a good read.

5 Ronin # 1

Peter Milligan’s return to Marvel (did he ever leave?) mainstream is quite a departure from his previous works with the House of Ideas. (catch where I’m going?)

While not totally original, the new take on classic Marvel characters like Wolverine and Deadpool tossed in with a lot of old-school Japanese folk tales and samurai stories is a fresh air in the world of Heroic ages, Second Comings and Fears itself.

The story itself is a unique take on the classic “5 Japanese Brothers’ with a more violent twist as expected since the 5 Japanese brothers look all like Logan. And just like a Vertigo short story, it doesn’t end well for some of the brothers, particularly for that brother who wears a samurai armor with a sabretooth-ed face mask.

DC Comics

Green Lantern # 63

Green Lantern 63

Sixty three issues of Green Lantern and we still get floored with the characters appearing in this book. This has also become one of the more notorious books when it comes to retcons such as writer Geoff Johns take on the origin of Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

This take, the new guardians takes a backseat in favor of a story done by both Adrian Syaf and Ed Benes (who seems to have been borrowed from Birds of Prey) and features a much taller Krona and the guardians of the universe.

Tons of retcons have been applied to the book in preparation for (a) the Green Lantern movie and (b) the upcoming War of the Green Lanterns which ends with one of the four Earth based lanterns getting de-ringed. The issue’s end is a bit of a bummer as well as all prologues often do.

Brightest Day # 21

After 21 issues, Martian Manhunter finally throws D’Kay into the sun. Something that should have been done ages ago. The killer martian tries to take one more shot at Jonn one last time in this issue before finally meeting a scorching ending.

As always, this issue proved that Martian Manhunter is not just an oreo loving green alien but a brave and noble hero willing to sacrifice himself for the better good. And as the trend the past couple of issues, Deadman and the White Lantern entity appears by the end of the issue to kill off Martian Manhunter and no this is not a spoiler since a lot of people have already been talking about the death of Aquaman last issue.

Justice League: Generation Lost # 20

The cliffhanger from Judd Winnick’s epic JLI tale really left us hanging (effective I tell you.) Justice League Generation Lost # 20 shifts the focus from the supposedly fallen character back to what should have been the main star in the Brightest Day tie-in – Max Lord.

And we do get to see one helluva roller coaster ride. We see Max as he grows to hate people with power, then becomes one and then becomes the person he hates. One of the more interesting character developments that I’ve read outside of the main Brightest Day book. I was totally looking for more Max Lord appearances these days just because of his bad-assery and him being a total jerk. Plus he killed Blue Beetle too.

Overall, if you’re a fan of the classic Justice League International by Giffen and Kevin Maguire you might want to pick this up. If you’re a Brightest Day purist, you might want to get this as well.

Earl Maghirang