11.30.05 Reviews

BPRD: The Black Flame #4 (Dark Horse): This issue, featuring confirmation that everyone’s favorite Homunculus could be toast, reminds me a bit of Empire Strikes Back, in that our heroes are getting their asses kicked, but I’m enjoying every second of it! A tremendous issue in an already very strong arc that houses a very interesting character study highlighting the team’s reaction to Roger’s apparent demise. Liz is devastated, confused by her dreams, and moves into Rog’s room. Johann is pissed at the treatment of his body and (their) standing in the organization. Abe feels guilty and punishes himself in the field. We also see an introspective, more responsible side of Captain Daimio. I hope he hangs around a bit longer, cool addition to the roster. Oooh! I want a Lobster Johnson action figure! Damn fine comics, Grade A.

New Avengers #13 (Marvel): This issue feels all over the map, inconsistent art, dark inking, strangely placed word balloons, but some neat panel layout choices. Awkward humor, telegraphing Ronin’s identity for anyone that read the Daredevil run with Maya, a few odd dialogue choices, but some really cool character moments. Grade B-.

The Sentry #3 (Marvel): This title feels like it’s really picking up steam. I totally enjoyed the unique pairing of Sentry and Hulk. Sentry’s calming effect on the Hulk and protective nature are really something different with the Bruce Banner character. Seeding the Negative Zone with assumed villains from Sentry’s pseudo-origin period was a nice touch. Can be read on the surface as a fun romp through the Marvel U, or interpreted a bit deeper with the Sentry and the Void representing man’s duality and inner struggle. Romita’s art still very purdy! Grade B.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #25 (Marvel): I think it’s awesome that if feels like UFF *just* started and it’s already reached the quarter century mark. Goes to show that time does fly when you’re havin’ fun. Namor has held little interest for me in the past, but I was definitely engaged by this arrogant, aloof, and brilliant being. Some nice reveals about Reed’s true ability and Land has nailed the sexiest portrayal of Sue Storm since Jessica Alba donned the blue spandex. Grade B.

The Keep #2 (IDW): Happy to see this book pursuing a regular publishing schedule and was delighted that the quality of the first issue was no anomaly. The political infighting of the officers was enjoyable, as was the sense of suspense throughout. It just has a feel that’s so nice, dead languages, ancient manuscripts, Jewish professors of ancient Romanian lore, I love it! Half mystery novel, half archeology adventure, and *all* fantastic art courtesy of Matthew Smith. Quickly becoming my favorite IDW book. If you like anything Hellboy, BPRD, vampire, WWII, or Indiana Jones related, or just like a good old fashioned mystery novel, check it out! Grade A.

Revelations #4 (Dark Horse): A little Dan Brown-ish in its similarities to Angels & Demons, but enjoyable nonetheless. Nice to see Humberto Ramos working again and I always dig a good Paul Jenkins script, a little more meaty than some of his peers. I have a little trouble buying that Scotland Yard would send an investigator to Vatican City when the Swiss Guard is one of the most highly trained and elite law enforcement/paramilitary units on the planet, but I suppose if they’re in on it or worried about corruption on the part of the Italian police, I’ll let it slide. Enjoying the self-aware sarcasm in the narration from Detective Northern as he investigates murder at The Vatican, which has now been personalized by offing one of his mates. Grade B+.


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