We start things off with Slade Wilson, Deathstroke, in Moscow, Russia after accepting a job, and one page later we see exactly what Deathstroke is, a mercenary that as clearly earned the nickname, "The Terminator". Hell, we even see him slice a fly in half by throwing a paperclip... yeah, it was awesome. Anyway, we see Slade accept a new job offer, and as he attends it, he finds out he's working with a bunch of twenty year old mercs that refer to themselves as "The Alpha Dawgs...Dawg." Well alright then. Needless to say, Deathstroke is annoyed by his "team", and pretty much stays to himself until the mission starts. When Deathstroke drops in on the target, a plane boarded by a suspected arms dealer, as we soon find out that he's actually a biological weapons arms dealer. He sics his men on Deathstroke, that are apparently modified soldiers with Clayface DNA, which makes them harder to kill. So, instead of trying to think of a way to kill them., Deathstroke just chucks one out of the plane and heads towards his target. The target surprisingly hands Deathstroke a briefcase and says they went through a lot to get Slade there. Slade asks if whatever is in the briefcase is a threat, to which his target replies that it's a message. Deathstroke then leaves him with a message as well, some C4 which blows the plane sky high (no pun intended) while Deathstroke rappels back to his plane, piloted by the Alpha Dawgs. As the Alpha Dawgs or the Harm Armory since they can't decide on a name, celebrate their first mission, Slade is asked what he thinks of his up-and-coming team, to which he replies there is no team, only competition, and he doesn't work with competition. Slade then opens fire on the Harm Dawgs or Alpha Armory or the Dead Guys or whatever you'd like to call them. Slade then yells at his manager I guess, about accepting a contract that had him teaming with kids, and that he's the best. His manager, Christoph, says people don't think Slade can cut it anymore, and Slade says they have a lot of work to do then, as he intends to prove his rep is well deserved. The issue ends soon after with Deathstroke telling Christoph to be a good dog and clean up the mess. Hm.. that was interesting. It was a solid issue, very action packed, and shows that Deathstroke is done with teams after a year of him on the Titans. It was enjoyable and perfectly fine, but nothing amazing or anything that would make me want to read more if I was new to Deathstroke, I'll give this first issue a 7/10 rating.
Deathstroke: Do the smart thing and head to whatever whorehouse you spend your nights. Before I cut off your reason to go there.
This is my first time reading Grifter, but I was compelled after hearing him described as "Sawyer from Lost in the DC Universe", and considering Lost is one of my favorite shows and Sawyer was in fact my favorite character on Lost, I decided to check out Grifter. So we start things off with Cole on a plane, hearing voices. The scene quickly gets hectic as one of the passengers attacks Cole, clearly one of the voices he's somehow hearing in his head. Cole makes quick work of her by stabbing her in the eye with what looks like a sewing needle. Clearly, this doesn't play out well for Cole among the passengers, who think he's just crazy and murdered a woman in cold blood. Cole takes a hostage to keep everyone calm and has them open the airplane door so he can jump out, when suddenly the passenger attacks Cole, as the passenger is also one of the things Cole can hear plotting to kill him. The guy tackles Cole as they fall out of an airplane, plummeting towards the water. We then flashback to a bit earlier as we see Cole pulling a con, and when he's paid some fake money, the partner that believes he's pulling the con on Cole remarks that Cole won't realize his payment was counterfeit until the next day. As the man leaves, we see Cole throw his fake money on a desk then grab a briefcase from behind a hidden door. Cole opens it to reveal a bunch of cash, clearly proving who the true conman is, as the man who tried to con Cole later opens his briefcase to reveal a bunch of playing cards. As Cole calls a woman, he says he'll be at the airport soon and meeting her in San Juan, when Cole is snatched up in a dark alley. He awakens to find he's been restrained to a table next to a tank with a giant blue glowing alien construct looking thing. As Cole is confused about where he is and decides to escape, he hears voices in his head, which prompts him to try to escape even faster. As Cole leaves, he encounters a man that asks how Cole recovered so fast, and the man telepathically alerts his "brothers", but since Cole can also hear this, he attacks the guy with a blunt instrument, but since he's still in shock he takes it too far and kills the guy. Cole, still shocked, escapes and notes that he was only out for 17 minutes, and wonders what they were doing to him when he hears that "The host body escaped." in his head. Still confused, he heads to the airport and that catches us up to where we started, as we see Cole and his mysterious attacker plummet into the sea. Two hours later, Cole calls Gretchen, and says he didn't make it to San Juan due to his recent events, but she says Cole was missing for seventeen days, and not seventeen minutes! Also, due to his airplane shenanigans, he's being searched for since people believe him to be a terrorist. From there we see Cole's brother, Max Cash, Special Operations Commander, is told to find his brother before news leaks out who exactly Cole Cash is and that he's related to a soldier. As Cole sits in a cemetery, he overhears the voices, saying to find and hunt down Cole Cash, as Cole puts on his mask and states he dares them to find him, before he finds them. This was a pretty good issue to start with, it threw a lot at the reader, and we saw Cole con someone. This issue really just set the stage for the next issue, which I'm pretty excited for now. I'll give this first issue a 7.5/10.
Cole Cash: A fool and his money, as they say... are an easy mark.
Batman and Robin #1
Things get underway with a beefed up looking Batman taking down a criminal in Moscow, the Batman look-alike says he's an ally of The Bat as he holds the criminal, when suddenly the criminal is short point blank in the head. The Bat based hero is then beaten up by a mystery assailant, with his joints broken and bent the wrong way, before his helmet is cracked open. He asks his invisible attacker who they are as they turn visible, and they reply "I'm Nobody. And so are you." From there we cut to Bruce Wayne sitting in Wayne Manor, as he walks to a portrait of his parents and a young Bruce and proclaims to his father that tonight is the night for change. Bruce then gets Damian and tries to tell him why the passwords and such for the Batcave are 10:48, and explains that's the time his parents were kill. Damian, ever the little jackass, doesn't seem to care one bit about Bruce explaining this. When Bruce tells him to show some respect, Damian replies they are just names and dusty frames on the walls to him, which Alfred takes offense to, since he says there is not a speck of dust on those portraits. As Batman and Robin head out, they go to crime alley and Bruce proclaims this is the last time he will mourn their deaths. He says it's how they lived that should be remembered and not how they died, and he will honor their wedding anniversary, not mourn the last time he saw them as they bled to death. Bruce mourns his parents one last time, all the while Robin makes smart-ass remarks that should've led to Bruce backhanding him like a few other Robins, but Bruce maintains his cool. The duo are then told by Alfred that they are needed at Gotham University, so the newly teamed Dynamic Duo make their way there. Once arriving there, Batman and Robin attack the ne'er do-wells (I just wanted to use that phrase...) As they take them out, three of the criminals escape and Robin pursues them as Batman yells for him to wait. Robin engages and cuts a wire on their vehicle, but one of the criminals tries to shoot Robin with a flamethrower of sorts, which just incinerates the men inside. When Batman catches up, he asks Robin what happened to the men, but Robin says he doesn't know. Bruce says he doesn't have a license to kill and he needs to control himself, to which Robin replies that he's not like Tim, Jason or Dick, and he's light-years ahead of the past Robin in skills and training, and he's Batman's partner or he's not. Batman replies that he isn't his partner, he's his son, and Damian has to earn his trust. We then jump over to Nobody, as he slowly immerses the Moscow Batman in acid, and says it'll be like he never existed. He then says the global circus has to end (referring to Batman Inc.) and that he'll be paying Bruce Wayne a visit as this issue comes to a close. Damn, that was a good issue. I was a bit worried about the brooding Batman teaming with Damian who is... well Damian, but it worked together well. And Damian's so disrespectful that you KNOW eventually Bruce is going to snap. I'll give this issue a 9/10 rating, plus Nobody looks like an interesting villain.
Robin: And you were easier to look up to when you weren't around.
Batman: Should I be expecting those words on my next Father's Day card?
Green Lantern #1
Man that is an awesome cover with Sinestro wearing a Green Lantern Corps ring. He's had like three different rings in the past two years though. We get started with Sinestro saying the Green Lantern Corps Oath and charging his ring as the Guardians look on. They say they believe the ring chose Sinestro to give him a chance at redemption, and they tell Sinestro to defend his sector and send him on his way with his ring and lantern. Ganthet is outraged since he remembers that the last time Sinestro had a Green Lantern Ring. The Guardians then say Ganthet needs to be on the same page as them so they all zap his giant head with beams from their giant heads, cause that's how they roll I guess. We then see Hal Jordan and his landlord demanding rent, when suddenly Hal hears a woman screaming for help. He looks across from his apartment and see's a musclebound man that looks just plain cartoon-like attacking a woman. Hal decides to go save her and jumps out of his window, through her window and clocks the guy before realizing they were filming a movie. HA! After some time in the pokey, Hal's bail is paid for by Carol Ferris.Once they leave, Carol tries to explain to Hal he can't try to fight crime anymore, since he's no longer a Green Lantern. Hal then tells Carol he's ready to fly planes again but she says she can't insure her planes with him flying them due to his accident record, so if he comes back to Ferris Air he can't work as a pilot. Man, life just sucks for you Hal, and now that ya can spend time with your woman, she's a hero and YOU aren't. You were better off dead. Oh, I spoke too soon as Carol says she hasn't put on her ring since she got back and she doesn't plan to, so Hal asks her on a date and shoots her a perv smile. We then see Sinestro, looking at the Sinestro Corps through a giant construct of a telescope and see's they have enslaved the people of his home planet, Korugar. Suddenly, Sinestro is attacked by one of the Sinestro Corps members. He says that Sinestro betrayed them since he has a Green Lantern Ring, which leads to Sinestro killing him, then destroying his ring before it could find a replacement before flying off. While out on their date, Hal pops the big question to Carol, asking her to co-sign a lease for his new car. She obviously thought he was going to propose so she throws her drink in his face and storms off. As Hal walks home in the rain and finds an eviction notice on his door, he's approached by Sinestro who says if Hal wants his ring back he'll do everything Sinestro says as this issue comes to a close. This was also pretty good I enjoyed seeing Hal's crappy life crumble and Sinestro is almost always awesome, I'd give this issue a 8/10 rating.
Hal Jordan: Wait! Carol! You drove me!
Ultimate Spider-Man #1
We start things off with Norman Osborn in a lab telling the story of Athena and Arachne to a scientist named Markus while looking at a spider with the number 42 on it's back. Afterwards, Osborn explains how he created Spider-Man due to one of the spider subjects biting him, and how they weren't able to replicate that formula. And that's why Markus is there, to replicate the formula since he's a genius with four doctorates. After that we see the news of Osborn being the Green Goblin made headlines, and someone breaks into the lab soon after. Spider number 42, which escaped from it's containment box then hitches a ride out on the guy that broke in, thus escaping the lab. Next we see a young Miles Morales and his parents walking through Brooklyn to a lottery drawing that will basically allow forty kids out of seven-hundred and Miles is the last kid to win a spot when his lottery ball is pulled, lucky number 42. Miles feels bad for the other kids but his parents are happy he gets a chance to thrive in the inner-city by getting into a charter school. Afterwards, Miles goes to see his Uncle Aaron and tells him how he got into the charter school, as his Uncle says he's happy Miles will have chance, which is more than he and Miles' dad had. As Uncle Aaron goes to grab some popsicles to celebrate, Miles sits down and we see Spider number 42 climb out of Aaron's bag, as he was apparently the thief at Oscorp. The spider climbs across the couch and bites a unsuspecting Miles who falls out and begins to foam at the mouth before passing out. He wakes up a little while later as his father and uncle argue, as his father asks what he gave him, clearly he doesn't think much of his brother. They continue arguing as Miles asks his dad to stop, but they keep at it, until they notice Miles is gone. Miles' dad walks outside looking for Miles but little does he know Miles is sitting right in front of him, and can apparently turn invisible as this issue closes. Say what you want about Marvel and Miles Morales, but I enjoyed this issue. It gave us the typical Spider-Man origin but tweaked in a way that works for Miles. We also have all these questions about Miles' powers, his rogue gallery, why he puts on the suit, and especially his family. All in all I enjoyed this issue, the ending was a bit abrupt but I like what I read and I definitely plan on reading more. I'll give the first issue of Ultimate Spider-Man an 8.5/10.
Norman Osborn: I said I will beat you to death with my bare hands. (Good ol' Norman... never change.)
Amazing Spider-Man #669
We start things off with Peter and Carlie being attacked by Chance, White Rabbit and Scorcher, which Carlie attributes as a good thing since it means the Jackal is behind this, considering he has people guarding one of his old bases. Great point. Peter soon realizes that these super villains also have Spider Powers, and they quickly knock Carlie out. Pete takes advantage of that to bust out the Kung Fu that Shang-Chi taught him and makes short work of the villains, but Carlie see's the end of it. She asks Pete where he learned moves like that and why he waited to bust them out, but he dances around the question, that is until she says she, Pete, and Spidey need to have a chat about the Jackal now they they've confirmed his involvement. We then see The Jackal is watching, which is awesome due to his comments as if he's watching a sitcom. When he's beckoned by the mystery woman, Jackal states that soon another major city will be infected with spiders... interesting. We then jump over to see Venom taking on the Spider-King, as we saw in Venom #6, before we cut over to Times Square and see a disappointed Mary Jane over the fact that it seems as if everyone in New York has spider powers except for MJ. Next we see the Avengers are either keeping people from New Jersey that want spider powers out of New York, or keeping people with spider powers in the big apple. We then jump to Horizon Labs to see Max Modell telling Mayor Jameson that they've built spider-sense jammers based on Peter's designs of a Spider-Sense disruptor he used back in issue #654 so people with spider powers can't leave the quarantine zone. Before that news can sink in, Reed Richards makes it known to the Mayor that the spider power infection is now airborne, and eventually if not stopped, the entire planet will have spider powers, that is, everyone that's not a mutant or already has superpowers. Reed says in order to stop that they'll give everyone a power, a low-level magnetism that will allow them to tell which way is North. Lame, but it'll do the job so Reed starts producing a pathogen that will allow it. Meanwhile, Mayor Jameson goes to get his spider power vaccine, but when he's tested, he finds out that he has spider powers! Oh God, PLEASE gimme a J. Jonah Jameson vs. Spider-Man fight. On the other side of town, Anti-Venom is zapping people and curing them, against their will of their spider powers. With so many spider-powers out there, Madame Web's tether breaks and causes her to fall out, unable to see the future anymore.Over at the police station, Carlie and Spidey chat on the roof since Carlie "just missed Peter as he'd just swung off". Peter seems to think Carlie knows he's Spider-Man, so when she questions him then says she's going to call Peter, he says he has somewhere to be and takes off, but she follows him.Spidey arrives on the scene to see a six-armed Shocker! We see that he isn't alone, as he removes his mask we see Shocker is turning into a human-spider, and so is Carlie! The issue ends soon after as we see the mystery woman working with Jackal to turn these people into human-spiders is The Queen! Man this was a good issue, nice reveals, the fact JJJ finally has spider powers, the mystery of why MJ doesn't have them yet, the stuff with Venom and Anti-Venom, and of course the human spider mutations! I'll give this issue a 10/10 rating because I thoroughly enjoyed it from cover to cover.
The Jackal: Puh-lease. I'd recast, she's no Gwen Stacy.
And that's it for me everyone, thanks for tuning in and checking out this week's Ratings and Rantings. I hope you enjoyed this week's post and feel free to reply and let me know what you think, as well as ask any questions you may have. And be sure to check out last week's poll results as well as vote on this week's newest poll. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!
Last week's poll asked "How should posts be formatted at Jason Todd's Comic Spot?"
Last place with 37.5% - Single Reviews for each comic.
Winner with 62.5% - Weekly reviews in one post. (Ratings and Rantings)
Next Week on Ratings and Rantings
Deadpool #43 (My shop was out this week), Batman #1, Catwoman #1, Nightwing #1, Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (AWWW YEAH!), and X-Men: Schism #4!