Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ratings and Rantings featuring Teen Titans #1

Hey Todd Squad, J.T. here with that weekly column you love to read, Ratings and Rantings! We're concluding our week of reboots while tackling the Teen Titans, Two Spider-Men, a Man of Steel, and so much more. As well as checking in with one of the closest polls we've had in a while here at JTCS. So let's get things started with a team of super powered teenagers known as the Teen Titans!

Teen Titans #1

I really liked Scott Lobdell's work on Superboy and Red Hood and the Outlaws this month so I'm hoping he can make it three for three with the Teen Titans. We start things off with a building on fire, but much less interesting than you'd think since all there's no one trapped inside. Kid Flash shows up, and seems more like Impulse which is fun, as he's trying to help and make an impact on television for his "adoring fans". When Kid Flash runs inside and throws a door open, he causes a back-draft that blows both the building and Kid Flash away. The firemen are all safe, as Kid Flash lays in the grass, barley conscious with a burned up costume. Meanwhile, the news reports that a metahuman took a small controlled fire and turned it into a roaring inferno in seconds. We then cut over to Tim Drake, former Robin and current Red Robin, keeping up with the news of a ton of incidents that have been caused by super powered teens, as we see Kid Flash, Static, Raven and Miss Martian. Interesting note is they say a spokesman for the Justice League says Kid Flash has no ties with The Flash, hm... Surprisingly, Tim is not alone, as we see a few masked people with guns sneak up behind him and hold Tim at gunpoint, while their supposed leader mentions that Tim has been blogging information about the group. Tim says that he's aware they've been kidnapping super powered teenagers, and after being offered a job which Tim denies, he tells the members of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. that they'd best head for the hills, because his room was rigged with explosives that would detonate in eleven seconds. The cowardly gang run while Tim jumps out of the window before deploying his wings and jets and flying off as Red Robin. He mentions that he's tried to work in the shadows since his time as Robin but now he realizes he'll need help, before heading out to gather a team. We then see Cassie Sandsmark driving a car she clearly stole when she is pulled over by a police officer. It turns out the officer is actually an agent for N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and tries to strangle a surprised Cassie before the agent is knocked out from behind by Red Robin, good timing right? He introduces himself to Cass and explains the deal with NOWHERE (I'm done adding the periods for that acronym.) but Cassie denies that she has powers. That is until a giant helicopter comes down and opens fire on the two, Red Robin is protected by his wings which are apparently bullet proof, which causes Cassie to power up, and she apparently HATES being called Wonder Girl. The super powered femme fatale makes quick work of the gunner before telling Red Robin now that these people know her identity her life will never be the same again. On the other side of the world, we see something we saw a bit earlier in Superboy #1, as NOWHERE releases Superboy to go after the Teen Titans as this issue ends. Well this was interesting, I hated how they went from one second of Tim in his room to just thrusting us into this NOWHERE thing, but I did like how well Tim was written. Tim and Bart (?) came off sounding like Tim and Bart, and I like Cassie as she's written powerful but apparently still wishes to have her normal life as well as her hero life separate. I'd give this first issue of Titans a 7/10, nothing amazing but I'll definitely stick around for the ride.

Cassie: I'm serious Red... DON'T call me Wonder Girl.

Ultimate Spider-Man #2

HA! We start things off with Miles running down the street top speed, and overhear a guy saying "so I said to the guy: You never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if.." Nice inside joke by Bendis for all the Miles haters. Anyway Miles jumps over the guy and his co-worker that are moving a giant TV, which of course draws a crowd. Miles runs away, obviously feeling weird as people proclaim him a mutant. Miles waits for a bit, still stunned, before walking home. On the way home, Miles is about to be robbed by some delinquents, but when one of them grabs him, he touches them and they get zapped. Well alright then, apparently one of his powers is electricity based, as he zaps the guy again and knocks him out, before running away as the robber's friends once again call Miles a mutant. Miles then runs to tell his best friend, because there's always the obligatory best friend that must know when a teenager gets powers. Static Shock anyone? Miles tells his buddy Ganke to watch as he tries to turn invisible, but he can't do it for some reason. Maybe he's like Kel Mitchell in "Mystery Men" and can only turn invisible when no one's looking. Next he tries to show Ganke his electric powers, which he successfully does, and once Ganke turns his back, Miles turns invisible as well. Ganke is amazed by this new powerful, invisible Miles and tells him how great it is that a spider turned him into a mutant, but Miles isn't happy about it. His father then shows up at Ganke's house and takes Miles with him, he tells Miles that he has to stay away from his Uncle Aaron because he's a thief and Miles shouldn't be around that. He then mentions that both Miles' father and his Uncle Aaron had been to jail prior to Miles' birth, but he's turned his life around and that he's tried to make good choices every day since then. This was basically the Great Power speech but worded different and from a different man, but it had the same effect and came off very well. He then tells Miles that he can tell him anything, and before Miles can tell him about his powers, The Human Torch and Iceman fly by, which prompts Miles' dad to say how the mutants should all just leave New York alone. Smooth move, jackass. Later that night, Miles is awoken by a text from Ganke that says that Spider-Man was bitten by a spider, and links to an interview that Ben Urich did saying how Spidey got his powers, he also mentions that Miles has chameleon like powers like some spiders do and he has a venom strike like some spiders, before asking if Miles is Spider-Man. The issue ends as Miles climbs the wall and realizes that he does indeed have spider powers. I enjoyed this issue, I love finding out about characters and Miles discovering his powers, the was no action but there was a lot of well written dialogue and storytelling. I'd give this issue a 8.5/10.

Miles: Prepare to be freaked out like you've never been freaked out, before.
Ganke: Please don't take off your pants. (Best...friend...duo...ever.)

 Superman #1

We kick things off with the announcement of a new Daily Planet, a building that is more futuristic than it's past self, but more importantly it's bigger than hell and it's owned by the new boss of the Daily Planet, Morgan Edge. Meanwhile, Superman is seen floating above the debris of the old Daily Planet building, seemingly paying his respects before flying away after being seen by Jimmy Olsen. It was around this time that I tried to continue on and saw such things as guys wearing the clown masks from The Dark Knight movie, Superman/Clark Kent saying "Bull!", and some big weird alien blowing a horn like Satchmo and so many text bubbles it would make Brian Michael Bendis go crazy! Well, that's it, I'm done. No more Superman for me in this reboot, N/A!

Bendis: Damn, that's a crap load of speech bubbles!

Venom #7

Another awesome cover in the Venom series! Venom may be my favorite new series since Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl started two years ago. We start things off with the former Venom and current Anti-Venom Eddie Brock, in a church healing a bunch of people that are turning into giant spiders due to the events of Spider-Island. Once The Queen finds out about Brock curing people, she sends the Spider-King to go kill him, unaware that he's actually Agent Venom, Flash Thompson, in disguise. Flash sends this info to his superiors, who then alert Reed Richards that the cure lies in the blood of Eddie Brock, so they all send someone to get Brock so they can synthesize a cure. Flash heads over to the church, while talking to Betty on the phone. She reminds Flash that his dad doesn't have long to go on this Earth and if he doesn't make amends before he dies, Flash will regret it forever, so Flash assures her he's on the way. Once Flash arrives at the church, he says the Symbiote reacts to seeing Eddie, and feels jilted but assures Flash that they are a better team. Flash intends to shoot Anti-Venom with a tranquilizer and move him to Horizon labs for tests when suddenly Brock attacks him. Anti-Venom tries to cure Venom, saying the symbiote is a cancerous demon sent from hell. After a fight and conversation, Flash realizes Brock is right, and the symbiote has slowly changed him. Suddenly the symbiote jumps off of Flash and onto Brock, as he's been weakened from healing people. Brock tries desperately to remove the symbiote from himself before it reunites them as Venom, but he fails. Flash claims he doesn't want the symbiote now, but he needs it to save the city because if it stays on Brock it would wipe out his anti-bodies. He tells the symbiote he needs it and that Eddie will always reject him, and the symbiote agrees and binds back with Flash. Later, a webbed up Anti-Venom is left at Horizon Labs, where Richards says he's going to help the city whether he likes it or not, but Eddie says he's happy to help. He mentions how Venom never asked him to help and that Venom is no good guy. Over at the hospital, Flash finally see's his dad, and his dad apologizes for always letting Flash and his family down and asks for his forgiveness. Flash tells his dad he wouldn't trade him for any other dad and that he loves him, and Flash's father passes away as this issue comes to a close. I enjoyed this a lot, especially the symbiote wanting Brock, and clearly alluding to another Venom vs. Anti-Venom fight that's far from over. The stuff with Flash's dad was pretty quickly touched upon but I enjoyed it all, and had no complaints. I'd give this issue a 9/10 rating as I frantically wait to see those two face off again.

Anti-Venom: Everything you've done since putting on that suit has been the symbiote's decision. Everything.

The Amazing Spider-Man #670

We start off seeing a bunch of people around the city like Randy Robertson and Hawkeye turning into giant spiders. Meanwhile, Mary Jane is being chased by giant spiders and Spidey is too busy trying to remember which giant spider was Carlie. On the other side of town, we see the spiders are all heading to see The Queen, Adriana Soria, a woman that apparently has spider powers and super soldier powers. We get a quick recap on her past, and that she apparently used to date Steve "Captain America" Rogers. We see that he stumbled upon her hiding spot not too long ago and she knocked him out, considering they are both super soldiers, which led to Steve being one of the first test subjects, and now being a giant brute of a man-spider known as The Spider-King. Unbeknownst to her, the Spider-King has been replaced by Flash "Venom" Thompson, using his camouflage powers. We then see a glimpse over at the church to see Anti-Venom healing people, as I touched upon in the last comic review. As Jameson and his motorcade leave Horizon Labs, they're attacked by giant spiders, so Spidey goes to help, and he gets some unexpected assistance from the Sensational Spider-Mayor. Meanwhile, The Queen realizes she has the Mayor infected and could use this to her advantage, but before Flash can do anything about it, she sends him to go kill Anti-Venom, which we also already heard about via the last review. Back with Spidey and Jameson, they head over to conduct Jonah's plan, where he questions The Spider-Slayer, Alistair Smythe, the man that murdered Jameson's wife. He asks him how to stop the spiders but Smythe is in no mood to help Jameson, and even calls him the Black Widower. It's during this time that The Queen gets into Jameson's had and makes him angry using memories of his former wife Marla, to turn Jameson into a giant spider. We then jump around and see Anti-Venom fighting Venom, the Heroes for Hire protecting a tower from spiders, and Mary Jane saving herself as she finally develops spider powers. Over at Horizon Labs, Anti-Venom tells Reed he's happy to help, but Reed says they'll need every antibody in his suit, and he'll have to give up being Anti-Venom! Back with Spidey, he's frantically trying to hold Jameson back, and a freaked out Smythe says he'll spill the info and is about to tell them how to stop the spider infection when suddenly Jameson bites his neck and seemingly kills him as this issue comes to a close. Man, this was a crazy issue, it was pretty action packed but it jumped around so much it seemed clunky and slows down at parts that I was really getting drawn into the story at. I'd give this issue of Spider-Man a 8/10 rating.

J. Jonah Jameson: You can't do anything, can you?! We should just call you Mr. Can't-Tastic!
(Okay... that was genius.)

Kick Ass 2 #4

Mother Russia is one big chick. We kick things off with Hit-Girl talking about how boring her life has been up until seeing the news story that a New York City hero was killed by the returning Red Mist, now known as The Motherfucker. Mindy wants to go take care of him, but Marcus tells her she's an eleven-year-old child and this doesn't concern her, before sending her to her room. Meanwhile, Kick-Ass and the other heroes meet at a diner and try to decide what to do next, especially since the villains say that this is only the beginning. It only gets worse as The Motherfucker and a few of his cronies decide to pay Kick-Ass' girlfriend or ex-girlfriend or whatever she is to him, Katie Deuxma, a visit. While looking for her, MF opens fire and kills a bunch of kids and civilians. They bust into Katie's house and MF shoots her dad point-blank in the head, punches Katie in the mouth then rapes Katie. Well damn, I know he's evil but killing kids and raping women?! Outside the cops arrive but their all dealt with by Mother Russia and a very powerful gun. After taking off, we see at the police station that reports show that twenty-seven people were killed and over eighty injured. Man, that's insane. We then see that they've traced the IP addresses of the twitter and facebook accounts and plan on hitting the houses with five hundred men, but Kick-Ass' name is also on the list, showing they're going after the heroes and villains. They then arrest a bunch of people, including heroes, and when they come to Dave's house, they arrest his father since he claims he's Kick-Ass. Well that's a good dad. As Dave and his  friends all stand over an unconscious Katie in the hospital, Dave feels remorse that she was attacked because of him, when he gets a text from MF that says he should be worried about his dad, and Dave rushes home. Dave arrives home to see his dad arrested on his behalf as the issue comes to a close. Man, this issue was insane. It moved so quick, MF and his team are insane and you gotta wonder what Hit-Girl can do to join the fight and how Kick-Ass and his crew will strike back. I'd give this issue a 9/10 rating and I hope the next issue comes out soon.

Hit-Girl: We need to hunt this fucker down and make him wish his dad had finished on his mother's tits.

And just like that, this week's R&R comes to a close. I enjoyed most of my issues this week and I'm always interested in what you guys think. Before I get out of here I want to remind you to vote on this week's newest poll as well as check out the results of last week's extremely close poll. Well that's it for me everyone, until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!

Last week's poll asked "Following the events of Schism so far, who would you side with?"

Last place with 27.3% - Team Cyclops and "I didn't read Schism."
Winner with 45.5% - Team Wolverine (It was tied yesterday!)

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Animal Man #2, Detective Comics #2, Justice League International #2, Deadpool #44, Invincible #83, and X-Men: Schism #5!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ratings and Rantings featuring Nightwing #1

Hey Todd Squad, HUGE week of comics thanks to Jason Aaron, Judd Winick, Scott Snyder, and many more awesome writers and artists. I'm hoping to enjoy this week's haul so instead of fooling arond with an intro paragraph, let's just get it started!

Nightwing #1

We start things off with Dick Grayson as Nightwing, in his new Black and Red suit to show a change in his persona I guess. This Nightwing is not only our fun loving acrobat but now possesses the knowledge of walking a mile in Batman's shoes. He says he was Bats for just under a year for anyone wondering how long he was actually in the cowl. He also mentions how life has changed for him in Gotham, and how just as he's adapted to his new life, things change, considering Haly's Circus is back in town, yet Dick still hasn't gone to visit his circus family. We also see this new, more aggressive Nightwing take down a criminal using tricks he's learned from his time ad the Dark Knight, showing that while he's once again Nightwing, he still has the prowess of Bats and that this is far from being a demotion. We then see someone arrive in Gotham, and when it looks that he's going to be robbed, he makes work of his would be attackers, but kills them before walking off nonchalantly, so there's our introduction to a new baddie in town. From there we get a quick insight for the newer readers into what makes Dick different from Bruce, as he cites how he's living in a new loft that's closer to the bad part of the city as opposed to the richer parts that house Wayne Manor and the Penthouse, as Dick states "Why live in the best part of the when you're trying to save the worst part." which is an excellent point. After working up enough nerve, Dick finally visits Haly's circus and gets a welcome reception from his former family, especially Raya, a Red headed female acrobat, which has Grayson's name written all over her. On the way home, Dick is attacked by a man brandishing claws like Wolverine, well technically more like Daken since he has no middle claw. He attacks Dick for some reason, but the cops show up and he gets too caught up in killing them, which allows Dick to make the costume change to Nightwing. Once Nightwing takes on the costumed attacker, he replies that Dick is far from innocent and Nightwing is "Protecting the fiercest killer in Gotham, and that Grayson just isn't aware of it yet." Interesting. The attacker one-ups Nightwing and manages to get the upper hand, seemingly sealing the fate of Nightwing as this issue ends. Now first things first, I was recall reading we'd know why Nightwing took make his name and costume in the first issue, and we didn't find that out at all. But this issue was fine, it was a little slow but it's an opener so I don't expect too much. The new villain looks interesting although we never got a name, but this issue was solid, nothing special but far from bad, I'd give it a 8/10 but I'm faithful it will get better from here.

Nightwing: Being Batman taught me a lot about myself.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

We start things off with The Red Hood (Awww yeah!!!!) saving Roy "Arsenal" Harper from a prison in Quarac, after coming in one of the best disguises someone in the Bat-Family has ever used. Damn, this comic started off with action, plus the art work is pretty damn awesome, it's gritty but doesn't look too dark. There's a ton of jokes and back and forth that comes off well between Jason and Roy that I can't give the justice it deserves, but I enjoyed their banter. While escaping, Hood and Arsenal run into three tanks that are ready to blow the former teen sidekicks sky-high, the two are saved thanks to an attack by Starfire. Not only is she with Jason and Arsenal, apparently she's WITH Jason, which is just awesome in my book. Jason never gets any women besides Ms. Al Ghul so of course I marked out for that, even if she is Dick's old flame, no pun intended. We then cut to a few weeks later as out Outlaws are chilling on a beach in St. Martinique. Roy asks Jason how Kori feels about dating him considering his run-in's with Dick, which proves those also happened, as did the Teen Titans considering Jason alludes to them. He says that Tamaranians apparently have short attention spans about all things Earth and she probably barely remembers the gang they used to hang with. He also says they see humans as basically sights and smells, which I don't know how I feel about that considering I don't think that's how Kori was pre-reboot but whatever, could be worse. As Jason and Roy are chilling on the beach, a chick in all black with white hair by the name of Essence asks for a word with Jason. She mentions that a bunch of people have turned up dead, missing their organs, but the organs were apparently missing before they died and there were no incisions made, which leads Jason to believe that a group called The Untitled are behind it. Over with Kori and Roy, Roy mentions that Jason is talking to himself, which seems to show that only Jason can see Essence. Kori on the other hand doesn't care, as Roy asks her if she remembers Dick, Garth, Vic (Cyborg was on the Titans? ...Okay.) but to his and my surprise, she asks Roy if he wants to have sex. Roy is taken aback and asks if she's Jason's girl, to which she replies she is free and does what she wants when she wants. Good answer considering she was a slave, so that fit her character, plus Star's always been a free spirit and a bit promiscuous. And considering Roy is Roy, and also was in a prison week ago, he says yes. Meanwhile, after some prodding from Essence, Jason agrees to help her take down The Untitled. We then cut halfway around the world to Chicago as we see a young black man on the internet looking at a picture of Starfire that was uploaded from a kid on the beach, he recognizes her and says "A Tamaranean. On Earth. At Last." Hm.. so now someone's looking for Starfire, more intrigue! :P Back in St. Martinique, Jason walks in to see Starfire and Roy in bed sleeping, and nonchalantly grabs his mask and walks back out. We then see Jason twelve hours later in his Red Hood attire, now in the Himalayas, apologizing to the corpse of a woman named Ducra, who is what I imagine is one of the people who trained him during his journey to become better than Bruce. During his goodbye, Jason is surrounded by the people who apparently murdered Ducra, as he pulls out his guns and says "Finally, someone to shoot." as this issue comes to a close. Now say what you want, but I LOVED this issue. Jason was smarmy old Jason which is great, he had black hair which is even better, he came out looking awesome, as did Arsenal and Starfire. Arsenal is a bit more timid then I'd like but I think this will be a growing experience for him. I kind of like Starfire in this, her personality makes her a wild card as well. So I enjoyed this, and I can't wait for the next issue. If I have any complaints, it would be that we could've learned more about Ducra, and maybe a bit about why Jason made this team in the first place, but because I loved it, and because I'm willing to admit I'm biased, and because I'm just happy Jason has his own comic and Roy has two arms, I'll give this a solid 10/10.

Red Hood: The only reason I'm here is 'cause if anything happens to you, that would make me the worse former sidekick ever. (Brutal... and that's why Jason rules.)

Catwoman #1

We start things out with Selina Kyle throwing on her costume, grabbing her cats and jumping out of the window as a bunch of men with guns bust through her door. Excellent timing. As Selina escapes, she mentions that she doesn't know who the guys are but they won't find whatever they're looking for in her apartment, and that she'll circle back and get her things in a few days, but to her surprise the skull wearing brutes blow up her apartment. Realizing she needs a new place and some cash, Selina goes to see Lola, who apparently was a showgirl. (Shout out to Barry Manilow!) Turns out Lola is Selina's best-friend, as well as great at intel, which helps Selina know who to rob, what to get, and how to get it. She gives Selina info on a place where she can crash while the millionaires that stay there are out of town, and also gives her information on a job so she can do what she does best, steal from the rich and keep for herself.  She gets a gig tending the bar where guys from the Russian mob meet, and since she's proficient at Russian, she listens in for anything she can use to her advantage when she overhears something about a painting that is worthless but one of the mobsters believes it's a lucky talisman, which leads Selina to believe if she steals it, they'd pay big money to get it back. Selina is about to leave with her new information when she overhears a man talking, a man named Renald, a man who apparently shot a woman in front of her as a kid. An upset Selina follows him into the bathroom, and uses her seduction to lower his guard before beating the hell out of him, leaving him a bloody mess before leaving the club. We then see Selina in her penthouse that she's staying in now, when she notices Batman in the shadows. He asks if she's alright after the firebombing, but before he can finish she's kissing him. He tells her they aren't doing this, he's come because she's endangered herself and others, but that just leads to her tackling him and the two having sex, but before the issue ends we learn that Catwoman doesn't know who Batman is under the mask. Holy retcon! Catwoman doesn't know Batman is Bruce... and they are still getting it on apparently... well I don;t like that. But I did like this issue, a lot. It showed how awesome and capable Catwoman is, she went under cover and used her skills, I didn't even know she spoke Russian, plus there was like three scenes with her in a bra, which I'll never complain about. But honestly, this was a good issue and Judd has done a nice job in writing Selina for the first time, I'd give this a 8.5/10.

Lola: Your place got torched again?
Selina: One, it was my new place. Two, blown up, not torched. And three, yes.

Batman #1

We kick things off with Batman being attacked by a cavalcade of villains, including Two-Face, Killer Croc, Professor Pyg, Scarecrow, Clayface and more. We even see the recently turned villain, James Gordon Jr. there reading a book while the rest of Bats' rogue gallery tries to take out The Dark Knight. When Batman in thrown through a window into a cell that belongs to The Joker, things take a shocking turn as Batman and The Joker team up to defeat Bats' enemies. Before we can get an explanation, we see Batman talking to Jim Gordon about how he went to Arkham to go after a corrupt guard, and how the guard sprang open the inmates doors which led to Batman being attacked. Gordon questions Batman on if he actually teamed with The Joker, to which Batman tells him that would be ridiculous, to which Gordon agrees. Hm... Afterwards, we see Batman in his cave, unmasked when The Joker shows up. We soon see that The Joker was actually Dick Grayson, wearing the E.M.P. mask that was used in the final arcs of Detective Comics before the reboot, a mask that contorts light to give you someone else's appearance. Turns out that Dick was in Arkham as The Joker for a few days to make sure that the guard Batman believed had gone corrupt actually was. Dick and Bruce then get dressed and head upstairs to meet Tim and Damian for some fancy soiree they are all attending. It turns out it's a big banquet where Bruce gives a great speech (kudos to Scott Snyder) and basically says how he's looking towards the future of Gotham and how he hopes to improve the city with new buildings and a new public transit system, which gains applause from the crowd. During a meet-and-greet Bruce takes the time to use his new device (a mobile bat-computer in his ear, and no, not literally.) to read Jim Gordon's lips as he repeats that someone in Gotham was stabbed. A few minutes and a costume change later, Batman is heading towards the scene of the crime. At the scene the crime, Batman learns from Harvey Bullock that the victim was loaded with antique throwing knives, with each vital organ missed purposely so he would suffer before he died. Gruesome. Being Batman, he soon uncovers a clue that was left, a clue that says "Bruce Wayne will die tomorrow." The issue ends soon after, when Batman runs an analysis on the corpse and the skin cells between the victim's fingernails are none other than those of Dick Grayson! Man, that was a great cliffhanger, maybe this and Nightwing link-up? Snyder and Higgins have worked together so I could see it, but only time will tell. But this was a good issue, and Scott Snyder is a damn genius. He used the facial recognition that Bruce has in what's basically a mobile bat-computer in his ear, to use that as giving us a name and a bit of information on various characters, which was a genius way to introduce these characters to new readers, as well as something that can easily be written off as Bruce trying new tech. That alone was a pretty clever idea that made me appreciate this comic even more. I'll give this issue a 10/10. It was a perfect intro issue, it built on a lot, it showed off Batman's planning and tech and gave us a bit of doubt for one of Bruce's closest allies. There's nothing about this comic that I didn't enjoy.

Tim: Tell me he's not using facial rec for the party.
Damian: The party? He's using it to remember who you are, Drake.
Dick: And... Zing. (Somewhere, X-Man75 just marked out for that.)

Deadpool #43

We start things off with Deadpool hiding out in England because he's afraid Dr. Whitby is going to go to the police about him escaping, since he turned down their life together in the form of a super kick. But it doesn't take long for the Doc to find Deadpool, which leads to her disrobing and showing her wearing a Deadpool outfit with fishnet stockings. Deadpool (and myself) yells "MY EYES!" after seeing this. She then opens fire on Deadpool, thinking he'd like that, but Deadpool manages to take her gun and knock her out before fleeing. Deadpool, after sleeping in garbage, decides to don his red and black attire and head to the street, jackin some fools yo, Deadpool style! Hey... he said it, not me. During his escape, Deadpool manages to get surrounded by the cops and the guards that are watching The Queen of England, and they capture DP...for about three seconds before he escapes once again. Deadpool manages to hitch a ride with The Queen, wait really? Yep, he hitches a ride with the Queen of England and uses her as a bit of a hostage to escape. While talking to the Queen, he explains his situation with Doctor Whitby, which leads DP to the realization that as long as she's killing people and emulating Deadpool, that Whitby is his responsibility. Deadpool decides to go finish this once and for all, by confronting Dr. Whitby as this issue comes to a close. This issue was solid, and a lot of Deadpool comedy. It wasn't the best issue, but Deadpool meeting the Queen and using that classic Deadpool style of surviving and planning was enjoyable. I'd give this issue a 6.5/10.

Deadpool: Give it up smooth, Dingus! You just got jacked! Deadpool style! (See... I told you.)

Ultimate X-Men #1

It annoys me way more than it should, but I hate the fact that Iceman is wearing that hat on the cover. Anyway, we get things started with Karen Grant, formerly known as Jean Gray, going to a school to recruit a young mutant who's powers have recently started to manifest. It turns out the young mutant was upstairs taking a nap, and in a world where Mutants are being shot on sight if they don't turn themselves in to containment camps, her parents felt it would be better to just murder the poor girl in her sleep. Man, that scene blew me away right at the beginning. Leave it to Nick Spencer to draw you in within a few pages. Meanwhile, a news story breaks that basically says the mutant gene is a virus that was created in America and somehow spread around, infecting people. It's also disclosed that the man formerly known as Wolverine was the first genetically engineered Mutant, thanks to the Weapon X program. Jimmy Howlett, the son of Wolverine decides to go investigate the place that made his father into a mutant killing machine. We also get a glimpse into one of the containment cells, which is basically a mutant concentration camp, and we see that Storm is actually being held in one, as well as Colossus. We even see Rogue pursued and captured by one of the teams in charge of the containment camps. We then see Kitty Pryde, Bobby Drake, and Johnny Storm discussing the news, which only upsets Kitty. When they mention the rioting going on in New York, Kitty says they aren't playing superhero, as they made a promise not to once Peter died. But as Kitty walks away, the guys tell her that Rogue was identified as an attacker on the news. Knowing that someone has to save Rogue, Kitty suits up and Bobby chills out and Johnny flames on (you know that was genius), as the issue comes to a close. Well this was interesting, the idea that the mutant gene is a virus kind of makes sense, it explains how two humans can have a mutant child as well. I like where this is going, and with Spencer writing it, he hasn't steered me wrong yet, so I'll keep checking this out. I'd give this issue about a 7.5/10.

Johnny: Mutants got their powers through a science experiment! I got my powers through a science experiment! It's the same thing!

X-Men: Schism #4

I've been waiting for this for about a month, so let's do it. We start things off with Cyclops telling Idie back at Utopia that she saved lives, and if the deaths of those men she killed are anyone's fault, it's his. At least Cyclops owned up to it. For some reason, Cyclops is at Utopia while Wolverine tries to fight the gigantic Sentinel from the last issue. What the hell Scott?! As the Sentinel knocks Wolverine into the sea, Dr. Nemesis tells Cyclops that the Super Sentinel is heading towards Utopia. Cyclops immediately tries to rally the X-Men when he learns that the teleporters are down, some X-Men are busy or incapacitated, and the closest ones en route are thirty-seven minutes away. Cyclops runs outside, while realizing that the X-Men were set up by someone, and he blasts the hell out of the Super Sentinel, which is apparently closer than I thought. His blast doesn't take down the SS, but he's offered help by Hope, Idie and the rest of the students. Scott accepts their help but Wolverine doesn't and tells Scott to get rid of the kids. Logan says they're children and are going to get killed, Scott says they're X-Men and can handle it. They argue back and forth, as Wolverine says the kids should evacuate and live to see another day, but Cyclops says they should fight now because if they run today they'll be running forever. Wolverine says he's done everything Cyclops has asked, lied, killed, and kept secrets so they wouldn't have to, but Cyclops retorts that if Wolverine is so concerned about their fighting skills then he should have taught and led them instead of blowing off every class he assigns them. Cyclops tells the kids anyone who wants to leave can, anyone who wants to stay can as well, as a pissed off Wolverine walks away. While inside, Wolverine grabs something we can't see, while Quentin Quire tries to instigate him. As Scott tries to rally his team, Wolverine walks out and tells everyone to leave, as he's armed 2,000 pounds if explosives and he plans on blowing the island up with the SS gets close enough. The kids leave, as Scott tries to tell Logan this won't help, all he's doing is taken down one Sentinel when there are thousands of others, and now the mutants won't even have their safe haven, but Wolverine stays adamant and says he's pushing the button and tells Scott to walk away. Cyclops then says that Jean never loved Logan and was always afraid of him, to which Wolverine replies she'd be more afraid of Cyclops now. And enraged Cyclops blasts Wolverine, who immediately fights back and takes it to Scott. The two X-Men fight each other as the Sentinel draws near, ready to destroy them both. Man, now THIS was a great issue. I loved the debate between Scott and Logan, as I love when a conversation is so fluid it draws me in like a TV show or a movie, and that's what this issue did. I'll give this issue a solid 10/10 rating.

Cyclops: She never loved you, you know. You always frightened her.
Wolverine: And if she was here right now... who do you think she'd be more frightened of?

Man, what a great week, THREE perfect scores?! I love it man. I love how Lobdell is doing Red Hood and the Outlaws and I'm optimistic for that, as well as Ultimate X-Men, Batman, Catwoman, and Nightwing. As for Schism, the arguments were so compelling I feel like it would be tough to pick a side, but in my opinion, I'd probably have sided with Scott. They may be kids but they know what they signed up for, and eventually they're going to have to get into a battle with a Sentinel and I think they had a chance of stopping them, so let me know what you guys think in the comments. But that's it for me everyone, thanks for reading and feel free to reply with any questions, comments or criticisms, as well as vote on this week's poll. So until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off.

Last week's poll asked "Halfway through the month, how do you like the DCnU comics?"

Last place with 0% - "I hate them!" Well that's good for DC.
Third place with 22.2% - "I expected them to be better."
Second place with 33.3% - "I love them!"
Winner with 44.4% - "Better than I expected..." I definitely feel that way after this week!

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Teen Titans #1, Superman #1, Amazing Spider-Man #670, Ultimate Spider-Man #1, Kick-Ass 2 #4, and Venom #7

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ratings and Rantings featuring Ultimate Spider-Man #1

Hey Todd Squad, welcome back to the blog that's giving you more bang for no bucks, the place that has weekly comic content comments, and apparently has what you guys love, a weekly column with multiple reviews, that's right, I mean Ratings and Rantings! This week's edition has five number one issues, and surprisingly one of them isn't DC related, it's Ultimate Spider-Man! Throw in the fact that we've got the DCnU debuts of Green Lantern, Batman and Robin, Grifter and Deathstroke, as well as more Spider-Island, and we've got a potentially great post ahead of us! So let's start things off with none other than Deathstroke!

Deathstroke #1

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.

Grifter #1

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!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ratings and Rantings featuring Batgirl #1

Hey Todd Squad, hot off the heels of the debut of the "new" DC Universe, we've got quite a few books to get to, so no time for a long-winded intro. So let's get things kicked off with two books I missed last week so I could get the review for Justice League #1 up.

Invincible #82

That is one upset green chick on this cover, she makes She-Hulk look like a pacifist. We start things off seeing that "Rex" has returned, and after a few space years on another planet, he's ready to get back into the swing of things on Earth. Surprisingly, Cecil Steadman offers the man formerly known as Robot to pretty much lead every team and hero that Cecil has contact with, and Rex says he'll do the job since he has nothing else to do, pretty much hinting that something happened to his relationship with Monster Girl. From there we see Invincible go meet with our cover girl, who blames him and Eve for the death of countless innocents while Invincible tries to apologize, until he gets her to shut up long enough for him to talk. Before we can see what he says, we jump over to see Eve and Kate eat salads together, and Kate keeps taking shots at Eve's weight, although she's slowly starting to lose weight due to using her powers which burn calories. Back at the Pentagon, Cecil is alerted that Dinosaurus is not only alive but also in the building, but in his human form to turn himself in. Over with Invincible, he talks to our Green Queen Killing Machine, and tells her he understands that she was there to save her own people and was desperate, so he's going to try to get them to release her, and after she agrees not to hurt anyone, she is in fact freed thanks to Invincible. She vows to repay Invincible for his kindness one day as she heads off to her home planet. Back at the Pentagon, Cecil asks Invincible if he can count on him when he needs him, Invincible says yes but he may be done crime fighting in the near future. After a quick talk, Cecil tells Mark he hasn't been all that truthful with him, as he shows Mark the Reanimen he and D.A. Sinclair have created as this issue comes to a close. This was an alright issue, nothing really happened though. It was more verbal problem solving like the last few issues, and although we saw Robot return with a smoking hot Monster Girl, and we know Universa will be back but that's about it. I'll give this issue a 7/10 rating.

Eve: Actually, Mark likes me the say I am.
Kate: He does? Really? Weird.

The Amazing Spider-Man #668

We pick up where things left off with Spidey being helped up by Shang Chi, who recognizes it's actually him, and this is confirmed by Wolverine. Spidey wants to join the fray but Luke Cage tells him to leave since there's so many Spider-Men and they don't want to risk caving his head in by mistake.. again. While Pete sulks and changes outta his Spidey costume, he runs into MJ who tells him to get back in the game, as she points out Carlie who's using her powers for good to help people, and seems to be the only civilian doing so. Realizing MJ is right, Peter hijacks a camera from Norah and proclaims he's a New Yorker who also developed powers today, and that everyone should use their powers to help save the city. Surprisingly, Pete's crusade works as he leads a group of New Yorkers to the fight to stand alongside the Avengers and the other NY based heroes. After a battle, the New Yorkers and Heroes take down the rogue Spider-men. Soon after, Mayor Jameson announces that everyone who helped has been deputized as Spider-Island is quarantined, and he's counting on them to help keep the city safe. We also see Mary Jane may be jealous of Carlie, considering Pete's former beau doesn't have Spider-Powers. Over at Horizon Labs, Peter discovers there's someone working on a cure with Reed Richards, someone only known as Number Six to keep their identity a secret. Reed asks Peter for a DNA sample to help out. Next we see Eddie Brock as Anti-Venom healing someone against their will of their Spider-Powers, as he proclaims he's going to help everyone, Madame Web steps out of the shadows behind him, saying to herself that both Anti-Venom and Venom are needed, but this is also where the story ends for one of them. Interesting. Back with Pete, we see that he's been sent by Max to work at Carlie's department and help fix tech for Jameson's Anti-Spider patrol, but after a quick talk with Carlie, she reveals she has a lead with The Jackal, Miles Warren. Pete kicks himself for not thinking of that sooner, and heads out with Carlie to follow up on it. As they arrive at Jackal's last known base, it looks as if Peter and Carlie may be walking into a trap as this issue closes. Now this was a pretty fun issue, I like that Peter gets to be Spider-Man without being Spider-Man, and fighting crime with Carlie is new and fresh and also pretty fun. I'm just wondering how long it takes for someone to mess up, since I'm pretty sure no one else has Spider-Sense either, but I'll give this issue an 8.5/10.

J. Jonah Jameson: Why in all my years in this city, I never thought I'd... Parker?! With Spider-powers?! Now I have seen everything.

Static Shock #1

We start tings off with S.T.A.R. Labs newest employee, Virgil Hawkins fighting crime as his alter ego, Static Shock. Static is now in New York and his first job is stopping Sunspot from attacking his new job. After a bunch of bad jokes and some trial and error, Static takes down Sunspot, but also manages to disable a bunch of cars, cell phones and other electronic devices, which pisses off the ungrateful New Yorkers. Once Sunspot realizes his force field has been taking down, he says he has to escape because some people are going to kill him, but before he can finish his sentence he's shot dead, which doesn't seem to bother Static at all as he traces the bullets kinetic energy back to the gunman. Well that annoys me, Static was a teenager who seemed to care about others, the fact this dude died while Static basically held him there would've at least bothered him. Plus all these bad jokes and electricity quips sound like Mr. Freeze in the Batman and Robin movie. Static's view of the kinetic energy gets messed up by the sun setting (damn Sun!) so he leaves, unaware five people on hover-bikes are watching him. He then talks to some guy named Hardware that I guess is his younger more active, African-American Alfred. He tells Static to head home because his parents are probably worried since they know his job was attacked. Meanwhile we see the hover bikers who are known as the Slate Gang at a base explaining to villain known as Piranha who Static is and how he was stationed in Dakota.They decide Static is one hero too many in New York so they send a hulking brute by the name of Virule. Well alrighty then. After showing a run-in with his family, we see Virgil go to his secret base which apparently is courtesy of Hardware. As Static flies around New York he's attacked covertly by the Slate Gang, who shoot at him and apparently shoot his arm off as this issue ends....What? Okay, first things first, if DC is trying to gain new readers by rebooting they have truly fucked up. I'm a pretty hardcore reader, I read some of Static's older comics, I read all of his DC stuff up to this point, and I watched his show, and the ONLY person in this comic I recognized besides his family WAS Static. Nothing was introduced, if you knew nothing of Static beforehand you're only going to be more confused now, and the reboot was supposed to kill the confusion right? Also, if Virgil loses his hand, on one page, while the page on the left shows a solicit for Aquaman it's quite possibly the most unintentionally funny thing I've seen. Anyway, this issue was pretty convoluted and the cliffhanger seems pretty unnecessary one issue in, I guess I'll give this a 4/10.

Static: Arrest me? You got it all wrong! They were just eager, real eager to get my autograph and my fingerprints.

Justice League International #1

We start things off with the Government deciding they need a team they can control, they can take credit for if they succeed and blame if they fail. After deliberation and passing on certain heroes like Green Arrow (who would be too unruly), Blue Beetle (because he's a rookie), Batman (he'd be harder to lead) and Plastic Man (who would be insane), they decide on a Booster Gold led team, featuring Fire, Ice, Vixen, Rocket Red, August General in Iron, Guy Gardner and Lady Godiva, a character introduced in Flashpoint. After that we see a team of researchers vanish due to some weird earthquake that swallows them whole... interesting. Later we see Booster Gold arrive at the Hall of Justice, wondering where Superman and Wonder Woman are before finding out this is a different Justice League. This Booster is apparently the version that loves being the center of attention so I REALLY hope this is an act and he's still the hero we've read about since 52. When Booster meets the rest of the team, everyone seems up for the task except for Gardner, who refuses to let Booster lead the team, and storms out. Booster refuses to go after him and says he has to come back on his own or he won't respect Booster at all. We also see Lady Godiva apparently has a crush on Booster as she keeps hitting on him. As Gardner leaves he's stopped by Batman, who says he believes in Booster and he knows he can do this. Gardner says he refuses to follow his orders why Bats, Supes and Hal are on the main squad. He tells Bats if Booster is as capable as he thinks he is, they'll do fine without him. Later, the newly formed team are giving a Jet by Queen Industries just to spite the X-Men I guess..., also, August General and Rocket Red argue because apparently Russians and Chinese people don't get along. As the team goes to look for the missing researchers, Booster tries to make it to the cockpit, before he wonders who's flying the jet, he arrives to find out it's Batman, who wanted to lend a hand to our Golden Boy. Booster thinks that Bats doesn't believe he can lead the team, but Batman says it's because the JLI is short-handed, and the JLA thinks it;s good to have a link between the two teams. As the JLI searches for the missing researchers, we see two rogue civilians blow up the Hall of Justice because they don't like the U.N. "buying off" their heroes. Back with the JLI, they're suddenly attacked by some rock monsters that climb up from underground, the JLI fight them and make the rock monsters retreat, but suddenly a giant robot shoots forth from the ground as the JLI go on the defensive and this issue ends. Now THIS was a good issue. It shows Booster has still grown up, and clearly he and Bats prior conversations happened because Bats believes in Booster. I like that the team has a dynamic where everyone is still feeling one another out and there are really no set friendships besides Fire and Ice and Bats and Booster. This was a good start, and although we don't know a lot about each character yet, it definitely set some storylines into motion, I'd give this an 8.5/10 rating.

Booster Gold: Does the U.N. know you're here?
Batman: I've always enjoyed your sense of humor, Booster.

Batgirl #1

We start things off with a villain named The Mirror, he has a list of people and he walks up to a man named Graham Carter, who survived a sinking ship when twenty-seven of his fellow sailors did not, the mirror then takes a water hose from Mr. Graham and puts it in his mouth until he drowns. Well I like this guy already, he's killing people in ironic ways where they "cheated death". It's like someone took the plot for Final Destination and instead of making like eighty movies they just made him a supervillain. Anyway, we see Barbara Gordon is next on his list. From there we see a Red-Headed Batgirl (Sorry Stephanie...) dropping in to stop a bunch of criminals that break into homes and murder parents for fun, known as the Brisby Killers. Batgirl takes them down left and right, and knocks one of them out cold, which she attributes to "having arm strength like a mother" now. After a stand off, Batgirl manages to save the family and take down the criminals, but she thinks to herself how rusty and scare she was during it all. We then see Babs in bed, having a nightmare of when The Joker shot her, which was three years ago for those interested. We see Babs get out of bed and walk to the kitchen where her father is sitting as Babs explains to us that she was shot through the gut with a spinal cord injury and how she couldn't use her legs for three years until a miracle happened which allows her to walk, but we get no insight on what exactly happened. We then see her talk to her dad and she explains it's time for her to move out. We then see Babs moving into her new apartment, where she has a roommate named Alysia that works nights, which works for her Babs' alter-ego. Meanwhile, we see one of the criminals Babs thwarted is in the hospital, and The Mirror has found his way inside and killed a guard. Babs gets a police report text since she's wired her phone to get her dad's police messages. She gets her Batgirl costume on and pulls out her Bat-Cycle (memories) and heads to the hospital. As she arrives, The Mirror finds the criminal from earlier and states that he should've fell and died during his fight with Batgirl. Batgirl arrives to stop the Mirror but he pulls a gun on her and she freezes, which is expected given her past. The Mirror then grabs the criminal's bed and runs him towards the window (I always wondered why they have those huge window-walls at hospitals...) and pushes him out before turning a gun back on Batgirl, as a downed police officer calls Batgirl a murderer for letting him kill the criminal as the issue comes to a close. First things first, that dude isn't dead, I'd bet anything that Batman, Robin, or Nightwing caught him. Secondly, how is Batgirl a murderer for not doing anything... meanwhile the woman accusing her also did nothing. Anyway, this was a good issue, there's still a lot of questions but after reading JLI and Static, I's say this was closer to JLI in terms of being a good reboot story, so I'll give this issue an 8/10 rating.

(Edit: In the scene where the guy is pushed out of the window, he has one eye... so..yeah.)

Civilian: Bless you. Bless you Batwoman.
Batgirl: Well, close, I guess, and you're welcome. And the name's Batgirl.

Morning Glories #12

We start thing off seeing a character named Miss Hodge return to Morning Glories academy. Interestingly enough, to get to the Academy you apparently have to take a elevator then a vehicle through a huge underground radioactive cellar until you get to the school... that's pretty wild. Apparently the MG students love Miss Hodge as she's joking and laughing and giving advice before she finally gets to her office. As she looks through some papers she notices something and heads to see a student that was murdered, looks to be the one Zoe killed a few issues back. After seeing the bodies of other dead students in the morgue, Miss Hodge pulls Miss Daramount out of her classroom and questions her about the bodies and if "he" knows, to which Daramount says the Headmaster knows. Hodge then pulls Daramount's sleeves up as we see she has all types of cuts and marks on her arms, courtesy of the Headmaster. Hodge then says she needs to spend time with these new kids and she already has permission slips signed. When Miss Daramount asks Hodge what she's going to do, Hodge says the same thing she always does, bail out out of trouble with dad. What? Apparently Hodge and Daramount are sisters and the Headmaster is their dad. Miss Hodge quickly finds Zoe and has her come to her office and gives Zoe a gun, she tells her to keep it close and make sure she doesn't get searched. She tells her that her records show she's going to need it. Interesting... after that Miss Hodge meets with Jun, their conversation is brief but we see she basically helped him get into Morning Glories, obviously to save his brother. During her chat with Jade she gives her some pills that should help her stop having nightmares and throwing up, that is if she wants to stop having the nightmares. During her meeting with Hunter, she mentions him having a problem with time and how he always see's the same time. She then says that his files have everything he's done and ever will do, including him having a crush on a certain classmate, but when she shows them to him they show that the files are blank, as she asks how he suppose that works. After that Miss Hodge goes to meet with Ike but walks away and mumbles "not yet" to herself. Lastly, we see Casey go back to the site where she last saw her parents in issue one, as Miss Lara Hodge introduces herself and asks if her friends know yet about Casey's parents. She says that she's being held there too, even as a faculty member she's still stuck at MGA. She also says Casey's file says she goes there everyday, which is how she new where Casey was, and her parents loved her very much, which annoys Casey so she socks Miss Hodge in the mouth and says she doesn't trust her one bit. Miss Hodge tells her she could never escape Morning Glories Academy but now she can with the help of Casey, and she can help her burn Morning Glories to the ground, when Case asks why she would ever believe this, Miss Hodge says what if she said she could bring Casey's parents back, as the issue ends on a huge cliffhanger. Now this was a great issue, I really like Miss Hodge, she may or may not be trustworthy but I like the character as of right now and this issue was informative and set a lot of things into motion, it answered questions but started new ones as well. I'll give this issue a 9/10 rating.

Zoe: Who in the hell are you, anyway? And why are you dressed like a zookeeper?
Miss Hodge: I'm your guidance counselor, Bitch. Now get in the goddamned office. (Awww snap!)

And that's it for this week everyone, thanks for reading and be sure to check out the results for last week's poll. Even more important, be sure to vote on this week's poll, because depending on the results, next week may be the last Ratings and Rantings! So vote and let me know how you feel about that. Anyway, that's it for me, until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!

The last poll asked "Which DC Comics are you picking up this week?"

Last place with 0% - Flashpoint #5... I'm not even going to make a joke.
Third place with 10% - No DC Comics for me this week
Second Place with 30% - Justice League #1, This was me as well..
Winner with 60% - Justice League and Flashpoint #5, So... learn anything about the DCnU?

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman and Robin #1, Deathstroke #1, Green Lantern #1, Grifter #1, Amazing Spider-Man #669, Ultimate Spider-Man #1, and Deadpool #43.