SPOILERS…..obviously.

Walking Dead #60

Walking dead 60

Written by: Robert Kirkman

Art by: Charlie Adlard

The BIG 6-0. 60 is most notably the time in your life when you start to lose your hearing, and your eyes start getting worse, along with your driving skills, and you go hobble your way into your huge, boat sized Cadillac and break off the odometer at 25 in a 45 mph zone while heading to your local Walgreens and buy some of those huge, wrap around glasses that look like some kind of virtual reality visor. Yeah, its those years when retirement homes scare you, along with all that new fangled technology, and don’t even talk about those young punks with their “raps” and “skateboards”. But you know what isn’t getting old? The Walking Dead.

60 issues in, Robert Kirkman hopes to bring back the original antagonist of the series: zombies. While most of the series has been about the fact that the zombies aren’t the worst thing roaming the land, issue 60 tries to convince us that they are still a contender.

Last issue, we finally caught a glimpse of the “herd” of zombies heading after our intrepid heroes. Rick & Co. could defend against a group of zombies with little to no effort, but a herd comprises of thousands of zombies. Not a walk in the park.

So in this issue, we witness our car-less heroes running from the herd, trying desperately to get back to their loved ones in time to warn them of the incoming danger. While not the most illuminating issue of the series, this issue does help emphasize the immediacy of the undead flock.

I have always said that the issues that deal with the more humanizing aspects of the story are my favorites. Issues where the characters are just sitting around trying to gather some shred of hope while being surrounded and confronted by acts of horrific violence and sanity breaking situations. This issue still brings that to the table. One character in particular gets this in spades.

So all in all, this issue doesn’t reveal a whole lot, but it does hint at the herd arc coming to an end, but not before a little preview at the end of the book. With preview pages with phrases like “”The dead do not stalk” and an accompanying picture of shadowy figures hiding in the trees right above some of the main cast.

Yeah, I don’t really need to tell you about the art and the writing because it is just so good. It’s just a given with this series.

Captain America #49

Captain America 49

Written by: Ed Brubaker

Art by: Luke Ross

It’s been about 2 years since Captain America died, and it still has reverberations being felt throughout the Marvel Universe. This issue of Captain America deals with Sharon Carter, Cap’s former love, and incidentally enough, his murderer, begins to recall her various nightmares about that fateful day.

Sharon is fighting her inner demons about what she did or they people that forced her to do all those two years ago. Even though she was being manipulated, she still feels that it is her fault and can’t come to terms with it. Through flashbacks and dialogue being spoken, Sharon describes the daily torment and nightly hauntings she endures. Visiting her aunt reminds her of what Cap meant to people. The stories of just seeing Cap in action for a brief second, his past loves and the people who still live on even after he is gone are all in play in this issue. People still can’t get over his death, and this is what Sharon feels everyday, but times a hundred.

But as we learned that Sharon wasn’t herself the day that she shot Cap, we also learn about the people who brainwashed her into doing their evil deeds. Catching a glimpse of what will be the next story in the pages of Captain America, reveals that some twisted science was at work, doppelgangers and mysterious figures are more than just specks in Sharon’s memory. A terrible past event is seeing daylight in Sharon’s mind. Fragments of her torture at the hands of the Red Skull are flashing through her dreams, things that she has already experienced and will soon re-experience…whether she wants to or not. We may finally see some illumination on what really happened to her…and more importantly enough [spoiler] the baby she had with Cap, that she doesn’t seem to remember.[/spoiler]

Yeah, even after the 2 years since Steve Rogers aka Captain America’s death, the book is still good. Brubaker knows how to write some intriguing dramas, and Cap is consistently great.

While not Steve Epting, Luke Ross does a fine job this issue. While no real action was shown, and Epting is great at showing smooth, fluid action, Luke Ross does hold his own.

So if you by chance missed Cap’s death back in issue 25, you might want to read up on it, and then work your way into this issue. It is sure to explain some of the events already seen, and might leave the non-informed a little confused. But, really, who the hell didn’t know Cap was dead by now? It was only all over the news that day.


Incognito #3

Incognito 2

Written by: Ed Brubaker

Art by: Sean Phillips

As much as I have been liking this new series, I have to say that this issue really got it rolling for me. The whole idea of this main character, Zack Overkill, being a former bad guy never really got fleshed out in the series like it did in this one. With the main character slowly working his way back into the villain lifestyle, this issue had him doing some minor annoyances to random people. Things like flipping over cars that owned to a friend’s landlord, to doing some small theft.

The main plot in this issue deals with other super villains realizing that the main character is still alive, and they want to fix that. So unleashing some hired villains to try to take him out however possible. The showdown occurs in a mall. While expecting to go in a do a quick bank heist, Overkill gets jumped by some deranged super powered villains. In a scene that is really pretty graphic, this issue really sets the mood that the rest of the book will undoubtedly have.

Listen, it’s Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips here. You just see those names and expect quality, and they don’t let you down in this issue. If you are looking for a fix until Criminal comes back, Incognito will help fill the void, or even become a staple in your monthly pull list.

Punisher #4

Punisher 4

Written by: Rick Remender

Art by: Jerome Opena

You come to expect a pretty high body count in a Punisher book, and in the last 2 issues, that expectation has been fulfilled. This issue has the Punisher facing off with a hit squad posing as a SWAT team. When Frank learns that these guys aren’t SWAT, he gets a little pissed. And the blood floweth.

We learn that these guys are just hired lackeys sent by the Hood. So after learning of their fates, the Hood sends out some more “super powered” henchmen. Hilarity ensues. Frank knows who is after him, and he’s waiting for them. The hunted is now the hunter…or a guy who hunts but kinda waits for the hunted to come to him.

This new relaunch series is proving to be worth the money. While not as dark and twisted as a Garth Ennis take on Punisher, Rick Remender does write a mean Punisher, literally. This Punisher is vicious and quick thinking, throwing out pun-ny quips and grenades alike. Which is still the quiddity of the Punisher, but not always combined so well.

People not accustomed or familiar with the Punisher might want to look into picking up this and the previous 3 issues of the new series. It is a fairly newb friendly Punisher book. It deals with the Dark Reign nonsense going on, but it at least just gives you the info that you need without bogging you down with…Norman Osborn being director of SHIELD. Ugh.

Uncanny X-Men #508

Xmen 508

Written by: Matt Fraction

Art by: Greg Land

I’m a little on the fence about Uncanny X-Men right now. On one hand, I really like the arc so far, and on the other, I think that there might a little too much going on right now, especially when several plot threads are being shown in one issue. Madelyn Pryor’s resurrection and her Sisterhood gathering up new recruits for the Sisterhood of Mutants is great. Some characters we haven’t seen in a while are being used, and pretty uniquely I might add. On the other hand, you have other characters and their respective plots being progressed, or lack thereof. Beast and his scientist group has been going on too long and it is just coming off as filler. The last issue, they were dealing with some kind of Godzilla like creature and this issue, they are talking about the X-Gene. It really should find some kind of closure and make room for the more necessary plot, Madelyn Pryor’s resurrection.

The scene with Domino fighting against the Sisterhood in Tokyo is great. This Beast, scientist vs. Godzilla nonsense is not.

Matt Fraction, even though I have my gripes with the story, is handling the X-Men pretty well. With Ed Brubaker all but done with the X-Men, Fraction has stepped in and filled his shoes. Some didn’t like Brubaker’s run on Uncanny, while people like me didn’t mind, but Fraction is the superior X-writer here.

Greg Land. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I used to like Greg Land’s art. It was super realistic and every chick looked fucking hot and appeared to be some kind of porn star, but now it is just old and tired. Sure, I don’t want to look at haggard superheroines, but it just seems like Greg Land reuses drawings. I remember reading somewhere that it was revealed to be true. Land would just use an existing photo of some chick and just superimpose some female superheroine on top of it. While not necessarily plagarism, it just comes of insincere. Now this problem is more noticeable the more you see his art, but that is a conversation for another time.

While I like some of the aspects of this issue, I can’t really say that you need to run out and get it. If you aren’t an X-fan right now, I can safely say that this issue will not sway you. There have been better issues, like the Messiah Complex or even old school stories like Mutant Massacre. There just seems to be an excitement lull in the X-verse right now. But in the off chance you ARE a fan of X-men, you probably are already reading this issue and thinking the same things I am writing.

X-Men Legacy #223

Legacy 223

Written by: Mike Carey

Art by: Scot Eaton

Now here is the X-book written for the fans. Mike Carey has been diving into Charles Xavier’s mind for a better part of a year now, and things keep getting twisted up. The whole concept of this Legacy series is to show that Xavier wasn’t quite the nice guy or as intelligent as he played it. Causing his far share of mistakes and quite literally ruining lives of people around him with his actions, Charles has been forced to re-live some of those events. This time, Chuck has been dealing with the ever-dangerous Danger. Danger is a human like manifestation of the Danger Room. The Danger Room was the holographic, super high tech training ground that the X-Men used to keep their abilities razor sharp. This Danger Room was programmed to know everything about each member and strategically outline a rigorous set of trials based on whoever was in the room. So when Joss Whedon came along and began to tell the tale of how the Danger Room became self aware, well, something so simple as a training room became their ultimate villain.

So teamed up with the Danger Room’s original creators, a team of Shiars, Charles Xavier has to figure out what went wrong with the supposedly perfectly designed Danger Room and fix it, before it kills everyone.

If you haven’t been keeping up with X-Men, especially if you haven’t read anything before the last few years, you might be lost on all the continuity featured in this series. Actually I say continuity in a very heavy and meticulous sense. Trivial things are brought back into the pages of X-Men Legacy and blown up to a bigger scale. Although heavy continuity is being recalled, Mike Carey is essentially retconning the X-Men’s history, by shifting a lot of weight onto the shoulders of Xavier. Most issues deals with Xavier finding out that his intentions in the past were not quite so noble. But, while continuity plays a huge role in this book, if you are an X-Men fan of some of the 80’s and 90’s fare, you should feel right at home in the company of X-Men Legacy. In some ways, retconning can be great, and Legacy is the most consistently great X-book out there for some time now.

Next Week’s Pull List

Marvel

Amazing Spider-man #592

Daredevil #118

New Avengers #52

X-Force #15

DC

Detective Comics #853

Scalped #28

Others

Star Wars: Dark Times #13

Wrap Up

So FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is approaching, and normally I really don’t expect much, but this year, I’m a little more excited than usual. Some big stuff is being offered out to greedy, and more importantly, cheap, college student punks like myself who will gladly take any free nerd book that they can get their grubby mitts on. This year some big titles are being given away to whoever might stumble into their local comic store, and here are some of the key books being given out:

Avengers

Brian Michael Bendis and Jim Cheung are teaming up to give us a preview of what kind of shit is gonna drop on the Marvel U in the coming times. Plus a battle with a Frost Giant with Thor! WHEEE!

Blackest Night #0

Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis give us a direct preview that will lead into the first issue of Blackest Night. The event that I am most looking forward to. With the pressure cooker that has been Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, Blackest Night will be sure to explode this year.

Ressurection #0

Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood with spin their post-alien invasion take on what happens to the people left on Earth after the aliens come, fuck things up and pimp away back to their galaxy. Interesting premise, and hell, its FREE!

William Shatner Presents #1

Dude, it’s William Shatner writing a comic book! Who fucking cares what it is about, I can’t wait to see how he interprets his godly form of acting into the pages of a comic book. Dare I say, the greatest acting ever to grace the screen?!?! Maybe not, but this book is FREE!

And my most looked forward to Freebie Comic Book is………..drumroll……

ATOMIC ROBO AND FRIENDS

Yes, ladies and gents, ATOMIC ROBO is being given away for FREE! If you haven’t been reading Atomic Robo, you should be. Not only is this series one of my favorite series EVAR, this issue is FREE! So you can pick up this issue and hopefully see what would get an Official Tyler Durden84 Stamp of Awesomely Awesome Stamp of Comic Book Greatness!, if I had money for a stamp that is. Atomic Robo is an Eisner award winning book about a, GASP!, robot who goes around fighting the paranormal. If you like Hellboy, you will love Brian Clevinger’s adorably quirky and witty, yet kick ass, ass kicking robot of the past/future! I can’t stress this enough, if you have a $20 bill in your wallet that is just pissing you off and you want to teach it a lesson, go sacrifice it’s greenback ass on Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne Trade paper back as soon as possible. By issue one, you will fall in love with this Atomic Robo and his outlandish, Indiana Jones/ James Bond esque/ other really awesome cult icon figure’s adventures!

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is set to invade stores everywhere on May 2, 2009. So grab the kids and head over to the comic store for free shit. It beats taking them to see whatever stupid kids movie that is plaguing theaters right now, and FREE COMIC BOOK DAY has comics that all ages can enjoy…and it’s FREE!

4 Responses to Comic Book Reviews: Week of 04/15/2009

  1. John says:

    I picked up this issue of Captain America, my first ever. I haven’t read it yet because I also picked up the previous ten back issues (store was having a sale), and want to get a little caught up first. I probably should steal Hilden’s Omnibus at some point.

    Also, Incognito is fantastic. Brubaker is my favorite comic writer, bar none. Incidentally, he’s interviewed on last week’s episode of iFanboy’s Talksplode podcast. Give it a listen.

  2. Nice pickups on the Cap issues! The series is great and you probably got some of the better, post Cap issues out there. The Namor and Bucky ones are full of espionage-y goodness. And totally steal Hilden’s Omnibus. You wont regret it.

    Also, I will have myself a listening party for this Brubaker interrogation business during my long voyage to school and back.

  3. John says:

    I actually just listened to it a couple hours ago and it’s a really good listen. He sort of gives some insight as to his writing process, how he juggles multiple projects, and his thoughts on a whole array of different media related topics. Really interesting.

    You can find it right here.

  4. I just listened to that interview last night and it really makes me like his writing even more. The fact that he talks about juggling all those different projects and still manages to put out great books is a real testament to his skillzors. Ive never listened to the iFanboy podcast before but after hearing their interview with Ed, I’m on board. Their show was really a smooth listen and they really asked some good questions. And getting to talk to one of comics best writers has to be a great time. Almost makes me want to start up a comics cast of my own just to talk to some of my favorite comic books writers and artists.

    And Im still really looking forward to the Marvels Project.

Leave a Reply