Take It Or Leave It – January 16, 2013



Welcome to Take It Or Leave It for January 16, 2013, where each week we pick out some of that week’s newest comics and give you our opinion on whether it was worth the price and you should take it, or if it was better left sitting on the shelf.
Alphabetical by Publisher

Chris
I read a lot of comics this week, and enjoyed most of them! There were a few less than stellar issues out there, but I think as a whole it was a pretty damn good week for comics especially with the next chapter in Death of the Family hitting shelves.

Batgirl #16
This issue starts out a little slow, well not slow but not fun. There’s been so much talk about Batgirls hatred of the Joker in the last few issues it’s hard to pay attention to everything else going on with her. Meanwhile the Joker is continuing with her crazy plan to destroy the Bat-Family. I’ve gotta say some of the dialogue for him was great, going on and on about the wedding and telling Barbra he was going to cut off her arms and legs. The chainsaw was a nice feature that plays into Batman 16 too. This issue really started to get interesting when James Gordon Jr. showed up, if you’re not familiar he’s a sociopath. He’s pretty much out to make his sisters life a living hell, or is he? He is one of the few characters to actually come into a situation with the Joker and play the game on his level. . . or as close as anyone could get to his level. This issue really had a lot of good points and the ending was a great cliffhanger to be wrapped up in in Batman 17. If you’ve been following Death of the Family or Batgirl or both this is a must have. It’s really a pretty good read no matter what, but you’ll bit left out on the punchline if you haven’t been keeping up.

Verdict: Take It – Regular Readers

Score: 8/10


Batman #16
If you search for Batman review right now you will find nothing but praise for Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and the rest of team Batman. There is a damn good reason for that, this series has been a stand out success since the New 52 started, out of 15 issues there wasn’t a single dud. And 16 doesn’t change that one bit, Batman has finally reached Arkham Asylum and the Joker has a huge welcome home party for him. The issue, more than any other in Death of the Family has shown the lengths the Joker has gone, it’s shown the history and amazing dynamic between Batman and the Joker. This issue isn’t just Batman fighting goons, this is a love letter from the Joker to his greatest enemy and best friend. There’s so many nods and winks to the history between these two characters, whether it’s something said, seen, or alluded to, it’s a long history and it’s definitely not over yet. The reveal of the Bat-Kings court was well timed and felt right. For someone who doesn’t read all of the Batman books it was fun to see some of the other key characters from Batman’s rogues gallery. To sum this up, if you’re a Batman fan, or a comic book fan you should be reading this book whether it’s the middle of a story or not.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 10/10


Batman & Robin #16
If you go back through the months you’ll see I have a lot of praise for this book, which tends to be over shadowed by some of the other New 52 books. Tomasi has been telling a great story about father and son learning to exist together, even when these crossovers pop-up it doesn’t slow that down, he still keeps the character dynamic and evolution going. issue 15 was good, it was nice to see Robin take on the Joker, and while 16 isn’t a bad issue I don’t feel like it was quite as good. It was a little to predictable, which maybe it was suppose to be. The ending was of the fight was a nice touch and really shed a lot of light on Damien’s current feelings towards his father and his mission. So while this isn’t the best in the series, it’s still a solid book and fits really well with Death of the Family. And I’m still looking forward to see where the characters will go after the crossover finishes up next month.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Hoax Hunters #6
I’ve never read Hoax Hunters before, lucky issue 6 was the start of a new story. It’s a comic about a reality show that goes around debunking myths and legends. But apparently they’re actually covering them up? I’m not sure, but I know that the urban legends definitely appear to be real. This was a fairly interesting book and I’m probably going to be picking up the volume 1 trade to see how it started out. It’s probably not for everyone, but if you want something supernatural that isn’t superhero this may be a great spot to start, and like I said issue 6 was the start of a new story so it was fairly easy to follow without any prior knowledge. Like a lot of books there’s even a little recap at the beginning, I love it when books have those.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Saga #9
I’m not actually going to tell you anything about this book at all. If you’re not already reading it you’re doing something wrong that’s all. There’s a trade for volume one available you should go read it and then read everything else you’ll come back and thank me I promise.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10


All-New X-Men #6
X-Men books are known to be ridiculously complicated. Like how Cable is Cyclops’ son with Madelyne Pryor who is a clone of Jean Grey, he got sent to the future and then came back to the past as an adult. And on the other side you have Rachel Grey who is the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate future. I understand it and I’m confused. So when they said that a new X-Men book was coming out with the original 5 X-Men from the past coming to the future to see what Scott did and try and prevent it, well my head almost exploded. But if you’ve been keeping track, so far this has been a great book, Bendis hasn’t made the continuity to ridiculous to follow, and overall it’s been pretty fun. In the current issue the originals are just beginning to realize what their lives in the future are going to be like, and Scott’s looks the worst. There was a nice scene where he’s trying to buy a map and a magazine at a convenience store. The girl asks if his phone has a map as she plays on a smart phone and he’s then baffled by the price of the magazine. It’s one of those things that in the next few years wouldn’t have worked anymore, but going back 16ish years ago cell phones weren’t very prominent at all or useful, and things were much cheaper. For anyone who doesn’t know the general rule of thumb is for every 3 real world years about a year passes in comics so while X-Men have been around for 50 years, the characters are only about 16 years older. But that’s off topic, this book just keeps getting better and better. The interactions of our normal characters with these younger version of their friends is interesting. And Angel finally seeing how he was nice, though I’m sure he’ll soon see that he’s a very different person.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


Alpha Big Time 0.1
So this is a bit of a cheat, I didn’t actually read Alpha it wasn’t worth it. This is a reprint of his story from Amazing Spider-Man that started back in the summer. If you read those books, which honestly if you were interested in Alpha you probably did, you don’t need this. The story itself wasn’t a very good one either, Alpha wasn’t an interesting character and his ‘final’ outcome wasn’t all that interesting either. It’s probably best to save your money on this one.

Verdict: 4/10

Score: Leave It


Avenging Spider-Man 16
Like a lot of people when Avenging Spider-Man started last year I was excited. Joe Mad was coming back to comics, this book was going to be great. Then he left after the first arc and while the book was alright, it was still just a team up book. I stuck it out till about June and then dropped it, but after reading last months 15.1 which continued the introduction of Superior Spider-Man I decided to give it another shot. Chris Yost writing was a plus too as his Scarlet Spider book has been one of my favorites. Anyway I feel that this book is going to be great for seeing our new Spidey interact with characters he’s known for years. The scenes in this issue with Wolverine were a lot of fun. I still don’t know how I feel about the switch, but if this book keeps going the way this issue did I may start picking it up again.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Captain Marvel #9
The previous arc of Captain Marvel was good, but I found myself getting bored with it. The character interaction that makes this book fun was there, but the enemy and plot just lacked something. Issue 9 didn’t really have a lot of ‘plot’ it was almost a random series of planned out events, if that makes any sense at all. Carol has a busy day all scheduled out, and super-heroics get in the way. The final pages with her friends all gathered around were nice, and the final page was pretty powerful. If you’ve been enjoying the new Captain Marvel so far you’ll keep on doing it, and if you’re thinking of testing it out this is a great place to start.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10


Indestructible Hulk #3
A lot of reviews are saying this is one of the best of the series so far. While it’s definitely good and a fun read, I think issue 2 still wins. The story is continuing with Banner trying to assemble his team of scientists to help him change the world between him being S.H.I.E.L.D’s private one main army. Everything just seemed so crammed together, this was one of those issues that probably would have benefited from being stretched out and turned into a full arc or something. The end was a lot of fun though, I liked the introductions to the fifth member of Banners team and his reaction to it. If you’ve been reading Indestructible Hulk so far this is a great way to continue, if it’s going to be your first issue it’s probably worth holding off till next month.

Verdict: Leave It – If you’re a first time reader

Score: 6/10


Ultimate Comics Iron Man #4
Poor Ultimate Tony Stark, the guy just can’t get a good solo book. This book has really been kind of a struggle to get through, it’s a great concept and I was excited to see Mandarin get brought into the Ultimate universe but it fell short. The final issue did pick up a lot more than the previous 3 but it just wasn’t enough to save it. I still have hope though, they tease a continuation at the end and if that can pick up where this one left off and keep improving it could be pretty good. Oh there’s also the teaser for Ultimate Comics Wolverine at the end so that’s good news.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 3/10


New Avengers #2
New Avengers was one of my favorite books, I saw was because so far this book isn’t really New Avengers. It’s Illuminati, which while cool doesn’t work for a whole book. It’s just another reason to use the infinity gems. I don’t really have much else to say about this book, it was A LOT of text though so if you are going to pick it up be ready for a very explanatory book with lots of text.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 5/10


Savage Wolverine #1
Other than Old Man Logan I’ve never actually read a Wolverine solo title before. It’s not like I’ve got anything about the character just never picked up his books. Well I decided to fix that and pick up Savage Wolverine this week, and while it wasn’t the greatest story every I think it’s doing exactly what Marvel wanted it to do. It’s a very pulp kinda book with Wolverine finding himself in the Savage Land. So obviously there’s dinosaurs and cavemen and half naked women to go along with it. If one or more of those things sounds good to you, give the book a shot.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10


Venom #30
Finally Venom’s first story in Philly got better! Shame it was the end of this opening arc. The whole issue was flash recalling the fight with the Ufoes after he blacked out. Well not really recalling, but talking about it while we got to see the Symboite or Demon take over and kick some ass. The final pages with Flash up on the roof were probably the best and really drove home what this guy is going through. This is the first time in a number of issues that I’m geuninly excited to see what comes next for Flash.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10


GrimmFairyTales81 Grimm Fairy Tales #81
Zenescope’s books are generally pretty fun to read and have interesting stories. I’ve never actually gotten into their flagship book Grimm Fairy Tales though. I have read the last few issues and they were interesting enough even if I don’t really know what’s happening. Issue 81 just felt to easy and predictable, it wasn’t bad it just wasn’t as good as everything else. It was pretty easy from the beginning to see where it was going, and on top of that being the last issue in a story arc isn’t really new reader friendly. If you’re not really concerned about the outcome I would wait till next issue.

Verdict: Leave It – Wait for next issue

Score: 6/10



talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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