Take It Or Leave It – March 13, 2013


Welcome to Take It Or Leave It, 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.

This week’s Take It Or Leave It has a whole lot of emotion and a certain book will probably make you cry! But besides that there were a lot of solid releases and event 3 books to feature Wolverine in the title (though we only talk about 2). So now quit reading this and get onto the good stuff!

Alphabetical by Publisher

DC Comics | IDW Publishing
Image Comics | Marvel Comics | Valiant Entertainment | Zenescope Entertainment


Batgirl #18

Creators: Fawkes – Sampere – Hunter
This last two issue by Ray Fawkes have really been great. Barbara’s brother, James Jr. is one of the creepiest most fulfilling villains she’s had to face in the New 52. While The Joker was a serious threat and one that had previous left Barbara in a terrible place, nothing can trump a brother who is out of his mind, knows your secret, and wants you dead. The narration from James is one of the standout points of the story, he’s got this strange mixture of hatred and admiration for his big sister. He talks about her triumphs as if he’s proud, but you know he really just wants her to suffer, and he wants to be the catalyst. The biggest problem here is the lack of emotion regarding Robin, I know it wouldn’t have made much sense to spend half the book with her crying in the corner. This story was already underway, but why did they do the cover if they were only going to have 2 pages talking about it and really no emotional realization. That’s been the problem with the Bat-Family book since the death of Damian, they promote an emotional response in the covers, but there isn’t any in the books. I’m not holding that against Batgirl #18, it’s just a little disappointing. Hopefully that talk that she tries to have with Dick Grayson occurs and we get a little bit of payoff here. That however is going to have to wait as James Jr. has some other serious plans for Barbara and she’s not going to have time to chat with anyone till that’s taken care of.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Batman #18

Creators: Snyder – Kubert – Hope
Scott Snyder continues to rock the hell out of Batman, things are a little different this issue though. Much like after the Night of Owls Greg Capullo is taking an issue off so we’re treated to a guest appearance by Andy Kubert. Obviously this is not a problem, Kubert is a great artist and he really does justice to the pain and torment Batman deals with through this book. Batman #18 has so far been the second best book to deal with the outcome of Batman Incorporated #8. The funny thing about it though, the main character of the book had no ties to Robin. This issue brings us back to the character Harper Row, remember the girl who saved Batman during the Court of Owls problem, she was the star of issue 12 as well. Anyway she’s back, and since she helped Batman out she’s been training and going out on patrol following and watching the Dark Knight. That’s really what drives this book, her desire to help Batman, a figure that is more than any one person in her mind. And it’s because we’re seeing it through her eye’s that we really get to see the pain Bruce is going through, the anger that’s pushing him after losing yet another Robin and one with so much more connection to him than ever before. Part of me wants Harper to keep showing up, she’s a great dynamic to add to the book, but I’m nervous that they’ll try and fit her into the role of Robin as they’ve done in the past. Batman needs a Robin, we all know that, but after what just happened doing anything now would just be too soon.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 9/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Batman and Robin #18

Creators: Tomasi – Gleason – Gray
It’s rare to have any entertainment format go silent, but every so often we’ll get a comic book or TV show that forgoes any dialogue to have the story be completely visually. It doesn’t always work out though, sometimes the really emotion that they think will be displayed better visually then through words falls a little flat. Good thing that doesn’t happen here because holy crap was this amazing. By far the best Batman book out this week, hell it was the best book out this week period, probably even this month. Tomasi and Gleason deliver us a sad, grief stricken, and angry Batman in this book. From the opening pages you’ll find yourself holding back tears as you go through the emotions with Batman. Everything about this issue is sad, Alfred looking at the unfinished family portrait, with only Damian left undone, Titus the dog waiting for an owner that will never return, and Bruce not only losing another Robin but a son he had only just started to connect with. And all of this done without a word, or thought, or any words at all, until the final pages where we don’t just get any old dialogue but a letter written by Damian before leaving to help his father confront Leviathan, a battle he thought he’d return from, but knew he wouldn’t be able to express his feelings so he wrote them down. There were so many powerful scene’s in this book describing them couldn’t even begin to give them justice. The most powerful part of it all is that even recalling it to write this is making me pretty damn depressed. If only the other Bat-Family books could have had this kind of emotional impact.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 10/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Deathstroke #18

Creators: Jordan – Salazar – Hanna – Gorder
Deathstroke seems like an interesting enough character, a genetically enhanced assassin? Sure why not. Unfortunately the book just wasn’t all that interesting. The fight would have been awesome in a movie or on TV but it just didn’t translate well to the page. This was my first experience with Deathstroke outside of what I’ve seen on the show Arrow, and frankly I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I just picked up a bad issue, or at the wrong time, after all it’s definitely in the middle of something. There were a few cool parts at least, I liked the idea of them fighting on the side of the building even if it didn’t really feel as dangerous as it should have. There isn’t a whole lot else to say about Deathstroke #18 except it’s not really worth reading, maybe next month!

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 5/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Green Lantern Corps #18

Creators: Tomasi – Chriscross- Hanna
Tomasi completely rocked on Batman and Robin this week, so I figured why not how another book with his name was doing. Green Lantern Corps, like the other Lantern books is in the middle of the ‘Wrath of the First Lantern” story right now, and that whole thing has been confusing and kind of disappointing. But when a writer is good, they can turn even the most tedious of crossovers into something interesting. Tomasi manages to pull that off, at least a bit. Green Lantern Crops 18 isn’t the most exciting or thrilling comic, but it’s got some great character stuff going on with John Stewart. Not being a big Green Lantern reader I’m not familiar with Stewart’s history so this was an interesting read for me. The whole book is the First Lantern forcing John to see all the different possibilities his life could have went on, like a really screwed up Christmas Carol. It wasn’t totally original, but it was at least cool to see how different things could have gone in the various timelines that could have been.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Katana #2

Creators: Ann Nocenti – Alex Sanchez – Claude St. Aubin
So a Japanese ninja girl with a crazy magic sword is fighting a bunch of other sword wielding ninja’s. What the hell isn’t to love about that? Well a lot when it’s not very good. . . To be honest this is the first I’ve really seen of Katana, and it’s pretty disappointing. There isn’t much action, and when there is the artwork just doesn’t showcase how awesome it could be. On top of that the character is pretty boring, maybe that’s suppose to be the endearing part, or perhaps not reading anything prior I’m getting it all out of context, but regardless it doesn’t make for a good new reader. If you were hoping for an awesome book full of kung-fu fighting go look somewhere else, Katana just doesn’t deliver.

Verdict: Leave It

Score: 3/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Ghostbusters #2

Creators: Burnham – Schoening – Delgado
The Ghostbuster comic is a lot like the other IDW title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They took a beloved ’80s property and brought it back to a generation that grew up on it. I read the first 8 or so issues of the first volume of Ghostbusters and it was actually really good and I enjoyed it I just kinda fell off the wagon with it. So when I heard that they were rebooting it with after the guys vanished I thought why not get back on board and I’m glad I did. This issue continues where the last one left off, Janine Melnitz, the Ghostbusters former receptionist, has put together a new group of Ghostbusters, mostly ladies this time around. The teams rounded out by FBI Agent Melanie Ortiz, Ray’s bookstore manager Kylie Griffin, and some dude named Ron Alexander who’s there new tech guy. While it’s really nothing like it this book is reminding me of the old Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon, it’s familiar story and setting with a mostly new cast. So far it’s really just getting set up, with NYC pretty much taking control over the new Ghostbusters and giving them the ultimatum of do it our way or go to jail. It’s pretty good though, and they have just the right amount of mystery going on with the original Ghostbusters being trapped, we see them occasionally but not much of the issue is spent on them. If you’re looking for a fun comic, and have soft spot for the ’80s this book is perfect for you.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


The Darkness #111

Creators: Hine – Haun – Rauch
The Progeny story continues here in The Darkness #111, focusing on the home of Jackie Estacado and his formerly dead wife and his daughter from another woman that was magically manipulated to actually be his wife’s daughter. Holy crap that’s insane just saying it! It’s story like that, which really draw you to see what the hell is going on with this crazy world. The issue features a lot of Tom Judge from Artifacts as he’s on his mission to try and fix the world that Jackie recreated. Judge along with his ally Tilly make their way to Estacado’s home to confront him and end up finding his mentally unstable wife Jenny and their daughter I spoke of before Hope. We also get a glimpse at just how powerful Hope is. If you’ve been following the Progeny story then you’ll definitely want to continue on with this issue of the Darkness, it sets up the next part which will happen in Artifacts 26 and you don’t want to be confused anymore than you already are.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Hoax Hunters #8

Creators: Moreci – Seeley – Medellin
This issue wraps up the Hauncheyville Gnome arch from the last few months. I’ve gotta say though it wasn’t nearly as good as the last 2 books. It may have just been because it starts after everything is said and done. I thought last month had a great cliffhanger and we start this book pretty much seeing how it turned out already. Sure we didn’t really know what happened yet, but a lot could be inferred by the opening. There just wasn’t a lot of closure, sure we see what the outcome was and get a little light shed on some things, but overall it felt kinda rushed. It wasn’t a bad issue compared to a lot of other books out there, it just didn’t grip me as much as the last two. On the brightside there was some interesting information about a few characters and the next arc should be pretty good! We also got the news last week that issue 9 will have 2 POV’s for the story so that’s something to look forward to.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Age of Ultron #2

Creators: Bendis – Hitch – Neary – Mounts
Bendis and Hitch continue to deliver the most exciting event comic in recently memory, and so far it doesn’t feel like an event at all. There wasn’t all that build up and prologue issues scattered throughout the Marvel U. We got thrown right into the desperate struggle our heroes have against the nearly unstoppable Ultron. With two issue in we still have no idea what happened, or how things got this bad. The few heroes left are scattered and in hiding. We find out Black Widow and Moon Knight are alive in San Francisco while our group from the first issue is still hiding out in tunnels under Central Park. Hopefully this series can stay solid even with Tie-In’s set to start releasing next week. It’s exciting not knowing the who’s, what’s, when’s, or how’s of what went wrong and if anyone can keep a story going it’s Bendis.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Fantastic Four #5

Creators: Fraction – Bagley – Farmer – Mounts
Fantastic Four continues to be a fun read, completely outside of the usual super hero drama. This month Marvel’s First Family heads into the past and has a meetup with Julius Caesar just before his assassination. Well, Johnny, Ben, and the kids do, Sue and Reed stay on the ship and discuss Reed’s issues and why he wanted to take this little family vacation. The Caesar stuff is actually a lot of fun and I love the way he refers to our heroes. And the FF aren’t the only time travels hanging around in Rome, adding a little more mystery to the events. As much as I’ve enjoyed this book so far I’m hesitant each month, but if Fraction, Bagley, and the rest of the team keep delivering stories like this, that apprehension won’t be around much longer.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Secret Avengers #2

Creators: Spencer – Ross – Wilson
Spencer continues to write the only Avengers title worth reading at the moment. Where Avengers and New Avengers fail, Secret Avengers seems to be shining. We’re still in the early stages of team building, and this issue focuses a lot on what looks to be the main enemy of the series so far, A.I.M. Nick Fury Jr. has some fun scenes with the mercenary Taskmaster, who if you read Battle Scars will remember tried to capture Nick back when he was called Marcus. If you didn’t read Battle Scars then I just confused you and I’m sorry. Anyway, we find out about a few new members of the team here, and what the major threat is. Spencer is great at the long form story stuff and keeping the reader totally in the dark, but his twists and turns are always well worth the wait

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Ultimate Comics Wolverine #1

Creators: Bunn – Messina – Erskine – Taraglia
Wolverine in the main Marvel Universe is pretty awesome, but he’s in almost every book you open. Ultimate Wolverine was just as awesome, but he’s been gone since Ultimatum. That’s one of the best and worst parts of the Ultimate books, if a character dies, they’re dead. We haven’t been completely without a rapidly healing snikting hero though as Ultimate Comics X-Men has been featuring the son Wolverines never got to know, Jimmy Hudson since it started. That’s really a driving force in this first issue, Jimmy is shown to listen over and over to the hologram recording Wolverine left him before he died, the one Kitty Pryde delivered way back in Ultimate X #1. We’re also gifted a visit to the past and get to see Wolverine proper in action something that’s long been missing from Ultimate Comics. Not a lot of explained in this issue, but it’s got a kind of feeling and scope to it that promises to give both old fans and new fans of the Ultimate comics something to get excited for, and just wait for the final reveal at the end!

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By:


Ultimate Comics X-Men #24

Creators: Wood – Asrar – Vlasco – Bellaire
For a superhero comic without any superhero-ing going on this book is amazing. Really for any book at all this is pretty great. There’s so much character drama along with the growth and development that you rarely really miss the big battles and super villain attacks. I do miss Carlo Barberi’s art. Asrar’s is good, but some of the characters just don’t look quote right. Like Kitty for instance I’ve grown so use to her look that this new artists rendition just doesn’t look right. That’s a pretty minor complaint though on a book this good, we get to find out so much about the world these young mutants have created much more so than recent issues with all the Tony Stark stuff going on. And I have to say I really hate Nomi and her group, which basically means Wood is doing his job with creating an antagonist to Kitty’s group. On top of everything the bits and pieces we get of Karen Grant just keep adding more and more mystery to the series and I can’t wait till we finally have some kind of meeting or confrontation between the two groups of mutants.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Uncanny X-Men #3

Creators: Bendis – Bachalo – Townsend
I’m really starting to hate Uncanny X-Men, and not because it’s bad. Quite the opposite, it’s great. The problem is I’m siding more and more with Cyclops and I hate it. Throughout AvX and even following it Scott Summers came off as a douche, like he is, but now he’s making sense. It’s now the Avengers that are being the instigators and the jerks and while he’s a criminal it really isn’t entirely his fault. This book just keeps changing things up and messing with character dynamics, but in a good way that makes it more compelling with each issue. This is one of those few books that I wish would ship more frequently just because it’s so good.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Wolverine #1

Creators: Cornell – Davis – Farmer – Hollingsworth
Wolverine has another book on the stands. I don’t know how this guy has the time for all this stuff. Wolverine is a great character, and I’m generally a fan. But I think there’s just a few too many books with him in it right now. Sure he’s the best there is at what he does, but that doesn’t mean he has to do it everywhere. The problem with Wolverine books is they’re either hit or miss. Wolverine and the X-Men is great, Savage Wolverine on the other hand is pretty much lacking in everything except the art. This new self titled series is falling somewhere in the middle with its first issue. It didn’t blow me away, but I was at least intrigued by what was going on. I can’t say this will be a buy every month, and I don’t think anyone should add it do their pull list just yet, but if next issue doesn’t do something exciting it’ll definitely be a leaver. For now I’m going to take the ride though and see where Logan takes me.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 6/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Archer and Armstrong #8

Creators: Van Lente – Lupacchino
If you remember, back in August in just our third ever Take It Or Leave It we talked about Archer and Armstrong #1. Now it’s 8 issue in and even though I liked it I pretty much forgot all about it. Not anymore though, Archer and Armstrong has regularly been getting great reviews from all over the place so why not give it another read right. Luckily having read the first issue I had an idea about the characters, and the handy recap on the first page is helpful. I have to say this was a really interesting book and I’m actually a little mad at myself for not continuing with it back when I read issue 1. There’s so much back story and character development going on. Valiant really has some great titles on the market right now and Archer and Armstrong is certainly one of them.

Verdict: Take It

Score: 7/10

Reviewed By: Chris


Grimm Fairy Tales St. Patrick’s Day Special

Creators: Shand – Costa – Gaston
The Grimm Fairy Tales St. Patrick’s Day Special follows the tried and true 3 stories method. Where in the course of the issue we’re presented with three different stories that all have a common denominator. And being St. Patty’s day it all takes place in a bar. Oh there’s also a leprechaun and some gold too. If you’re a fan of the on-going Zenescope stuff this, like other holiday specials is kind of out to the side. It’s just entertainment really. The over arching story is about Sela having a ‘girls night’, but ends up listening to the problems of some bar patrons. And boy do those patrons have some series problems. There’s even a moral to the story, which is basically don’t be a greedy jerk, and I’d have to agree with that. If you grew up watching stuff like Tales from the Crypt, or Are You Afraid of the Dark this book is probably perfect for you. Even if you didn’t it’s a fun read and what else do you have to do?

Verdict: Take It

Score: 8/10

Reviewed By: Chris


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

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