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Green Lantern: New Guardians #37 Review

Green Lantern New Guardians #37Green Lantern: New Guardians #37 is an issue that progresses the plot of Godhead a good deal. There are some moments of fun and humor to be found here as well as some heartfelt reunions, but it has the unfortunate side effect of sidelining the main story behind this series for the majority of the issue. It also suffers from some distracting art issues.

Justin Jordan’s time on this title has always been at its best when he’s been allowed to focus on his own stories. Often times, his book starred a well-realized Kyle Rayner easily recognizable by his fans thrust into fantastic sci-fi adventures that you might expect to see in shows like Star Trek. Because this is a Green Lantern book though, there’s been plenty of other times when Jordan has been forced to acquiesce to the larger Lantern-based story being told in the flagship Lantern book. For the past several issues this has been the case as Godhead has made the crossover rounds in this and other Lantern-based books. Here, Kyle and Carol get one brief moment to advance their own story, but this is quickly overshadowed by the events of Godhead. While the Godhead elements work well enough, things advance incredibly quickly and end up feeling a bit as if the scenes are stuck on fast-forward. Additionally, fans not interested in Godhead won’t find much else here.

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Comic Book Reviews for December 17, 2014

The holiday break might be coming up next week but that hasn't stopped all publishers from releasing a ton of high-profile comics before the year closes out.

There was tons of Batman this week with Joker getting deadly serious in the main series and then Batman taking on Darkseid to get back Robin in Batman and Robin #37.

Over at Marvel, we got the penultimate chapter of Avengers & X-Men: Axis, the 100th anniversary issue of Captain Marvel, and the Guardians of the Galaxy taking a trip to the Planet of the Symbiotes.

On the indie scene we got Rumble and Annihilator, but really nothing compares to the debut of Squarriors. It's about squirrel warriors, people!

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Batman and Robin #37 Review

Unless you've somehow managed to avoid the numerous online spoilers, countless print media leaks and any sort of celestial divination (teach me your ways), you're likely not going to be all that surprised by the end of Batman and Robin #37. Damian Wayne's return has been a long time coming, and while the final push to bring him back may not make a whole lot of sense to those fond of the word "logical", issue #37 is nevertheless a complete visceral wonder that'll knock your Bat-caped socks off.

Ever since Batman first BOOM'd his way over to Apokolips, his meeting with Darkseid has been all but inevitable. Batman has a sweet new suit, Darkseid has been healing up; it had to happen. Not only does Peter J. Tomasi recognize this expectation, he goes out of his way to exceed it, crafting a battle of truly epic proportions. There's a certain degree of cheating to this fight of course, Tomasi leaning hard on the golden "I'm Batman" rule to explain how Bruce would even survive such a melee. Even then it's far from an easy battle, Bruce's new threads proving only just enough to match the juggernaut, not enough to win. Of course, there are different types of winning, and by issues end all of the pain and sacrifice comes to truly stirring fruition.

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Guardians of the Galaxy #22 Review

DIG032609_2Guardians of the Galaxy’s Planet of the Symbiotes arc continues sans any additional planets or symbiotes, Brian Michael Bendis instead focusing his narrative energies on furthering the book’s rampant action. While the various bouts of symbiotic hot potato lead to one of the more amusing and visually arresting issues of late, it also feels a bit empty when all is said and done.

Save for a brief bit of curious politicking, issue #22 revolves almost entirely around the Guardian’s attempt to corral the elusive Venom. Part of the fun of the character has always been seeing him take new hosts, willingly or otherwise, and Bendis plays off said expectation well, mixing madcap action with the usual splash of off-key humor. It’s a fun setup to be sure, but it’s one that quickly grows tired, as Venom’s constant body hopping leads to zero narrative progression. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but when considering the book’s pre-existing problems with pacing, this issue feels especially aimless.

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Captain Marvel #10 Review

detailIn celebration of Captain Marvel’s 100th solo issue, Kelly Sue DeConnick takes her foot off the narrative gas in lieu of a character driven two-shot told through the lens of Carol’s most trusted compatriots. The result is a humorous and at times heart-warming installment that exemplifies the best traits and greatest strengths Captain Marvel has to offer, in turn showcasing the enduring legacy of a perennial fan favorite.

Told in three separate but conjoining chapters, issue #10 follows the exploits of Carol’s friends on the ground as they work to apprehend the recently escaped Grace Valentine. The villain’s inclusion is more out of plot necessity than anything else, and in true homage fashion the issue features very little of Carol herself, instead focusing on how she shapes and inspires those around her. Whether it’s Kit learning the power of teamwork, Jessica Drew understanding the meaning of compassion or James Rhodes showing true, unquestioning selflessness, DeConnick is able to articulate the level of impact Carol’s presence has had on their respective lives.

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Squarriors #1 Review

4270227-01Based solely on the title of this series, you might expect some sort of goofy, Ninja Turtles-style tale about woodland creatures battling it out. But while there's warfare aplenty in Squarriors #1, this is a deadly serious comic. Emphasis on "deadly." The tone is much more in line with something like Mouse Guard, with a dash of post-apocalyptic drama thrown in for good measure. It's the kind of comic that wouldn't be terribly remarkable if it featured human tribes fighting for survival, but casting woodland critters in the lead roles elevates the book.

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Wonder Woman #37 Review

Wonder_Woman_Vol_4-37_Cover-1_TeaserIt's always depressing to see a beloved ongoing series decline this hard and this quickly. Wonder Woman retains little of the charm, freshness, and excitement it had for the first three years of the New 52. It's not even as if the general direction of the series is bad. Meredith and David Finch move forward from Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's run in a sensible fashion. It's more a case of the execution being faulty.

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The Multiversity: Thunderworld #1 Review

The Multiversity Thunderworld #1The Multiversity is a celebration of DC Comics thrown in the style that only Grant Morrison is capable of. Each issue so far has been a one-shot that’s touched on different corners, characters, and chronologies of the DCU. While each issue has been effective in there own way, none have been quite as successful or even as celebratory as Thunderworld #1. The issue filled with incredible levels of fun, excitement, and above all an absolute love of the characters depicted on every page.

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