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Prattling Panels: 6/23/14

Sorry for the extreme lateness of this post, I been busy with life.

ANNOUNCEMENT! July there will be no weekly reviews, July and August will be a shake up of things as Prattling Panels in July will be a look back at the whole month of comics July offered and August will be a video series! Get ready for that people! Hope you’re excited! Anyway, here’s our comics reviews!

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Wolverine and the X-Men #5
Written by Jason Latour; Drawn by Mahmud Asrar and Matteo Lolli

I think I might just read this in trades now. At least until the first arc is done because I’m just not feeling the same excitement month to month I got from Wolverine and the X-Men than when Jason Aaron. Latour is having fun with the previous concepts but its not working at the pace its going for me. Its good, just I think works better as periodic trade read. That said the writing here is still good, mostly the Quentin, Evan, and Wolverine stuff. Ever Doop riding a motorcycle which is amazing! Asrar is joined by Lolli on art and its still pretty damn good and entertaining stuff to look at. Honestly, this book is losing me so I’ll trade this one when its done as I said. Shame. I had hopes for this one. 2.5/5

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Green Lantern: New Guardians #32
Written by Justin Jordan; Drawn by Brad Walker

Justin Jordan seems to be taken a horror movie feel with some the aspects of this new arc on GL:NG with the opening and how that plays out even later on in the issue. Kyle’s mostly absent from the issue which gives us time to focus on the Guardians. Honestly for a while, I found the Guardians the worst. They are just awful at their goddamn job in protecting the universe. I think what’s happened to them recently and having made them more proactive has genuinely made me warm up to them a bit as some of them have become full fleshed out, realized, and almost human like characters. Its really remarkable how one writer was able to just flip the switch on that. Though overall, they have still made some the worst decisions imaginable. Back to the issue itself, its a real testament to how this is the best book in the GL books. Also Brad Walker’s facial work is top notch. Fantastic work and overall, his art style fits here perfectly with a darker. more moody feel the issue gave off. I imagine that’s how it’ll be for the remainder of the arc. Hopefully that’s the case. 4/5

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Magnus: Robot Hunter #4
Written by Fred Van Lente; Drawn by Cory Smith

First arc comes to an end as we get set up for what’s to come with an enemy known as the Swarm that devours metal. Which makes things complicated for our heroes. the issue has more interest into the way the future works and even has a nice set up twist for what’s to come. Magnus is intertwining sci-fi adventure, buddy cop humor, and big action very well. Fred Van Lente has some true wonder and care for this character and its world. The book is proving to be an excellent read. Cory Smith’s art is a highlight too with how well paced everything is. 4/5

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Elektra #3
Written by W. Hayden Blackman; Drawn by Michael Del Mundo

Ah how this book is slowly climbing the ranks at Marvel. Elektra is a surprisingly heartfelt person for someone as ruthless as her. Her continued search brings up a lot of her past as well as her client’s past. Bloody Lips has become something of a match for Elektra as well anyone she’s faced off against. Blackman, for as much as he really gets Elektra, he’s really gotten to do Bloody Lips well as a out there psychopath who Elektra might be the only one to stop him. The writing is truly steeped in the characters and the actions they take. The big fight is excellent and that’s also in part thanks to the amazing art of Michael Del Mundo who kills it again here with his pencils that are just a thing a beauty. Elektra has lived up to all expectations I had about it ever since it was announced. I’m loving this! 4.5/5

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Batwoman #32
Written by Marc Andreyko; Drawn by Jeremy Haun

Batwoman is and remains one the best books of DC in recent memory. Its honestly felt like a creator owned type title that began with Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III and then with Williams and W. Hayden Blackman with their run. Kate Kane was an existing character but she was given a whole new life and voice since elegy. I have loved this character since then. Its been amazing. Batwoman is certainly, a welcomed title. Also how many other comics have redheaded ass-kicking Jewish lesbian superheroes? NONE I TELL, YA! Oh right the issue itself. Well we’re off to new arc territory with Nocturna Night-Thief entering the picture, as well as newly christened Killshot.

Oh yeah and Kate is dealing with her issues with Maggie, her custody case, and runs into her ex when out with cousin Bette, and gets an update from her dad on her sister, and I might be seeing a problem with the book here.

The book does great character work making everyone fully realized, fleshed out, and memorable, but there might be a bit of an influx of characters here. I hope this doesn’t become a problem as one the main strengths of tis book over the past few years is its strong character work. But as for the characters themselves, Kate is still amazing, Nocturna is making for an interesting foe for Kate to clash with, and Kate’s ex, who I believe is the one she was dismissed from the Navy for in Elegy. I might have to re-read it again to make sure, or just that chapter. Or hey the book. I just really love Elegy alright? Its so good!

Jeremy Haun’s artwork is still good work here and works well with Marc Andreyko’s writing, which again, very character based in its plot, beats, and motivation. Its really good work here. I think Kate’s personal and personal life will soon intersect again, but hopefully it won’t be a convoluted mess because, I really don’t wanna drop this book. 3.5/5

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #4
Written by Christos Gage and Nicholas Brendon; Drawn by Rebekah Isaacs

Dracula and Xander are back at it again for their reunion tour as they start to begin rewriting the book, literally and hey guess what, goes tits up at the end. Again, having Brendon join the writing staff truly does give Xander more of a voice, not that there wasn’t one before, but it adds something. I think Brendon might be responsible more for the Xander and Dracula parts, but the conversation between Buffy and Dawn after Dawn goes Heisenberg in yoga pants, as described by Buffy, was the highlight as it shows Dawn is truly breaking and might be ready to give up on Xander, how much he means to her, but she might just have to let go for things to get better. Gage is engaging in that sense of the relationship crossroads where no one has any goddamn idea of what to do when it feels like things are over but you can’t let it go. Isaacs’ art still holds up doing good character work and the action is still really good. Season 10 is off to a strong start right now and hopefully it keeps it up. 4/5

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The Wicked and the Divine #1
Written by Kieron Gillen; Drawn by Jamie McKelvie

Image debuts to me are a must look as again, they are the best in what’s going on with comics right now and when you get the guys from Young Avengers on an Image book, attention peaks.

The book takes a look at the culture of celebrity we seem to idolize in our modern day but with a different angle as to, what if pop stars were literal gods? It is humorous and socially relevant in its execution, but its handled in the utmost legitimacy. There is a true love and respect for pop music here that comes through with Gillen’s writing and McKelvie’s art. They are a dynamite team together, but a new book’s debut is only as strong as its main character who we follow and Laura is okay. She’s not as strongly developed yet, but again this is a first issue, but the real star to me was Luci, this books Lucifer, a pop star as well, which stands to reason, pop star gods, pop star devils and demons.

Of course there will be exposition and well her its kinda clunky with an interview sequence that well does help paint in between the blank spaces of this books canvas. Honestly, this book has a real strong chance to be memorable, if it smooths things out. 4/5

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Batman and Ra’s al Ghul #32
Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Drawn by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray

Hunt for Robin reaches a rather exciting conclusion as Batman finally has a smackdown with father-in-law Ra’s al Ghul. For anyone who has a difficult father-in-law, finally a comic has been made for you! Yes you specifically! Batman, Frankenstein, and their army of snow wookies, I love comics, attempt to stop Ra’s and it makes up for an exciting action sequence that takes up a bulk of the issue but hey is justified with how good a team Gleason and Gray are on the art and the great dialogue Tomasi gives Batman and Ra’s during that just feels classic between them and even reminds me of their first encounter together. Batman is truly off his rocker here and off the hinges given Ra’s has done.

Tomasi really gets these two together, he hits the nails on their heads in the right spots. He even gets Ra’s amazing giving us some sort of justification through what he’s experienced, but we’re still rooting for Batman, no matter how amazing a villain Ra’s is. Hunt for Robin was an exciting little jog but now its time to really get into things with Robing Rises: Omega coming up and how that changes things as Damian’s fate remains very much up for grabs right now. This book is amazing. 4.5/5

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All-New Ultimates #3
Written by Michel Fiffe; Drawn by Amilcar Pinna

All-New Ultimates is progressing better as it goes along. Fiffe is trying to make something truly new out of this but his insistence to make something new is making this feel all too familiar. This book often has some tones of old-school family sitcom and for some situations that can work but other times it seems to feel a little out of place. Miles following Bombshell on a drug but is okay but you know, I’m starting to feel pretty disappointed with this book. Its not living up to some of my expectations right now. The writing feels there then not, but the art is really nice and has a great quality to it, I’ll give it the first arc treatment as well, hopefully it gets better. 2/5

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Henchmen Inc. #1
Written by Tim Simmons: Drawn by Jim McMunn

Obviously we got books about heroes and books about villains, even books about the lives of the people in heroes and villains. Henchmen Inc. takes a look a henchmen, but the concept is fun enough to warrant the pickup. Michael Finch is a two-bit crook who decides to join up with a henchmen hiring service to support his upcoming child, despite the fact the mother wants nothing to do with him. The concept is really fun and entertaining. It opens strong with a nice fake-out and the good script of Simmons with really simplistic type are by McMunn that really helps give this concept book a nice normal feel. He really excels in the expressions. Honestly, this is the first book I have read from Monekybrain Studios and I think this book will continue down the fun road. 4/5

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She-Hulk #5
Written by Charles Soule; Drawn by Ron Wimberly

She-Hulk keeps going strong as one of Marvel’s best as we get to the mystery of that Blue file with She-Hulk interviewing Shocker, Hellcat interviewing Tigra, and Angie going to North Dakota to go investigate things. The blue file seems to do things to people when mentioned and its adding to interest. Now Soule’s writing is still on par here but guest artist Ron Wimberly, I’m just not feeling here. Art is subjective and I’m sure fellow reviews love it but for me, this just didn’t work for me at all in the issue. It was a bit too rough for my taste and I often like some hard, gritty art, but the facial expressions and actions here look way too janky for me . I wasn’t at all a fan. Maybe in a different book the art works perfect there but for this, it doesn’t match. Here’s hoping Javier Pulido is back next issue. 4/5

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X-Men #15
Written by Brian Wood; Drawn by Matteo Buffagni and Phil Briones

Well Future is still set on getting his baby back. He’s full force on attacking the X-Men and its some good stuff. Wood’s run is winding down and what he’s set up is coming together. The characterization of Jubilee is great and really shows off why she’s one the absolute best characters. Buffagni’s art is good, honestly maybe the best of this arc so far, its a real stand out. The Psylocke backup is of course the highlight to me because, Psylocke! Its getting more in depth as to the situation of it and has a nice emotional reasoning to it. X-Men is still worth the pickup. 3.5/5

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The Punisher #7
Written by Nathan Edmondson and Kevin Maurer; Drawn by Carmen Carnero

Well hey its Punisher yet again and so soon. Edmondson is now joined by Kevin Maurer to follow Frank after the event last issue and his travels down to Mexico and how it isn’t exactly a wonderful time for Frank. Edmondson’s writing still excels here but he does have a seasoned war journalist, yeah I did research motherfuckers, in Maurer who helps add a deep sense os urgency, fear, and realism to Frank’s accidental involvement in a situation that has Crossbones involved in things. Though this brings up the big flaw of the issue, what exactly happened with the climax of last issue. That was a pretty big ending to ignore with Electro, AIM, Domino, the Howling Commandos. Hopefully more is made of that.

Another difference here is artist Carmen Carnero who does wonderful work here with the art and makes it a good fit for how real and gritty the story feels. Much different from the style of Gerards, who I like better, but se really fit like a glove here with the writing style and story setup. Nothing feels really out of place here, except for an ending from last issue, but something tells me we’ll get right down that road. 4/5

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Thor: God of Thunder #23
Written by Jason Aaron; Drawn by Esad Ribic

The Last Days of Midgard reaches its conclusion and well only one version of Midgard gets a happy ending, but how its done and executed is handled greatly. The battle of Thor vs. Ulik and the Minotuar and future Galactus are both excitingly badass thanks to yet again, the brilliant pencils of Esad Ribic, which oddly doesn’t have any double page spreads this week. Interesting. Jason Aaron does brilliant work as to why Thor does truly care about Earth so much in both timelines and the lengths he goes to in order to save it. He’s created a brilliant new foe in Dario Agger as well as Agent Roz Solomon becoming a quick fixture into S.H.I.E.L.D. like Coulson was. Both storylines have a heavy sense of emotion to them and leave open an epilogue for the next issue which I’m really looking forward to. 4/5

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Silver Surfer #3
Written by Dan Slott; Drawn by Michael Allred

Dan Slott and Michael Allred are making a memorable cosmic adventure. the follow up on the previous two issues. they get Silver Surfer, not much to explore with the character there, but yet there is. He’s still making atonement for his servitude to Galactus, which even makes for a plot point in this issue.

Slott has made it known his fandom for Doctor Who and these first three issues have felt like a Doctor Who adventure, what with the companion, the time and space travel, and weird, concept aliens and planets. The fact this feels very Doctor Who like that will either bring in fans of the series or drive away diehard Surfer fans. This isn’t strictly about Surfer and his tragic past, this is more about a fin space exploration, finding the infinite possibilities of the universe and what all it has to offer, it does feel fun and out there. Dawn Greenwood is already slowly becoming such a great character, she’s just so fascinating. The status quo is in place and its off the races now that the arc is complete.

Michael and Laura Allred help make this book the fun romp that it is with their vibrant pencils and colors. It gives the book a true identity. Especially the Impericon, which I’m sure was a bitch to help put together. Silver Surfer is among the best in the business right now and I think it’ll remain that way for a while. 5/5

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Daredevil #4
Written by Mark Waid; Drawm by Chris Samnee

Man Mark Waid, you incredible son of a bitch! From page one this kept proving itself as the number one book of Marvel. Waid writes himself again out of a tricky cliffhanger and actually backs it up with just how amazing Matt Murdock is at his job. This is only the fourth issue f the relaunch and man it feels like a beat has not been missed at all since having to rebrand itself. Waid and Samnee having been firing on all cylinders ever since they started working together. The story is resolved nicely with Owl and Shroud and man it seems to leave things open for a return someday but again, the writing here is amazing. Waid’s understanding of Matt is something truly incredible and never makes dialogue feel exposition heavy and Samnee’s enjoyful art makes the book a constant pleasure to look at. Fight scenes are incredible thought out, broken down, and feel so expertly choreographed out. The book just works, its just simply perfect comic book entertainment, superhero or not. Waid continues his story seed planting, and when it all blooms later, man it blooms big. I’m too excited for what comes next. Daredevil is the best comic book being published. 5/5

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Wonder Woman #32
Written by Brian Azzarello; Drawn by Goran Sudžuka

Ah Wonder Woman, one the best things in DC and comics ever, but more so DC right now as this remains next to Batman, DC’s absolute best book. Diana is working her way to the big, final confrontation with the First Born and its excellent build up on all side of the story here, it does feel like all the pieces of Azzarello’s run are coming together for one great big grandiose finale soon. He’s exploring all his characters more deeply here as he usually does to gives us more insights into them, kind of like a love letter really to all he’s helped create. He’s set himself up to me as maybe the definite Wonder Woman writer. Amazons, Gods, humans all alike are featured in the spotlight here. There is set up, but amazing set up with payoff towards the end. Again, everything is coming back into place here for the endgame. Goran’s art here is wonderful. Thanks to his dynamic style but also layouts by Cliff Chiang. They are both incredibly important to this book and Azzarello’s writing. I imagine however this book closes out, its going out with a BANG! 5/5

BOOK OF THE WEEK!
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Sex Criminals #6
Written by Matt Fraction; Drawn by Chip Zdarsky

Sex Criminals returns and takes a radical departure from the usual sexual, wacky hi-jinks that usually come with the book and take an honest, deep, personal look into struggles with depression and mood disorders.

I got depression, big ass load of it. My mood also just radically shits though I have no mood disorder that I know of. Still have depression every now and then and my mood is just this wild animal unto itself. We got insights on both Suzie and John’s past and the concept of time stopping orgasms, but we follow John here and how things just aren’t that good for him. John has brain things and the way Matt Fraction pours what feels so much of himself into how how John’s brain is affected ADHD and other mental factors that make some simple everyday things difficult for him and even how medication doesn’t just simply fix everything or turn people into depressed, zombified drones. ADHD is a bitch I can attest to, I have it as well. It sucks everyday going through all the emotions and not knowing why your brain just wants to fuck with you. Raw emotion like this is seen in the medium ever, mainstream or indie and Fraction just has poignant perfection. Its never easy feeling like this, but if there is just someone who understands us, it makes things easier. It helps the pain go away, even for a little while.

Sorry to have gotten all real on you there. Chip Zdarsky does a good job with emotions here on this getting across how John feels, even colorist Becka Kinzie is perfect here for doing this. They have a certain nuance for this. The book is still fun and enjoyable as all fucking hell though. Suize is charming, the Sex Police are still relevant, and even nice meta humor is there but again its the true raw emotion of John’s story that just struck a personal cord and why its this week’s best book. Why Sex Criminals is amazing. Why I feel happy right now to know someone I admire and respect understands.

All it takes is someone to understand. 5/5

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