Thursday, November 24, 2011

Reviews for Aquaman #3, Fantastic Four #600, and a lot more!

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving.  Was a good week for comic books, with Fantastic Four #600 taking up the majority of my reading day.  Also saw the Muppets, so that took up a few hours.  But lets get on with the reviews shall we?  I'm going to try a new thing where I don't' give recaps, as most of the people reading this have already read the comics.  If it's something you want back, let me know and they shall come back.

Marvel Comics
Alpha Flight #6:  We are getting dangerously close to issue #8, and the end to the current Alpha Flight volume. At least Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente are going out in style.

Pak and Ven Lente use #6 as the transition in the series.  The last of the plot pieces are being put into place.  The tone of the book really feels like these two know what they are doing and giving the reader a breath of fresh air before the big two issue climactic finale.  They give the issue their patented sense of humor, without it ever feeling forced.  The highlight of the issue has to be the retelling of Master of the World's back story.  As someone who had never read an Alpha Flight book before this, it worked without bogging down the book.  The best part of this guy though is that he is actually trying to make the world better.  And these are the best type of villains.  He isn't as fleshed out as someone like Magneto, but it overall makes the conflict that much more interesting.  Having Wolverine appear this late in the series works more as it seems natural.  If he had appeared during the Fear Itself crossover, I would have cried foul, but this is much better.

Dale Eaglesham pencils one of his best issues since his days on Fantastic Four.  The characters all look different are expressive to the point that makes me wonder "how the hell did Eaglesham get that facial expression?"  But what I have loved most about his work on Alpha Flight is that he hasn't missed a deadline.  I remember he needed lots of fill in work while on Fantastic Four, but he has been great month in and month out here.

Alpha Flight #6 gets 4/5.

Marvel Comics
Astonishing X-Men #44:  I picked this up on a whim, and I'm very happy I did.  I haven't actually read Astonishing X-Men since Joss Whedon left the title.

With his run on Incredible Hulks over, and Herc and Alpha Flight ending in a matter of months (or weeks in Herc's case), it's great to see Greg Pak continue to write.  #44 is a great example of what Pak can do; a great plot without sacrificing characterization.  He picks up readers who didn't read Schism fast, and it never bogs down the plot.  In fact, he uses the recap panels as a jumping off point for some perfect dialogue for Emma.  It's incredible talent.  The plot is very interesting, and like Astonishing has always prided itself on doing, is very continuity light.  Pak dangles the carrot in front of us hard and makes us want to come back for next month.  Not sure if the Storm angle was a great one, as she is already appearing in Avengers and doesn't look anything like this.  It's a small grip in a great issue.

Mike McKone keeps up his fantastic work here.  The characters are expressive and the action looks great.  The reader is really sold on the idea of Cyclops using his optical blasts for balance from the way McKone pencils them.  Muck like on his time on Amazing Spider-Man, his characters can lose body shape when the action hits.  Emma looks sickly thin, but again, it's a small gripe.

Astonishing X-Men #44 gets 4/5.

DC Comics
Aquaman #3:  Geoff Johns continues his fantastic run on Aquaman, and slows down the plot to give the reader some info.

I have never read Aquaman before this volume.  I started picking up the series when the reboot hit because of Johns great work during Blackest Night and Brightest Day.  Johns keeps up the tone of Arthur being a certified bad ass, and the same with Mera, while giving the Trench monsters a motive.  The reader had the idea that all they wanted was food, but finding where they came from and how they work works well.  Johns gives us a quick background of Mr. Shin, and to an inexperienced Aquaman reader like myself, it's welcomed.  In the space of a few sentences we get who he is, what he is like, and why Arthur doesn't like him.  That's it, and I could tell you everything about the guy.  That's how amazing of a writer Johns is.

Ivan Reis' art is his usual phenomenal stuff.  The painted like scenes work well in the beginning, and look great when juxtaposed to the harsh pencils of the fight.  A complaint I had about Blackest Night was that it was hard to tell who was who in a fight some times.  Not a problem here.  I could pick out every character in the big fight scene without a second of hesitation. Much like Johns and his great recap of Mr. Shin, Reis does a great job as well.  The few panels where we see his house work well to give us a great feel of who the character is and what he is about.

Aquaman #3 gets 4.5/5.

Marvel Comics
Fantastic Four #600:  With any anniversary issue, it's always a chore.  It takes hours to read and every story needs to do something to keep me from putting the issue down after the main story line.  Thankfully Fantastic Four #600 does this for the most part. SPOILER WARNING.

Seriously, you have been warned.

Jonathan Hickman writes every story in this issue, and every story actually affects the overall plot of FF and Fantastic Four.  But much like FF, the main story has the problem of not characterizing anything that well. It's quick scene to quick scene.  Granted Hickman brings together a lot of plots that have been boiling for a while, and in a way that makes long time readers very very happy.  I thinks it good that we have two Fantastic Four books now, as it will calm down the books and give more panels to certain characters.  Johnny Storm's story is easily the best.  Hickman has a great handle on why Johnny his a great hero and how he can do great things when put into the right situation.  His story will also satisfy many Cosmic Marvel fans.  It was only a matter of time before Annihilus' story came to fruition in some way.  Black Bolt finally get some time to talk since his resurrection.  Not much happens, but more is teased.  The Galactus storyline is very ominous, and teases more that 2012 is going to be a massive year for Marvel.  I liked that Hickman tied the short story into Matt Fraction's The Mighty Thor.  The quick story about Franklin was nice and light hearted, even though it will no doubt be an emotionally charged story in later issues.  

Art on each story works rather well.  Steve Epting's pencils look great, but the real star of this issue is Carmine Di Giandomenico.  His pencils look great and suit the Cosmic Marvel setting really well.  Maybe he should pencil a new volume of Nova?  Leinel Francis Yu's pencils are more refunded than usual, as some points of Superior were a little untamed for my tastes.  It reminds me of his Secret Invasion work.  

As much as I'm glad there are going to be two Fantastic Four books, I'm not sure if this is a great idea.  I was only reading FF because I wanted to see more of Reed, Susan, and Ben.  I'll only be following FF because I have a Marvel subscription to it (which I shall rant about soon in a blog post, as they treat their loyal fans like utter shit) that still has around six issues left.  It will be interesting to see if FF stays around after Hickman leaves the series.

I reread the book, and the main story didn't click with me as well as the first time.  Reread it again to make sure.  The book loses a .5 on the score.

Fantastic Four #600 gets 3.5/5.

DC Comics
The Flash #3:  Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato continue their perfect characterization of the Flash while giving both new and old readers something new.

It always amazes me when writers jump onto a book and think up some way to use an old heroes powers.  It's usually something so simple that no one every thought of it in the first place.  That's what Manapul and Buccellato do here in The Flash #3.  Using Barry's ability to vibrate in an insane way with the did no one think of this before?  These two first time writers are doing amazing work characterizing everyone, having a few plot lines going, and not missing a step.  It's fantastic work. The cliffhanger isn't anything special, as I know nothing happened to Barry.  It's his comic and we are three issues in, of course he's fine.  The two are giving readers a great amount of reasons to like Patty as Barry's new girlfriend.  I love Iris and all, but it's nice to see someone else be Barry's squeeze.

The art is the real shining light of The Flash.  Making Barry slow down time really gives the small panels a bullet time affect.  The opening double page with a film reel type layout looks fantastic.  Really, every layout on every page looks fantastic.  Even pages with just people talking look great.  I could stare at any issue of this series forever.  Oooooooooooo preeeeeeeeatty.

The Flash #3 gets 4.5/5.

Marvel Comics
Secret Avengers #19:  Warren Ellis' run on Secret Avengers is almost over, and I'm sad to see it start to be winding down.  But #19 doesn't wind down and keeps up the high action espionage.

Ellis' idea about having "super soldiers by possession" is a great idea, but doesn't work 100% here.  I would have liked the idea more if the end of the issue wasn't a big exposition dump to explain everything.  The best ideas in comics are simple ones, and Ellis is a great writer.  We didn't need this big convoluted thing near the end.  I was kind of hoping we didn't find out how this stuff worked so that I could make my own assumptions about where the stuff came from.  Everything up to the ending is a lot of fun though.  The plot is very simple, but this work well in Ellis' favor.  Moon Knight works well as a business spy, and his dialogue with the prostitute is great.  Sharon Carter and Black Widow even get a few great lines in there before the end of the issue. This still feels like an issue of Planetary, but set in the Marvel Universe.

Michael lark's pencils have really been refined since his days on Daredevil.  The action works better, and the possession scenes look fantastic.  His business version of Moon Knight's costume looks great, and I hope that Alex Maleev (the artist on Moon Knight) uses this costume more in Moonie's book.   The big city views are very detailed and don't look as photo referenced as his work can some times.

Secret Avengers #19 gets 3.5/5.

Marvel Comics
Wolverine and the X-Men #2:  Jason Aaron delivers another fun issue that really feels like something the X-Men franchise hasn't seen in a while.

Aaron's big thing for this issue is showing that Bobby Drake isn't the pushover that he can seem like sometimes.  It works well, and also shows us that really anything can happen in this book going forward.  Aaron  makes this issue one massive fight, but he peppers in some great characterization, more than just Bobby.  Lockheed even gets a little moment.  The new pint size Hellfire Club are a dastardly bunch, and they are portrayed as villains we want to see more.  Just for the fact that they are so much fun to read.  They want to kill penguins with a hammer....of course they are great villains.  The kiss between Bobby and Kitty is an interesting story line that I didn't see coming, and I'm looking forward to greatly.  Kudos to Aaron for bringing readers up to speed on who Krakoa is.  I had no clue before this issue.

Chris Bachalo's art is all over the place.  And that's a compliment.  The panels are hectic, much like the fight.  But for some reason the panels never feel cramped.  The talking head panels between characters like Idie and Brood are quiet, even though there is so much chaos going on around them.  It reminds me of a big action movie sometimes.

In the wake of Schism, Wolverine and the X-Men is going to be the X-book to watch.

Wolverine and the X-Men #2 gets 5/5.

Old Comics
FF #11 gets 3.5/5.

That's it folks!  See you next week when we have books like T.H.U.N.D.R. Agents starting back up again.  Hopefully there will be lots of TPB deals on Amazing this Black Friday.

That's it folks.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DC Crushes Marvel in Sales for October

For the first time in years, DC has won the monthly sales percentage (according to Diamond Publishing).  It's amazing how two months in, and the nuDC is doing amazing.  But we need to look to the future, and what does this mean for DC and Marvel?

The full results can bee seen here

Wonder Woman #2 was one of the better selling comics (DC Comics)

On the plus side for all of comicdom, seven tittles sold over 100,000 copies.  That hasn't happened in a long time.  It paints a picture of a slightly brighter future, as more people are putting their money into market.  Justice League #2 was the highest selling comic, followed by Batman, Action Comics, Green Lantern, and The Flash to round out the top five.  The top selling comic for Marvel was The Incredible Hulk #1, which also sold over 100,000 copies.  Wolverine & the X-Men #1 was the other top selling comic for Marvel (although it didn't sell 100,000 copies).

Marvel has already responded by canceling numerous books.  Besides the already announced Alpha Flight, Herc, and Iron Man 2.0, Marvel recently cancelled X-23.  Looking at the sales, it was barely above the death line for Marvel (around 23,000 copies).  They have also cancelled numerous miniseries, including Victor Von Doom, the Nick Spencer miniseries many were looking forward too.  The things bout these series was that none of these series had even been released yet.  Many had already had a few issues penciled, inked, and colored.

DC has really put a shot of adrenaline into the market.  As much as DC took a lot of money away, they seem to be bringing attention to the medium.  As noted in the Comic Book Resources article, October saw an increase in over one million issues compared to October 2010.  And as DC starts to bring in new ongoings and miniseries, they will no doubt bring more eyes to the market.  Especially the six issue miniseries T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents coming up soon.

Marvel was in dire need of a slap in the face creatively wise.  Many of their main books are doing great, but the always heavy flow of miniseries was starting to drag down sales a bit for the house of ideas.  It's sad to see some great series have to be the example that needed to be made, but it had to happen.  Canceling X-23 probably wasn't a good idea, as the fan outcry hasn't been ideal.  The renewed need to be back on top will force them to focus on putting out the best books possible.  This will mean series like Herc and Alpha Flight can't live, but hopefully they can some day.

The Incredible Hulk was Marvel's biggest selling comic (Marvel)

The only thing I noticed in the DC books that was notable was that all their new books either sink or swim.  They either sell more copies than a Justin Beiber CD at a middle school, or they sell nothing.  Which begs the question...when will DC start canceling books?  Hawk & Dove, Mr. Terrific, and books like that are selling poorly and soon won't be able to sustain themselves for long.  Also, do the numbers for Justice League count the combo pack as well?  I'd like to see those numbers and see if that experiment is working out for them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Reviews for Avenging Spider-Man #1, Journey Into Mystery #631, and a lot more.

Another week, another batch of reviews.  Twas a good week overall, with one disappointing comic.  Got a little busy this weekend with work and such, so I apologize for not having long for reviews

Marvel Comics
Avenging Spider-Man #1:  For quite some time, Peter Parker had almost four ongoings.  Even with Amazing Spider-Man shipping twice a month, people can't get enough Spider-Man, and his new ongoing has a strong start.  Zeb Wells gives us a snarky Spider-Man, which is great to read.  Joe Madureira's pencils are great, and are really suited for superhero comics.  Not using inks was an interesting choice, and it works for the most part.  And DC?  THIS is how you do a combo pack.  Make it free.  None of this extra dollar bull shit.

Avenging Spider-Man #1 gets 4.5/5.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #3:  Andrew Chambliss writes a fantastic issue.  He has a great hold on these characters, and especially Xander.  Xander has some of the best lines the character has had in a while.  These last few issues really show that these characters still have a lot of stories left in them, and we need to see them.  George Jeanty's pencils look better this month, and his characters are as expressive as ever.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #3 gets 4/5.

Fear Itself #7.2:  As Fear Itself keeps going on and on....and on, we see how it affected Thor.  I may be the only one, but I never thought that Thor's death was going to stick and seemed like it was a plot device.  And this issue sets that up nicely.  Fraction sets up a lot of things for The Mighty Thor, which make me very interested.  Adam Kubert's pencils look good, if not slightly rushed.  His pencils convey the grief that all the characters have.

Fear Itself #7.2 gets 4/5.

Ghost Rider #5:  I have been a fan of this new volume of Ghost Rider, something that has never happened before.  Issue #5 isn't the issue we need though.  It's a filler issue that doesn't move the plot along, or even set up some threads that will come down the road later.  After Fear Itself, this new volume of Ghost Rider needs to establish it's own identity.  Rob Williams give some compassion to Alejandra, but nothing else.  Lee Garbett's pencils look very good, and the painted quality with the colors adds to the great look.

Ghost Rider #5 gets 2.5/5.

Green Lantern #3:  After a couple of just ok issues, Green Lantern #3 kicks it back into gear.  Geoff Johns has a great hold on these characters and why they still continue to be great characters.  The cliffhanger isn't that great, as we know that won't stick.  Dough Mahnke's pencils look less rushed this time around, and it's always great to see him penciling massive monsters.

Green Lantern #3 gets 4.5/5.

Journey Into Mystery #631:  I'll just be blunt, I loved this issue.  The art was a little lack luster, but Kieron Gillen's writing more than made up for it.  A lot happens in this issue, but Gillen never makes it feel like exposition or filler.  His Loki is becoming one of the most interesting characters in the Marvel Universe.  Whilce Portacio's pencils are eh, but who cared when Gillen is so on his game.

Journey Into Mystery #631 gets 5/5.

Marvel Point One:  This was an interesting concept, and I like it overall.  I just wish the stories would have been better.  Scarlet Spider and Defenders get the best start, but they still aren't as great as they should be for short stories.  I hope Marvel tries this again in the future, just have better content.

Marvel Point One gets 2/5.

Wolverine #18:  Jason Aaron is finally letting his comedic bone stretch a little.  It's fun to see Wolverine be in a zany situation, and also have Gorilla Man and Fat Cobra in a book.  Garney's pencils look fantastic as well.  Aaron and Garney always work great together.

Wolverine #18 gets 5/5.

Old Comics
Amazing Spider-Man #671 gets 3/5.
Amazing Spider-Man #672 gets 5/5.
Invincible Iron Man #509 gets 2.5/5.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Reviews for Animal Man #3, Fear Itself #7.1, Moon Knight #7 and more!

I HAVE POWER!  GLORIOUS ELECTRICITY!  Well, the great thing about not having power was that it gave me time to reread stuff and read new stuff.  Started Incognito: Bad Influence and Criminal, caught up with Chew, and reread every issue I have of FF.  Was a great couple of days.  Ok, you are here for reviews, so I'll give you reviews.

DC Comics
Action Comics #3:  Grant Morrison is a writer I always give the benefit of the doubt.  He is allowed to have a bad issue or two.  Action Comics #3 is an average issue.

Back on Krypton, there is a big party going on.  Baby Kal-El sits alone.  Jor-El warns his wife, Lara, to get out of Kandor, as there is something that is about to destroy Krypton.  Something invades all of their systems, killing many who are connected to the system.  The thing starts to bring a bunch of metals together to form one thing.  Back on Earth in the present time, the Metropolis police force are investigating Clark Kent's apartment again.  Clark meets with Jimmy and Lois, who scold him for trying to bring down Glenmorgan, as well as bring him over to the Daily Planet.  Clark says no, and walks off.  Clark gets a call from an unnamed source, who gives Clark plenty of information on Glenmorgan.  Superman saves a little girl from being run over by a truck, but people aren't happy with him.  Metropolis isn't happy that Superman is there and wants him out.  The same thing that took down Krypton is in Metropolis, and it seems that Lex Luthor is behind it.....

I'm glad that Morrison didn't waste anytime in showing us his version of Krypton.  It's big and out there and I hope we see more of it soon.  But the rest of the issue is a little all over the place.  Clark Kent is turning more into Peter Parker by the issue, and I'm starting to wonder if this is a good thing.  Does that mean that Spider-Man is the real "all-American" superhero?  The book shows us that Metropolis really hates Superman, but Morrison doesn't give us any transition from panel to panel.  We just see random scenes.  Morrison also drops a lot of hints about why things are happening, and knowing Morrison, they will come back in later issues.  The ending is interesting though.

Krypton looks beautiful.  Gene Ha's art is simply astounding in these scenes.  It's futuristic, and his bold lines look great.  The big double page spread near the beginning had me staring for a few minutes.  Rags Morales art is really starting to suffer.  His faces change shapes from panel to panel.  It looks rushed.  Instead of having Morals pencil just half, have someone pencil the entire issue and give him time to catch up.  Marvel does this and it works great.

I originally gave Action Comics #3 a 4, but after another read through, Morrison's disjointed plot really got to me.

Action Comics #3 gets 3/5.

DC Comics
Animal Man #3:  This is hands down the creepiest book I have ever read.  God I can't wait for #4.

Buddy and Maxine make their way into the Red.  They meet past Animal Men, and they discuss what Maxine means in the upcoming war against The Other.  It seems that Maxine is more connected to the Red than Buddy is.  Buddy is told he is an Avatar, but he was used to protect Maxine so that she could be ready for this.  Buddy is also told that the aliens who gave him his powers didn't really give him his powers, and that these past Animal Men gave him his powers.  The aliens were used so that Buddy would accept the powers easier.  The Other monsters attack the rest of the Bakers, who make a run for it.  Two of the Others invade the Red, while Buddy protects Maxine from them.  The other Other, impersonates a detective that Ellen and Cliff Baker know, putting their lives in danger.

Jeff Lemire crafts a very creepy story.  The idea that something is tied deeply to the animals of the world isn't something new, but Lemire makes it work really well here.  But the strongest part of this book has to be the family aspect.  Lemire really sells the fact that the Bakers are a family, and that Buddy's wife and kids aren't a plot device.  I loved how Ellen was smart and reacted quickly, something the wife of a veteran super hero would do in that situation.  Lemire quickly sweeps aside Animal Man's old origin, but as I didn't know anything about the character before this series, I could honestly care less.  This relaunch is about new beginnings right?

The real star of this issue is Travel Foreman.  His art is creepy as all hell and really gets under the readers skins.  The Others in human skin are slightly deformed, but it makes them that much creepier.  The heavy line usage is starting to grow on me.  The first couple of pages could easily be turned into posters.  I'd love some creepy comic art hanging in my room.

Animal Man #3 gets 5/5.

Marvel Comics
Fear Itself #7.1:  Time for the grand story of what happened to Bucky and what it all meant to Steve.  And while I'm pumped for the future, this story is a little bit of a cop out. And yes, spoiler warning.

Nick Fury comes to talk to Steve Rogers before Bucky's funeral later that day.  Bucky is still alive.  After Steve almost rips Nick a new one, Fury explains.  Flashback, the paramedics at Blitzkrieg USA are able to keep Bucky alive, mostly by giving him the last of Fury's Infinity Formula.  Bucky heals up, and decides to come with Nick Fury to tell Steve.  Cap is naturally pissed, but Bucky says he needs this to get his life back.  Bucky is still a fugitive after the "Gulag" arc.  After the funeral, Hawkeye notices that Steve might have been smiling during the eulogy.  Bucky heads off into the sunset, ready to make right on the things he did in his Winter Soldier days.

As a long time reader of Ed Brubaker's Captain America, I love the way this comic ended.  It takes an event and turns it into something great.  Steve did need to be Captain America again.  And Brubaker used the opportunity to the best he could.  I just don't think this was the best way to go about it.  It feels like a massive cop out.  It's the old scenario in comics of "oh he survived, you just didn't see it."  Maybe I'm a jaded comic book reader.  But enough bashing.  This issue puts the Captain America section of the world into a very interesting scenario.  The Winter Soldier series is something I'm really looking forward too, as well as how Brubaker handles Fury potentially dying soon.  I only hope that enough people will read Winter Soldier that it won't be cancelled.  With the recent budgetary constraints at Marvel, I'm very worried about any second tier characters.

Butch Guice's art is always magnificent.  The massive double page spread looks great, and Guice can always catch the essence of scene.  He also seems to be channeling more and more of Jack Kirby, which is always a good thing.  In the scene with Fury and Black Widow in the helicopter, Guice gives so much emotion to Widow.  The reader can feel every tear she cries, and how hard it really is for her.

Fear Itself #7.1 gets 3.5/5.

Marvel Comics
Moon Knight #7:  This seems like as natural a point as any to end an arc.  Even though it gives no indication that it's an arc. I love it.

Marc Spector confronts Buck for ratting him out to the Avengers.  Spector gives him a hard time, but Buck agrees to keep helping Marc be Moon Knight.  Buck heads to a club where Snap Dragon is working, hoping that she will lead them to the kingpin of LA.  Well, it does.  The kingpin of LA is Count Nefaria, an old Avengers villain who is way out of Moon Knights league.  Buck gives Nefaria the Ultron head, but it's a fake.  It explodes and temporarily weakens Nefaria.  Moon Knight bursts into action and smacks Nefaria around a little bit.  Echo tapes the entire thing, showing that Nefaria can be attacked and isn't as powerful as he makes himself off to be.  The voices come to talk to Moon Knight while Echo is still filming.  And she is very confused.

Bendis' trademark dialogue is on display this week.  But the greatness comes from how Moon Knight handles Nefaria.  Moonie doesn't back down even though he is fighting a villain so out of his league it's not funny.  The altercation is real, and not some fist fight.  Moon Knight uses different tactics, and it works.  So well I can't wait until the next issue.  Naturally Echo's reaction will lead some interesting story beats.  It's nice to see that Bendis is dedicated to the character and has a real plan.  This issue alone does a lot to show that Moon Knight is an actual smart character and not a one note hero who hears voices in his head.

Alex Maleev's art is great as usual.  He's toned down the photo referencing, and it really helps the story.  The colors by Matt Hollingsworth are great, especially in the scene where the Ultron head explodes.  OOOOOOOO shiny.

Moon Knight #7 gets 4.5/5.

DC Comics
Swamp Thing #3:  This and Animal Man have to be the two strongest books that DC is putting out right now.

The issue opens with a kind in a plastic bubble.  His name is William, and he is allergic to chlorophyll. Since the stuff is everywhere, it's impossible for him to breathe in normal air.  But something is calling William, much the same way that plants call Alec Holland.  Abigail Arcane introduces herself to Alec Holland, via a shotgun pointed in his face.  He proves he is Holland and she is determined to help him.  Abigail explains her past history with the Swamp Thing, the same Swamp Thing that Alec was.  She is the mysterious woman that he remembers.  Her mission is to bring him to see William, who has a connection to the Rot.  Abigail's family has always had a connection to the Rot, but she has tried not to help it.  William is her her half brother.  When the two arrive at the hospital, almost everyone is dead.  William realized he had the connection and killed all the kids that made fun of him, and then everyone else.  Time for Alec and Abigail to find him.

The plot thickens in this issue, while still unloading a lot of exposition.  But it never feels like exposition.  That's the mark of a great writer.  Scott Snyder gives us all this information, but in a way that we want to keep reading more and more.  Most of it has to deal with Abigail and her history to Swamp Thing.  Now that all the back history is out of the way, no doubt the plot will move along at a nice pace starting with #4.  I also see a potential crossover with Animal Man.  Snyder paints William with a lot innocence, which makes his deadly turn that much more alarming when it happens.

I was expecting this entire issue to be pencilled by Yanick Paquette, as his name is the only one on the cover for artists.  Victor Ibanez does a good job on pencils, but can't match Paquette's, so it sometimes leaves the readers little confused.  Holland's face looks suddenly different in a few panels by Ibanez.  Paquette's panel layouts can't be matched, so Ibanez doesn't try.  I'm not bashing Ibanez, just saying it's hard to go from insanely detailed panel layouts to the usual.

Swamp Thing #3 gets 4/5.

Marvel Comics
Uncanny X-Men #1:  Now comes the second big Regenesis relaunch.  Sadly, Uncanny isn't as great as Wolverine & the X-Men.

Uncanny will focus on the Extinction team.  This team faces the big level threats, the ones that threaten to kill all mutants.  Cyclops briefs the team on what they are about, and then sends them on their way.  All the different teams are keeping San Francisco safe.  While this is going on though, the Dreaming Celestial is still there from when the team went back in time in issue #512.  Agent Brand, head of S.W.O.R.D. gives Utopia a call, asking them about this.  The Extinction team makes their way over, and X-Club says there is something wrong with the Celestial.  The Celestial's head then transforms to look like Mister Sinister, and the X-Men attack.  A massive fight ensues, and the X-Men calm the body part down, but the head goes missing.  It lands near by, and makes everyone in the area look like Mister Sinister.

Kieron Gillen sets up the team very well.  He seems to be putting Cyclops in a Magneto type role, which i think is a great idea.  The big table conversation was a blast to read, especially Storm's idea about Scott.  The Emma angle that appears is very interesting, if only something that won't last very long.  Gillen handles the Colossus and Magik relationship very well.  One thing that I must commend Gillen for doing is giving everyone time to shine.  I don't feel like anyone was left by the wayside.  This is the first issue, so let's see what happens in the future.  One thing that did bug me though is the fact that this Regenesis relaunch is suppose to bring about new things.  And Uncanny X-Men #1 feels like nothing has changed at all.  That is was a relaunch to get a new #1.  And that's a big reason why this didn't get a 4 or a 4.5.  Wolverine & the X-Men really felt like something new for the X-franchise.  This feels like Uncanny X-Men #545.  I'm not sure that's Kieron Gillen's fault, but has to be to blame for a little of it.

Carlos Pacheo's artwork looks great.  He seems to love penciling Emma Frost with as little clothes as possible, which I no doubt will find hysterical.  It's funny to see how much artists can get away with.  The Celestial battle looks great and is very detailed.

Uncanny X-Men #1 gets 3.5/5.

Old Comics

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3 gets 4.5/5.