Review: Captain America Vol. 4 by Ed Brubaker – The Conclusion to the Epic 8-YEAR Run.

Captain America by Ed Brubaker, Vol. 4Captain America by Ed Brubaker, Vol. 4 by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the end of Brubaker’s legendary (and it was, for 8 YEARS!) run on Cap. It’s a shame they brought in Cullen Bunn, because he’s just not the same caliber. Issues 15-18 2 stars…Issue 19 4+ stars.


Disappointed. Yup. I mean I see where Brubaker wanted to take this, that the new Madame Hydra and Bravo are using psychological warfare to turn the people against Cap, and a commentary about our focus on Talking Heads and the 24/7 news cycle. (there’s some great art showing totally moronic people on their phones not even noticing there’s a super-battle going on, and then getting mad when a Supe saves them)

I see what he wanted to do, but Bunn just isn’t up to task to do a Brubaker.

There’s lotsa fighting, Falcon helps out, Sharon, Baron Zemo shows up in a decent duel with Agent 13. Cap gets his showdown with Bravo and Madame Hydra…

Yawn. Really.


But then…Issue #19 Steve Epting and Ed Brubaker, nearly redeem the whole volume….Nearly.

First off, Epting’s cover art is beautiful.


Seeing as how Epting drew the majority of Cap during Ed’s run, it’s fitting to have him back to close this chapter. This issue runs almost like a summary of the past 8 years, but also I think as a testament to who Captain America is, was, and will be. Like all great writers who really understand their heroes; Brubaker has defined Steve Rogers the man as separate from Captain America the institution. There’s no doubt reading this issue that Ed seemed to be endorsing a new Cap for the future (and we now have Sam Wilson!).

The whole issue humanizes Steve the man, and shows his doubts, fears, beliefs in his time as Captain America, and his belief that the idea of Cap is more important than the man who wears the costume. I’m not American, but you just have to be moved by Rogers here, baring his soul to a man lying broken in a hospital, who idolized Rogers his whole life, and which drove him mad. (William Burnside or Cap of the 50s)

Talking about how his legacy had been tainted by those who would use men like Burnside for their own government agendas, and the realization that he could never control what people THOUGHT Cap stood for, even if Rogers wished he could.

“The mission isn’t just mine…the mission goes with the symbol. And if I don’t wear this uniform, then someone else will…someone else always will…because that’s the hardest thing about being Captain America…Understanding that the mission is Too Big …and it’ll never end.”

Only someone who’s lived and breathed this character for nearly a decade could get inside his head and pull this off without sounding corny or cheesy. Bravo Ed.

And so, both Steve Rogers and Ed Brubaker ride off into the sunset to bring this epic chapter to an end. Ed includes a thank you note at the end, and you almost get a tear of sadness, knowing he’s going to miss Cap almost as much as we’re going to miss him writing it.


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Review: Captain America Vol. 3 by Ed Brubaker

Captain America by Ed Brubaker, Vol. 3Captain America by Ed Brubaker, Vol. 3 by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This isn’t a 3-star book. It’s close, and more out of enjoyment of the artwork and residual love of Brubaker’s epic Cap run.

There’s someone hunting down ex-Super-Villains who are in Witness Protection…
It’s Scourge…or at least, the new version of Scourge.

This is sorta a reboot of the Scourge of the Underworld from the 80s Marvel, who went around killing…yes, members of the Underworld.

This one is tied in with Madame Hydra, and doing things to make Cap look like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Dum Dum, Sharon Carter, and a few others show up, but really, the meat of the book is Cap discovering Scourge’s identity, and the ramifications of that discovery and subsequent actions.

There’s also included a classic (1987 Mark Gruenwald) Cap issue which ties into the current story.

More for the emotional toll that things take on Cap do I give this 3 stars…on the whole it could have been pared down a little.

It really feels like Brubaker is running out of gas, which seems to be what he’s transferring to Cap in this, and if so, that’s OK, because it is about the only interesting part of this.

Take or Leave, but it’s not Brubaker’s best, there’s far more Cap stories that are better.

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Review: Deadpool VS. S.H.I.E.L.D.

Deadpool, Vol. 4: Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.Deadpool, Vol. 4: Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. by Brian Posehn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


There is certainly some funny moments in Deadpool VS. S.H.I.E.L.D.. Agent Coulson discussing Master Baiters, the Watcher thinking maybe he should get a little more involved, the tribute to Aliens in part 3, and Wade’s hysterical trip through airport security. I think the only things that keep me reading this title are the adolescent puns and ultra-violent action that moves the story along at a good clip. Wade’s inner monologue can be amusing at times. This story is a continuation of the ongoing storyline that started way back at issue one. Probably wouldn’t recommend picking this one up if you’re not up to date on the previous volumes because you will be all kinds of lost. No real laugh out loud moments for me in this one, but certainly some smiles. Ok, maybe “Wieners are my spinach” made me chuckle. Not sure if it’s enough for me to pick up the next one though.


The art in most of the book was serviceable. Not really too keen on the throwback tribute to Jack Kirby in the first issue collected. Was never really a fan of the O.G. back in the day. Still, gotta RESPECT. The rest was ok. Not great. Just mediocre, kinda like the writing. Did appreciate that they did NOT dial down the violence. This one is bloody as all get out. I think I would recommend this one to fans of the first three volumes in the series or Dead-Heads only. Others might want to pick this one up at the library or give it a pass altogether.

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Review: Young Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen

Young Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > SubstanceYoung Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, ok, ok! I get it now, guys!

Because I’m me, and my library likes to order books is some wonky order, I had to read Young Avengers, Vol. 2: Alternative Culture, before I read this one.
Big mistake. HUGE! Don’t do it.
Volume 2 didn’t make me stand up and cheer (possibly because I was missing relevant plot points), but it wasn’t awful, either. However, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why my friends were rating this one so highly.
Aaaaaaand now I know…
Style > Substance is nothing short of complete awesomeness.
It’s funny, smart, touching, and full of action.
And Loki. Don’t forget little Loki.
Is he good? Is he bad? Or is he just as confused as we are?
I LOVE him! Totally my favorite.
In fact, if I have another kid, I’ve decided to name it Loki.
Relax, my tubes are tied…

So Wiccan wants to make his boyfriend, Hulkling, feel a little less alone in the world, and casts a spell to bring his mother to him from an alternate reality. Now, his real mother died, so Wiccan snatches this one from her dimension right before she would have been killed.
Except it’s not Hulkling’s mother.
It’s Mother.
As in, a parasite who’s been waiting for someone like Wiccan to fuck up, and let her in the door.
And now she’s gonna suck the life out of them…and their friends.

The plot is great, but the genius lies in the dialogue, in the interactions, the reactions, and the inner thoughts of the characters.
Even the yambler recaps are hilarious!

Thanks for giving me the nudge I needed to go ahead and track this one down, Sesana. Totally worth it.
Read this. You won’t be sorry.

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Review: Astonishing X-Men: Torn Vol. 3 by Joss Whedon

Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 3: TornAstonishing X-Men, Vol. 3: Torn by Joss Whedon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After finishing the second volume of the awesome “Astonishing X-Men” series “Dangerous,” I was definitely looking forward to reading the third volume of this series “Torn.” Imagine my pure delight after I had finished reading this volume since I was totally blown away by the twists and turns in this volume and I am sure that X-Men fans will enjoy this volume as much as I did!

What is the story?

Emma Frost has been acting strange ever since the incident with Danger in the last volume and now she is literally playing mind games with Cyclops which might cause harm to our beloved leader! Meanwhile, the new Hellfire Club starts making its move on the X-Men by playing vicious mind games with them that will help them get to their ultimate goal of releasing Cassandra Nova from her prison! Also, the identity of the mutant who is destined to destroy the Breakworld is finally revealed! There is a lot going on in this volume that determines the fate of the X-Men, so stay tuned!

What I loved about this comic:

Joss Whedon’s writing: Once again, Joss Whedon has woven a story that is full of humor and suspense that will keep anyone’s attention at bay! This story was fantastic as it was full of mystery and drama and I was shocked at how ruthless the new Hellfire Club is when they were manipulating each X-Men team member mentally. Probably the most traumatic scene in this entire book was of Kitty’s nightmare sequence involving her, Peter and their son that the White Queen put on her. I will not reveal what happened during this sequence, but you might want to pray for Peter and Kitty’s relationship to work after this volume. Joss Whedon also had a great knack for humor and I loved the scenes where the Hellfire Club messes with Wolverine’s mind and makes him into a wimpy man who constantly spews random things whenever he is scared. This is such a rare moment for me to see all serious and bad-tempered Wolverine become a scared wimp in a matter of seconds and it really provided so much humor for a serious storyline.

John Cassaday’s illustrations: John Cassaday’s illustrations are just as memorable here as they were in the previous two volumes. I loved the way that he makes the characters look so realistic and one of my favorite images was of Wolverine looking so scared throughout his episode of his mind being altered because they were extremely hilarious and it was rare seeing Wolverine in this state. But, my all-time favorite image in this volume was of Kitty running through the sewers that was reminiscent of the earlier comics where Wolverine was also in the sewers after being defeated by the Hellfire Club at the time and John Cassaday made Kitty look so intense and brilliant in this scene that I think that this was one of the most memorable scenes in the “Astonishing X-Men” series since Colossus’ return!

Shadowcat: Wow! Kitty was just truly awesome in this volume that I just love her character even more than I did in the cartoon series! I loved the way that she was the only person who was not affected by the Hellfire Club’s attempts at messing with the X-Men’s mind, although briefly, and the way that she fought Emma was just spectacular! I truly think that Joss Whedon has done her character justice in this series and it makes me want to read more of this series!


Peter and Kitty’s relationship (once again!): This time, Peter and Kitty’s relationship is up a notch and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship go even further! I especially loved the opening scene in this volume of Peter and Kitty having a picnic together and I really loved the little cute banter that Kitty and Peter have with each other before Peter (gasps) kisses Kitty!
Kitty and Colossus 5

What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

The only problem I had with this book was that the plot tends to be a bit confusing and there were times where there were certain moments in the story where the conflict is not fully explained. For example, I am not sure about the Cassandra Nova arc and I was trying to figure out what was going on in that arc since I do not understand what Cassandra Nova was after at Xavier’s Institute. Well, I guess this might be made clearer in the next volume.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though “Astonishing X-Men: Torn” has some confusing moments, this was still a brilliant read for me and I cannot wait to read the final volume in Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s run on this series, “Unstoppable!”

My Rating?

5 pows

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Review: Polar: Came From the Cold

Polar: Came From the ColdPolar: Came From the Cold by Víctor Santos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


It’s what the bastard love child of Frank Miller and Genndy Tartakovsky would look like. Simple yet satisfying spy tale filled with all the sex and violence a guy like me could hope for. The Black Kaiser is an old school spy being hunted by a variety of lethal “Bond” type villains that still manages to make time to knock boots with a couple a tramps between dodging bullets. Really a stunning piece of work. Victor’s page layouts are outstanding. Buy this one for the black, white, and red artwork alone. Hope to see more of Victor’s Black Kaiser down the road.


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