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Avengers: The Children's Crusade
Avengers: The Children's Crusade
by Allan Heinberg
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avengers vs X Men Round One!, 29 May 2012
This book is pretty much the prelude to Avengers vs. X Men, it starts off as a story about the Young Avengers and moves on to cover a large chunk of major characters from Marvel.
Before I read this I had only ever read the first issue of Young Avengers but I had no problem getting to grips with who they were and the teams dynamic as theyre all introduced properly in a way thats inviting to new readers. The story itself covers the search for Scarlett Witch who went missing years ago having wiped out most of the Mutants during the House of M story, I have read most of the Avengers and X Men stories since then so was familiar with what had happened but if youre not those events are referenced and its made clear what happened for new readers once again.
What starts out as the Young Avengers wanting to find their potential mother slowly builds and builds until youre soon watching the Avengers beat up the X Men on their mansion lawn an event thats quickly followed by an even bigger battle that harks back to te Secret War crossover of the 80s. There are a lot of twists and turns in the story, some characters return and in the end some die and we learn a lot about why the Scarlett Witch tried to kill her team mates years ago.
The art is fantastic throughout, good clean easy to follow its pretty much perfect.
Overall this story starts off small but becomes such an important footstep in the history of the Marvel universe its pretty much an essential read for fans of the Avengers and X Men, I deliberately havent mentioned any spoilers because I didnt know any of the twists beforehand and that just made the story even better, well worth a read.


Batman - The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman - The Return of Bruce Wayne
by Frazer Irving
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Morrison, 28 May 2012
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Lets be honest if youve read "the death of Bruce Wayne" in Batman RIP and Final Crisis then youve probably got a good idea what to expect here. Superman had to be physically beaten to a pulp when he died in the 90s but Batman had to be mentally beaten so he could die this resulted in stories that played with the readers mind too and while I found it fun reading them and piecing together the various strands myself I can understand why some people would be put off by it.
In the Return of Bruce Wayne we see him begin to pull himself back together as he is hurled through time, the big twist is SPOILER ALERT! Darkseid has booby trapped his body so that when Batman does get home he has built up enough omega energy to destroy the world! This is pure genius on the part of Morrison and I loved it END OF SPOILERS!
There is a great deal going on and you have to pay attention, the story does drag in places, it is odd to read Batman stories where he isnt swinging around the rooftops of Gotham in his usual costume however when it works it really works, its also nice to see Tim Drake get a role in events as for a whole generation of readers he is their Robin and as much fun Damian Wayne is in the role Tim is missed especially in the new 52 DC universe where hes pretty much only seen in the Teen Titans.
The art changes from chapter to chapter, some are better than others but its never ever horrible and works well for the story with the time shifts. I have to admit that when I read the ending and the so called "truth of Batman" I found it slightly emotional and it certainly shows what a real grip Grant Morrison has on the character.
In short if you like your Superhero stories straight forward with fights and snappy one liners read "The Death and Return of Superman", if you like them a bit deeper with some emotional truth and neat action then you cant go wrong with this.


Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Batman, 24 May 2012
In 2008 DC Comics decided to kill off Bruce Wayne in the Batman R.I.P./Final Crisis story and to make it official they invited Neil Gaiman to write a climax to a character with 70 years of history to pay tribute to, much like Alan Moore did to Superman in the 80s with Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. Gaiman really went for it with this story stuffing in as much as he could, with all the many different versions of characters popping up you get to see the animated series joker, the classic catwoman, Joe Chill, Azrael, the Killing Joke version of Joker, the Dark Knight Returns Batman amongst many others.
A lot of credit has to go to Andy Kubert who manages to capture all the many different artistic takes on characters without missing out on the emotional pull of the story, once you realise this isnt just a funeral for the Batman who died in Final Crisis (in fact it isnt just a funeral for 1 Batman) you can really enjoy the tale.
There are a lot of emotional beats the tribute from Clayface hit me as really quite moving and I cant work out if its the art or the writing both are quite brilliant, the climax of the tale is also very touching borrowing from Margaret Wise Browns Goodnight Moon story as Batman says farewell to his friends and enemies.
There are some back up stories all Batman tales written by Gaiman in the past, theyre a nice addition but for me the main story overshadows them its such a strong love letter to the history of the character and perfectly judged much like Gaimans 2011 episode of Dr Who managed to pay tribute to the long history of that character this is a great send off to an icon and will surely stand the test of time.


Batman and Robin - Batman Must Die!
Batman and Robin - Batman Must Die!
by Frazer Irving
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real return of Bruce Wayne!, 22 May 2012
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A lot of people dont like Grant Morrisons work, its fair to say youd have a hard time if you came to read this book without having read his previous 7 Batman graphic novels (Batman and Son, Batman and the Black Glove, Batman R.I.P. Batman and Robin Reborn, Batman vs Robin Time and the Batman and The Return of Bruce Wayne)a little peek at Dark Knight Dark City is also worth it as events in that story get referenced here but its not essential. Even if youve read all of these there are still moments that will at first confuse you here but its so rewarding once you re-read. For those people wondering how Dick Grayson survives a gun shot to the head early in the book pay attention to a line of water melons later in the book.
There are so many things to enjoy in this book great scenes between Damian and the Joker, the growing sense of dread as we countdown, the arrival of Bruce Wayne and his brutal attack on Dr Hurt, the Jokers utterly brilliant use of a banana skin, and Professor Pyg declaring to a crowd of lunatics "Im not wearing any protection my darlings!" as they tear his clothes off. I loved it, Frazer Irvings art can be a little jarring especially when it gets mixed up with Frank Quitelys and Cameron Stewarts later but it works for the creepy feeling of the story although there is an image of Bruce smiling at Damian later in the book that looks deeply sinister.
The introduction of Batman Incoporated in the final part of the book is quite enjoyable, David Finch is a great artist for Batman mainly because I always think he draws faces badly so drawing characters wearing masks improves his work a great deal, to be honest it may have been better to include this story in Batman Incoporated graphic novel but it is good to see what happened when Bruce Wayne returned and definitely gets you interested in whats yet to come.
All in all I loved this book but then I loved all of Morrisons Batman run so far this is definitely my favourite collection followed by Batman and Robin Reborn, I cant recommend you pick up just this book though as the previous stories all lead to this its just a great pay off to a great story, I for one will definitely be picking up the Batman Incoporated graphic novels when they arrive!


Batman: Prodigal
Batman: Prodigal
by Chuck Dixon
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Knightsend part 2!, 15 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Batman: Prodigal (Paperback)
I bought this book last year for £30 which I was pleased with, its an entertaining read and good to see Dick Grayson given the role of Batman which he should have got when Bane broke Bruce's back in Knightfall. The story also harks back to events in the Robin Year One graphic novel and Knightquest the crusade.
Its worth noting that if you want to pick this up then its rumoured that the story will be collected in the new edition of Knightsend due to be published in Sept 2012 so may be worth waiting for that!


Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast
Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast
by Jim Starlin
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Beastly encounter, 27 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This story is a fairly short 4 parter that introduced KG Beast whom was a real test for Batman, the story has dated by using Ronald Regan as the president but thats forgivable its also one of only 4 graphic novels to feature Jason Todd as Robin (the other being Nightwing: Year One, Batman the Cult and a Death in the Family).
The story itself is nicely done as KG Beast proves to be a tricky foe for Batman, there are some real decent twists and turns in the story and Batmans final solution to the problem is quite brilliant.
Jim Aparos art doesnt do a lot for me, it seems a bit stiff but it doesnt ruin the story all in all this is a decent enough story and worth a read so long as you get it for a fair price.


Batman Venom TP New Edition
Batman Venom TP New Edition
by Dennis O'Neil
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Batman fights a shark, 27 April 2012
Ive heard a lot of good things about this story and been after it for quite some time, finally I got it today and its a bit of a letdown. The story opens with Batman trying to save a little girl from drowning in a tunnel and quite shockingly he fails, its incredibly dark and makes it much more convincing when Batman starts using the steroids Venom to increase his strength later in the story. One early scene sees Batman visit the dead girls father to deliver the news of her death in an almost comical manner he tells him she died "alone and in fear" good choice of words Batman!
The story of the addiction and Batmans struggle to go cold turkey are all nicely done but the final part of the story sees Batman hunt down the people who gave him the drugs and this is where it falls apart, in one scene Batman fights a shark, that pretty much says it all although it is fun to see him in a jungle enviroment away from Gotham.
The set up for the story is so good its easy to see why its considered a classic but the end result is flawed mainly due to the final act being so naff, still it does lead to Knightfall and is another story from Batmans early career along with the long halloween, snow and gothic that are worth a read.


Ultimate X-Men Volume 18: Apocalypse TPB: Apocalypse v. 18 (Ultimate X-Men)(Issue 89)
Ultimate X-Men Volume 18: Apocalypse TPB: Apocalypse v. 18 (Ultimate X-Men)(Issue 89)
by Robert Kirkman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wasted, 24 Feb. 2012
I loved the build up to this volume, the previous two volumes Cable and Sentinels both made a real effort to inject some real change into the Ultimate X-Men stories. Removing Xavier and having Bishop put together a team of X-Men was a great idea, it was clear from the start that Bishop was training them for something big and here it is.
After years of build up in Ultimate X-Men stories Apocalypse and Phoenix are dealt with head on, in fairness the build up is nicely handled, characters die and all sorts of chaos kicks off Xavier returns with Cable and things come to a head and then... yuck!
Theres a switch of artist in the final part that really jars and spoils that aspect of the story and then everything that had changed since the Cable arc is simply reversed by Phoenix. Its horrible it seems that since the seeds of the Phoenix story were put in place back in Volume 4 none of the writers ever had a clear plan or even an idea what to do with that story (there was the promise of Bryan Singer writing Ultimate X-Men and having big plans for Phoenix but that never happened).
The ending stinks of the editors wanting to clear the slate for the up and coming Ultimatum crossover and wanting Xavier restored to oppose Magneto in that story, what makes no sense is that they reversed the deaths of Beast and Angel during there stories only to kill them off again in Ultimatum.
Its a sad end to what started out as an exciting story with a lot of potential, maybe if Ultimatum had never happened things would have been different.


Ultimate Comics Doomsday
Ultimate Comics Doomsday
by Brian M. Bendis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate changes, 24 Feb. 2012
This book is nicely done, the art is great throughout and the mix of characters keeps you reading to the end. This is really a continuation of Ultimate Fantastic Four which was cancelled after the Ultimatum crossover.
Ultimate Fantastic Four was pretty similar to the mainstream Marvel Universe comic but that all ends here, massive changes come into play, one character undergoes a huge physical transformation while another turns to the dark side in a compelling way that doesnt seem contrived.
The story also features Spider-man but focuses more on Spider-woman his female clone as well as Captain Marvel and Nova, none of the characters feel forced into the story and all have a part to play.
I preferred this story to the Ultimate Galactus trilogy, the reaction of Ben Grim to his friends descent into seeming madness gives this a more emotional edge that was missing from that story. Definitely recommended if you're a fan of the Fantastic Four and its nice to see a real effort to tell new stories in the Ultimate Universe.


Fear Itself
Fear Itself
by Ed Brubaker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck, 16 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Fear Itself (Paperback)
I picked this up today marvel has done some big stories for many years now some worked well enough (Civil War, Secret Invasion, Siege) with simple concepts some failed (House of M, Secret War) sadly fear Itself can be added to the fail list. Odins brother sets out to destroy Earth sounds like a decent concept and starts quite well but its so dull, I havent read any tie ins yet but suspect the bigger fights are saved for them, the powered up Hulk and Thing dont do much here this focuses on the big three Steve Rogers, Iron Man and Thor.
The biggest problem I have is when SPOILER ALERT! Spider-man asks Captain America if he can leave the battle to be with his family as it looks like they are going to lose, Spider-mans one of the biggest heroes in the marvel universe to see him turn his back on the battle leaves a bad taste in the mouth END OF SPOILERS!
As is becoming the norm with these big crossovers theres epilogues that are clearly adverts for new stories that are coming out of this, the two big deaths that take place have already been reversed the whole story feels like a half hearted attempt at a crossover by marvel done just because they had to. Hopefully they will get their act together for Avengers vs X Men this year.


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