SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
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James Hunt gives "Secret Avengers" #1 4 stars, calling the issue by Nick Spencer and Luke Ross "very well constructed, and takes an unusual premise and makes it work."
Not even Bruce Willis can save the bloated, overblown fifth installment of the iconic "Die Hard" franchise, trading charm and ingenuity for murky direction, lazy writing and a script devoid of relatable characters.
Ryan K. Lindsay gives "Star Wars" #2 by Brian Wood and Carlos D'anda 4 stars, saying the issue "has character moments as often as it has intricate interplay with the established universe."
Doug Zawisza gives "Batman" #17 5 stars, calling Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's conclusion to "Death of the Family" "a stunning conclusion that permanently scars the Bat-family in a way not unlike the Joker's own disfigurement."
Last week the CBR Reviews staff looked at 25 new releases, including "Superior Spider-Man" #3, "Harbinger" #0, "Fairy Quest" #1 with Humberto Ramos art, Diggle & Jock's "Snapshot" #1 and the return of Bendis' "Scarlet" #6.
Jennifer Cheng gives "Hellboy in Hell" #3 4 stars, saying series creator Mike Mignola "keeps the humor and offbeat charm of Hellboy himself intact, making for unusual but haunting combination."
James Hunt gives "Superior Spider-Man" #3 by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman 4 stars, saying "the technical strength of this story alone is likely to make it one of the greats."
Doug Zawisza gives "Animal Man" #17, the first half of Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire's "Rotworld" finale, four stars, saying artist Steve Pugh's "horrific imagery of Rotlings...is quite a bit to wrap a mind around."
Billed as director Steven Soderbergh's final feature, "Side Effects" is a tense and twisting psychological thriller that elicits stellar performances from stars Rooney Mara and Jude Law.
Doug Zawisza gives Jonathan Hickman and Adam Kubert's "Avengers" #5 4 stars, saying the creative team "does a fantastic job filling [the series] with bold ideas, unpredictable adventures and agreeable characters."
Greg McElhatton gives "Dial H" #9 4.5 stars, calling the issue by China Mieville and Alberto Ponticelli "a new classic and a great reminder of how new life can be breathed into old properties."
Ryan K. Lindsay gives "Green Arrow" #17 4.5 stars, saying the debut issue of creative team Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino "is the turn old fans of the character have been waiting for."
Last week the CBR Reviews staff looked at over 25 new releases, including Brian Wood & Ming Doyle's "Mara" #2, Fraction & Aja's "Hawkeye" #7, "Batman and Robin Annual" #1 and "Aquaman" #16, a "Throne of Atlantis" tie-in.
Jennifer Cheng gives "Hawkeye" #7 4 stars, calling Matt Fraction's Hurricane Sandy-inspired plot "a well-structured but delicately gem-like story about people needing each other."
Doug Zawisza gives "Aquaman" #16 by Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier 4.5 stars, saying the creative team "collaborates nicely to fill each panel, regardless of orientation, with action, character and detail."
Kelly Thompson gives "Journey Into Mystery" #648 4 stars, saying Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schitti bring "a deftness of hand in both idea and execution that makes "Journey Into Mystery" a joy to read."
Director Jonathan Levine's offbeat supernatural romance "Warm Bodies" is both hilarious and horrific, blending the best of George A. Romero and John Hughes for a refreshing tale of a young zombie in love.
Greg McElhatton gives "Angel & Faith" #18 4 stars, saying Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs "have turned out not just a good media tie-in comic, but a good comic, period."
Doug Zawisza gives "Invincible" #100 by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley 4 stars, saying Kirkman "establishes a new tone for this series going forward in a manner that welcomes all readers" in the centennial issue.
Last week, the CBR Reviews staff looked at over 25 new releases, including Remender & Cassaday's "Uncanny Avengers" #3, "Uncanny X-Force" #1, "Deadpool Killustrated" #1 and the "Throne of Atlantis" tie-in "Justice League" #16.
Jennifer Cheng gives "Chew" #31 4 stars, saying writer John Layman and artist Rob Guillory's follow-up to the game-changing "Chew" #30 "has remarkable emotional depth without being depressing."
Ryan K. Lindsay gives "Winter Soldier" #14 by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice 4 stars, calling the issue "a stirring conclusion to this story arc and Brubaker's run on the character."
An inventive twist on the heist genre combines with Taylor Hackford's meticulous direction and an excellent cast led by Jason Statham to make "Parker" a fun and modern piece of film noir.
Kelly Thompson gives "Young Avengers" #1 5 stars, saying Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie "deliver an incredibly satisfying, innovative and touching first issue that will leave readers absolutely pumped for this series."
Greg McElhatton gives "Avengers" #3 written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Jerome Opena 4 stars, saying the conclusion of the series' first arc is "a thoroughly enjoyable and fun comic."
Last week, the CBR Reviews staff looked at over 20 new releases, including Frank Cho's "Savage Wolverine" #1, Francavilla's "Black Beetle" #1, Hickman's "New Avengers" #2 and Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples' "Saga" #9.
James Hunt gives Peter David and Leonard Kirk's "X-Factor" #250 4 stars saying the milestone issue sees "a year of storylines masterfully converge and collectively kicks off David's latest opus, 'Hell on Earth War.'"
James Hunt gives "All-New X-Men" #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez 4 stars, saying of the series, "The possibilities seem endless, because the story treads on genuinely new ground."
Ryan K. Lindsay gives Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu 4 stars, saying, "The action is bombastic, the characters are clear, fun and work well together with top-notch art and pacing."
Doug Zawisza gives "Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E." #16 4 stars, saying the final issue contains "a strong finale that serves as a precise representation of the book's characters and mission statement."
Doug Zawisza gives Francesco Francavilla's "The Black Beetle" #1 4.5 stars, saying the debut issue of Francavilla's ongoing series "doesn't leave the reader wanting for adventure, excitement or intrigue."
Kelly Thompson gives Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's "Batman" #16 4.5 stars, saying the creative team "delivers a brutal cliff-hanger of an ending that will leave readers aching for more."
Last week, the CBR Reviews staff looked at over 20 new releases, including the "Death of the Family" tie-in "Detective Comics" #16, "Thor: God of Thunder" #4, Lemire's "Sweet Tooth" #40 and Snyder's "Swamp Thing" #16.
Greg McElhatton gives "Detective Comics" #15 4 stars, saying John Layman and Jason Fabok "buck the trend" of "Death of the Family" tie-in issues "and go for an entirely different routine."
Ryan K. Lindsay gives "Thor: God of Thunder" #4 4 stars, calling the issue by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic "a mighty issue enjoyable on its own that leaves readers with the best feeling a monthly comic could deliver."
Doug Zawisza gives Jeff Lemire's "Sweet Tooth" #40 5 stars, calling the creator's final issue of the series "quite simply the best single-issue story in the story of the boy with antlers."
Greg McElhatton gives "Swamp Thing" #16 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette 4 stars, saying the creative team has "a strong sense of how to create a comic that's as much adventure as it is horror."
"Mama," the bittersweet ghost story from director director Andres Muschietti and producer Guillermo del Toro, stumbles as often as it soars, held down by the filmmakers' inability to trust the audience.
Doug Zawisza gives Brian Wood and Carlos D'Anda's "Star Wars" #1 4 stars, saying the debut issue of the ongoing series "wastes no time breaking out the stars and firing up the action."
Ryan K. Lindsay gives Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman's "Superior Spider-Man" #1 4 stars, calling the Marvel NOW! debut issue of Spidey's new status quo "intriguing, well thought out, exciting and downright fun."