Welcome to the Review Round-Up! We here at Talking Comics release a lot of reviews every week, but sometimes a review can go unnoticed or get buried beneath all the news and other features we have on a weekly basis. That’s why we decided to gather all of our week’s reviews into one post and put it out there for you to enjoy. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out this week’s Talking Comics podcast, which discusses all things comic related and more. DC Comics: Animal Man #17- Written by Jeff Lemire, Art by Steve Pugh, Timothy Green II & Joseph Silver “It’s an issue full of action and brave, determined characters. There are plenty of small surprises to keep fans satisfied throughout the issue. This is what we’ve been waiting for, folks. The only big downside is the issue ends on a cliffhanger. Luckily the wait only last as long as it takes you to reach for this month’s Swamp Thing.”-Adam You can read the whole review here. Green Arrow #17- Written by Jeff Lemire, Art by Andrea Sorrentino “Green Arrow #17 is a book with a ton of promise. Writer Jeff Lemire has set Oliver Queen on the right path to becoming a major player in the DCU and he does so by taking him down to the streets. This is a gritty, tough treatment of the character and it not only feels like new territory for Green Arrow, but for Lemire himself. There is some danger in having a villain with the same skill set as the hero, see the Iron Man films, but I have a feeling Lemire is going to use him to really show off the way he is shaping the Emerald Archer. You mix that with a healthy dose of mystery, mythology and gorgeous Andrea Sorrentino art and you’ve got one of the most intriguing books in the New 52.”-Bobby You can read the whole review here. Lot 13 #4- Written by Steve Niles, Art by Glenn Fabry “Buy this, if you haven’t already. The story is freaky and scary and the art chillingly dark and gloomy. Lot 13 is prime steak in the realm of horror comics. Another unfortunate cut in DC’s new lineup, it will only have one more issue to go, which is a damn shame. Pick it up while you can.”-Melissa You can read the whole review here. Young Romance #1: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special- Story and Art by Various “At $7.99, I say pass. I would probably even say pass at $3.99. With a couple very odd artistic choices, a majority of surface level stories that provide little in the way of character exploration, and a theme that is vaguely danced around than actually confronted; Young Romance was an interesting idea that unfortunately was unable to meet up to my expectations. But that’s the thing about young romance, you can never know until you put your heart (and your wallet) out into the world to find out for yourself.”-Sean You can read the whole review here. Marvel Comics: Fearless Defenders #1- Written by Cullen Bunn, Art by Will Sliney “The Fearless Defenders #1 shows a lot of promise and is off to a fun and saucy start. I have no doubt that there are many more adventures to be had as the series continues to round out its roster of female leads. The book also appears to be quite the passion project from writer Cullen Bunn, and knowing that he is truly invested in the book leaves me with a sense of excitement and hope for a great series to come.“-Steve You can read the whole review here. Iron Man #6- Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Greg Land “While not perfect by any means, Iron Man #6 is a great jumping-on point and re-introduction to the series that fans of Tony Stark should definitely check out. With Iron Man in space, it’s opened up a lot of unique and interesting directions for the series to take and the “Godkiller” story is definitely one of them. If nothing else it’s really intriguing to see how far spread the Phoenix really was and what kind of influence it had in the universe. Land’s art, while still marred with his infamous faces, is a definite step in the right direction and features some amazing set pieces that really engross you in the story. If you weren’t on board before, now is the perfect time to check out Iron Man.”-Travis You can read the whole review here. New Avengers #3- Written by Jonathan Hickman, Art by Steve Epting “New Avengers is still getting started, but things are starting to ramp up. The depth of the character discussions continue to provide a deep intellectual level to superhero comics. I’ve read through this several times already, and it has sparked a lot of thoughtful reflection and contemplation. This isn’t something you get from every book. If you still haven’t check out New Avengers then jump on before the express trains gets started and doesn’t stop to let you on!”-Adam You can read the whole review here. Superior Spider-Man #3- Written by Dan Slott, Art by Ryan Stegman & Edgar Delgado “Superior Spider-Man is definitely a step in the right direction for the series. Spider-Ock is starting to grow on me as we get a closer look into the life of the man formerly known as Otto Octavius. While his personality is still jarring, we’re starting to see hints of a true hero underneath and I appreciate that he wasn’t always a dastardly, evil villain, even after he became Doc Ock. The original Peter Parker’s consciousness began as an interesting twist in the series but is slowly becoming one of the things I really don’t like about the series. I’m hoping that he can be better utilized in the future, but he needs to shape up quickly. Ryan Stegman and Edgar Delgado continue to do a solid, if not unremarkable job, although there is a few shines of brilliance to be had. I say get it if you’re interested, it’s worth the four dollar price tag.”-Travis You can read the whole review here. Winter Soldier #15- Written by Jason Latour, Art by Nic Klein “Fantastic art and hard-boiled storytelling: this is what The Winter Soldier has been about since issue #1. Heck, that’s what the Bucky character has been all about since Brubaker reintroduced the character back during Captain America. Jason Latour and Nic Klein have huge shoes to fill as they take over this series, but if this issue is any sign, they are more than up to the task.”-Joey You can read the whole review here. Dark Horse/Image/IDW/Valiant: Epic Kill #8- Story and Art by Raffaele Ienco “Epic Kill #8 was an enjoyable read, but not one that drives readers to the next issue. Without knowing the history of the character or situation, Song’s plight does not strike a chord. For new readers, it will be more beneficial to pick up the first trade and read up on Ienco’s Epic Kill.”-Mara You can read the whole review here. Fairest #12- Written by Lauren Beukes, Art by Inaki Miranda “While issue #12 isn’t an ideal jumping on point, it brings another piece to the Hidden Kingdom arc. Rapunzel’s reaction to being pushed in a corner is horrific, but is fitting to the situation. Beukes is weaving a great addition to the Fables series.”-Mara You can read the whole review here. Harbinger #0- Written by Joshua Dysert, Art by Mico Suayan & Pere Perez “Harbinger #0 gives us an intriguing look into the past of the series’ main antagonist, Harada. The narrative, pacing, tone, and art all combine to provide a very solid issue that is one of the best Harbinger issues to be released. If you plan on reading the upcoming Harbinger Wars then pick this up.”-Adam You can read the whole review here. Snapshot #1 (of 4)- Written by Andy Diggle, Art by Jock “Buy it. Now, Snapshot technically has already been published across the pond in Judge Dredd: Magazine in short 10-page chunks, but Image has once again caught on to a promising creator-owned mini-series and taken the risk to put it out to a mass audience here in the States. Regardless of whether you’ve read it before or not, Andy Diggle and Jock’s Snapshot is one complex comic deserving of multiple looks. And when I say “deserving,” I mean “will probably need,” because it’s just so damn insane. Check it.”-Joey You can read the whole review here. Son of Merlin #1- Written by Robert Napton, Art by Mohammad Yazid “The next issue should start to give a clear indicator as to the direction this title will take in the long haul, but as an introduction to the setting at large and the characters that populate it, it is an entertaining read that is full of potential. Providing a textbook example as to how these reinterpretations can find a new chord on an old story, Son of Merlin may have found its time on the cycle has come.”-Sean You can read the whole review here. Star Wars Dark Times: Fire Carrier #1- Written by Randy Stradley, Art by Gabriel Guz-man “Star Wars Dark Times: Fire Carrier is a pass. For a first issue the characters do almost nothing to get you to like them, nor do they do anything to evoke a negative response either. The art was slightly nostalgic of the yesteryears of Star Wars comics, but it was not enough to save a slow uneventful comic.”-Adam You can read the whole review here. Think Tank #5- Written by Matt Hawkins, Art by Rahsan Ekedal “Matt Hawkins’ script runs the gamut from political intrigue to Star Wars references to underground secret military lab-chatter. After the main story, Hawkins takes the time to provide external links and informational excerpts that reinforce and contextualize the science in the book itself. And, to top it all off, Rahsan Ekedel’s black-and-white artwork is absolutely stunning. The naturalism mirrors that of other Image books like Morning Glories and Saga, despite the grayscale color scheme. Definitely worth a read! Especially if you want to learn something.”-Joey You can read the whole review here. Zed- Story and Art by Michel Gagne “Zed is, for all intents and purposes, a comics storytelling masterpiece. Michel Gagné clearly loved this character and this story, and his effort to revise and polish Zed for Image’s collected edition pays off tenfold. And, while we’re talking about Image, this edition of Zed once again proves the power and resonance of good creator-owned comics.”-Joey You can read the whole review here. Well that does it for this week’s edition of the Review Round-Up. Also be sure to check out Steve Seigh’s Favorite Comic Book Covers of the Week, which showcase some of the week’s best covers. What were your favorite books of the week? Least favorite? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll see you next week! 2 Responses speederice February 13, 2013 This is an awesome idea for a column! I appreciate having the reviews gathered in one place. Great work! Log in to Reply Travis McCollum February 14, 2013 Glad you’ve been enjoying the Review Round-Up so far. That means a lot Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.