Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cosmic Review #16! #Uncanny X-Men #2 and the Red Skull.

Cosmic Comic Review #16

Hey there comic fans,

    I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed in this Wednesday’s comic pulls. I suppose I only have myself to blame for not being more adventurous with my comic selections. I mainly stick to DC, and on a day like today that left me severely limited in reading selection. Let me show you what I mean:

Comic Pull List Nov/30


DC Universe Online Legends #18


Red Skull Incarnate 5/5
Regenesis: Uncanny X-Men #2

    Yup. That’s it. Pretty depressing. The good news is overall, I really enjoyed the Marvel books this week and I found that kind of funny. The Red Skull Incarnate was a 5-issue mini-series that I found very entertaining as it gave perspective on a young Johann Schmidt living his childhood during the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. A very insightful piece that melds history and fiction into an examination of what exactly makes young Schmidt follow the path to becoming one of the most infamous villains in the Marvel Universe, the Red Skull. I definitely recommend the mini-series to any fans of the Red Skull or anyone interested in learning more about him. I am considering writing up a 5-issue break down of the series this weekend, but for now I shall move onto the comic review for this week, Uncanny X-Men #2.

Regenesis: Uncanny X-Men #2

Written by Kieron Gillen
Pencils by Carl Pacheco, Jorge Molina, & Rodney Buchemi
Inks by Cam Smith, Roger Bonet, Walden Wong, & Jorge Molina
Colors by Frank D’Armata, Rachelle Rosenberg, Jim Charalampidis, & Jorge Molina

    Now among my comic reading friends, the “Schism” was not an overly well received concept a few months ago. Many of us were sceptical about how the split would effect the quality of the story. After reading Wolverine and the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men #1s, my hesitation slowly began to fade. I can safely say that I am a bigger Wolverine fan, but Uncanny X-Men definitely has me hooked after this issue. After the events of Issue #1, Cyclop’s team is pretty battered but still ready for a fight. Enter Mr. Sinister. Even from my childhood afternoons of watching the X-Men animated TV Series, Mr. Sinister was one of those villains that I always loved to see the X-Men fight. This issue brings back those nostalgic feelings in full force. Mr. Sinister definitely shows in this issue that he is an adversary that will not be taken lightly. Gillen starts the issue in kind of a long winded whimsical way, with Mr. Sinister mockingly inviting Cyclops and his team to meet with him and then going into elaborate detail about his awesomeness. At first I found it very draining to read and fought back many urges to skip pages to catch a glimpse of what I awaited me on the final pages. Let me say, that the ending to this issue, for me, justifies the pageantry of his arrogance and brilliance. Mr. Sinister has definitely got me hooked on this story arc, and has given me hope for continuing with Uncanny X-Men. The art in this book changes frequently between Pacheco, Molina, and Buchemi. I like the variety in the book itself, and I really enjoyed the pages showing a young Mr. Sinister, but for the most part I felt that it was good but not amazing. Overall, Uncanny X-Men #2 was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone that is sceptical about picking up this X-Men title. If Gillen has given us any indication with this issue, this title should definitely please an X-Men fan looking for a fun read.

Cosmic Rating: 3.5/5


- Great writing of Mr. Sinister
- Awesome ending


- Unless you have the patience, I can see some readers being bored with the initial pages of the Mr. Sinister confrontation. It could have been a bit shorter or allowed for more dialogue from other characters.
- The art was not terrible, but I felt like it wasn’t spectacular either outside of the flashback pages.

    That is all for this week’s comic review. Hopefully I can find the time over the weekend to do a review of the Red Skull Incarnate mini-series. If I enjoy working on that then I shall consider doing the same for other mini-series in the future, who knows maybe it will save me from more comic deprived weeks like this one. One can only hope. Until then, A Feast for Crows! Take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and everything in between AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cosmic Review #15! Aquaman #3 and Flash Facts!

Hey there fellow comic junkies,

    Here in the Great White North, the weather may be dropping to the colder side but at least we still have new comics to look forward to on Wednesdays. As always my favourite day of the week brings me something new to be thankful for. It may not be Thanksgiving up here this week, but I can still manage to find something to be grateful for this week. Let’s take a look at my pull’s for this week:

Pull List Nov/23


Aquaman #3
Batman The Dark Knight #3
Diablo 3 #1 of 5
Green Lantern New Guardians #3
The Flash #3
Teen Titans #3
Superman #3


The Mighty Thor #8
Wolverine and the X-Men #2

After going through my pulls I came to a few conclusions. Firstly, I really can’t get in to Superman as it is right now. When the New 52 started, I was very much looking forward to getting a fresh start on the Man of Steel. The title as it is right now, fails to capture my interest. I feel like by issue #3 there has been little to no progress moving the story forward. The formula being used is tired and not overly interesting and because of it I have removed it from my pull list. I hope to be proven wrong down the line, but as it stands I am disappointed to say the least. Alternatively, I can summarize the Flash story so far in one word….WOW. I am very happy with the direction Manapul has been taking during his run on the title. Not only has he added a different dimension to the Flash’s abilities, but he has been able to bring a truly exciting reading experience to me with every issue. Just check out the end of Issue #3 when you get the chance and honestly tell me that you anticipated that ending. You have been formally challenged :P! Anyway, without further delay let the comic review begin, this week I will be looking at AQUAMAN #3.

Aquaman #3
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis

    Once again Aquaman #3 continues Johns’ redefining run on DC’s once misunderstood superhero. If you have not been following Aquaman since the relaunch began, many things have changed. Johns did away with the negative Aquaman stereotypes and has managed to bring a new perspective on the character that has intrigued not only myself but many other DC readers as well. Aquaman #3 was definitely one of the most interesting reads from my pulls this week, and leaves little doubt in my mind that I will be keeping my eye on this title. As stated, Johns is tearing down the preconceptions of Aquaman on this run. Here we see an Aquaman that lives in a world that quite frankly does not understand him as a hero. The world recognizes who he is, but does not seek to understand him outside of “the guy who talks to fish”. Johns uses this to great effect within the story giving the plot a sense of realism. Here we see an Aquaman who is coming face to face with an unknown threat from the deepest parts of the ocean, and just tears things up. Badass is really the best phrase to describe the action within this issue. On top of it all, Johns manages to mix in Aquaman’s past into the current story, giving even more depth to the plot and giving readers insight in to where Aquaman comes from, leading to the hero he is in the present. Moving to the art, we have the pencils of Ivan Reis who brings together some great fight panels . I really like the art on the creatures in throughout the issue, most notably page 7. Johns and Reis bring a great look and feel to the new Aquaman, and after how this issue ended I look forward to seeing where they will take Aquaman next. Overall, this issue served to give more insight into the Trench, touch upon Aquaman’s past, and continue to teach us what Aquaman is capable of as a hero.

Cosmic Rating: 4.5/5

- A good relaunch for Aquaman as a character
- Johns really helps ground Aquaman in the real world through his interactions with civilians
- The Trench continue to intrigue

- Mera doesn’t seem to have a really strong presence in the dialogue. She just seems to be tagging along the whole issue and never really says anything interesting until the final pages.

    That concludes the comic review for this week, to all those celebrating Thanksgiving this week I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. To those of you who shall be heading to work like myself, I wish you all the best just the same. Earlier today my brother and I picked up the new Zelda title Skyward Sword and are itching to get through that as quickly as possible, so I foresee a very dungeon packed weekend ahead of me. Until next week, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and everything in between AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cosmic Review #14! Incredible Hulk #2 + What to keep on pull this holiday season!

Hey there fellow comic junkies,

    It appears that another Wednesday has come into our lives and with it the bountiful harvest that is “new comic day”. For me, today’s harvest was quite impressive. Let us take a quick moment and check out my comic pull list this week:

BOOM! Studios

Starborn #12


The Bionic Man #4


Batman #3
Catwoman #3
Captain Atom #3
DC Universe Online Legends #17
Green Lantern Corps #3
Justice League #3
Nightwing #3
Red Hood and the Outlaws #3


Fear Itself #7.3: Iron Man
The Amazing Spider-Man #674
The Incredible Hulk #2
Venom #9

Quite a haul this week. As I was going through my pulls in one sitting as I tend to do, I had some time between issues to contemplate the state of my pull list and its content. I think after this week I can honestly say that the three most interesting books I am reading right now has to be Venom (Rick Remender), Red Hood and the Outlaws (Scott Lobdell), and Captain Atom (J.T. Krul). Throughout the weeks these three books have not disappointed me in the slightest. I never once found myself pausing between pages and always experienced that familiar feeling of disappointment/realization when I flipped to the final page and found myself wanting more. All three books, to me, seem to have a lot of potential moving forward and I sincerely hope that the comic community shares my view and the titles can continue to move strong into 2012. Moving on to this week’s review I forego the overly examined titles from DC and Marvel (let’s face it the major review sites are all over those ones already,) and examine a title that I think should have more exposure then I am currently viewing. This week I shall be reviewing The Incredible Hulk #2!

The Incredible Hulk #2
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Marc Silvestri
Colours by Sunny Gho

    So at the end of Fear Itself we witnessed the Hulk and Bruce Banner being separated once again, however this time it appears that the separation was done willingly by none other than the Hulk himself. Since issue one, we find Aaron exploring the aftermath of this abrupt separation from the perspectives of both Bruce and the Hulk. As is the norm we find the Hulk seeking a peaceful existence away from those who would wish to use or abuse him. For Bruce however we see a different path unfolding. It appears that since the separation Bruce has been seeking out the Hulk, to rejoin with him. Aaron takes Bruce down a path that really explores his core as a character and the dark side of his relationship with the Hulk. The story that Aaron has created thus far seems to me to have a lot of potential and I can definitely see this title picking up some positive reviews in the near future. To bring this story to life we have the art of Marc Silvestri. I am thoroughly impressed with Silvestri’s art in this title. He does a great job of bringing the dark tone to the scenes with Bruce, expressing his desperation and obsession clearly to the reader. In this issue the action scenes are stunning and will easily delight an avid Hulk reader looking for a great bunch of smashing panels. The detail is just awe-inspiring and makes me excited to see what comes next. Gho’s colours help establish the moods between panels and set a great atmosphere throughout the issue. The head shots alone should win over even the most critical of Hulk fans. If you are on the fence about getting on board with this new Hulk title, I urge you to reconsider. The premise for the new title may seem a little gimmicky at first, it did to me too, but considering what I have seen so far in issue 1 and 2 I really believe that this run will prove to be something that will be buzzed about from Marvel.

Cosmic Rating: 4/5

- Very interesting story direction, explores Bruce in a new way
-  Fantastic artwork. Exceptional detail and great colours
-  Great actions scenes, Hulk fans rejoice!

- The overall theme is not exactly new, strong start but still too early to be sure

    That concludes the CCR for the week of Nov/16. Now that we are entering the impending holiday season many may be wondering what titles they can trim from their pulls to pocket some extra cash before the annual gift hunt for friends/family. I hope you shall consider the recommendations I have made throughout my review this week into your pull list dissections. I shall return next week with another comic review, until then take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and everything in between AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cosmic Review #13! The Avenging Spider-Man #1!

Hey there comic junkies,

    I know what you are thinking. Where the hell have you been? Well, let me do my best to explain. Between writing my own comic, work, and job hunting the comic reviews got completely and utterly derailed. I have been keeping up to date with comics, including the New 52 launch, as well as working on my own stuff. Excuses aside, I have returned to provide my insight into the comic universe once again. I hope that you shall welcome my return and continue to entrust in me your time, patience, and most importantly comments and opinions. Without further delay let us begin by observing my comic pull list for this week, Nov 9.


Batman & Robin #3
Death stroke #3
Green Lantern #3


Avenging Spider-Man #1
Fear Itself #7.2
Journey Into Mystery #631
    It was definitely an enjoyable read this week for all the books. I definitely enjoyed each and every comic I grabbed this week, which is rare I find since the New 52 launch, as a lot of the titles I am trying are not keeping my attention throughout the read. Alas, this week I need to choose a comic so I have chosen to review “Avenging Spider-Man #1”.

Avenging Spider-Man #1
Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: Joe Madureira
Color by: Ferran Daniel

    I am sure it comes to no surprise that I really enjoyed this first issue of Avenging Spider-Man. I was kind of sceptical when I picked it up as on the surface it caught me as another of the numerous Spidey titles out there. Let’s dig deeper on this.

    Firstly the art in this book is just absolutely stunning to me. I love Madureira’s style of art for this. The colors of Daniel completely compliment it and give the reader a completely astounding visual experience. The art in the action scenes was fantastic and really captured the intensity of the scenes. We even get some pretty awesome full page spreads as well. I was consistently entertained page after page. Next week I will definitely be picking up a poster of the cover art that I neglected to snag this week, great stuff.
    Moving on to the writing. My first experience with Zeb Wells was with the recent run he did on Carnage. When I saw that he was on Avenging Spider-Man I was definitely curious as I liked Carnage a lot and felt that it did not really get a fair reception amongst the comic readers I generally discuss comics with. Avenging Spider-Man brings us an enjoyable and satisfying Peter Parker, funny, humble, and constantly on the receiving end. I love the partnership dynamic Wells presents us in this issue (hint: Big. Red. Easily Annoyed) and I definitely see this becoming something enjoyable to read. The issue is action-packed from start to finish and really sets an interesting stage for issue #2. I look forward to seeing how this title unfolds and I see myself on board to at least issue #10.

Cosmic Rating: 5/5

- Fantastic Art
- Action-Packed issue
- Lot of potential out of the gate
- Definitely recommend to Spidey fans!

    That will be it for the Cosmic Comic Review #13. I am once again writing reviews again once a week and I hope that I can bring some insight and foster discussion among comic fans in the future. Until next week, take care and happy reading!

Luca “Joriko” Baldassarra

Follow me on Twitter @Lucacosmic for news on comics, video games, and everything in between AND Check out my fan-page on Facebook at!