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This Week’s Comics 8/3/11

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It’s actually a pretty small week for comics. Marvel has the big reveal of the new Ultimate Spidey in Ultimate Fallout #4, but the big news is on DCs side with the long-awaited Flashpoint #4 and the finale of a couple of the Flashpoint spin-offs, including the awesome Batman: Knight of Vengeance.


Marvel

The Punisher #1

Written: Greg Rucka.
Art: Marco Checchetto

The Good

I am an unabashed fan of Frank Castle. He’s what Batman would be if Bruce Wayne went completely nuts and used high powered guns to deal with his vengeance. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the “Frankencastle” era, so when a new traditional Punisher was announced; I immediately added it to my saver.

Greg Rucka brings back the gritty Punisher we all love, while still towing the line just enough to not venture into Marvel’s “MAX” territory. Marco Checchetto’s dark and gritty art complements Rucka’s take on Frank and this is one series to keep an eye on. Definitely run down to your shop and pick up a copy if you love The Punisher.

The Bad

The main story in this introductory issue is over way too soon and right as Frank starts to dispense his brand of justice…it ends. It’s so good that it’ll leave you wanting the next issue, but it still sucks that it’s over so quick.

The Ugly

Man, that was one brutal wedding…


DC

Flashpoint #4

Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Andy Kubert
Inks: Jesse Delperdang
Colors: Alex Sinclair

The Good

Of the two big company crossovers this summer, it’s pretty easy to say that Flashpoint is the far superior of the two. While Fear Itself is kind of fizzling out, the DC event that will lead into September’s relaunch is building to a crescendo. With this second-to-last issue, I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Flash, Batman, Cyborg, the Shazam kids, and Element Woman decide to take the fight to Wonder Woman and Aquaman after the planned nuking of New Themyscira doesn’t go as planned and Hal Jordan is reported to be killed. They engage the warrior superheroes, someone dies, and Flash finally comes face to face with Professor Zoom…ending in a cliffhanger that makes Flashpoint #5 even more anticipated than it already was.

The Bad

The worst thing is having to wait for the fifth, and final issue. Flashpoint is one of the most entertaining crossovers done by either DC or Marvel in a long time. It’s going to suck to see it end.

The Ugly

Poor Billy Batson….

Batman: Knight of Vengeance #3

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: Eduardo Risso

The Good

I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I saw that Brian Azzarello’s three-issue Batman: Knight of Vengeance will probably go down in history as a fan-favorite Batman story. It’s basically an Esleworld’s tale, with Thomas Wayne as a violence and vengeful Batman, but it is a dark Batman story and one that fans have come to enjoy quite a bit.

After the last issue’s mind-blowing revelation that the Flashpoint Joker is actually Martha Wayne, this issue flashes back to show the death of Bruce and just how the two parents ended up becoming Batman and the Joker. There’s some definite Heath Ledger Joker inspiration here, and the rest of the issue ties in to the overall Flashpoint story with Batman explaining how he could bring forth a timeline where they died but Bruce lives.

The Bad

It’s the final issue. Of all of the Flashpoint spin-offs, this is the one that I don’t think people would mind DC bringing back as an on-going series. The Thomas Wayne Batman is a cool version of the character, and is something that will be missed once Flashpoint concludes.

The Ugly

Martha’s new-found “smile”. Yuck.

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