Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 6/17/09

Captain America #600

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker (main story); Paul Dini, Roger Stern, Mark Waid, Joe Simon, and Stan Lee (back-up stories)
Artists: Butch Guice with Howard Chaykin, Rafael Albuquerque, David Aja, and Mitch Breitweiser (main story); Alex Ross, Kalman Andrasofszky, Dale Eaglesham, and Al Alivison (back-up stories)

Story – Captain America Origin (Reprint), One Year Later (main story), In Memorium (back-up), The Persistence of Memorabilia (back-up), My Bulletin Board (letter), and Red Skull’s Deadly Revenge (Reprint)

After all the build-up for this issue Marvel didn’t do themselves any favors by allowing spoilers for the issue to come out on Monday when most comic shops, mine included, did not get the issue till today, due to extra shipping cost being to high for one-day shipping. Most of the excitement for this issue was really taken away do to the spoilers all over the Internet.

Still in any case Captain America #600 was a good read that would have been much better if we did not get the spoilers so soon. The best part of the issue was the main story that Ed Brubaker wrote. It was a well told story that let us catch up with all of the main cast, both hero and villain, of this book. The thing that hurt the main story was the artist by committee used for some of the character spotlights which did not mesh well with Butch Guice’s main artwork. Still the main story did a good job telling us were all these characters are One Year Later and build the mystery of the “return” of Steve Rogers.

For the back-ups they where each okay stories but were not very interesting as they only served as a way to let old Captain America writers to write a story. The stories did not add anything to the overall story Brubaker is telling in the book but did not detract from it either which I guess is all a person can ask for back-up stories.

The extra’s of Dini and Ross reprint of the Captain America (Steve Rogers) Origin story, Joe Simon’s letter, Stan Lee and Al Avision old WWII Red Skull reprint, and the 600 cover gallery were all nice little extras that I’m sure older Captain America fans will enjoy but I did not find all too interesting.

Issue Rating
Story(s): 7.8/10 – The main story that Brubaker wrote was just as good as the rest of the series has been but the back-up stories just weren’t as interesting as Brubaker’s story.
Art: 6.4/10 – The artist by committee really hurt the flow of some of the issue which is the first time that it has happened to this series.
Overall: 7.1/10 – As far as anniversary issues go Captain America #600 was not bad and loaded with a bunch of extra content. But Cap #600 was hurt by the early spoilers that where leaked a few days before this issue was released to most comic shops.

Superman/Batman #61

Creative Team
Writers: Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colorist: Brian Buccellato

Story- Mash-Up Part 2

The first issue of this two-part story was entertaining but not really a story with much depth. The second, and final, part of this “Mash-Up” story falls under the same boat. But as far as quick two-part elseworld stories go this wasn’t bad. This issue starts by introducing us to the villain amalgams (BrainyCat, Penguello, Jimmy Two-Face, The Ventrilomaker, Lana Quinn) along with Doomstroke and Lex Joker who we meet in the last issue. Also unsurprisingly the Terra (Terranato) from this world is also a traitor working for Doomstroke.

From there we get a brawl between the Justice Titans and the Brotherhood of Injustice which is beautifully illustrated by Francis Manapul. Manapul’s artwork in this issue was even better than in the last issue and has me thinking of getting Adventure Comics just for his art.

Anyways the twist that Green and Johnson was not all that surprising but, not going to spoil it here, it was nice to see the villain back in comics again as it has been a while since I have seen the character involved in a storyline.

My favorite part of this issue was the little dream sequence involving Bruce and Zatanna. It was a little bit of a sad moment that Green and Johnson were able to inject into the story that makes you feel bad for both characters. And I’m sure that the Bruce/Zatanna fans will enjoy.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.5/10 – Green and Johnson do a solid job with this two part story and were able to give us a nice touching scene in the issue.
Art: 9/10 – Manapul’s artwork was just awesome in this story and his art alone is a reason to pick up this two-part story.
Overall: 8.25/10 – “Mash-Up” was a good elseworld story that will probably be enjoyed by fans like me who have not read to many elseworld stories than does that have. But in any case this was a nice quick story that is worth the read as both writers and artist do a solid job with.