Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Weekly Rankings For 07/23/08

Here are this week’s comics ranked prior to reading them, based upon past performance and advance information released on each issue:

5. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic #31
4. Uncanny X-Men #500
3. Green Lantern Corps #26
2. Star Wars Legacy #26
1. X-Men Legacy #214

Here are the rankings after the first read through with a mini-review:

5. Uncanny X-Men #500
Brubaker, Fraction, Land & Dodson

Everyone loves a round number. Unfortunately, this comic gives you a lot of setup and not much in the way of a memorable story. The good news is that $1 bump in price at least has an increased page count without all the reprint stuff in the back trying to make the thing feel thicker. Hulk could learn a lesson or two from this. Anyway, the X-Men are in San Francisco and so is some artist who uses some deactivated Sentinels to display the plight of mutants. Take a guess what happens? Some old villains return and all hell breaks loose. It’s a very tame issue. The art has its highlights, but the switch in artists is definitely noticeable. Cyclops goes from looking like Jim Morrison to a WWE “face” with some stubble, which is a little extreme. There are some nice touches here. For one thing the comic makes use of some items you might find in the X-Men movies (like Beast leaping up behind mystery villain X). Another nice move is the inclusion of Pixie. In case you missed free comic book day she had a coming out party in the X-Men freebie and became a grown up and interesting character pretty much overnight. I also did enjoy the tour of the new headquarters, but felt it was too brief. In all, this is your standard jump on point when you have a comic creeping up on 50 years being published.

4. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic #31
Miller, Robinson & Atiyeh

This issue has Zayne return to Coruscant. The entire issue is about him trying to get through the blockade to land on the planet. It’s a good issue because you see how his friends and enemies are working behind the scenes to either block it, support it or maneuver for it to fit their agenda. It’s a clever issue with an interesting ending. The artwork really does a great job in the space scenes and the battle that occurs. The issue also gives some background on some of the Covenant. Thankfully, this issue is light on the dumb humor. It’s okay when placed on like one page, like in this issue.

3. Star Wars Legacy #26
Ostrander, Duursema & Parsons

This issue spends the whole time waiting for an answer from the council about Cade’s plan to assassinate Darth Krayt. I have to say that it’s a little alarming that the Jedi don’t seem to care too much that one of their own, Hett, has become the Sith Lord and Emperor. You know, you’d think they would have learned when Anakin fell back in the day, but apparently they don’t really care when their own goes off the rails. Anyway, the issue explores various relationships and does a good job of it. Cade is confronted by his old Jedi buddy. Syn confronts his father’s killer. The rogue Jedi turned Imperial Knight is confronted by the daughter of the exiled Emperor. It’s a really good issue with some excellent close up artwork to match. It’s a little disturbing that R2 is getting some blame in the end, but at least he gets some page time.

2. Green Lantern Corps #26
Tomasi, Gleason & Geraci

Holy crap a Green Lantern dies! I didn’t see this coming at all! I’m going to miss the little fella too. Why couldn’t some lame Lantern die instead? As the Mongul story concludes we find an unusual ending for his ring and the ring of the fallen Green Lantern. Also, Mongul gets an interesting “resting place” as well. The issue is extremely entertaining and has some gruesome scenes in it. The battle and defeat in the issue is well done and felt very surprising and refreshing. I liked almost everything about the issue except two things. First, the dialogue that the Green Lanterns sometimes speak seems so tame that they could have been said by any of the characters. Also, I am so not a fan of the zoom out shot of the multiple Lanterns flying, talking, etc. It makes it almost impossible to tell who is talking or even who is in the scene. These are minor complaints, but enough to keep them from the top spot.

1. X-Men Legacy #214
Carey, Eaton & Lashley

Xavier versus Sinister in Xavier’s head! This comic has some great flashback scenes and some excellent character development for Xavier. Gambit and Shaw are running around while the “head” battle is going on to keep the issue interesting, but the real meat of the issue is how Sinister is trying to squeeze Xavier out of Xavier’s own mind. This issue has such a strong story within in and a deep focus to the overall title that I find it difficult not to get psyched for it month to month. One question does come up though. To kill someone that is only in your mind wouldn’t you simply have to forget them? Deep thoughts indeed.