Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Weekly Rankings For 10/08/08

Here are this week’s comics ranked prior to reading them:

8. Lone Ranger #14
7. X-Men Original Sin #1
6. Flash Gordon #2
5. Green Lantern Corps #29
4. X-Men Magneto Testament #2 of 5
3. Green Lantern #35
2. Action Comics #870
1. Transformers Spotlight Sideswipe

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

8. X-Men Original Sin #1

Way, Carey, Deodato & Eaton

This comic sets up the crossover between X-Men Legacy and Wolverine Origins. The execution is very good as the comic is split into two chapters: one for each creative team. The pass off between chapters is seamless. However, where the comic drops a little is the revelation that Wolverine wasn’t aware that Xavier was alive. Not only that, but his reaction to Cyclops and then to Xavier himself is so polarizing. He wants to beat on Cyclops for Cyke having Xavier’s scent on him, but then when he meets Xavier he barely mentions his surprise and concern. It was so bizarre I felt it was a letdown. The art was solid with a slightly noticeable difference in teams. A reprint in the back helps pad the pages.

7. Lone Ranger #14

Matthews, Cariello & Cassaday

A good issue, but not a great one. The Lone Ranger, Tonto and friends continue to track down a murderer. The comic is filled with suggestive conversations and meaningful, wordless looks. It works with the great art, but it doesn’t always tell a comprehensive story. Cavendish and his role and motives are completely unexplained and would probably turn off any new reader. The comic feels like its trying to be too clever instead of letting the story shine through.

6. Transformers Spotlight Sideswipe

Furman, Su, Mowry & Tipton

Don’t be fooled by the low ranking. This is a very good comic book. This is the last of the Revelation story arc and the end of about a 50 issue mega story. It delivers on the title character by laying out a good story with Sideswipe, mixing in his interaction with Hound and his feelings about Sunstreaker. The pinnacle with Optimus Prime and Nemesis Prime was fantastic as well. However, the multitude of threads and theaters that are wrapped up here become dizzying and none get the full attention they deserved. I felt the comic should have been extra sized. The art direction also had a high number of panels from a zoom out view which wasted precious real estate in the comic. This was a huge epic that had a knockout ending. A new reader would be lost, entertained perhaps, but lost.

5. Green Lantern #35

Johns, Reis & Albert

With the wrap up of the secret origin arc we get Sinestro and Hal confronting the Guardians. This issue only provides a few interesting pieces to the Blackest Night or Rage of the Red Lantern stories. For the most part, this is familiar territory where Hal mouths off to the Guardians while Sinestro throws in some zingers. The comic is good, but it doesn’t pack a punch like previous issues in the arc. I found it odd that the Guardians would be all knowing and yet aren’t aware that one of their own has taken a name and is making some side deals. The artwork is great, but the lack of setting details leads me to believe there was a rush on this one. I felt like there were a few more pages of leftovers and it was made into an entire issue. If I recall this was supposed to be a six issue arc and this was issue seven. Still a solid read on an old story and concept.

4. Action Comics #870

Johns, Frank & Sibal

By now the world probably knows how this comic ends, but the real meat of the issue deals with Brainiac. This should have been a great issue, but falls to just really good. Which is a fine rating, but does disappoint a tad for a finale of this magnitude. Superman figures out how to beat Brainiac and therein lies the disappointment. Brainiac has all these cultures in his head and he’s been so intelligent and crafty and yet all it takes is Superman to get really pissed off to beat him. I felt it was a letdown considering this is the type of villain that could rival Luthor. I also felt more could have been explained as to what Supergirl was chasing and how she destroyed it and I would have liked a more depth on Superman freeing the cities. The comic provides excellent character interaction for Superman and Lois and Supergirl and the Kents. The comic has a strong hold on the core characters. The visuals at the end help to make the comic a very powerful visual story.

3. X-Men Magneto Testament #2 of 5

Pak, Di Giandomenico & Hollingsworth

This is not a super hero comic or an origins story. This is a comic that is very much a real account of how Germany murdered its Jewish population during the late 1930s. However, it doesn’t just pick up with the genocide in the camps. No, it takes the every day lives of one family, Magneto’s, and illustrates point by point how their livelihood, home and country (and presumably their lives) where taken from them. The story uses real timelines and actual events to show the chaos around the family. This issue focuses on the events of Kristallnacht and the immediate aftermath. With three issues to go you know this is only going to get worse and worse. This is a fantastic, but horrific and emotional story.

2. Flash Gordon #2

Deneen & Green

An awesome comic. This issue deals with the events of Flash landing on Mongo. We get the introduction of Ming and some other supporting characters. The characterizations are established immediately helping to keep the story moving quickly. The artwork has a cartoon quality that works really well in this fantasy world. The story is opening up multiple threads to help keep the storylines alive in many different directions. This is shaping up to be a killer series.

1. Green Lantern Corps #29

Tomasi, Gleason, Geraci & Buchman

This comic is becoming amazing each and every month. This issue focuses on establishing the Saphhire Lanterns. However, it ties in some much more. The beings that find themselves offered these rings are impacted by others from the main set of characters we’ve been seeing all along. It’s brilliant usage of the cast that has had some many players over the past nine months. The interaction between Guy and Ice will help to set up even more interesting twists that you are probably guessing about now. This comic is really setting up the coming war very nicely and it’s doing it with multiple new characters new and every month. This is a fantastic monthly read.