Comic Book Stash: February 27, 2013

Mini-reviews and ratings of comics released February 27, 2013.

A much shorter stack than last week's. Thank goodness. This means I get my thoughts out there on New Comics Day Eve for once.

Agree or disagree? Let me know by hitting me up on Twitter or Google+.

3 stars
Geoff Johns
Paul Pelletier, Art Thibert

Finally! We see Arthur as King of the Seven Seas protecting his domain. Unfortunately the Atlanteans don't like him and the surface dwellers don't trust him. This is Aquaman as he's meant to be.

One quibble, however. In Justice League we see that Arthur turned his brother over to the surface authorities for judgement. In this issue he turns over the whalers to the surface authorities for judgement. Does Atlantis not have a legal system? I'm not clear on where the jurisdictional lines are drawn. One sure way to have Atlantis recognized as an actual nation-state would be to enforce its laws.

On the plus side, there is a gorgeous 2-page spread near the end of the book with Aquaman communing with the sea life. Considering all the people hate him, at least he has someone.

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan
2 stars
J. Michael Straczynski
Adam Hughes

I'd pretty much given up on what's left of the Before Watchmen titles. Some were great and some were not. Dr. Manhattan is the least interesting character as far as I'm concerned.

This issue didn't do anything for me. I may be in the minority on this.

Additionally, there was an interesting (annoying) gimmick where certain sections of the book were upside down. I guess I just didn't get it.

Guardians of the Galaxy
4 stars
Brian Michael Bendis
Steve McNiven

I don't understand the numbering convention, but I appreciate the content. I've always been a fan of Marvel's cosmic storylines, but largely skirted on the edges. My familiarity with the Guardians dates back to the 90's which was apparently a very different team.

With that in mind, I'm not familiar with Star Lord other than being able to put a name to a... costume. I needed this prequel issue.

With Bendis writing and McNiven's art (which I quite enjoyed), I have high hopes for the series.

4 stars
Matt Fraction
David Aja

More brilliant art and story telling from Aja and Fraction. And humor. Clint wearing a sock cap with an "H" on it to break into the Russian's club and Stark having to remind Clint that there's "a behavior and morals clause" in his Avengers contract were just two moments that got a chuckle out of me.

Using comics books as part of the plot and incorporating the cover pages internally with art that referenced what was going on in this issue was a great touch. I realize this probably makes no sense unless you read it so go get a copy. I'll wait.

Things are about to get hot since Clint's ticked off the wrong people. The meeting amongst a rogues gallery of Marvel baddies to discuss putting out a hit on Hawkeye doesn't bode well for him. For us, the reader, it only means more awesomeness is heading our way.

Journey Into Mystery
4 stars
Kathryn Immomen
Valerio Schiti

Right now adding the Superior Spider-Man to any book makes it better. Adding him to a good book makes it great. This was a great issue with a startling final splash page.

Consistently excellent.