Comic Book Stash: March 13, 2013

Mini-reviews and ratings of comics released March 13, 2013.

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

Batman
18
3 stars
Scott Snyder
Andy Kubert

One of the bajillion follow-ups to the death of Damian Wayne. (They're all clearly marked with the "Requiem" label.) I was prepared for the typical angsty, depressed post-Robin-death Batman and was pleasantly surprised. It's true that Bruce is having problems, however the majority of the story sticks with Harper. Yes, she's trying to rescue Batman from his self-destructive mourning, but it's all handled very well.

For all my trepidation heading into it, this was a good issue.

Suicide Squad
18
2 stars
Adam Glass
Henrik Jonsson

It just... I don't... I'm out.

Thor: God of Thunder
6
4 stars

Jason Aaron
Butch Guice

All of my glowing praise for the writing still applies. Read older reviews if you need more of that.

Esad Ribic has been replaced by Butch Guice as the penciller on this issue and that's disappointing. That should be taken more as evidence of the strength of Ribic's work and not a condemnation of Guice's. His work as a fill-in artist was very good.

Finally we see Gorr's origin story. And darn it if Aaron doesn't make us sympathize with him. A lot. One could really cheer for this guy if he weren't so set on removing one of my favorite Avengers.

That and a skinny Volstagg are well worth the price of admission.

Bloodshot
9
4 stars
Duane Swierczynski
Manuel Garcia

Bloodshot fights Gamma to protect the young psiots and takes a beating in the process.

This really illustrates one of the things that I like about the reboot of the character. He has definite limitations. Yes, the nanobots in his blood repair any damage taken in a given situation, but it's not free (a la Wolverine's healing factor). Protein has to be used in the repair process which usually means eating meat. Too much damage between refueling and... well... it's not a good thing.

The end result is a character who is always on death's doorstep.

Speaking of death, we do lose someone this issue.

Archer & Armstrong
8
Fred Van Lente
Emanuela Lupacchino

I love, love, love this title. The story plays out like a weekly television series (the good kind) with the artwork filling in the blanks nicely. Expressions and sight gags play perfectly.

There are numerous villainous factions at work. There is The Null who want to zero out reality and whose motto is "Nothing Is Forever". There is the One Percent who wear golden Bull and Bear masks and fight against The Great Unwashed. Then the Vine, aliens from X-O Manowar's book. And the Gnomes of Zurich, which I don't know anything about. Of course, we can't forget the cult that Archer was raised in before he met Armstrong and realized that he was being used.

It's all very clever and entertaining.

Which makes the impact of the final couple of pages of this issue that much darker than it would normally be.

You can't go wrong with any of Valiant's titles, but if in some twisted world I could only choose one, Archer & Armstrong would be it.