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Guest Reviews: @JohnMcCubbin3 @Marvel Punisher: War Zone #5, Uncanny Avengers #4, Avengers Arena #5

Avengers Arena #5 CoverPunisher: War Zone #5 CoverUncanny Avengers #4 Cover

Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by John McCubbin  from Imagination Centre and Tomlikesfries. Included are Marvel's; Punisher: War Zone #5, Uncanny Avengers #4, & Avengers Arena #5. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.

See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.



Punisher: War Zone #5


Greg Rucka's powerful run comes to an end. It's time for the Punisher to face his punishment.


Preview



Mission Accomplished... Kinda


The final issue of Greg Rucka's run on Punisher has finally arrived, and I'm both happy and sad. Happy that the issues out as I've been excited to read it, but sad in the knowledge that this is Rucka's last issue on the character. Also after dropping Thunderbolts due to it's poor quality this will probably be the last time I see Frank for a while.

Plot

After helping Rachel Alves escape prison, and stealing a set of Iron Man's armor the Avengers are assembled and out to take down Frank once and for all.

Review

This was a brilliant issue, and a tremendous way to end Rucka's run on Punisher. Ruck has done a fabulous job over his run, and although this wasn't the best overall issue that he's written it was still very very good, and up there with the best Punisher story/series endings. In this issue Ruck continued to produce the exciting, suspenseful plot line that I have loved from his run, and he showed that even with the entire Avengers against him that he's not easy to beat. As I've said over my reviews for the rest of this series, I was expecting a big fight between the Avengers and Frank that lasted a few comics, but having built up to this big fight I think that it was really good, and might not have been as good over multiple issues. This may be the end of Rucka's run on Punisher but I for one am interested on what he will work on next.

The artwork throughout this series has been amazing, and Carmine Di Giandomenico has really done a fabulous job. As I've said with each review, I still would have liked to have seen Marco Checchetto doing the art on the series, but Di Giandomenico has been the perfect replacement, and I'm happy that Checchetto has still been able to do the covers. Di Giandomenico went above and beyond with this issue, as everything looked visually stunning. With a big fight between the Avengers and any character is a challenge, but Di Giandomenico really pulled it off, and it looked amazing. I also really liked the colours throughout this series, and think that Matt Hollingsworth has done a brilliant job of setting the tone of the series.

Read the rest of John McCubbin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.7


Uncanny Avengers #4 - Thunder


Red Skull and his S-Men move forward their take over of New York.


A member of the Uncanny Avengers joins the S-Men!


When the chips are down, the fight all but lost, one Avenger must rise and face the terrible might of The Omega Skull!

Preview



At the Mercy of the God of Thunder


This series has been very interesting so far, and although it was a bit bumpy quality wise, as well as the scheduling being all over the place, it's starting to pick up, and become a very entertaining story. Rick Remender has done a brilliant job of bringing the Avengers Unity Squad together, and it's the perfect blend of Avengers and X-Men, and with the re-emergence of the Red Skull how could this not be exciting.

Plot

Red Skull, and his S-Men continue their fight against the mutants of New York City, and with the God of Thunder, Thor now working for the Red Skull, it doesn't look good for the Avengers Unity Squad.

Review

This was a brilliant issue, and a terrific end to what was at times a slow story. Overall the story was very good, and having read it all together, not having to remember what happened has really helped, and has made it much more enjoyable, as I really felt that it was the shipping delays that sucked the life out of this series, and although it was worth the wait, it was still annoying. Rick Remender has however once again done a marvelous job with the writing of this series, and although it's still got minor faults I can easily forget them, as the rest is truly amazing. Remender has done a brilliant job of keeping this story very exciting, and suspenseful, and although it has been slow at times, that's been necessary, and you expect the odd slow moment when introducing a new team anyway. I did however feel that this issue was much more dramatic and suspenseful after reading it a second time, this time having read the previous three issues along with it, as everything being fresh in my memory it made it much more clearer, which itself made it more interesting, and entertaining. Remender has also done an amazing job at handling the action, and this issue he probably did it the best, as it was really energetic, and exciting. I also loved how Remender continued to write with the narration, as it really added ton's of depth to the story.

Although it's been the cause of all the shipping delays, I've still really enjoyed John Cassaday's art throughout this series, and although it'll help with the shipping schedule, I'll still miss his art. Anyway, Cassaday went out of the series with a bang, as his art was truly wonderful, and although there were certain panels that weren't as perfect as his art usually is, the others were much better, and overall it was amazing. The only thing that was imperfect at times was the detail, as there were some panels that looked a bit rushed, not being as detailed as they'd normally be, but besides that the detail in the rest of the issue was marvelous, and to the high quality that Cassaday usually produces. The way Cassaday drew the action sequences in this issue was what made it better than the rest of his art in the series so far, and although he's done a brilliant job in previous issues, he's really surpassed himself this time, especially when certain characters were against Thor. Cassaday also did a brilliant job at showing the character's emotions, as although he's not the best at drawing facial features, with it sometimes looking weird, he's still did a marvelous job, and you can tell that he's made an effort. I was however not as fond of the way he drew the likes of Havok with a swollen eye, as it didn't look quite realistic, and although Wolverine's injuries looked a little more realists it still looked a bit odd. Overall Cassaday has done a phenomenal job on the art for both this issue, and the series so far, and although I'll miss seeing his art, I'll still be looking forward to seeing his covers (as he's continuing to draw the cover art).

Read the rest of John McCubbin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5

Verdict - 4


Avengers Arena #5 - Born Leader 


Don’t miss this major turning point issue as everything changes!

The death of a StormWatch member!

The end of StormWatch headquarters!

Preview



Born Leader


I had, numerous times before, considered dropping this title. Most of the issues so far have been mediocre, to say the least, but maybe Avengers Arena is not yet hopeless (pun intended).

Kevin Walker's art is clean and flows along with the story nicely. He draws teenagers quite well and for that, his penciling fits the book perfectly. And Hopeless is not bad at all either. Arcane mentions a new safe spot containing food and medical supplies and all of the kids are currently looking for it. The issue jumps around and it is fun to see each group interacting among themselves.

And the writer finally gives us a few answers, like who attacked Reptil and I've to admit I did not see that one coming. The dialogue is indeed well done, despite Kid Briton's attitude. And, somehow, that's what bothered me the most. As I previously said, the issue jumps around, but, you see, it's not only between the groups. There are also a couple of flashbacks that feature Kid Briton. And he is so arrogant, that most of the times I wanted to beat the living crap out of the kid. Not that I could ever do it, but I admit I did want to.

Read the rest of tomlikesfries' Review on Comic Vine


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.4


Purchase Punisher: War Zone TPB
Purchase Uncanny Avengers #4
Purchase Uncanny Avengers #4 (Cassaday Variant)
Purchase Uncanny Avengers Prem HC Vol. 01 Red Shadow Now
Purchase Avengers Arena #5
Purchase Avengers Arena #5 (Variant)
Purchase Avengers Arena TPB Vol. 01 Kill Or Die TPB Now
John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. Thomas is a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of their reviews has been authorized by the original authors.

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