Short reactions to recently read comics. And since this particular list consists of Free Comic Book Day books, it's almost timely for a change.
Free Comic Book Day Stuff:
Blackest Night #0 - I keep checking out these free (or cheaply priced) DC promo comics in the desperate hope that they're finally over their "sullen, angry, violent, and continuity-heavy reworking of Silver & Bronze Age stories" phase, and once again, I'm disappointed. I now think DC is solely targeting longtime fans who resent actually enjoying comics in their youth with this sort of stuff. I want my no dollars and no cents back.
Avengers - I know the basic premise behind Marvel's Dark Reign, but I'm not following it at all. Even so, this issue was pretty easy to follow. The good Avengers fight the bad Avengers for a minute, and then have to team up to fight an Asgardian Frost Giant. The (quite literal) deus ex machina ending comes a little too quickly, but Brian Michael Bendis wrote an Avengers comic with action as well as dialogue, which is a vast improvement of the last thing I read from him with these characters. So there's that. And Jim Cheung draws the hell out of this thing. I had low expectations, but I enjoyed this.
Wolverine - They more or less take the Marvel Adventures, all ages-friendly route with this, but it still reads like a good Wolverine story rather than a watered down one. Great tie-in for the movie, too, as the story by Fred Van Lente hits all the basic beats of Wolvie's origin, powers, and personality, without it feeling like just another recap. The art by Gurihuri might be too cartoony for some, but I liked it. I picked this book up as an afterthought, but enjoyed it the most of any of the Big 2 FCBD offerings. Go figure.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Star Wars story was pretty slight, exactly the sort of "Jedi and/or Clone Troopers learn a lesson about overcoming great obstacles" story that's in just about EVERY Clone Wars short story Dark Horse has published. As for the back end stuff, the Beanworld primer was nice if a bit brief, the Usagi Yojimbo story kinda didn't make sense even for a ghost story, and the Emily the Strange story was completely unreadable. Mostly disappointing.
Shonen Jump Presents Ultimo - Seriously shockingly horribly bad. The less said the better.
Nancy & Melvin the Monster - Probably way too dated to appeal to most modern kids, but I enjoyed it. The eye-catching design cover design (by Seth, yes?), the faux-yellowed paper, the typical John Stanley formula with a few new wrinkles applied... it definitely has me excited for The John Stanley Library collections (not that I can afford to order the Nancy book this month, but still).
DC Kids Mega Sampler - Kinda wish they had included Billy Batson pages that didn't need to be translated (as it was hard to read with the kiddo), as well as Tiny Titans pages that included jokes with actual punchlines (as opposed to just sort of stopping), but my son enjoyed reading the Batman: Brave and the Bold section with me, so there's that.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Evolution of a Hero - Sonic has as convoluted a history as any Marvel or DC character. Who knew?
Transformers Animated/G.I. Joe - Really, IDW? You paired the presumably-aimed-at-kids new version of Transformers with the new "No, really, you have to take us seriously now" version of G.I. Joe in the same book? Yeah, that didn't work so well.
Cars - While my son enjoys the one actual Lightning McQueen toy he owns (you shake it and it rumbles, then you put it down and it screams across the floor... awesome toy; he has a similar one of the Batmobile, too, and we often race them), he finds the movie boring (it is), and he didn't enjoy reading the comic with me, either. So there's that.
Owly & Friends - Admittedly we've only read the Johnny Boo stories in this so far, but they were a hit. Mostly because my son, like children everywhere, loves to shout "BOO!" from time to time.
Still waiting on getting copies of Love & Rockets, Atomic Robo, Comics Festival, and FCHS, as I'm getting them from DCBS.