The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.
A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters
B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.
C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.
D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.
F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.
Pick of the Week:
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 – A
Oh, Whedonverse, be-still my heart. It’s always a good day when I can get a dose of anything Firefly or Serenity and today was one of those days. Serenity: Leaves on the Wind is the first new content in about a year from the ‘verse (an oft used term in the book itself, too). Written by Joss’ little brother, Zack Whedon, and penciled by Georges Jeanty of Buffy fame, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind takes places shortly after where the film ended. We get a good taste of what different media outlets feel about the discovery of Miranda and the Reavers. We also get a small glimpse at a group of bounty hunters looking to take out River, a small group of Browncoats looking to find Mal and follow his direction, Jayne is back on his planet, and then is what is left of our crew. Kaylee and Simon are finally together, River is the new pilot, Zoe is very pregnant, and Mal and Inara…well. They finally are doing what fans vied for (and its NSFW). It was great to see so many different story lines going on in one small book; enough for a true fan to want to continue to find out what comes of it all. Because this is the first issue of 6, it gets a little leniency for not being as thorough with any one person’s storyline. It also gets slack for not having the full arsenal of dialogue the series is known for. But because I have missed my crew so much and now we are finally reunited, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind gets our Pick of the Week. – A
Dark Horse Comics
Furious #1 – B-
If you like strong women, relatable superheroes, and crazy twists the Furious #1 may be the comic for you this week! A fairly interesting theme is introduced in this new Dark Horse series. As the story starts we learn that the very first superhero (ever) has made an appearance. She calls herself “The Beacon,” but due to a most brutal rescue of a few college students in distress in the presence of the paparazzi, the locals have taken to calling her “Furious.” The issue is somewhat bland in the beginning. I was expecting a dazzling, super powered spectacle when I picked up this comic. It wasn’t until the last few pages that I realized this series will be focused on internal struggle and overcoming self-imposed challenges. The ending twist is especially alluring and holds massive potential to make this seemingly run of the mill superhero series a cerebral thriller. – T
Batman and Robin Annual #2 – A-
The Batman and Robin series has been spinning its tires in the mud for the better part of a year since Damian met his demise in Batman, Incorporated #8. As Annuel #2 shows, trying to find the perfect partner to complement the Batman isn’t as hard as it sounds. Dick Grayson’s Robin was where it all began. This issue beautifully illustrates the relationship between the two as Dick was just beginning to put on the cape. They even manage to fit in a sentimental moment for Damian. I wouldn’t expect the same level of writing on sub-sequent issues, but this one can still be enjoyed while it lasts. – S
Earth 2 Annual #2 – B+
For those who haven’t had quite enough of the origin story/year one tales of Bruce Wayne, look no further. This is a little after Earth-2 Batman has begun his career, but in an odd twist; it isn’t an origin for the original Earth-2 Batman – it’s an origin for his Earth-2 successor. There are multiple points in time spanning from before Bruce’s birth to after his Earth-2 death. The main takeaway from this book is that Earth-2 Jarvis Pennyworth, Alfred’s father, is a major badass. There unfortunately isn’t more that I can say about this book without spoiling the plot but for anyone that is a fan of Batman, you owe it to yourself to check this annual out. The art is really good and with the fresh take on an old concept that has gotten a lot of mileage, particularly recently, it has somehow managed to keep things feeling new. Read this book!! – R
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – C
Just like the issue before it, Dark Knight continues the Voiceless story arc by putting out an issue with absolutely no dialogue. We join our hero as he is escaping a trap set by the Penguin. The use of gadgets is pretty cool, and there is some fine visual work from the artist, but save for a heart-felt reunion at the end, this arc is almost looking like a holiday special and not the new arc I had been expecting. As Batman tries to dismantle Penguin’s ring of slave labor, I can’t help but think that maybe some dialog wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’ll play along for now, but I’m thinking this silent thing may be more gimmicky than I can handle. – S
Damian: Son of Batman #4 – D+
Damian: Son of Batman has been a mini-series that attempted to delve deeper into the set piece of Andy Kubert’s Batman #666, but unfortunately failed to do so because of it’s abrupt ending in issue #4. From issue #3, we know that the man who wears The Joker’s face is just an impostor, and that could have been an amazing side story within itself. The mini-series also gave us Alfred-Cat, and really, who wouldn’t want more of that? But this series introduced not only a murderous non-impostor Joker, but a murderous Damian Wayne, a reformed and not-so-murderous Damian Wayne, an impostor Joker, and of course Alfred-Cat, and then ended it all with no real moral, much less rhyme or reason. If you have made it this far in Damian, then you owe it to yourself to finish it out with this issue; however, don’t be too surprised if that ending leaves you with an empty feeling. – R
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30 – A-
This issue was one big, collective hug in paper format. The past few issues have been really difficult on the turtles, and on readers. The whole gang is out in the Northampton farm that belongs to April’s parents, trying to recover from the events of City Fall. Starting issue #29 and going through #32, we get the pleasure of some of the series most beautiful art. Russ Campbell and his beautiful color work make this a beauty. Alopex and Raph finally have an exchange of words, and Donnie gives some reassurance to Leonardo. All seems right in the world; that is, until a new villain is revealed at the end of the issue. The honeymoon is almost over, and danger is looming. How could TMNT get any better?? – S
Saga #18 – A
This issue was not amazing. Lyyinggg. Saga is like reading a romance novel wrapped in bacon – in a good way. It’s still a romance book about two love birds trying to find a safe haven for their inter-species child, but there are layers upon layers of sophisticated context. The fallout from Prince Robot IV’s arrival in Quietus has resulted in quite the mess, with everybody strewn in different directions, Prince Robot IV quite literally. We also finally get a satisfying confrontation between Marko and Gwendolyn. All these side-stories are collectively keeping Saga one of the best books in the industry. Do yourself a favor and pick up this once-in-a-generation title. – S
Black Science #3 – B+
What a ride Black Science has been! We’ve been spoon-fed the story inch by inch for three issues now, and I’m just now beginning to put the pieces together. Our main character, Grant, has discovered unlimited parallel universe – and it seems that he’s going to explore every one, whether he wants to or not. While the group battles high-tech Native Americans and what seems to be Nazis, some spicy details come to the surface about Grant’s life. There are so many aspects that make reading Black Science so enjoyable. Inner monologues and thoughts are so well written and placed in panel context and transitions from backstory to real time are flawless. Best of all – the images and artwork are glorious. My hat goes off to Matteo Scalera, Dean White and all the other contributing artists involved in this series. The only criticism I have for Black Science #3 is that the story was slightly slower in pace and plot development was light. Still, the story continues to intrigue me and I can’t wait for next month to find out what’s next for the Dimensionaughts! – T
Superior Spider-Man #26 – B+
Spider-Man is finally becoming cool again. Doc Ock’s welcome has definitely worm out, and everybody is catching wind of it. With the re-release of Amazing Spider-Man in April, I can only assume that Octavius’ tenure as the un-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is coming to an end. While Spidey deals with a suspicious Avengers team, New York is at war to decide who will become the Goblin King. Things are going to get much worse before they get better, but I’m finally enthusiastic enough about this book to say you should jump on board now! – S
Night of the Living Deadpool #2 – C+
The apocalypse is here, and the only one that can stop the hoards of the undead is the Merc With the Mouth. Playing out somewhat like Shaun of the Dead – eighty percent parody and twenty perfect vague plot. Fans of the Walking Dead can appreciate the scene in which Deadpool and friends search for a place to set up camp. The fact that the zombies are semi-conscious is also interesting, and kind of creepy, a clear nod to George Romero’s recent books. Artistically, it’s really cool to see Deadpool as the only thing that is colored throughout the book. It’s a sad nod to the idea that he will always be the center of attention, yet he will always be alone. This is good material to get you through the week, but it’s nothing to really write home about. – S
GPA by Publisher:
DC Comics: 1 A, 1 B, 1 C and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.25
Marvel Comics: 1 B and 1 C, averaging out to a 2.50
Independents: 3 A’s and 2 B’s averaging out to a 3.60
Funniest Panel of the Week:
Epic Panel of the Week:
Cover Art of the Week:
That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!
All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.
Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Taylor Lowe, Adrian Puryear and Robert Michael