Comic Book Reviews 03-19-14

Review Scale:

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:

Daredevil #1 – A-

Mark Waid is back! Well, he never really left… This may be a #1, but this plays out more like a Season Two than a reboot. We’re introduced to Matt Murdok all over again. He is residing in the sunny state of California after losing his legal license in New York when he revealed his secret identity to the whole wide world. The debut issue moves at breakneck speed, with great action and even better intelligent deduction. We even get to end on a crazy cliff-hanger… that won’t make sense if you haven’t read the first volume, sorry. Anyway, I’m stoked that Daredevil is in sunny Cali again! – S

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy #2 – B+

This issue came together quite nicely, as we were given a hint at what might be causing the Terminator attack – and loads of great action. I couldn’t help but feel that this would make an excellent film or animated movie. The only real complaint that I have is our resident badass Sarah Connor wannabe is throwing the Terminator around like a rag doll and I was under the impression that they weighed a ton. Not even the great Steven Seagal could handle one of these things with such elegant grace. The question of whether or not this is an alternate timeline remains to be seen but between this and the conclusion to the Terminator Salvation storyline, I have been spoiled with Terminator goodness as of late.  – R

Witcher #1 – B+

Witcher pleasantly surprised me this week.  This issue was filled with creepy and strange ghouls and monsters that gave me Goosebumps.  The real shining aspect was the nonchalant progression of the story and character interactions.  The Witcher and the Hunter have great back and forth dialogue and their backstories are just as interesting as their forward journeys.  If you like men that wield swords and fight vampires, then Witcher is the series for you! – T

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #1 – B

A new season of everyone’s favorite, the most dangerous and of course, the prettiest vampire hunter around! Dark Horse has been pulling out the punches to give us what we all want, more seasons to Joss Whedon shows! This issue is jam-packed with action from start to finish and joins together all our favorite Buffy characters again even ones we may have thought we would never see again. Magic is back on earth and a huge Zompire population has taken up residence in Santa Rosita. The gang must join forces again even with some characters and people we may not have thought would help them. To me, this issue was quite refreshing – to see these characters again and for them to make reference to what did happen in the past two comic seasons I had missed. The artwork is spectacular and you are sure to be able to recognize characters as they mostly all look exactly like the actors who portrayed them. – J

DC/Vertigo:

Scribblenauts #3 – A

I may be biased, but Scribblenauts is the best children’s comic out right now.  Not only is it for children, but for adults.  Or perhaps for 26 year old women who have been in a long term relationship with DC.  But darn, its just so cute!  This month, Maxwell and Lily meet with the entire Justice League and recount the times they have helped out each hero in the League.  Maxwell finds himself helping the Green Lantern Corps while Lily helps Mr. Batman figure out what force has been causing all the chaos witnessed in the previous two issues.  In their hunt for the ultimate baddie, which seems to be aiming for a Scribblenauts version of Crisis on Infinite Earths.  In this issue, I found myself saying “awww” a lot and also laughing hysterically.  There was an amazing panel showing Maxwell’s obsession with Batman by having Batman listen to all the voicemails Maxwell has left for him.  Scribblenauts does a fantastic job of taking all these out-of-the-world characters and by use of two children, bringing the greatest heroes down to the level of the reader.  It’s really refreshing to take the ride with heroes to feel compassion for.  -A

Wonder Woman #29 – A-

For Glory, WAR! That is just what you’re gonna be seeing if you keep reading Wonder Woman. Zeus’ First Born is one nasty sucker, and now that he has taken over Mt. Olympus (see the fiery conclusion to Wonder Woman #28), he’s even scarier – and when the unlikeliest of saviors come to everybody’s rescue, it sets the book up for the endearing “Rocky montage” that ends in Wonder Woman finally assuming the mantle of God of War. This is one of the most badass books on the market; if you’re not reading this Brian Azzarello gem, you are missing out. – S

American Vampire: Second Cycle #1 – B+

After a hiatus from the American Vampire series, Scott Synder and Raphael Albuquerque are back at it. It’s so great to see Synder’s work truly uncensored. As amazing as Batman and Superman: Unbound are, American Vampire is his bread and butter. I’m a little lost on what’s going on, but when you have such a big train, it takes a few issues to really get the momentum going, I suppose. I’m utterly in love with the art here, as Albuquerque does a bang-up job. I’m sold on the series going forward, and I assure that with it will come more quality. – S

Batman and Aquaman #29 – B+

Now we’re getting somewhere! Since Robin died, Batman & Robin has been floating around with different partners, from Catwoman to Two-Face, and now Aquaman. The surprising thing is that this has been the most fruitful issue in almost a year. Together, Batman and Aquaman are one step closer to catching up with Ra’s Al Ghul, who is seeking revenge for the death of his daughter and grandson. He is not only the Demon’s Head, hellbent on destroying the world, but you can also add whaling to his list. There’s some really gross stuff in here that I won’t spoil, but I love that Tomasi is stepping his game up! Can’t wait for Batman and Wonder Woman next month. – S

Supergirl #29 – B

After going back and reading a few of the older issues, it seems like Kara’s transformation into a Red Lantern was all but planned from the beginning. When you think about it, she is really the perfect character to control a rage ring. Her experience here on Earth has been very different from Clark’s and she came at a very different time in her life than he did. Those feelings all coming to a head may lead to an interesting revenge plot for one of the last Kryptonians. It could also lead to crap……. So be prepared for that possibility, too. As a small side note, I really don’t like Silver Banshee at all. What the hell kind of power is being able to speak any language and why are they trying to make her something more than she was to begin with? I hope that she fades into oblivion in the next few issues as she is a terrible character, almost as bad as Arsenal. – R

Superman: Unbound #6 – B

I would think that Scott Synder and Jim Lee doing a Superman book together would sell me on the Man of Steel forever; that hasn’t quite been the case here. We’ve seen some of the most beautiful pencil-work since The New 52 Justice League (Jim Lee drew that, too, surprise!), but nothing really has drawn out the awe I expected from such a dynamic duo. Unfairly high expectations aside, I’m thoroughly entertained by this book, and get warm fuzzies every time I see Jim Lee’s Batman appear in a panel. The honeymoon is over between Superman and Wraith, and this issue turns two formidable allies into enemies. It might seem like a quick transition from the start of the issue, but bad blood has been brewing for the entire series. Aside from Lee’s handiwork, the series remains good, but never quite grasping the great it should be. – S

Harley Quinn #4 – B-

Still a little silly, but getting back on the right track for an up and coming comic book, this week’s Harley Quinn was a nice step up from last month’s issue.  Harley finds herself trying to balance her many careers like many girls who just moved to the big city, or in her case, Coney Island.  After much make-up and some hilarious banter with her, um, beaver, Harley becomes Dr. Harleen Quinzel at her new job at a nursing home.  Everyone’s favorite clown gets her heartstrings pulled by an old lady who feels abandoned be her loved ones.  Harley empathizes because of her history with Mr. J. and decides to take maters into her own hands, but the good old Harley way.  In her journey to right the family’s wrongs, she finds out that she needs to check her facts before flying off the handle.  Is this lesson learned for her?  It may be too early to tell because Harley gets a special new patient at the end.  You’ll have to pick up this issue to find out who!  Harley may not be the smartest girl in comics, and her crazy thoughts are immediately acted upon (ahem, like kidnap or murder), but she is a girl with passion, has some realm of a moral compass, and is proactive.  That is a girl I can get behind. -A

IDW Comics:

Samurai Jack #6 – B-

This issue of Samurai Jack brings back a fan favorite character, The Scotsman, but something is a bit off about him, or should I say her… In a St. Patrick’s Day themed issue, we see that the Scotsman had a curse put on him and changed him into a woman. This issue gets a B- because although it was great to see the Scotsman again – as well as Jack and her team up, the holiday aspect which will carry on into the next issue will be lost as the curse was brought on by Leprechaun’s. I am not sure how a St. Patrick’s day theme will carry on for much longer unless this was a series with multiple issues a month. This story will definitely continue as it was left on a cliffhanger where we see both the Scotsman and Jack will need to figure out a way to defeat the Leprechaun’s curse. – J

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire C+

The conclusion of the TMNT mini series, Utrom Empire, is packed with action and clues to what comes next for the Turtles and their sworn enemies, Shredder (Oroku Saki) and Krang. It started with the Utrominons engineering Mutant dinosaurs for their army but the entire race they created teamed up with others to take down the Utrominon’s that had enslaved and tortured them. This last issue shows the ending of the rebellion, sending Krang and what remains of his race to Earth while also showing us more of Baxter Stockman, his half robot half fly, (hinting at the mutant fly character he turns into normally) as well as Fugitoid and how he plans to take down both Krang and Baxter Stockman. The ending of the issue gives us a great idea of what is going to happen now that the turtles have left Northampton to return to New York starting a new story arc, which looks like it will be rather exciting. – J

Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #5 – C+

I don’t want to say that Sex Criminals has lost it’s appeal, but five issues in, I’m starting to waver a little bit. The outlandish hilarity of it all is still there, but the story is moving in some weird direction that almost makes it seem like it’s improv’ed. The Sex Police and Kegalface intrigue me enough to stay in it to win it, but my lust for Sex Criminals isn’t quite as strong as it was in the first issue. Curious readers shouldn’t be discouraged though, as Matt Fraction (who also writes Hawkeye) is an exceptional story-teller and has not put out an issue that I haven’t heartily laughed at the whole way through. – S

Sovereign #1 – C

To be honest, I was pretty confused about this comic. I get that this comic isn’t really a storyline or a solitary piece of work. Rather, it is a bunch of little stories separated out. Or at least that’s what I think it was. By taking little quotes and making stories out of them is a really cool concept, but I feel that the execution could have used some work. Overall, I feel that this comic is nothing to serious or attention grabbing but in a sense it can be fairly interesting.  – E

Undertow #2 – D

Remember in elementary school how every Tuesday was Taco day?  Remember how awesome and comfortable you felt strolling to the cafeteria at noon to partake in what may arguably be better than recess?  And remember how on one faithful Tuesday you arrive on the serving line only to have yesterday’s meatloaf slop onto your tray?…  Yeah, that’s pretty much Undertow.  All the potential in this series is squandered by incredibly hard to decipher art work, confusing character development, an overly complicated plot and a strong lack of direction.  It’s sad that an awesome concept is so poorly portrayed. – T

Marvel:

Ms. Marvel #2 – B

Now that we’ve gotten a taste of who Kamala Khan is, we get to explore her transformation a little further. It’s quite a drop in pace from the debut, with just a tease of her powers. There’s a clear nob to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel, which reinforces the Girl Power approach to comics thats far too under-represented in the industry. Once again, G Willow Wilson‘s take on the American Islamic culture is spot on; I can remember having the same type of conversations with my dad, sans super-powers. This issue could be looked at as filler by some, but I think it’s necessary pacing for the long term payoff, just going by Wilson’s previous work. – S

Marvel Knights: Hulk #4 – B

I really enjoyed this issue simply for the action, and bringing out a badass in the hulk. Overall as a story it was pretty average but I did enjoy the simple entertainment value of it. For Hulk lovers like myself, you will enjoy this issue quite a bit. Seeing that this was the last issue, I don’t really feel one way or another about the series, but I am glad I read it. – E

Uncanny X-Men #19 – B

The rag-tag group of mutants that Cyclops has cultivated are forming into a real team. They’re right in the thick of things, as S.H.I.E.L.D. (or somebody who is framing them) has been trapping them in face-offs with Sentinels. The first half of the book drags along very slowly, where Maria Hill interrogates an exiled member of the group. I’m sure it would be much more entertaining on film, but this medium is just not suited for three-page long monologues. The issue does redeem itself later with new tricks by Magik. This is one of Marvel’s most under-rated books, and right now is a great jumping on point. – S

Avengers World #4 – B

This issue was a lot of fun to read. With a great combination of action, mystery, fantastic art, and story progression, I am excited to see where this series is going. I think this book is fairly creative and attention grasping when it comes to the storyline. I appreciate that even though there wasn’t a whole lot of action in terms of fight scenes and explosions, it still held my attention the whole way through. I enjoyed this read and am excited about the next issue. – E

Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #2 – B-

The Winter Soldier reboot has taken us back to the roots of a time where the Winter Soldier is just a myth. This book so far feels a lot like an older James Bond movie in both tone and pacing. The art is great and has a very retro feel; however, I would like it to be slightly crisper in future issues. The story is really just getting started but it is interesting to see that perhaps the Soviets don’t have such a tight grip on the Winter Soldier after all. Only time will tell, but so far this reboot has been pretty decent. – R

Wolverine & The X-Men #2 – B-

The Phoenix Corporation has hit the scene.  With its surprising and invocative arrival, Quentin and the other X-Men become a little restless.  My feelings are mixed as I read.  The action is great and it’s got an “epic” vibe about it.  I will warn that readers who aren’t familiar with the backstory to this series (like me) will be somewhat confused.  Still worth the read just to see Wolverine and Storm in action! – T

Dexter Down Under #2 – B-

We are still in the buildup stage of the story, but with only five issues total for this series, I am not exactly sure how things are going to proceed if they continue at this slow pace. This issue marks the first time that Dexter has voiced his intentions while being in Australia, and they don’t sound like this trip will end with someone on his table. That would make for an interesting turn of events, actually. He doesn’t actually kill anyone and helps the police legitimately capture a murderous killer. Perhaps at the end he could reflect on how he doesn’t need to kill anyone to be useful to society or that he should try to use his knowledge of the dark passenger to help his own police force more. Most likely the chick he is working with will find out and Dexter will kill whoever is responsible. Predictable of course, but people already know what Dexter is about and we still keep coming back for more. – R

All-New Invaders #3 – C+

Overall this issue wasn’t all that exciting or entertaining. Toward the end, it did get pretty interesting with some nice twists, but by that time I was semi-bored. However, due to the last few pages I did find interest in knowing what will happen in the next issue. I truly enjoy the dialog and art of this book, and I hope to see it continue on into the next part. I hope the next issue brings more excitement, but I wouldn’t say this issue was a bad read at all. – E

Seekers of the Weird #3 – C-

While the idea of Seekers of the Weird is really intriguing, the story thus far is falling flat.  If you have yet to read it or one of our previous reviews, Seekers is based off an attraction that never came to fruition at Disneyland.  Since Marvel had merged with Disney, the attraction is coming to life, but in comic book form.  Unfortunately, the attraction would have been better.  The attraction was meant to be a museum of odd items.  The story of the book is about that, too, but so far the three characters are not relatable.  The two main characters, Max and Melody, are more freaked out than proactive.  By the third issue, their characters should be developing, and their Uncle Roland shouldn’t be such an ass.  I don’t think it’s a good thing that I am more trusting of the ghosts in the museum than Uncle Roland.  The appeal of the book should be the artifacts, which would have been the point of the attraction.  However, many items have been lost in the shuffle because the book is so fast-paced it becomes confusing.  I really hope the next two issues resolve the story arc of Max and Melody’s missing parents and their Uncle reveals his true nature, or else Seekers risks losing its readers. -A

Superior Spider-Man Annual #2 – D+

I can’t wait for this series to end. Usually, an Annual issue is a good way to tell a great side-story that doesn’t have anything to do with the arc that’s currently happening – a way to reflect on the past year’s progression or springboard the next story arc. In this issue’s case, we focus on a story that was really not good enough to see the pages of the of Superior otherwise. I like Carlie and I like the Hobgoblin angle, but this could have been summarized in just a few panels. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 A  and 4 B’s, averaging out to a 3.20

Marvel Comics: 1 A, 7 B’s, 1 C and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.80

Independents: 4 B’s, 3 C’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.38

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, Evan Lowe, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael and Jacob Robinson

Published by

Hush Comics

We are a Fancy-Pants Bunch of Nerds. We have all grown up in the Denver/Aurora area. We love comics, movies, television and being generally nerdy.

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