Comic Book Reviews 08-27-14

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:

 

Saga #22

Saga #22 – A

I didn’t think that the best fantasy series out could get any better, but somehow Brian K. Vaughan blew the doors even further open than they already were. The universe just got a little bigger, as we’re finally introduced to King TV, and it’s about as amazing as you’d expect. The honeymoon phase of Marko and Alana’s relationship is over, while other pieces begin to connect in the story, giving us a morsel of the big picture – and it is going to magical. This is one of the best books out, hands down, so if you are on the fence about catching up with it, let me confidently drop-kick you over to the side where you start reading. – Sherif

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Dream Thief Escape #3 – A-

I am a fan of Dream Thief Escape.  I am kind of sad that this is only a 4 issue story arc, but I think sometimes that helps move the story along, a complaint about other comics that have no foreseeable ending that I hear a lot.  This month, our Dream Thief, John, is about to break his pops out of the big house when he is possessed by a drug dealer named Whiteboy Tim who needs to avenge his own death.  I like that the book still has an end point, yet can introduce new characters that have some depth without letting them hang on too long.  And the dark tone of murdered people possessing John’s body is nicely broken up with some humor, and I’m a sucker for dark humor, so it really gets me.  I still think the art work in this book is incredible.  It captures colors perfectly, portraying the pinks and oranges of Florida and Georgia so well.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something, but doesn’t have time to get attached to a series. – Adrian

POP #1 – B

For all intensive purposes POP #1 deserves a C grade.  So why did I give it a B?  Two words.  Dustin Beaver.  You’ll understand when you read the issue.  The concept here is pretty neat and unique, but not quite awe inspiring.  I think the mini series structure will serve the plot well.  I appreciate the sci-fi angle as well – I’m a sucker for all that.  If the humor and high tech are kept in good supply then this series will be a winner. – Taylor

Sundowners #1 – B

You know the confused/weirded-out emoticon?  You know, this one…  (o_O) … Yeah. I don’t think I can explain the Sundowners premier issue better than that.  Despite that, I actually kinda liked it.  The bizarreness of it is alluring.  It’s draws a strong parallel to Kick-Ass, but with magical tattoos (or something).  The character mix and backgrounds are the real drivers with this story.  I fear that once dust settles and the alluring craziness goes away there won’t be enough of an active plot to move the story along.  But I’m no Debby Downer, so I’ll wait to see what Tim Seely has in store before letting any negative premonitions take hold.  -Taylor

Tomb Raider #7 – B

This is the start of a new chapter in the Tomb Raider universe and while nothing major has happened, this book coupled with the announcement of the next game could lead to some pretty cool things. This would be a perfect opportunity to lead into the next game and that could give a little something extra for those who have read the books and played the games. This was more of a filler issue with a small lead up into the next arc, but it has me excited for what comes next. – Robert

Star Wars Legacy #18 – C

Another Dark Horse Star Wars series wraps up this week.  My brain is screaming, “FINALLY!”  I hate to think that I’m becoming a fan boy snob, but with the growing list of negative reviews I spit out week to week it’s getting harder to defend myself.  I can summarize the conclusion of Legacy with one word: Lazy.  In every facet of (not just this issue, but) this series I struggled to find the passion in the panels.  I hadn’t really been enjoying Brian Albert Thies artwork, and the plot was plagued with so many mini side stories that I could hardly keep track of the main plot.  I don’t know if Dark Horse had different plans for Legacy prior to their “loss,” but it sure seemed like the effort was half-assed the whole time.  There were some mildly redeeming aspects.  The wondering planet and the overall concept for Darth Wredd were quintessential Star Wars.  Not delving into those brighter bits more shouts missed opportunity.  So long for now, Ania.  Should you return, I hope you leave all us die hards with a more lasting impression. -Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Sinestro #5 – A

When handled properly, plots themed in “control” are the best.  I love the simple idea of a hero (err… In this case, attempted hero) taking on a seeming insurmountable force and not only overcoming it, but controlling it.  Sinestro #5 nails this theme solidly.  What was especially compelling was that this brilliant twist in the story came out of nowhere.  I audibly exclaimed, “Ohh sh*t!” when “it” happened.  I was digging this story before and to see this added layer has really got me excited to continue reading.  And you should too!  Sinestro is the perfect character for that hate to love relationship.  So what if he is the reason his home planet got blowed-up?!?  He said he was sorry!  I’m gonna stick around and see how far that apology will take him.  With his new level of control, I’m sure he’s destined to go far. – Taylor

Superman #34 – B+

Finally, Geoff Johns’ story picks up the pace. Since taking over Superman in issue #32, there’s been a lot of introductions, and even more dialogue. Ulysses has been a unique addition, and although he has been very forthcoming and a seeming ally, there is simply too much mystery surrounding him to let the readers trust him. It’s genius writing, the kind that takes a few issues to really build into something worthy. With a new bad guy, plenty of room to grow, and John Romita Jr.’s art, this is a Superman comic I genuinely enjoy. – Sherif

Batman Eternal  #21 – C+

Is this the same book I’ve been semi-reading for over five months now? This issue just turned a stagnant pile of poo into a full-blown s***storm! Batman Eternal has gone from promising addition to lame filler in no time, with hoards of obscure rogues making appearances, but never really adding any value to the story. This issue at least breaks up the monotony that has blanketed the series with some of the pretty outrageous reveals. There’s no way I can justify spending $3-4 weekly on this – even if I am a Batman fan. – Sherif

Dynamite:

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #2- C+

This issue does not offer much as far as story goes. It seems to be following the film to a tee, up until the last panel. The whole “Ash Gets Hitched” thing also has not played into the story much so far. The art of the series is great though and you can really see the original actors come out in the art, which helps with the dull story a lot. Ultimately, I would say as a fan of Army of Darkness this is rather dull and forgettable. It is a lot darker in the vain of Evil Dead 2 more so than Army of Darkness, but it still is one series with Ash that makes me understand a little about why Bruce Campbell refused sign these comics from Dynamite at Denver Comic Con. Although there is a lot of negativity there, it still is more entertaining than a lot of other series I have read, so give it a chance if you must but ultimately there is much better Ash to enjoy. – Jacob

IDW Comics:

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #3 – A-

Finally! We get to see all our favorite cartoon heroes in action together. While the first two issues covered them getting captured and about the villains evil plans, this one jumps right in and see our heroes facing off against robot versions of themselves. This story, although aimed towards kids, is brilliant and combines these characters in a way where all their strengths and all their weaknesses are used perfectly and bounce off one another. I am still waiting for Ed, Edd and Eddy to save the everyone, though.  That is just my call on it. But this is a great issue with wonderful writing and the art is exactly how this would look on screen. Too bad I have to wait until next month for the great nostalgia flashback that this series. – Jacob

TMNT Turtles in Time #3 – B+

This Turtles in Time series is nothing too special, but it does give you a nice back story and sometime insanely sad back story of the Turtles.This week we see them as pirates chasing down treasure and Mikey becomes a … captain?!?!?! This issue is definitely fun and gives us a look into the past of our favorite four heroes. The art of this issue is outstanding to me, and it really stands out among this miniseries so far. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Black Science #8 – B

I think I’m going to get Rick Remender’s name tattooed on my chest.  And I’m going to have Matteao Scalera apply the ink.  While paced a bit slower than some of the previous issues, this issue is still a knock out.  The primary plot has started to flatten out, but what’s lacking in creative conflict is made up in glorious, just GLORIOUS, panelscapes.  I can’t get enough of the crazy multidimensional forest creatures and their habitats.  I’m seriously considering decorating my future home with framed panels from this series.  Back again to my flat plot point, I wonder what the next evolution of the story will look like.  I have no doubt that IT WILL evolve, but I can’t really see the path.  That’s another great thing about Black Science – it keeps your mind on its toes. Ha… Brain toes.  Do your thang Remender.  Do your thang. – Taylor

Outcast #3 – B

This month’s Outcast was a bit confusing, I’ll admit.  I even went back and read some of the first 2 issues, and I was still confused.  I am not worried though, because even though I think Robert Kirkman can be a little much with his famous series, I have faith that Outcast will come together.  I have a feeling that this is a series that I will have to read exactly how I read The Walking Dead: in volumes.  I find that sometimes the story that Kirkman tells can be confusing, and at times slowly paced, but that his story arcs always end with a bang.  The reason to read this issue of Outcast is for the Reverend’s monologue about God, drinking on Sundays, and masturbation.  Not only is it a little funny, but truly thought provoking and a great reflection of the writer’s feelings about religion.  I expect Outcast will pick up strongly from here on out. – Adrian

Sex #15 – C

I still don’t see where they are going with this book even after reading all 15 issues. I would have thought that the armored saint would have made his way back into the story by now, but they seem to only be about drama and incestuous gay sex these last few issues. I don’t know what is going on with the writer but it is time to stop with the slow burn and get to something more interesting.  – Robert

Wayward #1 – C

Wayward is a story about a young girl with mystic powers. She doesn’t quite understand living in Japan, then fights knock off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with her transforming cat-ninja lady companion.  Sounds like something straight out of anime and even looks like it at moments; both aspects of which I LOVE.  Why the low score then?  Well, if you’re as versed in anime as I am, then you know that this idea is far from novel or creative.  No knocks to Jim Zub or the team behind this Image title (I did quite enjoy the issue), but if you want a grade above average you gotta give me something above average.  Because this isn’t actually a true-blue anime I have faith that Wayward will breakaway from that formula and give us something unique and awesome. – Taylor

Marvel:

Cyclops #4 – B+

Things are finally starting to come together with this book and it’s not too bad after all. I am looking forward to the next few issues as they have signaled for bounty hunters to come get them. I am interested to see the father/son duo work together to get off this planet alive. There wasn’t a lot of story development; however, the bond that is starting to form between Scott and his father was worth the issue. – Robert

All-New X-Men #31 – B-

Another solid installment of the ­All-New X-Men series, issue #34 looks to be kicking things into high gear. At first glance, this is an unimpressive book by all means. The art is mediocre at best, and the relationship between Angel and X-23 has gone from mildly amusing to plain old mushy. Once you dig a little deeper, though, you have one of the best teams in history – but fun-sized! Jean Grey is finally getting the chance to become the phenom sans Phoenix (knock on wood) she always deserved to be, and Bobby is funny in a way I never imagined he would be, all thanks to Brian Michael Bendis’ writing. This issue opens the door for a HUGE crossover event, and the new mutant revealed here looks to play a big part in it. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 – C+
We finally get to see what happened to Star-Lord, Nova, Thanos, and even Drax when they trapped themselves inside the Cancerverse, and we’re on our way to figuring out how they all got out. There are some really great moments in this issue and the fight scenes are definitely something you’ll want to stop and take a closer look at…also, a near naked Thanos that you may or may not want to take a closer look at. I wish we could have had the whole story in one issue, but, I’m excited to see how they all get out of this horrible place.  – Cody

Wolverine #12 – C-

I am beyond disappointed with the way things turned out for this series. Not only was this final battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth cliché and uninspired, it was also over very quickly and not drawn very well at all. I figured with the actual announcement of Wolverine’s death, it would be something more metaphorical, but then they add something to the end of the issue that makes it seem like in the next year or less this whole thing will be negated either way. I don’t appreciate that approach after investing time into a series the way I have with this one. This issue has an effect on not only this book but  a handful of others as well. I am more curious to see how it changes things in those books than the future of Wolverine now. – Robert

Funniest Panel:

 

All New X-Men #31

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Superman #34

 

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.

 

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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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