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:
The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 – A+
I actually had to go through and pair down my review because it was running wildly out of control. If you want the easy version, this book is A+∞. Grant Morrison writes what might be the most mind expanding single issue of a super hero comic ever, and Frank Quitley is an unparalleled master. The more complex version is something like this: this is an alternate version of Moore’s Watchmen, which was a gritty adaptation of the Charleston Comics characters DC bought in the 80s, which was in itself (while gritty) making fun of the grit of comics at the time. Morrison’s Pax Americana is all about the struggle of determining what’s real and what’s linear while (like Moore’s alternate 80s) a politician (who might either be insidiously crooked or divinely inspired) tries to engineer America’s greatest panic and then greatest recovery. This is so packed with easter eggs and symbols: The Question quotes from Colorado native philosopher (and self proclaimed chaos magician like Grant Morrison himself) Ken Wilbur and his color spectrum of societal development; and when the vice president talks to Captain Adam on the bridge, I think that page forms the center wheel around which the entire story spins, and might imply it’s possible to read this comic in both directions. I can’t tell if that’s real, or I want it to be real so bad that I feel like it is. I’m honestly, flabbergasted by this book. It’s incredible. I don’t know if I can wait 4 years for all 52 of these books to come out. Buy it. Buy 10. Buy one for your grandma so that she can tell you she just doesn’t understand the appeal of comics (unless she does, then she’ll love it). – J.H.
Futurama #73 – A
I love Futurama! That much is obvious if you know me at all. This comic series has had it’s fair share of bad issues, but this one was one of the greats. This issue happens to be the Halloween issue and deals with a massive robo zombie apocalypse brought on by Bender trying to avoid work. Throughout this issue it had me laughing out loud at multiple things like Professor Farnsworth saying, “Oh my, This has gone from Bad-to-Kirkman much sooner than I could’ve imagined…” and Hermes saying, “Sweet sparrow of George Romero!” So the comedy and zombies references definitely work very well together and make for one of the best issues of this comic in its entire run (for me at least). – Jacob
Lumberjanes #8 – C
Lumberjanes was both educational and entertaining this issue. Number eight seems like the conclusion to this particular story arc. Diane is being a complete butthead, but then what do you expect from a Greek goddess? Poor Jo is still a stone statue which doesn’t make the rest of her friends happy. Are the Lumberjanes able to save her? And which god will claim the ultimate power? You’ll have to find out on your own. As always a fun carefree read. Enjoy. – Jené
Sleepy Hollow #2 – C
I don’t know, Sleepy Hollow is a rather absurd concept and somehow it works out. The characters are interesting enough that you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and even more so in comic book form. I think I like reading Sleepy Hollow more than I like watching the show. The story is just fun. I don’t have to think that hard and I don’t have to put a lot in to get a lot out. This issue slowed down compared to the last one, and it took its time with the monster/demon of the week motif. Crane is obsessed with solving a puzzle, which surprise, surprise is holding the soul of a body who wants to get out a wreak havoc on the masses. Margarite Bennet has written really good dialogue for the characters and food observations of Crane raise a few pleasant chuckles. The cheese is laid on a bit I think, but I can go with it. I do wish there was more detail in the art. Sometimes I feel the characters expressions get lost in the background and can be a little difficult to follow. – Jené
Dark Horse Comics:
Predator: Fire & Stone #2 – B
My praise for the Fire & Stone arch continues people! The plot and gore thickens as we pass the halfway point in the grand story line. I’m just as full of intrigue and interest as I was at the very first issue (Prometheus: Fire & Stone #1). I love the Predator storyline and witnessing how the Predator interacts with Galgo. The dynamic of two ruthless sentient individuals who can’t understand each other is ensnaring and a bit comedic. It’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen next because the characters, creatures, situations and environments are constantly changing! It makes for very entertaining reading. The best prediction I can make is that some grand-royale will occur on LV-223. It’s sure to be bloody, terrifying and, most importantly, a hell of a lot of fun. – Taylor
Wonder Woman #36 – B
(B+) Wonder Woman really distrusts Swamp Thing! But that’s not important. So, Wonder Woman is now the God/Goddess of War and a lot of her Amazonia sisters are not very happy with her. I mean, she allowed men to live with them! But the more important story here is that someone is wiping villages of the planet with water, very large amounts of it. Diana is really struggling with her newfound godliness taking care of her people and still be a major Justice League player. Sadly, this issues kind of all over the place though the story doesn’t really have a strong handhold, at least not yet. I have to say that David Finch’s art is outstanding, combined with Richard Friend’s inking and Sonia Oback’s coloring, each page is very eye-catching, especially the pages with Swamp Thing. I’ll say, for my first Wonder Woman book, I’m definitely interested to see where this is going. – Scott
(B) Azzarello and Chiang’s long and exciting arc that lasted 35 issues is finally over. A lot has happened since the New52 relaunch; Wonder Woman has denounced her title, battled Greek gods, became a Goddess herself, and then came back to becoming Wonder Woman. Now, we finally get to see her interact with the rest of the world. The new version of Wonder Woman is undeniably beautiful. David Finch has been sorely missed from the New52 (his last stint was the first run of Batman: The Dark Knight), and his wife, Meredith, who gets her writing debut here, is a solid storyteller. While it’s nice to see a new direction for Wonder Woman, between this book, Justice League and Superman/Wonder Woman, I would like DC to get a better handle on the kind of person they want her to be – nurturing humanist or angsty warrior. I like where the mystery of the story is headed, and I totally endorse this new creative team. – Sherif
Justice League #36 – B
It just got real for the Justice League! What Ebola is to us humans is what the Amazo Virus is to the meta-beings of the Justice League. Bed-stricken and in comas, all super-powered humans of the League have been given a 24-hour timetable following the accidental unleashing of Lex Luthor’s deviously crafted virus. This is bad, but it’s not the worst part. While most superheroes are TKO, all the Joe Schmoes affected by the virus have a very opposite reaction – they develop superpowers! Unfortunately, these kick-ass abilities will only be temporarily lived because to humans, this virus is totally lethal. This makes for a really entertaining and anxious issue, but it’s a bit distracting from the overall plot. Luthor vs. Wayne was just getting started and then super-Ebola hit! I’ll be on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the League gets themselves out of this one, but hopefully we’re back on track before too long. – Taylor
The New 52: Future’s End #29 – C+
(B) Freeze!!! For just a minute… Let’s break this down. Issue #29 of Future’s End may be the best one yet. Now, being “the best” among a pile of crap may not be saying much (hence the “B” grade), but there are some significant improvement-takeaways from this week’s issue of Future’s End. Primary and above all others is the fact that this issue was focused! It highlighted a specific and small set of characters, all of which had relevant ties to one another; It wove in a plot that was epic and with substantial impact to the primary characters. But what I loved most… it has NOTHING to do with the Brother Eye end of the world plotline. This week we got a glimpse of what a good comic was made of. This 29th issue could essentially spin off from the Future’s End series right now and become a standalone and successful comic. All because of a little bit of focus!!! If Future’s End had been structured this way from the start I would have a 180-degree difference of opinion of the overall story (which so far has been shitty). Maybe this marks a change for the better… I won’t hold my breath though. – Taylor
(C-) Is it bad I’m a little relieved that the whining and bickering is finally over? Maybe now we can actually get back to this whole saving the world thing? The most interesting part of Firestorm’s storyline so far has been Batman showing up to tell Ronnie and Jason to put their collective big-boy pants on and resume superhero-ing (I’m paraphrasing). Alas, there was none of that this week. There’s some action and even a special guest to assist with the butt kicking, but over all, I’m still not quite sure why I’m supposed to care. Maybe Firestorm will actually DO something now that the status quo has changed a little bit since absolutely nothing has been accomplished so far. I am not intrigued, excited, or in anyway interested in the outcome of this story anymore. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself every week. Future’s End continues to meander on, and unfortunately still continues to deliver a weekly dose of “WTF!?”. I have the sneaking suspicion that, by April, when we get to the end of this “Event”, none of this is going to matter. Meh. – Moke
Batman and Robin #36 – C
Batman is more honey badger than I have ever seen him in this issue. After slipping through the grasp of the Justice League, he has fought his way through Apokolips to retrieve his son’s corpse. It’s a fun issue and the way the team reunites feels oh so good, but really, there’s not a lot of substance in the issue. I don’t feel any differently about the situation than I did when I read the book a month ago. I will say that Patrick Gleason’s art is in top form here. There are a number of panels that spill into each other, and it forces the reader to really feel the frantic pace that the book takes on. I have no doubt things will get more interesting as the next issue unfolds (especially after what happened after Final Crisis), but this issue was, for the most part, filler. – Sherif
Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #6 – B-
So this has to be my favorite comic event of the year! Even if the writing was subpar, and the ending left me wanting more, it still was a wonderful romp through my childhood that always left me wanting other characters to show up (luckily the Powerpuff Girls are having a massive crossover in January!). This issue shows us the continued exploits of the heroes. I do have to say that even though I did absolutely love this series and this issue, it is very childish at times (obviously it is cartoon characters) so some people find it upsetting that their cartoons didn’t grow up with them, but if you are a fan of the characters, please pick it up and look out for the new Powerpuff Girls event next year! – Jacob
American Legends #3 – B-
The first two issues of American Legends were a little slow and hokey, but this time around it was complete madness. Issue #3 in the miniseries is basically non-stop action in what I can only assume is an effort to make up for what the first two issues may have lacked. It was good enough, I’m just still not in love with it. The heroes face a saber tooth tiger, the LaFitte gang, some more crazy voodoo, and a Wendigo all in the name of catching up to the Lewis and Clark expedition to help prevent Napoleon’s plan to ruin everything for President Jefferson. And to save Sally Thunder’s brother so that Davy or Mike or both can get in her pants. This time around, Davy Crockett and Mike Fink were much more toned down with the cheese factor so they were less Dukes of Hazzard and more Simon and Simon. Sally Thunder still kind of sucks and there is little to no effort to make the bad guys actually seem like bad guys, but…eh. At least at this point in the series I’m no longer really bothered by that because I’m just along for the ride and kind of curious to see where this whole thing goes. – Keriann
Intersect #1 – C-
(B) Intersect is the fevered dream of a mad man, but that’s good. First off, I really have no idea what’s going on. I’m not sure if what I’m seeing is a dream, or a Matrix-like simulation. The story is told in prose almost, it’s all very flowery speech. The art seems to be watercolors and pages are set up very haphazardly. It’s not easy to read in a proper sequential order. Also if I’m supposed to be able to tell what’s going on, I am not succeeding so far. Reading Intersect is kind of like having a seizure, or at least I’d imagine. It’s frantic and confusing and when you’re done you’re not really sure what happened. On the plus side, I want to figure out what happened. Let’s see where this one is going. – Scott
(F) I have no idea what the f*** I just read. Honestly. I have no freaking idea what the hell that was. Intersect #1 feels more like a bad acid trip directed by David Cronenberg than it does a comic and that is not a good thing. I can do weird, in fact sometimes I really like the weird, dark kind of artsy stuff (Alan Moore’s Fashion Beast) but this book is TOO weird and it comes off in a way that made me feel like if I didn’t get it, then I was the dumb one. It also seems like it wants to be deep and if I didn’t get it I was just part of the problem. Screw you book, you made no god damned sense and while the artwork was really, really cool it didn’t help your cause at all. I will say that the last few pages of the book with the bizarre imagery and what I can only assume are Ray Fawkes poems were pretty great, but up to that point it was just too freaking bizarre in the bad way. There is no effort to explain what the story is, who these people are, and what the hell they are doing. And for that matter why there seems to be multiple people living in one body? Is that what was happening? I have no f-ing clue honestly. Frankly, if not understanding this book means I’m dumb, then I’m not sure I want to be smart. – Keriann
Moon Knight #9 – A
(A) Moon Knight has been magnificent, and even though it lost Warren Ellis as its writer, Brian Wood has done a great job of keeping the series moving at a good pace. The biggest knock I have had against the series is that there hasn’t been enough substance to the type of man Mr. Knight is underneath the mask; we’ve seen a bunch of great action, and the art has been top-notch, but I wanted the book to big deeper into the history of Khonshu. Thankfully, right from the get-go, this issues takes a very deep turn. The time that Moon Knight takes on the “Doctor’s” chair is enthralling, and the conversation is both an invitation to conversation and refreshingly personal. Plus, the shocking twist at the end was something I did not even know was possible, so I will be waiting with baited breath to see where the story takes us from here. – Sherif
(A) In nine issues of Moon Knight, very few aspects of this comic have been handled poorly and an even greater number of aspects have been handled extremely well. The first six issues of Moon Knight served to introduce Marc Spector and his flashy and total badass vigilante persona, Mr. Knight, via a series of one-off adventures. Now that an actual story arc has begun, I’ve raised my expectations, hoping to see this series step it up a level. I got exactly what I hoped for this week! “The Doctor” has always played a role in Moon Knight, but this week she emerges as a major player in the things to come. What’s more is that I’m completely compelled by the developing plot. In issues past there were clear cut lines – good vs. bad, righteous vs. evil. Now the waters have become muddied and it’s done a great service for this already impressive series. I want a whole lot more of what Moon Knight has got to offer. – Taylor
Deadpool #37 – A
There has been a change Deadpool books recently, and it hasn’t just been the fact that Deadpool is now a zen Buddhist. I feel Deadpool, although still funny, has really gotten into the hang of handling drama just as well as Tacos and Chimichangas. That drama comes into play in this issue, which also ties into the A&X: Axis storyline. It shows us how Deadpool handles the switch in attitude by becoming the “Monk with the Mouth” instead the “Merc with the Mouth.” The craziest thing though is Deadpool is always in about 5 stories at once so it will be interesting to see how this comes into play and whether or not his Peaceful nature will pass over to the other books he has going now. I would pick this up if you are a fan of Deadpool, are reading Axis, or just want to be introduced a completely different Deadpool than you are used to. – Jacob
Avengers & X-Men Axis #6 – A-
This gets better and better every week. We have evil heroes and heroic villains all across Marvel. The art has been wonderful and the writing is spectacular, especially in showing the same character but the exact opposite and yet having it work perfectly. I look forward to seeing where this event takes us and how the characters will all change drastically after this. How will Carnage and other absolutely insane villains handle the fact they were heroes? Will Cyclops be ostracized for teaming with Apocalypse? We likely won’t find out for quite some time now, but in the mean time, pick this issue! – Jacob
Black Widow #12 – B-
While I think the Black Widow series is good, it isn’t great. The question this month was #WhoIsBlackWidow. And yeah, it really is a hashtag. Asked by Anderson Cooper. Ok, now that I say that out loud, it sounds silly. However, Anderson Cooper has a point. We have no clue about her, 12 issues in. I just hope that the hashtag bit is gearing us up to find out more and not a way to get vapid internet junkies to tweet something ridiculous. – Adrian
Spider-Woman #1 – C+
I’ll admit I’m not a guru when it comes to the Spider-Verse, but I felt like I was missing something throughout this issue. I understand that the villains here have the munchies for all things Spider, but we aren’t given much backstory to these characters in this issue, and I think because of that, the stakes didn’t feel as high as I wanted them to be. However, the dynamics between all the heroes is really interesting, and because of that, I think this comic will get better as it develops. There’s some great writing here and it has a lot of potential to be a great addition to the Spider-Verse. As a start up to a new story arc, however, I was slightly disappointed. – Charlotte
Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #2 – C-
I went into this issue pretty biased as I loathed the first one in this series. This second issue is a bit better. While it offers some meaning to the Death of Wolverine event, it still lacks significance. Not to mention, I don’t care about these characters. On top of that I think Weapon X steals costume ideas from other superheroes (i.e. Deadpool is to Spider-Man as Sharp is to Star Lord) which is rather distracting. Despite the character design of Sharp, the books offer some great covers and art inside, which is a major point in me still purchasing the series. – Jacob
Loki: Agent of Asgard #8 – C-
I’ve been pretty disappointed with this comic from the get go. Loki is one of my favorite Marvel characters and I was really excited that he was getting his own comic, but it just hasn’t had much to offer lately. This latest issue in particular was just really lacking, and if you hadn’t read the comics referred to in the footnotes, you only had a vague sense of why Loki was suddenly a noble dick. It all came across as a very strange, out of character, the-writers-have-run-out-of-ideas add-in. I really don’t understand how Loki being turned good helps the plot at all and they’ve completely lost me as to where this comic is going in the future. I really hope it gets better because Loki is a great, complicated character who deserves a kick-ass story. – Charlotte
Magneto #12 – C-
There seems to be a trend of books this week having the need to feel “epic.” The grand scale which Magneto took on was largely disappointing; starting at what seemed a great face-off between Magneto and Red Skull turned into a ridiculous arc that undermined the whole point of having a Magneto book. I was almost flung from the Cullen Bunn bandwagon with the last few issues, and throwing together a sentimental conclusion issue with Magneto and Professor X just couldn’t save the train wreck that Axis has become. I’m glad that Magneto will get back to exploring the anti-hero’s messiah side, but I can’t help but feel like there is a little bit of trust lost here. If Bunn can stick to the subject material without getting dragged into massive events, this series can really carve out a place in the books. – Sherif
Storm #5 – D
First of all, the guy that Storm has to fight in honor of Yukio tells her to “meet in the desert at sunset.” Is that the mutant’s answer to a flagpole after-school? The corniness of this line made me spit out my coffee. But that turned out to be the best part of this issue. The rest of it involved a mutant fight in the desert at sunset. Can you believe that? And then they tried to act like Logan had something to do with it because we can’t forget he died. But trust me, the fights by my 3rd grad flagpole were way more compelling, and probably actually about Wolverine. – Adrian
Panel with the Most Awesomeness:
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, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.