Comic Book Reviews 01-07-15

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:

 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 – A+ 

Goddammit Marvel. You let me think I’m done with super hero comics forever, and then Squirrel Girl happens. And that’s after I saw the original Squirrel Girl stuff from the 90s that actually looked like it was from the 70s, and also made Squirrel Girl look like a crazy prostitute serial killer. I mean, I get Squirrel Girl being a thing created anywhere from 1938 to 1979 when all super hero creation was, “Adjective Gender,” and then no matter how obviously terrible your idea is, you turn out 300 issues because all comics are 3 cents a piece – and what else are you going to do with that money? NOT buy a comic? Unlikely – but for this to be created in the 90s is bizarre, and then for her to keep popping up in the double oughts is double bizarre. But for a Marvel number 1, this is actually quite good. Like, I don’t know when I last read a Marvel book I cared about, let alone a number one. I love that they totally embraced this character’s inanity and relative uselessness (I mean, compared to people like Hulk and Iron Man, she’d be powerless. Even compared to Hawkeye, whose only power is, “shoots arrows real good you guys,” she’s pretty under equipped), and turned her into a 4th wall breaking (well, her cards break the fourth wall) nerdy fan girl is pretty great. And she talks out her problems. And the art looks clearly John K. inspired, so if you were alive in 1991 and watching Nickelodeon, that means you’re bound by Federal Statute to buy this book. And if, uh, that really big guy actually shows up in issue 2, it’s kind of guaranteed you’re hooked. – J.H.

Other Reviews: 

Boom! Studios:

Feathers #1 – B

Feathers is a fun and original little story to come from a brand new writer and illustrator. In short, it’s the story of an abandoned baby who gets rescued by a compassionate man and together they live in The Maze, a really unfortunate slum just outside of a white city. The boy also happens to be covered in feathers and the man knows that because of that some bad people will be looking for him. The story is also seemingly narrated by two different voices that may not have put this whole scene into action, but they have great interest in how it turns out. The first issue was a good read, it was sweet and endearing although at times I questioned if it was better geared towards children. The whole thing had kind of a Hellboy feel, although that could be contributed to the slightly similar artwork and the fact that an older man finds a monster baby and chooses to raise him for good, although he seemingly could have great powers for evil. Feathers is only a six part series, so if you’re looking for an enjoyable read but you have a fear of commitment, I’d definitely recommend you give it a read. I think this one is going good places and the end will most likely be bittersweet. – Keriann

Dark Horse:

Lady Killer #1 – B-
 
I don’t know whether I should be offended by this book or applaud it for its honesty.  The first half of the book was really intriguing.  A 50’s housewife who sells Avon is really a spy and killer.  The murder scene was Tarantino-esque – so therefore it was amazing.  But then the rest of the book has to take some of that away and shove it in our face that this is a woman, and therefore her sexuality and body are of importance.  I am hoping that the next issue flips this trope on its side, but as of now, I’m only a little hopeful. – Adrian

DC/Vertigo: 

Detective Comics #38 – A
Who would have thought that lesser-known villain Anarky would be one of the easiest rogue to evolve with the times? Well, it was not me. Without the pressure of putting out epic content that the main title book has, this Batman book can focus on releasing amazing detective stories. I am loving this new Anarky story, which sort of parallels hacker groups in real life with the way he “sets free” the people – and the blank mask: genius! Even Matches Malone gives an inspiring speech. Detective Comics‘ new team has filled a void in comic books I didn’t even realize was missing. – Sherif
Mortal Kombat X #1 – A-
Finally, a Mortal Kombat comic book I don’t need my parents’ permission to read. Previously under the Malibu Comics imprint, MK books have been few and far between in the last decade, so the new digital-first series by DC had me very excited. Digital first series have their pros (easily accessible, weekly editions) and cons (too short!), but it’s a great platform gearing up to the upcoming MK X game. This series shows great promise; the story is completely progressed from typical lore, and the violence is exactly at the point you would expect from the classic series. For MK fans, this is a MUST read. Even if you don’t like Mortal Kombat at all, this series could pique your interest. – Sherif

Wolf Moon #2 – B+

I. Love. Werewolves. A lot. I’m kind of obsessed. Some people think that makes me weird, some people think that makes me quirky. Either way, Wolf Moon is AH-MAZING and it has some of the coolest and most unique creature lore I’ve ever heard. So far Wolf Moon is gritty and kind of all encompassing, as in I could tune out the apocalypse while I read it because I’m that sucked in. It seems that the next issue will be told from another perspective, this time from more Winchester brother type of monster hunters. The series will wrap in only six issues, which is definitely a good thing for a story like this. Carrying it out for too long would most likely make it tedious because, in all honestly, there is only so much you can do with werewolves and monster hunters without destroying the delicate balance between great and campy. I absolutely recommend this book, but it does come with a disclaimer. Wolf Moon, while so so cool, may be best fit for fans of the genre or at least people who can handle gore. This is a werewolf book, people are getting torn literally in two. On more than one occasion. It may not be as gory as Ferals, but it’s close and this is only issue two. You’ve been warned, now go read this book. – Keriann

Green Arrow #38 – D
The tag team of Green Lantern and Green Arrow, specifically the series by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, is one of the most celebrated team books of all time, so when I heard that Hal Jordan was going to be holding hands with Green Arrow this issue, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, it was a total bust, Aside from a really sweet construct that Lantern built for Arrow, there was nothing to get excited for here. Felicity loses all her charm as a comic book character that Emily Rickards brings to the TV show, and the chemistry between the two superheroes is practically non-existent. Leave any future reunions to the professionals.- Sherif

Dynamite:

Shaft #2 – C+
If this series were a t-shirt, it would be extra-medium. A big, fat MEH for me on this book. Shaft has really avoided saying anything about anything in its first two issues, and while it has been entertaining, my life does not stop for Shaft. It should though; Shaft is one bad mother-shut your mouth, and holding him back from really making waves is entirely contradictory of his character.This book is not bad by any means, but I was expecting so much more – especially because it already has the “Shaft” brand to do half the work before I open the front page. – Sherif

Image Comics:

God Hates Astronauts #5 – A

GHA was gut-wrenchingly awesome as usual. There was however, one glorifying aspect that shined above all other this week – CROAD!! Let me tell you people, Ryan Browne is a genius. Croad, part crab part toad assassin for hire swooped in on a flying, singing humpback whale and a posse of other flying sea creatures to face-off against Star Grass. That’s not the best part though. What is, is that EVERY single one of Croad’s lines this week was a Darth Vader quote. You might think, “that doesn’t sound like it would make sense.” And it didn’t. Which is why it is brilliant and also why you should read GHA this week. My hat is off to you Mr. Browne. – Taylor

Trees #8 – A

Is it just me or does it seem it’s a week of the simplistic? The cover of Trees was very striking in its simplicity. A man attempting to cut down a tree and from the bark a river of blood. Really makes you wonder what your about to get yourself involved in… oh yeah. Read this with a tissue. Cause I’m bawling and my gut is in literal knots. Fuck you Warren Ellis. But, good writing too, cause … ouch that was painful. I knew the conflict was coming; I could feel it mounting over the last several books but I wasn’t expecting what. I don’t want to give it away. Though, the cover does a fine job of that. Trees uses simplicity to their advantage and the images hauntingly carried the story along, making the emotional impact of it all that much stronger. – Jené

Birthright #4 – A-

Birthright is just so good. I wish there was a more eloquent way to put that, but it’s the straight forward truth. It seems like Joshua Williamson is able to pack exposition, development, fantasy excitement and action all into one issue seamlessly. As usual, both stories moved forward, although I must say they sure are taking their time with Mikey’s journey in Terrenos. I think he’s been dealing with the same beast for three issues now… Either way, it seems like in the next issue there will be an all out battle between Mikey and Ward which will not only be epic, but it will make sure that Brennan and Aaron (Dad) will now fully believe Mikey’s truth. I say it every month, and I’ll say it again: if you’re not reading Birthright, you’re making a big mistake. – Keriann

Deadly Class #10 – B+
While it’s nice to be able to personally connect with a comic book character, sometimes it’s fun just living a crazy alternate life vicariously through a well-written and entertaining character. Deadly Class‘s Marcus is in way over his head here, as he awakens from his acid trip extremely hung over and guilty for having cheated on his girlfriend. This would sound like any other high school drama if it were not for the fact that they are all unstable deadly assassins. Not the best issue, but it pushes the story forward at a nice pace. Oh, and Marcus shits his pants. – Sherif

Nailbiter #9 – B

(B+) Well, shit got dark this week for Nailbiter. Well, darker, I suppose. What will happen to those poor innocent kids on the school bus? Probably nothing good. The pace was a little hectic, and it jumped around to different plot points a little more than I like but this was still a gripping issue. The crazy old man with the bees has been taken/killed by a henchman (of sorts) for a master (of sorts) which certainly piqued my interest, but I am a little worried this might be an indicator that things will get really convoluted before we get any answers about the Buckaroo Butcher origins. I really appreciate the direction the story is moving in, and the homage to the urban legend about the guy under the kid’s bed licking his hand made me downright giddy. Overall, Nailbiter is keeping pace with itself in being one of the best reads out there, but this week it didn’t really go over and beyond with anything too great. – Keriann

(B) Really interesting cover this time around. Almost comical. Nice. I love the fact that each book gives a short snippet on what happened previously. It really helps to jar my memory of what happened earlier without having to go too far back. But Holy fuck, this month was a creepy book. I was on the edge of my seat biting my own nails scrolling through as fast as possible to see what was going to happen. This book was super-fast and rather simplistically done, but now I think I’m going to sleep with the lights on tonight. Warren under the bed. Creepiest thing ever and yet hilarious. I still don’t understand how book after book I am both creeped out (yeah, I know I’ve used the word three times, but creepy was what it was) and chuckling under my breath. Seriously if you still aren’t reading this story you really should be. – Jené

Ody-C #2 – B
(A+) Wow. This comic is something else. I’m so thankful this was the second issue because it cleared up what happened to all the men. Which is great. And it wonderfully unpacks the universe and Zeus’ motives for the reader as well as opening up some very basic mechanics for the universe. It’s hard talking in this spoiler-free manner and still saying meaningful things. I love all the exploration of gender and the nature of gender and creation; given who I am however, and the kinds of friends I keep, I can’t help but feel a little suspicious that it’s a man exploring this bizarre concept about women that, obviously, isn’t reality. But, I guess that’s what intelligent men do: try to imagine what life is like from the other side(s) and perhaps feel insanely jealous that we can’t actually say anything authoritative on the subject. Nevertheless, it’s a great book: the art is gorgeous (there are a few panels that made me cock my head and say, “What happened there?”), and it’s a very unique look at old myths that most of us have read at least twice in college. – J.H.
(D+) Matt Fraction’s last book, inspired by The Odyssey, is as close to classic literature as I have ever seen in a comic book; from me, this is not a compliment. I enjoy being intellectually challenged by a comic book, and to give Fraction credit, this is one of the most intelligent books I have ever read, but it gets to a point where I found myself forcing to read the dialogue in a book where the story (and art) are not easily intuitive. It’s the type of product that’s always praised as being complex and poetic, but nothing that I actually enjoyed – much like a majority of the Academy Award nominations. You will know right away whether this book is worth your time, and for me, it was simply not. – Sherif

Roche Limit #4 – B

I gotta say, I am really getting into Roche Limit. It delivers issue after issue. The layering effect of different genres is really intriguing. Every book starts with a suicide note of the founder of the colony, then a powerpoint like presentation that explains aspects of the science, the story, and then the mimic of a scholarly journal all of which weave and explain the complexity of the world and how this “anomaly” is in itself a mysterious character the characters are trying to figure out in the story. It’s smartly done and gripping even though the plot itself has a lot of typical sci-fi clichés. I kinda don’t care at this point because the delivery is so well executed. One question I really have now is about the use of color. The way the color is used though out the books seems really deliberate, but I can’t quite figure out its purpose. I recommended the book. It’s a good one to discuss with friends over a cup of coffee. – Jené

Marvel:

Ant-Man #1 – B+
(A) I have no realm of knowledge of Ant-Man, story or man, but boy did I love this.  Yeah, Scott Lang is funny.  He rivals Tony Stark in wit.  But more importantly, Scott Lang is a good father.  Scott tries his had at working for Tony while also battling his ex-wife for his daughter.  There was action, humor, and a heart-warming father/daughter story.  I’m a sucker for love. – Adrian
(B) This is my first experience with Ant-Man. I was (and continue to be) late to the punch on Age of Ultron and the other significant origin stories, but I knew enough about him to want to pick up this title this week. I’m glad I did. What I appreciate most about this character is that he is pretty much a bum. Let me explain – he has cool power/a cool suit, humorous banter, a big heart and high ambitions. All that aside, the guy lives in a cardboard box and can hardly hold his life together; whether in the suit or not. This reality really sets Scott Lang (Ant-Man) apart from a lot of other superheroes that seem to have their stuff together. Issue #1 was a great read and by the end of it the plot is left WIDE open. This title seems like one worth sticking to. – Taylor

Amazing Spider-Man #12 – B

It’s chaos. Nothing but chaos and pandemonium. Spider-People are spread all over the Spider-Verse, embarking on their various Spider-Missions. The octane level remains high. The shining moment this week comes from a building focus on the significant of “The Scion, The Bride and The Other,” and why these figures are so important to The Inheritors. It appears this family of Spider-feasters has more than, well, feasting on their minds. What that is, we don’t know, but it’s only a matter of time before we do! – Taylor

Avengers: No More Bullying #1 – B+ (or C- if you are an adult)

One thing you have to keep in mind while reading this comic is that it’s definitely a kid’s comic and as such, it serves its purpose. It’s a great teaching tool for talking about bullying. Marvel always does a great job of helping out when it comes to kids who are facing adversity. I’m sure for the kids reading this– for those being bullied– it’s very reassuring to see their favorite superheroes dealing with the same thing. However, if you’re over the age of 12, this comic is probably not for you. It’s super simple with absolutely no subtly. I liked how they addressed Hawkeye’s dismissal as a superhero, but after the first few pages, it just started to go down hill, although the last strip is nicely nostalgic and cute. If you’re a teacher or a parent of kid being bullied, pick this comic up. Otherwise, don’t bother. -Charlotte

Operation S.I.N. #1 – B+

Cleverly released the same week as the new Agent Carter series premiere on ABC, this comic has a lot of potential. Peggy Carter is as badass as ever and teamed up with Howard Stark. Both of these characters are endlessly interesting and their dynamic is amusing to examine. They definitely work well off each other. Not much plot-wise happened in this issue besides switching settings and the introduction of new characters, but this is definitely a good set up for an awesome new story arc. I’m a sucker when it comes to Carter and I can’t wait to see whose ass she kicks next. – Charlotte

Storm #7 – C+ 

While this month’s issue of Storm was an improvement, it wasn’t because of the character, but the bigger picture of a senator being conned into taking out the mutants.  While it is interesting, it isn’t original.  Storm’s dialogue is formulaic.  “I’m a queen/goddess/whatever” is telling me and not showing me, which is lazy writing.  The only reason it gets a “C+” this month is because the bigger picture could be cool, but only time will tell. – Adrian

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #4 – C

There wasn’t much going for this issue. There was nothing that was particularly bad about it, but there also wasn’t a whole lot that stood out to me either, which stinks for a story finale. It had good fight scenes and Deadpool was hilarious as always, but ultimately it was not as good as it could have been. I really liked the premise of this comic and the dynamic between both Hawkeyes (yeah, there are two) and Deadpool, but it just didn’t do it for me this issue. I’d like to see more of these characters interactions, but I guess Marvel thinks four issues is enough for us. Too bad. – Charlotte

Hulk #10 – C
I’m sorry, but if you sell me a Hulk/Red Hulk showdown, you better damn deliver. Thunderbolt Ross aka Red Hulk makes his debut here when he finds out Doc Green here is systematically eliminating the other Hulks. I had high hopes for this promising plot line, but I’m getting bored and starting to be convinced there was an end in mind, but no means to get there. It would be nice if this book found some real direction, but for now, we will settle for mediocre art and a meandering story. – Sherif

Funniest Panel:

Squirrel Girl #1
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Detective Comics #38
Detective Comics #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, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

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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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