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:
Red One #1 – A
Good thing I’m not writing this review on paper. The drool stains would make it impossible to comprehend (the amount of saliva on my keyboard IS kinda gross and annoying though…). Another solid new comic on the scene this week. Leave it to Image to prove that comic books are not just for age old or typical “superheroes.” Red One is a story that takes place in the late 1970’s and is centered on some of the major hot topics prevalent during the Cold War (and today even!). But this isn’t your typical war time story. The story is completely about an infectious, sexy, elite female agent trained pretty much from birth by the Red Nation. Her latest mission is to become a superhero in America. That sounds incredibly lame, I know, but hear me out. The depth of this comic is bananas. There was sooo much development in this premiere issue!! I’m already dangerously attached to SEVERAL characters. If you’re a bit winded from your typical “superhero” comic <cough** Marvel ** cough ** DC> then you will DEFINITELY want to grab a copy this week. – Taylor
Dark Horse Comics:
Shaper #1 – A
Yes… Yes… SO MUCH YES!! As I read this comic rain is pouring hard outside my window drenching everything in sight and I feel like I too have just been drenched. Not with water, but with the completely ensnaring creativity and brilliance of a fantastic new sci-fi story. Until reading issue #1 of Shaper I hadn’t realized how severe my sci-fi drought had been. The last time I was this excited (and pleased) about an otherworldly adventure was when Pacific Rim was in theaters. This comic’s got fantastic environments, intriguing characters (some of which can shape shift into freakin’ dragons!!), a solid and simple plot, well told narration and a spaceship load of potential. If you appreciate the sci-fi and fantasy genre, you’ve to pick up a copy of Shaper this week. All of the yes!! – Taylor
Frankenstein Underground #1 – C+
I had to take a little time to really compose my thoughts after reading this one. I have a predisposition to like it because of my affections for Mike Mignola and Frankenstein, which really made me want to focus and review what I actually read, not what I wanted to read. That being said, Frankenstein Underground was not was I was expecting and I’m not so sure that is a good thing. I’m really on the fence about it. So far it just seems a little strange and dare I say a little nonsensical. The pros are that it is well written and really takes a new perspective on a very old story. As I am a sucker for stories based on Frankenstein the sentient compassionate and very human monster I really enjoyed who/what Mignola created here, I’m just a little unsure of how the Mayan gods will work with this whole thing. The book was good enough and I’m certainly intrigued and impressed by where the story seems to be going, I guess I’m also just a little worried about where the story might end up. Does that make any sense whatsoever? At the very least I got a panel of Hellboy fighting Frankenstein, so that’s awesome. – Keriann
Batgirl: Endgame #1 (One shot) – A-
This comic’s use of dialogue is great in that there is none; the plot is moved along through action and scene rather than lengthy conversations and exposition. In a high stress situation, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be a lot of dialogue. There’s no time to talk about the infection. Things need to move along and quickly. Having no dialogue in this issue raised the stakes and made the comic more enjoyable than it would have been with dialogue. While this issue doesn’t have much of a wow factor, it was an enjoyable, well-crafted read. – Charlotte
Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro #1 – C-
This issue just wasn’t all that well done. The dialogue felt stilted and too expository, I really had no idea what the stakes were and the plot was just generic “wild west vigilante protects the natives” story arc. The art was really all this issue had going for it, but there was no wow factor to that either. The Legend of Zorro is one of my favorite franchises and reading this comic felt like a bit of a disappointment to me. Better luck next time. – Charlotte
X-Files Season 10 #21 – B+
A new and foreboding enemy shows his face this issue, which leads us into the final story arc and issues of Season 10 of X-Files. With the start of the story “Elders” we see a somewhat similar group to the broken down “Syndicate” meeting together with a new a very creepy glassed man calling the shots. On top of that we also see a bit into Mulders past when a former abductee he was helping when he was first starting out confronts him and after this confrontation it brings this new “Syndicate” down on Mulder starting what is bound to bet a great ending to a great series. Joe Harris obviously has writing duties as he has had for the whole of the series only sharing it with Chris Carter for the first couple issues, but then we see the return of Matthew Dow Smith to contribute the art who did the whole Pilgrims arc as well as other random single issues stories along the way. This series has been pretty consistent with the tone of the art overall and with Smith being one of the main contributors it is no different here. With this new and last story arc starting for X-Files it is probably a good idea to start reading now if you haven’t because it isn’t too long now until the truth wont be out there to read anymore. – Jacob
Star Trek/ Planet of the Apes #4 – C+
Who can resist two classics meeting like this? Well maybe you can miss an issue or two… This series so far has been overall enjoyable and entertaining, especially for having the tagline “The Primate Directive,” but with the last couple, it feels like the storytelling was a little stretched out, leaving us at the end of this issue where we likely should have been story-wise by the end of the second or third issue. Ultimately, it just feels like there has been a lot of fights that led nowhere and questions that only lead to more questions. This is not to say the story is not enjoyable. It still melds these two worlds together well and creates one all its own that we never knew we wanted to explore. We finally see the Enterprise crew getting along and working with George Taylor after a whole issue of basically learning they just had to talk to him to have him stop attacking them. But we get to a point where we see a little more of the intention the Klingon Kor has in dealing with the rouge gorilla army on this world, as well as him supposedly finally starting a conflict beyond him just being on the planet with weapons of his own. With the same creative team behind every issue for this series, we can definitely expect the same kind of storytelling throughout this issue and the rest of the series as it goes ahead, which is good and bad as we are guaranteed a fun and entertaining read with very well done art, it just may end up taking a while to get there. – Jacob
(A) What a month for TMNT fans this was… Not to spoil anything, but chances are you’ve heard the news about this issue somewhere along the line if you have any interest in the series. I have to say this issue really pulled no punches here in showing us that IDW is no normal comic company and that TMNT may be in the best hands they have ever been in. This is mainly due to the story here, which is part four and the conclusion of the Attack on Technodrome arc, leaving us to deal with the rubble and the aftermath of the attack on Burnow Island. We have Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow and Tom Waltz on story here, which is a great team to end this arc and bring us into the next phase for the Turtles universe for IDW and man do they ever in this issue… Cory Smith provided the art which is some of the best the series has seen so far, melding together elements from ever other artist in the series history to make a style all his own while making sure to also keep a consistency going artistically through the whole series. But when it all comes down to it this issue is monumental and ends with a turn that will change TMNT history forever, making this an issue you owe yourself to read. Despite what feelings it may or may not make you feel toward IDW, TMNT, or just the world in general, this issue will be one for the history books.- Jacob
Millennium #2 – C
Okay, full disclosure: issue #2 confused the hell out of me. Maybe it’s because I’m tired, but I found myself rereading certain panels a few times to try and trigger something in my brain that would clear the confusion. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work. The first issue of Millennium was exciting and clear, this one felt muddled and like it moved too fast with too little detail. This issue was lacking in exposition and I very quickly got the feeling that I should go back and read the first issue again just so I could make some sense of what was going on. I am aware of the complicated nature of the story and characters involved here, but something just didn’t click for me here. The pieces didn’t fit or the pace was too fast without enough intrigue. Either way this is a second issue I was really looking forward to that I was kind of disappointed in. – Keriann
Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #3 – C
This series is filled with a ton of nostalgia but then leaves the story a bit behind, trying to shove as much into one issue they can. With this series, every issue is a trip for the Powerpuff Girls to visit a different show in Cartoon Networks history while they chase down a mutant Dee Dee from Dexter’s Laboratory. This issue focuses on the show Cow and Chicken with a short story from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy at the end setting up that world for a future issue. So with four shows already being included you think that would be the limit but then they thrown it characters from the Cow and Chicken spin-off I Am Weasel just to make sure we try and remember every character we miss from our childhoods. Camming so much stuff into one issue has left a very short and not-too-satisfying story, leaving me to believe the Powerpuff Girls don’t care about Dee Dee destroying all life as we know it since each issue they find here and she escapes right away. All that aside, this series wins me over overall as it works for the format of these cartoons, which is exactly what they are going for here, so its hard to disappoint in that sense, however, if it was any other regular comic story, it would never work so well. – Jacob
The Fly: Outbreak #1 – C-
I knew going in to it that this book would be kind of a wild card. I’m a big fan of The Fly movies so I figured I would give it a shot. The story is definitely unique, it’s a little chaotic at this point and could really benefit from some proper focus. I’m clear enough in that the main character is the son of Dr. Brundle from the movies, but I’m pretty uncertain how this son came to be and how on earth he would be “infected” with the fly genes that took over his before he killed himself. Hopefully that will be explained soon, but it does seem odd to make a connection that doesn’t quite fit. The art is beautiful and stands out for a comic, but for me it suffered at properly portraying the story at points. Although I must say that the fly monster is pretty freaking awesome to gaze upon. It just would have been helpful to have any insight into who this “Anton the Fly/Man” was. Little time was taken to characterize, at this point all I know is that the main character insists on using condoms, has had a vasectomy, is somehow fly infected, and is into BDSM or at least minor bondage. Interesting, yes, but probably not the most relevant things to start a guy’s introduction with. Overall, The Fly: Outbreak isn’t bad, but it’s not off to a great start. – Keriann
Invisible Republic #1 – B-
(B) Invisible Republic is written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko. I read the comic because it was marketed as a cross between Breaking Bad and Blade Runner. It definitely has a Blade Runner quality and the violence/anti-hero to match Breaking Bad. It’s the year 2843 on a distant moon named Avalon. I reporter finds an old journal of the local fallen dictator. It’s a gripping first book simple yet engaging. I’m really curious to see how everything is going to play out. A lot of story idea are seeming to come out that deal with off world colonies and the dystopian like environment. Seems like writers in the U.S are working out something in our collective conscious. It’s interesting to watch all these stories interrelate with one another. I wonder how this comic will hold up with Roach Limit or Trees. – Jene
(C-) I’m not really sure what’s going on in this book. It’s a future totalitarian world for sure and there is a reporter trying to get a story. And he may have found one. Other than that there is a flash black to a fight on a beach and some crazy armored space fish but not a lot else happens. There is no story progression. That’s all I can really say about this one. – Scott
Chrononauts #1 kind of shows the problem of starting at the very beginning of a story: it’s really hard to care about it as it gets rolling. It’s the same reason the first hundred pages of the LOtR trilogy is insufferable (light me on fire now… I welcome your immolation); it’s hard to care about people while the going’s good and when shit hasn’t hit the fan. That’s not to say it isn’t interesting to start with: the first 2 pages feature the excavation of a pyramid storing a secret jet. That’s a hell of an attention getter. But it’s hard to know if you want to stick around for issue two when you feel like issue one might have already spilled its own beans. But the art’s pretty damn great. So there’s that. – Montgomery
At first I was excited to read Chrononauts, I’m a big fan of time travel. The art is sketchy and exciting. There is a lot of movement and action expressed through Sean Gordon Murphy’s art. But we already know that Murphy is a superb artist. There is one glaring issue I have with Chrononauts. The scientists are bros. They even call each other bro. Unless the bro in question is actually your brother, this is unacceptable. It’s as if the every stereotypical frat guy from pop culture were suddenly super scientists. The story is alright, upon actually using their new time traveling suits something goes horribly wrong and the two bros wind up in the exact wrong place, naturally. It’s a little predictable and a little ridiculous. I’ll keep it going for now but it better not get more bro-tastic. – Scott
Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1 – D
What the hell did I just read? I am honestly confused by what’s going on. I could appreciate it in some ways. In general, I like the whole “get dropped in an alien part of the galaxy and see what happens.” However, there was almost a little too much of the discombobulating going on. And for being a rather random situation, I was able to guess what was going to happen with acute accuracy which sort of annoyed me. I honestly can’t tell if I liked or hated the comic. I think I will have to read a few more books to make up my mind. I am going to miss the purple alien. Sad face. – Jene
Princess Leia #2 – B
Leia and Evaan make their first stop on their journey to rally the “orphans of Alderaan.” Too bad it’s the home planet of the currently reigning galactic Emperor Palpatine. Witnessing Leia’s reactions and attitude while traveling the streets of Naboo was somewhat intriguing. Most intriguing about this issue, however, was reading the flashbacks of Leia’s childhood. It dawned on me, Leia’s upbringing is vastly unexplored territory. This is an exciting notion as I’m sure there are some wickedly entertaining stories of Leia’s past. I mean – you aren’t just BORN a bad ass Jedi princess. There’s got to be something in the royal blue milk that helped form Leia into the captivating character we know and love today. Hopefully we get more of this in future issues. – Taylor
Moon Knight #13 – B
My thoughts prior to opening to page one of this month’s Moon Knight was, “I’m going to be upset if this is just a filler issue.” And what did I get?! A filler issue!!!!! Was I upset?!?! … … … No … I wasn’t. I don’t know what it is about this character Marc Spector and his unendingly bad ass superhero persona, Moon Knight, but I could read issues like this month in and out and not grow tired of it. I attribute most of this feeling to the artists that have consistently killed artwork month after month. This issue showcases a fantastic display from Ron Ackins and Tom Palmer. I never knew blood splatter could be so artistic and captivating. As long as the level of artistry remains this high and as long as Marc Spector continues to be cooler than a polar bear on Pluto’s north pole, then I think we’ll all be just fine. – Taylor
Loki: Agent of Asgard #12 – C+
This issue is better than the last few have been, but only just. It starts off strong enough but after a while feels very passive and expositional. Again, we get it. Loki did a lot of bad shit, didn’t learn his lesson and doesn’t fit in anywhere. He’s an angsty teenager who never grew up. What I wish the writers of this comic would do is make Loki a more complex character. For the “God of Lies” he’s pretty transparent and I wish he’d hold his cards a little closer to his chest. I had high hopes for this comic but as of yet, I’ve been ultimately disappointed. – Charlotte
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 all the publishers for putting out great books.