Comic Book Reviews 04-01-15

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.

April Fools!

We sent each of our writers a copy of Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space and didn’t say anything to them about it. We got one review back.

When Sherif dropped this one in my inbox, he said, “I don’t know if it’s a reward or a punishment.” And I’m still not sure. Lesbian Zombies from Outerspace comic opens with Ace, a porn connoisseur, working in a video store when he gets a call from his friend telling him that “Cathy said yes to the threesome.” Ace takes off to watch (he’s not actually invited to be a part of it. Or watch it. Or know about it). Meanwhile, two budding lesbians witness a mysterious crash in the woods, and upon investigation, find a beautiful, well, “beautiful,” green glowing naked woman at the crash site. One of the budding lesbians investigates (tellingly, the hotter of the two) and then instantly makes out with the green chick. Then the central drama of the book becomes women who just want to have sex with each other, and then devour (as in literally eat) men, starting with their penises. In terms of number of drawings of naked women, I guess the book can be enjoyed… I guess… but the whole thing just feels gross. I think it’s trying to be a parody of a 70’s exploitation film, but at no point is it self-aware or funny enough to come across as parody. And none of the characters are substantial enough to make me believe that there’s anything here other than shock value. The whole thing just comes across as gross misogyny produced by the same guys who’d say things like, “girls just play games to get attention from guys,” and, “you’re different. You’re a real geek girl.” They’ve probably (thinking they’re pretty damn funny) posted “TITS OR GTFO” on forums. Hopefully (probably? maybe?) I’m wrong about the authors, but if their book is anything to go by, they seem like they’d be bummers to be around. Anyways — the book had pretty good art (especially for a no-name publisher), but the story wasn’t actually shocking enough to appeal to anyone who isn’t 13 (and probably male), and it wasn’t funny or self-aware enough to come across as anything other than simply exploitation. I mean, seriously, if I had the space, I could easily write a feminist essay about this comic. – Montgomery

Pick of the Week:

Nailbiter #11
Nailbiter #11

Nailbiter #11 – A+
Holy shit. I’m not entirely sure how to put into words the feelings I’m feeling right now. Nailbiter begins a new story arc with this issue and it looks like we all need to prepare for things to get a lot darker. The Butcher of Buckaroo is back and it seems he is the one who’s been down in the tunnels, and he’s keeping people in cages. Apparently the crazy old man with the bees knew the secret of the Buckaroo Butchers, and for that he was kidnapped, kept in a cage, AND THEN CHOPPED INTO PIECES WITH A CLEAVER. And on the other side of the story Finch chewed off his own fingernail to aid him in getting answers from the Nailbiter. Holy shit, again. This book is explosive and one of the most captivating mysteries I’ve ever read. I always want to know more, I always hate the month I have to wait until the next issue. The writing is so smart, and all of the characters are so layered with fragments of heroes and villains it’s just impossible not to enjoy reading. – Keriann

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

UFOlogy #1 – B
(BUFOlogy started well enough, although I was hoping it would be a little creepier. The whole thing felt a lot more adolescent than I was expecting, but I’m still pretty content with what I read. It had a warm feel, kind of like E.T., it takes place in a sleepy little town full of happy families but of course there is a sad boy whose mom I can only imagine was abducted by aliens. I’m sure there will be conspiracies related to aliens on earth in this book as that’s pretty much already been laid out, but I doubt it will get any darker. I’m not sure this is the book for me, but I can see it being a really fun read for younger audiences. I’m sure it will be heartwarming and adventurous and have great moments, but right now it kind of feels more like a family bedtime story than a comic book. – Keriann

(B) I honestly think this is going to be my next favorite comic. My inner UFO, Crypto-zoologist is squealing ever so slightly on the inside. The cover is stunning in a way that I can’t explain. Had I been in comic store I would have picked it no questions asked. It’s nice to know the rest of the book stood up to the cover. We don’t know what’s going on – just that aliens are somehow involved in the seemingly normal town. We got Malcolm in detention with a UFOologist for a dad. Then there’s Becky, who’d rather stay in the small town then head off to college. The beginning storyline and characters are simple enough, but it drags you to the end of the comic and is over before you realize. You feel automatically connected to the characters and are wanting to find out more about them and how “aliens” are somehow involved. I think this is a comic to keep an eye out for. Sure has my attention. – Jené

DC/Vertigo Comics: 

Convergence #0 – B-
I realize the practice of marketing something 0 is a gimmick, and they (theoretically) act as prequels, but I can’t help but see Anything #0 without a funky Liefeld aftertaste. Numbering aside, I’ll be frank in saying I have no idea, really, what Convergence is all about. I understand the gist of the story — every DC Universe ever is colliding to do battle with themselves — but I have no idea what led up to it or why, or what the ultimate stakes are. As a concept, I feel like this is the (DC) 1,000,000th time they’ve done this (please tell me you see what I did there), but apparently, the aftermath of this event is yet another (soft) reboot of DC that will resort in a vague promise of story over continuity. Which sounds like an exasperated parent of a toddler shouting, “Fine! Color on the wall!” The story itself is that Brainiac (but really, “the planet”) is collecting cities from all times and places within the DCU to find out what’s strongest. Superman of the NuFittyTu is there — I don’t know why, I just wanted to see yet another comic company’s yet another attempt to deconvolute their continuity — before he deus ex machinas himself out of that scene. As a single issue, it wasn’t bad. I like that DC has pretty blatantly made itself Grant Morrison’s universe as they pretty liberally steal from his Multiversity and Seven Sons of Victory bags. I also appreciate that, finally, at least one of the big two is recognizing that continuity isn’t what’s important with super hero books, but I wish it didn’t have to have a “never before seen the stakes have never been this high” continuity smashing event book to precede it. Because you know when else the stakes were never this high? Identity Crisis, Final Crisis, Flashpoint, Brightest Day, Darkest Night… whichever one drops in 2018. – Montgomery

Wonder Woman #40 – C
There’s a good story in here somewhere, I just know it. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman seems just as unsure of her new status as we are as readers. David Finch is able to save the day each issue with his ridiculous full-page spreads, but we’re gonna need something other than White Walkers to get by on; I could do without the entire Justice League story, honestly. I’m much more interested in the Donna Troy vs. Wonder Woman story. That girl is ruthless! I’m rooting for a great Wonder Woman book. DC NEEDS a great WW book. Up to this point, though, there’s nothing keeping engaged past the art. – Sherif

Wolf Moon #5 – C-
The Wolf Moon series only has one issue left, and for whatever reason it seems they decided to kill time for yet another issue. NOTHING happened in this issue. Dillon and Cayce showed up in a town, talked to some people, tried to find the wolf (who is a little girl), found her dad instead and discovered that she had been kidnapped. There is still some psycho lurking around trying to stop people from killing the wolf, and now he’s kidnapped the wolf but we are no closer to knowing why. I get saving all the big answers until the final issue, but the second to last one was frankly kind of boring. It was the same old same old; some girl got her head ripped off and Dillon shows up to a small town with a bunch of gun toting hillbillies. For a story that started out so strong I’m really disappointed at the slow fizzle it’s deciding to conclude with. – Keriann

Batman and Robin Annual #3 – D
Okay, I’m calling it – this is Invasion of the Pod People. Where did the real Peter Tomasi go? This issue is complete garbage. It was just last week that I gave the highest praises to Batman and Robin #40, a hell of a finale that wrapped up the series in a neat little bow. And then this crap comes along and pretty much “Michael Jordan on the Wizard”s everything. It’s not funny, it’s hardly entertaining, and thanks to some brand new art by Juan Jose Ryp (which is pretty good in all honesty), it feels completely foreign. I have no reason to connect to this, so if you haven’t been into the series yet, this won’t convince you otherwise. – Sherif

Image Comics:

Black Science #13 – A
You know how when you travel to foreign nations sometimes you have to visit the doctor to make sure you’ve been vaccinated accordingly? It’s standard protocol. And now that our roving band of dimensionauts have jumped to a world ravaged by some crazy other-worldly virus, I bet they’re wishing they hadn’t skipped their last physical. It’s unclear where the virus stemmed from, but it’s crystal clear that it’s no joke. Boils all over, bloody noses, and insane thoughts are just some of the side effects. I’m also pretty sure that everyone in the group has contracted it too. It’s like they all canon-balled into a pool of AIDs needles and Ebola. All of this was interesting, but the main reason I loved the issue is because of the family moments we see through Pia’s memories. Remender’s fantastic story telling method really gives the touching and tragic moments some weight. Things keep going from bad to worse in Black Science and I can’t get enough of it. – Taylor

Graveyard Shift #4 – B+
I was pretty happy with the conclusion of this mini-series. Liam and Hope find her sire and confront him about his murders, why he keeps girls in a dungeon, and why he turned Hope into a vampire. The twist was that instead of Liam saving the day – as he has done the whole series – Hope killed her sire and saved the female hostages from doom in the dungeon. She also found out there was a cure for vampirism. Now she and Liam are on the hunt for the cure. They ride off into the night (not the sunset, because you know, she is a vampire), but not without the sunset, on her tablet, of course. One of the last panels in the book is a great not to other horror/vampire stories. Above them is a highway sign that reads “Jerusalem’s Lot” (a nod to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot), “Collinsport” (a nod to Dark Shadows), “Santa Clara” (a nod to Lost Boys), and “Sunnydale” (a nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I geeked out about this and just wish the rest of the series had been this cool. – Adrian

No Mercy #1 – C
If you’ve ever gone on a group study abroad, this comic will speak to you. It sure does speaks to my annoyance of stereotypical American travelers. Such as, the naive (didn’t do any reading on said country), the Namaste asshole, and the iPhone addict. Gather all these stereotypes and other non-stereotypes together, shove them in a bus, and throw misery-and-a-half at them while traveling in Mexico and see how they respond to them. No Mercy isn’t my typical read but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The drama and dynamics of the characters pull you in right away, and you want to see how they’ll interact and get through this situation that’s been created. – Jené

Rat God #3 – C-
I just finished the third issue of Rat God and wouldn’t you know it, I still have no idea what the hell is going on in that damn book. This issue was comprised mostly of sound effects and fighting, really freaking weird hallucinations that shed zero light on what the hell is going on, and child sacrifice. Oh, and there was a man acting as a god and wearing a giant rat head who is sacrificing people to some sort of actual phantom rat god. I don’t know why I can’t turn away from this book, it has a very strange allure that makes me want to keep reading. It’s original for sure. It’s some sort of strange mix of Lovecraft and Native American mythology, and while it can be loathsome at times I get the feeling that the story will build up in a way that the payoff will be worth it. I’d like it if the storytelling felt more thorough, and this book is by no means a gem, but it’s basis is at least original enough that it can stay afloat. – Keriann

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Kanan – The Last Padawan #1 – A
Star Wars Rebels has been over for a while now and it’s left a void in my heart (it’s a really good series – catch up if you haven’t already!). So when I heard that Marvel would be releasing yet another Star Wars comic, I back-flipped for joy. Then I remember I don’t know how to backflip and I landed square on my face. No worries though. I just wiped away the blood and opened up Kanan. When it was over I attempted another joyous backflip. Failed again. More blood. Point is, this issue was awesome! I love, love, LOVE the artwork; Pepe Larraz’s style works amazingly well in the backdrop of A Galaxy Far, Far Away. His Jedi action sequences were some of the best I’ve ever seen on panel. There’s a good balance of action and meaningful plot. Also – Kanan (his real name is actually Caleb Dume) was trained by Jedi Grand Master Depa Billaba. And you know who trained Master Billaba, right?! Yup!! – Mace (Snakes on a Plane) Windu. Essentially this means that Kanan is a byproduct of the greatness that was Mace Windu. Let’s try just one more backflip… – Taylor

Guardians Team-Up #4 – B+
Green Women unite! I have to be honest and say this is one issue of this series I have been looking forward to the most actually… I am not sure if it is because of my love for strong female characters, the fact I generally enjoy both Gamora and She-Hulk, or just because green is my favorite color. No matter the reason, this team up was bound to happen sometime. The joke of them both being green is not just mentioned but an integral part of the plot of this issue and they both use this to their advantage for multiple scenarios. I did like the dynamic between the two characters and how there was an almost instant Mother/Daughter type of relationship that turned into a friendship and one that made the other a better person for it. So my hat is off to John Layman for mixing the right amount of action, humility and a bit of cheesiness to the story to make for a great Team-Up and also to Otto Schmidt for an amazing job with the art for this issue. He has some of my favorite art and definitely my favorite depiction of Gamora from any of the Guardians series running now. – Jacob

Return of the Living Deadpool #3 – B
This third issue of Deadpool’s romp into the black and white world of Zombie infestation treads a fine line between Deadpool being a very loving and caring person to being bat shit crazy within a manner of a couple panels. Although Deadpool is always a bad ass mercenary it does add a lot to the character to see him humanized a little every once and awhile, and having an even crazier horde of Deadpools around sure helps make the main man seem a bit tame in comparison. Putting aside the fact Deadpool’s heart is both literally and figuratively shown, this issue really takes quite a turn within the last couple pages that ultimately had me laughing but was also scratching my brain. It isn’t terribly confusing but just a jump out of nowhere that tossed the story up a bit when it wasn’t needed, but this series has improved with both the writing and the gore within making this a very viable zombie story, despite zombies kind of being the minority as far as humans, Deadpools, and zombies go. – Jacob

Spider-Gwen #3 – B
Spider Gwen is like an aircraft climbing too steeply. Intense and exciting at first, but it’s only a matter of time before the engines stall. Spider Gwen is just on the verge of stalling. I’m still digging the character focused story and the unique twists on other, well-known Marvel heroes, but the plot is suffering a little for it. I’m still confused as to why King Pin is so mad at Spider-Woman and I’m a little tired of seeing Vulture all the time. Notice that I’m using the term “a little” a lot. Remember… we’re just short of stalling. Overall the series is still engaging and enjoyable. I’d like to see a more cohesion and less Vulture and then we’ll be back in business. And where the heck is Spider-Ham?!?! – Taylor

Amazing Spider-Man #17 – B
Amazing Spider-Man? Pshh… More like Amazing Anna Maria!! I never read Superior Spider-Man so I largely have no context on Anna Maria or her origins. But each time I see her in ASM I like her more. This issue she goes around town dropping reality bombs on foo’s left and right. She should have been carrying a bag of microphones so she could drop them at the end of some spoken truth! She’s quick to action and very smart. See – I’m not even talking about Parker or Spider-Man; it was all Anna Maria this issue. An old Spidey villain did make an appearance this issue, though. Ghost!! He’s got a crazy backstory (wiki it) and he’s got an awesome appearance. Also, being able to phase in and out of a tangible state (hence the alias “Ghost”) is about as bad-ass as it gets. – Taylor

Rocket Raccoon #10 – B
Rocket starts a new story arc this month and one that seems to have a huge importance to his existence, as we know it. With this new arc, we are thrown right into the action and see Rocket and Groot in a giant space battle with what seems to a be a humongous space Lobster, while also trying to figure out whether to pay off a debt owed or buy info from a man with a secret Rocket would find very useful in finding out more about his home. If you know Rocket, you know he picked to find the info, so now he has info on whereabouts to a book of Halfworld and also has multiple people after him for his debt. Hey! All is normal in the life of Rocket and Groot and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Skottie Young is still on writing duties and likely will hold that title until the series ends with Secret Wars coming soon, and Jake Parker does the art which is still very Skottie Young-esque but distinct enough to hold its own in whichever Marvel universe this Rocket story takes place. – Jacob

Guardians of The Galaxy: Best Story Ever #1 – C
Another Guardians of the Galaxy one-shot that looks amazing, but this one ultimately feel flat and left me thinking yet again of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” When you first see this issue it seems to have everything and everyone involved and in some capacity it does. But in that sense, it seemed like everything celestial or Guardians related at the moment was thrown together and then the story was added into the gaps much later. Given the amount of story and characters one had to include in a one-shot not much larger than a regular issue, I do have to hand it to Tim Seeley that the story ultimately did hold together well and was enjoyable for any modern Guardians fan. The art of this issue though is what won me over and made me enjoy this issue as every panel is of an epic proportion and despite judging the book by its cover, it is a pretty awesome cover to judge upon. – Jacob


Funniest Panel:

Return of the Living Deadpool #3
Return of the Living Deadpool #3

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Wonder Woman #40
Wonder Woman #40

 

 

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.

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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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