Comic Book Reviews 06-10-15

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:

Birthright #8
Birthright #8

Birthright #8 – A
Birthright is so frustrating for me right now. Mikey keeps coming so close to being cleansed and going back to being good, and while this issue ended on that being a likely conclusion, I have a sinking feeling that it will not happen. Williamson writes wonderful characters, especially ones that have such conflicting elements and motivations. I want to be rooting for Mikey, but at this point, he is kind of the only bad guy in the whole book. It seems as though Brennan will be okay, and that Becca may join their party and likely reveal some sort of hidden purpose. Once again, Andrei Bressan’s artwork is absolute amazing; the panel of Terranos on earth was downright beautiful. The story action did not move forward a whole lot in this issue, but I am very excited about the new characters/Mages that were introduced. I think the action and drama is just going to skyrocket from here, and Birthright is continuing in a really great direction. – Keriann

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Harrow County #2 – A
Harrow County got off to a much better start this issue. The writing flowed really well and instead of being relatively vague like the first issue, the plot and “haints” were much more straight forward. Emmy is a likable enough character, and that she has somehow made friends (at least on her end) with the Tattered Skin (skin of a little boy haint) that she carries with her is somehow endearing. There was better focus on who will play key roles in this series in issue #2 and there were some genuinely creepy parts, highlighted brilliantly by Tyler Crook’s unique art style. So far I am really happy with this book, even if so far it is not the most original material I’ve encountered. There are not a whole lot of comics out there that successfully capture the fear in proper ghost stories, but so far, Harrow County is on the right track to being one of the few that get it right. – Keriann

Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1 – B-
First off, I’d like to address that I love creator-owned books and it is in my nature to always support them. That being said, I was less thrilled with Drew Johnson’s creator-owned debut. His artwork is absolutely stunning and he writes great dialogue, but for a premiere issue, I really felt like the story was lacking. I appreciate the background on the characters that was given, and the introduction to Arcturus and Kevin was an excellent read, but when I reached the end, I felt torn on whether or not I was even interested in finding out where it all goes from here. Although, I really do want to know what happened to that little Pixie baby that got left behind – poor thing. I’m into the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster, and it seems that Johnson may be creating a fascinating monster rich universe with this story but something about lacked that wow factor. This book revolves around topics that will normally keep me reading, but I couldn’t shake that it all kind of felt too strongly based on B.P.R.D., but without the familiar charm. – Keriann

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 – B+
The best part about the first issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer is that it did an excellent job of reintroducing the character for new readers. This issue was not especially story-driven, but instead it introduced John Constantine in a thoroughly charming fashion for people who may be unfamiliar with him. A first issue that focuses so heavily on character development might fall dead in another series, but this issue succeeded by pairing that with very skillful writing and paneling. The walk through Blythe’s Nine Circles of Hell exhibit was very clever, even if I did have to go back and re-read it after figuring I had read half of it in the wrong direction. I was not blown away by this first issue, but it was not without its charm. The cliffhanger that eluded to where this story arc is headed was interesting and while this may not be the best book of the week I imagine it will only get better from here. – Keriann

Gotham Academy #7 – B+
Maps gets her own issue! Since she is my favorite character, I am pretty happy that she got some of the spotlight this month. Because Damian Wayne is now a student at the Academy, I figured it would be more about him. Maps and Damian shared the space equally, but I did find it aggravating that Maps had to be in “love” with Damian. He stayed true to being a total ass, and Maps just fell right into his dreamy blue eyes. She has been the toughest character in the book, so I worry she will just be in love with Damian and lose her own voice. However, the backdrop of The Raven and magic was well done. And the art — still my favorite of ANY comic I currently read. – Adrian

Red Hood/Arsenal #1 – B
I personally hate Arsenal as a character and hoped that he would die for the entirety of the Outlaws series. Unfortunately, they decided to get rid of Starfire instead. It is also unfortunate that, Red Hood being one of my favorites in the DC universe, the only way that I am able to get a regular comic book of him is if he is paired with the hero I like the least. On the plus side, Arsenal doesn’t look like such a bro d-bag anymore thanks to the costume change. He sort of has a look that is reminiscent of the older look he had as the Red Arrow. Red Hood also got an unnecessary costume change that I am not sure how I feel about. It seems like they were trying to milk the look of the upcoming Arkham Knight game. Story-wise, nothing happened but I am excited to see how things turn out. – Robert

Batman/Superman #21 – B- 
I’m not really a fan of the way these two characters have been handled in the DC YOU (or whatever the hell it’s called), but together, they present a very unique and interesting story. Superman has been essentially de-powered, and Batman has been replaced by a giant robot with Jim Gordon inside it. My first thought was, “wait, nobody took the time to call up Clark Kent and tell him that Batman died? That’s f*cked up!” Superman is in the dark, and alone. And a public enemy – definitely no friend of this new Batman. It’s pretty trippy. My interest has been piqued, but I’m not sold yet – Sherif

Batman #41 – C+
First off, I have no idea what’s going on because I have not read the last 40 issues. I do still know the overall progression of the series, so maybe the sense of unfamiliarity isn’t just me. With that said, I’m not entirely sure I can get behind this new story with Jim Gordon being the Batman. I have no doubt Scott Snyder can make this book awesome, but it’s simply not the Batman I’ve grown to know and love. There are somethings I did enjoy about this book, both small and large. The metal Batsuit with the bunny ears did not do it for me, but I did appreciate the various color schemes of the suit which winked at Batman’s history (check out our list of Best Batsuits). I also enjoyed the new, unarmored Batsuit, which had a very Thrillkiller vibe to it. Perhaps one thing I want to see the most is the upcoming progression of Jim Gordon and how he works towards transforming into the Batman. I’m still not sure if this progression will work in favor of the story line, but only time will tell. – Evan

Earth 2: Society #1 – C+
You know when your friend is telling a joke, and there is a long story to go with it, and after all the anticipation the punch line isn’t funny and just barely makes sense. This comic may not be exactly like that, but it may belong in the same category. I see the concept of Earth 2 as a very interesting idea, especially after the apocalypse; however, I just felt like nothing mattered in this comic. The backstory was nice, but unnecessary, and from what we saw in the flashbacks, little to none of that information was portrayed in the current happenings of the issue aside from Batman. If you could all take a moment and look beyond my bitter words, I do have hope for this book, because cool shit exists in Earth 2. If the writers find a way to utilize all this cool shit in a productive manner, then I will be excited to continue reading. However, as of right now, I’m not the greatest fan of what I have read. – Evan

Detective Comics #41 – C
Let’s talk about how crazy it is that Jim Gordon is the new Batman. Oh, spoiler alert… Well, it’s crazy. Not sure how long they’ve been trying this one out, but it’s designed to fail. Batman and the police can’t be the same thing. The reason Batman exists is because the city and police department suck at their jobs. Sure, the GCPD has does a 180 since the Loeb days, but eventually, somebody’s jurisdiction, corruption or moral ambiguity is going to get in the way of Justice. I’m going to stick with the idea that the GCPD is too incompetent to be trusted with WayneTech. The issue did bring back vibes from Batman: The Animated Series with Montoya’s return, so I’ll give it another shot. – Sherif

Starfire #1 – C
I said this about the promo for the Supergirl TV series, too…. It’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with super powers! Add in the sexy factor, and writing that isn’t as good, and you have a mediocre book. Kori AKA Starfire takes every idiom and cliché literally, and that can be funny. And the intro to Starfire’s story was good. But everything in between was silly. She doesn’t know what marijuana is! She doesn’t know you can’t be naked in public! Bring on the laughs! Except it isn’t funny because in a lot of ways this is a book geared towards kids, but kids won’t get those jokes. – Adrian

All-Star Section 8 #1 – F
When they were sitting at the drawing board and someone proposed the idea for this book, who the hell thought it would actually be a good idea? This book was quite possibly the worst thing I’ve had the displeasure of reading in a long time. This is the second book this month that has tried to capitalize on Batman in some way – and at least Bat-mite was funny. There is almost no redeeming quality of this book. – Robert

IDW Publishing: 

Uncle Scrooge #3 – B
This month’s Uncle Scrooge is by far the best one yet from the series! I think a lot of that comes from the fact they cut this issue down to two stories, one being almost the whole issue and a short one at the end. I think this format worked best as the main story, written and drawn by Romano Scarpa, gives us a full arc where it doesn’t feel rushed, flows well and is actually a great story and one that belongs right in the old Ducktales cartoon. The story focuses on Scrooge’s bank trying to lure customers in by offering them $100 to keep if they invest it or turn it into more money. Scrooge then tries to make sure everyone fails and in turn owes the bank money. The art is perfectly fitting for a Disney book, but it also has a very classic comic book feel to it, which makes the fact I am reading Uncle Scrooge feel even more nostalgic. The short story at the end doesn’t have an author credited but the art was done by Tony Strobl and it focuses on Scrooge using a talking parrot to try and hypnotize Donald and the kids. This second story is very short and fun and that is for the best; the parrot gets to be extremely annoying very quick and would not be a fun longer story. – Jacob

Transformers: Windblade: Combiner Wars #3 – C-
I feel a little like a traitor right now, because I’m sick of Combiner Wars. First: I’m kind of tired of the OMG CYBTRONZZ ALL TIEMS storylines where the robots endlessly obsess about their home planet. I get why it’s important, and I even like them having to counter-scheme against the scheming Starscream, but event after event staring at Cybertron’s navel gets old. Second: I feel like calling it a war is a stretch when there’s maybe four combiners involved. Third: I feel like the Cybertron based events are so hard to follow. I feel like this series, more than More Than Meets the Eye, is obsessed with sticking more robots into the picture, especially because Combiner Wars are on sale right now and it just reminds me how much I can’t afford them. Maybe that’s what I hate. Maybe I’m just burnt out on the series-formerly-known-as Robots in Disguise. But probably not. I’m just sick of all the combiners. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Saga #29 – A
Grab some tissue, folks; the circumstances of this book are going to get much worse before they get better. Fiona Staples’ art has always been phenomenal, but this issue stands out as one of her best to date… especially the traditional disturbing double-page spread in the middle of the issue. This issue is full of bittersweet victories, with a goal being fulfilled, but at a high cost to our protagonists. Story-wise, the book moves at breakneck pace. Even so, Vaughan takes time to point out the intricacies of war, and how it’s affected more than just the core characters we’ve met so far. There’s something for everyone in this issue, and the ending will leave your mouth gaping. – Sherif

Nameless #4 – A
Whoa. What the legit nuttbuttz is going on here? I think this is the first Morrison book I’ve read since the underwhelming climax of Multiverse, so thank god this didn’t disappoint. Our hero astronauts proceed plummet toward the meteor Xibalba. Only Nameless and the futurists daughter survive. The inside of the astronaut has a bubbling tumorous growth on it that they didn’t expect to find. They both start hallucinating like crazy: her therapist looks like Sigmund Freud, and slowly the walls of her reality peal back to reveal utter chaos; he’s being torn apart by the tumors. Except that it might not be a hallucination? Man. This was a damn cool read. – Montgomery

Descender #4 – B+
Descender keeps things lively this month. It looks like not even shiftspace (hyperspace) can protect Tim from scrappers. The interactions between Tim and the other robots is heart-warming, even when he’s getting drilled to be a killer. Dr. Quon knows that there is much more to Tim’s “dream” than anyone else wants to admit. We also got some insight to Telsa’s life, which is nice. Up until now, he’s just kind of been a heartless blue lady. I wouldn’t be surprised if she starts to see Tim as more than a just a companion bot; it’s understandable considering what happened to her mother. The story is really expanding, albeit slowly, but it’s going to get really good really soon I feel. – Scott

Black Science #15 – B
I’m coming down from a Darth Vader style “nooo!” after that ending.  I won’t spoil anything, but know that the situation just keeps getting worse.  I like how the story is splitting and tackling multiple themes in a single issue.  It allows for cool action sequences and calm, somber moments all at the same time.  There is still, however, an overall lethargic feel to the grander plot.  The ending gives me hope that things will come to a head very quickly, which is sure to be glorious with blood and destruction.  Yay!! – Taylor

Injection #2 – B
I still have absolutely no clue what’s going on and I kind of like it that way. We’ve got a spy out looking for some sort of material that he can’t find. It seem to be important to the story and what this secret injection team is or was working on. That’s all I have figured out after reading this comic book. I like how, from an audience perspective, we have been thrown into the action and the plot of the story as if we are supposed to know what’s going on. It makes teasing out the story that much more enjoyable. I found myself reading on the edge of my seat as the op took out a bunch of people that I have no idea how they fit into the story. I am still really curious about Maria. It is clear that she is the center of the action and her fragility of her mind trying to work through its fragments makes for an interesting protagonist. I’m looking forward to the next installment of this story. – Jené

Starve #1 – B-
Brian Wood brings us another new comic series about the struggles between an overwhelmingly powerful group – in this case the super wealthy – and essentially the rest of the world’s population. In Starve, Mr. Cruikshank was a world famous chef with a No Reservations-type show whom eventually bails on everything and goes to live in Southeast Asia. The financial gap in the majority of the world has grown exponentially. The network that carries the Starve TV show has brought Cruikshank back to his show that has been retooled into an Iron Chef like creation, but is a little more twisted. Now that he’s back and has lived like most of the world, he’s had enough of the gross opulence that he’s performing for. The art is very dark and heavy with the inks, but it fits the style of the book very well. It’s not a happy world, at least not what you and I are used to. This is guaranteed to be dark and edgy in good Brian Wood style. – Scott

The Walking Dead #142 – C
Talk about a filler issue, jeez. You can’t be that mad at the series, which is really meant to be digested as six-issue long trade paperbacks. This issue particularly, though, stands out as an overall waste of money. In a way, it’s poetic that the once savage lands of the Hilltops has transformed into a pseudo-civilization, but the fact that we know it won’t last makes it hard to get behind. Maggie finally lets Rick in on the secret that Carl ran away, which I thought took a little too long. Most interesting is Alpha, who is obviously the antagonist to come, but isn’t necessarily interested in waging war is avoidable. She brings the savage element back into a book that sorely needs it… Oh, and then there’s Negan – Sherif

Chrononauts #4 – D-
If there’s one thing Chrononauts has taught me it’s that as long as you have a time machine and some forethought, there are never any repercussions. Time machines save everything. I can’t believe this heap is going to be a movie. The only reason I don’t give Chrononauts an F is because of Sean Gordon Murphy’s art; it’s the saving grace of this series. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Ghost Racers #1 – A
I’ll be honest; in the first few pages, I was worried this issue was going to suck. I figured it would be some sort of cliché race story with too much action and not enough plot. Despite the vast, complex world in which Robbie Reyes lives, nothing feels forced. The exposition of the world comes through very naturally and the race holds a lot of suspense, something that’s hard to do in a 2D format. I’m curious to know what Robbie’s dynamic with the rest of the racers is. It’s hinted at that he feels bad and maybe there’s some sort of kinship there, but I look forward to seeing them interact more off the track. I like Robbie a lot, but I also kind of want to see Alejandra kick his ass… Okay, I really want to see that. This is shaping up to be an awesome run for a cool comic. I can’t wait to see what’s next. – Charlotte

Silk #5 – A
Holy crap! Things got real! I love that Silk is taking no time to bring on the big reveals about what happened to Cindy’s family. The whole issue seemed that for once, Cindy was going to have a good day. And she pretty much did. Jameson was human for once. Spider-Man was a great sidekick. But the book was enveloped on darkness. And I like that element a lot. Cindy and Peter are still very funny; their humor is the best in Marvel right now. But I like that things aren’t perfect and that the world is a dark place, particularly for Cindy. The next issue going to be very crucial, and this issue was the perfect set up. This issue may have mentioned Cindy as being a B-List Hero, but I think it put her in A-List status. – Adrian

Spider-Verse #2 – B+
I loved, loved, loved everything Spider-Verse, so this mini-series has been an absolute blast after just two issues. Spider-Gwen and Peter Porker team up with several other Spider-people. We don’t know why; they don’t know why, either. All I need to know… is that, in time, we will know. Anyway, it’s fun enough just listening to the characters’ banter that I don’t need an intricate story to follow (did you know that Spider-Ham was a spider that was bitten by a radioactive pig?). Spider-Man Noir also makes an entrance after a death that came all too soon in the original Spider-Verse event, and he is a complete reflection of his time. It’s amazing. If you like Spider-Man, you’ll love the new Spider-Verse book. – Sherif

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #1 – B+
This one threw me for a loop, and the issue even makes fun of itself for the exact reason why I felt confused. With that being said, this was one title I was looking forward to the most in this Secret Wars event. The story by Gerry Duggan takes a turn that makes you question why on Odin’s green earth are these monsters named after Dum Dum Dugan’s old team, and why Shikla is even called Mrs. Deadpool in this, other than to have Deadpool’s name on the front. Shikla is delivering her brothers ashes across the river styx accompanied by The Howling Commandos including Frankenstein, The Living Mummy, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, and Marcus the Minotaur with a Symbiote who also happens to be diabetic, which leads to some jokes I appreciated being a diabetic myself. The art this issue is done by Salva Espin, and is great as his style fits the characters perfectly as he gives them the obvious scary elements, but also humanizes them as a team that fits together well, making for a solid story while also being as confusing as the hell they creeped out of. – Jacob

Inferno #2 – B+
In Inferno #2, Colossus descends, literally, into hell to rescue his sister-turned-probably-the literal-devil cementing Madelyn Prior as an ally and earning a giant bad ass demon sword. We meet Nathan, Madelyn’s son (and a nice nod to legit 80s/90s continuity), who insists on being called Cable. Madelyn agrees under duress. I know I’ve already said it, but I’m digging these X-Men continuities. I can’t help but wonder if their, so far, total lack of Professor X means that it will be a huge deal when he shows up. So far there have been 0 Xaviers, while we already have something like 7 wolverines. I’m anxious for some Charles Francis Xavier. – Montgomery

Weirdworld #1 – B
Weirdworld is weird, and I love it. With Arkon stuck on this land trying to make it back to his home, Weirdworld is not short on surprises. From Gun Ogres to Squidsharks, and even underwater apes, Arkon cannot take more than a few steps without having to fight for his life. Not only is this book captivating due to its chaotic nature and overall strangeness, but it is funny as well. There is a portion of this book, where Arkon looks at a map he has been constructing of Weirdworld, and I just about pissed by pants. Additionally, the artwork is beautiful. Some may not enjoy it due to its deviation form classic comic book art; however, I think its style works perfectly for this book. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the next issue. – Evan

Marvel Zombies #1 – B-
Although this was interesting, it seemed very much more of a zombie story than a Marvel Zombie story. I wasn’t expecting much from this series, as Marvel Zombies has been going on for a while and the quality has varied extensively from volume to volume. Marvel has used a lot of lesser-known or unpopular characters in recent Marvel Zombies years by including Howard the Duck, Machine Man, Dum Dum Dugan – and in this issue’s case, Elsa Bloodstone. Elsa seems to be in command of this zombie part of Battleworld and is a badass, which is very relevant when she battles a zombie Juggernaut. Despite Elsa not being well-known, the story by Simon Spurrier is very much disconnected to Marvel with it being more focused on survival than the fact Juggernaut is a terrifying zombie, which makes Elsa a great character to introduce to people in this story. The art by Kev Walker really adds a lot to the story as there is so much detail you can almost feel the zombies in your presence, which I am not sure is a good thing. But if you are a fan of past Marvel Zombies series check this one out; otherwise, it may be one to miss. – Jacob

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 – C+
It isn’t for lack of writing or bad art that I give this book an average grade. I loved the feel of the book; it was post WWII-esque, which is a time I really love reading about. The action was good, the humor was good. Carol’s interactions with her all female squadron were the best parts of the book. But I was left with way more questions than answers, which isn’t something I like coming out of an issue #1. I haven’t been keeping up with Battleworld, but I didn’t understand what time period we were in, what happened to the Carol Danvers from her latest series, what the heck was going on with the Thors, and anything about the Ultron boat. I know DeConnick and Thompson are capable writers, so I hope that the next few issues do a lot more explaining. – Adrian

Secret Wars: 2099 #2 – C
Little by little, this comic is getting a feasible plot; however, we simply aren’t there yet. With the introduction of a new super-group in this issue, perhaps bigger and better things are to come. Basically what is happening with this comic is, I find myself asking the question, “Why should I care?” and sadly, I am struggling to find an answer. There isn’t much to discuss about this issue simply because not a whole lot of meaningful context occurred. If you take the first few pages, and the last few pages, that is all that really matters. The remaining pages felt like filler in my opinion, and served little purpose outside of individual character development. Oh well, maybe next time, I guess. – Evan

Inhumans: Attilan Rising #2 – C-
The second issue of Inhumans felt a little tedious. Black Bolt owns a bar and a bunch of people are plotting Medusa’s overthrow. Matt Murdoch (what’s the value in spelling it just slightly differently?) is planning an invasion of her kingdom. It was a lot of talking heads talking a lot about almost nothing. Black Bolt’s Great Gatsby style bar isn’t too attractive an idea for me. And I suppose this is where weaknesses in the Battleworld idea show through: what exactly is most important about a character when we totally befugger their world into this new thing? How important is it to preserve a character’s character? Because sometimes it’s cool seeing a new interpretation of an old character (like Egyptian-style X-Men), but other times the interpretations just feel baffling. – Montgomery

Ultimate End #2 – C-
Idealistically, the thought of merging the Ultimate Universe and the Marvel 616-Earth is cool. There are now duplicate versions of all heroes and villains, filling holes of fallen comrades and doubling up on heroes that have taken different paths. But let’s talk, logistically, about how the hell any of this will work. Doom has willed that the Ultimates will stay in this new world, and the Thor Corps burn Hawkeye to a crisp to make their point. The rest of the issue wavers around, only pointing out how awkward everything is now that they are one. There are so many questions left unanswered with the merger of these two universes, and the sparse action isn’t enough to distract me from asking legitimate questions. – Sherif

1602: Witch Hunter Angela #1 – F
Um… What a bloody mess of a book. The artistic style was all over the place. It was never consistent and seemed to be a mash of different mediums that didn’t fit together. The dialogue was badly excited and over rote with fake sounding Shakespearean language. On top of that, the story was all over the place. I mean, at the end to the day, it is simple: Nunnary of women trained in the art of taking down witch breeds and other sinister characters. There also some sort of pagan tree enchantress. Anyway, bad art, bad dialogue, bad story. It’s not bloody worth the read in my opinion. – Jené

Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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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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