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:
There’s nothing worse than showing up late to the freedom fighter party. In this book by Brian K Vaughan, the writer for Image’s Saga (yes I’m going to say that every time, because it’s always a relevant statement), Canada – or at least what appeared to be Canada – bombed the crap out of the White House. America, as it’s well-known for doing, retaliated by taking Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick and jamming up Canada’s ass. Well Jesus Christ on a cracker, that was horrifying. In just one issue, Vaughan manages to turn Superman into an entirely Anti-American sentiment and prove that DARPA’s got some explaining to do with those terrifying drones. Great book, solid art by Steve Skroce, and likable, diverse characters throughout the premiere issue. This is how you start a new book! – Sherif
Futurama #75 – B
There is no better feeling in the world to me than holding new Futurama merchandise in my hands. It just makes it ten times better when that Futurama content is good. This series has definitely had some low points along the way, as anyone would expect, but with issue #75, the ideas are still just as fresh and inventive as Futurama episodes. This issue deals with the crew being ship-jacked while in space and having to enlarge Bender and use him as a personal ship for the time being. Ian Boothby writes this issue much like an episode and less like a comic. James Lloyd covers the art; these comics are always spectacular and you got to love the Voltron cameo! If you are a fan of Futurama, you probably have read this by now; if not, though, grab a brain slug, say your prayers to the Space Pope and enjoy! – Jacob
Bizarro #2 – A
Me am super not impressed by dumb Bizarro book with no humor and no cool cameos. Bizarro read like least fun DC title and is much worse than what did not happen in Convergence and its spin-off titles. As much fun as it is to talk in Bizarro voice for each review to confuse people – and as confusing as his speech is in the actual book – this title has to be one of my favorite monthly comics on the shelf right now. This issue continues with all of Metropolis under hypnosis to buy cars and Bizarro, with help from Colin the Chupacabra, frees everyone from the spell and they immediately travel again with funny short panels showing Bizarro and Jimmy in different famous DC cities, with plenty of jokes and actually awesome art panel for when they run into Batman and Flash! So this goes without saying that I really enjoy the art done by Gustavo Duarte with guest artists Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, and Francis Manapul. I would say pick this up now if you can because Heath Corson is finally making Bizarro #1. – Jacob
Action Comics #42 – B+
Somebody – the right somebody – must have been taking notes at DC, because both of the Superman books they have running right now are freaking good. They focus on using the Man of Steel as a symbol of the people instead of thinking of bigger and badder monsters to watch him destroy. Grounding Superman is turning out to be one of the smartest decisions they’ve made recently. In this book, he is taking the activist approach, and trying to impart peaceful resistance on the citizens he’s protecting – and Jimmy Olsen is getting the whole thing on tape. The art is good, too, with Aaron Kuder’s art looking like the Chris Burnham (Batman, Inc.) of Superman books. It’s a breath of fresh air to a character whose books have pretty much sucked lately. – Sherif
Midnighter #2 – B
This is another comic I was surprised by. I was expecting a straight (pun not intended) vigilante narrative, what I got was something different. I’m glad it wasn’t what I expected. I honestly wasn’t going to give it a try as superhero/vigilantes stories haven’t grabbed me in a long time. I’m not familiar with the original iteration with this character, but I appreciate who the writer is introducing him for a fresh audience. For me, it’s like reading an entirely new story. Overall solid narrative and wonderful balance between secret life and finding love out in the world. The art isn’t my favorite but it works for the medium and it doesn’t take away from the narrative. Just a great good ol’ vigilante narrative. – Jené
It’s really hard for me not to give this book a good score. The thought of a lone wanderer-type Hal Jordan finding out the truth behind what wiped out the Corps is super intriguing – especially when we get to explaining exactly whatever type of Bezerker rage he’s hiding in that gauntlet of his. Buuuut it’s a really slow build. Whatever horrible force is controlling the universe is also afflicting Black Hand’s ability to raise the dead. Multi-Lantern events always take forever to build momentum, so we’re either looking at a drawn-out borefest, or a convoluted and rushed arc. – Sherif
Detective Comics #42 – C-
This little experiment isn’t going as well as I had hoped. While Snyder & Capullo are making a decent stab at Jim Gordon being Batman on his self-titled book, the Detective Comics book is losing steam. Fast. Harvey Bullock is an interesting enough choice for the main protagonist, but without anything to necessarily do besides follow Batman around, his character is severely under-utilized. I understand that we have to spend some time showing how JimBat sucks compared to Wayne, but it feels like it just dottles around, looking for a reason to exist. – Sherif
Bob’s Burgers #1 – B-
I was a little skeptical of this comic when I first saw it was coming out, but as a huge fan fo the show, I decided to give it a shot. For the most part, I enjoyed it. The writing was just as good as the show and made me laugh. The only thing that bothered me a little was the art style. In many of the stories, it was just off enough from the source material that it irked me. It’d be another story if the art was totally different and they were going for some sort of other style, but even then, it might have bugged me. When you have a brand like Bob’s Burgers, it’s hard to deviate from that specific style and make it work. Through most of the comic I was thinking, “Her nose is wrong.” “Her eyes are weird.” “This isn’t how it is in the show.” Still, it was a nice comic that I’ll continue to read. -Charlotte
Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 – D-
Okay y’all, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant. So if you enjoyed this comic, or don’t want to hear me bitch a whole lot, simply move on to the next review. Ready? Okay, here we go…Oh my lord, this comic sucked. I’m genuinely upset that I cannot get back the time wasted reading this. It was long, boring, pointless, and overall very stupid. It took everything in my power to continue reading this book. Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this comic. After reading it, I have zero interest in the story line, zero interest in any of the characters, and frankly I could give a damn about what happened to The Spirit…oh yeah, they already answered that question in the first ten pages. After that, there is no way I’m coming back for more. – Evan
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 – A-
Now THIS is the TMNT I fell in love with. Casey Jones’ showdown with the disgraced Hun is one of the better climactic battles of the series, with the whole community getting on in the action. It’s not without its bittersweet moments, but seeing the neighborhood work together to push out the Purple Dragons was a big “hell yeah” moment for me. Things on the Turtles’ end weren’t so eventful, but they do pave the way for whatever will happen next. We knew Dexter and Shredder working together would be a major suckfest for the Turtles, but there’s gotta be a way out of it somehow, right? As always, the creative team of Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco put out another solid issue of a series that everybody needs to be reading. – Sherif
X-Files: Season 10 #25 – B
The truth is out there, and the end is here – well, for Season 10 at least. Next month, we have an X-Files Annual, then we jump straight into Season 11 the following month! The conclusion to season 10 is a whopper of a story and has major implications in the X-Files world for just about every character you know. It starts with Gibson Praise, showing off his army of Cigarette Smoking Men to Scully, all the while Mulder makes his way to a computer and uploads the files of what is happening with the Elders and Gibson to The Lone Gunmen and this leads everything into a downward spiral… It all ends up with Gibson taking Scully for a ride, which ultimately ends up with her finding Mulder and ending in a confrontation that will change Scully deep down to her core. Ending this season on a open note while also resolving a lot of what has come up really rounded out this series well and has me excited for the start of season 11! As always Joe Harris does a great job with the writing and Matthew Dow Smith ends this series with the art style that has carried this series smoothly since issue #1. – Jacob
Mickey Mouse #1 – B-
Finally, the comic based on everyone’s favorite main Disney character after months of Ducks. Despite Scrooge and Donald making good comic books, Mickey brings his friend Goofy into the ring and has side stories for Ellsworth the Crow and Pluto after the main Mickey story. The main story sees Mickey and Goofy teaming up with a young girl Eurasia to find Eurasia’s Uncle’s old traveling companions who were lost years ago. As far as the Disney books go, I like the layout of this one the best with one very long story and then three short unrelated stories with separate characters at the end. With Donald and Scrooge basically including the same characters it is nice to see so much variety and characters among the pages of Mickey. – Jacob
Nailbiter #14 – B+
Nailbiter is the number one book I recommend to people when they ask me what they should read. I want to start with that because I still really love this series. It is smart, funny, and disturbing. This month, we finally started to get some answers as to why Buckaroo has produced so many serial killers. I was a little underwhelmed with the answer. Granted this answer leads to more mini mysteries. The end of the issue brought back two characters we haven’t seen for a bit, and while it was a surprise/cliffhanger, I felt underwhelmed with this twist as well. It’s still a great issue, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. – Adrian
8House #1 – B
My only complaint is that this book was too short. I was not expecting what I read. A lady knight travels with her mistress to the outskirts of a glistening city. The tree-like creature she is with is investigating some odd alien presence. Using some sort of blood magic, she is able to transfer a creature from one body to the next and off they go back to the city. I’m intrigued by the magic system that has been introduced. Blood magic isn’t used often, and when it is, it’s usually wielded by a villain of the story. Right now neither character seems like a villain. As first issues go this one is pretty good. It’s just enough to pull me in and keep me interested, but not so much that my expectations are high for the next book. I like the art style, it’s rather different than a lot of books I’m reading whimsical and somewhat alien, which helps to set up the fantasy/sci-fi like world that’s being established. I’m looking forward to more. – Jené
Deadly Class #14 – B-
Wow, Marcus is a real nutcase. He’s completely unraveling after the “disappearance” of Maria, and the fact that he’s a trained killer doesn’t put me any more at ease than the rest of his destructive behavior in this issue. For a while, you forget that this is even a book about an assassin’s academy. It’s almost like reading The Basketball Diaries as Marcus’ life spirals deeper into despair. Yet, he does some really messed up stuff that keep you from ever feeling sorrow for him. It’s a tough spot to be in as a book, and a major lull in action. Wes Craig & Lou Loughridge continue to produce amazing art, and while #14 wasn’t as eventful as the series has been as a whole, look for it to “rebound” next issue. – Sherif
Groot #2 – A
This month’s Groot is hands-down the best story I have read of Groot and his best pal Rocket. This issue continues where issue #1 left off, with Rocket kidnapped and Groot left alone and needing to save his friend. We not only see Groot trying to follow Rocket and save him, but we get to see a flashback of when Rocket and Groot first met and how they cemented their relationship and exactly why each of them means so much to the other. Plus, on top of that great story, it opens with a Groot dream where we see tons of Marvel characters in Groot form; who doesn’t want to see that? Jeff Loveness is taking us into one of the most meaningful stories for Rocket and Groot and it makes it even better to have Brian Kesinger bring his highly Disney-influenced style to the series, making it both a kid and adult-friendly series. This definitely is one Marvel series to read that has nothing to do with Secret Wars… at least yet. – Jacob
Future Imperfect #2 – B+
First thing’s first: all the women in this book have the exact same face. If they didn’t, I think this book would have the best art of all the Battle World books. With that out of the way, I like the inventive route this book takes: The Thing is Ross (dad of Hulk’s former love), his conflict with The Maestro, and a slowly simmering civil war within the kingdom. I also like that, what should be true to this event’s mission statement, this whole thing comes out of a legit alternate timeline. I’d actually forgotten how much I look forward to this specific book and this specific iteration of the Hulk. Should be an A, but I had to deduct points because all the women share one face, and when a woman says, “I’m a girl,” you’ve gotta deduct points because obviously a dude wrote that. – Montgomery
X-Tinction Agenda #2 – B+
Man, first two pages are all about time travel, which kind of mondo confuses things. Go back far enough (in different directions) and aren’t 616 and 1610 still embedded in the universe’s time code? And Beast talks it about all biz-cazh style. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like Doom should be putting a stop to this. There are already people in other kingdoms who suspect the shallow nature of their worlds, and wouldn’t time travel just wreck the whole game? Anyways – Havoc and co. lead a raid on Mutopia and nab a guy by the name of Triage to cure the plague. But then, it turns out the doctor in charge has ulterior motives. – Montgomery
Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #2 – B
As far as formulaic comic books go, this book is the same thing each issue. Now, whether or not that’s a bad thing, I have no idea. I absolutely love Skottie Young’s Little Marvel stuff. I think he’d be super successful if he did any grown-up fandom in Little style. The premise of the series is simple; the Avengers have an intense playground rivalry with the X-Men. Hilarity ensues when one side pushes enough buttons on the other to start a fight. Lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not at all bored or dissatisfied with it, but you have to know that this is what you paid for, and it’s exactly what you’re going to get. Totes adorbs. – Sherif
Red Skull #1 – B-
I’m never going to feel anything but disgust for Red Skull, but I’m more or less on board with this comic. The writing is good, the team they’ve assembled is complex and interesting, and the concept is working so far. I love the inclusion of Bucky and I can’t wait to see how his character flourishes in this. (I’m also thrilled to see him kick Red Skull’s racist ass.) I’m not excited for Red Skull himself. I don’t care if he tries to redeem himself or not. He’s a Nazi and that’s all he’ll ever be to me. I hope Marvel doesn’t try to humanize him, because I’ll be severely disappointed if they do. I’m weary of a comic devoted to this bastard, but we’ll see what they do with it. – Charlotte
Secret Wars Journal #3 – B-
“Who Killed Tony Stark” Wolverine is a noir style detective legit out of the 40’s investigating the murder of Tony Stark by Pepper Potts. As he investigates, he discovers that several people he encountered in the investigation are different, dopplegangery. The Punisher shows up and says the same: tease image of the Age of Apocalypse. The story was OK, certainly rushed, and the big reveal wasn’t all that satisfying because it lasted a single page. “The Smashing Cure” A toxic cloud of gamma radiation has floated by the Greenlands and now everyone is a hulk. And the city is slowly cannibalizing itself in anger. Kind of a funny premise, but these short anthology stories are so hit and miss. This one ends on a pretty pat note, though it has at least one cool reveal. – Montgomery
Darth Vader #7 – C
I’m still coming down from the events of the last Darth Vader issue. This month’s entry took a diversion from the “Who wants to be The Emperor’s new number two?” contest and focused on a new scheme by the crafty Lord Vader. Why Vader is spending time busting up underground crime organizations is unclear, but no doubt it ties into the bigger picture somehow. I like the Bounty Hunter dynamic Gillen is creating. A Wookie that willing hops into a mandingo style fighting pit for the sport of it?!?! OOOkay… You’ve got my attention. The score is lower this week, but that’s mostly because it’s a buildup issue. Darth Vader is still the hottest Star Wars comic out there today. – Taylor
Secret Wars #4 – C-
Doom finally intervenes in the actions of those valiant enough to survive the end of the universe(s). And he SPOILER ALERT kills the Phoenix Cyclops, which is disappointing. But if anything about the previous thirty years in comics have taught us anything, it’s that the Phoenix force cannot be killed. SPOILER OVER. Steven defies Doom and instead of allowing him to kill the Spider-Mans and the Reeds and the whatnot scatters them to mysterious segments of Battleworld. I feel like cracks in the Secret Wars concept are starting to show: Doom built this world, credits himself with saving what he can of the universe, but the problem is most of what comprises Battleworld are not alternate realities, but just different periods in the history of the same character. But then somehow, and he makes note of this, Reed is so special there exists no other Reed anywhere on Battle World. I’ve said it before, but it bugs me when you pull the whole thing together in one book: the construction of this place is beginning to feel highly arbitrary. – Montgomery
Panels 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.