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:
Star Trek/Green Lantern #1 – A+
THIS IS SO GOOD! I was extremely skeptical about this crossover when I first heard of it. Star Trek and superheroes? And the Green Lantern of all people? It just sounded absurd, but this is by far my favorite comic this week and my second favorite this year (second only to Bitch Planet.) The two worlds come together seamlessly in a way that really makes a lot of sense, something that I was worried about initially. I like the route they’re going with by leveling the playing field with General Chang being chosen to wear a ring. It’s an interesting insight on his character and it’ll make for a complex dynamic however he chooses to use his new powers. I can tell the character dynamics in this are going to be great. With the Green Lantern and Kirk on board together, it’ll be a lot of fun to read going forward. – Charlotte
Archie #1 – A
Fiona Staples is taking over this week! Two drawn books in one week? I’ve never really been into Archie, and now I can see the error of my ways! Archie is just a normal, happy kid that tries to make the best out of every situation. All he needed was new life breathed into him, and all of a sudden, he’s completely relatable again. Most of this is due to the fact that Fiona Staples’ artwork beautifully translates into books about things other than robots with TVs for heads and self-fellatiating dragons. The art is soft, yet provides enough definition to really make everything pop. This is the perfect all-ages book, and a great supplement to your weekly dose of super-heroes and sci-fi mayhem. It’s also a great jumping on point for those unfamiliar with the franchise, as Archie frequently breaks the fourth wall to explain the situation. – Sherif
Dark Horse Comics:
Negative Space #1 – A+
Ryan Lindsay created something in Negative Space that I have never seen before. To be entirely honest, I’m not even sure how to put it into words because what I really walked away with from the first issue was overwhelming emotion. I know, it sounds cheesy, oh the feels! But in all sincerity, with a still deeply hidden overarching plot this book left a big impression on me. It was so sad, and horrific at times. Not at all because of violence, but because of the truly dark nature of an agency whose sole purpose is to make someone kill themselves and to then have to watch and read as each devastating act is then played upon that character. From making him drop his ice cream cone to having the only person who was kind to him disappear into thin air just as he was about to ask them to run away with him – the whole thing felt so cruel. It was hard to read, and yet so fulfilling at the same time. I’ve never read a comic like this before, and dare I say that I think it was quite astounding. This book wasn’t just a good comic, it was damn good literature. – Keriann
Harrow County #3 – C
I don’t know what it was about this issue that turned me off, but I did not leave it pleased. Maybe it’s because the direction the main character Emmy is going in feels so cliché and predictable, or perhaps it is because when things could’ve gotten dark they were quickly extinguished. Either way, I got the impression I was supposed to leave this issue feeling shocked, but I was not. You know what would have been shocking? Emmy actually letting that skinless boy rip her father apart for trying to kill her, or maybe the ghost spirits serving ANY sort of purpose. But no, this issue just left me with the feeling that Emmy wasn’t giving in to the darkness inside of her which would really set this series apart from everything else. Instead this will be another series about a sad little girl who finds a way not to give in to her destiny because being wicked or evil is apparently such a bad thing. I get it, everyone wants a happy ending but catering to that ideal can lead to some pretty half-assed storytelling. – Keriann
The Tomorrows #1 – C-
Honestly, this whole thing was kind of cliché. “A band of artists and free thinkers against the terrible, corporate tool government who has outlawed all that is beautiful in the world!” Jesus, man. We’ve heard it already. Watch The Yellow Submarine and you’ve got the same basic idea. Plus The Beatles. This just wasn’t very original and the dialogue was weak most of the time. The backstory wasn’t laid out very well and the whole thing felt kind of disjointed and weird. The only redeeming quality was the reprograming of Edie, but even that we’ve kind of seen before. I’m not really seeing much originality here for a comic that is advocating for free thought and expression. We’ll see if it gets better from here. – Charlotte
Earth 2 Society #2 – B
Ahhh snap! Earth two is about to get a whole lot crazier. With Sloan actually completing his plan, and various heroes unable to do anything about it, it appears a whole new world has just been born, and it looks scary as shit. I don’t know what the future of Earth 2 holds, but I know survival is not going to be easy. Throughout the first two issues, we have seen a lot of Batman and Sloan; however, we have also seen small glimpses of other heroes. I hope we get to see more of not only the other heroes, but the other “crash sites” as well. Many ships fell into many different parts of the Twin Earth, and I hope this comic explores those sites as well. – Evan
Batman #42 – B+
This doesn’t feel like the same Batman book I’ve been reading for the past 4 years. Greg Capullo’s artwork is still amazing, and the writing is as fluid as ever, but the build-up that the book needs to figure out its next story is taking a little longer than I expected. It all takes a turn for the better in #42, though. Julia Pennysworth is outed by Jim Gordon, and the two have a very thoughtful conversation about what it means to “be” the Batman. All the latest lore (Nolan movies, Arkham games, etc) has pointed towards somebody taking over for Batman, so I applaud this book for actually taking the leap. Now, besides helping out the Boys & Girls Club, what is Bruce Wayne up to? – Sherif
Starve #2 – A
No one holds a mirror to society like Brian Wood. Starve is a great series. We got a small look at what the world is like in the first issue, with Cruickshank having to cook dog meat. This time around we hit the other side of the spectrum and the competitors have to first find their ingredient, a presumed extinct type of tuna. We also get a great look at Cruikshank’s life before his self-imposed exile. Watching him go around New York is a lot like watching an episode of No Reservations, and that’s a good thing. I’m waiting for the showdown between Gavin and Roman. Will Gavin start a class-based uprising with food? Well it looks like he’s well on his way with his bluefin sashimi. I’m ready for thirds. Sorry, couldn’t resist a food pun. – Scott
Big Man Plans #4 – A
Well, that was gruesome, and AWESOME. It’s not like I wasn’t prepared to read/see the absolute worst stuff of the Big Man Plans series in this final issue, so while it was extremely unpleasant I wasn’t phased at all, I was just cheering on Big Man. More care could have been paid to truly villainize the bad guys throughout the series, but I’m not complaining. Big Man Plans came together really well. Yes, it was horrifically violent but within all of that was a man trying to find justice for the woman he loved and two innocent men who were tortured and murdered for being gay. It’s dark, by far one of the darkest things I’ve ever encountered, but what made it work so well is the charismatic main character with a code, and a moral compass who will not think twice about beating you to death slowly with a drywall hammer if you are truly a bad person. Through all he’s suffered through in his life, he is still fighting for justice for the innocent, and he’s kind of the ultimate vigilante and antihero. I really enjoyed this series, and despite the gore, I strongly recommend it to basically all readers. There is a good message in this, and there is nothing wrong with embracing the darkness within yourself to ultimately do the right thing. – Keriann
Saga #30 – A
Word for the wise, Saga readers: never get attached to anybody. I’ve seen more major characters die in this book than I have The Wire. That being said, though, this book is amazing (check out our new feature “Panel Surfing” for more gushing about Saga). This is the last episode before their scheduled hiatus from the book, but the issue ends with things relatively buttoned up, meaning that I won’t have night terrors wondering what happens next. It was nice to see a bit of happiness come out of the crappy situation, but things will only get worse before they get better. – Sherif
The Walking Dead #144 – B+
I’ve been waiting to say this for MONTHS! Shit has gotten real on The Walking Dead. Alpha has been warning Rick for a while now to step off, and he just keeps making it worse for himself and the allied communities. Now that this final warning has been issued, will Rick put his pride to the side and realize that he’ll be putting everybody at risk by stirring up trouble? Rhetorically, this is Rick F’n Grimes we’re talking about. Nobody hurts his people without retaliation. Hell, he might even bring Negan out to settle the score. Army or no army, it’s the Whisperers who are screwed here. – Sherif
Injection #3 – B
Yeah, I f*cking love this comic book series. While the story continues to unravel piece by piece, more essential information about what the Injection could possibly be is revealed. It appears that Injection is playing at telling a story that appears to blend magic and quantum physics. Whatever the injection is, it plays with time and space and used the memory and stories (folklore for example) of the land to lash out and attack the space around the people in the area. We also continue to meet the original team who work on “something.” It leaving breadcrumbs as to why Maria has lost her marbles. She sure didn’t start end up sane in the present narrative of the story. She a lovely inversion of the tortured genius trying to save the world, or so I think anyway. This comic doesn’t disappoint and continues to entertain. – Jené
Shutter #13 – B
This month’s issue of Shutter comes with a free side of WTF. The start of volume 3 jumps forward a bit in time, with Kate held captive, bound by magic to forget who she is. She’s in Venice now, and thanks to Leila Del Duca’s artwork, we absolutely know that we’re there. While there’s nothing profound that happens, it’s a nice way to get reacquainted with the series after the month hiatus it just took. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some badass scenes here. Kate is constantly being toyed with by one side or the other, but with more mystery and danger surrounding this new ally, who knows how things will go from here? – Sherif
Black Science #16 – C
Everybody kill each other!!! That pretty much sums up this issue of Black Science. I don’t know, people. This is getting tougher to chew month in and month out. The shock valve of having critical characters killed off is completely gone. Especially since they’ll just pop back up from some other dimension. It’s like playing Pac-Man with an infinity quarter. I’m also confused as to where this story is heading next. I kinda get the feeling that an inter-dimensional war could be in the works. This prospect is mostly exciting, but there’s a long way to go for setting up something like this. I’ll keep reading if for no other reason than to see who dies next month (…again). – Taylor
Savior #4 – C
I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. There is something that keeps me reading, but I am not all that sure why… Maybe I am expecting aliens instead of some sort of fallen angel story. I also waffle between liking and hating the art. Sometimes I would like more definition in the panels than I get. It adds some nice movement. But I am never completely sure I know what I am looking at. Not much is happening in the book. You can tell John Doe has some supernatural powers of some sort and blood is involved. Everyone else is trying to figure themselves out and religious cults are involved. All the information is still in fragments and hasn’t created a full picture yet. I guess I will still keep reading cause a naked man who has powers is a mystery I want to know about. – Jené
Bloodstrike #1 – D+
I’m new to the Bloodstrike franchise, it seems very familiar though. That’s probably because it is almost identical to Deadpool. He’s a super soldier who can’t be killed, wears a mask, is a smarmy jackass and kills a lot of guys with a sword. He’s also naturally dressed in a lot of red and black. Deadpo….I mean Operative Alpha is in a “only has half his body” type of a problem and another Bloodstrike Operative whom looks a lot like Cable. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. If you read this book you’ll be treated to countless number of decapitations, two bimbo female prisoners being eaten by a giant hairy alien, a Taylor Swift song lyric and two penis, one of which is in a jar. Bloodstrike really serves the lowest common denominator. It’s a book built off of gore, swearing, and nudity. It’s worth your time if you wanted Cable & Deadpool to be set in a grindhouse movie. The art’s not bad, except those hands and feet, Rob Liefeld.
Age of Apocalypse #1 – B+
I can’t even begin to describe the effect the original Age of Apocalypse had on my fragile 12 year-old psyche in that bygone age of 1996. It was one of those rare moments when the act of reading a story reconfigures how you think about stories on a meta level, and it was such a young age for me to have that happen. Even when Battleworld sounded, to me, like the dumbest thing I’d ever heard, when I saw the AoA on that list, 12 year-old me shouted in excitement so hard it gave my neighbor a nosebleed. And here it is: Secret Wars: Battleworld: Age of Apocalypse. And I like it. It’s not the best of the books, but it’s far far (far) from the worst. The art is reminiscent of Madueira and Bachalo, who are immortalized as 90’s Marvel in my mind. The story is that everyone wants the mutant Cypher, and no one really knows why (well, Apocalypse do, but he ain’t tellin’). And in case you didn’t just finish reading X-Factor or New Mutants 20 years ago and don’t remember, Cypher is a mutant whose only power is learning languages. Puh-ritty fuggin’ lame. But this comic was a very satisfying trip down memory lane, and it’s so cool seeing everyone in their alternate costumes. And whatever happened to Holocaust? That guy needs to show up in the regulars. – Montgomery
Inferno #3 – B+
This is definitely one of the best X books to come out of Secret Wars thus far, and one of the ones I had the least interest in. Colossus and his sister is one comic book relationship that just hasn’t ever really gripped me. But here in Inferno, it becomes fascinating. In this issue, she storms the gates of Xavier’s, and Cyclops (hovering around in X’s old 90s born hover-chair) dispatches ALL THE X-MEN. And when I say all, it looks like absolutely anyone who’s been anywhere near the X-Men since their creation pours out of the building. Well, I didn’t see any Wolverines, but I guess all 37 of them are too busy populating other worlds. Usually third issues are a huge slow patch in books, but this was so far the best of this series. – Montgomery
1872 #1 – B
What do you get when you mix the Marvel universe, with an old western theme? Well the answer to that is you get the Marvel universe, with an Old Western theme…which is pretty cool actually. I was excited about this book when I heard what it was all about. I always enjoy stories that take our favorite characters and place them in different time periods. With Steve Rodgers being the Sherriff of the small town, Tony Stark being the town drunk, and Wilson Fisk being the Mayor, everything feels right at home. So far, there was not much of a story line introduced; however, it is obvious one is about to occur. I think the overall idea of Marvel being in old western times was enough to carry this book for the first issue. I am excited to see what else can be offered. Truly, I want to see what the Hulk would look like in the year 1872. – Evan
Civil War #1 – B
Before we get into this review, let’s remember that the original Civil War was one of the best books of the past 20 years – hands down. Those who aren’t familiar with the Mark Millar book shouldn’t be discouraged. This book does a great job of catching readers up, and retconning the crap out of the ending so all readers can follow the story. The premise is: what if the Civil War never ended? What we get is a world split – literally – down the center between Cap and Iron Man. There’s some depth here, and a lot of questions that could use answering, like why the hell is Peter Parker Falcon? – Sherif
Runaways #2 – B
I feel like the name of this book should be Battleworld: Breakfast Club, because it harkens closer to the spirit of that than the Runaways we all fell in love with all those years ago. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that the utter lack of similarity on any level (other than the age group) is jarring. The second issue was considerably better than the first in that, without all the introductions, it was able to just be pure action. And pretty much every element was a clever conceit: a hidden glitch within the level (very game breaking); finding out the game ain’t just a game; Amadeus swiping a Doom head. Pretty enjoyable on every level. My only critique is on Dagger-oh-wait-not-Dagger-but-Ty’s-sister’s reaction to learning she’s probably a murderer: eh, whatchu gon do bout it. Otherwise, a pretty fantastic book on all fronts. – Montgomery
Ghost Racers #2 – B
Damn, this is getting good. We got a little more backstory in this issue which detailed not only how Robbie Reyes got into Ghost Racing, but also his interpersonal dynamics. It’s really heartbreaking to see Gabe so optimistic when Robbie is really struggling to keep his head above water. The only thing I thought could have been stronger was the scene where his friends are mutated and killed right in front of him. It was sad, but it didn’t hold as much emotional weight as it could have. I kind of wish they had dragged it out a little more and made it totally gut wrenching. I’m looking forward to seeing where Eli took Robbie and how they’re going to both get out of this alive. I’m also curious to see how Gabe will fit into it. Will they be able to go back for him? I hope so. – Charlotte
Lando #1 – B
<Lando voice> This deal is getting better all the time! The Marvel – Star Wars deal that is. A new title hit shelves this week with Lando! What a great idea for a comic. The most suave, smooth talking gambler in the galaxy getting into and out of trouble – sign me up. The premiere issue was right in line with what I expected. The action is really turned down which leaves the plot all in the dialogue and story telling. Soule (writer) really nailed the intro and set up. The only aspect I wish were different was that the selection of the main bad guy – Palpatine himself. What can be so important to the Emperor that he drops what he’s doing (which is uhh… building a DEATH STAR) and chase down the Rico Suave of the Galaxy? That bit is hard to buy, but I’m on board nonetheless. – Taylor
Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #2 – B
The first issue was confusing. Now it seems that this is not the Shikla that was married to Deadpool, who makes his ghost appearance. While it was funny, it continued to confuse, and made me wonder about the title of the series, too. Unless the series takes a huge right turn, it seems Deadpool is only here because Marvel was afraid the story would not sell on its own. But hey, it is more Deadpool while we wait for him to be alive again. The issue itself involves the team taking Shikla to spread her brothers ashes across the river Styx and make sure she didn’t come back home on Dracula’s orders. But the monsters reveal to Shikla they also hate Dracula, so they actually team up with her now instead of killing her and reveal the invisible man with whom they “killed” last issue is fine. So now that they are an actual team now and they are going to try and take down Dracula. This team still exists past Secret Wars, so I am hoping this series continues going in quality since Marvel has seriously missed out on the great, and horribly named Man-Thing. – Jacob
Secret Wars 2099 #3 – C
Man this was a slow going issue until the very end, then all at a once a twist (well, sort of) and the Defenders are the bad guys. I don’t have much to say about this because much didn’t happen: Roman and Hercules kept chest pounding over Valkyrie, they got drunk, there was a twist. I am glad to finally see a Silver Surfer pop up somewhere. This design of Hulk 2099 is hideous. Like, really hideous. I love that Captain America is 1. A woman, 2. of Native American or Latino descent, and 3. Muscular. – Montgomery
Spider-Verse #3 – D+
As much as I love Spider-Gwen and the ragtag group of Spider-people, this issue just came across as wholly sloppy and uninteresting. The art was decent when the action was going down, but the faces looked terrible – especially Gwen’s. The jokes came across as funny, but were repeatedly drilled into it with the nuance of a manic child. Sorry, that was harsh… I just really had high hopes for this book being something special and this issue was a major step back for what could have been fun. On the plus side, we do get to finally see an interaction between Peter and Gwen – unless they screw that up, too. – Sherif
Invader Zim #1 – A
Not much more you could ask for out of an Invader Zim comic than a story written by the original creator Jhonen Vasquez. It is a direct continuation of the series which we all know was way too short lived. Vasquez’s grounded humor stays intact in this first issue despite it taking place seemingly years in the future. Or, at least what feels like years to Dib. Dib is now a disgusting mess since he hasn’t left his chair for a long time watching his cameras for any sign of Zim. Once Zim finally appears, Dib immediately heads over to confront him but is humiliated since he is disgusting, and his body has been fused to the chair he hasn’t left. This starts our confrontation for the first arc and sets things in motion for both characters to an epic conclusion those not weak-of -heart can stand. Or at least that is how Zim would put it. The art is spectacular and matches the series perfectly thanks to the awesomely talented Aaron Alexovich and Megan Lawton. I definitely can not wait for issue #2. This is the Zim we have all been waiting for! – Jacob
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.