Comic Book Reviews 09-02-15

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:

miracleman 1 cover panel 09.02.15

Miracleman Book Four: The Golden Age #1 – A+
Creative Team: Neil Gaiman (Writer), Mark Buckingham (Artist)
I debated on A vs. A+ for several minutes before leaning into that extra little plus. The Miracleman relaunch being done by Marvel after having bought the whole thing is hit and miss. Most people (myself included) don’t care about the stuff not written by Alan Moore and Gaiman, and Marvel just did a chronological rerelease. They’re also dragging their feet. But at the same time, the fact that they’re doing it at all means that, to quote from the book, god is in his heaven, and all is right with the world. Gaiman’s arc picks up after the world destroying battle that concluded Moore’s run (the only run I’ve read in its entirety). Miracleman is now god, essentially, living in an impossibly tall miles high tower, and he meets with pilgrims and grants (or not) requests. The journey to the top kills many and drives others insane. Only two of our original 4 make it, one gets her wish, one does not. The one that doesn’t (and here’s the “+”) is heartbreaking. And no justification is offered up. It’s a heart aching reflection of what living on this stupid planet is like. Get out there and read it twice. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama Comics #76 – A-
Creative Team: 
Eric Rogers (Writer) Tone Rodriguez (Artist)
I can’t believe I am about to say this but this issue actually makes Zapp Brannigan look good for once! No I don’t have a brain slug on my head, it is the honest to goodness truth, but in good old Zapp style it doesn’t last too long, and its all because of America’s favorite & worst president Richard Nixon! In the story Zapp is a perfect soldier until Nixon clones him and things go horribly wrong. With Zapp slowly descending into the flabby mad man we know, Nixon must find another way to win the many wars he has waged in hope of a perfect Zapp army and Nixon even brings in The Marveleers to help (A very rag tag team of heroes resembling the Avengers). But not even they could withstand the idiocy that is Zapp! Eric Rogers does the writing for this issue and it is a very enjoyable Futurama issue and as always would make a great episode. We get to have Tone Rodriguez, my favorite Bongo comics artist doing the pencils while Phyllis Novin does the ink and Robert Stanly fills in the colors rounding it out to be my favorite issue of the week! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

DC Bombshells #2 – A
Creative Teams: (Wonder Woman/Mera) Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Laura Braga (Artist); (Supergirl/Stargirl) Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Stephen Mooney (Artist), Wendy Broome (Colorist); (Joker’s Daughter, Zatanna) Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Tim Naifeh (Artist)

Wonder Woman and Mera’s story was about breaking Steve Trevor out of his prison and taking him to back to his homeland so they can help stop WWII. Wonder Woman gets jumped in order to get her gauntlets. This story was pretty unclear as to what was going on, but it was pretty, so I’ll give it that.

Joker’s Daughter and Zatanna was a really messed up story. It seems pretty obvious that Duela Dent would be a Nazi, because, well duh. It seems she is holding Zatanna captive as her own personal mutant of sorts. Oh, and Constantine is Zatanna’s rabbit in the statue this is based off of? Weird.

Finally, we have the Supergirl/Stargirl story. And the entire reason I am giving the book an A of any sort. This story made me cry it was so beautiful. We get more of a back story into why Kara and Kortni are sisters. The use of Russian story telling is craftily done, and the art was to die for. I absolutely loved how the backstory was told using Russian-style mural art (honestly, I don’t know what else to call it, but either way, it was amazing). I would go for a Supergirl/Stargirl Red Son type book from here on out as it’s own series, headed by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by Stephen Mooney. You hear that, DC? – Adrian

Second Opinion (A): This mini-series is far from a cash grab. There’s so much substance and research that went into this book, surprising not only because of it’s content (pin-up style superheroines), but because it’s a weekly digital-first series. This book is the BOMB…shell. – Sherif

Batman Beyond #4 – B-
Creative Team: Dan Jurgens (Writer), Bernard Chang (Artist)
We don’t have a solution to the Eye yet, but Tim is back in town and everyone in Gotham knows. This issue didn’t wow me; the fight between Tim and team vs. Evil was long and drawn out. I feel like there still isn’t enough character development for me to feel anything for any of these characters despite their names. However, the best part of the issue was the tie-in to the current Batman story line when Commisionner Barbara Gordon shows Tim the “Batman 2.0 suit,” the one her dad is using right now to fight crime. That’s right. The robot suit. – Adrian

Green Lantern #43 – C+
Creative Team: Robert Venditti (Writer), Billy Tan & Martin Coccolo (Penciler), Tony Aviña (Colorist)
DC is trying really hard to make us like Green Lantern right now. Of all the GL-centric books, this is the best – but it’s nowhere near where it could be with the right guidance. The problem is that the book skips ahead in time (unless I missed the entire Corps disappearing?), leaving us with only one familiar character who is having somewhat of an identity crisis. The humor in this issue has helped stave off some of the bore, but overall, I feel GL could benefit from some more constructs – that gauntlet is wicked awesome – and a more direct path laid out for what is going on – Sherif

Detective Comics #43 – C-
Creative Team: Brian Buccellato (Writer), Fernando Blanco (Artist)
You can almost consider this a prelogue to “Okay, Now James Gordon will be Batman for Reals.” The mystery turned out to be a huge flop, not nearly half as exciting as it led on to believe. Also, the big showdown with Joker’s daughter is sooo dumb. Even Batman isn’t interested in what’s going on. The good news is that, with the formalities out of the way, we can finally get a decent story out of this unit. As disappointed as I was that this turned out to be little more than a formal introduction, it does feel pretty nostalgic to have Gordon, Bullock, and Montoya back together. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #44 – A
Creative Team: James Roberts (Writer), Hayato Sakamoto (Artist)
Finally MTMTE is getting back into some story instead of the stupid diversions this book has a tendency to veer into. In this book, they meet the mythical Necrobot, the Transformer version of Death. He keeps a massive planetwide memorial to every bot killed in any of the wars. I hope he comes back. For what seems like it might be a shallow concept, they managed to write some depth into him. – Montgomery

Danger Girl: Renegade #1 – B
Creative Team: Andy Hartnell (Writer), Stephen Molnar (Artist)
This was my first introduction to Danger Girl and I really liked it. The art was a good homage to J. Scott Campbell’s style (he is the co-creator of the book). The story was a good background for anyone new or old to the series. We start with Abbey Chase as a little girl, and we get to see two of her child hood “adventures.” Time jump to the present, and she is an adult with an Indiana Jones flair. I loved all the scenery changes from Egypt to Norway to Ecuador. This issue got me interested in all the originals, which is what it was supposed to do. – Adrian

Image Comics:

We Stand On Guard #3 – A-
Creative Team: Brian K Vaughan (Writer), Steve Skroce (Artist)
I love this book. I love anything Brian K. Vaughan does, really. Even when not much is happening, I always feel like the book is set at an appropriate pace. I feel immersed in what the characters are going through, and am genuinely invested in their story – even if they are Canadian. The only unfortunate part of that is that most of this issue involves torture. Artificially-induced physical torture, as well as some really disgusting mental torture. War sucks, so I’m glad the creators of this book are making other characters go through it so I don’t have to. – Sherif

Plutona #1 – B-
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire & Emi Lenox (Writer), Emi Lenox (Penciler), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)
I’ve been itching for a new original Jeff Lemire book for months now! Trillium was good, but it was so far out there that I was left wishing for a more relatable book. This still isn’t it… but it’s not space time and time travel. A group of believable kids (they’re all assholes) find the crumpled up body of a fallen superhero. The first issue is very vague, giving us more introduction to the characters’ personalities than to the world they live in. That is the Lemire way. Also, I absolutely love that Jordie Bellaire (Moon Knight) got picked up on another awesome title! – Sherif

Second Opinion (B+) Freaks and Geeks meets Justice League. Wowee wow on the art. Great writing. Kids who say “fuck” a lot. I like it. – Adrian

8House #3 – D
Creative Team: Brandon Graham (Writer), Xurxo G. Penalta (Artist
OK, I’m done reading this series. I’m still extremely lost and have no fracking clue how this issue is supposed to fit with the current story happening. This issue is cool for what it is alone. Even if it does relate to the last issue it’s hard to imagine as it seems to suddenly switch genre.  This level of discombobulation is neither fun nor enjoyable. Which is sad, because if this were a first issue I think it would have been a fantastic introduction issue. Oh well. I tired. Onto other comics. –Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Groot #4 – A-
Creative Team: 
Jeff Loveness (Writer), Brian Kessinger (Artist)
We finally get to see Rocket again!!! This is definitely one of the most story packed issues of Groot so far and has great dialogue from Rocket, Groots team, and Rocket’s captor, Eris. The issue focuses on Groots final moments before he reaches Eris’s ship to save his friend and the battle that comes from the rescue. I have to say this is one of the best and most enjoyable Marvel titles on shelves now for me. The writing so far has been superb coming from Jeff Loveness and having Brian Kessingers art takes this comic on a scale of 1-10 all the way to 11. This issue did feel a bit fast especially with Groot finding and assembling his team to help save Rocket which makes things paced a bit weird, but other than that it is definitely my favorite Marvel series in print right now and can not wait to see what happens in the next issue and if we ever will really see Rocket and Groot as the dynamic team we know them as again. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A): This is the cutest flarkin book out right now! It moves at a slow yet natural pace, and is so uplifting! Even if your superpower is giving people the hiccups, you are special. Awww! – Sherif

Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 – B+
Creative Team: Tim Seeley (Writer), Elmo Bondoc (Artist)
We all saw this coming right? Two of Marvel’s biggest characters at the moment, whom also happen to share a certain love interest in Lady Death. Which just so happen to be what causes the versus part of this title. Tim Seeley has writing duties for this issue and does a good job of introducing us to the plot and getting the story rolling, while also adding a bit of a twist on why exactly Deadpool can’t die. The story is all about Thanos basically beating the crap out of Deadpool for his affair with Lady Death all the while thinking Deadpool is responsible for her disappearance. Is Deadpool actually responsible, well you have to read the comic silly… The art is fantastic coming from the hand of Elmo Bondoc for this issue giving us a pretty brutal look at what exactly Thanos can do to someone who has a healing factor and it’s not pretty. Expect quite a good story here for the 4 issues it will last but also expect thing to move fast for the same reason. – Jacob

Thors #3 – B+
Creative Team: Jason Aaron (Writer), Chris Sprouse & Goran Sudzuka (Penciler); Karl Story & Dexter Vines (Inkers)
Thors is really turning itself around. Again, I gotta say this is what Secret Wars should be doing: interesting character studies by putting the characters in bizarre situations. Thorlief (who is, I think, the Battleworld version of the 616Thor? Maybe?) interrogates Loki, and Loki gets under his skin the way Loki does, and it makes him think. Thorlief begins to uncover a bizarre conspiracy involving the murder of all Donald Blakes and Jane Fosters (616’s human counterpart and wife). It got pretty interesting. As a sidenote: I want a story about Destroyer Thor. I want to see him go home to his Destroyer Wife and have Destroyer Dinner, and complain about how he was passed over for a Destroyer Promotion because of Destroyer Racism. Pls, Mrvl, pls? – Montgomery

Spider-Island #3 – B+
Creative Team: Christos Cage (Writer), Paco Diaz (Artist)
Spider-Island delivers: it’s fast, weird, fun. In this issue, Tony “The Goblin” Stark goes crazy and he decides the best thing for him to do is sacrifice himself. I think the book’s pacing and the fact that it kind of ignores itself being all epic makes it worth it. One of the easiest and most fun Secret Wars books you can get into. – Montgomery

Age of Apocalypse #3 – B-
Creative Team: Fabian Nicieza (Writer), Gerardo Sandoval (Artist)
The art doesn’t stop, which is good because the story takes a baffling turn (and what the fuck good is Douglas yet? None? That’s what I thought). Essex and Dark Beast finally extract from this realm’s Danvers what the secret weapon the humans have is, and it turns out it’s a canister full of mutant Round-Up: a virus that means instant death. I never realized how many mutant stories revolved around mutant extinction until this Secret Wars event, but if Mutancy is a parable for homosexuality (and probably transsexuality), then I guess it makes sense. Anyways, Capital-A Apocalypse drops the biggest bomb (SPOILERS, SO LOOK YE AWAY TO KEEP YON CHRISTIAN EYEBALLS PURE): he wants the virus intentionally unleashed to cull the mutant herd. That’s like Hitler turning on the Germans after he wins WWII. I mean, I guess it makes sense, but it just feels like this story is in a holding pattern. – Montgomery

Silk #7 – B-
Creative Team: Robbie Thompson (Writer), Tana Ford (Artist)
Ummmm? Wow. That was different. I was so invested in this series. Fuck you, “Last Days of (fill in the blank).” Getting me all invested in cool, new female character for NOTHING!? Aslo, Stacey Lee not doing this last issue was disappointed. Nothing against Ford, but Lee was one of the reasons I even started with the series. Ugh. Now I have to go live in the real world after that ending. – Adrian

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #3 – B-
Creative Team: Sam Humphries (Writer), Alti Firmansyah (Artist)
The best issue of the series! Peter and Kitty got out of their dilemma, sort of fell in love (again), and there were some incredibly funny moments. I’m still not totally sold on Battleworld and the fact that Kitty remembers nothing. Also? God Doom made lots of Kitty Prydes? I don’t know about that. But I do enjoy this book just for the laughs. – Adrian

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #3 – C
Creative Team: James Robinson (Writer), Steve Pugh (Artist)
I think this is the first Secret Wars book to actually come to an end. And if you’re anything like me, you’re thinking, “Thank the sweet baby Jesus with his chubby little fist clutching his Baby Einstein books.” It’s not that this book was bad, it just brings up some issues in comics in general that have always kind of bugged me. 1. I thought Ultron is supposed to be deadly intelligent, and yet his plan to combine the Ultron drones with the zombies makes no sense. Like, at all. It’s there ONLY to give the heroes a way to defeat him and nothing else. There might be a throwaway line about the combination making them smarter, but that makes less sense than having no explanation. 2. I get that Hank Pym is smart, but genius isn’t the magic gateway comics treats it as. A man from 1877, no matter how smart, will need months or years to understand robotics on the level of Ultron simply because of how alien it is to his sensibilities. Smart does not equal automatic knowledge. 3. They way they defeat Ultron is a real headsmacker, and I’m disappointed in Vision for not getting their before Hank Pym. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (B)The end of the ultimate Robot vs Zombie superhero battle comes to an end with many sacrifices at hand. Great series overall – Jacob

House of M #2 – C
Creative Team: Jim Zub (Writer), Ramon Bachs (Artist)
If this book has taught me anything, it’s to never have children. They only betray you and hook up with seamen and ruin the empire you’ve worked so hard to prepare. This is all very interesting since the original House of M was very Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver-centric. However, the relaunch seems very open-ended, with nobody really being the center of the show. Magneto and his pet Fing Fang Foom need their own mini-series, though. As spoiled as House Magnus is, they’re not going to be prepared for what comes next. I’m totally confused about where this fits in the grand scheme of things, but I’ll keep reading. – Sherif

Figment 2 #1 – C
Creative Team: Jim Zub (Writer), Ramon Bachs (Artist)
This story is clearly aimed at a younger audience than I. It was…good? It’s too bad Hush doesn’t have kid reviews. I think they’d be able to give this a fair review. First, if I only had the cover to decide to read this I never would have. Abysmal cover. However, the story is not so bad if your 10 and looking for something steampunck and inspiring to read. Who doesn’t like dragons, gears, and bearded men from Victorian England? – Jené

Second Opinion (B): This book was cute. It was a little exposition heavy, but the real reason I read Disney books is because of the art. The colors and lines are always crisp. I hope that next issue gets more into the idea of imagination vs. modern technology. It’s a neat motif. – Adrian

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.