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:
Wonder Woman #28 – A-
This latest arc of Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman can be summed up in one word – EPIC. All I’ve ever wanted to see is Zeus’ first born tangle with the interim king of Olympus, Apollo. The use of Greek mythology, both public domain and vastly abundant in characters, has held my interest strongly the entire series. Wonder Woman herself is as bad-ass and beautifully-drawn as ever. The best part about her character in this series is that she isn’t just an inspiration to girls; her strength resonates in women and men alike. There is an epic God of War 3-esque build-up happening for the throne of Olympus, and you can’t help feel bad for First Born. I love this series because it feels so much more like a frozen movie than a book, a uniqueness that has made this a series in a league of its own. – S
Justice League #28 – B+
I don’t know how Geoff Johns did it, but he managed to make the Metal Men cool and modern. Sentient androids created from metal alloys, the Metal Men have been around for over fifty years. This iteration shows them as selfless heroes that Cyborg is trying to recruit to take on the Syndicate. They all play off each other well, and are given personalities that match the alloy; for example, Gold is the flashy self-absorbed one, Mercury is the hot-head, etc. The entire issue is full of silly banter that kind of makes the reader forget that the Justice League arc is smack-dab in the middle of a global takeover. I’m curious to see how Cyborg can rally the Metal Men. Alone, this issue was quite enjoyable, but I’m not too sure that it’s anything more than novelty. – S
Supergirl #28 – C
I won’t lie, this series had me at “hormonal Kyrptonian girl with a Red Lantern ring.” For those of us just joining the show, Supergirl had incorrectly thought that she killed Lobo (not the Bastich we remember, but a new skinner Lobo). As the awakened Lobo tries to calm Kara down, and even get her to join the bounty hunter, which would have made for a great story arc on its own. Supergirl, predictably, reacts to the situation like any hysterical teenager would, by punching and yelling. It’s become a tiresome pattern with her, and I was really hoping for some sort of emotional connection with her transformation, similar to the way they did with Rankorr in Red Lantern #5. But what really annoyed me about the issue is that the whole reveal that we were waiting for doesn’t happen until the very last panel, and that everything leading up to it was filler. Supergirl #28 is a taste of good things to come, but I feel it was introduced pretty poorly. – S
Harley Quinn #3 – C-
There comes a certain time in a new comic book that the novelty wears off and you expect an actual story to form. In Harley Quinn, that point was somewhere around the middle of issue #2. There’s plenty of things happening in this issue, but just like the puppies Harley is caring for, this issue chases its own tail the entire time. I really had high hopes for this series going in, and I still think Harley is capable of carrying her title, but taking a vacation from writing just to put out a throwaway Valentine’s Day issue. I’m not breaking up with Harley Quinn, but we’re definitely on a break. – S
Dark Horse Comics:
Terminator – Enemy of My Enemy #1 – A-
I really enjoyed this book and being a major fan of the films, would have thought it impossible to find a female lead that is more of a bad ass than Sarah Connor. Not only is the new lead more of a bad ass, she is able to go toe to toe with the T-800. That’s pretty much unheard of for any human in the current lore. Not much has been stated about the story other than there is no Kyle Reese and there is a woman the terminator is after. Other than that we are left guessing what is next and why this is happening. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be the same continuity as Sarah Connors story or if it is supposed to be an alternate universe. Either way, this was a very enjoyable first issue; things started off with a bang and it doesn’t seem like it will be slowing down from here on out. – R
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #3 – B+
Cry of Shadow’s #3 is everything that should have been issue #1. From first panel to last panel I was completely engaged in the story of CT-5539 aka Hock Malsuum and his connection to Darth Vader. The insight readers receive in issues #1 & #2 verge on being pointless in the context of “The Shrouded Offensive,” the focus of this issue. Hock’s first person narrative does a lot for Cry of Shadows. Anticipation and suspense is really starting to build and for the first time in some months I’m really interested in what will happen next in a Star Wars series. The Vader and Hock dynamic promises to be very different (and more exciting) that the typical Dark Lord-Stromtrooper combo. Next issue is wide open for deeper developments and continued great story telling. Cry of Shadows will definitely be my first read next month! – T
X-Files Conspiracy: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 – B-
This new resurgence of the X-Files has been quite interesting. Following up January’s Ghostbuster issue (and preceding next month’s Transformers), the TMNT issue has government agents searching for the exploits of the turtles in Northampton as vampires attack. More than anything, it’s nice to see the turtles having fun. The ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series is my favorite out right now, but it’s nice to see them take a break to crack jokes and fight ridiculous bad guys. The art in this issue, which focuses on shading a lot more than the ongoing series, and it’s a nice change of pace. It might be the vampires, but the humor remind me a lot of Joss Whedon’s style. So before I go off on my fanboy fantasy of a Whedon-created TMNT, I will say that this issue was a nice diversion – and an incredibly original idea to use other IDW staples to investigate via X-Files, but not much more. Also, when’s the last time you’ve read the word “Nincompoop” in a comic book? – S
Undertow #1 – C
Image published a new series titled Undertow this week that explores a really neat concept – reverse scuba divers! Fish people from under the sea. Not mermaids and mermen though. These underwater dwellers have two arms, two legs and gills. Not to mention they live in Atlantis! And when a group of these Atlantians get the hankering for adventure they dawn scuba suits filled with water and explore the dry surface shores and landscapes. With the use of flying crafts that accommodate whole cities and other advanced gadgetry the explorers study pre-developed and conscientious humans and other creatures that live off oxygen. The ultimate goal is to find a way or method that will allow the gill-bearing society to also breathe the O2 and “free” themselves. Doesn’t all that sound awesome? I thought so too, until I read the issue. As an engineer by trade, I’m often given a hard time by other coworkers for turning something really simple into something really complex. In that sense – I empathize with Steve Orlando (author) and his intention with this story. For a premier issue, Undertow was overwhelming and downright tiring to read. Plot building content was so scattered and choppy that I was lost before I started. It wasn’t even until the very last panel that I saw a real story begin to develop. I get the feeling that Undertow may be one of those series you wait to buy when it comes out in trade paperback format. We’ll let you know if issue #2 is any better. – S
Daredevil #36 – A-
We’ve made it to the end of this chapter in Daredevil, but don’t be sad, because Marvel is finding it necessary to reboot everything in the line-up to attract new readers. In all honesty, though, this was a great place to wrap up this volume of Daredevil. The fight against the Sons of the Serpents is culminating and there is a definite change about to happen in Matt Murdock’s life. It’s not quite the epic conclusion that I was hoping for, but it was still a great send-off that has Daredevil, as Notorious B.I.G. said, “Going Back to Cali.” Should we be so lucky that Mark Waid continues to write for Daredevil, I will continue to read the book enthusiastically. – S
The Punisher #2 – B+
Another great issue to read for you Punisher fans out there in the world. What I really love about this comic is that it stays true to the character. They don’t try to put some different spin or twist on Frank Castle but rather, he is the same good old bad-ass in boots. With this comic, I can see the story development at just the right pace, and the introduction of some familiar characters gets me really excited to see how this story-line is going to progress. The way the panels are set up and the constant action that is happening, I feel like I’m watching an explosive action movie right before my eyes. Even though there weren’t tons of explosions or crocodiles in this issue, it was still really great to see the action that came in this comic…BOOM Head Shot!! Yeah there some of that in this book. Overall, I am very pleased with how this story is progressing and look forward to reading the next issue. – E
Uncanny X-Men #17 – B+
Yeah, so the next time you decide to go on location, do not visit the Savage Land. The Savage Land is some scary stuff, and that is just where Magik decides to drop off the new rectuits for field training. I do want to ask how Google Maps works out there, but there are more pressing matters at hand. The horrid environment makes for some great humor, as the naivity of the students and some exceptional writing by Brian Michael Bendis creates for some golden moments. The new recruits are becoming highly likable, but Cyclops is eager to let his team know that they are serious about the mission they are embarking. Uncanny X-Men #17 was a rapidly-paced issue, which had both positive and negative effect on the reader. This high-octane laugh riot is definitely worth your time and money. – S
Dexter Down Under #1 – B+
My only gripe with this first issue, other than the fact that Dexter doesn’t slab anyone up, is that I cant stop picturing Michael C. Hall every time I look at Dexter’s face. This is a continuation or possibly a shoot off from the books from what I can tell. I won’t be sure until they reveal a little bit more of the story. This is a perfect way for people who want more Dexter after the recent ending of the show. I personally hated the way the last season of Dexter ended so this is a perfect opportunity to get that outta my mind and hopefully leave me with something better to remember. Nothing major happens story-wise which is to be expected but is still a little on the disappointing side just because I am used to at least one thing happening every episode. Being a major fan of Dexter I am looking forward to his first trip down under. – R
Marvel Knights: Hulk #3 – B
I may be a little biased this week, just because I am a big Hulk fan, but I love to see the raw power out of the Hulk and we sure get to see some more of it in this issue. I also like that they dove further into back-story. I will admit that part of this comic had me confused at times, with the progression of events or “memories,” but I’m not too hung up on it. As a Hulk fan, I appreciated this book – even with all the mystery surrounding it. It was flooded with amazing, action-packed panels, and good story-telling. So at a pure minimum, it was great eye-candy. I feel that, with this story, a lot of the pieces are there, and we just need a few more to make the whole puzzle in order to get the full picture. Either way, my confusion did not dictate my enjoyment. I look forward to seeing more out of this book, and I’m sure as it progresses I’ll love it even more. – E
Night of the Living Deadpool #3 – B-
I think Deadpool books get a bit of a break in standards. The stories are never great, but they’re regularly enjoyable. Parody some pop culture, shoot and stab some bad guys and make a lot of jokes in bad taste. Lather, rinse, repeat – Night of the Living Deadpool is no exception. And that’s not entirely a bad thing. There is a lot of entertainment value to this series, from Romero jabs to The Walking Dead Easter eggs. Zombie fans will get a kick out of this books, and Deadpool fans get to see a different spin on zombie Deadpool, as Wade has quite the odd reaction to being bitten. I’m also a huge fan of the return of A.I.M. scientists; I knew they would be the cause of the apocalypse some way or another. I wouldn’t buy into it too hard, but I have gotten a kick out of every issue so far. -S
Amazing X-Men #4 – B-
BAMF! Nightcrawler and the crew are back at it. Azazel is trying to hi-jack the after-life, and only Nightwing and his X-buddies can stop him. Most of this issue focuses on reuniting the team, which is scattered across hell. It all happens a bit too easily, because the gravity of the situation is lost when Nightcrawler is able to just teleport everybody out of danger. Amazing X-Men succeeds when it is able to fall back on the nostalgia of Kurt Wagner, especially with the use of flashbacks and his encounter with Wolverine. It looks like we’re finally gearing up for the battle with Azazel, so I hope the next issue has more to offer. – S
Avengers World #3 – B-
I don’t really know what to say about the story for this book. There is almost too much going on at the moment. The events of last issue went completely unmentioned and we are back to something that was mentioned in the first issue. For some reason, the city of Madripoor is on the head of a giant centurys old dragon flying around the ocean. And to make matters worse, we don’t end this issue knowing any more than we did when it started. All that being said, Shang-chi is a boss and is truly the Master of Kung-Fu. The art is amazing and the action sequences between Shang-chi and Gorgon are awesome. I particularly loved the panels they chose while he was channeling his chi from those before him. I’m still left wondering what the hell is going on and don’t really expect anything to be answered next time either, since there are three groups, it most likely won’t focus on either of the last two issues stories. I’m hoping for a bit more story cohesion in these next few issues because they really do have a great cast to work with and it would be a shame to see that get wasted. – R
New Warriors #1 – B-
Like any new comic that comes out, there is going to have to be some set up in order to get things rolling. What I really liked about this comic is that it successfully introduced the main story-line and the individuals involved with no background needed; it revealed the heroes names, their nicknames, and super-powers. With all that in mind, it is really easy for new readers to focus on the story rather than trying to figure out who everyone is. I believe this book has the potential to be a great read, depending on what happens next. No, there wasn’t a ton of action, more or less just set up for the action that is soon to come. Whatever is about to happen, it was intriguing enough for me to want to come back and read the next issue whenever it may come out. So even though most of the book was just set up for future issues, it was still a nice read and fans of the genre would find enjoyment from it. – E
GPA by Publisher:
DC Comics: 1 A, 2 B’s and 1 C, averaging out to a 3.00
Marvel Comics: 1 A’s and 8 B’s, averaging out to a 3.11
Independents: 1 A, 2 B’s and 1 C earning a 3.00
Funniest Panel of the Week:
Epic Panel of the Week:
- Cover Art of the Week:
- 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 IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.
Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Adrian Puryear, Evan Lowe, Taylor Lowe and Robert Michael