Comic Book Reviews 09-24-14

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:

Saga #23
Saga #23 – A
(A) There’s something to be said about a book that, every month without fail, can take you to a happy place that would make Billy Madison jealous. Each episode of Saga is a beautifully crafted piece of fantasy that satisfies both my need for gratuitous language and violence, as well my deep desire for an inter-galactic love story full of adventure, betrayal and TVs having sex with each other. This issue specifically, is when everything changes. After Marko “f***ing assaults” Alana with vegetables in the previous issue, things spiral out of control for the couple, and somehow manage to get much, much worse. Please pick up this series and enjoy the crap out of it; you’ll thank me later. – Sherif
(A) Someone admitted to me this week that when a new issue of Saga is released they retreat to their bedroom (comic in hand), turn on a bit of mood lighting, strip down to their socks and underwear and proceed to bask in the gloriousness of what will be the best comic they will read all week long.  He called it “me time.”  I would have laughed at him, but truth be told… that’s how I read Saga too.  Don’t judge.  Vaughan and Staples are the best duo in the medium right now.  Everything about Saga is masterfully worked and presented.  As a reader I’m so invested in the characters (all of them), the plot, the setting (this is sci-fi done RIGHT), everything!  This series is oozing with unique creativity and use of the panel.  There’s very little not to love about Saga.  The only bad part is how weird and creepy I feel sitting there in my underwear once I’m done reading the issue. – Taylor

Other Reviews: 

Boom! Studios:

Lumberjanes #6 – B-

Oh my god the raccoon hat. It gets me every time. I want it drawn on a coffee mug and it to be in my possession. The Luberjanes just defeated raptors and are now playing capture the flag. But, what about the raptors and the three eyes foxes and the strange cave aren’t you going to ever tell me what the junk is going on?!?!?! And what’s up with Jo and her seeming mythicalness starting to come out.  Also, when can I get my own game of capture the flag started? Thankfully, more of the mythical plot was revealed this week and I am sated. – Jené

Dark Horse:

Aliens: Fire and Stone #1 – B

Dark Horse has really stepped up their game lately.  On the heels of Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 comes Aliens: Fire and Stone.  These two series are woven directly into one another and so far it’s worked amazingly!  In fact, this premiere issue for Aliens: Fire and Stone is by itself nothing special.  But with the Prometheus: Fire and Stone story still fresh in my mind it enhanced my experience.  Prometheus’ vibe was very much like the beginning of any Alien movie – eerie, calm, and mysterious.  This Aliens series in contrast has started out like the end of any Alien movie – terrifying, frantic and intense.  The yin and yang balance of the Fire and Stone adventure is working very well so far and I can’t wait to see how these stories collide. – Taylor

Sundowners #2 – D

I learn something new every week in the midst of my comic book reading campaign.  This week’s lesson: intentionally confusing plot lines are only effective in issue #1.  I was hooked on Sundowners after reading the opening issue some weeks ago.  I wasn’t all that sure what was happening.  But with stored questions and curious ponderings I was very anxious to see what the follow up issue would deliver.  I’m saddened to say that this series appears to have taken a turn for the worst.  My initial questions were poorly addressed (if not skipped entirely) and the plot was further muddied.  A new character entered this week and all it did was distract me.  I wanted to learn more about the original cast; there is still so much to explore!  It was obvious to me that the characters were going to drive this story.  From what I got this week, I’m not so sure that’s where Sundowners is headed. – Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Futures End: Superman #1 – A-
Finally, a Futures End worth reading! The one-shots from DC’s latest cash-grab mega-arc crossover thingy has been largely disappointing, with poor writing and even worse art. This little gem written by Dan Jurgens, though, blew away any expectations I had up to this point. The Haz-Mat Superman has been revealed, and the story behind his appearance, albeit unresolved, is a really cool idea. Like Batman, the world needs a Superman. Even if not Kal El, somebody with enough gusto to fill his shoes. But where in the world is Clark Kent? This same Superman has been all over the Futures End books, so look to see more of him soon enough. – Sherif
Batman Eternal #25 – B
Hush has finally declared open season on Batman, which means that this story looks like it’s finally heating up. There has been just too much going on in this book, but it looks like Eternalwill very much be a Batman vs. Hush story, and with writing input by Scott Snyder, I am thoroughly excited to see where this goes. The book is not without its transgressions, though, as the odd, uncharacteristic art detracts from the story going on around us. There are more findings that raise cause for question; for instance, is Alfred going to recover? How deep does the corruption go? Is Jim Gordon going to make it out unscathed? The fact that I care about any of this again means that Eternal has managed to recover (at least partially) of its earlier faults and found a little quality in spite of the quantity of books coming out. – Sherif
Future’s End: Aquaman and the Others #1 – B
This issue picks up where Future’s End: Aquaman left off. Vulko has brought back Atlan, the Dead King who sunk Atlantis, now he wants to sink Aquaman’s attempt at making peace with the surface, but first, he needs the Atlantean artifacts that he forged long ago. I enjoy Aquaman so these Future’s Ends with him have been enjoyable for me. Jurgens is a good story teller but his writing can be weak at points. If you’re a fan of Aquaman definitely give this a shot, but you may want to read the Aquaman Future’s End first. – Cody
Future’s End: Justice League Dark #1 – C-
This one started out alright, but really lost steam in the last few pages. It had some cool cosmic aspects to it, but once an outsider showed up it was rushed and just uninteresting. You’d think that with such a massive event that DC would have put more thought into these stories. Read it if you like JLD I guess, but, it’s really not anything special. – Cody
Future’s End: Harley Quinn #1 – D+
 
I can’t emphasize how dumb Harley Quinn is for always falling for The Joker.  But ultimately, I can’t blame her, I have to blame her writers.  They are treating her like she is Coney Island’s Carrie Bradshaw and Joker is Mr. BIg.  Harley’s 5 year fast forward puts her stranded on a beach of an island that looks like it is a characterization of South America.  She must meet the island’s god Tha’ Jo-kaa (wow, really?) and then they must get married.  The whole thing became Joker’s story and made Harley look like an idiot.  I am so tired of the Harley is dumb and loves Joker trope.  It’s about time they gave her something for readers to work with. – Adrian

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War #4- A

This issue really shows us what our childhood heroes are made of! On top of that there is a twist at the end that any one who knows my strong feelings about The Powerpuff Girls and Ed, Edd and Eddy will understand why I enjoyed it so much. With this series (and it may just be the child that won’t go away in me) every issue is wonderful, but I get upset every time I finish one because I know the event is closer to being over. This issue is an important one in the series because it shows our heroes finally figuring out each other and making a good team. On top of that, the villains are just down right horrible, and they make a “Death Stare” to destroy planets. It is a great story and besides the video game Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL (which has a name equally as long and crazy as this series)  there has never been a better multi-cartoon crossover ever. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #12- B+

Jack has lost the power of his sword and now Aku has nothing to fear! We saw Jack’s sword destroyed in the last issue and now he has to deal with the fact Aku knows and will spare no cost at taking him out. I think this will definitely be the best arc this series has gotten yet. It offers so much more than the past stories have and so much more is at stake. This is part two of this story but it does give a good recap to help you understand what is happening. This issue could even be a good point to jump onto the story before it gets too involved. It is pretty hard to make Samurai Jack look bad, so the art of this series is always great, although I would like to see a more realistic or at least more detailed Samurai Jack issues at some point in the future. – Jacob

Star Trek #37- C+

This Issue of Star Trek definitely delivers the goods and so many great Trek characters from each series. We mainly see the cast of the new film series based off of the original series.  We also see a lot of Deep Space Nine with appearances by  Sisko, Odo, Quark, Dr. Bashir, Kira, and Worf. But what will keep any Star Trek fan interested is what Q has planned for their universe. – Jacob

G.I. Joe #1 – D-
Before I totally destroy this book, I want to preface it with the fact that I have never read a G.I. Joe anything, so maybe the books have just been this awful for the last 30 years and crappy writing is the status quo. If that slight was any indication, I hated this first issue. It had all the entertainment value of watching a fry-cook try to save the lastBennigan’s in town from closing. The only sliver of hope I have for this series is that there will eventually be explosions and stuff, but I can get that anywhere, really. G.I. Joe has failed to produce anything resembling substance, and instead gave us the inside scoop of what it’s like to sit through a military board meeting where absolutely nobody is having a good time – especially you.

Image Comics:

Roche Limit #1- B

(A) Roche Limit takes us to the farthest reaches of space, to a small colony built on the edge of an energy anomaly. Sadly, like many designed utopian societies in science fiction, this one has come to the wealth, the greedy, and the dangerous. The main story follows a woman looking for her sister who has disappeared and she falls into a sleazy societal underbelly in her search. Roche Limit is written by Michael Moreci with art from the fantastic Vic Malhorta. The first issue gives you just enough taste to keep you interested. This is a strong sci-fi noir with excellent visuals and a mysterious plot. Roche Limit is gritty, violent, and visceral. In a good way.  – Scott

(B) Yay, outer space!!  Double yay for a comic book story introducing a cool new fictional celestial body and crazy space drugs made from never before seen space minerals.  If that’s not enough to grab your attention then maybe the plot will snag you.  On the surface this is a story about a woman who has left earth, traveled across the galaxy to the human established colony, Roche Limit, to find her missing sister.  While the concept is basic, the setting will certainly compensate and work as an enhancement.  This story will drive the sci-fi theme and that’s a good thing.  Invest in the characters and their objectives and marvel in the awesome concepts accompanied with a new unexplored galactic frontier.  I have moon-sized expectations for this new Image series. – Taylor

(B+) Roche Limit is a colony on a planet located near a weak black hole. The dream of a billionaire who wanted a fresh start on society, but like always, it has failed, and Roche Limit is now a place of crime a depravity. When a girl goes missing, her sister travels to the colony and gets embroiled in it’s underworld. I’ve been reading a lot of these sci-fi/noir books lately and this was one of the more enjoyable ones I’ve read. It has an intelligent and mysterious anti-hero in Alex and the sister, who happens to be a cop on Earth, is also smart and rather fearless. The villain is mysterious and definitely is up to something strange. If you enjoyed Blade Runner, you’ll like this. – Cody

(C) I wanted to read this book because of the fancy science term title. I need more space travel stories in my life. But this isn’t really it. Instead, it’s a colony on the border of an anomaly and no space exploration to think of. Instead, the colony is more a city like Gotham where crime, drugs, scientific experiments run rampant.  So far I’m mixed. If the title has andy foreshadowing, the colony is eventually going to be swallowed up by the Roche Limit, the inevitable decay and destruction of a society and constructed colony. Maybe this book will be different and go another route. I’m still willing to give this book a shot. One thing that bothers me is that this kind of technological advancement is just too close to our current timeline. I really think writers should extend this kind of space exploration further into the future. Yes, we have made a lot of fast advancement, but we are still fairly far away from a lot of other stuff.  I like the environment the writer and artists are developing. I like the swirl of colors and the use of negative space within the book. It separates itself from the more visually cluttered books. – Jené

A Voice in the Dark #1- C

(B+) Most of the time I don’t know how to talk about art. This book’s art looks like watercolors, which I hear are really hard to work with. The way the colors blend in to one another, it has this odd mixture of grunge meets whimsical. Serial killer stories and crime procedurals are my guilty pleasures. I love how they have inverted the Dexter serial killer trope. The diary format in which the story unfolds is something I haven’t seen in a while. Right not I can’t recall a comic that’s done it that way. The only thing I have beef with is Rio’s genius as a killer. Seems a little tame to me. – Jené

(D-) I had not heard of the A Voice In The Dark series until it’s latest incarnation A Voice In The Dark: Get Your Gun, and now I know why. It’s pretty bland all the way through. The easiest way to describe this series is that it’s a bad version of the movie Mr. Brooks. If you don’t understand the reference, that’s ok, no one saw Mr. Brooks. Basically what’s going on here is the main character, Zoey, has compulsions to kill people. SPOILERS She fails to control these compulsions. The story is underdeveloped and the plot just isn’t all there for me. But seeing how Get Your Gun appears to be a small story arch in a slightly larger plot I’ll try not to judge the entire series on this arch. What I will judge the entire series on is its art. The characters are emotionless and shallow. At one point, one of the characters actually pointed out a hair lip he has to Zoey, and also to me, for the first time. This particular facial feature is even a major proponent to this characters actions and personality. But if the reader doesn’t even see it who cares?! With bland writing and dull art I can say that you can skip this one. – Scott

Wayward #2 – C
(B) Wayward #1 came across as an American version of Japanese anime about a girl with super parkour powers!  It was a bit whimsical and overall light hearted.  In a good and measured step Wayward #2 diminished those impressions and did a slight amount of maturing; which I felt was a good thing… mostly.  Adding to the first issue’s impression, it made me believe that this story will be more than your typical anime tale.  We were also introduced to a new character this week and I’m already a fan.  He too has weird and interesting powers.  Combo these powers with super parkour powers and we could all be in for a real treat.  And lastly, I’ve got to give it up to Steve Cummings for his artwork.  I’m in love with nuanced manga style pencil work.  Something about it keeps me staring at the page much longer than average.  I am a little bit sad though, that I didn’t get to see any more off-brand Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or magical cat ladies.  Maybe next issue. – Taylor
(D+) Like Buffy, my ass. Only two issues in and this book has already made my eyes roll, lips curl and eyebrows raise more than I would like them to. Rori, the half-Irish, half-Japanese girl who came to live with her mother, she discovers she has powers, which I can only deduce is some form of Spirit World parkour. The story has left me unimpressed, and the character even more unlikable after she takes a knife to herself to “make [her] mark and get through another day.” Some might find this relate-able but with absolutely no connection to the character or why she feels this is appropriate, it feels forced and insincere. All the promise of being anything mentioned in the same breath of BTVS is gone, and we’re in quite the uphill battle for this book to turn around in issue #3 that makes me want to read anything more. – Sherif

Marvel:

Deadpool #35- A-

After last week’s 90’s flashback, we jump back into the story with this issue. We have plenty of references to past stories including a very good bit about Deadpool’s friends from the Weapon X program in North Korea. I felt this issue was a great issue for Deadpool and actually a great jump on point in the series.  With this issue, we get Deadpool’s humor, drama, and a perfect mix of Deadpool being a merciless killer in epic battle. Overall this issue shows complete Deadpool picture. Definitely check this out if you are a fan or if you want to be introduced to the Merc with a Mouth. – Jacob

All-New Ghost Rider #7- B

This new Ghost Rider story has been rather crazy from the get-go but with the series ending soon (only 5 issues to go!) I am liking where it is going yat a little bit afraid. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great issue and it really shows the struggle between Robbie and his inner demon Eli, who makes him become Ghost Rider. With the new story arc starting last issue, we got a new art style for the series which I can’t say is really better than the previous five issues.  I have enjoyed it more as it is not as anime/cartoon looking. I would say try and pick up last months issue and make sure to read this because the Ghost Rider series is about to change drastically. – Jacob

Amazing Spider-Man #1.5 (Learning to Crawl) – B
Since the re-emergence of Peter Parker as Spidey just a few months ago, there’s been a lot of catch-up being played, causing things to get blurred and busy. Thankfully, the Learning to Crawl story was there to bring us back to why we give a damn about Peter Parker to begin with. The tale of Peter’s ascension to manhood was told as a modern-day origin story, and captured everything great we felt about our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Sure, it came off as corny and a bit preachy, but that’s where its charm lay. Thanks to a vintage style art by Ramon Perez, the tone of Dan Slott’s story felt appropriate. You’re not missing anything if you skip this, but if you take the time to read this tweener, you’ll be happy you did. – Sherif

Storm #3 – B

Things for Storm came full circle this month; she went back home to Kenya and Forge just happened to be there.  While the story was pleasant, it was also simple.  Storm’s hometown, the one where she was a goddess, is experiencing drought.  She goes to save the day and meets up with Forge.  They argue like exes do, then they save the day…sort of.  I have always like Storm a lot; I find her one of the most intriguing X-Men, so I really like hearing about her origins.  I thought this book was a cool way to touch on it, but for people who are new to her story, could be confusing.  The most enjoyable piece of this issue was the art.  I was blown away at the use of color and how fantastic they made her power of controlling the weather seem. Simply beautiful – Adrian
Guardians of the Galaxy #19 – B
(A) We continue the story of how Star-Lord, Nova, Drax, and Thanos escaped from the Cancerverse, a horrible version of our universe that holds some rather strange surprises. I have very much enjoyed this little side story and love seeing these four interact with each other. Richard Rider is a WAY better Nova than this stupid kid they have now, and it is a lot of fun to watch him interact with Quill. Drax has a couple great moments and even Thanos gets some pretty fantastic panels. Can’t wait to see where Bendis takes us next. -Cody
(C+) The Original Sin spin-off for GOTG has been fun. And that’s about all it needs to be. The Guardians are relatively unknown throughout the Marvel U, and with the exposure of the movie, have been afforded the opportunity to explore more into their lore. This serial has revolved around Star-Lord explaining to Gamora how he, Nova, Drax and Thanos had found themselves in the Cancerverse. There’s not a whole lot you have to get; yes, everything is as crazy as it sounds. It may be pointless and confusing, but it’s still a thoroughly fun ride, and it makes you peeved that Nova never made it into the movie, because the two have great chemistry. There are definitely better choices you can make with your purchase, but this one is guaranteed good for a few smirks. – Sherif
Magneto #10 – B-
I hope you are in the mood for some vintage red and purple, because this issue is a long trip down memory lane for Magneto – a not so pleasant trip. Red Skull, who has acquired a sliver of Charles Xavier’s powers (Uncanny Avengers storyline that makes no sense but whatever) leaves his Nazi lackey and what seems to be a poorly design Ninja Turtle to torture Magneto. A lot of the issue involves Magneto realizing the failure of his attempts to save… well, anybody. It’s all quite introspective, showing the vulnerability of Magneto while still displaying his strength of resolve. Still, there’s not a whole lot of forward progress, as has been my only gripe on the series thus far. – Sherif
Edge of Spider-Verse #3 – C
(C) The Edge of Spider-Verse has been great so far, but it seems to have fallen flat. Upon first glance, it seemed as though we were getting a Mega-Man version of the web-crawler. To an extent, we were correct. There are a few really interesting panels detailing the gadgetry in his suit, but I wish I was more drawn to the man in the suit. Aaron Aikman is boring, like the Spider-Man version of John Lennon. He even had his own Yoko Ono that managed to screw things up for everybody. The fact that I didn’t enjoy this issue wasn’t for lack of trying; I loved Dustin Weaver’s pencils (who also wrote this issue) and thought the character design and science behind it was really neat, but Aikman himself did not have the personality necessary to wield the title of Spider-Man. – Sherif
(C) Imagine if Iron Man and Spider-Man did a Dragon Ball Z style fusion.  Fuuu-sion-HAA!!  Edge of the Spider-Verse #3 gives us a glimpse of what that might look like.  Truthfully – not as awesome as I thought.  The Spider gear is off the hook and looks pretty sweet.  But anyone in the world can tell you that Spidey’s claim to fame isn’t in the gadgets, gear or suit.  It’s in the man!!  The man in Edge of Spider-Verse #3, Aaron Aikman, falls short.  Nothing was truly bad, but nothing was really great either.  With one exception – Naamurah.  I was quite taken with the bad buy in this issue of Edge.  In appearance, backstory and purpose Naamurah rocks it!  Upon reflection this third issue of Edge is totally a bad guy story.  There’s hints at Naamurah rolling over into the big Spider-Verse event and I’m crossing my fingers that it happens.  I might actually be rooting for this bad-girl as opposed to robo-Spidey. – Taylor

Funniest Panel:

Saga #23
Saga #23

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Storm #3


 

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.

Comic Book Reviews 09-17-14

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:

shutter POTW 9.17

Shutter #6 – A

As each issue of Shutter draws to a close, I find myself more and more attached to the title. While most books I’m reading have the tendency to flounder around, biding time until the next “mega-arc” or “crossover event,” this Image title has a succinct story to tell, and spoon-feeds the events out accordingly so that you always stay hungry. Shutter has been an instant classic since the first issue came out in April, and this issue is no exception. The grimm and ludicrous story could not be complemented any better than by the gorgeous artwork of Leila del Duca. This issue, marking end of the first arc, left me with my jaw wide open. We’ll have to wait until December to see what the heck is going on, but as long as Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca are back on duty, it will be worth the wait. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman Eternal #24 – B+

I’m not sure if the conglomerate of writers are finally learning from their mistakes or if they just got lucky here, but this week’s Eternal is all about Stephanie Brown AKA The Spoiler and her mission to take down her father, The Cluemaster. Cluemaster is a scumbag, set out to kill his own daughter for overhearing something incriminating during his super-villain poker game that they were having in the freaking kitchen. What a novice! There are some more obscure villains to enter the picture, but everything is cohesive and the story actually comes to a logical conclusion. Great read this week! – Sherif

Batman and Robin: Futures End #1 – C+

In the midst of all that’s going on in Batman and Robin, this spin-off takes a whole new approach to the future of the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder. Batman is look very grisly, not unlike Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and Robin is a black man with pulled back dreads, only known by his codename: Master Duke. The only logical choice for Robin in my mind is Luke Fox, the current day Batwing (he was never seen in costume as Batwing in the Batwing: Futures End book). Whoever it was, he seems to break down Batman’s trust barriers with much more ease than in the past, and the story lacks the dynamics I wanted to see in a book with a brand new Robin, but it was still fun to see Batman and Robin beat the crap out of Heretic. – Sherif

Teen Titans: Futures End #1 – C

After just relaunching two issues ago, the Futures End one-shot for Teen Titans is an easy spot to pick up for new readers. However, that doesn’t mean that any of it will make sense, but if superhero teams are your thing, this could be enjoyable. Five years down the road, the Teen Titans we know know are dead – a recurring theme among the Futures End books. There’s really nothing special about the team as a whole since most members are some version of the current line-up, and the inclusion of Heretic (Damian’s clone who murdered Robin a couple years ago) is eyebrow-raising to say the least. – Sherif

The New 52 – Futures End #20 – C

The twisted time-traveling travesty yet continues. This series now marks the longest ongoing New 52 series I’ve ever read. It’s been interesting experiencing a story with so… much… content. That being said, this 20th installment seems to finally be pointing in some direction. The downfall thus far with the story has been the overwhelming cast of characters and their seemingly unrelated journeys. To an extent, I still can’t figure out how everything fits together, but it’s starting to come together. Having little experience in the DC realm, it’s been fun to get to know some characters better. I’ve pick favorites and I’m always anxious to see certain characters. I’m too committed to the story to quit on now. I just hope the puzzle pieces start fitting together soon. – Taylor

Green Lantern – New Guardians: Futures End #1 – C-

This was rather confusing as many of the Futures End can be. This one doesn’t deal with the issues we’ve seen in the Earth-bound Futures Ends, but it does take place during the same time. I was most impressed by Brazilian penciler Diogenes Neves’ art in this issue. I really enjoyed the aliens and how the events at the end looked. It’s unfortunate though, because I’ve been enjoying the Futures End stories a lot, but, this week I didn’t read any that were that great. However, it is a massive event, so of course there will be some weak moments. – Cody

Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 – C-

I know this is a lame review, but this book is not horrible and it’s not great. I just don’t know I feel about it. There is something garish about the art. Choppy and boring. The dialogue is a mess and hard to follow alongside the art. I can’t tell if Harvel’s has a unique grammatical style or if it’s some editor’s oversight. Whatever the case, it’s annoying and not necessary. Also, do we really need tear Diana’s clothing to shreds? I mean come on. There is a better way to tell she been through battle then exposing all sorts of fleshy bits. On the other end, Hessia, Boudicca, and Nemesis have my attention, and I’m curious as to how the characters will fit in and continue to develop in the story. I’ll keep reading this, but I’m not sure if I’m happy about it. – Jené

Justice League: Futures End #2 – D

I very much enjoyed last week’s issue, but, part 2 just didn’t do it for me. There was a lot of talk for little to no resolution. Things just really moved fast and it didn’t seem like they were able to get everything they needed into the story. I’m not sure if this little story plays into any other Future’s End stories and maybe I’m just missing something, but, I found myself counting the pages left more than once… – Cody

 

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War: Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends #1 – B

I honestly haven’t watched much of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, but had to read this issue with its tie it to the Super Secret Crisis War. As with the past one-shot issues and the main series I am sure the similarities to the show are wonderful as I have found this and each issue from SSCW a blast to read as anyone 90’s kid is going to love this event. The story was a bit weak compared to the other one-shots of Johnny Bravo and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, but mostly because there isn’t anyone who wants to fight in this universe. I would say pick it up if you are a completionist like myself, but it can be missed and it wouldn’t change anything in the main story. – Jacob

TMNT: Turtles in Time #4 – C+

The last Turtles in Time issue and this one sees us in the future where Shredder rules the world. Definitely not good place to be and to make matters worse the turtles have just met one of their future selves. How will the Turtles get back to their own time? Where is Renet and her time machine? Will the Turtles help the future they may create? Well, all that is covered, as this is the last issue. The art in this series has been great and has differed with each issue making for a real change of time feel. The story of the arc is overall wonderful but sadly I feel like this last issue was the weakest of them all, but that is not saying it is bad by any means. I would definitely finish the story if you have been reading or like stories like 1984 and V for Vendetta. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Oddly Normal #1 – B

(A) I don’t care if I gave this an A. I freaking loved this and it deserves it. If I just stick with Image Comics, I’ll never be disappointed. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it right. Within the first page, I was drawn into the story and the character of Oddly, whose got pointed ears and green hair and is the outcast of her school. It one of the first comic that I was drawn into right away and didn’t take a few issues to wanted to read the next book. The balance of the setting and the narration got a lot of information across quickly and the inner world that belongs to Oddly. Though in a few hints about a secret world where water melts you it proves to be an intriguing story. Go out and get this book pronto. – Jené

(C) Unless it was part of my youth or adolescence, I’m typically not drawn to what I call “cutesy-cartoony” stories; Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, and Invader Zim all day, baby. But it’s harder for me to build a connection with similar motifs that have come out in the last 10 years… give or take 3 years (I LOVE CARTOONS). So naturally, I wasn’t immediately taken with Oddly Normal. Even so – I can see the potential in the story. It’s all about a young half-witch with no friends that ends up making a spellbound wish that spins her world upside-down; this series is set to be a moral-learning and silly adventure. Big props to Otis Frampton for writing and illustrating! Gotta respect a guy that puts his passion on the page. I’ll stick with this one until what I’m sure will be a heartwarming conclusion. – Taylor

Trees #5 – B

There continues to be a lot of esoteric/occult imagery in the comic book. Little snippits here and there that hint at something greater at play. This series is tuning into one of those comic books that you have to pay close attention to what is said and what seems to be hidden in the drawing, such as Clowly’s chamber of nightmares where odd depictions of what looks like alien people etched along the walls. It Aiwass somehow real and involved or rather more metaphorical in nature and these Trees which have been a part of Earth for the last decade? A lot of the symbols remind me of crop circles which, have been said to be messages from star people or left behind by starships. I hope they begin to figure out what this means. And the symbols at the end of the comic… Ugh, what are they?? Trees is a thinker that sure leaves you puzzling out the mystery. I continue to be enthralled by the poetic meanderings threads me in and out of the story and through the artwork the two seem to complement each other and the art is really important to the symbols and mysterious cropping up in the land of Trees. Hmmmm, what if the Trees somehow work on an energetic level slowly influencing the nature of Earth and those on it? – Jené

Marvel:

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 – A-

(A) I will start by saying that I am a sucker for alternate realities. But alternate realities where Gwen Stacy becomes Spider-Woman? That’s just too hard to pass up. Thanks to superb art by Robbi Rodriguez, the entire issue feels completely different from issue #1, and the colors by Ricco Renzi are quite reminiscent of Deadly Class‘ Lee Loughridge’s work. Gwen’s origin story, the focal point of the issue, is well done and all of the differences in the story are thoroughly intriguing, none more so than Matt Murdock’s role. Marvel’s plan for revealing different Spider-Man each issue could be one of the most genius ideas ever, and I cannot WAIT to see this idea develop. Finally, a mega-arc where every issue is worth investing in! – Sherif

(B) I realized something about myself after having read issue #2 of the Edge of the Spider-Verse this week; I’m a sucker for alternate storylines, endings, realities, universes, etc. I think there’s something incredibly imaginative to warp cornerstone characters and stories into something entirely new. It’s kinda like ordering vanilla ice cream but after taking your first bite you realize it’s actually cookie dough flavored. What’s even more appropriate about this analogy is that not everyone loves cookie dough ice cream. Some folks are bound to really like this intro to a new Spider-Hero while others may write it off. If you’re like me and you love cookie dough ice cream and straying from the beaten path, then you’ll certainly enjoy this second issue of Edge of the Spider-Verse. I can’t wait for all our Spidey’s to jump into action! – Taylor

Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 – B

(A) Let me level with you, folks. This was the first Deadpool comic I’ve ever read. I’ve always known about the Merc with the Mouth and his hilarious death-escapades (deathscapades?…), but this is my first true cover-to-cover experience. Man, have I been missing out. If you’re like me and are unfamiliar or have never read a Deadpool comic that shouldn’t deter you from snatching a copy of Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 off the shelves. I had a blast reading it. The story carries no significance to the greater Marvel universe, but it’s deeply rooted in its themes. Crammed full of fighting puns and hysterical character interactions there’s little to not enjoy about this issue. Our glorious Hush co-founder has always been a big fan and has always encouraged me to read Deadpool comics. I’m glad I started with this one and I certainly look forward to reading more. – Taylor

(C+) Brute Force is back!!! Wait…who? Well, if you know EVERYTHING about Marvel you mat be excited otherwise all you have to know is: cyborg-talking animals! Of course, the only platform fitting to reintroduce these characters to the world is Deadpool. This Bi-Annual (why the hell not)  issue is a very enjoyable read with a silly plot that really pushes Animal Conservation. The art is great, as with most Deadpool, but unfortunately like with about 70% of Deadpool’s stories lately, it is bleak and unnecessary to telling any kind of cohesive story. – Jacob

All-New X-Men #32 – D+

Throughout this two-year plus run of All-New X-Men, there has been almost as much filler as there has been storyline. The book hasn’t really had any momentum or “purpose” since we found out that the original X-Men are stuck in the current time. Each book, although filled with hilarity, has increasing lost my interest, and this new situation – each of the team strewn across places in the Verse(s) – doesn’t look like much more than a reason to flaunt the upcoming Spider-Verse mega-arc. I’m not breaking up with this All-New X-Men yet, but I’ve definitely started seeing other books. – Sherif

Funniest Panel:

deadpool funny 9.17

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spidey cover 9.17


 

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.

Comic Book Reviews 09-10-14

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:

POTW Batgirl FE 9.10

Future’s End: Batgirl #1 – A

I’m going to tell you a secret that makes me look bad: I’ve never read an issue of the New52 Batgirl.  However, I am a fan of Gail Simone’s Twitter.  That counts right?  But after reading this week’s one shot of Future’s End starring Batgirl, I am sold on going back and reading all the Batgirl’s since the relaunch of DC.  This week, we find out that Barbara Gordon’s life will change dramatically in the next 5 years.  She gets married, some terrible events occur which cause her to leave Batgirl behind, and then she seeks out training from infamous Gotham villains, including Bane.  In her absence, three new Batgirls arrive, including Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Kane and Tiffany Fox.  The inclusion of these three is a nice little easter egg for Batman fans.  The women were all strong, even Tiffany Fox, who is supposed to be only 12 years old.  The book is gritty and dark.  Bane is terrifying, as he should be.  Yet, he does have the funniest line in the book, which I believe is genius.  Most importantly, this issue gave readers new insight into Barbara Gordon.  Batgirl is so often seen as cutesy, but it was really brought to light how dark her life has been and will continue to be, no matter what pseudonym she takes on.  I really loved the feel of this issue, which is a testament to both the writing and the art.  If I were to gripe about anything, it would be that this one-shot deserves to be a longer arc; I would be fascinated to read about Barbara’s training in more detail with all the Bat-villains. – Adrian

Other Reviews: 

Boom! Studios:

Wild’s End #1- B

In a nutshell, a British town inhabited by speaking animals is the victim of an alien invasion.  Are you sold yet?  I am. The comic reads like most British novels, and in case you were wondering, there is a map to accompany the story.  It is a little disconcerting that all the characters look like they are straight out of a children’s book, but I also think that it adds to the charm.  The writing is very British, which I am a huge fan of.  If it is hard for you to imagine what is happening as you read, just imagine Simon Pegg reading all the words, but in different pitches.  It may help.  Aside from the alien invasion, the story is about a simple town in England.  There is the new guy, the town drunk, and the scheming politicians.  All of the characters wind up at the same town hall meeting to discuss the fete (festival) to be held, and how everyone will contribute.  It may seem mundane, but that is the brilliance of Wild’s End; the small details of the animals lives is very important to how the rest of the story will play out.  Writer Dan Abnett is no stranger to the world of comic books – he’s been writing them since the mid 1980’s.  I have no doubt that Wild’s End will continue to envelop readers into it’s strange little world, but in a good way. – Adrian

Hexed #2 – C-

The first Hexed was really great.  This issue was lacking in something. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I can put my finger on what exactly it was lacking.  While the heroine, Lucifer, is charming and witty, the rest of the characters lacked any dimension this time around.  The plot of Lucifer dying was different than other stories I have seen because we actually get to see her afterlife, and a lot of other creepies afterlives, too.  However, the plot of Lucifer’s annoying rival being possessed seemed weak this time around.  And the woman who owns all the magical items was not incredibly thought out this issue, either.  I do enjoy the book because of the Buffy-esque-ness of it, but the characters need to be the driving force here, not the forgettable plot. – Adrian

Dark Horse Comics:

Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 – B

Did you see Prometheus? I did. Were you disappointed? I was. Do you need more Alien in your life? I do. Luckily for us, Dark Horse has us covered. Prometheus: Fire and Stone hit shelves this week. With the bad taste still left in my mouth from Ridley Scott’s latest installment in the Alien universe, my bar was set fairly low for this continuation. To my very pleasant surprise, this issue was one of the best comics I read all week. I was expecting the exceedingly formulaic Alien/Prometheus storyline – that being where a bunch of space travelers make a series of TERRIBLE choices in the presence of new and terrifyingly mysterious discoveries. What we get in Prometheus #1 is that predictable formula plus a very well thought out enhancement of the aspects that made us all love the original Alien movie. Instead of freaking out about just one alien (or type of alien), we get to experience a whole Alien ecosystem! Honestly, I don’t know why this concept hasn’t been explored more in the movies yet. I’d have no qualms about purchasing an overpriced movie ticket to experience an Alien jungle. So if you love Alien and you booed at Prometheus, this comic is definitely worth your time. – Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Justice League United Futures End #1 – A-

Equinox is off saving a trucker from some weirdo bad guy and his genetically altered polar bears in Canada, when she receives a telepathic message from Martian Manhunter on Mars. Not much is said, but, “They are free!”. Turns out there’s a prison on Mars for all the worst criminals from Earth. Equinox visits the Justice League and they end up taking a trip to Mars to investigate where they encounter the escaped prisoners. We will find out more next week in part two. I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. We get a bit more mystery into exactly what happened five years ago and something bad must have happened to Green Arrow. I like the members of the new Justice League, and the villains are good, although, one may take you by surprise and, in my opinion, he may have had something to do with whatever happened five years ago. Worth your time, especially if you’ve enjoyed other Future’s End stories. – Cody

Superman: Unchained #8 – B+

With a team like Scott Snyder and Jim Lee at the helm, you’d figure this could be the best Superman story ever told. And you’d be right if it weren’t for the atrocious publishing schedule. With three of the most important issues taking a total of six months to release, the story (which already moved along at a relatively slow pace) has lost a lot of its momentum. That aside, Superman’s showdown with Wraith has come to a head very poetically, and it’s nice to see Superman’s tactician side come out here. The story also tries a bit too hard to go deeper than it needs to, and I can’t help but feel that Scott Snyder’s story is over-compensating for the fact that nobody has really been able to capture Superman in a good light since the New52 relaunch began. While the arc as a whole would make a splendid graphic novel, I’m all but sure the final issue will be more eye rolling than eye opening. – Sherif

Future’s End: Birds of Prey #1 – B-

The League of Assassin’s is taken over by Black Canary and becomes The Red League?!  Say what?!  Black Canary five years from now is pretty cool.  She basically channels her inner Daenerys Targaryen and rescues people, specifically girls, from being abused.  Then she takes it a step further and trains those girls to be assassins in The Red League.  That part of the premise is pretty cool, but then Batgirl, ahem, Bête Noire shows up and the whole thing becomes a fight between beefed up Barbara Gordon and slim and trim Dinah Lance, and unless you read Future’s End: Batgirl, it doesn’t really make sense.  As a word of precaution, if you are interested in either of these titles, read the Batgirl issue first, then Birds of Prey.  The issue is a decent one-shot, but won’t be memorable in the long run, unless it is tied in nicely with the weekly Future’s End books.  Even so, this issue makes Black Canary look bad-ass. – Adrian

 

IDW Comics:

Transformers Primacy #2 – C+

Uh oh, Megatron is back. This issue was really just about getting all the bad guys together for some sort of an attack on Cybertron. It was entertaining because you got to see the Predacons trapped on a once lush planet that they had eaten into extinction, the Combaticons a group of elite Decipticon soldiers, and more evil characters from this universe. This one dragged a bit because of all this team building, but it ended with a bang and should prove to get better with time. – Cody

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #15 – C

As big of a TMNT fan as I am I have not been reading this series regularly because even more so than the cartoon it is based off of, this is very much for kids. If you tried to compare this to the main TMNT series, it would be pretty tough since they are such different entities within the same property. This issue is three different short stories of the turtles, two of which they did not even battle a enemy. Although I am sure this issue is a blast for children and fans of the cartoon, for an adult this series may not be the best Turtle comic to pick up. The art is not the best it could be and the stories are very short and don’t offer much as far as good material but again this is for kids. IF you are a huge TMNT fan you will of course enjoy it but anyone else, just stick with reading the main books for now. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

The Walking Dead #131 – B

I’m still trying to suppress the goosebumps that engulfed my body from last month’s issue. If you’re behind on TWD, hurry and catch up. I haven’t been this hooked since the series started. A very interesting and impactful plot twist came into play last month and it’s started – the anxiety and “holy crap something super crazy is going to happen really soon” cycle TWD fans are far too familiar with. This familiarity is well-welcomed, for the most part. The story could make an unfortunate turn toward “the stupid” quite easily, but that’s yet to be seen. Existing characters are still developing (an impressive feat for 131 issues of content) and new characters are also appearing. With the new found stability of the Alexandria and Hilltop communities I’m almost comfortable getting invested in some of these new faces. I should know better… Kirkman’s still got the creative juice and it shows this issue. Oh. And one more thing. WHERE THE HELL IS MICHONNE?!?!?! – Taylor

’68 Homefront #1- B+

’68 Homefront takes place in the US during the Vietnam War. We’re introduced to a group of teenage cheerleaders and their way to a pep rally. They almost hit a person walking down the side of the road, but, we find out that it was not a person, but, a zombie! In the meantime, at the local funeral parlor, the dead start coming back to life while the people still inside try to barricade the undead downstairs. We’re also shown a tragic bus crash that contained the entire team for the rival school and we hear one of the cops say that not every person is accounted for…that can only lead to trouble. This was a good read. It was like almost any first issue in a zombie series in that we get to see the very start of the plague. I enjoyed all the zombie-related things happening, but, I had some issues when it came to the non-zombie stuff. It was just a bunch of teenagers being bratty teenagers, what else would you expect? Either way, this definitely has some potential and I’m excited for the next issue. – Cody

Copperhead #1 – B

(A) Sheriff Bronson and her son, Zeke, seem to be leaving something bad behind them. They’ve come to a desolate planet where she is now the new sheriff of the mining town, Copperhead. They are greeted by her new deputy, a big furry alien named Budroxifinicus or Boo. As soon as they get to the sheriff’s office someone burst in to complain about a domestic disturbance. Bronson and Boo go off to investigate, when they return, she gets to meet the owner of the mine who has a rather nefarious vibe to him. Bronson and her son finally end up at their new home and she is immediately called away to a murder scene. Zeke hears a girl outside calling for her pet and decided to help, but, night is close and it’s dangerous to be out in the Badlands after dark. This book definitely has a space western/cop story going for it. It reminded me of Jesse James’ story. I enjoyed this despite it being mainly exposition. The murder should prove to be the driving force behind the story and it definitely has me interested. – Cody

(C) Imagine any Western movie ever. Got one in your head? Okay – now imagine that it happens on a different planet with aliens. Sounds pretty cool, right? With Copperhead’s premise being precisely what mind’s eye just described, it’s not all that great. Mainly because you already know what happens. Copperhead is an example of a genre driven story instead of the other way around; the way it should be for almost any adventure. Now I love space and aliens probably more than the average guy, so one might think that I’d have favorable bias to any story taking place among the stars. Au contraire young Padawan. If anything I’ve come to hold sci-fi themed stories to a higher standard. There’s too many original and mind-blowing examples of the genre done right nowadays (did you read this week’s issue of Prometheus? How about Science?) that if you’re coming to the table with laser guns and flying cars, you better have a plot that rocks too. Moon-rocks that is. I’m left wanting with Copperhead #1.

 

Marvel:

Deadpool #34- A-

I absolutely loved this issue of Deadpool; I guess it has a lot to do with the 90’s flashback art. It was a time where Sabretooth’s hair was amazingly crazy, shadows were drawn mostly with lines and Deadpool’s head was shaped like an egg the whole time. This issues ties into Original Sin more so than any other issue that has said it does. We find out what Adsit saw exactly on those days of Original Sin and it ends up being the worst and rather messed up thing Deadpool has ever done. In this we get a great flashback style and the story itself was one of the better main Deadpool series issues I have read in a while. For anyone not familiar with the 90’s art, this issue may be weird but ultimately I recommend this to most Marvel fans. – Jacob

Edge of Spider-Verse #1- B+

(A) Noir, to me, is only ever a heavy hit-or-miss theme. So in case you didn’t catch my “A” grade at the top understand that Edge of the Spider-Verse #1, who follows 1939 noir-style Spider-Man, is a hit. First and foremost I have to give props to Richard Isanove for killing it on the artistic aspect. Noir Spidey has got to be THE COOLEST looking Spider-Man in the Spider-Verse. The atmosphere and character expressions are so mesmerizing and detailed. It complements this premiere issue’s plot very well. Midway into the book I forgot I was reading a Spider-Verse story due to my concern and involvement with the present situation. By issue’s end the doors of opportunity are numerous and promising. I had average expectations for this series before reading #1. Now my expectation bar is now protruding from the ceiling. – Taylor

(B) This is definitely going to end up begin a great series for any Spider-Man fan, as even I whom isn’t the biggest Spidey fan squealed with delight at some of Spider-Man’s that show up in this issue. Of course, it is focused on Spider-Man Noir and a battle between he and Mysterio, but ultimately that battle will likely not matter at all in the scheme of things. If you have not been keeping up with Spider-Man this issue could be a bit weird just because they really don’t explain the story of who the guy hunting Spider-Man is, as well as many people may not know there are this many versions of Spider-Man, but I am sure in time they will explain the big bad and the story more through time and this is a great way to find the Spider-Man who is right for you. – Jacob

Magneto #9 – B

Finally, Magneto has a worthy opponent! After kicking asses and taking names for seven issues, Magneto gets his first boss battle. There’s a lot of pent up rage with Magneto, and we get a little more backstory as to why that is. Like a lot of the preceding issues, the story moves at a crawling speed, but is helping along by the great internal monologue thanks to Cullen Bunn’s great writing. The bad guy going forward is not one I’ve ever really seen Magneto go up against, but in the scope of Marvel, makes perfect sense. It will be entertaining to see where this battle goes, but it is at least nice to know that our favorite anti-hero does have limits. – Sherif

Death of Wolverine #2 – B-

It is really hard for me to give this a bad grade because the issue itself is so damn beautiful; on the other hand, the content inside is what earns it a lower grade. As soon as I started this, issues I had no idea Wolverine was Wolverine until they mentioned his name as he looks drastically changed from last issue on top of that there are certain plot points that really need to be explained more as we last left Sabretooth in a nice button up suit looking proper and almost taking down New York. But I guess he lost all of that and is like his savage version and a slave of Viper.  To me this story feels like it doesn’t really know where it is going, or at least it does but is taking shortcuts to get there and gets lost a bunch along the way. Hopefully by the end we will get the battle Wolverine deserves to die from, but if the battles up to now are anything like the final one, it will be short, dull, and not at all what we want and what this hero deserves. – Jacob

Hawkeye #20 – C+

It’s been so many issues since we’ve witnessed Kate go through her crisis of a life that I forgot that aspect of the story existed anymore. To be honest, that part of the story isn’t nearly as interesting, but I’m hoping that it will eventually meet up with what Barton is going through on his end. The two are a tremendous team, but apart, Kate Bishop fails to live up to the excitement that her counterpart Hawkguy has, with exception to the odd plot twist at the end. There are still tons of fun sequences and one-liners here, but Kate’s story isn’t engaging enough to enjoy. – Sherif

Funniest Panel:

hawkeye 20 funny 9.10

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

supes unchained awesome 9.10


 

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.

 

Comic Book Reviews 09-03-14

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:

God Hates Astronauts #1
God Hates Astronauts #1

God Hates Astronauts #1 – A-

(A) Are you in need of a good laugh or two?  Or three?  Or four?  Or… you get the point.  If your answer was yes, heck, it doesn’t really matter what your answer was.  You should read this comic.  Browne, Boyd and Crank are to comics what Seth Rogan and James Franco are to movies.  God Hates Astronauts reads just like its intended – like a bunch of friends with hilarious and stupid ideas coming together and putting said ideas onto panels.  And it’s beautifully hilarious.  What surprised me was this story has more than just humor going for it; it has range!  Am I unnaturally pumped about the impending war between King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger (yes, that is his name) and the United States Government NASA Overlord Hippothesis?!  Are you not?!  It’s got all the elements required for an “actual” exciting story.  But let’s not fool ourselves.  This series is here to make us cry tears of laughter.  I really got a kick out of all the action-narrative, of which was in abundant supply.  Some of my favorites include “CHAIR-SPLODE,” “HORSE PUNCH,” and a frightened goat making a “HUMAN SCREAM!”  I doubt you have better things to do right now, so hurry up and snag a copy. – Taylor

(A-) Wow, that was sure some book. From some backwater farmer astronauts who seem to be a part of a crazy religious movement of some sort to NASA law an star bears, this story really had a little bit of everything. It starts out very strange, but, once you get past the first few pages and when the 3-D Cowboy shows up, things really start getting going. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself laughing out loud during my lunch break. I got more than a few strange looks when my co-workers came over to see what the fuss was. They were shocked to see some of the art which was just wonderful, how does Browne think of these things? You should definitely pick this book up, it will have you laughing and cringing all at the same time. – Cody

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #72- B

It is always hard for me to give a bad grade to anything Futurama, especially when it is new material. But even so, this series is always filled with storylines begging to be animated for the small screen. This issue deals with Zapp Brannigan being fired and replaced with Leela all the while both the Nimbus and Planet Express crews want their old captains back.  But will Leela do too well at her new job, or will she slowly decline into what we now all know as Zapp Brannigan? The idea of Zapp joining Planet Express has been done before so when that came up it was a bit odd, but other wise this was definitely a great story that I can definitely see working as a full fledged episode in a new season (if someone could kindly get on making that happen, that would be great). – Jacob

Boom Studios:

Cloak #1 – C

Everybody loves magic.  Not Criss Angel magic.  That stuff is terrifying.  I’m talking good ol’ fashion rabbit out of the hat magic.  Cloak is rooted in this wondrous concept.  And while I like to see a lady get sawed in half as much as the next guy, I can’t help but think that comic book panels aren’t the best forum for magic tricks.  I think this premiere issue is testament to that train of thought.  The saving grace is the forming plot and charisma of the protagonist, Adam.  I was entertained throughout the issue and curious as to what the greater plot will be.  Issue #2 could really make or break this series.  I’ll stick around so long as the card tricks are kept to a minimum and the crazy reveals keep coming. – Taylor

Dark Horse Comics:

Usagi Yojimo Senso #2- B+

Usagi Yojimbo is one comic book character that I feel is as iconic as Superman. Stan Sakai has written and drawn Usagi forever, and he continues to come up with great stories.  We last left everyone on the battlefield as a giant rocket, or egg as they call it, landed right in the middle destroying both armies. We find out in this issue that it is actually octopus looking aliens building giant robots similar to those from War of the Worlds. Will Usagi be able to figure out how to take them down with Tono and his army? I imagine so, but we will see in upcoming issues. I would say if you have never read Usagi Yojimbo, this could be a great place to start, obviously you should pick up #1 as well but as always, Stan Sakai does not disappoint with writing or art. Here is hoping we can see Usagi in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. – Jacob

Concrete Park: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. #1 – C

The talented Tony Puryear is back on the scene this month with the continuation of his sci-fi action adventure Concrete Park.  I never read the original ark and it always makes me nervous picking up a story “in-the-middle.”  On the flip side, I have a hard time turning down any title rooted in sci-fi.  It’s a good thing too, because I enjoyed the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. premier title.  There’s nothing truly unique or exceptional about this story (so far) and it comes off slightly amateurish.  Normally I’d say this is a bad thing, but knowing that Puryear worked story, art and ink makes all those elements endearing.  Anybody willing to make a unique, otherworld city map for five part series is bound to bring something good to the table.  The passion and effort shines through each panel and I think anyone who appreciates the comic book medium would agree that Concrete Park: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. deserves, well, RESPECT! – Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Future’s End: Aquaman #1 – B
Well, whatever happens over the next five years, Atlantis hasn’t been immune. In fact, it sure seems like it has suffered more than many on land. This is my first try at a Future’s End story and I really enjoyed it. Geoff Johns first turned me into an Aquaman fan and Dan Jurgens has done a good job keeping him an interesting character. Aquaman is trying to help Atlantis and the Xebelian refugees while trying to maintain a relationship with the surface world. Understandably, he is met with some resistance…on multiple fronts. I’ll definitely be checking out more Future’s End after reading this. – Cody
Future’s End: Detective Comics #1 – B

Is it just me or is Calendar Man a lot buffer in the future?  Of all the one-shots released this week, I feel that Detective Comics was the only truly self contained story.  There wasn’t much we needed to know.  Batman teams up with Riddler to take down Calendar Man, but Batman is obviously the smartest guy in the room, and they both go down.  It wasn’t a particularly memorable story, but it was good.  I felt that it could have been an episode of a Saturday morning cartoon.  For this issue to have that essence made it a winner in my book. – Adrian

Future’s End: Swamp Thing #1- B

As small of a spectrum as you have for story in a one shot, this one packs it full, tells a story, and does not look back to explain a thing to those out of the loop. Even so, this story was rather sad and made a lot more interesting in reading further Swamp Kings and to catch up on Future’s End which I really feel back on reading. The art here is fantastic and anyone who can draw Swamp Thing and not have it look cheesy is awesome to me. The writing is definitely good here and I am sure if I knew more about Swamp Thing, this story would make a little more sense but ultimately it was a fun, although depressing, read, and is a good companion to the Future’s End Storyline. – Jacob

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year Two #22 – B
This book has been running two years strong as a digital before it was a comic book, and it has far outgrown the video game that it has been adapted from. Because each mini-issue is so short, we usually avoid reviewing it, but the events in this book prompted me to tell everybody about it. Every issue is extremely short, making it easy to keep up with, but sometimes failing to make a good impression unless being read multiple books at a time. This week, Superman falls deeper into darkness, and it is so fun to watch. I can’t wait to see where this epic tale lands us. – Sherif
Batman Eternal #22 – C
After almost completely driving me off the bandwagon, Eternal is finally turning things around, with a story that I can follow, and a scope of characters that are easy to keep track of. The emergence of one of our favorite villains (wink wink) is enough to pique my interest, but far from engaging in the way that he is presented. It would be pretty neat if the big bad in Eternal ended up being a Hush favorite, but the way this book has been serialized is not entertaining to read – and that’s ignoring the sloppy art and story-telling. – Sherif

The Names #1 – C

I think a good description of The Names is “intense soap opera.”  A story with multiple plots and diverse characters all woven together in some way unknown to any of them and then some people die.  Maybe that’s just a normal soap opera?…  I’m also struggling with fact that the conflict revolves around Wall Street dealings and big time money makers.  I do not understand nor relate to Wall Street “stuff.”  Don’t let that deter you, though.  There are some well worked aspects of this series.  I typically don’t like exaggerated or caricature-esque artwork, but I actually found myself really drawn (HA!) to Leandro Fernandez’s artwork.  The main protagonist, Katya, and her role are one of these redeeming factors.  And I’m quite anxious to see how the brain-child Philip stacks up in the scheme of things.  Bottom line for me – stay away from the money and stay focused on the characters.  Then I might be inclined to spend my money. – Taylor

Justice League #33 – C-
Geoff Johns, I expected better. Doug Mahnke’s art, I expected better. The whole issue feels like an after-thought, something I hate in my books. This is supposed to be one of DC’s premiere books, and I left feeling like I just got through amateur hour. Batman’s awkward speech to save the day with kindness, and The Doom Patrol’s sloppy appearance don’t do much for me. I like the way they are inching Lex Luthor in there as he joins the Justice League, but there was very little to be excited about in Justice League #33 overall. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment:

Alice Cooper #1-B

I ask you, who wouldn’t enjoy a comic where Alice Cooper is an anti-hero fighting demons? The answer, probably a lot of people, but I enjoyed it all the same. This issue does not do much other than introduce us to characters and set up the main part of the story. Ultimately, I found myself a bit confused by the end, but that usually happens when there are time jumps in a story. The art is great and has a very classic Alice Cooper feel to it, which adds to the originality of the series. This comic is not really for anyone buts fans of Alice Cooper as I really see no appeal to it if you are not, but it is definitely a fun tribute to one of the ultimate showmen of rock and roll. – Jacob

The Twilight Zone #8- B

I’ve always been a big Twilight Zone fan. I love the twists, the ones that churn your stomach or just make you laugh. This issue ofThe Twilight Zone didn’t really do much of either, but I appreciate the themes of choice, responsibility for that choice, and second chances. The character Diana is interesting in that she feels she has no choice, yet she is the one with the most important choices to make. Her experience with racism makes her particularly interesting and a good commentary on what impact it can have. Diana has the chance over and over again to save everyone, yet she has been told so many times she has no choice, so she feels helpless to make a difference. This issue might not have the typical creepiness found in The Twilight Zone but it has a good message that makes you think, which is the key component to making any good story in this series. – Charlotte

Image Comics:

Nailbiter #5 – A –

(A) Nailbiter is my favorite series out right now.  The story is downright creepy — 16 serial killers all from one town in Oregon, and there is only one man, Elliot Carroll knows why, but he has been missing.  Last month, his best friend Finch and the town Sheriff, Crane, found Carroll in a prison cell below the serial killers graveyard.  This month, the mysteries of the town thicken.  The Nailbiter himself may not be the meanest serial killer, there is a new player in town, and the there is a teen who is a little too interested in the killers.  The book never ceases to lose my interest. I have a feeling that it will only be a matter of time before Nailbiter is adapted to the screen. – Adrian

(B+) Dude! Talk about switching it back to awesome. The beginning starts out in black and white as Carrol is integrating Warren. It’s almost vomit inducing the way he describes the genesis of his nail biting fixation. You can almost taste the blood as he describes it. The issue also continues to leave a trail of breadcrumbs as to why serial killers crop up in this town. What I also found fascinating is how Alice’s character is developing. She seems to hover on the edge of morbid fascination and as Carrol’s journal hints at a future serial killer. The introduction of the new serial killer is also fascinating.  All done up in some sort of demon samurai get up. It also further establishes that Warren is less a sociopathic killer and maybe more an understandable serial killer. (Dexter like?). We also get to find out a big secret about Finch. Dunt dunt duh. Which as a cliff hanger goes, was a good way to end the book. – Jené

Marvel:

Rocket Raccoon #3 B+

(A-)  I definitely feel this entry into this series has been the best so far. Rocket is battling evil ex-girlfriends, trying to find another “Raccoon” that is framing him and ultimately battling just about everyone he meets. The art by Skottie Young is fantastic and always gives me warm feelings of playing Earthworm Jim on Sega Genesis. Both styles are crazy cartoony and yet beautiful. Although during this issue some panels would have so much going on that it made me go cross eyed, which sometimes was a little bit distracting from the story. I am loving their companion, Macho Gomez, whose technology is all based on sea life and hope to see more from him in future issues. – Jacob

(B+)  This month’s Rocket opens up where the last issue left off with a battle and Rocket wearing a fish helmet in space. Rocket’s ride, Macho, is some sort of fish creature and everything about him is aquatic, including his dynamite hugging squid missiles. Everywhere Rocket seems to go, there is a lot of stuff to be looking at; I’m really enjoying Skottie Young’s art. The series so far has been enjoyable and funny if not a little slow with Rocket searching for someone who looks like him that’s been killing people all over the galaxy. However, about halfway through, we finally get going a bit more on that storyline and things start getting more interesting. – Cody
The Dark Tower; The Drawing of Three #1 – B+

There are so many elements playing together in this adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of Three. Time travel plays hopscotch with gang violence which jumps rope with cannibalism which plays make believe with horror, death, and grief, all plopped in the gritty setting of 1960’s Brooklyn. The narrator and main character (at least as far as I can tell) is Eddie, who appears to be an adult man in the opening spread, but is primarily depicted as two year old boy throughout the rest of the comic. The narrator reflects back on his younger self and how his twisted tale began, though there are moments in the comic that exist outside of the narration, giving the audience an inside look at what gears are turning and what might happen next.  I’ve never read The Dark Tower series, but after this comic book I am definitely going to add it to my list. (My long, long list.) It’s always exciting to see A-List authors collaborating with comic book artists, and this one has some real potential to be a genuinely brilliant adaptation. – Charlotte

Uncanny X-Men #25 – B

There’s no way you could leave off the last issue of Uncanny without immediately ripping this one open. The temptation to read Charles Xavier’s last will and testament was almost too much. The issue is expertly written, combining plenty of humor along with some very shocking details left out in Professor X’s personal life. Luckily, this will not be a one and done deal; Charles has sent the X-Men on quite the adventure before they’re through. Will bitter enemies finally reconcile their differences or will this blow up in their faces even more than Schism ended up doing? For better or worse, the gang is back together, and that is worth getting back into Uncanny X-Men for alone. – Sherif
Legendary Star-Lord #3 – B-
Quill’s been arrested….again, and this time finds himself locked in a Badoon prison after letting his guard down with another beautiful woman. He now finds himself needing to escape with a Spartax secret service member, a Badoon kid with an aversion to speech, and an appearance by a certain X-Man who Pete’s had his eye on. This has been a very enjoyable series so far, but this issue just didn’t have the same pizazz as the others have. Although, I did enjoy all the song references and it was cool to see one of my favorite X-Men show up and Quill does pick up a pretty amazing ship. All in all, definitely worth a read, and remember, ‘WWRRD?’ – Cody
Deadpool Vs. X-Force #4- B-

This series comes to an end, and although I have enjoyed the entirety of the series, this issue I feel is the weakest of them all. The conclusion seemed rushed and did not make that much sense to me, but the last panel of the book is enough to have any Cable and Deadpool fan laughing. The art of course is wonderful as it has been the whole series, but the writing in this issue definitely could have been better. – Jacob

Death of Wolverine #1- C+

Wolverine is finally on the road to dying after what feels like an endless ad campaign for this series.  The story leading up to this had many problems but was ultimately enjoyable up until the end where the fight was quite possibly the worst fight I have ever seen between Wolverine and Sabretooth. With this issue we see a broken down Wolverine just trying to survive now that the word is out he has no healing factor. Although the set up is good I want to see Lady Deathstrike, Silver Samurai, Omega Red and other classic Wolverine villains have a major part in his death or at least in the story. I imagine they will, but the way the set up to this story has been, it may be a lackluster ending for our favorite tiny Canadian (Sorry Puck!). The main issue and cover for this though is way worth the $4.99 price as it is the most beautiful single issue of a comic I own with the “weapon etched” cover. – Jacob

Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool #1 – C

(C+)  This is such a great idea and a much better premise than Deadpool Vs Carnage. The cover of this issue alone displays what we can expect as Hawkeye and Deadpool are shooting each other with arrows but Deadpools are Nerf arrows.  This issue is just a set up to the main series and already, like many Deadpool books, I don’t see where the versus aspect in the title is going to come in because they worked together most of this issue. Obviously we meet the villain and establish their plot, but not much is explained on what is going to happen and how they will end up fighting each other. I feel this will definitely be one of the more entertaining Deadpool stories.  And you have to pick this book up just to see Deadpool trick-or-treating as a Ghostbuster. – Jacob

(C-)  Well, that was unique. Hawkeye and Deadpool play off each other really well. The first few pages were a little strange, but, seeing Deadpool dressed as a Ghostbuster is pretty amazing. Even though the story was a bit confusing at first, it all came together in a couple pages. The bad guys were strange and we’ll just have to wait and see what exactly is going on there. I’m not really sure whether I like this or not. I think it has potential and all in all, I’m intrigued. – Cody
Original Sin #8- C-

With all the time people put into reading a series it is always upsetting when it ends and you have idea what you just spent the last eight months reading. This is exactly how I felt with Original Sin and even the subplots in other issues and the Original Sins series. The ending makes sense, but the journey up to that point, which seems so simple, seems completely unneeded and almost like issues 2-7 were just filler material since we had hints of this exact ending from the start. I enjoy the art of this series but really wish there was more light as I get tired of every hero hiding in the shadows as if they are all Batman.- Jacob

Funniest Panel:

God Hates Astronauts #1
God Hates Astronauts #1

 

 Panel with the Most Awesomeness:


Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two #22
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two #22


 

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.

 

Comic Book Reviews 08-27-14

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:

 

Saga #22

Saga #22 – A

I didn’t think that the best fantasy series out could get any better, but somehow Brian K. Vaughan blew the doors even further open than they already were. The universe just got a little bigger, as we’re finally introduced to King TV, and it’s about as amazing as you’d expect. The honeymoon phase of Marko and Alana’s relationship is over, while other pieces begin to connect in the story, giving us a morsel of the big picture – and it is going to magical. This is one of the best books out, hands down, so if you are on the fence about catching up with it, let me confidently drop-kick you over to the side where you start reading. – Sherif

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Dream Thief Escape #3 – A-

I am a fan of Dream Thief Escape.  I am kind of sad that this is only a 4 issue story arc, but I think sometimes that helps move the story along, a complaint about other comics that have no foreseeable ending that I hear a lot.  This month, our Dream Thief, John, is about to break his pops out of the big house when he is possessed by a drug dealer named Whiteboy Tim who needs to avenge his own death.  I like that the book still has an end point, yet can introduce new characters that have some depth without letting them hang on too long.  And the dark tone of murdered people possessing John’s body is nicely broken up with some humor, and I’m a sucker for dark humor, so it really gets me.  I still think the art work in this book is incredible.  It captures colors perfectly, portraying the pinks and oranges of Florida and Georgia so well.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something, but doesn’t have time to get attached to a series. – Adrian

POP #1 – B

For all intensive purposes POP #1 deserves a C grade.  So why did I give it a B?  Two words.  Dustin Beaver.  You’ll understand when you read the issue.  The concept here is pretty neat and unique, but not quite awe inspiring.  I think the mini series structure will serve the plot well.  I appreciate the sci-fi angle as well – I’m a sucker for all that.  If the humor and high tech are kept in good supply then this series will be a winner. – Taylor

Sundowners #1 – B

You know the confused/weirded-out emoticon?  You know, this one…  (o_O) … Yeah. I don’t think I can explain the Sundowners premier issue better than that.  Despite that, I actually kinda liked it.  The bizarreness of it is alluring.  It’s draws a strong parallel to Kick-Ass, but with magical tattoos (or something).  The character mix and backgrounds are the real drivers with this story.  I fear that once dust settles and the alluring craziness goes away there won’t be enough of an active plot to move the story along.  But I’m no Debby Downer, so I’ll wait to see what Tim Seely has in store before letting any negative premonitions take hold.  -Taylor

Tomb Raider #7 – B

This is the start of a new chapter in the Tomb Raider universe and while nothing major has happened, this book coupled with the announcement of the next game could lead to some pretty cool things. This would be a perfect opportunity to lead into the next game and that could give a little something extra for those who have read the books and played the games. This was more of a filler issue with a small lead up into the next arc, but it has me excited for what comes next. – Robert

Star Wars Legacy #18 – C

Another Dark Horse Star Wars series wraps up this week.  My brain is screaming, “FINALLY!”  I hate to think that I’m becoming a fan boy snob, but with the growing list of negative reviews I spit out week to week it’s getting harder to defend myself.  I can summarize the conclusion of Legacy with one word: Lazy.  In every facet of (not just this issue, but) this series I struggled to find the passion in the panels.  I hadn’t really been enjoying Brian Albert Thies artwork, and the plot was plagued with so many mini side stories that I could hardly keep track of the main plot.  I don’t know if Dark Horse had different plans for Legacy prior to their “loss,” but it sure seemed like the effort was half-assed the whole time.  There were some mildly redeeming aspects.  The wondering planet and the overall concept for Darth Wredd were quintessential Star Wars.  Not delving into those brighter bits more shouts missed opportunity.  So long for now, Ania.  Should you return, I hope you leave all us die hards with a more lasting impression. -Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Sinestro #5 – A

When handled properly, plots themed in “control” are the best.  I love the simple idea of a hero (err… In this case, attempted hero) taking on a seeming insurmountable force and not only overcoming it, but controlling it.  Sinestro #5 nails this theme solidly.  What was especially compelling was that this brilliant twist in the story came out of nowhere.  I audibly exclaimed, “Ohh sh*t!” when “it” happened.  I was digging this story before and to see this added layer has really got me excited to continue reading.  And you should too!  Sinestro is the perfect character for that hate to love relationship.  So what if he is the reason his home planet got blowed-up?!?  He said he was sorry!  I’m gonna stick around and see how far that apology will take him.  With his new level of control, I’m sure he’s destined to go far. – Taylor

Superman #34 – B+

Finally, Geoff Johns’ story picks up the pace. Since taking over Superman in issue #32, there’s been a lot of introductions, and even more dialogue. Ulysses has been a unique addition, and although he has been very forthcoming and a seeming ally, there is simply too much mystery surrounding him to let the readers trust him. It’s genius writing, the kind that takes a few issues to really build into something worthy. With a new bad guy, plenty of room to grow, and John Romita Jr.’s art, this is a Superman comic I genuinely enjoy. – Sherif

Batman Eternal  #21 – C+

Is this the same book I’ve been semi-reading for over five months now? This issue just turned a stagnant pile of poo into a full-blown s***storm! Batman Eternal has gone from promising addition to lame filler in no time, with hoards of obscure rogues making appearances, but never really adding any value to the story. This issue at least breaks up the monotony that has blanketed the series with some of the pretty outrageous reveals. There’s no way I can justify spending $3-4 weekly on this – even if I am a Batman fan. – Sherif

Dynamite:

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #2- C+

This issue does not offer much as far as story goes. It seems to be following the film to a tee, up until the last panel. The whole “Ash Gets Hitched” thing also has not played into the story much so far. The art of the series is great though and you can really see the original actors come out in the art, which helps with the dull story a lot. Ultimately, I would say as a fan of Army of Darkness this is rather dull and forgettable. It is a lot darker in the vain of Evil Dead 2 more so than Army of Darkness, but it still is one series with Ash that makes me understand a little about why Bruce Campbell refused sign these comics from Dynamite at Denver Comic Con. Although there is a lot of negativity there, it still is more entertaining than a lot of other series I have read, so give it a chance if you must but ultimately there is much better Ash to enjoy. – Jacob

IDW Comics:

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #3 – A-

Finally! We get to see all our favorite cartoon heroes in action together. While the first two issues covered them getting captured and about the villains evil plans, this one jumps right in and see our heroes facing off against robot versions of themselves. This story, although aimed towards kids, is brilliant and combines these characters in a way where all their strengths and all their weaknesses are used perfectly and bounce off one another. I am still waiting for Ed, Edd and Eddy to save the everyone, though.  That is just my call on it. But this is a great issue with wonderful writing and the art is exactly how this would look on screen. Too bad I have to wait until next month for the great nostalgia flashback that this series. – Jacob

TMNT Turtles in Time #3 – B+

This Turtles in Time series is nothing too special, but it does give you a nice back story and sometime insanely sad back story of the Turtles.This week we see them as pirates chasing down treasure and Mikey becomes a … captain?!?!?! This issue is definitely fun and gives us a look into the past of our favorite four heroes. The art of this issue is outstanding to me, and it really stands out among this miniseries so far. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Black Science #8 – B

I think I’m going to get Rick Remender’s name tattooed on my chest.  And I’m going to have Matteao Scalera apply the ink.  While paced a bit slower than some of the previous issues, this issue is still a knock out.  The primary plot has started to flatten out, but what’s lacking in creative conflict is made up in glorious, just GLORIOUS, panelscapes.  I can’t get enough of the crazy multidimensional forest creatures and their habitats.  I’m seriously considering decorating my future home with framed panels from this series.  Back again to my flat plot point, I wonder what the next evolution of the story will look like.  I have no doubt that IT WILL evolve, but I can’t really see the path.  That’s another great thing about Black Science – it keeps your mind on its toes. Ha… Brain toes.  Do your thang Remender.  Do your thang. – Taylor

Outcast #3 – B

This month’s Outcast was a bit confusing, I’ll admit.  I even went back and read some of the first 2 issues, and I was still confused.  I am not worried though, because even though I think Robert Kirkman can be a little much with his famous series, I have faith that Outcast will come together.  I have a feeling that this is a series that I will have to read exactly how I read The Walking Dead: in volumes.  I find that sometimes the story that Kirkman tells can be confusing, and at times slowly paced, but that his story arcs always end with a bang.  The reason to read this issue of Outcast is for the Reverend’s monologue about God, drinking on Sundays, and masturbation.  Not only is it a little funny, but truly thought provoking and a great reflection of the writer’s feelings about religion.  I expect Outcast will pick up strongly from here on out. – Adrian

Sex #15 – C

I still don’t see where they are going with this book even after reading all 15 issues. I would have thought that the armored saint would have made his way back into the story by now, but they seem to only be about drama and incestuous gay sex these last few issues. I don’t know what is going on with the writer but it is time to stop with the slow burn and get to something more interesting.  – Robert

Wayward #1 – C

Wayward is a story about a young girl with mystic powers. She doesn’t quite understand living in Japan, then fights knock off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with her transforming cat-ninja lady companion.  Sounds like something straight out of anime and even looks like it at moments; both aspects of which I LOVE.  Why the low score then?  Well, if you’re as versed in anime as I am, then you know that this idea is far from novel or creative.  No knocks to Jim Zub or the team behind this Image title (I did quite enjoy the issue), but if you want a grade above average you gotta give me something above average.  Because this isn’t actually a true-blue anime I have faith that Wayward will breakaway from that formula and give us something unique and awesome. – Taylor

Marvel:

Cyclops #4 – B+

Things are finally starting to come together with this book and it’s not too bad after all. I am looking forward to the next few issues as they have signaled for bounty hunters to come get them. I am interested to see the father/son duo work together to get off this planet alive. There wasn’t a lot of story development; however, the bond that is starting to form between Scott and his father was worth the issue. – Robert

All-New X-Men #31 – B-

Another solid installment of the ­All-New X-Men series, issue #34 looks to be kicking things into high gear. At first glance, this is an unimpressive book by all means. The art is mediocre at best, and the relationship between Angel and X-23 has gone from mildly amusing to plain old mushy. Once you dig a little deeper, though, you have one of the best teams in history – but fun-sized! Jean Grey is finally getting the chance to become the phenom sans Phoenix (knock on wood) she always deserved to be, and Bobby is funny in a way I never imagined he would be, all thanks to Brian Michael Bendis’ writing. This issue opens the door for a HUGE crossover event, and the new mutant revealed here looks to play a big part in it. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 – C+
We finally get to see what happened to Star-Lord, Nova, Thanos, and even Drax when they trapped themselves inside the Cancerverse, and we’re on our way to figuring out how they all got out. There are some really great moments in this issue and the fight scenes are definitely something you’ll want to stop and take a closer look at…also, a near naked Thanos that you may or may not want to take a closer look at. I wish we could have had the whole story in one issue, but, I’m excited to see how they all get out of this horrible place.  – Cody

Wolverine #12 – C-

I am beyond disappointed with the way things turned out for this series. Not only was this final battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth cliché and uninspired, it was also over very quickly and not drawn very well at all. I figured with the actual announcement of Wolverine’s death, it would be something more metaphorical, but then they add something to the end of the issue that makes it seem like in the next year or less this whole thing will be negated either way. I don’t appreciate that approach after investing time into a series the way I have with this one. This issue has an effect on not only this book but  a handful of others as well. I am more curious to see how it changes things in those books than the future of Wolverine now. – Robert

Funniest Panel:

 

All New X-Men #31

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Superman #34

 

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.

 

Comic Book Reviews 08-20-14

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:

Magneto #8

Magneto #8 – A+

This series has been surprisingly great. Magneto himself, although his powers are a fraction of what they once were, is as cold and callous as ever. This isn’t your older brother’s Magneto, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the story has just kind of crept along, offering enough to justify the insane amount of violence. That changes this issue. Magneto #8 encapsulates everything the Civil Rights era of X-Men was so successful at, and what the X-series of today are failing so hard at. It’s at this moment that Magneto becomes more than a raging badass, and stands for something much more important and complex. – Sherif

 

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Dark Horse Presents #1 – B

If you’re as die-hard Star Wars as I am, then chances are you’ve probably overlooked many of the other Dark Horse titles printed in the past 20 years.  And as of late SW series have been as stimulating as a napping Hutt – sorry Jabba.  So I picked up Dark Horse Presents #1 as an opportunity for this David, amongst Goliaths, to show me what it was made of.  In large – it did not disappoint!  Compilation issues run the risk of becoming boring and distracting quickly thus losing the attention of the reader.  Pleasingly, I found myself very seldom watching the squirrels engage in squirrel combat outside my window while reading this issue.  I was especially wrapped up the Kabuki, Wrestling with Demons, and Sabertooth Swordsman titles.  Seeing this potential is critical in the midst of Dark Horse losing their bread winning title at the end of the year.  So, while it’s a lot of fun to reminisce and revisit prior greatness, I can’t help but wonder if all Dark Horse has to offer going forward are glory day moments.  I won’t count them out just yet.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the good ol’ days. – Taylor

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #4 – C

Darth Maul should have stayed dead (wow… can’t believe I just wrote that).  Let me be clear – Darth Maul will forever remain one of the most bad-ass Sith in all of Star Wars history.  No crappy comic ark will ever change that.  But in this final issue of Son of Dathomir it’s blaringly obvious that Maul is just not as cool as he used to be!  I supposed gettin’ chopped in half can do that to a guy.  His original claim to fame were his merciless methods and crazy-scary hunter/killer instinct.  Both of which were is short demand the entire ark.  “Boss Maul” spent most of the issue throwing tantrums and yelling at his subordinates.  Revisit again the origins of Maul – furious as he was in combat, his demeanor outside the battle field was stoic and mysterious.  Not the whinny, dependent character Jeremy Barlow gives us.  Add to that the fact that this was really a Mother Talzin story (who was also sloppily handled) and out comes another subpar Star Wars series.  As these Dark Horse series wrap up I grow more excited for the Marvel handoff.  The panels in the galaxy far, far away is in need of a fresh start. – Taylor

 

DC/Vertigo:

Multiversity #1 – B+

(A) If this review comes off as a little incoherent it’s because I’m hyperventilating while typing.  It’s not necessarily the plot that’s got me huffing and puffing into a paper bag, it’s the idea of the plot.  Huh?!?  Let me start over.  Multi-dimensional travel via the medium of comic book panels is, well… mind blowing.   Multiversity is an adventure within an adventure within an adventure featuring characters that are make believe in one universe, but really-real in another universe, all brought together to fight an inter-dimensional being (group?) that is everywhere and nowhere at once…all the time.  Sound confusing?  Read the issue.  Done?  Still confused?  Yeah.  And that’s okay!  What I took away from this first issue wasn’t that I was supposed to understand what exactly was happening or comprehend where the story was going, only that in the coming issues this “happening” was going to be uniquely epic.  I was introduced to characters I (1) had never heard of and, (2) knew very little about.  Despite this, I was wildly engaged the entire issue.  I’ve already reread it twice.  So while my score may and my synopsis here may not be in the same universe, know that this series is going to present something brilliantly imaginative from Grant Morrison. – Taylor

(B+) I had to read this one a couple times, but, each time I read it I liked it more. Multiversity brings together characters from all over the various DC Universes. It’s great to see all the different interpretations of all our favorite heroes. The premise is that the greatest hero from each universe is being brought together for some unknown reason and our team needs to figure out why they’ve all been brought together. There were a couple moments that I just didn’t like in terms of corniness and was also rather confusing at times, but, I’m really liking it so far. I’m afraid to say I’m even enjoying Superman for the first time ever. – Cody

(B) Ok, you probably read the two reviews above me, but I still had to put my two cents in.  Multiversity is a new series written by Grant Morrison, comic book writing legend, and pencilled by Ivan Reis (whose resume is incredible).  With all of the time traveling, things get really confusing.  At times, I had no idea where we were, what time we were in, or even what some of the dialogue meant.  There were also so many characters, and those same characters transported into different time periods, it seems like a 90’s Batman movie, too much packed in one story.  However, there were two outstanding characters, Superman and Aquawoman.  It should be of no surprise that Aquawoman looks so badass because Ivan Reis was the penciller for Aquaman back in 2011.  And yes, its true, Superman is black in this book.  There is a comment about it by another character in the book, which seemed out of place, but the nice thing is that Superman just ignores it, because really, what does it matter what Superman’s ethnicity is?  I did really like that all this is happening because of a comic book panel being supernatural, or magical, or otherworldly, or something.  It give true comic nerds something to giggle at.  I am looking forward to seeing how the heroes get out of the future…  -Adrian

Batman and Robin #34 – B

Things are finally heating up in Batman and Robin. It feels like we’ve been stuck feeling sorry for Bruce and his dealings with Damian’s death forever now. Well, as Redman so eloquently put, it’s “Time 4 Sum Aksion.” The biggest letdown was the appearance of reuniting the Bat-family for a vacation to Apokolips, but it was all just a big dramatic front – a common pitfall in Batman books. Clichés aside (especially the corny Dick Grayson appearance), the book had a very sci-fi feel to it, and pulls it together quite well, an unusual feat for Batman. It’s about time this book got down to business. – Sherif

 

Dynamite Entertainment:

Justice, Inc. #1 – C+

I’d heard about Justice, Inc., The Avenger, Doc Savage, and The Shadow, but that’s about all I knew about them. Nevertheless, I was excited to see that a new series was starting and that all three of these classic characters were crossing over for the first time. This first issue was a bit slow, but, it had a lot of interesting elements to it. Lots of science talk at the start, which I enjoyed and, we get to see Albert Einstein. Howard Hughes also makes an appearance and H.G. Wells has been mentioned as well, which would make sense as we’re dealing with time travel when a modern day passenger jet is sent back to 1939. I’m definitely looking forward to where this story is going, I do love me some time travel. – Cody

 

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2014B+

(A) Finally, we get the annual issue of TMNT that helps explain the Turtles in Time series going now as well (issue #3 out next week). Although I have waited to learn where the mysterious Renet comes from, this issue did not give us the best idea other than she just randomly shows up at different times.  It does bring in the now infamous Battle Nexus from past TMNT versions, which opens up a whole lot as far as characters and other universes (Maybe and hopefully we will see Usagi Yojimbo show up soon!) Of course, Kevin Eastman’s art is wonderful as well as the writing. The issue was totally different than what I was expecting but in a good way. Definitely pick this up if your store still has any (I was lucky and picked up the last copy at my store) as it is a great new story that references past and present turtles with a modern twist.- Jacob

(B-) I couldn’t find it in my heart to give a Kevin Eastman scripted and drawn book anything less than the grade I gave it, but my enjoyment of this book was limited, and came in waves. The initial few pages were really fun and nostalgic, but Eastman’s writing shows its age in this annual. Conceptually, I enjoyed the Turtles in Time-like plot, but there was just so much dialogue here that I felt quite lulled. Plus, the dull greyscale used to represents the future (like 75% of the book) came off as really boring. At the end of the day, the TMNT co-creator can do whatever wants and I will enjoy it. I just wish the story was of a little more substance. – Sherif

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland –  B+

Little Nemo, written by Eric Shanover, is a remake of the popular weekly comic from the early 1900’s that ran for over 10 years.  Shanover is known for his work in recreating the world of Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz in comic form.  Nemo was known for its fantastical world on the way to Slumberland, where he is chosen to be the Princess’ playmate, but he always wakes up before he can find it.  The new comic is a great homage to the original strip, referring to the Princess, the boy’s new name, and world they both exist in. I really enjoyed it; however, it should be noted that this is a children’s comic.  I do recommend it to emerging readers, but this may not be the book for an adult.  -Adrian

Super Secret Crisis War The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy One-Shot – B+

In the second one-shot for Super Secret Crisis War, we see the characters from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy battling the same evil robots our heroes in the main series and Johnny Bravo and the Squirrel did in the last one-shot. This issue as with the past ones, all feel like they are lost episodes from their respective series. The art is wonderful and mixes all the styles of animation perfectly and on top of the great Billy and Mandy story we also get a prequel story featuring Mojo Jojo and Aku. If you enjoyed any cartoons of the 80’s and 90’s this issue and entire series is for you so make sure and pick it up and fill yourself with nostalgia. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #11 – B

This month, we get a new story arc for Jack and it may be his most dangerous one yet. With Samurai Jack being one of my favorite cartoons and being a huge inspiration artistically for me, this series has been wonderful. This issue the art does get a bit darker and full of shadows more than past issues, which always is a bit distracting to me with most comics trying to be gritty these days. But the story of the issue is definitely good and sets up this arc wonderfully making for quite the adventure for our hero. Definitely start here if you can, as it is sure to be a great story for this great character. – Jacob

X-Files: Year Zero #2 – B-

In this issue we get to see more Mulder and Scully than the previous issue and we figure out what happened from the first X-Files case ever. The series took a turn that may be a bit odd even for X-Files but it has a been a good story up to now despite being a bit confusing and more of a horror genre than most previous issues and television episodes. One of the most redeeming features of this series to me is the art by Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra. It is definitely more stylized than most of IDW’s X-Files series and it doesn’t focus solely on being dark for the sake of making things creepy the whole issue even if Mulder is doing paperwork. This series definitely adds to the mystery and awesomeness of X-Files and will likely be an absolute must have for any fan of the X-Files. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Fade Out #1- B

(B+) I love film noir, so Ed Brubaker’s new series The Fade Out fills a empty space that rarely sees a decent entry. Brubaker has a constant moody “voice over” following the main character, Charlie. The narrator appears to not be from the perspective of anyone you come across in the first issue and that’s intriguing; this adds an extra flavor of mystery to the already involving murder mystery main plot line. The art is done by Sean Phillips, who has worked with Brubaker in the past with FATALE. His art is dark and brooding and when paired up with colors from Elizabeth Breitweiser, who is also familiar with FATALE, the mood of the story is fully realized. I’m hoping to see the rest of cast of character fleshed out more in the upcoming issues, right now, other than Charlie, they are pretty flat. – Scott

(B-) I’m not normally a fan of cop/detective stories but when I saw Ed Brubaker was writing a noir style murder mystery, I was intrigued. Brubaker has accurately captured the style and at times I found myself using those stereotypical film noir voices while reading. The issue follows a screenwriter who wakes up to find the star of his film dead, he wipes the room clean and a mystery unfolds. This was about as good as I thought it was going to be. It was enjoyable and well written, I’m just going to have to get over my own biases towards the genre. Hopefully this mystery doesn’t get cold. – Cody

Marvel:

Deadpool vs X-ForceB+

One of the better Deadpool stories recently, this series follows our favorite Merc With A Mouth as he travels through time wrecking American history although this issue sees him and Cable in China during 1900 at least until Deadpool’s inevitable time jump at the end of the issue. The art of this issue is well done an enjoyable especially with such different settings and time periods having to make Deadpool look at least semi-normal in a confederate army outfit. The story for this so far is very intriguing and hopefully the series will continue to be good as Deadpool is always a hard character to do real well. – Jacob

Storm #2 – B+

This month’s Storm was much better than last month.  Not only that, but last month’s issue was explained in the “Previously On” paragraph than the whole issue did.  In her 2nd book, Storm takes on helping the people of New York again, mainly a girl she sees on a “Missing” poster.  I really like the concept of small “savior” stories with Storm reflecting back on her childhood in Cairo.  We can really see Storm as a well rounded woman, not just mutant, hero, or queen.  There are a few steamy scenes with Logan, and we got our “funny” panel of the week from this issue. While there are mentions for characters like the Morlocks and Calypso, I think Storm may be a good series for new comic book readers to get into. -Adrian

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #7 – C+

This series started off rather over the top and bad, but as it went on the over the top ridiculousness stayed but the quality got better. Or maybe I just got used to it and started enjoying it for what it was, like a Mystery Science Theater 3000 film. The art is definitely good for this issue and the entire series in general but the writing could have definitely used some help although this issue was one of the more well written in the 7 issue series. Next week we have the first week without a new Deadpool which is pretty surprising, bust rest assured a new weekly series will likely start up soon. – Jacob

Original Sins #5 – C-

This series which has covered certain characters during the Original Sin story line, has at its heart been enjoyable, but the Young Avengers storyline that was in every book was pretty bad and the conclusion was a definitely a facepalm moment for me. This issue also covers “Everyone Else” and has some very minor characters (Frog-Man!!!) confessing their worst sin, although Nick Fury says none of what they say is canon. The art of each story – other than Young Avengers – is top quality and the writing especially for Nick Fury’s story is good. If you have followed Original Sin closely, then this is a great book, but ultimately it can be missed and the Original Sin storyline would still work. – Jacob

 

Funniest Panel:

Storm #2 Panel of the Week

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

starwars

 

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.

 

Comic Book Reviews 08-13-14

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:

8.13 starlight 5 pick of the week

Starlight #5 A

This book is what adventures are made out of! Duke McQueen, once savior of the galaxy, is now an old man who has lived his life shamed by the very people he saved because nobody believes him – including his own sons. However, the same cannot be said across the galaxy in Tantalus, where an underground revolution is stirring. It’s hard to tell you what happened in this issue without spoiling anything, but know that s*** is about to get REAL. I enjoy every aspect of this story, and the books move along at a very brisk pace, containing just enough dialogue to keep readers engaged but not enough to feel cluttered. With Kick-Ass officially done for good, this is my new favorite MillarWorld book out. For something new and exciting, this is the book you should be reading! – Sherif

 

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

Hexed #1 – A-

Perhaps the biggest reason I loved the new comic Hexed is because it was very reminiscent of Buffy, but instead of our hero, Lucifer, being a Slayer, she is a cat burglar.  Lucifer is witty and quick thinking.  She also knows a lot about the magical world.  After all, most of her jobs involve some sort of magical, artsy artifact.  The art in this book was mesmerizing; the use of color was very well done, taking us from ” the normal world”, to the bright colors of magical hexes, and to the dark and eery world from inside of a scary painting.  The story was enough of a teaser to keep me interested for the next issue, but it also kept me interested in what was happening in the moment.  Lucifer is very relatable, despite the fact that she is a thief and is very mixed up in the magical world.  She has a lot of foes, and it can be hard to determine who is the worst.  This isn’t a gripe with the book, rather a compliment because it is often hard for anyone to distinguish who the baddies are in our own lives.  The first issue left us with a pretty big cliffhanger, which is something I personally like when I have only 20 pages to get into a story.  I definitely expect Hexed to just get better from here on out.  – Adrian

 

Dark Horse:

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #8 – C+

Well everything I thought was coming pretty much got shot down this issue. I was hoping for happier ending for John Connor but it seems like that won’t be happening, at least the way things are looking. The cover and the last issue were definitely a bit misleading, but we still have plenty of time left to change John’s future. – Robert

 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #34 – A-

I’m still reeling from the end of Zero Year, the phenomenal story of Batman’s first appearance in Gotham City. This issue is the bridge into the next arc, Endgame, which is undoubtedly going to be another classic. As far as one-shots go, this is pretty damn great. Matteo Scalera does a decent job filling in, and honestly, the ultra-dark tone of the issue is suited by it. We get to see a morbid side of Gotham and Batman that we really haven’t gotten to since Snyder’s first Batman run, The Black Mirror. It honestly gave me the creeps, in a good way. This killer that Batman is trying to catch gave me extra heebie-jeebies because he is more along the lines of what could happen in real life. I’m looking forward to seeing the team back together in issue #35, but this was a great all-encompassing story well worthy of you time. – Sherif

Batgirl #34 C-

As much as I will miss Gail Simone’s writing, a complete creative overhaul for Batgirl is just what the doctor ordered. This latest Knightfall arc has floundered for a good ten issues, so this big finale was a great way to send Simone off. The art in Batgirl has also gotten progressively worse, with this issue being one of the least appealing in recent history. Batgirl pulls out all the stops, and calls in all the favors she can to beat Knightfall, but it doesn’t feel like the climactic ending that the book deserved. Where the book does succeed is in the portrayal of the original Birds of Prey team – Huntress, Canary and Batgirl. They work very well together and Simone’s writing gave me a solid case of nostalgia reading it. It was a decent way to wrap up this run, and I do look forward to the next version of Barbara Gordon; I have high hopes that a new start will revitalize the character. – Sherif

Batman Eternal #19 – C-

I don’t know why I continue to read this book anymore seeing as I have not been satisfied for the last ten issues or so. Now that Zero Year is over, things are going back to normal in the regular Batman book. I don’t like how they are using it to bridge the gaps in other books and how it is becoming a mandatory read in order not to be confused in a book I actually care about. About half way through this book I felt completely lost and realized how much I hate DC for doing this with another book. I have been very critical of how they did the same thing with the Superman family. It’s as if they are forcing people to read subpar books by putting important bits of information in them (I’m looking at you Superboy). I don’t appreciate this approach at all and should the writing also continue to be subpar, will have to discontinue my support of most of these publications. – Robert

 

IDW Comics:

Star Trek #36 – A-

What a wonderful series for any Star Trek fan! In this issue we see the current film cast, Deep Space Nine’s captain Sisko and Odo, and of course Q the greatest villain from The Next Generation (sorry, Borg). The art as with most IDW series is fantastic and unlike sometimes, each character looks exactly like they did in their respective series. I am sure we will see more The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and maybe even Enterprise, which would be great. If you are a fan of Star Trek in any capacity this is spectacular and even if you are not this is a great series as it may introduce you to characters from the entire Star Trek Universe to give you an idea of which series you may enjoy more.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37 B-

(B+) This was a pretty fun one off issue for the series where we see a battle between Shredder and Krang and a new mutant is introduced. The story for this issue is pretty solid despite the lack of Turtles in it but nevertheless, the story is good and gives us a great look into the two biggest villains in turtle history. The art is done by Cory Smith and he knocks it out of the park with this issue and it is nice and fresh to see a different artist than Mateus Santolouco although all the artist for this series have been great! Definitely check out this issue as it is a single story and a new arc will start next month. – Jacob

(C) Since City Fall, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are preparing for a comeback. However, with Shredder in possession of some mutagen, he has set his sites upon higher targets. However, before taking over the world, he must first have a meeting of the minds with Krang. The tensions quickly rise, as the two are both too stubborn to share a vision of the future. There are some great scenes between the two, but a lot of the issue is mindless banter between Shredder and Krang, with a predictable ending and zero turtles. The addition of Krang into the mix will give the fight for New York a new perspective for the TMNT, so while this issue was a bit stagnant, it was necessary in the grand scheme of things. – Sherif

The X-Files #15 – B-

Well this issue was definitely a mind bending issue as I am still thinking about the ending… But the art of this series has always gotten on my nerves although it is the worst I have seen I wish a more detailed artist could do some upcoming issues as they have many which is obvious with the covers for this series. The writing for this issue is top notch as I have felt this whole series is and is definitely a must have for any fan of the television series. Although if you are looking to start right now, I would wait or try and read all the back issues first as things have gotten real crazy especially this issue so it could definitely be confusing to the new reader.

Transformers: Primacy #1 C+

The final installment in the current Transformers series starts out with recent Autobot Academy graduate Hot Rod joining the ranks of the Auto Bots and learning the ins and outs like any fresh meat (or fresh metal in this case). In the meantime, Optimus is off climbing glaciers with Ironhide when they come across something ancient and Megatron seems to have some dastardly new plan. Overall, I enjoyed this; it was a bit slow with all the exposition, but I feel like this mini-series is going to get pretty good. I also enjoyed the art in this one. It was very realistic although it was a bit dark at times. Definitely worth the time if you’re a Transformers fan. – Cody

 

Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #7 A

There aren’t too many books that really pull off a dildo sword fight. Matt Fraction has written in the most ridiculous scenes into this book about two twenty-somethings who find a bond between them because they can freeze time from their orgasms. I absolutely love how John’s backstory intertwines with the current situation. The books has been primarily told through Susie’s point of view, so this helps add some variety to a character we’ve never gotten to fully explore. This book is fully shifting back into gear after our power couple fell into a bit of a lull, relationship-wise. Especially after John found what was in the Sex Police basement, I’m entirely excited for the book to get back to it’s action-packed, crazy self. Like I said, dildo swashbuckling. – Sherif

Shutter #5 A-

Shutter continues to wow. Five issues in and I’m still awed by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca’s adventure story. Every installment opens more and more doors for what could possibly come next, and because it is such an original story, I have no expectations for what will come next or when I expect anything to wrap up. I also love the concept of revealing the backstory of Kate’s dad bit by bit instead of doing it all at once. Each appearance fits within the story, and although answering questions, also shrouds itself in enough mystery to keep me intrigued for future issues. And then there’s Alarm Cat, who is one of the best companions you could ever ask for. There are a few moments that make you lose brief connection with Kate, but for the most part, this book is just pure gold, and I hope there is enough juice to squeeze 100 more issues! – Sherif

The Walking Dead #130 B-

I have no idea what is going on here. Did George Romero take over as writer for The Walking Dead? There are events in this issue that our brand new to the series, but has been the central theme to all of the recent Romero titles. I’m not sure whether it’s done as a slight, since Romero has trashed TWD as being a “soap opera,” or whether the series is actually going to go in that direction, but it’s straight-up absurd. I do give the issue a lot of praise for progressing the story along – setting up Carl for a better role and finally showing a post-pregnancy Maggie – and especially for not taking the easy bait at the end of the last issue. There’s still tons of promise in this series, so a little absurdity is allowed. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

All-New X-Men #20 B+

If you picked up this book and stopped reading it after the first ten pages, you would think that it is a terrible book. The awkward PG-13 relationship between X-23 and Angel was enough to make me take pause. The whole “I’m an animal” and “if you only knew the things I’ve done” cliché has been done so many times that it’s hardly even parodied anymore. The real excitement is between Jean Grey and Emma Frost, the latter of which is trying to push Jean Grey to realize her true powers. We finally get the showdown between the two, as Emma’s jealousy is addressed. Meanwhile, Kitty Pryde and her relationship with Star-Lord is investigated further. The signature of this series has been the fact that it is often tethered to lots of humor – none more so than Iceman. This is an exemplary bridge issue that still progresses multiple storylines, and gets us one step closer to finding out the contents of Charles Xavier’s Last Will and Testament. – Sherif

Spider-Man 2099 #2 – B+

This book has the potential to be really good and actually has a great sense of humor, especially in this episode. Things have started a bit on the slow side but I am sure things are going to pick up soon enough. I have no complaints about this issue and am looking forward to what this book has to offer in the future. – Robert

Wolverine #11 – C+

(B-) One more month until one of Marvel’s most famous characters and personally one of mine (after all he was best friends with Morph in the X-Men animated series) meets his ultimate fate. We have him getting to Sabertooth’s lair with many allies and trying to take him on. Obviously with next month being the last, we don’t get the epic battle between Wolverine and Sabertooth but we don’t have long to wait. The art of this issue is great and the story is good as well. Although it is an epic event the story is not the best I think Wolverines death should have, but we will see how it all goes down next month. – Jacob

(C) Well the time we have been waiting for during these last few months is almost upon us. One more issue and Wolverine is gonna be dead. I am actually wondering if he will finally kill Sabretooth and take that orb to get his powers back. Or maybe this will be some crappy metaphorical death. Either way, if they were going to actually kill Wolverine, I wish they wouldn’t have announced it so long ago. For being so close to the end, this issue had an awful lot of filler. I am honestly ready for this to be over so we can move on to whatever is coming next. – Robert

Original Sin #7 – C

This series has been enjoyable but I found myself lost in this issue. I still feel like I understand what s going on, but by the end of this issue I was left scratching my head. The art as always in this series is good although it is insanely dark with more shadows than words on the page and this is a wordy series. It is all over next month so yeah it is a bad time to just get into the series and it is one of the more violent Marvel series at the moment so also not for kids. – Jacob

Amazing Spider-Man #5 – C

I am not sure that I am crazy about this love triangle Peter has suddenly gotten himself into. He is supposed to be in relationship with Anna and we all know you can never get rid of Mary Jane, and now he has this new chick, it is like a bad soap opera even by comic book standards. I am more interested in the ending of this issue however; there is no way they are going to release Peter’s identity again so I want to see how he gets out of this. Nothing too crazy has happened since Peter came back, minus the new chick, so I am hoping that they pick up the pace instead of easing back into things. – Robert

Deadpool #33 – C

Although this Deadpool story arc has been interesting with meeting his daughter, it is altogether not a great Deadpool story. After reading some really good Deadpool stories it is hard to read the constant three series of the character that happen each month. The art is pretty good but not great and overall the story is enjoyable as most Deadpool but this story is definitely one of the duller of this series. – Jacob

Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet #6 – C-

Ok I have to admit this issue was quite fun once I got past my views of just how ridiculous it is. I still don’t think it is anything special but in this issue we got to see Red Hulk, Ghost Rider, Elektra, Punisher, Blade, and a couple extra Deadpool regulars. The art is for this series has been good for the whole run and the story overall isn’t good or terrible. If you enjoy Deadpool, it is worth a read otherwise avoid this series, as it is one of the craziest and weirdest Deadpool series I have read. – Jacob

Nova Special #1 – F

I found this issue to be incredibly boring. NOVA is a kid who is out of his league at this point. He can hardly even handle a bunch of teenage X-Men. I found myself struggling to even get to the next page. Iron Man is a total douche (as always). The ‘X-Kids’ are morons. And, NOVA is weak. The art of the book isn’t bad, until Iron Man shows up, I’m not sure what was going on there. Even though it only takes 10 minutes to read, save you time, watch The Office instead…at least you’ll laugh. – Cody

 

Funniest Panel:

8.13 all new x-men 30 funny panel

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

8.13 tmnt 37 cool panel

 

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.