Joss Whedon Will Never Be Done With Superheroes

Despite the negative responses Age of Ultron resulted in, Joss Whedon is nowhere near done with superheroes. Last weekend at San Diego Comic Con he announced that he would be writing a new six issue comic book for Dark Horse Comics. Twist is described by Whedon as a “victorian female Batman” narrative. While the promo art for the comic was done by Julian Totino Tedesco, neither an official artist nor release date has been announced. In a recent interview with io9, Whedon detailed his vision and process for the upcoming story.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be done with superheroes, because I feel like I was writing about superheroes before I realized that I was. Everything sort of falls in that category. The new thing is called Twist, it’s Victorian story about a chambermaid who becomes a superhero, because I don’t get tired of that.

It’s a little dark and a little strange. I have license to sort of go to different places. I’m not beholden to the 40 years of this comic that existed before. But it is kind of classical in structure in the sense that it’s about women and men and power, culture and money and all the things I always like to nudge in.”

twist

Io9 also wondered whether Twist could possibly be made into a TV show or film to which Whedon responded simply “It’s a Dark Horse book, probably like six issues with the potential to be more. Unless I kill everyone, because you know me [laughs].” Given his reputation, it’ll be a surprise if he even makes it to six issues. Here’s hoping our feels are at least partially intact by the end of the comic’s run.

When asked about the outrage over AoU, Whedon expressed what he really thought. He said he was surprised by the response. “You know, ultimately everybody’s entitled to their opinion. Sending me pictures of nooses and things was maybe a little too entitled,” Whedon said referring to one of the major reasons he left Twitter. He went onto say that he thought putting Black Widow and Hawkeye together– despite many fans insisting they were more than friends– wasn’t right. He believes that the two superheroes just being friends is “a much more powerful and even much more romantic statement: that those people would die for each other, but they’re not trying to sleep with each other. That’s something about men and women that I wanted to say. So I’m not backing down on that one.”

Regardless of how fans might feel about AoU, Twist looks like an awesome new project and one that Whedon will really be able to sink his teeth into after the Black Widow controversy. He’s excited to “get back to something I loved very much, which is putting my hand to a comic book again.”

Photos from Geek Tyrant.

SDCC 2015 – Joss Whedon Returns to Comic Books With ‘Twist’

 

Image via Dark Horse Comics
Image via Dark Horse Comics

Joss Whedon announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con that he is writing a comic called Twist. He described it as a “Victorian, Female Batman” story.

The series will be six issues.

This is the first time since 2008 that Whedon has written an original creation; Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog.

There were no other details about the story given, other than the heroine, Twist, will be more like Willow, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I am VERY excited about Whedon’s new venture. I would be thrilled to read a Victorian Female Batman story with or without Whedon, but this being his creation makes it that much more enticing.

Grr. Arg. (but like, in a really high-pitched excited way)

Source: Screen Rant

Comic Book Reviews 01-07-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 – A+ 

Goddammit Marvel. You let me think I’m done with super hero comics forever, and then Squirrel Girl happens. And that’s after I saw the original Squirrel Girl stuff from the 90s that actually looked like it was from the 70s, and also made Squirrel Girl look like a crazy prostitute serial killer. I mean, I get Squirrel Girl being a thing created anywhere from 1938 to 1979 when all super hero creation was, “Adjective Gender,” and then no matter how obviously terrible your idea is, you turn out 300 issues because all comics are 3 cents a piece – and what else are you going to do with that money? NOT buy a comic? Unlikely – but for this to be created in the 90s is bizarre, and then for her to keep popping up in the double oughts is double bizarre. But for a Marvel number 1, this is actually quite good. Like, I don’t know when I last read a Marvel book I cared about, let alone a number one. I love that they totally embraced this character’s inanity and relative uselessness (I mean, compared to people like Hulk and Iron Man, she’d be powerless. Even compared to Hawkeye, whose only power is, “shoots arrows real good you guys,” she’s pretty under equipped), and turned her into a 4th wall breaking (well, her cards break the fourth wall) nerdy fan girl is pretty great. And she talks out her problems. And the art looks clearly John K. inspired, so if you were alive in 1991 and watching Nickelodeon, that means you’re bound by Federal Statute to buy this book. And if, uh, that really big guy actually shows up in issue 2, it’s kind of guaranteed you’re hooked. – J.H.

Other Reviews: 

Boom! Studios:

Feathers #1 – B

Feathers is a fun and original little story to come from a brand new writer and illustrator. In short, it’s the story of an abandoned baby who gets rescued by a compassionate man and together they live in The Maze, a really unfortunate slum just outside of a white city. The boy also happens to be covered in feathers and the man knows that because of that some bad people will be looking for him. The story is also seemingly narrated by two different voices that may not have put this whole scene into action, but they have great interest in how it turns out. The first issue was a good read, it was sweet and endearing although at times I questioned if it was better geared towards children. The whole thing had kind of a Hellboy feel, although that could be contributed to the slightly similar artwork and the fact that an older man finds a monster baby and chooses to raise him for good, although he seemingly could have great powers for evil. Feathers is only a six part series, so if you’re looking for an enjoyable read but you have a fear of commitment, I’d definitely recommend you give it a read. I think this one is going good places and the end will most likely be bittersweet. – Keriann

Dark Horse:

Lady Killer #1 – B-
 
I don’t know whether I should be offended by this book or applaud it for its honesty.  The first half of the book was really intriguing.  A 50’s housewife who sells Avon is really a spy and killer.  The murder scene was Tarantino-esque – so therefore it was amazing.  But then the rest of the book has to take some of that away and shove it in our face that this is a woman, and therefore her sexuality and body are of importance.  I am hoping that the next issue flips this trope on its side, but as of now, I’m only a little hopeful. – Adrian

DC/Vertigo: 

Detective Comics #38 – A
Who would have thought that lesser-known villain Anarky would be one of the easiest rogue to evolve with the times? Well, it was not me. Without the pressure of putting out epic content that the main title book has, this Batman book can focus on releasing amazing detective stories. I am loving this new Anarky story, which sort of parallels hacker groups in real life with the way he “sets free” the people – and the blank mask: genius! Even Matches Malone gives an inspiring speech. Detective Comics‘ new team has filled a void in comic books I didn’t even realize was missing. – Sherif
Mortal Kombat X #1 – A-
Finally, a Mortal Kombat comic book I don’t need my parents’ permission to read. Previously under the Malibu Comics imprint, MK books have been few and far between in the last decade, so the new digital-first series by DC had me very excited. Digital first series have their pros (easily accessible, weekly editions) and cons (too short!), but it’s a great platform gearing up to the upcoming MK X game. This series shows great promise; the story is completely progressed from typical lore, and the violence is exactly at the point you would expect from the classic series. For MK fans, this is a MUST read. Even if you don’t like Mortal Kombat at all, this series could pique your interest. – Sherif

Wolf Moon #2 – B+

I. Love. Werewolves. A lot. I’m kind of obsessed. Some people think that makes me weird, some people think that makes me quirky. Either way, Wolf Moon is AH-MAZING and it has some of the coolest and most unique creature lore I’ve ever heard. So far Wolf Moon is gritty and kind of all encompassing, as in I could tune out the apocalypse while I read it because I’m that sucked in. It seems that the next issue will be told from another perspective, this time from more Winchester brother type of monster hunters. The series will wrap in only six issues, which is definitely a good thing for a story like this. Carrying it out for too long would most likely make it tedious because, in all honestly, there is only so much you can do with werewolves and monster hunters without destroying the delicate balance between great and campy. I absolutely recommend this book, but it does come with a disclaimer. Wolf Moon, while so so cool, may be best fit for fans of the genre or at least people who can handle gore. This is a werewolf book, people are getting torn literally in two. On more than one occasion. It may not be as gory as Ferals, but it’s close and this is only issue two. You’ve been warned, now go read this book. – Keriann

Green Arrow #38 – D
The tag team of Green Lantern and Green Arrow, specifically the series by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, is one of the most celebrated team books of all time, so when I heard that Hal Jordan was going to be holding hands with Green Arrow this issue, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, it was a total bust, Aside from a really sweet construct that Lantern built for Arrow, there was nothing to get excited for here. Felicity loses all her charm as a comic book character that Emily Rickards brings to the TV show, and the chemistry between the two superheroes is practically non-existent. Leave any future reunions to the professionals.- Sherif

Dynamite:

Shaft #2 – C+
If this series were a t-shirt, it would be extra-medium. A big, fat MEH for me on this book. Shaft has really avoided saying anything about anything in its first two issues, and while it has been entertaining, my life does not stop for Shaft. It should though; Shaft is one bad mother-shut your mouth, and holding him back from really making waves is entirely contradictory of his character.This book is not bad by any means, but I was expecting so much more – especially because it already has the “Shaft” brand to do half the work before I open the front page. – Sherif

Image Comics:

God Hates Astronauts #5 – A

GHA was gut-wrenchingly awesome as usual. There was however, one glorifying aspect that shined above all other this week – CROAD!! Let me tell you people, Ryan Browne is a genius. Croad, part crab part toad assassin for hire swooped in on a flying, singing humpback whale and a posse of other flying sea creatures to face-off against Star Grass. That’s not the best part though. What is, is that EVERY single one of Croad’s lines this week was a Darth Vader quote. You might think, “that doesn’t sound like it would make sense.” And it didn’t. Which is why it is brilliant and also why you should read GHA this week. My hat is off to you Mr. Browne. – Taylor

Trees #8 – A

Is it just me or does it seem it’s a week of the simplistic? The cover of Trees was very striking in its simplicity. A man attempting to cut down a tree and from the bark a river of blood. Really makes you wonder what your about to get yourself involved in… oh yeah. Read this with a tissue. Cause I’m bawling and my gut is in literal knots. Fuck you Warren Ellis. But, good writing too, cause … ouch that was painful. I knew the conflict was coming; I could feel it mounting over the last several books but I wasn’t expecting what. I don’t want to give it away. Though, the cover does a fine job of that. Trees uses simplicity to their advantage and the images hauntingly carried the story along, making the emotional impact of it all that much stronger. – Jené

Birthright #4 – A-

Birthright is just so good. I wish there was a more eloquent way to put that, but it’s the straight forward truth. It seems like Joshua Williamson is able to pack exposition, development, fantasy excitement and action all into one issue seamlessly. As usual, both stories moved forward, although I must say they sure are taking their time with Mikey’s journey in Terrenos. I think he’s been dealing with the same beast for three issues now… Either way, it seems like in the next issue there will be an all out battle between Mikey and Ward which will not only be epic, but it will make sure that Brennan and Aaron (Dad) will now fully believe Mikey’s truth. I say it every month, and I’ll say it again: if you’re not reading Birthright, you’re making a big mistake. – Keriann

Deadly Class #10 – B+
While it’s nice to be able to personally connect with a comic book character, sometimes it’s fun just living a crazy alternate life vicariously through a well-written and entertaining character. Deadly Class‘s Marcus is in way over his head here, as he awakens from his acid trip extremely hung over and guilty for having cheated on his girlfriend. This would sound like any other high school drama if it were not for the fact that they are all unstable deadly assassins. Not the best issue, but it pushes the story forward at a nice pace. Oh, and Marcus shits his pants. – Sherif

Nailbiter #9 – B

(B+) Well, shit got dark this week for Nailbiter. Well, darker, I suppose. What will happen to those poor innocent kids on the school bus? Probably nothing good. The pace was a little hectic, and it jumped around to different plot points a little more than I like but this was still a gripping issue. The crazy old man with the bees has been taken/killed by a henchman (of sorts) for a master (of sorts) which certainly piqued my interest, but I am a little worried this might be an indicator that things will get really convoluted before we get any answers about the Buckaroo Butcher origins. I really appreciate the direction the story is moving in, and the homage to the urban legend about the guy under the kid’s bed licking his hand made me downright giddy. Overall, Nailbiter is keeping pace with itself in being one of the best reads out there, but this week it didn’t really go over and beyond with anything too great. – Keriann

(B) Really interesting cover this time around. Almost comical. Nice. I love the fact that each book gives a short snippet on what happened previously. It really helps to jar my memory of what happened earlier without having to go too far back. But Holy fuck, this month was a creepy book. I was on the edge of my seat biting my own nails scrolling through as fast as possible to see what was going to happen. This book was super-fast and rather simplistically done, but now I think I’m going to sleep with the lights on tonight. Warren under the bed. Creepiest thing ever and yet hilarious. I still don’t understand how book after book I am both creeped out (yeah, I know I’ve used the word three times, but creepy was what it was) and chuckling under my breath. Seriously if you still aren’t reading this story you really should be. – Jené

Ody-C #2 – B
(A+) Wow. This comic is something else. I’m so thankful this was the second issue because it cleared up what happened to all the men. Which is great. And it wonderfully unpacks the universe and Zeus’ motives for the reader as well as opening up some very basic mechanics for the universe. It’s hard talking in this spoiler-free manner and still saying meaningful things. I love all the exploration of gender and the nature of gender and creation; given who I am however, and the kinds of friends I keep, I can’t help but feel a little suspicious that it’s a man exploring this bizarre concept about women that, obviously, isn’t reality. But, I guess that’s what intelligent men do: try to imagine what life is like from the other side(s) and perhaps feel insanely jealous that we can’t actually say anything authoritative on the subject. Nevertheless, it’s a great book: the art is gorgeous (there are a few panels that made me cock my head and say, “What happened there?”), and it’s a very unique look at old myths that most of us have read at least twice in college. – J.H.
(D+) Matt Fraction’s last book, inspired by The Odyssey, is as close to classic literature as I have ever seen in a comic book; from me, this is not a compliment. I enjoy being intellectually challenged by a comic book, and to give Fraction credit, this is one of the most intelligent books I have ever read, but it gets to a point where I found myself forcing to read the dialogue in a book where the story (and art) are not easily intuitive. It’s the type of product that’s always praised as being complex and poetic, but nothing that I actually enjoyed – much like a majority of the Academy Award nominations. You will know right away whether this book is worth your time, and for me, it was simply not. – Sherif

Roche Limit #4 – B

I gotta say, I am really getting into Roche Limit. It delivers issue after issue. The layering effect of different genres is really intriguing. Every book starts with a suicide note of the founder of the colony, then a powerpoint like presentation that explains aspects of the science, the story, and then the mimic of a scholarly journal all of which weave and explain the complexity of the world and how this “anomaly” is in itself a mysterious character the characters are trying to figure out in the story. It’s smartly done and gripping even though the plot itself has a lot of typical sci-fi clichés. I kinda don’t care at this point because the delivery is so well executed. One question I really have now is about the use of color. The way the color is used though out the books seems really deliberate, but I can’t quite figure out its purpose. I recommended the book. It’s a good one to discuss with friends over a cup of coffee. – Jené

Marvel:

Ant-Man #1 – B+
(A) I have no realm of knowledge of Ant-Man, story or man, but boy did I love this.  Yeah, Scott Lang is funny.  He rivals Tony Stark in wit.  But more importantly, Scott Lang is a good father.  Scott tries his had at working for Tony while also battling his ex-wife for his daughter.  There was action, humor, and a heart-warming father/daughter story.  I’m a sucker for love. – Adrian
(B) This is my first experience with Ant-Man. I was (and continue to be) late to the punch on Age of Ultron and the other significant origin stories, but I knew enough about him to want to pick up this title this week. I’m glad I did. What I appreciate most about this character is that he is pretty much a bum. Let me explain – he has cool power/a cool suit, humorous banter, a big heart and high ambitions. All that aside, the guy lives in a cardboard box and can hardly hold his life together; whether in the suit or not. This reality really sets Scott Lang (Ant-Man) apart from a lot of other superheroes that seem to have their stuff together. Issue #1 was a great read and by the end of it the plot is left WIDE open. This title seems like one worth sticking to. – Taylor

Amazing Spider-Man #12 – B

It’s chaos. Nothing but chaos and pandemonium. Spider-People are spread all over the Spider-Verse, embarking on their various Spider-Missions. The octane level remains high. The shining moment this week comes from a building focus on the significant of “The Scion, The Bride and The Other,” and why these figures are so important to The Inheritors. It appears this family of Spider-feasters has more than, well, feasting on their minds. What that is, we don’t know, but it’s only a matter of time before we do! – Taylor

Avengers: No More Bullying #1 – B+ (or C- if you are an adult)

One thing you have to keep in mind while reading this comic is that it’s definitely a kid’s comic and as such, it serves its purpose. It’s a great teaching tool for talking about bullying. Marvel always does a great job of helping out when it comes to kids who are facing adversity. I’m sure for the kids reading this– for those being bullied– it’s very reassuring to see their favorite superheroes dealing with the same thing. However, if you’re over the age of 12, this comic is probably not for you. It’s super simple with absolutely no subtly. I liked how they addressed Hawkeye’s dismissal as a superhero, but after the first few pages, it just started to go down hill, although the last strip is nicely nostalgic and cute. If you’re a teacher or a parent of kid being bullied, pick this comic up. Otherwise, don’t bother. -Charlotte

Operation S.I.N. #1 – B+

Cleverly released the same week as the new Agent Carter series premiere on ABC, this comic has a lot of potential. Peggy Carter is as badass as ever and teamed up with Howard Stark. Both of these characters are endlessly interesting and their dynamic is amusing to examine. They definitely work well off each other. Not much plot-wise happened in this issue besides switching settings and the introduction of new characters, but this is definitely a good set up for an awesome new story arc. I’m a sucker when it comes to Carter and I can’t wait to see whose ass she kicks next. – Charlotte

Storm #7 – C+ 

While this month’s issue of Storm was an improvement, it wasn’t because of the character, but the bigger picture of a senator being conned into taking out the mutants.  While it is interesting, it isn’t original.  Storm’s dialogue is formulaic.  “I’m a queen/goddess/whatever” is telling me and not showing me, which is lazy writing.  The only reason it gets a “C+” this month is because the bigger picture could be cool, but only time will tell. – Adrian

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #4 – C

There wasn’t much going for this issue. There was nothing that was particularly bad about it, but there also wasn’t a whole lot that stood out to me either, which stinks for a story finale. It had good fight scenes and Deadpool was hilarious as always, but ultimately it was not as good as it could have been. I really liked the premise of this comic and the dynamic between both Hawkeyes (yeah, there are two) and Deadpool, but it just didn’t do it for me this issue. I’d like to see more of these characters interactions, but I guess Marvel thinks four issues is enough for us. Too bad. – Charlotte

Hulk #10 – C
I’m sorry, but if you sell me a Hulk/Red Hulk showdown, you better damn deliver. Thunderbolt Ross aka Red Hulk makes his debut here when he finds out Doc Green here is systematically eliminating the other Hulks. I had high hopes for this promising plot line, but I’m getting bored and starting to be convinced there was an end in mind, but no means to get there. It would be nice if this book found some real direction, but for now, we will settle for mediocre art and a meandering story. – Sherif

Funniest Panel:

Squirrel Girl #1
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Detective Comics #38
Detective Comics #38

 

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, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Best of 2014: Comic Books

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage for all categories.

This year’s nominations are…

Best Comic Book Series (Monthly On-going)

  • DC Comics – Batman (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • Image Comics – Black Science (Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera)
  • Image Comics – Saga (Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples)
  • IDW Comics – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Tom Waltz & Mateo Santolouco/Ross Campbell)
  • Image Comics – The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard)

Results here.

Best Story Arc

  • DC Comics – Batman: Zero Year (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • DC Comics – Batman: Endgame (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • Marvel Comics – Spider-Verse (Various writers and artists)
  • DC Comics – Forever Evil (Geoff Johns & David Finch)
  • DC Comics – Multiversity (Grant Morrison & various artists)

Results here.

Best Creative Team

  • Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples – Saga (Image Comics)
  • John Layman & Rob Guillory – Chew (Image Comics)
  • Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard – The Walking Dead (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo – Batman (DC Comics)
  • Tom Waltz & Mateo Santolouco – TMNT (IDW Comics)

Results here.

Best Writer

  • Geoff Johns – Superman (DC Comics), Justice League (DC Comics), Forever Evil (DC Comics)
  • Josh Williamson – NailbiterBirthright (Image Comics), Captain Midnight (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Matt Fraction – Hawkeye (Marvel Comics), Sex Criminals, Satellite SamOdy-C (Image Comics)
  • Rick Remender – Black Science, Deadly Class, Low (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder – Batman, Superman: UnchainedThe WakeAmerican Vampire (DC Comics), Wytches (Image Comics)

Results here.

Best Artist

  • Fiona Staples – Saga (Image Comics)
  • Greg Capullo – Batman (DC Comics)
  • Leila del Duca – Shutter (Image Comics)
  • Mateus Santolouco – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW Comics)
  • Mike Henderson – Nailbiter (Image Comics)

Results here.

Best New Comic Book Series

  • Image Comics – Deadly Class (Rick Remender & Wes Craig)
  • Marvel Comics – Ms. Marvel (G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona)
  • Marvel Comics – Moon Knight (Warren Ellis/Brian Wood & Declan Shalvey/Greg Smallwood)
  • Image Comics – Nailbiter (Joshua Williamson & Mike Henderson)
  • Image Comics – Shutter (Joe Keatinge & Leila del Duca)

Results here.

Best Comic Book Mini-Series

  • Marvel Comics – Deadpool vs. Carnage (Cullen Bunn & Salva Espin)
  • Marvel Comics – Edge of Spider-Verse (Various writers and artists)
  • Marvel Comics – Hawkeye vs. Deadpool (Gerry Duggan & James Harren)
  • Vertigo Comics – Sandman: Overture (Neil Gaiman & JH Williams III)
  • Dark Horse Comics – Serenity: Leaves on the Wind (Zach Whedon & Georges Jeanty)

Results here.

Onto: Best of 2014 – Movies

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Writer

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Writer

  • Geoff Johns – Superman (DC Comics), Justice League (DC Comics), Forever Evil (DC Comics)
  • Josh Williamson – NailbiterBirthright (Image Comics), Captain Midnight (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Matt Fraction – Hawkeye (Marvel Comics), Sex Criminals, Satellite SamOdy-C (Image Comics)
  • Rick Remender – Black Science, Deadly Class, Low (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder – Batman, Superman: UnchainedThe WakeAmerican Vampire (DC Comics), Wytches (Image Comics)

WINNER – Scott Snyder

Batman, Superman Unchained, The Wake, Wytches.  The man is a comic book writing machine.  And just because he writes a lot doesn’t mean his quality comes down either.  After all, he does have an MFA from Ivy League university Columbia; the man knows what he is doing. And he is making fanboys and fangirls around the globe very happy with his work.  – Adrian

Second Place – Josh Williamson

josh williamson writer nailbiter 7 best of 2014
Nailbiter #7

 

For me, 2014 was the year of Josh Williamson, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how he wanted it. He was previously known for GHOSTED, but in 2014 Williamson launched two new series both of which have been pretty darn well received by their audiences and critics. Nailbiter is one of the most original and psychologically terrifying horror books to come out in 2014, but Josh apparently wasn’t done there; he decided to break the mold for fantasy books as well when Birthright came out in October. Williamson has a great career in the world of comics, especially for being less than 30 years told, and his unique take to storytelling is no doubt a huge factor in his success. If you’re not a fan or simply haven’t read his books yet do yourself a service and pick them up now. You can thank me later by sending me a nice bottle of wine. Or cookies. – Keriann

Third Place – Matt Fraction

Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #17

Sure, he looks like Harry Potter’s dad, but Matt Fraction would never make fun of a muggle. Fraction has put in some good work with Marvel over the years, but this year has been an exceptional year for him. With Sex Criminals, Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky have pushed the boundaries of censorship, and his Hawkeye run has been one of the highest-grossing books Marvel has in its lineup. Both of those books have netted him an Eisner Award in 2014. Recently, he has been the writer of Ody-C, an outer space interpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey. If you’re ever bored, check out his Twitter page, where his display name is “butt stuff reindeer.” He’s kind of a weirdo, and I mean that in a good way. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Geoff Johns

Superman #35
Superman #35

If there was a crown for most consistently badass comic book writer, it would go to Geoff Johns. He’s like a reckless magician, introducing amazing and interesting new characters, and then vanishing before they ever really get a chance to live up to their potential or be fully fleshed out. I wish Johns could just write Justice League and Superman forever (not to mention Green Lantern, a book which he ended his ten year run on last year). Where Johns really gets it right is that he sees and plans the big picture before we even see the first panel; there is a plot of planning – logical planning – that go into a Johns story, and where you end up is exactly where you were meant to, and whether or not you saw it coming, you can’t believe that nobody ever thought to do this before. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Rick Remender

remender black science 6 best of 2014
Black Science #6

 

With a pen of righteous glory, Rick Remender has a thing or two he could teach other comic book writers.  This year Remender killed it this year with Black Science.  His masterful way of telling a single story through the eyes of many (with vastly different viewpoints) resulted in me giving standing ovations in the middle of my living room.  Each character he brought to the page had something new to offer.  No one character was driving this ship and that made for very memorable reading.  Remender also knows what it means to let a story drive a genre.  Black Science is all about multidimensional travel – very sci-fi heavy.  But if you were to read an issue with just text and conversation bubbles and all blank panels you’d probably find yourself just as intrigued and captivated.  That’s the sign of a truly good writer.  That’s why Rick Remender is Hush’s writer of the year. – Taylor

Next category: Best Comic Book Artist

Comic Book Reviews 11-19-14

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:

The Multiversity - Pax Americana #1
The Multiversity – Pax Americana #1

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 – A+

I actually had to go through and pair down my review because it was running wildly out of control. If you want the easy version, this book is A+∞. Grant Morrison writes what might be the most mind expanding single issue of a super hero comic ever, and Frank Quitley is an unparalleled master. The more complex version is something like this: this is an alternate version of Moore’s Watchmen, which was a gritty adaptation of the Charleston Comics characters DC bought in the 80s, which was in itself (while gritty) making fun of the grit of comics at the time. Morrison’s Pax Americana is all about the struggle of determining what’s real and what’s linear while (like Moore’s alternate 80s) a politician (who might either be insidiously crooked or divinely inspired) tries to engineer America’s greatest panic and then greatest recovery. This is so packed with easter eggs and symbols: The Question quotes from Colorado native philosopher (and self proclaimed chaos magician like Grant Morrison himself) Ken Wilbur and his color spectrum of societal development; and when the vice president talks to Captain Adam on the bridge, I think that page forms the center wheel around which the entire story spins, and might imply it’s possible to read this comic in both directions. I can’t tell if that’s real, or I want it to be real so bad that I feel like it is. I’m honestly, flabbergasted by this book. It’s incredible. I don’t know if I can wait 4 years for all 52 of these books to come out. Buy it. Buy 10. Buy one for your grandma so that she can tell you she just doesn’t understand the appeal of comics (unless she does, then she’ll love it). – J.H.

 

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #73 – A

I love Futurama! That much is obvious if you know me at all. This comic series has had it’s fair share of bad issues, but this one was one of the greats. This issue happens to be the Halloween issue and deals with a massive robo zombie apocalypse brought on by Bender trying to avoid work. Throughout this issue it had me laughing out loud at multiple things like Professor Farnsworth saying, “Oh my, This has gone from Bad-to-Kirkman much sooner than I could’ve imagined…” and Hermes saying, “Sweet sparrow of George Romero!” So the comedy and zombies references definitely work very well together and make for one of the best issues of this comic in its entire run (for me at least). – Jacob

Boom! Studios:

Lumberjanes #8 – C

Lumberjanes was both educational and entertaining this issue. Number eight seems like the conclusion to this particular story arc. Diane is being a complete butthead, but then what do you expect from a Greek goddess? Poor Jo is still a stone statue which doesn’t make the rest of her friends happy. Are the Lumberjanes able to save her? And which god will claim the ultimate power? You’ll have to find out on your own. As always a fun carefree read. Enjoy. – Jené

Sleepy Hollow #2 – C

I don’t know, Sleepy Hollow is a rather absurd concept and somehow it works out. The characters are interesting enough that you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and even more so in comic book form. I think I like reading Sleepy Hollow more than I like watching the show. The story is just fun. I don’t have to think that hard and I don’t have to put a lot in to get a lot out. This issue slowed down compared to the last one, and it took its time with the monster/demon of the week motif. Crane is obsessed with solving a puzzle, which surprise, surprise is holding the soul of a body who wants to get out a wreak havoc on the masses. Margarite Bennet has written really good dialogue for the characters and food observations of Crane raise a few pleasant chuckles. The cheese is laid on a bit I think, but I can go with it. I do wish there was more detail in the art. Sometimes I feel the characters expressions get lost in the background and can be a little difficult to follow. – Jené

 

Dark Horse Comics:

Predator: Fire & Stone #2 – B

My praise for the Fire & Stone arch continues people! The plot and gore thickens as we pass the halfway point in the grand story line. I’m just as full of intrigue and interest as I was at the very first issue (Prometheus: Fire & Stone #1). I love the Predator storyline and witnessing how the Predator interacts with Galgo. The dynamic of two ruthless sentient individuals who can’t understand each other is ensnaring and a bit comedic. It’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen next because the characters, creatures, situations and environments are constantly changing! It makes for very entertaining reading. The best prediction I can make is that some grand-royale will occur on LV-223. It’s sure to be bloody, terrifying and, most importantly, a hell of a lot of fun. – Taylor

 

DC/Vertigo: 

Wonder Woman #36 – B

(B+) Wonder Woman really distrusts Swamp Thing! But that’s not important. So, Wonder Woman is now the God/Goddess of War and a lot of her Amazonia sisters are not very happy with her. I mean, she allowed men to live with them! But the more important story here is that someone is wiping villages of the planet with water, very large amounts of it. Diana is really struggling with her newfound godliness taking care of her people and still be a major Justice League player. Sadly, this issues kind of all over the place though the story doesn’t really have a strong handhold, at least not yet. I have to say that David Finch’s art is outstanding, combined with Richard Friend’s inking and Sonia Oback’s coloring, each page is very eye-catching, especially the pages with Swamp Thing. I’ll say, for my first Wonder Woman book, I’m definitely interested to see where this is going. – Scott

(B) Azzarello and Chiang’s long and exciting arc that lasted 35 issues is finally over. A lot has happened since the New52 relaunch; Wonder Woman has denounced her title, battled Greek gods, became a Goddess herself, and then came back to becoming Wonder Woman. Now, we finally get to see her interact with the rest of the world. The new version of Wonder Woman is undeniably beautiful. David Finch has been sorely missed from the New52 (his last stint was the first run of Batman: The Dark Knight), and his wife, Meredith, who gets her writing debut here, is a solid storyteller. While it’s nice to see a new direction for Wonder Woman, between this book, Justice League and Superman/Wonder Woman, I would like DC to get a better handle on the kind of person they want her to be – nurturing humanist or angsty warrior. I like where the mystery of the story is headed, and I totally endorse this new creative team. – Sherif

Justice League #36 – B

It just got real for the Justice League! What Ebola is to us humans is what the Amazo Virus is to the meta-beings of the Justice League. Bed-stricken and in comas, all super-powered humans of the League have been given a 24-hour timetable following the accidental unleashing of Lex Luthor’s deviously crafted virus. This is bad, but it’s not the worst part. While most superheroes are TKO, all the Joe Schmoes affected by the virus have a very opposite reaction – they develop superpowers! Unfortunately, these kick-ass abilities will only be temporarily lived because to humans, this virus is totally lethal. This makes for a really entertaining and anxious issue, but it’s a bit distracting from the overall plot. Luthor vs. Wayne was just getting started and then super-Ebola hit! I’ll be on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the League gets themselves out of this one, but hopefully we’re back on track before too long. – Taylor

The New 52: Future’s End #29 – C+

(B) Freeze!!! For just a minute… Let’s break this down. Issue #29 of Future’s End may be the best one yet. Now, being “the best” among a pile of crap may not be saying much (hence the “B” grade), but there are some significant improvement-takeaways from this week’s issue of Future’s End. Primary and above all others is the fact that this issue was focused! It highlighted a specific and small set of characters, all of which had relevant ties to one another; It wove in a plot that was epic and with substantial impact to the primary characters. But what I loved most… it has NOTHING to do with the Brother Eye end of the world plotline. This week we got a glimpse of what a good comic was made of. This 29th issue could essentially spin off from the Future’s End series right now and become a standalone and successful comic. All because of a little bit of focus!!! If Future’s End had been structured this way from the start I would have a 180-degree difference of opinion of the overall story (which so far has been shitty). Maybe this marks a change for the better… I won’t hold my breath though. – Taylor

(C-) Is it bad I’m a little relieved that the whining and bickering is finally over? Maybe now we can actually get back to this whole saving the world thing?  The most interesting part of Firestorm’s storyline so far has been Batman showing up to tell Ronnie and Jason to put their collective big-boy pants on and resume superhero-ing (I’m paraphrasing).  Alas, there was none of that this week. There’s some action and even a special guest to assist with the butt kicking, but over all, I’m still not quite sure why I’m supposed to care. Maybe Firestorm will actually DO something now that the status quo has changed a little bit since absolutely nothing has been accomplished so far. I am not intrigued, excited, or in anyway interested in the outcome of this story anymore. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself every week. Future’s End continues to meander on, and unfortunately still continues to deliver a weekly dose of “WTF!?”. I have the sneaking suspicion that, by April, when we get to the end of this “Event”, none of this is going to matter. Meh. – Moke

Batman and Robin #36 – C

Batman is more honey badger than I have ever seen him in this issue. After slipping through the grasp of the Justice League, he has fought his way through Apokolips to retrieve his son’s corpse. It’s a fun issue and the way the team reunites feels oh so good, but really, there’s not a lot of substance in the issue. I don’t feel any differently about the situation than I did when I read the book a month ago. I will say that Patrick Gleason’s art is in top form here. There are a number of panels that spill into each other, and it forces the reader to really feel the frantic pace that the book takes on. I have no doubt things will get more interesting as the next issue unfolds (especially after what happened after Final Crisis), but this issue was, for the most part, filler. – Sherif

 

IDW Entertainment:

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #6 – B-

So this has to be my favorite comic event of the year! Even if the writing was subpar, and the ending left me wanting more, it still was a wonderful romp through my childhood that always left me wanting other characters to show up (luckily the Powerpuff Girls are having a massive crossover in January!). This issue shows us the continued exploits of the heroes. I do have to say that even though I did absolutely love this series and this issue, it is very childish at times (obviously it is cartoon characters) so some people find it upsetting that their cartoons didn’t grow up with them, but if you are a fan of the characters, please pick it up and look out for the new Powerpuff Girls event next year! – Jacob

Image Comics:

American Legends #3 – B-

The first two issues of American Legends were a little slow and hokey, but this time around it was complete madness. Issue #3 in the miniseries is basically non-stop action in what I can only assume is an effort to make up for what the first two issues may have lacked. It was good enough, I’m just still not in love with it. The heroes face a saber tooth tiger, the LaFitte gang, some more crazy voodoo, and a Wendigo all in the name of catching up to the Lewis and Clark expedition to help prevent Napoleon’s plan to ruin everything for President Jefferson. And to save Sally Thunder’s brother so that Davy or Mike or both can get in her pants. This time around, Davy Crockett and Mike Fink were much more toned down with the cheese factor so they were less Dukes of Hazzard and more Simon and Simon. Sally Thunder still kind of sucks and there is little to no effort to make the bad guys actually seem like bad guys, but…eh. At least at this point in the series I’m no longer really bothered by that because I’m just along for the ride and kind of curious to see where this whole thing goes. – Keriann

Intersect #1 – C-

(B) Intersect is the fevered dream of a mad man, but that’s good. First off, I really have no idea what’s going on. I’m not sure if what I’m seeing is a dream, or a Matrix-like simulation. The story is told in prose almost, it’s all very flowery speech. The art seems to be watercolors and pages are set up very haphazardly. It’s not easy to read in a proper sequential order. Also if I’m supposed to be able to tell what’s going on, I am not succeeding so far. Reading Intersect is kind of like having a seizure, or at least I’d imagine. It’s frantic and confusing and when you’re done you’re not really sure what happened. On the plus side, I want to figure out what happened. Let’s see where this one is going. – Scott

(F) I have no idea what the f*** I just read. Honestly. I have no freaking idea what the hell that was. Intersect #1 feels more like a bad acid trip directed by David Cronenberg than it does a comic and that is not a good thing. I can do weird, in fact sometimes I really like the weird, dark kind of artsy stuff (Alan Moore’s Fashion Beast) but this book is TOO weird and it comes off in a way that made me feel like if I didn’t get it, then I was the dumb one. It also seems like it wants to be deep and if I didn’t get it I was just part of the problem. Screw you book, you made no god damned sense and while the artwork was really, really cool it didn’t help your cause at all. I will say that the last few pages of the book with the bizarre imagery and what I can only assume are Ray Fawkes poems were pretty great, but up to that point it was just too freaking bizarre in the bad way. There is no effort to explain what the story is, who these people are, and what the hell they are doing. And for that matter why there seems to be multiple people living in one body? Is that what was happening? I have no f-ing clue honestly. Frankly, if not understanding this book means I’m dumb, then I’m not sure I want to be smart. – Keriann

Marvel:

Moon Knight #9 – A

(A) Moon Knight has been magnificent, and even though it lost Warren Ellis as its writer, Brian Wood has done a great job of keeping the series moving at a good pace. The biggest knock I have had against the series is that there hasn’t been enough substance to the type of man Mr. Knight is underneath the mask; we’ve seen a bunch of great action, and the art has been top-notch, but I wanted the book to big deeper into the history of Khonshu. Thankfully, right from the get-go, this issues takes a very deep turn. The time that Moon Knight takes on the “Doctor’s” chair is enthralling, and the conversation is both an invitation to conversation and refreshingly personal. Plus, the shocking twist at the end was something I did not even know was possible, so I will be waiting with baited breath to see where the story takes us from here. – Sherif

(A) In nine issues of Moon Knight, very few aspects of this comic have been handled poorly and an even greater number of aspects have been handled extremely well. The first six issues of Moon Knight served to introduce Marc Spector and his flashy and total badass vigilante persona, Mr. Knight, via a series of one-off adventures. Now that an actual story arc has begun, I’ve raised my expectations, hoping to see this series step it up a level. I got exactly what I hoped for this week! “The Doctor” has always played a role in Moon Knight, but this week she emerges as a major player in the things to come. What’s more is that I’m completely compelled by the developing plot. In issues past there were clear cut lines – good vs. bad, righteous vs. evil. Now the waters have become muddied and it’s done a great service for this already impressive series. I want a whole lot more of what Moon Knight has got to offer. – Taylor

Deadpool #37 – A

There has been a change Deadpool books recently, and it hasn’t just been the fact that Deadpool is now a zen Buddhist. I feel Deadpool, although still funny, has really gotten into the hang of handling drama just as well as Tacos and Chimichangas. That drama comes into play in this issue, which also ties into the A&X: Axis storyline. It shows us how Deadpool handles the switch in attitude by becoming the “Monk with the Mouth” instead the “Merc with the Mouth.” The craziest thing though is Deadpool is always in about 5 stories at once so it will be interesting to see how this comes into play and whether or not his Peaceful nature will pass over to the other books he has going now. I would pick this up if you are a fan of Deadpool, are reading Axis, or just want to be introduced a completely different Deadpool than you are used to. – Jacob

Avengers & X-Men Axis #6 – A-

This gets better and better every week. We have evil heroes and heroic villains all across Marvel. The art has been wonderful and the writing is spectacular, especially in showing the same character but the exact opposite and yet having it work perfectly. I look forward to seeing where this event takes us and how the characters will all change drastically after this. How will Carnage and other absolutely insane villains handle the fact they were heroes? Will Cyclops be ostracized for teaming with Apocalypse? We likely won’t find out for quite some time now, but in the mean time, pick this issue! – Jacob

Black Widow #12 – B- 

While I think the Black Widow series is good, it isn’t great. The question this month was #WhoIsBlackWidow. And yeah, it really is a hashtag. Asked by Anderson Cooper. Ok, now that I say that out loud, it sounds silly. However, Anderson Cooper has a point. We have no clue about her, 12 issues in. I just hope that the hashtag bit is gearing us up to find out more and not a way to get vapid internet junkies to tweet something ridiculous. – Adrian

Spider-Woman #1 – C+

I’ll admit I’m not a guru when it comes to the Spider-Verse, but I felt like I was missing something throughout this issue. I understand that the villains here have the munchies for all things Spider, but we aren’t given much backstory to these characters in this issue, and I think because of that, the stakes didn’t feel as high as I wanted them to be. However, the dynamics between all the heroes is really interesting, and because of that, I think this comic will get better as it develops. There’s some great writing here and it has a lot of potential to be a great addition to the Spider-Verse. As a start up to a new story arc, however, I was slightly disappointed. – Charlotte

Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #2 – C-

I went into this issue pretty biased as I loathed the first one in this series. This second issue is a bit better. While it offers some meaning to the Death of Wolverine event, it still lacks significance. Not to mention, I don’t care about these characters. On top of that I think Weapon X steals costume ideas from other superheroes (i.e. Deadpool is to Spider-Man as Sharp is to Star Lord) which is rather distracting. Despite the character design of Sharp, the books offer some great covers and art inside, which is a major point in me still purchasing the series. – Jacob

Loki: Agent of Asgard #8 – C-

I’ve been pretty disappointed with this comic from the get go. Loki is one of my favorite Marvel characters and I was really excited that he was getting his own comic, but it just hasn’t had much to offer lately. This latest issue in particular was just really lacking, and if you hadn’t read the comics referred to in the footnotes, you only had a vague sense of why Loki was suddenly a noble dick. It all came across as a very strange, out of character, the-writers-have-run-out-of-ideas add-in. I really don’t understand how Loki being turned good helps the plot at all and they’ve completely lost me as to where this comic is going in the future. I really hope it gets better because Loki is a great, complicated character who deserves a kick-ass story. – Charlotte

Magneto #12 – C-

There seems to be a trend of books this week having the need to feel “epic.” The grand scale which Magneto took on was largely disappointing; starting at what seemed a great face-off between Magneto and Red Skull turned into a ridiculous arc that undermined the whole point of having a Magneto book. I was almost flung from the Cullen Bunn bandwagon with the last few issues, and throwing together a sentimental conclusion issue with Magneto and Professor X just couldn’t save the train wreck that Axis has become. I’m glad that Magneto will get back to exploring the anti-hero’s messiah side, but I can’t help but feel like there is a little bit of trust lost here. If Bunn can stick to the subject material without getting dragged into massive events, this series can really carve out a place in the books. – Sherif

Storm #5 – D

First of all, the guy that Storm has to fight in honor of Yukio tells her to “meet in the desert at sunset.” Is that the mutant’s answer to a flagpole after-school? The corniness of this line made me spit out my coffee. But that turned out to be the best part of this issue. The rest of it involved a mutant fight in the desert at sunset. Can you believe that? And then they tried to act like Logan had something to do with it because we can’t forget he died. But trust me, the fights by my 3rd grad flagpole were way more compelling, and probably actually about Wolverine. – Adrian

Funniest Panel:

 

Spider-Woman #1
Spider-Woman #1

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Amazing Spider-Man #10
Amazing Spider-Man #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, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 11-12-14

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:

batman 36 potw 11.12.14

Batman #36- A

(A) There needs to be a limit on how much of The Joker Scott Snyder is allowed to write. I cannot remember a version of The Man Who Laughs that terrified me as much as Snyder’s version does (aside from Brian Azzarello’s Joker, yeesh). Endgame is already shaping up to be able to stand next to Court of OwlsZero Year and Death of the Family in terms of quality. The best way I can describe his writing is like a spider; he reels you in, thinking that you have it all figured out, until the story pulls the carpet from under you until you realize that you are trapped. Snyder’s horror background (The Wake, Wytches and American Vampire) makes him a perfect fit for the most terrifying villain in Batman’s history. This is all perfectly complemented by Greg Capullo’s pencil work. Having had the chance to interview Capullo, we know what a craftsman he is; his eery art style that worked so well on Spawn and Court of Owls fits perfectly with the Joker. The use of colors is dire to the issue’s success, as well, with FCO Plascencia really blending the brightly colored Superman scenes with the dreary Arkham moments. We cannot praise this book, this team enough. Right now is your chance to get in on history in the making, so go out and start reading Batman before the party is over. – Sherif

(A) The New52 Batman is absolute genius.  Yeah, it has been going for a few years now, but I feel the need to remind everyone, just in case they forgot.  Endgame Part 2 continued to showcase the exceptional writing of Scott Snyder and mesmerizing art by Greg Capullo.  The first panels of the issue start slowly with Batman talking about a specific sound he hears in his nightmares.  It forces you to read everything about the page and to experience what Batman himself is experiencing. This is a rarity in comic book writing, in my opinion, and should be lauded.  In this world without the rest of the Justice League, Gotham and beyond become scarier and scarier, but there was one panel in particular that terrified me to my core: a close up of The Joker’s deranged eyes.  No one but Capullo could have pulled it off.  If you are behind, or have yet to start in on this story arc, quit reading my review, and go pick it up at your local comic shop now! – Adrian

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

Deep State #1- C-

A government conspiracy between Russia and America when the moon landing really happened – the first thing that jumps out is the opening narration that is void of any comic cliche comic book writing: just describing the action in the panel, and then saying, “My name’s John Johnson, and I am Fly Guy.” It’s really nice and sets up the expectation that what you’re about to read is going to be creatively written, but then all the dialogue reads like this: “For instance, the question you want to know right now is how I could possibly expect you to believe a word I’m saying.” It’s the kind of writing that’s trying really hard to be intriguing, but points too vigorously to itself. The art is OK; it’s like someone simultaneously trying to do Hellboy and anime, which aren’t complimentary. Man, I want to love every comic I read so bad, and this one was right in my wheelhouse (government conspiracies, alien life, ancient astronaut, probably), but the dialogue was so clunky that it made 25 pages seem like infinity. Page 24 is definitely the most interesting to look at. – Cuyler

Dark Horse Comics:

Resurrectionists #1- B+

Resurrectionists was a fragmented story and there was a lot of content that was covered really quickly, but it’s done right. There are well formed characters to start, with some very interesting dynamics between them. The first part leaves you a little intrigued, but you have to hope that comes back around in a way that does it justice. Overall, though, I liked it a lot. It has a bit of everything: intelligence, action, intrigue, and what it does best is the interpersonal dynamics between the characters. I think some of my favorite books and comics always built that as their foundation, so it has me wanting more. I’ll definitely have to grab the next issue. – Zach

Prometheus: Fire and Stone #3 – C

This is my first review for the series though I’ve read every issue of it so far. The artwork is beautiful. Last issue had some truly beautiful panoramas of the planet. The biggest problem is the overstuffed staff. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of ten characters, and the story gives each one near-equal screen time, which means I have no idea who to root for. I assume the main character and captain simply because she’s a take-charge woman, and those are the only people to make it out alive in the Aliens/Prometheus universe, but it tries to be tense and mysterious, and hints at some fascinating ideas – monkeys, ants, and giraffe-ish looking animals that all developed as a result of the black goo from the movie, and an android that mutates as a result of exposure to the goo – but never gives anything real screen time. The best Aliens comics have always had some sort of philosophical answer to look for, and the worst were simple run-n-gun stories. I might be the only person on the planet who liked Prometheus, but this is a simple run-n-gun story with way too much trying to be accomplished at any given moment. – Cuyler

DC/Vertigo: 

The Kitchen #1 – B

(B) The Kitchen follows three women whose mobster husbands have been sent to prison.  So basically, it’s Mob Wives, but instead of you feeling bad about watching trashy reality all day instead of organizing your garage, you can now read the same storyline in a comic in 15 minutes!  And honestly, it was better than reality TV.  Set in the 70’s, the story feels a little like Charlie’s Angels, with the blonde, brunette and redhead.  But ya’know if they were in the Mob and didn’t give a single fuck.  The three women must make do with their lives sans husbands, and by the end of the first issue, they have already gotten themselves into a mess. But oddly, I find myself rooting for them.  – Adrian

(B-) I’m usually a big fan of crime books, but The Kitchen just doesn’t quite do it for me. I’m not saying it’s bad, just not really my cup of tea. The story of The Kitchen follows the lives of three mob wives learning how to live after their husbands are put away for five years. The three women handle it their mob lifestyle in different ways. Kathy, the toughest of the three does her best to pick up where he husband left off, even to the point of picking up protection money. The other two are a little more toned-down characters. The art isn’t bad but the lines around the faces of the women are a little too dark and age the characters I think more than they need to be. Perhaps that’s to better convey the hardened lifestyle they live.  The Kitchen is good enough to keep up on it for now, but I hope that it picks up a little more. – Scott

Earth 2: World’s End #6 – C

Well, things are all over the place again, and like before, it’s not bad, it’s just a lot of information to cram into a couple dozen pages. The cliffhanger from the last issue is disappointing and I was definitely hoping that it was going to go in a different direction, but, who knows; things will probably still head to that end, anyway. – Cody

The New 52 – Future’s End #28 – F

I… Don’t… Care…  Those three words perfectly sums up how I felt about this entire issue of Future’s End.  Here’s the thing – the plot is so confusing and mutilated that when an issue drops and it focuses solely on this butchered storyline, all it makes me want to do eat a hamster.  I know that doesn’t make any sense!!!  That’s the point!!!!  This issue COULD have been saved IF the faceoff between Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne would have been as epic as the cover art indicated, but noooo.  All I got was a grappling hook to the foot and a broken window.  Wasted time and effort on this one folks.  Be warned. – Taylor

Dynamite Entertainment:

Django/Zorro #1 – C

This comic was probably my most highly anticipated release for this week.  Django Unchained was my favorite movie of 2012.  As a kid, I used to pretend I was Don Diego himself – swinging rapier like sticks in the backyard, carving “Z”s into the tree trunks.  In fewer words: I was PUMPED!!  Well, with great expectations comes the risk feeling great disappointment.  Risk not adverted.  Before I go further let me disclaim, I did enjoy this issue and I’m looking forward to the follow up issues very much.  What irked me about this first issue was that it was far too much buildup.  I know who Django is and how deadly he is with a pistol, and I’m acutely familiar with Zorro’s unmatched fighting ability and cunning; you don’t have to spend 70% of the issue building up to what we already know!!  I guess the important thing is that these two badass vigilantes are finally together and are planning to stir it up big-time in Arizona.  Not quite the BANG-SLASH intro I was hoping for, but an intro nonetheless. – Taylor

Alice Cooper #3 – C

The story for this series is dark and brooding, as expected, and offers the brand and style Alice Cooper has grown to be known and loved for. That is where the parallels end between the music career and the comic of Alice Cooper. As great as it is to see him in the limelight again, I wish it were in another capacity as these comics definitely leave something to be desired.  The art is actually quite fantastic, but the story just seems rushed with not much focus and it is kind of just gliding by the seats of its pants. Not to say as a fan of Alice that I don’t enjoy it every month but only get this book if you are a big fan of Alice Cooper and his mythology; otherwise, this series offers nothing too incredible to entice you into caring. – Jacob

 

IDW Comics:

Star Trek #38 – B

Reeling after the surprise death of the last issue, we see the crew still separated, multiple threats appearing, alliances disappearing, Q being the scheming bastard he always is, and new allies and friendships forming. I have thoroughly enjoyed this crossover of every Star Trek property, but this issue it left me wanting a bit more as I felt they really grounded themselves with certain characters and wasted or not even used very good characters from the entire franchise. Instead, they choose to focus on characters that may seem minor to those that only really know TOS and TNG. I would still say that this series is a Star Trek fan’s dream no matter what series and Captain you follow; now, if only we could see Captain Janeway appear, this may have been a grade A issue. – Jacob

Black Dynamite #4 – C+

If you are looking for any sort of cohesive story, keep on keepin’ on; this is not the book for you. Black Dynamite books have been completely random, with no real direction. However, it is good for a laugh. In this issue, Dynamite takes on the shoe industry after a famous basketball player is murdered when attempting an alley-oop from half-court completed by Evel Knievel while jumping over three Ford Pintos – pretty standard stuff here. Either you love Black Dynamite, or you think he’s one of the most ridiculous things on paper. I will say that the writers have found a good medium to keep the book at without going overboard… just in time for this to be the final issue. If you like Black Dynamite, you might enjoy the animated series, which returned to adult swim on Saturday, 10/18. – Sherif

October Faction #2 – C-

(C) The first issue of October Faction started off strong (or maybe I told myself it did because of how much I adore Steve Niles) but sadly issue #2 did not take that momentum and run with it. In all honestly it fell a little flat. The most recent installment focused entirely on building the story, the only problem is that it was still a little too vague at times and not so compelling at others. Overall, it just moved a little slow. They introduced a few new beasts, a werewolf and what I can only assume is a killer robot, which I like because it at least hints that down the road we may get to witness some epic battles and meet some cool characters. The members of the hunting family were building to be interesting but I don’t feel like they are developed enough by this point that they are likable or not, they merely exist. I wish I could say more, I really do, because I am so rooting for this series to take off and be amazing, but for now it really is just kind of fell dead in its tracks. – Keriann

(D+) October Faction’s initial release had me intrigued. It’s first issue had style, timing, and all the hall markers of a good story building into something more. The second issue took all of that build up only to bring you right back down to earth, and not in that nice gentle way that generally comes to mind. Think sky diver without a parachute type of coming to earth. Like a bad second date, I finished reading October Faction’s second issue feeling as if I was staring at a beer in a restaurant, wondering why I even bothered. That’s a harsh review, I know, but this issue is almost all fluff. Filler and family drama that could have just as easily been squeezed from a bad sitcom or a teenage family lifetime movie. It has it’s twists and a new character that could lead to something very interesting down the line, but when it comes to this issue it’s too little too late. So let’s hope this is just a lull proceeding the storm because when it comes to issue #2, October Faction left me wanting in all the worst ways. – Zach

The Bigger Bang – D+

I went into this one intrigued by the idea of a second Big Bang. If you read the Origin Story on inside cover (which I didn’t at first), it explains the idea of a second Big Bang or Bigger Big Bang that destroyed the universe we live in and in the wreckage was left this new multiverse in which the comic takes place. This had so much potential. It’s too bad it was executed so poorly. The two biggest problems I have with this comic is the melodramatic tone and the dialogue. Honestly, it reads like the half-formed idea of a sad teenage boy. I’m TIRED of the atonement-seeking hero and while I understand that *SPOILER* the hero’s whole thing is survivor’s guilt, it doesn’t come across as such. The character has no reason to save the people he does. There’s nothing driving him forward, or at least nothing that is revealed to the reader. The dialogue tells us everything flat out. I know the cliche “show don’t tell” is getting old, but apparently the author of this comic has never heard of it. I didn’t need to be told flat out that Captain Wayne (who is arguably the only redeemable character in the comic) doesn’t understand why she’s being ordered to kill the hero. She doesn’t need to say that. I get it that she’s torn and if I didn’t, there would have been a better way to go about making that clear than saying “but he seems so kind!” The only reason I would recommend this to someone is if they were a studio artist, because the art is actually quite good, even though it seems a bit out of place set in space. – Charlotte

 

Image Comics:

The Walking Dead #134 – B+

(A-) There’s finally some conflict and traction in The Walking Dead. After about a half-dozen issues of catching back up with current times, we have quite a situation on our hands. Carl and Sophia are finally the tag team we always knew they would be, and we get a better glimpse of who the heck these guys attacking travelers are. I love the concept of these meat sack guys (that’s what I’m calling them for now), and I cannot wait to see more of their background story. The best part of this issue, hands down, has to be the multiple pages of Adlard’s work that show Jesus going off on the meat sacks. Even though a team of people have had encounters with the meat sacks, I think only a couple of them know what they actually are – and bringing one back to camp is a good way to find out. – Sherif

(B) This series continues to be the best it’s ever been. Whatever these things are, it’s messed up. This issue has a couple big moments but the one that stands out to me the most happens between Carl and Sophia. This issue did a lot in terms of setting up a new B story and finally getting some hope that were going to find out what these things are that are attacking everyone. Seems pretty obvious, but, you never really know with this series. – Cody

Wytches #2 – B

Wytches lost some momentum this week, but overall it still held pretty strong as one of the best horror books out right now. Issue #2 was a little convoluted and it definitely lacked the cold brutality that made the first issue pop so much, but it was still a solid read with a good flow. There was more of a focus this time around on the Rooks family members and how they are each dealing, but there was still a healthy helping of super creepy and what the hell is that moments – especially at the end after Sailor hijacks a school bus and runs out to the woods to escape confront her demons. There was good sprinkling of exciting things are to come, so even though this month’s Wytches may have been a little tame, it was still the best book I read all week and I’m certainly looking forward to the next issue. – Keriann

Drifter #1 – C+

(A-) Drifter is a sci-fi with a little bit of post-apocalyptic flavor. A so far nameless man crash lands on a planet that doesn’t quite have a working society. He wakes up in a Mad Max style outpost town after his crash, and after being shot by the way. So far the characters are nameless, there is the crash landed pilot, a medic, and the man who shot him. One thing I did notice that I didn’t really care for was that some of the conversations don’t seem to make sense. More than once I felt like there were questions being answered before they were asked. What Drifter really has going for it is the art. Nic Klein does an outstanding job. The colors are particularly outstanding. Drifter is definitely one to pick up this week. I’m sure it will worth the read every issue. – Scott

(D) To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this book. It started off kind of choppy and had a very Pitch Black feel to it, but the lead character has less charisma overall than Riddick has in his pinky finger. To be fair, he actually has less charisma than that girl who dressed as boy to be cool that nobody liked. But I’m getting carried away in the wrong direction; it’s just that remembering watching Pitch Black is more interesting to me than this book was. The dialogue is way too fragmented; no one speaks in complete sentences and that’s annoying to read over and over. The characters just use have thought out metaphors and what I think is supposed to be gritty just sounds like bad writing with no real flow to it. So far the plot does not seem well thought out, or at least it comes of that way. Drifter seems to really miss its own point, at least so far. The characters were without depth and they all spoke like Steven Segal, or the villains from his movies. The plot is too choppy and tries to be mysterious without revealing anything to actually give it a hook so why should I care? Short answer: I don’t. Long answer: See above. – Keriann

American Legends #2 – C

American Legends returns with its second issue and this time around I think it might actually be growing on me. I’ve come to accept that this story is basically going to be The Dukes of Hazzard featuring a handful of historic characters and now it’s easier for me to sit back and enjoy the ride. The book isn’t great; the writing is full of camp and, frankly, it’s not that clever or funny, but it is at least kind of enjoyable if you can just take it for what it is. Issue #2 progresses the story a bit more; although, it is still unclear of exactly what point they might be building to. It also introduces a few new historical characters into the mix. Unfortunately, Sacagawea is kind of lackluster considering she should be awesome and there is so much they could have done with her along the lines of historical embellishment intermingled with fantasy. At least the explanation of how the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s started is kind of funny. Other than that gem, Sally Thunder’s insanely giant boobs that pop out of her shirt in basically every panel and a few nearly unbearable “Duke Boys” moments between Crockett and Fink, American Legends #2 really didn’t have a whole lot to offer. – Keriann

Copperhead #3 – C

(C) The mostly dull sci-fi-western, Copperhead, continued this week.  Being largely unimpressed and barely intrigued after the first two issues, I expected more of the same.  In that regard – I was not let down.  The story is progressing much too slowly to really keep me interested; this is one of the poorer uses of the comic book medium I’ve seen lately.  A few dozen pages isn’t much to work with; it’s important to hit readers hard and fast to keep us interested!  By this point I’m expecting twists, gadgets or anything new and different.  The thing saving this review from a “D” grade is the twist (if you can call it that) revolving around Ishmael, the artificial-human dessert nomad, and his involvement with the mass murder of an alien-hillbilly family.  While floating among pages of lackluster content, I was immediately sucked in at the last two pages of the issue.  I hope issue #4 keeps me drawn in – I don’t know if I can take much more of this boring space adventure (if you can call it that either). – Taylor

(C) This series continues to be good, if not a little one dimensional. Things are panning out just as you’d expect in any cop drama and it’s unfortunate. I’d really like to see some cosmic cowboy justice but it just isn’t happening yet. The one thing that keeps me coming back is the art and how unique everything seems. – Cody

Marvel:

Spider-Verse #1 – A

Spider-Man is quickly becoming my favorite superhero.  Mostly because there are an infinite number of him (and her, and ham).  Even though Spider-Verse #1 did nothing to advance the plot-at-large that is the “Spider-Verse Event,” it did a great job of showcasing the many different ways one can enjoy Spidey.  Comprised of three mini-stories and two even more-mini stories (all with different writers and authors) I found myself really enjoying the wide birth of Spider-Man experiences brought to life on the panel.  My particular favorite was Steampunk Lady Spider!  I don’t even understand Steampunk, but I really dig Lady Reilly and her gizmo-geared-spider-contraption suit!!  At its core, this issue is just flat out fun.  It’s refreshing to be able to take a step back from the epic epic about to take place and just enjoy a comic for the sake of it.  The comic book community is having a lot of fun with this Spider-Verse event.  You should definitely join in if you haven’t already. – Taylor

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5 – A-

This week’s issue pretty much opened up the entire plot for what seems to be the rest of the series. Without spoiling too much, we see many people changing sides, unlikely team-ups, and Apocalypse is here – which is never a sign that thing will go well. So things are not looking so good here after the events of Red Onslaught as he is now free and hiding out somewhere for the time being while all the heroes kind of duke it between one another hoping something will be resolved. The art has been very consistent and enjoyable for this whole series and offers up some great iconic images along the way and the story is definitely the best of the major Marvel events so far this year. – Jacob

Superior Iron Man #1 – B+

I have to admit, I have not been an avid Iron Man reader, ever. In fact, aside from Extremis, this is the first Iron Man-titled book I have ever read. I quite enjoyed this. The Tony Stark we get here is very much a product of his bout with alcoholism, as well as his fatally narcissistic personality from the movies. This time, Stark has created the Extremis 3.0 app, which lets people experience perfection. However, the app was released as a free trial – and the cost to re-up is $100 a day. Superior will try to shed light on people’s addiction to physical flawlessness and technological enhancement – something I don’t doubt will be reflected back onto Stark himself, who insists on playing God to other humans. There is a ton of sarcastic humor in this, which is what makes Iron Man such an enjoyable character. There’s trouble to be had in San Francisco, and I certainly aim to be around when it happens. – Sherif

All-New Captain America #1 – B

Sam Wilson has finally put on the suit, and he looks damn good in it. While the former Falcon attempts a routine mission to save a kid hostage, he’s met by Batroc the Leaper. While the issue itself doesn’t really break any boundaries or set any new standards, it is really fun to read, and the cute comments about Sam getting acclimated to the shield give the issue a whimsical tone. I also loved Batroc’s attacks on American culture and addressing the adversity that Wilson will have to overcome to be respected by Cap’s enemies. It would have been nice to get a little more development out of the issue, but it was a strong start. – Sherif

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #7 – B-

What the whaaa…!?!?!? I’m not sure what just happened… But I think it was awesome! I feel a little guilty about it, but I like this issue in spite of itself. There’s plenty of action, zero story, and a little bit of extra something(s) thrown in at the end for good measure. The art is as crisp as I’ve come to expect from this series, yet the action (not to mention the current storyline) is still a bit confusing to follow at times. Maybe this ties into Spider-Verse. Maybe we’re getting the Ultimate version of another mainstream character. Maybe this is all a dream… I don’t know, and I don’t think you will either. I’m thoroughly confused, but I’m still unabashedly along for the ride. – Jumoke

Thor #2 – C

(C+) This issue really didn’t do a whole lot for me and was kind of just filler it seems. I know they are not going to reveal everything right off the bat, but when you are dealing with a very short weekly story to try and entice fans I kind of hope that there is a little character progression past, the thoughts of ”I have the power of Thor now! Cool! I’ll just beat up this guy and this guy and oh, no I am not really Thor. I’m just a woman with his hammer who doesn’t know how to use it yet.” For someone who seems to have spent a lot of time around Thor and his friends and knows an awful lot about them, she should probably know a little more about Mjolnir than she seemed to have. Either way, it is just the intro to the whole grand scheme and intro are always difficult even for the best stories. Despite the little things that bugged me personally, the story and art are both wonderful and offer us something we never thought would happen. So I am sure this will improve in time and it is good to see more badass women in comics, albeit the Thor armor sure got a lot more revealing when a woman picked up the hammer… – Jacob

(C) While this issue of Thor was better than it’s 1st issue, it still feels off.  We were finally able to see the female Thor in action, but the writers are making it very clear that she isn’t actually Thor.  Then why title the book as such?  Just to create controversy? I don’t think that is necessarily the best idea.  This issue put female-Thor (they have yet to give her a name) on Earth to battle Ice Giants who have frozen the Avengers.  While the idea is neat, it seems premature.  We have yet to even know the lady’s name and she is forced to save the biggest names in Marvel.  While some of the dialogue was clever, it was extremely exposition heavy.  I think if Thor has been a favorite of yours, this book is up your alley, but if not, it may have already failed. – Adrian

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #2 – B-

(B) Kate Bishop! Kate Bishop! Kate Bishop! This month’s Hawkeye vs Deadpool was a really enjoyable read. What I love about this comic is how relatable, funny, and well executed the characters are. Both Clint and Kate are awkward as all hell and it makes the comic all the greater. All the characters read not as high-class, 100% serious, “Get-out-of-my-way-I’ve-got-shit-to-do” heroes, but as real people who just happened to save the world frequently. While the comic has its serious parts and there’s a definite urgency to get the precious files on S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into the rightful hands, it is also largely funny. I was constantly laughing at the bickering interactions between Clint and Deadpool and the hilarious one-liners and general quirkiness of Kate. I also love how similar Clint and Kate are and the friendship between them is really enjoyable to read. One thing that I really appreciate in this story arc as a whole, is that they address the fact that Clint is deaf. They joke around with it (without being offensive) in scenes where Clint can’t read Deadpool’s lips because of his mask, which Deadpool comedically takes advantage of when he’s asking Clint for permission to do something but really doesn’t want an answer. This comic is definitely a must read for both Hawkeye and Deadpool fans alike – and if you’re a Kate Bishop fan, you’ll be happy with how present she is in this issue. I’m super-excited for what is to come in this story arc. – Charlotte

(C) From what started off as great chemistry between Hawkeye and Deadpool has turned into a slop of an adventure with no real direction or desire to find an endpoint in two more installments. There are still a lot of cute lines and subtle jokes made throughout the book, but it lacks any of the pop that sold me on the last couple issues. The inclusion of Kate Bishop is pretty helpful, as the banter between her an Deadpool is flat-out adorable, but the issue begins to drag on when all they do is talk about how Kate is better than Hawk guy. Even the twist at the end loses its impact when there is such a lack of cohesion throughout the rest of the book. – Sherif

Captain Marvel #9 – D

The only shred of anything that saved this week’s issue was the vague cliffhanger.  Otherwise, I am so disappointed in how this series is shaping out.  This week, Lila Cheney, mutant rockstar who can teleport, lands on Captain Marvel’s ship and takes Captain Marvel and Tic to a planet that only speaks in rhyme. Yeah, the whole book rhymes.  The point of going to the planet is to stop Lila’s marriage to a boy she made a pact with as a kid. It seems really early to introduce a character like Lila, how has added little to no value to the Marvel Universe in the 30 years she’s been around. It could have waited until issue, I don’t know, never.  It’s almost as if someone at Marvel was like, “Hey it’s cool that you wanted to write a story about Captain Marvel and have her be a bad ass woman and all, but this month, you must insert Lila Cheney, the story line must be inconsequential, and it must all rhyme!”  Bleh. – Adrian

Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #4 – D

I keep getting my hopes up that the next character covered in this series will have a better story to offer than the last, but yet again that is not the case here. Although, I am trying to read the entire Death of Wolverine series and spin offs, I am finding out that very few of the issues of this event whether the main story line or one of the one-shots offer anything substantial. This particular issue left me rather confused and made me question not only why I read it, but also why it was written in the first place. It does offer a good look into Lady Deathstrike, but by the end I was not sure of her intentions or her true feeling for Wolverine. I would say unless you are already invested in the series, or just a huge Wolverine fan, then this entire series will be a been a let down for what should have been quite a great look into how Wolverine’s closest connections handle his death. – Jacob

Funniest Panel:

Black Dynamite #4
Black Dynamite #4

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spider lady steampunk

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, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.