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


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


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.