Comic Book Reviews 08-06-14

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:

kick a

Kick-Ass 3 #8 A+

That’s right – the finale to Kick-Ass is the first A+ ever given at Hush. It was the best send-off I could have asked for. Dave Lizewski is calling it quits, but before he quits, Hit-Girl has talked him into one last night of beating some mobster and crooked cop ASS. As per usual, the story is flooded with murder and mayhem, but there are so many great moments with no action at all in them. It was a greatly crafted end that just screams Hollywood adaptation. The pages are also littered with Easter Eggs and even an after-credits scene that keeps the story alive. Kick-Ass has shown us that not only do comic books kick ass, but normal people can, too. This is one of the best endings to a beloved franchise I’ve read since Locke & Key wrapped up last December. Kick-Ass has carved out a niche in the comic book world and has enough shelf life to make it a classic. – Sherif

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Grayson #2B-

It would seem that although there is a lot of change in the Batverse since Dick Grayson’s “death,” not much has changed. The former Nightwing has been sent in to spy on … Spyral, who is working on systematically discovering the identity of the Justice League. The tricky thing about being a double agent is that, most of the time, nobody has any idea what is going on and where alliances lie. Unfortunately, we as readers are victim to some of that as well. I like the overall schtick the book has, and writer Tim Seeley does a good job of portraying the whimsical Dick Grayson, but there’s not enough here to really make me want to sell Grayson to you. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Rocket Raccoon #2 – A

The second issue in Rocket’s solo series starts out with a hilarious True Detective reference that, while slightly confusing, made me laugh out loud and the laughs kept coming from there. It’s rare that a comic book will have me laughing so much, but, Rocket manages to do just that. Rocket is just as foul-mouthed as he’s always been in the books but it’s great to see Rocket have to take care of himself, he can really kick some ass when he needs to, even without a gun. The art has taken some getting used to for me, but, I think I’m finally on board with it. It’s very reminiscent of old Earthworm Jim stuff, there’s even a Rat Fink style vehicle in it that I absolutely loved. I’m very excited with where this series is going and I suggest getting started on it, especially if you enjoyed the Guardians film. – Cody

Moon Knight #7A

Wow. The first six issues of Moon Knight have been so awesome, and just like that – it’s over. Writer Warren Ellis and penciller Declan Shalvey are moving on after dropping one of the most impressive new books out. Their last issue, and the one that wraps up the first arc, focuses on NYPD detective Ryan Trent who has a real problem with a superhero doing their jobs for them. Trent decides to take the most logical action – falsify his identification as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and become a murderous anti-hero to take his place. Ellis and Shalvey have laid the groundwork for the new team of Brian Wood (writer) and Greg Smallwood (artist) to take over. If nothing else, this six-issue run has been an applaudable ode to the character of Moon Knight. – Sherif

Superior Spider-Man #32A-

Okay, I have to admit it – I really missed the a-hole Spider-Man. Otto Octavius is still alive, kind of. There was a certain charm that Doc Ock carried as the Superior Spider-Man that Peter Parker just can’t. I will say that I highly prefer having our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man back in business, but if there’s anything this book proved, it’s that there is still a place in the world for a narcissistic, genius Spider-Man. It seems Otto will be jump-starting this Spider-verse event, gathering a team of Spider-Men from all universes, saving them from a universe-hopping Spider hunter (and not saving a few more, like: House of M Spider-Man, Fantastic Four Spider-Man and the Iron Spider). This is shaping up to be a thoroughly entertaining story. – Sherif

Legendary Star-Lord #2 – B-

Peter Quill’s solo adventure has been a lot of fun so far. Star-Lord has been captured by his half sister and is being taken to face his fate. This issue has a couple really great moments of Star-Lord just being Star-Lord which is always good for a laugh. I love seeing all the weird creatures out there in these Guardians solo books and there’s a great “that’s no moon” moment in this issue. This one had a rather odd end, but, I’m still excited to see where this is going. – Cody

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #4 C+

Ultimate Spider-Man has always been a bit difficult for me to follow. However, what always drew me in, even if for just a few issues at a time, was the emergence of Miles Morales and the “Death of Spider-Man.” This new series has been more or less pedestrian, but this issue definitely kicks it up a few notches. Miles finds himself all alone after spilling the beans about his secret identity to his girlfriend Katie has effectively pushed her away. Miles has more pressing matters to attend to, as Norman Osborn is tearing apart the Parker’s neighborhood. Somehow, Peter freakin’ Parker shows up to save the day. Following Marvel’s newsfeed, we know that there is some massive Spider-verse event coming up – we just hope that Peter’s appearance isn’t a gimmick. – Sherif

 

Funniest Panel:

spyral mobile

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spidey boom

 

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.

 

Diggin’ Through the Crates: RZA “We Pop”

Song: “We Pop”

Artist: RZA Ft. Division & Ol’ Dirty Bastard

AlbumBirth of a Prince (2003)

Lyric: “I cock arm, pass the bomb, like Troy Aikman/Play the basement like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.”

 

Character Reference/Meaning:

Welcome back DTCers! Hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July. Over at Hush headquarters, we celebrated the great Red, White, and Nerd! Let’s keep it going, shall we? This week’s DTC features a repeat rapper, the one, the only, the RZA. This track comes off of his 3rd solo studio album and brings with it not only a powerful message, but some supreme nerdiness as well. Like all rap artists, RZA strives for success (he already found it if y’all didn’t know), and in order to be successful you have to make it happen. If you are to become one of the greats and have little boys and girls listening to your hits when you are long past, you have to do one thing. Work. If you don’t put in the work, and have no dedication to your craft, then no one will respect it. That is exactly what RZA expressed in this so skillfully executed nerdy comic reference.

Since 1989, or even before, RZA has been dedicated to his craft. He has put in the work from day one and look at all it has gotten him: multiple albums, countless soundtrack features, tons of features on albums and has been named one of the top music producers according to Vibe, NME, and The Source. RZA has also showed us his acting and directing chops in various films. If you people out there don’t think RZA is neither a star nor a nerd, just Google “RZA” and “Afro Samurai” together, and let all your doubts fade way with your embarrassment for being so foolish. It’s easy to see that RZA is a nerd simply based on this lyric. He doesn’t say “Batman and Robin;” he uses their secret identities. If you know secret identities, then you may be a nerd – congratulations.

RZA understands the importance of having a solid work ethic. Regardless of what you do, if you don’t do it with conviction and dedication, someone who is putting in the work will pass you any day now. Regardless if you are writing the next big comic book, or starting to write your first rhyme, you should strive to be hall of fame quality. You need to be Troy Aikman in a sense, and put everything you have into that one pass. Give your heart and soul into your work, and the work will speak for itself. As you all know RZA goes hard in the paint and truly shows off his craft by using a skillful comic book reference. Most rappers starting out, or even today find their basement to be the base of operations. With eggshell cartons lining the wall, and pantyhose over the microphone, the basement becomes a true recording studio. For aspiring artists on the come up, that basement is the Batcave. In Gotham, if there was no Batcave, would there be a Batman and Robin? If the answer is yes, would they be as effective as they are? Every person, despite the craft, needs a place to make the greatness happen. Batman and Robin have the Batcave, Superman has the Fortress of Solitude, Iron Man has the Stark Tower, and RZA has the recording studio. Similar to the Batcave, the infamous basement recording studio is both out of sight, and underground… I see what you did there RZA, I see it. If you aren’t working hard when you are out of sight and out of mind, then dedication isn’t part of your skill set. Because if you do work hard, who knows, you could be the next RZA, you could be the next Bruce Wayne, you could be the next Dick Grayson. Work hard, do what you do, and make the basement proud!

Shut Up and Take My Money: Greg Capullo Court of Owls Action Figures

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

shut-up-and-take-my-money

Item:

DC Comic Designer Series: Greg Capullo Series 1 Figures

What it is:

Today, the first four figures from the new Designer Series are released. The first to get the treatment is Greg Capullo’s Batman (written by Scott Snyder, and really just the best DC Comics book out for the last three years. The first set of four to be released are: Batman, Nightwing, Talon and Nygma (Riddler), the latter of which appearing in the Zero Year storyline (happening right now!), while Nightwing and Talon are brought to life from earlier storylines (Death of the Family and the already legendary Court of Owls). Each figure comes with appropriate props: Batman with Batarangs, Nightwing with escrima sticks, Nygma with his staff and Talon with daggers and a Court of Owls mask. I know these are supposed to be collectibles, but there’s nothing that can convince me that I’m not supposed to take Talon and Batman out of the box to make them duel each other. The design is pays homage to Capullo’s craft just as much as it does to the progress DC Collectibles has made over the years.

How Much it Costs:

These figures are a little pricier than normal, netting about $25 per figure – give or take a few depending on where you get it. Right now, you can find the figures at most any outlet, but with this being the first edition of the new Designer Series, I expect that these will become highly coveted collectibles in no time.

Is It Worth It?:

Collectors will not hesitate to pick these beauties up and fans of the comic book will instantly have a unique souvenir to remind them of this superb book that inspired them. That being said, they are on the expensive side – it seems to be the way figures are getting now. It will be hard to justify buying the whole series, especially with a second series on the way in October. That being said, the Talon figure is just so detailed, it would be hard to pass up getting, as there are no other DC Collectibles for The Court of Owls. I expect these will sell out soon, and prying them form the fingers of greedy fanboys could be much costlier.

 

Bottom Line:

Buy these. Buy two. One to play with and one to keep in the box to brag about to your friends. The Nightwing and Nygma figures are dope, but let’s be real; Batman and Talon are the real show-stoppers here. How cool would it be to buy a bunch of Talons and descend upon Gotham with only one Batman to stop them? …This is bad news for my wallet, guys.

So Far this Week… April 16, 2014

Wow!  It’s a big one this week!  Make sure you check out our news wrap-ups every Wednesday and Sunday!  Feel uneasy, ecstatic or just need to vent?  Sound off in the comments!

If Bat-fans need any more reason to be excited about WonderCon 2014, here are all the festivities, panels and otherwise, that will be blessing the convention to celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary.

DC royalty Dick Grayson had his world turned upside down when the Crime Syndicate outed his secret identity to the entire world (kinda weird how nobody has been able to trace that little tidbit back to Bruce, himself). Now, he must fake his death and become a special agent. This will all be chronicled in July’s new series, Grayson. I love the idea of Dick Grayson, Boy Wonder, becoming a deadly assassin, but I don’t know that I’m ready to let go of Nightwing.

Legendary comic book writer and Hush-dubbed “Asshole that killed Damian Wayne” will be launching Multiversity later this year and into 2015. Prepare yourself for an abundance of really weird alternate universes.

DC is developing another TV series!  This time, it comes from its offshoot, Vertigo  Based on the 2007-2012 run Scalped, the new series will follow a man returning to his reservation and fighting organized crime.

It’s been announced the the late, great King of Pop will be releasing his first (I don’t count Michael) posthumous album titled Xscape. While others argue whether or not it’s too soon to release his music, I ask if it is too soon to have a track called “Do You Know Where Your Children Are?”

Oh, and there is new DLC coming out for Call of Duty: Ghosts next week that lets Snoop Dogg narrate all of your kills, because why the fuck not?

Another win for the Marvel TV universe! Peggy Carter’s series has been made a 13-episode commitment by ABC. We’re really excited to see S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first agent in action.

It’s official, we’re all screwed. Apparently, a massive super-virus hacker thing has invaded pretty much every facet of the internet over the past couple years (much like HYDRA has in S.H.I.E.L.D. – this is not a coincidence). It’s a futile effort, but if you want to know what all was affected by Heartbleed, here’s a nice infographic to explain how f’d you really are.

Paul Walker is dead, you guys. Okay, that’s not news, but the fact that his own brothers will be filling in for the remainder of his 7 Fast 7 Furious (we’re crossing our fingers that they will change all the movie names to this format) sequences. We’re really glad they didn’t decide to CGI him in there a la Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Everyone’s favorite meth dealerAaron Paul gave a couple a very special surprise last weekend at Coachella.

The Eisner Award nominations were announced this week. Surprise!  Lots of nominations for the independent guys.  Congrats to all the nominees, and a special shoutout to Ibrihim Mustafa for his nominations!

We try to avoid “rumors” as much as possible, but there’s a likely chance that heartthrob Channing Tatum will be playing Gambit in the next X-Men adaptation, Apocalypse. I’m only behind this if he has dark red eyes and a floppy haircut.

Speaking of X-Men, apparently there is an X-Men after-credit scene following Amazing Spider-Man 2. This is kind of a big deal, as Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man and Fox owns the rights to the X-Men. Could they finally be playing nice in the promise of a bigger payday working together?

There is lots of speculation about who exactly will make up the Sinister Six in the film of the same name.  What does seem certain by all speculators?  Venom.

For fans of the Rocksteady Arkham video-game series, October can’t come soon enough. To tide you over, here are some new screenshots of the spectacular finale, Arkham Knight.

Emma Stone is a huge Spice Girls fan – I mean, who isn’t? Well here’s a video of British host Graham Norton pranking her into thinking that they are at the studio to make a guest appearance. Who says Brit humor is too dry?

The Guardians of the Galaxy are expanding their ranks – at least for the near future. The next issue of GoG will include Venom (symbiotes in space – sounds catchy) and Captain Marvel (readers of Captain Marvel #2 already saw this). I’m hoping Marvel doesn’t oversaturate Guardians, but I’m definitely enjoying the ride.

Is Batman ready for a Robin again? Who would that Robin be: Harper Rowe, Stephanie Brown, Carrie Kelly, Tim Drake, the recently deceased Damian? In July, we will find out as Batman will be getting a Robin, in some facet or another.

written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear

Shut Up and Take My Money: Batman Arkham City Nightwing Arsenal

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

shut-up-and-take-my-money

Item: Batman Arkham City Nightwing Arsenal

What it is: If you ever wanted to have an amazing replica of Nightwings sticks to help you fight crime with, then look no further. The replica creators at Triforce have managed to meticulously create the arsenal that Nightwing uses in the Arkham City game. It comes complete with a full-scale replica of Nightwings escrima sticks that actually light up to simulate the electricity running through them. The collection also comes with a collection of darts, posters and gimmicks and a really nice stand to display everything. The sticks and darts are hand- finished and hand painted out of polystone that has a solid feel and weight to it. Polystone is a very high quality material that allows for the sculptor to be very detailed in the design of replicas. This replica spares no expense to be the most accurate replica on the market.

How Much it Costs: This item is only for the serious collectors and will set you back around a thousand dollars. On the plus side however, the shipping is free so you have that to look forward to. There isn’t anywhere that seems to be offering any discounts, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye for possible price drops if you are seriously considering purchasing.

Is It Worth It?: With a price tag over a thousand dollars, this is really only going to be considered worth it to people who are serious Nightwing fans or collectors with some money burning a hole in their pockets. There is no doubt that this is an amazing replica and for the money, you can’t get something of higher quality. With high-end materials and the meticulous hand crafted nature of this replica, you really can’t go wrong if you did decide to spend the money.

BAC_Nightwing_slide

Bottom Line: This is definitely not for your average collector. Big money and an affinity for Nightwing are prerequisites for purchase here. If both of those requirements are met though, I would have to highly recommend getting this. It is almost too awesome to pass up.

Written by Robert Michael

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Pharoahe Monch “Agent Orange”

Artist: Pharoahe Monch

Song: “Agent Orange”

Album: The Awakening (2003), a mixtape that preluded his second studio album (Desire). Free download here.

Before we begin, let’s just start out by introducing a lot of you to Pharoahe Monch, as not many I’ve spoken with have had the pleasure of listening to this hidden star of Hip-Hop. While not achieving a lot of commercial success, anything that comes out of Pharoahe’s mouth is lyrical gold. Starting out as half of the group Organized Konfusion, Pharoahe quickly gained the reputation of being a cerebral and entertaining emcee. Since his solo debut in 1999, Internal Affairs, Pharoahe has blown up the independent scene, tackling social and political topics with such clarity and hilarity.

Lyric: “It’s not a Game Boy, X-Box or PlayStation/It’s Resident Evil when every President’s a mason/ Robbin’ y’all fools like Dick Grayson”

Meaning/Character Reference:

Holy “Agent Orange,” Pharoahe Monch! That sure sounds scary and intense. In the mixtape leading to his second album, Desire, he reminds listeners that he is not only a wordsmith but is quite comic savvy, as well. “Agent Orange” is a song portraying the horrid war-time nature the United States government has been proved to display, referencing the US’ use of herbicidal warfare in the Vietnam War that left hundreds of thousands civilians starving and/or permanently physically deformed. When Pharoahe Monch starts listing off the game systems of our past, present, and future, he is basically throwing a brick through Congress windows with a note attached saying, “NOT TODAY, GOVERNMENT! DO I LOOK LIKE A BRAND NEW MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE GAME? BECAUSE I AM NOT TO BE PLAYED WITH” – sassy finger snapping ensues. Gloriously, Pharoahe Monch reaches out to the comic book world and pays homage to a superhero that only seek one thing – justice. Don’t lie; you said justice in your best Batman voice, didn’t you? What he is saying is that the system is robbin’ knowledge, power, and all that other good stuff from We, the People. For those of you out there who are wondering who Dick Grayson is, he is the only dude who can look badass in a red speedo, green gloves and a yellow cape, ROBIN! Boom, there is that AHA moment!  Pharoahe Monch is similar to Robin because they are both underrated and underestimated. If Dick Grayson can evolve from Robin into Nightwing, then maybe, just maybe, Pharoahe Monch can turn into Ra…sure, let’s go with that.

It's a Dick... in a box
It’s a Dick… in a box

Fun Fact: In Eminem’s “Rap God,” which we featured on last week’s “Diggin’ Through the Crates” piece, actually references Pharoahe Monch, a heralded Hip-Hop artist in the underground community. As a lifetime fan of both, it’s refreshing to hear that even a pop legend like Eminem knows who the real artists are: “I know there was a time where once I/Was king of the underground, but I still rap like I’m on my Pharoahe Monch grind.”

That does it for this week guys! Check back next week for more nerd-infused Hip-Hop. Also, if you’re interested at all in learning more about the artist or the subject matter in our posts, don’t hesitate to ask. Pharoahe Monch’s fourth solo album, entitled P.T.S.D., is slated for a release January 2014. Be sure to check us out for a comprehensive review on that! Til next time, nerds…

Written by Evan Lowe and Sherif Elkhatib

Comic Book Reviews 12-11-13

Batman #26 - written by Scott Synder, drawn by Greg Capullo
Batman #26 – written by Scott Synder, drawn by Greg Capullo

Pick of the Week:

Batman #26 (DC Comics) – A

I don’t know how they do it, but Scott Synder and Greg Capullo have made this feel like a true origin story. While most teams exploring an updated origin tend to focus on some untold section of a chararacter’s history, The New 52 Batman has been told however the creative team damn well pleases. After taking on the Red Hood Gang in the beginning of the Zero Year arc, Batman is now facing (Dr.) Death itself and The Riddler, as well as fighting his own personal demons. The artwork from Capullo is amazing, as it captures more of an early 1940’s Detective Comics vibe than most titles in 2013, a nod to his versatility – and let’s not forget about the comeback of the purple gloves. Storywise, it’s exciting and unpredictable. DC just let Synder have full reign on this book. Even the change to Jim Gordon’s canon, as heart-wrenching as it is, is spectacular story-telling. I can’t get enough of this flagship series.

Other Reviews:

Justice League #25 (DC Comics) – A

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Batman was evil? Thanks to the re-introduction of The Crime Syndicate into the DC Universe and the magnificent writing of the legendary Geoff Johns, you don’t have to wonder. Justice League #25 focuses our attention on Owlman, the Earth-3 alternate universe version of Batman, and his origin story. Recreating the infamous Crime Alley Haley’s Circus scenes where Bruce and Dick Grayson’s parents are murdered, we get a disturbing look at Owlman’s persona. Oddly enough, he has a soft spot for our world’s Dick Grayson, as he tries to win him over. Even with the world controlled by the Syndicate, as long as it’s written by Geoff Johns, I wouldn’t have it any other way

Batman: Black & White #4 (DC Comics) – A

Batman: Black and White is a collection of stories from 6 different writers. Can I begin with stating that the art work is phenomenal?  The book starts off with “Ghosts of Gotham” by Nathan Edmondson and Kenneth Rocafort. This pairing is perfect. I wish their story went on for an entire book. Batman is hunting a killer in a graveyard. He is in full gumshoe mode until coming face to face with a menacing figure. Dustin Nguyen is a one man army. He tackles both art and story for “Long Day.” Although the story lacks any depth, the artwork more than makes up for it as Batman gets ready to begin his work in Gotham. Sean Galloway offers his bold animation style to end the book. It will remind you of the old WB animated series. You will love this collection. Black and White was easily my favorite of the week.  

Superman/Wonder Woman #3 (DC Comics) – A-

This is a perfect opportunity to jump into a series that is has just begun. Only three issues in, Superman/Wonder Woman has started off with a real bang. What seemed like a cheap way to capitalize on a love story from their individual series is shaping up quite nicely to be an awesome story by itself. These two superheroes are powerful enough together to go up against some of the more powerful enemies in their prospective rogue galleries. It will be interesting to see what challenges are thrown at them whilst they try to cultivate a meaningful relationship amidst the chaos. This will also be a welcome change of pace from the traditional Clark Kent/Lois Lane relationship as well, giving a woman who can fully understand him a chance in the spotlight. The real question is….. What would their baby be like?

The Amazing Spiderman #700.2 (Marvel Comics) – B

New York is in a deep freeze, and our Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman is swinging from rooftop to rooftop to protect his city. He is trying to get to Aunt May, but is sidetracked by the emergencies the weather has created. He does everything that he can, from saving people in a burning building to pulling an ambulance from falling off the Queensboro Bridge. Peter is obligated to doing all that he can to save lives. He would risk everything he loves to do the right thing, but will he get to Aunt May in time? The story is a little slow, but it’s appreciated. We haven’t seen a human and vulnerable side of Peter Parker in quite some time.

Batgirl #26 (DC Comics) – B-

This whole Wanted arc has had me in a glass case of emotion. This twisted love triangle between Batgirl, her dad and her new boyfriend has had readers on edge for issues, thanks to the great writing of Gail Simone. When Barbara finds out that her dad is now the target of a up and coming group of villains, she comes to his rescue. This isn’t the climax, however, as Batgirl is finally ready to show Commissioner Gordon just who is under the cowl. The epic cover illustrates the scene perfectly. However, Gordon refuses to look at her when she lays it all out in the open. You can almost feel the pain and disappoint of Batgirl, which is a gift and a curse, because you find yourself wanting it to happen, especially after a reveal about her psycho brother. How long have they done this dance? Batgirl gave me enough to want to keep reading the series, but I can’t help but feel disappointed that it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to.

Captain America: Living Legend #4 (Marvel Comics) – B-

Living Legend is a four-part series that follows what seems to be a pretty standard Cap formula – take something that happened to him in WW2 and have it come back to haunt him today. For a guy who was frozen for fifty years, he sure has a way of having his past continue to catch up with him. Don’t expect any real character development here, with just four issues to tell a story, expect only plot pieces essential to the direct story to be told. This is really a shame because there was a chance for some interesting development with the main villain and supporting cast. Still, the artwork is amazing and is a must read for any Cap fan.

Marvel Knight: Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics) – C+

Dr. Bruce Banner is once again on the run. He finds himself in Paris pursued by a clandestine agency. Before he can change into The Hulk he is chased down by two huge Gamma induced monsters. Piotr Kowalski’s art in this issue is just what I needed. It seems odd that an artist with such a soft touch for subtly would be involved with a story arc about a violent uncontrollable beast. His panels are bold, yet subdued. I know Sherif is a big fan of his Sex series, I have yet to pick up an issue, but may have to start reading the series now.

Justice League 3000 #1 (DC Comics) – C+

When news broke of Justice League 3000, not much of the actual storyline was revealed. We knew the story took place 1000 years in the future, and we knew that these would be familiar characters, but that’s about it. This debut can be summed up in one awesome word: CADMUS. Project Cadmus is originally a 1970’s Jack Kirby creation also called the DNA Project, has a history of splicing DNA with new clones – from Superboy to Bizarro. So you have futuristic clones with no context of how they came to be. Throw in the Wonder Twins, and you’ve got one confusing issue. 3000 is full of potential, but it’s story-telling will have to carry the series, as the panel-by-panel writing and art only show glimpses of greatness.

Wolverine #12 (Marvel Comics) – C+

Wolverine’s appeal in the Marvel universe has always been his willingness to leap into danger no matter the consequence. But what we’re finding out is the result of what happens when an alien virus takes Logan’s healing power from him; SPOILER, it’s not a good look. In a show-down that’s been building since the beginning of the series, Wolverine is coming face-to-face with the Hand (no relation to the Foot) and the Silver Samurai, led by Sabretooth. It’s a bit of a struggle of an issue, as Wolverine is slashed and battered throughout the issue. With his fate left in Sabretooth’s claws, I was left feeling excited for the conclusion to the Killable story arc.

Nighwing #26 (DC Comics) – C

Dick Grayson has had the displeasure of living in Batman’s shadow for too long. Since moving to Chicago in Nightwing #19, he has flourished as his own character. The writer, Kyle Higgins, is actually a Chicago native himself, which has given the city more life. It may not be Blüdhaven, but it’s Nightwing’s home nonetheless. With bad guys of his own, such as The Prankster, Tony Zucco, and the Marionette, Nightwing has been far removed from the Bat-family, and this story is no different, chasing down a thief with quite the creepy alter-ego, leading to a reveal at the end that… well let’s just say that you can take Nightwing out of Gotham, but you can’t take the Gotham out of Nightwing. As is typical DC fashion, there is nothing pertaining to the events of Forever Evil in the episode, contrary to the cover; I felt misled, but I still enjoyed the issue.

Three #3 (image Comics) – C

If you are expecting Three to be anything like Frank Miller’s 300, I am afraid you will be very upset, I know I was. It is however, a decent story in its own right. While it has initially been slow to start, it shows promise with the way the author depicts everyday Spartan life. This book is about more than just the Spartan warrior, it is about the politics and class struggles of the everyday Spartan. The series’ writer, Kieron Gillen, has gone to great lengths, including contacting some of the foremost experts in the field, to make sure that his depiction is as accurate as possible. Despite this being less about war and death, and more about life, the book hasn’t completely forgotten about battle and the violent nature in which the Spartans lived their lives. This book shows promise for what it is, however, if all you are looking for is more of 300, I would give it a pass.

The Amazing Spiderman #700.3 (Marvel Comics) – C

Joe Casey picks up the Amazing Spiderman 700.3 where David Morrell left off. Peter Parker has just saved his dear Aunt May from a New York blizzard. Not shortly after, as Spiderman, he finds himself in a life or death fight with Firebrand. He suffers nearly fatal wounds and is rescued by a shadowy ambulance.  He awakens to find himself bandaged in a creepy hospital desperately trying to figure out how he arrived in a mysterious infirmary that seems to be for criminals only. I didn’t care for the art in this issue, there is a shot of The Thing fighting Rhino that looks too simple to be in an Amazing Spiderman book. I’m just not a fan of Timothy Green’s pencils in this issue at all. I was also excited about the simplicity in the story behind issues 700.1 and 700.2, and this issue took that right away in the first pages. Hopefully 700.4 takes us in a clear direction and our wall-crawler can get out of the web he now finds himself in!

The Walking Dead #118 (image Comics) – C-

There has been a lot of death in The Walking Dead, some impacting, others ostentatious. I mean, it’s a post-apocalyptic soap opera (George Romero’s words, but true), so we’re expected to see death around every corner. However, the death of a beloved character came so unnecessarily and with such gratuitousness that it just plain pissed me off. Sure, there was a pretty sweet battle cry from Maggie at the beginning to let readers know she’s still that chick “that rode in like Zorro on a horse,” but the momentum carried by #117 is completely lost in telling the story of a death I feel no connection to, but by all means should. To be honest, I’m beginning to feel that way about the series altogether.

Justice League of America #10 (DC Comics) – D

When JLA launched almost a year ago under the helm of Geoff Johns, I thought that this ragtag team of superheroes had found a home together as a B team to the original Justice League. However, after ten issues, it’s become apparent that this book is little more than a drawing board for the Forever Evil arc. There has been little to no exploration of obscure characters such as: The Martian Manhunter, Catwoman, Green Arrow and (our favorite) Simon Baz. In this issue, we get a jumbled together, after-thought of a backstory of Stargirl, one of the lamest heroes I’ve seen in The New 52. There is also a reveal at the end that has to do with the end of the world, but I could have found out from a Facebook status with the same amount of entertainment I had reading the comic.

 

Funniest Panel of the Week:

This goon had a flowery outlook in Justice League 25
This goon had a flowery outlook in Justice League #25

Epic Panel of the Week:

Piotr Kowalski's awesome transformation in Marvel Knights: Hulk #1
Piotr Kowalski’s awesome transformation in Marvel Knights: Hulk #1

Cover of the Week:

Justice-League-25-spoilers-art-2
Owlman gets the spotlight in Justice League #25

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, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif ElkhatibJohn Soweto and Robert Michael