Comic Book Reviews 07-01-15

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:

we stand on guard 1 POTW panel 07.01.15
We Stand On Guard #1 – A
There’s nothing worse than showing up late to the freedom fighter party. In this book by Brian K Vaughan, the writer for Image’s Saga (yes I’m going to say that every time, because it’s always a relevant statement), Canada – or at least what appeared to be Canada – bombed the crap out of the White House. America, as it’s well-known for doing, retaliated by taking Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick and jamming up Canada’s ass. Well Jesus Christ on a cracker, that was horrifying. In just one issue, Vaughan manages to turn Superman into an entirely Anti-American sentiment and prove that DARPA’s got some explaining to do with those terrifying drones. Great book, solid art by Steve Skroce, and likable, diverse characters throughout the premiere issue. This is how you start a new book! – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #75 – B
There is no better feeling in the world to me than holding new Futurama merchandise in my hands. It just makes it ten times better when that Futurama content is good. This series has definitely had some low points along the way, as anyone would expect, but with issue #75, the ideas are still just as fresh and inventive as Futurama episodes. This issue deals with the crew being ship-jacked while in space and having to enlarge Bender and use him as a personal ship for the time being. Ian Boothby writes this issue much like an episode and less like a comic. James Lloyd covers the art; these comics are always spectacular and you got to love the Voltron cameo! If you are a fan of Futurama, you probably have read this by now; if not, though, grab a brain slug, say your prayers to the Space Pope and enjoy! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #2 – A
Me am super not impressed by dumb Bizarro book with no humor and no cool cameos. Bizarro read like least fun DC title and is much worse than what did not happen in Convergence and its spin-off titles. As much fun as it is to talk in Bizarro voice for each review to confuse people – and as confusing as his speech is in the actual book – this title has to be one of my favorite monthly comics on the shelf right now. This issue continues with all of Metropolis under hypnosis to buy cars and Bizarro, with help from Colin the Chupacabra, frees everyone from the spell and they immediately travel again with funny short panels showing Bizarro and Jimmy in different famous DC cities, with plenty of jokes and actually awesome art panel for when they run into Batman and Flash! So this goes without saying that I really enjoy the art done by Gustavo Duarte with guest artists Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, and Francis Manapul. I would say pick this up now if you can because Heath Corson is finally making Bizarro #1. – Jacob

Action Comics #42 – B+
Somebody – the right somebody – must have been taking notes at DC, because both of the Superman books they have running right now are freaking good. They focus on using the Man of Steel as a symbol of the people instead of thinking of bigger and badder monsters to watch him destroy. Grounding Superman is turning out to be one of the smartest decisions they’ve made recently. In this book, he is taking the activist approach, and trying to impart peaceful resistance on the citizens he’s protecting – and Jimmy Olsen is getting the whole thing on tape. The art is good, too, with Aaron Kuder’s art looking like the Chris Burnham (Batman, Inc.) of Superman books. It’s a breath of fresh air to a character whose books have pretty much sucked lately. – Sherif

Midnighter #2 – B
This is another comic I was surprised by. I was expecting a straight (pun not intended) vigilante narrative, what I got was something different. I’m glad it wasn’t what I expected. I honestly wasn’t going to give it a try as superhero/vigilantes stories haven’t grabbed me in a long time. I’m not familiar with the original iteration with this character, but I appreciate who the writer is introducing him for a fresh audience. For me, it’s like reading an entirely new story. Overall solid narrative and wonderful balance between secret life and finding love out in the world. The art isn’t my favorite but it works for the medium and it doesn’t take away from the narrative. Just a great good ol’ vigilante narrative. – Jené

Batman Beyond #2 – C+
I still don’t really have clue what is happening in this story. I almost would like it better if it didn’t have anything to do with Batman Beyond. However, considering Tim Drake doesn’t really know what is going on either, I am not going to totally hold it against this book quite yet. I am certain there will be smatterings of explanations for the first 10 issues or so, and I am willing to hang on. This series is very dark, much darker than the animated series, which is pretty rare for DC. I don’t know yet how I feel about this; I’ll be more certain when this arc is over. The whole future apocalypse sci-fi thing is a cool concept, but like i said, perhaps more likable if it wasn’t attached to something with such a strong fan base already. – Adrian
Green Lantern #42 – C+
It’s really hard for me not to give this book a good score. The thought of a lone wanderer-type Hal Jordan finding out the truth behind what wiped out the Corps is super intriguing – especially when we get to explaining exactly whatever type of Bezerker rage he’s hiding in that gauntlet of his. Buuuut it’s a really slow build. Whatever horrible force is controlling the universe is also afflicting Black Hand’s ability to raise the dead. Multi-Lantern events always take forever to build momentum, so we’re either looking at a drawn-out borefest, or a convoluted and rushed arc. – Sherif

Detective Comics  #42 – C-
This little experiment isn’t going as well as I had hoped. While Snyder & Capullo are making a decent stab at Jim Gordon being Batman on his self-titled book, the Detective Comics book is losing steam. Fast. Harvey Bullock is an interesting enough choice for the main protagonist, but without anything to necessarily do besides follow Batman around, his character is severely under-utilized. I understand that we have to spend some time showing how JimBat sucks compared to Wayne, but it feels like it just dottles around, looking for a reason to exist. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment: 

Bob’s Burgers #1 – B-
I was a little skeptical of this comic when I first saw it was coming out, but as a huge fan fo the show, I decided to give it a shot. For the most part, I enjoyed it. The writing was just as good as the show and made me laugh. The only thing that bothered me a little was the art style. In many of the stories, it was just off enough from the source material that it irked me. It’d be another story if the art was totally different and they were going for some sort of other style, but even then, it might have bugged me. When you have a brand like Bob’s Burgers, it’s hard to deviate from that specific style and make it work. Through most of the comic I was thinking, “Her nose is wrong.” “Her eyes are weird.” “This isn’t how it is in the show.” Still, it was a nice comic that I’ll continue to read. -Charlotte

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 – D-
Okay y’all, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant. So if you enjoyed this comic, or don’t want to hear me bitch a whole lot, simply move on to the next review. Ready? Okay, here we go…Oh my lord, this comic sucked. I’m genuinely upset that I cannot get back the time wasted reading this. It was long, boring, pointless, and overall very stupid. It took everything in my power to continue reading this book. Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this comic. After reading it, I have zero interest in the story line, zero interest in any of the characters, and frankly I could give a damn about what happened to The Spirit…oh yeah, they already answered that question in the first ten pages. After that, there is no way I’m coming back for more. – Evan

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 – A-
Now THIS is the TMNT I fell in love with. Casey Jones’ showdown with the disgraced Hun is one of the better climactic battles of the series, with the whole community getting on in the action. It’s not without its bittersweet moments, but seeing the neighborhood work together to push out the Purple Dragons was a big “hell yeah” moment for me. Things on the Turtles’ end weren’t so eventful, but they do pave the way for whatever will happen next. We knew Dexter and Shredder working together would be a major suckfest for the Turtles, but there’s gotta be a way out of it somehow, right? As always, the creative team of Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco put out another solid issue of a series that everybody needs to be reading. – Sherif

X-Files: Season 10 #25 – B
The truth is out there, and the end is here – well, for Season 10 at least. Next month, we have an X-Files Annual, then we jump straight into Season 11 the following month! The conclusion to season 10 is a whopper of a story and has major implications in the X-Files world for just about every character you know. It starts with Gibson Praise, showing off his army of Cigarette Smoking Men to Scully, all the while Mulder makes his way to a computer and uploads the files of what is happening with the Elders and Gibson to The Lone Gunmen and this leads everything into a downward spiral… It all ends up with Gibson taking Scully for a ride, which ultimately ends up with her finding Mulder and ending in a confrontation that will change Scully deep down to her core. Ending this season on a open note while also resolving a lot of what has come up really rounded out this series well and has me excited for the start of season 11! As always Joe Harris does a great job with the writing and Matthew Dow Smith ends this series with the art style that has carried this series smoothly since issue #1. – Jacob

Mickey Mouse #1 – B-
Finally, the comic based on everyone’s favorite main Disney character after months of Ducks. Despite Scrooge and Donald making good comic books, Mickey brings his friend Goofy into the ring and has side stories for Ellsworth the Crow and Pluto after the main Mickey story. The main story sees Mickey and Goofy teaming up with a young girl Eurasia to find Eurasia’s Uncle’s old traveling companions who were lost years ago. As far as the Disney books go, I like the layout of this one the best with one very long story and then three short unrelated stories with separate characters at the end. With Donald and Scrooge basically including the same characters it is nice to see so much variety and characters among the pages of Mickey. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Nailbiter #14 – B+
Nailbiter is the number one book I recommend to people when they ask me what they should read. I want to start with that because I still really love this series. It is smart, funny, and disturbing. This month, we finally started to get some answers as to why Buckaroo has produced so many serial killers. I was a little underwhelmed with the answer. Granted this answer leads to more mini mysteries. The end of the issue brought back two characters we haven’t seen for a bit, and while it was a surprise/cliffhanger, I felt underwhelmed with this twist as well. It’s still a great issue, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. – Adrian

8House #1 – B
My only complaint is that this book was too short. I was not expecting what I read. A lady knight travels with her mistress to the outskirts of a glistening city. The tree-like creature she is with is investigating some odd alien presence. Using some sort of blood magic, she is able to transfer a creature from one body to the next and off they go back to the city. I’m intrigued by the magic system that has been introduced. Blood magic isn’t used often, and when it is, it’s usually wielded by a villain of the story. Right now neither character seems like a villain.  As first issues go this one is pretty good. It’s just enough to pull me in and keep me interested, but not so much that my expectations are high for the next book. I like the art style, it’s rather different than a lot of books I’m reading whimsical and somewhat alien, which helps to set up the fantasy/sci-fi like world that’s being established. I’m looking forward to more. – Jené

Deadly Class #14 – B-
Wow, Marcus is a real nutcase. He’s completely unraveling after the “disappearance” of Maria, and the fact that he’s a trained killer doesn’t put me any more at ease than the rest of his destructive behavior in this issue. For a while, you forget that this is even a book about an assassin’s academy. It’s almost like reading The Basketball Diaries as Marcus’ life spirals deeper into despair. Yet, he does some really messed up stuff that keep you from ever feeling sorrow for him. It’s a tough spot to be in as a book, and a major lull in action. Wes Craig & Lou Loughridge continue to produce amazing art, and while #14 wasn’t as eventful as the series has been as a whole, look for it to “rebound” next issue. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Groot #2 – A
This month’s Groot is hands-down the best story I have read of Groot and his best pal Rocket. This issue continues where issue #1 left off, with Rocket kidnapped and Groot left alone and needing to save his friend. We not only see Groot trying to follow Rocket and save him, but we get to see a flashback of when Rocket and Groot first met and how they cemented their relationship and exactly why each of them means so much to the other. Plus, on top of that great story, it opens with a Groot dream where we see tons of Marvel characters in Groot form; who doesn’t want to see that? Jeff Loveness is taking us into one of the most meaningful stories for Rocket and Groot and it makes it even better to have Brian Kesinger bring his highly Disney-influenced style to the series, making it both a kid and adult-friendly series. This definitely is one Marvel series to read that has nothing to do with Secret Wars… at least yet. – Jacob

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 – A-
I just love how much this book makes me laugh. Every month, I look forward to laughing out loud through out every page. This month’s issue did not disappoint. The plot was a littleBuffy Season 4-esque, which I like, because Buffy is the best, and Squirrel Girl is the closest thing I have to it now. The constant Millennial jokes mixed with relatable themes and plots make this a constant winner for me. And it turns out that chick you are jealous of? Yeah, she really is evil. – Adrian

Future Imperfect #2 – B+
First thing’s first: all the women in this book have the exact same face. If they didn’t, I think this book would have the best art of all the Battle World books. With that out of the way, I like the inventive route this book takes: The Thing is Ross (dad of Hulk’s former love), his conflict with The Maestro, and a slowly simmering civil war within the kingdom. I also like that, what should be true to this event’s mission statement, this whole thing comes out of a legit alternate timeline. I’d actually forgotten how much I look forward to this specific book and this specific iteration of the Hulk. Should be an A, but I had to deduct points because all the women share one face, and when a woman says, “I’m a girl,” you’ve gotta deduct points because obviously a dude wrote that. – Montgomery

X-Tinction Agenda #2 – B+
Man, first two pages are all about time travel, which kind of mondo confuses things. Go back far enough (in different directions) and aren’t 616 and 1610 still embedded in the universe’s time code? And Beast talks it about all biz-cazh style. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like Doom should be putting a stop to this. There are already people in other kingdoms who suspect the shallow nature of their worlds, and wouldn’t time travel just wreck the whole game? Anyways – Havoc and co. lead a raid on Mutopia and nab a guy by the name of Triage to cure the plague. But then, it turns out the doctor in charge has ulterior motives. – Montgomery

Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #2 – B
As far as formulaic comic books go, this book is the same thing each issue. Now, whether or not that’s a bad thing, I have no idea. I absolutely love Skottie Young’s Little Marvel stuff. I think he’d be super successful if he did any grown-up fandom in Little style. The premise of the series is simple; the Avengers have an intense playground rivalry with the X-Men. Hilarity ensues when one side pushes enough buttons on the other to start a fight. Lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not at all bored or dissatisfied with it, but you have to know that this is what you paid for, and it’s exactly what you’re going to get. Totes adorbs. – Sherif

Red Skull #1 – B-
I’m never going to feel anything but disgust for Red Skull, but I’m more or less on board with this comic. The writing is good, the team they’ve assembled is complex and interesting, and the concept is working so far. I love the inclusion of Bucky and I can’t wait to see how his character flourishes in this. (I’m also thrilled to see him kick Red Skull’s racist ass.) I’m not excited for Red Skull himself. I don’t care if he tries to redeem himself or not. He’s a Nazi and that’s all he’ll ever be to me. I hope Marvel doesn’t try to humanize him, because I’ll be severely disappointed if they do. I’m weary of a comic devoted to this bastard, but we’ll see what they do with it. – Charlotte

Secret Wars Journal #3 – B-
“Who Killed Tony Stark” Wolverine is a noir style detective legit out of the 40’s investigating the murder of Tony Stark by Pepper Potts. As he investigates, he discovers that several people he encountered in the investigation are different, dopplegangery. The Punisher shows up and says the same: tease image of the Age of Apocalypse. The story was OK, certainly rushed, and the big reveal wasn’t all that satisfying because it lasted a single page. “The Smashing Cure” A toxic cloud of gamma radiation has floated by the Greenlands and now everyone is a hulk. And the city is slowly cannibalizing itself in anger. Kind of a funny premise, but these short anthology stories are so hit and miss. This one ends on a pretty pat note, though it has at least one cool reveal. – Montgomery

Darth Vader #7 – C
I’m still coming down from the events of the last Darth Vader issue.  This month’s entry took a diversion from the “Who wants to be The Emperor’s new number two?” contest and focused on a new scheme by the crafty Lord Vader.  Why Vader is spending time busting up underground crime organizations is unclear, but no doubt it ties into the bigger picture somehow.  I like the Bounty Hunter dynamic Gillen is creating.  A Wookie that willing hops into a mandingo style fighting pit for the sport of it?!?! OOOkay… You’ve got my attention.  The score is lower this week, but that’s mostly because it’s a buildup issue.  Darth Vader is still the hottest Star Wars comic out there today.  – Taylor

Secret Wars #4 – C-
Doom finally intervenes in the actions of those valiant enough to survive the end of the universe(s). And he SPOILER ALERT kills the Phoenix Cyclops, which is disappointing. But if anything about the previous thirty years in comics have taught us anything, it’s that the Phoenix force cannot be killed. SPOILER OVER. Steven defies Doom and instead of allowing him to kill the Spider-Mans and the Reeds and the whatnot scatters them to mysterious segments of Battleworld. I feel like cracks in the Secret Wars concept are starting to show: Doom built this world, credits himself with saving what he can of the universe, but the problem is most of what comprises Battleworld are not alternate realities, but just different periods in the history of the same character. But then somehow, and he makes note of this, Reed is so special there exists no other Reed anywhere on Battle World. I’ve said it before, but it bugs me when you pull the whole thing together in one book: the construction of this place is beginning to feel highly arbitrary. – Montgomery


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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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 all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 04-22-15

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:

Deadly Class #12
Deadly Class #12 – A
A great comic book transcends beyond the medium, blurring the lines of storytelling and story living. Deadly Class is such a heart-pounding and engulfing experience, that I often forget I’m reading a comic book. It’s then that I turn into a snob, scoffing at the idea that it shares the same shelf space as Harley Quinn. Marco and Maria are cut from the same cloth, and may have waited until it was too late to find that out. There is some real talk in this issue about love and life – in between the murder and mayhem. The escape scene in this issue is completely terrifying, and the ending made me lose my mind. I haven’t been this emotionally invested in a book since I started Saga, and it makes me tear my hair out that not enough people are reading it. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Frankenstein Underground #2 – C
I feel like this month’s issue departed even further from what I thought this book was going to be about. In all honesty, I’m a little confused. The story didn’t really take off in issue two; instead it just delved further and further into Frankenstein’s mental darkness as his physical state fell further into the earth. I’m super into all the crazy monsters and dinosaurs that apparently live in these caverns, and kudos to Mike Mignola for creating yet another awesome beastie filled world. I wish we’d seen more of the crazy monster collecting fop that seems to be hunting Frankenstein for his collection because he appears to be a really interesting character. All in all I just feel like issue two didn’t move me in any direction with this book. It wasn’t bad necessarily; I just wish that I was able to take more away from it upon finishing reading. – Keriann

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence: Wonder WomanA-
(A+) I could not stop screaming reading this. DAMN! Each issue of the new Convergence story arc makes me more excited. This issue in particular delved into the religious aspects of a world gone chaotic and it all felt very realistic. When tragedy strikes, people turn to whatever hope they can and for many people, that’s religion. Of course, this belief in angels is what does the congress of women in, in the end, but the fact remains. I also enjoyed the parallel between the religious group of women and Diana’s sisters back home. There isn’t a perfect parallel by any means, but it’s interesting to see Diana in dispute with another group of women. Here, again, she’s faced with strong women with strong opinions that she disagrees with. It’s always interesting to watch. I’m super excited to see what this rest of this story arc has in store. My loyalties are being stretched thin right now between Catwoman and Wonder Woman and I’m super excited to see if the two women go up against each other or become unlikely allies again (Wonder Woman #201 “The Fist of Flame”) This comic definitely has my attention and I can’t wait for more! – Charlotte

(B) For once the Convergence storyline makes sense! This is the first issue in this series that I have read (granted, I’ve only read a few) that offered an explanation of what Convergence meant, where Wonder Woman’s story made sense without background knowledge, and where the “people” she is supposed to battle make sense without any background either. In my opinion, this means this issue had the best writing of the series thus far, and I can only congratulate it for that. Additionally, the storyline was intriguing. I have found this event is making storylines really dull, but I was actually interested in the outcome for Diana. If you haven’t gotten started on Convergence yet, this is the book I suggest you start with for a great explanation for what the heck is going on. – Adrian

Convergence #3 – C
I recently listened to an episode of the podcast Oh! Comics, and they made sense of Convergence. The unfortunate truth of Convergence is that it might just be a terrible story. It seems as a core event book it’s just not very interesting. In fact it seems that if you want to get anything out of Convergence, you’ll want to be reading all the tie-in books because that’s where the characters we actually care about live. Listening to the ‘cast, I realized that stuff happening on the side (like Harley Quinn going to therapy and realizing she was a victim of Mista J’s abuse) is more interesting than the nothing that’s happening inside the pages of Convergence. Three issues in, and as an event book, it’s just not grabbing me at all. I understand the need for tie-ins, but the core event should be fascinating enough to bring you back over and over (i.e. Final Crisis or Civil War), and Convergence is not doing that. I can’t help but wonder if it will ever end up doing that. Brainiac/Telos’ scheme is so vague and open ended, and the central six variation characters aren’t that interesting (perhaps Batman’s dad as Batman being the only exception). It was cool to watch Batdad school the Morrison Rogue’s Gallery from his Black Glove run, but not much else happens. Even when I know the goal of the six (apparently Telos’ weakness is buried in the planet… which is convenient because if, for example, he’d brought all the cities to NOT the place of his weakness, he’d probably be unstoppable) I don’t care because I pretty much don’t care about any of them. Except Batdad, and he’s probably not going to be around any more. – Montgomery

Convergence – Green Lantern Corps #1 – C
Some more pre-rumble under the dome action this week people! The spotlight for Convergence – Green Lantern Corps is – you guessed it – select members of the Green Lantern Corps. Comprised of Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner – they’ve all lost their ability to use the ring. Whatever overlord trapped the people of Gotham under this dome was not kind enough to leave a working recharging lantern for our favorite heroes in Green. That doesn’t stop them from trying! Especially Hal. He’s having a pretty tough time dealing with cage life. Gardner has just come out of a coma and is dealing with some serious adjustment issues. The only one holdin’ down is John Stewart! Building irrigation systems and stuff!! He always was my favorite Green Lantern. The dome drops by the end just as it has in the other Convergence stories. And with it comes the return of a working recharging Lantern! It’s on now!! – Taylor

Dynamite Entertainment:

Red Sonja #3 – D
I wanted to like this comic, but I just couldn’t get into it. Steampunk Sonja just isn’t my cup of tea I’ve decided. I prefer her in her original setting; she doesn’t read as Sonja in this time period. The plot is also a bit antiquated. Dr. Frankenstein is the evil mad scientist who wants to collect Sonja and open her brain to use it for something. (For what we don’t quite know yet.) Captain Nemo I did find interesting. He’s currently being controlled by the doctor, which is an interesting element to the story. Other than that, It’s a story that’s already been done to death. There’s so much potential within the world of steampunk but instead we’re given recycled clichés. This issue wasn’t something that could hold my interest long enough to read the next book. I also can’t stand the way she’s drawn. She almost comes across as a BDSM fantasy in most of the panels, which distracted me from everything else going on in the story. I’m sure it can be some fun fluff if you’re really bored, but other than that it’s just meh. – Jené

IDW Publishing: 

Infinite Loop #1 – B+
I’m pretty stoked about this comic book series on so many levels. Infinite Loop is a French crowd-funded success that IDW published for American audiences, and boy am I glad they did. This comic run will be a short 6-issue mini-series. The story is about Teddy, a time traveling woman whose job it is to make sure time anomalies are corrected in order to keep her current timeline intact. We see her in action as she’s tracking down a displaced T-Rex, which appears to be happening more than it should. What I like about this comic is that it’s almost everything I love about science fiction wrapped up in this one idea without feeling overbearing or annoying. There’s time-travel, social commentary, and what seems to be a burgeoning epic love story. Love is going to play a large role as Teddy lives in a world where the concept of romantic love has been removed from the society in order to maintain peace. The comic asks: so what happens when a time-traveler falls instantly in love with a lovely woman in a societal structure that won’t accept their relationship? After all, stagnation only lasts so long. The comic is beautifully drawn and wonderfully colored. The art blends to incorporate different times in history which creates this breathtaking elegance. I personally found it captivating. I also love the little eggs hidden throughout the book. I especially love the trek communicator dangling in over the mirror in her car. It’s a nice nod to the temporal prime directive of the series and very much foreshadowing to what the comic will be tackled in the story. I’m really looking forward to the next issue. – Jené

Uncle Scrooge #1 – B+
Ducks are taking the comic world by storm with Howard the Duck at Marvel, Darkwing Duck’s return announced at BOOM! Studios, and Uncle Scrooge and Donald finding themselves here at IDW. This comic is definitely no Ducktales but it does offer up some of the best Scrooge, Huey, Duey, Looey and Donald material we have seen since Kingdom Hearts! The comic definitely seems aimed a little more towards children which should seems obvious, but it has three different stories within all varying in length as well as writers and artists. It mainly is two long stories and a one page story in the middle, but within these two stories we get some great references to old toons and characters we all should remember from our young days in front of the TV on Saturday. The writing all together is pretty top notch and worthy of a coin of two from Scrooge himself, but I have to say the art done in very classic animated Disney style is what sold me on this title. They could have very easily revamped the look, which they may very well do for the Ducktales TV series coming, but at least these comics will soften that blow (hopefully a little easier than jumping into a giant pile of coins) if it comes to that. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #18 – B
These single issue Samurai Jack stories are sometimes the best as with the show, some of my favorite episodes had absolutely no dialogue or at least very few, but then when you see that the issue was written and drawn by one man, Andy Suriano, you got to give him some respect; that is some golden age work ethic right there! But on top of that, this issue is actually very good and by the end shows us a sensitive side to Jack and all his fighting, as well as showing the constant anguish of always being offered exactly what you want but even with it being handed to you, you can never seem to obtain it. Heavy stuff for a kids comic, but that is why Jack is so well-loved and so well-deserving of good talent like Andy Suriano who can come in, take over, and provide us with a story that makes you feel for characters who are only in a couple panels of the comic. I have to say I am super excited to see the return of The Canine Archeologists in next months issue, and one can only hope they play a big part in the end of this series in a couple months time. – Jacob

The Fly: Outbreak #2 – B
I am really torn on this book. It has so many elements that I really enjoy, but there is also something really unnatural about it. It’s suspenseful and mysterious and the dialogue reads really well. There was a really great flow to issue two and it did a great job of combining a descriptive narrative to scenes that were happening elsewhere. Overall I think this book is really unique, and issue two far surpassed the first one. It finally gave up some crucial backstory details that I think should have been laid out earlier, as in who/what/why the hell is Bartok? The main character, Martin, is less charismatic than I’d like him to be and his wife Beth kind of seems like a twit but those are not deal breakers right now. I am confused about why the book is so highly sexualized though. I’m not offended, but it just feels out of place. In the first issue it was revealed for no reason that Beth was into BDSM, and now in the second issue she masturbates via webcam with a pretty freaky looking dildo. Why? Unless her sex life becomes a huge part of what is causing the genetic fly outbreak I think that whole aspect could stand to be toned down. I’m still going to mark one in the win column for The Fly: Outbreak this week because the writing really stands out in it has a really nice genuine fearful feeling to it. – Keriann

Galaxy Quest – The Journey Continues #4 – B
The crew of The Protector has fun, yet anti-climactic space adventures. Finally outside the city walls ready to take out the Ikaara laser and redo what they undid. I love the writing of this series, it’s very similar to what you would expect from the movie, or from the soon to be TV show! It was reported that this would be the last issue but it looks like we might be treated to some continuing story after this. Here’s hoping if there is more to this series, it’s as good as this one. – Scott

The Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #4 – C+
These stories seem to get more and more random as we go along here for this series, and always ended and beginning with not much continuity. But with that being said, each issue is a blast to read as you get a nostalgia overload for you favorite cartoons and each individual story works well on its own. Within this issue we got some great Powerpuff Girl villain cameos as well as the awesome (and nowhere near a ripoff off any other existing character) team of The Justice Friends show up to help Townsville while The Professor and Dexter make sure everything is going ok with the hide and seek game going on in the Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends universe. While the main story was enjoyable the best part was the Mojo Jojo story you get for almost half the issue. I always love a good story where we see Mojo Jojo as more than just an evil villain, and although it had absolutely nothing to do with the main story that we know of so far, it was definitely the most well thought out story among this series so far and hopefully means Mojo Jojo will be a big part of next month’s huge crossover. – Jacob

Edward Scissorhands #7 – C
We continue the new adventure with Edward in this issue of him trying to get onto a talk show that could possibly give him normal hands. A lot of this and the last story with the monster Eli, feel like ideas that were expanded upon from ideas of the original script. As odd as it is to say, it feels like they are being written because it is what someone wanted to see in the movie instead of trying to be an original story. Beyond this observation though, the story is still enjoyable and definitely one you should pick up if you liked the film. It does capture the gothic feel and mixes well with modern society with our newly designed cookie cutter neighborhoods and colors. There is a young character who is gothic in town as well. I hope this story gets past the paparazzi feel of the show and the very common “fix the monster when he doesn’t need to be fixed” storyline we see in every type of monster storyline. – Jacob

Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #2 – C-
I think that if you’re a Transformers person, you pick your favorite representation (G1? Beast Wars? The recent TV cartoons? Bayformers? Fuck you, no one likes those) and then you’re just along for the ride. I honestly found several parts of this book very difficult to follow and had to reread multiple pages to see if I understood what was happening. It mostly comes down to the art, which lives in a purgatory of being beautiful, but confusing. Transformers, by necessity, have kind of busy designs, and so if there’s something like a close-up fight, I can’t tell what part of the robot is punching what part of the other robot. Add-in the even more complexly designed combiners, and I had to frequently consider each picture and figure out who was doing what. In the second issue of Windblade, Prowl goes off the rails and threatens to kill any Cybertronian that won’t leave the planet of Caminus, so of course Defensor and Superion have to step in. With their fists. I figure with Transformers, if you’re in for a foot you’re in for a mile, and if you’re like me, there’s probably nothing they could do that would make you rage quit the ‘formers. It’s got all the stuff the various incarnations (particularly late G1 and Beast Wars) got right that helped them become popular: cool robot violence, never ending ethical complexity, a duplicitous Starscream, and weird religious stuff. So, yeah. We’re all suckers, but keep at it. -Montgomery

Image Comics:

Postal #3 – A
Postal is a good series, but I must admit in the second issue I didn’t think I was going to like where it was going. The third issue was a lot better than the second; there was more forward story action at least. Mark is a really likeable main character and I love his inner monologue but so far everyone else in Eden pretty much sucks. Maybe they’re supposed to though, I haven’t figured out who other than Mark I’m supposed to be rooting for. His father seems like a horrifying man, and the panel where he admitted to killing his daughter because “She looked like her mom. And the world has enough girls” gave me chills. I’m really hoping that he becomes a phenomenal and terrifying villain and that this book explores the truly dark places it’s hinted at. Right now I still think this is a book most people should try. The writing is exceptional and it has all the makings of something really great. – Keriann

Invisible Republic #2 – B+
Everything that the first issue should have been, the second issue was. That may be a confusing sentence, but it’s not. This issue develops the plot and characters in ways that the first issue didn’t even try to. Arthur and Maia’s relationship is a complicated and deep one. They were once indentured servants who escaped their captors at the most opportune time. Now they’re just trying to get off world, but after killing a few police officers that seems a lot more difficult than originally thought. The disgraced reporter Babb isn’t having any easier of a time with his search about Maia. It’s become very clear that people don’t want him to find out about what really happened with Maia and Arthur. – Scott

Kaptara #1 – B+
I’m not sure how to feel about this book. I like the art. I like the self-awareness of goofy sci-fi that realizes it’s goofy sci-fi: if Conan the Barbarian realized it was a little bit silly to run around the snow in a furkini, or if Star Trek (at least the ToS crowd, because Next Gen and Voyager people be jumpin’ all up on you when you make this observation) realized it was absurd that there was never a language barrier with almost any of the aliens they met. But it really bothers me when characters in a terrible situation can’t acknowledge the actual contextual horror of the situation and react accordingly. And that’s kind of Keith’s, the main character, schtick. It strikes me as disingenuous and instantly pulls me out of the situation. A pretty minor quip especially when contrasted with the book’s art, cool design, and cast diversity that doesn’t shout out to you, “Hey ‘Merica! There’s a black woman on your TV now!”

-Montgomery

The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Beyond BeliefB-
I’ve never really been a big fan of The Thrilling Adventure Hour in its original podcast/ radio drama medium. I’ve listened to a few episodes (mostly because Welcome to Night Vale has partnered with them a few times) and they just never really grabbed me. Maybe it’s their upperclass-from-the-1920’s humor that I’ve just never really jived with. This issue, however, is pretty good and makes me want to give the podcast another chance. It’s funny enough but it’s really only the drinking humor that makes it enjoyable. The rest kind of falls flat. What they’re trying to do is a Gomez and Morticia duo but it’s just not working as well, or at least not in comic book format. These characters just might be those that need to be heard, not seen. The Thrilling Adventure Hour really relies on their voice actors, which was apparent in this issue. So, yeah. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. We’ll just have to see what comes next. There are some really passionate people behind this project that I’d hate to see lose their chance at the big leagues. – Charlotte

The Empty #3 – C+
The Empty feels like it’s reaching a head. The inclusion of giant hive mind telepathic insects was an unexpected one to say the least. This issue sort of felt like the creator, Jimmie Robinson, is running out of ideas. It felt like it was shoehorned into the story. I do like a good giant monster fight though, and I was treated to one of those. Poor Fenx (sadness). The next issue cover is a giant bee. I really hope that Tanoor gets turned into a giant be, that would be awesome. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Star Wars #4 – A
(
A) The action has cooled down from the previous issues but that’s ok. Jason Aaron did extremely well expanding the storyline without blowing a lot of stuff up. Take note Michael Bay, you clown. In this issue Luke comes to terms with his lacking strength in the Force. He has a little angst but his is only 19 at this time. Leia is as standoffish as ever, even with Mon Mothma. Along with a little insight into what’s going on with Vader, who has to deal with the very forceful Jabba the Hutt, there isn’t a whole lot else going on with this issue. Although it looks like we’ll be getting another character soon, a bounty hunter from Nar Shadaa. She hates Rodian body parts. – Scott

(A) You’ll never believe who stole the show in this issue of Star Wars. Make a guess… Got it? Good. Now drop that guess into the Rancor pit!! Jabba the Hutt was the man (slug?) of the hour. Those of you who read SW #4 this week might think I’m crazy – and you might not be wrong. There were no significant plot advancements due to Jabba’s presence, but let me explain myself. Everybody knows Jabba’s a bad dude. He runs a slave trade, loves to feed living, squirming people to his Rancor, and he’s motivated only by money. But he stepped his bad-guy game up this issue! Gunning down harmless, defenseless Banthas from the balcony of his luxury yacht for no other reason than to circumvent boredom. And his dialogue!! So menacing, cruel and devious! I don’t think Jabba’s held a longer, more engaging conversation than the one he has with Vader in this book. This new side of Jabba really amplified my experience this month. There was also plenty of Luke, Han and Leia and I’m glad to say that this story is expanding. I get the feeling that this series is really about to take off. The Force is telling me so. – Taylor

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 – B+
This comic is one of the best out there. This time, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe go head-to-head, or rather foot-to-foot, with Galactus. It all turns out all right. It just so happens Galactus is a pretty cool guy because he thinks Doreen is a pretty cool girl. I like the message this book is putting out. The book is clearly meant for teens, and there are a lot of morals to be taken away from this book. Yet at the same time the book is meta enough for adults to giggle at. This arc may be over, but Squirrel Girl will surely keep up the humor in a new arc out next month. – Adrian

Amazing Spider-Man #17.1 – B
I’m really digging this side story to the ASM plot. It kinda reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon series (which is a very good thing). Instead of some huge, out of this world, “oh man the universe is going to end” plotline, we’re getting a basic (but not boring) good vs. evil story. As the story continues the distinction between good and evil grows more blurry and friends begin to look like enemies. There’s nothing overly exceptional or unique to the side series, but that in itself is a bit special. It’s well-written and fun to follow. Two thumbs up and recommendation from me! – Taylor

Black Widow #17 – B
The majority of this book was just a bunch action and anger, which is typical for this book. The art has always outdone the storytelling of Black Widow. But the last page got me! I kept flipping to make sure I had all the pages in my comic. That is a real cliffhanger! If I can’t wait to keep going to find out what happens, then I think that is a pretty good issue. – Adrian

Hulk #15 – B-
For fifteen issues, this sub-par series is nearly at an end. Doc Green’s stupid mission to give all the Hulks his stupid antidote is nearly complete. It took almost four whole issues for the fight with Red Hulk, Thunderbolt Ross, to come to an end; honestly, I can’t tell you why it took so long or why it was drawn-out, excepting some gratuitous full-page action spreads. After the smoke clears, though, there’s actually a story to be had here. Somehow, the Hulk is dying – and against my better judgment, I care why. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men Black Vortex Omega #1 – C
This Black Vortex series has been quite a mess because in order to understand, you need to read random issues from series causing All New X-Men to be released out of order. But when all is said and done, the series ends pretty much right where it begins. The character interactions, the improvements due to the vortex, and other small aspects of the story offered us a little bit of a glimpse into a couple heroes lives. However, ultimately I feel was one giant angst ridden argument among a young couple stretched out over thirteen issues ending on a happy note out of left field. Basically because everyone admits they were wrong. After some cute moments, everyone realizes these two teams fit together like french fries in a frosty. It sounds terrible until you try it, and then you will never eat a frosty the same way again. A little bit of a hidden gem in plain site but with this story I have to wonder if it even will play much of a difference in anything, as much as it wants to, with Battleworld and Secret Wars approaching. – Jacob

All-New X-Men #40 – C-
Thanks to today’s low standard for journalism, the big reveal in this issue was plastered all over news sites and thrown in front of my face all week long.  One of the original X-Men is gay, or…was gay? It’s confusing, but not nearly as confusing as it was awkward. It’s not an easy position to bring as characters; I get that. At the same time, it’s doesn’t feel brave, or trailblazing, or even genuine. It feels like yet another shitty attempt at diversity, and I hope nobody falls for this shallow stab at inclusion. That being said, the complementary story centered around Angel and X-23 embody everything I want time-traveling X-Men to have, which is a desire to start over and learn from the hardships their future selves have gone through. This one was a mixed bag, but ultimately one I could have done without. Try harder, Marvel. – Sherif

Avengers – Operation Hydra #1 – D
Okay… Jeez! I get it. Age of Ultron comes out next week. I’ve known for, like, two years now. You don’t have to shove a propaganda comic in my face to remind me. I’m sure all the 12 year olds (which is the target audience for this one shot comic) already know that it’s coming too. I get that there’s a strategy to making a cinematic event (rather, a cinematic franchise) successful, but it never fails to irk me seeing all the purely superfluous content that floats out there just for the sake of improving margins. There’s no love in that. I know I sound like a hater right now and I also know that I’ve told you absolutely nothing about the comic itself… … … Oh, you were waiting for me to finish my thought? That was it. There was no more after that… K-BYE! – Taylor


Funniest Panel:

This week, editor Adrian couldn’t decide on the funniest panel. So you get three! What a treat!

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Hulk #15

 

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 all the publishers for putting out great books.