The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.
A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters
B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.
C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.
D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.
F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.
Pick of the Week:
The Walking Dead #125 – A
Finally! A TWD issue that sustainably elevated my heart-rate! I’d forgotten what that felt like. We are one issue away from the conclusion of the All Out War arch of the series and all things are stacked up accordingly. What’s got me even more excited is I can actually still envision a future for this series – all thanks to THIS issue. How the war ends will be exciting and interesting (I’m betting), but real trademark of The Walking Dead series is how Kirkman and Image are able to keep that baited hook dangling in front of readers – ensuring that the everlasting question, “what will happen next?!” stays on the forefront of fans’ minds. Maybe I’m still just on my high from #125 and I’ll be off of it by tomorrow morning. But after being thisss close to putting this series to bed, I’m right back where I was when I first picked up this series – dying to keep reading. See what I did there?… – T
The spirit of The Walking Dead has reanimated from the corpse that has been the last ten issues. When Rick first butted heads with Rick – and then promptly murdered one of the most beloved characters on the show – we knew there was going to be a showdown that lasted a while. However, with the way that (at least it seems from the last panel) it is wrapping up, it isn’t sitting well with me. In a GREAT way. Is Rick really the good guy? This issue contains quite possibly the greatest soliloquy the series has ever had – and then throws it all away in the name of survival. Damn you, Robert Kirkman, you had us all fooled. – S
“But seriously, there’s nothing weird about wanting to piss all over Rick Grimes’s dead bloated body. He ruined everything, every motherfucking thing. It’d be weird if I didn’t piss all over him.” Hilltop is in shambles, and The Saviors are in the woods waiting nearby to finish the job. Negan is waiting for the remaining survivors to surrender after Rick dies from his injury following Dwight’s arrow to the back. While we fear for Rick’s life, Carl gives Mikey some much needed advice as he watches his father die. Hang on tight Dead-heads! The last page of issue #125 is exactly what we have been waiting for since this war began. – JS
Dark Horse Comics:
Star Wars #16 – B-
I’m still riding this Star Wars wave. The first 15 issues have taken me up and down in my enjoyment. I’m on my way up with the latest issue and hoping that it keeps building. After the plot “reset” that took place last issue, I ‘m glad to see that this issue followed up in appropriate fashion. It’s become a story of depth and internal struggles – something that defines classic Star Wars. But man… I sure do wish Wood (writer) would drop the whole “Luke still has a crush on Leia” angle. I shutter in disgust way more frequently than I should reading a SW comic. – T
Batman: Eternal #1 – A
Batman is getting a LOT of attention this year, and for deserved reasons; we celebrate the Dark Knight’s 75th Anniversary with Batman: Eternal, a weekly series headed by Scott Synder and James Tynion IV. Usually I’m a bit skeptical of weekly series, but Eternal is the real deal. The first issue pulls no punches. We’re given a glimpse of the future and it looks terrible; Gotham is in flames, and whoever is doing this knows Batman’s identity. My money is on Ra’s Al Ghul. He’s been too quiet in the New 52. Anyway, the issue also sets precedents. We’re given a new police officer recruit, and Jim Gordon gets himself in DEEP doo-doo. It’s everything I want out of a Bat-book and more, and the fact that it is weekly means they will be propelling Batman’s universe four times as fast with new (and returning) characters making an impact. – S
Superman – Wonder Woman – B+
I’m not really sure how the hell Wonder Woman has become the God of War since I don’t keep up with her regular book, but I think they could have done a better job summarizing what happened there for the rest of us. This issue wasn’t so much about the past as it is about the future. Starting with the next issue as well as the next Superman issue, they will be starting Doomed, which can only include one villain when you think about it. But just in case it doesn’t immediately come to you, I won’t spoil the ending of this issue for you. My biggest question is how will these two fare against one of the greatest DC foes of all time? Will the combined might of the God of War and the Man of Steel be enough to conquer true evil? It sure as hell better be because Supes was able to do it by himself once before so I don’t wanna see any weak crap in the next few issues. This book has been very solid throughout and I would hate for it to turn into some kind of love conquers all cliché. – R
Batgirl #30 – C
What the hell is going on in Gotham City right now? Where have all of these supernatural demons and vampires come from? I hope these last few issues haven’t been a setup for some bigger supernatural plot line they are going to introduce, because with the way they have written the last few issues regarding it, it would be enough to make me seriously consider not continuing to read this book. Aside from all of that the artwork was great and there was nice introspection from Barbara about Dick Grayson that meshed with the story very well. – R
When I first found out that Gail Simone didn’t write this issue, I freaked out. Luckily, this is just a one-time thing, as she returns to writing in #31. That being said, what was so special about this issue that Simone got bumped back an issue? I don’t really understand the Alien-like symbiote; it could be setting up some weird gooey future storyline, but it’s unclear as to how that will happen. What I really don’t get – and makes me want to chuck the issue altogether – is that she spends the entire issue pouting and “mourning” Dick Grayson. I think this is an unbelievably dumb move, because his fate is still in the balance in Forever Evil, so it’s like “Shut the hell up, Barbara, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Gail Simone would never have been so sloppy, so I’m glad next month we can get back to normal. – S
Flash Gordon #1 – B
I’ve had the misfortune of being born in the 20th Century. The internet, smart phones, and automated coffee makers that will, in all likelihood, enslave the human race one day have all been the norm for me. As such, I never got to experience Flash Gordon in his original form as a 1930’s adventure comic hero. So imagine my surprise when I was hit with nostalgia and wonderment when reading the new Flash Gordon series. Weird right?! It’s abundantly clear that Parker (writer), Shaner (illustrator) and Dynamite have an agenda with Flash and his courageous crew in that they are bringing a cherished piece of nerd history to the present. The beauty of issue #1 is that it’s cliché in nearly every aspect of the original comic book medium – from the artwork, to the general plot and character banter. But it’s all done in a way that captures my attention and makes me want more. I mean, if George Lucas used this as inspiration for Star Wars, that means it guaranteed to be good. – T
Rocky and Bullwinkle #2 – B
In the second issue of Rocky and Bullwinkle, we have the same format as about every episode of the show and the last issue. It is a two-part story with a “Dudley Do-Right” story in the middle. This series reads so much like the show, which makes them absolutely wonderful for fans of the past. It is hard to get through without speaking the lines as Bullwinkle or Boris and yet Snidley has not tied Nell to train tracks yet. This issue brings up a almost Burt Wonderstone feel of how magic is lost in modern times and no one goes to see the magician, the Great Griffin anymore. Moose and Squirrel find him and try to help him make it onto a reality show competition but as magic is no more in this modern era, he inevitably fails. The baddies Boris and Natasha try to kidnap Griffin to have him open a safe and only with the help from some old friends will Rocky and Bullwinkle be able to save the day in time. The Dudley Do-Right story is great as well and puts the well known Mountie phrase to the test, “A Mountie always gets his man!” Filled with many great gags, references, and even a Kardashian joke to wrap it all up, this series is a great read and always bring lots of nostalgia into your life. – JR
Samurai Jack #7 – B-
Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman are back for another adventure…wait. With Jack and the Scotsman under a spell that has turned them into women, the Leprechauns whom cursed them send them on a journey to defeat a bothersome giant. Once the duo reach the giant and attack it relentlessly they find out the giant is actually a good person and his screams drown out the spell making both Jack and the Scotsman men again. Once that gender switch is taken care of the heroes now head back to the leprechauns with their giant friend to defeat them once and for all. This two-issue story was quite entertaining and left you almost wanting to see the gender bending team stay on for more than just two issues. As always, the art of the Samurai Jack books are great and the dialogue is slim which makes it just like the series. A great read for any Jack fan and of course if you had read last months issue. – JR
Shutter #1 – A-
Seriously, does Image Comics have a bad book? Their latest new book, Shutter, is a fantastic story of a young girl who was groomed to be the world’s greatest explorer. The traumatic death of what we think is her surrogate or biological father derailed her ambition, but “She’s seen some shit,” so she says. Somewhere in the middle, there are holographic ninjas and mechanical Monopoly men. The book is funny and exotic and I can’t wait to keep reading. I mean, any story in which the moon is considered boring must be an adventure worth taking. – A
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1 – A
This comic was amazing; it was dark, filled with that reminded me of a brutal anime (Afro Samurai) and set the tone for a great story to take place. I really like this new Iron Fist, and I only want to see more of him. For those of you that love the character, or know nothing about him, this is a great comic to check out. I can’t wait for the next issue to come out and I highly recommend it. – E
Kick-Ass 3 # 7 – A-
Hit-Girl is back and s*** is about to go down. There is only one more issue left and it finally feels like we are going to see the badass kickass we have been waiting to see since the beginning. Three storylines in the making, and he finally is done being such a wuss. Lots happened this issue, but none of it is as important as what is coming up next issue. This conclusion could mean the death of one, or both, of our heroes, as Millar has said before that this will be the last installment of the epic trilogy six years and two movies in the making. I don’t know how they are going to end it all but I can’t wait to find out, this issue has got me pumped for the finale. – R
Captain Marvel # 2 – B
That Flerken Cat! Captain Marvel is back in space after an awesome introductory issue. We get a good scope of how strong of a character she is, physically and in character. The only thing that could make her book even more enjoyable is a team up with the Marvel darlings, Guardians of the Galaxy! Rocket Raccoon steals the spotlight a bit, as he always does, and the whole issue is entertaining. I’m really excited to see how this team-up builds and, of course, Kelly Sue DeConnick‘s writing shapes the story wonderfully. Go buy this! – S
All-New Ghost Rider # 2 – B
Only into the second book and this series has proven its worth. We still don’t have an explanation as to why Robbie Reyes has become the Ghost Rider but I am sure we will get that soon enough. This series and the characters are growing very nicely and we are definitely getting to sympathize with Robbie and beginning to dislike many people he will likely be battling and defeating in coming issues. This issue shows us what the mystery pink pills that were in the car Robbie borrowed to race can do, and it introduces us to multiple people who may end up being main adversaries throughout the series. Although the standard Johnny Blaze and the motorcycle we all know and grew to love are gone, this new, gritty and very different artistic take on Ghost Rider is guaranteed to please old fans and create many new ones. – JR
Thanks to Marvel’s earlier studio movies – okay, really, it’s just Nicholas Cage’s fault – fans have a sour taste of Johnny Blaze in our mouths. Couple that with the fact he hasn’t been around since the end of Fear Itself a couple years ago, and it just screams reboot! Robbie Reyes is to the barrio what Kamala Khan is to Muslim Americans; there’s a certain honesty that All-New Ghost Rider carries with it is refreshing and unique. The new outfit, vehicle and art style are very polarizing. I feel like you either love how it feels or you think it looks cheap and poorly designed. You can add me to the list of the former, because Ghost Rider is quickly catapulting to the upper echelon of books in my pull list. – S
(Note: can’t win ’em all) The new Ghost Rider has a new look, and as Tim Gunn would say, “This concerns me.” The new GR is a Los Angelino named Robbie Reyes. No more flaming chopper and black leather jacket, our hellish vigilante is pushing a muscle car and looks more like a H&M model than hellfire corpse. Look at it this way, I read this comic so that you won’t have to. – JS
All-New X-Men # 25 – B
This book is beautifully illustrated. I’m not sure that I am versed enough in comic folklore to fully appreciate the massive team of talent that went into this singular issue…if you are a comic head you will appreciate this Dream Team roster of artistic talent; Bruce Timm, Laura Martin, Arthur Adams, Justin Ponsor, David Mack, Skottie Young, Jason Keith, Robbi Rodriguez, Lee Bermejo and Marte Gracia to name a few. Beast is visited in the middle of the night by The Watcher. He plays a Ghost of Christmas future role and shows Hank all the damage he caused by bringing the X-Men to the future. What this issue lacks in story, it makes up in production. – JS
All-New Doop # 1 – B
If you see the cover of this and are immediately turned off because it’s ridiculous and dumb, then you can hand in the keys to your childhood right now. Doop is described as the “green potato thing,” and boy is that on the money…. I guess. Doop reminds me of a cuter version of DC’s Bat-Mite as he sneaks around behind the scenes and meddles with the X-Men’s affairs in Battle of the Atom. It’s just overall a really cute book that adds a breath of fresh air, especially in a week filled with so many anniversary and tribute issues. Take this book for a spin and I bet you won’t be disappointed. – S
Daredevil # 1.50 – B-
Here we get yet another anniversary issue, celebrating fifty years of Matt Murdock. We begin with a letter from the editor revealing that The Avengers came about solely to fill in a gap when the writers of Daredevil were late – very interesting. This anniversary special is broken into three parts: one written in the future by current writer Mark Waid, one by legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis, and the final a reprinting of an old Gene Colan piece (RIP). It’s better than a lot of tribute issues as of recent where too many writers just too few pages to tell a meaningful story. Instead, we’re given unique and powerful panels that remind us why Daredevil is The Man Without Fear. Even fans not caught up with the book can appreciate this. – S
Deadpool # 27 – B-
Dubbed “The Most Important Issue #27 in Comic Book History,” I was already offended before I flipped to the first page Note: This is a joke, of course, but Detective Comics (1939) #27 gave us the first appearance of Batman, who is experiencing his 75th Anniversary this year. The cover to this issue is amazing; it would be a fun game to see how many of the 232 characters we know (key in the back of the issue). This issue is really long-winded, but serves as a tribute to and from all the writers and stories Deadpool has had over the years. There’s a really cool sense of ownership and community of the character. It kind of lost its mojo part way through, but the general consensus is that Deadpool has been lovestruck a lot and now that he finally has a bride, things can’t go his way for much longer. – S
Nightcrawler #1 – C
Disappointing effort from Chris Claremont. I was expecting something completely different. Nauck’s art lacks depth (in my opinion) and this book falls short. This was a boring first attempt to reenergize a fan favorite. Let’s hope there is more to come. – JS
For a book that sees our beloved Nightcrawler return from the dead, there sure wasn’t a whole lot to celebrate here. Acclaimed writer Chris Claremont is back to write the series, but a lot of the “umph” that he had in the 90s. His signature style of explaining every little nuanced detail of the character’s personality was endearing twenty years ago, but readers really don’t need that much background anymore. As for Nightcrawler, he’s really not even the focus in this book; he takes the backseat to both Wolverine and Amanda (Claremont explains everything but the history of this character, who is important to Nightcrawler, but not really in the X-Universe). At the end of the day, I just wanted more of the lovable BAMFer and less distracting side-story. The man just came back from the dead, can we get him a beer or something? Expand upon the stories of Heaven, Hell and Azazel? I’m willing to give it another chance, but I’m ready to teleport out if the next issue is as disappointing. – S
All-New Ultimates #1 – C-
This comic was fairly good. When there was action, it stood out and was very entertaining, however throughout a good part of the comic it just felt like nothing was happening. I do like that they didn’t make this new team the “ultimate weapon” right off the bat. They are still very new and green and they showed that side in the comic. Overall I enjoyed it and I recommend it to people that enjoy the characters. – E
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.