Comic Book Reviews 09-30-15

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:

ghost racers 4 POTW

Ghost Racers #4 – A+
Writer: Felipe Smith
Artist: Juan Gedeon
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain

DAMN! This issue was incredible. After his brother’s kidnapping, Robbie returns to the Killiseum with a vengeance. He’s done with being a slave. He’s done with running away. Pissed as all hell, he finally faces the rest of the ignition spirits and after banding together, unleash mega vengeance. Alejandra’s sweet revenge is absolutely brutal! Watching that son of a bitch get run over by all the people he oppressed was incredibly satisfying. It seems like this might be the last issue. The story wrapped up really well where they left it and as much as I’d love to read more, I almost wish they’d leave it be. We’ll have to see what they decide to do with the story next. Hopefully if they do continue it, they’ll do so tastefully. – Charlotte

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

Archie #3 – B-
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Fiona Staples

I’d be lying if I said this book hasn’t lost at least a little bit of its charm, but it’s still drawn beautifully and has enough cutesy humor to keep me engaged. Archie is helplessly twitterpated by any pretty face that happens by, and now the legendary feud between Veronica and Betty begins. Comic mischief is abundant here, but it’s not much more than a cute, fun book. – Sherif

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League #44 – B+
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jason Fabok
Colors: Brad Anderson

Geoff Johns sure does know how to pace a book. In what was one of the shortest DC books this week, it was by far the most entertaining. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole time yelling “JUST TELL US WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!” We get some background on the Anti-Monitor, and some messed up stuff is happening to Flash and Superman. Oh, and Batman is still a god. This isn’t even talking about the insanity that ensues at the end of the book. It’s all shaping for one of the largest scale events DC’s had thus far – and with all the other books under-performing, DC should be thankful. – Sherif

New Suicide Squad Annual #1 – B-
Writer: Sean Ryan
Artist: Philippe Briones
Colorist: Blond

Reverse Flash! No! This was a decent issue. It’s definitely not an entrance point for Suicide Squad, though. I found myself a little lost throughout it, but for the most part, I enjoyed it. Reverse Flash’s narrative was really interesting and his death came as a big shock. Overall, it wasn’t a bad ride, but it wasn’t anything to brag about either. – Charlotte

Batman Annual #4 – C+
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Dave McCaig

To my delight, I’ve finally read an Annual that didn’t suck, and actually had an impact on future goings on in a book. Furry Bruce Wayne has lost all his memories of being the Batman, but it seems like the past is finally catching up to him when he is given back Wayne Manor (see Arkham Manor). A few unexpected guests come through and he is forced to recall some training to whoop on the unexpected guests. Has he been hiding recovered memories from us? Probably, he’s the GD Batman after all. But most eyebrow raising is the potential for a Bruce Wayne wedding, or – more likely – a Julie Madison death. – Sherif

Superman #44 – C
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: John Romita Jr.

After dropping the bomb of how Lois Lane revealed Superman’s secret identity, there’s been a buttload of trouble for Clark Kent. I’m not sure if this is a metaphor for coming out of the closet or some weird TMZ paparazzi parallel, but it sucks to be Clark right now. Superman also makes a pivotal decision to call out villains via social media – yes, Superman is now a YouTube gangster. Calling out villains and threatening them if they hurt his friends was probably the last card he had to play, but it’s still kinda lame. The story also went nowhere – another villain of the month kinda deal. All in all, a lackluster issue after such a series-changing event happened. – Sherif

Grayson Annual #2 – D
Writers: Tim Seeley, Tom King
Artist: Alvaro Martinez
Colors: Jeromy Cox

The power of plugs is strong with this one. More than half of this issue is dedicated to Clark Kent and Dick Grayson awkwardly explaining this shitstorm of events that the new DCYOU has put them through. It’s an effective way to bring readers up to speed, and they do it in a visually-distracting way by enacting a fight scene with a bunch of lunatics in the process. Overall, though, it does not come across as a genuine attempt to tell a story. It’s completely unnecessary to exist in the first place – par for the course in these Annuals. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Infinite Loop #6 – C
Writer: Pierrick Colinet
Artist/Colorist: Elsa Charretier

After reading the last issue of Infinite Loop I am left wanting more than I got. Overall, I think the art outshined the story telling and it’s a good story. It just falls in ways that are disappointing. It’s a cute love story that’s central theme is tolerance and fighting for what you believe in. Cool, but I was hungering for more than just cute. I do hope this mini-series results in something longer. The short space in which to tell this story was hurt it unfortunately. – Jené  

Image Comics:

Postal #7 – A-
Writer: Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins
Artist: Isaac Goodhart

This is going to sound weird, but it’s really nice to see a black writer who can write a black character who sounds like a REAL black person. It’s so much more rare than it sounds. Anyway, I can’t help but feel badly for Mark. No matter which junction in the story we’re at, the book kind of advances solely based on who can screw him over the hardest. This issue, it seems the award is going to Maggie. What I love about Hill is that he knows how to hold back enough of the future plot to keep us all hooked, but distracts us with something new and shiny each issue to keep things moving. Postal is quietly one of the best books in Image’s arsenal right now. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A)Postal #7 successfully added more intrigue and mystery to the story. With the introduction of new characters, Eden’s traditions, and whatever mission Maggie is on – good or bad – I can’t imagine this series dropping off at any point. If you’re not reading this one, you really should be. – Keriann

Rasputin #9 — B
Writer: Alex Grecian
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plasencia

Woah…Looks like we’ve met Rasputin’s foil!?  What I liked about this issue was the Russian mysticism that was woven in. I feel I need to go look up Russian folk tales now. Prince Koshel appears to be an eternal like Rasputin. And I can’t tell if the power of immortality passed from him to Rasputin during their showdown or if the Prince is truly dead. As always I really enjoyed the art and the coloring it brings the story along when there is little narrative in the story. Issue wasn’t mind blowing but still better than average. – Jené

From Under Mountains #1 — C
Writer: Claire Gibson
Artist/Colorist: Sloane Leong

I’m curious if the writer was inspired by ancient Ankara or if the name just shares a similarity. Would be pretty cool if it was. At first issues go it was gripping enough that I want to find out what happens in the next issue. Things I wasn’t so keen on: “lady who is smart but will get married off for political reasons” I’m so very over this trope. It sets for very predictable plot points. Who knows, maybe I’ll be wrong. It’s been known to happen. I am also pretty sure the artist is the same who worked on Archlight. It’ll be interesting to see their work in a different story. – Jené

Second Opinion (C): Not a super interesting story, but Leong’s art is entrancing, and fits the oriental theme. I never say this, but the book could have benefitted by having more dialog. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

X-Men ’92 #4 – A
Writers: Chris Sims & Chad Bowers
Artist: Scott Koblish

What a great and fitting ending to this short Secret Wars series! I am glad to know this series will continue into the All New All Different Marvel that is coming after all this Secret Wars business is over. But the ending this series had was written perfectly by Chris Sims and Chad Bowers who chose a couple details left open and some characters focused on that were perfect for any 90’s X-Men fan. The second epilogue ending left this series off in a way that also will have most 90’s X-Men fan very happy and looking forward to the #1 coming in 2016. With the addition of X-Force and Generation X, the new seires will likely become the best X-Men series Marvel will have going into 2016. The artwork on this issue is perfect and really shows us what we can expect with many modern elements like Cassandra Nova present as well as other ‘90s X-Teams we can assuredly expect a great representation of all things X-Men we know and love. – Jacob

E is for Extinction #4 – A
Writers: Chris Burnham and Dennis Culver
Art: Ramon Villalobos

E is for Extinction is, without a doubt, the finest collection of four issues in all of Secret Wars so far. Everything about it was just so fucking cool. I’m actually bummed it’s over now. The fourth issue is the showdown between Cassandra piloting the body of a reborn Jean and Professor X piloting the body of a recently deceased Quentin. Cassandra wants… what does she even want? Probably just wanton destruction and the death of her brother is my guess. But they’re too evenly matched, AND she fights dirty. I mean, I don’t even want to say what happens next, because it’s the best kind of fan service on every level. The ending is a little vague. It left me wondering, “Wait. Where was Xorn during all that?” And, if Marvel is reading this, I would 1,000% percent love a comic about Xorn either travelling across the country solving Hellboy style mysteries, or an X-Men book where he helms the school and leads a Morrison styled team of more-misfit-than-militia style students. Oh, and this picture? You know who that is? Yeah, that’s the 8th page. Not even a spoiler. – Montgomery

Captain America: White #2 – A-
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale

The follow up to one of the best #1’s I’ve ever read was still solid, but because it was such a short read, it didn’t leave me with the same profound impression I got from the first book. That being said, it’s REALLY good. Tim Sale continues to kill it on the art, and Jeph Loeb continues to place humor and time-appropriate dialog in one of the most well-rounded books on the shelves in years. There’s actually a message to get across, and Loeb does it without sounding too preachy or corny (I mean, by Cap’s standards, anyway). It’s a great book and I predict that it’ll only continue to get better. – Sherif

S.H.I.E.L.D. #10 – B+
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner
Colorist: VC’s Joe Caramagna

S.H.I.E.L.D. #10 works well as a one off issue and doesn’t take too much getting used to with Jeremiah Warrick even as we also have Howard the Duck guest staring for one issue in order to help with a major problem only he can fix. For a fun side adventure to bring Howard into the mix it also works well as a side adventure for S.H.I.E.L.D.. For a huge Howard fan, one panel in this is quite monumental in showing almost all of Howard’s history, and the story definitely is a bit confusing as is a lot of Howard stories. But Mark Waid does a great job with the story although it does stay rather crazy, but the reaction of Howard to Jeremiah is great and sets up exactly how Howard and S.H.I.E.L.D. feel about one another while also leaving future stories available. I love Evan “Doc” Shaner’s art and his Howard the Duck style is great and make me hope to see another appearance in the run of S.H.I.E.LD. – Jacob

Second Opinion (D+): What even was that issue? Literally nothing made sense in this. The villain is thrown in haphazardly out of nowhere and while the Duck Avengers were funny, they really didn’t service the plot. The whole thing was just damn strange. Looks like the writers are having a dry spell right now. This was entirely filler, and stupid filler at that. – Charlotte

Funniest Panels:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.