Comic Book Reviews 01-28-15

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:

Batman 38 POTW 1.28.15

Batman #38 – A+

(A+) Snyder and Capullo do it again. I could just gush and gush, the thing is, is that no review I could ever write would be with your time to read as much as actually going and picking up a copy of Batman #38 and reading it yourself. Batman must go down in history for the sheer literary genius it is. This particular issue is packed with so much history, Gotham, Batman, Greek Mythology and word origins. Here’s what I can say: any book, comic or not, that schools me on Dionysus and the meaning of the word “tragedy” is absolute perfection. – Adrian

(A+) Beating a dead horse here, but reading Batman: Endgame is one of the smartest investments of your time you can make. You don’t need much background knowledge, and you know why that is? Because your whole world will be flipped upside down with this issue! Nothing you have ever known about the Joker is true. It’s such insanity that not even Batman has a plan for what to do about this revelation. There’s a reason that nobody has ever given Joker’s origin, and that was revealed with this issue. DC must have a lot of trust in Snyder and Capullo to allow them to cement their legacy here. Some teams make great comic books, but this team makes history. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics: 

Multiversity Guidebook #1 – A+

Holy crap, you guys. I was excited at the notion that this book would just be some nerd-style manual circa 1995 that would explore each of the 52 worlds – a simple guidebook like you might find in the lobby of a Holiday Inn. Not only is it that, but it still has a story. In fact, it has guidebook in story, in story (…in story). It starts with adorable little mini Justice League getting super-duper murdered by robots created by the legion of evil Sivanas, and mini Batman as the only survivor fleeing to a neighboring universe where he teams up with a Batman who looks like Buzz Lightyear, except Batman colors (later we find out that because of space reasons, ALL the super heroes look like Buzz). That kind of Never-ending Story whatthefuckery is enough to total overload every nerd bone in my body. Knowing one story entirely fills out everything Multiversity is, but in addition to that story, Morrison has figured out how to weave every single incarnation of DC Comics into one whole narrative. So far the only thing disappointing about this mega meta arc is that there aren’t 52 issues of it. – Montgomery

Gotham Academy #4 – B+

Can I have a Maps? Please. The kid sidekick, who is actually the smart one, is just so cute. As usual, Gotham Academy knocks it out of the park with art and coloring. I am continuously finding myself lost in the art. This issue had a panel with a ghost that had me entranced. Olive found herself encountering many aspects of her life she has been avoiding, but in the process, she found a secret passageway in the Academy where she found a very special guest star living behind the walls. Many things were answered this week, but many doors were also answered. Get into this book before it gets too far ahead of you! – Adrian

Batman Eternal #43 – C

I love Harper Row, er… I mean Bluebird. I do wonder how an outspoken teenage can hide her secret identity when her signature purple and bright-blue Mohawk are completely visible, but I can get over that. Either way, it looks like we’ve found Batman’s next ward. That was almost the only highlight of the issue, though. We do close some gaps on a scene that’s nearly a year old, but there still aren’t any hard-pressed issues addressed. We know something big and bad is coming, but we’ve also known that for 43 issues. Big win for Harper Row, though. – Sherif

Effigy #1 – C

I had a big time love affair with 90’s Vertigo (with the exception of Constantine, regardless of how hard I try…). I love the super-weird, the super-witchy, the mystical and occult: if it has curses and multiple dimensions, count me in. At some point, though, Vertigo shifted to a focus on more violent books (LeMire’s stuff being a very noteworthy exception). Reading the press materials for Effigy, it sounds like my jam: vapid Hollywood crossed with ritual murder and maybe multi-dimensional mish-mash. This first issue, though, it focuses on a former child actress as she tries to move on with her life and move into being a detective, but struggles against her glory hound mother who wants to move her back into the limelight. Which is all stuff I don’t really care about. The really interesting stuff was the space gods we just glossed over (literally two panels. They get two panels). The art is another sore spot; maybe I’m just a big dumb dinosaur that needs to lay down in a tar pit and accept my place in the world, but I loved the gritty haphazard horrific art styles of the old Vertigo. This book has that art style that looks like maybe it’s some kind of very design heavy flash sidebar ad that’s become really popular with high-concept indie books recently. It’s not that it’s bad, but when it’s, like, the third book this week you’ve seen with that art style, it gets hard to tell them apart. – Montgomery

Arkham Manor #4 – C

Alright, so I may have over-reacted when I got to the conclusion of the last issue of Arkham Manor, when it seemed like the Joker was the big bad in this mini-series. Arkham Manor holds its own just fine, and so very little of that has to do with Batman. Victor Fries takes center stage here, and wouldn’t ya know, he is the funniest person in a Bat-book not named Dick Grayson. This book won’t revolutionize anything, but it’s an interesting departure from the status quo for books focusing on the Dark Knight. – Sherif

IDW Comics:

X-Files: Season 10 #20 – B+

We continue the story of the experimental government manufactured marijuana called G-23. Now, Langly and Mulder are tripping out on the drug in the desert and neither is sure what is real and what is just a massive hallucination. In the issue, we find out the secret behind the drug, who is behind it, and become paranoid of government-regulated marijuana, but then again that is just the Mulder coming out in me. As far as art goes, I really enjoy having a different perspective, and Tom Mandrake’s style blows my mind when it comes Mulder’s hallucinations, really making you feel the effects and making me never want to take hallucinogenic drugs. I would say pick up this issue if you generally enjoy X-Files, or if you maybe want to see what X-Files could have been like if Vince Gilligan added more if his Breaking Bad ideas to the show, which I totally felt that vibe with the panic and struggle of using the drug at hand. – Jacob

TMNT/Ghostbusters #4 – B

This mini-series comes to a close this month leaving our 80’s hearts empty yet again to deal with the modern tells of both franchises. With TMNT already getting a sequel, and the all-female Ghostbusters on the horizon, it was nice to see this team-up while it was still relevant. This story in this series is much better than anything I came up with when I was five. Ultimately, the story is not integral to the main story line of each property, so despite this issue and the series as a whole being very enjoyable, it is not needed to understand anything but a small reference in the mains series. – Jacob

Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 – B

Taking place after the events of the Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War, this new series focuses on Dexter and the Powerpuff Girls combining forces to traverse all the different worlds within the Cartoon Network brand to track down a mutated Dee Dee. We start with the intro and a short story of Courage the Cowardly Dog – setting up next month’s issue. We may get every issues like the one-shots having a prequel of sorts to the main CNSSCW story. The story so far definitely has some plot holes and things left unexplained, but then again, it is a cartoon book and anything is possible. I would say pick this book up if you are young as it is a blast and also for nostalgia reasons as one of your favorite cartoons is likely to show up at anytime and give you all sort of warm feelings as if you just ate some Oops All Berries and washed it down with some Ecto-Cooler. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #10 – A

It almost feels dirty putting this book in the reviews, but I absolutely love this book. I decided to sit down in the hotel lobby I’m at, and read this book (of all books, right?) on my tablet. Of course, this had to be the issue with the most dicks and vaginas out of all of them. That experience would be equivalent to watching the salad-tossing scene in Girls, when all of a sudden your grandmother and five-year-old nephew walk in the room. To you, shirt-cocking. It’s that awkward, but I love it anyway. Sex Criminals takes the taboos of weird sex things and explains that it could get a whole lot weirder. – Sherif

Bitch Planet #2 – B+

(A) If you’re not reading Bitch Planet you are doing yourself a disservice. Kam is as badass and noncompliant as they come. She’s true to her beliefs and stands strong by them. It is only when she sees an opportunity for escape that she decides to accept the offer given to her by “the fathers.” There are still a lot of parts of this world falling into place, and we’re not 100% sure how everything operates in the Bitch Planet universe, but I am so excited that a comic like this exists. We need more of these stories and I can’t wait to see what comes next month in this story arc. Bonus: Don’t forget to read the essays at the end of these issues. This month’s was on how feminism is often misconstrued and I reread it aloud to my friend, it was so good. – Charlotte

(B) Orange is the New Black meets Hunger Games meets messed up dystopian future…and I love it! It’s raw, intense, and gritty and at time hard to read. Sure is a soccer punch to the gut. The covers art of the comic as a retro feel to it a comingling of time periods. The future is the past is definitely a theme to this book. Sexism is in its hyperbolic form and I think this does a lot to highlight how insidious, subtle, dangerous it’s become in our culture. In this book we get more info about the “male” Earth and its society and the politics of Bitch Planet. The inmates are thinking of using the brutal games to 1) let Earth think they are generating entertainment but 2) really they are going to use it to change the indoctrination of gender roles. Brilliant! Honestly, there is so much packed in visually and linguistically and I could write a paper on it. It’s a comic many will be talking about for year. Go read it! – Jené

Casanova Acedia #1 – B

So there’s a badass body guard with no memory of his past and he protects this other, old guy who also doesn’t have a memory of his past. There’s a fight scene that takes on a diving board with a hot naked girl. Uhh… there’s also bad guys that don’t have heads or faces. Oh! And the world is going to end in nine days for some reason. In much fewer words, issue #1 of Casanova Acedia is one healthy serving of “HUH?!?!” That being said – I didn’t hate it. In fact, I recommend you read it! It’s a simple and classic storyline with some really, really weird twists added in for what I assume is alluring intent. Whatever this is, I’m into it (I think…) and I plan to stick with it until the weirdness overwhelms. – Taylor

Rasputin #4 – B-

This series is hauntingly beautiful. I wish the books weren’t so short, but it seems like the art style probably takes a long time to finesse. Rasputin has finally made it to the winter palace and has healed Alexi of the bleeding disease.  What this book offers is insight into his powers and how they work. Being able to heal isn’t all fun and games. As always looking forward to the next one. – Jené

Graveyard Shift #2 – C+
 
This week, Hope, Liam’s girlfriend and now vampire, tried to kill him for 6 pages. Then it turned out she’s a good vampire and quit trying to kill him. Then for the rest of the comic, we found out she is just a classic vampire. Can’t touch crosses, or hit the sunlight. Also, she’s hungry … for blood. This book was forgettable, but the saving grace is when I flipped to the back and saw it was rated “T” for Teen. Now I realize that if this is a teen’s vampire book, they could be reading Twilight, and this is waaaaayy better than Twilight. – Adrian
They’re Not Like Us #2 – F
 
Last issue, it seemed like this book would be a little bit like an X-Men rip-off, which I was more ok with than the garbage that was this week’s issue. The specials, or whatever they are called, beat up a guy and steal all his stuff, all because he was going to graffiti, and they make it seem justified because tagging would bring the cops to the neighborhood. What the hell? Does tagging really deserve not only a whole story line that attempts to explain why they deserve what comes to them and an entire panel that says “F*ck Taggers?” I think its an abuse of power that comic writers have to convey a belief that is very closed-minded. And the main character questions the actions of the others, but then accepts it because she is “free?” This is not modern day The Awakening, this is badly written tripe. – Adrian

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Thor #4 – A

“Lady Hammer Pants.” Spider-Man FTW on picking out the Goddess of Thunder’s new name. That and an epic duel between “both” Thors made this a pretty great issue. My annoyance at not knowing the identity of lady-Thor has plateaued to the point of (nearly) no longer caring. I’m almost convinced that writer Jason Aaron doesn’t know the identity either. It’s been building up for so long now that when the reveal finally happens it will probably fizzle, like month-old Coke-a-Cola. I’ve come to accept (and expect) this reality and instead focus on the plot for primary value. The outlook is optimistic at the end of the issue. I’m very intrigued at how things were left off and I’m excited to see where it goes. That being said, Thor will have to significantly impress this critic if it want another “A” rating anytime soon. – Taylor

Uncanny Avengers #1 – A

I’m really liking the Avengers and X-Men mashups that are increasingly common these days.  My favorite musician-turned comic writer, Max Bemis, even had a hand in the AVX series, much to my delight.  The Avengers and X-Men are at it again in the newest volume of Uncanny Avengers.  In this new series, we join Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Quicksilver, Vision, Sabretooth, and Brother Voodoo as they travel to Counter Earth.  This first issue left me with a lot of questions, but has enough action and plot to make me want to figure out what in the (Counter) world is going on.  How will the Avenger Unity Division get out of the hostile situation they have gotten themselves into?  Where are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver?  So many questions, but I guess I’ll have to wait. – Jake

Spider-Man & The X-Men #2 – B+

Does it get much better than superheroes fighting dinosaurs?  Actually, in the case of another Avengers and X-Men team up, it does!  While this entire issue was packed full of action and awesomely lame one-liners, my favorite part was seeing our new X-Pal, Glob, transform into an adorable and transparent dinosaur.  Although the new batch of mutant heroes isn’t exactly my favorite team so far, the story-line has not been relying very heavily on the mutants, but instead seems to pave the way for a what feels like a new Spider-Man solo story.  The first two issues have been entertaining thus far, but I am eager to see the character progression of the X-Men as they begin to trust their impulsive new teacher.  On a side note, don’t fret, Shark-Girl, though you may have turned down love, there’s always other fish in the sea. – Jake

Deadpool #41 – B

Well after the events of AXIS have died down and our Roxxon flashback issue is behind us, we can get back to the regular Deadpool we all know and love. There is only one problem with that – Wade Wilson as we know him is a different man and his daughter, wife, friends and all he should hold dear are changing because of it. The main story for this series is really delving into Deadpool’s psyche. You actually sympathizing and caring more for Deadpool than you thought anyone could. I would say grab this issue to get ready for the new arc and the countdown to his inevitable death in April, as well as it has the best comic cover of the year so far in my opinion, done by Mark Brooks. – Jacob

Spider-Man 2099 #8 – B

If you haven’t heard it yet, I’ll say it for you now. I LOVE Lady Spider! This issue of Spider-Man 2099 is actually more about the sexy, female steampunk version of Spidey than it is about Miguel! I hope this attention to the character is foreshadowing and that fans (especially me) will get more of this captivating character in some other Spider-Man title following the conclusion of Spider-Verse. I’m also pumped that the Japanese Spider-Man Megazord has been re-commissioned and is geared up for the final battle. The atmosphere is critically electric leading into what will be THE final comic book issue of the Spider-Verse event. Everybody hold on tight and hope that the day will be saved!! – Taylor

Wolverines #4 – D-

I have had so much hope for things since I did really enjoy the actual Death of Wolverine story, but the changes it has made and the stories it has created have me to a point where I am very much at peace with Wolverine being dead forever, if it just meant his friends would shut up about it and stop trying to bring him back. The dynamic between the two teams of this series is pretty fun, only to see Sabretooth, Mystique, X-23, Daken, and Deathstrike working together. But in this we add Fantomelle who took the focus from last weeks issue become part of the team, and she is generally the first new character who holds any interest to me. The artwork for this issue is a little rough around the edges, but generally works for a weekly title, although the cover this month was definitely the worst cover to come from anything Death of Wolverine related. If you are the completest that I am of course you should pick up this issue, otherwise, please avoid Wolverine and most things associated with him from now until Earth 616 doesn’t exist anymore… – Jacob


Funniest Panel:

Batman Eternal 43 funny 1.28.15

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Thor 4 awesome panel 1.28.15

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 IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Yesterday in the Nerd Verse… Jan 12, 2015

Biggest news of the day: a brand-new trailer for Age of Ultron has debuted during the college football championship. It’s delicious. I might have to start building my own Hulkbuster.

 

I’m not sure how we missed this, but Tony Stark’s transparent phone seen in shots of The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron … is real. It won’t be released to the public, since such technology is reserved for billionaire, genius playboy philanthropists, but it will be an actual functional Samsung device. Source: International Business Times.

 

The final season of Parks and Recreation debuts tonight!

 

In other TV news, an introductory trailer has been released for iZombie, debuting on The CW March 17th, 2015 and based off the 2010 Vertigo series of the same name.

 

Okay, so don’t freak out, but Greg Capullo has posted some concept art for Batman: Endgame, including a drawing with Batman’s left hand replaced by a blade. As sweet as that sounds, hopefully Bruce Wayne does not go all Rick Grimes on us soon. Source: Twitter.

 

The Simpsons paid tribute to Charlie Hedbo in very classy fashion. Source: Time

 

Martin Luthor King Jr.’s biopic, Selma, is doing something pretty cool. Check out the link below for select cities that are giving away free tickets to the movie for 7th-9th grade students. Don’t be sad if your city if not among the list, because more will be announced tomorrow. Source: Selmamovie.com.

 

The final season of Boardwalk Empire is out on home video today. This show had one of the greatest finales in recent memory, and neatly wrapped everything up by the series’ end. Link: Amazon.

 

Gotham will be coming to the circus! The Flying Graysons have been confirmed to appear on the show after some behind the scenes photos surfaced. I wonder if this means the appearance of Tony Zucco. Source: Ben McKenzie’s LiveJournal.

 

Still butt-hurt about the new lightsaber from Star Wars: Episode VII? Sucks for you! This fan has taken the time to show the world why this crossgaurd design is superior to the traditional one.

 

Mark your calendars, because The Late Show starring Stephen Colbert will debut on September 8th. Source: TV.com.

 

Telltale Games (the ones behind story-driven games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones) will soon be making a new, original game as part of their expansion, which includes Borderlands and Minecraft titles. I’m personally happy to see a creative (and affordable) change in the market – proving that not all games need to be “epic” to  be enjoyable. Source: IGN.

 

Lando is back! Original Star Wars star Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in next week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels. Taylor has been reviewing the series thus far and has given it high praises, so if you’re on the fence about it, Lando’s appearance may give you the push you need to see it. Source: EW.

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Artist

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Artist

  • Fiona Staples – Saga (Image Comics)
  • Greg Capullo – Batman (DC Comics)
  • Leila del Duca – Shutter (Image Comics)
  • Mateus Santolouco – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW Comics)
  • Mike Henderson – Nailbiter (Image Comics)

WINNER – Greg Capullo

This guy right here, he could make anything look good. When we interviewed him in May, he even made us look good and each month, he makes Scott Snyder look good, as well. A fair amount of thanks go to Snyder and his colorist FCO Plascencia, but this self-taught artist gets a lion’s share of the credit for why Batman is the best book in the industry. Thanks to years of pencilling Spawn, Capullo has the terrifying down-pat, but Capullo has also made the panels of Batman undeniably beautiful at times. As a Batfan, I hope he sticks around forever, but if he chooses to leave the series come issue #50, I will follow him wherever he goes. – Sherif

Second Place – Fiona Staples

Saga #19
Saga #19

All I have to say here is go read Saga and you’ll see why Fiona Staples deserves to be the top rated artist from this year. Her slightly sketchy style of lines adds a fantastically whimsical quality to every page. Even when the story line hits overly serious notes Fiona’s artwork adds a hint of magic to what’s happening in the scene. I’m not the only one who thinks she deserves every accolade she receives. With nine award nominations, six of which she won, it’s clear to see she towers above almost all of her peers. On top of doing the art for Saga, she was just picked to do the art for the new Archie comics. To be tapped to draw the next generation of one of the longest running series of comics ever written speaks more than any award. – Scott

Third Place – Mike Henderson

Nailbiter #2
Nailbiter #2

There’s no harder job in a horror story comic book than making it look frightening, yet still keeping the technique so crisp. Sure, you could go the route of Jock, who does the psychotic, manic art on Wytches, but I find so much more substance in Mike Henderson’s Nailbiter art. Nailbiter has just the right amount of terrifying mixed in with beautifully drawn backgrounds and character models. What makes me love Henderson’s art so much is that he doesn’t get in the way of the story to try to boast. There are times that I completely forget I am reading a comic book because I get lost in the flow of the art; it feels like I am watching a horror film. To boot, the guy is a phenomenally diverse artist with a lot of love for other work. I look forward to being scared shitless by Mike Henderson in 2015. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Mateus Santolouco

TMNT #38
TMNT #38

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for nearly 30 years, and with all the different versions that have been released in comic book form, nobody has done as well as Mateus Santolouco has at making me feel the same joy I felt when I first got into the Heroes in a Half-Shell. Not only do the turtles look great, but the slew of other mutants (ugly and beautiful) look perfect, too. It’s as if he studied to see what Kevin Eastman’s work would look like in the future. After kicking butt in last year’s Secret of the Foot Clan and City Fall, Santolouco continues his strong run with the debut of the Mutanimals, leading up to an impending war between Shredder and Krang. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Leila del Duca

leila del duca artist shutter 2 best of 2014

I want to first say: I knew her before she got big, so that makes me better than everyone. I met her at a tiny little event called the Cow Town Comi-Con on the top floor of The Tattered Cover where she was selling original art for a personal project. Instantly, I told her she needed to be working for Marvel or Image or someone. Fast forward just a couple of years, and ta-da: artist on the fantastically popular Shutter. While she wasn’t born in Denver, I feel like Denver gets credit for her since she did live, work, and get her education here. – Cuyler

Next Category: Best New Series

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Creative Team

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Creative Team

  • Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples – Saga (Image Comics)
  • John Layman & Rob Guillory – Chew (Image Comics)
  • Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard – The Walking Dead (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo – Batman (DC Comics)
  • Tom Waltz & Mateo Santolouco – TMNT (IDW Comics)

WINNER – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Saga)

Saga is the best comic book series I’ve ever read.  Point blank. Hands down.  No debate.  Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples firmly have my heart in their grasp.  These two brilliantly talented individuals have crafted such an incredibly enchanting, detailed and (most critically) original universe.  The characters are relatable and dynamic – a pretty impressive feat considering the cast is composed entirely of odd alien life forms.  The surroundings and environments are beautiful.  The plot is layered and interesting at every level.  I even love how awkward this team can make me feel!!  Panels of the Fard and Stalk-sex belong in the comic book hall of fame.  In a time of sequels, remakes, and based-on works it’s a breath of fresh air – more like a tank of oxygen at the peak of Mt. Everest – to have Vaughn and Staples teamed up.  These two are unequivocally the most creative comic book duo out there.  Now if only they could get on a regular release schedule! – Taylor

Second Place – Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead)

The Walking Dead #128
The Walking Dead #128

These two creators have worked on over 100 issues of The Walking Dead together for over ten years. They are the Simon and Garfunkel of comic books, and they have one of the best relationships of any book out. Their creative direction syncs so well; minimal exposition means that the story is told through images often-times better than it is through words. It’s been a long journey, and one that does look to be slowing down anytime soon. – Sherif

Third Place – Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo (Batman)

Batman #32
Batman #32

Every month, when I read Batman, I feel so small compared to these geniuses.  They are the real deal, people.  After 37 issues into their book, they know how the other one works to a tee.  Snyder’s storytelling is compelling. Capullo’s art is top notch.  Together, their story is the best in the biz.  Each of them work incredibly hard to get out the quality of book they have, and one without the other would disrupt the whole process.  Gah!  I could gush over these two all day! – Adrian

RUNNER UP – Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco (TMNT)

creative team tmnt 39 best of 2014
TMNT #39

 

A lot of people tend to think the TMNT carry themselves and that it is easy to pull them off. With Waltz and Santolouco, however, their own take on the turtles includes additions from just about every incarnation of the turtles, appeasing all generations of fans. It’s not all just a jam-packed love story, though; the consistency of good story-telling has increased my love for TMNT so much more than is was – which was borderline insane in the first place. I find that even though I have enjoyed the issues in the TMNT series not written and drawn by Waltz and Santolouco to be fun and just as engaging at time these two have almost become the staple of this series for this year and have created some of the best stories for these characters I have ever seen, plus I have a soft spot for Herman the Hermit crab which debuted a couple issue ago, whom was designed by Santolouco. – Jacob

 

RUNNER UP – John Layman & Rob Guillory (Chew)

Chew: Volume 8
Chew: Volume 8

Chew is a juggernaut of awesome. Layman and Guillory have put together what is by far one of the most comical series ever created. We find this year that a bit of toe can go a long way. Layman proves his writing chops by not only having one of the most popular creator owned books on the market has recently been seen writing one of the most popular characters of all time, Batman. On top of doing Godzilla, paring up with a major motion picture release, I think we can all recognize John Layman as one of comics current top writers. Rob Guillory has one of the most definitive art styles of any artist currently working. The exaggerated character styles and even the little easter eggs he works into every panel make Chew more visually appealing than the majority of books currently on the market. Combined they become something on the power level of Captain Planet, BUT THERE’S ONLY TWO OF THEM! – Scott

Next Category: Best Comic Book Writer

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Story Arc

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Story Arc

  • DC Comics – Batman: Zero Year (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • DC Comics – Batman: Endgame (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • Marvel Comics – Spider-Verse (Various writers and artists)
  • DC Comics – Forever Evil (Geoff Johns & David Finch)
  • DC Comics – Multiversity (Grant Morrison & various artists)

WINNER – Spider-Verse (Marvel Comics)

 

I think it’s official. Spider-Man is my new favorite superhero. I can’t say that I actually ever had an original favorite. Being a fanatic Star Wars kid I don’t tend to focus on “superheroes” to often. I’ll tell you what though – the feelings I felt during the Spider-Verse events were synonymous to the feelings of watching A New Hope the first time. There were so many aspects that made the Spider-Verse event fantastic. The well-conceived plot, the intriguing villains, and clear & solid use of multidimensional travel all amplified the enjoyment of this event. But what made the Spider-Verse event “the best” all year long was getting to experience the vast variety of other-dimension Spider-Men and Spider-Women. Each issue hosted a new hero or gave us eye-popping insight into new worlds. The energy and creativity spawned from this event has been palpable. The event has been a ton of fun for fans and creators alike. The best part is that it’s not over. The first part of 2015 will keep the web-slingers busy as they try to survive the onslaught of the Inheritors. If the event maintains its awesomeness it may end up being the best of 2015. – Taylor

Second Place – Batman: Zero Year (DC Comics)

Batman zero year best of 2014
Batman #30

 

We know Bruce Wayne’s parents got shot, and we know that he did some stuff and then became Batman (Year One, mostly). But what the hell kind of stuff did he do to become Batman? Seems pretty important, right? Scott Snyder sure thought so. Zero Year is quite possibly the best Batman origin story I have ever read (Frank Miller, eat your heart out). Snyder and Capullo show they’re all in by paying homage to the original Bob Kane/Bill Finger lore – peep the stylish purple gloves – but still make the story their own by creating a whole new world. I was almost disappointed to return to the present, but then Endgame came along… – Sherif

Third Place – Multiversity (DC Comics)

Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventure #1
Multiversity: Thunderworld #1

How to even begin describing Multivesity? It’s Grant Morrison’s personal cosmology given comic book form using the shape of DC. Every month for eight issues, Morrison creates a new what-if in DC’s expansive universe, sometimes creating alternate versions of characters, new characters, or old characters in alternate situations. The only bummer is it’s eight issues instead of fifty-two. – Cuyler

RUNNER UP – Forever Evil (DC Comics)

Forever Evil #1
Forever Evil #1

As exciting as DC Comics can get, a lot of their ideas in the New52 are just recycled stories from the 70’s and 80’s. So when Forever Evil looked to be nothing more than a redo of Crisis on Infinite Earths, I set my phasor to “meh.” Right away though, I was hooked when they publicly revealed the identity of one of my favorite characters. It was another thrill entirely to watch the Justice League fight their way back from a very near edge of demise, and defeat a force so powerful that full repercussions haven’t even been felt yet. If you like alternate universe stories (like the new Spider-Verse, for example), then this story should be at the top of your list, too. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Batman: Endgame (DC Comics)

Batman #35
Batman #35

It’s true that we don’t even know how Batman: Endgame will end, but I don’t care, it has been my favorite of the year.  Only three issues in, and it is the comic I look forward to every month.  The Joker’s pranks are absolutely chilling.  Batman isn’t as calm and composed as he usually is.  Gotham is going through a Joker-pocolypse.  Things look grim, but when a comic book can leave me on the edge of my seat, I’d say it’s a winner. – Adrian

Next Category: Best Creative Team

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Series

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Series (Monthly On-going)

  • DC Comics – Batman (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • Image Comics – Black Science (Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera)
  • Image Comics – Saga (Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples)
  • IDW Comics – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Tom Waltz & Mateo Santolouco/Ross Campbell)
  • Image Comics – The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard)

WINNER – Batman (Snyder/Capullo)

 

Let’s be honest; this year belonged to the Batman. Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo put out a superior product every month. Not only has Batman been DC’s highest-grossing title every month, but topped the sales charts five months this year (Source: Comichron); the next highest selling on-going series is the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man with two months at the top. In 2014, Batman tackled one of the most mysterious and intimidating parts of the Dark Knight’s lore, the origin, and carved out a place among the Batman legendary tales. Then,  If you are reading this book, you are witnessing history as it is happening. – Sherif

Second Place – Saga (Vaughan/Staples)

Saga Best Book Best of 2014
Saga #22

 

Saga has been a continuing monthly book with one of the most interesting and original story lines ever to have been published. Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples continue to dominate the science-fiction realm in comics. Brian K. Vaughn continues to show that he is one of the most creatively functional writers in comics today. There are things in Saga that you are guaranteed to not see in any other book ever. Our favorite fugitive family gets mixed up with a wonderfully eccentric theater troupe and Prince Robot IV has a son of his own. Matched up with Fiona Staples’ artwork, there seems to be no real slowing down for Saga; it’s the most creative, original, and beautiful series of the last two years. – Scott

Third Place – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Waltz/Santolouco)

tmnt 41 cover
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #41

 

This year I have read plenty of different series and there have only bee two that have had me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next issue and the more consistent of the two has been TMNT. This series offers absolutely everything a Turtle fan could want, honestly, as it has dealt with characters and situations from the long history of turtle history, almost like a little bit of a flashback series while also offering something completely new and just as awesome. The main team of Waltz and Santolouco are amazing and of course all the other artists and writers have been just as good making this the most consistently good series of the year to me. But with the Mutanimals coming up in the new year, a giant war against the Krang on the horizon and their crossover adventure with the Ghostbusters not being over yet, I am sure TMNT will continue to be one of my top favorites into 2015. – Jacob

RUNNER UP – The Walking Dead (Kirkman/Adlard)

The Walking Dead #121
The Walking Dead #121

Kirkman’s still got it!!  More than 10 years and going strong!!  The first half of the year was so-so with the conclusion of the All Out War arc.  It was intense that’s for sure, but it was slightly formulaic.  Then came the New Beginning arc, and it blew my face away.  If you can call Kirkman anything, it’s unpredictable!  I buy issue after issue after issue primarily because I NEED to know what happens next!  The undead and the yet-to-be dead have found a happy equilibrium (if you can call it that).  Times are good, but a new foe has reared its head.  And that’s how we know shit is about to do down in a big way.  This constant torrential storm of calm and chaos brings with it an unshakable endearing quality.  I’m a nervous and sweaty wreck in the midst of any conflict or life-threatening situation (which is pretty much all the time) and I’m even more nervous and sweaty when nothing’s happening.  And all I want is more.  Because reading TWD is essentially an addiction now. – Taylor

RUNNER UP – Black Science (Remender/Scalera)

Black Science Book Best of 2014
Black Science #5

 

First, have you seen the art in this book? Oh my God, it’s good. It’s like something fell out of the ’60s and into the 2060s, then trickled back down to lowly 2014. Second, the story – on the surface it doesn’t seem like much. In fact, it even seems like it’d be hard to take seriously: a scientist builds a machine to visit alternate worlds, it malfunctions, and his team gets stuck. It seems like yet another variation on a story we’ve read a hundred times before, but like all great stories, character makes it stand out. Layers of intrigue slowly emerge: maybe characters aren’t as noble as they seem. Was the machine sabotaged? Why are his children (not even old enough to drive) with him? Did I mention the art? – JH

Next Category: Best Story Arc

Comic Book Reviews 11-12-14

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:

batman 36 potw 11.12.14

Batman #36- A

(A) There needs to be a limit on how much of The Joker Scott Snyder is allowed to write. I cannot remember a version of The Man Who Laughs that terrified me as much as Snyder’s version does (aside from Brian Azzarello’s Joker, yeesh). Endgame is already shaping up to be able to stand next to Court of OwlsZero Year and Death of the Family in terms of quality. The best way I can describe his writing is like a spider; he reels you in, thinking that you have it all figured out, until the story pulls the carpet from under you until you realize that you are trapped. Snyder’s horror background (The Wake, Wytches and American Vampire) makes him a perfect fit for the most terrifying villain in Batman’s history. This is all perfectly complemented by Greg Capullo’s pencil work. Having had the chance to interview Capullo, we know what a craftsman he is; his eery art style that worked so well on Spawn and Court of Owls fits perfectly with the Joker. The use of colors is dire to the issue’s success, as well, with FCO Plascencia really blending the brightly colored Superman scenes with the dreary Arkham moments. We cannot praise this book, this team enough. Right now is your chance to get in on history in the making, so go out and start reading Batman before the party is over. – Sherif

(A) The New52 Batman is absolute genius.  Yeah, it has been going for a few years now, but I feel the need to remind everyone, just in case they forgot.  Endgame Part 2 continued to showcase the exceptional writing of Scott Snyder and mesmerizing art by Greg Capullo.  The first panels of the issue start slowly with Batman talking about a specific sound he hears in his nightmares.  It forces you to read everything about the page and to experience what Batman himself is experiencing. This is a rarity in comic book writing, in my opinion, and should be lauded.  In this world without the rest of the Justice League, Gotham and beyond become scarier and scarier, but there was one panel in particular that terrified me to my core: a close up of The Joker’s deranged eyes.  No one but Capullo could have pulled it off.  If you are behind, or have yet to start in on this story arc, quit reading my review, and go pick it up at your local comic shop now! – Adrian

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

Deep State #1- C-

A government conspiracy between Russia and America when the moon landing really happened – the first thing that jumps out is the opening narration that is void of any comic cliche comic book writing: just describing the action in the panel, and then saying, “My name’s John Johnson, and I am Fly Guy.” It’s really nice and sets up the expectation that what you’re about to read is going to be creatively written, but then all the dialogue reads like this: “For instance, the question you want to know right now is how I could possibly expect you to believe a word I’m saying.” It’s the kind of writing that’s trying really hard to be intriguing, but points too vigorously to itself. The art is OK; it’s like someone simultaneously trying to do Hellboy and anime, which aren’t complimentary. Man, I want to love every comic I read so bad, and this one was right in my wheelhouse (government conspiracies, alien life, ancient astronaut, probably), but the dialogue was so clunky that it made 25 pages seem like infinity. Page 24 is definitely the most interesting to look at. – Cuyler

Dark Horse Comics:

Resurrectionists #1- B+

Resurrectionists was a fragmented story and there was a lot of content that was covered really quickly, but it’s done right. There are well formed characters to start, with some very interesting dynamics between them. The first part leaves you a little intrigued, but you have to hope that comes back around in a way that does it justice. Overall, though, I liked it a lot. It has a bit of everything: intelligence, action, intrigue, and what it does best is the interpersonal dynamics between the characters. I think some of my favorite books and comics always built that as their foundation, so it has me wanting more. I’ll definitely have to grab the next issue. – Zach

Prometheus: Fire and Stone #3 – C

This is my first review for the series though I’ve read every issue of it so far. The artwork is beautiful. Last issue had some truly beautiful panoramas of the planet. The biggest problem is the overstuffed staff. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of ten characters, and the story gives each one near-equal screen time, which means I have no idea who to root for. I assume the main character and captain simply because she’s a take-charge woman, and those are the only people to make it out alive in the Aliens/Prometheus universe, but it tries to be tense and mysterious, and hints at some fascinating ideas – monkeys, ants, and giraffe-ish looking animals that all developed as a result of the black goo from the movie, and an android that mutates as a result of exposure to the goo – but never gives anything real screen time. The best Aliens comics have always had some sort of philosophical answer to look for, and the worst were simple run-n-gun stories. I might be the only person on the planet who liked Prometheus, but this is a simple run-n-gun story with way too much trying to be accomplished at any given moment. – Cuyler

DC/Vertigo: 

The Kitchen #1 – B

(B) The Kitchen follows three women whose mobster husbands have been sent to prison.  So basically, it’s Mob Wives, but instead of you feeling bad about watching trashy reality all day instead of organizing your garage, you can now read the same storyline in a comic in 15 minutes!  And honestly, it was better than reality TV.  Set in the 70’s, the story feels a little like Charlie’s Angels, with the blonde, brunette and redhead.  But ya’know if they were in the Mob and didn’t give a single fuck.  The three women must make do with their lives sans husbands, and by the end of the first issue, they have already gotten themselves into a mess. But oddly, I find myself rooting for them.  – Adrian

(B-) I’m usually a big fan of crime books, but The Kitchen just doesn’t quite do it for me. I’m not saying it’s bad, just not really my cup of tea. The story of The Kitchen follows the lives of three mob wives learning how to live after their husbands are put away for five years. The three women handle it their mob lifestyle in different ways. Kathy, the toughest of the three does her best to pick up where he husband left off, even to the point of picking up protection money. The other two are a little more toned-down characters. The art isn’t bad but the lines around the faces of the women are a little too dark and age the characters I think more than they need to be. Perhaps that’s to better convey the hardened lifestyle they live.  The Kitchen is good enough to keep up on it for now, but I hope that it picks up a little more. – Scott

Earth 2: World’s End #6 – C

Well, things are all over the place again, and like before, it’s not bad, it’s just a lot of information to cram into a couple dozen pages. The cliffhanger from the last issue is disappointing and I was definitely hoping that it was going to go in a different direction, but, who knows; things will probably still head to that end, anyway. – Cody

The New 52 – Future’s End #28 – F

I… Don’t… Care…  Those three words perfectly sums up how I felt about this entire issue of Future’s End.  Here’s the thing – the plot is so confusing and mutilated that when an issue drops and it focuses solely on this butchered storyline, all it makes me want to do eat a hamster.  I know that doesn’t make any sense!!!  That’s the point!!!!  This issue COULD have been saved IF the faceoff between Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne would have been as epic as the cover art indicated, but noooo.  All I got was a grappling hook to the foot and a broken window.  Wasted time and effort on this one folks.  Be warned. – Taylor

Dynamite Entertainment:

Django/Zorro #1 – C

This comic was probably my most highly anticipated release for this week.  Django Unchained was my favorite movie of 2012.  As a kid, I used to pretend I was Don Diego himself – swinging rapier like sticks in the backyard, carving “Z”s into the tree trunks.  In fewer words: I was PUMPED!!  Well, with great expectations comes the risk feeling great disappointment.  Risk not adverted.  Before I go further let me disclaim, I did enjoy this issue and I’m looking forward to the follow up issues very much.  What irked me about this first issue was that it was far too much buildup.  I know who Django is and how deadly he is with a pistol, and I’m acutely familiar with Zorro’s unmatched fighting ability and cunning; you don’t have to spend 70% of the issue building up to what we already know!!  I guess the important thing is that these two badass vigilantes are finally together and are planning to stir it up big-time in Arizona.  Not quite the BANG-SLASH intro I was hoping for, but an intro nonetheless. – Taylor

Alice Cooper #3 – C

The story for this series is dark and brooding, as expected, and offers the brand and style Alice Cooper has grown to be known and loved for. That is where the parallels end between the music career and the comic of Alice Cooper. As great as it is to see him in the limelight again, I wish it were in another capacity as these comics definitely leave something to be desired.  The art is actually quite fantastic, but the story just seems rushed with not much focus and it is kind of just gliding by the seats of its pants. Not to say as a fan of Alice that I don’t enjoy it every month but only get this book if you are a big fan of Alice Cooper and his mythology; otherwise, this series offers nothing too incredible to entice you into caring. – Jacob

 

IDW Comics:

Star Trek #38 – B

Reeling after the surprise death of the last issue, we see the crew still separated, multiple threats appearing, alliances disappearing, Q being the scheming bastard he always is, and new allies and friendships forming. I have thoroughly enjoyed this crossover of every Star Trek property, but this issue it left me wanting a bit more as I felt they really grounded themselves with certain characters and wasted or not even used very good characters from the entire franchise. Instead, they choose to focus on characters that may seem minor to those that only really know TOS and TNG. I would still say that this series is a Star Trek fan’s dream no matter what series and Captain you follow; now, if only we could see Captain Janeway appear, this may have been a grade A issue. – Jacob

Black Dynamite #4 – C+

If you are looking for any sort of cohesive story, keep on keepin’ on; this is not the book for you. Black Dynamite books have been completely random, with no real direction. However, it is good for a laugh. In this issue, Dynamite takes on the shoe industry after a famous basketball player is murdered when attempting an alley-oop from half-court completed by Evel Knievel while jumping over three Ford Pintos – pretty standard stuff here. Either you love Black Dynamite, or you think he’s one of the most ridiculous things on paper. I will say that the writers have found a good medium to keep the book at without going overboard… just in time for this to be the final issue. If you like Black Dynamite, you might enjoy the animated series, which returned to adult swim on Saturday, 10/18. – Sherif

October Faction #2 – C-

(C) The first issue of October Faction started off strong (or maybe I told myself it did because of how much I adore Steve Niles) but sadly issue #2 did not take that momentum and run with it. In all honestly it fell a little flat. The most recent installment focused entirely on building the story, the only problem is that it was still a little too vague at times and not so compelling at others. Overall, it just moved a little slow. They introduced a few new beasts, a werewolf and what I can only assume is a killer robot, which I like because it at least hints that down the road we may get to witness some epic battles and meet some cool characters. The members of the hunting family were building to be interesting but I don’t feel like they are developed enough by this point that they are likable or not, they merely exist. I wish I could say more, I really do, because I am so rooting for this series to take off and be amazing, but for now it really is just kind of fell dead in its tracks. – Keriann

(D+) October Faction’s initial release had me intrigued. It’s first issue had style, timing, and all the hall markers of a good story building into something more. The second issue took all of that build up only to bring you right back down to earth, and not in that nice gentle way that generally comes to mind. Think sky diver without a parachute type of coming to earth. Like a bad second date, I finished reading October Faction’s second issue feeling as if I was staring at a beer in a restaurant, wondering why I even bothered. That’s a harsh review, I know, but this issue is almost all fluff. Filler and family drama that could have just as easily been squeezed from a bad sitcom or a teenage family lifetime movie. It has it’s twists and a new character that could lead to something very interesting down the line, but when it comes to this issue it’s too little too late. So let’s hope this is just a lull proceeding the storm because when it comes to issue #2, October Faction left me wanting in all the worst ways. – Zach

The Bigger Bang – D+

I went into this one intrigued by the idea of a second Big Bang. If you read the Origin Story on inside cover (which I didn’t at first), it explains the idea of a second Big Bang or Bigger Big Bang that destroyed the universe we live in and in the wreckage was left this new multiverse in which the comic takes place. This had so much potential. It’s too bad it was executed so poorly. The two biggest problems I have with this comic is the melodramatic tone and the dialogue. Honestly, it reads like the half-formed idea of a sad teenage boy. I’m TIRED of the atonement-seeking hero and while I understand that *SPOILER* the hero’s whole thing is survivor’s guilt, it doesn’t come across as such. The character has no reason to save the people he does. There’s nothing driving him forward, or at least nothing that is revealed to the reader. The dialogue tells us everything flat out. I know the cliche “show don’t tell” is getting old, but apparently the author of this comic has never heard of it. I didn’t need to be told flat out that Captain Wayne (who is arguably the only redeemable character in the comic) doesn’t understand why she’s being ordered to kill the hero. She doesn’t need to say that. I get it that she’s torn and if I didn’t, there would have been a better way to go about making that clear than saying “but he seems so kind!” The only reason I would recommend this to someone is if they were a studio artist, because the art is actually quite good, even though it seems a bit out of place set in space. – Charlotte

 

Image Comics:

The Walking Dead #134 – B+

(A-) There’s finally some conflict and traction in The Walking Dead. After about a half-dozen issues of catching back up with current times, we have quite a situation on our hands. Carl and Sophia are finally the tag team we always knew they would be, and we get a better glimpse of who the heck these guys attacking travelers are. I love the concept of these meat sack guys (that’s what I’m calling them for now), and I cannot wait to see more of their background story. The best part of this issue, hands down, has to be the multiple pages of Adlard’s work that show Jesus going off on the meat sacks. Even though a team of people have had encounters with the meat sacks, I think only a couple of them know what they actually are – and bringing one back to camp is a good way to find out. – Sherif

(B) This series continues to be the best it’s ever been. Whatever these things are, it’s messed up. This issue has a couple big moments but the one that stands out to me the most happens between Carl and Sophia. This issue did a lot in terms of setting up a new B story and finally getting some hope that were going to find out what these things are that are attacking everyone. Seems pretty obvious, but, you never really know with this series. – Cody

Wytches #2 – B

Wytches lost some momentum this week, but overall it still held pretty strong as one of the best horror books out right now. Issue #2 was a little convoluted and it definitely lacked the cold brutality that made the first issue pop so much, but it was still a solid read with a good flow. There was more of a focus this time around on the Rooks family members and how they are each dealing, but there was still a healthy helping of super creepy and what the hell is that moments – especially at the end after Sailor hijacks a school bus and runs out to the woods to escape confront her demons. There was good sprinkling of exciting things are to come, so even though this month’s Wytches may have been a little tame, it was still the best book I read all week and I’m certainly looking forward to the next issue. – Keriann

Drifter #1 – C+

(A-) Drifter is a sci-fi with a little bit of post-apocalyptic flavor. A so far nameless man crash lands on a planet that doesn’t quite have a working society. He wakes up in a Mad Max style outpost town after his crash, and after being shot by the way. So far the characters are nameless, there is the crash landed pilot, a medic, and the man who shot him. One thing I did notice that I didn’t really care for was that some of the conversations don’t seem to make sense. More than once I felt like there were questions being answered before they were asked. What Drifter really has going for it is the art. Nic Klein does an outstanding job. The colors are particularly outstanding. Drifter is definitely one to pick up this week. I’m sure it will worth the read every issue. – Scott

(D) To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this book. It started off kind of choppy and had a very Pitch Black feel to it, but the lead character has less charisma overall than Riddick has in his pinky finger. To be fair, he actually has less charisma than that girl who dressed as boy to be cool that nobody liked. But I’m getting carried away in the wrong direction; it’s just that remembering watching Pitch Black is more interesting to me than this book was. The dialogue is way too fragmented; no one speaks in complete sentences and that’s annoying to read over and over. The characters just use have thought out metaphors and what I think is supposed to be gritty just sounds like bad writing with no real flow to it. So far the plot does not seem well thought out, or at least it comes of that way. Drifter seems to really miss its own point, at least so far. The characters were without depth and they all spoke like Steven Segal, or the villains from his movies. The plot is too choppy and tries to be mysterious without revealing anything to actually give it a hook so why should I care? Short answer: I don’t. Long answer: See above. – Keriann

American Legends #2 – C

American Legends returns with its second issue and this time around I think it might actually be growing on me. I’ve come to accept that this story is basically going to be The Dukes of Hazzard featuring a handful of historic characters and now it’s easier for me to sit back and enjoy the ride. The book isn’t great; the writing is full of camp and, frankly, it’s not that clever or funny, but it is at least kind of enjoyable if you can just take it for what it is. Issue #2 progresses the story a bit more; although, it is still unclear of exactly what point they might be building to. It also introduces a few new historical characters into the mix. Unfortunately, Sacagawea is kind of lackluster considering she should be awesome and there is so much they could have done with her along the lines of historical embellishment intermingled with fantasy. At least the explanation of how the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s started is kind of funny. Other than that gem, Sally Thunder’s insanely giant boobs that pop out of her shirt in basically every panel and a few nearly unbearable “Duke Boys” moments between Crockett and Fink, American Legends #2 really didn’t have a whole lot to offer. – Keriann

Copperhead #3 – C

(C) The mostly dull sci-fi-western, Copperhead, continued this week.  Being largely unimpressed and barely intrigued after the first two issues, I expected more of the same.  In that regard – I was not let down.  The story is progressing much too slowly to really keep me interested; this is one of the poorer uses of the comic book medium I’ve seen lately.  A few dozen pages isn’t much to work with; it’s important to hit readers hard and fast to keep us interested!  By this point I’m expecting twists, gadgets or anything new and different.  The thing saving this review from a “D” grade is the twist (if you can call it that) revolving around Ishmael, the artificial-human dessert nomad, and his involvement with the mass murder of an alien-hillbilly family.  While floating among pages of lackluster content, I was immediately sucked in at the last two pages of the issue.  I hope issue #4 keeps me drawn in – I don’t know if I can take much more of this boring space adventure (if you can call it that either). – Taylor

(C) This series continues to be good, if not a little one dimensional. Things are panning out just as you’d expect in any cop drama and it’s unfortunate. I’d really like to see some cosmic cowboy justice but it just isn’t happening yet. The one thing that keeps me coming back is the art and how unique everything seems. – Cody

Marvel:

Spider-Verse #1 – A

Spider-Man is quickly becoming my favorite superhero.  Mostly because there are an infinite number of him (and her, and ham).  Even though Spider-Verse #1 did nothing to advance the plot-at-large that is the “Spider-Verse Event,” it did a great job of showcasing the many different ways one can enjoy Spidey.  Comprised of three mini-stories and two even more-mini stories (all with different writers and authors) I found myself really enjoying the wide birth of Spider-Man experiences brought to life on the panel.  My particular favorite was Steampunk Lady Spider!  I don’t even understand Steampunk, but I really dig Lady Reilly and her gizmo-geared-spider-contraption suit!!  At its core, this issue is just flat out fun.  It’s refreshing to be able to take a step back from the epic epic about to take place and just enjoy a comic for the sake of it.  The comic book community is having a lot of fun with this Spider-Verse event.  You should definitely join in if you haven’t already. – Taylor

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5 – A-

This week’s issue pretty much opened up the entire plot for what seems to be the rest of the series. Without spoiling too much, we see many people changing sides, unlikely team-ups, and Apocalypse is here – which is never a sign that thing will go well. So things are not looking so good here after the events of Red Onslaught as he is now free and hiding out somewhere for the time being while all the heroes kind of duke it between one another hoping something will be resolved. The art has been very consistent and enjoyable for this whole series and offers up some great iconic images along the way and the story is definitely the best of the major Marvel events so far this year. – Jacob

Superior Iron Man #1 – B+

I have to admit, I have not been an avid Iron Man reader, ever. In fact, aside from Extremis, this is the first Iron Man-titled book I have ever read. I quite enjoyed this. The Tony Stark we get here is very much a product of his bout with alcoholism, as well as his fatally narcissistic personality from the movies. This time, Stark has created the Extremis 3.0 app, which lets people experience perfection. However, the app was released as a free trial – and the cost to re-up is $100 a day. Superior will try to shed light on people’s addiction to physical flawlessness and technological enhancement – something I don’t doubt will be reflected back onto Stark himself, who insists on playing God to other humans. There is a ton of sarcastic humor in this, which is what makes Iron Man such an enjoyable character. There’s trouble to be had in San Francisco, and I certainly aim to be around when it happens. – Sherif

All-New Captain America #1 – B

Sam Wilson has finally put on the suit, and he looks damn good in it. While the former Falcon attempts a routine mission to save a kid hostage, he’s met by Batroc the Leaper. While the issue itself doesn’t really break any boundaries or set any new standards, it is really fun to read, and the cute comments about Sam getting acclimated to the shield give the issue a whimsical tone. I also loved Batroc’s attacks on American culture and addressing the adversity that Wilson will have to overcome to be respected by Cap’s enemies. It would have been nice to get a little more development out of the issue, but it was a strong start. – Sherif

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #7 – B-

What the whaaa…!?!?!? I’m not sure what just happened… But I think it was awesome! I feel a little guilty about it, but I like this issue in spite of itself. There’s plenty of action, zero story, and a little bit of extra something(s) thrown in at the end for good measure. The art is as crisp as I’ve come to expect from this series, yet the action (not to mention the current storyline) is still a bit confusing to follow at times. Maybe this ties into Spider-Verse. Maybe we’re getting the Ultimate version of another mainstream character. Maybe this is all a dream… I don’t know, and I don’t think you will either. I’m thoroughly confused, but I’m still unabashedly along for the ride. – Jumoke

Thor #2 – C

(C+) This issue really didn’t do a whole lot for me and was kind of just filler it seems. I know they are not going to reveal everything right off the bat, but when you are dealing with a very short weekly story to try and entice fans I kind of hope that there is a little character progression past, the thoughts of ”I have the power of Thor now! Cool! I’ll just beat up this guy and this guy and oh, no I am not really Thor. I’m just a woman with his hammer who doesn’t know how to use it yet.” For someone who seems to have spent a lot of time around Thor and his friends and knows an awful lot about them, she should probably know a little more about Mjolnir than she seemed to have. Either way, it is just the intro to the whole grand scheme and intro are always difficult even for the best stories. Despite the little things that bugged me personally, the story and art are both wonderful and offer us something we never thought would happen. So I am sure this will improve in time and it is good to see more badass women in comics, albeit the Thor armor sure got a lot more revealing when a woman picked up the hammer… – Jacob

(C) While this issue of Thor was better than it’s 1st issue, it still feels off.  We were finally able to see the female Thor in action, but the writers are making it very clear that she isn’t actually Thor.  Then why title the book as such?  Just to create controversy? I don’t think that is necessarily the best idea.  This issue put female-Thor (they have yet to give her a name) on Earth to battle Ice Giants who have frozen the Avengers.  While the idea is neat, it seems premature.  We have yet to even know the lady’s name and she is forced to save the biggest names in Marvel.  While some of the dialogue was clever, it was extremely exposition heavy.  I think if Thor has been a favorite of yours, this book is up your alley, but if not, it may have already failed. – Adrian

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #2 – B-

(B) Kate Bishop! Kate Bishop! Kate Bishop! This month’s Hawkeye vs Deadpool was a really enjoyable read. What I love about this comic is how relatable, funny, and well executed the characters are. Both Clint and Kate are awkward as all hell and it makes the comic all the greater. All the characters read not as high-class, 100% serious, “Get-out-of-my-way-I’ve-got-shit-to-do” heroes, but as real people who just happened to save the world frequently. While the comic has its serious parts and there’s a definite urgency to get the precious files on S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into the rightful hands, it is also largely funny. I was constantly laughing at the bickering interactions between Clint and Deadpool and the hilarious one-liners and general quirkiness of Kate. I also love how similar Clint and Kate are and the friendship between them is really enjoyable to read. One thing that I really appreciate in this story arc as a whole, is that they address the fact that Clint is deaf. They joke around with it (without being offensive) in scenes where Clint can’t read Deadpool’s lips because of his mask, which Deadpool comedically takes advantage of when he’s asking Clint for permission to do something but really doesn’t want an answer. This comic is definitely a must read for both Hawkeye and Deadpool fans alike – and if you’re a Kate Bishop fan, you’ll be happy with how present she is in this issue. I’m super-excited for what is to come in this story arc. – Charlotte

(C) From what started off as great chemistry between Hawkeye and Deadpool has turned into a slop of an adventure with no real direction or desire to find an endpoint in two more installments. There are still a lot of cute lines and subtle jokes made throughout the book, but it lacks any of the pop that sold me on the last couple issues. The inclusion of Kate Bishop is pretty helpful, as the banter between her an Deadpool is flat-out adorable, but the issue begins to drag on when all they do is talk about how Kate is better than Hawk guy. Even the twist at the end loses its impact when there is such a lack of cohesion throughout the rest of the book. – Sherif

Captain Marvel #9 – D

The only shred of anything that saved this week’s issue was the vague cliffhanger.  Otherwise, I am so disappointed in how this series is shaping out.  This week, Lila Cheney, mutant rockstar who can teleport, lands on Captain Marvel’s ship and takes Captain Marvel and Tic to a planet that only speaks in rhyme. Yeah, the whole book rhymes.  The point of going to the planet is to stop Lila’s marriage to a boy she made a pact with as a kid. It seems really early to introduce a character like Lila, how has added little to no value to the Marvel Universe in the 30 years she’s been around. It could have waited until issue, I don’t know, never.  It’s almost as if someone at Marvel was like, “Hey it’s cool that you wanted to write a story about Captain Marvel and have her be a bad ass woman and all, but this month, you must insert Lila Cheney, the story line must be inconsequential, and it must all rhyme!”  Bleh. – Adrian

Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #4 – D

I keep getting my hopes up that the next character covered in this series will have a better story to offer than the last, but yet again that is not the case here. Although, I am trying to read the entire Death of Wolverine series and spin offs, I am finding out that very few of the issues of this event whether the main story line or one of the one-shots offer anything substantial. This particular issue left me rather confused and made me question not only why I read it, but also why it was written in the first place. It does offer a good look into Lady Deathstrike, but by the end I was not sure of her intentions or her true feeling for Wolverine. I would say unless you are already invested in the series, or just a huge Wolverine fan, then this entire series will be a been a let down for what should have been quite a great look into how Wolverine’s closest connections handle his death. – Jacob

Funniest Panel:

Black Dynamite #4
Black Dynamite #4

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spider lady steampunk

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, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.