Comic Book Reviews 10-08-14

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:

 Birthright #1Birthright #1 – A

(A+) First of all, kudos to Joshua Williamson for coming up with yet another fantastic original idea. Birthright tells the story of what could happen when a child disappears in the woods. As in, the child could have just gone missing, or, he could have been called off to another realm where he alone is the chosen one picked to defeat an evil king and free all creatures from his torment. Whoa. Now that is something I may not have considered. Birthright #1 comes out swinging and grabbed my interest right away. It’s a great mixture of adventure, originality, and genuine heartfelt emotion. It is very well written, and the character introduction was so successful that I already care about them. I was sad when they were sad, excited when they were excited and so on. I truly enjoyed reading this book and even though the ending was a little strange, I am very excited to read what will happen next. Williamson tells very unique stories and Birthright falls in line with his other projects in that fashion. Good fantasy comics are few and far between these days but I think Birthright will make a name for itself in a very short time. It’s compelling, well written, endearing, and exciting. – Keriann

(A) I am not often surprised. But f***ing hell I was surprised by this book. I thought I had it figured out, but panel after panel I was questioning myself and then Mikey came back into this reality. The kid gets lost into another dimension and then spit back a year later only to find that he is some dragon slayer. You know that it’s going to be a brother against brother story, but you have no idea how it’s going to play out. Well done, well done. Go f***ing read it  RIGHT now!!! – Jené

(A) Ok, Joshua Williamson, you’ve hooked me again. Birthright is the story of Mikey. Mikey is playing catch with his dad, and the ball goes into the woods. Mikey goes to get the ball, and disappears. After investigations and media scrutiny, Mikey’s dad is publicly blamed for the disappearance of his son. That is until Mikey returns, as a grown man and full-on demon hunter. Williamson says this idea came to him because as a child of the 80’s, all his favorite movies had kids going on great adventures and returning to normal life like nothing happened. He likes to think there are consequences to our… birthrights. The story flowed so easily. I felt like I was reading a comic version of every 80’s movie that I love, also. I absolutely loved the art, too. The coloring was perfect for each seen, depending on the mood of the characters. I am definitely looking forward to where Mikey is going.. or rather where he has been. –Adrian

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

Sabrina #1 – B

Attention 90’s kids: this is not your childhood Sabrina. If you were like me, you ran home after school and tuned into Sabrina the Teenage Witch, laughed at Salem, scoffed at Libby, and wished you lived in a cool house like Sabrina Spellman did. That version is long gone, friends. The new comic Sabrina is dark and twisted. Especially for an Archie Comic. This story takes place in the 50’s and 60’s, giving it a little bit of a Bewitched vibe, but in an American Horror Story type way. The grotesque is definitely evident. All of this is not to say it was bad; in fact, I did enjoy it, but I was wearing rose colored glasses until Sabrina’s father has her mother committed to the asylum – and that was one of things that was easier to swallow. There are a few new characters, but the book does a good job of keeping some symbolism of the T.V. series. After all, what is a witch without her familiar? And Salem is as sharp as ever. – Adrian

Boom! Studios:

Hexed #3 – C+

While this month’s issue of Hexed was a step up from last month’s, the series still hasn’t gotten its groove. I find some of the quips laugh out loud funny, but as a whole, the story relies too much on the unclear rules of the supernatural world. The first story arc has been surrounding the main character, Lucifer, being dead and trying to get out of that seemingly permanent predicament. I find it odd that the heroine has been dead this whole time. I don’t mind dead main characters, but there has been no history for the audience established, so I find it hard to care. I also strongly dislike how much is emphasized on the supernatural, and that none of it makes sense. I have always been a fan of witchcraft and demons, but usually when a story is strong without that aspect. However, I did think this month’s issue did a good job in the humor department and gave us a pretty decent cliffhanger. Let’s hope next month’s issue takes a step back from so much fantasy and gets into some character development. –Adrian


Batman #35 – A

(A) Most weeks, I read a lot more comics than I review. Some of them I don’t feel are worth reviewing, so when an issue like Batman #35 comes out, it is like a breath of fresh air. After reading this issue, I also obsessively stalked Scott Snyder so I could find out his literary path. And it was because of the Orestes reference at the beginning (and his epilogue in Wytches, also out this week) that made me realize that he has a strong background in literature. Turns out, I was very under-schooled in one of the best writers in comics right now. On top of the outstanding writing, the artwork is flawless. I am amazed out how much detail Greg Capullo can fit into his part of the story telling – and don’t be fooled, Capullo is a master of story telling in the same capacity Snyder is. I felt this issue was incredibly poetic. It was clear that this is the beginning of an unforgettable story arc, especially with the big reveal on the last page. And unlike Orestes, who gets his deus ex machina, Batman and Gotham may be out of gods to swoop in to save them, but then again, when did Batman need to be saved? – Adrian

(A) With Zero Year finally in the books, I was pretty giddy to begin what Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have referred to as the grittiest and most epic story they’ve done yet. Considering the past few stories have been: Zero Year, Death of the Family and Court of Owls, this is quite the boast. This issue did not disappoint – it actually terrified; “HE’S BAAAAAAAAACK!” Capullo and Snyder are at it again, and they have formed the perfect marriage on Batman, to all of our pleasure. It doesn’t really matter if you have read the last 34 issues, because this is the perfect jumping on point to see the best creative team in the business. – Sherif

The New 52: Future’s End #23 – B

The New 52 Future’s End series does an exceptional job of disappointing me and entertaining me all at the same time. Predominantly I feel as though this story is being dragged out much too excessively. A series so overflowing and crammed with characters should be much more deliberate. I’m losing patience in the snails-pace journey to the climax. The thing that gets me every issue are the jaw-dropping moments that keep me hungry for the next issue. My “B” grade for this issue of Future’s End is solely attributed to the jaw dropping moment that occurred at the end of the issue. One of our beloved heroes undergoes a most disturbing transformation. This new development is bound to be exciting, but ultimately it’s just another puzzle piece in this already complex and muddy storyline. My simple mind can only take so much more complexity before it shuts down completely. – Taylor

Earth 2: World’s End #1 – C+
There’s a lot to take in here, so be prepared to read it a couple times. Apokolips is attacking and it’s up to Earth 2’s version of the Justice League to take him down. Don’t get to attached to anyone cause they may not make it as Apokolips’ minions are pretty ruthless. The art is good and the heroes outfits are unique enough without copy the originals too much. The story is decent and hopefully will become a little more grounded next week. This is definitely worth a read for any DC fan.  – Cody

Klarion #1 – C-

(B) My first reaction was WOW it’s sooo pretty and hypnotic. The artist Trevor McCarthy and colorist Guy Major did a phenomenal job. I spent a lot of time just staring at each panel. At times it felt a little overwhelming and chaotic, but appropriate for a multiverse narrative. The panels are also something I would love on my walls and on my desktop. If anything, I am going to check out what else they have worked on. My second though: multiverse… science meets magic FUCK YEAH.  Interesting, interesting, interesting. It’s like cyber-tech-punk with a mixture of gothic alchemy in the same setting. The art seems to be relaying more of the story then the writing at the moment and the dialogue between the characters is rather awkward, but still somehow fitting as if everything is a dream and the natural order doesn’t exist. The book is kind of a puzzle. But, some sort of order is involved, people who watch events happen, and people who mean to intervene. I’m really intrigued to see what will come next. I think this series is going impress and amaze. – Jené

(D-) Do yourself a favor – think more Wytches, less “witches.” I get that it’s Halloween and DC wants to explore more of their supernatural characters in time for the spookiest time of the year, but Klarion is not the way to go. I will concede that he is much more tolerable than his animated companion, but I have no damn clue what just happened in this book. It tried to seem modern and futuristic, but relied too heavily on the presumption that we understood the world we were reading into, which is made even more convoluted by the busy artwork. I’m sorry Klarion, it’s 2014 and, still, nobody likes you. – Sherif

Batgirl #35 – D

I am so disappointed with this issue of Batgirl, it almost marred her Future’s End one-shot for me (which I loved). I know that the two stories are totally different, and that this is a new start with new writers, but if this Barbara Gordon is supposed to be how she was in the Future’s End story, there has got to be a HUGE transformation. This issue was ultimately inconsequential and a waste of time. While the story (Barbara’s computer was stolen, and other tech from other college students was also stolen) was a pathetic attempt to connect to a younger audience, the characters were an even worse attempt. Full of references to Tinder, Instagram, and the ubiquitous hashtag, this issue was shoving 20-something hipsterdom down our throats like the Jehovah Witness did with The Watchtower when he knocked on my door yesterday. And while this may appeal to a much younger audience, portraying Barbara Gordon as a partying, drinking, overly sexualized “hero” who “accidently” set Black Canary’s stuff on fire, perhaps this isn’t the way to inspire a new generation of impressionable comic fans. But I would hope that even 12-year-olds who take pictures of their food would see through the bull that this issue provided. – Adrian

IDW Comics:

The October Faction #1 – B+

(A-) Now this is a story I could potentially get behind. Anyone familiar with Steve Niles knows that he is a master of modern horror and monsters. The October Faction appears to be no exception. As is the case with most first issues, a lot of time was spent establishing characters and the universe they exist within so at times it felt like a slightly slow read. However, Niles did a great job of drawing the reader in with intriguing characters and a dark background that creates a lot of questions. He is doing what he knows best, which is obviously monsters, but this time he has introduced us to a family of apparent monster hunters, some of who may have supernatural inclinations in their own right. The story line is not overly strong yet, that is to say the book didn’t start off with a bang, but its subtle introduction got the job done. The dialogue is cheeky and charming, a Niles trademark, and the artwork, done by Damien Worm, is stunning and at times is more reminiscent of an old haunted painting than it is a comic book. Needless to say it is a great fit and it enhances Niles writing quite well. – Keriann

(B) The October Faction almost lost me in the first few pages, but I want to emphasize the almost in this sentence. Social outcasts with powers in the unnatural find ways to triumph over their rude and evil high school tormentors whilst embarking on adventures among’st the supernatural. It’s a wet dream for those that love monsters and hated high school, and while the setting and plot aren’t really my bag (that’s right… I said my bag like I’m Austin Powers, baby!) it is done artfully with exquisite dialogue and morbid yet decorous art. The comic seems to shift and turn in story line at just the right moments with writing that is neither to heady or to low brow. It is definitely geared to those seeking the alternative. If you have a love of the dead or simply the eternal, this is right up your alley. Even if you don’t, this is a comic that shows an immense amount of promise and this reader will be awaiting The October’s Faction’s next release to see if it builds upon it. – Zach
Dead Squad #1 – D+

Dead Squad is a foray into a military thriller with a sci-fi twist. A small delta squad detachment is turned rogue via double cross and must find redemption, and revenge. That’s right, you guessed it, we are diving straight into A-Team waters. It’s an interesting premise, and one this reader was excited to explore. Unfortunately I was left wanting. It’s a first issue, that’s to be expected, but while Dead Squad has a few twists and turns, this adventure into the lives of three elite soldiers is laden with cliche one liners and a plethora of the expected. It is by far more action than content, and if you’re looking for action porn, this is a dive worth taking. Otherwise, it brings nothing special to the table. The art is fitting but not memorable with writing that has thus far been bound in mediocrity. The story does have some grip to it, and I’m hoping the upcoming issues make up for the lack luster start. Only time will tell, but stay tuned, it’s issue #1.Dead Squad could take a turn for the better! At least, that’s what I’m hoping. – Zach

Image Comics:

Wytches #1 – A
As you’d expect, this issue was a lot of exposition and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I was hoping for a good horror story for Halloween and Wytches delivers, being written by Scott Snyder, that’s not surprising. From the super dark opening panels, to the super creepy last ones, this was a very intriguing read. The protagonists, the Rooks family, are troubled by a recent event involving their daughter and have moved in order to try to distance themselves from what happened. Unfortunately, what happened was national news and everyone at school knows what Sail Rooks has been a part of. There are some exceptionally disturbing images, courtesy of Jock, that will make you think twice next time you’re near a tree. You’re definitely going to want to read this on some dark night with as many lights off as possible and prepare to be scared. – Cody

Sex Criminals #8 – B+

This book continues to make me laugh in ways that I never thought I would feel comfortable in doing so. Let’s just say that this is not the type of book you take out in the middle of the library. After the culmination that ended in a dildo sword fight (that’s exactly what I mean) in issue #7, John and Suzie have decided to take a break, Ross and Rachel style. The result here is a LOT of dialogue, but instead of the usual awkward sex banter, we have ornate character development – and even manage to meet a couple new characters. If you are repulsed by the off-hand nature of which cervixes and brimping (, it’s a thing) is talked about, then this will never be the book for you. However, those readers in their 20-30’s who can handle the honesty of adulthood will find them instantly attached to Sex Criminals. – Sherif

Black Science #9 – B

The wait between issues of Black Science always seem so unbearably long. Every issue so far has left readers on the edge of a multidimensional cliff. Each issue has been creative, adventurous, intense and visually stunning. Issue #9 maintains this trend! With the group of dimensionauts split into two smaller groups, Remender has begun working two sub-plots into the panels. Because the story is so character driven these sub-plots have been very nice treats for us readers. So prepare to grow even more elated because Remender added a third sub-plot in this week’s issue. And in true Black Science fashion – it’s earth shattering. I’m so excited to see how all these moving parts intertwine and impact one another. This roller coaster ride through the Eververse just keeps getting better. – Taylor

Copperhead #2 – C

(C+) Well, it’s had a bit of a rough start, but, I’m still enjoying Copperhead. They still seem to be building to something but we’re just not getting there yet. Kind of hard to stay interested month to month if that keeps up. However, next month we should start to see the story come together a bit more. My favorite part has to be the art, mainly I like looking at all the aliens. We get introduced to a couple new characters this month, one of which is totally badass and may perhaps turn out to be our antagonist, but, who knows. We’ll have to wait until next month. – Cody

(C) I’m a bit torn on this series. The first issue of Copperhead, I felt, was basic and only mildly interesting. I picked up issue #2 this week to see if that impression would stick. For the most part it did. The plot progressed in the most marginal fashion and character focus was mostly dull. The highlights of this issue revolved around the mysterious badlands and the introduction of the inebriated doctor. I think issue #3 will make or break Copperhead. Pivotal moments are abound and if they fall flat in the next issue I think I’ll take this book out behind the space barn and put a plasma bolt between its eyes. -Taylor

Cutter #2 – C-

(C) So it turns out that people are really hard to convince that a ghost is hunting them. We still haven’t quite gotten the background on what happened to this supposed ghost, other than she was fairly mistreated by half the town. Although for me it’s kind of a stretch to think someone is killing from beyond the grave because of some people that were less than kind. I’m still enjoying the art; it hasn’t gotten stale. The character and plot development just isn’t quite there for me. The story this week went in the zombie direction with the group of townspeople holding up in a fortified location with fire arms, but hasn’t that been done enough? Cutter is just barely holding on to my attention. – Scott

(D) The second issue of Cutter tries once again to get the reader enthralled with a less than gripping plot. They spared the blood and gore for this issue, except for the very end, and relied solely on the story to keep the pages turning. I respect the effort, the problem is that the book has yet to reach a point where I care. There is no character development, no one compelling, interesting, or endearing so I find myself not rooting for anyone to survive in a book where people are seemingly being picked off one by one. The key to successful horror is in the characterization. If there is no strong hero, or monster, the story will inevitably fail because with no one to root for, horror just become pointless carnage. The second issue also walked a lazy line between the supernatural and real world terrors, but it was written in a way that was almost insulting. If you want me to believe that a ghost may be exacting revenge from the grave, fine, but then please explain to me where it got a car and how it drives it around. Cutter doesn’t offer anything in the way of originality or emotion. The only page turning quality it has is my need for it to just be done already. – Keriann

Punks #1 – F-

Don’t bother. – Scott


Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1- B+

(A-) I am definitely behind a lot of the stories that join into this Axis event. At the start I was a bit lost. But the writer does give you a couple pages worth of back story to catch you up to where this event starts. I have to say the idea behind this may end up being better than the execution. So far the big bads Red Onslaught and Ahab have really handed the Avengers and X-Men’s asses to them on a platter and it is not looking too good for anyone during this first issue. I feel from the start that this event will be better than Original Sin and include more characters we all know and love and some most of us have no idea who they are. The art so far has been great with no complaints from me and the story has been good with hope that it will be great in issue #2 next week. – Jacob

(B) You couldn’t start out anymore randomly then having Iron Man and the lot suddenly fighting Plantman of all villains. Immediately you know that something bigger is on the way, and shortly our hero’s minds are infiltrated. Red Skull/Red Onslaught as the most powerful psychic on the planet, now that’s a proper problem. The art is standard fare; I did particularly like the inside of Red Onslaught’s psyche though. The writing isn’t bad but when all of the heroes show up at the end there is an endless chain of witty retorts and one-liners that is kind of hokey. The heart of this issue comes at the very end, it’s just interesting enough to keep a reader going and it’s all Tony’s fault. – Scott

Rocket Raccoon #4 – B
(A-) Rocket finally meets that murderous raccoon who has been framing him, or does he? I was really looking forward to finding out more about this mysterious raccoon, and I was not disappointed. Skottie Young obviously has respect for Rocket’s original stories which is great because he could have taken it in an entirely different direction, but, I for one am, glad he went the way he did. A lot of things happen to poor Rocket in this issue, (some of which is deserved) but, we get to see more emotion than we’ve seen from him before. It is nice to get some depth with the character. My only complaint would be the unoriginal ending, hopefully, it will all work out. More and more, these Guardians books are becoming my favorite things in comics, check ’em all out, but, start with Rocket. – Cody
(B-) I have LOVED this series so far and Skottie Young’s art is great for a Rocket book, but something about this issue irked me a bit. It still was a good story and really showed us a lot of who Rocket is but the whole storyline with the other Raccoon just ended rather badly, only to set up almost the exact same story. Either way I imagine it will lead into something better and that it ultimately wont have a cop out ending. – Jacob

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #1 – B+

(A-) I have to admit this was my most interesting read of the week. The complete opposite personalities of these two heroes makes for a rather enjoyable story. This series will definitely be a fun and rather hilarious adventure with these two. But why is it Hawkeye VERSUS Deadpool? Sure they have had a couple small arguments but are they not on the same side in this story? I just don’t understand why it can’t be Hawkeye & Deadpool instead. Maybe we will see them fight at some point… But still the title aside, this issue was great. – Jacob

(B) It’s a lot of fun reading anything with Deadpool in it. Issue #1 of Hawkeye vs. Deadpool is no exception. I found myself smiling and laughing at almost every panel focused on the Merc with the Mouth. There is a lot of contemporary humor peppered through the issue that adds to the enjoyment. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing going for this series so far. The plot is somewhat interesting, but at best it will serve to complement the amusing antics of Deadpool and Hawkeye. I’m okay with that. I doubt there are many people out there that pick up a Deadpool comic for the “story line.” If you think the same way, then you’ll enjoy this issue. – Taylor

Captain Marvel #8 – B-

The first issue of Captain Marvel allowed me to fall in love with this medium all over again. I was enthralled with the art and the story and the heroine. I’m still enthralled, I just thought that when Carol Danvers was going to space to find the edge of herself, it would be … more about finding herself. While I like the dynamic between Rocket Raccoon, Carol, and the flerken cat Chewie, I felt this issue was major filler. I don’t mind filler when a story has been going on for a bit, but I feel we are still in the beginnings of this story, and Chewie laying eggs isn’t about Carol finding herself. I hope that the story can find it’s way back to the root of intention; otherwise, it could just be a trope, which would be a shame for the best stand-alone female Marvel has right now. – Adrian

Funniest Panel:

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #1

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Batman #35

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.

Comic Book Reviews 09-03-14

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:

God Hates Astronauts #1
God Hates Astronauts #1

God Hates Astronauts #1 – A-

(A) Are you in need of a good laugh or two?  Or three?  Or four?  Or… you get the point.  If your answer was yes, heck, it doesn’t really matter what your answer was.  You should read this comic.  Browne, Boyd and Crank are to comics what Seth Rogan and James Franco are to movies.  God Hates Astronauts reads just like its intended – like a bunch of friends with hilarious and stupid ideas coming together and putting said ideas onto panels.  And it’s beautifully hilarious.  What surprised me was this story has more than just humor going for it; it has range!  Am I unnaturally pumped about the impending war between King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger (yes, that is his name) and the United States Government NASA Overlord Hippothesis?!  Are you not?!  It’s got all the elements required for an “actual” exciting story.  But let’s not fool ourselves.  This series is here to make us cry tears of laughter.  I really got a kick out of all the action-narrative, of which was in abundant supply.  Some of my favorites include “CHAIR-SPLODE,” “HORSE PUNCH,” and a frightened goat making a “HUMAN SCREAM!”  I doubt you have better things to do right now, so hurry up and snag a copy. – Taylor

(A-) Wow, that was sure some book. From some backwater farmer astronauts who seem to be a part of a crazy religious movement of some sort to NASA law an star bears, this story really had a little bit of everything. It starts out very strange, but, once you get past the first few pages and when the 3-D Cowboy shows up, things really start getting going. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself laughing out loud during my lunch break. I got more than a few strange looks when my co-workers came over to see what the fuss was. They were shocked to see some of the art which was just wonderful, how does Browne think of these things? You should definitely pick this book up, it will have you laughing and cringing all at the same time. – Cody

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #72- B

It is always hard for me to give a bad grade to anything Futurama, especially when it is new material. But even so, this series is always filled with storylines begging to be animated for the small screen. This issue deals with Zapp Brannigan being fired and replaced with Leela all the while both the Nimbus and Planet Express crews want their old captains back.  But will Leela do too well at her new job, or will she slowly decline into what we now all know as Zapp Brannigan? The idea of Zapp joining Planet Express has been done before so when that came up it was a bit odd, but other wise this was definitely a great story that I can definitely see working as a full fledged episode in a new season (if someone could kindly get on making that happen, that would be great). – Jacob

Boom Studios:

Cloak #1 – C

Everybody loves magic.  Not Criss Angel magic.  That stuff is terrifying.  I’m talking good ol’ fashion rabbit out of the hat magic.  Cloak is rooted in this wondrous concept.  And while I like to see a lady get sawed in half as much as the next guy, I can’t help but think that comic book panels aren’t the best forum for magic tricks.  I think this premiere issue is testament to that train of thought.  The saving grace is the forming plot and charisma of the protagonist, Adam.  I was entertained throughout the issue and curious as to what the greater plot will be.  Issue #2 could really make or break this series.  I’ll stick around so long as the card tricks are kept to a minimum and the crazy reveals keep coming. – Taylor

Dark Horse Comics:

Usagi Yojimo Senso #2- B+

Usagi Yojimbo is one comic book character that I feel is as iconic as Superman. Stan Sakai has written and drawn Usagi forever, and he continues to come up with great stories.  We last left everyone on the battlefield as a giant rocket, or egg as they call it, landed right in the middle destroying both armies. We find out in this issue that it is actually octopus looking aliens building giant robots similar to those from War of the Worlds. Will Usagi be able to figure out how to take them down with Tono and his army? I imagine so, but we will see in upcoming issues. I would say if you have never read Usagi Yojimbo, this could be a great place to start, obviously you should pick up #1 as well but as always, Stan Sakai does not disappoint with writing or art. Here is hoping we can see Usagi in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. – Jacob

Concrete Park: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. #1 – C

The talented Tony Puryear is back on the scene this month with the continuation of his sci-fi action adventure Concrete Park.  I never read the original ark and it always makes me nervous picking up a story “in-the-middle.”  On the flip side, I have a hard time turning down any title rooted in sci-fi.  It’s a good thing too, because I enjoyed the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. premier title.  There’s nothing truly unique or exceptional about this story (so far) and it comes off slightly amateurish.  Normally I’d say this is a bad thing, but knowing that Puryear worked story, art and ink makes all those elements endearing.  Anybody willing to make a unique, otherworld city map for five part series is bound to bring something good to the table.  The passion and effort shines through each panel and I think anyone who appreciates the comic book medium would agree that Concrete Park: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. deserves, well, RESPECT! – Taylor


Future’s End: Aquaman #1 – B
Well, whatever happens over the next five years, Atlantis hasn’t been immune. In fact, it sure seems like it has suffered more than many on land. This is my first try at a Future’s End story and I really enjoyed it. Geoff Johns first turned me into an Aquaman fan and Dan Jurgens has done a good job keeping him an interesting character. Aquaman is trying to help Atlantis and the Xebelian refugees while trying to maintain a relationship with the surface world. Understandably, he is met with some resistance…on multiple fronts. I’ll definitely be checking out more Future’s End after reading this. – Cody
Future’s End: Detective Comics #1 – B

Is it just me or is Calendar Man a lot buffer in the future?  Of all the one-shots released this week, I feel that Detective Comics was the only truly self contained story.  There wasn’t much we needed to know.  Batman teams up with Riddler to take down Calendar Man, but Batman is obviously the smartest guy in the room, and they both go down.  It wasn’t a particularly memorable story, but it was good.  I felt that it could have been an episode of a Saturday morning cartoon.  For this issue to have that essence made it a winner in my book. – Adrian

Future’s End: Swamp Thing #1- B

As small of a spectrum as you have for story in a one shot, this one packs it full, tells a story, and does not look back to explain a thing to those out of the loop. Even so, this story was rather sad and made a lot more interesting in reading further Swamp Kings and to catch up on Future’s End which I really feel back on reading. The art here is fantastic and anyone who can draw Swamp Thing and not have it look cheesy is awesome to me. The writing is definitely good here and I am sure if I knew more about Swamp Thing, this story would make a little more sense but ultimately it was a fun, although depressing, read, and is a good companion to the Future’s End Storyline. – Jacob

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year Two #22 – B
This book has been running two years strong as a digital before it was a comic book, and it has far outgrown the video game that it has been adapted from. Because each mini-issue is so short, we usually avoid reviewing it, but the events in this book prompted me to tell everybody about it. Every issue is extremely short, making it easy to keep up with, but sometimes failing to make a good impression unless being read multiple books at a time. This week, Superman falls deeper into darkness, and it is so fun to watch. I can’t wait to see where this epic tale lands us. – Sherif
Batman Eternal #22 – C
After almost completely driving me off the bandwagon, Eternal is finally turning things around, with a story that I can follow, and a scope of characters that are easy to keep track of. The emergence of one of our favorite villains (wink wink) is enough to pique my interest, but far from engaging in the way that he is presented. It would be pretty neat if the big bad in Eternal ended up being a Hush favorite, but the way this book has been serialized is not entertaining to read – and that’s ignoring the sloppy art and story-telling. – Sherif

The Names #1 – C

I think a good description of The Names is “intense soap opera.”  A story with multiple plots and diverse characters all woven together in some way unknown to any of them and then some people die.  Maybe that’s just a normal soap opera?…  I’m also struggling with fact that the conflict revolves around Wall Street dealings and big time money makers.  I do not understand nor relate to Wall Street “stuff.”  Don’t let that deter you, though.  There are some well worked aspects of this series.  I typically don’t like exaggerated or caricature-esque artwork, but I actually found myself really drawn (HA!) to Leandro Fernandez’s artwork.  The main protagonist, Katya, and her role are one of these redeeming factors.  And I’m quite anxious to see how the brain-child Philip stacks up in the scheme of things.  Bottom line for me – stay away from the money and stay focused on the characters.  Then I might be inclined to spend my money. – Taylor

Justice League #33 – C-
Geoff Johns, I expected better. Doug Mahnke’s art, I expected better. The whole issue feels like an after-thought, something I hate in my books. This is supposed to be one of DC’s premiere books, and I left feeling like I just got through amateur hour. Batman’s awkward speech to save the day with kindness, and The Doom Patrol’s sloppy appearance don’t do much for me. I like the way they are inching Lex Luthor in there as he joins the Justice League, but there was very little to be excited about in Justice League #33 overall. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment:

Alice Cooper #1-B

I ask you, who wouldn’t enjoy a comic where Alice Cooper is an anti-hero fighting demons? The answer, probably a lot of people, but I enjoyed it all the same. This issue does not do much other than introduce us to characters and set up the main part of the story. Ultimately, I found myself a bit confused by the end, but that usually happens when there are time jumps in a story. The art is great and has a very classic Alice Cooper feel to it, which adds to the originality of the series. This comic is not really for anyone buts fans of Alice Cooper as I really see no appeal to it if you are not, but it is definitely a fun tribute to one of the ultimate showmen of rock and roll. – Jacob

The Twilight Zone #8- B

I’ve always been a big Twilight Zone fan. I love the twists, the ones that churn your stomach or just make you laugh. This issue ofThe Twilight Zone didn’t really do much of either, but I appreciate the themes of choice, responsibility for that choice, and second chances. The character Diana is interesting in that she feels she has no choice, yet she is the one with the most important choices to make. Her experience with racism makes her particularly interesting and a good commentary on what impact it can have. Diana has the chance over and over again to save everyone, yet she has been told so many times she has no choice, so she feels helpless to make a difference. This issue might not have the typical creepiness found in The Twilight Zone but it has a good message that makes you think, which is the key component to making any good story in this series. – Charlotte

Image Comics:

Nailbiter #5 – A –

(A) Nailbiter is my favorite series out right now.  The story is downright creepy — 16 serial killers all from one town in Oregon, and there is only one man, Elliot Carroll knows why, but he has been missing.  Last month, his best friend Finch and the town Sheriff, Crane, found Carroll in a prison cell below the serial killers graveyard.  This month, the mysteries of the town thicken.  The Nailbiter himself may not be the meanest serial killer, there is a new player in town, and the there is a teen who is a little too interested in the killers.  The book never ceases to lose my interest. I have a feeling that it will only be a matter of time before Nailbiter is adapted to the screen. – Adrian

(B+) Dude! Talk about switching it back to awesome. The beginning starts out in black and white as Carrol is integrating Warren. It’s almost vomit inducing the way he describes the genesis of his nail biting fixation. You can almost taste the blood as he describes it. The issue also continues to leave a trail of breadcrumbs as to why serial killers crop up in this town. What I also found fascinating is how Alice’s character is developing. She seems to hover on the edge of morbid fascination and as Carrol’s journal hints at a future serial killer. The introduction of the new serial killer is also fascinating.  All done up in some sort of demon samurai get up. It also further establishes that Warren is less a sociopathic killer and maybe more an understandable serial killer. (Dexter like?). We also get to find out a big secret about Finch. Dunt dunt duh. Which as a cliff hanger goes, was a good way to end the book. – Jené


Rocket Raccoon #3 B+

(A-)  I definitely feel this entry into this series has been the best so far. Rocket is battling evil ex-girlfriends, trying to find another “Raccoon” that is framing him and ultimately battling just about everyone he meets. The art by Skottie Young is fantastic and always gives me warm feelings of playing Earthworm Jim on Sega Genesis. Both styles are crazy cartoony and yet beautiful. Although during this issue some panels would have so much going on that it made me go cross eyed, which sometimes was a little bit distracting from the story. I am loving their companion, Macho Gomez, whose technology is all based on sea life and hope to see more from him in future issues. – Jacob

(B+)  This month’s Rocket opens up where the last issue left off with a battle and Rocket wearing a fish helmet in space. Rocket’s ride, Macho, is some sort of fish creature and everything about him is aquatic, including his dynamite hugging squid missiles. Everywhere Rocket seems to go, there is a lot of stuff to be looking at; I’m really enjoying Skottie Young’s art. The series so far has been enjoyable and funny if not a little slow with Rocket searching for someone who looks like him that’s been killing people all over the galaxy. However, about halfway through, we finally get going a bit more on that storyline and things start getting more interesting. – Cody
The Dark Tower; The Drawing of Three #1 – B+

There are so many elements playing together in this adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of Three. Time travel plays hopscotch with gang violence which jumps rope with cannibalism which plays make believe with horror, death, and grief, all plopped in the gritty setting of 1960’s Brooklyn. The narrator and main character (at least as far as I can tell) is Eddie, who appears to be an adult man in the opening spread, but is primarily depicted as two year old boy throughout the rest of the comic. The narrator reflects back on his younger self and how his twisted tale began, though there are moments in the comic that exist outside of the narration, giving the audience an inside look at what gears are turning and what might happen next.  I’ve never read The Dark Tower series, but after this comic book I am definitely going to add it to my list. (My long, long list.) It’s always exciting to see A-List authors collaborating with comic book artists, and this one has some real potential to be a genuinely brilliant adaptation. – Charlotte

Uncanny X-Men #25 – B

There’s no way you could leave off the last issue of Uncanny without immediately ripping this one open. The temptation to read Charles Xavier’s last will and testament was almost too much. The issue is expertly written, combining plenty of humor along with some very shocking details left out in Professor X’s personal life. Luckily, this will not be a one and done deal; Charles has sent the X-Men on quite the adventure before they’re through. Will bitter enemies finally reconcile their differences or will this blow up in their faces even more than Schism ended up doing? For better or worse, the gang is back together, and that is worth getting back into Uncanny X-Men for alone. – Sherif
Legendary Star-Lord #3 – B-
Quill’s been arrested….again, and this time finds himself locked in a Badoon prison after letting his guard down with another beautiful woman. He now finds himself needing to escape with a Spartax secret service member, a Badoon kid with an aversion to speech, and an appearance by a certain X-Man who Pete’s had his eye on. This has been a very enjoyable series so far, but this issue just didn’t have the same pizazz as the others have. Although, I did enjoy all the song references and it was cool to see one of my favorite X-Men show up and Quill does pick up a pretty amazing ship. All in all, definitely worth a read, and remember, ‘WWRRD?’ – Cody
Deadpool Vs. X-Force #4- B-

This series comes to an end, and although I have enjoyed the entirety of the series, this issue I feel is the weakest of them all. The conclusion seemed rushed and did not make that much sense to me, but the last panel of the book is enough to have any Cable and Deadpool fan laughing. The art of course is wonderful as it has been the whole series, but the writing in this issue definitely could have been better. – Jacob

Death of Wolverine #1- C+

Wolverine is finally on the road to dying after what feels like an endless ad campaign for this series.  The story leading up to this had many problems but was ultimately enjoyable up until the end where the fight was quite possibly the worst fight I have ever seen between Wolverine and Sabretooth. With this issue we see a broken down Wolverine just trying to survive now that the word is out he has no healing factor. Although the set up is good I want to see Lady Deathstrike, Silver Samurai, Omega Red and other classic Wolverine villains have a major part in his death or at least in the story. I imagine they will, but the way the set up to this story has been, it may be a lackluster ending for our favorite tiny Canadian (Sorry Puck!). The main issue and cover for this though is way worth the $4.99 price as it is the most beautiful single issue of a comic I own with the “weapon etched” cover. – Jacob

Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool #1 – C

(C+)  This is such a great idea and a much better premise than Deadpool Vs Carnage. The cover of this issue alone displays what we can expect as Hawkeye and Deadpool are shooting each other with arrows but Deadpools are Nerf arrows.  This issue is just a set up to the main series and already, like many Deadpool books, I don’t see where the versus aspect in the title is going to come in because they worked together most of this issue. Obviously we meet the villain and establish their plot, but not much is explained on what is going to happen and how they will end up fighting each other. I feel this will definitely be one of the more entertaining Deadpool stories.  And you have to pick this book up just to see Deadpool trick-or-treating as a Ghostbuster. – Jacob

(C-)  Well, that was unique. Hawkeye and Deadpool play off each other really well. The first few pages were a little strange, but, seeing Deadpool dressed as a Ghostbuster is pretty amazing. Even though the story was a bit confusing at first, it all came together in a couple pages. The bad guys were strange and we’ll just have to wait and see what exactly is going on there. I’m not really sure whether I like this or not. I think it has potential and all in all, I’m intrigued. – Cody
Original Sin #8- C-

With all the time people put into reading a series it is always upsetting when it ends and you have idea what you just spent the last eight months reading. This is exactly how I felt with Original Sin and even the subplots in other issues and the Original Sins series. The ending makes sense, but the journey up to that point, which seems so simple, seems completely unneeded and almost like issues 2-7 were just filler material since we had hints of this exact ending from the start. I enjoy the art of this series but really wish there was more light as I get tired of every hero hiding in the shadows as if they are all Batman.- Jacob

Funniest Panel:

God Hates Astronauts #1
God Hates Astronauts #1


 Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two #22
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two #22


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.