Comic Book Reviews 10-14-15

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:

uncanny avengers 1 potw

Uncanny Avengers #1 – A
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Ryan Stegman

I chose this as a #1 because I’ve never really liked the Avengers (including their stupid movies. Bring your hate. Philistines.) or read any of their X-Men crossover stuff that seemed to permeate the 2000s 13-15 like pollen in this comic, and I wanted to see if I could be hooked. And I might be. It starts off with a very Swamp Thing (the good stuff, like, late 80s/early 90s Moore stuff) cold open about a guy who gets terrigan misted and resolves to become, essentially, a bio terrorist. Plot unfolds from there. I really liked the art: very cartoony and vibrant, but at the same time kind of rough and ugly. I like that some of the members were a little obscure, and that Captain America isn’t there as the big CaptAm. The only thing I didn’t care for was the Deadpool love. I feel like Deadpool is a character that’s achieved a level of adoration undeserved by the hacky writing that makes up his character. But, whatever. Who am I to argue with a billion dollars? I’m just some garbage human coated in slime that crawls to work on his belly and sleeps in a toilet. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Batman #45 – A-
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Colors: FCO Plascencia

This is probably the first time since Jim Gordon took over as Batman that I’ve enjoyed everybody’s part in the book. As a reader, I really got the feeling that Jim was tying. That he’s being the Batman out of his sense of duty, not pride. He misses the real Batman just as much as we do. He almost dies, gets canned, and then almost dies again. More praise to Scott Snyder for creating amazing characters; Mr. Bloom is so frightening! My enjoyment of this book is almost completely contingent on Greg Capullo showing up, and that may be a problem if he decides to ultimately leave after this arc. – Sherif


Batman and Robin Eternal #2 – B+
Writers: James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley
Artist: Paul Pelletier

As DC plays switcheroo with their creative team on weekly books, it can be disjointed and lack cohesion. However, this week’s installment is even stronger than the first. The whole gang of Robins are together, and now that the ruckus is over, we can finally get some answers as to what the heck is going on. Paul Pelletier’s art is the big selling factor, and it will be a breath of fresh air to see Dick Grayson back on Team Bat… kinda. I could do without the flashbacks, but maybe they’ll unveil something vital. – Sherif

Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #13 – B
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

Before I get into this issue, let’s talk about how much these two creators love each other. Chip was nominated for a Harvey Award for Sex Criminals, and refused to accept the award when those douche rockets wouldn’t let him share it with Matt. That’s love. There’s even a segment at a coffee shop where Chip draws in a little something for Matt to find later. The chemistry is definitely there, but this issue was weird in a whole new way; the usual way is to make you as uncomfortable sexually as possible. We meet our first asexual character, and it really opened my eyes as a reader to what it would be like to an asexual being. Of course, she also seems to be the big bad, so maybe it’s not all that great. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A-): Well, this issue sure felt a less uncomfortable than the last one, and we got away from Jon and Suzie for a bit. This may anger some readers, but I am always happy to invite new characters into the fray especially one with such a different way of making time freeze. – Jacob


The Walking Dead #147 – B-
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

You know that friend you like hanging out with a lot, but never get too attached because they’re always too busy to hang out? Yeah, that’s TWD. Robert Kirkman used to always want to hang out, and now it’s like he just hands Adlard a script on a napkin and tells him to make something awesome out of it. The issues are over too soon and fly by much too quickly – to the point that I’m much more shocked that the issue is over than at what is happening. This is sad, mostly because I actually kinda like where the story is headed, and I know it’s only a matter of time before something series-changing will happen. – Sherif


Roche Limit: Clandestiny #5 – B-
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Kyle Charles
 

We’re, in a sense, at the ending of another beginning. Now, at least, the teams know what the collective is after Roche Limit. HUMAN Souls. I feel there should be a little “dunt, dunt duh” to go here. Though, we as readers already knew that. We also know that the collective was somehow created by humans. And as we watch Shasha get sucked into the Roche Limit, we’re left wondering what is next to come in the next volume. I have a feeling this story is going to span several decades and maybe even centuries. – Jené


I Hate Fairyland #1 – D-
Writer/Artist: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Remember when you were in high school and kids would trip on shrooms and then watch Alice in Wonderland? Well this book is if Alice was tripping on the shrooms. No really, the “Alice” character actually trips shrooms in this book. It is trite while trying it’s damnedest to prove otherwise with the use of neon colors. But it didn’t fool me. – Adrian

Second Opinion (D): What a major letdown. This book tried to be cute in a disturbing way, and failed on both accounts. It was corny and largely unimaginative. Imagine a sadistic version of Elmira from Tiny Toons. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – A-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti

Nothing could make me like the guardians more than Adding The Thing to their ranks, well maybe Howard the Duck but they have done him a lot of good anyway because of the film. This new series seems to start off right after it ended before Secret Wars while also connecting to the Guardians of Nowhere series that happened during Secret Wars. There really is no explanation of why The Thing is there but for me the fact he is even there is enough for me! Brian Michel Bendis does a great job connecting so many old and new concepts into this book and really making the team work without Peter Quill, and Gamora from the start, although they both still appear and will likely have a large role in things to come, although Rocket as the new team Leader may not like it. Valerio Schiti does an amazing job art wise and really making the Brood Queen insanely frightening while giving a very peaceful feeling to the Guardians  making for a great mix of near horror, sci-fi and traditional comic art to make up a perfect feel art wise for a Guardians book. – Jacob


Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #3 – B+
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Marco Checchetto & Angel Unzueta

We are at the penultimate issue of this series and man is a good one so far. We are still following the couple of Shara Bey and Kes Dameron as Shara assist Princess Leia on her mission and Kes assists Han Solo on his. We see Shara on Naboo with Lei as they try and rech allies on the planet of Naboo leading to them having to fly out inNaboo Starfighters to combat the Empire who is trying to destroy Naboo by controlling the weather. All the while Kes, Han, Chewie and their group lead a commando group in combat Operations to try and tak out the last of the Empire after their defeat in what we saw in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Like I said last week, this series has been the most entertaining to me of the Star Wars series as  Geg Rucka does an amazing job of connecting all three trilogies of films together for one epic story leading to Episode VII coming this December. The art team of Marco Checchetto and Angel Unzueta is perfect as well and Checcetto’s cover image is one I want as a poster for its shear beauty. – Jacob


Captain America: White #3 – B
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale

I won’t lie; this book has lost quite a bit of momentum since Marvel decided to start their relaunch in the middle of everything. It’s not the book’s fault, but all these #1’s are distracting. Call me old-fashioned, but a move like that makes me think that Marvel doesn’t care about the book. And with Loeb’s announcement that this will be his last Marvel book EVER reinforces that. Aside from that nonsense, it was the same beautiful book, and a story that builds up to a showdown with the Red Skull.


Chewbacca #1 – B
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist:Phil Noto

Another short run of a Star Wars series, this time focused on our favorite Sidekick (Don’t tell the wookie I said he is a sidekick) to Han Solo, Chewbacca! It is always interesting to have a comic focus on a character with no speech or at least no understandable speech, but Marvel knows how to pull it off since Groot has become so popular. The story seems a lot more focused on a young girl named Zarro and her trying to escape from the evil character Jaum. We first see Chewie lying in some flowers after crashing his ship but then we follow him to find the right part for his ship and he of course runs into Zarro and the adventure begins. Ultimately I felt this had a rough start but definitely has a lot of potential, especially with Gerry Duggan as the writer as he has does really well with other Star Wars titles from the Marvel Star Wars series. Phil Noto’s art is what made me fall in love with this issue though as it is gorgeous in every frame especially the lighting while Chewie is in the bar. – Jacob 


Deadpool vs Thanos #3 – B
Writer:Tim Seeley
Artist: Elmo Bondoc

The next adventure of Deadpool and Thanos is here and uch like a lot of VS Deadpool titles he is actually teamed up with them and not fighting them most of the series. This issue is just as funny and has lots of action along the way as the past two, especially since the majority of the issue happens to take place in hell. The one thing in this issue I di not understand at all was where the Black Talon came from and why he was there to help Deadpool and Thanos all of a sudden once they reached hell to talk to Mephisto. He seemed out of place, albeit hilarious, and was basically just a harbinger of Blackheart, Mephisto’s son and very evil looking shadow creature (Not to be confused with the Shadow King). Over all this story is fun and definitely will make you laugh a bunch, but seems to be lacking something along the way and it may be that every place they go seems futile in the grand scheme of trying to find their mistress Death. – Jacob


Spider-Man 2099 #1 – C-
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Will Sliney

I hate these “#1s” that companies like DC and Marvel do. This isn’t a real number 1 – I have something like 15 questions about who Spidey 2099 is, if this takes place in 2015, and if so, why Parker owns a corporation. But begrudgingly accepting that the way it messes with characters as part of its… idiom… or whatever… is how you have to roll with these things. And I chose Spidey 2099 specifically because Spidey is a character I’ve never really been interested in, and 2099 is a Spidey comic I’ve never read and I wanted to see if this #1 could truly be treated as a #1, and I definitely do not. Oh, and they totally refrigerator’d his girlfriend at the end. I was mostly on board until they got the girlfriend pregnant just so you could be distraught when she gets hit by a car. Ugh. Go back to 1994, Marvel. -Montgomery


Civil War #5- D+
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Colorist: Gerry Alanguilan

I really hope this issue isn’t the end. I don’t say this because it was awesome. I say it because, if it was the end, it was an awful ending. I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand or see how Stark and Rogers can all the sudden be all buddy-buddy. Big reveal or no. It wrapped up too neatly. The dialogue was trite and heavy-handed. Just doesn’t have the same flavor of the previous Civil War. Who knows; maybe they will continue this story into the newly-announced Civil War 2, with more story left to be told about the lack of mutant powers. – Jené


Spider-Gwen #1 – D+
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Three origin stories in a year is a bit much. While I know this isn’t the fault of the comic or it’s writers, it does make me question things more harshly. While this issue was more serious when examining the “death” of Peter Parker and Gwen’s involvement rather than The Mary-Janes (which was a horrible story-line), I have felt absolutely no connection to Spider-Gwen. I know that it might just be me, but Silk is way more relatable. – Adrian

Second Opinion (C): Rebooting a brand new book is always a pain in the ass. There’s nowhere near the amount of magic and you’re essentially trying to fill the gap between not enough background and too much background. Latour tows the line fairly well. – Sherif


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 10-07-15

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:

TMNT #50 3

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 – A+
Writers: Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Cory Smith

As a long-time TMNT fan, this issue was everything I have loved about TMNT, as well as everything I have wanted to see from a TMNT comic… [Read the whole review here] – Jacob

Second Opinion (A+): Let’s forget that this book carries the TMNT franchise tag. Can you tell me any book that has gone 50 issues with a solid conclusion to it? It was an epic homage to the original run, and the premise of the next chapter is as insane as it is brilliant (Gundam Krang!). – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

Jughead #1 – B
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Erica Henderson

With the success of Archie‘s reboot, it made sense that it would be immediately followed up with a spin-off starring its most apathetic character, Juggie! Jughead cares about nothing – well, that’s not true. Jughead cares about only one thing… FOOD. And when the new corporate face of Riverdale starts messing with his glorious school lunches, it’s time for action! It’s a very cute book. I mean, how could a book written by the guy who does Howard the Duck and drawn by the girl who draws Unbeatable Squirrel Girl not be the cutest thing ever? – Sherif

Second Opinion (B+)I do have to admit I have not been much of an Archie Comics reader in my life other than the TMNT series they published years ago, but getting the creators they have now has got me addicted *Cough* Chip Zdarksy *Cough*. Jughead is the perfect character to get me started delving more into good old Riverdale, and man does this issue make me want a hamburger! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Batman and Robin Eternal #1 – B
Writers: James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder
Artist: Tony Daniel

Any time DC puts out a new weekly book, you have to be wary. Batman Eternal started off with a huge bang, just as this one did, but after 52 grueling weeks, I was begging for the book to be over. In this new series, Dick Grayson is uncovering some really weird information about “Mother,” who heads an organization who, predictably, runs “really really deep.” We’re introduced to Cassandra Cain (she speaks!), and Bluebird lays the smack down on RoboBatman. It’s full of clever dialog, lots of characters, and never feels as corny as it could have if DC took the usual approach. There is a giant reveal at the end of the issue which was more eye-rolling than eye-catching, but I’ll roll with it. – Sherif

Survivor’s Club #1 – D+
Writers: Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen
Artist: Ryan Kelly

I am not the biggest horror fan, but I can appreciate it. For some reason, this was not one of those times. I was intrigued with the idea of some horrible event happening in 1987, mostly because that was the year I was born (OH MY GOD, WHAT IF MY BIRTH IS THE HORRIBLE EVENT?!), but then we didn’t even find out for the majority of the club what the event was. I wasn’t drawn to any character and the story felt like a cheap version of Mr. Robot. – Adrian


Batman Beyond #5 – C+
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Aritst: Bernard Chang

This issue was the best of the first five of “Brave New Worlds.” Drake finally proved he was Batman. The most important part of the book is how iconic the robot Batsuit is. Everyone freaks out when they see “the old-school Batman” in action. There is mention of how Bruce spruced it up one he acquired it. As far as story goes, it was a little lackluster, but I am looking forward to a new storyline. – Adrian

IDW Publishing: 

X-Files Season 11 #3 – B
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith

The second part to the Home story, revolving around the Peacock family we once saw in the series, we see a little bit of what it really going on while it also raises more questions. We also get to see a little of what is going on with Gibson Praise through both Mulder and Scully and right when Mulder is about to find something out, in classic X-Files fashion the story ends and leaves you hanging until next month… This comic series is very well done and Joe Harris seems to know more about X-Files past then even Mulder and Scully would and brings so much nostalgia and yet has such a fresh tone to it that this series has been tough to put down, tough not to push on people who love the series and tough to not force those who have not seen the series to try out. Matthew Dow Smith’s art works well with X-Files with his great use of lighting and shadows, but also has a edge to it that bothers me a bit; maybe that is what he is going for since it is X-Files, but ultimately it all comes together very well. – Jacob 

Image Comics:

Starve #5 – A
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Danijel Zezlj
Colorist: Dave Stewart

Starve is just one of the best written series I’ve read in a long time. Brian Wood always has a way with a story line that puts him in a class of his own. Major changes happened in this issue. The family turmoil between Gavin, his ex-wife, and his daughter came to a major head what with the stabbing and all. Now Roman will be joining the competition instead of being a sadistic host. He’rs just hoping that we aren’t going to a have to wait until February for another issue. That’s just too long. – Scott


Paper Girls #1 – B+
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colors: Matt Wilson

Rick Remender has another gem on his hands. What we have on hand are a group of the most jaded newspaper delivery people ever. I was amazed at how Remender was able to make these girls sound so strong and badass, yet still capture the fact that they were tweens. Of course, because this is a Remender book, there is a higher conspiracy at hand, and it has everything to do with aliens and a certain conglomeration. It’s goofy, yet awesome. The main characters are all likable. And the art is amazing! It’s the first big Cliff Chiang project I’ve read since Wonder Woman, and it fits perfectly thanks to Matt Wilson’s excellent color work. It screams girl power, but in a way that guys can enjoy reading it, too. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A-): In ways, I don’t know exactly what is going on, but I can tell you this: I am very nostalgic for the 80’s and this book captured that nostalgia perfectly. Plus, one of the girls is named Tiffany – there is nothing more 80’s than girls named Tiffany. – Adrian


Nailbiter #16 – B+
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Aritst: Mike Henderson

You know who is pretty cool? Nailbiter. He let some young kids give themselves a scare on Halloween and then was also pretty nice to them. He is a serial killer with principles, after all. I thought this issue was a very cute Halloween special. There weren’t as many questions to come up this time. Carroll is awake and gone, Finch is going to the slammer, and we know for sure that Alice is the love child of Warren and Crane. The last panel was creepy as fuck, but that is to be expected from this series. I am back on board with Nailbiter. – Adrian


We Stand on Guard #4 – B+
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Artist: Steve Skroce
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth

This issue proves that the Canadians have all the cajones they need to go toe to toe with G.I. Joe. It seemed like the Canucks were all but screwed in their present situation, but once that massive tanker got rolling, it felt like a legitimate battle was about to begin. This book has all the drama of Les Miserables, but the depth of scope of to match it. We’re getting tidbits of a bigger picture, and are slowly hating America more and more as the series goes on. – Sherif


Axcend #1 – B+
Writer: Shane Davis
Artist: Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki
Colorist: Mory Hollowell

This is a book for the video game nerd in all of us. Axcend is a little bit of Tron mixed with Spider-Man. Eric Morn is a high school student that’s not the biggest or toughest guy in the building, but he’s not the school nerd either. He also lost his twin brother a year ago so there is this underlying story of grieving through the first issue, which I’m sure is to continue. After an inauspicious day of school on the one year anniversary of his brother’s death Eric is very unexpectedly sucked into a video game called Axcend, where he finds it’s a lot easier to play a game than to be in one. Luckily dying in the game is not permanent, at least not yet. We’ll see when the game leaves gets out of beta. Eric really sets a whole new set of rules in motion in the end though. – Scott


Codename Baboushka: Conclave of Death #1 – C
Writer: Antony Johnston
Artist: Shari Chankhamma

The absolute best part of Codename Baboushka is the art. The use of mixed mediums was very impressive. It created a look that resembled some anime – from the use of oils to the bright and bold colors with crisp lines, it was clear there was a purpose for each panel, and that Chankhamma enjoyed working on this book thoroughly. The story line was a little drab, however. It was a little Black Widow and a little La Femme Nikita without any of the draw that either woman has. I have yet to be convinced of why Baboushka is so badass. At this point, she seems like a machine rather than real woman who just also so happens to be able to shoot guns and kick ass. I’m ready for some background. – Adrian

Second Opinion (C): There was a hard sell about this being very Bond-esque, and the expectation of such let me down. The art was great, though! And there’s always room in my reading queue for a spy book, but it doesn’t need to ride on the coattails of Bond to be enjoyable. – Sherif


Saints #1 – D
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Benjamin Mackey

Hmmm. I’m not really sure what to say about this issue. I feel like I was supposed to like the book more than I did. Instead, I was left feeling rather underwhelmed. It was compared to Dogma “on steroids”, but it wasn’t that funny to me. There was some haha’s at the beginning of it. Other than that, it read more serious than what I think Lewis was aiming for? Or, maybe my humor bone is broken. I left feeling like that kid at a party who just isn’t laughing with everyone else and wondering why. It did have an element of the Dexter humor with the seriousness of a Dan Brown novel. I’ll read a few more to see if I can pick up what’s being doled out. – Jené

Second Opinion (F): This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever read. It gives me the exact opposite feeling I get when reading NailbiterSaints lost me at rockstars pissing in cups – SPOILER, that was two pages in. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #3 – A+
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artist: Mark Buckingham

Miracleman is such an oddity of an experience, especially when compared to the rest of the Marvel stable. It’s such a contemplative and melancholy experience, but so worth experiencing. In this issue, Mors, the Qys alien that lives in the basement of the tower resurrecting dead artists and thinkers, resurrects Emil Gargunza, the person responsible for converting the Qys technology and creating the Miracle family. Emil wanders with one of the Any Warhols talking about life and the changes in the world. Then, six months in, Mors has to collect Emil before he escapes and deactivate him. He desperately wants Gargunza to live, but he’s so risky to have around. The story that has you brain thinking in subtler and subtler warped ways is complimented by artwork that shifts from collage, to chalk, to pen and ink. Such a good story with so many subtle cues I can’t hope to convey. – Montgomery


Star Wars Shattered Empire #2 – A
Writers: Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto, Angel Unzueta,
Artist: Emilio Laiso

I have to say as of right now, this is my personal favorite Star Wars book! This issue focuses on a villainious man in red who can seemingly project the Emperor’s face onto his helmet, but it more so focuses on a pilot from the rebel alliance, Shara Bey. So far in the story we know she is married to a Kes Dameron and had a son, Poe Dameron, who is one of the characters we know o be in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Shara is sent on a mission to accompany Princess Leia to Naboo while the federation may not be far behind! I feel Greg Rucka nailed this issue and it felt like a grea Star Wars story and really combining the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy and the new films. The three artists for this issue, Marco Checchetto, Angel Unzueta and Emilio Laiso were all great and all of their art flowed well together and really got amazing at times with some panels blowing your mind with the detail. – Jacob


Doctor Strange #1 – A
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Chris Bachalo and Kevin Knowlan

Doctor Strange is one of those characters I should love. Every element of his DNA should speak to my DNA, but his comics are just the worst. They’re all boring and meandering, and one time it was about baseball. I feel like I’m owed an apology. But this was a good #1. I was stoked to see Bachalo’s name on the cover, someone whose art I’ve been bonkers for since ye olde days of Generation X, the best Marvel comic only I, apparently, ever read. Strange makes strange housecalls, and he comes across an emerging pattern of a race of supernatural creatures called Soul Eaters who are fleeing the lower dimensions and making their exit via the heads and souls of people in the 616. I think it’s still 616. Is it? The story ends with a coda: magister Szandor Zoso tries to send a message through the dimensions that a threat called the Emipikul are murdering everything supernatural. Then he gets murdered. It’s a very Grant Morrison friendly setup, and I think I may have found a Doctor Strange comic to convert me. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (C+)So much exposition. But a good start to a series that will hopefully be a little more show vs. tell from here on out. – Adrian


Groot #5 – A-
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Artist: Brian Kesinger

Words can’t describe just how adorable this series is. It tugs on the heartstrings like no other book can quite do. Groot teaches readers about the value of friendship and love, all while making us laugh in the process. This issue marks the end of the arc, and the series. Groot and Rocket will pick up again soon in their own self-titled series, which is nice. Both Groot and Rocket Raccoon ended much earlier than they should have. If you’ve read this book, then go hug a tree. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A)Were Groot and Rocket just out in space while Earth mutated into Battle World? Oh, it’s also a good story. – Montgomery

Third Opinion (B+)You know that feeling you get in Wall-E when he may not wake up and Eve starts to freak out? That is basically the feeling you have in the last half of this issue. Also, the art for tiny Groot is the best. – Adrian


Invincible Iron Man #1 – A-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Seeing Tony Stark faced with the sad realization that he isn’t the smartest person on Earth is kinda nice. Believing that this is the same Tony Stark that was just in Superior, not so much. I’m sure it can be attributed to some gaps caused by the stupid Secret Wars disruption in timing; I really like that Tony’s turned his attitude around. This debut is just as funny as Superior, but you end up loving Iron Man by the end of it instead of hating him. Plus, the art in here is some of the best I’ve seen Marvel put out in a long time. There’s a specific panel with Madame Masque that had me floored. I can tell Marvel is betting a lot on this horse, so I’m confident that it will only get better. – Sherif


Old Man Logan #5 – B+
Writer:
Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

The last of another Secret Wars title and sadly I feel this series as a whole was quite dull, especially compared to the original Old Man Logan. Seeing as it is Secret Wars though, a lot of the story relied on the support of other stories to give you an idea of how these other worlds in Battleworld function. Ultimately, it gives us a very enjoyable and mind-bending ending and makes me think this series may have worked better as a one shot combining issue #1 and issue #5, or having it be much shorter as issue #2-4 seemed to not add much to the story at all (other than catapulting Logan to different spots). I do feel this issue though was the best of the 5 and Bendis does deserve a lot of credit for making one of these Secret Wars off-shoot titles work within the main Secret Wars storyline without sacrificing the character at hand. I do find Andrea Sorrentino’s art a bit distracting still, despite it being beautiful, as the lack of colors in some panels makes what you are looking at quite confusing, but again, beautiful none the less. – Jacob

Second Opinion (B): I give it a question mark because I’m not sure what happened. But I do know I’m all about a Wolverine comic written by Lemire. Lemire is my shit! – Montgomery


Secret Wars #6 – B+
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist:Esad Ribic

Finally we get issue #6! Seems like it has been forever since I read issue #5 but even with the wait, this issue pack in a lot in the few pages it has to do so. We really get into why Battleworld exists and God Doom’s ultimate plan, making this the most plot driven issue in the main Secret Wars storyline. Jonathan Hickman does a great job with this issue making sure it doesn’t feel overwhelming while also packing as much as possible into it and also bringing more characters into the fray in ways that really make you see God Doom is not as godly as you may think in previous issues, plus THE THING!!!! Esad Ribic’s art is absolutely spectacular this issue and he really brings out that character emotions perfectly this issue and some of those panels I want to just hang on my wall. Ultimately this issue was delayed a bit but after reading other Secret Wars titles I can say it was probably a good idea since a lot of what has happened outside this title holds precedence in this issue and yet it also works without reading every title for the event.

Second Opinion (C)I found the issue to be a lot of fun. I was able to gather what had happened and what was currently going on. It’s by no mean earth shattering amazement, but entertaining just the same. – Jené


Spider-Island #5 – B+
Writer: Christos Cage
Artist: Paco Diaz

The final issue of Spider-Island was a pretty satisfying resolution. The lair of the Spider Queen is stormed, and Flash Thompson’s symbiote sacrifices itself to save everyone. Dino-Thor (get it? He’s a Thor, and it sounds like dinosaur? But with a lisp?) shows up to say “what the f, guys?” and Peter Parker becomes the new baron. Que “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds. Mid-air freeze frame high-five. On an unrelated note: I’ve notice a lot of Hispanic and Latino names popping up in the creator credits for this Marvel event. Kind of cool that Marvel is getting ahead of that cultural trend. I’m sure DC will respond by raping and then murdering the rest of its female characters. Because they’re edgy. – Montgomery


Star Wars #10 – B
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Star Wars is still running strong. But I still don’t care about this extra Solo person. Han being previously married just isn’t a very interesting storyline to me. Also, a hut with legs is actually quite unnerving. I like the build up the issue has. I can’t wait for some good Jedi-on-rancor action. The odd pairing of C-3PO and Chewbacca is entertaining enough. This wasn’t an overly deep issue but it was entertaining. Although, if I see any more Gungans I’m going to lose my mind. I can’t believe I had to read how they sound. Oh and Dengar, yeah Dengar. – Scott

Second Opinion (B+)This issue has everything, even a Gungan talking to Dengar! But it really delves into a deeper story and one that will likely help us understand a little more of how Luke became a Jedi. – Jacob


Amazing Spider-Man #1 – B-
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli

Amazing Reboot #1 was just short of amazing. The action was great, the jokes (subtle and corny) were on point, and the art was wonderful. However, there’s a HUGE gap with the book not explaining just how this new and improved Spidey became so good at… everything. He’s lauded as the “poor man’s Tony Stark,” but really, he’s basically Batman now. He knows new languages, builds incredible tech for himself, and breaks hearts along the way. At the end of the day, this is the new Amazing Spider-Man, and you’ll either love it or continue hating it. – Sherif

Second Opinion (C)I wasn’t overly impressed with this issue. There was no explanation for… well anything. The first half was great. Spider-Man and Mockingbirds banter was well worth the price, but one Peter Parker became the poor-man’s Iron Man, I was pretty lost. Congrats on the heart-shaped Spidey undies though, Parker. – Adrian


Darth Vader #10 – C+
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado

That Triple Zero is a cold-oiled droid. I felt like a big chuck of this issue was lacking in substance, coming in on Vader killing some strange look aliens is fun and all, but he was almost left out of his own comic. Doctor Aphra did all of the work this time around. Going back to Naboo was a little weird. I know we’re ten issues in but the crossing of the old world and the new still just doesn’t feel right. I’m also starting to wane on the murder twins. It’s a funny bit because it’s really unexpected but I feel like every chance there is we’re being reminded that they are evil. It might be time for a new gag. – Scott

Second Opinion (B+): Darth Vader and Aphra make a dangerous team, especially with the droids BT-1 and 000 with them along for the ride. This series keeps getting better and am excited for what is to come next. Kieron Gillen is absolutely killing it with this series; the man knows how to write space epics! – Jacob


Contest of Champions #1 – C+
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Paco Medina

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. It’s basically Murder World for A-list heroes and villains, but it feels much more natural than the slopfest that was in Avengers Arena. We’re thrown in the middle of a few different fights, and they’re all entertaining for the most part. Al Ewing’s (Loki: Agent of Asgard) is excellent at writing clever banter, so even the lulls kept me engaged. My favorite part of the book is when we’re introduced to White Fox, a badass Korean superheroine new to the Marvel U; hopefully, she is more than a token. Overall, not the strongest premiere issue, but it has potential to be awesome once some of the story is fleshed out. – Sherif

Second Opinion (C+): While the idea of different champions fighting each other to the death is cool, wasn’t that what Battleworld was? British Punisher was really cool, but I got confused on his timeline. T-Rexes are Hydra? And the Guillotine story seemed tacked on. – Adrian


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 09-30-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

ghost racers 4 POTW

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

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

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

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

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

DC/Vertigo Comics:

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

IDW Publishing: 

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

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

Image Comics:

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Marvel/Icon Comics:

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 09-23-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

We Are Robin #4

We Are Robin #4 – A
Writer: Lee Bermejo
Artist: James Harvey
Colorists: James Harvey and Alex Jaffe

The art in this issue absolutely blew me away. There was a nice Dark Knight Returns vibe going on – almost a little like 60’s pop art using collaging as a style. And the story met my expectations, too. This month, we got to focus on Riko, one of the many Robins introduced so far. In the aftermath of Troy’s death in issue #3, Riko tries to cope not only with mortality, but with her place within the “We Are Robin” group. There was some great tie-in to Lord of the Flies and the feeling of belonging for Riko. Riko’s character is portrayed incredibly well; her timidness and intelligence in real life vs. her bravery as a vigilante is very intriguing. I also really enjoyed the commentary about all the tweeting and texting. There is a moment where Riko has to make a hard decision with a bunch of punks. The tweeters and texters have to have their two cents, and it is amazing how quickly they flip on her. Batgirl’s appearance sweetens the pot of this issue. I can’t wait for all the other Robins to get their time in the spotlight, too. – Adrian

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse:

Power Cubed #1 – B-
Writer and Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Colorist: Hi-Fi Design

This is the first of a new series from Dark Horse, and it’s falling into a world of adolescent adventure. With the popularity of the “teen adventure” genre running rampant through Hollywood, it comes as no surprise that similar comics are starting to make their way through. That being said, I did enjoy the book; it has the best use of stairs I’ve ever seen. I’m just barely interested enough in this boy’s blight to at the least read a little further. – Scott

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Grayson #12 – B+
Writers: Tim Seeley, Tom King
Pencils: Mikel Janín
Colors: Jeromy Cox

Ladies and gentlemen, nap time is over! This series, which has been a complete and utter let-down, is finally getting ready to execute the interesting part of the plot. Months (years?) ago, when the fallout of Forever Evil happened, Batman and Nightwing made plans to infiltrate Spyral and…spy on them. It’s taken what seems like forever, but Dick has finally made his survival known to the rest of the Bat-fam, and they have hacked into the spy agency. Not only was the issue full of callbacks and corny exchanges, but the promise of what is to come is legitimately exciting – something I can confidently say about like two other DC books. Don’t screw this up, Grayson! – Sherif

Batgirl #44 – B-
Writer: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher
Pencils: Bengal
Colors: Serge Lapointe

Batgirl, fighting tigers and saving lesbians – it’s all so refreshing. Thanks to some solid artwork in Babs Tarr’s absence, this entire issue played out like a cartoon. It’s a very serialized, feel-good story that isn’t too deep, but has enough substance to keep me entertained enough to look forward to the next issue. Batgirl is one of the better books out right now, but I don’t look to it for any deeper meaning. And why is DC sneak dissin’ with the Jungle Fever theme going on here on the cover? Luke isn’t in the book but two pages. Wesley Snipes should be pissed right now. – Sherif

Deathstroke #10 – C
Writers: Tony Daniel, James Bonny
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham
Colors: Arif Prianto

Um, I’m not sure what kinda reaction I was supposed to have to the end of this issue, but it ended up being one of pure MEH. What in the name of Fish Mooney were they trying to pull here? It took a lot to bring Slade back from the Expendables mangasming action hero to a well-rounded character, but all I could do is roll my eyes at how he returns to his brutish ways. I would be a liar if I told you that his showdown with a titan (ha, he finally beats a Titan…) wasn’t Kratos-worthy, but the ridiculous ending shattered all the momentum it had going into it. – Sherif

Justice League 3001 #4 – C
Writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. De Matteis
Artist: Scott Kolins
It’s fascinating that two of my books (two of my favorites even) were flashbacks this month. One did absolutely everything right (Nameless), and one did everything I hate. Usually flashbacks feel like they’re pulling you away from something really interesting to show you something boring, even when it’s important, and that’s what JL3K did. I mean, last issue, Supergirl shows up out of nowhere to help punch a hivemind into submission. Yes, yes, and more yes. This time, we flashback to between the events of 3000 and 3001 to Flash telling Wonder Woman a drunk story about meeting a cagey Mirror Master. I know this is J.M. DeMatteis laying the ground for the next arc, but nothing happens. We get one tiny nugget of fact, and it distracts from the awesome stuff that’s been going on. Plus, the regular artist was off this month. Kind of a bummer. -Montgomery

IDW Publishing:

TMNT: Casey and April #4-B
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Irene Koh

The end of this mini-series brings some revelations and makes some characters thought to be villains out to be more of spiritual guides to Casey and April. As the two have been tormented by the Rat King for the first three issues, almost tearing the two apart, they finally reach Aka. She helps April realize her role in everything. It seems she may have quite a large role in TMNT #50 coming out soon and the huge change promised in said issue. This series definitely screams of Anime/Asian influence more than any others, especially in Irene Koh’s art and the story revolving around the Rat King and Aka being gods and spiritual guides to Casey and April. Mariko Tamaki did a great job setting up a small little road trip story where we hardly saw The Turtles and yet still making sure we knew it was in the TMNT universe. Overall, it was a very enjoyable series and stayed quite consistent in quality from issues #1-#4. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Nameless #5 – A
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Chris Burnham

I have been going slowly insane waiting for the two month hiatus to end and Nameless to pick back up. It was so good and surreal, it gave me an anxiety attack. It opens up with a flashback to the nameless protagonist’s prior mission in which he and twelve others first tried to contact the alien force behind the mystery comet. And without ruining things (because holy bonkers Bat-Mite), it goes poorly, but not before they learn that this malevolent force is the last living vestige of an anti-universe. In fact, these 13 minds (apparently these anti-universe beings are so great, it takes 13 minds working in unison to contain one of their minds) learn a pretty shocking fact about who exactly is trapped in that meteor. And if the panel below (in the Panels with the Most Awesomeness section) doesn’t make you want to run out and have an anxiety attack, you have no heart (or too much anxiety). – Montgomery

Elephantmen #66- A-
Writer: Richard Starkings
Artist: Axel Medellin

Things are getting rather crazy for our favorite Elephantmen as we learn of a plot devised by those in Charge of Mappo to try and eradicate the current living Elephantmen and create a new army of Hyenas to bring about what Mappo had tried to do initially with his army of people such as Hip Flask, Ebony Hide, and Obadiah Horn. It seems as the initial attack of the Mops, the cleaning (Killing) crew of hyenas, shows up the Elephantmen on the side of good we know are dropping rather quickly and we are left wondering if some even got out alive. The story by Richard Starkings is great as always with this series, and it brings the action as well as story together beautifully. I also have to say Axel Medellin’s art is my favorite of the series so far, and the colors used are just spectacular making for one of the most well executed comics on the shelves today. – Jacob

Wolf #3—B
Writer: Alex Kot
Artist: Matt Taylor
Colorist: Clayton Cowles

This book is just odd and I love it. I still don’t have the language to really describe why I enjoy it so much week after week. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I’m actually picking up on the sarcasm. Granted, I’m a few beats behind, but it creates an interesting dissonance in the way I read it. Vamps in Afghanistan, and more genies information as to how Wolf became what he is. A vampire ex. Seems like Wolf dabbled in the darker things in life before turning private eye. He makes for one intriguing anti-hero. To say anymore would give too much away. -Jené

Invisible Republic #6 –C
Writers: Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko
Artist: Gabriel Hardman
Colorist: Jordan Boyd

Not as dunt, dunt duh as last issue, but still a solid issue.  The issue slowed down in order do some much needed character development. It also introduced a few more key players to the narrative. We’re finally getting to see behind the mask of the Malory Regime. My previous thoughts has been confirmed—Malory “is more mascot than leader.” It’s still unclear to what extent Maia plays in this “Invisible Republic” but its clear her cousin is meaningless, or is he…? It was a solid and enjoyable read with a last page that delivers a punch. – Jené

Second Opinion (B+) Invisible Republic is keeping a strong story strong. The universe is as dark and gritty as ever, the thought put into building this world is enough by itself to make me a fan of this book. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Deadpool vs Thanos #2-A
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Elmo Bondoc

This issue is full of action, cameos from famous and not so famous Marvel characters and plenty of Deadpool humor, to the chagrin of Thanos. The story sees Deadpool and Thanos landing on a planet rumored to be where Death told Deadpool to go, but all that is there is a race of people wishing death upon themselves. After some rather violent introductions the Guardians of the Galaxy show up to cause yet another disturbance for this team of Death’s ex’s. Tim Seeley is doing a great job so far in bringing these two characters together and despite neither of them really liking the other they seem to work well together, well despite Thanos needing to beat the crap out of Deadpool every once and awhile to have him see Death or get clues to her disapearence. The best thing to me is Elmo Bondoc’s art which has a very classic Marvel feel to it while also keeping it in the modern era making for a great flashback story while also not straying too far from the current places of each character. – Jacob

Inhumans: Atillan Rising #5 – B
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: John Timms
So, is this the last issue? Does anyone know? It feels like a last issue. Anyways, finally Not Black Bolt’s revolt crescendo’s in Medusa’s Atillan where, last issue, he showed her the truth of the world. They team up and (SPOILER ALERT, I MEAN, IF ANYONE’S ACTUALLY READING THIS COMIC, SPOILER ALERT RIGHT HERE) and Doom resets Atillan, except with Blackagar Boltagon (worst name ever? Probably) as the king and Medusa as a bar tender. Which is kind of cool. It imbues Battleworld with a sense of history is seems to lack, and demonstrates his own godhood. One question? Um, Matt? Murdock? He makes a reference to being Irish? Well, I’d like him to point out where on the map Ireland is, and what that even means on Battleworld. Because, as far as I’m aware, there’s New York, 15 different X-Men cities, and then zombies. No Ireland. Anyways, the series ended on probably its strongest note. -Montgomery

X-Men: Years of Future Past #5 – B-
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Pencils: Mike Norton
Colors: FCO Plascencia

This book tries a little too hard to be deep. For being one of the throwaway Secret Wars titles, I’m really impressed with how much I seem to care about what is going on. After the world fell apart in the last issue, Christina Pryde must scramble to save Robert Kelly from her surprise dickhead brother. It’s one of those “the more things change, the more they stay the same” scenarios, and I really enjoyed the way this one was carried out. Now, them all getting eaten by tigers seems like a stupid ending, but who am I to judge? It’s a lot harder carrying an idea across the finish line than I can give credit for. – Sherif

1872 #3 – C+
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Pencils: Nik Virella
Colors: Lou Loughridge

I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed in this book, but rather disappointed in the lack of give-a-shit that Marvel had in making this a book. It’s a phenomenal concept – just as interesting as 1602, in my opinion – but it’s not really fleshed out like it could be. Fisk, the corrupt big bad, comes across so much more like a big, fat Yosemite Sam than the thuggish tycoon he is. All is forgiven, though, when Tony Stark busts out the Iron Man suit for the first time. It has it’s corny moments, but I wish it took it’s time. Instead, it’s stuffed into a four-issue mini-series and will likely have no consequence on the Marvel U at all. – Sherif


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 09-16-15

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:

Captain America White #1

Captain America: White #1 – A+
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale

In short, Captain America: White is going to remind the world how comic books should be made. Not the waiting half a decade thing, but the amount of care, talent, and love put into it. [Read the whole review here]

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

UFOlogy #5—B
Writers: James Tynion & Noah J. Yuenkel
Artist:  Matthew Fox
Colorist: Adam Metclaf

I’m really digging this comic book. UFOlogy has the ability to pull you in and get you emotionally invested into what’s happening to the characters. I pretty much like every character introduced so far. They are intriguing and make sense. With a title like UFOlogy, you’re going to get UFO’s and then some aliens! In this issue, we finally get to meet them. Dunt, dunt, duh. Also, the art is great. Loving the sloppy, messy, colorfulness that’s going on. Really works for the book. – Jacob


Dark Horse:

Paybacks #1 – C+
Writer: Donny Cates & Eliot Rahal
Artist: Geoff Shaw

You ever read those comics where you cannot decide if they are good or bad? Well, welcome to Paybacks! This comic seems to host characters which resemble some of our favorites in the DC and Marvel universe; however, they all come with a bit more quirkiness. I am not sure if I missed something, but this group of “crime fighters” seem to work as a repossession agency and as a normal super human battalion. Either way, I really enjoyed the humor in this book. Yet, at the end of the day, I still can’t tell if it’s good or bad. The world may never know.  – Evan


Death Head #3C
Writer: Zack Keller
Artists: Nick Keller, Joanna Estep

When I read the first issue of Death Head, I was genuinely excited for what seemed like it was going to be a truly creepy book. I am disappointed to say that in the second issue, and especially in this week’s third issue, the story has really backpedaled. It no longer has the elements of terror and suspense that originally set it apart. This week’s issue really seemed to bounce between seemingly pointless characterization (I get it – the teenage daughter is a bitch, and being a teenage girl is haaard), unexplained gore (wait – why did that guy blow his head off at the lighthouse?) and some really cheesy Casper the Friendly Ghost-esque kiddie stuff. Death Head #3 really let me down, and I can only hope it gets back to its roots from here. – Keriann


DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #4 – A-
Writer: Heath Corson
Artist: Gustavo Duarte

Although this series has been great and one of my favorite comics on the shelves, I feel this issue was left a bit flat compared to the others, maybe because Zatanna is not nearly as interesting as the other characters Bizarro and Jimmy have run into in this series, or maybe it was the lack of mentioning Colin the chupacabra which I feel could really use some more story. Although this story felt a bit weaker than others, Heath Corson does another amazing job in writing as it still was my favorite book of the week, personally. The magic switch up with Jimmy being like Bizarro and Bizarro becoming human was a great twist and showed how similar the two are despite being complete opposites. Gustavo Duarte’s art for this series is a major plus for me as it is just the right amount of cartoon/comic feel for the humor and just the right of realism to know it is part of the major DC Universe post Convergence. Overall this issue was good, not great like the others but with Corson and Duarte, not much could make it bad. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A)Ignore very closely. Very terrible. Unfavorite DC comic. – Montgomery


Constantine: The Hellbalzer #3B+
Writer: James T. Tynion IV
Artists: Ming Doyle, Vanessa Del Ray

Constantine: The Hellblazer has really grown into a compelling story. This week’s issue pulled together all the strings of the storyline that have been laid out so far and tied them all together – and quite successfully I might add. On the surface it may have seemed like this issue was just Constantine walking around completely hammered and being a total dick, but the connection to his past and the monster he is currently facing came together perfectly by the end. Not to mention the twist at the end was a pretty damn good one that I didn’t even see coming. I am so eager to find out more about the Tentacle Monster (Veronica) and how she came to be and if she is in fact killing ghosts. Some readers may be turned off by Constantine’s whining and brooding about how everything is his fault, but I found it quite bearable. I mean, everything is kind of his fault, even if he didn’t mean for it to be. My one qualm is still that I’m not crazy about the artwork in this series, primarily the interpretation of Constantine himself. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does still bother me from time to time. – Keriann


Arkham Knight: Genesis #2 – B+
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Alisson Borges
Colors: Dave McCaig

This issue is quite the upgrade over the premiere one. No more pitiful Jason Todd whining about how Batman didn’t love him. Instead, we get a deeper view into why he hates the Bat family, how he is tactically preparing to dismantle the family, and how he “dies” the first time. A lot of it is kinda an old story with a new hat on it, but it’s put together in a way that is still entertaining and good to look at. With this book following the game story instead of comic book canon, there are sure to be some surprises up Tomasi’s sleeves. – Sherif


Martian Manhunter #4 – B
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Eddy Barrows

Have you ever been on top of a speeding ambulance and realized a small portion of the true power of being a Martian? If not, then you are really missing out on life, because you can do some pretty crazy stuff with that sort of knowledge. From the arrival of Aquaman, and the awakening of Phobos, and all of the other great things happening, I can see this comic setting up a solid story arc for the future. Probably the one thing I truly appreciate about this comic is how well it portrays chaos. Things are falling apart and only a few people can hold it together. Therefore, there is a lot of panic, fear, and chaos occurring, and this comic displays it very well. Good stuff is on the horizon for readers…not so much for those actually in the comic though. – Evan


Prez #4 – C
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Dominike “Domo” Stanton

So far, this is the weakest issue of Prez. The concept is still really intriguing to me, and there was just as much commentary in this one, but I did feel like we were going anywhere with it. The world is a terrible, terrible place. Now what are we going to do about it? Let’s get the ball rolling on changing things. Since this story is only 12 issues, I’m pretty worried about where this is going. – Adrian


IDW Publishing:

D4VE2 #1 – B+
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Valentine Ramon

I have no idea how to start this review besides saying you all need to go read this book. The reason this comic is fascinating is because it is hilarious and awkward; however, you genuinely end up caring about the story and the characters. By the end of the comic, you end up wanting D4VE to be the hero he once was and someone to truly root for. I cannot wait to read more of this comic and see where it all goes. Also, D4VE shares my exact sentiments on traffic. – Evan


Image Comics:

Tokyo Ghost #1 – A
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Sean Murphy

Remender is my favorite writer in comic books right now, with two other exceptional titles out (Deadly ClassBlack Science) on Image’s roster. In this new book, he combines forces with renowned artist Sean Murphy for a gritty, futuristic dystopian story following two bounty hunter-like constables as they fulfill their contract. The whole issue is thrilling, and I was never quite sure what was going on. It was all very reminiscent of the first time I read Black Science, but this time the concept is much more grounded and relatable. I haven’t even touched the social commentary, which is so spot-on that it makes me feel bad about myself. Overall, a phenomenal book, and I look forward to what comes next. – Sherif

Second Opinion (B+): A pretty cool book with lots of colorful ideas that haven’t been seen in a long time (plus 10 points for Gryffindor for use of Akira style bikes). I think it was supposed to be a pretty rhythmic and fast paced read, and as such, it felt bogged down by too much speaking, but I’m definitely looking forward to issue #2. – Montgomery


ODY-C #7 – B
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Christian Ward

I wish this book had a slightly more traditional format. It’s gorgeous, and if nothing else, I love looking at the art, but I have no idea what in the hell is happening. And it’s thanks in part to the haphazard narration style. It’s not haphazard – narration is in white, each character gets their own color coded narration box, and only the gods use speech bubbles – but the layout ends up feeling haphazard. 4 characters in a panel, a single blue narration box, and you better have been paying attention 3 months ago when they showed who gets the blue narration box or you’ll be lost. I feel torn: I love that Fraction’s book is so ambitious and bizarre and I wouldn’t want him to dilute that vision, but I wish just once I had any sense of what the hell was going on and who is talking. I honestly wish it was a book just straight released as a graphic novel instead of monthlies: virtually the only reason I gave it a B instead of a much lower grade is because I feel confident if I could sit and read more than 24 pages every 30 days, I’d have some sense of what’s happening. – Montgomery


Sex Criminals #12 – C
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

This comic book is brazenly sexual. Tentacled jizz monsters and stimulating (ha…) clitoric conversations are the norm in this book. It’s different from anything out there, and thanks to Matt and Chip’s awesome chemistry, it’s just as enjoyable as it is uncomfortable to read. Most of the time… This issue, however, tried to balance a very deep and thoughtful lecture at the college about “abnormality” when it comes to the female body (think Masters of Sex as a comedy), with a giant tentacled vagina demon, and – here is where is gets crazy – a chick getting gangbanged by human-sized penises…. Yeah, it was all a bit much for me. It also detracted from the story, which inched along like a micropenis. I don’t mind laughing at sexuality, but I must have missed the joke here – Sherif

Second Opinion (A-):  Every issue gets crazier and crazier it seems but also better and better. Matt Fraction is killing it writing wise and I can’t get enough of Zdarsky’s art and the tiny jokes in posters and items around certain settings in the story. Can’t wait to see where this arc is going! – Jacob


Beauty #2 – C
Writers: Jeremy Haun and Jason H. Hurley
Artist: Jeremy Haun
Colorist: John Rauch

An STD that makes you “beautiful” and then kills you. Oh, and a global conspiracy…How original. For once, I would love to see a global pandemic that’s just random like the medieval plague. It killed a lot of people, gave the western world the middle class, and the rest is history. Don’t get me wrong, I like the whole virus governmental/cooperate conspiracy, but there are already tons of them. It be nice just to see society deal with a pandemic that at the end of the day ravages everyone, a random element that fucks things up. – Jené

Second Opinion (D+): Meh… I mean, if you’re into abstinence, this book is great. The Beauty is an STD that makes them really pretty before their heads explode. No, really. – Sherif


Marvel/Icon Comics:

Star Wars: Lando #4 – A-
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alex Maleev

It’s the penultimate issue of Lando and his heisting adventure and man does Sh** get real in this issue. With Lando and his crew having discovered the treasure of ancient Sith artifacts and knowing it is Palpatine’s ship, things take a turn for the worse when a bounty hunter, Chanath Cha, is sent after them and one of the twins, Aleksin, cuts the arm off the other twin, Pavol. Lando and Korin must find a way before Aleksin get out or the bounty hunter Chanath gets in. This story is turning into a great heist comic that just happens to feature Star Wars main ladies man Lando and showcasing a lot of his talents we had not seen as much of in the films. Charles Soule and his writing is perfect as he very easily turned one character from bad ass hero to horrifically scary villain in a matter of three panels and is really showcasing Lando in all his glory. Alex Maleey just adds to the perfection with his art making each panel a picture I would frame and hang on my wall, making this story one of the best comics Marvel has to offer at the moment. – Jacob


Star Wars #9 – B+
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen

Things are shaping up to be rather crazy for Luke and the whole Original Star Wars gang. With Luke being caught by a Hut for his Jedi memorabilia collection and Han, Leia and (Han’s wife?) Sana are on the run from troopers on the hunt for Princess Leia and the rebels helping her. We don’t get much as far as explanation of who Sana is yet but am sure once they escape the Empire’s forces they will have to have a lengthy discussion letting us in on the up and up of Han’s love life. The writing for this issue by Jason Aaron is spot on and I read it as if the actors voices are delivering the lines, which is about as much as you could want from a Star Wars book. The twists and turns and new canon stories only add to the story without taking away from the original which is beyond perfect for anyone who felt the prequels were missing something. Stuart Immonen also does a great job bringing the characters back to life with spot on representations of the actors while also having his style shine through, making it a perfect mix. – Jacob


Miracleman #2 – B+
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artists: Mark Buckingham

Not quite as good as the last issue. In this one, a man whispers to Miracle Woman that he loves her as she flies overhead. She stops and has sex with him. Several times. Then she confronts him about his terrible treatment of women and his demand for perfection (he once dumped a woman because she had an appendectomy scar). She transforms into her human form and has sex with him a final time and leaves forever. He becomes less shitty. The next story focuses on some grade school friends talking about the battle of Bates – the grand finale of Moore’s Miracleman had a showdown in which Miracleman impales Kid Miracleman on a steel girder (but don’t worry, he was actually a full grown adult and totally evil) – and one girl in particular who thought Kid Miracleman was kind of hot. And then a vague ending about maybe one of the kids is the villain reborn? I ain’t know. – Montgomery


Secret Wars Journal #5 – B
Overall, this was a pretty effective anthology book. See my breakdown below:
“Risk of Infection”
Writers: Jen and Sylvia Soska
Artist: Alec Morgan
It opens with Nicole Carter discussing organ death while suturing her own skull. The implication, I believe, is she is excising zombifying flesh (but I’m not certain). The book ends with an, of course, ironic ending, but as a ~10 page vignette, it succeeds by being quick and having striking images that hook you immediately. It also has an arch that lets you get in and out like pow.
“Mill-E: the Model Citizen”
Writer: Aaron Alexovich
Artist: Diogo Saito
This one was OK. The schtick is a council of Doombots have sent out Mill-E, a super feminized blonde haired Doombot sent into the world(s) to try to win them over with winning looks and a good attitude. The story starts with her being recalled to Doomstadt for being bad at her job and getting fitted with upgrades. Those upgrade take the shape of an override switch and a plethora of cannons, which she uses to wreck up Westchester before heading on. As a single story it was good, but connected to the larger Secret Wars event just reminds me about how confused I am about the actual limits of Doom’s power and who can do what and why. It just highlights, with a bigass highlighter, the paradox of Doom’s godhood… which of course isn’t and cannot be actual, but it feels unsatisfying because you can’t figure out if that’s by design or oversight. – Montgomery


Guardians of Knowhere #4 – B-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato

I have been enjoying this series quite a bit and with this issue being the last it was a little bittersweet minus the sweet. I say this because it ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger asking us to read the rest of Secret Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy #1 from the All New, All Different Marvel coming soon. Although I am going to read both those series, it still felt as if the majority of what has happened up until now is meaningless since the conclusion is changing everything basically. Not to say the writing is bad; the story is good up until the words “To Be Concluded in… Secret Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy #1!” But with a lot of these Secret Wars stories, they seem to have almost have just been one-shot specials other than a 4-5 issue series. I am sure we will get an ending at some point with the new series, Bendis at the helm of this series, and the new Guardians, and when that happens my opinion will likely change but as of right now, I am definitely a little disappointed that such a great series had such a lame ending. – Jacob


Age of Apocalypse #4 – C
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Iban Coello

This series is not aging gracefully, and it’s not an old book. How about that Emma’s ass shot on the cover? dumb. The story becomes pretty incoherent (Apocalypse’s plan backfires in a nonsensical way that I’m 1,000% confident the legit Apocalypse would plan for), and the monthly artist is on hiatus to let some other guy take over. He’s not bad, but he’s not as big and expressive as his counterpart. Anyways, the story is just quickly deflating, and we’re all bummed about it. – Montgomery


ONI Press:

Invader Zim #3 – A
Writer: 
Eric Trueheart
Artists: Aaron Alexovich, Megan Lawton

After the initial story of the first two issues we have a one-shot story here that ends in a rather cataclysmic way and in true cartoon fashion. We see Zim planning a new way to destroy the human race and searching for an ancient mysterious being that could help him with his goal of world domination. The figure in question is none other than the legendary Star Donkey! DUN DUN DUH!!! As Zim and Gir figure out what needs to be done to summon such a being, Dib is figuring it all out and trying to devise an attack plan to stop Zim. Eric Trueheart does a great job capturing the spirit of Vasquez’s writing and feel of the Zim universe while Aaron Alexovich and Megan Lawton capture the artistic side just as perfectly. This series is shaping up to be just as enjoyable as the show and it make the child in me smile every time I get to see and read new Zim! – Jacob


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 09-09-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

Deadly Class #16 POTW

Deadly Class #16 – A
Writer: Rick Remender
Artists: Wes Craig, Jordan Boyd
After a super depressing last issue, this latest installment made me laugh so hard that I almost forgot how screwed Marcus is. Stuck somewhere in the middle of possibly being murdered by his ex-best friend, pissing his only friend off by getting his crush pregnant, and taking lots of drugs, Marcus finds time to get his dick checked out at a free clinic. STI’s are no laughing matter, but when you’re in the Herpes League, there’s still room for optimism. Deadly Class can go from a lulling depression to a manic rage in a matter of panels, and it’s a team effort from the creators to make it so seamless. The school is nearing the end of its first year, and they are about to enter into a final exam period that makes engineering school look like a f*cking breeze. Marcus is gonna need all the help he can get! – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Gotham Academy #10 – B-
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher
Artist: Karl Kerschl and Msassyk
Colors: Serge LaPointe and Msassyk
This month, our group of detectives acted in The Scottish Play and got quite The Scottish Curse. Mixing Shakespeare and the mystery of Olive’s mom/ghost was pretty clever; however, I was underwhelmed with what the “curse” turned out to be. There was a little bit of “Invisible Girl” from Buffy in this issue, and as dedicated Hush Comics readers know, I love anything that reminds me of Buffy. The art didn’t blow me away as much this month – a disappointment considering the high-level I think it is usually at. Olive’s mom is still a mystery, but this is a series I still genuinely love. – Adrian
Batman #44 – C-
Writers: Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello
Artist: Jock
Don’t freak out on me here! Greg Capullo will be back next issue. While it’s cool to see Jock and Snyder reunited (they were the team that did Black Mirror, an excellent pre-New52 story that really brought on the creepy.) This issue was a little more insight into what Mr. Bloom is about, but – and it pains me to say this – this issue was entirely skippable. You learn to hate Penguin a little more, understand the situation a little more, but there’s no reason to believe this arc was improved with this issue. Greg Capullo is such a better fit for Snyder’s writing, and the whole experience was underwhelming. I like the return to Bruce Wyane as Batman (flashback only, sorry), but he is expressionless and kinda clueless – albeit by design. Overall, it’s a bump in the road for what has been a very intriguing new storyline. – Sherif
Second Opinion (B+) – Snyder loves to do social commentary, and this issue really pushed that, using the gangs of Gotham, Penguin, Mr. Bloom, and the GCPD to prove a point about gun violence and police brutality in America. While the art style didn’t stick with me, I loved the use of newspaper articles ingrained with the story. This was a long read, but well worth it. – Adrian
Suiciders #6 – D+
Writer and Artist: Lee Bermejo
I just don’t get it. As much as I liked the first issue and the use of color, I don’t feel like there was enough variation in the look of the characters or their individual dialects for me to distinguish who was who. I will be rereading this volume before the new arc comes out in 2016. – Adrian
Action Comics #44 – D
Writers: Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder
Artists: Aaron Kuder, Howard Porter, and Tomeu Morey
I rode with this whole “Superman is a voice of the people” thing for a while, but I don’t think I can support it anymore. The concept of making Wrath a physical embodiment of Clark’s problems comes across as very cliché and instantly loses the reliability it had. Fighting the stigma that comes with being an outsider, dealing with the bigots who he once saved is an extremely grounded concept… but turning the evil of man into a tangible, poorly-written embodiment of wrath, then shoving it in our faces (in case you didn’t pick up on the not-so-subtle hints) is just childish. Why does DC find the need to make everything “epic” instead of relying on solid story-telling? – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

X-Files Season 11 #2- B+
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith

This is the start of a new story arc, which may seem weird since it is the 2nd issue, but the title and story behind this arc may seem similar to fans of the original TV series connecting to the classic episode “Home.” This new arc is titled “Home Again.” The story revolves around a family, the Peacocks, who have lived a secluded life since the Civil War and have been inbreeding for many generations resulting in horrible defects. Mulder and Scully figured they had stopped this family earlier, but a couple were left alive and found a way to continue the family lineage. Now that it has been so long, the family is even more horribly disfigured and needs a new man to help the family become pure again and lose some of the defects of incest. Mulder seems to be their choice… This honestly was a great story but one of the most disturbing issues of X-Files and even more disturbing than most of the nine seasons of the show. I am hoping things turn out better as things go along, but nothing is ever comfortable when the Peacocks are around. – Jacob

Star Trek Green Lantern: The Spectrum Wars #3 – B
Writer: Mike Johnson
Penciler: Angel Hernandez
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez

I really judged this concept at first. I never thought it would work or hold up for very long. I am glad that my love for Trek outweighed my snobbery and my proclivity to judge a book by its cover. This story line is a lot of fun! The Lanterns and the crew of the Enterprise/leaders of some of Trek’s greatest foes are mingling seamlessly into one story. Color me impressed. In this book, the Lanterns, of the now destroyed parallel universe, are meeting up with their counterparts who’ve been chosen. It’s exciting, fun, and the art is colorful and engaging. Can’t wait till the next issue. – Jené

Second Opinion (B) – Things are sure getting crazy for the Star Trek crew and The Lanterns! Sure hope Kilowog gets involved more heavily soon, but in the mean time the story is shaping up to be great. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Bitch Planet #5 – A
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Penciler: Valentine De Landro
Colorist: Chris Peter

Fucking Hell…I needed several minutes to really absorb all that happened in this issue. No one is safe, and you’re not safe as a reader. It’s gonna make you think about stuff. The team working on Bitch Planet keeps delivering issue after issue. It’s a very satisfying narrative and layered in ways that would take several more pages to express. With the end of Volume One I can say with all certainty that this series is going to be part of comic book history. It’s a game changer. Enough said. – Jené

Second Opinion (C-): Is this the book we’ve been waiting for? The whole issue was a drawn-out prison ball game match between guards and inmates. Guards cheated. Women are pissed. End Scene. Meh. – Sherif

The Walking Dead #149 – C
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
You know what’s kinda getting old?  The whole “dramatic last panel” bit.  The only way it could be more cliche is to put “DUN-DUN-DUNNN!!!” in a word bubble at the bottom.  I’m generally a fan of Kirkman’s style, but this one aspect is really starting to bug me.  Not every issue has to end with an attempt at a cliff hanger.  I realize that I haven’t mentioned anything content related to the issue yet, but there’s a reason for that…  The one thing about this issue I enjoyed was the thought provocation.  I can envision a very horrific (yet, entertaining) path forward for Rick’s newly established civilization.  Tone down the dramatics, Kirkman, and get to the juicy stuff! – Taylor
Second Opinion (B-): Here’s where I’m happy: I’ve been waiting for somebody to punch Rick in his stupid face all series long. Here’s where I’m disappointed: It wasn’t Carl. Not really excited to see Eugene enter creeper mode, but can’t get that last panel off my mind. – Sherif
Head Lopper #1 – F
Writer: Andrew Maclean
Artist: Andrew Maclean
 
Generic, simple and poorly drawn.  Please, lop my head off. – Taylor

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Journey to Star Wars Episode VII – Shattered Empire #1- A
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Marco Checchetto

I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole run of Marvel’s Star Wars comics, but this series so far has impressed me the most. It has just about everything a Star Wars fan could want. Well, that is if you liked the original trilogy better than the prequels, and who doesn’t? But honestly this story will likely be the one that means the most historically as far as the major Star Wars lore goes and it just so happens to be the most enjoyable to me, personally. Greg Rucka definitely has his work cut out for him if he continues helming this series, but if this first issue is any indication, it will be rather easy for him to do well with it all. The art is absolutely spectacular. It makes sure we recognize the characters easily while also throwing in just about every character you would hope to see, even if just for a brief second. I would highly recommend this series to any Star Wars fan, and am sure if it continues to go on the road it is on that it will delight even the smallest Jedi as the force is very strong with this creative team. – Jacob

Second Opinion (B) – An interesting story for an interesting time in the Star Wars chronology.  Shout out to the unsung heroes of the triumphant rebellion! – Taylor

A-Force #4- A-
Writers: Marguerite Bennet & G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Jorge Molina

I absolutely love this series and hope the conclusion is as good as what has led up to it. This issue covers the fact one of the A-Force is a traitor and the team confronting them along with mourning the loss of Medusa. This team and this story is by far one of the better things to come from this Secret Wars event, and I am beyond happy to see it continue once Secret Wars is over. Bennet and Wilson do an awesome job with the writing in this issue and really show how much of a concrete team A-Force is while Jorge Molina brings it all together with his art, which is just made 100 times better with Craig Yeung and Walden Wong doing inks and Laura Martin finishing it all off with the color. This creative team is just about as great as A-Force themselves, and I cannot wait to see the conclusion to this story. – Jacob

Civil War #4 – B+
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
I have a hard time figuring out if I think this book is any good or not. As a story, I don’t care about what’s happening, but artistically, there are so many cool set pieces. I had a difficult time choosing the picture for this review. There are three or four cool spreads like this one. I went with the spread I featured in “Panels with the Most Awesomeness” (below) because of how Magneto is representing (and I honestly hope it’s him or Charles who dethrones Doom. Or the Phoenix). I haven’t heard of Yu, but I’m really digging his art. So much attention to fine details. So, yeah: who cares about this story? Captain America blah blah blah Tony Stark blah blah blah Skrulls blah blah blah, but the pictures are awesome. – Montgomery
Giant-Sized Little Marvel AvX #4 – B+
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Character overload! There are so many Little Marvel characters that I am beginning to lose track of what the hell is happening. And that is A-OK with me. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans join the fold to recruit the twins. There’s a giant panel spread (as in each issue) that was a lot of fun to guess all the characters within, and tons of puns. The most exciting thing to me was the addition of the Brotherhood of Mutants – and other characters… that’s not really a Brotherhood… whatever. There might actually be a real story! – Sherif
 
Second Opinion (A): My only complaint is that it’s called Giant Sized, and it’s shorter than the (already embarrassingly short) regular monthly book. – Montgomery
Planet Hulk #5- B-
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Marc Laming

Another Secret Wars series is coming to an end, and thankfully this one ends well and not sudden or sad like many of the others that have ended this week. We finally see Steve Rogers reach the Red King to find out the fate of Bucky and Steve is not very pleased. Once things go down we learn of Doc Green’s non-hulk identity — and man is it a shocker!  Although the story could have used a little bit more closure, it still was a great story overall and a very enjoyable journey with Captain America despite it being a Hulk title. Sam Humphries does a great job with the writing and makes it seem as if Captain America, Devil Dinosaur, and a world of Hulks is something that has existed for many years, and if not we should all climb into the Tardis or a Delorean and make sure it has. With most books, the art is the key for me and finding it enjoyable, and Marc Laming does a spectacular job. Jordan Boyd does the colors, and man are there a lot of colors, especially shades of green that made me fall in love with this story. – Jacob

Darth Vader #9 – C
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Darth Vader has a firm Force-grip on my heart.  The pain is bearable because this story is so interesting.  The new element of Imperial Inspector Thanoth is really adding to the story, and he’s only been around for one full issue!  While he’s currently at odds with Vader’s secret motives, I hope he ends up joining the Dark Lord’s team.  It’d be a shame to see what is probably the only wise, black man in the Imperial Navy sliced in half with Vader’s crimson blade.  I’m a bit confused about the whole interaction with “The Twins” and why there are killing everyone (which is what knocked the grade down this week).  In any case, Vader is still a winning series! – Taylor
Second Opinion (B-) – I may have gotten a bit lost in the month hiatus, but this issue seemed a bit confusing. It was still incredibly enjoyable nonetheless. Kieron Gillen is absolutely killing it with this series! – Jacob

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #4- C-
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Salva Espin

Well what an unexpected and dismal ending to a spectacular series this issue was. I was absolutely loving this monster team up, but this last issue kind of destroyed the awesomeness that the Howling Commandos were while also kind of destroying everything, literally. I know the Howling Commmandos will have their own series coming after Secret Wars, but the ending of this one was pretty abysmal story wise, and even Deadpool’s ghost couldn’t help that. It seemed as if this was going to be five issues, but then they shortened it leaving us with a quick, confusing, and pretty depressing ending with no closure and left me rather depressed. Up until the last few panels though, I thoroughly enjoyed the action and story. But seeing every go through what they did for basically nothing was pretty upsetting. Gerry Dugan did a great job writing, again up until the last few pages, but the main reason to pick up this book is Salva Espin’s art, as it depicts each character wonderfully and integrates a mass amount of monsters together who seemingly fit as if they should have been a team for ages. – Jacob


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 09-02-15

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:

miracleman 1 cover panel 09.02.15

Miracleman Book Four: The Golden Age #1 – A+
Creative Team: Neil Gaiman (Writer), Mark Buckingham (Artist)
I debated on A vs. A+ for several minutes before leaning into that extra little plus. The Miracleman relaunch being done by Marvel after having bought the whole thing is hit and miss. Most people (myself included) don’t care about the stuff not written by Alan Moore and Gaiman, and Marvel just did a chronological rerelease. They’re also dragging their feet. But at the same time, the fact that they’re doing it at all means that, to quote from the book, god is in his heaven, and all is right with the world. Gaiman’s arc picks up after the world destroying battle that concluded Moore’s run (the only run I’ve read in its entirety). Miracleman is now god, essentially, living in an impossibly tall miles high tower, and he meets with pilgrims and grants (or not) requests. The journey to the top kills many and drives others insane. Only two of our original 4 make it, one gets her wish, one does not. The one that doesn’t (and here’s the “+”) is heartbreaking. And no justification is offered up. It’s a heart aching reflection of what living on this stupid planet is like. Get out there and read it twice. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama Comics #76 – A-
Creative Team: 
Eric Rogers (Writer) Tone Rodriguez (Artist)
I can’t believe I am about to say this but this issue actually makes Zapp Brannigan look good for once! No I don’t have a brain slug on my head, it is the honest to goodness truth, but in good old Zapp style it doesn’t last too long, and its all because of America’s favorite & worst president Richard Nixon! In the story Zapp is a perfect soldier until Nixon clones him and things go horribly wrong. With Zapp slowly descending into the flabby mad man we know, Nixon must find another way to win the many wars he has waged in hope of a perfect Zapp army and Nixon even brings in The Marveleers to help (A very rag tag team of heroes resembling the Avengers). But not even they could withstand the idiocy that is Zapp! Eric Rogers does the writing for this issue and it is a very enjoyable Futurama issue and as always would make a great episode. We get to have Tone Rodriguez, my favorite Bongo comics artist doing the pencils while Phyllis Novin does the ink and Robert Stanly fills in the colors rounding it out to be my favorite issue of the week! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

DC Bombshells #2 – A
Creative Teams: (Wonder Woman/Mera) Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Laura Braga (Artist); (Supergirl/Stargirl) Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Stephen Mooney (Artist), Wendy Broome (Colorist); (Joker’s Daughter, Zatanna) Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Tim Naifeh (Artist)

Wonder Woman and Mera’s story was about breaking Steve Trevor out of his prison and taking him to back to his homeland so they can help stop WWII. Wonder Woman gets jumped in order to get her gauntlets. This story was pretty unclear as to what was going on, but it was pretty, so I’ll give it that.

Joker’s Daughter and Zatanna was a really messed up story. It seems pretty obvious that Duela Dent would be a Nazi, because, well duh. It seems she is holding Zatanna captive as her own personal mutant of sorts. Oh, and Constantine is Zatanna’s rabbit in the statue this is based off of? Weird.

Finally, we have the Supergirl/Stargirl story. And the entire reason I am giving the book an A of any sort. This story made me cry it was so beautiful. We get more of a back story into why Kara and Kortni are sisters. The use of Russian story telling is craftily done, and the art was to die for. I absolutely loved how the backstory was told using Russian-style mural art (honestly, I don’t know what else to call it, but either way, it was amazing). I would go for a Supergirl/Stargirl Red Son type book from here on out as it’s own series, headed by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by Stephen Mooney. You hear that, DC? – Adrian

Second Opinion (A): This mini-series is far from a cash grab. There’s so much substance and research that went into this book, surprising not only because of it’s content (pin-up style superheroines), but because it’s a weekly digital-first series. This book is the BOMB…shell. – Sherif

Batman Beyond #4 – B-
Creative Team: Dan Jurgens (Writer), Bernard Chang (Artist)
We don’t have a solution to the Eye yet, but Tim is back in town and everyone in Gotham knows. This issue didn’t wow me; the fight between Tim and team vs. Evil was long and drawn out. I feel like there still isn’t enough character development for me to feel anything for any of these characters despite their names. However, the best part of the issue was the tie-in to the current Batman story line when Commisionner Barbara Gordon shows Tim the “Batman 2.0 suit,” the one her dad is using right now to fight crime. That’s right. The robot suit. – Adrian

Green Lantern #43 – C+
Creative Team: Robert Venditti (Writer), Billy Tan & Martin Coccolo (Penciler), Tony Aviña (Colorist)
DC is trying really hard to make us like Green Lantern right now. Of all the GL-centric books, this is the best – but it’s nowhere near where it could be with the right guidance. The problem is that the book skips ahead in time (unless I missed the entire Corps disappearing?), leaving us with only one familiar character who is having somewhat of an identity crisis. The humor in this issue has helped stave off some of the bore, but overall, I feel GL could benefit from some more constructs – that gauntlet is wicked awesome – and a more direct path laid out for what is going on – Sherif

Detective Comics #43 – C-
Creative Team: Brian Buccellato (Writer), Fernando Blanco (Artist)
You can almost consider this a prelogue to “Okay, Now James Gordon will be Batman for Reals.” The mystery turned out to be a huge flop, not nearly half as exciting as it led on to believe. Also, the big showdown with Joker’s daughter is sooo dumb. Even Batman isn’t interested in what’s going on. The good news is that, with the formalities out of the way, we can finally get a decent story out of this unit. As disappointed as I was that this turned out to be little more than a formal introduction, it does feel pretty nostalgic to have Gordon, Bullock, and Montoya back together. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #44 – A
Creative Team: James Roberts (Writer), Hayato Sakamoto (Artist)
Finally MTMTE is getting back into some story instead of the stupid diversions this book has a tendency to veer into. In this book, they meet the mythical Necrobot, the Transformer version of Death. He keeps a massive planetwide memorial to every bot killed in any of the wars. I hope he comes back. For what seems like it might be a shallow concept, they managed to write some depth into him. – Montgomery

Danger Girl: Renegade #1 – B
Creative Team: Andy Hartnell (Writer), Stephen Molnar (Artist)
This was my first introduction to Danger Girl and I really liked it. The art was a good homage to J. Scott Campbell’s style (he is the co-creator of the book). The story was a good background for anyone new or old to the series. We start with Abbey Chase as a little girl, and we get to see two of her child hood “adventures.” Time jump to the present, and she is an adult with an Indiana Jones flair. I loved all the scenery changes from Egypt to Norway to Ecuador. This issue got me interested in all the originals, which is what it was supposed to do. – Adrian

Image Comics:

We Stand On Guard #3 – A-
Creative Team: Brian K Vaughan (Writer), Steve Skroce (Artist)
I love this book. I love anything Brian K. Vaughan does, really. Even when not much is happening, I always feel like the book is set at an appropriate pace. I feel immersed in what the characters are going through, and am genuinely invested in their story – even if they are Canadian. The only unfortunate part of that is that most of this issue involves torture. Artificially-induced physical torture, as well as some really disgusting mental torture. War sucks, so I’m glad the creators of this book are making other characters go through it so I don’t have to. – Sherif

Plutona #1 – B-
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire & Emi Lenox (Writer), Emi Lenox (Penciler), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)
I’ve been itching for a new original Jeff Lemire book for months now! Trillium was good, but it was so far out there that I was left wishing for a more relatable book. This still isn’t it… but it’s not space time and time travel. A group of believable kids (they’re all assholes) find the crumpled up body of a fallen superhero. The first issue is very vague, giving us more introduction to the characters’ personalities than to the world they live in. That is the Lemire way. Also, I absolutely love that Jordie Bellaire (Moon Knight) got picked up on another awesome title! – Sherif

Second Opinion (B+) Freaks and Geeks meets Justice League. Wowee wow on the art. Great writing. Kids who say “fuck” a lot. I like it. – Adrian

8House #3 – D
Creative Team: Brandon Graham (Writer), Xurxo G. Penalta (Artist
)
OK, I’m done reading this series. I’m still extremely lost and have no fracking clue how this issue is supposed to fit with the current story happening. This issue is cool for what it is alone. Even if it does relate to the last issue it’s hard to imagine as it seems to suddenly switch genre.  This level of discombobulation is neither fun nor enjoyable. Which is sad, because if this were a first issue I think it would have been a fantastic introduction issue. Oh well. I tired. Onto other comics. –Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Groot #4 – A-
Creative Team: 
Jeff Loveness (Writer), Brian Kessinger (Artist)
We finally get to see Rocket again!!! This is definitely one of the most story packed issues of Groot so far and has great dialogue from Rocket, Groots team, and Rocket’s captor, Eris. The issue focuses on Groots final moments before he reaches Eris’s ship to save his friend and the battle that comes from the rescue. I have to say this is one of the best and most enjoyable Marvel titles on shelves now for me. The writing so far has been superb coming from Jeff Loveness and having Brian Kessingers art takes this comic on a scale of 1-10 all the way to 11. This issue did feel a bit fast especially with Groot finding and assembling his team to help save Rocket which makes things paced a bit weird, but other than that it is definitely my favorite Marvel series in print right now and can not wait to see what happens in the next issue and if we ever will really see Rocket and Groot as the dynamic team we know them as again. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A): This is the cutest flarkin book out right now! It moves at a slow yet natural pace, and is so uplifting! Even if your superpower is giving people the hiccups, you are special. Awww! – Sherif

Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 – B+
Creative Team: Tim Seeley (Writer), Elmo Bondoc (Artist)
We all saw this coming right? Two of Marvel’s biggest characters at the moment, whom also happen to share a certain love interest in Lady Death. Which just so happen to be what causes the versus part of this title. Tim Seeley has writing duties for this issue and does a good job of introducing us to the plot and getting the story rolling, while also adding a bit of a twist on why exactly Deadpool can’t die. The story is all about Thanos basically beating the crap out of Deadpool for his affair with Lady Death all the while thinking Deadpool is responsible for her disappearance. Is Deadpool actually responsible, well you have to read the comic silly… The art is fantastic coming from the hand of Elmo Bondoc for this issue giving us a pretty brutal look at what exactly Thanos can do to someone who has a healing factor and it’s not pretty. Expect quite a good story here for the 4 issues it will last but also expect thing to move fast for the same reason. – Jacob

Thors #3 – B+
Creative Team: Jason Aaron (Writer), Chris Sprouse & Goran Sudzuka (Penciler); Karl Story & Dexter Vines (Inkers)
Thors is really turning itself around. Again, I gotta say this is what Secret Wars should be doing: interesting character studies by putting the characters in bizarre situations. Thorlief (who is, I think, the Battleworld version of the 616Thor? Maybe?) interrogates Loki, and Loki gets under his skin the way Loki does, and it makes him think. Thorlief begins to uncover a bizarre conspiracy involving the murder of all Donald Blakes and Jane Fosters (616’s human counterpart and wife). It got pretty interesting. As a sidenote: I want a story about Destroyer Thor. I want to see him go home to his Destroyer Wife and have Destroyer Dinner, and complain about how he was passed over for a Destroyer Promotion because of Destroyer Racism. Pls, Mrvl, pls? – Montgomery

Spider-Island #3 – B+
Creative Team: Christos Cage (Writer), Paco Diaz (Artist)
Spider-Island delivers: it’s fast, weird, fun. In this issue, Tony “The Goblin” Stark goes crazy and he decides the best thing for him to do is sacrifice himself. I think the book’s pacing and the fact that it kind of ignores itself being all epic makes it worth it. One of the easiest and most fun Secret Wars books you can get into. – Montgomery

Age of Apocalypse #3 – B-
Creative Team: Fabian Nicieza (Writer), Gerardo Sandoval (Artist)
The art doesn’t stop, which is good because the story takes a baffling turn (and what the fuck good is Douglas yet? None? That’s what I thought). Essex and Dark Beast finally extract from this realm’s Danvers what the secret weapon the humans have is, and it turns out it’s a canister full of mutant Round-Up: a virus that means instant death. I never realized how many mutant stories revolved around mutant extinction until this Secret Wars event, but if Mutancy is a parable for homosexuality (and probably transsexuality), then I guess it makes sense. Anyways, Capital-A Apocalypse drops the biggest bomb (SPOILERS, SO LOOK YE AWAY TO KEEP YON CHRISTIAN EYEBALLS PURE): he wants the virus intentionally unleashed to cull the mutant herd. That’s like Hitler turning on the Germans after he wins WWII. I mean, I guess it makes sense, but it just feels like this story is in a holding pattern. – Montgomery

Silk #7 – B-
Creative Team: Robbie Thompson (Writer), Tana Ford (Artist)
Ummmm? Wow. That was different. I was so invested in this series. Fuck you, “Last Days of (fill in the blank).” Getting me all invested in cool, new female character for NOTHING!? Aslo, Stacey Lee not doing this last issue was disappointed. Nothing against Ford, but Lee was one of the reasons I even started with the series. Ugh. Now I have to go live in the real world after that ending. – Adrian

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #3 – B-
Creative Team: Sam Humphries (Writer), Alti Firmansyah (Artist)
The best issue of the series! Peter and Kitty got out of their dilemma, sort of fell in love (again), and there were some incredibly funny moments. I’m still not totally sold on Battleworld and the fact that Kitty remembers nothing. Also? God Doom made lots of Kitty Prydes? I don’t know about that. But I do enjoy this book just for the laughs. – Adrian

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #3 – C
Creative Team: James Robinson (Writer), Steve Pugh (Artist)
I think this is the first Secret Wars book to actually come to an end. And if you’re anything like me, you’re thinking, “Thank the sweet baby Jesus with his chubby little fist clutching his Baby Einstein books.” It’s not that this book was bad, it just brings up some issues in comics in general that have always kind of bugged me. 1. I thought Ultron is supposed to be deadly intelligent, and yet his plan to combine the Ultron drones with the zombies makes no sense. Like, at all. It’s there ONLY to give the heroes a way to defeat him and nothing else. There might be a throwaway line about the combination making them smarter, but that makes less sense than having no explanation. 2. I get that Hank Pym is smart, but genius isn’t the magic gateway comics treats it as. A man from 1877, no matter how smart, will need months or years to understand robotics on the level of Ultron simply because of how alien it is to his sensibilities. Smart does not equal automatic knowledge. 3. They way they defeat Ultron is a real headsmacker, and I’m disappointed in Vision for not getting their before Hank Pym. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (B)The end of the ultimate Robot vs Zombie superhero battle comes to an end with many sacrifices at hand. Great series overall – Jacob

House of M #2 – C
Creative Team: Jim Zub (Writer), Ramon Bachs (Artist)
If this book has taught me anything, it’s to never have children. They only betray you and hook up with seamen and ruin the empire you’ve worked so hard to prepare. This is all very interesting since the original House of M was very Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver-centric. However, the relaunch seems very open-ended, with nobody really being the center of the show. Magneto and his pet Fing Fang Foom need their own mini-series, though. As spoiled as House Magnus is, they’re not going to be prepared for what comes next. I’m totally confused about where this fits in the grand scheme of things, but I’ll keep reading. – Sherif

Figment 2 #1 – C
Creative Team: Jim Zub (Writer), Ramon Bachs (Artist)
This story is clearly aimed at a younger audience than I. It was…good? It’s too bad Hush doesn’t have kid reviews. I think they’d be able to give this a fair review. First, if I only had the cover to decide to read this I never would have. Abysmal cover. However, the story is not so bad if your 10 and looking for something steampunck and inspiring to read. Who doesn’t like dragons, gears, and bearded men from Victorian England? – Jené

Second Opinion (B): This book was cute. It was a little exposition heavy, but the real reason I read Disney books is because of the art. The colors and lines are always crisp. I hope that next issue gets more into the idea of imagination vs. modern technology. It’s a neat motif. – Adrian


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.