Comic Book Reviews 08-05-15

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:

Ms. Marvel #17 copy 3

Ms. Marvel #17 – A
It’s the Ms. Marvel team-up you’ve been waiting for! Captain Marvel herself, Carol Danvers, pays Kamala a visit in New Jersey to warn her of the impending doom. Beyond the standard cute dialogue that writer G Willow Wilson injects into each issue, there’s also a lot of substance in this book. Under the guidance of Captain Marvel, which feels so much more like a mentorship than the “babysitter” role other hero cameos have been, Kamala learns of the tough decisions that heroes are faced with. And it involves kittens. This book is precious. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Batman Beyond #3 – C+
This month, I just did not connect at all. The part with Tim trying to get out of Brother Eye’s watch seemed long, and Terry McGinnis’s kid brother is a total dick. But now that Tim brought Brother Eye to Gotham, it looks like things will be getting more interesting. One thing I did like was Tim finally admitting he is Batman now, not Tim and not Drake. Just Batman. – Adrian

Detective Comics #43 – D-
Books like this are why I have trust issues with DC. Leave it to them to compromise decades worth of character development just to sell issues for one stupid book. I was under the impression that Detective Comics was getting a chance to start anew with Jim Gordon being the Batman now. La Morte was a legit set of new bad guys, the Internal Affairs investigation with Yip was solid, but they pissed it all away to introduce Joker’s Daughter as a formidable bad guy – complete with unnecessarily-large robot – and revealed Harvey’s plan to murder Yip… Stupid. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers #44 – A
Thank baby Jesus there was no Earth. This was a good issue: intrigue, Arcee being a badass, Starscream being Just The Worst, secret Decepticon uprising. Biz be legit. Finally. Ugh. Combiner Wars was worse than a thousand Hitlers. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Dark Corridor #1 – A
It’s fairly rare that an issue grabs my attention so firmly from the very first panel.  There’s nothing too special about an unfamiliar dog barking at the back door of a stranger’s house, but there was something about it that really drew me in.  Maybe it was because the dog was covered in blood…  With Archie Comic style artwork and a total Sin City, noir type story line, Dark Corridor is a winner.  The other highlighting aspect of this comic is that it will ultimately be a collection of short stories that overlap in crazy ways that will certainly blow our happy little nerd brains (think Pulp Fiction or Sin City).  The funny thing is nothing was particularly unique, or cutting edge or entirely thought provoking, but the finished piece was so perfectly paced and put together that I couldn’t help but love the issue.  It’s also pretty funny seeing what an Archie style drive-by looks like.  I don’t know about you, but the sound effect “BLAM” is just wonderfully silly to me.  If you like noir, mobsters, dogs, and “BLAM” then Dark Corridor is absolutely for you! – Taylor

Second Opinion (C+): Color me unimpressed. The entire issue was built around some sort of murder-mystery that juuuuust barely scratched the surface of the female motorbike assassins. The art reminded me of poorly-drawn [adultswim] commercials. It has high potential, but this was too much of a slow-burn for me. – Sherif

Kaptara #4 – A
I absolutely love this series and its vast amount of imagination. If this is what Chip Zdarsky’s mind is like on the inside, when can I book a trip there through Airbnb? This issue is a great flashback for Manton which features a younger version of him, but it covers a pretty horrible event he caused and gives you quite a bad taste in you mouth afterwards. This event leads all of our heroes into trouble, despite the presence of so many cat tanks…  So here is hoping we can figure out how everyone can recover from Manton’s mistakes as it seems he likely has a ton. Kagan McLeod absolutely kills it with his art yet again and bring the craziness of Chip’s imagination to life perfectly and makes for one of the most visually entertaining books on the shelves. – Jacob

Second Opinion (D)Not a fan of this issue. Compared to the others, it just wasn’t as funny or intriguing. Dartor is my least favorite character and so far this was its been my least favorite issue. – Jené

Nailbiter #15 B
I am just as surprised as you are that I am giving Nailbiter a B this week, I’ve never given it such a low score! However, the sad truth is that this story just keeps getting dragged out further and further with minimal payoff. I feel like we are no closer to knowing the secret of the Buckaroo Butchers at this point, and this issue was the end of the second story arc. I suppose I was just expecting more. On the plus side, we were at least given some interesting things to look forward to (holy shit, Carroll is awake (!), Alice is [SPOILER]’s daughter (!), Finch is under arrest (!), and what happened to Warren?!) but on the whole it feels like the story cannot properly build if not even a little light is shed on what we’ve been itching to find out since issue #1. – Keriann

Second Opinion (B+)I can’t believe we have to wait until October for the next issue. There were lots of questions left unanswered. The Butcher is working for someone? Who is the Butcher? Why are Carroll’s limbs missing again? I NEED ANSWERS, WILLIAMSON! – Adrian

Deadly Class #15 – B+
Make no mistake, this has never been a “fun” book. Deadly Class is manically-paced, yet visually awing. It’s dark and depressing, yet introspectively beautiful. However, since Maria’s departure from the series, Marcus’ life has been a snowball of shit, and we get to hear and witness his slip into drug addiction, dangerous paranoia and unlikeability. As uncomfortable as it can be, it opens up the discussion for, and accurately pinpoints, a lot of what it feels like to feel empty and alone. The angst that Marcus feels is an embodiment of an entire generation reeling from conformity. There’s still so much more to explore with the story, but Marcus’ fall into insanity is going to have to play its course before that goes any further. – Sherif

We Stand on Guard #2 – B+
Oh Canada, you got so screwed in this book… I can’t help but take the Nucks’ side in this debacle. Canada has been invaded and the resistance is slowly being put in a stranglehold – all coincidentally at the same time they let in a young Canadian girl, our main protagonist. For a story about Canada, it’s getting really spicy. Plus, this issue has naked butts a gay cyborg with a cyote-wolf hybrid. – Sherif

8House: Arclight #2 – C
Again, I find myself having a hard time talking about this particular series. I know that I like it. It’s different from anything that I’m reading both in terms of story and art. But, I almost feel the story is better suited for a graphic novel than a comic book run. I never feel like I get enough story in one sitting. Though, this might be because I haven’t read the mini-series before it that encompasses this unique universe. It might have been a smoother read had I started out with 8House: Kiem. I do like Arclight and think it’s an intriguing story. But in the future I’m going to wait for when I can read a couple issues at a time and get more absorbed into it. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Spider-Island #2 – A
Man, who would have thought a book with such a silly concept would be so much fun. But that’s Spidey for you. Venom and his variously serum-augmented team is closing in on taking down the Spider Queen, and then… DRAMATIC REVEAL! The Spider-Woman story is also pretty good. Enthralla (Gryffindor minus 10 points: stupid name) has Enthralla’d SW’s friends and now they hunt her. Gryffindor plus 10 points: no exploitative Spider-Woman shots. – Montgomery

Darth Vader #7 – B+
This was kind of a strange issue. There was a lot of bureaucracy, for lack of a better word. We have Aphra with all of the henchmen taking care of their dirty work and we have Vader dealing being under the Emperor’s thumb. Vader seems absolutely obsessed with tracking down the young pilot who destroyed the Death Star. This seemed like a slow issue but it was more like a kettle about to boil over. There is a lot of tension bubbling under the surface and it’s getting ready to burst and time now. – Scott

Second Opinion (B)Nothing beats a rousing space heist pulled off by four of the most deadly bounty hunters in the galaxy.  Damn it feels good to be a smuggler. – Taylor

Red Skull #2 – B+
Red Skull is a character that never interested me. He’s just (Captain America X Germany) – Face. But I’m digging this book, if because of Magneto’s participation (probably the best villain ever, yes, I’m including Joker in that equation) than any other. The two strike a bargain with Annihilus’ horde to take down the shield and then Doom after that. Magneto is another no duh when it comes to fighting Doom. In fact, I feel like I need to read the research paper on how Doom built this world, because for being god, he seems significantly underpowered compared to almost his entire universe. – Montgomery

Ultimate End #4 – B+
Multiple iterations of Marvel heroes we actually know (i.e. Ultimate and vanilla versions of the Avengers) are duking it out in Battle World’s Manhattan. Does Doom care? This is how I want my super worlds to end. – Montgomery

Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #3 – B
The cuteness factor is getting to be a bit too much for me. The series is getting quite formulaic; even the introductory theme song is completely half-assed. The only winning factor with this book is seeing every niche-y character and Marvel reference played out in Scottie Young’s flawless Young style. Each full-page spread is worthy of a poster in your room, and the puns run wild and free. If you’re looking for substance, you won’t find it here. But it sure is cute! – Sherif

Groot #3 – B-
Although this Groot series is one of my favorites from Marvel at the moment, mostly because of Brian Kesinger’s art, this issue seemed pretty flat and uneventful. This being the second Groot and Silver Surfer story this month was kind of weird, but with this issue actually having dialogue separated the stories a bit. Overall the issue felt like it ended exactly as is started and it was more for the writer and artist to get a chance at Silver Surfer more than anything. The story is still enjoyable and is a great stand alone story, but not much has changed since the ending of issue #2 as far as Groot finding Rocket. But with me enjoying Kesinger’s art so much, I found it hard to give this a C and not keep it in B range. – Jacob

Civil War #2 – B-
As much as I’m enjoying this retcon of the classic Civil War story, it’s starting to feel much more like an Oceans 11 adaptation. Everything is built around some scheme to get some kind of leverage over the other side. It’s actually very interesting, but wears on the pace of the book. Peter Parker being Cap’s new lacky – and Bucky being Stark’s – has made for some interesting changes in Spidey, who is no longer making jokes. Even if the story is being convoluted, the characters and environment are very convincing; even Colossus is showing signs of rust. If you’re into retcons, this is one of the better ones to come out of Secret Wars. – Sherif

Age of Apocalypse #2 – C+
So, Magneto’s X-Men finally catch Doug Ramsey, the most important/least impressive mutant ever. Unless your mutant power were something like 10% thicker finger nails, it’s hard to imagine something more underwhelming than “good at language” when compared to people who blast lasers from their face. And then apocalypse. This is one of the (many) Battle World books that loses its edge and importance when viewed in its context of just a single shitty place in a world of shitty places. Plus, in Apocalypse vs. Doom, Apocalypse wins err’day, all day. The art, however, continues to knock it out of the park. Gerardo Sandoval’s Apocalypse is seriously cool, and would have been the feature image if it weren’t also the climax of the book. So far, the story of this AoE is underwhelming, but please definitely read it for the art. This is one guy I hope becomes a Marvel mainstay after Battle World settles down into Disgruntled Planet. – Montgomery

Siege #2 – C+
Man, I wish there was a second opinion on this book. This thing seems so incoherent to me. Uh, some people? The Shield? Now there are Ultron traitors? Uh, oh, stuff happens? I seriously cannot sum this book up. But, the two page spreads had some fantastic art. Srs bns. – Montgomery


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 07-29-15

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:

sex criminals 11 POTW panel 2 07.29.15

Sex Criminals #11 – A
Reunited and it feels so good! So much has happened since the last issue of this phenomenal series came out in January: Chip is now writing two of his own books, and Matt has started an epic journey on Ody-C. The story gets zanier, with even less inhibition than before (if that’s possible). Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are an amazing tag team, and even after half a year, the chemistry is there. This series belongs on Skinemax. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A): Finally our favorite Sex (Heroes) Criminals are back and just as raunchy and well written as we remember. Oh and Manime is crazy weird! – Jacob

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Lobster Johnson – A Chain Forged in Life #1 – C+
Lobster Johnson, other than having the best superhero name ever, is pretty awesome. The problem is, he’s not really in this book. The story is told from the point of view of a kidnapped charity volunteer Santa Clause. A nice storefront Santa is a witness to a murder robbery and is in turn kidnapped by the guilty party. Naturally, Lobster Johnson is at every turn in the criminal’s attempt to escape. Lobster is a terrifying figure in the night. He’s kind of like Batman; he just kind of appears in the darkness. I just wish this issue had a little more of him in it. – Scott

DC/Vertigo Comics:

 

Superman #42 – B+
After a while of increasingly “Super” problems, DC figures the best way to make Supes relevant again was to depower him – and we’re all better off for it. It makes everything a challenge again, and it means that Superman has to rely on his wit and friends to save the day. This is the best Superman title since he died – and that was a big deal. Jimmy Olsen is a grreat counterpart thanks to his Xander (Buffy)-esque awkward humor. Hopefully people give this book a chance, or has the world forgotten about Superman? – Sherif

Deathstroke Annual #1 – B
After an eventful launch into a new storyline surrounding Wonder Woman and god-killing, this annual leaps into the battle between those to and Lapetus. Tony Daniels’ books always have solid art, but this issue really outdoes itself on the creative panel design. There’s also humanizing events that make Slade and Diana a much more palpable team (not to mention that Slade is hot for the way WW swings her sword). This book is one of the bigger surprises coming out of this convoluted DCYou brand. – Sherif

Batgirl Annual #3 – C+
I’m still not sure how to feel about this book. It entertains me in some ways, but leaves me thoroughly unimpressed in others.This particular issue is split into a few different sections, with various artists taking the lead – which can get confusing at times. Most of the issue surrounds a relatively pointless story about a near run-in with Dick Grayson, but thankfully ends with a rather long and adorable section helmed by Disney animator Minjue Helen Chen in the style of Gotham Academy. It’s a mixed bag, but overall a fun read. – Sherif

Gotham By Midnight Annual #1 – D
Unfortunately, there was nothing interesting about this story. I felt I was reading a book adaptation of Scooby Doo with all of its ridiculousness and childlike storytelling. To be honest, it felt like a half-assed story with a few elements of drama and action thrown in. I don’t like to be a negative person, but there was little I enjoyed about this comic. With Jim Chaddock being the “ghost” who is not a ghost, possibly a specter looking to take back what is rightfully his, nothing will stop him. Except he is stopped a lot by Drake and her fellow detective. Overall, very disappointed with what I just read. – Evan

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #48 – A
Things are getting crazy and time is winding down until the epic 50th final issue. With the Turtles under attack, we see Old Hob and Herman the Hermit Crab help Hun… Wait WHAT?! Things are getting crazy and weird for everyone here in the TMNT universe. With Casey and April off on their own crazy road trip, the turtles are left without their closest companions. Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz have taken TMNT and turned this series into a hybrid of past and present while making it its own and taking risks (although sometimes more for shock value than others.) Together they’ve made this one of the best TMNT volumes we have ever had. Cory Smith is absolutely knocking it out of the park on the art here as well. Each panel is gorgeous and he manages to make Baxter Stockman quite a bit more terrifying than Shredder, which is a hard task. My only complaint? When are we getting a mini series about Hermin the Hermit Crab? – Jacob

Second Opinion (B): Another action-packed issue full of surprises and subtle hints to the future. It’s weird to think that we’ve had nearly 50 issues of a book based off an oddity created 30 years ago with relatively no loss of quality. That’s something I can only say about Snyder/Capullo’s Batman right now. – Sherif

Donald Duck #3 – B
I am loving these Disney comics, but as an adult I definitely feel my attention span is much too long for some of these stories.  After a while, you see a pattern in a lot of them. They’re basically the same comic with a different character name on the front. In this issue, we don’t even see Donald until page six as the first part is all about Scrooge. However, as soon as the adventure starts with Donald it picks up and we get quite a fulfilling and engaging story. Unfortunately, it ends very abruptly not long after. Overall the main story is one of the most enjoyable stories from IDW’s Disney books so far and the short second story is a two pager from 1949 all about missing the trash man that still seems pretty relevant today. In general, this comic is worthwhile for any avid Disney fan as it gives you a chance to read some past comics and is a great way to introduce kids to comic books. – Jacob

X-Files Annual 2015C
I have to say with all the X-Files news happening right now for the new show, I may have gone into this issue a little too excited and came out finding it a little dull and lacking in a lot of what made past X-Files comics great. The story does entertain in its own way, but the unsatisfying ending made me wondering why I had read it in the first place. More than anything, the story was unnecessarily depressing even for an X-Files comic. This was especially true in Mulder’s office when Scully was belittling him about what happened. I don’t want to be totally unfair. Up until the ending, the story is very engaging and you care about what’s going on just as much as Mulder.  It’s the outcome of finding everything out that makes for a rather lousy story. However, fear not, we have Season 11 comics starting next month to give us longer stories to enjoy until the new TV series! – Jacob

Transformers More Than Meets the Eye #43 – C-
Just when I was praising MTME for not depending on an earth addiction- I spoke too soon. I can’t figure out what’s happening: this book was the best Transformers comic by a Roman mile, but lately it’s gotten so stupid silly and anime-nerd navel gazing. I mean, the cover gives me indigestion. Swerve (the bartender guy, because I know no one knows who that is by name alone) is… something… so holographic Earth… and all the ‘formers have to be pretend humans. Dumb. The whole thing was dumb. – Montgomery

Shrinking Man #1 – D
I feel like I am supposed to like this book – or at least be more patient with it because it is based on the famed 1956 novel The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson but the fact is that I was bored nearly before it began. The simple truth is that a man shrinking 1/7 of an inch every day and fighting with his wife about it is just not that compelling. The story break aways to the 5/7 inch version of Scott trying to get to some crackers while fighting off a black widow even left me yawning. The story is slow moving and at this point lacks any real ability to hook readers. As I mentioned earlier, the only thing in this comic’s corner is what it is based on and my sheer faith that it will pay off because of that. Overall, this was a disappointing and flat read. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to readers, because it has so little to offer. With any luck my determination to stick with it will pay off sooner rather than later, but right now I am not looking forward to the next issue. – Keriann

Image Comics:

Rasputin #7 – B
Rasputin is beautifully haunting. Ivan Plascencia is a genius colorist. Every issue is treated with such care and I am always very sad when I get to the end of one. I like that we see Rasputin in the modern day and how the writers are weaving the history, occult, and conspiracy theory into one story. I really am surprised no one else has thought to take Rasputin and do something with him sooner. And I like how he is painted more as the hero and not the villain. – Jene

God Hates Astronauts #10 – B
Glorb hordes Aquafina!!  The Cosmic Apocalypse arch is at its end.  Hilarious as it was, I’m glad this series will moving onto a new theme.  The dramatic conclusion of the Earth vs. Crabulon war did not disappoint.  The long awaited King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger vs NASA’s Hippothesis showdown finally popped off and did not disappoint.  The collective Star Grass gathering was also in full effect.  I cannot get enough of these guys.  I can’t wait to see what Ryan Browne hits us with next.  Knowing his style, it will probably be a killer whale filled with bloody confetti and a three eyed animal-human hybrid.  Bring it on Mr. Brown. – Taylor

Invisible Republic #5 – B
Invisible Republic is a continual: what-the-f*ck-is-going-to-happen-get-to-it-all-ready. I can’t I wait… rush of adrenaline and then the book ends. It’s fucking annoying and yet utterly brilliant. The plot thickens. Maia is the ghost of the past, her presence hunting the present begging to be head. It’s hard to remember there are two stories and Maia’s in many ways is over or seems to be. I’m wondering how her story is going to affect the present day time line. I want to know if my theory is going to prove right (Though, it seems like some of them are right. Maia is defiantly still alive!).  – Jene

Marvel/Icon Comics:

X-Men ’92 #2 (4-5 digitally) – A
I’m reviewing these as a single issue because GOOD LUCK GETTING YOUR HEAD AROUND WHAT MARVEL’S DOING WITH IT. I like this book. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it 3 more times before Secret Wars is finished running its course: the X-books have without a doubt been the best so far. I dig that this book is mostly a commentary on both the excess of 90’s Liefeld and Lee (I mean, you see those Cable guns?) and the flood of parent fear-mongering of the 90’s as characterized by Cassandra Nova’s obsession about what’s too violent or too sexual. It’s such a well aimed nostalgia trip. 20 years after that original cartoon, and I still hear the original voice actors when I read anything X. – Montgomery

Star Wars #7 – A
The Star Wars series continues to impress. This issue takes a step away from the regular story to give Luke a little bit of inspiration. Luke has found a journal left for him by Obi-Wan, a journal that tells of Obi-Wan’s life on Tatooine before he lead Luke on his current path. We see that Obi-Wan can’t stop being a Jedi so easily. Like a true Jedi, Obi-Wan will always help those in need, which could get him in trouble with Jaba’s thugs. But he’s pledged to look after a young boy. Jason Aaron opened up a interesting avenue. Normally I don’t care for big diversions from storylines I’m invested in, but this one worked; it added another layer to Luke. – Scott

Deathlok #10 – A
WOAH! He tore his freaking face off! Dude! And Agent Hope is a cyborg too?! This issue was packed to the brim with new, exciting material. Just when I think I know where the writers are going, they twist things. It was cool to see Henry take control of his own life; for him to say “eff this!” and take his own action. I felt so terrible for his daughter. I hope she can one day understand what actually happened. I’m also super excited to see Agent Hope’s character develop with this new addition to her character. Great stuff! – Charlotte

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #3 – A-
This series has been rather enjoyable for any Deadpool fan and is a great refresher or new fan starting point for the original Secret Wars. However, this really changed some plot details of characters and events from the original Secret Wars series, such as playing off Spider-Man’s costume change for a good chunk of the story and then adding an aspect trying to get us to actually love Deadpool instead of the love to hate him attitude most of his fans have. Collen Bunn is doing great things with this series and if it keeps heading down the road this specific issue took, I think it could be one of the top stories out of this whole Secret Wars thing. To top it all off, Matteo Lolli’s art is fantastic and the vintage style in a new book makes for a wonderful read. – Jacob

S.H.I.E.L.D. #8 – A-
This was an awesome issue. It really served as a reminder of what S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been about (or at least what it’s supposed to be about): helping people who are lost in a new side of themselves. The character design was stunning in this issue and I look forward to seeing more of these kids in the future. Perhaps we’ve got a new line of X-Men characters in Marvel’s future? Could be a cool way to connect the two worlds. – Charlotte

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #3 – B+
I wasn’t so hot on the first issue of this series – and I’m still not super hot that it likes to flirt with melodrama so much, but I dig it when it’s funny. And this was probably the funniest issue so far. M.O.D.O.K. is in love because OMG ANGELA SUCH KILLS, and that makes him flustered in his own psychopath murderer way. I like this version of M.O.D.O.K.: it’s like if you combined Garrett from Community with Asperger’s, and gave the result infinity weapons. My favorite line: “But what hurts more is the thought that Thor will no longer find me <<ATTRACTIVE>>.” I almost wish this was a (failed) romance comic instead of regular comic stuff. Because his romantic feelings are the biggest draw. – Montgomery

Thors #2 – B+
Not a bad issue. Ultimate Thor meets de-hammered Odinson while in the pursuit of Jane Foster’s murder. They uncover a murdered Donald Blake. They think Loki did it (I don’t). – Montgomery

Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies #2 – B
This series has proven to be a pretty solid story among the hordes of Marvel Zombie arcs out there. It gives us a twist that definitely has me interested in how things will turn out by the end of this series. James Robinson does a swell job of mixing these two universes into one. We even see a glimpse of 1602 Punisher! It makes it even better that Steve Pugh’s art fits the story perfectly. I loved the retro style and the coloring done by Jim Charalampidis in the flashback stories. It added a cool aspect to the story. – Jacob

Second Opinion (C): This comic’s not winning any awards for “easiest title to say.” This seemed like the dumbest concept, but it’s pretty interesting. Bummed that Puritan Punisher got murdered in a page. All the talking head action on the wall is pretty insufferable. Just bring on the zom-bot action. – Montgomery


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 07-22-15

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:

power up 1 potw 07.22.15

Power Up #1 – A+
 (BOOM! Studios)
GAH! I need more of this comic! It reminds me a lot of Cartoon Hangover’s Bee and PuppyCat which is not surprising considering writer Kate Leth does Bravest Warriors, also by Cartoon Hangover. Leth is both a writer and artist and has worked with some of my other favorite artists, collaborating with Welcome to Night Vale and penning several Adventure Time comics. No wonder I’m head over heels for Power Up! The main character, Amie, is adorably flawed. She’s one of those girls who doesn’t beat on herself for her mistakes and fully embraces who she is. She’s able to make jokes about herself and is pretty damn cool. Her interactions with her friends and pets is super sweet and funny to read about. I love art like this. I’m so excited to see more of this type of humor in the next issues. It’s cute, funny and insanely relatable. Read this comic! – Charlotte

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

Archie vs. Sharknado #1 – A
Most people must wonder how this got an A, but if you are a fan of genre types and these two properties, this comic is pretty much perfect. A lot of this may be because the story is actually written by the director of all three Sharknado movies and even ties in a little with the 3rd film, which happened to air the same day this comic was released. As far as the story goes, it is about as cheesy and ridiculous as the Sharknado films, but if you have interest in this comic in the slightest, I imagine you enjoyed the films. This definitely offers up a different take of both properties while also staying very true to each, which for a crossover is the key component that so many seem to miss. Now, I will say this comic would not be well liked outside the Sharknado or Archie Horror fanbase, but this one-shot does do the cross over very well and even puts in a few Evil Dead jokes/references which I wholeheartedly respected. – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League 3001 #2 – A
It’s so hard to know what exactly it is about this comic I love. I love how weird it is. I love the identity dysmorphia experienced by the Leaguers. I love the weird nature of their enemies. I love the fact that they aren’t even actually the League. And now I love Supergirl. I love that now, in this universe of Earth 1, 986 years in the future, Superman is in her shadow and not the way other way around. I don’t like the fact that “Superman” is in Microsoft Word’s dictionary, but not “supergirl.” Maybe we have Nietzsche and his Übermensch to thank for that. I also really like that, for the first time, there are more women on the JL’s payroll than men. Such a damn good book. Get #2. Read it. Get a tattoo of Guy Gardner, or Superman’s new oppressive S design. – Montgomery

Prez #2 – A
HEY, YOU. Yeah, whoever you are. You’re going to love this book! Prez is the political satire that the world needs right now. The whole pseudo-political thing has been done in comic books, but not with such blatant disregard for f*ck-giving as this one. The main character, Betty “Corndog” Ross has just been elected president thanks to the snobbish douchebags that have been elected to represent each state swung their vote her way in an attempt to collect more bribes. Corndog Girl is the President this country deserves, and Prez is the book you all deserve. – Sherif

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #2 – A
This comic is always a chuckle to read while still sticking to a serious plot line. I always really enjoy Harley’s wit, and this issue had even more of it with the added bonus of Cherub in the Ex-Girlfriend Force. His objections over the name of their group made me laugh every time, and it’s always nice to see LGBT representation in comics. This story is doing a great job of having multiple directions without losing its drive. We know the overall goal is for Harley Quinn and Power Girl to get home again, but they’re taking a few detours with Vartox, and it doesn’t feel out of place or scattered. So far, the writers really know what they’re doing here. I can’t wait for more. – Charlotte

Deathstroke #8 – A-
Deathstroke has been a mixed bag thus far, but this issue is by far the best! Slade is in waaaay over his head – and he knows that, but Wonder Woman still kicks his ass across Themyscira to drive the point home. We’re gearing up for what will undoubtedly be Deathstroke’s toughest contract yet, a God. Tony Daniels’ art is on point, and the story is pretty great, too. There’s still enough thrill for pulp fans, and enough story for fans driven by content. Deathstroke is shaping up to be one of DC’s best books right now. – Sherif

Wonder Woman #42 – B+
DC’s all about inclusion! That’s why, in this issue, you can see Goddess Diana: clubbing and turning down creepy men! In all seriousness, though, it was kind of refreshing to see Wonder Woman be strong in situations that a lot of girls can relate to, not just by using superpowers. This issue specifically delivered; there’s build-up to who the hell is hunting her down (which I swore was a girl, but turns out to be a really feminine looking guy) and how the Donna Troy situation is going. This book is beginning to turn into the dynamic and interesting title it should have been. – Sherif

We Are…Robin! #2 – B-
I’d actually be better off if this book wasn’t connected to Batman at all. It’s a fun read about a down-on-his-luck teen who has somehow found himself working with a group of teenage vigilantes, led by some mysterious… guy. It’s sort of like Gotham Imposters, where the team all dresses up in various Robin suits. Jorge Corona’s art is incredibly appropriate for the vibe of the book, and the language feels natural. Unfortunately, they may be digging themselves a hole by name-dropping Batman; it detracts from a book that’s just fine on its own. – Sherif

Cyborg #1 – C+
First off, the fact that there’s even a Cyborg book is something worth celebrating. He’s one of my favorite Leaguers and it’s nice to see him get some spotlight. However, he spends a lot of the time in self-pity mode. We hardly figure out what the hell is going on (robot puberty, that’s what), and know even less about what happens from here. I know it has something to do with the giant Alien/Terminator things, but who knows what the hell that could be. I’ll keep reading because it’s interesting enough, but I want less internal moping and more awesome tech. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers #43 – B+
And this book had to drop its post-title, Robots in Disguise, because of the creatively stupid book mentioned below (see Animated review). Like its counterpart, More than Meets the Eye, it excels at reimagining classic G1 characters in creative new surroundings. I mean, Soundwave is the center of this story. It doesn’t get any more G1. Yet, he’s shown in new undiscovered capacities as the founder of a Decepticon commune (who knows what that means, yet) working with humans to build a utopian satellite out by Jupiter. Along comes Cosmos (another G1er) spying for Jetfire (G1), Skylynx (G1), and Arcee (G1, G1, and G1) because guess who doesn’t trust Soundwave? The robots that still carry the Autobot allegiance sticker. Cosmos is taken aback by Soundwave’s offer of friendship and respect and participation in building a new robot paradise. The event leaves him shaken questioning the assumed rightness of his cause. While I am so unbelievably burnt out on Earth (PLEASE IDW, no more Earth), I do have to admit that the way they incorporate our stupid marble is creative. And at least there’s no stupid tweens complaining about being part of the team. I mean, seriously, what kind of subpar parent even dignifies that with a response? – Montgomery

Uncle Scrooge #4 – B
In this month’s Uncle Scrooge, we get back to the three-story structure with quite a hefty chunk being dedicated to a two-part story continued next month, and then a medium sized story, and a one page short. Each story this issue is very enjoyable, but like always, the longer more stretched out story is the most enjoyable. The long story is the reason I will look forward to reading the next issue more than any other. I have to hand it to the writers of these comics though with Miquel Pujol doing the first story, Al Hubbard doing the second, and Alberto Savini writing the last short story. All create perfect representations of Scrooge and Duckburg in general. Also, the Torchwood shout out was great! But ultimately all of IDW’s Disney books have been wonderful and are definitely something to check out for any Disney fan. They also happen to be a great way to introduce kids to comic books. – Jacob

Infinite Loop #4 – B
This issue was an anxious, emotional, and intense read. Teddy is angry, full of grief, and unraveling at the seams. It’s a parallel to the space time continuum ripping apart around her. It’s an outward manifestation of her internal turmoil and her determination. The panels and story can be hard to follow as Teddy is moving though her many timelines. It is an erratic and confusing jumble of images. And that’s the way it’s meant to be. You have to piece all the fragments together to get a better understanding of whole story. This is definitely an issue you need to take the time to really absorb and read. There is always more information than you at first think. I’m looking forward to when I can get this serious in its entirety and read it in one sitting. It’s a good read, but it takes a lot of emotional energy to get through. – Jené

Edward Scissorhands #10 – B
In what I believe to be the last issue of this series, because there hasn’t been any news of a #11, we see the second story of this series come to a close with Edward and Megs finally ending the story with the evil Dr. Wells. How will the story end? Will it give us closure to Edward as a whole or leave us hoping to hear for #11 to be announced? Well that is why you must go buy this issue – it definitely set up a lot and wrapped up some, too. It also brought up good points about life in general, something that Edward Scissorhands has always been able to do by connecting readers who are outside the norm to a character who is an icon of being “different.” Scissorhands has made it okay to stand out and be yourself. Luckily, the writers nailed that theme in this issue. – Jacob

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #2 – C+
This series has potential, but setting it as a road trip makes it a bit shaky. While I enjoy this story and the development happening between Casey and April, this issue felt dragged out. If you tacked on the last three pages of this issue to the first one, you would have the same amount of story and development. The issue get the story going only at the end. I hope now that the travelling aspect is less this next issue and will pick back up again. For die-hard Turtle fans, the story has been good. The introduction to the Rat King in the last issue was a great reveal, and man, does he look creepy! I would definitely suggest this to any TMNT fan, but I may suggest to wait until the collected edition if you have an interest. – Jacob

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #1 – D
Being short and brutal, this book is not fun. It borrows from the G1 mythos (or I guess this is the comic book adaptation, which is a sequel to the cartoon by the people that did Teen Titans? Which, of course, borrows from the G1 mythos), but not in any way that’s fun. And the changes it makes feel pretty arbitrary. I mean, Bumblebee stepping in as Prime is interesting story ground, but the way the comic executes the story feels forced and bland and obvious. Plus? Who cares if that little kid is on the team. He’s a little kid: there’s no good reason for him to be involved in anything more than putting stickers on his nap-nap blanky. Oh, and Grimlock’s special move is a Dinopile. Dumb. The whole thing was dumb. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Birthright #9 – B+
Things have finally picked up! And Brennan, the older kid brother finally got some balls. I love that Brennan might be the savior of this story. The first eight issues did not let on to this, but after this issue, it is totally feasible. The evils of Terranos became more obvious. The mother wasn’t a total witch with a b. And Rya’s time on Earth finally is making sense. I really enjoyed this issue. The only reason for the “B+” is because I am starting to feel Birthright would feel better to read in its collections rather than in pieces. But it is still one of the first books I recommend to people, and this issue will be the game changer for the series. – Adrian

Wolf #1 – C
I feel like I’ve become an Image fangirl, myopically attaching myself to the works they’re publishing. And… I’m okay with it. With Wolf, color me intrigued and a little confused. I’m having a little bit of a hard time getting into it fully because of the way the comic is drawn. It distracts me a bit from the story. The first three pages are spectacular, but then the pages soon become muted and drab. It works for the tone of the comic, but isn’t my favorite. The artwork aside, I’m still digging the story. There’s something different and fresh about it. Wolf is something like a paranormal detective noir meets the mystic meets traditional horror. I’m curious to see what will happen and plan to stick with it for a few more issues. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

E is for Extinction #2 – A
Talk about your eye catching covers. This is still my favorite of the Secret Wars books (though did you read that Old Man Logan?), but I’m a little bummed about its direction. I mean, I abso-fuggin’-lutely love the X-Men. Always have, but, as a thought experiment, I liked the “what if the X-Men we know and love are too clueless and disconnected from the present to be any good to the world?” premise set up in the first issue. Even though Cyclops probably has a wall full of Most Boring Man Alive Awards given to him since his birth in 1948 (do the math!), I can’t imagine a time in which he’d actually be irrelevant, but I like the thought experiment and the punk rock vibe. Nevertheless, it’s still a good book. #2 plays nicely on the moral ambiguities of, well, it seems like almost everyone: Emma Frost, Magneto, The Cuckoos, Quentin. Really, Xorn is the only one who emerges, unquestionably, in the right. Oh, and how about that white Beast reveal? – Montgomery

Marvel Zombies #2 – A
Yes, Deadpool, yes! I’m so excited that they’re tying this into Night of the Living Deadpool. At least that’s what it looks like so far. Very exciting. This comic rocks! The characters are well developed and speak beautifully. The exposition weaves seamlessly into the narrative. I can’t wait to see more of Elsa. Marvel is getting better and better at putting women at the forefront of their comics and this new story is another great one to add to the collection. Elsa (despite her connotative name) is a total badass who knows what she wants, has her values set in stone, and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. She also has a wicked sense of humor that makes me like her even more. I love seeing her internal struggle over who she is going to listen to; her father or her own intuition. It’s a great character trait. – Charlotte

Old Man Logan #3 – A-
I have been very wary of this series, especially with the first two issues not impressing me at all. Boy, did this issue pick up the pace. It hits us with a monumental change, including plot points directly related to Secret Wars, which is what this series promised us. We continue where we left off, with Logan trapped in a land of Baron Apocalypse and being chased by Thor. Not a good situation for anyone to be in. Logan meets a very special character during this interaction, and it will have major ramifications for the entire Marvel Universe. I think as far as all the Secret Wars titles go, this issue seems to be the one to read. It final has me really excited to for the next issue and hoping to see a little bit more of what makes this Logan tick. How different will he be from the Old Man Logan we  met years ago? I will have to keep reading to find out. – Jacob

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 – B
This is definitely not the story I had in mind when I picked it up, but I still really enjoyed it. It’s like that Nicholas Cage movie, Family Man – not that I’ve ever watch it… or own it… whatever. Quill ends up in a strange futuristic noir world where he goes by the name Steve Rogers and sings in a jazz club. His friend Drax (who actually looks and acts a lot like Lorne from Angel), owns the club. He spots a multiverse version of Kitty Pryde, who seems to have the powers of X-23(?), and the two collide and go off on an adventure together. It’s confusing, and romantic, and looks pretty decent. Just like Nicholas Cage. – Sherif

Star Wars: Kanan – The Last Padawan #4 – B
Another solid issue of Kanan this week.  There are a lot of things I’m enjoying in this series.  Firstly (didn’t realize this was a word till just now), I love Larraz’s (artist) panel work.  He does such a good job of bringing motion to still images.  I also really dig Kanan’s management of his inner conflict.  You don’t get more oxymoronic than being a Smuggler-Jedi and Kanan knows it.  There’s two overall aspects keeping this title from an “A” grade.  Those would be the under-utilization of Kasmir (this dude looks too bad-ass to be so generic in use), and the fact that a cunning smuggler and highly trained Padawan can’t shake two Clone Troopers.  I feel that after running all over the galaxy, in constant pursuit would drive these two capable dudes be a little more proactive.  That’s like watching an ever-growing rash on your hand slowly consume your arm and eventually your whole body.  I’m sure its just allergies.  Overall, still loving Kanan. – Taylor

Uncanny X-Men #35 – C
For being delayed and so hyped, this book really wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. The team of newbies are on their own, breaking off from crazy Scott Summers and the “oppressive” Storm. Their solo adventure seems like it’s going great until people find out that they’re mutants. Then it becomes 20+ pages of everybody screaming “you’re racist!” There are a lot of subtle chuckles to be had through the issue, but it really had no flavor to go along with the strife. I feel that if we’re over fifty years into the mutant game, the whole “woe is me; people don’t like me because I’m a mutant” thing needs to evolve, too. – 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 07-15-15

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:

adventure time card wars 1 potw 07.15.15

Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake: Card Wars #1 – A+
I can’t even begin to articulate what an absolute ray of sunshine Adventure Time is in the world. I McFuggin’ love the cartoon and every comic I’ve gotten my hands on (though I’m not the best at keeping up on the comics). When I saw ATwFaCCW (what a mouthful (that’swhatshesaid)) on the docket, I did Finn the human wavy arms. And the comics never disappoint. Of course, Fiona and Cake is Ice King’s desperately lonely fanboy bid for approval from his sometimes arch-nemesis. The conceit of this arc, therefore, is Ice King’s disappointment in Gunter’s less than stellar performance at Car Wars; he believes if he could just impress a princess with his card slinging, he’d be instantly married. Ergo, we fall into the world in which he can impress a princess in mind alone if nothing else. These books are great: the art’s great, the humor’s great, it blazes new ground while staying true to the spirit of the show without rehashing old territory. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League #42 – B+
Ohhhh boy! The Darkseid War is almost upon us, and it is gonna be so destructive. Geoff Johns has been on an incredible run with Justice League. At first I was worried that these new characters (and returning ones that have previously had like… zero impact) would detract from the story and make me lose interest, but there is so much action, funny jokes, and thorough explanation that I don’t really have to care who Metron is – not to name specific names. Oh, and there’s a new development on the Batman front. It’s pretty much a fangasm. – Sherif

Martian Manhunter #2 – B-
All I know is, according to everyone in this book, the world is going to end and its impending doom is all surrounding J’onn. How, you might ask? Why, you might wonder? I have no freaking clue; hopefully they will get to that part of the story soon. This comic intrigues me because there are so many cool and interesting things happening; yet, at the same time, you have no idea what is happening. With J’onn, Mr. Biscuits, and the hero from Dubai, I’m sure there is a connection in there somewhere, I simply haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I missed something, but I’m waiting for a big reveal. I understand about J’onn having false memories and him being used as a tool, I just wish we saw more of that side of the story. Overall, though, I’m still liking this comic a whole lot, and I will patiently be waiting for issue 3. – Evan

Doctor Fate #2 – C-
You ever read an amazing premiere issue that let’s you ask all these wonderful questions and piques curiosities you didn’t even know you had? Then, an issue later, the book spends the entire time asking the same questions you had in issue one? Dr. Fate is going to be good: modern hero, Egyptian mythology, and solid art. However, this issue was almost a non-factor in the grand scheme of things. And a talking dog demon doesn’t help me take it any more seriously. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment: 

Death Head #1 – A+
I think I may have found a new favorite thing in Death Head. This book is SCARY. It follows individual members of a family, all in different places and struggling with something. The parents are hiking in the woods on a babymoon when they encounter a small abandoned town that they explore, but of course shouldn’t have. Meanwhile their son “Bee” is being bullied by a bunch of assholes and then pushed into a drainage tunnel after being told about the maniac who lives in there and kills children. The daughter Maggie is in the least dire situation, she is at Catholic school struggling with disobedience and being gay the worst possible environment. Death Head is exceptionally well written and each situation with a character in peril made my heart pound. It seems to pull inspiration from a few familiar sources (It, Jeepers Creepers) but the references are subtle and exist in their own way so it did not feel overly reminiscent in a bad way, more like a homage. I have a great feeling about this book – it was gripping and intense and the fearful aspects of it were haunting and filled me with dread. That may sound like a bad thing, but trust me that is what excellent horror writing is all about. Not to mention the villain wears a Plague Mask and those are basically one of the scariest looking things ever. – Keriann

IDW Publishing: 

Godzilla in Hell #1 – A
As a lover of Godzilla, this is the saddest thing I’ve ever read. First of all, why is he in hell? What happened? He’s not that bad of a guy, he mostly helps people. Mostly. Second, the poor guy is just wondering around hell all by himself, just trying to find a friend. Seriously, this book was almost too sad to bear. On the other hand it was freaking awesome. There’s no dialogue, obviously, because that would be weird so I am still a little confused as to why any of this is happening but I’m willing to go with it. The artwork is really beautiful and Godzilla’s face is so expressive. So far the things he’s encountered indicate that he may be traveling through Dante’s nine circles of hell which gives this book the makings of something truly original. Maybe it’s just because I’m such a lover of the subject matter, but I think this book has heart. And it also has crazy awesome monster fighting in hell so it’s kind of a win-win for everyone. – Keriann

Image Comics:

Postal #5 – B
I’m not entirely sure what to say about this issue of Postal. The whole thing really came out of left field and had me questioning whether or not I read the last issue because I was so lost. As it turns out, I did read the last issue and this one was entirely unrelated to anything else that’s happened in the book so far. It was at least an interesting read, Mark was briefly kidnapped by a strange cult leader in a bull mask who calls himself “Ball” and his lover “Squeaky”. Ball is a fascinating character, and it would have been kind of neat of his cult had played a bigger part, but in all honesty I don’t see how that would fit in the overarching storyline and frankly he and Squeaky were both dead before the end of the issue. While this issue seemed like it came out of nowhere I do see how it served its purpose because it showed the first inklings of Mark giving into his dark side. I didn’t see him becoming a villain, but if this issue is to be believed that seems to be where he is headed. Overall, this issue was a good read, albeit a little odd and disconnected. Mark is still a compelling character and even when the story misses a little the focus on his development is worth tuning into. – Keriann

Roche Limit: Clandestiny #3 – B
Roche Limit continues to be one of the most visually stunning works of art out there. The art alone is worth it. I’m curious with the movie deal announced at Comic Con how they plan to film it and hope it will be just a visually stunning. Also, now that I have spent more time with this story and taken the chance to read more than a few issues it’s becoming one of my favorite reads. The universe is expanding and the story is becoming intricate, dramatic, and intense in a way that pushes me to the edge of my seat. I really don’t want to give anything away. Just…if you haven’t been reading it’s a good time to start. Bing reading up to this point, I promise, will prove to be incredibly rewarding. Do it. – Jené

Elephantmen #65 – B-
A new story arc for Elephantmen starts this month in issue #65 and with it we are thrown right into the action. Hip Flask, Trench, Ebenezer Hide and the human Jack Farrell are on a mission to take out some Crocs and they do so with the same style any Elephantman would have, so it is brutal and bad ass to say the least. The story does not progress much from the start and despite the bad ass battle, things seem to not be going well by the end, leaving on the edge of your seat until next month. The art for this issue and the series in general is amazing and has an amazing amount of detail and with three two page panels in this issue I definitely have to give props to Axel Medellin for this issue and cant wait to see where the battle goes for the upcoming issue with Richard Starkings at the helm. – Jacob

Trees #11 – C
I really don’t know what to say about Trees this time. I wasn’t partially moved by this issue. It’s working at establishing the other characters introduced and the beginning while also paving the way for more plot. We’re given little morsels in regards to the poppies, trees, and the possibilities for why they landed where they did. The mayor back in New York is trying to get back at the NYPD. The only interesting that grabbed me was this hint that ancient earth and the modern day are somehow connected to the presence of the trees. This thread continues to hint at a connection between the mystic and scientific. Read it because it gets you to the next issue, but it’s not going to blow your mind away. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Hawkeye #22 – A
With all the constant “go, go, go” in Marvel right now – spinoffs, relaunches, side-stories, blah f*cking blah – it’s hard to even remember a time when great stories were told. This Hawkeye finale gives closure to one of the best runs in recent comic book history. Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye wraps up with a final showdown between Clint and Kate against the Tracksuits and Clown Face (?). There are sad times, good laughs, and enough of a peak at the future to end in intrigue. It kinda sucks that the series won’t be continuing, but All-New Hawkeye hasn’t been horrible… – Sherif

The Seige #1 – B+
I’ve never read a Seige book before, and that was a mistake. The first issue of the new volume feels like an episode of Game of Thrones. A select few heroes are guarding a while known as “The Shield” against armies coming in at all sides, if The Shield falters millions die. That’s freaking intense. There’s talk about a north lands where roaming hulks just kind of hulk around. The entire planet, Battleworld, is a mish mash of planet pieces from other universes and it’s all being held together by the sheer will of Victor Von Doom. This might be the most insane book I’ve read. I really want to see what the hell is going to happen in this. The wall will fall in 20 days. – Scott

Planet Hulk #3 – C+
Sadly, there was nothing too special about this week’s issue. As we continue on the path towards rescue and vengeance with Captain American, Doc Green and Devil, we start to get a little insight from all characters. However, I feel a lot of this time was simply spent on conversations that truly didn’t have a whole lot of meaning. Sure, there were moments to make you reflect on what these characters truly are deep down, but it never really went anywhere. I feel if comics are going to get super introspective and start getting at a characters heart, they need to go for it. Maybe we will get a chance to see this in future issues; however, in issue number 3 it wasn’t the greatest. Anyway, I am excited to continue reading the upcoming issues simply for one factor; Tribal Hulks. If you didn’t think Hulks were savage enough, may I introduce you to the Hulk, other Hulks are afraid to go around? This should get pretty interesting. – Evan

Secret Wars: Battleworld #3 – C+
Going to be honest and say the first story with Wolverine makes no sense and left me really wondering how anyone thought it had a beginning, middle and end, let alone anything in-between. Ivan Brandon had writing duties and feel he just wrote WOLVERINES on a page and we got this. But on a positive note, the art for this story by Aaron Conley is great and the different Wolverines are perfect. But more than that is the second story, which focuses on Deadpool from the 1872 universe and him trying to trade in Lockjaw for Devil Dinosaur, to have a better ride in the old west.  This story makes up for the vague and bad storytelling of the first story and leaves us with a fun adventure and hoping to see more of this Deadpool in 1872. Ryan Ferrier wrote this story and Logan Faerber did the art and they were the kings of this issue for sure! The last story, which was also written by Ferrier but with art by Paul Pope, is a one page comic of three different ant-mans and the horrible and humorous take when they meet. – Jacob

Inhumans Attilan Rising #3 – C
What is Daredevil doing hanging out with Inhumans? This has been bugging me. And is it the same ‘Devil from 1602? And why is it that when they do ol’ timey ‘Devil, he’s jokey (which makes it hard not confusing him with Spider-Man) and an actor? I guess that was Gaiman’s call from way back when, but why? I keep hoping this book will explode into something I can’t live without. The Inhumans are Marvel’s most interesting group second to mutants, but it just keeps circling the drain of impossible-to-pay-attention-to. Mostly it’s because we can’t figure out why (and the book is coy about it) Medusa and Blackbolt have changed their YouFace status to “weirdsies.” Is at as simple as Blackbolt’s aversion to godDoom? – Montgomery

Armor Wars #3 – C-
Armor Wars is one of these Battle World comics that feels a little bit like a Lindt chocolate: pretty tasty, but largely empty. I wrestle with every one of its premises – a mysterious disease that conveniently makes everyone have to wear badass armor; Spyder-Man (dumb name, 15 demerits) somehow being superpowered, beyond that previously mentioned armor, thanks to a computer virus; the Stark brothers’ relationship. In the third issue, Tony’s totes angry with his brother – what’shisname, Engi Wok Stark? Dim Darn Stark? Flip Flap? – and Fisk fights stuff. Kind of not the best of Battle World. – Montgomery

Years of Future Past #3 – C-
This series has both continuously entertained me and infuriated me.  There are a lot of very good moments between the characters at hand, but not knowing many and having hem be the focus and then ultimately have one of the big reveals this issue basically be a very outdone idea and even the character Cameron pokes fun of it being like a plot point from Star Wars. Ultimately I would say this series is mostly a new story brought to you by old characters, and despite not being very interested in Cameron or Chrissie, the two leads, seeing the rest of the X-Men and their roles has me continuing to read and has m excited for the next issue. As far as the main story I find it definitely can be good and it may just be my taste here, but this series seems to lack in its small amount of 3 issues what Days of Future Past did in 2 and that is a solid, meaningful, and well written story from the first word to the last.


Funniest Panels:

justice league 42 funny panel 07.15.15

Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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 07-01-15

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 stand on guard 1 POTW panel 07.01.15
We Stand On Guard #1 – A
There’s nothing worse than showing up late to the freedom fighter party. In this book by Brian K Vaughan, the writer for Image’s Saga (yes I’m going to say that every time, because it’s always a relevant statement), Canada – or at least what appeared to be Canada – bombed the crap out of the White House. America, as it’s well-known for doing, retaliated by taking Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick and jamming up Canada’s ass. Well Jesus Christ on a cracker, that was horrifying. In just one issue, Vaughan manages to turn Superman into an entirely Anti-American sentiment and prove that DARPA’s got some explaining to do with those terrifying drones. Great book, solid art by Steve Skroce, and likable, diverse characters throughout the premiere issue. This is how you start a new book! – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #75 – B
There is no better feeling in the world to me than holding new Futurama merchandise in my hands. It just makes it ten times better when that Futurama content is good. This series has definitely had some low points along the way, as anyone would expect, but with issue #75, the ideas are still just as fresh and inventive as Futurama episodes. This issue deals with the crew being ship-jacked while in space and having to enlarge Bender and use him as a personal ship for the time being. Ian Boothby writes this issue much like an episode and less like a comic. James Lloyd covers the art; these comics are always spectacular and you got to love the Voltron cameo! If you are a fan of Futurama, you probably have read this by now; if not, though, grab a brain slug, say your prayers to the Space Pope and enjoy! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #2 – A
Me am super not impressed by dumb Bizarro book with no humor and no cool cameos. Bizarro read like least fun DC title and is much worse than what did not happen in Convergence and its spin-off titles. As much fun as it is to talk in Bizarro voice for each review to confuse people – and as confusing as his speech is in the actual book – this title has to be one of my favorite monthly comics on the shelf right now. This issue continues with all of Metropolis under hypnosis to buy cars and Bizarro, with help from Colin the Chupacabra, frees everyone from the spell and they immediately travel again with funny short panels showing Bizarro and Jimmy in different famous DC cities, with plenty of jokes and actually awesome art panel for when they run into Batman and Flash! So this goes without saying that I really enjoy the art done by Gustavo Duarte with guest artists Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, and Francis Manapul. I would say pick this up now if you can because Heath Corson is finally making Bizarro #1. – Jacob

Action Comics #42 – B+
Somebody – the right somebody – must have been taking notes at DC, because both of the Superman books they have running right now are freaking good. They focus on using the Man of Steel as a symbol of the people instead of thinking of bigger and badder monsters to watch him destroy. Grounding Superman is turning out to be one of the smartest decisions they’ve made recently. In this book, he is taking the activist approach, and trying to impart peaceful resistance on the citizens he’s protecting – and Jimmy Olsen is getting the whole thing on tape. The art is good, too, with Aaron Kuder’s art looking like the Chris Burnham (Batman, Inc.) of Superman books. It’s a breath of fresh air to a character whose books have pretty much sucked lately. – Sherif

Midnighter #2 – B
This is another comic I was surprised by. I was expecting a straight (pun not intended) vigilante narrative, what I got was something different. I’m glad it wasn’t what I expected. I honestly wasn’t going to give it a try as superhero/vigilantes stories haven’t grabbed me in a long time. I’m not familiar with the original iteration with this character, but I appreciate who the writer is introducing him for a fresh audience. For me, it’s like reading an entirely new story. Overall solid narrative and wonderful balance between secret life and finding love out in the world. The art isn’t my favorite but it works for the medium and it doesn’t take away from the narrative. Just a great good ol’ vigilante narrative. – Jené

Batman Beyond #2 – C+
I still don’t really have clue what is happening in this story. I almost would like it better if it didn’t have anything to do with Batman Beyond. However, considering Tim Drake doesn’t really know what is going on either, I am not going to totally hold it against this book quite yet. I am certain there will be smatterings of explanations for the first 10 issues or so, and I am willing to hang on. This series is very dark, much darker than the animated series, which is pretty rare for DC. I don’t know yet how I feel about this; I’ll be more certain when this arc is over. The whole future apocalypse sci-fi thing is a cool concept, but like i said, perhaps more likable if it wasn’t attached to something with such a strong fan base already. – Adrian
Green Lantern #42 – C+
It’s really hard for me not to give this book a good score. The thought of a lone wanderer-type Hal Jordan finding out the truth behind what wiped out the Corps is super intriguing – especially when we get to explaining exactly whatever type of Bezerker rage he’s hiding in that gauntlet of his. Buuuut it’s a really slow build. Whatever horrible force is controlling the universe is also afflicting Black Hand’s ability to raise the dead. Multi-Lantern events always take forever to build momentum, so we’re either looking at a drawn-out borefest, or a convoluted and rushed arc. – Sherif

Detective Comics  #42 – C-
This little experiment isn’t going as well as I had hoped. While Snyder & Capullo are making a decent stab at Jim Gordon being Batman on his self-titled book, the Detective Comics book is losing steam. Fast. Harvey Bullock is an interesting enough choice for the main protagonist, but without anything to necessarily do besides follow Batman around, his character is severely under-utilized. I understand that we have to spend some time showing how JimBat sucks compared to Wayne, but it feels like it just dottles around, looking for a reason to exist. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment: 

Bob’s Burgers #1 – B-
I was a little skeptical of this comic when I first saw it was coming out, but as a huge fan fo the show, I decided to give it a shot. For the most part, I enjoyed it. The writing was just as good as the show and made me laugh. The only thing that bothered me a little was the art style. In many of the stories, it was just off enough from the source material that it irked me. It’d be another story if the art was totally different and they were going for some sort of other style, but even then, it might have bugged me. When you have a brand like Bob’s Burgers, it’s hard to deviate from that specific style and make it work. Through most of the comic I was thinking, “Her nose is wrong.” “Her eyes are weird.” “This isn’t how it is in the show.” Still, it was a nice comic that I’ll continue to read. -Charlotte

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 – D-
Okay y’all, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant. So if you enjoyed this comic, or don’t want to hear me bitch a whole lot, simply move on to the next review. Ready? Okay, here we go…Oh my lord, this comic sucked. I’m genuinely upset that I cannot get back the time wasted reading this. It was long, boring, pointless, and overall very stupid. It took everything in my power to continue reading this book. Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this comic. After reading it, I have zero interest in the story line, zero interest in any of the characters, and frankly I could give a damn about what happened to The Spirit…oh yeah, they already answered that question in the first ten pages. After that, there is no way I’m coming back for more. – Evan

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 – A-
Now THIS is the TMNT I fell in love with. Casey Jones’ showdown with the disgraced Hun is one of the better climactic battles of the series, with the whole community getting on in the action. It’s not without its bittersweet moments, but seeing the neighborhood work together to push out the Purple Dragons was a big “hell yeah” moment for me. Things on the Turtles’ end weren’t so eventful, but they do pave the way for whatever will happen next. We knew Dexter and Shredder working together would be a major suckfest for the Turtles, but there’s gotta be a way out of it somehow, right? As always, the creative team of Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco put out another solid issue of a series that everybody needs to be reading. – Sherif

X-Files: Season 10 #25 – B
The truth is out there, and the end is here – well, for Season 10 at least. Next month, we have an X-Files Annual, then we jump straight into Season 11 the following month! The conclusion to season 10 is a whopper of a story and has major implications in the X-Files world for just about every character you know. It starts with Gibson Praise, showing off his army of Cigarette Smoking Men to Scully, all the while Mulder makes his way to a computer and uploads the files of what is happening with the Elders and Gibson to The Lone Gunmen and this leads everything into a downward spiral… It all ends up with Gibson taking Scully for a ride, which ultimately ends up with her finding Mulder and ending in a confrontation that will change Scully deep down to her core. Ending this season on a open note while also resolving a lot of what has come up really rounded out this series well and has me excited for the start of season 11! As always Joe Harris does a great job with the writing and Matthew Dow Smith ends this series with the art style that has carried this series smoothly since issue #1. – Jacob

Mickey Mouse #1 – B-
Finally, the comic based on everyone’s favorite main Disney character after months of Ducks. Despite Scrooge and Donald making good comic books, Mickey brings his friend Goofy into the ring and has side stories for Ellsworth the Crow and Pluto after the main Mickey story. The main story sees Mickey and Goofy teaming up with a young girl Eurasia to find Eurasia’s Uncle’s old traveling companions who were lost years ago. As far as the Disney books go, I like the layout of this one the best with one very long story and then three short unrelated stories with separate characters at the end. With Donald and Scrooge basically including the same characters it is nice to see so much variety and characters among the pages of Mickey. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Nailbiter #14 – B+
Nailbiter is the number one book I recommend to people when they ask me what they should read. I want to start with that because I still really love this series. It is smart, funny, and disturbing. This month, we finally started to get some answers as to why Buckaroo has produced so many serial killers. I was a little underwhelmed with the answer. Granted this answer leads to more mini mysteries. The end of the issue brought back two characters we haven’t seen for a bit, and while it was a surprise/cliffhanger, I felt underwhelmed with this twist as well. It’s still a great issue, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. – Adrian

8House #1 – B
My only complaint is that this book was too short. I was not expecting what I read. A lady knight travels with her mistress to the outskirts of a glistening city. The tree-like creature she is with is investigating some odd alien presence. Using some sort of blood magic, she is able to transfer a creature from one body to the next and off they go back to the city. I’m intrigued by the magic system that has been introduced. Blood magic isn’t used often, and when it is, it’s usually wielded by a villain of the story. Right now neither character seems like a villain.  As first issues go this one is pretty good. It’s just enough to pull me in and keep me interested, but not so much that my expectations are high for the next book. I like the art style, it’s rather different than a lot of books I’m reading whimsical and somewhat alien, which helps to set up the fantasy/sci-fi like world that’s being established. I’m looking forward to more. – Jené

Deadly Class #14 – B-
Wow, Marcus is a real nutcase. He’s completely unraveling after the “disappearance” of Maria, and the fact that he’s a trained killer doesn’t put me any more at ease than the rest of his destructive behavior in this issue. For a while, you forget that this is even a book about an assassin’s academy. It’s almost like reading The Basketball Diaries as Marcus’ life spirals deeper into despair. Yet, he does some really messed up stuff that keep you from ever feeling sorrow for him. It’s a tough spot to be in as a book, and a major lull in action. Wes Craig & Lou Loughridge continue to produce amazing art, and while #14 wasn’t as eventful as the series has been as a whole, look for it to “rebound” next issue. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Groot #2 – A
This month’s Groot is hands-down the best story I have read of Groot and his best pal Rocket. This issue continues where issue #1 left off, with Rocket kidnapped and Groot left alone and needing to save his friend. We not only see Groot trying to follow Rocket and save him, but we get to see a flashback of when Rocket and Groot first met and how they cemented their relationship and exactly why each of them means so much to the other. Plus, on top of that great story, it opens with a Groot dream where we see tons of Marvel characters in Groot form; who doesn’t want to see that? Jeff Loveness is taking us into one of the most meaningful stories for Rocket and Groot and it makes it even better to have Brian Kesinger bring his highly Disney-influenced style to the series, making it both a kid and adult-friendly series. This definitely is one Marvel series to read that has nothing to do with Secret Wars… at least yet. – Jacob

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 – A-
I just love how much this book makes me laugh. Every month, I look forward to laughing out loud through out every page. This month’s issue did not disappoint. The plot was a littleBuffy Season 4-esque, which I like, because Buffy is the best, and Squirrel Girl is the closest thing I have to it now. The constant Millennial jokes mixed with relatable themes and plots make this a constant winner for me. And it turns out that chick you are jealous of? Yeah, she really is evil. – Adrian

Future Imperfect #2 – B+
First thing’s first: all the women in this book have the exact same face. If they didn’t, I think this book would have the best art of all the Battle World books. With that out of the way, I like the inventive route this book takes: The Thing is Ross (dad of Hulk’s former love), his conflict with The Maestro, and a slowly simmering civil war within the kingdom. I also like that, what should be true to this event’s mission statement, this whole thing comes out of a legit alternate timeline. I’d actually forgotten how much I look forward to this specific book and this specific iteration of the Hulk. Should be an A, but I had to deduct points because all the women share one face, and when a woman says, “I’m a girl,” you’ve gotta deduct points because obviously a dude wrote that. – Montgomery

X-Tinction Agenda #2 – B+
Man, first two pages are all about time travel, which kind of mondo confuses things. Go back far enough (in different directions) and aren’t 616 and 1610 still embedded in the universe’s time code? And Beast talks it about all biz-cazh style. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like Doom should be putting a stop to this. There are already people in other kingdoms who suspect the shallow nature of their worlds, and wouldn’t time travel just wreck the whole game? Anyways – Havoc and co. lead a raid on Mutopia and nab a guy by the name of Triage to cure the plague. But then, it turns out the doctor in charge has ulterior motives. – Montgomery

Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #2 – B
As far as formulaic comic books go, this book is the same thing each issue. Now, whether or not that’s a bad thing, I have no idea. I absolutely love Skottie Young’s Little Marvel stuff. I think he’d be super successful if he did any grown-up fandom in Little style. The premise of the series is simple; the Avengers have an intense playground rivalry with the X-Men. Hilarity ensues when one side pushes enough buttons on the other to start a fight. Lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not at all bored or dissatisfied with it, but you have to know that this is what you paid for, and it’s exactly what you’re going to get. Totes adorbs. – Sherif

Red Skull #1 – B-
I’m never going to feel anything but disgust for Red Skull, but I’m more or less on board with this comic. The writing is good, the team they’ve assembled is complex and interesting, and the concept is working so far. I love the inclusion of Bucky and I can’t wait to see how his character flourishes in this. (I’m also thrilled to see him kick Red Skull’s racist ass.) I’m not excited for Red Skull himself. I don’t care if he tries to redeem himself or not. He’s a Nazi and that’s all he’ll ever be to me. I hope Marvel doesn’t try to humanize him, because I’ll be severely disappointed if they do. I’m weary of a comic devoted to this bastard, but we’ll see what they do with it. – Charlotte

Secret Wars Journal #3 – B-
“Who Killed Tony Stark” Wolverine is a noir style detective legit out of the 40’s investigating the murder of Tony Stark by Pepper Potts. As he investigates, he discovers that several people he encountered in the investigation are different, dopplegangery. The Punisher shows up and says the same: tease image of the Age of Apocalypse. The story was OK, certainly rushed, and the big reveal wasn’t all that satisfying because it lasted a single page. “The Smashing Cure” A toxic cloud of gamma radiation has floated by the Greenlands and now everyone is a hulk. And the city is slowly cannibalizing itself in anger. Kind of a funny premise, but these short anthology stories are so hit and miss. This one ends on a pretty pat note, though it has at least one cool reveal. – Montgomery

Darth Vader #7 – C
I’m still coming down from the events of the last Darth Vader issue.  This month’s entry took a diversion from the “Who wants to be The Emperor’s new number two?” contest and focused on a new scheme by the crafty Lord Vader.  Why Vader is spending time busting up underground crime organizations is unclear, but no doubt it ties into the bigger picture somehow.  I like the Bounty Hunter dynamic Gillen is creating.  A Wookie that willing hops into a mandingo style fighting pit for the sport of it?!?! OOOkay… You’ve got my attention.  The score is lower this week, but that’s mostly because it’s a buildup issue.  Darth Vader is still the hottest Star Wars comic out there today.  – Taylor

Secret Wars #4 – C-
Doom finally intervenes in the actions of those valiant enough to survive the end of the universe(s). And he SPOILER ALERT kills the Phoenix Cyclops, which is disappointing. But if anything about the previous thirty years in comics have taught us anything, it’s that the Phoenix force cannot be killed. SPOILER OVER. Steven defies Doom and instead of allowing him to kill the Spider-Mans and the Reeds and the whatnot scatters them to mysterious segments of Battleworld. I feel like cracks in the Secret Wars concept are starting to show: Doom built this world, credits himself with saving what he can of the universe, but the problem is most of what comprises Battleworld are not alternate realities, but just different periods in the history of the same character. But then somehow, and he makes note of this, Reed is so special there exists no other Reed anywhere on Battle World. I’ve said it before, but it bugs me when you pull the whole thing together in one book: the construction of this place is beginning to feel highly arbitrary. – Montgomery


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 04-15-15

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:

RunLoveKill #1
RunLoveKill #1

Runlovekill #1 – A
Rain Oshiro is just a girl trying to get out of the highly controlled city Prygat. Runlovekill feels like a more futuristic 1984. “The Origami” controls everything in Prygat, including information; they run the show. Rain has had enough and is looking for a way to get out of town, desperately, but things aren’t going to go the way she wants. The art is outstanding. It looks very much like Aeon Flux, but with more motion to everything. Runlovekill is an intriguing story over a fantastic sci-fi back-drop. I’m really looking forward to the next issue.  – Scott

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics

Archie vs. Predator #1 – B+

Oh no, you didn’t read that wrong; good old Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica take on the most dangerous hunter in the universe. The art is classic Archie style and the dialogue is perfect – nothing out of place from any other Archie comic. This one does come with a little twist over the traditional stuff though and that is the inclusion of freaking Predator. The gang wins a trip to a tropical island, Predator’s natural hunting ground. The snooty rich kids show up and are jerks, of course. Well, Predator doesn’t like jerks. After a rough day of infighting, the crew head back home and they don’t know they have an extra passenger. Let’s see how people handle an alien monster hunting down Riverdale’s residents.  – Scott

Dark Horse Comics:

Shaper #2 – B
Hooray!!  Shaper is back this month.  Ever since issue #1, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the next installment.  This series is so solidly put together.  Just check out this string of words: humans shape-shifting into dragons, spaceships, cowboy with lasers, disintegration, space-samurai-hunter-killer… I mean, come-on!  You know you want to pick up a copy right now.  And you should!  The elements of the story are enough to make any nerd excitedly sweaty, but the story and plot is so excellently catered to these elements that we nerds run the risk of having that excite-sweat turn into full on pleasure-panic-attack.  That’s a thing right?  If not, it will be if Shaper continues to be this good! – Taylor

 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence – Catwoman #1 – A
I was freaking out the entire time I spent reading this. It’s like Stephen King meets DC Comics! And with Catwoman thrown in the mix? I knew I was in for a good time. I really appreciated that they showed before the dome went up, going about her usual, immoral business in the rich town of Metropolis. It makes the contrast of her robbing and her saving the day that much greater. I also LOVE that SHE was the hero they got. Catwoman— whose entire existence seems to reject the sparkling city— is the one who wound up with Metropolis citizens under her protection. As exposition-y as it came out, I loved the social commentary this concept is making – how humanity would pretty much right itself in the event of something like this, but power would always be the biggest currency. In a world where there’s nothing left for a cat burglar to steal, power and responsibility is all Catwoman has. I really hope she survives the coming war, but man, against Kingdom Come Batman (shown up in the sky on the last spread,) I just don’t know. – Charlotte

Convergence: Suicide Squad #1 – B
Amanda Waller has put together a terrifying group of the Rogue’s Gallery, and with the Dome down, it’ll take a lot of power to take down any of the heroes, let alone all of them. The squad is first tasked with taking out Green Latern, whom in this world is more powerful than ever, having absorbed his ring. This time around, the Suicide Squad is adding in Bane, Deathstroke, Black Manta, and Lex Luthor. Luthor packs extra heat with a yellow ring. There’s going to be a big fight with a heavily armored, and fully powered Green Lantern very soon. I’m in. – Scott

Convergence – Aquaman #1 – C
I haven’t read anything with Aquaman in it for a while.  I also don’t really know what the whole Convergence storyline is about.  So imagine my surprise when I see Aquaman swinging from rooftops with a harpoon-grappling hook that is actually his hand!  What the hell happened?!  Add to that, everyone in Metropolis is trapped under a magical dome (by some unknown person or group).  Even with lack of prior context, I found myself enjoying the issue!  I hate to say it, but I think the least interesting thing about this issue was Aquaman.  The predicament of Metropolis and the numerous other superheroes trapped under the dome (and what’s about to happen next… no spoilers) is incredibly interesting.  Aquaman as a focal character – less so, but don’t let that deter you! – Taylor

Convergence #2 – C-

Guys, I’m not sure what the deal with Convergence is. I understand its outline; Brainiac is abducting cities and forcing their occupants to battle — but I don’t quite get why I should care about how the alternate world Batman, Superman et. al struggle against it. Well, in basic comic book terms I get it: because they’re the good guys and Brainiac is the bad guy, but I don’t get why it matters in a larger literary sense, why it’s this iteration of these characters, what makes them worth caring about more than Earth 1’s iteration of these guys, why in a meta universe of hundreds of versions of the same characters are these specific versions the ones best equipped to save the rest. Especially when the glimpses we’re getting of the other multiverses seems maybe a little more compelling (I mean, the book opens up with an invasion of an alternate Earth by Darkseid and a planetary evacuation) than the tale we’re actually reading. The whole point of this book is Batman needing to locate a Gotham so that they can get some help. The climax is very spoiler-laden, but then it doesn’t really seem to amount to anything. Maybe later it will, but in this issue it seems like something that just… happens. Instead, the resolution is Flash finding Deimos. Also, what’s the deal with the four panels of Flash narration just to get a lame Superman pun? Not cool, Convergence, not cool. But, I do want to give a shout out to some of the alternate Earth teams I noticed: Stan Lee’s version of the DCU from his Just Imagine series fighting evil JLA cyborgs; Lex Luthor in his Superman armor from All-Star Superman fought conspicuously red and blue colored Supermans; and I think the other Batman is maybe Tim Burton’s Batman? Hard to tell, because the batmobile is definitely Nolan’s, but the suit looks like it’s from Batman Inc., and Alfred absolutely looks like Alfred from the original animated series. – Montgomery

 

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers #40 – A-
I have been so absurdly and ridiculously in love with Transformers since I was a kid. It’s one of the few loves that doesn’t seem to die out. I have entire twenty minute swaths of dialogue from the original 1986 animated movie memorized, but it’s been awhile since I picked up a TF comic. Not by design, but by… fate… I guess. So the whole Combiner War thing is mostly new to me. The Combiner War story continues (some of the finer points of which are lost on me since I haven’t kept up in awhile) with Prowl discovering Starscream (newly elected ruler of Cybertron, a nice commentary on the futility of politics) has stashed a secret spacebridge, and since no matter what, ain’t no one trust no Starscream, the only possible conclusion is that Starscream’s going to wreck some shit. Rattrap is still his sycophant, which always bothered me a little bit. I felt the inclusion of Beast Wars (which takes place a million years or so after G1) confused things a little bit, i.e. why is a robot who’s never visited Earth in the present timeline have an Earth rodent as his alternate? Plus, Beast Wars’ toys were profoundly not fun to play with. Anyway, two things I’ve always admired about IDW’s (and the now-defunct Dreamwave) take on the ‘formers is: 1. How respectable of a story they’ve managed to carve out of a franchise whose only blatantly purpose was, originally, to sell toys. Their stories are complex and the characters are well rounded, even when dealing with D listers that never had a scene in the original cartoon. And; 2. The art. Wow. The TF books is one of the few that has a rotating roster of artists, and all but one or two have the same quality. I can’t stand it when the primary artist on a book takes a break, and his stand-in produces mud. That almost never happens in a TF book. Anyways, God love the ‘formers. Nothing too profound happens, but good art and nostalgia. – Montgomery

The X-Files: Season 10 #23 – B+
We are getting dangerously close to the end of this Season 10 series before we receive a break and then start the Season 11 series leading into the new 6 episode mini series. With this last story arc, we see a grown up Gibson Praise leading a modern version of the syndicate and kidnapping his former friend Mulder for his ultimate plan. We also get little more insight into the crazy factory like place where the Cigarette Smoking Man’s clones are all kept and into why exactly there are so many clones of this one man. This story gives us a whole lot of nostalgia from the series as well as kind of taking those memories of a nice little Gibson Praise and destroying those memories right off the bat. Joe Harris has done an amazing job at writing this series and giving us X-Files fans a better story than whatever happened in Season 9. With only two issues left for this season, people batter latch onto, read and finish this series, as well to get an idea of the direction this new mini-series on Fox may have. – Jacob

Image Comics:

October Faction #6 – B+
This time around the focus on the family aspect is what really made this book work. The “October Family” is comprised entirely of orphans, as we found out this issue and instead of killing Dante, or Robot Boy as I’ve been calling him, the welcomed into their clan. I loved that, I’ve felt bad for poor Robot Boy this whole time and it would have been sad to see him die. He is just a kid avenging his father’s death after all. I do wish they would shine more light on his backstory and who his father was and why Frederick killed him, but I’m sure that will come up later. I’m still pretty perplexed about what is going on with Opal and Cope, and whoever the hell their “Momma” is. I feel like if more details had come up I’d be more compelled by their story and actually fear what is to come, but for now it just feels kind of disconnected from the main action. The main plot still feels a little listless, but overall this is definitely still an enjoyable read. – Keriann

Tithe #1 – B
Praise the lawd!!!  And then take his money!!!  That’s essentially the plot of the new Image series, Tithe.  Actually there’s a bit more to it.  It’s like cops and robbers, but with Jesus and computer hackers mixed in.  As it starts out, a rouge band of tech-savvy thieves, known as “The Samaritans,” infiltrates the secret money safe of a wildly popular Church.  The Church has been less than honest about what all the generous donations and collections are spent on – like the pastor’s Mercedes (say whaaat?!).  The Samaritans, however, do know.  And more than just making out with big stacks of dough, they make sure the all the faithful believers are aware of the truth.  And they blow up the Mercedes.  Hashtag – Jesus whip explosion.  Tithe looks like it’ll be a really good “the people” vs. “the man” type of story.  Definitely worth checking out! – Taylor

Shutter #11 – B
Even if I couldn’t enjoy this story’s unraveling twists and turns, I feel safe knowing that Leila del Duca’s ridiculously fantastical and refreshingly unique art will carry the story for me. Thankfully, I can follow this story, and I want more!In one of the best parts of the series so far, Alarm Cat reflects on his existence and finally gives himself a name. Meanwhile, Kate and her half-sister are on an adventure to… well it’s just an adventure! Okay, so I don’t really understand what is going on, but I still enjoy the hell out of it. – Sherif

Chrononauts #2 – C+
Dicks with time machines.  Mark Millar is excellent at writing completely unlikeable characters. Chrononauts appears to be about two guys with utterly no regard for damaging the timeline of the entire planet. Basically, if the douchiest two frat guys you ever knew solely used time machines to slip through time having sex with every famous woman they could and disrupted every part of history you could think of. They are pissing off everyone around them too, not just the reader. The plus side to Chrononauts is Sean Gordon Murphy’s artwork, it’s absolutely fantastic. – Scott

68: Bad Sign (One Shot) – F
Boo! BOO! This is not one I would recommend to anyone, outside of maybe Steven Segal movie lovers. The dialogue was unbearable, the characters were morns and the only female was nothing more than a glorified sex object. Case in point, she has sex with her partner because “hey, why not?” and then requires his entire protection every time they go out in the field. The whole execution of the idea felt flawed from the get go. The action takes place during the zombie apocalypse which has basically nothing to do with the plot action. Instead it’s the only cops still in action in America investigating and finding a super fucked up serial killer with origins a la Red Dragon and Psycho (aka nothing original) who’s killing women. No offense, but aren’t there bigger concerns for the cops to deal with during the zombie apocalypse? Like yeah this guy is killing a few women, but zombies are kind of killing EVERYONE. The idea is unique, and could have been a good read but the manner in which it played out made this one a total miss. – Keriann

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Loki: Agent of Asgard #13 – A-
This is the first issue of this series that I’ve liked in a long time. They’ve really cut the melodramatic “woe-is-Loki” crap. Finally, he’s taking matters into his own hands instead of wallowing over himself. While nothing is certain, it seems like Loki is more or less over his whole redemption thing, but he’s also over the whole “I’m-evil-and-I-can’t-escape-it” thing. Instead, he’s decided to change things around and be the “God of Stories” – much better ring to it. It also leaves things up to ambiguity, which is what I’ve always liked best about his character. His morals aren’t stagnant, and his motivations change. His main concern is looking out for himself, but he’s also not totally heartless either. It seems like the new Loki that we’re going to be seeing in the next issue is going to be more of the morally ambiguous nature, which I was missing in the previous issues. I like it when it’s emotionally messy, which hasn’t been done— or at least done well— until now. I’m looking forward to seeing how this new God of Stories Loki develops. He’s got a look in his eye that gives me hope for this comic yet. – Charlotte

Deathlok #7 – B+
The way this comic deals with free will and what effects outside sources have on it is amazing. This does an excellent job of showing the parallels between the mysterious Biotek organization and S.H.I.E.L.D. Both agencies are using the two Deathlok program individuals to get what they want. Both agencies are forcing the other’s hand and in essence, taking away their free will. The two men have no choice but to do what the separate organizations want. Not really. It’s nice to finally see Henry breaking away from the company trying to control him. He first tries to do it by killing himself in front of a truck, showing just how desperate he is to have his own will back. Then, when his daughter is put in danger, he goes charging back to headquarters, vowing to “rip your arms off before you touch her.” Henry’s fatherhood is what draws the whole story and it’s incredibly strong. I can’t wait to see what happens next issue when Seraph and Henry go head to head. – Charlotte

Ms. Marvel #14 – B+
It’s been a while since I’ve read Ms. Marvel, which is a shame since I loved it so much when it came out. I guess the Inhuman element lost my interest for a bit. Well, I have some catching up to do because it’s still the amazing series it was a year ago. The link between real issues and their superhero translations is still very strong, now being focused on Kamala’s crush on Kamran. There’s even some REAL talk when Bruno spills his guts to Aamir about being in love with Kamala. I love this book and I’m willing to overlook the Inhuman aspect to enjoy reading it again. – Sherif

Thor #7 – B
Who is this new Thor and what is her connection to the original Thor? We may not find out this issue, but it does give us a look into Roz Solomon before the new Thor became Thor and it sets it up for us to believe she may be Thor now, but nothing definitive is given until next issue. In this issue we do get the story with Roz and how even she is affected by the loss of the original Odinson Thor and how her small crush on him actually meant a lot more than just a crush. In the present time though Thor is in a battle with the Destroyer sent by Odin and getting the snot beat out of her. A third story happens as well where the Odinson Thor and his mother Freyja collect a bunch of Marvel’s best heroines to come and help with the Destroyer and I am sure it also was to dwindle down who the new Thor could be for Odinson and his mother. The creative team for this issue is the same as #6 with Jason Aaron on the writing spectrum and Russell Dauterman as the artist. Both men work together spectacularly and give us one of my personal favorite Thor stories for awhile. The story has been a little dragged on as every month we are led to believe we will know who Thor is, but besides that gimmick this has been an outstanding series and very much worth your time going into Secret Wars as this Thor will likely play a huge role in what happens in that event. – Jacob

Uncanny X-Men #33 – B-
Now that the awful Black Vortex arc is over, I can enjoy the best X-Men title on the stands. Or can I? The crisp art that I used to know is gone, replaced by Kris Anka’s (Wolverines) awkward faces. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great art (especially the scenery he paints), but the faces aren’t recognizable to me; it’s more of an issue of consistency than skill. Anyway, the real selling point in the issue is the banter between an estranged Kitty and Illyana. They play off each other so well. This new mutant is full of surprises, which means I’m ready to get excited about Uncanny again. – Sherif


Funniest Panel:

Shutter #11
Shutter #11

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

 

Uncanny X-Men #33
Uncanny X-Men #33

 

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 04-08-15

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:

Savior #1

Savior #1 – A+
Ladies and gentlemen, Todd McFarlane has done it again. He made his triumphant return to comics with Savior and I think he hit this one out of the park. This book is very smart and extremely well-written. The main character, Jill Bennett, is eloquent and intelligent and raises excellent questions for the reader during her lecture on confirmation bias at her former high school. I even made a note to myself why I was reading those panels about how well-worded her arguments were, and that I hope young comic fans give this book a shot so they can read her words. The whole thing is based on the idea of how the society would actually respond if a “messiah” appeared, working his miracles and either confirming or destroying certain religious beliefs. That in itself has me hooked, but this book made and extremely strong entrance for a first issue. The artwork resembles a painting more than a drawing which adds a really nice touch to the storytelling. At one point during my read I even got chills on this one. I cannot wait to keep reading it and see where it goes. – Keriann

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Rebels #1 – B+

Rebels reads like a war diary, which completely makes sense and works perfectly for the story. Rebels comes to us from Brian Wood, creator of amazing series like DMZ and Northlander – that’s big points right there. The story follows a young man in New Hampshire in the early years before the revolution. New Hampshire is being overrun with redcoats from Albany (New York (GEOGRAPHY!)), the British occupiers are taking land from the locals and a group of them are not going to stand for it any more. With a little bit of a love story that doesn’t feel ridiculously shoehorned in, it looks like Rebels will be a good run. – Scott

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence #1 – B
The event book Convergence should just be retitled Grant Morrison’s DCU, because the opening pages are the same as the ending pages of Multiversity #1, which is cool (if you’re into continuity), because, yes Virginia, it means that Multiversity means something for the overall DCU. Personally, continuity is something I don’t care about even a little bit, but event comics can be fun (like Final Crisis. So like I said for #0, I haven’t been keeping not even a little bit of attention to what’s happening in the DCU that leads up to this, but the great thing about something like Final Crisis is that you didn’t have to really know what was coming for the whole thing to be interesting and coherent. I get the sense that is not true for Convergence as the villainous consuming ennui that formed the major villain for Multiversityseems to be replaced by Brainiac, who’s collecting cities from across all incarnations of the DCU to have pit them against each other for… reasons. Disregarding my confusion about the story, it’s just not very compelling thus far. Remember four years ago when we were introduced to the New 52, and it was supposed to totally do away with the old continuity? Just kidding. So the “story over continuity” endgame of Convergence doesn’t feel convincing. Come 2019, DC, like a crack fiend, will be returning to the well trying to fix their brokeass continuity that was never intended to be a continuity in the first place. – Montgomery

Convergence: Nightwing – Oracle #1 – B
I read this issue after I read Convergence: Batgirl. This is all for context as to how I felt about the Nightwing – Oracle issue. The difference in writing from Gail Simone is really superior. Even if I hadn’t read Convergence, I feel as though this issue carried enough personality, bad-assery, and though provoking lines, that the plot didn’t really matter. Of course, the plot does matter, but the fact that Nightwing and Oracle must fight for their right to.. have their city, wasn’t the overarching theme here. I like that it was still just about them. Considering their names are in the title, that worked out pretty well. – Adrian

Convergence: Batgirl #1 – B-
When I first read Convergence: Batgirl, I had not yet read Convergence. Big mistake! But upon reading Convergence, it all (sorta) makes sense. Plots and characters from all time and space are, well, converging. Stephanie Brown was picked as the Batgirl to fight for Gotham City. And not on Earth. There isn’t a whole lot that makes sense about it, but I thought the justice done to Stephanie Brown here was pretty decent. I feel like it is a pretty good re-introduction for fans of the character. I don’t know where it will go from here as far as her character goes, but this was an enjoyable read. Ya’know, after I figured out what the hell was going on. – Adrian

Convergence: Batman and Robin #1 – D-
This was stupid. What is happening in Convergence I really do not know, but I know that I did not enjoy this book at all. It vaguely reminded me of the continuity I used to know before the New52 changed everything, but the art was just god-awful. I’m leery of DC “events” already, and my first venture into Convergence was a crappy rendition of one of my favorite time periods in comic books. I may just have to bury my head in the sand until this is all over and read the results on Wikipedia. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #5 – C
The sci-fi crossover event we all wanted but never thought of is at an end, and as Kirk, the Enterprise crew and Colonel George Taylor finish up their plans to take out the Klingon Leader, Kor, the Apes themselves are on the verge of their own civil war. The events in this issue sure seemed to be rushed when a lot of this series seemed slow. Ultimately, I feel this issue got rather confusing as it moved too quickly. Despite this, Scott Tipton and David Tipton did a good job bringing these universes together in a way that despite the subtitle of this series (The Primate Directive), it wasn’t cheesy or overdone. The art for the series done by Rachel Stott was done with precision like accuracy and brought things into the series only the biggest nerds of each franchise would notice, and everyone else would just think is cool anyway. This issue is definitely worth picking up to finish off the series and it does come with a great tribute to Leonard Nimoy at the end with words from all the creators of the series, and as with every great franchise, they left it open for more if the fans demand it. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Birthright #6 – A
Birthright embarked upon a new story arc for this issue and it was a little slower moving than I’m used to. That is not to say it was bad by any means, but it went back to elemental storytelling instead of action based storytelling. Mikey and Brennen are still on the run, and Aaron is in police custody only to find out that the search for his boys is now an issue of national security. The plot didn’t advance a whole lot (except of course for the whole Terranos coming to the Earth realm thing at the end thing!), but we did get to see a lot more of what Mikey is like and how it seems Lore has taken a much stronger hold on him since he killed Ward. Mikey is becoming kind of scary, and I was horrified when I saw what he did to that poor bear. I’m wondering if this arc will go in a direction where Mikey becomes more of a villain than hero as Lore continues to force him into his bidding. Overall, I’m still pretty much in love with this book, even though there was no acknowledgment of the pregnant Gideon coming to the Earth realm from the last issue. – Keriann

Saga #27 – B+
Yay, backstory! Marko has had such a colorful background before meeting Alana, and by colorful I mean murderous. The entire episode centers around Marko’s crazy drug trip, and the one time he hit a girl as a child. Naturally, there’s the first-page traumatizing genitals panel that have been signature to the series, but the rest of the issue is full of life thanks to Fiona Staples’ amazing colors. It’s a lull in the action, and it doesn’t reveal a whole lot, but it makes me excited to see the more vicious side of Marko come out. – Sherif

Ody-C #4 – B+
This book is so beautiful. Every month there are pages that make me full stop and stare; like this month, the page with Poseidon. The way Poseidon herself is composed of interlocking orbs of water, never quite formed, never quite dissolved. The representation was something else. I know I complain about issue 3s (see: The Nameless and Tooth and Claw), but somehow Ody-C is every other series’ #4. We’re still with the (horrific) Cyclops, and while it gets dealt with, I feel it lacks the original Odyssey’s clarity and wit. But, the book does end with a pretty huge shocker that only Hitler would want to ruin. I still love this book despite the little lag in momentum. – Montgomery

Big Man Plans #2 – B
Holy freaking hell this book is goddamn brutal. This is by far one of the most violent books I’ve ever read. At times it is hard to read, what with the baseball bat beatings, drywall hammer bludgeoning, pulling out of teeth with pliers and, of course, the setting people on fire thing. Even though the main character is basically a twisted psychopath killing people in extremely barbaric fashion, I still find myself rooting for him. That is probably the most unique element of this book. In between the gory bits there is a heartfelt story. Obviously, living as a dwarf is hard, and this poor guy had everything that ever mattered to him taken away and he was left to fend for himself at a young age. The story flashbacks to him and his father are heartbreaking. He may be a cold blooded killer now but at one point he was a scared and bullied little boy – now he’s just getting the ultimate revenge on all his bullies and I am super on-board with it. Sometimes the dialogue is a little hard to get through because I refuse to believe that anyone, even in the south, actually talks by saying “that there river” or “somebody done beat the livin’ piss outta ‘im”. Overall, I think this is a really strong revenge tale told in a unique fashion, although it may not be for the faint of heart. – Keriann

Nameless #3 – B
Issue 3 is, I think, always the worst issue of any series. The novelty and momentum of the story starts to wear off as we settle into the routine of the drama and before it winds up for the climax. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that the world starts to become familiar. Even Grant Morrison doesn’t seem to be immune… which isn’t to say shit doesn’t keep getting weirder, just that the weirder is becoming more understandable. There’s definitely some cool stuff here: zombie quadrocopters, ancient alien tombs on an asteroid, and vaults locked with tarot cards. In terms of story, though, it just feels like a retread of the story before it: astronauts in space, mission control has become murderous, and they’re still just outside the asteroid. Cool images, just not a lot of forward momentum. But the art is horrific and doesn’t fail to deliver. – Montgomery

The Walking Dead #140 – C
At the end of this issue my thoughts were, “…Really?… REALLY?!…” I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but let me tell you – complacency sure has made the folks of Alexandria stupid. Or at the very least, a few people with pretty major responsibilities. <<Mad voice>> – Let’s talk about something else! The majority of the issue continues to focus on Michonne and Carl and their current situations. Michonne’s been back for two issues now and I’m about ready for her to pick that katana back up and start doing some damage. I’m immensely intrigued by Carl’s predicament. He’s become a very interesting character and his dealings with the Whisper’s is sure to make for some solid issues. Ugh… I just can’t get over those last couple pages… REALLY?!?! – Taylor

Descender #2 – C
This one will tug at your heart strings. Robots that deal with mortality are always sad. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot going on in this issue. This issue bounces back and forth between TIM-21 running for his life and a flashback to when he was first created and arrived on the planet. You meet Tim’s family (warm fuzzies) and he sees what’s become of them (cold sadness). It turns out that Tim has sweet Iron Man like hand cannons though. This issue was all backstory and filler, so not overly exciting, but I believe things will pick up again in issue #3. – Scott

Jupiter’s Circle #1 – C
(B) You know that moment where it seems like it’ll be one thing (the typical thing) and you have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be another? Well, that’s Jupiter’s Circle for you, and it’s awesome. I’m not going to even hint at the awesome that it is. Just know, that if you’re reading something from the writer of a superheroes are going to be turned on their head a bit and a lot. I am thoroughly excited and too much of a sly grin refusing to leave my face. Only complaint: 6 superheroes one woman… lame. – Jené

(D) Umm… Okay. First I’ll say that I have not read Jupiter’s Legacy. Even if I had, I’m not sure it would have significantly altered my opinion of the follow up series’ premiere. I just didn’t vibe with this comic – in fact, the only reason I picked it up in the first place was because it had the word “Jupiter” in the title. Don’t be fooled, folks. This story has nothing to do with the biggest planet in our solar system. In what I interpreted as an attempt to provide commentary on the ever-growing hot topic of same-sex relationships (against the much less accepting backdrop of the late 50’s) I found myself incredibly bored and unenthused. I can see what Millar’s going for, but it just doesn’t work for me in this medium. Now, excuse me – I’m going to go read Jupiter’s Wikipedia page. I refuse to be disappointed today! – Taylor

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Howard the Duck #2 – A

Imagine the excitement I have as an old school Howard fan being able to not only have a new series going, but have it be good, one of Marvel’s best even. Well all I have to say is as a fan-boy I am living on cloud 9 right now as far as Howard goes. This months issue we see the continuation from last month with Howard locked up I prison with Rocket Raccoon by The Collector, or at least one of his goons. This issue provides a absolutely wonderful banter between Howard and Rocket border Looney Tunes-esque at times with Howard calling Rocket a Werewolf and little misunderstood jokes only the anthropomorphic animals of Marvel tend to make and understand. We do get to see the other Guardians of the Galaxy in this issue as they help in the Prison Break Howard and Rocket obviously try and make during this issue (no robotic limbs were used or harmed in this prison break). As far as writing goes, Chip Zdarsky blows it out of the park here showing us this man could easily be writing and doing art, as he does for the comic Sex Criminals, for a series all by himself and have it be just as well done as any other. Lest we forget Joe Quinones who offers up wonderful art for this series, and give us not only a great Howard representation as well as the Guardians but his backdrops and seeing all the other aliens in the prison offer up some of the best art in the issue and give us a sense that there are a lot of floating crazy alien prisons in the future. I would definitely recommend this issue to anyone wanting to keep a little piece of 616 going while Secret Wars is destroying everything, but this series offers us not only a comedic look at Marvel, and offers us a look into Marvel through the eyes of the only character who feels as out of place as any of us would in the Marvel Universe. – Jacob

Darth Vader #4 – A
Last issue’s awesomeness continues with the fourth installment of Vader! I cannot get enough of Triple Zero or BT!! This pair of mass murder-torture droids is stealing the show and it’s working beautifully. Dr. Aphra is also adding a lot to the series. I’m not sure what she’s going to “be” for Vader as the story continues. She’s so pragmatic, nonchalant, macabre and totally in sync with Vader. I wouldn’t consider it a surprise if she became a love interest for the Dark Lord. At the very least I am in love with her. That definitely counts for something. The plot also took a step up this issue. The urgency of Vader’s next mission has my blood boiling! More torture/murder droids! More severed body parts and force chokes! More Vader!!! – Taylor

Captain Marvel #14 – B+
The “Black Vortex” storyline really worked for Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick did an amazing job of keeping Carol’s personality, but giving personality to characters who have never made an appearance in the book. Carol has to make sure that only Kitty Pryde gets the Black Vortex. Of course, that doesn’t end up going perfectly, and DeConnick shows us how aware she is of that trope. And it worked. Carol had the chance to gain an insane amount of power, and in the best panels of the issue, contemplates why she chose to make her journey this time around. It was to be a better her, not necessarily a more powerful her. Those are two very different things; something every human being should take time to think about. I love when a comic can get all existential, and then make me laugh hysterically not two seconds later. – Adrian

Deadpool #45 (250th issue) – B
This is a hard issue to review as a whole seeing as there are eight distinct stories done by different writers and artists spanning over 90 pages with a price tag more than double the normal $4 ringing in at $10. But Marvel for some reason decided Deadpool’s Death had to be a part of a major event and have much more importance than Wolverine’s Death just months earlier. As far as story goes, the main running story for the series has a stupendous first and second act, but the third and final act leaves us a little short and wanting more, maybe that’s why they gave us six individual stories about Deadpool’s friends including a great one about Ben Grimm (The Thing) and Benjamin Franklin in a short adventure together. The issue ends with a Infinity Gauntlet tie-in where Deadpool gets ahold of the Gauntlet himself and uses it the throw his own roast, officiated by none other than the old and yet new breakout star Howard the Duck. This roast is by far the best part of this whole issue and despite everyone being there because the Gauntlet made them, we see some very good digs at characters, and at Deadpool of course. If the main ongoing story is Deadpool saying goodbye to his friends and family, then the roast is his way of saying goodbye to the rest of the marvel universe in the best way he can, insulting everyone. Ultimately this issue is a must-have for Deadpool fans for the short stories and the roast itself, but ultimately even if you hate Deadpool, you may want to pick this up as it does give us a HUGE idea of what is to come in Secret Wars. – Jacob

Hulk #14 – D+
This is another Marvel book I can’t wait to end in time for Secret Wars. Doc Green has been going out of his way to eradicate the world of Hulks, and has been successful at eliminating all except Thunderbolt Ross, the Red Hulk. All we get this issue is a giant slugfest between the two, and it’s about everything you dreamed it would be… when you were ten. Ridiculous onomatopoeic exclamations and terrible writing are the status quo here, so don’t get your hopes up there. There is an amazing Deadpool cameo worth reading, though. – Sherif


Funniest Panel:

hulk 14 funny panel 04.08.15
Hulk #14

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

birthright 6 awesome panel 04.08.15
Birthright #6

 

 

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 04-01-15

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.

April Fools!

We sent each of our writers a copy of Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space and didn’t say anything to them about it. We got one review back.

When Sherif dropped this one in my inbox, he said, “I don’t know if it’s a reward or a punishment.” And I’m still not sure. Lesbian Zombies from Outerspace comic opens with Ace, a porn connoisseur, working in a video store when he gets a call from his friend telling him that “Cathy said yes to the threesome.” Ace takes off to watch (he’s not actually invited to be a part of it. Or watch it. Or know about it). Meanwhile, two budding lesbians witness a mysterious crash in the woods, and upon investigation, find a beautiful, well, “beautiful,” green glowing naked woman at the crash site. One of the budding lesbians investigates (tellingly, the hotter of the two) and then instantly makes out with the green chick. Then the central drama of the book becomes women who just want to have sex with each other, and then devour (as in literally eat) men, starting with their penises. In terms of number of drawings of naked women, I guess the book can be enjoyed… I guess… but the whole thing just feels gross. I think it’s trying to be a parody of a 70’s exploitation film, but at no point is it self-aware or funny enough to come across as parody. And none of the characters are substantial enough to make me believe that there’s anything here other than shock value. The whole thing just comes across as gross misogyny produced by the same guys who’d say things like, “girls just play games to get attention from guys,” and, “you’re different. You’re a real geek girl.” They’ve probably (thinking they’re pretty damn funny) posted “TITS OR GTFO” on forums. Hopefully (probably? maybe?) I’m wrong about the authors, but if their book is anything to go by, they seem like they’d be bummers to be around. Anyways — the book had pretty good art (especially for a no-name publisher), but the story wasn’t actually shocking enough to appeal to anyone who isn’t 13 (and probably male), and it wasn’t funny or self-aware enough to come across as anything other than simply exploitation. I mean, seriously, if I had the space, I could easily write a feminist essay about this comic. – Montgomery

Pick of the Week:

Nailbiter #11
Nailbiter #11

Nailbiter #11 – A+
Holy shit. I’m not entirely sure how to put into words the feelings I’m feeling right now. Nailbiter begins a new story arc with this issue and it looks like we all need to prepare for things to get a lot darker. The Butcher of Buckaroo is back and it seems he is the one who’s been down in the tunnels, and he’s keeping people in cages. Apparently the crazy old man with the bees knew the secret of the Buckaroo Butchers, and for that he was kidnapped, kept in a cage, AND THEN CHOPPED INTO PIECES WITH A CLEAVER. And on the other side of the story Finch chewed off his own fingernail to aid him in getting answers from the Nailbiter. Holy shit, again. This book is explosive and one of the most captivating mysteries I’ve ever read. I always want to know more, I always hate the month I have to wait until the next issue. The writing is so smart, and all of the characters are so layered with fragments of heroes and villains it’s just impossible not to enjoy reading. – Keriann

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

UFOlogy #1 – B
(BUFOlogy started well enough, although I was hoping it would be a little creepier. The whole thing felt a lot more adolescent than I was expecting, but I’m still pretty content with what I read. It had a warm feel, kind of like E.T., it takes place in a sleepy little town full of happy families but of course there is a sad boy whose mom I can only imagine was abducted by aliens. I’m sure there will be conspiracies related to aliens on earth in this book as that’s pretty much already been laid out, but I doubt it will get any darker. I’m not sure this is the book for me, but I can see it being a really fun read for younger audiences. I’m sure it will be heartwarming and adventurous and have great moments, but right now it kind of feels more like a family bedtime story than a comic book. – Keriann

(B) I honestly think this is going to be my next favorite comic. My inner UFO, Crypto-zoologist is squealing ever so slightly on the inside. The cover is stunning in a way that I can’t explain. Had I been in comic store I would have picked it no questions asked. It’s nice to know the rest of the book stood up to the cover. We don’t know what’s going on – just that aliens are somehow involved in the seemingly normal town. We got Malcolm in detention with a UFOologist for a dad. Then there’s Becky, who’d rather stay in the small town then head off to college. The beginning storyline and characters are simple enough, but it drags you to the end of the comic and is over before you realize. You feel automatically connected to the characters and are wanting to find out more about them and how “aliens” are somehow involved. I think this is a comic to keep an eye out for. Sure has my attention. – Jené

DC/Vertigo Comics: 

Convergence #0 – B-
I realize the practice of marketing something 0 is a gimmick, and they (theoretically) act as prequels, but I can’t help but see Anything #0 without a funky Liefeld aftertaste. Numbering aside, I’ll be frank in saying I have no idea, really, what Convergence is all about. I understand the gist of the story — every DC Universe ever is colliding to do battle with themselves — but I have no idea what led up to it or why, or what the ultimate stakes are. As a concept, I feel like this is the (DC) 1,000,000th time they’ve done this (please tell me you see what I did there), but apparently, the aftermath of this event is yet another (soft) reboot of DC that will resort in a vague promise of story over continuity. Which sounds like an exasperated parent of a toddler shouting, “Fine! Color on the wall!” The story itself is that Brainiac (but really, “the planet”) is collecting cities from all times and places within the DCU to find out what’s strongest. Superman of the NuFittyTu is there — I don’t know why, I just wanted to see yet another comic company’s yet another attempt to deconvolute their continuity — before he deus ex machinas himself out of that scene. As a single issue, it wasn’t bad. I like that DC has pretty blatantly made itself Grant Morrison’s universe as they pretty liberally steal from his Multiversity and Seven Sons of Victory bags. I also appreciate that, finally, at least one of the big two is recognizing that continuity isn’t what’s important with super hero books, but I wish it didn’t have to have a “never before seen the stakes have never been this high” continuity smashing event book to precede it. Because you know when else the stakes were never this high? Identity Crisis, Final Crisis, Flashpoint, Brightest Day, Darkest Night… whichever one drops in 2018. – Montgomery

Wonder Woman #40 – C
There’s a good story in here somewhere, I just know it. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman seems just as unsure of her new status as we are as readers. David Finch is able to save the day each issue with his ridiculous full-page spreads, but we’re gonna need something other than White Walkers to get by on; I could do without the entire Justice League story, honestly. I’m much more interested in the Donna Troy vs. Wonder Woman story. That girl is ruthless! I’m rooting for a great Wonder Woman book. DC NEEDS a great WW book. Up to this point, though, there’s nothing keeping engaged past the art. – Sherif

Wolf Moon #5 – C-
The Wolf Moon series only has one issue left, and for whatever reason it seems they decided to kill time for yet another issue. NOTHING happened in this issue. Dillon and Cayce showed up in a town, talked to some people, tried to find the wolf (who is a little girl), found her dad instead and discovered that she had been kidnapped. There is still some psycho lurking around trying to stop people from killing the wolf, and now he’s kidnapped the wolf but we are no closer to knowing why. I get saving all the big answers until the final issue, but the second to last one was frankly kind of boring. It was the same old same old; some girl got her head ripped off and Dillon shows up to a small town with a bunch of gun toting hillbillies. For a story that started out so strong I’m really disappointed at the slow fizzle it’s deciding to conclude with. – Keriann

Batman and Robin Annual #3 – D
Okay, I’m calling it – this is Invasion of the Pod People. Where did the real Peter Tomasi go? This issue is complete garbage. It was just last week that I gave the highest praises to Batman and Robin #40, a hell of a finale that wrapped up the series in a neat little bow. And then this crap comes along and pretty much “Michael Jordan on the Wizard”s everything. It’s not funny, it’s hardly entertaining, and thanks to some brand new art by Juan Jose Ryp (which is pretty good in all honesty), it feels completely foreign. I have no reason to connect to this, so if you haven’t been into the series yet, this won’t convince you otherwise. – Sherif

Image Comics:

Black Science #13 – A
You know how when you travel to foreign nations sometimes you have to visit the doctor to make sure you’ve been vaccinated accordingly? It’s standard protocol. And now that our roving band of dimensionauts have jumped to a world ravaged by some crazy other-worldly virus, I bet they’re wishing they hadn’t skipped their last physical. It’s unclear where the virus stemmed from, but it’s crystal clear that it’s no joke. Boils all over, bloody noses, and insane thoughts are just some of the side effects. I’m also pretty sure that everyone in the group has contracted it too. It’s like they all canon-balled into a pool of AIDs needles and Ebola. All of this was interesting, but the main reason I loved the issue is because of the family moments we see through Pia’s memories. Remender’s fantastic story telling method really gives the touching and tragic moments some weight. Things keep going from bad to worse in Black Science and I can’t get enough of it. – Taylor

Graveyard Shift #4 – B+
I was pretty happy with the conclusion of this mini-series. Liam and Hope find her sire and confront him about his murders, why he keeps girls in a dungeon, and why he turned Hope into a vampire. The twist was that instead of Liam saving the day – as he has done the whole series – Hope killed her sire and saved the female hostages from doom in the dungeon. She also found out there was a cure for vampirism. Now she and Liam are on the hunt for the cure. They ride off into the night (not the sunset, because you know, she is a vampire), but not without the sunset, on her tablet, of course. One of the last panels in the book is a great not to other horror/vampire stories. Above them is a highway sign that reads “Jerusalem’s Lot” (a nod to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot), “Collinsport” (a nod to Dark Shadows), “Santa Clara” (a nod to Lost Boys), and “Sunnydale” (a nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I geeked out about this and just wish the rest of the series had been this cool. – Adrian

No Mercy #1 – C
If you’ve ever gone on a group study abroad, this comic will speak to you. It sure does speaks to my annoyance of stereotypical American travelers. Such as, the naive (didn’t do any reading on said country), the Namaste asshole, and the iPhone addict. Gather all these stereotypes and other non-stereotypes together, shove them in a bus, and throw misery-and-a-half at them while traveling in Mexico and see how they respond to them. No Mercy isn’t my typical read but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The drama and dynamics of the characters pull you in right away, and you want to see how they’ll interact and get through this situation that’s been created. – Jené

Rat God #3 – C-
I just finished the third issue of Rat God and wouldn’t you know it, I still have no idea what the hell is going on in that damn book. This issue was comprised mostly of sound effects and fighting, really freaking weird hallucinations that shed zero light on what the hell is going on, and child sacrifice. Oh, and there was a man acting as a god and wearing a giant rat head who is sacrificing people to some sort of actual phantom rat god. I don’t know why I can’t turn away from this book, it has a very strange allure that makes me want to keep reading. It’s original for sure. It’s some sort of strange mix of Lovecraft and Native American mythology, and while it can be loathsome at times I get the feeling that the story will build up in a way that the payoff will be worth it. I’d like it if the storytelling felt more thorough, and this book is by no means a gem, but it’s basis is at least original enough that it can stay afloat. – Keriann

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Kanan – The Last Padawan #1 – A
Star Wars Rebels has been over for a while now and it’s left a void in my heart (it’s a really good series – catch up if you haven’t already!). So when I heard that Marvel would be releasing yet another Star Wars comic, I back-flipped for joy. Then I remember I don’t know how to backflip and I landed square on my face. No worries though. I just wiped away the blood and opened up Kanan. When it was over I attempted another joyous backflip. Failed again. More blood. Point is, this issue was awesome! I love, love, LOVE the artwork; Pepe Larraz’s style works amazingly well in the backdrop of A Galaxy Far, Far Away. His Jedi action sequences were some of the best I’ve ever seen on panel. There’s a good balance of action and meaningful plot. Also – Kanan (his real name is actually Caleb Dume) was trained by Jedi Grand Master Depa Billaba. And you know who trained Master Billaba, right?! Yup!! – Mace (Snakes on a Plane) Windu. Essentially this means that Kanan is a byproduct of the greatness that was Mace Windu. Let’s try just one more backflip… – Taylor

Guardians Team-Up #4 – B+
Green Women unite! I have to be honest and say this is one issue of this series I have been looking forward to the most actually… I am not sure if it is because of my love for strong female characters, the fact I generally enjoy both Gamora and She-Hulk, or just because green is my favorite color. No matter the reason, this team up was bound to happen sometime. The joke of them both being green is not just mentioned but an integral part of the plot of this issue and they both use this to their advantage for multiple scenarios. I did like the dynamic between the two characters and how there was an almost instant Mother/Daughter type of relationship that turned into a friendship and one that made the other a better person for it. So my hat is off to John Layman for mixing the right amount of action, humility and a bit of cheesiness to the story to make for a great Team-Up and also to Otto Schmidt for an amazing job with the art for this issue. He has some of my favorite art and definitely my favorite depiction of Gamora from any of the Guardians series running now. – Jacob

Return of the Living Deadpool #3 – B
This third issue of Deadpool’s romp into the black and white world of Zombie infestation treads a fine line between Deadpool being a very loving and caring person to being bat shit crazy within a manner of a couple panels. Although Deadpool is always a bad ass mercenary it does add a lot to the character to see him humanized a little every once and awhile, and having an even crazier horde of Deadpools around sure helps make the main man seem a bit tame in comparison. Putting aside the fact Deadpool’s heart is both literally and figuratively shown, this issue really takes quite a turn within the last couple pages that ultimately had me laughing but was also scratching my brain. It isn’t terribly confusing but just a jump out of nowhere that tossed the story up a bit when it wasn’t needed, but this series has improved with both the writing and the gore within making this a very viable zombie story, despite zombies kind of being the minority as far as humans, Deadpools, and zombies go. – Jacob

Spider-Gwen #3 – B
Spider Gwen is like an aircraft climbing too steeply. Intense and exciting at first, but it’s only a matter of time before the engines stall. Spider Gwen is just on the verge of stalling. I’m still digging the character focused story and the unique twists on other, well-known Marvel heroes, but the plot is suffering a little for it. I’m still confused as to why King Pin is so mad at Spider-Woman and I’m a little tired of seeing Vulture all the time. Notice that I’m using the term “a little” a lot. Remember… we’re just short of stalling. Overall the series is still engaging and enjoyable. I’d like to see a more cohesion and less Vulture and then we’ll be back in business. And where the heck is Spider-Ham?!?! – Taylor

Amazing Spider-Man #17 – B
Amazing Spider-Man? Pshh… More like Amazing Anna Maria!! I never read Superior Spider-Man so I largely have no context on Anna Maria or her origins. But each time I see her in ASM I like her more. This issue she goes around town dropping reality bombs on foo’s left and right. She should have been carrying a bag of microphones so she could drop them at the end of some spoken truth! She’s quick to action and very smart. See – I’m not even talking about Parker or Spider-Man; it was all Anna Maria this issue. An old Spidey villain did make an appearance this issue, though. Ghost!! He’s got a crazy backstory (wiki it) and he’s got an awesome appearance. Also, being able to phase in and out of a tangible state (hence the alias “Ghost”) is about as bad-ass as it gets. – Taylor

Rocket Raccoon #10 – B
Rocket starts a new story arc this month and one that seems to have a huge importance to his existence, as we know it. With this new arc, we are thrown right into the action and see Rocket and Groot in a giant space battle with what seems to a be a humongous space Lobster, while also trying to figure out whether to pay off a debt owed or buy info from a man with a secret Rocket would find very useful in finding out more about his home. If you know Rocket, you know he picked to find the info, so now he has info on whereabouts to a book of Halfworld and also has multiple people after him for his debt. Hey! All is normal in the life of Rocket and Groot and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Skottie Young is still on writing duties and likely will hold that title until the series ends with Secret Wars coming soon, and Jake Parker does the art which is still very Skottie Young-esque but distinct enough to hold its own in whichever Marvel universe this Rocket story takes place. – Jacob

Guardians of The Galaxy: Best Story Ever #1 – C
Another Guardians of the Galaxy one-shot that looks amazing, but this one ultimately feel flat and left me thinking yet again of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” When you first see this issue it seems to have everything and everyone involved and in some capacity it does. But in that sense, it seemed like everything celestial or Guardians related at the moment was thrown together and then the story was added into the gaps much later. Given the amount of story and characters one had to include in a one-shot not much larger than a regular issue, I do have to hand it to Tim Seeley that the story ultimately did hold together well and was enjoyable for any modern Guardians fan. The art of this issue though is what won me over and made me enjoy this issue as every panel is of an epic proportion and despite judging the book by its cover, it is a pretty awesome cover to judge upon. – Jacob


Funniest Panel:

Return of the Living Deadpool #3
Return of the Living Deadpool #3

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Wonder Woman #40
Wonder Woman #40

 

 

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 03-25-15

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:

Darth Vader #3

 

Darth Vader #3 – A

(A+) Let’s have a round of applause for Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca (writer and artist respectively for Darth Vader).  Of the three new, Marvel published Star Wars comic series, Vader is my favorite.  This month’s issue firmly put this title at the top of my list.  There are SO many things that Gillen is doing right.  He has maintained the classic Star Wars theme while introducing altogether brand new concepts.  Perfect example:  droid duo 000 (Triple Zero) and BT-1.  Picture C3PO and R2D2, but as psycho, murder and torture machines.  Add to that a new character, Dr. Aphra (who, in my opinion, has as much EU appeal as crazy-popular Mara Jade) and we’ve got a line up that will give us sweet dreams (or horrific nightmares) for ages to come.  And all the little details in this series are STILL giving me goosebumps.  Google a picture of Aphra’s personal ship, Ark Angel, right now!!… That nerdgasm you just had – you’re welcome.  I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely ready to enlist in Vader’s personal army. – Taylor
(A) Vader is recruiting a personal army.  In this issue we get a brand new expanded universe character, Dr. Aphra.  She’s sort of a combination of Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo; she’s kind of bad ass.  A tech wizard and quite roguish, she will surely be a fun new character.  Two more interesting additions in this universe are murderous protocol droids and assassin droids disguised as astromech droids.  It’s like C-3PO and R2-D2 have evil twins with goatees.  It’s strange seeing all of the droids from the prequel movies, considering that these books take place after A New Hope and they aren’t anywhere in the original trilogy.  Their presence takes me out of the story a little bit because they don’t feel like they should be there.  It looks like we’re getting even more of them in the next issue with a return to Geonosis.  The series is running strong, though. – Scott

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

ElfQuest #7 – C
I just realized that ElfQuest was suddenly back and had to read it.  It sure was a trip down memory lane.  ElfQuest was one of the first comic books I ever read.  After ElfQuest all other comic books came.  Hell, ElfQuest was how I really learned to read (when I was 11).  It was fun to visit a world I hadn’t in a long time.  I was less lost than I thought I would be jumping into book 7.  I’ve pretty much read everything else about ElfQuest – it was easy to get an idea of where the story came from and where it is heading.  ElfQuest is about ancient space-faring elves who crash land on a planet with two moons.  The story is about Cutter and his Wolf-Elf tribe.  This time around, Wendi and Richard Pini are bringing the story several generations away from the Wolf-Elves and their small tribe.  All elf tribes have been magically linked up psychically.  They have a decision to make: stay on the planet with two moons or migrate to “the great place” and take their place among the stars.  ElfQuest is a rather different kind of comic.  More cerebral and relationship based than it is action/violence based.  I hope people give it a chance!  It’s nice to be immersed in a world of magic where words and relationships (against a background of greater conflict) are the point of the story.  There’s still a bad ass villain in the story but it looks like we have yet to meet her.  I’m looking forward to continuing to read this series. – Jene

DC/Vertigo Comics: 

Batman and Robin #40 – A-

I definitely got thrown for a loop when it comes to this book.  I had no idea that this would be the final issue prior to reading it.  But after I let it sink in, I’ve come to terms that this was the best I could have asked for wrapping up the series.  Damian “leading” the Justice League was amazing, and to see that Batman always finds a way to come out on top was so satisfying.  When Convergence comes in a few months and wipes continuity off the face of the Earth, I’ll be glad that they were able to wrap this one up in a tidy manner.  There is still one Annual issue left, but this saga ends at #40, for me, on a happy note. – Sherif
Suiciders #2 – B
Yeah, still don’t really know what the hell is going on here.  To start, Lee Bermejo’s art is so engulfing.  It’s phenomenally well-crafted, making you look at the book as  if an Italian renaissance painter tried his hand as a crime scene artist.  We’re given a bit more introspect to Saint’s humble beginnings, and by the end, get the overwhelming feeling that he is a mouse, caught in a cat’s game.  It’s a very worn out concept, but there’s a unique twist that makes me want to keep reading.  It almost makes me less anxious that this will be a limited series, so we’ll have to learn sooner than later what the hell it all means. – Sherif
Batman Eternal #51 – C-
Once again, I put my foot in my mouth this week.  Last week’s Eternal had me spitting out my cereal at the dumbest arch-villain ever.  The true face of evil was revealed, and it was the most convenient arch-villain ever.  I won’t spoil who it was (not the Joker, thank God), but just know that it has the potential to be the greatest misuse of a character’s entrance ever (if this last issue of Eternal sucks – which it likely will). I kind of like the epic showdown on the rooftop where Cluemaster spills the beans about his plans, only to be foiled before he can complete them – ala Bond – but the message he gives is kinda lame.  Dude, there’s a reason you are a D list villain… Even if you don’t read this book, might as well catch the show for the finale.  Things could get really mediocre. – Sherif
Gotham Academy #6 – B+
I got all the way to the end only to find out that Gotham Academy won’t be back until June.  June!  That’s two full months without a fix of this book!  Gah!  Ok so now to my review.  As usual, the art is everything.  It’s just so mesmerizing!  This issue did include some of the best story – the Killer Croc story line was wrapped up (for now), and now I will only look at him as a victim of his circumstances and an O.K. guy (croc?).  Batman did some good ole ass-kicking, Olive did some brooding, and Maps was still adorable.  But the cliffhanger really made this book.  Freakin’ Damian Wayne will be attending the school.  It’s about to get real at Gotham Academy. – Adrian 

IDW Publishing:

TMNT Mutanimals #2 – B+
Reeling off of the events of this months TMNT #44, going into Mutanimals #2 was a bit scary.  Especially considering the history of this team and how the last series about them ended.  Nervousness aside, things do get pretty insane in this issue.  The gang tries to go back to the Null corporation and help free the other two mutants the company has captive.  But, seeing as the team is not yet “a team” and mostly just outcasts thrown together by Old Hob, they are ultimately led into a huge ambush.  Will any of them be able to escape and remedy the situation, or is the Mutanimals going to be a very short lived series?  Next month’s issue will hopefully answer that.  This issue definitely touches on elements from the past while also creating something of its own – especially since hardly any members of this team were in the original Mutanimals and the villain, Null, is now a woman instead of a Hulk sized man.  This story has definitely changed.  Let’s hope this creative team can give us time to recover from the loss us TMNT fans have already experienced this month, before throwing more pain is thrown our way. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #17 – B+
Samurai Jack this month offers us the second part to the “Master of Time” storyline.  It guides us into the last phase of this series.  This issue was particularly enjoyable.  It was very much a representation of what 007 would be like if he were a 12th century Japanese warrior.  “The name’s Jack… Samurai, Jack.”  Jack is joined by a very cunning and very eager thief on a mission to break into the Master of Time’s lair to hopefully return Jack to the past.  This is the best hope Jack has had for getting home in awhile, but will it hold true and allow our hero to finally be at peace?  This issue was definitely entertaining and offered up a side of Jack these comics have not shown before;  more of his Ninja side, and less endless robot destruction.  Overall, this is one of the more fun issues of Jack, but as a result the storyline suffers a little and leaves us a bit unsatisfied with the ending.  Still pleased with the journey, though! – Jacob

Image Comics:

The Empty #2 – B+
The Empty gets a little more intriguing this issue.  Lila and Tanoor with a Mool (crazy rabbit like monsters).  On the other side of the world Lila’s fiancé is starting to ask questions, realizing that something may have happened to Lila.  It turns out that the roots are not what was expected and they are going to be a little more difficult to deal with than previously thought.  The Empty is a good story and I’m still thoroughly impressed that the entire book is done by one guy.  I’m looking forward to the next issue. – Scott
The Walking Dead #139 – B+
Finally!  Michonne makes her post-All Out War debut.  Turns out that it was nothing spectacular, though.  She ran away from the perfect life with Ezekiel to be…well, a sea captain.  Commandeering a ship in the zombie apocalypse should be on everybody’s bucket list now, if it weren’t already.  The unfortunate thing about the issue is that primarily ALL it talks about is Michonne’s homecoming.  I’m more interested in the little bits of Carl’s story that’s going on.  He’s obviously got a dark streak, and is quite the legend at Hilltops.  What the hell is going to become of his most recent escapade with the Whisperers?  And how long until Negan comes back into the picture? – Sherif

The Mice Templar #5 – B

When you start a new comic and don’t know what’s going on… gotta be grateful to the recap. I’m kinda wondering if there is any relation to the Secrets of Nimh? The art and tone are very similar.  The mixture of watercolors and ink give the imagery a life that is really magical.  Different mediums seems to be used for different characters and situations.  The epic proportions of what’s going on in the story is almost too much to condense into a nice precise nugget. There is this mouse with a weighty and huge prophecy to carry on his shoulders; creatures and other worldly entities all investing and using Kalric for their own means.  But currently the Mice of Templar are dealing with a mad king who threatens a kingdom.  For not having that much background I was intensely pulled into the story. You get a real feel for how the world operates and not a second thought crops up that the world is told from the perspective of rodents and other animals. It’s awesome how epic one can develop mice this way!  I’ve got so many comic books that are awesome to read now I don’t know what to do with all my time.  But seriously, try this out. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Deathlok #6 – A-

This is one of my favorite comics right now. It really pulls at your heartstrings. Henry no longer has a facade to hide behind. There’s nothing to keep him from witnessing the horrors created by his own hands. The ability to erase his memory has been compromised and with the well-being of his daughter being dangled in front of him, he has no choice but to do the missions he’s been assigned. His life is becoming so manipulated that even his own daughter has been altered into a more “convenient” version of herself. And what exactly is happening to Agent Hope? The last panel of the issue suggests there’s more going on than meets the eye, as well. The character dynamics are really what make this issue. Everyone has clear motivations driving them forward. Mike’s only concern is the safety of his daughter. Agent Hope is hellbent on discovering the truth. Stories work best when the driving elements are strong and in this comic, they’re both strong and complex. While Mike is disgusted by the work he’s being forced to do, he is willing to sacrifice his morality as a medic to keep his daughter safe. It’s this complexity that really makes Deathlok an interesting narrative. I can’t wait for more. – Charlotte

Deadpool #44 – B
Well, this is the last issue of Deadpool for the upcoming months – like it is for many other Marvel heroes.  With this issue we don’t really see much into the how or what of Deadpool’s death, but we do get a good look at why, who will do it, where it may happen, and we obviously know when it will happen.  Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan are making sure to hit us in “the feels” before hitting Deadpool with the final blow.  This issue is enjoyable because it makes us actually like Deadpool.  Even some of the most die-hard Wade fans will tell you they still don’t “like” him as a person.  The story in this issue brings everything “Deadpool” to the forefront.  Shiklah is back for a huge moment, Evan (Apocalypse) is hiding at Deadpool’s house with Michael and Benjamin Franklin, Preston still lives next door taking care of Deadpool’s daughter, and we even get a small panel showing a actual nice moment between Deadpool and Wolverine (another one of our favorite fallen Weapon X comrades).  The story definitely seems to be coming to a very tragic, yet beautiful ending for the Merc with the Mouth we love to hate.  The art is also spectacular, coming from Salva Espin this month. There’s a lot of humor infused into the art.  Dramatic scenes typically show Deadpool with his mask off thus demonstrating the seriousness of the situation.   Definitely try and catch up if you aren’t already.  Pick this up and get ready because we only have one more month until (as odd as it sounds) Deadpool will finally say his last words. – Jacob

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of Three – House of Cards #1 – B-

It’s really hard to go wrong with a comic when you’ve got content from Stephen King to work with. While this issue relies a little too much on exposition at times for my taste, it is a genuinely good narrative. The mix of modern, western, and sci-fi elements always makes for a fun time and this issue really used them to it’s advantage. The humor is also really well done, especially when it comes to Eddie Dean’s scene in the lavatory. “What the hell are you doing in here?” “Curing cancer. What’s it look like?” The dialogue is great even though it doesn’t leave much to the reader’s imagination. Marvel definitely knows what it’s doing when to comes to adapting King’s work. Despite it’s change in medium, the same King feel comes across. Fans of The Dark Tower series will be pleased and those who don’t have much exposure to the author’s writing style will enjoy it all the same. -Charlotte

 


Funniest Panel:

 

Batman and Robin #40

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Suiciders #2

 

 

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.