So Far This Week… April 30th, 2014

Holy crap! Get ready to have your socks knocked off; this week brings in a lot of great news tidbits.

This Sunday is May the Fourth!  Hush Comics is lucky enough to be running a panel at StarFest to commemorate the holiday.  Come see us at 10 AM!

This Saturday, May 3rd, is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Head to your local comic book store for free issues of some of the biggest (and smallest, in the case of Mouse Guard) stories in the industry. Many local shops are holding insane sales for books, so it’s an amazing opportunity for new fans to dive in head-first to the comic book world. Don’t believe me? Just take Levar Burton’s word for it.

For more information on which books are available, this is your one-stop shop (figuratively, I mean, you still have to go to the shop to get the books. duh.). Also, Denverites, visit the Mile High Comics’ Jason Street Mega-Store for some awesome festivities on  Saturday.

If you’re like us, you like to occasionally use the ComiXology to supplement the physical copies of comics you buy at your local stores… RIGHT?? Well, since the acquisition by Amazon, there have already been some swift changes to the storefront. If you’re as confused as we are, check out this informational article.

Today marks the return of the Amazing Spider-Man to the comic book world. After over a year of Otto Octavius as Spider-Man (it’s complicated), Peter is back in command and with a new lease on life! And just in time for the movie, Amazing Spider-Man 2, to hit theaters.

Gwen Stacy herself challenged Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a lip-sync battle, which is quickly becoming my favorite recurring bit on the show. Emma Stone destroys Fallon – all she does is win, win, win.

Before last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Oathkeeper,” a trailer for the upcoming series called Leftovers. I’m still not too sure what it’s about, but I’m interested enough to check it out when it airs June 29th.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, the upcoming video game by Telltale Games is getting some narrative assistance from the story creator’s right hand man, Ty Corey Franck as a story consultant. With games like The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us, I’m sold with anything Telltale puts out.

Marvel is not just trending, but making it a priority for gender equality in their books. Our article on what Ms. Marvel means to us (and the world) is just the start. Now that Elektra, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, X-Men (all female cast) and the aforementioned Ms. Marvel have solo titles, it’s time for another leading lady to get her own series; Storm debuts this summer, written by Greg Pak – an interview from C2E2 can be found here.

Not even a year after the series’ Felina, and we’re still mourning the legendary Breaking Bad. Fans should check out this 8 minute-long tribute (seriously, whoever made this should win a freakin’ award) to the Heisenberg; while you’re at it, read our Breaking Bad Week articles. You’re God Damn Right.

Image Comics (The Walking DeadSagaDeadly ClassBlack Science…..) is trying to get some much-deserved cred with Humble Bundle, a site that lets users choose how much they pay for these works (sorry, there is a minimum payment lol). Here are some more details on the deal.

2014 is the year of the Bat…man 75th Anniversary, and July 23rd has been officially dubbed Batman Day! To celebrate, go to your local shop and pick up a FREE issue of a reimagined Detective Comics #27; Batman Day also coincides with the release of Grayson #1 and Robin Rises: Omega #1. Ah, it’s a good time to be a Bat.

The DC New 52 run of Batman has been arguably the best comic out since it went to print in 2011. A line of Greg Capullo-inspired action figures will be released soon (Batman and Talon coming this month). I want to buy an army of Talons, but I will likely settle for two.

Saturday morning cartoons meets Sunday night slow jams! Check out this awesome rendition of the classic Ducktales theme song.

Spider-Man is definitely the topic of choice this week, but DC and Warner Bros. can’t let Marvel steal all the shine. Zack Synder has been announced as the director to a Justice League movie to be released after Batman vs Superman.

Classic Frank Miller graphic novel, Ronin, is getting picked up by the SyFy channel. Hell yes.

Just in time for Star Wars Day, the initial cast for Star Wars: Episode VII has been released. What do you think?

To continue to expand upon its appeal to fourteen year old boys (just a good ribbing from a PlayStation person), X-Box One has launched WWE Network on consoles.

The Disney-Marvel connection will be in full effect this fall when Disney Infinity brings the big guns to its platform for its second iteration, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. I haven’t gotten a chance to play the game, but it seems like a great game for kids.

DC’s adult alter-ego game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, is rumored to be getting a sequel out next year. I’m not too sure how a new installment will be justified, but I’m excited, nonetheless. We’ll have more news on that as it develops.

Village idiot Joe Dirt may be getting a sequel. Yeah, that’s where we’re at with comedies…

Comic Book Reviews 03-26-14

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

Superior Spiderman #30 – A

We knew the end of Superior Spider-Man was approaching when an all-new Amazing Spider-Man was announced late January. However, the details of how it would come about were still up in the air. This issue unveils that mystery, and in spectacular fashion. Otto does the only thing he feels he can to end the terror of the Goblin. There are a lot of heart-felt, you-had-no-idea-this-was-coming moments, which makes it a tad unbelievable, but genuinely moving at the same time. The series wraps up in next issue, so don’t miss the thrilling conclusion to Superior Spider-Man where we find out who really is Superior. – S

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Blackout #1 – B+

A suit that lets you travel through shadows and dimensions?!  Now that’s a sweet concept.  And that’s exactly what readers get with Blackout #1.  What I really like about the start of this new Dark Horse series is that it’s not a cliché superhero comic.  It’s just an average scientist using a supercool suit to do supercool stuff.  Kinda like Ironman, but a lot more complex in premise.  Blackout is already shaping out to be one of Dark Horse’s more interesting series. – T

Tomb Raider #2 – B-

The story of the video game continues with the island coming home to haunt Lara. There is really no major indication of what the heck is going on but I assume that it will continue with the progression of Lara from beginner to seasoned adventurer. The part that I find most disappointing is that after years of her being a badass and for that matter a badass by the end of the game, she has regressed to an unknowledgeable non-badass that clearly contradicts what we have come to know. I am assuming and hoping that Gail Simone’s plan is to show her evolve into the badass we expect her to be. – R

DC/Vertigo:

Injustice: Year Two #3 – B

Just because a series isn’t canon doesn’t mean it can’t have impact. Superman’s totalitarian regime is just starting to dig its heels in to the rest of the world and there’s really nobody standing in its way – unless you count the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps. As the rest of the world falls in or out of favor with the Man of Steel, everything is getting real. Fast. I was pretty disappointed in the Batgirl/Oracle and Jim Gordon reveal, especially when Barbara was moments away from revealing herself in Batgirl. – S

IDW Comics:

Rocky and Bullwinkle # 1 – A-

The first of a four-issue Rocky & Bullwinkle special was great. If you have ever seen the classic show this issue will really bring back some good memories.  The whole time I was reading it, it felt just like watching the series with updated jokes to include modern culture; on top of the two part Rocky & Bullwinkle story in this issue, we get a short story for Dudley-Do Right where he has to thwart his nemesis Snidley Whiplash for the 349th time, supposedly. The style of Rocky & Bullwinkle lends itself to comics very nicely and makes me hope they extend this series beyond the four issues planned. It would be great to see shorts of Aesop’s Fables and Fractured Fairy Tales, as well, but I believe Dudley Do-Right is the main focus besides the title characters. Definitely a good read for anyone needing a laugh, anyone who enjoys classic animation, any comic aficionado, or any kids alive today. – JR

X-Files: Conspiracy #2 – B-

It is the final issue of the X-Files: Conspiracy series and it all goes out in a bang, well almost. Only one of the properties that had been included in this series makes an appearance in this issue, which was a bit of a let down.  We only see the man possessed by the Crow show up but it would have made me squeal with glee if we could have seen Egon, Michelangelo, Optimus Prime, and The Lone Gunmen together. Despite the absence of the other properties, this issue seemed rather simple. The conflict ends half way through the issue and gives us a look at an alternate reality. In doing this, it was rather upsetting because we had to see some people go through things I never wanted to see again… But hey, it was in a different reality so no worries, I guess. Ultimately, I feel this series was hyped up and looked way better than it was, but it is worth a read – and seeing The Lone Gunmen save the world once again is always a plus. – JR

Image Comics:

Deadly Class #3 – B

Deadly Class #3 was a good issue and I like that we gained more background story on a few of our characters; however, it doesn’t hold up to the standard set by the first two issues. There were minor story developments that got me excited to read the next few issues. I still believe that Deadly Class has been a great new comic and I hope it continues down the path set by the first 3 issues. – E

The Walking Dead  #124 – B-

Has anyone else noticed that there a now two guys named Carson in TWD? The Hilltop is under siege by Negan and The Saviors. Rick is rushed to Doctor Carson after being shot by Dwight’s arrow.  Eugene and his group are desperate to get back to help in the fight and he even kills his first man. The battle continues, Rick and their combined forces fight desperately to free the kingdom as Jesus and Michonne make a shocking discovery.  – JS

Well, there are only two more issues of All Out War; so far, the twelve issue run hasn’t really produced anything. All relationship building has been put on hold. A bunch of people have kicked the bucket, and the Negan has dropped the F bomb more times than The Wolf of Wall Street. I really do hope something happens here that will inspire me to keep reading past this arc. I never thought I’d say this, but the future of the book is in Dwight’s hands. Is the Two-Face looking gentleman a double agent, or just that much of a pussy? – S

The Revenge #2 – C+

This comic is just plain weird. It’s full of blood and boobs and dwarfs with horns… I don’t know. No matter how weird and strange it is, there are some pretty cool things about this comic. Based off some of the dialog from this issue, I am semi-confused about who is going to backstab who, but I don’t believe it really matters at this point. Overall, this comic is crazy and I am fairly interested to see how it progresses in the future. – E

Sex #12 – C+

The plot continues to stagnate to the point where I’m wondering when the hell something is actually going to happen. If the Armored Saint doesn’t show up in the next few issues I can’t see myself continuing to be interested in where this is going. If you are buying this for the sex scenes then I feel sorry for you because I am sure there has to be better stuff out there. As for this issue, the foreplay continues. There was finally some action but it didn’t come from the person we are all waiting to see. It is time to step it up or they are going to start losing readers. – R

Real Heroes #1 – C

In the first issue of Real Heroes, we are introduced to the super hero team The Olympians, or at least the actors that portray them. This seems to be a basic story that has been done before of the mistaken heroes being thought to be real. The story so far seems to be a super hero version of the film Galaxy Quest with heroes that seem to mimic famous ones, almost to a tee. Although the originality of the story and heroes is incredibly small, the villains and the set up are both very original. I feel this series may have a rocky start, as many people will give up on it due to the fact it has been done before, but ultimately it will likely end up becoming something so much more. It was hard to give this a C grade as it just seemed so bland so far, but just like every origin story you have to get past the hump to fully respect the material and the universe jumping, the huge brained aliens, as well as what seems to be the depiction of real actor types had me engaged despite the plot and idea behind it all. – JR

 

Marvel:

All-New Ghost Rider #1 – B+

I actually enjoyed the first issue of the All-New Ghost Rider. I appreciated how they developed a solid background history, and story line for the new character Robbie Reyes in such a short amount of time without making everything feel rushed. I can already tell by the way the first issue ended that there is going to be much more to come from this story and I’m actually pretty excited to read the next issues. Seeing that it is only the first issue, it has a lot of potential to be great or terrible; hopefully it will turn out to be a solid character and story. – E

Honestly, the story was just too short to really get the good debut that it definitely could have. We get to see the relationship between Robbie Reyes and his brother, and then we see Robbie’s character, and then somewhere in there his face melts off and he becomes the Ghost Rider. The art team did a great job; All-New Ghost Rider has a unique identity in color and shape, giving off a graffiti vibe. I’m really excited for #2, I just wish that there was more happening in #1. – S

Origin II #4 – B+

Talk about an interesting plot twist, I didn’t think this issue was going to go anywhere but by the end I was left a bit speechless. This issue we are finally given a little advancement on the plot, and not a moment too soon seeing as we only have one issue left after this. They still haven’t really let on to what the purpose of this origin sequel is but I heavily suspect that it shows the beginning of the eternal feud between Sabertooth and Wolverine. With only one issue to go I’m not sure how it’s all going to end but I look forward to the epic conclusion. – R

Amazing X-Men #5 – B-

Once it was announced that Nightcrawler was coming back in hi own series, I knew that his tenure in Heaven was to be short-lived. With that in mind, I still readily enjoy any time an X-team comes together to kick butt. The issue is a bit predictable, but Jason Aaron’s lucid writing keeps the story going, and fills in all the gaps with some truly funny quips. – I can’t wait to see the boy in blue again. – S

Hawkeye #18 – B

After a spectacular animal-centric issue in #17, we join Hawkeye Kate as she uncovers something fishy going on in Los Angeles. I’m usually a bit weary of issue built around here, but so much crazy stuff goes down, I couldn’t help but get sucked in. Trouble is a’brewin, as Kate has kicked the hornets’ nest. – S

Survive #1 – B

The world is in mourning in the wake of Galactus. Ultimate Cataclysm left us with Reed Richards branded as a terrorist,  Monica Chang blamed for the loss of human life and the deaths of Thor and Captain America. Most of this issue sat us in the back row of Steve Rogers’ funeral where Tony Stark delivered a heartfelt, although forced, eulogy. I personally expected Stark to deliver something a bit more grand to honor his Avenger brethren, but it served its purpose. The speech inspired new heroes to form, and by the end of the issue we are introduced to  The Young Ultimates. – JS

Silver Surfer #1 – B-

To be honest, I found this issue somewhat boring. I felt that a lot of it was very bland and there wasn’t much about this issue to keep me entertained. There was indeed action; however the way it was drawn and colored made the action panels look boring or dull. I didn’t feel much excitement from much of this comic. There were some interesting and cool things about this comic, though. With the introduction of a new “plant” and the story line that is about to develop is just enough to make me want to read more. Hopefully future issues will prove to be better. – E

All New X-Factor #5 – C+

If it wasn’t for amazing artwork and a story focused on a small core of fan-favorite mutants I would have but this series down three issues ago.  But something keeps pulling me back every few weeks!  All New X-Factor has developed into a story with two plots – one involving the interworking’s and secret motives of Serval Industries and it’s CEO Harrison Snow, the second being pure Marvel mutant action & adventure.  On the second front, I’m completely lost, BUT totally captivated due to the really engaging battle and action sequences.  My patience is wearing somewhat thin on the first front.  Die hard X-Men & Marvel fans are sure to love this, but an average Joe like me is struggling a bit.  That said, I’m still looking forward to the next issue. – T

Iron Patriot #1 – C

Tony Stark’s substitute teacher is back for another go. Admittedly, it was difficult to get excited about this title. As Iron Man hype dies down we are still well aware that his is the only hero arc we REALLY care about in his universe. James Rhodes is a less compelling character but this book seeks to change that perception. Iron Patriot vows to the world to “limit my involvement in military operations to those occurring on American soil.” The powers that be see this as a threat and plans are set in motion to put James and his niece Lila in harms way. – JS

Deadpool #26 – C-

I go back and forth with this series a lot. On one side, you gets arc like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. that make you believe that maybe there is some merit to a character like Deadpool. And then some months, you get crap like fighting MechaHitler with a time machine. Shames me to say it but this was actually a bit enjoyable – like smelling your own farts enjoyable. It seems like it’s only gonna get worse, as we go back to a groovin’ Wakanda next issue. This is why Deadpool fans can’t have nice things. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 B, yielding a 3.00 (really?? one book? )

Marvel Comics: 1 A, 6 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.80

Independents: 1 A, 5 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.78

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Evan Lowe, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael, John Soweto and Jacob Robinson

Comic Book Reviews 02-12-14

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

photo (6)

The Bunker #1 (Oni Press) – A

If you were one of the lucky few to order this book in print form, give yourself a pat on the back! The Bunker tells the story of a group of friends in the process of creating and burying time capsules in the woods. Instead, though, they stumble upon a military bunker, and self-addressed letter from their future selves. If that’s not trippy enough, the letters explain how each of them have a part in ending the world. No pressure. The Bunker did a really good job of pacing the story, and giving it enough detail that each character gets their own voice and personality. This could easily be made into a television show or movie. I highly recommend you pick this up digitally, or try to find a coveted physical copy. – S

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #28 – B+

After the crazy cliff-hanger from issue #27, Batman picks up in a completely different time, with a completely different cast. If you remember Harper, she’s the rambunctious orphan that has followed Batman around, and even saved his life when he was reeling from the unfortunate death of Damian. The break in action from Zero Year was a little bit annoying, especially when you realize that this issue was just a promotion for the weekly Batman: Eternal series out in April. All is forgiven immediately, as we finally see Harper, or Bluebird as she is called, knocking around the bad guys. There’s also a very awkward stand-off between Batman and Catwoman, who is very much a woman scorned. Bonus points for the underground club called The Egyptian. And a huuuge Spoiler at the end of the issue (get it?). Although issue #28 was a fun ride, and did make me want to read Eternal, it was an unneeded distraction from the superb Batman issues that preceded it. – S

Superman/ Wonder Woman #5 – B+

It is said that behind every strong man is an even stronger woman, but in what world is Wonder Woman significantly stronger than Superman? So strong, in fact, that she is able to handle two Kryptonians with little issue while Clark gets his ass kicked all over the forest. This time around, Wonder Womans resolve seems to be shaky as to the future of her and Clarks relationship. While it is way too early for them to break up, relationship issues have the potential to effect up to four different publications, depending on how writers portray things. Not to mention that after three issues of Zod, we still don’t really know why he is here or what he was locked in the Phantom Zone for. Despite all of that, this was still a great issue and I am convinced that this is just setup for something big. – R

Injustice: Year Two #2 – B

Injustice has easily become one of the most enjoyable books out. I love how original the story is, and the fact that I really don’t know what comes next is very appealing to me. With Batman out of commission, the people of Earth must look to others to try to stop Superman’s regime. There’s a lot going on in this issue, which hurts it a bit. The last few issue runs felt very focused and I think that helped guide the story much better than skipping around like a television series. I was in no way disappointed in the issue, it just felt like a big lull amidst the incredible action-packed issues preceding it. – S

The Royals: Masters of War #1 – B

In the mood for a spot of tea and a jolly good read?  Why my good lad, you should take romp down to your local comic book shop.  Cheeio!!  Pip-Pip!! God Save the Queen!!  Sorry… I’ll go back to American text now.  The Royals: Masters of War #1 is now on comic shelves.  The setting is London, 1940’s, WWII.  The focus – A royal and lavish British family, the House of Windsor.  Only this royal family is way more exciting than even Prince William, wife Kate and their little bundle of royal joy.  They have superpowers.  Superman with a charming accent?  Swoon m’ladies.  And what’s a better use of kingly superpowers than to stick it to Hitler and his evil regime?  However, the head of House Windsor, Albert, has his children under strict order to never demonstrate the greatness of their unique gifts.  Turns out super powered nobles don’t have the happiest of histories – you know that usual bit about not everyone being welcoming and accepting of those that are “different.”  Thankfully for the citizen of London, not everyone in the House of Windsor agrees with father’s orders.  As the fight is taken to the invading Germans we learn that the Windsor family is not the only “gifted” royal family on the block and it’s likely to spell trouble for both the Windsor family and London.  I’ve got a good feeling about this six part series and it’s unique twist on pivotal events in recent history. – T

Nightwing #28 – B-

I’ve been really impressed with the way writer Kyle Higgins has managed to build a new world for Dick Grayson without using Gotham to lean on; Nightwing has a real home in Chicago, and it’s not just about Tony Zucco (the man who killed his parents). Unfortunately, some of the art seems a little awkward when showing Dick Grayson outside of being Nightwing. This issue pushes things along, as a little girl in his life is thrust into the same situation he was in when his parents died. It’s a really interesting angle, but it was entirely too rushed – for multiple reasons. I wish Higgins would have taken this over the span of an entire six-issue arc, but I can understand where this is going. All while reading this issue, I had a gut-wrenching feeling. After the events that opened up Forever Evil, you know we are building up to a major tragedy in Grayson’s life, but it just won’t come. – S

Justice League 3000 #3 – B-

Takron-Galtos!  The prison planet that has three of the five cloned Justice League members trapped and searching for a way off.  After a nasty encounter with Locus, the reality bending blue-alien tween, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman experience  “Hell” in the year 3000.  The images and artwork showcasing the expanses of Takron-Galtos are awesome.  Porter (artist) has consistently delivered gorgeous landscapes and cityscapes every issue.  It’s one of the most alluring elements of the series.  Whereas the last issue of JL 3000 was a little disjointed, I felt a strong refocusing back on the big picture plot even though the story is being told from various angles.  Bit by bit the mysterious villains are being to reveal themselves. The ever developing and at time hilarious dynamic of the genetically engineered superheroes carries the story well.  There are lots of pieces working in the background and it’s all going to come to a head very soon.  Oh… and Superman is still an ass-hat. – T

Batgirl #28 – C

I finished this issue more confused than when I started reading it. After an enticing Gothtopia issue, it seems as though they’ve completely abandoned the Detective Comics-centric storyline. That wasn’t explained very well and then to snap into the current story with zero mention of the last issue was disappointing to say the least. Barb is back to fighting form and wearing her yellow bat after her self-imposed exile. This new story arc introduces a vampire hunter who is given no real introduction or back story. We also get to experience a nice tag team duo with Barb and Strix that has the potential for some cool moments. I continue to enjoy Batgirl, as usual, and this story arc seems to be like filler until the next major plot line or the next cross over event. I’m personally hoping for the latter. – R

Dark Horse:

Star Wars #14 – C-

As Ensign Nanda continues to tow Vader across the galaxy in what I call an “epiphany quest,” I continue to be underwhelmed by this story arch in the revitalized Star Wars comic series.  Brian Wood’s attempt to highlight the brutal and ruthless nature that so perfectly describes Darth Vader falls far short in my opinion.  On top of that, the last few issues of Star Wars have failed to move the plot along.  No major revelations, twists or epic moments were to be had.  The most redeeming aspect of this 14th installment was getting to see Vader and his super-elite, black-ops Storm Troopers in action.  Even at that, those sequences left more to be desired.  At the conclusion of this issue it appears as though the story is preparing to steer back on track to a likeness similar to the first five or six issues.  There seems to be a ton of Vader focus in Dark Horse comics these recent months.  I hope the oversaturation slows down so that new characters and stories can be shared with all the hungering fans out there!  It is the Will of The Force! – T

Image:

The Walking Dead #121 – B-

Another issue goes by, and a whole lot of nothing happens. I’m not even sure that this will read better in the trade format. Negan has a few inappropriate lines that just make me laugh out loud. He’s the nastiest one in the bunch, and I find myself rooting for him more than I do The Survivors. Meanwhile, Rick has become a caricature of himself, the self-righteous leader. Honestly, it’s like a soap opera, because even though The Walking Dead has given me nothing notable since a main character’s gratuitous death in issue #100, I still keep reading it. Every issue, I just can’t wait to see if our heroes will be about to crawl out of whatever hole they dug themselves into. Well, sigh, this isn’t the one – better luck next time- S

The Fuse #1 – C-

Seriously, what the hell is a cabler?? In what has become tradition with new publications from Image, I left the end of the first issue not really knowing anything that was going on. Unfortunately, unlike Black Science and Deadly Class, I really am not invested in The Fuse. The debut issue takes us to a futuristic planet, not Earth, where we follow a new guy, recently transferred from Munich, and an witty older woman who has been doing this for a long time. Together, they search for the cause of death of these “cablers” around the city. It has kind of a cliche vibe – the buddy cop thing has been done before. To boot, the art looks raw, and not in a good way. It, in no way makes the cut when compared to other Image titles like Walking DeadSaga, and the aforementioned two titles. I’m not turned off yet, but it’s gonna have to take a convincing second issue to get me on-board with The Fuse – S

Marvel:

Superior Spider-Man #27 – B+

Now this is what I’ve been waiting for! Finally, a villain fit for a villain. After Green Goblin had taken control of the Goblin army, he makes his move to tighten his grip in the city. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swallowing the pill of defeat when he learns of Goblin’s idea to cloak his army from the Spider-Bots that Spidey had created to survey the city. Peter’s consciousness also plays a part in trying to escape his own body’s sub-conscious (props for including the original Doc Ock quote from Amazing Spider-Man #3), but gets sucked even further down the rabbit hole. Everything is going to hell and all that’s left are Otto Octavius and Norman Osbourne, playing chess as the city burns to the ground around them. – S

Kick-Ass 3 #6 – B+

Kick-Ass 3 has been slowly moving along, as Hit-Girl has been imprisoned for the entire six issue run. You know what though? I love Kick-Ass. I love the brutal nature and the realistic portrayal of teens playing vigilante. Most of all, I love the story of Hit-Girl and how her dad trained her as a little girl to be a superhero – and not no “liberal asshole” like Spider-Man. The flashback takes up nearly 3/4 of the issue and I just wish it was longer. Issue #6 also ends on a Mother-F***** of a the cliff-hanger (get it?).  Anybody who can handle the crude language and content of this book written and drawn by legends Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. should pick up this awesome third installment. – S

All-New X-Men #23 – B+

The Trial of Jean Grey has added some much-needed excitement to the series, which has been waning up til recently. Jean Grey is captured by the Shi’ar, an ally race whose planet was destroyed by The Phoenix. Of course, poor Jean Grey has no idea of any of this, as she is a pre-Phoenix version of herself. The Guardians of the Galaxy come to the rescue, conveniently, and are on a rescue mission to save not only Jean, but the series along with her. The writing of Brian Michae lBendis is on point, and there are plenty of hilarious moments in the book. This story is really heating up, and the inclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy own makes it that much more enjoyable. Throw in the inclusion of a nearly-forgotten fan-favorite, and we’ve got a heck of a family reunion. – S

Deadpool #23 – B

I don’t know how or when it happened, but somewhere between that god-awful issue with the Wakandan alien monsters and here, Deadpool has found his identity in the Marvel NOW! universe. Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. draws to a close in this issue, and it does so in epic proportions. It’s a non-stop thrill ride, and I laughed almost the whole way through – mostly at the goons who work for U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. The way particular scenes mirrored Alien (which you could have guessed from the cover) brought it back to the good old days of Merc With A Mouth, which showed Deadpool for what he truly was, a bad-ass and a psycho, but above all, a comedian. – S

All New X-Factor #3 – B

Serval Industries, the company that employs mutants and mission statement is all for the betterment of people finally starts to show a bit of its true nature.  Some questionable acts and curiously unexplained motives are revealed by CEO Harrison Snow through the panels of All New X-Factor #3.  I for one am glad to see this development begin to take shape.  Its final form is definitely going to make this series fly or flounder.  For added juiciness – there appears to be ulterior motive for some of the Serval mutants as well.  I’m anxious to see how it all plays out.  I’m in love with Giandomenico’s pencil work.  Even the small and uneventful panels are nicely detailed and do much to bring life to the page.  The issue was exciting and I’m invested in the grand plot enough to keep money stashed away for the next issue. – T

The Winter Soldier #1 – B-

The debut of Winter Soldier was not really what I was expecting. This initial story goes back to the time when the Winter Soldier was still a myth. It’s hard to tell whether or not this book will be a collection of short stories that involve the Winter Soldier or if it will be a normal story arc. We did get to see some classic Nick Fury action which is nice after all the Sam Jackson portrayals. The art is great and the depiction of the Winter Soldier is much closer to what they have setup for the upcoming Captain America movie. I knew that this book was supposed to come out to give the new Captain America movie some exposure so I can’t help but wonder if the government replacement for the Captain will be present at some time. I am excited to see where this story goes and will definitely keep my eyes on this book. – R

She-Hulk #1 – C-

Damn, I’m pretty disappointed with this book. I don’t know if it’s because I expected something different from the world’s strongest woman or that I’m just not getting the point of this book. I thought a good 90% of it was just so boring. I haven’t seen a wordier comic than this one in such a long time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with comics have tons and tons of dialog, but when there is no action to back it up, it becomes stagnant and boring. Now, I understand that they are trying to transform and introduce a new side to this hero. Rather than follow her superhero career, we follow her lawyer career. That’s all fine and dandy, and I understand it’s nice to see the human aspect to things some times. Call me a poor judge of comics or whatever, but the bottom line is that I didn’t enjoy reading this comic. For others, this will downright be a great read. However, what I read comics for and what I seek to enjoy was nowhere in this comic. The artistic side of the comic made the people look aquatic or fish-like, which was weird. Nothing really popped or stood out. I’ll stop here because I realize I’m going on a rant. Some positives about this book, however: it has the makings to make a pretty good story in the court room and there is a lot of valuable information presented within this comic. Like Hawkeye and Daredevil before it, it is nice to see the human side to our heroes. I’m sorry to say that it simply isn’t enough for me. – E

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 6 B’s and 1 C, averaging out to a 2.86

Marvel Comics: 6 B’s and 1 C, averaging out to a 2.86

Independents: 1 A, 1 B and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 2.75

Funniest Panel of the Week:

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Epic Panel of the Week:

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Cover Art of the Week:

Jerome Opena's Kick-Ass 3 #6 variant
Jerome Opena’s Kick-Ass 3 #6 variant

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif ElkhatibAdrian Puryear, Taylor LoweEvan Lowe and Robert Michael

Comic Book Reviews 12-31-13

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:

Injustice: Gods Among Us (DC Comics) #12 – A

All of those who have been reading the series digitally, ahead of times, now you can pat yourself on the back and say “I told you so.” Gods Among Us has been much more than a video-game adaptation, and this issue is the best one yet. Superman has completely lost his marbles, and Batman seems to be the only one who has the gall to deal with it. We’ve reached the end of “season one,” but it’s only the beginning of the end for this world under the iron rule of Superman. The Batman-Superman bromance comes to in end in a BAD way. I can’t recommend this series enough! – S

Other Reviews:

Boom! Studios:

Revelations #1 – B

Image ushers in the New Year with the brand new mystery-thrillers series, Revelations.  The series opens in Vatican City, Rome one stormy night.  A potential successor to the Pope is dead – impaled on iron fence spokes after taking a long fall from a cathedral window, dropping a mysterious object on the way down.  Enter Charlie Northern, a long-time atheist, fan of hardcore sucker for conspiracy theories and London detective.  Charlie is asked by an old friend and member of the Catholic Church to investigate the mysterious death of the would-be Pope.  By the end of the issue it’s obvious that the circumstances surrounding the death are sure to keep Charlie busy for a while.  For any fans of the Da Vinci Code or National Treasure stories – this series is for you.  While I’m not a crazy fan for the religious themed plots, I’m never bored by murder mysteries.  Paul Jenkins (writer) peppers in just the right amount of intrigue and teasers to keep this series on my radar.  That and Charlie’s hilarious inner monologues.  The real seller for Revelations though – the art work.  Humberto Ramos (art), Leonardo Olea (colors) and Edgar Delgado (colors) present jaw dropping panels.  The detail and contrast is worked in very nicely in environments that are inherently dark and dreary.  I’m looking forward to experiencing Charlie’s unraveling of the mystery and soaking in more gorgeous panels in future issues. – T

DC/Vertigo:

Superman Unchained #5 – B+

Superman Unchained has had the honor of having the best creative team in comic books, with writing by Scott Synder (BatmanAmerican Vampire) and art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams (Batman: Hush, New 52 Justice League). This series has suffered from being under-developed, but that stops in issue five. This issue has finally picked up steam, and there is phenomenal dialogue between Wraith and Superman before things get real. This isn’t your father’s Superman. No longer the Blue Boy Scout, Superman has no blind allegiance to the U.S. government. Wonder what it would be like if Superman fought somebody just as strong was. Oh, and a huge nod to Jim Lee playing with watercolor on flashback scenes, as they are simplistically beautiful, as well as the first appearance of Jim Lee’s Batman in over a year. Every comic book fan should hop on board with Superman Unchained. – S

Batman: The Dark Knight #26 – C

The entire issue had no dialogue, but it still says a lot. Chronicling the story of a family torn by tragedy, a girl is taken from the safety of what little family she has left and forced into child labor. The ring leader is none other than the heartless Penguin. Batman catches wind of the scene and investigates, only to be trapped by Cobblepot and Co. The story tells itself with subtle imagery and great inflection. I’m not sure who the Voiceless are, but I’m intrigued enough to find out – something I haven’t been able to say for another Batman title since the New 52 launch. – S

Damian: Son of Batman #3 – C

Andy Kubert has regained a bit of momentum in this third issue, but there’s still not enough going on here to really sell it home – and with one issue left, I really don’t know where this is going. Damian is struggling with being a non-lethal Batman, and one of our Bat-family members kicks the bucket. I love the outfit and the thought of Damian trying to bring Gotham back under Bats protection, but I’m kinda over it. Even the re-appearance of “The Joker” couldn’t pique my interest. I will finish out the mini-series because there is only one issue left, out of respect for Damian, but I’m not expecting much else to come from this series that should have been buried along with Damian Wayne. – S

Dead Boy Detectives #1 – C-

Based off Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, the two ghost detectives Edwin and Charles are back at it in their own series, Dead Boy Detectives. The debut issue has our duo following a young girl at a art show robbery. They narrowly save her from death and, as a result from her near-death experience, she is able to see them. It’s not a very engaging book thus far, and I’m struggling to see how much more in depth this mini-series can get when there have already been two adaptations of Dead Boy Detectives. Here’s to hopng that we’re not beating a dead horse or dragging Neil Gaiman’s name around for exposure. – S

Justice League Dark #26 – D

In this issue of Justice League Dark (Forever Evil tie-in), the Dark team (Pandora, Swamp Thing, Nightmare Nurse, Phantom Stranger, and Constantine) are confronted face to face, or rather consciousness to consciousness, with Blight. The dialogue within this issues is corny to say the least; the art however, was a semi-redeeming quality, especially within the first few opening panels. Most of the dialogue wasn’t intriguing or fascinating, and the story itself was moving at a fairly slow pace. With very little action happening within the story until the end, I wouldn’t recommend continuing this story over others. – E

Dark Horse:

Bad Blood #1 – D-

Bad Blood is the story (sort of) of cancer patient/college student/former footballer Trick.  He sulks around and his best friend Kyle tries to cheer him up. Trick gets bit by a vampire who proclaims that Trick has poisoned blood.  But then the vamp immediately bites and kills Kyle.  Trick feels bad, tells the police what happened, and then tries to find the vampire on his own when that doesn’t work.  In theory, this comic seems pretty cool.  In reality, it didn’t take a bite out of me (trust me, that pun has more personality than this comic).  The main character doesn’t evoke sympathy for his bad health.  We don’t know what kind of cancer he has; at least a nod to maybe leukemia would have made the title ironic in the first issue.  Also this vampire, he comes out of nowhere and claims to have been eating rodents underground for centuries and that he fears the living world?  That just doesn’t make much sense.  And after his killing spree, he is never to be seen again.  The only redeeming factor about this issue was the nod to the modern age.  Trick tries to find the vampire and wonders whether he should check Facebook or Craigslist.  It seems that would be where one would start in today’s times.  Otherwise, there was no connection to plot or characters in this first issue.  The 2nd issue will really have to step up to keep me interested. – A

Dynamite Entertainment:

Twilight Zone #1 – C

Nee-nuu-nee-nuu-nee-nuu-nee-nuu…bong!!  The Twilight Zone was brought to us via comics this week.  Issue number one explores the life and times of Trevor Richmond, a successful and savvy businessman that’s grown bored with the routine he’s worked himself into.  Looking for a change, Trevor seeks out one Mr. Wylde who heads an enterprise that specializes in giving people “new lives.”   Lives that guarantee full and thorough dissociation from the previous – even in a person’s physical appearance.  The plot thickens when we learn that Trevor is not just bored with his life; he’s in fact seeking an escape.  With all the wealth he’s been earning for his company, he couldn’t help but skim some of the lucrative profit for just himself.  Trevor and Wylde strike a deal that will sever all ties Trevor has to his current life and send him back out into the world scot-free and with no risk of repercussions of crimes previously committed.  In good Twilight Zone fashion, there is a twist.  We’re left with an intriguing cliffhanger on the very last panel that’s got me anxious for the next issue.  Other than the allure of the Twilight legacy, there’s nothing outstanding with the issue itself.  The artwork is fairly basic, characters are archetypical and the story is heading down a fairly predictable path.  The comic book medium may not be the ideal place for a franchise like The Twilight Zone, as I flip back through #1.  I’ll pick up the next issue, but if I’m not blown away by pages end I’ll likely opt to continue to get my Twilight Zone fix from the good ol’ black & white series that’s been blowing minds for over 50 years now. – T

Image:

Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth #8 –B

Ok, I’ll admit, this is the first issue of Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth that I have read.  But I think it says a lot that because of this one issue, I want to go back and read the first seven issues.  It is well drawn and colored and hilariously funny.  The inside cover alone had me rolling, with explanations of who different characters were, including Mohagany Davis Jr., possibly the daughter of Sammy Davis Jr.  The jokes are off-color and not appropriate at all, despite the main character being a little boy, who, because he is ugly, constantly wears a bag over his head.  It reminded The story got a little confusing for me, especially because it was a Christmas issue, and I felt I was missing a lot of background, but overall I laughed throughout the entire read. – A

Marvel:

New Avengers #13 – C

Issue 13 of New Avengers Inhumanity arc continues the story of the Illuminati (Black Panther, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic, Tony Stake, and Doctor Strange) and the eventual collisions of universes – referred to as The Incursion. Personally, I enjoy how grim this story is. It’s clear that everyone is willing to sacrifice almost everything for one reason or another- the Illuminati to ensure their survival, and Doctor Strange to restore his power to the level it once was. This book brings a dark and somber element to the comic book world, which makes it very easy to get sucked into the story. I can see big things getting ready to happen in the Inhumanity arc, yet I struggle a little bit with how quickly they switch between universes and which group belongs to which Earth, at times it can be a bit overwhelming. I would recommend sticking with this story, though, especially because it is the beginning of a brand new arc where things are beginning to reach their climax. – E

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #7 – C+

Women make the best super villains.  That’s not a slight at the female gender.  On the contrary – it’s a compliment.  A successful super villain has to have drive, ambition and a ruthless passion to be the best at what they do.  Janice of the evil Beatle-team exemplifies these traits in issue #7 of The Superior Foes of Spiderman.  From the first panels, readers venture back in time to the humble beginnings of Janice and her “job.”  She pulls a sweet rope-a-dope as a pre-teen at a “friend’s” birthday party all the while being encouraged by her mobster father, Tombstone.  We skip ahead in time and continue to witness the makings of a superior villain in Janice as she graduates from college (head of her class) and quickly makes a name for herself at a reputable law firm – all a means to an end to becoming the super-villain leader of her own crime syndicate.  The comic as a whole is light hearted and fun to read.  Janice is a dynamic character and one that’s easy to root for; mostly due to the humorous nature of the issue.  The downside to all this is the obscurity of the characters.  Granted, I’m not a die-hard Spidey fan.  Even so, I was left wanting more insight and background on the supporting cast.  The banter was entertaining at least.  This origin story issue is a good read, but I’m going to need some conflict in the next issue if Nick Spencer (writer) wants to keep this fan onboard. – T

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 A, 1 B, 3 C’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.33

Marvel Comics: 2 C’s, averaging out to a 2.00

Independents: 2 B’s, 1 C and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.25

Funniest Panel of the Week:

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #8
Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #8

Epic Panel of the Week:

Injustice: Gods Among Us #12
Injustice: Gods Among Us #12

Cover Art of the Week:

The Superior Foes of Spiderman #7
The Superior Foes of Spiderman #7

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe and Evan Lowe