Comic Book Power Rankings – August 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine (unless noted), although they are influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra Marvel 1
  He’s just a normal family guy, trying to cut it in the blue collar goon industry. Trying to place the normal within the insanity that is Battle World creates comedy gold.
2 Prez DC 3
  As far as political satires go, Prez is hands down the funniest, and is so hyperbolic that the fact that it’s relatable at all is appalling. Root for the little guy in one of DC’s rare non-cape books.
3 Rasputin Image 8
  Rasputin is my favorite comic at the moment. So far it’s the only book that’s compelled me to send fan mail. It’s a well written narrative, beautifully drawn, and spectacularly colored. I get something out if every issue I read and feel satisfied. Totally in love with this series. – Jené
4 Ms. Marvel Marvel 17
  Although Kamala briefly got caught in the web that is Secret Wars, her last issue, a heart-warming team up with Captain Marvel herself gave this book a special place on my shelf.
5 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 8
  Three of the top five books are led by young women. Coincidence? Hell no! Squirrel Girl is hilarious and relatable – which says a lot since… ya know, she’s a squirrel.
6 TMNT IDW 49
  Not even shell-shock could stop Donnie! Things are getting heavy as a battle royale contest between the turtles and Foot knock down the door of the upcoming #50 spectacular.
7 Justice League DC 43 5 -2
  This is the best JL story since Forever Evil, and the most desparate time we’ve seen the team in of all New52. Geoff Johns continues to write an amazing book.
8 Batman DC 43 2 -6
  This is not the same book we read with Endgame. Bruce is in identity crisis mode and Gordon has taken over as Batman. Wacky story aside, Snyder/Capullo produce.
9 We Stand On Guard Image 3
  With the right creative team, even Canadians can be interesting. Brian K Vaughan’s new title makes you hate America more effectively than Donald Trump’s presidential run.
10 Bizarro DC 3
  Bizarro no am good book. Bizarro am very bad book. Book no am funny. Art is very ugly. Bizarro very normal, and Jimmy Olson (Bizarro’s worstest enemy) never wear disguises. Bizarro no am have hijinks. – Montgomery
11 Superman DC 43 8 -3
  We finally learned how Lois spilled the beans about Superman’s identity, and it’s refreshing to see Superman fight an enemy he can’t defeat by punching.
12 Old Man Logan Marvel 4
  While I love seeing an out-of-place Wolverine wander around Battle World in a confused rage, it’s Andrea Sorrentino’s panel layout that really keeps me engaged.
13 Groot Marvel 3
  As much as I loved the recently-retired Skottie Young Rocket Raccoon book, Groot is just as adorable. It’s good for all ages, with feel-good lessons in friendship and kindness. Aww.
14 Deadly Class Image 15 5 -9
  While the Remender/Craig tag-team reigns champion, I can’t get over just how scathingly manic-depressive this book got this month. It’s a downer for sure.
15 Nailbiter Image 15 16 +1
  The deeper we keep falling into the mystery, the further the bottom seems to be. It’s a phenomenal book, but I feel just as lost now as I did at square one.
16 The Walking Dead Image 145 4 -12
  I still look forward to this book every month, but the more I read it, the more I realize that Robert Kirkman is becoming George Lucas 2.0. There’s just too much TWD in the world for me right now. That being said, this new threat is gonna bring back the funk.
17 E is for Extinction Marvel 3
  Thank you, Chris Burnham, for making unsexy comic books cool. His raw art is perfect for this post-Morrison, Morrison-style book, which is as awesome as it is awkward.
18 Giant Sized Little Marvel AvX Marvel 3
  This book makes me feel like vomitting rainbows with each issue. It can be formulaic, but it’s just so darn cute – how could anybody not love this??
19 Postal Image 19 11 -8
  Mark, the autistic one-man Scooby gang, is tearing this conspiracy wide open. Although, just because it’s getting bigger doesn’t mean it’s getting better…
20 Batgirl DC 43
  It can be silly at times, but that’s part of the charm. Babs Tarr’s art has definitely grown on me. I’m fully on-board after some post-Gail Simone withdrawals.

 

Notably absent:

Most of the Secret Wars: I’m burnt out on Secret Wars. Marvel must be murdering DC in sales as of late, but their long game is tiring fans out.

Shutter and Birthright: For books that started as two of my favorite Image titles, the convoluted stories in both books have derailed their momentum significantly. I don’t expect that too last, though, as both books have the creative teams to handle it.

Wonder Woman: David and Meredith Finch have been a refreshing addition to the book, but the last couple issues have been noticeably lacking in substance or style. Plus, Donna Troy is completely one-dimensional and incapable of independent thought.

Retired books/ Hiatuses (Hawkeye, Saga, Bitch Planet, Sex Criminals): Some of the best books in the biz took the month off, making way for some newcomers to really shine this month!

Comic Book Power Rankings – January 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine, although it is influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Batman DC 38
  There just isn’t a better book out there, and starting off Joker’s 75th birthday with Endgame is a great way to ensure the top spot.
2 Sex Criminals Image 10
  Unabashed sexuality and humor make this the most honest book on the shelves. And the freezing time with orgasms thing is great, too.
3 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 1
  Plenty of silly to go around, Squirrel Girl isn’t just a great new book, but has potential to bridge gaps between comic book readers of all creeds.
4 The Walking Dead Image 136
  Carl is both a lover AND a fighter, as new dangers loom on the horizon (as always). Kudos for making this small world into a bigger, scarier place.
5 Batman and Robin DC 38
  Damian is back from the dead – with superpowers; he may be bulletproof, but he is not immune to the human condition as he deals with his own mortality. Beautifully done.
6 Deadly Class Image 10
  Sure, there’s the teenage angst of the 80’s, the murder, drug trips and the love triangles. But really, “That was no fart” is why this book is so high on the list.
7 Justice League DC 38
  How could Lex Luthor create more havoc as a good guy than as a villain… In any case, a zombie Batman JL vs. Supes and WW? Get the popcorn.
8 TMNT IDW 42
  Mutanimals attack! There is so much going on in TMNT right now, but the mounting war with Hob and Splinter interests me most.
9 Superior Iron Man Marvel 4
  Ever think to yourself, “self, Tony Stark sure straddles the line between good guy a-hole and bad guy a-hole.” Well, self, you’re right, and this book is why.
10 Mortal Kombat DC 4
  I’ve been waiting for a legitimate MK comic book for years. This is just as bloody and fun as the game, and will get me over til its April release.
11 SHIELD Marvel 2
  It’s like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but worth the time investment. We still get the strategic genius of Agent Coulson, now with superheroes!
12 Star Wars Marvel 1
  Who would I be if this on the list? In what was the most anticipated book this month, I’m already more into this run than I ever was with Dark Horse’s.
13 Multiversity DC ?
  Seemlessly poking fun at the Multiverse while creating a cohesive story, Grant Morrison does what Grant Morrison wants. Good for us.
14 Detective Comics DC 38
  I would never have guessed that Anarky would be the next great Batman villain. This book puts the “detective” back in Detective Comics.
15 Birthright Image 4
  What child doesn’t wish they could go on a Jumanji-style demon-slaying adventure with their family? A really lame one, that’s for sure.
16 Superman DC 38
  A new creative team introduced a new character, and really revived a series which has since been oerwhemingly underwhelming.
17 Shutter Image 8
  Shutter has been suffering recently from the necessary lull of storytelling, but it’s so unique and gorgeous that I won’t dare remove it from the Top 20.
18 Nailbiter Image 9
  Each issue has increasingly given me the heeby-jeebies. In a good way. I am not a horror comic fan but I am most definitely a fan of this book.
19 Moon Knight Marvel 11
  Shuffle around the creative team, take away his armor, Mark Spector is still one BAMF. Moon Knight is my new underground favorite at Marvel.
20 Tooth and Claw Image 3
  Making the list solely on the principle of curiosity, Tooth & Claw is a fantastical book of magic, anthropomorphic animals, and other ill s***.

 

Notably absent:

Saga: “What have you done for me lately” is the name of the game here. Expect Saga to knock one of these series off its high horse when the series returns from its three-month hiatus this week.

Wonder Woman: Barely missed the cut. Great panels and intriguing characters keep me coming back each month.

Spider-Verse: Another Marvel “event” has worn out its welcome and left me pining for the end. I’m done buying six books to understand one story.

Powers: Brian Michael Bendis’ soon-to-be streaming series is a whole new world (to me), but I think I need to learn more before I can really dive in.

Shaft: I expected this to read more like the comic book embodiment of Public Enemy, but it’s got more bark than bite at this point.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: I love this book, even more so since Brian Buccaletto took over, but there is just too much emphasis on “The Dark” recently for my taste.

 

 

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Writer

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

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

Best Comic Book Writer

  • Geoff Johns – Superman (DC Comics), Justice League (DC Comics), Forever Evil (DC Comics)
  • Josh Williamson – NailbiterBirthright (Image Comics), Captain Midnight (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Matt Fraction – Hawkeye (Marvel Comics), Sex Criminals, Satellite SamOdy-C (Image Comics)
  • Rick Remender – Black Science, Deadly Class, Low (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder – Batman, Superman: UnchainedThe WakeAmerican Vampire (DC Comics), Wytches (Image Comics)

WINNER – Scott Snyder

Batman, Superman Unchained, The Wake, Wytches.  The man is a comic book writing machine.  And just because he writes a lot doesn’t mean his quality comes down either.  After all, he does have an MFA from Ivy League university Columbia; the man knows what he is doing. And he is making fanboys and fangirls around the globe very happy with his work.  – Adrian

Second Place – Josh Williamson

josh williamson writer nailbiter 7 best of 2014
Nailbiter #7

 

For me, 2014 was the year of Josh Williamson, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how he wanted it. He was previously known for GHOSTED, but in 2014 Williamson launched two new series both of which have been pretty darn well received by their audiences and critics. Nailbiter is one of the most original and psychologically terrifying horror books to come out in 2014, but Josh apparently wasn’t done there; he decided to break the mold for fantasy books as well when Birthright came out in October. Williamson has a great career in the world of comics, especially for being less than 30 years told, and his unique take to storytelling is no doubt a huge factor in his success. If you’re not a fan or simply haven’t read his books yet do yourself a service and pick them up now. You can thank me later by sending me a nice bottle of wine. Or cookies. – Keriann

Third Place – Matt Fraction

Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #17

Sure, he looks like Harry Potter’s dad, but Matt Fraction would never make fun of a muggle. Fraction has put in some good work with Marvel over the years, but this year has been an exceptional year for him. With Sex Criminals, Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky have pushed the boundaries of censorship, and his Hawkeye run has been one of the highest-grossing books Marvel has in its lineup. Both of those books have netted him an Eisner Award in 2014. Recently, he has been the writer of Ody-C, an outer space interpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey. If you’re ever bored, check out his Twitter page, where his display name is “butt stuff reindeer.” He’s kind of a weirdo, and I mean that in a good way. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Geoff Johns

Superman #35
Superman #35

If there was a crown for most consistently badass comic book writer, it would go to Geoff Johns. He’s like a reckless magician, introducing amazing and interesting new characters, and then vanishing before they ever really get a chance to live up to their potential or be fully fleshed out. I wish Johns could just write Justice League and Superman forever (not to mention Green Lantern, a book which he ended his ten year run on last year). Where Johns really gets it right is that he sees and plans the big picture before we even see the first panel; there is a plot of planning – logical planning – that go into a Johns story, and where you end up is exactly where you were meant to, and whether or not you saw it coming, you can’t believe that nobody ever thought to do this before. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Rick Remender

remender black science 6 best of 2014
Black Science #6

 

With a pen of righteous glory, Rick Remender has a thing or two he could teach other comic book writers.  This year Remender killed it this year with Black Science.  His masterful way of telling a single story through the eyes of many (with vastly different viewpoints) resulted in me giving standing ovations in the middle of my living room.  Each character he brought to the page had something new to offer.  No one character was driving this ship and that made for very memorable reading.  Remender also knows what it means to let a story drive a genre.  Black Science is all about multidimensional travel – very sci-fi heavy.  But if you were to read an issue with just text and conversation bubbles and all blank panels you’d probably find yourself just as intrigued and captivated.  That’s the sign of a truly good writer.  That’s why Rick Remender is Hush’s writer of the year. – Taylor

Next category: Best Comic Book Artist

Comic Book Reviews 07-30-14

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:

super secret pick of week 7.30

Super Secret Crisis War #2 – A

We are now on the third issue of this series but the second of the main series. Earlier this month, we had the one off special with Johnny Bravo and we see the connection to that in this issue which has me excited for future one offs from other series. The art in these issues are great as every character has their style and yet all of them mix together perfectly and almost demand this or something similar in animated form for a Cartoon Network reunion party. Definitely grab this issue if you are a 90’s kid, or just enjoy massive crossovers. – Jacob

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Detective Comics Annual #3 A-

The best part about this annual is the fact that we get to see Batman doing what he does best, solving crimes and beating the crap outta the bad guy. I loved this issue for that part alone, but the plot with the boy had me wondering if we were going to be welcoming a new addition to the Bat-family. It seems like we won’t but it could be used in the future to add another character or maybe even villain if the writers desired to. We did get an introduction to Matches Malone, a popular alias that Batman has used since the early 1970’s but is appearing in the New52 for the first time. There isn’t much more to say about this issue other than it was awesome and I found it very enjoyable to read, which seems to be a rarity these days. Definitely worth checking out. – Robert

Sinestro #4 B

Finally having asserted his dominance over his crew, Thaal Sinestro is back to kicking ass. This issue covers a battle with a religious cult of anti-emotion weirdos. Sinestro’s daughter, the Green Lantern Soranik, has reluctantly agreed to help him on his mission to save their people. However, she doesn’t agree with the way her dad handles business, and calls on Hal Jordan. This will spice things up going forward, as Hal hasn’t seem Sinestro since the end of the Trinity War (Green Lantern #18). Jordan and Sinestro have a lot of history, and it will be interesting to see how they’ve both changed since their last encounter. – Sherif

Justice League #32 B-

Geoff Johns’ Justice League continues to be one of the most consistently good books on the shelves right now. The time after Forever Evil hasn’t really progressed as much as I hoped it would, but it has still been captivating. Lex Luthor has discovered Batman’s secret identity, and has hired Captain Cold for a mystery job. Issue #32 introduces us to the DOOM Patrol, a group of misfits that follow the guidance of “Chief” Niles Caulder. The Doom Patrol has been around since the late 1960’s, and has gone through several incarnations throughout the years before returning to the classic team in the New52. I’m not a big fan of them, but they could add an interesting element to how they deal with the new Power Ring. Sherif

Batman Eternal #17 C-

This book has taken a stiff nosedive for me in the past couple months. While I appreciate the Easter Egg characters that have been popping up in this exasperated love letter to Batman, they just don’t fit fluidly within the story. As a reader, I still have no idea what the purpose of the story actually is. I know that Carmine Falcone is the ultimate villain (or is he?), but shelling out four bucks a week to be led on this wild goose chase just isn’t turning out to be worth it anymore. I think something that has turned me off is the amount of supernatural activity that takes place; Batman has never been a fan of magic, nor I a fan of reading it in his books. Hope isn’t completely lost, though. I still really enjoy anything with Tim Drake and Harper Rowe in it, and the Pennyworth father-daughter scenes are pretty juicy. The book has substance, but there is just too much filler material to satisfy me lately. – Sherif

What seems to have started off strong and well intentioned has seemingly turned into something that is moving along at a snail’s pace with what appears to be little direction. I don’t really see where this is going anymore and I would almost prefer that they move it to a biweekly a book and have them pick up the pace. There is too little going on each issue too hold my interest. I want to know where things are going but it seems like they want to draw things out as long as possible to drive the sales as low as possible to get it canned before they ever finish the story. Only time will tell where this is going but, the end can’t come fast enough. – Robert

Bodies #1 – C-

I’M SO CONFUSED, kinda. I’m not really sure what’s happening in this book, but I do understand one thing. There are dead bodies lying in the street, there is a secret organization where everybody is loved, both the bodies and organization have been going on for centuries, and I’m sure they are connected in some fashion or another. Other than that, all I got to say is, “What? Ummm Okay.” In my opinion it’s important for any new series to make it clear to the reader the jist of what is happening, otherwise I become frustrated and don’t really find an interest to come back. However, if the new story brings a great cliff hanger and suspense, then I will want to return. Sadly, Bodies did not do this for me. I’ll admit there were some cool elements to the book such as the view points from various different time periods, and I’m slightly interested to know more about those time periods, but the bodies themselves, eh. I’m sure it’s really cool, I just wish more was presented for a first issue. – Evan

 

IDW Comics:

Samurai Jack #10 – B+

I absolutely love this series. Samurai Jack has always been a favorite of mine, and this month we get a new artist, who although stay true to the classic Tartakovsky-style, he also adds a grittiness to it which goes great with the mind invasion storyline in this issue. We get some great flashback shots from the first episode and get to see again how Jack is truly the best warrior of the animated and comic universe. Definitely check this issue out, as it is a great story and could be a great introduction to the series in general. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Black Science #7 A-

The second chapter of Black Science begins a lot like the second season of a television show would. The characters have all grown, there are larger-scale obstacles in their way, and the readers have no idea what is going on. In many ways, it’s business as usual. The team is trying their best to find their way back home, but find themselves deeper in doo doo than before. The biggest difference comes in the form of the narrator. This time around, the story is told through the eyes of Kadir, the a-hole turned savior warrior after the events of the end of issue #6. The story still moves at breakneck speeds, and can be hard to follow, but I’m so enveloped in the world of Black Science that I would read it no matter what was going on in the grand scheme of things. – Sherif

Low #1 – B

Ah snap, things are about to get crazy – as if they aren’t already crazy enough. This story is interesting especially with its mix of syfy and drama. With Stel and Helmsman Caine taking their children out on their first hunt things were supposed to be fun and adventurous. However, IT’S A TRAP! I’m not going to spoil much but, things escalate quite quickly, and all I know is that this story has a long way from being over. With the fate of the Caine family, and Earth at risk, the only thing that anyone can have at this point is hope…and badassness. Yes, there are a lot of badass things in this book including the city, the Helm Suit, the the Scurvy Hoard and all the mess that’s about to go down. So basically if you are looking for what appears to be the start of a really cool science fiction series, Low may be for you. – Evan

 

Marvel:

Cyclops #3 B

I haven’t seen a father-son road trip this bad since A Goofy Movie. Not only have Corsair and Scott been repeated chased down by bounty hunters, but now their ship has crash-landed on an unidentified planet. The two finally end up getting some bonding time, though, as Scott learns some dark secrets about his father. I can’t help but feel for Scott, who is still bitter about his dad abandoning him at such a young age, but still manages to take the situation in with such maturity. Thanks to a dwindling supply of nano-bytes, Corsair only has about a month to live. I feel like this is a good move because it brings a certainty that this series won’t drag on forever, yet still keep its poignancy. – Sherif

They finally answered one of the major early questions readers were asking, but nothing really happened that is worth mentioning. Marvel recently seems to be in the habit of announcing people’s deaths well in advance and is making a similar move here. Cyclops’ time with his father is apparently fleeting and will need to be taken advantage of to the fullest, or it probably won’t and things will continue on as usual… who the hell knows anymore? This book started out as an interesting idea to me but I honestly can’t see this book lasting that long. This version of Cyclops isn’t nearly as interesting as the one he is trying to avoid becoming and like half of the new Marvel roster getting their own books, isn’t a strong enough character to be worth maintaining an entire series for. Hopefully that changes but if this book is going to continue with the intergalactic pirate theme, they need to make it more interesting. – Robert

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet # 4 – C+

Ok so this series has gone from weird t just about as crazy as I would be to live in Deadpool’s mind. As crazy as it has gotten, it has now gotten to a Sharknado 2: The Second One level where it actually become enjoyable to see where the story is going now matter whether a werewolf and other classic monsters show up with Deadpool or whether Al Roker will survive the New York Sharknado. But the series is almost over here and surely we will see Deadpool and Shiklah fall in love as we know they get married, but with a succubus, maybe love is not why they get married. – Jacob

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 C

After being individually captured, Star Lord has freed himself with the help of Captain Marvel and is on the way to free the rest of his crew. Seeing the team work well together even though they are so different is what makes me love this book. All in all, though, nothing really happens in issue #17. It was a fun read, but the story was a scattered mess of one-two page summaries and the Nick Bradshaw’s pencil work was not very appealing. There’s really no issue that will hold a candle to the fact that the movie is coming out today, but it’s nice to see that the team’s spirit is still alive. – Sherif

All-New Ghost Rider #5 A-

We’ve been waiting for five issues, but Robbie Reyes is finally ready to accept his position as the Spirit of Vengeance. This issue caps off his encounter with Mr. Hyde, and the battle here is one of the most artistically displayed fight scenes I’ve seen lately. I haven’t wanted to root for Ghost Rider this much since before Nicholas Cage ruined it for everybody. However, little by little we can see the suit eating away at his consciousness, tempting him to take more brutal action as Ghost Rider, and do so without impunity. I wish the book was longer, however, as each issue is cut short and I am always left wishing I had gotten more out of it. All-New Ghost Rider is easily one of the books I look forward to reading the most. – Sherif

 

Funniest Panel:

cyclops 3 funny 7.30

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

ghost rider 5 badass 7.30w

 

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.

 

Batman Day – Best Graphic Novels

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making me in the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! Or click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.

batman day logo

 

 

Top 20 Batman Graphic Novels

The legacy of Batman isn’t dependent on the video games, movies or toys. Batman’s mythos is based on his greatest comic book tales. Whether canon or not, each story we chose here added to the collective representation of who we have built the Batman to be. Whether or not they are the “best” is not what we aim to debate, but these are the stories that define the Batman to us.

 

20.) Batman and Robin: Reborn

After Batman was “killed” by Darkseid in Final Crisis, I was almost ready to throw in the towel for reading comics. How could DC get away with killing off Bruce Wayne? By putting Dick Grayson in the cowl, that’s how. Grant Morrison’s idea to make the former Nightwing into Batman helped fill the part of the void left by Bruce’s departure. It was like reading a completely new book, as the dynamic between Dick and Damian Wayne was a far cry from the father and son one that Robin shared with Bruce. There was also a noticeable amount of humor that just hadn’t existed between Batman and Robin, the two taking on a big brother-little brother relationship. Dick tried to assume the fatherly rol, but it was often shoved back in his face by the prodigal Damian, often too smart for his own good.

 

19.) Batman: Zero Year

The mega-arc from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo just ended today, and it has already secured a place among my favorite books of all time. The time period prior to Frank Miller’s Year One is one of great mystery, so for us to get a complete detail of his rise to becoming the Batman. Bruce’s journey is full of tidbits that had never made it into other comics; thanks to the fact there was no canon material to prove Snyder right or wrong, he could really do what he wanted with the story. A show-down with the Red Hood Gang and the introduction of the Riddler, as well as a different take on the origin of James Gordon were just some of the twists that made the arc feel familiar, yet brand new. Greg Capullo’s art is on point. His model of the first Batsuit is incredible, complete with purple gloves and all. This book is a love letter to Batman, and you don’t need any previous knowledge to enjoy and understand it.

 

18.) Death in the Family

When Jason Todd learns that his biological mom is still out there somewhere, the stubborn Robin runs away from home to track her down. His hunt leads him to the Middle East. He does end up meeting his mom, but hits a patch of bad luck when she ends up being on the Joker’s payroll. Yikes. Long story short, the Joker beats Robin senseless with a crowbar before leaving him and his mother in a warehouse with a bomb. There’s no happy ending here, as Jason Todd blows up just before Batman can save the day. This wasn’t all bad news for fans though, as DC had actually released a survey asking people whether or not Robin should be murdered. His death was a particularly brutal one, like something you’d see on Goodfellas, and considering Jason was just a kid, a lot of people felt it was too much. The largest impact Jason’s death had was on Batman’s psyche, haunting him for years. He considered Jason’s death the worst failure he’s ever had.

 

17.) Mad Love

Vroom! Vroom! Harley Quinn tries so hard just to impress her man in this story, but she just can’t win. After putting on a special outfit and enticing the Joker, he shrugs her off, brooding over his failed attempts at catching and killing the Bat. So Harley does what any loving woman would; she captures Batman all on her own. As she brags to Batman about how proud Joker will be, Batman tells her that he only cares about himself, but Harley shrugs it off (Note: If Batman is telling you your relationship is toxic, you know something is wrong) Excited to share the news with Mistah Jay, he becomes infuriated, telling Harley that he had to be the one to do it or it didn’t matter. That’s when things stop being funny. Joker continues to beat Harley, pushing her out of the window and into the trash. Coming from an abusive home as a child, this was really the final straw for Harley, as she renounces the Joker… for a little while anyway. Relationship woes aside, I gained  lot of respect for Harley after Mad Love.

 

16.) Under the Hood

Jason Todd, like most superheroes, couldn’t stay dead for long. However, the way that he came back was very unique from the rest of the comic book world. Taking on the moniker of the Red Hood, named after a gang Joker ran with when he turned into the white-skinned psycho he is today, Todd returns in a big way, sweeping the crime world by taking it over, and annihilating anybody who opposes. Bitter from what he considered Batman letting him die, Jason turned to more extreme measures in dealing with the bad guys. It takes Batman a while, but he finally figures out that the Red Hood is somehow Jason Todd. Cutting into his action, Black Mask joins with other super-villains to put a hit out on Red Hood. The Joker ends up captive in a room with Red Hood, who savagely beats Joker and prepares to kill him. In the end, Batman is forced to make the choice of stopping Jason from killing Joker, driving a wedge further between them.

 

15.) No Man’s Land

Gotham has suffered an earthquake of catastrophic proportions, resulting in a city-wide blackout. Civilization as we know it has ceased to exist, and random gangs have began vying for territory all over the city. Meanwhile, Batman is nowhere to be found as Bruce Wayne in in DC, fighting for national aid to Gotham. What makes the story great is that all the minor characters who never get the spotlight deserve play a major part in the resurrection of Gotham. The story feels very real and everybody acts how you would imagine they would in that kind of situation. Citizens’ fears are felt just as much as the police’s bravery. James Gordon is just the bit of hero that Batman was, proving that you don’t need to be Batman to make a difference. This huge event spanned nearly 15 series and six months, making it one of Batman’s largest-scale stories of all time.

 

14.) All-Star Batman and Robin

For some reason, this Batman is really pissed off. All-Star Batman and Robin isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s one of the most entertaining stories I’ve read. Not only does Batman get laid, say “Goddamn” a lot and defeats the Green Lantern by literally using the color yellow. The books chronicles the recruitment of Dick Grayson as Robin and Batman’s introduction to the Justice League, as well as a few other minor events. The Batman in this book is a raging asshole; he puts his hands on Alfred, constantly belittles Robin and shows little value in the life of criminals – notably by hurling a Molotov cocktail at a group of them as them erupt in flames. The real take-away are the beautiful full-page spreads by Jim Lee, who manages to calm down the rage-aholic writing of Frank Miller.

 

13.) Dark Victory

The sequel to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s The Long HalloweenDark Victory continues along the lines of a mystery story that just happens to have Batman characters in it. We get an introduction to Robin, and a brand new villain with a new shtick, The Hangman. Many of the corrupt politicians from Year One are found hanged to death by this mystery murderer. We also get to see the complications of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, but Batman feels perpetually alone, refusing help from Catwoman and Gordon on numerous occasions.

 

12.) Knightfall

Bane gets overlooked a lot of the time for being a hulking beast, but he’s one of the smartest villains in Gotham. In Knightfall, he strategically breaks out all the villains from Arkham, wearing Batman out as he tried to contain the situation. Bane deduced Batman’s secret identity, meeting him in the Batcave for a super-sized beat-down, ending in Bane shattering Batman’s spine and his confidence. It was an eye-opener for fans that realized defeating the Batman was, in fact, possible. Batman began a rigorous training regiment with Lady Shiva to get his mojo back, and charged Jean Paul Valley (Azrael) to take over as Batman in his stead. JPV let the role go to his head, and before we knew it, he had modified the Batsuit to become a nightmarish Azrael suit. The first volume of the arc was the best, but there were still enough interesting events in the rest of it to warrant reading.

 

11.) Battle for the Cowl

Bruce Wayne is gone, and Dick Grayson must take up the mantle of the Bat, but is reluctant. Sensing that Batman is gone, an impostor show up to take the gig over. That impostor ends up being a sociopathic Jason Todd. In an attempt to stop Jason Todd, both Damian and Tim Drake are shot and severely wounded. At this point, Dick realized that only he can inherit the mantle of the Bat. The story isn’t that long, but the repercussions of it echo all the way into Bruce’s return.

 

10.) Joker

Batman’s number one villain gets his own mini-series in this story by 100 Bullets‘ Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo. The story is told through the eyes of a common criminal looking to join the ranks of Joker’s gang. This perspective, unlike the first-person perspective of the supplementary Luthor book, enhances the perspective that nobody really knows what the Joker is thinking. Reading the book, you get lost in the madness, but sober right up as you realize just how frightening Joker is. In a confrontation with Harvey Dent, Joker glues shards of broken glass to his fists in preparation for the fight. This is right after blackmailing him and right before raping Dent’s wife. Joker also commits other unspeakable acts such as: skinning a man alive, shooting over a dozen people (not all in anger) and stabbing one of his own men in the eye with a glass bottle. This book is a clear example of digging beneath the surface and realizing you probably shouldn’t have.

 

9.) The Black Mirror

Before Scott Snyder was awarded Batman in the New52, he wrote The Black Mirror, a creepy story about the dark reflection in Gotham that stares back at our protagonists. Commissioner Gordon, Gotham’s hero on the police force, beloved by the people, is hiding something, or rather someone, when it turns out that his estranged son is a complete deviant. Dick Grayson, meanwhile, who was still Batman at the time, infiltrates an auction held by The Dealer, where items used by villains were used – the item for bid was the crowbar The Joker used on Jason Todd before murdering him. It’s all pretty gruesome stuff, and would set the tone for the dark material in the New52 relaunch.

 

8.) The Killing Joke

Alan Moore’s stand-alone story is commonly thought of as the greatest Joker story ever told. There are plot points in this book that would remain canon and have repercussions that lasted decades. We get a good glimpse into the Joker’s twisted psyche, as he visits the home of Barbara Gordon and shoots her point blank, paralyzing her. The Joker then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, takes him to an abandoned amusement park (I think Gothan has one too many of those) and shows Gordon pictures of his daughter, all to prove that even the most upstanding citizen can lose their mind after one bad day. The ending to The Killing Joke is very artistic, and many believe resulted in the death of the Joker.

 

7.) Flashpoint Batman: Knight of Vengeance

Flash might have been the headliner here, but the alternate timeline that Batman was set on was as clever as it was tragic. When Flash altered reality by way of the Speed Force, Batman’s origin changed with it. Instead of Martha and Thomas Wayne taking the bullet, it had been Bruce. Engrossed in guilt, Thomas dealt with the situation by becoming Batman. This Batman was much more lethal with his methods, and operated a casino in town where he oversaw all the crime in town. Meanwhile, Martha developed another coping mechanism – laughter. My mind was blown. The Waynes, who were once the Jay-Z and Beyonce power couple of Gotham City, were now bitter enemies. The story ends in tragedy (as most Batman stories do), and all I could do is thank the stars that Flash was able to set the timeline straight again.

 

6.) Batman: Year One

Frank Miller’s Batman wasn’t always insane. The quintessential origin story, Year One took us through Bruce Wayne’s first attempt at fighting crime. In short, he kind of sucked at it. Gotham was a city where the rich got fat at the poor’s expense. While Batman was making his introduction on the streets, James Gordon had transferred from Chicago to be met by a very corrupt police force. Bruce and Gordon’s stories paralleled each other very well, adding to the feeling they would work well together. This is as good as any place to start in the Batman mythology if you don’t know where to start reading.

 

5.) JLA: Tower of Babel

Batman has a contingency plan for everything – even his friends. When Justice Leaguers start dropping like flies, with methods specifically designed to eliminate them, everybody is completely lost as to the mastermind who came up with these designed traps. Everybody, that is, except for Batman, who had kept a file detailing the Justice League’s weaknesses in case they got out of control. Ra’s al Ghul, who had a habit of being able to sneak into the Batcave whenever he wanted, sneaked in and stole the files, intending to use them to immobilize the heroes while he did his global domination thing. As Batman is the only one left to defend the world, he must undo the damage that his files wrought on the League. Tower of Babel was great commentary on whether or not that much control over a situation is a good thing, especially when the information wasn’t secure.

 

4.) The Dark Knight Returns

A retired Bruce Wayne has watched his city fall apart without a Dark Knight to protect it. It would seem, though, that the world is not ready for his reemergence, as Superman, who has pretty much become the President’s bitch, must make an example of this vigilante. That’s really the least of Batman’s worries, as he takes on Two-Face, a revitalized Joker, and a gang of punks called the Mutants. The story is chock-full of socio-political commentary that has stayed relevant throughout the decades.

 

3.) Batman: The Long Halloween

The Long Halloween was the first comic book I’ve ever read, and I was instantly hooked right in. Armed with Jeph Loeb, one of the greatest comic book storytellers in recent history, and the unique art style of Tim Sale, this book was enthralling. Part mystery, part action, Batman had to solve murders around town that were committed on holidays. He even enlisted the help of Calendar Man. The story takes place early in the Batman timeline, chronicling the transformation of Harvey Dent into Two-Face and before Jim Gordon was Commissioner. The story included a plethora of villains, and when the headlining Holiday is finally found out, it’s a big Aha! moment you just don’t get in comic books anymore.

 

2.) The Court of Owls

Scott Snyder kicked The New52 off with a bang, as a brand new series with a brand new villain emerged. The Court of Owls are an underground society of Gotham’s oldest and wealthiest families. They control everything going on in the city, and have decided that Bruce Wayne and the Batman have got to go. With an army of trained, slightly-undead soldiers called Talons at their disposal, they are an instant force to be reckoned. The owl-like masks, as well as the detailed Talon design added to the Courts intrigue, and the way Capullo arranged the panels when Batman tangles with the Owls in their maze echoes the insanity Batman feels. While the reboot allowed for tinkering to the mythology, Court of Owls actually added a lot of interesting gadgets and tidbits to it. At a whopping twelve issues, this book won’t fail to hold your interest.

 

1.) Hush

Call us biased, but Hush is the best Batman graphic novel of all time. In no other book are you introduced to so many beautifully drawn villains. Jim Lee’s art in Hush will go down in history as legendary, with a mixture of regular pencils and even taking a stab at water colors. Hush also marks the return of Jason Todd from the dead and introduces Thomas Elliott, Bruce’s childhood friend. Like other great mysteries by Jeph Loeb (The Long HalloweenDark Victory), you don’t find out who the villain is until the end of the book. In Hush Batman finally lets Catwoman into his heart, giving her a big smooch and revealing his identity to her. This has since been undone in The New52, but it has remained canon in my heart. Hush is the book that made me officially fall in love with comic books, and it’s one any Bat-fan will enjoy.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Kevin Conroy

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

 

Panel Name: Batman 75th Anniversary: Kevin Conroy

Topic: Kevin Conroy spoke about his experiences being a voice actor on the highly acclaimed television series Batman: The Animated Series along with other Batman franchises since then.

Featured Guest: The one, the only, Kevin Conroy.

 

Going to the famed voice actor Kevin Conroy’s panel, I expected certain things.  Namely, that he would talk in his famous Batman voice for the entire hour, and while he didn’t do exactly that, he surely didn’t disappoint either.  He came out on stage and exclaimed in his gravelly voice, “I am vengeance!  I am the knight!  I AM BATMAN!”

Kevin Conroy is pumped
I don’t know who was more excited, Kevin Conroy, or all his adoring fans.

For about the first 20 minutes, Conroy spoke extensively about his how he got “the job” (it’s the voice of Batman if you haven’t caught on yet), his time on the show and other Batman franchises, and what he learned along the way.  Conroy had gone to Juilliard and done theater acting in New York.  He also had some experience in L.A. on TV.  With the combination of the two experiences, he had done some voice over work before.  His agent sent him to meet Bruce Timm and Paul Dini at Warner Brothers.  He initially told them the only thing he new about Batman was the campy 60’s TV show starring Adam West (let’s hope Adam West didn’t hear this panel).  Timm and Dini immediately let Conroy know that The Animated Series was very noir and had a much darker tone because it was about a man avenging the murder of his parents.  He said using his imagination and (in full Batman voice) “going into a deeper and darker place” both Timm and Dini stopped him to tell him he got the role.

His piece of advice about Hollywood and getting a job was more about luck.  He said that anybody can get a job who has talent, but it is about “the right person that day making the right choices who gets the job.”  Over 20 years later, Conroy is still here and he is still the voice of Batman.  He never planned on the path his career has taken him, but he is happy where is career has gone.  He also spoke on the difference between voice acting on the shows or movies vs. the video games.  On the show, he and the other actors were all together and were able to interact with one another, specifically Mark Hamill (The Joker), Richard Moll (Harvey Dent), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred).  Ice-T was even a guest voice once.  When Conroy asked what he was doing there, Ice-T replied “Are you kidding?  My kids love Batman.”  The games are much different because the every line has to be perfectly clean.  There is no interaction with the other actors.  In addition, the different plays of the game lead to different outcomes, and therefore, different lines of dialogue.  Conroy said there are “zillions and zillions of lines.”  He does say that the result for the audience is well worth the tediousness of that kind of voice acting work.  And as a little teaser of excitement for the audience he said “The new Arkham Knight is…” then he just looked down and shook his head.

Kevin Conroy 1

Conroy talked about his belief about why Batman has lasted so long.  For one, he isn’t a superhero.  Everyone can relate to a guy, which Batman is.  He makes the choice to do the things he does because he makes all his weapons and goes out and fights crime.  He also has high morals.  Instead of killing the criminals, he puts them in Arkham Asylum… “which means you get a great game!”  But the psychology of Batman is interesting to Conroy and to the fans because of his baggage and childhood.  It is what Batman does with it, trying to help people, that people connect with because everyone has an inner hero.  “Batman is the personification of that.”  As far as difference in Conroy’s voice when playing Bruce Wayne rather than Batman is based on how everyone has a double life.  But for Batman, the costume is Bruce Wayne.  “Batman in the cave is his naked self.  That is where he being the most honest.”  Bruce Wayne though is the business man, the show.  Conroy says we all have a face that we put on.

He also talked a bit about how production on an animated series works.  The voice actors record months before anything is aired because the animators match the mouth movements to what is being said.  He had no idea what anything was going to look like.  He and Mark Hamill were together when the first animations came back and watched it on a huge screen.  He said he looked at Mark and said, “Did you have a CLUE that this is what we were doing?!”  It was then that they both realized what they had been working on was pretty special.

Conroy spoke on the anonymity of voice acting.  However, this has changed more recently.  Then he told this amazing story about getting recognized in Hollywood:

Conroy took many questions, where answers ranged from an embarrassing story about shaking a bosses hand after he had coughed a loogie into his own hand, and working with voice actors who weren’t cut out for the business.  The last request from a fan was to sing a verse of any song as Batman.  What happened after was totally unexpected, but absolutely made my weekend.  Here is Kevin Conroy singing, “Softly, As I Leave You.”

 

 

Comic Book Reviews 06-25-14

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:

 

Superman #32 – A

No, this is not Bizzaro World; Superman actually got a higher score than Snyder and Capullo’s Batman. This is proof that DC’s poster-child, Clark Kent, is not washed up. All it takes is a phenomenal creative team, and the Man of Steel is returned to his former glory. Thanks to writer Geoff Johns, I’m ready to start following Superman for the first time since George Pérez left at the beginning of The New52. He did have a little help from DC Comics’ rookie, JOHN ROMITA JR. That’s right – legendary Spider-Man artist and Kick-Ass co-creator is drawing the most iconic character in comic book history now. The best part about this book is that it is a perfect jumping-on point for new or estranged readers. Not that I can solicit this book any harder, but the story had me humming the John Williams theme song. The Big Blue Boy Scout is back! – Sherif

 

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse:

Dream Thief: Escape #1 – B+

Dream Thief is a new comic out this week and it is pretty cool, I gotta say.  The story is a nice twist on revenge and possession, both major factors in main character Johnny Lincoln’s life.  Johnny gets possessed by murdered ghosts sometimes.  Those ghosts then go find their murders and use Johnny to kill their murderers.  While it sounds very creepy, it is a pretty funny book because it has a lot of quips to keep the story just light enough to not be so disturbing.  The story takes place in the mid 80’s in Florida, which makes a for a very beautiful and colorful backdrop.  The book ends with Johnny meeting another person, a very special person (no spoilers, I promise) who also gets possessed by ghosts, allowing the story to end on a pretty major cliffhanger, and making me want to pick up this book immediately next month! – Adrian

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 – B+

Another series that has come to an end and after six months, Serenity and its crew finally get everything, well almost everything resolved.  The series ends on a great note and one that I really wish I could see done with the cast and crew of the show. This last issue makes any Serenity fan tear up by just looking at the cover with Wash being so prevalent so seeing that image going into the last issue it sets you up to have so much of what happened to Wash get resolved and have everyone on the track to healing after the insane events of the film Serenity. – Jacob

 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #32 – A-

Zero Year is really heating up as we approach the climax – the showdown between Batman and Nygma is heating up… kinda. There is a constant back and forth between the two to see who has the statistic advantage. Even though both are so young in their respective masked careers, they are both supremely sharp and the battle of wits is a site to see. The issue ends on yet another cliff-hanger, and this one makes a little less sense than I would have liked, but that’s the nature of a story centered around The Riddler. Batman has been the most consistently great book in the DC staple, so if you’re on the fence, definitely read this arc. – Sherif

Justice League #31 – A

The idea of Lex Luthor being a valued member of the League is ridiculous, and writer Geoff Johns is not afraid to show it. Since a very dreary Forever Evil arc, Justice League is enjoying a nice little break before the next Big Bad comes along. Unlike other books, there’s no filler here. We get to see the new Power Ring, as it begins to corrupt a poor young woman in Portland. Meanwhile, Lex comes to Bruce Wayne with that shocking discovery, and it’s interesting to see Lex get the upper-hand of the detective who’s always thinking six steps ahead. Mostly though, it’s Shazam and Cyborg that steal the show with their hilarious banter at the Watchtower. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War #1 – A

Here we have an ultimate team up of all of our favorite Cartoon Network characters joining together because all of their villains are planning to take over multiple worlds together. For this issue I love how each character is done in their distinctive style and yet they all feel like they belong together which makes this issue so much more than just pictures of my favorite cartoons together. Hopefully with all the main issues and one shots included in this series we will get to a point where it all is explained a little bit better than what we got in this issue, but it is all leading up to a series that will have anyone who watched Cartoon Network freaking out because of happiness by the end. – Jacob

X-Files: Season 10 #13 – B

Thins are getting real! More of The Lone Gunmen, more Krycek,, and everyone is crazy! This issue is definitely one of the better ones as part 3 of this current story arc, and we get a couple answers but just like X-Files, we get more questions. The art in this series can be a little hit or miss, as it is not very detailed and at times it can be hard to tell who is who. The writing of this series though is what makes it good and it gives me so much hope for another movie that could be awesome. Although this issue was great for me, I have not missed an issue so for anyone trying to start here it would likely be rather confusing. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #20 – A

If I had a dollar for every time I screamed “Holy S***!” while reading this issue, I would have $3. Seriously, follow through the pages and tell me if you can spot them. I may still be a little punch-drunk off meeting Fiona Staples at Denver Comic Con, but I’m in love with her art, and with the beautiful writing of Brian K Vaughan. The range of story goes from “trouble in paradise” to straight up disturbing by the end of the issue. How long can Alana and Marko stay hidden? What the hell is going on with Prince Robot IV? Mostly, though, I wonder how many more times can we tell you how amazing Saga is before you go read it?? – Sherif

Deadly Class #6 – A

A “sadistic, twit redneck who likes to f*** sheep” sounds like the most terrifying villain of all time. This book is so ludicrous; I love it. The kids’ trip to vacation has been no vacation, but they band together over a common enemy – the way everything plays out had my eyes wide and my heart racing. At the end of the day, every issue of Deadly Class has been beautiful and brutal, and this issue is no exception. This is a great read if you think need something to make you feel better about your own high school experience. Each issue uncovers more and more of the students’ pasts. This was a perfect way to close out the arc. – Sherif

Outcast #1 – B-

Robert Kirkman is at it… still. I can’t really say “again” because well, The Walking Dead is still happening.  Anyway, Outcast is Kirkman’s answer to the Horror genre. We follow main character Kyle Barnes and his really bad luck with the women who are closest to him getting possessed by demons, and then he has to exorcize them.  I’m not sure if this is a comment on women or not, but I’ll tell you this, for the first 20 pages of the 48 page issue, I had no clue what was going on.  But don’t let this turn you off.  By the end of the story, it all kind of makes sense.  And leaves enough unsaid that makes the reader want to know more about Kyle, our new demon hunter hero, or should I say Outcast? – Adrian

 

Marvel:

Amazing Spider-Man #3 – B

The return of Peter Parker has been a solid one so far. While he was “away,” Otto Octavius made quite the mess of his life: pissing off frenemies, chasing off close friends, and falling in love with another woman. The story with Black Cat is getting very interesting, as she is reborn with a lot more moxie this time around. Peter, meanwhile, is learning the joys of owning your own business. It’s quirky and fun, but is lacking of any real substance right now. The story is still building, so I’m sure that will change in the next couple issues. – Sherif

Ms. Marvel #5 – C+

I don’t know what happened between the end of issue #3 and this one, but somewhere along the line, the book lost a lot of momentum. I’m still really excited to see where Ms. Marvel is going, but it seems to have lost a bit of the flare and the social relevance that catapulted it to the top of my reading list each issue. I’m still interested in the story, and the dynamic characters are a lot of fun in themselves, but it still needs something to push it back over the hump. – Sherif

Original Sins #2 – C+

This series obviously is a way to connect lesser character of the marvel universe to the Original Sin storyline going on now. All of the stories so far don’t really show much connection but a small mention of the events in Original Sin. Each issue is going to contain a large Young Avengers story and then two other stories one being a medium size and the other usually just two pages. It does make me happy that Howard the Duck got to be the small story in this issue, but other than that novelty, I don’t see too much of a connection between these stories to warrant purchasing this issue unless you are a completest. – Jacob

Deadpool vs Carnage #4 – C-

Although this series has been dull, and left you wondering why is it happening (which is actually quite strange considering the other things Deadpool has done). In this last issue we finally get everything resolved, absolute insanity is brought down to a little bit crazy, and we can all finally take a nap and forget it all ever happened. But seriously this series has been entertaining for what it is, the artwork has definitely been good throughout the series and this last issue. Ultimately this series will have its fans but mostly it is just a series to read on a boring day, and there are much worse things to readout there. – Jacob

 

Funniest Panel

Shazam and Cyborg discuss additions to the Watchtower in Justice League #31
Shazam and Cyborg discuss additions to the Watchtower in Justice League #31

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

awesome panel 6.24
Superman and his mystery buddy tag team this robot in Superman #32

 

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.