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:
Suiciders #1 – A
This is Fight Club meets Robocop meets Mad Max. Even with all those components thrown in, it’s impossible to encapsulate Lee Bermejo’s new book with a bunch of pop culture references. Suiciders is inherently new and exciting, with the tinge of familiarity you need to keep reading. After “The Big One” left LA a survivalist nightmare, it was reborn as New Angeles, kept alive by the entertainment brought by the gladiator pit. The gladiators are all cybernetic ally-enhanced, and the arena is booby-trapped to high hell. The premiere issue gave us but a glimpse of the bigger picture, focusing on the heart of the reality tv brutality, and leaving just enough to whet my appetite for more.If you need to know anything about Lee Bermejo, it’s that when he puts out content (Joker, Luthor: Man of Steel, Batman: Noel), you shut up and listen. Well, I’m silent and at attention, now. – Sherif
Futurama #74 – B-
The newest issue of Futurama gives us a clever idea of what would happen if Professor Farnsworth’s “What If” Machine blew up and its “Magic” spread across New New York. I will say the cover done by Jason Ho, Mike Rote, and Serben Cristescu is a bit of a tease in that it shows Fry split across multiple universes spanning from Homer’s arm, to Buzz Lightyear’s foot. Neither of these appear in the book, but that does not mean other clever and cool references do not and that is one thing this series is great at doing. Ian Boothby wrote this issue and it harkens back to the wonderful “What If” Machine episodes that many believe to be some of the top episodes, plus this issue has a large role for Scruffy, and we can all agree the world needs more Scruffy the Janitor. James Lloyd, Andrew Pepoy and Robert Stanley have the roles of Pencils, Inks and Colors for this issue and they all bring some of the most screen curate art to this series which obviously makes for a better read, especially when one, like myself, already reads everything in their mind in Futurama voices. – Jacob
Evil Empire #11 – B
This Utopian Protocol idea seems pretty intriguing. I’m still not quite on board with how this could be used to actually make the Earth into “the Death Star with skinny jeans” though. Any insight into this would be welcome. Evil Empire has been a pleasant surprise for me. One thing you should know is that Max Bemis is actually my favorite person in this world. I’ve been a Say Anything fan for ten years now and have followed all of his projects. Polarity was interesting but a little bit of a let down for me. Finally though, I have found a great Boom! Series that has kept me interested. It has taken some good turns and it seems about ready to take one final corner before the end of the series. The last few issues have been laying the groundwork for the finale and this last one really did a good job at drawing me back in. What exactly does the Utopian Protocol entail? So telling a girl you are into guys is a great pick-up line? How big is the resistance currently since they decided to just skip over a year? So many questions and we are nearing the end! It’s been an unpredictable series to say the least. – Jake
Batman #39 – A-
All bets are off. Nobody is safe. I’m actually freaking out right now. This is not a superhero comic book, it’s a horror book that just happens to have a superhero in it. Although, the way this issue played out, I’m not so sure Batman is super-anything at the moment. The penultimate issue of Endgame has Batman basically begging for help from all the people he’s kicked the crap out of in the New52. This feels so far out of my comfort zone for Batman, because he’s been able to put away the Joker for decades now without help – he must be really desperate to reach out to enemies now. I love the callback to the Red Hood and other trophies throughout the issue, and the grotesqueness of it all. I will not be sad when this arc is over though; it’s given me the heeby jeebies. – Sherif
Gotham Academy #5 – A-
I just love this book. It’s really written for middle schoolers and high schoolers, but I find myself enthralled with all the story lines. After finding Killer Croc hiding in the walls of the school last month, this time Olive and Maps get their team together to find him again. Throw in a dance, a love triangle, and some banter, and you have an amazing issue of Gotham Academy. I cannot rave enough about the art. It feel a little Disney, a little Anime, and a little Thomas Kinkade. If you pay attention closely to the detail, you will see the school is full of creepy little things; in one panel I noticed a pair of gold eyes peering at me from an old wooden chest. I almost jumped! – Adrian
Deathstroke #5 – B+
Here is a list of what I expect from a Deathstroke book written and drawn by Tony Daniels: lots of blood and action, superbly-drawn panels with an action shot or two thrown in the mix, and a somewhat progressive story. There is at least two out of three present in this issue of Deathstroke, and that’s enough to make me happy. The issue begins with a hardcore fight scene between Slade and Batman, complete with a play-by-play breakdown of Batman’s fighting techniques. It’s something I’ve so seldom seen in a book, so it was interesting to see a fight from the point of a nearly-equally matched fighter against Batman – with Batman as the antagonist. There are a few pages of actual storyline here, but it goes by so quickly, I’m not sure it was even worth mentioning. Give me more fights with Batman. – Sherif
TMNT #43 – A
In part three of the Attack on Technodrome story arc, we see Krang and Shredder’s gang duking it out with the Mutanimals while Splinter takes on Hun and Karai, and Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo take on the Technodrome and what waits inside. With every split up, alliances being forged and broken, things don’t really seem to be going well for anyone, especially by the time this issue ends and we are left with another cliffhanger. Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz wrote this issue and together they brought about a great story this month that had you rooting for people one second hating them the next all the while still hoping they succeed in their plans. It is a very twist-filled story so far for this arc, and likely will only become more so with the next issue in March. Cory Smith takes on the art with Ronda Pattison on colors and this teams brings some of the best, and my personal favorite art for the series in awhile as it keeps with Mateus Santolouco’s style which has been the main focus of this series, but it also improves upon somethings as well, making for a great addition to anyone’s TMNT library. – Jacob
TMNT Mutanimals #1 – A-
A new TMNT series packed full of nostalgia and new material to make any new or old TMNT fan go crazy. Based off of the Archie Comics universe version of the Turtles and the original Mighty Mutanimal toy line – which only Mondo Gecko and Slash were members from this new group – this series take off into a direction many fans of the original team will notice. The story for this first issue by Paul Allor sets up this series for a journey I am sure many old fans are a bit scared about with the introduction of the villain, Null. The art for this issue is definitely not as realistic and detailed as the main series, but Andy Kuhn does a great job with a more simplistic take on these characters, which fit for what seems to be a rather cheesy group of characters. Cheesiness aside, (believe me if this series goes any way the Archie comics series did, any cheesiness will disappear quicker than a hobbit putting on the one ring) this series is bound to be a great one as the Mutanimals are a big favorite among those who read the Archie Comics run of TMNT and these characters will bring a whole different aspect to the story of the Turtles that no fan could not enjoy. – Jacob
Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #2 – B-
I do really like Galaxy Quest, but I am disappointed that this new installment is turning out to be essentially the same storyline from the movie. The only real difference is this time the crew isn’t helping the Thermians, but just another race of alien. The loveable Guy, played by Sam Rockwell in the film, will not being joining the fight this time around though. He is instead staying on Earth to help a bunch of shapeshifting aliens, who are posing as the other cast members. Instead the fish out of water character will be Brandon, Justin Long’s character from the film. I’ll keep reading for my own enjoyment but I do hope the comic separates itself from the movie. – Jake
ODY-C #3 – A-
I find that, usually, the third issue is when a series starts to lose steam. It seems to be the moment sheer novelty wears off and the more plodding structure of story takes the ‘fore. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but sometimes it kills the momentum and the interest. Not so with Ody-C #3. I realize summary panels in the front of books have kind of gone out of fashion, but holy crap if this book doesn’t need it, especially when, by the third issue, the world continues to feel as mysterious as it did in issue #1. And that’s not bad here. Given what this book is (a gendered re-tooling of the most famous epic on the planet), it’d be a tragedy to feel bored. Ody-C continues to rank to blow minds. And #3 has the cyclops in it, and it’s a relief that Odyssia can’t punch her to death. – Montgomery
Graveyard Shift #3 – B+
Last month, we left off with Hope eating some dude when she was definitely not supposed to. I like that we were able to jump right back in without anytime wasted. The guy kind of deserved to be eaten. Ok, maybe not, but I can see what the writer was trying to do here. My favorite part of the scene is how the colors go from very bright to sepia-toned as Hope tells us where she has been and why. The rest of the story is Hope and Liam working together to figure out who the big daddy vampire is. It was cool to see them clearly struggling with her new way of life, but at the same time working together very well to solve the case. The cliffhanger was a little underwhelming, but the art throughout the book was fantastic. – Adrian
Zombies VS Robots #2 – B
I’m really interested in where this comic is going. I’m always a sucker for zombies and mixing science fiction elements definitely intrigues me. Parts of this feel very Firefly-esque to me, but there’s still enough originality that makes it an entirely different story. Picture Firefly if the team decided to go back to “Earth-That-Was” mixed in with The Walking Dead and sentient robots.There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here and I look forward to the next issue. – Charlotte
Rasputin #5 – C
I’m still really loving this book. I look forward to each issue that comes out. The creative team behind Rasputin is really giving us something new about the man behind the myth. He’s mystical healing powers are becoming more pronounced and present as the series moves along. The color red continues to play an important part and thread through the story. This time we are with Rasputin on the battlefield of World War I where we see him healing wounded soldiers. There are also hints of a secret conspiracy merging throughout the story. I continue to really love the bookend aspect of the story. Between his future and his past. I don’t want to give away the ending, but it adds more intrigue to the story. – Jené
Roche Limit #5 – C
It’s only the 5h issue and somehow it feels like a hell of a lot more. Zombie-like soulless bodies are over running the station, lots of fighting, and lots of death. Meanwhile, Alex is trying to locate Bekkah’s soul after getting her vessel back on the ship. While the overall concept of this story is really interesting, this book was over dripping with clichés. Nothing we haven’t read or seen before in a hero/villain come to fight moment. Its ending was also a little too fast, and I wasn’t all that satisfied with the climax. Now that this particular arc has come to a sort of conclusion, I’m curious as to what’s going to happen in the next chapter. – Jené
Spider-Man 2099 #9 – A
Well hot damn! Miguel leaves his universe for a few weeks and the whole world goes to complete Hell. It was like a scene out of Mad Max mixed with The Matrix. Future Spidey returns home after his stint with the Inheritors to find that Nuevo York, the glorious, technological haven of a city has been reduced to little more than barren wastelands, dilapidated & tumbling skyscrapers, and a few wandering post-apocalyptic Hill-Billy’s. It’s a lot like Fallout… plus Spider-Man. Things proceed to get crazier when the Hulk… err excuse me… “The Maestro” (…what?…) shows up. Turns out he’s a complete diabolical maniac. He pops two dude’s heads as if he were playing with bubble wrap and makes a 300’s Immortals-esque shine of human bodies! I love how fully out of control things are in this new arc. I’m anxious to see how señor Spider fixes this gargantuan mess. – Taylor
Deadpool #42 – B+
In this second issue of Deadpool’s battle with Omega Red as well as the first issue we start getting reminded that Deadpool dies in a mere three issues, and we get a pretty good story in this issue that really dives head first into Deadpool’s emotions, while kicking ass, of course. I really liked the story telling in this issue as it gives us a good reminder why this would be the worst time for Deadpool to die with everything he has, while also making sure to remind us he also is a disgusting scumbag a lot of the time and kind of deserves death. Salva Espin and Val Staples bring us my favorite type of Deadpool with the art and color in this issue as it is still realistic but Deadpool, his eyes, and his reactions are like a Looney Tunes character amongst the real world. Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan have absolutely knocked it out of the park with this modern Deadpool series and these issues leading up to the end have not just been great but made Deadpool a very sympathetic character which even Wade Wilson himself would laugh at me for saying. – Jacob
Darth Vader #2 – B+
(A-) It’s still very intriguing to me watching Darth Vader being the black sheep of the Empire. Kieron Gillen weaves an interesting tale of one of the most famous villains in history. Watching Vader try to track down a man that he assuredly at least thinks is his son does add some unusual insight into Vader’s mind. And you just know that Tagge is not going to see a happy end. I did also like the throwback to the prequel trilogy with the appearance of droideka’s. It was actually nice seeing a small connection between the two storylines. – Scott
(B) There’s nothing too profound or out of the ordinary in the Darth Vader issue this week. However, take time to realize that “ordinary” in the context of Darth Vader comes with lots of death, destruction and force choking – which means that this issue is still awesome. I’m finding that very minor details are making big differences for me. My favorite detail in this edition was the heavily modified droidekas!! I want one really, really badly… Key characters (other than Vader) and the plot are beginning to develop. This is crucial for this kind of story – one where you already know all the headliner’s tricks. Don’t sleep on Darth Vader… It might upset him… – Taylor
Spider-Gwen #1 – B
She. Is. Awesome. She’s awesome! A cute Spider-themed character that can graffiti, jokes in the midst of battle (to be expected) and drops Breaking Bad puns is an instant winner in my book. I like how this series is structuring itself. While every other version of Spider-Man is currently working on weaving itself out of the Spider-Verse event this one – right off the bat – takes on a life of its own. The primary conflict is pretty muddled, but that’s okay at this point in the game. Right now we should be focused on Gwen and how cool she is and what internal struggles she’s dealing with. I’m already in love with this title and look forward to experiencing what I’m sure will be a long career. – Taylor
Amazing Spider-Man #15 – B
Epilogue time! The bad guys are beat, the heroes need a nap, and some new adventures begin. The final, “final,” piece of the Spider-Verse event takes place in this issue of ASM. It was actually way more action and content packed than I was expecting – which is good! Even after winning a war Doc Ock can’t help but be a dick. Spider-Man does a fine job of putting him back in his place. Other characters look like they’ll be getting dirty again before too long. There were also some pretty interesting surprises. I won’t give away details but I will drop names of interest – Karn and Kaine (!!). I wonder what Peter Parker of 616 will get himself into next. I’m willing to bet it will be worth my (and your) time. – Taylor
S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 – B-
This comic was so-so. It had some funny parts and Spider-Man added to its appeal, but honestly, it was very hard to follow and there wasn’t much payoff at the end. The only thing that I really enjoyed was Spider-Man’s snark. This felt like a bit of a filler issue for me, something the writers really shouldn’t be doing this early in. The only thing that seemed to be moving the plot forward was at the very end and only briefly introduced as a cliffhanger. So overall? Not my favorite comic, but it wasn’t so bad that I’m not looking forward to the next issue. – Charlotte
Thor Annual #1 – C
If I could I would actually give each of the three stories in this issue a different grade as each is very different in writing and art. Not saying the grade would really change from a C rating though, as there was a mixed bag, and ultimately all three didn’t really add too much to anything going on in Thor or any stories going on now. The first story deals with an old Thor who is now the All-Father of Asgard with Jason Aaron as the writer and Timothy Truman as the artist and deals with what Thor will do in his last days. The second story is about the new female Thor and an adventure she has to earn the trust of the Warriors Three and this one is written by Noelle Stevenson and the art is done by Marguerite Sauvage and this one has a very classic Hanna Barbera style of animation to it. Then the third and final story is about Thor before he ever held Mjolnir, dealing mostly with how much Thor can drink getting him into a drinking contest he may not get out of. This one was a surprise as the mixed martial artist and wrestler CM Punk wrote it and this story ends up being the silliest of them all and would hope so with someone like CM Punk at the helm. Ultimately, this is a Thor issue for Thor fans and does not offer a ton for anyone outside that fan-base, but ultimately it is a fun little collection of meaningless Thor stories that even a small Thor fan will enjoy.
Spider-Man & X-Men #3 – D
I was really excited for this series after the first two issues. However, this issue seemed way to confusing and had a lot of randomness thrown in which I felt was unnecessary. Sure, the action was pretty cool and the premise was actually a fun one. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and did not really have anything to do with the previous issues. I would skip on this one as it does not seem to have anything to do with the series thus far and other than potential for a reoccurring baddie I doubt it will have much impact on the rest of the series. – Jake
Panel with the Most Awesomeness:
That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!
All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.