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:
Future’s End: Batgirl #1 – A
I’m going to tell you a secret that makes me look bad: I’ve never read an issue of the New52 Batgirl. However, I am a fan of Gail Simone’s Twitter. That counts right? But after reading this week’s one shot of Future’s End starring Batgirl, I am sold on going back and reading all the Batgirl’s since the relaunch of DC. This week, we find out that Barbara Gordon’s life will change dramatically in the next 5 years. She gets married, some terrible events occur which cause her to leave Batgirl behind, and then she seeks out training from infamous Gotham villains, including Bane. In her absence, three new Batgirls arrive, including Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Kane and Tiffany Fox. The inclusion of these three is a nice little easter egg for Batman fans. The women were all strong, even Tiffany Fox, who is supposed to be only 12 years old. The book is gritty and dark. Bane is terrifying, as he should be. Yet, he does have the funniest line in the book, which I believe is genius. Most importantly, this issue gave readers new insight into Barbara Gordon. Batgirl is so often seen as cutesy, but it was really brought to light how dark her life has been and will continue to be, no matter what pseudonym she takes on. I really loved the feel of this issue, which is a testament to both the writing and the art. If I were to gripe about anything, it would be that this one-shot deserves to be a longer arc; I would be fascinated to read about Barbara’s training in more detail with all the Bat-villains. – Adrian
Wild’s End #1- B
In a nutshell, a British town inhabited by speaking animals is the victim of an alien invasion. Are you sold yet? I am. The comic reads like most British novels, and in case you were wondering, there is a map to accompany the story. It is a little disconcerting that all the characters look like they are straight out of a children’s book, but I also think that it adds to the charm. The writing is very British, which I am a huge fan of. If it is hard for you to imagine what is happening as you read, just imagine Simon Pegg reading all the words, but in different pitches. It may help. Aside from the alien invasion, the story is about a simple town in England. There is the new guy, the town drunk, and the scheming politicians. All of the characters wind up at the same town hall meeting to discuss the fete (festival) to be held, and how everyone will contribute. It may seem mundane, but that is the brilliance of Wild’s End; the small details of the animals lives is very important to how the rest of the story will play out. Writer Dan Abnett is no stranger to the world of comic books – he’s been writing them since the mid 1980’s. I have no doubt that Wild’s End will continue to envelop readers into it’s strange little world, but in a good way. – Adrian
Hexed #2 – C-
The first Hexed was really great. This issue was lacking in something. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I can put my finger on what exactly it was lacking. While the heroine, Lucifer, is charming and witty, the rest of the characters lacked any dimension this time around. The plot of Lucifer dying was different than other stories I have seen because we actually get to see her afterlife, and a lot of other creepies afterlives, too. However, the plot of Lucifer’s annoying rival being possessed seemed weak this time around. And the woman who owns all the magical items was not incredibly thought out this issue, either. I do enjoy the book because of the Buffy-esque-ness of it, but the characters need to be the driving force here, not the forgettable plot. – Adrian
Dark Horse Comics:
Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 – B
Did you see Prometheus? I did. Were you disappointed? I was. Do you need more Alien in your life? I do. Luckily for us, Dark Horse has us covered. Prometheus: Fire and Stone hit shelves this week. With the bad taste still left in my mouth from Ridley Scott’s latest installment in the Alien universe, my bar was set fairly low for this continuation. To my very pleasant surprise, this issue was one of the best comics I read all week. I was expecting the exceedingly formulaic Alien/Prometheus storyline – that being where a bunch of space travelers make a series of TERRIBLE choices in the presence of new and terrifyingly mysterious discoveries. What we get in Prometheus #1 is that predictable formula plus a very well thought out enhancement of the aspects that made us all love the original Alien movie. Instead of freaking out about just one alien (or type of alien), we get to experience a whole Alien ecosystem! Honestly, I don’t know why this concept hasn’t been explored more in the movies yet. I’d have no qualms about purchasing an overpriced movie ticket to experience an Alien jungle. So if you love Alien and you booed at Prometheus, this comic is definitely worth your time. – Taylor
Justice League United Futures End #1 – A-
Equinox is off saving a trucker from some weirdo bad guy and his genetically altered polar bears in Canada, when she receives a telepathic message from Martian Manhunter on Mars. Not much is said, but, “They are free!”. Turns out there’s a prison on Mars for all the worst criminals from Earth. Equinox visits the Justice League and they end up taking a trip to Mars to investigate where they encounter the escaped prisoners. We will find out more next week in part two. I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. We get a bit more mystery into exactly what happened five years ago and something bad must have happened to Green Arrow. I like the members of the new Justice League, and the villains are good, although, one may take you by surprise and, in my opinion, he may have had something to do with whatever happened five years ago. Worth your time, especially if you’ve enjoyed other Future’s End stories. – Cody
Superman: Unchained #8 – B+
With a team like Scott Snyder and Jim Lee at the helm, you’d figure this could be the best Superman story ever told. And you’d be right if it weren’t for the atrocious publishing schedule. With three of the most important issues taking a total of six months to release, the story (which already moved along at a relatively slow pace) has lost a lot of its momentum. That aside, Superman’s showdown with Wraith has come to a head very poetically, and it’s nice to see Superman’s tactician side come out here. The story also tries a bit too hard to go deeper than it needs to, and I can’t help but feel that Scott Snyder’s story is over-compensating for the fact that nobody has really been able to capture Superman in a good light since the New52 relaunch began. While the arc as a whole would make a splendid graphic novel, I’m all but sure the final issue will be more eye rolling than eye opening. – Sherif
Future’s End: Birds of Prey #1 – B-
The League of Assassin’s is taken over by Black Canary and becomes The Red League?! Say what?! Black Canary five years from now is pretty cool. She basically channels her inner Daenerys Targaryen and rescues people, specifically girls, from being abused. Then she takes it a step further and trains those girls to be assassins in The Red League. That part of the premise is pretty cool, but then Batgirl, ahem, Bête Noire shows up and the whole thing becomes a fight between beefed up Barbara Gordon and slim and trim Dinah Lance, and unless you read Future’s End: Batgirl, it doesn’t really make sense. As a word of precaution, if you are interested in either of these titles, read the Batgirl issue first, then Birds of Prey. The issue is a decent one-shot, but won’t be memorable in the long run, unless it is tied in nicely with the weekly Future’s End books. Even so, this issue makes Black Canary look bad-ass. – Adrian
Transformers Primacy #2 – C+
Uh oh, Megatron is back. This issue was really just about getting all the bad guys together for some sort of an attack on Cybertron. It was entertaining because you got to see the Predacons trapped on a once lush planet that they had eaten into extinction, the Combaticons a group of elite Decipticon soldiers, and more evil characters from this universe. This one dragged a bit because of all this team building, but it ended with a bang and should prove to get better with time. – Cody
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #15 – C
As big of a TMNT fan as I am I have not been reading this series regularly because even more so than the cartoon it is based off of, this is very much for kids. If you tried to compare this to the main TMNT series, it would be pretty tough since they are such different entities within the same property. This issue is three different short stories of the turtles, two of which they did not even battle a enemy. Although I am sure this issue is a blast for children and fans of the cartoon, for an adult this series may not be the best Turtle comic to pick up. The art is not the best it could be and the stories are very short and don’t offer much as far as good material but again this is for kids. IF you are a huge TMNT fan you will of course enjoy it but anyone else, just stick with reading the main books for now. – Jacob
The Walking Dead #131 – B
I’m still trying to suppress the goosebumps that engulfed my body from last month’s issue. If you’re behind on TWD, hurry and catch up. I haven’t been this hooked since the series started. A very interesting and impactful plot twist came into play last month and it’s started – the anxiety and “holy crap something super crazy is going to happen really soon” cycle TWD fans are far too familiar with. This familiarity is well-welcomed, for the most part. The story could make an unfortunate turn toward “the stupid” quite easily, but that’s yet to be seen. Existing characters are still developing (an impressive feat for 131 issues of content) and new characters are also appearing. With the new found stability of the Alexandria and Hilltop communities I’m almost comfortable getting invested in some of these new faces. I should know better… Kirkman’s still got the creative juice and it shows this issue. Oh. And one more thing. WHERE THE HELL IS MICHONNE?!?!?! – Taylor
’68 Homefront #1- B+
’68 Homefront takes place in the US during the Vietnam War. We’re introduced to a group of teenage cheerleaders and their way to a pep rally. They almost hit a person walking down the side of the road, but, we find out that it was not a person, but, a zombie! In the meantime, at the local funeral parlor, the dead start coming back to life while the people still inside try to barricade the undead downstairs. We’re also shown a tragic bus crash that contained the entire team for the rival school and we hear one of the cops say that not every person is accounted for…that can only lead to trouble. This was a good read. It was like almost any first issue in a zombie series in that we get to see the very start of the plague. I enjoyed all the zombie-related things happening, but, I had some issues when it came to the non-zombie stuff. It was just a bunch of teenagers being bratty teenagers, what else would you expect? Either way, this definitely has some potential and I’m excited for the next issue. – Cody
Copperhead #1 – B
(A) Sheriff Bronson and her son, Zeke, seem to be leaving something bad behind them. They’ve come to a desolate planet where she is now the new sheriff of the mining town, Copperhead. They are greeted by her new deputy, a big furry alien named Budroxifinicus or Boo. As soon as they get to the sheriff’s office someone burst in to complain about a domestic disturbance. Bronson and Boo go off to investigate, when they return, she gets to meet the owner of the mine who has a rather nefarious vibe to him. Bronson and her son finally end up at their new home and she is immediately called away to a murder scene. Zeke hears a girl outside calling for her pet and decided to help, but, night is close and it’s dangerous to be out in the Badlands after dark. This book definitely has a space western/cop story going for it. It reminded me of Jesse James’ story. I enjoyed this despite it being mainly exposition. The murder should prove to be the driving force behind the story and it definitely has me interested. – Cody
(C) Imagine any Western movie ever. Got one in your head? Okay – now imagine that it happens on a different planet with aliens. Sounds pretty cool, right? With Copperhead’s premise being precisely what mind’s eye just described, it’s not all that great. Mainly because you already know what happens. Copperhead is an example of a genre driven story instead of the other way around; the way it should be for almost any adventure. Now I love space and aliens probably more than the average guy, so one might think that I’d have favorable bias to any story taking place among the stars. Au contraire young Padawan. If anything I’ve come to hold sci-fi themed stories to a higher standard. There’s too many original and mind-blowing examples of the genre done right nowadays (did you read this week’s issue of Prometheus? How about Science?) that if you’re coming to the table with laser guns and flying cars, you better have a plot that rocks too. Moon-rocks that is. I’m left wanting with Copperhead #1.
Deadpool #34- A-
I absolutely loved this issue of Deadpool; I guess it has a lot to do with the 90’s flashback art. It was a time where Sabretooth’s hair was amazingly crazy, shadows were drawn mostly with lines and Deadpool’s head was shaped like an egg the whole time. This issues ties into Original Sin more so than any other issue that has said it does. We find out what Adsit saw exactly on those days of Original Sin and it ends up being the worst and rather messed up thing Deadpool has ever done. In this we get a great flashback style and the story itself was one of the better main Deadpool series issues I have read in a while. For anyone not familiar with the 90’s art, this issue may be weird but ultimately I recommend this to most Marvel fans. – Jacob
Edge of Spider-Verse #1- B+
(A) Noir, to me, is only ever a heavy hit-or-miss theme. So in case you didn’t catch my “A” grade at the top understand that Edge of the Spider-Verse #1, who follows 1939 noir-style Spider-Man, is a hit. First and foremost I have to give props to Richard Isanove for killing it on the artistic aspect. Noir Spidey has got to be THE COOLEST looking Spider-Man in the Spider-Verse. The atmosphere and character expressions are so mesmerizing and detailed. It complements this premiere issue’s plot very well. Midway into the book I forgot I was reading a Spider-Verse story due to my concern and involvement with the present situation. By issue’s end the doors of opportunity are numerous and promising. I had average expectations for this series before reading #1. Now my expectation bar is now protruding from the ceiling. – Taylor
(B) This is definitely going to end up begin a great series for any Spider-Man fan, as even I whom isn’t the biggest Spidey fan squealed with delight at some of Spider-Man’s that show up in this issue. Of course, it is focused on Spider-Man Noir and a battle between he and Mysterio, but ultimately that battle will likely not matter at all in the scheme of things. If you have not been keeping up with Spider-Man this issue could be a bit weird just because they really don’t explain the story of who the guy hunting Spider-Man is, as well as many people may not know there are this many versions of Spider-Man, but I am sure in time they will explain the big bad and the story more through time and this is a great way to find the Spider-Man who is right for you. – Jacob
Magneto #9 – B
Finally, Magneto has a worthy opponent! After kicking asses and taking names for seven issues, Magneto gets his first boss battle. There’s a lot of pent up rage with Magneto, and we get a little more backstory as to why that is. Like a lot of the preceding issues, the story moves at a crawling speed, but is helping along by the great internal monologue thanks to Cullen Bunn’s great writing. The bad guy going forward is not one I’ve ever really seen Magneto go up against, but in the scope of Marvel, makes perfect sense. It will be entertaining to see where this battle goes, but it is at least nice to know that our favorite anti-hero does have limits. – Sherif
Death of Wolverine #2 – B-
It is really hard for me to give this a bad grade because the issue itself is so damn beautiful; on the other hand, the content inside is what earns it a lower grade. As soon as I started this, issues I had no idea Wolverine was Wolverine until they mentioned his name as he looks drastically changed from last issue on top of that there are certain plot points that really need to be explained more as we last left Sabretooth in a nice button up suit looking proper and almost taking down New York. But I guess he lost all of that and is like his savage version and a slave of Viper. To me this story feels like it doesn’t really know where it is going, or at least it does but is taking shortcuts to get there and gets lost a bunch along the way. Hopefully by the end we will get the battle Wolverine deserves to die from, but if the battles up to now are anything like the final one, it will be short, dull, and not at all what we want and what this hero deserves. – Jacob
Hawkeye #20 – C+
It’s been so many issues since we’ve witnessed Kate go through her crisis of a life that I forgot that aspect of the story existed anymore. To be honest, that part of the story isn’t nearly as interesting, but I’m hoping that it will eventually meet up with what Barton is going through on his end. The two are a tremendous team, but apart, Kate Bishop fails to live up to the excitement that her counterpart Hawkguy has, with exception to the odd plot twist at the end. There are still tons of fun sequences and one-liners here, but Kate’s story isn’t engaging enough to enjoy. – Sherif
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 IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.