Comic Book Reviews 06-10-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

Birthright #8
Birthright #8

Birthright #8 – A
Birthright is so frustrating for me right now. Mikey keeps coming so close to being cleansed and going back to being good, and while this issue ended on that being a likely conclusion, I have a sinking feeling that it will not happen. Williamson writes wonderful characters, especially ones that have such conflicting elements and motivations. I want to be rooting for Mikey, but at this point, he is kind of the only bad guy in the whole book. It seems as though Brennan will be okay, and that Becca may join their party and likely reveal some sort of hidden purpose. Once again, Andrei Bressan’s artwork is absolute amazing; the panel of Terranos on earth was downright beautiful. The story action did not move forward a whole lot in this issue, but I am very excited about the new characters/Mages that were introduced. I think the action and drama is just going to skyrocket from here, and Birthright is continuing in a really great direction. – Keriann

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Harrow County #2 – A
Harrow County got off to a much better start this issue. The writing flowed really well and instead of being relatively vague like the first issue, the plot and “haints” were much more straight forward. Emmy is a likable enough character, and that she has somehow made friends (at least on her end) with the Tattered Skin (skin of a little boy haint) that she carries with her is somehow endearing. There was better focus on who will play key roles in this series in issue #2 and there were some genuinely creepy parts, highlighted brilliantly by Tyler Crook’s unique art style. So far I am really happy with this book, even if so far it is not the most original material I’ve encountered. There are not a whole lot of comics out there that successfully capture the fear in proper ghost stories, but so far, Harrow County is on the right track to being one of the few that get it right. – Keriann

Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1 – B-
First off, I’d like to address that I love creator-owned books and it is in my nature to always support them. That being said, I was less thrilled with Drew Johnson’s creator-owned debut. His artwork is absolutely stunning and he writes great dialogue, but for a premiere issue, I really felt like the story was lacking. I appreciate the background on the characters that was given, and the introduction to Arcturus and Kevin was an excellent read, but when I reached the end, I felt torn on whether or not I was even interested in finding out where it all goes from here. Although, I really do want to know what happened to that little Pixie baby that got left behind – poor thing. I’m into the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster, and it seems that Johnson may be creating a fascinating monster rich universe with this story but something about lacked that wow factor. This book revolves around topics that will normally keep me reading, but I couldn’t shake that it all kind of felt too strongly based on B.P.R.D., but without the familiar charm. – Keriann

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 – B+
The best part about the first issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer is that it did an excellent job of reintroducing the character for new readers. This issue was not especially story-driven, but instead it introduced John Constantine in a thoroughly charming fashion for people who may be unfamiliar with him. A first issue that focuses so heavily on character development might fall dead in another series, but this issue succeeded by pairing that with very skillful writing and paneling. The walk through Blythe’s Nine Circles of Hell exhibit was very clever, even if I did have to go back and re-read it after figuring I had read half of it in the wrong direction. I was not blown away by this first issue, but it was not without its charm. The cliffhanger that eluded to where this story arc is headed was interesting and while this may not be the best book of the week I imagine it will only get better from here. – Keriann

Gotham Academy #7 – B+
Maps gets her own issue! Since she is my favorite character, I am pretty happy that she got some of the spotlight this month. Because Damian Wayne is now a student at the Academy, I figured it would be more about him. Maps and Damian shared the space equally, but I did find it aggravating that Maps had to be in “love” with Damian. He stayed true to being a total ass, and Maps just fell right into his dreamy blue eyes. She has been the toughest character in the book, so I worry she will just be in love with Damian and lose her own voice. However, the backdrop of The Raven and magic was well done. And the art — still my favorite of ANY comic I currently read. – Adrian

Red Hood/Arsenal #1 – B
I personally hate Arsenal as a character and hoped that he would die for the entirety of the Outlaws series. Unfortunately, they decided to get rid of Starfire instead. It is also unfortunate that, Red Hood being one of my favorites in the DC universe, the only way that I am able to get a regular comic book of him is if he is paired with the hero I like the least. On the plus side, Arsenal doesn’t look like such a bro d-bag anymore thanks to the costume change. He sort of has a look that is reminiscent of the older look he had as the Red Arrow. Red Hood also got an unnecessary costume change that I am not sure how I feel about. It seems like they were trying to milk the look of the upcoming Arkham Knight game. Story-wise, nothing happened but I am excited to see how things turn out. – Robert

Batman/Superman #21 – B- 
I’m not really a fan of the way these two characters have been handled in the DC YOU (or whatever the hell it’s called), but together, they present a very unique and interesting story. Superman has been essentially de-powered, and Batman has been replaced by a giant robot with Jim Gordon inside it. My first thought was, “wait, nobody took the time to call up Clark Kent and tell him that Batman died? That’s f*cked up!” Superman is in the dark, and alone. And a public enemy – definitely no friend of this new Batman. It’s pretty trippy. My interest has been piqued, but I’m not sold yet – Sherif

Batman #41 – C+
First off, I have no idea what’s going on because I have not read the last 40 issues. I do still know the overall progression of the series, so maybe the sense of unfamiliarity isn’t just me. With that said, I’m not entirely sure I can get behind this new story with Jim Gordon being the Batman. I have no doubt Scott Snyder can make this book awesome, but it’s simply not the Batman I’ve grown to know and love. There are somethings I did enjoy about this book, both small and large. The metal Batsuit with the bunny ears did not do it for me, but I did appreciate the various color schemes of the suit which winked at Batman’s history (check out our list of Best Batsuits). I also enjoyed the new, unarmored Batsuit, which had a very Thrillkiller vibe to it. Perhaps one thing I want to see the most is the upcoming progression of Jim Gordon and how he works towards transforming into the Batman. I’m still not sure if this progression will work in favor of the story line, but only time will tell. – Evan

Earth 2: Society #1 – C+
You know when your friend is telling a joke, and there is a long story to go with it, and after all the anticipation the punch line isn’t funny and just barely makes sense. This comic may not be exactly like that, but it may belong in the same category. I see the concept of Earth 2 as a very interesting idea, especially after the apocalypse; however, I just felt like nothing mattered in this comic. The backstory was nice, but unnecessary, and from what we saw in the flashbacks, little to none of that information was portrayed in the current happenings of the issue aside from Batman. If you could all take a moment and look beyond my bitter words, I do have hope for this book, because cool shit exists in Earth 2. If the writers find a way to utilize all this cool shit in a productive manner, then I will be excited to continue reading. However, as of right now, I’m not the greatest fan of what I have read. – Evan

Detective Comics #41 – C
Let’s talk about how crazy it is that Jim Gordon is the new Batman. Oh, spoiler alert… Well, it’s crazy. Not sure how long they’ve been trying this one out, but it’s designed to fail. Batman and the police can’t be the same thing. The reason Batman exists is because the city and police department suck at their jobs. Sure, the GCPD has does a 180 since the Loeb days, but eventually, somebody’s jurisdiction, corruption or moral ambiguity is going to get in the way of Justice. I’m going to stick with the idea that the GCPD is too incompetent to be trusted with WayneTech. The issue did bring back vibes from Batman: The Animated Series with Montoya’s return, so I’ll give it another shot. – Sherif

Starfire #1 – C
I said this about the promo for the Supergirl TV series, too…. It’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with super powers! Add in the sexy factor, and writing that isn’t as good, and you have a mediocre book. Kori AKA Starfire takes every idiom and cliché literally, and that can be funny. And the intro to Starfire’s story was good. But everything in between was silly. She doesn’t know what marijuana is! She doesn’t know you can’t be naked in public! Bring on the laughs! Except it isn’t funny because in a lot of ways this is a book geared towards kids, but kids won’t get those jokes. – Adrian

All-Star Section 8 #1 – F
When they were sitting at the drawing board and someone proposed the idea for this book, who the hell thought it would actually be a good idea? This book was quite possibly the worst thing I’ve had the displeasure of reading in a long time. This is the second book this month that has tried to capitalize on Batman in some way – and at least Bat-mite was funny. There is almost no redeeming quality of this book. – Robert

IDW Publishing: 

Uncle Scrooge #3 – B
This month’s Uncle Scrooge is by far the best one yet from the series! I think a lot of that comes from the fact they cut this issue down to two stories, one being almost the whole issue and a short one at the end. I think this format worked best as the main story, written and drawn by Romano Scarpa, gives us a full arc where it doesn’t feel rushed, flows well and is actually a great story and one that belongs right in the old Ducktales cartoon. The story focuses on Scrooge’s bank trying to lure customers in by offering them $100 to keep if they invest it or turn it into more money. Scrooge then tries to make sure everyone fails and in turn owes the bank money. The art is perfectly fitting for a Disney book, but it also has a very classic comic book feel to it, which makes the fact I am reading Uncle Scrooge feel even more nostalgic. The short story at the end doesn’t have an author credited but the art was done by Tony Strobl and it focuses on Scrooge using a talking parrot to try and hypnotize Donald and the kids. This second story is very short and fun and that is for the best; the parrot gets to be extremely annoying very quick and would not be a fun longer story. – Jacob

Transformers: Windblade: Combiner Wars #3 – C-
I feel a little like a traitor right now, because I’m sick of Combiner Wars. First: I’m kind of tired of the OMG CYBTRONZZ ALL TIEMS storylines where the robots endlessly obsess about their home planet. I get why it’s important, and I even like them having to counter-scheme against the scheming Starscream, but event after event staring at Cybertron’s navel gets old. Second: I feel like calling it a war is a stretch when there’s maybe four combiners involved. Third: I feel like the Cybertron based events are so hard to follow. I feel like this series, more than More Than Meets the Eye, is obsessed with sticking more robots into the picture, especially because Combiner Wars are on sale right now and it just reminds me how much I can’t afford them. Maybe that’s what I hate. Maybe I’m just burnt out on the series-formerly-known-as Robots in Disguise. But probably not. I’m just sick of all the combiners. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Saga #29 – A
Grab some tissue, folks; the circumstances of this book are going to get much worse before they get better. Fiona Staples’ art has always been phenomenal, but this issue stands out as one of her best to date… especially the traditional disturbing double-page spread in the middle of the issue. This issue is full of bittersweet victories, with a goal being fulfilled, but at a high cost to our protagonists. Story-wise, the book moves at breakneck pace. Even so, Vaughan takes time to point out the intricacies of war, and how it’s affected more than just the core characters we’ve met so far. There’s something for everyone in this issue, and the ending will leave your mouth gaping. – Sherif

Nameless #4 – A
Whoa. What the legit nuttbuttz is going on here? I think this is the first Morrison book I’ve read since the underwhelming climax of Multiverse, so thank god this didn’t disappoint. Our hero astronauts proceed plummet toward the meteor Xibalba. Only Nameless and the futurists daughter survive. The inside of the astronaut has a bubbling tumorous growth on it that they didn’t expect to find. They both start hallucinating like crazy: her therapist looks like Sigmund Freud, and slowly the walls of her reality peal back to reveal utter chaos; he’s being torn apart by the tumors. Except that it might not be a hallucination? Man. This was a damn cool read. – Montgomery

Descender #4 – B+
Descender keeps things lively this month. It looks like not even shiftspace (hyperspace) can protect Tim from scrappers. The interactions between Tim and the other robots is heart-warming, even when he’s getting drilled to be a killer. Dr. Quon knows that there is much more to Tim’s “dream” than anyone else wants to admit. We also got some insight to Telsa’s life, which is nice. Up until now, he’s just kind of been a heartless blue lady. I wouldn’t be surprised if she starts to see Tim as more than a just a companion bot; it’s understandable considering what happened to her mother. The story is really expanding, albeit slowly, but it’s going to get really good really soon I feel. – Scott

Black Science #15 – B
I’m coming down from a Darth Vader style “nooo!” after that ending.  I won’t spoil anything, but know that the situation just keeps getting worse.  I like how the story is splitting and tackling multiple themes in a single issue.  It allows for cool action sequences and calm, somber moments all at the same time.  There is still, however, an overall lethargic feel to the grander plot.  The ending gives me hope that things will come to a head very quickly, which is sure to be glorious with blood and destruction.  Yay!! – Taylor

Injection #2 – B
I still have absolutely no clue what’s going on and I kind of like it that way. We’ve got a spy out looking for some sort of material that he can’t find. It seem to be important to the story and what this secret injection team is or was working on. That’s all I have figured out after reading this comic book. I like how, from an audience perspective, we have been thrown into the action and the plot of the story as if we are supposed to know what’s going on. It makes teasing out the story that much more enjoyable. I found myself reading on the edge of my seat as the op took out a bunch of people that I have no idea how they fit into the story. I am still really curious about Maria. It is clear that she is the center of the action and her fragility of her mind trying to work through its fragments makes for an interesting protagonist. I’m looking forward to the next installment of this story. – Jené

Starve #1 – B-
Brian Wood brings us another new comic series about the struggles between an overwhelmingly powerful group – in this case the super wealthy – and essentially the rest of the world’s population. In Starve, Mr. Cruikshank was a world famous chef with a No Reservations-type show whom eventually bails on everything and goes to live in Southeast Asia. The financial gap in the majority of the world has grown exponentially. The network that carries the Starve TV show has brought Cruikshank back to his show that has been retooled into an Iron Chef like creation, but is a little more twisted. Now that he’s back and has lived like most of the world, he’s had enough of the gross opulence that he’s performing for. The art is very dark and heavy with the inks, but it fits the style of the book very well. It’s not a happy world, at least not what you and I are used to. This is guaranteed to be dark and edgy in good Brian Wood style. – Scott

The Walking Dead #142 – C
Talk about a filler issue, jeez. You can’t be that mad at the series, which is really meant to be digested as six-issue long trade paperbacks. This issue particularly, though, stands out as an overall waste of money. In a way, it’s poetic that the once savage lands of the Hilltops has transformed into a pseudo-civilization, but the fact that we know it won’t last makes it hard to get behind. Maggie finally lets Rick in on the secret that Carl ran away, which I thought took a little too long. Most interesting is Alpha, who is obviously the antagonist to come, but isn’t necessarily interested in waging war is avoidable. She brings the savage element back into a book that sorely needs it… Oh, and then there’s Negan – Sherif

Chrononauts #4 – D-
If there’s one thing Chrononauts has taught me it’s that as long as you have a time machine and some forethought, there are never any repercussions. Time machines save everything. I can’t believe this heap is going to be a movie. The only reason I don’t give Chrononauts an F is because of Sean Gordon Murphy’s art; it’s the saving grace of this series. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Ghost Racers #1 – A
I’ll be honest; in the first few pages, I was worried this issue was going to suck. I figured it would be some sort of cliché race story with too much action and not enough plot. Despite the vast, complex world in which Robbie Reyes lives, nothing feels forced. The exposition of the world comes through very naturally and the race holds a lot of suspense, something that’s hard to do in a 2D format. I’m curious to know what Robbie’s dynamic with the rest of the racers is. It’s hinted at that he feels bad and maybe there’s some sort of kinship there, but I look forward to seeing them interact more off the track. I like Robbie a lot, but I also kind of want to see Alejandra kick his ass… Okay, I really want to see that. This is shaping up to be an awesome run for a cool comic. I can’t wait to see what’s next. – Charlotte

Silk #5 – A
Holy crap! Things got real! I love that Silk is taking no time to bring on the big reveals about what happened to Cindy’s family. The whole issue seemed that for once, Cindy was going to have a good day. And she pretty much did. Jameson was human for once. Spider-Man was a great sidekick. But the book was enveloped on darkness. And I like that element a lot. Cindy and Peter are still very funny; their humor is the best in Marvel right now. But I like that things aren’t perfect and that the world is a dark place, particularly for Cindy. The next issue going to be very crucial, and this issue was the perfect set up. This issue may have mentioned Cindy as being a B-List Hero, but I think it put her in A-List status. – Adrian

Spider-Verse #2 – B+
I loved, loved, loved everything Spider-Verse, so this mini-series has been an absolute blast after just two issues. Spider-Gwen and Peter Porker team up with several other Spider-people. We don’t know why; they don’t know why, either. All I need to know… is that, in time, we will know. Anyway, it’s fun enough just listening to the characters’ banter that I don’t need an intricate story to follow (did you know that Spider-Ham was a spider that was bitten by a radioactive pig?). Spider-Man Noir also makes an entrance after a death that came all too soon in the original Spider-Verse event, and he is a complete reflection of his time. It’s amazing. If you like Spider-Man, you’ll love the new Spider-Verse book. – Sherif

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #1 – B+
This one threw me for a loop, and the issue even makes fun of itself for the exact reason why I felt confused. With that being said, this was one title I was looking forward to the most in this Secret Wars event. The story by Gerry Duggan takes a turn that makes you question why on Odin’s green earth are these monsters named after Dum Dum Dugan’s old team, and why Shikla is even called Mrs. Deadpool in this, other than to have Deadpool’s name on the front. Shikla is delivering her brothers ashes across the river styx accompanied by The Howling Commandos including Frankenstein, The Living Mummy, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, and Marcus the Minotaur with a Symbiote who also happens to be diabetic, which leads to some jokes I appreciated being a diabetic myself. The art this issue is done by Salva Espin, and is great as his style fits the characters perfectly as he gives them the obvious scary elements, but also humanizes them as a team that fits together well, making for a solid story while also being as confusing as the hell they creeped out of. – Jacob

Inferno #2 – B+
In Inferno #2, Colossus descends, literally, into hell to rescue his sister-turned-probably-the literal-devil cementing Madelyn Prior as an ally and earning a giant bad ass demon sword. We meet Nathan, Madelyn’s son (and a nice nod to legit 80s/90s continuity), who insists on being called Cable. Madelyn agrees under duress. I know I’ve already said it, but I’m digging these X-Men continuities. I can’t help but wonder if their, so far, total lack of Professor X means that it will be a huge deal when he shows up. So far there have been 0 Xaviers, while we already have something like 7 wolverines. I’m anxious for some Charles Francis Xavier. – Montgomery

Weirdworld #1 – B
Weirdworld is weird, and I love it. With Arkon stuck on this land trying to make it back to his home, Weirdworld is not short on surprises. From Gun Ogres to Squidsharks, and even underwater apes, Arkon cannot take more than a few steps without having to fight for his life. Not only is this book captivating due to its chaotic nature and overall strangeness, but it is funny as well. There is a portion of this book, where Arkon looks at a map he has been constructing of Weirdworld, and I just about pissed by pants. Additionally, the artwork is beautiful. Some may not enjoy it due to its deviation form classic comic book art; however, I think its style works perfectly for this book. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the next issue. – Evan

Marvel Zombies #1 – B-
Although this was interesting, it seemed very much more of a zombie story than a Marvel Zombie story. I wasn’t expecting much from this series, as Marvel Zombies has been going on for a while and the quality has varied extensively from volume to volume. Marvel has used a lot of lesser-known or unpopular characters in recent Marvel Zombies years by including Howard the Duck, Machine Man, Dum Dum Dugan – and in this issue’s case, Elsa Bloodstone. Elsa seems to be in command of this zombie part of Battleworld and is a badass, which is very relevant when she battles a zombie Juggernaut. Despite Elsa not being well-known, the story by Simon Spurrier is very much disconnected to Marvel with it being more focused on survival than the fact Juggernaut is a terrifying zombie, which makes Elsa a great character to introduce to people in this story. The art by Kev Walker really adds a lot to the story as there is so much detail you can almost feel the zombies in your presence, which I am not sure is a good thing. But if you are a fan of past Marvel Zombies series check this one out; otherwise, it may be one to miss. – Jacob

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 – C+
It isn’t for lack of writing or bad art that I give this book an average grade. I loved the feel of the book; it was post WWII-esque, which is a time I really love reading about. The action was good, the humor was good. Carol’s interactions with her all female squadron were the best parts of the book. But I was left with way more questions than answers, which isn’t something I like coming out of an issue #1. I haven’t been keeping up with Battleworld, but I didn’t understand what time period we were in, what happened to the Carol Danvers from her latest series, what the heck was going on with the Thors, and anything about the Ultron boat. I know DeConnick and Thompson are capable writers, so I hope that the next few issues do a lot more explaining. – Adrian

Secret Wars: 2099 #2 – C
Little by little, this comic is getting a feasible plot; however, we simply aren’t there yet. With the introduction of a new super-group in this issue, perhaps bigger and better things are to come. Basically what is happening with this comic is, I find myself asking the question, “Why should I care?” and sadly, I am struggling to find an answer. There isn’t much to discuss about this issue simply because not a whole lot of meaningful context occurred. If you take the first few pages, and the last few pages, that is all that really matters. The remaining pages felt like filler in my opinion, and served little purpose outside of individual character development. Oh well, maybe next time, I guess. – Evan

Inhumans: Attilan Rising #2 – C-
The second issue of Inhumans felt a little tedious. Black Bolt owns a bar and a bunch of people are plotting Medusa’s overthrow. Matt Murdoch (what’s the value in spelling it just slightly differently?) is planning an invasion of her kingdom. It was a lot of talking heads talking a lot about almost nothing. Black Bolt’s Great Gatsby style bar isn’t too attractive an idea for me. And I suppose this is where weaknesses in the Battleworld idea show through: what exactly is most important about a character when we totally befugger their world into this new thing? How important is it to preserve a character’s character? Because sometimes it’s cool seeing a new interpretation of an old character (like Egyptian-style X-Men), but other times the interpretations just feel baffling. – Montgomery

Ultimate End #2 – C-
Idealistically, the thought of merging the Ultimate Universe and the Marvel 616-Earth is cool. There are now duplicate versions of all heroes and villains, filling holes of fallen comrades and doubling up on heroes that have taken different paths. But let’s talk, logistically, about how the hell any of this will work. Doom has willed that the Ultimates will stay in this new world, and the Thor Corps burn Hawkeye to a crisp to make their point. The rest of the issue wavers around, only pointing out how awkward everything is now that they are one. There are so many questions left unanswered with the merger of these two universes, and the sparse action isn’t enough to distract me from asking legitimate questions. – Sherif

1602: Witch Hunter Angela #1 – F
Um… What a bloody mess of a book. The artistic style was all over the place. It was never consistent and seemed to be a mash of different mediums that didn’t fit together. The dialogue was badly excited and over rote with fake sounding Shakespearean language. On top of that, the story was all over the place. I mean, at the end to the day, it is simple: Nunnary of women trained in the art of taking down witch breeds and other sinister characters. There also some sort of pagan tree enchantress. Anyway, bad art, bad dialogue, bad story. It’s not bloody worth the read in my opinion. – Jené

Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 06-03-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

Giant-Sized Little AvX #1
Giant-Sized Little AvX #1
Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #1 – A+
I don’t usually judge people by their tastes in comic books, but if you picked up Little AvX and didn’t like it, then you and I can no longer be friends. Scottie Young’s Little series is the most universally enjoyable book on the shelves today. Period. Yes, it’s funny because it’s cutesy-wutesy, but there’s also some substance to the books. The story makes sense, and you don’t have to work towards figuring it all out. Plus, the whole gang is invited this time, which means Little Spider-Gwen, Little Gambit, and the most coveted of all the Littles…. DEADPOOL! Stop taking this stupid Battleworld thing so seriously, and enjoy yourself a Little fun. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Rat God #5 – F
Rat God finally came to an end this week and so much was revealed. Most importantly, that I really wasted my time reading this series. The story finally went somewhere, and I’ll give it this – it wrapped up in a nice enough manner for being the stupidest story ever told. I have no idea why this even took five issues. So much of this series was wasted on weird and pointless bullshit that, now that I’ve seen the conclusion, I have no idea why it was included. Here is literally all Rat God was about: a potato headed guy falls in love with a native American girl, then goes to find her after driving her away in an argument. It turns out her village is inhabited by rat-hybrid looking people (although that is never addressed) who worship a giant rat monster (how, why, or wtf are also never addressed). He wastes a lot of time, meets some elders who make no sense, almost gets sacrificed to said rat god, escapes, finds out he’s actually a member of the native American tribe, moves back to the village and becomes a polygamist mayor. This series was not at all what it was sold as and I still fail to see the point of it existing. For the record, I think I am the only human on the planet who read it and I can really see why. It’s only merits are simply that it is bizarre and it touched on native American folklore. However, it did nothing with the really cool legend it seemed to be building to. In retrospect, Rat God feels more like a literary practical joke than an actual miniseries. – Keriann

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #1- A
Well, this book sure stinks! Me never like Bizarro as good as Superman, and me really love Superman! So this book absolute worst DC book to be released after Convergence…. Oh sorry there I was blasted by a Bizarro ray and my backwards self was writing there. Anyway, this issue is the first ongoing DC comic I have read in awhile. This isn’t because I dislike DC by any means, but there was just nothing I could really grasp onto character-wise besides Batman, who is kind of his own entity. However, when Bizarro #1 was announced I freaked, then read it and then freaked out ten times more. The issue starts with Bizarro and Jimmy from the Daily Planet going on a road trip to take Bizarro to Canada, as America is sick of him accidently destroying everything. In this adventure, Bizarro brings along his pet and partner, Colin the Chupacabra, as if they needed me to like this story anymore. These three end up crashing the car in Smallville and having to get it repaired at the weirdest Egyptian themed car dealership around. Not only does Jimmy almost get tricked into buying a car, but the dealer gets tricked into being taken over by aliens and forcing everyone but Bizarro feel the need to buy a car. Will Bizarro’s backwards mind be oblivious to the mind control and will Bizarro be able to save Smallville without destroying everything in the process? Tune in next month for issue #2 and part 5 of 6 in this Bizarro series… oh I mean part 2 of 6… Sorry Bizarro Jacob got on again. – Jacob

Justice League #41 – A-
So much just happened! Everybody is so SCREWED! It only took one episode for so many bad things to happen at once. The issue starts a bit slowly, with Lashina (one of Darkseid’s Furies), and Kanta (some guy with horns) searching for Myrina Black. Myrina Black is the mother of the weird looking Daughter of Darkseid from issue #40. Well, anyway, they are just going around trying to kill everybody named Myrina Black (by using Google or some shit?) and that gets the attention of the Justice League. Oh, and the daughter of Darkseid and said Myrina Black, Grail, hops out of The Flash’s mouth and starts kicking everybody’s ass. Mister Miracle is in there, too, for a while. Simply put, this issue was a whirlwind of WTFs and OMGs. All I know is that this Darkseid War is going to have the most grand-scale story we’ve seen in Justice League so far. – Sherif

Bat-Mite #1- B+
I gotta say that when I saw this on my list of things to review, I had a Karl Malone reaction. What da heck? But after reading it, my opinion was definitely changed. This book has a small amount of action and wasn’t very long but it was hilarious. It has a sort of Deadpool feel that pokes more fun at the world we live in today than anything. I couldn’t see this being interesting beyond the six or so issue run this is apparently getting, but it is worth a read. – Robert

Lobo #7 – B
Ok, Lobo is getting better from where it first started out when it came back. Lobo is really taking a “don’t F with me” approach to things, which is nice. The series is getting violent, which is right where it should be. For example, you can find Lobo exploding one head of a Siamese-twin alien prostitute, leaving the other head to go on about their business is fantastic. Lobo has now been hired as a lead assassin of sorts of a larger group. He’s still on the mission to find who wanted Earth and Czarnia destroyed. Next time around it looks Lobo is going to the hunted, by a group of alien bounty hunters it looks like. Bring it on! – Scott

Batman Beyond #1 – B-
I was shocked that the first page showed a man being decapitated by The Jokerz; this is not the kid’s cartoon from my childhood. In fact, there is near nothing about this comic series that resembles the TV series. Terry McGinnis is dead, and Tim Drake is now Batman. Matt McGinnis lives with a woman named Nora Boxer, Barbara Gordon and Max Gibson are stuck in a place called The Lodge, and the world, other than Gotham, is absolutely destroyed. I felt there wasn’t a fair enough explanation for all the changes, and was disappointed in The Jokerz motive for destroying Gotham (wah, we are the only ones alive! wahhhhhh). But I was impressed with the art and the use of the word “schway,” so I’ll give it a chance. – Adrian

Green Lantern #41 – B-
I’ll be honest, I have not read an issue of GL since Geoff Johns left after issue #18. I’ve found the series meandering around the same pseudo-Star Wars B.S. for over 20 issues. I figure that the end of the monstrosity that was Convergence met a whole new era of material, and so I figured checking out Green Lantern once more was worth a shot. Good call on my part! Right away, I was drawn to this Han Solo-esque Hal Jordan, who is living on the run due to some “disagreement” with the Corps. He rescues a guy named Virgo from this intergalactic gladiator arena. Thinking about it now, there wasn’t much story, but it was in what was shown than what was told. The Lantern Corps is no more and I need to know why! Also, Alex Sinclair’s (usually works with Jim Lee) epic color work makes everything look better. If you’re a long-lost GL fan, this is a pretty good jumping on point. – Sherif

Wonder Woman Annual #1 – B-
While I enjoyed both the nonlinear structure and LGBT representation in this comic, it tended to be a little confusing at times.  It took a little more time than usual to connect the dots, which is not a bad thing, but even after stitching everything together, there still seemed to be some missing pieces. This definitely isn’t a comic you want to jump into the world of Wonder Woman with. I liked Hippolyta’s backstory not only because it provided some clarity on who the crone was in the first part of the comic (if it was Derinoe), but also gave greater historical context. I’m also always super pleased to see DC getting into the diversity game and their romance felt very organic to me, rather than overdone. I eagerly await more on Derinoe’s storyline. – Charlotte

Midnighter #1 – C+
This comic had both positives and negatives for me this week. Positive, watching Midnighter kick ass in the restaurant was about as much badassery I could handle for one day, especially with the compliment of the smaller panels showing the carnage, Mortal Kombat style. However, the smaller panels placed throughout the entirety of the comic book made it difficult to visually read and caused a distraction. Overall, I am very interested in Midnighter as a character. I’m not quite sure on the story line yet, but I believe with time to evolve and grow, this could turn out to be a decent book. – Evan

Omega Men #1 – C+
Two disclaimers for ya’ll: I knew nothing about Omega Men before I read this issue, and this is not the book for everyone. That being said, I did enjoy it. So why the average score? Yeah, it’s just not the book for everyone. I did like the minimal dialogue and the use of the same dialogue over and over. It forced me to study the art and the meaning of the dialogue more than I typically do in a comic. If there weren’t so many mentions of the Lanterns, I would have thought this was an Image title, especially because of the violence. I hope more is explained in the near future. – Adrian

Green Arrow #41 – C-
This is the start of a three-book story arc, so I wasn’t expecting much. I’m not sure who this new villain is supposed to be; he seems new, but he reminds me of a racist version of Morpheus from the old Spider-Man cartoon. I’m not sure where they are going to go with this plotline as almost nothing of importance happened, but it seems like something is being setup that could have an effect on more than just this book. I’m interested to see where this goes. – Robert

IDW Publishing: 

Samurai Jack #20 – A
In this last issue of Samurai Jack, we get a pretty good ending, but it also leaves it open to new animation or comics if we bug IDW enough. This series did give some closure to fans of the classic animated series and allowed many of us to see characters we loved and thought we may never see again. Props to IDW and Cartoon Network for bringing us this awesome series! For this last issue, we get a great tribute to the incredibly talented Mako, who voiced Aku for the original series. A scribe travels around the world collecting stories about Jack, and trying to find someone who has actually met him and may even know where he is. This issue covers a lot of what went on in this series with flashbacks and old friends showing up and plenty of great references to the show including Jack as King. More than anything, this issue is a loving tribute to everything that encompassed Jack and the art is no different. This time we have writer Jim Zub and artist Andy Suriano. They have a great tribute in the back from the creators of this series, describing their experience working on Jack and assuring us they are just as big of fans as anyone reading. Because of these creators, this series captured the heart and soul of the show. I can only hope someday we will get more, or at least an actual final ending to the series. In the meantime, issue #20 of Samurai Jack is the best ending we have or could possibly get. That is, unless that movie we were promised ten years ago finally happens. – Jacob

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals #4 – B
As a long time TMNT fan and knowing this was the last issue of Mutanimals, I had some pretty big fears going in. After all, their last series ended with none if them really surviving. From the beginning, this series proved to be much different than its previous Archie incarnation, from the characters involved to even the sex of the main villain, Null. With the changes came a pretty enjoyable story and lots more of Herman the hermit crab, which is always a plus. This being the last issue, we obviously get to see the big battle with Null and taking down her company. While Old Hob takes care of Null herself, the rest of the crew take out any guards of opposition making their way into the heart of the company. After ground rules are set and the team departs the battlefield, friendships become stronger, the team grows larger and all of a sudden this team becomes a family. Definitely a much lighter turn than the last series. This series also solidified the Mutanimals as a force for good despite never really knowing about Old Hob. Paul Allor wrote again for this issue, ending us on a somber and sweet note. This ending left things WIDE open for more, which was kind of upsetting to know we only get one story of this series when it is just begging for more. However, I am sure we will see them all a bunch in the regular, ongoing TMNT book. We have Andy Kuhn doing the art again for this issue. Although I tend to prefer a lot more details in my comic art, Kuhn still has a wonderful style. His art is a very welcome addition to the awesome talent we have seen from TMNT and its mini-series. Hopefully more TMNT starts soon as way too much stuff ended this week or is ending soon. Anyone down for a Herman the Hermit Crab mini-series? – Jacob

Image Comics:

Big Man Plans #3 – A+
I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous two issues in this series, but this one is by far my favorite. Eric Powell and Tim Wiesch do such an incredible job with making Big Man horrifying, disgusting, lovable, and someone you feel so bad for. All of the flashbacks are so amazing, and the juxtaposition between the violent and brutal things Big Man is doing now and the abuse and bullying he had to suffer through as as child give the story and characters so much depth. When I reached the last page of Big Man Plans #3 for the first time I was so on the edge of my seat I hated the realization that I’d have to wait one more month to see what is going to happen next. Big Man is going on a complete rampage of revenge and while it started out vague now every move he makes is so much more purposeful and I find myself rooting for him so much more. This issue was gruesome, but Big Man is such a captivating character that even when he does rip apart a man’s head and face with a pair of pliers, you still feel like he is doing the right thing. He would never have been this way if the world hadn’t been so cruel to him, and he’s not a bad man. He does the right things for the right people and just really makes those who make poor choices suffer. This series just gets better and better with each issue. I’m very excited to read the final issue next month, and a little disappointed that it will be my last. – Keriann

Autumnlands Tooth and Claw #6 – B-
In the sixth issue, the human hero meets with the bison in a parley, and there’s betrayal. Then there’s intrigue, and then there’s more betrayal. I’m not sure if I’ve been kicked in the face by a horse lately, or if I got in the way of a sperm whale while it was hunting (their echo-location clicks carry the force of being kicked by a horse. LOOK IT UP), but I feel like this is the first issue where I’ve really noticed Kurt Busiek is the writer. Which is insane: I always look at the creative team because that biz is important. But I feel like we’ve entered the Busiek Problem Zone (really, we entered it like 2 or 3 issues ago) in which Tooth and Claw has established a sort of holding pattern where things happen in the story, but at the same time nothing’s really happening. I mean, stuff does happen at the end, but I feel like the amount of buildup vs. payoff should have really been trimmed down into an issue or two. This should be issue 4, not issue 6. It’s the same kind of thing that made Astro City sort of a drag back inna day. But the art’s still gorgeous. Unparalleled really. – Montgomery

Nailbiter #13 – B-
I still enjoy Nailbiter, but I am kind of over the big secret being dragged out so long. I suppose I will have to wait until an important issue number for the reveal to happen, but every month we get teased that so-and-so doesn’t know the “truth” and every month just a little more gets revealed, but not enough for the reader to be able to form any opinion of their own. Now that I have ranted, I still think this was a good read. I like the flashbacks; finding out that Crane dug Nailbiter more than he dug her was a little shocking. And we can now figure who the WTF killer is, so there is that. I hope this book picks up soon! – Adrian

The Covenant #1 – D
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I signed up to read Covenant, but I didn’t care for it at all. I mean the history if the Arc of the Covenant is fascinating, and the fact that there is a comic book exploring the history and the myth is pretty cool. But, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I might read a couple more issues to get a sense of the characters as there was a lot introduced in a short amount of space. Maybe it’ll have an interesting plot and character development. However, it did not grip me in the least and left me rather board by the time I read the last panel. I’m sure someone will get enjoyment out of it. It’s by no means it badly written, it’s not something I care to read about. – Jené

The Empty #4 – D
From complete disaster to miracle worker, The Empty has done a complete 180 in about five pages. We last saw three of group horribly-impaled by giant bug spikes. Assuredly something would happen to make sure the main characters didn’t all die off in one issue, but I wasn’t suspecting such a turn around so quickly. I figured bring people back to life would take more than a tear. Now everyone can talk to each other without problem, the giant bugs are really forgiving and Lila can cure any wound. It’s too strange that everything just changed for the better all at once. I thought that the ending to the previous issue had written the series into a corner and I think I was right. The creator had to get himself out of a bad situation quickly. It was all just too convenient for me. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Darth Vader #6 – A
It’s always nice when a comic book can be primarily character and plot development with a very small amount of action and still be compelling. The Emperor has shown his displeasure in Lord Vader by hiring Cylo to train potential replacements. The twins have been trained and designed for the last twenty years, which tells us The Emperor never had a lot of faith in Vader. The most important part of this issue comes at the end. Boba Fett reveals to Vader the name of the young boy who destroyed the Death Star, Skywalker. It’s the first time Vader realizes his child survives. Oh and don’t think I missed the Warhammer 40k reference, Mr. Gillen. – Scott

X-Tinction Agenda #1 – A
I hate on continuity, but my love of X-Men is partly responsible. They just totally burnt me out with so many c-c-c-c-combo breaker events one right after the other (not necessarily in order): The Phalanx, Onslaught, Age of Apocalypse (probably my favorite), that guy Bastion and his kooky sentinels, curing the legacy virus… I know there are others. There have to be. It got to the point that when Grant Morrison finished his run on New X-Men that I walked away. “Nothing can top it,” I thought and so I stopped reading comics for years. Nevertheless, X-Men events are my absolute favorites, and so the great thing about Battleworld and the X-Men is that all their books are essentially held in suspension, like perpetual in medias res. And given that I had a bad addiction to anything with an X on the cover (and the 90s and early 2000s took advantage of that boy howdy), any X event that’s perpetually in progress is speaking my changuage. X-tinction Agenda is therefore just that: the original X-Tinction Agenda’s resolution could never come because the people living in X-Tinction’s zone are stricken with an unnamed plague (my guess is Legacy virus) and the neighboring X zones refuse help because they fear contamination. Doom (who is super racist b-t-dubs) even refuses help for fear of spreading this virus. It was a good read with the opening flashback featuring artwork designed to look like an old 90s X-Men comic. I was fully on board. – Montgomery

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 – A-
This issue was laugh-out-loud from start to finish. Hippo the Hippo. Kick Butts and Eat Nuts. Girl Squirrel. All the puns and funnies had me doubled over. We found out some very important information about Doreen’s crush, how the squirrel suit really works, and that Chuck X. Avier is just a regular human. I absolutely adore the banter that goes on in this series. It really isn’t about people who can talk to animals; it is about people who are really awkward, and that is ok. Also, the reason this book got an “A” from me is because of the very sly Buffy reference. You know I have to give it major props for that. – Adrian

Years of Future Past#1 – B+
The world of Days of Future Past has stalled long enough that Kitty and Collosus had a daughter, and Wolverine and who knows had a son. Most mutants are dead or living in internment camps with Wolverine and his son being two of the few left roaming the outside world while the mutants on the inside (led by Magneto) plot their escape. I liked this book, and this isn’t a criticism of this book, but I can’t help but wonder what the significance of any one character’s life is. I think this is the 4th Wolverine I’ve seen, and while Beast was mourning the death of Piotr in X-Tinction Agenda’s X City, I’ve seen 3 other Piotrs wandering around. I guess because Battleworld was built specifically to have the entire universe in a continuity, and all the characters are aware of the other zones, I don’t understand how I’m supposed to feel about these multiple iterations, what they feel about themselves, and what that means in the grand scheme of things. Definitely a criticism against the Battleworld idea, but not this book specifically. – Montgomery

Secret Wars #3 – B+
Secret Wars keeps delivering. Battleworld seems to be in full effect or nearing full effect, and we’re already getting answers about why it is what it is. Why Doom is god; why there seem to be all these estranged vaguely Eastern European feeling subcontinents; why only some heroes seem present (i.e. there’s Susan, but where’s Reed?); why Strange would be Doom’s whipping boy. It’s a pretty cool event book in a way that I wouldn’t have predicted. There’s a silly pathos moment with Doom, and I ultimately don’t know how feasible the explanation for Battleworld’s construction can actually be, but Secret Wars is making me feel interested in the characters and their new inventive connections. – Montgomery

Superior Iron Man #9 – B
We’ve hit a point of no return for Tony Stark. The Extemis armor has made him Superior, yes, but also a complete dickhead with no remaining sense of compassion or humanity. Pepper Potts has tried to do what she could to destroy his armor, rehabilitate the monster Tony’s become, but ends up falling short in the worst way. There’s gotta be some bit of humanity in there, but by the end of the episode, Tony becomes everybody’s worst nightmare. The issue has one of the best fight scenes of the week, and has enough action to keep readers engaged, but it’s the dialog that makes you realize how lost Tony is in all of this. The issue ends predictably, with Tony alone, with a bottle. This can’t be good… – Sherif

Future Imperfect #1 – B
I really enjoyed reading this comic. Although the story line may be a bit misguided and rushed, it is forgiven due to the action and overall badassness of everything. And if I could only say one thing about this comic, it would be this; The Maestro is one bad dude…and I love it. Honestly I’m pretty excited to see how this story line progresses simply due to the exciting panels to come. Not all comic books need to be heavy on story with intellectual undertones and motifs; sometimes all you want to see is two people punching each other in the face over and over again. I believe this comic is going to be one of the latter, and I am okay with it. I’m excited to see the next issue where hopefully Maestro will battle “The Boss.” – Evan

Groot #1 – B
(A) This first issue of Groot was spectacular. Despite his use of only three words, there was plenty of dialogue from Rocket and the many people they encounter in this first issue. Rocket and Groot are trying to escape their bounties and in the process cause even more trouble by breaking their ship, hitchhiking and having to battle space sharks. They wind up hitchhiking again with a bunch of Skrulls and saving a diner from a robbery. Later on, you could even say they kill Marvel’s Superman by stealing the ship they sent Kal-El to Earth in right before the planet blew up. After all this, they end up being found by Eris, an evil space pirate trying to make money off of Groot’s Bounty. This issue is, of course, the major set up for this series and it definitely led into it with a very good story by Jeff Loveness. Brian Kesinger is an amazing (usually steampunk) artist and former Disney author and animator, which is VERY apparent in his art and style. This style fits the Groot book perfectly, though. It really grinds in the point that Groot and Rocket can totally be cute and cuddly, but when it comes down to it, you would not want either of them close to you, at least if you like living a long, healthy life. I look forward to seeing how this story could tie into Secret Wars and when we will actually get these two to show up in the current running Battleworld universe. – Jacob

(C+) I’m not sure what I was expecting with this comic. The humor is there but the jokes get more of a chuckle and less of a gut bust. A lot of it is more short clips of the dynamic duo’s shenanigans which was fine and dandy but makes the comic read more like a kids book and less like a story you would expect with trash-talking Rocket in the mix. Maybe that was their goal, as Groot is a more PG character, but it doesn’t seem to be marketed as such. If you ask me, this comic is playing it a little too safe. It’s not a bad issue by any means, and I look forward to seeing what the next issue has for its readers, but it could use a little more grit. – Charlotte

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 – B-
This book is supposed to give fans that were upset at the continuity change of Peter’s marriage to MJ some closure. I don’t know if that is what you will get out of this, but I took away a new perspective on Peter Parker and his role as Spider-Man. It always seems like no matter how bad his life gets, he is never willing to give up on the Spider-Man persona. This book really goes to show how far Spider-Man is willing to go when pushed, and he doesn’t respond in the ways you might think. Also this issue had eight variant covers, and I am particularly fond of the Skottie Young variant. – Robert

Secret Wars: Battleworld #2 – C+
Is there some rule with these Battleworld anthologies that they have to have one good story and one subpar story packaged with each other? The first story is an almost uncomfortably Blaxploitation 70’s style Blade hunting vampires through New Quack City (the Duck Distritct, duh doi) and runs into a duck Drakula and Howard the Duck. The whole thing hovers on the edge of uncomfortable stereotypes (I mean, not all New Yorkers are ducks), but it felt fun and like a genuine artifact of 1977. The second one was an arena full of dafuqs; War Machine fighting zombies in an arena organized by Taskmaster, and there’s a mention of “Steve Rogers and his giant T-Rex.” But mostly, War Machine wants revenge for the death of his daughter. It mostly felt cluttered and hard to decipher, both in terms of who was who and what I needed to be caring about. But the Howard one was fun… Oh, and can we talk about the cover teaser for the next Battleworld? In the middle of this issue, there was a caged zombie Sabretooth, and that made me think of Wolverine’s death and now how thanks to Battleworld not only is Wolverine not dead, but there are more than ever before. It made me hope there’s a Wolverine comic titled something like Too Many Wolverines where the title is a word balloon coming out of Don Knott’s mouth. Well, the cover for Battleworld #3 is plastered with Wolverines. Not quite the Too Many, but knowing someone somewhere anticipated my desires made me happy. – Montgomery

All-New X-Men #41 – C+
This series has been one of my favorites of the past few years, and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end soon. At first, I thought bringing back the original X-Men to the current day was an odd, recycled way to reintroduce the characters – and for some of the series, it has been. Overall, though, it’s breathing new life into these characters whose mutations, evolutions, and personal growth have rendered them unrecognizable as the faces of human struggle that X-Men books have been so well heralded for. Their naivety allows them to ask the questions about social inequality that have made them so relatable in the first place. So, I love this book. I may not have loved this issue specifically, but I’ll weep for the series when it’s all over. – Sherif

Armor Wars #1 – C
When I first heard about this book, I was pretty excited; however, after the first issue, it’s safe to say my excitement has dropped somewhat. I really didn’t find anything special or overly interesting about this issue. Yes, it is a cool concept that all the people of Technopolis must wear a suit of armor in order to simply survive, and we get glimpses of some of our favorite heroes wearing some badass suits; yet, that is about all we saw. With Iron Man being the Baron of Technopolis, and having watch over the city for Dr. Doom’s sake, this task may not be so easy with his brother, Arno, questing for power. One thing which will allow me to move onto the next issue is seeing James Rhodes as Thor in the “next time,” advertisement in the back of the book. Cape + suit of armor + awesome hammer = potential for awesome panels with the slight chance of a huge let down. Let’s hope not! – Evan


Funniest Panel:

 

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Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Comic Book Reviews 05-27-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

Deadly Class #13 review
Deadly Class #13 review
Deadly Class #13 – A+
Sweet baby Jesus, this book is so good. It puts readers in a constant manic state, thanks to the onslaught of violence and rage, but it is the much deeper layer of violence and rage that I really latch on to. Seriously, the whole off-campus adventure is one of the most heart-pounding, frightening and enthralling stories I’ve ever read. There is some major depth to it, too. Each character has their own complex backstory, and makes difficult decisions based off those decisions. In this issue, it’s all about Maria. The inner turmoil she has while getting revenge for her parents’ deaths is beautifully converted into each panel, and not enough can be said about the superb pencil work by Wes Craig or the apropos colors by Lee Loughridge. The end of this one will through readers for a loop, though. I’d put it on the level of Batman #40 the way I had to reread the last few pages and make sure I understood the situation correctly. Who would have thought that the most dangerous place for the students isn’t the streets, but the academy itself. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Fight Club 2 #1 – B
Forgive me for being skeptical, but usually when books, TV shows, etc. are continued in a comic book medium, they… suck (that’s right, Dark Horse, I’m looking at you for Buffy). That doesn’t seem to be the case here; Fight Club was a terrific book and movie that seems to translate very well into comic book form. Sebastian is a very boring man, his urge to suppress Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) from making him do all types of ill shit. With a failing marriage and reliance on pills, Sebastian is close to the breaking point when it comes to medication. We’re all hoping that he gets one eensy push into insanity. The scale of events in Fight Club 2 look to be much grander than the first book. There’s enough of familiarities and differences between the first book and this one to keep new readers engaged and old ones satisfied. – Sherif

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence – Justice Society of America #2 – B+
The old men got their youth back! I really liked the concept – the Justice Society of America are now like a bunch of retired cops; they are old, they get coffee together, and they talk about their glory days. But on this particular day, they didn’t just talk about the glory days; they relived them. The appreciation of their strong minds and strong bodies was evident. Most people will never get to do what they did, much less be a superhero one last time. This was a fun read, and my favorite series out of all the Convergence stories. – Adrian

Convergence: Shazam #2 – B+
Ok, this was a lot fun. Shazam is fighting a giant robot controlled by a tiny worm, who was also controlling a bunch of early 1900’s versions of Batman villains?! I love the old school touch to these comics. The art is absolutely fantastic. Now there may not have been a whole lot going on in these issues, they’ve seemed pretty inconsequential, but they were a lot of fun. I really like Batman flying a small dirigible. Naturally, Billy and the gang wins and all is right for Fawcett City. SHAZAM! – Scott

Suiciders #4 – B-
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve lost interest in this book, but I’m starting to see through the vail of the story a bit. Lee Bermejo’s art is still magnificent, especially when the story is focused on the arena fighting, which this issue gets a heavy double-dose of. We continue to switch between the present and the past, a method that helps connect the big players of the games, and how the situation in New Angeles came to be about. However, since the debut, I feel that Suiciders has largely undelivered on that plane, and instead focuses on this conspiracy that surrounds Savior. I don’t doubt that this will tie back into how New Angeles came to be, but there is just too much forced mystery getting in the way of great art and story potential. – Sherif

Convergence – Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #2 – C+
The last Convergence – Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters was pretty good, so I was a little disappointed that this issue focused more on how the Nazis can get one over on the good ole Americans and then not be able to get one over on the good ole Americans. The best part of this issue was the updated version of the old newspaper print. It wasn’t part of the paper, like it used to be, but added as a kind of homage to the tales of yore. It is an enjoyable book, but with the updated art, I figured the storyline would be updated too (beyond robots). – Adrian

Convergence #8 – C-
Convergence has been kind of problematic from the start. It feels similar to Homer Simpson’s float: he drives an automatronic float onto the field featuring a man with a college sweater whipping another person on all fours wearing fetish gear. As the crowd hisses and boos, he shouts back, “Bear with me for a moment! There’s a lot of symbolism!” That feels like my experience with Convergence. Here in the final episode, Brainiac (who’s now good? Or at least not-bad?) just deus ex machinas the shit out of everything with the explicit promise of “returning the multiverse to the way it was before the first crisis.” What does that mean? Are we now back in 1986 DC? Pre-Flashpoint? Events like these are what actually drove me out of cape books 15 years ago: we promise something epic, but really, the “epic” is just an excuse to return things to normal. This, the eighth and final issue of Convergence, was a letdown in multiple ways. 1. I read it in probably five minutes; 2. It half-a-nips us with some tantalizing ideas (like Brainiac evolving alongside the monitors) that I feel it should have been delivering on earlier; 3. The ending is very underwhelming. Essentially, the walk away is a guy we never cared about (Telos) remembering his real name (the significance of which is kept hidden from us, as well as what his name is), and then an ending shot of a smiling grandma. Smiling grandmas giving the thumbs up are how you know your heroes saved the world from unremitting horror. – Montgomery

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #46 – A
This issue of TMNT is filled with so much story development and dialogue, you almost have to read it twice in one sitting before taking it all in! Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow and Tom Waltz are definitely bringing their A game to this current arc, which scared fans half to death with the fear of killing off Donatello (I even knew people who stopped reading al together…buncha drama llamas). By having Donnie’s mind transferred to Metalhead, they’re actually borrowing from the old Image Comics run where Donatello became a cyborg. This issue starts with Donnie treating himself in an out-of-body experience, and teaching the others. Angel and Alopex make their way to Casey’s only to find Hun there being his normal drunk idiot self. Karai takes charge of the Foot clan, Metalhead Donnie and Fugitoid discuss being sentient minds in robot bodies, and Mikey take a pizza break with his pal Woody before setting out to find the Mutanimals. April finds an ancient text that likely is foreshadowing something terrible that will happen soon, Baxter and Shredder tighten their friendship for whats to come, and Hun decides to start a war…whew those are the basics AND only the basics of what happens. See why I said it was packed with story? I feel like I read all of war and peace within 30 or so pages. But every word was great and progressed the story tremendously. The art, of course, is on par with Mateus Santolouco’s usual genius, as he is back at the drawing table for this arc, which has me excited for the giant #50 and what will come in that! – Jacob

The Fly: Outbreak #3 – A
Well, I think I finally have this series figured out: it has absolutely horrible characters, it’s choppy and lacks a good flow but it has really amazing artwork and a genuinely scary story. Maybe it’s because seeing the movie as a kid fucking traumatized me, but an outbreak of the monsters from The Fly sounds just god damn terrifying. Martin is such a whiny emo douche that it is basically impossible to root for him as the good guy. I get it, it’s all you fault, stop crying about it and move on. But I haven’t stuck it out with this series because I care about what happens to the people in this book; I keep reading because it’s genuinely haunting, and a great horror/sci-fi crossover. The latest issue really pushed the story forward with the monsters hatching and breaking out of the quarantine facility. I imagine from here things can only get more horrific and now more than I ever I am glad I gave this series a shot. – Keriann

Infinite Loop #2 – C
The sequence feels a bit off in this book and less natural than the first one. It almost feels like there should have been a book before to help transition the narrative. I would have liked to see more of how Ano is affecting a switch in the perception of Teddy’s world. Teddy was pretty adamant about maintaining the order of her world. More so than her friend, Ulysses. Instead, the story jumps from Teddy finding the anomaly that is Ano and then suddenly they’re running away from the icky people who irradiate the anomalies. The villains come off as a little too over the time and we don’t get enough time with the wise old man at her hideaway. It’s clear that it’s love at first sight and she plans to save the girl. We still don’t know who she is or where she’s from even though the woman seems to be aware of what’s going on. Despite the jagged nature and the story holes, I was still enjoyed the story. It’s something different that speaks to that annoying romantic side of me. I still want to root for their infatuation and hope that they find their bliss in the end. – Jené

October Faction #7 – C-
Issue after issue of October Faction, I tune in, hoping to fall in love. This week, I think I’ve finally decided to give up. Steve Niles is a great writer and is responsible for some of my favorite series, but this is not the one for me. The story has yet to really take off, and while each character has their own charm I am just not feeling them the way I probably should be. Each issue revolves so much more around family quirkiness than actual story action that even now by issue #7 I have no idea what the overarching storyline for this series is. Way too little attention is paid to what is going on around the characters so it almost feels like there is no real story at all. The werewolf, Lucas, has cancer in his human form but can live healthily as a werewolf. That problem has a pretty easy solution so theres no real drama there. Dante was a bad guy, the very bad guy responsible for the wife being hospitalized in the first issue but now he’s a member of the family. I know this last issue tried to end on a cliffhanger, but it flopped. I highly doubt the local sheriff is much of a threat to a supernatural family of monster hunters. As much as I hate to say it, October Faction may just be kind of a dud. – Keriann

Image Comics:

Postal #4 – A+
Postal seems to alternate a lot between stronger and weaker issues. Lucky for us, this month was one of the strong ones. Overall the series is pretty darn great, but I am especially pleased with this one because it gave me that great feeling I got when I finished the first issue. At this point I’m really pleased with where the story is going, it is not at all predictable and really enthralling. I think this issue stood out so much because it was really heavy on characterization. This is the first issue I’ve given a crap about Maggie and I honestly really started to like her. Mark’s mom is fearsome, but also kind of awesome in that evil Mallory Archer sort of way. Mark is so lovable, and he became even more endearing with the story about when he was a little boy and hid in a hole all night waiting for his mom to find him after being beat up. Not only that, but he also became kind of badass when he hunted down all the people who hurt him. Overall, I think this series has some of the best writing and is one of the top crime books out right now. – Keriann

Material #1 – B-
(B) I had to go over and over this one, both while I was reading and once I was finished. I kept trying to wrap my head around it; was this book super deep and it just went over my head? In all honesty, the jury is still out on that one. Perhaps I should clarify; Material does not follow a direct plot line and instead jumps from place to place, person to person, conversation to conversation. Some of it touches on things that are very real in our world: there are direct quotes for Darren Wilson’s deposition, some of it follows a survivor of Guantanimo Bay and what his life has been reduced to, and some of it follows a young black men being held by white police officers for being a peaceful protester during a riot. But some of it follows a professor who is supposedly being contacted by the first real AI in existence because it wants to prove a point to him. So basically, just when I thought I was really getting the gist of it I was thrown a curve ball. I enjoy the artwork and the writing is thoroughly well done, so even through the confusion it was an enjoyable read. I have to say that I do really hope the second issue pushes out at least a little more structure because I would like to keep up with this series, but I fear I will lose interest if I keep feeling like I’m missing something. – Keriann

(C) Well that was weird. Overall, I appreciate the interesting concept behind this book; however, I am not certain it is enough to hold my interest as time progresses. Following four different stories which may or may not be connected is somewhat cool; yet, several stories stick with you more than others. And let’s be honest, it’s clever leaving your readers with four cliff hangers compared to just one, very clever. I understand how this book attempts to be “deep” and introspective, yet somehow it somewhat comes off as hipster-ish. I am still deciding if that is a negative or not. Either way, it’s a coin flip if I will be reading the next issue or not, just depends on how interesting my Wednesday is that week. – Evan

Invisible Republic #3 – B-
(B) This book is still proving to be an intriguing one. It’s fast paced and yet not at the same time. Not much really happened in this book. The Croger finally has claim to the mysterious journal of Arthur’s cousin and we still don’t understand why it’s so important.  Only that she’s related to this famous “freedom” fighter that is still famous. Back in time the Arthur and his cousin have split up. It is interesting because I think in the last panel it hint to something that will prove to a very interesting reveal. I think she has more to do with this concept of an “invisible” republic than just a bystander in her cousin’s story. The art is dark and gritty and has an edge to it I really appreciate or maybe strong is a better word for the art. Anyway, I’m bummed I have to wait so long for the next few pages. – Jené

(C) So far, Invisible Republic is hit and miss. Issue three was essentially one long chase sequence, in both flashback and current time. Croger doesn’t do anything except lose his bag and get it back after chasing the man who was going to drop him off a ledge. The story between Arthur and Maia is a little dramatic, which is to be expected after Arthur finds out Maia didn’t deal with her problem. But the rest of the issue is them running from the police only to be forcefully separated from each other. Now Maia is on her own with no one else. Here’s hoping there’s more substance next time. – Scott

Sons of the Devil #1 – C+
Well, the book title definitely is reflected in the panels. I always appreciate some mystery in my comics, and I believe this book has enough to keep my interest. Following Tyler and his journey for answers seems to be one he may not be ready for. With a life full of anger, violence, and confusion, Tyler needs to make some major changes, and do some major soul searching before he becomes a devil himself. There are so many questions I have and the only thing I truly hope is that the answers to these questions don’t turn out to be stupid. I have a fear this book will turn out like so many I’ve ready before, where the ending simply turns out to be stupid and I feel like I’ve wasted my time. Yet, I have hope for this book, and I believe good things will come from watching devils. – Evan

Providence #1 – D
The first issue of Providence was not at all what I was hoping for. The whole thing moved really slowly and bordered on full-blown unreadable. Alan Moore writes fantastic dialogue, but the overall plot was too far hidden behind the nice linguistics. From what the story FINALLY eluded to, in the very end of the book where you have to decipher three pages of hand scrawled journal entries, there could be something very interesting and dark here. The idea of books that cause people to kill themselves after they read them an intriguing idea, and so is the theory that all of America is built on each individuals lies. In all honesty I’m pretty sure this series will end up being really good, but I don’t like that I’m sold on it out of blind confidence in the writer and subject matter as opposed to what I saw on paper. – Keriann

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Inhumans: Atillan Rising #1 – A
Wow. This is a number one. Right out of the gate legitimately cool stuff is going down: a ’40s gangster looking Ghost Rider called G-Man invades The Greenlands (I’m thinking essentially Planet Hulk) with a mist designed to give the hulks back their intelligence. The Thors Corp (sticking with the vaguely Nazi imagery that Doom is playing with, they’re like Hitler’s SS) show up and wreck everyone’s junk. The art is crisp and stylized with gorgeous thick black lines, and immediately we get a sense of how this world works: political intrigue, awesome Ghost Riders, a bizarre array of hulks, and good ol’ Manhattan. – Montgomery

Old Man Logan #1 – A-
(A) Before picking up this series, I suggest picking up the original 2009 Old Man Logan as this issue seems to take place very soon after the last series ended; plus, the original series is by far one of the best Wolverine stores of all time, written by the awesome Mark Millar. This time, Marvel brought in another seasoned and well-liked writer to helm the new series, Brian Michael Bendis. The biggest thing that may have fans of the original a bit wary of is the art by Andrea Sorrentino (I, Vampire and Green Arrow), as it is drastically different from the original run, but it does separate this as its only solo story and if you don’t think every panel done by Sorrentino is gorgeous and worthy of framing, you are likely blind. The actual story for this issue was great, but lacked explanation for a many things and the ending left me rather confused at what exactly is going on. All we know is that Old Man Logan is brutal – like Sabretooth on PCP brutal – while still being the good father to the Hulk Baby he took in from the original series. I just love this universe so much it is hard to take even the largest flaw and say it makes this issue bad, but I am lucky that it is no where near being bad and is actually the best and most interesting title from Secret Wars to me at the current moment. – Jacob

(B+) I’m sold on the pure chaos in this book. Although not much happened, what did occur was enough to hold my interest and bring me back to the next issue of the comic. It’s nice to see Logan being Logan – keeping his murder game strong. Perhaps what I liked most about this book was how thematically reflective it was of Logan’s overall life: very dull, gloomy, little hope, and pure determination. These themes were so evident throughout the entire story, from the interactions with the goons wearing the Daredevil suit, Gladiator and his son, and all the way through Emma Frost. I’m interested to see where Logan’s journey will take him in this new world. With straight determination but unclear guidance, I suspect Logan’s journey with be once full of pain. Awesome. – Evan

All-New Hawkeye # 3 – A-
I’m a total sucker when it comes to Kate Bishop, so having her as an integral, independent, kick-ass character in this comic has made it a joy to read. Don’t get me wrong. I love Clint and he is fantastic in this as well, but there’s something about watching Kate kick butt that really makes me happy. The scene where Clint takes a backseat to Kate’s beat down was really cool. He knows she’s strong and can take care of herself, so he doesn’t get in her way. He even warns one of the scientists not to make her angry when she’s asking questions. “Girl? That’s Hawkeye, dude. You really want to piss her off again?” What I love about Hawkeye is the gender equality it promotes. They both have the same name. Kate isn’t Lady Hawkeye or Hawkgirl. She’s Hawkeye and she’s just as deadly as Clint. Clint also shines in this issue. Seeing his backstory unfold issue to issue and the fantastic parallels between past and present really makes me emotionally invested in the story. The change of art style is also really cool and works well for the medium. The depictions of Hawkeye’s childhood are absolutely beautiful. I have a weak spot for origin stories, so this part is particularly interesting to read. I can’t wait to see more about Clint’s life as a carny and just what’s in store for him for breaking the rules. Going by the next issue cover, I’m guessing it isn’t good. – Charlotte

X-Men ’92 #1 – A-
For fans of the X-Men Animated Series, don’t be alarmed; this is not 1992. Contrary to what it looks like, this is a completely different book. The nostalgia is so strong with this one, long-time fans will instantly find themselves falling back in love with the X-Men. Ya know, before it turned into whatever the hell it became today. Cyclops is still an insufferable douchebag, Logan is still creepily in love with Jean Grey, the tension between Rogue and Gambit could be cut with a knife, and there are tons of Sentinels! I forgot how much I loved this storyline, and unlike other series that are just being slapped together right now, you can tell that creators Chad Bower and Chris Sims know their stuff. It’s a wonderful reintroduction to the timeline, and I can’t wait for it to keep going. – Sherif

Secret Wars Journal #1 – B+
Secret Wars Journal is another anthology comic, like Battleworld before it containing a couple vignettes inside the greater Battleworld universe. The first one takes place in King James’ England, and is, I think, a story about Agent Carter. But maybe she’s also Hawkeye – there’s a lot of bow and arrow-ing. She’s trying to steal… a… thing from Doom’s castle, but gets arrested. Maybe I just don’t care enough about Agent Carter or Hawkeye to really care about this story, but it was mostly uninteresting. It felt like a slow build up for a reveal that could only possibly matter if I already knew what was coming next. As is… it ain’t so great. The second story is hot molten awesome. Khonshu, the Egyptian deity worshiped (or “worshiped”?) by Moon Knight has enslaved all mutants in a world resembling agent Egypt (which makes the absence of En Sabah Nur interesting) and tasked them with building her pyramids. A plucky band of mutants bearing an uncanny resemblance to the X-Men (I see what you did there) decide they need to murder this goddess for her treatment of the slaves. Things get bananas. I feel like the entire structure of Battleworld has a finite end in sight; I doubt the entire premise and ponderously interconnected world could sustain much more beyond 12 issues, but so far, I’m really enjoying the experimentation and creativity.If not for the uninteresting first half, this might have been an A+ book. – Montgomery

Inferno #1 – B+
One of my favorite things about the X-Men was how they equally straddled the worlds of science fiction and horror fantasy, and now we get Inferno, which capitalizes on the horror fantasy. It seems a little darkest-timeline esque for the X-Men: not only were they not able to rescue the fabled Ilyana – Collosus’ sister – but she’s set up residence in one of the alternate Manhattan’s as a kind of queen of hell. And she wrecks the X-Men’s junk. There was a slow spot between the first few pages and the last third of the book where I wasn’t sure what I should be expecting, but god’s balls, this book kind of brings back the fun of the X-Men comics I remember from the 90s. It’s interesting to see Cyclops as the governor, or whatever, of that particular zone, but it makes me wonder where Professor X is. Fun, but probably not even the best X-book to probably be coming down the pike. – Montgomery

Black Widow #18 – B
It feels as though every issue of Black Widow is about to be the last one. The good thing about it is that I am content with the closure. The bad thing about it is that every month, I think, “Oh! There is a new Black Widow?” As much as I have enjoyed this series, I am ready for a send off. One of the final panels in this issue showed Natasha on a boat saying that no one will ever know her full story – a true testament to how the series as been handled. I’m fine with that, but it easily could have been the last panel of the series. Oh, well. See you next month Natasha! – Adrian

Secret Wars 2099 #1 – B-
What I really appreciate about the 2099 story line is how cool everything appears to be at first glance. It offers us the same heroes we love, simply with new faces, new suits, and new perspectives. Okay people, I’m about to go on a slight tangent, ready? Everything seems cooler. Captain America is dope, Iron Man is dope, Hawkeye is dope, the Vision is dope, and Black Widow is dope. If I can see more of Black Widow’s crazy ass, I am there. Perhaps the coolness of this comic is enough to shadow the fact that the story in this issue was simply not there. Perhaps we will see more story in the future; however, within this certain issue, nothing really happened. I also appreciate having women of color being two major characters within the new Avengers. So yeah, I think I’ll be cool and continue to read this one. – Evan

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 – C+
M.O.D.O.K. is probably the most unintentially-turned-intentionally goofy Marvel character. So, in the first issue of his Battleworld, it kind of makes sense that he’s set up a world for himself where he’s the first and last authority. He’s like the Kim Jong Il of Marvel. He revels in the fact that he’s killed all the heroes and rules the people through sheer terror. The setup is pretty funny stuff, and the cover art is shabamz, but the actual story itself was a little flat. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t the pure goofy funny I’d learned to expect from last week’s Secret Wars: Battleworld, and that’s kind of a bummer. I also feel that, as funny as M.O.D.O.K. may be, he probably doesn’t have the power to sustain a series for long. Another plus is that I just noticed M.O.D.O.K. looks a lot like Garrett from Community, so now my internal voice for M.O.D.O.K. is Garrett. Crisis alert! – Montgomery

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. # 6 – C+
While I enjoy that this comic finally had some sort of lasting story arc, it’s not very original. We’ve seen rage virus before and while there’s a little bit of originality thrown in with the magicians, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. I’m also not totally sure where this big bad comes in and if he’s so easily defeatable with the help of Crusher Creel, then I’m not sure how long this story-arc is going to last. I absolutely adore Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so I was excited to see it in comic book form, but as of late, the comics have lacked the thrill and hilarity of the first three issues. If they could bring back a little more of the wit and fun they had in the second issue with Ms. Marvel. I think what this comic needs is more intel into exactly why we should be so terrified of this virus. Right now it just seems like it’s some chaos feeding on smart people. What’s the objective here? If Dormmamu’s controlling it, why and to what end? The stakes just aren’t quite made clear here. We know it’s not good and people are going to die, but what’s the overall meaning here? What’s the endgame? I want to know. – Charlotte

Infinity Gauntlet #1 – C+
I knew there was a reason I didn’t like bugs. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, it’s about damn time we see women of color as headliners in comics. It was hard for me to pinpoint exactly what the aim of this comic is going to be. I fully understand it’s a quest for the infinity gauntlet particularly on Thanos’ part; however, other than that, I see the direction as fairly open. It was nice to see the perspective of a struggling family who fail to understand a hero’s sacrifice, simply because we often see it from the other perspective. We typically see our hero reflecting on their unbearable choice and wondering how the family can ever forgive them; however, in this comic we see how that sacrifice can turn families against each other while the love still holds strong. Overall, there was nothing special about this comic this week, but I am interest to see more of the infinity gauntlet and the Nova Corps. – Evan


Funniest Panel:

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Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.