Comic Book Reviews 04-29-15

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:

Batman #40
Batman #40
Batman #40 – A
(A) Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you end a saga. Batman and Joker have been doing the dance for 75 years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as wide-eyed and enthralled in one of their “love stories” as I have with Endgame. With DC preparing to implode upon itself, I was satisfied in knowing that whatever Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo gave us with this arc, DC could not take away from us. For a while, reading the issue made me forget that I was even reading a Batman book. The final showdown between the two is so brutal, so creepy… I felt like I was reading a horror novel. Both Batman and Joker show us a side of them that I’m not sure I ever wanted to see. Endgame is going to leave a scar on me emotionally when it comes to how I think of the character, but it’s more like a Victor Zsasz tally that makes me proud to be a reader. I don’t know what Snyder & Capullo have in mind next, but this issue was the peak. – Sherif
(A) It is really difficult to review this without a bunch of spoilers. Which good job internet, you already did a lot of that. This issue wrapped up the six-part Endgame arc, and it was exactly what it should have been. Does that mean Joker won? Does that mean Batman won? You have to read the issue, but even after I read it twice, I’m not sure I know the answer to the question. They both pulled their jokes, and even I was stunned at what they both played. This book was poetic in both writing and art; Greg Capullo’s first panel in issue 40 was one of his best ever, and Scott Snyder’s final joke in Endgame was too much to bear. Ha. – Adrian

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

The Order of the Forge #1 – B-
Well that was unexpected. The Order of the Forge is a mystical story about the founding fathers as young men. George Washington, Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin are all in their early twenties working for Lord Hammond. Paul Revere was kind of a smart ass as it turns out. Ben Franklin like his brothels, that’s where George and Paul run to gather him so he can do his famous kite in a thunderstorm experiment. So those are the basics. What you’re not expecting is that the main characters speak in modern English and swear a lot. Lord Hammond has a room full of body parts and fantastical items. There is a fair amount of nudity, which I wasn’t expecting. Oh, and George Washington has a now magical axe that makes him go into a crazy rage, I’m sure that will come up later. – Scott

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence – Shazam #1 – A-
(A+) Oh wow. Convergence Shazam #1 was great. By far, absolutely by bounds and incomprehensible leaps, this is the best Convergence book so far. In a vacuum apart from Convergence this is as solid a Shazam story as the New 52 release of a couple years ago. At its root, it’s a book about the Marvel family separated from their powers and having to live in secret. They later get apprehended by their nemesis, Dr. Sivana (along with a few others), moments before the shield surrounding the city drops and it all hits the roof. Wow. I can’t recommend how undeniably enjoyable this book is. And the art! Penciler Evan Shaner rocks it with detailed expressive art that resonates with the silver age but doesn’t itself feel dated. Get this book. I have, literally, zero complaints. – Montgomery

(BConvergence comes to Shazam in an old school, classic fashion. Billy Batson is on Earth-S, which seems to be stuck in the 50’s. It makes for great art design. I really liked the old feel to everything. With the dome up, poor Mr. Batson can’t transform into his hero state. Fun classic bad guys like Mr. Atom and the best caveman engineer I’ve ever seen, King Kull, are there to cause all sorts of trouble. The issue ends with the dome up and the Marvel crew back in action. Although they are just in time for zeppelins firing laser down on Fawcett City. It looks like next time, Billy is going to have to deal with a Gaslight Batman, that should be good. – Scott

Convergence – Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #1 – B+
As with the rest of Convergence, the individual character books are much, much better than the actual series Convergence. I am more interested in the story of our every day heroes than them having to fight each other. Mostly because we haven’t seen actually fight each other yet. I have honestly never read a Plastic Man book, but I know of him from cartoons on TV. I thoroughly enjoyed this comic; it gave me perspective on America if the Germans had won the war and what it would do to the people. Plastic Man’s humor was sly, and he had a lot more going against him than just the dome. In fact, he even said that the dome wasn’t nearly as important as fighting the Nazi influence in NYC. Pretty creepy to think about. – Adrian

Multiversity #2 – B
I can’t tell what to think of the very end of Multiversity. Like, literally, I have no reaction. I feel neither blown away or underwhelmed, let down or every expectation surpassed. Like Grant Morrison’s fetish for non-linear meta-stories, my reaction exists in a quantum state of reaction and non-reaction. I feel like in order to even have an opinion about this book, I would need to have re-read at least Multiveristy 1 and The Guidebook to know anything. Uh… the good guys win? It’s essentially Infinite Crisis all over again? If you’ve been keeping up this far, no way you haven’t already bought it and plowed through it. The first 5 or 6 books of Multiversity blew me away again and again and again, but then Nazi Superman happened, and that book and the one after it were very underwhelming. Very. So then to have this as a wrap up to a number one that came out almost a year ago feels confusing. I don’t even know. Oh. And as a person who used to be very proficient at solving rubik’s cubes, when Nix Uotan says he’s ten moves away from solving it, unless he plans on undoing progress, the picture of the cube they show is one move away from being solved. – Montgomery

Superman #40 – B
Just one issue in to John Romita Jr.’s solo run on the series, and his personality shines right through. Since defeating Ulysses with his newly-acquired Solar Flare, Superman has been obsessed with finding out just what it means, or what kind of effect it has on his surroundings. The whole issue is kind of a goof-off session, really, and focuses on the human side of the Justice League instead of the constant thrash and bash that comic book have become. Of course, Romita’s humor shines through and gives the book plenty of personality. The only gripe I have about it is that I don’t feel any more engaged than I did prior to reading – jokes were made, things happened – but as a whole, there wasn’t much progress made here. Hopefully Superman will pick up steam soon. – Sherif

Convergence – Justice Society of America #1 B-
The Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Doctor Fate are all affected by the dome… but they are all old men! So now they feel old. My gripe with this book is that it was Grumpy Old Men except they used to have super powers. There were a lot of Easter Eggs scattered through the issue, which was fun for fans of the original Justice Society. I did enjoy this aspect of it. Despite the majority of the book felt like a good day at a retirement home, the end of the issue got me excited for issue 2 — Grumpy Old Men this time with powers and ready to kick some ass. – Adrian

Justice League #40 – B-
What I love so much about the Justice League book is its ability to stay grounded, making the team work together to solve problems that challenge not only their skills, but humanity. The upcoming Darkseid War promises to be the exact opposite of that; come to think of it, I’m not even sure where the Justice League comes into play (other than the conflict of interest when the whole “destroying the universe” thing comes into play). To clarify, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In this issue, there is some background as to why the War will begin, and a reveal of the Big Bad. It’s essentially going to be Anti-Monitor vs. Darkseid, with the Justice League trying to avoid collateral damage. The appearance of Metron and the Mobius Chair also further prove that this will be some sort of variation to the New Gods storyline of the early 70’s. Can today’s consumers that feeds off instant gratification and easy to digest stories really stay engaged with the second coming of The New Gods? Good luck to you, DC. – Sherif

Convergence #4 – C
Hey hey hey! Convergence is finally telling us what it do. So, apparently, Telos is a semi-divine being given sentience by Brainiac to do his bidding. And his bidding is to take cities from a variety of these dying universes (New 52 Earth 2, Pre Crisis Metropolis, Atlanta, Georgia… just… plain old Atlanta, Georgia) to have to heroes duke it out. And then the winners get to bioform the planet. So… there’s that. No idea why that’s a reward other than it being not a punishment. No idea who this Deimos guy is, but he takes the alternate JSA folks to his city so that they’ll save it. But then he’s all like, “I know the real secret of this world!” and given that last issue in which alternate Green Lantern says the weakness of this world is in its heart, my money is that Brainiac is the secret and the weakness of the world. Ugh. Who even cares. There are so many people that it’s impossible telling why any of it matters. It feels similar to Marvel’s 1999 book Earth X (which pretty much seems to be Marvel’s playbook for the stuff they’re doing now), but that book succeeded in that it took the time to remind you who everyone is and why they matter. My favorite line from Convergence #4 comes from a Thor ripoff (the mid 90’s one with a beard and partly-face obscuring mask) with an axe who shouts, “Why would the lizard men attack now?” Ain’t no one knows, guy, ain’t no one knows. We live in a universe indifferent to our suffering, friend. – Montgomery

Convergence – Justice Society of America #1 – C
Old school, man. This is what this issue of Convergence was all about. The original JSA squad is the focal point this time around. The original Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern and Doctor Fate are the dudes under this dome. And they are old! Capital O-L-D. The whole issue is essentially an ode to heroes felled due to the passage of time. That and how hard it is to go up and down stairs when you’re 147. The issue was not what I expected, but it wasn’t terrible either. It’s interesting seeing the diverse angles and stories in all these sister issues of the Convergence plot. Then again, there’s also that feeling of someone else’s hand in my pocket searching for my wallet… – Taylor

Convergence – Infinity Inc. #1 – C
I have no idea what’s going on. My childhood as a Marvel kid taught me to get unreasonably excited about the word “infinity.” I figured, “Well, what can let you down about Infinity? Turns out it’s Convergence. Every name I knew (well, Green Lantern, but the cool ’40s one with the cape) was a reference to someone offscreen. I could not figure out what or who anyone was or why I should care. I still have no idea what Telos or Brainiac or Eggs Benedict wants to do to or with or about anything. Anyways – I wanted to try out one of these side issues and it was kind of a disappointment. I suspect that’s my fault. If I knew who anyone in Infinity Inc. was, I might care. So, if you do, you might give it a higher grade. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever read (it’s no Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space BS), but I’ve certainly read better. As a footnote, it’s cool that at the end they give you a short biography about the central heroes of the book, because I imagine most people will think, “I have no idea who these people are, and so I don’t care, but I am hungry and a little cranky. And why’s it so cold in here?” – Montgomery

Dynamite Entertainment:

 

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #45 – A-
Well, we finally have issue #45 in hand and find out the fate of Donatello and the repercussions on every side from the giant battle on Burnow Island.  We see Fugitoid return to help the Turtles, Baxter making deals with Shredder, Karai leading The Foot unsure if Shredder is alive and the best part to me, Casey Jones kicking some major ass. So this issue has a lot going on story wise but it gives each story ample time to set in and ends with a surprise ending that may be surprising to some but all to familiar or at least similar to a previous storyline in the Image comics run of TMNT. The art is wonderful as well as we see the return of Mateus Santolouco and also get some great dream sequences done by Charles Paul Wilson III. So overall, there is a lot going on in this issue, but with the return of Mateus Santolouco to the series and the way the writing has been going, this series has nothing but good things ahead leading up to the giant-sized #50! – Jacob

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #40 – B+
I think of all the ongoing Transformers titles, More Than Meets The Eye is my favorite. It deals with a more rounded mix of known and unknown bots. Its stories are often more personal, and when it ventures into the epic, they never venture to Earth (if I see one more robot on goddamn Earth, I’m going to murder everyone), and so their events seem to be  weirder than the other TF books (see: time travelling Brainstorm, and Lost Light quantum entanglement). And somehow, because the bulk of the stories are so much more personal and low key, when things do get crazy, the stakes feel greater. This issue centers around Ratchet as he tries to get the courage to tell his friends bye so he can muster the courage to find another abandoned friend. As he works, he tries to create new friendships between crewmates who will be most effected by his absence. It’s actually a pretty moving story (unlike that Windblade mess with indecipherable art). I also love the artist on the MTME books. It’s the perfect balance between detailed and cartoony. Really, the only complaint I ever really have about MTME is the dialogue. For example: “Ask Prowl. It’s–yeah. Ask Prowl.” I understand that part of the appeal of the book is that it’s funnier, and sometimes genuinely so, but I feel like it often veers too close to flippant and irrelevant with how cavalier and casual the characters can be. I mean, Rodimus (a robot who, traditionally, takes himself too seriously because he fears he’s not good enough), captain of the ship, cracks jokes in the middle of a court marshal. Sometimes it grates, but not enough to detract from how much I genuinely look forward to this book every month. And, oh yeah: where’s the resolution to the INSANE cliffhanger from last month? – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Rumble #5 – A
If you’re not reading Rumble, stop what you’re doing and go find whatever issues you can and read them all. Rumble is filled with likeable characters, creative monsters and fantastic actions. This issue we see Bobby pick up the sword, which has a badass name, Thunderchop. Rathraq wants his body back and is willing to give up his sword, essentially a part of him, to get it back. That means something. Sadly, the very large monster lady with the scar has removed his heart and wears it as a fetish around her neck. Rumble has the best monsters of any book since Hellboy. The art is sketchy and exciting and watching Rathraq take out a room of full of nightmares with a baseball bat is wholly satisfying. READ THIS SERIES! – Scott

Bitch Planet #4 – B
Bitch Planet delivers once again. This comic continues to shape into an engaging, inspiring, and well drawn out narrative. At first glance, this issue is pretty simple. Most of it involves the main character gathering the women she needs for the Megaton game (an evolved football game of some sort) while getting deeper into the dynamics of the world she’s operating in. The team working on Bitch Planet have really worked hard at inverting the male gaze.  This has meant a lot to many women nerds out there. There’s a reason women all over the country are getting NC (non-compliant) tattoos. This fandom is going to be huge. I don’t want to give the last panels of the issue away, but damn, what a brilliantly thought out piece of work. If you’re tired of the age-old female clichés in comic books I highly recommend giving this story a whirl. – Jené

Pisces #1 – C+
It’s not clear entirely what’s going on in Pisces yet. The book starts with the main character, Dillon, crashing into an ambulance outside of a hospital. He seems to be looking for his wife whom is in labor. He is very drunk. The comic keeps flashing to Dillon being in space, which it doesn’t really explain, but I’m sure that will come later. Most of the book is spent covering an event Dillon went through while serving in Vietnam. His time there wasn’t good to say the least. The art is nice though. The colors are bright and eye grabbing and the lines are very crisp. There are also some nice small details to pick up on in the panels. The issue ends very abruptly. It’s either just interesting enough or just confusing enough to have me pick up issue #2. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Silk #3 – C+
This issue isn’t bad, it just isn’t great either. This month, Cindy Moon figures out how to go head-to-head with Black Cat. She gets her butt-kicked a lot. I don’t mind my hero being beat; that is part of the gig. But there was more off than just her powers. This issue didn’t give anything too witty, and there was no great insight to Cindy’s past. The final panel kept it from being a total dud and should make next month’s issue pretty interesting. – Adrian

Princess Leia #4 – C
This one just isn’t fitting in. The other running Star Wars comics have all hit the mark (for the most part), but Leia feels like the square peg trying to mush into the round hole. The action is minimal and basic as is the dialogue. Leia’s mission is a noble and purposeful one. Finding and corralling the very few remaining Alderaanians will make a powerful statement and give the rebellion mad props, but I’m struggling finding the entertainment in it all. It’s almost like this series is confused. Instead of having Leia travel to dangerous places and getting into random (and boring) fire fights, I’d much prefer to see a cerebral and politically driven story. One with less Stormtroopers and more big words. I may be asking for a barrage of angry nerd fists to the face, but I think now is the time to start mixing it up in the galaxy far, far away. Try something new! But whatever you (Marvel) do… don’t lose the buns. – Taylor

Moon Knight #14 – C
Do I love Moon Knight? Yes. Do I want to be Moon Knight? Yes. Does Moon Knight rhyme with boom kite? Yes. What’s a boom kite? Dunno. What’s a boom kite got to do with this issue of Moon Knight? Nothing – I just made it up right now. Well, that’s kinda how I feel about this issue of Moon Knight. See – I was going somewhere with that. The plot in this issue didn’t really fit the typical profile. Instead of helping ghosts find passage to the next world or fighting evil spirits and demons, Marc Spectre beats up a guy who trains his dogs some pretty intricate tricks. Not exactly a matter of paranormal activity. But I guess if Konshu and the other Egyptian deities command it, then it shall be so! I like this series so much (even when things get random and a bit silly) that I doubt I’ll ever have it in me to give it a grade lower than a “C.” So I guess you can call this one of Moon Knights not-so-bright issues. You should still read it though.   Just sayin’. – Taylor

 


Funniest Panel:

 

Superman #40
Superman #40

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

justice league 40 awesome panel 04.29.15

 

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 04-22-15

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 #12
Deadly Class #12 – A
A great comic book transcends beyond the medium, blurring the lines of storytelling and story living. Deadly Class is such a heart-pounding and engulfing experience, that I often forget I’m reading a comic book. It’s then that I turn into a snob, scoffing at the idea that it shares the same shelf space as Harley Quinn. Marco and Maria are cut from the same cloth, and may have waited until it was too late to find that out. There is some real talk in this issue about love and life – in between the murder and mayhem. The escape scene in this issue is completely terrifying, and the ending made me lose my mind. I haven’t been this emotionally invested in a book since I started Saga, and it makes me tear my hair out that not enough people are reading it. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Frankenstein Underground #2 – C
I feel like this month’s issue departed even further from what I thought this book was going to be about. In all honesty, I’m a little confused. The story didn’t really take off in issue two; instead it just delved further and further into Frankenstein’s mental darkness as his physical state fell further into the earth. I’m super into all the crazy monsters and dinosaurs that apparently live in these caverns, and kudos to Mike Mignola for creating yet another awesome beastie filled world. I wish we’d seen more of the crazy monster collecting fop that seems to be hunting Frankenstein for his collection because he appears to be a really interesting character. All in all I just feel like issue two didn’t move me in any direction with this book. It wasn’t bad necessarily; I just wish that I was able to take more away from it upon finishing reading. – Keriann

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence: Wonder WomanA-
(A+) I could not stop screaming reading this. DAMN! Each issue of the new Convergence story arc makes me more excited. This issue in particular delved into the religious aspects of a world gone chaotic and it all felt very realistic. When tragedy strikes, people turn to whatever hope they can and for many people, that’s religion. Of course, this belief in angels is what does the congress of women in, in the end, but the fact remains. I also enjoyed the parallel between the religious group of women and Diana’s sisters back home. There isn’t a perfect parallel by any means, but it’s interesting to see Diana in dispute with another group of women. Here, again, she’s faced with strong women with strong opinions that she disagrees with. It’s always interesting to watch. I’m super excited to see what this rest of this story arc has in store. My loyalties are being stretched thin right now between Catwoman and Wonder Woman and I’m super excited to see if the two women go up against each other or become unlikely allies again (Wonder Woman #201 “The Fist of Flame”) This comic definitely has my attention and I can’t wait for more! – Charlotte

(B) For once the Convergence storyline makes sense! This is the first issue in this series that I have read (granted, I’ve only read a few) that offered an explanation of what Convergence meant, where Wonder Woman’s story made sense without background knowledge, and where the “people” she is supposed to battle make sense without any background either. In my opinion, this means this issue had the best writing of the series thus far, and I can only congratulate it for that. Additionally, the storyline was intriguing. I have found this event is making storylines really dull, but I was actually interested in the outcome for Diana. If you haven’t gotten started on Convergence yet, this is the book I suggest you start with for a great explanation for what the heck is going on. – Adrian

Convergence #3 – C
I recently listened to an episode of the podcast Oh! Comics, and they made sense of Convergence. The unfortunate truth of Convergence is that it might just be a terrible story. It seems as a core event book it’s just not very interesting. In fact it seems that if you want to get anything out of Convergence, you’ll want to be reading all the tie-in books because that’s where the characters we actually care about live. Listening to the ‘cast, I realized that stuff happening on the side (like Harley Quinn going to therapy and realizing she was a victim of Mista J’s abuse) is more interesting than the nothing that’s happening inside the pages of Convergence. Three issues in, and as an event book, it’s just not grabbing me at all. I understand the need for tie-ins, but the core event should be fascinating enough to bring you back over and over (i.e. Final Crisis or Civil War), and Convergence is not doing that. I can’t help but wonder if it will ever end up doing that. Brainiac/Telos’ scheme is so vague and open ended, and the central six variation characters aren’t that interesting (perhaps Batman’s dad as Batman being the only exception). It was cool to watch Batdad school the Morrison Rogue’s Gallery from his Black Glove run, but not much else happens. Even when I know the goal of the six (apparently Telos’ weakness is buried in the planet… which is convenient because if, for example, he’d brought all the cities to NOT the place of his weakness, he’d probably be unstoppable) I don’t care because I pretty much don’t care about any of them. Except Batdad, and he’s probably not going to be around any more. – Montgomery

Convergence – Green Lantern Corps #1 – C
Some more pre-rumble under the dome action this week people! The spotlight for Convergence – Green Lantern Corps is – you guessed it – select members of the Green Lantern Corps. Comprised of Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner – they’ve all lost their ability to use the ring. Whatever overlord trapped the people of Gotham under this dome was not kind enough to leave a working recharging lantern for our favorite heroes in Green. That doesn’t stop them from trying! Especially Hal. He’s having a pretty tough time dealing with cage life. Gardner has just come out of a coma and is dealing with some serious adjustment issues. The only one holdin’ down is John Stewart! Building irrigation systems and stuff!! He always was my favorite Green Lantern. The dome drops by the end just as it has in the other Convergence stories. And with it comes the return of a working recharging Lantern! It’s on now!! – Taylor

Dynamite Entertainment:

Red Sonja #3 – D
I wanted to like this comic, but I just couldn’t get into it. Steampunk Sonja just isn’t my cup of tea I’ve decided. I prefer her in her original setting; she doesn’t read as Sonja in this time period. The plot is also a bit antiquated. Dr. Frankenstein is the evil mad scientist who wants to collect Sonja and open her brain to use it for something. (For what we don’t quite know yet.) Captain Nemo I did find interesting. He’s currently being controlled by the doctor, which is an interesting element to the story. Other than that, It’s a story that’s already been done to death. There’s so much potential within the world of steampunk but instead we’re given recycled clichés. This issue wasn’t something that could hold my interest long enough to read the next book. I also can’t stand the way she’s drawn. She almost comes across as a BDSM fantasy in most of the panels, which distracted me from everything else going on in the story. I’m sure it can be some fun fluff if you’re really bored, but other than that it’s just meh. – Jené

IDW Publishing: 

Infinite Loop #1 – B+
I’m pretty stoked about this comic book series on so many levels. Infinite Loop is a French crowd-funded success that IDW published for American audiences, and boy am I glad they did. This comic run will be a short 6-issue mini-series. The story is about Teddy, a time traveling woman whose job it is to make sure time anomalies are corrected in order to keep her current timeline intact. We see her in action as she’s tracking down a displaced T-Rex, which appears to be happening more than it should. What I like about this comic is that it’s almost everything I love about science fiction wrapped up in this one idea without feeling overbearing or annoying. There’s time-travel, social commentary, and what seems to be a burgeoning epic love story. Love is going to play a large role as Teddy lives in a world where the concept of romantic love has been removed from the society in order to maintain peace. The comic asks: so what happens when a time-traveler falls instantly in love with a lovely woman in a societal structure that won’t accept their relationship? After all, stagnation only lasts so long. The comic is beautifully drawn and wonderfully colored. The art blends to incorporate different times in history which creates this breathtaking elegance. I personally found it captivating. I also love the little eggs hidden throughout the book. I especially love the trek communicator dangling in over the mirror in her car. It’s a nice nod to the temporal prime directive of the series and very much foreshadowing to what the comic will be tackled in the story. I’m really looking forward to the next issue. – Jené

Uncle Scrooge #1 – B+
Ducks are taking the comic world by storm with Howard the Duck at Marvel, Darkwing Duck’s return announced at BOOM! Studios, and Uncle Scrooge and Donald finding themselves here at IDW. This comic is definitely no Ducktales but it does offer up some of the best Scrooge, Huey, Duey, Looey and Donald material we have seen since Kingdom Hearts! The comic definitely seems aimed a little more towards children which should seems obvious, but it has three different stories within all varying in length as well as writers and artists. It mainly is two long stories and a one page story in the middle, but within these two stories we get some great references to old toons and characters we all should remember from our young days in front of the TV on Saturday. The writing all together is pretty top notch and worthy of a coin of two from Scrooge himself, but I have to say the art done in very classic animated Disney style is what sold me on this title. They could have very easily revamped the look, which they may very well do for the Ducktales TV series coming, but at least these comics will soften that blow (hopefully a little easier than jumping into a giant pile of coins) if it comes to that. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #18 – B
These single issue Samurai Jack stories are sometimes the best as with the show, some of my favorite episodes had absolutely no dialogue or at least very few, but then when you see that the issue was written and drawn by one man, Andy Suriano, you got to give him some respect; that is some golden age work ethic right there! But on top of that, this issue is actually very good and by the end shows us a sensitive side to Jack and all his fighting, as well as showing the constant anguish of always being offered exactly what you want but even with it being handed to you, you can never seem to obtain it. Heavy stuff for a kids comic, but that is why Jack is so well-loved and so well-deserving of good talent like Andy Suriano who can come in, take over, and provide us with a story that makes you feel for characters who are only in a couple panels of the comic. I have to say I am super excited to see the return of The Canine Archeologists in next months issue, and one can only hope they play a big part in the end of this series in a couple months time. – Jacob

The Fly: Outbreak #2 – B
I am really torn on this book. It has so many elements that I really enjoy, but there is also something really unnatural about it. It’s suspenseful and mysterious and the dialogue reads really well. There was a really great flow to issue two and it did a great job of combining a descriptive narrative to scenes that were happening elsewhere. Overall I think this book is really unique, and issue two far surpassed the first one. It finally gave up some crucial backstory details that I think should have been laid out earlier, as in who/what/why the hell is Bartok? The main character, Martin, is less charismatic than I’d like him to be and his wife Beth kind of seems like a twit but those are not deal breakers right now. I am confused about why the book is so highly sexualized though. I’m not offended, but it just feels out of place. In the first issue it was revealed for no reason that Beth was into BDSM, and now in the second issue she masturbates via webcam with a pretty freaky looking dildo. Why? Unless her sex life becomes a huge part of what is causing the genetic fly outbreak I think that whole aspect could stand to be toned down. I’m still going to mark one in the win column for The Fly: Outbreak this week because the writing really stands out in it has a really nice genuine fearful feeling to it. – Keriann

Galaxy Quest – The Journey Continues #4 – B
The crew of The Protector has fun, yet anti-climactic space adventures. Finally outside the city walls ready to take out the Ikaara laser and redo what they undid. I love the writing of this series, it’s very similar to what you would expect from the movie, or from the soon to be TV show! It was reported that this would be the last issue but it looks like we might be treated to some continuing story after this. Here’s hoping if there is more to this series, it’s as good as this one. – Scott

The Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #4 – C+
These stories seem to get more and more random as we go along here for this series, and always ended and beginning with not much continuity. But with that being said, each issue is a blast to read as you get a nostalgia overload for you favorite cartoons and each individual story works well on its own. Within this issue we got some great Powerpuff Girl villain cameos as well as the awesome (and nowhere near a ripoff off any other existing character) team of The Justice Friends show up to help Townsville while The Professor and Dexter make sure everything is going ok with the hide and seek game going on in the Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends universe. While the main story was enjoyable the best part was the Mojo Jojo story you get for almost half the issue. I always love a good story where we see Mojo Jojo as more than just an evil villain, and although it had absolutely nothing to do with the main story that we know of so far, it was definitely the most well thought out story among this series so far and hopefully means Mojo Jojo will be a big part of next month’s huge crossover. – Jacob

Edward Scissorhands #7 – C
We continue the new adventure with Edward in this issue of him trying to get onto a talk show that could possibly give him normal hands. A lot of this and the last story with the monster Eli, feel like ideas that were expanded upon from ideas of the original script. As odd as it is to say, it feels like they are being written because it is what someone wanted to see in the movie instead of trying to be an original story. Beyond this observation though, the story is still enjoyable and definitely one you should pick up if you liked the film. It does capture the gothic feel and mixes well with modern society with our newly designed cookie cutter neighborhoods and colors. There is a young character who is gothic in town as well. I hope this story gets past the paparazzi feel of the show and the very common “fix the monster when he doesn’t need to be fixed” storyline we see in every type of monster storyline. – Jacob

Transformers Windblade Combiner Wars #2 – C-
I think that if you’re a Transformers person, you pick your favorite representation (G1? Beast Wars? The recent TV cartoons? Bayformers? Fuck you, no one likes those) and then you’re just along for the ride. I honestly found several parts of this book very difficult to follow and had to reread multiple pages to see if I understood what was happening. It mostly comes down to the art, which lives in a purgatory of being beautiful, but confusing. Transformers, by necessity, have kind of busy designs, and so if there’s something like a close-up fight, I can’t tell what part of the robot is punching what part of the other robot. Add-in the even more complexly designed combiners, and I had to frequently consider each picture and figure out who was doing what. In the second issue of Windblade, Prowl goes off the rails and threatens to kill any Cybertronian that won’t leave the planet of Caminus, so of course Defensor and Superion have to step in. With their fists. I figure with Transformers, if you’re in for a foot you’re in for a mile, and if you’re like me, there’s probably nothing they could do that would make you rage quit the ‘formers. It’s got all the stuff the various incarnations (particularly late G1 and Beast Wars) got right that helped them become popular: cool robot violence, never ending ethical complexity, a duplicitous Starscream, and weird religious stuff. So, yeah. We’re all suckers, but keep at it. -Montgomery

Image Comics:

Postal #3 – A
Postal is a good series, but I must admit in the second issue I didn’t think I was going to like where it was going. The third issue was a lot better than the second; there was more forward story action at least. Mark is a really likeable main character and I love his inner monologue but so far everyone else in Eden pretty much sucks. Maybe they’re supposed to though, I haven’t figured out who other than Mark I’m supposed to be rooting for. His father seems like a horrifying man, and the panel where he admitted to killing his daughter because “She looked like her mom. And the world has enough girls” gave me chills. I’m really hoping that he becomes a phenomenal and terrifying villain and that this book explores the truly dark places it’s hinted at. Right now I still think this is a book most people should try. The writing is exceptional and it has all the makings of something really great. – Keriann

Invisible Republic #2 – B+
Everything that the first issue should have been, the second issue was. That may be a confusing sentence, but it’s not. This issue develops the plot and characters in ways that the first issue didn’t even try to. Arthur and Maia’s relationship is a complicated and deep one. They were once indentured servants who escaped their captors at the most opportune time. Now they’re just trying to get off world, but after killing a few police officers that seems a lot more difficult than originally thought. The disgraced reporter Babb isn’t having any easier of a time with his search about Maia. It’s become very clear that people don’t want him to find out about what really happened with Maia and Arthur. – Scott

Kaptara #1 – B+
I’m not sure how to feel about this book. I like the art. I like the self-awareness of goofy sci-fi that realizes it’s goofy sci-fi: if Conan the Barbarian realized it was a little bit silly to run around the snow in a furkini, or if Star Trek (at least the ToS crowd, because Next Gen and Voyager people be jumpin’ all up on you when you make this observation) realized it was absurd that there was never a language barrier with almost any of the aliens they met. But it really bothers me when characters in a terrible situation can’t acknowledge the actual contextual horror of the situation and react accordingly. And that’s kind of Keith’s, the main character, schtick. It strikes me as disingenuous and instantly pulls me out of the situation. A pretty minor quip especially when contrasted with the book’s art, cool design, and cast diversity that doesn’t shout out to you, “Hey ‘Merica! There’s a black woman on your TV now!”

-Montgomery

The Thrilling Adventure Hour Presents: Beyond BeliefB-
I’ve never really been a big fan of The Thrilling Adventure Hour in its original podcast/ radio drama medium. I’ve listened to a few episodes (mostly because Welcome to Night Vale has partnered with them a few times) and they just never really grabbed me. Maybe it’s their upperclass-from-the-1920’s humor that I’ve just never really jived with. This issue, however, is pretty good and makes me want to give the podcast another chance. It’s funny enough but it’s really only the drinking humor that makes it enjoyable. The rest kind of falls flat. What they’re trying to do is a Gomez and Morticia duo but it’s just not working as well, or at least not in comic book format. These characters just might be those that need to be heard, not seen. The Thrilling Adventure Hour really relies on their voice actors, which was apparent in this issue. So, yeah. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. We’ll just have to see what comes next. There are some really passionate people behind this project that I’d hate to see lose their chance at the big leagues. – Charlotte

The Empty #3 – C+
The Empty feels like it’s reaching a head. The inclusion of giant hive mind telepathic insects was an unexpected one to say the least. This issue sort of felt like the creator, Jimmie Robinson, is running out of ideas. It felt like it was shoehorned into the story. I do like a good giant monster fight though, and I was treated to one of those. Poor Fenx (sadness). The next issue cover is a giant bee. I really hope that Tanoor gets turned into a giant be, that would be awesome. – Scott

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Star Wars #4 – A
(
A) The action has cooled down from the previous issues but that’s ok. Jason Aaron did extremely well expanding the storyline without blowing a lot of stuff up. Take note Michael Bay, you clown. In this issue Luke comes to terms with his lacking strength in the Force. He has a little angst but his is only 19 at this time. Leia is as standoffish as ever, even with Mon Mothma. Along with a little insight into what’s going on with Vader, who has to deal with the very forceful Jabba the Hutt, there isn’t a whole lot else going on with this issue. Although it looks like we’ll be getting another character soon, a bounty hunter from Nar Shadaa. She hates Rodian body parts. – Scott

(A) You’ll never believe who stole the show in this issue of Star Wars. Make a guess… Got it? Good. Now drop that guess into the Rancor pit!! Jabba the Hutt was the man (slug?) of the hour. Those of you who read SW #4 this week might think I’m crazy – and you might not be wrong. There were no significant plot advancements due to Jabba’s presence, but let me explain myself. Everybody knows Jabba’s a bad dude. He runs a slave trade, loves to feed living, squirming people to his Rancor, and he’s motivated only by money. But he stepped his bad-guy game up this issue! Gunning down harmless, defenseless Banthas from the balcony of his luxury yacht for no other reason than to circumvent boredom. And his dialogue!! So menacing, cruel and devious! I don’t think Jabba’s held a longer, more engaging conversation than the one he has with Vader in this book. This new side of Jabba really amplified my experience this month. There was also plenty of Luke, Han and Leia and I’m glad to say that this story is expanding. I get the feeling that this series is really about to take off. The Force is telling me so. – Taylor

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 – B+
This comic is one of the best out there. This time, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe go head-to-head, or rather foot-to-foot, with Galactus. It all turns out all right. It just so happens Galactus is a pretty cool guy because he thinks Doreen is a pretty cool girl. I like the message this book is putting out. The book is clearly meant for teens, and there are a lot of morals to be taken away from this book. Yet at the same time the book is meta enough for adults to giggle at. This arc may be over, but Squirrel Girl will surely keep up the humor in a new arc out next month. – Adrian

Amazing Spider-Man #17.1 – B
I’m really digging this side story to the ASM plot. It kinda reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon series (which is a very good thing). Instead of some huge, out of this world, “oh man the universe is going to end” plotline, we’re getting a basic (but not boring) good vs. evil story. As the story continues the distinction between good and evil grows more blurry and friends begin to look like enemies. There’s nothing overly exceptional or unique to the side series, but that in itself is a bit special. It’s well-written and fun to follow. Two thumbs up and recommendation from me! – Taylor

Black Widow #17 – B
The majority of this book was just a bunch action and anger, which is typical for this book. The art has always outdone the storytelling of Black Widow. But the last page got me! I kept flipping to make sure I had all the pages in my comic. That is a real cliffhanger! If I can’t wait to keep going to find out what happens, then I think that is a pretty good issue. – Adrian

Hulk #15 – B-
For fifteen issues, this sub-par series is nearly at an end. Doc Green’s stupid mission to give all the Hulks his stupid antidote is nearly complete. It took almost four whole issues for the fight with Red Hulk, Thunderbolt Ross, to come to an end; honestly, I can’t tell you why it took so long or why it was drawn-out, excepting some gratuitous full-page action spreads. After the smoke clears, though, there’s actually a story to be had here. Somehow, the Hulk is dying – and against my better judgment, I care why. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men Black Vortex Omega #1 – C
This Black Vortex series has been quite a mess because in order to understand, you need to read random issues from series causing All New X-Men to be released out of order. But when all is said and done, the series ends pretty much right where it begins. The character interactions, the improvements due to the vortex, and other small aspects of the story offered us a little bit of a glimpse into a couple heroes lives. However, ultimately I feel was one giant angst ridden argument among a young couple stretched out over thirteen issues ending on a happy note out of left field. Basically because everyone admits they were wrong. After some cute moments, everyone realizes these two teams fit together like french fries in a frosty. It sounds terrible until you try it, and then you will never eat a frosty the same way again. A little bit of a hidden gem in plain site but with this story I have to wonder if it even will play much of a difference in anything, as much as it wants to, with Battleworld and Secret Wars approaching. – Jacob

All-New X-Men #40 – C-
Thanks to today’s low standard for journalism, the big reveal in this issue was plastered all over news sites and thrown in front of my face all week long.  One of the original X-Men is gay, or…was gay? It’s confusing, but not nearly as confusing as it was awkward. It’s not an easy position to bring as characters; I get that. At the same time, it’s doesn’t feel brave, or trailblazing, or even genuine. It feels like yet another shitty attempt at diversity, and I hope nobody falls for this shallow stab at inclusion. That being said, the complementary story centered around Angel and X-23 embody everything I want time-traveling X-Men to have, which is a desire to start over and learn from the hardships their future selves have gone through. This one was a mixed bag, but ultimately one I could have done without. Try harder, Marvel. – Sherif

Avengers – Operation Hydra #1 – D
Okay… Jeez! I get it. Age of Ultron comes out next week. I’ve known for, like, two years now. You don’t have to shove a propaganda comic in my face to remind me. I’m sure all the 12 year olds (which is the target audience for this one shot comic) already know that it’s coming too. I get that there’s a strategy to making a cinematic event (rather, a cinematic franchise) successful, but it never fails to irk me seeing all the purely superfluous content that floats out there just for the sake of improving margins. There’s no love in that. I know I sound like a hater right now and I also know that I’ve told you absolutely nothing about the comic itself… … … Oh, you were waiting for me to finish my thought? That was it. There was no more after that… K-BYE! – Taylor


Funniest Panel:

This week, editor Adrian couldn’t decide on the funniest panel. So you get three! What a treat!

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Hulk #15

 

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.