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:
Magneto #2 – A
“Magneto was right.” This is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles. Gabriel Herandez Walta captured something special while illustrating this book. We find Magneto in search of Omega Sentinels, killing all in his path. When he discovers that the homeless are being kidnapped and biologically altered to hunt mutants he has a flashback to Warsaw,1942. The flashback panels are brilliant. I literally got chills reading those pages. We find yet another catalyst for Magneto’s anger when it is revealed that his friend, Levi Weinlaub, and family suffered at the hands of Hilter’s Nazis. When in the company of humans Magneto refers to himself as Max in this book. As a child, Max Eisenhardt was sent to the Auschwitz death camp. He changed his name to Eric Lehnsherr to navigate through the camp to be closer to his true love, a gypsy girl named Magda. As Max he was weak and fragile. This is interesting because it appears as if he is identifying himself as the powerless. This book flowed well, and the reader can follow along with minimal backstory. OMG, the scene with the nails is a MUST SEE! Magneto’s new purpose seems to be focused on righting the wrongs of the past. I give this title an emphatic two thumbs up! – JS
Marvel has finally found Magneto’s voice in the new Marvel.NOW world. He’s broken-down, tired, and fucking ruthless; this isn’t your father’s Magneto. The best part is, his powers aren’t even back to full strength – a point that serves to show just how frighteningly powerful he is. Magneto‘s writer Cullen Bunn does a commendable job on this book. We’ve started off with different accounts of Magnus Meltdowns, just to add to the effect that this guy is absolutely terrifying, and it works so well. I also love the flashbacks to Nazi Germany and how it turned Erik into a monster. This book has shot straight up my list of favorites, and I can’t wait to see where this book takes us. – S
Dead Letters #1 – B-
A man wakes up in a shady motel room and remembers nothing. Not his name, not how he got there, not even what he had for lunch. The one thing he does remember is that he’s no stranger to violence or action. Sounds totally Bourne Identity, right? Dead Letters #1 certainly starts out that way but ends in M. Night Shyamalan fashion. I’m talking The Six Sense Shyamalan… Not the The Happening version. Had it not been for this crazy twist, I would have just as soon written this series off. This is one to keep your eye on; its’ bound to surprise and entertain. – T
Dark Horse Comics:
Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #5 – B+
This issue was loaded with nostalgic moments from the history of the series. We actually get to see the original terminator being sent back along with Kyle Reese being sent back as well. There are obviously a few changes that have been made due to the continuity having changed. It seems as though everything is still going according to plan but with a slight twist. There are few variables that are going to change how we get to the end, but ultimately it should turn out similar to the explanations we are given in the film. With each issue that passes, I get more and more excited to find out how everything comes to an end. – R
Veil #2 – B-
The crazy lady with the weird powers is back. Dante is still stuck in the middle of it all, trying to play protector to some weird bio-weapon lady. There are some new elements that open up possibilities, but it ends up creating more questions than it does answering. I love the direction that the series is going in, even if it’s a tad creepy. The art is soft and the color art is crazy good. There’s something about a woman who mutilates sexual assaulters that really intrigues me – call me old-fashioned. There’s a difference between stalling and feeding the story to the readers, and Veil is doing a great job of the latter. – S
Edgar Allen Poe’s The Premature Burial – C
This one-shot comic combines two of Edgar Allen Poe’s tales, including The Premature Burial and The Cask of Amontillado. Both of these stories seem to be told by an original character named Mag the Hag. With anything by Edgar Allen Poe, you are assured a very dark and demented story filled with nasty people and often times nasty deaths. These two stories are nothing short of classic Poe and the artwork provide for them add to the already creepy nature of the short stories. The first story, The Premature Burial, follows a man who tries to kill a woman and desecrate her corpse only to end up finding the end he tried to produce for the woman in being buried alive. The second story, The Cask of Amontillado, is about a man who is taking a woman down to his vaults to tell her why her husband has been missing for years only to tell her that he killed him and trapped him in a wall. After he has told the woman of his actions and she runs off, the man dies himself next to the man he trapped so many years ago. Definitely two creepy stories and a must have issue for any Poe fan. If you do not know Poe’s work you may find this a little off putting as the stories are very dark and the artwork even made me shiver once of twice. – JR
Batman: Detective Comics #30 – B+
Oh, the wonders of a new creative team. After Gothtopia, Detective Comics‘ latest arc, the series was running on fumes. It had lost its flavor and much of its audience. However, this new creative team of Brian Buccellato (writing) and Francis Manapul (art) has breathed new life into the series. We start the Icarus arc with big panel art and some sweet action scenes of Batman. It looks like Batman will be taking on a street drug that sets people on fire! Like, full-blown Richard Pryor. I’m curious to see if they go back to Bat’s roots or will fall back on some big baddie to carry the arc. I’m hoping that the series takes some risk and starts all over, because more of this and I’ll be addicted. – S
Trillium #8 – B
This was the final issue of Jeff Lemire’s Trillium. There was a lot of confusion leading up to this issue, and I was unsure of how Lemire was going to wrap it up. I suppose it wasn’t as confusing as I made it out to be, because it’s wrapped up in the first ten pages. However, the main focus of the story is of the romance of Nika and Billy. We get more heartbreak and despair, too. Lemire really brings his A game with the art; there are several full-page panels that really make the book. Overall, Trillium made less sense than I wanted it to, but it took me on a fantastical journey to show us that we are not alone in this universe. – S
Green Arrow #30 – B
Things have begun to get a little crazy with the second to last issue of The Outsider Wars. The mystery of Oliver Queens’s death from last issue was solved and I must say that I was pretty surprised with how they pulled it off. I don’t particularly like the way that they ended this issue though. They spent all this time with the buildup to only abruptly end things in what can only be described as unsatisfying. Of course nothing is final seeing how the last issue ended and this one begins. The art for the whole Outsider War has left much to be desired as far as I’m concerned but it certainly isn’t the worst art I’ve ever seen. I am more interested to see what is coming next after this whole war as opposed to the end of this particular story arc. – R
Aquaman and the Others #1 – D
This has got to be the lamest bunch superheroes I have ever seen. So far, I haven’t seen a single interesting thing about any of The Others. I actually didn’t even know they were a team until last week. The art just as great as the regular Aquaman book, but it still can’t save the bland characters with almost no unique personalities. This issue also felt extremely short and there was barely any buildup to whatever story arc they are beginning. They barely took the time to properly introduce the main cast with each getting a few pages and absolutely no backstory. I don’t know where they are going with this publication but I am willing to give it ten issues before I kick it to the curb – if it lasts that long. – R
Monster and Madmen – C+
In the second part of this three-issue series, we learn a little more about the Madman, Jack the Ripper, and his intentions. We see Frankenstein’s monster wander off around the city trying to figure out what has happened since he awoke and he becomes enthralled with the people and buildings around the city. All is fine and he is going around unnoticed until a prostitute offer him her services and the horrified and horrifying look he gives her makes her scream in fear causing people to chase him only for him to find his way back to the Doctor who saved him from the beach in the first issue. We learn this man is Joh Moore and that he has an almost unhealthy obsession with the Monster. Dr. Moore offer the Monster his home and tells him that if he stays and lets him examine him that he will make the Monster a companion to help heal his lonely heart. After the Monster agrees to stay we see the Doctor go out on the town and pick up a woman whom we can only assume will receive the wraith we all know Jack the Ripper is known for. A very entertaining and artistically entertaining series continues to put a good twist on two famous stories. Anybody who enjoys either story or monster movies in general will enjoy this issue and hopefully in the next and last issue we will have a good wrap up of the series. – JR
Black Science #5 – A
Just when you thought a story involving multidimensional travel to interwoven layers of realities and universes couldn’t get more complex, Black Science #5 enters the scene to roundhouse kick you to the face. One of the best kicks I’ve ever received. A whole new dynamic enters the plot this week and it breathes vibrant life into an already thriving series. Remender knows what he’s doing. I really applaud the way he drops a new and compounded concept on readers without making it confusing or seem out of place. On par with the plot is still the artwork – environments are so intricately detailed! Everything about this series is well managed and super creative. If you haven’t started, please pretty PLEASE start reading Black Science. – T
’68 Rule of War #1 – A
I really enjoyed this issue. With a familiar, yet new take on the world of zombies, this story has some interesting twists to it. I really was interested in this story from the get go, with the mystery behind what is happening and the various stories lines I could see crossing paths, I’m happy I got the chance to read this new book and I look forward to future issues. If you get a chance to read this book or you are a big zombie fan, check it out for sure. – E
Moon Knight #2 – A
I’ve been reviewing comics for a very short time now, but I’m finally starting to hit my groove. Know how? I’ve discovered my first real pet-peeve with comics! It’s when issue #2 drops and it’s everything that should have been issue #1!! Moon Knight #2 hits this mark square in the face. I guess in the way of pet-peeves, this is a good one to have. People – if you were only mildly impressed by Moon Knight #1 (like me) be sure to shake the feeling and grab a copy of #2 right now! Panel to panel, this issue was flat out awesome. The outstanding quality of #2 resides in the fact that no major or significant plot development occur. There’s almost no dialogue and you don’t really know what’s happening until the end. You might read those last few sentences and think I’m on crack. Rest assured – I only sniff magic (markers). The story is a one-and-done, but is executed flawlessly and is visually stunning the whole way through. I can now start buying into the hype that Moon Knight is a keeper. – T
Ultimate Spider-Man #200 – A-
If you have been following Ultimate Spider-Man, you know that the Ultimate Peter Parker has been dead for two years (SPOILER!). This issue, more than anything, is a love letter to Peter Parker and all the iterations of his kind. As all the big names come back for a wake in Parker’s honor, we get a recap of all the crazy adventures they went through together. It was really neat to get an inside look at how others felt about their relationship with Spider-Man, and does a solid job of explaining all the characters and relationships you may not know. If you’re not a Spider-Man fan – or you lack a heart – it can bore you. However, the full page spreads of various Spider-Men is something to behold. By the time you’re done reading this, you will have had a great session in nostalgia, or you will go buy the entire catalog of Ultimate Spider-Man. – S
The Punisher #4 – B+
I really like this entire arc of the Punisher. It is action-packed, stays true to the character, and has a story-line that is intriguing enough to keep me entertained. With moderate story progression this week, I can’t put much effort into figuring out what is brewing; however, I hope it will be exciting. This book is fun to read, and I really do enjoy reading this comic. – E
Black Widow #5 – B-
After four issues of what could be considered one-shots, the fifth issue is finally able to build a continuous story. The idea that a spy should trust her gut over intel rings true for Natasha, as it gets her into one sticky situation. Phil Noto’s art, as always, is worth the price of admission alone. I like that the story is finally moving forward, but I can’t help but feel that, five issues in, the book has lost a bit of its luster to me. It will take some really good story-telling to pull me back in the way I originally felt about it. That being said, an espionage book written about an Avenger is enough of an original idea to get me to keep reading, and Natasha Romanov is one of the most bad-ass characters in the Marvel world. Let’s hope this snowball keeps rolling downhill. – S
Loki: Agent of Asgard #3 – B-
I thought the story that was being told was pretty cool. I have a pretty good idea of where this story is going, but it is really nice to see how Loki is manipulating things for the purpose to gain his objective. I really liked the way the story is told in this issue. With most of it being a narrative, I felt like I was watching a movie about major or even a fairy tale, and honestly, that wouldn’t be far off from the truth. All the mysticism and dragons make this a tale worthy of Midgard. – E
Deadpool vs. Carnage #1 – C+
This issue marks the start to another almost guaranteed enjoyable Deadpool series. We learn that Cletus Kasady/ Carnage has escaped from prison and has been traveling across America killing as many people as he can. Deadpool sees this on the news while watching T.V. and after a classic Deadpool scene where he tries figure out what he should do with his life, he heads after Carnage figuring he is the only one crazy enough to be able to catch him and bring him to whatever kind of justice Deadpool brings. This first issue packs the kind of violence we would assume would come from not just a Deadpool book but from Carnage as well and of course has the same wit and humor that always comes with our favorite Merc with the Mouth. The issue ends on a semi cliffhanger and the sight of a smaller Villainess from the Spiderman universe known as Shriek. This series is bound to be entertaining for Deadpool alone, but I am excited to see where it goes and how these two will continue their battle. – JR
The Merc With the Purdy Mouth faces off with Carnage. We don’t know why; Deadpool actually gets the “epiphany” from watching television. There’s not even an attempt at cohesion here – like most things Deadpool. There is some clever writing, but I didn’t see the point to any of it – and the issue was quickly forgotten after the last page was turned. The name of the series is enough to sell the mini-series, but any more bland issues like this and I don’t think I’ll be able to keep going. Here’s to hoping this issue lives up to at least a little of its potential. – S
Inhuman #1 – C
Don’t get me wrong, I like Charles Soule’s writing. I truly enjoyed last year’s Superman/Wonder Woman run from D.C. Comics. But Inhumans #1 was a difficult read. Unless you have a pretty extensive knowledge of The Kree, (an alien race at odds with the Skrulls and responsible for bio-engineering super-sapiens here on earth), Black Bolt and Terrigen technology, you are going to be lost. There is a ton of unnecessary dialog in this book, so much so that it seems forced. I know, I know, I’ve complained before about the lack of writing in some titles, but this book couldn’t find a healthy balance between the art and the story. The panels are vibrant, shout out Joe Madureira, but at points it seemed like the art and story were fighting for the readers attention. Now, with that being said, I am semi-excited for this title. If you have been following the incredible Ms. Marvel book, you will be pleasantly surprised that we start Inhuman following the Terrigen storm in New York; can we say “crossover?” Overall, great art, too much info in the story for a first issue. There is, however, a pretty cool Stark Industries Easter Egg at the end, though. – JS
GPA by Publisher:
DC Comics: 3 B’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.5
Marvel Comics: 3 A’s, 3 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.13
Independents: 2 A’s, 3 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.00
That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!
All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.