Comic Book Reviews 06-11-14

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:

Detective Comics #32 – A

It’s official! Batman now has TWO good books. This Icarus storyline combines all the aspects you’d expect in a story about the world’s greatest detective. It feels like an Adam West-helmed episode, with the gadgets, and the deductive thought process, but with a modern and accessible twist that doesn’t feel campy or over-the-top. I mean, when you can fight a giant squid and still feel realistically engaging, you’re doing a good job. We also get a look at the lighter side of Harvey Bullock, who we come to find is an unapologetic crazy cat lady. Kudos to this new creative team for giving me complete faith in Detective Comics for however long their run lasts. – Sherif

 

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Superman/Wonder Woman #9 – B+

With the continuation of the Doomed storyline we enter the next chapter of Supermans battle with himself. The atmosphere has been contaminated with Kryptonite that is slowly taking away Clarks ability to control the Doomsday inside of him. While this issue has mainly focused on that inner struggle, as usual I feel like the spotlight is on how much of a badass Wonder Woman still is. My least favorite people in the world besides Arsenal, the Red Lanterns, show up and make a cameo. The whole battle with them is short-lived and I could have done without it. This was mostly filler but it had a few essential pieces of info. – Robert

Batgirl #32 – C+

Everything about this issue bored me except for the last panel. It really isn’t a spoiler but I won’t say anything just the same, however it does excite me that they seem to be changing the formula up a bit. I do hope that they will steer clear of the one-shot villains that are lame and have no depth or staying power. I would also like to see a little bit more of the female talon as she made for an interesting dynamic with Barbara. This is the first issue of a new story arc so there wasn’t much going on except for the setup. – Robert

Batman Eternal #10 – C

(+) More filler but we are given yet another teaser at the end. The plot continues to thicken but we aren’t really given any clues as to the endgame in store for this series. Something about the art changed this issue and I can say that in some panels I am definitely not a fan. There is also the inclusion of Julia Pennyworth from last issue. I am curious as to her backstory and how she will come to play in the future. Perhaps we will have another character to add to the Bat family after the departure of Dick Grayson. – Robert

(-) Ugh. Not a fan. First of all, this stand-in artist they got, Riccardo Burchielli? Awful. I mean, it’s not bad art by any means, but it’s probably the worst style I’ve seen for Batman since I can remember. This issue would have gone down smoother if Scott Synder drew it. It’s really distracting from the actual story, which is doing it self no favors here. I miss the direction Grant Morrison took Pyg in – the psycho surgeon, not the Rob Zombie meets Human Centipede doctor. There is a neat hint that Stephanie Brown will be reprising The Spoiler, but it’s marred by an awful pun. This book is drowning in stock, and shoving more filler down my throat isn’t keeping me engaged. Please don’t be another throw-away series. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

Rocky & Bullwinkle #4 – B

Although this series may not be for a lot of comic readers it always pleases me to see new Dudley Do-Right. The artwork is up with all the past issues and you can expect a bunch of modern references through out the issue showing that although we may not have seen them, Rocky & Bullwinkle were around the whole time we thought that they may have been gone for good. – Jacob

Dexter’s Laboratory #3 – B-

What happened to Dee Dee? Will Dexter survive in a land of Dee Dee? We won’t find out either really in this issue but it still is a delightful read for fans of the series. We even get a cameo from the 2 Stupid Dogs! The artwork as usual is wonderful and always looks as if Genndy Tartakovsky is doing all the work himself. The only things with these animated show comics is they stick to old fans because not many people are going to become new fans from these stories. So although enjoyable it is best enjoyed when knowing the material from the past. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Shutter #3 – A-

This series is so great! Wondrous, full of crazy, new ideas – if you’re open to new ideas, there is no reason not to pick  this book up. I mean, any book that can turn The Busy World of Richard Scarry into cold-blooded killers deserves a look. Giant fox warriors riding Triceratops? I’m still not exactly sure where this book is about, but we’re slowing chipping away at the bigger story here. Only three issues in and we’ve been running around like crazy, revealing plot points only when necessary, but mostly meeting all the crazy character that make the story go round. This book is going to be big; I can feel it in my bones. – Sherif

The Walking Dead #128 – C+

After a giant shocker of an issue in #127, there’s a little more reveal here. This new group, who is going through the same initiation that Rick and Co. did when they first arrived in Alexandria, brings about a nice sense of nostalgia. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I suppose. Everybody has kind of gotten back to life as usual, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this group drag a few skeletons out of the closet before this arc is over – including one very loose end hiding in the basement. Like so many single issues of TWD was come to be, they seem like filler when read by themselves, but overall, the complete revamp of the series has me interested for more. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

All-New X-Men #28 – B+

The fight is on and Xavier’s son is going all in against Jean Grey, psychically.  These future X-Men have ben a pain in the ass, and their assault is challenging the rest of the X-Men. The story is definitely confusing if you haven’t been following All-New from the beginning, but there is a bigger story starting to open up. Perhaps my favorite part of the story has been the re-evolution of Jean Grey, who is picking up new tricks that she never learned before the Phoenix took over. I love this second lease at life for Jean Grey, and can’t wait to see how she continues to evolve. – Sherif

Wolverine #8 – B+

The cat is a outta the bag and people know that Wolverine isn’t a bad guy anymore. That whole plot seemed awfully short lived considering they took four issues to tell the readers about it. Wolverine has decided to go a spiritual journey to rediscover martial arts and lose his fear of death. The headline for this issue is “Three Months to Die”. I know it has never been done before but I don’t really see why they need to kill him. I guess the countdown has begun but they did hint at the possibility of immortality this issue. – Robert

Hulk #4 – B

This series got off to a rough start. A bullet lodged in Bruce Banner’s brain had left the man a complete invalid, while the monster inside was unaffected. Steve Rogers puts it best in this issue when he wonders how Maria Hill took S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mightiest weapon and broke it. This issue has some pretty awesome Hulk ass-kickery, courtesy of Hulk getting ahold of Cap’s vibranium shield. There’s still some question about where the series is going in the grand scheme of things, but I had a lot of fun reading this particular issue. – Sherif

Amazing Spider-Man #1.2 – B-

The 1.whatever story arc, Learning to Crawl is a fun, nostalgic look back to the simpler times of Peter Parker, before he had a rogues gallery capable of destroying cities and murdering loved ones. As a way to make some cash on the side, Parker is doing entertainment gigs. He attracts the attention of a young, rich loner who idolizes Spidey to a dangerous level, even crafting his own costume and calling himself Clash. One misunderstanding and this Stan turns straight psycho, vowing revenge on Spider-Man. There’s not a lot whole developing outside of that, but it’s refreshing to see a new villain forming, and the old style of writing is, at worst, amusing. – Sherif

Original Sins #1 – C

The Original Sins books are different than the regular Original Sin issues. In Original Sins we get multiple short stories in one issue that connect to Original Sin. In this issue we get a story about Deathlok, the second is about the Young Avengers and the last is a real short one about Lockjaw. It is kind of cool to collect how smaller characters within the Marvel Universe connect to the much larger Original Sin story line. The artwork is all different artists for each story as well as the writers of course. Much like the regular tie in issues, these stories don’t connect much to the storyline but are a fun addition for those fans who like the B-list heroes of Marvel. – Jacob

 

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.

 

Comic Book Reviews 03-26-14

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:

Superior Spiderman #30 – A

We knew the end of Superior Spider-Man was approaching when an all-new Amazing Spider-Man was announced late January. However, the details of how it would come about were still up in the air. This issue unveils that mystery, and in spectacular fashion. Otto does the only thing he feels he can to end the terror of the Goblin. There are a lot of heart-felt, you-had-no-idea-this-was-coming moments, which makes it a tad unbelievable, but genuinely moving at the same time. The series wraps up in next issue, so don’t miss the thrilling conclusion to Superior Spider-Man where we find out who really is Superior. – S

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Blackout #1 – B+

A suit that lets you travel through shadows and dimensions?!  Now that’s a sweet concept.  And that’s exactly what readers get with Blackout #1.  What I really like about the start of this new Dark Horse series is that it’s not a cliché superhero comic.  It’s just an average scientist using a supercool suit to do supercool stuff.  Kinda like Ironman, but a lot more complex in premise.  Blackout is already shaping out to be one of Dark Horse’s more interesting series. – T

Tomb Raider #2 – B-

The story of the video game continues with the island coming home to haunt Lara. There is really no major indication of what the heck is going on but I assume that it will continue with the progression of Lara from beginner to seasoned adventurer. The part that I find most disappointing is that after years of her being a badass and for that matter a badass by the end of the game, she has regressed to an unknowledgeable non-badass that clearly contradicts what we have come to know. I am assuming and hoping that Gail Simone’s plan is to show her evolve into the badass we expect her to be. – R

DC/Vertigo:

Injustice: Year Two #3 – B

Just because a series isn’t canon doesn’t mean it can’t have impact. Superman’s totalitarian regime is just starting to dig its heels in to the rest of the world and there’s really nobody standing in its way – unless you count the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps. As the rest of the world falls in or out of favor with the Man of Steel, everything is getting real. Fast. I was pretty disappointed in the Batgirl/Oracle and Jim Gordon reveal, especially when Barbara was moments away from revealing herself in Batgirl. – S

IDW Comics:

Rocky and Bullwinkle # 1 – A-

The first of a four-issue Rocky & Bullwinkle special was great. If you have ever seen the classic show this issue will really bring back some good memories.  The whole time I was reading it, it felt just like watching the series with updated jokes to include modern culture; on top of the two part Rocky & Bullwinkle story in this issue, we get a short story for Dudley-Do Right where he has to thwart his nemesis Snidley Whiplash for the 349th time, supposedly. The style of Rocky & Bullwinkle lends itself to comics very nicely and makes me hope they extend this series beyond the four issues planned. It would be great to see shorts of Aesop’s Fables and Fractured Fairy Tales, as well, but I believe Dudley Do-Right is the main focus besides the title characters. Definitely a good read for anyone needing a laugh, anyone who enjoys classic animation, any comic aficionado, or any kids alive today. – JR

X-Files: Conspiracy #2 – B-

It is the final issue of the X-Files: Conspiracy series and it all goes out in a bang, well almost. Only one of the properties that had been included in this series makes an appearance in this issue, which was a bit of a let down.  We only see the man possessed by the Crow show up but it would have made me squeal with glee if we could have seen Egon, Michelangelo, Optimus Prime, and The Lone Gunmen together. Despite the absence of the other properties, this issue seemed rather simple. The conflict ends half way through the issue and gives us a look at an alternate reality. In doing this, it was rather upsetting because we had to see some people go through things I never wanted to see again… But hey, it was in a different reality so no worries, I guess. Ultimately, I feel this series was hyped up and looked way better than it was, but it is worth a read – and seeing The Lone Gunmen save the world once again is always a plus. – JR

Image Comics:

Deadly Class #3 – B

Deadly Class #3 was a good issue and I like that we gained more background story on a few of our characters; however, it doesn’t hold up to the standard set by the first two issues. There were minor story developments that got me excited to read the next few issues. I still believe that Deadly Class has been a great new comic and I hope it continues down the path set by the first 3 issues. – E

The Walking Dead  #124 – B-

Has anyone else noticed that there a now two guys named Carson in TWD? The Hilltop is under siege by Negan and The Saviors. Rick is rushed to Doctor Carson after being shot by Dwight’s arrow.  Eugene and his group are desperate to get back to help in the fight and he even kills his first man. The battle continues, Rick and their combined forces fight desperately to free the kingdom as Jesus and Michonne make a shocking discovery.  – JS

Well, there are only two more issues of All Out War; so far, the twelve issue run hasn’t really produced anything. All relationship building has been put on hold. A bunch of people have kicked the bucket, and the Negan has dropped the F bomb more times than The Wolf of Wall Street. I really do hope something happens here that will inspire me to keep reading past this arc. I never thought I’d say this, but the future of the book is in Dwight’s hands. Is the Two-Face looking gentleman a double agent, or just that much of a pussy? – S

The Revenge #2 – C+

This comic is just plain weird. It’s full of blood and boobs and dwarfs with horns… I don’t know. No matter how weird and strange it is, there are some pretty cool things about this comic. Based off some of the dialog from this issue, I am semi-confused about who is going to backstab who, but I don’t believe it really matters at this point. Overall, this comic is crazy and I am fairly interested to see how it progresses in the future. – E

Sex #12 – C+

The plot continues to stagnate to the point where I’m wondering when the hell something is actually going to happen. If the Armored Saint doesn’t show up in the next few issues I can’t see myself continuing to be interested in where this is going. If you are buying this for the sex scenes then I feel sorry for you because I am sure there has to be better stuff out there. As for this issue, the foreplay continues. There was finally some action but it didn’t come from the person we are all waiting to see. It is time to step it up or they are going to start losing readers. – R

Real Heroes #1 – C

In the first issue of Real Heroes, we are introduced to the super hero team The Olympians, or at least the actors that portray them. This seems to be a basic story that has been done before of the mistaken heroes being thought to be real. The story so far seems to be a super hero version of the film Galaxy Quest with heroes that seem to mimic famous ones, almost to a tee. Although the originality of the story and heroes is incredibly small, the villains and the set up are both very original. I feel this series may have a rocky start, as many people will give up on it due to the fact it has been done before, but ultimately it will likely end up becoming something so much more. It was hard to give this a C grade as it just seemed so bland so far, but just like every origin story you have to get past the hump to fully respect the material and the universe jumping, the huge brained aliens, as well as what seems to be the depiction of real actor types had me engaged despite the plot and idea behind it all. – JR

 

Marvel:

All-New Ghost Rider #1 – B+

I actually enjoyed the first issue of the All-New Ghost Rider. I appreciated how they developed a solid background history, and story line for the new character Robbie Reyes in such a short amount of time without making everything feel rushed. I can already tell by the way the first issue ended that there is going to be much more to come from this story and I’m actually pretty excited to read the next issues. Seeing that it is only the first issue, it has a lot of potential to be great or terrible; hopefully it will turn out to be a solid character and story. – E

Honestly, the story was just too short to really get the good debut that it definitely could have. We get to see the relationship between Robbie Reyes and his brother, and then we see Robbie’s character, and then somewhere in there his face melts off and he becomes the Ghost Rider. The art team did a great job; All-New Ghost Rider has a unique identity in color and shape, giving off a graffiti vibe. I’m really excited for #2, I just wish that there was more happening in #1. – S

Origin II #4 – B+

Talk about an interesting plot twist, I didn’t think this issue was going to go anywhere but by the end I was left a bit speechless. This issue we are finally given a little advancement on the plot, and not a moment too soon seeing as we only have one issue left after this. They still haven’t really let on to what the purpose of this origin sequel is but I heavily suspect that it shows the beginning of the eternal feud between Sabertooth and Wolverine. With only one issue to go I’m not sure how it’s all going to end but I look forward to the epic conclusion. – R

Amazing X-Men #5 – B-

Once it was announced that Nightcrawler was coming back in hi own series, I knew that his tenure in Heaven was to be short-lived. With that in mind, I still readily enjoy any time an X-team comes together to kick butt. The issue is a bit predictable, but Jason Aaron’s lucid writing keeps the story going, and fills in all the gaps with some truly funny quips. – I can’t wait to see the boy in blue again. – S

Hawkeye #18 – B

After a spectacular animal-centric issue in #17, we join Hawkeye Kate as she uncovers something fishy going on in Los Angeles. I’m usually a bit weary of issue built around here, but so much crazy stuff goes down, I couldn’t help but get sucked in. Trouble is a’brewin, as Kate has kicked the hornets’ nest. – S

Survive #1 – B

The world is in mourning in the wake of Galactus. Ultimate Cataclysm left us with Reed Richards branded as a terrorist,  Monica Chang blamed for the loss of human life and the deaths of Thor and Captain America. Most of this issue sat us in the back row of Steve Rogers’ funeral where Tony Stark delivered a heartfelt, although forced, eulogy. I personally expected Stark to deliver something a bit more grand to honor his Avenger brethren, but it served its purpose. The speech inspired new heroes to form, and by the end of the issue we are introduced to  The Young Ultimates. – JS

Silver Surfer #1 – B-

To be honest, I found this issue somewhat boring. I felt that a lot of it was very bland and there wasn’t much about this issue to keep me entertained. There was indeed action; however the way it was drawn and colored made the action panels look boring or dull. I didn’t feel much excitement from much of this comic. There were some interesting and cool things about this comic, though. With the introduction of a new “plant” and the story line that is about to develop is just enough to make me want to read more. Hopefully future issues will prove to be better. – E

All New X-Factor #5 – C+

If it wasn’t for amazing artwork and a story focused on a small core of fan-favorite mutants I would have but this series down three issues ago.  But something keeps pulling me back every few weeks!  All New X-Factor has developed into a story with two plots – one involving the interworking’s and secret motives of Serval Industries and it’s CEO Harrison Snow, the second being pure Marvel mutant action & adventure.  On the second front, I’m completely lost, BUT totally captivated due to the really engaging battle and action sequences.  My patience is wearing somewhat thin on the first front.  Die hard X-Men & Marvel fans are sure to love this, but an average Joe like me is struggling a bit.  That said, I’m still looking forward to the next issue. – T

Iron Patriot #1 – C

Tony Stark’s substitute teacher is back for another go. Admittedly, it was difficult to get excited about this title. As Iron Man hype dies down we are still well aware that his is the only hero arc we REALLY care about in his universe. James Rhodes is a less compelling character but this book seeks to change that perception. Iron Patriot vows to the world to “limit my involvement in military operations to those occurring on American soil.” The powers that be see this as a threat and plans are set in motion to put James and his niece Lila in harms way. – JS

Deadpool #26 – C-

I go back and forth with this series a lot. On one side, you gets arc like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. that make you believe that maybe there is some merit to a character like Deadpool. And then some months, you get crap like fighting MechaHitler with a time machine. Shames me to say it but this was actually a bit enjoyable – like smelling your own farts enjoyable. It seems like it’s only gonna get worse, as we go back to a groovin’ Wakanda next issue. This is why Deadpool fans can’t have nice things. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 B, yielding a 3.00 (really?? one book? )

Marvel Comics: 1 A, 6 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.80

Independents: 1 A, 5 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.78

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.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Evan Lowe, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael, John Soweto and Jacob Robinson