Comic Book Reviews 07-23-14

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:

tmnt tit2 cool july 23

TMNT: Turtles in Time #2 A

The second issue in this mini series is definitely much better as far as story goes, and the artwork in this issue is great as well. We see the Turtles travel forward in time from their last destination but it is still the past to them. This time they are in Japan and almost immediately after they get there and get clothes they help out a familiar man as he is getting attacked. We still don’t know much about Renet who is the cause of the time travel until later in this series or we may have to wait for the TMNT Annual coming out later this year where she is said to be introduced as a official character for the series.- Jacob

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #33A

The end of Zero Year is finally here. The showdown with Edward Nygma comes to a close, and one of the best Batman stories of all time is over. The finale is every bit the culmination it was supposed to be, as Batman and Nygma engage in mental warfare, the fate of the city in Batman’s hands. The arrogance of Nygma is perfectly in sync with The Riddler mythos and it makes him a character that you love to hate. The main story is great, highlighted by some great panels that will define the arc, but the real prize are the subtle callbacks to minor Batman details. These range from past Zero Year issues to new aspects of Batman’s past, to the appearance of a newly-designed (and sexy) love interest of Batman’s past. When the debris clears, there’s no denying that Zero Year‘s decision to tackle uncharted territory pays off in a big way. – Sherif

Batman and Robin #33A-

Although Robin Rises didn’t give us the result I wanted, it led to a much more epic journey. The “new” Robin is going to be Damian, and if the picture I’ve seen floating around the internet are any indication, Damian will be returning, but as a reanimated corpse. The issue even pokes fun at the ridiculousness of what is soon to come. As Batman fights the League when they try to stop him from going to Apokolips to recapture Robin’s body. To do so, writer Peter Tomasi reveals the Hellbat armor, which already deserve a spot on our Top Batsuits list. With the League not allowing him to go, what do you think he’s going to do? Whatever the hell he wants. I’m all in on this epic tale. – Sherif

Superman #33B-

Batman has been hogging up much of the New52 spotlight, so it’s about due time that some of the biggest names in comic books saved the book. Writer Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. have instant chemistry, and this new hero (?) is an instantly appealing character, and the mystery surrounding him drives the story without dragging on at all. The major issue I have with the tory so far is that there is a LOT of dialogue. The first few pages are almost half-way filled with words, which was hard to get through when there was no momentum to warrant such long story-telling. The use of the medium succeeds with good art and word chemistry, not pages of talking heads. It doesn’t last forever though; once the book progresses to show our new guest, we get an enthralling story that I look forward to reading again. – Sherif

Wonder Woman #33– C+

By now, word of Wonder Woman‘s new creative team has swept the internet. After this one, we only get two more issues of the amazing Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang before the reins are handed off to the Finchs. Until then, we get to live out the rest of this bittersweet journey knowing that it will be over soon. First born has captured Wonder Woman and has begun his assault on Themyscira. We have all the tellings of a good war tale, but this issue plays out kind of like a bad The Walking Dead issue, with not much development throughout the issue, and one cliff-hanger at the end. In the grand scheme of the finale, this was just collateral damage – the issue isn’t unenjoyable. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

X-Files #14 B+

This issue reminds me so much of classic X-Files, I felt like I was watching the show. Again, with a lot of these TV to comic adaptations, I get a bit frustrated that I am reading a comic instead of watching these stories.  However, this was a good moment for this series as it really connected to me as a fan with the writing and the art. Seeing Skinner, Krychek, Mulder, Scully, and the Cigarette Smoking Man all active and all involved in some huge conspiracy was amazing.  I am sure it will all tie into a lot of the big events from the TV series.  They have made references to a ton of cases and things that may come into play at some point. Although a lot has happened up to this point in the series, you should definitely try and pick this up if you are just getting started in the series or if you were a big fan of the show.-Jacob

Super Secret Crisis War Johnny Bravo One-Shot B

This event at IDW has the child inside me having a brain aneurism because of over-excitement. This issue focuses on one of the robots from the previous Super Secret Crisis War #1 who invades Aron City, the home of Johnny Bravo, who is the famous Elvis looking and sounding, Zapp Branigann type of guy from his own cartoon. Johnny’s mom is missing and other various characters from the show, but ultimately it was a good story for the character development of Mr. Bravo and shows why he was not chosen as one of the main heroes kidnapped by Aku. If you have ever watched the Cartoon Network classics this is a must have, but since it is just a one shot, I am sure not getting it won’t effect you understanding of the main story. -Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #21 B

As much as I enjoy this book, it’s actually painful to watch Marko and Alana continue to drive a wedge between themselves. Alana is busy at work, but has taken on way more than a bigger role – she is on her way to becoming a drug addict. Meanwhile, Marko is rubbing elbows with a fellow stay-at-home parent and they seem to be getting uncomfortably close. There’s also the signature sex scene, which promptly follows the signature murder scene. I love the crazy robot janitor. His character is causing going to put a huge hole in everybody’s plan, and with no motive or backstory to understand what he is doing, he is even more frightening to watch. Saga remains my favorite book from Image, so to say that this issue didn’t strike me as amazing is still saying it’s one of the best books out. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Deadpool Vs. X-Force #2 B+

This monthly series of Deadpool is kicking the pants off of the Dracula’s Gauntlet weekly series and the main series at the moment! This issue has some pretty good writing and it is wonderful seeing Cable and Deadpool get to know each other during Civil War times. This series has definitely been enjoyable and has been a good break in the overdone and often story lacking series Deadpool has been involved in this year. – Jacob

Storm #1 – B-
 
This week, Marvel debuted its latest solo X-Men character, with Storm.  To give you some background on my love affair with Ororo, when I was a child and all the other little girls were putting toilet paper on their heads to make a veil for Kindergarten weddings, I was using toilet paper to create tornadoes, and then I would control them while I was in the sky, a.k.a. the top of the stairs, and scream “I am STORM!”.  With that being said,  I was a little disappointed in this issue.  The story gave some background into Storm, her capabilities, and where she is now.  However, there was no background for the island she saves or the young defiant mutant who Storm takes back home to Mexico.  I never felt connected with any character, including Storm or Beast.  My predetermined bias forced me to give a high score on this book, but I won’t knock it until there has been more content. – Adrian

 Original Sins #4 – C+

This miniseries and by connection the main series of Original Sin are about to come to a close. In this second to last issue of Original Sins we get to see stories about Doctor Doom, a overweight man playing Captain America in a parade ad of course the Young Avengers Story that has come with each issue. This series has been odd and I tend to be most excited for the stories that last two pages, which is usually something like Howard the Duck (whom I love). It was nice to at least kind of see what Doctor Doom is up to during Original Sin, but ultimately his story was about just some random loser who saw Doctor Dooms secrets. Overall this is definitely not a must have comic even for an Original Sin story line. -Jacob

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #3 C-

We see the final battle between Blade and Deadpool and more story behind how Deadpool and Shiklah fell in love and got married. But although some of that may sound entertaining the way they dispatch of Blade is a very “No duh!” moment and the rest of the story just seems like it is a very unneeded prequel to Deadpool’s wedding and, of course, extra stuff to add to the whole Deadpool Gauntlet story.  I will continue to read this series as I always find Deadpool entertaining, but maybe the constant barrage of stories for him has made him a predictable and boring character when not written in the right way. -Jacob

 

Funniest Panel:

ww 33 funny july 23

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

zero year punch

 

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 06-25-14

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:

 

Superman #32 – A

No, this is not Bizzaro World; Superman actually got a higher score than Snyder and Capullo’s Batman. This is proof that DC’s poster-child, Clark Kent, is not washed up. All it takes is a phenomenal creative team, and the Man of Steel is returned to his former glory. Thanks to writer Geoff Johns, I’m ready to start following Superman for the first time since George Pérez left at the beginning of The New52. He did have a little help from DC Comics’ rookie, JOHN ROMITA JR. That’s right – legendary Spider-Man artist and Kick-Ass co-creator is drawing the most iconic character in comic book history now. The best part about this book is that it is a perfect jumping-on point for new or estranged readers. Not that I can solicit this book any harder, but the story had me humming the John Williams theme song. The Big Blue Boy Scout is back! – Sherif

 

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse:

Dream Thief: Escape #1 – B+

Dream Thief is a new comic out this week and it is pretty cool, I gotta say.  The story is a nice twist on revenge and possession, both major factors in main character Johnny Lincoln’s life.  Johnny gets possessed by murdered ghosts sometimes.  Those ghosts then go find their murders and use Johnny to kill their murderers.  While it sounds very creepy, it is a pretty funny book because it has a lot of quips to keep the story just light enough to not be so disturbing.  The story takes place in the mid 80’s in Florida, which makes a for a very beautiful and colorful backdrop.  The book ends with Johnny meeting another person, a very special person (no spoilers, I promise) who also gets possessed by ghosts, allowing the story to end on a pretty major cliffhanger, and making me want to pick up this book immediately next month! – Adrian

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 – B+

Another series that has come to an end and after six months, Serenity and its crew finally get everything, well almost everything resolved.  The series ends on a great note and one that I really wish I could see done with the cast and crew of the show. This last issue makes any Serenity fan tear up by just looking at the cover with Wash being so prevalent so seeing that image going into the last issue it sets you up to have so much of what happened to Wash get resolved and have everyone on the track to healing after the insane events of the film Serenity. – Jacob

 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #32 – A-

Zero Year is really heating up as we approach the climax – the showdown between Batman and Nygma is heating up… kinda. There is a constant back and forth between the two to see who has the statistic advantage. Even though both are so young in their respective masked careers, they are both supremely sharp and the battle of wits is a site to see. The issue ends on yet another cliff-hanger, and this one makes a little less sense than I would have liked, but that’s the nature of a story centered around The Riddler. Batman has been the most consistently great book in the DC staple, so if you’re on the fence, definitely read this arc. – Sherif

Justice League #31 – A

The idea of Lex Luthor being a valued member of the League is ridiculous, and writer Geoff Johns is not afraid to show it. Since a very dreary Forever Evil arc, Justice League is enjoying a nice little break before the next Big Bad comes along. Unlike other books, there’s no filler here. We get to see the new Power Ring, as it begins to corrupt a poor young woman in Portland. Meanwhile, Lex comes to Bruce Wayne with that shocking discovery, and it’s interesting to see Lex get the upper-hand of the detective who’s always thinking six steps ahead. Mostly though, it’s Shazam and Cyborg that steal the show with their hilarious banter at the Watchtower. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War #1 – A

Here we have an ultimate team up of all of our favorite Cartoon Network characters joining together because all of their villains are planning to take over multiple worlds together. For this issue I love how each character is done in their distinctive style and yet they all feel like they belong together which makes this issue so much more than just pictures of my favorite cartoons together. Hopefully with all the main issues and one shots included in this series we will get to a point where it all is explained a little bit better than what we got in this issue, but it is all leading up to a series that will have anyone who watched Cartoon Network freaking out because of happiness by the end. – Jacob

X-Files: Season 10 #13 – B

Thins are getting real! More of The Lone Gunmen, more Krycek,, and everyone is crazy! This issue is definitely one of the better ones as part 3 of this current story arc, and we get a couple answers but just like X-Files, we get more questions. The art in this series can be a little hit or miss, as it is not very detailed and at times it can be hard to tell who is who. The writing of this series though is what makes it good and it gives me so much hope for another movie that could be awesome. Although this issue was great for me, I have not missed an issue so for anyone trying to start here it would likely be rather confusing. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #20 – A

If I had a dollar for every time I screamed “Holy S***!” while reading this issue, I would have $3. Seriously, follow through the pages and tell me if you can spot them. I may still be a little punch-drunk off meeting Fiona Staples at Denver Comic Con, but I’m in love with her art, and with the beautiful writing of Brian K Vaughan. The range of story goes from “trouble in paradise” to straight up disturbing by the end of the issue. How long can Alana and Marko stay hidden? What the hell is going on with Prince Robot IV? Mostly, though, I wonder how many more times can we tell you how amazing Saga is before you go read it?? – Sherif

Deadly Class #6 – A

A “sadistic, twit redneck who likes to f*** sheep” sounds like the most terrifying villain of all time. This book is so ludicrous; I love it. The kids’ trip to vacation has been no vacation, but they band together over a common enemy – the way everything plays out had my eyes wide and my heart racing. At the end of the day, every issue of Deadly Class has been beautiful and brutal, and this issue is no exception. This is a great read if you think need something to make you feel better about your own high school experience. Each issue uncovers more and more of the students’ pasts. This was a perfect way to close out the arc. – Sherif

Outcast #1 – B-

Robert Kirkman is at it… still. I can’t really say “again” because well, The Walking Dead is still happening.  Anyway, Outcast is Kirkman’s answer to the Horror genre. We follow main character Kyle Barnes and his really bad luck with the women who are closest to him getting possessed by demons, and then he has to exorcize them.  I’m not sure if this is a comment on women or not, but I’ll tell you this, for the first 20 pages of the 48 page issue, I had no clue what was going on.  But don’t let this turn you off.  By the end of the story, it all kind of makes sense.  And leaves enough unsaid that makes the reader want to know more about Kyle, our new demon hunter hero, or should I say Outcast? – Adrian

 

Marvel:

Amazing Spider-Man #3 – B

The return of Peter Parker has been a solid one so far. While he was “away,” Otto Octavius made quite the mess of his life: pissing off frenemies, chasing off close friends, and falling in love with another woman. The story with Black Cat is getting very interesting, as she is reborn with a lot more moxie this time around. Peter, meanwhile, is learning the joys of owning your own business. It’s quirky and fun, but is lacking of any real substance right now. The story is still building, so I’m sure that will change in the next couple issues. – Sherif

Ms. Marvel #5 – C+

I don’t know what happened between the end of issue #3 and this one, but somewhere along the line, the book lost a lot of momentum. I’m still really excited to see where Ms. Marvel is going, but it seems to have lost a bit of the flare and the social relevance that catapulted it to the top of my reading list each issue. I’m still interested in the story, and the dynamic characters are a lot of fun in themselves, but it still needs something to push it back over the hump. – Sherif

Original Sins #2 – C+

This series obviously is a way to connect lesser character of the marvel universe to the Original Sin storyline going on now. All of the stories so far don’t really show much connection but a small mention of the events in Original Sin. Each issue is going to contain a large Young Avengers story and then two other stories one being a medium size and the other usually just two pages. It does make me happy that Howard the Duck got to be the small story in this issue, but other than that novelty, I don’t see too much of a connection between these stories to warrant purchasing this issue unless you are a completest. – Jacob

Deadpool vs Carnage #4 – C-

Although this series has been dull, and left you wondering why is it happening (which is actually quite strange considering the other things Deadpool has done). In this last issue we finally get everything resolved, absolute insanity is brought down to a little bit crazy, and we can all finally take a nap and forget it all ever happened. But seriously this series has been entertaining for what it is, the artwork has definitely been good throughout the series and this last issue. Ultimately this series will have its fans but mostly it is just a series to read on a boring day, and there are much worse things to readout there. – Jacob

 

Funniest Panel

Shazam and Cyborg discuss additions to the Watchtower in Justice League #31
Shazam and Cyborg discuss additions to the Watchtower in Justice League #31

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

awesome panel 6.24
Superman and his mystery buddy tag team this robot in Superman #32

 

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.

 

“Respect My Craft” – Fiona Staples

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of comic books, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

dcc font

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 “Respect My Craft” articles

 

Name: Fiona Staples

Profession: Artist (penciler, inker and colorist)

Notable Work: SagaDV8: Gods and Monsters

“When I DO see kids, I don’t want to say I intently observe them because that’s very creepy, but I have noticed they have different mannerisms than adults. They exist in a world where nothing is really sized to their proportions, so they have funny ways of sitting and fitting themselves into spaces.” – Fiona Staples

Denver Comic-Con 2013 had a who’s who of comic-book elite.  Neal Adams, Chris Ware, Jim Steranko are literal magazine-stand juggernauts. They have stories about every character and book they ever illustrated. These men have created worlds the rest of us rely on for entertainment, and sanity. I stood in line to get into The Con for four hours, but not for them. I stood in line for Fiona Staples. If you haven’t heard of her, or read Saga, or read my review of Saga: Volume One, or have been kidnapped by Skrulls and off-world for the past 3 years, let me take this time to say, “You have no idea what you’ve been missing.”

“This is how an idea becomes real.” Fiona Staples was born in Alberta, Calgary. Like most comic artists, she began drawing at a very young age. Her work was goth and anime inspired. She created from satire and chaos. She found her calling at Sir Winston Churchill High School, and at 19, got her first work in comics shelving at her local comic book store in Calgary. She later attended Alberta College of Art and Design and majored in Digital Communication.

“But ideas are fragile things.” She self-described her earlier work as black comedy, and that attracted her to WildStorm Comics. She was soon approached by Superman Returns and X2 screenwriter, Michael Dougherty, to produce a comic adaptation of his cult classic, Trick ‘r Treat. She remained with WildStorm to illustrate for North 40.  Staples also worked with 30 Days of Night author, Steve Niles on Mystery Society published by IDW in 2010. He was so impressed with her work that he introduced her to his friend, Brian K Vaughn. Lucky us.

906501-2

“Two minds can sometimes improve the odds of an idea’s survival.” Brian Vaughn is arguably the best cross-media writer in the business.  He has written for ABC’s acclaimed series Lost, and worked with Steven Spielberg on Showtime’s Under the Dome. He also wrote Vertigo comic’s, Y: The Last Man. This pairing must have been conceived in Odin’s loins. The two began to work on a sci-fi book simply titled, Saga. The book was intentionally created so that it could not be easily adapted into a film. The duo just wanted to create a really good comic book with no gimmick or over-hyped pop culture fodder. Hopefully the rights will never be sold to a studio and we won’t be subjected to unnecessary seasons of bad TV. Both of these artists used a very non-conventional approach to story-telling, so a certain level of integrity had to be assumed. Vaughn and Staples didn’t even officially meet until their panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2011. Regardless, their finished product was astounding.

 nycc_Saga-panel3

“But there are no guarantees.” Saga is that rare work in an art form that comes around once in a lifetime. Staples is deliciously satirical. Flipping through her pages must be a little like reading Chuck Palahniuk’s mind.  It’s a wonderful blend of taboo and the absurd. Her construction is almost as interesting as her end result. Click here to visit her official website. Staples draws her panels in thumbnail format, scans them into Manga Studio where she inks them, takes selfies for reference, then colors them in Photoshop. She also hand writes text in her panels. This technique enhances the story by giving the reader a narrator’s voice through penmanship. It’s absolutely brilliant. From an artist’s perspective her technique may seem like overkill, but without it, we may not have such a polished result. So what do you get? Besides one of the most popular comics on the shelves, an Eisner Award winner for best new series, and the praise of industry peers…you get fans for life. Fans like me, who only want to be inspired again. Fans who want to visit far off lands and meet interesting characters. Staples is also co-owner of Saga and a large chunk of its universe is from her imagination.

 image

“Sorry, getting ahead of myself.” Much of Fiona Staples personal life is a mystery. Her age is unknown, her Facebook page is filled with riddles and playful myth, but one thing is certain, her work is a breath of fresh air. She conveys emotion through the stroke of a pen, the reader is drawn into her world through color and shape first, and then writing. I won’t spoil Saga for you, if you are interested in a synopsis of the first trade, go back in the Hush Archives. Truly, I suggest picking up or downloading her entire catalog. She has some impressive cover art and variants including the Art of Archie, Ultimate Spider-Man, Superman/Batman and The Walking Dead. 

 image-1

 Art taken from http://fionastaples.tumblr.com

 After four hours in line I was able to give her a smile, thank her for renewing my love of comics and awkwardly asked for her autograph. I feel like she is one of those fanboy favorites we love to insult others lack of knowledge of. She is definitely the end to the exhausted gasp of disbelief, “You don’t know….!?” In all honesty, writing this article reminded me why I respect her craft so much. She is an artist’s artist, and the darkest corners of her mind brighten our existence.

image
Fiona Staples shows some love to John Soweto

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (NY Times, Spike TV, Broadway Books). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with Zombie Survival expert, Max Brooks.

Written by John Soweto

Comic Book Reviews 05-21-14

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:

classic spidey villain

Deadpool Annual #2 – A

Can we do this every month? Seriously, what can we do to make sure that Deadpool and Spider-Man team up ALL. THE. TIME? The hilarious banter between the two creates some of the best chemistry in comic books. The unlikely bromance is thoroughly entertaining and engaging. They are both badasses in their own right, but together it’s one giant lovefest, and neither are too proud to make fun of each other. I absolutely loved this book, and Deadpool as Spider-Man. It might not sell you on the Deadpool solo series, but this issue is well-worth the price of admission. – Sherif

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Forever Evil #7 – A

What a clusterf*** of love! There is so much happening here, it could have easily been split up into two issues – but boy was I glad it wasn’t. The long delay led to a couple of spoilers surfacing before the issue came out, notably Dick’s survival and becoming a super-spy and Lex Luthor’s take-over of the Justice League. That annoyance aside, this was a thrilling ride from start to finish, and there were just as many new stories created as there were wrapped up. Not only did Johns make me cheer for the bad guys through this whole thing, but he made me forget that this was a spin-off from the Justice League book. It proved that DC has just as many awesome second-tier characters – many of which were villain – as there are headliners. Oh, and the buddy cop relationship between Sinestro and Black Adam? Magnificent. In an age of constant bombardment with “crossover events” and tie-ins, it’s nice to know that DC still knows how to make an amazing story. – Sherif

Justice League #30 – A-

The timing of Forever Evil really threw off a lot of congruous events, so this book won’t make a lot of sense without having read the finale to Forever Evil first. That being said, the premise of Luthor trying to join the JL is a very intriguing one. It’s an idea that’s been done before, but if there’s anybody that can make it interesting, it’s Geoff Johns. We get a good look at who will be bringing the Justice League their next fight – the Anti-Monitors! No rest for the weary, I suppose. Luthor is written with such charisma that you can’t really help but cheer for him to take a spot, especially after his development in Forever Evil. This issue gives me the firepower I needed to convince readers that Justice League is one of the best titles out, and deserves attention. – Sherif

Sinestro #2 – B

It would only make sense that the man writing Marvel’s most dangerous anti-hero (Magneto), would be doing the same for DC Comics. Cullen Bunn is unraveling quite the comeback tale for Sinestro as he fights to reclaim control of the Yellow Lanterns. There’s something refreshing about him, and while he has learned much from his ultimate show-down that capped Geoff Johns’ run, he is explicably ruthless here. Sinestro has so much potential, and it looks like this series will finally be doing the character justice. – Sherif

Batman and Frankenstein #31 – C

It’s been a long journey for Batman as he searches for closure with Damian’s death. We’re one step closer to the first real showdown between Bruce Wayne and Ra’s Al Ghul in the New52, and I’m genuinely excited. The partnership with Frankenstein feels a bit inorganic, but the development of Batman from his last encounter with Frankie in Batman and Red Robin #19 is awesome to see. Plus, there are a few panels that penciller Patrick Gleason just goes nuts on. Overall, I love this über-story and with the approach of a new Robin, there’s no reason to believe it won’t get even better. – Sherif

Batman Eternal #7 – C+

Pyg is quite possibly one of the worst comic book villains I have ever seen. The pig goes oink? Who the hell thinks of this stuff?  Even as side-villains go, Batman has many more interesting characters that they could have used to distract him. All this and in the very same issue we get to see exactly what the documentary Blackfish was talking about. I will never have to wonder what would have happened if Willy had gone crazy and started killing humans after being freed. All of those complaints aside, shit is getting pretty crazy in Gotham City and it feels like we are just getting warmed up. It feels like we are still in the buildup stage of whatever master plot is going down, and although I would have expected just a little more clarity as to what is about to happen, it seems every time we get a little explanation, the plot thickens and we know even less than before. For a weekly book, this continues to be great every week and I cant wait to see what they truly have in store for this arc. – Robert

Weekly series are bound to run out of steam eventually, and Eternal unfortunately is not an exception. It could be the lack of focus on a particular set of characters, or it could be the vague scope of storyline – I can’t really put my finger on it. All I know is that I’m kind of losing interest in where Eternal is going. That’s not a fault of writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV; there’s just so much information packed into these book, which is weird because the problem with weekly books is usually the opposite. It’s not bad, though, because this issue sees the downfall of Penguin’s empire, an event that shakes up the Batverse quite a bit. I still love Eternal for what it is, but its momentum is nearly gone. – Sherif

Supergirl #31 – D

I can honestly say that I am getting real tired of DC’s shit. Why do they feel it is necessary to always make us read another publication in order to get the whole Supergirl story. For the first thirty issues, it was Superboy and Superman that you had to read, and this was to actually finish one of her main story arcs. Now we have to read the Red Lanterns in order to know what the hell is going on in her current issue. This may come as a shock to the people of DC, but I don’t want to read Red Lanterns and this cheap trick to try and force me to read it isn’t going to work; in fact, if they keep things like this up I wont be reading Supergirl any longer, either. I know that other books do this too but nothing has been so blatantly ridiculous as to finish one of her main story arcs in someone elses book and then move on in the next issue like its no big deal. And what is worse is that they have changed the book you had to follow in tandem to something else entirely. – Robert

 

Dynamite Entertainment:

Solar: Man of the Atom #2 – A-

This comic continues to impress me, with Erica now awake and completely confused as to what just happened to her, the pieces are weird, yet they are starting to fit. But where is her dad? Where did the Man of the Atom go? WHY DOESN’T THE MATH WORK? However, after all the strange flashbacks and repressed memories that are crawling up from her brain and into reality, a lot of our old questions get solved, yet leave us with new ones. So far I am loving this series and I look forward to more issues. – Evan

 

IDW Comics:

TMNT 30th Anniversary Special – A

Now this is awesome! This issue celebrating the amazing 30 years of TMNT collects artists and writer from past incarnations to return and team together for one more story in their comic universe. We, of course, celebrate the initial Mirage years then move on to Archie, Image, Going back to Mirage and then finally ending up for their now parent company IDW. This issue is great because although we don’t get any real great or long stories we do get to see how the Turtles have evolved, faded, rose back and ended up creating one of the most iconic pop culture phenomenon’s of culture from the ‘80s to now. This is definitely a must have issue for any Turtles fans who want to know more about their history and explore almost all the different incarnations of the turtles we have seen. – Jacob

Dexter’s Laboratory #2- C+

This Dexter’s Laboratory series is going to be short lived and may just be to introduce to giant crossover, Super Secret Crisis War! Which will include Cartoon Network characters including Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, Ed, Edd and Eddy and more. This issue offers some great art as Genndy Tartakovsky’s has always been one of my favorite artists and although he may not be doing the art for this series his creations in general are great. The story for this series so far though has been a little predictable at times but even so it reminds me of the classic series that way as it has a childlike feeling of wonder to it which can not be done with complex plots and stories that require too much thinking. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #19 – B+

It’s been nearly four months since the last issue of Saga came out, and it doesn’t miss a beat. We jump right back into things a few months later… I don’t want to spoil any of the story, but there’s just this overwhelming sense of familiarity to the book – even though things are changing. I missed Saga a lot, and there’s a lot to look forward to. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Uncanny X-Men #21 – B

This might be one of the shortest issues of the week, but it still manages to bring the heat. Somebody has control of Magik and Cyclops, but if it’s not S.H.I.E.L.D., who is it? Dazzler has been drained of her powers by Mystique to create some weird HGH for mutants while Mystique has been impersonating her. How nobody seems to notice that it’s not Dazzler, I do not know, but that’s not even the biggest problem they face. The use of colors in Uncanny has always been impressive, but the large-scale art sequences here are just gorgeous. This is a book you should definitely be reading. – Sherif

Elektra #2 – B-

(+) Beautiful! This comic is more beautiful than a rainbow after a sunny day, or a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Without a doubt this comic is stunning visually with its illustrative style and panel flow. Also the dialog and story have me intrigued as well. With Elektra on a mission that suddenly just saw a twist, I’m excited to see what we will get from this comic. Especially with the abilities of our protagonist, things are really getting exciting and I can’t wait for the next issue to come out. – Evan

(-) Two issues in and a I realize that I really don’t like the art style presented in this book at all. I also for some reason can’t stop picturing Jennifer Garner when I look at the panels of Elektra’s face. I kind of expected there to be a supernatural element to her story but I didn’t realize how much that was going to bleed into the story so early. I feel like her character is a little one-dimensional and I hope that they can resolve that in the coming issues because she is not Michonne. The brooding badass female killer doesn’t really work for long as a lead character. I don’t think she needs to change into a friendly character or anything, but she does need to develop a personality. – Robert

Amazing Spider-Man #2 – B

Peter Parker’s homecoming party continues as we follow the web-slinger as he picks up the mess Otto left in his wake. Anna Maria busted him last issue when she found out a pretty big secret, the Avengers bring Spider-Man in for questioning, and a showdown with Electro happens, as well. All the events capture the whimsical attitude of Peter Parker, and there were several moments that made me laugh out loud. Most surprisingly was Anna Maria’s acceptance of the secret, and what she decides to do afterwards; it’s almost TOO accepting… dun dun dun! Whatever the case, Amazing does a good job and bringing the Spidey we know and love back to the forefront, while still exploring the events of Superior so new fans aren’t lost. – Sherif

Magneto #4 – B

Magneto is such a badass character but what is most interesting about these issues is we get to see a deeper side as opposed to the just the killer out for revenge. It is a nice contrast to see his wall of lost mutants. It reminds me very much of the Holocaust Memorial with the way he had names listed. I can’t help but feel that even though he is pretty awesome right now, there needs to be a better overall story presented because watching him go around terrorizing people will only be interesting for so long. I would like to see him team up with some people, perhaps a non-mutant. – Robert

At this point, there’s nothing more to say about Magneto other than that it is a clear look into how dangerous he has become, and how brutal he has become in light of the genocide on his people. Watching him go from facility to facility and slaughter everybody is really entertaining, but there comes a point when I need more substance to enjoy the book. It’s like a video game where every level looks different but plays the exact same way. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a winning formula, but writer Cullen Bunn will need to switch things up if he wants to take Magneto to a level of greatness. – Sherif

Hulk #3 – B-

It’s always nice to see the Hulk battles but what happened to him being one of the most powerful beings in the universe when he gets angry? He seemed to get beaten up pretty easily which is never fun to watch. I get that they can’t make every fight a walk in the park but it seems weird to seem him get pulverized so easily. I also am glad that it looks like they got rid of the whole retard Banner persona, that got old after one issue. For that alone this book gets a higher score than the last issue. We are still in the dark about what exactly happened to Banner but it is just a matter of time before everything is revealed so now we wait. I am excited for the next issue because of the last panel of this issue. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the combination of these two indestructible things should be pretty sweet to see in action. – Robert

Original Sin #2 – C

(+) Marvel knows exactly how to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love how this story is progressing with the search for who took the Watcher’s eyes and the lengths the heroes are going through to figure out this mystery. From Dr. Strange with the Punisher and their flying crocodile birds, to Emma Frost, Black Panther, and Ant Man searching inside ginormous dead beasts, no punches are being pulled to discover the truth. In this issue, the action was nothing short of amazing, its overall awesomeness made me geek super hard, and I simply want more. Great comic, great issue, keep them coming. – Evan

(+/-) Who shot the watcher? Well do we find out this issue or we just raised more questions and confused at twhom and why they brought in some characters and where is this story going. I can see this series becoming interesting but definitely not the legendary type of story arc like Civil War or Infinity Gauntlet in which Marvel is so well known for. The art for this series so far is spectacular and although things have been going really fast and getting into things quickly which worries me about how they will get it all done without rushing the last couple issues of the 8 they have. – Jacob

(-) Wow… I can’t say I’ve been more disappointed in a huge arc than I have been in Original Sin. We go from arguing about steak experiences in issue #1 to eyeball bombs full of secrets in this one. I mean, just the last few panels alone were enough to make me roll my eyes at all the malarky this has become. I get it, everybody has deep, dark secrets. Can’t we just get to that part instead of this plot; Orb, really? This would have been corny in the 50’s, so it definitely doesn’t work now. Mike Deodato (pencils) and Frank Martin (colors) produce a magnificent book, visually, but the upcoming change in canon will be the only thing keeping me reading Original Sin. – Sherif

Amazing X-Men #7 – F

When Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness BAMFed their way out of this series, they took not only Nightcrawler with them, but the entire heart of the series. This issue was a straight-up joke, which is sad because Spider-Man’s re-return, with some snarky Iceman jokes should carry enough momentum to get through the issue. Instead, the two annoyingly bark back and forth at each other while Firestar nags them to death. The level of crap this series has turned into in one issue is the only Amazing thing about this issue. – Sherif

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 01-29-14

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:

serenity 1 soar

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 – A

Oh, Whedonverse, be-still my heart.  It’s always a good day when I can get a dose of anything Firefly or Serenity and today was one of those days.  Serenity: Leaves on the Wind is the first new content in about a year from the ‘verse (an oft used term in the book itself, too).  Written by Joss’ little brother, Zack Whedon, and penciled by Georges Jeanty of Buffy fame, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind takes places shortly after where the film ended.  We get a good taste of what different media outlets feel about the discovery of Miranda and the Reavers.  We also get a small glimpse at a group of bounty hunters looking to take out River, a small group of Browncoats looking to find Mal and follow his direction, Jayne is back on his planet, and then is what is left of our crew.  Kaylee and Simon are finally together, River is the new pilot, Zoe is very pregnant, and Mal and Inara…well.  They finally are doing what fans vied for (and its NSFW).  It was great to see so many different story lines going on in one small book; enough for a true fan to want to continue to find out what comes of it all.  Because this is the first issue of 6, it gets a little leniency for not being as thorough with any one person’s storyline.  It also gets slack for not having the full arsenal of dialogue the series is known for.  But because I have missed my crew so much and now we are finally reunited, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind gets our Pick of the Week. – A

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics

Furious #1 – B-

If you like strong women, relatable superheroes, and crazy twists the Furious #1 may be the comic for you this week!  A fairly interesting theme is introduced in this new Dark Horse series.  As the story starts we learn that the very first superhero (ever) has made an appearance.  She calls herself “The Beacon,” but due to a most brutal rescue of a few college students in distress in the presence of the paparazzi, the locals have taken to calling her “Furious.”  The issue is somewhat bland in the beginning.  I was expecting a dazzling, super powered spectacle when I picked up this comic.  It wasn’t until the last few pages that I realized this series will be focused on internal struggle and overcoming self-imposed challenges.  The ending twist is especially alluring and holds massive potential to make this seemingly run of the mill superhero series a cerebral thriller. – T

DC/Vertigo:

Batman and Robin Annual #2 – A-

The Batman and Robin series has been spinning its tires in the mud for the better part of a year since Damian met his demise in Batman, Incorporated #8. As Annuel #2 shows, trying to find the perfect partner to complement the Batman isn’t as hard as it sounds. Dick Grayson’s Robin was where it all began. This issue beautifully illustrates the relationship between the two as Dick was just beginning to put on the cape. They even manage to fit in a sentimental moment for Damian. I wouldn’t expect the same level of writing on sub-sequent issues, but this one can still be enjoyed while it lasts. – S

Earth 2 Annual #2 – B+

For those who haven’t had quite enough of the origin story/year one tales of Bruce Wayne, look no further. This is a little after Earth-2 Batman has begun his career, but in an odd twist; it isn’t an origin for the original Earth-2 Batman – it’s an origin for his Earth-2 successor. There are multiple points in time spanning from before Bruce’s birth to after his Earth-2 death. The main takeaway from this book is that Earth-2 Jarvis Pennyworth, Alfred’s father, is a major badass. There unfortunately isn’t more that I can say about this book without spoiling the plot but for anyone that is a fan of Batman, you owe it to yourself to check this annual out. The art is really good and with the fresh take on an old concept that has gotten a lot of mileage, particularly recently, it has somehow managed to keep things feeling new. Read this book!! – R

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – C

Just like the issue before it, Dark Knight continues the Voiceless story arc by putting out an issue with absolutely no dialogue. We join our hero as he is escaping a trap set by the Penguin. The use of gadgets is pretty cool, and there is some fine visual work from the artist, but save for a heart-felt reunion at the end, this arc is almost looking like a holiday special and not the new arc I had been expecting. As Batman tries to dismantle Penguin’s ring of slave labor, I can’t help but think that maybe some dialog wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’ll play along for now, but I’m thinking this silent thing may be more gimmicky than I can handle. – S

Damian: Son of Batman #4 – D+

Damian: Son of Batman has been a mini-series that attempted to delve deeper into the set piece of Andy Kubert’s Batman #666, but unfortunately failed to do so because of it’s abrupt ending in issue #4.  From issue #3, we know that the man who wears The Joker’s face is just an impostor, and that could have been an amazing side story within itself. The mini-series also gave us Alfred-Cat, and really, who wouldn’t want more of that?  But this series introduced not only a murderous non-impostor Joker, but a murderous Damian Wayne, a reformed and not-so-murderous Damian Wayne, an impostor Joker, and of course Alfred-Cat, and then ended it all with no real moral, much less rhyme or reason. If you have made it this far in Damian, then you owe it to yourself to finish it out with this issue; however, don’t be too surprised if that ending leaves you with an empty feeling. – R

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30 – A-

This issue was one big, collective hug in paper format. The past few issues have been really difficult on the turtles, and on readers. The whole gang is out in the Northampton farm that belongs to April’s parents, trying to recover from the events of City Fall. Starting issue #29 and going through #32, we get the pleasure of some of the series most beautiful art. Russ Campbell and his beautiful color work make this a beauty. Alopex and Raph finally have an exchange of words, and Donnie gives some reassurance to Leonardo. All seems right in the world; that is, until a new villain is revealed at the end of the issue. The honeymoon is almost over, and danger is looming. How could TMNT get any better?? – S

 

Image Comics:

Saga #18 – A

This issue was not amazing. Lyyinggg. Saga is like reading a romance novel wrapped in bacon – in a good way. It’s still a romance book about two love birds trying to find a safe haven for their inter-species child, but there are layers upon layers of sophisticated context. The fallout from Prince Robot IV’s arrival in Quietus has resulted in quite the mess, with everybody strewn in different directions, Prince Robot IV quite literally. We also finally get a satisfying confrontation between Marko and Gwendolyn. All these side-stories are collectively keeping Saga one of the best books in the industry. Do yourself a favor and pick up this once-in-a-generation title. – S

Black Science #3 – B+

What a ride Black Science has been! We’ve been spoon-fed the story inch by inch for three issues now, and I’m just now beginning to put the pieces together. Our main character, Grant, has discovered unlimited parallel universe – and it seems that he’s going to explore every one, whether he wants to or not. While the group battles high-tech Native Americans and what seems to be Nazis, some spicy details come to the surface about Grant’s life. There are so many aspects that make reading Black Science so enjoyable.  Inner monologues and thoughts are so well written and placed in panel context and transitions from backstory to real time are flawless. Best of all – the images and artwork are glorious. My hat goes off to Matteo Scalera, Dean White and all the other contributing artists involved in this series. The only criticism I have for Black Science #3 is that the story was slightly slower in pace and plot development was light.  Still, the story continues to intrigue me and I can’t wait for next month to find out what’s next for the Dimensionaughts! – T

 

Marvel:

Superior Spider-Man #26 – B+

Spider-Man is finally becoming cool again. Doc Ock’s welcome has definitely worm out, and everybody is catching wind of it. With the re-release of Amazing Spider-Man in April, I can only assume that Octavius’ tenure as the un-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is coming to an end. While Spidey deals with a suspicious Avengers team, New York is at war to decide who will become the Goblin King. Things are going to get much worse before they get better, but I’m finally enthusiastic enough about this book to say you should jump on board now! – S

Night of the Living Deadpool #2 – C+

The apocalypse is here, and the only one that can stop the hoards of the undead is the Merc With the Mouth. Playing out somewhat like Shaun of the Dead – eighty percent parody and twenty perfect vague plot. Fans of the Walking Dead can appreciate the scene in which Deadpool and friends search for a place to set up camp. The fact that the zombies are semi-conscious is also interesting, and kind of creepy, a clear nod to George Romero’s recent books. Artistically, it’s really cool to see Deadpool as the only thing that is colored throughout the book. It’s a sad nod to the idea that he will always be the center of attention, yet he will always be alone. This is good material to get you through the week, but it’s nothing to really write home about. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 A, 1 B, 1 C and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.25

Marvel Comics: 1 B and 1 C, averaging out to a 2.50

Independents: 3 A’s and  2 B’s averaging out to a 3.60

Funniest Panel of the Week:

black science 3

Epic Panel of the Week:

batman robin annual 2

Cover Art of the Week:

nov130318

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 ElkhatibTaylor LoweAdrian Puryear and Robert Michael

Comic Book Reviews 12-18-13

Pick of the Week:

Locke and Key: Alpha #2 (IDW Comics) – A
And that, my friends, is how you wrap up the greatest horror series in comic book history. This was a Locke for pick of the week before it was even announced. Kudos to Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez for an amazing run of almost six years. I won’t judge you if you haven’t read this book, as it’s been critically acclaimed but still very rarely marketed. There are no cliffhangers, monsters or murderers – just closure. It’s a welcome finale when writers are far more concerned with the integrity of the story rather than a spin-off or a mini-series event. As the son of the great Stephen King, Joe Hill has plenty else to look forward to. The only disclaimer I have for this issue is that you must have read the story to understand the gravity or the events of what transpire in the series finale. I know it’s a bummer but you can get started by reading our review of the first volume here.
Locke and Key

Other Reviews:

DC:

Harley Quinn #1 (DC Comics) – B+

Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn issue #1 made quite the entrance into her own comic series.  Picking up where we left off in issue #0, Harley has packed up all her belongings, at least the ones that were in decent condition after Mr. J blew her stuff up.  On her very own Harley, our heroine (to be debated later) is on her way to Coney Island where she has suddenly come into her own property.  On her way there, she talks to her beaver (woah, inappropriate) that only she can hear, and rescues an abused dachshund.  A girl who likes animals more than people is my kind of girl.  The artwork is really amazing.  Illustrated by Chad Hardin and colored by Alex Sinclair (Jim Lee’s right-hand man), One of the best panels features Harley pulling up to her new pad.  We see all the people of her new hood, including a beggar on the street corner wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and holding a sign that reads “Please help me pay off my student loans.  Thanks-V”  It’s a nice little nod to the Occupy Movement. The art allows Harley to have a bit of a sexy look to her, but in certain panels we still realize that she is a creepy, crazy clown.  She even makes a jab at herself when trying to recreate her Harleen Quinzel look, “That’s what I get for getting an all over bleach job.”   Her crazy wit is cute and funny throughout the comic, and we get to see how extreme she can be, especially during roller derby.  It looks like this series will be following Harley in her adventures in the big city ala Sex and the City.  But we all know Harley is a little less Carrie Bradshaw and a little more Lorena Bobbitt. The only gripe I have with this issue is seeing Harley as such a BA, yet at the end, a dude saves her life.  When is Harley gonna be her own woman?  Hopefully at some point in this series, Harley will realize how great she is without anyone to save her.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #26 (DC Comics) – C

This issue leads up to the conclusion of the current story arc and while it doesn’t offer anything crazy as far as advancing the plot forward, it does have some incredible artwork throughout. This series has been very hit or miss for me. While I love how awesome Red Hood can be, I personally can’t stand Arsenal as character, and Starfire seems like she should be too powerful for a group such as this. Nothing in 26 issues has changed my opinion of this. I continue to read because of the potential it has to intertwine with Batman; however, since the disassociation with Batman after death of the family, I have been left with a longing for Jason to return to Gotham to dispense his brand of vigilante justice. Only time will tell if this is a book I will continue to read in the future. It definitely has the potential to shine but it will depend entirely on the writers to be able to make it genuinely interesting to read. Perhaps changing the team around wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Supergirl #26 (DC Comics) – B+

If there was a good point to drop into the middle of this series, issue 26 would be the perfect one to do it. Kara does a little souls searching and while in the middle of that, the issue gives a great summary of the events of the last 25 issues. Sure there are some small things that someone just getting into the series would have to catch up on, but none of it is anything major that can’t be read later. What really makes this issue shine how is the introduction of the most badass bounty hunter in the galaxy. Lobo! While he isn’t given a large amount of time, what time he is given is well utilized and promises to make this current arc one of the best so far. My only complaint with this series thus far is that it requires you to stay current with Superman and Superboy, otherwise you risk missing out on key plot points due to the way the stories intertwine

Teen Titans Go! #1 (DC Comics) –  B+

Teen Titans Go! Issue #1 was a pleasant surprise for me.  It was clearly intended for the younger audiences, but was packed with witty humor. I found myself laughing out loud at several panels throughout.  This issue was broken up into two parts.  Part one is the mystery of who is eating Cyborg’s sandwich.  The mystery aspect of the story was very cute with Robin taking it upon himself to interrogate the group.  Using black and white panels for this section and giving Robin old-timey detective lines worked perfectly.  Part two focuses on a bet between Robin, Cyborg and Beast Boy on the mini-golf course.  Meanwhile, Raven and Starfire go to the arcade.  Raven cleverly uses her levitation powers to get a stuffed toy out of the claw machine.  Starfire asks, “But where does the claw come in?”  “Beats me.” Raven replies dryly.  The wittiness of this issue is what carries it.  The dialogue is quick and pokes fun at itself a little.  The outcomes of each episode are a little silly, but what else is expected for the teens? Teen Titans Go! is a good read for new and seasoned comic readers.

Wonder Woman #26 (DC Comics) – C

Wonder Woman has pretty much carried the torch for women in DC Comics for the past few years. Protector, warrior, princess of Olympus – Wonder Woman is by all means a powerhouse. Thanks to some great writing by Brian Azzarello, Wonder Woman has undergone quite the transition into the fight for Olympus. After a godly issue #23, though, things have quite slowed down. It feels like they’re trying to do too much. There are several different story-lines playing out, and over the span of months, I’m beginning to forget what the big picture actually is. While I’m sure this would read better in a graphic novel format, it’s just too complex of a story to be able to pick up every month. However, don’t let that discount the great character dynamics and fantastic use of Greek mythology; this is still a highly enjoyable book.

Marvel:

All New X-Men #20 (Marvel Comics) – B

Laura Kinney (X-23) is back! She’s popping blades and not taking any lip from anyone! She awakens in the old Weapon X factory, (it’s since been converted to the New Xavier School For the Gifted). Scott and Laura have a heart to Adamantium talk about why the X-Men have time traveled. She explains that she has been tortured for a year and is now being hunted by an anti-mutant group called, The Purifiers. This anti-mutant group is led by William Stryker’s son.  Can we say daddy issues? The X-Men gear up and prepare to raid this new threats’ hideout when…

Amazing Spiderman #700.4 (Marvel Comics) – C

Bravo to Pasqual Ferry and Andres Mossa for the cover art. The issue is worth the pick up for that alone. Peter Parker is still in the Kaiser Permanente from hell. He has been admitted to a hospital for criminals. Joe Casey writes some harsh lines about our do-gooder, “Consider his reputation, an anti-hero at best…not exactly Captain America. He would not be missed.” Peter’s identity as Spider-Man has been compromised by the staff and now he is in a fight to get out of there.

Amazing Spiderman #700.5 (Marvel Comics) – D

No rest for the weary. Spider-Man tries to enjoy a nap after a day of crime fighting, and who should come flying through his window? Johnny Storm! Brian Reed writes this issue, Spider-Man and The Human Torch. This issue is a throw-away. The story is rushed, poorly planned and boring. Johnny steals some kind of machine from the Baxter Building that came from future Ben. It will destroy the universe and old flame-boy tries to enlist Spidey to help him get rid of it. The Fantastic Four track him down to retrieve the device. Skip this one and give Superior Spider-Man #24 a shot.

Daredevil #34 (Marvel Comics) – B-

After an odd stint in Stone Hills, Kentucky, Daredevil is back in New York City and back to the main storyline; the Sons of the Serpent, a white supremecy group, have corrupted the justice system and look to be taking the whole city from the inside. This story has been building for about ten issues now, and it finally would seem that Daredevil is gaining momentum against the Serpents. After an empowering speech over the airwaves, Daredevil has gone on the offensive against the Serpents. On display are very run-of-the-mill pages from Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez. The series has lost a bit of the appeal it had in earlier issues, but it’s still fun to read. With the story, and the series’ run wrapping up in two issues, there’s a lot of ground to cover.

Deadpool #21 (Marvel Comics) –  B

So I’ll admit, I got a bit carried away with Deadpool #20, the ridiculous story about battling inter-galactic monsters in Wakanda. I’m not perfect and neither is Deadpool. This issue has us follow our favorite hero as he continues his journey to separate himself from S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Preston, who is sharing space aside the multiple personalities of Wade Wilson. It doesn’t make sense if you haven’t read the whole way through, but having read all the issues, it still doesn’t make sense. As he tries to satisfy Preston by watching Madea he is hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. mercenaries, an irony that is not lost on me. The issue was thoroughly entertaining and full of hilarity. This is the start of the Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D arc, so it’s a great time to jump on to watch the Merc With A Mouth take down the system. … at least for a few episodes until they put out another stupid filler issue.

Scarlet Spider #25 (Marvel Comics) – C-

This final issue in the series really brings this particular story arc full circle. What I find the most dissatisfying is that you could have almost replaced this issue with the first one and ended the entire series right there. It basically felt like a carbon copy of the first issue, only Kaine has the chops to go through with actually leaving Houston the first time. The artwork wasn’t anything particularly special but it was not bad by any means. This ending felt a little sloppy but after reading the afterword, I am assured that this isn’t the end for Kaine. This character has great potential if explored properly. I really like the idea of a Peter Parker that is tainted and willing to go places and do things that Peter Parker would never do. It is the perfect opportunity to explore that dark side and while this ending may have been a little disappointing, I am looking forward to the future of Scarlet Spider when he returns in NEW WARRIORS #1.

Superior Spiderman #24 (Marvel Comics) – C+

Oh great, as if Spiderman wasn’t arrogant enough. With the great narcissistic Otto Octavius at the helm of the Venom symbiote, things are not looking so great for those close to him. Really, enough is enough. You can make him an asshole, you can make him break up with MJ, you can even make him dance around like an idiot in Spiderman 3… but you do not get to disrespect sweet ol’ Aunt May; that is off-limits. As Spidey’s ego goes to his head, there are a lot of things set in motion by the police, the Golbin gang and The Avengers. I like where this is going, as it’s obviously time for Peter Parker to come back from oblivion and return to the spotlight. The weekly splurge of Amazing Spiderman hints that a Parker return isn’t far off.

IDW:

Samurai Jack #3 (IDW Comics) –  B

This month’s issue of Samurai Jack was a nice change from there the series could have gone.  With the first two issues requiring Jack to defeat an unbeatable foe, I was worried every issue would follow the same script.  So far, Issue #3 is my favorite.  Jack, still following the magical Threads of Time to rewind history from his enemy Aku, lands in what seems to be Ancient Greece.  He meets the warrior of the town, Gloer the Great of Grantus.  The alliterative character shows Jack around town.  But instead of having to fight Gloer, as was expected, he sees that Gloer’s town has already been demolished by Aku’s terribleness.  The series is already a little Mr. Peabody-esque.  This issue is Mr. Peabody meets Stepford Wives meets Disney’s Hercules.  It’s very cute, but still a great use of medium to provoke some pretty deep thoughts for the intended elementary level reader. I highly recommend picking up this issue for your new little comic book reader.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #29 (IDW Comics) – B+

We join our turtles after the fallout of City Fall as they drive to a Northampton countryside home where April O’Neil’s parents live. The family is in shambles and I can feel Splinter pain as he tries to repair the damage that Shredder and the Foot have wrought upon his family. The issue is divided between the turtles and their family issues and the O’Neils meeting Casey Jones for the first time. Ah, but the plot thickens! Our heroes had an unwelcome guest follow them to Northampton (Although not unwelcome to me, as this is secretly my favorite character in the book). Meanwhile, April finds out that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the mutagen, and her parents are the one to tell the secret. Ross Campbell has picked up art duties for the main story after doing a couple of the Micro-Series (Leonardo, Alopex) books. Although I was initially sad to see Mateus Santolouco’s grimy style end with City Fall, Campbell’s art is intrinsically beautiful and fitting of the subject matter. As we build towards another storyline, I was thoroughly pleased with TMNT #29, as it serves as a great jumping-on point for fans new to the series while still reflecting on the events of City Fall.

Image:

Black Science #2 (image Comics) – A

The second issue of this deep space thriller, Black Science, opened up the story and explained a lot of character dynamic without giving too much away for what’s to come. It’s a captivating sci-fi tale that mixes a little bit of Mass Effect with an 80’s space thriller twist. What Black Science succeeds at so well is its ability to draw in a reader with it’s amazing character dynamics and between-the-lines story-telling. Two issues in and you already know who you are supposed to like and who you are supposed to loathe. Throw in a well-placed flashback scene and now you’re part of the family. First, mutant frog people and now futuristic Native Americans killing Nazis; this is shaping up to be one special series, and it’s not limited to cliches and superheroes.

Saga #17 (image Comics) – A

“The only journalists that deserve killing are sports writers.” Saga is written too well for me to fully appreciate. It’s filled with literary quips. I feel like it’s written only for English majors or burnt-out authors. Needless to say, it’s brilliant. Issue 17 masks its social and political dogma behind vibrant panels and fashionable sarcasm. We find our two journalists greeted by yet another Freelancer named, The Brand. He enchants them with an Anti-snitching potion (Embargon) to impede them from continuing their story about inter-species love. When Upsher and Doff ask The Brand why their writing is so threatening the response is, “It’s the stories with no sides that worry them.” Saga engages everything is our current social spectrum. Nothing is taboo. Homosexuality, popular media, inter-racial relationships, and child-rearing are all on the table. As readers we are also unclear to Vaughn’s stance on these issues. This is what makes Saga so intriguing.

The Will is still bleeding out after being attacked by a possessed Sophie (slave-girl). Gwendolyn is desperate to find help. She makes her way to D. Oswald Heist’s lighthouse. She arrives after Klara’s attempt to save his life from Prince Robot IV.  This week’s issue submerges us deeper into this space-opera and will give you a good giggle and gasp (See Prince Robot’s erotic revelation).

Sex #9 (image Comics) – B

Now we’re talking! There’s been a lot of foreplay leading up to Sex, but it seems that the buttons are finally coming undone. What we are shown is a genuine origin story starring our hero Simon as The Armored Saint and his techie sidekick, Keenan. It really brings the story together and explains a lot in the first eight episodes that didn’t make a whole lot of sense the first time through. Guest artist Morgan Jeske’s art has a very distinct appearance from the rest of the series, and gives the issue a very raw, Dark Knight Returns vibe. And, of course, there is raunchy, gratuitous sex – as is expected when your crime-fighting secret hideout is a whore-house. Here’s to hoping that we get more exciting issues like this and less build-up.

Dark Horse:

Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – B

Enter Clone Trooper CT5539, after the Clone Wars and after Order 66. One of Jango’s copies has settled down working and living quite unremarkably on what appears to be a desert planet (perhaps Tatooine – some of the best Star Wars stories star there!). By way of true “events,” Cry of Shadows #1 really has none. The pages are filled with narration and storytelling. Flashbacks and imagination dominate. This isn’t a bad thing though! On the contrary, I was able to connect with CT5539 almost immediately because I was reading his inner thoughts. It’s critical to note that the flesh and blood Vader (or should I say, metal and lube-oil) makes no appearance besides what’s being imagined by CT derived from stories told by drunk cantina-goers. Vader remains a fantasy and a symbol in CT’s eyes. The ferocious tales are vividly and beautifully illustrated by Guzan and Atiyeh. It could be my bias, but Vader remains as imposing and awesome as ever. After meandering through post-war life, CT finds a spark and journeys out to see if the stories about Vader are true. What better way to obtain answers than ask the guy yourself?! The build-up is well done in Cry of Shadows #1 and I’m already anxious to see how the real life Vader measures up to the Vader of CT’s dreams and aspirations.

Ghost #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – B-

The series is a continuation of the original 1990’s Ghost series where Elisa, a journalist, uncovers a crazy secret; the Mayor of Chicago is actual a demon in disguise. The possessed mayor banishes Elisa to hell only to have her brought back to the living world in ghost form by two paranormal investigators, Vaughn and Tommy, after which she proceeds to pull the demon from the mayor. That same demon, however, is able to escape and possess a new host – Doctor October. This is essentially where we pick up in Ghost #1. Elisa is still hunting for Doctor October as well as other possessed persons of power in Chi-town. Issue #1 starts out pretty intensely with Elisa kicking serious demon behind on the monorail. There’s lots of plot development in the first issue (as expected) and it makes for a somewhat slow read. Authors Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela appear to be working depth into the story and I enjoy the direction its heading. In Elisa’s return for the demon realm, she only partially recovered her memory; this aspect does much to move the story along and kept me engaged. Demon sketch lack originality, but are beautifully grotesque in detail (props to Ryan Sook). Ghost herself is also pretty B.A. She stunts some really cool tricks and maintains a fearless and confident attitude throughout. I’m looking forward to Elisa’s pursuits to purify her city, recover her memory and take on Doctor October!

Funniest Panels of the Week:

Epic Panels of the Week:

Cover Art of the Week:

TMNT #29 by Ross Campbell gets our cover art of the week for its beautiful use of color
TMNT #29 by Ross Campbell gets our cover art of the week for its beautiful use of color

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, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif ElkhatibJohn Soweto, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael, and Adrian Puryear

Comic Book Reviews 11-27-13

Pick of the Week:

Black Science #1 (image Comics) – A

It’s only been one issue, but I’m already invested in this sci-fi thriller. I have no idea what the hell is going on, but I don’t think our main character, Grant, does either. The Black Science, I correlate to be like Black Magic, but it pays more. The art is very fitting and the monologue is amazing. In an attempt to escape from the weird toad and fish people, Grant sends his team to some inter-species galactic war. I don’t know what’s going on and I love it. I’m super excited to see what happens next.

Other Reviews:

All New X-Men #19 (Marvel Comics) – D

In this issue, the original X-Men fight off a group of crazy religious zealots who are dedicated to killing mutants in the name of God. With brand new uniforms, a new art team (technically they did #18, but it still feels new) and a new villain, this issue carries almost zero momentum that has made this such an enjoyable book. Also, seemingly for no reason, Illyana AKA Magik is back together with the rest of the X Team after a huge falling out when she joined Cyclops’ team. There was a pretty crazy end scene where a feral (and bald) X-23 bears her teeth to Kitty Pryde, so we’ll see if this is somehow connected to the Murder World that takes place in Avengers Arena. All in all, though, a pretty bland book considering the caliber of the series thus far.

Aquaman #25 (DC Comics) – B-

If you’re not a fan of Aquaman, this issue probably will not sell it. Geoff Johns, in true Geoff Johns fashion, wraps up his tenure with Aquaman taking his place as King of Atlantis. The Dead King has been defeated for now. It might not seem like a big deal, but Johns took Aquaman from being the laughing stock of comic book fans to an almost-respected character in just two years. While I’m skeptical of anything that happens after this, the story immediately points to a new threat, carried into another Geoff Johns penned book, Justice League. I’d say this book is worth checking out if you’re at all curious about Aquaman or the end of Johns’ saga.

Avengers Arena #18 (Marvel Comics) – D

Murder World is finally closed. After seventeen issues full of mushy “let’s be friends” speeches, one of the characters sacrifices himself to save the rest of the characters. However, the biggest worry is what happens after they leave. Arcade, the madman behind the whole debacle, has uploaded the events of the superhero Hunger Games onto the web. What happens now? The issue, and series as a whole, wasn’t stellar in story or art, but the aftermath of the events that unfolded will be pretty interesting to see.

Damian: Son of Batman #2 (DC Comics) – C

When issue one ended, I was thoroughly confused as to how Bruce Wayne was waiting for Damian in the Bat Cave. Issue two clears that up, then expands on it a bit. It’s just done a bit too quickly. The oddest part of the series is that Damian, the grown man, sounds just like Damian, the ten year-old child. I was really hoping for some character development here. On the plus side, it seems that this story is fitting in nicely to explain the events of Batman #666 where Damian faces off with Professor Pyg. As an avid Batfan, I would recommend reading this book, as the art by Andy Kubert is amazing.

The Flash #25 (DC Comics) – C+

The Flash has been one of the best drawn books in DC’s catalog, and usually has held my interest through the storyline. So I figured that when they introduced a Batman: Zero Year crossover, it might be worth checking out. In some ways I was right, and in some I was wrong. While it was awesome to show what a good investigator he was, clashing with the hardened detectives of Gotham City, and meeting (and saving) Iris West to form a romantic relationship, I am just sick of DC changing origin stories for the sake of changing them. All of the changes feel bastardized and not the original stories they should be.

Hawkeye #14 (Marvel Comics) – B+

When Kate went her own separate way at the end of Hawkeye Annual #1, I was a bit confused on how the series would continue after that. This episode shows us that it would continue straight through to Kate’s personal life. As it has been the whole series, Hawkeye does a stupendous job of humanizing the characters, having fun the whole way there. It does get a little deeper at the end, when it is revealed that Madame Masque is the villain behind the whole ordeal. Hawkeye is a guaranteed good read, and this issue is no different – no matter your opinion on Hawkeye, the character.

Injustice: Gods Among Us #11 (DC Comics) – B+

Based on the awesome video game that released earlier in the year, Injustice has become more than a cash-grab “based off” series; it is one of the best alternate universe storylines in recent history. After Batman decides that Superman is too far off his rocker, he and a small group distract Superman and sneak into the Fortress of Solitude to steal a super-serum that Lex Luthor developed to even the playing field. Along the way, we lose two beloved characters. It’s a tragic, yet exciting take on the DC lore. NoteInjustice was actually released as a “Digital Only” series, with each printed issue consisting of three digital ones. So if you really liked this one, the finale issue is comprised of #34-36 and you can find them for $1 each on Comixology.

Kick Ass 3 #5 (Marvel Comics) – B

If you’ve ever seen Kick Ass, the movie, then you know what you’re getting yourself into. Believe me, the comics are way better. There’s less censorship as far as what the characters say and do, the costumes don’t look as ridiculous and there are tons of namedrops; it takes us less than four pages to get somebody to compare the 21st Century Robin Hoods to Omar from The Wire. With Dave finally getting a normal girlfriend, he seems to have abandoned his superhero team. They have bigger troubles, however, as Rocco puts a hit out on every single masked character, ending the issue in sad, disturbing fashion with the death of one of my favorite characters.

Saga #16 (image Comics) – B+

It seems like we’re finally picking back up steam here! Equipped with murder, lies and naked unicorn women, issue sixteen is a thoroughly fun ride the whole way through. We’re finally brought back to the events in #13, where Prince Robot IV is closing in on our favorite pair of space fugitives. There’s quite a bit of story going on here, especially the new development of the war correspondents that seem to have trouble coming their way soon. It’s hard not to recommend a book that kicks this much ass, month after month.

Superior Spiderman #22 (Marvel Comics) – C+

Since (SPOILER!) Otto Octavius has taken over Peter Parker’s body and carried the mantle of Spiderman… Wait! Don’t leave! It’s not as bad as it seems, I promise. Anyway, since Superior Spiderman has begun, all the quips and sarcasm that made Peter Parker our Spiderman have been replaced with techo-babble infused cold-hearted insults. More than twenty issues in, Otto finally begins to develop a personality, even falling in love, a storyline which is starting to make me like him again. But just when things get cozy again, his arrogance frustrates me even further, making a Flash Thompson-Spiderman confrontation way more annoying than epic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #28 (IDW Comics) – A-

Last we left our turtles, the Foot had just unleashed Bebop & Rocksteady. While the rocker duo don’t really get the homecoming I had hoped for, there are plenty of other characters to help bring this issue to a close. The turtles manage to save Leonardo and break him from the brain-washing that the Foot had put him through, but by all means, he is still broken in every other way. One of my favorite conflicted villains also switches her attitude and saves their lives during the fight. And you can’t forget about Old Hob, Splash, April and Casey Jones. It was an entertaining and meaningful issue, albeit with no real conclusion to the threat at hand, that reminds me why I’m still in love with the heroes in a half-shell.

The Walking Dead #117 (IDW Comics) – A

When Negan and Lucille burst onto the scenes in The Walking Dead #100, he immediately become our enemy, killing off a beloved character in the most disturbing fashion of the entire series (which is sayin’ something). However, as time goes on, we realize that maybe Negan isn’t quite the Governor that we initially painted him to be. Through this episode, we find that Negan does indeed have a very strong moral compass, as does he want to be the leader of a strong community. It’s really shocking to learn this about one of Rick’s enemies, and it will serve to make Negan more complex of an adversary than we’ve ever seen in The Walking Dead. Bravo, Kirkman.

Funniest Panel of the Week:

D. Oswald Heist shares his deepest fears with us in Saga: Chapter 16
D. Oswald Heist shares his deepest fears with us in Saga: Chapter 16. I’m sure Fiona Staples had fun drawing this.

Epic Panel of the Week:

Our girl Alopex finally snaps on Shredder in TMNT #28
Our girl Alopex finally snaps on Shredder in TMNT #28

Cover of the Week:

TMNT #28 cover by the master, Kevin Eastman
TMNT #28 cover by the master, Kevin Eastman

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week. We hope you had fun stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving! 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, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

Graphic Novel Review – Saga: Volume One

Graphic Novel Review: Saga: Volume One 

Collecting: Saga #1-6

Original Release Date: 2012

Publisher: Image Comics

Image

Characters:  Alana, Marko, Hazel, Prince Robot IV, The Will, Izabel, The Stalk

Writer: Brian K. Vaughn

Artist: Fiona Staples

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 8
Art – 10
Captivity and Length – 10
Identity – 10
Use of Medium – 8
Depth – 7
Fluidity – 9
Intrigue/Originality – 9
The Little Things – 10
Overall awesomeness – 10

hush_rating_91

 Imagine if The Hobbit, Firefly and Star Wars had monkey sex and left a wet spot in the form of a comic. Saga is one of those rare gems that comes once a generation. Writer extraordinaire Brian Vaughn, of TV’s Lost, and comics, Y: The Last Man is paired with Fiona Staples, total hottie and penciler of books like North 40 and Jonah Hex. The result is a space opera like none you have seen before. If you can envision what all of your 5th grade, overly sexualized pictures would look like if they had space ships and laser pistols, you’d have Saga.

Volume one is the trade version of issues 1-6, originally published in 2012. Once again, Image Comics pushes the boundaries, almost as often as they push back release dates, and gives us a comic worthy of fan-boy argument and minimum orders at your local comic shop.
The story follows two lovebirds born on opposite sides of a galactic war. Take away the horns and wings and Marko and Alana are Kirk Cobain and Courtney Love, or a less violent hipster version of Mickey and Mallory.
Plot Alert!
Our heroine, Alana is from a planet called Landfall and Marko is from a planet called
Wreath. The two planets have been at war longer than anyone can remember. They fell in love and had a mixed species baby. This baby is the reason why they are being hunted by both species.
Image
Our interstellar lovers begin their adventure with the birth of their daughter and our narrator, Hazel.  Its probably the most kick-ass birth ever in a comic. Immediately, they are confronted by an army of angry elk dudes and another group of guys that look like the cops from Demolition Man with wings.
If I sound a little gushy, it’s probably because Fiona Staples single handedly kept my faith in comics alive last year with this title.  Hell, she damn near created a whole new religion, fully equipped with sister-wives, Kool-aid flavored arsenic, and snake charming. So pardon me if I sound a little fanboy while reading my signed copy. This comic doesn’t answer the question, did Greedo shoot first? But it does stir a pot of middle school giddiness once you read a page or two.
Image
There is a post war, atomic era feel to Staples work. Saga is reminiscent of Dan Stevens Rocketeer epic. Vaughn’s humor compliments her sarcastic facial expressions and the book reads like a still frame sitcom.
Magic is a common weapon and spells are often cast to thwart enemies in this universe. But there is also a healthy dose of light-saber’esk swordplay.
The Will, a freelance bounty hunter hired to find our couple, looks like what Han Solo would have if he’d been played by Bruce Willis.
Our thrift-shop, Gluten-free heroes find themselves in more trouble than they can handle and end up befriending the half torso ghost of a dead emmo-girl named Izabel. Zoinks!
Image
I can only empathize with Mr. and Mrs. Staples having to explain to little Fiona why her art wasn’t suitable for the fridge. The opening scene in chapter four with Will walking through Sextillion is disturbing, but you won’t stop smiling all while trying not to feel guilty about it. There are plenty enough dicks and tits to make you feel like your comic should have come sealed in a plastic bag and sold behind a black curtain.
Overall the story is simple, but the humor is hard to deny. This book is vulgar, sardonic and voguish and I bet George Carlin would have loved it. Volume one has more than enough to keep the reader interested and in anticipation of more Superbad inspired notebook doodles of dicks and spaceships. Bravo for Saga.
  Image

      Related Books: Saga Volume Two, and all comic Issues #1-13 

      More by the writer: Brian Vaughn is an official Bad-Ass. He has written for everything you like. The list is too long to do justice. It includes Captain America, X-Men and Spider-Man.  He has even crossed universes and written for the guy with the cape and cowl and the other dude with the green bling. Not to mention Y: The Last Man is one of the best titles of this decade and has won numerous awards. Oh, and then there is ABC’s Lost.

More by the artist: Fiona Staples is pretty much the best thing in comics right now. She has worked her way through the industry and is co-creator of one of the most popular titles on the market, Saga. She has done a ton of cover art for multiple titles, including, The Walking Dead, Red Sonja and Superman/Batman. Watch out comic-book heads! This inkstress is already making a big impact on the industry, and this is only the beginning!  Cue spooky villain sound track.

Written by John Soweto