Comic Book Reviews 08-26-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

hank johnson hydra 1 POTW panel 08.26.15

Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra #1 – A
Holy crap I love this book. Seriously, this comic is amazing. Meet Hank Johnson, the normal family man doing his best to support his family while being a simple minion for HYDRA. Hank is your typical guy; however, when you place a typical guy in the world of Marvel, the end product is genius. This book had me laughing the entire way through and all I want to do is read more. It’s funny to think that not everyone in the Marvel universe is a super-powered mega force designed for either good or evil. Yet, normal, below average people exist! It’s comical to think that all of these underlings who work for organizations such as HYDRA are made up of completely normal people. So when you read a comic and you see Nick Furry kick one of those dudes in the face, you don’t even stop to realize that the guy who just got his face kicked in is nothing short of mediocre. In fact that guy who got kicked in the face may be worried about being sexually harassed by his boss. It’s all ludicrous and ridiculous; however, that is what I love most about it. Hail HYDRA and hail Hank Johnson! – Evan

Second Opinion (A)You know who the real hero is?!  Hank Johnson.  Hank mother f-ing Johnson! – Taylor

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

Over the Garden Wall #1 – B
What is the point of this comic? I’m not really sure, all I know is that it is pretty damn funny. It’s difficult to explain this comic besides stating it about a “down on his luck” boy, his dimwit half-brother and his frog, and a talking bird who are trying to catch a ride…somewhere…for some reasons. Either way, none of it matters. When you read comics like this, you simply have to throw all of your desire for story behind and accept that the pure nonsense you are about to read is both ridiculous and amazing. This comic had a lot of good jokes and I’m happy I got the chance to read it. – Evan

Second Opinion (C+)The best part of this book was the bluebird. He looked so cute, but he is so menacing. He gives the worst advice, but it ends up saving Wirt and Greg. Also, Greg is absolute nit-wit, and I love it. I’m personally more interested in the cartoon now, but this book isn’t for everyone; it is not very action packed. – Adrian

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League 3001 #3 – A
This book keeps it up with the creative reveals. Batman starts to suspect Ariel isn’t Ariel; Booster Gold and Blue Beetle bungle keeping The Planet Formerly Known As Earf safe; Superman continues to be the dumbest guy in the room; and Batman discovers he might not be the only aped crusader in the universe. This book is so cool u gais. Fun fact: since working in the children’s bookstore, I’ve spotted no fewer than three books written by J.M. DeMattias, the very same writer for this here book. What can’t that man do? – Montgomery

Superman #43 – B+
Months later, we finally find out how and why Lois Lane reveal’s Superman’s secret identity to the world. With as much build-up as it got, it sure did feel spontaneous. This tech mogul, HORDR – whom I have been calling “Hodor” in my head, is threatening to reveal Superman’s identity if he doesn’t go through a demonstration of his new solar flare ability. Before he even gets knee-deep into one, Lois pulls the trigger and does it herself. Naturally, Superman is pissed. It’ll be interesting to see what fallout comes from this. And with the way DC does things, it’ll take some fortitude to continue with this continuity… but it’s DC. F*ck continuity. – Sherif

Batgirl #43 – B
Babs Gordon leads quite the busy life. Balancing super-heroinism with trying to be a good friend – on top of a full course load – sounds really stressful. Batgirl is investigating cases of tiger attacks aimed at tech companies. This tigers are mind-controlled. Of course they are. Tigers just don’t get up and attack nerds. As things get deeper, those around Barbara put themselves in a bad spot. As far as the story goes, it’s interesting enough, but what really sold me here is Babs Tarr’s phenomenal art. It’s cute, yet fierce. And as the first issue in a new arc, really worth your time to pick up. – Sherif

Prez #3 – B
This issue was a lot of getting things in motion. But what I liked most was the Neil deGrasse Tyson-esque character calling a crowd “stupid mother fuckers,” without really calling them that. And the Wal-Mart Angel of Death. That was good, too. – Adrian

Deathstroke #9 – C+
How screwed is Slade? Not screwed enough apparently. This entire issue was spent with the same approach of “stab the bad guy,” which is fun to look at but doesn’t offer a whole lot of substance. This time, Superman joins the mix, which makes me believe that this story might shift away from Deathstroke‘s book and into the Superman/Wonder Woman book, too. While this book is very pretty too look at, the book is turning into one long continual fight scene, sort of like Dragon Ball Z. – Sherif

Batman – Arkham Knight – Genesis #1 – F
Here’s another cash-grab attempt to familiarize people with the story of the return of Jason Todd. There’s absolutely nothing in this issue that you can’t find out by either playing the damn game or reading a copy of Under the Red Hood, or watching the animated feature. Listen, don’t waste your time reading this. It’s pointless regurgitation of a pretty solid book, and if you played the game the whole way through, then you were likely just as disappointed in the direction Rocksteady chose to go with the story. Leave this garbage in the past and read something new and creative. – Sherif

Second Opinion (C): Jason Todd in a metallic, robot, Batman suit?!?!  You scary Arkham Knight! – Taylor

Dynamite Entertainment:

Drive #1 – C
Do you like the movie drive? Do you like comic books? Then you are sure to like this book…I think. Overall I did enjoy reading this comic; however, I think it was only due to the fact that I have seen the movie, and I know how badass it really is. The only issue I truly have with it is a lot of things I loved about the movie, it is near impossible to translate to a static medium. For example, in the movie, my favorite scene is at the beginning where the driver is eluding the police and ends up parking at the Staple Center when the basketball game is getting out. No offense to comic books, but scenes such as that simply do not translate. Yet, this comic does have a subtle badassness to it. Short work bubbles, gritty panels, and a general sense of danger allows this comic to progress. One thing I do hope, is that this comic choses to stray away from simply drawing the movie. I want to see new stories and different characters, and if this comic plans to simply retell the movie version, I fail to see the point in continuing. Oh and one last thing, Driver (because I don’t believe his name was ever stated), his neighbor Irina, she be coming on just a little too strong. Yup, that’s right people, I’m choosing to end my review this way, and I’m doing this simply because this is how Driver chooses the jobs he takes…I think. – Evan

Second Opinion (B): My favorite part of the movie Drive was the opening scene. The OCD-like approach to how he handles a job. We get more of that in the debut issue, but there’s also a lot of cliché bad guy stuff going on. If you liked the movie, you’ll enjoy the book, but it doesn’t quite measure up when you consider the intangibles that the movie provide. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #3 – B+
Well things have certainly gotten rather creepy for April and Casey this issue and has them battling what I can only describe as the worst acid trip in the history of drugs, all thanks to the Rat King and what seems to be Kitsune in a different form than we have seen her before. This series definitely has a more horror film feel to it, which fits The Rat King perfectly, unless we are talking 80’s-90’s cartoon Rat King. Mariko Tamaki does a sensational job of adding a very different feel to the TMNT series while also making sure we realize this is April and Casey and at the heart is a tale of a broken relationship mending its wounds. Irene Koh’s art for this issue is spectacular and has a very anime style feel to the characters While again not straying too far from the source material to distract you and seemingly see Casey and April as different characters in a TMNT related story. I look forward to the next issue and seeing how much Casey and April beat the crap out of the Rat King! – Jacob

Godzilla in Hell #2  B
The second issue of Godzilla in Hell took a pretty big departure from the first one. While the first issue had no words and was more of a slightly goofy romp, this issue took on a far more serious tone. I still have no idea why Godzilla is in hell, or if it is even an actual hell or simply the remains of the earth after mankind has finally destroyed it. Either way, the world he is in has been left to the Kaiju, and in this realm they are seen as demons and Godzilla as the Leviathan. A well written, if not a little too poetic, narration follows Godzilla through his journey as he encounters one foe after another in an ever changing landscape. The writing is not what has me into this book, it is almost entirely the artwork actually. Each page is stunning, with an insane use of color and jaw dropping detail and beauty. This comic may not be for the masses, as it’s kind of odd and its reason for existing is still kind of lost on me. But this is still a great pick for Godzilla fans and lovers of incredible artwork. – Keriann 

Image Comics:

Rasputin #8 – A
This comic is the shit and everyone should be reading it. I feel this Rasputin has something for everyone. Mystery, political intrigue, magic, and historical fiction swirled in. This comic is also key to the series and a critical read.  The first issue let us know he would be killed by his friends. I’ve been anticipating his death/his rebirth for the past 8 issues and now that it’s happened I have even more questions than when I started. The team working on this is phenomenal. – Jené

Roche Limit: Clandestiny #4 – A
Uh…Holy mother-fucking Hera. I am still processing what the hell just happened in this issue. It was a nail biting, edge of the seat, heart racing sort of read that doesn’t come around all that often. The books I’ve read have been on point today. This issue is an intense rush to destroy an evil ship and crazy monster things that are on their way to earth to wreak havoc. Sasha totally just ripped her friend’s head and spinal cord from his body and used it as a weapon. Yeah, that totally happened… – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #4 – A
What a great and emotional ending to a rather campy story. I enjoyed this whole run but it definitely was cheesy and if you have not read the original secret wars it may have left you a bit confused. This issue takes the story to a more dramatic area and makes Deadpool out to be the savior of the Marvel universe as well as adding a very human side to good ol Wade Wilson. This side of Deadpool is always very entertaining to me, just as much so as the bad ass mercenary we all know and love. We get such a large dynamic this issue seeing Wasp and Deadpool’s relationship as well as the sacrifice Deadpool made to save everyone and especially the ending. Overall, I think Cullen Bunn wrote a great Deadpool arc here and one that ultimately changed Marvel history, while also keeping it exactly the same… which may not make much sense. Matteo Lolli and Matteo Buffagni do a spectacular job with the art giving it a very vintage Marvel feel while Ruth Redmond comes in and adds color that makes this entire series pop and ultimately make this my favorite series from Secret Wars. – Jacob

E Is for Extinction #3 – A
Man, this is the book that keeps on giving. The army of evil Hank McCoys at the end of the last book? Turns out it’s a super intelligent virus that traveled Battleworld recruiting Beasts into its army (which, half of that sentence should be familiar). It’s such an exciting read, I feel like sirs Burnham, Culver, and Villalobos are doing Morrison proud. The best moment, by far, is when Emma fuses with Cuckoos to form a Kali-style super psychic. Not only does she become a take on the six armed goddess, but the picture of their union contains ten eyes (including the two made with fingers), in a roughly-Kaballah-Tree-of-Life configuration. Saint Morrison smiles above us. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (B-): The whole thing ended rather conveniently. In just two pages, some of the most outlandish crap I’ve ever seen solved the entire “Beast Wars” problem. I enjoy reading this book to see how all the Stellas get their grooves back, but the actual story is reaching. It’s the exact kind of weird that Morrison fans love, but it just happens too quickly for me here. – Sherif

X-Men ’92 #3 – B+
Putting aside for a second the fact that the numbering of these issues makes no sense, and that Marvel’s Infinite Comics is sort of a lame idea, I love everything about X-Men ’92. In the midst of a Secret Wars that seems like a big ol’ love letter to the X-Men, it’s the lovliest of all letters: it’s art style mimics the art of 90’s X-Men, and it incorporates every bonkers badass idea the X-Men ever had (well, so far I haven’t seen any Apocalypse or Phalanx). For someone who still hears the original cartoon voice actors in my head when I read an X-book, it’s wonderful fan service full of badass moments. For sure my favorite moment is a brain washed Wolverine being unable to use his claws to free a woman trapped in a car snapping out of it when she asks for a favor: bring me Cyclops. Lololololol. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (A)Why can’t this be the show and not a comic? Seriously though, it makes me have all sorts of warm feelings inside despite never remembering Deadpool, Domino or Psylocke as being huge parts of the show, which their presence makes the warm feelings even warmer this issue. – Jacob

Ant-Man: Last Days #1 – B+
The great thing about this issue is that even in light of the world ending, the feel of Ant-Man was still there. Scott Lang was as funny as ever. Most enjoyable for me was finding out who Miss Morgenstern really was. Her retirement community for superheroes from the 50’s was fun to see, too. I was not expecting to find out who she was really was in this book and how important it is for the Secret Wars arc, but I’m glad that loose end was tied up. The last two pages of the issue were absolutely hilarious. This year’s Ant-Man series has been one of my favorites. We get a new issue in two months, and I hope it keeps the same air of funny. – Adrian

Lando #3 – B
Lobot is down!  The space-ninja cats battle Red Guards!  The Boba Fett wannabe scores a ride in Darth Maul’s old ship Infiltrator!  In other words, this issue is awesome.  The story seems to be progressing slowly, but then I realize that this is only the third issue.  I’m loving the character dynamic and the developing plot.  Interestingly enough, Lando is more of a background character while his cohorts and combatants take center stage.  I’m okay with this as it’s only a matter of time before Lando flashily jumps back into the spotlight.  The big kicker this issue is we finally see what’s behind door #1 (Palpatine’s secret room).  I have a bad feeling about this…  Not really, I think this comic will continue to be great; Just couldn’t resist the line drop! – Taylor

Old Man Logan #4 – B-
I want to love this series so much but find it harder and harder as the issues go on. This series is well written but seems to be all over the place and  it’s not moving the story along. It seems more of a monster of the week sort of story telling by just showing us a new Marvel universe and how Logan gets in and escapes said universe. I’m still overly optimistic at how this will all turn out writing wise especially with Brian Michael Bendis at the helm, and I really enjoyed seeing She-Hulk for a little bit this issue, but still felt this issue fell flat by the end. I may just be being a purist here for the original series since it still holds as one of my absolute favorite story arcs in all of comics, but another aspect that gets me is the art by Andrea Sorrentino. Despite the art being gorgeous, it seems to meld together to a point where I cant even tell what is happening at certain points. Overall though I imagine by the end it will come around, so I will keep holding my breath here. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A):  Old Man Logan: love it for its simplicity, violence, style, and art. – Montgomery

Marvel Zombies #3 – B-
I knew the Deadpoolification of Secret Wars was on the horizon. It’s like The Rockbiter in The Neverending Story talking about The Nothing: It came. Sure enough, the zombies eat bits of his brain, to stave off the hunger and stay smart. And the book tries to make you think this is the last we’ve seen of him, but, come on, book, we’re smarter than that. Anyways, the kid gets rescued and, apparently, is zombie proof. They escape to the coast, where they encounter a particularly convincing villain. Mostly, this is yet another Secret Wars book that feels like it’s perpetually just carving circles in the air waiting for something else to happen. This kid better turn out to be important to the overall Secret Wars arch which, at this point, seems bewildering. What’s the secret part? What’s the war part? – Montgomery

Civil War #3 – C+
This story has gotten a bit out of control. Everybody is switching sides, or switching costumes, and it’s gotten difficult to really find myself invested. The most important piece to take away from this issue is that Peter Parker is not a fun guy anymore; he has extreme PTSD and is much more Bucky Barnes (personality wise) than Spider-Man anymore. Also, Kingpin has been turned into some cyborg monster like the one in Afro Samurai. It’s all surreal, but it’s also a lot of fun to see just how things have changed in this world. However, it’s not the Civil War I know, and with Secret Wars really wearing thin, it’s is beginning to come across as just another way to sell copies. – Sherif


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 08-19-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

loki 17 potw panel 08.19.15

Loki: Agent of Asgard #17 – A+
Well, shit. I wasn’t expecting a divine existential crisis when I flipped this book open, but hell, that’s exactly what I got. As a writer, I adored this issue. Stories being so powerful they come true and create gods? That’s the dream. While Loki said he wasn’t sure whether what he was saying was true or not, he sort of hit the nail on the head. Hell, the cellphone wouldn’t have come about— at least not in the way it did— if it weren’t for Star Trek. Loki wasn’t so far off with his theory. The art in this was simple but beautifully done. Loki stood out against everything else, a clever way of furthering the point he was trying to make him. The Gods of Gods were fainter; harder to see; not as real. Loki, the God of stories, however, was vibrant, whole, real. It’s the stories that have the power and by making Loki stand out more visually, it just ingrains that even more. Loki: Agents of Asgard has had some stumbles throughout its run, but this final issue was absolutely wonderful and has me excited for what might happen next for the character. – Charlotte

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #3 – A-
This Bizarro road trip comedy is turning out to be a who’s who of DC heroes and villains as Bizarro and Jimmy Olsen find their way up to Bizarro United States AKA Canada. This issue focuses on the pair in a western ghost town and teaming up with Chastity Hex relative of the legendary Jonah Hex. With a story involving ghosts, possession, the Wild West, and of course everyones favorite pet Chupacabra, Colin. This issue was the weakest so far for the series but that it not saying much as it was still a blast to read and I am absolutely loving the comedic and “good guy” take on Bizarro. Heath Corson does a great job with the story although it definitely could have used more Chupacabra! Gustavo Duarte is perfect art wise and with a slight touch of the hand he can make Bizarro adorable and the next second terrifying. Definitely pick up this issue if you are a bizarre fan or if you just enjoy a more comedic comic every once an awhile. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A): I have been dying to review Bizarro for awhile. It’s such a good book: funny, cartoony, touching, earnest. The fact that every 24 pages are its own stand alone story, and each set of 24 pages so thoroughly satisfies is a testament. In this, Jimmy and Bizarro find themselves in an Canadian old west ghost town (I didn’t know those existed either. I mean, Canada, who’da thunk?) populated by legit ghosts. They’re helping out the great granddaughter of Jonah Hex — bounty hunting and great hats run in the blood — find a bounty. And then biz gets Bizarro. -Montgomery

Justice League #43 – B
So, Batman is a god now. That’s kinda cool; let’s add that to his resume of cool stuff he’s done. This issue keeps prying at the Pandora’s Box of awful things that will undoubtedly befall our heroes. Although most of the book can be summed up with “man, once Darkseid gets here, everybody is screwed,” there are enough moving pieces to keep the story interesting and engaging. Plus, Batman is a total ass now that he has god-like powers. And now there’s some hell-bent photo-negative version of Superman? It’s confusing, but fun. – Sherif

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #3 – B-
While this issue definitely had a fair amount of filler (what even was that trip sequence?), I really enjoyed it. Something that I appreciate about this comic is that while there’s been a lot of twists and turns, none of it really feel unnecessary or tangental (except for maybe that trip sequence.) It all makes sense despite how absolutely ludicrous some of the characters and settings are. It’s all a lot of fun with the humor and sexual absurdity, but overall it doesn’t lose its grounding. I think Power Girl is a major reason it’s able to straddle that line. Whenever things start to get a little too out there, she reins it back in. The plot itself really embodies Power Girl and Harley’s dynamic and as a writer, it’s wonderful to watch. I look forward to what lies ahead for these characters as they try to knock Vartox out of his trance. – Charlotte

Wonder Woman #43 – D+
I feel like if Diana is going to be the one in charge of Donna’s redemption, she really needs to pay attention to what the hell is going on. Instead, she runs around this entire issue trying to find Donna, who is convinced that killing herself is the quickest way to redemption. There’s absolutely no focus on where I should be paying attention to, and the absence of David Finch’s art is woefully noticeable. On the plus side, at least her new outfit is badass. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #49 – A-
We are at the penultimate issue before the massive close to this story arc in issue #50! Things are definitely crazy with the Turtles under attack by Stockman’s robots, and only until Karai arrives and offers the turtles and Splinter an honorable death by facing Shredder and his cronies in a duel that will leave either Splinter or Shredder dead. Ending on another epic to be continued this month, this series has me on the edge on my seat. The writing team of Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz makes for a perfect creative marriage of the minds and gives us in my opinion, the best Turtles stories we have ever seen. I am anxiously awaiting to see how this story ends, who will come out of this fight alive and how Donatello will finally become a normal turtle again. Why isn’t it next month already?!?!?! – Jacob

Second Opinion (B): The best way to prepare for an epic #50 is a battle royale between good guys and bad guys. It feels a little ill-fitting, but has potential to be extraordinary. Unfortunately, waiting for the milestone issue is our only option. – Sherif

TMNT: Amazing Adventures #1 – C-
Let’s start by saying that if you aren’t current with the Nickelodeon TV series, you will be lost. Why is there a fish with mechanical legs? Why is Karai a snake? It won’t make sense, and that’s okay. Easily enough, this issue centers around a bad guy who has managed to mind-control a mutant of every Zodiac sign. It’s so bad, even the Shredder is looking to team-up. It’s forgettable, but if you’re a die-hard TMNT fan, it might be worth a gander. – Sherif

Second Opinion (C+)This might be the most insane concoction of animal mutants I’ve ever seen. Please just don’t make me look at pigeon boy again. 

Image Comics:

Birthright #10 – A
It’s official: I do not like Mikey, I’m not rooting for him, and he is a more fearsome villain than I ever expected. Maybe I underestimated Joshua Williamson (BIG MISTAKE) and I expected Mikey to come back to the good side and start fighting along side his brother and allies to defeat Lore on both Earth and Terranos. Apparently Mikey has a way darker side than I predicted and I am both shocked and intrigued. The little voice inside of me that wanted a happy ending, but in reality the direction Williamson has gone in this second story arc has proven to be way better writing than I could have hoped for. Birthright continues to lead the pack this week as one of the best written comics on shelves. – Keriann

Wolf #2 – B
I liked this issue a lot more than the last. There’s a nice blend of the serious dark humor that I can appreciate. I found myself in stiches when one of the vampires was turned in the middle of her menstrual cycle. She is forever doomed to menstruate. Fucking hilarious. And then to watch Wolfe try to figure out the wisdom in the synchronicity of his new charger needing tampons was an odd juxtaposition in a world ravaged by dark creepy crawlies. – Jené

Second Opinion (C): Honestly, this series isn’t bad but it certainly isn’t for me. It tries so hard to be mysterious but lacks any genuine intrigue. I had a hard time finishing the first two issues and will likely pass on the series from here on out. – Keriann

Postal #6 – B
This month’s issue was definitely a slower one, but what it lacked in outright action it really made up for in characterization. The whole issue was from Laura’s perspective and we really got to learn a lot more about her. She always seems so callous and cold – especially with her own son – and while this issue didn’t add any warmth to her it successfully peeled away a few more layers on who will likely be a very fascinating person. The overall plot didn’t move forward much, which is a little frustrating considering this is now two issues in a row that have gone outside the traditional story lines. I have to give credit to Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins’ ability to diverge from the central plot and still make the issue a very interesting read because I did not end this book feeling disappointed at all. – Keriann

Trees #12 – C
The series is continuing to build a momentum that I appreciate. I’m glad that the mayor of New York and Dr. Casey are the central characters of this volume. I just really hope they don’t go the way of the characters in the last volume. I don’t think I can handle liking characters that are just going to be eviscerated in a cloud of smoke. The killer black poppies are also back in this issue and it looks like we’ll soon have more information about the specific location of the Tress. Is Ireland the next outbreak of killer poppies? Hell, when you can make a flower menacing, in all seriousness, that’s kind of genius. Really looking forward for the next issues as always.- Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

X-tinction Agenda #3 – A
This is certainly one of the books with the best art. In the fourth issue, Rachel leads half the X-Men against the plague ridden other half to rescue Triage and Rogue, who are being used to heal the plague. This really does beg the question: if it was that easy to do from the start, why not do that? Ugh. Seriously, RACHEL. Anyways – in the process, the rescuers discover the racist creator of the plague. And then guys, and then you guys? There’s probably gonna be some Phalanx up in this pig. I’m unreasonably excited about that. – Montgomery

Weirdworld #3 – A
I love Weirdworld. It’s a great mix Heavy Metal and Conan. I also enjoy that it’s seems so far off the page from the rest of Battleworld it is its own little book. In this issue the Witch Queen has had enough of Arkon’s meddling and she has summoned “The Slayer”. After saving Crystar, or what’s left of him, from magma men, Arkon continues his journey to find Polemachus and he finds himself in a pub. This is where the he runs into “The Slayer” and an impending battle on a bridge takes place. Arkon escapes the blade of “The Slayer” for now and it looks like he’s ended up in the forest of the Man-Things. Someone needs to turn this comic into a D&D adventure. – Scott

Spider-Verse #4 – C
While I love the idea of a Gwen Stacey/Peter Parker reunion as much as the next guy, this issue took a sharp turn for the boring. The major conspiracy of Norman being the bad guy is one that might be surprising to the cast of characters, but definitely not to readers. Not only that, but there is a noticeable lack in character expression outside of Gwen; even Ham comes across as flat and just plain dumb throughout the issue. I want to get back to the multiversity of it all. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A)I’ve never been a huge spidey guy (go ahead – tar’s in the corner, feathers are in the cupboard), but I have always liked spidey when he gets weird — symbiote wars, clone wars, secret wars. Pretty much when he wars, I guess — and this book has all kinds of weird all over. I dig it. – Montgomery

Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 – C-
The quality of this was sort of all over the place. The first story was just plain boring and nothing significant really happened. Like, what changed? Nothing. There was no reason to even write it. The second one was interesting, though. I love Ms. Marvel, so anything with her in it is always fun to read, but this story took a really great direction. There’s a moment where you think “Oh, they’re gonna kiss. They just met. Here we go. More of this Disney bullshit,” but then they grasp hands and celebrate their win bro-style. It was a great moment. The rest of the comic was sort of lack luster. I enjoyed the complexity of a biracial married couple that also happen to be ex-superheroes in the third story, but it was pretty short and unfortunately not much happened. They could have fleshed that out more. The last one was just stupid. They could have cut the bug thing completely and it would have been a stronger comic. Squirrel Girl and Thor’s date was pretty weak, too. Like, what was the point? Nothing really happened. It was sort of cute but lacked a real plot. My real question, though, is why was this released now? This seems more like a Valentine’s Day one shot to me than anything else. Is this supposed to be a series? I hope not. – Charlotte

Second Opinion (F): I’m being purposefully generous with that n/a score because I clearly chose the wrong book here. I simply saw it on the Secret Wars list, and knew nothing about it. It’s kind of a cool reference to Marvel’s pre-Marvel days as Timely comics when they used to romance comics (and a lot of them). But I’m bummed out that none of these 5 (which feel infinite) stories are actual romance stories true to the genre, instead being sort of a jokey superhero nod to romance. Every story feels like it’s saying, “OMG guys, can you even? I mean, can you even?” The obnoxious self referential narration boxes in the last story cinches it. Plus, who’s going to believe a story in which Ant-Man ISN’T beating his wife? In short: these stories are 100% not aimed at me, and I don’t want to give them a bad grade simply because I didn’t like them. – Montgomery

Runaways #3 – B+
This series keeps getting better. Cho fixes up a doombot’s head so that he can get information about the school. The gang flees to Cho’s home of the Warzone domain to discover it’s been bombed out. Which does make me ask: is it only recently that it’s become the Warzone? Because if not, I’m not sure what he expected. Meanwhile, Bucky leads a team of super students to hunt the gang. I do miss the bright colors of the original Runaways as I feel it’d better fit the tone of the book, but regardless, the art is expressive and quirky. – Montgomery

Howard The Human #1 – B-
I have been waiting for this comic for quite some time and although it was a very well written, well thought out, and very enjoyable story, it falls a bit short to me as far as connecting it to Howard the Duck. The premise of him being the only Human in a world of animals is a great idea but as a Avid Howard fan it seemed like this character could more easily not be Howard than how easy it would to be to connect this story to him. The complete disconnection to Howard the Duck aside, the story is very good and enjoyable. Skottie Young proves he has the writing chops as much as he does art world with his little marvel characters, and Rocket Raccoon, and I would love to see him write a issue or two of Howard the Duck, although Chip Zdarsky doing phenomenal with that series so just let him be with that. More than anything though I wish the art was different for this story. Not that Jim Mahfood’s art is bad by any means, but it felt a bit out of place for this setting and story to me. – Jacob

Second Opinion (B+): I like the conceit of a regular dude tripping through space and time and landing in New Quack City. I also really liked the art. Like, it’s among my top 5 of the Secret Warts titles (which, so far, has had lackluster art overall). But it was a pretty good book: clever, weird, stylistic. My only beef is that the caper was a little hard to follow. Too many gears for 24 pages. – Montgomery

Secret Wars Journal #4 – C+
If I read these correctly, these function as short stories that are teasers for upcoming plot threads. Namely: the breach of the shield by Ultron, and the return of Phoenix? Maybe? The first story is Egyptia-Punisher (THAT’S a book I wanna read) and Age-of-Apocalypse-Iron Fist are guarding the shield when they find an Ultron centipede and decide they have to murder it. Looking for its source, they find the Mole Man who uses old Ultron units to build his underground domain. But then they rise up. The second story is Moon Knight who sneaks into the Years of Future Past domain to ask an undercover Psylocke to help break his husband out of a camp. She relents, and while she has her inspiring (if unearned in 12 pages) realization about needing something to fight for, she sees a bright star in the sky that looks suspiciously like a flamed out Phoenix. Or perhaps a Nova Corps flare. I dunno. Small anthologies are hard to pull off, and I don’t think Secret Wars is the place for that (Egyptia X-Men and Silver Surfer being the glaring and impeccable exceptions) as the world is too different to be able to just get pure story. A third is always exposition, which makes the remainder of the story feel rushed and unearned. – Montgomery

Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies #3 – C+
This story is proving to be quite interesting a miles above the Marvel Zombies book being published with Secret Wars. This particular story bring in Hank Pym from he Timely aka 1872 universe to help bring down Ultron but what he and his fellow heroes don’t realize is the zombies and Ultron have made peace to destroy the humans. James Robinson brings a great story to life or in better terms, he gave a dead story I.E. Marvel Zombies a new twist and seemingly brought the dead back to life just to make sure we got that he made a zombie out of Marvel Zombies. Steve Pugh does a great job with the art and what becomes of the Ultrons/Zombies at the end definitely took some creative hands to muster those few panel up. Definitely pick this story up if you a a fan of Ultron or Zombies but this story definitely is not the best offered from Secret Wars, but at least we can rest assured it cant get much worse than Marvel Zombies #1 from Secret Wars. – Jacob

Star Wars #8 – C
I’m still reeling my jaw off the ground from this whole Han Solo has a wife thing.  It’s certainly the most interesting (and unexpected) thing to happen in this series so far.  I’m a bit bummed that we didn’t receive any background on this new, electrifying character.  How does Han know her?!  Where did they meet?!  What flavor was their wedding cake?!  Hopefully we won’t have to wait long for these answers.  Luke’s newly self-given mission is certain to be a riveting one.  It’s the equivalent of jumping into the tiger exhibit at the zoo to see if you can take down the big cat just because your neanderthal ancestors hunted Sabertooths back in the day.  Definitely don’t want to miss that. – Taylor

Second Opinion (B)I’m just not overly interested Mrs. Solo. It seems like it just overly well thought out. I’m hoping that will change. Now who’s this guy that stole Luke’s saber? – Scott

House of M #1 – C
I’m not going to call this book bad, but I was by no means impressed. The original House of M was phenomenal, and after recently re-reading the original run, I was excited to read a new iteration. Only thing was, it was all about House Magnus and how hard it is to be ruler of the world. Nice thing is, there’s a bit of background into how the takeover happened, and what it’d be like to see Magneto’s vision realized. Bad thing… well, pretty much everything else.

Second Opinion (D)It’s been awhile since I’ve dipped into anything X-Men related. I wasn’t impressed. I wanted to liked it but instead I found myself bored. Maybe it’ll get better. – Jené

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2 – C-
I have to say this series intrigued me from the get go as I always wanted more Captain Britain comics, but all the twists and differences in this universe make it a little hard to swallow at times. This series has a whole slew of famous heroes be involved and yet none of them are the same person, except She-Hulk, but even she was a Thor for this domain. The differences in heroes identities can definitely get confusing  but never the less if you f orget that the story is enjoyable and very interesting, so definitely got to give it up to Al Ewing for writing well enough to not get lost among the confusion. I will definitely continue reading it as I love the art style by Alan Davis and especially love Spider-Man/Spider-Hero’s costume for this series and I can never turn down a good She-Hulk story. – Jacob

Kanan – The Last Padawan #5 – D
So the final issue in Kanan’s background arc is here.  What started out as an ensnaring and dark coming of age journey, ended in cliche Saturday morning kid’s cartoon fashion.  I was really hoping Weisman would deviate a bit from the more family oriented style and keep things edgy.  In the end, it is still a solid arch and I’m still on board for the next journey for Kanan. – Taylor


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 08-12-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

secret wars battleworld 4 funny panel 08.12.15

Secret Wars Battleworld #4 – A
Easily my favorite of the SW titles this month, and probably the best of the Battleworld anthology books. Two stories starring the Silver Surfer, and both the kind of stories Battleworld need to be: characters trying to subsist in upside down worlds. In the first (with art by the incredible James Stokoe), Surfer hunts monsters to sate the appetite of his master Galactus in exchange for the safety of his Egyptia-themed homeland, Zenn-La (remember that X-Men story in Egyptia? DO YA? Ya should, because it’s the best 12 pages to come out of Secret Wars to date). Except, monsters aren’t enough for Galactus because he’s supposed to be eating planets. In the second, Surfer retrieves his board, stolen by Maestro. Both excellent stories with fantastic art, both very difficult to pull off in 12 pages. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Gotham Academy #9 – B
Werewolves are here! Gotham Academy sure does attract the supernatural. The modern day Scooby-Doo but with real monsters keeps me coming back, and this issue was no different. Except we got one serious cliffhanger about Olive’s mom. I am really looking forward to see what all that is about. I love Maps and her “Part Flow” to catch the wolf. The thing I love most about this book is the coloring. I am never not blown away at how the colors jump off the page. – Adrian

Batman #43 – B-
Okay, so Batman is a scientific character, right? Well, get yourself ready for a boatload of bullsh*t science to explain how the hell he escaped that cave with the Joker (who we can only assume is walking around with amnesia. That will be interesting…) and forgot everything. And because Batman is so smart, he designed some weird ass cloning system to recreate who he was after his parents got killed. IT’S SO STUPID… If you can swallow that, then it’s one of my favorite issues of Batman. There’s a great philosophical debate between Alfred and Superman, the emergence of a frightening new villain, and more beautiful Greg Capullo art to admire (who seems very much at home with this type of bad guy). Bat-Gordon is so screwed… – Sherif

Second Opinion (B+): Damn. Bruce Wayne was sexy. Clark Kent was sexy. Mr. Bloom is a very cool and fresh new concept that I am very intrigued with. How are they gonna do Penguin like that? The explanation of Bruce being alive was blah, but Alfred going over his life was very sad. Did I mention I like the way Greg Capullo drew Bruce and Clark? – Adrian

Action Comics #43 – B-
So, this is a new take on Superman. He’s now leader of some Neighborhood Watch/Black Panther coalition. He’s a victim of hate crimes for being an alien, and he’s punching cops in the face. This is not your father’s Superman. It’s an approach that I enjoy reading. I don’t necessarily relate to this new version of him, but it’s not like I did with the original, either, and it’s a take on the character that’s unique and entertaining. The “I am Superman” social justice campaign could be something that has real parallel to the real world, so I’d suggest tuning in. – Sherif

Earth 2 Society #3 – C+
There is something about this comic that bothers me, but I can’t quite figure out what it is. I feel like the story is trying to spread itself so wide, they end up losing the point of it all. And I end up losing the reason why I should care. For instance, this entire issue was one big flash back to Lois Lane’s life after the crash. We legitimately only saw about 4 pages of main story content. In the end, I just end up not caring. With how often they switch between current and past times, they lose me. With how many characters they are trying to build a story around, they lose me. I’m sure for some people, this comic is dope as hell; however, I’m simply not starting to care what happens. It’s so jumbled that it confuses me and it makes it difficult for me to stay up with whatever the point of the book is. – Evan

DC Bombshells #1 – C
I have to admit, I didn’t dislike this. My mindset going into it was that pin-up style clothing may be cool, but pin-up style sexism would not be all that fun to read. However, Bombshells finds that little pocket of sunshine that really embodied women being just as able-bodied and capable as the men who were off to war. Plus, I’m pretty sure that if I follow closely enough, Wonder Woman is going to punch Hitler in the face. Eat your heart out, Steve Rogers! – Sherif

Second Opinion (C+): I love the way the clothes are drawn in this series. So much so, I am considering making a bombshell version of Batwoman for Cosplay. I found each woman’s story very intriguing. Supergirl is Russian? That was the most intriguing of all. I will most certainly keep reading this series that is full of imagination. – Adrian

Justice League: Gods and Monsters #1 – C-
It’s fair to say that this probably won’t make a lot of sense to those who haven’t seen the animated movie. Here’s all you need to know: the Trinity (Supes, Bats, WW) are all different, and they kill people – openly. It’s basically Watchmen starring characters you kind of know already. The book dives into each situation a bit more, but there’s nothing to blow your mind, and all of the characters are off-putting; Wonder Woman is the only likable character – until she uses Superman as a sex object. The art is decent, and it’s not bad as far as retcons go, but you could spend your money on something better if you tried. – Sherif

Second Opinion (B)All you need to know is that Superman is still an ass-hat.  Only this time, he has a creepy goatee. – Taylor

IDW Publishing: 

Orphan Black #5 – B+
I might be a total sucker for origin stories, but this series has been really cool. As an Orphan Black fan stuck in the terrible clutches that is hiatus, I appreciate the additional material. While this comic definitely relies on the source material to make sense, the gaps it fills are really interesting, especially when it comes to this issue. Watching the show we don’t know a ton about Rachel’s past. We know she was raised self aware; We know she was told her parents died in a fire; And we know she can be a total self entitled bitch. What this issue really clears up for us is why and how she got where she is. It’s a cool insight to read. This issue also sets up season four, introducing a brand new clone that hasn’t been on the show yet! Veera looks like she will be an interesting addition to the Clone Club. I’m excited to see her come onto the show this November. Looks like Rachel’s past is coming to bite her in the ass once again. – Charlotte

Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum Wars #2 – B-
I’m still super pumped about this crossover. I’d never thought about bringing these two worlds together, so the concept is still exciting. However, I feel like the set up is taking a few too many shortcuts. While Chekov is definitely a capable young man, I felt like he shouldn’t have been able to use the ring so quickly, so easily. Same thing with Chang. Shouldn’t there be some sort of learning curve with this stuff? It just jumped in a little too quickly for my taste. I do like who they’re bringing to the table when it comes to the other ring bearers, however, especially with the Romulans as it ties in the reboot universe really well. Looks like we’re gearing up for an awesome showdown. – Charlotte

Second Opinion (B)Color me impressed. I really wasn’t expecting to like this story so much. It’s awesome. Just a really fun issue. Gorn being chosen a Lantern? Wonderful. – Jené

X-Files: Season 11 #1 – B-
The start to this new series of X-Files is a direct sequel to the past Season 10 series, which left most of our friends in trouble and running from it while Gibson f*cked stuff up the way any telekinetic can, just causing complete chaos. We leave off with Mulder a runaway, Scully being constantly questioned, The Lone Gunmen on the run, and the F.B.I. severely downsizing, especially the X-Files, trying to modernize and rebrand since everyone is doing it these days.  Although this story is intriguing and I am looking forward to seeing where this comic takes us, this initial issue did not offer much for me, other than another chance to see The Lone Gunmen. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A)Shit’s on guys. It just keeps gettin’ realer. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

ODY-C #6 – B+
I swear to baby Jesus (possibly featured in a future issue), if I knew what the hell was happening in this, it’d get an A+. But this book is so bizonkers and crazy, I feel like I need to reread everything published so far as well as an academic essay or two. It features a character who I think is supposed to be Dude Cleopatra, but dressed like the Minotaur of Minos. He’s kept as Queen Ene’s sex slave, but then Hercules’ (a rapist) sons (also rapists?) come to free him, but Dude Cleo doesn’t know what to do with his freedom, so he sweeps the floor at a popular universal brothel. What the hell is even happening. Is this related to the prior 5 issues? In the back there are two essays about how this is based on The Iliad and 1001 Nights, but who knows what is happening. And would it hurt our boy Fraction to use a word balloon? I know he reserves those for the gods, but sometimes it feels punishing to keep track of that much narration. But: mad props to the Zeus cosplayer in this month’s letter section. And the art is relentlessly atomic. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (B-): This whole time, I’ve only been pretending to know what the hell is going on because Montgomery did. Now I can openly say I have no f*cking clue what is happening. It sure is nice to look at the pretty pictures, though. – Sherif

Descender #6 – B-
Book One is complete, folks! I had a pretty good emotional connection to this series, but was underwhelmed with this issue. The back story to how the A.I. was created was a little long and seemed oddly placed. However, the big reveal at the end of the book was MIND-BLOWING. The set up for Book Two was very well done, and I cannot wait for Lemire and Nguyen to team up once more. – Adrian

The Walking Dead #145 – B-
Things are really heating up in TWD… or, they will… one day… The slow burn of this series is killing any kind of momentum the big events happen. Charlie Adlard continues to be a hero, making a dull issue really pop with his emotionally-charged pencilwork. As much as I look forward to this book each issue, the amount of teasing foreplay is making me consider just buying it in trade format. That aside, I’m curious whether Rick decides to march everybody into certain doom, or try to lie to them about what is going on. – Sherif

Second Opinion (C)I still don’t know how to process the pain and torture this comic puts me through.  It’s awesome 😀 – Taylor

Injection #4 – C
Readers are getting closer to knowing what Maria Kilbride and her team have done to the world. It’s being dangled like a carrot in front of me, pulling me from one issue to the next. Compared to the last issue, I was disappointed in the story and the character development. It was slow and didn’t feel like it revealed all that much. The issue is split between Marian’s battle with/search for what the injection is, and her past – where it is slowly divulged exactly what the injection is and how it works. I’m thinking AI something or other? All I know is it’s messing with the space-time continuum and monsters seem to be real. I feel like you could skip this issue without missing any critical information. – Jené

Shutter #14 – C
One of the things I’ve always loved about Shutter is that it never takes itself too seriously. Writer Joe Keatinge can stop mid-scene and say something ridiculous to make readers laugh. However, it’s starting to happen so much that it’s making me lose interest in Kate’s plight. Also, the story is just getting more and more ridiculous; it’s the comic book equivalent of Homer Simpson endlessly falling down the Springfield Gorge, with no relief. Leila del Duca continues her amazing artwork, and the characters are becoming more dynamic each issue (MORE CASSIUS!!). It’s a fun book, but I don’t think I could convince anybody new to read it at this point. – Sherif

Beauty #1 – C
The story’s premise is an attractive one (pun intended). It has a lot of potential to explore our relationship to beauty. But, I wasn’t all that gripped by it. For a first read, it’s rather meh. I do hope the story finds its stride as it develops. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Secret Wars #5 – A-
I like that when Secret Wars isn’t being pedantic and formulaic, it’s being weird and inventive. In the fifth issue, Sheriff Strange’s death is honored, and Doom visits the real source of his power, which was a relief. It’s been bugging me this whole time that Doom is portrayed as being as powerful as he really is. But he ain’t!! In Earth-X (LOOK IT UP!) style, some minor footnote character ends up being the key to all of it. Doom’s daughter has to hunt down the survivors of the 616 and the 1610. It’s one of the more engaging and experimental Marvel events, like I said, when it isn’t being by-the-numbers… like I also said. – Montgomery

Inhumans Attilan Rising #4 – B+
I wasn’t feeling this series that much until this issue. This answers some key questions and introduces some good reasons why I should care about Attilan, specifically. Like I said, too many of these SW comics are “Doom bad,” but Black-Bolt-Just-Kidding-Not-Black-Bolt has good specific reasons for doing what he does. To recap: Medusa’s probably good, but doesn’t know she’s a puppet. Black Bolt refused the terrigan mists because he doesn’t want to be tracked. And Doom uses mind control rays. The bastid. – Montgomery

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 – B
This series has been one of my favorites of the year. I love the meta-ness that Doreen and Nancy possess. This issue had me laughing hysterically at all the Wikipedia and CatThor jokes. While those jokes were necessary for the essence of the series, I did think this issue was rushed. Then again, I know it was because Squirrel Girl is getting “rebooted” with a second #1 issue later this year because of Secret Wars. This was a good run. I hope it keeps up like this in the future series. – Adrian

Star Wars: Lando #2 – B
Okay, so I got over the silliness of the Emperor chasing Lando around the galaxy and decided to roll with it.  I’m glad I did because it makes the second installment of Lando that much sexier.  The intrigue is high, as it’s still not know what Lando has got his hands on that old man Palpatine wants back so badly.  Add to that an exciting showdown with an impressive Imperial space fleet, and we’ve got a solid issue.  It was true in the premiere issue and it’s true here too, that this series has a very unique composition in comparison to the other Star Wars titles running right now.  I think this is mostly due to Lando’s inherent ability to be super entertaining and crazy charming.  Is it weird for a grown ass man to blush at a comic book character whenever he drops a smooth line or does something incredible??  My cheeks are cherry and I’m loving it! – Taylor

Howard the Duck #5 – B
This issue is the end to this series/story arc of Howard, but don’t worry as he will return in the All-New All-Different Marvel universe, yet all the same creative team, in Howard the Duck #1. But for now and next months Howard the Human, the was a fantastic ending to a very well done story that would delight even the slightest Howard fan and make a fan out of any new comers to the world of Howard. The final battle is here and Howard and Tara Tam have to help every hero take down Talos and Tara just may have a trick up her sleeve! Chip Zdarsky’s writing is brilliant and he turns who could likely be known as Marvel’s Jar Jar into a great modern series working from the past, the present and seldomly the future. Joe Quinones is also perfect on art and Howard is lucky to have such a damn good creative team behind him – Jacob

A-Force #3 – B
This was a solid issue. I like the way the newcomer is coming into this for the most part, but it’s all still a little vague with what her purpose in the narrative is. I was expecting more of a reaction from She Hulk over her. Afterall, she did appear out of nowhere directly after America was banished. That’s gotta mean something. You’d think She Hulk would be a little more affected. We’ll have to see how this new girl comes into play as the comic goes forward, but so far I like her well enough. The rest of the story is pretty good too, but something just seems to be missing. These Secret World narratives always leave me feeling less than stellar. They’re good, but they’re not great. This whole new universe feels like they’re just trying to follow in DC’s New 52 footsteps and it’s just making things confusing and messy rather than complex and engaging. That being said, it’s not a bad comic. It’s just not their best. – Charlotte

Second Opinion (A-)Where has an all-female Avengers been all my life? This is one of the best, and most consistently good, series out of all of the Secret Wars titles. Jennifer Walters/ She-Hulk is just the best! – Jacob

Planet Hulk #4 – C+
Although I truly love all things Hulk, I feel as though this comic continually shows the same story over and over for every issue. Captain America is too bold and stubborn to listen to Doc Green. Therefore, Cap charges ahead without any concerns. Doc Green ends up having to save him, and then they carry on. Throw in the occasional missing dinosaur who always finds his way home, a few long speeches about how Bucky must be found and the Red King must die, and add a slightly surprising ending and boom…you just created your one Planet Hulk comic issue. The one thing I can appreciate is the violent battle sequences, and how we tend to see a small addition to Greenland every issue. I simply wish we saw more of the mudlands – that place seemed stupidly scary. – Evan

Second Opinion (B+)Clever and engaging use of Bucky and Steve Rogers. And Devil Dinosaur. I feel like I’ve read the other issues, but none of it seemed to stick. I like the portrayal of a world gone Hulk rampant. – Montgomery

Ghost Racers #3 – C
This is a difficult book for me to get a read on. I like the Ghost Rider, but I feel he’s at his best when he’s pulpy and vengeance-y, where the art is scratchy and 90’s Vertigo looking. Ghost Racers looks right when everyone’s ghosted up, but it doesn’t feel right… yet. I don’t know if it will, either. So far, it feels like yet another Secret Wars checklist in which it simply has to go through the motions of “Doom bad, (insert character name here) smash Doom.” I’d rather just see how a vengeance spirit operates in this bizarre world. But our main character isn’t even a vengeance spirit? I guess? At least that’s what this book claims. And the art looks too much like not a Ghost Rider book to really grab me. Some of the Secret Wars books make sense as “must stop Doom” books, but I wish some, like Ghost Racers, would be insular. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (B-)Shit! Not Gabe! The ending of this tore my freaking heart out. It was an obvious choice, taking the kid brother hostage, but there’s something so much worse about making him compete in Reyes’ place that really hits you right in the feels. I’m anxious to see what happens to Gabe. Poor little dude. – Charlotte

Years of Future Past #4 – C
I can’t wait to see the second opinion on this book because I find it confounding. I feel like I’m reading a foreign language: none of what I’m reading sticks or seems to make sense, and there seems to be an unnecessary amount of information switching. Is Logan’s son his son? Oh no, turns out it’s Colossus. Is Magneto good? Nope. Er, wait. Yep. Just kidding. Or am I. Anyways, Pryde and Piotr’s kids are fighting about who gets to murder who, and it seems to eat its own tail and be very difficult to keep track of. Sherif? Agree? Disagree? – Montgomery

Second Opinion (C+): This is like Les Mis for mutants, Jesus. The betrayal of Magneto was unexpected, and almost a little too dramatically extreme. Do we kill Chrissie Pryde and lead a mutant martyrdom or kill Robert Kelly and help wipe out all the mutants? This is the mutant equivalent of “paper or plastic.” – Sherif

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #3 – C
So far, I haven’t been super impressed with this comic. The dialogue is exposition-y, the plot is confusing and the characters lack depth. The only redeeming thing about it is Deadpool’s commentary and given that Frankenstein is the only one who can hear him, he’s not really in the plot yet and therefore can’t be utilized to his full advantage. Perhaps once he makes contact with Shiklah things will get more interesting, but right now it’s a little weak. – Charlotte


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 08-05-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

Ms. Marvel #17 copy 3

Ms. Marvel #17 – A
It’s the Ms. Marvel team-up you’ve been waiting for! Captain Marvel herself, Carol Danvers, pays Kamala a visit in New Jersey to warn her of the impending doom. Beyond the standard cute dialogue that writer G Willow Wilson injects into each issue, there’s also a lot of substance in this book. Under the guidance of Captain Marvel, which feels so much more like a mentorship than the “babysitter” role other hero cameos have been, Kamala learns of the tough decisions that heroes are faced with. And it involves kittens. This book is precious. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Batman Beyond #3 – C+
This month, I just did not connect at all. The part with Tim trying to get out of Brother Eye’s watch seemed long, and Terry McGinnis’s kid brother is a total dick. But now that Tim brought Brother Eye to Gotham, it looks like things will be getting more interesting. One thing I did like was Tim finally admitting he is Batman now, not Tim and not Drake. Just Batman. – Adrian

Detective Comics #43 – D-
Books like this are why I have trust issues with DC. Leave it to them to compromise decades worth of character development just to sell issues for one stupid book. I was under the impression that Detective Comics was getting a chance to start anew with Jim Gordon being the Batman now. La Morte was a legit set of new bad guys, the Internal Affairs investigation with Yip was solid, but they pissed it all away to introduce Joker’s Daughter as a formidable bad guy – complete with unnecessarily-large robot – and revealed Harvey’s plan to murder Yip… Stupid. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers #44 – A
Thank baby Jesus there was no Earth. This was a good issue: intrigue, Arcee being a badass, Starscream being Just The Worst, secret Decepticon uprising. Biz be legit. Finally. Ugh. Combiner Wars was worse than a thousand Hitlers. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Dark Corridor #1 – A
It’s fairly rare that an issue grabs my attention so firmly from the very first panel.  There’s nothing too special about an unfamiliar dog barking at the back door of a stranger’s house, but there was something about it that really drew me in.  Maybe it was because the dog was covered in blood…  With Archie Comic style artwork and a total Sin City, noir type story line, Dark Corridor is a winner.  The other highlighting aspect of this comic is that it will ultimately be a collection of short stories that overlap in crazy ways that will certainly blow our happy little nerd brains (think Pulp Fiction or Sin City).  The funny thing is nothing was particularly unique, or cutting edge or entirely thought provoking, but the finished piece was so perfectly paced and put together that I couldn’t help but love the issue.  It’s also pretty funny seeing what an Archie style drive-by looks like.  I don’t know about you, but the sound effect “BLAM” is just wonderfully silly to me.  If you like noir, mobsters, dogs, and “BLAM” then Dark Corridor is absolutely for you! – Taylor

Second Opinion (C+): Color me unimpressed. The entire issue was built around some sort of murder-mystery that juuuuust barely scratched the surface of the female motorbike assassins. The art reminded me of poorly-drawn [adultswim] commercials. It has high potential, but this was too much of a slow-burn for me. – Sherif

Kaptara #4 – A
I absolutely love this series and its vast amount of imagination. If this is what Chip Zdarsky’s mind is like on the inside, when can I book a trip there through Airbnb? This issue is a great flashback for Manton which features a younger version of him, but it covers a pretty horrible event he caused and gives you quite a bad taste in you mouth afterwards. This event leads all of our heroes into trouble, despite the presence of so many cat tanks…  So here is hoping we can figure out how everyone can recover from Manton’s mistakes as it seems he likely has a ton. Kagan McLeod absolutely kills it with his art yet again and bring the craziness of Chip’s imagination to life perfectly and makes for one of the most visually entertaining books on the shelves. – Jacob

Second Opinion (D)Not a fan of this issue. Compared to the others, it just wasn’t as funny or intriguing. Dartor is my least favorite character and so far this was its been my least favorite issue. – Jené

Nailbiter #15 B
I am just as surprised as you are that I am giving Nailbiter a B this week, I’ve never given it such a low score! However, the sad truth is that this story just keeps getting dragged out further and further with minimal payoff. I feel like we are no closer to knowing the secret of the Buckaroo Butchers at this point, and this issue was the end of the second story arc. I suppose I was just expecting more. On the plus side, we were at least given some interesting things to look forward to (holy shit, Carroll is awake (!), Alice is [SPOILER]’s daughter (!), Finch is under arrest (!), and what happened to Warren?!) but on the whole it feels like the story cannot properly build if not even a little light is shed on what we’ve been itching to find out since issue #1. – Keriann

Second Opinion (B+)I can’t believe we have to wait until October for the next issue. There were lots of questions left unanswered. The Butcher is working for someone? Who is the Butcher? Why are Carroll’s limbs missing again? I NEED ANSWERS, WILLIAMSON! – Adrian

Deadly Class #15 – B+
Make no mistake, this has never been a “fun” book. Deadly Class is manically-paced, yet visually awing. It’s dark and depressing, yet introspectively beautiful. However, since Maria’s departure from the series, Marcus’ life has been a snowball of shit, and we get to hear and witness his slip into drug addiction, dangerous paranoia and unlikeability. As uncomfortable as it can be, it opens up the discussion for, and accurately pinpoints, a lot of what it feels like to feel empty and alone. The angst that Marcus feels is an embodiment of an entire generation reeling from conformity. There’s still so much more to explore with the story, but Marcus’ fall into insanity is going to have to play its course before that goes any further. – Sherif

We Stand on Guard #2 – B+
Oh Canada, you got so screwed in this book… I can’t help but take the Nucks’ side in this debacle. Canada has been invaded and the resistance is slowly being put in a stranglehold – all coincidentally at the same time they let in a young Canadian girl, our main protagonist. For a story about Canada, it’s getting really spicy. Plus, this issue has naked butts a gay cyborg with a cyote-wolf hybrid. – Sherif

8House: Arclight #2 – C
Again, I find myself having a hard time talking about this particular series. I know that I like it. It’s different from anything that I’m reading both in terms of story and art. But, I almost feel the story is better suited for a graphic novel than a comic book run. I never feel like I get enough story in one sitting. Though, this might be because I haven’t read the mini-series before it that encompasses this unique universe. It might have been a smoother read had I started out with 8House: Kiem. I do like Arclight and think it’s an intriguing story. But in the future I’m going to wait for when I can read a couple issues at a time and get more absorbed into it. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Spider-Island #2 – A
Man, who would have thought a book with such a silly concept would be so much fun. But that’s Spidey for you. Venom and his variously serum-augmented team is closing in on taking down the Spider Queen, and then… DRAMATIC REVEAL! The Spider-Woman story is also pretty good. Enthralla (Gryffindor minus 10 points: stupid name) has Enthralla’d SW’s friends and now they hunt her. Gryffindor plus 10 points: no exploitative Spider-Woman shots. – Montgomery

Darth Vader #7 – B+
This was kind of a strange issue. There was a lot of bureaucracy, for lack of a better word. We have Aphra with all of the henchmen taking care of their dirty work and we have Vader dealing being under the Emperor’s thumb. Vader seems absolutely obsessed with tracking down the young pilot who destroyed the Death Star. This seemed like a slow issue but it was more like a kettle about to boil over. There is a lot of tension bubbling under the surface and it’s getting ready to burst and time now. – Scott

Second Opinion (B)Nothing beats a rousing space heist pulled off by four of the most deadly bounty hunters in the galaxy.  Damn it feels good to be a smuggler. – Taylor

Red Skull #2 – B+
Red Skull is a character that never interested me. He’s just (Captain America X Germany) – Face. But I’m digging this book, if because of Magneto’s participation (probably the best villain ever, yes, I’m including Joker in that equation) than any other. The two strike a bargain with Annihilus’ horde to take down the shield and then Doom after that. Magneto is another no duh when it comes to fighting Doom. In fact, I feel like I need to read the research paper on how Doom built this world, because for being god, he seems significantly underpowered compared to almost his entire universe. – Montgomery

Ultimate End #4 – B+
Multiple iterations of Marvel heroes we actually know (i.e. Ultimate and vanilla versions of the Avengers) are duking it out in Battle World’s Manhattan. Does Doom care? This is how I want my super worlds to end. – Montgomery

Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #3 – B
The cuteness factor is getting to be a bit too much for me. The series is getting quite formulaic; even the introductory theme song is completely half-assed. The only winning factor with this book is seeing every niche-y character and Marvel reference played out in Scottie Young’s flawless Young style. Each full-page spread is worthy of a poster in your room, and the puns run wild and free. If you’re looking for substance, you won’t find it here. But it sure is cute! – Sherif

Groot #3 – B-
Although this Groot series is one of my favorites from Marvel at the moment, mostly because of Brian Kesinger’s art, this issue seemed pretty flat and uneventful. This being the second Groot and Silver Surfer story this month was kind of weird, but with this issue actually having dialogue separated the stories a bit. Overall the issue felt like it ended exactly as is started and it was more for the writer and artist to get a chance at Silver Surfer more than anything. The story is still enjoyable and is a great stand alone story, but not much has changed since the ending of issue #2 as far as Groot finding Rocket. But with me enjoying Kesinger’s art so much, I found it hard to give this a C and not keep it in B range. – Jacob

Civil War #2 – B-
As much as I’m enjoying this retcon of the classic Civil War story, it’s starting to feel much more like an Oceans 11 adaptation. Everything is built around some scheme to get some kind of leverage over the other side. It’s actually very interesting, but wears on the pace of the book. Peter Parker being Cap’s new lacky – and Bucky being Stark’s – has made for some interesting changes in Spidey, who is no longer making jokes. Even if the story is being convoluted, the characters and environment are very convincing; even Colossus is showing signs of rust. If you’re into retcons, this is one of the better ones to come out of Secret Wars. – Sherif

Age of Apocalypse #2 – C+
So, Magneto’s X-Men finally catch Doug Ramsey, the most important/least impressive mutant ever. Unless your mutant power were something like 10% thicker finger nails, it’s hard to imagine something more underwhelming than “good at language” when compared to people who blast lasers from their face. And then apocalypse. This is one of the (many) Battle World books that loses its edge and importance when viewed in its context of just a single shitty place in a world of shitty places. Plus, in Apocalypse vs. Doom, Apocalypse wins err’day, all day. The art, however, continues to knock it out of the park. Gerardo Sandoval’s Apocalypse is seriously cool, and would have been the feature image if it weren’t also the climax of the book. So far, the story of this AoE is underwhelming, but please definitely read it for the art. This is one guy I hope becomes a Marvel mainstay after Battle World settles down into Disgruntled Planet. – Montgomery

Siege #2 – C+
Man, I wish there was a second opinion on this book. This thing seems so incoherent to me. Uh, some people? The Shield? Now there are Ultron traitors? Uh, oh, stuff happens? I seriously cannot sum this book up. But, the two page spreads had some fantastic art. Srs bns. – Montgomery


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 07-29-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

sex criminals 11 POTW panel 2 07.29.15

Sex Criminals #11 – A
Reunited and it feels so good! So much has happened since the last issue of this phenomenal series came out in January: Chip is now writing two of his own books, and Matt has started an epic journey on Ody-C. The story gets zanier, with even less inhibition than before (if that’s possible). Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are an amazing tag team, and even after half a year, the chemistry is there. This series belongs on Skinemax. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A): Finally our favorite Sex (Heroes) Criminals are back and just as raunchy and well written as we remember. Oh and Manime is crazy weird! – Jacob

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Lobster Johnson – A Chain Forged in Life #1 – C+
Lobster Johnson, other than having the best superhero name ever, is pretty awesome. The problem is, he’s not really in this book. The story is told from the point of view of a kidnapped charity volunteer Santa Clause. A nice storefront Santa is a witness to a murder robbery and is in turn kidnapped by the guilty party. Naturally, Lobster Johnson is at every turn in the criminal’s attempt to escape. Lobster is a terrifying figure in the night. He’s kind of like Batman; he just kind of appears in the darkness. I just wish this issue had a little more of him in it. – Scott

DC/Vertigo Comics:

 

Superman #42 – B+
After a while of increasingly “Super” problems, DC figures the best way to make Supes relevant again was to depower him – and we’re all better off for it. It makes everything a challenge again, and it means that Superman has to rely on his wit and friends to save the day. This is the best Superman title since he died – and that was a big deal. Jimmy Olsen is a grreat counterpart thanks to his Xander (Buffy)-esque awkward humor. Hopefully people give this book a chance, or has the world forgotten about Superman? – Sherif

Deathstroke Annual #1 – B
After an eventful launch into a new storyline surrounding Wonder Woman and god-killing, this annual leaps into the battle between those to and Lapetus. Tony Daniels’ books always have solid art, but this issue really outdoes itself on the creative panel design. There’s also humanizing events that make Slade and Diana a much more palpable team (not to mention that Slade is hot for the way WW swings her sword). This book is one of the bigger surprises coming out of this convoluted DCYou brand. – Sherif

Batgirl Annual #3 – C+
I’m still not sure how to feel about this book. It entertains me in some ways, but leaves me thoroughly unimpressed in others.This particular issue is split into a few different sections, with various artists taking the lead – which can get confusing at times. Most of the issue surrounds a relatively pointless story about a near run-in with Dick Grayson, but thankfully ends with a rather long and adorable section helmed by Disney animator Minjue Helen Chen in the style of Gotham Academy. It’s a mixed bag, but overall a fun read. – Sherif

Gotham By Midnight Annual #1 – D
Unfortunately, there was nothing interesting about this story. I felt I was reading a book adaptation of Scooby Doo with all of its ridiculousness and childlike storytelling. To be honest, it felt like a half-assed story with a few elements of drama and action thrown in. I don’t like to be a negative person, but there was little I enjoyed about this comic. With Jim Chaddock being the “ghost” who is not a ghost, possibly a specter looking to take back what is rightfully his, nothing will stop him. Except he is stopped a lot by Drake and her fellow detective. Overall, very disappointed with what I just read. – Evan

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #48 – A
Things are getting crazy and time is winding down until the epic 50th final issue. With the Turtles under attack, we see Old Hob and Herman the Hermit Crab help Hun… Wait WHAT?! Things are getting crazy and weird for everyone here in the TMNT universe. With Casey and April off on their own crazy road trip, the turtles are left without their closest companions. Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz have taken TMNT and turned this series into a hybrid of past and present while making it its own and taking risks (although sometimes more for shock value than others.) Together they’ve made this one of the best TMNT volumes we have ever had. Cory Smith is absolutely knocking it out of the park on the art here as well. Each panel is gorgeous and he manages to make Baxter Stockman quite a bit more terrifying than Shredder, which is a hard task. My only complaint? When are we getting a mini series about Hermin the Hermit Crab? – Jacob

Second Opinion (B): Another action-packed issue full of surprises and subtle hints to the future. It’s weird to think that we’ve had nearly 50 issues of a book based off an oddity created 30 years ago with relatively no loss of quality. That’s something I can only say about Snyder/Capullo’s Batman right now. – Sherif

Donald Duck #3 – B
I am loving these Disney comics, but as an adult I definitely feel my attention span is much too long for some of these stories.  After a while, you see a pattern in a lot of them. They’re basically the same comic with a different character name on the front. In this issue, we don’t even see Donald until page six as the first part is all about Scrooge. However, as soon as the adventure starts with Donald it picks up and we get quite a fulfilling and engaging story. Unfortunately, it ends very abruptly not long after. Overall the main story is one of the most enjoyable stories from IDW’s Disney books so far and the short second story is a two pager from 1949 all about missing the trash man that still seems pretty relevant today. In general, this comic is worthwhile for any avid Disney fan as it gives you a chance to read some past comics and is a great way to introduce kids to comic books. – Jacob

X-Files Annual 2015C
I have to say with all the X-Files news happening right now for the new show, I may have gone into this issue a little too excited and came out finding it a little dull and lacking in a lot of what made past X-Files comics great. The story does entertain in its own way, but the unsatisfying ending made me wondering why I had read it in the first place. More than anything, the story was unnecessarily depressing even for an X-Files comic. This was especially true in Mulder’s office when Scully was belittling him about what happened. I don’t want to be totally unfair. Up until the ending, the story is very engaging and you care about what’s going on just as much as Mulder.  It’s the outcome of finding everything out that makes for a rather lousy story. However, fear not, we have Season 11 comics starting next month to give us longer stories to enjoy until the new TV series! – Jacob

Transformers More Than Meets the Eye #43 – C-
Just when I was praising MTME for not depending on an earth addiction- I spoke too soon. I can’t figure out what’s happening: this book was the best Transformers comic by a Roman mile, but lately it’s gotten so stupid silly and anime-nerd navel gazing. I mean, the cover gives me indigestion. Swerve (the bartender guy, because I know no one knows who that is by name alone) is… something… so holographic Earth… and all the ‘formers have to be pretend humans. Dumb. The whole thing was dumb. – Montgomery

Shrinking Man #1 – D
I feel like I am supposed to like this book – or at least be more patient with it because it is based on the famed 1956 novel The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson but the fact is that I was bored nearly before it began. The simple truth is that a man shrinking 1/7 of an inch every day and fighting with his wife about it is just not that compelling. The story break aways to the 5/7 inch version of Scott trying to get to some crackers while fighting off a black widow even left me yawning. The story is slow moving and at this point lacks any real ability to hook readers. As I mentioned earlier, the only thing in this comic’s corner is what it is based on and my sheer faith that it will pay off because of that. Overall, this was a disappointing and flat read. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to readers, because it has so little to offer. With any luck my determination to stick with it will pay off sooner rather than later, but right now I am not looking forward to the next issue. – Keriann

Image Comics:

Rasputin #7 – B
Rasputin is beautifully haunting. Ivan Plascencia is a genius colorist. Every issue is treated with such care and I am always very sad when I get to the end of one. I like that we see Rasputin in the modern day and how the writers are weaving the history, occult, and conspiracy theory into one story. I really am surprised no one else has thought to take Rasputin and do something with him sooner. And I like how he is painted more as the hero and not the villain. – Jene

God Hates Astronauts #10 – B
Glorb hordes Aquafina!!  The Cosmic Apocalypse arch is at its end.  Hilarious as it was, I’m glad this series will moving onto a new theme.  The dramatic conclusion of the Earth vs. Crabulon war did not disappoint.  The long awaited King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger vs NASA’s Hippothesis showdown finally popped off and did not disappoint.  The collective Star Grass gathering was also in full effect.  I cannot get enough of these guys.  I can’t wait to see what Ryan Browne hits us with next.  Knowing his style, it will probably be a killer whale filled with bloody confetti and a three eyed animal-human hybrid.  Bring it on Mr. Brown. – Taylor

Invisible Republic #5 – B
Invisible Republic is a continual: what-the-f*ck-is-going-to-happen-get-to-it-all-ready. I can’t I wait… rush of adrenaline and then the book ends. It’s fucking annoying and yet utterly brilliant. The plot thickens. Maia is the ghost of the past, her presence hunting the present begging to be head. It’s hard to remember there are two stories and Maia’s in many ways is over or seems to be. I’m wondering how her story is going to affect the present day time line. I want to know if my theory is going to prove right (Though, it seems like some of them are right. Maia is defiantly still alive!).  – Jene

Marvel/Icon Comics:

X-Men ’92 #2 (4-5 digitally) – A
I’m reviewing these as a single issue because GOOD LUCK GETTING YOUR HEAD AROUND WHAT MARVEL’S DOING WITH IT. I like this book. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it 3 more times before Secret Wars is finished running its course: the X-books have without a doubt been the best so far. I dig that this book is mostly a commentary on both the excess of 90’s Liefeld and Lee (I mean, you see those Cable guns?) and the flood of parent fear-mongering of the 90’s as characterized by Cassandra Nova’s obsession about what’s too violent or too sexual. It’s such a well aimed nostalgia trip. 20 years after that original cartoon, and I still hear the original voice actors when I read anything X. – Montgomery

Star Wars #7 – A
The Star Wars series continues to impress. This issue takes a step away from the regular story to give Luke a little bit of inspiration. Luke has found a journal left for him by Obi-Wan, a journal that tells of Obi-Wan’s life on Tatooine before he lead Luke on his current path. We see that Obi-Wan can’t stop being a Jedi so easily. Like a true Jedi, Obi-Wan will always help those in need, which could get him in trouble with Jaba’s thugs. But he’s pledged to look after a young boy. Jason Aaron opened up a interesting avenue. Normally I don’t care for big diversions from storylines I’m invested in, but this one worked; it added another layer to Luke. – Scott

Deathlok #10 – A
WOAH! He tore his freaking face off! Dude! And Agent Hope is a cyborg too?! This issue was packed to the brim with new, exciting material. Just when I think I know where the writers are going, they twist things. It was cool to see Henry take control of his own life; for him to say “eff this!” and take his own action. I felt so terrible for his daughter. I hope she can one day understand what actually happened. I’m also super excited to see Agent Hope’s character develop with this new addition to her character. Great stuff! – Charlotte

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #3 – A-
This series has been rather enjoyable for any Deadpool fan and is a great refresher or new fan starting point for the original Secret Wars. However, this really changed some plot details of characters and events from the original Secret Wars series, such as playing off Spider-Man’s costume change for a good chunk of the story and then adding an aspect trying to get us to actually love Deadpool instead of the love to hate him attitude most of his fans have. Collen Bunn is doing great things with this series and if it keeps heading down the road this specific issue took, I think it could be one of the top stories out of this whole Secret Wars thing. To top it all off, Matteo Lolli’s art is fantastic and the vintage style in a new book makes for a wonderful read. – Jacob

S.H.I.E.L.D. #8 – A-
This was an awesome issue. It really served as a reminder of what S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been about (or at least what it’s supposed to be about): helping people who are lost in a new side of themselves. The character design was stunning in this issue and I look forward to seeing more of these kids in the future. Perhaps we’ve got a new line of X-Men characters in Marvel’s future? Could be a cool way to connect the two worlds. – Charlotte

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #3 – B+
I wasn’t so hot on the first issue of this series – and I’m still not super hot that it likes to flirt with melodrama so much, but I dig it when it’s funny. And this was probably the funniest issue so far. M.O.D.O.K. is in love because OMG ANGELA SUCH KILLS, and that makes him flustered in his own psychopath murderer way. I like this version of M.O.D.O.K.: it’s like if you combined Garrett from Community with Asperger’s, and gave the result infinity weapons. My favorite line: “But what hurts more is the thought that Thor will no longer find me <<ATTRACTIVE>>.” I almost wish this was a (failed) romance comic instead of regular comic stuff. Because his romantic feelings are the biggest draw. – Montgomery

Thors #2 – B+
Not a bad issue. Ultimate Thor meets de-hammered Odinson while in the pursuit of Jane Foster’s murder. They uncover a murdered Donald Blake. They think Loki did it (I don’t). – Montgomery

Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies #2 – B
This series has proven to be a pretty solid story among the hordes of Marvel Zombie arcs out there. It gives us a twist that definitely has me interested in how things will turn out by the end of this series. James Robinson does a swell job of mixing these two universes into one. We even see a glimpse of 1602 Punisher! It makes it even better that Steve Pugh’s art fits the story perfectly. I loved the retro style and the coloring done by Jim Charalampidis in the flashback stories. It added a cool aspect to the story. – Jacob

Second Opinion (C): This comic’s not winning any awards for “easiest title to say.” This seemed like the dumbest concept, but it’s pretty interesting. Bummed that Puritan Punisher got murdered in a page. All the talking head action on the wall is pretty insufferable. Just bring on the zom-bot action. – Montgomery


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 07-22-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

power up 1 potw 07.22.15

Power Up #1 – A+
 (BOOM! Studios)
GAH! I need more of this comic! It reminds me a lot of Cartoon Hangover’s Bee and PuppyCat which is not surprising considering writer Kate Leth does Bravest Warriors, also by Cartoon Hangover. Leth is both a writer and artist and has worked with some of my other favorite artists, collaborating with Welcome to Night Vale and penning several Adventure Time comics. No wonder I’m head over heels for Power Up! The main character, Amie, is adorably flawed. She’s one of those girls who doesn’t beat on herself for her mistakes and fully embraces who she is. She’s able to make jokes about herself and is pretty damn cool. Her interactions with her friends and pets is super sweet and funny to read about. I love art like this. I’m so excited to see more of this type of humor in the next issues. It’s cute, funny and insanely relatable. Read this comic! – Charlotte

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

Archie vs. Sharknado #1 – A
Most people must wonder how this got an A, but if you are a fan of genre types and these two properties, this comic is pretty much perfect. A lot of this may be because the story is actually written by the director of all three Sharknado movies and even ties in a little with the 3rd film, which happened to air the same day this comic was released. As far as the story goes, it is about as cheesy and ridiculous as the Sharknado films, but if you have interest in this comic in the slightest, I imagine you enjoyed the films. This definitely offers up a different take of both properties while also staying very true to each, which for a crossover is the key component that so many seem to miss. Now, I will say this comic would not be well liked outside the Sharknado or Archie Horror fanbase, but this one-shot does do the cross over very well and even puts in a few Evil Dead jokes/references which I wholeheartedly respected. – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League 3001 #2 – A
It’s so hard to know what exactly it is about this comic I love. I love how weird it is. I love the identity dysmorphia experienced by the Leaguers. I love the weird nature of their enemies. I love the fact that they aren’t even actually the League. And now I love Supergirl. I love that now, in this universe of Earth 1, 986 years in the future, Superman is in her shadow and not the way other way around. I don’t like the fact that “Superman” is in Microsoft Word’s dictionary, but not “supergirl.” Maybe we have Nietzsche and his Übermensch to thank for that. I also really like that, for the first time, there are more women on the JL’s payroll than men. Such a damn good book. Get #2. Read it. Get a tattoo of Guy Gardner, or Superman’s new oppressive S design. – Montgomery

Prez #2 – A
HEY, YOU. Yeah, whoever you are. You’re going to love this book! Prez is the political satire that the world needs right now. The whole pseudo-political thing has been done in comic books, but not with such blatant disregard for f*ck-giving as this one. The main character, Betty “Corndog” Ross has just been elected president thanks to the snobbish douchebags that have been elected to represent each state swung their vote her way in an attempt to collect more bribes. Corndog Girl is the President this country deserves, and Prez is the book you all deserve. – Sherif

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #2 – A
This comic is always a chuckle to read while still sticking to a serious plot line. I always really enjoy Harley’s wit, and this issue had even more of it with the added bonus of Cherub in the Ex-Girlfriend Force. His objections over the name of their group made me laugh every time, and it’s always nice to see LGBT representation in comics. This story is doing a great job of having multiple directions without losing its drive. We know the overall goal is for Harley Quinn and Power Girl to get home again, but they’re taking a few detours with Vartox, and it doesn’t feel out of place or scattered. So far, the writers really know what they’re doing here. I can’t wait for more. – Charlotte

Deathstroke #8 – A-
Deathstroke has been a mixed bag thus far, but this issue is by far the best! Slade is in waaaay over his head – and he knows that, but Wonder Woman still kicks his ass across Themyscira to drive the point home. We’re gearing up for what will undoubtedly be Deathstroke’s toughest contract yet, a God. Tony Daniels’ art is on point, and the story is pretty great, too. There’s still enough thrill for pulp fans, and enough story for fans driven by content. Deathstroke is shaping up to be one of DC’s best books right now. – Sherif

Wonder Woman #42 – B+
DC’s all about inclusion! That’s why, in this issue, you can see Goddess Diana: clubbing and turning down creepy men! In all seriousness, though, it was kind of refreshing to see Wonder Woman be strong in situations that a lot of girls can relate to, not just by using superpowers. This issue specifically delivered; there’s build-up to who the hell is hunting her down (which I swore was a girl, but turns out to be a really feminine looking guy) and how the Donna Troy situation is going. This book is beginning to turn into the dynamic and interesting title it should have been. – Sherif

We Are…Robin! #2 – B-
I’d actually be better off if this book wasn’t connected to Batman at all. It’s a fun read about a down-on-his-luck teen who has somehow found himself working with a group of teenage vigilantes, led by some mysterious… guy. It’s sort of like Gotham Imposters, where the team all dresses up in various Robin suits. Jorge Corona’s art is incredibly appropriate for the vibe of the book, and the language feels natural. Unfortunately, they may be digging themselves a hole by name-dropping Batman; it detracts from a book that’s just fine on its own. – Sherif

Cyborg #1 – C+
First off, the fact that there’s even a Cyborg book is something worth celebrating. He’s one of my favorite Leaguers and it’s nice to see him get some spotlight. However, he spends a lot of the time in self-pity mode. We hardly figure out what the hell is going on (robot puberty, that’s what), and know even less about what happens from here. I know it has something to do with the giant Alien/Terminator things, but who knows what the hell that could be. I’ll keep reading because it’s interesting enough, but I want less internal moping and more awesome tech. – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

Transformers #43 – B+
And this book had to drop its post-title, Robots in Disguise, because of the creatively stupid book mentioned below (see Animated review). Like its counterpart, More than Meets the Eye, it excels at reimagining classic G1 characters in creative new surroundings. I mean, Soundwave is the center of this story. It doesn’t get any more G1. Yet, he’s shown in new undiscovered capacities as the founder of a Decepticon commune (who knows what that means, yet) working with humans to build a utopian satellite out by Jupiter. Along comes Cosmos (another G1er) spying for Jetfire (G1), Skylynx (G1), and Arcee (G1, G1, and G1) because guess who doesn’t trust Soundwave? The robots that still carry the Autobot allegiance sticker. Cosmos is taken aback by Soundwave’s offer of friendship and respect and participation in building a new robot paradise. The event leaves him shaken questioning the assumed rightness of his cause. While I am so unbelievably burnt out on Earth (PLEASE IDW, no more Earth), I do have to admit that the way they incorporate our stupid marble is creative. And at least there’s no stupid tweens complaining about being part of the team. I mean, seriously, what kind of subpar parent even dignifies that with a response? – Montgomery

Uncle Scrooge #4 – B
In this month’s Uncle Scrooge, we get back to the three-story structure with quite a hefty chunk being dedicated to a two-part story continued next month, and then a medium sized story, and a one page short. Each story this issue is very enjoyable, but like always, the longer more stretched out story is the most enjoyable. The long story is the reason I will look forward to reading the next issue more than any other. I have to hand it to the writers of these comics though with Miquel Pujol doing the first story, Al Hubbard doing the second, and Alberto Savini writing the last short story. All create perfect representations of Scrooge and Duckburg in general. Also, the Torchwood shout out was great! But ultimately all of IDW’s Disney books have been wonderful and are definitely something to check out for any Disney fan. They also happen to be a great way to introduce kids to comic books. – Jacob

Infinite Loop #4 – B
This issue was an anxious, emotional, and intense read. Teddy is angry, full of grief, and unraveling at the seams. It’s a parallel to the space time continuum ripping apart around her. It’s an outward manifestation of her internal turmoil and her determination. The panels and story can be hard to follow as Teddy is moving though her many timelines. It is an erratic and confusing jumble of images. And that’s the way it’s meant to be. You have to piece all the fragments together to get a better understanding of whole story. This is definitely an issue you need to take the time to really absorb and read. There is always more information than you at first think. I’m looking forward to when I can get this serious in its entirety and read it in one sitting. It’s a good read, but it takes a lot of emotional energy to get through. – Jené

Edward Scissorhands #10 – B
In what I believe to be the last issue of this series, because there hasn’t been any news of a #11, we see the second story of this series come to a close with Edward and Megs finally ending the story with the evil Dr. Wells. How will the story end? Will it give us closure to Edward as a whole or leave us hoping to hear for #11 to be announced? Well that is why you must go buy this issue – it definitely set up a lot and wrapped up some, too. It also brought up good points about life in general, something that Edward Scissorhands has always been able to do by connecting readers who are outside the norm to a character who is an icon of being “different.” Scissorhands has made it okay to stand out and be yourself. Luckily, the writers nailed that theme in this issue. – Jacob

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #2 – C+
This series has potential, but setting it as a road trip makes it a bit shaky. While I enjoy this story and the development happening between Casey and April, this issue felt dragged out. If you tacked on the last three pages of this issue to the first one, you would have the same amount of story and development. The issue get the story going only at the end. I hope now that the travelling aspect is less this next issue and will pick back up again. For die-hard Turtle fans, the story has been good. The introduction to the Rat King in the last issue was a great reveal, and man, does he look creepy! I would definitely suggest this to any TMNT fan, but I may suggest to wait until the collected edition if you have an interest. – Jacob

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #1 – D
Being short and brutal, this book is not fun. It borrows from the G1 mythos (or I guess this is the comic book adaptation, which is a sequel to the cartoon by the people that did Teen Titans? Which, of course, borrows from the G1 mythos), but not in any way that’s fun. And the changes it makes feel pretty arbitrary. I mean, Bumblebee stepping in as Prime is interesting story ground, but the way the comic executes the story feels forced and bland and obvious. Plus? Who cares if that little kid is on the team. He’s a little kid: there’s no good reason for him to be involved in anything more than putting stickers on his nap-nap blanky. Oh, and Grimlock’s special move is a Dinopile. Dumb. The whole thing was dumb. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Birthright #9 – B+
Things have finally picked up! And Brennan, the older kid brother finally got some balls. I love that Brennan might be the savior of this story. The first eight issues did not let on to this, but after this issue, it is totally feasible. The evils of Terranos became more obvious. The mother wasn’t a total witch with a b. And Rya’s time on Earth finally is making sense. I really enjoyed this issue. The only reason for the “B+” is because I am starting to feel Birthright would feel better to read in its collections rather than in pieces. But it is still one of the first books I recommend to people, and this issue will be the game changer for the series. – Adrian

Wolf #1 – C
I feel like I’ve become an Image fangirl, myopically attaching myself to the works they’re publishing. And… I’m okay with it. With Wolf, color me intrigued and a little confused. I’m having a little bit of a hard time getting into it fully because of the way the comic is drawn. It distracts me a bit from the story. The first three pages are spectacular, but then the pages soon become muted and drab. It works for the tone of the comic, but isn’t my favorite. The artwork aside, I’m still digging the story. There’s something different and fresh about it. Wolf is something like a paranormal detective noir meets the mystic meets traditional horror. I’m curious to see what will happen and plan to stick with it for a few more issues. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

E is for Extinction #2 – A
Talk about your eye catching covers. This is still my favorite of the Secret Wars books (though did you read that Old Man Logan?), but I’m a little bummed about its direction. I mean, I abso-fuggin’-lutely love the X-Men. Always have, but, as a thought experiment, I liked the “what if the X-Men we know and love are too clueless and disconnected from the present to be any good to the world?” premise set up in the first issue. Even though Cyclops probably has a wall full of Most Boring Man Alive Awards given to him since his birth in 1948 (do the math!), I can’t imagine a time in which he’d actually be irrelevant, but I like the thought experiment and the punk rock vibe. Nevertheless, it’s still a good book. #2 plays nicely on the moral ambiguities of, well, it seems like almost everyone: Emma Frost, Magneto, The Cuckoos, Quentin. Really, Xorn is the only one who emerges, unquestionably, in the right. Oh, and how about that white Beast reveal? – Montgomery

Marvel Zombies #2 – A
Yes, Deadpool, yes! I’m so excited that they’re tying this into Night of the Living Deadpool. At least that’s what it looks like so far. Very exciting. This comic rocks! The characters are well developed and speak beautifully. The exposition weaves seamlessly into the narrative. I can’t wait to see more of Elsa. Marvel is getting better and better at putting women at the forefront of their comics and this new story is another great one to add to the collection. Elsa (despite her connotative name) is a total badass who knows what she wants, has her values set in stone, and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. She also has a wicked sense of humor that makes me like her even more. I love seeing her internal struggle over who she is going to listen to; her father or her own intuition. It’s a great character trait. – Charlotte

Old Man Logan #3 – A-
I have been very wary of this series, especially with the first two issues not impressing me at all. Boy, did this issue pick up the pace. It hits us with a monumental change, including plot points directly related to Secret Wars, which is what this series promised us. We continue where we left off, with Logan trapped in a land of Baron Apocalypse and being chased by Thor. Not a good situation for anyone to be in. Logan meets a very special character during this interaction, and it will have major ramifications for the entire Marvel Universe. I think as far as all the Secret Wars titles go, this issue seems to be the one to read. It final has me really excited to for the next issue and hoping to see a little bit more of what makes this Logan tick. How different will he be from the Old Man Logan we  met years ago? I will have to keep reading to find out. – Jacob

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 – B
This is definitely not the story I had in mind when I picked it up, but I still really enjoyed it. It’s like that Nicholas Cage movie, Family Man – not that I’ve ever watch it… or own it… whatever. Quill ends up in a strange futuristic noir world where he goes by the name Steve Rogers and sings in a jazz club. His friend Drax (who actually looks and acts a lot like Lorne from Angel), owns the club. He spots a multiverse version of Kitty Pryde, who seems to have the powers of X-23(?), and the two collide and go off on an adventure together. It’s confusing, and romantic, and looks pretty decent. Just like Nicholas Cage. – Sherif

Star Wars: Kanan – The Last Padawan #4 – B
Another solid issue of Kanan this week.  There are a lot of things I’m enjoying in this series.  Firstly (didn’t realize this was a word till just now), I love Larraz’s (artist) panel work.  He does such a good job of bringing motion to still images.  I also really dig Kanan’s management of his inner conflict.  You don’t get more oxymoronic than being a Smuggler-Jedi and Kanan knows it.  There’s two overall aspects keeping this title from an “A” grade.  Those would be the under-utilization of Kasmir (this dude looks too bad-ass to be so generic in use), and the fact that a cunning smuggler and highly trained Padawan can’t shake two Clone Troopers.  I feel that after running all over the galaxy, in constant pursuit would drive these two capable dudes be a little more proactive.  That’s like watching an ever-growing rash on your hand slowly consume your arm and eventually your whole body.  I’m sure its just allergies.  Overall, still loving Kanan. – Taylor

Uncanny X-Men #35 – C
For being delayed and so hyped, this book really wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. The team of newbies are on their own, breaking off from crazy Scott Summers and the “oppressive” Storm. Their solo adventure seems like it’s going great until people find out that they’re mutants. Then it becomes 20+ pages of everybody screaming “you’re racist!” There are a lot of subtle chuckles to be had through the issue, but it really had no flavor to go along with the strife. I feel that if we’re over fifty years into the mutant game, the whole “woe is me; people don’t like me because I’m a mutant” thing needs to evolve, too. – Sherif


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 07-15-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

adventure time card wars 1 potw 07.15.15

Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake: Card Wars #1 – A+
I can’t even begin to articulate what an absolute ray of sunshine Adventure Time is in the world. I McFuggin’ love the cartoon and every comic I’ve gotten my hands on (though I’m not the best at keeping up on the comics). When I saw ATwFaCCW (what a mouthful (that’swhatshesaid)) on the docket, I did Finn the human wavy arms. And the comics never disappoint. Of course, Fiona and Cake is Ice King’s desperately lonely fanboy bid for approval from his sometimes arch-nemesis. The conceit of this arc, therefore, is Ice King’s disappointment in Gunter’s less than stellar performance at Car Wars; he believes if he could just impress a princess with his card slinging, he’d be instantly married. Ergo, we fall into the world in which he can impress a princess in mind alone if nothing else. These books are great: the art’s great, the humor’s great, it blazes new ground while staying true to the spirit of the show without rehashing old territory. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League #42 – B+
Ohhhh boy! The Darkseid War is almost upon us, and it is gonna be so destructive. Geoff Johns has been on an incredible run with Justice League. At first I was worried that these new characters (and returning ones that have previously had like… zero impact) would detract from the story and make me lose interest, but there is so much action, funny jokes, and thorough explanation that I don’t really have to care who Metron is – not to name specific names. Oh, and there’s a new development on the Batman front. It’s pretty much a fangasm. – Sherif

Martian Manhunter #2 – B-
All I know is, according to everyone in this book, the world is going to end and its impending doom is all surrounding J’onn. How, you might ask? Why, you might wonder? I have no freaking clue; hopefully they will get to that part of the story soon. This comic intrigues me because there are so many cool and interesting things happening; yet, at the same time, you have no idea what is happening. With J’onn, Mr. Biscuits, and the hero from Dubai, I’m sure there is a connection in there somewhere, I simply haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I missed something, but I’m waiting for a big reveal. I understand about J’onn having false memories and him being used as a tool, I just wish we saw more of that side of the story. Overall, though, I’m still liking this comic a whole lot, and I will patiently be waiting for issue 3. – Evan

Doctor Fate #2 – C-
You ever read an amazing premiere issue that let’s you ask all these wonderful questions and piques curiosities you didn’t even know you had? Then, an issue later, the book spends the entire time asking the same questions you had in issue one? Dr. Fate is going to be good: modern hero, Egyptian mythology, and solid art. However, this issue was almost a non-factor in the grand scheme of things. And a talking dog demon doesn’t help me take it any more seriously. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment: 

Death Head #1 – A+
I think I may have found a new favorite thing in Death Head. This book is SCARY. It follows individual members of a family, all in different places and struggling with something. The parents are hiking in the woods on a babymoon when they encounter a small abandoned town that they explore, but of course shouldn’t have. Meanwhile their son “Bee” is being bullied by a bunch of assholes and then pushed into a drainage tunnel after being told about the maniac who lives in there and kills children. The daughter Maggie is in the least dire situation, she is at Catholic school struggling with disobedience and being gay the worst possible environment. Death Head is exceptionally well written and each situation with a character in peril made my heart pound. It seems to pull inspiration from a few familiar sources (It, Jeepers Creepers) but the references are subtle and exist in their own way so it did not feel overly reminiscent in a bad way, more like a homage. I have a great feeling about this book – it was gripping and intense and the fearful aspects of it were haunting and filled me with dread. That may sound like a bad thing, but trust me that is what excellent horror writing is all about. Not to mention the villain wears a Plague Mask and those are basically one of the scariest looking things ever. – Keriann

IDW Publishing: 

Godzilla in Hell #1 – A
As a lover of Godzilla, this is the saddest thing I’ve ever read. First of all, why is he in hell? What happened? He’s not that bad of a guy, he mostly helps people. Mostly. Second, the poor guy is just wondering around hell all by himself, just trying to find a friend. Seriously, this book was almost too sad to bear. On the other hand it was freaking awesome. There’s no dialogue, obviously, because that would be weird so I am still a little confused as to why any of this is happening but I’m willing to go with it. The artwork is really beautiful and Godzilla’s face is so expressive. So far the things he’s encountered indicate that he may be traveling through Dante’s nine circles of hell which gives this book the makings of something truly original. Maybe it’s just because I’m such a lover of the subject matter, but I think this book has heart. And it also has crazy awesome monster fighting in hell so it’s kind of a win-win for everyone. – Keriann

Image Comics:

Postal #5 – B
I’m not entirely sure what to say about this issue of Postal. The whole thing really came out of left field and had me questioning whether or not I read the last issue because I was so lost. As it turns out, I did read the last issue and this one was entirely unrelated to anything else that’s happened in the book so far. It was at least an interesting read, Mark was briefly kidnapped by a strange cult leader in a bull mask who calls himself “Ball” and his lover “Squeaky”. Ball is a fascinating character, and it would have been kind of neat of his cult had played a bigger part, but in all honesty I don’t see how that would fit in the overarching storyline and frankly he and Squeaky were both dead before the end of the issue. While this issue seemed like it came out of nowhere I do see how it served its purpose because it showed the first inklings of Mark giving into his dark side. I didn’t see him becoming a villain, but if this issue is to be believed that seems to be where he is headed. Overall, this issue was a good read, albeit a little odd and disconnected. Mark is still a compelling character and even when the story misses a little the focus on his development is worth tuning into. – Keriann

Roche Limit: Clandestiny #3 – B
Roche Limit continues to be one of the most visually stunning works of art out there. The art alone is worth it. I’m curious with the movie deal announced at Comic Con how they plan to film it and hope it will be just a visually stunning. Also, now that I have spent more time with this story and taken the chance to read more than a few issues it’s becoming one of my favorite reads. The universe is expanding and the story is becoming intricate, dramatic, and intense in a way that pushes me to the edge of my seat. I really don’t want to give anything away. Just…if you haven’t been reading it’s a good time to start. Bing reading up to this point, I promise, will prove to be incredibly rewarding. Do it. – Jené

Elephantmen #65 – B-
A new story arc for Elephantmen starts this month in issue #65 and with it we are thrown right into the action. Hip Flask, Trench, Ebenezer Hide and the human Jack Farrell are on a mission to take out some Crocs and they do so with the same style any Elephantman would have, so it is brutal and bad ass to say the least. The story does not progress much from the start and despite the bad ass battle, things seem to not be going well by the end, leaving on the edge of your seat until next month. The art for this issue and the series in general is amazing and has an amazing amount of detail and with three two page panels in this issue I definitely have to give props to Axel Medellin for this issue and cant wait to see where the battle goes for the upcoming issue with Richard Starkings at the helm. – Jacob

Trees #11 – C
I really don’t know what to say about Trees this time. I wasn’t partially moved by this issue. It’s working at establishing the other characters introduced and the beginning while also paving the way for more plot. We’re given little morsels in regards to the poppies, trees, and the possibilities for why they landed where they did. The mayor back in New York is trying to get back at the NYPD. The only interesting that grabbed me was this hint that ancient earth and the modern day are somehow connected to the presence of the trees. This thread continues to hint at a connection between the mystic and scientific. Read it because it gets you to the next issue, but it’s not going to blow your mind away. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Hawkeye #22 – A
With all the constant “go, go, go” in Marvel right now – spinoffs, relaunches, side-stories, blah f*cking blah – it’s hard to even remember a time when great stories were told. This Hawkeye finale gives closure to one of the best runs in recent comic book history. Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye wraps up with a final showdown between Clint and Kate against the Tracksuits and Clown Face (?). There are sad times, good laughs, and enough of a peak at the future to end in intrigue. It kinda sucks that the series won’t be continuing, but All-New Hawkeye hasn’t been horrible… – Sherif

The Seige #1 – B+
I’ve never read a Seige book before, and that was a mistake. The first issue of the new volume feels like an episode of Game of Thrones. A select few heroes are guarding a while known as “The Shield” against armies coming in at all sides, if The Shield falters millions die. That’s freaking intense. There’s talk about a north lands where roaming hulks just kind of hulk around. The entire planet, Battleworld, is a mish mash of planet pieces from other universes and it’s all being held together by the sheer will of Victor Von Doom. This might be the most insane book I’ve read. I really want to see what the hell is going to happen in this. The wall will fall in 20 days. – Scott

Planet Hulk #3 – C+
Sadly, there was nothing too special about this week’s issue. As we continue on the path towards rescue and vengeance with Captain American, Doc Green and Devil, we start to get a little insight from all characters. However, I feel a lot of this time was simply spent on conversations that truly didn’t have a whole lot of meaning. Sure, there were moments to make you reflect on what these characters truly are deep down, but it never really went anywhere. I feel if comics are going to get super introspective and start getting at a characters heart, they need to go for it. Maybe we will get a chance to see this in future issues; however, in issue number 3 it wasn’t the greatest. Anyway, I am excited to continue reading the upcoming issues simply for one factor; Tribal Hulks. If you didn’t think Hulks were savage enough, may I introduce you to the Hulk, other Hulks are afraid to go around? This should get pretty interesting. – Evan

Secret Wars: Battleworld #3 – C+
Going to be honest and say the first story with Wolverine makes no sense and left me really wondering how anyone thought it had a beginning, middle and end, let alone anything in-between. Ivan Brandon had writing duties and feel he just wrote WOLVERINES on a page and we got this. But on a positive note, the art for this story by Aaron Conley is great and the different Wolverines are perfect. But more than that is the second story, which focuses on Deadpool from the 1872 universe and him trying to trade in Lockjaw for Devil Dinosaur, to have a better ride in the old west.  This story makes up for the vague and bad storytelling of the first story and leaves us with a fun adventure and hoping to see more of this Deadpool in 1872. Ryan Ferrier wrote this story and Logan Faerber did the art and they were the kings of this issue for sure! The last story, which was also written by Ferrier but with art by Paul Pope, is a one page comic of three different ant-mans and the horrible and humorous take when they meet. – Jacob

Inhumans Attilan Rising #3 – C
What is Daredevil doing hanging out with Inhumans? This has been bugging me. And is it the same ‘Devil from 1602? And why is it that when they do ol’ timey ‘Devil, he’s jokey (which makes it hard not confusing him with Spider-Man) and an actor? I guess that was Gaiman’s call from way back when, but why? I keep hoping this book will explode into something I can’t live without. The Inhumans are Marvel’s most interesting group second to mutants, but it just keeps circling the drain of impossible-to-pay-attention-to. Mostly it’s because we can’t figure out why (and the book is coy about it) Medusa and Blackbolt have changed their YouFace status to “weirdsies.” Is at as simple as Blackbolt’s aversion to godDoom? – Montgomery

Armor Wars #3 – C-
Armor Wars is one of these Battle World comics that feels a little bit like a Lindt chocolate: pretty tasty, but largely empty. I wrestle with every one of its premises – a mysterious disease that conveniently makes everyone have to wear badass armor; Spyder-Man (dumb name, 15 demerits) somehow being superpowered, beyond that previously mentioned armor, thanks to a computer virus; the Stark brothers’ relationship. In the third issue, Tony’s totes angry with his brother – what’shisname, Engi Wok Stark? Dim Darn Stark? Flip Flap? – and Fisk fights stuff. Kind of not the best of Battle World. – Montgomery

Years of Future Past #3 – C-
This series has both continuously entertained me and infuriated me.  There are a lot of very good moments between the characters at hand, but not knowing many and having hem be the focus and then ultimately have one of the big reveals this issue basically be a very outdone idea and even the character Cameron pokes fun of it being like a plot point from Star Wars. Ultimately I would say this series is mostly a new story brought to you by old characters, and despite not being very interested in Cameron or Chrissie, the two leads, seeing the rest of the X-Men and their roles has me continuing to read and has m excited for the next issue. As far as the main story I find it definitely can be good and it may just be my taste here, but this series seems to lack in its small amount of 3 issues what Days of Future Past did in 2 and that is a solid, meaningful, and well written story from the first word to the last.


Funniest Panels:

justice league 42 funny panel 07.15.15

Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 07-08-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

star trek GL 1 potw panel 07.08.15

Star Trek/Green Lantern #1 – A+
THIS IS SO GOOD! I was extremely skeptical about this crossover when I first heard of it. Star Trek and superheroes? And the Green Lantern of all people? It just sounded absurd, but this is by far my favorite comic this week and my second favorite this year (second only to Bitch Planet.) The two worlds come together seamlessly in a way that really makes a lot of sense, something that I was worried about initially. I like the route they’re going with by leveling the playing field with General Chang being chosen to wear a ring. It’s an interesting insight on his character and it’ll make for a complex dynamic however he chooses to use his new powers. I can tell the character dynamics in this are going to be great. With the Green Lantern and Kirk on board together, it’ll be a lot of fun to read going forward. – Charlotte

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

Archie #1 – A
Fiona Staples is taking over this week! Two drawn books in one week? I’ve never really been into Archie, and now I can see the error of my ways! Archie is just a normal, happy kid that tries to make the best out of every situation. All he needed was new life breathed into him, and all of a sudden, he’s completely relatable again. Most of this is due to the fact that Fiona Staples’ artwork beautifully translates into books about things other than robots with TVs for heads and self-fellatiating dragons. The art is soft, yet provides enough definition to really make everything pop. This is the perfect all-ages book, and a great supplement to your weekly dose of super-heroes and sci-fi mayhem. It’s also a great jumping on point for those unfamiliar with the franchise, as Archie frequently breaks the fourth wall to explain the situation. – Sherif

Dark Horse Comics:

Negative Space #1 – A+
Ryan Lindsay created something in Negative Space that I have never seen before. To be entirely honest, I’m not even sure how to put it into words because what I really walked away with from the first issue was overwhelming emotion. I know, it sounds cheesy, oh the feels! But in all sincerity, with a still deeply hidden overarching plot this book left a big impression on me. It was so sad, and horrific at times. Not at all because of violence, but because of the truly dark nature of an agency whose sole purpose is to make someone kill themselves and to then have to watch and read as each devastating act is then played upon that character. From making him drop his ice cream cone to having the only person who was kind to him disappear into thin air just as he was about to ask them to run away with him – the whole thing felt so cruel. It was hard to read, and yet so fulfilling at the same time. I’ve never read a comic like this before, and dare I say that I think it was quite astounding. This book wasn’t just a good comic, it was damn good literature. – Keriann

Harrow County #3 – C
I don’t know what it was about this issue that turned me off, but I did not leave it pleased. Maybe it’s because the direction the main character Emmy is going in feels so cliché and predictable, or perhaps it is because when things could’ve gotten dark they were quickly extinguished. Either way, I got the impression I was supposed to leave this issue feeling shocked, but I was not. You know what would have been shocking? Emmy actually letting that skinless boy rip her father apart for trying to kill her, or maybe the ghost spirits serving ANY sort of purpose. But no, this issue just left me with the feeling that Emmy wasn’t giving in to the darkness inside of her which would really set this series apart from everything else. Instead this will be another series about a sad little girl who finds a way not to give in to her destiny because being wicked or evil is apparently such a bad thing. I get it, everyone wants a happy ending but catering to that ideal can lead to some pretty half-assed storytelling. – Keriann

The Tomorrows #1 – C-
Honestly, this whole thing was kind of cliché. “A band of artists and free thinkers against the terrible, corporate tool government who has outlawed all that is beautiful in the world!” Jesus, man. We’ve heard it already. Watch The Yellow Submarine and you’ve got the same basic idea. Plus The Beatles. This just wasn’t very original and the dialogue was weak most of the time. The backstory wasn’t laid out very well and the whole thing felt kind of disjointed and weird. The only redeeming quality was the reprograming of Edie, but even that we’ve kind of seen before. I’m not really seeing much originality here for a comic that is advocating for free thought and expression. We’ll see if it gets better from here. – Charlotte

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Earth 2 Society #2 – B
Ahhh snap! Earth two is about to get a whole lot crazier. With Sloan actually completing his plan, and various heroes unable to do anything about it, it appears a whole new world has just been born, and it looks scary as shit. I don’t know what the future of Earth 2 holds, but I know survival is not going to be easy. Throughout the first two issues, we have seen a lot of Batman and Sloan; however, we have also seen small glimpses of other heroes. I hope we get to see more of not only the other heroes, but the other “crash sites” as well. Many ships fell into many different parts of the Twin Earth, and I hope this comic explores those sites as well. – Evan

Batman #42 – B+
This doesn’t feel like the same Batman book I’ve been reading for the past 4 years. Greg Capullo’s artwork is still amazing, and the writing is as fluid as ever, but the build-up that the book needs to figure out its next story is taking a little longer than I expected. It all takes a turn for the better in #42, though. Julia Pennysworth is outed by Jim Gordon, and the two have a very thoughtful conversation about what it means to “be” the Batman. All the latest lore (Nolan movies, Arkham games, etc) has pointed towards somebody taking over for Batman, so I applaud this book for actually taking the leap. Now, besides helping out the Boys & Girls Club, what is Bruce Wayne up to? – Sherif

Image Comics:

Starve #2 – A
No one holds a mirror to society like Brian Wood. Starve is a great series. We got a small look at what the world is like in the first issue, with Cruickshank having to cook dog meat. This time around we hit the other side of the spectrum and the competitors have to first find their ingredient, a presumed extinct type of tuna. We also get a great look at Cruikshank’s life before his self-imposed exile. Watching him go around New York is a lot like watching an episode of No Reservations, and that’s a good thing. I’m waiting for the showdown between Gavin and Roman. Will Gavin start a class-based uprising with food? Well it looks like he’s well on his way with his bluefin sashimi. I’m ready for thirds. Sorry, couldn’t resist a food pun. – Scott

Big Man Plans #4 – A
Well, that was gruesome, and AWESOME. It’s not like I wasn’t prepared to read/see the absolute worst stuff of the Big Man Plans series in this final issue, so while it was extremely unpleasant I wasn’t phased at all, I was just cheering on Big Man. More care could have been paid to truly villainize the bad guys throughout the series, but I’m not complaining. Big Man Plans came together really well. Yes, it was horrifically violent but within all of that was a man trying to find justice for the woman he loved and two innocent men who were tortured and murdered for being gay. It’s dark, by far one of the darkest things I’ve ever encountered, but what made it work so well is the charismatic main character with a code, and a moral compass who will not think twice about beating you to death slowly with a drywall hammer if you are truly a bad person. Through all he’s suffered through in his life, he is still fighting for justice for the innocent, and he’s kind of the ultimate vigilante and antihero. I really enjoyed this series, and despite the gore, I strongly recommend it to basically all readers. There is a good message in this, and there is nothing wrong with embracing the darkness within yourself to ultimately do the right thing. – Keriann

Saga #30 – A
Word for the wise, Saga readers: never get attached to anybody. I’ve seen more major characters die in this book than I have The Wire. That being said, though, this book is amazing (check out our new feature “Panel Surfing” for more gushing about Saga). This is the last episode before their scheduled hiatus from the book, but the issue ends with things relatively buttoned up, meaning that I won’t have night terrors wondering what happens next. It was nice to see a bit of happiness come out of the crappy situation, but things will only get worse before they get better. – Sherif

The Walking Dead #144 – B+
I’ve been waiting to say this for MONTHS! Shit has gotten real on The Walking Dead. Alpha has been warning Rick for a while now to step off, and he just keeps making it worse for himself and the allied communities. Now that this final warning has been issued, will Rick put his pride to the side and realize that he’ll be putting everybody at risk by stirring up trouble? Rhetorically, this is Rick F’n Grimes we’re talking about. Nobody hurts his people without retaliation. Hell, he might even bring Negan out to settle the score. Army or no army, it’s the Whisperers who are screwed here. – Sherif

Injection #3 – B
Yeah, I f*cking love this comic book series. While the story continues to unravel piece by piece, more essential information about what the Injection could possibly be is revealed. It appears that Injection is playing at telling a story that appears to blend magic and quantum physics. Whatever the injection is, it plays with time and space and used the memory and stories (folklore for example) of the land to lash out and attack the space around the people in the area. We also continue to meet the original team who work on “something.” It leaving breadcrumbs as to why Maria has lost her marbles. She sure didn’t start end up sane in the present narrative of the story. She a lovely inversion of the tortured genius trying to save the world, or so I think anyway. This comic doesn’t disappoint and continues to entertain. – Jené

Shutter #13 – B
This month’s issue of Shutter comes with a free side of WTF. The start of volume 3 jumps forward a bit in time, with Kate held captive, bound by magic to forget who she is. She’s in Venice now, and thanks to Leila Del Duca’s artwork, we absolutely know that we’re there. While there’s nothing profound that happens, it’s a nice way to get reacquainted with the series after the month hiatus it just took. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some badass scenes here. Kate is constantly being toyed with by one side or the other, but with more mystery and danger surrounding this new ally, who knows how things will go from here? – Sherif

Black Science #16 – C
Everybody kill each other!!!  That pretty much sums up this issue of Black Science.  I don’t know, people.  This is getting tougher to chew month in and month out.  The shock valve of having critical characters killed off is completely gone.  Especially since they’ll just pop back up from some other dimension.  It’s like playing Pac-Man with an infinity quarter.  I’m also confused as to where this story is heading next.  I kinda get the feeling that an inter-dimensional war could be in the works.  This prospect is mostly exciting, but there’s a long way to go for setting up something like this.  I’ll keep reading if for no other reason than to see who dies next month (…again). – Taylor 

Savior #4 – C
I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. There is something that keeps me reading, but I am not all that sure why… Maybe I am expecting aliens instead of some sort of fallen angel story. I also waffle between liking and hating the art. Sometimes I would like more definition in the panels than I get. It adds some nice movement. But I am never completely sure I know what I am looking at. Not much is happening in the book. You can tell John Doe has some supernatural powers of some sort and blood is involved. Everyone else is trying to figure themselves out and religious cults are involved. All the information is still in fragments and hasn’t created a full picture yet. I guess I will still keep reading cause a naked man who has powers is a mystery I want to know about. – Jené

Bloodstrike #1 – D+
I’m new to the Bloodstrike franchise, it seems very familiar though. That’s probably because it is almost identical to Deadpool. He’s a super soldier who can’t be killed, wears a mask, is a smarmy jackass and kills a lot of guys with a sword. He’s also naturally dressed in a lot of red and black. Deadpo….I mean Operative Alpha is in a “only has half his body” type of a problem and another Bloodstrike Operative whom looks a lot like Cable. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. If you read this book you’ll be treated to countless number of decapitations, two bimbo female prisoners being eaten by a giant hairy alien, a Taylor Swift song lyric and two penis, one of which is in a jar. Bloodstrike really serves the lowest common denominator. It’s a book built off of gore, swearing, and nudity. It’s worth your time if you wanted Cable & Deadpool to be set in a grindhouse movie. The art’s not bad, except those hands and feet, Rob Liefeld.

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Age of Apocalypse #1 – B+
I can’t even begin to describe the effect the original Age of Apocalypse had on my fragile 12 year-old psyche in that bygone age of 1996. It was one of those rare moments when the act of reading a story reconfigures how you think about stories on a meta level, and it was such a young age for me to have that happen. Even when Battleworld sounded, to me, like the dumbest thing I’d ever heard, when I saw the AoA on that list, 12 year-old me shouted in excitement so hard it gave my neighbor a nosebleed. And here it is: Secret Wars: Battleworld: Age of Apocalypse. And I like it. It’s not the best of the books, but it’s far far (far) from the worst. The art is reminiscent of Madueira and Bachalo, who are immortalized as 90’s Marvel in my mind. The story is that everyone wants the mutant Cypher, and no one really knows why (well, Apocalypse do, but he ain’t tellin’). And in case you didn’t just finish reading X-Factor or New Mutants 20 years ago and don’t remember, Cypher is a mutant whose only power is learning languages. Puh-ritty fuggin’ lame. But this comic was a very satisfying trip down memory lane, and it’s so cool seeing everyone in their alternate costumes. And whatever happened to Holocaust? That guy needs to show up in the regulars. – Montgomery

Inferno #3 – B+
This is definitely one of the best X books to come out of Secret Wars thus far, and one of the ones I had the least interest in. Colossus and his sister is one comic book relationship that just hasn’t ever really gripped me. But here in Inferno, it becomes fascinating. In this issue, she storms the gates of Xavier’s, and Cyclops (hovering around in X’s old 90s born hover-chair) dispatches ALL THE X-MEN. And when I say all, it looks like absolutely anyone who’s been anywhere near the X-Men since their creation pours out of the building. Well, I didn’t see any Wolverines, but I guess all 37 of them are too busy populating other worlds. Usually third issues are a huge slow patch in books, but this was so far the best of this series. – Montgomery

1872 #1 – B
What do you get when you mix the Marvel universe, with an old western theme? Well the answer to that is you get the Marvel universe, with an Old Western theme…which is pretty cool actually. I was excited about this book when I heard what it was all about. I always enjoy stories that take our favorite characters and place them in different time periods. With Steve Rodgers being the Sherriff of the small town, Tony Stark being the town drunk, and Wilson Fisk being the Mayor, everything feels right at home. So far, there was not much of a story line introduced; however, it is obvious one is about to occur. I think the overall idea of Marvel being in old western times was enough to carry this book for the first issue. I am excited to see what else can be offered. Truly, I want to see what the Hulk would look like in the year 1872. – Evan

Civil War #1 – B
Before we get into this review, let’s remember that the original Civil War was one of the best books of the past 20 years – hands down. Those who aren’t familiar with the Mark Millar book shouldn’t be discouraged. This book does a great job of catching readers up, and retconning the crap out of the ending so all readers can follow the story. The premise is: what if the Civil War never ended? What we get is a world split – literally – down the center between Cap and Iron Man. There’s some depth here, and a lot of questions that could use answering, like why the hell is Peter Parker Falcon? – Sherif

Runaways #2 – B
I feel like the name of this book should be Battleworld: Breakfast Club, because it harkens closer to the spirit of that than the Runaways we all fell in love with all those years ago. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that the utter lack of similarity on any level (other than the age group) is jarring. The second issue was considerably better than the first in that, without all the introductions, it was able to just be pure action. And pretty much every element was a clever conceit: a hidden glitch within the level (very game breaking); finding out the game ain’t just a game; Amadeus swiping a Doom head. Pretty enjoyable on every level. My only critique is on Dagger-oh-wait-not-Dagger-but-Ty’s-sister’s reaction to learning she’s probably a murderer: eh, whatchu gon do bout it. Otherwise, a pretty fantastic book on all fronts. – Montgomery

Ghost Racers #2 – B
Damn, this is getting good. We got a little more backstory in this issue which detailed not only how Robbie Reyes got into Ghost Racing, but also his interpersonal dynamics. It’s really heartbreaking to see Gabe so optimistic when Robbie is really struggling to keep his head above water. The only thing I thought could have been stronger was the scene where his friends are mutated and killed right in front of him. It was sad, but it didn’t hold as much emotional weight as it could have. I kind of wish they had dragged it out a little more and made it totally gut wrenching. I’m looking forward to seeing where Eli took Robbie and how they’re going to both get out of this alive. I’m also curious to see how Gabe will fit into it. Will they be able to go back for him? I hope so. – Charlotte

Lando #1 – B
<Lando voice> This deal is getting better all the time! The Marvel – Star Wars deal that is. A new title hit shelves this week with Lando! What a great idea for a comic. The most suave, smooth talking gambler in the galaxy getting into and out of trouble – sign me up. The premiere issue was right in line with what I expected. The action is really turned down which leaves the plot all in the dialogue and story telling. Soule (writer) really nailed the intro and set up. The only aspect I wish were different was that the selection of the main bad guy – Palpatine himself. What can be so important to the Emperor that he drops what he’s doing (which is uhh… building a DEATH STAR) and chase down the Rico Suave of the Galaxy? That bit is hard to buy, but I’m on board nonetheless. – Taylor

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #2 – B
The first issue was confusing. Now it seems that this is not the Shikla that was married to Deadpool, who makes his ghost appearance. While it was funny, it continued to confuse, and made me wonder about the title of the series, too. Unless the series takes a huge right turn, it seems Deadpool is only here because Marvel was afraid the story would not sell on its own. But hey, it is more Deadpool while we wait for him to be alive again. The issue itself involves the team taking Shikla to spread her brothers ashes across the river Styx and make sure she didn’t come back home on Dracula’s orders. But the monsters reveal to Shikla they also hate Dracula, so they actually team up with her now instead of killing her and reveal the invisible man with whom they “killed” last issue is fine. So now that they are an actual team now and they are going to try and take down Dracula. This team still exists past Secret Wars, so I am hoping this series continues going in quality since Marvel has seriously missed out on the great, and horribly named Man-Thing. – Jacob

Secret Wars 2099 #3 – C
Man this was a slow going issue until the very end, then all at a once a twist (well, sort of) and the Defenders are the bad guys. I don’t have much to say about this because much didn’t happen: Roman and Hercules kept chest pounding over Valkyrie, they got drunk, there was a twist. I am glad to finally see a Silver Surfer pop up somewhere. This design of Hulk 2099 is hideous. Like, really hideous. I love that Captain America is 1. A woman, 2. of Native American or Latino descent, and 3. Muscular. – Montgomery

Spider-Verse #3 – D+
As much as I love Spider-Gwen and the ragtag group of Spider-people, this issue just came across as wholly sloppy and uninteresting. The art was decent when the action was going down, but the faces looked terrible – especially Gwen’s. The jokes came across as funny, but were repeatedly drilled into it with the nuance of a manic child. Sorry, that was harsh… I just really had high hopes for this book being something special and this issue was a major step back for what could have been fun. On the plus side, we do get to finally see an interaction between Peter and Gwen – unless they screw that up, too. – Sherif

ONI Press:

Invader Zim #1 – A
Not much more you could ask for out of an Invader Zim comic than a story written by the original creator Jhonen Vasquez. It is a direct continuation of the series which we all know was way too short lived.  Vasquez’s grounded humor stays intact in this first issue despite it taking place seemingly years in the future. Or, at least what feels like years to Dib. Dib is now a disgusting mess since he hasn’t left his chair for a long time watching his cameras for any sign of Zim. Once Zim finally appears, Dib immediately heads over to confront him but is humiliated since he is disgusting, and his body has been fused to the chair he hasn’t left. This starts our confrontation for the first arc and sets things in motion for both characters to an epic conclusion those not weak-of -heart can stand. Or at least that is how Zim would put it. The art is spectacular and matches the series perfectly thanks to the awesomely talented Aaron Alexovich and Megan Lawton. I definitely can not wait for issue #2. This is the Zim we have all been waiting for! – Jacob


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Comic Book Reviews 07-01-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

we stand on guard 1 POTW panel 07.01.15
We Stand On Guard #1 – A
There’s nothing worse than showing up late to the freedom fighter party. In this book by Brian K Vaughan, the writer for Image’s Saga (yes I’m going to say that every time, because it’s always a relevant statement), Canada – or at least what appeared to be Canada – bombed the crap out of the White House. America, as it’s well-known for doing, retaliated by taking Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick and jamming up Canada’s ass. Well Jesus Christ on a cracker, that was horrifying. In just one issue, Vaughan manages to turn Superman into an entirely Anti-American sentiment and prove that DARPA’s got some explaining to do with those terrifying drones. Great book, solid art by Steve Skroce, and likable, diverse characters throughout the premiere issue. This is how you start a new book! – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #75 – B
There is no better feeling in the world to me than holding new Futurama merchandise in my hands. It just makes it ten times better when that Futurama content is good. This series has definitely had some low points along the way, as anyone would expect, but with issue #75, the ideas are still just as fresh and inventive as Futurama episodes. This issue deals with the crew being ship-jacked while in space and having to enlarge Bender and use him as a personal ship for the time being. Ian Boothby writes this issue much like an episode and less like a comic. James Lloyd covers the art; these comics are always spectacular and you got to love the Voltron cameo! If you are a fan of Futurama, you probably have read this by now; if not, though, grab a brain slug, say your prayers to the Space Pope and enjoy! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #2 – A
Me am super not impressed by dumb Bizarro book with no humor and no cool cameos. Bizarro read like least fun DC title and is much worse than what did not happen in Convergence and its spin-off titles. As much fun as it is to talk in Bizarro voice for each review to confuse people – and as confusing as his speech is in the actual book – this title has to be one of my favorite monthly comics on the shelf right now. This issue continues with all of Metropolis under hypnosis to buy cars and Bizarro, with help from Colin the Chupacabra, frees everyone from the spell and they immediately travel again with funny short panels showing Bizarro and Jimmy in different famous DC cities, with plenty of jokes and actually awesome art panel for when they run into Batman and Flash! So this goes without saying that I really enjoy the art done by Gustavo Duarte with guest artists Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, and Francis Manapul. I would say pick this up now if you can because Heath Corson is finally making Bizarro #1. – Jacob

Action Comics #42 – B+
Somebody – the right somebody – must have been taking notes at DC, because both of the Superman books they have running right now are freaking good. They focus on using the Man of Steel as a symbol of the people instead of thinking of bigger and badder monsters to watch him destroy. Grounding Superman is turning out to be one of the smartest decisions they’ve made recently. In this book, he is taking the activist approach, and trying to impart peaceful resistance on the citizens he’s protecting – and Jimmy Olsen is getting the whole thing on tape. The art is good, too, with Aaron Kuder’s art looking like the Chris Burnham (Batman, Inc.) of Superman books. It’s a breath of fresh air to a character whose books have pretty much sucked lately. – Sherif

Midnighter #2 – B
This is another comic I was surprised by. I was expecting a straight (pun not intended) vigilante narrative, what I got was something different. I’m glad it wasn’t what I expected. I honestly wasn’t going to give it a try as superhero/vigilantes stories haven’t grabbed me in a long time. I’m not familiar with the original iteration with this character, but I appreciate who the writer is introducing him for a fresh audience. For me, it’s like reading an entirely new story. Overall solid narrative and wonderful balance between secret life and finding love out in the world. The art isn’t my favorite but it works for the medium and it doesn’t take away from the narrative. Just a great good ol’ vigilante narrative. – Jené

Batman Beyond #2 – C+
I still don’t really have clue what is happening in this story. I almost would like it better if it didn’t have anything to do with Batman Beyond. However, considering Tim Drake doesn’t really know what is going on either, I am not going to totally hold it against this book quite yet. I am certain there will be smatterings of explanations for the first 10 issues or so, and I am willing to hang on. This series is very dark, much darker than the animated series, which is pretty rare for DC. I don’t know yet how I feel about this; I’ll be more certain when this arc is over. The whole future apocalypse sci-fi thing is a cool concept, but like i said, perhaps more likable if it wasn’t attached to something with such a strong fan base already. – Adrian
Green Lantern #42 – C+
It’s really hard for me not to give this book a good score. The thought of a lone wanderer-type Hal Jordan finding out the truth behind what wiped out the Corps is super intriguing – especially when we get to explaining exactly whatever type of Bezerker rage he’s hiding in that gauntlet of his. Buuuut it’s a really slow build. Whatever horrible force is controlling the universe is also afflicting Black Hand’s ability to raise the dead. Multi-Lantern events always take forever to build momentum, so we’re either looking at a drawn-out borefest, or a convoluted and rushed arc. – Sherif

Detective Comics  #42 – C-
This little experiment isn’t going as well as I had hoped. While Snyder & Capullo are making a decent stab at Jim Gordon being Batman on his self-titled book, the Detective Comics book is losing steam. Fast. Harvey Bullock is an interesting enough choice for the main protagonist, but without anything to necessarily do besides follow Batman around, his character is severely under-utilized. I understand that we have to spend some time showing how JimBat sucks compared to Wayne, but it feels like it just dottles around, looking for a reason to exist. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment: 

Bob’s Burgers #1 – B-
I was a little skeptical of this comic when I first saw it was coming out, but as a huge fan fo the show, I decided to give it a shot. For the most part, I enjoyed it. The writing was just as good as the show and made me laugh. The only thing that bothered me a little was the art style. In many of the stories, it was just off enough from the source material that it irked me. It’d be another story if the art was totally different and they were going for some sort of other style, but even then, it might have bugged me. When you have a brand like Bob’s Burgers, it’s hard to deviate from that specific style and make it work. Through most of the comic I was thinking, “Her nose is wrong.” “Her eyes are weird.” “This isn’t how it is in the show.” Still, it was a nice comic that I’ll continue to read. -Charlotte

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 – D-
Okay y’all, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant. So if you enjoyed this comic, or don’t want to hear me bitch a whole lot, simply move on to the next review. Ready? Okay, here we go…Oh my lord, this comic sucked. I’m genuinely upset that I cannot get back the time wasted reading this. It was long, boring, pointless, and overall very stupid. It took everything in my power to continue reading this book. Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this comic. After reading it, I have zero interest in the story line, zero interest in any of the characters, and frankly I could give a damn about what happened to The Spirit…oh yeah, they already answered that question in the first ten pages. After that, there is no way I’m coming back for more. – Evan

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 – A-
Now THIS is the TMNT I fell in love with. Casey Jones’ showdown with the disgraced Hun is one of the better climactic battles of the series, with the whole community getting on in the action. It’s not without its bittersweet moments, but seeing the neighborhood work together to push out the Purple Dragons was a big “hell yeah” moment for me. Things on the Turtles’ end weren’t so eventful, but they do pave the way for whatever will happen next. We knew Dexter and Shredder working together would be a major suckfest for the Turtles, but there’s gotta be a way out of it somehow, right? As always, the creative team of Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco put out another solid issue of a series that everybody needs to be reading. – Sherif

X-Files: Season 10 #25 – B
The truth is out there, and the end is here – well, for Season 10 at least. Next month, we have an X-Files Annual, then we jump straight into Season 11 the following month! The conclusion to season 10 is a whopper of a story and has major implications in the X-Files world for just about every character you know. It starts with Gibson Praise, showing off his army of Cigarette Smoking Men to Scully, all the while Mulder makes his way to a computer and uploads the files of what is happening with the Elders and Gibson to The Lone Gunmen and this leads everything into a downward spiral… It all ends up with Gibson taking Scully for a ride, which ultimately ends up with her finding Mulder and ending in a confrontation that will change Scully deep down to her core. Ending this season on a open note while also resolving a lot of what has come up really rounded out this series well and has me excited for the start of season 11! As always Joe Harris does a great job with the writing and Matthew Dow Smith ends this series with the art style that has carried this series smoothly since issue #1. – Jacob

Mickey Mouse #1 – B-
Finally, the comic based on everyone’s favorite main Disney character after months of Ducks. Despite Scrooge and Donald making good comic books, Mickey brings his friend Goofy into the ring and has side stories for Ellsworth the Crow and Pluto after the main Mickey story. The main story sees Mickey and Goofy teaming up with a young girl Eurasia to find Eurasia’s Uncle’s old traveling companions who were lost years ago. As far as the Disney books go, I like the layout of this one the best with one very long story and then three short unrelated stories with separate characters at the end. With Donald and Scrooge basically including the same characters it is nice to see so much variety and characters among the pages of Mickey. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Nailbiter #14 – B+
Nailbiter is the number one book I recommend to people when they ask me what they should read. I want to start with that because I still really love this series. It is smart, funny, and disturbing. This month, we finally started to get some answers as to why Buckaroo has produced so many serial killers. I was a little underwhelmed with the answer. Granted this answer leads to more mini mysteries. The end of the issue brought back two characters we haven’t seen for a bit, and while it was a surprise/cliffhanger, I felt underwhelmed with this twist as well. It’s still a great issue, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. – Adrian

8House #1 – B
My only complaint is that this book was too short. I was not expecting what I read. A lady knight travels with her mistress to the outskirts of a glistening city. The tree-like creature she is with is investigating some odd alien presence. Using some sort of blood magic, she is able to transfer a creature from one body to the next and off they go back to the city. I’m intrigued by the magic system that has been introduced. Blood magic isn’t used often, and when it is, it’s usually wielded by a villain of the story. Right now neither character seems like a villain.  As first issues go this one is pretty good. It’s just enough to pull me in and keep me interested, but not so much that my expectations are high for the next book. I like the art style, it’s rather different than a lot of books I’m reading whimsical and somewhat alien, which helps to set up the fantasy/sci-fi like world that’s being established. I’m looking forward to more. – Jené

Deadly Class #14 – B-
Wow, Marcus is a real nutcase. He’s completely unraveling after the “disappearance” of Maria, and the fact that he’s a trained killer doesn’t put me any more at ease than the rest of his destructive behavior in this issue. For a while, you forget that this is even a book about an assassin’s academy. It’s almost like reading The Basketball Diaries as Marcus’ life spirals deeper into despair. Yet, he does some really messed up stuff that keep you from ever feeling sorrow for him. It’s a tough spot to be in as a book, and a major lull in action. Wes Craig & Lou Loughridge continue to produce amazing art, and while #14 wasn’t as eventful as the series has been as a whole, look for it to “rebound” next issue. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Groot #2 – A
This month’s Groot is hands-down the best story I have read of Groot and his best pal Rocket. This issue continues where issue #1 left off, with Rocket kidnapped and Groot left alone and needing to save his friend. We not only see Groot trying to follow Rocket and save him, but we get to see a flashback of when Rocket and Groot first met and how they cemented their relationship and exactly why each of them means so much to the other. Plus, on top of that great story, it opens with a Groot dream where we see tons of Marvel characters in Groot form; who doesn’t want to see that? Jeff Loveness is taking us into one of the most meaningful stories for Rocket and Groot and it makes it even better to have Brian Kesinger bring his highly Disney-influenced style to the series, making it both a kid and adult-friendly series. This definitely is one Marvel series to read that has nothing to do with Secret Wars… at least yet. – Jacob

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 – A-
I just love how much this book makes me laugh. Every month, I look forward to laughing out loud through out every page. This month’s issue did not disappoint. The plot was a littleBuffy Season 4-esque, which I like, because Buffy is the best, and Squirrel Girl is the closest thing I have to it now. The constant Millennial jokes mixed with relatable themes and plots make this a constant winner for me. And it turns out that chick you are jealous of? Yeah, she really is evil. – Adrian

Future Imperfect #2 – B+
First thing’s first: all the women in this book have the exact same face. If they didn’t, I think this book would have the best art of all the Battle World books. With that out of the way, I like the inventive route this book takes: The Thing is Ross (dad of Hulk’s former love), his conflict with The Maestro, and a slowly simmering civil war within the kingdom. I also like that, what should be true to this event’s mission statement, this whole thing comes out of a legit alternate timeline. I’d actually forgotten how much I look forward to this specific book and this specific iteration of the Hulk. Should be an A, but I had to deduct points because all the women share one face, and when a woman says, “I’m a girl,” you’ve gotta deduct points because obviously a dude wrote that. – Montgomery

X-Tinction Agenda #2 – B+
Man, first two pages are all about time travel, which kind of mondo confuses things. Go back far enough (in different directions) and aren’t 616 and 1610 still embedded in the universe’s time code? And Beast talks it about all biz-cazh style. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like Doom should be putting a stop to this. There are already people in other kingdoms who suspect the shallow nature of their worlds, and wouldn’t time travel just wreck the whole game? Anyways – Havoc and co. lead a raid on Mutopia and nab a guy by the name of Triage to cure the plague. But then, it turns out the doctor in charge has ulterior motives. – Montgomery

Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #2 – B
As far as formulaic comic books go, this book is the same thing each issue. Now, whether or not that’s a bad thing, I have no idea. I absolutely love Skottie Young’s Little Marvel stuff. I think he’d be super successful if he did any grown-up fandom in Little style. The premise of the series is simple; the Avengers have an intense playground rivalry with the X-Men. Hilarity ensues when one side pushes enough buttons on the other to start a fight. Lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not at all bored or dissatisfied with it, but you have to know that this is what you paid for, and it’s exactly what you’re going to get. Totes adorbs. – Sherif

Red Skull #1 – B-
I’m never going to feel anything but disgust for Red Skull, but I’m more or less on board with this comic. The writing is good, the team they’ve assembled is complex and interesting, and the concept is working so far. I love the inclusion of Bucky and I can’t wait to see how his character flourishes in this. (I’m also thrilled to see him kick Red Skull’s racist ass.) I’m not excited for Red Skull himself. I don’t care if he tries to redeem himself or not. He’s a Nazi and that’s all he’ll ever be to me. I hope Marvel doesn’t try to humanize him, because I’ll be severely disappointed if they do. I’m weary of a comic devoted to this bastard, but we’ll see what they do with it. – Charlotte

Secret Wars Journal #3 – B-
“Who Killed Tony Stark” Wolverine is a noir style detective legit out of the 40’s investigating the murder of Tony Stark by Pepper Potts. As he investigates, he discovers that several people he encountered in the investigation are different, dopplegangery. The Punisher shows up and says the same: tease image of the Age of Apocalypse. The story was OK, certainly rushed, and the big reveal wasn’t all that satisfying because it lasted a single page. “The Smashing Cure” A toxic cloud of gamma radiation has floated by the Greenlands and now everyone is a hulk. And the city is slowly cannibalizing itself in anger. Kind of a funny premise, but these short anthology stories are so hit and miss. This one ends on a pretty pat note, though it has at least one cool reveal. – Montgomery

Darth Vader #7 – C
I’m still coming down from the events of the last Darth Vader issue.  This month’s entry took a diversion from the “Who wants to be The Emperor’s new number two?” contest and focused on a new scheme by the crafty Lord Vader.  Why Vader is spending time busting up underground crime organizations is unclear, but no doubt it ties into the bigger picture somehow.  I like the Bounty Hunter dynamic Gillen is creating.  A Wookie that willing hops into a mandingo style fighting pit for the sport of it?!?! OOOkay… You’ve got my attention.  The score is lower this week, but that’s mostly because it’s a buildup issue.  Darth Vader is still the hottest Star Wars comic out there today.  – Taylor

Secret Wars #4 – C-
Doom finally intervenes in the actions of those valiant enough to survive the end of the universe(s). And he SPOILER ALERT kills the Phoenix Cyclops, which is disappointing. But if anything about the previous thirty years in comics have taught us anything, it’s that the Phoenix force cannot be killed. SPOILER OVER. Steven defies Doom and instead of allowing him to kill the Spider-Mans and the Reeds and the whatnot scatters them to mysterious segments of Battleworld. I feel like cracks in the Secret Wars concept are starting to show: Doom built this world, credits himself with saving what he can of the universe, but the problem is most of what comprises Battleworld are not alternate realities, but just different periods in the history of the same character. But then somehow, and he makes note of this, Reed is so special there exists no other Reed anywhere on Battle World. I’ve said it before, but it bugs me when you pull the whole thing together in one book: the construction of this place is beginning to feel highly arbitrary. – Montgomery


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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

Graphic Novel Review – Secret Wars

Collecting: Secret Wars # 1-12

Original Release Date: 1984-1985

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Character(s): The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, Galactus, Dr. Doom

Writer: Jim Shooter (The AvengersHarbingerSecret Wars II)

Art: Mike Zeck (The PunisherMaster of Kung-Fu) and Bob Layton (Iron ManThe Amazing Spider-Man)

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

Storyline – 6
Art – 6
Captivity and Length – 6
Identity – 8
Use of Medium – 8
Depth – 7
Fluidity – 7
Intrigue/Originality – 9
The Little Things – 6
Overall awesomeness – 7

hush_rating_70

secret wars 1

Going into both the classic and current Secret Wars series, I had no idea what to expect other than the normal rather cheesy and campy Marvel crossover we see so often these days; special events in comics have become when a comic from the big two can go five issues without a tie-in to a major event going on at the time. Crossovers although mean well, usually never come out the way anyone wanted them too, and even though Secret Wars has been remembered as one of the top Marvel Events in history, it did happen all because Marvel wanted to sell a new action figure line from Mattel featuring all their heroes. This was so obvious that there are variant covers to current Secret Wars titles, featuring what the original action figure boxes looked like with characters not included within the original story line i.e. Deadpool and Star-Lord.

secret wars 2

The actual graphic novel is a collection of issues 1-12 – the original run of Secret Wars. And let me tell you, it is quite the beast of a book to get through. With the age of these books, we can assume the style and writing is very different to current books and, man, can I attest to that.

The writing from Jim Shooter here is great, and we are given a very original and well thought out idea. But it also suffers from being very wordy at times and often sounds a little like a kid wrote a two-page paper and found out it needed to be three pages, so he quickly threw in filler comments and words to make it longer but not any better. I think most of the writing problem came up because this sort of thing had not been done at all. Mixing two teams together, The Avengers and The X-Men,  seems like an incredibly easy task when you figure this current Secret Wars encompasses all of Marvel as well as a second universe with the same heroes.

I feel for the time this book was released, Jim Shooter was likely doing really well by Marvel and Mattel, and the writing had not been nearly as wordy back then, so as far as writing goes, time was not too kind on it, but the overall idea and plot definitely shine through to make this a special event.

secret wars 3

As far as the actual story, it jumps around a lot at what is exactly going on; basically, you have the Avengers and the X-Men, who are allies but very separate teams all against a main foe. During the 12 issues, it jumps from an actual group of villains to Doctor Doom to the Beyonder, back to Doctor Doom, with random sampling of Magneto and Galactus thrown in there. They never last long and then usually the fight ends up being stupid and they stop. All and all, though, it is about everyone fighting each other while also trying to figure out how in the name of Uatu they will get off this planet. The story melds well, and overall flows much better than the current run of Secret Wars, but this original reminds me a little too much of the stupid stories I would make while playing with all my toys on my desk as a child, just with much larger words. That’s not to say the story isn’t enjoyable; it did bring us some pretty iconic images and changes to the Marvel universe including a new Spider-Woman, the debut of Spider-Man’s black suit and a major change in the Fantastic Four.

Secret wars 4

Secret Wars didn’t just bring us a 12 issue epic and toys that inspired the whole thing, but it gave us the black suit Spider-Man, which brought us a major change and one of the if not the most popular arc in Spider-Man with him dealing with the symbiote and it eventually becoming Venom. Initially, it seemed like a cheap ploy, especially when we are introduced to the black-suited Spider-Woman not that far ahead of this costume change – Spider-Man even jokes about it on the novel. But with the new additions to spidey alone, we knew somethings would have to change and with that within the last few pages, we learn that Ben Grimm is going to stay in Battleworld, as it has given him the power to change back and forth from The Thing by choice. Consequentially, Ben recruits She-Hulk to replace him in the Fantastic Four for awhile and this was a change a bit hard for me to take as a massive Thing fan. It is fortunate I also happen to be a huge She-Hulk fan, so it works out.

secret wars 5

The art of this series is really what sold it for me, and if you read the updated digital versions for the TPB and hardcover collections of this, they look fantastic. Mike Zeck and Bob Layton did a fantastic job of making sure the series stay fluid as far as art went and although overlapping in which they work with Mike taking issues #1-3 & #6-12 and Bob only doing issues #4 & #5. But the switch is seamless which, although it takes drawing a character in their style away from them, for major events like this, it was nice to have the art not drastically change each issue. With this series, we get a one of the last good looks at how Marvel was before the major shift in the 90’s which brought about a ton of new costumes, teams, characters and changes to the ones we love. Much like Secret Wars seems a good place as any to travel to for a major relaunch involving everything popular from Marvel since the original Secret Wars, So far, I would say the original was planned out better and more fluid despite also never really finding it’s place. Ultimately, Secret Wars Vol. 1 is an enjoyable read and can give you small hints of what is happening or why in the current Secret Wars, but, like so many other Marvel events, it falls flat and lacks any real substance; any danger is easily brushed off and forgotten which made for way to many conflicts with not much results. Secret Wars is a great piece of historical literature, but Marvel has offered many more and much better stories through the years that should get as much recognition as this.

All media credited to Marvel Comics