Comic Book Reviews 10-14-15

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:

uncanny avengers 1 potw

Uncanny Avengers #1 – A
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Ryan Stegman

I chose this as a #1 because I’ve never really liked the Avengers (including their stupid movies. Bring your hate. Philistines.) or read any of their X-Men crossover stuff that seemed to permeate the 2000s 13-15 like pollen in this comic, and I wanted to see if I could be hooked. And I might be. It starts off with a very Swamp Thing (the good stuff, like, late 80s/early 90s Moore stuff) cold open about a guy who gets terrigan misted and resolves to become, essentially, a bio terrorist. Plot unfolds from there. I really liked the art: very cartoony and vibrant, but at the same time kind of rough and ugly. I like that some of the members were a little obscure, and that Captain America isn’t there as the big CaptAm. The only thing I didn’t care for was the Deadpool love. I feel like Deadpool is a character that’s achieved a level of adoration undeserved by the hacky writing that makes up his character. But, whatever. Who am I to argue with a billion dollars? I’m just some garbage human coated in slime that crawls to work on his belly and sleeps in a toilet. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Batman #45 – A-
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Colors: FCO Plascencia

This is probably the first time since Jim Gordon took over as Batman that I’ve enjoyed everybody’s part in the book. As a reader, I really got the feeling that Jim was tying. That he’s being the Batman out of his sense of duty, not pride. He misses the real Batman just as much as we do. He almost dies, gets canned, and then almost dies again. More praise to Scott Snyder for creating amazing characters; Mr. Bloom is so frightening! My enjoyment of this book is almost completely contingent on Greg Capullo showing up, and that may be a problem if he decides to ultimately leave after this arc. – Sherif

Batman and Robin Eternal #2 – B+
Writers: James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley
Artist: Paul Pelletier

As DC plays switcheroo with their creative team on weekly books, it can be disjointed and lack cohesion. However, this week’s installment is even stronger than the first. The whole gang of Robins are together, and now that the ruckus is over, we can finally get some answers as to what the heck is going on. Paul Pelletier’s art is the big selling factor, and it will be a breath of fresh air to see Dick Grayson back on Team Bat… kinda. I could do without the flashbacks, but maybe they’ll unveil something vital. – Sherif

Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #13 – B
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

Before I get into this issue, let’s talk about how much these two creators love each other. Chip was nominated for a Harvey Award for Sex Criminals, and refused to accept the award when those douche rockets wouldn’t let him share it with Matt. That’s love. There’s even a segment at a coffee shop where Chip draws in a little something for Matt to find later. The chemistry is definitely there, but this issue was weird in a whole new way; the usual way is to make you as uncomfortable sexually as possible. We meet our first asexual character, and it really opened my eyes as a reader to what it would be like to an asexual being. Of course, she also seems to be the big bad, so maybe it’s not all that great. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A-): Well, this issue sure felt a less uncomfortable than the last one, and we got away from Jon and Suzie for a bit. This may anger some readers, but I am always happy to invite new characters into the fray especially one with such a different way of making time freeze. – Jacob

The Walking Dead #147 – B-
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

You know that friend you like hanging out with a lot, but never get too attached because they’re always too busy to hang out? Yeah, that’s TWD. Robert Kirkman used to always want to hang out, and now it’s like he just hands Adlard a script on a napkin and tells him to make something awesome out of it. The issues are over too soon and fly by much too quickly – to the point that I’m much more shocked that the issue is over than at what is happening. This is sad, mostly because I actually kinda like where the story is headed, and I know it’s only a matter of time before something series-changing will happen. – Sherif

Roche Limit: Clandestiny #5 – B-
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Kyle Charles

We’re, in a sense, at the ending of another beginning. Now, at least, the teams know what the collective is after Roche Limit. HUMAN Souls. I feel there should be a little “dunt, dunt duh” to go here. Though, we as readers already knew that. We also know that the collective was somehow created by humans. And as we watch Shasha get sucked into the Roche Limit, we’re left wondering what is next to come in the next volume. I have a feeling this story is going to span several decades and maybe even centuries. – Jené

I Hate Fairyland #1 – D-
Writer/Artist: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Remember when you were in high school and kids would trip on shrooms and then watch Alice in Wonderland? Well this book is if Alice was tripping on the shrooms. No really, the “Alice” character actually trips shrooms in this book. It is trite while trying it’s damnedest to prove otherwise with the use of neon colors. But it didn’t fool me. – Adrian

Second Opinion (D): What a major letdown. This book tried to be cute in a disturbing way, and failed on both accounts. It was corny and largely unimaginative. Imagine a sadistic version of Elmira from Tiny Toons. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – A-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti

Nothing could make me like the guardians more than Adding The Thing to their ranks, well maybe Howard the Duck but they have done him a lot of good anyway because of the film. This new series seems to start off right after it ended before Secret Wars while also connecting to the Guardians of Nowhere series that happened during Secret Wars. There really is no explanation of why The Thing is there but for me the fact he is even there is enough for me! Brian Michel Bendis does a great job connecting so many old and new concepts into this book and really making the team work without Peter Quill, and Gamora from the start, although they both still appear and will likely have a large role in things to come, although Rocket as the new team Leader may not like it. Valerio Schiti does an amazing job art wise and really making the Brood Queen insanely frightening while giving a very peaceful feeling to the Guardians  making for a great mix of near horror, sci-fi and traditional comic art to make up a perfect feel art wise for a Guardians book. – Jacob

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #3 – B+
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Marco Checchetto & Angel Unzueta

We are at the penultimate issue of this series and man is a good one so far. We are still following the couple of Shara Bey and Kes Dameron as Shara assist Princess Leia on her mission and Kes assists Han Solo on his. We see Shara on Naboo with Lei as they try and rech allies on the planet of Naboo leading to them having to fly out inNaboo Starfighters to combat the Empire who is trying to destroy Naboo by controlling the weather. All the while Kes, Han, Chewie and their group lead a commando group in combat Operations to try and tak out the last of the Empire after their defeat in what we saw in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Like I said last week, this series has been the most entertaining to me of the Star Wars series as  Geg Rucka does an amazing job of connecting all three trilogies of films together for one epic story leading to Episode VII coming this December. The art team of Marco Checchetto and Angel Unzueta is perfect as well and Checcetto’s cover image is one I want as a poster for its shear beauty. – Jacob

Captain America: White #3 – B
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale

I won’t lie; this book has lost quite a bit of momentum since Marvel decided to start their relaunch in the middle of everything. It’s not the book’s fault, but all these #1’s are distracting. Call me old-fashioned, but a move like that makes me think that Marvel doesn’t care about the book. And with Loeb’s announcement that this will be his last Marvel book EVER reinforces that. Aside from that nonsense, it was the same beautiful book, and a story that builds up to a showdown with the Red Skull.

Chewbacca #1 – B
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist:Phil Noto

Another short run of a Star Wars series, this time focused on our favorite Sidekick (Don’t tell the wookie I said he is a sidekick) to Han Solo, Chewbacca! It is always interesting to have a comic focus on a character with no speech or at least no understandable speech, but Marvel knows how to pull it off since Groot has become so popular. The story seems a lot more focused on a young girl named Zarro and her trying to escape from the evil character Jaum. We first see Chewie lying in some flowers after crashing his ship but then we follow him to find the right part for his ship and he of course runs into Zarro and the adventure begins. Ultimately I felt this had a rough start but definitely has a lot of potential, especially with Gerry Duggan as the writer as he has does really well with other Star Wars titles from the Marvel Star Wars series. Phil Noto’s art is what made me fall in love with this issue though as it is gorgeous in every frame especially the lighting while Chewie is in the bar. – Jacob 

Deadpool vs Thanos #3 – B
Writer:Tim Seeley
Artist: Elmo Bondoc

The next adventure of Deadpool and Thanos is here and uch like a lot of VS Deadpool titles he is actually teamed up with them and not fighting them most of the series. This issue is just as funny and has lots of action along the way as the past two, especially since the majority of the issue happens to take place in hell. The one thing in this issue I di not understand at all was where the Black Talon came from and why he was there to help Deadpool and Thanos all of a sudden once they reached hell to talk to Mephisto. He seemed out of place, albeit hilarious, and was basically just a harbinger of Blackheart, Mephisto’s son and very evil looking shadow creature (Not to be confused with the Shadow King). Over all this story is fun and definitely will make you laugh a bunch, but seems to be lacking something along the way and it may be that every place they go seems futile in the grand scheme of trying to find their mistress Death. – Jacob

Spider-Man 2099 #1 – C-
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Will Sliney

I hate these “#1s” that companies like DC and Marvel do. This isn’t a real number 1 – I have something like 15 questions about who Spidey 2099 is, if this takes place in 2015, and if so, why Parker owns a corporation. But begrudgingly accepting that the way it messes with characters as part of its… idiom… or whatever… is how you have to roll with these things. And I chose Spidey 2099 specifically because Spidey is a character I’ve never really been interested in, and 2099 is a Spidey comic I’ve never read and I wanted to see if this #1 could truly be treated as a #1, and I definitely do not. Oh, and they totally refrigerator’d his girlfriend at the end. I was mostly on board until they got the girlfriend pregnant just so you could be distraught when she gets hit by a car. Ugh. Go back to 1994, Marvel. -Montgomery

Civil War #5- D+
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Colorist: Gerry Alanguilan

I really hope this issue isn’t the end. I don’t say this because it was awesome. I say it because, if it was the end, it was an awful ending. I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand or see how Stark and Rogers can all the sudden be all buddy-buddy. Big reveal or no. It wrapped up too neatly. The dialogue was trite and heavy-handed. Just doesn’t have the same flavor of the previous Civil War. Who knows; maybe they will continue this story into the newly-announced Civil War 2, with more story left to be told about the lack of mutant powers. – Jené

Spider-Gwen #1 – D+
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Three origin stories in a year is a bit much. While I know this isn’t the fault of the comic or it’s writers, it does make me question things more harshly. While this issue was more serious when examining the “death” of Peter Parker and Gwen’s involvement rather than The Mary-Janes (which was a horrible story-line), I have felt absolutely no connection to Spider-Gwen. I know that it might just be me, but Silk is way more relatable. – Adrian

Second Opinion (C): Rebooting a brand new book is always a pain in the ass. There’s nowhere near the amount of magic and you’re essentially trying to fill the gap between not enough background and too much background. Latour tows the line fairly well. – 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 Power Rankings – February 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine, although it is influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Saga Image 25
  There is a whole new danger afoot. I like the direction that this already-stellar series is taking our protagonists, even if it is head-first into danger.
2 Batman DC 39 1 -1
  Joker has been playing with his food up to this point. With Batman up against the ropes, the Caped Crusader is getting desperate, and the Clown Prince of Crime is getting brutal.
3 Spider-Gwen Marvel 1
  Who would have thought that one issue of a mini-series would launch such a cult following? Marvel really Hit the Jackpot with this one.
4 The Walking Dead Image 137 4
  I’m as enthralled as I am disgusting with the eyeball-licking love session at the end of the last issue. I’m excited to see Carl grow, no matter the nasty cost.
5 Deadly Class Image 11 6 +1
  Marcus isn’t out of the doghouse just yet. The last thrill-ride of an issue keeps the adrenaline flowing.
6 Suiciders Vertigo 1
  There’s no better way to spend your time in a post-apocalyptic world than to see drugged up gladiators with cybernetic enhancements pummel each other to death.
7 Batman and Robin DC 39 5 -2
  While it wasn’t as emotionally pleasing as the last issue, Robin getting a spot at the table with Batman and Superman is a big deal.
8 Superman DC 38 16 +8
  The end of the last issue was so explosive that I’m surprised I was able to hold onto the page. In just six issues, Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr created history.
9 Amazing Spider-Man Marvel 15
  Even though Spider-Verse winded down this month, Spider-Man has left behind a wake of Spider-lore that will continue to effect the Marvel U… until they reboot it all, anyway.
10 Bitch Planet Image 3
  This book is extremely polarizing, but it has resonated with women in ways that no super-powered chick has. It’s very real and very original.
11 Postal Top Cow 1
  I’ve got a fever for creepy mystery books, and this Norman Bates-ish post boy is the cowbell of creepers. After one issue, this is already among my favorites.
12 Detective Comics DC 39 14 +2
  Anarky is afoot in Gotham, bringing an aspect to Bat-books that has been sorely missing. Add in amazing artwork and a Harvey Bullock back-story, and I’m sold.
13 Mortal Kombat X DC 3 10 -3
  MKX is trying to build a cohesive backstory to the upcoming video game, and its doing a commendable job. Due to it being a digital first, the issues are a bit short, though.
14 TMNT: Mutanimals IDW 1
  How can one mutant be on the same level of wicked awesomeness as Mikey? Mondo Gecko, along with Hob and the gang, are just as interesting as the TMNT – if not more.
15 Wonder Woman DC 39
  David and Meredith Finch have done a fine job with Wonder Woman since taking over, but what has me geeked out is an inevitable showdown between Diana and Donna Troy.
16 Nailbiter Image 10 18 +2
  Like this series could get any creepier… Finch is done doing the Hannibal Lecter dance with Nailbiter, and we are going to have quite an interesting arc coming up.
17 EI8HT Dark Horse 1
  Time travel and dinosaurs have never NOT been a winning combination, and this new series is no exception. I haven’t enjoyed a new sci-fi series this much since Black Science.
18 TMNT IDW 43 8 -10
  Everything is coming to a head with Shredder and Krang, but the confrontation between the two factions left more to be desired. A great book, but I wish it would stop teasing us.
19 Shutter Image 10 17 -2
  Kate’s world has practically exploded in the last few episodes, and the epiphanies just keep on coming. I could do with some more Alarm Cat, but I’m still enjoying the ride.
20 Magneto Marvel 15
  The Master of Magnetism got his mojo back, and he has a new scary focus that is all about his business. I bet Sabretooth is wishing he got the memo earlier.


Notably absent:

Birthright: Daaad! There’s something weird going on with Mikey! This fantasy book about a long-lost brother is really just now getting juicy, but there’s a dark secret lurking in here somewhere, and I’m not sure I like the path that Birthright is taking just yet.

Nameless: This book almost made the list this month if not just for the fact that two of my favorite creators are working on it (Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham). That being said, I have no idea what the hell is going on. Not even a little bit

Hawkeye: Bittersweet that one of the most underrated books in the whole industry is moving on after this month, but Matt Fraction and David Aja had such great chemistry. I can only hope we will be that lucky again.

Deathstroke: The Expendables of comic books, right here. I mean, maybe not really at all. The explosions and punny retorts are there, but this isn’t your father’s Slade Wilson. Beautiful panels by Tony Daniels don’t hurt, either.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: The first book swallowed me up so wholly that I was feeling let down by the second book. There weren’t nearly as many jokes, and the set-up for the next arc felt kind of boring. I don’t expect that to last.