Comic Book Power Rankings – August 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 (unless noted), although they are 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 Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra Marvel 1
  He’s just a normal family guy, trying to cut it in the blue collar goon industry. Trying to place the normal within the insanity that is Battle World creates comedy gold.
2 Prez DC 3
  As far as political satires go, Prez is hands down the funniest, and is so hyperbolic that the fact that it’s relatable at all is appalling. Root for the little guy in one of DC’s rare non-cape books.
3 Rasputin Image 8
  Rasputin is my favorite comic at the moment. So far it’s the only book that’s compelled me to send fan mail. It’s a well written narrative, beautifully drawn, and spectacularly colored. I get something out if every issue I read and feel satisfied. Totally in love with this series. – Jené
4 Ms. Marvel Marvel 17
  Although Kamala briefly got caught in the web that is Secret Wars, her last issue, a heart-warming team up with Captain Marvel herself gave this book a special place on my shelf.
5 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 8
  Three of the top five books are led by young women. Coincidence? Hell no! Squirrel Girl is hilarious and relatable – which says a lot since… ya know, she’s a squirrel.
6 TMNT IDW 49
  Not even shell-shock could stop Donnie! Things are getting heavy as a battle royale contest between the turtles and Foot knock down the door of the upcoming #50 spectacular.
7 Justice League DC 43 5 -2
  This is the best JL story since Forever Evil, and the most desparate time we’ve seen the team in of all New52. Geoff Johns continues to write an amazing book.
8 Batman DC 43 2 -6
  This is not the same book we read with Endgame. Bruce is in identity crisis mode and Gordon has taken over as Batman. Wacky story aside, Snyder/Capullo produce.
9 We Stand On Guard Image 3
  With the right creative team, even Canadians can be interesting. Brian K Vaughan’s new title makes you hate America more effectively than Donald Trump’s presidential run.
10 Bizarro DC 3
  Bizarro no am good book. Bizarro am very bad book. Book no am funny. Art is very ugly. Bizarro very normal, and Jimmy Olson (Bizarro’s worstest enemy) never wear disguises. Bizarro no am have hijinks. – Montgomery
11 Superman DC 43 8 -3
  We finally learned how Lois spilled the beans about Superman’s identity, and it’s refreshing to see Superman fight an enemy he can’t defeat by punching.
12 Old Man Logan Marvel 4
  While I love seeing an out-of-place Wolverine wander around Battle World in a confused rage, it’s Andrea Sorrentino’s panel layout that really keeps me engaged.
13 Groot Marvel 3
  As much as I loved the recently-retired Skottie Young Rocket Raccoon book, Groot is just as adorable. It’s good for all ages, with feel-good lessons in friendship and kindness. Aww.
14 Deadly Class Image 15 5 -9
  While the Remender/Craig tag-team reigns champion, I can’t get over just how scathingly manic-depressive this book got this month. It’s a downer for sure.
15 Nailbiter Image 15 16 +1
  The deeper we keep falling into the mystery, the further the bottom seems to be. It’s a phenomenal book, but I feel just as lost now as I did at square one.
16 The Walking Dead Image 145 4 -12
  I still look forward to this book every month, but the more I read it, the more I realize that Robert Kirkman is becoming George Lucas 2.0. There’s just too much TWD in the world for me right now. That being said, this new threat is gonna bring back the funk.
17 E is for Extinction Marvel 3
  Thank you, Chris Burnham, for making unsexy comic books cool. His raw art is perfect for this post-Morrison, Morrison-style book, which is as awesome as it is awkward.
18 Giant Sized Little Marvel AvX Marvel 3
  This book makes me feel like vomitting rainbows with each issue. It can be formulaic, but it’s just so darn cute – how could anybody not love this??
19 Postal Image 19 11 -8
  Mark, the autistic one-man Scooby gang, is tearing this conspiracy wide open. Although, just because it’s getting bigger doesn’t mean it’s getting better…
20 Batgirl DC 43
  It can be silly at times, but that’s part of the charm. Babs Tarr’s art has definitely grown on me. I’m fully on-board after some post-Gail Simone withdrawals.

 

Notably absent:

Most of the Secret Wars: I’m burnt out on Secret Wars. Marvel must be murdering DC in sales as of late, but their long game is tiring fans out.

Shutter and Birthright: For books that started as two of my favorite Image titles, the convoluted stories in both books have derailed their momentum significantly. I don’t expect that too last, though, as both books have the creative teams to handle it.

Wonder Woman: David and Meredith Finch have been a refreshing addition to the book, but the last couple issues have been noticeably lacking in substance or style. Plus, Donna Troy is completely one-dimensional and incapable of independent thought.

Retired books/ Hiatuses (Hawkeye, Saga, Bitch Planet, Sex Criminals): Some of the best books in the biz took the month off, making way for some newcomers to really shine this month!

SDCC 2015 – ‘Batman v. Superman’ Promo Photo Released

If you wanted more Batman v Superman out of San Diego Comic Con this weekend, you got it. Warner Bros. just released a sick new promo photo specifically for SDCC and it looks awesome.

bvs-promo-e1a1e

Following the trailer that was also released at SDCC this weekend, fans are super excited to see even more BvS promotions.

An epic, shrouded by darkness stare down features Ben Affleck’s Batman glowering at Henry Cavill’s equally pissed off Superman.

The film will be directed by Zack Snyder. It will feature Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.

Batman v. Superman will be in theaters March 25, 2016.

Photos by Warner Bros.

RUMOR MILL – Ben Affleck May Direct and Star in a DCCU Stand-Alone Batman Movie

batman-vs-superman-batfleck-pic
Yaaay… how exciting…

Warner Brothers has been working hard at establishing and building a cinematic universe to rival the MCU. We all know about the upcoming Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad movies and while those films have sufficient buzz the DCCU has yet to really pop. Until now.

Rumor has it that Warner Brothers will make a lot of announcements regarding their DCCU at San Diego Comic Con, one of which will be a stand-alone Batman movie, directed by and starring Ben Affleck. Initially that may not sound that great, but when you really think about it, this could be a game changer for Warner Brothers and DC.

While Marvel is currently launching ANOTHER Peter Parker origin story, DC will likely take a more interesting route with their, shall we say already overdone character. Affleck’s Batman that will appear in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is an established character; he’s older and wiser and there will be little to no focus on his origins. Enter the solo Batman flick: it won’t be an origin story as that wouldn’t make sense in the timeline. By the time the Batman movie comes out there will be established villains for him from Suicide Squad and he will have already been introduced to audiences. There will be so much more subject matter for the film to cover, and we likely won’t have to see Bruce Wayne’s parents get murdered and him go off the deep end before embracing the bat.

For the Batfleck naysayers, I ask that you give the man a chance before you reject him. Affleck was the butt of the joke for a while, but he has absolutely proved his ability as an actor and extremely talented director. He will be working with Chris Terrio, who worked on the Dawn of Justice script, will be working on Justice League parts one and two, as well as working with Affleck on his Oscar award winning film Argo.

Source: LR (yeah, we know. Take this one with a grain of salt.)

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.

 

 

Power Couples: The Top 10 Couples in Comic Books Today

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, we are listing out the Top Ten duos in comic books today. In the spirit of the holiday, this list isn’t exclusive to romantic couples; bromance, womance and other creepy forms of couples-ship are represented here.

 

1.) Alana & Marko (Saga)

Power Couples - Alana and Marko

There couldn’t be any other couple at the top of our list. Alana and Marko are what Romeo and Juliet would have been if they weren’t both giant pussies. Love forged in wartime is especially difficult when the two parties have guns pointed directly at each other. Somehow these two fugitives managed to escape all sorts of danger on their way to having a baby, and temporarily sharing a nice, quiet life. They have problems just like any other couple, and are willing to risk horn and wing to keep their family safe and together. This isn’t just called a fantasy series for the pissing dragons and robot TVs; this is the quintessential relationship, the taboo story between star-crossed lovers with the guts to keep fighting.

2.) Susie & John (Sex Criminals)

Power Couples - John and Susie

While not your traditional super-powered protagonists, Susie and John share quite the special bond. Their ability to freeze time and commit crime after orgasming is a telltale sign that they are in sync as two people can possibly be. This super-weird ability aside, they are two of the most realistic characters in the pages of comic books today. They deal with everyday problems just like the rest of us, but are a model for how two flawed people can come together and find solace in each other’s Quiet.

3.) Superman & Wonder Woman

Power Couples - Superman and WW

If any couple here embodies the phrase “Power Couple,” it’s these two juggernauts – hell, the name of their first graphic novel is Superman/Wonder Woman: Power Couple. One an indestructible alien, the other a Princess of the Amazons and Goddess of War, that’s just about as powerful as you can get; all that’s left is for them to release a cover of “Drunk in Love” and it’s official. These two kick ass because their stories are not dependent on each other. Superman is going strong without even a reference of Diana, while Wonder Woman has the new Goddess of War concerned with much bigger problems. Yet, together they are a solid team, focused on one goal in one solid book.

4.) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl & Tippy Toe

Power Couples - Squirrel Girl and Tippy Toe

Not every close friendship needs to be between two humans. Equipped with her pink bow tie, Tippy Toe is Squirrel Girl’s best friend. As Doreen Green embarks on a journey through college, Tippy keeps her grounded by reminding her of how proud she should be of who she is, what she does and where she comes from. I can’t say enough how great it would have been to have an encouraging friend like Tippy when I went to college. Tippy is down for Doreen, and even jumps in the middle of a fight between her and Kraven to save her. Only two issues in, and I am considering getting myself a pet squirrel.

5.) Spider-Man & Silk

Power Couples - Spidey and Silk

Holy pheromones, Batman! Since joining the Spidey-group right before Spider-Verse, Silk and our Peter Parker have had an animalistic attraction to each other. Watching them in work must have been twice as insulting for the bad guys they took down, who get the crap beaten out of them, then get to watch Spidey and Silk slobber all over each other while they bicker about who looked better doing it. Silk gets her own series next week, but you can’t keep her and Peter away for long. This relationship is one based off ass-kicking and making sweet spider love; what else do you need?

6.) Batman & Joker

Power Couples - Batman and Joker

Ah, crazy love. There is definitely some hate love in this relationship. During the Death of the Family storyline, Batman broke Joker’s heart. The yin and yang that the two had was completely thrown for a loop when Batman put an end to Joker’s game when he threatens to reveal the Joker’s secret identity. Oddly enough, it turns out that Joker knew Batman’s secret identity the whole time, but was only interested in the charade the played. It was theater to him – a loving partnership. Now that we’re in the thick of Endgame, we’re seeing a lover scorn. Joker is not taking any prisoners this time, and in reality, just seems to be really butt-hurt that the Batman doesn’t want to play with him.

7.) Tony Stark & Tony Stark

Power Couples - Tony Stark and Tony Stark

Nobody loves Iron Man quite like Iron Man can. In the relatively fresh Superior Iron Man series, Tony Stark has developed a mobile app based off the Extremis technology, transforming citizens into images of perfection – for an unprecedented fee, of course. This kind of ego stroking is just what makes Tony Stark the Kanye West of the comic book world. Everybody wishes they could find somebody who loves them like Tony Stark loves himself. It’s non-stop hilarity for readers, and hands-down the most self-adoring relationship out there.

8.) Hawkeye & Hawkguy

Power Couples - Hawkeye and Hawkguy

There’s no romance here… I hope. Kate Bishop and Clint Barton are like a big brother and little sister, and are both Hawkeyes. During the 21 issue run of Hawkeye (and the Hawkeye vs. Deadpool mini-series), they have been freelancing their way across the Marvel Universe as a crime-fighting powerhouse. There’s plenty of bickering and fighting, but even more kicking ass to save each other from sticky situations. With Fraction & Aja’s run ending soon, I hope that Kate Bishop doesn’t fall to the wayside. Then again, that’s something that the Clint Barton I know would never allow.

9.) Carl Grimes & Lydia (The Walking Dead)

Power Couples - Carl Grimes and Lydia

If you’ve been following The Walking Dead, then you know it has been a hard knock life for Carl Grimes. Mom? Dead. Sister? Dead. Right eyeball? Dead. Safe to say, he’s been through some shit. This whole time, he hasn’t really ever had a friend who can understand what he’s been through. Sure, there’s Sophia, but aside from losing loved ones, she hasn’t really ever seen the dark side. I mean, Carl’s a guy who talked with Negan for consultation. One day alone in a cell with one of the Whisperers, Lydia, and Carl are smitten. The jury is still out on this one, as there’s a good chance Carl is getting played, but for the moment, Lydia seems to be the best possible thing for Carl right now.

10.) Mark & Maggie (Postal)

Power Couples - Maggie and Mark from Postal

We don’t know too much about Mark and Maggie yet. We know she is his waitress and he is a regular in her section. We also know that she feeds into his OCD by stacking his fries just right. Maggie is nice to Mark. Therefore, Mark wants to have sex with Maggie. Even though Maggie, like the rest of the town, has a record, she seems like the type of gal Mark will want on his side when shit hits the fan. Together, they are better. – Adrian

 

 

 

 

Comic Book Power Rankings – January 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 Batman DC 38
  There just isn’t a better book out there, and starting off Joker’s 75th birthday with Endgame is a great way to ensure the top spot.
2 Sex Criminals Image 10
  Unabashed sexuality and humor make this the most honest book on the shelves. And the freezing time with orgasms thing is great, too.
3 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 1
  Plenty of silly to go around, Squirrel Girl isn’t just a great new book, but has potential to bridge gaps between comic book readers of all creeds.
4 The Walking Dead Image 136
  Carl is both a lover AND a fighter, as new dangers loom on the horizon (as always). Kudos for making this small world into a bigger, scarier place.
5 Batman and Robin DC 38
  Damian is back from the dead – with superpowers; he may be bulletproof, but he is not immune to the human condition as he deals with his own mortality. Beautifully done.
6 Deadly Class Image 10
  Sure, there’s the teenage angst of the 80’s, the murder, drug trips and the love triangles. But really, “That was no fart” is why this book is so high on the list.
7 Justice League DC 38
  How could Lex Luthor create more havoc as a good guy than as a villain… In any case, a zombie Batman JL vs. Supes and WW? Get the popcorn.
8 TMNT IDW 42
  Mutanimals attack! There is so much going on in TMNT right now, but the mounting war with Hob and Splinter interests me most.
9 Superior Iron Man Marvel 4
  Ever think to yourself, “self, Tony Stark sure straddles the line between good guy a-hole and bad guy a-hole.” Well, self, you’re right, and this book is why.
10 Mortal Kombat DC 4
  I’ve been waiting for a legitimate MK comic book for years. This is just as bloody and fun as the game, and will get me over til its April release.
11 SHIELD Marvel 2
  It’s like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but worth the time investment. We still get the strategic genius of Agent Coulson, now with superheroes!
12 Star Wars Marvel 1
  Who would I be if this on the list? In what was the most anticipated book this month, I’m already more into this run than I ever was with Dark Horse’s.
13 Multiversity DC ?
  Seemlessly poking fun at the Multiverse while creating a cohesive story, Grant Morrison does what Grant Morrison wants. Good for us.
14 Detective Comics DC 38
  I would never have guessed that Anarky would be the next great Batman villain. This book puts the “detective” back in Detective Comics.
15 Birthright Image 4
  What child doesn’t wish they could go on a Jumanji-style demon-slaying adventure with their family? A really lame one, that’s for sure.
16 Superman DC 38
  A new creative team introduced a new character, and really revived a series which has since been oerwhemingly underwhelming.
17 Shutter Image 8
  Shutter has been suffering recently from the necessary lull of storytelling, but it’s so unique and gorgeous that I won’t dare remove it from the Top 20.
18 Nailbiter Image 9
  Each issue has increasingly given me the heeby-jeebies. In a good way. I am not a horror comic fan but I am most definitely a fan of this book.
19 Moon Knight Marvel 11
  Shuffle around the creative team, take away his armor, Mark Spector is still one BAMF. Moon Knight is my new underground favorite at Marvel.
20 Tooth and Claw Image 3
  Making the list solely on the principle of curiosity, Tooth & Claw is a fantastical book of magic, anthropomorphic animals, and other ill s***.

 

Notably absent:

Saga: “What have you done for me lately” is the name of the game here. Expect Saga to knock one of these series off its high horse when the series returns from its three-month hiatus this week.

Wonder Woman: Barely missed the cut. Great panels and intriguing characters keep me coming back each month.

Spider-Verse: Another Marvel “event” has worn out its welcome and left me pining for the end. I’m done buying six books to understand one story.

Powers: Brian Michael Bendis’ soon-to-be streaming series is a whole new world (to me), but I think I need to learn more before I can really dive in.

Shaft: I expected this to read more like the comic book embodiment of Public Enemy, but it’s got more bark than bite at this point.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: I love this book, even more so since Brian Buccaletto took over, but there is just too much emphasis on “The Dark” recently for my taste.

 

 

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Writer

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Writer

  • Geoff Johns – Superman (DC Comics), Justice League (DC Comics), Forever Evil (DC Comics)
  • Josh Williamson – NailbiterBirthright (Image Comics), Captain Midnight (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Matt Fraction – Hawkeye (Marvel Comics), Sex Criminals, Satellite SamOdy-C (Image Comics)
  • Rick Remender – Black Science, Deadly Class, Low (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder – Batman, Superman: UnchainedThe WakeAmerican Vampire (DC Comics), Wytches (Image Comics)

WINNER – Scott Snyder

Batman, Superman Unchained, The Wake, Wytches.  The man is a comic book writing machine.  And just because he writes a lot doesn’t mean his quality comes down either.  After all, he does have an MFA from Ivy League university Columbia; the man knows what he is doing. And he is making fanboys and fangirls around the globe very happy with his work.  – Adrian

Second Place – Josh Williamson

josh williamson writer nailbiter 7 best of 2014
Nailbiter #7

 

For me, 2014 was the year of Josh Williamson, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how he wanted it. He was previously known for GHOSTED, but in 2014 Williamson launched two new series both of which have been pretty darn well received by their audiences and critics. Nailbiter is one of the most original and psychologically terrifying horror books to come out in 2014, but Josh apparently wasn’t done there; he decided to break the mold for fantasy books as well when Birthright came out in October. Williamson has a great career in the world of comics, especially for being less than 30 years told, and his unique take to storytelling is no doubt a huge factor in his success. If you’re not a fan or simply haven’t read his books yet do yourself a service and pick them up now. You can thank me later by sending me a nice bottle of wine. Or cookies. – Keriann

Third Place – Matt Fraction

Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #17

Sure, he looks like Harry Potter’s dad, but Matt Fraction would never make fun of a muggle. Fraction has put in some good work with Marvel over the years, but this year has been an exceptional year for him. With Sex Criminals, Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky have pushed the boundaries of censorship, and his Hawkeye run has been one of the highest-grossing books Marvel has in its lineup. Both of those books have netted him an Eisner Award in 2014. Recently, he has been the writer of Ody-C, an outer space interpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey. If you’re ever bored, check out his Twitter page, where his display name is “butt stuff reindeer.” He’s kind of a weirdo, and I mean that in a good way. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Geoff Johns

Superman #35
Superman #35

If there was a crown for most consistently badass comic book writer, it would go to Geoff Johns. He’s like a reckless magician, introducing amazing and interesting new characters, and then vanishing before they ever really get a chance to live up to their potential or be fully fleshed out. I wish Johns could just write Justice League and Superman forever (not to mention Green Lantern, a book which he ended his ten year run on last year). Where Johns really gets it right is that he sees and plans the big picture before we even see the first panel; there is a plot of planning – logical planning – that go into a Johns story, and where you end up is exactly where you were meant to, and whether or not you saw it coming, you can’t believe that nobody ever thought to do this before. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Rick Remender

remender black science 6 best of 2014
Black Science #6

 

With a pen of righteous glory, Rick Remender has a thing or two he could teach other comic book writers.  This year Remender killed it this year with Black Science.  His masterful way of telling a single story through the eyes of many (with vastly different viewpoints) resulted in me giving standing ovations in the middle of my living room.  Each character he brought to the page had something new to offer.  No one character was driving this ship and that made for very memorable reading.  Remender also knows what it means to let a story drive a genre.  Black Science is all about multidimensional travel – very sci-fi heavy.  But if you were to read an issue with just text and conversation bubbles and all blank panels you’d probably find yourself just as intrigued and captivated.  That’s the sign of a truly good writer.  That’s why Rick Remender is Hush’s writer of the year. – Taylor

Next category: Best Comic Book Artist

Comic Book Reviews 08-27-14

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pick of the Week:

 

Saga #22

Saga #22 – A

I didn’t think that the best fantasy series out could get any better, but somehow Brian K. Vaughan blew the doors even further open than they already were. The universe just got a little bigger, as we’re finally introduced to King TV, and it’s about as amazing as you’d expect. The honeymoon phase of Marko and Alana’s relationship is over, while other pieces begin to connect in the story, giving us a morsel of the big picture – and it is going to magical. This is one of the best books out, hands down, so if you are on the fence about catching up with it, let me confidently drop-kick you over to the side where you start reading. – Sherif

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Dream Thief Escape #3 – A-

I am a fan of Dream Thief Escape.  I am kind of sad that this is only a 4 issue story arc, but I think sometimes that helps move the story along, a complaint about other comics that have no foreseeable ending that I hear a lot.  This month, our Dream Thief, John, is about to break his pops out of the big house when he is possessed by a drug dealer named Whiteboy Tim who needs to avenge his own death.  I like that the book still has an end point, yet can introduce new characters that have some depth without letting them hang on too long.  And the dark tone of murdered people possessing John’s body is nicely broken up with some humor, and I’m a sucker for dark humor, so it really gets me.  I still think the art work in this book is incredible.  It captures colors perfectly, portraying the pinks and oranges of Florida and Georgia so well.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something, but doesn’t have time to get attached to a series. – Adrian

POP #1 – B

For all intensive purposes POP #1 deserves a C grade.  So why did I give it a B?  Two words.  Dustin Beaver.  You’ll understand when you read the issue.  The concept here is pretty neat and unique, but not quite awe inspiring.  I think the mini series structure will serve the plot well.  I appreciate the sci-fi angle as well – I’m a sucker for all that.  If the humor and high tech are kept in good supply then this series will be a winner. – Taylor

Sundowners #1 – B

You know the confused/weirded-out emoticon?  You know, this one…  (o_O) … Yeah. I don’t think I can explain the Sundowners premier issue better than that.  Despite that, I actually kinda liked it.  The bizarreness of it is alluring.  It’s draws a strong parallel to Kick-Ass, but with magical tattoos (or something).  The character mix and backgrounds are the real drivers with this story.  I fear that once dust settles and the alluring craziness goes away there won’t be enough of an active plot to move the story along.  But I’m no Debby Downer, so I’ll wait to see what Tim Seely has in store before letting any negative premonitions take hold.  -Taylor

Tomb Raider #7 – B

This is the start of a new chapter in the Tomb Raider universe and while nothing major has happened, this book coupled with the announcement of the next game could lead to some pretty cool things. This would be a perfect opportunity to lead into the next game and that could give a little something extra for those who have read the books and played the games. This was more of a filler issue with a small lead up into the next arc, but it has me excited for what comes next. – Robert

Star Wars Legacy #18 – C

Another Dark Horse Star Wars series wraps up this week.  My brain is screaming, “FINALLY!”  I hate to think that I’m becoming a fan boy snob, but with the growing list of negative reviews I spit out week to week it’s getting harder to defend myself.  I can summarize the conclusion of Legacy with one word: Lazy.  In every facet of (not just this issue, but) this series I struggled to find the passion in the panels.  I hadn’t really been enjoying Brian Albert Thies artwork, and the plot was plagued with so many mini side stories that I could hardly keep track of the main plot.  I don’t know if Dark Horse had different plans for Legacy prior to their “loss,” but it sure seemed like the effort was half-assed the whole time.  There were some mildly redeeming aspects.  The wondering planet and the overall concept for Darth Wredd were quintessential Star Wars.  Not delving into those brighter bits more shouts missed opportunity.  So long for now, Ania.  Should you return, I hope you leave all us die hards with a more lasting impression. -Taylor

DC/Vertigo:

Sinestro #5 – A

When handled properly, plots themed in “control” are the best.  I love the simple idea of a hero (err… In this case, attempted hero) taking on a seeming insurmountable force and not only overcoming it, but controlling it.  Sinestro #5 nails this theme solidly.  What was especially compelling was that this brilliant twist in the story came out of nowhere.  I audibly exclaimed, “Ohh sh*t!” when “it” happened.  I was digging this story before and to see this added layer has really got me excited to continue reading.  And you should too!  Sinestro is the perfect character for that hate to love relationship.  So what if he is the reason his home planet got blowed-up?!?  He said he was sorry!  I’m gonna stick around and see how far that apology will take him.  With his new level of control, I’m sure he’s destined to go far. – Taylor

Superman #34 – B+

Finally, Geoff Johns’ story picks up the pace. Since taking over Superman in issue #32, there’s been a lot of introductions, and even more dialogue. Ulysses has been a unique addition, and although he has been very forthcoming and a seeming ally, there is simply too much mystery surrounding him to let the readers trust him. It’s genius writing, the kind that takes a few issues to really build into something worthy. With a new bad guy, plenty of room to grow, and John Romita Jr.’s art, this is a Superman comic I genuinely enjoy. – Sherif

Batman Eternal  #21 – C+

Is this the same book I’ve been semi-reading for over five months now? This issue just turned a stagnant pile of poo into a full-blown s***storm! Batman Eternal has gone from promising addition to lame filler in no time, with hoards of obscure rogues making appearances, but never really adding any value to the story. This issue at least breaks up the monotony that has blanketed the series with some of the pretty outrageous reveals. There’s no way I can justify spending $3-4 weekly on this – even if I am a Batman fan. – Sherif

Dynamite:

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #2- C+

This issue does not offer much as far as story goes. It seems to be following the film to a tee, up until the last panel. The whole “Ash Gets Hitched” thing also has not played into the story much so far. The art of the series is great though and you can really see the original actors come out in the art, which helps with the dull story a lot. Ultimately, I would say as a fan of Army of Darkness this is rather dull and forgettable. It is a lot darker in the vain of Evil Dead 2 more so than Army of Darkness, but it still is one series with Ash that makes me understand a little about why Bruce Campbell refused sign these comics from Dynamite at Denver Comic Con. Although there is a lot of negativity there, it still is more entertaining than a lot of other series I have read, so give it a chance if you must but ultimately there is much better Ash to enjoy. – Jacob

IDW Comics:

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #3 – A-

Finally! We get to see all our favorite cartoon heroes in action together. While the first two issues covered them getting captured and about the villains evil plans, this one jumps right in and see our heroes facing off against robot versions of themselves. This story, although aimed towards kids, is brilliant and combines these characters in a way where all their strengths and all their weaknesses are used perfectly and bounce off one another. I am still waiting for Ed, Edd and Eddy to save the everyone, though.  That is just my call on it. But this is a great issue with wonderful writing and the art is exactly how this would look on screen. Too bad I have to wait until next month for the great nostalgia flashback that this series. – Jacob

TMNT Turtles in Time #3 – B+

This Turtles in Time series is nothing too special, but it does give you a nice back story and sometime insanely sad back story of the Turtles.This week we see them as pirates chasing down treasure and Mikey becomes a … captain?!?!?! This issue is definitely fun and gives us a look into the past of our favorite four heroes. The art of this issue is outstanding to me, and it really stands out among this miniseries so far. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Black Science #8 – B

I think I’m going to get Rick Remender’s name tattooed on my chest.  And I’m going to have Matteao Scalera apply the ink.  While paced a bit slower than some of the previous issues, this issue is still a knock out.  The primary plot has started to flatten out, but what’s lacking in creative conflict is made up in glorious, just GLORIOUS, panelscapes.  I can’t get enough of the crazy multidimensional forest creatures and their habitats.  I’m seriously considering decorating my future home with framed panels from this series.  Back again to my flat plot point, I wonder what the next evolution of the story will look like.  I have no doubt that IT WILL evolve, but I can’t really see the path.  That’s another great thing about Black Science – it keeps your mind on its toes. Ha… Brain toes.  Do your thang Remender.  Do your thang. – Taylor

Outcast #3 – B

This month’s Outcast was a bit confusing, I’ll admit.  I even went back and read some of the first 2 issues, and I was still confused.  I am not worried though, because even though I think Robert Kirkman can be a little much with his famous series, I have faith that Outcast will come together.  I have a feeling that this is a series that I will have to read exactly how I read The Walking Dead: in volumes.  I find that sometimes the story that Kirkman tells can be confusing, and at times slowly paced, but that his story arcs always end with a bang.  The reason to read this issue of Outcast is for the Reverend’s monologue about God, drinking on Sundays, and masturbation.  Not only is it a little funny, but truly thought provoking and a great reflection of the writer’s feelings about religion.  I expect Outcast will pick up strongly from here on out. – Adrian

Sex #15 – C

I still don’t see where they are going with this book even after reading all 15 issues. I would have thought that the armored saint would have made his way back into the story by now, but they seem to only be about drama and incestuous gay sex these last few issues. I don’t know what is going on with the writer but it is time to stop with the slow burn and get to something more interesting.  – Robert

Wayward #1 – C

Wayward is a story about a young girl with mystic powers. She doesn’t quite understand living in Japan, then fights knock off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with her transforming cat-ninja lady companion.  Sounds like something straight out of anime and even looks like it at moments; both aspects of which I LOVE.  Why the low score then?  Well, if you’re as versed in anime as I am, then you know that this idea is far from novel or creative.  No knocks to Jim Zub or the team behind this Image title (I did quite enjoy the issue), but if you want a grade above average you gotta give me something above average.  Because this isn’t actually a true-blue anime I have faith that Wayward will breakaway from that formula and give us something unique and awesome. – Taylor

Marvel:

Cyclops #4 – B+

Things are finally starting to come together with this book and it’s not too bad after all. I am looking forward to the next few issues as they have signaled for bounty hunters to come get them. I am interested to see the father/son duo work together to get off this planet alive. There wasn’t a lot of story development; however, the bond that is starting to form between Scott and his father was worth the issue. – Robert

All-New X-Men #31 – B-

Another solid installment of the ­All-New X-Men series, issue #34 looks to be kicking things into high gear. At first glance, this is an unimpressive book by all means. The art is mediocre at best, and the relationship between Angel and X-23 has gone from mildly amusing to plain old mushy. Once you dig a little deeper, though, you have one of the best teams in history – but fun-sized! Jean Grey is finally getting the chance to become the phenom sans Phoenix (knock on wood) she always deserved to be, and Bobby is funny in a way I never imagined he would be, all thanks to Brian Michael Bendis’ writing. This issue opens the door for a HUGE crossover event, and the new mutant revealed here looks to play a big part in it. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 – C+
We finally get to see what happened to Star-Lord, Nova, Thanos, and even Drax when they trapped themselves inside the Cancerverse, and we’re on our way to figuring out how they all got out. There are some really great moments in this issue and the fight scenes are definitely something you’ll want to stop and take a closer look at…also, a near naked Thanos that you may or may not want to take a closer look at. I wish we could have had the whole story in one issue, but, I’m excited to see how they all get out of this horrible place.  – Cody

Wolverine #12 – C-

I am beyond disappointed with the way things turned out for this series. Not only was this final battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth cliché and uninspired, it was also over very quickly and not drawn very well at all. I figured with the actual announcement of Wolverine’s death, it would be something more metaphorical, but then they add something to the end of the issue that makes it seem like in the next year or less this whole thing will be negated either way. I don’t appreciate that approach after investing time into a series the way I have with this one. This issue has an effect on not only this book but  a handful of others as well. I am more curious to see how it changes things in those books than the future of Wolverine now. – Robert

Funniest Panel:

 

All New X-Men #31

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Superman #34

 

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 08-20-14

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pick of the Week:

Magneto #8

Magneto #8 – A+

This series has been surprisingly great. Magneto himself, although his powers are a fraction of what they once were, is as cold and callous as ever. This isn’t your older brother’s Magneto, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the story has just kind of crept along, offering enough to justify the insane amount of violence. That changes this issue. Magneto #8 encapsulates everything the Civil Rights era of X-Men was so successful at, and what the X-series of today are failing so hard at. It’s at this moment that Magneto becomes more than a raging badass, and stands for something much more important and complex. – Sherif

 

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Dark Horse Presents #1 – B

If you’re as die-hard Star Wars as I am, then chances are you’ve probably overlooked many of the other Dark Horse titles printed in the past 20 years.  And as of late SW series have been as stimulating as a napping Hutt – sorry Jabba.  So I picked up Dark Horse Presents #1 as an opportunity for this David, amongst Goliaths, to show me what it was made of.  In large – it did not disappoint!  Compilation issues run the risk of becoming boring and distracting quickly thus losing the attention of the reader.  Pleasingly, I found myself very seldom watching the squirrels engage in squirrel combat outside my window while reading this issue.  I was especially wrapped up the Kabuki, Wrestling with Demons, and Sabertooth Swordsman titles.  Seeing this potential is critical in the midst of Dark Horse losing their bread winning title at the end of the year.  So, while it’s a lot of fun to reminisce and revisit prior greatness, I can’t help but wonder if all Dark Horse has to offer going forward are glory day moments.  I won’t count them out just yet.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the good ol’ days. – Taylor

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #4 – C

Darth Maul should have stayed dead (wow… can’t believe I just wrote that).  Let me be clear – Darth Maul will forever remain one of the most bad-ass Sith in all of Star Wars history.  No crappy comic ark will ever change that.  But in this final issue of Son of Dathomir it’s blaringly obvious that Maul is just not as cool as he used to be!  I supposed gettin’ chopped in half can do that to a guy.  His original claim to fame were his merciless methods and crazy-scary hunter/killer instinct.  Both of which were is short demand the entire ark.  “Boss Maul” spent most of the issue throwing tantrums and yelling at his subordinates.  Revisit again the origins of Maul – furious as he was in combat, his demeanor outside the battle field was stoic and mysterious.  Not the whinny, dependent character Jeremy Barlow gives us.  Add to that the fact that this was really a Mother Talzin story (who was also sloppily handled) and out comes another subpar Star Wars series.  As these Dark Horse series wrap up I grow more excited for the Marvel handoff.  The panels in the galaxy far, far away is in need of a fresh start. – Taylor

 

DC/Vertigo:

Multiversity #1 – B+

(A) If this review comes off as a little incoherent it’s because I’m hyperventilating while typing.  It’s not necessarily the plot that’s got me huffing and puffing into a paper bag, it’s the idea of the plot.  Huh?!?  Let me start over.  Multi-dimensional travel via the medium of comic book panels is, well… mind blowing.   Multiversity is an adventure within an adventure within an adventure featuring characters that are make believe in one universe, but really-real in another universe, all brought together to fight an inter-dimensional being (group?) that is everywhere and nowhere at once…all the time.  Sound confusing?  Read the issue.  Done?  Still confused?  Yeah.  And that’s okay!  What I took away from this first issue wasn’t that I was supposed to understand what exactly was happening or comprehend where the story was going, only that in the coming issues this “happening” was going to be uniquely epic.  I was introduced to characters I (1) had never heard of and, (2) knew very little about.  Despite this, I was wildly engaged the entire issue.  I’ve already reread it twice.  So while my score may and my synopsis here may not be in the same universe, know that this series is going to present something brilliantly imaginative from Grant Morrison. – Taylor

(B+) I had to read this one a couple times, but, each time I read it I liked it more. Multiversity brings together characters from all over the various DC Universes. It’s great to see all the different interpretations of all our favorite heroes. The premise is that the greatest hero from each universe is being brought together for some unknown reason and our team needs to figure out why they’ve all been brought together. There were a couple moments that I just didn’t like in terms of corniness and was also rather confusing at times, but, I’m really liking it so far. I’m afraid to say I’m even enjoying Superman for the first time ever. – Cody

(B) Ok, you probably read the two reviews above me, but I still had to put my two cents in.  Multiversity is a new series written by Grant Morrison, comic book writing legend, and pencilled by Ivan Reis (whose resume is incredible).  With all of the time traveling, things get really confusing.  At times, I had no idea where we were, what time we were in, or even what some of the dialogue meant.  There were also so many characters, and those same characters transported into different time periods, it seems like a 90’s Batman movie, too much packed in one story.  However, there were two outstanding characters, Superman and Aquawoman.  It should be of no surprise that Aquawoman looks so badass because Ivan Reis was the penciller for Aquaman back in 2011.  And yes, its true, Superman is black in this book.  There is a comment about it by another character in the book, which seemed out of place, but the nice thing is that Superman just ignores it, because really, what does it matter what Superman’s ethnicity is?  I did really like that all this is happening because of a comic book panel being supernatural, or magical, or otherworldly, or something.  It give true comic nerds something to giggle at.  I am looking forward to seeing how the heroes get out of the future…  -Adrian

Batman and Robin #34 – B

Things are finally heating up in Batman and Robin. It feels like we’ve been stuck feeling sorry for Bruce and his dealings with Damian’s death forever now. Well, as Redman so eloquently put, it’s “Time 4 Sum Aksion.” The biggest letdown was the appearance of reuniting the Bat-family for a vacation to Apokolips, but it was all just a big dramatic front – a common pitfall in Batman books. Clichés aside (especially the corny Dick Grayson appearance), the book had a very sci-fi feel to it, and pulls it together quite well, an unusual feat for Batman. It’s about time this book got down to business. – Sherif

 

Dynamite Entertainment:

Justice, Inc. #1 – C+

I’d heard about Justice, Inc., The Avenger, Doc Savage, and The Shadow, but that’s about all I knew about them. Nevertheless, I was excited to see that a new series was starting and that all three of these classic characters were crossing over for the first time. This first issue was a bit slow, but, it had a lot of interesting elements to it. Lots of science talk at the start, which I enjoyed and, we get to see Albert Einstein. Howard Hughes also makes an appearance and H.G. Wells has been mentioned as well, which would make sense as we’re dealing with time travel when a modern day passenger jet is sent back to 1939. I’m definitely looking forward to where this story is going, I do love me some time travel. – Cody

 

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2014B+

(A) Finally, we get the annual issue of TMNT that helps explain the Turtles in Time series going now as well (issue #3 out next week). Although I have waited to learn where the mysterious Renet comes from, this issue did not give us the best idea other than she just randomly shows up at different times.  It does bring in the now infamous Battle Nexus from past TMNT versions, which opens up a whole lot as far as characters and other universes (Maybe and hopefully we will see Usagi Yojimbo show up soon!) Of course, Kevin Eastman’s art is wonderful as well as the writing. The issue was totally different than what I was expecting but in a good way. Definitely pick this up if your store still has any (I was lucky and picked up the last copy at my store) as it is a great new story that references past and present turtles with a modern twist.- Jacob

(B-) I couldn’t find it in my heart to give a Kevin Eastman scripted and drawn book anything less than the grade I gave it, but my enjoyment of this book was limited, and came in waves. The initial few pages were really fun and nostalgic, but Eastman’s writing shows its age in this annual. Conceptually, I enjoyed the Turtles in Time-like plot, but there was just so much dialogue here that I felt quite lulled. Plus, the dull greyscale used to represents the future (like 75% of the book) came off as really boring. At the end of the day, the TMNT co-creator can do whatever wants and I will enjoy it. I just wish the story was of a little more substance. – Sherif

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland –  B+

Little Nemo, written by Eric Shanover, is a remake of the popular weekly comic from the early 1900’s that ran for over 10 years.  Shanover is known for his work in recreating the world of Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz in comic form.  Nemo was known for its fantastical world on the way to Slumberland, where he is chosen to be the Princess’ playmate, but he always wakes up before he can find it.  The new comic is a great homage to the original strip, referring to the Princess, the boy’s new name, and world they both exist in. I really enjoyed it; however, it should be noted that this is a children’s comic.  I do recommend it to emerging readers, but this may not be the book for an adult.  -Adrian

Super Secret Crisis War The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy One-Shot – B+

In the second one-shot for Super Secret Crisis War, we see the characters from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy battling the same evil robots our heroes in the main series and Johnny Bravo and the Squirrel did in the last one-shot. This issue as with the past ones, all feel like they are lost episodes from their respective series. The art is wonderful and mixes all the styles of animation perfectly and on top of the great Billy and Mandy story we also get a prequel story featuring Mojo Jojo and Aku. If you enjoyed any cartoons of the 80’s and 90’s this issue and entire series is for you so make sure and pick it up and fill yourself with nostalgia. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #11 – B

This month, we get a new story arc for Jack and it may be his most dangerous one yet. With Samurai Jack being one of my favorite cartoons and being a huge inspiration artistically for me, this series has been wonderful. This issue the art does get a bit darker and full of shadows more than past issues, which always is a bit distracting to me with most comics trying to be gritty these days. But the story of the issue is definitely good and sets up this arc wonderfully making for quite the adventure for our hero. Definitely start here if you can, as it is sure to be a great story for this great character. – Jacob

X-Files: Year Zero #2 – B-

In this issue we get to see more Mulder and Scully than the previous issue and we figure out what happened from the first X-Files case ever. The series took a turn that may be a bit odd even for X-Files but it has a been a good story up to now despite being a bit confusing and more of a horror genre than most previous issues and television episodes. One of the most redeeming features of this series to me is the art by Greg Scott and Vic Malhotra. It is definitely more stylized than most of IDW’s X-Files series and it doesn’t focus solely on being dark for the sake of making things creepy the whole issue even if Mulder is doing paperwork. This series definitely adds to the mystery and awesomeness of X-Files and will likely be an absolute must have for any fan of the X-Files. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Fade Out #1- B

(B+) I love film noir, so Ed Brubaker’s new series The Fade Out fills a empty space that rarely sees a decent entry. Brubaker has a constant moody “voice over” following the main character, Charlie. The narrator appears to not be from the perspective of anyone you come across in the first issue and that’s intriguing; this adds an extra flavor of mystery to the already involving murder mystery main plot line. The art is done by Sean Phillips, who has worked with Brubaker in the past with FATALE. His art is dark and brooding and when paired up with colors from Elizabeth Breitweiser, who is also familiar with FATALE, the mood of the story is fully realized. I’m hoping to see the rest of cast of character fleshed out more in the upcoming issues, right now, other than Charlie, they are pretty flat. – Scott

(B-) I’m not normally a fan of cop/detective stories but when I saw Ed Brubaker was writing a noir style murder mystery, I was intrigued. Brubaker has accurately captured the style and at times I found myself using those stereotypical film noir voices while reading. The issue follows a screenwriter who wakes up to find the star of his film dead, he wipes the room clean and a mystery unfolds. This was about as good as I thought it was going to be. It was enjoyable and well written, I’m just going to have to get over my own biases towards the genre. Hopefully this mystery doesn’t get cold. – Cody

Marvel:

Deadpool vs X-ForceB+

One of the better Deadpool stories recently, this series follows our favorite Merc With A Mouth as he travels through time wrecking American history although this issue sees him and Cable in China during 1900 at least until Deadpool’s inevitable time jump at the end of the issue. The art of this issue is well done an enjoyable especially with such different settings and time periods having to make Deadpool look at least semi-normal in a confederate army outfit. The story for this so far is very intriguing and hopefully the series will continue to be good as Deadpool is always a hard character to do real well. – Jacob

Storm #2 – B+

This month’s Storm was much better than last month.  Not only that, but last month’s issue was explained in the “Previously On” paragraph than the whole issue did.  In her 2nd book, Storm takes on helping the people of New York again, mainly a girl she sees on a “Missing” poster.  I really like the concept of small “savior” stories with Storm reflecting back on her childhood in Cairo.  We can really see Storm as a well rounded woman, not just mutant, hero, or queen.  There are a few steamy scenes with Logan, and we got our “funny” panel of the week from this issue. While there are mentions for characters like the Morlocks and Calypso, I think Storm may be a good series for new comic book readers to get into. -Adrian

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #7 – C+

This series started off rather over the top and bad, but as it went on the over the top ridiculousness stayed but the quality got better. Or maybe I just got used to it and started enjoying it for what it was, like a Mystery Science Theater 3000 film. The art is definitely good for this issue and the entire series in general but the writing could have definitely used some help although this issue was one of the more well written in the 7 issue series. Next week we have the first week without a new Deadpool which is pretty surprising, bust rest assured a new weekly series will likely start up soon. – Jacob

Original Sins #5 – C-

This series which has covered certain characters during the Original Sin story line, has at its heart been enjoyable, but the Young Avengers storyline that was in every book was pretty bad and the conclusion was a definitely a facepalm moment for me. This issue also covers “Everyone Else” and has some very minor characters (Frog-Man!!!) confessing their worst sin, although Nick Fury says none of what they say is canon. The art of each story – other than Young Avengers – is top quality and the writing especially for Nick Fury’s story is good. If you have followed Original Sin closely, then this is a great book, but ultimately it can be missed and the Original Sin storyline would still work. – Jacob

 

Funniest Panel:

Storm #2 Panel of the Week

 

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

starwars

 

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 07-23-14

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pick of the Week:

tmnt tit2 cool july 23

TMNT: Turtles in Time #2 A

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

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #33A

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

Batman and Robin #33A-

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

Superman #33B-

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

Wonder Woman #33– C+

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

 

IDW Comics:

X-Files #14 B+

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

Super Secret Crisis War Johnny Bravo One-Shot B

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

 

Image Comics:

Saga #21 B

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

 

Marvel:

Deadpool Vs. X-Force #2 B+

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

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

 Original Sins #4 – C+

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

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #3 C-

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

 

Funniest Panel:

ww 33 funny july 23

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

zero year punch

 

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

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.