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:
Moon Knight #11 – A
Marc Spector is in it now! Following the events of last issue, we find that Marc is being detained in a mysterious and very peculiar looney-bin. While his asylum scrubs are nowhere near as cool as his magic Egyptian armor, Marc still wears his confident and tough-guy attitude well. I’m really in love with this story. I was just as entertained with this issue as I had with all the others and there wasn’t even a single “Moon Knight” appearance. I’m really starting to enjoy Greg Smallwood’s panel work as well. I love the rigid and boxy comic squares. The lack of overlapping panels is unique and forces readers to really take their time on each image. This structure lends itself extremely well to the captivating events of the story. It’s a new year, but my love for Moon Knight is only growing! – Taylor
Dark Horse Comics:
Groo: Friends & Foes #1 – C+
The renowned Sergio Aragones brings us a new Groo story, Groo – Friends & Foes. Now this is the first time I’ve read a Groo book, and I don’t really see the appeal, maybe I’m the wrong audience though. For those who do don’t know, like I didn’t, Groo is a wandering buffoonish swordsman, a parody of characters like Conan the Barbarian. So the story follows his misadventures and misunderstandings. The bottom line is Groo will eventually wreck everything. This issue is essentially about insurance fraud. The art is unique in the way that it’s very much a traditional Sunday funny pages type of art. It’s definitely not what most readers are used to with today’s comics. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own appeal. The writing is a little off-putting at times; some of the dialogue is very unnatural. Groo isn’t without its charm though. – Scott
Batman and Robin #38 – A
There is no pain like a child whose dad won’t let me him his brand new super-powers. Personally, I love that the powers that be at DC have allowed Damian Wayne to come back from the dead, and it’s even more interesting that he is now virtually indestructible (I got my fingers crossed for a Damian-Superman showdown!). Writer Peter Tomasi keeps things light-hearted at the beginning when Damian begs his dad to go patrolling with him. What ensues is exactly what you’d expect from a newly-resurrected 10 year old with new super-powers… whatever your standards for that may be. However, the issue takes a deep, reflective route towards the end that are beautifully (and frighteningly) captured by artist Patrick Gleason. One of the best issues of the new year thus far! – Sherif
Batman Eternal #42 – A-
Ladies and gentlemen, Harper Row. Or Bluebird. Either way, Batman’s newest intern is tearing it up! This issue focuses exclusively on the battle to take down Mad Hatter after he brain-washed a large collective of citizens, along with Batgirl, Red Robin and Red Hood. Harper is one smart cookie in terms of tech, and so the way she disposes of the bad guys is impressive – not just for rookie standards, but even for Batman. This book has been the biggest cluster*** of a story I have ever read, but it’s stand-alone issues like this that keep me coming back for more. We still have no idea who the Big Bad is here, and so we keep marching on. – Sherif
Wonder Woman #38 – B+
Things are really heating up in Themyscira as Wonder Woman continues to lose both her people and their confidence in her as a leader. I mean, she did just save everybody from the First Born a few issues ago, but what has she done for them lately? Creatively, I love the direction this book is going in. Artist David Finch continues to bring it with beautiful full-page spreads, and his wife, writer Meredith Finch, is going a great job of keeping the story flowing at a perfect pace. Even though the issue ended on pretty much the exact same note as before, I enjoyed the read throughout. Wonder Woman is going to need to really embrace the power of being a God is she is gonna make any headway as an Amazonian leader. – Sherif
The Kitchen #3 – B-
Thanks to The Kitchen, I now know that you need to puncture the lungs and the stomach before dumping a body in the river, otherwise they will float and there will be bodies everywhere! Also, telling someone that you will cut out their eyeballs and pour bleach in the holes is an empty threat. Did I mention this isn’t a kids comic? Or good to read while you eat (if you have a weak tummy, like me)? While The Kitchen is delightfully brutal (yikes, I think it is delightful? I’m sick), it didn’t move the story along very much other than the three girls now are known to be killers and kind of bad ass. They could also be in a lot of trouble. No one knows. – Adrian
Teen Titans #6 – C+
The new Power Girl just Rick James’d all over the Teen Titans’ couch! I pretty much stopped reading the new Teen Titans after a couple issues because of the excessive bravado and lack of dynamic characters. I had never been so disappointed in Red Robin, and was annoyed that, as cool as Raven looked, she was pretty much just used to get the team places. Enter the new Power Girl, whose emergence came from the pages of World’s Finest a year ago. She tells them straight up that they need to do better as a team, and it was almost a subliminal nob from DC that they have been messing this book up. Teen Titans is not out of the doghouse yet with me, but they’re on the right track. – Sherif
Millennium #1 – A
This took me back to my childhood, when I would sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV every Friday night watching X-Files and then Millennium and be completely in awe. I loved it then and I love it now. This book made an extremely strong leap back into its storyline and I’m already hooked. Millennium is based on the TV show from the late 90’s that shared the same name. I know not a lot of other people watched it, otherwise it would have stuck around for longer, and without the pre-existing knowledge from that series new readers to this book may be a little lost. My point in all this is that there is a back story to this book that is not covered in the first issue, but don’t rule it out just because of that. The artwork is great, its extremely well-written, creepy, intriguing and will probably have some great scares and twists along the way. I’m very pleased with this book and I can’t wait to read the next one. As a fan of the show, I felt like the story should have kept going, and now the comic is giving it that chance. I predict this will be a complicated series, and missing one issue may completely screw readers, so if you’re a fan of science fiction, conspiracies and you trust no one you should go pick up this book before you miss your chance. – Keriann
TMNT #42 – A-
Finally! We are getting to the point of Shredder vs Krang. The set up is just plain beautiful thanks to the guy who does machines, Donatello. We see the mutanimals, the Foot, and Krang and his army all getting ready for battle… and the issue ends right as the battle starts, which will lead into what is sure to be a great third part for this arc next month. Cory Smith does the art this month and I think he is actually my favorite artist of the series so far. He has a style that is very reminiscent of Santalouco and his usual style for the series, while also harkening back to a lot of other past artists of the series while adding his own flair. The story for this series been consistently been outstanding, and this issue is right there with the rest, showing us all why we have celebrated Turtle Power for over 30 years. This series is one of the best being released now, and I’m not even being biased when I say that. – Jacob
October Faction #4 – B+
This was a good month for October Faction. The story picks straight up in the middle of the living room with the Allen family standing over the body of Cope, the man the father has just shot in front of his children. I have never read a funnier approach to getting rid of a dead body, with such gems as the body smacking into the sides of the hearse upon an attempt to launch it inwards, the father telling his daughter not to be dramatic and then hitting the man over the head with a shovel to ensure he’s actually dead, and a completely emotionless response to justifying murder with an “it was easier to kill him now as opposed to later” approach. Comic relief aside, we finally found out more about Robot Face and his incredibly cool looking family of other part child-part robot people that are kind of reminiscent of the toys Sid got ahold of in Toy Story. Overall, this has been my favorite issue of the series so far because it is really starting to feel like a Steve Niles gem. There’s horror, comedy, monsters and intrigue. I finally feel like this series is taking off in the way I hoped it would. – Keriann
Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #1 – B
I like all good people, I love the Galaxy Quest movie. Did I think it needed a story continuation, not really, but I’m happy to read one. Erik Burnham is best known for writing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. So we know he does action comedy pretty well already. The first issue jumps right in from literally the end of the movie. It turns out the Omega 13 affects more than just people on ship and this causes problems on other worlds. Who knew how important 13 seconds could be? There is a quick character reestablishment which is good if anyone is picking Galaxy Quest up without having already seen the movie, but honestly that probably isn’t many people. I would have liked to see the characters look more like their real life counter parts though. I think it’s a good adaptation and as a fan of the movie I’m looking forward to more issues. – Scott
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #2 – C+
I have got to be honest here and say as ridiculous as this series sounds, and as bad as “The Primate Directive” title sounds, this series holds its own and gives us an interesting look into these two franchises, showing us exactly why they should meet, but sadly also why they never should at times. So far, we know Klingons are selling Apes advanced weapons (but we don’t know why…yet) and then the Star Trek crew found the humans of this Earth and teamed up with them. I am hoping in the next issue things will start to pick up and get better, I just tend to find it a bit hard to get connected to a story when it starts with a whimper and ends with a bang, which I feel is exactly what this series will do. Unless you know the lore of these two worlds, this may not be the book for you. Its sole purpose is to please the fans. But if you like either franchise give it a read for the nostalgia and the hope to see Captain Kirk say, “Get your hands off me, you damn, dirty ape!” – Jacob
Zombies vs. Robots #1 – C
Zombies are so hyped. And robots are getting that way. Combining the two seems brilliant. And it sort of was. But in general this book was very composition heavy — which isn’t really my deal. The writer, Chris Ryall, does explain that this book starts at the end of the story, but makes it unclear if we will be working backwards or not. Personally, I found the story slightly confusing, but intriguing enough that a read of issue 2 will be necessary. I have a feeling that once this story is told, it will be brilliant, but broken up into separate issues, it could be tedious to get through. – Adrian
Creeple People #1 – D-
Creeple People #1 left me with one mind-boggling question: why do I do these things to myself? Why did I take a chance on a book that seemed like Weird Science meet Ghoulies? Well, actually because that sounds kind of awesome, but this book was in fact not. The dialogue was so bad and the three main characters whose names are, I shit you not, Spigs, Peabo and T-Ray, are so incredibly annoying I can only hope the ghoulies they are bound to create eat their faces. These three are the most unbelievable science geniuses I have ever seen, case in point, “let’s science up” is a direct quote from one of them. This book feels like it couldn’t have been written by someone who knows any less about science. It basically felt like the writers Googled biological regeneration and 3D printing and copy and pasted excerpts from the Wikipedia page straight into the speech bubbles. Oh, and apparently there’s some weird evil spiritual voodoo going on in the bell tower with 666 bells built on top of the remains of a cult massacre on the world’s most unbelievable college campus that has ONLY 3 STUDENTS IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL WHO ARE SCIENCE MAJORS. Seriously, this book is the worst and you’d be best off avoiding it at all costs. If you have any interest in Creeple People whatsoever I leave you with this snapshot, a direct quote from page 2 “Not another mummified bog person!” Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha…what? – Keriann
Tooth and Claw #3 – A-
The third issue of Tooth and Claw keeps up its interesting world of furry magic and political intrigue with what might be the most beautiful art in any current monthly book. It loses some of its urgency with the appearance if the mythical hero, and the revelation of what he is is maybe a little underwhelming, but this along with Ody-C remains one of the most intriguing books from the most intriguing company. – J.H.
Rise of the Magi #5 – B
This is a first time, in a long time, I feel compelled to contact the people working on this comic just to tell them how much I love it. I am always drawn in and entertained, the art is amazing, and the characters from both Earth and Rune are developing into characters that I care about. Not to mention, I feel it’s messing with fantasy tropes and clichés and I really love them for that. I find myself laughing at my original reaction to the first book. In issue #5, you see how Rune, more than Earth, is feeling the effects of the stolen piece of the orb. Chaos and fighting are breaking out and Asa is barely holding onto his life as goblins slip into man-suits and wage war while the trolls attack in Rune. Also, it seems April has developed a power and I don’t think it’s because of the magical frog. Seems like magic is slipping back into Earth. Looking forward to the next book. This was way too long of a wait. – Jené
Reyn #1 – B-
Reyn is pulled right out of some D&D module from the 90’s. A fantasy realm called Fate that suffered a “Great Cataclysm” was once looked over by a group of warriors called Wardens, now thought to all be dead. SURPRISE! One is still alive and he is constantly having arguments with the deity that only he can hear in his head. There are tyrannical lizard kings, over abundant and zealous town guards and the Followers of Tek a not too favored religion. So far it’s basic fantasy faire with some humor thrown in for good measure. Reyn is a decent pick up for most fantasy fans. Also…..GIANT SPIDERS! – Scott
Superior Iron Man #4 – A-
While I admit it is pretty difficult to see Tony Stark as a baddie, he is quite the entertaining villain. Tom Taylor does a bang-up job showing how seamlessly one of our favorite superheroes can go from chaotic-good to chaotic-evil (Pardon the D&D lingo but I’ve been playing a lot lately). What I have found to be the most interesting aspect of this series so far is the fact that very few people have even picked up on the sudden personality change of Tony Stark. This is what makes the series so believable to me. Tony is rarely seen as the selfless type, and with a little mind adjustment, we see how easily he can go from helping others to big brother thanks to his likable demeanor and insane gadgets and gizmos. Though it hurts to cheer against Iron Man, I am excited to see where this series goes and how long it takes for the citizens of San Francisco to finally see Tony Stark as the villain. On a side-note, I am delighted to get to know Daredevil over the last four issues. He’s an often overlooked character and it’s always refreshing to get a new face in there. – Jake
Powers #1 – B+
(A) I’ll be honest: I had never heard of Powers before this week. I had no idea the history behind it (see Sherif’s review below), either. However, this book was amazing! It was so good, I plan on going back and catching up from the beginning (since the year 2000!) I was genuinely laughing throughout, even though the story is pretty macabre. Bendis does an amazing job of showing the horror of death and blending it with humor. Powers follows detectives and their investigations into the deaths of people caused by people with “powers.” The latest is by a very wealthy man who killed everyone on his boat. It’s a pretty crazy story. The artwork really sold me, too; it is reminiscent of late 90’s Saturday morning cartoons. However, this is NOT made for children. But adults can rejoice, because there is blood, murder, mayhem, and naked strippers. Whoo! – Adrian
(B-) Let’s start off by assuming I have no idea what this book was about before I picked it up. Then, we’ll say that’s not an assumption, because I really did have no idea. I knew that Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man) was writing it, and I knew that Playstation was picking up an order for a live-action series of Powers, but that was about it. “Powers” is the term that the world has given to anybody discovered to have… well, powers. The main antagonist is a cop, making this a really interesting detective story. Freedom to write also allows for some really funny cross-publisher references to various well-known super-heroes. I enjoyed this book enough to keep reading, but there wasn’t a whole lot to keep me on the edge of my seat. To be fair, there have been seven volumes of Powers, so suffice to say I am really far behind. – Sherif
Deadpool’s Art of War #4 – B+
In this final issue of Deadpool’s Art of War, we see the most influence from Sun Tzu’s Art of War than any previous issue. The majority of it is covered by lessons of war and has less dialogue and humor from Deadpool. Ultimately, the story was very clever but lacked something I cant really put my finger on. It may be because the source material has been manipulated in every single way possible. Most of my enjoyment from the series was from the cover art because each one is just begging to become a poster to hang on my wall. I would definitely check this series out if you have any idea about Sun Tzu’s Art of War, but a lot of Deadpool fans will find it weak because he is not featured as much as you would think, especially in this last issue. – Jacob
Black Widow #14 – B+
This month’s Black Widow finally picked up the pace! It also happened to be a good place to pick up if you are interested. Natasha has been going after Chaos for a bit, but now has a list. It’s kinda like Kill Bill, but not funny. That isn’t a downfall, Black Widow is not known for it’s wit. The fight scenes were incredible – I would not want to be on Natasha’s “kill list.” Per usual, the art was amazing, and still remains the main reason to read this book. – Adrian
Rocket Raccoon #7 – B+
This series has turned out to be way better than anyone anticipated and it is all because of the creative team. Skottie Young traded in his usual artist credit to become the writer of this issue, while Filipe Andrade does the art. Despite these changes, the book holds up just as well and gives a great story and a new arc for our pint-sized hero and his tree companion. The story puts Groot in a situation he has never been in, and Rocket is trying to bear the freezing cold alone. Definitely pick this issue up if you are a new fan or old of Rocket as this new arc is guaranteed blow you away as much as Rocket would himself. – Jacob
All-New X-Men #35 – B
Aha! Now it’s all starting to make sense. Kinda. Not at all, really. When Marvel announced earlier this week that they would be doing away with separate universes, I had no idea if would be the ripple caused by an unknown mutant girl in All-New X-Men. Nobody is really in their proper place in time or space, and explaining it to non-readers is an exhausting endeavor. However, the story itself is a lot of fun! For the time being, the original X-Men are so cute when paired up with their Ultimate selves. I’m just along for the ride at this point, and have no idea where it is going, but that makes it all the more fun to read. – Sherif
Scarlet Spiders #3 – B
Wow! A lot just happened. The final issue of the Scarlet Spiders mini-series wrapped up with a bang (literally)! The Spider-team has struck a critical blow to the Inheritors, but not without their own loses. The events of the issue were exciting and Jessica Drew’s Ultimate Black Widow spandex suit is still unnecessarily tight (this is not a complaint), but the most appreciable aspect of this issue comes from Mike Costa’s story telling. More so in this issue than the previous two, I felt that the events were very well told. The third person narration and the little insights we get from the thoughts of our cloned heroes make this issue a lot more captivating. By the end of the issue one of the more major Spider-Persons is (seemingly) permanently down for the count. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that the good guys in this Spider-Verse took event took a big, surprising hit. It’s a crazy way to wrap up a well done mini-series! – Taylor
Amazing Spider-Man #13 – B-
(A) “It’s not the power of the Spider that makes any of us who we are! It’s the will of the man!” Preach Doc Oc, PREACH!! This line from the Superior Spider-Man’s motivational speech really captures the attitude of this issue. The Spider-Verse event has built up to its max. The motivation behind the Inheritor’s plot is revealed and they currently have the lead on the scoreboard. The anticipation for the conclusion is going to drive me mad. I think the worst (best?) part about it is that I can’t predict how all this is going to end. I know it will be epic in scale, there will more death and shocking moments, and all versions of Peter Parker will definitely be cracking jokes. This adventure hasn’t lost any of its allure and I’m definitely not ready for it to end in just one short month. – Taylor
(D) I am so ready for this event to end next month. Events, in general, are not really my thing. Usually, it involves weekly buying multiple books just to get an inch closer to some lame and un-assuming ending that could have taken five-ten issues to explain. Spider-Verse, contrary to my initial excitement, has become no different. I love Spider-Man, and all the subsequent Spider-Mens and Spider-Womens and Spider-anthropomorphic animals, but this story just isn’t doing it for me. Instead, can we Edge of Spider-Verse back to explore mini-stories with each minor character since, ya know, they all get mercilessly slaughtered as a plot point in this cockamamy story. – Sherif
Panel with the Most Awesomeness:
That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!
All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Oni Press, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.