Comic Book Reviews 07-22-15

Review Scale:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick of the Week:

power up 1 potw 07.22.15

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

Other Reviews: 

Archie Comics:

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

DC/Vertigo Comics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IDW Publishing: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image Comics:

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

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

Marvel/Icon Comics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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

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