Comic Book Reviews 08-06-14

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:

kick a

Kick-Ass 3 #8 A+

That’s right – the finale to Kick-Ass is the first A+ ever given at Hush. It was the best send-off I could have asked for. Dave Lizewski is calling it quits, but before he quits, Hit-Girl has talked him into one last night of beating some mobster and crooked cop ASS. As per usual, the story is flooded with murder and mayhem, but there are so many great moments with no action at all in them. It was a greatly crafted end that just screams Hollywood adaptation. The pages are also littered with Easter Eggs and even an after-credits scene that keeps the story alive. Kick-Ass has shown us that not only do comic books kick ass, but normal people can, too. This is one of the best endings to a beloved franchise I’ve read since Locke & Key wrapped up last December. Kick-Ass has carved out a niche in the comic book world and has enough shelf life to make it a classic. – Sherif

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Grayson #2B-

It would seem that although there is a lot of change in the Batverse since Dick Grayson’s “death,” not much has changed. The former Nightwing has been sent in to spy on … Spyral, who is working on systematically discovering the identity of the Justice League. The tricky thing about being a double agent is that, most of the time, nobody has any idea what is going on and where alliances lie. Unfortunately, we as readers are victim to some of that as well. I like the overall schtick the book has, and writer Tim Seeley does a good job of portraying the whimsical Dick Grayson, but there’s not enough here to really make me want to sell Grayson to you. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Rocket Raccoon #2 – A

The second issue in Rocket’s solo series starts out with a hilarious True Detective reference that, while slightly confusing, made me laugh out loud and the laughs kept coming from there. It’s rare that a comic book will have me laughing so much, but, Rocket manages to do just that. Rocket is just as foul-mouthed as he’s always been in the books but it’s great to see Rocket have to take care of himself, he can really kick some ass when he needs to, even without a gun. The art has taken some getting used to for me, but, I think I’m finally on board with it. It’s very reminiscent of old Earthworm Jim stuff, there’s even a Rat Fink style vehicle in it that I absolutely loved. I’m very excited with where this series is going and I suggest getting started on it, especially if you enjoyed the Guardians film. – Cody

Moon Knight #7A

Wow. The first six issues of Moon Knight have been so awesome, and just like that – it’s over. Writer Warren Ellis and penciller Declan Shalvey are moving on after dropping one of the most impressive new books out. Their last issue, and the one that wraps up the first arc, focuses on NYPD detective Ryan Trent who has a real problem with a superhero doing their jobs for them. Trent decides to take the most logical action – falsify his identification as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and become a murderous anti-hero to take his place. Ellis and Shalvey have laid the groundwork for the new team of Brian Wood (writer) and Greg Smallwood (artist) to take over. If nothing else, this six-issue run has been an applaudable ode to the character of Moon Knight. – Sherif

Superior Spider-Man #32A-

Okay, I have to admit it – I really missed the a-hole Spider-Man. Otto Octavius is still alive, kind of. There was a certain charm that Doc Ock carried as the Superior Spider-Man that Peter Parker just can’t. I will say that I highly prefer having our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man back in business, but if there’s anything this book proved, it’s that there is still a place in the world for a narcissistic, genius Spider-Man. It seems Otto will be jump-starting this Spider-verse event, gathering a team of Spider-Men from all universes, saving them from a universe-hopping Spider hunter (and not saving a few more, like: House of M Spider-Man, Fantastic Four Spider-Man and the Iron Spider). This is shaping up to be a thoroughly entertaining story. – Sherif

Legendary Star-Lord #2 – B-

Peter Quill’s solo adventure has been a lot of fun so far. Star-Lord has been captured by his half sister and is being taken to face his fate. This issue has a couple really great moments of Star-Lord just being Star-Lord which is always good for a laugh. I love seeing all the weird creatures out there in these Guardians solo books and there’s a great “that’s no moon” moment in this issue. This one had a rather odd end, but, I’m still excited to see where this is going. – Cody

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #4 C+

Ultimate Spider-Man has always been a bit difficult for me to follow. However, what always drew me in, even if for just a few issues at a time, was the emergence of Miles Morales and the “Death of Spider-Man.” This new series has been more or less pedestrian, but this issue definitely kicks it up a few notches. Miles finds himself all alone after spilling the beans about his secret identity to his girlfriend Katie has effectively pushed her away. Miles has more pressing matters to attend to, as Norman Osborn is tearing apart the Parker’s neighborhood. Somehow, Peter freakin’ Parker shows up to save the day. Following Marvel’s newsfeed, we know that there is some massive Spider-verse event coming up – we just hope that Peter’s appearance isn’t a gimmick. – Sherif

 

Funniest Panel:

spyral mobile

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spidey boom

 

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 04-09-14

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:

The Walking Dead #125 – A

Finally!  A TWD issue that sustainably elevated my heart-rate!  I’d forgotten what that felt like.  We are one issue away from the conclusion of the All Out War arch of the series and all things are stacked up accordingly.  What’s got me even more excited is I can actually still envision a future for this series – all thanks to THIS issue.  How the war ends will be exciting and interesting (I’m betting), but real trademark of The Walking Dead series is how Kirkman and Image are able to keep that baited hook dangling in front of readers – ensuring that the everlasting question, “what will happen next?!” stays on the forefront of fans’ minds.  Maybe I’m still just on my high from #125 and I’ll be off of it by tomorrow morning.  But after being thisss close to putting this series to bed, I’m right back where I was when I first picked up this series – dying to keep reading.  See what I did there?… – T

The spirit of The Walking Dead has reanimated from the corpse that has been the last ten issues. When Rick first butted heads with Rick – and then promptly murdered one of the most beloved characters on the show – we knew there was going to be a showdown that lasted a while. However, with the way that (at least it seems from the last panel) it is wrapping up, it isn’t sitting well with me. In a GREAT way. Is Rick really the good guy? This issue contains quite possibly the greatest soliloquy the series has ever had – and then throws it all away in the name of survival. Damn you, Robert Kirkman, you had us all fooled. – S

“But seriously, there’s nothing weird about wanting to piss all over Rick Grimes’s dead bloated body.  He ruined everything, every motherfucking thing. It’d be weird if I didn’t piss all over him.” Hilltop is in shambles, and The Saviors are in the woods waiting nearby to finish the job. Negan is waiting for the remaining survivors to surrender after Rick dies from his injury following Dwight’s arrow to the back. While we fear for Rick’s life, Carl gives Mikey some much needed advice as he watches his father die. Hang on tight Dead-heads! The last page of issue #125 is exactly what we have been waiting for since this war began. – JS

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Star Wars #16 – B-

I’m still riding this Star Wars wave.  The first 15 issues have taken me up and down in my enjoyment.  I’m on my way up with the latest issue and hoping that it keeps building.  After the plot “reset” that took place last issue, I ‘m glad to see that this issue followed up in appropriate fashion.  It’s become a story of depth and internal struggles – something that defines classic Star Wars.  But man… I sure do wish Wood (writer) would drop the whole “Luke still has a crush on Leia” angle.  I shutter in disgust way more frequently than I should reading a SW comic. – T

DC/Vertigo:

Batman: Eternal #1 – A

Batman is getting a LOT of attention this year, and for deserved reasons; we celebrate the Dark Knight’s 75th Anniversary with Batman: Eternal, a weekly series headed by Scott Synder and James Tynion IV. Usually I’m a bit skeptical of weekly series, but Eternal is the real deal. The first issue pulls no punches. We’re given a glimpse of the future and it looks terrible; Gotham is in flames, and whoever is doing this knows Batman’s identity. My money is on Ra’s Al Ghul. He’s been too quiet in the New 52. Anyway, the issue also sets precedents. We’re given a new police officer recruit, and Jim Gordon gets himself in DEEP doo-doo. It’s everything I want out of a Bat-book and more, and the fact that it is weekly means they will be propelling Batman’s universe four times as fast with new (and returning) characters making an impact. – S

Superman – Wonder Woman – B+

I’m not really sure how the hell Wonder Woman has become the God of War since I don’t keep up with her regular book, but I think they could have done a better job summarizing what happened there for the rest of us. This issue wasn’t so much about the past as it is about the future. Starting with the next issue as well as the next Superman issue, they will be starting Doomed, which can only include one villain when you think about it. But just in case it doesn’t immediately come to you, I won’t spoil the ending of this issue for you. My biggest question is how will these two fare against one of the greatest DC foes of all time? Will the combined might of the God of War and the Man of Steel be enough to conquer true evil? It sure as hell better be because Supes was able to do it by himself once before so I don’t wanna see any weak crap in the next few issues. This book has been very solid throughout and I would hate for it to turn into some kind of love conquers all cliché. – R

Batgirl #30 – C

What the hell is going on in Gotham City right now? Where have all of these supernatural demons and vampires come from? I hope these last few issues haven’t been a setup for some bigger supernatural plot line they are going to introduce, because with the way they have written the last few issues regarding it, it would be enough to make me seriously consider not continuing to read this book. Aside from all of that the artwork was great and there was nice introspection from Barbara about Dick Grayson that meshed with the story very well. – R

When I first found out that Gail Simone didn’t write this issue, I freaked out. Luckily, this is just a one-time thing, as she returns to writing in #31. That being said, what was so special about this issue that Simone got bumped back an issue? I don’t really understand the Alien-like symbiote; it could be setting up some weird gooey future storyline, but it’s unclear as to how that will happen. What I really don’t get – and makes me want to chuck the issue altogether – is that she spends the entire issue pouting and “mourning” Dick Grayson. I think this is an unbelievably dumb move, because his fate is still in the balance in Forever Evil, so it’s like “Shut the hell up, Barbara, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Gail Simone would never have been so sloppy, so I’m glad next month we can get back to normal. – S

Dynamite Entertainment:

Flash Gordon #1 – B

I’ve had the misfortune of being born in the 20th Century.  The internet, smart phones, and automated coffee makers that will, in all likelihood, enslave the human race one day have all been the norm for me.  As such, I never got to experience Flash Gordon in his original form as a 1930’s adventure comic hero.  So imagine my surprise when I was hit with nostalgia and wonderment when reading the new Flash Gordon series.  Weird right?!  It’s abundantly clear that Parker (writer), Shaner (illustrator) and Dynamite have an agenda with Flash and his courageous crew in that they are bringing a cherished piece of nerd history to the present.  The beauty of issue #1 is that it’s cliché in nearly every aspect of the original comic book medium – from the artwork, to the general plot and character banter.  But it’s all done in a way that captures my attention and makes me want more.  I mean, if George Lucas used this as inspiration for Star Wars, that means it guaranteed to be good. – T

IDW Comics:

Rocky and Bullwinkle #2 – B

In the second issue of Rocky and Bullwinkle, we have the same format as about every episode of the show and the last issue. It is a two-part story with a “Dudley Do-Right” story in the middle. This series reads so much like the show, which makes them absolutely wonderful for fans of the past. It is hard to get through without speaking the lines as Bullwinkle or Boris and yet Snidley has not tied Nell to train tracks yet. This issue brings up a almost Burt Wonderstone feel of how magic is lost in modern times and no one goes to see the magician, the Great Griffin anymore. Moose and Squirrel find him and try to help him make it onto a reality show competition but as magic is no more in this modern era, he inevitably fails. The baddies Boris and Natasha try to kidnap Griffin to have him open a safe and only with the help from some old friends will Rocky and Bullwinkle be able to save the day in time. The Dudley Do-Right story is great as well and puts the well known Mountie phrase to the test, “A Mountie always gets his man!” Filled with many great gags, references, and even a Kardashian joke to wrap it all up, this series is a great read and always bring lots of nostalgia into your life. – JR

Samurai Jack #7 – B-

Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman are back for another adventure…wait. With Jack and the Scotsman under a spell that has turned them into women, the Leprechauns whom cursed them send them on a journey to defeat a bothersome giant. Once the duo reach the giant and attack it relentlessly they find out the giant is actually a good person and his screams drown out the spell making both Jack and the Scotsman men again. Once that gender switch is taken care of the heroes now head back to the leprechauns with their giant friend to defeat them once and for all. This two-issue story was quite entertaining and left you almost wanting to see the gender bending team stay on for more than just two issues. As always, the art of the Samurai Jack books are great and the dialogue is slim which makes it just like the series. A great read for any Jack fan and of course if you had read last months issue. – JR

Image Comics:

Shutter #1 – A-

Seriously, does Image Comics have a bad book? Their latest new book, Shutter, is a fantastic story of a young girl who was groomed to be the world’s greatest explorer. The traumatic death of what we think is her surrogate or biological father derailed her ambition, but “She’s seen some shit,” so she says. Somewhere in the middle, there are holographic ninjas and mechanical Monopoly men. The book is funny and exotic and I can’t wait to keep reading. I mean, any story in which the moon is considered boring must be an adventure worth taking. – A

Marvel:

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1 – A

This comic was amazing; it was dark, filled with that reminded me of a brutal anime (Afro Samurai) and set the tone for a great story to take place. I really like this new Iron Fist, and I only want to see more of him. For those of you that love the character, or know nothing about him, this is a great comic to check out. I can’t wait for the next issue to come out and I highly recommend it.  – E

Kick-Ass 3 # 7 – A-

Hit-Girl is back and s*** is about to go down. There is only one more issue left and it finally feels like we are going to see the badass kickass we have been waiting to see since the beginning. Three storylines in the making, and he finally is done being such a wuss. Lots happened this issue, but none of it is as important as what is coming up next issue. This conclusion could mean the death of one, or both, of our heroes, as Millar has said before that this will be the last installment of the epic trilogy six years and two movies in the making. I don’t know how they are going to end it all but I can’t wait to find out, this issue has got me pumped for the finale. – R

Captain Marvel # 2 – B

That Flerken Cat! Captain Marvel is back in space after an awesome introductory issue. We get a good scope of how strong of a character she is, physically and in character. The only thing that could make her book even more enjoyable is a team up with the Marvel darlings, Guardians of the Galaxy! Rocket Raccoon steals the spotlight a bit, as he always does, and the whole issue is entertaining. I’m really excited to see how this team-up builds and, of course, Kelly Sue DeConnick‘s writing shapes the story wonderfully. Go buy this! – S

All-New Ghost Rider # 2 – B

Only into the second book and this series has proven its worth. We still don’t have an explanation as to why Robbie Reyes has become the Ghost Rider but I am sure we will get that soon enough. This series and the characters are growing very nicely and we are definitely getting to sympathize with Robbie and beginning to dislike many people he will likely be battling and defeating in coming issues. This issue shows us what the mystery pink pills that were in the car Robbie borrowed to race can do, and it introduces us to multiple people who may end up being main adversaries throughout the series. Although the standard Johnny Blaze and the motorcycle we all know and grew to love are gone, this new, gritty and very different artistic take on Ghost Rider is guaranteed to please old fans and create many new ones. – JR

Thanks to Marvel’s earlier studio movies – okay, really, it’s just Nicholas Cage’s fault – fans have a sour taste of Johnny Blaze in our mouths. Couple that with the fact he hasn’t been around since the end of Fear Itself a couple years ago, and it just screams reboot! Robbie Reyes is to the barrio what Kamala Khan is to Muslim Americans; there’s a certain honesty that All-New Ghost Rider carries with it is refreshing and unique. The new outfit, vehicle and art style are very polarizing. I feel like you either love how it feels or you think it looks cheap and poorly designed. You can add me to the list of the former, because Ghost Rider is quickly catapulting to the upper echelon of books in my pull list. – S

(Note: can’t win ’em all) The new Ghost Rider has a new look, and as Tim Gunn would say, “This concerns me.” The new GR is a Los Angelino named Robbie Reyes. No more flaming chopper and black leather jacket, our hellish vigilante is pushing a muscle car and looks more like a H&M model than hellfire corpse. Look at it this way, I read this comic so that you won’t have to. – JS

All-New X-Men # 25 – B

This book is beautifully illustrated. I’m not sure that I am versed enough in comic folklore to fully appreciate the massive team of talent that went into this singular issue…if you are a comic head you will appreciate this Dream Team roster of artistic talent; Bruce Timm, Laura Martin, Arthur Adams, Justin Ponsor, David Mack, Skottie Young, Jason Keith, Robbi Rodriguez, Lee Bermejo and Marte Gracia to name a few. Beast is visited in the middle of the night by The Watcher. He plays a Ghost of Christmas future role and shows Hank all the damage he caused by bringing the X-Men to the future. What this issue lacks in story, it makes up in production. – JS

All-New Doop # 1 – B

If you see the cover of this and are immediately turned off because it’s ridiculous and dumb, then you can hand in the keys to your childhood right now. Doop is described as the “green potato thing,” and boy is that on the money…. I guess. Doop reminds me of a cuter version of DC’s Bat-Mite as he sneaks around behind the scenes and meddles with the X-Men’s affairs in Battle of the Atom. It’s just overall a really cute book that adds a breath of fresh air, especially in a week filled with so many anniversary and tribute issues. Take this book for a spin and I bet you won’t be disappointed. – S

Daredevil # 1.50 – B-

Here we get yet another anniversary issue, celebrating fifty years of Matt Murdock. We begin with a letter from the editor revealing that The Avengers came about solely to fill in a gap when the writers of Daredevil were late – very interesting. This anniversary special is broken into three parts: one written in the future by current writer Mark Waid, one by legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis, and the final a reprinting of an old Gene Colan piece (RIP). It’s better than a lot of tribute issues as of recent where too many writers just too few pages to tell a meaningful story. Instead, we’re given unique and powerful panels that remind us why Daredevil is The Man Without Fear. Even fans not caught up with the book can appreciate this. – S

Deadpool # 27 – B-

Dubbed “The Most Important Issue #27 in Comic Book History,” I was already offended before I flipped to the first page Note: This is a joke, of course, but Detective Comics (1939) #27 gave us the first appearance of Batman, who is experiencing his 75th Anniversary this year. The cover to this issue is amazing; it would be a fun game to see how many of the 232 characters we know (key in the back of the issue). This issue is really long-winded, but serves as a tribute to and from all the writers and stories Deadpool has had over the years. There’s a really cool sense of ownership and community of the character. It kind of lost its mojo part way through, but the general consensus is that Deadpool has been lovestruck a lot and now that he finally has a bride, things can’t go his way for much longer. – S

Nightcrawler #1 – C

Disappointing effort from Chris Claremont. I was expecting something completely different. Nauck’s art lacks depth (in my opinion) and this book falls short. This was a boring first attempt to reenergize a fan favorite. Let’s hope there is more to come. – JS

For a book that sees our beloved Nightcrawler return from the dead, there sure wasn’t a whole lot to celebrate here. Acclaimed writer Chris Claremont is back to write the series, but a lot of the “umph” that he had in the 90s. His signature style of explaining every little nuanced detail of the character’s personality was endearing twenty years ago, but readers really don’t need that much background anymore. As for Nightcrawler, he’s really not even the focus in this book; he takes the backseat to both Wolverine and Amanda (Claremont explains everything but the history of this character, who is important to Nightcrawler, but not really in the X-Universe). At the end of the day, I just wanted more of the lovable BAMFer and less distracting side-story. The man just came back from the dead, can we get him a beer or something? Expand upon the stories of Heaven, Hell and Azazel? I’m willing to give it another chance, but I’m ready to teleport out if the next issue is as disappointing. – S

All-New Ultimates #1 – C-

This comic was fairly good. When there was action, it stood out and was very entertaining, however throughout a good part of the comic it just felt like nothing was happening. I do like that they didn’t make this new team the “ultimate weapon” right off the bat. They are still very new and green and they showed that side in the comic. Overall I enjoyed it and I recommend it to people that enjoy the characters. – E

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.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Evan Lowe, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael, John Soweto and Jacob Robinson

Comic Book Reviews 04-02-14

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 #2 – A

“Magneto was right.” This is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles. Gabriel Herandez Walta captured something special while illustrating this book. We find Magneto in search of Omega Sentinels, killing all in his path. When he discovers that the homeless are being kidnapped and biologically altered to hunt mutants he has a flashback to Warsaw,1942. The flashback panels are brilliant. I literally got chills reading those pages. We find yet another catalyst for Magneto’s anger when it is revealed that his friend, Levi Weinlaub, and family suffered at the hands of Hilter’s Nazis. When in the company of humans Magneto refers to himself as Max in this book. As a child, Max Eisenhardt was sent to the Auschwitz death camp. He changed his name to Eric Lehnsherr to navigate through the camp to be closer to his true love, a gypsy girl named Magda.  As Max he was weak and fragile. This is interesting because it appears as if he is identifying himself as the powerless. This book flowed well, and the reader can follow along with minimal backstory. OMG, the scene with the nails is a MUST SEE! Magneto’s new purpose seems to be focused on righting the wrongs of the past. I give this title an emphatic two thumbs up!  – JS

Marvel has finally found Magneto’s voice in the new Marvel.NOW world. He’s broken-down, tired, and fucking ruthless; this isn’t your father’s Magneto. The best part is, his powers aren’t even back to full strength – a point that serves to show just how frighteningly powerful he is. Magneto‘s writer Cullen Bunn does a commendable job on this book. We’ve started off with different accounts of Magnus Meltdowns, just to add to the effect that this guy is absolutely terrifying, and it works so well. I also love the flashbacks to Nazi Germany and how it turned Erik into a monster. This book has shot straight up my list of favorites, and I can’t wait to see where this book takes us. – S

Other Reviews:

BOOM! Studios:

Dead Letters #1 – B-

A man wakes up in a shady motel room and remembers nothing.  Not his name, not how he got there, not even what he had for lunch.  The one thing he does remember is that he’s no stranger to violence or action.  Sounds totally Bourne Identity, right?  Dead Letters #1 certainly starts out that way but ends in M. Night Shyamalan fashion.  I’m talking The Six Sense Shyamalan… Not the The Happening version.  Had it not been for this crazy twist, I would have just as soon written this series off.  This is one to keep your eye on; its’ bound to surprise and entertain. – T

Dark Horse Comics:

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #5 – B+

This issue was loaded with nostalgic moments from the history of the series. We actually get to see the original terminator being sent back along with Kyle Reese being sent back as well. There are obviously a few changes that have been made due to the continuity having changed. It seems as though everything is still going according to plan but with a slight twist. There are few variables that are going to change how we get to the end, but ultimately it should turn out similar to the explanations we are given in the film. With each issue that passes, I get more and more excited to find out how everything comes to an end. – R

Veil #2 – B-

The crazy lady with the weird powers is back. Dante is still stuck in the middle of it all, trying to play protector to some weird bio-weapon lady. There are some new elements that open up possibilities, but it ends up creating more questions than it does answering. I love the direction that the series is going in, even if it’s a tad creepy. The art is soft and the color art is crazy good. There’s something about a woman who mutilates sexual assaulters that really intrigues me – call me old-fashioned. There’s a difference between stalling and feeding the story to the readers, and Veil is doing a great job of the latter. – S

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Premature Burial C

This one-shot comic combines two of Edgar Allen Poe’s tales, including The Premature Burial and The Cask of Amontillado. Both of these stories seem to be told by an original character named Mag the Hag. With anything by Edgar Allen Poe, you are assured a very dark and demented story filled with nasty people and often times nasty deaths. These two stories are nothing short of classic Poe and the artwork provide for them add to the already creepy nature of the short stories. The first story, The Premature Burial, follows a man who tries to kill a woman and desecrate her corpse only to end up finding the end he tried to produce for the woman in being buried alive. The second story, The Cask of Amontillado, is about a man who is taking a woman down to his vaults to tell her why her husband has been missing for years only to tell her that he killed him and trapped him in a wall. After he has told the woman of his actions and she runs off, the man dies himself next to the man he trapped so many years ago. Definitely two creepy stories and a must have issue for any Poe fan. If you do not know Poe’s work you may find this a little off putting as the stories are very dark and the artwork even made me shiver once of twice. – JR

DC/Vertigo:

Batman: Detective Comics #30 – B+

Oh, the wonders of a new creative team. After GothtopiaDetective Comics‘ latest arc, the series was running on fumes. It had lost its flavor and much of its audience. However, this new creative team of Brian Buccellato (writing) and Francis Manapul (art) has breathed new life into the series. We start the Icarus arc with big panel art and some sweet action scenes of Batman. It looks like Batman will be taking on a street drug that sets people on fire! Like, full-blown Richard Pryor. I’m curious to see if they go back to Bat’s roots or will fall back on some big baddie to carry the arc. I’m hoping that the series takes some risk and starts all over, because more of this and I’ll be addicted. – S

Trillium #8 – B

This was the final issue of Jeff Lemire’s Trillium. There was a lot of confusion leading up to this issue, and I was unsure of how Lemire was going to wrap it up. I suppose it wasn’t as confusing as I made it out to be, because it’s wrapped up in the first ten pages. However, the main focus of the story is of the romance of Nika and Billy. We get more heartbreak and despair, too. Lemire really brings his A game with the art; there are several full-page panels that really make the book. Overall, Trillium made less sense than I wanted it to, but it took me on a fantastical journey to show us that we are not alone in this universe. – S

Green Arrow #30 – B

Things have begun to get a little crazy with the second to last issue of The Outsider Wars. The mystery of Oliver Queens’s death from last issue was solved and I must say that I was pretty surprised with how they pulled it off. I don’t particularly like the way that they ended this issue though. They spent all this time with the buildup to only abruptly end things in what can only be described as unsatisfying. Of course nothing is final seeing how the last issue ended and this one begins. The art for the whole Outsider War has left much to be desired as far as I’m concerned but it certainly isn’t the worst art I’ve ever seen. I am more interested to see what is coming next after this whole war as opposed to the end of this particular story arc. – R

Aquaman and the Others #1 – D

This has got to be the lamest bunch superheroes I have ever seen. So far, I haven’t seen a single interesting thing about any of The Others. I actually didn’t even know they were a team until last week. The art just as great as the regular Aquaman book, but it still can’t save the bland characters with almost no unique personalities. This issue also felt extremely short and there was barely any buildup to whatever story arc they are beginning. They barely took the time to properly introduce the main cast with each getting a few pages and absolutely no backstory. I don’t know where they are going with this publication but I am willing to give it ten issues before I kick it to the curb – if it lasts that long. – R

IDW Comics:

Monster and Madmen C+

In the second part of this three-issue series, we learn a little more about the Madman, Jack the Ripper, and his intentions. We see Frankenstein’s monster wander off around the city trying to figure out what has happened since he awoke and he becomes enthralled with the people and buildings around the city. All is fine and he is going around unnoticed until a prostitute offer him her services and the horrified and horrifying look he gives her makes her scream in fear causing people to chase him only for him to find his way back to the Doctor who saved him from the beach in the first issue. We learn this man is Joh Moore and that he has an almost unhealthy obsession with the Monster. Dr. Moore offer the Monster his home and tells him that if he stays and lets him examine him that he will make the Monster a companion to help heal his lonely heart. After the Monster agrees to stay we see the Doctor go out on the town and pick up a woman whom we can only assume will receive the wraith we all know Jack the Ripper is known for. A very entertaining and artistically entertaining series continues to put a good twist on two famous stories. Anybody who enjoys either story or monster movies in general will enjoy this issue and hopefully in the next and last issue we will have a good wrap up of the series. – JR

Image Comics:

Black Science #5 – A

Just when you thought a story involving multidimensional travel to interwoven layers of realities and universes couldn’t get more complex, Black Science #5 enters the scene to roundhouse kick you to the face.  One of the best kicks I’ve ever received.  A whole new dynamic enters the plot this week and it breathes vibrant life into an already thriving series.  Remender knows what he’s doing.  I really applaud the way he drops a new and compounded concept on readers without making it confusing or seem out of place.  On par with the plot is still the artwork – environments are so intricately detailed!  Everything about this series is well managed and super creative. If you haven’t started, please pretty PLEASE start reading Black Science. – T

’68 Rule of War #1 – A

I really enjoyed this issue. With a familiar, yet new take on the world of zombies, this story has some interesting twists to it. I really was interested in this story from the get go, with the mystery behind what is happening and the various stories lines I could see crossing paths, I’m happy I got the chance to read this new book and I look forward to future issues. If you get a chance to read this book or you are a big zombie fan, check it out for sure. – E

Marvel:

Moon Knight #2 – A

I’ve been reviewing comics for a very short time now, but I’m finally starting to hit my groove.  Know how?  I’ve discovered my first real pet-peeve with comics!  It’s when issue #2 drops and it’s everything that should have been issue #1!!  Moon Knight #2 hits this mark square in the face.  I guess in the way of pet-peeves, this is a good one to have.  People – if you were only mildly impressed by Moon Knight #1 (like me) be sure to shake the feeling and grab a copy of #2 right now!  Panel to panel, this issue was flat out awesome.  The outstanding quality of #2 resides in the fact that no major or significant plot development occur.  There’s almost no dialogue and you don’t really know what’s happening until the end.  You might read those last few sentences and think I’m on crack.  Rest assured – I only sniff magic (markers).  The story is a one-and-done, but is executed flawlessly and is visually stunning the whole way through.  I can now start buying into the hype that Moon Knight is a keeper.  – T

Ultimate Spider-Man #200 – A-

If you have been following Ultimate Spider-Man, you know that the Ultimate Peter Parker has been dead for two years (SPOILER!). This issue, more than anything, is a love letter to Peter Parker and all the iterations of his kind. As all the big names come back for a wake in Parker’s honor, we get a recap of all the crazy adventures they went through together. It was really neat to get an inside look at how others felt about their relationship with Spider-Man, and does a solid job of explaining all the characters and relationships you may not know. If you’re not a Spider-Man fan – or you lack a heart – it can bore you. However, the full page spreads of various Spider-Men is something to behold. By the time you’re done reading this, you will have had a great session in nostalgia, or you will go buy the entire catalog of Ultimate Spider-Man. – S

The Punisher #4 – B+

I really like this entire arc of the Punisher. It is action-packed, stays true to the character, and has a story-line that is intriguing enough to keep me entertained. With moderate story progression this week, I can’t put much effort into figuring out what is brewing; however, I hope it will be exciting. This book is fun to read, and I really do enjoy reading this comic. – E

Black Widow #5 – B-

After four issues of what could be considered one-shots, the fifth issue is finally able to build a continuous story. The idea that a spy should trust her gut over intel rings true for Natasha, as it gets her into one sticky situation. Phil Noto’s art, as always, is worth the price of admission alone. I like that the story is finally moving forward, but I can’t help but feel that, five issues in, the book has lost a bit of its luster to me. It will take some really good story-telling to pull me back in the way I originally felt about it. That being said, an espionage book written about an Avenger is enough of an original idea to get me to keep reading, and Natasha Romanov is one of the most bad-ass characters in the Marvel world. Let’s hope this snowball keeps rolling downhill. – S

Loki: Agent of Asgard #3 – B-

I thought the story that was being told was pretty cool. I have a pretty good idea of where this story is going, but it is really nice to see how Loki is manipulating things for the purpose to gain his objective. I really liked the way the story is told in this issue. With most of it being a narrative, I felt like I was watching a movie about major or even a fairy tale, and honestly, that wouldn’t be far off from the truth. All the mysticism and dragons make this a tale worthy of Midgard. – E

Deadpool vs. Carnage #1 – C+

This issue marks the start to another almost guaranteed enjoyable Deadpool series. We learn that Cletus Kasady/ Carnage has escaped from prison and has been traveling across America killing as many people as he can. Deadpool sees this on the news while watching T.V. and after a classic Deadpool scene where he tries figure out what he should do with his life, he heads after Carnage figuring he is the only one crazy enough to be able to catch him and bring him to whatever kind of justice Deadpool brings. This first issue packs the kind of violence we would assume would come from not just a Deadpool book but from Carnage as well and of course has the same wit and humor that always comes with our favorite Merc with the Mouth. The issue ends on a semi cliffhanger and the sight of a smaller Villainess from the Spiderman universe known as Shriek. This series is bound to be entertaining for Deadpool alone, but I am excited to see where it goes and how these two will continue their battle. – JR

The Merc With the Purdy Mouth faces off with Carnage. We don’t know why;  Deadpool actually gets the “epiphany” from watching television. There’s not even an attempt at cohesion here – like most things Deadpool. There is some clever writing, but I didn’t see the point to any of it – and the issue was quickly forgotten after the last page was turned. The name of the series is enough to sell the mini-series, but any more bland issues like this and I don’t think I’ll be able to keep going. Here’s to hoping this issue lives up to at least a little of its potential. – S

Inhuman #1 – C

Don’t get me wrong, I like Charles Soule’s writing. I truly enjoyed last year’s Superman/Wonder Woman run from D.C. Comics. But Inhumans #1 was a difficult read. Unless you have a pretty extensive knowledge of The Kree, (an alien race at odds with the Skrulls and responsible for bio-engineering super-sapiens here on earth), Black Bolt and Terrigen technology, you are going to be lost. There is a ton of unnecessary dialog in this book, so much so that it seems forced. I know, I know, I’ve complained before about the lack of writing in some titles, but this book couldn’t find a healthy balance between the art and the story. The panels are vibrant, shout out Joe Madureira, but at points it seemed like the art and story were fighting for the readers attention. Now, with that being said, I am semi-excited for this title. If you have been following the incredible Ms. Marvel book, you will be pleasantly surprised that we start Inhuman following the Terrigen storm in New York; can we say “crossover?” Overall, great art, too much info in the story for a first issue. There is, however, a pretty cool Stark Industries Easter Egg at the end, though. – JS

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 3 B’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.5

Marvel Comics: 3 A’s, 3 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.13

Independents: 2 A’s, 3 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.00

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.

Written by Sherif ElkhatibEvan LoweAdrian PuryearTaylor Lowe, Robert Michael, John Soweto and Jacob Robinson