Comic Book Reviews 01-13-16

Review Scale:

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:

injection 6 potw

Injection #6—A
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey

I have been waiting all week to read Injection. It feels like it’s been forever since the last issue, so I’m glad it’s back and hopefully the next one won’t take as long to come out. I give this an A for pure enjoyment and for its ability to make me snort out lout in lieu of cannibalism. This issue focuses on Mr. Headland of the Injection team. He’s a Sherlock archetype with a bit more something going on. I’m not all that sure how this issue will tie in to the overall story, but since the whole team is somehow connected, it’s going to fit in some way. It was humorous and had a good speed and, like I said, will make you laugh at eating human “ham.” I really do love this storyline. His reputation proceeds him, as Warren Ellis is a great writer and the Declan Shalvey, whose chemistry with Ellis from Moon Knight is apparent, adds to the overall tone of this outlandish character. – Jené

Other Comic Book Reviews:

BOOM! Studios Comic Book Reviews:

Mighty Morphing Power Rangers #0 – B+
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Hendry Prasetya

This issue really brought me back to my childhood and what it was like to come home after school and watch Power Rangers before going out to play. It would seem that it picks up somewhere in the beginning of the series. We still have the Green Ranger and it looks like he has just recently broken free from Rita’s control. The nice thing about this is that they’ve updated the Rangers with modern day tech like text messages and whatnot. I don’t know what they plan to show with this series that wasn’t already in the show to begin with, but I am actually pretty excited to see where they take this. – Robert

Second Opinion (A-): This might be my inner child talking, but I loved this! By all means, it’s corny as hell, but Higgins’ writing is very appropriate, while Prasetya’s art is technically sound and unique. Plus, the mini-stories bring back some names I haven’t heard in a very long time *Kenobi voice.* – Sherif

DC/Vertigo Comic Book Reviews:

Batman/TMNT #2 – B
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Freddie Williams II

Garsh, this book is so full of good feelings. As to be expected, Michaelangelo carries the whole book on his back with his charm, but really, every Turtle aspect of the book outdid anything Batman-related. Shredder was a badass, Splinter looks freakin cool, and the panels of the turtles just hanging out in an internet cafe talking smack highlighted the issue. Batman, on the other hand, was full of too much robotic-like exposition, and the art depicting him was terrible compared to the great work Williams did on the turtles. Overall, an awesome book for fans of both franchises. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A-)I love this story simply because it exists and is more than a one-shot, but there are definitely a few shortcomings a fan of either franchise will notice. Oh, also, Shredder is not messing around in this series, the guy overshadows Batman villains… BATMAN VILLAINS. – Jacob


Legend of Wonder Woman #1 – B+
Story and Pencils: Ranae De Liz
Inks, Colors, and Letters: Ray Dillon 

I’m a total sucker for origin stories, and while I already knew this one, it’s always nice to see a new perspective on it. The art was absolutely beautiful and while I wish it hadn’t been broken up into three chapters, the story flowed well. I also enjoyed that DC seems to be writing over last year’s annual in which it is revealed that Diana was born of man and woman, rather than clay and will. The previous story sort of destroyed a significantly cool aspect of Wonder Woman. This issue reaffirms the original origin story, which I’ve always preferred. That being said, it’s not a perfect comic. There wasn’t anything that really wowed me and the dialogue felt dry at times. The stakes also did not seem to be high enough, or at least were not made to be felt that way. Perhaps this will come in later issues. – Charlotte 

Second Opinion (A-): This new digital-first mini-series takes everything innocent and beautiful about The Last Unicorn and adapts it beautifully to a Wonder Woman origin story – starting from Diana’s childhood. The art is mesmerizing and the storytelling flows naturally, but it could be considered too “girly,” whatever the hell that means. – Sherif

Robin War #2 – B
Writer: Tom King
Artists: Khary Randolph, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Steve Pugh, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens

Full disclosure, I typically haaaate crossover events. To match sure you got the whole deal with Robin War, I had to read Gotham AcademyWe Are RobinGraysonRed Hood/ArsenalDetective ComicsTeen Titans, and Robin: Son of Batman… so f*ck you for that, DC. After wading through the crap, this ended up being a really cool take on the state of Robins, new and old. More importantly, it shakes up several stagnant pieces of the Batman machine that is completely carrying DC Comics right now. The question is, what will DC do with these new changes? Probably something crappy. – Sherif


Superman American Alien #3 – B
Writer: Max Landis
Artist: Joëlle Jones

This was an interesting way to look at Clark Kent. How would he behave if he was mistaken as Bruce Wayne for a day? Of course, this is the public face of Bruce Wayne and not the whole Batman thing. This actually takes place while Bruce is training with the League of Shadows. This issue would have been a complete waste if not for the last few pages. This issue features another set of writers trying to show how Clark tackles the tough question of what to do with his life. This suffers from the same issues that the Earth Two books did; in what universe would Clark do anything besides using his powers for good? It felt like the writers were trying to reinvent the wheel a bit here. Overall, it was a short read and like I mentioned earlier, the last few pages are what make the issue. – Robert


Gotham Academy #14 – D+
Writers: Various
Artists: Various

A four part yearbook series?! Seriously? How busy are you really, Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher, and Karl Kercshl? I don’t think so. Ok, honestly I don’t know what is going on with their lives, but I know that I can’t recommend these issues to people. A good chunk of the reason I read this series is for the art. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the art of others, it just doesn’t capture the same essence of the book. Welp. I don’t think I’ll be reviewing this series until it gets back to its original format. – Adrian


Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #1 – D
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver

Let me first repent that this is the first DC title I’ve picked up in, like, 3 years.  This review might be a bit biased…  Sooo, looks like all that Green Lanterns are in trouble.  They’re trying to escape one universe (which is dying??) and move into a new one.  Please don’t ask me why or how any of this happened – just roll with it.  Oh, but some of the Green Lanterns are separated from the others, for some reason.  Then some giant dudes show up!!!  Oh man… I’m sorry… I just can’t.  If you’re die hard Green Lantern fan, I’m sure this issue would be very interesting and a great start to a new arc, really!  But if you’re like me and can’t name a Green Lantern besides Hal Jordan, then don’t worry about picking this one up. – Taylor

Dynamite Entertainment Comic Book Reviews:

Red Sonja Vol 3 #1 – C+
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Aneke
Colorist: Jorge Sutil

Take all of the recent fantasy worlds (Witcher, LOTR, WOW), add a female version of Hercules and mash them all into one book – Red Sonja is what you would get. This issue gets off to a pretty slow start. For being a barbarian, she spent a lot more time hoeing instead of doing barbarian things. The art is nice and the story seems to have potential so I will have to see how the next few issues go. If the plot is going where I think it will, instead of interesting beasts or something to that effect, we are going to get a lot of social commentary and SJW nonsense. Le Sigh. – Robert

Second Opinion (C-): While it is nice to finally see Red Sonja show a little more dignity, it did make for a meandering story. I read this book for the sole reason that Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells) was writing the script, and so far it looks like she’s just going around looking for people to kill – not much to praise here. – Sherif

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

Gutter Magic #1 – B
Writer: Rich Douek
Artist: Brett Barkley

Saa-weeet!!  Post WWII + wizards, magic and fantasy creatures.  That’s pretty much what Gutter Magic is all about.  And it’s pretty great.  I love the panel work by Barkley.  So much imagination and things to drool over on the page.  Like when the market place came alive and helped Cinder and Blacktooth escape the evil Morgue gang!  So cool!  And how Cinder carries a gun with magic inscriptions on the barrel and shoots magic bullets!!  So cool!!  OH and how Shiver just shoots awesome purple super-bullets out of her fingers (totally a move from Yu Yu Hakusho, btw).  SO COOL!!  I’m pretty sure the only people that wouldn’t enjoy this book are those who hate magic.  And really… who hates magic?!?! – Taylor

Second Opinion (B)I like it! It was a lot of fun to read. I think the whole magical alternate reality is a lot of fun and is working for this story. For some reason, it remind me a bit of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series. Seems like it’s been a great week in comic. Looking forward to the next one. – Jené

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Descender #9 – B
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen

Descender has yet to disappoint me. There are so many elements that make this book one  that I consider a “must read.” The art is exceptional. The texture, the colors, and the roughness of it make me feel like I’m in another world… which is perfect, because this is an outer space book. There are some really profound quotes in every issue, particularly from the robots commenting on what it feels like to feel. I love that I can relate to the robots more than I can the people. Additionally, I always find out some tidbit of information that makes me want to know more. And this isn’t formulaic, either. Usually these tidbits happen at the end of comics, but in Descender, I never know when it will happen. It’s not too late to catch up on this series! I highly recommend it. – Adrian


 

Huck #3 – B-
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Rafael Abluquerque

The more I get attached to this wonderful human being, the more certain I am that Millar will find a way to ruin my faith in humanity. Huck is just the kindest person on Earth, using his special abilities to help save people all over the globe. He’s basically Forrest Gump with super powers. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to the book than that. All you get for 20+ pages is the feeling of impending doom and inevitable letdown. I hope there are good things to come for Huck. – Sherif


The Walking Dead #150 – D
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

Woah, oh my god, what a milestone issue. Let’s spend a whole ten pages on ANOTHER GODDAMNED RICK GRIMES monologue. Holy shit, is Kirkman even trying anymore? The whole book is one giant half-hearted sad handjob trying to keep a multi-million dollar television show alive. Look, congrats to Kirkman and Adlard for making an independent book last this long, and Adlard’s art can be pretty magnificent at times… Which is what makes it so hard to say that I’m glad Rick got the shit kicked out of him. Go Rick! You lead those people to slaughter. – Sherif

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Captain America: Sam Wilson #5 – A
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Paul Renaud

I find myself becoming very connected to stories when there is a great ensemble, and Captain America: Sam Wilson has one of the best ensembles in comics right now. The dialogue in this book is outstanding, which certainly helps, but I actually care about all our heroes. It is pretty rare when that happens in this medium. This issue, we got to see things from Redwing’s perspective; it was a clever way to get his story, but also be able to follow Sam and Misty. I also am a huge fan of all the pop culture references (the Mad Men mention was brilliant), but what I really love is what Nick Spencer is doing to compare the Serpent Society with “Ayn Rand” types. He is saying enough that we know who to really compare the SS with (Donald Trump, anyone?) without coming out and directly saying it. This series is an onion; there are a lot of layers, and they are worth going through. – Adrian

Secret Wars #9 – B+
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic

This was a tricky comic to review. As a standalone, it might be worth of even an A, but it’s not, and being seen in its larger context, I’d say it should maybe even be a C. But, trying to not let this individual issue get dragged down by stuff not directly related to it, I’ve struck a middle ground. It ends up being a pretty satisfying conclusion to what ended up being an almost year long ordeal, and ended the way it started: as a rivalry between Dr. Doom and Reed Richards. But where it falters seems to cheapen the Marvel universe. For example, (spoiler alert, or what the eFFFFFFFFF ever), Reed fixes Doom’s face, and the final shot of Doom shouting to heaven and glee makes you stop and ask, “Wait… was he an asshole this whole time because of his face?” It makes him feel shallow. And everything with the Molecular Man from his first appearance in Secret Wars up until now makes so little sense that the li’l daughter Richards has to explain it to Sue, and if it makes sense, it sounds stupid. But hey, comic books are written for babies living in hologram cribs now, so how dare I demand effort from my story tropes. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (C)Ok, I get the ending to this series and all, but I still need to ask, what in the hell just happened? This series had some good parts but had an obvious ending, the fumbling schedule on releases was upsetting, and of course we have the complete disregard of that the universe you are setting up has existed for months. – Jacob


All-New Wolverine #4 – B+
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: David Lopez, David Navarrot
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn

This book seems to be going through an identity crisis. It can’t quite figure out if it wants to be quirky, fierce, or a crappy romance title. Lucky for us, we see the sweet and cute side of Laura Kinney as she attempts to find refuge for her clones with Doctor Strange. Strange is kind of the only adult in a Marvel Universe full of irresponsible children, so his interactions with Wolverine are kind of cute. Not sure if this book will get its life together and find an identity it wants to stick with, but more of this would be nice. – Sherif


Guardians of the Galaxy #4- B+
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti

The Guardians have escaped and are safe for now, until they all realize they must go back for Gamora. Once they all decide it must be done, they make a up a plan and head to the surface to take on Hala. Gamora and Hala continue to fight on Spartax… well, Gamora continually gets the crap beat out of her until the rest of the Guardians show up. I really enjoy this new team and think once things settle down here and the non-stop action ends for maybe one issue, the characters old and new would make for some great and cheesy team moments for sure. The world always needs more of Rocket Raccoon and The Thing together. – Jacob


Extraordinary X-Men #5 – B
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado

This series has had a pretty fun and crazy beginning and we get the end to our first story arc here. We see this X-Men team taking on Mr. Sinister and a clone of Cyclops he made for experiments with the Terrigen Mists. We see a good use of each team member’s powers, a couple of good lines, and a bad ass speech from Storm. As far as X-Men books go, I thoroughly enjoy this one and it is generally a very fun read and the art is very interesting. It almost has a very surreal feel to a very realistic plain, an interesting style and one I really enjoy. – Jacob

Second Opinion (B): For what it’s worth, this is the best X-Men book out right now (it’s not worth much). Jeff Lemire is doing phenomenal writing, but it’s colorist Edgar Delgado that’s the true star here. I’m glad Sinister was just a set-up villain for the story; this book could have gotten very dark very fast. – Sherif


Web Warriors #3 – B
Writer: Mike Costa
Penciler: David Baldeon

Yay!!  Lady Spider is back!!  Granted she was only in one panel this issue, I’m excited at the prospect of seeing her take on a role in Web Warriors.  Things continually heat up between the Electros and Spideys.  It makes for some really awesome panel shots (props Baldeon) and keep the story interesting.  Hopefully Costa can keep the octane level high as this burgeoning war kicks off.  – Taylor


The Uncanny Avengers #4 – B
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Ryan Stegman

A very entertaining issue of New Avengers and this story arc; it was able to portray the massive amount of different characters well. This is the Cable I like in my comics as well and love that he was portrayed this way and not as the powerless clone in Deadpool and Cable. The issue itself was great and really showed the craziness of the team, but also showed the lengths that just about every character will go in order to save the world. His definitely is he weirdest team in Avengers history, but definitely one mixed very well and proving to be a great mash up of every character and making sure to focus on each character, plus Gambit next month… – Jacob


The Mighty Thor  #3 – B-
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman

First and foremost, I have to get this off my chest: I really enjoy Russell Dauterman’s artwork until it comes to facial hair. His depiction of facial hair gives me creepy vibes as not just a person, but even more so as an artist myself. Other than that, the art is great – fantastic, actually! The story so far is basically the 400th Ragnarok is happening. I guess Ragnarok is like Y2K and 2012 to the Asgardians they just call it end up calling it the same thing each time. Basically Odin is insane and he really doesn’t like that a woman is walking around with his son’s hammer. Malekith has a squad of villains dedicated in taking out the new Thor. Its fun, it’s crazy, It has a little bit of everything, a little bit of nothing, but it is one of my favorites in the shelf now. I just want to see Odinson, maybe Beta Ray Bill, even Throg show up at some point. Ultimately, it isn’t the best Marvel has for those not into Thor and is a bit repetitive to those who are Thor fans. Also, please give everyone a shave before next issue. – Jacob


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – C
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: German Peralta

I don’t watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Could never really get into a superhero show without superheroes.  This premiere issue of the comic with the same name kinda feels the same way.  The story so far is fairly interesting – lots of angles and plots within plots (PLOTSEPTION!!).  In other words I can see the potential.  It could be a fun ride watching Fitz trying to get May into be, or how Simmons will overcome her current predicament.  And is Coulson actually a bad guy some how?!  Probably not, but it’s fun to think about!  I’ll let issue #2 decide if I’ll stick around or not. – Taylor


Silk #3 – C
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Tana Ford

I still really like Silk, but this issue felt silly. I usually find myself laughing, or at least smirking, throughout each issue; however, this issue felt forced. Silk’s usual Spidey-humor was left out, and instead, we got a bicker match between she and Peter. Things going awry with Black Cat’s gang was something we saw from a mile away, yet it was still played off as something that we were supposed to be surprised about. Maybe it will pick up next month. – Adrian

Best Panels:

Funniest Panels:

Panels 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 credited to their respective publishers and creators; thanks to all the for putting out great books!

Leave a Reply