Comic Book Reviews 02-12-14

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:

photo (6)

The Bunker #1 (Oni Press) – A

If you were one of the lucky few to order this book in print form, give yourself a pat on the back! The Bunker tells the story of a group of friends in the process of creating and burying time capsules in the woods. Instead, though, they stumble upon a military bunker, and self-addressed letter from their future selves. If that’s not trippy enough, the letters explain how each of them have a part in ending the world. No pressure. The Bunker did a really good job of pacing the story, and giving it enough detail that each character gets their own voice and personality. This could easily be made into a television show or movie. I highly recommend you pick this up digitally, or try to find a coveted physical copy. – S

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #28 – B+

After the crazy cliff-hanger from issue #27, Batman picks up in a completely different time, with a completely different cast. If you remember Harper, she’s the rambunctious orphan that has followed Batman around, and even saved his life when he was reeling from the unfortunate death of Damian. The break in action from Zero Year was a little bit annoying, especially when you realize that this issue was just a promotion for the weekly Batman: Eternal series out in April. All is forgiven immediately, as we finally see Harper, or Bluebird as she is called, knocking around the bad guys. There’s also a very awkward stand-off between Batman and Catwoman, who is very much a woman scorned. Bonus points for the underground club called The Egyptian. And a huuuge Spoiler at the end of the issue (get it?). Although issue #28 was a fun ride, and did make me want to read Eternal, it was an unneeded distraction from the superb Batman issues that preceded it. – S

Superman/ Wonder Woman #5 – B+

It is said that behind every strong man is an even stronger woman, but in what world is Wonder Woman significantly stronger than Superman? So strong, in fact, that she is able to handle two Kryptonians with little issue while Clark gets his ass kicked all over the forest. This time around, Wonder Womans resolve seems to be shaky as to the future of her and Clarks relationship. While it is way too early for them to break up, relationship issues have the potential to effect up to four different publications, depending on how writers portray things. Not to mention that after three issues of Zod, we still don’t really know why he is here or what he was locked in the Phantom Zone for. Despite all of that, this was still a great issue and I am convinced that this is just setup for something big. – R

Injustice: Year Two #2 – B

Injustice has easily become one of the most enjoyable books out. I love how original the story is, and the fact that I really don’t know what comes next is very appealing to me. With Batman out of commission, the people of Earth must look to others to try to stop Superman’s regime. There’s a lot going on in this issue, which hurts it a bit. The last few issue runs felt very focused and I think that helped guide the story much better than skipping around like a television series. I was in no way disappointed in the issue, it just felt like a big lull amidst the incredible action-packed issues preceding it. – S

The Royals: Masters of War #1 – B

In the mood for a spot of tea and a jolly good read?  Why my good lad, you should take romp down to your local comic book shop.  Cheeio!!  Pip-Pip!! God Save the Queen!!  Sorry… I’ll go back to American text now.  The Royals: Masters of War #1 is now on comic shelves.  The setting is London, 1940’s, WWII.  The focus – A royal and lavish British family, the House of Windsor.  Only this royal family is way more exciting than even Prince William, wife Kate and their little bundle of royal joy.  They have superpowers.  Superman with a charming accent?  Swoon m’ladies.  And what’s a better use of kingly superpowers than to stick it to Hitler and his evil regime?  However, the head of House Windsor, Albert, has his children under strict order to never demonstrate the greatness of their unique gifts.  Turns out super powered nobles don’t have the happiest of histories – you know that usual bit about not everyone being welcoming and accepting of those that are “different.”  Thankfully for the citizen of London, not everyone in the House of Windsor agrees with father’s orders.  As the fight is taken to the invading Germans we learn that the Windsor family is not the only “gifted” royal family on the block and it’s likely to spell trouble for both the Windsor family and London.  I’ve got a good feeling about this six part series and it’s unique twist on pivotal events in recent history. – T

Nightwing #28 – B-

I’ve been really impressed with the way writer Kyle Higgins has managed to build a new world for Dick Grayson without using Gotham to lean on; Nightwing has a real home in Chicago, and it’s not just about Tony Zucco (the man who killed his parents). Unfortunately, some of the art seems a little awkward when showing Dick Grayson outside of being Nightwing. This issue pushes things along, as a little girl in his life is thrust into the same situation he was in when his parents died. It’s a really interesting angle, but it was entirely too rushed – for multiple reasons. I wish Higgins would have taken this over the span of an entire six-issue arc, but I can understand where this is going. All while reading this issue, I had a gut-wrenching feeling. After the events that opened up Forever Evil, you know we are building up to a major tragedy in Grayson’s life, but it just won’t come. – S

Justice League 3000 #3 – B-

Takron-Galtos!  The prison planet that has three of the five cloned Justice League members trapped and searching for a way off.  After a nasty encounter with Locus, the reality bending blue-alien tween, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman experience  “Hell” in the year 3000.  The images and artwork showcasing the expanses of Takron-Galtos are awesome.  Porter (artist) has consistently delivered gorgeous landscapes and cityscapes every issue.  It’s one of the most alluring elements of the series.  Whereas the last issue of JL 3000 was a little disjointed, I felt a strong refocusing back on the big picture plot even though the story is being told from various angles.  Bit by bit the mysterious villains are being to reveal themselves. The ever developing and at time hilarious dynamic of the genetically engineered superheroes carries the story well.  There are lots of pieces working in the background and it’s all going to come to a head very soon.  Oh… and Superman is still an ass-hat. – T

Batgirl #28 – C

I finished this issue more confused than when I started reading it. After an enticing Gothtopia issue, it seems as though they’ve completely abandoned the Detective Comics-centric storyline. That wasn’t explained very well and then to snap into the current story with zero mention of the last issue was disappointing to say the least. Barb is back to fighting form and wearing her yellow bat after her self-imposed exile. This new story arc introduces a vampire hunter who is given no real introduction or back story. We also get to experience a nice tag team duo with Barb and Strix that has the potential for some cool moments. I continue to enjoy Batgirl, as usual, and this story arc seems to be like filler until the next major plot line or the next cross over event. I’m personally hoping for the latter. – R

Dark Horse:

Star Wars #14 – C-

As Ensign Nanda continues to tow Vader across the galaxy in what I call an “epiphany quest,” I continue to be underwhelmed by this story arch in the revitalized Star Wars comic series.  Brian Wood’s attempt to highlight the brutal and ruthless nature that so perfectly describes Darth Vader falls far short in my opinion.  On top of that, the last few issues of Star Wars have failed to move the plot along.  No major revelations, twists or epic moments were to be had.  The most redeeming aspect of this 14th installment was getting to see Vader and his super-elite, black-ops Storm Troopers in action.  Even at that, those sequences left more to be desired.  At the conclusion of this issue it appears as though the story is preparing to steer back on track to a likeness similar to the first five or six issues.  There seems to be a ton of Vader focus in Dark Horse comics these recent months.  I hope the oversaturation slows down so that new characters and stories can be shared with all the hungering fans out there!  It is the Will of The Force! – T

Image:

The Walking Dead #121 – B-

Another issue goes by, and a whole lot of nothing happens. I’m not even sure that this will read better in the trade format. Negan has a few inappropriate lines that just make me laugh out loud. He’s the nastiest one in the bunch, and I find myself rooting for him more than I do The Survivors. Meanwhile, Rick has become a caricature of himself, the self-righteous leader. Honestly, it’s like a soap opera, because even though The Walking Dead has given me nothing notable since a main character’s gratuitous death in issue #100, I still keep reading it. Every issue, I just can’t wait to see if our heroes will be about to crawl out of whatever hole they dug themselves into. Well, sigh, this isn’t the one – better luck next time- S

The Fuse #1 – C-

Seriously, what the hell is a cabler?? In what has become tradition with new publications from Image, I left the end of the first issue not really knowing anything that was going on. Unfortunately, unlike Black Science and Deadly Class, I really am not invested in The Fuse. The debut issue takes us to a futuristic planet, not Earth, where we follow a new guy, recently transferred from Munich, and an witty older woman who has been doing this for a long time. Together, they search for the cause of death of these “cablers” around the city. It has kind of a cliche vibe – the buddy cop thing has been done before. To boot, the art looks raw, and not in a good way. It, in no way makes the cut when compared to other Image titles like Walking DeadSaga, and the aforementioned two titles. I’m not turned off yet, but it’s gonna have to take a convincing second issue to get me on-board with The Fuse – S

Marvel:

Superior Spider-Man #27 – B+

Now this is what I’ve been waiting for! Finally, a villain fit for a villain. After Green Goblin had taken control of the Goblin army, he makes his move to tighten his grip in the city. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swallowing the pill of defeat when he learns of Goblin’s idea to cloak his army from the Spider-Bots that Spidey had created to survey the city. Peter’s consciousness also plays a part in trying to escape his own body’s sub-conscious (props for including the original Doc Ock quote from Amazing Spider-Man #3), but gets sucked even further down the rabbit hole. Everything is going to hell and all that’s left are Otto Octavius and Norman Osbourne, playing chess as the city burns to the ground around them. – S

Kick-Ass 3 #6 – B+

Kick-Ass 3 has been slowly moving along, as Hit-Girl has been imprisoned for the entire six issue run. You know what though? I love Kick-Ass. I love the brutal nature and the realistic portrayal of teens playing vigilante. Most of all, I love the story of Hit-Girl and how her dad trained her as a little girl to be a superhero – and not no “liberal asshole” like Spider-Man. The flashback takes up nearly 3/4 of the issue and I just wish it was longer. Issue #6 also ends on a Mother-F***** of a the cliff-hanger (get it?).  Anybody who can handle the crude language and content of this book written and drawn by legends Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. should pick up this awesome third installment. – S

All-New X-Men #23 – B+

The Trial of Jean Grey has added some much-needed excitement to the series, which has been waning up til recently. Jean Grey is captured by the Shi’ar, an ally race whose planet was destroyed by The Phoenix. Of course, poor Jean Grey has no idea of any of this, as she is a pre-Phoenix version of herself. The Guardians of the Galaxy come to the rescue, conveniently, and are on a rescue mission to save not only Jean, but the series along with her. The writing of Brian Michae lBendis is on point, and there are plenty of hilarious moments in the book. This story is really heating up, and the inclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy own makes it that much more enjoyable. Throw in the inclusion of a nearly-forgotten fan-favorite, and we’ve got a heck of a family reunion. – S

Deadpool #23 – B

I don’t know how or when it happened, but somewhere between that god-awful issue with the Wakandan alien monsters and here, Deadpool has found his identity in the Marvel NOW! universe. Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. draws to a close in this issue, and it does so in epic proportions. It’s a non-stop thrill ride, and I laughed almost the whole way through – mostly at the goons who work for U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. The way particular scenes mirrored Alien (which you could have guessed from the cover) brought it back to the good old days of Merc With A Mouth, which showed Deadpool for what he truly was, a bad-ass and a psycho, but above all, a comedian. – S

All New X-Factor #3 – B

Serval Industries, the company that employs mutants and mission statement is all for the betterment of people finally starts to show a bit of its true nature.  Some questionable acts and curiously unexplained motives are revealed by CEO Harrison Snow through the panels of All New X-Factor #3.  I for one am glad to see this development begin to take shape.  Its final form is definitely going to make this series fly or flounder.  For added juiciness – there appears to be ulterior motive for some of the Serval mutants as well.  I’m anxious to see how it all plays out.  I’m in love with Giandomenico’s pencil work.  Even the small and uneventful panels are nicely detailed and do much to bring life to the page.  The issue was exciting and I’m invested in the grand plot enough to keep money stashed away for the next issue. – T

The Winter Soldier #1 – B-

The debut of Winter Soldier was not really what I was expecting. This initial story goes back to the time when the Winter Soldier was still a myth. It’s hard to tell whether or not this book will be a collection of short stories that involve the Winter Soldier or if it will be a normal story arc. We did get to see some classic Nick Fury action which is nice after all the Sam Jackson portrayals. The art is great and the depiction of the Winter Soldier is much closer to what they have setup for the upcoming Captain America movie. I knew that this book was supposed to come out to give the new Captain America movie some exposure so I can’t help but wonder if the government replacement for the Captain will be present at some time. I am excited to see where this story goes and will definitely keep my eyes on this book. – R

She-Hulk #1 – C-

Damn, I’m pretty disappointed with this book. I don’t know if it’s because I expected something different from the world’s strongest woman or that I’m just not getting the point of this book. I thought a good 90% of it was just so boring. I haven’t seen a wordier comic than this one in such a long time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with comics have tons and tons of dialog, but when there is no action to back it up, it becomes stagnant and boring. Now, I understand that they are trying to transform and introduce a new side to this hero. Rather than follow her superhero career, we follow her lawyer career. That’s all fine and dandy, and I understand it’s nice to see the human aspect to things some times. Call me a poor judge of comics or whatever, but the bottom line is that I didn’t enjoy reading this comic. For others, this will downright be a great read. However, what I read comics for and what I seek to enjoy was nowhere in this comic. The artistic side of the comic made the people look aquatic or fish-like, which was weird. Nothing really popped or stood out. I’ll stop here because I realize I’m going on a rant. Some positives about this book, however: it has the makings to make a pretty good story in the court room and there is a lot of valuable information presented within this comic. Like Hawkeye and Daredevil before it, it is nice to see the human side to our heroes. I’m sorry to say that it simply isn’t enough for me. – E

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 6 B’s and 1 C, averaging out to a 2.86

Marvel Comics: 6 B’s and 1 C, averaging out to a 2.86

Independents: 1 A, 1 B and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 2.75

Funniest Panel of the Week:

Epic Panel of the Week:

Cover Art of the Week:

Jerome Opena's Kick-Ass 3 #6 variant

Jerome Opena’s Kick-Ass 3 #6 variant

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 ElkhatibAdrian Puryear, Taylor LoweEvan Lowe and Robert Michael

There are 3 comments

  1. Shaun

    Hi! One comment on Superman/WW: I don’t think that the comic established that WW was “significantly” stronger than Superman, though it did establish that she is his equal (or near equal) in sheer strength. But what it also established is that she is a much, much better fighter and this makes all the difference. Supes gets pummeled by Zod and Faora, who are trained Kryptonian warriors. But Diana is more than a match for Zod and Faora because she is in their class physically and is much better trained as a fighter than even they are. It makes sense.

    1. hushcomics

      Shaun, you are awesome. I totally agree. They touch on that in the first issue and that sort of balance is what makes their dynamic so enthralling to me in the first place. How could would it be to revisit a WW/Faora battle in the upcoming movie? Thanks for your input and we hope to hear more from you! -Sherif

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