Comic Book Reviews 02-17-16

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:

huck 4 potw

Huck #4 – A
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

That uneasy feeling I had in my gut last issue was finally realized. There’s no way that this happy hero of ours was going to play out the rest of his comic book days doing good deeds all over the world. This issue is really the start of it all. There’s a much deeper story involving betrayal (always betrayal), Russian mad scientists, and super-powered beings. It’s a brilliant sort of switcheroo that takes the focus off our do-gooder and puts it on the mysterious stranger. Although it’s a depressing change, I’m excited for whatever journey brings Huck to rescue the woman he was betrayed into letting get kidnapped. The veil is finally lifted and now Huck can use his incredible gifts to track these guys down. – Sherif

Other Comic Book Reviews:

BOOM! Studios Comic Book Reviews:

Adventure Time: Ice King #2 – A
Writer: Emily Partridge & Pranas T. Naujokaitis
Artist: Natalie Andrewson

This issue is an example of what makes Adventure Time so great: in the middle of pretty serious stuff, there’ll be an entire episode (or issue) about something totally silly… like the Ice King trying to master what it is to be cool. And going on a pretty sweet shopping trip with his totes BFFs, Marceline (the Vampire Queen), and P-Bubs (the Bubblegum Princess). And it’s even more fun that 1. The Ice King sucks at fashion; 2. All the fashion is rips on modern fashion; 3. Marceline totaly stole Breakfast Princess’ credit card for their shopping trip. Lumpy Space Princess finally lets Ice King know that the essence of cool is your lumps and your attitude. And Ice King gets it, reassuringly telling her, “Maybe I’ll kidnap you some day.” …sometimes it’s easy to forget Ice King’s excessively rapey origins. But damn good reading kids. – Montgomery

Dark Horse Comic Book Reviews:

Tomb Raider #1 – C+
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Phillip Sevy

Being that it is an Xbox One exclusive for the foreseeable future, at least until the exclusivity deal wears off and PS4 gets a complete edition, I haven’t played the newest Tomb Raider game. The last series based off of the reboot took place after the game. The book doesn’t mention when this takes place and I haven’t done the research to find out. This first issue sets the stage for a grand adventure quite nicely but does little else. If you are a fan I would suggest saving this until issue 2 to keep the disappointment to a minimum.

DC/Vertigo Comic Book Reviews:

Robin: Son of Batman #9 – C
Writer and Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: Mick Gray

It would seem that Patrick Gleason has taken complete ownership of this character, more than Grant Morrison ever has. We’ve gotten to see the humanity in Damian, beneath all the bravado, and Gleason (and Tomasi before him) has been able to add depth to a character as opposed to just changing their characteristics. This issue is a little weak, mostly due to the fact that it’s out of wack in keeping with the current timeline; it feels we should have seen this part of the story months ago. It feels almost irrelevant, but it’s still fun and nice to look at. – Sherif

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Lucifer #3 – A
Writer: Holly Black
Artist: Lee Garbett

I cannot believe how good this book is. I’m so glad that there’s at least one comic that doesn’t quit giving. Lucifer and Gabriel descend to hell to meet a dream incarnation of Lilith, Adam’s mythical first wife. (Sidenote: I recently listened to a podcast that said the bible refers to Lilith. It does not.) While there, things get weird and hard to follow (because: dreams), but they each have dreams explicating their own inabilities to cope: Gabriel with his inability to handle the complexity left after the war in heaven, and Lucifer with his jealousy (I’m assuming Jealousy) that God seemed to really be able to check out of existence in a way that Lucifer himself cannot. Meanwhile, on Earth, a Haitian girl named Medjine gets adopted by white religious people, and her life sucks. As someone who grew up in religion, I could recognize all the shitty stuff that happened to her as being absolutely reflective of real events that happen in real church. And with Christianity like that, who needs Satanism? – Montgomery

Birthright #14 A
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Andrei Bressan

Now that was a good comic! It is so refreshing to read a series like this that, even with weak issues from time to time, is still unique, exciting and heartfelt. Birthright rarely addresses each set of its character teams in one issue but as they draw closer to the end of this story arc I think it was necessary to set up everyone’s situation and cliffhanger. Wendy and Rya tracked down Mastema, and while while now being held her prisoners does not necessarily bode well for them this can only be good for the progression of the story. Mastema obviously believes Mikey has been possessed by a Nevermind and the more people that begin to believe that the better. Brennan is really coming into his own as a character and he really set himself apart this week when he stood up to Mikey and even violently lashed out at him. With Mikey being ruled by Lore/a Nevermind I am beginning to suspect that he was never the Chosen One in the first place and that that title may in fact belong to Brennan. Issues like this only make me believe that more, honestly, because he seems to be the pure of heart and brave soldier, not Mikey. Overall, Birthright is still why people should read comics,it just has so damn much to offer. Issue #14 left off on a pretty suspenseful note and we still have one more issue before the next arc begins. I, for one, cannot wait for next month’s issue. – Keriann

Snowfall #1 – B+
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Martin Morazo

I’m starting to feel like the nature of single issue comics is either on its death bed, or like the Death card in Tarot, is headed for a massive change… or death. Comics like Snowfall (or all of Marvel’s absurd existence) seem to prove it. It’s not that Snowfall is really a B+ comic, but it’s not that it’s an A+ or an F- either: comics like this, with complex atmospheres and layers of intrigue and science take a lot of front loading, and so first issues are bound to be kind of a disappointment. The first issue focuses on building up the Hazeltyne — whose name kept making me think of A Christmas Story‘s Little Orphan Annie and her Ovaltine commercial — a massive corporation seeming to rule America, and its villain, the White Wizard. Global warming has run amok (something I now stress about on the regular), and now it doesn’t snow, except for when the White Wizard shows up to make random snowstorms… which Hazeltyne disapproves of because they don’t make money off it. It’s a cool setup (and an interesting follow up to Great Pacific, his other climate opus), but you can really feel the limitations of less-than 30 pages a month format making it difficult to lean into, and be allowed to lean into, this story. – Montgomery

Sex Criminals #14 – C
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

Well, chum, you know the sure-fire way to ruin the momentum of a satirical in-your-face sex comedy? Take up 6 complete pages with self-aware whining. I get it – Fraction and Zdarsky can do whatever they want. This book isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. However, I feel kinda stiffed (not an innuendo!.. or is it?) when one of the five books I look forward to most turns out to be flaccid. It’s still funny, and the story is still trudging along, but I’ll find myself expecting to be let down next time. – Sherif

Second Opinion (C+): I will be honest here and say I don’t really know what happened this issue and even the stuff I did understand was weird and completely out of left field.  Despite that, the story is really taking a turn to maybe having the comic now being called just Sex [Ed. Note: oddly enough, there is already an Image title called sex… and it’s terrible]., but then there is a new asexual person too…I’m so confused. – Jacob

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Deadpool & Cable Split Second #3- A-
Writer: Fabien Nicieza & Reilly Brown
Artist: Reilly Brown

This series has been quite a confusing mess and that mess comes to a conclusion this month in its most confusing and yet most enjoyable issue of the series. If you have ever wondered why and how Cable deals with Deadpool’s nonsense then this story explains just that, and it definitely would make anyone trust and deal with Deadpool. I think Fabien Nicieza and Reilly Brown did an excellent job with this story, even with it being complicated. The complications are usually common ground when time travel comes into play, so even if you get confused it is the same feeling you would get from just about any Cable story. – Jacob 

Power Man and Iron Fist #1 – B+
Writer: David Walker
Artist: Sanford Greene
Colorist: Lee Loughridge

I’ve been looking forward to the reunion of this dynamic duo for years, so imagine my delight when they teamed up again in this new series written by Shaft writer, David Walker. Except, not really, because while Danny Rand is excited at the prospect of rekindling the Heroes for Hire, Luke Cage is cool just being at home with his wife, Jessica Jones, and kid. The book feels very pulpy, in touch with its roots, but is modern enough in dialogue to feel fresh. I’m not a huge fan of the art style, but I think it’ll just take some readjusting. The debut isn’t as impressive as I’d hoped for, but it was enough to convince me to keep reading. – Sherif

The Mighty Thor #4 – B+
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman

Sure, this series may be Ragnarok part 248 but I still am enjoying the hell out of it! This issue shows the dark elves and Malekith persuading the light elves to ally themselves with them thanks to enchantress, and Freya goes on trial in Asgard. Things are definitely no looking good for the Norse gods, but it is hard to even ry and explain the joy I felt seeing Thor knock Odin back bloody and beaten before the real fight starts. I have never been a fan of Odin; he is kind of a major A-hole 90% of he time, but damn if Jane Foster isn’t going to finally knock some sense into the egoistical god. I have read stories like this before and sure there will be more, seeing as Asgard tends to like dealing with never-ending apocalypses, but Jane Foster’s Thor has me rejuvenated and loving Thor again after years of feeling the character got old and repetitive. – Jacob

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 B
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Mark Bagley

This is what would appear to be the start of the next big Marvel event for the Avengers. I did enjoy all the references to the whole Pleasantville theme, but the whole issue was a bit on the confusing side at first. All is explained on the last page or two, but up until that, I couldn’t see where they were going with this series. I won’t ruin any plot elements but if they actually manage to pull this off, it could end up being a great story arc. I have no idea how grand the scale is planned for this but it has interesting potential. – Robert

Panel Surfing:

MIghty Thor #4

MIghty Thor #4

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!

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