Comic Book Reviews 03-26-14

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:

Superior Spiderman #30 – A

We knew the end of Superior Spider-Man was approaching when an all-new Amazing Spider-Man was announced late January. However, the details of how it would come about were still up in the air. This issue unveils that mystery, and in spectacular fashion. Otto does the only thing he feels he can to end the terror of the Goblin. There are a lot of heart-felt, you-had-no-idea-this-was-coming moments, which makes it a tad unbelievable, but genuinely moving at the same time. The series wraps up in next issue, so don’t miss the thrilling conclusion to Superior Spider-Man where we find out who really is Superior. – S

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Blackout #1 – B+

A suit that lets you travel through shadows and dimensions?!  Now that’s a sweet concept.  And that’s exactly what readers get with Blackout #1.  What I really like about the start of this new Dark Horse series is that it’s not a cliché superhero comic.  It’s just an average scientist using a supercool suit to do supercool stuff.  Kinda like Ironman, but a lot more complex in premise.  Blackout is already shaping out to be one of Dark Horse’s more interesting series. – T

Tomb Raider #2 – B-

The story of the video game continues with the island coming home to haunt Lara. There is really no major indication of what the heck is going on but I assume that it will continue with the progression of Lara from beginner to seasoned adventurer. The part that I find most disappointing is that after years of her being a badass and for that matter a badass by the end of the game, she has regressed to an unknowledgeable non-badass that clearly contradicts what we have come to know. I am assuming and hoping that Gail Simone’s plan is to show her evolve into the badass we expect her to be. – R

DC/Vertigo:

Injustice: Year Two #3 – B

Just because a series isn’t canon doesn’t mean it can’t have impact. Superman’s totalitarian regime is just starting to dig its heels in to the rest of the world and there’s really nobody standing in its way – unless you count the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps. As the rest of the world falls in or out of favor with the Man of Steel, everything is getting real. Fast. I was pretty disappointed in the Batgirl/Oracle and Jim Gordon reveal, especially when Barbara was moments away from revealing herself in Batgirl. – S

IDW Comics:

Rocky and Bullwinkle # 1 – A-

The first of a four-issue Rocky & Bullwinkle special was great. If you have ever seen the classic show this issue will really bring back some good memories.  The whole time I was reading it, it felt just like watching the series with updated jokes to include modern culture; on top of the two part Rocky & Bullwinkle story in this issue, we get a short story for Dudley-Do Right where he has to thwart his nemesis Snidley Whiplash for the 349th time, supposedly. The style of Rocky & Bullwinkle lends itself to comics very nicely and makes me hope they extend this series beyond the four issues planned. It would be great to see shorts of Aesop’s Fables and Fractured Fairy Tales, as well, but I believe Dudley Do-Right is the main focus besides the title characters. Definitely a good read for anyone needing a laugh, anyone who enjoys classic animation, any comic aficionado, or any kids alive today. – JR

X-Files: Conspiracy #2 – B-

It is the final issue of the X-Files: Conspiracy series and it all goes out in a bang, well almost. Only one of the properties that had been included in this series makes an appearance in this issue, which was a bit of a let down.  We only see the man possessed by the Crow show up but it would have made me squeal with glee if we could have seen Egon, Michelangelo, Optimus Prime, and The Lone Gunmen together. Despite the absence of the other properties, this issue seemed rather simple. The conflict ends half way through the issue and gives us a look at an alternate reality. In doing this, it was rather upsetting because we had to see some people go through things I never wanted to see again… But hey, it was in a different reality so no worries, I guess. Ultimately, I feel this series was hyped up and looked way better than it was, but it is worth a read – and seeing The Lone Gunmen save the world once again is always a plus. – JR

Image Comics:

Deadly Class #3 – B

Deadly Class #3 was a good issue and I like that we gained more background story on a few of our characters; however, it doesn’t hold up to the standard set by the first two issues. There were minor story developments that got me excited to read the next few issues. I still believe that Deadly Class has been a great new comic and I hope it continues down the path set by the first 3 issues. – E

The Walking Dead  #124 – B-

Has anyone else noticed that there a now two guys named Carson in TWD? The Hilltop is under siege by Negan and The Saviors. Rick is rushed to Doctor Carson after being shot by Dwight’s arrow.  Eugene and his group are desperate to get back to help in the fight and he even kills his first man. The battle continues, Rick and their combined forces fight desperately to free the kingdom as Jesus and Michonne make a shocking discovery.  – JS

Well, there are only two more issues of All Out War; so far, the twelve issue run hasn’t really produced anything. All relationship building has been put on hold. A bunch of people have kicked the bucket, and the Negan has dropped the F bomb more times than The Wolf of Wall Street. I really do hope something happens here that will inspire me to keep reading past this arc. I never thought I’d say this, but the future of the book is in Dwight’s hands. Is the Two-Face looking gentleman a double agent, or just that much of a pussy? – S

The Revenge #2 – C+

This comic is just plain weird. It’s full of blood and boobs and dwarfs with horns… I don’t know. No matter how weird and strange it is, there are some pretty cool things about this comic. Based off some of the dialog from this issue, I am semi-confused about who is going to backstab who, but I don’t believe it really matters at this point. Overall, this comic is crazy and I am fairly interested to see how it progresses in the future. – E

Sex #12 – C+

The plot continues to stagnate to the point where I’m wondering when the hell something is actually going to happen. If the Armored Saint doesn’t show up in the next few issues I can’t see myself continuing to be interested in where this is going. If you are buying this for the sex scenes then I feel sorry for you because I am sure there has to be better stuff out there. As for this issue, the foreplay continues. There was finally some action but it didn’t come from the person we are all waiting to see. It is time to step it up or they are going to start losing readers. – R

Real Heroes #1 – C

In the first issue of Real Heroes, we are introduced to the super hero team The Olympians, or at least the actors that portray them. This seems to be a basic story that has been done before of the mistaken heroes being thought to be real. The story so far seems to be a super hero version of the film Galaxy Quest with heroes that seem to mimic famous ones, almost to a tee. Although the originality of the story and heroes is incredibly small, the villains and the set up are both very original. I feel this series may have a rocky start, as many people will give up on it due to the fact it has been done before, but ultimately it will likely end up becoming something so much more. It was hard to give this a C grade as it just seemed so bland so far, but just like every origin story you have to get past the hump to fully respect the material and the universe jumping, the huge brained aliens, as well as what seems to be the depiction of real actor types had me engaged despite the plot and idea behind it all. – JR

 

Marvel:

All-New Ghost Rider #1 – B+

I actually enjoyed the first issue of the All-New Ghost Rider. I appreciated how they developed a solid background history, and story line for the new character Robbie Reyes in such a short amount of time without making everything feel rushed. I can already tell by the way the first issue ended that there is going to be much more to come from this story and I’m actually pretty excited to read the next issues. Seeing that it is only the first issue, it has a lot of potential to be great or terrible; hopefully it will turn out to be a solid character and story. – E

Honestly, the story was just too short to really get the good debut that it definitely could have. We get to see the relationship between Robbie Reyes and his brother, and then we see Robbie’s character, and then somewhere in there his face melts off and he becomes the Ghost Rider. The art team did a great job; All-New Ghost Rider has a unique identity in color and shape, giving off a graffiti vibe. I’m really excited for #2, I just wish that there was more happening in #1. – S

Origin II #4 – B+

Talk about an interesting plot twist, I didn’t think this issue was going to go anywhere but by the end I was left a bit speechless. This issue we are finally given a little advancement on the plot, and not a moment too soon seeing as we only have one issue left after this. They still haven’t really let on to what the purpose of this origin sequel is but I heavily suspect that it shows the beginning of the eternal feud between Sabertooth and Wolverine. With only one issue to go I’m not sure how it’s all going to end but I look forward to the epic conclusion. – R

Amazing X-Men #5 – B-

Once it was announced that Nightcrawler was coming back in hi own series, I knew that his tenure in Heaven was to be short-lived. With that in mind, I still readily enjoy any time an X-team comes together to kick butt. The issue is a bit predictable, but Jason Aaron’s lucid writing keeps the story going, and fills in all the gaps with some truly funny quips. – I can’t wait to see the boy in blue again. – S

Hawkeye #18 – B

After a spectacular animal-centric issue in #17, we join Hawkeye Kate as she uncovers something fishy going on in Los Angeles. I’m usually a bit weary of issue built around here, but so much crazy stuff goes down, I couldn’t help but get sucked in. Trouble is a’brewin, as Kate has kicked the hornets’ nest. – S

Survive #1 – B

The world is in mourning in the wake of Galactus. Ultimate Cataclysm left us with Reed Richards branded as a terrorist,  Monica Chang blamed for the loss of human life and the deaths of Thor and Captain America. Most of this issue sat us in the back row of Steve Rogers’ funeral where Tony Stark delivered a heartfelt, although forced, eulogy. I personally expected Stark to deliver something a bit more grand to honor his Avenger brethren, but it served its purpose. The speech inspired new heroes to form, and by the end of the issue we are introduced to  The Young Ultimates. – JS

Silver Surfer #1 – B-

To be honest, I found this issue somewhat boring. I felt that a lot of it was very bland and there wasn’t much about this issue to keep me entertained. There was indeed action; however the way it was drawn and colored made the action panels look boring or dull. I didn’t feel much excitement from much of this comic. There were some interesting and cool things about this comic, though. With the introduction of a new “plant” and the story line that is about to develop is just enough to make me want to read more. Hopefully future issues will prove to be better. – E

All New X-Factor #5 – C+

If it wasn’t for amazing artwork and a story focused on a small core of fan-favorite mutants I would have but this series down three issues ago.  But something keeps pulling me back every few weeks!  All New X-Factor has developed into a story with two plots – one involving the interworking’s and secret motives of Serval Industries and it’s CEO Harrison Snow, the second being pure Marvel mutant action & adventure.  On the second front, I’m completely lost, BUT totally captivated due to the really engaging battle and action sequences.  My patience is wearing somewhat thin on the first front.  Die hard X-Men & Marvel fans are sure to love this, but an average Joe like me is struggling a bit.  That said, I’m still looking forward to the next issue. – T

Iron Patriot #1 – C

Tony Stark’s substitute teacher is back for another go. Admittedly, it was difficult to get excited about this title. As Iron Man hype dies down we are still well aware that his is the only hero arc we REALLY care about in his universe. James Rhodes is a less compelling character but this book seeks to change that perception. Iron Patriot vows to the world to “limit my involvement in military operations to those occurring on American soil.” The powers that be see this as a threat and plans are set in motion to put James and his niece Lila in harms way. – JS

Deadpool #26 – C-

I go back and forth with this series a lot. On one side, you gets arc like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. that make you believe that maybe there is some merit to a character like Deadpool. And then some months, you get crap like fighting MechaHitler with a time machine. Shames me to say it but this was actually a bit enjoyable – like smelling your own farts enjoyable. It seems like it’s only gonna get worse, as we go back to a groovin’ Wakanda next issue. This is why Deadpool fans can’t have nice things. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 B, yielding a 3.00 (really?? one book? )

Marvel Comics: 1 A, 6 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.80

Independents: 1 A, 5 B’s and 3 C’s, averaging out to a 2.78

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

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