Comic Book Reviews 04-30-14

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:

Funny Panel 5-2-14

Amazing Spider-Man #1 – A

Welcome back, Peter Parker! This week has been the best for Spider-Man. Peter has just got his bearings back as the web crawler and he is happy as ever to be back in the driver’s seat of his own life – even if he has no idea what happened during Otto’s reign as the Superior Spider-Man. There’s a lot of fallout here, and while some of it is explained to new readers, the point of this issue is to sit back and let the experience flow over you. There’s plenty of time to catch up to how messed up Otto left things in his stead, but for now, enjoy this love letter to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. – Sherif

Talk about getting things started off with a bang! I really enjoyed Superior Spider and the changes that Doc Ock brought to Peter Parker’s character, but I never realized how much I missed the genuinely hilarious humor until this issue. This issue had me laughing almost from start to finish. It should be interesting to see how his not knowing what happened while he was gone will make for some interesting and surely hilarious situations. It is hinted at that he may have to dig into the mind of Octavius to gather some information about the last few months so that could potentially be interesting. The other big unknown is Dr. Ock’s girlfriend that he was living with and left behind. I don’t see how she could ever replace Mary Jane but I don’t see any reason for Peter not to at least give it a shot. I figure that she will figure out he isn’t the same person and they will end up splitting up. This issue was amazing and surprisingly a good jumping in point for new readers as the beginning gives a small history lesson. – Robert

For the return of Peter Parker this comic was just okay; in the book’s defense, I haven’t read any of Superior, so the subtleties are lost on me. I like the fact that Peter is trying to figure out all that happened while he was gone and that so much of his life has changed; however, I have no idea what direction this comic is going. In my opinion, there was nothing wrong about the comic, it told a decent story, brought back Spider-Man in classic Spidey fashion, some good ol’ web slinging action, but there was no kick. No punch, no defining moment to bring it all together. Still it was a good read, and I would like to continue to see Peter Parker continue on his journey back to life. – Evan

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #4 – B+

The fourth issue of this series is filled with references to the show and film from past characters to Wash’s dinosaurs in the cockpit. In this issue we see River dreaming and figuring out there were many others imprisoned inside the laboratory she was tested on. After this happens, Jubal Early knocks nearly everyone out and ties them up but Kaylee shows up and knocks him out with a wrench. Once everything is back to normal they drop Jubal out on a planet and continue to the Lab but they have to stop and sadly team up with the Operative from the film because he is the only person who can help them get into the lab. Meanwhile while all this is happening, Zoe is throw into a prison and kicks the crap out of a fellow prisoner (it’s about time we saw her be her normal awesome self) before he beats the crap out of another person. The crew gets to the lab and right as they make it to the door a ship shows up and Jubal seems to distract and fight off these guards while River and the crew fight their way into the lab where the scientist who tested on River is waiting. He compliments, insults and says all sorts of stuff to them only to release the other girls he tested on and finished before River warns everyone to run. This series is just great for anyone who was a fan of the series and movie but can definitely see how anyone who had not seen either would be totally lost; although, I am not sure why you would read this series if you had not seen either. – Jacob

V-Wars #1 – C+

A world war against a fabled monster? The actual title? If this doesn’t scream World War Z rip-off, then I don’t know what will. There are some different plot points, most pronounced being that the vampires are sentient, and that there is a bigger conspiracy to fuel the war with the living and the undead. I wouldn’t call this a total loss; the art and the explicit story carried my interest through the whole issue, but I see this being much more of a guilty pleasure read than the next big thing. – Sherif

DC/Vertigo:

Forever Evil Aftermath: Batman vs Bane #1 – A-

Well, the big DC event, Forever Evil, is drawing to a close – except, the final issuehasn’t been published. I guess we can assume that the JL takes care of business and Batman returns home to Gotham to clean up the mess. Only thing is, Bane has actually been doing a good job of it. He took out the trash and now has a legion of Talons patrolling the streets. However, this is Batman’s house. We get a good old fashion ass-kicking between Bane and the Bats, in all its onomatopoeic splendor. The one-shot wasn’t supposed to be much more than the signal that the Bat is back in town. – Sherif

Batman: Eternal #4 – B+

Four issues in and Eternal is building a complex story, and doing it without having to bounce off of several other Bat-titles. The pre-Batman side of Gotham – the corruption and scandal in the justice system are coming out of the woodwork now that Jim Gordon is locked up. It’s a scary and uncertain time, and even though Batman thinks he has things under control, the looming danger is not good for anybody. I really like the appearance of Bagirl here, too, and to see her clash with the Dark Knight makes my stomach drop. This series continues to impress. – Sherif

The thought of Commissioner Gordon being locked up in Blackgate makes me both worried and excited at the same time. I’m worried because I can’t recall a time where he was ever killed and this could be a perfect time to do it. I get excited thinking about it because he was former special forces and I think it would be a cool opportunity to show just how much of a badass he actually is. He wouldn’t have to hold back the way a typical officer would so we could show some potentially badass scenes of him beating up multiple inmates or thwarting assassination attempts. The plot with Batgirl spiraling out of control seems almost too cliché so I hope they have something else planned for that. Batman is business as usual which means that they have something planned to turn that upside down shortly. – Robert

Things are getting juicy. With Batgirl on the case to search for who set up her father, things are going to get very messy and/or fantastic. However, can she do it fast enough to keep her father alive seeing that he has a new home at Blackgate? This is a solid story and I can’t wait to see more. So many different things are happening with Batman and Falcone, the Penguin, Pyg, Gordon, the G.C.P.D. and so much more it’s all very exciting. I think this next issue will be something special and I cannot wait to see what becomes of Gordon. – Evan

The Flash Annual #3 – B

The Flash is really gaining some traction. After the largely successful Flashpoint arc in 2011 and news of his own CW show, the third Annual kicks off a pretty intense arc. Switching between the present and twenty years in the future, Annual #3 gives us our first New 52 Wally West (who some may remember as the Flash in the Justice League cartoon). The future that Flash finds himself in, who is blue in color and seemingly unstable from decades of abusing the Speed Force, is a dark one in which future Barry Allen must cross a certain line with Gorilla Grodd. If you haven’t been sold on The Flash series, then this issue should push you right over the fence. – Sherif

IDW Comics:

X-Files: Season 10 #11- A

This is the type of X-Files I remember! Although it involves Saudi Arabia and terrorists blowing up a oil refinery, this is the type of mystery, who dun-it type of story that encompassed the series so well. In this issue we see Mulder and Scully visiting Saudi Arabia because of a weird case and instantly Mulder thinks things are fishy because of the footage they show him of the incident. He of course sends it to the trusty Lone Gunmen and as they analyze it they figure out a mysterious figure appears out of nowhere after an explosion. Scully goes to visit the hospital that is holding the people who were injured in the incident and is quickly rushed out of one room when she then pulls a fire alarm and goes into another where another injured man is who tells her a man blew everything up. We go back to Mulder who was talking to the Lone Gunmen in a computer lab when he notices men behind who start shooting at him and as he flees he jumps out of window and a s he lands a man is standing there who knows who he is and tells him not to do it making Mulder wonder who he is. The man lowers his scarf and it is Krychek, whom if you watched the show you know as one of the main antagonists along with The Cigarette Smoking Man. This leads me to wonder where this new arc is leading and it will likely be one where if you have not read any of the rest of this series, this is a good place to start. – Jacob

Dexter’s Laboratory #1- B

It is great to see new Dexter’s Laboratory in any capacity, but IDW is turning almost all of Genndy Tartakovsky’s classic cartoons into comics, which is great for me. This short run of Dexter’s Lab is all about Dexter finding out a way to finally get rid of Dee Dee. It starts with him having a whole planned out morning to have his intelligence increased to the maximum amount possible, with Dee Dee out for her dance recital, Dexter thinks he is safe to start his experiment but then Dee Dee shows up right before he starts because she forgot her shoes and she of course destroys everything. This infuriates Dexter and he wishes he was an only child which gives him an idea for an invention to grant wishes. He then waits until bedtime and uses his invention and both his and Dee Dee’s rooms light up and then To Dee Continued… This is definitely going to be an enjoyable series helping to lead up to the giant crossover event of all the Cartoon Network shows that IDW is planning and Much like Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack and Rocky and Bullwinkle IDW is bring back childhood nostalgia like crazy. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Black Science #6 – A-

This issue marks the end of the first arc in Rick Remender’s Black Science, and damn is it good. The story has been going at breakneck speed since the first panel, and wraps up with literally no room to catch your breath. Remender has slowly been feeding us background information on the major conspiracy, but with the crazy turn of events at the end of this issue, there are limitless possibilities as to where this story will go from now on. – Sherif

Southern Bastards #1 – B+

Jason Aaron, the guy who brought us Amazing X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men, returns to give us Southern Bastards, a tale about a man who returns to his hometown forty years after his daddy, the town Sheriff, died. He immediately finds out that the town is not what it was; it’s now controlled by a man who goes by the name Coach Boss and some type of Confederate gang. There’s a fair amount of mystery around it, but there is enough here to make me want to buy the next issue. I mean, any book that begins with a dog taking a shit screams gold, right? – Sherif

Dream Police #1 – B+

What is happening?!?! I have no idea but I think it’s awesome. There is so much happening and so many components to this dream world. Dream Police, architects, shifters, nightmares, all of this is just crazy. I’ll be honest, I’ll probably have to re-read this comic several times to fully understand what is going on. Nevertheless, I think the concept is awesome, almost Matrix-like. Dream police that are supposed to make sure people dreams go the way they are supposed to, seems like a heavy job but Joe and Frank…or Katie…or whoever make it look easy. This comic is very interesting to me and for those who have a wild imagination, this one is for you. – Evan

Deadly Class #3 – B-

Deadly Class continues to impress me. Even though this issue wasn’t as action-packed or full of violence, it has some really great story-telling and character development. It’s obvious what is happening to Marcus mentally after what he did in the last issue; however, there are still so many mysteries surrounding his new life and what will become of it. The way the story is told through the eyes of a drugged up kid who claims to be the “Acid King” then instantly regrets it, allows us to see what sort of mind-frame Marcus is in. And I love it! Still a big fan of this comic and can’t wait to see what comes next. – Evan

Marvel:

All-New X-Men #26 – B+

As the team regroups from the events in The Trial of Jean Grey, we get some great introspection of Jean Grey and an awkwardly fruitful conversation between her and the present day Scott Summers. It was like a Dear John letter for all the long-time X-Men fans out there. Artist Stuart Immomen and his team put together one of the most beautiful issues All-New X-Men has seen thus far, and the cliff-hanger we leave on is an instant sell for the next issue. – Sherif

Wolverine #5 – C+

This issue was basically filler – which is fine because we are starting a new arc – but I was hoping for a little more in terms of content. We do, however, get a few new facts about Logan this issue. We find out that he is being poisoned by the Adamantium in his body and now he has a tattoo of a Rose on his arm. It is hinted that there is a deeper meaning to the rose but is never actually stated explicitly. I’m not sure if we are supposed to know or not but I am sure they will point out exactly what it means eventually. I’m curious to see whether or not the tattoo will stay when his powers inevitably return. It seems this is really just the beginning of a new arc so we shall see where things will go from here but the writing has gotten steadily better since the start and hopefully will continue the pattern from here on out. – Robert

Hulk #2 – D+

This series seems to be rather bland as it is going on. After the first issue it was kind of exciting to fantasize about what would happen to Hulk when he is smarter than Bruce Banner now. But after this issue it seems like nobody in this book knows what is going on. Although I still love Hulk and will read this series to see where it goes, it is definitely one of the weaker series for this character so far. In this issue whoever shot and kidnapped Banner revives Abomination and sends him out to find Banner. Maria Hill starts ripping into Bruce Banner when she finds out Abomination is coming so he can turn into Hulk and as soon as Abomination shows up. A huge fight ensues and everyone flees but one dumb local guy who argues with Maria Hill until some weird robots show up and are about to shoot down both of them. So not a whole much happened in this book to further the story itself but we got to see Hulk fight for the first time and maybe Abomination will have just as much brain damage as Bruce Banner or something… – Jacob

They said in Tropic Thunder that you never go full retard but that is exactly what has happened here. Why they thought that taking one of the most brilliant minds of the Marvel universe and turning him into the retarded character Ben Stiller played in that movie was a good idea is beyond me. I can’t even begin to imagine how they are going to repair his mind but they had better do it quickly because retard Bruce Banner getting mad at a sandwich container and destroying a whole town isn’t going to hold anyone’s interest for very long. If Barbara Gordon can walk again then Bruce Banner should be creating his Bannertech in no time. – Robert

Man, this comic just kind of sucks. And that is coming from a Hulk fan. Personally I think the story is pretty stupid, and it just doesn’t play as something exciting or interesting. Bruce Banner with brain damage is simply Bruce Banner who acts like he is five and it all is just dumb, dumb, dumb. And it makes me sad. The only thing about this comic that keeps me going is that I want to know who did this to Banner. But the story, the action, the “mystery” that ended this issue just has no substance to me. I hope and pray that this comic will get better, but I do not have high hopes for it. – Evan

Origin II #5 – D

I can’t help but wonder what the hell the purpose of this whole sequel to the original Origin was really for. I guessed a few reviews ago that it would show the start of the feud between Sabertooth and Wolverine and it appears that was exactly what they decided to do here. Sabertooth is a central character to the Wolverine mythos, especially lately, but I don’t really feel like they did a great job showing the beginning of a feud that lasts a few centuries. I don’t think they introduced a conflict big enough to hate someone for over a hundred years. I mean it is borderline ridiculous to think that someone could hate someone so much, over a woman no less, that either would devote the next few hundred years of their life trying to make the others life hell. This is especially true for Wolverine seeing as how he has had numerous other lovers that he has loved arguably even more than this chick. All that being said, this entire series felt like a wasted opportunity that doesn’t even begin to stand up to the original. This should have been renamed something else as opposed to being the sequel to one of his greatest storylines. – Robert

I’m really disappointed with the way this mini-series ended. Matter of fact, aside from a solid #1, I’m disappointed in everything about it. Aside from a few stand-out panels, there was nothing about this story that drew me in. The attempt to capitalize on the success of Origin failed mightily, and you’re probably better off skipping this entire installment. – Sherif

 

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.

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