Comic Book Reviews 05-13-15

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:

Darth Vader #5 – A+
Kieron Gillen may have actually outdone himself with this issue. He may have actually done something cooler than two hilarious murder droids. This Darth Vader series is one of the most compelling books I’ve read in a long time. Maybe it’s my indomitable love for Star Wars or maybe it is the fact this this is one of the best current comic series. We’re now looking at a cyborg with the cylon-like ability to boot up a new copy of his self when the current one goes down training a group of warriors to potentially be Vader’s replacement, as order by the Emperor! I don’t care that I have the misfortune of knowing how this is going to work out for them I’m still kind of concerned with how this will play out for Vader. I have to wait another month for the next issue!? COME ON! That’s just unfair. – Scott

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios

Lantern City #1 – A-
If you love post-apocalyptic stories and aren’t sick of them yet, this is the comic for you! There are servants, protectors who look like red stormtroopers, and the Greys, the family they all serve. This intro issue introduces the reader to servants who have rationed goods. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the servants know that their time is limited. The art of Lantern City was exactly what I wanted out of that title; the colors are rich, and the lines clean. This series could be one I’m in for the long haul. – Adrian

Dark Horse Comics:

Rebels #2 – A
Brian Woods continues to show that he’s one of the best war-time writers in comics. Rebels #2 shows a growing conflict in both Seth’s personal life and more so the coming war with England. Seth is torn between fighting to free his land, which started out as just Vermont, and living the life he’s building for him and Mary. The narrative is still very poetically told and as enjoyable to read as the character interactions. The last few pages get kind of muddled with what exactly is happening and that will make the transition to the third issue a little rocky but not so much that anyone will be left out of the loop. This is listed as issue 2 of 6 but I’m hoping it goes much farther than that. – Scott

Harrow County #1 – B
Harrow County felt familiar to me very shortly after I began reading it. Years ago a witch or demon who lived in Harrow County was shot, stabbed, hanged and burned after the townspeople discovered what she was. She swore to return and it seems she has by way of an innocent farm girl named Emmy who lives alone with her father. Those elements of the story didn’t quite jump out to me the way I hoped, especially after Cullen Bunn’s intro about “Haints”. Harrow County may not have started out very strong, but I am at least very intrigued by where it left off. It’s dark and chilling and so far told very well. The artwork by Tyler Crook is absolutely beautiful and adds just the right haunting element to the story. This may not be the most original storyline I’ll come across, but so far there are plenty of indications that this series will absolutely be worth a read. I’m not in love yet, but I am very eager for the next issue. – Keriann

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence #6 – D
I feel certain there’s a good book in here, but damned if I can find it. It sure isn’t in Convergence #6. Deimos? Apparently? Is the new big bad guy? Never having heard of him, I wikied him: I’m not the biggest DC buff around, but generally, I can recognize the characters. I feel like the cuts have to be deep and obscure for me to not recognize the character. Well, Deimos appeared in a DC owned anthology comic as a bad guy for a character named Warlord, and then in an episode of Justice League Unlimited. He had a toy in 2011. Those are his claims to fame, and this is where Convergence fails and other books (again, Earth X, and even Future’s End, the prequel series to Convergence) succeed. It’s cool when comics make us care about their obscure characters. Howard the Duck? Squirrel Girl? I just picked up Future’s End because I saw it on the shelf at the library, and I had no idea who Plastique was before picking the book up, but I’m genuinely interested in her story when I see the trauma on her face when she sees her cyorgified corpse from an alternate future. Frankenstein’s a stupid character (IMO), but the dread in his story makes him interesting. Deimos? Dumb. Telos? Double dumb. Oh, and in light of the new Supergirl TV show coming, can we talk about Supergirl’s suit in the beginning of this issue for just a second? Jesus. A swimsuit with a bright red S shield over her vagina. IWONDERWHATTHATSTANDSFOR. Ridiculous. – Montgomery

IDW Publishing: 

Uncle Scrooge #2 – B
Scrooge is back for another couple adventures in his new comic with Huey, Dewey, Luey – even Donald is tagging along. This issue’s main story follows the gang trying to go fishing until Scrooge gets an idea to make an abandoned and supposedly haunted pirate ship his new money making scheme. Despite warnings from others, Scrooge and the gang make their way onto the ship only to be trapped inside once they all go into the cabin. Once locked in, the ship starts to sail away carrying our favorite ducks towards a mystery destination. This main story written by Jan Kruse with art by Bas Heymans is a very fun adventure for any pirate fan, or like Scrooge, anyone who loves treasure. This leads into the short one page story written by Bruno Sarda with art and ink by Andrea Freccero; a very short and funny story about Scrooge finding ways to save on electricity for his washer. The art is a little more modern cartoon style with a hint of classic Disney, but still fits well within the other two very distinctive classic Disney style of art. The last story, co-written by Frank Jonker and Paul Hoogma with art by Maximo Torajada Aguilar, has Scrooge having a battle of the finances with his fellow rich duck Flintheart Glomgold. As they both compare their fortunes, Scrooge realizes Flintheart is closing in on equaling his riches and must figure out a way to extend the gap between their finances. Heavy money stuff for a kids book eh? The story takes them out to search for a meteorite that had fallen to earth to try and use its foreign resources to… you guessed it, make tons of money. Lots of trouble ensues, and we kind of end up full circle from where we started. Overall this three stories an issue format is obviously leaned towards the kids market and may leave a adult wanting a bit more out of such a huge book, but if you are a fan of Ducktales, you owe it yourself to follow these adventures. – Jacob

Image Comics: 

Birthright #7 – A
Alright, someone’s got to say it, Birthright is the best fantasy-adventure book on the shelves now. Joshua Williamson has such a great understanding of the genre and has an amazing way of getting the reader so invested in his characters. Mikey is so polarizing it seems that issue by issue or sometimes even page by page I switch off rooting for and rooting against him. Somewhere inside of him I know there is a sweet little 8 year old boy who broke my goddamned heart when he just wanted to go home so his family could sing him Happy Birthday. Then cut to the current action and he’s robbing people and possessed by some evil Lord and doing all his bidding on Earth. Rya is awesome and I can’t wait to learn more about her as the series continues, I’m also super glad she flew away in front of Brooks so now he has no choice but to believe Terranos is real. I could go on way too long writing about things I love about this series and how the most recent issue made me happy, but realistically it’s easier for me to just say “Way to go Williamson, you nailed yet another issue. – Keriann

Mythic #1 – A
Mythic starts off strong with a comical “what the fuck” moment when a bunch of monkey looking creature things leap out of a wart on an old woman’s chin and attack Nate, the unknowing newest member of the Mythic Lore Services team. After that introduction we are brought out into the desert where the team is trying to figure out the cause of a drought. Their prophet, Cassandra, reveals it’s because the sky and the mountains haven’t fucked in while (I’m not being vulgar, just using the terminology from the book) because they are in a fight over their unfaithful relationship. Oh and by the way, this is a world where magic rules all and the masses are fooled into believing that science is a thing, when in reality it is just some made up phenomenon to nullify the public. This book was not at all what I was expecting. I figured it would be dark and creepy, but in reality it was way more on the goofy and fun side. Think B.P.R.D. with a drinking problem or Hoax Hunters without the really dark backstory. The man who runs Mythic Lore Services, Waterson, feels a lot like a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson, which I love. He even kind of looks like him. Phil Hester’s dialogue is cheeky and reads really well and John McCrea’s art is a perfect fit for the story. The sheer absurdity of the situations these characters are in really sets this book apart from all the others. I think this series is going to shape up to be a lot of fun, and possibly completely insane at times. The quirky comedy mixed with the supernatural is likely to make this a series most people will not want to miss out on. – Keriann

The Walking Dead #141 – B+
You know, Dwight doesn’t look so bad with his hair grown out. It’s nice to see him again, but let’s get to the real story – what the hell is going on in Rick’s head? Negan’s mind games should be getting to Rick. He’s the first one to call Rick on his BS, asking him if he ever thinks that he might be the villain to any outsiders. That’s the difficult question that we’ve been asking for years, and I’m glad it’s being actualized inside the story. It’s coming at the most opportune time, too, because Rick thinks he’s the second coming of Christ at this point. I’d be tired of his crap even if I were his friend, so I can’t imagine what it’d be like to be Negan. Rick might live in fantasy-land, but Maggie has a much different view on how the world should work. – Sherif

ODY-C #5 – B+
This book continues to be the most impressive awe-inspiring book. I feel as excited as I felt toward Multiversity. ODY-C is also very difficult to talk about. Mentioning almost anything about it is automatically a spoiler. This issue is this world’s crazy women-only equivalent of the aisle of Aeolus with a couple interesting twists. Also? Hera has a beard, and that’s not a deal breaker. And, I don’t want to note you guys to death, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s happening and who’s doing it. It’s incredibly cool that only the gods speak in word balloons and everyone else is narrated through dialogue boxes, but it can make keeping track of the conversation pretty intensive sometimes. And I desperately need a spreadsheet of all the gender bent characters involved in this book. It was easy at first, but we’re 5 issues in and the cast has exploded. But don’t let those small quibbles stop you. This book continues to deliver. – Montgomery

RunLoveKill #2 – B+

Maybe it’s been too long between issues for me but I felt lost coming into RunLoveKill this month. I know I enjoyed the first issue, heck I gave it an A, but this issue felt disjointed from the first. It was like trying to learn the series all over again. That’s not to say it’s bad; it’s still a good issue. It is just kind of a shock to the system at first. The art though is some of the best looking panels in any comic. This is specifically true for the scene at the night club. Eric Canete paints such a vibrant and stylized world that it’s almost distracts from the storyline. It’s one of those good problems. – Scott

Injection #1 – B
(A) At this point, I will read anything written by Warren Ellis. I don’t know if I’m such a big fan that I’m now biased but, Injection is another great story comic. I don’t really know what’s going on right now and I haven’t read the summary that comes along with the issue. I didn’t want it to influence my read. The way the issue is set up drops us in the middle of the action and we’re left to slowly bring the pieces together. The exposition is brilliantly done and as we’re only given a taste for the organization and the sciences involved without the whole first issue being an explanation dump. I love the way Ellis always does this. It’s a nice change from the easy to figure out plotlines. The art compliments Ellis’ style and was easily absorbed into the story. It left me trying to puzzle out the nature of the plot and what exactly is the “injection?” From what I can gather, geographical time anomalies, blended timeline, and some sort of computer organic matter hook up? Ellis and the artists he work with seem to have a flare for the esoteric. There is a blend of science fiction and the occult and how all of these concepts run into one another. It a lovely companion to the work with Trees. There seems to be similar themes that he is working out in these two storyline. I’m really looking forward to adding this comic to my reading list. – Jené

(C) Injection tells the story of…uh, you know I’m not quite sure. That is to say if I hadn’t gone online to check the book out before I read it I would have absolutely no idea what this series was even supposed to be about. It has the makings of a strong series, the writing is good and the artwork is really nice, but for a first issue this one was way too vague. So much of the dialogue was shrouded in mystery, acronyms, and government branches and nearly nothing about the plot was revealed. Injection’s saving grace is that readers may be unclear about where the story is going but we were at least granted a very strong introduction to who’s going there. The artwork also really made up for what the dialogue left out. The characters are short on details about what they’re doing but the haunting and damaged world they are in at least hints at what may have happened before we were dropped into this one. I’m torn on this series so far, I liked what I read but I am frustrated with how elusive it was. I didn’t leave the first issue with the sense that I had just started a story, it felt a lot more like I jumped into the middle of something that I’m not sure I’m interested in enough to finish. – Keriann

Saga #28 – B
The universe of Saga just keeps getting bigger and bigger! Assuming that Vaughan and Staples want to keep this thing going forever, and I hope they do, this series will be the most immersive and original franchises since Star Wars. Let me just break this down: a kid and her lie detector cat are on a mission to collect dragon semen. Meanwhile, a robot with a TV for his head is on a mission to rescue his baby (and a horned guy’s baby) from a band of anarchists. Really though, this book has been heart-breaking ever since Hazel got kidnapped. Well things got even sadder in this issue, with the death of a character you never really liked, but felt sorry for in the end. I’m not at all bored by the book, but it’s getting harder and harder to define to other readers. It’s not just a serial; it’s an experience that, unless you follow it, you just wouldn’t understand. – Sherif

Black Science #14 – C
The train was speeding on the tracks a few issues ago!  Now the train is wobbly and near derailment.  As exciting as a train crash might seem, I’m less elated for the simple fact that I am currently on said train.  For the better part of 14 issues now, I’ve been in love with Remender’s storytelling and Matteo’s blow-your-balls-off artwork.  Both of these were lacking this issue.  I was all psyched for a “journey to the onion core” last issue, and now all the focus is on “just going home.”  It’s very jumbled and inconsistent.  And ever since the plasma-hippo-dragon died the panel pics have only been awesome instead of super-freaking-awesome.  I did really vibe with Shawn’s soapbox speech  (definitely one of the better ones of the series).  I need the monotony to stop, though.  Those dimensionauts better get to gettin’ to the onion core and they better find another hippo-dragon to get them there!  Or a lightning-turtle.  That is also acceptable.  – Taylor

The Mantle #1 – C
Some punk dude and his girlfriend go to a show. It sucks, so they get shrooms and pot. Then the due trips balls and sees rainbows everywhere. All of the sudden he is a superhero. He is put in the quickest training ever by the people who told him he is a superhero, and then he meets his nemesis. It is quite possible he is still tripping, but it is also possible he really is a superhero. I don’t know yet. I typically don’t like recreational drug use talked about in comics so cavalierly, but since the whole thing is a mystery to me, I will check out the second issue to find out what happens next. – Adrian

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Howard the Duck #3 – A
I have to say this issue was my favorite of the series by far. The only reason I personally would not give it an A+ is because anyone not familiar with the classic Volume One series of Howard may think this series took a rather odd right turn from the cameo filled and sort of sequel or reference of sorts to the post credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy we got with the first two issues. In this issue, Howard is finally able to tackle his first case head on and with some help from She-Hulk and his new friend Tara. It ends up old people have been brainwashed and Aunt May ends up stealing the necklace Howard had recently acquired for his client. This all leads up to Howard encountering an old enemy, many references to his past including his mastery of Quack-Fu, which subsequently was the subject of the first Howard the Duck #3. Chip Zdarsky has wholeheartedly captured the classic feel and stories of Howard making this feel very much like a classic Steve Gerber Howard story peppered with enough modern twists to make this book my favorite on the stands right now. Joe Quinones has the style down perfectly for a Howard book and makes him just the right amount of cartoon and just the right amount of reality needed for a modern incarnation and Rico Renzi comes in and colors them to make the issue just about as perfect as a Howard fan past or present could want. This issue also includes a short story at the end with art done by Jason Latour about Howard being hired by superhero reenactors to help find Wolverine and it also is done in a very original Howard feel and makes me super excited to know at least this series survives Secret Wars. – Jacob

Secret Wars #2 – A
Let’s get this out in the open: Battle World is a dumb, dumb (dumb) idea. I hate it a whole bunch. I think it’s untenable, not very interesting, and feels like something a 7th grader came up with for the 13 seconds he got bored drawing pictures of boobs: “What if, like, all the X-Men had to fight? I mean, like ALL The X-Men.” But so far, as an event book, Secret Wars is streets ahead. Lots of cool experimentation and interesting detailed (detailed. You hear that, Convergence? Of course you don’t) takes on established characters. I mean, Doom’s Valhalla and the Thor cult are amazing. Like, I want to go to there. Well, not really. It was hard at first to accept Doom-as-god, but they convinced me. I feel like Secret Wars is Marvel looking at Morrison’s Multiversity (at least the first six absolutely perfect issues) and saying, “What? Nuh uh! Me too!” – Montgomery

Captain Marvel #15 – A-
That was the saddest way to end a book. This run of Captain Marvel has been a bit of a roller coaster for me; there were lots of ups and downs, but the final issue drove home the true essence of Carol Danvers. She is incredibly caring and giving. She does so much for others, she often forgets about herself. The way the story was told was done amazingly well; Carol returns home to find her friend Tracy has passed away. Tracy then tells her about all the stories to go with the things she is giving to Carol. It was very touching, and did indeed bring a tear to my eye. I feel that DeConnick, Lopez, and Loughridge all put their hearts and souls into this issue. I was absolutely blown away at the colors this time. Captain Marvel will be missed. – Adrian

Silk #4 – B+
You know what Cindy Moon and Johnny Storm have in common? Pretty much nothing except for superpowers. It was pretty awkward to watch Johnny court our heroine. I absolutely loved that they decided to skip the date and go “superpowering” instead. This issue wasn’t just about the date, though; Cindy has some major anxiety. It could have something to do with being in a bunker for 10 years, or that Black Cat has it out for Cindy, or just that many young women have anxiety issues about not being good enough. This issue got back to being funny and witty, particularly when Dr. Richards of the Fantastic Four is checking on Cindy’s faulty Silk-Sense and plays Galatacus to test her. And he loves pretending to be Galactacus. – Adrian

Thor #8 – B
Well the time to know who the new Thor is now and all is revealed in this last issue for this ongoing series. Hopefully after Secret Wars is over, we will get a totally new series for this Thor. Jason Aaron does a good job wrapping up this series and answering most of the questions we had, despite leaving Thor out of the loop. This all is encompassed within one large battle against The Destroyer with almost every woman Odinson (the classic Thor) knows within the Marvel universe by his side to help the current Thor. While Odin continues to be a typical asshole in power his entire family rebels at his feet and decided earning a punishment is worth the risk to stop his greed and let this mysterious new Thor helps the universe in the way it was meant to be helped: by a god. The battle subsides but Thor leaves before he can get a confession out of Thor of who she is while she goes off and reveals who she is to us, but now there is only Secret Wars. A lot of these series ending at Marvel because of Secret Wars have left me feeling very cheated; they all had great potential but many fans are left with an #8 issue series which seems an awful lot more like a mini-series than an ongoing series. Maybe Marvel should have told us? Or maybe the writer should have known about in since the ending seems a bit rushed? This series was definitely one of my favorites of the past two years. I am at least glad we know we will see more of this Thor in some capacity thanks to the All-New All-Different Avengers comic released on Free Comic Book Day. – Jacob

Storm #11 – C+
Well that’s over. The final issue of Storm pitted her against former student Kenji, and he was pissed. There were tie-ins from all the mutants Storm helped in past issues, and after a lot of confusing action, Storm was able to pull the team together and win. While I didn’t totally enjoy this issue, I did appreciate Storm never deviating from herself; good triumphs over evil and then everything is “happy.” Considering Secret Wars and Battle World are here, nothing is ever happy, but the ending of Storm seemed that way for now. – Adrian

Magneto #18 – C
We’re in full Battle World mode here, and the filler books are being flung by the Big 2 (Marvel and DC) like monkeys throwing poo at each other. Magneto usually hits home-runs with me, but the Last Days of Magneto is shaping up to be another excuse to make some money. Surprise, Magneto will spend his last days saving the world from… sentinels. Dammit. We are spoiled with at least the same writer, Cullen Bunn, for these one-offs, and there is an enthralling flashback series about when Magneto first met Namor. It’s nothing too exciting, but it’ll do as far as a cool Magneto story goes. – Sherif


Funniest Panel:

Saga #28

Saga #28

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Magneto #18

Magneto #18

 

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 all the publishers for putting out great books.

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