Comic Book Reviews 05-25-16

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:

mockingbird 3

Mockingbird #3 – A
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Niemozyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

It’s really hard for me to scream any louder from my rooftop that EVERYBODY NEEDS TO BE READING THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. This is the quintessential feminist book out of Marvel (or any publisher, really). It has a way of delivering the same message of Bitch Planet while doing it in a way that’s nuanced and humorous enough to be accessible to everybody. The all-female creative team delivers a collective punch to the way females (young tweens, especially) are portrayed by the media and how issues of puberty and a woman’s body are treated by our patriarchal society, even going so far as to mention the age-old catchphrases like “hysteria,” “too unstable,” and “attention seeking.” This is a beautiful issue, capable of standing all on its own, and is a guaranteed great read for anybody with two eyes connected to a heart… and a brain. – Sherif

Other Comic Book Reviews:

DC Comic Book Reviews:

DC: Rebirth #1 – B+
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez
Colorist: Brad Anderson, Jason Wright, Joe Prado, Hi-Fi, Gabe Eltaeb

I was originally very against another reboot, particularly since even though it’s been a couple years now, it doesn’t feel like the start of New 52 was that long ago. After reading this book however, I have to say that I am very excited with the possibilities. I got the distinct impression that we are going to get to see the Comedian in the near future and he was easily my favorite member of The Watchmen (minus the rapin…). I am also really liked the way the entire story revolves around a sort of 4th wall breaking idea. It is cool to see one of the DC universes biggest plot points continue to have an effect on the universe so many years later. It is also a fun way to look at all the retconning that happens in comics while simultaneously inadvertently poking fun at it and pushing every character forward. It is nice to see that they didn’t just stop wherever each New 52 book was and try to start over. To understand this story, you need to have completed 2 separate New 52 titles and the results of those books are exactly where our current story picks up. My only real critique of the book is that, for a book that is trying to introduce all the relevant characters of the reboot, it did a sort of poor job explaining a few of the lesser known characters. This could just be my own lack of knowledge though. – Robert

Second Opinion (A-): Nobody loves DC Comics quite like Geoff Johns, and this book shows it. The biggest win was for DC to be able to move on from New52 without discounting entirely. There’s a huge movement happening, and readers get a front row seat to a LOT of “new” content. Retconning pays off in a huge way here. – Sherif

Justice League #50 – B-
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jason Fabok
Colorist: Brad Anderson

In a lot of ways, this is the definitive conclusion to the New 52. And in a lot of other ways, it’s a direct prelude into Rebirth. The past few issues of Justice League have been lackluster at best, and Rebirth seemed to do away with the continuity – and therefore gravity – of any events that the Darkseid Wars would bring about. Instead, though, we get a fairly decent conclusion to the story of Grail, and the aftermath of what the Darkseid Wars bring about, including some of the best Rebirth storylines to come: Jessica Cruz is a Green Lantern, the Crime Syndicate finds a new big bad, Lex is rockin Superman gear… It’s all a decent wrap-up, even if the continuity between this book and Superman and Rebirth are inconsistent. – Sherif

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

TMNT: Amazing Adventures – Carmelo Anthony Special – B
Writer: Matthew K Manning
Artist: Chad Thomas
Colorist: Heather Breckel

I’m generally a fan of the Amazing Adventures series; it’s a supplement to the Nickelodeon show with new stories and familiar characters. This specific issue caught my eye, though, as NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony gets a key role in the story. I’m not sure that this is the crazy lucrative marketing that Melo had in mind when he decided to stay in New York, but here it is regardless. There was a very Scooby Doo Team-Up vibe about the issue that was overall not a high quality buy, but not one I regretted either. It was still funny and had all the Turtles teaming up.

The X-Files #2 – C-
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Mathew Dow Smith

It is no secret that I absolutely loved the Season 10 comics of X-Files, but with the show coming back for an overall disappointing mini-series, the Season 11 comics suffered and the stories within those comics are now not canon. The whole time we were led to believe these were canon as they are produced by Chris Carter, but with the whole mix-up between IDW and FOX it seems this series is also finding a hard time getting a good footing. We start with the second story arc in issue #2 and it is a monster of the week type of story, which tend to be my favorites. But this one lacks a large amount of what makes the shows episodes like this so good sadly. This is about a Day of the Dead-inspired monster and two kids trapped in the middle of this monsters craziness. Overall, it seems to be on a track to have a poor story arc to escape the problems they had with the past two series, but whether IDW finds a way around this or not, I still feel the magic is gone from what made these comics great. – Jacob

Joe Books Comic Book Reviews:

Darkwing Duck #2 – A-
Writer: Aaron Sparrow
Artist: James Silvani

This series is shaping up to be near-perfect in execution and style, much like DW himself. In the second part of this story, we see Gosalyn making her way through the prison, Darkwing battling a major collection of classic villains, and Mortimer has decided to become evil! All of this combines into a fantastic story that any Darkwing fan can imagine all the same voices portraying as if you were watching a classic episode and not reading a comic. Also, if you know the obvious parallels between Darkwing Duck and Batman, you will definitely enjoy the subtle references that continue in this volume of the comic that were in the BOOM! Studios volumes of the series. I have to say that I hope this series runs for awhile and that a new Darkwing Duck show will never take place because this comic is near perfection and any new show with new voice actors and new animation style would surely change everything we know and love about the terror that flaps in the night. – Jacob

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Extraordinary X-Men #10 – B+
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Humberto Ramos

Although I’m absolutely loving this Apocalypse Wars crossover within the X-Men books, it is full of a lot of stuff we have seen before in a new package. This issue focused on the team trying to get to Apocalypses lair and, in the meantime, Illyana and Sapna are training their magic skills. Seems like maybe limbo is out of the path of the Inquisitors from the Doctor Strange book… But with all this we get a rousing speech from Iceman about staying strong, a quick glimpse of the Phoenix force in young Jean, and the adorable and yet disgusting Glob trying to talk to Jean about his crush. Also for some stupid reason Forge has yet to come to terms that Storm is no longer into him romantically despite me not even seeing why they wee involved in the first place. But this all ends with a very interesting and also terrifying twist that is sure to really mess with the team come next issue. – Jacob

Doctor Strange #8 – B
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo

Things are getting insane for the magic community of Marvel and not much seems to be going good for anybody but the Inquisitors. With Doctor Strange powerless and having to give more and more blood to find the last magic objects on earth, it seems more and more like Marvel is killing off a mass amount of characters. With The Inquisitors taking out magic and the Terrigen Mists taking out mutants, this Marvel world is going to be a lot less interesting unless Doctor Strange can figure out a way to save the magic and the X-Men can figure out how to stop mutants from dying. But now that Zelma Stanton has lt out the monster in Doctor Strange’s cellar things may have gotten even worse for everyone on both sides. I am definitely enjoying this story arc and hope Deadpool makes an appearance since his Last Days of Magic issue was heart wrenching. Either way, this is some top notch Doctor Strange story telling and can’t wait for the next issue! – Jacob

Spider-Man/ Deadpool #5 – B
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Ed McGuinness

Ok, now this issue is back to what the series has been before. After last month’s pretty dismal entry, I was a bit worried how things would fare going forward, but this issue got things right back on track and really did wonders for both Spider-Man and Deadpool as far as character development goes. It also got back to the main story and has me super excited for the next issue which has Scott Aukerman writing it! It has me excited because comedians tend to understand Deadpool best. But I am getting ahead of myself here. This issue focuses on Deadpool having killed Peter Parker at the end of last issue, but with Parker’s soul nowhere to be found in hell, Deadpool begins to wonder if he killed the right man and get the help of Shiklah to figure this out. This issue brings up many past pains of the two main characters and shows how a friendship may blossom from this after all. We all know Deadpool is insanely giddy about that. But with this being one of the best titles involving Deadpool now, I would say read this one above everything else Deadpool other than Mercs for Money. – Jacob

Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 – B-
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Jesus Saiz

Everything about this book screams cheap shock value. It seems like there is nowhere left for people to take this character so we are given this ridiculous attempt to try and make people feel betrayed. The best thing we have gotten from this issue is the memes associated with it. Even though the writers have stated that this is in fact legit, the cosmic cube being a central piece of the plot means that, no matter what happens, is easily reversible at a moment’s notice. The book itself wasn’t that bad and I have to admit that I am curious where this storyline is going to go, especially with the way it will tie into other books in the universe. Also……. WTF is up with Sharon Carter??? She is looking old and decrepit as fuck. – Robert

Deadpool #12 – C-
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Scott Koblish

I am so over the mass amount of gimmicky and stupid Deadpool stuff we have gotten since his movie has became so successful. I love Deadpool, please don’t get me wrong here, but this Deadpool 2099 stuff, the fact he has a least three series going at one time outside of his self-titled series, and the mass amount of merchandise has really changed the character for me. This issue, which is part 2 of Deadpool 2099, was so predictable and the twist ending was worse than something M. Nigh Shyamalan would come up with. I feel this 2099 story is some of the worst writing of this series and if it wasn’t for the completest in me I would skip the 3rd part coming in Deadpool #19 for sure. The only redeeming quality of this issue to me was the complexity and detail of Koblish’s art. It is a perfect feel for Deadpool, in my opinion, and is being a bit wasted on throwaway stories like this one. Can we please get back to Deadpool being good again? I am just going to go watch the movie again to see some good Deadpool. – Jacob

The Mighty Thor #7 – C-
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Russell Dauterman, Rafa Garres

UGH… This story Loki is telling is about as droll and lifeless as he once thought his father was. Sure we get a viking Hulk, but everything about these past few issues has felt like a story we have heard about more than Ragnarok, and we are on about the 84th of that in this series as well. I swear my undying devotion to some characters like Jane Foster’s Thor curse me some months on my pull list. But from the look of next issue, we will be back on track and in the present. A lot of why this story bothered me was that is offered absolutely nothing new to me that I can’t remember hearing before and it felt more like Loki telling us a long story to catch us up on things that any Thor fan has head similar or exact things about before. Ultimately, if you are reading this series, I say skip issues #6 & #7 and jump back on next month when it looks as if we will actually be back to the story at hand. – Jacob

Panel Surfing:

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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