Comic Book Reviews 07-13-16

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:

old man logan 8

Old Man Logan #8 – A
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino 

Here’s yet another instance of a comic exceeding my expectations masterfully after leaving them dwindling. This issue simply focuses on Logan on or near the night the villains took over, but in the 616 universe. As he’s sulking up late, the young Jean Grey shows up to comfort him by taking him around and making sure he feels safe. This story, the feelings, and everything else in this issue is what I have wanted since the second I heard Old Man Logan was moving to the main Marvel universe. I was waiting for him to be with his friends, to see himself as a good man and to do so by realizing everything he did this issue. This issue sold this whole series to me and has me hooked for life hoping more instances of this writing and emotion show up as it was proof that Jeff Lemire was the perfect choice for an author for this series. The story was just too darn heartwarming to feel anything else. – Jacob

Other Comic Book Reviews:

American Mythology Comic Book Reviews:

Pink Panther #2 – A-
Writers: Batton Lash, Pete Alvarado, Keith Davidsen, Warren Tufts
Artists: Bill Galvan, Jacob Greenawalt 

As a massive Pink Panther fan, I love this series, but a small part of me sees the reprinted section of the comic and knows them from past volumes. I wish each issue was 100% new, but I can see the appeal of showing old comics that mostly have not been seen before, especially by kids just getting into Pink Panther. Those past comics are great (despite Pink Panther talking in them) and the new stories are so good that I would want to put most of this creative team behind a revival of the actual cartoon. The zaniness, and suave nature of the Pink Panther is present in both writing and imagery and is presented in near perfect amounts. The stories here focus on the Inspector chasing Pink Panther through multiple comic books, the Inspector investigating a crime syndicate, Pink Panther mistakenly mastering a virtual reality game, and finally, Pink Panther trying to fulfill what a fortune teller told him all on his own. Great comic for adults who know Pink Panther, and even better for kids to get into comics. – Jacob

DC Comic Book Reviews:

Wonder Woman #2 – A
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Nicola Scott
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.

Part One of the Year One storyline that will run in the evenly numbered issues was amazing and so true to the character of Wonder Woman. Instead of feeling like “yet another origin story,” this felt fresh and perfectly attuned to all the right aspects of her story. Focusing on many “in between” moments as opposed to all the major origin moments many of us are familiar with, this chapter excelled at world building. We not only get to see Diana approaching maturity on the remote island of Themyscira and building relationships with those around her, but we also get to see some of Steve Trevor’s backstory and a key friendship in the military. At this point, the attention is less on the Amazon warrior part of Wonder Woman and more on character development—a young woman finding her own way in a culture where much of life seems predefined and predetermined. Some interesting details in this issue are that Hippolyta and Philippus seem more in line with the pre-Flashpoint versions than the New 52 versions, while Steve Trevor seems closer to the New 52 version in age and personality. The writing by Rucka is spot-on, while Scott’s artwork is nothing short of amazing. Fajardo adds a striking color palette to the mix, enhancing detail. At this point, I think I may find the Year One storyline to be more interesting than the odd-numbered issues which occur in present day, but we will see how both storylines progress, as they will likely continue to weave together quite nicely. – Travis

New Super-Man #1 – A-

Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artists: Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend
Colorist: Hi-Fi
This book did not disappoint! It’s a pretty tall order to introduce a new character who is somewhat based upon the oldest superhero in comics, but give him a vastly different personality, motivation, supporting characters, and place him on the opposite side of the world. This team did so with style, adding one of the freshest new characters that DC has seen in a long time. Kong Kenan is a confident young man living in Shanghai who is selected for a secret (government?) project to receive powers replicating those of the recently-departed Man of Steel. We get to see the differences between the buoyant school kid and how his home life brings out a different side that his friends probably don’t see. Yang does what he does best, presenting a layered protagonist who is left of center and builds a world for him so that he exists out of whole cloth. Bogdanovic, Friend, and Hi-Fi are an artistic dream team, bringing vibrancy and humanity to each page, adding mystery in small doses. Our New Super-Man gets his powers just in time to meet his next antagonists: the Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman of China! – Travis

Detective Comics #936 – A-
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Alvaro Martinez
Colorist: Brad Anderson

This book continues to impress with its remarkable art and nostalgic Battle of the Cowl type feel. With Batman now incapacitated, it falls to the B team to bring down the latest threat in Gotham. The mystery of who the heck is in the military suits has finally been resolved, but that just makes things all the more complicated! The twist in this issue had me instantly hooked, one that I neither anticipated, nor would have guessed given proper clues; it’s the perfect example of why I still love reading comic books. DC has proven there is still gas in the tank, and has chosen not to make any extreme or “shocking” decisions, but is instead focused on making quality books. – Sherif

Hal Jorden and the Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 – B
Writer: Robert Vendetti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright 

Huh, I really enjoyed that. I don’t know, I guess I have been missing that old school hero/villain exposition. I’m one of those rare people who love a good prologue and intro and I feel this book did a good job of that. Sinestro has conquered the Universe and the Green Lanterns/Guardians scattered. Hal makes this new fancy Lantern ring and is reborn. The setup is all pretty self-explanatory but I liked it all the same. Some of the exposition got a little cheesy but I am willing to let that slide. B for pure enjoyment of it all. – Jené 

Nightwing: Rebirth #1 – B
Writer: Tom Seeley
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn

Of all the Rebirth one-shots, I was most excited for the Nightwing special, not only for the phenomenal creative team (the only full interior issue Yanick is doing for the Rebirth movement), but because Grayson kinda sucked overall and there has been absolutely no follow-up to the Robin Wars outcome when Dick offered himself in Damian’s place. This issue kinda-sorta makes up for all that. It introduces a cool new branch (or face? I dunno) of the Court of Owls. They have black masks now, so they mean business I guess. It’s cool to see Damian shown in a more whimsical light at the arcade. Still a total brat, but It’s warming to see him act like a kid. This book does a great job of wrapping up Grayson, introducing the upcoming big bad, and looks gorgeous. – Sherif

Action Comics #959 – B
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Colorist: Arif Prianto

More of the same beat-em-up storyline going on in this Action Comics issue. However, it felt much more well-paced than the previous one. There is some really clever panel design going on here as we are able to witness impressive fight scenes and read an appropriate amount of exposition in the same breath. We’re really no closer to an answer of who the heck is running the show from the shadows, but it’s presented in a manner that we don’t really care. There is backstory is being presented, and motives are being explored, so this is no longer a one-dimensional cry for attention like I feared it would be. I’m glad I stuck on here. – Sherif

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

X-Files #4- B+
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Andrew Currie

What a blast of fresh air this issue was! After the short-lived Season 11 comics that were being negated by the event series, I was worried about this new series. After being three issues in, I was finding myself not enjoying these books as I was during the Season 10 run. That was up until this issue when things finally took off in a direction, I felt X-Files should be at. It may be because of the different art from Andrew Currie this issue giving Matthew Dow Smith a break, but this issue felt fresh in both art and writing and feel the series may have finally found its footing. I try to give a series five issues to win me over, and am very glad I waited this one out. We got a very Scully-centric story going forward with this Ishmael titled arc, and it seems to be one filled with mystery and intrigue which often times was not the case for me with a lot of Scully stories. That usually was because they focused too much on her faith and although I am not anti faith, it always felt oddly-placed amongst aliens and government conspiracies. – Jacob

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Horizon #1 – B-
Writer: Brandon Thomas
Artist: Juan Gedeon
Colorist: Frank Martin 

It’s been about three month since I’ve read a comic book. This book good ‘ol Image providing us with is yet another dystopian look into the future. As first books go, it’s not a bad introduction to our protagonist and the world she’ll be operating in. Blue humanoid alien crash lands in the desolate dregs of humanity and she looking for her people… sounds like the next summary for a Netflix special. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book, but the wealth of “humanity sucks, they don’t learn, let them vanish in their memory” has almost become trite. I will be optimistically cautious with this tale. Image has burned me before. The pace of the art and world being presented is intriguing and engaging. I don’t know enough about Zhia to know if I can attach my feels to it. I just hope the story will be more than humans sucks and are doomed. – Jené

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2 – B+
“War Machine”: Jeremy Whitley (w), Marguerite Sauvage (a)
“Goliath”: Brandon Thomas (w), Marco Rudy (a)
“Nick Fury Part Two”: Declan Shalvey (w/a), Jordie Bellaire (c)

To be completely straight-up, some of these mini-stories are better than the Civil War II main story. Marvel kicks off another compilation of stories about what is going on in the Marvel U while Civil War rages on between Tony and Carol. While the “Nick Fury” mini story (the best from the first issue) gets a satisfying sequel, it’s the “War Machine” tribute that really does it. Written by Princeless‘s Jeremy Whitley, the story focuses on various black women characters (Whitley’s specialty – seriously, read Princeless) in the Marvel U and how they are coping with Rhodie’s death. It’s also so refreshing to see a superhero’s funeral, specifically how it is affecting the other characters and not just to incite shock value. – Sherif

Civil War II #3 – B
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Thanks to the collective bag of dicks that the internet has become, there was already way too much anticipation leading up to this issue. “An A-List Avenger Dies,” headlines said. I get the desire for press, but by golly, by the time I actually read the issue, there wasn’t anything that could convince me the magnitude of the event was worth gawking over. In all honesty, I have not been up on things in the All-New All-Different Marvel U as far as Hulk goes, so I was relatively confused to see that Banner was even alive (since they hinted at his death in the first couple issues of Totally Awesome Hulk). All-in-all, it’s looking like things are finally boiling over, but if the media could just STFU about it, Marvel would come across as much less gimmicky than it has lately. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy #10 – B-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti 

The Galaxy’s Most Wanted arc ends in this issue and we finally have Angela back with the team for the epic conclusion. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this issue, I feel this arc was made a bit less entertaining in a single-issue format and would be enjoyed a lot better as a full read though of all the issues. The story itself focuses on the Guardians taking out the Brotherhood of the Badoon and what makes it completely badass is all the former slaves and prisoners who came to help them do just that. The battle scene showing the Guardians take control is one a film buff can only dream of seeing on screen and it so beautifully done with Valerio Schiti’s art. Some of the actions sequences are begging to be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but since they obviously are not, this issue definitely makes up for it with story, substance and the beauty made by Schiti’s pen. I am vey much looking forward to the full tam being together again and look forward to what comes next. Until then, though, I will go read this arc again and enjoy it in all of its splendor, and as always, mostly for The Thing being such a great addition to the team. – Jacob

Rocket Raccoon & Groot #7 – B-
Writer: Nick Kocher
Artist: Michael Walsh 

This is the first issue of this series with no involvement of Skottie Young, and although he is one of my favorite names in comics, this also happens to have been my favorite issue of this series so far. This issue had a lot more of the fun loving heart to it the Rocket Raccoon and Groot self-titled series had and although it was yet another one off issue, it still felt as it was part of a larger thing that just itself. I’m not real sure what happened between the Rocket Raccoon series and this one, but Skottie Young seems to be off his game for the character (maybe it is due to him kicking butt on Image Comics I Hate Fairyland) and this series has felt a bit rocky, no pun intended, since issue #1. I’m hoping that this break may bring Skottie back to the awesomeness he offered in the Rocket series, but if not, a new Rocket Raccoon series is starting with the Marvel Now! titles, which I’m sure means only a couple issues left of this until they switch over to removing Groot from the title, but most assuredly not from the book itself. – 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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