Comic Book Reviews 09-09-15

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:

Deadly Class #16 POTW

Deadly Class #16 – A
Writer: Rick Remender
Artists: Wes Craig, Jordan Boyd
After a super depressing last issue, this latest installment made me laugh so hard that I almost forgot how screwed Marcus is. Stuck somewhere in the middle of possibly being murdered by his ex-best friend, pissing his only friend off by getting his crush pregnant, and taking lots of drugs, Marcus finds time to get his dick checked out at a free clinic. STI’s are no laughing matter, but when you’re in the Herpes League, there’s still room for optimism. Deadly Class can go from a lulling depression to a manic rage in a matter of panels, and it’s a team effort from the creators to make it so seamless. The school is nearing the end of its first year, and they are about to enter into a final exam period that makes engineering school look like a f*cking breeze. Marcus is gonna need all the help he can get! – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Gotham Academy #10 – B-
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher
Artist: Karl Kerschl and Msassyk
Colors: Serge LaPointe and Msassyk
This month, our group of detectives acted in The Scottish Play and got quite The Scottish Curse. Mixing Shakespeare and the mystery of Olive’s mom/ghost was pretty clever; however, I was underwhelmed with what the “curse” turned out to be. There was a little bit of “Invisible Girl” from Buffy in this issue, and as dedicated Hush Comics readers know, I love anything that reminds me of Buffy. The art didn’t blow me away as much this month – a disappointment considering the high-level I think it is usually at. Olive’s mom is still a mystery, but this is a series I still genuinely love. – Adrian
Batman #44 – C-
Writers: Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello
Artist: Jock
Don’t freak out on me here! Greg Capullo will be back next issue. While it’s cool to see Jock and Snyder reunited (they were the team that did Black Mirror, an excellent pre-New52 story that really brought on the creepy.) This issue was a little more insight into what Mr. Bloom is about, but – and it pains me to say this – this issue was entirely skippable. You learn to hate Penguin a little more, understand the situation a little more, but there’s no reason to believe this arc was improved with this issue. Greg Capullo is such a better fit for Snyder’s writing, and the whole experience was underwhelming. I like the return to Bruce Wyane as Batman (flashback only, sorry), but he is expressionless and kinda clueless – albeit by design. Overall, it’s a bump in the road for what has been a very intriguing new storyline. – Sherif
Second Opinion (B+) – Snyder loves to do social commentary, and this issue really pushed that, using the gangs of Gotham, Penguin, Mr. Bloom, and the GCPD to prove a point about gun violence and police brutality in America. While the art style didn’t stick with me, I loved the use of newspaper articles ingrained with the story. This was a long read, but well worth it. – Adrian
Suiciders #6 – D+
Writer and Artist: Lee Bermejo
I just don’t get it. As much as I liked the first issue and the use of color, I don’t feel like there was enough variation in the look of the characters or their individual dialects for me to distinguish who was who. I will be rereading this volume before the new arc comes out in 2016. – Adrian
Action Comics #44 – D
Writers: Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder
Artists: Aaron Kuder, Howard Porter, and Tomeu Morey
I rode with this whole “Superman is a voice of the people” thing for a while, but I don’t think I can support it anymore. The concept of making Wrath a physical embodiment of Clark’s problems comes across as very cliché and instantly loses the reliability it had. Fighting the stigma that comes with being an outsider, dealing with the bigots who he once saved is an extremely grounded concept… but turning the evil of man into a tangible, poorly-written embodiment of wrath, then shoving it in our faces (in case you didn’t pick up on the not-so-subtle hints) is just childish. Why does DC find the need to make everything “epic” instead of relying on solid story-telling? – Sherif

IDW Publishing: 

X-Files Season 11 #2- B+
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith

This is the start of a new story arc, which may seem weird since it is the 2nd issue, but the title and story behind this arc may seem similar to fans of the original TV series connecting to the classic episode “Home.” This new arc is titled “Home Again.” The story revolves around a family, the Peacocks, who have lived a secluded life since the Civil War and have been inbreeding for many generations resulting in horrible defects. Mulder and Scully figured they had stopped this family earlier, but a couple were left alive and found a way to continue the family lineage. Now that it has been so long, the family is even more horribly disfigured and needs a new man to help the family become pure again and lose some of the defects of incest. Mulder seems to be their choice… This honestly was a great story but one of the most disturbing issues of X-Files and even more disturbing than most of the nine seasons of the show. I am hoping things turn out better as things go along, but nothing is ever comfortable when the Peacocks are around. – Jacob

Star Trek Green Lantern: The Spectrum Wars #3 – B
Writer: Mike Johnson
Penciler: Angel Hernandez
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez

I really judged this concept at first. I never thought it would work or hold up for very long. I am glad that my love for Trek outweighed my snobbery and my proclivity to judge a book by its cover. This story line is a lot of fun! The Lanterns and the crew of the Enterprise/leaders of some of Trek’s greatest foes are mingling seamlessly into one story. Color me impressed. In this book, the Lanterns, of the now destroyed parallel universe, are meeting up with their counterparts who’ve been chosen. It’s exciting, fun, and the art is colorful and engaging. Can’t wait till the next issue. – Jené

Second Opinion (B) – Things are sure getting crazy for the Star Trek crew and The Lanterns! Sure hope Kilowog gets involved more heavily soon, but in the mean time the story is shaping up to be great. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Bitch Planet #5 – A
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Penciler: Valentine De Landro
Colorist: Chris Peter

Fucking Hell…I needed several minutes to really absorb all that happened in this issue. No one is safe, and you’re not safe as a reader. It’s gonna make you think about stuff. The team working on Bitch Planet keeps delivering issue after issue. It’s a very satisfying narrative and layered in ways that would take several more pages to express. With the end of Volume One I can say with all certainty that this series is going to be part of comic book history. It’s a game changer. Enough said. – Jené

Second Opinion (C-): Is this the book we’ve been waiting for? The whole issue was a drawn-out prison ball game match between guards and inmates. Guards cheated. Women are pissed. End Scene. Meh. – Sherif

The Walking Dead #149 – C
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
You know what’s kinda getting old?  The whole “dramatic last panel” bit.  The only way it could be more cliche is to put “DUN-DUN-DUNNN!!!” in a word bubble at the bottom.  I’m generally a fan of Kirkman’s style, but this one aspect is really starting to bug me.  Not every issue has to end with an attempt at a cliff hanger.  I realize that I haven’t mentioned anything content related to the issue yet, but there’s a reason for that…  The one thing about this issue I enjoyed was the thought provocation.  I can envision a very horrific (yet, entertaining) path forward for Rick’s newly established civilization.  Tone down the dramatics, Kirkman, and get to the juicy stuff! – Taylor
Second Opinion (B-): Here’s where I’m happy: I’ve been waiting for somebody to punch Rick in his stupid face all series long. Here’s where I’m disappointed: It wasn’t Carl. Not really excited to see Eugene enter creeper mode, but can’t get that last panel off my mind. – Sherif
Head Lopper #1 – F
Writer: Andrew Maclean
Artist: Andrew Maclean
 
Generic, simple and poorly drawn.  Please, lop my head off. – Taylor

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Journey to Star Wars Episode VII – Shattered Empire #1- A
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Marco Checchetto

I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole run of Marvel’s Star Wars comics, but this series so far has impressed me the most. It has just about everything a Star Wars fan could want. Well, that is if you liked the original trilogy better than the prequels, and who doesn’t? But honestly this story will likely be the one that means the most historically as far as the major Star Wars lore goes and it just so happens to be the most enjoyable to me, personally. Greg Rucka definitely has his work cut out for him if he continues helming this series, but if this first issue is any indication, it will be rather easy for him to do well with it all. The art is absolutely spectacular. It makes sure we recognize the characters easily while also throwing in just about every character you would hope to see, even if just for a brief second. I would highly recommend this series to any Star Wars fan, and am sure if it continues to go on the road it is on that it will delight even the smallest Jedi as the force is very strong with this creative team. – Jacob

Second Opinion (B) – An interesting story for an interesting time in the Star Wars chronology.  Shout out to the unsung heroes of the triumphant rebellion! – Taylor

A-Force #4- A-
Writers: Marguerite Bennet & G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Jorge Molina

I absolutely love this series and hope the conclusion is as good as what has led up to it. This issue covers the fact one of the A-Force is a traitor and the team confronting them along with mourning the loss of Medusa. This team and this story is by far one of the better things to come from this Secret Wars event, and I am beyond happy to see it continue once Secret Wars is over. Bennet and Wilson do an awesome job with the writing in this issue and really show how much of a concrete team A-Force is while Jorge Molina brings it all together with his art, which is just made 100 times better with Craig Yeung and Walden Wong doing inks and Laura Martin finishing it all off with the color. This creative team is just about as great as A-Force themselves, and I cannot wait to see the conclusion to this story. – Jacob

Civil War #4 – B+
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
I have a hard time figuring out if I think this book is any good or not. As a story, I don’t care about what’s happening, but artistically, there are so many cool set pieces. I had a difficult time choosing the picture for this review. There are three or four cool spreads like this one. I went with the spread I featured in “Panels with the Most Awesomeness” (below) because of how Magneto is representing (and I honestly hope it’s him or Charles who dethrones Doom. Or the Phoenix). I haven’t heard of Yu, but I’m really digging his art. So much attention to fine details. So, yeah: who cares about this story? Captain America blah blah blah Tony Stark blah blah blah Skrulls blah blah blah, but the pictures are awesome. – Montgomery
Giant-Sized Little Marvel AvX #4 – B+
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Character overload! There are so many Little Marvel characters that I am beginning to lose track of what the hell is happening. And that is A-OK with me. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans join the fold to recruit the twins. There’s a giant panel spread (as in each issue) that was a lot of fun to guess all the characters within, and tons of puns. The most exciting thing to me was the addition of the Brotherhood of Mutants – and other characters… that’s not really a Brotherhood… whatever. There might actually be a real story! – Sherif
 
Second Opinion (A): My only complaint is that it’s called Giant Sized, and it’s shorter than the (already embarrassingly short) regular monthly book. – Montgomery
Planet Hulk #5- B-
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Marc Laming

Another Secret Wars series is coming to an end, and thankfully this one ends well and not sudden or sad like many of the others that have ended this week. We finally see Steve Rogers reach the Red King to find out the fate of Bucky and Steve is not very pleased. Once things go down we learn of Doc Green’s non-hulk identity — and man is it a shocker!  Although the story could have used a little bit more closure, it still was a great story overall and a very enjoyable journey with Captain America despite it being a Hulk title. Sam Humphries does a great job with the writing and makes it seem as if Captain America, Devil Dinosaur, and a world of Hulks is something that has existed for many years, and if not we should all climb into the Tardis or a Delorean and make sure it has. With most books, the art is the key for me and finding it enjoyable, and Marc Laming does a spectacular job. Jordan Boyd does the colors, and man are there a lot of colors, especially shades of green that made me fall in love with this story. – Jacob

Darth Vader #9 – C
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Darth Vader has a firm Force-grip on my heart.  The pain is bearable because this story is so interesting.  The new element of Imperial Inspector Thanoth is really adding to the story, and he’s only been around for one full issue!  While he’s currently at odds with Vader’s secret motives, I hope he ends up joining the Dark Lord’s team.  It’d be a shame to see what is probably the only wise, black man in the Imperial Navy sliced in half with Vader’s crimson blade.  I’m a bit confused about the whole interaction with “The Twins” and why there are killing everyone (which is what knocked the grade down this week).  In any case, Vader is still a winning series! – Taylor
Second Opinion (B-) – I may have gotten a bit lost in the month hiatus, but this issue seemed a bit confusing. It was still incredibly enjoyable nonetheless. Kieron Gillen is absolutely killing it with this series! – Jacob

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #4- C-
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Salva Espin

Well what an unexpected and dismal ending to a spectacular series this issue was. I was absolutely loving this monster team up, but this last issue kind of destroyed the awesomeness that the Howling Commandos were while also kind of destroying everything, literally. I know the Howling Commmandos will have their own series coming after Secret Wars, but the ending of this one was pretty abysmal story wise, and even Deadpool’s ghost couldn’t help that. It seemed as if this was going to be five issues, but then they shortened it leaving us with a quick, confusing, and pretty depressing ending with no closure and left me rather depressed. Up until the last few panels though, I thoroughly enjoyed the action and story. But seeing every go through what they did for basically nothing was pretty upsetting. Gerry Dugan did a great job writing, again up until the last few pages, but the main reason to pick up this book is Salva Espin’s art, as it depicts each character wonderfully and integrates a mass amount of monsters together who seemingly fit as if they should have been a team for ages. – Jacob


Funniest Panels:

Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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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