Comic Book Reviews 09-17-14

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:

shutter POTW 9.17

Shutter #6 – A

As each issue of Shutter draws to a close, I find myself more and more attached to the title. While most books I’m reading have the tendency to flounder around, biding time until the next “mega-arc” or “crossover event,” this Image title has a succinct story to tell, and spoon-feeds the events out accordingly so that you always stay hungry. Shutter has been an instant classic since the first issue came out in April, and this issue is no exception. The grimm and ludicrous story could not be complemented any better than by the gorgeous artwork of Leila del Duca. This issue, marking end of the first arc, left me with my jaw wide open. We’ll have to wait until December to see what the heck is going on, but as long as Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca are back on duty, it will be worth the wait. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman Eternal #24 – B+

I’m not sure if the conglomerate of writers are finally learning from their mistakes or if they just got lucky here, but this week’s Eternal is all about Stephanie Brown AKA The Spoiler and her mission to take down her father, The Cluemaster. Cluemaster is a scumbag, set out to kill his own daughter for overhearing something incriminating during his super-villain poker game that they were having in the freaking kitchen. What a novice! There are some more obscure villains to enter the picture, but everything is cohesive and the story actually comes to a logical conclusion. Great read this week! – Sherif

Batman and Robin: Futures End #1 – C+

In the midst of all that’s going on in Batman and Robin, this spin-off takes a whole new approach to the future of the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder. Batman is look very grisly, not unlike Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and Robin is a black man with pulled back dreads, only known by his codename: Master Duke. The only logical choice for Robin in my mind is Luke Fox, the current day Batwing (he was never seen in costume as Batwing in the Batwing: Futures End book). Whoever it was, he seems to break down Batman’s trust barriers with much more ease than in the past, and the story lacks the dynamics I wanted to see in a book with a brand new Robin, but it was still fun to see Batman and Robin beat the crap out of Heretic. – Sherif

Teen Titans: Futures End #1 – C

After just relaunching two issues ago, the Futures End one-shot for Teen Titans is an easy spot to pick up for new readers. However, that doesn’t mean that any of it will make sense, but if superhero teams are your thing, this could be enjoyable. Five years down the road, the Teen Titans we know know are dead – a recurring theme among the Futures End books. There’s really nothing special about the team as a whole since most members are some version of the current line-up, and the inclusion of Heretic (Damian’s clone who murdered Robin a couple years ago) is eyebrow-raising to say the least. – Sherif

The New 52 – Futures End #20 – C

The twisted time-traveling travesty yet continues. This series now marks the longest ongoing New 52 series I’ve ever read. It’s been interesting experiencing a story with so… much… content. That being said, this 20th installment seems to finally be pointing in some direction. The downfall thus far with the story has been the overwhelming cast of characters and their seemingly unrelated journeys. To an extent, I still can’t figure out how everything fits together, but it’s starting to come together. Having little experience in the DC realm, it’s been fun to get to know some characters better. I’ve pick favorites and I’m always anxious to see certain characters. I’m too committed to the story to quit on now. I just hope the puzzle pieces start fitting together soon. – Taylor

Green Lantern – New Guardians: Futures End #1 – C-

This was rather confusing as many of the Futures End can be. This one doesn’t deal with the issues we’ve seen in the Earth-bound Futures Ends, but it does take place during the same time. I was most impressed by Brazilian penciler Diogenes Neves’ art in this issue. I really enjoyed the aliens and how the events at the end looked. It’s unfortunate though, because I’ve been enjoying the Futures End stories a lot, but, this week I didn’t read any that were that great. However, it is a massive event, so of course there will be some weak moments. – Cody

Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 – C-

I know this is a lame review, but this book is not horrible and it’s not great. I just don’t know I feel about it. There is something garish about the art. Choppy and boring. The dialogue is a mess and hard to follow alongside the art. I can’t tell if Harvel’s has a unique grammatical style or if it’s some editor’s oversight. Whatever the case, it’s annoying and not necessary. Also, do we really need tear Diana’s clothing to shreds? I mean come on. There is a better way to tell she been through battle then exposing all sorts of fleshy bits. On the other end, Hessia, Boudicca, and Nemesis have my attention, and I’m curious as to how the characters will fit in and continue to develop in the story. I’ll keep reading this, but I’m not sure if I’m happy about it. – Jené

Justice League: Futures End #2 – D

I very much enjoyed last week’s issue, but, part 2 just didn’t do it for me. There was a lot of talk for little to no resolution. Things just really moved fast and it didn’t seem like they were able to get everything they needed into the story. I’m not sure if this little story plays into any other Future’s End stories and maybe I’m just missing something, but, I found myself counting the pages left more than once… – Cody

 

IDW Comics:

Super Secret Crisis War: Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends #1 – B

I honestly haven’t watched much of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, but had to read this issue with its tie it to the Super Secret Crisis War. As with the past one-shot issues and the main series I am sure the similarities to the show are wonderful as I have found this and each issue from SSCW a blast to read as anyone 90’s kid is going to love this event. The story was a bit weak compared to the other one-shots of Johnny Bravo and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, but mostly because there isn’t anyone who wants to fight in this universe. I would say pick it up if you are a completionist like myself, but it can be missed and it wouldn’t change anything in the main story. – Jacob

TMNT: Turtles in Time #4 – C+

The last Turtles in Time issue and this one sees us in the future where Shredder rules the world. Definitely not good place to be and to make matters worse the turtles have just met one of their future selves. How will the Turtles get back to their own time? Where is Renet and her time machine? Will the Turtles help the future they may create? Well, all that is covered, as this is the last issue. The art in this series has been great and has differed with each issue making for a real change of time feel. The story of the arc is overall wonderful but sadly I feel like this last issue was the weakest of them all, but that is not saying it is bad by any means. I would definitely finish the story if you have been reading or like stories like 1984 and V for Vendetta. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Oddly Normal #1 – B

(A) I don’t care if I gave this an A. I freaking loved this and it deserves it. If I just stick with Image Comics, I’ll never be disappointed. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it right. Within the first page, I was drawn into the story and the character of Oddly, whose got pointed ears and green hair and is the outcast of her school. It one of the first comic that I was drawn into right away and didn’t take a few issues to wanted to read the next book. The balance of the setting and the narration got a lot of information across quickly and the inner world that belongs to Oddly. Though in a few hints about a secret world where water melts you it proves to be an intriguing story. Go out and get this book pronto. – Jené

(C) Unless it was part of my youth or adolescence, I’m typically not drawn to what I call “cutesy-cartoony” stories; Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, and Invader Zim all day, baby. But it’s harder for me to build a connection with similar motifs that have come out in the last 10 years… give or take 3 years (I LOVE CARTOONS). So naturally, I wasn’t immediately taken with Oddly Normal. Even so – I can see the potential in the story. It’s all about a young half-witch with no friends that ends up making a spellbound wish that spins her world upside-down; this series is set to be a moral-learning and silly adventure. Big props to Otis Frampton for writing and illustrating! Gotta respect a guy that puts his passion on the page. I’ll stick with this one until what I’m sure will be a heartwarming conclusion. – Taylor

Trees #5 – B

There continues to be a lot of esoteric/occult imagery in the comic book. Little snippits here and there that hint at something greater at play. This series is tuning into one of those comic books that you have to pay close attention to what is said and what seems to be hidden in the drawing, such as Clowly’s chamber of nightmares where odd depictions of what looks like alien people etched along the walls. It Aiwass somehow real and involved or rather more metaphorical in nature and these Trees which have been a part of Earth for the last decade? A lot of the symbols remind me of crop circles which, have been said to be messages from star people or left behind by starships. I hope they begin to figure out what this means. And the symbols at the end of the comic… Ugh, what are they?? Trees is a thinker that sure leaves you puzzling out the mystery. I continue to be enthralled by the poetic meanderings threads me in and out of the story and through the artwork the two seem to complement each other and the art is really important to the symbols and mysterious cropping up in the land of Trees. Hmmmm, what if the Trees somehow work on an energetic level slowly influencing the nature of Earth and those on it? – Jené

Marvel:

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 – A-

(A) I will start by saying that I am a sucker for alternate realities. But alternate realities where Gwen Stacy becomes Spider-Woman? That’s just too hard to pass up. Thanks to superb art by Robbi Rodriguez, the entire issue feels completely different from issue #1, and the colors by Ricco Renzi are quite reminiscent of Deadly Class‘ Lee Loughridge’s work. Gwen’s origin story, the focal point of the issue, is well done and all of the differences in the story are thoroughly intriguing, none more so than Matt Murdock’s role. Marvel’s plan for revealing different Spider-Man each issue could be one of the most genius ideas ever, and I cannot WAIT to see this idea develop. Finally, a mega-arc where every issue is worth investing in! – Sherif

(B) I realized something about myself after having read issue #2 of the Edge of the Spider-Verse this week; I’m a sucker for alternate storylines, endings, realities, universes, etc. I think there’s something incredibly imaginative to warp cornerstone characters and stories into something entirely new. It’s kinda like ordering vanilla ice cream but after taking your first bite you realize it’s actually cookie dough flavored. What’s even more appropriate about this analogy is that not everyone loves cookie dough ice cream. Some folks are bound to really like this intro to a new Spider-Hero while others may write it off. If you’re like me and you love cookie dough ice cream and straying from the beaten path, then you’ll certainly enjoy this second issue of Edge of the Spider-Verse. I can’t wait for all our Spidey’s to jump into action! – Taylor

Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 – B

(A) Let me level with you, folks. This was the first Deadpool comic I’ve ever read. I’ve always known about the Merc with the Mouth and his hilarious death-escapades (deathscapades?…), but this is my first true cover-to-cover experience. Man, have I been missing out. If you’re like me and are unfamiliar or have never read a Deadpool comic that shouldn’t deter you from snatching a copy of Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 off the shelves. I had a blast reading it. The story carries no significance to the greater Marvel universe, but it’s deeply rooted in its themes. Crammed full of fighting puns and hysterical character interactions there’s little to not enjoy about this issue. Our glorious Hush co-founder has always been a big fan and has always encouraged me to read Deadpool comics. I’m glad I started with this one and I certainly look forward to reading more. – Taylor

(C+) Brute Force is back!!! Wait…who? Well, if you know EVERYTHING about Marvel you mat be excited otherwise all you have to know is: cyborg-talking animals! Of course, the only platform fitting to reintroduce these characters to the world is Deadpool. This Bi-Annual (why the hell not)  issue is a very enjoyable read with a silly plot that really pushes Animal Conservation. The art is great, as with most Deadpool, but unfortunately like with about 70% of Deadpool’s stories lately, it is bleak and unnecessary to telling any kind of cohesive story. – Jacob

All-New X-Men #32 – D+

Throughout this two-year plus run of All-New X-Men, there has been almost as much filler as there has been storyline. The book hasn’t really had any momentum or “purpose” since we found out that the original X-Men are stuck in the current time. Each book, although filled with hilarity, has increasing lost my interest, and this new situation – each of the team strewn across places in the Verse(s) – doesn’t look like much more than a reason to flaunt the upcoming Spider-Verse mega-arc. I’m not breaking up with this All-New X-Men yet, but I’ve definitely started seeing other books. – Sherif

Funniest Panel:

deadpool funny 9.17

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

spidey cover 9.17


 

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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