Comic Book Reviews 12-02-15

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:

howard the duck 2 potwHoward The Duck #2- A+
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Veronica Fish

Help me world… I love Howard the Duck even when Howard isn’t in it! This month’s issue brought us the story of the female Howard, Linda, and Rocket (the female Rocket Raccoon that we saw a glimpse of in the last panel of Howard The Duck #1. The story was one that was rather heart wrenching and can easily change the whole history of Howard and Rocket Raccoon. Chip Zdarsky is a master of comedy in comics, but who knew he could also make me bawl my eyes out over a anthropomorphic Duck and Raccoon? Well the story of Linda and Shocket and their surrogate dad D-3 ends tragically and is so good I must let you rad it and not spoil I here, maybe in my extended review though. We also had guest artist Veronica Fish this issue who did an absolutely fantastic job, so much so I really hope to see her return soon, even though I absolutely love Joe Quinones art for the series. Overall, this issue is one that any Rocket Raccoon or Howard fan must read as it sets up massive change for both characters and does it brilliantly. Oh and also more Gwenpool… – Jacob

Other Comic Book Reviews:

Dark Horse Comic Book Reviews:

Mystery Girl #1 – A
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Alberto Alburquerque

So far, this is really good. I love the characters. Trine is really interesting and fleshed out. I love seeing another strong, POC, young woman at the forefront of an awesome new comic and the idea of a street detective is super interesting. I love her dynamic with the people in her life and her enthusiasm towards learning new things. She could be a super sleuth all on her own, but she took the time to learn how to be a detective anyway, because she cares about getting everything she can out of life. She’s using her skill to learn about Mammoths just because she really wants to see them. Trine is a curious, go-getter and I absolutely love that. I’m also really intrigued by the unnamed antagonist. His motives are super creepy. He’s a killer, but only goes for people he finds interesting. That’s both complex and scary as all hell. I’m worried for Trine, but also excited to see how she inevitably will kick his ass. This issue was a great opener to for what will no doubtably be an awesome series. – Charlotte

 

DC/Vertigo Comic Book Reviews:

Robin War #1 – B+
Writer: Tom King (and a bunch of other people)
Artists: Emilio Lopez, Chris Sotomayer, Gabe Eltaeb, and Sandra Molina

DC’s newest clusterf*ck of an event was a really fun read this week. I’ve been pining for the Robins to get back together for over a year now, ever since Forever Evil took Dick Grayson out of Gotham for a while. That being said, there were some serious missteps as far as continuity goes, which I imagine would be just as confusing to somebody who hasn’t kept up since New52 ended as it is to somebody reading the current Batman and Robin Eternal. Whatever the case, I like the idea of Robins becoming outlawed and the reemergence of The Court of Owls. This’ll be a dope series if it can stop tripping over its own feet. – Sherif


Batman Beyond #7 – B+
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Stephen Thompson

Finally! The Batman Beyond I wanted when this series started. It only took seven issues, but we got there. For the first half of the issue, I thought “I wish we would have just started here.” But then as the story progressed, I realized how integral the first story arc was to this one. I’m good with that because Tim being forced into the future changed so much about what is going on now in Neo-Gotham..even though “now” is still the future. I was pleased with how gusto Matt is with finding the truth about things, the jargon specific for this time period, and going old fashion by kicking some Jokerz butt. I really liked this issue. If you are new to the series, this might be the one to jump into because you can get the jist of what happened in the last six issues here. – Adrian


Gotham Academy #12 – B
Writers: Brendan Fletcher & Becky Cloonan
Artist: Karl Kerschl

Olive finally has some answers about her mother and her father. What I liked best about this issue was that the lead character didn’t have a major bomb dropped on them and then we skipped over it like it was nothing. There was time to process, and that is something we don’t see a lot in this genre. “Oh your daddy-o was murdered? No biggie! On to the next adventure!” That is the typical direction these things go. But here, we got a full issue about how Olive was feeling and what she was willing to do based on those feelings. I hope we continue with that exploration in the next issue. And as always, this is my favorite art in comics right now. Drool. – Adrian


Sheriff of Babylon #1 – B
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads

A new Vertigo mini-series by Tom King takes place in Baghdad circa 2003, where it’s more like the Wild Wild West than anything. Chris Henry is attempting to restore law and order to the region, and is just not having a good time of it. The story is very complex – at times too complex – and weaves through different parallel situations to give us a complete story. It reminded me a lot of American Crime, where although there were “bad guys,” you always got varying perspectives. Writing like that always makes me jump to the conclusion that it will either be very intelligently written, or too complex to appear cohesive. My money is on the former. – Sherif

Harley’s Little Black Book #1 – C+
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Artist: Amanda Conner

While there wasn’t a lot to take seriously in this comic– the London League of Super Heroes were boring, their names were stupid and some of the dialogue was just bloody awful– I still enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of both Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, so seeing these two badass superheroes in one comic was a lot of fun. Harley is hilarious as always with her obsession with Wonder Woman. It gave some great background to her character that totally makes sense given Harley’s mannerisms. Of course she would see Wonder Woman and take things totally the wrong away. It was a great detail. Another thing I loved how about Harley in this, is how she confronted Big Bad Ben (seriously? That’s his name?) when he called her the Joker’s girlfriend. It was a powerful moment that reminded the reader of everything she’s been through. I also loved Wonder Woman in this, though I wish she had been a little more cross with Harley after what she did. She seemed to just let it slide. Of course, that could just be her being patient, but a little more interaction between the two would have been nice and given the piece a little more reality to it. They could have cut the the London League out completely and given us more of Harley and Wonder Woman’s dynamic and it would have been great. Here’s hoping the next issue gives a little more time to the deserving superheroes. – Charlotte


Prez #6 – C
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Ben Caldwell

While there were some high notes in this issue, I mostly felt underwhelmed. This is the end of Part One, but we do find out at the end there will be another series of Prez coming soon. What impressed me about this series was the silly commentary on the state of the United States today. Everything was demeaned, and I loved that. This issue was too quick of a wrap up and wasn’t exactly a commentary; however, the best part of the book was when Tina, the Jesus freak, gender-fluid, killer-robot discusses the difference between artificial intelligence and artificial emotions. I look forward to Part Two of Prez, and I hope that it goes back to it’s streak of snarky criticism. – Adrian

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

X-Files Season 11 #5- B
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith 

It is the beginning of the end for this series with this story, as it is only 7 issues-long with a X-Mas special, but it is all leading up to new X-Files episodes this January. Because of this, I am fine with a much shorter series, although I do hope IDW can continue X-Files comics in some way as I have found hem immensely enjoyable. This issue starts off the last story of Mulder and Scully dealing with Gibson Praise and whatever plans he has for them and he whole world. We see Mulder finally captured by the FBI and being transported on a plane while Scully waits and takes a car to their destination. Before Scully heads out of the airport, Gibson warns her in the form of a janitor and lets her know Mulder is in danger while Mulder is having his own problems on the plane as everyone starts killing one another after he is given a message that those on the plane are not his friends. So really, who knows what is going on here? And in true X-Files fashion we wont find out until the last second. I want to know now, though! – Jacob

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Black Science #18 – ​B
Writer: ​Rick Remender
Artist: ​Matteo Scalera
Colorist: Moreno Dinisio

What a twisted mind f*** this has become. We’re only two issues deep into the Godworld arc, an insight to the latest happenings of the most dysfunctional band of dimension traveling scientists (and their kids). And actually, we’ve only really seen what’s going on with Grant Mckay. It’s not healthy, greatly depressing and will in all likelihood give me nightmares (this is mostly your fault Scalera) and my eyes can’t get enough! Black Science has taken a pretty stark change in story structure in comparison to the last 17 issues, but it’s still really, really good! I’m pretty confused about the concept of a Godworld and big brother Brian’s incorporation to the story feels a little out of place, but all that stuff is fairly secondary to what’s happening. It’s getting good again (thank goodness). Also, I have a new favorite word: Goongaloonga. – Taylor


Black Jack Ketchum #1 – C +
Writer: Brian Schirmer
Artist: Claudia Balboni

I like it when people tell me to read something and then I do without any expectations. It’s better that way. Wherever this story is going to end up being about I’d like to stick around to figure it out. At first I thought I was getting into a typical Western. I should know better by now with Image Comics, because star shadow cowboys appeared and then nothing made sense. There’s this person who call themselves the Judge who goes around killing Sheriffs. There also seems to be interdimensional time/space hopping, a mistaken identity, a talking gun, random ghosts, and bird person…What in the Sam hell is going on? I guess I have to stay tuned till next issues. Not much of a comic review other than I plead you to read it and join me in this strangeness. I think aliens are going to be involved. – Jené


Nailbiter #18 – C
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson

Nothing really happened. Sure, Nailbiter could be the Devil Killer. But I really doubt it. The only “ooohhh” moment was when Sheriff Crane was hit in the head by the priest. Otherwise, an old library burned down like 50 years ago, and Finch admitted why he kills those he interrogates. This issue was a bit of a dud, but I’m still on board with the series. – Adrian

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Star Wars #13 – A
Writers: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Frank Martin Jr.

It happened!! A showdown of galactic proportions. R2-D2 vs. BT-1!! Ever since the evil duo Triple Zero and Bee Tee One hit the scene an encounter between (quite literally) good and evil incarnate (droid version) was an inevitable eventuality. Round one was battle of the astromechs and it did not disappoint!! I won’t give you the play by play, but know that it started with a good ol’ fashion explicit ‘yo mama’ brawl all in terms of beeps and boops. Fight night became even more exciting when Chewy and Trip-Z got into it in addition to Aphra and Han sharing a HILARIOUS moment. Better than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather or Rousey vs. Holm – you gotta see it people. Oh yeah – and Vader is still “down” and slaughtering Rebels like it’s his job (cause it totally is) and Leia is bumbling around the prairie. Fun times! – Taylor

Second Opinion (B+): Part 3 of Vader Down this week and those damn droids, 0-0-0 and BT-1 cause lots of damage, but not as much as Chewbacca and Luke do to them. Also Han and Aphra are both equal in being idiots in this, but still a great story. – Jacob

Daredevil #1 – A-
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ron Garney
Colorist: Matt Milla

I love the art style in this more than anything else. It’s reminiscent of Frank Miller’s style, but with less racism and less brutality. The use of a black background makes everything seem darker, and a little more mysterious. I wish more books would use this technique. The story is intriguing, although I’m not sure the gross ass Tenfingers is a good choice of villain for the first arc. Blindspot is an awesome companion, and I found myself loving Daredevil much more than Matt Murdock, which is a flip from how I normally feel. – Sherif

Spidey #1 – B
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Nick Bradshaw

The nostalgia in this issue is overwhelming. Like, in a bad way. It’s really kinda cool to go back to the beginning of the high school days where he was just dealing with his powers, but Marvel (and the Cinematic Marvel U) have shoved this story down our throats so far that I found reading it a chore. But then, BUT THEN! Gwen Stacey punched Flash Thompson in the face, and all was forgiven. The art is very fitting, and there are tons of cute Spider-quips to pass the time. It’s the perfect YA book (Robbie Thompson is g, and I liked it pretty well myself. – Sherif

Invincible Iron Man #4 – B
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: David Marquez

Nothing much was resolved this issue, and that is okay. I’m not in this series for resolutions as much as I am for the banter between Tony and Friday. The interaction here is one of the best things Marvel has going right now. I love how things can go from downright hysterical to downright terrifying in about two panels. As of now, we have Doctor Doom, Madame Masque, Seppuku Ninjas, and damsel-in-distress Mary Jane Watson. I don’t know what is in store for Tony, but I am definitely along for the ride. – Adrian

Guardians of Infinity #1- B
Writer: Dan Abnett, Jason Latour
Artist: Carlo Barberi, Jim Cheung 

As a massive fan of The Thing, the second story with Rocket and The Thing was more entertaining to me as a whole, but the first story was likely awesome to die hard Guardiansfans seeing as it included three separate Guardians teams together in one story. Despite a chunk of the modern Guardians missing with just Rocket, Groot and Drax, the story worked well and am sure will become a main stay in Guardians history. The story revolved around a station that existed outside normal time and space, which is how these three teams from different time periods, appeared in the same place. Not much was figured out other than that this issue but it was all we needed to have a great set-up. The second story was all about The Thing and Rocket being stuck on a planet and The Thing had to wrestle to win parts to fix their ship. Like a lot of The Thing’s tales, it includes a rather emotional story of him overcoming hardships, all the while Rocket is cracking jokes. Definitely hope to see more team-up stories of these two while The Thing is a member of the Guardians. – Jacob

All-New X-Men #1 – C
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Mark Bagley

As far as the All-New All-Different movement goes, this was very middle of the pack. Nothing blew me away, there weren’t too many funny jokes, and the constant reminder (and this is in EVERY X-book) that Angel and X-23 are together were countered by Bagley’s familiar art style, a well-written Cyclops, and the reunion of an all-new set of X-Men. – Sherif

Totally Awesome Hulk #1 – C-
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Frank Cho

This book is ridiculous. Amadeus Cho is the All-New All-Different Hulk. And he and his sister ride around in a flying food truck looking for specimens to beat up. He’s like a grown-up Godzilla that can’t mess around with villains because he’s got responsibilities and bills to pay. Even with that, though, he’s still very whimsical, and the Hulky-type jokes are on point, but this was just made for a new generation. He’s too “IDGAF” for me to relate to. The shining moment here is that we get a little glimpse of how Bruce Banner spent his days few days as the Hulk. No continuity, but it’s there. – Sherif

Red Wolf #1 – D
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Dalibor Talajic

The return of Red Wolf was one that incited a lot of hope in me, especially after I laid eyes on that sweet tribal-looking cover. Expectations met reality, however, and it turned out to be just another poorly-written attempt at adding another minority character to the roster. The art was “meh,” the story was obscure as all hell, and there wasn’t nearly enough fleshed out character descriptions for me to give a damn about any of them – even Red Wolf himself. I was expecting a half-way between Nightwolf from Mortal Kombat and Jonah Hex, but instead I was left with relatively no impression at all. – Sherif

ONI Press:

Invader Zim #5 – B
Writer: Jhonen Vasquez
Artist: Aaron Alexovich 

We get another issue written by the main man himself, Jhonen Vasquez. This issue focuses on Dib and his sister Gaz; it’s bursting at the seams with video game parodies. The issue starts with Dib interrupting his sister while she is gaming and any Invader Zim fan knows that is no good, just as much as any gamer will tell you interruptions are a huge mistake. This causes Dib to actually be kidnapped to a world for gamers for his mistakes of stopping a game. His torture for his crimes is to live in many video games while Gir is the one controlling him… long story short, he dies a lot. We get parodies of games like Minecraft, Metal Gear, Angry Birds andMario Kart. Jhonen Vasquez has obviously not lost his touch with the world of Zim and does a fantastic job this issue supported by Aaron Alexovich, who does a fantastic job adapting each video game style perfectly. – 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 credited to their respective publishers and creators; thanks to all the for putting out great books!

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