Comic Book Reviews 12-24-13


Pick of the Week:

Avengers #24.NOW – A

After a great run in the Infinity arc, Avengers.NOW begins the Rogue Planet arc with this issue. Thoroughly entertaining and full of mystery, #24.NOW is a great jumping on point for Avenger fans. While Stark and Rogers talk shop in the lab of a potential expansion of Avengers members, are heroes on the balcony, throwing a BBQ, are paid a visit from the future. It’s a great issue to build towards the rest of the arc. I’ve always thought that Esad Ribic’s art was a bit too fantastical for an ensemble cast like The Avengers, but with the subtle humor and nerd talk to break up the talk about other-worldly threats and inter-galactic battles, I feel like I can really relate to the story.

Other Reviews:

DC:

Justice League #26 & Forever Evil #4 (DC Comics) – B

Knee-deep into the Forever Evil/Crime Syndicate story arc, we’re really starting to delve into these mysterious characters – an element missing from their canon material. Introducing the origins of Power Ring, Johhny Quick and Atomica to the readers give a great yin and yang comparison of these characters to their Justice League counterparts is very entertaining. Frighteningly so, Grid, who is the self-actualized machine part of Cyborg’s body, looks like he dropped in from the Terminator series. What really makes this arc great is that, through all the twists, turns and secrets, there is enough juice in the orange to squeeze out another entertaining issue while still keeping enough in the dark to make it suspenseful. It’s evident that DC is going to take their time with this story, and with Geoff Johns at the helm (and some great art by Ivan Reis), did you expect anything different?

Forever Evil #4 (DC Comics) – B

Meanwhile, in the Forever Evil arc (notably also written by Geoff Johns and penciled by the great David Finch), Batman has finally made it above ground. There’s not a lot of breathing time in the issue, which equates to some badass panels and reveals, but really doesn’t do much in terms of story. The tease of Batman wearing a Yellow Lantern ring in the variant cover was poorly realized, but the appearance of another ring bearer more than makes up for it – even though an epic panel by David Finch gave me an 80’s fist-pump moment. I’m also thoroughly enjoying the bromance form between Bizarro and Lex Luthor. It’s okay to let love in, Lex! This is shaping up to be an epic alien invasion, with the gravity of an “us vs. them” mentality amongst the Rogues.

Image:

Saviors #1 – C-

An alien invasion, lots of marijuana and a lizard that practices active listening – that’s what you will find in Saviors #1. Centered around a small-town pothead who is content with his mundane life, he accidentally stumbles upon the town sheriff and another man in stripes casually talking but with lizard faces. His friend tries to convince him that it is just paranoia, but it turns out that there is a much bigger conspiracy at work. The raw art of the book is something that has become a staple of image Comics. I find it endearing, but would like to see a little more detail in a series that can’t quite carry itself based off story alone. I’m interested enough to read the second issue, but not enough to recommend the book to anybody else.

Marvel:

Origin II #1 (Marvel Comics) – A-

After the enthralling first chapter of Wolverine’s origin through Joe Quesada and Andy Kubert’s Origin: The True Story of Wolverine, it’s evident that exploring the primal side of James Howlett is necessary to tell his tale. Fortunately for fans that read the original origin series, you can pick up Origin II and understand what is going on immediately. Wolverine has become an animal, and found his home with a pack of wolves. There is no dialogue, just a narrated internal monologue. The art is crisp and the colors are beautiful; most fans won’t even realize that it was penciled by Andy’s brother, Adam. I mean, the Kuberts are to comic book art what the Kennedys are to politics. The best aspect of this book is the thoughtful pace put into making you want to feel every moment that Logan is feeling, instead of rushing the natural progression. This is a must-read for any fan of Wolverine.

Funniest Panel of the Week:

Welcome to the Thor-B-Q in Avengers #24.NOW

Welcome to the Thor-B-Q in Avengers #24.NOW

Epic Panel of the Week:

Batman has a surprise for Power Ring in Forever Evil #4

Batman has a surprise for Power Ring in Forever Evil #4

Cover Art of the Week:

Forever Evil #4 Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver

Forever Evil #4 Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver

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, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

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