Comic Book Reviews 03-09-16

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:

haunted mansion 1 potw

The Haunted Mansion #1 – A
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jorge Coelho

Full disclosure: I REALLY don’t like Disney, and I’ve only enjoyed a handful of any of the Marvel titles I’ve read. Because The Haunted Mansion is both a Disney and Marvel property, it’s absolutely something I would normally not be at all interested in. However, I picked up this book solely on the merit of the writer, Joshua Williamson, and I am so happy to say that it did not disappoint. This book is obviously geared towards younger readers because of the subject matter but as long as you go into it knowing that it doesn’t really detract from the book’s overall story and direction. In true Disney fashion, the main character is kind of a loner, and devastatingly loses his only friend to a freak accident in the first few pages, but in a story about a haunted house, I suppose you do need a little death to get the ball rolling. The Haunted Mansion genuinely seems like it will be a fun, heartfelt, and exciting read. It will be without the true scares you could find in a mature title, but will likely end up being a very well-told and moving story. If you have a soft spot for Disneyland’s old Haunted Mansion attraction, or if you just want something a little lighter with a lot of heart, I would highly recommend you try The Haunted Mansion; it may be the most fun you have reading all month. – Keriann

Other Comic Book Reviews:

DC/Vertigo Comic Book Reviews:

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 – A-
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Freddie E Williams II

This series is becoming one of the best crossovers ever and starting this issue off with a bit of Joker made it all the better! But I do get a bit tired of always hearing or seeing Batman’s parents die. WE GET IT!!! Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot in an alley and pearls spilled everywhere. Even when it isn’t an origin story, we still have to see it. But besides that aspect which lowered my standards of this issue, the rest was op notch and James Tynion IV’s writing seems to be more than perfect to meld these two franchises together as if they always have been. Plus Freddie E Williams art is something of my dreams making me want to get myself tattooed head to foot with his TMNT and Batman designs. Seriously though if you are not reading this you are not just streets behind, but light-years behind. – Jacob

Second Opinion (C): Poor Raphael, now he has to be subjected to Batman’s drawn-out origin story, too. Still a very funny read, but the Raphael-Batman discussion was a little corny. – Sherif

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #50 – A
Writer: James Roberts
Artist: Alex Milne

Like Transformers, the 50th issue of More Than Meets The Eye is a double size. This one is divided into two stories: in the first one, aboard the Lost Light, Hot Rod, Megatron, and a group of their most trusted pals take off to investigate the source of a theorized psychic attack. They discover the Necrobot’s world, and all the biz turns all the sideways. It turns out it was an elaborately planned and even more-elaborately executed mutiny. The second story picks up with those who-are-soon-to-maybe-but-probably-not-die as they reminisce about what life aboard the Lost Light, and specifically inside its bar, was like before the mutiny. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier, but TF:MTMTE is a soap opera with space robots. This issue made it click, and in the genre of SOwSR, it really clicks and fires. And you feel bad for Megatron, which is hard to make an 80s and 90s kid feel. – Montgomery

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Infinity Entity #1 – A
Writer: Jim Starlin
Artist: Alan Davis

It feels weird giving an A to a Marvel book. This relaunch has been the least interesting thing to happen to anyone since Convergence tried to convince us it was a comic. Part of what makes this book so interesting is that it mimics 90s Marvel, which was trying to mimic Vertigo in that it tried to be bizarre and meta (hence someone like the In-Betweener), such as when Gamora having been mysteriously healed by Adam wakes up saying, “Starlin’s usual entertainment doesn’t include miracles.” It was a fascinating interlude type story exploring ground (the Infinity War) you could have sworn was already explored to death. The only thing about it that makes me go, “Whatta f, Marvel,” is that Adam (the person through whose eyes we view everything) is freely allowed to dimension hop… and I thought after Secret War there was only a single universe. Oh, what’s that? Continuity only matters if Marvel thinks it means they can squeeze a few dollars from you? What was that? Anyone who thinks any of this matters is a rube, a hack, a maroon? Well, if you insist. – Montgomery

Howard the Duck #5 – A
Writer: Chip Zdarzky
Artist: Joe Quinones

This issue was so good it almost hurts! The story takes Howard, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Tara, Shocket, Linda, Silver Surfer, and Scout to the Collector’s world to end this conflict once and for all. By the end, we see Howard use himself as a living Nexus to transport everyone to their homes including all of the Collector’s prisoners. After doing so, Silver Surfer severs Howard’s connection to the Living Nexus but not before Howard uses it to get home, which we think will be his home planet, but it instead takes him to BEVERLY F***ING SWITZLER’S house! If you are a Howard fan, this was a moment you had been waiting for and a moment that would bring a little tear to your eye whether it be sad or immense joy. Now, as perfect as I thought this issue was, the fact we didn’t get much closure to Shocket and Linda’s story, and that Tara is now inside George Clooney’s house (Sounds weird but you have to read the issue) it left me feeling a bit sad as I want more of those characters and sure hope they will be present in future issues. – Jacob

Mockingbird #1 – B+
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Niemczyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Mockingbird is one of those characters that has flown under the radar just enough to be new to casual fans, yet has enough history to satisfy die-hards, especially those who read the New Avengers run from about five years ago or have seen her randomly as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the Marvel NOW! reboot and beyond (OR watch Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – which I’m sure is the real reason Marvel invested in a solo book for her). None of that is really relevant to the book, though. Barbara Morse spends a lot of her time in the waiting room of a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility getting evaluated for the Super Soldier Serum cocktail she was given by Fury to get through an injury she had gotten earlier. The whole thing feels like a commentary on over-medicating by doctors, but it’s not so much the focal point of the issue. Mockingbird is hilarious, and while the story doesn’t make any sense, I get the same cooky vibe I get from Howard the Duck, and that is a huge compliment. – Sherif

Rocket Raccoon and Groot #3 – B
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Filipe Andrade

This series finally gets back to business and has Rocket and Groot together again. The previous issue had me a bit concerned where this series was going, as it seemed a lot less likable than either the Rocket Raccoon or Groot solo series. A lot of the heart behind those series seemed to be missing, but we find out the reason why was because Rocket was playing a prank on Groot the whole time. Funny right? Well, I am with Groot on this one in being upset, but still loving Rocket and the story. Skottie Young knows what he is doing and had us all – or maybe just me – duped into thinking this series was something different entirely, and I have to say I am really fracking glad it turned out to be the same characters I grew to love in their past two series. Now who in the name of Galactus in the coffin at the end??? – Jacob

Spider-Man/Deadpool #3 – B
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Ed McGuinness
Colorist: Jason Keith

There is a general direction this book is going in that I’m anxious for, but how it’s getting there is a great experience. In this issue, Deadpool comes up with an elaborate scheme to convince Spider-Man that he has changed as a person. He and Spidey bro down, and then Deadpool introduces Spider-Man to his daughter, Ellie. It’s kinda heart-warming until you realize it’s all a set-up for something down the line. I really like the idea of these two becoming buds, and hope there is some change of heart before Deadpool tries to off Peter Parker. To sum up, it’s fun, but not spectacular and it’s great to see McGuinness’ art on the shelves again. – Sherif

Second Opinion (B)This issue was sure confusing, but also exactly how I like my Deadpool stories: full of blood, humor, pop culture references, and a little bit of heart. Now I’m super excited for what look to be like Thor and Shiklah in the next issue!  – Jacob

All-New Wolverine #6 – B
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: David Lopez & David Navarrot
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn

We’re finally through the first arc of All-New Wolverine and I must say that I’m not disappointed at all. Laura has proven to be every bit as believable as THE Wolverine as her predecessor, and there’s a lot of important conversation going on about enslavement, both from a Wolverine perspective and from the point of view of a female. The characters are pretty cute, too, and the witty banter moves things along. However, the series has been overwhelmingly “decent,” and going forward will need to push the envelope a little bit to crack the group of elite books in this new Marvel. – Sherif

The Mighty Thor #5 – B-
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman

Ok… So let me get this straight, a 1000th Ragnarok was prevented just to lead into the 1001st Ragnarok? I had been with this story for a while and enjoyed it thoroughly, but this issue kind of lost me. Although the art is great (despite Loki’s absolutely horrendous facial hair) and the story leading up to now was exciting, it built up to a pretty un-monumental moment – even with the “shocking” twist. The battle between Thor and Odin was also much less action-packed and exciting than Howard the Duck fighting the Collector this week, which was a bit upsetting. Overall though, the story is moving in a semi different direction and since I love Jane Foster as Thor I will still have it on and be excited to pick his up from my pull list each month. Can Odin finally be a bit more human than God? Seriously though, can someone get the guy some ritalin, prozac or something… Geez. – Jacob

Guardians of the Galaxy #6 – C-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti

After loving the story up to this point, this issue seems to take a screeching halt for a more emotional and romantic tone. Sure, there was still a lot of action, but it left me feeling confused and a bit bored compared to previous issues. I imagine things will pick up next issue since the ending was a massive cliffhanger, but in the meantime, I am still wondering what the hell even happened, and why Star Lord and Kitty Pride are alone on Spartax and completing a mission I have no idea what it is. I tend to dislike issues that spend the whole time setting up something else, but I understand the need for issues like this sometimes. I feel, overall, that the story will be good again, but this issue could be easily skipped as we move along to issue #7 next month. – 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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