Comic Book Reviews 04-13-16

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:

moon knight 1 potw

Moon Knight #1 – A
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Let’s be honest, Marvel has mismanaged the holy hell out of Moon Knight. There was a strong first run by Warren Ellis, but for the next 2-3 volumes, there was a revolving door of creative teams and storylines – most of which involved Moon Knight just murdering people in creative ways. However, Jeff Lemire takes an incredibly odd pre-Secret Wars ending and makes it into one of the best “WTF” stories I’ve read from a new comic book in a long time. Marc Spector is in an insane asylum (or is he?), and he’s being convinced that he’s crazy (or is he?), that he’s never really been Moon Knight and it’s all in his head (OR IS IT??). It was such a fun read, and the visions he’s getting only further the mind-fuck. Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire (who, coincidentally have stuck on the Moon Knight series from the previous volume) have a huge impact on setting the tone for this whole scenario. I have not been this genuinely excited for a Marvel #2 in a long time. – Sherif

Other Comic Book Reviews:

DC Comic Book Reviews:

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5 – A-
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II

This series has been delivering solid issues since #1 and this one is no different, but it also takes a crazy turn. We see Shredder and Ras Al Ghul have taken over Arkham Asylum and all of Batman’s biggest villains are let loose. While Batman, Leonardo, and Raphael are out learning of this from Commissioner Gordon and Penguin, we see Michelangelo, Donatello, and Casey Jones having to deal with Damian Wayne’s Robin in the batcave. Things take a turn for the worst when Leonardo passes out, which means it is only a matter of time for the other turtles. But even with all that, the twist at the end feels so reminiscent of the old TMNT and Justice League cartoons. I am very interested to see how it all ends in #6 next month; I feel this is one of the most solid crossovers in comics in quite sometime. – Jacob

Second Opinion (B): Okay, who hit the crazy button?? It’s still a fun read, but come on… This latest plot twist is ridiculous – yet it doesn’t change the tone of a quite enjoyable mini-series. – Sherif

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Deadly Class #20 – B
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig
Colorist: Jordan Boyd

After an adrenaline-packed issue like #19, it’s a difficult transition to #20, where much of the issue is reflection and set-up. The opening soliloquy from Marcus paces the issue much more slowly than the rest of the arc has been, and while it’s heavy in tone and shows major character development in our main protagonist, my mind was still racing from the events of the last issue. So while it was a welcome change of pace, I had to force myself to slow down and read it all. That doesn’t last long, though. Soon enough they’re back to running for their lives and the “oh shit” moments fell out of my mouth like soup after a dentist’s appointment. Bad things are coming, and thanks to some good timing on the slow-down, I’m ready for it now. – Sherif


Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Mockingbird #2 – A-
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Niemczyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

The first go-around of Mockingbird was great, but listen, if Bobbi Morse beating the crap out of a bunch of gimps in bowties while sporting fetish wear doesn’t do it for you, then I’m afraid there’s no saving your sad little soul. In this issue, Bobbi and Lance Hunter (who fans of the TV show will know) infiltrate the Hellfire Club – with sexy results! It’s a bit of a gamble for a second issue to put it’s hero in dominatrix wear, but it comes across more innocent and hilarious than anything else. This is a fun book, but it doesn’t come across as aimed at the same demographics that Marvel’s other female-led books do (ie – Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, or Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat. Part Archer, part Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mockingbird has the personality to become extremely enjoyable to anybody. – Sherif

Star Wars Special: C-3PO #1 – B+
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Tony Harris

While this is one of many Star Wars comic book spin-offs to come out of the alliance forged between Disney and Marvel, this is the first one I’ve read that explicitly links back to The Force Awakens. The story is short and sweet here, revealing the simple answer to “why does 3PO have a red arm in the movie?” While the question is answered in a simple manner, there’s a very deep and heart-wrenching story that takes us to that place – a conversation between two droids teaches us more about being human than Luke or Leia ever could (aww)… Even if you’re not feeling the feels, it’s a good read to make sure you’re all caught up in terms of continuity. – Sherif

Guardians of the Galaxy #7 – B+
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti

This series looks to be focusing on two characters at a time as last week we saw what Kitty and Star-Lord are up to and this issue is covering Rocket and The Thing. This issue was great fun to me as a massive fan of the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing. The banter between Rocket and Thing is fantastic and adds a great amount of humor to the situation. There is a slight romance in the story, which was a bit odd, but it is always nice to see The Thing happy every once and awhile. Everything ends well for Rocket and The Thing , but then they find out Star-Lord has been captured! I think Valerio Schiti’s The Thing is one of my favorite versions of The Thing artistically and has me very happy Ben Grimm found a family with the Guardians so that Schiti could illustrate him. This is definitely a fun issue and look forward to Venom and Groot next month as the storyline continues. – Jacob

The Unbelievable Gwenpool #1 – B
Writer: Christopher Hastings
Artists: Gurihiro, Danilo Beyruth

Coming straight off the pages of Howard the Duck, which came off of a variant cover to Deadpool, is The Unbelievable Gwenpool #1! The story is that a normal everyday Gwen Stacy from our world was somehow transported into the world of Marvel Comics and has to learn just what it costs to be a hero in the All New, All Different Marvel universe.  What I figured would be a cheap kind of stupid little story for what many would seem a throw-away character, this story really was well written and well illustrated. I think if this issue is any indication of what is to come than we are all in for a great story coming from what seemed to be just a quick joke. After all, we are not seeing Gwen the Duck comics coming from that variant, although I would not find it at all surprising to see other Gwen heroes show up at some point which, at this point, would only make this comic even more fun. – Jacob

A-Force #4 – B
Writers: Kelly Thompson, G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Jorge Molina

This series gains more potential as each issue progresses and now that the first arc is finished in this issue, I am very excited to see what happens now that they are officially A-Force again – according to Singularity. I definitely think this series does a great job of mixing all the different characters types into one team and making sure an all female team comes across as powerful, capable and not all “Girl Power!” along the way. They had hinted that a character would die in this series like in the Secret Wars title was things turned around and made it so by the end of the issue everyone was together and well. All and all, I think this is a rather fun and well done series and hope it factors more into the main Marvel universe as other series and this go on.- Jacob

X-Men ’92 #2 – B
Writers: Chris Sims, Chad Bowers
Artist: Alti Firmansyah

This series is a bit split down the middle for me; it is a bit disappointing as a fan of the 90’s X-Men because a lot of characters I remember from the 90’s are missing, but then this comic is right on the level with me because it does include some of my absolute favorite X-Men characters from all of X-Men history. With this issue,s they seem to have decided to take something’s a bit into modern times in the comics as we see Jubilee becoming a vampire and a part of the team going to deal with Dracula himself on the matter. This comic is definitely a mix of all of X-Men history into the era many view as their prime and it is quite cool to see how current story lines many have worked in this universe. I would say better things are coming for this series, but even with that said, it is pretty enjoyable as it is. – Jacob

Rocket Raccoon and Groot #4 – C
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Aaron Conley

I have to say this issue of Rocket and Groot just didn’t connect with me the way I have come to expect from these two. Now this may be the football theme to the story, but there is also a D&D aspect, which didn’t feel like it had the same heart as past stories. It was still a fun and enjoyable story as Skottie Young knows how to make any idea and story fun. Even with this issue being quite a bit lower in enjoyment for me, it is still quite a bit better than a lot of titles on the shelf so I would say still pick this up as a fan of Rocket, Groot, or the Guardians.- Jacob

Valiant Entertainment Comic Book Reviews:

A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #2 – A
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Artist: David Lafuente

With just the second issue of the series, we get some hard reminders of whom these characters are with some fantastic story telling from Rafer Roberts. This issue is a great intro into what you are getting into with these two characters and it takes things quite humorous along the way. We get more of Davey the Mackerel when Mary Maria spots him trying to escape the satchel, and it all ends with stronger friendships with all three characters while also giving each more reasons to hate each other. But lets not forget all the crazy Party King’s escaped demons, Garbage monsters – or, excuse me, Trash Goblins, Giant robots, and the incredibly drunk Archer. Also all great additions to the story and very big looks into the past of the hulking immortal Armstrong. I have to say this series is definitely one of my favorite ongoing series at the moment and is just the right level of absurd, drama, action, and monsters I like in my entertainment. – 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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