Comic Book Reviews 04-20-16

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:

howard the duck 6 potw

Howard The Duck #6 – A
Writers: Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North
Artist: Joe Quinones

The epic conclusion to the Animal House crossover is here and is spinning off of the pages of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6! The story takes Howard, Squirrel Girl, Beast, Rocket Raccoon, a Wolverine Squirrel, Kraven, and Howard’s new android cat, Biggs, to a space controlled by a crazy cosplayer trying to hunt all she can with the superhero props she uses for her cosplay. It starts a rather crazy adventure of cat chasing, and leads to plenty of squirrel action, duck humor, epic hunting and it is all written by Chip Zdarsky and Ryan North with the intelligence of Beast, and the ferocity of Weapon II! I can definitely say this crossover was great for a fan of either Howard or Squirrel Girl and honestly hope it leads to many more adventures with these two obscure and awesome characters in the near future! How about a whole series??? I mean Gwenpool has a series now, so why can’t there be a Howard & Squirrel Girl book? – Jacob

Other Comic Book Reviews:

BOOM! Studios Comic Book Reviews:

Adventure Time: Ice King #4 – A
Writer: Emily Partridge
Artist: Pranas Naujokaitis

It’s so cool that this comic based on a cartoon offers up insights into the cartoon in really subtle ways. That part when Ice King seems to just zone out, and, internally, flies to an immaterial dimension where he’s faced with his failures and insecurities? Remember in the background when the octopus monster is wearing the crown, and we see three faces on it? Know how we can identify two of those three faces? Pretty cool, guy. Pretty cool. – Montgomery

Dark Horse Comic Book Reviews:

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth #140 – B+
Writers: Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart, Chris Roberson
Artists: Mike Norton

This issue is two fold in a way: on one hand, it’s sad leaving the hellscape that is… well, the Earth in this series, and the grandeur of mega-apocalypse gods for a small story. However, I think the Hellboy universe is the only comic world that can explore all its nooks and crannies, and I still feel way into it. Following the events of issue 139, hell’s top brass is starting to increment an invasion on Earth, and it is in this new context that we follow Ashley Strode as she wages a pretty badass exorcism war on hell’s generals. I can’t even begin to tell you how mind blowing it is to have been following a single story for 140 issues, and how exciting it is to be cresting a developing story. – Montgomery

DC Comic Book Reviews:

Lucifer #5 – B+
Writer: Holly Black
Artist: Lee Garbet

“Lucifer has always very been charming. It may be my least favorite thing about him.”  What a fantastic line of dialogue. This was definitely the weakest issue so far. Most of it was Lucifer Agatha Christie-ing as he just described the entire mystery, exactly like what happens at the end of Agatha Christie novels. But the ending totally redeems itself when Gabriel decides to be Mazikeen’s bad boy. God, the Fox show is garbage. Just… garbage. – Montgomery

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

Transformers #52 – A
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Livid Ramondelli

I can never quite believe the fact that Transformers is always the book it takes the longest to read. For being based on a bunch of toys from the 80s, it really is a complex book. I think my favorite thing about the current arc is Soundwave’s portrayal: the true idealist who became a Decepticon for all the right reasons and gets routinely shit on by all the establishments. I also like Galvatron’s insinuation that Prime might be schizophrenic after his brief period as a combiner. i like that the ‘formers haven’t let me down yet. – Montgomery

Image Comic Book Reviews:

The Walking Dead: The Alien – B
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Artist: Marcos Martin

This came kinda out of nowhere – a Walking Dead spin-off comic book issue written by one of the industry’s most lauded creators. It was pretty cool and refreshing to see an issue of TWD that was sort of a fresh start. Everything has become so muddled in merchandising and grandiose in scale that anything new and completely separated from canon (or is it??) is a step forward. It still had a fan fictiony vibe to it, but I suppose that’s because it’s set up as a bottle issue. If anything, though, this planted the seed that maybe we’re ready to move on from Rick’s story… – Sherif

Huck #6 – C-
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Colorist: Dave McCaig

Like most Millar books, Huck started off very mysterious and enticing, with an exciting new concept that hasn’t really been explored before. However, as we close the chapter on Huck‘s first story arc, I’m left with a big sense of “meh.” Huck and his super-human mom escaped the prison, took down the bad guy, and left a little cliffhanger at the end. It was all so formulaic and predictable. I don’t know where the book is going to go from this point on, but I hope it can do better. – Sherif

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

The Haunted Mansion #2 – A
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jorge Coelho

The first issue of The Haunted Mansion was really a pleasant surprise for me and I’m really pleased with how much I am continuing to dig this series. It clearly has Disney written all over it, and by no means is that a bad thing, but it does mean that characters and situations seem to fit into certain molds and expectations. It doesn’t really take away from the book’s overall readability, and you absolutely get what you pay for but there is a distinct feeling of predictability to it. Hell, at least it felt that way in the second issue. The story is going in interesting directions and introducing fun new characters, but Pickwick walking the line between good and evil was a bit obvious and I’m pretty sure we all knew that as soon as Danny let go and started to “party” that he would fall under the Great Hall’s spell. Honestly though, quirks like that are not deterrents for me. I think this book is fun, and really well written with a lot of heart. This is definitely one that it seems most comic audiences wold find enjoyment in. – Keriann

Power Man and Iron Fist #3 – A-
Writer: David Walker
Artist: Sanford Greene
Colorist: Lee Loughridge

It blows my mind that Power Man and Iron Fist is only three issues in, because it feels so familiar to me already: we know the dynamic that Danny and Luke have, we understand how wifey Jessica Jones fits in the picture, and we are fully aware of how all the bad guys relate to the main problem at hand. While there is a definite Starsky and Hutch buddy cop vibe going on, the story is so fully immersed in the Marvel world that it never feels dull or disingenuous to the characters or situation. While my heart is never racing to turn to the next page, the book is paced extremely well and each issue is a joy to get through. – Sherif

 

Deadpool & the Mercs for Money #3 – B
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Salva Espin

This series has to be the best Deadpool title on the shelves now, which may be why I was picked up for an ongoing series once this mini-series finishes. But with the top quality writing and art also comes characters even the most avid Marvel comics fan will leave them head scratching. That is not saying they are bad characters… well okay, they seem bad, but they work very well for this series especially with the team being comprised of smaller known heroes. The story so far is that a time predicting robot has been caught by Deadpool’s team and they are trying to sell it to the highest bidder. This does not end well since it was a room full of jealous and over zealous supervillains and on top of it all now the team has to deliver the robot to whomever wins the auction. Definitely a more fun slapstick type of humor than one expects from the Merc with a Mouth, which begs me to ask, can this just be the main Deadpool book? – Jacob

Spider-Man/ Deadpool #4- B-
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Ed McGuinness

This series is a top one for me as it has been consistently well-written and drawn, but this double-date themed issue was the most disappointing issue so far, up until the last pages. Maybe once this series is finished and you can go back and rad it all in one sitting, maybe this issue will hold up better, but as far as month to month goes it seems very much like a filler issue with only one important plot point. I think the main ongoing story is all set up brilliantly, but having Deadpool and Spider-Man go on a double date with a succubus and Thor was not very funny and I felt as if I was watching some 90’s sitcom where one person has two dates on the same night at the same restaurant. It’s an overused formula and I found it weird to see it set up so confusingly and unfitting to the rest of the series. It ‘s still good, well executed and one of my favorites of the week, but definitely take this issue with a grain of salt up until the exact point where you can see that shit just got real. – Jacob

Second Opinion (C+): This book has done a pretty good job of containing an actual story and staying silly, but the involvement of other characters and a massive dance-off (yeah…) between Spidey and Deadpool may just be TOO silly for me. – Sherif

Extraordinary X-Men #9 – C+
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Humberto Ramos

As the Apocalypse Wars crossover continues, we get an issue in the past while also being in the future… Ugh, time travel is confusing! Basically the story is of the students trapped in the future last issue and what happened to them while the other part of the team was still in modern times. We see a lot more of the Four Horsemen, but still no sign of the actual Apocalypse yet. However, there is still quite a bit to go for this crossover so we will likely see him soon. As far as the story goes, this ones was kind of dull and left you wondering why we needed this part of the story at all and why we didn’t start off where the last issue left off. With this issue, we end up right where we were at the end of issue #1 which really seemed like a waste, but it is still a fun and interesting story. I just wish we got more about Colossus becoming a horseman; maybe this issue could have been a much higher grade story wise. – Jacob

Deadpool #10 – C
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Matteo Lolli, Iban Coello

I have to be honest; first and foremost and say I am pretty over the whole, “Sabretooth killed my parents” shtick, that has been the focus for a couple issues. It may be that both characters are invulnerable, it may be that the story is not too good, or it may be that Deadpool already has dealt with this issue before. I am going to go ahead and say that it is all of those reasons and more. I think Gerry Duggan has a good understanding of Deadpool, but overall, when the main title for a character is the worst of five or so series with the character, there may be a problem. To sum it up, Deadpool and Sabretooth fight, and then Deadpool reveals he has terrigen mist to kill Sabretooth, which does not amount to much happening this issue. The good news is there are two more Deadpool eccentric series this week as well, and he appears in Extraordinary X-Men as one of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. – Jacob

Karnak #3 – C
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Roland Boschi

What an unbelievable bummer. This comic is rapidly circling the drain despite how long it takes to get an issue. It just feels like Warren Ellis is being the laziest guy on the planet. I imagine his script for issue 2 would have said something like, “And, I don’t know. They fight, for… like… half the book. You figure out. I’ve got a boring documentary to film,” and then he fucked off for the night. The script for issue 3 must have just been a giant copy pasta from his 7th grade “Warren’s sick ass philosophy” notebook. The plus side is that since Marvel is now targeting pre-literate toddler-aged sea mollusks as their primary audience, it takes less time to read than it takes to listen to a dubstep remix. – Montgomery

The Mighty Thor #6 – C
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman, Rafa Garries

We finally get to know about the Odinson Thor in this issue, but then Loki goes off on an old story about Vikings and why he is evil, as if we didn’t already understand that. We don’t see the Jane Foster Thor or a modern day Odinson Thor anywhere in this issue which was a bit upsetting considering the story Loki told is a very broad look at how Vikings viewed Norse gods. The story doesn’t develop much from the first page to the last, but Rafa Garries art in the flashback story is fantastic and boy is it an improvement on facial hair details in art. Don’t get me wrong – I think Russell Dauterman is one of the best artists out there, but like I have said time and time again, he REALLY needs to work on facial hair or at least stubble. Overall, though, I would say this issue is one that can be skipped story-wise, but art-wise you should definitely check it out. Here is hoping when Odinson Thor comes back it is in a grand fashion and may bring Beta Ray Bill along… Hint Hint, Marvel! – 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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