Comic Book Reviews 04-27-16

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:

batman 51 cycle continues

Batman #51 – A+
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo

Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and FCO Plascencia’s run has been a masterpiece, & Batman 51 is a fitting way to wrap up a legendary chapter in the Dark Knight’s history books. Click here for our full review as we discuss “5 Badass Moments in Batman #51.

Other Comic Book Reviews:

Dark Horse Comic Book Reviews:

Aliens: Defiance #1 – A
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Tristan Jones

The last few Aliens/Predator/Prometheus outings have been real letdowns: overly complex, not much in the story, too much dialogue for the amount of story. I wasn’t expecting much with this new run, but I was very surprised. I can’t tell what’s going on with the Aliens timeline (what you read now is vastly different from the 15 years worth of prior comics), and – like everything else on this stupid planet – it’s probably being relaunched. But I liked the return to gritty art, the return to a dedicated female lead, and a return to humanity’s unease around things that look human but aren’t. – Montgomery

DC Comic Book Reviews:

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 – C+
Writer: Brian Azzarello, Frank Miller
Artist: Andy Kubert
Colorist: Brad Anderson

The jury is still out on whether or not this is going to live up to the epic expectations. Each issue – and the mini-issue that accompanies it – is entertaining, but it seems to lack the certain pizzazz that I would expect from such a big name sequel. The most enjoyable part of the series thus far has got to be the return of Leaguers thought to have been long gone. So far, DKIII has reintroduced The Man of Steel, The Flash, and Aquaman. As I mentioned, it’s interesting and a fairly unique concept, but nothing blowing me away yet. – Sherif

Second Opinion (B): I really want to love this series, but it is forcing me to only like it as we are 4 issue in and we have seen more Superman than we have Batman. For a series like this, the lack of Batman has me wondering why so much work and effort went into finishing a trilogy by having I hardly focus on the character we are all here to see. – Jacob

Justice League 3001 #11 – C
Creative team: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Scott Kolins

This book has pretty much lost any momentum it had. This issue felt like a poorly written episode of Scooby Doo… which is already poorly written. I feel like the writing has started aiming at being goofy, or funny, or something, and instead it just makes for very lukewarm stories that feel very drawn out with none of the bizarre imagery of the series when it first launched. Very bummed. – Montgomery

Justice League #49 – D+
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jason Fabok
Colorist: Brad Anderson

I’ve never given less of a crap about Justice League than right now. This Darkseid Wars has been completely mediocre, and with Rebirth starting next month, there’s even less motivation to get through the pages. It has that lingering bad taste of a book that you know is ending soon but has no idea how it is going to end. Johns keeps filling the pages with pretty full-panel spreads of meaningless energy blasts. Somehow a baby is going to bring about the destruction of the world and one of DC’s most formidable cosmic villains was taken out by somebody completely unworthy. Gag me. Just get it over with, DC. – Sherif

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 – A
Writers: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Artist: Mateus Santolouco

Part II of the Leatherhead story sees the Utroms awake and the Turtles split up to try and find the other beings on the island. Donnie and the Utroms try to figure out what is happening with Fugitoid and if they can bring him back after the attack that ended last issue. Now I do have to say I am a massive fan of Leatherhead in just about very incarnation of TMNT and this story has been absolutely top notch in their execution of his introduction. I think Eastman, Curnow, Waltz, and Santolouco are just about the best creative team that has ever worked on Turtles besides the original Eastman and Laird. This issue ends with quite a surprise and one that has me a bit disappointed but also equally excited for what comes next. Whether you are as big of a Leatherhead as me or not, it still does a TMNT fan good to see the team back together for a good adventure. – Jacob

Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #52 – A
Writer: James Roberts
Artist: Alex Milne

Man. This comic delivers again. Another note Marvel should be taking: when there’s action, it’s not just because it’s been 3 pages since the last double page spread, but because characters have led to this conflict, and this act of conflict is an expression of deeper seated hostilities and tendencies. I also really like how, in the two different books, Optimus is becoming more Megatron-like, and Megatron is becoming more Optimus-like. The coolest moment is Megatron looking at a statue of himself and saying to zealous Decepticon, “I have more in common now with that robot (the statue) than the monster I became.” it’s cool to see genuine character growth… again, Marvel should take note. – Montgomery

X-Files #1 – C
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Mathew Dow Smith

After the confusion and almost rushed ending to the Season 11 comics and rather poor overall quality of the mini-series event on TV, I was really hoping his #1 issue would start off great and bring us back to he quality we had during the season 1 run. Sadly, this issue starts off with a bang, but that is only because it starts with a shooting. In every other way, it left me feeling rather like I was pouring salt on an almost-healed wound by giving us a story that was not overwhelmingly fun and definitely not up to part of the past series. Maybe I am a bit sore due to being led to believe things were happening one way during Season 10 and 11 and then the mini-series kind of took all of that and treated it like a newspaper on the bottom of a bird cage. Despite my overall distaste for this issue and the craziness that was the mall shooing plot line, it still wasn’t a D or F quality and was amusing. Plus, it makes me happy simply because seeing Mulder and Scully working together in any capacity makes me feel like a giant hole in my life is being filled. – Jacob

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Saga #36 – A
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples

The worst part about each issue of Saga is realizing that it’s over. Another stellar issue from Vaughan and Staples hits the stands, and a LOT changes with this issue. Most importantly, one of our favorite side characters is not murdered, as was kind of expected given how the last issue ended. That being said, The Will is waaaay more wacked out on drugs than was previously thought; there’s gonna have to be a lot to be explained. Perhaps what endears me the most to Saga is that while there are tons of unexplained events and origin stories, there is enough moving in the forefront to keep readers from getting fixated on the changes. If they really wanted to, Vaughan and Staples could keep this story going forever by filling in the blanks ala Star Wars. In the mean time, let’s just enjoy the ride. – Sherif

Injection #9 – C+
Writers: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Colorists: Jordie Bellaire

So, I’m getting a little annoyed at the way Image comics are set up to be rather slow and then slam a cliffhanger into the last two pages. It’s so old hat at the moment that it takes away from enjoying other elements of the book. I am still really enjoying this story. In this issue, most of the crew that originally created the Injection are now in the same place and figuring out what to do and figure out why the Injection is up to. I always enjoy reading about these characters and their interactions. I mean really you’re eating the human ham!? Minus that, not much happened. I feel they could have revealed more about the characters and plot. – Jené

Sex Criminals #15 – C
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

This story certainly has lost a lot of the momentum that kept it shocking and gut-busting, perhaps becoming too self-aware to be innocent and enjoyable. There’s not really any other book that can get away with putting blank panels explaining that writing out the story would be mundane and cliché – and that’s becoming a not-uncommon thing for this book anymore. Of course, any time these two creators team up, there are instances of hilarity, but there is not enough direction as far as what the point of the book is. The first two volumes of this were classic, but I’m wavering a bit on this third arc. – Sherif

Second Opinion (B): Now this story is getting to feel back on track after last issue, but only for it to hit with a swift hit to the face, both figuratively and literally. Also, I don’t remember the last issue with so little nudity… – Jacob

Joe Books Comic Book Reviews:

Darkwing Duck #1- A
Writer: Aaron Sparrow, James Silvani
Artist: Andrew Dalhouse

Not many pop culture icons can get me more excited than the terror that flaps in the night, Darkwing Duck! After a wonderful series run at BOOM! Studios and the battle of publisher rights over that series we finally have new Darkwing Duck comics. If this issue is any indication of what is to come, then we are in for the absolute best Disney comic on shelves and we all need to be massively thankful to Joe Books for finally battering down the battle flags from the last series so we can continue to read about everyone’s favorite hero of the 90s. This issue starts off our first story titled “Orange is the New Purple,” and has all of Darkwing’s enemies escaping from prison while Darkwing and a field trip of kids is at the prison. Not only seeing Darkwing again, but all of his rogue group of villains, is warming to the heart and exactly what I needed to get over the fact so many of my favorite series have dwindled in quality recently. Honestly though, both the writing and art is spot on and is just about as perfect as any comic can get. – Jacob

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

All-New Wolverine #7 – A-
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Marcio Takara
Colorist: Jordan Boyd

As soon as I saw Squirrel Girl on the cover, I sighed a bit. She’s been teaming up with everybody, freshly off the heralded Animal Crossing arc with Howard the Duck, and it seemed an ill-fit to put her in a Wolverine book. I was so wrong, though. The constant barrage of happiness and optimism coming from Squirrel Girl is just what the doctor ordered for Laura. While it wasn’t befitting of an X-23 book, Laura is decidedly no longer X-23, and the moment she shares with Gabby back at home breaks the chain of events that made her feel neglected by Wolverine. There’s not a whole lot of upside looking at this in the long run: the ominous plot of Gabby’s sisters, the certain doom Gabby is now going to be in… but that is then, and for now, we can look at this issue as a great example of when Laura Kinney finally put away her claws and accepted a family. – Sherif

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 – A-
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson

This issue is the first choose your own adventure comic book I can remember and, man, do Ryan North and Erica Henderson deserve some credit for undergoing such an adventure or what? Ultimately, this comic can end in many ways, but if you don’t reach the actual end of the book the ending is typically humorous or completely out of left field making you choose the right decision. I know plenty of choose your own adventure books were the exact same way, but this comic does it in such a creative fashion and one only a hero like Squirrel Girl can pull off. Even if you haven’t read Unbeatable Squirrel Girl before, I recommend picking up his book for the creativity alone. – Jacob

Old Man Logan #5 – B
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

I’m so conflicted with this series. I have absolutely loved the story, but I can never seem to get past how much this art doesn’t belong.  Andrea Sorrentino’s art is gorgeous and is art I would definitely buy pieces of, but for this series and the storytelling, I feel it is severely misused. This is one reason I’ve not been able to give this series an A despite finding it to be one of my top favorite Marvel books. This issue in particular was rather heart-wrenching as we see Logan leave the X-Men to take care of some business. We see Logan travel up to the most northern part of Canada to see how his former wife who was murdered in the first Old Man Logan series by the Hulk gang. As he finds her, he sees she is a kid and this is the moment where Logan realizes he is in a different reality and wherever he came from is a place he will never see again. Right as Logan has some realizations, though, a figure from his past shows up that promises to bring back a little of that past pain. – Jacob

International Iron Man #2 – B-
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Paul Mounts

This is still a thoroughly fun read that links back to a time when Tony Stark was the one getting his heart played with. There’s a bit more background and explanation to what’s going on with this mysterious Cassandra lady, who has somehow become an evil version of Stark, selling similar tech to terrorist organizations. There were a lot of words and a lot of flashback time in this issue that might have served better to read in the collected form, but it still had that Bendis charm in the writing. – Sherif

Drax #6 – C
Writer: CM Punk, Cullen Bunn
Artist: Scott Hepburn, Scott Hanna

I have to be 100% honest with this review and say I have kind of lost touch with this series. I felt maybe the change of pace from fighting Fin Fang Foom and now taking kids to their respective homes would add a bit more enjoyment into the series for me that I had at the start, but as of now, I am just not feeling it. Nothing against the creative team; the writing is good and the art is great, but I feel the overall arc taking place is not one I find too entertaining. Drax definitely has me realizing why Drax may be my least favorite Guardians member. So if you have enjoyed previous issues or just like Drax this series will likely be fantastic to you, but for now I am likely going to have to jump ship so my $4 a month can go to a series I like a bit more consistently. – Jacob

Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic #1 – D
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Leonardo Romero

I… couldn’t finish it. I got 20 pages in, thought, “Wait a minute, I’ve spent more than 3 minutes reading a Marvel book. What’s the deal with that?” Saw the page count was 45 pages, and thought, “I just can’t handle any more of whatever the hell this is.” And stopped. Pretty much, Marvel is so 1 note, it’s hard to give a shit. “Thing shows up, wants to destroy everything. But then it doesn’t.” There’s no way the stupidly named Empirikul is going to destroy magic (because it turns out the magic was inside us the whole time!). From the beginning, who gives a fuck? – Montgomery

ONI Press Comic Book Reviews:

Rick and Morty #13 – B
Writer: Tom Fowler
Artist: CJ Cannon

Thank god after intolerably mediocre super hero comics, there’s Rick and Morty to pull me out of the tedium. Last issue, they had to jump into the decapitated head of an alternate reality Morty, and Morty, being kind of an idiot, gets pulled into the warped memories of a dead Earth. It was so well done, that even though I could remember last issue, I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to feel about it until the very end when I realized you’re expected to align with Morty’s perception. Why can’t buttfart Marvel try writing like this? Oh, because the emotionally stunted toddlers they cater to might be offended. Great. – Montgomery

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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