Comic Book Reviews 05-04-16

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:

a-force 5

 

A-Force #5 – A-
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Ben Caldwell

Wow, what an issue! Definitely the best in the series so far and not only excited for what comes next, but afraid as so much is on the line. We learn a Thor from Battleworld (finally a story connects to Secret Wars!) is in the current universe and not only that, but it is a Dazzler Thor! With this reveal and a quick but not final defeat of the dragon, The Enchantress, we are at the start of a new arc. Seeing as Dazzler will obviously have roubles understanding her double, and how she is Thor, we get quite a reveal and one of he best scenes of this series between the two revealing that the main universes Dazzler is suffering from the virus terrigen mists give mutants. Damn… and Dazzler was just becoming one of my favorite characters. I mean, are Robert Kirkman or George R.R. Martin inspiring Kelly Thompson in writing this book??? But honestly, this turn of events has me at the edge of my seat just as I hoped this series would. Top notch work from Kelly Thompson and Ben Caldwell! – Jacob

Other Comic Book Reviews:

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Elephantmen #70 – B
Writer: Richard Starkings
Artists: Carlos Pedro

The start of a new two-issue arc with art by Carlos Pedro while Axel Medellin takes the coloring duties. This arc starts with what seems to be quite some time after the last arc and Hip Flask is brought on to a weird investigation which turns out to be a woman wanting him to open a suspicious package. We learn The River Killer whom we have seen in some select past issues is after this package and quite hard to spot with his invisibility. Not much is explained about the package other than it being a white gold elephant statue and a twist at the end, but am sure the story will have a great conclusion next month in the awesome fashion I have come to expect from Richard Starking’s writing. This series has consistently been entertaining and adding a film noir type of story just adds to the awesomeness that is Elephantmen. Definitely a good story to peek into this series for two issues if you have never read the series before! – Jacob

The Walking Dead #154 – C+
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

It’s interesting that we’ve never actually seen how Negan operates on his own, and after this issue, I could probably do without it ever again. Negan, while the best foe Rick and the group has ever faced, is pretty annoying and arrogant by his lonesome. I do like where the story is going, with Negan joining the Whisperers, but Negan is lauded as a much more interesting character than he actually is. Conversely, the development of Carl is one of the best stories occurring in TWD right now. He’s basically a man now! – Sherif

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

 

Howard The Duck #7 – B+
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Kevin Maguire

A lot of people may look at this issue as filler material as we get ready for the continuation of the ongoing story, but it’s nothing of the sort. Chip Zdarsky shows his writing chops off by including Daredevil, Spider-Man, She-Hulk, and Steve Rogers for an adventure in the Savage Land. To make things confusing, we travel back to a time after Secret Wars, but before this series dealing with a client of She-Hulk’s that she has gotten Howard and Tara to help track down. In doing so, Howard recruits Peter Parker through Spider-Man, Matt Murdock stops by as he is representing the other side of the court and he gets Daredevil involved (secret identities make stuff more confusing…) and they all need a ship, so Steve Roger gets involved. Ultimately, this rag-tag group heads to Savage Land to find She-Hulk’s client and this adventure is the perfect example of why Chip Zdarsky is one of my favorite creators in comics today. The perfect blend of everything that makes comics great and although it may not be the best Howard issue, it is by far one of the most fun. – Jacob

Moon Knight #2 – B
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Another issue of Moon Knight, another series of perplexing and mind-f*cking questions to ask. Is Marc Spector actually insane? Or is the facility he’s being kept at really being taken over by ancient Egyptian evils? It’s less about the end results and more about the journey to get there. Khonshu is just as deep in Spector’s mind as the institute is, and it’s possible that this whole ordeal is a plot to make Marc unwaveringly loyal to the mask again. Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire’s art is perfect for what is going on right now, and I’m thoroughly enjoying every aspect of this book. – Sherif

X-Men ’92 #3 – B-
Writers: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims
Artist: Alti Firmansyah

We all loved X-Men in the 90’s right? Well this series is obviously trying to bank off of that, but it also is taking notes from Monty Python and introducing itself with,  “And now for something completely different!” Adding elements of modern X-Men into the mix like the fact Jubilee is a vampire had me a bit wary at first – and still does considering the massive differences there, too. This brings me to the fact this issue focuses on Dracula and how the X-Men have fallen into a vampire state thanks to the Russian experiment, Alpha Red, whom we find out is Dracula’s son. With all their lives in danger, Dracula joins with the X-Men to try and stop Alpha Red, but it may be too late. I fully expect everyone to make a full recovery, but Jubilee not so much. Having the vampire aspect was weird but made her character a lot more interesting in recent books, which could easily become a modern plot put into 90’s X-Men. With this, though, I still understand how this could rub people the wrong way, but me, I am loving every minute of it. – Jacob

Rocket Raccoon and Groot #5- C+
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Jay Fosgitt

As a massive Skottie Young fan, especially his run on, this series has definitely been missing something most of his work has. This issue was better than last months by far, but it still felt completely detached in a bad way where as the previous Skottie Young Rocket was all its own and better for it. This story is all about Vikings who take Rocket and Groot, imprison Rocket, make Groot a sacrificial God while Rocket breaks out of jail. It is a story I expect from Rocket but also one I get déjà vu from as him breaking out of prison and stuck in cells has been a main stay recently in his books and appearances. This issue is still fun and playful but lacks the substance that was abounding in the previous volume and some previous issues of this volume. I still love this series, but the past two issues have been rather sub-par and hope it and get back on track to its quality soon. – Jacob

Punisher #1 – C-
Writer: Becky Cloonan
Artist: Steve Dillon
Colorist: Frank Martin

After a performance like Jon Bernthal’s in the Netflix Daredevil series, Marvel really has to come out swinging when it drops a new Punisher series. This was not the best Marvel could have done. The debut issue fell flat on a lot of levels, but mostly the dialogue and art felt amateurish. If I wanted a story with blood and violence and cursing (by the way, what is up with this book censoring out all the swearing?), I could check out a number of Image or Valiant titles. I want a bit more substance from this book. Instead, we get that there’s a snowman named Olaf who used to be Frank’s commanding officer and a guy who pins faces on the wall. No explanation needed, I guess. This is probably one of the most disappointing debut issues of a major character in the All-New All-Different Marvel launch. Do better, Marvel. – Sherif

ONI Press Comic Book Reviews:

Invader Zim #9 – B
Writers: Eric Trueheart, Jhonen Vasquez
Artists: Aaron Alexovich, Dave Crosland

After a couple awkward issues, this series is back on track with the quality of the TV show that spawned it. A lot of that may be due to the fact Jhonen Vasquez co-wrote this issue, which is always helpful in getting the feeling of humor, and absurdity the show had. This issue like many is a separate story and it deals with Dib going undercover in an alien costume to be Zim’s intern (slave) all to try and impress a stupid Internet community. The plot itself is something that definitely feels like it was part of the show and fits directly into my mind as an episode, which is always a huge plus for properties such as this.  Aaron Alexovich does great on the art aspect as usual for this series and it all spins together in a great issue, that far outshines the past few issues and makes for a great jumping-on point for this series. – 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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