Comic Book Reviews 05-11-16

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:

black panther 2 potw

Black Panther #2 – A
Writer: Ta-nehisi Coates
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Colorist: Laura Martin

Wow, this book is just such a higher caliber piece of literature than anything else on the market, especially a monthly series. The art team deserves their praise for a phenomenally fitting canvas of the Wakandan spread, and new antagonists in the Midnight Angels that looks, well, cool as shit! Really, though, this is a novelist’s take on a character rich in culture and backstory. The falling of Wakanda was such an after-thought of AvX – aside from the divorce it caused – that the Black Panther story needed to be told. Wakandas are hurting, and T’Challa knows it. As a reader, you really can’t even fault the men who think they are liberating Wakanda from their king. There is just so much depth to a story that is only TWO issues in. It’s also just as much fun to figure out what Black Panther’s costume is made of: some type of Extremis technology? How does he draw power from the earth? I hope Coates, Stelfreeze, and Martin stick around for a long run on Black Panther. We deserve it. – Sherif

Other Comic Book Reviews:

DC Comic Book Reviews:

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 – A-
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II

It is kind of bittersweet to be writing the last review for this series, as it has been one hell of a ride and one of the top comics on my pull list each month. As I have stated before, crossovers rarely turn out as good as you imagine, but James Tynion IV went above and beyond with this series and made it seem almost as if these characters have been in he same universe all along. The mutated Batman villains, the fight between Batman and Shredder, and the Turtles and Ras Al Ghul was fantastic, and it certainly wrapped up fittingly. The ending was as perfect as it could be and of course left it open for a sequel at some point, but not as open as most movies and other comics tend to be. What really got me was how fantasticly Freddie E. Williams II’s melded these universes together in a perfect harmony and gave us some of the best TMNT art in comic book history in my opinion. Although it is sad this series end, the fact that it happened at all – and was well-executed – is all the solace we need. – Jacob

Second Opinion (A-): There was just the right amount of “Saturday Morning Cartoon”-ness in this issue. An extremely fun, well-constructed, and successful mini-series I hope we’ll see more of in the future. – Sherif

Batman #52 – A-
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist:Riley Rossmo
Colorists: Ivan Plascencia and Jordan Boyd

Man, I wanted so much to hate this issue. The creative team that gave us The Court of Owls, The Death of The Family, and Endgame are gone, and instead we have James Tynion IV, the driving creative behind Batman: Eternal. I had every right to be skeptical. This issue, though, may have sold me on jumping on with Rebirth. The issue was by all means a bottle issue, one you don’t need to read to get on with the new upcoming series. The story, a callback to Bruce’s childhood, is nostalgic and heartfelt, working as a great jumping off point that doesn’t try to be the same book Snyder and Capullo produced. The art is a little choppy, but the colorwork by Ivan Plascencia and Jordan Boyd give it a lot of life. I also found it extremely meta that the entire chase was for a journal titled “How to Move On.” Maybe it’s time I do the same. – Sherif

Swamp Thing #5 – C
Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Kelley Jones

I will keep this short and simple; there is one issue to go and I am still wondering if it is worth the time to finish it.  Swamp Thing is very near and dear to my heart, and although Len Wein returns to his creation, this series have left me more high and dry than Swamp Thing in a desert. I do have to say though hat this issue was immensely better than he previous four, but that is mostly due to the cameos of Phantom Stranger, Deadman, and The Spectre. I look forward to he next issue if for nothing else just to get closure and then have the time to go back and read Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing. – Jacob

IDW Publishing Comic Book Reviews:

Satellite #1 – A
Writer: Steve Horton
Artist: Stephen Thompson

Wow. That was abrupt. The only negative thing I can say about this book is ended way too damn quickly. I wanted another ten pages, easy. The premise is pretty fascinating: the only human on a satellite of varied alien species is there for… reasons? And also investigation. She’s a private investigator, from what I gather, shoehorned into working for the satellite’s police force. There’s fantastic characterization, and the dialogue flows nicely. And the art is top notch. It absolutely reminds me of French sci-fi comics in the vein of Moebius, or Lone Sloan; it’s detailed, colorful, and the alien designs are clever and non-obvious despite all looking basically humanoid. I’m glad to be hooked on another quality book after wading through the stagnant pool of superhero comics. – Montgomery

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #58 – B+
Writers: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Dave Watcher

Oh Leatherhead, why dost thou have to be so damn awesome? We have the conclusion to the Leatherhead story in this issue and although the past three issue have been amazing – a TMNT and Leatherhead fans’ dream, this story ended a bit flat up until we get introduced to the next arc on the last page. The story of this issue is about us finding out Leatherhead attacked the Utroms and Fugitoid, but are never really given a good enough reason why in my opinion. But despite Leatherhead’s first story ending a bit abruptly like this series always is, even the worst issue are typically still the best comics on the stands and this issue is no exception (other than maybe Batman/TMNT beating it out this week, but don’t really think that counts). I don’t want anyone to think this issue is bad by any means as I still am massively pleased with what Eastman, Curnow, Waltz, Santolouco, and Watcher brought to the table this issue and made me realize exactly why I have always and always will love Leatherhead. Now I just hope we see him join the Mutanimals in an upcoming issue! – Jacob

Image Comic Book Reviews:

Pencil Head #4 – B+
Writer/artist/creator: Ted McKeever

I need to get a hundred copies of this comic to hand out to people as a short hand for why I really dislike the modern comic scene. Pretty much nails it. – Montgomery

Prophet: Earth War #4 – B
Writers: Brandon Graeme and Simon Roy
Artists: Giannis MiloGiannis, Simon Roy, and Grim Wilkins

The renegade prophets’ war on the Earth Empire continues. The highlight here is an infantile… I think it’s the larval form of that which will evolve into a ship, if I’m not mistaken (but I think I am)… which crosses the desert with the female prophet and lizard assassin. In a scene that evokes Dune, they have to cross making no noise unless they want to attract the wrath of underground murder tentacles. I think the big takeaway here is that it’s been so long since I’ve read Prophet, that I need to start over from the beginning. I’ve forgotten a lot of the nuance of what this story is about. – Montgomery

Marvel Comic Book Reviews:

Guardians of the Galaxy #8 – B+
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti

In this issue, we finally figure out exactly what is going on during the Guardians current mission while also seeing how Groot and Venom handle their side of the deal. It was definitely a good issue and the banter between Venom and Groot was great, making for a very interesting pairing. The scene describing the mission was fantastic to me as I loved how The Thing and Venom wee completely out of the loop and none of the Guardians would let them in on who exactly they are trying to save. It was also really good to see Gamora again as it has been awhile absolutely can not wait to read the Drax and Gamora team-up side of the story next month! I have really gotten to enjoy Guardians during this arc and with the story more fleshed out in this issue it really makes past issues less confusing and a whole lot more enjoyable. Plus, I always gotta give a shout out to how much I am enjoying the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing on his team. – Jacob

Deadpool #11 – B-
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Matteo Lolli

I have not been a fan of this Sabretooth story line and am incredibly glad it ends with this issue. With that being said, this issue was by far the best of this arc showing how much Sabretooth has changed for the better. I am still not too sure what Adsit is up to, but he nearly gives his life trying to save Sabretooth to tell Deadpool that it was in fact him who killed his own parents and not Sabretooth. There is no doubt Adsit is a good ally to Deadpool up until this point and seeing the sacrifice he made in this issue makes the character much more interesting. I also loved the Dr. Strange cameo in this issue and how he deals with Deadpool’s insanity, the short hint of more Madcap coming, and the general idea that Deadpool is finally moving forward with his life instead of dwelling on the past. The best and most spoilery thing has to do with the nature of Deadpool’s daughter Ellie, but I will let you read the book to find that one out. I look forward to he next arc after we visit Deadpool 2099 again next issue and hopefully the series can find its footing again. – Jacob

Valiant Entertainment Comic Book Reviews:

A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #3 – A
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Artist: David LaFuente

I really can’t speak highly enough of this book and both Rafer Roberts writing and David Lafuente’s art. There are three pages in this issue that have more panels than almost a whole entire issue of another comic, which as an artist myself, completely blew my mind. But this issue really delved into the characters and how much credit Valiant really deserves for having quite possibly the best characters, done by the best creative teams in comics today. Plus, the hint that Archer and Faith (from the phenomenal self titled mini-series written by the absolutely fantastic Jody Houser) are going to be an item had me super excited as they both are some of my absolute favorite characters in comics. The whole story takes some crazy turns but if you know anything about Archer and Armstrong’s history you know things get crazier and crazier with each story and this one has just the right balance of hilarious moments and bad ass action. It is by far in my top five comics at the moment and should be on everyone’s pull list because this comic right here is the exact type of comic that made me love the entire genre. – 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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